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Full text of "Biographical sketches"

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BIOGRAPH ICAL 



SKETCHES 



BY 



HARRIET MARTINEAU 




NEW YORK 
LEYPOLDT & HOLT 

TORONTO, CANADA 
ADAM, STEVENSON & CO 

1869 



CT 



AUTHOR'S EDITION. 




LITTLK, RENNLE & Co., Stereotyyers. 
NKW YOUK. 



PREFACE. 

IT has been suggested to me that these Sketches 
should be reproduced in a convenient form for readers 
who may wish that they were more accessible than when 
hidden in the files of a newspaper. Such a proposal, 
made by a judgment which I respect, is gratifying to 
me ; and I can have no hesitation in accepting it. I 
have therefore collected all the Memoirs I have written 
for the Daily News, from my first connection with the 
paper in 1852. It is from one of the gentlemen con- 
nected with that Journal, Mr. J. R. Bobinson, that the 
suggestion has proceeded ; and it was accompanied by 
a generous consideration which obviates all difficulty 
in complying with it. Aware that my state of health 
renders all literary exertion impossible, Mr. Robinson 
desired to charge himself with all the trouble and 
responsibility, while leaving me all the advantages, of 
the publication. I have therefore had nothing to do 
but to put the material into his hands, duly arranged ; 
and it has been carried through the press, and presented 
to the public, under his care and judgment. 

As for my own share in the business, it was evident 
to me at the first glance over my material that the 
Sketches must be presented unaltered. In the few which 
relate to persons then living, there may be sentences 
or expressions which would have been different if the 
Memoirs were to be written now ; but to alter these 



vi PREFACE. 

now would be to tamper with the truth of the sketch, 
and to produce something more misleading than the 
forecasts of a time which has gone by. 

There is no such question in regard to the nine-tenths 
of the Memoirs which relate to the dead. Slight as they 
are, they convey the impression which the completed 
life left in each case upon my own mind, and, as I 
believe, on that of the society of its time. As the 
impression was final, the first record of it should 
remain untouched in order to remain faithful. I there- 
fore simply reproduce the Sketches, making no other 
change than in the headings announcing the death, in 
each case. For convenience of reference, and for the 
sake of something like order in the presentment of 
materials so various, the personages are classified. In 
each group, however, there is no other precedence than 
the date of departure. 

These few words of explanation being given, I have 
only to leave the Sketches to produce their own impres- 
sion, whether on the minds of those who from peculiar 
knowledge carry a corresponding picture in their own 
breasts, or of those to whom the personages were 
historical while they lived. The records are true to my 
own impressions ; and, secure in this main particular, I 
have no misgiving in offering them to readers whose 
curiosity and interest about the distinguished dead of 
their time claim such satisfaction as any survivor may 
be able to give. 

H. M. 

THE KNOLL, AMBLESIDE, 
December, 1868. 



CONTENTS. 

I. LITERARY. 

PAGE 

I. AMELIA OPIE 13 

II. PROFESSOR WILSON (" CHRISTOPHER NORTH") 21 

III. JOHN GIBSON LOCKHART 28 

IV. MARY RUSSELL MITFORD 37 

V. CHARLOTTE BRONTE (" CURRER BELL") ... 44 

VI. SAMUEL ROGERS 5 I 

VII. JOHN WILSON CROKER 60 

VIII. MRS. MARCET 7<D 

IX. HENRY HALLAM 77 

X. MRS. WORDSWORTH 86 

XI. THOMAS DE QUINCEY 93 

XII. LORD MACAULAY IO2 

XIII. MRS. JAMESON 113 

XIV. WALTER SAVAGE LANDOR . . . . . . . 121 

II. SCIENTIFIC 

I. GEORGE COMBE 133 

II. ALEXANDER VON HUMBOLDT .... 146 



CONTENTS. 
III. PROFESSIONAL. 

PAGE 

I. BISHOP BLOMFIELD l6l 

II. ARCHBISHOP WHATELY ... i .... 169 

III. THE MARQUIS OF LONDONDERRY 182 

IV. LORD RAGLAN 187 

V. THE NAPIERS. LIUET.-GEN. SIR WILLIAM NA- 
PIER, K. C. B. . . - 193 

VI. REAR-ADMIRAL SIR FRANCIS BEAUFORT, K. C. B. 207 

VII. SIR JOHN RICHARDSON 22$ 

VIII. LORD DENMAN 232 

IX. LORD CHANCELLOR CAMPBELL 241 

X. DAVID ROBERTS, R. A 248 

IV. SOCIAL. 

I. MISS BERRY 259 

II. FATHER MATHEW 265 

III. ROBERT OWEN 273 

IV. LADY NOEL BYRON 282 

V. POLITICIANS. 

I. THE MARQUIS OF ANGLESEY 295 

II. JOSEPH HUME 302 

III. LORD MURRAY 309 

IV. LORD HERBERT OF LEA 316 

V. THE MARQUIS OF LANSDOWNE 329 

VI. LORD LYNDHURST 338 



CONTENTS. 

PAGE 

VII. THE EARL OF ELGIN AND KINCARDINE . . . 346 

VIII. THE DUKE OF NEWCASTLE 360 

IX. THE EARL OF CARLISLE 369 

X. LORD PALMERSTON 381 

XI. LORD BROUGHAM 392 

VI. ROYAL. 

I. THE LAST BIRTHDAY OF THE EMPEROR NICH- 
OLAS, JULY 6TH, 1854 405 

"SII. METTERNICH AND AUSTRIA 415 

III. THE DUCHESS OF GLOUCESTER 425 

IV. KING FREDERICK WILLIAM IV. OF PRUSSIA . 433 
V. THE DUCHESS OF KENT 442 



I . 

LITERARY. 



AMELIA OPIE. 



DIED DECEMBER 2D, 1853. 

ANOTHER of that curious class of English people the 
provincial literary lion has left us. Mrs. Opie is dead. 
The young, and most of the middle-aged, of our day 
will say, "What of that?" or "Who was Mrs. Opie?" 
or will think of her only as a beneficent Quaker lady, 
whose conversion to muslin caps and silent meetings 
made a noise some good many years ago. But the 
elderly generation are aware that a good deal more 
than that is connected with the name and fame of 
Amelia Opie. 

The long wars of George III.'s time largely influenced 
the fate of this lady, as they did, indeed, that of most 
people in England. One effect of those wars in an in- 
sular kingdom like ours was to shut up our towns with 
their peculiarities, and to preserve a state of manners 
which has disappeared from the world, unless it be in 
some remote German districts, or in some primitive 
communities in New England. Lichfield is still renowned 
for its departed literary coterie, and their conceits and 
pedantries : and Norwich was very like Lichfield only 
with less sentimentality, and with some additional 
peculiarities of its own. It had its cathedral ; but 



One effect of 
Ion? 'wars. 



AMELIA OPIE. 



[I] 



Norwich in 
the time of 
the war. 



neither the proverbial dulness nor the all-conquering 
High-Churchism of most cathedral towns. The liberality 
of good Bishop Bathurst prevented the latter during the 
long course of his episcopate : and the manufactures of 
Norwich preserved it from stagnation. It is true that 
when invasion was expected, the Church and Tory 
gentry set a watch upon the cathedral, lest the Dissenters 
should burn it for a beacon to ' ' Boney ;" and the manu- 
facturers who were of Liberal opinions were not accepted 
as volunteers, but were simply intrusted with the 
business of providing for the conveyance o the women 
and children into the interior whenever the French 
should land at Yarmouth or Cromer. But still, while 
Bishop Bathurst touched his hat to the leading Dissenters 
of the place, and Norwich goods were in demand for 
the Spanish and Portuguese markets, the old city could 
not stagnate, like some other cathedral towns. The 
weavers, descended from the Flemish and French im- 
migrants who had sought refuge in our Protestant 
country, were growing more and more peculiar, narrow, 
and obstinate smaller in mind and body with each 
generation, and sure to ruin the trade of the city by 
their pedantry about their work, and obstinacy about 
wages, whenever the time should come for the world to 
be thrown open by a peace. The French taught in 
schools was such as was found to be unintelligible when 
the peace at length arrived taught as it was by an aged 
powdered Monsieur and an elderly flowered Madame, 
driven from France long before, and rather catching 
their pupils' Norfolk pronunciation of French than con- 
veying the Parisian to them. But it was beginning to 
be known that there was such a language as German, 
out of the counting-houses, and that Germany was 



AMELIA OPIE. 



beginning to have a literature : and in due time there was 
a young man there who had actually been in Germany, 
and was translating ' ' Nathan the Wise. " When William 
Taylor became eminent as almost the only German 
scholar in England, old Norwich was very proud, and 
grew, to say the truth, excessively conceited. She was 
(and she might be) proud of her Sayers ; and Dr. Sayers 
was a scholar. She boasted of having produced several 
men who had produced books of one sort or another 
(and to produce a book of any sort was a title to reverence 
in those days). She boasted of her intellectual supper- 
parties, where, amidst a pedantry which would now make 
Laughter hold both his sides, there was much that was 
pleasant and salutary : and finally, she called herself the 
Athens of England. If Mr. Windham's family could be 
induced to publish all of his papers, there would, we 
believe, be found some curious lights thrown on the 
social condition of old Norwich in the time of the war. 
And some lawyers and politicians Sir James Mackintosh 
for one who went that circuit in their early professional 
days, used to talk of the city and its illustrious citizens 
in a strain of compliment which had much amusement, 
if not satire in it. They kindly brought fresh ideas to 
Norwich, and in return were duly venerated, and ex- 
tremely amused by so perfect a specimen of a provincial 
city up in a corner, which called itself Athens. 

Amidst these influences, Amelia Alderson grew up, 
to be formed by them, and to renovate them, as far as it 
was in the power of a clever woman to do so. She was 
the only child of Dr. James Alderson, a physician of no 
great mark professionally, but of liberal tastes, and fond 
of literary society. Amelia lost her mother in infancy ; 
and her childhood and youth were superintended by a 



[I] 



Norwich 
and her 
literary 
men. 



The child- 
hood of 
Mrs. Ofie. 



i6 



AMELIA OPIE. 



[I] 



Her 

marriage^ 
and her 
assistance to 
herhusband. 



Her frst 
ivorks. 



lady of considerable ability and book-knowledge. While 
she was thus training for literary ambition, John Opie, 
the painter, was among the tin mines in Cornwall, 
sketching with ochre on barn-doors, like Lawrence, and 
manifesting the ability which made Dr. Wolcot (P.eter 
Pindar) bring him up to London, and prophesy his 
turning out one of the greatest painters the world ever 
saw. It takes more, however, to make a great painter 
than Dr. Wolcot supposed, or than the generality of 
persons could imagine before the continental world of 
Art was opened to us; and before that happened Opie 
was dead. After the few first of his pictures, painted in 
London, there appears in almost all of them a remark- 
able female face singular in profile, and, as a front face, 
so waggish that when used for tragic purposes it moves 
more mirth than sympathy in the observer a face with 
merry twinkling eyes, and a mouth either saucily laugh- 
ing or obstinately resolute against a laugh. This is 
Amelia Alderson, presently become Mrs. Opie. During 
their few years of union, she was at her husband's elbow 
at his easel, or sitting for some of his historical person- 
ages, or, no doubt, obviating by her own knowledge 
some of the mischief arising from his defective education. 
We see, by some of his pictures, how much this was 
wanted; as, for instance, in the "Jephthah's Daughter," 
where the sacrifice is actually supposed to be performed 
by the High Priest, who stands there in full official array, 
as if human sacrifices were permitted by the Jewish law ! 

And now came the time when Amelia Opie was 
herself to achieve fame by her tale of the "Father and 
Daughter/' The edition on our table (the second) bears 
date 1801, and is illustrated by a most woeful frontis- 
piece, designed by her husband. Her Poems appeared 



AMELIA OPIE. 



the next year, adorned in like manner. The most 
celebrated of them and it was very celebrated at the 
time is "The Felon's Address to his Child;" one 
cannot but wonder why, in regard to the poems and the 
tale alike ; and especially when we see that the motto in 
the title-page is taken from Mrs. Barbauld, whose fame 
would have been, we imagine, considered at the time 
inferior to that of her young friend Amelia. Time has 
long rectified the judgment determining that Mrs. Opie 
was a jejune Mrs. Inchbald, while Mrs. Barbauld wrote 
the little she did write out of a full and glowing mind, 
trained to a noble mode of expression by a sound 
classical education. Mrs. Opie had other accomplish- 
ments, however, than any manifested by her pen. She 
sang finely ballads sung with heartfelt impulse and 
pathos, and without accompaniment. Those who, as 
children, heard her sing "Lord Ullin's Daughter," will 
never forget it. They cannot now read the "Come 
back" of that ballad, without feeling again the anguish 
conveyed in those heart-rending tones. The Prince 
Regent heard them. He went to a supper somewhere 
to hear Mrs. Opie sing not long before the change 
which stopped her singing everywhere but beside her old 
father's chair. When she began to grow elderly, Amelia 
Opie became devote. Her life had been one of strong 
excitements ; and dearly she loved excitement ; and 
there was a promise of a long course of stimulation in 
becoming a Quaker, which probably impelled her uncon- 
sciously to take the decided step which astonished all 
her world. During Mr. Opie's life, excitements abounded. 
After his death, and when her mourning was over, she 
wrote little novels, read them to admiring friends in 
Norwich, who cried their eyes out at the pathetic scenes, 



Her vocal 
ability. 



i8 



AMELIA OPIE. 



[I] 



Joins the 
Friends. 



Her benef- 
icent 
disposition. 



read in her dramatic manner, and then she carried them 
to London, got considerable sums by them, enjoyed the 
homage they brought to her feet, sang at supper-tables, 
dressed splendidly, did not scruple being present at 
Lady Cork's and others' Sunday concerts, and was very 
nearly marrying a younger brother of Lord Bute. Lord 
Herbert Stewart's carriage appeared, and made a great 
clatter in the narrow streets of Norwich ; and the old 
gentleman was watched into Dr. Alderson's house ; and 
the hours were counted which he spent, it was supposed, 
at Mrs. Opie's feet. But it came to nothing. For a 
while she continued her London visits ; and her proud 
father went about reading her letters about her honors. 
But she suddenly discovered that all is vanity : she took 
to gray silks and muslin, and the "thee" and "thou," 
quoted Habakkuk and Micah with gusto, and set her 
heart upon preaching. That, however, was not allowed. 
Her Quaker friends could never be sufficiently sure how 
much was "imagination," and how much the instigation 
of "the inward witness ;" and the privileged gallery in 
the chapel was closed against her, and her utterance was 
confined to loud sighs in the body of the Meeting. She 
tended her father unremittingly in his decline ; she im- 
proved greatly in balance of mind and evenness of spirits 
during her long and close intimacy with the Gurneys ; 
and there never was any doubt about her beneficent 
disposition, shown by her family devotedness, no less 
than by her bounty to the poor. Her majestic form 
moved through the narrowest streets of the ancient city ; 
and her bright face was seen lighting up the most 
wretched abodes. The face never lost its brightness, 
nor the heart its youthfulness and gayety. She was a 
merry laugher in her old age ; and even, if the truth be 



AMELIA OPIE. 



spoken, still a bit of a romp ready for bo-peep and 
hide-and-seek, in the midst of a morning call, or at the 
end of a grave conversation. She enjoyed showing prim 
young Quaker girls her ornaments, plumes, and satins, 
and telling when she wore them : and, when in Paris, 
she ingenuously exhibited in her letters to her Quaker 
friends the conflict in her feelings when Louis Philippe, 
attended by his staff, stopped to converse with her in the 
streets of Paris, and when the Queen of the French 
requested her to appoint an evening for a party at the 
Tuileries. She made a pleasant joke of the staring of 
then Parisias at her little gray bonnet ; and sighed and 
prayed that she might not be puffed up by all the rest. 
She was not really spoilable ; and her later years were 
full of grace and kindliness. She suffered much from 
rheumatic lameness ; but with great cheerfulness, on the 
whole almost merrily. She was cordially respected, 
and will be vividly remembered for life by many who 
have long forgotten her early fame, or perhaps had 
scarcely heard of it. She was a striking picture in the 
childhood of some who are now elderly, when her stately 
form was seen, half a century ago, among the old elms 
in her father's garden ; and she will ever be a picture in 
the minds of such young people as saw her seated, as 
upright as ever, but with her crutches behind her, at her 
sofa-table in her cheerful room in the Castle Meadow, 
any time within the last few years. The Taylors, the 
Sayerses, the Smiths, the Enfields the old glories of the 
provincial Athens have long been gone ; and now, with 
Amelia Opie, dies the last claim of the humbled city to 
the literary prominence which was so dear to it in the 
last century. The period of such provincial glory seems 
itself to be passing away. A lady, yet more aged than 



[I] 

Her 

cheerfulness. 



The last 
of the 
Norwich 
celebrities. 



20 AMELIA OPJE. 



[I] 



Mrs. Opie, one who had for nearly a century scarcely 
left the old city, was of opinion that the depravity of the 
age was owing to gaslights and macadamisation. It does 
not require her years to show some of us that railways, 
free trade, and cheap publications have much to do with 
the extinction of the celebrity of ancient Norwich, in 
regard both to its material and intellectual productions. 
Its bombazine manufacture has gone to Yorkshire, and 
its literary fame to the four winds. 



II. 

PROFESSOR WILSON 
" CHRISTOPHER NORTH"). 

DIED APRIL 30, 1854. 

ON Monday morning died Professor Wilson, the "Chris- 
topher North" whom probably none of his readers ever 
thought of as dead or dying, or losing any of the intense 
vitality which distinguishes the ideal " Christopher North" 
from all other men. The "Christopher North" and 
John Wilson are separated now, and forever. The one 
will live very long, if not always, and without losing an 
atom of his vigor; but the other, after long sinking, 
after grievous depression, and gradual extinction by paral- 
ysis, is gone; and none of the many who loved and 
worshipped him could wish that he had lived another day 
in the condition of his latter years. 

Yet he was not very old. He was born at Paisley, in 
1788, his father being a wealthy manufacturer there. 
He entered Glasgow University at the age of thirteen, 
and in four years more went to Magdalen College, 
Oxford, where his extraordinary quality was recognized 
at once. He was the leader in all sports, from his great 
bodily strength, as well as his enthusiasm for pleasure of 
that kind ; and he gained the Newdegate prize for an 
English poem of sixty lines. On leaving College he 



Born 
1788. 



in 



22 



PROFESSOR WILSON. 



[II] 



Kindness of 
Sir Walter 
Scott. 



bought the Elleray estate, on Windermere, which will 
ever be haunted by his memory ; for there is not a point 
of interest about it or the neighborhood which he has 
not immortalized. So early as the beginning of 1812, 
we find Scott writing to Joanna Baillie of the extra- 
ordinary young man, John Wilson, who had written an 
elegy upon "poor Grahame," and was then engaged in 
a poem called the "Isle of Palms/' "something," 
added Scott, curiously enough, "in the style of Southey." 
" He seems an excellent, warm-hearted, and enthusiastic 
young man ; something too much, perhaps, of the latter 
quality places him among the list of originals. " A short 
time after this, and in consequence of loss of property, he 
studied Law, and was called to the Scotch bar. So early 
as that date, before any of the Waverley novels appeared, 
the grateful young poet, who deeply felt Scott's kindness 
in encouraging his muse, gave him the title of the Great 
Magician, by which he was soon to be recognized by all 
the world. This was in some stanzas, called the " Magic 
Mirror," which appeared in the Edinburgh Annual Regis- 
ter. When John Kemble took leave of the stage at 
Edinburgh, and was entertained at a very remarkable 
dinner, where all the company believed they were taking 
leave of dramatic pleasure forever, Jeffrey was in the 
chair, and John Wilson shared the vice-presidentship 
with Scott. Scott's kindness to his young friend was 
earnest and vigilant. We find him inviting Wilson and 
Lockhart from Elleray to Abbotsford, the next year, fixing 
the precise day when he wished them to arrive ; and the 
reason turned out to be, that Lord Melville was to be there ; 
and it was possible that something good might turn up in 
the Parliament House for the young men in consequence 
of the interview. 



PROFESSOR WILSON. 



For Wilson this sort of aid was soon unnecessary. 
He became Professor of Moral Philosophy at Edinburgh 
in 1820, and had already done more than any one man 
toward raising the character of periodical literature by 
his marvellous contributions to JBlackwood's Magazine, 
and the stimulus his genius imparted to a whole gener- 
ation of writers of that class. We all know his selection 
from those papers the three volumes of ' ' Recreations 
of Christopher North. " There is nothing in our literature 
exactly like them ; and we may venture to say there 
never will be. They are not only the most effective 
transcription of the moods of thought and feeling of a 
deeply thinking and feeling mind a complete arresting 
and presentment of those moods as they pass but an 
absolute realizing of the influence of Nature in a book. 
The scents and breezes of the moorland are carried fairly 
into even the sick-chamber by that book ; and through 
it the writer practised the benevolence of the ancient 
rich man, and was eyes to the blind, and feet to the 
lame. Mr. Hallam, the calmest of critics, has declared 
Wilson's eloquence to be as the rushing of mighty waters ; 
and it was no less the bracing of the mountain winds. 
His fame will rest on his prose writings, and not on his 
two chief poems, the "Isle of Palms" and the "City of 
the Plague ;" and of his prose writings, his "Recreations" 
will, we imagine, outlive his three novels, "Lights and 
Shadows of Scottish Life," the "Trials of Margaret 
Lyndsay," and "The Foresters." If the marvel of his 
eloquence is not lessened, it is at least accounted for to 
those who have seen him, or even his portrait. Such a 
presence is rarely seen ; and more than one person has 
said that he reminded them of the first man, Adam ; so 
full was that large frame of vitality, force, and sentience. 



[HI 



The 

" Rccrea 

tions of 

Christopher 

North." 



Poems and 
novels. 



PROFESSOR WILSON. 



[II] 



His tem- 
perament 
and faults. 



His tread seemed almost to shake the streets, his eye 
almost saw through stone walls; and as for* his voice, 
there was no heart that could stand before it. He swept 
away all hearts, whithersoever he would. No less striking 
was it to see him in a mood of repose, as when he steered 
the old packet-boat that used to pass between Bowness 
and Ambleside, before the steamers were put upon the 
Lake. Sitting motionless, with his hand upon the rudder, 
in the presence of journeymen and market-women, with 
his eye apparently looking beyond everything into noth- 
ing, and his mouth closed under his beard, as if he 
meant never to speak again, he was quite as impressive 
and immortal an image as he could have been to the 
students of his class or the comrades of his jovial hours. 
The tendencies of such a temperament are obvious 
enough ; and his faults arose from the indulgence of 
those tendencies. A few words from a friendly letter of 
Scott's, written when Wilson was a candidate for his 
professorship, will sufficiently indicate the nature of his 
weaknesses, and may stand for all the censure we are 
disposed to offer. "You must, of course," writes Scott 
to Mr. Lockhart, ' ' recommend to Wilson great temper 
in his canvass ; for wrath will do no good. After all, he 
must leave off sack, purge, and live cleanly as a gentle- 
man ought to do, otherwise people will compare his 
present ambition to that of Sir Terry O'Fag when he 
wished to become a judge. ' Our pleasant vices are 
made the whips to scourge us, ' as Lear says ; for other- 
wise what could possibly stand in the way of his nomi- 
nation? I trust it will take place, and give him the 
consistence and steadiness which are all he wants to 
make him the first man of the age." He did get his 
election ; and it was not very long after that he and 



PROFESSOR WILSON. 



Campbell, the poet, were seen one morning leaving a 
tavern in Edinburgh, haggard and red-eyed, hoarse and 
exhausted not only the feeble Campbell, but the mighty 
Wilson they having sat tvte-d-tete for twenty-four hours, 
discussing poetry and wine to the top of their bent : a 
remarkable spectacle in connection with the Moral Phi- 
losophy Chair in any University. But, if the constituents 
of such an office crave a John Wilson to 11 it, they must 
take him with all his liabilities about him. 

His moods were as various as those of the Mother Na- 
ture he adored. In 1815, when all the rest of the world 
was in the dark about the Scotch novels, he was in ex- 
cessive delight at receiving from William Laidlaw the 
evidence that Colonel Mannering was Scott himself ; and 
deep in proportion was his grief when he saw that ge- 
nial mind going out. The trembling of his mighty 
voice when he paid his tribute to Scott's genius at the 
public meeting after his death moved every heart present. 
He could enter into the spirit of Lake scenery deeply 
with Wordsworth when floating on Windermere at sunset ; 
and he could, as we see by Moore's Diary, imitate Words- 
worth's monologues to admiration under the lamp at a 
jovial Edinburgh supper-table. He could collect as 
strange a set of oddities about him there as ever Johnson 
or Fielding did in their City lodgings ; and he could 
wander alone for a week along the trout streams, and by 
the mountain tarns of Westmoreland. He could proudly 
lead the regatta from Mr. Bolton's, at Storr's, as "Admiral 
of the Lake/' with Canning, Scott, Wordsworth, Southey, 
and others, and shed an intellectual sunshine as radiant 
as that which glittered upon Windermere ; and he could 
forbid the felling of any trees at Elleray, and shroud him- 
self in its damp gloom, when its mistress was gone, leav- 

2 



[II] 

Wihon and 
Campbell : 
a scene. 



His various 
moods. 



26 



PROFESSOR WILSON. 



[II] 



Wilson in 
the Lake 
District. 



His last 
years. 



ng a bequest of melancholy which he never surmounted. 
The "grace and gentle goodness" of his wife were 
bound about his heartstrings ; and the thought of her was 
known and felt to underlie all his moods from the time 
of her death. She loved Elleray, and the trees about it ; 
and he allowed not a twig of them to be touched till the 
place grew too mossy and mournful ; and then he parted 
with it. He was much beloved in that neighborhood, 
where he met with kindness whatever was genuine, while 

repulsed and shamed all flatteries and affectations. 
Every old boatman and young angler, every hoary shep- 
herd and primitive dame among the hills of the District, 
knew him and enjoyed his presence. He was a steady 
and genial friend to poor Hartley Coleridge for a long 
course of years. He made others happy by being so in- 
tensely happy himself, when his brighter moods were on 
him. He felt, and enjoyed too, intensely, and paid the 
penalty in the deep melancholy of the close of his life. 
He could not chasten the exuberance of his love of Na- 
ture and of genial human intercourse ; and he was cut 
off from both, long before his death. The sad specta- 
cle was witnessed with respectful sorrow ; for all who had 
ever known him felt deeply in debt to him. He under- 
went an attack of pressure on the brain some years before 
his death ; and an access of paralysis closed the scene. 

It is curious that, whereas it is universally agreed that 
it is by his prose that he won his immortality, he argued 
with Moore that the inferiority of prose to poetry was 
proved by the fact that there is no such thing as a school 
of prose, while literary history consists of a succession 
of schools of poetry. It may be that his prose is some- 
thing new in the world. At this moment, under the 
emotion of parting from him, we are disposed to think 



PROFESSOR WILSON. 



27 



it is. Nowhere can we look for such a combination of 
music, emotion, speculation, comment, wit, and imagi- 
nation, as in some of his "Noctes Ambrosianae," and in 
hundreds of the pages of "Christopher's Recreations." 
In them we rejoice to think the subdued spirit is revived 
mat we have seen fail, and the dumb voice reawakened 
for the delight of many a future generation. 



III. 



A man of 

note. 



Vhh to 
Germany. 



JOHN GIBSON LOCKHART. 
DIED AT ABBOTSFORD, Nov. 25111, 1854. 

HE was a man of note on various grounds. He was 
an author of no mean qualifications ; he was the son-in- 
law of Scott ; and he was the editor of the Quarterly 
Review after Gilford. Without being a man of genius, 
a great scholar, or politically or morally eminent, he 
had sufficient ability and accomplishment to insure con- 
siderable distinction in his own person, and his interest- 
ing connections did the rest. He was a man of con- 
siderable mark. 

The younger son of a Glasgow clergyman, he was 
destined for the Law more as a matter of course than 
from any inclination of his own ; for he never liked his 
profession. He went to school, and afterward to the 
University at Glasgow, whence he was enabled to proceed 
to Balliol College, Oxford, by obtaining an exhibition in 
the gift of the Senatus Academicus. He was subse- 
quently called to the Scotch Bar ; but from the first his 
dependence was on literary effort ; for his professional 
fees never amounted to 5<D/. a year. After the Peace he 
went to Germany a not very common undertaking at 
that time and saw Gothe ; and his account of this 
incident seems to have struck Scott, when they who 



JOHN GIBSON LOCKHART. 



29 



were to become so closely related met for the first time 
in private society, in May, 1818. A few days after the 
dinner-party at which this happened, the Messrs. Ballan- 
tyne sent to Lockhart, to propose -that he should under- 
take a task which Scott had delayed, and wished to 
surrender : the writing the historical portion of the 
"Edinburgh Annual Register" for 1816. When he 
called on Scott to talk it over, the great novelist, who 
was then receiving io,ooo/. a year from the new vein he 
had opened, assigned a characteristic reason for giving 
up the Register. He said that if the war had gone on, 
he should have enjoyed writing the history of each year 
as it passed ; but that he would not be the recorder of 
Radical riots, Corn Bills, Poor Bills, and the like. These 
things, he said, sickened him ; and he thought it fair to 
devolve such work upon his juniors. Mr. Lockhart first 
saw Abbotsford the next October, when he was sent for 
from Elleray, with his friend John Wilson, to meet Lord 
Melville, and take the chance of some professional 
benefit arising from the interview with the First Lord of 
the Admiralty, if their sins in Blackwood could be over- 
looked by him. This shows that Blackwood's Magazine 
was already rising under the re-enforcement of Wilson's 
strength. The strength which raised it was not Lock- 
hart's. His satire had, then and always, a quality of 
malice in it, where Wilson's had only fun ; and he never 
rlacP Wilson's geniality of spirit. Wilson's satire in- 
structed the humble, and amused the proud who were 
the objects of it ; but Lockhart's caused anguish in the 
one case, and excited mere wrath or contempt in the 
other. Scott confessed that it might be from com- 
placency at Lockhart's account of this visit to Abbots- 
ford that he judged so favorably of "Peter's Letters to 



[III] 

First meet- 
ing ivith 
Sir Walter 
Scott. 



BlackivoocTs 
Magazine. 



JOHN GIBSON LOCKHART. 



[Ill] 



Lockharfs 
marriage. 



his Kinsfolk," which appeared a few months afterward. 
He called its satire lenient ; but all the Edinburgh Whigs 
were up against it as a string of libels; and Lockhart 
himself tells us candidly that it was a book which none 
but a very young and a very thoughtless person would 
have written. 

Sophia Scott, the elder daughter of the novelist, and 
the one who inherited his genial and amiable spirit, his 
good sense, and his royal tendencies, and who was 
naturally the delight of his life, had just before mani- 
fested singular fortitude for so young a creature, when 
her father's fearful malady cramp in the stomach 
seized him in the country, alone with her and a set of 
distracted servants. This was an indication of what she 
was to be through her too short life. She married Mr. 
Lockhart just a year after that illness of her father's, in 
April, 1820; and it was her function for the seventeen 
years of her marriage to heal the wounds inflicted by 
those less amiable than herself, and to soothe the angry 
feelings excited on every hand, sooner or later, by the 
conduct of the Quarterly Review when in her husband's 
hands. As Scott recovered his strength, after that fear- 
ful illness, he busied himself in improving, for the re- 
ception of the young couple, a sequestered cottage 
within a short ride of Abbotsford ; and he, with his own 
hands, transplanted to Chiefswood the creepers which 
had hung the old porch at Abbotsford. It was for her 
child that he wrote the "Tales of a Grandfather;" and 
that precocious boy, who died of spinal disease at the 
age of eleven, was the object of as passionate an attach- 
ment as Scott had perhaps ever known. 

In 1820 Mr. Lockhart published his first novel, 
"Valerius, a Roman Story," which immediately took its 



JOHN GIBSON LOCKHART. 



place among the secondary Scottish novels, as those 
were called which would have been first but for Scott's 
series. That book was full of interest, and of promise 
of moral beauty which was not fulfilled. The influences 
then surrounding the author were eminently favorable. 
He always said that the happiest years of his life were 
those spent at Chiefswood. During those few years of 
domestic peace he seems to have had a stronger hold of 
reality than either before or after. The inveterate skep- 
ticism of his nature was kept down, and he found dearer 
delights than that of giving pain. Other novels followed, 
" Reginald Dalton," "Adam Blair," and "Gilbert 
Earle." All are more remarkable for power in the 
delineation of passion, and for beauty of writing, than 
for higher qualities. Carlyle has described Lockhart's 
style as "good, clear, direct, and nervous :" and so it is ; 
and with genuine beauty in it, too, both of music and 
of pathos. And of all he ever wrote, nothing is prob- 
ably so dear to his readers as his accounts, in his Life 
of his father-in-law, of the pleasures of Chiefswood, 
when Scott used to sit under the great ash, with all the 
dogs about him, and help the young people with their 
hospitable arrangements, cooling the wine in the brook, 
and proposing to dine out of doors, to get rid of the 
inconvenience of small rooms and few servants. It is a 
curious instance of Lockhart's moral obtuseness that, 
while writing thus, he could make some most painful 
and needless disclosures in regard to Scott himself in 
that Life, to say nothing of his foul and elaborate mis- 
representation of the Ballantynes throughout. To that 
evil deed it is necessary only to refer ; for the confu- 
tation immediately published was so complete, and the 
establishment of the fair fame of the Ballantynes so 



[III] 

His novels. 



Lockhart's 
Life of 

Scott. 



JOHN GIBSON LOCKHART. 



[Ill] 



The Ballon- 
tynes. 



^conference 
at Abbots- 
ford. 



Becomes 
editor of the 
" Quarterly 
Review." 



triumphant, that their libeller had his punishment very 
soon. Some lovers of literature and of Scott still 
struggled to make out that the Ballantynes and their 
defenders, as tradesmen, could know nothing of the 
feelings, nor judge of the conduct, of Scott as a gentle- 
man. The answer was plain : the Ballantynes were 
not mere tradesmen ; and if they had been, Scott made 
himself a tradesman, in regard to his coadjutors, and 
must be judged by the laws of commercial integrity. 
The exposures made by the Ballantynes and their 
friends of Scott's pecuniary obligations to them, were 
forced upon them by Mr. Lockhart's attacks upon their 
characters, and misrepresentation of their conduct and 
affairs. The whole controversy was occasioned by Lock- 
hart's spontaneous indulgence in caustic satire ; and the 
Ballantynes came better out of it than either he or his 
father-in-law. 

After the publication of his novels, Mr. Lockhart was 
summoned, one spring day of 1825, to a conference at 
Abbotsford, to which Constable and James Ballantyne 
were parties. The project to be discussed was that 
memorable one of Constable's, to revolutionize "the 
whole art and traffic of bookselling." From that confer- 
ence sprang the cheap literature of the last quarter of a 
century and one of the first volumes produced under 
the new notion was Lockhart's "Life of Burns," which 
appeared early in Constable's Miscellany. It was in the 
same year, 1825, that he succeeded Gifford in the editor- 
ship of the Quarterly Review, and of course removed to 
London. If he had not Gifford's thorough scholarship, 
he had eminent literary ability, readiness, industry, 
everything but good principle and a good spirit. These 
immense exceptions we are compelled to make ; and 



JOHN GIBSON LOCKHART. 



33 



they are not a new censure. All the world was always 
aware of the sins of the Quarterly, under Lockhart's 
management; and the best-informed had cause to view 
them the most severely. Everybody knows what 
Croker's political articles were like. Everybody knows 
how the publisher was now and then compelled to re- 
publish as they had originally stood, articles which had 
been interpolated, by Croker and Lockhart (whose 
names were always associated in regard to the Review], 
with libels and malicious jokes. In their recklessness 
they drew upon themselves an amount of reprobation in 
literary circles which thin-skinned men could never have 
endured. Now, the young author of a father's biog- 
raphy was invited by the editor to send him early proof- 
sheets, for the benefit of a speedy review, and the 
review did what it could to damn the book before it was 
fairly in the hands of the public ; and now, the vanity of 
some second or third-rate author was flattered and drawn 
out in private intercourse, to obtain material for a cari- 
cature in the next Quarterly. As an able man, a great 
admirer of the literary merits of the Review, and no 
sufferer by it, observed, "The well-connected and vigor- 
ous and successful have nothing to apprehend from the 
Quarterly ; but, as sure as people are in any way broken 
or feeble as sure as they are old, or blind, or deaf, or 
absent on their travels, or superannuated, or bankrupt, 
or dead the Quarterly is upon them." It was the 
wounds thus inflicted that the gentle wife set herself to 
heal, when she possibly could. It was amidst the ex- 
plosions of friendships, formed in flattery, and broken off 
by treachery amidst the wrath of every kind and de- 
gree evoked by her husband, or under his permission, 
that her modest dignity and her cheerful kindliness com- 



[III] 



The literary 
offences of 
Croker and 
Lockhart. 



34 



JOHN GIBSON LOCKHART. 



[Ill] 



Lockharfs 
callousness. 



A saying of 
Allan 
Cunning- 
ham. 



Heavy 
griefs. 



manded admiration, and won love from those who would 
never more meet the reckless editor, who quizzed the 
emotions he had excited. His success was all-sufficient, 
in his own estimate. The transcendent literary merits 
of the Review placed it high above failure ; and he did 
not care for censure. It was his own callousness which 
made the sensitiveness of others so highly amusing to 
.him. Yet there are passages even in his later writings 
which make one wonder what he did, in an ordinary 
way, with feelings which seem to have dwelt in him 
to judge by their occasional manifestation. For instance, 
there is something remarkable in his selection, from 
among all Scott's writings, of the passage of most 
marked spiritual beauty that passage of his preface 
to "Ivanhoe" in which he accounts for not having 
made Rebecca's lot "end happily." Such a choice 
seems to show that Lockhart should properly have won 
something more than admiration of his accomplishments 
as a writer and converser, and fear of him as a satirist. 
It seems as if there might have been, but for his own 
waywardness, some of that personal respect and con- 
fidence, and free and constant friendship, which he 
never enjoyed nor appeared to desire. It appears as if 
there was truth in the remark made by Allan Cunning- 
ham, that there was "heart in Lockhart when one got 
through the crust." 

The good-will which he did not seek in his happy 
days, was won for him by the deep and manifold 
sorrows of his latter years. The extraordinary sweep 
made by death in his wife's family is a world-wide 
wonder and sorrow. Lady Scott went first ; and the 
beloved child Lockhart's intelligent boy, so well known 
under the name of Hugh Littlejohn died when the 



JOHN GIBSON LOCKHART. 



35 



grandfather's mind was dim and clouded. Soon after 
Scott's death, his younger daughter and worn-out nurse 
followed him ; and in four years more, Mrs. Lockhart. 
The young Sir Walter died childless in India, and his 
brother Charles, unmarried, in Persia. Lockhart was 
left with a son and a daughter. As years and griefs 
began to press heavily upon him, new sorrow arose 
in his narrow domestic circle. His son was never any 
comfort to him, and died in early manhood. The only 
remaining descendant of Scott, Lockhart's daughter, was 
married, and became so fervent and obedient a Catholic, 
as to render all intimate intercourse between the forlorn 
father and his only child impossible. He was now op- 
ulent. An estate had descended to him through an 
elder brother ; and he held an office that of Auditor 
of the Duchy of Cornwall which yielded him 3007. 
a year. He had given up the labor of editing the 
Quarterly : but what were opulence and leisure to him 
now? Those who saw him in his daily walk in Lon- 
don, his handsome countenance always with a lowering 
and sardonic expression now darkened with sadness, 
and the thin lips compressed more than ever, as by pain 
of mind, forgave, in respectful compassion for one so 
visited, all causes of quarrel, however just, and threw 
themselves, as it were, into his mind, seeing again the 
early pranks with "Christopher North," the dinings by 
the brook at Chiefswood, the glories of the Abbotsford 
sporting parties, the travels with Scott in Ireland, and 
the home in Regent's Park, with the gentle Sophia pre- 
siding. Comparing these scenes with the actual forlorn- 
ness of his last years, there was no heart that could not 
pity and forgive, and carefully award him his due, as a 
writer who has afforded much pleasure in his day, and 



[III] 



The 

forlornness 
of his 
last years. 



36 JOHN GIBSON LOCKHART. 



[Ill] 



left a precious bequest to posterity in his Life of the 
great Novelist, purged, as we hope it will be, of what- 
ever is untrue and unkind, and rendered as safe as it is 
beautiful. 

Mr. Lockhart travelled abroad in 1853, under contin- 
ually failing health. He has left a name which will live 
in literature, both on his own account, and through his 
family and literary connections. 



IV. 



MARY RUSSELL MITFORD. 
DIED JANUARY IOTH, 1855. 

Miss MITFORD was old, having been bom in December, 
1786. Her decline was so protracted that there could be 
no surprise or shock mingled with the sorrow which the 
English public could not but feel on the occasion of her 
death. After a fall from her pony-chaise in the autumn 
of 1852, her life was understood to be very precarious. 
The interest which was taken in her state might appear 
to be disproportionate to her abilities and her achieve- 
ments ; but if so, there must be a reason for it, and the 
reason is that she was so genial and so cheerful as to 
command the affection of multitudes who would have 
given no heed to a much higher order of genius invested 
with less of moral charm. There is nothing so popular 
as cheerfulness ; and when the cheerfulness is of the 
unfailing sort which arises from amiability and interior 
content, it deserves such love as attended Mary Russell 
Mitford to her grave. Her ability was very considerable. 
Her power of description was unique. She had a charm- 
ing humor, and her style was delightful. Yet were her 
stories read with a relish which exceeded even so fair a 
justification as this with a relish which the judgment 
could hardly account for; and this pleasant, compelled 



Her 

unfailing 
cheerfulne. 



MARY RUSSELL MITFORD. 



[IV] 



Dr. 

Mitford. 



enjoyment was no doubt ascribable to the glow of good 
spirits and kindliness which lighted up and warmed 
everything that her mind produced. She may be con- 
sidered as the representative of household cheerfulness in 
the humbler range of the literature of fiction. 

Her tendencies showed themselves early. She took 
up the pen almost in childhood, and was an avowed 
poet, in print, before she was four-and-twenty. How- 
ever hard was her filial duty when she was herself grow- 
ing old, she had all her own way in her early years ; and 
her way seems to have been to write an immense quantity 
of verse as the pleasantest thing she could find to do. 

She was born at Alresford, in Hampshire. Her father 
was a physician, one of the Northumberland family <of 
Mitfords. Her mother was the child of the old age of 
a Hampshire clergyman, who had seen Pope, and been 
intimate with Fielding. Her father was, as it is under- 
stood, disliked and disapproved, if not despised, by 
everybody but his devoted daughter, whose infatuation 
it was to think him something very great and good ; 
whereas there seems to be really nothing to remember 
him by but his singular and unaccountable extravagance 
in money matters, and the selfishness with which he 
went on to the last, obtaining, by hook and by crook, 
costly indulgences, which nobody else in his line of life, 
however independent of creditors, thought of wishing 
for. Dr. Mitford ran through half-a-dozen fortunes, 
shifted about to half-a-dozen grand residences, and passed 
the last quarter of a century of his life in a cottage, where, 
humble as seemed his mode of living, he could not keep 
out of debt, or the shame of perpetual begging from the 
friends whom his daughter had won. His only child 
was carried about, before she was old enough for school, 



MARY RUSSELL MITFORD. 



39 



from Alresford to Reading ; from Reading to Lyme, and 
thence to London, where, when she was ten years old, 
her father was making up his mind to retrench and do 
something at last a resolution which went the way of all 
the former ones. It was at that time the well-known in- 
cident happened which Miss Mitford related with so much 
spirit half a century afterward. 

The little girl chose for a birthday present a lottery 
ticket of a particular number, to which she stuck, in 
spite of much persuasion to change it, and which turned 
up a prize of 2O,ooo/. This money soon disappeared, 
like some 4O,ooo/., which had vanished before. Her 
father put her to school in London, and there she spent 
five years, while he was amusing himself with building a 
very large house, four miles from Reading, to which she 
returned at the age of fifteen, to write poetry, and dream 
of becoming an authoress. After 1810 she put forth a 
volume almost every year. This was all done for pleas- 
ure ; but she was meanwhile giving up to her selfish 
father one legacy after another, left to herself by the 
opulent families on both sides, after her mother's hand- 
some fortune was exhausted ; and hence at length arose 
the necessity of her writing for the sake of the money she 
could earn. 

In their poverty they went to lodge for a summer at a 
cottage in the village of Three Mile Cross, near Read- 
ing, and there they held on for the rest of Dr. Mitford's 
long life. The poetess looked round her, and described 
in prose what she saw, sending the papers which, col- 
lected, form the celebrated "Our Village," to Campbell 
for the New Monthly Magazine. Campbell made the 
mistake of rejecting them an error in which he was 
followed by a great number and variety of other editors. 



[IV] 



A prize in a 
lottery. 



Becomes an 
authoress. 



"Our 

Pillage." 



MARY RUSSELL MITFORD. 



[IV] 



Father and 
daughter. 



It was in The Lady's Magazine, of all places, that articles 
destined to make a literary reputation of no mean order 
first appeared. They were published in a collected form 
in 1823 ; and from that time forward Miss Mitford was 
sure of the guineas whenever she chose to draw for them 
in the form of pleasant stores under her well-known and 
welcome signature. Few of her many readers, however, 
knew at what cost these pleasant stones were produced. 
They seem to flow easily enough ; and their sportive 
style suggests anything but the toil and anxiety amidst 
which they were spun out. It is observable that each 
story is as complete and rounded as a sonnet, and pro- 
vided with a plot which would serve for a novel if ex- 
panded. Each has a catastrophe generally a surprise, 
elaborately wrought out in concealment. It was for 
stories of this kind that Miss Mitford exchanged the 
earlier and easier sketches from the Nature around her 
which we find in "Our Village;" and the exchange 
increased immensely the call upon her energies. But 
the money must be had, and the Annuals paid hand- 
somely ; and thus, therefore, the devoted daughter em- 
ployed her talents, spoiling her father, and wearing 
herself out, but delighting an enormous number of 
readers. After frittering away the whole day, incessantly 
on foot, or otherwise fatiguing herself, at his beck and 
call, and receiving his friends, and reading him to sleep in 
the afternoons till she had no voice left, the hour came 
when she might put him to bed. But her own day's 
work still remained to be done. It was not a sort of 
work which could be done by powers, jaded like hers, 
without some stimulus or relief; and hence the necessity 
of doses of laudanum to carry her through her task. 
When the necessity ceased by the death of her father, 



MARY RUSSELL MITFORD. 



her practice of taking laudanum ceased ; but her health 
had become radically impaired, and her nervous system 
was rendered unfit to meet any such shock as that which 
overthrew it at last. Miss Mitford so toiling by candle- 
light, while the hard master who had made her his ser- 
vant all day was asleep in the next room, is as painful 
an instance of the struggles of human life as the melan- 
choly of a buffoon, or the heart-break that "secret 
known to all" of a boasting Emperor of All the Russias. 
While this was her course of life, however, she was 
undergoing something of an intellectual training, to- 
gether with her moral discipline. All this reading to her 
father, and the impossibility of commanding her time 
for any other employment than reading by snatches 
(except gardening), brought her into acquaintance with 
a wide field of English literature ; and some of it of an 
uncommon kind. The fruits are seen in one of her 
latest works her "Notes of a Literary Life ;" and in her 
indomitable inclination to write Tragedies for immediate 
representation. Several of her plays were acted ; and 
she herself was wont to declare that she should be im- 
mortalized by them, if at all ; moreover, there are critics 
who agree with her : yet her case certainly appears to us 
to be one of that numerous class in which the pursuit of 
dramatic fame is a delusion and a snare. In no other 
act or attempt of her life did Miss Mitford manifest any 
of those qualities of mind which are essential to success 
in this the highest walk of literature. It does not appear 
that she had any insight into passion, any conception of 
the depths of human character, or the scope of human 
experience. Ability of a certain sort there is in her 
plays; but no depth, and no compass. Four tragedies 
and an opera of hers were acted at our first theatres ; 



[IV] 



Mhs 

Mitford's 

Plays. 



MARY RUSSELL MITFORD. 



[IV] 



" Charles 
/." and 
" Crom- 



A subscrip- 
tion and a 
pension. 



and we hear no more of Julian, Foscari, Rienzi, or 
Charles I. At first the difficulties were imputed to dra- 
matic censors, and the great actors, and injudicious or 
lukewarm friends ; but all that was over long ago. The 
tragedies were acted, and we hear no more of them. It 
is true Mr. Colman did refuse his sanction to Charles I. 
when it bore the name Cromwell (an amusing incident to 
have happened in the reign of poor William IV., whose 
simple head was very safe on his shoulders) ; and it is 
true that Young and Macready wrangled so long about 
the principal characters in her first acted play, that the 
tantalized authoress began to wonder whether it would 
ever appear : but the plays have all appeared ; and they 
do not keep the stage, though Miss Mitford's friends 
were able and willing to do all that interest, literary and 
dramatic, can do in such a case. All the evidence of 
her career seems to show that her true line was that in 
which she obtained an early, decisive, and permanent 
success much humbler than the Dramatic, but that in 
which she has given a great deal of pleasure to a multi- 
tude of readers. Her descriptions of scenery, brutes, 
and human beings have such singular merit that she 
may be regarded as the founder of a new style ; and if 
the freshness wore off with time, there was much more 
than a compensation in the fine spirit and resignation 
of cheerfulness which breathed through everything she 
wrote, and endeared her as a suffering friend to thousands 
who formerly regarded her only as a most entertaining 
stranger. 

Dr. Mitford died in 1842, leaving his affairs in such a 
state, that relief for his daughter had to be obtained by 
a subscription among her friends and admirers, which 
was soon followed by a pension from the Crown. The 



MARY RUSSELL MITFORD. 



43 



daughter inherited or contracted some of her father's 
extremely easy feelings about money, and its sources 
and uses ; but the temptation to that sort of laxity was 
removed or infinitely lessened when she was left alone 
with a very sufficient provision. She removed to a 
cottage at Swallowfield, near Reading, in 1851 ; and there, 
with her pony-chaise, her kind neighbors, her distant 
admirers, and the amusement of bringing out a succes- 
sion of volumes, the materials of which were under her 
hand, she found resources enough to make her days 
cheerful, even after the accident which rendered her a 
suffering prisoner for the last two years of her life. She 
remained to the end the most sympathizing and indul- 
gent friend of the young, and the most good-humored 
of comrades to people of all ages and conditions. How- 
ever helpless, she was still bright : and her vitality of 
mind and heart was never more striking or more genial 
than when she was visibly dying by inches, and alluding 
with a smile to the deep and still bed which she should 
occupy among the sunshine and flickering shadows of 
the village churchyard. Finally, the long exhaustion 
ended in an easy and quiet death. 

Though not gifted with lofty genius, or commanding 
powers of any sort, Miss Mitford has been sufficiently 
conspicuous in the literary history of her time to claim 
an expression of respect and regret on her leaving us. 
Her talents and her character were essentially womanly ; 
and she was fortunate in living in an age when womanly 
ability in the department of Letters obtains respect and 
observance, as sincerely and readily as womanly character 
commands reverence and affection in every age. 



[IV] 



Her life at 

Sivalloio- 

feld. 



V. 



Her con- 
scientious- 
ness. 



CHARLOTTE BRONTE 1 

("CURRER BELL"). 

DIED MARCH 3ist, 1855. 

" CURRER BELL" is dead! The early death of the 
large family of whom she was the sole survivor, pre- 
pared all who knew the circumstances to expect the 
loss of this gifted creature at any time ; but not the less 
deep will be the grief of society that her genius will 
yield us nothing more. We have three works from her, 
which will hold their place in the literature of our 
century ; and but for her frail health, there might have 
been three times three, for she was under forty, and her 
genius was not of an exhaustible kind. If it had been 
exhaustible, it would have been exhausted some time 
since. She had every inducement that could have 
availed with one less high-minded to publish two or 
three novels a year. Fame waited upon all she did ; and 
she might have enriched herself by very slight exertion ; 
but her steady conviction was that the publication of a 

1 In signing her letters, and giving her address, Charlotte spelt her 
name Brontl. But on the monumental stone in the church where they 
worshipped, where the successive deaths of the whole family are recorded, 
the name stands as Bronte ; and this must be considered the established 
spelling. 



CHARLOTTE BRONTE. 



45 



book is a solemn act of conscience ; in the case of a 
novel as much as any other kind of book. She was not 
fond of speaking of herself and her conscience ; but she 
now and then uttered to her very few friends things 
which may, alas ! be told now, without fear of hurting 
her sensitive nature, things which ought to be told in 
her honor. Among these sayings was one which ex- 
plains the long interval between her works. She said 
that she thought every serious delineation of life ought 
to be the product of personal experience and observation, 
experience naturally occurring, and observation of a 
normal, and not of a forced or special kind. ' ' I have 
not accumulated, since I published ' Shirley/ " she said, 
' ' what makes it needful for me to speak again ; and, 
fill I do, may God give me grace to be dumb 1" She 
had a conscientiousness which could not be relaxed 
by praise or even sympathy dear as sympathy was to 
her keen affections. She had no vanity which praise 
could aggravate or censure mortify. She calmly read all 
adverse reviews of her books for the sake of instruction ; 
and when she could not recognize the aptness of the 
criticism, she was more puzzled than hurt or angry. 
The common flatteries which wait upon literary success 
she quizzed with charming grace ; and any occasional 
severity, such as literary women are favored with at the 
beginning of their course, she accepted with a humility 
which was full of dignity and charm. From her feeble 
constitution of body, her sufferings by the death of her 
whole family, and the secluded and monotonous life she 
led, she became morbidly sensitive in some respects ; 
but in her high vocation she had, in addition to the deep 
intuitions of a gifted woman, the strength of a man, the 
patience of a hero, and the conscientiousness of a saint. 



[V] 



The long 
interval 
between her 
works. 



4 6 



CHARLOTTE BRONTE. 



[V] 



Her pictures 
of lift. 



Schooldays 
and after. 



In the points in which women are usually most weak 
in regard to opinion, to appreciation, to applause her 
moral strength fell not a whit behind the intellectual 
force manifested in her works. Though passion occupies 
too prominent a place in her pictures of Life, though 
women have to complain that she represents Love as 
the whole and sole concern of their lives, and though 
governesses especially have reason to remonstrate, and 
do remonstrate, that their share of human conflict is 
laid open somewhat rudely and inconsiderately, and 
with enormous exaggeration, to social observation, it is 
a true social blessing that we have had a female writer 
who has discountenanced sentimentalism and feeble ego- 
tism with such practical force as is apparent in the 
works of "Currer Bell." Her heroines love too readily, 
too vehemently, and sometimes after a fashion which 
their female readers may resent ; but they do their duty 
through everything, and are healthy in action, however 
morbid in passion. 

How admirable this strength is how wonderful this 
force of integrity can hardly be understood by any but 
the few who know the story of this remarkable woman's 
life. The account of the school in "Jane Eyre" is 
only too true. The " Helen" of that tale is not pre- 
cisely the eldest sister, who died there but more like 
her than any other real person. She is that sister, "with 
a difference." Another sister died at home soon after 
leaving the school, and in consequence of its hardships ; 
and "Currer Bell" (Charlotte Bronte) was never free, 
while there (for a year and a half), from the gnaw- 
ing sensation, or consequent feebleness, of downright 
hunger ; and she never grew an inch from that time. 
She was the smallest of women ; and it was that school 



CHARLOTTE BRONTE. 



47 



which stunted her growth. As she tells us in "Jane 
Eyre," the visitation of an epidemic caused a total 
change and radical reform in the establishment, which 
was even removed to another site. But the reform came 
too late to reverse the destiny of the doomed family of 
the Brontes. 

These wonderful girls were the daughters of a clergy- 
man, who, now 1 very aged and infirm, survives his wife 
and all his many children. The name Bronte (an 
abbreviation of Bronterre) is Irish, and very ancient. 
The mother died many years ago, and several of her 
children. When the reading world began to have an 
interest in their existence, there were three sisters and 
a brother living with their father at Haworth, near 
Keighley, in Yorkshire. The girls had been out as 
governesses : Charlotte at Brussels, as is no secret to the 
readers of "Villette." They rejoiced to meet again at 
home Charlotte, Emily, and Ann ("Currer," "Ellis," 
and "Acton"). In her obituary notice of her two sis- 
ters, "Currer" reveals something of their process of 
authorship, and their experience of failure and success. 
How terrible some of their experience of life was, in 
the midst of the domestic freedom and indulgence af- 
forded them by their studious father, may be seen by 
the fearful representations of masculine nature and 
character found in the novels and tales of Emily and 
Ann. They considered it their duty, they told us, to 
present life as they knew it ; and they gave us ' ' Wuth- 
ering Heights," and "The Tenant of Wildfiell Hall." 
Such an experience as this indicates is really perplex- 
ing to English people in general ; and all that we 
have to do with it is to bear it in mind when dis- 
1 1855- 



[V] 



The Bronte 
family. 



4 8 



CHARLOTTE BRONTE. 



[V] 



" Jane 
Eyre" and 

Charlotte 
Bronte, 



posed to pass criticism on the coarseness which to a 
certain degree pervades the works of all the sisters, 
and the repulsiveness which makes the tales by Emily 
and Ann really horrible to people who have not iron 
nerves. 

"Jane Eyre" was naturally and universally supposed 
to be Charlotte herself ; but she always denied it calmly, 
cheerfully, and with the obvious sincerity which charac- 
terized all she said. She declared that there was no 
more ground for the assertion than this : she once told 
her sisters that they were wrong even morally wrong in 
making their heroines beautiful, as a matter of course. 
They replied that it was impossible to make a heroine 
interesting on other terms. Her answer was : "I will 
prove to you that you are wrong. I will show to you a 
heroine as small and as plain as myself, who shall be as 
interesting as any of yours." "Hence 'Jane Eyre,'" 
said she, in telling the anecdote : ' ' but she is not my- 
self any further than that." As the work went on, the 
interest deepened to the writer. When she came to 
"Thornfield," she could not stop. Being short-sighted 
to excess, she wrote in little square paper books, held 
close to her eyes, and (the first copy) in pencil. On she 
went, writing incessantly for three weeks ; by which time 
she had carried her heroine away from Thornfield, and 
was herself in a fever, which compelled her to pause. 
The rest was written with less vehemence, and with 
more anxious care : the world adds, with less vigor and 
interest. She could gratify her singular reserve in regard 
to the publication of this remarkable book. We all 
remember how long it was before we could learn who 
wrote it, and any particulars of the writer, when the 
name was revealed. She was living among the wild 



CHARLOTTE BRONTE. 49 



Yorkshire hills, with a father who was too much absorbed 
in his studies to notice her occupations : in a place where 
newspapers were never seen (or where she never saw any), 
and in a house where the servants knew nothing about 
books, manuscripts, proofs, or the post. When she told 
her secret to her father, she carried her book in one hand 
and an adverse review in the other, to save his simple and 
unworldly mind from rash expectations of a fame and for- 
tune which she was determined should never be the aims 
of her life. That we have had only two novels since, 
shows how deeply grounded was this resolve. 

" Shirley " was conceived and wrought out in the midst 
of fearful domestic griefs. Her only brother, a young 
man of once splendid promise, which was early blighted, 
and both her remaining sisters, died in one year. There 
was something inexpressibly affecting in the aspect of the 
frail little creature who had done such wonderful things, 
and who was able to bear up, with so bright an eye and so 
composed a countenance, under not only such a weight 
of sorrow, but such an prospect of solitude. In her deep 
mourning dress (neat as a Quaker's), with her beautiful 
hair, smooth and brown, her fine eyes, and her sensible 
face indicating a habit of self-control, she seemed a per- 
fect household image irresistibly recalling Wordsworth's 
description of that domestic treasure. And she was this. 
She was as able at the needle as at the pen. The house- 
hold knew the excellence of her cookery before they 
heard of that of her books. In so utter a seclusion as 
she lived in in those dreary wilds where she was not 
strong enough to roam over the hills ; in that retreat 
where her studious father rarely broke the silence and 
there was no one else to. do it; in that forlorn house, 
planted on the very clay of the churchyard, where the 

3 



[V] 



Domestic 
griefs. 



CHARLOTTE BRONTE. 



[V] 



Her 

marriage. 



graves of her sisters were before her window ; in such a 
living sepulchre, her mind could not but prey upon itself; 
and how it did suffer, we see in the more painful portions 
of her last novel, ' ' Villette. " She said, with a change in 
her steady countenance, that she should feel very lonely 
when her aged father died. But she formed new ties after 
that. She married ; and it is the old father who survives 
to mourn her. He knows, to his comfort, that it is not 
for long. Others now mourn her, in a domestic sense ; 
and as for the public, there can be no doubt that a pang 
will be felt, in the midst of the strongest interests of the 
day, through the length and breadth of the land, and in 
the very heart of Germany (where her works are singularly 
appreciated), France, and America, that the "Currer Bell" 
who so lately stole as a shadow into the field of contem- 
porary literature has already become a shadow again 
vanished from our view, and henceforth haunting only the 
memory of the multitude whose expectation was fixed 
upon her. 



VI. 



SAMUEL ROGERS. 
DIED DECEMBER i8xH, 1855. 

THE author of " The Pleasures of Memory" has died at 
his house in St. James's-place, in the ninety-sixth year of 
his age. 

Samuel Rogers has been spoken of, ever since anybody 
can remember, as "Rogers the Poet." It is less as a 
poet, however, that his name will live than as a Patron of 
Literature probably the last of that class who will in 
England be called a Mecaenas. His life was a remarkable 
one, from the great age he attained during a critical period 
of civilization ; and his function was a remarkable one 
that of representing the bridge over which Literature has 
passed from the old condition of patronage to the new one 
of independence. He heard "the talk of the town" (re- 
corded by Dr. Adams) on Johnson's Letter to Lord Ches- 
terfield ; and he lived to see the improvement of the Copy- 
right law, the removal of most of the Taxes on Knowledge, 
and so vast an increase of the reading public as has ren- 
dered the function of patron of authorship obsolete. No 
patron could now help an author to fame ; and every au- 
thor who has anything genuine to say can say it without 
dreaming of any application to a rich man. Samuel 



An English 
Mecanas. 



SAMUEL ROGERS. 



[VI] 



Contempo- 
rary events. 



Rogers lived through the whole period when the publish- 
ers were the patrons, and witnessed the complete success 
of Mr. Dickens's plan of independence of the publishers 
themselves. He was a youth of fifteen or thereabouts 
when half "the town" was scandalized at Dr. Johnson's 
audacity in saying what he did to Lord Chesterfield ; and 
the other half was delighted at the courage of the rebuke. 
It was not long before that the "Letters of Junius" had 
burst upon the political world ; and Rogers was quite old 
enough to understand the nature of the triumph when the 
prosecution of Woodfall failed, and the press preserved its 
liberty under the assaults of Royal and Ministerial dis- 
pleasure. His connections in life fixed his attention full 
on the persecution of Priestley and other vindicators of 
liberty of speech ; while he saw, in curious combination 
with this phase, that kind of patronage which even the 
Priestleys of those days accepted as a matter of course : 
Dr. Priestley living with Lord Shelburne, without office ; 
and afterward, his being provided with an income by the 
subscription of friends, to enable him to carry on his phil- 
osophical researches. Then came the new aspect of things, 
when the Byrons, the Moores, Campbells, and Scotts, 
were the clients of the Murrays, the Longmans, and the 
Constables that remarkable but rather short transition 
stage when, as Moore said, the patrons learned perforce, 
through interest, the taste which had not been formed by 
education. Those were the days of bookselling 
monopoly, when the publisher decided what the 
reading public should have to read, and at what 
price. Rogers saw that monopoly virtually destroyed ; the 
greatness of the great houses passing away, or re- 
duced to that of trade eminence simply; and authors 
and the public brought face to face, or certain to 



SAMUEL ROGERS. 



53 



be so presently. His own function, all the while, was a 
mixed one, in accordance with the changes of the time. 
He was, in the course of his long life, both client and 
patron ; and for a great part of it he was both at once. 
His purse was open to the poor author, and his influence 
with the great publishers was at his service, while he 
himself sat at great men's tables as a poet and a wit, 
more even than as a connoisseur in Art; and certainly 
much more than as a rich banker. The last character 
he kept out of sight as much as possible. When, some 
years since, his bank was robbed to so enormous an 
amount by the pillage, of a safe that everybody supposed 
it must stop payment ; and when it did not stop, and all 
his great friends testified their sympathy first, and then 
their joy, it was a curious thing to observe the old poet's 
bearing, and to hear the remarks upon it. He was won- 
derfully reserved, and passed off the whole with a few 
quiet jokes, through which was plainly seen his mortifica- 
tion at being recognized as a banker, in a sphere where 
he hoped he was known as an associate of the great, and 
the first connoisseur in pictures in England. 

His was not a case of early determination of the 
course of life. In his early youth, his father one evening 
asked all his boys what they would be. Sam would not 
tell unless he might write it down, for nobody but his 
father to see. What he wrote was, "A Unitarian min- 
ister." He was destined for business, however; but his 
love of literature was not thwarted by it. We have seen 
Moore die in decrepit old age; yet did Moore, in his 
boyhood (when he was fourteen), delight in Rogers's 
" Pleasures of Memory" the poem being then so 
common as to have found its way into schools in class- 
books and collections. When young Horner came to 



[VI] 



The poet 
and ivit 



and banker 



54 



SAMUEL ROGERS. 



[VI] 



In middle 
age. 



London to begin his career, he found Rogers a member 
of the King of Clubs, the intimate of Mackintosh (who 
was his junior), Scarlett, Sharpe, and others long gone 
to the grave as old men and one, Maltby, who was a 
twin wonder with himself as to years. The last evening 
that Mackintosh spent in London before his departure 
for India was at Rogers's. " Somewhat a melancholy 
evening" we are told it was ; and the host, then between 
forty and fifty, must have felt the uncertainty of the party 
reassembling, to spend more such evenings as those that 
were gone. And some were dead before Mackintosh 
returned ; but the host lived to tell, half a century after- 
ward, of the sober sadness of that parting converse. It 
was Rogers who "blabbed" about the duel between 
Jeffrey and Moore, and was the cause of their folly being 
rendered harmless ; and it was he who bailed Moore : it 
was he who negotiated a treaty of peace between them ; 
and it was at his house that they met and^became friends. 
Such were his services of one kind to literature using 
his dignity of seniority to keep these young wits in order. 
He must have been lively in those days " the Bachelor," 
as his name was among his friends ; and he never married. 
Moore names him as one "of those agreeable rattles 
who seem to think life such a treat that they never can 
get enough of it." One wonders whether he had had 
enough of it fifty years later, when Sydney Smith (one of 
"the agreeable rattles") had long laid down his, after 
having for some time told his comrades that he thought 
life "a very middling affair," and should not be sorry 
when he had done with it. There was much to render 
life agreeable to a man of Rogers's tastes, it must be 
owned. He saw Garrick, and watched the entire career 
of every good actor since. All the Kembles fell within 



SAMUEL ROGERS. 



55 



his span. He heard the first remarks on the "Vicar of 
Wakefield," and read, damp from the press, all the fiction 
that has appeared since from the Burneys, the Edge- 
worths, the Scotts, the Dickenses, and the Thackerays. 
As for the poetry, he was aghast at the rapidity with 
which the Scotts, Byrons, and Moores poured out their 
works; and even Campbell was too quick for him, he, 
with all his leisure, and being always at it, producing to 
the amount of two octavo volumes in his whole life. 
The charge of haste and incompleteness alleged against 
his ''Columbus/' in the Edinburgh Revieiv, forty years 
since, was very exasperating to him ; and so absurd that 
one cannot but suspect Sydney Smith of being the 
author of it, for the sake of contrast with his conver- 
sational description of Rogers's method of composition. 
Somebody asked, one day, whether Rogers had written 
anything lately. "Only a couplet," was the reply (the 
couplet being his celebrated epigram on Lord Dudley). 
" Only a couplet!" exclaimed Sydney Smith. "Why, 
what would you have ? When Rogers produces a couplet, 
he goes to bed, and the knocker is tied, and straw is 
laid down, and caudle is made, and the answer to 
inquiries is, that Mr. Rogers is as well as can be expected." 
Thus, while he was cogitating his few pages of verse, 
"daily adding couplets," as Moore said, showing a forth- 
coming poem in boards, "but still making alterations," 
he was now and then seeing a whole new world of poetical 
subject and treatment laid open ; and not seldom helping 
to facilitate the disclosure. Moore always said that he 
owed to Rogers the idea of "Lalla Rookh." Rogers 
had lingered so long over his story of the "Foscari," 
that Byron did it first, to his great distress ; but he re- 
ceived the drama with a very good grace. Meantime, 



[VI] 



His method 
of com- 
position. 



SAMUEL ROGERS. 



[VI] 

His deeds of 
munificence. 



The draw- 
backs. 



he was always substantially helping poor poets. Besides 
the innumerable instances, known only to his intimates, 
of the attention he bestowed, as well as the money, in 
the case of poetical basket-makers, poetical footmen, and 
other such hopeless sons of the Muse, his deeds of mu- 
nificence toward men of genius were too great to be 
concealed. His aids to Moore have been recently made 
known by the publication of Moore's Diaries. It was 
Rogers who secured to Crabbe the 3,ooo/. from Murray, 
which were in jeopardy before. He advanced 5oo/. 
to Campbell to purchase a share of the Metropolitan 
Magazine, and refused security. And he gave thought, 
took trouble, used influence, and adventured advice. 
This was the conduct and the method of the last of the 
Patrons of Literature in England. 

All honor to him for this ! But not the less must the 
drawbacks be brought into the account. In recording 
the last of any social phase, it is dishonest to present the 
bright parts without the shadows ; and Rogers's remark- 
able position was due almost as much to his faults as his 
virtues. He was, plainly speaking, at once a flatterer 
and a cynic. It was impossible for those who knew him 
best to say, at any moment, whether he was in earnest or 
covert jest. Whether he ever was in earnest, there is no 
sort of evidence but his acts ; and the consequence was 
that his flattery went for nothing, except with novices, 
while his causticity bit as deep as he intended. He 
would begin with a series of outrageous compliments, in 
a measured style which forbade interruption ; and, if he 
was allowed to finish, would go away and boast how 
much he had made a victim swallow. He would accept 
a constant seat at a great man's table, flatter his host 
to the top of his bent, and then, as is upon record, go 



SAMUEL ROGERS. 



57 



away and say that the company there was got up by 
conscription that there were two parties before whom 
everybody must appear, his host and the police. Where 
it was safe, he would try his sarcasms on the victims 
themselves. A multitude of his sayings are rankling in 
people's memories which could not possibly have had 
any other origin than the love of giving pain. Some 
were so atrocious as to suggest the idea that he had a 
sort of psychological curiosity to see how people could 
bear such inflictions. Those who could bear them, and 
especially those who despised them, stood well with him. 
In that case, there was something more like reality in the 
tone of his subsequent intercourse than in ordinary cases. 
The relation which this propensity of his bore to his 
position was direct. It placed him at great men's tables 
and kept him there, more than any other of his qualifi- 
cations. His poetry alone would not have done it. His 
love and knowledge of Art would not have done it ; and 
much less his wealth. His causticity was his pass-key 
everywhere. Except the worship paid to the Railway 
King for his wealth, we know of nothing in modern 
society so extraordinary and humiliating as the deference 
paid to Rogers for his ill-nature. It became a sort of 
public apprehension, increasing with his years, till it 
ceased to be disgraceful in the eyes of the coteries, and 
the flatterer was flattered, and the backbiter was pro- 
pitiated, almost without disguise or shame, on account of 
his bitter wit. " Rogers amusing and sarcastic as usual;" 
this note of Moore's may stand as the general de- 
scription of him by those who hoped, each for himself, 
to propitiate the cynic. As age advanced upon him, the 
admixture of the generous and the malignant in him 
became more singular. A footman robbed him of a 

3* 



[VI] 



His ill- 
nature, and 
the deference 
paid to it. 



SAMUEL ROGERS. 



[VI] 



A curious 

human 

problem. 



large quantity of plate ; and of a kind which was in- 
estimable to him. He was incensed, and desired never 
to hear of the fellow more, the man having absconded. 
Not many months afterward, Rogers was paying the 
passage to New York of the man's wife and family 
somebody having told him that that family junction 
might afford a chance of the man's reformation. Such 
were his deeds at the very time that his tongue was 
dropping verjuice, and his wit was sneering behind backs 
at a whole circle of old friends and hospitable enter- 
tainers. Such was the curious human problem offered 
to the analyst of character, and such is the needful expla- 
nation of the mixed character of client and patron which 
Rogers sustained to the last. 

His celebrated literary breakfasts will not be forgotten 
during the generation of those who enjoyed them. They 
became at last painful when the aged man's memory 
failed while his causticity remained. His hold on life 
was very strong. He who was an authority on the 
incidents of the Hastings' trial, and who was in Fox's 
room when he was dying, he who saw George III. a 
young man, and was growing into manhood when John- 
son went to the Hebrides, survived for several years 
being run over by a cab of the construction of the 
middle of the nineteenth century. His poetry could 
scarcely be said to live so long as himself, as it was rather 
the illustrations with which it was graced than the verse 
itself that kept the volumes on sale and within view. 
The elegance and correctness of his verse are beyond 
question; but the higher and more substantial qualities 
of true poetry will hardly be recognized there. It should 
be remembered that there is a piece of prose writing of 
his of which Mackintosh said that "Hume could not 



SAMUEL ROGERS. 59 



improve the thoughts nor Addison the language." That 
gem is the piece on Assassination, in his "Italy." In it 
may be clearly traced the influence of his early noncon- 
formist education. When he wrote it, half a lifetime 
ago, worldliness had not quite choked the good seed of 
early-sown philosophy ; and the natural magnanimity of 
the man was not extinguished by the passions as strong 
as any in their way which spring from the soil of con- 
ventionalism. If Rogers is to be judged by his writings, 
let it be by such fragments as that little essay : if further, 
by his deeds rather than his words. So may the world 
retain the fairest remembrance of the last English 
Mecaenas, and the only man among us perhaps who has 
illustrated in his own person the position at once of 
patron and of client. 



[VI] 



VII. 



Conspicuous 
in politics 
and 
literature. 



JOHN WILSON CROKER. 
DIED AUGUST loth, 1857. 

JOHN WILSON CROKER was a conspicuous man during a 
long course of years in politics and literature. He was 
widely known as Secretary to the Admiralty which 
office he held for one-and-twenty years ; as a Member of 
Parliament for twenty-five years ; as an industrious and 
accomplished author ; and, above all, perhaps, as the 
wickedest of reviewers, that is, as the author of the foul 
and false political articles in the Quarterly Review, which 
stand out as the disgrace of the periodical literature of 
our time. His natural abilities, his capacity and inclina- 
tion for toil, the mingled violence and causticity of his 
temper, and his entire unscrupulousness in matters both 
of feeling and of statement, combined to make him a 
remarkable, if not a very loveable personage, and a 
useful though not very honorable member of a political 
party. 

He was the son of the Surveyor-General of Ireland, 
and was born in that Connaught which was then the 
"hell" of the empire. "To Hell or Connaught," was 
still the imprecation of the day when Croker was born ; 
that is, in 1780. He was always called an Irishman ; 
and very properly, as Galway was his native place ; but he 



JOHN WILSON CROKER. 



61 



was of English descent. As for temperament, we do not 
know that either England or Ireland would be very anx- 
ious to claim him : and he certainly was sui generis re- 
markably independent of the influences which largely af- 
fect the characters of most men. He was educated at 
Trinity College, Dublin, and was called to the bar in 1802. 
His first publication, " Familiar. Epistles to F. E. Jones, 
Esq.," shows that his proneness to sarcasm existed 
early ; but the higher qualities which once made him 
the hope of the Tory party were then so much more 
vigorous than at a later time, ' that the expectations 
excited by the outset of his public life were justifiable. 
It was in 1 807 that he entered Parliament, as Member 
for Downpatrick ; and within two years he was Secretary 
to the Admiralty. He had by that time given high proof 
of his ability in his celebrated pamphlet on the "Past 
and Present State of Ireland." The authorship was for 
some time uncertain. Because it was candid and pain- 
fully faithful, the Edinburgh Review, so early as 1813, 
could not believe it to be his ; while, on the other hand, 
there was the wonder that the man who so wrote about 
Ireland should be so speedily invited to office by the 
Government under Perceval. That Irish pamphlet 
may be now regarded as perhaps the most honorable 
achievement of Mr. Croker's long life of authorship. 

Just before this he had joined with Mr. Canning, 
Walter Scott, George Ellis, Mr. Morritt, and others, in 
setting up the Quarterly Review, the first number of 
which appeared in the spring of 1 809. The Edinburgh 
Review had then existed seven years ; and while obnox- 
ious to the Tory party for its politics, it was not less so 
to the general public for the reckless ferocity of some of 
its criticism, in those its early days. If the Quarterly 



[VII] 



His Irish 
pamphlet. 



The 

" Quarterly 
Review" 



62 



JOHN WILSON CROKER. 



[VII] 



Mac aul ay's 
character 
of Croker. 



proposed to rebuke this sin by example, it was rather 
curious that Mr. Croker should be its most extensive 
and constant contributor for forty years seeing that he 
carried the license of anonymous criticism to the last 
extreme. Before he had done his work in that depart- 
ment, he had earned for himself purchased by hard 
facts the following character, calmly uttered by one ot 
the first men of the time: 1 " Croker is a man who 
would go a hundred miles through sleet and snow, on 
the top of a coach, in a December night, to search a 
parish register, for the sake of showing that a man is 
illegitimate, or a woman older than she says she is." 
He had actually gone down into the country to find 
the register of Fanny Burney's baptism, and revelled in 
the exposure of a misstatement of her age ; and the 
other half of the charge was understood to have been 
earned in the same way. He did not begin his Quarterly 
reviewing with the same virulence which he manifested 
in his later years. That malignant ulcer of the mind, 
engendered by political disappointment, at length ab- 
sorbed his better qualities. It is necessary to speak 
thus frankly of the temper of the man, because his state- 
ments must in justice be discredited ; and because justice 
requires that the due discrimination be made between 
the honorable and generous-minded men who ennoble 
the function of criticism by the spirit they throw into it, 
and one who, like Croker, employed it at last for the 
gratification of his own morbid inclination to inflict pain. 
The propensity was so strong in Croker's case, that we 
find him unable to resist it even in regard to his old and 
affectionate friend Walter Scott, and at a time when that 
old friend was sinking in adversity and disease. He 

1 Macaulay. 



JOHN WILSON CROKER. 



reviewed in the London Courier Scott's ' ' Malagrowther 
Letters/' in 1826, in a way which called forth the delicate 
and touching rebuke contained in Scott's letter to him, 
dated March ipth of that year, a rebuke remembered 
long after the trespass that occasioned it was disregarded 
as a peice of "Croker's malignity." The latest instance 
of this sort of controversy called forth by Mr. Croker's 
public vituperation of his oldest and dearest friends, was 
the series of letters that passed between him and Lord 
John Russell, after the publication of Moore's ' ' Diaries 
and Correspondence. " Up to the last his victims refused 
to believe, till compelled, that the articles had proceeded 
from his pen well as they knew his spirit of reviewing. 
When he had been staying at Drayton Manor, not long 
before Sir Robert Peel's death, had been not only hospita- 
bly entertained but kindly ministered to under his infirmi- 
ties of deafness and bad health, and went home to cut up 
his host in a political article for the forthcoming Quarterly 
his fellow-guests at Drayton refused as long as possible 
to believe the article to be his ; and in the same way, as 
Lord John Russell informed him, Mrs. Moore would not 
for a long time credit the fact that the review of the poet's 
Life was his, saying she had always understood Mr. Cro- 
ker to be her husband's friend. It was in the Quarterly that 
the disappointed politician vented his embittered feelings, 
as indeed he himself avowed. He declared, when Lord 
Grey came into office, that he did not consider his pension 
worth three months' purchase ; that he should therefore lay 
it by while he had it, and make his income by ' ' tomahawk- 
ing" liberal authors in the Quarterly. He did it, not only 
by writing articles upon them, but by interpolating other 
people's articles with his own sarcasms and slanders, so as 
to compel the real reviewers, in repeated instances, to de- 



[VII] 



Vitupera- 
tion of his 
oldest 
friends. 



JOHN WILSON CROKER. 



[VII] 



In Par- 
liament. 



mand the republication of their articles in a genuine state 
and a separate form. 

When he entered Parliament, he was an admirable deba- 
ter ready, acute, bold, well furnished with information, 
and not yet so dangerously reckless as to make him feared 
by his own party. It is rather strange now to find his name 
foremost in the list of parliamentary orators in the books 
of foreigners visiting England after the Peace. He was 
listened to by the House as an inferior kind of Disraeli, 
for the amusement afforded by his sarcasm ; and foreign- 
ers mistook this manifestation of the old English bull-bait- 
ing spirit for an evidence of the parliamentary weight of the 
satirist ; and a House of Commons that enjoys that sort 
of sport deserves the French commentary the imputation 
of being led by a Croker. There were occasions, however, 
on which he appeared to advantage on other grounds than 
his sarcastic wit. It should be remembered that it was he 
who, in 1821, before Catholic Emancipation could be sup- 
posed near at hand, proposed to enable the Crown to 
make a suitable provision for the Catholic clergy. Lord 
Castlereagh opposed the motion, which was necessarily 
withdrawn ; but Mr. Croker declared that he considered 
the principle safe, and should bring forward the measure 
till it should be adopted. He was steady to the object, 
and in 1825 actually obtained a majority upon it in the 
Commons ; and there is no question of his earnestness 
in desiring a measure of considerable relief to the con- 
sciences and liberties of the Catholic body. 

He held his ground with the chiefs of his own party by 
other qualities than his official ability. His command of de- 
tail was remarkable ; and so were his industry and his sa- 
gacity within a small range. His zeal for party interests was 
also. great a zeal shown in his eagerness to fill up places 



JOHN WILSON CROKER. 



with party adherents, from the laureateship (which he pro- 
cured for Southey) to the lowest office that could be filled 
by an electioneering agent ; but he was also a most accept- 
able political gossip. It was this which made him a fre- 
quent guest at rhe Regent's table, and an inimitable 
acquaintance at critical seasons of ministerial change, 
when such men as he revel in the incidents of the day, 
and in the manifestation of such human vices and weak- 
nesses as come out, together with noble virtues, in the 
conflict of personal interests. The congenial spirit of the 
Beacon newspaper, which made such a noise in 1822, 
made him the proper recipient of Scott's confidence on 
the matter ; and to him therefore Scott addressed his 
painful explanations, as they stand in the Life. It is 
probable that the intercourse between him and Scott, 
though not without an occasional ruffle, was about the 
most cordial that the survivor ever enjoyed. Scott's real 
geniality and politic obtuseness to offence enabled him to 
bear more than most men would : and, in their literary 
relations, he contrived to show himself the debtor. He 
avowed that his "Tales of a Grandfather" were suggested 
and modelled by Croker's "Stories from the History of 
England ;" and he was aided in his "Life of Napoleon" 
by Croker's loans of masses of papers. He met Cabinet 
Ministers, by the half-dozen at a time, at the Secretary's 
table ; and received from him reports of handsome sayings 
of the Regent about him. The cordiality could not, on 
Croker's side, withstand the temptation to insult a friend 
through the press, as he showed at the very time by his 
remarks on Malagrowlher ; but on Scott's side it was 
hearty. When the political changes of 1827 were going 
forward, his first thought seems to have been for Croker. 
"I fear Croker will shake," he wrote, "and heartily sorry 



[VII] 



Croker and 
Scott. 



66 



JOHN WILSON CROKER. 



[VII] 



The Reform 
Bill. 



Retiring 
from public 
life. 



I should feel for that." The shaking, however, only 
shook Croker more firmly into his place and function. 
In 1828 he became a Privy Councillor; and he retained 
his Admiralty office till 1830. It was the Reform Bill 
that destroyed him politically. It need not have done so. 
There was no more reason for it in his case than in that of 
any of his comrades ; but he willed political suicide. He 
declared that he would never sit in a reformed House 
of Commons ; and he never did. He expected revolu- 
tion ; and he thought it prudent to retire while he could 
yet save life and fortune. His view is shown by his 
mournful account in the House of the spectacle of a 
Montmorenci rising in the French Constituent Assembly, 
to propose the extinction of feudal rights and dignities, 
such as his ancestors had earned and been ennobled 
by ; and he let fall no word to show that he recognized 
any grandeur in the act. He thought that pitiable which 
to others appears the crown of the nobleness of the 
Montmorencis. He proposed to grant nothing to any 
popular demand, because something might at length be 
demanded which it would be impossible to grant; and 
before the shadows of the possible evils which he con- 
jured up, he retired from public life, leaving its actual 
difficulties to be dealt with by men of a higher courage 
and a more disinterested patriotism. His Political 
action, for the rest of his life, consisted merely in the 
articles he put forth in the Quarterly Review, articles 
which (to say nothing of their temper) show such feeble- 
ness of insight, such a total incapacity to comprehend 
the spirit and needs of the time, and such utter reck- 
lessness about truth of both statement and principle, 
that elderly readers are puzzled to account for the ex- 
pectations they once had of the writer. It was the 



JOHN WILSON CROKER. 



67 



heart element that was amiss. A good heart has won- 
derful efficacy in making moderate talent available. 
Where heart is absent, the most brilliant abilities fail, 
as is said in such cases, "unaccountably." Where 
heart is not absent, but is not good, the consequences 
are yet more obvious ; the faculties waste and decline, 
and the life sinks to nothing before death comes to close 
the scene. It is impossible to avoid such reflections as 
these, while contrasting the strength and goodness of 
Croker's early work on Ireland with his latest judgments 
on public affairs in the Quarterly Review, and his corre- 
spondence with Lord John Russell on the business of the 
"Moore's Diaries." It may be observed, by the way, 
how such a spirit as his stirs up the dregs of other 
people's tempers. Lord John Russell's note, in allusion 
to Mr. Croker, in "Moore's Life," appears to be unneces- 
sary ; he was moved to it by seeing Mrs. Moore stung 
by the review ; and he met speedy retribution. Pain 
was inflicted all round ; and Croker was the cause of 
it all. 

He was the author, editor, and translator of various 
works, the chief of which is his edition of " Boswell's 
Johnson," a book on which he spent much labor, and 
which was regarded with high and trustful favor till 
Mr. Macaulay overthrew its reputation for accuracy by 
an exposure of a singular series of mistakes, attributable 
to indolence, carelessness, or ignorance. That review 
(which is republished among Macaulay's "Essays") 
destroyed such reputation for scholarship as Mr. Croker 
had previously enjoyed, and a good deal impaired that 
of his industry. His other works of bulk are the 
"Suffolk Papers," the " Military Events of the French 
Revolution of 1830," a translation of " Bassompierre's 



[VII] 



Lord John 
Russell's 
allusion in 
Moore^s 
Life. 



Croker's 
works of 
bulk. 



68 



JOHN WILSON CROKER. 



[VII] 



Thcdelinea- 
tion in 
'Coningsby. 



Embassy to England," the "Letters of Lady Hervey," 
and " Lord Hervey's Memoirs of the Reign of George II." 
Mr. Croker was an intimate of the late Lord Hertford ; 
and his social footing was not improved by the choice 
of such friendships, and the revelations made on the 
trial of Lord Hertford's valet. In brief, his best place 
was his desk at the Admiralty ; his best action was 
in his office ; and the most painful part of his life was 
the latter part, amidst an ignoble social reputation, and 
the political odium attached to him by Mr. Disraeli's 
delineation of him in ' ' Coningsby. " The virulent re- 
viewer found in his old age the truth of the Eastern 
proverb "Curses are like chickens; they always come 
home to roost." He tried to send them abroad again 
tried his utmost severity in attacks in the Quarterly on 
Disraeli's Budget. But it was too late : and the painter 
of the portrait of Rigby remained master of that field in 
which the completest victory is the least enviable. 

Looking round for something pleasanter on which to 
rest the eye in the career of the unhappy old man who 
has just departed, we may dwell on the good-will with 
which he was regarded by such personal friends as never 
were, and never could be, implicated with public affairs, 
never tickled his passions, never vexed his prejudices, 
and could honestly feel and express gratitude and respect 
toward him. There are some who believe him to have 
been an "amiable man in private life ;" and there must 
have been substantial ground for an estimate so opposite 
that which generally prevailed. Again, we may point out 
that his name stands honorably on our new maps and 
globes. He was Secretary to the Admiralty during the 
earlier of the Polar Expeditions of this century ; and it is 
understood that the most active and efficient assistance 



JOHN WILSON CROKER. 69 



was always given by him in the work of Polar discovery. 
Long after political unscrupulousness and rancor are 
forgotten, those higher landmarks of his voyage of life 
will remain, and tell a future generation, to whom he 
will be otherwise unknown, that there was one of his 
name to whom our great Navigators felt grateful for assist- 
ance in the noble service they rendered to their country 
and all future time. 



[VII] 



VIII. 



In her got A 
year. 



MRS. MARCET. 
DIED JUNE 28TH, 1858. 

As the instructress of an elder generation, Mrs. Marcet 
may have dropped out of the view of the busiest part of 
society as it now exists ; but it is not fitting that she 
should go to her grave without some grateful notice. 
The intimation of her death, in her 9Oth year, reminds 
us of more than her own good services to Society : it 
reminds us of the progress that Society has made since 
she began to work for it ; and at a dark season like the 
present, when men are everywhere feeling after an organic 
state of political and social life, it is cheering and ani- 
mating to note the advance made in other departments 
in Science on the one hand, and Education on the 
other toward something better than the loose, uncritical 
state they were in when our aged friend (for she was the 
friend of the entire elder generation) began her labors 
for the promotion of intelligence in the middle classes of 
England. 

It appears wonderful that our instructress, who seemed 
always so up to the time and so like ourselves, should 
actually have been born in the year when Ganganelli was 
made Pope, and when Hyder Alee was ravaging the 
Carnatic, and Paoli flying from Corsica, and Wilkes's 



MRS. MARCET. 



Middlesex election was convulsing Parliament and people 
at home; but so it was. She was born in 1769; and 
she was thus a witness to the whole course of existence 
of the American Republic. She might very well re- 
member the Declaration of Independence, and the birth 
of Political Economy, in the form of Adam Smith's 
work, at the same date, she being seven years old at the 
time ; and 'greatly astonished might she and her friends 
have been, if they could have foreknown that before her 
death her works would be text-books in many hundreds 
of schools, and her pupils be tens of thousands of 
young republicans, learning from her the principles of 
Political Economy in a State peopled by nearly thirty 
millions of inhabitants. Her alert and eager mind was 
always picking up knowledge, and entertaining itself with 
the interests of scientific society, long years before she 
thought of imparting her amusements to the public. 
Ancient as her earliest works now appear to the oldest of 
us, they were not produced in early life. She was, we 
believe, between forty and fifty when she began to write 
for the public. Dr. Marcet's high repute as a physician 
and a chemist placed her in the midst of scientific and 
literary society ; while a constitutional restlessness which 
always troubled her existence, and became at last an 
insuperable malady, indicated the employment from 
which she derived the greatest solace and relief the case 
admitted of. It was under her husband's counsel and 
guidance that she applied herself to authorship ; and he 
witnessed her first successes before his death in 1822. 

On the death of her father Mr. Haldimand, an opu- 
lent merchant, Swiss by birth, but settled in London, 
who left a considerable fortune to this only daughter 
Dr. Marcet relinquished his appointment in Guy's Hos- 



[VIII] 



When she 
began to 
iv rite. 



MRS. MARCET. 



[VIII] 

The " Con- 
versa- 
tions on 
Chemistry^ 



Her 

" Political 
Economy" 



pital, and the medical profession altogether, and devoted 
himself exclusively to experimental Chemistry. His wife's 
' ' Conversations on Chemistry" presently opened an en- 
tirely fresh region of ideas to the mind of the rising gen- 
eration of that day, to whom the very nature of chemical 
science was a revelation. We may smile now at the sort 
of science offered by that book the dogmas, the hy- 
potheses, the glib way of accounting for everything by 
terms which are a mere name for ignorance ; but it was 
a valuable book in its day ; and there was nobody else 
to give it to us. Mrs. Marcet never made any false 
pretensions. She never overrated her own books, nor, 
consciously, her own knowledge. She sought informa- 
tion from learned persons, believed she understood what 
she was told, and generally did so ; wrote down in a 
clear, cheerful, serviceable style what she had to tell ; sub- 
mitted it to criticism, accepted criticism gayly, and always 
protested against being ranked with authors of original 
quality, whether discoverers in science or thinkers in 
literature. She simply desired to be useful ; and she 
was eminently so. 

Her other works of the same class were almost as 
widely diffused as the Chemistry. In 1817 her "Con- 
versations on Political Economy" appeared ; and a sec- 
ond edition was called for before the writer had time 
to collect criticisms for its improvement. She purposely 
omitted some leading questions altogether, as deeper 
reasoners than herself were irresolute or at variance upon 
them ; but she administered to young minds large sup- 
plies of the wisdom of Adam Smith, in a form almost 
as entertaining as the "Wealth of Nations" is to grown 
readers. Her intimate acquaintance with Say, Malthus, 
and other chiefs of that department of knowledge, helped 



MRS. MARCET. 



73 



to enrich her work with some modern developments, 
which prevented its becoming so soon antiquated as her 
volumes on Natural Science ; and it is perhaps the book 
by which she is best known to the present generation, 
though her "Conversations on Natural Philosophy" and 
on " Vegetable Physiology " came after it. 

The grandmammas of our time, however, declare with 
warmth, as do many mothers and governesses, that Mrs. 
Marcet's very best books are her ' ' Stories for Very Little 
Children ;" and certainly, judging by observation of 
many little children, those .small volumes do appear to 
be unique in their suitableness to the minds they were 
addressed to. Mrs. Barbauld's "Early Lessons" were 
good ; Miss Edgeworth's were better ; but Mrs. Marcet's 
are transcendent, as far as they go. The capital com- 
mon sense which little children are obstinate in requiring 
in the midst of the widest circuits of imagination; the 
simplicity, the apt language, the absence of all conde- 
scension, and the avoidance of lecturing, on the one 
hand, and of enhancement of the child's importance on 
the other, are high virtues, and bring the little reader at 
once face to face with his subject. Mrs. Marcet was 
never herself offended at any prominence given to her 
humblest books ; and we doubt not the willingness of 
those who have charge of her memory to accept acknow- 
ledgments graduated in the same manner. Her pleas- 
ure in this kind of intercourse with childlike minds 
somewhat impaired the quality of her later works, 
"Mary's Grammar" and "Land and Water," which are 
not only in what the Quarterly Review calls "the gar- 
rulous form, " but too much of the garrulous order. Her 
humbler applications of political economy in "John 
Hopkins's Notions," and in other small pieces, were 

4 



[VIII] 



As an 
authoress 
for children 



74 



MRS. MARCET. 



[VIII] 



Mrs. 
Marcefs 
good sense 
and high 
motives. 



less successful than her earlier efforts. The fact was, 
Mrs. Marcet hardly considered herself an author at all. 
Full of vivacity, easily and strongly impressed, simple 
under the strongest conventional influences, and essen- 
tially humble under an appearance of self-confidence, 
she was precisely fitted to work under incitement from 
her friends, and to be at their command as to the way of 
doing it. Flattery set her to work, but did her no real 
harm ; for she was too genuine to be seriously befooled. 
Criticisms set her to work to mend mistakes, and render 
her books as useful as she could make them. Whig 
partisans set her to work out of good-natured zeal for 
her friends. Philanthropists set her to work by mere 
representations of the evils caused by bad political 
economy anywhere within reach of the press. It may be 
confidently said that vanity never set her to work, nor love 
of money, nor jealousy, nor any unworthy motive what- 
ever. There were not wanting persons who did their 
utmost to spoil her ; and the tractableness with which she 
lent herself to their purposes caused many a smile ; but 
she was never spoiled. Her nature was above it. This 
does not exactly mean that the conventional life she led 
produced no effect upon her. She suffered from it in 
forming her estimate of life and of persons. Her good 
sense was apt to be occasionally submerged in the spirit 
of clique, and the prejudices of party, and the atmo- 
sphere of complacency and mutual flattery, and bookish 
gossip, and somewhat insolent worldliness in which the 
Whig literary society which surrounded her revelled 
during her most social years. But almost any other 
woman of ability and celebrity would have suffered more 
than she did. She let herself slide into other people's 
management too much ; but yet she was always her own 



MRS. MARCET. 



75 



honest self, humble at heart and generous in spirit, even 
when appearing most conventional in her views, and pre- 
judiced in her impressions. 

No fine speeches from great men could spoil her as a 
companion for children ; and the longest course of breath- 
ing the atmosphere of Whig insolence never starved out 
her sympathies with the sufferers of society. She did not 
forget John Hopkins and little Willy in the society of 
foreign ambassadors and ex-chancellors. 

For some years she had been lost sight of, her ner- 
vous malady having grievously prostrated her, it was 
understood, in her extreme old age. We must hope that 
she was more or less aware of the prodigious start for- 
ward that Society had made since she first became its 
instructress. In what a host of discoveries have her 
chemical doctrines long been merged ! What a new 
face has Natural Philosophy assumed ! And how antique 
seem already some of the abuses shown up in her Polit- 
ical Economy ! The irreversible establishment of Free 
Trade in England was a blessing which she deserved to 
witness; for she had unquestionably some share in 
bringing it on. She hailed our deliverance from the 
"gangrene" of the old Poor-law; and she lived to see 
the decline, and almost the extinction, of Strikes in 
the cotton and woollen districts. She witnessed the timely 
relief afforded by the gold discoveries. She enjoyed the 
full and free introduction of the subject of popular Educa- 
tion into Parliament and general discussion, after having 
witnessed in her middle age the abortive efforts of Mr. 
Whitbread and other friends of education early in the cen- 
tury. If she was aware of a later demonstration still the 
Oxford and Cambridge Middle-class Examinations she 
must have cordially rejoiced at such a sign of the times. 



[VIII] 



Theprogress 
of Society 
since she 
first 

became its 
instructress. 



MRS. MARCET. 



[VIII] 



She saw Ireland raised from the dead, as it were : and if 
she saw her beloved France or Paris rather consigned 
to political death, her cheerful confidence would assure 
her that there would be a resurrection there too. Most of 
her life was spent in London ; but a good deal of it also 
at or near Geneva : the birthplace of her husband and 
herself, and the residence of several of her relatives. The 
travelled English well knew the hospitable abode of her 
brother, Mr. Haldimand, on Lake Leman. One of her 
own children also lived there ; but her usual abode was 
with her son-in-law and daughter, Mr. and Mrs. Edward 
Romilly, at whose house in London she died. Though 
we may not regret her death, under her burden of years 
and infirmity, we may well be thankful for her life and 
services. 



IX. 

HENRY HALLAM. 
DIED JANUARY 2isx, 1859. 

BY the death of Mr. Hallam we have lost an eminent 
representative of a class of men, few in number, but ines- 
timable in value at present the scholar-author the Work- 
ing Man of Letters. The influences of our time are not 
favorable to the training and encouragement of that 
sort of mind ; and it will stand on record as one of the 
social blessings of the last half-century in England that we 
had Henry Hallam among us. He was so constituted in- 
tellectually that he could not but delight himself perpet- 
ually with literature ; and he was so constituted morally 
that he could not but communicate his delight. A singu- 
lar disposition to intellectual combativeness joined with a 
childlike earnestness, combined with these tastes to make 
him the most admirable of critics ; while his vivacious 
temperament kept him from idleness under the name of 
study. The reader of his weighty (not heavy) works, im- 
pressed with the judicial character of the style both of 
thought and expression, imagined him a solemn, pale 
student, and might almost expect to see him in a Judge's 
wig; whereas, the stranger would find him the most 
rapid talker in company, quick in his movements, genial 



An 

admirable 

critic. 



HENRY HALLAM. 



[IX] 



Sydney 
Smithes 
description 
of h im. 



Domestic 
bereave- 
ments. 



in his feelings, earnest in narrative, rather full of dissent 
from what everybody said, innocently surprised when he 
found himself agreeing with anybody, and pretty sure to 
blurt out something awkward before the day was done 
but never giving offence, because his talk was always the 
fresh growth of the topic, and, it may be added, his man- 
ners were those of a thoroughbred gentleman. He was 1 
an admirable subject for his friend Sydney Smith's de- 
scription. In a capital sketch of a dinner-party to which 
Sydney Smith went late, Hallam was one of the figures : 
"And there was Hallam, with his mouth full of cabbage 
and contradiction ;" a sentence in which we see at once 
the rapid speech and action, and the constitutional habit 
of mind. Better still was the wit's account of Hallam in 
the influenza, not only unable to rest, but throwing up 
the window at every transit of the watchman, to "question" 
whether it was "past one o'clock," and again whether it 
was "a starlight morning." Such were the vivacious 
tendencies of the most accomplished critic, the most im- 
partial historian, and the most patient, laborious, and 
comprehensive student of Letters of our time. The in- 
domitable character of his energies and spirits, and the 
strength of the vitality of his mind, were proved by his 
endurance of a singular series of domestic bereavements. 
He is, perhaps, almost as well known as the father of 
Arthur Hallam, celebrated by Tennyson in his ' ' In Me- 
moriam," as by his own literary fame. Apparently heart- 
broken at the time of each bereavement, he rallied won- 
derfully soon, and resumed his habits of life ; and it was 
only by the nervous vigilance with which he watched the 
health of the children who were left that it was revealed 
how he suffered by the loss of those who were gone. 
Mr. Hallam was the only son of Dr. Hallam, afterward 



HENRY HALLAM. 



79 



Dean of Bristol; and he was born, we believe, in 1778. 
He went to Eton ; and what he did there remains an 
honorable record in the pages of the " Musce Elonenses" 
in which his name is found connected with some of the 
last of those very good and beautiful compositions. His 
was exactly the mind to benefit most by sound classical 
training ; and we reap the fruits of it in our enjoyment 
of his admirable style. He went to Oxford, where we 
find he was known by the name of "the Doctor" in 
what sense of the word we know not. He next entered 
on the study of the Law in chambers at Lincoln's Inn. 
Probably the first mention of him in connection with 
literature, after his schoolboy days, is in a letter, in 1805, 
from Homer to Jeffrey, in which he says that Hallam 
will review " Ranken's History" for the young Edinburgh; 
adding, "He is a very able man, full of literature and 
historical knowledge ; but I do not know how he will 
write." Homer soon found how his friend could write, 
and enjoyed the discovery not a little. It is a character- 
istic trait that when the question of the Peninsular war 
became pressing, and there was bitter political strife 
between Hallam's Whig companions and those who would 
have left the Spaniards to their fate, he was found studying 
Spanish literature turning his political sympathies, as he 
did all his life, into the channel of literature. He lived 
in political society from his youth to his death ; and the 
single effect seemed to be to qualify him for his historical 
works, and his Survey of the Literature of all Europe. 

He was rich, and able to follow his inclinations in 
regard to his mode of life ; and his choice was, not Law, 
but Literature. He married the eldest daughter of Sir 
Abraham Elton, a Somersetshire baronet, by whom he 
had a large family of children, of whom only one, a 



[IX] 



Law and 
literature. 



8o 



HENRY H ALLAH. 



[IX] 



His 

" Europe 
during the 
Middle 
Ages" and 
" Consti- 
tutional 
History." 



daughter, survived him. Most or all of them, and also 
their mother, died instantaneously ; and few men could 
have borne the repeated shock as he did. In 1818 he 
brought out the work which first gave him his great fame 
his "View of the State of Europe during the Middle 
Ages." In the preface to that work, and in that of his 
"Constitutional History," he tells us that he found his 
subject open to his view, and grow upon his hands so as 
to impress him with a sense of presumption in what he 
had undertaken. He speaks of it as "a scheme pro- 
jected early in life with very, inadequate views of its 
magnitude " and he desisted from the undertaking of 
continuing his subject happily excepting his review of 
the Constitutional History of England, from the reign of 
Henry VII. to that of George III. It is rather inter- 
esting, in a somewhat melancholy way, to look back now 
on the reception of this valuable book, the ''Constitutional 
History," by the Quarterly Review, and to contrast the 
article of 1828 with the subsequent reviews of him, when 
his political opinions had become better known. Mr. 
Hallam associated with the leading Whigs of the time 
was the intimate friend of Lords Lansdowne and Holland, 
and a very constant member in their social meetings. 
He used to complain pathetically of the sameness of 
luxury at London dinner-tables, and say how necessary 
it was now and then to dine at home on a plain joint to 
keep up his appetite at all ; and it was at the table of 
Whig politicians that he was usually to be found. Judging 
from this, and not knowing the man well enough to be 
aware that his opinions would be, if not certainly oppo- 
site to those of his habitual companions, very particularly 
independent of them, the Quarterly Reviewer assailed 
that highly Conservative History with a virulence of abuse 



HENR Y HALL AM. 8 1 



[IX] 



Hallam's 



truly ludicrous in comparison with the tone of subsequent 
articles written after the mistake was discovered. Mr. 
Hallam had in 1815 declared himself in favor of the 
restoration of the Bourbons ; but it was not till he was 
found in 1831 to be a strong anti-reformer, and to be 
opposing the Reform Bill at the tables of the authors of 
the measure, that the Quarterly began to discover his 
merits. After that time it could never sufficiently praise 
the celebrated chapter on the Feudal System in his first 
great work, and the impartiality, solidity, and dignity of 
the second qualities which indeed deserved all the 
praise accorded to them there and elsewhere. It makes 
one smile now, as it probably made him laugh at the 
time, to read the last sentence of that notorious first 
review of a man eminent for impartiality, an enthusiastic 
sense of justice, a comprehensiveness which taught him 
modesty, and the most genial of spirits. The Quarterly 
said of this man that he had, in his History, "the spirit 
and feeling of the party to which he has attached 
himself,- its acrimony and arrogance, its injustice and 
its ill-temper." Hallam attached to a party, unjust, 
arrogant, and ill-tempered ! The sentence is valuable, 
as showing what the criticism of the time was really 
worth. 

No better illustration of the true character of Mr. 
Hallam's mind could perhaps be offered than the whole 
of his conduct and language through life on the strange 
but important subject of Mesmerism. He used to tell 
how he and Rogers had, long years before anybody in 
England had revived the subject, seen in Paris, and care- 
fully tested, phenomena which could not possibly leave 
them in any doubt of the leading facts of Animal Mag- 
netism. He used to tell that they were so insolently 

4* 



82 



HENRY HALL AM. 



[IX] 



Ha/lam's 
opinions on 
Mesmerism. 



and rudely treated, at friends' tables, on their saying what 
they had seen, that there was no course to take, in con- 
sideration for the host, but silence ; and then that, as fact 
after fact came out, one after another became convinced ; 
till, at last, even physicians grew grave and silent. 
' ' Rogers and I, " he used to say, ' ' have had the ex- 
perience which is too rare to be had so often as once in 
a century that of witnessing the gradual reception, by 
a metropolis, of a great new fact in Natural Science." 
On fair occasions, he told what he had seen and inquired 
into, and was at length listened to with respect, while 
Rogers jested or was pathetic, according to the company 
he was in ; so that no one knew what he thought ; 
whereas Hallam's earnestness left no such doubt in regard 
to him. His conclusion was at the service of all 
who asked for it. His words, often spoken, and written in 
at least one letter, were of great importance, as coming 
from him. " It appears to me," he wrote, " probable that 
the various phenomena of Mesmerism, together with 
others independent of Mesmerism, properly so called, 
which have lately been brought to light, are fragments 
of some general Law of Nature which we are not yet 
able to deduce from them, merely because they are 
destitute of visible connection the links being hitherto 
wanting which are to display the entire harmony of 
effects proceeding from a single cause." Thus did he 
bear witness to Mesmerism in the presence of doctors, 
as he criticised the Reform Bill at Holland House or 
Bowood. 

It is needless to tell what was the promise of his son 
Arthur, whose qualities and honors were the joy and 
pride of his life. The young man was advanced in his 
professional studies, was engaged to a sister of Alfred 



HENRY HALLAM. 



Tennyson, and had the prospect of the brightest of lives, 
when he went on the Continent with his father, for a 
tour of recreation. At a German town he was slightly 
unwell, with a cold ; and Mr. HaHam went alone for his 
afternoon walk, leaving Arthur on the sofa. Finding him 
sleeping on his return, he took a book and read for an 
hour ; and then he became impressed with the extreme 
stillness of the sleeper. The sleeper was cold, and must 
have been dead from almost the moment when he had 
last spoken. In like manner died the eldest daughter ; 
and in like manner the cherished wife an admirable 
woman. These latter bereavements took place while he 
was writing his Introduction to the Literature of Europe, 
the first volume of which was published in 1837, and the 
last in 1839. There is an affecting allusion to his do- 
mestic griefs in the leave-taking of the final Preface, 
wherein he says that he stands among solemn warnings 
that he must ' ' bind up his sheaves " while yet he may. 
There was still a son, Henry, but he died too in opening 
manhood; and then there was but one daughter, and 
she married, to cheer his old age. Yet he seemed always 
cheerful. His social disposition, and his love of literature, 
and his generosity of spirit, and his kindly sympathies 
kept him fresh and bright for many a long year after the 
sunshine of his life seemed to be gone. To those who 
knew him, and enjoyed his genial qualities as a friend, 
or even a mere acquaintance, his last great work will 
always be a great solace on his account. There is some- 
thing in the ' ' manly amenity " (which the Quarterly 
Review justly ascribes to him) of its tone, in the generous 
justice to all intellectual claims, and in the subdued 
moral and poetical enthusiasm of that long piece of 
criticism, which discloses the consoling truth that he was 



[IX] 

The sudden 
death of his 
son Arthur, 
his eldest 
daughter^ 
and his 
wife. 



HENRY HALLAM. 



[IX] 



A represen- 
tative of the 
scholar-like 
race of 
authors. 



happy while he wrote it, and that he found honest intel- 
lectual labor to be its own ' ' exceeding great reward. " 
The memoir of Lord Webb Seymour, in the Life of 
Homer, was written during the preparation of that ex- 
cellent book. It is the last acknowledged piece of 
authorship of Mr. Hallam's that we have. Whatever he 
wrote will live ; and we trust the memory of the man 
will live, vivid as himself. He was the representative, in 
a time of much crudeness, of the old scholar-like race of 
authors, while keeping up with the foremost men and 
interests of his time. He was an honorable gentleman, 
disinterested alike in regard to money and to fame, with 
a youthful innocence and earnestness unimpaired in old 
age, and a manly spirit of justice and independence, which 
made him an object of respect as much in his weakest 
as in his highest moments. It will not be pretended 
anywhere that he was not a gossip ; but his coterie was 
the most gossiping perhaps in London ; and in Hallam's 
gossip there was no ill-nature, though sometimes a good 
deal of imprudence, which came curiously from a man 
who was always testifying on behalf of prudence. It 
would be amusing to know what he was as a courtier. 
He was one of the two or three literary persons who 
were invited to the Palace in the early days of the reign ; 
and the question was whether that remarkable notice was 
owing, like the royal notice of Rogers, to Mr. Hallam's 
knowledge of Art ; or to his intimacy with the Queen's 
earliest and most favored advisers ; or to his being a 
man of large fortune independent of literature while 
illustrated by it. However that may be, we know what 
he was to us a man who represented a fine phase of the 
Literary Life, and who was faithful to Literature, its 
champion, its worshipper, and its ornament, throughout 



HENR Y HALLAM. 85 



a half-century whose peculiar influences justified an appre- 
hension that such a man and mode of life might appear 
among us no more. His name is thus fraught with asso- 
ciations which will last as long as his books ; and that 
they will be long-lived was years ago settled by the 
acclamation of the wise. 



[IX] 



X. 



The sur- 
vivor of 
a remark- 
able group. 



MRS. WORDSWORTH. 
DIED JANUARY 17, 1859. 

THE last thing that would have occurred to Mrs. 
Wordsworth would have been that her departure, or 
anything about her, would be publicly noticed amidst 
the events of a stirring time. Those who knew her 
well, regarded her with as true a homage as they ever 
rendered to any member of the household, or to any 
personage of the remarkable group which will be for- 
ever traditionally associated with the Lake District; 
but this reverence, genuine and hearty as it was, would 
not, in all eyes, be a sufficient reason for recording more 
than the fact of her death. It is her survivorship of 
such a group which constitutes an undisputed public 
interest in her decease. With her closes a remarkable 
scene in the history of the literature of our century. 
The well-known cottage, Mount, and garden at Rydal 
will be regarded with other eyes, when shut up, or 
transferred to new occupants. With Mrs. Wordsworth, 
an old world has passed away before the eyes of the 
inhabitants of the District, and a new one succeeds 
which may have its own delights, solemnities, honors, 
and graces, but which can never replace the familiar one 
that is gone. There was something mournful in the 



MRS. WORDSWORTH. 87 



lingering of this aged lady blind, deaf, and bereaved 
in her latter years ; but she was not mournful, any more 
than she was insensible. Age did not blunt her feelings, 
nor deaden her interest in the events of the day. It 
seems not so very long ago that she said that the worst 
of living in such a place (as the Lake District) was its 
making one unwilling to go. It was too beautiful to let 
one be ready to leave it. Within a few years, the beloved 
daughter was gone ; and then the aged husband, and 
then the son-in-law ; and then the devoted friend, Mr. 
Wordsworth's publisher, Mr. Moxon, who paid his duty 
occasionally by the side of her chair ; then she became 
blind and deaf. Still her cheerfulness was indomitable. 
No doubt, she would in reality have been "willing to 
go" whenever called upon, throughout her long life; 
but she liked life to the end. By her disinterestedness 
of nature, by her fortitude of spirit, and her constitu- 
tional elasticity and activity, she was qualified for the 
honor of surviving her household nursing and burying 
them, and bearing the bereavement which they were 
vicariously spared. She did it wisely, tenderly, bravely, 
and cheerfully, and she will be remembered accordingly 
by all who witnessed the spectacle. 

It was by the (accident so to speak) of her early 
friendship with Wordsworth's sister that her life became 
involved with the poetic element, which her mind would 
hardly have sought for itself in another position. She 
was the incarnation of good sense, as applied to the 
concerns of the every-day world. In as far as her 
marriage and course of life tended to infuse a new 
elevation into her views of things, it was a blessing ; and 
on the other hand, in as far as it infected her with 
the spirit of exclusiveness which was the grand defect 



A good 
housewife. 



88 



MRS. WORDSWORTH. 



[X] 



Strangers 
in the Lake 
region. 



of the group in its own place, it was hurtful ; but that 
very exclusiveness was less an evil than an amusement, 
after all. It was a rather serious matter to hear the 
Poet's denunciations of the railway, and to read his 
well-known sonnets on the desecration of the Lake 
region by the unhallowed presence of commonplace 
strangers; and it was truly painful to observe how the 
scornful and grudging mood spread among the young, 
who thought they were agreeing with Wordsworth in 
claiming the vales and lakes as a natural property for 
their enlightened selves. But it was so unlike Mrs. 
Wordsworth, with her kindly, cheery, generous turn, to 
say that a green field with buttercups would answer all 
the purposes of Lancashire operatives, and that they did 
not know what to do with themselves when they came 
among the mountains, that the innocent insolence could 
do no harm. It became a fixed sentiment when she 
alone survived to uphold it ; and one demonstration of 
it amused the whole neighborhood in a good-natured 
way. "People from Birthwaite" were the bugbear 
Birthwaite being the end of the railway. In the summer 
of 1857, Mrs. Wordsworth's companion told her (she 
being then blind) that there were some strangers in the 
garden two or three boys on the Mount, looking at the 
view. " Boys from Birthwaite," said the old lady, in the 
well-known tone which conveyed that nothing good 
could come from Birthwaite. When the strangers were 
gone, it appeared that they were the Prince of Wales 
and his companions. Making allowance for prejudices, 
neither few nor small, but easily dissolved when reason 
and kindliness had opportunity to work, she was a 
truly wise woman, equal to all occasions of action, and 
supplying other persons' needs and deficiencies. 



MRS. WORDSWORTH. 



89 



In the "Memoirs of Wordsworth" it is stated that she 
was the original of 

" She was a phantom of delight," 

and some things in the next few pages look like it ; but 
for the greater part of the Poet's life it was certainly 
believed by some who ought to know that that wonderful 
description related to another, who flitted before his 
imagination in earlier days than those in which he dis- 
covered the aptitude of Mary Hutchinson to his own 
needs. The last stanza is very like her ; and her 
husband's sonnet to the painter of her portrait in old age 
discloses, to us how the first stanza might be so also, in 
days'beyond the ken of the existing generation. Of her 
early sorrows, in the loss of two children and a beloved 
sister who was domesticated with the family, there are 
probably no living witnesses. It will never be forgotten 
by any who saw it how the late dreary train of afflictions 
was met. For many years Wordsworth's sister Dorothy 
was a melancholy charge. Mrs. Wordsworth was wont 
to warn any rash enthusiasts for mountain walking by 
the spectacle before them. The adoring sister would 
never fail her brother; and she destroyed her health, 
and then her reason, by exhausting walks, and wrong 
remedies for the consequences. Forty miles in a day 
was not a singular feat of Dorothy's. During the long 
years of this devoted creature's helplessness she was 
tended with admirable cheerfulness and good sense. 
Thousands of Lake tourists must remember the locked 
garden gate when Miss Wordsworth was taking the air, 
and the garden chair going round and round the terrace, 
with the emaciated little woman in it, who occasionally 
called out to strangers, and amused them with her clever 



[X] 



A train of 
afflictions. 



Words- 
worth's 
sister 
Dorothy. 



MRS. WORDSWORTH. 



[X] 



Words- 
worth in his 
old age. 



Grasmcre 
churchyard. 



sayings. She outlived the beloved Dora, Wordsworth's 
only surviving daughter. After the lingering illness of 
that daughter (Mrs. Quillinan), the mother encountered 
the dreariest portion, probably, of her life. Her aged 
husband used to spend the long winter evenings in grief 
and tears week after week, month after month. Neither 
of them had eyes for reading. He could not be com- 
forted. She, who carried as tender a maternal heart as 
ever beat, had to bear her own grief and his too. She 
grew whiter and . smaller, so as to be greatly changed 
in a few months : but this was the only expression of 
what she endured, and he did not discover it. When he 
too left her, it was seen how disinterested had been 
her trouble. When his trouble had ceased, she too was 
relieved. She followed his coffin to the sacred corner of 
Grasmere churchyard, where lay now all those who had 
once made her home. She joined the household guests 
on their return from the funeral, and made tea as usual. 
And this was the disinterested spirit which carried her 
through the last few years, till she had just reached the 
ninetieth. Even then, she had strength to combat 
disease for many days. Several times she rallied and 
relapsed ; and she was full of alacrity of mind and body 
as long as exertion of any kind was possible. There 
were many eager to render all duty and love her two 
sons, nieces, and friends, and a whole sympathizing 
neighborhood. 

The question commonly asked by visitors to that 
corner of Grasmere churchyard was where would she be 
laid when the time came ? the space was so completely 
filled. The cluster of stones told of the little children 
who died a long lifetime ago ; of the sisters Sarah Hut- 
chinson and Dorothy Wordsworth ; and of Mr. Quillinan, 



MRS. WORDSWORTH. 



and his two wives, Dora lying between her husband and 
father, and seeming to occupy her mother's rightful 
place. And Hartley Coleridge lies next the family 
group ; and others press closely round. There is room, 
however. The large gray stone which bears the name of 
William Wordsworth has ample space left for another in- 
scription ; and the grave beneath has ample space also 
for his faithful life-companion. 

Not one is left now of the eminent persons who 
rendered that cluster of valleys so eminent as it has 
been. Dr. Arnold went first, in the vigor of his years. 
Southey died at Keswick, and Hartley Coleridge on the 
margin of Rydal Lake ; and the Quillinans under the 
shadow of Loughrigg ; and Professor Wilson disappeared 
from Elleray ; and the aged Mrs. Fletcher from Lan- 
crigg ; and the three venerable Wordsworths from Rydal 
Mount. 

The survivor of all the rest had a heart and a memory 
for the solemn last of everything. She was the one to 
inquire of about the last eagle in the District, the last 
pair of ravens in any crest of rocks, the last old dalesman 
in any improved spot, the last round of the last pedler 
among hills where the broad white road has succeeded 
the green bridle-path. She knew the District during 
the period between its first recognition, through Gray's 
* ' Letters, " to its complete publicity in the age of railways. 
She saw, perhaps, the best of it. But she contributed to 
modernize and improve it, though the idea of doing so 
probably never occurred to her. There were great people 
before to give away Christmas bounties, and spoil their 
neighbors as the established almsgiving of the rich does 
spoil the laboring class, which ought to be above that kind 
of aid. Mrs. Wordsworth did infinitely more good in her 



[X] 



The Lake 
'valleys. 



MRS. WORDSWORTH. 



'(soft 
nplc. 



Fruits of her 
exam 



own way, and without being aware of it. An example 
of comfortable thrift was a greater boon to the people 
round than money, clothes, meat, or fuel. The oldest 
residents have long borne witness that the homes of the 
neighbors have assumed a new character of order and 
comfort, and wholesome economy, since the Poet's 
family lived at Rydal Mount. It used to be a pleasant 
sight when Wordsworth was seen in the middle of a 
hedge, cutting switches for half-a-dozen children, who 
were pulling at his cloak, or gathering about his heels : 
and it will long be pleasant to family friends to hear how 
the young wives of half a century learned to make home 
comfortable by the example of the good housewife at 
the Mount, who was never above letting her thrift be 
known. 

Finally, she who had noted so many last survivors was 
herself the last of a company more venerable than eagles, 
or ravens, or old-world yeomen, or antique customs. 
She would not in any case be the first forgotten. As it 
is, her honored name will live for generations in the tra- 
ditions of the valleys round. If she was studied as the 
Poet's wife, she came out so well from that investigation 
that she was contemplated for herself ; and the image so 
received is her true monument. It will be better pre- 
served in her old-fashioned neighborhood than many 
monuments which make a greater show. 



XI. 



THOMAS DE QUINCEY. 
DIED DECEMBER STH, 1859. 

IN noticing, on the occasion of his departure from us. 
the life and character of De Quincey, none of the doubt 
and hesitation occur which render the task generally 
embarrassing as to what to communicate to the public 
and what to suppress. The " English Opium Eater" has 
himself told publicly, throughout a period of between 
thirty and forty years, whatever is known about him to 
anybody; and in sketching the events of his life, the 
recorder has little more to do than to indicate facts 
which may be found fully expanded in Mr. De Quincey's 
"Confessions of an Opium Eater," and "Autobiographic 
Sketches." The business which he has in fact left for 
others to do is that which, in spite of obvious impossi- 
bility, he was incessantly endeavoring to do himself; 
that of analyzing and forming a representation and judg- 
ment of 'his mind, and of his life as moulded by his 
mind. The most intense metaphysician of a time re- 
markable for the predominance of metaphysical modes 
of thought, he was as completely unaware as smaller 
men of his mental habits, that in his perpetual self-study 
and analysis he was never approaching the truth, for the 



His 

perpetual 
self-study. 



94 



THOMAS DE QUINCE Y. 



[XI] 



One of eight 
children. 



simple reason that he was not even within ken of the 
necessary point of view. "I," he says, "whose disease it 
was to meditate too much, and to observe too little." And 
the description was a true one, as far as it went. And the 
completion of the description was one which he could 
never have himself arrived at. It must, we think, be con- 
cluded of De Quincey, that he was the most remarkable 
instance in his time of a more than abnormal, of an arti- 
ficial condition of body and mind, a characterization 
which he must necessarily be the last man to conceive of. 
To understand this, it is necessary to glance at the events 
of his life. The briefest notice will suffice, as they are 
within the reach of all, as related in his own books. 

Thomas De Quincey was the son of a merchant en- 
gaged in foreign commerce, and was born at Manchester 
in 1786. He was one of eight children, of whom no 
more than six were ever living at once, and several of 
whom died in infancy. The survivors were reared in a 
country home, the incidents of which, when of a kind to 
excite emotion, impressed themselves on this singular 
child's memory from a very early age. We have known 
only two instances, in a rather wide experience of life, of 
persons distinctly remembering so far back as a year and 
a half old. This was De Quincey's age when three deaths 
happened in the family, which he remembered, not by 
tradition, but by his own contemporary emotions. A 
sister of three and a half died ; and he was perplexed by 
her disappearance, and terrified by the household whisper 
that she had been ill-used, just before her death, by a 
servant. A grandmother died about the same time, 
leaving little impression, because she had been little 
seen. The other death was of a beloved kingfisher, by 
a doleful accident. When the boy was five he lost his 



THOMAS DE QUINCE Y. 



95 



playfellow and, as he says, intellectual guide his sister 
Elizabeth, eight years old, dying of hydrocephalus, after 
manifesting an intellectual power which the forlorn 
brother recalled with admiration and wonder for life. 
The impression was undoubtedly genuine ; but it is im- 
possible to read the "Autobiographical Sketch" in which 
the death and funeral of the child are described without 
perceiving that the writer referred back to the period he 
was describing with emotions and reflex sensations which 
arose in him, and fell from the pen, at the moment. His 
father meantime was residing abroad, year after year, as 
a condition of his living at all ; and he died of pulmonary 
consumption before Thomas was seven years old. The 
elder brother, then twelve, was obviously too eccentric 
for home management, if not for all control ; and, looking 
no further than these constitutional cases, we are war- 
ranted in concluding that the Opium Eater entered life 
under peculiar and unfavorable conditions. 

He passed through a succession of schools, and was 
distinguished by his eminent knowledge of Greek. At 
fifteen he was pointed out by his master (himself a ripe 
scholar) to a stranger in the remarkable words, ' ' That 
boy could harangue an Athenian mob better than you or 
I could address an English one. " And it was not only 
the Greek, we imagine, but the eloquence too that was 
included in this praise. In this, as in the subtlety of the 
analytical power (so strangely mistaken for entire intel- 
lectual supremacy in our day), De Quincey must have 
strongly resembled Coleridge. Both were fine Grecians, 
charming discoursers, eminent opium-takers, magnificent 
dreamers and seers, large in their promises, and helpless 
in their failure of performance. De Quincey set his 
heart upon going to College earlier than his guardians 



[XI] 



His know- 
ledge of 
Greek. 



9 6 



THOMAS DE QUINCE Y. 



[XI] 

Runs away 
from his 
tutors 
ho.use. 



Physical 
sufferings in 
London. 



The resort 
to opium. 



thought proper ; and, on his being disappointed in this 
matter, he ran away from his tutor's house, and was lost 
for several months first in Wales, and afterward in 
London. He was then sixteen. His whole life presents 
no more remarkable evidence of his constant absorption 
in introspection than the fact that while tortured with 
hunger in the streets of London for many weeks, and 
sleeping (or rather lying awake with cold and hunger) on 
the floor of an empty house, it never once occurred to 
him to earn money. As a classical corrector of the 
press, and in other ways, he might no doubt have ob- 
tained employment ; but it was not till afterward asked 
why he did not, that the idea ever entered his mind. 
How he starved, how he would have died but for a glass 
of spiced wine in the middle of the night on some steps 
in Soho-square, the Opium Eater told all the world above 
thirty years since ; and also, of his entering College ; of 
the love of wine generated by the comfort it had yielded 
in his days of starvation ; and again, of the disorder of 
the functions of the stomach which naturally followed, 
and the resort to opium as a refuge from the pain. It is 
to be feared that the description given in those extra- 
ordinary "Confessions" has acted more strongly in 
tempting young people to seek the eight years' pleasures 
he derived from laudanum than that of his subsequent 
torments in deterring them. There was no one to pre- 
sent to them the consideration that the peculiar organi- 
zation of De Quincey, and his bitter sufferings, might 
well make a recourse to opium a different thing to him 
than to anybody else. The quality of his mind, and the 
exhausted state of his body, enhanced to him the enjoy- 
ments which he called "divine;" whereas there is no 
doubt of the miserable pain by which men of all consti- 






THOMAS DE QUINCE Y. 



97 



tutions have to expiate an habitual indulgence in opium. 
Others than De Quincey may or may not procure the 
pleasures he experienced ; but it is certain that every one 
must expiate his offence against the laws of the human 
frame. And let it be remembered that De Quincey's 
excuse is as singular as his excess. Of the many who 
have emulated his enjoyment, there can hardly have been 
one whose stomach had been well-nigh destroyed by 
months of incessant, cruel hunger. 

This event of his life his resort to opium absorbed 
all the rest. There is little more to tell in the way of 
incident. His existence was thenceforth a series of 
dreams, undergone in different places now at College 
and now in a Westmoreland cottage, with a gentle suf- 
fering wife by his side, striving to minister to a need 
which was beyond the reach of nursing. He could 
amuse his predominant faculties by reading metaphysical 
philosophy, and analytical reasoning on any subject ; 
and by elaborating endless analyses and reasonings of 
his own, which he had not energy to embody. Occa- 
sionally the torpor encroached even on his predominant 
faculties ; and then he roused himself to overcome the 
habit underwent fearful suffering in the weaning began 
to enjoy the vital happiness of temperance and health ; 
and then fell back again. The influence upon the 
moral energies of his nature was, as might be supposed, 
fatal. Such energy he once had, as his earlier efforts at 
endurance amply testify. But as years passed on, he not 
only became a more helpless victim to his prominent 
vice, but manifested an increasing insensibility to the 
most ordinary requisitions of honor and courtesy, to 
say nothing of gratitude and sincerity. In his hungry 
days in London he would not beg or borrow. Five years 

5 



[XI] 



His exist- 
ence a series 
of dreams. 



9 8 



^ THOMAS DE QUINCE Y. 



[XI] 



Ingratitade 
to Words- 
ivorth. 



later he wrote to Wordsworth, in admiration and sym- 
pathy ; received an invitation to his Westmoreland valley ; 
went, more than once, within a few miles ; and withdrew 
and returned to Oxford, unable to conquer his painful 
shyness ; returned at last to live there, in the very 
cottage which had been Wordsworth's ; received for 
himself, his wife, and a growing family of children, an 
unintermitting series of friendly and neighborly offices ; 
was necessarily admitted to much household confidence, 
and favored with substantial aid, which was certainly 
not given through any strong liking for his manners, con- 
versation, or character. How did he recompense all this 
exertion and endurance on his behalf? In after years, 
when living (we believe) at Edinburgh, and pressed by 
debt, he did for once exert himself to write ; and what 
he wrote was an exposure, in a disadvantageous light, of 
everything about the Wordsworths which he knew merely 
by their kindness. He wrote papers which were eagerly 
read, and of course duly paid for, in which Wordsworth's 
personal foibles were malignantly exhibited with ingenious 
aggravations. The infirmities of one member of the 
family, the personal blemish of another, and the human 
weaknesses of all, were displayed ; and all for the pur- 
pose of deepening the dislike against Wordsworth himself, 
which the receiver of his money, the eater of his dinners, 
and the dreary provoker of his patience strove to excite. 
Moreover, he perpetrated an act of treachery scarcely 
paralleled, we hope, in the history of Literature. In the 
confidence of their most familiar days Wordsworth had 
communicated portions of his posthumous poem to his 
guest, who was perfectly well aware that the work was to 
rest in darkness and silence till after the Poet's death. 
In these magazine articles De Quincey using for this 



THOMAS DE QUINCEY. 



99 



atrocious purpose his fine gift of memory published a 
passage which he informed us was of far higher merit 
than anything else we had to expect. And what was 
Wordsworth's conduct under this unequalled experience 
of bad faith and bad feeling ? While so many anecdotes 
were going of the Poet's fireside, the following ought to 
be added. An old friend was talking with him by that 
fireside, and mentioned De Quincey's magazine articles. 
Wordsworth begged to be spared any account of them, 
saying that the man had long passed away from the 
family life and mind ; and he did not wish to ruffle him- 
self in a useless way about a misbehavior which could 
not be remedied. The friend acquiesced, saying, "Well, 
I will tell you only one thing that he says, and then we 
will talk of other things. He says your wife is too good 
for you." The old Poet's dim eyes lighted up instantly, 
and he started from his seat, and flung himself against 
the mantelpiece, with his back to the fire, as he cried 
with loud enthusiasm "And that's true I There he is 
right!" and his disgust and contempt for the traitor 
were visibly moderated. 

During a long course of years De Quincey went on 
dreaming always sometimes scheming works of high 
value and great efficacy which were never to exist; 
promising largely to booksellers and others, and failing 
through a weakness so deep-seated that it should have 
prevented his making any promises. When his three 
daughters were grown up, and his wife was dead, he 
lived in a pleasant cottage at Lasswade, near Edinburgh 
well known by name to those who have never seen its 
beauties, as the scene of Scott's early married life and 
first great achievements in literature. There, while the 
family fortunes were expressly made contingent on his 



[XI] 



Words- 
worth's 
exclamatu n 
at his 
fireside. 



100 



THOMAS DE QUINCEY. 



[XI] 



De Quincey 
in con- 
versation. 



abstinence from his drug, De Quincey did abstain, or 
observe moderation. His flow of conversation was then 
the delight of old acquaintance and admiring strangers, 
who came to hear the charmer and to receive the im- 
pression, which could never be lost, of the singular figure 
and countenance and the finely modulated voice, which 
were like nothing else in the world. It was a strange 
thing to look upon that fragile form, and features which 
might be those of a dying man, and to hear such 
utterances as his : now the strangest comments and in- 
significant incidents ; now pregnant remarks on great 
subjects ; and then, malignant gossip, virulent and base, 
but delivered with an air and a voice of philosophical 
calmness and intellectual commentary such as caused the 
disgust of the listener to be largely qualified with amuse- 
ment and surprise. One good thing was, that nobody's 
name and fame could be really injured by anything De 
Quincey could say. There was such a grotesque air 
about the mode of his evil-speaking, and it was so gra- 
tuitous and excessive, that the hearer could not help 
regarding it as a singular sort of intellectual exercise, or 
an effort in the speaker to observe, for once, something 
outside of himself, rather than as any token of actual 
feeling toward the ostensible object. 

Let this strange commentator on individual character 
meet with more mercy and a wiser interpretation than he 
was himself capable of. He was not made like other 
men ; and he did not live, think, or feel like them. A 
singular organization was singularly and fatally deranged 
in its action before it could show its best quality. Mar- 
vellous analytical faculty he had ; but it all oozed out in 
barren words. Charming eloquence he had ; but it de- 
generated into egotistical garrulity, rendered tempting by 



THOMAS DE QUINCEY. 



101 



the gilding of his genius. It is questionable whether, if 
he had never touched opium or wine, his real achieve- 
ments would have been substantial for he had no con- 
ception of a veritable standpoint of philosophical inves- 
tigation ; but the actual effect of his intemperance was 
to aggravate to excess his introspective tendencies, and 
to remove him incessantly further from the needful dis- 
cipline of true science. His conditions of body and 
mind were abnormal, and his study of the one thing he 
knew anything about the human mind was radically 
imperfect. His powers, noble and charming as they 
might have been, were at once wasted and weakened 
through their own partial excess. His moral nature 
relaxed and sank, as must always be the case where 
sensibility is stimulated and action paralyzed; and the 
man of genius who, forty years before, administered a 
moral warning to all England, and commanded the sym- 
pathy and admiration of a nation, has lived on, to achieve 
nothing but the delivery of some confidences of question- 
able value and beauty, and to command from us nothing 
more than a compassionate sorrow that an intellect so 
subtle and an eloquence so charming in its pathos, its 
humor, its insight, and its music, should have left the 
world in no way the better for such gifts unless by the 
warning afforded in "Confessions" first, and then by 
example, against the curse which neutralized their 
influence and corrupted its source. 



[XI] 



The world 
unbenefitcd 
by his gifts. 



XII. 



Rhetorician 

and 

Essayist. 



LORD MACAULAY. 
DIED DECEMBER 28TH, 1859, 

THE time was when England would have said that in 
losing Macaulay she would lose the most extraordinary 
man of his generation in this country, the greatest and 
most accomplished of her statesmen of the nineteenth 
century. Such, and no less, was the expectation enter- 
tained of Macaulay when he first came forward as orator 
and poet, and on to the time when he had shown what 
he could do in Parliament. The expectation has not 
been fulfilled ; and for many years it has been in course 
of relinquishment. He was not a great statesman, buti 
he was the most brilliant Rhetorician and Essayist of his 
day and generation, and the most accomplished of that 
order of Scholars who make their erudition available 
from moment to moment, for illustration and embellish- 
ment, for the benefit of the multitude. He was no 
statesman, nor philosopher, nor logician, nor lawyer : 
but he was so accomplished a Man of Letters, and so 
incomparable a speaker and writer in his own way, 
that he will be regretfully remembered by his own 
generation while they live to miss the treat afforded 
from time to time by his suggestive pages and his 
enrapturing speeches. 



LORD MA CA ULA Y. 



103 



He was the son of that excellent man, Zachary 
Macaulay, whose honored name is inseparably con- 
nected with the Anti-Slavery movement of the beginning 
of the century. Strange as the saying may seem, there 
is in our minds no doubt that his parentage was his 
grand disadvantage, and the source of the comparative 
unfruitfulness of his splendid powers. Zachary Macaulay 
sacrificed fortune, health, time, peace and quiet, and 
reputation, in behalf of the great philanthropic enterprise 
of his time ; and, instead of his distinguishing qualities 
being perpetuated in his son, the reaction from them was 
as marked as often happens in the case of the children 
of eminent men. We see the sons of remarkably pious 
clergymen grow up to be men of the world ; the sons of 
metaphysical or spiritual philosophers make a rush to 
the laboratory, or wander about the world, hammer in 
hand, to chip at its rocks. The sons of mathematicians 
turn to Art; and the families of statesmen bury them- 
selves in distant counties, and talk like graziers of 
bullocks and breeds of sheep. The child of a philan- 
thropist, Thomas Macaulay wanted heart : this was the 
one deficiency which lowered the value of all his other 
gifts. He never suspected the deficiency himself; and 
he might easily be unaware of it ; for he had kindliness,! 
and for anything we know, a good temper ; but of the 
life of the heart he knew nothing. He talked about it, 
as Dr. Blacklock, the blind poet, wrote descriptions of 
scenery with a complete conviction that he knew all 
about it ; but the actual experience was absent. From 
the eclectic character of his mind it has been said that] 
Macaulay thought by proxy. This was in the main true ; 
but it was more remarkably true that he felt by proxy. 
However it might be about his consciousness in the first 



[XII] 



His 

parentage 
a dis- 
advantage. 



Want of 
heart. 



104 



LORD MACAULAY. 



[XII] 



Honors at 
Cambridge. 



case, it is certain that in the second he was wholly unaware 
of the process. He took for granted that he was made 
like other people, and that therefore other people were 
amenable to his judgment. Thus it happened that his 
interpretations of History were so partial, his estimate of 
life and character so little elevated ; and, we may add, 
his eclecticism so unscrupulous, and his logic so infirm. 
Very early in life he heard more than boyhood can 
endure of sentiment and philanthropy ; the sensibilities 
of the Clapham set of religionists proved too much for 
"the thinking, thoughtless schoolboy ;" and we have no 
doubt that it was the reaction from all this that made 
him a conventionalist in morals, an insolent and incon- 
sistent Whig in politics, 'a shallow and inaccurate his- 
torian, a poet pouring out all light and no warmth, and, 
for an able man, the most unsound reasoner of his time. 
Heart is as indispensable to logic as to philosophy, art, 
or philanthropy itself. It is the vitality which binds 
together and substantiates all other elements ; without it, 
they are forever desultory, and radically unsubstantial 
like the great gifts of the brilliant Macaulay. 

He was born in 1800. The first of his long series 
of distinctions and honors were those he won at Trinity 
College, Cambridge, where he took his Bachelor's degree 
in 1822. Very high were those early honors; and 
thenceforth many eyes were upon him, to watch the next 
turn of a career which could not but be a marked one. 
He obtained a fellowship at Cambridge, went to Lin- 
coln's Inn to study Law, and was called to the Bar in 
1826. His first recorded speech was made in 1824, at 
an Anti-Slavery meeting, where the tone he had caught 
up from the associates of his life thus far, expressed 
itself in a violence and bitterness which, being exceed- 






LORD MA CA ULA Y. 



105 



ingly eloquent at the same time, brought on him the 
laudation of the Edinburgh Review and the scoldings of 
the Quarterly the former being the organ of the Aboli- 
tionists, and the latter of the West India interest at 
that time very fierce from excess of fear. The Edinburgh 
Review placed the speech of this promising young man 
above all that had been offered to Parliament, and 
reported Mr. Wilberforce's heartsome saying, that his 
friend Zachary would no doubt joyfully bear all that 
his apostleship brought upon him "for the gratification 
of hearing one so dear to him plead such a cause in 
such a manner." This was, however, the last occasion, 
or nearly so, of the young orator appearing as one of 
the Abolitionist party. In the same year he presented 
himself as a poet, in Knighfs Quarterly Magazine ; and 
not long after obtained high credit even from the Quar- 
terly Review, for his fine translation of Filicaia's "Ode 
on the Deliverance of Venice from the Turks." The 
versification was pronounced to be loftily harmonious, 
and worthy of Milman. Thus had he already taken 
ground as an orator and a poet; and in 1826 he reaped 
his first fame as an essayist, in his article on Milton, 
in the Edinburgh Review. Whatever he might think 
at the time of the party puffery of that article, he 
showed on occasion of its compelled republication long 
afterward, that he valued the youthful effort at no more 
than its deserts. There was promise enough in it, how- 
ever, to add his qualification of essayist to his other 
claims to high expectation. Parliament was to be his 
next field ; and to Parliament he was returned in the 
first days of Reform, becoming member for Calne in 
1832, and for Leeds in 1834. He was rendered inde- 
pendent in the first instance by his office of Com- 
5* 



[XII] 

M.acaulay 's 
first re- 
corded 
speech. 



The essay 
on Milton 
in the 
"Edin- 
burgh 
Review" 



Returned ta 
Parliament. 



io6 



LORD MA CA ULA Y. 



[XII] 



His early 
parlia- 
mentary 
speaking. 



Want of 
accuracy. 



missioner of Bankrupts, given him by the Grey Govern- 
ment ; and then by being Secretary to the India Board. 

In Parliament, his success at first did not answer to 
ministerial expectation, though it was a vast gain to the 
Administration, when their unpopularity began to be a 
difficulty, to have Macaulay for their occasional spokes- 
man and constant apologist. The drawback was his 
[want of accuracy, and especially in the important matter 
of historical interpretation. If he ventured to illustrate 
his topic in his own way, by historical analogy, he was 
immediately checked by some clever antagonist, who, 
three times out of four, showed that he had misread 
his authorities, or more frequently had left out some 
essential element, whose omission vitiated the whole 
statement or question. It was this fault which after- 
ward spoiled the pleasure of reading his essays in the 
form of reviews. Very few could singly follow him in 
his erudite gatherings of materials ; but the thing could 
be done by the united knowledge of several minds ; and 
those several minds found that, as far as each could go 
along with him, he was incessantly felt to be unsound, 
by the omission or misstatement of some essential part 
of the case. When this was exhibited in regard to his 
early parliamentary speaking, the defence made was that 
he was yet young ; and he was still spoken of by the 
Whigs as a rising young man, and full of promise, till 
the question was asked very widely, when the " promise" 
of a man above thirty was to become fruition. It was 
not for want of pains that his success was at first partial. 
Those who met him in the Strand or Lincoln's Inn in 
those days saw him threading his way unconsciously, 
looking at the pavement, and moving his lips as in repe- 
tition or soliloquy. ' ' Macaulay is going to give us a 



/ 



L ORD MA CA ULA Y. 



107 



speech to-night/' the observer would report to the next 
friend he met ; and so it usually turned out. The 
radical inaccuracy of his habit of thought was decisively 
evidenced by his next act in the drama of life. In 1834 
he resigned his office and his seat in Parliament to go to 
India as member of the Supreme Council of Calcutta, to 
frame a Code of Law for India. It was understood that 
his main object, favored by the Whig Ministry, was to 
make his fortune, in order to be able to pursue a career 
of statesmanship for the rest of his life. Ten years 
were talked of as the term of his absence ; but he came 
back in three, with his health considerably impaired, his/ 
Code in his hand, and a handsome competence in his 
pocket. The story of that unhappy Code is well known. 
It is usually spoken of by Whig leaders as merely 
shelved, and ready for reproduction at some time of 
leisure ; but the fact is, that there is scarcely a definition 
that will stand the examination of lawyer or layman for an 
instant ; and scarcely a description or provision through 
which a coach and horses may not be driven. All hope 
of Macaulay as a lawyer, and also as a philosopher, was 
over for any who had seen his Code. 

After his return in 1838 he was elected by Edinburgh, 
on his making the extraordinary avowal that he was 
converted to the advocacy of the Ballot, Household 
Suffrage, and short Parliaments. For a moment, the 
genuine reformers believed that they had gained the 
most eloquent man in Parliament to their cause ; but 
it was not for long. They soon found how thoroughly 
deficient he was in moral earnestness, and how impres- 
sible when the interest or impulse of the hour set any 
particular view, or even principle, brightly before him. 
He did not become a Radical any more than Peel or 



[XII] 



Spends three 
years in 
India. 



Elected by 
Edinburgh. 



io8 



LORD MA CA ULA Y. 



[XII] 



Macaulay 
as a talker. 



Melbourne. When appointed Secretary at War, the year 
after, he turned out rather more than less aristocratic 
than other reformers to whom fate affords the oppor- 
tunity of dating their letters from Windsor Castle, when 
sent for to attend a Council. 

This was the time of his greatest brilliancy in private 
life. As a talker, his powers were perhaps unrivalled. 
It was there that he showed what he could do without 
the preparation which might, if it did not, insure the 
splendor of his essays and his oratory. At the dinner- 
table he poured out his marvellous eloquence with a 
rapidity equalled only by that of his friend Hallam's 
utterance. He talked much, if at all ; and thus it was 
found that it did not answer very well to invite him with 
Jeffrey and Sydney Smith. Jeffrey could sit silent for 
a moderate time with serenity. Sydney Smith could 
not without annoyance. Both had had three years of 
full liberty (for they did not interfere with each other) 
during Macaulay 's absence ; but he eclipsed both on 
his return. After some years, when his health and spirits 
were declining, and his expectations began to merge in 
consciousness of failure, he sometimes sat quiet on such 
occasions, listening or lost in thought, as might happen. 
It was then that Sydney Smith uttered his celebrated 
saying, about his conversational rival: "Macaulay is 
improved ! Yes, Macaulay is improved ! I have ob- 
served in him of late flashes of silence." Meantime, 
he was the saving genius of the Edinburgh Review, then 
otherwise likely to sink prone after the retirement of 
Jeffrey, and during the unpopularity^of the Whig Govern- 
ment, all of whose acts it set itself indiscriminately to 
uphold. Brougham, with his brother William, Senior, 
and Macaulay, with some underlings, wrote up every 



LORD MACAULAY. 



109 



Whig act and design, and made a virtue and success of 
every fault and failure ; but it would not all have done 
if Macaulay's magnificent articles, in a long and rich 
serias, had not carried the Review everywhere, and 
infused some life into what was clearly an expiring 
organization. The splendid historical, biographical, and 
critical dissertations of Macaulay were the most popular 
literature of the day; and they raised to the highest 
pitch the popular expectation from his History. A History 
of England by Macaulay was anticipated as the richest 
conceivable treat ; though some thoughtful, or expe- 
rienced, or hostile person here and there threw out the 
remark that as his oratory was literature, and his literature 
oratory, his history would probably be something else 
than history most likely epigrammatic criticism. There 
was some further preparation for his failure as well as 
success as an historian after his article on Bacon in the 
Edinburgh. That Essay disabused the wisest who 
expected services of the first order from Macaulay. 
In that article he not only betrayed his incapacity for 
philosophy, and his radical ignorance of the subject 
he undertook to treat, but laid himself open to the 
charge of helping himself to the very materials he was 
disparaging, and giving as his own large excerpts from 
Mr. Montagu, while loading him with contempt and 
rebuke. But those who were best aware of Macaulay's 
faults were carried away by the delight of reading him. 
As an artist, we are under deep obligations to him ; and 
in his own walk of Art fresh, and open to the multi- 
tude he was supreme. The mere style, forceful and 
antithetical, becomes fatiguing from its want of repose, 
as well as its mannerism ; but his cumulative method 
of illustration is unrivalled. It has been, is, and will 



[XII] 

Saves the 

Whig 

"Review: 



His method 
of illustra- 
tion unique. 



110 



L ORD MA CA ULA Y. 



[XII] 



Rejected at \ 
Edinburgh. 



Absence 
from Par- 
liament and 
satisfaction 
at his 
return. 



be, abundantly imitated, but quite unsuccessfully ; for 
this reason that it requires Macaulay's erudition to 
support Macaulay's cumulative method ; and men of 
Macaulay's erudition are not likely to have his eclectic 
turn ; and, if they had, would make their own path, 
instead of following at his heels. In 1842 he published 
his "Lays of Ancient Rome," very charming, but eclectic 
with a vengeance. He was no poet it was clear, though 
he had given us a book delightful to the unlearned. In 
1847 he was excluded from Parliament by his rejection 
at Edinburgh on account merely of a theological 
quarrel of the time. The citizens compensated this 
slight, as far as they could, by promoting his election 
to such Scotch honors as could be conferred upon him 
such as being chosen Lord Rector of Glasgow Uni- 
versity, and, on the death of Professor Wilson in 1854, 
President of the Edinburgh Philosophical Institution. 
He was sorely missed in the House, though his speaking 
had become infrequent. When at length he returned 
with new literary honors accumulated on him, the 
eagerness to hear him showed what the privation had 
been. From the Courts, the refreshment-rooms, the 
Committee-rooms from every corner to which the news 
could spread that Macaulay was "up," the rush was as 
if for a matter of life or death. 

Meantime, while he was in this parliamentary and 
official abeyance, he brought out what were called the 
first volumes of his History ; neither he nor any one 
else having any doubt that the rest, up to the reign of 
George III., would follow regularly and speedily. The 
beauty of the book exceeded expectation ; and its popu- 
larity was such as no book had met with since the 
days of the Waverley novels ; and with regard to some 



L ORD MA CA ULA Y. 



in 



characteristics and some portions of the book, the first 
enthusiastic judgment will stand. His portrait of Wil- 
liam III., and the portions which may be called the 
historical romance of the work, will be read with delight 
by successive generations. But the sober decision 
already awarded by Time is that the work is not a His- 
tory ; and that it ought never to have been so called, 
while the characters of real men were treated with so 
little regard to truth. Of praise and profit Macaulay 
had his fill, immediately and tumultuously ; and openly 
and heartily he enjoyed it. But the critical impeach- 
ments which followed must have keenly annoyed him, 
as they would any man who cared for his honor, as 
a relater of facts, and a reporter and judge of the 
characters of dead and defenceless men. Failing health 
added its dissuasion to industry. He became subject 
to bronchitis to a degree which rendered his achieve- 
ments and his movements uncertain. He was once 
more elected for Edinburgh in his absence ; and it 
was on this return to the House that the rush to hear 
him was so remarkable a spectacle. He spoke seldom ; 
and men felt that their opportunities would henceforth 
be few. Before his retirement from the House of 
Commons in 1856, he was the mere wreck of his former 
self. His eye was deep-sunk and often dim, his full 
face was wrinkled and haggard ; his fatigue, in utterance 
was obviously very great ; and the tremulousness of 
limb and feature melancholy to behold. In 1857 he 
was raised to the Peerage; a graceful compliment to 
literature. 

Macaulay's was mainly an intellectual life, brilliant 
and stimulating, but cold and barren as regards the 
highest part of human nature. As in his History there 



[XII] 
The 

"History of 
England." 



Raised 
to the 
Peerage. 



ii2 LORD MACAULAY. 



[XII] 



is but one touch of tenderness Henrietta Wentworth's 
name carved upon the tree so in his brilliant and varied 
display of power in his life, the one thing wanting is 
heart. Probably the single touch of sensibility was in 
him, and we should find some bleeding gashes, or 
some scars in the stiff bark if we were at liberty to 
search ; but hard and rugged it was, while throwing 
out its profusion of dancing foliage and many-tinted 
blossoms. It was a magnificent growth ; and we may 
accept its beauty very thankfully, though we know it 
is only fit for ornament, and not to yield sweet solace 
for present, or perennial use. If we cannot have in 
him the man of soul, heroic or other, nor the man of 
genius as statesman or poet, let us take him as the 
eloquent scholar, and be thankful. 



XIII. 



MRS. JAMESON. 



, 1860. 



DIED MARCH 



MRS. JAMESON'S name and works have been so long 
before the world that there is a prevalent impression 
that she was one of the marked generation who could 
describe to us the early operation of the Edinburgh and 
Quarterly Reviews, the first days of the Regency, and 
the panics on account of the French Invasion. It was 
not exactly, so ; nor, on the other hand, did Anna Murphy 
rush into print, or into fame, while yet in her teens. She 
was born in the last century ; but it must have been very 
near the end of it ; for there is a strong character of 
youth and inexperience about her first work, though it 
was known by her married name as soon as any name at 
all was affixed to it. Her father, the artist Murphy, 
Painter in Ordinary to the Princess Charlotte, was in the 
habit of taking up his abode for a few months at a time 
in some provincial town where the inhabitants were dis- 
posed to sit for their portraits. In one of those cities 
(Norwich) he was living temporarily, when the " Diary of 
an Ennuy6e" came out, and was immediately in all the 
book-clubs. At a party made for Mr. Murphy, the half- 
hour before dinner was beguiled by lively criticism on 
the book, in which more or fewer faults were found by 



The "Diary 
of an 

Ennuyee. 



114 



MRS. JAMESON. 



[XIII] 

A surprise. 



Marriage 

and 

separation. 



every person present. At length, Mr. Murphy was asked 
whether he could give any information about the author. 
Had he ever met her ? Was he acquainted with her ? 
How well acquainted? for some uneasiness began to 
prevail. "She is my daughter/' was the reply, which 
plunged the whole company in dismay. Mrs. Jameson 
was not a little troubled at the consequences of her mis- 
take in that case, of mixing up a real journal with a 
sentimental fiction, in order to disguise the authorship. 
This mistake of mere inexperience exposed her to charges 
of bad faith in regard to her travelling companions, and 
to ridicule on account of the pathos of her own fictitious 
death. She was anxious to have it understood that there 
had been a want of co-operation between herself and 
her publishers ; and she wisely withdrew the book in its 
first form, revised the best parts of it, and republished it 
with various welcome additions, as "Visits and Sketches 
at Home and Abroad." In its first form the work 
appeared in 1826 : in the second, in 1834. One incident 
of the case ought, perhaps, to be considered ; that her 
object in putting this journal to press was understood to 
be to afford immediate pecuniary aid to Mr. Jameson 
under some difficulty of the moment. And here it is 
best to say the little that should be said about the mar- 
riage of the parties. Mr. Jameson was a man of con- 
siderable ability and legal accomplishment, filling with 
honor the posts of Speaker of the House of Assembly 
of Upper Canada, and the Attorney-General of the 
Colony ; and he is spoken of with respect by his per- 
sonal friends in England ; but the marriage was a mis- 
take on both sides. The husband and wife separated 
almost immediately, and for many years. In 1836, Mrs. 
Jameson joined her husband at Toronto ; but it was for 



MRS. JAMESON. 



115 



a very short time ; and they never met again. This is 
all that the world has any business with ; and the chief 
interest to the world, even that far, arises from the effect 
produced on Mrs. Jameson's views of life and love, of 
persons and their experience, by her irksome and unfor- 
tunate position during a desolate wedded life of nearly 
thirty years. Mr. Jameson died in 1854. 

The energy of Mrs. Jameson's mind became imme- 
diately manifest by the courage with which she returned 
to the press after the disheartening first failure ; and she 
had, we believe, no more failures to bear. She became 
a very popular writer ; and to the end of her life she 
proved that her power was genuine by the effect of 
appreciation upon the exercise of it. She did not dete- 
riorate as a writer, but improved as far as the quality of 
her mind permitted. She had the great merit of dili- 
gence, as well as activity in intellectual labor. She 
worked much and well, putting her talents to their full 
use and all the more strenuously the more favor they 
found. Another great merit, shown from first to last, 
was that she never mistook her function ; never over- 
rated the kind of work she applied herself to ; never 
undervalued the philosophy to which she could not 
pretend, nor supposed that she had written immortal 
works in pouring out her emotions and fancies for her 
personal solace and enjoyment. Perhaps her own account 
of her own authorship may be cited as the fairest that 
could be given. 

In the introduction to her "Characteristics of Shak- 
spere's Women," she says : "Not now nor ever have I 
written to flatter any prevailing fashion of the day, for 
the sake of profit, though this is done by many who have 
less excuse for coining their brains. This little book 



[XIII] 



Becomes a 

popular 

writer. 



Her account 
of her 
authorship 



MRS. JAMESON. 



[XIII] 



The 

Charac- 
teristics of 
Women" 



Enthusias- 
tic reception 
of the 

authoress in 
America. 



was undertaken without a thought of fame or money. 
Out of the fulness of my own heart and soul have I 
written it. In the pleasure it gave me in the new and 
varied forms of human nature it has opened to me in 
the beautiful and soothing images it has placed before 
me in the exercise and improvement of my own facul- 
ties I have already been repaid." She could honestly 
have said this of each work in its turn, we doubt not. 

This book, the "Characteristics of Women," was 
apparently the most popular of her works ; and it is 
perhaps the one which best illustrates her quality of 
mind. It appeared in 1832, having been preceded by 
"The Loves of the Poets, "and "Lives of Celebrated 
Female Sovereigns." The "Characteristics" appeared 
a great advance on the three earlier works ; and it was, 
at first sight, a very winning book. Wherever the reader 
opened, the picture was charming; and the analysis 
seemed to be acute, delicate, and almost philosophical. 
After a second portrait the impression was somewhat less 
enthusiastic ; and when, at the end of four or five, it was 
found difficult to bring away any clear conception of any, 
and to tell one from another, it was evident that there 
was no philosophy in all this, but only fancy and feeling. 
The notorious mistake in regard to Lady Macbeth, to 
whom Mrs. Jameson attributes an intellect loftier than 
that of her husband, indicates the true level of a work 
which is yet full of charm from its suggestiveness, and 
frequent truth of sentiment. Mrs. Jameson's world-wide 
reputation dates from the publication of this book. 

It secured her an enthusiastic reception in the United 
States, when she went there on her way to Canada, in 
1836. There could hardily be a more "beautiful fit" 
than that of Mrs. Jameson and the literary society of the 



MRS. JAMESON. 



117 



great American cities, where the characteristics of women 
are perpetually in all people's thoughts and on all 
people's tongues ; where chivalric honor to woman is a 
matter of national pride ; and sentiment flourishes as it 
does in all youthful societies. Mrs. Jameson pouring 
out, with her Irish vehemence, a great accumulation of 
emotions and imaginations, about Ireland and O'Connell, 
about Shakspere and the Kembles, about German senti- 
ment and Art, Italian paintings, the London stage, and 
all the ill-usage that women with hearts had received from 
men who had none must have been in a state of high 
enjoyment, and the cause of high enjoyment to others. 

Fron the genial welcomes of New York and New 
England she rushed into a wild Indian life, which she 
has presented admirably in the work which followed her 
return " Winter Studies and Summer Rambles in 
Canada." In that book appeared with painful distinct- 
ness the blemishes which marred much of her writing 
and her conversation, as well as her views of life, from 
the date of that trip to Canada a tendency to confide 
her trouble to the public, or all from whom she could 
hope to win sympathy and a morbid construction of 
the facts and evidences of social life in England. 
The courage with which she has frequently spoken for 
benevolent purposes on topics of great difficulty and 
disgust is honorable to her; and she has said much 
that is awakening and stimulating on subjects of deep 
practical concern ; but her influences would have been 
of a higher order if she had not been prepossessed by 
personal griefs, and rendered liable to dwell on the 
scenery of human passions in one direction till it became 
magnified beyond all reason. But for this drawback, and 
that of her unsettled life, which was a perpetual flitting 



[XIII] 



The work 
following 
her return. 



MRS. JAMESON. 



[XIII] 



A draw- 
back to htr 
usefulness. 



Her Art 

Handbooks, 



from place to place, for purposes of Art-study chiefly, 
perhaps, but in no small degree from restlessness, and 
craving for society and its luxuries, she might have done 
more for the security and elevation of her sex than 
perhaps any other person of her generation. She did a 
great deal by the pen, by discourse, and by the warm 
sympathy she gave to the actively great women of the 
age. She spread the fame of the chief Sisters of Charity 
of our day ; she worked hard to get Schools of Design 
opened to women; and she published in 1855 an ex- 
cellent Lecture on ' ' Sisters of Chanty Abroad and at 
Home." The drawback was in the incessant recurrence 
to considerations of sex, whatever the topic, and the 
constant conclusion -that the same point of view was 
taken by everybody else. 

In three very different departments Mrs. Jameson wa's 
an active worker : in literature, as we have seen ; in 
ameliorating the condition of women in England, by 
exposing the disabilities and injuries in the field of 
industry and the chance medley of education ; and, 
again, in the diffusion of the knowledge of Art. Time 
will probably decide that in this last department her 
labors have been most effective. Her early readiness 
to assume the function of Art-critic gave way in time, in 
some measure, to the more fitting pretention of making 
Handbooks of Art Collections, and some valuable keys 
to Art-types, supplied in an historical form. In regard 
to pictures, as to life and men, her point of view was at 
first intensely subjective ; and her interpretations were 
liable to error in proportion ; so that her knowledge of 
Art, was denied by the highest authorities. But she 
studied long, and familiarized herself with so extensive a 
range of Art, that her metaphysical tendencies were to 



MRS. JAMESON. 



119 



a considerable extent corrected, and she popularized a 
great deal of knowledge which would not otherwise have 
been brought within reach of the very large class of 
readers of her later works. Her "Handbook" to our 
public galleries, her "Companion" to our private 
galleries (in and near London), are works of real 
utility; and there is much that is instructive as well as 
charming in her "Legends" of the Monastic Orders, 
and of the Madonna. After issuing these works between 
1848 and 1852, she returned to her favorite habit of 
authorship collecting " Thoughts, Memoirs, and 
Fancies" from her "Common-place Book," and shed- 
ding them into the world, under the two divisions 
which describe the contemplations of her life "Ethics 
and Character," and "Literature and Art." The im- 
pression left is uniform with that of all her works, 
that of a warm-hearted and courageous woman, of indom- 
itable sociability of nature, large liberalities, and deep 
prejudices. 

Her works have been received as happy accidents ; 
and, long after they have ceased to be sought and regu- 
larly read, some touch of nature in them, some trait of 
insight, or ingenuity of solution will come up in fireside 
conversation, or in literary intercourse, and remind a 
future generation that in ours there was a restless, expa- 
tiating, fervent, unreasoning, generous, accomplished 
Mrs. Jameson among the lights of the time, by no means 
hiding her lustre under a bushel, or being too closely 
shut up at home ; a great benefit to her time from her 
zeal for her sex and for Art ; but likely to have been a 
greater if she could have carried less of herself and her 
experiences into her pictures and her interpretations of 
life. 



[XIII] 

Popu- 
larizing 
knowledge. 



Her r$le 
in history. 






120 



MRS. JAMESON. 



[XIII] 



There is not much to say of the mode of living of one 
who lived in pictures and in speech whose existence 
was a pilgrimage in search, or in honor, of the Arts of 
Expression. Her circumstances were made easy, after 
Mr. Jameson's death, by a tribute from her friends and 
admirers, invested for that purpose. She enjoyed life, 
whatever had been its troubles and mortifications ; and 
the pleasures of the imagination, and the stimulus of 
society, were as animating to her as they were necessary, 
as disease advanced and strength wasted away. 



XIV. 

WALTER SAVAGE LANDOR. 
DIED SEPTEMBER 17x11, 1864. 

THE great age to which Mr. Landor attained affords 
some sort of presumption that certain attributes of his 
by which he was best known to the multitude were 
qualities of style rather than of soul we do not mean 
of literary style only, but style of expression by life and 
act, as well as by the pen. Contempt and bitterness are 
not conducive to long life. As the ancients said, they 
dry up the vital juices. As we moderns say, they fret 
the brain and nerves, and intercept the complacent 
enjoyment of good-humor and benevolence, which 
eminently promotes length of days. As Walter Savage 
Landor was bora in 1775, and has only now departed, 
it seems that, after all, he had not any fatal proportion 
of contempt or bitterness deep down in his nature ; and 
the question remains how he came to be so markedly 
known by as much as he had. The truth is, he had in 
him a strong faculty of admiration ; and a deep, pure, 
fresh current of tenderness and sweetness ran under the 
film of gall which Nature unhappily shed over his 
existence at the fountain. This was one of the con- 
tradictions of which this paradoxical being was made 
up ; and it is, with the rest, worthy of some contem- 

6 



Para- 
doxical 
elements 
in his 
character. 



122 



WALTER SAVAGE LAN DOR. 



[XIV] 



Experience 
of the 
youthful 
scholar In 
the perusal 
of Landor's 
writings. 



plation ; not because paradoxical persons or the para- 
doxes they produce are choice objects of study in a 
striving and practical age like ours, but because Landor 
achieved some things that were great, and many that 
were beautiful, in spite of the paradoxical elements of 
his life and character. 

The young of thirty years ago, to whom Literature 
was an important pursuit and pleasure, were often seen 
in a transport of admiration, amazement, and anger, 
when rising from Lander's books. They were quite 
sure that nothing so noble, nothing so tender, nothing 
so musical was to be found in our language as the ' ' Ima- 
ginary Conversations" between Pericles and Sophocles, 
between Demosthenes and Eubulides, between Ascham 
and Lady Jane Grey, and plenty more. The patriotism, 
the magnanimity, and the sweet heroism of the senti- 
ments call up the flush or the tear ; and the familiarity 
with the ancients, in their habit of mind and speech, 
enraptures the youthful scholar. After a time, he 
relaxes in his reading of Landor still declares, when 
he is talked of, that his is a grand and beautiful frag- 
mentary mind ; but he no longer reads his later volumes ; 
and at last grows so weary of his Jacobin doctrines, his 
obtrusive spirit, and sententious style, that when the 
well-known name in large letters appears in the news- 
paper, at the foot of a denunciatory letter, or a curse in 
stanzas, it is a signal to turn the leaf. The standard 
criticism of the country seems to have undergone some- 
thing of the same process as the individual student. 
The Quarterly Review once despised everybody who 
could stop to notice Landor's faults, and eloquently 
described the process of the elevation of his fame, till 
it should become transcendent among the worthies of 



WALTER SAVAGE LAN DOR. 



123 



England ; but it may be questioned now whether the 
Quarterly Review has any more expectation than the 
Edinburgh that the writings of Landor will survive, 
except as curiosities in literature. The fact seems to 
be that, with some of the attributes of genius, Landor 
fell just short of it. He had not the large spirit and 
generous temper of genius. His egotism was extreme ; 
but it was not that of genius. He has been called a 
prose Byron ; and certainly he complained abundantly 
of Man and Life, and abhorred tyrants, and lived long 
in Italy, and fought for liberty abroad ; and especially, 
he was at once a Jacobin or democrat in literature, and 
a man of family and fortune ; but there the resemblance 
stops. Where Byron moaned, Landor scolded. Landor 
had no patience with Royalty, or any rule but the 
popular, because it stood between men and their 
happiness ; whereas Byron looked upon tyranny as a 
mere symptom of human corruptness and misery, and 
saw no happiness on the other side of it. Byron was 
an embodiment of the growing spirit of his time, which 
uttered itself through him because his lips had been 
touched with fire ; but Landor's utterances were almost 
entirely personal and constitutional expressed no prev- 
alent sentiment or need not being even the utterance 
of a party in politics or literature, but the presentment 
of an unchanging egotism, under majestic or graceful 
disguises furnished from the stores of his learning or 
the resources of his imagination. It is one of the 
paradoxes about Landor, not that he should have but 
one style for that might be expected ; but that that 
style should have been dramatic. Well as he suc- 
ceeded in hitting the mode of thought of many of his 
discoursing personages, it was by means of his learning, 



[XIV] 



Falls short 
of genius. 



Byron and 

Landor. 



124 



WALTER SAVAGE LANDOR. 



[XIV] 



Landor 
speaking 
in the 

" Imaginary 
Conversa- 
tions. " 



and not of his sympathies^ that he did so. They were 
all raised from the dead in their habits as they lived ; 
but it was in order to be possessed by Landor in every 
case his spirit speaking through their brains, perhaps, 
as well as through their lips but always his spirit and 
no other. Hence his failures in the case of Milton, and 
partly, even in that of Cromwell ; though there Jie might 
have been expected to succeed pre-eminently. Yet more 
modern English personages fail more and more con- 
spicuously, in comparison with old Greeks, and mediaeval 
Italians, and far-away Spaniards ; for the obvious reason 
that the former, living amidst modern associations, and 
represented by a writer who is too much of an egotist 
and a mannerist to have genuine dramatic power, must 
be simply Landor himself, cramped and debilitated by 
the restraints of his disguise. These are the tokens and 
proofs of his falling short of true genius. Yet there 
is so genuine a force of Liberalism in his writings, 
so constant a vigilance against the encroachments of 
tyranny, as may neutralize a large admixture of self-love 
and self-will ; and it really is so rare to see the claims of 
the democracy so presented, amidst the music and the 
lights reverberated and reflected from the classic ages, 
that the man who has done that service may be fairly 
considered an original of high mark, even if he be too 
paradoxical, and too measured an egotist, to be entitled 
to high honors of genius. 

But paradox carries away others than the inventors 
and utterers ; and we have been commenting on the 
mind of the vigorous old man who is gone from us, 
before we have glanced at his life, which was, from first 
to last, as characteristic as his writings ; as characteristic 
as his face and form, and everything pertaining to him. 



WALTER SAVAGE LAND OR. 



125 



We may be called paradoxical ourselves if we say (but it 
is true), that never was anything more of a piece than 
the mind and life, the surroundings, the utterances and 
the acts of this wonderfully sane yet thoroughly incon- 
sistent being. His tall, broad, muscular, active frame 
was characteristic ; and so was his head, with the strange 
elevation of the eyebrows, which expresses self-will as 
strongly in some cases as astonishment in others. Those 
eyebrows, mounting up till they comprehend a good 
portion of the forehead, have been observed in many 
more paradoxical persons than one. Then there was 
the retreating but broad forehead, showing the defi- 
ciency of reasoning and speculative power, with the 
preponderance of imagination, and a huge passion for 
destruction. The massive self-love and self-will carried 
up his head to something more than a dignified bearing 
even to one of arrogance. His vivid and quick eye, 
and the thoughtful mouth, were fine, and his whole air 
was that of a man distinguished in his own eyes cer- 
tainly, but also in those of others. Tradition reports 
that he was handsome in his youth. In age he was 
more. The first question about him usually was why, with 
his frame, and his courage, and his politics, and his social 
position, he was not in the army. One reply might be, 
that he could neither obey nor co-operate ; another was, 
that his godfather, General Powell, wished it ; and Landor 
therefore preferred something else. As for that something 
else his father offered him 4oo/. a year to study Law, 
and reside in the Temple for that purpose, whereas he 
would give him only 1507. if he would not; and of 
course, he took the 1507., and went as far as he well 
could from the Temple that is, to Swansea. Warwick 
was his native place. He was born in the best house 



[XIV] 



His form 

and 

features. 



Born at 
Warwick. 



126 



WALTER SAVAGE LAN DOR. 



[XIV] 



Sells 

hereditary 

estates. 



in the city, where the fine old garden, with its noble elms 
and horse-chestnuts, might have influenced his imagina- 
tion, so as to have something to do possibly with his sub- 
sequent abode in Italy. His mother was of the ancient 
family of Savage ; and hereditary estates lay about him 
in Staffordshire and Warwickshire, which had been in 
the possession of the family for nearly seven centuries. 
These he sold, to shift himself to Wales ; and nowhere 
did his spirit of destructive waywardness break out 
more painfully than in the sale of those old estates, and 
his treatment of the new. He employed many scores 
of laborers on his Welsh estates, made roads and 
planted, and built a house which cost him 8,ooo/. He 
set his heart upon game-preserving (of all pursuits for a 
democratic republican), and had at times twenty keepers 
out upon the hills at night, watching his grouse ; but, 
with 12,000 acres of land, he never saw a grouse on 
his table. His tenants cheated him, he declared, and 
destroyed his plantations ; and, though he got rid of 
them, he left, not only Wales but Great Britain, in wrath. 
Then, the steward in charge of his house cheated him, 
when he not only got rid of the steward, but had his 
splendid new house pulled down out of consideration, 
he declared, for his son's future ease and convenience, 
in being rid of so vexatious a property. His flatterers 
called this an act of characteristic indignation. To 
others it appeared that his republican and self-governing 
doctrines came rather strangely from one who could not 
rule his own affairs and his own people ; and who, 
finding his failure, could do nothing better than lay 
waste the whole scene. 

He had obtained some of his scholarship at Rugby, 
and somewhat more at Oxford where, however, his stay 



WALTER SAVAGE LAND OR. 



127 



was short. Having fired a gun in the quadrangle of his 
college, he was rusticated ; and, instead of returning, 
published a volume of poems, when he was only eighteen. 
While at Swansea, he studied, and wrote ' ' Gebir. " On 
the invasion of Spain, he determined to be a soldier on 
his own account, raised a small troop at his own expense, 
and was the first Englishman who landed in aid of the 
Spaniards. He was rewarded for this aid, and for a gift 
of money, by the thanks of the Supreme Junta, and 
by the rank of Colonel on his return to England ; but 
he sent back his commission and the record of thanks 
when Ferdinand set aside the Constitution. Among 
many good political acts, perhaps none was better than 
this. At thirty-six years of age he married a French 
lady of good family; and a few years after, in 1818, 
fixed his residence in Italy, first in the Palazzo Medici, 
in Florence, and when obliged to leave it, in a charming 
villa two miles off. That Villa Gherardesca was built 
by Michel Angelo. Few British travellers in Italy fail 
to go and see Fiesole ; and while Landor lived there 
he was the prey of lion-hunters, as he vehemently 
complained on occasion of the feud between him and 
N. P. Willis, the American, who lost a MS. confided to 
him for his opinion. Such a subordination of the full, 
ripe scholar and discourser to the shallow, flippant 
sketcher by the wayside, might seem to deserve such 
a result ; but it did not tend to reconcile Landor to 
lion-hunters. While in Italy, he sent to English news- 
papers, and especially to the Examiner, frequent com- 
ments on passing events in the political world, in the 
form of letters or of verse. He was collecting pictures 
all the while ; and when he returned to England to pass 
the rest of his days, as he supposed, he left the bulk 



[XIV1 



Aids the 
Spaniards 
as a soldier 



Marries a 
French lady 
and resides 
in Italy. 



128 



WALTER SAVAGE LAND OR. 



[XIV] 



Becomes an 
octogena- 
rian at 
Bath. 



His pre- 
judices and 
his opinions. 



of his collection in his villa, for his son's benefit, bringing 
only a few gems wherewith to adorn such a modest 
residence as he now intended to have in his own country. 
That residence was in St. James's-square, Bath, where he 
became an octogenarian living for a while in peace and 
quiet still commenting on men and measures through 
the Liberal papers, and putting forth, in his eightieth year, 
the little volume called "Last Fruit from an Old Tree." 
The spectacle of a vigorous, vivid, undaunted old age, 
true to the aims and convictions of youth, is always 
a fine one ; and it was warmly felt to be so in Lander's 
case. His prejudices mattered less, when human affairs 
went on maturing themselves in spite of them ; and many 
of his complaints were silenced in the best possible way 
by the reform of the abuses which he, with some 
unnecessary violence, denounced. He, for his part, 
talked less about killing kings ; and his steady assertion 
of the claims of the humble fell in better with the spirit 
of the time, after years had inaugurated the works of 
peace. About many matters of political principle and 
practice he was right, while yet the majority of society 
were wrong ; and it would be too much to require that 
he should be wholly right in doctrine and fact, or very 
angelic in his way of enforcing his convictions. Nature 
did not make him a logician, and if we were ever disap- 
pointed at not finding him one, the fault was our own. 
She make him brave, though wayward ; an egotist in his 
method, but with the good of mankind for his aim. He 
was passionate and prejudiced, but usually in some great 
cause, and on the right side of it ; though there was a 
deplorable exception to that general rule in the par- 
ticular instance of defamation which broke up the 
repose and dignity of his latter days, and caused his 



WALTER SAVAGE LAN DOR. 



129 



self-exile from England for the remnant of his life. 
This brief notice of the painful fact is enough for truth 
and justice. As for the rest, he was of aristocratic birth, 
fortune, and education, with democracy for his political 
aim, and poverty and helplessness for his clients. All 
this would have made Walter Savage Landor a remark- 
able man in his generation, apart from his services to 
Literature ; but when we recall some of his works such 
pictures as that of the English officer shot at the Pyra- 
mids such criticism as in his Pentameron and dis- 
courses so elevating and so heart-moving as some which 
he has put into the mouths of heroes, sages, scholarly 
and noble women, and saintly and knightly men, we feel 
that our cumulative obligations to him are very great, 
and that his death is a prominent incident of the time. 
6* 



[XIY] 

His self- 
exile from 
England ii 
his latter 
days. 



II. 

SCIENTIFIC. 



GEORGE COMBE. 



DIED AUGUST HTH, 1858. 

A MAN must be called a conspicuous member of society 
who writes a book approaching in circulation to the 
three ubiquitous books in our language the Bible, 
"Pilgrim's Progress/' and " Robinson Crusoe." George 
Combe's "Constitution of Man" is declared to rank 
next to these three in point of circulation ; and the 
author of a work so widely diffused cannot but be the 
object of much interest during his life, and of special 
notice after death. It seems as if Nature were as 
capricious as fortune in appointing the destinies of Man. 
George Combe's wide influence over society arose out 
of natural causes ; but, as in many similar instances, 
there was nothing in the man to account for the emi- 
nence of his position. He was a good man, and in 
certain directions a wise one ; but he was not a thinker, 
nor a poet, nor an orator, nor an enthusiast, nor a quack. 
He did not owe his social influence to any of the ordi- 
nary sources of that kind of influence, from the loftiest 
to the meanest. Of course the solution of the marvel 
must be looked for in circumstances chiefly external 
to the man ; and there, in fact, the solution is easily 
found. 



Ubiquitous 
book. 



134 



GEORGE COMBE. 



[I] 



His parents 
and early 
training. 



The Combes a family of seventeen, of whom George 
and Andrew were the two conspicuous members were 
descended on both sides of the house from respectable 
tenant-farmers. Their father was a tall, robust, stanch 
Presbyterian, of whom his phrenological sons report 
that he could never find a hat that he could get his 
head into, and was obliged to have a block to himself. 
Their mother was energetic and conscientious, as indeed 
the mother of seventeen children had need to be. Neither 
parent had much education ; and both seem to have 
been excessively strict in the religious discipline of their 
family. The want of knowledge and the asceticism 
of the well-intentioned parents caused the death of 
several of their children, and radically injured the 
health of the rest. Such is the testimony of the two 
brothers, in their reminiscences of the low, damp situa- 
tion of their father's dwelling, at the brewery of Living- 
ston's-yards, near Edinburgh, and of its crowded and 
ill-aired rooms, and of the dreary Sundays and dismal 
sectarian instruction, which was all that their parents 
attempted to give them in person. No doubt this 
experience tended to turn the attention of the brothers 
to the subject of the conditions of health, and 'to deepen 
their convictions to the utmost that their nature ad- 
mitted. They have done great things for their own 
and future generations in spreading practices of clean- 
liness, and a demand for fresh air, through a vast pro- 
portion of society ; and if they had been men of genius, 
or capable of enthusiasm, they would have had "a 
mission" and have ranked among the apostles of the 
race. The influence of ignorance in degrading and 
deteriorating the human body cut out such a mission 
as that of restoring its claims long ago ; and the Combes 



GEORGE COMBE. 



135 






might have been the apostles of that mission if nature 
had given them genius instead of an order of faculties 
which doomed them to triteness in the conception and 
expression of their most earnest convictions. 

George Combe (nine years older than Andrew) was 
born in 1788. He was bred to the Law, became a 
Writer to the Signet in 1812, and took a house in 
Bank-street, Edinburgh, to which a sister removed as 
housekeeper, and Andrew, for health's sake, and to 
pursue his studies in greater quiet than in the over- 
crowded old home. In no house in Edinburgh or 
elsewhere could Dugald Stewart have then found more 
devoted disciples more ardent admirers of his so-called 
Philosophy of Mind. The matter-of-fact George seems 
to have been lifted nearer to poetry by his attendance 
on Dugald Stewart's lectures than at any subsequent 
period of his life. His conscience was kept quiet by 
the lecturer's assurance that his Philosophy was founded 
on the inductive method ; and as long as George 
believed this he was satisfied, though at .times surprised 
to find that this Philosophy did not seem to be appli- 
cable to any purpose but delighting hearers and readers. 
The lecturer was for ever promising magnificent results ; 
and George fully anticipating these, tried to obtain them 
by operating upon Andrew's mind ; a process which he 
afterward described as that of the blind leading the 
blind. Such was the state of affairs in Bank-street when, 
in 1815, Dr. John Gordon of Edinburgh, an esteemed 
lecturer on anatomy and physiology, furnished Jeffrey 
with an article for his Review, which was intended to 
demolish, and was for a time supposed to have de- 
molished, "the Physiognomical System of Gall and 
Spurzheim," as the title of that system stands in the 



Attends the 
lectures of 
Dugald 
Stewart. 



Gall and 

Spurzheim's 

System. 



136 



GEORGE COMBE. 



[I] 



Gall and 
Metternich. 



books of the time. No one laughed more heartily 
than George Combe (as we learn from himself) at the 
"thorough quackery," the " impudence, " and what not 
of ' ' the Germans" who dared to offer us anything but 
Werther sentimentalism. The Review represented Gall as 
"bitter," and Spurzheim as "splenetic," and both as vulgar 
quacks a piece of bad policy as well as a mistake. 1 
It was too late in 1815 to extinguish Gall's discovery 
as quackery ; for it had been fairly before the world five 
years, and accepted by eminent scientific men abroad. 
Metternich, who should have been a Natural Philosopher, 
had taken care of that. In 1802, the Government at 
Vienna had suppressed Gall's work on the "Functions 
of the Brain ;" but Metternich saw its value, and 
guaranteed the expenses of its publication in 1810, 
when he was Austrian Ambassador at Paris. It soon 
became on the continent what it has now long been 
in England, the source of new views of the Structure 
and Functions of the Brain. As for the "bitterness" 
and "spleen" of the German philosophers, the appear- 
ance of Spurzheim in Edinburgh presently disposed of 
the imputation. Spurzheim was found to be a modest, 
amiable, intelligent man, and quite as good a logician 
as an observer. He was not a discoverer, but he was 
a good teacher. He made some way at once, even as 
Dr. Gordon's antagonist on his own ground ; and he 
did more for the establishment of his doctrine by a 
course of popular lectures, where he was listened to by 
a small body of earnest young men. The Combes 

I It is understood that Dr. Gordon was not responsible for this 
injurious language ; and that he indignantly protested against the 
editor's conduct in interpolating the article with expressions as 
revolting to the writer's sense of justice as to his taste. 



GEORGE COMBE. 



137 



were among the scoffers outside. They never saw the 
Lecturer ; and much less would they have cared to hear 
him. One day, however, a brother lawyer met George 
in the street, and invited him to his house to see Spurz- 
heim dissect a human brain. What he saw there satisfied 
him that the human brain is something very unlike 
what it seemed to dissectors, who sliced it through and 
looked no further. He attended the Lecturer's second 
course, and reached a conviction, which determined 
the character of his mind and life. He himself tells us 
that he was not " led away by enthusiasm/' but won by 
the evidence that the doctrine was "eminently practical." 
Great was the misfortune to the young man himself, 
and yet greater to the world, of his passion for "the 
practical." He did not understand the very terms of 
true science ; and his mind had no scientific quality 
which could give him insight into the bearings of theory 
and practice, hypothesis, discovery, and explanation. 
In this one bit of science, which he supposed himself 
to have acquired, he recognized a practical value in an 
application which a schoolboy of the present time would 
be above making. He, and Andrew also, thought it 
was "practical" to say that such and such a faculty was 
too strong for some other (as if it required phrenology 
to say that) ; and that they considered that they had 
"explained" a case when they had stated that No. 16 
was out of proportion to No. 6 ; and that No. 20 had 
no chance under the predominance of No. 5. They 
supposed that they thus "accounted for" the character 
of people's minds ; and to the end of their lives neither 
of them had the remotest conception that the only 
meaning of the act of ' ' explaining " (in a philosophical 
sense) is referring some particular fact to a general law. 



Spurxheini's 
lectures. 



Combe's 
passion for 
"the 
practical" 



138 



GEORGE COMBE. 



[I] 



The opposi- 
tion to 
phrenology. 



Thus, in their published letters, there is something as 
painful as ludicrous in the perseverance and unremitting 
complacency with which the brothers write of one an- 
other's faculties, and their own and other people's ; of 
Andrew's "wit" (Heaven help it !) and George's fluency, 
and the superior individuality of the one and causality 
of the other ; and so on. If this had been the first 
excess of an early enthusiasm, it would have mattered 
little ; but the men never got an inch beyond it ; and 
hence the misfortune to themselves and to the world. 
It was not only that they helped to originate a new and 
pernicious pedantry; a greater mischief was that they 
retarded, as far as in them lay, the development of a 
genuine scientific discovery. No power on earth could 
stop it. Jeffrey, and other Edinburgh worthies, who 
had hastily committed themselves, raised a periodical 
scoff and outcry against it. The Editor of the " Encyclo- 
paedia Britannica " refused the subject of "Phrenology" 
(for the revised edition of that work) to a phrenologist, 
and gave it to Dr. Roget to treat (which is like setting 
a Romanist to give an account of Protestantism, or a 
Hindoo to report of Mohammedanism) ; but in spite of 
all opposition, the truthful part of the modern physiology 
of the brain has become established. But the Combes, 
and especially George, had from the outset probably 
done more to damage it in one way than to aid it in 
another. George took it up as Spurzheim gave it him 
in his young days ; he received it as something compact 
and finished ; and he never practically admitted that 
there could be anything more in new discoveries than 
the Jeffreys and the Rogers recognized in those which 
he held ; or even so much, for they, with all the rest of 
Edinburgh, at length admitted Gall's anatomy of the 



GEORGE COMBE. 



139 



brain, while rejecting his physiology of the mind. To 
George's "practical" eye, the human -brain and mind 
appeared as in a map of a completely surveyed country : 
whereas he should have seen that only the latitude and 
longitude, and vertebral heights and broken coast-lines, 
were ascertained, and that wide regions remained un- 
explored, and deep recesses unentered. It mattered 
nothing to him that a vast proportion of brain was 
assigned to a single faculty, while there were faculties 
which no numbered organ or mutual action of organs 
could account for. It mattered nothing to him that 
evidence was offered of the one supposed organ being 
a group of many. It mattered nothing to him that 
proved developments were made which Gall himself 
would have received with rapture. George Combe 
looked on unmoved and immovable in his complacency. 
He piqued hi-rrtself greatly on his liberality ; which was 
indeed perfect in one direction. He saw that opinions 
(in the strict sense of the word) are not voluntary ; and 
he thoroughly and consistently accepted the correlative 
duty of absolute liberality to dissentients. He cordially 
and practically admitted every mans' right to his own 
views, and he never meddled with other people's opinions, 
while carefully impressing his own protest against them. 
But he stopped there. He never examined other people's 
opinions, nor opened his mind to what they had to say 
about them. He never sought other persons' point of 
view, nor showed any sympathy in their researches, nor 
respect for their attainments, unless they were offered to 
him in confirmation of his own "philosophy." This 
unprogressive character of mind, in a professed apostle of 
a progressive science, was a misfortune, great under any 
circumstances, and especially in a case where the social 



[I] 



George 
Combers 
complacency. 



140 



GEORGE COMBE. 



[I] 

Origin of 
the publica- 
tion of the 
" Constitu- 
tion of 
Man" 



influence was so extraordinary as in the case of George 
Combe. 

In 1825, the Society for the Diffusion of Useful Know- 
ledge was instituted chiefly for the purpose of supply- 
ing good and cheap books to Mechanics' Institutes, where 
the want of books, as supplementary to lectures, was 
severely felt. Political troubles caused delay ; but the 
scheme was resumed in 1826; and in March, 1827, the 
issue of the Society's tracts began. Lord Brougham and 
his coadjutors had promised means of political, social, 
and what may be called personal knowledge. Theo- 
logical teaching was wholly excluded ; and morality had 
no chance. Now, the thirst of mankind for moral philos- 
ophy is unquenchable ; and the refusal or neglect of the 
Diffusion Society to give it merely turned the mechanics 
of the country loose, to find what they wanted for them- 
selves. Six weeks before the appearance of the first of 
the Society's tracts, George Combe had read to the 
Phrenological Society of Edinburgh the first part of a 
work "On the Harmony between the Mental and Moral 
Constitution of Man and the Laws of Physical Nature." 
This was the first form of his celebrated "Constitution 
of Man in relation to External Objects," which was 
published in 1828, and read with unexampled eagerness 
by almost the entire reading classes of the nation. A 
benevolent gentleman, named Henderson, left a sum of 
money to be spent in rendering the book as cheap as 
possible ; and extremely cheap it was made, so that mul- 
titudes possessed it who never owned any other book. 
Its circulation had long ago amounted to 100,000 in 
Great Britain and Ireland ; and it is in almost every 
house in the United States, besides having been trans- 
lated into various continental languages. The good 



GEORGE COMBE. 



141 



effects of this book, on the whole, are the best counter- 
balance that its author afforded for the damage he in- 
flicted on the "science" to which he believed his life to 
be devoted. It was a prodigious boon to the multitude, 
high and low, to be led to the contemplation of their 
frame in relation to the external world ; to obtain the 
first glimpse (as it was to them) of Man's position in the 
universe as a constituent part of it, subject to its laws 
precisely like every other part. Much else there is in 
the book which fell in remarkably with the needs and 
desires of the time ; and there can be no doubt that the 
effect of the work, as a whole, on the health, morality, 
and intellectual cultivation of the people, has been some- 
thing truly memorable. It is the great work and the 
great event of the life of George Combe. He wrote other 
works ; but he is known by his "Constitution of Man." 
In 1819 he published his "Essays on Phrenology," and 
afterward his "Elements," "Outlines," and "System" 
of the same subject; and a volume of "Moral Philos- 
ophy," and "Lectures on Popular Education," "Notes" 
of his travels in America, and a Life of his brother 
Andrew ; and, we regret to add, his views on Art after 
his visits to Germany and Italy in pursuit of health. The 
slightest appreciation of the qualities of his intellect 
must show the absurdity of his attempting criticism in 
Art ; and it is a curious illustration of the small range of 
a professed "practical" judgment that George Combe, 
who prided himself on such a judgment, should have 
supposed himself a judge of pictures, statues, and archi- 
tecture, and have believed that he ' ' explained" anything 
in the department of art by his applications of what he 
called his Philosophy. Perhaps the most useful thing he 
did was translating a part of Gall's writings ; and there 



[I] 



The useful- 
ness of the 
work. 



His other 
publications. 



142 



GEORGE COMBE. 



[I] 



His perti- 
nacity in 
maintain- 
ing the 
rights of 
Opinion. 



can be little doubt that he would have made the very 
best use of his time and such taknts as he had, if he had 
given us a condensed version of these writings, instead 
of lucubrations of his own which have disguised more 
han they have propagated Gall's discoveries. In his 
great work, the "Constitution of Man," he was preceded 
by Spurzheim, whose "Natural Laws" effected for its 
readers what Combe's works did for the working classes. 
If he had given us the teachings of the Masters them- 
selves, we should have been in a better position than 
by seeing them represented in the person of a special 
pleader who assumes to be their comrade. 

The merit of Combe was great in pertinaciously and 
effectively sustaining the rights of Opinion, and some 
facts of science, in the Phrenological Journal, against an 
opposition unsurpassed in violence and dishonesty. For 
this he was well fitted by nature and training. His re- 
markable self-esteem ; his self-consciousness, rendering 
him very faintly impressionable ; his good-nature and 
real benevolence ; his shrewdness and caution ; the 
absence of all keen sensibility, and the presence of a 
constant sense of justice, all fitted him to hold any given 
ground well against unscrupulous and passionate adver- 
saries. No romance of duty dazzled him ; no idolatry 
of the ideal intoxicated him ; no sympathy with human 
passion or devout aspiration put him off his guard. 
Standing above the perils of gross selfishness and dis- 
honesty, and below those which attend high intellectual 
and spiritual gifts, he was the man to hold a certain 
ground, and he held it steadily, cheerfully, and well. It 
would not be honest, however, to pass over without 
notice the snare into which he fell, and into which he 
led some of his followers, through his deficiency in the 



GEORGE COMBE. 



high qualities just referred to. It was not necessary to 
have his personal acquaintance to become aware, in the 
latter part of his career, that, with all his appearance of 
frankness toward the public, he was not in the habit of 
really opening his mind on matters of opinion of the 
deepest importance. It was all very well for Mr. Hus- 
kisson, as an Administrative Reformer, to open his hand, 
as he said, by one finger at a time, because the people 
or their rulers could not receive a whole handful of the 
truth about Free Trade. This is excusable, if not wise, 
in a matter of fiscal doctrine ; and Mr. Huskisson, while 
waiting his time, never conformed to the sayings and 
doings of the Protectionists. But George Combe went 
to work, in regard to religion and morals, as Mr. Hus- 
kisson did, so far as letting out only by the little finger ; 
and he did even this by conforming to established notions 
and forms of expressions which, it came out at last, were 
in his opinion' false. A collocation of the evidence 
afforded by himself in a course of years shows that he 
accommodated himself to the popular view and language 
on theological and moral subjects, where there was no real 
sympathy of opinion. Now and then, when Popular Edu- 
cation, or some other cause that he really had at heart, 
was in question, he came out boldly against intolerance ; 
but otherwise, there is a coaxing quality in his teachings, 
a forced character in his sympathy, and a measured and 
patronizing tone in his intercourses with thinkers which 
point to the truth, that this teacher (believing himself a 
philosopher) took the old philosopher's license, to which 
he had no sort of right in his place and time, of having 
an esoteric and an exoteric doctrine, and organizing a 
sect on that ground. The ground proved infirm, of 
course. The Phrenologists are no longer a mere sect, 



[I] 



His reticence 
and 

apparent 
conformity 
to estab- 
lished 
notions. 



144 



GEORGE COMBE. 



[I] 



His one 

serious 

fault. 



His 

marriage. 



and visit to 
the United 
States. 



and they never could be organized as a sect holding 
secrets. The result of the attempt was to shake every- 
body's confidence in George Combe, from the time when 
it became clear that he was appearing to entertain one 
set of opinions while holding another. This is, amidst 
some foibles, the one serious fault chargeable on George 
Combe, in his assumed character of Philosopher and 
Teacher. Great virtues attended on that function all the 
while ; benevolence, a genial cheerfulness and kindliness; 
a large power of liberality in himself, and a virtuous 
persistence in requiring the same from others in behalf 
of everybody. We do not, indeed, see how the honors 
of genius, or of philosophical achievement, or of original 
thought, can be awarded to him ; but he was the agent, 
if not the author, of a great revolution in popular views, 
and in sanitary practices. If he did not advance his 
own department of science, but rather hindered its de- 
velopment by his own philosophical incapacity, he pre- 
pared for its future expansion by opening the minds of 
millions to its conception. The world owes him much, 
however disappointed it may be that it does not owe 
him more. 

In 1833 George Combe married Miss Cecilia Siddons. 
Four or five years after, he quitted the practice of his 
profession, and in 1838 went, accompanied by Mrs. 
Combe, to the United States, where he remained, lec- 
turing and preparing his journal, till 1840. Dr. Spurzheim 
had visited the United States in 1832, and died there in 
a few months ; and the disciples he had obtained, wishing 
for another master, invited George Combe to go and 
lecture to them. The years after his return were varied 
by continental journeys, too often rendered necessary by 
failing health. The latter period of his life was one of 



GEORGE COMBE. 145 



very infirm health the result, as he believed, of the 
early adverse influences which turned his own and 
his brother's attention so strongly to sanitary subjects. 
After more and more shutting up for the winters, and 
less and less ability to enjoy the business and pleasures 
of life and society within his own home, he died at 
his friend Dr.' Lane's hydropathic establishment, at Moor 
Park, just as he had completed his threescore years 
and ten. 






II. 



William 

von 

Humboldt. 



ALEXANDER VON HUMBOLDT. 
DIED MAY 6iH, 1859. 

THE remarkable brothers William and Alexander von 
Humboldt were descendants of a Pomeranian family. 
William made himself a memorable name in Germany, 
and Alexander in the whole civilized world. William, 
the elder by rather more than two years, was a phi- 
losopher in the realms of Literature and Art, while 
Alexander devoted himself, not to the study of the 
human mind or its productions, but to the medium or 
environment in which it lives. William was frankly told 
by his friend Schiller that his mind was of too ratiocin- 
ative and critical a cast to permit him to produce works 
of art, in literature or otherwise ; and his highest achieve- 
ments were, accordingly, in the department of philology. 
However great these might have been, they could never 
have won the heartfelt love with which William von 
Humboldt was regarded by some of the best men of his 
age. It was his political action which won him that love. 
He was ever found asserting the principles of liberty 
earnestly, wisely, and unflinchingly ; and hence it was 
certain, as he very well knew, that he would never be a 
great man in the Berlin Court sense of greatness, when 
once he had been called upon to declare "an opinion 



ALEXANDER VON HUMS OLD T. 



which differed from that of the Monarch who pretended 
to ask his counsel. He filled a succession of diplomatic 
and administrative offices for above nineteen years ; but 
when it became necessary to remind his Sovereign, in 
opposition to Von Hardenberg, of the promise of a con- 
stitution made in 1813, the King declined to keep his 
promise and his faithful councillor, and preferred losing 
his honor and his good Minister in order to retain 
power (in the sense in which he understood it), and the 
Minister who flattered his love of it. William von 
Humboldt had still fifteen years to live. He passed 
them in philological and literary studies, and died, 
honored and beloved, without doubt or drawback, in 
the sixty-ninth year of his age, in 1835. He had signed 
the Treaty of Chatillon, and attended the Vienna Con- 
gress as the representative of his country. His brother 
attended the Congress of Verona in the King's suite. 
The elder incurred the royal displeasure by his Liberal 
tendencies ; but the younger enjoyed grace and distinction 
at Court to the end ; patronage being showered upon 
him, without too close an inquiry on the one hand, or 
too frank an explanation on the other, in regard to the 
principles and practice of government. As William re- 
tired to explore the roots and genealogies of language, 
and to write the hundred sonnets which were found after 
his death, Alexander was displaying more stars on his 
coat, and receiving more honors on his head. There 
could never be any rational objection to the brothers 
taking different lines, as their natural preparation might 
indicate. The noticeable point was the descent of Court 
honors on the Naturalist, while disgrace fell on the 
Statesman ; and a smile went round the circles, both of 
philosophy and politics, when Alexander, in laying out 



Treatment 
of the 
brothers by 
the Court. 



148 



ALEXANDER VON HUMBOLDT. 



[II] 



Early bent 
of Alex- 
ander's 
genius. 



the scheme of his "Kosmos," proposed to omit the 
whole subject of Mental Philosophy. The idea of pre- 
senting a delineation of the universe, not in mere external 
form but as moved by its forces, and omitting the most 
marvellous of all manifestations and forces, seemed to 
his readers more remarkable for caution than for philo- 
sophical wisdom. 

William was born at Potsdam in 1767 ; and Alexander 
, as his name stands at full length, Frederick Henry 
Alexander von Humboldt was born at Berlin in 1769, 
on the 1 4th of September. Their father died when they 
were twelve and ten years old ; but their mother, a cousin 
of the Princess Blucher, was a woman of fine capacity 
and cultivation ; and the family fortunes were good ; so 
that the boys had every educational advantage. Alex- 
ander received his academic training at Gottingen and 
Frankfort on the Oder, and a part of his scientific in- 
struction at the Mining School of Freiburg. Nothing 
could be more marked than his early determination 
toward Natural Science, and toward travel in pursuit 
of his researches. The more he was thwarted and 
hemmed in by the obstructions of war, the intenser grew 
his desire to explore the heights, depths, and expanses 
of the earth, in order to extort the secrets of Nature. 
Geology did not yet exist ; and for want of the generali- 
zations with which he, more than any other man, has 
since furnished us, Natural Science was fragmentary and 
confused to a degree scarcely conceivable to students 
now entering on that vast field. We complain at present 
of the desultory condition of Natural Science from the 
speciality of pursuit which is the great disadvantage of 
our existing stage ; and from which we must be relieved 
ere long by the formation of a new class of philosophers, 



ALEXANDER VON HUMBOLDT. 



149 



whose business it will be to establish the mutual relations 
of all the sciences, and all the departments of each 
science ; but when Humboldt was a youth, even the 
stage of speciality was scarcely reached. The ardent 
mind of the boy seems to have contemplated as other 
boyish minds have done the exhibition of those relations, 
after a due exploration of the details, and generalization 
of the results in the various departments. Many are the 
youths who have formed this conception, and resolved 
upon the work ; but, since Aristotle, Humboldt is the 
most remarkable some might say the only example of 
an approach to the achievement of such a scheme. Our 
own opinion is, that others have approached as nearly 
the disadvantages of their times being considered ; and 
that Humboldt's achievements, prodigious as they are, 
fall short precisely in the points in regard to which his 
own expectations were highest. His investigations and 
arrangement of details was perfectly marvellous from its 
scope and equality of treatment ; his generalization were 
so splendid, and so fruitful beyond all estimate, that it is 
a reluctant judgment which ranks them below his more 
concrete studies, in regard to quality ; but there can be 
no difference of opinion about his failure in his highest 
effort, as exhibited in his "Kosmos." We have every 
reason to believe it impossible, practically speaking, for 
the same mind to effect what Humboldt did and what he 
failed to do. Whenever (if ever) we have a "Kosmos," 
it will be given us by a man who can immediately and 
thoroughly adopt the results of other men's labors as 
material for his peculiar faculty of ascertaining relations 
between vastnesses and aggregates which are to him 
manageable single portions of the great whole. The 
discoverer of a Solar System could not possibly be the 



[II] 



Hisacaieve- 
ments in 
Natural 
Science. 



ISO 



ALEXANDER VON HUMBOLDT. 



[II] 



His 

deficiencies. 



man who should resolve first to understand the Natural 
History of all the constituents of the globe ; but rather 
the man who takes up our globe as a planet, and carries 
it as a unit into his scheme of planetary study. It is 
therefore no wonder that Humboldt is found to halt, 
waver, and diverge in his presentment of the great 
Scheme of the Universe. Sometimes he quits his own 
definition or description ; sometimes he loses the pre- 
cision of his great idea in a cloud of words which look 
philosophical, but will not bear a plain rendering ; and 
often he rambles away from his central point of view 
into wide fields of facts, extremely interesting, and mar- 
vellously rich, but not directly related to the object they 
were cited to illustrate. 

Thus much of failure is ascribable to the mere fact 
of the limitation and inequality of human faculty. The 
other great cause of failure in the most ambitious of 
Humboldt's works is of a moral nature. He declines 
to speak out on some essential points which, in a scheme 
like his, cannot be slighted. His ambition and his 
caution are irreconcilable. On the essential topics, 
for instance, of Creation, of Spontaneous Generation, 
and of the basis and scope of Mental Philosophy, with 
some other such ticklish subjects, he either keeps back 
his views, or permits them to be discoverable only by 
a process of inference of which none but the highly 
qualified are capable. In this matter, however, it is 
necessary to state that he should not be judged by the 
English translations of "Kosmos;" even the best, and 
that sanctioned by himself. The word "creation" used 
repeatedly for the universe, is misleading, or at least 
perplexing to readers who have duly attended to some 
preceding passages ; and if they turn to the original 



ALEXANDER VON HUMBOLDT. 



they find that Humboldt spoke of the frame of things, 
the universe, the collective phenomena of nature, or 
the like. But the omission of some prominent philo- 
sophical bases, whether through caution or anything 
else, renders the " Kosmos" of Humboldt a hybrid 
production between poetry and science which is not 
the philosophy it pretends to be. It is wealthy in its 
facts, and splendid in its generalizations ; but it is not 
Kosmos. 

Humboldt's preparation for this, which he consid- 
ered his crowning work, may be said to have begun 
when he became the pupil of Werner, the first Geologist, 
at Freiburg, when he was two-and-twenty. He had 
already travelled in Holland and England, and even 
published a scientific book on the Basalts of the Rhine. 
He was employed as a Director on the Government 
Mines ; and, in the course of his travels to explore 
the mineral districts of various countries, he lighted 
upon Galvani in Italy, and became devoted for a time 
to the study of Animal Electricity, and to the obser- 
vation of some of the phenomena of the animal frame 
which were supremely interesting to him in his latest 
days. In 1849 he verified, to his own entire satis- 
faction, and that of his philosophical coadjutors, the 
fact of the deflection of the needle as a result of human 
volition, through the medium of muscular contraction. 
"The fact/' he said, in his letter to Arago, the next 
year, "is established beyond all question of doubt/' 
"Occupied myself for more than half a century in this 
class of physiological researches, the discovery which 
I have announced has for me a vital interest. It is 
a phenomenon of Life, rendered sensible by a physical 
instrument. " Thus were his earliest and latest scientific 



His prepar- 
ation for the 
production 
of the 
Kosmos. 



His dh 

covery of the 
deflection of 
the needle. 



152 



ALEXANDER VON HUMBOLDT. 



His travels 

and 

researches. 



interests linked by the discoveries of the remarkable 
age in which he lived ; but what an experience had he 
undergone in the mean time ! He had stood on higher 
ground than human foot had till then attained. He 
climbed Chimborazo to the height of 19,300 feet; an 
elevation since then surpassed, but never attained till 
that June day of 1802. He went down into the deepest 
mines, in pursuit of his geological researches. He 
not only visited three of the four quarters of the world, 
but explored parts of them which were then completely 
savage in the eyes of the civilized world. It was through 
no remissness of his own that he did not travel in 
Africa. He was at Marseilles, on his way to Algiers 
and to the top of Atlas, whence he meant to go to 
Egypt, when the war, which seemed to stop him at 
every outlet, turned him back. While charing under 
his confinement to Europe, he did the best he could 
within that prison. When the war raged in Italy, he 
travelled with Von Bach in Styria, examining the moun- 
tains and their productions. When London was inacces- 
sible, he went to Paris, where he made the acquaintance 
of his future comrade, Bonpland. When the war came 
to Germany, he was off to Spain ; and there, at last, 
he met his opportunity. He obtained a passage to 
South America, and narrowly escaped imposing upon 
us the honor or disgrace, whichever it might be, of 
having Alexander Humboldt for our prisoner of war. 
He has told in his works of his ascent of the Peak 
of Teneriffe (which just enabled him to deny not 
baving taken Africa in his course of travel), and of what 
be saw and felt among the vast rolling rivers, and grassy 
plains, and tropical forests, and overwhelming mountains 
of South America. He explored Mexico, landing on 



ALEXANDER VON HUMS OLD T. 



153 



its Pacific side, after having crossed the Andes ; and 
then, by way of Cuba, visited the United States, and 
lived two months in Philadelphia, in 1804. The world 
had never seen such scientific wealth as Humboldt 
brought to Havre, in his collections in every branch 
of Natural History, illustrated by such a commentary 
as he was now qualified to give. He planned an ency- 
clopaedic work which should convey in detail all his 
discoveries and classified knowledge ; and the issue 
of this work was one of the mistakes of his life which 
cost him most uneasiness. After twelve years of constant 
labor he had issued only four-fifths of this prodigious 
series of works ; and it has never been completed, 
though portions have dropped out even within a few 
years. Before those twelve years were over that is, 
before 1817 he had been overtaken in research, and 
forestalled in publication, by men whom he had himself, 
by his example, inspired and trained. In the next 
year he broke off from this slavery, and visited Italy. 
He was in England in 1826. He was then regarded 
as an elderly man being fifty-seven years old and 
notorious for a quarter of a century. But he was just 
about to make trial of a new mode of life ; and there 
were, after that, extensive travels before him. 

He fixed his abode at Berlin, and immediately became 
a royal favorite, and, consequently, a politician. He 
was made a Councillor of State, and tried his hand at 
diplomacy. But those are not the things by which he 
will be remembered ; and nobody cares to dwell on that 
part of his life, except those who would fain have 
Englishmen see that the foreign method of rewarding 
scientific or literary service by political office seems 
never to answer well in practice. In most cases the 

7* 



His plan of 
an encyclo- 
pedic 'work. 



Becomes a 
politician. 



154 



ALEXANDER VON HUMS OLD T. 



[H] 



In the Royal 
suite. 



practice is simply the spoiling of two things by mixing 
them ; in Humboldt's case, we merely forget the political 
part of his career, which was the artificial portion of his 
life, as it was the natural portion of his brother's. When 
Alexander came to England with the King of Prussia, 
on occasion of the baptism of the Prince of Wales, his 
appearance in the royal suite gave a sort of jar to 
English associations about the dignity of science. It 
was felt that that splendid brow wore the true crown ; 
and many a cheek flushed when the sage played the 
courtier, and had to consult the royal pleasure about 
his engagements with our scientific men, as a lacquey 
asks leave to go out. It is certain, however, that 
Humboldt took kindly to that sort of necessity. He 
was a courtier all over. We see it in his over-praise of 
all savans whom he names, and by his dexterous 
omission of such names as the Court or learned classes 
of Berlin did not wish to hear of. We see it in his 
cumbrous style, which is more like network to catch 
suffrages than a natural expression of what the writer 
was thinking about. And we see it in those nebulous 
or deficient portions of his "Kosmos," of which we have 
spoken above. Those who knew him in his last days 
saw it in the contrast between his written and spoken 
comments on his contemporaries. After hearing one of 
his dramatic descriptions of sittings in the Scientific 
Academies of the European capitals, with satirical pre- 
sentments of the great men there, his elaborate com- 
pliments to the same persons, incessantly issued in one 
form or another, have been found very curious reading. 
There was no envy or jealousy in this only an irre- 
sistible provocation to amuse himself and others, 
through his insight into human nature. He was 



ALEXANDER VON HUMS OLD T. 



155 



thoroughly generous in the recognition and aid of ability ; 
or rather, as he was high above all competition, regarding 
Science as his home, he looked upon all within that en- 
closure as his children. It was with a true paternal earn- 
estness and indulgence that he strove for their welfare. 
Almost every man of science in Germany who has found 
his place has been conducted to it by Humboldt ; and this, 
not only by a good use of his influence at Court, but by 
business-like endeavor in other directions. Napoleon 
and Wellington were born in the same year with him. 
Wellington never showed more studious skill in the ar- 
rangement of his forces, nor Napoleon a more efficient will 
in the distribution of the sceptres of European empires, 
than Humboldt, to the very last, in disposing his forces, 
and conferring crowns in the interests of the kingdoms of 
the higher realm of Nature. He gloried in so long outliv- 
ing the achievements of those great contemporaries : and 
truly it was a noble sight to see, so many years after the 
Great Captain had done his wars, and the Great Despot 
had expiated his trespasses, the Monarch of Science still 
urging his conquests, and winning his victories, in a career 
which cost no tears to others, and left no place for repent- 
ance for himself. 

The hindrance imposed on his scientific researches by 
his political position was very evident on occasion of his 
last long journey. By the express desire of the Czar, 
he travelled to Siberia, in company with Ehrenberg and 
Gustav Rose, in 1829, and explored Central Asia to the 
very frontier of China. Yet this journey, which, if he 
had set out from Paris, he would have thought worthy 
to absorb some years, was hurried over in nine months, 
as he happened to set forth from the Court of Berlin. 
He did great things for the time instituting obser- 



[in 



His pa- 
tronage of 
men of 
science. 



His travels 
in Central 
Ana. 



I 5 6 



ALEXANDER VON HUMBOLDT. 



[II] 



His old 
age. 



vatories, improving the Russian methods of mining, 
kindling intelligence wherever he went, and bringing 
home knowledge, more great and various than perhaps 
any living man but himself has gained in so short a 
time. After his return he spent the rest of his life, with 
intervals of travel, in maturing the generalizations by 
which he has done his chief service of all that of 
indicating the laws of the Distribution of the forms of 
existence, and especially of Biological existence. He 
also compiled his * ' Kosmos" from the substance of sixty- 
one lectures which he delivered in Berlin in 1827-8. 
His frame wore wonderfully ; and there was no sign of 
decay of external sense or interior faculty while younger 
men were dropping into the grave, completely worn out. 
He was the last of the contemporaries of Gothe ; and 
as the tidings came of the death of each philosopher, 
poet, statesman, or soldier Humboldt raised his head 
higher, seemed to feel younger, and, as it were, proud of 
having outlived so many. If silent, he was kindly and 
gentle. If talkative, he would startle his hearers with a 
story or scene from a Siberian steppe or a Peruvian river- 
side fresh and accurate as if witnessed last year. He 
forgot no names or dates, any more than facts of a more 
interesting kind. In the street, he was known to every 
resident of Berlin and Potsdam, and was pointed out to 
all strangers, as he walked, slowly and firmly, with his 
massive head bent a little forward, and his hand at his 
back holding a pamphlet. He was fond of the society 
of young men to the last, and was often found present 
at their scientific processes and meetings for experiment, 
and nobody present was more unpretending and gay. 
He has been charged with putting down all talk but his 
own ; but this was the natural mistake of the empty- 



ALEXANDER VON HUMBOLDT. 



157 



minded, who were not qualified either to listen or talk 
in his presence. There was no better listener than 
Humboldt in the presence of one who had anything 
worth hearing to say on any subject whatever. Though 
he liked praise, he could run the risk of blame on 
serious occasions. Though he probably did not say at 
Court what he said to his intimates elsewhere, "I am a 
democrat of 1789," he used his position and influence 
to utter things in high places which would hardly have 
been otherwise heard there. It was the impression 
among his friends that he was as hearty an anti-Russian 
amidst the political complications of 1854 as any man 
in Berlin. Whether the king was equally aware of it 
there was no knowing. If he was, Humboldt's position 
was too well secured to permit any manfestation of 
royal annoyance. 

It is a great thing for Germany that, at the period 
when the national intellect seemed in danger of evapo- 
rating in dreams and vapors of metaphysics, Humboldt 
arose to connect the abstract faculty of that national 
mind with the material on which it ought to be employed. 
The rise of so great a Naturalist and initiator of Physical 
Philosophy at the very crisis of the intellectual fortunes 
of Germany is a blessing of yet unappreciated value ; 
unappreciated because it is only the completion of any 
revolution which can reveal the whole prior need of it. 
If Alexander Humboldt suffered, more or less, from the 
infection of the national uncertainty of thought and 
obscurity of expression, he conferred infinitely more than 
he lost by giving a grasp of reality to the finest minds 
of his country, and opening a broad new avenue into the 
realm of Nature to be trodden by all peoples of all times. 



[II] 



His liberal 
tendencies. 



His influ- 
ence on 
German 
thought. 



III. 

PROFESSIONAL. 



I. 



DR. BLOMFIELD. 

RESIGNED THE BISHOPRIC OF LONDON IN SEPTEMBER, 1856. 
DIED AUGUST 5, 1857. 

THOUGH he had laid down his episcopal title and dignity 
some months before his death, Dr. Blomfield will be 
known in history as the Bishop of London. Of all the 
incumbents of the Metropolitan See since the Reforma- 
tion, scarcely any one has held the office in a more 
remarkable and critical time for the Church than Charles 
James Blomfield. His episcopate was a very long one : 
and the period almost exactly comprehended the term of 
crisis as far as that crisis has yet proceeded in Church 
principles and government. If the character and destiny 
of any Church are exhibited more or less in the mind 
and conduct of its chief dignitaries, the life of Bishop 
Blomfield must have an interest, not only for our own 
generation, but for others to come. 

He was the son of C. Blomfield, Esq. ; and he was 
educated at Cambridge, where he obtained, when a 
Middle Bachelor, a classical prize in 1809. He was a 
Fellow of Trinity College, and in orders in 1810, and 
highly distinguished among scholars for his edition of 
^Eschylus. and the controversies which it occasioned. 
He was permitted by his College to use Person's notes ; 



Critical 
period of his 
episcopate. 



His edition 
ofJEschylus. 



162 



DR. BLOMFIELD. 



[I] 



His liberal 
views in 
early life. 



Consecrated 
Bishop of 
Chester. 



Opposes 
Catholic 
Emancipa- 
tion. 



and the opponents of the Porsonian school castigated 
him and his work accordingly. His rival, Mr. Butler, 
oddly enough as it seems to us now, accused him in a 
pamphlet of being the Reviewer of Butler's "^Eschylus" 
in the Edingburgh Review ; and Hermann, in his notice 
of Blomfield's edition (in the Weimar Annual, ) says that 
it is remarkable for "a great arbitrariness of proceeding, 
and much boldness of innovation, guided by no sure 
principle. " Adding to this the consideration of vast and 
willing toil bestowed upon the work, we have already, 
so early as 1810, a disclosure of the mind and character 
of the man. In those days, a divine rose in the Church 
in one of two ways by his classical reputation, or by 
aristocratic connection. Mr. Blomfield was a fine scholar, 
but he was, in early life, a Liberal in politics, and a friend 
to religious liberty in the form of Catholic and every 
other Emancipation. His views changed, as he himself 
professed, after he became tutor in the family of some 
near relatives of the Minister of the day ; and he was 
soon after in the enjoyment of a living of 4,ooo/. a year 
in London, and was next made Bishop of Chester (in 
1824), and Clerk of the Closet to George IV., retaining 
the emoluments of all these offices at once. He was as 
zealous in his opposition to Catholic claims as he had 
been, not long before, in advocating them ; and Hansard 
can exhibit in his case one of the most curious states of 
mind conceivable. He grounded his frequent depreca- 
tion of Catholic Emancipation on the sins and errors of 
Popery, which were quite as well known to him before, 
but which he had formerly thought, very properly, not to 
be the question in dispute, but rather whether the errors 
of any faith ought to exclude men from civil rights. His 
natural impetuosity led him into inaccuracies of statement 



DR. BLOMFIELD. 



163 



which were made the most of by the Liberals of the 
time ; their strictures induced him to declare himself a 
martyr; his complaints of his severe trials endeared him 
to the Duke of York, who was at that time fierce in his 
Anti-Catholic politics ; and all the world predicted the 
highest honors of the Churcfe for Bishop Blomfield when- 
ever the Duke of York should succeed to the throne. 
He became Bishop of London, however, in 1828, before 
the death of George IV., Bishop Horsley going to 
Canterbury. In the true spirit of a Churchman of the 
olden time, he was always insisting, up to the moment of 
Catholic Emancipation, that the proper remedy for Irish 
discontent was the granting, not of rights of conscience, 
but bounties on linen and flax, appropriations for public 
works, and penalties on absenteeism. His confirmation 
as Bishop of London took place at Bow Church on the 
1 6th of August, 1828. 

While the Bishops were engrossed with political 
interests, that disturbance in the interior of the Church 
had begun which has gone on increasing to this day ; 
and it was the total silence of the Bishops, ou the first 
occasion of the subject being brought before Parliament, 
which fixed the attention of the public on their position 
in the House of Lords ; and which, when contrasted, 
some years afterward, with their remarkable act of 
throwing out the Reform Bill, raised the temporary cry, 
and confirmed the conception of their " release," as it 
was called, " from their duties in Parliament." It was in 
the year before Dr. Blomfield became Bishop of Chester 
that the first symptom occurred of the awakening of the 
High Church spirit of domination over faith which has 
since roused the clergy some to an exemplary discharge 
of their duties, and others to insubordination. In the 



[I] 



Appointedto 
the See of 
London. 



Conduct of 
the Bishops 
in Parlia- 
ment. 



1 64 



DR. BLOM FIELD. 



[I] 



The Trac- 
tarlau Con- 
troversy. 



Session of 1821, the celebrated Peterborough Questions 
the eighty-seven Questions imposed upon candidates 
for orders by Dr. Herbert Marsh, Bishop of Peterborough 
were appealed against in the only place where an 
appeal could lodge in the House of Lords. The 
Archbishop of Canterbury had refused to entertain the 
subject. The Lords also refused to entertain the subject, 
both then and on occasion of another petition the next 
year. On both occasions the prominent subject of 
remark was the silence of the Bishops on a matter 
which vitally concerned the constitution and interests 
of their Church. They were taunted with it in the 
House, and by Lord Carnarvon especially. But they 
were in fact unprepared. The subject of Liberty of 
Opinion was coming up before they were aware ; and it 
was certainly very plain that they were no more fit to 
open their lips upon it than any other set of men in 
England. 

Just at that time, Dr. Blomfield took his seat among 
the Bishops ; and, unaware that his life would be occupied 
with the strifes of opinion and the conflicts on the 
question of religious liberty, he rushed into politics, and 
committed himself early on the wrong and losing side of 
the Catholic Question. The uncertainty and obscurity 
of his conduct and his views on the great Tractarian 
controversy of the time was a singular spectacle to those 
who best knew his love of decision, his love of power, 
his love of whatever was strong and substantial. We 
believe that to the last it was uncertain to everybody 
what his Church views really were. While the Oxford 
party wde advocating Art as auxiliary to religion, the 
Bishop of London refused all countenance to the West- 
minster Abbey Festival in 1834, though the Archbishops 



DR. BLOMFIELD. 



165 



of Canterbury, York, and Armagh were in attendance on 
the King and Queen at the performances. The Oxford 
party advocated popular amusements, and on Sundays, 
after service, as much as other days ; and the Bishop of 
London proclaimed in the Lords the number of boats 
that went under Putney-bridge on Sundays. This was 
never forgotten or forgiven ; and the image of the Prelate, 
in his purple, sitting in his palace at Fulham, counting 
the people who came for fresh air on their only day of 
the seven, was often brought forward years after the 
Bishop himself was suspected of Tractarianism. The 
suspicion arose in the very midst of apparent Low-Church 
scruples. When Tractarian practices crept into London 
churches, and he was appealed to on their account, his 
Charges were looked for with extreme eagerness ; but it 
was difficult to learn more from them than that he was 
at a loss what to say. His hair-splitting on rubrical 
subjects is well remembered ; and his nice distinctions 
are on record his so-called decisions, which decide 
nothing, about candles lighted and unlighted, gown and 
surplice, bowings, &c., &c. He strove evidently to take 
a middle course on a subject which does not admit of it ; 
and he had no principle to assign. In one so fond of 
power, so haughty to his working clergy, so prone to 
decision and arbitrariness, so impetuous and apt to be 
possessed by an idea, such weakness was very remarkable, 
and not a little interesting as showing what the difficulty 
of Church government must at the moment be. The 
truth is, Bishop Blomfield was not adequate to his charge 
in such a time of crisis, though his really great and good 
qualities fitted him for the same position in an organic 
period of the Church. 

If he was not strong enough in his best days, much 



His nice 
distinctions. 



1 66 



DR. BLOMFIELD. 



[I] 



Unequal to 
his position. 



less had he any chance of being an ecclesiastical hero 
like the Seven Bishops, to whom he compared himself 
in the days of the Catholic Question when his health 
failed, and his spirits were borne down by pressure of 
business, and perplexity and irresolution of mind. There 
was a time when, of all the prelates on the Bench, 
Dr. Blomfield would have been selected, from his 
activity, his self-confidence, his devotion to business, and 
his habits of authority, to contend with the schism in the 
Church, and to take care that, in his own province at 
least, all should be orthodox and unquestionable : but 
that time was over long ago ; and if the historian of the 
struggle were required to point out which of all the 
Bishops most disappointed expectation on this one 
ground, he would indicate the Bishop of London. Not 
the less credit, but perhaps the more, should he have for 
his best qualities and his most useful work and example. 
Of his conscientiousness no doubt, we believe, was ever 
raised. The reputation of his head gave way to that 
of his heart on all doubtful occasions. He had what 
Sydney Smith called "an ungovernable passion for busi- 
ness," and devoted eight hours a day to the administra- 
tion of his diocese. He aided in the construction of 
the new Poor-law, and manifested as much sagacity and 
sound principle as industry in that difficult matter. He 
was the author and chief component part of the 
Ecclesiastical Commission. He was told that he was 
destroying the Church, and that no good Churchman 
would join him : he replied that the Church could by 
no other means be saved ; and he was not left alone. The 
reproach was a remarkable one to be addressed to him 
who considered himself and the Church so completely 
identified, that, according to Sydney Smith's joke, the 



DR. BLOMFIELD. 



167 



form of his dinner invitations was, "The Church of 
England and Mrs. Blomfield request the pleasure, " &c. 

But his labors would have been more respected and 
more effectual if he could so far have thrown off Church 
influences as to divest himself of some of his wealth 
and patronage. There were reductions in the Bishop's 
incomes; but these incomes were still preposterous, 
while he was incessantly and pathetically lamenting the 
case of hungry sheep scantily tended. The wealth of 
bishops and poverty of curates came to be called "the 
sheep and shepherd principle" of Church government ; 
and the Church gained no credit by it. Provincial Dean 
of Canterbury, Dean of the Chapels Royal, and holding 
nearly one hundred livings in his gift, he was not so 
respectfully treated in regard to his reforms as his 
conscientiousness really deserved. 

As in so many other cases, the evil was in the system 
more than in the man. Devoted to his business, and 
what he conceived to be his duty, charitable (though 
highly arbitrary) in his acts, amiable in domestic life, 
and agreeable in his social manners, he was regarded 
with much affection by those who were once attached to 
him. Society wonders what has become of the power 
from which the world, and himself especially, anticipated 
so much ; and, on the whole, his must be regarded as a 
vocation manque. He "came in like a lion and went 
out like a lamb. " His power was not only less than all 
supposed, but it was unsuited to the time ; and there can 
be no doubt that, in the midst of his purple and gold, 
and his palaces, and his large domestic circle, he must 
have endured many a painful hour, under difficulties that 
he could not cope with, and perplexities that he could 
not solve. His virtues, his deficiencies, and the prero- 



[I] 

His Church 
patronage. 



The system 
and the 



168 



DR. BLOMFIELD. 



[I] 



gatives and troubles of his lot, alike furnish the lesson to 
those who hold the power of appointment to bishoprics, 
that Greek scholarship is of little consequence in these 
days, in comparison with clear and honest convictions, 
ripened judgment in ecclesiastical matters, liberal views, 
inflexible courage and decision, and unquestionable dis- 
interestedness. Whatever may be the zeal and piety 
of any number of individual members of a Church, that 
Church cannot stand as an Ecclesiastical Establishment 
which shows, like ours at this day, large variations in 
the views of its prelates, without any combined action 
or consistent administration. 



II. 



ARCHBISHOP WHATELY. 

DIED OCTOBER STH, 1863. 

j 

WE live in days when the fortunes of Church dignitaries 
in other words, the qualities which raise Churchmen to 
dignities are a pregnant sign of the times. Of this 
class of phenomena, none has been more striking to our 
generation than the presence of Richard Whately on the 
bench of bishops ; and his elevation to the Archbishopric 
of Dublin was scarcely more astonishing to Ireland than 
it was to the rest of the United Kingdom, to say 
nothing of foreign countries, from Rome to the farthest 
West where the Irish immigrant rears his shanty on the 
prairie. To those who remember 1830, and knew any- 
thing of the dismay of the then young Tractarian party 
at Oxford, and of the exultation of the Church Reform 
party, of whom Dr. Arnold may be considered a repre- 
sentative, when the announcement was made that the 
Annotator on Archbishop King's Discourse on Predesti- 
nation, the Bampton Lecturer, the author of " Elements 
of Logic," the audacious thinker, the outspoken Richard 
Whately, was to be the new Archbishop of Dublin, our 
words will not appear extravagant. The discontent on 
the Liberal side was that the elevation was not sufficiently 
great and effective. " But alas !" wrote Dr. Arnold, " for 



Hoiohis ele- 
vation iv as 
received. 



170 



ARCHBISHOP WHATELY. 



[II] 



Dr.Arnold's 
opinion o 
Whately. 



His birth, 
1786. 



your being at Dublin, instead of at Canterbury." In 
Ireland, however, where Catholic equality was yet new 
and raw, and the two Churches were rapidly exchanging 
converts, even Dr. Arnold saw that there was much for a 
Liberal prelate to do. " It does grieve me most deeply," 
he wrote, "to hear people speak of him as a dangerous 
and latitudinarian character, because in him the intel- 
lectual part of his nature keeps pace with the spiritual 
instead of being left, as the Evangelicals leave it, a fallow 
field for all unsightly creeds to flourish in. He is a truly 
great man, in the highest sense of the word ; and if the 
safety and welfare of the Protestant Church in Ireland 
depend in any degree on human instruments, none could 
be found, I verily believe, in the whole empire, so likely 
to maintain it." It is no new thing for the event to 
rebuke the discontents and exultations which wait on 
portents, or what seem such. The excitement about 
this Whig appointment soon subsided ; and the Church 
is very much where it would have been if Whately had 
devoted his days to logic and political economy in some 
country parsonage, or the lecture hall at Oxford. A 
certain interest, however, hangs about the personal 
history from the early achievements of the man, and the 
high expectations he awakened ; and his disappearance 
from the Church and the world awakens thoughts and 
feelings worthy of heed and of record. 

Richard Whately was born in 1786, his father being 
a clergyman, who lived at Nonsuch Park, Surrey. Oriel 
College was made eminent at that period by the names 
of some of its Fellows, and by its being the last refuge 
of the study of Logic, and the one school of Speculative 
Philosophy in England. Thus it was regarded at the 
time ; and strange it is to remember this now, after all 



ARCHBISHOP WHATELY. 



171 






that has happened since. Whately's comrades there were 
Coplestone, Davison, Keble, Hawkins, and Hampden, 
soon joined in their fellowships by Newman and Pusey. 
In 1819 Whately became a Fellow, and in 1822 Principal 
of St. Alban's Hall. Of his earliest work (or that which 
usually stands first in the list), " Historic Doubts," little 
seems now to be remembered, beyond its giving assur- 
ance to the world of an independent thinker among the 
rising clergy. His Notes to Archbishop King's Sermon 
on Predestination appeared in 1821, and proved him to 
have that sort of English inclination (as foreigners call 
it) which seeks "a craggy subject to break one's mind 
on. " The impression at the time was that Archbishop 
King's editor failed in logic, though no one could 
seriously demand that logic should avail in bringing the 
thinker to the desired conclusion. Mr. Whately (as he 
was then) was respectfully treated by his theological 
critics ; but the weak point in him was declared to be 
his logic. Yet had his work on Logic been maturing in 
his mind for a dozen years at that very time. Before it 
appeared, however, he had become further known to the 
Church and the public by "Two Discourses on Obe- 
dience to Civil Government," and by his "Bampton 
Lectures," delivered in 1822. He published his eight 
lectures under the title, "The Use and Abuse of Party- 
feeling in Matters of Religion considered." Looking 
back upon them now, under the light of the author's 
after-life, we smile to see the politico-economical doc- 
trines which were already his study applied in a spiritual 
sense to theological affairs the advantages of party- 
feeling being exhibited in division of employments and 
co-operation in Church matters ; and then we meet with 
what compels a sigh. Most rationally, most unanswer- 



[II] 

His con- 
temporaries 
at Oxford. 



His early 
publications 



172 



ARCHBISHOP WHATELY. 



Ill] 



His thoughts 
on logic. 



Publishes 
his "Ele- 
ments" 



ably, he set forth the policy, as well as the beauty, of 
candor, gentleness, and modesty in collisions of opinion. 
It would have been well if he had always kept his own 
lessons in mind. 

He declared in 1827 that for fourteen years his mind 
had brooded over the leading points of his work on 
Logic ; and during all that time the desire had grown 
stronger to remedy the state of things by which (to use 
his own words) "a very small proportion, even of dis- 
tinguished students, ever become good logicians ; and by 
far the greater part pass through the University without 
knowing anything at all of it." He attributed the de- 
ficiency to Logic having never been ennobled by being 
made a condition of academical honors. Other people 
believed that this was but one of various causes of the 
neglect of Logic ; and some were far from desiring to 
see the study so eagerly and generally pursued as to 
cause a demand for popular teaching, and to open the 
most sacred study next to theology to the deterioration 
which theology had undergone in Germany, from com- 
petitive lecturing, suited to the popular demand for 1 
excitement. Logic extolled beyond its true scope, or 
lowered to purposes of popular entertainment, has its 
dangers, serious and formidable ; but these perils form 
no case for neglect of it for such neglect as Whately 
took to heart, and did much to remedy. It had become 
useless to compel the study of Logic at Oxford ; and the 
students hailed with joy the proposal to leave the study 
altogether to the option of candidates for honors. The 
very name and pursuit seemed doomed to lapse, like 
some other studies which the classics and theology had 
driven out, when Dr. Whately, then Principal of St. 
Alban's Hall, published his "Elements of Logic," and 



ARCHBISHOP WHATELY. 



173 



commanded, by his station and reputation, an opposition 
and an advocacy which rescued his favorite science (so 
called) from oblivion, and did more for its interests than 
Oxford could show for above a century. During the 
next ten years, more books on Logic came out than 
Oxford had sent forth during the preceding hundred and 
thirty. The merits of the work are another question. 
They have been abundantly discussed elsewhere. Perhaps 
the permanent conclusion has been for some time reached 
that the work, and Whately's powers in that direction, 
were, as was natural, overrated at the time. Deficiencies 
could hardly be avoided under the circumstances of the 
case ; but the positive errors charged upon the work by 
contemporary and later writers lowered Dr. Whately's 
reputation more and more with time. His career has 
for some years past shown his warmest admirers that 
they were mistaken in their estimate of the logical part 
of his construction. He at once perpetually exaggerated 
the functions of logic, and occasionally misplaced its 
principles and misapplied its art; and long before his 
death he had lost the reputation, once almost undisputed, 
of being an irrefragable reasoner. It is not the less true 
that to him we owe the rescue of Logic from extinction 
in our universities. 

Between the publication of his ''Elements" and his 
being made Archbishop of Dublin, he became Professor 
of Political Economy, and published the introductory 
lectures of his course. In 1830 he issued his volume, 
"The Errors of Romanism traced to their Origin in 
Human Nature ;" and we do not know that any of his 
works more effectually exhibits the characteristics of his 
mind. It has the spirit and air of originality which 
attend upon sublime good sense ; and the freshness thus 



[II] 



Appointed 
Professor of 
Political 
Economy. 



174 



ARCHBISHOP WHATELY. 



[II] 



His 

career of 

intellectual 

activity. 



cast around a subject supposed to be worn out is a 
sample of the vigor which in those days animated 
everything he said and did. Its fault was the fault of 
its author's life its want of thoroughness. Its reasonings 
and illustrations stop short at the point where their appli- 
cation to his own Church would be inconvenient ; and 
thus the work was eagerly seized on by the Dissenters, 
and its omissions supplied. It is remarkable that the 
logician who was believed by his friends, and by a large 
portion of the public, to be the most irrefragable reasoner 
of his time, should have been subject throughout his 
public life to refutation on each special occasion by the 
one party most concerned in the argument. But so it 
was ; and the result was seen in the virtual closing of 
his career twenty years before his death. His consti- 
tutional activity was irrepressible ; and no apprehensions 
and anxieties during his years of vigor, nor any infir- 
mities of his latter days, deadened his inquisitiveness 
into the smallest fragments of knowledge, or checked 
his discursiveness of mind and conversation : but his 
fame stood still from the time when he assumed his 
great responsibilities, and he did nothing afterward to 
revive it. Not many months after he became Arch- 
bishop of Dublin, he one day plucked at his sleeve, 
saying, as if in soliloquy, " I don't know how it is ; but 
- after we once get these things on, we never do anything 
more." It was a severe distress to the friends of his 
early manhood that after he had got on his lawn sleeves, 
he never did anything more in the way at least of such 
service as was expected from him. They accounted for 
the fact in various ways ; but they did not dispute it. 
"Where," wrote Dr. Arnold, in 1836, "is the knowledge, 
where the wisdom, and where the goodness, which com- 



ARCHBISHOP WHATELY. 



'75 



bine to form the great man ? I know of no man who 
approaches to this character except Whately ; and he is 
taken away from the place where he was wanted, and 
sent where the highest greatness would struggle in vain 
against the overpowering disadvantages of his position." 
Dr. Arnold would have said, if his generous affections 
had not been in the way, that "the highest greatness" 
makes its own position of usefulness; and again, that 
the headship of the English Church in Ireland is a 
position of singular advantage for a true and courageous 
Church reformer. 

Two causes were concerned in the failure in this case. 
Dr. Whately lay under the suspicion of heterodoxy ; and 
the knowledge of this fact disheartened him. He was 
not a man of the highest moral courage, though his 
strong self-will drove him into occasional recklessness. 
The story of his connection with Blanco White, from 
first to last, is a complete illustration of his character 
of mind. A friendship grew up between him and 
Blanco White while the latter was, in belief and practice, 
a clergyman, and the comrade of the rising clergy of 
Oxford. In their passion for logic, and their blindness 
to the insufficiency of logic, these two able men thor- 
oughly sympathized ; and it is probable that Whately 
suffered from nothing more in his whole life than the 
spectacle of the failure and wretchedness of the exist- 
ence of the best logician he knew, as well as perhaps 
the most virtuous man, in purity of heart and con- 
scientiousness. Blanco White totally lacked imagi- 
nation, and was destitute of science ; so that, on the 
one hand, he regarded theological dogmas in a logical 
light, ending of course in the surrender of them all ; 
while, on the other hand, he was not qualified to 






Hisfriend* 
ship vvith 
Blanco 
White. 



I 7 6 



ARCHBISHOP WHATELY. 



[II] 



Suspected of 
heterodoxy. 



ascertain any other standpoint ; and his heart, his 
conscience, and his reason were forever craving a 
resting-place which they could not find. His published 
Memoirs are, we believe, considered by those who know 
them the most melancholy book they ever read. If it 
is mischievous, in one direction, by its disheartening 
exhibition of the pains and penalties incurred by an 
avowal of heresy, it ought to be instructive in another, 
by its clear admonitions against Blanco White's method 
of seeking truth, and reliance upon a narrow and barren 
exercise of the reasoning power, without regard to its 
true scope and sufficiency of material. This deeply 
suffering man was united in a close friendship with Dr. 
Whately by their similarity of logical power, and yet 
more by their pure goodness of heart, and a liberality in 
theology and politics rare among clergymen at that time. 
Whately went so far with his friend in the direction of 
heterodoxy that his letters, for some time after their 
separation, are as curious as anything he ever wrote. 
All the resources of his hair-splitting ingenuity were used 
(and all were insufficient) to justify his being an arch- 
bishop and his friend an outcast, while it was so 
exceedingly difficult to point out where their opinions 
differed. This was, of course, before Blanco White had 
relinquished his hold on Christianity as a revelation, 
though after he had, with due delicacy, resigned his 
office of chaplain and home in the Archbishop's family. 
His friend's unhappiness, as well as his integrity, was a 
perpetual pain and eyesore to Whately ; and the pain at 
length proved too much for his temper, while it impaired 
his usefulness. He carried about with him the con- 
sciousness of being under suspicion of heterodoxy ; and 
he had not courage or temper to sustain such a trial well. 



ARCHBISHOP WHATELY. 



177 



The imputations on his orthodoxy made him sore, and 
everything chafed his mind. He became irritable and 
more overbearing than ever, till his suffering exploded in 
a burst of anger and calumny on occasion of the publi- 
cation of his friend's Memoirs. He asserted widely, 
positively, and in black and white, that physicians had 
declared his old friend to be insane ; and the assertion 
was met by abundant medical testimony that this was 
not true. He asserted that the biographer of Blanco 
White had made use of private letters of his and his 
family's against prohibition and legal warning, and for 
the sordid purpose of turning the penny ; and this was 
again met by positive proof that the letters in question, 
so far from being published, or prepared for publication, 
were placed at the Archbishop's disposal, and returned 
to him on his first request. As for the imputed sordid- 
ness, it was a prominent statement in the book that the 
biographer's labor was altogether gratuitous, Blanco 
White's will having assigned the entire profits of the 
work to his son. These injurious assertions were at first 
regarded as an ebullition of temper, and as such would 
have been presently forgotten ; but unhappily, the Arch- 
bishop, never accessible to explanation, and always 
unable to own himself wrong, renewed his statements 
after the disproof had been supplied to him, and to the 
particular public whom he had misled. His liberality to 
his friend in regard to his personal comforts, and the 
benevolence of the whole family in this and in all cases 
in which they could assist the suffering, were signal ; but 
in the department of Opinion, fear and pride bore down 
all before them. 

In this chapter of his life we find an epitome of his 
conduct and experience in his ecclesiastical relations. 

8* 



[II] 

His conduct 
on the pub- 
lication of 
Blanco 
White's 
Memoirs. 



178 



ARCHBISHOP WHATELY. 



[II] 






Antagonism 
with the 
Catholics. 



The 

National 

School 

system. 



The hopes of the Liberal Government, and of the 
reforming section of the Church, were disappointed ; 
and if no High Church or Low Church scandal ensued 
from his being placed at Dublin, neither was there any 
approach to a solution of the difficulty of the English 
Establishment in Ireland. Dr. Whately had voted for 
Peel, at Oxford, in the critical election of 1829 ; yet he 
inclined more and more to direct antagonism with the 
Catholics from the time he went to Ireland ; and we saw 
him in 1852 presiding over the Society for protecting 
the Rights of Conscience in Ireland, in defiance of his 
long-preached conclusions in political economy, and his 
understood neutrality toward the Catholics. The atmo- 
sphere of the country, and, it is believed, domestic 
influences, drew him in to preside over an Association 
for providing employment for the people of one way of 
thinking who were out of favor with people of another 
faith. A similar difficulty occurred in the department of 
the Schools, in which he long rendered inestimable 
service. The ladies of his family had a school at their 
country-seat, near Dublin ; and one of their classes was 
composed of Catholic children for the purpose of having 
the Protestant Bible read and expounded to them. The 
local priest remonstrated, then threatened to withdraw 
the children, and finally appealed to the Board, on whose 
interference the practice was discontinued. This was 
not the kind of action anticipated when a Whately was 
sent to Ireland. 

His great service, and that by which he will be hon- 
orably remembered, was his support of the National 
School system. The Liberal reputation with which he 
went to Ireland indicated his place at once, at the head 
of the enterprise ; and he worked long, strenuously, 



ARCHBISHOP WHATELY. 



179 



effectively, and with a patience truly wonderful in him, 
to keep the doors of the National Schools wide open, 
and to provide an education of a high order within. 
For more than twenty years he devoted himself to this 
great branch of service ; and when at last he gave way 
and resigned, on occasion of the dispute about the 
Scripture Lessons, the feebleness of age was creeping 
over him, and he could not have done much more if no 
such trouble had arisen. 

Another of his great services was his unanswerable 
advocacy of the admission of Jews to Parliament. The 
same clear vigor in defence of the liberties of the Jews 
which so sorely distressed Dr. Arnold when Whately's 
opinions were to find expression in Paliament, was at 
the command of the injured sect as often as it was the 
Archbishop's season of attendance in the House of 
Lords ; and the years when he was present were con- 
sidered by the Jews the most favorable to their cause. 
If their case had been determinable by reason and 
principle, they would long ago have owed their admission 
to full political rights to Archbishop Whately. 

He rendered other secular services of high value. 
He was as largely concerned as the Bishop of London 
in the reform of the Poor Laws ; and he did more than 
perhaps any other man, unless it were Sir Wm. Moles- 
worth, to abolish penal Transportation. His letter to 
Earl Grey on Secondary Punishments, published in 1833, 
contributed mainly to our change of system. At a later 
time, just after the Irish famine, the Statistical Society of 
Dublin was formed under his encouragement; and he 
hi led the chair and delivered the Inaugural Address. 
He fulfilled the same function for the Society for pro- 
moting Scientific Inquiries into Social Questions, which 



His secular 
labors. 



i8o 



ARCHBISHOP WHATELY. 



Whately 
and the 
Tractarian 
party. 



was founded in 1852. It would be difficult to overrate 
the promise of benefit to Ireland from these associations, 
by which the science of the first Economists of the 
country is brought to bear on practical questions, and 
itself improved by the consultations and co-operation of 
the members. For some years past no sensible person 
would think of describing or legislating for Ireland 
without having studied, as his best material, the papers 
issued by these Societies. The name of Archbishop 
Whately will be honorably connected with them, as 
long as they are heard of. His lively interest in fresh 
knowledge of every kind never flagged. Up to the 
last, when he was too feeble and infirm to go about 
unsupported, the best-informed young people said that 
nothing gave them so keen a sense of their own igno- 
rance as the presence of the Archbishop, whose in- 
quisitiveness left nothing unobserved, or exempt from 
being reasoned on. In matters of Science and Natural 
History he had the good sense and courage which failed 
him in the department of theology and its profession. 
In secular matters he did justice to his own admirable 
precept "It is not enough to believe what you main- 
tain. You must maintain what you believe, and 
maintain it because you believe it." 

The reaction against the Tractarian movement, which 
set in after 1840, could not pass without notice from a 
prelate in his position and of his particular reputation. 
In 1841 he published two Essays on Christ and His 
Church, in which his faculty of dealing with the claims 
of Evidence, and exposing false pretensions of Tradition, 
had full play. In 1843, when several Bishops took 
courage to charge against the High Church heresy, and 
to publish their Charges, Dr. Whately was one of the 



ARCHBISHOP WHATELY. 181 



number. He went so far as to demand a Convocation, 
in view of scandalous tamperings with the formulas, and 
mutual recriminations within the Church, and the ruinous 
aspect of the institution to those outside the pale. His 
demand was not seconded by the Irish Bishops who 
spoke their minds at the time ; and it is remarkable that 
Whately, who knew better than most men the powers 
and shortcomings of authority in matters of faith, and 
the small chance of harmony in affairs of administration, 
to be found in clerical Councils, should have been the 
man to desire a Convocation when the divisions in the 
Church had reached their height. As far as we are 
aware, his more recent opposition to Puseyism has been 
in the form of ridicule of its pretensions, in the pulpit 
and in private ; and not in further propositions through 
the press. His latest work was a Charge delivered in 
the last year of his life. It is directed against the dan- 
gers peculiar to the times, inculcating reverence for the 
Scriptures, and opposing a spirit of finality in ecclesias- 
tical affairs. A few weeks ago it was announced that 
the Archbishop was ill, and not likely to recover. His 
sufferings, borne with exemplary meekness and fortitude, 
were terminated by death on the 8th of October. 



[in 



His latest 
ivork. 



III. 



Compared 
'with Ais 
brother 
Lord 
Castlereagh. 



THE MARQUIS OF LONDONDERRY. 
DIED MARCH IST, 1854. 

As a remarkable man in his way, Lord Londonderry, 
ought not to pass to his grave without some exercise of 
our judgment on his career. 

According to Conservative authorities, he was not re- 
markable in Statesmanship and Diplomacy. In the eyes 
of Liberals he was very remarkable in those departments 
but not in a favorable sense. Now that he is gone, 
we had rather look at other parts of his character and 
action, some of which men of all parties can regard with 
cordial respect, and others with an amiable amusement. 
The world of politics and fashion owes a great deal of 
amusement to the departed nobleman ; and those who 
smiled oftenest felt a real kindness and regard for him. 

Charles Stewart Vane, Marquis of Londonderry, was 
brother to the more eminent or notorious Lord Castlereagh 
and Londonderry of the beginning of the century. Re- 
garding them with the differences of their professions as 
Statesman and Soldier, there was a strong family likeness 
between them. There was the same high courage ; the 
same prodigious self-esteem, joined to genial kindness ; 
the same utter insensibility to popular claims, and in- 
ability to conceive in the remotest manner of popular 
\ 



THE MARQUIS OF LONDONDERRY. 



'83 



liberties ; the same delusion about their own greatness, 
which gave a taint of vulgarity to their minds and 
manners (especially when among the really great); and 
the same extraordinary use of the English language, 
and other tokens of a defective education. There was a 
likeness, too, in their personal accomplishments. Lord 
Castlereagh attracted all eyes as he rode in the parks ; 
and Charles Stewart is still remembered by old soldiers 
as a fine spectacle to troops and civilians when, on his 
charger, he led his hussars into the Escurial nearly fifty 
years ago. He did fine service in the dark days when 
Napoleon himself was pressing Sir John Moore into the 
northwest provinces of Spain. Charles Stewart crossed 
the Tormes, engaged and defeated the Imperial Guard, 
and so covered the retreat of the British. He saw almost 
the last man embarked at Corunna before he left the 
beach ; and at most of the great battles in Spain he was 
among the bravest and heartiest. He was busy in the 
politics of warfare, too, keeping Bernadotte faithful to 
the allies when he was destined to occupy Berlin, before 
the battle of Leipsic, but was known to be wavering 
between the old master to whom he owed his crown, 
and the English who had clothed and armed his troops. 
Charles Stewart went and came, and was busy among the 
camps of the allies ; but what good he did was by strong 
will and courage. His proper place was the battle-field, 
and not the council-board. His best days were, there- 
fore, over when the war came to an end, though he 
remained as our representative at Vienna till 1823. 

From that time he was great in Irish politics, spouting 
his remarkable English in county Down, taking for 
granted that he was to have his own way about members 
of Parliament, tenants, Catholics and Protestants there, 



[III] 



His services 
in the 
Peninsula* 



i8 4 



THE MARQUIS OF LONDONDERRY. 



[Ill] 



Pecu- 
liarities of 
character. 



Appointed 
ambassador 
to Russia j 



tut 

resigns on 
account of 
its unpopu- 
larity. 



as about coals and colliers, and the representation in 
the county of Durham, where his other estates lay. He 
had an unlimited capacity of astonishment, as appeared 
whenever he could not get his own way. He called the 
world's attention to the phenomenon when anybody re- 
fused to vote for his member, or to work for his wages, 
or to accept his terms for farms, or to receive his visits 
(as sometimes happened abroad). If the sun did not 
shine when he meant to go up a mountain, he thought it 
very extraordinary ; and if the roads made his carriage 
jolt, he said it was too bad. He became a great traveller, 
and published his travels : and very amusing they are, 
showing how confidently he supposed himself acceptable 
everywhere, and how this was not always the case ; and 
how very unmannerly it was of certain Princes not to be 
as glad to see him as he would have been to see them at 
Holdernesse House or Wynyard. By his travels we learn 
too how modest, and how unambitious and peace-loving, 
Nicholas, the Emperor of all the Russias, is ; and how 
astonishingly he has been ill-treated by " his rebellious 
subjects," the Poles. This cordiality of Lord London- 
derry toward the Czar marked him out for the 
embassy to Russia, when the Peel- Wellington adminis- 
tration of 1835 wanted to send a representative there. 
The nation, however, thought the appointment, to use 
the Marquis's favorite description, "too bad;" and 
Parliament let him and the Government know so un- 
mistakably the popular opinion of him as a diplomatist, 
and of his attachment to the Czar, Don Carlos, Dom 
Miguel, and such gentry, that he immediately resigned 
his appointment with his usual astonishment and, 
indeed, with rather more than usual, because the affairs 
of Turkey were then very pressing, and it would have 



THE MARQUIS OF LONDONDERRY. 



185 



been so delightful that the British Minister should be of 
precisely the same opinions as the Emperor he was to 
consult with. By a challenge of his own to the Foreign 
Secretary of the day, Lord Dudley, the fact came out 
that he had been importunate for a pension, in consid- 
eration of diplomatic services ; and that the calm and 
moderate Lord Liverpool had written on the back of the 
letter of application, ' ' This is too bad. " The Marquis 
himself got the story made known ; and he was not 
a whit ashamed of it, because, in his view, the people 
and their purses were created for the benefit of the 
aristocracy. Sir Robert Peel would have maintained the 
appointment; but the Marquis ingenuously declared at 
once that he saw he could do no good at St. Petersburg 
while disowned as a representative by any large number 
of the people of England. Those who admired his 
manliness only regretted that he could not be made 
Russian Minister at the court of London which post 
would have suited him exactly. 

All that was nearly twenty years ago. In the interval, 
the old soldier has been very busy. His electioneering 
correspondence, and his letters to his tenantry, must be 
fresh in all minds. He treated his tenants according to 
the old methods of managing fractious or well-behaved 
children : now he declared himself ashamed of them, 
and now he patted their heads. He had . the notion 
and habit of command of a mediaeval baron, without the 
dignity and composure of aristocratic bearing ; but he 
was always ingenuous, always brave, and meaning to be 
kind. He bore admirably the destruction by fire of his 
noble seat, Wynyard ; and one of our latest recollections 
of him is one of the pleasantest his persevering inter- 
cession with the French Emperor for the release of 



[III] 



His conduct 
toivard his 
tenantry. 



i86 



THE MARQUIS OF LONDONDERRY. 



[Ill] 

His inter- 
cession for 
Abd-el- 
KadeSs 
liberation. 



His Russian 
idol. 



Abd-el-Kader. There will be mourning at Broussa when 
the tidings of his death arrive there. There will be 
regret in many quarters, in the remembrance of his large 
hospitalities, and his genuine good-will toward his serfs 
on the one hand, his imperial friends on the other, and 
all between who would take him as he was. No doubt, 
his last view of the world was a stare of astonishment 
that his country could go to war with his Russian idol. 
He has escaped the yet greater amazement of rinding 
his idol vulnerable. One who knew him well remarked, 
on finishing his book of travel, that " his heaven is paved 
with malachite." It is well that the notion was not 
cruelly broken up in an old man's mind ; but the Czar 
has lost in him his one English admirer and champion. 
As for us, we feel some regret in parting with one of our 
last Peninsular heroes, and one who, with all his foibles, 
intellectual and social, was never wanting in the frank- 
ness and manliness which give its best nobleness to 
nobility itself. 



IV. 
LORD RAGLAN. 

SEVEN MONTHS BEFORE HIS DEATH. 

THE elevation of Lord Raglan to the rank of Field- 
Marshal interests us all, through his past career as well 
as his present position. He has earned the. distinction 
by hard work in the field and the closet. There is 
perhaps no incident of social progression more interest- 
ing and more agreeable than the preference manifested 
by men of rank, in their own case, to personal merit 
over distinction of birth. In all aristocracies, at all 
times, there have been individuals whose constitutional 
energy has instigated them to social service as arduous 
as if they were winning a station in life for themselves 
and their posterity ; but the spectacle of almost a whole 
generation of noblemen working like middle-class men 
in the public service, and taking their chance of success 
among middle-class men, is certainly modern ; and surely 
it is full of significance. We doubt whether there is a 
more remarkable example of this characteristic of our 
times than Lord Raglan a descendant of the proud 
Somersets, and himself one of the most quiet and 
modest of the true working men of England. A prouder 
lineage few men could be conscious of than the Somer- 
sets and Seymours, who were of the same stock ; and a 



Personal 
merit and 
distinction 
of birth. 



1 88 



LORD RAGLAN. 



prouder man was never seen in England than the Duke 
of Somerset of two centuries ago who had the high- 
ways cleared before him, that he might not be looked on 
by vulgar eyes, and who rebuked his second wife for 
tapping his shoulder with her fan, saying, " Madam, my 
first wife was a Percy, and she never took such a liberty. " 
For that matter of pride we may go back at once to 
Cardinal Beaufort, who was of the first generation of the 
family, apart from royalty he being the natural son of 
John of Gaunt. There is a better ground of pride in 
the family, however, than either royalty or antiquity. 
Among the proud Somersets was he who, in early life, 
commanded a little army, raised by his father for the 
service of Charles I. , and who in after years invented the 
steam-engine. It was the author of the "Century of 
Inventions" who first applied the condensation of steam 
to a practical purpose : though his invention was used 
only for raising water, he saw that this method of 
creating a vacuum might be extensively applied ; and 
therefore is it admitted to be fair to call this Edward 
Somerset, Marquis of Worcester, the real inventor of the 
steam-engine. He was the last noble who held out in 
his castle against Cromwell ; and the stronghold was the 
Raglan Castle which gave his title to the Field-Marshal 
now commanding our army in Turkey. There was so 
far a resemblance between that Marquis of Worcester 
and this gallant soldier that they united valor in the 
field with strenuous work in the closet. The differ- 
ence was that the closet work of the one was the gratifi- 
cation of an irresistible taste for the pursuit of Natural 
Philosophy and Mechanics ; while that of the other was, 
if less exalted, more modest, and strongly impressed 
with the character of humble duty, a characteristic 



LORD RAGLAN. 



189 



which, full of charm always, is eminently so when the 
working man is of high birth and of unqualified Toryism 
in politics. For the greater part of forty years, Lord 
Raglan labored like a clerk at the military organization 
of the country ; and we owe to him something more than 
the perfect carrying out of the Duke of Wellington's 
principles and methods in providing for the Defence of 
the country, and for a future safety and glory which 
would probably bring him no commensurate fame. 

This does not mean that his services, even in that 
department, began with the peace. Though he was 
then only seven-and-twenty, he had been extemely 
useful for some years in the Duke's cabinet, while dis- 
tinguishing himself also in action. The youngest son 
of the fifth Duke of Beaufort, he was born in September, 
1788, and christened Fitzroy James Henry Somerset. 
He was a cornet in the 4th Light Dragoons at sixteen, 
and rose in military rank, as the boyish sons of dukes 
do rise, over the heads of their seniors. He was a 
captain at twenty a thing which we believe and trust 
could not happen now, after the sound reforms which he 
himself has instituted. He went with the troops to 
Portugal, and fought in the first great battle, that of 
Talavera, in which the French and English armies fairly 
and singly tried their strength against each other. Lord 
Fitzroy Somerset was then under one-and-twenty, and 
it was not the first conflict he had seen since he landed 
in the Peninsula. He learned much of his military 
science within the lines of Torres Vedras, and was 
severely wounded at the battle of Busaco. By this time 
the young soldier had won the notice and strong regard 
of Wellington, who made him first his Aide-de-camp 
and then his Military Secretary a singular honor for a 



[IV] 

His length 
of service at 
the Horse 
Guards. 



Hisfrst 
battles. 



190 



LORD RAGLAN. 



[IV] 



The Duke 
of Wel- 
lington's 
opinion. 



Marries a 

nieceofWel- 

lington's. 



man under two-and-twenty. The duties of his various 
functions kept him diligently occupied during the whole 
of the Peninsular war, and no doubt trained him in that 
habit of industry and aptitude for business which has 
distinguished his whole life, and made him, in regard to 
the military executive, a sort of double of the Duke of 
Wellington. He was present and active in every one of 
the great Peninsular battles ; and was, in the intervals, 
the medium of all the Duke's commands and arrange- 
ments. The Duke's avowed opinion was that the suc- 
cesses of that Seven Years' War were due, next to him- 
self, to his Military Secretary; and that, but for Lord 
Fitzroy Somerset, they would not have been obtained. 
He became Major in 1811, and Lieutenant-Colonel the 
year after. He returned to England after Bonaparte's 
abdication in 1814, and met with the honor due to his 
intrepidity in the field from those who could not be 
aware of his yet more important services in perfecting 
the organization and discipline of the Army, which went 
out a mass of raw material, or something not much 
better, and returned, as Wellington declared, "a perfect 
machine." Lord Fitzroy Somerset married in the August 
of that year the second daughter of Lord Mornington, 
and thus became the nephew by marriage of the Duke 
of Wellington. None then dreamed what misfortune 
awaited the young bridegroom within the first year of 
his marriage. On Napoleon's return from Elba, the 
Secretary went out with the Commander-in-Chief ; and 
as his Aide, he was on the field during the three days of 
June which ended the war. The Duke was wont to 
offer to bear the responsibility of an omission in the 
battle of Waterloo the neglecting to break an entrance 
in the back wall of the farmstead, La Haye Sainte 



LORD RAGLAN. 



191 



whereby the British occupants might have been re-en- 
forced and supplied with ammunition. It was the want 
of ammunition which gave the French temporary posses- 
sion of the place ; and that temporary possession cost 
many lives, and Lord Fitzroy Somerset his right arm. 
He came home to his bride, thus maimed, before he was 
seven-and-twenty, but with whatever compensation an 
abundance of honor could afford. In his despatch, 
Wellington said of him, "I was likewise much indebted 
to the assistance of Lieutenant-Colonel Lord Fitzroy 
Somerset, who was severely wounded." He was imme- 
diately made full Colonel, an extra Aide-de-camp 
of the Prince Regent, and Knight Commander of the 
Bath. 

For nearly forty years afterward it was supposed by 
himself and the world that his wars were ended ; and he 
devoted himself to official service at home. He entered 
Parliament for the borough of Truro in 1 8 1 8, and was a 
very silent member, voting invariably with the Tories, 
and seldom or never addressing the House. He was 
always in request for secretaryships at the Ordnance and 
to the Commander-in-Chief. He rose in military rank 
at intervals, and became a Lieutenant-General in 1838. 
When the Duke of Wellington died, and Lord Hardinge 
was made Commander-in-Chief, Lord Fitzroy Somerset 
became Master-General of the Ordnance, and was raised 
to the peerage by the title of Baron Raglan. But many 
good and true soldiers audibly complained that the supple 
courtier had been preferred to the man who had the true 
interest of the army at heart. It presently appeared that 
his wars were not over. During the long interval he had 
sent out his eldest son in the service of his country, and 
lost him on the field at Ferozeshah in 1845. Nine years 



[IV] 

His services 
atWatcrho. 



Enters 

Parliament^ 

1818. 



Made 
Master- 
General 
of the 
Ordnance, 



192 



LORD RAGLAN. 



[IV] 

Appointed 
Com- 

mander-in- 
Chief of 
the Army 
in the 
Crimea. 



after this bereavement the stricken father went out him- 
self once more ; and this time in full command. When 
war with Russia was determined on, there could be no 
doubt as to who should be chosen to conduct the English 
share of it. With Lord Raglan dwelt the traditions of 
his master ; and no one was so thoroughly versed in the 
wisdom which had for seven long and hard years won 
the successes of the Peninsular war. No one so well 
knew the army and its administration ; and no one else 
so effectually combined the military and practical official 
characters : a combination which, if always necessary 
to make a good general, is most emphatically so in the 
country which is the scene of the present war. To 
Turkey therefore he went in much the same temper, 
and with much of the same demeanor, as his great 
master. He just showed himself enough in London and 
Paris, on festal occasions, to prove that he could be 
degag'e, as a brave man always can ; but he permitted 
no "nonsense." He declined noisy honors where he 
could, held serious and rapid counsel with his coadjutors 
at Paris and Constantinople, and lost no time. If there 
were delays, they were not his. Here again, then, he 
stands, in his sixty-seventh year, on the battle-field, first 
in command on the part of England, and charged 
with the function of carrying forward the old spirit 
into the new war, and keeping green the laurels won 
by his great master and the nation he represented forty 
years before. 



V. 



THE NAPIERS. 

LIEUTENANT-GENERAL SIR WILLIAM NAPIER, 
K.C.B. 

DIED FEBRUARY I2TH, 1860. 

Two generations of Englishmen have rejoiced in the felt 
and lively presence of a family who seemed born to per- 
petuate the associations of a heroic age, and to elevate 
the national sentiment at least to the point reached in 
the best part of the Military Period of our civilization, 
while our mere talkers were bemoaning the material 
tendencies and the sordid temper of our people in our 
own century. The noble old type of the British knight, 
lofty in valor and in patriotism, was felt to exist in its 
full virtue while we had the Napiers in our front, con- 
spicuous in the eyes of an observing world. We have 
every reason to hope that the type will not be lost, 
whatever may be the destiny of Europe as to war or 
peace : but the Napiers must pass away, like other 
virtues and powers; and now we have lost the last of 
the knightly brothers, and nearly the last of the family 
group, by the death of Lieutenant-General Sir William 
Francis Patrick Napier, K. C. B. 

The family have a remarkable ancestry. It seems a 
strange jumble of names and characters. Henry IV. of 

9 



Types of the 
ancient 
British 
knighf 



Remarkable 
ancestry. 



194 



LIEUT.-GEN. SIR W. NAPIER. 



[V] 



The Hon. 

George 
Napier. 



The 

mother, and 
her be- 
trothal to 
George III. 



France, Charles II. of England, the Dukes of Richmond, 
Charles James Fox, and Lord Edward Fitzgerald are 
among the relatives on the one side of the house, and 
the great Montrose and John Napier, the inventor of 
logarithms, were among the forefathers on the other. 
The Hon. George Napier, the father of this band of 
brothers, was a man of remarkable qualifications in 
every way ; and it was a mystery to his children that 
he did not attain a higher position in the world than 
theirs. Two of his sons inherited his noble personal 
presence, and all the five early gave evidence of the 
force of character which they believed had marred 
their father's fortunes, by exciting jealousy among the 
public men of his time. However that may be, Colonel 
Napier's want of distinguished success in life gave his 
children the great advantage of being reared in what 
they call " poverty." It was an advantage to them, 
because it was a stimulus, and not an oppression. Their 
pride in their father and his name kept them in good 
heart; their love for their widowed mother cheered 
them in their efforts; and their own individual force 
bore them up against all obstacles. 

From their mother they inherited the sensibility which 
is as conspicuous as force in them all. Her mother, the 
wife of the second Duke of Richmond, died of heart- 
break within the first year of her widowhood ; and what 
the strength and vivacity of Lady Sarah Napier's feelings 
were we see by the letters of her son Charles to her 
and about her, as they are given in his ' ' Memoirs. " She 
was beautiful in youth, and indeed throughout her long 
life, and venerable in age ; and . she was an object of 
public interest early and late first as the beloved and 
betrothed of George III., and finally as the mother of 



LIEUT.-GEN. SIR W. NAPIER. 



195 



"Wellington's colonels." The early story is well known 
the rejection of the King's addresses by a girl of sev- 
enteen, her subsequent acceptance of them on suffi- 
cient proof of the sincerity of his attachment, the inevita- 
ble breaking-off of the match for political reasons, 
and the long lingering of the affection on one side at 
least. It seems rather far-fetched to suppose that the 
family of Colonel Napier were neglected and discouraged 
by the sons of George III., on account of the attach- 
ment between the respective parents ; but it is under- 
stood that the royal lover was watched with solicitude 
for years after all intercourse with Lady Sarah Lennox 
was broken off. She became the second wife of Colonel 
Napier. To young readers it must appear as if there 
must be a mistake in the narrative here as if a genera- 
tion had been dropped out of view. Is it possible that 
the man whom we have now lost whom we all know by 
sight could have heard his mother tell of her engage- 
ment to George III.? Even so ; but there was remarka- 
ble longevity all round. Lady Sarah was born in 1746. 
Her eldest son was born in 1782, and William in 1785, 
and he has died in a good old age. One sister of Lady 
Sarah was the mother of Lord Edward Fitzgerald, and an- 
other of Charles James Fox. 

The three eldest sons of Colonel and Lady Sarah 
Napier were soldiers. Charles, the hero of Scinde, and 
of many another scene, was the eldest. George was 
the next. He was the well-remembered Governor at 
the Cape, where he showed an administrative genius 
almost as remarkable as his elder brother's in Scinde. 
He was as eminent a soldier, too, and bore a no less 
astonishing amount of wounds. Wellington's letter to 
Lady Sarah on the occasion of George's loss of an arm 



[V] 



Longe'vityin 
the family. 



The three 
eldest 
brothers in 
the Army. 



196 



LIEUT.-GEN. SIR W. NAPIER. 



[V] 



Thefourth 
in thcNavy. 



The 

youngest in 
the legal 
profession. 



One quality 
in common. 



at the storming of Ciudad Rodrigo, is one of the best 
remembered of his private despatches. All the three 
brothers suffered from their wounds to the end of their 
lives; all won high military rank ; all were K. C. B.'s; 
all were Governors of dependencies for William was 
Lieutenant-Governor of Guernsey, Alderney, and Sark, 
while George was ruling at the Cape, and Charles in 
Scinde. The fourth brother, Henry, was in the Navy. 
He was like his brothers, in the union of literary ability 
with the qualities most eminent in active service. His 
voluminous "History of Florence" will be of great 
historical value to a future generation. He was even a 
greater sufferer than his brothers from the constitutional 
sensibility of the family. The early loss of an adored wife 
at Florence, broke the spring of his life. He became 
subject to cruel suffering from neuralgic disease during 
long years, which left their record on his Florentine his- 
tory; and he survived his brother Charles only a few 
weeks. George died in 1855 ; and then only two re- 
mained the subject of this notice, and Richard, the 
accomplished youngest brother, admitted to the bar, but 
preferring study to the exercise of his profession. * 

Strong as was the family likeness among the five 
brothers in all the salient points of intellectual and 
moral character, the one quality which chiefly marked 
them all, and separated them from the rest of the world, 
was their absolute fearlessness of nature. In our age of 
caution this characteristic could not but glorify them, 
and at the same time fill their lives with strife, unless 
they also possessed that repose of nature which ought to 
accompany fearlessness. This, as all the world knows, 
they had not. They would have been demigods indeed, 

1 Died in 1867. 



LIEUT.-GEN. SIR IV. NAPIER. 



197 



if, with all their strength and tenderness, all their genius 
and their humanity, their power and their graces, they had 
also manifested that serenity which is the true sign of the 
godlike. Their "utterances of passion" went for more 
than they ever intended ; their wrath was usually on be- 
half of the wronged and helpless; their clamor, when 
indignant for one another's sake, bore no relation to any 
self-regards or low objects; but still they did clamor 
and vex the world sometimes with their "passion." It 
was a pity : but men are not perfect ; and few are the 
men, of any age or race, who, bearing about so strong 
a nature, have so little sin of intemperance to answer 
for. The world saw little of their nobler nature in the 
pugnacity which exhibited itself through the press. In 
private life, the gentleness and courtesy of those men, 
the faithful tenderness with which they bore with and 
alleviated one another's infirmities, their close, mutual 
friendship to the end of their lives, their ardent domestic 
attachments, and the lofty and pure sentiment which 
graced and refined their existence, made the external 
quarrels appear to observers like a troubled dream. It 
was not a dream, however, but too truly a weakness and 
a fault. Great excuse may be pleaded ; and there is 
no difficulty in allowing for it ; but the fact remains 
that they lived in storm, instead of above the clouds. 
Superior as they were to the world of their day in in- 
sight, foresight, sense, principle in short, power it 
would have been wiser, and would have marked a yet 
higher order of men, if they had quarrelled less bitterly 
with the world for its inferiority in each particular in- 
stance. This kind of remark applies to Charles and 
William, as the best known brothers, and the virtual 
representatives of the family. It is the Napier genius 



[VI 



Their com- 
bati'veness. 



198 



LIEUT.-GEN. SIR W. NAPIER. 



[V] 



William 
Napier. 



which we have been speaking of, and not the weaknesses 
of every one of the brotherhood. On the contrary, the 
piece of controversy by which Richard is known his 
Defence of Charles against the well-known accusations 
of Outram is distinguished by calmness of temper and 
statement. The long and short of the matter is, as re- 
gards the warrior trio, that they are of the hero stamp, 
and not the sage ; while yet they have so many of the 
qualities of the sage that we find ourselves unreasonably 
disappointed when the combative character comes upper- 
most, and wisdom gives place to valor before the eyes of 
the multitude. 

William, the third of the warrior brothers, was born on 
the iyth of December, 1785, at his father's residence, ten 
miles from Dublin. One strange risk which he happily 
escaped, was that of being reared at Court as a page. 
As no Napier was likely to repay any amount of Court 
discipline, the result of such an experiment would prob- 
ably have been disgrace of a kind to nourish, rather 
than mortify pride. He did much better in entering the 
army at the age of thirteen, when he joined a regiment 
of Irish artillery. He served afterward in the Cavalry 
and the Infantry, and was also on the Staff. He was 
present at the siege of Copenhagen with the 43d Regi- 
ment ; and at the time there was a story enacted which 
brought out the character of the young captain of two- 
and-twenty. His company was sorely tempted, by the 
incitements and direct calls of a Hanoverian general 
officer, to plunder. One man obeyed the call, but was 
ordered back by the young captain, who gave the 
Hanoverian his opinion of the matter in the open street, 
evidently in genuine Napier fashion, and declared his 
resolution to lead his company back to the regiment. 



LIEUT.-GEN. SIR W. NAPIER. 



199 



Four hundred prisoners were put under his charge, to be 
marched to headquarters more than three-fourths of 
them being women and decrepit men. For three days 
they traversed the flats of Zealand ; and whenever a 
prisoner pointed to a church on a rising gronud as his 
or her village church, leave was given to go horns, till the 
party was reduced to sixty able-bodied men, who were 
presented at headquarters. This is the first glimpse we 
have of William's military life. 

At the battle of the Coa, in July, 1810, he was 
wounded in the hip, and suffered severely for two 
months. On the i4th of March in the next year 
Charles was making the best of his way, bandaged for 
his own terrible wound in the face, received at Busaco, 
when he met a litter of branches, covered with a blanket, 
and borne by soldiers. It was his brother George, with 
a broken limb. Presently he met another litter. It was 
William, declared to be mortally hurt. Charles looked 
at the spectacle which met him at the end of a ninety 
miles' ride, and rode on into the fight. Wellington might 
well relish talking of "my Colonels" the Napiers. 
Nearly thirty years afterward we find Charles snatching 
time from his anxious business of keeping the Chartists 
quiet to explain to William a medical opinion of the 
causes of the terrible suffering William was enduring : 
" He said it was the ball pressing upon some large nerve, 
or upon the backbone," &c. For three years William 
commanded the 4$d in the Peninsula, where he was 
wounded four times, and for which he received seven 
decorations, and was made K.C.B. He had done and 
borne a good deal as a soldier ; but the distinctive work 
of his life was not begun, nor as yet dreamed of. 

In 1819 he retired on half-pay, and soon settled down 



[VJ 



Meeting of 
the three 
'wounded 
brothers. 



Wei- 



colonel s. 



2OO 



LIEUT.-GEN. SIR W. NAPIER. 



[V] 

The 

" History 

of the 

Peninsular. 
War." 



Its effects. 



into the literary life by which he has rendered his highest 
service and an immortal service to the British nation. 
It is not because his ''History of the Peninsular War" is 
the finest military history ever produced that his labors 
should be so spoken of, but because the act of writing 
that narrative was a political service of incalculable im- 
portance. When he entered on his work Wellington was 
unwilling that the melancholy facts of the early part of 
the struggle should become known to the world ; and if 
he, the conqueror, was unwilling, it may be imagined 
what was felt by the obstructive officials who had done 
their utmost to crush the commander and his enterprise. 
Well as we understand it now, nobody knew at the 
close of the war that Wellington's greatest difficulties 
lay within the Cabinet and the War Office at home. 
Whether we ever should have learned the truth without 
Napier's help there is no saying ; but we know that to 
him we owe the full and clear understanding that we 
have of the true scheme and character of the Peninsular 
War, of the ability, temper, and conduct of the Ministry 
of the time, and of the merits of our great General. 
That History has therefore modified our national policy, 
and our views, plans, spirit, and conduct as a people. 
There are few books on record which have effected such 
a work as this. It is this view of it which explains the 
wrath it excited. The raging vindictiveness of the Tory 
Government party is faithfully expressed in the Quarterly 
reviews (in two successive numbers) of the History. 
The political and literary distrust combined found a 
mouthpiece in Southey, whose own History of the same 
war was naturally annihilated by its military rival. Lord 
Wellesley's indignant remonstrances on behalf of his 
brother in the House of Lords had been sneered at by 



LIEUT.-GEN. SIR W. NAPIER. 



201 



Ministers and slighted by everybody else, as explosions 
of family vanity or natural partiality ; and it was not till 
Napier's History appeared that Englishmen were at all 
generally aware what a war they had passed through, 
and how bad a Government, and how transcendent a 
General, had been transacting their affairs. Apart from 
the literary merits of the work, it is, and ever will be, 
remarkable as a disclosure of the real history of England 
during a period otherwise shrouded in thick darkness. 
This we understand to be the great and distinctive service 
of Sir William Napier's life. 

Of the literary quality of the book it is needless to 
say more here than that it fired the spirit of our army in 
the Crimea. Passages from it were the luxury of the 
nights in the trenches, and the weary days in hospital. 
After all the fault that can be found by critics, military 
and literary, everybody loves and admires the book as 
much as ever. Some may pick holes in the narrative, 
and some impugn the judgments, and others show that 
the style has a dozen faults ; but it all makes no differ- 
ence : we read just as eagerly the third time as the first ; 
and some of us are haunted by whole passages which 
pursue us like strains of music. Such involuntary judg- 
ments thrust all ordinary criticism aside, at least while 
the author is lying dead ; and we think of the book as 
one of the weapons and the honors which should lie on 
his coffin with his sword and his spurs, his symbols and 
decorations. 

Eighteen years were diligently employed over the His- 
tory. His wife was his main helper. She was a niece 
of Charles James Fox ; and it may possibly be attribu- 
table to her influence and that of Holland House, that 
the estimate of Napoleon in the History is so unlike 



[V] 



The 

admiration 
'which the 
History" 
elicits. 



His wife a 
coadjutor. 



202 



LIEUT.-GEN. SIR IV. NAPIER. 



[V] 



His othei 

literary 

labors 



what now appears to us reasonable. The view of the 
Spanish, as allies and patriots, which was denounced by 
the Government and the Quarterly Review of the time, 
has turned out only too correct ; but, making the most 
of all modifications introduced from place to place, the 
appreciation of Napoleon is certainly essentially false. 
If the Fox connection is more or less answerable for this 
misfortune, it did great things for the work in other ways. 
It gave the historian the wife who was his amanuensis 
during that long labor, and who disclosed the contents 
of French documents of great importance, transmitted 
in cipher, which baffled the penetration of everybody 
else. The labor was mere child's play compared with 
the anxieties entailed by the work on the devoted wife. 
Whether any man was ever so often challenged within a 
certain number of months may be a question. What to 
do in such a case was a serious embarrassment. We will 
not go into the details. The work abides, the quarrels 
have gone by, and the author survived to a great age, 
amidst increasing honor and admiration. 

His other literary works were review articles on military 
subjects as Jomini's "Art of War," and the "Life of 
Sir John Moore," in the Edinburgh Review, and the 
' ' Wellington Despatches, " in the London and Westminster 
Review, of January, 1838; a few political pamphlets; 
his Histories of the " Conquest of Scinde," and of "Sir 
Charles Napier's Administration of Scinde," partly written 
in Guernsey, where he repaired as Governor after con- 
cluding his "History of the Peninsular War;" and the 
" Life and Opinions" of his brother Charles, in four 
volumes, published in 1857. The political pamphlets 
are perhaps a fair representation of the political side of 
the man, and of his brothers, or some of them. Sir 



LIEUT.-GEN. SIR W. NAPIER. 



203 



Charles Napier's letters and journals while in command 
of the northern districts of England, in troublesome 
times, are a good family exposition in the same way. 
The most commonplace people found it most difficult to 
understand the Napier politics. From their connections 
and their towering pride they might be expected to be 
particularly aristocratic, yet they were exactly the reverse. 
They were as Conservative as Wellington in some lights, 
and as Radical as Cobbett in others. That they had 
quarrels with Tories, Whigs, and Radicals in turn, was, 
unhappily, not very wonderful ; but what were their prin- 
ciples ? Sir W. Napier's pamphlets on the Poor Law 
and on the repeal of the Corn Laws explain a good deal ; 
but the best key to their social principles was seeing the 
action of their daily lives. The servants, all made friends 
of, and living on and on, as in a natural home; the 
laboring class, treated with respect and courtesy as long 
as they were just and kind in their own walk, but en- 
countered as an enemy when guilty of oppression, these 
were evidences of the genuine democratic spirit which 
dwelt in those proud hearts, those sincere and just minds. 
Sir William's friends can bear witness to the vigilance of 
that spirit in him. He never let pass, among his inti- 
mates, such expressions as "the lower orders," "common 
soldiers," and the like. He was pacified by the explana- 
tion that "order" in this sense did not mean difference 
of species, as in natural history, but the primitive sense 
of " ranges," in which some must naturally find a higher 
and some a lower place ; but the other expression he 
never would endure. There is no such thing as a common 
soldier in England, he declared ; ours are not "common 
soldiers," though they may be "privates." He had to 
defend himself, some years ago, in a characteristic cause. 



[V] 



The Napier 
politics. 



The daily 
life of the 
Napiers. 



204 



LIEUT.-GEN. SIR W. NAPIER. 



[V] 

Curious 
trial for 
assault. 



The family 
of Sir. W. 
Napier. 



His accom- 
plishments 
as an artist. 



An action for assault was brought against him by a man 
whom he had thrashed for persistent cruelty to a horse. 
The trial is deeply impressed on the minds of all present 
by the peculiarity that the only witnesses for the defence 
were two deaf-and-dumb youths Sir W. Napier's only 
son and a comrade of his. It was a strange and pretty 
sight the pantomime, the clear account rendered by the 
finger-speech, and the father's spirit which shone out in 
the youth debarred from the father's eloquence. Every- 
where tyrants, small and great, were, in one way or 
another, thrashed by the Napiers after obstinate refusal 
to desist from oppression. This was the one clear point 
about their politics. As for the rest, Sir W. Napier ob- 
jected to the principle of our Poor Law, and protested 
against its application. He approved of Free Trade in 
corn, but protested against the application of the principle 
in so factitious a state of society, and under the burden 
of such a debt, as ours. Happily he lived to see how 
well the true principle worked, and how needless had 
been his forebodings. 

He had, as we have said, one son. Nine daughters 
were born to him, five of whom survive him. His life 
was happy in old age. His utterly fearless nature saved 
him from the suffering which most of us would undergo 
in provoking and sustaining hostile controversies. His 
wife, some unmarried daughters, many grandchildren, 
and all whom his benign domestic temper had attached 
to him, ministered to his ease, and to his intellect as 
well ; so that his decline was gentle. Till a late stage of 
his life his accomplishments as an artist were a precious 
resource to him. Others besides his immediate friends 
will remember his statue the Death of Alcibiades in 
virtue of which he was made an honorary member of 



LIEUT.-GEN. SIR W. NAPIER. 



205 



the Royal Academy. His paintings are no common- 
place amateur daubs, but both explain and are explained 
by the splendid picture-gallery of his great historical 
work. 

For many years he was a neighbor of the poet Moore, 
at Sloperton ; and the two Irishmen, opposite in almost 
every respect but nationality, much enjoyed one another's 
society. Napier, the giant, with a head like Jupiter 
Tonans (as he appears in the frontispiece of the second 
volume of the "Life of Sir C. Napier'), and half-soldier 
and half-demigod, contrasted wonderfully with the dapper 
little chamber songster. The wine-cup was associated 
with love and war in Moore's imagination : while in 
Napier's war was associated with famine, torture, and 
seas of blood ; but both were Irishmen, both patriots in 
their several ways, both lovers of literature ; and they 
were good neighbors. Latterly, Sir W. Napier lived at 
Clapham, at Scinde House (called by cabmen Shindy 
Halt). Thence to the last he studied every turn of 
human affairs, watching over his brother's fame as vigi- 
lantly as if he were still writing his Life. When the 
Indian revolt broke out he pointed out his brother's clear 
foresight of the calamity, and of the mode of it. When 
the revolt was put down, and reorganization of the 
Indian administration began, he made the world observe 
how his brother's institutions despised and destroyed in 
a day of presumption were revived under a better spirit 
of government; the Scinde Police, for one, extended 
now from State to State ; and the Camel-corps, which 
means life or death under circumstances of Indian war- 
fare ; and again, the Barracks. With pride the faithful 
dying brother told his friends that the soldiers in India 
would not call their new airy wholesome barracks by 



[V] 



Sir W. 

Napier 
Thomas 
Moore. 



Watchful 
over his 
brother's 
fame. 



206 



LIEUT.-GEN. SIR W. NAPIER. 



[V] 



A theme J "ot 
Tradition. 



their proper names in different places, but called them 
all "Napier barracks." 

He has left those behind who will guard his memory 
no less well, if indeed any other guardianship is needed 
than the national feeling toward the gallant brotherhood 
of knights, and the historian of the Peninsular War in 
particular. They are gone. We have many gallant men 
left, as we always have had, and always shall have ; but 
there never have been any, and there never can be any, 
like the Napiers. They were a group raised from among 
the mediaeval dead, and set in the midst of us, clothed 
in a temperament which admitted all the ameliorating 
influences of our period of civilization. They were a 
great and never-to-be-forgotten sight to our generation ; 
and our posterity will see them in the mirror of tradition 
for ages to come. We are wont to say that Tradition is 
old, and has left off work ; but it is not often now that 
Tradition has such a theme as the Napiers. It will not 
willingly be let die till Tradition itself is dead. 



VI. 



REAR-ADMIRAL SIR FRANCIS BEAUFORT, 
K.C.B. 



DIED DECEMBER 



1857. 



No pressure of national interests or calamity should 
preclude any one of the honors due to the memory of 
such a man as Admiral Sir Francis Beaufort, who was 
not only a priceless treasure to his country, but a bene- 
factor to the world. There are perhaps not many, beyond 
the bounds of the scientific class and of his own pro- 
fession, who are aware of his claims to such a description ; 
for his great age obscured his early services from the 
existing generation ; . and his later achievements were of 
a kind which it takes time to make known to society at 
large. The popular benefits of scientific developments 
always bring about a grateful recognition of the originator, 
sooner or later ; but such tardy honor is not enough. 
Those who understand what society has possessed and 
lost in the life and by the death of Francis Beaufort 
should say what they know of him, that he may be 
mourned as he deserves, and that future generations 
may not inquire in vain how so great a citizen lived 
and died. 

And not only future generations, but distant nations 
in our own time. Wherever science is cultivated, there 
Francis Beaufort is honored. The contemporary of a 



A bene- 
factor to tht 
world. 



208 



REAR-ADMIRAL SIR F. BEAUFORT. 



[VI] 



His labors 
in practical 
science. 



His French 
extraction. 



great band of philosophers, in a scientific age, he held a 
prominent place among them, and was revered by them 
all, be they who they might. He lingered so long behind 
them, that they could not show the world how to value 
his memory ; but in every civilized country there are 
heirs of their labors and their tastes, who will be 
grateful for any information as to the career and the 
immortal claims of the man whose name they have never 
heard mentioned but with praise. To his friends he 
was venerable as "the best man they had ever known." 
It is pleasant to the aged to think of how many men 
they have heard this said in the course of their lives ; 
but it is rarely said so often in the case of one man as it 
is in Francis Beaufort's. His professional career is a sort 
of favorite romance in the navy ; but his labors in 
practical science form that link between his life and that 
of society at large which justifies the title of benefactor 
to the world. He has been called so by hundreds of 
firesides, and wherever scientific men meet together, in 
the few weeks which have elapsed since his death. We 
have no doubt that the title will be ratified by all who 
may become acquainted with the history of his life. 

He was born in 1774, and was an Irishman of French 
extraction, as his name testifies. His father, the Rev. 
Daniel Augustus Beaufort, was Vicar of Collon, in the 
county of Louth, and was directly descended from an 
ancient and noble French family. Francis was the 
second son, and the heir of some of his father's talents 
and tastes, the best map of Ireland previous to the 
Ordnance Survey, and an able memoir on Ireland, being 
among the good deeds of the Collon vicar. 

Though only thirteen when he went to sea, Francis 
had already many of the requisites of an able officer. 



REAR-ADMIRAL SIR F. BEAUFORT. 



209 



On his first voyage, which was with Captain Lestock 
Wilson, in the Vansittarl, East Indiaman, as a " guinea- 
pig," that is, in virtue of the payment of a hundred 
guineas, he was remarkable for his skill in observation, 
and the amount of his nautical knowledge ; so that he 
afforded valuable assistance to his commander in survey- 
ing the Straits of Gaspard, in the sea of Java. His 
perilous adventures began thus early. The survey was 
just completed when the Vansillarl struck upon a rock 
off the island of Banca, close by the spot where the 
Transit lately went down. A hole was stove, through 
which daylight and sea poured in alternately. An 
effort was made to keep the ship afloat till the flat 
Shore of Sumatra could be reached ; but even the hope 
of a landing on Banca was presently given up ; and she 
was run aground on an island seven miles from Banca. 
The crew escaped in the boats, and, with the loss of six 
lives and one boat, reached two English ships after five 
days' rowing, with great suffering, in the open sea, close 
to the line. This adventure happened in August, 1789. 

The young Beaufort's name had already been for two 
years on the books of H. M. S. Colossus ; but on his return 
from the East he joined H. M. S. Latona, Captain Albe- 
marle Bertie; and afterward H.M.S. Aquilon, in which 
he was engaged in the memorable action off Brest, of 
the ist of June, 1794, in which ten of the enemy's ships 
were dismasted ; seven were taken ; three only joined 
their Admiral ; and Lord Howe brought into Portsmouth 
six French ships of the line, which the King and Royal 
Family came to inspect, at the end of the month. They 
went on board the Aquilon, to sail round the fleet ; and 
thus young Beaufort made, probably, his first acquaint- 
ance with Royalty. He was for some years the sole 



[VI] 

His early 
services in 
the Navy. 



Engaged in 
the action 
off Brest. 



2IO 



REAR-ADMIRAL SIR F. BEAUFORT. 



[IV] 



Captures 
the "San 



The estab- 
lishment of 
a line of 
telegraphs. 



surviving officer of that great battle. He followed his 
Captain, the Hon. Robert Stopford, to H.M.S. Phaeton, 
in which ship he was serving when Vice-Admiral Corn- 
wallis made his celebrated retreat from the French 
fleet, on the iyth of June, 1795. In this ship, after- 
ward commanded by Captain James Nicholl Morris, 
he assisted at the capture and destruction of many of 
the enemy's ships, and of nine privateers and other 
vessels. It was in May, 1796, that he obtained his rank 
of Lieutenant. It was in October, 1800, that his first 
great opportunity of distinguishing himself occurred. 
While cruising off the coast of Malaga, his commander 
observed that a Spanish polacca, the San Josef, and a 
French privateer brig, had taken refuge under the fortress 
of Fuengirola ; and at night the young Lieutenant was 
sent, in command of the Phaeton's boats, to board the 
San Josef. The French brig intercepted the launch ; 
but the other crews did their work without its aid. The 
resistance they encountered was desperate; but they 
obtained their prize, with the loss of one man to thirteen 
of the enemy Beaufort, however, receiving no less than 
nineteen wounds. This made him a Commander, with 
a small pension. 

The next two years were spent on shore amidst hard 
work, like all the years of his long life. Miss Edgeworth 
tells us that they were "devoted, with unremitting zealous 
exertion," to establishing a line of telegraphs from Dublin 
to Galway ; an object of great importance as long as 
the west of Ireland was perpetually liable to invasion 
from continental enemies. He received the thanks of 
Government for his efforts, declining any other acknow- 
ledgment 

Once more at sea, he was heard of from the East first, 



REAR-ADMIRAL SIR F. BEAUFORT. 



211 



and then the West. As commander of the Woolwich, 44, 
he convoyed from India sixteen Indiamen in 1806. In 
1807 he was surveying the La Plata; and he afterward 
went to the Cape and the Mediterranean. In 1809 he 
was hovering about the enemy's merchantmen on the 
coast of Spain and at Quebec, being in command of 
the sloop-of-war Blossom. In 1810 he obtained his post 
rank, and the command of the Fredericksteen frigate : but 
before he joined he was employed in protecting the out- 
ward-bound trade to Portugal, Cadiz, and Gibraltar ; in 
accompanying two Spanish line-of-battle ships to Minorca ; 
and in acting for some months as captain to the Ville de 
Paris, a first-rate, in the fleet off Toulon, commanded by 
Sir Edward Pellew. 

It does not appear to be on record in which year of 
his life it was that he so nearly perished by drowning, 
and underwent the remarkable experience of the intellec- 
tual condition under such a crisis, which he afterward 
recorded in a letter, at the request of Dr. Wollaston. 
He described himself as "a youngster, at Portsmouth, 
in one of the King's ships. " He was not himself im- 
pressed as others were by the remarkable character of his 
sensations ; but he saw the importance of every such 
record, and made it accordingly. Interesting in itself, 
the story is extremely valuable as coming from one as 
singularly truthful in recording experience as skilled in 
detailing it. One of his most striking accomplishments 
was his power of saying what he meant. The effect of 
this power was seen wherever he went in the harmony he 
seemed to establish by the clearness of his ideas, and the 
transparency of their presentment. All the little chafings 
and perplexities which follow, like yelping curs, at the 
heels of men of confused mind and speech, were ex- 



[VI] 



A re- 
markable 
incident in 
hh life. 



212 



REAR-ADMIRAL SIR F. BEAUFORT. 



[VI] 



Description 
of hh sen- 
sations 
while 



tinguished by Beaufort's mere presence. He at once 
put his neighbors in possession of their own and each 
other's views and objects, leaving no foggy spaces in 
which they could run foul of one another. Such a power, 
turned in the direction of philosophical observation and 
record, is inestimable ; and the deep interest with which 
all manner of persons have read the letter to Wollaston, 
when they could lay hands on it, is not to be wondered 
at. The letter is published in Sir John Barrow's ' ' Auto- 
biography," which our readers may not, for the most 
part, have seen. As both the incident and the record 
are important features in the life of Beaufort, it is our 
business to cite the most essential passages of the nar- 
rative. 

It relates that he capsized a very small boat by stepping 
on the gunwale, in an endeavor to fasten her alongside 
the ship to one of the scuttle-rings ; that, unable to 
swim, he could not reach either the boat or the floating 
oars ; that he had drifted to some distance astejrn before 
he was observed ; that two of his comrades jumped 
overboard to his assistance, and a third followed in a 
boat; that, in his violent shouting, he had swallowed a 
great deal of water ; and that, before aid reached him, 
he had sunk below the surface, and given up all hope of 
life. The narrative proceeds : 

' ' So far these facts were either partially remembered 
after my recovery, or supplied by those who had latterly 
witnessed the scene; for during an interval of such 
agitation, a drowning person is too much occupied in 
catching at every passing straw, or too much absorbed 
by alternate hope and despair, to mark the succession of 
events very accurately. Not so, however, with the facts 
which immediately ensued ; my mind had then undergone 



REAR-ADMIRAL SIR F. BEAUFORT. 213 



the sudden revolution which appeared to you so remark- 
able, and all the circumstances of which are now as 
vividly fresh in my memory as if they had occurred but 
yesterday. From the moment that all exertion had 
ceased which I imagine was the immediate consequence 
of complete suffocation a calm feeling of the most 
perfect tranquillity superseded the previous tumultuous 
sensations it might be called apathy, certainly not 
resignation, for drowning no longer appeared to be an 
evil I no longer thought of being rescued, nor was I in 
any bodily pain. On the contrary, my sensations were 
now of rather a pleasurable cast, partaking of that dull 
but contented sort of feeling which precedes the sleep 
produced by fatigue. Though the senses were thus 
deadened, not so the mind ; its activity seemed to be 
invigorated, in a ratio which defies all description, for 
thought rose above thought with a rapidity of succession 
that is not only indescribable, but probably inconceivable 
by any one who has not himself been in a similar 
situation. The course of those thoughts I can even now 
in a great measure retrace the event which had just 
taken place the awkwardness that had produced it 
the bustle it must have occasioned (for I had observed 
two persons jump from the chains) the effect it would 
have on a most affectionate father the manner in which 
he would disclose it to the rest of the family and a 
thousand other circumstances minutely associated with 
home, were the first series of reflections that occurred. 
They took then a wider range our last cruise a former 
voyage, and shipwreck my school the progress I had 
made there, and the time I had misspent and even all 
my boyish pursuits and adventures. Thus travelling 
backward, every past incident of my life seemed to 



[VI] 



214 REAR-ADMIRAL SIR F. BEAUFORT. 



[VI] 



glance across my recollection in retrograde succession ; 
not, however, in mere outline, as here stated, but the 
picture rilled up with every minute and collateral feature. 
In short, the whole period of my existence seemed to be 
placed before me in a kind of panoramic review, and 
each act of it seemed to be accompanied by a conscious- 
ness of right or wrong, or by some reflection on its cause 
or its consequences ; indeed, many trifling events which 
had been long forgotten then crowded into my imagina- 
tion, and with the character of recent familiarity. 

"May not all this be some indication of the almost 
infinite power of memory with which we may awaken in 
another world, and thus be compelled to contemplate 
our past lives ? Or might it not in some degree warrant 
the inference that death is only a change or modification 
of our existence, in which there is no real pause or 
interruption ? But, however that may be, one circum- 
stance was highly remarkable that the innumerable 
ideas which flashed into my mind were all retrospective : 
yet I had been religiously brought up ; my hopes and 
fears of the next world had lost nothing of their early 
strength : and at any other period, intense interest and 
awful anxiety would have been excited by the mere prob- 
ability that I was floating on the threshold of eternity ; 
yet, at that inexplicable moment, when I had a full 
conviction that I had already crossed that threshold, not 
a single thought wandered into the future : I was wrapt 
entirely in the past. 

"The length of time that was occupied by this deluge 
of ideas, or rather the shortness of time into which they 
were condensed, I cannot now state with precision ; yet 
certainly two' minutes could not have elapsed from the 
moment of suffocation to that of my being hauled up. 



REAR-ADMIRAL SIR F. BEAUFORT. 215 



"The strength of the flood-tide made it expedient to 
pull the boat at once to another ship, where I underwent 
the usual vulgar process of emptying the water by letting 
my head hang downward, then bleeding, chafing, and 
even administering gin ; but my submersion had been 
really so brief, according to the account of lookers-on, I 
was very quickly restored to animation. 

' ' My feelings, while life was returning, were the reverse 
in every point of those which have been described 
above. One single but confused idea a miserable 
belief that I was drowning dwelt upon my mind, 
instead of the multitude of clear and definite ideas 
which had recently rushed through it ; a helpless anxiety, 
a kind of continuous nightmare seemed to press heavily 
on every sense, and to prevent the formation of any 
one distinct thought, and it was with difficulty that I 
became convinced that I was really alive. Again, instead 
of being absolutely free from all bodily pain, as in my 
drowning state, I was now tortured by pain all over 
me ; and though I have been since wounded in several 
places, and have often submitted to severe surgical 
discipline, yet my sufferings were at that time far 
greater, at least in general distress. On one occasion 
I was shot in the lungs, and after lying on the deck 
at night for some hours, bleeding from other wounds, I 
at length fainted. Now, as I felt sure that the wound 
in the lungs was mortal, it will appear obvious that 
the overwhelming sensation which accompanies fainting 
must have produced a perfect conviction that I was then 
in the act of dying. Yet nothing in the least resembling 
the operations of my mind when drowning then took 
place ; and when I began to recover, I returned to a 
clear conception of my real state. " 



[VI] 



216 



REAR-ADMIRAL SIR F. BEAUFORT. 



[VI] 



His work 
" Kara- 
mania" 



Seriously 
ivounded 
in Syria. 



His 

Admiralty 
Charts. 



When he took the command of the Fredericksleen, in 
1811, he was on the road to fame in authorship. Sir 
J. Barrow tells us that Beaufort was selected out of the 
whole Mediterranean fleet to survey an unknown portion 
of the coast of Syria. The result of this errand was, 
not only a capital survey, but an historical review of 
the country, as illustrated by its remains of antiquity. 
Beaufort's ' ' Karamania" was the great book of travels of 
its day sound, substantial, and learned (thanks to the 
good classical education his father had given him), and 
full of interest at once for the man of science 'and the 
scholar. It was this book, with its discoveries and 
verifications of ancient sites, which sent Fellows, and 
Spratt, and Forbes, and more recently Charles Newton, 
to Asia Minor, to tell us of the works of art which are 
extant there, and to bring over the Halicarnassian 
Marbles to the British Museum. 

After much hazardous service against the pirates in 
the Greek waters, Captain Beaufort went to work on the 
survey of Syria, in the course of which he underwent 
extreme danger. In June, 1812, his party were surrounded 
by armed Turks, led by a crazy dervish ; and he was 
wounded in the hip-joint so seriously that the wonder 
was that he ever walked again. It was a severe struggle 
for life itself; and when his ship was paid off, in the 
next October, he was still undergoing much pain from 
the exfoliation of the bone. He solaced his enforced 
leisure by work, preparing for the Admiralty such a set 
of charts of the coasts of Asia Minor, the Archipelago, 
the Black Sea, and Africa, as had never before been seen 
at the Admiralty. They were so drawn, finished, and 
arranged as to be fit for transference to the copper 
without any aid from the hydrographer or his assistants. 



REAR-ADMIRAL SIR F. BEAUFORT. 



217 



Such is the testimony of Sir John Barrow. Sir John 
Barrow naturally recommended him to Lord Melville 
for the post of Hydrographer, declaring that Captain 
Beaufort had no equal in that line, and very few in most 
other branches of science. 

This was in 1829. In 1823 Captain Kurd had died; 
and Captain Parry was requested by Lord Melville to fill 
the post temporarily; which he did twice, if not three 
times. After the resignation of the Duke of Clarence as 
Lord High Admiral, Lord Melville again became First 
Lord ; and one of his objects was to fill the office of 
Hydrographer with the best man that could be found, 
who should hold it permanently. There were many 
applicants ; but by 1829 two names only remained for a 
choice and one of them, at least, was not an applicant 
Captains Beaufort and Peter Heywood. Lord Melville 
declined the responsibility of deciding between them, 
and requested Sir John Barrow and Mr. Croker to advise 
him. Sir John Barrow had, as we have seen, selected 
Beaufort out of the whole Mediterranean fleet for the 
survey in Asia Minor ; and that survey having issued as 
it did, he could but desire to see the office of Hydrog- 
rapher filled by the accomplished officer who had thus 
distinguished himself. For twenty-six years Beaufort 
was at the Admiralty as Hydrographer; and very early 
in that period he had made his office the model on 
which Paris, Copenhagen, and St. Petersburg constructed 
theirs. Everywhere Hydrography took a new form and 
existence through the life which he put into his work. 
There is not a geographical discoverer, nor a zealous 
professional student in any naval service in the civilized 
world, who does not feel under direct obligation to 
Beaufort for his scientific assistance, given through his 

10 



[VI] 



Appointed 
Hydro- 
grapher 
to the 
Admiralty. 



218 



REAR-ADMIRAL SIR F. BEAUFORT. 



[VI] 



Apprecia- 
tion of hh 
iiaorld-'wlde 
labors. 



Changes 
at the 
Admiralty. 



works, or more special encouragement, by his personal 
aid and counsel. Those who remember the enthusiasm 
with which Commander Wilkes, of the United States 
Exploring Expedition (the unfortunate assailant of the 
Trent at the beginning of the late American war), used 
to speak of the effectual friendship of Captain Beaufort, 
in preparing for that important enterprise, have witnessed 
a specimen of the appreciation in which he was held by 
his professional brethren of all nations. It has been no 
small benefit to the world that the most accomplished 
Hydrographer of his own or any time was at our Ad- 
miralty for six-and-twenty years, always awake to chances 
of increasing the general knowledge, always indefatigable 
in furthering such chances, and genial and generous in 
assisting every man of any nation who devoted himself 
to geographical discovery or the verification of glimpses 
already obtained. His name is attached to several 
stations in newly discovered lands and seas : for instance, 
it will be uttered in all future times by voyagers passing 
up either the eastern or western shores of the American 
continent to the Polar Sea. But not the less is his name 
really though invisibly connected with almost every other 
modern enterprise of geographical discovery ; for he gave 
a helping hand to every scientific adventurer who applied 
to him, and no one thought of instituting scientific 
adventure without applying to him. 

When he entered the Admiralty, nearly thirty years 
ago, he found his own department a mere map-office. 
His friends well remember what a place it was small, 
cheerless, out of the way, altogether unfit and inadequate. 
The fact is, nobody but the 'elite of the naval profession 
had any conception of the importance one might almost 
say of the nature of the function of Hydrographer. 



REAR-ADMIRAL SIR F. BEAUFORT. 



219 



Maritime surveying on an extended scale was only be- 
ginning. We were not yet in possession of the full 
results of the labors of Flinders, Smyth, King, and 
Owen ; and Sir Edward Parry's view of his office was, 
that it made him the Director of a Chart-Depot for the 
Admiralty, and the supporter, rather than the guide or 
originator, of maritime surveys. Becoming conscious 
that the times were requiring something more than he 
could give, he wisely resigned. The manner in which 
Captain Beaufort was appointed, without solicitation on 
his own part, and simply because the best judges con- 
sidered him the fittest man, encouraged him to lay large 
plans, and to indulge high hopes. He began a great 
series of works, in which he intended to comprise, 
gradually and systematically, all the maritime surveys 
of the world our own coasts, still shamefully obscure, 
being destined for a thorough exploration in the first 
place. He designed and began what Lieutenant Maury 
has since achieved. His instructions to surveying officers 
show how extensive were his purposes as to deep-sea 
soundings so long ago as 1831 ; and the object was never 
lost sight of, though he was baffled in the pursuit of it. 
Whatever depended on his own energy was done, 
throughout his whole term of office ; but he had to 
endure the affliction which breaks the heart of every 
highly qualified servant of the Government the destruc- 
tion of his aims by failure of sympathy in those who hold 
the power and the purse, manifested either in opposition 
to useful projects or in parsimony in providing for them. 
After Beaufort had so shown what his office might be as 
to stimulate every other Government in Europe, he was 
compelled to see them all outstrip his own, through the 
senseless and needless parsimony of the authorities above 



[VI]. 



His plans. 



220 



REAR-ADMIRAL SIR F. BEAUFORT. 



mm. The Whigs, on their accession to power, felt 
themselves pledged to economy, and were so pledged ; 
out they did great injustice to the people of England, in 
supposing that they grudge money for the support of 
national objects and genuine public service. It is quite 
right, and will always be inevitable, that every Adminis- 
tration, of any politics, will be called to account for 
reckless experiments in shipbuilding, and such dockyard 
waste as is witnessed from one ten years to another : but 
there is not a member of the Legislature, nor an intelli- 
gent elector in the kingdom, who would not, on the least 
word of explanation, have voted whatever funds were 
necessary to the due prosecution of all the Maritime 
Surveys desired by such an authority as our late Hydrog- 
rapher. But he had to surfer under the evil of the 
political tenure of Admiralty office. His establishment 
was diminished when it should have been enlarged : 
foreign surveys were restricted from year to year ; and at 
length the exploration of our own shores was reduced to 
something wholly inadequate to the need. It is no small 
mortification to compare our Hydrographical Establish- 
ment with that at Paris, where the Depot de la Marine 
might be taken for the office of the greatest Maritime 
Power in Europe ; or with those at St. Petersburg, 
Copenhagen, Utrecht, and Washington : but the annual 
summary of shipwrecks, and the detail of lives lost 
through want of that knowledge which Beaufort would 
have established a quarter of a century ago, is a severer 
grief. It weighed heavily on his heart ; and it was 
probably the most painful experience of his life. Scientific 
men bitterly feel the truth of the words uttered from the 
Chair of the Royal Society: " The natural tendency of 
men is to undervalue what they cannot understand ;" but 



REAR-ADMIRAL SIR F. BEAUFORT. 221 



the censure should in this case rest on the right parties ; 
and those are not the people of England. Scientific 
pursuit is the prevailing popular taste in our time ; and 
there are no bounds to the popular support which would 
be afforded to it, on any fair appeal ; but the misfortune 
is, that the supplies voted for such an object as the 
Hydrographical Department are lumped together with 
others which are justly open to objection the abortive 
shipbuilding, and other mismanagement by which, after 
an enormous expenditure, we find ourselves ill supplied 
for maritime purposes, while parading the most marvellous 
marine that any empire ever possessed. 

Captain Beaufort had a remarkable power of discerning 
and appropriating ability to its right object, whenever it 
came in his way ; and at every turn of his life he was 
using this power on behalf of others ; yet he could not 
avail himself of it on his own. He was so restricted in 
his office, that he had no subordinate who could be a 
comrade in his labors ; and all that he had at heart 
must be done by his own hand. Disappointed in his 
hopes, baffled in his aims, pinched in his official expen- 
diture, he turned the full forces of his strong will on 
making the best of the hard circumstances of the case. 
He now proved himself as true a patriot as when he was 
receiving his nineteen wounds in boarding the San Josef, 
while the wounds of his hopes were more painful than 
those of the body, and there was no praise to be won. 
It was not his doing that the virtue was ever known. 
His industry, of constitutional origin, and sustained by 
principle, appeared something miraculous under this 
stress. Day by day, for a quarter of a century, he might 
be seen entering the Admiralty as the clock struck ; and 
for eight hours he worked in a way which few men even 



[VIj 



His dis- 
cernment. 



222 



REAR-ADMIRAL SIR F. BEAUFORT. 



[VI] 



His 

benevolence. 



His home. 



understand. A man who carried his own letter-paper 
and pens to the Admiralty for his private correspondence, 
was not one to occupy his official hours with other than 
official business; and the labors that Captain Beaufort 
undertook for benevolent objects were carried on at 
home. For many years he rose at five, and worked for 
three hours before his official day began. The anecdote 
of his connection with the maps of the Diffusion Society 
has recently gone the round of the newspapers ; and all 
the world knows that, in order to get these maps sold at 
sixpence instead of a shilling, he offered to superintend 
their preparation. As if he had not enough to do in his 
own function, he gave the world that set of maps, so 
valuable as charts that no ship in the United States Navy 
is allowed to sail without them ; and it is his doing that 
they are in a thousand houses which they would never 
have entered but for their cheapness. 

This is one of his innumerable charities. There was 
no sort of charity in which he was not just as liberal and 
as wise. There was no pedantry in his industry any 
more than in his knowledge. He never seemed in a 
hurry. While too seriously engaged for gossip, he had 
minutes or hours to bestow where they could really do 
good : he had conscientious thought to spare for other 
people's affairs, and modest sympathy in their interests, 
and intrepid advice when it was asked, and honest rebuke 
when it was deserved and might be effectual. His un- 
obtrusiveness was, perhaps, the most striking quality of 
his manner to observers who knew what was in him. 
His piety, reverent and heartfelt, was silent, as he pre- 
ferred that that of others should be. His domestic 
affections were unconcealable ; but spoken sentiment 
was quite out of his way. His happy marriage (with the 



REAR-ADMIRAL SIR F. BEAUFORT. 223 



daughter of his first commander, Captain Lestock Wil- 
son) ended in a mingling of pain and privilege which 
touched the hearts of all witnesses. Never was so much 
understood with so little said. She died of a lingering 
and most painful disease, making light of it to others 
as long as possible, though the full truth was known 
to both; she kept her young children about her, with 
their mirth wholly unchecked, to the latest possible day ; 
and the few who looked in on that sacred scene saw 
that it was indeed true that, as she said, she had never 
been happier than during that painful decline. As for 
him, there was not the slightest remission of outside 
duty while the domestic vigilance was that which so 
marvellously smoothed the passage to the grave. Now 
that both are gone, it is right to present this feature in 
the character of the man so long before known as hero 
and as savant. He came out from the long trial so much 
changed that it seemed doubtful whether he would ever 
regain his health and buoyant cheerfulness. He lived, 
however, to see his children fulfilling their own career of 
labor and honor : one son in the Church, another Legal 
Remembrancer (Attorney-General) in Calcutta, and a 
third a judge in Bengal. His second marriage, with a 
sister of Maria Edgeworth, secured a friend to himself 
and his daughters for many of the latter years of his life. 

Among his public labors were those of the successive 
offices of Commissioner of Pilotage, entered upon in 
1835, and of Member of the Committee of the Tidal 
Harbors and Ports of Refuge in the United Kingdom 
in 1845. In 1846 he became Rear- Admiral on the re- 
tired list, rather than surrender his office : but he never 
liked his "yellow flag;" and the mortification of his 
retirement was but slightly solaced by the honor of the 



[VI] 



His sons. 



224 



REAR-ADMIRAL SIR F. BEAUFORT. 



[VI] 



Hispersonal 
appearance. 



Knighthood of the Bath, conferred in 1848. The sudden 
expansion of railway projects so increased his work that 
his health began to fail ; but not till he had reached an 
age at which few men think of work at all. Early in 
1855 he was obliged to give up, and go home to a sick- 
bed for such time as might be left by a painful and 
incurable disease. He was the same man to the last, 
active and clear in mind, benevolent and affectionate at 
heart, and benign in manners. His activity never inter- 
fered with his profound quietude and peace ; and his 
quietude and peace deepened as his mind brightened. 

He must have been personally known, more or less, 
to many readers of this record. They will not forget 
his countenance. He was short in stature, but his coun- 
tenance could nowhere pass without notice. Its astute 
intelligence, shining honesty, and genial kindliness re- 
vealed the man so truly that, though he never spoke of. 
himself, few were so correctly understood. It now occurs 
to us that we never heard a fault attributed to him ; and 
we cannot say that we ever observed one in him. To 
record this is simple truth. He was attended in his last 
hours by his adoring children, and died in the midst of 
them on the iyth of December, 1857. They and society 
should be thankful together that such a man was spared 
to them so long. 



VII. 



SIR JOHN RICHARDSON. 

DIED JUNE 6xn, 1865. 

i 

ANOTHER of our naval heroes another of the band of 

Polar Discoverers, is gone, the mere news of whose 
departure revives in some of their own generation the 
enthusiasm of early days on behalf of the heroism 
which finds its exercise in enterprises of peace more 
arduous than those of war. The elders of our time have 
not all forgotten the first occasion on which they heard 
the name of John Richardson ; it was in 1819, when 
Lieutenant Parry was: already exploring among the ice, 
and when it seemed probable, as the Admiralty said, 
that Parry's object might be promoted by the despatch 
of a second expedition to ascertain where the Copper- 
mine River fell into the sea, and to trace the shore of 
the Polar Sea eastward from it. This second charge 
was devolved upon Lieutenant Franklin, with whom 
was associated Dr. Richardson, a naval surgeon, de- 
scribed as well skilled in Natural History. Partners in 
that enterprise, they were friends for life ; and, as none 
of us can have forgotten, devoted in death. It would 
have been strange to them, ready as they were for the 
same fate, to have foreknown how differently they would 
end their lives. One died behind the veil, as it were 



Associated 
wit A 
Franklin. 



226 



S7/e JOHN RICHARDSON. 



[VII] 



A likeness 
and a 
contrast. 



Enters the 
Navy. 



nobody knowing where he was, and how it fared with 
him far away among the ice, with the sun circling 
round the sky, permitting no night till the night of death 
fell on him amidst damp and dreariness ; discomfort, 
if not hunger; obstruction and discouragement, if not 
hopelessness ; with only the glare of the sunshine on the 
snow, and the blue ice, and the glittering stretches of the 
sea. The other died in a happy old age, in the same 
month of the year in so different a scene, and under 
such different conditions ! Amidst the richest of summer 
verdure, in a still valley near Grasmere, whither he had 
just returned from gay intercourse with old friends, and 
surrounded by his family, he passed away in the night 
without pain. There was but a year of difference in the 
age of the two friends ; there was a wonderful likeness in 
the most prominent of their experiences ; but a singular 
contrast in their way of leaving life. 

Sir John Richardson was a native of Dumfries, and 
was educated at the Grammar School there. At Edin- 
burgh he qualified himself for the medical profession, 
and entered the Navy at twenty, as Assistant Surgeon. 
He saw something of war ; for he was at the siege of 
Copenhagen, and served afterward on the coasts of the 
Peninsula. Before he was thirty he took his degree of 
M. D. at Edinburgh, and at thirty-one he married the 
first of bis three wives. It was in the next year that 
he became an object of interest to the public, by his 
association with Parry and Franklin's explorations. From 
May, 1819, till the next January, he and Franklin re- 
mained together ; and then the latter, with Lieutenant 
(now Sir George) Back, proceeded on a sort of prepara- 
tory trip of several hundred miles to the western end of 
Lake Athabasca, while Dr. Richardson was to stay in 



SIR JOHN RICHARDSON. 



227 



winter-quarters at Cumberland House, with Lieutenant 
Hood, till the opening of spring should enable them 
to advance to the Coppermine River. The physician 
explored the vegetation and animal life of the neighbor- 
hood, while the lieutenant made acquaintance with the 
Indians, sketching them, and joining their hunting 
parties. 

Spring arrived ; the friends joined forces and pro- 
ceeded northward, but everything went wrong. The 
winter caught them in August, midway ; no supplies 
overtook them, and they had to winter while food and 
ammunition were diminishing alarmingly. Lieutenant 
Back started southward for supplies, and returned ; but 
there were new difficulties at every step ; some of the 
worst being caused by jealousies which induced officials 
of the North-West Company to detach their servants 
from the British officers, so as to leave them helpless in 
the wilds. When the party was next heard of in Eng- 
land, their story moved universal pity and admiration. 
They had navigated the Coppermine, and the sea and 
coast for some distance east and west ; they had dis- 
covered lead, copper, and coal ; they had seen their 
canoes destroyed by the fault of the Canadians who had 
charge of them ; and Dr. Richardson had all but perished 
in the heroic attempt to swim the icy waters of the Cop- 
permine River. He was drawn out apparently dead, 
and was revived with great difficulty to risk his life 
again and again in recovering the poor fellows who had 
dropped by the way, or overtaking those who had gone 
astray in their frenzy of terror and misery. All this was 
fearful enough ; but i f was worse that their quarters were 
found empty ; no supplies, no re-enforcements, no token 
of aid was there ; but the only prospect of living on a 



[VII] 



The expe- 
dition to the 
Coppermine 
River. 



228 



SfJt JOHN RICHARDSON. 



[VII] 

His fearful 
sufferings. 



Fresh ex- 
plorations. 



diet of old shoes and unwholesome moss till they could 
live no longer. Then there was the murder of poor 
Hood by an attendant, who so clearly intended to 
destroy the two remaining Englishmen, Dr. Richardson 
and the seaman Hepburn, that Dr. Richardson very 
properly shot the wretch on the first opportunity. The 
sufferings of that fearful time, and especially the neces- 
sary homicide, left their traces for life on the countenance 
of the fearless and devoted explorer. The frequent re- 
mark of strangers, to the end of his life, was that his 
face had the expression of a man who had suffered to 
excess. The relief sent to them by Lieutenant Back 
reached the survivors just in time ; and the kindness of 
the Indians who brought it, aided their recovery. When 
the dreary story was told in England, the news came 
with it that Dr. Richardson had brought away some 
scientific facts and observations of his own and poor 
Hood's, as well as their brave chief's ; and these appeared 
in the Appendix to Franklin's Narrative. 

Three years had been consumed in this Expedition; 
and any man might have been excused from encounter- 
rig the risk of such sufferings a second time ; but in 
1825 the two friends started again for the same dreary 
egion. They explored the Mackenzie River the one 
he western line of its delta, and the other the eastern, 
Dr. Richardson succeeding in coasting along to the 
mouth of the Coppermine River, which he ascended as 
ar as it was navigable. The friends returned in two 
fears, and published in partnership their narratives of 
heir explorations. In 1829, and at intervals till 1836, 
Dr. Richardson published the work on the Zoology of 
he North British American regions which gave him his 
ame as a naturalist. 



JOHN RICHARDSON. 



229 



He seemed now to be settled at home, in a repose 
which was not likely to be disturbed. In 1838, being 
made physician to the fleet, he went to live at Haslar ; 
and two years later he became an Inspector of Naval 
Hospitals. But there had been domestic changes. The 
death of his first wife, from whom his duties had sepa- 
rated him for six years of their union, was followed by 
a second marriage in 1833, which was ended by death 
in 1845. It was in his grief under this bereavement 
that he committed himself once more to the work of 
Polar Discovery. Under the loosening of his ties to 
home and life, he spontaneously promised Sir John 
Franklin, when the latter sailed on his final voyage, that 
if the expedition did not reappear by the close of 1847, 
he would go and try for a meeting on the part of the 
Polar coast they had explored in common. In the 
interval he married again; and the pledge to Sir John 
Franklin must have weighed heavily upon him. One 
sign that it did so was that he and his household steadily 
insisted on the certainty of Sir John Franklin's return in 
the coming February. They refused to admit any doubt 
of this happy issue, when all the rest of the world was 
disheartened and almost despairing. January passed 
without news ; but then, January was not the month for 
that news. It would be in February, they had always 
said, and not before. February came without news ; 
but there might be news in February till February was 
gone. At last February was gone ; and there could be 
no more resistance to the necessity. He must go ; and 
he went with the courageous cheerfulness of a brave and 
devoted man. He looked to the bright side was con- 
fident he should soon find Franklin did not contem- 
plate a long absence, called on his friends to admire his 



[VII] 



Appointed 
an Inspector 
of Naval 
Hospitals. 



His promise 
to Franklin. 



230 



SIX JOHN RICHARDSON. 



[VII] 



Sets out in 
search of 
Franklin. 



Retiresfrom 
public life. 



provision of furs and eider-down, carried his Shakspere 
and his Wordsworth to pass the evenings and dreary 
days in the wilds, and, after writing from the last prac- 
ticable point, disappeared as completely as if he was 
dead. By August, he and his comrade, Mr. Rae, were 
on the Polar shore, searching for traces of the Expedi- 
tion everywhere between the Mackenzie and Coppermine 
rivers. Two other Expeditions were searching west and 
east of him ; and it did not appear that he could do 
anything more by remaining. He therefore returned 
in 1849, Caving Mr. Rae to prosecute inquiries which in 
two years more had no result. He returned, to wander 
no more, but to live a home-life, partly active and partly 
studious, partly professional and partly scientific, while 
hearing now of the completion of the discovery of a 
Northwest Passage, and now again of the ascertainment 
of the fate of Franklin and the doomed Expedition. 
Franklin had been dead before his friend started on the 
last journey ; and there, it seemed, ended Polar Explo- 
ration at least in our time. They little knew the effect 
of their own example, and the influence of such narra- 
tives of adventure and glorious suffering as theirs. 
Possibly Captain Sherard Osborne's new project, so zeal- 
ously supported and admiringly hailed, may have 
disclosed to the aged explorer now departed something 
more of the effect of such a life as his than he had 
hitherto imagined. 

For some years more he remained at Haslar, superin- 
tending the Museum, and publishing the narrative of his 
latest travels, and various communications to scientific 
journals, besides discharging his duties as Inspector. 
When he drew near the age of seventy he resigned his 
post, and retired to the Lake District, where he lived ten 



SIR JOHN RICHARDSON. 



231 



more years in the repose suitable to his time of life. A 
healthy activity remained to the end ; he was known all 
round the neighborhood, from Windermere to Grasmere, 
by his exertions of one kind or another. As, on the 
shores of the Polar Sea, in a hut of drift-wood, caulked 
with moss, with the sullen waters moaning outside, he 
delivered lectures to the hunters and boatmen of the 
Expedition on the soils they were to observe and report 
on, and the specimens they were to collect, so in the 
green valleys, and under the slated roofs of Westmoreland, 
he lectured to the country people on natural productions, 
and on the pursuit of knowledge. He was happy in his 
home, proud of his sons, and among his neighbors, if 
grave and still, as if by nature or the discipline of suffer- 
ing, still genial at heart, and more so in demeanor, as 
time passed on. He was never seen more cheerful, and 
even gay, than on the last day of his life, when he went 
among the tradespeople, and was visiting friends to 
within eight hours of his death. He appeared in perfect 
health, and was reading late. A stroke of apoplexy 
carried him off before the early summer dawn. After all 
the risks to which he subjected his life, and the condi- 
tion to which he was repeatedly reduced by cold, pro- 
longed hunger, and other hardships, he lived into his 
seventy-eighth year. 



[VII] 

His useful 
life. ' 



VIII. 



His early 
association 
with 
Brougham. 



His family. 



LORD DENMAN. 
DIED SEPTEMBER 220, 1854. 

THE death of Lord Denman is an impressive event for 
other reasons than the universal reverence and affection 
in which he was held, and the rank he obtained in his 
profession. There were a few points in his life and 
action which will connect him in history with some of 
the marked events of his time, and the news of his 
decease vividly calls up in many minds the most memor- 
able scenes they have witnessed in our London streets, 
our country villages, and our Houses of Parliament. 
During the exciting summer of 1820 his name was, with 
his "brother Brougham's," in every mouth. For long 
years after he was a sort of popular saint, through the 
virtuous sympathy that our people have the happiness of 
being subject to with those whom they clearly under- 
stand to have sacrificed worldly objects for something 
higher. In the conflict between the claims of law and 
Parliamentary Privilege, from 1836 to 1841, he was the 
central figure; and with these salient points of the 
history of our time the name of Thomas Denman will 
ever be associated. 

His father, one of the Court physicians in the time of 
George III., was the son of a tradesman or farmer at 



LORD DENMAN. 



233 



Bakewell, in Derbyshire ; a locality to which the family 
for successive generations has been so attached that the 
line of descendants is likely to perpetuate the residence. 
Dr. Denman was fond of his farm at Stoney Middleton, 
near Bakewell ; and Lord Denman improved the farm- 
house into a delightful residence. Dr. Denman had 
three children, Thomas, and two daughters, one of whom 
was married to Dr. Baillie, and the other to the unhappy 
Sir Richard Croft, who attended the princess Charlotte 
in her confinement, and, being unable to get over the 
shock of her death, committed suicide. It is probably 
because he was surrounded by physicians in his family 
relations that Lord Denman has been reported to have 
been originally intended for the medical profession. This 
was not the case, his destination and choice having 
always been the bar. He was born in 1779 : and, 
not being obliged, like most young barristers, to defer 
marriage to middle life, or to plunge their wives into 
poverty, he indulged himself with a home at an early 
age. He married, in 1804, Theodosia Ann Vevers, 
eldest daughter of a clergyman of Saxby, and grand- 
daughter of a Lincolnshire baronet. Fifteen children 
were the offspring of this marriage, of whom eleven 
survived, five sons and six married daughters, when Lady 
Denman died in 1852. 

Mr. Denman's position at the bar became early a very 
honorable one ; and his name was connected especially 
with causes and trials in which the liberty of the press 
was concerned. He appears on almost every occasion 
in the records of the prosecutions for political libels, 
blasphemy, and sedition, so frequent during the Tory 
Administrations of the early part of the century ; and 
so late as 1841, when a London publisher was prose- 



[VIII] 



His 

marriage 
and 

numerous 
offspring. 



At the bar. 



234 



LORD DENMAN. 



[VIII] 



Returned as 

M.P.for 

Wareham. 



His 

popularity. 



cuted for the publication of Shelley's "Queen Mab" in 
the collected works of the poet, Lord Denman, as Chief 
Justice, repeated the conviction which he had been 
wont to avow as a young barrister. In summing up, he 
remarked that it was better to subvert objectionable 
opinions and sentiments by reason and argument than 
to suppress them by persecution of the pfomulgators. 
The circumstances of this latest trial showed him, in a 
way which must have been highly agreeable to his liberal 
mind, the progress that society had made since his early 
days. The prosecution was instigated by a Free-thinker 
who had undergone the penalties of an earlier time, to 
prove the absurdity of the consequences of carrying out 
the law. 

Mr. Denman was introduced into Parliament in 1818, 
by Mr. Calcraft, who had him returned for the borough 
of Wareham. He immediately distinguished himself 
by his earnest advocacy of popular freedom side by 
side with Brougham and Lambton on all the many 
occasions furnished by the troubled years of 1819 and 
1820. In those times of a Manchester massacre, a 
Cato-street conspiracy, Burdett letters, and prosecution 
of authors and printers, Mr. Denman was always found 
vigilant and eloquent in opposing Seizures of Arms Bills, 
Seditious Meetings Bills, Blasphemous and Seditious 
Libels Bills, and doing his best to spoil the whole 
machinery of moral torture and intellectual restriction 
framed by the Eldons, Sidmouths, and Castlereaghs of 
those unhappy days. His popularity was already great 
when his advocacy of the cause of Queen Caroline, on 
her return to England in 1820, made him the idol of 
more than "the populace," with whose admiration he 
was taunted so scornfully. He accepted the office of 



LORD DENMAN. 



235 



Solicitor-General to the Queen at a sacrifice, he well 
knew and everybody knew, of his fair professional pros- 
pects. From the hour that, as one of her Commis- 
sioners (Mr. Brougham being the other), he met the 
Duke of Wellington and Lord Castlereagh as the King's 
Commissioners, it was felt that he had ruined himself, 
if professional advancement was the object of his life. 
Not only were all the high offices of the law closed to 
him during the reign of the King, who was not yet 
crowned ; but the royal brothers, who were in the course 
of nature to succeed him, were almost as virulent as 
the King against all aiders and abettors of the Queen's 
claims. Mr. Denman suffered, as he knew he must, a 
long abeyance of professional advancement; but the 
English nation were not likely to allow this to last for- 
ever; and Thomas Denman was their Chief Justice at 
last. No one could wonder at the strength of the 
popular feeling in his favor who heard, or even saw, 
his pleading on behalf of his injured client. His noble 
features and majestic form were all alive with emotion ; 
his utterance was as natural as that of any kindly citizen 
who was pitying the Queen by his own fireside : and the 
strength of his feelings roused his intellect and warmed 
his eloquence to a manifestation of power greater than 
appeared before or after. All England was in tears at 
that pathetic saying of his about the omission of the 
Queen's name in the Liturgy, that if she was prayed 
for at all, it was in the prayer "for all that are desolate 
and afflicted." All England exulted when he drove 
home the charge of the prosecution against the Royal 
Husband himself in the felicitous quotation from "Para- 
dise Lost :" 



[VIII] 



Out of 
favor at 
Court. 



His defence 
of Queen 
Caroline. 



A felicitous 
quotation. 



236 



LORD DEN MAN. 



[VIII] 



His recep- 
tion at 
Chelten- 
ham. 



Common 
Sergeant 
of London. 



"The other Shape 

If shape it might be called that shape had none ; 
Or substance might be called that shadow seemed ; 
For each seemed either : . . . what seemed his head 
The likeness of a kingly crown had on." 

Before the case was decided, and during an interval 
of adjournment, Mr. Denman went to Cheltenham, to 
obtain some repose after the excessive fatigues of the 
summer the hottest of summers. His reception there 
was a fair indication of the feeling of the country 
toward him. The clergyman had refused permission 
to have the bells rung on his arrival. The inhabitants 
drew his carriage to his lodgings, and when he had retired 
from the window, whence he briefly thanked them, they 
demolished the clergyman's windows, broke open the 
church, and rang a merry peal till late into the night. 
The Corporation of London chose him their Common 
Sergeant ; and whatever dignity could be conferred, out- 
side the political and professional pale which he had 
declined to enter unworthily, was awarded him by popu- 
lar reverence and gratitude. One of the finest of his 
productions was the discourse at the opening of the 
Aldersgate-street Mechanics' Institute, in 1828, when 
such associations had existed only five years. In the 
concluding passage of that address he urged the view 
of applying literary enlightenment to the pursuit of 
social duty, and the wise and conscientious discharge of 
political obligation ; and he who had himself so turned 
his enlightenment to account had a right to the enthu- 
siasm with which his hearers received his exhortation to 
a virtuous use of the suffrage. 

The period of exclusion was how, however, drawing 
to an end. When the Grey Ministry was formed in 



LORD DENMAN. 



237 



1830 he was made Attorney-General, and knighted for 
the office, according to custom. The Nottingham people 
returned him to Parliament with high pride and delight. 
The Duke of Clarence, who had joined in the persecu- 
tion of the Queen, had now laid aside old controversies ; 
and he made the Liberal Attorney-General a peer in 
1834, and Chief Justice of the King's Bench. In two 
more years, Lord Denman pronounced the decision that 
brought on the perilous quarrel between the Law Courts 
and Parliament. The history of the controversy need 
not be given here, as it may be found in the chronicles 
of the time, and seen to involve much more than Lord 
Denman's share in the business. It was he who brought 
on the struggle by his decision, in November 1836, that 
the authority of Parliament could not justify the pub- 
lication of a libel ; whereas the House of Commons 
could not surrender their claim to publish what they 
thought proper, in entire independence of the Law 
Courts. The Hansards were bandied about between law 
and privilege ; the Sheriffs of London were imprisoned, 
quizzed, pitied, and caricatured ; but thoughtful men 
felt that the occasion was one of extreme seriousness ; 
and Lord Denman had to bear the responsibility of 
having perilously overstrained one of the indispensable 
compromises of the Constitution. He was confident 
throughout that he was right, and patriotically employed 
in vindicating the liberty of the subject from oppression 
by Parliament : and Parliament was equally convinced 
that the national liberties depended on their repudiating 
the control of the Law Courts. A more difficult ques- 
tion can never occur under a Constitutional Govern- 
ment ; and it is sure to come up, from time to time, 
like that of State Rights in America, when some earnest 



[VIII] 

Attorney- 
General 



and Chief 
Justice. 



The 

struggle 
betiueen 
Parliament 
and the 
Law Courts. 



2 3 8 



LORD DENMAN. 



[VIII] 



His noble 
appearance. 



man sees his own side to be right without being able to 
perceive that the other may not necessarily be wrong. 
In the controversy opened and conducted by Lord 
Denman, the respective claims were left unsettled ; and 
nothing was done but doubtfully providing for the 
single case of the publication of Parliamentary Reports. 
Lord Denman's service in the case was depositing in 
the armory of the Law Courts a quiverful of argu- 
ments for the use of successive combatants, whenever 
the battle shall be renewed. Perhaps the only good 
result of the whole affair was a lesson of caution to 
others than the narrow-minded and superficial how they 
stir the great questions which, while they are the roots 
of our growing and flourishing Constitution, are inca- 
pable of definition and circumscription. They are not 
a matter of ordinary party politics ; for aristocratic and 
democratic institutions are alike troubled with them ; as 
indeed it might be said, in a large way, that all methods 
of human association in fact are. 

It was Lord Denman's business to preside in the 
House of Peers, as its Lord High Steward, on occasion 
of the absurd trial of the troublesome and quarrelsome 
Lord Cardigan in 1841, for a "felonious attempt" to 
fight a duel. The Earl was acquitted through a mistake, 
accidental or otherwise, in the name of the person chal- 
lenged. The waste of time, money, and solemnity on 
such a farce was vexatious enough ; but the treat of the 
occasion was the noble-looking Judge. To the last day 
of his sitting in his own Court, strangers thronged in to 
gaze on that majestic and benevolent countenance. It 
was in 1850 that his intimate friend, Lord Campbell 
(who made his way through life very easy by calling 
everybody he had to do with his " friend"), discovered 



LORD DENMAN. 



239 



that Lord Denman was too old for his office, though 
two years younger than Lord Campbell himself. Lord 
Campbell urged so forcibly upon everybody the decline 
in his friend's powers, that people who had not perceived 
it before- began to think it must be so. Lord Denman 
declared himself perfectly up to his work ; and his affec- 
tionate friend shook his head, and stirred up other people 
to appeal to Lord Denman's patriotism to retire before 
his function should surfer further from his weight of years. 
Hurt, displeased, and reluctant, Lord Denman resigned 
his office, and his brisk senior nimbly stepped into it, 
and enlivened with jokes the tribunal which had been 
graced by his predecessor's sweetness and majesty. 
Whether Lord Denman's powers were failing, men were 
not agreed ; but there was no dispute about whether 
Lord Campbell was the proper person to effect his 
removal. The tributes of respect and affection offered 
by the bar and the public to the retiring judge were 
truly consolatory to his ruffled feelings, and as richly 
deserved as any honors ever offered to an aged public 
servant. 

In his retirement he was tenderly cheered, and in due 
course nursed by his affectionate children, and especially 
by his eldest son, who was his Judge's Associate when 
he was on the bench. He interested himself much in 
the Slave Trade question, in favor of the maintenance 
of our squadron of cruisers off the African coast, in 
which service his second son, Captain Denman, distin- 
guished himself. As long as he could attend Parliament 
Lord Denman spoke annually on the subject ; and then 
he wrote upon it. His feelings were considered to be 
better than his reasonings in the case : but it was cheer- 
ing to see that while the gloom of age and infirmity was 



[VIII] 

Lord 

Campbell's 

suggestion. 



Retirement 
from office. 



His views 
on the Slave 
Trade. 



240 



LORD DEN MAN. 



[VIII] 



The patrht 
and the 



gathering round him, the beacon light of human rights, 
which had guided his whole course, still shone for him 
and fixed his earnest gaze. The best part of him lasted 
longest and wore well. While well qualified as a lawyer, 
he was not made for eminence by that qualification, if 
unsupported by others. He was of a higher order as a 
patriot ; and highest as a man and a neighbor. So, 
when he had retired from his professional career, he 
commanded respect for his unimpaired solicitude for the 
public weal, and a tender reverence for his personal 
virtues and graces. He leaves so numerous a posterity 
that his name will be a source of domestic pride in 
many homes, for generations to come ; and, however 
long the tradition may run, the record of History will 
run parallel with it. In no relation is there any fear 
that the name of Thomas Denman should be forgotten. 



IX. 



LORD CHANCELLOR CAMPBELL. 
DIED JUNE 230, 1861. 

SUCH was the dignity arrived at by the skilful man who | 
delighted in telling us, with the half-innocent, half-face- 
tious face that he put on as he spoke the often-repeated 
words, that he was only " Plain John Campbell," the 
humble son of a humble Scotch minister, while all his 
hearers knew all the while that there was not such a man 
for getting on in the three kingdoms. The public heard 
less, and his own friends heard less, in the latter part of 
his life, about his plainness and humility, and the paternal 
manse ; but he had exhibited these things so often in his 
electioneering speeches and official addresses that he was 
best known as Plain John Campbell to the last. 

The paternal manse was in Fifeshire ; and there John 
was born in 1781. He was educated at St. Andrews, 
where he took the degree of M.A. He repaired to 
London to pursue his legal studies, poor in purse, but 
with a source of income in his pocket in the shape of a 
letter to Mr. Perry, of the Morning Chronicle, who em- 
ployed him both as theatrical critic and as a parliamentary 
reporter. His industry was extraordinary ; and he studied 
law as effectually in the mornings as if he had not been 
at work half the night. His jocose humor lightened all 
the labors of his life to himself and his comrades. 

ii 



His self- 
dubbed 
cognomen* 



At St. 
Andrews. 



Employed as 
a reporter. 



242 



LORD CHANCELLOR CAMPBELL. 



[IX] 

Called to the 
bar, 1806. 



Employed 
in the 
Melbourne 
and Stock- 
dale cases. 



He was called to the bar in 1 806, after completing his 
studies under Mr. Tidd, the author of the celebrated 
"Tidd's Practice." His first employment was reporting 
Lord Ellenborough's judgments at Nisi Prius, a very 
high service, as is known to all who are aware of the use 
made of those judgments as authorities ; and their value 
is enhanced by the notes of the reporter. Mr. Campbell 
rose rapidly through the drudging stages of his profession, 
became leader on the Oxford Circuit and at Nisi Prius, 
and in 1821 married the daughter of Mr. Scarlett, after- 
ward Lord Abinger. His professional income, already 
large, became enormous ; and the best care was taken of 
it. In 1 827 he was made King's Counsel, and in 1832 
Solicitor-General. In 1834 he was Attorney-General, 
and in that capacity obtained great professional triumphs, 
in the two cases of the Melbourne and Stockdale trials. 
In the Melbourne case, no doubt, his feelings were really 
and deeply interested, and his conviction of the mistake 
involved in the prosecution was entire. In the Stockdale 
case he enjoyed his work, from the perplexity and ludi- 
crous features of the affair. He argued on behalf of 
Parliament against his friend Denman and the Court of 
Queen's Bench, and quizzed the poor innocent reluctant 
Sheriffs in their quizzical imprisonment, with keen relish. 
He was, moreover, not at all sorry to turn public notice 
away from a political false step of his own, which he 
found, in the autumn of 1839, to be no jke, though he 
tried to make it one. Chartism was rife, as we all re- 
member, toward the close of 1838. The Ministry and 
Parliament were willing to be merciful, in consideration 
of much recent popular suffering ; and it does not appear 
that their indulgence was misapplied, except in the case 
of Frost, about whose official position and doings there 



LORD CHANCELLOR CAMPBELL. 



243 



was some of that mistake of fact which characterized the 
inexperienced Whig rule of those days. The Attorney- 
General was naturally and excusably complacent about 
the wisdom of the Government in abiding by the ordinary 
law, when the Conservatives were crying out for coercion ; 
but he let his complacency get the better of his prudence ; 
and at a public breakfast given in his honor at Edin- 
burgh, after the riots of the summer of 1839, boasted 
that Chartism was extinct. He, as the first Law Officer 
of the Crown, had misled the Ministers by similar as- 
surances ; and he had also encouraged the Chartists, by 
showing them that Government was off its guard. On 
the 3d of November occurred the Newport insurrection ; 
and Sir John Campbell (as he had become by that time) 
had to bear something more than raillery on his not 
having the second-sight of his country, nor even the use 
of common eyes. 

His next promotion was not effected under kindly and 
graceful influences. Just before the Whig Government 
went out in 1841, and when the event was clearly fore- 
seen by everybody, while struggled against by the holders 
of power, a Bill was brought in, and urged forward with 
extreme haste, to provide two new Judgeships in the 
Court of Chancery ; it being universally understood that 
Sir John Campbell was to step into one of them when 
obliged to resign the Attorney-Generalship. Remon- 
strance was made against the intention to put a Common 
Law practitioner, however eminent, into an Equity 
Judgeship ; and on other accounts also the measure was 
found impracticable ; and it was thrown up. The Chan- 
cellor of Ireland, Lord Plunket, was then written to, in 
'the same week, to request him to resign the seal to 
Sir John Campbell. Lord Plunket indignantly refused, 



[IX] 



The 

Chartist 
riots in 1839 



Chancellor 
of Ireland. 



244 



LORD CHANCELLOR CAMPBELL. 



[IX] 



Chancellor 
of the 
Dncuy of 
Lancaster. 



The ministerial newspapers then presented paragraphs 
about his age and infirmities, and his long-felt wish to 
retire. He openly contradicted this news, declared him- 
self quite well, and denied having ever said a word about 
retiring. He was pressed more urgently by his minis- 
terial correspondents, and reminded of the Bishopric of 
Tuam having been recently given to his son, and of other 
patronage of which he had obtained the fruits ; and he 
obeyed at last, avowing in his farewell address the facts 
of the case. He carried with him his title to a retiring 
pension of 4,ooo/. a year ; and Plain John, stepping into 
his seat, anticipated the same. But the delays had put 
the matter off rather too long. Lord Campbell, sat as 
Chancellor of Ireland for only a single day, after having 
received his peerage for the purpose. His wife had been 
a peeress for some years, owing to the curious fact that 
his services in the Commons could not be dispensed with 
by the Whig ministry. His wife was therefore made 
Lady Stratheden, with descent to her son ; and Sir John 
was promised a peerage at a future time ; that time 
arriving when he filled his alienated friend's seat for 
one day. 

On leaving Ireland, and giving up his claim for a 
retiring pension, Lord Campbell became a Cabinet 
Minister as Chancellor of the Duchy of Lancaster. 
His energy now devoted itself to literature ; and he 
began to bring out his "Lives of the Chancellors." In 
that work he has described himself better than any one 
else could describe him. The style is entertaining, the 
facts anything that he chose to make them, and the 
spirit depreciatory to the last degree. The late Sir 
Harris Nicolas, the highest possible authority in anti- 
quarian memoirs, accidentally examined some old MSS., 



LORD CHANCELLOR CAMPBELL. 



245 



which expressly contradicted Lord Campbell's painful 
account of Sir Christopher Hatton ; and was so struck 
by the easy style of statement in Lord Campbell's Life 
of that Chancellor that he made further investigations 
among State papers, and established and published a 
case of malversation of materials which will not easily 
be forgotten. The same process was afterward carried 
on, with the same result, by the Westminster Review, 
which entirely overthrew the value of the work as His- 
tory or Biography, while stamping upon it the imputation 
of libel on the reputation of personages long gone 
where the voice of praise or censure cannot reach them. 
Lord Campbell certainly saw Sir H. Nicolas's exposures ; 
for he omitted a few statements, qualified others, and 
inserted "it is said" in yet other instances ; leaving, 
however, a considerable number uncorrected, to pass 
through successive editions, and become History if no 
vigilant curator of the fame of the dead does not take 
measures to preclude an evil so serious. 

Literature was not, however, sufficient to occupy the 
energies of this industrious lawyer; nor his office to 
satisfy his ambition. As might easily have been antici- 
pated, he found another judge who might be persuaded 
that he was too old and infirm for office, and had better 
resign in his favor. His old friend, Lord Denman, two 
years younger than Lord Campbell, was pronounced in 
1849 so infirm that he ought to resign the Chief Justice- 
ship. Lord Denman protested, as Lord Plunket had 
done, that he was perfectly well able to go through his 
duties : but Lord Campbell thought otherwise ; and im- 
mediately the newspapers began to bewail Lord Den- 
man's weight of years, and to predict that his sprightly 
senior would soon be in his seat ; and early in 1850 the 



[XI] 

His "Lives 
of the Lord 
Chan- 
cellors," and 
its misstate- 
ments. 



Lord Den' 
man and 
"Plain 
John." 



246 



LORD CHANCELLOR CAMPBELL. 



[IX] 



Lord 
Brougham 
and Lord 
Campbell in 
the Lords. 



Appointed 

Lord 

Chancellor. 



event took place accordingly. When the spectators who 
saw him take his seat for the first time remarked on the 
"green old age" of the vivacious Judge, they asked one 
another, with mirth like his own, who would ever be 
able to persuade him that he was too old for office. 
Would he meet with a successor who would take no 
denial on that point, as he had taken none from the two 
old friends whom he had superseded ? If he had over- 
heard the whisper, he would have laughed with the specu- 
lators. His drollery was as patent as ever. Ever since 
he had entered the Lords he had joined with Lord 
Brougham in enacting perpetual scenes for the amuse- 
ment of the peers and readers of the debates. The 
sparring of the two Law Lords was the severest ever 
known to pass between persons who persisted in calling 
one another "friend." The noble and learned "friends" 
said the most astonishing things of and to each other, 
without ever coming to blows. There was no danger of 
that ; for Lord Campbell could bear anything, and did 
not care enough to lose his temper seriously. The same 
facetiousness manifested itself on the Bench, without 
being aggravated by the same opposition. Of all the 
Chief Justices whose lives he in course of time wrote, 
no one probably could surpass him in the amusement he 
afforded to the bar, the witnesses, the culprit, and the 
audience ; sometimes at moments when tears would have 
come, unless driven back by one of the Judge's puns. 
In 1859 he attained the highest honors of his profession 
in the Lord Chancellorship. 

In his judicial office in the House of Lords he was 
extremely diligent, and eminently serviceable. As a 
lawyer, his abundant reading and unfailing assiduity justi- 
fied the success which his indomitable determination to 



LORD CHANCELLOR CAMPBELL. 



247 



get on would probably have obtained at all events. He 
was not a scholar ; nor were his countenance and voice 
prepossessing, nor his manners good. He was pleasant 
and good-humored in Court and in the drawing-room ; 
and the consideration he obtained thus, and by his wealth 
(understood but not manifested), and by his rank, and 
especially by his success, was enough for him. Heartfelt 
respect and intimate friendship were not necessary to 
xhim ; and he would probably have been quite content 
with the knowledge that, after his death, he would be 
held up as an example of the social success obtainable 
in our fortunate country by energy and assiduity, steadily 
reaching forward to the prizes of ambition. 

He was not called on to endure the weaknesses of age 
which he was so acute in recognizing in men younger 
than himself. In full possession of his powers, he at- 
tended a Cabinet Council the day before his death, and 
afterward entertained a large party at dinner, retiring to 
rest after midnight, without any tone of fatigue in his 
"good-night." In the morning he was found dead in 
his chair. As his life had been gay and fortunate, his 
death was quiet and easy. Such welfare as he had, need 
not be grudged to him. Much of it he earned for him- 
self ; and some of it was a poor substitute for blessings 
and enjoyments relished with even a greater keenness 
than his by poorer, more modest, refined, and honored 
men. 



[IX] 



His charac- 
ter and 
career. 



X. 



His travels. 



His 

speciality. 



DAVID ROBERTS, R. A. 
DIED Nov. 25x11, 1864. 

THE death of Mr. Roberts will excite interest and regret 
over a wider area than the loss of perhaps any other 
Artist of the present generation in our country ; for no 
other is familiarly known in so many countries of Europe, 
and beyond it. He spent his cheerful life in travelling 
through them, with a keen and studious eye and a busy 
hand, and in imparting to the world, with eminent 
fidelity, what he had seen. He published his impres- 
sions in so many ways, gave out so many of them, in 
so various and in such accessible forms, that the people 
of many countries know what his services have been to 
their own architectural monuments, their picturesque 
towns, their characteristic scenery, and the aspect and 
ways of their inhabitants. His pictures have been en- 
graved for works of a wide range of character and 
circulation at home and abroad, from the superb folio 
illustrating the Holy Lands of the East in 246 subjects, 
to the pretty little Annuals in their early days. The 
impression he produced was probably very much the 
same in all the countries and all the societies in which 
he was known through his works. His speciality is 
always assumed to be architectural delineation ; and in 



DAVID ROBERTS, R.A. 



249 



this he will long be regarded as supreme among us, 
because his genius opened his eyes to the noblest 
aspects of noble edifices, subordinating, but not neglect- 
ing, the minor characteristics, and so infallibly per- 
ceiving the distinctive splendor and beauty of each of 
many cathedrals, temples, Eastern pyramids and bazaars, 
and old Western towns, with their castles and municipal 
buildings, as to show to the residents more in the 
edifices before their eyes than they had ever seen 
for themselves. It is, doubtless, as a painter of archi- 
tecture that he will be spoken of in the many lands in 
which he will be regretted ; but yet it is difficult to show 
that his landscapes are not as true and distinctive, as 
broadly viewed and as faithfully presented, as the edifices 
winch they surround. An equal excellence may, for the 
most part, be recognized in the figures which animate 
either the one or the other. Such a variety of lines of 
practice, and such industry and facility, are rare in 
themselves, and very rarely recognized by such a multi- 
tude of admirers as in Mr. Roberts's case ; and the 
sorrow for his death will be in proportion to the influ- 
ence of his life and works. The best appreciation of 
his truth is to be found among persons who know the 
scenes, either as residents or as travellers. His pictures 
may be seen to be very variously estimated by a suc- 
cession of visitors in the same day and the same hour ; 
but the difference lies in the knowledge or ignorance of 
the scene or its main conditions, on the part of the 
gazers. One of his pictures of an Egyptian temple may 
bring out from an untravelled observer a remark on the 
opaque color, and the wildly unnatural hues of moun- 
tain, sand, river, and sky : and at the same moment a 
Nile voyager may be feeling, at the first glance, and 



[X] 



His 

versatility. 



II 



250 



DA VI D ROBERTS, R.A. 



A native of 
Edinburgh. 



more and more as he gazes, a thrill such as he has not 
felt since he first saw a sunset in the desert. The 
coloring is true, except in as far as it is necessarily 
subdued to meet the requirements of Art, as it is under- 
stood in England; and the opacity is, to the travelled 
eye, the special transparency of such climates as that of 
Egypt, where the clearness of the atmosphere confounds 
space and distance, and concentrates color in a way 
incomprehensible to the inhabitants of misty countries. 
That Mr. Roberts should have conveyed these pecu- 
liarities of Egyptian and Arabian scenery, and the char- 
acteristics of his own dear Scotland, and of Moorish 
Spain, and of half-Eastern Austria, and of bright France, 
and of dim London, manifests a versatility which, in 
combination with his steadiness of purpose, must be 
recognized as genius. 

This is not the less true for his owing some of his 
facility to a very unusual early training. He served his 
apprenticeship to a house-painter, which might not have 
much to do with it ; but he was afterward a scene- 
painter ; and if he escaped the dangers of such a mode 
of early practice, he was sure to derive advantage from 
it. In the humbler occupation he had for a comrade 
Hay, who became a true artist in the province of house- 
decoration ; and his fellow scene-painter at Drury Lane 
was Stanfield. 

David Roberts was a native of Edinburgh. He was 
born on the 24th of October, 1796, and was therefore 
sixty-eight at the time of his death. While still an 
apprentice to the house-painter, he was admitted to the 
Trustees' Academy, where Wilkie, Allan, and others 
began to learn their art. Roberts, however, attended 
only once, when he made a study of a hand. The first 



DA VID ROBERTS, R.A. 



251 



clear view now to be had of him is in his twenty-seventh 
year, when he was working, with Stanfield as a comrade, 
for the Drury Lane stage. Two years later, he and an 
illustrious company of brother artists instituted the 
Society of British Artists ; and Roberts was Vice- 
President of this Society for some time. He exhibited 
in it the first pictures that we hear of; one of Dryburgh, 
and two of Melrose Abbey. Thus he began with archi- 
tectural painting, which was the great object of his life 
and art to the end. 

In 1825 he had evidently been beginning his travels ; 
for he showed to the world what he had seen at Dieppe 
and Rouen. In the following year he exhibited for the 
first time at the Royal Academy. He seems, however, 
to have been happier with the Society, for he exhibited 
regularly there, while appearing only once for eight years 
at the Academy. He was travelling and painting during 
the interval, and the most noticeable work of the period 
was the picture which he painted for Lord Northwick, 
and which is now in Sir Robert Peel's collection, "The 
Departure of the Israelites from Egypt. " He had not yet 
been in Egypt ; but neither had he been in India, and 
we find him painting the Ellora Cave. He worked from 
a sketch by Captain Grindlay. 

For some years the variety of his subjects seems now 
as wonderful as his industry. We find in the list Scotch, 
Dutch, English, and Rhenish towns, from studies of his 
own. There is a Portuguese one ; but that is from a 
sketch of Charles Landseer's. He was in Spain, how- 
ever, in 1834; and thence he sent the "Geralda at 
Seville," painted on the spot, and the work which fixed 
his rank as a great painter "The Cathedral at Burgos." 
It may be seen in the National collection, as Mr. Vernon 



[X] 



One of the 
founders of 
the Society 
of British 
Artists. 



Exhibits at 
the Royal 
Academy. 



The multi- 
plicity of his 
subjects. 



252 



DA VID ROBERTS, R.A. 



[X] 



His contri- 
butions 
to the 
Annuals. 



His 

" Sketches 
in the Holy 
Land." 



immediately purchased it. Mr. Sheepshanks afterward 
secured the two others which appear in the National 
Gallery "The Crypt at Rosslyn Chapel," and the 
' ' Spanish Scene on the Davro, at Grenada. " 

For four years at this time he contributed largely to 
the Annuals which were the fashion of the period ; and 
to these, perhaps, he owed his first celebrity beyond his 
own island ; for, by the illustrated publications of the 
day the continental people learned to know the scenery 
of their own and one another's countries. The foreign 
engravings from his views in the Landscape Annual, and 
in illustration of "The Pilgrims of the Rhine," and 
his lithographed "Spanish Sketches," were a complete 
novelty to half the Continent. The grand achievement, 
however, was the "Sketches in the Holy Land," and in 
neighboring countries one of the largest illustrative 
works in existence, and no less eminent for its fidelity 
and its character of vitality than for its splendor. It 
was while he was studying these scenes on the spot that 
he was made an Associate of the Royal Academy in 
1839. In 1841, he became an Academician; and in the 
following year the great folio work began to appear 
Louis Haghe being the engraver, and Dr. Croly the 
contributor of the letterpress. The whole required the 
labor of eight years on the part of the artist and the en- 
graver. 

That is above twenty years ago ; and the production 
of his wealth of that sort has never ceased scarcely 
paused from that time to this. We look back with won- 
der on such a production of works of such quality 
the "Baalbec," the "Jerusalem from the Mount of 
Olives," "The Temple of the Sun at Baalbec," which 
our readers will remember at the International Exhibi- 



DAVID ROBERTS, R.A. 



253 



tion of 1862; "The Destruction of Jerusalem;" the 
picture painted by royal command of "The Opening 
of the Exhibition of 1851 ;" and the great panoramic 
picture of Rome, presented by Mr. Roberts to his 
native city. Edinburgh had before given him the free- 
dom of the city; and she was not left unrepresented 
amidst the old capitals which he illustrated in long 
succession. Rome, Venice, Vienna, and many more, 
and finally London, were so painted by him as to secure 
to future generations a clear conception of what the great 
cities of Europe looked like (as regards their most promi- 
nent features) in our century. 

Those pictures of London, as seen from the Thames, 
are the latest memorials we have of David Roberts. 
He was employed on two of them at the time of his 
death. It was nevertheless an old scheme. Turner 
once told him that he had thought of painting London 
from points of view on the Thames ; but he decided that 
the scheme was too wide for him. When he relinquished 
it, David Roberts seems to have taken it up; and he 
accumulated a mass of materials for it which it is mourn- 
ful to think of, now that he is gone. Our readers must 
have a vivid remembrance of the fine rendering of St. 
Paul's, as presented in the pictures in the Academy Ex- 
hibition. The series was painted for Mr. Charles Lucas, 
who has hung them together. One of the unfinished 
pictures is a view of St. Paul's from Ludgate Hill ; the 
other, nearly finished, is the Palace of Westminster seen 
from the river. 

He leaves a rich legacy of professional treasures, be- 
sides these incomplete pictures. He parted with very 
few of his water-color sketches and drawings made in the 
countries he travelled through. He rarely parted with, 



Picture* of 
London 
from the 
Thames. 



254 



DAVID ROBERTS, R.A. 



[X] 



Hh 

geniality. 



an original sketch ; and we may all conceive what a 
number there must be of them. There is also a com- 
plete series of an interesting order of memoranda. It 
was his habit to make a pen-and-ink etching of every 
picture he painted, with notes recording the size and other 
conditions of the work. This is not only a precious lega- 
cy to his descendants, but a valuable record for the world 
of Art. 

He was a very cheerful man. This must have been 
evident to all who had any acquaintance with him ; for 
his genial temper manifested itself in his face, and his 
voice, and the mirth of his conversation. He had the 
enjoyment which belongs to the inclination and habit of 
industry, without the drawback of the stiffness, and nar- 
rowness, and restlessness which too often attend it. In 
the last autumn of his life, when he was absent from 
his regular work, and staying at Bonchurch with his 
daughter and son-in-law and their family, he occupied 
himself with cleaning and renovating his old sketches, 
conversing gayly all the while. His health was good ; 
his fame was rising, as appeared by the constantly in- 
creasing prices given for his works ; he was blessed in 
family affection, and rich in friends. He was passing in- 
to old age thus happily when he was struck down by a 
death which spared him the suffering of illness, infirmity, 
and decline. On the 25th November he went out from 
his own house in apparent health, and cheerful as usual. 
He staggered and fell in the street ; and died at seven the 
same evening. 

All the world knew of his energy and industry. All 
his acquaintance were aware of his liberality of views 
and of temper on all the great subjects which usually 
divide men by their very interest in them. No man was 



DAVID ROBERTS, R.A. 



255 



the worse with David Roberts for any opinions con- 
scientiously formed and honestly held ; and he asked 
no leave for holding his own convictions. Some, but 
not many, knew what his munificence was to the needy 
members of any department of Art, and how generous 
his support of all good schemes for the benefit of artists. 
His eye, and heart, and hand were open to discern, and 
sympathize with, and foster ability in his own line of 
life, or in any other. David Roberts, the Royal Acade- 
mician, will be regretted far and near, and his death 
recorded as one of the grave losses of a grave period ; 
but as the generous patron, the hearty friend, and the 
beloved father and grandfather, he is mourned as deeply 
as any man who never ran any risk of being spoiled by 
fame, or filled with the pride of his conquest over the 
disadvantages of his early life, and his achievement of 
such a position as he held. He had made himself a 
man of mark ; and he was one of few who, having 
energy for such a feat, have preserved heart, and 
simplicity, and gentleness enough not to be the less 
happy for it. 



[X] 



His 

benevolence. 



IV. 
SOCIAL. 



MISS BERRY. 



BORN MARCH i6xH, 1763. DIED Nov. 2OTH, 1852. 

An event has occurred which makes us ask ourselves 
whether we have really passed the middle of our century. 
In the course of Saturday night, November 20, one died 
who could and did tell so much of what happened early 
in the reign of George III., that her hearers felt as if 
they were in personal relations with the men of that 
time. Miss Berry was remarkable enough in herself to 
have excited a good deal of emotion by dying any time 
within the last seventy years. Dying now, she leaves as 
strong as ever the impression of her admirable faculties, 
her generous and affectionate nature, and her high accom- 
plishments, while awakening us to a retrospect of the 
changes and fashions of our English intellect, as ex- 
pressed by literature. She was not only the Woman of 
Letters of the last century, carried far forward into our 
own she was not only the Woman of Fashion who was 
familiar with the gayeties of life before the fair daughters 
of George III. were seen abroad, and who had her own 
will and way with society up to last Saturday night : she 
was the repository of the whole literary history of four- 
score years ; and when she was pleased to throw open 
the folding-doors of her memory, they were found to be 



A link ivith 
the fast 
century. 



260 



MISS BERRY. 



[I] 



The Miss 
Berrys and 
Horace 
Walpole. 



mirrors: and in them was seen the whole procession of 
literature, from the mournful Cowper to Tennyson the 
Laureate. 

It was a curious sight visible till recently, though now 
all are gone the chatting of three ladies on the same 
sofa the two Miss Berrys and their intimate friend, 
Lady Charlotte Lindsay. Lady Charlotte Lindsay was 
the daughter of Lord North; and the Miss Berrys had 
both received, as was never any secret, the offer of the 
hand of Horace Walpole. It is true he was old, and 
knew himself to be declining, and made this offer as an 
act of friendship and gratitude; but still, the fact re- 
mains that she who died last Saturday night might have 
been the wife of him who had the poet Gray for his 
tutor. These ladies brought into our time a good deal 
of the manners, the conversation, and the dress of the 
last century ; but not at all in a way to cast any restraint 
on the youngest of their visitors, or to check the inclina- 
tion to inquire into the thoughts and ways of men long 
dead, and the influence of modes long passed away. Ifr 
was said that Miss Berry's parties were rather blue, and 
perhaps they were so ; but she was not aware of it ; and 
all thought of contemporary pedantry dissolved under 
icr stories of how she once found on the table, on her 
return from a ball, a volume of "Plays on the Passions," 
and how she kneeled on a chair at the table to see what 
he book was like, and was found there feathers and 
satin shoes and all by the servant who came to let in the 
vinter morning light ; or of how the world of literature 
was perplexed and distressed as a swarm of bees that 
lave lost their queen when Dr. Johnson died ; or of 
low Charles Fox used to wonder that people could make 
uch a fuss about that dullest of new books Adam 



MISS BERRY. 261 



[I] 



contempo- 



Smith's "Wealth of Nations." He was an Eton boy 
just promised a trip to Paris by his father, when Miss 
Berry was born ; and Pitt was a child in the nursery, ranu 
probably applauded by his maid for his success in learn- 
ing to speak plain. Burns was then toddling in and out, 
over the threshold of his father's cottage. Just when she 
was entering on the novel-reading age, "Evelina" came 
out ; and Fanny Burney's series of novels were to that 
generation of young people what Scott's were to the next 
but one. If the youths and maidens of that time had 
bad fiction, they had good history ; for the learned Mr. 
Gibbon gave them volume after volume which made them 
proud of their age. They talked about their poets ; and, 
no doubt, each had an idol in that day as in ours and 
everybody's. The earnestness, sense, feeling, and point 
of Cowper delighted some ; and they reverently told of 
ihe sorrows of his secluded life, as glimpses were caught 
of him in his walks with Mrs. Unwin. Others stood on 
tiptoe to peep into Dr. Darwin's "chaise" as he went his 
^professional round, writing and polishing his verses as he 
went ; and his admirers insisted that nothing so brilliant 
had ever been written before. Miss Berry must have 
well remembered the first exhibition of this brilliancy 
before the careless eyes of the world ; and she must 
have remembered the strangeness of the contrast when 
Crabbe tried his homely pathos, encouraged to do so by 
Burke. And then came something which it is scarcely 
credible that the world should have received during 
the period of Johnson's old age, and the maturity of 
Gibbon, and Sir Wm. Jones, and Burns the wretched 
rhyming of the Batheaston set of sentimental pedants. 
In rebuke of them, the now mature woman saw the theory 
of Wordsworth rise : and in rebuke of him she saw the 



262 



MISS BERRY. 



[I] 



What she 
saiu of 
literature. 



and of 

political 
changes. 



young and confident Jeffrey and his comrades arise ; 
and in rebuke of them saw the Quarterly Review arise, 
when she was beginning to be elderly. She saw Joanna 
Baillie's great fame rise and decline, without either the 
rise or decline changing in the least the countenance or 
the mood of the happy being whose sunshine came from 
quite another luminary than fame. She saw the rise of 
Wordsworth's fame, growing as it did out of the reaction 
against the pomps and vanities of the Johnsonian and 
Darwinian schools ; and she lived to see its decline when 
the great purpose was fulfilled, of inducing poets to say 
what they mean, in words which will answer that purpose. 
She saw the beginning and the end of Moore's popu- 
larity ; and the rise and establishment of Campbell's. 
The short career of Byron passed before her eyes like a 
summer storm ; and that of Scott constituted a great 
interest of her life for many years. What an experience 
to have studied the period of horrors, represented by 
Monk Lewis of conventionalism in Fanny Burney of 
metaphysical fiction in Godwin of historical romance 
in Scott and of a new order of fiction in Dickens, 
which it is yet too soon to characterize by a phrase. 

We might go on for hours, and not exhaust the history 
of what she saw on the side of Literature alone. If we 
attempted to number the scientific men who have crossed 
her threshold the foreigners who found within her doors 
the best of London and the cream of society, we should 
never have done. And of Political changes, she saw 
the continental wars, the establishment of American 
Independence, the long series of French Revolutions : 
and again, the career of Washington, of Napoleon, of 
Nelson, of Wellington, with that of all the Statesmen 
from Lord Chatham to Peel from Franklin to Webster. 






MISS BERRY. 



263 



But it is too much. It is bewildering to us, though it 
never overpowered her. She seemed to forget nothing, 
and to notice everything, and to be able to bear so long 
a life in such times ; but she might well be glad to sink 
to sleep after so long-drawn a pageant of the world's 
pomps and vanities, and transient idolatries, and eternal 
passions. 

Reviewing the spectacle, it appears to us, as it probably 
did to her, that there is no prevalent taste, at least in 
literature, without a counteraction on the spot, preparing 
society for a reaction. Miss Berry used to say that she 
published the later volumes of Walpole's Correspon- 
dence to prove that the world was wrong in thinking him 
heartless ; she believing the appearance of heartlessness 
in him to be ascribable to the influences of his time. She 
did not succeed in changing the world's judgment of her 
friend ; and this was partly because the influences of the 
time did not prevent other men from showing heart. 
Charles James Fox had a heart ; and so had Burke and 
a good many more. While Johnson and then Darwin 
were corrupting men's taste in diction, Cowper was 
keeping it pure enough to enjoy the three rising poets, 
alike only in their plainness of speech Crabbe, Burns, 
and Wordsworth. Before Miss Burney had exhausted 
our patience, the practical Maria Edgeworth was grow- 
ing up. While Godwin would have engaged us wholly 
with the interior scenery of Man's nature, Scott was 
fitting up his theatre for his mighty procession of cos- 
tumes, with men in them to set them moving ; and Jane 
Austen, whose name and works will outlive many that were 
supposed immortal, was stealthily putting forth her un- 
matched delineations of domestic life in the middle classes 
of our over-living England. And against the somewhat 



[I] 



Her opinion 
of Horace 
Walpole. 



MISS BERRY. 



[I] 



The close of 
her ninety 
years. 



feeble elegance of Sir William Jones's learning there was 
the safeguard of Gibbon's marvellous combination of 
strength and richness in his erudition. The vigor of 
Campbell's lyrics was a set-off against the prettiness of 
Moore's. The subtlety of Coleridge meets its match, and 
a good deal more, in the development of Science ; and 
the morose complainings of Byron are less and less 
echoed now that the peace has opened the world to 
gentry whose energies would be self-corroding if they 
were under blockade at home, through a universal con- 
tinental war. Byron is read at sea now, on the way to 
the North Pole, or to California, or to Borneo ; and in 
that way his woes can do no harm. "To everything 
there is a season ; " and to every fashion of a season 
there is an antagonism preparing. Thus all things have 
their turn; all human faculties have their stimulus, 
sooner or later, supposing them to be put in the way 
of the influences of social life. 

It was eminently so in the case of the aged lady who 
is gone from us ; and well did her mind respond to the 
discipline offered by her long and favorable life of ninety 
years. One would like to know how she herself summed 
up such an experience as hers the spectacle of so 
many everlasting things dissolved so many engrossing 
things forgotten so many settled things set afloat again, 
and floated out of sight. Perhaps those true words 
wandered once more into her mind as her eyes were 
closing : 

" We are such stuff 

As dreams are made of; and our little life 
Is rounded with a sleep." 



Twenty 



II. 

FATHER MATHEW. 

DIED DECEMBER STH, 1856. 

* 

A FEW years ago the death of Father Mathew would 

have caused a sensation as deep, as wide, and as pathetic 
as the death of any man of his generation. As it is, he 
slips away quietly, his departure awakening some in- 
teresting reflections, but causing no such agitation as 
would have attended it twenty years since. Ours is an 
age when personal qualities are much less concerned in years 'ago. 
the influence and popularity of public men than they 
were in a prior stage of civilization ; and ours is a 
country in which men of mark become so, generally 
speaking, as representatives of some social principle or 
phase, rather than through their idiosyncrasy. One Wel- 
lington in a generation or a century may keep alive the 
old sentiment of heroism and enthusiasm for personal 
greatness, while ten men to that unit may create a greater 
rage for the hour, and be followed by a larger multitude. 
An O'Connell and a Father Mathew may appear for a 
time greater than the greatest man of their age ; but it is 
because they ride the surging wave of some popular 
sentiment during a single tide of social destiny ; and 
when the ebb comes they are stranded, or at best carried 
back to the level whence they arose. Theobald Mathew 
was a benevolent, earnest, well-deserving man in his way ; 

12 



266 



FATHER MATHEW. 



["I 



His earnest 
benevolence. 



but his prodigious temporary influence was wholly due 
to the time and circumstances into which he was cast. 
Another man would have done much the same work if 
Father Mathew had been living in Spain or Italy instead 
of Ireland ; and he would himself have passed through 
life without notice if he had been born half a century 
earlier or later, or if his parentage had been of another 
nation. From the large space which, however, he actually 
occupied in the panorama of the time, he will not pass 
to his grave without more or less notice and regret from 
the whole existing generation of his countrymen. 

Theobald Mathew was descended from a good old 
Roman Catholic family in Ireland, and was born at 
Thomastown in 1790. Becoming an orphan very early, 
he was adopted by an aunt, who gave him the best educa- 
tion she knew of first at the lay Academy at Kilkenny, 
and then, on his showing an inclination for the priest- 
hood, at Maynooth. He appears not to have manifested 
any quality, intellectual or moral, that was remarkable, 
except benevolence. He had no enlarged views, no 
deep moral insight, no great executive power ; but he 
was earnestly, devoutly, and devotedly benevolent about 
any object which was immediately presented to his mind 
in such a way as that he could grasp it. He could not 
have originated the Temperance movement, or any other; 
and he failed utterly under any stress as, for instance, 
in the presence of American Slavery, before the difficul- 
ties of which his courage, his principle, his reputation, 
and even his benevolence melted away, like ice, instead 
of gold in the fiery furnace. This is no matter of cen- 
sure. He was, in some sort, an apostle at home ; but 
he was not so made .as to be, a confessor or marty/ 
abroad, on behalf of those human liberties of which it 



FA THER MA THE W. 



267 



is absurd to expect any monk but Luther to have any 
vivid conception. 

Father Mathew, having early taken the vows as a 
Capuchin, followed the leadings of his heart in minister- 
ing among the poor in Cork, when he left Maynooth. 
His reputation, both as a popular preacher and minister 
among the city poor, was considerable, and daily rising, 
when the Temperance movement, begun in the United 
States, was propagated into Ireland through Belfast. 
Dr. Edgar, of Belfast, was pondering, in the summer of 
1829, the best means of improving the popular morals 
of the town, when he was visited by Dr. Penny, from 
America, who reported to him the institution and pro- 
gress of Temperance Societies in the United States. 
Dr. Edgar put forth, in August, the first proposal of 
Temperance Associations on this side the Atlantic ; and 
during the next year, four travelling agents spread his 
facts and his tracts all over Ireland. It then became 
known that six millions a year were spent on proof-spirits 
in Ireland ; and that four-fifths of the crime brought up 
for judgment, and three-fourths of the Irish beggary of 
that day, were directly due to intemperance. Evidence 
of these facts began to flow in from every kind of author- 
ity, medical, judicial, pastoral, and other. Societies 
were formed here and there ; in New Ross first, by a 
clergyman of the Establishment, the Rev. George Carr ; 
and in Cork by some good men who had the wisdom to 
enlist Father Mathew in the cause. Four citizens, a 
clergyman, a Quaker, a slater, and a tailor, appealed to 
the Capuchin Friar (by that time a Superior of the Order), 
and Father Mathew at once threw his good heart and 
his inestimable experience into the crusade against the 
popular vice. 



His minis- 
trations in 
Cork. 



The origin 
of the Tem- 
perance 
societies 
in Ireland. 



Father 
Mathetu's 
services 
enlisted. 



268 



FA THER MA THE W. 



[II] 



scious agent 
of 0'Ccn- 
nell. 



Superstition 
among the 
people. 



The Political Apostle of the day had the sagacity which 
was not remarkable in the Moral Reformer. O'Connell 
made Father Mathew his unconscious agent ; and hence 
some of the success, which, to those who did not discern 
all the springs of the movement, appeared miraculous. 
O'Connell's aim was to keep up a state of vigilant expec- 
tation among the people ; and it is certain that the two 
millions who were presently pledged by Father Mathew 
believed, generally speaking, that some mighty political 
event was at hand, for which they must hold themselves 
ready in a state of soberness. Most of them believed 
that Dan was to be King of Ireland; many, that the 
Temperance medal was to be their badge of safety in 
the day of conflict ; and all believed that it was their 
token of salvation. It was commonly believed that 
Father Mathew could work miracles, and even that he 
had raised a person from the dead. When inquired of 
about his action in regard to these superstitions, he 
wrote a letter containing a few sentences so charac- 
teristic, that they almost preclude the necessity of 
describing his mind. "If I could prevent them," he 
says of these superstitions, "without impeding the 
glorious cause, they should not have been permitted ; 
but both are so closely entwined, that the tares cannot 
be pulled out without plucking up the wheat also. The 
evil will correct itself; and the good, with the Divine 
assistance, will remain and be permanent." Such an 
agitator was the very man for O'Connell. His gatherings 
trained the people to marching in physical sobriety and 
moral enthusiasm. With their bands of music and their 
organization nearly approaching to the regimental 
they were amused for the time, and convinced that some 
ulterior work was preparing ; and an immense revenue 



FA THER MA THE W. 



269 



was levied from the sale of the shilling medals a fund 
which was never accounted for. Nobody ever supposed 
that Father Mathew pocketed one of those shillings. 
He gave many of them to the relief of the poorest of 
the crowd ; but he and his relatives became bankrupt by 
the movement his brother by the ruin of his distillery, 
and himself by the loans and advances required of him 
by the urgency of the movement. Of his perfect dis- 
interestedness there never was any question. He handed 
over his life insurance to his creditors ; and the pension 
of 300/. a year from the Crown was all spent in keeping 
up that insurance. While the millions who had rushed 
into a condition of temperance under his ministration 
were kissing his feet, and making him happy in the 
belief that he had been the appointed means of saving 
so many souls, the movement was looked upon with 
diverse kinds of interest by observers, near and distant. 
The political agitators of Ireland saw at their disposal a 
mighty army of water-drinkers, as resolute and fanatical 
as Cromwell's Ironsides drilled, trained, looking for the 
day of the Lord, wherein their own safety was secured ; 
and singularly united by the spirit which breathed 
through their brass band harmonies, and their cheers in 
the field, when either of their idols was present. More 
distant observers, who could form a judgment of the 
case, apart from political or moral intoxication, feared 
as much as they hoped from the movement. The pro- 
digious power of self-control shown by the breaking off 
of a vicious habit by almost an entire nation was a firm 
ground of hope for the future destinies of the Irish 
people ; but there was a melancholy adulteration of the 
good with superstition and other delusion. A check to 
vice would no doubt be given by the shutting up of 



Becomes a 
bankrupt by 
the move- 
ment. 



Different 
views of the 
movement. 



270 



FA THER MA THE W. 



PI] 



His ivonder- 
ful progress 
in Ireland. 



His recep- 
tion in 
England, 



distilleries, by the disinfecting of dwellings of the smell 
of whisky, and by the solemn impression made on the 
minds of a whole generation of young people. But the 
habit of self-restraint is too deep and serious a matter 
to be trusted to any movement either mechanical or 
impulsive; and the Temperance movement was both. 
Sober moralists feared failure in the end, and that the 
last state of many would be worse than the first. Sooner 
or later, Father Mathew must die ; and it was even too 
probable that his influence would die before him. There 
must be relapse, to some considerable extent; and 
relapse in moral conduct is fatal. These misgivings 
were but too well grounded. O'Connell and the other 
political agitators are gone, and their schemes have 
completely evaporated ; but the other class of observers 
now see their anticipations fulfilled, both as to the good 
and the evil. 

Father Mathew finished his triumphal progress through 
Ireland, sometimes administering the pledge to 50,000 
persons in a day, and pledging between two and three 
millions altogether during the paroxysm of enthusiasm ; 
and he then came to England. His success would have 
been called miraculous but for the greater marvel just 
witnessed in Ireland. Here there could not be equal 
solemnity or enthusiasm ; and there was occasionally a 
manifest levity which must have been painful to the good 
priest, as it certainly was to some who were neither 
Catholics nor ascetics. There was too much of patron- 
age exhibited on the hustings by men who revelled in 
luxury at home, and made jokes in the evening over 
medals that they had reverently received in public in the 
morning. The effects of the English crusade were soon 
effaced when Father Mathew was gone to America. 



FA THER MA THE W. 



271 



In America he failed, as abler men have failed, 
through the mistake, invariably fatal on that soil, of 
ignoring the monster vice of Negro Slavery while 
warring with some other. By this, a long series of 
philanthropists failed before him, and Kossuth after 
him. Under the notion of propitiating good-will to the 
Temperance cause, Father Mathew gave himself wholly 
into the hands of the slave-owners, and lost his object. 
Of all people, the Americans themselves most vehemently 
despise such a policy ; and no apostle of any cause has 
any chance among them who shows want of spirit in this 
particular form, who proves himself unable to meet this 
test. What Mitchel and Meagher have lost by recreant 
speech, Father Mathew lost by recreant silence. By 
courage and honesty he could but have very partially 
failed in his own enterprise, while giving great aid to 
another of yet more solemn importance. As it was, he 
lost character, destroyed his influence, and incurred 
simple failure. But he was not the man to meet such a 
test; and he was also in failing health. It was there, if 
we remember rightly, that he sustained his first paralytic 
seizure: and he returned, in 1851, a drooping invalid. 
He returned to find his enterprise not only drooping, 
but utterly sunk. The chapel projected for him at Cork 
is only too faithful a type of the great work of his life. 
That beautiful chapel stands lialf finished, broken off 
before the loftiness of its pillars and the grace of its 
arches are developed. There are props and coverings ; 
but they will not make it grow, nor long save it from 
ruin by wind and weather. It may be said that the 
good friar's work, like his chapel, was stopped by the 
famine and the fever. But the truth is, the temperance 
he taught was enforced by poverty during that crisis ; 



Father 
Matheiv 
and the 
slave 
owners. 



His return. 



272 



FA THER MA THE W. 



and with the return of prosperity the intemperance has 
returned. Of this there is no doubt whatever ; and it is 
just what might have been expected. The seed had no 
root, and the plant has withered away. It will not be 
a friar who will work moral regeneration in our day ; nor 
will moral reform endure any admixture of superstition. 
We must look to sound knowledge and the cultivation of 
the higher parts of Man's nature to cast out the grosser 
vices. Vows and mechanical association will not do it. 
Sumptuary and inhibitive laws will not do it. As far 
as law can go, there is nothing for it but perfect 
fredom of sale of all that comes under the name of 
beverage. If our duties on French wines and tea and 
coffee were removed to-morrow, and our licensing system 
abolished, we should find once more, what is always true, 
that men cannot be made virtuous by Act of Parliament. 
We must give them what Father Mathew dreaded as 
much as the whisky knowledge, and intellectual and 
moral freedom, by means of education, arming them 
against, not only the spirit of drink, but the whole legion 
of devils, by giving every man the entire possession of 
himself, in all his faculties. Not understanding this, the 
good friar drooped and sank amidst the ruins of his 
cause. He suffered under repeated attacks of paralysis, 
and died. 

He did the best he could for his fellow-men. What- 
ever he knew, he did : whatever he had, he gave. He 
was devoted and disinterested ; and that is much. His 
memory will be held in sincere though somewhat limited 
respect ; and he will afford to the future historian a 
curious and instructive study, in his connection with one 
of the most remarkable social phenomena of his time. 



III. 



ROBERT OWEN. 
DIED NOVEMBER 17x11, 1858. 

WITH Robert Owen dies out one of the clearest and 
most striking signs of our times. 1 He was a man who 
would have been remarkable at any period for the 
combination that was so strong in him of benevolence 
and inclination to ordain and rule ; 3 but these natural 
dispositions took form under the special pressure of 
the time. So entire was the suitability, thus far, of 
the man to his age, that \there can be little doubt that 
if he had been gifted with the power in which he was 
most deficient reasoning power he would have been 
among the foremost men of his generation./ As it was, 
his peculiar faculties so far fell in with the popular need 
that he effected much for the progress of society, and 
has been the cause of many things which will never 
go by his name. During his youth and early manhood, 
at the end of the last century, ignorance, poverty, and 
crime abounded, under the pressure of a long and hard 
war ; at the same time, the old methods of society had 
been brought into question, in a very radical way, 
where they were not overthrown, by the French Revo- 
lution ; and the combined benevolence and adminis- 
trative power of Robert Owen, applied to social dif- 



His 

facuhie 
and his 
time. 



274 ROBERT OWEN. 



[Ill] 



The Nciv 
Lanark 



ment. 



faculties, made him a political theorist. \ ^As for the 
result, he could assert dogmatically, and he could prove 
his convictions, to a considerable extent, by act ; but he 
could not reason. If he could have reasoned, he might 
have achieved what he was constantly expecting, and have 
changed the whole aspect of civilization^ J 

He must have been an extraordinary child, judging 
by his own amusing account of himself as a teacher 
in a school from the age of seven. He was under- 
master at nine. He maintained himself as a shopman 
for a few years, being always treated with a considera- 
tion and liberality which testify to there having been some- 
thing impressive about him. Arkwright's machinery 
was then coming into use ; and at the age of eighteen, 
Robert Owen became a partner in a cotton-mill where 
forty men were employed. He was prosperous, and rose 
from one lucrative concern to another, till he became the 
head of ^he New Lanark establishment, which included a 
farm of 150 acres, and supported 2,000 inhabitants. j The 
ordinary notion of Robert Owen among those who have 
not examined his operations is, that he was that kind of 
"amiable enthusiast" who is always out at the elbows, and 
making his friends so ; but nothing could be further from 
the truth, i He was a consummate man of business ; never 
wrong in concrete matters, however curiously mistaken 
in his abstract views. He made many fortunes, and 
enabled others to make them ; and if he had been 
selfish and worldly, might have died the wealthiest of 
cotton lords, or a prodigious landed proprietor. No 
one could go over any of his successive establishments, 
in Scotland, America, or England, without being con- 
vinced, in the first place, of the economy of associa- 
tion, and, in the next, of Mr. Owen's remarkable 



ROBERT OWEN. 



275 



ability in the ordination and conduct of the machinery 
of living. His arrangements for the health of an 
aggregate multitude, for their comfortable feeding, 
clothing, leisure, and amusement ; the methods of 
cooking, warming, washing, lighting ; the management 
of the mill and the farm, the school and the ball-room, 
everything requiring the exercise of the economic and 
administrative faculties, was of a rare quality of excel- 
lence under his hand. In ten years, while all the world 
was expecting his ruin from his new-fangled schemes, he 
bought out his partners at New Lanark for eighty-four 
thousand pounds. His new partners and he realized; 
in four years more than one hundred and fifty thousancl 
pounds profit ; and he bought them out for one hundred 
and fourteen thousand pounds. These are facts which, 
ought to be known^ | 

Those New Lanark mills were set up when Owen 
was a boy, in 1784, by Arkwright, in conjunction with 
the benevolent David Dale, of Glasgow, whose daughter 
became Robert Owen's wife. How they were managed 
by Owen we have seen. In 1816, he found himself at 
liberty to try his own methods with his work-people ; 
and his social and educational success was so striking 
that many of the great ones of the earth came to him to 
learn his method. \I n spite of his Liberalism, emperors 
and kings and absolute statesmen went to Lanark, or 
invited Mr. Owen to their Courts. In spite of his infidel- 
ity, prelates and their clergy, and all manner of Dissent- 
ing leaders, inspected his schools. In spite of the 
horror of old bigots and new economists, territories were 
offered to him in various parts of the world on which to 
try his schemes on a large scale.^ Metternich invited him 
to a succession of interviews, and employed Government 



[HI] 

His admin- 
istrative 
ability. 






Success of 
the New 
Lanark 
Mills. 



Owen and 
Metternich. 



276 ROBERT OWEN. 



[Ill] 



clerks for many days in registering conversations and 
copying documents ; and there was less absurdity than 
some people supposed in Mr. Owen's sanguine expecta- 
tion that his "new system of society" would soon be 
established in Austria. Though he did not see it, there 
was much in his method of organization which might be 
turned to excellent purpose by an arbitrary government ; 
and whenever the Prussian system of education, with its 
fine promises, its sedulous administration, and its heart- 
less results, is brought under our notice, our remembrance 
travels back to New Lanark, with its dogmas, its discipline, 
the mild and beneficent solitude which brooded over it, 
and its dependence for genuine liberty and free individu- 
ality on the personal character of the administrator. The 
discipline in the 'two cases might be different, and the 
dogmas opposite ; but the educational system had strong 
resemblances. This ought to be easily conceivable when 
it is remembered that Metternich was a pupil of Owen's, 
and the Mexican Government his patron, and Southey 
his eulogist *In 1828, our own Cabinet sanctioned and 
furthered his going out to Mexico, to see about a district 
which was offered him there, 150 miles broad, including 
the golden California of our day. j There must have 
been something in Mr. Owen's doings to cause such 
incidents as these. The "amiable enthusiast" himself 
steadily believed that it was the love of humankind which 
was the bond between himself and all these potentates ; 
but wise men saw, and the event has proved, that the 
temptation lay in the opportunity his schemes afforded for 
training men to a subserviency which he was very far from 
desiring. ... 

\ Robert Owen was the founder of Infant Schools. 



ROBERT OWEN. 



277 



Many had conceived the idea, but he was the first to 
join the conception and the act. \ De Fellenberg had 
instituted education in connection with agricultural in- 
dustry, but had not particularly contemplated infants 
in his scheme. Others had in theirs : but it was not 
.till Henry Brougham had reported to his parliamentary 
and other friends in London what was actually done at 
New Lanark, and they had consulted with Mr. Owen, 
and borrowed his schoolmaster, that Brougham, Romilly, 
Ben Smith, Zachary Macaulay, and Lord Lansdowne 
set up an Infant School in Westminster. This was in 
1819, when Owen's school had been in operation three 
years.] As usual in such cases, the immediate benefit 
was obvious enough, before the attendant mischiefs 
began to show themselves. Robert Owen was extremely 
happy in having surrounded these babes with "happy 
circumstances," amidst which they could not but grow 
up all that he could wish ; and less sanguine men than 
he gloried and rejoiced in the prospect of the redemption 
of the infant population of our towns. It did not 
occur to them that the mortality among the children 
might be in proportion to their removal from the natural 
influences of the family, and of a home where no two 
members of the household are of the same age, or at 
the same stage of mind. The disproportionate mortality 
from brain disease which has since taken place in In- 
fant Schools was the dark side of the picture which 
Owen did not see the warning given out by the 
experiment, which he did not hear. The bright part 
of the result was the proof that education could go 
on well and better perhaps than ever before with- 
out rewards and punishments; or, we may rather say 



[nil 

Founder of 

Infant 

Schools. 



2 7 8 



ROBERT OWEN. 



[Ill] 



Owen's 
disciples. 



Want of 
vitality in 
his schemes. 



(as Mr. Owen's benign presence and approbation were 
a constant reward), without any arbitrary visitation what- 
ever. 

And what has come of all the noble promise held 
out by a man so good, and in many respects so capable, 
as Robert Owen?\ He once made nearly 3,000 people 
an example of comfort, decent conduct, and unusual 
cultivation, at a time when poverty, crime, and ignorance 
made all good men's hearts sad. \ Where are the results ? 
The results lie in the improved views and conduct of 
a very large number of descendants from Owen's pupils ; 
and yet more in the impulse that he imparted to the 
Co-operative principle. The Christian Socialists are 
his disciples, politically, though not religiously ; and 
the Secularists are his disciples, philosophically, though 
not as of course politically. He is, and will sooner or 
later be admitted to be, the father of the great social 
changes which are preparing, and already going forward, 
as the evidence of the Economy of Association becomes 
more clear. But his own special schemes failed one 
and all ; and if he had lived two centuries, scheming 
at his own nimble rate, his enterprises would never have 
succeeded, because they were founded on an imperfect 
view of the Human Being for whose benefit he lived, 
and would willingly have died, j In 1824 he formed 
a group of communities in America, having purchased 
the Harmony Estate, consisting of a village and 30,000 
acres of land, from the Rappites, who were emigrating 
westward. The community, including several thousand 
persons, improved in mind, manners, and fortunes; 
but there was still the something wanting which was 
essential to permanence. Duke Bernard of Saxe Weimar 
stayed there for a week or two, and, amidst all his 



ROBERT OWEN. 279 



respect and admiration for Mr. Owen, saw that it would 
not do ; and in that case the experiment was not a long 
one. The account given by the Duke of Mr. Owen's 
expectations is so precisely true, at all periods of his life, 
that it may stand as a general description of the philan- 
thropist's state of mind for seventy years: "He looks 
to nothing less than to renovate the world, to extirpate 
all evil, to banish all punishments, to create like views 
and like wants, and to guard against all conflicts and 
hostilities/JlAnd so he went on to the end. At every 
moment, his "plans" were going to be tried in some 
country or other, which would bring over all other 
countries. Everybody who treated him with respect 
and interest was assumed to be his disciple ; and those 
who openly opposed or quizzed him were regarded with 
a good-natured smile, and spoken of as people who had 
very good eyes, but who had accidentally got into a 
wood, where they could not see their way for the trees.j 
He was the same placid happy being into his old age, 
believing and expecting whatever he wished ; always 
gentlemanly and courteous in his manners; always on 
the most endearing terms with his children, who loved 
to make him, as they said, " the very happiest old man 
in the world ;"\ always a gentle bore in regard to his 
dogmas and his expectations; always palpably right in 
his descriptions of human misery; always thinking he 
had proved a thing when he had asserted it, in the force 
of his own conviction ; and always really meaning some- 
thing more rational than he had actually expressed. \ It 
was said by way of mockery that "he might live in 
parallelograms, but he argued in circles;" but this is 
rather too favorable a description offbne who did not 
argue at all, nor know what argument meant, i His 



[III] 



His aims 

and 

"flans." 



280 



ROBERT OWEN. 



[Ill] 

His belief 
in spirit- 
rapping. 



His personal 
character. 



Both truth 
and error 
in his 
speculations. 



mind never fairly met any other though at the close 
of his life he had a strange idea that it did, by means 
of spirit-rapping. He published sundry conversations 
held in that way with Benjamin Franklin and other 
people ; and in the very same breath in which he insisted 
on the reality of these conversations, he insisted that 
the new-found power was "all electricity." 

It must be needless to add that, whatever reception 
his doctrines and plans may deserve or meet with, 
his life and conduct were virtuous and benign. No 
censure attaches to him in his domestic relations, in 
his personal habits, or in his ordinary social dealings. 
He was a beloved and faithful husband and father, ' 
pure and simple in his way of life, and upright in his 
transactions. : There was therefore no solid ground for 
the horror expressed by the Quarterly Review, in the 
name of its constituents, when they heard of Robert 
Owen from a new place. When they were expecting, 
as they declared, to hear of his being in Bedlam, they 
heard of his being at Court, introduced to the young 
Queen by her Prime Minister, Lord Melbourne. \ Many 
have been introduced there who were quite as wide 
of the mark in speculation, and quite as complacent 
in their mistakes; while there can hardly have been 
many so self-governed, so true to their convictions, so 
thoroughly superior to the world, so impartial and 
disinterested, and so devoted to the welfare of the 
people, individually and collectively. As long as the 
name of Robert Owen continues to be heard of, there 
will be some to laugh at it, but there will be more to 
love and cherish it. \The probability seems to be that 
time will make his prodigious errors more palpable 
and unquestionable; but that it will at least in equal 



ROBERT OWEN. 281 



proportion exalt his name and fame, on account of 
some great intuitive truths which are at present about 
equally involved with his wildest mistakes and his 
noblest virtues.! 

He died wEere he was born, at Newtown, in Wales. 
He had gone on a visit ; but death overtook him there, 
in the eighty-ninth year of his age. 



[Ill] 



Her un- 
foreseen lot. 



IV. 

LADY NOEL BYRON. 

She was born in 1792; married in January, 1814; returned 
to her father's house in 1816; and died on the i6th of 
May, 1860. 

'. 

WHEN the only child of Sir Ralph and Lady Milbank 

was born, it would have been considered a strange 
prophecy if any seer had told how that infant should 
be in character simply a good and true woman, without 
genius or any remarkable intellectual qualities, without 
ambition or vanity, and that yet she should twice 
become an object of deep interest to the English 
people her name on the tongues of millions, and her 
merits discussed, once with party heat, and again, after 
a lapse of more than forty years, with the warmth of 
well-grounded popular gratitude. Such, however, has 
been the lot of that quiet, beneficent, true-hearted 
Englishwoman, Lady Noel Byron. Her life began with 
sunshine ; then it was shaken by a fearful storm, which 
clouded the rest of her life ; but she, sitting in the shade, 
sent a multitude into the sunshine, and patiently wore 
away the last two-thirds of her life in making others 
happier than she could be herself. 

While everybody assumes to know Lady Byron's his- 
tory, none but her intimate friends seem to have any 
notion of her character. The chief reason of this is 



LADY NOEL BYRON. 



283 



that Lord Byron gave forth two irreconcilable accounts 
of it ; one when he first lost her, and another when it 
suited him to set up a case of incompatibility of temper. 
The long tract of time over which she has passed since 
his death would have settled the matter in all minds if 
Lady Byron had desired that it should. But she desired 
only quiet ; and it is by her benefactions that the 
chief part of her life has been recognized and will be 
remembered. 

Her childhood was spent for the most part at Seaham, 
in Durham, where Sir Ralph Milbank's estate was 
situated. She preserved such love for the place, up to 
her latest years, that a pebble from its beach was an 
acceptable present to her. She was carefully reared, 
and, for the time in which she lived, well educated. 
Mr. Moore and Lord Byron could have known but 
little of the education of girls at the opening of the 
century, and must have been bad judges of the minds 
and manners of sensible women, if they were sincere in 
their representations of Miss Milbank, as a "blue," as 
a "mathematical prude," and so forth. Moore, . who 
had no vigorous intellectual tastes, might have been 
sincere; and he no doubt was so in the plainness of 
his avowal that he "never liked her." Lord Byron 
knew better than he pretended. He knew that she 
was impulsive, affectionate, natural in her feelings and 
manners when he first offered to her; and none knew 
so well as he what she proved herself to be capable of 
under trial how passionately she loved him, and how 
devoted she would have been, through good and evil 
report, if he had made her companionship possible. 
When he first offered to her, she was, in her girlishness, 
evidently taken by surprise. She refused him, but 



[IV] 



The repre- 
sentations 
of Moore 
and Lord 
Byron* 



Refuses 

Byron'sfirst 

offer. 



284 



LADY NOEL BYRON. 



The second 
proposal. 



desired not to lose him as a friend. When he offered 
himself again she knew nothing (how should she?) of 
the profligate spirit in which the deed was done. 
Moore's account, in his "Life of Byron," of the way 
in which the second proposal was brought about, and 
the circumstances under which the letter was dis- 
patched, was the first that most people knew about 
it. When that book came out, every one saw how wise 
and how good was the silence which the injured woman 
had preserved. Her enemies were then convicted 
on their own confession. To say nothing of what the 
women of England felt, there was not a man with an 
honest heart in his breast who did not burn with 
indignation over the shameless narrative of how the 
trusting, admiring, and innocent girl, whom the poet 
had wooed before, was now made sport of among 
profligate jesters, and deliberately proposed as a 
sacrifice to the bare chances of the libertine's self- 
restraint. 

What her father was about, to permit his child to 
enter into such a marriage, seems never to have been 
explained. The less his child knew of Byron's moral 
entanglements, the more vigilant should her father have 
been over her chances of domestic peace; and the 
more generous she was sure to be about the poverty 
of her lover, the more should her parents have taken 
care that she should not leave them for a home which 
was to be broken into by nine or ten executions in the 
first year. Never was a young creature led to the 
altar more truly as a sacrifice. She was rash, no 
doubt ; but she loved him, and who was not, in 
the whole business, more rash than she? At the 
altar she did not know that she was a sacrifice : but 



LADY NOEL BYRON. 



285 



before sunset of that winter day she knew it, if a 
judgment may be formed from her face and attitude 
of despair when she alighted from the carriage on the 
afternoon of her marriage-day. It was not the traces 
of tears which won the sympathy of the old butler 
who stood at the open door. The bridegroom jumped 
out of the carriage and walked away. The bride alighted, 
and came up the steps alone, with a countenance and 
frame agonized and listless with evident horror and 
despair. The old servant longed to offer his arm to 
the young, lonely creature, as an assurance of sympathy 
and protection. From this shock she certainly rallied, 
and soon. The pecuniary difficulties of her new home 
were exactly what a devoted spirit like hers was fitted 
to encounter. Her husband bore testimony, after the 
catastrophe, that a brighter being, a more sympathizing 
and agreeable companion, never blessed any man's 
home. When he afterward called her cold and mathe- 
matical, and over-pious, and so forth, it was when public 
opinion had gone against him, and when he had dis- 
covered that her fidelity and mercy, her silence and 
magnanimity, might be relied on, so that he was at full 
liberty to make his part good, as far as she was 
concerned. 

Silent she was, even to her own parents, whose feel- 
ings she magnanimously spared. She did not act rashly 
in leaving him, though she had been most rash in 
marrying him. As long as others called him insane, 
she was glad to do so too ; and when she left him for 
her father's house, she regarded him as mad. When 
Dr. Baillie and other physicians whose opinions were 
asked (not by her) declared him sane, she still abstained 
from acting on her own impulses or judgment. As the 



[IV] 



Her treat- 
ment on the 
wedding- 
day. 



Her reason 
for leaving 
Byron. 



286 



LADY NOEL BYRON. 



[IV] 



Her noble 
silence. 



unauthor- 
ized defence 



published correspondence made known, the case was 
submitted, in an anonymous * form, to Dr. Lushington 
and Sir Samuel Romilly ; and the unhesitating decision 
of these two great lawyers and good men was that the 
wife whoever she might be must never see her hus- 
band again. When they knew whose case it was, they 
did not swerve from their first judgment, but declared 
that they would never aid or countenance Lady Byron's 
return to her husband. Under the circumstances, the 
general sympathy was with the wife, to whose wifely 
merits the husband had borne such strong testimony 
at his most trustworthy moment, and who had herself 
preserved so complete a silence under the insult and 
contempt with which he afterward endeavored to 
overwhelm her. If her attachment to him had been 
more superficial, or if she had been vain or egotistical, 
or weak, or timid, she would have said something 
something which would have let the public into the 
privacy of her griefs, and have broken down, more or 
less, the sacred domestic enclosure. All that was said, 
however, was said by him ; and there were always just 
and generous people enough to remember that they had 
only Byron's story ; and that Byron's stories were not 
apt to be over and above true. Great was the dis- 
appointment of such people when there appeared, in 
1836, in the New Monthly Magazine, a sort of disclosure, 
offered in the name of Lady Byron. The first obvious 
remark was that there was no real disclosure ; and the 
whole affair had the appearance of a desire on the 
part of Lady Byron to exculpate herself, while yet no 
adequate information was given. Many who had re- 
garded her with favor till then, gave her up, so far as 
to believe that feminine weakness had prevailed at last. 



LADY NOEL BYRON. 



287 



But she, on this occasion, gave another proof of her 
strength. The whole transaction was one of poor 
Campbell's freaks. He excused himself by saying it 
was a mistake of his that he did not know what he 
was about when he published the paper, and so forth. 
Lady Byron's friends knew, all the while, that she had 
no concern whatever in the transaction. The world did 
not know it ; for she refused to recognize the world's 
interference in her affairs. She had made no explana- 
tions hitherto ; and she made none now. She suffered, 
perhaps, as a weaker woman would have done ; but she 
did not complain. Many years after she wrote to a 
friend who had been no less unjustifiably betrayed 
"lam grieved for you, as regards the actual position. 
But it will come right. I was myself made to appear re- 
sponsible for a publication by Campbell most unfairly, 
some years ago ; so that if I had not imagination enough 
to enter into your case, experience would have taught 
me to do so." We are not disposed to countenance the 
cant of the time about ours being an age of materialism 
in comparison with others ; but if any one case could 
bring us to such a conclusion, it would be this. All can 
honor the women, of any age, who have borne the 
racking of the' limbs rather than speak the word which 
would release them : but few have fitly honored this 
long endurance, through forty years, of the racking of 
the tenderest feelings, rather than gain absolution by 
the simplest disclosure. The source of this strength 
was undoubtedly her love for her husband. She 
loved him to the last with a love which it was not 
in his own power to destroy. She gloried in his 
fame ; and she would not interfere between him and 
the public who adored him, any more than she would 



[IV] 



Her letter 
to a friend. 



Her love f 01 
Byron. 



288 



LADY NOEL BYRON. 



admit the public to judge between him and her. 
As we have said, her love endured to the last. It was 
her fortune which gave him the means of pursuing his 
mode of life abroad. He spent the utmost shilling of 
her property that the law gave him while he lived ; and 
he left away from her every shilling that he could 
deprive her of by his will ; and what the course of 
life was which he thus supported, he himself has left on 
record. Yet, after all this, the interview which she had 
with his servant after his death, shows what a depth of 
passion lay concealed under the calm surface of her 
reserve. It will be remembered that when Byron knew 
himself to be dying he called to his man Fletcher and 
desired him to "go to Lady Byron, and " .... Here 
his utterance became unintelligible, till he said, "You 
will tell her this ;" and Fletcher was obliged to reply, 
"I have not heard one syllable that you have been 
saying." "Good God I" exclaimed the dying man ; but 
it was too late for more. Fletcher did "go to Lady 
Byron ;" but, during the whole interview, she walked up 
and down the room, striving to stifle her sobs, and 
obtain power to ask the questions which were surging in 
her heart. She could not speak ; and he was obliged to 
leave her. 

Since that time there have been many who have 
believed and said that no one person in England was 
doing so much good as Lady Byron. It was not done, 
as her husband gave out, by attending charity balls, 
or dispensing soups, and blankets, and maudlin senti- 
ment. Among the multitude of ways in which she did 
good, the chief and the best was by instituting and 
encouraging popular education. We hear at present 
(and glad we all are to hear it), much about the teaching 



LADY NOEL BYRON. 



289 



of- "common things;" but years before such a process 
was publicly discussed, Lady Byron's schools were 
turning the children of the poorest into agriculturists, 
artisans, seamstresses, and good poor men's wives. 
She spent her income (such as her husband left of it), 
in fostering every sound educational scheme, and every 
germ of noble science and useful art, as well as in 
easing solitary hearts, and making many a desert place 
cheerful with the secret streams of her bounty. There 
was a singular grace in the way in which she did these 
things. For one instance : A lady, impoverished by 
hopeless sickness, preferred poverty with a clear con- 
science, to a competency under some uncertainty about 
the perfect moral soundness of the resource. Lady 
Byron, hearing of the case, wrote to an intermediate 
person to say that the poor invalid could never be a 
subject of pity, as the poverty was voluntary ; but that 
it seemed hard that the sufferer's benevolent feelings 
should be baulked ; and she had, therefore, ventured to 
place at her call in a certain bank, ioo/. for benevolent 
purposes ; and in order to avoid all risk of unpleasant 
remarks, she had made the money payable to this inter- 
mediate correspondent. This was her way of cheering 
the sick-room ; and the same spirit ran through all her 
transactions of beneficence. 

No one could be more thoroughly liberal toward 
other people's persuasions, while duly valuing her own. 
No one could be further from pedantry, while eagerly 
and industriously inquiring after all new science and 
literature, in order to learn, and by no means to dis- 
play. When we say, as we truly may, that her life was 
devoted, after family claims, to the silent promotion of 
public morality (without the slightest mixture of cant or 

13 



[IV] 



Grace in her 
beneficence. 



devotion of 
her life. 



290 



LADY NOEL BYRON. 



[IV] 



Her love for 
her grand- 
children. 



dogmatism), of science, of education, of human and 
especially of domestic happiness, wherever she could 
confer her blessings, we may ask how a much-tried 
woman's life could be better spent? and, perhaps, how 
many women so tried could so have spent their lives ? 
What domestic life might and should have been to her 
all must feel who saw her devotion to her daughter, not 
only in youth, but yet more in 'attendance on the slow 
dying of that one child ; and even more still in her 
labors and sacrifices for her grandchildren. It might 
have been said that she lived for them, if she had 
not at the same time been doing so much for the world 
beyond. Those who are gifted with insight and with a 
true heart might also see by other tokens what domestic 
life might and should have been to her. They might 
see it in the countenance, so worn, while so calm, steady, 
and thoughtful. They might see it in the wretched 
health which made her living from year to year a wonder 
even to her physicians; and in the restlessness which 
indisposed her to have a settled home, after the name of 
home had been spoiled to her; and in the few and 
small peculiarities which told of strained affections and 
of irremediable loneliness in life. They might see it, 
too, in the love which she won and unconsciously com- 
manded ; and especially in the solace and the care which 
surrounded her in her decline, and the love and gratitude 
which watched by her pillow as her life ebbed away. 
This one child of a happy home grew up almost uncon- 
scious of anything beyond it. In her youth she found 
herself suddenly the subject of the world's conversation, 
if not of the interest of all England ; and she could not 
but know, when dying, that, notwithstanding her love of 
privacy, and the steadfast silence of a long life, she 



LADY NOEL BYRON. 



291 



would be mourned from end to end of the kingdom ; 
and that her death would create a sensation wherever 
our language is spoken, and would be referred to with 
tenderness in all future time, when popular education, 
and the power of woman to bless society with all gentle 
and quiet blessings, engage the attention of lovers of 
their kind. 



[IV] 



V. 
POLITICIANS. 



THE MARQUIS OF ANGLESEY. 



DIED APRIL 28x11, 1854. 

i 

At the moment when we are beginning a new war we 
have to announce the death of one of the heroes of 
our last great struggle. Field Marshal the Marquis of 
Anglesey died on the 28th of April, in his eighty-sixth 
year. 

If any sense of relief mingled with the regrets for 
the death of Wellington, it was that the Waterloo Ban- 
quets came to an end. As more and more of the 
Waterloo heroes dropped off, the ceremony came to 
have more of mourning than of cheerfulness in it. The 
drinking to the memory of those who were gone was 
done in a more and more solemn silence ; and no doubt 
it sometimes crossed the minds of those present that 
the Duke himself might possibly be the last survivor. 
There was some comfort in its not being so. Here is 
another of the band, now gone, who kept one anniversary 
of Waterloo in his own mind, and perhaps liked that 
banquet better than the brilliant one at Apsley House. 
The issue of the institution (as we may call it) of the 
Waterloo Banquet reminds one irresistibly of that club 
of the last century, the members of which (all old friends) 
pledged themselves to keep their anniversary meeting as 



The Water- 
loo Ban^ 

quet. 



296 



THE MARQUIS OF ANGLESEY. 



[I] 



The Mar- 
quitatWd- 
lington's 
funeral. 



long as any of them lived. The numbers dwindled till 
there were four gray old men to play the rubber, and sit 
round the now small supper-table. Next year there were 
three, and they played dummy. When there were but 
two, they refused the cards, and sat talking with their 
feet on the fender. At last there was but one, and he 
faithfully fulfilled his pledge spent the evening alone 
with his bottle of port, in the old room, listening to the 
fall of the cinders, which was the only break in the 
silence. Wellington was not left to this survivorship, 
which was not much relieved by the presence of un- 
qualified and younger men ; and it is well that his 
imposing club is broken up with him. He left one 
senior the old friend who has now followed him. The 
most interesting personage, perhaps, at the funeral of 
the Duke was the aged Marquis of Anglesey. When, 
just after daybreak on that November morning, his car- 
riage, surrounded by an escort of the Blues, entered the 
Park, a manifest thrill pervaded the assembled multitude 
every man of whom- knew how fiercely and how long 
he had suffered for his gallantry in the last of England's 
European battles; and probably every one felt, as he 
must have himself felt, that he would ere long take his 
place in the train of funerals which are sanctified by the 
glories of Waterloo. The gray, shattered, tremulous old 
comrades who stood looking down into the crypt at 
St. Paul's were an affecting spectacle, and among them 
the Marquis of Anglesey was conspicuous, as bearing 
the Field Marshal's baton of the deceased. It seemed 
to be his own farewell to the public, and so it has 
proved. 

The public interest in this most distinguished member 
of the Paget family began with the battle of Waterloo. 



THE MARQUIS OF ANGLESEY. 



297 



He was a brave soldier before from his youth up had 
fought in Flanders, and had served under Sir John Moore 
in the Peninsula ; but it was his brilliant conduct and 
effectual aid, during the three days of Waterloo, that 
marked him a national hero. He commanded the 
cavalry as lieutenant-general ; and on the i yth the 
French cavalry followed him while the British army was 
changing its ground, and found the consequences serious 
enough. The Earl of Uxbridge as Lord Anglesey 
then was charged them with the First Life Guards, 
and fairly rode over them : "upon which occasion," as 
Wellington reported, in his moderate language, "his 
Lordship has declared himself to be well satisfied with 
that regiment." On the great i8th he and his cavalry 
did gallant things ; and they believed the conflict over, 
when a ball carried off the general's leg. "The Earl 
of Uxbridge," wrote Wellington again, "after having 
successfully got through this arduous day, received a 
wound by almost the last shot fired, which will, I am 
afraid, deprive his Majesty for some time of his services." 
From that day Lord Anglesey was subject to neuralgic 
pains, which made his life a long torture, with short 
intervals of respite. That he could live so long under 
such a liability was the wonder of all who knew 
his sufferings. As all the world knows, his leg was 
buried on the field, and has the honor of a monu- 
ment. 

Like his illustrious friend, he found that political life 
had its temptations, when there was no more work to 
be done in the field. When the Duke of Wellington 
ceased to be Master-General of the Ordnance, in 1827, 
Lord Anglesey succeeded him ; and when the Duke 
became Premier, to his own amazement and that of the 



His services 
atWaterloo. 



His political 
life 



2 9 8 



THE MARQUIS OF ANGLESEY. 



[I] 

Appointed 
Lord-Lieu- 
tenant of 
Ireland. 



world, at the beginning of 1828, Lord Anglesey became 
Lord-Lieutenant of Ireland. His appointment took 
place in February, and he was recalled before the year 
was out. The absurd transaction which occasioned his 
recall is an amusing evidence of the soldierly simplicity 
of the two gallant statesmen, who were together no 
match for O'Connell, and excellent subjects for him to 
make a ridiculous spectacle of. The celebrated Clare 
election took place in that summer of 1828, and the 
Catholic Association was rampant. It showed its power 
in the absolute extinction, for the moment, of crime in 
Ireland, and in its successful repression of Catholic pro- 
cessions, under the extreme provocations offered by the 
revived Orange Clubs. Lord Anglesey and his Govern- 
ment were perfectly quiet till October, when he put 
forth a proclamation against such assemblages as had 
already yielded to the influence of the Catholic Asso- 
ciation. Presently after, the titular Catholic Primate of 
Ireland, Dr. Curtis, who had been an intimate friend 
of Wellington's ever since the Peninsular war (when he 
held office in the University of Salamanca, and was able 
to render good service to the British), wrote a letter to 
the Duke on the state of Ireland. The Duke's reply 
found its way to O'Connell and to the Catholic Associa- 
tion, who chose to interpret it as a promise of emancipa- 
tion. The Duke was for burying the subject in oblivion 
(of all odd proposals), on account of the circumstantial 
difficulties which surrounded it. When the Lord-Lieu- 
tenant saw the letter, and Dr. Curtis's reply, his advice 
was that agitation should be continued, with the view, 
no doubt, of thereby removing the obstacles that embar- 
rassed the principle which he supposed the Duke to hold 
as well as himself. It appeared, however, as if he was 



THE MARQUIS OF ANGLESEY. 



299 



acting and speaking in opposition to the head of the 
Government; and a stranger thing still was, that he 
seemed to know no more than anybody else of the views 
or intentions of Government on the greatest question of 
the day. "Your letter," he wrote to Dr. Curtis, "gives 
me information on a subject of the highest interest. I 
did not know the precise sentiments of the Duke of 
Wellington on the present state of the Catholic ques- 
tion." Here was a theme for O'Connell ! Here was a 
fine subject for declamation ! Either the Catholic ques- 
tion was a matter of indifference to Government, or the 
Viceroy was not in the confidence of the Ministers. 
Lord Anglesey added some expressions of regret at find- 
ing, from this same letter, that there was no apparent 
prospect of emancipation being effected during the 
approaching session of Parliament. This letter was 
also read to the Catholic Association : and it may be 
imagined how it was received, and how its writer was 
applauded for "his manliness and political sagacity." 
Such attributes were out of place at the moment, how- 
ever, in a Privy Councillor and Viceroy of Ireland ; and 
the next English packet brought his recall. One wonders 
what his next meeting with the Duke was like. Both 
were pets of the Catholic Association while the Duke 
was recalling the Marquis because the Marquis had in- 
volved the Duke in an inextricable difficulty. As it 
turned out, the Viceroy was recalled for desiring and 
promoting what the Premier was about to do. Catholic 
emancipation was the necessary and speedy result of the 
strange transaction ; and it was believed that it might 
and would have been delayed some time longer but for 
the singular simplicity of the Marquis of Anglesey. He 
was succeeded by the Duke of Northumberland, but 



[I] 



His recall. 



THE MARQUIS OF ANGLESEY. 



[I] 



His re- 

appoint- 



and popu- 
larity. 



became Viceroy again at the close of 1830, under Lord 
Grey's Administration. 

In 1831, matters went worse than ever. That was 
the year of the great trial of strength between the Vice- 
roy and O'Connell ; the titular ruler of Ireland issuing 
proclamations against a certain order of public meetings 
and the virtual ruler disobeying, undergoing trial, plead- 
ing guilty, and so getting off harmless as to induce the 
report and impression, never afterward entirely got 
rid of, that there .was compromise, and even collusion, 
between the Agitator and the Whig Government. In 
Moore's Memoirs it appears that the poet thought the 
Viceroy extremely nervous about the state of Ireland. 
But in public there was never any appearance of dis- 
composure. Those who saw him mobbed in Dublin 
streets, as sometimes happened, can well remember the 
smiling good-humor, the look of amusement, with which 
the lame soldier, alone and armed only with his umbrella, 
used his weapon to rap the knuckles of the noisy Paddies 
who laid hands on the bridle of his pony. He was very 
popular, in the midst of his proclamations and coercion. 
His bearing suited the temper of the Irish ; and there 
really was a good deal of love between them. The 
Coercion Acts that he called for were, however, fatal to 
Lord Grey's government. The one he obtained in 1833 
was severe. Lord Grey thought it ought to be renewed, 
with the omission of the provision for martial law. Others 
thought not ; and Lord Grey went out upon it. There 
was misunderstanding in the cabinet, causing a renewal 
of the complaint of underhand dealings with O'Connell, 
while O'Connell declared himself tricked; and Lord 
Grey's retirement was the consequence. Thus it appears 
to have been Lord Anglesey's remarkable lot to have 



THE MARQUIS OF ANGLESEY. 



301 



precipitated Catholic emancipation by his first short 
tenure of the viceroyalty, and the breaking up of the 
Grey cabinet by the second. The pacification of Ireland 
since the death of O'Connell must have been an inter- 
esting spectacle to Lord Anglesey ; and, whatever he 
and others thought of his own administration there, with 
its legal severity, its private and personal good-humor, 
and unbusiness-like misunderstandings whatever he and 
others might think of the subsequent failures of Lords 
Wellesley and Normandy, there could be no doubt of 
the satisfaction to his kindly heart of seeing Ireland at 
length at rest from political agitation, and released 
from the worst of her destitution. 

Lord Anglesey became Master-General of the Ordnance 
on the formation of Lord John Russell's Administration 
in 1846; and he held that office till Lord Derby came 
into power, in March 1852. He was succeeded by Lord 
Hardinge, under that ministry, and Lord Raglan under 
the present. His infirmities were for many years so 
great, through the pressure of neuralgic pain, that none 
but a hero could have courted duty under such a load. 
It is well that there was an interval of repose from office 
before his last rest. 



[I] 



Appointed 
Master- 
General of 
the Ord- 
nance. 



II 



Mr. Hume's 
education. 



JOSEPH HUME. 

On occasion of the Presentation to MR. HUME of his Portrait, 
in recognition of his Public Services, Aug. 5th, 1854. 

FOR twenty years past, if the words "veteran reformer" 
were caught by any ear, the hearer took for granted that 
Joseph Hume was the subject of discourse. His name 
has been identified with Reform for nearly forty years ; 
and a glance over the facts of his life is, in a manner, 
called for by the observances of last week. His father 
was the master of a vessel trading from the port of Mon- 
trose, where Joseph, who was a younger member of a 
large family, was born in 1777. On the death of his 
father, which happened in his early childhood, Joseph 
was placed at a school where the then superior Scotch 
method and amount of education qualified him for a 
professional training. His mother, who supported her 
family, apprenticed Joseph to a surgeon at Montrose. 
He went through the regular course of study at the 
University of Edinburgh, and was admitted a member 
of the College of Surgeons there in 1796. Having no 
means on which he could sit down and wait for practice 
at home, he began his professional career as a naval 
surgeon, in the service of the East India Company. If 
his politics were not constitutional, his industry was ; 



JOSEPH HUME. 



303 



and he rose rapidly by means of his own merits in his 
own profession. In three years he was on the medical 
establishment of Bengal ; and no sooner was he there 
than the qualities which made him the reformer par 
excellence began to manifest themselves. He used his 
opportunity for observing the defects of the Company's 
management and service, and was particularly struck 
with the ignorance among those servants of the native 
languages; and he set to work to study them. In 1803, 
when he was serving in the Mahratta war (when Joseph 
Hume was distinguishing himself at the moment that 
Arthur Wellesley was gaining the battle of Assaye), he 
found the advantage of his knowledge of the dialects of 
India, and joined the office of interpreter to that of 
surgeon ; rinding time and energy to discharge also the 
duties of paymaster and postmaster of the troops under 
Major-General Powell. As he was never known to 
neglect any duty to which he had pledged himself, this 
combination of offices shows what his health and habits 
must have been that in such a climate he should be 
able to get through properly the work of three or four 
men. The secret was, no doubt, that his power of 
intercourse with the natives gave him a command of 
assistance which other Englishmen could not make use 
of. The same facilities enabled him to improve his 
fortunes by speculation ; and he returned to Calcutta, at 
the end of the war, a wealthy man. He concluded his 
service in India in 1808, and permitted himself a period 
of repose and foreign travel before entering upon a new 
career. He travelled through all the Mediterranean 
countries on the European side, and visited the Ionian 
Islands, Malta, and Sicily, accumulating knowledge all 
the while, according to his wont. It is desirable that 



[in 

Oft the medi- 
cal estab- 
lishment 
of Bengal. 



His capacity 
for work. 



His :~ave/s. 



304 



JOSEPH HUME. 



[II] 



Returned to 
Parliament 
forWey- 

mouth. 



His services 
in the cause 
of education. 



Returned 
for Mon- 



hese facts about the early years of Mr. Hume should 
be recalled, because it is the practice of his enemies to 
represent him as a man of no breadth of knowledge a 
small-souled Scotchman, who could conceive of nothing 
beyond the routine of a plodding life like that of his 
later years ; whereas, few men have travelled so much, 
or learned so much from their travels, as Mr. Hume up 
to the time when he was five-and-thirty. 

He sat in Parliament first for Weymouth ; and it was 
loyal Weymouth the bathing-place of the royal family 

which found Joseph Hume a seat. During the six 
subsequent years that he was out of Parliament he was 
an East India Director, and showed something of his 
later and best tendencies by the attention and labor he 
devoted to the promotion of popular education, by the 
Lancasterian method which was the first form the 
movement took. Mr. Whitbread must ever be regarded 
as the first to treat the subject in a statesmanlike manner : 
but no one has ever taken it up in a more earnest and 
disinterested spirit than Joseph Hume. He began with 
aiding the contrivance of children teaching each other ; 
he proceeded with the Wilberforces, Romillys, and Whit- 
breads of the time to encourage adult schools ; and he 
never relaxed in his efforts, nor ceased to rise in his aims, 
till he had got the British Museum, Hampton Court, and 
other places thrown open to the whole public, adult 
schools as superior to those of forty years ago as Hume 
the veteran Reformer was a higher man than Hume at 
the beginning of his political career. 

When he re-entered Parliament, in 1818, it was as 
Member for Montrose. The earliest notices that we 
have of his action in the House indicate the course of 
the rest of his life. In 1817, the Finance Committee, 



JOSEPH HUME. 



305 



which was thoroughly ministerial, had reported in favor 
of army reductions ; and yet the reductions had not 
taken place after a lapse of four years. Mr. Hume 
moved an amendment on the Estimates, framing his 
motion on the very words of the Finance Committee's 
Report. The members of that Committee voted with 
the majority against Mr. Hume and their own recom- 
mendation, without attempting explanation. They were 
silent to a man. The Edinburgh Review had by this 
time discovered Mr. Hume's value ; and we find him 
spoken of already as a man whose persevering industry 
was above all praise, and who must command the good 
will of all but those to whom the preservation of abuses 
was dearer than the welfare of their country. Lord 
Castlereagh on this occasion instituted the course of 
abuse which attended Mr. Hume henceforth, by at- 
tempting to caricature him to the House as Harlequin 
and Clown. Lord Palmerston and Mr. Huskisson were 
against him ; and his propositions about saving the 
public money, though founded on their own words, were 
treated by them as some monstrous quackery, with which 
the House had no concern but to be amused at it. It is 
instructive and very cheering to contrast this tone of 
public men in 1821 with what it was thirty years later, 
while Mr. Hume was yet present to enjoy the satis- 
faction. While observing him during his later years in 
Parliament, and seeing the unfeigned and cordial respect 
with which the veteran was regarded by leading members 
of all sorts of politics, it was an impressive thing to 
remember that he was called names by Walter Scott. 
Scott might have been glad to feel, as Hume could, that 
he had refused office and salary, and spent as much 
as would make a good fortune in the service of the 



en] 



His early 
labors in 
the House. 



Sir Walter 
Scott and 
Mr. Hume. 



306 



JOSEPH HUME. 



[II] 



Exposing 
abuses, and 
advocating 
cause of 
the poor. 



public, besides all the anxiety and toil of a long life, 
receiving as his recompense the abuse and ridicule 
of men who thought it genteel and refined to live at 
ease on the national funds. What a commentary does 
time make on such a judgment ! the critic not saved 
from debt and poverty even by his large drafts on the 
public purse, and the man he scorned having spared 
many thousands of his own earned money to do unre- 
quited public services. While Scott was begging franks 
for his correspondence with his gossips, or the trans- 
mission of his lucrative proof-sheets, Joseph Hume was 
paying 5/. in a day for letters, which it was all toil and 
no profit to receive or despatch. And he had his share 
perhaps no less then Scott in promoting intellectual 
recreation and holiday solace. Let any one stand in the 
British Museum on Easter Monday, and he will see 
something of what Joseph Hume did for the pleasure of 
the multitude. If he had been allowed his own way, 
he the plodder of Parliament would have been called 
the Prince of Holiday-makers in merry England. His 
advocacy of Canadian interests was thorough, and, on 
the whole, wise. In the Reform struggle, he poured out 
his strength and his money like water. He was accused 
by the Boroughmongers of sending off candidates by 
coach, properly addressed and forwarded to certain con- 
stituencies half-a-score in a day : which meant that, in 
the grand difficulty of the time the finding candidates 
for liberal constituencies Mr. Hume was the centre of 
influence, information, and energy. The Whigs then 
earned the value of the troublesome Radical member, 
who was always exposing abuses and pleading the poor 
man's cause : and from that time Mr. Hume's standing 
n Parliament was one which no one dared to despise, or 



JOSEPH HUME. 



307 



attempted to underrate. Up to 1830 he sat for Montrose, 
and again after 1842. In the interval he was once 
Member for Middlesex, and, for one Parliament, Member 
for Kilkenny. Since the dissolution of parties conse- 
quent on the repeal of the Corn Laws he has been the 
leader of the more liberal members who would consti- 
tute a party. He has refused office ; he never dreamed 
of title ; he never spared his purse ; and he has really 
seemed to have no personal desires at all. There has 
been nothing that anybody could do for him but to 
further his objects to improve popular education to 
foster the popular health and pleasure to purify our 
political institutions and methods and guard the bless- 
ings which have made us the happiest nation upon 
earth. We do not know that more than this could be 
said in honor of one who has not pretended to be any- 
thing that he was not. We do not know that more 
could be said of a man who devoted himself, without 
self-regards, to a life which is usually called a career of 
ambition. Without ambition, he worked harder than 
any aspirant of his time. While called "niggard" he 
has spent his private means without requital. He has 
worked partly with express benevolent designs, and 
partly for the gratification of his own strong and well- 
directed faculties. What his disinterestedness has been 
we know by merely opening our eyes upon his career. 
What his services are, it is for a future generation to 
appreciate, when they find how far their Joseph Hume 
introduced virtue into the administration of govern- 
ment ; strictness into the routine of business ; truth and 
purity (in theory at least) into our parliamentary repre- 
sentation ; the light of intelligence into the mind of the 
ignorant ; and innocent pleasure into the life of the 



[HI 



His disin- 
terestedness. 



JOSEPH HUME. 



[II] 

Posterity 
will value 
hh labors. 



working man. Joseph Hume is not the man of whom 
studied eulogists prophesy immortality while he pores 
over his prosaic labors ; but it is not improbable that 
his name will be familiar and pleasant to men's ears 
when many a genius idolized by others or by himself 
shall have gone down into darkness and silence. 

P.S. Mr. Hume lived and labored but a few months 
longer, dying on the 2Oth of February, 1855. 



LORD MURRAY. 



DIED MARCH yiH, 1859. 

LORD MURRAY, the last of the remarkable coterie of 
Scotch lawyers whose fame has gone forth over all the 
world, was the John Archibald Murray who was so 
beloved by Horner, and by a multitude of persons who 
never saw him, for Horner's sake. Various honors fell 
to him in the course of his life; but the highest was, 
unquestionably, the place he fills in Horner's ' 'Memoirs. " 
There may be, and there must be, to the readers of that 
book, some surprise that the fine promise of the youthful 
J. A. Murray came to so little as it did in public life; 
but the image, as there fixed, is a very interesting and a 
very beautiful one ; and the charm hung about his name 
and fame to the last. He, Horner, and Lord Webb 
Seymour were bound in the closest friendship in their 
early youth, and till death parted them. The other two, 
born in 1778 and 1777, died in 1817 and 1819 ; and all 
the many years since has the third lived, not only carry- 
ing about a vivid remembrance of his lost comrades, 
but inspiring the same remembrance in others by his 
presence. He, too, is gone at last ; and the fame of that 
remarkable set of men is turned over to the tongue of 
tradition and the pen of history. 



The last of a 
remarkable 
coterie of 
lawyers. 



His friend- 
ship ivith 
Horner and 
Lord Sey- 
mour. 



3io 



LORD MURRA Y. 



[Ill] 



His birth. 



His early 
tastes. 



John Archibald Murray was the second son of a Judge 
of the Court of Session, Lord Henderland. His eider 
brother, William, who never married, remained in close 
friendship with his more widely known, but perhaps not 
abler younger brother, through the whole of their very 
long lives. John was born in 1 780, and was, therefore, 
two years younger than Francis Horner. By the early 
letters of the latter we find that Murray was a member 
of the Literary Society in Edinburgh University at the 
age of fifteen that same Literary Society where, at that 
date, "our friend Brougham" was already making a noise. 
Metaphysical disputation was the field for the lads 
Dugald Stewart being at the height of his fame ; but they 
all saw that Brougham meant to do something else 
than split hairs in metaphysical fashion for the rest of 
his days ; and eager was the speculation as to what that 
something would be. At that early time there was not 
so very much difference between Brougham's, Horner's, 
and Murray's treatment of their common topics ; and it 
would have required a keen insight to perceive how the 
two survivors would diverge the one into abortive ex- 
travagance and inconsistency, and the other into simple 
mediocrity, while the sound, genuine, fruitful ability was 
in him who died in his fortieth year. 

Our first clear view of the young Murray is during this 
University season, when Horner was proposing to him 
that they should "be the Beaumont and Fletcher of meta- 
physics ;" when they spent their holidays in George-street 
or at Murrayfield, arguing about Volition, and took long 
walks in session-time, " describing" the " sensations which 
constitute the uneasiness of metaphysical perplexity." 
As they grew older they joined with Jeffrey, Dr. Thomas 
Brown, Lord W. Seymour, and others in a scheme for 



LORD MURRAY, 



translating the political and philosophical writings of 
Turgot, thus beginning their diversion from metaphysics 
by political economy; a study which had such charms 
for them that we find them interposing it as a treat 
between classics and chemistry, history and poetry. 
Out of all this naturally grew the Edinburgh Review, to 
which Murray was a copious contributor at the begin- 
ning, when he was only twenty-two. Nothing that he 
ever wrote or did afterward, however, makes anything 
like the impression caused by his correspondence with 
Horner. The earnestness without vehemence, the con- 
scientiousness, the effective thoughtfulness, the gentle, 
quiet fertility of his intellect, together with the constant, 
vigilant affectionateness of his temper, make up the most 
charming image of his early manhood, and set the reader 
speculating on what must have been the confidence, joy, 
and hope with which a good father must have contem- 
plated such a son. It is truly strange that out of such 
a company of fellow-students, most of them devoted to 
political subjects, and pursuing the legal profession, not 
one good statesman should have been produced. Horner 
would have been a great statesman, no doubt, if he had 
lived a few years. But of Brougham's statesmanship 
nothing need be said ; and Jeffrey and Murray failed 
utterly in political life. We suspect that the metaphysics 
may be considered answerable for this, in great part ; 
and that the rest is due to the close coterie character of 
the early association of these remarkable young men, 
who reached a certain degree of eminence in law and 
literature, and then stopped short nobody could well 
say why. While the Tories were in command of the 
State, it was supposed that opportunity was wanting ; but 
when the opportunity came, from 1830 onward, there 



[III] 



A contrtbu' 
tor to the 
Edinburgh 
Review. 



His fellow- 
students. 



312 



LORD MURRAY. 



[Ill] 
Studies law. 



Hi* labors 
for the 
Whigs. 



was no one of the coterie surviving who had not his fair 
trial, and did not disappoint expectation. 

Murray studied law, and entered upon the practice of 
his profession at Edinburgh. At the time of the renewal 
of the war, in 1803, we find him full of military zeal, like 
the other young lawyers of the day. Horner went to 
drill every day ; Mackintosh wrote the glorious address 
of the Merchants and Bankers of London ; Brougham 
put out ' ' weekly incitements to patriotism ;" and Murray 
helped him with something called "The Beacon," now 
forgotten. They tried to stir up Campbell to produce 
some lyrics ; and Horner wrote to Murray to advise an 
appeal of the same sort to Walter Scott, whose "border 
spirit of chivalry" already marked him out for that ser- 
vice. Murray, however, soon subsided into the function 
which might be called that of his life, that of furthering 
Whig elections and other interests, in Scotland first, 
and elsewhere when he could. In 1806 we find him 
busy canvassing in favor of Lord Henry Petty's Cam- 
bridge election, among the Cambridge graduates who 
had formerly been at Edinburgh, or the students who 
were there at that time. Electioneering was a serious 
business in days when a man like Homer could say to 
his familiar friend, "Write to me often, my dear Murray : 
one has no pleasure in dwelling upon any public subjects 
while the liberties and wealth of England are molder- 
ing away, and the institutions of Europe stiffening into 
barbarism : but the gratifications of private affection are 
untouched by these revolutions ; and though they give a 
sadder cast to one's conversation, they cannot impair 
our confidence and freedom." In upholding the Whig 
interests in Edinburgh, Murray was not only a diligent 
guardian of those interests, but distinguished, while 



LORD MURRA Y. 



313 



young, as a light popular orator, in days of fierce con- 
tention and of every kind of discouragement to the 
Liberal side. The chief aberration of the Edinburgh 
Whigs, their advocacy of Bonaparte, was fully shared by 
Murray. In their detestation of the reimposition of 
the Bourbons upon the French they fell back upon 
Napoleon, as the only alternative, and exalted him to a 
degree which, as is well known, damaged the influence 
of their Review, and impaired public confidence in them 
as champions of popular liberty. The readers of Scott's 
Life are aware how the Quarterly Review thence arose ; 
and also how, when the question was settled by time, 
when Napoleon was dead, and it was not foreseen that 
the Bourbons would be again cast out, the irate feelings 
of the politicians of Edinburgh gave way, and they met 
occasionally like neighbors and friends, in forgetfulness 
for the hour of the politics of their lives. There is a 
passage in Scott's Diary about a dinner at Murray's in 
the winter of 1827, which is interesting now when the 
host himself is gone. "Went to dine with John Murray, 
where met his brother (Henderland), Jeffrey, Cockburn, 
Rutherford, and others of that file. Very pleasant, 
capital good cheer, and excellent wine : much laughter 
and fun. I do not know how it is, but when I am out 
with a party of my Opposition freinds, the day is often 
merrier then when with our own set. Is it because they 
are cleverer? Jeffrey and Harry Cockburn are, to be 
sure, very extraordinary men ; yet it is not owing to that 
entirely. I believe both parties meet with a feeling of 
something like novelty. We have not worn out our 
jests in daily contact. There is also a disposition on 
such occasions to be courteous, and, of course, to be 
pleased. " Murray's sense and achievement of hospitality 



[III] 



Scotfs 
opinion of 
the Whig 
coterie. 



LORD MURRA Y. 



[Ill] 

Murray's 
marriage, 
1828. 



His hospi- 
tality. 



were always remarkable. This capital dinner was given 
the year before his marriage. In 1828 he married Miss 
Rigby, the daughter of a Lancashire merchant (then 
living in Cheshire), and the niece of Sir George Phillips 
of Manchester. His tea-table at St. Stephen's, when he 
was Lord Advocate that remarkable tea-table presided 
over by Lady (then Mrs. ) Murray is well remembered 
by those who were weekly guests at it. It was a long 
table, with an enormous and excessively rich Edinburgh 
cake in the centre and such a company round it ! 
When Sydney Smith was in town he was sure to be 
there ; and the Jeffreys and Dundases, and all the 
Scotch, with plenty of English celebrities. The Lord 
Advocate's chambers were under the same roof with 
the House of Lords : and in the intervals of the 
debate, Lords -and Commons used to come dropping 
in for tea, and that unique cake, and chat, till the 
summons to a division called them away, rushing and 
scrambling like shoolboys at the last stroke of the 
bell. As a contrast, there was the Murrays' country- 
house at Strachur, on Loch Fyne. There, in the depth 
of Highland seclusion, the guests were expected to 
make themselves perfectly at home, and be as free as 
the winds. There were guides always at hand for 
strangers : there was the lake steamer at command, to 
carry them up to Inverary. At breakfast, there was 
every sort of fish yielded by the waters of the region ; 
and at dinner, everything that could be got from 
mountain or flood red deer soup, salmon, game pies, 
grouse, &c. The hospitality of the Murrays was re- 
markable everywhere ; and their desire to see others hap- 
py deepened the concern of their friends at the sorrow 
which clouded their house. Their only child died early ; 
and with him their bright enjoyment of life went out. 



LORD MURRAY. 



Mr. Murray's first office was that of Clerk of the Pipe 
a sinecure in the Scotch Exchequer, given him when 
the Whigs came in. The office is now abolished. In 
1834 he was made Lord Advocate, and held the appoint- 
ment for five years, without distinguishing himself, or 
being able to carry his measures. He was evidently 
not qualified for political life ; and he was removed, as 
early as practicable, to the Court of Session, where he 
held a judgeship till his death. As a mark of attention, on 
account of prior services, he was made a baronet at the 
same time as a judge, that his wife might be titled also. 
They spent the remaining years of his long life chiefly in 
Edinburgh, and at their country-seat ; and there were few in 
the populous parts of Scotland to whom the bland coun- 
tenance and white hair of the old judge were unknown. 

We may seem to have devoted a disproportionate 
space to our notice of a man who failed to distinguish 
himself when his opportunity came, and whose ability 
seemed really to be in a course of evaporation from early 
manhood onward. But he was the last of a remarkable 
set of men who have produced a good deal of effect 
(though much less than they might have done) on their 
century. The pall of John Archibald, Lord Murray, 
covers more than the one last departed. It hides the 
final glimpse we had of the brilliant period and hopeful 
company in which this last survivor bore his part, when 
that life opened before him which disappointed him 
so strangely. The mighty Edinburgh Whigs who set 
up the Review are now a tradition; and, it is natural 
to linger and gaze to the last as the pall is finally spread 
over what was so full of vitality and promise, and so 
ever present to the successive political generations of 
a period of sixty years. 



[Ill] 



Appointed 

Lord 

Advocate. 



Last of the 
Edinburgh 
Whigs. 



IV. 



His rela- 
tionship to 
Count 



LORD HERBERT OF LEA. 
DIED AUGUST 41 H, 1861. 

WHEN the Empress Catharine of Russia sent her ambas- 
sador, Count Woronzoff, to London, neither she nor her 
ambassador imagined that, though he would live for 
nearly fifty years, he would scarcely see Russia again. 
He was not ambassador all the time, but he lived in 
England as a private gentleman when not in the service 
of his sovereign. When the Emperor Paul made his 
crazy friendship with Napoleon, Count Woronzoff re- 
signed his office ; but he resumed it on the accession of 
Alexander. When he died, his grandson, the Lord Her- 
bert of Lea whom we have just lost, was entering upon 
political life, and exciting expectation beyond his own 
family that he would become distinguished in the political 
history of his time. The mother of the young Sidney 
Herbert, M.P. for South Wilts in 1832, was the only 
daughter of Count Woronzoff, and the wife of the late 
Earl of Pembroke, of whom Sidney was the second son. 
It is not very unusual for our old families to have some 
intermixture of foreign marriage in their history ; but 
there is something peculiar in such a connection with 
Russia. The Woronzoffs were very like English people, 
certainly. The Count remained here chiefly for the 



LORD HERBERT OF LEA. 



object of an English education for his children ; but 
some singular interests arose from time to time which 
must have strongly influenced the minds of his English 
descendants. For instance, when Count Michael, Sidney 
Herbert's uncle, was appointed Governor of New Russia 
and Bessarabia, and from year to year developed the 
resources of that country, and opened its grain produce 
to the world, the spectacle must have been to his nephew 
very unlike what it could have been to any other boy at 
Harrow. There were many young men who, at the hero- 
worshipping age, were in high admiration of Schamyl, 
during his struggle with successive Russian generals and 
governors in the Caucasus ; but much keener must have 
been Sidney Herbert's interests when his mother's 
brother was charged with the subjugation of the Circas- 
sians, in conjunction with his government of Southern 
Russia. The Count was made prince on the occasion, 
supplied with vast forces, and armed with obsolute power. 
He did not conquer Schamyl ; but he did everything else 
that could be expected of him ; and this Russian Prince- 
ruler was an uncle for a young man of any nation to be 
proud of. The singularity of the case became most 
marked, of course, when the Russian war broke out, and 
the nephew was Secretary at War in the country which 
was invading his uncle's territory, and his very estates. 
No doubt, the scenery of the Crimea, and especially the 
region between the wooded heights and the sea, was the 
fairyland of the boy's childhood, when nobody knew 
more of the Crimea than its dim classical history. He 
must have known by description every step in the Woron- 
zoff gardens and palace there, before it had entered any- 
body's imagination that we should besiege Sebastopol ; 
and strange must have been the sensation to the War 



[IV] 



Singularity 
of events. 



LORD HERBERT OF LEA. 



[IV] 



Distrust of 
him on ac- 
count of his 
Russian 
connections. 



Returned as 
M.P.for 
South Wilts. 



His maiden 
speech. 



Minister in London when, among the camp news, came 
accounts of excursions made by officers to the WoronzofF 
estate, with minute descriptions of the walks and steps 
in the rocks, and the apartments of the mansion which 
he knew so well by family tradition. There was some 
natural distrust, for a time, at his holding any office in 
the Government under the circumstances ; and his inter- 
courses with his Russian relations were jealously watched. 
But Prince Woronzoff was permitted by the Czar to 
retire into private life during the term of the war, and 
afterward, for the short remainder of his life; and 
this obviated all difficulty to his nephew, who was a 
thorough Englishman, and as completely satisfied of 
the justice and necessity of the war as any man in the 
country. 

On leaving Harrow he had gone to Oxford ; and it 
was simply a matter of course that he should enter Par- 
liament as soon as he was old enough. He was born in 
1 8 10 ; and he took his seat for South Wilts in December 
1832. For some months he was regarded as a graceful 
and accomplished young Tory, an ornament to a party 
then in disgrace and under chastisement ; and any air 
of pertness which there might be about the young mem- 
ber was far from surprising under the circumstances. 
His slim figure, and his countenance, bright and amiable, 
gave to strangers no impression of power ; but he was 
evidently active-minded ; and there were rumors about 
of the considerable expectations of those who knew him 
well. He was not in any haste to put himself forward, 
his first speech being in June, 1834. It was the speech of 
a very young man, though a strong Conservative ; and it 
excites strange emotions to read it now. He seconded 
Mr. Estcourt's amendment, against the claims of the 



LORD HERBERT OF LEA. 



Dissenters to admittance to the Universities. Mr. Her- 
bert's apprehension was that the clergy would desert the 
Universities if the Dissenters entered them ; and his 
proposal was that the Dissenters should have Universities 
of their own. They would then find that Churchmen 
would not desire to enter dissenting Universities, and 
of course, Dissenters would cease to wish to enter the 
national ones. Such was Sidney Herbert's first essay in 
the National Council ! 

For some years he was a constant opponent of the 
Melbourne policy ; but he was chiefly distinguished by 
his vindication of the Corn Laws. There was an impres- 
sion that he would be one of the young recruits engaged 
by the Tories whenever they should come in again ; and 
nobody was surprised when he became Secretary to the 
Admiralty on Sir R. Peel's return to power in 1841. He 
did not at first appear to justify the expectations of his 
party ; for he had not yet found the art of giving an 
animating account of the expenditure of a public depart- 
ment. He was conscientiously minute, and very anxious, 
and his manner and speech were desultory and hesitating ; 
but the spring of fluency was about to be opened up, 
and from year to year his speaking awoke more interest ; 
for he was undergoing a change of opinion which he had 
to account for and to vindicate, and which impelled him 
to utter himself from his conviction and his heart. He 
was following Peel in his study of the effects of the Corn 
Laws. The process was a slow one ; for so late as the 
session of 1845 we find Mr. Herbert announcing to the 
House that the Government would give a direct negative 
to Mr. Cobden's proposal of a Select Committee to 
inquire into the causes of Agricultural distress and into 
the operation of the Corn Laws. He declared that the 



[IV] 



Appointed 
Secretary 
to the 
Admiralty. 



320 



LORD HERBERT OF LEA. 



[IV] 



Advocates 
the repeal 
of the 
Corn Laws. 



farmers had "very susceptible nerves, and would stop 
business at once if they perceived Mr. Cobden's drift 
of 'blowing up the protective system."' Some years 
later he deprecated, and very reasonably, the practice, 
ill suited to our time, of ransacking Hansard for proofs 
of inconsistency in public men. We are quite of his 
opinion that consistency (in the sense of immutability of 
opinion) is not the greatest of virtues in our age of pro- 
gress ; and we will, therefore, say no more of the contra- 
dictions of his utterances at various times. It is enough 
that they were not referable to greed of any kind ; and 
that they were converted into continuous progress, after 
he had made a fair avowal in Parliament of the fact of 
the change. He was as yet rather saucy, and hasty, and 
superficial, jeering at Mr. Cobden for a sympathy with 
the agricultural interest, which he did not understand, 
and therefore assumed to be a false pretence ; but he 
learned better afterward, and gave credit for sincerity to 
others, as he claimed it for himself, in advocating free 
trade in corn while representing a constituency mainly 
agricultural. 

It was in February, 1846, that he advanced this claim, 
when he, in his turn, had been jeered by a Protectionist 
member. It was in the midst of that memorable out- 
burst of party fury which followed upon the contest for 
power between Peel and Russell, and the pertinacious 
declaration of the Times ^ repeated amidst clamorous 
denials, that Sir R. Peel was going to repeal the Corn 
Laws. Mr. Herbert had become Secretary at War, with 
a seat in the Cabinet, in 1845 ; and at the beginning of 
the session of 1846 he was the member of the Govern- 
ment who gave an exposition of the policy of his chief, 
and vindicated it till they went out of office together, 



LORD HERBERT OF LEA. 



321 



ostensibly on the Irish defeat of the Coercion Bill, but 
really on account of the repeal of the Corn Laws, the 
bill for which passed the Lords on the same night that 
Sir R. Peel's Government received its doom in the 
Commons. 

During the years of his absence from office Mr. Her- 
bert was as energetic in action as ever. He was remark- 
ably furnished with all appliances and means for doing 
what he thought proper ; and if he had been undistin- 
guished in political life, he would always have been busy 
in some benevolent scheme. He was wealthy ; he had 
unbounded influence in his own neighborhood and 
connection ; and in 1846 he married a woman of tastes 
and energy congenial to his own. She was Miss A'Court, 
a daughter of General A'Court and niece of Lord Hey- 
tesbury. The mere mention of her brings up recollections 
of an extensive emigration of laboring families, and 
especially of young women, to colonies which suffered 
most from the inequality of the sexes. Mr. and Mrs. 
Herbert used all their influence to promote such emigra- 
tion, superintended the outfit of many hundreds, and 
went on board the departing ships to start the people 
cheerily. We heard at the same time, or soon after, 
of a Model Lodging-house for agricultural laborers, 
which they had built, and furnished and filled, at Wilton. 
They have built a church there, which is considered a 
singularly beautiful specimen of Italian ecclesiastical 
architecture. 

Meantime he ranked with the Peelites in the House 
Lord Lincoln (as he was then) and Mr. Gladstone the 
three being just of the same age, and all being supposed 
likely to return to office, though their great chef was 
holding a position higher than office could give. Mr. 
14* 



[IV] 



His mar- 
riage. 



Benevolent 
efforts for 
the agricul- 
tural poor. 



322 



LORD HERBERT OF LEA. 



[IV] 



His conduct 
as War 
Secretary 
during the 
Crimean 
War. 



Herbert spoke occasionally now sketching the state of 
affairs abroad in 1848 as actual bondage under the 
appearance of license; and now, in 1849, insisting that 
no distress had arisen from -free trade. In the great 
Midsummer debate of 1850, on the foreign policy of 
Lord Palmerston's Government, Mr. Herbert spoke 
strongly on the Opposition side. It was a question of 
confidence; and no one more emphatically declared 
want of confidence than he, in his review of Lord 
Minto's errand in Italy, and his representation of the 
unpopularity of England abroad. That debate is con- 
secrated to all parties now by its being the last in which 
the voice of Peel was heard. 

After his death the group of rising statesmen who 
were distinguished by his name continued in opposition 
during the remaining Administration of Lord J. Russell, 
and the short term of Lord Derby, some of them coming 
in again on Lord Aberdeen's accession to power at the 
close of 1852. Mr. Herbert was then again Secretary 
at War. 

Reluctant as Lord Aberdeen was to go to war with 
Russia, it is probable that his War Secretary was not 
less so. We may remember the jealous inquiries of the 
public at that time as to what his Russian relatives were 
about, and what he and they had to say to each other. 
He was as thoroughly patriotic on the occasion, however, 
as any other man in the Ministry ; and, as he was 
incapable of concealment, everybody was presently 
satisfied of his trustworthiness. This was the great point 
in his life. He and the Duke of Newcastle, when the 
functions of the War Office were divided between them, 
did all they could, and suffered severely. There is no 
need to describe what the system was which they had to 



LORD HERBERT OF LEA. 



323 



work at the end of a long peace. It may be doubted 
whether the strongest of men could have brought good 
results out of a system overgrown with abuses : and 
these were not very strong men. They were morally 
strong, and altogether devoted ; but they had not 
intellectual vigor nor force of will sufficient to create 
an adequate organization in the presence of events, or 
to bear down the oppositions of aristocratic conceit and 
selfishness. They saw our first army perish miserably, 
and had to bear the spectacle of the people taking it 
into their own hands to save the second, with vast waste, 
and by means improvised by their own zeal. They saw 
their order thoroughly frightened by the disclosure of 
the abuses and lapses of their own department, and were 
aware that, in spite of their utmost zeal in remedying 
mischiefs, the aristocracy lost a step in the esteem and 
the affections of the nation which they could never 
regain. 

Both were men on whom such a lesson was sure not 
to be lost : men honest, devoted, and sincerely patriotic. 
The Duke of Newcastle was the special victim of the 
national indignation. He lost nothing in regard to 
character, but was merely set aside as inadequate to 
the working out of his own excellent wishes. Mr. Her- 
bert left the War Office, and undertook the Colonial 
Secretaryship under Lord Palmerston. He held that 
office, however, for only a fortnight, resigning, with 
Sir James Graham and Mr. Gladstone, when it appeared 
that the Sebastopol Committee was to be proceeded 
with, notwithstanding the retirement of Lord Aberdeen. 
It was a demonstration of want of confidence which 
left Mr. Herbert no choice but to resign. His countenance 
and voice, when he made the announcement, on the 



[IV] 



Leaves the 
War Office. 



324 



LORD HERBERT OF LEA. 



[IV] 



His reforms 
in the army. 



22d of February, 1855, showed how he had suffered 
under the painful experience of the preceding year, and 
the crisis of the winter. He was manifestly ill ; and 
he retired from his work under a depression as deep 
perhaps as his nature admitted. 

He was, however, incapable of permanent discourage- 
ment. He was too active, too full of resources, and, 
above all, too disinterested to be subdued by failure or 
mortification. While out of office, he was in training, 
consciously or unconsciously, for the real work and final 
honors of his political life. While Lord Panmure 
and General Peel were administering the affairs of the 
War Office, Mr. Herbert was preparing himself to 
become the best friend that the British soldier has 
ever had. 

He had already been a great benefactor to the army. 
The soldier's condition had been cared for in certain 
respects for some years ; and the remission of the lash 
and institution of the Regimental School had marked a 
tage in our military history. Mr. Herbert had promoted 
whatever was good and contended against what was bad 
throughout; and he had obtained for the army in the 
East the attendance of Florence Nightingale and her 
nurses. None of us can have forgotten the characteristic 
letter in which he pressed the scheme upon her. The 
letter was furtively copied and published, without the 
knowledge of writer and receiver ; but, except that the 
treachery brought some undeserved blame upon them, it 
is difficult to be sorry for the publication. In acknow- 
ledging the blessing he brought upon the country by 
engaging Miss Nightingale in that particular service, we 
must bear in mind that her services have never since 
been intermitted. When our second army was saved, 



LORD HERBERT OF LEA. 



325 



and it had been proved how high an average of health 
may be attained in a camp in an enemy's country, Miss 
Nightingale went on as she is going on at this day 
securing conditions of health of body and mind for the 
soldier such as the world has never seen before. 

When Mr. Herbert returned to the War Office in 1859, 
he was well furnished for great reforms. It will not be 
forgotten how strenuously he had labored at the head 
of the Army Sanitary Commission, and in the Barrack 
and Hospital Commission, nor what a mass of irresistible 
evidence he presented us with of the sufferings of our 
soldiers, and the way to preclude them. We have seen 
the soldiery already in great part relieved of the curses 
of bad air, disgusting food, irksome clothing, unhealthy 
habits, and intolerable ennui. We have seen a good 
beginning made in rescuing our military service from the 
vagabonds and thieves who long constituted a great pro- 
portion of its recruits ; and a few years will show what 
has been done in winning to the service the sort of men 
most desirable in regard to character and position. We 
have seen the beginning of a regeneration of the lot of 
the soldier in India. Our force in China, with its fine 
health and high spirit, showed us what Mr. Herbert and 
his coadjutors had been doing for the British and Indian 
soldier. His own view of the work to be done, and its 
urgency, appears in an article signed with his initials 
in the Westminster Review of April, 1859 a few weeks 
before his return to the War Office. That article shows 
us in part what he had set himself to do ; and the world 
will have evidences, for many years to come, how he 
did it. In the province of the treatment of the soldier 
he has had no equal in the military experience of his 
country. 



[IV] 



Appointed 
War 
Minister, 
1859. 



326 



LORD HERBERT OF LEA. 



[IV] 



His 

'weaknesses. 



In other departments of his office he was not quite so 
successful. It is true, his deserts are not all apparent 
yet. He saw the need of a thorough reorganization of 
the War Office ; and he saw how it ought to be done. 
It is understood that a very comprehensive, sensible, 
practical scheme has been for many months under the 
consideration of the Government, for securing the object. 
If any justice is to be done to his memory, that scheme 
must be inquired after, and its purposes insisted on, in 
Parliament and out of it. From it we have yet to learn 
some of Mr. Herbert's merits in his office. But it is too 
true that alongside of such merits his characteristic de- 
fects have appeared very plainly. He had not strength 
of will to carry through his own projects ; and yet worse, 
he was incessantly impelled, by his ardent, generous, 
sanguine spirit, to pledge himself for more than he was 
sure of accomplishing, and to assume responsibilities 
belonging to others whom he could not control. There 
is no need to go into the proof of these weaknesses. 
They have not, we believe, been denied ; and his most 
devoted friends have always said not that his defects 
did not exist, but that in a world where nobody is perfect 
it is wiser to support a Minister who is not very strong, 
but who has actually accomplished more for our military 
system than any other, than to heap difficulty and dis- 
credit upon him, so as to make him give way to some 
man who is pretty sure to have worse faults and fewer 
virtues. Death has settled this now. He is gone, with- 
out redeeming all his pledges about the Purchase System 
and other matters, and without justifying his chivalrous 
assumption of the responsibility of appointments, in 
regard to which it is well known that he was subject to 
be overruled. 



LORD HERBERT OF LEA. 



327 



While struggling with obstruction without and weak- 
ness within, his health was giving way. It requires 
prodigious vigor of body and mind to work at the 
reform of any public department, amidst contempt and 
apathy from above and defiance from below. But this 
was an undertaking in addition to the business of his 
office, rendered overwhelming by absence of all proper 
organization. For many months he worked on, with 
unabated spirit; but it became evident last Christmas 
that he must give up either his office or his attendance in 
the House of Commons. He would fain have remained 
in the House. The sacrifice of office was the lesser of 
the two. But he yielded to the entreaties of some who 
dreaded any check to the course of reform in the War 
Office, and accepted a peerage, in order to continue his 
work as Minister. 

It was too late, however. He was worn out before he 
was fifty with excessive toil, and the wear and tear which 
a spirit like his must go through in a career of political 
responsibility. He had less to suffer than many Ministers 
have from hostility and misrepresentation ; for he was as 
winning in manners as he was frank in temper. Every- 
body felt good-will toward him, more or less ; and his 
personal friends were devoted to him. We may hope 
and believe that he had many and keen enjoyments in 
his political career, as he certainly had eminent blessings 
in his private life. He was made to be a happy man ; 
and we may fully believe that he was so. But yet he 
suffered enough to break him down prematurely ; and to 
his country he has sacrificed many years of home inter- 
courses, an old age reposing on manly sons and womanly 
daughters, and a long term of married happiness. His 
eldest son is only eleven ; and one of the happiest 



[IV] 



His ch<va~ 
tion to the 
peerage. 



His sacri- 
fices for the 
public 
interest. 



328 



LORD HERBERT OF LEA. 



[IV] 



His services 
a claim on 
his suc- 
cessors. 



homes in England is made desolate by his sacrifice of 
himself. 

Such sacrifices and services must not be in vain. 
They were a gift to the nation ; and the nation must use 
them as a claim on his successors, and on every Adminis- 
tration they belong to, for the complete fulfilment of his 
purposes. We must not wait longer for a thorough War 
Office reform because Lord Herbert is gone; and no 
Minister must reckon on even so much indulgence as he 
had in regard to the disposal of patronage, and the recti- 
fication of the principle of promotion. Any successor 
must do as much as he did for the army, and the honor 
of England in connection with it, before he can expect 
any mercy for even such weaknesses as showed them- 
selves in him. If he did not do all that a Minister of 
War might be conceived able to do, he did so much as 
may justify a new criterion of the merits of the Minister, 
and should render irresistible the popular demand for 
reforms, which he sanctioned in the proposal, but did 
not live to achieve. 

He was half-brother and presumptive heir of the Earl 
of Pembroke ; and his title of Lord Herbert of Lea 
merely lifted him in the interval out of the fatigues of 
one House of Parliament into the leisure of the other. 
It is fitting that a new peerage should exhibit in his 
descendants his claims to honor and national gratitude ; 
but he will be remembered, politically and privately, as 
Sidney Herbert ; for under that name he won something 
better, and far dearer to him, than any peerage. 



V. 



THE MARQUIS OF LANSDOWNE. 
DIED JANUARY 3151, 1863. 

WITH the Marquis of Lansdowne has passed away a 
political spectacle peculiar to this country, that of an 
aristocratic gentleman of moderate abilities, and politics 
which might be called accidentally liberal, being con- 
nected with the entire political history of his time by the 
force of consistency alone. Consistency is, from the 
character of the time, not only so out of fashion, but for 
most people so out of the question, that any one signal 
instance of it fixes as much attention at the present day 
as conversion and innovation did in a former one. 
Lord Lansdowne remained steadfast while the Welling- 
tons and Peels were changing on the one hand, and the 
Burdetts and the Broughams on the other; and every- 
body is interested in seeing how this happened. The 
first suggestion in the case is, that it could not have 
happened if he had not been of high and ancient family. 
It could not have happened if his early course had not 
been determined in a liberal direction ; nor if he had 
not been of sound reputation ; nor if he had been a 
man of genius, or of any vigorous ability. A brief 
survey of his career will make the case plain. It cannot 
be other than one of great interest. 



His con- 
sistency of 
character. 



330 



THE MARQUIS OF LANSDOWNE. 



[V] 
Hit 

ancestry. 



His edu- 
cation. 



. The ancestors of Lord Lansdowne figure in Irish 
history as Barons of Kerry for several hundred years. 
His father was the celebrated Lord Shelburne, the first 
Marquis of Lansdowne ; and the late Marquis was the 
son of a second marriage. He was never, nor were his 
elder brothers, the pupils of Dr. Priestley, as is supposed 
by many people. Dr. Priestley was never a tutor in the 
family at all, but resident, nominally as librarian to Lord 
Shelburne, but really as a friend and a scholarly com- 
panion. Lord Shelburne had a dread of public schools, 
and his two eldest sons were educated at home; but 
Henry, the subject of this notice, so earnestly desired a 
public-school education, that he was sent to Westminster. 
It really appears as if his lifelong solicitude on behalf of 
education began with his own. From Westminster he 
went to Edinburgh, and was one of the band of youths, 
since become statesmen, who debated at the Speculative 
Society, and worshipped Dugald Stewart. The judgment 
of his comrades on him was, as Horner tells us, that he 
was "distinguished by a cool, clear-thinking head, and a 
plain, firm, manly judgment." One would like to know 
whether, in the presence of the Speculative Society, he 
manifested the inaptitude for speculation and the pro- 
pensity to detail which distinguished his mind in after- 
life. It was a joke of the season, forty years after, when 
he and Sydney Smith, with a companion or two, went 
incognito to Deville, the phrenologist in the Strand, to 
have their characters read from their skulls, and were 
most perversely interpreted. Lord Lansdowne was pro- 
nounced to be so absorbed in generalization as to fail in 
all practical matters, and Sydney Smith to be a great 
naturalist "never so happy as when arranging his birds 
and his fishes." "Sir," said the divine, with a stare of 



THE MARQUIS OF LANSDOWNE. 



comical stupidity, "I don't know a fish from a bird ;" 
and the Cabinet Minister was conscious that "all trie 
fiddle-faddle of the Cabinet" was committed to him, 
on account of his love of what he called practical 
business. 

In 1 80 1, when Lord Henry Petty was just of age, he 
graduated at Cambridge. After travelling on the Con- 
tinent with Dumont, he took his seat for Calne, the 
family borough, and he sat for two sessions silent, as 
he thought became his youth, but diligent in attendance, 
and earnest in his study of the chief orators of the time, 
Fox being his great admiration. His maiden speech 
was on a politico-economical subject the effect on 
Ireland of the working of the Bank Restriction Act. 
The remark at the time was that this young Lord Henry 
Petty justified his descent from Sir William Petty, who 
had that to say in Cromwell's time which caused him to 
be called the father of Political Economy in England. 
The first very strong impression made by the young 
member was, however, on the 8th of April, 1805, in 
the Melville business, when, in addition to the discretion 
and good sense which were noted as remarkable in a 
man of five-and-twenty, he showed a power which never 
reappeared. Fox declared it the best speech that was 
made that night. When Parliament was prorogued, he 
went to Ireland with Dumont, to explore it politically, 
beyond the bounds of the family property. On the 
opening of the session of 1806, he was to have moved 
the Amendment on the Address that amendment which 
was given up because Pitt was dying. By that time, the 
first Marquis was dead, and was succeeded by Lord 
Henry's half-brother, who afterward died without issue, 
devolving the title and estates on him. 



[VI 



Returned as 

M.P.for 

Calne. 



332 



THE MARQUIS OF LANSDOWNE. 



[V] 



Appointed 
Chancellor 
of the 
Exchequer. 



On Pitt's death, Lord Henry Petty came in for Cam- 
bridge University, over the head of the young Palmerston, 
who was a grave and modest youth in those days. Fox 
used to say in private that he looked upon Petty as his 
political successor ; but still, in the notices of the time, 
it is always the gravity, consistency, and diligence of the 
young man that we find extolled, and not any power of 
a higher order. He was made Chancellor of the Ex- 
chequer at once, in the Grenville Administration ; and 
he brought forward a financial scheme which was pro- 
digiously admired by his colleagues, who were but too 
like Fox in their aversion to Adam Smith and the subject 
of his book ; but Lord Henry Petty 's financial scheme 
would not bear examination. His operations ended in a 
great increase of the assessed taxes and the property 
tax ; and there are caricatures yet in our libraries in 
which Fox and Petty are seen as bear and dog, taught 
to dance by Lord Grenville as trainer ; and again, as 
taxgatherers, bearding John Bull. Already we find him 
busy in doing what he delighted in doing through life, 
helping people to a position, or fitting people and places 
to each other. The last entry in Horner's journal bears 
date June, 1806, and it relates to a negotiation set on 
foot by Lord Henry Petty for bringing his friend Horner 
into Parliament under the auspices of Lord Kinnaird. 
A few months afterward the Grenville Administration 
went out, letting the .Tories into power for nearly a quarter 
of a century. Cambridge would have no more of the 
young Liberal ; but he indulged himself in a "last act" 
of patronage, or propitiation of patronage, enven at that 
moment. He got Professor Smyth, the "amiable and 
accomplished," as his friends called him, appointed to 
the chair of Modern History. It was, like most of Lord 



THE MARQUIS OF LANSDOWNE. 



333 



Lansdowne's appointments, an act of kindness to the 
individual, but scarcely so to the public. There is no 
saying what benefit might have accrued to British states- 
manship if a man of more vigor, philosophy, and com- 
prehensiveness of mind than Professor Smyth had been 
appointed to so important a chair. 

In 1808 Lord H. Petty married Lady Louisa Emma 
Strangeways, his cousin, a woman who had, without 
seeking it, everybody's praise. She was beautiful ; and 
every advantage of natural ability was improved by 
education, and sanctified and endeared by the finest 
moral qualities. They lived together to an old age. The 
year after their marriage, the second Marquis died, and 
they began, at Bowood, the long series of hospitalities 
which made that abode as celebrated in its own way as 
Holland House was in a somewhat different one. The 
difference lay in the hostesses ; and it was wholly to 
the advantage of Bowood. It is amusing to see, in 
Moore's "Diary," an account of consultations between 
the visitors of the two houses Rogers, Tierney, Barnes, 
and Moore about which of the noblemen was the more 
aristocratic in his habit of feeling, Lord Holland or 
Lord Lansdowne the impression of those who knew 
them best being that neither could be more so than the 
other, while both were blinded to it in themselves, as 
superficial observers were, by the genuine benevolence 
which was the prevailing mood of each. As to the 
ladies there is no need to describe the hostess of 
Holland House. Lady Lansdowne had her aristocratic 
tendencies, as was natural ; but they were less than the 
shyness of her manners led some to suppose ; and they 
were subdued to perfect harmlessness by her personal 
humility and all-pervading modesty. The hospitalities 



[V] 



His mar- 
riage. 



Hh hospi- 
tality at 
Eotuood. 



Contrasted 
'with Lord 
Holland. 



334 



THE MARQUIS OF LANSDOWNE. 



His labors 
in Parlia- 
ment. 



of Bowood, so conducted, might well form, as they did, 
a social feature of the time. 

During the quarter century of Tory rule, Lord Lans- 
downe was steady in his advocacy of the great questions 
of his youth, and, we may now add, of his old age. He 
was ranked with Lords Grenville and King as a leader 
of the Political Economy School. He never let slip an 
opportunity of advocating popular education*; as when, 
for instance, he said about Scotland, which Lord Liver- 
pool called "the best-conditioned country upon earth," 
that such, welfare as it had was wholly ascribable to its 
parochial schools, which had counteracted the mischiefs 
of its political system. He sustained the Catholic 
claims, quietly and steadily ; and he defended coalitions 
during the whole interval from the first he joined in 
1806 to the last in 1852. He declared them to be not 
only just, but necessary in a free country, as a defence 
against the encroachments of the Court ; and that their 
principle was the same as that of Party concession all 
round, for the sake of combined action. In 1820 he 
took a noble stand in reprobation of the proceedings 
against the Queen, and also made a very effective Free- 
trade speech. In 1821 his friends began to tell him that 
he was becoming a Parliamentary Reformer : and so he 
was ; but not so fast as his political comrades. When 
the King took it into his head, at that time, to court 
the Opposition, and had some of them to dinner at 
Brighton, the courtesy of Lord Lansdowne's behavior 
was remarked in contrast with the ill manners of some 
others his habitual moderation here standing him in 
good stead. His advocacy of the independence of the 
South American Republics prepared some minds for his 
act, so much disapproved by others, of joining Mr. 



THE MARQUIS OF LANSDOWNE. 



335 



Canning in May, 1827. Steady as he had ever been in 
asserting the virtue of coalition, he was -anxious and 
uneasy in his new position in the Cabinet ; declared that 
he was powerless, was complained of for being too 
mild with the Opposition when they were hunting 
Canning to death ; and was deeply afflicted by that 
rancorous and yet most pathetic speech of his friend 
Lord Grey which is believed to have broken Canning's 
heart. In October he was Home Secretary in the 
Goderich Cabinet ; but not even the recess enabled 
the coalition to work ; and the Duke of Wellington 
was Premier in a few weeks. It is rather amusing to 
find how Lord Lansdowne was beset as the place- 
procurer during his very short tenure of power, and 
how he complained in private of the worry of this ; 
while he had really very little patronage what there 
was not being at his own disposal. It is clear that 
now, as later, this sort of business was devolved upon 
him by his colleagues, under the idea that it suited 
him better than the larger labors of statesmanship. 

When Lord Grey came into power Lord Lansdowne 
was President of the Council an office which suited 
him and the Council admirably, He continued in 
office with the Melbourne Ministry going out when 
Sir R. Peel was sent for to Rome in November, 1834, 
and returning on the breaking up of the Peel Adminis- 
tration in the next April. After Lord Grey's retirement 
he was the leader, when nesessary, of the Opposition 
in the Lords, and during the Russell Administration, 
of Government ; and it was during that long course of 
years that his finest qualities appeared his moderation, 
his courtesy, his knowledge of, and deference for, 
parliamentary forms and usages ; and better, his sincere 



[V] 



Appointed 
President of 
the Council. 



336 



THE MARQUIS OF LANSDOWNE. 



[II] 



His labors 
in the cause 
of educa- 
tion. 



Gose of a is 
official life. 



zeal in causes which bore least relation to party 
warfare. As a Parliamentary Reformer, no one expected 
much from him ; and he had done his duty long before 
by questions of liberty of conscience, in the case of 
the Catholics and the Dissenters. He consistently, but 
mildly, advocated Free Trade ; but it was in the business 
of Education that he distinguished himself most. Little 
that has as yet been done in that cause, that little has 
been done by Government; and Government, in this 
case, meant originally, and always meant chiefly, Lord 
Lansdowne. After all that can be said, and truly, about 
the Committee of Council on Education giving him work 
of detail to do and superintend, and many places to give 
away, it remains a certainty that here began the work 
of Popular Education by the State ; that Lord Lansdowne 
gave his zeal, his interest, and his pains to it ; and that 
the nation ought to be grateful to him accordingly. 

In 1836 he lost his elder son, the Earl of Kerry, who 
left a widow and one son ; and in 1851 the Marchioness 
of Lansdowne died. He had a son and a daughter left ; 
but every one felt, as he did, that his life was drawing 
toward that closing period which should be one of 
repose. He took leave of active, and, as he thought, of 
official life, when Lord John Russell made way for Lord 
Derby in the spring of 1852. No speech that he ever 
made won him so many hearts, and so much respectful 
sympathy, as that in which he declared that, though he 
should appear in his place in Parliament on occasion, he 
was then taking his leave of active public life. When 
the Coalition Ministry under Lord Aberdeen came into 
power, Lord Lansdowne reluctantly consented to take 
a seat among them without office to afford the Gov- 
ernment the benefit of his character of Conservative 



THE MARQUIS OF LANSDOWNE. 



337 



Whiggism, of his dignified presence in Parliament, of his 
urbane and moderating influence in council, and of his 
experience in the business of statesmanship. This was 
understood to be only another form of that farewell to 
public life which he had announced, rather more ex- 
pressly, on the occasion of the Derby Ministry. 

Lord Lansdowne had been gradually declining for 
some months, when his death was hastened if not 
actually occasioned by an accident. The venerable 
nobleman, while walking on the terrace at Bowood, 
stumbled and fell ; and in falling cut his head severely. 
The shock was too much for his enfeebled frame, and 
after gradually sinking for some days he expired on the 
evening of January jist. 



[V] 



His death. 



VI. 



His Ameri- 
can birth. 



His family 

staunch 

Royalists. 



LORD LYNDHURST. 
DIED OCTOBER I2TH, 1863. 

JOHN SINGLETON COPLEY, Baron Lyndhurst, would have 
been remarkable, even if he had been a much less able 
man than he was, as an imported statesman and lawyer ; 
imported, too, from a Democratic Republic. No censure 
is intended in this statement of a fact. He was no 
political renegade. He was born before the separation 
of the American colonies, and never had the least ten- 
dency to republicanism in him. He was Tory to the 
heart's core. His being born so far from the focus of 
royalty was a mistake of Nature, which she rectified by 
bringing him at last to be the keeper of the King's con- 
science in that mother-country to which the family clung 
with true royalist zeal. 

The first revolutionary act, clear and determinate, of 
the American colonists was throwing a certain notorious 
cargo of tea into Boston harbor, to prevent the pay- 
ment of duty on it. The Consignee of the tea would 
not promise to send it back to England. He was sup- 
ported by the Governor, of course. The citizens placed 
a guard over the tea, that it might not be stolen ; and 
when no other means could avail, to prevent its being 
landed, a band of them, disguised, threw it into the sea. 



LORD LYNDHURST. 



339 



The tea-merchant in this case was Richard Clarke, the 
grandfather of Lord Lyndhurst. He was so stanch a 
royalist that he removed to England on the establish- 
ment of American independence. His daughter had 
married Copley, the artist, in Massachusetts ; and when 
the Copleys also came to England, their son, John, was 
about nine years old. He was bom in or about 1770. 
His father was not much liked by anybody ; but his 
mother was amiable, generous, and tender-hearted. When 
John, as a young lawyer, went over to his native country 
about some land buisness for his father, his townsmen at 
Boston admired his appearance, his manners, and his 
talents, and foretold his being a great man ; but they 
pronounced him to be more like his father than his 
mother in character. He inspired little trust, and was 
fond of money. 

He was destined to get on, both by his better and his 
worse qualities ; by his energy, courage, and resource, as 
well as by his Tory leanings. It was not at once that he 
found his place, though perhaps the means he took were 
the best for bringing him into it. He denounced the 
Liverpool, Castlereagh, and Sidmouth Ministry so ably 
and vigorously that he was worth propitiating; in 1818 
he entered Parliament for a Government borough, and 
immediately rendered service on the subject of the Alien 
Bill, when he answered Romilly, and was answered by 
Mackintosh. It was a position for an honest politician 
to be proud of, and for an unsound one to dread. But 
John Copley dreaded nothing. He was then Mr. Serjeant 
Copley, with a rich practice. The next year we find him 
Sir John Copley, Knight, and Solicitor-General. In 1823 
he was Attorney-General, and in 1826 Master of the 
Rolls. In 1827 he appeared as a "Canningite" in the 



[VI] 



His birth, 
1770. 



Enters Par- 

liamentj 

1818. 



Appointed 
Master of 
the Ro/Is t 
1826. 



340 



LORD LYNDHURST. 



[VI] 



Appointed 
Lord Chan- 
cellor, 



Opposes the 

Reform 

Bill. 



short Administration of the dying statesman ; but there 
was no fear of his being at all better disposed toward 
the Catholics than his predecessor, Lord Eldon. He 
was made Baron Lyndhurst, and took his seat on the 
Woolsack ; but he was one of the three (the two others 
being Lords Bexley and Anglesey) who were cited as 
security that the Canning Cabinet would not propose 
Catholic emancipation. He had very recently declared 
that if the parliamentary oath which excluded the 
Catholics was necessary in 1793, it was necessary still. 
He was looked to for good service in reforming the 
Court of Chancery, having at first proposed some small 
reforms, and then accelerated the business there by the 
appointment of an additional judge, and having again 
brought in a bill with that object during the short interval 
of his being Master of the Rolls. The bill was lost by 
the illness of Lord Liverpool breaking up the Govern- 
ment. He remained on the Woolsack during the various 
changes of Administration of 1827 and 1828, and de- 
scended from it only to yield the seat to Lord Brougham 
on the advent of the Grey Ministry. It ought to be 
remembered that Lord Lyndhurst, during this first period 
of his Chancellorship, set on foot the inquiries out of 
which grew such reform in the case of Lunatics as we 
have yet obtained. He issued a circular, which required 
from all keepers of Lunatic Asylums of every sort an 
exact return of their patients, and their class and condi- 
tion in regard to their malady. The replies to this circular 
first brought in the information which was necessary for 
further action. 

His great deed, that which exhibited at once his 
courage and his convictions, was throwing out the Re- 
brm Bill, by his . ingenious motion to postpone the 



LORD LYNDHURST. 



disfranchisement to the enfranchisement proposed by the 
bill. On this motion he united the Conservatives and 
the Waverers in the Lords ; and thus he obtained a 
majority of thirty-five. This was on the celebrated 7th 
of May, 1832 ; and thereupon the Political Unions 
assembled at Birmingham, plighted their faith, and sang 
their hymn. Lord Lyndhurst thus overthrew the Min- 
istry, and showed his determination to consider the 
House of Lords as "the Citadel of the Constitution,' 1 ' 
as the Quarterly Review was then declaring it, and to 
preserve it, with all its ancient rights and abuses, or 
forfeit the Monarchy altogether. Of course, he was im- 
mediately the most unpopular man in England. He 
bore his evil fame with great resolution, aided therein 
by his profound contempt for popular opinion, as much 
as by his strong Conservative tendencies. The amaze- 
ment among his American relations and acquaintances 
was unspeakable; and the contempt felt by democratic 
republicans toward one who had gone forth from among 
them as if on purpose to shut the doors of Parliament 
against a nation, was quite as strong as the rage of 
English reformers. Both the rage and contempt were of 
more weight than they otherwise would have been from 
the absence of respect for the man, who about this time 
exposed himself to so much doubt and disrepute that his 
reception in private society was no more flattering to 
his feelings than that which he met in the streets. The 
apparent indifference with which he accepted any di- 
versity of treatment inspired some sort of respect for his 
courage, in the midst of all the reprobation. The com- 
monest saying about him at that time was, that if ever 
there was a brow of brass, it was his. Reform, however, 
was carried in spite of him ; and he was not only on 



[VI] 



His unpopu- 
larity re- 
sulting 
therefrom. 



342 



LORD LYNDHURST. 



[VI] 



His energy 
and ability 
as a lawyer. 



the Woolsack again before the end of 1834, but that 
extraordinary transaction had taken place which finally 
overthrew Lord Brougham's political reputation. Lord 
Brougham, when dismissed from the Chancellorship, 
wrote to Lord Lyndhurst to offer that they should change 
places, Lord Lyndhurst having before been Chief Baron 
of the Exchequer. No answer could be given till Sir 
R. Peel arrived from Rome ; and before that happened 
Lord Brougham had been made aware, by the public 
indignation, of his mistake, and had withdrawn his re- 
quest. From that time, however, his Toryism is usually 
dated; and his ostentatious, boisterous, and indecorous 
show of intimacy with Lord Lyndhurst deepened the 
disrepute of both. When they were amusing themselves 
with ill-concealed romping in the House of Lords, the 
popular impression was very strong that Lord Lyndhurst 
was a second time humoring an infirm brain for his own 
purposes. In his place both as Lord Chancellor and as 
mere peer, he was diligent and consummately able in 
business. He was the greatest lawyer in the country ; 
and he was capable of vast labor. In Appeal cases he 
rendered most valuable services; and he was certainly 
the most formidable enemy the Whigs had in the Lords' 
House not even excepting his friend Brougham. The 
two together were overwhelming. On the dissolution of 
the Peel Ministry of 1835 the Great Seal was in Com- 
mission, till it was given to Lord Cottenham, some months 
after. The two ex-Chancellors, both men of extraordinary 
powers of vituperation both shameless and in close 
alliance made the Woolsack their target, and nearly 
drove the Whig Ministers mad by their speeches and 
heir sarcasms. In August, 1836, Lord Lyndhurst made 
the speech which is perhaps the best remembered of any 



LORD LYNDHURST. 



343 



he ever made that in which, reviewing the results of 
the Session, he exposed the incapacity of the Whigs, and 
certainly covered them with shame. In 1839, tne con ~ 
junction of the two critical ex-Chancellors was again 
too much for the Government. Lord Melbourne had 
dropped, in his own singular way, an opinion that the 
legal studies pursued by many of our statesmen had a 
narrowing effect on their minds. Such an opinion was 
not a very propitiatory one. Lord Durham's Canada 
business was at hand for a theme. Lord Durham was 
personally hated by Lord Brougham. So the friends put 
forth all their strength, and they succeeded in quelling 
Lord Melbourne's courage and overpowering his fidelity 
to an absent colleague ; and they broke Lord Durham's 
heart. There was certainly, as Lord Lyndhurst boasted, 
no lack of power on the Opposition side of the Lords' 
House, with these two lawyers to lead the fray, at a time 
when every question became a fray. 

In 1841 he was appointed Chancellor for the third 
time, and remained so till the breaking up of the Peel 
Ministry after the repeal of the Corn Laws in 1846. The 
High Stewardship of Cambridge University had been an 
object of ambition to him, and he was elected to the 
office in 1840, having a majority of nearly five hundred 
votes over his opponent Lord Lyttelton. He was now 
growing old ; and, though he was still the handsomest 
of Lord Chancellors, infirmity was creeping upon him. 
After he left office he was blind for a considerable time, 
from cataract ; but his sight was restored ; and he came 
forth again, at nearly eighty years of age, as if he had 
taken a new lease of life. He enjoyed the opportunity 
afforded by the Ecclesiastical Titles Bill for opening out 
once more against the Catholics. He excused his assent 



[VI] 



Elected 
High 

Steward of 
Cambridge 
University. 



344 



LORD LYNDHURST. 



[VI] 



His aristo- 
cratic ten- 
dencies. 



His last 
labors in 
the House of 
Peers. 



His personal 
charac- 
teristics. 



to the Relief Bill of 1829 on the ground that he desired 
to see toleration all round ; but he contended that, such 
toleration not sufficing Rome, he would go no further. 
The true principle of religious liberty which excludes 
" toleration," and requires total exemption from all juris- 
diction whatever, never, probably, entered his mind at 
all even before his mind was "narrowed," as Lord 
Melbourne said, by his legal studies. He was too 
thoroughly aristocratic by temperament to be capable of 
any generous conceptions of human liberty, even though 
he came from America. One would think that his clay 
had been kneaded from the dust of the old high-born 
Governors of the Plantations, and his mind fed on the 
obsequious addresses of the colonists to a long series of 
Kings and Queens. He was best employed on Law 
Reform, in which he took an evident interest, and which 
caused less stirring of the Tory spirit in him than politics, 
or perhaps any other pursuit. 

Two powerful speeches one on the policy of Prussia 
during the Russian war, and one on Earl Clarendon's 
policy in 1856 belong to the last era of Lord Lynd- 
hurst's public life. His last great efforts were in defence 
of the privileges of the House of Lords, supposed to be 
infringed by the creation of Lord Wensleydale's peerage 
for life, and the Paper Duty Repeal Bill. 

If Lord Lyndhurst had not the peculiar grace and 
urbanity which belong to aristocratic birth in an old 
country, he had very agreeable manners. With a fine 
person, eminent ability, vast information, a cool temper, 
much natural energy and cheerfulness, he was a delight- 
ful companion to those whom his qualities could satisfy. 
When the interest of old age was added, his faults 
met with gentle treatment, if not forgetfulness. Still, his 



LORD LYNDHURST. 345 



greatest admirers will not deny that their feeling is admi- 
ration more than esteem. The Americans would have 
wished that, if they were to send us a statesman, it 
should have been one of a different quality; and the 
Liberal party in England would have preferred one who 
did not throw the whole force of his genius into the 
losing cause of middle-age feudalism. But we must 
take men as they are. Here was an aristocratic self- 
seeker drifted over to a European shore, where he 
throve and showed what he could do. On the whole, 
we are of opinion that Lord Lyndhurst had the best of 
it in his migration hither. He gained more by making 
himself an Englishman than the English people can 
ever feel that they owe to him. He did some of their 
work very well ; but he was not their friend. He will 
be remembered for the remarkable incidents of his 
history and his influence ; but he is not, and never 
will be, regretted, except by the partisans of old English 
Toryism. 



[VI] 



VII. 



A trio of 
friends. 



THE EARL OF ELGIN AND KINCARDINE. 
DIED DECEMBER I2TH, 1863. 

LORD ELGIN has done more in his half century of life 
has, as we may say, had and enjoyed more life than 
most men who die at last of old age : yet it is with keen 
regret that his country sees his -career closed twenty 
years before its time ; and those who have any knowledge 
of his personal circumstances cannot but suffer bitter 
pain in seeing at what sacrifice he has been fulfilling the 
perilous duty of governing India. 

James Bruce, the eldest son of the Scotch Earl of 
Elgin who gave us the marbles in the British Museum, 
was born in 1811. Eton was his school, and Christ- 
church, Oxford, was his college. There must be many 
men now living who can remember the trio of friends 
associating at college, so unconscious of any peculiarity 
in their destiny, but preparing, in fact, to present a re- 
markable spectacle to the world. Bruce was the elder, 
a year older than the other two. Ramsay was Scotch, 
like Bruce; and both were sons of earls. The third 
was the son of a commoner, but with reason to be as 
proud of his name as any other man, for his father was 
George Canning. No doubt these three youths all had 
their aspirations, and had already chosen public life for 



EARL OF ELGIN AND KINCARDINE. 



347 



their field of action ; but what would have been their 
emotions with what solemn feelings would they have 
gazed on each other, if they could have known that they 
were to be the three successive rulers of India during 
the transition period of British government there ! 
Ramsay, as Lord Dalhousie, the last before the Mutiny ; 
Canning the overruler of the Mutiny; and Bruce, as 
Lord Elgin, the first who went out as Viceroy after the 
Indian Empire was brought under the government of 
the Crown. It is less than a year (nth of February 
last) since Lord Elgin himself said, after presiding over 
the consecration of the well at Cawnpore, "It is a 
singular coincidence that three successive Governors- 
General should have stood in this relationship of age 
and intimacy." He said this on occasion of the opening 
of the East Indian Railway to Benares, now carried to 
within a few miles of Delhi. At the opening of a former 
portion of the line, Lord Canning had proposed the 
health of Lord Dalhousie ; and now Lord Elgin was 
grieving over the death of his friend Canning ; and we, 
in recalling what took place within this present year, 
have now to mourn that the survivor of last February 
is himself gone, before he had well entered upon his 
task of governing India. They co-operated well for 
India, each in his day ; and their names will be remem- 
bered together in the history of that empire. When 
Canning arrived at Government House, at Calcutta, 
Lord Dalhousie handed him the telegram which told 
that all was going right in the newly-annexed territory 
of Oude ; and Canning took care of that and all other 
bequests of his predecessor, as soon as the subsidence 
of the Mutiny gave him power to do so. For his part, 
in the darkest hour of doubt about the issue of the 



[VII] 



Dalhousie t 
Canning, 
and Elgin. 



348 



EARL OF ELGIN AND KINCARDINE. 



[VII] 



LordElgin's 
help in the 
Indian 
Mutiny. 



His earlier 
days. 



Mutiny, he too knew what it was to have a friend and 
old comrade come to Government House with cheer 
in his face and on his lips. While the Cannings sat, 
brave and calm, but in utter uncertainty whether every 
European in India would not have been murdered 
within a month, Lord Elgin appeared, bringing the 
regiments which had been given him for his mission in 
China. Learning en route what was happening in India, 
and receiving from Lord Canning an appeal for aid, 
he decided to sacrifice his own object, and to diverge 
from his instructions, by taking his soldiers to Calcutta. 
Always and everywhere welcome from his genial spirit 
and his unfailing cheerfulness, he might well have the 
warmest welcome from the Cannings when he brought 
them the first relief in their fearful strait. When he 
stood, in the sight of the vast multitude, on the well at 
Cawnpore last winter, he had other mournful thoughts 
than of the victims who lay below. He and his wife 
had visited the grave of Lady Canning at Calcutta ; 
and they knew that her husband was now lying in 
Westminster Abbey both of them victims to the 
conditions of their Indian life its diseases in the one 
case, and its toils and responsibilities in the other. 
And now, the survivor has followed another victim, 
we must fear, to those toils and responsibilities. 

In following out this singular bond which united the 
three college friends, we have passed far beyond their 
college days ; and we must return. Each followed the 
path of public life which opened to him. We have here 
only to do with Lord Elgin's. 

He left Oxford adorned with honors ; and a few 
years later he appeared in Parliament as member for 
Southampton. This was in 1841. In the next year he 



EARL OF ELGIN AND KINCARDINE. 



349 



began his long course of colonial rule by going -out to 
Jamaica having by this time succeeded to his Scotch 
earldom by his father's death. He carried his young 
wife out with him ; they underwent shipwreck ; and his 
wife was saved only to die a year later. The daughter 
she left him was one of the bridesmaids of the Princess 
of Wales. Lord Elgin's four years' administration in 
Jamaica confirmed the expectations of the Government 
which had appointed him, and won the confidence of 
that which succeeded it, as appears from a conversation 
in the House of Lords which our readers may remember, 
in which Lord Derby and Lord Grey contended for 
the honor of having first appointed him to office. 
It was Lord Grey who did it, while some of the first 
official intercourses of the young statesman were with 
Lord Derby. 

In four years he was wanted to govern Canada ; 
and a more arduous charge a Colonial Governor could 
hardly have. The method of responsible government 
was new there ; the provinces were still reeking with the 
smouldering fires of rebellion ; the repulsion of races 
was at its strongest ; the deposed clique who had 
virtually ruled the colony were still furious, and the 
depressed section suspicious and restive. It was just at 
the time, too, when, between English and American 
legislation, the Canadians were suffering from the evils 
of Protection and Free-trade at once. Believing them- 
selves to be made sport of or neglected at home, they 
were more strongly tempted to join the United States, 
or at least to cross the frontier and become republican 
citizens, than they ever were before, or have been since. 
Lord Elgin was thoroughly aware what he was under- 
taking in accepting the government of a society so 



[VII] 

Appointed 
Governor of 
Jamaica, 



Governor- 
General of 
Canada. 



35 



EARL OF ELGIN AND KINCARDINE. 



[VII] 



His career 
in Canada. 



disturbed. He was supported in his task by domestic 
sympathy of a peculiar character. In the autumn of 
1846 he married Lady Mary L. Lambton, the eldest 
surviving daughter of the Earl of Durham. She had 
lived in Canada during her father's short administration ; 
she had understood the case enough to have the warmest 
interest in his policy, its principle, method, and aim. 
As Lord Elgin's wife, she now saw that policy carried 
through with vigor, justice, kindliness, and success ; 
she fulfilled the duties which had been her mother's, as 
hostess and leader of society; and she sustained her 
husband, as she had seen her father sustained, by in- 
telligent sympathy. On occasion there was no little 
need of fortitude, as when the Parliament Houses at 
Montreal were burned down, in 1849. The " British 
party," as they styled themselves, had to yield to the 
conditions of impartial government, and to go into 
opposition when their turn came round. To them it 
naturally seemed as if the world was coming to an end. 
The Opposition, or " French party," made use of their 
first opportunity to obtain an indemnity for the losses of 
such inhabitants of Lower Canada as had suffered in 
property during the rebellion. The Rebellion Losses 
Bill passed with the approbation of all dispassionate 
persons; and Lord Elgin, in giving it the requisite 
sanction, finished a transaction which had spread over 
several years, and employed the anxious care of five 
commissioners appointed to estimate the damages, and 
ascertain the innocence of the claimants of all participa- 
tion in the rebellion. The "British" mob, however, 
stoned the carriage of the Governor-General as he left 
the House, and then, while members were yet sitting, 
broke the windows and burned the building. They met 



EARL OF ELGIN AND KINCARDINE. 



to petition the Queen for the recall of Lord Elgin on the 
ground that he had been favoring the claims of her 
Majesty's enemies ; but the better spirit prevailed in the 
legislature, in which a vote of confidence in the 
Governor-General, and attachment to the authority he 
represented, was carried by a large majority. It was 
in October of the same year that the discomfited mal- 
contents organized an agitation for annexation to the 
United States, on the ground of their sufferings from 
the opposite trade policy of the mother country and 
of their nearest neighbors. Amidst these agitations 
Lord Elgin pursued a calm and temperate course, 
industriously applying himself to the development of 
the country and its resources, by every possible aid 
that he could afford to all parties. He enjoyed the 
confidence of each successive Colonial Secretary, as 
six entered upon the department, and opened corre- 
spondence with him ; and he won his way in the 
colony itself so effectually that his successor found the 
worst discontents appeased, and the internal perils of 
Canada at an end. So strong was the impression at 
home of the dignified character of his neutrality, amidst 
the conflicts of extreme parties, that some surprise and 
amusement were caused by his speech at the banquet 
which was given in his honor, on his return in 1855. 
Perhaps it was the first time for many years that he had 
been able to speak as a man speaks at home and among 
friends ; certainly he was a man of a frank, genial 
temper ; and, when he spoke at all, he said exactly what 
he thought. But he was not a rash or intemperate 
speaker. In his most frank, fluent, and lively utterances 
he said nothing which he had any reason afterward 
to regret. This character of his oratory was at once 



[VII] 



Approvals/ 
his adminis- 
tration by 
the Cana- 
dian Legis- 
lature. 



Effects of 
his govern- 
ment. 



352 



EARL OF ELGIN AND INCARDINE. 



[VII] 

Informal 
manner of ' 
his speeches. 



His embassy 
to China. 



His explo- 
rations and 
observations 
there. 



appreciated at Calcutta, contrasting as it did with the 
reserve of his two predecessors. While men there 
were full of astonishment at the informal and friendly 
character of the first public address of the new Viceroy, 
acute observers remarked that there were no indiscreet 
disclosures in the speech, nothing that need be wished 
unsaid ; and nothing, therefore, that was undignified. 
In the event, the frankness won confidence and good- 
will with singular rapidity, both from Europeans and 
natives, while experience taught them that there were 
more kinds of dignity than one ; and that to command 
deference equal to that shown to Lord Dalhousie and 
Lord Canning, it was not necessary to have their 
reserve of temper and unbending style of manner. 

But between Canada and India were interposed 
singular scenes of political life. In 1857 Lord Elgin 
was sent to "China, to try what could be done to repair, 
or to turn to the best account, the mischiefs done by 
Sir John Bowring's course, and by the patronage of it 
at home, in the face of the moral reprobation of the 
people at large. We all remember his success, and the 
openings which he achieved for the commerce of Europe. 
With the same energy which determined him to make 
an opportunity to study the American .Republic before 
he left Canada, he now resolved to learn for himself 
what he could about China as it is. He went up the 
great river to Hankow, studying the country and people 
as he went, and bringing home narratives and impressions 
which showed his friends, better than any diplomatic 
transactions ever can, how true and generous wero his 
sympathies with the simple people of that vast empire, 
under the perils and sufferings of its decay. He was 
quick to detect any common ground of instinct or 



EARL OF EL GIN AND KINCARDINE. 353 



feeling moral or other between the people whom we 
usually treat with ridicule and ourselves. Amidst hi: 
keen enjoyment of the fine scenery of the Yang-tse 
kiang, some of which warmed his heart by its resem 
blance to his own Scotch Highlands, his eye and hi 
mind were everywhere, discerning indications of manners, 
and reflecting on the uses to be made of new oppor- 
tunities. He learned lessons both by being attacked 
and by being courted by the imperialist and rebe 
people along the river. Whenever his ship grounded 
he was presently exploring on shore, amidst fields or 
villages, or entering solitary houses wherever a welcome 
was offered. In the same spirit of activity he went up 
the hills and followed up the valleys of the island of 
Formosa, using every hour he could command, wherever 
he went, in learning everything within reach of the 
country and people whom he was endeavoring to 
connect with his own in intercourse and good feeling. 
What he did in Japan is at this hour the foundation of 
the hope of many of us who would otherwise give up all 
idea of any sort of Japanese alliance or reciprocity. 
Lord Elgin was no visionary. His quick sympathies and 
cheerful views did not impair his good sense, or dim the 
impressions of his experience. He was not the man to 
go and see the Japanese in a fit of glamor, and come 
home and report of them in a paroxysm of enthusiasm. 
As he, a man of long-proved good sense, moderation, 
tact, and vigilant conscience, believed that Britain and 
Japan might and ought to be a blessing to each other, 
many of us hold on to the hope, notwithstanding all 
that has come to pass since he was there. It is true, 
he may not have supposed possible such an act as 
the destruction of Kagosima an act which could 



[VII] 



His dlplo- 



tn 



macy 
Japan. 



354 



EARL OF ELGIN AND KINCARDINE. 



[VII] 



Acknow- 
ledgment of 
his services 
in the City. 



Again sent 
to China. 



never have been proposed in his presence, or under 
his management; but still considering his acuteness 
of insight into character, and his practical judgment 
and experience it is rational perhaps to believe that, 
managed as he would have managed it, our intercourse 
with Japan may yet be what he suggested and believed 
he foresaw. 

What he saw of China and the Chinese on his first 
visit enabled him to appreciate the extent of what he 
gained by his negotiation better than anybody at home, 
outside of the circle of merchant princes, could appreciate 
it. It could not be expected that the world should 
believe on the instant that China really was thrown 
open to the European commerce, or that the value of the 
change should be at once understood. The merchants 
of London, however, did themselves honor by the 
thoroughness of their acknowledgment of Lord Elgin's 
services. Those who were witnesses of the presentation 
to Lord Elgin of the freedom of the City saw him in 
one of the happiest hours of his life. He was not a 
man who required the stimulus of praise, or even sym- 
pathy, to keep him to his work. He loved work for its 
own sake, and of course for its appropriate and special 
results; and he would have worked on for life, appre- 
ciated or overlooked ; but he whose sympathies were 
always ready and warm himself enjoyed being under- 
stood and valued: and that welcome in the City was 
very cheering to him after his long experience of 
English indifference about Canada and what he had 
done there. 

He held the office of Postmaster-General till the 
hostile acts of the Chinese Government toward the 
English and French ministers in China rendered it 



EARL OF ELGIN AND KINCARDINE. 



355 



necessary that Lord Elgin should go out again, and 
accomplish the indispensable object of opening Pekin 
to our diplomatists, as ports and rivers had been opened 
to our merchants. To secure this, and to obtain repa- 
ration for the recent insult to the European ministers, 
was the errand of Lord Elgin and Baron Gros, who 
went out together, early in 1860, while forces were 
gathering in China, to accompany them up to Pekin. 
Lord Elgin had had but too much experience of ship- 
wreck before ; and now he had it again, when their ship, 
the Malabar, was lost upon a reef in Galle harbor. In 
the midst of the terror and confusion on board, and 
while the fate of all in the ship was utterly uncertain, 
the two ambassadors sat together, tranquil and cheerful ; 
their calm courage assisting materially in restoring order 
and saving life. They refused to enter the boats till all 
the other passengers were landed; and a few minutes 
after they and their suites left the ship's side she sank. 
Not only the decorations and state dresses of the am- 
bassadors, but their credentials went to the bottom, 
whence they were fished up by divers. If this had not 
been possible, the whole course of affairs in China might 
have been different, through the delay caused by waiting 
for fresh credentials, and the consequent loss of the 
season in the Chinese seas. As it was, the plenipoten- 
tiaries arrived off the Peiho, ready for their work, in 
July. By November their work was done. The 
convention was signed at Pekin on the 24th of October, 
and ratified on the 5th of November. 

One of the favoring circumstances of the mission 
was the cordial understanding which existed throughout 
between the British and French ambassadors. If they 
had been short of friendly, fatal mischief might have 



[VIII 



Ship- 
wrecked in 
Galle har- 
bor. 



His 

thorough 
co-operation 
tvitA Baron 
Gros. 



356 



EARL OF ELGIN AND KINCARDINE. 



[vn] 



Xtalaof 

* * ,- 



arisen out of the dangerous conjunction of the military 
forces of the two countries. We know something of 
what happened about the sack of the Summer Palace, 
and on other occasions of collision. But the two am- 
bassadors prevented all serious mischief by their 
confidence, their united action, and the 
prudence and silence with which they treated 
vexations. Lord Elgin was the very man for such a 
function of conciliation ; and especially where France is 
concerned. In him were united some of the higH^t 
characteristics of both nations. If in his unconscious 
courage, his steadfastness of purpose, his idea and habit 
of domestic life, and the nature of his political ambition, 
he was altogether a Briton, he might have been a 
Frenchman for his gayety of temper, his incessant 
activity, and his quick and ready tact and sympathies. 
His mission required a cultivation of French good-will, 
as much, perhaps, as of Chinese confidence; and he 
succeeded thoroughly with both. He returned, as 
sensible as ever to the shock of the feilure of his first 
expedition, which he had always pointed out as the 
probable consequence of his being vexatiously prevented 
from going up to Pekin ; but now satisfied that his work 
was realy and effectually done. Not only was English 
diplomacy established in Pekin, but a genuine intercourse 
was carried on with the GoTernment of China, Lord 
Elgin was in no way responsible for our former doings 
in China, nor for the position in which they kft us. The 
duty of raising our relations with that empire to a higher, 
firmer, and more open ground must be done ; he under- 
took it, and there seems to be no question on any hand 
that he did it well He and his coadjutor, Baron Gros, 
certainly left a strong impression behind them of their 



EARL OF ELGIN AND KINCARDINE. 



357 






frank wisdom and scrupulous honor, as men and as 
plenipotentiaries. 

Even before his arrival at home early in 1861, he was 
fixed upon by the public expectation as the successor 
of Lord Canning in India. It was never without a 
pang that his wife heard of this ; and her dread of that 
appointment never relaxed. As for him, he prepared 
for his new work with his characteristic alacrity, and was 
ready with the personal sacrifices which were a matter of 
course with him when duty required them. There were 
four young sons to be left behind ; and this was not all. 
At Christmas, 1846, he had left his bride at home, to 
spare her the worst cold of Canada ; and now he left his 
wife behind, to spare her the extreme heat of India. 
Together they visited the Queen at Osborne, in the first 
weeks of her widowhood a circumstance which may 
now be dwelt on with a true though mournful satisfaction : 
and then the husband and father went on alone. His 
boys had seen him for the last time. His wife and little 
daughter went out to him as soon as permitted, in 
November of last year. Before she reached him he 
had been ill from the Calcutta atmosphere, of course. 
It was soon evident that, if he was to remain at all fit 
for work, he must (as every new comer must) avoid 
Calcutta, and " wander about, " as carping observers say, 
or contrive to get meetings of the Council in some 
central place where Europeans can both live and work. 
For the summer he went to the Hills, according to 
custom ; and it was at Simla that he received the news 
of the death of his third son a fine boy of ten. This 
was something more than the first break in the happy 
family circle. It shook all confidence about the rest, 
during the long years of separation yet to be fulfilled. 



[VII] 



Appointed 
Viceroy of 
India. 



358 



EARL OF ELGIN AND KINCARDINE. 



[VII] 



His prema- 
ture death. 



When the necessity for moving came, the effect of 
travelling in the hill ranges was salutary. The splendors 
of nature there were at once rousing and soothing ; and 
it is a satisfaction now to think what his latest pleasures 
were. It has been suggested that the ascent of the 
Jilauri pass, 13,000 feet above the plains, may have been 
fatally injurious to him ; but those about him spoke of 
him as well at a later time. The spectacle of the vast 
icy range, as seen between the openings of mountains 
loftier than we ever see, gratified in the highest degree 
his love of natural beauty; and it is a consolation to 
think that such was the picture which was last received 
into his mind, and that it remains in the heart of her 
whose friendship was the best blessing of his life. 

They were on their way to other and very different 
scenes of grandeur. We know what the great assem- 
blage in the Northwest Provinces was to be, over 
which he was to preside. We turn away from the 
thought of it now. His death puts away the whole 
pageant, and even the serious interests implicated with 
it, to the furthest horizon of our imagination. We can 
attend only to what is nearest, and especially to the 
thought of the enormous sacrifice at which the service 
of such men is obtained for the nation to which they 
belong. It cannot be said that, but for his toils, his 
exposure to many climates, and his overwhelming re- 
sponsibilities, Lord Elgin might have not lived to the 
natural period of the life of man. As it is, he is gone at 
fifty-two. When we think of the young daughters, of the 
boys deprived of him just when arriving at the need of 
his care, and of other interests, private and public, we 
feel as if there must be crime somewhere, that such 
sacrifices have been repeated so often. It seems scarcely 



EARL OF ELGIN AND KINCARDINE. 



359 



possible to say more than has been long and often said 
about the perils of Calcutta. We know that the mere 
climate of India is not dangerous, but that there is in 
Calcutta, and in almost every station, an assemblage of 
every evil condition, which requires only the application 
of heat to be rendered murderous. The highest func- 
tionaries cannot altogether escape these conditions ; 
and they have, besides, their perils of overwork and 
anxiety. In such a position a man may die without 
any one of the four or five maladies which carry off 
thousands of our soldiers and civilians there. Any 
predisposition may be fatally wrought upon ; the weakest 
part of the frame gives way ; and another great man goes 
down early to his grave. 

There rest now the three friends living so much the 
same life with such different qualities and powers, 
charged finally with the same great duty and destiny, 
and dying the same death. In the noble line of rulers 
of India they will, in their order, form a group of singular 
interest, standing on the boundary-line of the old and 
the new systems of Indian rule. Thus they will always 
be remembered together, and regarded as apart. 



[VII] 



Similarity 
in the career 
of three 
Viceroys. 



His death a 

political 

misfortune. 



VIII. 

THE DUKE OF NEWCASTLE. 
DIED OCTOBER iSiH, 1864. 

No statesman of our time has won a more universal 
respect and regard than the Duke of Newcastle ; and 
few Ministers of any period could be more missed and 
mourned than he will be by good citizens of all parties 
and ways of thinking. That such a Minister should be 
cut off before we began to think of age in connection 
with him, and when we might have hoped for a dozen or 
twenty years' more public service from him, is one of 
the grave political misfortunes which every generation 
has to bear in its turn. Each generation knows what 
it is to suffer that sinking and heaviness of the heart 
which is caused by the news that the admired statesman 
or the trusted minister is struck down by disease lost 
in political or actual death. Living men can recall but 
too many of such calamities ; and if there was a stronger 
shock in the case of Canning, and a deeper anguish 
in that of Peel, there could never have been a sincerer 
or more general concern throughout England than when 
the announcement spread that the Duke of Newcastle 
had sustained an attack which must close his public 
career, and could not allow him a much longer term 
of life. Still, hope will linger ; and we were unwilling 






THE DUKE OF NEWCASTLE. 



361 



to acquiesce in having lost him till his death showed us 
that we ought not to have desired him to live after the 
usefulness, which was the desire of his life, was at an end. 

We need not describe his father. We all remember 
the Duke of Newcastle who had no doubts about doing 
what he would with his own. His son was old enough 
when that was said to be strongly impressed by the 
sensation it made. To have originated a good proverb 
is as high an honor as can befall a man ; and in this 
singular case of having started a saying so monstrous 
as to have become a proverb, the disgrace could not 
but be deeply felt by any son and heir of the name. 
There is no judging how much of the late Minister's 
characteristic consideration of other men's rights, and 
modesty about his own, may have been owing to the 
impressions he early derived from the national reception 
of his father's claims upon his tenants, in their political 
capacity. 

The late Duke, Henry Pelham Clinton, Lord Lincoln 
by courtesy, was born in 1811. His early characteristics 
seemed to have been the same as those the world now 
knows so well. At Eton and Christ-church he manifested 
the sound, substantial, but not brilliant quality of mind 
which made him for thirty years one of the most useful 
of public servants. He was a remarkable illustration 
of the operation of the moral on the intellectual nature. 
It was his conscientious activity, his moral energy, that 
set his faculties to work, at all times, and wherever he 
went ; and it was his personal disinterestedness, his 
public spirit, his power of subordinating his own feelings 
to other people's interests which enabled him to keep 
his faculties at work, in defiance of discouragements 
which would have daunted many a man of higher original 

16 



[VIII] 



His father. 



His early 
character- 



362 



THE DUKE OF NEWCASTLE. 



[VIII] 

Sir Robert 
Peel's polit- 
ical band. 



Appointed 
Chief Secre- 
tary for 
Ireland. 



capacity. It was probably on account of these moral 
qualities that Sir Robert Peel adopted Lord Lincoln, as 
he did Sidney Herbert, into his political band. The 
young man entered upon office at three-and-twenty, on 
the first opportunity that occurred. He was made a 
Lord of the Treasury during the short Administration of 
Sir Robert Peel, from December, 1 834, to the next April. 
He had then been in Parliament two years, sitting for 
South Nottinghamshire. During the interval till the 
return of Sir Robert Peel to power in September, 1841, 
Lord Lincoln won upon the expectation of the House and 
the notice of the country, so that when his opportunity 
arrived, he scarcely answered to the idea formed of him. 
His ability and his reach of political view were as yet 
in no proportion to his activity and readiness ; and that 
activity and readiness were easily mistaken for self-suffi- 
ciency in a man yet so young. He was only First 
Commissioner of Inland Revenue ; and he could hardly 
show what was in him to any one but his chief and 
master. Peel understood him rightly, and by his support 
enabled him to become what we have since seen. 

In January, 1846, he seemed to have obtained scope 
to show what he could do in real statesmanship. He 
became Chief Secretary for Ireland ; but the Ministry 
went out in July, on the discomfiture of their Coercion 
Bill for Ireland, which was understood to be an act 
of vengeance caused by the repeal of the Corn Laws. 
During the five years more that he remained in the 
Commons, as member for the Falkirk boroughs, because 
his father spoiled his chances in his own county of Not- 
tingham, he was one of Sir Robert Peel's most trusted 
lieutenants, and one of the securities that a Peel party 
would exist which, however small in numbers, should 



THE DUKE OF NEWCASTLE. 



363 



compensate by its character for some of the dangers 
attending the disintegration of parties which the policy 
of its chief had necessarily effected. From time to 
time, Lord Lincoln showed that he was not idle, though 
in opposition, and, as all the world knew, unhappy in 
the domestic relations in which, of all men, he seemed 
the most likely to deserve and obtain happiness. His 
marriage in 1832 had issued in great misery, and he 
obtained a divorce in 1850. His father's treatment of 
him was the world's wonder for hardness and absurdity 
of wrath, considering that the ground of parental dis- 
pleasure was merely difference of political opinion. 
Lord Lincoln worked away at such work as he could 
find or make, keeping silence on his filial injuries about 
which, indeed, the Duke took care that the public should 
be sufficiently informed by himself. One of the ablest 
speeches made by Lord Lincoln in this interval was 
in 1847, on emigration from Ireland as a means of relief 
during and after the famine, and the disorganization of 
affairs which it must occasion. While witnessing such 
an emigration as is going on at this day, we ought to 
remember how sorely such a relief was needed and 
desired when the Irish were far greater in numbers and 
far poorer in food and work than now. 

At the beginning of 1851 Lord Lincoln succeeded 
to the dukedom, and left the House of Parliament in 
which he had laid the groundwork of the general expec- 
tation of good service from him. The next year intro- 
duced him at last to such office as would show what he 
could do. He became Colonial Secretary under Lord 
Aberdeen at the close of 1852, little imagining what 
responsibilities and labors he was undertaking. The 
charge and government of half a hundred colonies 



[VIII] 



Unhappi- 
ness in his 
domestic re- 
lations. 



Succeeds to 
the duke- 
dom. 



Made 

Colonial 

Secretary. 



364 



THE DUKE OF NEWCASTLE. 



[VIII] 



Appointed 
Secretary 
for War. 



The 

Crimean 

War. 



His speech 
on resigning 
office. 



has long been considered an absurdly onerous task for 
one member of an administration ; but to this was in 
those days added the virtual management of war in 
its distant operation. When war with Russia was declared 
in March, 1854, the Duke was relieved of his colonial 
duties, which were undertaken by Sir George Grey ; and 
the new Secretaryship for War was filled by the Duke. 
We all remember but too well what followed the 
suffering and mortality among our troops in the East, 
and the too natural popular impression that the War 
Ministers must be to blame, and the wrath, and cavil, 
and ostentatious disparagement with which those two 
men the Duke and his friend Sidney Herbert were 
treated, while they were working their frames and facul- 
ties day and night as few men have worked before, and 
effecting achievements in the mere neutralizing of other 
men's blunders and deficiencies, which from another 
point of view would have excited admiration and grati- 
tude. It was not their fault that our soldiers suffered 
and died ; and it was their doing that many more did 
not perish. No speech of the Duke is probably so 
well remembered as that which he delivered at the 
opening of the session of 1855, in which he made a 
clean breast of it in resigning his office of Minister for 
War. He was deeply moved himself, and he moved 
everybody else. Nobody after that speech thought of 
imputing to him indolence, indifference, levity, &c., 
which had been here and there heard of before; but 
still there was something said of incapacity. This 
charge he had noticed with the others, saying the only 
thing that a sensible man can say on that personal charge 
that he was the last man who could discuss it, and 
that the question must be left to time. He made some 



THE DUKE OF NEWCASTLE. 



365 



brief and modest disclosures of his toil and anxiety, and 
of the special interest he had in the good conduct of 
the war, from two sons of his own being in the army 
and navy. These won him much sympathy; but the 
interest amounted to enthusiasm when he declared, in 
his honest way, that the greatest relief and pleasure 
he could have would be in the better fortune of his 
successor, whoever he might be, in his official achieve- 
ments, and his enjoyment of that national confidence 
and sympathy which he himself had failed to obtain. 
Now, under the emotion of the hour, his colleagues 
.began to bear testimony to his official merits; but it 
was too late. The conduct of the war was to be inquired 
into; and the Duke's continuance in office could not 
be proposed to him. 

As soon as he was at liberty to go abroad, he went 
to the Crimea and the Black Sea, to examine into many 
things that can only be taken on credit at home. The 
proceeding was to himself the most natural thing in 
the world; but it did him good at home. His mind 
was wont to dwell on subjects which he had been led 
or compelled to study. He moved Parliament on Irish 
Emigration, after having ceased to be Chief Secretary 
in Ireland ; he moved Parliament on Vancouver's Island 
and the Hudson's Bay Company, after having ceased to 
be Colonial Secretary ; and now, he went to the East, to 
explore the scenes of the war, after having given up his 
charge of its concerns. The people at home, however, 
saw in this something which rebuked their hasty judg- 
ment. The late Minister did not keep himself before 
the public eye, asserting his capacity, and justifying his 
methods. He quietly went away, to learn what he could, 
on the very spot where he must be convinced of his 



The emotion 
produced by 
the speech. 



His travels 
in the East. 



366 



THE DUKE OF NEWCASTLE. 



[VIII] 

Lord Pan- 
mure* s testi- 
mony. 



Again ap- 
pointed 
Colonial 
Secretary^ 
and accom- 
panies the 
Prince of 
Wales to 
America. 



own errors, if he had really committed them. Mean- 
time, Lord Panmure was not slow to do the requisite 
justice to his predecessor. He lost no opportunity of 
testifying to the" admirable state in which he found the 
Department, and producing the evidences of wisdom and 
skill, as well as zeal and devotedness, which he had 
found there. The faults had taken deep root before the 
Duke's time ; and any man even a heaven-born Minis- 
ter must have found them insuperable in the first year 
of a war, after a peace of forty years. It is a testimony 
due to the Minister for War of ten years ago to say that 
after all that has been done, there is more still yet to 
do, from the obstructive and perverse power of the 
Horse Guards overriding the War Office. 

The Duke joined Lord Palmerston's Cabinet in June, 
1859, m tne rnidst of the excitement of the Italian war. 
He was again Colonial Secretary, as he was till his final 
resignation. It was in this capacity that he was naturally 
chosen to attend the Prince of Wales in his Canadian 
travels; but, apart from that particular fitness, he was 
the very man to discharge the office of temporary 
guardian in so responsible a case. There is no need 
to describe to the existing generation what the guardian's 
qualities were found to be on a trial so unusual and so 
stringent. Political wisdom and firmness were requisite, 
as well as the sense, temper, and manners needed in 
the guide, friend, and companion of the young heir to 
the throne. It is enough to mention the Orangemen of 
Canada to show what this means. As to his manage- 
ment of his share of the American intercourses, it is 
not too much to say that the disposition to peace be- 
tween the two countries may owe as much to the exem- 
plification the Duke presented of the English gentleman 



THE DUKE OF NEWCASTLE. 



367 



and statesman as to the genial and hospitable temper 
with which the American people welcomed and enter- 
tained the Prince and his guardian. 

Some of our first thoughts, in losing so untimely such 
a statesman and citizen as the Duke of Newcastle, are 
with the Prince of Wales. It seems as if he, on reaching 
manhood, was fated to lose his best and most needed 
personal friends. He has lost his father, and General 
Bruce, his Governor ; and now the guardian and com- 
panion of his first travels. Perhaps it is thoroughly 
true of them all, that they died prematurely from being 
worn out. In any position this would probably have 
been the fate of the Duke of Newcastle; and, as he 
was a statesman, it was sure to be so. Statesmanship 
allows no option no sanitary security to earnest and 
conscientious men ; and when, as in the present case, 
there is a natural tendency to hard work to start from, 
there is really no escape from that form of patriotic 
martyrdom. This is not one of the pupil's dangers. 
He has nothing to beware of in regard to the causes 
to which his teachers and guardians have fallen victims. 
His part is to feel the nobleness of such self-denial and 
devotedness as theirs, and the seriousness of the work 
of government, when not only the functions concerned 
in it, but the work of training rulers, and carrying on 
the unseen business of the Sovereign's home and family, 
may call for the sacrifice of valuable lives. 

Those who were personally acquainted with the Duke 
of Newcastle must ever feel that the impression he made 
on them was more peculiar than can be easily accounted 
for from his type of character ; and yet those who did 
not know him may truly believe that with the mind's 
eye they see him very much as he was. Frank, honest 



[VIII] 



His type of 
character. 



3 68 



THE DUKE OF NEWCASTLE. 



[VIII] 



unassuming, with a genuine sense of human equality 
always overriding any consciousness or rather remem- 
brance of his rank, hereditary or official, he was easy 
to know and to understand from afar. Those who were 
nearest to him were subject to frequent surprises from 
his simplicity, his unconcealable conscientiousness, and 
abiding sense of fellowship with all sincere people, who- 
ever they might be. As a nobleman of aristocratic 
England, he was in this way a great blessing and a 
singularly useful example. When we think of his can- 
dor in his place in Parliament, his diligence, and 
ever-growing knowledge, and practised sense in his de- 
partment, and the national confidence he had thus won, 
we feel that the public loss is irreparable. He never was 
and never would have been a great political philosopher, 
or sage, or leader. That was not in his line. But while 
we need no less a staunch upholder of the natural and 
honorable welfare of our country, a patriotic promoter 
of its dignity and lustre, and a devoted servant of the 
Commonwealth, from the Sovereign on the throne to 
the poorest adventurer landing in a distant colony, we 
shall miss and mourn the late Duke of Newcastle, and 
anxiously watch the rising generations of "the govern- 
ing classes," to see if we may hope for more like him. 



IX. 



THE EARL OF CARLISLE. 
DIED DECEMBER 5111, 1864. 

THE Earl of Carlisle lies dead at Castle Howard. Such 
regret as is felt at the departure of this nobleman is 
something rare in the case of a man who has not 
rendered himself necessary to his country by his states- 
manship, nor commanded homage by his genius, nor 
established or continued a great family. George 
William Frederick Howard, who was born in 1802, the 
eldest of the twelve children of the sixth Earl of Carlisle, 
filled no higher political office than that of Lord Lieu- 
tenant of Ireland, was never married, and left no great 
enduring work behind him to make him known to future 
generations, or to illustrate his own time ; yet the sorrow, 
the enthusiasm for the man, the recoil from the thought 
of his death, which were manifested when he became 
virtually dead to society, were such as the greatest states- 
men, and the heads of the noblest households of sons 
and daughters, might covet. It was his exquisite moral 
nature, together with the charm of intercourse which 
grew out of it, which created this warm affection in all 
who approached him ; and through them the rest of the 
world received the impression of a man of rare virtue 
being among them of singular nobleness of spirit, and 

1 6* 



His birth, 
1802. 



His moral 
qualities. 



THE EARL OF CARLISLE. 



[IX] 



His intro- 
duction into 
public life. 



Made Irish 
Secretary. 



gentleness of temper, and sympathy as modest as it was 
keen and constant. His function in the world of states- 
manship seemed to be to represent and sustain the 
highest magnanimity, devotedness, and benevolence, 
properly distinctive of that which is called ' ' the govern- 
ing class" in this country. He could not overawe by 
commanding ability, or by power of will ; but nothing 
ungenerous or flippant could be said in his presence ; 
and he saw men and things in a brighter light than 
others do less through any optimism of his own than 
because his own presence raised and refined everybody 
about him. It is an encouraging thing, we sometimes 
say, that all of us can tell of somebody that is not only 
the best person we have ever known, but the best 
that we can believe to be in the world. This is a 
pleasing evidence of the commonness of a high ojder 
of goodness. Common as it is, we believe that, among 
those who were personal observers of Lord Carlisle, 
every one of them would probably say that he was one 
of the best men they had ever known. 

His father was himself in public life, and early intro- 
duced his son into it. The son of the Lord Privy Seal 
of that day entered Parliament as member for Morpeth. 
He had distinguished himself at Eton and Oxford, 
whence he brought away prizes and honors, and that 
love of literature which was to the end of his life his 
refuge and refreshment under the pressure of State cares. 
He had a near view of official life when his father was 
in the Cabinet first, and in Ireland just before the 
passage of the Reform Bill ; and he was first heard of 
in that career when he was Secretary under Lord 
Ebrington's administration of Ireland. That was the 
time when a hearty and sustained attempt was made to 



THE EARL OF CARLISLE. 



37i 



regenerate Ireland by the very best order of government 
by absolute justice and impartiality, together with such 
considerateness and helpfulness as the dependent quality 
of the Irish mind required. Lords Ebrington and Nor- 
manby (the latter then Lord Mulgrave) each answered 
to the ideal of a popular Viceroy; and Lord Morpeth 
was supposed to supply the substance of good govern- 
ment while his chief was engrossing the public eye and 
haranguing the public ear. In course of time it became 
understood that it was Mr. Drummond who inspired into 
the administration of Ireland the vigor which distin- 
guished the period, and which had disposed the English 
public to see in Lord Morpeth a reserve of future states- 
manship for the service of the Imperial government. 
But though Thomas Drummond was really the great 
man to whom Ireland owed the best government ever 
seen there, Lord Morpeth was excellent in his post, and 
more equal to cope with Orangemen, as Orangemen 
were then, than anybody had suspected. It was in his 
time that Mr. Drummond's saying about property having 
its duties as well as its rights was regarded by Irish 
landlords as a revolutionary manifesto ; and he stoutly 
supported the new and strange doctrine of his friend. 
It was Lord Morpeth who signified to Colonel Verner, 
the representative of the Orangemen in Parliament, his 
removal from his office of Deputy Lieutenant of Tyrone, 
for giving the toast of "The Battle of the Diamond" at 
an election dinner. On such occasions the reasons were 
given very fully, and the tone was always dignified and 
courteous; but the rage of the Protestant zealots when 
they found that not only poor men were dismissed from 
their humble offices for rampant Orangeism, but that 
the most powerful leaders of the faction were dealt with 



[IX] 



His deal- 
ings with 
Orangemen. 



372 



THE EARL OF CARLISLE. 



[IX] 



The election 
in 1841. 



in precisely the same manner, exceeded all bounds. 
Their hatred to the Government found expression every 
day, in all sorts of provoking ways ; but they encountered 
in the members of the Administration not only good 
manners, but a spirit as bold as their own, and much 
more manly. In the short time between 1838 and 1841 
Lord Morpeth established such relations between the 
Irish people and himself as forecasted his future desti- 
nation, and theirs, as far as it depended on him. It was 
the Government of which he formed a part which fairly 
tried the experiment regarded at the time as too rash 
of ruling Ireland by the power of the ordinary law, 
agitated as was the country from a variety of causes, 
and especially by the mortification and wrath of the 
Orange faction after the exposure of their designs in 
England, on behalf of the Duke of Cumberland, in the 
prospect of the female succession which everybody else 
supposed to have been settled past dispute. 

In 1841 he went out of office, together with the whole 
Whig Administration. One of the imputations on the 
outgoing Ministry of Lord Melbourne was its ill-treat- 
ment of Lord Plunket at the instigation of Lord 
Campbell then Sir John Campbell, Attorney-General. 
The restless, ambitious, intriguing "Plain John Camp- 
bell " coveted the Irish Chancellorship ; and Lord 
Plunket was to be the sacrifice. The attempt, with other 
mistakes, brought down the Ministry, and the Irish col- 
leagues of Lord Plunket among the rest. None who 
can look back to 1841 can have forgotten the sweep 
that was made at the election of that summer among 
the supporters of the Whig Ministry and its policy. 
O'Connell himself was thrown out at Dublin, and Sir 
De Lacy Evans at Westminster ; but the strongest sen- 



THE EARL OF CARLISLE. 



373 



sation of dismay on the one side and of triumph on the 
other was created by the defeat of the present Earl 
Grey, then Lord Howick, in Northumberland, and of 
Lord Morpeth and Lord Milton in the West Riding. 

There are many Yorkshiremen who say at this day 
that Lord Morpeth's speech after his defeat has never 
been equalled in the history of elections. Some of us 
who did not hear the address, but only read the Report 
of it, are almost disposed, even while reminded of Burke 
at Bristol, to agree to anything that the actual hearers 
can say. It was a natural occasion for the magnanimity 
of the man to appear ; and its effect on the election 
crowd was just what it was every day on those who 
lived in its presence. The feeling of many hearers was 
that it was a happier thing to endure a defeat, even of a 
ministerial policy, in such a spirit of enlightenment and 
philosophy, than to enjoy the most unexpected triumph, 
merely as a triumph. 

Released from office, Lord Morpeth seized his oppor- 
tunity for travel. He went to the United States and the 
West Indies ; and thus, besides contemplating society 
generally in those regions, he studied slavery, slave- 
holders, and abolitionists to great advantage. Anti- 
slavery opinions and sentiments were at that time in 
deep disrepute in the United States : they were 
"vulgar;" and those who held them were not noticed 
in society, and were insulted and injured as often as 
possible by genteeler people and more complaisant re- 
publicans. On Lord Morpeth's arrival he saw at once 
how matters stood, and he acted accordingly. He made 
no secret of his own anti-slavery opinions ; and he 
formed friendships with the leading abolitionists at least 
as readily as with anybody else. It happened that the 



[IX] 



Lord Mor- 
peth's de- 
feat. 



His travels. 



His conduct 
in America. 



374 



THE EARL OF CARLISLE. 



[IX] 



Again 
enters the 
Cabinet. 



Succeeds to 
the earl- 



(then) annual Anti-slavery assemblage, to hold its Fair, 
took place, on the part of Massachusetts, while Lord 
Morpeth was at Boston. To the astonishment of ' ' the 
elile of intellectual Boston," as they called themselves, 
Lord Morpeth went to that Fair every day, and stayed a 
long while. In no other way, perhaps, could he have 
done so much good without doing any harm. Now 
that the whole people of the North, genteel or otherwise, 
are anti-slavery, it is remembered that Lord Carlisle, the 
friend of the North in its struggle for national existence, 
did what he could twenty years before to warn the 
citizens of the retribution which they were incurring by 
their wrong course on the Slavery question. What 
seemed in him fanaticism or whim at the time, they now 
see to have been a wisdom which it was not for them to 
despise. 

In 1846, Lord Morpeth entered the Cabinet with 
Lord Russell's Administration. His office was the 
Woods and Forests ; and he presently after succeeded 
Lord Campbell as Chancellor of the Duchy of Lancaster. 
In the next year he became Lord Lieutenant of the East 
Riding of Yorkshire, on his father's resignation of the 
office ; and in yet another year he succeeded to his 
ather's title and the possession of Castle Howard. He 
was looked on with some wonder and curiosity by certain 
of his peers when he entered the Upper House, because 
tie had been a subscriber to the fund of the Anti-Corn 
Law League. That act had been regarded at the 
moment as the strongest evidence which had then ap- 
peared of the power and security of the movement. 
Our readers may perhaps remember the efforts that were 
made to explain away or discredit the fact of Lord 
Morpeth having joined the League. Some said that 



THE EARL OF CARLISLE. 



375 






the money was in fact for the purchase of votes ; and 
others scoffed at so paltry a subscription as five pounds. 
It may be remembered how he, poor in purse, but rich 
in good-humor, noticed these insults, saying in his 
speech that if he had been buying favor by his dona- 
tion, his enemies must at least allow that he had got it 
cheap. In a little while he had nothing more to do 
with elections ; but he appeared a dreadful revolutionist 
to some of the Lords for his share in the repeal of the 
Corn Laws. 

In February, 1855, on the change of ministry at the 
end of the war, he went to Ireland as Lord Lieutenant. 
It was a time of severe trial to Government. During the 
Crimean war the gallantry of the Queen's Irish soldiers 
won honor for themselves, and sweetened the temper 
of their friends; and when they returned home, and 
local festivals were instituted in their honor, it really 
seemed as if political and religious feuds were forgotten 
in the patrjo^p emotions of the hour. But the good 
understanding did not last long. In September, 1857, 
the Belfast riots took place, which never ceased to 
astonish us till those of 1864 eclipsed them. It is 
remarkable that in 1857 the outbreak was preceded by 
the erection of a statue of O'Connell in Limerick. As 
it was the first monumental honor paid to him during 
the ten years since his death, it excited a strong sen- 
sation. The quarrelsomeness of July had also been 
very lively that year, so that all was ready for an 
outbreak, even in a prosperous and enlightened place 
like Belfast, when a few Protestant preachers obstinately 
refused to leave off preaching in the streets, in the face 
of the plainest and most fearful risks. The Govern- 
ment placed the town under the Crime and Outrage 



[IX] 

His con- 
nection ivith 
the Anti- 
Corn Law 
League. 



Appointed 
Lord Lieu- 
tenant of 
Ireland. 



Unsettled 
state of the 
country. . 



376 



THE EARL OF CARLISLE. 



[IX] 



Succecdedby 

Lord 

Eglinton. 



Again 
appointed 
Viceroy of 
Ireland. 



His labors 
to develop 
the resource: 
of the 
country. 



Act, and issued a Commission to inquire into the causes 
of the riots. It was of no great use, as the arms were 
put where they could be easily got at ; and the investi- 
gation of the nature of the mischief did nothing toward 
curing it. The Executive gained no force; and the 
amount of murder perpetrated in the latter months of 
that year tried the courage of every member of the 
Government. To such cares Lord Eglinton succeeded 
in 1858, when the Derby Ministry came in. There was 
some idea that the office of Lord Lieutenant would be 
abolished at that time ; and the proposal to that effect 
discussed in Parliament was negatived amidst expressions 
of belief, on all hands, that Ireland must ere long be 
governed by a Secretary of State. Lord Carlisle was, 
however, to be Viceroy again. He used the interval of 
his being out of office to travel in the East ; and on his 
return he published his ' ' Diary in Greek and Turkish 
Waters." 

In the summer of 1859 he resumed the Viceroyalty, 
with Mr. Cardwell as Chief Secretary, on Lord Palmer- 
ston's return to power. Ireland had been prosperous 
under a series of fine seasons ; and there was hope of a 
diminution of crime of the crime which recedes or 
gains ground according to the welfare or suffering of the 
agricultural population. But there was now a succession 
of bad agricultural years to be gone through, and the 
condition of the people was more obviously declining 
from 1860 to 1863 than at any time since the famine 
and fever. Lord Carlisle devoted his efforts to improve 
the agriculture of the country. By exhibitions, by 
central and local meetings, by every aid that his 
presence, his eloquence, and his earnest support could 
give, he tried to give a wise direction to the spirit, and 



THE EARL OF CARLISLE. 



377 



the capital, and industry of the country, during three 
years of disheartening adversity and decline. When 
these were over, and fine weather brought good crops 
to light once more, the small farmers and the better 
order of laborers were leaving the country as fast as 
"they could. Lord Carlisle stoutly and indefatigably 
maintained that the emigration, painful as it was to 
witness, was unavoidable under the relative conditions 
of the United States and Ireland ; and that it was, 
under these circumstances, a benefit to those who re- 
mained behind, as well as to those who went forth. 
He had the most necessary qualification for a ruler of 
Ireland in his indomitable hopefulness. 

All other Irish interests had his good-will and best 
assistance, as well as agriculture. He watched over 
the Queen's Colleges, and the course of the National 
Schools, and the increase of manufactures, and their 
introduction into all the provinces. His hospitality, and 
the genial cheerfulness of his Court and society, were all 
that the discontented could lay hold of in the way of 
complaint or ridicule : but in Ireland popularity is a real 
governing power ; and as long as nothing better is sacri- 
ficed to it, it is a power in the hands of an accomplished 
and cheerful-tempered man which he has no right to 
neglect or despise. Nothing that was done and enjoyed 
at the Castle impaired the spirit of the Executive in 
dealing with the rancor of bigots, or the insolence of 
factious magistrates, or the outrages of agrarian conspi- 
rators. Lord Carlisle's reign was not signalized any 
more than former viceregal terms by success in extir- 
pating Ribbon Societies, and in fortifying the loyalty of 
the rural population to the law : but there were no 
special causes in the Viceroy or his course of policy or 



[XI] 



Hisvieivson 
the exodus. 



378 



THE EARL OF CARLISLE. 



[IX] 



Presides at 
the Ter- 
centenary 
Shaksperc 
Festival. 



manners to blame for this. He was unable to do what 
nobody has been able to do yet, and what will probably 
be done at last by other agencies than that of any one 
man, or set of men in office. The charge against him 
was that he governed Ireland by words by speechifica- 
tion. The question is, how far is it requisite for a good 
ruler of Ireland to be eloquent ; and it may be remarked 
that after 1829, O'Connell himself did nothing for Ireland 
but speak, though he had the mind and heart of Ireland 
thus under his hand. 

When the hoped-for change in the fortunes of Ireland 
set in when the crops improved, and the farmers began 
to recover their means, and the emigration showed signs 
of slackening, Lord Carlisle's connection with Ireland 
was dissolving. During the early part of this year 
speech was becoming difficult to him, through a partial 
paralysis, which did not show itself otherwise. He had 
engaged to preside at the Tercentenary Shakspere Fes- 
tival at Stratford-on-Avon ; but when April arrived his 
physicians remonstrated against his purpose of fulfilling 
his engagement. It did appear hazardous in the extreme 
to put to risk his scarcely recovered powers of speech ; 
but the festival seemed to be in danger of failure, several 
pledged visitors had drawn back, and he was resolved 
not to fail. There are many who can testify what his 
address was, in matter and manner. The archbishop 
by his side Archbishop Trench an anxious listener, 
declared afterward that Lord Carlisle's speech was not 
only as good, but as finely delivered, as any he had ever 
heard from him. Others who were unaware how critical 
was the occasion, were of the same opinion. The effort 
seemed to have no bad effect. He returned to Dublin 
better rather than worse. After a time, however, the 



THE EARL OF CARLISLE. 



379 



affection returned ; and the whole right side became 
paralyzed. He was in this state when the O'Connell 
Statue celebration occurred in Dublin, and the conse- 
quent faction-fight took place in the form of the Belfast 
riots. Severe reflections were uttered, in private and in 
print, about Lord Carlisle's absence at such a time. To 
be sure it was "for his health/' as duly announced ; but 
a man's health should wait on such a crisis as that was. 
While such things were said Lord Carlisle was at Castle 
Howard, helpless and dumb ; not only speechless, but 
unable to hold the pen. His public life was closed. 
He would never speak again, and he would never again 
be seen in Ireland, or anywhere out of his own home. 

His private life, however, had never been more beau- 
tiful and beloved than now. Instead of the irritability 
and depression which usually accompany the disease, 
even where the intellect remains unaffected, there was in 
him a serenity, and even cheerfulness, as unmistakable 
as the clearness of his mind. He was as willing as ever 
to receive what others said, without manifesting any 
harassing need to reply. His drives, in the fine autumn 
days, among the woods at Castle Howard, were a keen 
pleasure to him as he watched the changing beauty of 
their foliage. Sad as it was, his decline was so much 
less grievous and terrible than it must have been in a 
man of a lower moral nature that it was endurable even 
to those who loved him best. When it became known 
.that his career was closed, the echoes of his old elo- 
quence must have awakened in many minds ; in the 
minds of the West Riding electors who had heard his 
best-remembered speech; of the Leeds mechanics, to 
whom he had spoken as a lecturer on Pope ; and of the 
Americans and the Irish, to whom he had spoken frankly 



[IX] 

His serious 
illness. 



His last Jays 
at Castle 
Howard. 



380 THE EARL OF CARLISLE. 



[IX] 



and affectionately on the interests of their country ; and 
finally, of the lovers of Shakspere, who heard his last 
public utterances, and could perceive through them how 
much poetry had contributed to the happiness of a 
thoroughly cheerful life. Literature was indeed a solace 
and delight to him from the opening of his reason, 
through all the labors and trials of life, and at last in 
his decline, when all but mental pleasures had become 
extinct for him. 

He will not be remembered as a great statesman ; but 
the tradition of him will remain as of the best and most 
beloved man in the company of statesmen of his day 
and generation. 



X. 



LORD PALMERSTON. 



DIED OCTOBER iSiH, 1865. 

HENRY JOHN TEMPLE, known since the age of eighteen 
as Lord Viscount Palmerston, was born in October, 1784, 
at the family seat of Broadlands, Hants. The peerage 
is Irish, and his father was the second viscount. The 
third, the subject of this notice, was early sent to Harrow, 
where Dr. Drury was head master. He was among the 
young men, of all politics, who were attracted to Edin- 
burgh at the opening of the century by the fame of 
Dugald Stewart ; and he spent three years under him 
before going to Cambridge. He had just taken his 
degree at Cambridge, and come of age, when he was 
brought forward to represent the University. He lost 
his election to Lord Henry Petty, the Lord Lansdowne 
of our time. His failure was owing, Wilberforce said, 
to his modesty and prudence about declaring himself an 
abolitionist, which he really was, while he was taken to 
be the opposite. So many of the records of the time 
agree in ascribing modesty and prudence to the "lad," 
as his friends called him, that we are bound to suppose 
that there was a time when Lord Palmerston was the 
humble, serious, cautious personage who answered to 
that title fifty years ago. He was clever, and evidently 



His birth, 
1784. 



His defeat 
in the 
Cambridge 
election. 



382 



LORD PALMERSTON. 



[X] 



First enters 
Parliament 
in 1806. 

His contem- 
poraries. 



resolved to devote himself to political life; and his 
opinions were speculated upon with interest, and his first 
words in Parliament eagerly listened to. He took his 
seat in the National Council at Christmas, 1806, when 
affairs were in such a state that no recess could be 
allowed. It is affecting now to think by whom he was 
surrounded on his entrance into public life. Canning 
was in his sauciest vigor. Mr. Grey, become Lord 
Howick, was beginning to be acknowledged for what he 
was, through the merits of his speech on the Address. 
Mr. Perceval, hitherto only known as a violent partisan 
Attorney-General, was making his first attempt at states- 
manship. Romilly, as Solicitor-General, was fixing all 
eyes and commanding all good hearts, by the nobleness 
of his principles of legislative justice and mercy. In 
the group of young men, entering like Palmerston upon 
their career, were William Lamb, of whom the world 
was to hear so much as Lord Melbourne ; Horner, who 
was to disappear in a few years ; Ward, the able, accom- 
plished, and eccentric Lord Dudley of a later time ; and 
the Henry Petty, who had already put forth pretensions 
as a financier. Among these sat the young Lord Pal- 
merston, the gravest, the most diffident and cautious of 
them all. He had not found out his own chief talent 
the ingenuity which was to be his distinguishing ability 
through life ; a kind of ability which is perhaps the most 
unalterable of all imperishable, but never rising to 
greatness, obtaining constant admiration, but never com- 
manding the homage due to genius. What a disclosure 
would have been, at the meeting of that Parliament, the 
future of its leading members ! the perishing of so 
many by murder, suicide, madness, disease, and pre- 
mature death induced by political care, while the grave 



LORD PALMERSTON. 



383 



and prudent youth who came up from Broadlands and 
Cambridge was to be there half a century afterward, 
more gay and boyish, more easy and venturesome than 
the youngest of his comrades whom his seriousness 
seemed to reprove ! 

He ranged himself with the Ministerialists, and was 
made one of the Lords of the Admiralty in 1807, under 
the Portland Administration. In two years more he was 
Secretary at War ; and in 1 8 1 1 obtained his desire to 
represent his University. He was then only seven-and- 
twenty. When five-and-twenty he actually consulted 
that very small political gossip, Plumer Ward, as to 
whether he was likely to prove competent to either of 
the offices proposed to him that of Secretary at War, 
and of Chancellor of the Exchequer ; or whether it 
would be more prudent to take only a seat at the 
Treasury Board, in preparation for more arduous office. 
He doubted both his capability in the Cabinet, and his 
nerve in the House. His friend doubted only the nerve, 
and went home to pen the patronizing judgment, "Ad- 
mired the prudence, as I have long done the talents and 
excellent understanding, as well as the many other good 
qualities as well as accomplishments, of this very fine 
young man." Such was Lord Palmerston in 1809, at 
five-and-twenty. For nineteen years after he made his 
choice, he filled the office of Secretary at War, that is, 
till the breaking up of the Wellington Cabinet in 1828. 
During the first two Administrations comprised within 
this period he was a Tory, as a matter of course, under 
Mr. Perceval and Lord Liverpool. But, holding the 
same office in all the three Administrations of 1827, his 
Toryism was clearly giving way. He had always been 
an advocate for Catholic Emancipation, with Canning ; 



[X] 



Made 

Secretary at 
/Far, 1 809. 



Plumer 
Ward's 
opinion of 



LORD PALMERSTON. 



[X] 



His speech 
in favor of 
Catholic 
Emancipa- 



Appointtd 
foreign 
Secretary, 
1830. 



and he was becoming a Free-trader with Huskisson. He 
stood by Huskisson manfully the next year, when the 
complication occurred about the East Retford Bill. 
With the rest of the Canningites Lord Dudley, Lord 
Melbourne, and Lord Glenelg he went out when Hus- 
kisson resigned. 

He worked well on behalf of the Duke's Adminis- 
tration, in the memorable strife of 1829; and his speech 
on behalf of the Catholic Relief Bill was pronounced 
by the Edinburgh Review to be worthy of his great 
ancestor, Temple, in sense, and superior to him in elo- 
quence. That speech was a great act at a time when 
words were deeds. He felt the admiring sympathy that 
every man of any sensibility felt for Sir Robert Peel, in 
his loss of his University seat on that occasion ; but the 
time was near when he had a similar forfeiture to un- 
dergo. When he supported Lord J. Russell's Reform Bill, 
in 1831, Cambridge rejected him, as Oxford had dis- 
missed Sir Robert Peel. He had sat for Cambridge 
two-and-twenty years ; and, 'no doubt, felt the mortifi- 
cation of his loss ; but he got over his mortification 
better than anybody else ; for no one else, perhaps, of 
genuine ability had so large and ready a self-complacency. 
He represented in succession, Bletchingley, South Hants, 
and Tiverton. 

In 1830 opened the chief phase of Lord Palmerston's 
life. He became Foreign Secretary, the capacity in 
which he will be remembered best at home and wholly 
abroad. He held the office for eleven years, with the 
exception of the five months of the Peel Ministry in 
1834-5. From 1841 to 1846 he was out of office, and 
then returned to the Foreign Office for five years. The 
first great question that occurred after his entrance upon 



LORD PALMERSTON. 



385 



his function in 1830 was, what should be done with 
Holland and Belgium, which had been united by de- 
spotic authority fifteen years before, but longed for a 
divorce. Politicians who judged by the map thought it 
a pity that a union formed on so many conveniences of 
boundary, rivers, and so forth so perfect a manage dt 
convenance should be broken up ; but Lord Palmerston 
took a profounder and more generous view of the case, 
and countenanced the separation. There can be no 
doubt that Lord Palmerston greatly increased the im- 
portance of the Foreign Office by his administration of 
its affairs. He had the ambition to make the influence 
of England felt everywhere ; and in a certain sense he 
succeeded. Foreign governments positively feared him : 
and in the eyes of a large class of his countrymen this 
of itself was an achievement to be proud of. But this 
feeling was unaccompanied by any growth of confidence 
in him on the part of the Liberals of Europe. In his 
speech in March, 1830, he developed Canning's idea of 
the necessity of increased sympathy on the part of Eng- 
land with the cause of struggling nationality abroad; 
but twenty years afterward he would not have felt 
flattered by the judgment which the continental repre- 
sentatives of that cause were everywhere passing on 
him. At home the effects of a foreign policy which was 
always irritating and unfruitful raised up a strong feeling, 
resulting in the parliamentary conflict of 1850 on the 
conduct of Lord Palmerston in regard to Greece, which 
was condemned by a deliberate vote of the Peers. The 
review of his policy by the best men in both Houses, 
and especially by Sir Robert Peel in the last speech he 
ever made, will not be forgotten either by contemporaries 
or in history ; nor the defence, more able and admirable 

17 



[X] 



His admin- 
istration of 
foreign 
Affairs. 



His policy 
ondemned 
bythePeerS) 
1850. 



386 



LORD PALMERSTON. 



[X] 

His speech 
in defence. 



His 

triumph. 



The coup 
d'etat in 
France. 



than convincing, of the statesman whose political ex- 
istence depended on the result. His position was an 
appeal to parliamentary magnanimity : the vote of the 
House of Commons was in his favor; and he and his 
partisans made a triumph of the occasion. But opinions 
remained much what they were before. The most 
striking result to observers of the man was that he 
evinced so much more sensibility so much more need of 
sympathy than had been supposed. A great banquet at 
the Reform Club celebrated what was called his victory ; 
but the feeling still existed that he was standing on his 
defence. The English Liberals, grieved and indignant 
at the course of continental reaction in 1849, made use 
of this occasion for holding meetings which should 
answer at once the various purposes of manifesting 
their own sympathies, encouraging the suffering patriots 
abroad, and attaching Lord Palmerston decisively and 
irrevocably to the right side. So thought the requi- 
sitionists of those meetings ; but almost before they 
were over their expectations were disappointed as re- 
garded Lord Palmerston. He hastened to express to 
Louis Napoleon his approbation of his coup d'etat; and 
uch a forfeiture of general expectation precipitated his 
retirement from the Foreign Office. He resigned the 
seals in February, 1851. Before long the feeling which 
had been kindled against him gave place to regret. 
After all, as Sir Robert Peel said, Englishmen were "all 
proud of him/' and felt an inability to give him up, and 
a persuasion that if he could not keep despots in awe, 
nobody could. The public were willing, in spite of long 
experience, to take the word of the despots for it that 
he was the worst foe on earth to what they called Order 
and Paternal Government. 



LORD PALMERSTON. 



387 



On many questions of domestic policy he pursued a 
course that was very honorable to him. He did capital 
service to the right on occasion of the repeal of the 
Com Laws. Being appointed Home Secretary in the 
Aberdeen Ministry in 1852, his prompt and effective 
action in every part of his charge was a relief and comfort 
to the whole kingdom. He attended to everything 
heard what could be said by well-informed persons on 
every subject denounced smoke, damp, fog, cesspools, 
noisome churchyards, and all manner of nuisances, with 
effectual vigor as well as extreme relish. The country 
had just begun to feel that he was in his right place, 
when it became known that he was in disagreement with 
his colleagues. That quarrel was made up ; and he 
went on again, and remained until the break-up of the 
Aberdeen Ministry, in 1855. It was then that a new 
bond was formed between Lord Palmerston and the 
nation, and that he took a place in its regard which 
he never lost. The mistakes, failures, disappointments, 
and sufferings which had marked the progress of the 
Crimean war, had sorely tried the heart of England. 
It was believed that these were traceable partly to defects 
of administration, and partly to a want of unity and 
decision in the councils of the Government. 

The country felt that it wanted for its leader an 
energetic statesman of simple, definite aims and firm 
will. Everybody saw in Lord Palmerston an able 
administrator, and a statesman who always knew his 
own mind. He became Premier, an office to which 
he may be said to have been called by the public 
voice, and the nation grew calmer as it saw a cheer- 
ful, self-possessed, business-like man at the head of 
its affajrs. 



[X] 

His domestic 
policy. 



Becomes 

Prime 

Minister. 



388 



LORD PALMERSTON. 



[X] 



His policy 
during the 
Crimean 



and to- 
ivard the 
French 
Empire. 



As far as the event depended on the Prime Minister, 
the war closed with credit. It was believed by many 
of those who had an insight into the interior movements 
of the political forces, that if some one else than Lord 
Palmerston had been at the head of affairs, the war 
would have continued a short time longer, with a some- 
what different conclusion. There might have been a 
more thorough humbling of Russia, a more just distri- 
bution of the honors of the war between the English 
and the French, and a treaty of peace more stringently 
secured from any tampering in the future, if not more 
effective in its immediate provisions. Lord Palmerston 
was a good representative of his countrymen in his 
indifference to the "glory" which is the idol of French- 
men ; and he and they were good-humored together 
under the sacrifice made to French convenience, self- 
will, and complacency, under the closing of the conflict 
at the precise moment when the English forces were 
sure of carrying all before them, and those of the French 
were at their lowest point of depression. The peace of 
1856 was arranged without obstruction or much remon- 
strance on the part of the people of England ; but the 
popular distrust of Lord Palmerston's relations with the 
lead of the French Empire was kept alive ; and it was 
again prophesied that mischief would yet arise out of 
the strange sympathy between a constitutional Minister 
and the representative at once of the Revolution and 
absolute rule. In this direction people looked for the 
Minister's fall, if his fortunes should ever change ; but, 
as far as appeared, he had no misgivings about either 
lis wisdom or his political prospects. His confidence 
was so far justified as that he issued triumphantly from 
his appeal to the country against an adverse vote of the 



LORD PALMERSTON. 



389 



House of Commons on the subject of the war with 
China in 1857. The censure proposed by Mr. Cobden 
was ratified by the House; but the country, unwilling 
to lose a Minister so able and so popular, excused him 
for the fault of going too far in support of the English 
official in China who created the quarrel. Such a fault, 
it was said, was an error on the right side ; and the 
consequences in the existing case would be a warning 
to all ministries to come, to choose their servants better, 
and keep them in better order. So Lord Palmerston 
found himself stronger than ever in the new Parliament. 
But he showed no signs of having gathered wisdom from 
his recent danger. His temper and manners were less 
genial and amiable than before ; and he suffered by his 
imprudence in letting it be seen that there were topics 
and persons before which his serenity and dignity gave 
way, either in irritation or unseemly arrogance. Thus 
was he preparing for himself his last and greatest morti- 
fication. On occasion of the Conspiracy Bill, Parliament 
and the country separated themselves from the Minister 
who was acting more as the tool of the French Emperor 
and his generals than as the Prime Minister of England, 
and Lord Palmerston fell. He tried an appeal to the 
country, and conspicuously failed ; and there was some 
doubt throughout 1858 whether his day was not over. 

Every sort of crisis, however, brought the gallant 
political soldier to the front. In the general alarm 
about the war in Italy in 1859, everybody remembered 
what Lord Palmerston had been to us at the time of 
the latter stage of the Crimean war, and of the Indian 
Mutiny, and by acclamation Lord Derby's weak Min- 
istry was warned to make way for their abler rivals. 
From that day Lord Palmerston has conducted the 



[X] 

The China 
'war in 1 8 5 7 



His defeat 
in the Con- 
spiracy Bill. 



Again 
appointed 
Prime 
Minister. 



390 



LORD PALMERSTON. 



fXJ 

Revieiv of 
his char- 
acter and 



affairs of the country. Some of us believe that there 
is much to regret in the fact, and that the consequences 
will be rued by the next generation, as well as the 
present. It is admitted by some who consider the 
admission bold and hard, but required by truth, that 
he cannot be credited with any great measure, or any 
substantial, well-defined, wise, or beneficent policy. But 
the case is graver than this. He never inspired, in 
any sort of mind, any belief in him, beyond confidence 
in his ability to avert evil, or to get out of mischief. 
The more important the principle involved in any 
affair, the more airy and jocose was he. The effect 
was not good finally on his own position in the House 
and before the country ; for there were many who had 
no mind for jesting, and longed for earnestness on 
serious occasions. This was a small matter, however, 
compared with the feeling which was growing up against 
him as the man who, so far from using his popularity 
to restore and establish the principle and method of 
government by parties, employed his influence in 
weakening all political principle, and melting down the 
whole substance of political conviction, by his treat- 
ment of all great questions, and his tone in regard to 
the gravest, as well as the most transient interests which 
lay under his hand. By his levity he made many things 
easy ; by his industry he accomplished a vast amount 
of business ; by his gay spirits he made a sort of holi- 
day of the grave course of the national life. But he 
has done nothing to fit his country, or his party, or 
even his nearest associates, for a wise conduct of 
national affairs in the time to come. One reason 
of the general sorrow for his death is the general 
misgiving as to what is to come next. We find our- 



LORD PALMERSTON. 



selves adrift, without party, principle, or purpose by 
which to direct our thought and our action. Experi- 
ence, more or less painful, will remedy the evils which 
our popular Minister has wrought in us, and for us ; 
but, at the moment, we find ourselves with the most 
unpromising of all new Parliaments, and with no states- 
man to guide our destinies, and no such political training 
as is needed to bring out such statesmanship as may 
exist, or to supply its place, if absent, with the conscience, 
the earnestness, the thoughtful habit, and the temper 
of deference to human nature and human interests which 
go far to supply the need of genius for public affairs. 
Lord Palmerston will be remembered with much admira- 
tion and affection ; but for national gratitude there will 
be, perhaps, less occasion and less room as the years 
pass on. 

He did not claim the peculiar reverent consideration 
usually paid to old age ; but it will not be forgotten 
that he worked on to the eighty-second year of his 
life, with little relaxation of power, and none of will. 
He did his best for his country ; and the country, always 
sensible of his services, is not ungrateful now. 



[X] 



In his 

eighty- 
second year* 



XI. 



Forty years 
ago. 



LORD BROUGHAM. 
DIED MAY 7x11, 1868. 

THE time was and not very long ago when the thought 
that Henry Brougham would die some day was depress- 
ing and terrible. It seemed as if a great light must then 
go out as if one of the strong interests of life must then 
be extinguished. But the light so far waned during his 
latter years, and the interest has so long merged in a sort 
of pathetic curiosity, that his death is found to be a 
much more endurable event than it could once have 
been supposed. 

And yet, when we read the political memoirs of the 
last half century, and when we think what were the 
hopes and the admiration entertained of the rising states- 
man of forty years since, we turn once more to the good 
words he spoke and the good things he planned in evil 
days, and feel once again something of the emotion that 
the name of Henry Brougham used to excite something 
of the gratitude attendant upon social services, which 
we would fain cherish as the abiding sentiment con- 
nected with his remarkble image. Now that he 



gone 
he was 



is 
it is fitting: that we should recall what he did when 



young ; and the more, if it is impossible to 



forget how he disappointed us when he was old. 



LORD BROUGHAM. 



393 



The first glimpse we have of Brougham is as a student 
of the University of Edinburgh, and a member of the 
Juvenile Literary Society, established by the students for 
purposes of literary exercise and debate. He and his 
friend Francis Horner were distinguished members when 
they were only fifteen. In 1796 he instituted the Edin- 
burgh Academy of Physics; and in the following year 
he and Horner were admitted together to the Speculative 
Society. He seems to have been the vivida vis of all these 
clubs and of some others, being the great speaker on all 
manner of subjects, physical, metaphysical, political, and 
what not. Horner early describes him as "an uncom- 
mon genius of a composite order" "uniting the greatest 
ardor for general information in every branch of know- 
ledge, and, what is more remarkable, activity in the 
business and interest in the pleasures of the world, with 
all the powers of a mathematical intellect. " This might 
stand as a description of him through life. In those 
early days he was preparing, not only his habits of mind, 
but his topics for future labors. In 1799 there was a 
capital debate between him and Jeffrey on Colonial 
Establishments, which appears to have occasioned his 
first work still by some considered his best on Colonial 
Policy. It appeared in 1803. 

Meantime, that is, about February 1802, three of the 
young company of philosophers Jeffrey, Sidney Smith, 
and Horner had projected the Edinburgh Review. It 
was not long before Brougham was invited to join. He 
approved of the plan at first ; soon changed his mind, 
and withdrew ; changed again, and wrote those articles 
which gave the Review the early character so well ex- 
pressed by Romilly at the time: "The editors seem to 
value themselves principally upon their severity ; and 

17* 



[XI] 



His early 
and varied 
accomplish- 
ments. 



Joins the 

Edinburgh 

Reviewers. 



394 



LORD BROUGHAM. 



[XI] 



Enters Par- 
liament^ 
1810. 



they have reviewed some works seemingly with no other 
object than to show what their powers in this particular 
line of criticism are." Sydney Smith used to tell, with 
some playful exaggeration no doubt, how they enjoyed 
their power over the irritable nerves of authors. "I 
remember/' said he, "how we got hold of a poor little 
vegetarian, who had put out a silly little book ; and how 
Brougham and I sat one night over our review of that 
book, looking whether there were a chink or a crevice 
through which we could drop" (here suiting the action to 
the word) "one more drop of verjuice." Sydney Smith 
made a noble statement (Preface to his Works) of the 
virtue and usefulness of the establishment of the Review 
during the days of misgovernment which overclouded 
the beginning of the century ; but there is no doubt that 
these young advocates of freedom indulged in much 
tyranny, and that the most vehement denouncers of 
oppression inflicted dreadful pain. But they were young ; 
and the times were hard, even exasperating to men enter- 
ing life on the hopeless Liberal side in politics and 
political philosophy. 

In 1804 Jeffrey wrote to Horner that Brougham had 
"emigrated." " So he writes me, but with what view he 
does not explain." The emigration was to London ; 
and his view was the practice of the Law and political 
life. He entered Parliament in 1810, by the assistance 
of Lord Holland. His friends entertained the very 
highest expectations of what he would achieve there; 
but the more prudent of them were not sorry that he 
was likely to pass some years in Opposition, that his 
tendency to caprice might be chastened, and that he 
might have a chance of learning prudence in the safest 
school. If he could but be steadied, they said his life 



LORD BROUGHAM. 



395 



would be one of infinite service to liberty and Liberal 
principles. They seem not to have inquired where the 
steadiness was to come from, in the case of a man 
of constitutional want of balance. These expectations 
being ill-grounded, though generous, the ultimate dis- 
appointment was unjust. His alienation from his old 
friend Horner, as soon as they met in Parliament, and 
might become rivals, showed where the weakness lay 
which paralyzed, in after days, the action of his noble 
intellectual powers. Even then the vanity was apparent 
which became the devouring vice of his mind and 
character. He occasionally drew near to his uncon- 
scious rival afterward, and bore testimony, now and 
then, to his powers and his virtues; but the old com- 
rades could never be again as they were before egotis- 
tical passion had begun to rule the heart of him who 
was to survive. Brougham's first signal triumph in the 
House was in his speech on the Droits of the Admiralty, 
in January, 1812. It was an important subject; and 
that speech did much to put an end to the notion that 
the Droits of the Admiralty were the private patrimony 
of the Sovereign ; but what Brougham enjoyed was the 
opportunity for inveighing against royal vices, which 
were quite bad enough at that time to make it appear 
good patriotism to expose them. This was a function 
of patriotism which suited Brougham exactly, and he 
seized every opportunity of exercising it. At the end 
of the same year, on occasion of the trial of the Hunts 
Yor libel, he had a fine field for his vituperative powers, 
and he so applied and harped upon the words "effemi- 
nacy" and "cowardice" that Lord Ellenborough, the 
Judge, lost all temper, declared that the defendant's 
counsel was inoculated with all the poison of the libel, 



[XI] 



Brougham 
and Horner. 



His first 
triumph in 
the House. 



396 



LORD BROUGHAM. 



[XI] 



His services 
to the 
Opposition. 



The defence 
of Queen 
Caroline. 



and charged the jury that the issue they had to try was 
whether we were to live for the future under the dominion 
of libellers. The taste for vituperation grows by what 
it feeds on ; and the Opposition soon found that their 
splendid young advocate went too far. In 1816, when 
there was every chance of the Ministry being left in a 
minority, and going out on the question of the increase 
of an Admiralty salary, Brougham spoiled all by an 
outrageous attack upon the Regent, which emptied the 
House of many of the best supporters of Opposition. 
He was so vehemently reproached on that occasion that 
his personal friends began to exhibit and insist upon his 
services to many good causes ; and truly those services 
were already great. Wilberforce called him "a laborer 
in the vineyard," on account of his effective attacks 
on West India slavery. He denounced the wrongs of 
Poland, so as to trouble the peace of the despots of 
Europe ; and he had begun that series of appeals on 
behalf of popular education which will ever be his best 
title to grateful remembrance. 

It was before this time that Mr. Brougham had entered 
into peculiar and personal opposition to the Regent, 
by espousing the cause of the Princess of Wales. When 
the Princess Charlotte ran away to her mother to Con- 
naught House, and the perplexed mother drove to the 
House to consult her advisers what to do, Mr. Brougham, 
as her legal adviser, returned with her, and was engaged 
till three in the morning, with the Dukes of York and 
Sussex and Lord Eldon, in persuading the young Prin- 
cess to go back to Carlton House. When the child- 
less mother returned in 1820 as Queen Caroline, Mr. 
Brougham was still her adviser as her Attorney-General, 
and her spokesman and advocate in Parliament. He 



LORD BROUGHAM. 



397 



went to meet and escort her on the Continent ; and he 
supported her cause, as did his friend Denman, with an 
intrepidity and disinterestedness which secured them 
hearty honor from the English people. The Dukes of 
York and Clarence voted for the Bill against the Queen : 
and Messrs. Brougham and Denman were therefore fully 
aware that they were rendering their professional advance- 
ment impossible for two or three reigns to come ; yet 
they fearlessly brought upon themselves the vindictive 
displeasure of the Court and Government for a term too 
long for calculation. The elder Duke soon died ; but 
the younger, when king, never got over his dislike and 
dread of Brougham, but was precipitated by it into 
some very strange political action. Meantime, the in- 
trepid lawyers had received their due, and were enjoying 
the professional honors of which capable men cannot 
long be deprived, in a free country, by the mere dis- 
countenance of royalty. The excitement of the occa- 
sion brought out all Brougham's powers and showed his 
intellectual claims to honor to be as signal as the moral, 
in regard to this business. Lord Dudley (then Mr. 
Ward) wrote of him, in an enthusiasm very rare with 
him: "The display of his power and fertility of mind 
has been quite amazing ; and these extraordinary efforts 
seem to cost him nothing." 

Between that time and his accession to the Chancellor- 
ship, Mr. Brougham achieved his greatest works the 
wisest and most beneficent acts of his life. He largely 
aided the establishment of Mechanics' Institutes, begun 
by Dr. Birkbeck ; and to him we owe the London Univer- 
sity and the Society for the Diffusion of Useful Know- 
ledge. The latter has turned out, in its direct operation, 
a failure, from the forfeiture, on the part of Brougham 



[XI] 



Displeasure 
of the Court. 



His labors 
in the cause 
of popular 
education. 



398 



LORD BROUGHAM. 



[XI] 



The pin- 
nacle of his 
fame. 



especially, of the original promise that political philo- 
sophy and morals should be a prominent subject. Even 
his own devoted Edinburgh Review slid in a hint, in 
the midst of much gratulation on the usefulness of the 
Society: "We trust, however, that the appearance of 
the ethical and political treatises will not be unneces- 
sarily delayed." They never appeared, and the classes 
addressed by this Society found experimentally that 
their own Harry Brougham, as well as other Liberal 
leaders, had not faith enough in them to intrust them 
with political knowledge, but preferred putting out, in 
the most critical period of the nation's history, treatises 
on physical science, as a tub to the whale. From that 
time forward it was a deep popular persuasion that the 
Whigs wished to withhold political knowledge from the 
people ; and the effect of the persuasion was keenly felt 
by the Whig Government, after the passage of the 
Reform Bill. As to other results of the institution of 
the Useful Knowledge Society, they were highly bene- 
ficial. Those publications drove a vast amount of bad 
literature out of the field, and stimulated other associa- 
tions to vast improvement. 

Ten years after Mr. Brougham had endangered his 
political prospects by his advocacy of the Queen's cause, 
he received the highest honor of his life. Under the 
excitement of the French Revolution of 1830, and of 
the accession of a new Sovereign at home, and in the 
joy of having carried Catholic Emancipation, the men 
of Yorkshire made Brougham their representative. He 
said himself that he had now arrived at the pinnacle of 
his fame ; and so he had. Amidst all the popular delight 
and admiration, there was no great confidence that he 
would fulfil the expectations generally avowed. It was 



LORD BROUGHAM. 



399 



beginning to be understood that antagonism was his 
element ; and it was suspected that, as usually happens 
with that class of minds, there was a strong personal 
Conservatism at bottom. There were men at that time 
who doubted whether Brougham would not die a Tory, 
and whether he would fulfil any of his virtual pledges to 
the people. His services were so undeniable, that men 
were ashamed of their doubts ; but the doubts existed, 
and they were justified by the evidences of passion, of 
jealousy, of vanity, of thorough intemperance of mind, 
which manifested themselves more and more. Now, 
however, he was at the head of the representation of 
Great Britain, and it would be seen at last what he 
could and would do. It was not long before all the 
world agreed with him that the day of his election for 
Yorkshire was, as he said, that of his highest glory. 

When the announcement was made, the next Novem- 
ber, that Brougham was to be the Lord Chancellor in 
the Grey Administration, everybody laughed. Much of 
the laughter was pleasant, with exultation in it, as well 
as amusement ; but curiosity and amusement prevailed. 
He had said that he would not take office, and that he 
was no Equity lawyer ; so the anti-reformers quizzed him 
on account of his new trammels, and said it was a pity 
the 'new Lord Chancellor had no law ; for then he would 
know a little of everything. His appointment was ex- 
cused only on the ground of political exigency ; but he 
disappointed expectation as much on the political as he 
possibly could on the legal grounds. He was Chancellor 
for four years ; and during those four years he made no 
available attempts to accomplish any of the popular 
objects about which he had said so much before he was 
able to act. In the autumn of 1834, he ruined his 



[XI] 



Made Lord 
Chancellor. 



4OO 



LORD BROUGHAM. 



[XI] 



His persecu- 
tion of Lord 
Durham. 



Deserts the 
Whigs. 



political reputation and his prospects for life by a series 
of eccentricities during a journey in Scotland. He 
mortally offended the King, and made a declaration at 
a public dinner at Edinburgh against strenuous reform 
which overthrew the last hope of his admirers. At that 
dinner began his feud with Lord Durham, whom he 
persecuted to death. No sort of excuse has ever, we 
believe, been attempted for his conduct toward that 
faithful reformer, nor for the temper and language which 
he thenceforth indulged in toward his old friends and 
colleagues. So vindictive and fierce were that temper 
and language that even Lord Melbourne, with his easy 
good-humor, was cowed ; and the whole Ministry were 
fairly bullied by Lord Brougham into desertion of Lord 
Durham, after having upheld and thanked him for the 
very acts for which they extinguished him at the bidding 
of his cruel foe. It was a shameful chapter in the 
history of the Whig Government ; and Lord Brougham 
was ever after without political character and social 
influence. He incurred universal reprobation by the 
strange offer he made to take the office of Chief Baron 
under Lord Lyndhurst as Chancellor. He pleaded that, 
as he should not take the salary, he should thus save the 
country i2,ooo/. a year; but the plea was a new offence. 
It supposed that the nation cared more for i2,ooo/. 
a year than for the political integrity and consistency of 
its high legal functionaries. Brougham had, however, 
already gone over to the Tories. He was on the most 
intimate terms with Lord Lyndhurst and the other Con- 
servative leaders : and it was natural, for they made 
much of him, and nobody else did now. 

His Law reforms were thenceforth his only titles to 
honor ; and very great honor they deserve. We owe 



LORD BROUGHAM. 



401 



to him much of the reform which has taken place in th 
Court of Chancery ; he gave us those local courts which 
go some good way toward bringing justice to every 
man's door. It is with these .reforms that posterity, in 
a mood of gratitude and good-nature, will connect the 
name of Henry Brougham. For the last twenty years 
or more of his life he sighed for that simple name as for 
a great good that he had thrown away. He longed, as 
he said at public meetings, and far more pathetically in 
private, to "undo the patent of his nobility;" but if he 
could have become a Commoner again, he could never 
have recovered the popular confidence and admiration 
which endeared to him the days which he had spent in 
Opposition. 

When he was still a youth, his friend Horner requested 
a correspondent's opinion of his physiognomy. That 
singular physiognomy was soon familiar to all the world, 
in all civilized countries. Those who saw it alive and 
at work could not doubt that his faults had a consti- 
tutional origin which it would have required strong 
moral force to overcome. That moral force he had not. 
One of the noblest traits in his character was his attach- 
ment to his venerable mother. She deserved everything 
from him ; and he never failed in duty and affection to 
her. During the busiest days of his Chancellorship he 
wrote to her by every post. Happily, she died before 
his deepest descents were made. He married a widow 
lady, Mrs. Spalding, by whom he had two children one 
of whom died in early infancy, and the other, a daughter, 
in early youth, after a short life of disease. His peerage 
and estates, therefore, pass to the family of his brother, 
William Brougham, late Master in Chancery ; the former 
under special remainder in the Patent of Creation. 



[XI] 



His Laio 
Reform. 



His singular 
physiog- 
nomy. 



402 



LORD BROUGHAM. 



[XI] 



A blur in 
the picture. 



Lord Brougham was at his chateau at Cannes when 
the first introduction of the daguerreotype process took 
place there; and an accomplished neighbor proposed 
to take a view of the chateau, with a group of guests in 
the balcony. The artist explained the necessity of 
perfect immobility. He only asked that his Lordship 
and friends would keep perfectly still ' ' for five seconds ;" 
and his Lordship vehemently promised that he would 
not stir. He moved about too soon, however ; and the 
consequence was a blur where Lord Brougham should 
be ; and so stands the daguerreotype view to this hour. 
There is something mournfully typical in this. In the 
picture of our century, as taken from the life by History, 
this very man should have been a central figure; but 
now, owing to his want of steadfastness, there will be for- 
ever a blur where Brougham should have been. 



VI. 
ROYAL. 



THE LAST BIRTHDAY OF THE EMPEROR 
NICHOLAS, JULY 6TH, 1854. 

DIED MARCH 20, 1855. 

THE birthday of the Czar is just over; and surely it 
must have been the most anxious and dismal of his 
birthdays, grave as the vicissitudes of his life have been. 
He was born on the 6th of July (new style), 1796, and 
already, while only fifty-eight, he is worn, broken, older 
in constitution and appearance than most men who have 
lived ten or fifteen years longer. His most eager enemies 
cannot look on such a spectacle as the decline of this 
man and his fortunes without a sort of grief in the midst 
of their satisfaction and thanksgiving : grief that powers 
so considerable, and a morale that once had much that 
was fine in it, should have carried the man into a mis- 
sion no higher than one of warning, after he and many 
others had believed it would be one of retrieval and 
amelioration. 

There is no need to say that he was unhappy in his 
descent. The grandson of Catherine and the son of 



Celebration 
of the Em- 
peror's last 
birthday. 



His 

parentage. 



4 o6 



THE LAST BIRTHDA Y OF 



m 



Nicholas 
tutors. 



Ocfective 
tducation. 



Paul claims our pity at the outset. The mischief was, 
however, simply constitutional, for he was too young 
at the death of both to suffer by their example. He 
was four months old when the Empress died ; and under 
five years when his wretched father came to his untimely 
end. He was therefore exempt from the horrible impu- 
tation which rested on his elder brothers that they knew 
what was doing on the night of Paul's murder, and con- 
sented to it as the only means of saving their own liberty 
and even life. Alexander was then four-and-twenty : 
but the child Nicholas, then a spirited and clever boy of 
four and a half, was one of the last who received a 
loving word and kiss from his doomed father. On that 
fatal evening, Paul was in one of his amiable moods ; 
and he went to the Empress, that ingenuous German 
girl who found the greatness which had at first astonished 
her a miserable change from the freer and more modest 
life in her father's castle; her husband went to her 
drawing-room that evening ; spoke affectionately to her, 
and took the baby into his arms, and played with the 
little Nicholas. The widowed mother did the best she 
could for the boy, in the way of education. General 
Lausdorf superintended it : Adelung taught him lan- 
guages, and Councillor Stork instructed him in political 
economy to no great purpose, judging by the results. 
He was more inclined to military studies than any other ; 
and was almost as fond of fortification as Uncle Toby 
himself. He was fond of music too ; and united the two 
tastes by composing military marches. Though his con- 
stitutional industry manifested itself in the pursuit of 
such studies as he liked, he issued from the educational 
process, ignorant really ignorant of what it became, 
not only a prince, but a gentleman to know; and not a 



THE EMPEROR NICHOLAS. 



407 



few of the wisest men in Europe attribute his fatal errors 
and misfortunes to this cause, above all others. 

During his youth, he was extremely unpopular. His 
irascibility was so great, that no one cared to approach 
him unnecessarily. His manners were excessively rude, 
and the contrast was daily pointed out, by those who 
dared speak to each other, between him and the affable 
Alexander. When he was twenty, he came to England, 
after the peace. He was then a tall youth, said at the 
time to be a stern likeness of his brother the Czar. 
On his return he explored his own country, and lived 
for some time in each of the chief provincial cities. It 
was then that he became interested in the condition 
of the lower orders of the people ; and it was probably 
at that time that he conceived the idea of emanci- 
pating the serfs, after an interval of ameliorated con- 
dition. This was his brother's aim; and there are 
some enlightened Russians who believe that Alexander 
died broken-hearted on account of the "ingratitude" 
with which his efforts for his people's welfare were 
repaid. The words "ingratitude" and "repayment" 
are commonly used on such occasions ; but in this 
case, we imagine, the hostility was on the part of one 
class, on account of the indulgence shown to another. 
It did not, and it never will, suit the nobles (in their 
own judgment) to have their serfs emancipated ; and a 
somewhat recent instance of the calamities which may 
ensue on giving anything like hope of freedom and 
progress to any of the Czar's largest class of subjects, 
seems to explain one of the marked changes in the 
character and conduct of Nicholas. Seeing, as he did, 
that every hope held out by Alexander led to violence 
among the serf population that when once assured 



Unpopular 
in his youth. 






408 



THE LAST BIRTHDA Y OF 



[I] 



His mar- 
riage. 



that they were regarded and pitied, they began to cut 
their masters to pieces, or flay them alive he gave 
up the idea of regenerating the policy of the empire ; 
and his course as Emperor shows that it suits him 
better to make himself a type of Russian empire, and 
the fufiller of the law of his predecessors, than the 
imitator of Alexander, in trying to make something very 
fine out of a mixture of the milk and honey of the 
Gospel with the gall and brimstone of Muscovite 
domination. Alexander had, however, something more 
to trouble him than the failure of his benevolent 
schemes. In the year 1817, when Nicholas was marry- 
ing the Prussian princess who is now nursing him in 
his premature old age, a secret society was formed in 
Russia which left not an hour's peace to Alexander 
for the rest of his life. For nine years he lived in 
the knowledge that a great conspiracy existed, the 
object of which was to form a federal union of 
Sclavonic republics, extending from the North Sea to 
the Adriatic that object of course including the depo- 
sition of the Romanhoff family. No means, either of 
fraud or force, were of any use in putting down this 
conspiracy ; and for nine years did Alexander walk 
about with this fearful ghost at his heels, never know- 
ing when the moment would come for him to feel its 
grasp. This society intended to reform the political 
condition of Russia altogether, and to reinstate Poland. 
The conspiracy was a direct consequence of the war ; 
and it is astonishing that Nicholas, who must know 
this very well, has not deferred to the last possible 
moment the sending his armies forth in European 
warfare. He knows very well that the first secret 
society, the Alliance of the Sons of the Fatherland, 



THE EMPEROR NICHOLAS. 



409 



was conceived of and formed by young officers who 
had picked up ideas of a better government than the 
Russian in foreign countries, and yet he offered to send 
his forces into Hungary on behalf of Austria, and finds 
that the same thing happens again ; that the officers 
and even the common soldiers have returned with some 
notions in their heads which make his intervention in 
Hungary more a loss to him than a gain. 

The military men who returned home after the peace 
inoculated the young nobility, and the disaffection spread 
through the whole class. It is an old story. The des- 
potic monarch and unenfranchised people are one party, 
and the aristocracy another, and the two are in constant 
antagonism in all despotisms. It is the natural operation 
of this necessity which explains every Russian problem, 
past and present, and will explain every future one, as 
long as despotism exists there. The singularity and 
fatality of the Russian case lies in the extreme depres- 
sion, brutal ization, and helplessness of the popular class. 
This peculiarity seems to point to a most disastrous 
issue; and nothing in all the wayward conduct of the 
present Czar so justifies the suspicion of his insanity as 
his precipitating so unnecessarily the catastrophe which 
sooner or later must come. It must be remembered, 
however, that he is ignorant. He has no philosophical 
insight into the principles of interpretation of history, 
and he little suspects how the students and philosophers 
of his day can read his horoscope, and tell his future, 
or that of his family and empire, as confidently as if 
they were prophets. By his best qualities, his courage, 
his energy, and devotion to a present purpose, he 
crushed the hostile enterprise at the time; and now, 
nearly thirty years after, he is doing his utmost in his 

18 



[I] 



Disaffection 
among the 
nobility. 



4io 



THE LAST BIRTH DA Y OF 



[I] 



Alexander's 
decree as 
to the 

succession. 



ignorance to revive it. One secret society after another 
was discovered in Alexander's time, but, under the 
appearance of suppression, each merged in the great 
one which could not be traced. It spread south and 
north, comprehending nearly the whole class of nobles ; 
some of whom were democratic republicans, while others 
limited their demands to reform, and the deposition of 
the reigning family. It is a well-known fact that not 
one distinguished family of nobles in the whole empire 
was unconnected with the conspiracy. The Czar's Com- 
mittee of Inquiry ascertained this, and with it the other 
all-important fact that the immense majority were the 
oligarchists, and the men who desired change without 
any desire to help in inducing it; men who eschewed 
the doctrinal consideration, while ready to avail them- 
selves practically of the issue. In other words, the 
majority were found to be manageable by means of 
self-interest ; and nothing could be more skilful for the 
moment than the young Czar's management of them. 

The first step of the conspirators was to create con- 
fusion as to the succession. Alexander's will decreed 
that Nicholas should succeed him, and Constantine's 
Act of repudiation of the crown was sealed up with 
the will. So the conspirators declared for Constantine. 
But the habit of Russian perfidy is too strong for such 
dangerous occasions ; and while the conspirators were 
making progress in St. Petersburg, and gaining over 
the soldiers in battalions, their chief and dicator was 
taking the oaths to Nicholas. It was not safe to inflict 
much punishment. Only five men were executed, and 
no more than 121 sent to Siberia. The wisest of the 
five declared to the last that nothing but a total reno- 
vation of the empire, and the adoption of a free consti- 



THE EMPEROR NICHOLAS. 



tution, could save Russsia from violent dismemberment. 
When Poland arose, five years after this execution, the 
Poles celebrated the death of the Russian martyrs, carry- 
ing five coffins through the streets of Warsaw, inscribed 
with their names. Perhaps this may be done again, in 
the same streets, when that prophesied dismemberment 
of Russia is accomplished. 

Though that revolution did not take place, another 
did, far less expected. Nicholas became apparently a 
totally altered man. The strength of his will has never 
shown itself more marvellously than in the restraint 
which he instantly put upon his temper and manners, 
and maintained for a long course of years. Those who 
happen to have watched the insane know that the most 
fearful of their peculiarities, in many cases, is the in- 
stantaneous transition from the brutal to the human 
state. You catch their eye, and are horrified at its 
expression of ferocity and cruelty ; and before you can 
withdraw your gaze, it is gone, and all is bland and 
gracious. Thus was it with Nicholas, from the moment 
when his foot touched the step of the throne. Stern 
but no longer irascible, distant but never ill-mannered, 
the brute part of him, known to be so largely inherited 
from his ancestors, seemed to have been cast out. There 
were always many who knew that it was not so ; and of 
late, it is understood, his self-control has given way, and 
his temper and manners are like those of his youth. 

What his government of his dominions has been there 
is no need to describe. The more hopeless he became 
of doing effectual good at home, the more he has in- 
clined to the policy of Peter and Catherine. He is 
aware that the nobles regard the existing system as 
doomed, and only expect or desire it to last their time. 



Alteration 
in the de- 
meanor of 
Nicholas. 



Inclination 
of his policy 
to that of 
Peter and 
Catherine 



412 



THE LAST BIRTH DA Y OF 



[I] 



Mixture of 
fanaticism 
and laxity 
in. his 
character. 



His family 
relations. 



He is aware that the host of slaves who worship him are 
no power in his hand, but a mere burden. A man might 
as well be king in a wilderness peopled by sheep and 
wolves as in Russia ; and no one knows this better than 
Nicholas. He is aware that he cannot reckon on the 
honesty of any one functionary of his whole empire. He 
has invited and pensioned savans and men of letters, and 
instituted schools, and toiled harder than his own slaves, 
and he perceives that society grows no better, but rather 
worse. So he has recourse to schemes of territorial exten- 
sion ; and there the same evils follow : his ships are 
rotten ; his cannon-balls are turned into wooden bowls ; 
his quinine is found to be oak bark ; and while he is 
paying enormous bread bills, his soldiers are perishing 
under a bran and straw diet. 

Of his fanaticism one does not know what to say. 
His Empress turned Greek in a day to marry him ; and 
this no doubt seemed to him all right and natural. But 
when he wanted his daughter Olga to marry the Arch- 
duke Stephen, he offered that she should turn Romish 
in a day should embrace the faith of those nuns of 
Minsk who were so very displeasing to his orthodoxy. 
It is probably in his case the mixture of fanaticism and 
laxity which is so disgusting in the history of all Churches 
at any time dominant, and involved with the State. 

In his family, he is no less unhappy than in other 
relations. His faithful wife, who has borne with much 
from him, partly because there was no helping his 
passions, and partly because he carried on his attention 
to her through all his vagaries, has been wearing out for 
many a dreary year under the fatigues of the life of 
empty amusement which he imposes on all his family. 
One favorite daughter is dead. Another is the widow 



THE EMPEROR NICHOLAS. 



of the Due de Leuchtenberg ; and the youngest is 
Princess Royal of Wurtemberg. The two eldest sons 
are always at variance, their ideas and tempers in regard 
to government being wide as the poles. Their father 
long repressed their feud ; but it has, like his other mis- 
fortunes, become too much for him ; and the scandal is 
fully avowed. 

Thus has the proud man, the Emperor of All the 
Russias, passed his fifty-eighth birthday, sitting among 
the wreck of all his idols. They are of clay ; and it is 
his own iron will that has shivered them all. Instead of 
achieving territorial extension, he has apparently brought 
on the hour of forcible dismemberment of his empire. 
Instead of court gayety, his childish vanity has created 
only the mirth which breaks the heart and undermines 
the life. Instead of securing family peace by the com- 
pressive power of his will, he has made his sons the 
slaves, instead of himself the lord, of their passions. 
Hated by his nobles ; liked only by an ignorant 
peasantry who can give him no aid, and receive no 
good from him ; drawn in by his own passions to 
sacrifice them in hecatombs, while they fix their eyes on 
him as their only hope ; tricked by his servants all over 
the empire ; disappointed in his army and its officers ; 
afraid to leave his capital, because it would be laid waste 
as soon as his back was turned ; cursed in all directions 
for the debts of his nobles, the bankruptcy of trade, and 
the hunger of his people ; conscious of the reprobation 
of England and France, whose reprobation could be no 
indifferent matter to Lucifer himself; finding himself out 
in his count about Austria, and about everybody but his 
despised brothers of Prussia and (as an after-thought) 
Naples ; and actually humbled before the Turk what a 



The results 
of his 
despotism. 



414 THE LAST BIRTHDA Y OF NICHOLAS. 



PI 



position for a man whose birthday once seemed to be an 
event in the calendar of the universe ! Be it remembered 
the while, that he is broken in health and heart. He 
stoops as if burdened with years; he trembles with 
weakness because he cannot take sufficient food. The 
eagle glance has become wolfish. The proud calm of 
his fine face has given way to an expression of anxiety 
and trouble. Let him be pitied, then, and with kind- 
ness. He is perhaps the greatest sufferer in Europe, 
and let him be regarded accordingly. But, as we need 
not say, he is totally unfit for the management of human 
destinies. We have nothing to do with the relations 
between himself and his subjects ; but we must see that 
he never again lays the weight of even his Tittle finger 
on the destinies of any people beyond his own proper 
bounds. We have done him some harm, in the course 
of years, by our supineness and credulity ; and we must 
regard ourselves, therefore, as not unconcerned in his 
present abasement. We must sin no more in the same 
way. Having thus resolved, having made up our 
minds that this common foe shall do no more hurt 
to anybody but his own subjects, we are at liberty 
to compassionate, freely and kindly, the wretched man 
who has declined into every other abyss before he 
reaches that of the grave. 



II. 



METTERNICH AND AUSTRIA. 

1854. 

THE world begins to see now that Austria is very in^ 
comprehensible; and if, in order to comprehend her, 
people look back through her history for half a century, 
they find her proceedings more and more difficult to 
understand, while the evidences of her utter untrust- 
worthiness multiply. We know of but one way of 
getting any light in this manner to review the life of 
Metternich, which is the real thread of Austrian history, 
from the beginning of the century a thread now and 
then snapped or worn, but knotted together again, for 
more pearls of policy to be strung on. Metternich is 
very old eighty-one ; and he is not in office : but, if 
not in office, he is well understood to be in power ; and 
it may possibly be of some use to the world to see how 
it has gone on while Prince Metternich was in power 
avowedly or virtually. He has been the foremost of 
the Ministers of modern times in regard to the power 
lodged in his hands. His means of working out his 
views have been practically unlimited ; and an estimate 
of what he has done for human welfare, and of his suc- 
cess in governing on his own principles, cannot but be 



MetternicK'i 
policy the 
real thread 
of Austrian 
history. 



4i6 



METTERNICPI AND AUSTRIA. 



[II] 



His birth ; 
and intro- 
duction to 
Court. 



His mar- 
riage. 



Sympathies 
'with Bona- 
parte and 
Alexander. 



instructive to us in the present moment of obscurity in 
regard to Austrian policy. 

Prince Metternich was born at Coblentz, in 1773, 
and appeared at Court when he was seventeen, in the 
character of Master of the Ceremonies, at the corona- 
tion of Leopold II. He saw England for the first time 
when he was one-and-twenty ; at which early age he was 
appointed Austrian Ambassador at the Hague. In the 
next year he married the granddaughter of Kaunitz. 
He went from Court to Court in Germany ; and then to 
Paris in 1806. He saw, with his own eyes, the state of 
the peoples of Germany and France during the conflicts 
occasioned by the aggressions of Bonaparte ; he wit- 
nessed some of the noblest movements ever exhihited 
by nations in their hour of tribulation and peril ; he. 
saw spectacles which stirred every other heart with 
admiration and joyful trust ; but he brought away from all 
he saw the one impression, ever deepening, that monarchs 
were to rule in every particular of the lives of all their 
subjects. His mind is narrow ; and it does not let his 
heart have play. So, the rally of Prussia in the expec- 
tation of invasion ; the enterprise of England in carry- 
ing the war into the Peninsula ; the virtuous efforts of 
Sicily before her betrayal by the Castlereagh Govern- 
ment; the valor of the Swedes and the theory of the 
Swiss, all appeared evil in the eyes of the wise man 
of Vienna. His sympathies were with Bonaparte (apart 
from France) on the one hand, and with Alexander of 
Russia on the other; and when those two were such 
loving friends, on the raft in the middle of the river at 
Tilsit, he could have embraced them both at once, as 
fine specimens of the rulers of nations. It was he who 
gave an Austrian archduchess to Bonaparte. It was he 



METTERNICH AND A USTRIA. 



417 



who was cognizant of the secret article in the Treaty of 
Vienna which the Bonaparte family conveniently dis- 
covered when they met to hear that Josephine was to 
be divorced ; and it was Metternich who, with indecent 
haste and eagerness, carried the Archduchess to France, 
and gave her to Bonaparte within four months of poor 
Josephine's quick apprehensions taking their first alarm. 
By no one act did Austria ever lose so much, in the esti- 
mation of Europe, as by the eagerness with which this 
alliance was formed ; and it was Metternich who con- 
ducted the whole proceeding, and infused the eagerness 
into it. On the other hand, there was the other pattern 
sovereign, the Czar. Alexander's Holy Alliance was 
exactly the scheme for Metternich, and he turned it to 
purposes of oppression and repression, which made it the 
hated and despised thing it was. His admiration of Bona- 
parte's power and despotism did not, however, mitigate 
the Austrian's dread of the revolutionary French people ; 
and whenever Bonaparte became in any way the repre- 
sentative of the nation, he became at the same moment 
odious and formidable to the man who had procured 
him his wife. It was Metternich who proposed an armis- 
tice in the summer of 1813, when Bonaparte appeared 
unable to follow up his victories, won at the beginning 
of the campaign ; and it came out afterward that Metter- 
nich always intended that Austria should join the allies, 
from the time that he knew that the allies were pledging 
themselves to prosecute the war with vigor England 
furnishing the means. He and the crafty Alexander, 
and the double-minded Frederick William of Prussia, 
were using the armistice for the maturing of their plans ; 
and Metternich was preparing the Austrian declaration 
of war while inducing Bonaparte to protract the interval 
1 8* 



PI] 



Proposes the 
armistice 
of 1813. 



4i8 



METTERNICH AND AUSTRIA. 



[II] 



Metternich 

outwits 

Napoleon. 



by an offer on the part of Austria to negotiate terms of 
peace. The conference was delayed to the last moment ; 
and the enemy was kept hanging on till the 9th of 
August, when, there being no more time to lose, Bona- 
parte wrote his conclusions. They were received a few 
hours after the expiration of the armistice ; and Metter- 
nich declared them to have arrived too late, unless the 
Czar should choose to reopen the Conference. On the 
Czar's refusal, Metternich produced the Austrian decla- 
ration of war. There it was all ready! Bonaparte 
himself, who was as well up to a trick as any man, found 
himself cheated by the three knaves with whom he had 
been treating; and dire was his wrath. The lesson for 
the French and English to learn from the transaction is 
to be on the watch when the Czar, and a King of 
Prussia, and an Austrian (and especially Metternich) are 
negotiating, and Austria has not declared what side she 
will take. 

After the first day's battle at Leipsic, the next October, 
Bonaparte sent a secret offer in the night to Metternich, 
who was at hand, to retire beyond the Rhine, if his 
father-in-law would procure him terms. No answer was 
returned, and on the field, after the second battle, 
Metternich was made a prince of the Austrian empire. 
His master thus honored and rewarded his minister for 
having outwitted his son-in-law, a highly moral and 
genial state of things to precede the Holy Alliance ! A 
pretty set of people to exemplify the principles and pre- 
cepts of the Gospel in their way of ruling the nations ! 
Still, both master and man held themselves ready for 
any cheating that might be desirable on the other side. 
While the Treaty of Chatillon was hanging on, Austria 
was so undecided and incomprehensible not choosing, 



METTERNICH AND AUSTRIA. 



419 



in fact, either to lose the French throne for the Austrian 
branch, nor to leave the allies while Bonaparte might 
yet be dangerous that Lord Castlereagh himself was 
out of patience, and urged Blucher and his Prussians 
forward while the great Austrian army was actually 
retiring. When Bonaparte had abdicated, and his wife 
and son were actually on their way to him to share his 
fortunes, as they ought, the Emperor of Austria was 
enlightened as to the policy of taking them home to his 
own Court ; and the weak and shallow-minded wife 
was so enlightened during the journey in regard to 
her husband's infidelities, that she let her horses' heads 
be turned by the hand of the real ruler of Austria, and 
turned her back also on the man of sunken fortunes. She 
went to Vienna, and her husband never saw her again. 

Metternich aided in the Treaty of Paris, and signed it. 
His next honor was an Oxford degree, bestowed when 
he came to England in 1814. For a short time while 
Bonaparte was preparing his return from Elba Metter- 
nich was in secret league with the Bourbons and the 
Duke of Wellington against the Czar and the King of 
Prussia, who seemed likely to break the Treaty of Paris. 
But the return from Elba cut short all that ; and we 
next find Metternich supreme at the Vienna Congress, 
and entering upon that term of despotism which was 
comparable only to the reigns of Wolsey and Richelieu, 
till Canning broke it up, and gave the nations space to 
breathe again. 

When Metternich received (before anybody else), on 
the yth of March, 1815, the news of Bonaparte's 
landing, he was under a signed engagement on the one 
hand to an "indissoluble alliance" with Russia and 
Prussia; and, on the other hand, was in confidential 



One of the 
signers of 
the Treaty 
of Paris. 



The " indis- 
soluble 
alliance." 



420 



METTERNICH AND AUSTRIA. 



[II] 



At the 
height oj 
his power, 
1815-1822 



Really a 
weakness 
in the 
Austrian 
administra- 
tion. 



league with England and France against those " indis- 
soluble allies" of his, who wanted to annex Saxony to 
Prussia. There is another generation now in Prussia, 
and something like it at St. Petersburg (for Nicholas is 
twenty years younger than Alexander): and thus Prince 
Metternich may be able to look them in the face; a 
thing which must have been rather difficult if these little 
secrets had come out during the lifetime of their pre- 
decessors. 

Thus was the Prince Metternich at the height of his 
power. His period of glory was from 1815 to 1822; 
and it will ever be cause of shame to England that 
her statesmen were during that interval the mere instru- 
ments for carrying out his policy, a policy which has 
really no one characteristic of wisdom, or greatness of 
any sort. It is not possible that any but the despots of 
Europe and their tools should point out any virtue what- 
ever in the European policy (which was Metternich's) 
that prevailed from the peace till the Italian outbreaks 
of 1822. 

Nor, with all its rigor, was there ever any strength in 
the Austrian administration, while he was at its head. 
His permitting Russia to endanger the Austrian prov- 
inces in the Turkish war was either from partiality for 
the despotic side, or from fear; and either way it was 
weakness. He allowed the Czar to possess himself of 
the mouths of the Danube without opposition from the 
power which is dependent on the Danube. 

When the French revolution of 1830 broke out, the 
unhappy necessity arose for Austria to take some part 
to declare some opinion. For years past the Emperor 
and his accomplished minister had had safe and solemn 
employment in playing the jailer to the revolutionists 



METTERNICH AND AUSTRIA. 



421 



at home in decreeing the precise badness of the air, 
food, and clothing of the Pellicos and Confalonieres ; and 
studying how to increase their torments, how to soften 
their brains, and break down their minds without abso- 
lutely killing their bodies. Now they must say something 
abroad as well as order things at home. They became 
more affectionate than ever with the Czar and his 
Prussian spaniel till a new light broke in upon Metter- 
nich. His master had cried aloud, when the news from 
Paris reached him, "All is lost I" But when Metternich 
saw that the French had taken a king after all, and that 
that king was as cunning and managing as himself, he 
took heart, and hoped that all was not lost. His passion 
for centralization was gratified by the functionarism of 
France under Louis Philippe; and he evidently hoped 
that that restless nation, put to such a school, would 
come out as childish and automatic as the Austrians 
themselves those dear children whom their Father 
Francis used to pat on the back as long as they had no 
ideas of their own, but whom he tied by the leg, or hung 
up by the neck, as soon as he caught them thinking. 
While the French were being put to school, Metternich 
was hard at work to prevent their restlessness spreading. 
He helped Don Carlos with money even money, which 
is the scantiest of all good things in Austria. He put on 
Mrs. Partington's pattens, and really made her broom do 
wonderful service about his own door till the tide drove 
him in. He had now completely pledged himself to the 
retrograde policy of which England and France were his 
chief opponents. There had been a time when he had 
discussed the restoration of Poland ; but after this he 
gave way no more to any ideas of improvement. In 
1810, he had enabled Gall to publish his philosophy 



[II] 



His retro- 
grade policy 



422 



METTERNICH AND AUSTRIA. 



[II] 



His agree- 
ment ivitA 
Robert 
Oiven. 



his view no doubt being that that philosophy would be 
capital, if true, as a means of managing men. Some 
years after he gave a gracious welcome to Robert Owen, 
bestowed several hours on him, and employed his secre- 
taries for some days in copying Mr. Owen's documents. 
Here was centralization in its utmost perfection. Every- 
body laughs at the coupling of the names of Prince 
Metternich and Robert Owen ; but, for our part, it 
seems to us that the men are precisely alike in their 
central aim, however otherwise differing in quality. 
Both desire to render mankind happy by transacting 
all their affairs for them, and pressing their minds 
through a mould, so that they may come out all alike. 
As for the rest, the one is as benevolent as the other is 
selfish. They differ as to what to do with the children, 
the one smiling upon them all, and the other frowning 
and punishing the best of them fearfully ; but both agree 
upon the great practical point, that they two are to 
treat all other people as children. In his countenance 
of the Poles, as in his graciousness to Gall and Owen, 
the Prince saw, for the instant, some feature available 
for his use. The Polish insurrection was, in his eyes, 
not a popular revolution, but a military rising for the 
restoration of aristocratic privileges. As soon as Metter- 
nich saw that it was one of the movements which 
threatened despotism, as well as a particular despot, he 
made all possible haste to the feet of the Czar, hoping 
that it had not been observed that he had turned 
his back for a moment in that presence. Graced with 
the smiles of all despots, obeyed by the Emperor 
Francis, invested with all the power that could be given 
to a minister, he yet accomplished none of his aims, 
and lost instead of augmenting his power. He utterly 



METTERNICH AND AUSTRIA. 



423 



failed to amalgamate the 'elements of the Austrian 
empire. If he had desired to fit them for splitting 
asunder, he could not have done the work better. He 
has not made the Austrian portion of the people wise, 
strong, manly, virtuous, or happy ; and what the Italians 
and Hungarians are, as portions of the Austrian empire, 
no man living needs to be told. 

At length came the year 1848. The Pope and his 
reforms had been a terrible preparatory trial poor Pio 
Nono was so spoiling the Italian states ! Austria gained 
nothing by the Ferrara movement ; and when the revo- 
lutions of 1848 came, there was nothing to be attempted 
but to keep down Milan and Venice by force of arms. 
The docile children, or repressed slaves of a despotism, 
are the victims or the demons of a day of revolution ; 
and such were the citizens of the Austrian towns and 
the peasants of Gallicia when Vienna was up. Metter- 
nich's one idea, in the midst of his panic, was that he 
must keep himself ready to go on, whenever regular 
government should be restored. The Archduke John 
assured the people (through their deputation) that Prince 
Metternich would resign. The Prince assured them he 
should not. The Archduke repeated his assurance ; and 
Metternich retired, muttering about ingratitude for his 
fifty years of service ! He fled for a time, and returned 
ere long to his estates and his old haunts, under cover 
of quietness, and pretence of helplessness through ex- 
treme age. But there he is, alive and busy, though 
without office. If Austria is hesitating in her policy of 
to-day, it is because Metternich is feeling her way. If 
Austria is obscure, it is because Metternich is scheming. 
If she takes the side of the Western Powers, it will be 
because Metternich sees it to be the winning one ; and 



Obliged to 
retire in 
1848. 



His Machi 

avell'ian 

policy. 



424 



METTERN1CH AND AUSTRIA. 



Metternich 
the repre- 
sentative 
of Austrian 



policy. 



if she wheels round to the side of Russia, it will be 
because Metternich's old eyes will fancy they see the 
bird of victory descending toward the Muscovite Jove 
whom he adores. 

The question for all Englishmen to ask is whether 
they choose the settlement of the Eastern question to 
be in any way materially affected by the influence of an 
old man who is no sage who has never succeeded in 
his own object, amidst every facility that could be given 
him who has never manifested any comprehensiveness 
of views, any intellectual depth, any moral nobleness, 
any great quality whatever of statesmanship or manhood. 
The day will come which will show whether Francis 
Joseph is worth more than his predecessors ; but, while 
Metternich lives, Austria is Metternich ; and history 
holds up to us, for our warning, the picture at full length 
of Metternich as an ally. 



III. 



THE DUCHESS OF GLOUCESTER. 
DIED APRIL 3OTH, 1857. 

THE death of the last of the fifteen children of 
George III. carries back all minds over a large space 
of time, and would create an historical interest in con- 
nection with the death of the Duchess of Gloucester, 
if there had been much less than there is of personal 
interest attending the character of the amiable Princess 
who has just departed. Her birth, and her title by 
marriage, recall some associations which it may be useful 
to revive, under the altered circumstances of a new 
century and generation. The discontents which existed 
for a time between the father and the father-in-law of 
the deceased Princess produced consequences on her 
life and that of most of her family and on public 
morals and welfare, which ought not to be forgotten in 
a review of her character and position, and which are 
not yet extinct in regard to the existing generation. 

George III. married, in 1761, the Princess Charlotte 
of Mecklenburg-Strelitz. He was not satisfied with 
pleasing himself in his own marriage, but fully expected 
that his brothers would please, not themselves, but him, 
in their marriages. They did not do so ; and when he 
was a sober married man, with half-a-dozen children, he 



Historical 
interest con- 
nected with 
her death. 



426 



THE DUCHESS OF GLOUCESTER. 



[Ill] 



Pro-visions 
of the Royal 
Marriage 
Act. 



was excessively scandalized at the discovery that the Duke 
of Cumberland had married Mrs. Horton, and the Duke 
of Gloucester the Countess Dowager of Waldegrave. 
There were immediate political consequences arising 
from the family quarrel the Opposition rinding their 
spirits and forces at once revived; but a more per- 
manent, and far more serious consequence was, that 
the Royal Marriage Act was devised by the King, and 
carried through Parliament with a high hand, in the 
midst of protests and remonstrances from Burke, Lords 
Cam den and Rockingham, and others, and many fore- 
bodings of the mischief it would cause. Under this Act 
no descendant of George II. could marry under the age 
of twenty-five without the King's consent ; nor after 
that age otherwise than after applying to the Privy 
Council (in case of the Sovereign's disapprobation), and 
waiting a year to see whether either House of Parlia- 
ment would address the King against the marriage 
which, in that case, could not take place. It was too 
late now, happily, to overthrow the Duke of Gloucester's 
marriage, which had taken place five years before. It 
was declared at Court in the autumn of 1772, the same 
year that the Royal Marriage Act passed. The fanaticism 
of the German Queen for royal quarterings, which even 
exceeded the passion of the King for prerogative, was 
necessarily mortified this time; but both were resolved 
that it should be the last. Their children should marry 
royalty, or not marry at all. They never doubted 
whether they could enforce their decision when once 
they had the law on their side. Certain other, prior, and 
greater laws of human nature they made no account of. 

After the birth of two daughters, the discountenanced 
pair had a son, who remained the only one. He was 



THE DUCHESS OF GLOUCESTER. 



427 



bom at Rome, on the i5th of January, 1776; and all 
the English in Rome were present at his baptism, the 
next month. On the 2 5th of the following April was 
born the eleventh child of George III. the Princess 
Mary, who was to be the wife of the little cousin at 
Rome. The event was signalized by a rather remark- 
able address presented (on the day of the baptism) by 
the Lord Mayor and the Corporation of London an 
address which contained a sermon on laws, liberties, and 
the glorious Revolution, which did not seem to have 
much to do with the infant Princess, and which got a 
very short answer from the King. That was the time 
when the Americans were preparing their Declaration 
of Independence, which was promulgated on the 4th of 
the next July; and when M. Necker was put at the 
head of French finance a time at which King George 
did not want to hear anything about liberties and revo- 
lutions, and when accordingly all manner of people 
were seizing every opportunity of preaching to him 
about them. 

During the long course of years in which many of 
the other members of the family were involved in the 
penalties and perplexities of their rank, with regard to 
love and marriage, it was believed that the Princess 
Mary and her cousin, the Duke of Gloucester, were 
attached. She was interested in his Cambridge life (his 
education being finished there); and she gloried in his 
receiving the General's thanks in the field, when he was 
fighting in Flanders, so early as 1794. He proved him- 
self both a gallant and able soldier, and really won his 
rank, which rose to that of Field-Marshal in 1816. 
When the young people were one-and-twenty, the Prin- 
cess Charlotte was born ; and as it soon became under- 



[III] 

Her birth, 



428 



THE DUCHESS OF GLOUCESTER. 



[Ill] 



General 
favorite 
with all. 



stood that there would be no heir apparent if the 
Princess of Wales lived, the necessity was admitted of 
keeping the Duke of Gloucester single, to marry the 
presumptive heiress of the throne, in case of no eligible 
foreign prince appearing for that function. For twenty 
of their best years the Duke and the Princess were kept 
waiting, during which interval (in the year 1805) he 
succeeded to the title on his father's death. Everybody 
liked and loved the Princess Mary, who was a pattern 
of duty and sweetness through all the family trials she 
had to witness and share in ; and the Duke, though not 
a man of much political ability, was in that part of his 
life a Whig, and on the generous and liberal side of 
almost every question. We are obliged to say "almost," 
because he supported with his whole force the exclusion 
of Dissenters from the Universities, when he was Chan- 
cellor of the University of Cambridge, after the death of 
the Duke of Grafton. On the anti-slavery question he 
was as earnest in his own way as Wilberforce in his, 
and kind and helpful in all matters of charity that came 
before him. Romilly tells us a curious thing of him 
that he volunteered, in a tele-d,-iete with Sir S. Romilly, 
his declaration that Queen Caroline was innocent, and 
that her accusers were perjured. He latterly became a 
Tory; but, for the greater part of his life, the same 
genial spirit of liberality and personal unassumingness 
distinguished him and the Princess Mary. As for her, 
she pleased old and young alike. Lord Eldon used to 
tell with delight a joke of Queen Charlotte's about the 
last person in the world whom any one would suspect of 
jesting. Her Majesty used to charge the Lord Chan- 
cellor with flirting with her daughter Mary; and the 
Chancellor used to reply that he was not emperor, king 



THE DUCHESS OF GLOUCESTER. 



429 



or prince, and that, moreover, he was married already 
a reply which reminds us of that reported by Charles 
Lamb of six Scotchmen, who, on somebody wishing that 
Burns was present, all started forward on their seats to 
declare that that was impossible, because Burns was 
dead. But we must suppose that Lord Eldon, who 
really had humor in his way, considered the above as 
near an approach to jocularity as could be permitted in 
the presence of royalty. 

In 1814, when the Prince of Orange was in England, 
and his father announced his approaching marriage with 
the Princess Charlotte, Princess Mary looked bright and 
happy. Lord Malmesbury recorded in his Diary what 
her manners were like when the charm of youth was 
past, and the character of womanhood was marked. He 
said she "was all good-humor and pleasantness;" 
adding, ' ' her manners are perfect ; and I never saw or 
conversed with any princess so exactly what she ought 
to be." And no one living, perhaps, knew more 
princesses, or more of what they really were, than the 
old diplomatist. The Prince of Orange went away, and 
Princess Mary drooped. Everybody was saying that the 
Duke of Gloucester must be the Princess Charlotte's 
bridegroom after all. But a few months more put an 
end to the long suspense. When the Princess Charlotte 
descended the great staircase at Carlton House, that 
May evening after the ceremony of her marriage, she 
was met at the foot with open arms by the Princess 
Mary, whose face was bathed in tears. The Duke and 
Duchess of Gloucester were married in a few weeks 
on the 2$d of July, 1816. The bride's demeanor was 
so interesting and affecting that it opened the sluices of 
Lord Eldon's ready tears, which he declared ran down 



[III] 



Lord 

Malmes- 
bury^s 
opinion of 
the Princess 
Mary. 



Her mar- 
riage. 



THE DUCHESS OF GLOUCESTER. 



[Ill] 



Death of 
the Duke. 



his cheeks ; but the Chief Justice, Lord Ellenborough, 
also present, must have been in another mood. Some 
persons were talking in a corner of the crowded room ; 
and the Chief Justice called to them, in the midst of the 
ceremony, "Do not make such a noise in that corner 
if you do, you shall be married yourselves." It is rather 
pathetic now to think of the details of that marriage the 
crowded saloon the royal mother and sisters on one 
side the altar, and the royal brothers on the other the 
bride, though no longer young, "looking very lovely," in 
a remarkably simple dress ; to remember how the scene 
was related at every fireside in England ; and then to 
think that none of the family, and probably no one who 
was present, survives. 

No application was made to Parliament for an increase 
of income in this case. The benevolent habits of the 
Duke and Duchess had taught them in a practical way 
the value of money ; and they arranged their plan of life 
so as to make their means suffice, and leave enough for 
much support of schools, and aid to many a good cause. 

They lived together eighteen years the Duke dying 
in November, 1834. It surprised no one that his wife 
proved herself the most assiduous and admirable of 
nurses during her husband's decline. After his death, 
she lived in as much retirement as her rank admitted, 
doing good where she could, and universally beloved. 
She saw the last of her immediate relatives drop from her 
side, and herself left the survivor of that long family 
train that used to look so royal and so graceful when 
returning the admiring salutations of the public on the 
terrace at Windsor. All that long series of heart histories 
was closed. The wretched avowed marriages, and the 
wretched, or happy, or chequered secret marriages, and 



THE DUCHESS OF GLOUCESTER. 



the mere formal state marriages, which took place in 
consequence of the Princess Charlotte's decease, had 
been alike dissolved by death. What a world of misery 
could this survivor have told of, arising from the law- 
made incompatibility between royalty and the natural 
provision for the domestic affections ! The elaborate 
and public preparation required by the Marriage Act 
in her own case, by which her marriage was made an act 
of the State, was painful enough ; but her lot, with its 
one steady affection, long in suspense and late gratified, 
was a happy one in comparison, perhaps, with that of 
any other member of the family ; and many a painful 
meditation must she have had on that piece of enforced 
legislation of her father's early and headstrong years. 
Those various love stories are hidden now in the grave ; 
and she who was the depositary of so many of them has 
followed them thither. There, then, let them rest. 

But the lesson they yield should not be neglected. 
There was a strong hope that when our young Queen 
Victoria, who was at full liberty, as Sovereign, to please 
herself in marriage, had made her choice, this wretched 
and demoralizing Marriage Act, always reprobated by the 
wisest and best men of the time, would be repealed. 
There were then none left of the last generation who 
could be pointed at, or in any way affected, by such a 
repeal ; and it was thought that it would be wise to do 
the thing before there was a new generation to introduce 
difficulty into the case. The opportunity has almost been 
allowed to slip from us. The royal children have ceased 
to be children, at least the elder ones. Meantime, there 
is, as we all know, a strong and growing popular dis- 
trust, in our own country and in others, of the close 
dynastic connections which are multiplying by means of 



[III] 



Lesson to be 
learnt from 
the 'working 
of the Royal 
Marriage 
Act. 



432 



THE DUCHESS OF GLOUCESTER. 



[Ill] 



Necessity 
for the re- 
peal of the 
Act. 



the perpetual intermarriages of a very few families. 
The political difficulties recently, and indeed constantly, 
experienced from the complication of family interests, 
involving almost every throne in Europe, are a matter of 
universal feeling and conversation. There is no chance 
for the physical and intellectual welfare of coming 
generations when marriages take place among blood 
relations; and there is no chance for morality and 
happiness when, under legal or state compulsion, young 
people love in one direction and marry in another. No 
evils that could possibly arise from marriages out of the 
royal pale can for a moment compare with the inevitable 
results of a royal marriage law like ours, perpetuated 
through other generations than the unhappy one that is 
gone. Royalty will have quite difficulties enough to 
contend with, all through Europe, in coming times, 
without the perils consequent on this law. Its operation 
will expose all the intermarried royal families in Europe 
to criticism and ultimate rejection by peoples who will 
not be governed by a coterie of persons diseased in body 
through narrow intermarriage, enfeebled in mind, strong 
only in their prejudices, and large only in their self- 
esteem and in their requirements. There is yet time to 
save the thrones of Europe or at least the royal palaces 
of England from the consequences of a collision be- 
tween the great natural laws ordained by Providence, 
and the narrow and mischievous artificial law ordained 
by a wilful King of England. That King is in his grave, 
and the last of his children is now gone to join him 
there. Let the time be laid hold of to bury his evil work 
in the tomb which is now to be sealed over him and his 
forever ; and the act will be gratefully acknowledged by 
a long line of future princes and princesses, who will b^ 



THE DUCHESS OF GLOUCESTER. 433 



spared the bitter suffering of those who have gone before. 
It can never be, as was said by wise men eighty years 
ago, that royal personages who are declared of age at 
eighteen will have no will of their own, in such a matter 
as marriage, at five-and-twenty. Marriage is too solemn 
and sacred a matter to be so treated as a piece of state 
politics : and the ordinance which is holy in the freedom 
of private life may be trusted with the domestic welfare 
of prince and peasant alike. 

'9 



[III] 



IV. 



Prussia an 
artificial, 
not a natu- 
ral state. 



KING FREDERICK WILLIAM IV. OF 
PRUSSIA. 

DIED JANUARY 20, 1861, 

KING FREDERICK WILLIAM IV. of Prussia is dead 
after a long period of disease of body and mind. He 
had become a painful spectacle in the eyes of all Europe ; 
and at a moment when we are all disposed to regard 
his life and reign in the spirit of justice rather than of 
criticism, it is natural to review the conditions which 
rendered his career a disappointment to himself and 
his people, and a byword among the nations. 

Every Prussian monarch ascends the throne under the 
evil condition that the Prussian State in its present form 
is a wholly artificial one. Why the Prussia of our 
geographies exists as a European state, no one seems 
able to say. There are no natural reasons like those 
of structure and conformation. On the map, Prussia 
looks like the Mr. Nobody of the nursery all limbs 
and no trunk all outline and no mass. Never before 
was there such a frontier to such a paucity of square 
miles. The natural weakness of Prussia in a territorial 
sense is a most depressing condition in the fortunes of 
its ruler. The population is as much an aggregation of 
shreds and patches as their abode. There is no domi- 



KING FREDERICK WILLIAM IV. OF PRUSSIA. 435 



nating sense of unity among them, and the heir of any 
throne which is based on a loose rubble of popular ma- 
terials, instead of on a sound nationality, is much to be 
pitied. Prussia in her present limits is an artificial state, 
constructed for the convenience of other states ; and it 
cannot be well governed, nor its rulers prosperous, till 
some one of them shows genius of that high order which 
can create a nationality by animating all hearts by a 
common impulse. The man who can kindle such a fire 
of patriotism as will consume all the discrepancies which 
make Prussia the political riddle of the world, may make 
her a bond fide state, and bring her into some capacity of 
being well governed ; but this was not done ready to the 
hand of Frederick William IV.; and he. was not the 
man to do it ; and whether any man can do it is as yet 
questionable. Thus far, therefore, to say that any King 
of Prussia has not made a good ruler is simply to say 
that he was not a genius of the highest order ; and it 
would be hard to blame any man for that. 

Again, the late King was born in 1795; and during 
the most impressible years of his life he was in the 
constant habit of hearing of the protracted fears, with 
short alternations of hope, in which the princes of 
Germany lived during the brilliant years of Bonaparte's 
sway. The boy lived in an atmosphere of panic. He 
was ten years old when the Prussian court was trimming 
between Bonaparte and Alexander of Russia, and keep- 
ing England quiet, and Mr. Pitt exhilarated, by promises 
of alliance ; while the only certainty in the case was that 
Prussia, having deceived all parties, would be punished 
by whichever of them should be victorious. The boy of 
eleven must have shared more or less in the distress of 
his parents and the court when the true object of the 



.[IV] 



His birth, 
1795- 



436 KING FREDERICK WILLIAM IV. OF PRUSSIA. 



[IV] 



Flight with 
his parents 
from Berlin. 



Confederacy of the Rhine was revealed, and when it was 
discovered that Prussia was despised by every govern- 
ment in Europe, and delivered up by them all to the 
mere rapacity of France. He fled with his parents when 
the French swept on toward Berlin ; and he never forgot 
the misery of renewing the flight with every fresh arrival 
of bad news till they reached Memel, and held them- 
selves ready for exile beyond the frontier. There, news 
was incessantly arriving of the seizure of fortresses and 
stores by the enemy, and at length that seven of the 
ministers of state had sworn allegiance to Bonaparte. 
The little Prince probably witnessed that pathetic scene 
between his parents and the Czar Alexander at Memel, 
in the next April, when they embraced, and kissed, and 
mingled their tears, and promised each other to devote 
their lives to the task of humbling their foe. He probably 
witnessed, too, the behavior of the Czar to his parents 
at Tilsit but a few weeks afterward, when his father was 
insulted in his daily rides, in the face of the assembled 
multitude, by the two Emperors, and when Napoleon 
quailed before the indignation and grief of the spirited 
mother of this twelve-year-old boy so early instructed 
in the instability of states, and the folly of putting trust 
in princes. It was a melancholy childhood, it must be 
owned ; but, in the midst of our compassion, we cannot 
but wish that the boy had learned to shun instead of to 
follow the example of untrustworthy princes. When he 
returned to Berlin, his father's singularly pathetic procla- 
mation, releasing the inhabitants of hj$ lost provinces 
from their allegiance, was everywhere before his eyes ; 
and the French language was everywhere in his ears, 
from the French garrisons which were stationed all over 
the country. But he was still very young when the 



KING FREDERICK WILLIAM IV. OF PRUSSIA. 



437 



cheering rally took place which showed what the people 
were made of, and opened some brightness of prospect 
to their future king. His father sent him into the field 
while he was yet too young for command. He had 
studied military science under Scharnhorst and Knese- 
beck ; and he was present in most of the great battles 
of 1813 and 1814. 

He had been meantime instructed in philosophy and 
literature, which suited him much better than practical 
military matters. He had not nerve, practical judgment, 
or decision enough for action ; yet he must have been 
endowed with some high qualities, for his tutor, Niebuhr, 
when the royal pupil was nineteen, declared that he never 
met with a finer nature. It is true, Niebuhr speaks more 
of feeling and fancy than of principle and judgment ; 
but he declares him full of the noblest gifts of nature. 
The "dream" of the Crown Prince in those days (and 
there was never a time when he did not dream) was of 
being the ruler of Greece, "in order to wander among 
the ruins, dream, and excavate." What a pity that he 
was born to the throne of Prussia ! 

He was a member of the Council of State when the 
question of the time was the granting of a parliamentary 
representation. It was a bad training for him to have 
heard the reasons for giving a constitution, if reasons 
there were, or to have seen what was yielded to fear, if 
fear was the cause of the promise ; and then to have wit- 
nessed the long delay, and the final breach of promise 
on the part of his father, which must have deeply injured 
either his principles or his sensibilities. Even Niebuhr, 
who disliked the movements on behalf of popular free- 
dom, never, in the days of his highest and latest con- 
servatism, pretended to countenance the conduct of the 



[IV] 



Niebuhr** 
opinion of 
his pupil. 



Hi s political 
training. 



438 



KING FREDERICK WILLIAM IV. OF PRUSSIA. 



[IV] 



His mar- 
riage. 



Princes of Germany, who promised constitutions, and 
then withdrew or never bestowed them. The late King 
seemed, however, radically unable to understand what 
the purpose of a constitution really was. He said he 
would never allow a bit of paper to interpose between 
him and his people ; and he evidently thought that tears, 
and kisses of the hand, and processions and demonstra- 
tions in the streets, were of far more weight and efficacy 
than constitutional provisions. He saw inscribed in the 
statute-book his father's promise in 1815 to develop the 
national representation, as soon as peace should be 
secured ; and he heard his father say, in 1817, and thence- 
forth at intervals till 1840, that "not every time is the 
right time ;" and that he had never mentioned the date at 
which he would do it. Such was the political training of 
the Crown Prince. It is no wonder that when he had 
married, in 1823, a Bavarian princess, he turned from 
politics to art, literature, and speculative philosophy. 
Niebuhr, on returning from Rome, met him again, a year 
after this marriage, and thought him "improved beyond 
description" with a mind full of knowledge, and a 
heart full of fine sensibilities. Yet at this time the Crown 
Prince's notion of European politics comprehended little 
more than the old jealousy of Austria ; and the worship 
of Russia, as the only stout bulwark against Austrian 
supremacy. There were occasional paroxysms of fear of 
revolution in 1830, for instance, and whenever reform 
was anywhere heard of; and there were occasional 
scrapes, arising from meddlings with Protestant sects, or 
getting into quarrels with the Pope and the clergy 
scrapes incurred by the third Frederick, and affording a 
curious training for the fourth of the name ; but, on the 
whole, the Prince lived for art and literature, for dreams 



KING FREDERICK WILLIAM IV. OF PRUSSIA. 



439 



and sentiment, till he came to the throne in 1840. His 
presence in this country in the beginning of 1842, and 
his far-famed breakfast with Mrs. Fry, and the high hope 
and laudation thereby created among the Quakers, are 
remembered by most of our generation. He came 
over to stand sponsor to our Prince of Wales. He had 
just done a good act in issuing an amnesty for political 
offences, and in recalling the Grimms, Professor Arndt of 
Bonn, and other scholars who had been driven abroad, 
or displaced from their functions for political reasons. 
His minister at our court was then the Chevalier Bunsen, 
whose politics were more liberal than his own ; his appa- 
rent intention was to give his people their promised 
parliament ; and nothing had occurred since he became 
king to test the genuine worth of his sentiments ; so that 
he was welcomed at our court, and in some degree by 
the nation, as something more than a political ally. The 
thought was in many minds that there might hereafter be 
intermarriages between royal children in our country and 
in his; between our Queen's children and his nephews 
and nieces (for he was himself childless). If times had 
continued quiet, and there had been no troublesome 
peoples to perplex royalties, such a friendship and such 
schemes might have prospered : but the nineteenth 
century is one which demands and imposes action ; and 
the exposure of the weakness of the poor King of Prussia, 
caused by the events of 1848, left no option to any who 
knew him about respecting or despising him. Ministers, 
friends, family, people could not help being ashamed of 
their master, friend, relative, or sovereign, after knowing 
the true story of March, 1848. Those who saw him in 
the streets of Berlin on the 2ist of that March had no 
more hope of him. 



[IV]. 



Godfather to 
the Prince of 
Wales. 



His weak- 
ness in 1848 



440 



KING FREDERICK WILLIAM IV. OF PRUSSIA. 



[IV] 

Parallel- 
isms luith 
the Stuarts. 



There had been passages in his conduct, from the day 
of his accession, which had reminded historical politicians 
of the Stuarts, though the likeness was " with a difference." 
No Stuart would have spontaneously promised the people, 
however vaguely, that their privileges should be confirmed 
and their institutions developed ; and the King did this, 
on occasion of his sentimental journey through his do- 
minions after his father's death. But when the states of 
Prussia Proper took him at his word, and thanked him 
for his purpose of fulfilling the promises of his father, he 
backed out of his engagements in true Stuart style. From 
the time of his letter to the States, reprimanding them 
for their expectation, his political reputation was gone. 
It is true he called together the provincial Estates at 
Berlin in 1847 ', but that was because he could not help 
it. He had impoverished himself by the vast military 
expenditure by which he hoped to keep down the people, 
and secure to himself the support of a great army, 
and he had given away money with both hands to Don 
Carlos and other hopeful followers of the Stuart example. 
And he wanted something else besides money. He was 
more thin-skinned than the Stuarts ; and he was wretched 
under the contempt and dislike of his people. The par- 
liament of 1847 was ms method of recovering his popu- 
larity ; and he boasted of having conceded all manner of 
valuable things, while begging the Estates to observe 
that he had "not surrendered one right of his crown." 
Well as his game of see-saw was now understood, his 
''beloved Berliners" were really surprised at his proclama- 
tion of the 1 8th of March, 1848, whereby he appeared 
to put himself in the very front of the revolutionists of 
Europe. His proposal to abolish the confederation of 
German States, and all the restrictions imposed by that 



KING FREDERICK WILLIAM IV. OF PBUSSIA. 



441 



scheme, and to constitute one German federal state, was 
almost as confounding to his own court as it must have 
been to Austria. The citizens assembled before his palace 
to cheer him for his concessions ; but, unfortunately, the 
soldiery were brought up by the King's order ; and, un- 
able to bear some popular jeers, they rode in among the 
crowd, and killed above sixty persons. The groaning 
and moaning proclamation of the King on the occasion 
declared that the sabres were meant to be sheathed, and 
that the guns of the infantry went off of themselves. 
That proclamation was not the only address to the 
"beloved Berliners." The same dedication was inscribed 
in chalk by night over the bullet sent into a post in the 
square by one of those guns, no doubt, which went off 
of themselves. 

The next morning was that on which the King and 
Queen were compelled by the assembled friends of the 
murdered citizens to come down into the courtyard of 
the palace, and with uncovered heads to view the corpses, 
and be told that they beheld their own work. There 
was some difficulty in getting the Queen down ; but her 
visitors would not depart without seeing her. Her 
husband trembled as excessively as she did. But it was 
not this which overthrew the last remains of respect in 
the minds of manly observers. It was the demeanor of 
the King on the 2ist, when he rode through the streets 
of the city, and provoked the universal remark that he 
had lost his senses. He kissed his hand and gesticulated 
like a madman, forswore all personal aims and desires, 
called Heaven to witness, in the attitude of taking an 
oath, that he desired nothing but the unity of Germany 
and the supremacy of popular interests. He declared 
that he added another to the list of mighty princes and 

19* 



[IV] 



A humilia* 
ting scene. 



442 



KING FREDERICK WILLIAM IV. OF PRUSSIA. 



[IV] 



Reactionary 
policy. 



dukes who had carried the banner of freedom at the 
head of the nation ; and that liberty and progress were 
the one thought that rilled his mind. He liberated the 
Polish and other state prisoners, and declared that this 
day would be the great day of Prussia in future history ; 
and in one sense, the last ; as the name of Prussia should 
henceforth merge in that of Germany. He said nothing 
of who was to be emperor of this united Germany ; but 
there were plenty of contemptuous spectators who saw 
that he intended to be carried into that seat of power on 
the shoulders of insurrectionary Germany. He declared 
that the people of Berlin had behaved so nobly and 
generously toward him as the population of no other 
city in the world would have done. Yet in another year 
he called (by the mouth of his minister) this movement 
"a street riot, disgraceful to Berlin and Prussia/' and 
had already committed himself to the strong though 
shallow current of reactionary policy, checked now and 
then by his hankering after the Imperial crown, which he 
fancied to be indicated by an old monkish prophecy as 
reserved for him. Before the Eastern question took 
form, and brought in new complications, he sympathized 
with Austria in dread of revolution, and in precautionary 
and repressive measures, which secured to him the hatred 
of his beloved Berliners ; while his occasional senti- 
mental snatches at the crown of federal Germany pre- 
vented any cordial friendship with Austria. In this kind 
of employment, varied by continual attempts to retain 
the name of a parliament and a press while not per- 
mitting the real existence of either, and by worshipping 
Russia, and meddling with religion, and fiddle-faddling 
with art, literature, military shows, and demonstrations of 
other sorts, the feeble King filled up the interval between 



KING FREDERICK WILLIAM IV. OF PRUSSIA. 



443 



his escapade of 1848 and the full development of the 
Eastern question. 

In one of his characteristics the deceased King was 
unlike the Stuarts ; and this quality would have entitled 
him to deep and pure compassion, if it had not been 
denied by a bad admixture. His fair family affections 
so implicated him with Russia that all possible allowance 
would have been made for him in his difficulties during 
the great Russian war, if his fair family attachments had 
not been implicated with his unfair ambition and jealousy 
with regard to Austria. The difficulty of his position 
was indeed extreme. His people feared and abhorred 
Russia, while every affection and sentiment of his own 
disposed him in favor of the Romanoffs, with whom his 
sister had become one. He did the worst thing possible 
in that hard position ; for duplicity is the lowest resource 
of all : and, hard as must have been his sacrifices in any 
course, the sacrifice of his integrity and royal good faith 
is that which the most lenient must find it most difficult 
to make allowance for. He was sufficiently punished 
punished by the loss of that public opinion of Europe 
which his vanity craved ; by the contempt of the Czar, 
which was revealed in the secret correspondence between 
Nicholas and the British Government ; by his own exclu- 
sion from the councils of the Allies ; and by the indigna- 
tion of his own people, which would have dethroned 
him if he had ruled over any but unpractical Germans. 
There is little doubt that it cost him his life, for he seems 
to have sunk under his pain of mind. In this country 
great injustice has been done to the late King in respect 
of his personal habits and especially about the nature 
and amount of his intemperance. With irritable nerves 
and a feeble brain, he was in a manner intoxicated by 



[IV] 



His affection 
for the 
Romanoffs. 



444 



KING FREDERICK WILLIAM IV. OF PRUSSIA. 



[IV] 



The close of 
his reign. 



every sort of stimulus, as well as by wine. He was 
drunk at the spectacle of a moving work of art, at the 
sound of acclamations or execrations in the streets, at 
every one of the scenes which he was so fond of getting 
up ; at pious letters from the Russian court, or at 
inditing one himself; at being called "the angel of peace" 
by the Czar Nicholas ; and at the exhibition of the 
Czar's old uniform ; at everything which in any way 
stimulated his sensibilities. He was truly pitiable in his 
latter days. He had alienated his best friends and ser- 
vants ; and when Bunsen, and Usedom, and Humboldt 
held aloof from him, after long forbearance, he found 
himself dependent on a Manteuffel, a Gerlach, and a 
Niebuhr, the younger fit comrades of the Russian 
creatures who swarmed at his court. He could scarcely 
keep on decent terms with his brother and his brother's 
son his two next successors. He was nicknamed by 
every court in Europe ; and cursed, as he knew, by his 
people, to whom he had promised the rank of a first-class 
European nation. He who above all men craved sym- 
pathy on every hand, found himself a despised outcast 
in the crisis which an able monarch would have employed 
for the establishment of his kingdom in a higher position 
than it had ever held. He was pitiable as every man is 
who finds himself in the wrong place, and has no power 
to get in a fitter. He was not "a square man in a 
round hole ;" and so far was he from being what the 
Germans so prize, "a many-sided" man, that he was not 
even that fewest-sided thing, a triangle in a square hole. 
If he had been a private citizen, he might, with his 
sensibility, his cultivation, and his intellectual tastes, 
have led a blameless, and perhaps a beneficent and 
happy life. He could not have been even a country 



KING FREDERICK WILLIAM IV. OF PRUSSIA. 445 



gentleman, in the continental sense, because his defi- 
ciency of will must have caused failure in the very 
smallest function of administration ; but as an opulent 
citizen, with his library, and chapel and music-room, 
and museum of antiquities, he might have fulfilled the 
anticipations of his old tutor, Niebuhr; but evil was 
the destiny which made him a ruling Prince in our 
revolutionary nineteenth century. 

One good may live after him. He may serve as a 
warning to his successors. It is to be hoped that they 
are not Stuarts too unable to take warning. The time 
for Stuarts will soon be over on the Continent as com- 
pletely as it has long been in England. The Prussian 
people are so deficient in political education that their 
political qualities have as yet been of no use to them : 
but the qualities exist, and the training will come, in one 
fashion or another. They will not let their Prince play 
fast and loose with them for ever, nor allow their loyalty 
and generosity to be made their snare in the future as 
they have in the past. 



[IV] 



Lessons to 
be learnt 
from his 
lift. 



V. 



Her birth, 
Aug. 17, 
1786. 



THE DUCHESS OF KENT. 
DIED MARCH i6xH, 1861. 

THIS Princess, the object of the hearty respect of the 
British nation as a high source of the virtues of their 
Sovereign, has been so exclusively regarded as the mother 
of the Queen as to have been little known outside of 
that relation. For many years she has been observed 
only as moving with the court to Frogmore when the 
Queen was at Windsor, and to Abergeldie during the 
autumn holiday of the royal family at Balmoral. Yet 
hers was a long life of strong interests, anxieties, and 
responsibilities ; and if we could know her experiences, 
we might find more romance lying between childhood 
and old age than is often found in the life of princes. 

The Princess Maria Louisa Victoria was born on the 
same day that Frederick the Great died, August 17, 1786. 
Daughter and sister of Dukes of Saxe-Cobourg Saalfeld, 
she was brought up in the dulness of a little German 
court as little German courts were in those days, when 
the invasion of French ideas, issuing from the court of 
Frederick, was only beginning to influence the German 
mind, and to create a new literary period. The small 
territory in which the Duke's seven children grew up (of 
whom the lady now deceased was the voungest but one, 



THE DUCHESS OF KENT. 



447 



and the King of Belgium the youngest), resounded with 
the din of industry, but was otherwise profoundly quiet. 
Ironworks and forges, spinning-wheels and looms at 
which the well-known Saxony cloths and linens were 
produced, saluted one sense ; while others were greeted 
by fumes from chemical and dye works and tanneries. 
With perpetual industry of this kind before their eyes, 
and a pretty country around them, and a plain and quiet 
domestic life within the chateau, these children grew up 
in the acquisition of the practical sense which has since 
distinguished them in life. Just at the time of the 
Princess's birth there was great dread in the minds of 
the Opposition in our Parliament lest England should be 
too much implicated with the smaller German states, 
which would have jeopardized her position with the 
greater Powers ; and just when the infant who was to be 
mother to a British Queen was seeing the light, Mr. Pitt 
was agreeing with Fox as to the danger, but declaring 
that it was as Elector of Hanover only that George III. 
had joined the princes' league for the preservation of 
the liberties of Germany. Either statesman would have 
been surprised to know how near an interest would be 
established between the great empire they served and 
one of the smallest of the German duchies. 

The Princess's first close interest in England came 
through her younger brother, Leopold, who caused some 
anxiety to his family by the susceptibility of his heart. 
He was at Paris when he was three-and-twenty, as aide- 
de-camp to the Grand Duke Constantine ; and there he 
fell in love with a young English lady, whose relatives 
invited him to London, whither he came in the train of 
the Allied Sovereigns in 1814. Supposing himself dis- 
tinguished by the Princess Charlotte, he proposed, and 



[V] 



Her brother 
Prince 

Leopold, 



448 



THE DUCHESS OF KENT. 



[V] 



Marriage of 
Prince 
Leopold to 
the Princess 
Charlotte. 



Death of the 

Princess 

Charlotte. 



was refused. Attending the sovereigns to Vienna, he 
was observed to be again occupied in the same way with 
a new object before the close of the year ; but in the 
interval the Princess Charlotte had become free from her 
engagements with the Prince of Orange, and an inti- 
mation reached Prince Leopold from a friend in London 
that it was against his interest to be so open in his 
attentions to the German lady. His return to London 
decided the fate of other German princes and princesses 
as well as his own. At the time of his marriage to 
the Princess Charlotte, in May, 1816, nothing could be 
further from the imagination of his sister, next above 
him in age, than that she should become more nearly 
connected with the British crown than his brother, 
whom all the world regarded as a favorite of fortune. 
She was then thirty years of age, and just two years a 
widow, having married in 1803 the Prince Enrich Charles, 
of Leiningen. Her son had been declared of age at 
nine years old, and had succeeded his father in the 
Principality of Leiningen at ten. The mother was occu- 
pied in superintending his education, and that of his 
sister, a year younger ; little imagining that her present 
life was a rehearsal of the lofty function of preparing 
another heir for a greater throne. 

Then followed the apparent overthrow of the family 
prospect, as far as the English throne was concerned. 
The dream of greatness was dissolved in tears ; and the 
widower of our beloved Princess Charlotte was sympa- 
thized with by all, and, no doubt, eminently by his sister, 
as the sport, after having seemed to be the favorite, of 
fortune. But a few weeks proved that new entrances 
into our royal family were opened by the change in the 
prospect of the succession. The Princess Charlotte died 



THE DUCHESS OF KENT. 



449 



in November, 1817; and within six months no less than 
four marriages were announced to Parliament, as ap- 
proved by the Regent, on behalf of his brothers and one 
ister the Princess Elizabeth. The Duke of Cumberland 
t had been married three years, and his elder brother of 
York long before. The Dukes of Clarence, Kent, and 
Cambridge now announced their engagements ; and the 
most immediately popular was undoubtedly that of the 
Duke of Kent. That of the Duke of Clarence was 
declared to be broken off, on account of the unwilling- 
ness of Parliament to grant him a larger income than 
his brothers ; and one effect of this incident was to turn 
general attention to the Duke of Kent, as not only a 
probable successor to the throne, but the father of the 
future line. It soon appeared, however, that the Clarence 
marriage was to take place, which it did on the I3th of 
July, 1818. The Duke of Kent was married on the 
2 Qth of May, and the Duke of Cambridge on the ist of 
June. 

If the Duke of Sussex was the most popular in the 
political world for his comparative liberalism, his brothers 
of Kent and Cambridge were most generally beloved for 
their interest in benevolent projects and informal kind- 
liness, of the "true British" character, in which the 
Regent was remarkably deficient. There was a strong 
impression abroad, too, that the good-natured Prince 
Edward had been neglected first, and oppressed after- 
ward, by his obstinate and prejudiced father ; and when 
to these causes of interest was added that of his wife 
being a sister of Prince Leopold, with whom all England 
was still mourning, it was natural that the heart of the 
nation should especially follow his fortunes. There was 
no disposition on this account to vote him more money 



[V] 



Marriage 
'with the 
Duke of 



450 



THE DUCHESS OF KENT. 



[V] 



Re-mar- 
riage accord 
ing to the 
rites of the 
English 
Church. 



than the small income given to his brothers. Parliament 
had refused to give io,ooo/. a year to the Duke of 
Clarence ; and now they were all to have an addition of 
6,000!., and no more. Hence the load of debt which 
weighed upon the Duchess of Kent for many years. The 
Duke had shown the same lavish tendencies which made 
the family generally so unpopular in Parliament ; and he 
had no opportunity of rectifying his affairs before he 
died. His income somewhat exceeded 30,0007. after 
his marriage ; but certain loans from the Admiralty 
Droits had remained unpaid for above ten years ; and 
the interest of these, and his great amount of private 
debts, so far hampered him that neither he nor his widow 
could ever have felt at ease about pecuniary affairs. 
Hence, perhaps, the care with which their child was 
trained in habits of rectitude and punctuality in money 
matters which have made her a noble exception to all 
family tradition in that branch of morals. 

The Duke and Duchess came to England, to be re- 
married according to the rites of our Church, and were 
received by Prince Leopold at Claremont, on the ist of 
July. For the sake of economy they presently returned 
to the residence of the Princes of Leiningen, at Amor- 
bach, where they lived in retirement. Lord Eldon, being 
consulted on behalf of one or other of the royal duchesses, 
gave it as his opinion that it was not necessary that the 
expected infants should be born in England ; and it was 
at Hanover therefore that the present Duke of Cambridge 
was born, on the 26th of the next March, and that a 
daughter to the Duke of Clarence was born and died the 
next day ; while the present King of Hanover was born 
at Berlin in May. But the Duke and Duchess of Kent 
desired that their child should be a native of England, 



THE DUCHESS OF KENT. 



and came over in April, 1819, the Princess Victoria being 
born at Kensington Palace, on the 24th of the next 
month. The year 1819 was full of public distress and 
disturbance from end to end ; but it removed all appre- 
hension about heirs of the crown in the next generation. 
There was no longer a fear that we should be governed 
by a succession of childless old men. 

For the sake of a mild winter for the infant, the Duke 
removed his household to Sidmouth in November. On 
the 1 3th of January he took a long walk with Captain 
(afterward Sir John) Conroy, and both got their feet wet. 
Captain Conroy entreated the Duke to change his boots, 
but he was playing with his infant, -and delayed too long. 
He was ill at night, in a high fever the next morning, and 
died on the 23d of pulmonary inflammation. For five 
nights the Duchess never left his bedside, and from the 
second day of the illness she was supported and aided by 
Prince Leopold, who went to her at once, and relieved 
her afterward of all external cares, till she was again 
settled at Kensington Palace. By the Duke's will, her 
duty was laid out for the best years of her life. ' ' I do 
nominate, constitute, and appoint my beloved wife 
Victoire, Duchess of Kent, to be sole guardian of our 
dear child, the Princess Alexandrina Victoire, to all 
intents and for all purposes whatever." When she 
received, by deputations, the addresses of condolence 
offered by the two Houses of Parliament, the infant was 
in her arms ; and the study of her life from that day 
forward was to establish a mutual understanding and 
accord between the people of England and the Princess 
who would probably stand in the closest possible relation 
to them hereafter. 

This was a task of extreme and extraordinary difficulty, 



[V] 

Birth of the 
Princess 
Victoria^ 
1819. 



Death of the 
Duke, 1820. 



The Duchess 
appointed 
guardian of 
the Princess 
Victoria. 



452 



THE DUCHESS OF KENT. 



[V] 

Difficulties 
of the task. 



Death of 
George III. 



owing to the complications and uncertainties of the case. 
If it is difficult in a case of presumptive heirship in 
private life to decide how to educate a boy, whether for 
probable wealth or possible poverty ; it is infinitely more 
so when the question is between the possession of a 
crown and the dull and aimless life of a subject Prince 
and yet more, Princess. In the former case it may be 
said, "Educate your son thoroughly for the lower career, 
and he will do very well in the higher ;" but to reign over 
a kingdom requires a training so special as to unfit the heir 
to enjoy the private life of princes. For many years the 
lot of the Princess was in suspense ; and seldom has a 
mother undergone such wear and tear of anxiety and 
responsibility as the Duchess of Kent sustained on this 
account. The question of the succession was simplified 
from time to time : but it was not till within a few months 
of her accession that there was anything like security 
that the Princess would ever be Queen of England. 

The old King died six days after the Duke of Kent ; 
and there was an immediate revival of the rumors 
about George IV. getting a divorce after all. In ' ' Lord 
Eldon's Life" (ii. 305), we are shown, by a letter of 
the Prince Regent's, how eager he was for this divorce 
within two months of his daughter's death. His vehe- 
ment self-will about "unshackling himself" brought 
matters to such a pass in 1820, that there were few 
people in England who did not fully expect to see 
Queen Caroline put away, and the King married again 
in the course of the year. There was, in fact, a majority 
of nine in favor of the Bill (which was one of divorce 
as well as degradation); but even the King did not 
venture to proceed upon this. It was only for a few 
months that the matter seemed settled \ for the Queen 



THE DUCHESS OF KENT. 



453 



died in August of the next year, and the marriage of 
the King was repeatedly rumored, before popular ex- 
pectation turned to the royal brothers. At the end of 
1820, another daughter, who was named Elizabeth, in 
consideration of her prospects, was born to the Duke of 
Clarence, but the child died in infancy. In 1827 the 
Duke of York died ; and in 1830, the King. 

This ushered in a new period in the function of the 
Duchess of Kent. For the first ten years of her child's 
life she had lived retired, and had provided for the 
physical health and educational training of the Princess 
with all simplicity as well as completeness. All that was 
known was that the Princess was met, even on cold and 
windy days, dressed and in exercise in good pedestrian 
style crossing a heath perhaps, with her young com- 
panions, in thick shoes and stout duffle cloak and that 
she was reared in as much honesty and care about 
money matters as any citizen's child. It became known 
at Tunbridge Wells that the Princess had been unable to 
buy a box at a bazaar, because she had spent her money. 
At this bazaar, she had bought presents for almost all her 
relations, and had laid out her last shilling, when she 
remembered one cousin more, and saw a box, priced 
half-a-crown, which would suit him. The shop-people 
of course placed the box with the other purchases ; but 
the little lady's governess admonished them, by saying, 
" No ; you see the princess has not got the money, and 
therefore, of course, she cannot buy the box." This 
being perceived, the next offer was to lay by the box till 
it could be purchased; and the answer was, "Oh, well, 

if you will be so good as to do that ;" and the 

thing was done. On quarter-day, before seven in the 
morning, the Princess appeared on her donkey to claim 



[V] 



The train- 
ing of the 
Princess 
Victoria. 



454 



THE DUCHESS OF KENT. 



[V] 



The Regency 
Bill pro- 
vides for 
the Duchess 
being 
Regent. 



her purchase. Anecdotes like these, apparently small, 
have large meanings ; and in such traits people saw 
promise of the rectitude and elevated economy which 
have made the mother of our large royal family respected 
by the people whose need and convenience she has so 
admirably respected. 

She was eleven years old when William IV. sent his' 
first message to Parliament, in which there was no 
allusion to the appointment of a regency. In case of 
his death without such a provision being made, she 
would have been sovereign, with full powers at once, as 
the minority of a sovereign is not recognized by our 
laws. There was another consideration which must 
have aggravated the anxiety of the watchful mother 
that the next eldest uncle was the Duke of Cumberland. 
Little as could be said about this, the thought was in 
almost all minds that the Princess would not be alto- 
gether safe in her seat without the protection of a 
regency. The only apparent exceptions were the 
ministers, who said a great deal about the excellent 
health and probable long life of their master an infirm 
old man of sixty-five. The danger was allowed to exist 
till the new parliament met in November, when a Regency 
Bill provided that, in the event of no posthumous issue 
of the King appearing, in which case the Queen was to 
be regent, the Duchess of Kent should be regent (unless 
she married a foreigner) till the Princess Victoria came 
of age. Still there were uncertainties. The King might 
have children ; and mysterious dangers seemed to impend 
from the Duke of Cumberland, the extent of which be- 
came revealed to the astonished nation in 1835, when 
a committee of inquiry, obtained by Mr. Hume, brought 
to light a scheme for setting aside the succession, which 



THE DUCHESS OF KENT. 



455 



it would be scarcely possible to believe now, but for the 
substantial documentary evidence which remains in our 
hands. The Orange leaders had got it into their heads 
that the Duke of Wellington meant to seize the crown, 
and that the right thing to be done in opposition was to 
make the Duke of Cumberland king. Letters were pro- 
duced which proved that the notion of certain friends 
and tools of the future King of Hanover was that it 
would be necessary to declare King William insane, and 
the Princess disqualified for reigning, by being a minor 
and a woman. Under the explosion of loyalty thus 
caused on behalf of a good-natured old king and a 
fatherless princess, Orangeism and its leader promised 
whatever was required, and disappeared from public 
notice. All was safe after 1836 ; but the preceding five 
years must have been heavily weighted with care to the 
guardian of the presumptive heiress of the throne. 

The Princess was now becoming known, more or less, 
to her future people. She had not appeared at the last 
coronation ; and the plea was that her health required 
her residence in the Isle of Wight at that time, when she 
was indeed too young for a scene where she must have 
filled so conspicuous a station. It was believed, too, 
that she had but recently become aware of her regal 
destination. But her guardian perceived that the time 
had arrived for procuring for her the advantages of travel, 
and of intercourse with superior minds. In 1831 began 
a series of tours the first comprehending the oldest of 
our cities, Chester, several cathedrals, some noblemen's 
seats, and, finally, the University of Oxford. By degrees 
she became thus accustomed to the gaze of a multitude, 
and the homage of strangers, and formalities of proces- 
sions, addresses, and, generally, the observances which 



[V] 



Introduction 
of the Prin- 
cess into 
public life. 



456 



THE DUCHESS OF KENT. 



[V] 



Burdens 
incurred by 
the Duchess, 



Honorably 
discharged 
by the 
Princess. 



must occupy a large portion of her life. At the same time 
the Duchess adopted the practice of inviting to Kensing- 
ton travellers and voyagers, men of science, and other 
persons distinguished in the intellectual world, from whom 
the Princess might gather various information more 
freshly than from books an experiment sometimes found 
rather awkward at the moment by all parties, but well 
intended, and probably of more or less use. The 
few years of the preceding reign were industriously 
employed. 

They were not free from heavy and various cares. 
The expenses of such a method were so great that the 
debts of the Duchess became almost as onerous as those 
of her husband. Encroachments were made which she 
thought it more politic to yield to than to resist, and 
the petitions for subscriptions for everything, from blind 
asylums to racing-cups, would have exhausted an income 
ten times more royal. The Duchess's reliance (after- 
ward justified) was that the Queen would pay the debts 
incurred in her preparation for sovereignty. After her 
accession, and when nobly portioned for a maiden Queen, 
the dutiful daughter paid off her father's debts in the 
first year, in the joint names of the Duchess and her- 
self, and her mother's in the next. But there were 
troubles more wearing than those of insufficient income. 
It was a matter of extreme nicety to claim due obser- 
vance for the Princess without insisting on too much ; 
and it was inevitable that some parties, and probable 
that all, would be displeased. There was the same 
danger about the exercise of authority over the Princess 
herself ; and a long series of troubles hence arose. The 
free and easy style of life in the King's family, where the 
King and Queen and all the Fitzclarences disliked for- 



THE DUCHESS OF KENT. 



457 



mality, and lived very much like quiet people of other 
ranks, did not always suit the notions of the Duchess of 
Kent as to the observance which her daughter's presence 
should command : and hence coolness arose which 
could not be concealed from the public. We, however, 
have only to bear in mind, in reviewing the life of the 
Duchess of Kent, that she had much to suffer in the 
discharge of a function by which the nation has largely 
benefited. When her task seemed to be closed, and 
she might have hoped to rest on the result of her labors 
and her anxieties, she had some bitter griefs to endure, 
some few dreary years to pass before she tasted that 
repose which she had so well earned ' and in which her 
latter years were passed. 

The day at last dawned for which she had lived so 
devotedly for so many years ; and it found her wakeful 
and prepared. The early sun was shining in, that Mid- 
summer morning it was before five o'clock on the 2Oth 
of June when the doors of the palace were thrown open 
to admit the Primate, the royal physician, and the Lord 
Chamberlain, who came to greet the Princess as Queen. 
The Duchess and her daughter were standing ready for the 
announcement, and prepared for the trying transactions of 
the day. From the day when Prince Albert entered upon 
the scene, and, yet more, from the hour when Sir Robert 
Peel assumed Lord Melbourne's place as the Queen's 
chief adviser, everything brightened to the Duchess of 
Kent. The Queen has never been more heartily cheered 
than when, instantly after the first of the silly pistol-shots 
which were at one time discharged at her by stupid boys 
to make themselves famous, she altered the course of 
her drive, and went to inform her mother of the attempt 
in person, before she could be alarmed by the rumor of 



[V] 



The morn- 
ing of the 

Accessiou, 



458 



THE DUCHESS OF KENT. 



[V] 

Happiness 
of her latter 
years. 



it. That was in 1840. The latter years of the vene- 
rable Duchess have been filled with interest and with 
cheerfulness by the arrival of a long succession of grand- 
children, by their growth and expansion into promise of 
various kinds, and by the early settlement in life of the 
eldest. At the marriage of the Princess Royal, her 
grandmother was observed to be much altered, and to be 
in very delicate health. She had sustained the. shock of 
her son's death a year or two before, and her life had 
been on the whole one of wear and tear which rendered 
it somewhat surprising that she should have passed the 
old threescore years and ten. She accomplished, with 
little flagging, the periodical removals to Scotland, the 
Isle of Wight, Windsor, and London, which were as 
regularly established for her as for the court ; and, bodily 
suffering apart, her old age was a happy one, many of its 
hours being passed in her royal daughter's presence, and 
many more cheered by the affectionate attentions of her 
grandchildren. As for 'the people of England, they re- 
ceived her with manifest respect, wherever she appeared ; 
and she must have been almost tired of hearing, for 
many years before her death, that that respect was offered 
as her due for the boon she had conferred on the nation 
in the virtues of her daughter. The same thing must be 
told once more, however, though her ear is now dead to 
human praise. It must be told in history, 



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" One of the daintiest possible of volumes. The page is exquisite, 
and the binding befits it. * * * The story is full of humor, inter- 
mingled with strains of heroism and pathos, and sustained all the 
while by a noble moral of duty to man and trust in God. Of all the 
queer German tales which we have read, this is one of the queerest." 
New Englander. 

Mozart. A Biographical Novel. 

From the German of HERIBERT RAU, by EDWARD 
ROWLAND SILL. Cloth, gilt, $1.75; plain, $1.50; paper 
$1.00. 

"A succession of beautiful pictures from the life of the sensitive and 

impassioned artist The work has the charm of actual adventure and 

incident, without the usual waxen formality of the historical romance. 
The description of European social life, especially the German domes- 
tic sketches, are brilliant and often delightful. Mr. Sill has evidently 
engaged in the translation not as a task, out as a labor of love, and haa 
admirably succeeded."^". Y. Tribune. 

"A story full of insight and artistic sympathy a beautiful memorial 
and tribute to the life, the trials, the triumphs, and the memory oi 
genius ; and, besides all this, has the charm of a fascinating narrative 
and the value of a genuine memoir." -Bosto/j Transcript. 

"A book of rare and absorbing interest." Hours at Home. 



RECENT PUBLICATIONS. 



MRS. JENKIN'S NOVELS. 

Just ready. 

Madame de Beaupre. 

l>y Mrs. 0. JEXTVTN, author of " A Psyche of To 
ilay," " AVho Breaks Pays," etc. ICnio. $1.25. 

In preparation. 

" Once and Again." " Cousin Stella." 

Eecentty Published. 

A Psyche of To-day. 

By Mrs. C. JENXIN, author of "Who Breaks 
Pays." $1.25. 

" After opening the pretty volume of this story, we did what a 
newspaper reviewer rarely finds time to do with a book to be 
noticed' read it through without stopping, from title-page to 
flnis. * * * It is a oook to be welcomed in any home." 
Jf. Y. Times. 

" A capital novel of modern French life and society. * * * 
The writer's method of composition, so bright, crisp, and sug- 
gestive, adds greatly to the effect of her wit, observation, and 
sentiment." Boston Transcript. 

" Displays great delicacy of feeling and perception of character, 
and is written, in an admirable style." Springfield Republican. 

" A charming Novel." Philadelphia Press. 

Two NOVELS WORTH BEADING. Nation. 

" Who Breaks Pays." By the author 

of "Cousin Stella," "Skirmishing," &c. 1 vol., 12mo. 
Cloth. Price, $1.25. 

" Who Breaks- ys," is a love tale, told with exquisite pathos 
and poetry. There i a freshness and originality about the book 
wl-.ich give it a place among the standard works of the day." 
Circular. 



"One of the most interesting stories wo have ever read. It Ja 
* love tale, but most unlike thetraahv stuff published as pxich, and 
worthy the reading of intellectual people." Boston Saturday 
Evening Gazette, 

Skirmishing. By the Author of " Who 

Breaks -Pays," etc. 12mo. Cloth. Price, $1.25. 



work of art, such as tlie weary critic has soldom tho plcaaure of 
mooting "with." The London Reader. 



RECENT PUBLICATIONS. 



The Annals of Rural Bengal. 

By W. W. HUNTER, B. A. , M. R A. S. First American, 
from the second English Edition. 8vo. Cloth. $4. 

Written with " the insight of Colonel Tod and the research of Mr. 
Duff, in prose almost as good as that of Mr. Froude." * * * If Mr. 
Hunter does not ultimately compel recognition from the world as an his- 
torian of the very first class, of the class to which not a score of Eng- 
lishmen have ever belonged, we entirely mistake our trade. * * * He 
has executed with admirable industry and rare power of expression a 
task, which, so far as we know, has never yet been attempted he has 
given life and reality and interest to the internal history of an Indian 
province under British rule, to a history, that is, without battles or 
sieges or martial deeds of any sort. * * We have given but a faint 
sketch of the mass of matter in this volume, the rare merit of which 
will sometimes only be perceptible to Anglo-Indians unaccustomed to 
see their dry annals made as interesting as a novel. We most cordially 
counsel Mr. Hunter, of whom, it is needful to repeat, the writer never 
heard before, to continue the career he has chalked out for himself." 
Spectator. 

"Mr. Hunter has given us abook that not only possesses sterling 
historical value, but is thoroughly readable * * The picture of the 
great famine of 1769, which did so much toward ruining the native 
Bengal aristocracy, is worthy of Thucydides ; and the two chapters about 
the Indian Aborigines, especially about the Santals, who astonished us 
so much in 1855, form a pleasing monograph from which the reader 
may learn more about the origin of Caste and the relations of the 
Aryan and Turanian languages, and the connection between Buddhism 
and Hinduism, than from a score of the old-fashioned 'authorities.' " 
Imperial Review. 

" Mr. Hunter's style is charming; though not faultless, it is clear, 
direct, thoughtful, and often eloquent ; and his matter is so full of varied 
interest, that, despite a few pages of somewhat technical discussion on 
a question of language, his book as a whole is fascinating to the general 
reader." N. Y. Evening Post. 

The Ideal in Art. 

By H. TAINE, author of " Italy," etc. .Cloth. $1.50. 

" It is a classic upon its subject, and ought to be not merely read, but 
mastered and made familiar by all who wish to have the right to form 
opinions of their own on the productions of the arts of design." N. Y. 
Evening Post. 

(S*,e notices (J/TAINE'S ITA.LY on another page.} 



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Martineau, Harriet 

Biographical sketches 



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