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EMINENT PERSONS 



-S>- 



EMINENT PEESONS 



BIOGBAPHIES 



REPEINTED FKOM THE TIMES 



VOLUME V 
1891—1892 



llontion 

MACMILLAN AND CO., Ltd. 

NEW YORK: THE MACMILLAN CO. 

AND 8T|je €imc8 OFFICE, PRINTING HOUSE SQUARE 
1896 

All rights reserved 



CONTENTS 



A. W. KlNGLAKE 










PAGE 

1 


George Bancroft 










8 


Charles Bradlaugh . 










14 


General Sherman 










19 


Prince Napoleon 










30 


Lord Granville 










39 


Field-Marshal von Moltke 










54 


Archbishop Magee 










83 


Sir John Macdonald . 










90 


'James Russell Lowell 










100 


Jules Grevy . 










109 


General Boulanger . 










118 


W. H. Smith . 










125 


Charles Stewart Parnell 










133 


Lord Lytton 










147 


The Ex-Emperor of Brazil 










153 


The Duke of Devonshire 










162 


Sir William White . 










173 



vi EMINENT PEE 
Sir George Airy 


SONS 






PAGE 

178 


Tewfik Pasha, Khedive of Egypt 








183 


Cardinal Manning 








190 


Mr. Spurgeon . 










203 


Sir James Caird 










211 


. Viscount Hampden 










216 


Professor E. A. Freeman 




« 






221 


Walt Whitman 










226 


Lord Bramwell 










230 


Thomas Cooper 










239 


Viscount Sherbrooke 










246 


i John Greenleaf Whittier 










255 


M. Renan 










263 


/Lord Tennyson 










272 


Sir Richard Owen 










291 



A. W. KINGLAKE 

1811-1891 

Obituary Notice, Saturday, January 3, 1891 

The death, of Mr. Kinglake, which, took place at his London 
residence on Friday afternoon, can only be regarded as a merci- 
ful release from sufferings endured with characteristic fortitude. 
For long his life must have been somewhat burdensome. 
Though he loved to seclude himself with his work and his 
books, to the last he was eminently sociable, and his growing 
deafness must have been exquisitely trying to a man who was 
morbidly sensitive to the finesse of intellect and the refinements 
of thought 

But more serious trials were to follow. Cancer laid hold of 
the roots of the tongue, and painful operations only brought 
temporary relief. The pen fell from the hand of the brilliant 
historian, and it was sad for his friends to have their inquiries 
as to his health answered by the Sister of Charity who acted 
as his amanuensis. Subsequently he rallied wonderfully and 
almost recovered any cheerfulness he had lost. 

Nearly to the last, so far as possible, he had been faithful to 
his old habits and to his favourite haunts. His mother, as he 
tells us in Eothen, had taught him in earliest childhood to find 
a home in the saddle ; but many years ago, as he felt infirmities 
stealing upon him, he had given up his morning canters in the 
Park. Till recently the best part of his days were spent in the 
bright rooms in Hyde Park Place, looking through the smoke 
vol. v j$ B 



2 EMINENT PERSONS 

of Belgravia to the Surrey Hills. There he never seemed to 
consider a visit an intrusion, so long as the caller was in any 
way congenial. 

His, in the latter and even in earlier days, was always a kind 
of busy idleness. Perpetually occupied, and even consenting to 
much indispensable drudgery, he would always take his own 
time, and passively protest against being over-driven. Sacks of 
Crimean correspondence might be seen standing at his elbow, 
which his patient acuteness was to overhaul in due course. 
Very late in the afternoon he would take a cab down to Pali- 
Mall, where his clubs, the Travellers' and the Athenaeum, 
stand conveniently side by side. The Athenseum was his 
habitual place of resort He was something of a bon vivant, 
and his petit diner soigne' would be served, as a rule, at the 
small round table, in the north-eastern corner of the dining- 
room. 

Till death stepped in to make a melancholy clearance, the 
same quartette was to be seen there most evenings, although 
there might often be an additional guest. There was Mr. 
Hay ward, one of Kinglake's closest and dearest friends, who, 
like Kinglake, had been gradually giving up general society ; 
there was also Mr. Chenery, and Sir Henry Bunbury. The 
privileged strangers admitted to the select little company were 
sure to carry away delightful impressions, especially when 
Kinglake and Hayward could be led on to cap reminiscences. 
Both the men had marvellous memories ; both had the art of 
giving point and picturesqueness to anecdotes ; both had known 
more or less intimately almost every one who was worth the 
knowing, and could hit off a high character in a single sharp 
touch with an appropriate reminiscence by way of illustration. 

A milder- mannered man than Mr. Kinglake never lived. 
He had the gentle and courteous formality of the old school ; 
and he would breathe out a stinging epigram with a depre- 
catory softness that appeared oddly incongruous. It needed some 
such reminder to persuade you that the kindly and soft-spoken 
gentleman could be a terrible and most inveterate enemy, when 
he chose to consider it his mission to advocate a cause or assail 
a reputation. Possibly he might have made his mark at the 
Bar had he stuck to it ; but his temperament was more that of 
the advocate or of the criminal prosecutor than of the Judge. 
He could see but a single side of a case, and as he read up his 



A. W. KINGLAKE 3 

brief and assimilated his materials, prepossessions and pre- 
judices grew to settled convictions. Thenceforward the obtain- 
ing a verdict became a matter of pride and conscience with the 
historian. No one knew better how to tone down the viru- 
lence of invective by admissions in favour of the victim, more 
damaging than the most stinging sarcasm. But at all events, he 
had one qualification of the capable Judge — he serenely set at 
defiance men whose regard he must have valued. There was 
no questioning his literary courage, and it was of a somewhat 
rare kind, as he had exceptional opportunities of showing. In 
his history he dealt hard measure indiscriminately to the 
leading members of the House of Commons in which he sat ; 
to some of the men who gave the laws to London society ; even 
to the chiefs of the party he consistently supported. 

The eldest son of Mr. Kinglake of Wiltonhouse, near 
Taunton, Alexander William Kinglake was born in 1811. He 
has said something in Eothen of his earliest education. " The 
most humble and pious of women was yet so proud a mother 
that she could teach her first-born son no Watts's Hymns — no 
collects for the day ; she could teach him in earliest childhood 
no less than this — to find a home in his saddle and to love old 
Homer and all that Homer sung." The light of those " heroic 
days" was overclouded when he went to school, doomed to 
grind over "vile, monkish, doggerel grammars and graduses, 
etc.," and from a private school it was a relief to be sent to 
Eton, where he could at least go his own way out of school 
hours and indulge his favourite tastes. 

He was to complete an irregular education by travel, for 
shortly after graduating at Cambridge he started on his memor- 
able Eastern tour, and Eothen was the result. Slight as it pro- 
fessed to be, its publication was characteristically deferred, and 
he is said literally to have laid to heart the sarcastic advice of 
Pope, when the Twickenham sage counsels a writer to keep his 
piece for nine years. Eothen came out in 1844, and the writer, 
like Byron, awoke to find himself famous. There was a charm 
and a freshness about these sketches of travel, which recom- 
mended them at once to all cultivated readers. We may be 
sure, from what we know of Kinglake's subsequent literary 
methods, that during those nine years of incubation the file had 
been assiduously applied, and that the first careless familiarity 
of the language had been studiously revised. 



4 EMINENT PERSONS 

In 1837 he had been called to the Bar ; but he took to the 
work listlessly, and probably with neither the intention nor 
expectation of succeeding. With politics it was very different. 
From first to last he was a keen and earnest politician, at least 
on questions that chanced to interest him or appeal to his 
sympathies. He was a man with quiet ambitions, and a full 
consciousness of his own remarkable powers, and, doubtless, on 
entering for a Parliamentary career, he dreamed of far higher 
distinction than he attained. Be that as it may, in the spring 
of 1857 he was brought in as a Liberal for Bridgwater — a 
borough in his own county. He had hardly sat in the House 
for a year when we find him moving the first amendment 
against the Conspiracy BilL The matter of the speech is 
excellent ; occasionally he rose to the occasion in passages of 
genuine eloquence ; but the manner of his delivery was far 
from impressive, and his feebleness of voice was greatly against 
him. He failed to hold the attention of an assembly which 
missed the essential links in his arguments. 

Always a zealous champion of the oppressed, he interposed 
in favour of the unfortunate crew of the Cagliari, who had 
fallen into the clutches of the tyrannical Government of Naples, 
and of the crew of the Charles and George, in whose case the 
principles of international law had been even more grossly out- 
raged by the Portuguese. But naturally he was never more in 
his element than when denouncing, in 1860, the Imperial 
annexation of Savoy and Nice. The Emperor of the French 
had invariably been his bite noire, and he happened to be 
specially well-informed as to the facts of the coup d'etat, as 
revealed by the late Mr. Laurence Oliphant in his Recollections. 
Oliphant and Kinglake were intimate acquaintances, and had 
frequently discussed that scandalous piece of statecraft We may 
add that at the election of 1868 he was again returned for the 
little Somersetshire borough, but only to lose his seat on petition. 

It was in 1856 that the opportunity offered for the work on 
which his fame will rest. Lady Raglan requested him to 
write the history of the Crimean Campaign down to the death 
of her husband, placing at his disposal the mass of letters and 
papers in her possession. We can understand the motives that 
iiitlunnccd Lady Raglan's selection of an historian, or rather of 
a biographer, for in fact the volumes are mainly the life of the 
Commander-in-Chief. 



A. W. KINGLAKE 5 

Nor as the guardian of Lord Raglan's memory had she 
reason to regret her choice. Kinglake had been his personal 
friend, and had ridden with his staff after the landing in the 
Crimea. He was sure to say all, and perhaps even more than 
all, that might he fairly said in favour of the friend he 
enthusiastically admired. He had made the theories of war- 
fare his study, and General Hamley admitted afterwards, in an 
article in Blackwood that stung him deeply, that he "dealt 
extremely well with the technicalities of the military art." 
Indeed, he had been more than a mere student. In 1845 his 
interest in military operations had led him, in Dugald Dalgetty's 
language, to take a turn with the French flying columns in 
Algeria, when they were carrying fire and sword among the 
Arabs and the Kabyles. He had accompanied St. Arnaud's 
" Infernal " column on the march, and, we presume, had 
accepted St. Arnaud's hospitality, when the future chief of the 
French forces in the Crimea was contemplating and " concealing 
from every officer and man around him a deed of such a kind 
that few men, perhaps, have ever done the like of it in secret." 
When war had been proclaimed with the Czar, Kinglake was 
one of the first of the English travelling gentlemen who found 
their way to Constantinople. None of those amateurs were 
more favoured. He landed with the army of invasion, he was 
present at the battle of the Alma, and he remained long enough 
before Sebastopol to see the earlier developments of the siege 
works. 

The first volumes of the history were eagerly expected. 
The fruit of seven years of labour, they appeared in 1863. 
Not only had he used the materials iq. possession of Lady 
Raglan, but when it was known that he had gone, as may 
be said, officially to work, communications poured in upon him 
from England, France, and even Russia, and from men who 
had been more or less conspicuous in the war. Naturally the 
book created a wide sensation. It was evident that the writer 
had put his whole heart and mind into the work. As for the 
faults, they were often such as rather added to its popu- 
larity than detracted from it When it came into the hands of 
the critics, whether they regarded it from the literary or 
the military point of view, strictures of extreme severity were 
freely mingled with the praise. And some of the critics were 
military men in the highest rank as soldiers and strategists. 



6 EMINENT PERSONS 

The narrative was condemned as digressive and discursive. 
But it was admitted on the whole that the author of Eothen 
had surmounted the seemingly insurmountable difficulty of 
throwing a fascination over tedious diplomatic negotiations and 
the dry rechauffe of Blue-hooks. Again, as in Eothen, the 
initiated thought they recognised laborious artifice under the 
affectation of a rough simplicity. How he had weighed each 
epithet may be judged by the fact that in the rare corrections 
to a subsequent edition he modified the word " sprung," as 
going beyond the truth, and "expressing undue celerity of 
movement." He certainly twisted facts to suit his theories. 
At the same time, we believe that he wrote in perfect honesty 
and good faith. In fact, like Mr. Gladstone, he could persuade 
himself of anything, and, when he had once been converted by 
his own sophistries, he made it his business to convince other 
people. 

There was no denying the life-like resemblance of his 
portraiture, but the very excellence of the likeness made many 
of them aggravating caricatures. The noblest is perhaps that 
of Todleben, and it is Todleben who is the real hero of the 
seventh volume. Lord Baglan was inevitably flattered ; and it 
is strange that so quick-witted a writer as Kinglake should not 
have perceived that much which he means for praise is really 
blame or irony. Kinglake delights to glorify Lord Raglan's 
generalship. Yet he represents him at the Alma, sitting serene 
like Jove upon a mound, calmly surveying sublunary affairs 
through the cannons' smoke, and declining to interfere by aides- 
de-camp or otherwise. 

As for the public men whom Kinglake misunderstood or 
failed to appreciate, "or whose conduct he condemned upon 
public grounds, he etches rather than paints them. Elaborate 
etchings they are, in which dark shadows predominate, but 
faintly relieved by fitful gleams of light. The likeness is 
touched and retouched with the needle of steel, and each feature 
is burned in with biting acid. Lord Stratford de Redcliffe, Mr. 
Gladstone, Lord Palmerston, above all " the brethren of the 
Elysde," are cases in point. Reading between the lines of 
the history, we see that Nicholas, and not Napoleon, was the 
real author of the war. 

Unquestionably the Mephistopheles of Kinglake was for the 
time the Dictator of France ; he was irresponsible, except to 



A. W. KINGLAKE 7 

himself, for the issues of peace and war. But the historian 
goes so far as to assert that the Ministers of England had 
become his servile puppets. He maintains that, exacting the 
very letter of his bond, Napoleon had actually dictated to Lord 
Aberdeen the most significant passages of her Majesty's speech 
when war and peace were trembling in the balance. We need 
add no more to indicate the lengths to which he would push 
a favourite prejudice. We have deemed it right to indicate the 
fundamental faults which detract from the value of one of the 
most brilliant of English histories. But it is that history of the 
Crimean war which will hand the name of Kinglake down to 
posterity ; and it is but right that in doing justice to his literary 
genius we should show the injustices into which he was be- 
trayed by his one-sided views and the temperament of a partisan. 
We have treated the work as a whole ; but, though 1863 saw 
the publication of the first volumes, the last volume did not 
issue from the press till within a very few years of the writer's 
death. In fact the book completely occupied half his life. We 
may add a word or two as to his long connection with his 
publishers, the Blackwoods. In August 1862 he wrote his 
first letter to the late Mr. John Blackwood, enclosing an intro- 
duction from Sir Henry Drummond Wolff. We believe, by the 
way, that both Kinglake and Sir Henry had been frequent 
contributors to the Owl, the precursor of the social journals, 
during its brief but brilliant existence. Mr. Laurence Oliphant 
happened to be on a visit to Mr. Blackwood at his place near St. 
Andrews when the letter arrived. Mr. Blackwood said, in 
answering the letter, "What he (Oliphant) says increases my desire 
to make further acquaintance with you, and he wishes we could 
meet." There is a confidential letter to his manager next day, 
" Oliphant tells me Kinglake is a monstrous clever fellow and a 
real good one, but most particular and confoundedly fidgety 
about what he writes." This was fully confirmed by the sub- 
sequent experience of the firm, down to the issue of the con- 
cluding volume of the work, but the " confounded fidgetiness " 
never interrupted cordial business relations and close friendship. 
If Kinglake's life is ever written at length, we believe that 
invaluable materials for it will be found in his long and 
voluminous correspondence with Mr. Blackwood, which not 
only is full of personal details, but forms a consecutive com- 
mentary on the progress of his history. 



GEORGE BANCROFT 

1800-1891 
Obituary Notice, Monday, January 19, 1891 

In the death of Mr. George Bancroft America loses not only its 
foremost historian, but a veteran statesman and diplomatist. 
His literary career extended over upwards of half a century, and 
his public and political for nearly the same period. George 
Bancroft was born at Worcester, Massachusetts, on 3rd October 
1800. He was the son of the Rev. Aaron Bancroft, a distin- 
guished Congregational (Unitarian) minister ; and it is an extra- 
ordinary fact that the lives of these two men, father and son, 
carry us back to the time of George II., for the Rev. Aaron 
Bancroft was born in the year 1755, five years before the 
commencement of the long reign of George III. 

The future historian was educated first at Exeter, New 
Hampshire, and subsequently at Harvard College. His in- 
tellectual powers were unusually keen and assimilative, and 
before he had completed his 17th year young Bancroft received 
his degree of Bachelor of Arts. He next proceeded to the 
German Universities, and, after two years' study at Gbttingen, 
in 1820 he received the degree of Doctor of Philosophy. His 
literary studies were of the most cosmopolitan character, in- 
cluding the German, French, and Italian masterpieces, the 
Oriental languages, Scripture, ecclesiastical, ancient, and natural 
history, the antiquities and literature of Greece and Rome, and 
Greek philosophy. Visiting Berlin, Mr. Bancroft found that 
there was a great stirring in philosophical questions, and his 
mind received stimulus and expansion by constant intercourse 
with "Wilhelm von Humboldt, Lappenberg, Savigny, and others. 



GEORGE BANCROFT 9 

From Berlin he proceeded on a tour through other parts of 
Europe. At Heidelberg he experienced the personal influence 
of the historian Schlosser, and at Jena he became acquainted 
with Goethe. In Paris he met with several great thinkers, 
including Alexander von Humboldt, Cousin, and Benjamin 
Constant. Probably no literary man was ever more fortunate 
in making the personal acquaintance of celebrated contemporary 
writers. At Milan Bancroft enjoyed the friendship of Manzoni, 
and at Rome that of Bunsen and of Niebuhr. 

Returning to the United States, he acted for a year as Greek 
tutor at Harvard, and, as he was destined for the ministry, he 
also preached occasional sermons ; but, his bent being decidedly 
towards literature, he abandoned the pulpit for the pen. He 
issued a volume of poems at Boston in 1823, and contributed a 
great number of articles to the American reviews. In con- 
junction with Dr. J. G. Cogswell, he founded the Round Hill 
School at Northampton, Massachusetts, a distinguished nursery 
of learning, where Motley, the historian, amongst others, was 
educated. About this time Mr. Bancroft translated Heeren's 
Politics of Ancient Greece; also the same author's histories of 
The States of Antiquity, and of The Political System of Europe 
and its Colonies, from the Discovery of America to the Successful 
Termination of the Struggle for Freedom of the British Colonies. 

In 1834 appeared the first-fruits of Mr. Bancroft's close and 
laborious study of the history of his own country and people. 
He now issued the initial volume of his History of the United 
States, from the Discovery of the American Continent, his greatest 
and most original work, with which his name will be enduringly 
associated. It revealed a grasp of historical fact and a compre- 
hensiveness of treatment which took readers by surprise. But 
while now devoted to historical study, Mr. Bancroft was also an 
active politician. He threw in his lot with the Democratic 
party, and became a frequent speaker on Democratic platforms. 
In 1838 he was appointed, by President Van Buren, collector of 
the port of Boston, and with the characteristic energy of his 
nature he effected a revolution in the transaction of the business 
of his office. It is also interesting to note that during his tenure 
of this post Mr. Bancroft appointed to an office at Salem the 
well-known novelist, Nathaniel Hawthorne. In 1837 appeared 
the second, and in 1840 the third volume of Mr. Bancroft's 
History, and in 1844 he was nominated by the Democratic party 



10 EMINENT PERSONS 

for the Governorship of Massachusetts. Although not elected, 
he polled more votes than any other candidate ever did on the 
purely Democratic ticket. 

The following year he entered the Cabinet of President Polk 
as Secretary of the Navy. He again showed capacity and 
vigour in administration and in the introduction of reforms. 
He founded the Naval School at Annapolis, and greatly extended 
the Astronomical Observatory at Washington. In 1846 Mr. 
Bancroft accepted the appointment of Minister Plenipotentiary 
to Great Britain, and for three years he resided in this country. 
During his sojourn he was thrown into the society of our most 
distinguished men, including Peel, Brougham, and others, in 
politics ; and Macaulay, Hallam, Grote, Dickens, and others, in 
literature. The Government of the day, of which Lord John 
Russell was the head, greatly aided him in his historical re- 
searches by placing at his disposal the records of the State Paper 
Office, containing a great accumulation of military, civil, legal, 
and general correspondence. Lord John Russell likewise opened 
the records of the Treasury Department to him, and he was 
made free of the archives of the British Museum and of many 
noble families. The same good fortune attended him in Paris, 
where he received much practical aid from Guizot, Lamartine, 
Mignet, and De Tocqueville. Mr. Bancroft signalised his 
mission at St. James's by many important acts, not the least of 
which was his successful intervention with the British Ministry 
for the adoption of more liberal laws of navigation. Before he 
left England the University of Oxford conferred upon him the 
honorary degree of D.C.L. 

On his return to the United States, Mr. Bancroft settled 
down to his historical labours. The fourth and fifth volumes 
of his great work appeared in 1852, the sixth in 1854, the 
seventh in 1858, and the eighth, which brought the narrative 
down to the Declaration of Independence, in 1860. But there 
were occasions when he could not resist the claims made upon 
him from the outside world ; and accordingly we find records 
of addresses upon such subjects as Channing, Prescott, Washington 
Irving, Andrew Jackson, "The Culture, the Support, and the 
Ol'ject of Art in a Republic," and "The Necessity, the Reality, 
iuid the Promise of the Progress of the Human Race." 

On the assassination of President Lincoln, Mr. Bancroft was 
specially desired to pronounce a eulogy upon him by the 



GEORGE BANCROFT 11 

municipal Government of New York ; and shortly afterwards 
he pronounced a second oration upon the life and services of 
Lincoln in the House of Representatives at Washington. In 
1866 appeared the ninth volume of the History, embracing 
the period from the formal establishment of the Confederation 
in July 1776 to the alliance of France with America in 
1778. 

Mr. Bancroft was appointed Minister Plenipotentiary to 
Berlin in 1867. While at this court he negotiated a treaty 
with the North German Confederation, which mutually recog- 
nised the right of expatriation and naturalisation. Other 
treaties with the then separate States of Baden, Bavaria, Wiir- 
temberg, and Hesse-Darmstadt followed. The degree of Doctor 
of Laws was conferred upon him by the University of Bonn, at 
its semi-centennial jubilee in 1868, his name coming next to 
that of the King, and being followed by those of Grimm, 
Darwin, Stuart Mill, and others. In 1868 Mr. Bancroft was 
accredited to the North German Confederation, and in 1871 to 
the German Empire. On the fiftieth anniversary of his Gottin- 
gen doctorate the German Emperor presented him with his 
portrait in oil, full size, and bearing the inscription, " The 
Emperor William I. to his friend George Bancroft, in remem- 
brance of the years 1867-74." The American representative 
rendered an important service to his country by securing the 
arbitration and favourable award of the German Emperor in 
the establishment of the boundary line between Vancouver's 
Island and Washington territory through the Haro Channel. 
For this service he received the marked commendation of 
President Grant in his message of 1872. The award of 
Germany secured to the United States the islands of San Juan 
and the adjacent waters. 

Mr. Bancroft resigned the charge at Berlin in 1874, and took 
up his abode at Washington, concluding in the year of his 
return the tenth volume of his History, which brought the 
narrative down to the Treaty of Peace in 1782. Writing of 
this work on one occasion, Baron Bunsen said : — " I read last 
night Bancroft, with increasing admiration. What a glorious 
and interesting history has he given to his nation of the centuries 
before the Independence ! The third volume is a masterpiece. 
After having displayed all the plans and decrees of the monarchs 
of Europe from 1741 to 1748, he brings in ' the son of a widow, 



12 EMINENT PERSONS 

gaining his livelihood by surveying land in remote and unin- 
habited districts — George Washington.' • 

The historian now devoted himself to another task, which 
naturally followed on, however, and supplemented his previous 
labours. This was a continuation of the greater narrative, in 
the shape of a History of the Formation of the Constitution, which 
appeared in two volumes early in 1882, being thus written 
when its author was an octogenarian. " With the indefatigable 
love of labour which distinguished him, the venerable historian 
had scarcely taken his hand from the concluding page of these 
last volumes before he turned with impatience to begin the task 
of a thorough revision of the entire work." This undertaking 
he pursued with unflagging energy and vigour for one of his 
advanced years. Mr. Bancroft's History of the United States has 
been translated into several European languages, and it has met 
with special and wide recognition in Germany. 

In person Mr. Bancroft was strong and muscular. At the 
age of eighty-three he spent the latter part of each afternoon in 
the saddle, riding from twenty to thirty-five miles, and managing 
his steed, mounting and alighting with the agility of a young 
man. He took great interest in floriculture, and devoted his 
hours of relaxation for many years to the enthusiastic culture 
of the rose. It is stated that his collections, both at Washington 
and at his summer residence at Newport, Rhode Island, sur- 
passed in number and variety, and also in perfection, any other 
private collections in the country. 

Mr. Bancroft was not one to make violent friendships ; he 
required to be known to be adequately appreciated, but those 
who were honoured with his friendship recognised his sterling 
worth and the solidity of his character. We cannot close this 
notice, without recalling an incident in his career, which seems 
to connect a bygone age of literature with the present It 
occurred in 1821, the chief actors in it being Lord Byron and 
Bancroft. The famous poet was in his vessel lying off Leghorn 
when Bancroft was introduced to him. Something in the 
manner of the young American greatly struck Byron, and he 
begged him to visit him at his villa, Montenero, near the city. 
Lord Byron asked many questions concerning America, and, 
turning to literary matters, denied the charge of Goethe tliut 
he had modelled his Manfred upon Faust. The poet was then 
writing Don Juan. "People call it immoral," he said, "and 



GEORGE BANCROFT 13 

put Roderick Random in their libraries. So of Shelley, they 
call him an infidel," said Byron, " but he is more Christian than 
the whole of them." When Bancroft was leaving, Byron took 
down the last cantos of his poem and wrote his name in them, 
as " a remembrance from Noel Byron." " That is fame," Byron 
exclaimed, on learning that a copy of the English Bards and 
Scotch Reviewers had been found at Niagara. The noble poet 
and the young literary spirit from America spent a long and 
cordial afternoon together. It is strange to reflect that while 
Byron only saw the light twelve years before Bancroft, the 
historian survived him by no less a period than sixty-seven 
years, as Byron died in 1824. 



CHARLES BRADLAUGH 

1833-1891 

Obituary Notice, Saturday, January 31, 1891 

Charles Bradlauqh was born 26th September, 1833, at 
Hoxton. His father was a lawyer's clerk, and, according to 
the testimony of his son, William Bradlaugh, " one of the 
kindest, noblest, and best men that ever lived." His son 
Charles was, for a time, employed in the same office as his 
father. He subsequently acted as a wharf clerk, and in the 
course of his many employments he was successively a coal 
merchant and a traveller for a manufacturer of buckskin braces. 
He was precociously intelligent, and at a very early age he was 
an active Sunday school teacher under the Rev. Mr. Packer, of 
St Peter's, Hackney Road. He fell under the influence of the 
friends and disciples of Richard Carlile, the once famous editor 
of the Republican and Prompter, and the hero of half a dozen 
prosecutions for blasphemy and sedition ; and by nineteen 
Bradlaugh had become known on Hackney Downs and in 
Victoria Park as a fluent advocate of freethought 

He did not prosper in business, and he gladly availed himself 
for Borne months of the hospitality of Mrs. Carlile, the widow of 
Richard Carlile. In his distress he decided to enlist as a soldier, 
and the 7th Dragoon Guards welcomed the tall, stalwart recruit 
About this part of Mr. Bradlaugh's life, and, in fact, about many 
passages in his early years, there is obscurity — his own accounts 
of them are not always quite consistent. There are traditions 
that while with his regiment in Kildare and Dublin he read 
much, that once at least he distinguished himself as a pugilist, 



CHARLES BRADLAUGH 15 

that he was an earnest advocate of teetotalism, and a champion 
of popular rights. What is certain is that he hecame orderly 
clerk, that he disliked soldiering, and that he managed to pur- 
chase his discharge in 1853, taking with him a good character 
from his colonel. He returned to London, and again got, 
apparently with some difficulty, employment as a lawyer's 
clerk. The first of the Common Law Procedure Acts was then 
coming into operation ; in the applications made at Chambers 
there was an opportunity for adroitness and astuteness ; and 
Bradlaugh was quick to profit by the chance. At all events, 
he picked up that knowledge of legal forms and processes of 
which he made effective use in later years. While in the office 
of Mr. Rogers of Fenchurch Street, and other solicitors, he 
lectured on religious subjects. 

In a few years he ceased to be a lawyer's clerk, and as 
" Iconoclast," the representative of pugnacious, aggressive 
atheism, he began that career of pamphleteering and lecturing 
which made his name repulsive to the majority of his country- 
men. From town to town he travelled, preaching freethought, 
and was the chief figure in little-edifying platform encounters, 
in which well-meaning, ill-advised advocates of orthodoxy were 
persuaded to take part. He aspired to the place which Paine, 
Richard Carlile, Robert Taylor, and Charles Southwell had 
successively occupied ; and he succeeded. He possessed con- 
siderable powers of speech, and the courage needed to face an 
angry mob or a hostile audience. The hard, reckless way in 
which he touched sacred themes, his arrogance and ever present 
egotism, made him offensive even to many who thought as he 
did. But he won platform victories ; and he elicited a certain 
admiration by his ingenuity in his far from few legal difficulties 
— for example, when he foiled the Devonport authorities by 
lecturing from a boat moored in deep water only a few yards 
from a large audience ranged along the shore. In the Hall of 
Science and the pages of the National Reformer he advocated 
Republicanism and Secularism, and inflamed the not inconsider- 
able number of his followers with hopes of what he would 
accomplish when he entered the House. Several times he 
tried, without success, to get a seat. At last, in April 1880, 
he was returned for Northampton. 

Then began a long course of litigation, which had the effect 
of making Mr. Bradlaugh known to those who had scarcely 



16 EMINENT PERSONS 

heard of " Iconoclast." He had always been prone to show his 
legal acumen. He sued in 1861 the superintendent of police 
at Devonport for interfering with' his lectures, but recovered 
only a farthing damages, and for the first time figured in the 
law reports — wherein his name was afterwards so prominent — 
by moving unsuccessfully in the Court of Common Pleas for a 
new trial. He was more successful in defying the Inland 
Revenue in an attempt to enforce an obsolete Act against the 
National Reformer. In 1877 he and Mrs. Besant were indicted 
for publishing an obscene book, The Fruits of Philosophy, and 
they were sentenced to six months' imprisonment and a fine of 
£200. The conviction, however, was ultimately quashed on 
technical grounds ; the pleader had omitted to set out in 
the indictment the entire book, or so much of it as was 
complained of. 

While in Parliament Mr. Bradlaugh spent most of his time 
for several sessions in trying to remove the barrier opposed 
to his taking his seat by the form of the oath of allegiance. 
When elected he claimed to be entitled to affirm under the 
Parliamentary Oaths Act, 1866, and the Evidence Acts, 1869 
and 1870. A Select Committee, by a majority of one, reported 
against bis claim. Then, to the amazement of his friends, he 
claimed on May 21 the right to take the oath. A Select Com- 
mittee decided against his competence, and the House proceeded 
to pass a resolution denying his right either to take the oath or 
to affirm. Refusing to recognise the authority of the House, he 
was removed by the Serjeant-at-Arms. An action for enormous 
penalties, for having sat and voted without having first taken 
the oath, was begun. It is unnecessary to recall all the sub- 
sequent intricate steps of the struggle waged from 1880 to 1885, 
the athletic performances in the House of Commons whereby he 
sought to secure his seat, or the memorable 21st of February 
1882, whereon, before an amazed House, he stepped to the 
table, drew a Testament from his pocket, and administered the 
oath to himself. 

Successively excluded by the House and invariably re-elected 
by his constituents, he was allowed in 1886 to take the oath, 
and two sessions afterwards the principles for which he had 
contended triumphed by the passing of the Oaths Act. In that 
interval Mr. Bradlaogfa was rarely out of litigation, which he 
conducted with rare skill, but with a clever layman's weakness 



CHARLES BRADLAUGH 17 

for dwelling inter apices juris and for pushing technicalities 
to extremes. In "The Queen v. Bradlaugh," "Clarke v. 
Bradlaugh," "Bradlaugh v. Erskine," and "Bradlaugh v. 
Gosset," he showed remarkahle acuteness. The decision of 
the House of Lords in " Clarke v. Bradlaugh " was that the 
writs against him were so much waste paper. A scarcely 
less important victory was that which he achieved in the 
action which he brought with success against Mr. Newdegate 
for maintenance. 

Since he was permitted to take his seat, Mr. Bradlaugh has 
been less heard of. But the part of his life to be regarded with 
most satisfaction was the last. The junior member for North- 
ampton had little resemblance to " Iconoclast," the lecturer of 
the Hall of Science, or the Republican editor of the National 
Reformer. Of late, and especially since his visit to India, he 
sought to become the champion of Hindoo claims for representa- 
tion ; and if his advocacy of this cause showed no great know- 
ledge, it was conducted with no needless acrimony. To one of 
his last speeches of importance in the House of Commons, on the 
report of the Select Committee on Perpetual Pensions — his 
favourite theme of denunciation — no exception could be reason- 
ably taken. He grew in moderation and decorousness. He 
kept his irreligious opinions in the background. He learned 
perhaps to understand much of what he had scoffed at ; and 
more than once he set an example to those w*ho ought to have 
known better. With Socialism he had no sympathy, and he 
declined to purchase support by flattering it. He showed by 
his conduct in regard to the Employers' Liability Bill, and, 
more recently, in regard to the Eight Hours Movement, that he 
dared risk his popularity. 

His Parliamentary achievements, in a time unfavourable to 
the efforts of private members, were considerable, and they were 
due to the qualities wherein his strength lay — a dogged per- 
severance and an eminently practical bent of mind — together 
with the respect which he succeeded in extorting from all 
parties in the House, and which grew rapidly in the last few 
years. This feeling culminated in the unopposed motion carried 
on Tuesday last, whereby the House decided to expunge the 
resolution of 22nd June 1880, which refused him permission to 
take the oath or to affirm. It was a pathetic circumstance that 
when the news of this arrived Mr. Bradlaugh had already passed 
vol. v 



18 EMINENT PERSONS 

into unconsciousness. Mr. Bradlaugh was not even a Wilkes, 
far less a Danton, as his flatterers told him. Nor was he the 
mediocrity which his many enemies among working men 
described him. He was a remarkable figure of a somewhat 
obsolete type. 



GENERAL SHERMAN 

1820-1891 

Obituary Notice, Monday, February 16, 1891 

William Tecumseh Sherman, General in the United States 
Army, the hero of the campaign in Tennessee, the victor of 
Atlanta, the projector, organiser, and leader of that famous 
march across Georgia to Savannah, which practically brought 
the War of Secession to an end, was one of the most dis- 
tinguished soldiers of modern times. In the great war which 
revealed to the world the political gifts and the civil virtues of 
Abraham Lincoln and the military genius of Grant and Lee, of 
Sheridan and Stonewall Jackson, not to mention other heroes 
of the time, no one achieved a higher fame or rendered more 
distinguished services to his country than the brilliant and 
successful commander who has just passed away. The burden 
which Lincoln bore was a heavier one, and the position occu- 
pied by Grant at the end of the war was more distinguished 
and responsible, but even Lincoln's measures might have been 
frustrated and Grant's strategy might have failed if they had 
not found in Sherman a man who was worthy to rank with the 
one in steadfastness and determination, and with the other in 
military genius and daring. Like so many of the great com- 
manders produced by the war, General Sherman was trained at 
the United States Military Academy, at West Point. Military 
genius is a special and native gift, and science does not make the 
soldier. But though the great soldier is born he also requires 
to be made, and the military history of the great War of 
Secession is a signal illustration of the importance of systematic 
training even to the born commander. 



20 EMINENT PERSONS 

William T. Sherman's father was a lawyer, of Lancaster, 
Ohio, who, for five years before his death, in 1829, occupied 
the position of Judge of the Supreme Court of his State. The 
family was descended from one Samuel Sherman, who went to 
America from Essex in 1634, accompanied by his brother, the 
Eev. John Sherman, and his cousin, Captain John Sherman. 
General Sherman was descended from the clergyman, and a 
certain Roger Sherman, whose name is appended to the declara- 
tion of Independence, was descended from the captain. General 
Sherman was the sixth child of a family of eleven ; his brother, 
the distinguished Senator, sometime Secretary of the Treasury in 
the Cabinet of President Hayes, and afterwards presiding officer 
of the Senate, being the eighth. Their mother, whose maiden 
name was Mary Hoyt, was married to their father in 1810. 

Born on 8th February 1820, the young Sherman was entered 
in 1836 as a cadet at West Point, and in 1840 he graduated 
sixth in a class of 42. In the same year he was appointed 
second lieutenant of the 3rd Eegiment of Artillery, and was 
sent with his regiment to Florida, where garrisons were still 
quartered to maintain the tranquillity of the country at the 
close of an Indian war. He was promoted to be first lieutenant 
in 1841, and was for sometime placed in charge of a detach- 
ment at Fort Moultrie, in Charleston Harbour. In 1843 he 
began to study law, without abandoning the army. In 1846, 
during the war with Mexico, he was sent to California, making 
the voyage round Cape Horn, and in the course of the war 
he served as Adjutant -General to several of the Generals 
employed. His services in California secured his promotion to 
the rank of brevet captain in 1848, and in 1850 he was 
married to Ellen Boyle, the daughter of the Hon. Thomas 
Ewing, at that time Secretary of the Interior. In the same 
year he was appointed captain in the Commissary Department, 
and sent in discharge of his duties first to St. Louis and after- 
wards to New Orleans ; but he resigned his commission and 
quitted the army in 1853, finding that the military life offered 
little attraction and no prospect in those times to a man of his 
energetic temperament. 

The next few years of the General's life were full of adventure 
and variety. Having obtained the management of a bank in 
San Francisco — a branch of the house of Lucas, Turner & Co., 
of St Louis — he went for a second time to California, being 



GENERAL SHERMAN 21 

now accompanied by his wife. The steamer in which they 
took passage was wrecked in a fog on the coast north of San 
Francisco, but the passengers were saved. Taking a passage in 
a coasting schooner laden with timber, the future General was 
wrecked for a second time on the same day in a squall at the 
entrance to San Francisco Bay, and would have been drowned 
if the vessel had not been kept afloat by her cargo. However, 
he and his wife got safely to San Francisco, and he entered on 
his duties as manager of the bank. Those were the days of 
feverish speculation in consequence of the recent discovery of 
gold in California, and in one of the numerous financial crises 
that occurred Sherman's bank narrowly escaped insolvency, 
being saved only by Sherman's energy, intrepidity, and fertility 
of resource, when many of its rivals perished. Sherman re- 
mained only four years in San Francisco, returning in 1857 to 
St. Louis, where he obtained the appointment of agent at New 
York for the firm he had represented at San Francisco. This 
he held for a short time, until the firm failed through no fault 
of its own, and he afterwards practised as a lawyer for two 
years at Leavenworth, in Kansas. 

In 1860 he obtained the more congenial appointment of 
superintendent of the Louisiana Military Academy, at Alexandria, 
Louisiana, a post which he held with distinction and success 
until the war had broken out, and the State of Louisiana had 
resolved to throw in its lot with the Confederate States. Sher- 
man was no politician, and his connection with the Southern 
States would, so long as the differences between North and 
South were merely political, probably have enlisted his sym- 
pathies rather on the side of the South than that of the North. 
But the outbreak of hostilities decided him at once. " Recent 
events," he wrote to the Governor of Louisiana, " foreshadow a 
great change, and it becomes all men to choose. If Louisiana 
withdraws from the Federal Union I prefer to maintain my 
allegiance to the Constitution so long as a fragment of it sur- 
vives ; and my longer stay here would be wrong in every sense 
of the word." 

Sherman was now once more without employment, though 
he offered himself at once for that employment for which he 
was best fitted, and in which he was to achieve such brilliant 
renown — namely, military service. He did not, however, share 
the illusions which at that time prevailed at Washington as to 



22 EMINENT PERSONS 

the probable suppression of the Southern rebellion in a few 
weeks, and though he was prepared to accept a commission, and 
considered that his military experience and services entitled 
him to claim one, he was not prepared to serve as a private 
soldier, or to re-enter the army merely as a ninety days' volunteer. 
For a month or two, not seeing his way clearly, he undertook 
the post of president of the Fifth -Street Kail way in St. Louis, 
and busied himself with the duties of his office. Shortly after- 
wards, in April 1861, he was offered the chief-clerkship of the 
War Department, with the promise of being made Assistant 
Secretary of War as soon as Congress should meet. He declined 
the offer, however, as being inconsistent with the obligations he 
had undertaken, and for a time he fell under the suspicion 
of some members of Lincoln's Cabinet as being disaffected 
towards the Union. 

But events moved rapidly, and Sherman soon began to see 
where his duty lay, while the military authorities at Washing- 
ton, also began to perceive that they would require all the 
military talent and military experience that the country could 
furnish in its extremity. In May 1861 Sherman was accord- 
ingly offered, and he promptly accepted, the appointment of 
Colonel of the 13th Regular Infantry, and having repaired to 
Washington, on his appointment he was placed in command of 
a brigade in Tyler's division of the army, that marched to Bull 
Run. In this capacity he took part in that memorable engage- 
ment, and though his troops fought well, and his own share in 
the fight was an honourable and energetic one, he had the 
mortification of submitting to serious reverse in his first 
encounter with the enemy. His own comment on the affair is 
characteristically frank, outspoken, and clear-sighted. " It is now 
generally admitted," he writes in his Memoirs, " that it was one 
of the best- planned battles of the war, but one of the worst 
fought. Our men had been told so often at home that all they 
had to do was to make a bold appearance, and the rebels would 
run ; and nearly all of us for the first time then heard the 
sound of cannon and muskets in anger, and saw the bloody 
scenes common to all battles, with which we were soon to be 
familiar. We had good organisation, good men, but no cohesion, 
no real discipline, no respect for authority, no real knowledge 
of war. Both armies were fairly defeated, and whichever had 
stood fast, the other would have run. Though the North was 



GENERAL SHERMAN 23 

overwhelmed with mortification and shame, the South really 
had not much to boast of, for in the three or four hours of fighting 
their organisation was so broken up that they did not and could 
not follow our army, when it was known to be in a state of 
disgraceful and causeless flight." 

Shortly after Bull Eun, Sherman was promoted to the rank 
of Brigadier -General of Volunteers, and in August he was 
detached from the Army of the Potomac, and appointed second 
in command to General Robert Anderson, in Kentucky. In 
that State political feeling was greatly divided, and the domi- 
nant belief among the partisans of the North, both in Kentucky 
and at Washington, was that the war would soon be over, and 
that no serious sacrifices were required. This belief was made 
a pretext for vacillation and supineness, and resulted in a state 
of affairs with which Sherman, who always took a serious view 
of the military situation, had no patience. When, in October, 
he succeeded General Anderson in command, he surprised and 
irritated his superiors by declaring that 60,000 men would be 
required to drive the enemy out of the State, and 200,000 to 
put an end to the struggle in that region. This opinion was 
confidentially expressed to the Secretary for War, in person, at a 
Council of War held at Sherman's headquarters. But it was 
inadvertently made public, and its publication aroused a storm 
of indignant and ill-informed criticism among those partisans of 
the North who still fancied that the South was to be speedily 
and easily vanquished. 

Sherman was universally denounced with a curious redund- 
ancy of vituperation, as " crazy, insane, and mad," and even 
his military superiors seem to have thought that the anxieties 
and responsibilities of his command had temporarily destroyed 
the balance of his military judgment. Sherman was accordingly 
superseded in November by General Buell, and, after a short 
leave of absence, granted, or rather pressed upon him by the 
War Department, " for the benefit of his health," he was placed 
in command of a camp of instruction at Benton Barracks, near 
St. Louis. But his military genius was not long to be thus 
lightly regarded. In February 1862 he was appointed to the 
Army of Tennessee, to take command of the Fifth Division. It 
was this division which bore the brunt of the important battle 
of two days' duration, at Shiloh or Pittsburg Landing, on the 
Tennessee River. The battle was indecisive in the field, but it 



24 EMINENT PERSONS 

led to the retirement of the enemy on Corinth, and, this being 
Grant's object in fighting it, it was properly claimed as a Federal 
victory. Sherman was wounded in the hand in the first day's 
engagement, but he never quitted his post, and Grant in his 
despatches attributed the whole success of the engagement to 
Sherman's skilful dispositions and " individual efforts." 

In Halleck's campaign against Corinth, which immediately 
followed the battle of Shiloh, Sherman bore an active and 
distinguished part, being promoted for his services to the rank of 
Major-General of Volunteers in May 1862 ; and in the following 
month, Halleck having in the meantime been appointed General- 
in-Chief, and Grant made General in Command of the Depart- 
ment of Tennessee, Sherman was sent to Memphis, which had 
recently been captured, and ordered to provide for the defence 
of the city. 

From this period onwards the biography of Sherman be- 
comes the military history of the war in Tennessee and on 
the Mississippi, until it is merged into the more general history 
of the final and victorious campaign which ended in the 
surrender of Lee and Johnstone, and the conclusion of the war. 
We can only trace it in briefest outline. Sherman bore a 
brilliant part in the long operations against Vicksburg, being 
promoted to the rank of Brigadier-General in the Army, for his 
effective services rendered to Grant in his final and victorious 
assault on that city, on 4th July 1863. 

In the campaign against Vicksburg the Confederates lost 
56,000 men, 32,000 of whom surrendered at Vicksburg itself, 
while Grant's total loss was under 9,000, but as Sherman him- 
self pointed out in his Memoirs, " The value of the capture of 
Vicksburg was not measured by the list of prisoners, guns, and 
small arms, but by the fact that its possession secured the navi- 
gation of the great central river of the continent, bisected fatally 
the Southern Confederacy, and set the armies which had been 
used in its conquest free for other purposes ; and it so happened 
that the event coincided, as to time, with another great victory 
which crowned our armies far away at Gettysburg, Pennsyl- 
vania. That was a defensive battle, whereas our was offensive, 
in the highest acceptation of the term, and the two, occurring at 
the same moment of time, should have ended the war." After 
Vicksburg, Sherman and his troops enjoyed a brief respite from 
active operations, his troops being encamped along the Big 



GENERAL SHERMAN 25 

Black River, to the east of Vicksburg. But in October he was 
again in the field, having just sustained a grievous personal loss 
by the death of his little son, Willie, who, with the rest of his 
family, had joined him while he was encamped on the Big 
Black. He was ordered to Chattanooga, on the Tennessee 
River, where Rosecrans was hardly pressed and beleaguered by 
Bragg, Burnside being in almost equal difficulties at Knoxville, 
further to the north-east. Thenceforward, until the end of the 
year, Sherman's troops were incessantly and actively engaged 
marching and fighting, until Bragg was completely defeated at 
Chattanooga, and Burnside, relieved by the arrival of Sherman, 
at Knoxville, on 3rd December, when Knox, who was besieging 
him, was compelled to retire. 

In March 1864, Grant having been made Lieutenant-General 
in Supreme Command of the Armies of the United States, 
assigned to Sherman the command of the military division of 
the Mississippi, including the departments of Ohio, Tennessee, 
the Cumberland, and Arkansas — that is, the entire south- 
western region, with headquarters at Nashville. Sherman had 
already received the thanks of Congress for his brilliant 
services in the Chattanooga campaign, but he was now destined 
to render still more brilliant services and to achieve still more 
decisive results. In April Sherman was ordered by Grant to 
move against Atlanta. He fixed his headquarters at Chatta- 
nooga with 90,000 men and 254 guns, his opponent, Johnston, 
having 41,000 men, subsequently reinforced to 62,000, well 
supplied and equipped, and protected by intrenchments and 
natural obstacles. In spite of determined resistance on the 
part of the Confederate general, Sherman, with consummate 
strategy, gradually pushed Johnston back upon Atlanta, fought 
battle after battle, encountered sortie upon sortie, and, failing 
to capture the place by direct assault, carried five of his corps 
to attack the enemy's line of communications, 26 miles south 
of Atlanta, defeated Hood, who had superseded Johnston at 
Jonesboro', occupied his sole remaining line of supply, and 
finally compelled him to evacuate the place on 1st September 
1864. This was practically the turning-point of the war, 
for Hood was compelled to leave the whole of the South at 
Sherman's mercy, and, turning northwards, he moved upon 
Nashville, where he was defeated by Thomas, whom Sherman 
had sent thither to resist his advance. 



26 EMINENT PERSONS 

"Writing to Sherman in acknowledgment of his despatches 
announcing the capture of Atlanta, Grant said, " I feel you have 
accomplished the most gigantic undertaking given to any- 
general in this war, and with a skill and ability that will be 
acknowledged in history as unsurpassed, if not unequalled." 
Nor were the political consequences of Sherman's brilliant 
campaign less momentous and decisive than its strategical 
results. The capture of Atlanta contributed largely to the 
victory of Lincoln in the Presidential election in the autumn 
over M'Clellan, the candidate of the Democratic party, whose 
policy was directed towards the conclusion of an immediate 
peace based on the disruption of the Union. 

Sherman had now cleared the obstacles from his path, and 
resolved to demonstrate the hollowness of the military resistance 
of the South by his celebrated "march to the sea," from 
Atlanta to Savannah, his ulterior purpose being to march from 
Savannah northwards through the Carolinas, and co-operate 
with Grant, advancing from the north, in a final campaign 
against the remaining armies of the Confederacy. The military 
authorities at Washington regarded his plans with grave mis- 
giving, and though Grant approved of them and trusted 
Sherman implicitly, yet his chief of the staff was very bitterly 
opposed to them, and finding Grant was not to be persuaded to 
withhold his approval, he actually appealed, though fortunately 
without success, to the authorities at Washington to interpose 
a veto. 

Sherman had his way, and the result is a matter of history. 
His views and purpose in undertaking this celebrated march 
are best set forth in his own words : — " I only regarded the 
march from Atlanta to Savannah as a ' shift of base,' as the 
transfer of a strong army, which had no opponent, and had 
finished its then work, from the interior to a point on the 
sea-coast, from which it could achieve other important results. 
I considered this march as a means to an end, and not as an 
essential act of war. Still, then as now, the march to the sea 
was generally regarded as something extraordinary, something 
anomalous, something out of the usual order of events ; 
whereas, in fact, I simply moved from Atlanta to Savannah 
as one step in the direction of Richmond, a movement that hail 
to be met and defeated, or the war was necessarily at an end. 
Were I to express my measure of the relative importance of 



GENERAL SHERMAN 27 

the march to the sea, and of that from Savannah northward, I 
would place the former at one, and the latter at ten, or the 
maximum." Such was Sherman's view, and the issue abund- 
antly justified it. Setting out from Atlanta in November with 
such of his troops as remained after detaching Thomas against 
Hood, he threatened Augusta and Macon, deliberately deceiving 
the enemy in regard to his real intentions. Encountering no 
serious opposition, he marched steadily onwards across Georgia, 
and appeared, close to Savannah, before Fort MacAllister, 
which he captured after a brief engagement on 13th December, 
and compelled Savannah itself to surrender on 21st December, 
being thereby enabled to open communications with the United 
States fleet on the seaboard. His army had marched 300 
miles in 24 days, and had found abundant supplies, while it 
had encountered no effective resistance in the heart of the 
enemy's territory. In his despatch to Lincoln announcing his 
arrival on the coast and his capture of Savannah, Sherman 
wrote : — " I beg to present to you as a Christmas gift the city 
of Savannah, with 150 heavy guns, plenty of ammunition, and 
25,000 bales of cotton." On 10th January 1865 he received 
the thanks of Congress for his "triumphal march." 

The war was now virtually at an end. The power of the 
Confederate States was broken, and the hollowness of their 
resistance demonstrated, though a few months were still to 
elapse before Lee surrendered to Grant and Johnston to Sherman. 
Sherman had still two more battles to fight before he occupied 
Goldsboro', in North Carolina, and it was not until April 26, 
after the capture of Raleigh, that Johnston finally surrendered 
upon the same terms as had been accorded to the army of Lee. 
We have seen how Sherman himself estimated the relative 
strategical importance of his " march to the sea " — a brilliant 
military achievement and a master-stroke of enterprising strategy 
on which his popular reputation principally rests — and of his 
subsequent operations in the Carolinas, which he regarded as 
the real objects of the whole campaign. But his march to 
Savannah alone, coinciding as it did in its issue with the final 
destruction of Hood's army by Thomas — to whom Sherman had 
in defiance of his critics confidently entrusted the task — was in 
his own words " an achievement that entitles it to a place in the 
military history of the world." Sherman possessed in a 
rare degree that invaluable quality of military insight which 



28 EMINENT PERSONS 

Livy ascribes to Hannibal in the historic words, bene ausus vana 
contemnere. He also possessed a power of broad combination 
and comprehensive movement which enabled him to look beyond 
the results of a particular movement to the general issues of a 
campaign. What is more, he could explain his views, as our 
readers have seen, in clear, precise, and vigorous language. We 
will give one more illustration of this in an extract from his 
Special Field Order issued after the capture of Savannah for the 
purpose of explaining to his army the objects and results of the 
campaign. 

" We held Atlanta, a city of little value to us, but so im- 
portant to the enemy that Mr. Davis, the head of the rebellious 
faction in the South, visited his army near Palmetto and com- 
manded it to regain the place and also to ruin and destroy us 
by a series of measures which he thought would be effectual. 
That army, by a rapid march, gained our railroad near Big 
Shanty, and afterwards about Dalton. We pursued it, but it 
moved so rapidly that we could not overtake it, and General 
Hood led his army successfully far over toward Mississippi, in 
hope to decoy us out of Georgia. But we were not thus to be 
led away by him, and preferred to lead and control events 
ourselves. Generals Thomas and Schofield, commanding the 
departments to our rear, returned to their posts and prepared to 
decoy General Hood into their meshes, while we came on to 
complete the original journey. We quietly and deliberately 
destroyed Atlanta, and all the railroads which the enemy had 
used to carry on war against us, occupied his State capital, and 
then captured his commercial capital, which had been so strongly 
fortified from the sea as to defy approach from that quarter. 
Almost at the moment of our victorious entry into Savannah 
came the welcome and expected news that our comrades in 
Tennessee had also fulfilled, nobly and well, their part, had 
decoyed General Hood to Nashville, and then turned on him, 
defeating his army thoroughly, capturing all his artillery, great 
numbers of prisoners, and were still pursuing the fragments 
down in Alabama. So complete a success in military operations, 
extending over half a continent, is an achievement that entitles 
it to a place in the military history of the world." 

In the confusion which followed at Washington on the 
assassination of President Lincoln, Sherman incurred much 
undeserved censure in consequence of his having been publicly 



GENERAL SHERMAN 29 

represented by Stanton, the Secretary of War, as having offered 
Johnston terms of surrender which seemed to imply that he 
was empowered and had undertaken to deal with the political 
status of the Confederate States. These terms were disallowed 
by the Government at Washington, and Sherman was instructed 
to negotiate only for the surrender of Johnston's army. The 
incident led to a serious misunderstanding between Sherman 
and Stanton, but the two men were subsequently reconciled, 
and it was not long before Sherman's countrymen acknowledged 
that the whole affair was due to an unfortunate misconception, 
and acquitted Sherman of all blame for his share in it. 

With the close of the war Sherman's career in the field was 
ended, though he continued to serve his country in the highest 
military capacities. From 1865 to 1869 he was in command 
of the military division of the Mississippi, with his headquarters 
at St. Louis. He was promoted to the rank of Lieutenant- 
General in 1866, and when Grant was elected President of the 
United States in 1869, Sherman was appointed to succeed him 
as General of the army. In 1871 and 1872 he visited Europe 
and travelled in the East, and was received everywhere with 
the honours due to his high military rank and his distinguished 
services in the field. He was retired at his own request from 
active service in 1884 and resigned his command of the army. 
He has since lived in a private station at St. Louis, where so 
much of his life has been spent and so many of his interests 
have been centred. His death removes one of the greatest 
heroes of a great war and impoverishes the world's stock of 
military genius and renown. 



PRINCE NAPOLEON 

1822-1891 

Obituary Notice, Wednesday, March 18, 1891 

The death of Prince Napoleon severs the last of the family ties 
connecting the present generation with the days of the First 
Napoleon. It is true the prince was born on the 9 th of 
September 1822, more than a year after his renowned uncle 
had passed away in his exile at St. Helena. But, at his birth, 
the shadow of world-ruling glory and ambition had not passed 
away from his house. He was the son of the youngest brother 
of the conqueror, Jerome Bonaparte, sometime King of West- 
phalia, who, at his master's orders, had repudiated his marriage 
with an American lady, and had taken as his second wife the 
Princess Royal of Wurtemberg. This lady became the mother 
of Napoleon Joseph Charles Paul, the prince who has just died. 
Bonapartism soon disappeared, for many a day, from practical 
politics, and was transmuted into the more dangerous form of 
legend. The early years of King Jerome's son were lightened 
by no hopes of a restoration to Royal or Imperial rank, and 
were spent in wandering through Austria, Italy, Germany, 
England, and Spain. It was not until shortly before the 
Revolution of 1848 that the prince, with his father, was allowed 
to settle in France. Travel, however, and study had not been 
thrown away upon the young man, whose intellectual powers 
were recognised by those who distrusted him on the moral side, 
and with good reason, both as his uncle's nephew and as his 
father's son. The fall of the Orleans dynasty and the proclama- 
tion of the Second Republic found Prince Napoleon ready to 
take a decided part in public life. 



PRINCE NAPOLEON 31 

Leaving to his cousin, the future emperor, the task of re- 
asserting the more especially Imperialist traditions of Bonapart- 
ism, he took on himself another character identified with 
Napoleonic legend. It was not the Napoleon who strove to 
place himself high above common mortals on the throne of 
Charlemagne and Louis XIV., to be consecrated, as became the 
" eldest son of the Church," by the Supreme Pontiff himself, 
and to ^surround his military despotism with the gaudy formal- 
ism of a Byzantine court, that was, in the eyes of the prince 
now dead, the model to be imitated in that revolutionary age, 
but rather the Napoleon who was proud to call himself the 
" Child of the Revolution," and who, as the armed soldier of 
democracy, had shattered the old order of things in Europe. 
This ideal, it must be admitted, Prince Napoleon kept as steadily 
in view as circumstances permitted, though he was never lucky 
enough to win confidence either for his policy or for himself. 
Indeed, his political career was singularly unfortunate, except 
when events thrust him into prominence without his own 
co-operation. He was elected to the Constituent Assembly as 
one of the Republican Deputies from Corsica. Having started 
by declaring that " the duty of every good citizen was to rally 
to the Republic," he voted first with the Moderate Republicans, 
and, after his dismissal from the diplomatic post he had been 
sent to fill at Madrid, with the Extreme Left. He soon came 
to be profoundly distrusted by both sections, while, at the same 
time, he did not conceal his disapproval of the designs of his 
cousin, the Prince-President, then rapidly qualifying for the 
daring enterprise of the Second of December. 

At the time of the Coup d'Jttat Prince Napoleon not only stood 
aloof, but induced his father to stand aloof, from the makers of the 
new tyranny. Whether he acted thus from conviction or from 
prudence, or from both motives combined, his attitude was very 
annoying to the Prince-President and his confederates, and the 
offence was not readily forgiven. In France even those who 
detested the Imperialists looked on Prince Napoleon's conduct 
with unreasonable suspicion, and incorporated it, perhaps un- 
justly, into the evidence in support of the popular disbelief in 
his personal courage. But, as Kinglake has said, 

" It was natural that the Prince should be most unwilling 
to be put to death or otherwise ill-treated upon the theory that 
he was the cousin, and therefore the accomplice, of Louis, for of 



32 EMINENT PERSONS 

that theory he wholly and utterly denied the truth. Any man, 
however firm* might well resolve that, happen what might to 
him, he would struggle hard to avoid being executed by mistake ; 
and it seems unfair to cast blame on Prince Napoleon for trying 
to disconnect his personal destiny from that of the endangered 
men at the Elysee whose counsels he had not shared." 

Still, the memory of what was treated as a desertion of the 
head of the family rankled, and it was not till the end of 1852, 
when the Empire was formally established, that he returned to 
public life. Napoleon III. then felt the necessity, for social 
reasons, of gathering some sort of an Imperial family around 
the new throne. It would not have been possible for Prince 
Napoleon, had he so desired, to escape his share of this grandeur 
and responsibility, unless he had been prepared to go again into 
exile. His name appeared in the Senatus-Consultum regulating 
the Imperial succession, and, according to the precedent set by 
the first Emperor, excluding the family of Lucien Bonaparte 
and placing the children of Jerome next after those of Louis. 
Prince Napoleon was at once appointed, in virtue of his Im- 
perial rank, a member of the Senate and of the Council of State, a 
Grand Cross of the Legion of Honour, and, though he had never 
served in the army, a general of division. It would, perhaps, 
have been well for him if he had not received his last promotion. 

A little more than a year later the diplomatic struggle with 
Russia ended in war ; the Prince took part in the Crimean 
expedition, and was present at the battle of the Alma. Un- 
fortunately, his division contributed nothing to the victory, and 
his military conduct was severely handled by the sharp-tongued 
Parisians. The historian of the Crimean war does not consider 
that this criticism was fully justified, though it was, in a certain 
sense, reasonable. Kinglake wrote — 

"It is natural enough that a divisional general, whose rank 
gave him shelter from the ordeal of a fair military investigation, 
should for that very reason be made to suffer the more bitterly 
from the stings which men robbed of their freedom are ac- 
customed to plant with the tongue. Resembling the first 
Emperor in outward looks, Prince Napoleon was also very like 
his uncle, not apparently in his main objects, but in the 
character of his intellect ; for he had that rare and exceeding 
clearness of view which man is able to command when he can 
separate things essential from things of circumstance, and keep 



PRINCE NAPOLEON 33 

the two sets of thoughts so clean asunder as to be able to go to 
the solution of his main problem with a mind unclouded by 
even those details which it is vital for him to master and pro- 
vide for, though he refuses to let them mix with the elements 
from which he fetches out his conclusion. And although one 
cannot help knowing that the most cruel of all the imputations 
which can be brought against a soldier has long been fastened 
upon Prince Napoleon, I may say that such knowledge as I 
have hitherto chanced to gain of his career has not yet enabled 
me to infer that he is a man of lower grade than his uncle in 
the matter of personal courage." 

This testimony is worth notice, as that of a writer who was 
present at the battle of the Alma, and who had no love for any 
of the Bonapartes. But the Prince, with all his ability, was 
curiously wanting in tact, and on this occasion, as on many 
others, he took precisely the course most irritating to French 
feelings. He left the Crimea, where Lord Raglan, Marshal St. 
Arnaud, and hundreds of officers of both nations were to die, 
" for reasons of health," and he became at the same time 
responsible for the publication in Brussels of a pamphlet 
criticising the policy and strategy of the war. Already obnoxious 
to the Republicans as one of the Imperial House, he was now 
even more fiercely attacked by the Imperialists, and both parties 
strove to confirm the popular belief in his cowardice by labelling 
him with the opprobrious nickname of Plon-Plon. 

The Prince, however, was not to be easily extinguished. 
Always fond of travel, he judiciously withdrew for a while from 
the public eye, and, returning to France, saw that, in the 
absence of a regular Opposition, there was room for the 
representation of other ideas beside those of the official and 
clerical hangers-on of the Court, who were believed to possess 
a tower of strength in the Empress. As the Italian crisis was 
soon to show, revolutionary and anti-clerical ideas had a lodg- 
ment in the mind of the Emperor himself, who, though lie 
never trusted his cousin, was at times much under his influence, 
and was not sorry to have some indirect means of measuring 
forces of which the Rouhers and the Haussmanns knew 
nothing. Prince Napoleon found it profitable politically, as 
well as consonant with his personal tastes, to keep up an 
intimacy with men of letters and libres penseurs, who were also 
patronised by his sister, the Princess Mathilde. 

vol. v D 



34 EMINENT PERSONS 

In January 1859 the Prince married the Princess Clotilde, 
the daughter of Victor Emmanuel, then only King of Sardinia. 
This alliance was generally understood to signify that the 
Emperor had finally resolved to enter upon an anti-Austrian 
policy, and, in fact, a couple of months later war was declared. 
The resurrection of Italy encouraged Prince Napoleon to adopt 
a more decidedly Liberal policy in France. His speeches in 
the Senate on the Temporal Power, and in Corsica on the 
liberalisation of government at home, produced a great sensation. 
But the Emperor's mind had, for the time, veered round ; the 
Prince was disavowed on the first point and openly rebuked on 
the second, whereupon he retired from the Council of State, as 
well as from the presidency of the Commission of the Exhibition 
of 1867. He had previously presided over that of 1855. But 
the Emperor was too deeply involved in foreign and domestic 
troubles to be able to dispense for long with his cousin's advice 
and aid. 

In 1868, when the relations between France and Germany 
were visibly strained and it was universally felt that war could 
not be long delayed, the Prince undertook an expedition to 
Southern Germany, Austria-Hungary, the Balkan Principalities, 
and Turkey, with the scarcely-disguised design of finding allies 
for France and remedying the isolation of which he afterwards 
complained. On his return he is believed to have exerted him- 
self vigorously in favour of the adoption of the system of 
Ministerial responsibility and Parliamentary government, which 
was in part conceded in July 1869. During the debates in the 
Senate in the following month he pleaded for carrying the 
concessions much further and making a clean sweep of the " old 
gang," which naturally brought him into angry collision with 
the "Vice-Emperor," M. Ilouher. The tentative movement 
towards Liberalism under the Ollivier Cabinet only precipitated 
the contest with Germany and annulled Prince Napoleon's influ- 
ence. He was not the man to create a reputation for himself 
during the war, and the Emperor gave him no opportunity of 
distinguishing himself. 

Napoleon III., according to the Prince's statement, sent him 
on a confidential mission to Victor Emmanuel, his father-in-law, 
in the hope of inducing the latter to take sides with France. 
At Florence, then the Italian capital, he received the paralysing 
news of Sedan, the Emperor's captivity, and the Empire's fall. 



PRINCE NArOLEON 35 

He retired at once with his family to his chateau at Prangins, 
in Switzerland, and for a time his friends believed that the 
German Government would support him as a candidate for the 
Regency, or even as his cousin's immediate successor. Prince 
Bismarck vehemently disclaimed any project of the kind, which 
would in any case have been hardly possible without the support 
of the captive army, or of the new levies of the Republic, or of 
both. The Prince, however, had not regained his reputation 
with military men. It had been made a charge against him 
that he had refused to fight a duel, after an acrimonious inter- 
change of letters, with the Due d'Aumale in 1861, and M. Jules 
Favre, ten years later, taunted him with his absence from the 
critical scenes of the struggle of 1870-1871, as "une personne 
qui, ayant eu l'honneur de porter Tun i forme de gendral francais, 
avait tournd le dos au moment ou l'ennemi envahissait le 
territoire." To this taunt Prince Napoleon replied in a pamphlet, 
" La Verite a mes Calomniateurs," in which he gave his own 
explanation of his conduct. 

His unpopularity in the early days of the Third Republic 
was shown by the clearest evidence. Yet the Government of 
M. Thiers plainly feared him, and when, after some abortive 
attempts to get a political footing in Corsica, he attended a 
private Bonapartist gathering at Millemont, he was arrested 
with his wife and summarily expelled from French soil. The 
overthrow of M. Thiers, effected by a coalition of all the Mon- 
archical parties, put an end to Prince Napoleon's exile ; but 
almost his first public act was to propose an alliance against the 
"White Flag" among all adherents of democracy, Imperialist 
and Republican. The latter were not caught by these overtures, 
while the Monarchists were, of course, indignant. At the same 
time, the Prince was in open disagreement with the nominal 
chief of his party, the Prince Imperial, and his advisers. 

An electoral campaign followed, in which Prince Napoleon 
sustained a severe personal check, being defeated at Ajaccio by 
M. Rouher, in spite of his appeal to the electors to "choose 
between the son of Jerome, nephew of Napoleon I., and a 
stranger to our isle." M. Rouher's election, however, was in- 
validated by the Chamber, and the Prince took his place, 
distinguishing himself by vehement attacks on the Clericals, 
which drove the Right frantic, but were coldly received by the 
Left In the crisis of 1877 — the famous Seize Mai — the Prince 



36 EMINENT PERSONS 

was one of the faithful 363 who withstood Marshal MacMahon 
and the Due de Broglie. He was rewarded by meeting with no 
Republican opposition in Ajaccio at the general election, when 
he was badly beaten, notwithstanding, by Baron Haussmann. 
He fell away more and more from his party, engaging in sharp 
polemical attacks on the past policy and present conduct of the 
surviving Ministers of the Empire. 

Such was the position of Prince Napoleon when, through the 
death of his young cousin in South Africa, he became, in right 
of his birth and by the provisions of the Senatus-Consultum of 
1852, head of the Bonaparte family. He was accepted as such 
by the main body of the Imperialists, though the " stalwarts " 
of that party, of whom M. Paul de Cassagnac was the most 
conspicuous, opposed him, both on the ground of his personal 
untrustworthiness and on that of the Prince Imperial's will, 
which designated Prince Victor, Prince Napoleon's eldest son, 
as the heir to the Imperial pretensions. For some time Prince 
Napoleon made no effort to act upon public opinion. The split 
between his adherents and those of his son nullified the strength 
of Bonapartism, even in districts like the north and the south- 
west, where that creed has for many years been powerful. At 
length the prescription of the religious orders in 1880 drew 
Prince Napoleon, not very fortunately, out of his reserve. He 
applauded the action of the Republican Government as a 
vindication of the principles of the Concordat ; he denounced 
the so-called " Union of Conservatives," and declared that he 
and his followers could never sustain " a retrograde policy 
opposed to civilisation, to science, and to real liberty." 

It is a pity that the consistency of this manifesto should 
have been marred by another emanating from the same pen, 
which was placarded by the Prince's orders on the walls of Paris 
in 1883. In this last he demanded a plebiscite as the champion 
of the Church, and framed, in this unwonted character, a 
solemn act of accusation against the Republic. After censuring 
the domestic and foreign policy of the Republic, the legislative 
schemes and the financial administration of the Government, he 
rose to a high pitch of indignation when declaring that "religion, 
attacked by a persecuting atheism, was not protected," though 
it would have been easy to safeguard " that great interest of 
every civilised society." For this he was arrested, but the 
Government found that a prosecution could not be sustained, 



PRINCE NAPOLEON 37 

and the victory remained with the Prince. It was too late. 
Prince Napoleon could never reconquer the confidence of the 
Church, and of those who held by the Church for political or 
for religious reasons ; and without the aid of the Church the 
Bonapartists were nowhere. In the summer of 1884 the efforts 
of M. de Cassagnac and his friends were crowned with success, 
and the rupture between Prince Victor and his father became 
complete. Prince Napoleon retorted in the following year, 
when the Monarchists had hopes of winning at the general 
election, by a manifesto denouncing the renewal of the Conserva- 
tive alliance ; but his protest produced no visible effect. For 
an instant the Prince emerged from obscurity when in 1886 
the Republicans exhibited their want of faith in the fidelity of 
the people to Republican institutions by passing the Princes 
Expulsion Bill, in the application of which Prince Napoleon 
and his son Prince Victor were associated with the Comte de Paris 
and his son the Duke of Orleans. All that remains of the old 
Bonapartist feeling — much of it having been absorbed in a half- 
unconscious acceptance of things as they are, a good deal having 
been dissipated in the Boulangist effervescence, and some part 
having been transmuted into Orleanism — has centred for a long 
time past, not in the father, but in the son. Prince Victor has 
shown nothing at all approaching to Prince Napoleon's abilities ; 
but he has been to a certain extent a power, while his father 
had for years before his death ceased to be so. The Boulangist 
agitation was a touchstone of political capacity, and, tried by 
this, Prince Napoleon fell short as lamentably as the Comte de 
Paris, though not in the same way, of the standard that every 
pretender who means to be anything more must aspire to. 

Prince Napoleon, as Kinglake has said, possessed something 
of his uncle's intellectual power as well as his bodily semblance. 
But his intellect, powerful as it was, was not weighty enough 
to turn the balance where moral qualities were absent. Even 
in the case of the great Napoleon the victory of immoral force 
was only temporary. It would not be just to say that Prince 
Napoleon, though he was largely endowed with the cynicism of 
the founder of his family, was, or perhaps could ever have 
become, so bad a man, but neither had he in him the same 
elements of active and creative energy for good or evil. A book 
published by him within the last two or three years, Napoleon 
et ses Delracteurs, professing to be a reply to the elaborate indict- 



38 EMINENT PERSONS 

raents against the First Emperor put together by M. Lanfrey, 
Colonel Yung, and M. Taine, is chiefly interesting as throwing 
a light on his own character. Compared with his uncle, he 
seems to have possessed no higher moral standard, but then his 
will and his emotions " were as moonlight unto sunlight and as 
water unto wine." Nothing more characteristic is recorded of 
him than his behaviour as the President of the Commission 
which continued, from 1852 down to 1869, the publication of the 
Coirespondan.ee de Napoleon I., a priceless historical treasure, if 
bequeathed to posterity in an unadulterated form. The early 
portion, published under Louis Philippe, was stated to be 
reproduced without change or suppression. Prince Napoleon 
treated the second part in a different way, frankly announcing 
tbat dynastic and national interests would be taken into account, 
and that he would only allow to be printed " what the Emperor 
himself, if he had survived, would have given to the public 
... if it had been his desire to display to posterity his 
personality and his system." 



LORD GRANVILLE 

1815-1891 

Obituary Notice, Wednesday, April 1, 1891 

Granville George Leveson-Gower, second Earl Granville, 
was born in 1815, the year in which his father was raised to 
the peerage, when honours earned in the war time were being 
distributed after the crowning victory of Waterloo. The first 
Lord Granville, a younger son of the Marquis of Stafford, had 
been a diplomatist of considerable distinction. In 1804 he 
had gone to St. Petersburg on a similar mission to that which 
subsequently was to be confided to his son, and had attended 
the coronation of Alexander as our Ambassador Extraordinary. 
In 1836 he was Minister at Paris, and his sou, who had been 
educated at Eton and Oxford, was attached for a time to the 
legation. But the actual apprenticeship the young man served 
to regular diplomacy was a short one; and in 1837 he was 
returned to Parliament as member for Morpeth. Three years 
afterwards he was appointed to the office of Under-Secretary 
for Foreign Affairs ; but he had then little opportunity of 
gaining official experience, for in a short time the Melbourne 
Ministry was broken up. 

Having lost his seat for Morpeth, in 1841 he came back to 
the House of Commons as representative for Lichfield, and the 
clever young aristocrat made himself somewhat conspicuous for 
the vigour and ability with which he advocated the cause of 
the Anti-Corn-Law League and the principles of free trade. 
Five years later, on the death of his father, he took leave of 
the Commons. To many rising politicians that involuntary 
exchange has been the death of hopes and the grave of 



40 EMINENT PERSONS 

ambitions. Probably Lord Granville rather gained by it. For 
not only were his temperament and his talents for debate better 
suited to the more serene atmosphere of the Upper House, but 
the change removed him from a sphere where he was over- 
shadowed by rivals who were to share the lead of the Liberal 
party for many years to come. It is certain, at least, that had 
he not been in the Peers he would never have been thought of 
as possible Prime Minister in 1859. 

Meanwhile he had been made Master of the Buckhounds. 
That ornamental post seemed admirably suited to one who, 
notwithstanding his spirited speeches on free trade, had been 
chiefly thought of as a graceful courtier and polished man of 
the world. And there was a very general outcry when, in 
1848, Lord John Russell transformed the Master of the Buck- 
hounds into his President of the Board of Trade. Mr. Bright 
spoke the mind of the manufacturing interest with more than 
his accustomed bluntness ; and Lord John Russell resented with 
constitutional heat a very far-fetched charge of nepotism. Mr. 
Bright had the grace to avow afterwards that Lord John's 
penetration had not been in fault. As a clear-headed and 
energetic man of business Lord Granville gave proof of those 
versatile abilities which marked him out a year or two later 
as Vice-President of the Commission for the International 
Exhibition. In that capacity his geniality and his business 
powers won him golden opinions from all conditions of men. 

His closer relations with Her Majesty and the Prince Consort 
confirmed, if they did not originate, the warm personal regard 
which those illustrious personages always expressed for him ; 
while foreign exhibitors, and especially our French friends, 
were never weary of praising the unfailing courtesy and the 
winning polish of manner they were so well fitted to appreciate. 
Perhaps few things did more to foster the entente cordiale which 
was to exercise so important an influence in European politics 
than the manner in which Lord Granville represented his 
country at the fStes offered to the English Commissioners by 
the Paris Municipality in honour of the Exhibition ; and in 
particular his speech at the banquet of the Hotel de Ville was 
overpraised as a triumph of oratory by an audience he flattered 
by his command of their language. 

In 1851, for a short time as usual, he was tantalised by the 
exercise of real power in the post for which he was marked out 



LORD GRANVILLE 41 

by his training and his tastes. For a few months he was called 
to the Foreign Office, and he was not to return to it for nearly 
twenty years. Not many statesmen, indeed, had to practise 
more incessantly the difficult virtues of patience and self-denial ; 
and the tale of the subordinate or ornamental appointments he 
successively held is, in fact, the secret history of arrangements 
and compromises between Lords Palmerston, Aberdeen, Russell, 
and Clarendon. When he consented to take the place of Lord 
Palmerston in 1851 we suspect he regarded the appointment 
rather as a sacrifice to party loyalty than as a gratifying recog- 
nition of his claims. He could have had no illusions as to the 
permanence of the Russell Ministry after its chief had broken 
with his masterful ally. 

The death of Peel had left Palmerstqn the most prominent 
of our statesmen, especially in the eyes of foreigners. He had 
flattered the national pride by his high-handed assertion of the 
national honour ; his famous " Civis Bomanus sum" which was 
no idle boast, had passed into a household word ; and he had 
just carried off a grand triumph in the famous Don Pacifico 
affair. His successes and popularity had somewhat turned his 
head, and he had asserted his independence of action carelessly 
and, indeed, aggressively. The Queen had complained repeatedly 
of despatches that were altered after her approval. Lord John 
Russell was the last man to care to know himself reduced to a 
cipher in his own Cabinet, and the cause of offence that broke 
the back of the camel came when Lord Palmerston overrode the 
official instructions to our Minister in Paris by hastening to 
express to the Emperor's representative in London a hearty 
approval of the Coup d'Etat. Lord Palmerston fell gracefully, 
and nothing could be in better taste than the moderation with 
which he accepted the rebukes he had provoked, or his reticence 
when he might have explained or coloured his conduct. But it 
was popularly believed that he had been sacrificed to reaction- 
ary influences from abroad ; and thus Lord Granville succeeded 
to his office under peculiar difficulties. But his habitual tact 
stood him in good stead ; and he had certainly lost no credit 
on the resignation of the Ministry. 

It was in 1859, as we have said, that the Queen sent for him. 
Lord Derby had resigned on the carrying of the vote of want of 
confidence which Lord Hartington had been chosen to move as 
mouthpiece of the allied Liberals. The choice of a Premier 



42 EMINENT PERSONS 

would obviously have lain between Lord Palmerston and Lord 
John Russell, but it was doubtful whether either would yield to 
the other ; and it was thought that the difficulty might possibly 
be overcome by going to the Lords for a chief of the Cabinet. 
Lord John settled the question in a somewhat unexpected 
fashion. He declined to take office under Lord Granville, but 
declared himself quite willing to serve under Lord Palmerston. 
And perhaps Lord Granville was not disappointed at being 
released from a responsibility which must have weighed heavily 
on him. As head of the Ministry he must have been driven to 
choose between the mortifying rdle of a roi faineant and an in- 
cessant struggle against conflicting forces he could hardly hope 
to control. 

The fact of the Queen's having sent for him on that occasion 
caused him to be talked of again as a possible Premier on the 
death of Lord Palmerston. But, with the exception of the 
chairmanship of the Royal Commission of the Exhibition of 
1862 and his appointment to the Lord Wardenship of the 
Cinque Ports in 1865, his public life continued uneventful till 
Mr. Gladstone took office in 1868. The new Ministry was rich 
in intellectual power ; the difficulty was to distribute places in 
an embarrassment of pretensions ; and, as Lord Clarendon 
seemed to have a prescriptive right to the Foreign Office, to 
Lord Granville was assigned the Colonies. His administration 
of these was marked by that transfer to Canada of the greater 
part of the vast dominions of the Hudson's Bay Company, 
which provoked the revolt in the Red River and made Lord 
Woiseley's reputation. 

But apart from the immediate duties of his department, his 
position in the Lords taxed all his capabilities in supporting the 
Irish measures of his chief. He was not a great orator ; he 
never broke out in the brilliant perorations which sway the 
feelings and confuse the judgment. But he showed a power of 
lucid arrangement, with a command of hard-headed argument, 
for which he had hardly as yet received sufficient credit. His 
imperturbable good humour never failed him, even when his 
temper must have been sorely tried ; and, though his weapons 
were neither sarcasm nor invective, yet he taught his opponents 
that on occasion lie could be a dangerous enemy. A quick 
thrust, and the sparkling rapier would pierce to the very 
marrow, if it left nothing behind it to rankle in the wound. 



LORD GRANVILLE 43 

Then, as often afterwards, he showed that strong practical sense 
which was a conspicuous feature of his intellect. A measure 
might he unwelcome and lend itself to damaging criticism, but 
the question was whether circumstances and the changes in 
them had not made something of the kind unavoidable. If so, 
it was mere waste of breath disputing upon things as they 
possibly might have been ; while speculating on remote con- 
tingencies was hardly less unprofitable. So he would often 
argue earnestly and conscientiously for measures, as he had 
often to develop and defend systems of policy, for which in the 
abstract he had little liking. 

In 1869 it fell to him to move in the Lords the second 
reading of the Irish Church Bill. Seldom had he greater 
occasion for the display of adroitness, self-control, and con- 
ciliatory temper. There was a strong feeling that the English 
Church was being menaced indirectly through the Irish Estab- 
lishment ; that the measure was subversive of vested rights, 
and a beginning of the letting out of waters. Lord Granville 
maintained that the Bill must be judged on its merits and its 
necessities. Happily, the abuses of the Irish Church system 
were altogether exceptional. The leader of the Liberal min- 
ority appealed to the House on much the same grounds which 
influenced Lord Salisbury when he recommended his followers 
not to divide against the more revolutionary Land Bill of 1881. 
Free and powerful as the House of Lords undoubtedly was, 
there was one thing than which it was less powerful, and that 
was the clear expression of the national will. He wound up 
with an earnest and unusually impassioned appeal to his hearers 
to look at the question as if Ireland were the stronger and 
England the weaker and oppressed country. In 1870 he 
adopted very similar tactics and arguments in introducing the 
Land Bill. 

It was in that year, on the death of Lord Clarendon, that 
he went to the Foreign Office, to lie on anything but a bed of 
roses. The outbreak of the Franco-German War had upset the 
balance of power in Europe ; and both belligerents were savagely 
sensitive to those " infractions of neutrality " which demon- 
strated our impartiality. He had been assured by the per- 
manent officials in the department, on becoming Foreign 
Secretary, that the world had never been more profoundly at 
peace. The halcyon calm was ruffled immediately. The first 



44 EMINENT PERSONS 

burning question that was broached was that of the neutrality 
of Belgium. Mr. Gladstone, more suo, provoked irritation and 
awakened uneasiness by the reserve of his attitude in the 
House of Commons. Probably Lord Granville remonstrated ; 
certainly he spoke out manfully and decidedly in the Upper 
House. He said "the Government knew their duty and were 
resolved to abide by the position they had taken up." 

The upshot was that new tripartite treaty by which England, 
France, and Prussia undertook to maintain the quintuple 
engagement of 1839 — with those obligations which subse- 
quently gave occasion for the subtle interpretation of Lord 
Derby. Next, Russia seized on the opportunity of the war to 
announce her intention of withdrawing from her engagements 
as to the Black Sea. She scarcely troubled herself over the 
impossible task of finding a decent pretext for the repudiation. 
She had judged, and judged rightly, that England would not 
go to war alone. Lord Granville's original despatch on the 
subject was of course unanswerable. As he put it simply, no 
single party to a contract can withdraw without the assent of 
the rest. But the real question was felt to be whether Russia 
had secured the complicity of Prussia. Mr. Odo Russell was 
sent to Versailles to try and find out. It became clear that 
Bismarck, while declaring that he had not sanctioned the step, 
had no intention of breaking with Russia in any case ; but, on 
the assumption that England would not fight, he suggested a 
conference of the Powers as a graceful way out of the difficulty. 
Lord Granville was forced to admit, as raison d'etre of the 
conference, that the abrogation of a solemn treaty might be an 
open question. By way of soothing our national suscepti- 
bilities an ingenious protocol was devised, which solemnly 
stated the indisputable fact that no State could release itself 
from engagements without the consent of the parties to which 
it was pledged. So the conference formally met to register a 
foregone conclusion, and knock off the fetters that chafed the 
Czar. 

It must have been mortifying to the high spirit of Lord 
Granville when he had really to swallow his own words, and 
withdraw from his impregnable attitude as champion of inter- 
national morals. He had more success in his correspondence 
with Count Bernstorff, who had remonstrated against the 
malevolence of our neutrality ; and his powerful State papers 



LORD GRANVILLE 45 

were admitted to be masterpieces in that delicate style of com- 
position. On the other hand, he had to meet the proposals of 
the French Government of National Defence, that England 
should interpose between the belligerents as mediator, on the 
basis of the neutrality of French territory. To any one but a 
beaten and desperate combatant, casting about for a chance of 
escape from the worst consequences of the struggle, any scheme 
of the kind was obviously impracticable. England could only 
mediate by consent of both parties — a consent which Germany 
would never give ; and M. Chaudordy's proposition really 
meant that England should interfere actively as an ally. 
While Lord Granville intimated as much in courteous lan- 
guage, he did all that lay in his power to bring Count Bismarck 
and M. Thiers together, hoping that something might be gained 
for France by the eloquence of the veteran statesman. He 
appealed repeatedly against the bombardment of Paris, and 
exerted himself to arrange the terms of an armistice. And at 
home, as abroad, throughout the embittered struggle he occu- 
pied the invidious position of having to defend his consistent 
neutrality against fervent sympathisers with the conquerors and 
the conquered. 

The feeling in England, from the first, had run decidedly 
in favour of the Germans ; and the French Emperor was gener- 
ally blamed for wantonly rushing on his fate. The French, 
smarting from their losses, sufferings, and humiliations, keenly 
felt our want of sympathy ; and Lord Granville had to answer 
the unreasonable appeals of men who maintained that, by 
upsetting a Government, they had purged themselves from 
responsibility for the misfortunes it had courted. Nor were 
they the more ready to forgive him, that he had borne a lead- 
ing part in the benevolent arrangements for revictualling Paris, 
and that he had previously instructed the members of our 
French Legation to do all in their power for the assistance of 
refugees. 

In 1872 his diplomatic ability was again tried to the utmost. 
A new commercial treaty was to be negotiated with Frenchmen 
who were anything but kindly disposed towards us ; while our 
long-pending disputes with the victorious Americans were 
brought up for adjustment by international arbitration. The 
language in which the American "case" was stated set all 
precedents of international civility at defiance. The bitterness 



4G EMINENT PERSONS 

with winch Mr. Sumner had agitated the claims seemed to have 
inspired the formal statement of them. Nor was it merely the 
tone of the representatives of the United States that was 
offensive. The temper in which they approached the question 
was even more conclusively shown, hy the demand for damages 
said to have been indirectly incurred by the launch of the 
Alabama and her consorts, which included, with the loss to the 
shipping interests, pretty nearly the whole expenses of the 
war, and was estimated vaguely at from 300 to 400 millions 
sterling. The insolence and the wild extravagance of the 
American bill of costs roused the indignation of the British 
nation. 

No Ministry that did not peremptorily reject a claim so 
preposterous could have retained its popularity for a week ; yet, 
on the other hand, it was admitted by most calm-thinking men 
that the Americans had a legitimate grievance, and the Ministry 
had determined that, if possible, it must be redressed. In fact, 
the offensive conduct of the negotiations was a strong reason 
for removing the root of bitterness that must have been at the 
bottom of it. Lord Granville felt this, and fully justified his 
character for firmness blended with flexibility. With bland 
decision, he never wavered in his refusal to admit the indirect 
claims ; but at the same time he gave convincing proofs of the 
sincerity of his desire to see all differences amicably settled. 
The British agent was instructed to take no part in the proceed- 
ings till those indirect claims were categorically abandoned. 
But when that was done the arbitration went forward, under 
conditions made transparently favourable to the Ameri- 
cans ; since it could only be found that liability attached to 
us by inventing the fSmous retrospective rules. Lord Chief- 
Justice Cockburn, in a masterly document, exposed the fallacies 
which in his opinion had influenced the tribunal, and its 
decision was received in England with mortification, if not 
disapproval. 

All that can be said is that, as with the renunciation of the 
Black Sea Clauses, it was a case in which we had to make the 
best of an unfortunate dilemma, sacrificing for the sake of 
peace and goodwill something that almost touched the national 
honour. Lord Granville had the habit of such ungrateful and 
disagreeable tasks, and he evinced his patriotism by charging 
himself with a duty which no other of his colleagues could 



LORD GRANVILLE 47 

have performed as efficiently. So, in the following year we 
find him expostulating with Russia as to her advances in 
Central Asia. Count Schouvaloff was intrusted by his master 
with a special mission, and the envoy, with many fair words, 
assured us that the armies of the Czar, after chastising the 
Khivans, would definitely evacute the troublesome Khanate. 
Of very similar value, as it proved, was the assurance given by 
Prince Gortchakoff that Russia would thenceforth abstain from 
interference in the internal affairs of Afghanistan. But, if 
the Russians proved false to their word, our Foreign Minister 
cannot be held responsible. He was forced to profess himself 
satisfied with their solemn promises when it was impossible to 
exact substantial guarantees. 

In 1874, disgusted by the succession of electoral defeats that 
had culminated in the Stroud election, Mr. Gladstone startled 
the country with the announcement of a dissolution. In spite 
of the proffered bribe, in the shape of the abolition of the 
income-tax, the answer of the constituencies was decisive. 
It was in a letter to Lord Granville that the lately all-powerful 
Premier announced his probable retirement from public life, 
intimating that he might possibly " divest himself of all the 
responsibilities of leadership at no distant time " ; and that he 
should only occasionally attend the House of Commons. When 
the Liberals, left leaderless by the defection of their great 
chief, chose Lord Hartington to fill his place in the House of 
Commons, naturally an increased share of responsibility de- 
volved on Lord Granville in the Lords. As critic of a foreign 
policy which he could not control, he vindicated the consist- 
ency of his earlier political life by still setting necessity or 
expediency before dignity when it seemed that standing on our 
dignity might cost us too dear. The position he took 'up in 
the debate on the Berlin Memorandum illustrates our meaning. 
" The three Emperors " had come to a decision on their line of 
conduct towards Turkey, unceremoniously inviting the assent of 
the Western Powers by telegraph. 

Lord Granville, had he been Foreign Minister, would have 
assented for England, believing that the concert of all the 
Powers would have assured peace in the meantime. He would 
not have scrutinised the procedure of the Emperors too closely. 
Their attitude towards Turkey might have been high-handed ; 
but then the end would have justified the means, as he put it 



48 EMINENT PERSONS 

familiarly— if a peaceable individual interferes with a drunken 
man, undoubtedly tbere will be a row. If six policemen come 
up, the drunken man knocks under. But the Conservative 
Cabinet judged the situation differently, or rather they took a 
broader view, that embraced the future with the risks to us 
that might arise out of mischievous precedents. Lord Beacons- 
field made it a question of the national honour. England had 
been slighted, and was bound to mark her sense of the slight, 
under pain of having to fight sooner or later for her prestige, 
while Lord Derby, with his habitual caution, suspected secret 
understandings to which we might stand rashly committed. 
And the behaviour of the three statesmen on that important 
occasion was eminently characteristic of each of them. Lord 
Beaconsfield's much -abused Imperial policy was the outcome 
of a forethought which perhaps gave excessive regard to the 
England of the future, and which may have troubled itself over 
superfluous precautions against contingencies which might never 
occur, while Lord Granville was more disposed to live through 
the day and to leave the morrow to take care of itself. 

On the springing of the grand surprise on Lord Beacons- 
field's last ministry, Lord Granville was again sent for to con- 
sult with the Queen. But, in fact, the nation had spoken with 
an unmistakable voice. The great majority was Mr. Glad- 
stone's own, and none but Mr. Gladstone could be the coming 
Premier. Lord Granville went back to the Foreign Office, 
where his place was by no means a sinecure, though his services 
to the European concert, which secured the cession of territory 
to Montenegro and Greece, were more unobtrusive than con- 
spicuous. Man proposes, but God disposes. Mr. Gladstone 
had congratulated the country on the prosperity of Ireland, 
all things considered. Radical Irish legislation, as we know on 
the authority of the Duke of Argyll, had never been contem- 
plated by the Liberal Cabinet ; yet the attention of the country 
was to be engrossed by a vital home question, and the Session 
of 1881 was monopolised by the Irish Land Bill. 

Owing to an unseasonable attack of illness, Lord Granville 
was absent from the discussion of that momentous measure on 
its second reading in the Lords ; and when it was so searchingly 
analysed by well-informed critics the Government could ill 
spare one of its ablest speakers. He had shown immediately 
before his accustomed ability in his correspondence on the 



LORD GRANVILLE 49 

Tunis affair. Setting forth in explicit language the interests of 
England in the Mediterranean and his determination to main- 
tain them, he elicited assurances from M. Barthelemy St. 
Hilaire which, so far as words go, left nothing to desire. He 
could do no more in the meantime than assure us of " moral 
sympathy " in the unfortunate event of future complications. 

However good-tempered and adroit Lord Granville showed 
himself as leader of the House of Lords throughout the period 
of Mr. Gladstone's second administration, he was doomed to he 
less happy in the proper business of his department. Though 
bred in the purple of diplomacy, and possessing a wide and 
intimate knowledge of Continental statesmen and their policies, 
Lord Granville was always rather supple than strong, and his 
French connections and tastes drew him — no doubt, quite un- 
consciously — into a sort of opposition, too feebly and spasmod- 
ically manifested to have any potent and permanent effect, 
towards Prince Bismarck's system. It was his ill-fortune that, 
after he came into office with his chief as representative of a 
purely domestic policy, repeating the old watchwords of peace, 
retrenchment, and reform, circumstances brought him face to 
face, in rapid succession, with a series of diplomatic difficulties 
in every quarter of the globe, for which neither his stock of 
rather old-fashioned maxims nor his experience in years of 
prosperous tranquillity made him a match. 

To tell at length the story of Lord Granville's administra- 
tion at the Foreign Office, between 1880 and 1885, would be 
to recapitulate the external history of the Empire during a 
period of extraordinary disturbance and alarm. The Treaty of 
Berlin proved to be a more stable arrangement than Lord 
Beaconsfield's critics were willing to admit, as has been proved 
by the fact that, with slight modifications, it has secured for 
nearly thirteen years the status quo in Europe. Still the preced- 
ing storm left a ground -swell behind it, .with which Lord 
Granville had to deal, though this was the least part of his 
task. When the Porte had been compelled by the Dulcigno 
demonstration to fulfil its immediate obligations, France began 
to make her power felt in Northern Africa, and, after her 
acquisition of a dominating authority over Tunis had been 
substantially recognised, there was no more to be said, except 
to register a somewhat tardy resolution that in the future the 
interests of the British Empire would be watchfully safeguarded. 
VOL. v E 



50 EMINENT PERSONS 

Lord Granville, it must not be forgotten, was popularly- 
identified with the system of neglecting and disparaging the 
Imperial relations with the colonies, and he was credited, rightly 
or wrongly, with the responsibility for the surrender to the 
victorious Boers after the Majuba Hill disaster. In this con- 
dition of feeling, which was not confined to the United King- 
dom, may be found the explanation of the long hesitations and 
the sudden resolves, the vacillating movements and the am- 
biguous explanations, which make the confused record of the 
Egyptian difficulty during four eventful years a problem that 
will puzzle the historians of the twentieth century. In 1882, at 
anyrate, the Egyptian question was sprung upon a perplexed 
Cabinet, not wholly united on the subject, if rumour may be 
trusted, and Lord Granville was confronted with the changing 
developments of the problem that led, certainly by no reasoned 
process, to the Joint Note, the bombardment of Alexandria, the 
campaign of Tel-el-Kebir, the restoration of the Khedive, under 
British direction and tutelage, and Lord Dufferin's famous 
despatch. These breathless sensations, into which a Ministry, 
hampered with the peace pledges of 1880, had been plunged, 
and in which they had parted company with Mr. Bright, 
seemed to have passed away for the moment. 

But no sooner had order been re-established at Cairo than 
Lord Granville was beset by two spectres, which pursued him to 
the close of his term of office — the Suez Canal controversy and 
the Soudan imbroglio. Lord Granville's efforts to cope with 
these multiplied embarrassments were signalised rather by good 
intentions than by practical tact. The Convention for the 
management of the Canal, provisionally concluded in 1883, 
had to be dropped, in view of the vehement resistance of the 
British shipowners, who contended that it would place the 
commercial and political interests of this country at the mercy 
of France and M. de Lesseps. If the plan had been persisted in 
a Parliamentary defeat would have been almost inevitable, and 
in the then state of home politics that was a danger to be 
avoided at all hazards. So it was with the question of the 
Soudan. After the destruction of Hicks Pasha's army and 
the defeat of Baker Pasha, another Parliamentary crisis was 
avoided for the moment by sending General Gordon to Khar- 
toum. But the ambiguity of this mission, qualified by later 
messages to Gordon from the Foreign Office, was destined to 



LORD GRANVILLE 51 

leave the brand of " indelible disgrace," for which, indeed, Lord 
Granville himself was probably in a very slight degree respon- 
sible, on the foreign policy of the ministry. Still less had he 
any personal responsibility for the delays to which it was due 
that the expedition up the Nile, after heroic efforts, arrived 
at Khartoum just too late to save the hero who had devoted 
his life for the honour of his country and the cause of 
humanity. 

Nevertheless, it is always injurious to the credit of a states- 
man to be associated with a succession of failures, and Lord 
Granville's management of the Egyptian question all round 
inspired little confidence at home, and was treated with insolent 
contempt abroad. An open breach occurred with France on the 
subject of a temporary reduction of the interest on the Debt ; 
while, at the same time, Prince Bismarck, who had watched 
Lord Granville's policy with unconcealed dislike, began to cause 
trouble in Africa, where the British Foreign Office had tem- 
porised rather foolishly with German pretensions and evaded a 
plain settlement, and had also entered into an unwise agreement 
giving up the Lower Congo to the Portuguese, now so difficult 
to deal with on the Zambesi. The result was not only that we 
had to yield to German pressure at Angra Pequena and the 
Cameroons, but that a conference of the Powers was convoked 
at Berlin to settle the future conditions of the "scramble for 
Africa." But for this the question of " spheres of influence " 
would never have grown to its present importance, and England 
would have stood practically alone as the civilising power in the 
" Dark Continent." It was not only in Africa that the action — 
or rather the inaction — of the Foreign Office jeopardised British 
interests. The colonists of Australasia were frantic on dis- 
covering that the representatives of the mother country had 
allowed Germany to establish formidable pretensions in New 
Guinea, and France to assert herself in a highly unpleasant way 
in the South Pacific. They failed to recognise the force of 
Lord Granville's ingenuous apology that the British Government 
was " quite unprepared " for the practical assertion of claims 
which, by diplomatic laches, had taken a character of substantial 
reality. 

The discontent with the policy of the Foreign Office had 
assumed very serious proportions at home as well as in the 
colonies, even before the Russian crisis of 1885, in which it 



52 EMINENT PERSONS 

was seen once more that our diplomacy had been hoodwinked 
and over-reached. The Foreign Office had again been taken 
" quite unprepared," and the Penjdeh surprise, which nearly 
precipitated a war and gave Mr. Childers the opportunity of 
bringing forward his " hundred million " budget, was set down 
with all the rest to the credit, or rather discredit, of Lord 
Granville. When a division on a small financial point, believed 
to be not altogether accidental, opened a way for the retreat of 
the Gladstone Cabinet, in time to prepare for the general 
election, and to let the memory of their failures subside, no 
one, probably, hailed the release with more delight than the 
Foreign Secretary. 

During all these perplexities, Lord Granville had led his 
party in the House of Lords with imperturbable temper, unfailing 
tact, and ever-ready wit. His geniality and conciliatory dis- 
position had helped to tide over the conflict between the two 
Houses which seemed to be rendered inevitable by the party 
strife over the Reform and Redistribution Bills. He retained 
his position as leader in the Lords to the close of his life. But 
it was shorn by circumstances of even its moderate authority 
and distinction. When Mr. Gladstone returned to office as a 
Home Ruler he was followed by Lord Granville in his rapid 
conversion, but he did not replace Lord Granville in the 
Foreign Office, which he assigned to Lord Rosebery, a statesman 
of a younger generation imbued with Imperialist ideas. Lord 
Granville took, for the second time, the Colonial Office, an 
easier post for a public man well stricken in years, and, though 
he was not a persona grata to the colonists, his brief administra- 
tion led to no difficulties. In the House of Lords, thenceforward, 
he found himself, whether as leader of the Ministerialists or of 
the Opposition, in command of a scanty and depressed following, 
for the ablest statesmen identified with Liberal policy had 
ranged themselves on the Unionist side. His spirit never 
flagged, his temper rarely showed signs of friction, but his task 
was a hopeless one. He ceased more and more to take a con- 
spicuous part in politics, and for some time past the increasing 
infirmities of age afforded too manifest a justification for his 
silence or his absence. 

Lord Granville was twice married — in 1840, to Maria 
Louisa, only child and heiress of Emeric Joseph, Due de 
Dalberg, and widow of Sir Ferdinand Acton, whom he lost in 



LORD GRANVILLE 53 

1860; and again, five years afterwards, to the youngest daughter 
of Mr. Campbell, of Islay, who survives him. He is succeeded 
by his son Granville George, Lord Leveson, who was born in 
1872. Besides his political offices and his connection with the 
Exhibitions of 1851 and 1862, Lord Granville had gone in 
1856 to St. Petersburg as Ambassador Extraordinary at the 
coronation of the Czar ; and in the same year he had been 
elected to the Chancellorship of London University. He was 
made a K.G. in 1857. 



FIELD-MARSHAL VON MOLTKE 

1801-1891 

Obituary Notice, 
Saturday and Monday, April 25 and 27, 1891 

A great soldier has passed away. A foremost name has faded 
from contemporary history. The genius and skill of Moltke 
became apparent to the world only when he was sixty-six years 
old, for he was born in the first year of this century, and has 
thus lived on into his ninety-first year. His was a long, patient, 
and silent career of toil and of duty before suddenly his fame 
burst forth and the excellence of his labour was made manifest. 
Peace, hardly ruffled, save by the campaign in the Elbe duchies, 
had been the fortune of Prussia for fifty years since Blucher, in 
hot pursuit, hurled out of Belgium the columns of the first 
Napoleon after their repulse at Waterloo. Scarcely an officer 
serving the House of Hohenzollern had seen blood spilt in battle 
or a shot fired in anger. The public opinion of Europe did not 
accord to the Prussian Army the renown which it had fairly 
won on the field of Mont St. Jean. In this country popular 
literature and biassed authors till quite within recent years gave 
the whole credit of that victory to the soldiery of Wellington. 
By the middle of this century the army of France had talked 
itself into the first place in European opinion as a military force, 
and had to a certain degree justified its assertions by some 
successes against Arab tribes in Algeria. Men at large, judging 
as usual from assumption rather than experience, and out of 
ignorance which from being nearly universal becomes vulgarly 
regarded as knowledge, looked with contemptuous indifference 
alike on the leaders and soldiery of Prussia. But while Thiers 
bragged of Gallic glory, and Leech laughed at the levies of 



FIELD-MARSHAL VON MOLTKE 55 

Rhineland, Moltke and Roon studied and toiled, and the military 
machine which the former was so deftly to handle was fashioned 
with symmetry and power. 

The startling victory of Koniggratz in 1866 surprised the 
world and woke it to the fact that one of the greatest strategists 
known to history was chief of the Prussian General Staff. Count 
Moltke had counselled King William to order the dispositions 
which allowed the three armies of the Crown Prince, Prince 
Frederick Charles, and Herwarth to strike a concentrated and 
crushing blow against the Austrian forces on the Upper Elbe. 
The war had endured but a few days. It was only on the 
morning of the 16th of June that the first Prussian corps 
stepped across the Saxon frontier, and war became inevitable. 
On the evening of the 3rd of July the shattered battalions of 
Austria were hurrying in disordered flight along rain-sodden 
tracks to seek shelter under the guns of Olmutz. This sudden 
victory practically concluded the war between Austria and 
Prussia. The prize won was the unity of North Germany ; and 
on that day the foundation-stone was laid of the modern German 
Empire. The military plans which led to this rapid and 
brilliant success were confessedly due to the inspiration of 
Moltke, and when the Emperor William I. some years later 
received the Crown of all Germany, his early thought was 
publicly and officially to thank the strategist to whom so much 
was due. 

The war of 1866 made Count Moltke famous. This fame 
was won through hard work, constant perseverance, and rigid 
self-denial. Officers of every army can take no brighter ex- 
ample as their model than Helmuth Karl Bernhard von Moltke. 
He was born on the 26th of October 1800, at Parchim, in 
Mecklenburg. His parents were of good family, but poor, and 
he was their third son. His father, who had been a captain in 
the Prussian service, in 1801 inherited the family estate in 
Mecklenburg, but sold it in 1803 and retired to Liibeck. Here, 
at the early age of six, the boy had an unpleasant experience of 
war. Blucher, with the few broken remains of the Prussian 
army which escaped from Jena, threw himself into Liibeck. 
The French stormed the town on the 9th of November 1806, 
and the house of Baron Moltke was plundered by the enemy. 

Possibly on account of the losses due to the war, Baron 
Moltke resolved to return to military service. The Prussian 



56 EMINENT PERSONS 

army was almost annihilated, but he sought a commission in the 
service of Denmark, and subsequently rose in the Danish army 
to the rank of Lieutenant-General. When nine years old, young 
Helmuth was sent to school near Kiel, where he made rapid 
progress under a kind master, the Pastor Knickbein. Thirty 
years afterwards Moltke still remembered his first teacher with 
gratitude. He sent him his volume of letters from Turkey, and 
wrote on the first page, " To my dear teacher and fatherly friend 
to whom I owe so much, I send this my first work, as a slight 
testimony of respect." He and his brother were, in 1811, sent 
to Copenhagen, and in the following year were admitted as 
cadets into the Royal Military Academy there. This stage of 
his education was not so happy. He was treated with harsh- 
ness, and in later years recorded this portion of his life in these 
words : — " Our boyhood in a foreign city, without relations or 
friends, was truly miserable. The discipline was strict, even 
severe ; and now, when my judgment of it is quite impartial, I 
must say it was too strictj too severe." 

In the beginning of 1818 young Moltke passed his examination 
for his commission as best of the candidates. By the rules of the 
Danish service he was obliged to serve for a year as a Royal page, 
and in March 1819 was appointed lieutenant in the Oldenburg 
Regiment, which was then stationed at Rendsburg. He quickly 
won the respect and esteem of his commander and his comrades 
by his careful attention to duty, and his modest and kindly 
disposition. He was chiefly, however, distinguished by a 
burning desire for knowledge, and an untiring energy for work. 
His means were small. He had no income beyond his pay, for 
his father had a large family, and his uncle, after whom he was 
named, had been killed, as a Mecklenburg captain, in the French 
army, at the passage of the Beresina, in 1812. 

Promotion was slow in the 'Danish service. Norway had 
been severed from the arms of Denmark, and the Danish army 
had to be reduced. The Prussian army had gained renown on 
the Continent by its gallant action in the war of liberation and 
the campaign of the hundred days. Moltke determined to 
transfer himself to Prussia. He obtained leave from his 
colonel, went to Berlin, passed a brilliant examination for the 
rank of officer, and at the age of twenty -two became second 
lieutenant in the 8th Infantry Regiment, then quartered at 
Frankfort-on-Main. In the following year he joined the Staff 



FIELD-MARSHAL VON MOLTKE 57 

College at Berlin, and after three years of study there passed an 
excellent examination on leaving. He returned for a short 
time to his regiment at Frankfort, but in the following year was 
detached from regimental duty to staff employment, and never 
did regimental duty afterwards. It is noteworthy how little 
regimental duty was done by either of the three great strategists 
of this century — Napoleon, Wellington, or Moltke. Moltke was 
first appointed to the Topographical Department, and took part 
in the surveys of Silesia and Posen. 

About this time it would appear that he became an author, 
as a pamphlet appeared at Berlin, which is little known, but 
which bore the title "Holland and Belgium, by H. von Moltke." 
In this the attention of Europe was called to the Belgian 
Revolution, and the severance, through the support of France, 
of Belgium from the kingdom of the Netherlands. In 1832 he 
was appointed to the General Staff ; the next year he became a 
lieutenant, and was at thirty-five years of age a captain. He 
had already tasted of the tree of knowledge of foreign travel by 
a journey to Italy in 1834, when he inspected Genoa and brought 
back much valuable information. In 1835 he obtained longer 
leave, and then began the part of his life spent in the East. 

He lived in the dominions of the Sultan for more than three 
years. Although Eastern life, with its luxury of sight, of sound, 
and of perfume, charmed him, he missed the converse with 
thoughtful minds that he had enjoyed in his fatherland. In 
one of his letters, written more than thirty years ago, he describes 
the decadence that he saw around him and the reasons for it. 
He speaks of the fear with which the European Powers will see 
Turkey pass away, and prophesies that in later times the great 
Eastern problem will be brought to issue under the walls of 
Constantinople. In 1839 war broke out between the Sultan 
Mahmud the Second and Mehemet Ali, Viceroy of Egypt, who 
claimed the right to name his successor. The army of the 
Sultan was little ready for war, but the Porte appreciated the 
military talent of Moltke, who was staying as a guest at 
Constantinople. He and his companion Miihlbach were sent as 
military advisers to the headquarters of Hafiz Pasha, in the 
Valley of the Euphrates, near Kharput. In April 1839 the 
Turkish army, 70,000 strong, commenced its advance towards 
Syria. It was divided into three corps, but consisted chiefly of 
recruits, and was speedily reduced by sickness and desertion. 



58 EMINENT PERSONS 

The Egyptian army was at Aleppo under Ibrahim Pasha. In 
this advance Moltke commanded the Turkish artillery. In vain 
Moltke pointed out how unprepared for an active ■ campaign 
was the Turkish army. The Mollahs insisted on offensive 
operations. 

Consequently, on the 22nd, Moltke resigned his post as 
counsellor of the Commander-in-chief. On the 24th, Ibrahim 
Pasha attacked the Turkish position, the army fled and dis- 
persed, although it had lost only 1000, and Hafiz Pasha him- 
self only escaped with difficulty. Moltke and his German 
comrades then returned to Constantinople. There he found 
the Sultan dead, and his successor, Abdul Medjid, a weak boy 
of sixteen. The Capudan Pasha had surrendered the Turkish 
fleet to the enemy, so that Constantinople was exposed to the 
attack of Mehemet Ali both by sea and land. Great Britain, 
France, Prussia, and Austria, in the fear that the Porte might 
fall back for help on Russia, determined to step in and settle 
the dispute between the Sultan and the Viceroy. Moltke then 
returned to Berlin, where he was again occupied on the General 
Staff, and for his services in the Egypto-Turkish campaign 
received the Prussian order " Pour le Mdrite." In the following 
year, 1840, he was removed from Berlin to the Staff of the 
Fourth Corps d'Arm£e at Magdeburg. Here, in the following 
year, he published his well-known work, Letters from Turkey, 
1835-39. He also drew and issued some valuable maps, the 
materials for which he had collected in the East, of the Bos- 
phorus, Constantinople, and Asia Minor. 

The letters from Turkey, when first written, before they 
were made public, had been addressed to one of his sisters, who 
was married to an English gentleman named Burt, then resident 
in Holstein. Mrs. Burt had a step- daughter on whom this 
correspondence made an impression which ripened into affection 
when Captain Moltke, after his return, was a visitor in her 
father's house. They were soon engaged, and Moltke was 
married to his English step-niece in April 1842, a few days 
after he had been made a major. The marriage proved most 
happy, and for a quarter of a century Moltke's domestic life 
was unruffled by any trouble. While quartered at Magdeburg, 
Major von Moltke wrote an important critical military work, to 
which many were indebted during the campaign of 1877-78, 
between Russia and Turkey. It was called The Russo-Turkish 



FIELD-MARSHAL VON MOLTKE 59 

Campaign of 1828-29 in European Turkey, and is one of the 
most careful and most able military criticisms which have ever 
been written. It was published in 1845, and made a great 
impression in Germany. 

In 1845 Moltke was appointed aide-de-camp to Prince Henry 
of Prussia, an invalid uncle of the king, who lived chiefly in 
Rome. During his residence there he made many valuable 
plans of the city and the Campagna. In the following year 
Prince Henry died, six weeks after his friend Pope Gregory 
XVI., and hardly had Pius IX. assumed the tiara before Moltke 
left the Eternal City to carry the report of the Prince's death to 
the King of Prussia. He returned to Rome again for a short 
time and accompanied the body in a Prussian man-of-war as far 
as Gibraltar, where he left the ship to travel to Hamburg by 
land and prepare for the arrival in Germany. This gave the 
much-desired opportunity to see Cadiz, Seville, Cordova, Madrid, 
and France. After his last duties to Prince Henry were accom- 
plished, Moltke was appointed to the staff of the Eighth Corps 
d'Armee, stationed at Coblentz. Here he remained for two 
years, then was brought to Berlin as head of a department of 
the General Staff, but was quickly moved again to be Chief of 
the Staff of the Fourth Corps d'Armee at Magdeburg. Here he 
remained till 1855, being promoted in 1850 to the rank of 
lieutenant-colonel, and in the following year to that of full 
colonel. Then he was selected to fill the important post of first 
aide-de-camp to Prince Frederick William of Prussia, afterwards 
the Emperor Frederick. In 1856 he became a Major-General. 

Shortly afterwards the Prince undertook a journey to 
Russia to represent the House of Hohenzollern at the coronation 
of the Emperor Alexander II. at Moscow. During this journey 
Moltke wrote letters in the form of a diary to his wife, which 
afterwards, through some indiscretion which has not been 
cleared up, appeared in a Danish newspaper, and later, by the 
permission of the author, in the Rundschau, and in the form of 
a pamphlet. These have been translated into English by Miss 
Napier. They not only describe the scenes of court life, which 
his attendance on the Prince gave him every opportunity of 
witnessing, but also give a picturesque account of the people, the 
country, and the army, from the pen of a remarkably attentive 
and intelligent observer. 

In 1856 Moltke accompanied the Prince to England; again, 



60 EMINENT PERSONS 

in 1858, he was present at the marriage of the Princess Royal ; 
and again, in 1867, he visited our island on a very mournful 
occasion. In returning, a visit was paid in France to the Court 
of Napoleon III., and in his letters Moltke describes the 
reception of the Prince by the Emperor of the French, and how 
beautiful, witty, and fascinating he found the Empress. He 
speaks of the difficulties of governing the French nation, and 
says, " It would be as impossible to allow the liberty of the 
press in France as to admit discussion of the orders given by 
generals to their armies when in the field." 

On leaving France with the Crown Prince, Moltke passed 
through Saverne. He remembered how, a hundred and seventy- 
five years before, Louis XIV. had made the same journey, when 
he wished to show himself as Sovereign to the town of Strasburg, 
which Louvois, his Minister of War, had just annexed for him. 
As Louis passed through the country, beautiful with all its 
autumn colours, he exclaimed, "Ah! quel beau jardin!" 
Moltke passed through Saverne in December, and in its winter 
clothing saw the " beautiful garden " that had rejoiced the heart 
of the French King. " How sad it is," he wrote, " to hear these 
people speaking German, and yet to find them good Frenchmen. 
We left them in the lurch." Perhaps, even in 1856, Moltke 
thought to himself that what the weakness of the House of 
Hapsburg had lost might be regained by the might of the family 
of Hohenzollern. 

In 1856 Prince Frederick William was appointed Colonel 
of the Second Silesian Regiment, and, when not travelling, lived 
with his Staff chiefly at Breslau. In the following year the 
Prince was made Commander of the First Brigade of Guards. 
A few days later General Reyher, the chief of the staff of the 
army, died, and shortly afterwards Moltke, one of the youngest 
general officers in the service, was temporarily entrusted with 
the duties, and in May 1859 was made Permanent Chief of the 
Staff, with the rank of Lieutenant-General. Moltke thus rose 
to the post in the Prussian army which under the great 
Frederick had been held by Schmettau and Levin ; after Jena, 
by Scharnhorst ; and in the war of liberation by Gneisenau, 
and on his death by Muffling. Great were these names, but 
Germany regards now Moltke as greatest of them all. 

The duty of the chief of a staff is, above all things, to pre- 
pare in peace for war. He must consider and regulate the 



FIELD-MARSHAL VON MOLTKE 61 

mecisures for the mobilisation of the army down to the most 
minute detail, the plan of operations, and the means of con- 
centration. He must have a thorough knowledge of his own 
and of foreign armies, and he intimately acquainted with rail- 
ways, roads, and bridges. Under the administration of Moltke, 
the Prussian Army became rapidly more ready for war in every 
particular. Its mobilisation, which on his accession to office 
was calculated to require twenty-one days, can now be effected 
in ten days. Moltke had not long to wait before his services 
were called into active play. On account of the advance of the 
French Army through Lombardy in 1859 towards German 
soil the Prussian Army was mobilised, and he drew up the 
regulations for the advance of the Prussian Army and its rail- 
way transport to the Rhine. The manner in which he accom- 
plished this then original task showed the Government and the 
Army that a wise step had been taken in placing him in the 
most responsible military position in the country. The carriage 
of the Prussian troops to the Rhine was to commence on 15th 
July 1859, and had no slight effect in causing the somewhat 
sudden conclusion of the Peace of Villafranca. 

The Prussian Staff had carefully watched the progress of the 
campaign in Italy, and under the direction of its Chief drew up 
a critical military history of it, the first of the series of those 
valuable military works which have been issued from its office 
in the Konigsplatz. The prospect of war with a maritime 
Power drove the Prussian Government to organise a system of 
defence of its coasts. To Moltke this task was entrusted, and 
he carried out its most minute details with his accustomed energy. 
His observations determined Prussia to create a formidable navy, 
and tended to urge on the unity of Germany, for he pointed out 
that the coasts of the independent States were entirely unpro- 
tected and offered every facility for the disembarkation of an 
invading force. 

Almost at the same time as Moltke took up the duties of 
Chief of the Staff of the Army, great political changes occurred 
in Prussia. In 1857, in consequence of the severe illness of 
King Frederic William IV., the Prince of Prussia, afterwards 
the Emperor William I., was entrusted with the Regency of the 
kingdom. In 1861 the King died and William succeeded to 
the throne. He determined to gain for Prussia a leading 
position among European Powers. With wonderful acumen he 



62 EMINENT PERSONS 

selected men to act as his instruments. Moltke was already 
Chief of the Staff. Von Roon was shortly made Minister of 
War, and Count Bismarck-Schonhausen, who had heen Ambas- 
sador at Paris, was called to the Presidency of the Council and 
to the Ministry of Foreign Affairs. 

Such a constellation of talent, ability, and energy is rarely 
found in one State at the same moment, at least in its high 
places. These three, with the King at their head, felt that the 
moment was come for Prussia to stand alone and to show that 
she would brook no foreign interference with German home 
politics. The first step necessary to carry out this great pro- 
ject was the reorganisation of the army. The King was 
determined that the land forces should be put in thorough 
working order. Von Roon was his stanch friend and supporter. 
The Parliament opposed them to the utmost of its power and 
complained that too much money was to be spent, that the war 
budget would be exceeded, and that the expenditure was need- 
less. Bismarck and Roon stood their ground firmly through 
all the conflict of words. During this time Moltke's work was 
less evident. He took no part in discussion, but at his post 
was daily carrying out reform in every part of the army. By 
1863 the reorganisation was complete. 

Events soon came to show how necessary the work was and 
how well it had been done. In 1863 the Prussian Staff was 
active, for the turmoils in Russian Poland made it doubtful 
whether Prussian troops might not be required to take the 
field. In the following year the war with Denmark on account 
of the Elbe Duchies broke out. In it Prussia, on account of 
her geographical position, took the leading part, and it fell to 
Moltke to draw out the plan of operations for the combined 
Prussian and Austrian armies. Thus his first active service was 
against the army in which he had borne a commission as a 
youth. He directed the advance of the armies which under 
Field-Marshal von Wrangel invaded the duchies, and, after the 
storming of Diippel in 1864, accompanied the King to the 
theatre of war, and as Chief of the Staff directed the further 
operations. For a moment England thought of saving Den- 
mark single-handed from Prussia, but most fortunately wiser 
counsels prevailed, and British troops were not sent to prove 
the terrible efficacy of the Prussian needle-gun. A conference 
was indeed held to consider the matter at London ; but it 



FIELD-MARSHAL VON MOLTKE 63 

separated without result. England folded her hands and 
allowed the war to proceed. 

Prince Frederick Charles, with Moltke as his Chief of the 
Staff, took the command of the allied forces. These two great 
soldiers saw that it was needful in order to convince the Danes 
that their enemies were powerful on all sides to occupy the 
islands. The Prussian flag was a few days afterwards planted 
on the northern point of Jutland. The islands of Sylt, Fohr, 
and Fehmern were occupied. The Danish army still held the 
important strategical island of Alsen and threatened the com- 
munications of the allies. Under Moltke's advice the allies 
crossed the Straits and forced the Danish division left in Alsen 
to capitulate. The main army retired to Funen, and already pre- 
parations for the attack on that island were in progress, when the 
Government of Copenhagen recognised the uselessness of further 
resistance, and begged for an armistice. On the 30th of 
October peace was signed, and Holstein, Lauenburg, and Schles- 
wig were annexed to Germany. To these results the talents of 
Moltke largely contributed. They were much aided by the 
breech-loading rifle of the Prussian infantry and by a portion of 
the artillery also consisting of breech-loading guns. But in 
Europe at large little attention was paid to these mechanical 
improvements, and even in Germany they were not thoroughly 
appreciated. Moltke judged them at their true worth, and him- 
self translated various books written by Danish officers which 
told of the terrible effect of the breech-loading armament. These 
he had distributed among the officers of the Prussian Army. 

A larger field in which to prove his strategical genius was 
opened to Moltke in the war of 1866. By this time he had 
gained the esteem and admiration of the service. He was 
acknowledged to be a bold and perceptive strategist, an excellent 
military administrator, and a most accomplished linguist. His 
proficiency in languages was so extraordinary, and his reserve 
and modesty so marked, that he was proverbially known 
throughout the Prussian Army as "the man who is silent in 
seven languages." Austria and Prussia found cause of quarrel 
in the newly acquired Elbe Duchies. By the middle of June 
1866 the armies on both sides were concentrating on the com- 
mon frontier. The Prussian forces consisted of three armies, 
which by Moltke's combination advanced concentrically into 
Bohemia, and by carefully calculated marches and skilful 



64 EMINENT PERSONS 

manoeuvres exposed the Austrian forces to a simultaneous 
attack in front and rear. It had hitherto been considered 
exceedingly hazardous to advance into an enemy's country in 
different independent columns, especially through mountain 
passes, as two columns might be checked by small forces, while 
an overwhelming weight was thrown on the third, and then the 
columns might be destroyed in detail. But this danger, Moltke 
perceived, would be averted if each column could communicate 
almost instantly with the others. He called science to his aid. 
The military field telegraph was instituted, and each column 
could communicate in a few seconds with the others, though a 
hundred miles distant, and tell exactly the hostile forces in its 
front. 

Aided thus, Moltke perfected plans by which the army of 
Prince Frederick Charles, joined with that of Herwarth, burst 
into Bohemia through Saxony, swept away the detachments left 
to bar their progress, and threatened the flank and rear of the 
main force with which Benedek hoped to check the Crown 
Prince. The latter, fighting hard, pushed his way through the 
Silesian hills. His breech-loaders swept away the badly armed 
Austrian columns opposed to him, and Benedek, thus assailed 
and threatened, fell back perforce to a rearward position on the 
Bistritz. Once through the mountains, the junction of the 
Crown Prince with Prince Frederick Charles was assured, and 
on the night of the 1st July their horsemen communicated with 
each other near Gitschin. The next day the King, with Moltke, 
arrived at Gitschin. Prince Frederick Charles felt the Austrian 
army on the Bistritz, and, fearing that it might retreat beyond 
the Elbe, determined to attack and hold it fast till the Crown 
Prince could come up within striking distance and smite it 
heavily in flank and rear. The consent of the King, by Moltke's 
advice, was given to this bold but wise view of Prince Frederick 
Charles. The battle of Koniggriitz was the result, where the 
Austrian army was so utterly defeated that Benedek telegraphed 
immediately to his Sovereign, " Sire, you must make peace." 
The war was practically ended and the unity of North Ger- 
many secured. 

After the battle the bulk of the Prussian armies marched on 
Vienna, where a fresh Austrian force was being organised out of 
the remnants ©f the army of Benedek which escaped from 
Koniggriitz, and some of the troops victorious at Custozza, 



FIELD-MARSHAL VON MOLTKE 65 

which were being brought up from Italy. A stout resistance 
was expected by the Prussian Staff in front of Vienna. Reserve 
divisions were quickly brought up, and by the 21st of July a 
Prussian army of 196,000 men stood massed on the left bank of 
the Danube. The points of passage were already chosen. An 
armistice was then agreed upon, and the Peace of Prague 
definitely concluded on the 23rd of August. 

At the close of the war Moltke wrote : — 

" It is beautiful when God gives to man such an evening to 
his life as He has vouchsafed to the King and many of his 
Generals. I am now 66 years old, and for my work I have 
received much reward. We have made a campaign which for 
Prussia, for Germany, and the world is of inestimable im- 
portance." 

But there was a great sorrow in store for the General. On 
4th August 1866, when the victors of Koniggriitz returned to 
Berlin, their wives and all the great ladies went, to the station 
to greet them. Happy among the happy, Madame von Moltke 
was there. Her life had been singularly happy. In December 
1868 she fell ill, and Christmas eve, which brings gladness to 
many hearts, was sad to Moltke. Before the dawn of Christmas 
Day his wife lay dead. They had had no children, and his 
life would have been very lonely had not the kindly King 
appointed his nephew, Lieutenant von Burt, to be his perman- 
ent aide-de-camp ; his only surviving sister, Madame von Burt, 
took charge of his house, and thus he was not left quite alone. 
But he ever cherished a most lasting and tender affection for 
his wife. She was buried on his property in Silesia, and when- 
ever the General went home from Berlin his first action was 
to visit her grave and spend a long time there gazing on the 
simple monument which marked where she rested, and on which 
is inscribed — 

" Love is the fulfilment of the law." 

But there was hard work to distract his mind from private 
sorrow. The main results of the war of 1866 were the forma- 
tion of the new North German Confederation, under the Sovereign 
of Prussia, and the disappearance of Austria as a Germanic 
Power. The Treaty of Prague was, however, but the stepping- 
stone, not the keystone of German unity. North Germany was 
indeed linked with Prussia, which now held the command of 
vol. v F 



66 EMINENT PERSONS 

the German forces and the power of peace and war north of the 
Maine. Austria stood aloof, and seemed resolved henceforth to 
meddle no more in German affairs. Bavaria, Wiirtemberg, and 
Baden remained independent of each other, but each concluded 
important treaties with Prussia. By that between Prussia and 
Bavaria these two powers mutually guaranteed the integrity of 
their respective territories with all the military forces at their 
disposal, and in case of war the King of Prussia was to have 
the command in chief of the Bavarian army. The treaties with 
Baden and Wurtemberg were of the same tenor. On account 
of the representations of the Emperor of the French, Saxony 
was not so completely absorbed into the union. The Saxon 
King retained the power of nominating his civil and military 
officers, and the Saxon army was not merged in that of the 
Confederation. 

France, by an attitude of desire to interfere in the internal 
arrangements of Germany, facilitated the conclusion of those 
treaties ; and the fact that on the Gth of August 1866 she de- 
manded the fortress of Mainz from Prussia under threat of war, 
though known to but few, had doubtless an important effect. 
Moltke's answer to the demand was the rapid march of 60, 000 men 
to the Rhine ; and when it was seen that Prussia was resolute, the 
threat was not carried out, but an excuse made that the demand 
was wrung from the Emperor while suffering from severe illness. 
The French army was then far from prepared for war. It was 
not thoroughly complete with men nor armed with a breech- 
loading weapon ; and France failed to obtain after the war of 
1866 territorial concessions from Germany as signally as when 
before that war she proffered to declare against Austria, and 
attack with 300,000 men, provided Prussia would cede territory 
on the left of the Rhine. Austria, after the war, at first seemed 
disposed to look to France as a future ally ; but the publi- 
cation of this French proposition did much to modify that feel- 
ing, and to turn her population as well as her Government 
to the necessary task of internal, financial, and military re- 
organisation. 

Though the claims of France to German territory made in 
1866 were withdrawn, they were renewed in 1867 in a form 
which, though less summary, equally threatened to disturb the 
peace of Europe. A proposition was made by the King of 
Holland to sell the fortress of Luxemburg to France. Germany 



FIELD-MARSHAL VON MOLTKE 67 

quickly was excited. A Prussian garrison held Luxemburg on 
behalf of Germany, and the King of Prussia, not anxious for a 
French war, but feeling that it would be the readiest mode of 
completing German unity, refused to abandon his charge. A 
conference, proposed by the neutral Powers, met in London ; 
the Duchy was declared neutral and its neutrality guaranteed. 
Prussia withdrew her garrison, and the fortifications were to be 
razed. This concession was not very material, as the fortifica- 
tions had been erected before the invention of rifled ordnance, 
and the strength of the fortress lay in its natural position. War 
was for the time averted, and many men believed that all diffi- 
culties were arranged between France and Prussia, that Austria 
was crippled, Russia unprepared, and that a lasting peace was 
really about to dawn upon Europe. 

But those who looked below the surface saw that France was 
brooding, and pushing forward armaments and military organisa- 
tion. Moltke well knew this. His system of intelligence from 
France was excellent ; every change in armament and every 
movement of battalions was known to him. The war which he 
had long foreseen broke out, indeed, suddenly, but found him 
prepared. In England it caused great surprise, although in the 
spring of 1870 French agents were abroad in all our southern 
counties buying corn and forage. The excuses for enormous 
purchases of this description were that the season had been so 
dry that no harvest was expected in France. But these excuses 
were transparent, for had forage been so very scarce in France, 
French dealers would not have cared, simultaneously with an 
enormous rise in the price of forage, to largely export horses to 
France. At the same time, a flotilla was secretly collected in 
the northern French ports, capable of transporting 40,000 men 
and 12,000 horses. These things were carefully noted by 
Moltke's agents, but the British Government, against which the 
arrangements might have been equally directed, remained in 
happy ignorance of any danger of war, and within a few hours 
of the outbreak of hostilities our Secretary of State for Foreign 
Affairs, as he himself stated in Parliament, " believed that there 
was not a cloud on the political horizon of Europe." 

Immediately after the war of 1866 Moltke resumed his 
labours at Berlin. Under his advice the Prussian military 
organisation was extended to the troops of all the Northern 
States. The army which had fought in 1866 was augmented 



68 EMINENT PERSONS 

by three corps. The broad principles of its organisation, as far 
as regarded infantry, had proved so satisfactory in the field that 
they were not altered. In the organisation of the cavalry, 
however, which was largely increased, the experience of the 
war dictated the necessity of a vital change. Hitherto the 
Prussian regiments had consisted of four squadrons in time of 
peace ; on the outbreak of war the four squadrons took the 
field and a depot was formed to supply the necessary reinforce- 
ments of men and horses. This system was found decidedly 
faulty during the Austrian war, and after the Treaty of Prague 
the Prussian regiments were increased to five squadrons, of 
which four take the field and one remains as a depot to supply 
immediately the quick necessities of horses and men. 

To this change, and to the large increase of cavalry, were due 
in no slight degree the wonderful successes of the German 
armies in the French war ; for, as the Emperor of the French 
himself stated, the Prussian cavalry formed an impenetrable 
screen through which it was impossible for the enemy to dis- 
cover the movements of the main armies, while every movement 
of French troops was faithfully and accurately reported to the 
German headquarters. Directly after the war of 1866 all 
muzzle-loading guns were laid aside and the entire artillery 
were armed with breech-loaders. 

When the French Empire was threatened with war on 
account of the Luxemburg question in 1867 the nominal 
strength of the army was 600,000 men : but it was practically 
found that it would have been impossible to place in line of 
battle, after providing for depots and necessary detachments, 
much more than 150,000 men. It was evident that the 
military system required reorganisation, and in 1868 the re- 
organisation elaborated by Marshal Niel became law. By this 
new system, which was, as its predecessor, based on conscription, 
the forces of the Empire were divided into three classes — the 
Active Army, the Reserve, and the National Guard. The 
service under the colours was fixed at five years, after which 
the soldier was to be placed in the Reserve for four years more. 
Young men who were not drawn for the Active Army were to 
serve four years in the Reserve and five in the National Guard. 
This system was inferior to the German, because part of the 
reserve were not trained at all in the regular army, and the 
service in the ranks being five years instead of three a smaller 



FIELD-MARSHAL VON MOLTKE 69 

force of trained men could be annually passed into the Reserve. 
Another distinction of great importance existed between the 
two military systems. In Prussia no man required for military 
service could purchase a substitute ; in France any one liable 
to military duty was exempted, by payment to the State of a 
sum of 2 5 00f., and the State undertook with the money so 
paid to replace him by another soldier. It is doubtful whether 
the fund thus obtained was judiciously administered, for it was 
found that on the outbreak of war the real strength of the 
French battalions was considerably inferior to the paper 
strength. 

Nor was the system as laid down literally carried out, for it 
was objectionable to the people, and in such an excitable and 
feverish population it was not advisable to train the National 
Guard to a perfect knowledge of weapons and drill. The 
result was that, although the reorganisation of 1868 theo- 
retically placed more than 800,000 combatants at the disposal 
of the Emperor, and raised the military forces of France to 
more than 1,200,000 men, the army fit to take the field at the 
commencement of the war mustered barely 400,000 soldiers. 
Of these 40,000 were at Cherbourg, preparing to embark in 
the flotilla which had been collected in the northern ports ; 
5000 were at Rome, 10,000 in Algeria, 35,000 in Paris and at 
Chalons, 10,000 at Lyons, and about 30,000 at Marseilles, 
Toulouse, Rochefort, Bordeaux, Toulon, and in hospital. The 
force which could be -sent towards the Rhine mustered barely 
270,000 men. It was divided into eight corps and the 
Guards. 

The Luxemburg question drew the immediate attention of 
the King of Prussia to the probability of a war with his western 
neighbour. News also came from France of a general strengthen- 
ing of the eastern fortresses. The reorganisation of the army by 
Marshal Niel and the rapid armament of the French infantry 
with the breech-loading Chasseput rifle showed that a conflict 
might be expected within a short time. Careful precautions 
were taken on the Prussian side, and already in December 
1867, Moltke worked out and laid before the King a plan for 
the railway transport of the armies of Germany to the Rhine 
and a plan of campaign against France. So carefully were the 
details of the transport arranged that when war broke out more 
than two years afterwards they had hardly to be altered. The 



70 EMINENT PERSONS 

key of Moltke's plan of campaign, as exposed in his history of 
this war, which was published from the office of the German 
staff in 1874, was "to find the main body of the enemy and to 
attack it wherever found." The mobilisation of the army was 
prepared in every detail, and Moltke, with a keen but bold 
strategy, fixed the point of concentration in the Bavarian 
palatinate, between the Rhine and the Moselle. The assembly 
of the whole German force here protected the upper as well as 
the lower Rhine, and allowed for an offensive movement into 
France, which would probably prevent any invasion of German 
territory. It might appear hazardous to concentrate the armies 
on the French side of the Rhine, where they might be attacked 
before they were united, but his calculations were so perfect 
and his arrangements so complete, that under his magician's 
hand this danger disappeared. For every detachment the day 
and hour of its departure from its garrison and arrival near the 
frontier was laid down. 

On the 10th day after mobilisation was ordered, the first 
troops would descend from their railway carriages close by the 
French frontier, and on the thirteenth day 60,000 combatants 
would be there in position ; and on the eighteenth day this 
force would be swelled to 300,000 men. He calculated that 
only on the eighth day, in most favourable circumstances, could 
the French cross the frontier with 150,000 men, when there 
was time for the Prussian staff to stop their railway transport 
at the Rhine and there disembark their forces. To move from 
the frontier at Saarlouis to the Rhine the French would require 
at least six marches, and could only reach the river on the 
fourteenth day to find the passages occupied by overwhelming 
German forces. For on the German side there were ready to 
take the field, as soon as their rapid mobilisation was complete, 
the twelve corps of the North German Confederation, mustering 
at least 360,000 men ; and the armies of Bavaria, Wurtemberg, 
Darmstadt, Saxony, and Baden, which were under the supreme 
command of the King of Prussia in virtue of the treaties concluded 
after the campaign of 1866, raised the field forces of that 
Sovereign to over 500,000 combatants. These were well 
sustained by an effective and organised system of depots and 
reserves, administered by an elastic and proved machinery and 
handled by abstemious and well -trained officers. An iron 
discipline knit the Prussian soldiery together, previous victories 



FIELD-MARSHAL VON MOLTKE 71 

gave entire confidence in their leaders, and a high sense of duty 
and of self-denial pervaded the ranks. 

In the French army, on the other hand, there was much 
enthusiasm and great gallantry, but discipline had been allowed 
to lapse. Luxurious ideas, fostered by a rapid increase of 
national wealth, pervaded some portion of the officers. Many 
of the others raised from the ranks were wanting in the high 
military education which alone gives to a leader the confidence 
of his followers, or fits him for the rapid decision and quick 
judgment that are constantly necessary in war. In armament 
the French troops were superior, for they were provided with 
the Chassepot rifle, which, with the common advantage of being 
a breech - loader, was superior in range and accuracy to the 
needle-gun. The latter had been adopted in the early days of 
the invention of breech-loaders by the Prussian Government, 
which had been averse from incurring the inconveniences of a 
change of arm, except for some well-defined advantage. Still, 
the French superiority in this respect was more than counter- 
balanced by the hurried and excited manner in which the 
French troops on more than one occasion handled their 
weapons. 

On the other hand, the German soldier was more suitably 
equipped for European war than the French. Discarding the 
cumbrous equipage necessary for the formation of camps or the 
refinements of cooking, the German troops were prepared during 
a campaign to trust to the shelter which villages nearly always 
afford in Western Europe, or, in case of necessity, to bivouac in 
the open air, while a small mess-tin carried by each soldier 
sufficed for his culinary wants. The French soldier, on the 
contrary, was weighed down with tentes d'abri, heavy cooking 
apparatus, and an enormous kit. These were generally useless, 
frequently lost, always encumbrances ; but an army accustomed 
to African or Asiatic war clings pertinaciously to the idea of 
canvas covering, fails to realise the different conditions under 
which campaigns must be conducted in Europe, and shudders 
at the idea of an exposure in war to which every true sportsman 
will willingly consent for pleasure. The French army was 
heavily equipped, on the experience of Africa, China, and 
Mexico, and suffered seriously from that cause among others. 

The celebrated interview between the King of Prussia and 
the French Ambassador, M. Benedetti, took place at Ems on 



72 EMINENT PERSONS 

the 13th of July 1870. On the 14th a Cabinet Council was 
held at St Cloud, and it was determined to call up the French 
reserves. On the 15th a declaration by the French Ministry 
was made in the Senate and Corps Ldgislatif simultaneously of 
war against Prussia, and was rapturously applauded in both 
Houses. The plans matured in peace by Moltke were now to 
be tested. They were not found wanting. Late at night, on 
the 15th of July, tbe King of Prussia ordered the mobilisation 
of the whole German army. The 16th was the first day of 
mobilisation ; on the 26th the mobilisation was complete ; and 
on the 3rd of August three army corps stood formed in order 
of battle south of the Moselle, between the Saar and the Rhine, 
and ready to advance into France. While the German army 
was being mobilised, the French lost all advantage which their 
hasty declaration of war should have given. Their army, 
instead of having been ready before the declaration of war, was 
unprepared to advance, and instead of dashing boldly into 
Germany lay inactive on the frontier. Thus the German army 
was able unhindered to assume the offensive with superior 
numbers. 

Moltke's plan of the campaign was that the army of the 
Crown Prince should advance on the east of the Vosges Moun- 
tains, on the German left, that of Prince Frederick Charles in 
the centre, and that of Steinmetz on the right, to the west of 
the Vosges. Moltke expected to find the united French army 
on the Moselle between Nancy and Metz, but his cavalry soon 
informed him that they were not even concentrated, but in 
scattered corps. On the 4th of August the French corps which 
occupied St. Avoid, a small town on the road from Metz to the 
frontier line of the Saar at Saarbruck, made a movement 
towards the latter place. The Emperor and Prince Imperial 
were present, and the French soldiery thought that the advance 
had at last really begun, and that they were upon the high road 
to Berlin. The movement was not, however, pushed ; the 
French did not even cross the frontier in force, but occupied the 
strong heights of Spicheren. 

Meanwhile the German troops had drawn swiftly and 
silently down to the frontier. In the early morning of the 6th 
of August, the Crown Prince had massed his forces behind the 
dark woods which lie north of Weissemburg. Thence, soon 
after daybreak, he sprang upon the unsuspecting advanced 



FIELD-MARSHAL VON MOLTKE 73 

guard of the corps of Marshal MacMahon, and drove them back 
with great loss on Worth. The same day Prince Frederick 
Charles and Steinmetz stormed the heights of Spicheren, and 
drove the French occupants of that position in full retreat 
towards Metz. On the 8th the Crown Prince came upon 
Marshal MacMahon at Worth, and after a severe battle, in 
which the French leader showed much tactical resource, over- 
threw him completely, and the Marshal retreated in great 
confusion on Nancy. The future Emperor Frederick, at Worth, 
tore from the brows of the French army the laurels which a too 
credulous world had uncritically accorded to it, and proved that 
the army of France, however much animated by enthusiasm and 
gallantry, was unable to withstand the stern onset of the 
German soldiery directed with judgment and conducted with 
skill. 

Keports soon came in which showed that the whole French 
army contemplated a retreat from the line of the Moselle 
towards Chalons. Then Moltke conceived the daring plan of 
throwing the German force between Bazaine and Chalons and 
cutting off the French retreat. Prince Frederick Charles 
crossed the Moselle and engaged Bazaine's retreating columns 
in the bloody battle of Mars-la-Tour. Here he held the French 
General, who had 180,000 men, with his 90,000, and although 
he lost heavily, he gripped him tight and prevented his further 
retreat. Other German corps hurried up in support ; and on 
the 1 8th the main German army, with its rear to Paris, engaged 
Bazaine at Gravelotte, and, after a severe fight, drove him back 
into Metz, where his force was quickly surrounded by Prince 
Frederick Charles, was shut up from all further participation in 
the war, and was finally compelled to capitulate in the latter 
part of October. 

After the battle of Worth the remains of the corps of 
Marshal MacMahon made good their retreat to Chalons. Here 
they were reorganised as rapidly as possible, and reinforced by 
all the levies which could be hurried up to their aid. The 
Emperor in person had left Metz before the battle of Mars-la- 
Tour, and was also at Chalons. For military reasons the army 
should have retreated on Paris, but political circumstances 
would not allow the adoption of this course. The Crown Prince, 
so soon as Bazaine was invested, advanced in pursuit of Mac- 
Mahon towards Chalons. To support him a fourth army was 



74 EMINENT PERSONS 

formed, of four corps, and placed under the Crown Prince (the 
present king) of Saxony, and called the Army of the Meuse. 
By Moltke's advice the march of these two armies was so 
arranged that the third army, forming the left wing, was one 
day in advance of the fourth army which formed the right 
wing. In case of collision with the enemy, the Meuse army 
was to attack him in front, and the third army on his right 
flank, so as to force him in the direction of the Belgian frontier 
and off the road to Paris. Meanwhile it had been decided 
at Chalons, under pressure of political circumstances, that 
MacMahon should make a circuitous movement to the north, 
and endeavour to reach Metz by way of Rheims, Mezieres, and 
Sedan, and there aid Bazaine to escape from the toils cast around 
him by Prince Frederick Charles. 

While the German cavalry hurried forward in front of the 
armies of the two Crown Princes to gather news of the French 
movements, the Chief of the Staff joined the headquarters of 
the Crown Prince of Prussia on the 24th of August at Ligny. 
A council of war was held. It was known that the French 
army was near Rheims, and rumours gathered by the cavalry 
from the country people told that MacMahon contemplated a 
march to Metz. It was then determined to continue the march 
towards Chalons. On his arrival at Bar-le-Duc General Moltke 
went to walk on the ancient walls of that once fortified town. 
He meditated on the state of the campaign, and then for the 
first time the thought struck him of what MacMahon really was 
doing, and he saw that it was possible that the French leader 
might endeavour to throw himself into Metz behind the advanc- 
ing German armies, and at the same time threaten their lines of 
communication. He went to his quarters and there studied the 
possibility of such a movement and the measures to be taken to 
counteract it He found that the proposed French march 
could be carried out, and that to defeat it the enemy's columns 
must at the latest be stopped on the right bank of the Meuse 
and attacked, and that the position of the German armies 
allowed them to be attacked there by the fourth army in front, 
and the third army on their right flank with overwhelming 
force. In the course of the evening, reports from the advanced 
cavalry showed that the enemy was moving from Rheims in an 
easterly direction towards Metz. Moltke studied the reports by 
aid of his maps, in which each detachment of troops was marked 



FIELD-MARSHAL VON MOLTKE 75 

with a pin, and soon concluded that there could he no douht 
that the French General was marching on Metz. He at once 
laid his views before the King, and obtained his permission that 
the march on Paris should be given up, and that the third and 
fourth armies, wheeled to the right, should march towards the 
north. 

These movements brought on the battle of Sedan. On the 
30th of August, the Crown Prince of Saxony, moving down the 
right bank of the Meuse, surprised the French advance at 
Mouzon ; for the French army, instead of making forced 
marches of about twenty miles a day, on account of want of 
discipline among the new levies and the failure of transport 
arrangements, was only able to make about six. On the same 
day the Crown Prince of Prussia also engaged the heads of 
Marshal MacMahon's columns at Beaumont and Donchery and 
drove them in. On the 1st of September the two armies, under 
the eyes of the King of Prussia, attacked the position which the 
French had taken up at Sedan. The Crown Prince threw his 
left completely round the French army. All day the battle 
raged. The French fought gallantly, even desperately, but, 
pressed upon by the better disciplined legions of Germany, they 
were pushed closer and closer to the ramparts of the fortress, 
while their adversaries gained a firm footing on all the heights 
which command and overlook the basin in which Sedan is 
situate. At last, hemmed in, surrounded, and exposed to the 
commanding fire of a numerous and superior artillery, no 
resource was left to the French army but capitulation. A 
general of the Emperor's staff was sent to the King of Prussia 
to propose terms for the army, and at the same time the 
Emperor wrote a letter to the King, and proposed to surrender 
his sword. The terms were the unconditional surrender of the 
army and the fortress. These were agreed to, and the whole 
French army was marched prisoner into Germany. 

After the halt of a few days, necessary for the completion of 
arrangements at Sedan, the armies of the Crown Princes 
marched direct for Paris, where alone the war could be ended. 
There was no French army worthy of mention now in the field. 
Bazaine, with the Army of the Rhine, was invested in Metz, 
the Emperor and MacMahon were prisoners on the road to 
Germany. The few troops that escaped from the general 
catastrophe at Sedan, or had been on the way to reinforce 



76 EMINENT PEKSONS 

Marshal MacMahon, were hurried back to Paris to man the 
defences of the capital. The German movements were, in 
Moltke's fashion, at once rapid and deliberate. 

On the 19th of September the investment of Paris was, in a 
sense, completed, though much had to be done to fix the grasp 
securely on the doomed victim. Here opened a second stage 
of the war, which for several months was directed from Moltke's 
quarters at Versailles. There can be little question that, in 
the first instance, the Germans were led away by a miscalcula- 
tion, and for a time, undoubtedly, Moltke's schemes had to 
embrace not only offensive operations against the enemy, but a 
safe retreat in case of disaster. The resources of Paris, the 
strength of the fortifications, and the spirit of the people, had 
been underrated. If the Germans had not reckoned on the 
immediate surrender of the city, as in 1814 and 1815, they 
would hardly have risked an advance while Bazaine's army was 
still safe in Metz and while the fortresses of Alsace and Lorraine 
threatened their main lines of communication. When Moltke 
saw that Paris was not to be captured by a coup de main, but 
that it must be regularly invested, he must have passed some 
uneasy days and nights until Toul and Strasburg fell ; nor 
could his anxieties have been greatly relieved before Metz 
capitulated on the 28th of October. Then the problem became 
a comparatively simple one, for even if the German armies had 
been compelled to raise the siege they could have retired in 
perfect order and kept their hold upon the occupied depart- 
ments. But, at the very outset, Moltke stood firm, and, even 
while the security of his communications was doubtful, a vast 
double line of intrenchments, thrown up by the spade, hemmed 
in the Parisians. 

After the fall of Metz, Moltke had to deal, on the one side, 
with the efforts of the besieged to break through his lines, and, 
on the other hand, with the levying of the new French armies 
in the south, the north-west, and the east. General d'Aurelles 
proved himself on the Loire a good disciplinarian and a capable 
tactician ; but he had not the rapidity or the initiative which 
would have enabled him to use his advantages in time. General 
Chanzy was an abler soldier, but before his opportunity came 
the Germans had been strengthened by Bazaine's surrender and 
by reinforcements from home. General Faidherbe fought well 
in the north, but could not follow up his successes. General 



FIELD-MARSHAL VON MOLTKE 77 

Bourbaki was as incompetent as his army was disorganised and 
demoralised. 

Against all these French commanders and their troops, 
amounting at one time, in the aggregate, to from 400,000 to 
500,000 men, Moltke played his game skilfully and coolly, 
launching against them his subordinate armies, which either 
checked or crumpled up the enemy, but never relaxing the 
rigour of the investment, and meeting the desperate sorties of 
the besieged with the stern resistance of a rock. Yet almost to 
the end there was danger of a junction, by some combination of 
events, between the Army of the Loire and Trochu's garrison, 
which, for the time, might have turned the tide of fortune. 
The Germans, however, guided by Moltke's genius, did not miss 
a point in the game, until at length Bourbaki's reckless strategy 
afforded an opening for what a military critic, writing in these 
columns, described as "an overwhelming blow, directed with 
consummate ability." The operations of Werder and Man- 
teuffel attained their object perfectly. Bourbaki's army went 
to pieces and was driven into Switzerland, and from that time 
forward there was no serious prospect of raising the siege of 
Paris. "If Von Moltke," the critic we have quoted wrote, 
"had never done anything else, this single operation would 
mark him out as one of the master spirits of war, nor less 
admirable were the precision, the intelligence, and the decisive 
speed with which the Germans went down on their foe." 

Thenceforward the issue of the siege was only a matter of 
time. Paris fell by the pressure of hunger. Even Moltke 
had not truly estimated the strength of the fortifications, which 
remained unbroken when the gates were opened to the invest- 
ing armies ; and the struggle might have been prolonged for 
months if there had been any means of getting supplies of food. 
Perhaps no part of Moltke's work was more remarkable than 
the complete success with which he solved a problem only one 
degree less difficult than that of victualling Paris — the pro- 
vision of supplies during the winter for the investing armies, 
in a country to a great extent stripped of its resources, and 
where a prolonged siege had not been contemplated. It is 
curious that those who planned the fortifications had calculated 
that no investing army could subsist outside the walls for more 
than two months, whereas the German investment lasted for 
five months. 



78 EMINENT PERSONS 

Versailles became thus the scene of the most important part 
of Moltke's life-work. At Versailles, on the 26th of October, 
he passed his 70th birthday, and on that day he was raised by 
the King of Prussia, upon the reception of the news of the 
capitulation of Metz, to the rank of Count. From Versailles 
he had directed for nearly six months the movements which 
the German armies undertook from the Channel to the Loire 
to prevent the interruption of the blockade, and guided the 
complicated operations over this wide theatre of war. The 
French armies which attempted to raise the blockade of the 
capital had been, through his dispositions, successively defeated 
at Orleans, St. Quentin, Amiens, in the valley of the Doubs, 
and at Le Mans. His task was completed. The battle of Le 
Mans decided the fate of Paris. Provisions had already been 
getting short. One more sortie was, indeed, made by the 
garrison, but it was seen that assistance from without could no 
longer be hoped for. On the 27 th of January an armistice 
was agreed to, and peace was signed at Frankfort in May 
1871. 

A short time before the conclusion of hostilities the King of 
Prussia, in the palace of Versailles, was proclaimed Emperor of 
Germany amid the cheers of the assembled German chieftains 
and within the sound of the guns engaged in the bombardment 
of Paris. On his return to Berlin, Moltke was raised by his 
grateful Sovereign to the rank of field-marshal, and the Parlia- 
ment voted him a grant of £45,000. Berlin, Leipsic, Ham- 
burg, Madgeburg, made him a freeman, and on the anniversary 
of the capitulation of Paris he was called for life to the Prussian 
Upper House ; one of the new forts at Strasburg and a corvette 
built at Dantsic received his name. In 1874 he was elected 
by the Berlin Academy of Science to fill the knighthood vacant 
through the death of King John of Hanover. Parchim, his 
birthplace, erected in his honour a colossal statue, which was 
unveiled in October 1876, in the presence of the Grand Duke 
of Mecklenburg and various military deputations. 

In 1879 Moltke completed sixty years' service. The 
Emperor William I. on this occasion sent him a letter of con- 
gratulation, signed " Your thankful King," with the Star of the 
Order of Merit, and the whole of the officers of the German 
Staff united to raise a monument in his honour in front of his 
house at Kreisau. Count Moltke represented in the Reichstag, 



FIELD-MARSHAL VON MOLTKE 79 

from the time of its formation in 1867, the West Prussian 
county of Memel-Heydekrug ; but still conducted his military 
duties as Chief of the Staff of the army. Till quite a late date 
he in person conducted the annual travels of the General Staff, 
and again reconnoitred the German coast as well as the newly- 
acquired territories of Alsace and Lorraine, and presided over a 
commission appointed to investigate improvements in the coast 
defences. The experiences of the French war with regard to 
mobilisation were carefully collated under his supervision ; the 
readiness of the army for the field improved, and its strength 
increased by augmentation of the peace establishments ; a better 
organisation of the reserves and Landwehr in case of war was 
also adopted on his suggestion. Every year Moltke, as Chief of 
the Staff, accompanied the Emperor to the autumn manoeuvres, 
and acted as chief military adviser, and personally looked 
through the tactical exercises of officers intended for the 
Staff. 

Moltke lived to see his aged master, the Emperor William 
I., pass away in the fulness of years and honours, and a few 
months later, in June 1888, after the short reign of the 
Emperor Frederick, he paid his homage, among the other 
founders of the new German Empire, at the accession of 
William II. On 29th August in the same year the great 
" organiser of victory " resigned his office as Chief of the Staff 
of the German Armies, which he had held during the most 
eventful and the most splendid period in the history of his 
country. It was officially announced that he retired because of 
his advanced age, which no longer allowed him to mount his 
horse. The Emperor accepted Count Moltke's resignation, 
with eloquent expressions of gratitude and regret, and ap- 
pointed as his successor Count Waldersee, who had for some 
time been his assistant. Moltke was then nominated President 
of the National Defence Commission, a dignified and not 
wholly honorary office, which had been filled in succession by 
the Emperor William I., when Prince of Prussia, and by the 
Emperor Frederick, when Crown Prince of Germany. Down 
to the day of his death he continued to act as military adviser 
of the General Staff, and it is understood that he has lately 
been working actively upon the plans for the fortification of 
Heligoland. 

In March 1889 the seventieth anniversary of his entrance 



80 EMINENT PERSONS 

upon the military career was celebrated, and in the succeeding 
November he received a special badge of honour as having 
been for half a century a member of the order " Pour le 
Merite." Still more striking were the honours paid to the 
veteran Field-Marshal in October of last year, when he attained 
his 90th birthday. The Emperor and the Court, the army 
and the people, joined in showing their affectionate reverence 
for one of the makers of Germany, whose brilliant achieve- 
ments had never marred the simplicity of his character or 
developed a restless ambition. There was an imposing demon- 
stration of the unequalled military machinery his patient toil 
had perfected ; there was a vast procession in the streets of 
Berlin to honour the patriarch of German war ; there was a 
public holiday in all the schools of Germany. This was the 
crowning point in a wonderful career, and Moltke had nothing 
more to expect from a life of singular fruitfulness and well- 
balanced strength. 

Moltke's iron constitution, unhurt by unbroken work, long 
withstood the impress of time. Tall of stature and somewhat 
lean, he rode well, and was always well mounted. Cool in 
battle, whenever requisite he freely exposed himself to danger, 
but with a modest calm devoid of all desire of effect. To 
observe the disposition of the enemy at Koniggratz, he rode 
among the advanced line of skirmishers in the wood of Sadowa. 
The motto that he took for his coat of arms when he was made 
a Count — instead of his old family device of " Candide et 
caute " — " Erst wiigen, dann wagen," " First weigh, then wage," 
well points his military policy. His plans were well weighed, 
his warfare was waged boldly, sternly, and decisively. Long 
and carefully he calculated, but when his decision was once 
made he rushed straight on his objective point. He was kind 
and considerate to subordinates, allowed them much freedom of 
action, and never feared to accept responsibility ; thus he was 
well served. Loyal to his superiors throughout his life, he 
regarded duty fulfilled, not fame acquired, as the object of his 
career. As a politician he belonged to the Conservative party, 
but was animated by a deep love of his fatherland, of which 
his Sovereign had described him as the sword. 

The Emperor William I., in the first flush of the exultation 
inspired by the surrender of Paris, had publicly hailed Moltke 
as the true author of the German triumph. Without doing 



FIELD-MARSHAL VON MOLTKE 81 

injustice to other and equally important elements — the states- 
manship of Bismarck, the organising power of Roon, the 
soldierly qualities of the German army, the endurance and self- 
sacrifice of the German people — the Emperor's judgment was 
felt to be substantially just. Moltke acquired an authority 
among his countrymen which he enjoyed to the end, and which, 
with his manly preference for silence over speech, he never 
abused. Deeply attached to the cause of that national unity 
which he had so largely shared in making possible, and bound 
to his master and coeval, the Emperor William I., by personal 
ties of duty and affection, entirely unwarped by ambition or 
selfwill, Moltke rarely took part in politics except to give the 
weight of his counsel to the settled policy of the Imperial 
Government in keeping abreast with the armaments of France 
and Russia. 

As often as the Emperor and Prince Bismarck made new 
appeals to the nation for an addition to the strength of the 
army, Count Moltke was ready to produce an array of reasons 
in favour of the measure. His view of the state of Europe was 
that it was in unstable equilibrium, that to be left behind in 
military preparations would be as unwise as to disarm, and 
that France was bent on the revanche. These arguments Moltke 
put with great force in a speech delivered in the Reichstag in 
1877 on the question of increasing the number of officers, and 
he repeated them with still greater energy, and with the sup- 
port of elaborate statistics, in a speech on the Military Bill in 
1880, declaring, in language which produced considerable 
sensation, that " an iron necessity imposed upon Germany the 
duty of making new sacrifices." He was less successful in his 
support of the first Socialist Bill, which was rejected by the 
National Liberals, and was only carried in the revulsion of 
popular feeling after Nobiling's crime. Again, in 1886, when a 
new proposal for increasing the army was brought forward, 
Count Moltke took a prominent part in favour of the policy of 
the Government. He urged that France was eager to win back 
Alsace and Lorraine, and that the failure to pass the Bill 
" would involve a very serious responsibility, perhaps the 
misery of a hostile invasion." In the following year he again 
pleaded the same cause, urging that if the plans of the Govern- 
ment were rejected there " would certainly be war," and taking 
his stand on the proposition that " the army is the first insti- 
vol. v G 



82 EMINENT PERSONS 

tution of all in the country, for it alone renders the existence 
of all other institutions possible ; all political and civil liberty, 
all the results of culture, the finances, the State — all stand or 
fall with the army." Though Count Moltke was not more 
successful than Prince Bismarck in converting the majority of 
the Reichstag in 1887 to the policy of additional troops and a 
renewal of the " military Septennate," his authority had a great 
effect in the subsequent elections which shattered the Opposi- 
tion and carried the Army Bill with a rush. 

Moltke's private life was simple and calm ; he was a kind 
friend and a good landlord. In latter years he spent any time 
of repose from his work on his country place at Kreisau, where 
his wife lies buried. 



ARCHBISHOP MAGEE 

1821-1891 

Obituary Notice, Saturday, May 6, 1891 

Less than five months ago we recorded the death of Archbishop 
Thomson. To-day, it is our painful duty to announce that of 
his successor. Dr. Magee, Archbishop of York, died at half-past 
three o'clock yesterday morning, quite painlessly and peacefully, 
at a hotel in Suffolk Street, Pall Mall. He had been ill for 
about a fortnight of influenza, which a day or two ago gave way 
to bronchitis and inflammation of the lungs ; and to this com- 
plication of diseases the Archbishop quickly succumbed, enfeebled 
as he had been by more than one serious illness during recent 
years. 

Of the Archbishop it may well be said that his mourners 
will be two hosts — his friends and foes. That stern joy "which 
warriors feel in foemen worthy of their steel," was given to all 
who encountered Dr. Magee in any field for a fair fight ; and 
those who were most often in conflict with him will miss him 
most, for a true opponent is even rarer than a true friend, and 
the respect we feel for the one borders close upon the love which 
we cherish for the other. Dr. Magee was a shrewd, learned, 
and just man. The words conjure up at once a picture of tribula- 
tions, for the faculty of justice is most exercised by correcting the 
unjust weights and measures of our own associates; but Dr. Magee 
was good-humoured, and could happily make disciples whom he 
had rebuked for wrong -headedness laugh with him against 
themselves. His eloquence, both as preacher and debater, was 
great, and he knew the difference between preaching and 
debating. Clergymen and barristers, who usually address silent 



84 EMINENT PERSONS 

audiences, often lose presence of mind when they have to speak 
in places where they are liable to interruptions ; and, con- 
versely, ready debaters will sometimes be quite unable to 
express their thoughts if not stimulated by cheers and signs of 
disapproval. 

The Archbishop's versatility was the product of a lively Irish 
character and of a highly-trained intellect. He was heard at 
his best in the Session of 1883 in the House of Lords, when, 
speaking on the Cathedral Bill, he described with exuberant 
sarcasm the position of Churchmen unable to remove the abuses 
of their Church because of Nonconformist or Agnostic enemies, 
who were interested in letting these excrescences grow as germs 
of a mortal disease. He said that the Ministry would not dare 
to introduce any measure of Church Reform for fear of 
u irritating their great backbone," and he caused general amuse- 
ment by sketching the probable fate of a Church Bill struggling 
through the House of Commons amid amendments moved by 
certain Irish members. Bishops are not accustomed to speak 
with such elaborate playfulness as Dr. Magee used on this 
occasion, nor would many of their right reverend lordships be 
able to match their late colleague's irresistible manner if they 
tried to do so. With his large mouth, shaggy eyebrows, and 
twinkling eyes; with his expressive wags of the head, and quick, 
forcible gestures ; with his droll sallies and occasional outbursts 
of strong emotion, the Bishop of Peterborough compelled atten- 
tion. 

When he was promoted from the Deanery of Cork to an 
English see — a piece of preferment for which there was no 
precedent — Mr. Disraeli, who had advised his appointment, was 
asked what he most admired in the man. The Premier, who 
had possibly not often heard Dr. Magee preach, answered — M He 
is persuasive." That was true, but it might perhaps have been 
truer to say that the Bishop was " disconcerting." He shed new 
lights so suddenly and vividly on a question that his hearers 
were frequently taken aback, and confessed to themselves that 
if they had seen the matter in this way before they would have 
acted differently. But the man who shed tears in a law court 
from hearing his woes described by an imaginative counsel, 
doubtless consoled himself when he got home; and so politicians 
who were put out of conceit with their measures by Dr. Magee's 
exposure of what was bad in them, were not necessarily per- 



ARCHBISHOP MAGEE 85 

suaded that the measures ought to be abandoned. The Bishop 
himself never despaired because his warnings were unheeded. 
Neither as a theologian nor as a statesman did he belong to 
the alarmist school of those who prophesy irremediable 
disasters. 

The son of the Kev. John Magee, vicar of Drogheda, and the 
grandson of Dr. William Magee, sometime Bishop of Raphoe, 
and afterwards Archbishop of Dublin, author of a once well- 
known book on the Atonement, William Connor Magee was 
born at Cork in 1821. He was sent to Trinity College, Dublin, 
in his fourteenth year, and made his mark there both as a 
scholar and as a debater in the Historical Society. Even at 
this time he showed a gay disposition to ridicule extreme 
opinions, so that he was once asked whether he might not have 
something to say for Philip and Mary — a challenge to which he 
responded by a racy disquisition on the quality of Protestantism 
as professed by Henry VIII. and Elizabeth. 

After his ordination, Magee officiated for a time in a Dublin 
parish, but, being obliged to travel for his health, he went to 
Malaga for two years, and on his return accepted the curacy of 
St. Saviour's, Bath. He had studied a good deal while abroad, 
and had become much impressed by the religious indifferentism 
that was gaining ground on the Continent, owing to the corrup- 
tion of the simple Christian doctrine by means of Mariolatry. 
He became at once noted as a sound Evangelical preacher, but 
his early sermons were chiefly relished from being interspersed 
with anecdotes, jests, and ingenious parables, and from being 
delivered in animated conversational style, showing that his 
heart and mind were both full when he spoke. He had 
observed foreign habits of gesticulating to some purpose, and 
was not afraid of thumping his pulpit cushion repeatedly, to 
"ram a truth down," as Mr. Spurgeon puts it. In 1850, he 
obtained the incumbency of the Octagon Chapel at Bath, and 
held this benefice for nine years, during which time his reputa- 
tion spread far beyond Somersetshire. 

The Liberation Society having started into life, the Bath 
Church Defence Association was formed as a local counter-agent, 
and, in connection with it, Mr. Magee delivered his memorable 
lecture on the voluntary system and the Established Church. 
The effect of this able advocacy of the Establishment was very 
great, and it led to the creation of a number of other defence 



86 EMINENT PERSONS 

associations ; but, as priest and as bishop, Magee always fought 
against the idea that the vitality of the Church of England 
would be impaired by a severance of the connection with the 
State. He thought the connection good for the State, but he 
was earnest in advising that Churchmen should face the pos- 
sibility of disestablishment, and be prepared to make such a 
measure, if it came, turn to the benefit of the Church. He 
never quite forgave Mr. Disraeli for having made his Cardinal 
Grandison, in "Lothair," sneer at the Establishment as a 
" Parliamentary Church," for the words seemed somehow to 
reflect the writer's own private opinions — those of a Gallio who 
cared not much for Churches save in their political uses. 

After he had been raised to a bishopric, two years before 
" Lothair " appeared, and at the height of the agitation on the 
Irish Church question, Dr. Magee gave some disappointment to 
the Conservative leader by not espousing the cause of the 
Church of Ireland as one of life and death for that Church, and 
for the English Establishment as well. In the fine and famous 
speech which he delivered in the House of Lords in 1869, 
against Mr. Gladstone's Bill, the Bishop of Peterborough used 
every argument in support of the Church, except that one 
\vhich_ was most often heard from Tory speakers, and which 
implied that Ireland was about to be given over to Roman 
Catholic domination. A Liberal statesman took note of this, 
and remarked to Magee that by his own showing the Irish 
Church would become stronger after disestablishment than it 
was before. "Well," answered the Bishop, "you may break 
my leg, and when it has been set I may walk better on it than 
I did previously ; but it does not follow that I should thank 
you for what you did, and" — folding his arms and looking com- 
bative — " I doubt whether you would be pleased with yourself 
afterwards for having broken my leg." 

In 1860 Dr. Magee left Bath, and succeeded Dr. Goulburn as 
minister of Quebec Chapel, London, having meanwhile been 
appointed to an honorary canonry of Wells. In 1864 he was 
promoted to the deanery of Cork, and in 1868 he was raised to 
the English Episcopal bench, as successor to Dr. Jeune, at 
Peterborough. Before this time he had taken rank among 
those popular preachers who go starring — nothing invidious is 
meant by the comparison — much like favourite actors. Pulpit 
eloquence is not so common as might be expected from the 



ARCHBISHOP MAGEE 87 

number of ministers who practise to attain it ; and the parish- 
ioners of a renowned church orator have often reason to complain 
that he does not give them the best of what he has to say. 
Against Dr. Magee no such charge could lie, for he had too 
much native wit ever to deliver a dull sermon. He liked to 
preach before select congregations at Oxford, Cambridge, and in 
the Chapels Royal ; and to masses in the special services at St. 
Paul's and Westminster Abbey ; but wherever he was going to 
preach he pondered over what he meant to say and drew up full 
notes, never trusting wholly to inspiration. On important 
occasions, as in his sermons as Select Preacher at Oxford, he 
literally learnt his sermons by heart, and delivered them as 
though extempore. 

His doctrine was of the sort which pleases most Englishmen, 
going on broad lines, though it is not to be denied that it 
changed somewhat with the Church fashions of the age, so that 
it might be said of him, as of some other prelates, that rising in 
his profession he became "higher" in more senses than one. 
The Church Patronage Bill, which he introduced with a view to 
putting all benefices at the disposal of Bishops, was a measure 
which he would have attacked with warmth in his younger 
days, and it was one for which his episcopal brethren did not 
much thank him. It stirred up a Patronage Defence Associa- 
tion, which favoured the public with some queer revelations as 
to the manner in which prelates were accustomed to dispense 
such patronage as they possessed already. In one thing Dr. 
Magee never changed, for he remained courageous in advancing 
unconventional opinions which were intended to shock pre- 
judices that he loathed and cant which he held in equal 
abhorrence. He was once asked to interest himself in a 
carpenter's son who was doing well at a small school, and whom 
it was proposed to send to a University. " Let him first 
graduate as a good carpenter," answered Magee. " What 
becomes of your boasted concern for the welfare of the working 
classes if you lift a man out of those classes as soon as he shows 
brains 1 " 

It will not be forgotten that the late Archbishop took his 
stand against the excesses of the teetotal movement by saying 
that he " would rather see England free than sober." A curate 
of his diocese appeared before him wearing a blue riband in 
his buttonhole. " I suppose you have reflected," said Magee, 



88 . EMINENT PERSONS 

" that if you are respected in your parish you need not sport 
any emblem to advertise your character as a temperate man ; 
whereas, if you are not respected this piece of blue will only 
remind people of the Pharisees and the phylactery." To a lady 
who was wearing the same symbol the Bishop said quite as 
pointedly, " Now, recollect that this pledges you to a great deal. 
Men may go wrong through love of drink, but girls come to 
trouble through love of finery ; so if you are bent on setting an 
example, just put off your silks and rings and show yourself in 
plain black or gray without trimmings, kiltings, or bustles." 

Quite recently, in a similar spirit, he showed himself tolerant, 
under certain circumstances, of betting. He would not have 
objected to the St Leger ; but he would probably have drawn 
the line at baccarat. Dr. Magee was no friend of auricular 
confession. In one of his sermons on this matter he inveigled 
with vigorous irony against what he termed " drawing-room 
divinity," " tea-table theology," and " the homoeopathic doses 
of popery served up to young ladies and very young gentlemea 
by clergymen of a prying turn." To the Ritualists such sayings 
were gall ; and so were the Bishop's remarks about " petticoated 
curates," in allusion to the young divines who trudge about 
country parishes in cassocks. Much more might be gleaned 
from the Bishop of Peterborough's homely sayings by way of 
showing how cool his sense was ; but those who knew him hardly 
need such reminders, and those who did not will gather a 
sufficient idea of his nature from what has been already said in 
these lines. 

In 1883 the Bishop had a long and severe illness, and more 
than once his life was despaired of. But he recovered ; and in 
the next year was able to take his accustomed part both in the 
affairs of his diocese and in the business of the House of Lords. 
At Peterborough he was, of course, generally admired ; and it 
may be added that he was liked by all except those who, from 
extreme practices, or self-will, or folly of any exceptional kind, 
had brought themselves into a position of antagonism towards 
him. His attitude towards the questions of Church discipline 
which agitated, and still agitate, the clergy is well explained in 
a letter which, in March of last year, he addressed to the 
Archdeacon of Oakham, with reference to the Archbishop of 
Canterbury's judgment as to his jurisdiction in the Bishop of 
Lincoln's case. After expressing his dissent from certain points 



ARCHBISHOP MAGEE 89 

in the judgment, he proceeded : " Ritual prosecutions to enforce 
obedience to disputable rubrics by the help of courts of disputed 
authority, ending in an appeal to a court, the jurisdiction of 
which a large number, both of the clergy and the laity, will 
never recognise, will never bring us peace." He hated these 
suits, penalties, imprisonments, and he cried out for, "even at 
this eleventh hour, a modus vivendi." 

This was his feeling towards the divisions within the Church ; 
as to the attacks upon the position from outside, he said and did 
but little. If he had been asked why, he would probably have 
answered that he had no time to busy himself with going down 
to the roots of principles of which he personally was perfectly 
satisfied. He had, like every modern Bishop, more than enough 
to do in his diocese ; and, besides, there was Convocation and 
there was the House of Lords. In the former he appeared 
frequently ; in the latter, though latterly he did not often 
speak, he made an exception last year in the case of his 
Insurance of Children Bill, for putting stronger restrictions 
upon a practice which often leads to the most shocking and 
murderous abuses. The Bill was referred to a Select Committee, 
of which Dr. Magee until last week was chairman. 

In January last died Dr. Thomson, Archbishop of York ; 
and Lord Salisbury, amid general applause, advised the appoint- 
ment as his successor of the most eloquent and one of the ablest 
of the Bishops. Dr. Magee was enthroned on the 17th of 
March, but he did not live long enough to take a very active 
part in the affairs of the northern See and province. He was 
publicly received at Hull, Beverley, and elsewhere ; and he 
presided at one meeting of the Convocation of the northern 
province, when he explained and justified the Clergy Discipline 
Bill. He was just settling down to his work when the epidemic 
seized him. His death leaves a gap which it will hardly be 
possible to fill, and it will be long before the Church of England 
boasts another prelate with so rich an endowment of wisdom, 
eloquence, and humour as had fallen to the portion of Dr. Magee. 
It may be added that he was married in 1851 to Miss Ann 
Nisbitt, second daughter of the Rev. Charles Smith, Rector of 
Arklow. Mrs. Magee survives him, and he leaves a family of 
sons and daughters. 



SIR JOHN MACDONALD 

1815-1891 

Obituary Notice, Monday, June 8, 1891 

The Right Hon. Sir John Alexander Macdonald, G.C.B., 
LL.D., D.C.L., was the son of a Sutherlandshire yeoman, 
Mr. Hugh Macdonald. He was horn at Glasgow, 1 1 th January 
1815. Mr. Macdonald emigrated to Canada in 1820, settling 
with his family at Kingston, Ontario. Young Macdonald was 
educated at the Royal Grammar School, Kingston, and adopted 
the law as his profession, being called to the Bar of Upper 
Canada in 1836. In this profession he rapidly attained 
eminence, and those who are accustomed to regard him as a 
politician and man of business above all things may have 
almost forgotten that until the year 1869 he regularly filled 
the post of Attorney-General in the successive Ministries of 
which he was a member. He became a Bencher of the Law 
Society of Ontario, and head of the legal firm of Macdonald and 
Marsh, Toronto, which had a most extensive practice. He 
was subsequently made a Q.C. In 1839 he achieved distinction 
by his memorable defence of Von Schultz, who raided Canada 
three years before at the head of a small band of marauders. 

But it was as a politician and statesman that he was 
destined to win his place in Canadian history. Entering public 
life in 1844 as the representative of the city of Kingston in the 
House of Assembly, he was no more than three years before 
attaining to office. In December 1847 we find him Com- 
missioner of Crown Lands. Mr. Macdonald was an advocate 
of progressive Conservatism as opposed to Toryism. The 
Cabinet of which Macdonald was a member was overthrown in 



SIR JOHN MACDONALD 91 

1850, and made way for the Reform Ministry of Lafontaine, 
Baldwin, and Hincks, which retained power until September 
1854. Meanwhile Mr. Macdonald was gradually becoming 
remarkable for tact, assiduity, and a mastery of parliamentary 
procedure and usage which stood him in good stead in after 
life. He took a leading place at once among the debaters of 
the time, and his speeches on the Rebellion Losses Bill and the 
secularisation of the Clergy Reserves attracted marked attention 
for their statesmanlike breadth and ability. The latter question 
was the crucial topic of the day in 1854. On the defeat of the 
Government, Macdonald joined, as Attorney-General, the new 
Coalition Cabinet of MacNab - Morin, which was pledged to 
settle the vexed question at once and for ever. During the 
sway of the Coalition the Clergy Reserves were secularised on 
a fair and equitable basis ; while seigniorial tenure in Lower 
Canada was also abolished. In 1856 Macdonald was chosen to 
succeed Sir Allan MacNab as leader of the Conservative party. 
This post he continued to hold until his death, and whether in 
office or out of it he exercised a degree of personal influence 
over his followers that has never been equalled in the case of 
any other public man in Canada. 

The ministry sustained a defeat in 1858 on the question of 
the seat of Government, and Macdonald resigned. The Hon. 
George Brown was called upon to form a new Administration, 
and he succeeded in his task ; but, being defeated on the first 
vote in the House of Assembly, he made way for Macdonald, 
who once more returned to power, taking at first the office of 
Postmaster-General, but resigning this the next day in order 
to resume his more congenial office of Attorney-General. His 
Ministers also changed offices, and this incident in Canadian 
politics gave rise to the phrase, the "double shuffle." The re- 
organisation of the Militia having become a "burning question" 
in 1862, Macdonald took the office of Minister of Militia, 
with the object of grappling with it. The post was a very 
difficult one to fill with satisfaction at this juncture, and in 
spite of the Minister's strenuous efforts to pass a Militia Bill, 
the Government were defeated, and resigned. 

In March 1864, however, we find him back at his old post, 
with Sir Etienne P. Tache" as Premier, and leader of the Lower 
Canadian contingent. By this time a far different and all- 
important question was crying for solution — the question of 



92 EMINENT PERSONS 

proportionate representation as between Upper and Lower 
Canada, as Ontario and Quebec were then called. Before a 
year was out the difficulty was destined to be solved by an 
expedient that comprehended far more than the respective 
claims of the French and English Canadas — in a word, by 
Federation. In its inception, however, the problem was this. 
The inhabitants of Upper Canada consisted largely of United 
Empire loyalists, who remained loyal to British institutions, 
and who left the United States at the close of the War of 
Independence ; while those of Lower Canada were almost 
exclusively French Canadians. The representatives from each 
province in the United Parliament were equal in number. 

Upper Canada, however, made greater progress than Lower 
Canada, the population in 1851 being 952,204 and 890,261 
respectively, and in 1861, 1,396,061 and 1,111,566. She 
consequently agitated for an additional number of members and 
claimed other concessions, but the demands were always opposed 
by Lower Canada. The result was frequent legislative dead- 
locks and continual difficulties. The interests of Lower Canada 
were ably defended by Cartier, a vivacious, astute, and deter- 
mined politician. When Mr. Brown complained that the one 
county of Bruce with 80,000 people had not one representative, 
Cartier created great laughter by retorting that if heads were 
to be counted, then, taking in the codfish in the Gulf of St. 
Lawrence, Lower Canada had the majority. In this condition 
of things a stable Government by either party was impossible. 
Upper Canada by a double majority demanded her rights, but 
Lower Canada almost unanimously stood by the written Con- 
stitution. 

At length a proposition was made to federalise Upper and 
Lower Canada and the maritime provinces of Nova Scotia, New 
Brunswick, and Prince Edward Island. This was received with 
enthusiasm as a satisfactory solution of the difficulty, and a con- 
ference took place between the leaders on both sides, when the 
question was very fully discussed. In 1864 Macdonald attended 
as a delegate the conference that had been called at Charlotte- 
town, Prince Edward Island, where the smaller confederation of 
the seaboard provinces was under consideration. Chiefly by the 
eloquence and tact of Macdonald, he and his associates turned 
the tide, and succeeded in convincing the other side that the 
larger union of all the British North American provinces was 



SIR JOHN MACDONALD 93 

much the more desirable scheme of the two. Another con- 
vention was held a few months afterwards in the city of Quebec, 
delegates from all the provinces being present. At this meeting 
the plan of union was formed. 

The Canadian Parliament met at Quebec on 3rd February 
1865, when the resolutions of the Quebec Conference were sub- 
mitted by Sir E. P. Tache in Legislative Council, and by the 
Hon. John A. Macdonald in the House of Assembly. The 
motion of approval was carried by 91 to 33. The political 
deadlock, combined with severe commercial depression, made 
confederation absolutely imperative. Moreover, the commercial 
relations of Canada with the United States had been severed 
some years before by the abrogation of the Reciprocity Treaty. 
Confederation, therefore, now came to a head, and Macdonald 
took the most active and prominent part in bringing it about. 
He was chosen one of the delegates appointed to confer with 
the Imperial Government in London with reference to the 
terms on which union could be accomplished ; and he was 
elected President of the meetings of the London Colonial Con- 
ference. He gave great assistance to the English law officers in 
drawing up the British North American Act, which was ulti- 
mately passed. The provinces of Canada, Nova Scotia, and 
New Brunswick were, by the Act of Union passed in 1867, 
combined under the title of the Dominion of Canada. Rupert's 
Land and the North - Western Territory were added to the 
Dominion in 1870; Manitoba was created a province of the 
Dominion in the same year ; British Columbia was admitted 
in 1871 ; and Prince Edward Island was admitted in 1872. 

In 1865, while the Confederation controversy was at its 
height, Sir E. P. Tache* died, and his colleague was asked to 
take the Premiership ; but he declined in favour of Sir Narcisse 
F. Belleau. Macdonald held the office of Minister of Militia 
jointly with that of Attorney- General from January to May 
1862, and from August 1865 until the union. On the 1st of 
July 1867 the new Constitution came into force in Canada, 
and Macdonald was sworn as a Privy Councillor and appointed 
Minister of Justice and Attorney-General. In recognition of 
his services he was created a Knight Commander of the Bath 
(Civil Division), and some years later (1884) was advanced to 
the dignity of Grand Cross of the same Order. The University 
of Oxford and Trinity College, Toronto, conferred on him the 



94 EMINENT PERSONS 

degree of D.C.L., and Queen's University, Kingston, and M'Gill 
University, Montreal, that of LL.D. 

In 1869 Sir John Macdonald assumed the Premiership of 
Canada, and from this period may he said to date the protective 
policy which has formed so important a feature of his " National " 
programme. In 1871 Sir John Macdonald was chosen as one 
of the five British Commissioners appointed to settle the terms 
of the Washington Treaty ; and here he won fresh laurels. It 
was generally recognised that Sir John was the ahlest diplomatist 
engaged on the British side in that famous negotiation. Great 
Britain withdrew the case as to Canada's Fenian claims against 
the United States, but agreed to guarantee a Canadian loan of 
a considerable amount for public works in the Dominion. 
Relaxation of Customs restrictions by a " bonding " system, the 
free use of the fisheries, and also of certain lakes and rivers, 
were secured to each nation, and the compensation due to 
Canada for her fisheries was referred to a joint commission after- 
wards to sit at Halifax. This Fishery Commission, which did 
not report till 1877, made an award in favour of Great Britain 
of $5,500,000, as representing the value of the fishing privileges 
granted to the United States, over and above the concessions 
made to Canada under the Washington Treaty. For his services 
in connection with the Treaty of Washington in July 1872, Sir 
John was called to the Privy Council of Great Britain — an 
honour seldom conferred upon a colonial statesman. 

The second general election for the Dominion of Canada 
took place in 1872, and the result was to sustain Sir John 
Macdonald's Ministry. But in the succeeding year the Govern- 
ment had to face a serious difficulty known as the " Pacific 
scandal" Before the meeting of Parliament a charter had been 
given to a company to build the Canadian Pacific Railway, that 
company being the amalgamation of two rivals, one led by Sir 
Hugh Allan, of Montreal, the other by Senator Macpherson, of 
Toronto. As soon as Parliament assembled, Mr. Huntingdon, 
one of the representatives for Quebec, rose in his place and 
charged the Government with having received large sums of 
money from Sir Hugh Allan to corrupt the constituencies during 
the late elections. The Government denied the charge, and the 
vote of want of confidence in them was defeated. But the 
attacks against the Government were renewed in Parliament 
and the press, and all authentic inquiry into the truth of the 



SIR JOHN MACDONALD 95 

allegations was rendered impossible by tbe disallowance by the 
Imperial Government of an act authorising the examination of 
witnesses on oath. It is not surprising that under these circum- 
stances a good deal of the mud thrown was found to have stuck. 
The Opposition moved a vote of want of confidence, which was 
debated with great heat for a week. Meanwhile public feeling 
was seen to be running strongly against the Government, so Sir 
John Macdonald and his colleagues resigned before the vote was 
taken. 

The Hon. Alexander Mackenzie, the Liberal leader, became 
Prime Minister, and Sir John Macdonald now led the Con- 
servative Opposition for five years. But while on Imperial 
matters he acted as a party chief, he gave the Administration 
the benefit of his ability and his long experience in perfecting, 
among other measures of importance, the Insolvent Act and the 
Act which constituted the Supreme Court of the Dominion. 
Canada passed through a period of deep depression during the 
rule of the Mackenzie Ministry. Annual deficits in the revenue 
were recorded, and it was maintained by the Conservatives that 
a higher Customs tariff was needed for revenue purposes, and 
that by wisely adjusting the tariff an incidental protection might 
be given to certain struggling industries. Sir John Macdonald 
made this the battle-cry of his supporters, and it came to be 
described as the "national policy." Mackenzie, who was un- 
willing to increase the tariff, was called a " doctrinaire." 

Accordingly, at the general election of September 1878 
certain administrative blunders of the Liberal Premier, the 
earnest advocacy of the new protective policy, and the desire 
for change arising from business stagnation, resulted in the trans- 
ference of a large manufacturing and industrial vote to the 
support of Macdonald's plana The Conservatives carried all 
before them at the polls. Sir John again came into office as 
Premier, with a majority of 85 in a House of 206 members, 
and from this time he retained power continuously until his 
death. The new Government was pledged to the higher 
Customs tariff as a measure of protection against the fiscal policy 
of the United States and a means of fostering the native 
industries. The new Canadian tariff discriminated in favour of 
no nation, the products of all, not even excepting the mother 
country, Great Britain, being placed upon the same footing. 
The four years from 1879 to 1882 witnessed a great increase 



96 EMINENT PERSONS 

in the home manufactures. But this prosperity must not be set 
down merely as the result of protection. There was a great 
rebound in the national confidence, following upon the severe 
depression which had been everywhere felt for several years 
immediately preceding throughout the entire Dominion. But 
the most momentous step of Sir John Macdonald's Administra- 
tion was his signature, in 1880, of the contract for the construc- 
tion of the Canadian Pacific Railway. Public attention has 
quite recently been redirected to the circumstances under which 
this decisive step was taken by the revelations of Sir Charles 
Tupper regarding the refusal of the Grand Trunk Railway to 
undertake the enterprise. 

Public opinion ratified the Premier's spirited policy, for in 
1882 Sir John's Administration was again sustained by a large 
majority of the Canadian electors. During his new lease of 
power Sir John Macdonald found himself confronted with the 
Red River Rebellion. In the laying out of the North-West 
Territories the natives who had Indian blood in their veins 
were not sufficiently considered in the matter of the transfer. 
The French Metis especially were in a disturbed state, and were 
led by a rash and vainglorious youth named Louis RieL He 
was a French half-breed, who had been partially educated for a 
priest in Montreal. Riel arrested a band of Canadians, and 
imprisoned them at Fort Garry, executing one of their number 
named Scott. Cries of vengeance arose throughout Canada, and 
thousands of volunteers offered their services. The revolt was 
finally suppressed in July 1885 by a force under Major-General 
Middleton. The total force in the field was about 4000 men 
of the Canadian Militia. Riel was captured, tried, condemned 
to death, and executed. 

In 1886 the coping-stone was placed upon Sir John 
Macdonald's " National Policy " by the completion of the 
Canadian Pacific Railway across the entire continent to the 
Pacific. The first through train left Montreal on June 28. A 
general election took place the same year, and although Sir 
John Macdonald was again successful at the polls, his majority 
in the House of Commons was considerably reduced, owing to 
defections from the party on the Riel rebellion question. On 
the 15th of February 1888 a treaty for the settlement of the 
fishery disputes was signed by the British and United States 
representatives, subject to ratification by the Legislatures of the 



SIR JOHN MACDONALD 97 

respective countries. Sir John Macdonald secured some sub- 
stantial advantages for Canada in connection with this treaty. 
In April there was a discussion in the Dominion House of 
Commons on the subject of commercial union between the 
United States and Canada. The motion for unrestricted reci- 
procity was rejected by 124 to 67 votes. The Government 
amendment carried was to the effect that Canada was desirous, 
in the future as in the past, of cultivating and extending trade 
relations with the United States, in so far as it might not con- 
flict with the national policy of Canada. Sir John Macdonald's 
Government were also successful about this time in conciliating 
the agitation for the abolition of the monopoly clauses in the 
Canadian Pacific Eailway Act by a compromise satisfactory to 
Manitoba. 

The deceased statesman was confronted with a serious 
religious difficulty in 1889, in consequence of the anti- Jesuit 
agitation. The Jesuits were incorporated by the Quebec legis- 
lature in 1887, and in 1888 an Act was passed voting $400,000 
as compensation for their confiscated estates held by the Crown. 
The Federal Government was petitioned to disallow the Act, 
but declined. A motion for disallowance was thrown out by 
the Dominion Parliament by a vote of 188 to 13. Lord 
Stanley of Preston, the Governor-General, was next appealed to, 
but he refused to veto the measure, which the law officers of 
the Home Government had pronounced constitutional and 
within the powers of the Quebec legislature. The agitation still 
continued, however. Relations with the United States were 
also somewhat strained. The rejection of the Fishery Treaty 
by the United States Senate left that vexed question open ; but 
the Canadian authorities, acting in concert with the Newfound- 
land Government, agreed to continue the modus vivendi, and 
grant licenses to American fishermen. The continued seizure 
of Canadian sealing vessels by United States revenue cutters in 
Behring Sea roused deep indignation throughout Canada, but an 
open rupture between the two countries was averted. 

A vote of censure upon Sir John Macdonald's Government 
for not submitting the constitutionality of the Jesuits Estates 
Act to the Supreme Court of Canada was rejected in Parliament 
by 130 votes to 32. The Dominion Parliament passed Acts 
increasing the customs duties, especially on fruit, flour, plants, 
and meats ; providing a bounty of $2 per ton on pig iron from 
vol. v H 



98 EMINENT PERSONS 

native ore ; and amending the Banking Act so as to set up a 
guarantee fund for the redemption of the notes of insolvent 
banks. As the M'Kinley Tariff Bill threatened to prevent the 
export of Canadian barley to the United States, usually amount- 
ing to $6,500,000 annually, the Dominion Government im- 
ported 10,000 bushels of the two-rowed variety of barley from 
England, as seed for farmers to grow it for the English market. 

The circumstances of the last general election this spring are 
fresh in the public memory. The farmers of Ontario and 
Quebec — the most important provinces of Canada — had suffered 
severely for some years, and the M'Kinley Tariff now made 
their position almost intolerable by shutting their produce out 
of the United States. The Liberals proposed a scheme of unre- 
stricted reciprocity, by which Canada could send her wares into 
the United States free of duty, and could receive American 
wares free of duty in return. The plan was very popular in 
certain districts, and as the task of Government had become 
irksome and surrounded by difficulties, Sir John Macdonald 
dissolved Parliament in February. The Premier, in enunciating 
his policy, asked the farmers to agree to a compromise, by which 
their produce should be allowed free into the United States, 
while the manufacturers of the United States should not have 
a perfectly free market in Canada. 

The American Government, however, let it be clearly known 
that it would not agree to a scheme in which, as alleged, nearly 
all the benefit would be on Canada's side. On the other hand, 
the Canadian Premier and his friends maintained that unre- 
stricted reciprocity must lead to annexation, to which they were 
resolutely opposed. "A British subject I was born," cried Sir 
John ; " a British subject I will die." The elections were 
fought out with great bitterness of feeling, charges of treason 
being brought against the Liberal leaders, Sir Richard Cart- 
wright and Mr. Laurier, which they indignantly repelled. In 
the end, while the Government lost ground in Ontario and 
Quebec, it gained in other districts. The Liberals had counted 
upon a victory ; but Sir John Macdonald was for the fourth 
time in succession at a general election triumphant at the polls. 
It is true that his majority, which was 49 in 1887, was reduced 
to 34 in 1891, but the latter figure, in a small House of Com- 
mons, was considered a sufficiently good working majority. Sir 
John Macdonald continued in office as Prime Minister and 



SIR JOHN MACDONALD 99 

Minister of Railways and Canals, but his health was impaired 
by his great exertions during the contest, and the end has come 
within three months. One of his latest acts of policy was to 
subsidise a line of Pacific steamers in connection with the 
Canadian Pacific Railway. 

As a Parliamentary leader, Sir John Macdonald exhibited 
great abibties in debate, in general affairs, and in political 
tactics. He was very frequently a delegate to England and to 
other countries on public business, and he always executed his 
delicate diplomatic missions with singular tact and skill. He 
bore so strong a facial resemblance to Lord Beaconsfield that he 
was styled " the Canadian Disraeli," and there was likewise a 
considerable similarity between their views of statesmanship. 
An " old Parliamentary hand " unmatched in Dominion politics, 
he excited among his followers a devotion which was invaluable 
to the Conservative party in keeping together the various groups 
of which it was composed. In the course of his long political 
career he carried to a successful issue many measures of the 
highest importance, in addition to those already enumerated in 
this article. Conspicuous amongst these measures may be cited 
the improvement of the criminal laws of Canada ; the consolida- 
tion of the statutes ; the extension of the municipal system ; 
military organisation ; the establishment of a direct steam mail 
communication with Europe ; the inspection of reformatories, 
prisons, penitentiaries, and asylums ; the reorganisation of the 
Civil Service on a permanent basis ; the construction of the 
Inter-Colonial and the Canadian Pacific railways ; the enlarge- 
ment of the canals ; the enactment of a stringent election law ; 
the extension of the franchise ; the ratification of the Washington 
Treaty; and the extension and consolidation of the Dominion. 

Sir John Macdonald was twice married — first to Isabella, 
daughter of Mr. Alexander Clark, of Dalnavert, Inverness-shire, 
who died in 1856 ; and, secondly, to Susan Agnes, daughter of 
the Hon. T. J. Bernard, member of Her Majesty's Privy Council 
of Jamaica. Lady Macdonald is known as a writer for 
periodicals. Sir John resided at Kingston during the recess, 
and at Earnscliffe, Ottawa, during the Parliamentary Session. 
He was a member of the Rideau (Ottawa) and Toronto Yacht 
Clubs, and also of the London Athenaeum Club. 



JAMES RUSSELL LOWELL 

1819-1891 

Obituary Notice, Thursday, August 13, 1891 

The news of the death of Mr. James Russell Lowell will be 
read with deep sorrow in every English-speaking country. In 
America it will be felt that one of the chief stars of its firma- 
ment has disappeared. Here many will know that they have 
lost a friend not to be replaced, and that the republic of letters 
is to-day very much poorer than it was while this bright, ver- 
satile, sweet, prolific spirit lived. 

In common with so much of the flower of American life, 
Mr. Lowell was of Puritan origin. He was the heir of several 
generations of men of plain living and high thinking, and pious 
ways ; the outcome of a line of eminent divines, munificent 
philanthropists, and enterprising manufacturers. The best 
blood of Massachusetts was in his veins. His ancestors, who 
came from Bristol, had settled in Massachusetts in the seventeenth 
century, and the Russells and the Lowells had always been men 
of worth and mark in the State. The poet's father, Dr. Charles 
Lowell, was a cultivated Unitarian clergyman, fond of books, 
and a lover of the old ways. His wife, Harriet Spence, was a 
lady of unusual parts. James Russell Lowell, the youngest of 
five children, was born on 22nd February 1819 at Cambridge, 
Massachusetts. Many lines in his poems give glimpses of his 
early home ; and in his essays he often dwells with loving 
tenderness over the memories of his birthplace, then a pretty, 
quiet country village, with " a few houses, chiefly old, around 
the bare common, with ample elbow room, and old women, 
capped and spectacled, still peered through the same windows 



JAMES RUSSELL LOWELL 101 

from which they had watched Lord Percy's artillery rumble by 
to Lexington," and where before the quaint inns you might see 
" great white-topped waggons, each drawn by double files of six 
or eight horses, with its dusty bucket swung from the hinder 
axle, bull-dog silent underneath." 

Elmwood, his home, was an old pre-revolutionary house, 
full of books, pictures, and ancestral portraits. In this atmo- 
sphere of purity and culture, where the talk was of literature 
or weightier matters, of the Federal Bank, Clay's or Calhoun's 
last speech, Channing's last sermons and essays, or Scott's last 
novel, and where stern protests against slavery were uttered by 
the hearth, grew up the poet, critic, and militant abolitionist. 
At sixteen he went to Harvard. The ordinary studies of the 
University had no charm for him. He read widely in a 
desultory fashion. He entered the Law School and took his 
degree of LL.B., and actually opened an office as a lawyer 
in Boston. But he did not seriously attempt to practise. 

Literature was his early passion, and it soon absorbed him. 
Before his 22nd year he had published a volume of poems, 
neither better nor worse than most juvenile productions, very 
melancholy and very musical, with the characteristically youth- 
ful motto, " Ich habe gelebt und geliebet." The Pioneer, a praise- 
worthy adventure of the young poet and his friend, Robert 
Carter, made but a short voyage. It made shipwreck after 
three numbers had appeared, though Hawthorne, Whittier, and 
Story, and Mrs. Barrett Browning were among the contributors. 
A great advance was discernible ; it was clear that America 
possessed another poet, when, in 1844, the volume containing 
" A Legend of Brittany," " The Shepherd of King Admetus," 
and " Prometheus " appeared. Here also were too many 
imitated tones. The practised ear detected echoes of Keats 
and Wordsworth. But true native notes were struck. If 
rhetoric predominated, it was noble rhetoric, and the thoughts 
of the young poet moved in a high region to sweet music He 
who had lingered with manifest delight over "Endymion" 
spoke with the austerity of Whittier or Garrison about the 
problems and duties of his day. The want of actuality so 
characteristic of the Percivals and Sigourneys, Hallecks, and 
other tame American poets of that time, was not his fault, — 

The poet's song with blood-warm truth was rife. 



102 EMINENT PERSONS 

Had Mr. Lowellwritten no more than "A Legend of Brittany" 
— beautiful as " the illuminated marge of some old book " — he 
would have taken a high place among the poets of his country. 
But in 1848 he made a great advance ; he stepped at once into 
the front rank of writers, and opened a rich, fresh vein by the 
publication of the Biglow Papers. Destined, we can scarcely 
doubt, to be permanent parts of literature, they could have 
appeared at no other time. They were suggested by the 
Mexican War, which he, in common with the most scrupulous 
cf his countrymen, believed to be "a war of false pretences," 
and a theatre for the display of some of the worst and meanest 
passions. The best minds of the north were becoming impatient 
of the tyranny of the south, incredulous of the pompous argu- 
ments, and sick of the hypocrisy, with which slavery was 
supported ; and Hosea Biglow gave sharp, pungent expression 
to a general feeling. " What Mr. Robinson think?," " The 
Debate in the Sennit," " The Pious Editor's Creed," " A Letter 
from a Candidate," had effects which it is difficult now to con- 
ceive. The idle and frivolous remembered only such verses 
as — 

But John P. 

Robinson he 
Sez they didn't know everythiu' dowu in .Tudee. 

I du believe in Freedom's cause, 

Ez far away ez Paryis is : 
I love to see her stick her claws 

In them infarnal Pharyisees ; 
It's wal enough agin a king 

To dror resolves an' triggers, 
But libbaty's a kind o' thing 

Thet don't agree with niggers. 

Grave men lingered over such strong, inspiring words as 
these — 

strange New World, thet yit wast never young, 

Whose youth from thee by gripin' need was wrung, 

Brown foundlin' o' the woods, whose baby-bed 

Was prowled roun' by the Injun's crackliu' tread, 

An' who grew'st strong thru' shifts, an' wants an' pains, 

Nussed by stern men with empires in their brains, 

Who saw in vision their young Ishmel strain 

With each hard hand a vassal ocean's mane, 

Thou, skilled by Freedom an' by great events 

To pitch new States ez Old-World men pitch tents, 



JAMES RUSSELL LOWELL 103 

Thou, taught by Fate to know Jehovah's plan 

Thet man's devices can't unmake a man, 

An' whose free latch-string never was drawed in 

Against the poorest child of Adam's kin, — 

The grave 's not dug where traitor hands shall lay 

In fearful haste thy murdered corse away ! 

The letters had no mere literary success ; they are to he com- 
pared rather with the Drapier Letters than with the satire of 
Pope or Dryden. The whole rhetorical stock-in-trade of many 
eminent politicians became at one blow unsaleable. The laugh 
was turned against the Southern " chivalry." The " fanatics," 
as the Abolitionists were called even in New England, were at 
one stroke transformed into reasonable men, irreconcilable to 
impossible compromises ; and the end of " the sacred institu- 
tion," :t was plain, was not far off. Fastidious people, such as 
Charles Sumner, might complain that the book was not written 
in good English. Better critics knew that it could not be 
other than it was. The Yankee dialect was the natural speech 
of the satirist — 

I ken write long-tailed, ef I please — 

But when I'm jokin', no, I thankee ; 
Then, 'fore I know it, my idees 

Run helter-skelter into Yankee. 

In fact, the book grew spontaneously. To a Boston newspaper 
Lowell sent the first of Hosea Biglow's contributions. The 
pullic laughed, and eagerly demanded more. He wrote another 
letler, and, before perhaps he well knew what his plan was, he 
had given literature an imperishable treasure, never to be 
imitated. The America of Birdofredum Sawin has passed 
away ; it is faithfully preserved for ever in the Biglow 
Papers. About the beginning of the civil war Mr. Lowell 
published a second series of Biglow Papers. Some of them 
wsre excellent ; for example, " Jonathan to John," beginning — 

It don't seem hardly right, John, 

When both my hands was full, 
To stump me to a fight, John, — 

Your cousin, tu, John Bull ! 

But the flavour of the second series was not quite so racy as 
that of the first. The incomparable success could not be 
repeated. He himself said, in his own moderate, modest way 



104 EMINENT PERSONS 

— " Friendly people say to me sometimes, ' "Write us more 
Biglow Papers,' and I have even been foolish enough to try, 
only to find that I could not. This has helped to persuade me 
that the book was a genuine growth, and not a manufacture." 
Witty though he was, he has said that he never used the mask 
of Momus, except to command attention to serious thoughts ; 
and it is characteristic of the man that his next works were his 
poems, "The Vision of Sir Launfal" and "The Present Crisis," 
conceived in a lofty strain, which set to music the gravest 
resolves of the sternest spirits of New England, and which have 
since furnished with inspiring texts every religious and social 
reformer. "A Fable for Critics," published anonymously in 
1848, obtained for him another success, whether a durable one 
is more doubtful. Loud were the cries of indignation from the 
crowd of poetasters who had squatted down on the highest peak 
of Parnassus, and whom, with a good-natured shove, he pushed 
off into their proper place on the flat below. The " Fable " 
did its work. It introduced a due sense of proportion into 
American criticism. It put an end to those dull times, vhen, 
to use his own words, " to write a hundred blank verses \ias to 
be immortal till somebody else wrote a hundred and fifty 
blanker," and pruned, with good effect, the too luxuriant 
growth of " remarkable " men of letters in every comminity 
big enough to maintain a grocery store or a newspaper. Curi- 
ous — though by no means adequate, or the most brilliant 
passage in a brilliant satire — is Lowell's account of himself — 

There is Lowell, who's striving Parnassus to climb 

With a whole bale of isms tied together with rhyme, 

He might get on alone, spite of brambles and boulders, 

But he can't with that bundle he has on his shoulders, 

The top of the hill he will ne'er come nigh reaching 

Till he learns the distinction 'twixt singing and preaching ; 

His lyre has some chords that would ring pretty well, 

But he'd rather by half make a drum of the shell, 

And rattle away till he's old as Methusalem, 

At the head of a march to the last new Jerusalem. 

In 1855 he was appointed, in succession to Longfellow, to 
the Chair of Modern Languages and Belles-Lettres at Harvard. 
He went abroad for two years, to live chiefly in Germany and 
Italy, there to widen still further his knowledge of modern 
literature. He returned to Cambridge in 1857, and his work 



JAMES RUSSELL LOWELL 105 

as a professor was varied by lecturing at the Lowell Institute, 
the publication of "Fireside Travels," — in the opinion of many 
of his admirers the best of his prose writings, — and the task of 
editing the Atlantic Monthly, which, under his skilful guidance, 
did much for the literature of his country. " Under the 
Willows," containing more than one charming poem, appeared 
in 1869. Perhaps on some of the products of this time, full of 
subtle feeling and exquisite susceptibility to nature's tenderer 
aspects, the admirers of Mr. Lowell would linger with most 
delight. In his Commemoration Ode, "dedicated to the ever 
sweet and shining memory of the ninety-three sons of Harvard 
College who have died for their country in the war of nation- 
ality," he once more was the chosen spokesman of the deepest 
thoughts of his countrymen. We cannot perhaps value his 
odes as highly as they do ; they are for them robed in personal 
associations of sorrow and glory, which to Englishmen must be 
invisible. But no one can read them unmoved ; they were the 
fit expression of a nation's grief. 

In an early work entitled " Conversations," Lowell had 
given the world a taste of his quality as a critic ; and, as editor 
of the Atlantic Monthly and the North American Review, he 
wrote many fine critical essays. His full strength and richness 
as such were revealed to us all only in the essays published 
between 1870 and 1876. " My Study Windows" and "Among 
my Books " are in all hands. Wherever literature is loved, 
wherever learning and appreciation of what is beautiful and 
good are held in honour, these delightful fruits of a full life are 
prized. It is easy to find defects in him as a critic. Half of 
his faults, however, are due to exuberance of wit and fancy ; the 
other half are perhaps ascribable to overkindliness. With all 
their blemishes, these essays take rank with the very best of 
Hazlitt's, and scarcely fall short of the masterpieces of Lamb. 
No man ever wrote less bookishly and more delightfully about 
books ; none of his generation could distil more skilfully the 
subtle aroma of the finest literature. An eclectic, no simple 
product of his own New England, he was. Many minds, the 
rich washings of many streams, ores from far countries, and the 
dust of diamonds bequeathed by the past, imparted to his style 
its iridescence and sparkle. Only parochial Aristarchuses, 
proud of their native poverty of outfit, were disposed to cheapen 
such riches. 



106 EMINENT PERSONS 

From his congenial life in Cambridge Lowell was called in 
1877 to become minister at Madrid ; and in 1880 he succeeded 
Mr. Welsh as representative of the United States in England. 
The successful poet, the accomplished critic, the erudite scholar, 
proved himself a skilful diplomatist. He gave offence to 
politicians who wanted " a fresh deal," and who complained 
tbat, in regard to the " American suspects," he did not use the 
exact sort of language which would have pleased the Majesty of 
Tammany. The best of his countrymen were confident that 
their interests were not the less safe in his hands because he 
acted with the tact of a well-bred man of the world. No 
foreign representative was ever more respected and admired 
than Mr. Lowell. Without sacrificing the interests of his 
country, he was the favourite of all classes, with the single 
exception of the Irish malcontents. His was an embassy of 
culture and good-wilL We prized his counsels and criticisms 
of England, even if pungently expressed. We rejoiced in his 
refined, humorous speech. An admirable public speaker, he 
was the soul and life of a congenial company ; and he was more 
interesting still in a Ute-a-tete. We could not have been 
prouder of him had he been one of us. It was always a moot 
question whether he was more an Englishman than an Ameri- 
can. It will never be settled, perhaps because he united or 
represented the best qualities of both nations. Here he made 
warm friends and he kept them ; and his departure from Eng- 
land, on the change of administration in 1885, was regarded as 
a calamity, for which his yearly visits to us were but partial 
compensation. He was the last person to speak of what he had 
done in public life, and some of his countrymen were too dis- 
posed to be critical of him in his capacity as a politician. And 
yet his conduct from first to last will bear scrutiny as will that 
of few others. 

Of his " Political Essays," lately reprinted, the first is dated 
1858 ; it is an eloquent protest against the doctrine, then 
supreme, that slavery ought to be outside the range of public 
discussion. The latest, dated 1888, is a plea for the toleration 
of the Independent in politics and for an educated and per- 
manent Civil Service, and is a protest against the tyranny of 
Bosses, those " flesh flies that fatten on the sores of our body 
politic." The interval between these dates is filled with argu- 
ments, manly, fervent, and pointed, for every honest cause in 



JAMES RUSSELL LOWELL 107 

American politics which needed a helping hand in trying 
times. 

Since he returned to America he has published a volume of 
poems and political essays full of bold criticism and wise coun- 
sel, both remarkable works, worthy of founding a reputation if 
written by any but him. Only a short time ago he edited 
with loving band " Izaak Walton " ; and in his poem lately 
published in the Atlantic Monthly, " How I consulted the 
Oracle of the Goldfishes," are beautiful lines upon the old 
text — 

What know we of the world immense 

Beyond the narrow ring of sense ? 

It is much too soon to predict the verdict of posterity. His 
many friends may await it with confidence. He upon whom 
was showered so much success laboured under one constant 
disadvantage — his versatility and many-sidedness lessened his 
reputation. The mountain, which has far-reaching spurs sloping 
gently into the valleys, seems to a careless eye so much smaller 
than the peak, really a dwarf in comparison, shooting out of 
the plain. His culture was so wide, the hospitality of his mind 
so generous. He loved the warm sunshine and fresh nature of 
Chaucer ; it did not prevent him from writing the best essay in 
the language on Dryden ; his study of Lessing — a kindred 
spirit — is perhaps the great critic's most satisfactory biography ; 
and he could not speak of Dante, Shakespeare, Keats, or 
Browning, without saying things, if not unsaid before, never 
said so well. His vision ranged with easy glance from Concord 
to Weimar, from Stratford to Florence, and to some minds it 
was natural to question his originality, while admitting his 
learning. Certain people always delight to praise the duck- 
weed of the ditch, just because of its origin, at the expense of 
the full-blown flower, the product of nature and art. Posterity 
corrects such mistakes ; it is apt to think cheaply of that 
originality, the first and almost only condition of which is 
ignorance. Certainly Lowell had many of the qualities calcu- 
lated to secure lasting fame ; and we cannot believe that such 
gems as " The Courtin'," " The Present Crisis," or the best parts 
of the Biglow Papers, will perish. He had the gift of what he 
himself called " fame's great antiseptic style." He had an open 
eye for the subtle aspects of nature. He had a sympathy with 



108 EMINENT PERSONS 

the abiding aspirations of men ; and, not least, his was the 
friendship of many who will do their best to preserve the 
memory of his rich gifts and rare soul. He will not lie in 
Westminster, as some of us would have wished. Wherever he 
sleeps, two nations sincerely mourn him. 



JULES GREVY 

1807-1891 

Obituary Notice, Thursday, September 10, 1891 

The date of the birth of M. Jules Grevy has always been in 
doubt, and to-day some say he was born in 1807, others in 
1813. According to information, however, that I have taken 
from the Temps, friends of his who dwell in the Jura, and who 
knew him well, state that it was in 1807, and not in 1813, 
that he was born at Mont-sous- Vaudrey, where he has just died, 
and where undoubtedly he will be buried. Neither his family 
nor the Republican party would wish at this moment to try 
the experiment of burying him in Paris, where, moreover, the 
question of the presence or the absence of the Ministers from 
the Catholic service would take an acute form, whatever may 
be the feeling or decision of the family upon this point at 
Mont -sous -Vaudrey. It is thus that this absentee, whom 
people had begun already to forget, although he was the first 
Republican President of the Third Republic, now so prosperous, 
will repose in the solitude where he died, and, when the present 
generation has disappeared, this first Republican President will 
be almost as unknown to the generation that follows as the 
first of the Pharaohs. However, the Republican papers, which 
now for some four years have associated him with the con- 
tinuous attacks that were then heaped upon him by the 
Boulangists and their associates, — the Republican papers which 
have insulted him or stood by in silence at his fall, — to-day 
weep crocodile tears over his corpse, and stretch their generosity 
so far as to pardon him for the evil they had done him and the 
bitterness they have poured upon his last days. 



110 EMINENT PERSONS 

The truth is that M. Jules GreVy deserved neither this 
excess of honour nor this indignity, neither the insults of the 
past nor the exalted panegyrics of to-day. He was always, 
from the very first period of his life, a strong Republican, and, 
indeed, when one became acquainted with him one knew that 
he must be a Republican and could not be anything else. His 
life, his customs, his whole atmosphere, his tastes — everything 
carried him in the direction of this political party, in which 
his uprightness, his calm seriousness of character, which gave 
the impression of austerity, soon placed him, not at the head — 
for he had the narrow political views of the man of the fields — 
but, if I may so say, on the front facade, as it were, of the 
Republic, where he produced an ornamental effect of high and 
precious value. And there, as always and everywhere, one 
distinctive trait dominated M. Jules Grevy — an absolute 
egoism, on which hung all his qualities, all his capabilities, 
all his actions, and all his convictions. Capable only of being 
Republican, being able to find his place only in a Republic, his 
Republican conviction was magnified by his personal obligation. 
He would certainly have defended the Republic at any cost, 
but he defended it all the more, as it was obliged to serve him 
as much, at least, as he served it, up to the moment when the 
Republicans felt that it was serving him too much. 

Having come to Paris to study law, M. Gr^vy was enrolled 
on the list of advocates in 1837, at the age of thirty. He soon 
defended some insurgents, and in 1839 became the advocate of 
the Republican opposition, and enlisted from this moment in 
the Liberal, Democratic, insurrectionary, and Republican party. 
He found himself, naturally enough, designated to be sent to 
the Jura, his native country, as Commissary of the Republic in 
1848. The Jura sent him to the Constituent Assembly, where 
his slow, reflective, and serious character, a little heavy perhaps, 
before long placed him at the head of the party, so sincerely 
Republican, which strengthened this Chamber. His country- 
man's sense did not deceive him for long. He understood that, 
in allowing the President to be appointed by universal suffrage, 
the way was being opened for Caesarism, and, although not yet 
clearly seeing who would be the Caesar, he anticipated that the 
man chosen by universal suffrage — that is to say, having for 
himself alone as many votes as the entire Assembly — would try 
to make himself master of the Assembly, and would make the 



JULES GREVY 111 

Republic bow to the exigencies of his own personal ambition. 
Not knowing how to anticipate the danger before an Assembly, 
which, from instinct or conscience, was resigning itself to 
Csesarism, he thought of suppressing the Presidency altogether, 
and substituting for it a President of the Council, appointed 
indefinitely by the Chambers or by the Chamber, and always 
revocable by one or both. He thought that the only way in 
which he could turn the Chamber from the idea of election by 
universal suffrage was by showing it how to dispose of the 
executive power, while still retaining the legislative power — 
that is to say, by making it the absolute and unique power, 
without restriction or balance weight It was a method spring- 
ing from a careful and a dangerous egoism, and the remedy 
was worse than the evil. 

This project was seen closer at hand later on, upon M. Jules 
GreVy's elevation to the Presidency of the Republic, and the 
position then was considered a strange contrast — the fact of the 
plan proposed and the destiny of its author. But this contrast 
did not exist. For what M. Grevy especially fought against 
was the prospect of seeing the Republic disappear, and not of 
seeing it exist under a President. His proposition, too radical 
for the Constituent Assembly, was rejected, and the Legislative 
Assembly of 1849 was elected. There, of course, with the 
same instinct which carried him to the defence of the Republic, 
he made absolute opposition to the policy of Louis Napoleon, 
combated all the measures proposed by the future author of the 
Coup d'Etat, and, by his accomplices, voted that sterile ^proposi- 
tion authorising the questors to summon directly armed forces 
(a ridiculous vote, when one remembers how things went at the 
Coup d'Etat), passed a short time in prison after 2nd September, 
and defended the Liberal cause, and pleaded many a case for 
sixteen years until 1868, when, at a time when opposition 
began to become very serious, he got himself elected. In 1869, 
at the general election, he was returned unopposed. 

He thus formed part of that Chamber which deceived itself, 
and was deceived, by a show of Liberal policy, and over which 
M. Emile Ollivier presided with the sincerity of a temperament 
always convinced. He opposed himself to the plebiscite of 1870, 
which deceived everybody except the Germans, to whom it re- 
vealed the exact figure of the French army, and on 4th September 
he found himself in the Chamber invaded by the Revolution. 



112 EMINENT PERSONS 

He refused to form part of the Government of National Defence 
— owing to hatred of revolutions, say some ; in order not to 
disappear with the workers of the first moment, say others ; and 
not to vie with Gambetta, Jules Simon, and Jules Favre, say 
others still. It is a point that history will have to decide, if 
the page be indeed important enough to be filled up. He came 
back as Deputy of the Jura to the National Assembly of 1871. 
He had gone through the war in silence, his age preventing 
him from taking any active part. He had kept himself outside 
with great discretion. He understood that M. Thiers had the 
right to the first place. He proposed to offer it to him. The 
second came to him naturally. It was that of President of the 
Assembly, and he was chosen to it. He remained there until 
February 1873. 

Then the Conservatives conspired to overturn M. Thiers. 
They affected to misunderstand the grounds of the authority of 
M. Jules Grevy, whose Presidency troubled their designs. His 
friends begged him to remain in any circumstances. But M. 
Grevy gave in his resignation. Some weeks later on, M. Buffet 
having succeeded M. Jules Grdvy, the Conservative majority 
began their assault on M. Thiers. It is not known if M. Jules 
Grevy regretted' greatly having hastened the fall of M. Thiers. 
But the Due de Broglie, the strongest Ambassador that a 
Government ever had, left London, returned to France, ascended 
the tribune, and there violently attacked M. Thiers, whom he 
represented in London. On 24th May, owing to the conspiracy 
of M. Buffet, M. Thiers was overthrown. In 1876, in the new 
elections, the majority became Republican, and M. Jules GreVy 
went with it. He ascended naturally to the chair. The 16th 
of May 1877 sent him back to the Presidency of the Chamber. 
The day when M. Thiers died, M. Grevy, who for seven years 
had played the second rdle in the Republic, found himself with- 
out effort invested with the first, and at the fall of Marshal 
MacMahon he was appointed President of the Republic. It has 
been said that this post was offered to M. Dufaure. I can 
affirm that that is false. I have in my possession a letter of M. 
Dufaure addressed to me, in which he protests against the idea 
of the offer ever having been made, as a calumny. At the 
moment when he was carrying to the Assembly the resignation 
of Marshal MacMahon, I met him, and he said to me with 
emotion, while speaking of Marshal MacMahon, "I have just 



JULES GREVY 113 

seen a true citizen and an honest man." That was not the 
language of a man to whom the succession of the Marshal 
would have been offered. 

M. Grdvy, as President of the Republic, brought to his 
position his natural qualities and his natural faults. His 
nature, which did not love effort, accommodated itself rather to 
the effaced rdle assigned to his office by the Constitution because 
he wished it so, and he acquitted himself of this rdle as head of 
the State within the narrowest limits possible, not from avarice, 
as was said of him, but because at the time it was easier and 
more advantageous. However, when he had triumphed over 
his adversaries, he feared only Gambetta, and he pretended to 
regard him as inoffensive. "This young man," he said in 1881 
to M. Ribot, now Minister of Foreign Affairs, from whom I 
have this anecdote, "makes much of himself, but he is much 
less busied in public affairs than people think. The proof is 
that he never comes to see me. Never does any one of my 
Ministers mention his name. There are some who are said to 
be his friends. Thatj I believe ; but that does not prove that 
they allow themselves to be influenced or directed by him." 
It was on 8th February 1881 that M. Ribot told me this 
anecdote. Some months later Gambetta was Prime Minister, 
and three months afterwards Gambetta had fallen. 

In the month of August 1879 some friends of M. de 
Freycinet begged me to say to M. Grevy that his Ministers did 
not utilise the admirable qualities of M. de Freycinet, but that 
they confined him jealously to the Ministry of Public Works. 
" Yes," replied M. Grevy, " I know that ; but they tell me that 
he is so ambitious that I should make a managing collaborator 
of him for myself if he were set too far ahead." He consented, 
however, to speak with him, and three months later M. de 
Freycinet succeeded M. Waddington as President of the Council. 
When, in 1887, during the lamentable attacks to which he suc- 
cumbed, M. de Freycinet refused to form a Cabinet, and sub- 
mitted his candidature in succession to M. Jules Grevy, the latter 
said, "They told me truly that I was introducing an enemy 
into my house." 

M. Grevy's address was simple, gracious, and dignified. He 

did not affect a deep taciturnity, nor did he on the other hand 

speak out, save when he wished. He was most particularly 

blamed for his economies, but in truth I believe that he would 

vol. v I 



114 EMINENT PERSONS 

have been greatly embarrassed and wearied by the thought of 
great expenses. He had a great love of peace and a horror of 
coups oVe'tat, and he proved his energy by combating Boulangism. 

When in 1887 the question was raised of the selling of 
decorations, in which M. Wilson was implicated, the egoism of 
the grandfather who adored his grandchildren, and would not 
be separated from them, overrode all other considerations, and, 
not wishing to leave them, it was only force that obliged him 
thereto. But those who were present on 1st December 1887 in 
the couloirs of the Chamber were permitted to see the strange 
spectacle of an Assembly which desired to overthrow an old 
man, and which trembled before him because they supposed 
him capable of treason against the law, for when the news got 
abroad that M. Jules Grdvy had summoned General Boulanger, 
there was a frightful panic, which appeared ridiculous when the 
report was recognisned as false. 

I have been obliged to hurry over the resume of this life 
without relief, in which fine shades only must be substituted for 
the rarity of startling facts. What is certain is that this man 
directed his life with extreme prudence, and that all his pre- 
cautions were vain before the great political faint-heartedness to 
which he succumbed. 

To-day there is a pretence of tears, but it must be remem- 
bered that no one is deceived, and that M. Jules Gr£vy dies 
without exciting any great hates, because he inspires no great 
admirations. Nobody even at this hour knows who conceived 
the plan of overturning M. Grevy, nor to whose advantage 
it was undertaken. It may be that it was done by one of those 
unreflecting and blind impulses to* which the French public are 
so much inclined. However this may be, certain it is that for 
the Republic nothing could be more fortunate, and, if it was 
conceived in the interest of some pretender of anti- Republican 
aims, it has proved to be a miserable failure. The accession of 
M. Carnot has strengthened the Republican feeling throughout the 
country, and given to it great credit abroad. His way of presiding 
over the triumphant Exhibition of 1889 produced an immensely 
favourable impression among the visitors of the whole world, 
and, so far, the fall of M. GreVy, prepared and combined by the 
enemies of the Republic, has proved to be the happiest event 
lit the eyes of its well-wishers. 



JULES GREVY 115 



From a Correspondent 

If M. Jules GreVy had died five years ago, or had declined 
re-election as President of the French Republic at that time, he 
would have left a great name in history. He was known for 
years in France as the type of the honest bourgeois politician. 
He never said a foolish thing. Tall, erect, smooth -shaven, 
silent at most times, but sententious whenever he did speak, he 
early persuaded the population of his department, the Jura, 
that there was something in him. When the revolution that 
dethroned Louis Philippe suddenly occurred, in 1848, he offered 
himself as a candidate to the new National Assembly, but 
before polling day he was appointed Prefect (or Commissioner- 
General, as the official was then called) for his native department. 
During his brief tenure of office he won golden opinions, by 
persecuting nobody and endeavouring in a quiet way to persuade 
the people of the Jura that they must become tolerant religiously 
and politically. He stopped several riots by simply going 
among the people and telling them that in vindication of their 
grievances they must argue and not fight. Elected to the National 
Assembly, he abruptly rose to higher flights, and declared 
that the Republican form of government was indispensable to 
the perfect evolution of democratic progress. Having said this, 
coolly, gravely, and weightily, he moved that the new French 
Republic should be governed by an elective council without any 
President. Gravy's name, as the rallying point of Republicans 
who desired no President, became thenceforth notorious, and for 
a short time his views as to the governing of a country without 
any ruler were accepted throughout France as the revelation of a 
new gospel. 

Then came the Coup d'Etat of 1851, which relegated Grevy 
to a short term of imprisonment, and a number of his disciples 
to exile at Cayenne. But when he was released from prison 
he saw that it was of no use to wage war against the Third 
Napoleon, and so returned simply to his practice at the Bar. 
Other men let themselves be transported or shot. Gre>y, 
abhorring violence, especially when there was a chance of his 
suffering by it, kept to a prudent, steady, and even course, which 
caused even his adversaries to treat him with respect. He had 
won a reputation as an orator, yet he never opened his mouth 



116 EMINENT PERSONS 

except to speak for clients who employed him in non-political 
suits. To journalists, revolutionists, and other noisy people in 
conflict with the Imperial laws, he turned a deaf ear. He 
espoused no causes which were calculated to hring him any 
unpleasantness; and so it came to pass that in 1868 his fellow- 
countrymen in the Jura once more looked upon him as the 
"safest man" to send to the Corps Legislatif. He took his seat, hut 
said nothing, though he always voted with the Opposition. He 
was regarded as a mysterious man, taciturn, but true to the core. 
The Empire fell, and in the first Assembly that was elected after 
the peace of 1871 he was named among the Republican party 
as the man who ought to be President of the Chamber or of the 
Republic. Nobody exactly liked him, but everybody respected 
him. He did no lobbying and asked no man for his vote, and 
compromised himself by no speeches. 

His day came, and he was elected President of the Chamber. 
Nobody ever presided over a turbulent assembly more impar- 
tially ; and one day, all of a sudden, this cool, grave man gave 
proof of the finest civic courage. Marshal MacMahon, having 
the Due de Broglie as his Prime Minister, dissolved the 
Chamber without any reason, and proceeded to organise a 
general election, which was intended to bring the Republic to 
destruction. It was an anxious time, but, on the last day when 
the Chamber met, President Grdvy, in a calm voice, and quietly 
stroking his white beard, uttered these words — " In dismissing 
this Chamber, I wish to say that it has never, during its too brief 
career, ceased for one moment to merit the esteem and the con- 
fidence of the country." The surprised and frantic cheers which 
greeted these brave words proclaimed M. Jules Grdvy " the 
man" of the Republican party. The conspiracy hatched by the 
Due de Broglie failed, and Marshal MacMahon, disgusted with 
office- holding, soon sent for M. Jules GreVy and announced 
himself ready to resign power into his hands under certain 
guarantees. M. Grevy, in dulcet tones, refused to give any 
guarantees whatsoever, and the end of the matter was that the 
Marshal resigned without any conditions, saying, " Vous etes 
un honnete homme ; j'ai confiance en vous !" 

Certainly M. Gr<$vy was an honest man, and in politics a 
thorough Liberal. He hated persecutions and intolerance of all 
sorts. An enthusiastic billiard player, he invited to the Elysde 
all who could join him at that game, and among the guests 



JULES GREW 117 

came M. Paul de Cassagnac, the Bonapartist, to the great 
scandal of all Republicans who were neither Liberal nor tolerant. 
It has been said that M. Grevy was niggardly in his expenditure. 
The real truth is that he was careful. Separated from his wife 
by incompatibilities of temper, he had his daughter to keep 
house for him ; but this young lady, who had been brought up 
in thoroughly bourgeois ways, never quite understood her father's 
position. In course of time she married a M. Wilson, and M. 
GreVy, who felt sincere affection for his son-in-law, gradually 
allowed himself to be guided by him. He himself, being a keen 
sportsman, shot all day during the game season and played 
billiards in the evening. It was M. Daniel Wilson who inter- 
viewed Ministers and other State officials for him, and it may be 
noted that M. Wilson, having a horror of capital punishment, 
prevailed upon his father-in-law to pardon, or commute the 
sentence of, most of the abominable scoundrels who were 
sentenced to death under M. Grevy's presidency. For the rest, 
M. Grevy was perfectly correct in all his presidential conduct. 
He quarrelled with nobody, kept open house, and was so civil 
to all the politicians who clustered to his daily dejeuners, that, 
contrary to his own wish, these gentlemen caused him to be 
re-elected at the end of his seven years' term. 

This re-election was a great mistake from the Republican 
point of view. It amounted practically to saying that, at the 
end of M. Grevy's term, there was nobody, in a nation of 
35,000,000 persons, ready to take the place of a benevolent and 
undistinguished old gentleman. But this admission was tanta- 
mount to a surrender to monarchical principle, and this was so 
well felt by M. Gravy's son-in-law that he at once set himself to 
play the part of a Crown Prince, apparently trusting that his rule 
would last for ever. Everybody remembers how M. Wilson 
collapsed, through the illicit traffic in certain decorations ; but 
a general feeling of pity and regret followed M. Grevy into his 
enforced retirement. If it had not been for family influences, 
M. Grevy woidd have held his position as President of the 
Republic worthily to the end — all the more so, as he had 
nothing to do but to remain as he always was, quiet and indif- 
ferent on all matters touching contentious politics, and coolly 
alive to all purely personal interests. 



GENERAL BOULANGER 

1837-1891 
Obituary Notice, Thursday, October 1, 1891 

The suicide of General Boulanger brings to a dramatic and, we 
might almost say, appropriate close one of the most extraordinary 
careers that modern European history has seen. On 7th 
January 1886, the clay of his appointment to the Ministry of 
War in one of M. de Freycinet's numerous Cabinets, our Paris 
correspondent wrote with perfect truth, "General Boulanger 
and Admiral Aube (the Minister of Marine) are unknown to 
fame." A little later his energy began to tell, and men thought 
it worth while to look into his military record, which was found 
to be singularly honourable. In little more than two years he 
was at the head of a party, and carried, by a great majority, the 
election in the Departement du Nord — one of the most important 
constituencies in France. His cause, thriving because of its 
indefiniteness, made rapid progress, and on 27th January 1889, 
on a vacancy occurring in the then undivided constituency 
of Paris, the General carried it by a majority so overwhelming 
that, if he had chosen to strike, it is pretty certain that France 
would have been at his feet. Yet in two months and five days 
from that time he had fled the country, under the threat of 
arrest, to the utter discomfiture of his friends and the ruin of 
his cause ; and after being sentenced in contumaciam for all 
kinds of offences against the State, and after the most damaging 
revelations had been published, involving persons and parties 
much more important than himself, he now, played out and 
penniless, blows his brains out upon his mistress's grave. 

Georges Ernest Jean Marie Boulanger was born at Rimnes on 



GENERAL BOULANGER 119 

29th April 1837. On leaving the military school of St. Cyr 
in 1856, he became sous-lieutenant in an Algerian regiment, 
and very soon saw active service in the expedition against the 
Kabyles. He was badly wounded by a ball in the chest at the 
skirmish of Turbigo, in the Italian war of 1859, and obtained 
the cross of the Legion of Honour. In 1861 he was sent to 
Cochin China, where more fighting was going on, and again he 
was wounded, this time by a lance-thrust in the leg. In 1862, 
after only six years' service, he became captain, and was presently 
appointed to the post of commandant de compagnie at St. Cyr. 
When the war of 1870 broke out he became chef de bataillon ; 
and, as his regiment formed part of the army of Paris, he did 
not take part in the first disastrous battles. He was very active 
throughout the first portion of the siege, and at the terrible 
battle of Champigny, being then lieutenant-colonel, his shoulder 
was broken by a ball. Again he recovered, and was able to 
take part in the second siege of Paris ; and again was wounded, 
a ball striking him on the elbow, at one of the last barricades. 
He became colonel in 1874, and brigadier -general in 1880 ; 
and, as is not uncommon in the French army, he applied for a 
command in an arm that was new to him, the cavalry, and 
exercised it for some months with much distinction. 

In 1881 he was selected to be the chief of the mission sent 
by France to congratulate the Americans on the centenary of 
Yorktown ; and there, it is said, that charm of manner which 
afterwards counted for so much towards his brief success as the 
head of a party was generally acknowledged. When he returned 
he went back to his cavalry command, but on 16th May 1882 
he was nominated Director of Infantry at the War Office in 
Paris. This important appointment brought him to the centre 
of things, and gave him scope for the exercise of his very real 
energy, which at that time was directed to reforms that were 
generally applauded. Probably the General's cousin, M. Clemen- 
ceau, afterwards his persistent opponent, had something to do 
with suggesting several of them. He made himself almost 
indispensable at the War Office, and was retained at his post by 
successive and very dissimilar Ministers of War — Generals 
Thibaudin and Campenon. 

In 1884 Boulanger was made General of Division, and went 
to command the army occupying Tunis. Here his energy was 
remarkable, and, not for the first time, he gave signs of that 



120 EMINENT PERSONS 

disposition to ignore the civil power which afterwards led to 
such serious results. An Italian, who had struck a French 
officer, was, as he thought, insufficiently punished ; and Boulanger 
issued a fiery order of the day. M. Cambon, the French agent, 
protested, and General Boulanger soon afterwards resigned. 
But his retirement was brief, for on 7th January 1886 
he was appointed Minister of War in M. de Freycinet's new 
Cabinet, one of his colleagues, the Minister of Finance, being 
the M. Sadi Carnot, who at present holds sway at the Ely see, 
having been elected in 1888 to combat Boulangism. It is note- 
worthy that on the day after Boulanger was appointed he issued 
an order of the day to the troops recommending " that absolute 
co-operation which is based on those sentiments of duty, obedi- 
ence, and devotion, of which the army has given so many proofs." 
Very soon his personality began to make itself felt. The 
Extreme Left were working in its favour, influenced in part by 
the relationship and friendship of M. Cl^menceau towards the 
new Minister ; and the reforms which the General was carrying 
out secured him a certain backing among neutral people, who 
merely wished to see the French army strong. 

But what especially brought Boidanger to the fore was his 
conduct with regard to the expulsion of the Orleans Princes — 
conduct which makes the subsequent conduct of the Comte de 
Paris one of the almost incredible facts of contemporary history. 
General Boulanger was relentless in his action towards the 
Princes. He fought a duel with Baron Lareinty in consequence 
of it ; he used strong language and acted strongly. The dis- 
covery of some letters in which, years before, he had covered 
the Due d'Aumale with fulsome praise only seemed to make 
him all the more popular with the mob ; and his denial of the 
letters (which he was afterwards compelled to retract) made him 
the hero of the hour. Then began the curious and humiliating 
spectacle of a French General and War Minister stooping to 
catch the voices of the cafds-chantants. He came — especially 
after the Schnaebele incident — to be regarded as at once the 
General of la revanche and the organiser of democratic military 
reform. The music-halls re-echoed with songs in his honour, in 
the singing of which one M. Paulus, a cafe'-chantant celebrity, 
made the most impression. The law for imposing a universal 
term of three years' military service instead of five, with excep- 
tions, made in his favour ; and when first the Freycinet Cabinet 



GENERAL BOULANGER 121 

and then the Goblet Cabinet fell, there were loud and threatening 
demands for him to remain at the Ministry of War. When M. 
Rouvier became Premier, at midsummer, Boulanger was not 
included in the new Cabinet; and all the gamiiis of Paris 
immediately struck up the song with the refrain — 

C'est Boulange, lange, lange, 
C'est Boulanger, qu'il nous faut. 

The return of the General to the War Office became a question 
of street politics. Everywhere were seen pictures of him and 
his famous black horse ; everywhere the song, " II reviendra " 
was heard. But sober people saw a danger in all this, and M. 
Clemenceau himself had said, " Le General aime trop la popu- 
larity. " It was soon after this that M. Jules Ferry, in a speech, 
called Boulanger " un Saint- Arnaud de cafe-concert" — a mortal 
affront, which Boulanger was determined, if possible, to wipe 
out in the blood of a man whose destruction would have en- 
deared him more than ever to the Parisian mob. The conditions 
of the duel which he insisted upon were so barbarous that M. 
Ferry's seconds broke off the affair. 

By this time it was evident that Boulanger was ready for any 
kind of unconstitutional opposition to the existing state of things. 
Several groups of people began to regard him as a useful instru- 
ment for their schemes, avowed or unavowed ; M. Deroulede and 
his " Ligue des Patriotes " ; M. Rochefort and his miscellaneous 
" Intransigeants," whose destructive aims were expressed by the 
paper of that name ; and, behind, the more important elements 
of the Royalists and the money of their Prince. The struggle 
between M. Grevy's Ministers and the General began to be acute. 
When the Caffarel-Limouzin scandal began, he deliberately 
charged the Minister of War with maliciously getting it up in 
order to divert attention from him, Boulanger ; and he was 
promptly ordered under close arrest at Clermont-Ferrand for 
thirty days. That gave strength and time to his friends, and 
" manifestations " became frequent. His return to Paris was 
dreaded by the authorities, who knew how easily a dangerous 
insurrection may come about in that excitable city. But nothing 
happened ; the Presidential election took place ; and, with a 
new man at the head of affairs, the Republic set itself to fight 
the dangerous Pretender. 

In February 1888 came some partial elections, the country 



122 EMINENT PERSONS 

being then under the system of scrutin de liste which Gambetta's 
perilous tactics had imposed upon it. The Boulangists, rein- 
forced with money from the Duchesse d'Uzes and from the 
Comte de Paris himself, started their man in many constitu- 
encies, and worked the reclame most perfectly. He was largely 
voted for, and in the Dordogne — an old Bonapartist department 
— was returned by 59,000 votes. This was bad ; but worse 
followed when, in April, a vacancy occurred in the busy manu- 
facturing department of the Nord, and when, after great efforts 
and great excitement, the General, with a " Revisionist " and 
"National" programme, carried the seat by 172,528 votes 
against a much smaller number for his respectable antagonist. 
Three months of exciting intrigue and " demonstrations " 
followed, and then, in July, the career of the General was 
very nearly brought to an end. In the Chamber on 1 2th July 
he used an " unparliamentary expression " to M. Floquet — 
called him a liar, in fact — and a duel followed. Strange to 
say, one of M. Floquet's seconds was M. Clemenceau ; stranger 
still, the civilian got the better of the fight and dealt his ad- 
versary a dangerous wound in the neck, between the carotid 
artery and the jugular vein. A civilian of sixty years old thus 
nearly to kill the soldier — the embodiment of the military 
hopes of all the fire-eaters of France ! It was against all pre- 
cedent, and, as was not unnatural, it damaged the General's 
popularity for a while. But he recovered from both wounds, 
the physical and the moral, and during the last months of the 
year his position became stronger and stronger. 

In October the marriage of his daughter — who remained with 
him when certain domestic scandals divided the household — 
was made the occasion of what the Boulangists called " an 
apotheosis " ; and at intervals there were banquets, speeches, 
manifestoes. Then, late in January 1889, came the vacancy in 
the representation of Paris. It was Boulanger's great chance, 
and he accepted it, though when fortune had been kind to him 
beyond all expectation he did not know what use to make of 
her favours. His opponent was a decent nobody, a M. 
Jacques, a Republican of the normal kind. The efforts made 
on both sides were prodigious. The whole of Paris was 
covered with posters : there were meetings everywhere ; the 
Boulangist journals, many of them created for the occasion, 
were like leaves in Vallombrosa. It was said, probably with 



GENERAL BOULANGER 123 

truth, that £80,000 of the Boulangist money was spent in this 
election alone. Yet the money would have been well spent, 
from the Boulangist point of view, if the General had known 
what to do with his victory. He polled 245,236 votes, against 
162,875 for M. Jacques and 27,000 for other candidates. Why 
did he not at once march upon the Elysee ? A little more of 
the money spent upon the guard would have secured his 
success ; and Napoleon III. would have found a successor. 
But the General did nothing. His friends shouted and 
exulted and conferred ; but he had not the brains and they 
had not the singleness of purpose to make their victory 
effectual. How could they ? What unity of intention or of 
aim, when things began to pass from the destructive to the 
constructive stage, could there be between M. Thiebaud and 
the Duchesse d'Uzes, between M. Kochefort and the Comte de 
Paris ? 

The only result of the Paris election was the overthrow of 
M. Floquet's Government and the succession of M. Tirard, with 
the tacitly acknowledged programme 1 of putting down Boulan- 
gism. M. Tirard had a strong colleague in M. Constans, the 
Minister of the Interior, and it was upon him that the brunt of 
the battle fell. He began by suppressing the League of Patriots 
and prosecuting M. Deroulede and his friends. He followed 
up this successful stroke by another. He frightened Boulanger 
with the threat, very cleverly conveyed to him, of arrest, and 
perhaps of worse ; and, to the bewilderment and disgust of all 
the party — of MM. Naquet, Laguerre, Laisant, and of all the 
conspirators, male and female — on the night of 2nd April 1889 
the General disappeared. He had fled, some said in disguise, 
to Brussels, accompanied by only one friend, a lady. Instead 
of his presence, his friends got — a telephonic manifesto. 
It was the end. M. Constans had won ; the Republic was 
saved. 

Presently the Senate was constituted into a High Court of 
Justice for the trial of General Boulanger, M. Rochefort, and 
others — of course in their absence — for high crimes and misde- 
meanours. The Procureur-General, M. Quesnay de Beaurepaire, 
presented a tremendous indictment, charging embezzlement, 
conspiracy, breaches of discipline, and many other crimes ; and 
in due time the sentence was pronounced — imprisonment for 
life in a fortress. It was, in a sense, a bruturn fulmen, for 



124 EMINENT PERSONS 

the General was safe in London, Jersey, or Brussels, among 
which harbours of refuge he passed his time and spent the 
relics of his friends' subscriptions. But the whole affair of the 
trial, the crushing demonstration of the prosecutor, and the 
wretchedly lame replies that were offered by the General's 
friends, had their effect, and the general election in the autumn 
of the year gave an overwhelming majority to the Republicans 
over the Boulangists and Reactionaries combined. 

It only remained for the inevitable " revelations " to come 
from within the camp of the conspirators ; and this want was 
supplied last year, when a young Boulangist Deputy, M. Mer- 
meix, published in the Figaro a series of articles called " Les 
Coulisses du Boulangisme." It was a miserable raising of the 
veil ; and none of the revelations were seriously disputed. It 
involved the Bonapartists and the Royalists as deeply as the 
extreme Radicals ; it showed the cynicism of Prince Napoleon 
in an only less unpleasant light than it showed the unscrupu- 
lousness of the Comte de Paris. The latter lost his money — 
two or three millions of francs — but he lost much more besides. 
Perhaps, in the long run, that will be the most serious result of 
Boulangism — the final disappearance of the present generation 
of Orleanista from the list of possible claimants of supreme 
power in France. It is less certain that the Paris elector will 
profit by the lesson that he has received. But the abolition, 
for good and all, of scrutin de liste, and the breaking up of 
France into constituencies of manageable size, have infinitely 
lessened the chances of any would-be dictator who hopes to 
succeed by means of the ballot-box. Boulanger has killed 
himself ; but before he died he killed the Orleanists and he 
killed the 'plebiscite. 



W. H. SMITH 

1825-1891 

Obituary Notice, Wednesday, October 7, 1891 

William Henry Smith was born in London on 24th June 
1825. At the time of his death, therefore, he had entered upon 
his 67th year. His father, who bore the same name, was the 
founder of the great firm in the Strand for the distribution and 
sale of newspapers and other periodicals, which, starting from 
very modest beginnings, grew to enormous proportions under 
the son, and, among other things, attained almost a monopoly 
of the railway bookstall business. Mr. Smith, who was educated 
at the Tavistock Grammar School, became a partner in his 
father's firm while still a young man, and contributed largely 
by his energy and sagacity to its rapid and lucrative develop- 
ment. It was not till he had reached the age of forty that he 
had time to turn his attention to political life. He was natur- 
ally attracted by the representation of Westminster, in which 
his business was centred, but, at the time, the adventure seemed 
to be a daring one, nor was it crowned in the first instance with 
success. The political traditions of Westminster had been bound 
up, even before the Keform Act of 1832, with those of Liberalism, 
or rather of Radicalism ; and though politics had changed their 
aspect in many ways since the days of Fox, and since those of 
Burdett, there had only been a single real break, in 1841, in 
the succession of Liberal representatives down to the general 
election of 1865, when Mr. W. H Smith came into the field as 
a Conservative candidate. 

Lord Palmerston's long reign was drawing to a close, and his 
eventual successor was seen to be Mr. Gladstone, who had been 



126 EMINENT PERSONS 

more and more inclining to " the Left," and had already more 
than half won the hearts of the Radicals. Nevertheless, the 
Whigs were still nnshaken in their loyalty to their old party, 
though it had gone far beyond the landmarks contemplated by 
the authors of the Act of 1832. Mr. W. H. Smith had to con- 
front a coalition too formidable to be broken through at the 
first onset by a man previously unknown in public life. His 
opponents were both personages of eminence and influence — 
the one a member of the Grosvenor family, the lords of the 
soil in Westminster, and the other Mr. John Stuart Mill, at that 
time, perhaps, the most powerful intellectual force in the country. 
Whigs and Radicals united to return Mr. Grosvenor and Mr. 
Mill at the top of the poll with nearly equal votes, but, though 
Mr. W. H. Smith was left in a minority of some 700, it was 
justly regarded as significant that, with all his disadvantages, 
he received the support of 3824 electors. That was before 
the extension of the franchise and the introduction of secret 
voting, which, however they have operated elsewhere, have 
acted in Westminster, and generally throughout London, in a 
Conservative direction. It was, of course, a settled thing that 
Mr. Smith was to stand again, and he would probably have won 
even had the situation remained otherwise unaltered. 

But between 1865 and 1868 many things had happened. 
The borough franchise had been established on the basis of 
simple rating ; Mr. Gladstone, on whose Reform Bill the Duke 
of Westminster's son and heir had led the attack, had revealed 
himself as the ally of the advanced Radicals of those days, and 
had begun his campaign against the Irish Church Establish- 
ment ; and Mr. John Stuart Mill, though he had delivered some 
thoughtful and interesting speeches in the House of Commons, 
had not been a Parliamentary success, and had alienated much 
support by his extreme and unpractical views on various sub- 
jects. In 1868, accordingly, when Mr. W. H. Smith again 
challenged the seat for Westminster against Mr. Grosvenor and 
Mr. Mill, he came in at the head of the poll with 7648 votes, 
while Mr. Grosvenor, who obtained the second seat, had more 
than 1000 votes less, and Mr. Mill was a rather bad third. It 
seemed probable that if another Conservative had stood with 
Mr. Smith, both would have been elected, as, in fact, was the 
case in 1874 and in 1880. This was generally regarded as a 
remarkable party victory, taking into consideration the Liberal 



W. H. SMITH 127 

traditions of Westminster. It at once secured for Mr. Smith a 
prominent position in the Conservative ranks, which was not 
the less influential because he represented a type of Con- 
servatism quite different from the old-world Toryism once in 
vogue with the aristocracy and one better suited to the enlarged 
borough constituencies. 

It is difficult, indeed, to conceive of Mr. Smith as at any 
time an ardent champion of privilege, or much governed by a 
sentimental passion for the past. There is a story told, which 
we believe to be well founded, that Mr. Smith, when he first 
began to turn his thoughts towards a Parliamentary career, 
some time during the Palmerstonian era, was disposed to take 
the Whig rather than the Tory side, as was then usual with 
rising persons in the middle class to which he essentially 
belonged, and of which he was never ashamed. It is said that 
he was put up for ballot at the Reform Club, but that a taint 
of Whiggish exclusiveness which lingered in that establishment 
prevented his election. As Whiggism, however, was rapidly 
passing into Radicalism, it is doubtful whether Mr. Smith 
would in any case have long withheld his support from the 
Conservative party, which he came to look upon as best cal- 
culated to safeguard the interests of the middle class, the free 
development of commerce and industry, and the legitimate 
rights of property and capital. 

Mr. W. H. Smith was at no time fond of obtruding himself 
upon the attention of the House of Commons, even when, in 
after years, he became its leader. But during the Parliament 
which lasted from 1869 to 1874 he had opportunities enough 
of showing his intelligence, his industry, his business capacity, 
and, what above all distinguished him, his high sense of public 
duty. Mr. Disraeli, so different in every element of his 
character, had, nevertheless, the piercing and watchful eye of 
genius, and picked out Mr. Smith as one of the recruits with 
whom he intended, if recalled to office, to strengthen the Con- 
servative phalanx where it seemed to be weakest. It was 
necessary to give adequate representation in the Administration 
formed after Mr. Gladstone's overthrow in 1874 to business 
interests and to the borough members. Mr. Smith had fortified 
his claims, not only by his Parliamentary service, but by his 
work as a member of the first London School Board, and his 
ascendency in Westminster had become indisputable, for in 1874 



128 EMINENT PERSONS 

he was returned by 9371 votes, with Sir Charles Russell as his 
Conservative colleague, against 3749 votes recorded for the 
highest Liberal candidate. 

It was not, therefore, at all surprising that, when Mr. 
Disraeli found himself at the head of a majority and formed a 
new Government, he reserved a place in it for Mr. Smith, who 
became Financial Secretary to the Treasury, an office filled by 
many men who have risen to the highest offices in the State. 
As Secretary to the Treasury Mr. Smith made his mark in his 
own quiet and capable way, and the murmurs with which his 
appointment had been received in some quarters, where pre- 
tentious and obtrusive self-assertion is alone understood, were 
soon silenced. No serious criticism was provoked when, on the 
death of Mr. Ward Hunt in 1877, Mr. Smith was promoted to 
the laborious and most responsible office of First Lord of the 
Admiralty. At the head of one of " the great spending depart- 
ments " Mr. Smith's business experience, his financial knowledge, 
and his power of organisation were usefully applied. It cannot, 
indeed, be said of him, any more than of any other First Lord 
in our time, that he was able to place the Navy on a footing 
wholly commensurate with the requirements of our Empire, 
but it may be acknowledged that he left it stronger than he 
found it. During the stormy times that followed the Russian 
crisis and the Bulgarian atrocity agitation, Mr. Smith confined 
himself mainly to his official duties. At the general election of 
1880, which swept his party out of power, he and his colleagues 
held their own well in Westminster, though assailed by two 
strong radical candidates, Mr. John Morley and the present Lord 
Hobhouse. 

Returning to Opposition, Mr. Smith, during the Parliament 
which lasted from 1880 to 1885, was known as a rare, but 
always respectfully heard, speaker, chiefly on financial, naval, 
and business questions. Before this period his moderation and 
sagacity had drawn forth favourable comment even from his 
opponents, and about the time when he became First Lord of 
the Admiralty, an influential weekly review, then strongly 
opposed to the foreign policy of the Government, indulged in 
some interesting speculations on "a Smith Administration," 
without any suspicion, of course, that in the changes and 
chances of politics it would be found itself supporting a Ministry 
that might be to some extent entitled to this name against Mr. 



W. H. SMITH 129 

Gladstone. Among Mr. Smith's parliamentary appearances at 
this time may be mentioned his severe criticisms in 1884 on 
the condition of the Navy, which he considered to be inadequate 
to the increasing demands upon it. He followed up these 
criticisms by a letter subsequently published in our columns, 
and their substantial justice may be held to be proved by the 
sudden expenditure that had to be incurred in the following 
year during the crisis of the Penjdeh dispute and by the 
financial confusion discovered at the Admiralty, about the time 
of the change of Government. 

Mr. Smith also interested himself keenly in Irish affairs, 
directing special attention to the question of land purchase, and 
visiting Ireland in order to study it on the spot. When Mr. 
Gladstone resigned in 1885, after the defeat of Mr. Childers's 
Budget, and with a view to an electoral campaign among the 
new constituencies, Lord Salisbury had to form a Cabinet under 
all the disadvantages of being in a minority in the House of 
Commons. He chose Mr. Smith as the Secretary for "War, 
where the experience he had gained in the other great spending 
department was likely to be useful in dealing with a still more 
troublesome task. It is a temptation to speculate about what 
Mr. Smith might really have done for the reorganisation of the 
War Office and the improvement of the Army if he had had 
time to put the business through. In point of fact he only 
held the office for a few months in the autumn and winter of 
1885, and again in 1886 for about the same period, during 
which the vacation hampers both Ministers and the permanent 
departmental staff. At the close of 1885, when the general 
election had left the parliamentary position undecided, and Mr. 
Gladstone had not yet openly declared for the policy of buying 
up the Irish vote, Lord Carnarvon resigned the Viceroyalty of 
Ireland and his seat in the Cabinet. This involved the 
resignation also of the Chief Secretary, Sir William Hart 
Dyke. 

In the anxieties of the Irish situation, with Home Rule in 
the air, and organised crime to be grappled with, it was 
necessary that the Chief Secretary should be a Cabinet Minister. 
Mr. Smith, with characteristic abnegation of self and devotion 
to duty, undertook the work, exchanging a Secretaryship of 
State for a nominally inferior office. It was hoped that his 
interest in the land purchase question would meet with some 
vol. v k 



130 EMINENT PERSONS 

response in Ireland. But time was denied him. He went over 
to Dublin and was sworn in a member of the Irish Privy 
Council. He held the Chief Secretaryship, however, for less 
than a week, since the Government was overthrown during the 
debate on the Address upon the question of " three acres and 
a cow," and Mr. Gladstone came into office to try his hand 
at Home Rule. When the defeat of the Home Rule Bill 
necessitated another appeal to the constituencies, Mr. Smith, 
who had been elected in 1885 for the Strand Division — a 
portion of the old city of Westminster — by a majority of 3159, 
was again chosen by a majority of 4526. His re-election on 
accepting office has never been challenged, and recently, when 
his appointment as Lord Warden of the Cinque Ports was dis- 
covered, somewhat unexpectedly, to involve the vacating of his 
seat, the Radical candidate publicly announced that he would 
not think of committing himself to an act so ungracious as that 
of putting Mr. Smith to any inconvenience on such an occasion. 
On the formation of Lord Salisbury's Second Administration 
in the summer of 1886, Mr. Smith returned to his former place 
at the War Office, but he was again withdrawn from it after a 
few months' tenure in the course of the Ministerial changes 
which were brought about by Lord Randolph Churchill's resig- 
nation. While Mr. Goschen succeeded Lord Randolph Churchill 
as Chancellor of the Exchequer, the leadership of the House of 
Commons was assigned to Mr. Smith, who took with it the 
office of First Lord of the Treasury, which, as in 1885, when it 
was held by Lord Iddesleigh, was separated from the Premier- 
ship. Mr. Smith's promotion was at first viewed with doubt, 
and even with hostility, by a section of the Conservative party ; 
but in the five Parliamentary Sessions that have since elapsed, 
he completely conquered the confidence of the House of Com- 
mons. Making no pretence to eloquence, but speaking on all 
occasions with a simple plainness that had a dignity of its own, 
Mr. Smith showed always so much honesty of purpose, so entire 
an absence of bitter partisanship, such temperance of language, 
and such suavity of manner, that perhaps no leader of the 
House since the days of Lord Althorp has enjoyed a larger 
measure of universal respect. Hardly the rudest of the Irish 
Separatists or the most provocative of self- asserting Radicals 
could venture to be insolent to a man by whom the House of 
Commons was well content to be represented. 



W. H. SMITH 131 

Yet Mi*. Smith's task, it is needless to say, lias been no light 
one. He led the House during an anxious period of storm and 
stress, through the heated debates on the Crimes Act and the 
Special Commission, and the prolonged discussions on such 
complicated measures as the Local Government Bill, and the 
Land Purchase Bill, and on the reformed rules of the House. 
Nor was Mr. Smith found wanting when he had to deal with 
subjects of a different kind, like the Royal grants, and to give 
expression officially to the sympathies of the House of Commons 
on occasions of public sorrow or rejoicing. He could not, 
indeed, command the sonorous oratory and elevated diction of 
Mr. Gladstone, but he could speak, on behalf of Englishmen, 
the language of a plain Englishman both forcibly and to the 
purpose. 

It was, however, the moral side of Mr. Smith's character 
that impressed and won over his colleagues, his unaffected 
kindliness and his strong sense of duty. A sense of something 
almost approaching to dismay was produced among his Parlia- 
mentary colleagues, and not those of his own party only, when 
it became known in the course of last session that his health 
had been seriously shaken, and that he had found it difficult to 
throw off the effects of an attack of the influenza epidemic. 
It is to be feared that his devotion to his work helped to break 
down a constitution not of the strongest. Mr. Smith, however, 
was unwilling toj disorganise the Government by creating a 
vacancy in the leadership of the House so long as it was at all 
possible for him to discharge his Parliamentary duties. His 
colleagues, it need scarcely be added, shrank from the thought 
of losing him. But he was not able to appear in his place in 
Parliament during the latter part of last Session, and the 
question how his place could be filled if he were unable to 
return to his duties after the prorogation had begun to occupy 
the minds of Unionist politicians. 

Mr. Smith's services, it is pleasant to remember, had already 
received public recognition. In 1889, when he had given 
ample proof of his high quality as leader of the House, and 
when some ill-natured frondeurs in his party had not yet been 
finally put to silence, the Ministerialists in the House of 
Commons united to present him with an address expressing 
their gratitude, and, on the completion of the twenty-first year 
of his Parliamentary life, he was entertained at a banquet in St 



132 EMINENT PERSONS 

James's Hall by his old constituents. Earlier in the same year 
he was the guest of the leading merchants, bankers, and men of 
business of the City of London at Merchant Taylors' Hall. A 
stanch and liberal supporter of the Church of England, Mr. 
Smith enjoyed the full confidence and respect of Churchmen, 
who will sincerely mourn his loss. On the death of Lord 
Granville, the Queen appointed Mr. Smith, as has been said, 
Lord "Warden of the Cinque Ports, which gave him the right to 
occupy Walmer Castle, where, like his illustrious predecessor, 
the Duke of Wellington, he closed his life. As Mr. Smith was 
exceedingly fond of yachting — indeed it was at one time hoped 
that a cruise he was lately able to take in his yacht would 
restore him, comparatively speaking, to health — "Walmer Castle 
had especial attractions for him. It is somewhat curious that 
though Mr. Smith was, of course, a very wealthy man, he had 
not, until he took up his residence at "Walmer, any country 
house, except his fine villa on the Thames, near Henley, which 
any other prosperous man of business might have owned. It is 
understood that he had purchased large quantities of land, par- 
ticularly in Devonshire, but he had not yet grouped his estates 
around a home. His life, after it ceased to be absorbed in 
business, was given up to public duties. 

Mr. Smith, who married, in 1858, Emily, the eldest 
daughter of the late Mr. F. D. Danvers, leaves a son, Mr. W. F. 
D. Smith, whose coming of age was celebrated last year by a 
banquet at which nearly 300 persons employed by the well- 
known firm in the Strand assembled, and several daughters, 
most of whom are married. In addition to his political appoint- 
ments, Mr. Smith was a member of the Council of King's College, 
London, and received the honorary degree of D.C.L. from the 
University of Oxford in 1879. 



CHARLES STEWART PARNELL 

1846-1891 

Obituary Notice, Thursday, October 8, 1891 

Charles Stewart Parnell, the eldest son of the late John 
Henry Parnell, high sheriff of Wicklow in 1836, was born at 
Avondale, in that county, in June 1846. His mother was 
Delia Tudor, daughter of Admiral Charles Stewart, of the 
American Navy, who, as commodore, had been conspicuous in 
the naval struggle with England early in the century, when the 
United States struggled stoutly for the palm of naval supremacy. 
Mr. Parnell's family had long been settled in Cheshire, and 
from their seat there his great-uncle, Sir Henry Parnell, whose 
motion on the Civil List turned out the Wellington Government 
in 1830, and who was afterwards Secretary for War and Pay- 
master of the Forces under the Whigs, took his title of Lord 
Congleton. 

The Parnells belonged to the " Englishry " of Ireland ; one 
of them, Dr. Thomas Parnell, an author now best known by his 
poem "The Hermit," friend of Pope and Swift, and the subject 
of a sympathetic biography by Goldsmith, used to bewail his 
clerical exile among the Irish, and indeed consistently neglected 
his duties as Archdeacon of Clogher ; others, later on, during 
the period of Protestant ascendency, were judges, officials, and 
members of Parliament ; Sir John Parnell, who joined with 
Grattan and other patriots of that day in fighting for an in- 
dependence that secured a monopoly of power to their own 
creed and caste, was Chancellor of the Exchequer just before 
the Union. Sir John Parnell's grandson was Mr. John Henry 
Parnell, of Avondale, the father of the future chief of the 



134 EMINENT PERSONS 

Separatists, who thus inherited on the paternal side an antipathy 
to the Union, and on the maternal side the traditions of a bitter 
conflict with England. Mr. Parnell nevertheless received, like 
many scions of the Irish landlord class, an exclusively English 
education at various private schools, and afterwards at Magdalen 
College, Cambridge, where, however, he did not take a degree, 
and where, it is said, he was " sent down " for some rather gross 
breach of academic discipline. 

Some surprise was expressed in Ireland when, in 1874, 
Mr. Parnell, then high sheriff of Wicklow, came forward to 
oppose in the county Dublin the re-election of Colonel Taylor, 
who had taken office as Chancellor of the Duchy of Lancaster in 
the Disraeli Government. He stood as an advocate of Home 
Rule, to which many of the Irish loyalists had temporarily 
attached themselves in their disgust at the success of Mr. Glad- 
stone's disestablishment policy. But Mr. Parnell's "Nationalism" 
proved to be of another type. If it had a sentimental origin in 
his family traditions, it was qualified and dominated by the cold 
temper and the taste for political strategy which he seems to 
have inherited from .his American kinsfolk. Defeated by a 
large majority in Dublin county, he was more successful a little 
more than a year later when a vacancy was created in the 
representation of Meath by the death of John Martin, one of 
the "Young Ireland" party and a convict of 1848, like his 
brother-in-law, John Mitchel. 

When Mr. Parnell entered the House of Commons in April 
1875 the Liberal Opposition was disorganised, the Conservative 
Government was both positively and negatively strong, and the 
Home Rule party, under Mr. Butt's leadership, was of little 
account. Mr. Parnell immediately allied himself with Mr. 
Biggar, who had struck out a line of his own by defying 
decency and the rules of Parliament, and, with more or less 
regular aid from Mr. F. H. O'Donnell and Mr. O'Connor Power, 
they soon made themselves a political force. How far Mr. 
Parnell saw ahead of him at this time, what his motives were, 
and what secret influences were acting upon him, may perhaps 
never be revealed. He found, as he believed, a method of 
bringing an intolerable pressure to bear upon the Imperial 
Parliament and the Government of the day by creating incessant 
disturbances and delaying all business, and he persisted in this 
course, in spite of the protests and the denunciations of Mr. Butt 



CHARLES STEWART PARNELL 135 

and the more respectable among the Irish Nationalists. To 
quote the triumphant language of one of his own followers, 
writing, almost officially, long afterwards, whereas obstructive 
tactics had been previously directed against particular Bills, 
"the obstruction which now faced Parliament intervened in 
every single detail of its business, and not merely in contentious 
business, but in business that up to this time had been 
considered formal." The design was boastfully avowed that, 
unless the Imperial Legislature agreed to grant the Irish 
demands as formulated by Mr. Biggar and Mr. Parnell, its 
power would be paralysed, its time wasted, its honour and 
dignity dragged through the dirt. 

In 1877 the whole scheme of obstructive policy was dis- 
closed and exemplified in the debates on the Prisons Bill, the 
Army Bill, and the South Africa Bill. Speaking on the last 
measure, Mr. Parnell said that, " as an Irishman " and one 
detesting "English cruelty and tyranny," he felt "a special 
satisfaction in preventing and thwarting the intentions of the 
Government." On one occasion the House was kept sitting for 
twenty-six hours by the small band of obstructionists. The 
rules of tbe House, even when cautiously strengthened at the 
instance of Sir Stafford Northcote, proved entirely inadequate 
to control men, like Mr. Parnell, undeterred by any scruples 
and master of all the technicalities of Parliamentary practice. 
Motions of suspension produced as little effect as public censure, 
nor was Mr. Butt, though he strongly condemned the policy of 
exasperation and lamented the degradation of Irish politics into 
a " vulgar brawl," able to stem the tide. He was deposed in 
the winter of 1877 by the Home Rule Confederation of Great 
Britain, a body including most of the "advanced" wing of the 
Irish in England and Scotland ; and though a modus vivendi 
was adopted in the Parliamentary party itself, and accepted by 
Mr. Parnell, as he said, in Mr. Butt's presence, on the ground 
that he " was a young man and could wait," it was felt that 
power had passed away from the moderates, of whom many 
were afraid to oppose the obstructives with a general election in 
sight, hoping, as the Parnellites said, to tide over the crisis, and 
" survive till the advent of the blessed hour when the return of 
the Liberals to power would give them the long-desired chance 
of throwing off the temporary mask of national views to assume 
the permanent livery of English officials." History sometimes 



136 EMINENT PERSONS 

repeats itself with curious irony, and these words are almost 
textually the same as those lately used by Mr. Parnell of those 
most intimately associated with him in his campaign against 
Mr. Butt. 

The session of 1878 emphasised the cleavage ; Mr. Butt 
practically resigned the lead to the extreme faction, and both 
spoke and voted in favour of the foreign policy of the Govern- 
ment. Mr. Parnell pursued his course of calculated Parlia- 
mentary violence. In 1879 Mr. Butt died, a broken man, and 
Mr. Shaw was chosen to fill his place as " Sessional Chairman " 
of the party. But events were playing to Mr. Parnell's hands. 
He had been associated with some of the Radical leaders in the 
attack on flogging in the Army, and he had been chosen as the 
first president of the Land League, which was started at Irish- 
town, in Mayo, a couple of weeks before Mr. Butt's death, and 
which embodied the ideas brought back from the United States 
by Mr. Davitt after his provisional release from penal servitude, 
with three other Fenian prisoners, at the end of 1877. Mr. 
Parnell was at the head of the " Reception Committee " which 
presented an address to these patriots, and the list of those 
associated with him contains, besides the names of Mr. John 
Dillon and Mr. Patrick Egan, those of James Carey, Daniel 
Curley, and J. Brady. 

Up to this point there was nothing known to the public to 
show that Mr. Parnell was not pursuing a Parliamentary agita- 
tion by irregular and censurable methods. How far he had 
previously allied himself with those who had other objectB in 
view, and who worked by other methods, remains obscure. At 
any rate he quickly entered into the policy that Mr. Davitt 
had devised in America in co-operation with Devoy and others, 
and after taking counsel with the leaders of the Clan-na-Gael 
.and of the Irish Republican Brotherhood. That policy had 
been originally sketched by Fintan Lalor, one of the '48 men, 
and was intended to work upon the land-hunger of the Irish 
peasantry in order to get rid of the British connection. Davitt 
and Devoy brought over the revolutionary party to their views, 
including extremists like Ford of the Iruh World, an open 
advocate of physical force, whether in the form of armed 
rebellion or of terrorist outrage. Proposals for co-operation 
with the Parnellites on the basis of dropping the pretence of 
federation and putting in its stead "a formal declaration in 



CHARLES STEWART PARNELL 137 

favour of self-government," of giving the foremost place to the 
land agitation, and adopting an aggressive Parliamentary policy 
generally, were transmitted to Ireland, and, though not formally 
accepted either by Mr. Parnell for the moment or by the 
Irish Fenians, became, in the opinion of the Special Commis- 
sioners, " the basis on which the American-Irish Nationalists 
afterwards lent their support to Mr. Parnell and his policy." 

This "new departure," which Mr. Davitt advocated as 
widening the field of revolutionary effort, involved Mr. 
Parnell's adoption of a more decided line on the land question 
and the opening up of closer relations with his allies beyond 
the Atlantic. In June 1879, therefore, a few weeks after the 
establishment of the Land League, and in the teeth of the 
denunciations of Archbishop MacHale, Mr. Parnell, accom- 
panied by Mr. Davitt, addressed a League meeting at Westport, 
told the tenantry that they could not pay their rents in pre- 
sence of the agricultural crisis, but that they should let the 
landlords know they intended in any case to " hold a firm 
grip on their homesteads and lands." He added that no con- 
cession obtained in Parliament would buy off his resolution to 
secure all, including, as Mr. Davitt took care to say, the 
unqualified claim for national independence. 

Mr. Parnell's advances to the Revolutionists in America had 
an immediate reward, not only in the removal of any remain- 
ing obstacles in the path of his ambition, but in the supply of 
the sinews of war for the work of agitation and electioneering. 
Mr. Davitt started the Land League with money obtained out 
of the Skirmishing Fund, established by O'Donovan Rossa in 
order to strike England "anywhere she could be hurt," and 
then in the hands of the Clan-na-Gael chiefs. But much more 
was needed, and in October 1879 Mr. Parnell started with Mr. 
Dillon for the United States. During the voyage he imparted 
his views to the correspondent of a New York paper, afterwards 
a witness before the Special Commission, and told him, among 
other things, that his idea of a true revolutionary movement in 
Ireland was that it should partake both of a constitutional and 
an illegal character, " using the Constitution for its own pur- 
poses, but also taking advantage of the secret combinations." 
He was cordially welcomed by most of the extreme faction, and 
gratified them with declarations quite to their own mind. He 
told them that the land question must be acted upon in " some 



138 EMINENT PERSONS 

extraordinary and unusual way " to secure any good result, and 
that "the great cause could not be won without shedding a 
drop of blood." He went even beyond this point in the famous 
speech at Cincinnati, which he subsequently attempted to deny, 
but which was reported in the Irish World, and was held to be 
proved by Sir James Hannen and his colleagues. He then 
said that the " ultimate goal " at which Irishmen aimed was 
" to destroy the last link which kept Ireland bound to Eng- 
land." The American wing were perfectly satisfied, and Mr. 
Parnell, when he was summoned back to Ireland by the news 
of the dissolution, felt that he could rely on their support, 
pecuniary and other. 

It was not at first so easy to convince the Irish Fenians — 
who had distrusted and abjured any form of Parliamentary action 
— that they ought to vote for Parnellite candidates ; and one 
or two Parnellite meetings were disturbed by this element. 
But Mr. Parnell's speeches during the electoral campaign of 
1880 showed them how far he was prepared to go in their 
direction, and how little inclined he was, to use his own phrase, 
" to fix the boundary to the march of a nation." It was at 
this time that Mr. Parnell told, with great applause, the story, 
which became very popular on Land League platforms, of 
the American sympathiser who offered him " five dollars for 
bread and twenty dollars for lead." The leading spokesmen 
and organisers of the League — Sheridan, Brennan, Boyton, and 
Redpath — -were either known Fenians or used language going 
beyond that of Fenianism ; and the same thing may be said of 
Mr. Biggar, Mr. O'Kelly, and Mr. Matt Harris, members of 
Mr. Parnell's Parliamentary following. The policy which Mr. 
Davitt, acting as the envoy of the Irish extremists, thus used 
Mr. Parnell to carry through, was developed in the announce- 
ment of the boycotting system in the autumn of 1880. 

Meanwhile, the alliance had already borne fruit at the 
general election of that year, when Mr. Parnell, aided some- 
what irregularly by Mr. Egan out of the exchequer of the 
League, was returned for three constituencies — Meath, Mayo, 
and the city of Cork. He decided to sit for the last, and as 
" the member for Cork " he has since been known. The over- 
throw of the Beaconsfield Government, which had appealed to 
the country to strengthen the Empire against Irish disorder and 
disloyalty, was an encouragement to the Parnell ites, who had a 



CHARLES STEWART PARNELL 139 

narrow and shifting majority in the ranks of the Parliamentary 
party. Mr. Shaw was supplanted as chairman by Mr. Parnell, 
and an open separation between the two sections ensued. The 
Parnellites took their seats on the Opposition benches ; the 
Moderate Home Rulers sat on the Ministerial side below the 
gangway. To the latter Mr. Gladstone seemed to incline most 
favourably, as he showed afterwards when he proposed to make 
Mr. Shaw one of the Chief Commissioners under the Land Act. 
The Liberals, though they took the opportunity of dropping 
the Peace Preservation Act, were not disposed to reopen the 
land question, and it was only under pressure that Mr. Forster 
hastily introduced the Compensation for Disturbance Bill, 
which was rejected in the House of Lords, and appointed the 
Bessborough Commission. 

Mr. Parnell and his party seized the opportunities afforded 
by the distress in Ireland and the Parliamentary situation to 
push on the operations of the League. The policy of boy- 
cotting had been expounded and enforced early in the year in 
Mr. Parnell's speech at Ennis, a few days after Lord Mount- 
morres's murder, when he urged the peasantry, if any man 
among them took an evicted farm, to put the offender " into a 
moral Coventry, by isolating him from the rest of his kind as if 
he were a leper of old." This doctrine was rapidly propagated 
by Mr. Dillon, Mr. Biggar, and the organisers of the League, 
and in the autumn the persecution of Captain Boycott and 
many other persons became a public scandal. This system of 
acting upon those whom Mr. Parnell had described as " weak 
and cowardly," because they did not heartily join in the 
refusal to pay rent, has been pronounced on the highest judicial 
authority to amount to a criminal and illegal conspiracy, 
devised and carried out to lower the rental and selling price of 
land and to crush the landlords. Mr. Parnell declared that he 
never incited to crime, but though he and his colleagues knew 
that boycotting and the unwritten law of the League led to 
outrages, wherever the organisation spread, they took no 
effective measures to denounce and repress crime, and it is now 
plain that they could not do so without alienating the American 
support on which they were dependent. 

The ordinary law was shown to be powerless by the failure 
of the prosecution of Mr. Parnell and others for conspiracy in 
Dublin in the opening days of 1881, when the jury disagreed, and 



140 EMINENT PERSONS 

Mr. Parnell, in announcing the result to his American friends, 
telegraphed his thanks to the Irish World for " constant co-opera- 
tion and successful support in our great cause." But the pro- 
gress of unpunished crime, in which the American-Irish brutally 
exulted, and the paralysis of the law, compelled Mr. Gladstone's 
Government to act. Early in the Session of 1881 Mr. Forster 
introduced his " Protection of Persons and Property Bill " and 
his " Arms Bill," of which the former empowered the Executive 
to arrest and detain without trial persons reasonably suspected 
of crime. At the mere rumour of this Egan transferred the 
finances of the League to Paris. It was a part of Mr. Parnell's 
task, as he well knew, to fight the " coercion " measures tooth 
and nail, but, though he led the attack, the most critical con- 
flicts were precipitated by the passion and imprudence of less 
cold-blooded politicians. We need not here recapitulate the 
history of that struggle, in which obstruction reached a height 
previously unknown, and in which the knot had to be cut for 
the moment by the enforcement of the inherent powers of the 
Chair. The Parnellite members were again and again sus- 
pended, and at length, after several weeks, both Bills were 
carried. 

Mr. Parnell's party had by this time assumed an attitude 
towards the Government of Mr. Gladstone which was highly 
pleasing to the Irish World and the Nationalist organs in Ireland, 
hut was ominous for the prospects of the Land Bill. They did 
not, however, venture to offer a direct and determined opposition 
to a measure securing great pecuniary -advantages to the Irish 
tenants. They could not go beyond abstaining on the question 
of principle, and denouncing the whole scheme as inadequate. 
Of course, if the Land Act had succeeded in accordance with 
Mr. Gladstone's sanguine hopes, it would have cut the ground 
from under Mr. Parnell's feet, and deprived him of the basis of 
agitation on which his alliance with the Irish Extremists rested, 
and from which his party derived their pecuniary supplies. No 
sooner, therefore, had the Land Act become law than the word 
went fortli from the offices of the League that the tenants were 
not to be allowed to avail themselves of it freely, but that only 
some " test cases " were to be put forward. The penalties of 
any infraction of this addition to the unwritten law were well 
understood, for all this while terrorism and outrage were 
rampant. Mr. Gladstone was more indignant at the rejection 



CHARLES STEWART PARNELL 141 

of his message of peace than at the proofs, which had been long 
forthcoming, of the excesses of Irish lawlessness. He denounced 
Mr. Parnell at Leeds, in impassioned language, and declared 
that "the resources of civilisation against its enemies were not 
yet exhausted." Mr. Parnell replied defiantly that Mr. 
Gladstone had before " eaten all his own words," and predicted 
that these "brave words of this English Minister would be 
scattered as chaff" by the determination of the Irish to regain 
" their lost legislative independence." A few days later he was 
arrested and imprisoned in Kilmainham, with Mr. Sexton, Mr. 
O'Brien, the editor of his organ, United Ireland, and several 
others. Egan, on the suggestion of Ford, at once issued a " No- 
Rent" manifesto ; the books of the Land League were spirited 
out of the jurisdiction of the Irish Executive, and as a natural 
consequence the Land League was suppressed. 

But the struggle was carried on, with little substantial 
change, during Mr. Parnell's imprisonment. The Ladies' 
League nominally took the work in hand ; American money 
was not wanting ; boycotting was rigidly enforced, and was 
followed, as Mr. Gladstone had shown, by crime. For this state 
of things the incendiary journalism, subsidised and imported by 
the Parnellites, was, and long after remained, responsible. The 
Irish World, with its advocacy of dynamite and dagger, was 
used to "spread the light" among the masses, and United 
Ireland was scarcely behindhand. The Freeman's Journal, 
which had opposed Mr. Parnell's extreme views on the Land 
Act, was compelled to come to heel, and the priesthood, who 
never loved him, as a Protestant and as a suspected ally of the 
Fenians, found their influence waning in presence of the despot- 
ism of the League. 

The secret history of all that went on during Mr. Parnell's 
imprisonment in Kilmainham is not yet revealed, though some 
light has been thrown upon it by the recent split among the 
Nationalists. Mr. Parnell, for instance, said the other day in 
the last speech he delivered that " the white flag had been first 
hung out from Kilmainham " by Mr. William'. O'Brien. Be that 
as it may, it is evident that in the spring of 1882 both the 
Government and the Parnellites were anxious to compromise 
their quarrel. Mr. Gladstone was pressed by the Radicals to 
get rid of coercion, and the patriots were eager to be again 
enjoying liberty and power. Negotiations were opened through 



142 EMINENT PERSONS 

Mr. O'Shea ; Mr. Parnell was willing to promise that Ireland 
should be tranquillised — for the moment and in appearance — 
through the agency of the League ; Mr. Forster, refusing to 
become a party to this sort of bargain with those who had 
organised a system of lawless terrorism, resigned ; Lord Spencer 
and Lord Frederick Cavendish went to Ireland as envoys of a 
policy of concession, including a Bill for wiping out arrears of 
rent. 

How long Mr. Parnell would have continued to give a quid 
pro quo for this can only be guessed at A few days after the 
ratification of what became known as the Kilmainham Treaty, 
Lord Frederick Cavendish and Mr. Burke were murdered in the 
Phoenix Park by persons then unknown. Mr. Parnell expressed 
his horror of the crime in the House of Commons, but refused 
to admit that it was a reason for the Coercion Bill immediately 
introduced by Sir William Harcourt. This change of policy 
was forced upon Mr. Gladstone by the imperious demands of 
public opinion, which was exasperated by the defiant attitude 
of the Irish party. The forces of obstruction, however, were 
for the moment broken by the shock. The Coercion Act be- 
came law, and was at the outset vigorously administered by 
Lord Spencer and Mr. Trevelyan, who were, in consequence, 
attacked with the most infamous calumnies by United Ireland 
and other Parnellite organs. The authors of several wicked 
crimes were brought to justice in Ireland in spite of the clamour 
of the Parnellites against judges and jurymen, and early in 
1883 the Invincible conspiracy, which had compassed the deaths 
of Lord Frederick Cavendish and Mr. Burke, was exposed by 
the evidence of the informer, James Carey. Mr. Forster made 
this the occasion of a powerful attack on Mr. Parnell in the 
House of Commons, telling the story of the Kilmainham negotia- 
tions in the light of later disclosures, and pointing out that the 
language used without rebuke in Mr. Parnell's organs and by 
his followers plainly sowed the seed of crime. Mr. Parnell's 
callous defiance of the voice of public opinion shocked even 
those inclined to make allowance for him. Radical sympathy 
was withdrawn from him, while there was about this time also 
a widening breach with the Irish-Americans, who did not wish 
to have outrage even condemned by implication, and who were 
entering upon the dynamite campaign. 

Nevertheless, Mr. Parnell's hold on his own party was 



CHARLES STEWART PARNELL 143 

unshaken ; from time to time there were movements of revolt ; 
lie had to speak scornfully once of "Papist rats." Mr. Dwyer 
Gray, Mr. O'Connor Power, Mr. F. H. O'Donnell, and Mr. Healy 
at diiferent times tried to thwart him, but he swept all opposi- 
tion away, and reduced his critics to subjection or drove them 
out of public life. The Land League was allowed to revive 
under the name of the National League, and, operating more 
cautiously on the old lines, secured Mr. Parnell's power. It 
was evident that the extension of the franchise would give Mr. 
Parnell the power of nominating the representatives of three- 
fourths of Ireland. The priesthood, trembling for their influ- 
ence, came round to him. But he was unable to induce the 
Government either to repeal the Coercion Act or to tamper 
with the land question. It was when the Franchise Bill was 
introduced that Mr. Parnell's influence over the Government 
was first manifested. He insisted that Ireland should be in- 
cluded in the Bill and that the number of the Irish representa- 
tives should not be diminished, and on both points he prevailed. 
Meanwhile the alliance with the American- Irish had been 
renewed. The Clan-na-Gael captured the Land League in the 
United States, and in view of the elections in Great Britain 
funds were provided, Egan being now a member of the organi- 
sation. 

Simultaneously a more active policy was adopted at home. 
As soon as the passage of the Franchise Bill had been made 
sure the Parnellites joined with the Conservatives to defeat Mr. 
Gladstone. Towards the weak Salisbury Administration that 
followed Mr. Parnell showed, during the electoral period, a 
benevolent neutrality, acting on the principle he had laid down 
several years before in Cork — " Don't be afraid to let in the 
Tory, but put out the Whig." He judged that he would be 
thus more likely to hold the balance of power in the new Parlia- 
ment, and Mr. Gladstone held the same opinion when he asked 
for a Liberal majority strong enough to vote down Conservatives 
and Parnellites together. In an address to the Irish electors on 
the eve of the struggle the Parnellites fiercely denounced the 
Liberal party and its leader. Mr. Parnell had even amused 
Lord Carnarvon at a critical time with a deceptive negotiation. 

The issue of the contest left Mr. Gladstone's forces just 
balanced by those of the Conservatives and Parnellites combined. 
He at once resolved to secure the latter by an offer of Home 



H4 EMINENT PERSONS 

Rule, though he had up to that time professed his devotion to 
the Union, and though nine-tenths of his followers had pledged 
themselves to it. His overtures were of course welcomed, 
though without a too trustful effusiveness, by Mr. Parnell ; the 
Conservative Government was overthrown on a side issue ; Mr. 
Gladstone came into power and introduced his Home Rule Bill. 
Much was made of Mr. Parnell's unqualified acceptance of that 
measure. It now appears that he objected to several points in 
it, being no doubt aware of the view taken of it by his American 
allies, but he did not press his objections, fearing, as he said 
since, that the insistence on further concessions would deprive 
Mr. Gladstone of other colleagues and break up the Government. 
Mr. Parnell's temporary forbearance, which had no element of 
finality in it, did not save the Bill. In the Parliament of 1886 
his numerical forces were nearly the same as those he previously 
commanded, but he was now allied with a greatly enfeebled 
Gladstonian Opposition. 

It was necessary to affect the most scrupulous constitutional- 
ism, and for a time Mr. Parnell played the part well. The 
Irish -Americans took the cue from him, and were willing 
to wait Dynamite outrages had ceased. But the necessities 
of the case urged him to insist on reopening the Irish land 
question, and in Ireland the National League continued to work 
on the old system. Boycotting and its attendant incidents 
increased, and, during Mr. Parnell's temporary withdrawal from 
active politics, Mr. Dillon and Mr. O'Brien committed the party 
to the Plan of Campaign, which involved a pitched battle with 
the Executive and the law. The introduction of the Crimes 
Bill was the direct result of this policy, which Mr. Parnell 
privately condemned. His opposition to the Bill was of the 
familiar kind. But the tactics of obstruction which were 
then pursued were overshadowed in the public eye by the con- 
troversy on " Parnellism and Crime " that arose in our own 
columns. Seeing that the alliance between Mr. Parnell and 
the Gladstonian Opposition was growing closer and closer, that 
it was employed to obstruct the Executive Government and to 
set at naught the law, and that the success of Home Rule would 
deliver over Ireland to a faction tainted by association with 
Ford and Sheridan, we thought it right to call public attention 
to some salient episodes in Mr. Parnell's career and to draw 
certain inferences from them. We also conceived it to be our 



CHARLES STEWART PARNELL 145 

duty to publish some documentary evidence that came into our 
hands, of the authenticity of which we were honestly convinced, 
and which seemed to us perfectly consistent with what was 
proved and notorious. 

Mr. Parnell gave a comprehensive denial to all our charges 
and inferences, including the alleged letter apologising to some 
extremist ally for denouncing the Phoenix Park murders in the 
House of Commons. He did not, however, accept our challenge 
or bring an action against the Times, nor was it till more than 
a year later, after Mr. O'Donnell had raised the question by 
some futile proceedings, that he demanded a Parliamentary 
inquiry into the statements made on our behalf by the Attorney- 
General. We need not here recite the story of the appointment 
of the Special Commission and its result. The evidence of 
Richard Pigott broke down, and with it the letters on which we 
had in part relied, and Mr. Parnell's political allies claimed for 
him a complete acquittal. But the Report of the Commissioners 
showed that, though some other charges against Mr. Parnell 
were dismissed as unproved, the most important contentions of 
the Times were fully established. The origin and objects of the 
criminal conspiracy were placed beyond doubt ; the association 
for the purposes of that conspiracy with the Irish-American 
revolutionists was most clearly made manifest, as well as the 
reckless persistence in boycotting and in the circulation of in- 
flammatory writings after it was known in what those practices 
ended. Nor was it without significance that a confession was 
extorted from Mr. Parnell that he might very possibly have 
made a deliberately false statement for the purpose of deceiving 
the House of Commons. Indeed, on more than one point where 
Mr. Parnell's sworn testimony had to be weighed against that of 
other witnesses — as in the case of Mr. Ives and Major Le Caron 
— the Commissioners rejected it. 

Nevertheless, the Gladstonians went out of their way to 
affirm their unshaken belief in the stainless honour of Mr. 
Parnell, to accept him as the model of a Constitutional states- 
man, and to base upon his assurances their confidence that a 
Home Rule settlement would be a safe and lasting one. Mr. 
Parnell received the honorary freedom of the city of Edinburgh. 
He was entertained at dinner by the Eighty Club; Mr. Gladstone 
appeared on the same platform with him ; his speeches were 
welcomed at Gladstonian gatherings in the provinces as eagerly 
vol. v l 



146 EMINENT PERSONS 

as those of the patriarchal leader himself ; and, finally, he -was 
the late Premier's guest at Hawarden Castle, where the details 
of the revised Home Rule scheme, which have never been dis- 
closed even to the National Liberal Federation, were discussed 
confidentially as between two potentates of coequal authority. 

But a cruel disappointment was in store for credulous souls. 
Mr. O'Shea, whose intervention had brought about the Kilmain- 
ham Treaty, instituted proceedings against Mr. Parnell in the 
Divorce Court. It was denied up to the last that there was 
any ground for these proceedings ; it was predicted that they 
would never come to an issue. But when, after protracted and 
intentional delays, the case came on in November last, it was 
found that there was no defence. The adultery was formally 
proved and was not denied, nor was it possible to explain away 
its treachery and grossness. The public mind was shocked at 
the disclosure ; but those who were best entitled to speak 
were strangely silent. Mr. Gladstone said nothing ; the Roman 
Catholic hierarchy in Ireland said nothing ; Mr. Justin 
M'Carthy, Mr. Healy, and the rest of the Parliamentary party 
hastened to Dublin to proclaim, at the Leinster Hall, their 
unwavering fidelity to Mr. Parnell. Mr. Dillon and Mr. O'Brien 
telegraphed their approval from America. On the opening day 
of the Session Mr. Parnell was re-elected leader. 

Meanwhile the Nonconformist conscience had awakened, and 
Mr. Gladstone responded to its remonstrances. His letter 
turned the majority round, and, after a violent conflict in 
Committee Room No. 15, Mr. Parnell was deposed by the very 
men who had elected him. He refused to recognise his deposi- 
tion, and has fought a daring, but a losing, battle in Ireland 
ever since. The declaration of the Roman Catholic hierarchy 
against him, however, sealed his doom. The clergy have 
worked against him as they never worked in politics before. 
Mr. Dillon and Mr. O'Brien have taken the same side. He has 
been defeated in North Kilkenny, North Sligo, and Carlow, and 
though he has been battling fiercely down to a few clays ago, 
the ground has been visibly slipping away from him. Even 
his marriage with Mrs. O'Shea, the only reparation for his sin, 
has been turned against him in a Roman Catholic country, and 
was the excuse for the defection of the Freeman's Journal. It 
is not surprising that a feeble constitution should have broken 
down under such a load of obloquy and disappointment. 



LORD LYTTON 

1831-1891 
Obituary Notice, Wednesday, November 25, 1891 

A distinguished representative of a distinguished family, Lord 
Lytton was brilliant in many ways, without attaining to the 
very first rank in any of the various spheres of action in which 
he played a prominent part. Future historians will probably 
explain many of the peculiarities of his character and career by 
the principles of heredity. The family traces its descent from 
Sir Robert de Lytton, of Lytton, in the county of Derby, 
Comptroller of the Household to King Henry IV., and numbers 
among its members several men who did good service in their 
time ; but the first two who became widely known were the 
uncle and the father of the peer whose untimely death we 
record to-day. The uncle was Lord Dalling, whose name is 
still remembered in Constantinople as an extremely able but 
somewhat eccentric Ambassador to the Porte from 1858 to 
1865 ; and the father was Bulwer Lytton, the distinguished 
novelist and dramatist, whose works are so familiar to the 
elder section of the present generation. 

In 1827 the novelist married Rosina Doyle, daughter of 
Francis Wheeler, Esq., of Lizzard Connell, county Limerick, 
and of this marriage was born, on 8th November 1831, the 
man who was to make, like his father, a name for himself in 
literature, who was to become Viceroy of India, and who has 
just died at the age of sixty as Ambassador to the French 
Republic. It is no secret that the relations between his father 
and mother were anything but cordial, and that a series of 
domestic crises ended, not only in a separation, but in a violent, 



148 EMINENT PERSONS 

inextinguishable enmity on both sides. It may perhaps be 
doubted which of the parties in the ill-assorted union was most 
to blame, but there is no doubt that the domestic discord and 
the home surroundings in general had an injurious influence on 
the character and education of the son. It is here that the 
student of heredity will find ample scope for research and specula- 
tion, for the son was in many respects singularly like his father, 
whilst displaying strongly-marked characteristics of his own, 
which might, perhaps, be explained by his mother's idiosyn- 
crasies. At an early age he showed symptoms of those cosmo- 
politan — some said un-English — tendencies which became very 
prominent in after life. 

After spending some time at Harrow and subsequently with 
private tutors, he went to Bonn and devoted himself to the 
study of modern languages, but he did not go through a regular 
University course. His studies here, like his studies and pur- 
suits at all periods of his career, had an unsystematic, dilettante 
character, and were more extensive than profound. What he 
probably would have liked to do was to saunter leisurely 
through life, culling the prettiest and most lusciously-scented 
(lowers by the wayside and enlivening the monotony of exist- 
ence by an occasional outburst of brilliant, spasmodic energy. 
His pecuniary means, however, did not allow him to enjoy the 
dolce far niente of the refined scholar. He had to enter a pro- 
fession of some kind, and he was naturally apprenticed to the 
one which would enable him to live in foreign countries and 
indulge at least some of his intellectual tastes. When eighteen 
years of age he entered the Diplomatic Service, and was at once 
appointed, under his uncle, Lord Dalling, attache" at Washing- 
ton. Here he remained about two years, and was then moved 
about from one post to another, according to the exigencies of 
the service and the prospects of promotion. The posts at which 
he resided included Florence, Paris, the Hague, St. Petersburg, 
Constantinople, Vienna, Copenhagen, Athens, Lisbon, and 
Madrid, so that he had an opportunity of making close ac- 
quaintance with many men and many cities before he reached 
the zenith of his official career. 

It was during this period that Robert Lytton became known 
as a brilliant and agreeable man of letters under the pseudonym 
of Owen Meredith. Young diplomatists had in those days less 
official work than at present, and Owen Meredith loved litera- 



LORD LYTTON 149 

ture much more than the routine, or even the more interesting 
studies, of diplomacy. In 1855 he published Clytemnestra, and 
other Poems; in 1860, Lucile ; in 1861, Tannhduser, or the Battle 
of the Bards; in 1863, The Ring of Amasis ; and in 1874, his 
Fables in Song. His poems are decidedly remarkable both in 
thought and expression, and are distinguished by great elegance 
of diction, but they have nothing of the force and originality of 
a poetic genius of the first order, nor have they any of the 
sympathetic, homely qualities which sometimes endear a second 
or third rate poet to a large circle of readers. He had, in fact, 
a delicate, refined appreciation of poetry rather than a rich 
vein of poetic originality, and his powers of expression were 
much greater than his other poetic gifts. That he borrowed 
largely from other poets is unquestionable, but it is difficult to 
decide how far his plagiarism was conscious and intentional. 
In a sensitive, receptive nature like his, there was a strong 
temptation to absorb and reproduce, half unconsciously, the 
thoughts of other authors, whom he habitually read and ad- 
mired. In the later years of his life he did not publish so 
much, but he continued to write verse, and in 1885 he pub- 
lished a long poem in six books called Glenaveril, which did not 
add much to his literary reputation. 

In 1864 he had married Edith, second daughter of the Hon. 
Edward Villiers, and niece of the late Earl of Clarendon, and 
in 1873, on his father's death, he succeeded to the title as the 
second Baron Lytton. He had at that time reached the rank 
of First Secretary of Embassy, and, as his private fortune was 
not sufficient to satisfy his somewhat expensive tastes, he deter- 
mined to remain in the Diplomatic Service. His diplomatic 
career, however, was soon to be interrupted. In January 1876 
Mr. Disraeli looked for a Viceroy of India after his own heart, 
who would pursue con amore an energetic, forward policy in an 
Imperialistic spirit, with a certain pyrotechnic display for the 
purpose of obtaining popular applause. For such a policy 
Lord Lytton seemed to him an admirable instrument. If the 
author of Tancred had become a successful Prime Minister of 
England, why should not Owen Meredith, with his lively imagi- 
nation and his keen sympathy with the pomp and pageantry 
of the gorgeous East, make a successful Viceroy of India ? In 
any case the experiment seemed to be worth making, and 
the cautious, hard-working, methodical Lord Northbrook was 



150 EMINENT PERSONS 

replaced by the showy young diplomatist and litterateur. The 
significance of this change soon became apparent. 

Before the new Viceroy had been a year in India — on 
1st January 1877 — a magnificent durbar, to which all the 
princes and notables of India had been invited, was held at 
Delhi, and there, with a ceremonious pomp surpassing probably 
anything that had ever taken place in the days of the Mogul 
Emperors, Queen Victoria was proclaimed Empress of India. 
But it was not merely in matters of ceremonial display that the 
new regime manifested itself. The prestige of British rule in 
India was to be raised not only by the creation of the Imperial 
title, but also by the extension of British influence beyond the 
frontier. The direction chosen was to the north-east. In 
Afghanistan the Ameer Shere Ali had shown a spirit of insub- 
ordination, if not of positive hostility. He had refused to 
receive a permanent British Agent in Cabul, and he was known 
to be coquetting on the other side with the Russian authorities 
in Central Asia. The Cabinet of St. Petersburg had agreed, in 
1873, to regard Afghanistan as beyond the sphere of Russian 
influence, but it chose to consider that agreement as invalidated 
by the hostile attitude of England during the Russo-Turkish 
war of 1877-78, and, in reply to the bringing of Indian troops 
to Malta, it despatched a mission under General Stolietof to 
Cabul. Shere Ali, who was embittered by his failure to obtain 
a British guarantee for his Sovereignty and family succession, 
and who was now being pressed to receive in his capital an 
unwelcome permanent diplomatic representative from Calcutta, 
determined to resist what he regarded as British aggression by 
leaning on Russian support. General Stolietof was accordingly 
received with all honour at Cabul, and Sir Neville Chamberlain 
with a British mission was turned back at the frontier. Such 
a rebuff could not be tolerated by a Viceroy who was expected 
to raise British prestige all over the East. War was therefore 
declared, and the campaign was at first remarkably successful. 

Before a few weeks had passed, the Ameer had fled from 
Cabul with the Russian mission, and within six months from 
the commencement of operations the Treaty of Gandamak was 
signed. By that Treaty the frontier was rectified in accordance 
with Anglo-Indian interests, a British resident in Cabul was 
accepted, and the foreign relations of Afghanistan were sub- 
jected to English control. So far all had gone well, and Lord 



LORD LYTTON 151 

Lytton had reason to congratulate himself on the success of 
his energetic "forward" policy. Then came a change. The 
Treaty of Ganclamak was signed in May 1879, and on 3rd 
September of the same year, the Eesident, Sir Louis Cava- 
gnari, and his whole escort were massacred in Catml, within a 
few yards of the house in which the new Ameer was sitting, 
inactive and apparently indifferent. Immediately an avenging 
force was despatched under General, now Sir Frederick, 
Roberts and fulfilled its mission ; but the whole country rose 
against the invader, and the British troops could not be with- 
drawn till July 1880, when Abdurrahman Khan, the present 
Ameer, was placed on the throne. 

Thus Lord Lytton's policy might be regarded on the whole 
as successful, but the political results were not considered as at 
all in proportion to the sacrifices of blood and treasure, and the 
defeat of the British force at Maiwand made a deeper impression 
on the English public than the previous and subsequent vic- 
tories. For the present, therefore, Lord Lytton's Afghan policy 
is pretty generally condemned, and there is no doubt that dur- 
ing the war very grave blunders were committed — strategical, 
political, and financial — but it would be hazardous to assert 
that posterity will confirm the condemnatory verdict. Regard- 
ing Lord Lytton as an administrator there is less scope for 
diversity of opinion. Though he could sometimes cause as- 
tonishment and admiration among his subordinates by the 
brilliancy and by the intuitive talent of his spasmodic efforts, 
he was incapable of prolonged systematic exertion, and his 
previous training had not prepared him for administrative 
work. He had no special talent for selecting the best instru- 
ments, nor the patience and perseverance required to control 
them when selected. Even as the upholder of British prestige 
in India, he cannot be regarded as a success. Though he had 
the Oriental love of display and an artistic eye for theatrical 
effects, he had not the calm, stately dignity which impresses 
Orientals, nor did he possess all the qualities which command 
respect among his own countrymen. His Viceroyalty naturally 
came to an end with the Beaconsfield Cabinet, and Lord Ripon 
was sent out by the Gladstone Government to undo much that 
had been done by his predecessor. 

For seven years after his retirement from the Viceroyalty of 
India Lord Lytton lived as a private individual in England, 



152 EMINENT PERSONS 

taking part occasionally in the debates which specially in- 
terested him in the House of Lords, but making no effort to 
attain an important position in English political life. His 
tastes lay rather in the direction of diplomacy and residence 
abroad, and they were gratified by his appointment as Ambas- 
sador in Paris in 1887. During the four years that he held 
this post he has proved that in an important diplomatic posi- 
tion and in a genial atmosphere he could display diplomatic 
qualities of a very high order. If we have maintained, under 
a Government strongly suspected of pro -German proclivities, 
more cordial relations with France than we did even under 
previous Cabinets which had a decidedly Gallophil tendency, it 
is to the sympathetic personality, sound judgment, and habitual 
tact of Lord Lytton that the result is mainly to be attributed. 



THE EX-EMPEROR OF BRAZIL 

1825-1891 

Obituary Notice, Saturday, December 5, 1891 

" Call no man happy till he dies " is the motto which is 
naturally suggested by the career of Dom Pedro. Little more 
than two years ago he seemed one of the happiest of sovereigns 
and of men, possessing everything that a man of taste and 
culture could desire, and having every prospect of ending his 
days as the beneficent Sovereign of a devoted and grateful 
people. In the course of a few hours all was changed. The 
Sovereign who had loved and served his country so well had 
become a fugitive and an exile, destined to suffer severe bereave- 
ments, and succumb to a painful illness in a foreign land. 

Pedro II., De Alcantara — his Majesty had thirteen other 
Christian names — Emperor of Brazil for nearly sixty years, from 
1831 to 1889, was born on 2nd December 1825. His father 
was Dom Pedro I. of Braganza and Bourbon, and his mother 
Leopoldina Carolina Josephine of Austria; he was consequently 
the legitimate descendant of three of the most ancient royal houses 
of Europe, Braganza, Bourbon, and Hapsburg. Dom Pedro I., 
son of John VI., abdicated the throne of Portugal in favour of 
his daughter, Donna Maria, on 2nd May 1826 ; and subsequently 
(April 1831), after a prolonged and hopeless struggle against a 
resolute and ever-increasing opposition, he abdicated the throne 
of Brazil in favour of his son, who was then only in his sixth 
year. 

The early education of the young Emperor was conducted 
with the utmost care and solicitude, for upon his life hung the 
future of Brazil. His youth was passed amid the almost ceaseless 



154 EMINENT PERSONS 

turmoils which followed the declaration of Brazilian independ- 
ence, and from his accession until 1833 the Government was 
administered by a single Regent, Bonifacio Joze de Andrade e 
Silva, formerly a leader of the Democratic party. A Council 
of Regency was then appointed, which continued until 1840. 
Fortunately, through the whole of this critical period statesmen 
of all political creeds and principles united in defending the 
welfare of Brazil and the rights of the Emperor, so that, even 
under the most threatening circumstances, the Brazilian constitu- 
tion was preserved intact. In 1840 Dom Pedro II., while still 
under age, was declared by the Chambers to have attained his 
majority. He accordingly assumed the reins of government 
on 23rd July of that year, and the ceremony of his coronation 
was solemnised on 18th July 1841. 

Few monarchs of the century have had a more extraordinary 
career than Dom Pedro. He had scarcely assumed supreme 
power when, in 1841 and 1842, a determined effort was made 
to substitute a federal government in place of the existing order 
of things ; but the conspiracy was promptly and efficiently 
frustrated, and by the end of the latter year the whole Repub- 
lican party was reduced to submission. Several Ministries, in 
which various parties predominated for a time, now governed 
the country till 1848 ; and during this period, chiefly by skil- 
ful negotiation, the rebellious province of Rio Grande was 
pacified. A serious quarrel with Great Britain, however, arose 
in 1848, owing to the neglect shown by the Brazilians in 
putting in force a treaty for the abolition of the slave trade, 
which had been concluded as far back as 1826. At the same 
time the Governor of Buenos Ayres, General Rosas, was again 
endeavouring to stir up revolution in Rio Grande. Yellow 
fever, hitherto unknown in Brazil, broke out in 1849, and it 
was attributed to the importation of slaves. The traffic was 
condemned by public opinion, and severe laws being passed 
against it, these were so firmly enforced that in the course of a 
few years not a single disembarkation took place. 

In 1849 the Emperor, through the Ministry of Visconde de 
Olinda, entered into alliances with the Governors of Monte- 
video, Paraguay, and the States of Entre Rios and Corrientes, 
for the purpose of maintaining the integrity of the Republics of 
Paraguay and Uruguay, which Rosas intended to reunite to 
Buenos Ayres, and the troops of Rosas, who besieged Monte- 



THE EX-EMPEROR OF BRAZIL 155 

video, were compelled to capitulate. Rosas then formally- 
declared war against Brazil ; but an army of Correntine, 
Uruguayan , and Brazilian troops, under General Urquiza, as- 
sisted by a Brazilian naval squadron, advanced on Buenos Ayres, 
completely routed the forces of Rosas, and crushed for ever the 
power of that dictator. Among the fruits of this intervention 
for Brazil were an acquisition of territory and the free naviga- 
tion of the River Plate and its great feeders ; and the latter 
result especially inaugurated a new era of general prosperity. 
Subsequently for many years Brazil was almost entirely free 
from intestine commotions • public works and education ad- 
vanced, and the finances reached a degree of development 
previously unknown. 

The Emperor despatched a squadron up the Parana in 1855 
to adjust several questions pending between the Empire and the 
Republic of Paraguay, the most important of which was that of 
the right of way by the Paraguay River to the interior Brazilian 
province of Matto Grosso. The right had been in dispute for a 
considerable period. The expedition failed in its purpose, and 
although the consequent discord between the States was after- 
wards temporarily allayed by a treaty granting to Brazil the 
right to navigate the Paraguay River, every obstacle was thrown 
in the way by the Paraguayan Government, and indignities of 
all kinds were offered not only to Brazil, but to the representa- 
tives of the Argentine and the United States Republics. The 
Emperor assumed a firm and judicious attitude in 1862, when 
a dispute arose between the Brazilian Government and that of 
Great Britain respecting the arrest of some British officers at 
Rio de Janeiro. The matter was referred to the arbitration of 
the King of the Belgians, who decided in the Emperor's favour, 
and this tended greatly to consolidate his power. 

But the six years extending from 1864 to 1870 were a very 
trying period in the history of Brazil. In the first-named year 
Lopez, the ambitious dictator of Paraguay, seized without pre- 
vious declaration of war a Brazilian vessel on the Paraguay, and 
rapidly followed up this outrage by an armed invasion of the 
provinces of Matto Grosso and Rio Grande in Brazil, and that 
of Corrientes in the Argentine Republic. The invaded States 
thereupon entered into an alliance with Uruguay, and the war 
which ensued was soon changed from an offensive one on the 
part of Paraguay into a defensive struggle within that Republic 



156 EMINENT PERSONS 

against the superior numbers of the allies. Paraguay enjoyed 
such natural advantages, however, and Lopez had gained such 
ascendency over the people, that it was not until the year 1870, 
after the country had been completely drained of its manhood 
and its resources, that the protracted war was terminated by the 
capture and death of Lopez. The long duration of this war, 
with its frequent battles and sieges, involved an immense 
sacrifice of life to Brazil, the army in the field having been 
constantly maintained at from 20,000 to 30,000 men. The 
total war expenditure was calculated at upwards of £50,000,000, 
and large deficits in the financial budgets of the State resulted, 
involving increased taxation and the contracting of loans from 
foreign countries. Brazil acquired as a part of her war indem- 
nity 1160 square miles of Paraguayan territory; and notwith- 
standing the financial and other evils accruing from the war, 
her sources of public wealth remained unaffected, and her com- 
merce continued steadily to increase. 

The greatest social reform of the late Emperor's reign, and 
one which will render it memorable in history, was the abolition 
of slavery. By the first abolition law, passed in September 
1871, it was enacted that from the date of the measure every 
child born of slave parents should be free, and all the slaves 
belonging to the State or to the Imperial household were de- 
clared to be free from the same period. The Act also provided 
for an emancipation fund, to be annually applied to the ransom 
of a certain number of slaves owned by private individuals. 
From the passing of the Abolition Act the emancipation of 
slaves proceeded at a rapid rate, the work being largely pro- 
moted by the slave-owners themselves and by private philan- 
thropy. It was estimated that from the cessation of the 
importing of slaves in 1853, and especially after the enactment 
of 1871, not less than a million slaves had obtained their free- 
dom by the year 1876 ; and the total extinction of slavery 
within the Empire was confidently predicted at no distant date. 
This expectation, however, was not fulfilled, and in 1884 the 
Emperor complained to his Ministers that the authorities did 
not move as fast as popular feeling. Private generosity had 
liberated altogether 90,000 slaves, and 19,000 more had been 
set free under the provisions of the Rio Branco law at a cost of 
£80 per head ; but even at this rate of progress it was seen 
that many years must elapse before the final emancipation of 



THE EX-EMPEROR OF BRAZIL 157 

the blacks — of whom in 1884 there were still 1,500,000 slaves 
— could be accomplished. Several provinces now voluntarily 
freed the slaves within their own borders ; and with regard to 
the remainder, the Prime Minister, Senhor Dantas, acting in 
accordance with the wishes of the Emperor, introduced a Bill 
into the Chamber of Deputies with the object of bringing about 
the total abolition of slavery within ten or twelve years. The 
Bill was defeated by 59 votes to 52, and the Emperor dissolved 
the Chamber. 

An appeal to the country followedf*and the contest actually 
lay between the " abolitionists," who desired to secure for the 
slave gradual but full freedom, with efficient protection pending 
his definite manumission, and the "emancipators," who, while 
setting him nominally free, would keep him in cleverly-forged 
bonds. The result of the appeal to the country gave a nominal 
majority for the Prime Minister, but several Liberals were 
opposed to his proposals. Nevertheless, in opening the 
Chamber, the Emperor announced the determination of the 
Government to introduce its Emancipation Bill " for the 
purpose of gradually abolishing slavery in our country, in 
consonance with the wishes of all Brazilians." The Ministry 
was unable to make progress with its scheme, however, and 
eventually resigned. A Conservative Ministry, under Senhor 
Saraiva, was formed, and the new Premier brought in a 
modified emancipation measure, which was ultimately passed, 
under the auspices of Saraiva's successor, the Baron de Cotegipe, 
by a coalition of Conservatives and Liberals. 

The principal features of the new Act were — a revised registry, 
liberation of slaves over sixty-five, liberation of slaves over sixty 
with a condition of three years' service, fixed official values of 
slaves, surtax of 5 per cent on all imposts except export 
duties, authorised emission of 5 per cent polices for libera- 
tion of slaves, five years' usufruct of slaves where proprietors 
wished to substitute free for slave labour, compulsory domicile 
of five years for all freedmen liberated by the fund under juris- 
diction of police and under penalty of enforced labour for the 
State, compulsory service under labour contracts for all freedmen 
under penalty of imprisonment and judicial lease of services by 
arbitrary contracts, and the establishment of State agricultural 
colonies under military control as penal establishments for 
unemployed freedmen. Although the Act provided that in 



158 EMINENT PERSONS 

seventeen years all slaves were to be free, it was anticipated 
that under the new scheme slavery would cease in seven years. 
At the close of 1886 there were about 1,000,000 slaves in the 
Brazils, as compared with 2,500,000 in 1850. 

The general elections in 1886 gave a majority for the Con- 
servatives. The Emperor opened Parliament in person, and 
Senhor Dantas introduced a measure for the complete emancipa- 
tion of the slaves at the end of five years. The Bill was thrown 
out by the Chamber, but the abolitionists succeeded in getting 
a measure passed which put an end to the official flogging of 
slaves. Finally, in the Session of 1888, the question was set 
at rest by the Chamber of Deputies voting the immediate and 
unconditional abolition of slavery. As one immediate result of 
the emancipation laws in Brazil, considerable difficulty was 
experienced in procuring a sufficient supply of labour for the 
Brazilian plantations ; but the general effect of the legislation 
was to give new directions for the employment of capital and 
the construction of railroads and telegraphs. The improvement 
of internal communication by roads and rivers was likewise 
largely promoted, and attention was strongly directed towards 
the further development of the provinces by the increase of 
European immigration. Enterprises of a social and commercial 
character greatly multiplied, and public instruction received a 
vigorous impulse. 

His Imperial Majesty made the tour of Europe in 1871, 
visiting London, Paris, Rome, Florence, Brussels, and other 
capitals. In 1876 he went through the most interesting 
portions of the United States, and was present at the Cen- 
tennial Festival at Philadelphia. He again visited Europe in 
the succeeding year, and his energy in viewing the "lions" of 
London on this occasion completely baffled the reporters and 
interviewers, who toiled after him in vain. He paid special 
attention to our art galleries, and made a round of visits to the 
studios of leading British artists. On his first visit the Emperor 
was received by the Queen at Windsor. During his reign the 
Emperor made several extended tours through his own 
dominions ; and in 1867 he opened the navigation of the 
Amazon to the vessels of all nations. 

In November of the year following the abolition of slavery, 
1889, the apparently firm edifice of Imperial power fell, at the 
first touch, like a house of cards. As our Rio correspondent 



THE EX-EMPEROR OF BRAZIL 159 

wrote at the time, Brazil had in the course of eighteen months 
accomplished two revolutions. By the first no fewer than 
700,000 slaves had been liberated. By the second a popular 
and patriotic Emperor was suddenly driven into exile ; and the 
country, when it recovered from its amazement, found itself a 
Republic under a military dictator. On the continent of South 
America there have been numberless revolutions, but none more 
bloodless, more swift, or more unexpected, than that of which 
Dom Pedro was the victim. His power was supposed to be 
secure, though it is probable that the emancipation of the 
slaves weakened his hold on the conservative classes of the 
nation ; but, however this may be, it is certain that the events 
of 15th and 16th November were anticipated by no one but the 
conspirators themselves, and least of all by the unsuspecting 
Emperor and his family. The Imperial system in Brazil did 
not, as in other countries, rest upon the army. The army, 
indeed, was by some of the Emperor's advisers dreaded rather 
than trusted, and it was generally believed to be for this reason 
that the Government was gradually dispersing it along the 
frontier and throughout the provinces. In faet, the immediate 
cause of the revolution was the refusal of the 7th Infantry 
Battalion to leave Rio. The army leaders had for some time 
been prepared to resist the further dispersal of the military 
forces, and the Republicans were read}' to take advantage of 
the situation. When the 7th Battalion mutinied an endeavour 
was made by the War Department to coerce them. 

On the morning of the 15th the whole Cabinet met at the 
War Office to compel the departure of the recalcitrant troops. 
Marshal Manuel Deodoro da Fonseca appeared on the scene, 
and was loudly cheered by the troops, who cried, " Down with 
the Ministry." Fonseca's movements were prompt and effect- 
ive. He entered the room in which the Cabinet were sitting, 
and simply stated that he deposed them in the name of the 
army. While the Ministers were detained at the War Office 
for a few hours, the Republic w r as proclaimed in the streets. 
The Emperor arrived at the City Palace in the course of the 
afternoon, and spent an hour or two in endeavouring to form 
a new and more popular Ministry. These attempts were super- 
fluous. At half-past five Fonseca issued a proclamation in the 
name of the army, the navy, and the people, announcing the 
abolition of the Monarchical Constitution and the establishment 



160 EMINENT PERSONS 

of a Provisional Government. The next morning the Emperor 
was a prisoner in his palace ; and on the 17th he was, with all 
his family, on board the packet Alagoas, which the Provisional 
Government had chartered to carry him to Lisbon. The 
revolution was an accomplished fact, and, as none of the Im- 
perial party made any resistance, was an absolutely bloodless 
success. 

At Lisbon a trial of a domestic and of a severer character 
was in store for the unfortunate exile. He had not resided 
there more than a month when the Empress died. In his 
distress Dom Pedro left Lisbon and removed to Cannes, where, 
with the exception of a recent visit to Paris, he has since lived 
in retirement. It is probable that the unpopularity of the 
Princess Imperial contributed to his downfall ; and this cir- 
cumstance may have furnished one reason, among others, for 
his abstention from the intrigues which some of his friends 
carried on with a view to his restoration. Both his friends and 
his enemies will admit that in exile and old age he bore him- 
self with dignity and fortitude. 

The ex-Emperor married, 4th September 1843, Donna 
Theresa Christina Maria, daughter of the late Francis I., King 
of the Two Sicilies. The Empress, who was a woman of great 
personal charm, only survived her husband's deposition six 
weeks, dying on 28th December 1889. By her Dom Pedro 
had four children, two sons and two daughters, but both sons 
died in infancy. The elder daughter, Isabel, who now becomes 
the representative of the claims of the House of Braganza to the 
throne of Brazil, was born in 1846, and married in 1864 Prince 
Louis of Orleans, Comte d'Eu. The Emperor's second daughter, 
Leopoldina, born in 1847, was married in 1864 to Prince 
Augustus of Sachsen-Coburg-Gotha, but she died on 7th 
February 1871. 

Until November 1889 the late Emperor and his consort 
were believed to be universally beloved in Brazil for their 
intellectual and moral endowments and their affectionate interest 
in the welfare of their subjects. The Emperor was of a most 
active disposition, an excellent horseman, and assiduous in 
athletic exercises. When in Rio de Janeiro he was constantly 
to be seen in public ; and twice in each week he received his 
subjects as well as foreign travellers, invariably captivating both 
by his courteous manners. He wrote and spoke the English, 



THE EX-EMPEROR OF BRAZIL 161 

French, German, Spanish, and Italian languages with fluency 
and elegance. He was a liberal patron of letters, the arts and 
sciences, and of every branch of industry and commerce ; and 
it was with the view of conferring no empty honour upon him 
that he was elected a member of the Geographical Society of 
Paris in 1868, and corresponding member of the French 
Academy of Sciences in 1875. Dom Pedro was an ardent 
student of botany, a passion which is inherited by his daughter. 



vol. v 



THE DUKE OF DEVONSHIRE 

1808-1891 

Obituary Notice, Tuesday, December 22, 1891 

Although the Duke of Devonshire wielded great influence as 
the head of one of the leading Whig houses, his name is written 
yet more largely on the industrial progress of the country and 
upon the records of our learned Universities. Sir William 
Cavendish, seventh Duke of Devonshire, Marquis of Hartington, 
Earl of Devonshire, Earl of Burlington, Baron Cavendish of 
Hardwicke, and Baron Cavendish of Keighley, was born on 
27th April 1808, being the great-grandson of the fourth 
Duke, and the grandson of Lord George Augustus Henry 
Cavendish, who was created in 1831 Earl of Burlington. His 
father was Mr. William Cavendish, M.P. ; and his mother, 
Louisa, daughter of Cornelius, first Lord Lismore. In the year 
1858 the Earldom of Burlington (to which the late Duke had 
succeeded in 1834) and the Dukedom of Devonshire were united 
in his own person. 

The Cavendishes were a distinguished family many centuries 
ago. Sir John Cavendish was Chief Justice of the Court of 
King's Bench in 1366, and in the fourth year of Richard II. 
his lordship was elected Chancellor of the University of 
Cambridge, an honour which his descendant now deceased had 
conferred upon him five centuries later. Sir John Cavendish 
was commissioned with Robert de Hales, Treasurer of England, 
to suppress the insurrection raised in the city of York. In the 
same year the mob, having risen to the number of 50,000, made 
serious raids upon the lawyers in the southern counties ; and, 
being especially incensed against the Chief Justice Cavendish, 



THE DUKE OF DEVONSHIRE 163 

they seized upon him and dragged him, with Sir John of 
Cambridge, Prior of Bury, into the market-place of that town, 
and there caused both to be beheaded. The second son of this 
Sir John Cavendish was the person who actually killed the 
notorious Wat Tyler, and for this service he was knighted in 
Smithfield, and received a grant of ,£40 per annum from the 
King. Some time later one George Cavendish was the faithful 
attendant of Cardinal Wolsey through all his vicissitudes ; and 
King Henry was so struck by his devotion that he retained him 
in his own service. 

But the chief founder of the fortunes of the family was 
William Cavendish, who, in 1530, was appointed one of the 
commissioners for visiting and taking the surrenders of divers 
religious houses. In the above-mentioned year the Prior and 
Convent of Sheen surrendered their monastery to him. He 
subsequently received grants from the Crown, was knighted, 
and appointed Treasurer of the Chamber to the King ; an office 
which he also filled in the reigns of Edward VI. and Queen 
Mary, when he was sworn of the Privy Council. He married 
three times, his third wife bringing him the large and valuable 
Hardwicke estates. One of his grandsons became that Duke of 
Newcastle prominent in the Civil Wars, but the title and 
honours died out. Sir William Cavendish received considerable 
grants of forfeited church lands from Edward VI., and he it was 
who commenced the erection of Chatsworth. 

His son William, who owned three magnificent seats in one 
county — Chatsworth, Hardwicke, and Oldcotes — was created 
Baron Cavendish of Hardwicke in 1605, and Earl of Devonshire 
in 1618. His descendant, the fourth Earl, was the distinguished 
statesman and patriot who became the first Duke of Devonshire. 
Returned to Parliament for the county of Derby in 1661, he 
soon became a formidable opponent of the policy of the Court. 
In 1679, however, he was made a Privy Councillor by Charles 
II., but withdrew from the Board with his friend Lord Russell 
when he found that Romanist counsels prevailed. He made a 
bold Protestant stand, and appeared in defence of Lord William 
Russell at his trial, "at a time when it was scarcely more 
criminal to be an accomplice than a witness." He further 
showed his attachment to his friend by offering to exchange 
clothes with him, so that the condemned nobleman might 
escape. 



164 EMINENT PERSONS 

He succeeded to the Earldom in 1684, and being a strenuous 
opponent of the Government of James II., he was one of the 
prime movers in the Revolution. " He was one of the seven 
who signed the original paper inviting the Prince of Orange 
from Holland, and was the first nobleman who appeared in arms 
to receive him at his landing." In 1694 he was created 
Marquis of Hartington and Duke of Devonshire, and on the 
same day the head of the house of Russell was created Duke of 
Bedford. As Macaulay observes, " The two great houses of 
Russell and Cavendish, which had long been closely connected 
by friendship and by marriage, by common opinions, common 
sufferings, and common triumphs, received on the same day the 
highest honour which it is in the power of the Crown to confer." 
The Duke was appointed by Queen Anne one of the commis- 
sioners for concluding the Union with Scotland, and this was the 
last public service associated with his name. 

Another distinguished member of the family was Henry 
Cavendish, the eminent chemist and philosopher. On the 
female side the line has been celebrated for its beauty, as well 
as for its political zeal ; and, though by birth a Spencer, it is as 
Duchess of Devonshire that the famous Georgiana, the fair 
enthusiast of Fox's time, who was credited with irresistible 
fascinations as a canvasser in the Whig interest, is remembered 
in history.' Coming down to the immediate predecessor of the 
deceased, the sixth Duke, he will be remembered chiefly for his 
great social influence. In 1826 he was sent on a special 
embassy to Russia, as Ambassador Extraordinary at the corona- 
tion of the Emperor Nicholas. His Grace's retinue was of a 
very superb character, and his mission cost him, it was said, 
upwards of £50,000 beyond the allowance made by the Govern- 
ment. The Czar conferred on him the Russian Orders of St. 
Andrew and St. Alexander Newski, and the most friendly 
relations were established between Monarch and Ambassador. 
When the Czar Nicholas visited England, he was entertained by 
the Duke with princely hospitality. On the death of the latter 
in 1858, he was succeeded, as we have stated, by his kinsman, 
the second Earl of Burlington. 

The late Duke was educated at Trinity College, Cambridge, 
where he evinced great mathematical talent. Like many of his 
ancestors, his mind had a decided scientific bias, and he was 
also deeply interested in architectural and in engineering pro- 



THE DUKE OF DEVONSHIRE 165 

jects. He graduated M.A as second wrangler and first Smith's 
prizeman in 1829, being also eighth in the first-class of the 
Classical Tripos, and the same year he was returned as one of 
the members for the University of Cambridge. His oratorical 
qualifications were not of a high order, and he played the part 
of an almost " silent member." " Hansard " records only one 
speech of his as member for Cambridge University, but that was 
on a very important subject. At the time of Mr. Cavendish's 
return for the University, the Reform question had already 
begun to assume formidable proportions, and was even then a 
"burning" one. 

When the debates of 1831 and 1832 came on, it was of 
course expected that the voice of the representatives of Cambridge 
University would be heard on this all-engrossing topic. Mr. 
Cavendish's speech was brief, but his words were wise and 
weighty. Although he differed in opinion from a very con- 
siderable portion of his constituents, he gave an unqualified 
support to the whole of the Government measure. No one, he 
urged, was more sensible than he was that in many respects this 
country was fortunate beyond the ordinary lot of nations ; but 
he was quite at a loss to see how that could depend on the 
existing borough system. But there was another consideration 
of paramount importance. Without the confidence of the 
country it was certain that no Government could go on. There 
could be no stability unless the great majority of the people 
supported the Government. At present that House was not the 
genuine representative of the people, and so long as that state of 
things continued the dissatisfaction of the public would continue 
to increase. That dissatisfaction might be smothered for a 
moment, but whenever any circumstance occurred to call it 
forth, it would burst out with redoubled violence. As for those 
who said that the Reform measure was only a stepping-stone to 
further concession, he could not see any weight in their argu- 
ment — the tendency of which was, in fact, to throw obstacles in 
the way of all improvement. He was surprised at the clamour 
of revolution which had been raised against the Bill. It was 
his decided conviction that if revolution was to be apprehended 
in the country, it was not from that Bill, but from the con- 
tinuance of a system which was completely at variance with the 
general interests. Nor would the measure promote the downfall 
of the aristocracy. It was true that it would deprive the aris- 



166 EMINENT PERSONS 

tocracy of a portion of their immediate power ; but it would 
induce them' to rely not on their boroughs, but on that which 
always ought to be the sources of their legitimate influence — 
viz. their own talents, and their means of conferring happiness 
on the people. 

This was a courageous speech on the part of the young mem- 
ber for the University, and it cost him dear. At the ensuing 
election he was rejected ; but, as Lord Cavendish, he was 
afterwards returned for Malton. He sat for only a very brief 
period for this constituency, however, for in 1832 he was 
returned for North Derbyshire, and continued to represent 
this division until he succeeded to the title of Earl of Burlington 
in May 1834. 

From that time onward we hear little of him in connection 
with politics, but he was very active in regard to the scientific 
and industrial concerns of the country. Perhaps the most 
notable enterprise with which the name of the Duke will 
always remain associated is that connected with the rise and 
progress of the town of Barrow-in-Furness, on the north-east 
coast of Lancashire. There is no more remarkable story in the 
industrial annals of England than this. The district was 
always famous for its veins of pure hematite iron ore, but so 
late as the beginning of the present century the annual export 
was only about 1000 tons, while the population so recently as 
1847 only numbered 325. The railway was the first great aid 
to development, and in 1857, by the carrying of the line over 
Morecambe Sands, through communication was established 
between Barrow and Carnforth. In five years from this date 
the consignments of iron ore by ship and rail had risen to 
250,000 tons per annum, and in five years more the amount 
had increased to 450,000 tons. Two companies of iron and 
steel works were established in 1859 and 1864, and in 1866 they 
were united under the name of the Barrow Hematite Steel 
Company (Limited). In September 1867 there were opened 
the Devonshire and Buccleuch Docks, constructed at a compara- 
tively small cost, by the enclosure of the channel between the 
mainland and a small island, on which shipbuilding works have 
since been erected. The docks comprise an area of more than 
60 acres, and are entered from Walney Channel by a gateway 
60 feet wide. They give a uniform depth of 24 feet, the 
stone quays being a mile and a half long, and the wharfs sup- 



THE DUKE OF DEVONSHIRE 167 

plied with hydraulic cranes, one of which is capable of lifting 
100 tons. 

At the banquet given on 19th September 1867 the Duke 
of Devonshire presided, the Duke of Buccleuch (to whom 
also the town has been largely indebted) occupying the vice- 
chair. The Duke of Devonshire said he remembered the time 
when the population of Barrow was under 100, but by 1867 it 
had grown into a town of 20,000 inhabitants, requiring a 
municipal charter of its own. The source of its prosperity 
was the numerous beds of iron ore in the district, and the iron- 
works which had sprung up around the town. The opening 
of the Barrow Docks could not be considered uninteresting 
from a national point of view, for all the trade that Barrow 
might gain would be an addition to the trade of the country. 
Mr. Gladstone, who was an invited guest at the banquet, pro- 
posed " The Town and Trade of Barrow " and made compli- 
mentary references to the Duke and to those who were interested 
and associated in the progress of the town. 

Barrow was incorporated, and Mr. James Ramsden, managing 
director of the Furness Railway Company and first Mayor of the 
borough, received the honour of knighthood in 1872 as an 
acknowledgment of the value of his work. A massive bronze 
statue to Sir James, the result of voluntary contributions, was 
erected in the centre of the town to mark the appreciation of 
his services by the community. An extension of dock accom- 
modation has recently been provided in a series of basins called 
the Ramsden Dock, and having a water area of 200 acres. 
Passenger steamers run daily to Belfast, and there is also a 
regular service to Glasgow and the Isle of Man. By rail there 
is connection with Whitehaven, and with the London and 
North - Western and Midland systems, with branches to the 
Lake district. In 1881 the population of Barrow was 47,000, 
and in the present year it is nearly 52,000. The town has 
many handsome public buildings, while the beautiful ruins of 
Furness Abbey, founded by Stephen in 1127, lie within the 
borough, and about two miles from the centre of the town. 
The unexampled progress of Barrow added greatly to the wealth 
of the late Duke. 

In the south of England also his Grace effected a work of 
considerable value in the development of the fashionable 
watering-place of Eastbourne. Its progress owes much to his 



168 EMINENT PERSONS 

activity and capital. This favourite resort is situate about 
three miles to the east of Beachy Head, the loftiest headland 
on the British Channel. It once consisted of three small 
straggling villages ; but these distinctions are now obliterated, 
and numerous handsome terraces and detached houses have 
more or less united the three old hamlets into one town. A 
pier was erected in 1868, and the population, which is con- 
stantly increasing, was 35,000 at the recent census. Compton 
Place, Eastbourne, was a favourite residence of the Duke. 
Buxton, in Derbyshire, also owes much of its recent development 
to the fostering care of the Duke. 

When that important body the Iron and Steel Institute 
was inaugurated the Duke of Devonshire was chosen as its first 
president ; and in 1872 a portrait of his Grace, painted by Mr. 
H. T. Wells, B.A., was presented to the Institute. Mr. Lowthian 
Bell, speaking on behalf of the subscribers, dwelt on the im- 
portance of having the Duke's name associated with the Institute 
— not to the iron trade of one district of the Empire only, but 
to every branch of it in every portion of the kingdom : — 

" If they had sought the country through, it would have 
been impossible to have found a family within which could be 
ranked a more illustrious name than that of Cavendish, for, so 
long as science was venerated in this country and in the world 
generally, the great name of Cavendish, the chemist, could not 
and would not be forgotten. But that was not the only reason 
which guided the founders — if he might so term them — of that 
Institute in making the selection they did, when they asked his 
Grace the Duke of Devonshire to undertake the office and duties 
of their first president. His Grace himself, as was well known, 
ventured of his own free will into an arena where neither 
ancestors nor lineage could procure any advantage, and then, 
by the exercise of his own intelligence and industry, he ob- 
tained the highest meed of approbation and honour which it 
was in the power of their Universities to bestow. His colleagues 
and himself conceived that there was no man in the kingdom, 
as regarded the scientific view of the question, more fitted to 
undertake the duty than the Duke of Devonshire. There were 
many men in the position held by his Grace who preferred 
learned ease to undertaking the more active and onerous respon- 
sibilities of life. His Grace, however, had acted differently. 
He had not shrunk from undertaking the duties and responsi- 



THE DUKE OF DEVONSHIRE 169 

bilities connected with the initiation and development of certain 
great branches of industry in this country, and in promoting 
industry. He was sure he was correctly interpreting the 
sentiments of his Grace when he (Mr. Bell) said that the Duke 
felt he was adding lustre to his own brilliant name by so 
doing." 

The Duke, in acknowledging the marked compliment paid 
him, observed that the foundation of the Institute would always 
be remembered as an important era in the history of the iron 
trade. His colleagues had co-operated with each other in an 
enlightened and liberal spirit, and had been influenced by one 
general desire to add to the common stock of knowledge ap- 
plicable to the improvement of a great branch of national 
industry. So long as the same spirit continued to animate 
those who conducted the proceedings of the Institute, he felt 
that the organisation would be a powerful instrument for the 
advancement and progress of the iron and steel trades of Great 
Britain. 

Another institution in which his Grace always took a deep 
and lively interest was Owens College, Manchester (Victoria 
University). To this and to the Yorkshire College of Science 
and other institutions he was a munificent contributor. As 
president of Owens College, the Duke delivered the inaugural 
address on the opening of the new college buildings, 7th October 
1873. His Grace pointed out that the range of studies at the 
old English Universities had been greatly extended, and it was 
now very generally recognised to be the proper function and 
duty of a University to teach not only some few selected sub- 
jects, but every great and important branch of human know- 
ledge on which the human faculties could be employed. To 
provide instruction coextensive with this vast field was the 
duty committed to the governing body of Owens College. He 
rejoiced that the objects of the College, as defined by its founder, 
had been steadily kept in view. 

" It might possibly have been anticipated that in a place 
which owes so much to, and has become so celebrated as the 
seat of, the manufacturing industry, and where pursuits of that 
kind are so deservedly held in honour — it might have been 
anticipated that the older class of studies, those connected with 
literature, might have been pushed aside and comparatively disre- 
garded. There might have been a danger that the application 



170 EMINENT PERSONS 

of science would have been regarded as of more importance 
than the imparting of a sound preliminary scientific instruction. 
But, on the contrary, we find that the importance of combining 
literary and scientific studies has been from the first recognised 
both in principle and in practice. The experimental sciences 
have been taught in their full depth and breadth, not in a 
fragmentary or superficial manner, with any supposed reference 
to their immediate application." 

The president also referred to the incorporation of the 
Manchester Royal School of Medicine, the acquisition of the 
Museum of Natural History and of Geology, and other matters. 

"With regard to the difficult question of University Reform, 
in which the Duke of Devonshire always manifested profound 
interest, and especially as it concerned the advancement of 
science, we may remind our readers that his Grace acted as 
Chairman of the Royal Commission on Scientific Instruction 
and the Advancement of Science. This Commission published 
a full and valuable report on the progress of scientific educa- 
tion and research in the two old Universities ; and the report 
embodied many important proposals and recommendations for 
the advancement of scientific teaching. The report had due 
effect, and both Oxford and Cambridge have since made pre- 
paration for the development of scientific culture. The Duke 
himself set a noble example to the Universities by the gift of 
the Cavendish Laboratory at Cambridge, in which the study of 
the physical sciences can be carried to the highest point. 

The Duke's appearances as a speaker in the House of Lords 
were very infrequent ; but he was a consistent supporter by his 
vote of all the great measures brought forward by the Liberal 
party. With the exception of occasional observations on 
University measures and cognate subjects, he only departed 
from Carlyle's golden rule of silence on one occasion, and that 
was when he spoke in favour of Mr. Gladstone's Irish Church 
Bill in the session of 1869. His Grace cordially and strongly 
supported that measure. He referred in his speech, made on 
the second reading, to the few occasions on which he had 
addressed the House, and to the importance of the crisis which 
had made him interpose then. He considered the word 
anomaly a very mild and inadequate one to describe the con- 
dition of the Established Church in Ireland. He should rather 
characterise it as a scandal to the Parliament and Government 



THE DUKE OF DEVONSHIRE 171 

of the country in having so long retained such an institution, 
in defiance of the religious feelings of the great majority of the 
Irish people. The Established Church in Ireland could in no 
sense of the word be called the National Church. After some 
remarks on the Church property his Grace said : — 

" I regard this measure as indispensable for laying a founda- 
tion for the removal of that estrangement and alienation with 
which Ireland has so long regarded England. If this Bill 
should be rejected, what reason would there be, supposing its 
rejection could be permanent, for expecting that Ireland in the 
future would be anything different from what it has been in 
the past ; and in such case could we contemplate such a 
prospect without utter despair 1 I believe this is the first step 
for the removal of one of the most frightful sources of dis- 
content in that country ; and as such I support it as one of the 
most just and beneficent measures ever presented to my con- 
sideration since I have had a seat in your lordships' House." 

The Duke separated himself from Mr. Gladstone on his Irish 
Home Rule policy, to which he was strongly opposed. Although 
of recent years his Grace took little public part in politics, he 
accepted the position of chairman of the Irish Loyal and 
Patriotic Union. He was qualified for that position as a great 
Irish landlord, and one whose estates, in spite of his necessary 
absenteeism, were, by universal consent, admirably managed. 
The same may be said of his English estates in Derbyshire, 
Lancashire, and elsewhere. In spite of multifarious interests 
and occupations he found time to be a practical agriculturist. 
He was one of the original founders of the Royal Agricultural 
Society, and was president in 1869. For fifty years he has 
been a great breeder of shorthorns, and the Holker herd has a 
world-wide reputation. 

The Duke was married in 1829 to Lady Blanche Georgiana 
Howard, daughter of the sixth Earl of Carlisle, and by her 
(who died in 1840) he had issue three sons and one daughter. 
He is succeeded in the title and estates by his eldest son, the 
Marquis of Hartington, the distinguished Liberal statesman. 
The Marquis now leaves the Lower House, in which he has 
long been a familiar figure. His lordship is unmarried. The 
Duke's second son was Lord Frederick Cavendish, M.P., whose 
brutal murder in the Phoenix Park, Dublin, in May 1882, 
excited a thrill of horror throughout the country, and at the 



172 EMINENT PERSONS 

same time a feeling of profound and universal sympathy with 
his bereaved relatives. The third son, Lord Edward Cavendish, 
died last spring, and his son, Mr. Victor Cavendish, was elected 
to fill his father's seat. His Grace's only daughter, Lady 
Louisa, is married to Admiral the Hon. F. Egerton, M.P., son 
of the second Earl of Ellesmere. 

The knighthood of the Garter was conferred upon the late 
Duke, who was also a Privy Councillor, an LL.D. of Cambridge, 
a Fellow of the Royal Society, etc. He was Chancellor of the 
University of London from 1836 to 1856, and Lord-Lieutenant 
of Lancashire 1855-58, when he was appointed Lord-Lieutenant 
of Derbyshire. He was High Steward of the boroughs of Derby 
and Cambridge, and a magistrate for Lancashire and Sussex. 
On the death of the Prince Consort he was elected Chancellor 
of the University of Cambridge. In private life his Grace was 
widely esteemed, though, being of a retiring disposition, he 
rarely, and of late years almost never, appeared in society in 
London. He was a liberal patron of the arts, and a supporter 
of every good measure for the amelioration of the people and 
the advancement of the claims of education and scientific 
research. 



SIR WILLIAM WHITE 

1824-1891 

Obituary Notice, Tuesday, December 29, 1891 

The various changes in. the Diplomatic service caused by the 
unexpected death of Lord Lytton have not yet been carried out 
when another Embassy becomes vacant by the equally unex- 
pected death of Sir William Arthur White, her Majesty's 
Ambassador in Constantinople, at the age of sixty-seven. Sir 
William was a man of robust constitution and generally enjoyed 
excellent health, but about two years ago some of his friends 
and subordinates began to perceive symptoms of a change. He 
no longer showed the restless energy and insatiable appetite for 
work which had characterised him throughout his long and dis- 
tinguished career in the public service, and he began to speak of 
seeking repose in retirement ; but a visit to the German baths 
in the summer of last year restored him to health and energy, 
and after his return to Constantinople he expressed a hope that 
he might be able to remain at his post until the age of seventy, 
when ambassadors are expected to retire and make room for 
their younger colleagues. Until a few days ago there was no 
reason to apprehend that this hope might not be realised, and 
he left Constantinople in good spirits with the intention of 
spending Christmas with some members of his family in Berlin, 
but during the journey he caught a cold, and yesterday he suc- 
cumbed to what the doctors explain as failure of the heart's 
action from an attack of influenza. 

Sir William White is one of the few distinguished English 
diplomatists who may be called self-made men, and official 
success came to him late in life. His father is said to have 



174 EMINENT PERSONS 

served in the Consular and Colonial service without attaining to 
any high official rank, and he was certainly not in a position to 
accelerate by powerful protection his son's advancement. It is 
generally supposed that the latter owed something to the 
patronage and assistance of a distinguished Polish family, of 
whom he used to speak occasionally with gratitude and affection, 
and he certainly possessed all through life strongly -marked 
Polish sympathies ; but it may be remarked, as characteristic of 
his mind and disposition, that these sympathies for Polish 
nationality, though naturally strengthened by intimate personal 
relations with many of the leading Polish families, never 
obscured or biassed his judgment with regard to political events. 
Though he spoke Polish like a native, and had a Polish accent 
when speaking Russian, with which he was less familiar, he was 
entirely free from the semi-mystical political illusions in which 
so many of his friends and acquaintances indulged, and during 
his service in Warsaw he never compromised himself officially 
by his intimate relations with those who were regarded with 
not unfounded suspicion by the Russian Government. 

Of his early years comparatively little is known, for he had 
none of that senile garrulity which delights in recalling the 
scenes and incidents of childhood and youth ; and though 
endowed with a wonderful memory, and always ready to open 
to those who showed an intelligent curiosity in such matters 
the rich storehouse of his reminiscences, he preferred dwelling 
on incidents which had a historical rather than a merely 
personal interest. He was educated at King William's College 
in the Isle of Man, and afterwards spent some time at Cam- 
bridge, but in his schoolboy and student days he does not seem 
to have specially distinguished himself, and in his after life he 
never displayed any leanings towards academic culture or 
scholarship of any kind, unless we include under that term the 
study of modern languages, in the acquiring of which he had a 
remarkable natural facility. All his keenest interests lay in the 
present, and even his wide and accurate historical knowledge 
was all intimately connected with questions at present in course 
of solution. This tendency increased with advancing age. 
At some period of his life he must have read largely the 
ordinary works on mediaeval and modern history, but in recent 
years he sought for information in newspapers and periodicals 
rather than in bulky volumes, and, after separating carefully 



SIR WILLIAM WHITE 175 

the seed from the chaff, he stored up the former in such a 
methodical way that it could always be produced immediately 
when required. Probably no man living — certainly no living 
diplomatist — ever read so many newspapers so intelligently and 
with so much advantage to himself, and the information so 
acquired blended harmoniously with his official knowledge and 
his personal recollections. 

It was, perhaps, fortunate for him in the long run that he 
remained long in subordinate positions where there was com- 
paratively little routine work to be done, for he had thereby 
leisure to study thoroughly in detail all the more important 
political questions connected with Eastern Europe. In an 
accurate knowledge of these questions he was certainly unsur- 
passed and possessed few rivals, and his wide experience of 
men and modes of procedure enabled him sometimes to counter- 
act intrigues and secret action against which the ordinary 
diplomatist, however perspicacious and energetic, would have 
been powerless. Perhaps the best proof of his ability in this 
respect is the fact that he was not infrequently denounced by 
the intriguers as an intriguer, when they happened to find 
their secret plans checkmated. It is much to his honour that 
these accusations are unfounded, for he possessed many of the 
qualities required for successful intrigue, and was often under 
great temptation to use them, though no casual observer could 
have suspected the existence of such qualities from his exterior. 
His frank, open countenance, unrestrained manner, stentorian 
voice, and a certain quasi-bucolic unwieldiness in his move- 
ments did not in the least suggest the diplomatist of the 
Macchiavellian type ; and yet no man understood better the 
intricacies and wiles of Oriental diplomacy, or displayed more 
presence of mind and adroitness in dealing with them. 

His ability in dealing with Orientals must, it is true, be 
attributed in part to the fact that his whole official life was 
spent in Eastern Europe. From 1857 till 1864 he lived in 
Warsaw — first as clerk to the Consulate-General, then as Vice- 
Consul, and lastly as Acting Consul-General. His next post 
was that of Consul at Dantsic, where he remained till 1875, 
when he was appointed Agent and Consul-General in Servia, 
which was then only a vassal State, but which afforded him an 
opportunity of displaying his diplomatic talents and utilising 
his very exceptional knowledge of Eastern politics. At that 



176 EMINENT PERSONS 

time the Eastern Question was rapidly approaching one of its 
periodically acute stages. An insurrectionary movement, 
secretly favoured by Austria, had broken out in Herzegovina, 
and tbe excitement rapidly spread to the neighbouring Mon- 
tenegrin and Servian Principalities, where it was actively 
fomented by Russia. In 1876 the Servians, under the com- 
mand of the Russian General Tchernayef, invaded the Turkish 
vilayet of Nish with the intention of marching on Constanti- 
nople ; but they were soon repulsed, and were only saved from 
a Turkish occupation of their own country by the energetic 
intervention of the Cabinet of St. Petersburg. 

This brief campaign, together with " the Bulgarian atrocities," 
led to the Conference of Constantinople, which held its sittings 
in December 1876 and January 1877. Lord Salisbury went 
in person to Constantinople to take part in the proceedings, and 
took with him the British Agent and Consul-General in Servia 
as a specialist well acquainted with all aspects of the questions 
to be discussed. From this time dates Sir William (then Mr.) 
White's rapid promotion. His extraordinary knowledge of 
principles and details made a deep impression on Lord Salisbury, 
and, when it was considered necessary to have an exceptionally 
well-qualified representative in the new kingdom of Roumania, 
he was appointed Envoy Extraordinary and Minister Pleni- 
potentiary at Bucharest. In April 1885 he was appointed to 
fulfil temporarily the duties of Ambassador in Constantinople 
during the absence of the regular Ambassador, and here he had 
an opportunity of displaying diplomatic talents of a still higher 
order. When Eastern Roumelia was annexed, by a revolutionary 
movement, to the Principality of Bulgaria, there was at first a 
general consensus among the Powers that this flagrant infraction 
of the Treaty of Berlin could not be tolerated, and Russia took 
the lead in insisting on the re-establishment of the status quo 
ante. 

Sir William White was the first to perceive that such a 
policy was not in accordance with the interests of the majority 
of the Great Powers, and especially with the interests of Eng- 
land, and he succeeded not only in persuading his own Govern- 
ment and that of Austria to adopt a contrary line of action, 
but also in ultimately bringing about the official recognition of 
the fait accompli. He thus contributed powerfully to the con- 
solidation of the Bulgarian Principality, and the Bulgarians are 



SIR WILLIAM WHITE 177 

evidently well aware of the fact, for when he passed through 
the country last year, on his way to a German watering-place, 
he had considerable difficulty in preventing a public demonstra- 
tion being made in his honour, and it required all the personal 
influence of Mr. O'Conor, our representative in Sofia, to restrain 
the Bulgarian Government from carrying out its intention of 
showing at an inconvenient moment its gratitude towards the 
friend of Bulgarian nationality. 

In 1886 Sir William was appointed Special Ambassador 
Extraordinary and Plenipotentiary at Constantinople, and since 
that time he has continued to occupy that post. As the 
Eastern Question has remained in a comparatively dormant 
state during that period, he has not had much scope for extra- 
ordinary activity, but he has been ever vigilant and has exer- 
cised no inconsiderable influence on current affairs, so that when 
the history of the Eastern Question during the last fifteen years 
comes to be written the name of Sir William White will occupy 
in it during the whole of the period a distinguished and honour- 
able place. 



VOL. V 



SIR GEORGE AIRY 

1801-1892 

Obituary Notice, Tuesday, January 5, 1892 

Sir George Airy's name is one that has never come promi- 
nently before the general public, though for sixty-five years it 
has been a familiar and honoured name in the great world of 
science. So far as we know, the only work by him which has 
a professedly popular stamp is a little book entitled Popular 
Astronomy, which has passed through numerous editions, but 
which is really intended " to explain to intelligent persons the 
principles on which the instruments of an observatory are con- 
structed." The fact is, the late Astronomer-Royal's mind was 
rigidly scientific, we might almost say rigidly mathematical. Any 
scientific problem or scientific theory, or, indeed, any application 
of science which could not be made to square \rith his severely 
mathematical tests, he was apt to regard with distrust. It may 
be remembered that in the early stages of construction of the 
Forth Bridge he wrote at considerable length to prove that 
no bridge built upon the principles which were being applied 
could possibly stand. But in the peculiar position which Sir 
George Airy had to fulfil as Astronomer-Royal, these little 
failings probably leaned to virtue's side. The great business of 
his life was to deal practically with mathematical astronomy, to 
reconstruct a great observatory, and to carry out its chief object 
— astronomical observations on mathematical lines. This, his 
great life-work, he accomplished with a masterly completeness 
that left nothing to be desired. 

Sir George Airy was born at Alnwick, Northumberland, on 
27th July 1801 ; he was educated at private schools, at Here- 



SIR GEORGE AIRY 179 

ford and Colchester, and at Manchester Grammar School, from 
which he passed in 1819 to Trinity College, Cambridge, as 
sizar. He was elected scholar in 1822, graduated as Senior 
Wrangler in 1823, and was elected a Fellow of his college in 
1824. His love for mathematics was developed at a very early 
age, and he began at once to apply them to astronomy and to 
certain branches of physics. Thus in 1824-25 he published 
papers on "The Lunar and Planetary Theories," on "The 
Figure of the Earth," on " The Undulatory Theory of Optics," 
on " The Forms of the Teeth of Wheels," and on " Escapements." 
In 1826 he was elected Lucasian Professor of Mathematics at 
Cambridge. He continued to devote himself to experimental 
philosophy and applied mathematics, at the same time showing 
a genuine interest in a wide range of subjects in the exact and 
physical sciences. Undulatory optics especially occupied much 
of his attention. In 1828 he was elected Plumian Professor of 
Astronomy, to which was attached the direction of the Observatory, 
and in this position his peculiar genius as an observer and as a 
director of astronomical observations at once manifested itself. 
From this time onwards Sir George Airy's activity was ceaseless, 
and its results were of the highest moment to the particular 
branch of science with which his name was so intimately 
associated. He devised a perfect routine for taking the various 
classes of observations, which greatly contributed to their 
scientific and practical value. At the same time he continued 
to give diligent attention to the theoretical departments of his 
science, and in 1831 published a paper of great importance, 
" On the Inequality of Long Period in the Motions of the Earth 
and Venus." In 1832 he wrote for the British Association a 
report, which is still of value, on " The Recent Progress of 
Astronomy." 

Some three years later, on 1st January 1836, Professor Airy, 
as he was then, entered upon the great work of his life, being 
appointed Astronomer-Royal in succession to Mr. Pond. The 
fact that this appointment rests with the First Lord of the 
Admiralty is significant of the originally close connection of 
Greenwich with the art of navigation. It may be of interest to 
recall the fact that the Observatory was built in 1675, and that 
the first Astronomer-Royal was John Flamsteed, who reigned 
from 1675 to 1719. He was succeeded by Edmund Halley, 
whose successors were James Bradley, 1742 ; Nathaniel Bliss, 



180 EMINENT PERSONS 

1762 ; Nevil Maskelyne, 1765; John Pond, 1811; and 
George Biddell Airy, 1835. The new Astronomer-Royal set 
himself at once to renew the equipment and to reform the 
routine and the methods of the Observatory. The first of the 
new instruments was not, however, erected till 1847, and, like 
all the other instruments, it was made after his own designs. 
The end to be attained by this new instrument (an altazimuth) 
was to make observations out of the meridian as accurate as 
observations in the meridian, and its main object was the 
observation of the moon. This led to a great improvement in 
the tables of the moon, as it enabled the astronomers to double 
the number of observations of our satellite. Among the other 
new instruments which were erected under the superintendence, 
and after the designs of, Sir George Airy were a new meridian 
circle, a " reflex-zenith-tube," to replace the Troughton zenith- 
sector, a new equatorial, a double-image micrometer, and the 
orbit-sweeper for detecting comets approaching the perihelion 
passage. In fact, by 1859 there was not a single person or 
instrument in the Observatory that had been there in Mr. Pond's 
time. During Sir George's long tenure of office the observa- 
tions were made with absolute and uninterrupted regularity, 
and were carefully reduced and placed freely at the disposal of 
all who could make use of them. These observations, with the 
annual reports which he presented to the Board of Visitors, 
form a collection of astronomical data of great bulk and of the 
highest value, which in themselves will form a permanent 
monument to Sir George's genius as an observer and organiser. 

But he did not confine himself to the routine work of the 
Observatory. Another monumental undertaking was the re- 
duction of the Greenwich lunar and planetary observations 
since 1750. This arduous task was begun in 1833 and com- 
pleted in 1848. As Professor Winnecke (to whose memoir on 
Sir George Airy in the " Scientific Worthies " series in Nature 
we are indebted for much of the information in this article) 
says, our present tables of the motions of the moon and of the 
planets rest for the greater part on the bulky volumes which 
contain these reductions. Many other series of reductions were 
undertaken under Sir George Airy, all of them of the utmost 
value in exact astronomy. At the same time, it was his duty 
to organise other undertakings more or less directly connected 
with the work of which he had charge. Thus, in 1842 he 



SIR GEORGE AIRY 181 

visited Turin to observe the total solar eclipse ; in 1851 he 
visited Sweden for the same purpose ; and in 1860 he organised 
the eclipse expedition to Spain. On him also fell the long and 
arduous preparations for the equipment of the British expedi- 
tion for observing the transit of Venus in 1874 ; as long ago as 
1848 he was occupied with the subject. In 1847 he visited 
Russia to inspect the new central observatory in that country. 
Though Sir George was not as ready as some to recognise new 
departures in his science, he nevertheless showed a creditable 
liberality of spirit and practice in this respect. At a very early 
period of his career he introduced magnetical and meteorological 
observations at Greenwich, and at a later period he recognised 
the new astronomy so far as to organise heliographic and spectro- 
scopic services at the Observatory. But Sir George did much 
other useful work both inside and outside the Observatory. 
Thus we may mention his experiments on the deviation of the 
compass in iron-built ships ; his researches on the density of the 
earth by observations in the Harton Colliery ; his services in 
fixing the breadth of railways, and in introducing a new system 
for the sale of gas. He was chairman of the Commission 
appointed to consider the general question of standards, and of 
the Commission intrusted with the superintendence of the new 
standards of length and weight, after the great fire which 
destroyed the Houses of Parliament in 1834. He conducted 
the astronomical observations preparatory to the delimitation of 
the boundary-line between Canada and the United States, and 
aided in tracing the Oregon boundary. He retired from his 
office at Greenwich in 1881, after forty-five years of service. 

We have only referred to a few of the important contribu- 
tions which Sir George Airy made during his long career to the 
noble science with which his name is so intimately associated. 
He was not only a man of stupendous industry, great 
accomplishment, and highly-trained intellect, but, it must be 
evident from what has been said, of considerable originality of 
conception and invention. If he made no stupendous discovery 
in science, his contributions to the store of astronomical know- 
ledge, directly and indirectly, are of such bulk and high value 
that his name must live in the history of scientific progress 
in the nineteenth century. As Director of the Greenwich Ob- 
servatory his discipline was severe ; but evidently reform was 
necessary, and, in an institution where precision and regularity 



182 EMINENT PERSONS 

of routine are of the utmost importance, severity of discipline is 
an error on the safe side. Sir George was ever accessible to 
those desirous of making use of his great knowledge and skill. 
He was a man of essentially simple nature and habits, whose 
heart was in his work, and who did not value excessively the 
social advantages which his position gave him. We cannot but 
recall the fact that Sir George Airy diverged into theology in 
his Notes on the Earlier Hebrew Scriptures (1876), with no more 
satisfactory results than were achieved by Newton. He was 
also a man of antiquarian tastes, and occasionally wrote on his 
hobby in the Athenaeum and elsewhere. 

Sir George was President of the Royal Society from 1871 to 
1873 ; he was made a C.B. in 1871, and a K.C.B. in 1872. 
He was medallist of the French Institute, of the Royal Society 
(twice), of the Royal Astronomical Society (twice), and also of 
the Institution of Civil Engineers, for suggestions on the con- 
struction of bridges of very wide span. From Oxford, Cam- 
bridge, and Edinburgh he received honorary degrees ; while of 
many scientific societies at home and abroad he was an honorary 
member. On his retirement in 1881 he received a pension of 
£1100. 

Among the more important works by Sir George Airy may 
be mentioned Treatise on Errors of Observation (1861), Treatise on 
Sound (1869), Treatise on Magnetism (1870), besides contribu- 
tions to the Penny Cyclopaedia and the Encyclopaedia Metropolitana, 
on such subjects as " Gravitation," " Trigonometry," " Figure of 
the Earth," and " Tides and Waves." 



TEWFIK PASHA, KHEDIVE OF EGYPT 

1852-1892 

Obituary Notice, Friday, January 8, 1892 

Mohammed Tewfik, son. of Ismail, ex-Khedive, grandson of 
Ibrahim, the victor of Konieh, and great-grandson of Mehemet 
Ali, had neither the great virtues nor vices of his ancestors. If 
he was incapable of consolidating Egypt into a semi-civilised 
State within twenty years of anarchy, of drilling raw recruits 
into seasoned troops and threatening the very walls of Con- 
stantinople, of stimulating by his vigorous will the productiveness 
of his country, he was equally incapable of those deeds of 
barbarity which disgraced his ancestors, and which are only 
partially to be excused by their ignorance and the necessities of 
the times in which they lived. 

Mohammed Tewfik was born on 15th November 1852, the 
son of a fellah woman of mean rank. Neither mother nor son 
appears to have enjoyed much affection from Ismail, who 
succeeded to the Viceroyalty ten years later. His younger sons 
he educated at Paris, Oxford, and Woolwich ; but Tewfik was 
educated in Egypt, and had only once been in Europe, and for a 
very short time. It is probable that Tewfik profited rather than 
the reverse by this intentional neglect of his education. His 
brothers have shone more in society, and never hesitated to 
conceal their contempt for their less polished brother ; but, if he 
developed more slowly, he showed qualities more sterling than 
the rest of his family, — qualities which not inaptly fitted him 
for the rdle he was called on to perform. 

In the year 1866, Ismail, prompted mainly by dislike of the 
heir-presumptive — his uncle Halim Pasha — succeeded in altering 



184 EMINENT PERSONS 

the established order of succession. Under the original treaties 
the Viceroyalty was to descend to the eldest living male, 
descendant of Mehemet Ali ; under the new it was to descend, 
in European fashion, from father to son. It is believed that 
Ismail was under the impression that he would be allowed him- 
self to select the son that should succeed him, in which case it 
would not have been Tewfik ; but the Powers intervened, and 
Ismail found that he had only changed his heir from an uncle 
whom he hated to a son whom he despised. Still, having to 
recognise Tewfik as heir -apparent, he established him in a 
palace at Koubeh, near Cairo, and married him in 1873 to 
Emineh Hanem, daughter of El Hamy Pasha, another great- 
grandson of Mehemet Ali. From this date to 1878 Tewfik's life 
was uneventful ; he lived on his estate, took an interest in 
farming, and acquired the reputation of a juster landlord and of 
a fairer master than generally falls to the lot of an Egyptian 
fellah, while the carefully-preserved tombs of pious men which 
dotted his fields gave him a reputation for strict orthodoxy. 

In 1878, Ismail, having unceremoniously dismissed Nubar 
Pasha as chief of the Ministry, in which Sir C. Rivers Wilson 
and M. de Blignieres held portfolios, required a respectable 
figure-head as nominal President of the Council. It was not an 
unhappy inspiration that led him to name his son Tewfik, who, 
although only 26, and utterly ignorant of affairs, had acquired 
a reputation among Europeans and natives alike for the good 
taste with which he had abstained from the numerous intrigues 
which then infected Cairo. His enemies, chiefly of his own 
family, were good enough to explain this attitude as due to 
absence of intelligence, but it is fair to say that on accepting 
the position he showed more intelligence than his astute father 
by saying, "If I am young when I take office I shall not be 
much older when I leave it." During the few months that the 
Ministry lasted he did little more than confirm the general 
opinion that he was equally wanting in ambition and tendency 
to intrigue. Finding that much was done in his name that he 
could not approve, and a great deal more that he did not under- 
stand, he fulfilled his own prophecy and resigned. 

On the morning of 26th June 1879, while walking in his 
garden at Koubeh, a servant approached him hurriedly and 
saluted him as "Effendina," i.e. Khedive. It is stated on 
authority, which may be correctly termed the highest, that the 



TEWFIK PASHA, KHEDIVE OF EGYPT 185 

unfortunate messenger had his ears boxed by the Viceregal 
hands. Sherif Pasha followed immediately after and confirmed 
the news. Ismail had received a telegram from Constantinople 
instructing him that he was deposed, and Sherif handed Tewfik 
another from the same source, instructing him to proclaim him- 
self Khedive the same day. At three o'clock that afternoon 
every flatterer of Ismail's had deserted him, and while Tewfik 
was being proclaimed Khedive at the Citadel amid an enthusiastic 
crowd, including officers who had solemnly sworn forty-eight 
hours before to die for Ismail, the ex-Khedive was playing back- 
gammon with a solitary Englishman, apologising for being 
unable to offer him coffee because he had no servants. The 
relations between Ismail and his son were naturally not improved 
by the sudden change in their respective positions, yet at no 
time did either behave with greater dignity. Within a week 
Ismail had left the country, and Tewfik, left alone, began the 
task of governing Egypt. 

It must be confessed that his start was a very bad one, but 
even an abler man than he was might have found it difficult. 
This is not the place to enter into the question of the prudence 
or imprudence of the policy which deposed Ismail, but it ought 
to have been realised that it is dangerous to destroy one authority 
before you have decided on a substitute. There was neither 
authority, power, nor respect ; there was simply an inexperienced 
youth of good intentions, surrounded by interested adventurers, 
left to establish order with a dissatisfied people and a disaffected 
army. For four or five months there was administrative anarchy, 
from which the re-establishment of the Dual Control (10th 
November 1879) rescued the country. In the choice of the con- 
trollers the British and French Governments did their utmost to 
repair the evil they had done. M. de Blignieres was a talented 
Frenchman with a considerable knowledge of the country and no 
little tact. Sir Evelyn (then Major) Baring gave promise of 
what he has since shown — a power of governing the country. 
During 1880 and 1881 Tewfik was Khedive and the Dual 
Control governed. 

Major Baring had been succeeded by Mr. (now Sir) Auckland 
Colvin as English Controller, when the deplorable weakness of 
Biaz Pasha's Government fomented that disaffection in the 
army which Ismail had first created, and which the unfortunate 
policy of the Gladstone Government finally fanned into a 



186 EMINENT PERSONS 

rebellion. The attitude of Tewfik Pasha during those events has 
been subject to much severe and ignorant criticism. He was 
accused of alternately hectoring the rebels and cringing before 
them ; it is perfectly true, but it only serves to show that 
Tewfik carried his loyalty to England and France so far as to 
imitate their every action. Nor, indeed, had he any other 
alternative, unless he had shown that want of confidence in his 
allies which would have been regarded as a still greater crime. 

He was told to be obdurate, and he remained so until he 
found his head in chancery. He was then told to be con- 
ciliatory, and he distributed decorations. He was then, with 
fine humour, told to be dignified, and he was so until he was 
kicked, when he was exhorted to show a Christian spirit and 
forgive. When ultimatums came, supported with men-of-war, 
he was courageous. When the ultimatums were withdrawn and 
he was told that no men could be landed, he was less so. When 
soldiers did arrive he felt joyful until he learnt that their 
ammunition was at Cyprus, when he became sad. No man — 
outside of a British Cabinet — was ever placed in so humiliating 
or ridiculous a position, and few men would have acted better. 
Under compulsion of his own army on the one side, and of 
British men-of-war on the other, he endeavoured to maintain a 
neutrality benevolent to his own existence. There are English 
Ministers, under less dangerous circumstances, who have been 
known to do as much. 

On 8th July 1882 the attitude of Arabi decided the British 
Admiral to send an ultimatum threatening to bombard the forts 
unless they were handed over to him. Before doing so, he 
earnestly counselled the Khedive to leave the city and to seek a 
place of safety. Mr. Auckland Colvin, speaking as British 
Controller, and to some extent on behalf of Sir Edward Malet, 
whose health had given way, urged the same course, which was 
supported by all his advisers, European and native, as well as 
by personal friends. It was pointed out to him that there were 
6000 hostile troops in the forts, and that the population could 
not be trusted to refrain from outrage in the event of either 
victory or defeat ; that his own yacht was in the harbour; that 
either the P. and 0. mail steamer then in port or any of the 
men-of-war of neutral Powers would afford him protection. To 
all these counsels Tewfik had but one answer — " I am still 
Khedive, and I remain with my people in the hour of their 



TEWFIK PASHA, KHEDIVE OF EGYPT 187 

danger." Only at the last moment did be consent to put 
himself actually beyond the reach of the shells at his palace of 
Ramleh, three miles outside the town. Here even his life and 
that of the Vice-Reine, who loyally stood by him, were in the 
greatest danger ; the rebel soldiery surrounded the palace, and 
with difficulty he made his escape back through the flaming 
streets of Alexandria to his palace of Ras-el-Tin, when he 
reluctantly consented to a guard of British bluejackets. After 
the battle of Tel-el-Kebir he returned to Cairo, and commenced, 
under the guidance of Lord Dufferin, his rdle of a constitutional 
Monarch. He accepted cordially the reforms proposed to him, 
contrary as they must have been to all his own instincts, and 
loyally supported them with his influence. 

Tewfik had shown courage during recent events, but the 
cholera, which made its appearance in 1883, was destined to 
put it to a perhaps yet more severe test. He was at Alexandria 
in comparative safety when the deaths at Cairo amounted to 
2000 a day. Of his own initiative, in opposition to the advice 
of every one, he insisted on returning to the capital, accom- 
panied only by his wife, who declined to desert him. Here he 
made the tour of the hospitals, conversed with the patients, 
and showed less anxiety than the doctors who accompanied 
him. 

Early in 1884, on the arrival of Sir Evelyn Baring — this 
time as Diplomatic Agent and Consul- General — he was called 
upon to assent to the abandonment of the Soudan, the greater 
part of the territories to the government of which he had 
succeeded. There can be no doubt that it was with consider- 
able hesitation that he gave his consent, but, when it was once 
given, he again showed no hesitation in using all his influence 
to insure the successful carrying out of the policy. General 
Gordon, who, in his attachment to the ex-Khedive, had used 
harsh words of his successor, was the first to admit that he had 
been mistaken in his estimate of the man, for Tewfik was above 
showing any petty resentment,' and gave him every assistance in 
his power. 

In the year 1886 he was again placed in a difficult position 
by the mission of Sir Henry Drummond Wolff, whose language 
in the House of Commons referring to the events of 1882 had 
not unnaturally given him great offence ; but in the delicate 
negotiations between himself, Sir Henry, and Mukhtar Pasha, 



188 EMINENT PERSONS 

he preserved an attitude of equal friendliness to the representa- 
tives of her Majesty and of the Sultan. The abortive result of 
those negotiations was not unpleasing to him, for his respect for 
the Sultan, as the spiritual chief of his religion, was not incon- 
sistent with a decided distrust of his motives in matters 
temporal, and in Sir Evelyn Baring he had learned to have 
that absolute confidence which a strong mind imposes upon a 
weaker. 

It must not, however, be supposed that the late Khedive 
was as utterly wanting in strength of character as it is the 
fashion to represent him in the French Press. It is perhaps 
natural, but hardly logical, to assume that a man who declines 
to come under your influence must be of a very weak character ; 
and we may be perfectly certain that, had Tewfik consented to 
be the tool of any of the numerous French Consuls-General in 
Cairo, his character for firmness of purpose would have stood 
very high with our neighbours. As a matter of fact, on more 
than one occasion the late Khedive showed not only that he 
had a will of his own, but^that he knew how to exercise it. 
He chose a moment when Sir Evelyn was absent from Egypt to 
dismiss Nubar and to appoint Riaz, and when, in his turn, he 
disagreed with Riaz he dismisssed him equally without consulta- 
tion with Sir Evelyn. The members of the new Ministry were 
appointed on his own initiative, and one of them, Fakry Pasha, 
has been similarly dismissed and his successor appointed. In 
matters connected with irrigation, education, and justice he took 
a strong personal interest ; his views, if not always shared by 
his advisers, were always honest and frequently very shrewd. 
He was long in making up his mind, painstaking and almost 
tedious in his inquiries, but when he had at last arrived .at a 
conclusion, he sometimes surprised his advisers by the amount 
of sagacity he showed. That in any matter of vital importance 
he must subordinate his own opinion to that of her Majesty's 
Government he recognised as the condition of English support, 
and we have shown that he loyally gave effect to the under- 
standing ; but in matters of administration he was not only 
encouraged, but urged by Sir Evelyn Baring himself to take an 
active part. The inexperience with which he commenced his 
reign and the natural diffidence of his character rendered the 
task a difficult one, but, with the steady pertinacity which was 
one of his most striking characteristics, he had latterly very 



TEWFIK PASHA, KHEDIVE OF EGYPT 189 

considerably increased both his power and influence in the 
country. 

In private life Tewfik was amiable and unassuming, though 
not without a quiet dignity when he found it necessary to 
assert it. Unlike most Orientals, he was fond of talking of his 
wife and family, and when his sons were travelling on the 
Continent he used to read their letters, written in many 
languages, to any visitor who expressed an interest in them. 
To his wife he was devoted, and he practised the monogamy 
which he earnestly preached. 

His eldest son Abbas, who succeeds him, was born in 1874. 
He is intelligent, has travelled in most countries of Europe, and 
speaks English^ French, German, Turkish, and Arabic. 



CARDINAL MANNING . 

1808-1892 

Obituary Notice, Friday, January 15, 1892 

By the death of Henry Edward Manning, Cardinal Priest of 
St. Andrew and St. Gregory on the Caelian Hill, and Archbishop 
of the Roman Catholic See of Westminster, English society loses 
a striking and a venerable figure, and the Church of Rome a 
titular prince, one who was at once a ruler and a servant of 
conspicuous ability, of many-sided talent, of strongly-marked 
character, and of absolute devotion. The passing away of 
Cardinal Manning carries the memory of men back to the most 
troublous times in the modern history of the Church of England ; 
it brings to us the duty of following the eventful career of the 
man who had his share in bringing the Church of England into 
grievous danger, who advanced the cause of the Church of Rome 
in England farther than any man, except Cardinal Newman, 
has been able to advance it since the days of the Reformation, 
who was, in short, one of the two most eminent of the Roman 
Catholic ecclesiastics of the century in this country. A regard 
for the law of historical perspective renders it necessary to pass 
lightly over the story of the boyhood and early manhood of the 
embryo Cardinal, not because that story were not pleasant 
enough in the telling, but because it is a matter of primary 
importance to follow with close care the course of events which 
led Archdeacon Manning to desert the church of which he was 
an ornament, and to join the foes of that church ; and because 
the Cardinal Archbishop who grew out of the Anglican Arch- 
deacon took a leading part in stirring times, attained to the 
highest place but one in the Romaa Catholic hierarchy, shone 



CARDINAL MANNING 191 

in controversy upon vital matters, and made his opinions felt, 
and exercised his personal influence strongly amongst a people 
brought up to regard the Roman Catholic religion, its methods, 
and its instruments, as abominations. 

Henry Edward Manning was born on the 15th of July 
1808, the son of Mr. William Manning, who was a member of 
Parliament and a man of considerable repute in the mercantile 
community of the City of London. Upon attaining proper age 
the boy Manning was sent to Harrow, amongst his con- 
temporaries at the great public school being Charles Wordsworth, 
afterwards Bishop of St. Andrews, whose recent work gives a 
vivid picture of life at Harrow in the early years of the century, 
and Chenevix Trench, afterwards the brilliant Archbishop of 
Dublin. Manning's boyhood was spent, then, under the 
influence of that public - school system which, according to 
critics who speak for the most part without personal experience 
in the matter, is calculated to run the characters of boys into 
one common mould, and to thwart every tendency towards 
independence and originality of thought. Harrow School did 
not so affect young Manning's character. From Harrow 
Manning proceeded with a high reputation to Balliol College, 
Oxford, and his academical career was of a brilliant description. 
It ended in a double first in 1830 and a Fellowship at Merton. 
His success, however, was not that of a mere bookworm. He 
took a genuine interest in the life of the University, and the 
books of his contemporaries seldom fail to mention the hand- 
some and eloquent Balliol man who was always ready to speak 
at the Union on any subject. A comparison of dates shows 
how it was that Manning, endowed with a mind singularly 
calculated for the reception and advancement of the Oxford 
Movement, is mentioned but rarely in the numerous books 
bearing on the origin and early days of the movement. New- 
man, who had seven years' advantage over Manning in age, 
and, by reason of having come up to Oxford early, at least nine 
years of academical seniority, had surprised all his friends by 
obtaining an Oriel Fellowship long before Manning matriculated. 
Tait, known in his Oxford days principally as one of the "Four 
Tutors " who attacked Tract 90, did not come up to Balliol 
from Glasgow until the year in which Manning took his degree. 
The two future archbishops met, however, in the rooms of 
Moberly, then Tait's tutor, afterwards Headmaster of Winchester 



192 EMINENT PERSONS 

and Bishop of Salisbury ; and an extract from the diary of the 
great Protestant Archbishop records with a certain grim irony 
the fact that he, a timid undergraduate, was introduced to 
Manning as " an eminent bachelor and a safe friend." W. G. 
Ward must have matriculated about the year when Manning 
took his degree ; J. B. Mozley was Manning's junior by four 
academical years ; Hurrell Froude had secured his Fellow- 
ship at Oriel by the time that Manning matriculated. Of 
course the movement was brewing while Manning was at 
Oxford, but it did not take a definite shape until after Keble's 
famous sermon on national apostasy, and it took that formal 
shape principally in small meetings of close friends in Oriel 
Common Koom and at Mr. Rose's neighbouring rectory. 

Now the sermon on national apostasy was preached in 1833, 
and in 1834 Mr. Manning, having accepted the Rectory of 
Lavington and Graffham, in Sussex, left Oxford. He had, 
however, been well known at Oxford, and in his graduate days 
he was one of a society in Merton Common Room where the 
debates were as keen and interesting as those in which W. G. 
AVard and Tait took part in the Common Room at Balliol. 
That he threw himself into his clerical work with all his heart 
and soul there is abundant evidence. If any further proof 
were needed it would be found in the fact that at the early 
age of thirty-two he was appointed Archdeacon of Chichester ; 
for men are not made archdeacons at thirty-two, unless they 
have given proofs of that tireless energy and organising power 
which are essential to the due performance of the duties of the 
archidiaconate. Archdeacon Manning was a busy man, but, 
business notwithstanding, he found time to keep abreast and 
in sympathy with, even to take his part in, a movement which 
commended itself to his mind as supporting that doctrine of 
the divine mission and heirship of the Anglican Church, and 
that theory that the Church by law established was entitled to 
stand above the law in matters of doctrine, which were, in his 
opinion, the essential conditions of its being a church at all. 
Hence comes it that, if we do not find him taking part in the 
conciliabula, as Newman used to call them, of the great leader 
of the movement, of Hurrell Froude, Marriott, Isaac Williams, 
and the rest of the familiar characters, we do find in the long 
series of masterly archidiaconal charges preserved in the British 
Museum abundant proof that his whole mind was with the 



CARDINAL MANNING 193 

movement. In his church and parish Archdeacon Manning 
was something of an autocrat, insisting, according to the Rev. 
T. Mozley, that those who attended service too late for the 
confession and absolution had no right to attend at all, and 
marking his displeasure by stopping the service until the late- 
comers had taken their places. Mr. Mozley adds an amusing 
story of an old lady who, in her hurry to escape the public 
notice thus thrust upon her, fell down, and turned out to be 
the stern Archdeacon's mother. Mr. Mozley has also placed 
upon record an interesting correspondence between himself and 
Archdeacon Manning upon the subject of Convocation, the 
revival of which attracted much interest in the middle of the 
century. Meanwhile events were marching rapidly in the 
religious world. The publication of Tract 90 and the indis- 
creet eccentricities of W. G. Ward had prepared the way for 
the protest against Mr. Newman's teaching, and the transfer of 
the movement to the world at large. Then Archdeacon 
Manning began to take a more active part, and we find him 
classed with Mr. Gladstone by Dean Church, who, as a Fellow 
of Oriel and one of the Proctors who checked the persecution 
of Ward, and as a calm student, knew and understood the 
movement to a nicety, and so classed as one of the strong and 
noteworthy men into whose hands passed the control of the 
movement which shocked the Evangelicals and inspirited the 
Romanists. 

An event was soon to come which was destined to be the 
turning-point in Archdeacon Manning's career. The Tract- 
arians were already suspected of Roman proclivities, and not 
without reason. Newman, Ward, Dalgairns, and others had 
seceded ; it was commonly prophesied that the ultra- High 
Church Archdeacon, the keen student of theology, would do 
the same. Some years earlier he had married Miss Sargent, a 
sister-in-law of Bishop Wilberforce. Her death had now re- 
moved one bar between him and the Roman priesthood. Some, 
indeed, said that he was a Roman Catholic at heart already. 
An incident, which was in all probability accidental, gave 
colour to these suspicions. Archdeacon Manning was intimate 
with a certain nobleman and his wife ; he was said to be their 
spiritual director ; he was one of the officiating clergy when the 
lady in question laid the foundation-stone of a church near St. 
Asaph, which was to be built at her expense and at that of her 
vol. v o 



194 EMINENT PERSONS 

husband, for Anglican purposes. In the interval between the 
laying of the foundation-stone and the time when the structure 
was ready to be consecrated the donors seceded to Rome, while 
Archdeacon Manning remained ostensibly a member of the 
Anglican Communion. The truth of the matter was, in all 
probability, that the Archdeacon had not realised in his own 
mind, perhaps he had not allowed himself to realise, the point 
to which his theories concerning the position of the Church 
had carried him. There were plenty of men in those days who 
seemed only to be waiting for an opportunity to resist the 
Royal supremacy. In the year 1833, for example, we find the 
saintly Mr. Keble writing to Mr. Newman, " Next, as to my 
own feelings, I think my mind is made up thus far, that I cannot 
take the oath of supremacy in the sense which the Legislature 
clearly now puts upon it. I cannot accept any curacy or office 
in the Church of England ; but I have not made up my mind 
that I am bound to resign what I have. Indeed, I rather think 
not, now that I have given public notice in what I differ from 
their construction. Also, I am convinced of the propriety of 
preaching and otherwise preparing one's flock for some trial of 
their Church principles." Certain it is that the Royal supremacy 
in its particular manifestation of the appellate jurisdiction of 
the Crown was a difficulty in the way of many earnest and 
zealous men of the High Church party, who could not be con- 
tent to regard the legal position of the Church of England as 
" a happy anomaly," to use the words of Dr. Newman in his 
Anglican days, and who could not console themselves adequately 
by the reflection that, when all is said and done, the appellate 
jurisdiction of the Crown is called into use extremely seldom. 
It may well have been the case that Archdeacon Manning, 
unwilling to take the momentous step of migrating to another 
Communion while the independence of the English Church, 
which was for him the first principle of its existence, remained 
practically untouched, albeit theoretically liable to be invaded 
by the secular Courts, was waiting for that trial of the principles 
of Churchmen which Mr. Keble predicted. It came to him in 
the form of the Gorham case, which shocked and startled many 
more moderate men. The Bishop of Exeter had refused to 
institute Mr. Gorham to the vicarage of Bampford Speke on the 
ground that his published opinions concerning baptismal re- 
generation were heterodox. The Privy Council decided ulti- 






CARDINAL MANNING 195 

mately, on appeal, " that the doctrine held by Mr. Gorham is 
not contrary or repugnant to the declared doctrine of the 
Church of England." The result was that many " old-fashioned 
Churchmen," as Dr. Davidson puts it, were scandalised, and 
that the High Churchmen were furiously indignant. 

There was no man in whom an almost uncontrollable 
indignation burned more violently than in Archdeacon Manning, 
and he gave expression to his own feeling, and to that of many 
of his brethren, in an elaborate letter addressed to his Bishop, 
and entitled " The Appellate Jurisdiction of the Crown." The 
letter showed the militant Archdeacon in one of his most 
remarkable aspects — that is to say, as a controversial writer 
of the very highest order. The argument was learned without 
being pedantic, subtle without falling into obscurity, concise, 
articulate, and well proportioned ; the tone was that of abso- 
lute conviction. The Archdeacon urged that the Divine office 
of the Church as guardian of the doctrine and discipline of the 
Church had been violated ; that legal protection had been given 
to a denial of an article of the universal creed ; that Divine 
doctrine had been brought down to the level of human opinion. 
He maintained that it was idle for those who exercised the 
appellate jurisdiction of the Crown to protest politely that they 
were not judges of doctrine when, as a plain matter of fact, the 
issue involved was doctrinal, and doctrinal only. In truth, the 
Tractarians had formed an idea of the independence of the 
Church which was not consistent with the legal position of 
Establishment, and Archdeacon Manning, having received that 
idea in all its completeness, could not consistently with honesty 
remain an Anglican minister. But it is possible for men to 
reach the conclusion that they cannot remain in the Anglican 
Communion without coming to the further conclusion that 
Romanism is the only alternative. Dr. Pusey and Dr. Liddon, 
for example, were compelled at one time to announce to Arch- 
bishop Tait that, if the proposal for "mutilation" and "de- 
gradation " of the Athanasian Creed, desired by Lord Shaftesbury, 
was carried into effect, they must resign their offices in the 
Church of England. It does not follow that they would, after 
resignation, have sought refuge at Rome. It does not follow that 
because a man thinks one system wrong he should think another 
system right. It becomes necessary, therefore, to look into this 
letter, which contains a more temperate and logical description 



196 EMINENT PERSONS 

of the state of Archdeacon Manning's mind than anything which 
he wrote after secession, for something to show us why, being dis- 
satisfied with Anglicanism, he was constitutionally inclined to 
be satisfied with Romanism. We find it in the characteristic 
quotation from Waterland, commonly used by him in after 
years, which describes the tendencies of the man in a single 
phrase. " Scripture is not Scripture save in the sense of Scrip- 
ture." Combined with that mental and moral incapacity to 
accept anything in the nature of a compromise, which has been 
noticed already, we see that desire and readiness to be told what 
to believe and to be told precisely, that craving for an absolute 
spiritual authority upon which to rely implicitly, which were 
characteristic of the Archbishop of Westminster, who not only 
defended but welcomed the doctrine of infallibility in after years. 
So, in 1851, Archdeacon Manning was received into the 
Roman Communion ; and the circumstances of the time were 
such as to render his secession a serious blow to the Church of 
England. The times, be it remembered, were those of great 
excitement. In obedience to a Papal Bull, "given at St. 
Peter's, Rome, under the seal of the Fisherman," the Roman 
Catholics had parcelled out England into territorial sees. Lord 
John Russell had written the famous Durham letter, in which 
he raised the cry of " No Popery," and deplored " the danger 
within the gates from the unworthy sons of the Church 
herself"; and, on the top of the excitement caused by the 
Durham letter, had introduced his ill-judged and futile Ecclesi- 
astical Titles Bill The presence of Cardinal Wiseman in 
London added to the popular apprehension ; the popular ap- 
prehension and the visible sign of fear in Parliament^ in the 
shape of the Ecclesiastical Titles Bill, against which Mr. Glad- 
stone, Mr. Bright, Mr. Cobden, and Mr. Roundell Palmer strove 
in vain, caused the hopes of Rome to run high. It was in the 
midst of these circumstances that one of the most brilliant and 
promising of the Anglican clergy deserted the faith in which he 
had been reared ; not for the sake of ambition clearly, since he 
relinquished the practical certainty of becoming a bishop at the 
least ; not from pique, the cause assigned for Dr. Newman's 
secession by those who knew not the purity of his mind, since 
no affront had been put upon him ; but from sheer conviction, 
and against interest. Rome had cause to rejoice. In ten years 
she had secured Newman, Dalgairns, and Manning, to say 






CARDINAL MANNING 197 

nothing of others of less note ; and Eome's joy was England's 
sorrow. 

The Vatican had not to wait long before the last of the 
recruits showed his quality. In 1852 Mr. Manning delivered 
in Southwark, and published later, four lectures upon the 
" Grounds of Faith," containing a bitter and scientific attack 
upon Anglicanism. Still harping upon the old text, " Scripture 
is not Scripture save in the sense of Scripture," which was the 
keynote of his character, he insisted that there could be no 
knowledge without definition, no definition without authority ; 
then, in questionable taste, having regard to the recent date of 
his conversion, he sneered at " the huge crumbling Protestantism " 
of the last three centuries, asking, in a tone which supplied the 
answer to the question, whether it could reach up to the original 
Revelation, whether it could claim "a succession of sense, 
reason, memory, and consciousness uniting it with the day of 
Pentecost." In short, one of the most formidable controversial 
writers of the century, a man armed with a knowledge of every 
weak point in the Anglican harness, had placed his splendid 
abilities at the disposal of the Church which was her principal 
foe. 

Of the Manning of following years we have a portrait and 
a caricature, both drawn from the life by a master's hand, in 
Lothair. It was always an open secret that Father Manning, 
promoted by anticipation, was the model for Cardinal Grandison. 
The portrait leaves nothing to be desired ; it cannot be 
improved. " Above the middle height, his stature seemed 
modified by the attenuation of his form. It seemed that the 
soul never had so frail and fragile a tenement. . . . His 
countenance was naturally of an extreme pallor, though at this 
moment flushed with the animation of a deeply interesting 
conference. His cheeks were hollow, and his gray eyes seemed 
sunk into the clear and noble brow, but they flashed with 
irresistible penetration." The rest is caricature. Father 
Manning was an ardent seeker after proselytes, and went about 
his work with judgment, but he did not use all the arts of 
the Jesuit. He was constitutionally disposed to asceticism ; 
but to make Cardinal Grandison say, " I never eat and I never 
drink," was to lay to the charge of Father Manning an affecta- 
tion which he did not show. Father Manning was the bitter 
enemy of the Establishment, but it is permissible to doubt 



198 EMINENT PERSONS 

whether he ever said anything quite so pungently epigram- 
matical as " Perplexed churches are churches made hy Act of 
Parliament, not by God." Still, the caricature, so long as we 
remember that it is a caricature, gives us a vivid impression of 
Mr. Manning as he lived and acted and spoke during the years 
in which he was laying the foundation of a power destined to 
be greater than that exercised by any Roman Catholic priest 
in England during the century. True it is that Lothair was 
not published until 1870, but the years to which it refers 
are those which followed upon the secession of Archdeacon 
Manning. 

Such a man could hardly fail to be a notable figure at any 
time ; and Father Manning's career was watched with particular 
interest by the old English Catholics, who, while they acknow- 
ledged his power and ability, regarded his manner of working 
with distrust and disapprobation. They were, to use a Scotch 
Catholic's words, a " small but varra respectable body " ; they 
saw in Manning one who had clearly determined to use all his 
ability to spread Roman Catholicism among the masses. It 
was, indeed, something new for the Roman Catholics of England 
to see more clearly every day that one of the most eminent 
Catholic priests in the country, a man of extraordinary refine- 
ment and ability, a man of more than commonly aristocratic 
appearance, was animated by democratic instincts of the most 
unmistakable kind, and determined to make the poor recognise 
Roman Catholicism as an instrument of social reform and 
regeneration. With the death of Cardinal Wiseman in 1865 
came the promotion to the Roman Catholic See of Westminster 
of the convert of 1851 and the discomfiture of the old English 
Catholics. They brought to bear all the influence that they 
could command, but Pius IX. had always evinced a strong 
partiality for the sometime Archdeacon, seeing in him a man 
of strong ability and a man firmly determined upon a policy 
which might be more likely than the traditional policy of the 
Roman Catholics in England to bring about that " conversion 
of England " to which the Vatican is supposed continually to 
look forward. So Mr. Manning was made Archbishop of 
Westminster, in spite of the then unrepealed Ecclesiastical 
Titles Act, of which nobody took any notice, and in spite of the 
dissatisfaction of the old Catholic families of England. Very 
soon he obtained an opportunity of showing his controversial 



CARDINAL MANNING 199 

skill upon a subject after his own heart. The project of 
holding a great (Ecumenical Council had long been under 
consideration. In 1869 it was realised, the most striking 
result of its realisation, so far as the outer world was concerned, 
being the promulgation of the doctrine of Infallibility. To 
Dr. Newman the doctrine presented great difficulties ; though 
he of course accepted it, he appeared to do so with limitations ; 
he deplored the moment of promulgation as ill-chosen. To 
the Archbishop of Westminster the doctrine presented no 
difficulties whatsoever ; on the contrary, the tendencies of his 
mind, already indicated by his writings, were such that the 
idea which troubled many earnest Catholics, which was practi- 
cally unintelligible to Protestants — some of whom it shocked 
as blasphemous, while others were simply amused— presented 
itself to him in the light of a solution of difficulties. Archbishop 
Manning's pastorals of 1869 and 1870 supported the doctrine 
with vigour. In 1875 Mr. Gladstone, to the great annoyance 
of the Irish Catholics, rushed into controversy, arguing that the 
doctrine was inimical to liberty. Mr. Gladstone's "Expostu- 
lation" was answered by the Archbishop with "The Vatican 
Decrees," in 1875, and the "True Story of the Vatican 
Council," in 1877. Both disputants showed marvellous skill of 
fence, but they started from different planes of thought. 
Nothing could exceed the Catholic Archbishop's subtlety of 
phrase ; his definition, by way of description, of Infallibility as 
an analytical expression to account for the stability of the 
Roman faith, as being not a quality inherent in the person, but 
an assistance inseparable from the office, was a masterpiece of 
skill. But the fact remained that the doctrine, no matter how 
skilfully it was supported and explained, had widened greatly 
the gulf between the Church of Rome and the Church of 
England, and had shattered any hope which the High Church 
party may have entertained of the ultimate union of the 
Churches. Meanwhile the known goodness and power of the 
Archbishop had procured for him the high honour of being 
chosen as one of the princes of the Church, and his appointment 
as Cardinal was almost simultaneous with the publication of 
the Vatican Decrees. 

But Cardinal Manning was not merely a controversialist and 
a scholar. He was an active prelate, a powerful preacher, and 
a man with a voracious appetite for hard work. His work 



200 EMINENT PERSONS 

among the poor Lad a double motive. On the one hand he 
•was actuated by genuine sympathy for the poor and oppressed, 
and particularly for the children of the poor. Intent, in the 
first place, upon improving their position and raising them in 
the social scale, he laboured among them to much purpose, 
paying particular attention to the question of the housing of 
the poor, on the Commission concerning which he did excel- 
lent service by virtue of his experience, in 1884 and 1885. 
He was also deeply interested in educational questions, aad in 
this connection he consented to sit upon the Commission of 
1886. An ascetic by temperament and conviction and a daily 
witness of the evils of intemperance, he instituted the League 
of the Holy Cross, a temperance association which has been 
unquestionably effectual for good, particularly in the East End 
of London. In short, he was a true friend to the poor, and he 
worked among them with true sympathy. But, on the other 
hand, it must be remembered that the Cardinal's zeal in these 
matters went hand in hand with an ardent desire for the i( con- 
version of England," and that it was a part of his policy to 
show the Roman Catholic Church to the poor in the character 
of a deliverer. It is not, however, necessary that this should 
depreciate our estimate of the character of his work, for, after 
all, he would have been no true Roman Catholic if he had not 
striven to push Roman Catholicism, and the prospects of 
national perversion were at all times too dim and distant to 
affect the situation. Still there was one class of matters in 
which the Cardinal interfered in a manner which gave lasting 
offence. Englishmen have always been jealous of priestly in- 
terference in domestic matters and in matters of business. 

The part which the Cardinal, together with an exalted 
prelate of the Church he had left, played some years ago in 
connection with an unsavoury and sensational agitation, which 
resulted in a sentence of imprisonment for Mr. W. T. Stead, 
did not tend to enhance his reputation with his countrymen. 
Nor were they greatly edified when they again saw him associ- 
ated with an Anglican Bishop, the First Magistrate of the City, 
and an ambitiously philanthropic member of Parliament, in an 
endeavour to settle the dock -strike in 1889. Calm men said 
at the time that the peacemakers were interfering to no purpose 
in matters which they could not understand. But the popular 
clamour silenced the protests of prudent men, and practically 



CARDINAL MANNING 201 

coerced the majority of the directors into an entry upon negotia- 
tions under circumstances repugnant to their consciences. For 
the moment the truce made seemed to be the answer to all 
protests, but two years had not elapsed before it was manifest 
that the settlement had not been final, and that the men, no 
less than the masters, regretted that inexpert interference had 
been permitted. 

Mr. Tillett, in a speech delivered during the Carron Wharf 
strike, announced that if ever another Mansion-House agreement 
was signed the signatories should not be outsiders, but the men 
concerned. The sentiment was applauded to the echo. In the 
meanwhile, albeit there was not a strike in the south of Eng- 
land but that somebody said something about the Cardinal, 
his influence in labour disputes had decayed. He had tried, 
together with some Nonconformist imitators, to interfere in 
the gas strike ; and upon Mr. Livesey's making plain, with 
courtesy but with firmness, his determination to manage his 
own affairs, he had rebuked him as roughly as if he had been 
an impertinent schoolboy or a recalcitrant neophyte, and Mr. 
Livesey, declining to submit to this treatment, had left the 
room. No doubt the Cardinal, who would not understand 
that, as a matter of fact, there was no strike, since the places 
of the strikers had been filled, thought his anger was just. No 
doubt, after forty years' ministry in a religious system based 
upon the notion of the all-pervading authority of the Roman 
Catholic Church, he found some difficulty in realising that 
Englishmen, rightly or wrongly, are determined to manage 
their own business in their own way, and are almost morbidly 
jealous of priestly interference. Be that as it may, the incident 
was the end of the Cardinal's influence in labour disputes. In 
secular politics the Cardinal did not take an active part, until 
the Home Rule question came to the front, when he embraced 
with ardour the policy afterwards advocated by Mr. Gladstone, 
with whom, in spite of wide divergence in ecclesiastical matters, 
he had maintained a friendship throughout his life. 

For the last year or more of his life the Cardinal was not 
prominently before the public mind, but to the end there were 
many men, not merely Roman Catholics, but Nonconformists 
and Churchmen, who were prone to consult him on points of 
difficulty. Upon all such men the Cardinal produced a deep 
impression, nor did any one of them fail to speak of him with 



202 EMINENT PERSONS 

affectionate regard. To the mass of Englishmen, after the 
secession of many of the Tractarians had ceased to be felt as a 
present shock, the Cardinal appeared as a venerable and pictur- 
esque figure in English life. The English Church, perhaps by 
reason of a just security, in the proper sense of the word, has 
grown vastly tolerant of late towards the Eoman Catholicism 
which it does not fear either as a temporal power or as a 
spiritual enemy. It reeled, as Mr. Disraeli wrote in the preface 
to Lothair, under the blow inflicted by the secession of Dr. 
Newman ; it almost reeled a second time under the wound 
inflicted by the perversion of Archdeacon Manning, who was 
formidable as an enemy, whereas Dr. Newman was most 
damaging while he remained a friend. But when all was said 
and done, when men began to turn round and review the 
results of the two great perversions, it was found that the 
Church was not weaker. Hence comes it that of late years 
the charm of Cardinal Manning's character, his devoted piety, 
his strong personality, his confident sincerity, his great talents 
and not less great attainments, have been recognised by men 
opposed to him in creed as well as by those who were at one 
with him. After exercising for many years an influence in 
English life such as no Roman Catholic ecclesiastic since the 
Reformation has possessed — an influence, indeed, of the most 
exceptional kind — Cardinal Manning has now been released 
from a long life of energetic and striking labour. England 
loses in him a man of striking character and strength, and 
mourns his loss even at a ripe old age without nice inquiry 
into the merits of his opinions. The Church of Rome loses 
in him a venerable prince of the Church, perhaps the most 
brilliant of her sons of the English race. He lived beyond the 
allotted span, devoting splendid abilities unsparingly to the 
service of the communion which he adopted. 



MR. SPURGEON 

1834-1892 

Obituary Notice, Monday, February 1, 1892 

By the death of Mr. Spurgeon English Nonconformity has been 
deprived of a remarkable man, a man of striking power and 
strong personality, a man who has left upon the religious life of 
his generation a mark deeper, if less wide, than that which will 
be left by his contemporary of the Salvation Army. The 
British Islands have not failed to produce leaders of religious 
thought as generation followed upon generation, from the days 
when Tacitus spoke of inaccessa Romanis loca, Christo tamen sub- 
dita, even until now. In the religious leader who has gone to 
his rest the English-speaking world has lost a man of great 
power, of shrewd common sense, of remarkable influence ; a 
man who could answer far better than the majority of men 
that searching question of Carlyle's : " Man, what is thy 
work 1 " 

If there be such a thing as heredity in religion, then Charles 
Haddon Spurgeon was a hereditary Puritan. Mr. Spurgeon 
took just pride in his religious proclivities which he inherited 
from his ancestors ; and in a sermon preached not many years 
ago he adverted to the subject : " When I spoke the other day 
with a Christian brother, he seemed right happy to tell me that 
he sprang of a family which came from Holland during the 
persecution of the Duke of Alva, and I felt a brotherhood with 
him in claiming a like descent. I daresay our fathers were poor 
weavers, but I had far rather be descended from one who 
suffered for the faith than bear the blood of all the emperors 
within my veins." As a matter of fact, the immediate ancestors 



204 EMINENT PERSONS 

of the late Mr. Spurgeon were Nonconformist ministers. His 
father, John Spurgeon, preached to an Independent congregation 
on Sundays for sixteen years in Essex, and then became a regular 
pastor, first at Cranbrook, then in Fetter Lane, and last at Upper 
Street, Islington. His grandfather, James Spurgeon, was for 
more than half-a-century pastor of the Independent Church at 
Stambourne, in Essex. Mr. Spurgeon 's ancestors were, in fact, 
among those Protestants from the Netherlands who settled on 
the East Coast to avoid religious persecution in their own 
country ; and it is recorded that they were not entirely free 
from persecution in their adopted country, since one of them, at 
the least, " suffered imprisonment for conscience' sake " in the 
time of Charles II. Charles Haddon Spurgeon himself was 
born on the 19th of June 1834, at Kelvedon, in Essex. Much 
of the embryo pastor's early life appears to have been spent 
under the care of his grandfather at Stambourne, and that early 
life appears, according to all the numerous accounts which have 
been written, to have been of a highly characteristic nature. 
An admiring biographer wrote in 1887 : "The pious precocity 
of the child soon attracted the attention of all around him. He 
astonished the grave deacons and matrons who called on his 
grandfather on Sabbath evenings by the serious, intelligent 
questions he asked, and by the pertinent remarks he made." 
" It is said on good authority," continues the biographer, " that 
before he was six years old he publicly reproved sinners in the 
street." Se non h vero I ben' trovato, and the same observation 
applies to the story concerning a certain backsliding member of 
the Independent community at Stambourne who appears to have 
been addicted, albeit not beyond the bounds of moderation, to 
the use of beer and tobacco. The backslider's account appears 
to have been to the effect that the child confronted him in the 
village ale-house with upraised finger and the words, " What 
doest thou here, Elijah ? " These accounts may, of course, be 
apocryphal ; they may be the mere legends, illustrative of man's 
capacity for hero-worship and saint-making, which have grown 
round the history of the childhood of Charles Spurgeon ; but the 
probability is that they have at least a substratum of truth in 
them, and it may well be imagined that the child who was to 
become one of the most determined and one of the most confident 
of preachers, started in life with considerable capacity for 
believing in the correctness of his own views. 



MR. SPURGEON 205 

Another story, told "by Mr. Spurgeon himself in a sermon 
preached in 1887, helongs to the same period : 

"When I was a young child staying with my grandfather there 
came to preach in the village Mr. Knill, who had been a 
missionary at St. Petersburg, and a mighty preacher of the 
gospel. . . . Then, in the presence of them all, Mr. Knill took 
me on his knee and said, • This child will one day preach the 
gospel, and he will preach it to great multitudes. I am persuaded 
that he will preach it in the chapel of Rowland Hill, where (I 
think he said) I am now the minister.' He spoke very solemnly, 
and called upon all present to witness what he said. Then he 
gave me sixpence as a reward if I would learn the hymn ' God 
moves in a mysterious way, His wonders to perform.' I was 
made to promise that when I preached in Rowland Hill's chapel 
that hymn should be sung." 

The prophecy was fulfilled to the letter, but that is no great 
matter, since, humanly speaking, the chances were much in favour 
of young Spurgeon's becoming a minister, and of his being asked, 
some day or other, to preach in Rowland Hill's chapel ; but the 
interesting part of the story is in the clear evidence it affords 
that Charles Spurgeon showed power and promise even in very 
early youth. 

Charles Spurgeon's education was not of the best. He 
appears to have gone to a school at Colchester, at seven years 
old, and to have stayed there for four years. For three years 
more we may presume that he was kept to lessons of some kind, 
and in 1848 he appears to have spent some time at an agri- 
cultural college at Maidstone. In 1849, when he served for a 
short time as an usher in a school at Newmarket, and, in the 
following year, when he was beset by sceptical doubts, he under- 
went that mental, moral, and spiritual process of conversion (at 
a Primitive Methodist chapel) which was placed in evidence by 
his public baptism at Isleham, Cambridgeshire, in 1850. 

A sermon preached in 1856 gives an account of the process 
in language curiously illustrative of Mr. Spurgeon's preaching 
method : 

" I resolved to visit every place of worship in Colchester, that 
I might find out the way of salvation. I felt willing to be any- 
thing and to do anything if God would only forgive me. At 
last one snowy day, — it snowed so much I could not go to the 
place I was determined to go to, and I was obliged to stop on 



206 EMINENT PERSONS 

the road, and it was a blessed stop for me, — I found rather an 
obscure street, and turned down a court, and there was a little 
chapel. I wanted to go somewhere, but I did not know this 
place. It was the Primitive Methodists' chapel. I had heard 
of these people from many, and how they sang so loudly that 
they made people's heads ache ; but that did not matter. I 
wanted to know how I might be saved, and if they made my 
head ache ever so much I did not care. So, sitting down, the 
service went on, but no minister came. At last a very thin- 
looking man came into the pulpit and opened his Bible and 
read these words : ' Look unto me, and be ye saved, all the 
ends of the earth.' Just setting his eyes upon me, as if he 
knew me all by heart, he said : ' Young man, you are in 
trouble.' Well, I was, sure enough. Says he, • You will 
never get out of it unless you look to Christ.' And then, 
lifting up his hands, he cried out, as only I think a Primitive 
Methodist could do, ' Look, look, look ! It is only look,' said 
he. I at once saw the way of salvation. Oh, how I did leap 
for joy at that moment ! I know not what else he said : I did 
not take much notice of it, I was so possessed with that one 
thought. Like as when the brazen serpent was lifted up, they 
only looked and were healed. I had been waiting to do fifty 
things, but when I heard this word, ' Look,' what a charming 
word it seemed to me ! Oh, I looked until I could almost have 
looked my eyes away, and in heaven I would look on still in my 
joy unutterable. I now think I am bound never to preach a 
sermon without preaching to sinners. I do think that a minister 
who can preach a sermon without addressing sinners does not 
know how to preach." 

Converted by the Primitive Methodists, in so far as he was 
convinced of sin at one of their meetings, Mr. Spurgeon never- 
theless remained a Baptist, with a touch of Calvinism at heart 

Very soon after his conversion he became a member of a lay 
preachers' association at Cambridge, and preached in the neigh- 
bouring villages, earning his living as an usher in a school at 
Cambridge during the week. 

In 1852, Mr. Spurgeon, being eighteen years of age, became 
pastor of the Baptist Church at Waterbeach, and, not long after 
this, he escaped that more complete education which his parents 
desired to give him by a ludicrous accident, his account of 
which may be given in his own words : 



MR. SPURGEON 207 

"Soon after I had begun, in 1852, to preach the word in 
Waterbeach, I was strongly advised by my father and others to 
enter Stepney (now Regent's Park) College, to prepare more fully 
for the ministry. Knowing that learning is never an encum- 
brance, and is often a great means of usefulness, I felt inclined 
to avail myself of the opportunity of attaining it, although I 
believed I might be useful without a college training. I assented 
to the opinion of friends that I should be more useful with it. 
Dr. Angus, the tutor of the college, visited Cambridge, where I 
then resided, and it was arranged that we should meet at the 
house of Mr. Macmillan, the publisher. Thinking and praying 
over the matter, I entered the house at exactly the time 
appointed, and was shown into a room where I waited patiently 
for a couple of hours, feeling too much impressed with my own 
insignificance and the greatness of the tutor from London, to 
venture to ring the bell and inquire the cause of the unreason- 
ably long delay. 

" At last, patience having had her perfect work, the bell was 
set in motion, and, on the arrival of the servant, the waiting 
young man of eighteen was informed that the doctor had tarried 
in another room, and could stay no longer, so had gone off by 
train to London. The stupid girl had given no information to 
the family that any one had called and had been shown into the 
drawing-room, consequently the meeting never came about 
although designed by both parties. 

" I was not a little disappointed at the moment ; but have a 
thousand times since then thanked the Lord very heartily for 
the strange providence which forced my steps into another and 
far better path." 

Mr. Spurgeon was too valuable a preacher to be left long in 
the retirement of Waterbeach. While there he distinguished 
himself in characteristic fashion. Being asked to preach the 
anniversary sermon at a neighbouring village, he presented him- 
self to the pastor, who, astonished at his youth, spoke of " boys 
going up and down the country preaching before their mothers' 
milk was well out of their mouths " ; but the young preacher 
promptly preached a sermon upon the text " The hoary head is 
a crown of glory" (Prov. xvi.), the character of which may be 
guessed from the fact that his aged colleague accosted him as "the 
sauciest dog that ever barked in a pulpit." This little village, 
however, was not the only place in which Spurgeon's voice was 



208 EMINENT PERSONS 

heard, and an address delivered by him at Cambridge, in 1852 
or 1853, brought him rapid preferment. One Mr. Gould, of 
Loughton, heard the young preacher ; he carried the news of his 
power to Mr. Olney, a deacon of the New Park Street Chapel. 
Now the New Park Street Chapel was one of the most ancient 
Baptist institutions in London. It had been established two 
centuries before by Puritan Baptists ; its pastorate had been held 
by William Rider; by Benjamin Keach, of "Metaphors" renown ; 
by Benjamin Stinton ; by John Gill, a noted commentator ; by 
John Rippon, the editor of the Baptist hymn-book ; by Joseph 
Angus, and James Smith. But New Park Street was in low 
water, and the deacons were on the look-out for a man 
capable of multiplying a congregation of 100 by 12, and so 
filling 1100 empty seats. Mr. Olney wrote to Mr. Spurgeon. 
The young preacher thought the invitation was wrongly 
addressed, and so answered. It was no mistake, but the 
beginning of Mr. Spurgeon's remarkable Metropolitan career. 
Very soon the young preacher was appointed permanent 
pastor, very soon 1200 seats had to be increased to 
1800. Invitations to preach in various parts of the country 
came rapidly, and he did preach to overflowing congregations, 
under roofs and in the open air, with conspicuous success. 
While the New Park Street Chapel was being enlarged, Exeter 
Hall and the Surrey Music Hall, at which Lord Campbell is 
said to have attended, were pressed into service. The very 
large congregations which were attracted by Mr. Spurgeon's 
discourses were noticed in The Times of those days. In 1857 he 
preached to an assemblage of 24,000 people at the Crystal 
Palace, in connection with the Indian Mutiny. In 1859 
the foundation stone of the Metropolitan Tabernacle was laid, a 
Bible, the Baptist Confession of Faith, the Declaration of the 
Deacons, and Dr. Rippon's hymn-book being placed underneath 
it. In 1861 the Metropolitan Tabernacle, capable of accommo- 
dating between five and six thousand persons, was opened free 
from debt. Since then various great institutions have grown up 
in connection with the Tabernacle, the principal being the 
Pastors' College, the Colportage Association, the Almshouses, 
the two orphanages at Stockwell, and the Mission-hall at 
Bermondsey — all brought into being and maintained by the 
energy of one man. In 1862 came a memorable controversy 
concerning baptismal regeneration. Three hundred thousand 



MR. SPURGEON 209 

copies of Mr. Spurgeon's sermons on the subject were circulated, 
and the controversy roused by them was so fierce that he dropped 
the prefix of reverend, and became, if possible, more of a free- 
lance preacher than before. 

In politics Mr. Spurgeon exercised an active influence. A 
man of his oratorical strength, who was in the habit of address- 
ing huge congregations, who did not shrink from alluding to the 
events of the day, could hardly fail to be a power ; and the 
trenchant attack which he made upon Mr. Gladstone's Irish 
policy of 1886 was a serious blow to the influence of that some- 
time leader of the Liberal party. Of Spurgeon literature there 
is almost a library. The Saint and his Saviour came out in 
1867; in 1868 John Ploughman's Talk was published, and 
obtained, before 1887, a circulation of three hundred and fifty 
thousand; 1872 brought to light the Treasury of David in 
seven volumes, and numerous religious works bear his name. A 
strong tribute is due also to the energy shown by Mr. Spurgeon 
in the education of young ministers, of which the Pastors' 
College is the visible sign. 

It was as a writer and a preacher of sermons that Mr. 
Spurgeon exercised most powerful influence. An American 
author wrote of him that the chief sources of his power lay " in 
his wonderfully original, natural, and impressive delivery ; his 
marvellous command of simple, precise, idiomatic, Saxon language, 
and his red-hot earnestness and singleness of purpose." There 
was justice in this rather superlative criticism, but for all that 
it did not describe Mr. Spurgeon's method adequately. Headers 
of his multitudinous sermons, which have been published 
regularly for nearly forty years, can hardly fail to be struck 
with them in many ways. They will notice in them a strong 
egotistical and anecdotal tendency, an outspoken defiance and 
confidence of tone, a fierce hatred of " the Cloaca Maxima of 
Rome," a detestation of anything and everything that is sham 
or artificial, a determination to be lively, an aptitude in the use 
of strong and familiar phrases. " There is raw material in a 
publican which you seldom find in a Pharisee. A Pharisee may 
polish up into an ordinary Christian ; but somehow there is a 
charming touch about the pardoned sinner which is lacking in 
the other " — such is an example of his aptitude in familiar phrase 
taken from a " manifesto " of faith embodied in a sermon of 
25th April 1890. The liveliness of the discourses is systematical 
vol. v p 



210 EMINENT PERSONS 

and deliberate ; witness the preface to the first volume of sermons 
published in 1856, in which the preacher says that "he is not 
quite sure about a smile being a sin, and, at any rate, he thinks 
it less crime to cause momentary laughter than a half-hour's 
slumber." On this principle he preached throughout a tolerably 
long life, with the result that he obtained hearers in thousands, 
when scholarly men could not obtain them by hundreds or even by 
scores ; and had an almost unbounded influence over large bodies 
of men and women, chiefly in the lower middle classes. This 
eloquent and energetic preacher, who was almost worshipped by 
his immediate followers, whose views of things in daily life were 
abnormally shrewd, who was the personal friend of President 
Garfield and of Lord Shaftesbury, whose words were widely read, 
not only in Great Britain, but all the world over, who entertained, 
by the flashes of his shrewd wit, even those who were not 
attracted to his principles, will leave a great and visible gap in 
English life. 



SIR JAMES CAIRD 

1816-1892 

Obituary Notice, Thursday, February 11, 1892 

Sir James Caird was the son of Mr. James Caird, of Stranraer. 
He was born in 1816, and educated at the High School and 
University of Edinburgh. He early began the study of those 
agricultural and economic questions upon which he became such 
an eminent authority, and during the Protection controversy 
in 1849 he published a treatise on High Farming as the Best 
Substitute for Protection, which went rapidly through eight 
editions, and attracted much public attention. Mr. Caird was 
an ardent defender of Free Trade principles. In the autumn of 
1849, at the request of Sir Robert PeeL he visited the west and 
south of Ireland, then prostrate from the effects of the famine, 
and at the desire of the Lord Lieutenant, the Earl of Clarendon, 
reported to the Government on the measures which he deemed 
requisite for encouraging the revival of agricultural enterprise 
in that country. This report was enlarged into a volume, 
published in 1850, descriptive of the agricultural resources of 
Ireland, and it led to considerable landed investments being made 
there. 

In the beginning of 1850 the low prices of agricultural 
produce in England, and the serious complaints of farmers and 
landlords, indicated the necessity of some inquiry into the actual 
state of agriculture in the principal English counties. In order 
to ascertain the extent and true cause of the distress, this 
inquiry was originated by the Times, which appointed Mr. Caird 
as its commissioner. Sir Robert Peel wrote to Mr. Caird to the 
effect that nothing hitherto had been effectual in awakening the 



212 EMINENT PERSONS 

landed proprietors to a sense of their own interests, and he 
therefore approved of a thorough and searching inquiry. In 
the first part of his investigations the Times Commissioner was 
associated with the late Mr. J. C. MacDonald, whose literary- 
abilities contributed much to the success of the letters. The 
latter portion Mr. Caird conducted alone, and he also re-wrote 
the whole of the letters for publication. The letters afforded 
the only general account of the state of agriculture throughout 
England since Arthur Young's tours, made upwards of eighty 
years before. With the view of rendering the letters perma- 
nently useful, Mr. Caird was careful to note good examples of 
farming in the several counties, and to describe them in minute 
detail for the benefit of farmers generally. He also fully 
discussed the condition of the labourer and the relations 
between landlords and their tenants. The Commissioner noted 
the general absence of leases throughout England, and the 
immense mass of fertilising matter which continually ran to 
waste from all the large towns of the kingdom. The letters, 
after appearing in the columns of the Times, were published in 
a volume entitled English Agriculture in 1850-51. The 
work was subsequently translated into the French, German, and 
Swedish languages, and was also republished in the United 
States. In 1858 Mr. Caird published an account of a visit to 
the prairies of the Mississippi, descriptive of their fertility and 
great future. Translations of this work also appeared on the 
Continent, for as yet little European attention had been 
directed to the subject. 

Mr. Caird's abilities as a statistician and an economist 
pointed him out as a suitable candidate for parliamentary 
honours. Accordingly, at the General Election of 1852 he was 
invited to offer himself to the electors of his native district, but 
he had the misfortune to be defeated by a majority of one only. 
However, at the General Election of 1857 he was elected 
member for the borough of Dartmouth as a supporter of Lord 
Palmerston, and an advocate of Liberal measures generally. 
He sat for Dartmouth until 1859, when he was elected for 
Stirling without opposition, and continued to sit for that con- 
stituency until 1865. 

During the nine years Mr. Caird was in Parliament he took 
an active part in all subjects connected with agriculture and the 
condition of the people. In the session of 1859 he carried a 






SIR JAMES CAIED 213 

motion that the Scotch census should include inquiry into the 
housing of the people, thus bringing to light the significant 
characteristic of our civilisation, that two-thirds of the families 
lived in dwellings of one, or at most two rooms. In 1860 Mr. 
Caird was appointed a member of the Fishery Board, and in 
1863 became chairman of the Royal Commission on the Sea 
Fisheries of the United Kingdom, Professor Huxley and Mr. 
Shaw Lefevre, M.P., being his colleagues. When the Civil War 
broke out in the United States, and great distress was caused in 
Lancashire by the failure of the American cotton supply, Mr. 
Caird drew the attention of the House of Commons to the whole 
subject. The debate took place in the session of 1863, and it 
turned principally upon the capabilities of India to supply 
the deficit of American importations, and the means by which 
the production from the former country might be encouraged and 
increased. Mr. Caird delivered an elaborate speech, in which 
he reviewed the policy of the Indian Government with regard 
to the cultivation of cotton, and adverted to the immense tracts 
adapted to its growth in our great Eastern dependency. He 
was supported by Mr. Cobden and Mr. Bright, and Sir Charles 
Wood, on behalf of the Government, admitted that it was to 
India we must look to obtain our great supply of cotton, but he 
deprecated putting Government pressure upon the natives, which 
would do more harm than good. During this same year (1863) 
Mr. Caird visited Algeria, Sicily, and Italy, to ascertain the 
possibility of extending the production of cotton in those 
countries in case the supplies from the Southern States of 
America should be still further seriously lessened by the war. 

In the Session of 1864, after years of fruitless endeavour, 
Mr. Caird carried a resolution in favour of the collection of 
agricultural statistics, which was followed by a vote of £10,000 
for that object. The returns of 1866 for Great Britain, the 
result of that vote, for the first time completed the agricultural 
statistics of the United Kingdom. Since that time the returns 
have been published annually, proving of unquestionable value. 
In 1865 Mr. Caird was appointed to the office of Inclosure 
Commissioner, and when the Land Commission for England was 
subsequently set on foot, he became senior member of the Com- 
mission. He revisited Ireland in 1869, and published a 
pamphlet on the Irish land question, soon after which he 
received the Companionship of the Bath. In 1868 and 1869 



214 EMINENT PERSONS 

he published successive papers on the "Food of the People," 
read before the Statistical Society. In 1878, at the request of 
the President and Council of the Royal Agricultural Society of 
England, he prepared, for the French International Exhibition, 
an account of English agriculture, which was translated into 
French and German for the benefit of European agriculturists. 
It was afterwards separately published in this country under 
the title of Tfoe Landed Interest. In this work the author 
discussed the home and foreign supply of food ; the changes and 
progress in agriculture of recent years ; the soil, climate, and 
crops ; the distribution of landed property ; landowners, 
farmers, and labourers ; land improvement ; the recent rise in 
the value of land ; the Government in its connection with agri- 
culture ; waste lands and copyholds ; Church, Crown, and 
charity estates ; and the future of agriculture. He estimated 
the tenant farmers' capital at upwards of 400 millions sterling. 

Mr. Caird, who had devoted considerable attention to the 
economic conditions of India, was invited by Lord Salisbury, 
Secretary of State for India, to serve on the Famine Commis- 
sion, appointed by Her Majesty's Government after the great 
famine in India of 1876-7 to inquire into the whole circum- 
stances of that calamity. The object was to secure the adoption 
of such means as might enable timely provision to be made to 
meet the inevitable recurrence in that country of seasons of 
dearth. The inquiry embraced the whole of India, and its 
results were embodied in the Report of the Commission, which 
was laid before Parliament. In traversing the country with the 
members of the Commission — men eminent in their respective 
provinces, and two of them native gentlemen holding high office 
under native princes — an unusually favourable opportunity for 
observation of the land and the people was afforded, and of this 
Mr. Caird fully availed himself. He afterwards published a 
narrative of the examination of the country, under the title of 
India; the Land and the People, which had an extensive 
circulation. After exhaustive inquiry, Mr. Caird arrived at the 
general conclusion that the time had come when the prosperity 
of India under British rule could only be maintained by 
honestly carrying out the Queen's proclamation of 1858, 
" whereby it was promised that her subjects, of whatever race 
or creed, should be freely and impartially admitted to all offices 
in the service of India, the duties of which they might be 



SIR JAMES CAIRD 215 

qualified by their education, ability, and integrity to dis- 
charge." 

In 1882 Mr. Caird received the honour of knighthood, being 
created a K.C.B. In 1886 he was invited by Lord Salisbury to 
become a member of Earl Cowper's Commission to inquire into 
the agricultural state of Ireland, on which he served. Upon 
the formation of the new Board of Agriculture in 1889, Sir 
James Caird became a member of the Board, and was elevated 
to the rank of a Privy Councillor. In announcing his retire- 
ment from the Board at the end of 1891, we said in December 
last : — 

" Sir James Caird will retire from the Board with a very 
honourable record. It was as a distinguished agriculturist, 
and one who had led in the march of improved agriculture, 
that Sir James Caird was appointed as a Land Commissioner. 
He retires from that post without having made a mistake, and 
with a splendid record, which is absolutely unsullied. It would 
be impossible to give higher praise than this, or to adduce 
further proof that very general regret will be felt that his 
splendid official career has come to its official end. All that can 
be said is that he will carry into his retirement the best wishes 
of every farmer and land-owner in the kingdom." 

Although the vacancy on the Board caused by Sir James 
Caird's resignation was not filled up, some of the duties 
performed by him were taken over by Sir Jacob Wilson, who was 
appointed director of the land department of the Board of 
Agriculture. 

In 1890, at the request of the Royal Agricultural Society of 
England, Sir James Caird prepared for their journal an account 
of the fifty years of valuable work of that society. 

Sir James Caird was a Fellow of the Royal Society, a J.P. for 
Kirkcudbrightshire, and a D.L. and J.P. for Wigtownshire. He 
was twice married — first, to a daughter of Captain Henryson,R.E., 
and secondly, to Elizabeth, daughter of the late Mr. Robert 
Dudgeon. At his country seat of Cassencary, Kirkcudbright- 
shire, deceased was frequently visited by Mr. Bright, with whom 
he was on terms of intimate friendship. 



VISCOUNT HAMPDEN 

1814-1892 

Obituary Notice, Wednesday, March 16, 1892 

Henry Bouverie William Brand was born in 1814, the 
second son of the 21st Baron Dacre, by the daughter of the 
Hon. Maurice Crosbie, Dean of Limerick. He represented 
Lewes in Parliament from 1852 to 1866, in which year he was 
returned for Cambridgeshire ; and he sat for that county 
uninterruptedly until he quitted the House of Commons. 
From 1859 to 1866 he was Parliamentary secretary to the 
Treasury, and was for nine years associated with the late Mr. 
W. P. Adam as Whip of the Liberal party. In 1872, on the 
resignation of Mr. Denison, Mr. Brand was nominated Speaker 
of the House of Commons, Sir Boundell Palmer proposing, and 
Mr. Locke King seconding the motion for his election, which 
was carried unanimously. For twelve eventful years Mr. Brand 
occupied the Speaker's chair, from which he retired in 1884, 
on his elevation to the peerage as Viscount Hampden. He was 
rewarded, while he was still Speaker, with the Grand Cross of 
the Bath. 

Great as were Mr. Brand's services to his party in the 
capacity of Whip, they were far excelled by those which he 
rendered as Speaker to the whole House, and, it is not too 
much to say, to the entire nation. His tenure of office was 
marked by scenes more turbulent than any that had occurred 
in the House of Commons since the time of Charles the First 
and Speaker Lenthall. During the years which saw the rise 
and growth of the Irish Parliamentary party, and the develop- 
ment of obstruction from a casual annoyance to a deliberate 



VISCOUNT HAMPDEN 217 

and scientific system, he had every day to encounter difficulties 
such as had tried none of his predecessors. 

It is true that he had the cordial support of all hut a very 
small minority of the House ; yet to this minority, and indeed 
to every individual memher who chose to exercise his extreme 
rights, the rules of procedure gave powers of almost unlimited 
obstruction. In no place in the world were the rights of the 
minority guarded more jealously than in the House of 
Commons. The state of things that existed before the 
procedure of the House was altered must be so fresh in the 
memory of the youngest Parliamentary hand that it will be 
enough to say that these rights of individual members, instead 
of being a valued possession of all, and a guarantee of liberty, 
became, calculated by misuse, a weariness, a nuisance, and an 
impediment to all business. Rules made by gentlemen for 
gentlemen, and notoriously resting on the general honour and 
good feeling of the House, were not perhaps broken, but were 
abused by a little knot of men who had carefully studied them 
in order to demonstrate their futility. A Speaker less just and 
less patient than Mr. Brand would have inflicted irremediable 
damage on the House of Commons. Mr. Brand, however, never 
for a moment lost his patience, his temper, his clear-headedness, 
or his courtesy ; and those who had formerly doubted the 
expediency of appointing a party Whip to the chair, perceived 
at once that he had every qualification for the office. 

Obstruction was not previously unknown in the House, but 
obstruction in its crudest and most barefaced form was first 
practised in the Session of 1877, when less than half-a-dozen 
Home Rule members, of whom Mr. Parnell was the leading 
spirit, proved that it was to paralyse all business by moving 
alternately the adjournment of the House and of the debate. 
On each of these motions every one of this group of members 
habitually spoke, and spoke at length ; and when all had 
exhausted their rights of speaking, a division was taken, and 
the motion was instantly renewed. These members were 
admittedly within the letter of their rights, and were so led by 
Mr. Parnell that no formal exception could ever be taken to 
their proceedings. But their design was obvious and un- 
concealed, and it became necessary once more to prove that 
"none have gone about to break Parliaments, but in the end 
Parliament has broken them." The question was how to break 



218 EMINENT PERSONS 

them, liow to restore to the House as a body the management 
of its own business and its own time. Night after night the 
debates — if such performances can be called debates — became a 
mere trial of physical endurance, and the House on more than 
one fine summer's morning presented the scene, not of members 
who had "sat up all night like gentlemen, and supped at 
Bellamy's afterwards," but of a weary and dissipated assembly 
of men, still in evening dress, who should have been in bed, or 
at breakfast, or in Rotten Row. On 2nd July 1877 the House 
met as usual at four o'clock. Supply was obstructed by seven 
members ; 17 divisions were taken, and the House was counted 
out at a quarter past seven o'clock on the following morning. On 
the 31st of July in the same year the South Africa Bill was in 
Committee, and the sitting was prolonged till six o'clock in the 
afternoon of the next day — a Wednesday. Twenty-one divisions 
were taken, in 18 of which not more than five members 
constituted the minority. In 1878 there were all-night sittings 
on 1st April (fourteen hours) and 13 th May (seventeen hours and 
a half). On 26th August 1880 the House was in Supply on 
Irish votes, and the sitting lasted for twenty-one hours. These 
are but a few of the earlier all-night sittings, and we have not 
attempted to enumerate the many occasions when, thanks to 
the same cause, we have ended our report with the statement 
that the House was still sitting when we went to press. 

It was in the year 1881 that the decisive action was taken 
by Mr. Brand that will always render his occupation of the 
chair memorable. On 24th January Mr. Forster moved for 
leave to bring in his Bill for the Protection of Person and 
Property in Ireland. The debate was adjourned till the next 
day, when Mr. Gladstone moved that the Bill, and its companion 
the Arms Bill, be proceeded with de die in diem. The motion 
was fiercely opposed and obstructed by a minority that numbered 
thirty-three, when a division was taken after a sitting of twenty- 
two hours. On 31st January the debate was resumed on the 
motion for leave to bring in Mr. Forster's Bill, Mr. Gladstone 
announcing early in the evening that he expected to take the 
first reading of the Bill at that sitting. The Home Rulers 
openly stated that every form of the House would be used to 
defeat this intention, and preparations were made for the 
struggle. The majority was kept together by relays of Liberal 
and Conservative members, Mr. Gladstone being supported by 



VISCOUNT HAMPDEN 219 

the Opposition, as well as by his own party, and the Speaker 
and Deputy-Speaker occupied the chair in turns. The Home 
Rulers were now numerous enough to adopt the system of 
relays, and a prospect was thus opened of an indefinitely long 
sitting. The House, in fact, sat continuously all Monday night, 
all day on Tuesday, all Tuesday night, till nine o'clock on 
Wednesday morning. Then, after more than forty-one hours, 
came the crisis and the end. 

At nine o'clock on Wednesday morning, the indefatigable 
Mr. Biggar was speaking when the Speaker, who had retired at 
11.30 on Tuesday night, resumed the chair. In a few grave 
words Mr. Brand declared that the motion was being resisted by 
an inconsiderable minority, and by obstruction which had been 
recognised as a Parliamentary offence. The dignity, credit, and 
authority of the House were threatened, and it was necessary 
they should be vindicated. He was satisfied that he should 
best carry out the will of the House if, by the inherent authority 
of the chair, he declined to call on any more members to speak, 
and proceeded to put the several questions. He then put the 
motion that leave be given to bring in the Bill, and on a division 
the motion was carried by one hundred and sixty-four to 
nineteen, and the Bill was read a first time, the Irish members 
leaving the House in a body. Shortly afterwards the regulation 
as regards " urgency " was adopted by the House, and more 
stringent rules of procedure were framed, in all of which Mr. 
Brand's long Parliamentary experience was of the greatest 
service. The critical moment was now passed, and the Speaker, 
taking, as he himself said, a new and exceptional course, had by 
his own courage rescued the House from a position of great 
danger and discredit. It must be left to constitutional purists 
to dispute the legality of his action. It may be true that a 
Speaker has eyes and ears only as the House directs ; but 
common sense, that supreme quality which Mr. Brand did not 
hesitate to exercise, must condone any irregularity that there 
may have been in his method of cutting the Gordian knot. 

Mr. Brand was a popular as well as a strong Speaker, and 
the general esteem in which he was held by all parties in the 
House, even the obstructives recognising his impartiality, was 
gracefully and effectively shown on the occasion of his farewell 
in 1884. Since that time he has largely retired from politics, 
though he took the Gladstonian side in the division of the 



220 EMINENT PERSONS 

Liberal party, and devoted himself mainly to the pursuits of a 
country gentleman. He was Lord Lieutenant of Sussex, and at 
Glynde, his place near Lewes, he had a large dairy farm, and 
brought the art of dairying to great perfection. He married, in 
1838, Eliza, daughter of General Robert Ellice, and is succeeded, 
both in the viscountcy and in the ancient barony of Dacre (to 
which he succeeded on his brother's death without issue in 
1890), by his son, Mr. Henry Robert Brand, who was born in 
1841, and sat for a few years in the House of Commons, where, 
with Mr. Caine, he was a teller in the memorable division 
against Mr. Gladstone's Home Rule BilL His third son, Mr 
Arthur Brand, is the Gladstonian nember for Wisbech. 



PROFESSOR E. A. FREEMAN 

1823-1892 
Obituary Notice, Thursday, March 17, 1892 

The news of the death of Mr. Edward Augustus Freeman, 
D.C.L., Regius Professor of Modern History in the University 
of Oxford, will be received with great and general regret, not 
only in the University, but wherever English history is studied. 
Since Dr. Stubbs became a bishop, and was thus taken away 
from a learned to a busy administrative life, his friend Mr. 
Freeman has stood unquestionably at the head of English 
historical scholarship. For five-and-thirty years he had been 
at once the most prolific of our historians, and the most 
energetic and constant advocate of a truer view of history than 
used to prevail. For eight years he was Regius Professor, but 
his real work in life may almost be said to have been accom- 
plished before he obtained that position. It was by his 
History of the Norman Conquest and his very numerous other 
volumes, by his multitudinous prefaces, papers, and reviews, 
and by his literally innumerable articles in the Saturday Review 
and other papers, that Mr. Freeman had impressed upon his 
generation his views of how history should be studied and 
what were many of its positive lessons. We do not say that 
he has not been very useful as Regius Professor ; but he was 
over sixty years old when he was appointed, he had lived for 
years in literary solitude in the country, and he was therefore 
somewhat out of touch with Oxford, and was too old to adapt 
himself very readily to the views of the place. It is not by his 
professorial but by his literary work that he will be judged ; 
and from that point of view it is certain that he has established 



222 EMINENT PERSONS 

a real claim upon the gratitude and the consideration of his 
fellow-countrymen. 

He was the son of the late Mr. John Freeman, of Pedmore 
Hall, Worcestershire, and was born at Harborne, in Stafford- 
shire, in 1823. Thus at the time of death he was approaching 
his 70th year. In 1841 he was elected scholar of Trinity 
College, Oxford, of which foundation he remained (even after his 
election to a Fellowship of Oriel in 1884) a loyal and devoted 
son. He read hard as an undergraduate, but, like Matthew 
Arnold six months before, he missed his first class. He 
obtained a second ; in the first were Thomas Arnold, James 
Biddell, and Goldwin Smith. Freeman was deeply affected 
by the "Oxford Movement," of which those were the critical 
years, and to the end of his life he retained his sympathy with 
the aims, aspirations, and interests of the Tractarians. Their 
return to medisevalism fitted in with his own historical tastes ; 
and it was significant that his first published volume, which 
appeared # in 1849, was a History of Architecture, in which the 
Gothic obtained something more than its share of admiration. 
There followed such publications as an Essay on Window 
Tracery (1850) and The Architecture of Llandaff Cathedral 
(1851), and, a few years later, a work on St. David's, written 
conjointly with Dr. Basil Jones, the present Bishop of the See. 
His History and Conquests of the Saracens (1856) took him 
farther afield ; and meantime he had begun that course of 
regular writing on historical subjects in periodicals which 
may almost be said to have constituted his chief work, and 
the most influential part of his work, for thirty years. From 
the time of the foundation of the Saturday Review until the 
days when the Eastern Question came once more to divide 
parties in England by so deep a cleavage, Freeman wrote 
regularly his one, two, or three articles a week in that paper ; 
generally a review of a book and an article on the history of 
some town, or on a point of historico-political or historico- 
artistic interest. A number of these articles have since 
been collected and published with his name in one or other 
of his volumes of essays. Their merits are familiar to every 
one. They contain, in the first place, first-hand information ; 
in the second, they bear in every paragraph their certificate of 
origin in a mind stored with varied knowledge and well trained 
in the comparative method. In the books about towns and 



PROFESSOR E. A. FREEMAN 223 

places, especially, Freeman's qualities appear at their best ; you 
feel in reading even a summary sketch of Lucca or Aachen that 
you are in the presence of a man who has been over every 
inch of the ground, and over every incident in the chronicles. 
But these short articles, though they contain what in the 
opinion of many is his best work, are not all that a list of 
his immense mass of writings has to show. When in search of 
a magnum opus, for some years he wavered between a theme 
that should take him over centuries of time and vast regions of 
space, and another that should be small in actual volume, but 
pregnant in results for England. At first he inclined to the 
former, and produced the first volume of a great History of 
Federal Government — a first volume that had no successor (1863). 
It dealt with later Greek history, especially with that of the 
Achaian League, and was intended to be followed by volumes 
on Switzerland, North America, etc. But soon, though he 
continued to hanker after this subject all his life, Freeman 
abandoned it as too gigantic for proper treatment ; and for 
many years he flung himself into a subject of the other sort — 
a short but immensely important moment in English history. 
The History of the Norman Conquest began to appear in 1867 : 
the fifth and last volume was published in 1876. The scale of 
the book is very large ; the writer began with a long and com- 
prehensive account of earlier English history, and in the later 
volumes he went into the most elaborate detail as to every 
single known incident of William's life, the campaign, and the 
settlement of the country. A writer's chief work must decide 
the position that posterity is to assign to him ; and Freeman 
will be judged, not by his essays and articles, but by The Norman 
Conquest and its sequel, his History of William Rufus. They 
form substantially one book ; is it a great book ? Hardly ; 
for with immense power of accumulation, much acuteness in 
testing and estimating evidence, and no little picturesqueness 
of style, Freeman had not the gift of selection, and his sense 
of proportion was extraordinarily faulty. The great and un- 
necessary length of the book will prevent its ever being 
generally read ; but, though Freeman may have been conscious 
of this artistic and practical mistake, he never showed the least 
intention of amending it Only last summer he brought out 
the first two volumes of his long-promised History of Sicily, 
an interesting country, to tracing the career of which, through 



224 EMINENT PERSONS 

Sikelian, Greek, Carthaginian, Roman, Arab, Norman, and 
later times, a master might lawfully devote a thousand pages. 
But in Freeman's hands the thousand pages, or thereabouts, 
were exhausted before we had even come in sight of the 
Roman conquest. Again, with him the relative magnitudes 
of persons, of places, and of events undergo the most curious 
transformations. The concluding chapters of the Norman 
Conquest contain an eloquent attempt to demonstrate, not only 
that William the Conqueror was a very great man — which 
everybody admits — but that he was quite as great a man as 
Ca3sar, or Napoleon, or any other of the world-heroes of the 
past. And Freeman's last published utterance, a paper in 
one of the magazines, opens with a similar paradox — the 
statement that the country in Europe which is at this moment 
politically the most interesting is . . . Finland ! 

We abstain from giving a full list of Freeman's published 
volumes ; but it may be said that those which we have 
mentioned, with the various series of Historical Essays and 
with a book on The Historical Geography of Europe, are the 
chief. When every deduction has been made, these books 
form a very real title to fame, and a whole generation of 
students, formed in the school of accurate and comprehensive 
research which he did so much to found, will regard his name 
with a feeling akin to reverence. At least two very eminent 
writers, Mr. Bryce and the late John Richard Green, may in 
some sense be classed as his pupils ; and, as we have said, the 
present Bishop of Oxford was his close friend and fellow- 
worker. But it must not be forgotten that Mr. Freeman was 
something else than an historian. " History is past politics ; 
politics is present history," he once wrote — which implied that 
he also was a politician. In 1868 he stood as Liberal candi- 
date for Mid Somerset, but was easily beaten by his Con- 
servative opponent. In 1876 he came out very strongly as 
an advocate, first of the Servian and Bulgarian, and then of 
the Russian cause, and his denunciations of " the Turk " were 
many and loud. A number of his letters on those and other 
political questions appeared, then and later, in our columns. 
It was he who, in a speech delivered at the meeting in St. 
James's Hall in the midst of the Eastern crisis, uttered the 
celebrated phrase which was afterwards popularly corrupted 
into M Perish India ! " The words used were really " Perish 



PROFESSOR E. A. FREEMAN 225 

our Indian Empire, rather than that wrong should be done ! " 
When Mr. Gladstone went over to Home Rule, Mr. Freeman 
welcomed the move, and, as was not unnatural in one who has 
always believed in federation as the cure for all political ills, 
he became a strong Home Ruler. Sometimes, however, his 
utterances were not quite in accord with the official view, as 
when, in a speech delivered not very long ago at Wells, he 
expressed himself very strongly in favour of the exclusion of 
the Irish members from the Imperial Parliament, and said 
that such an exclusion was not only logical, but the one 
prospect that made him enthusiastic for the cause. Another 
question of the day in which Mr. Freeman actively took sides 
was the vivisection question, in connection with which he 
played a leading part in the two attempts made a few years 
ago to overthrow Dr. Burdon Sanderson, the present very 
eminent Professor of Biology at Oxford. Mr. Freeman married 
soon after taking his degree, and had a family of sons and 
daughters ; one of the latter is married to Mr. Arthur J. 
Evans, the well-known archaeologist and traveller, and now 
the keeper of the Ashmolean Museum. Mr. Freeman was 
made an Hon. D.C.L. of Oxford, at Lord Salisbury's installation, 
1870, Hon. LL.D. of Cambridge 1874, and of Edinburgh 1884. 
He was also a Knight of various Greek, Servian, and Monte- 
negrin Orders, and a corresponding member of a large number 
of foreign academies and learned societies. 



vol. v 



WALT WHITMAN 

1819-1892 

Obituary Notice, Monday, March 28, 1892 

Walt Whitman had a chequered and remarkable career, and 
by the native strength of his genius came to occupy the position 
of one of the most prominent of American poets. He was 
recognised as the laureate of the democracy of the United 
States. While his works are disfigured by many crudities and 
eccentricities, and even grossnesses of style, they are all impressed 
with the stamp of a vigorous originality. The poet was the 
son of Walter and Louisa Whitman, and was born at West 
Hills, in the township of Huntington, Long Island, New York 
State, on the 31st of May 1819. The elder Whitman was 
the descendant of an English family, that settled at Huntington 
as far back as 1660, and his wife came of a Dutch family 
named Van Velsor, which had for generations been resident in 
Long Island. The singer of tbe future was christened Walter, 
but he was universally known by the abbreviation which has 
now become so familiar. He attended the public schools of 
Brooklyn until he was thirteen years old, and then had brief 
but varied experiences, first in a lawyer's office, next in a 
doctor's establishment, and subsecpiently in a printing-house, 
where for two years he set up types. In 1836 he became a 
teacher in country schools, and devoted his leisure to writing 
for the magazines and newspapers. In 1839-40 he published 
a weekly newspaper at Huntington called the Long Islander, 
and for the succeeding twelve years he continued to blend the 
occupations of author and compositor. From 1840 to 1845 he 
pursued his literary work in New York city during the winter, 






WALT WHITMAN 227 

but spent the summers in the country, doing some farm work. 
Of a much more rugged nature than the. gentle naturalist 
Thoreau, he had yet many tastes in common with him. After 
editing the Brooklyn Eagle for two years, Whitman went on 
an expedition with his brother Jefferson through all the middle 
States, their route being down the Ohio and Mississippi, and 
back by the Mississippi and Missouri, Lakes Michigan, Huron, 
and Erie, Niagara Falls and Lower Canada, and then by way of 
Central New York and the Hudson. In the year 1850 he 
published the Freeman newspaper in Brooklyn. 

At this time, as we learn from Dr. Maurice Bucke's interest- 
ing monograph, Whitman took up carpentering, and began to 
build houses in Brooklyn. The occupation became profitable, 
but too absorbing, and Whitman surrendered it in 1854 in 
favour of the mission for which he had long been educating 
himself — that of "preaching the gospel of the democracy and 
of the natural man." He might be described as the apostle 
of the unsophisticated. He hated and despised the veneer of 
modern society, and advocated a return to the original simplicity 
of character in man, with a love of nature and the external 
universe. Proceeding to give embodiment to his ideas, he 
published in 1855 a number of compositions under the title of 
Leaves of Grass. They were startlingly novel and unique, and 
were in part printed by Whitman himself, but they failed to 
take root, save with a few intellectual men, who perceived in 
the author a very decided although a very peculiar gift. For 
example, Emerson wrote to Whitman : "I am not blind to the 
worth of the wonderful gift of the Leaves of Grass. I find it 
the most extraordinary piece of wit and wisdom America has 
yet contributed. I am very happy in reading it, as great 
power makes us happy. It meets the demand I am always 
making of what seemed the sterile and stingy nature, as if too 
much handiwork, or too much lymph in the temperament, 
were making our Western wits fat and mean. I give you joy 
of your free and brave thought. I have great joy in it. I 
find incomparable things said incomparably well, as they must 
be. I find the courage of treatment which so delights us, and 
which large perception only can inspira I greet you at the 
beginning of a great career." The poet was not discouraged by 
the generally cold reception which his work met with, but in 
1856 published an extended edition of the Leaves, containing 



228 EMINENT PERSONS 

thirty-two pieces. Still lie was neglected, and in 1860 a 
sumptuous edition of Leaves of Grass appeared at Boston, with 
a number of new poems called "Enfans d'Adam," which drew 
forth much hostile criticism. In 1862, soon after the Civil 
War broke out, "Whitman left New York and Brooklyn, and 
went to the seat of war, wintering partly with the army of the 
Potomac. He ministered with noble devotion to the wounded, 
and in 1864 was struck down by his first illness, hospital 
malaria. On his recovery he secured a clerkship in the 
Department of the Interior at Washington, but was dismissed 
by Secretary Harlan for his authorship of the Leaves of Grass. 
At this time he still continued his hospital work, and composed 
his " President Lincoln's Funeral Hymn." Another clerkship 
was given him in the oflice of the Attorney-General. His 
Drum-Taps, poems connected with the war, appeared in 1865, 
to which were subsequently added his fine poem on the death 
of Lincoln, and other effusions. He lectured at sundry times 
upon President Lincoln, and wrote at intervals for magazines 
and newspapers. A new edition of Leaves of Grass appeared in 
1866, together with a special series of poems called Songs before 
Parting. A further edition appeared at Washington in 1870, 
with a new and separate volume of poems entitled, Passage to 
India, and a prose work, Democratic Vistas. Whitman declaimed 
at the American Institute in 1871 a new poem, "After all, not 
to Create only," and in the succeeding year, at the Commence- 
ment, Dartmouth College, he gave another new poem, "As a 
Strong Bird on Pinions Free." Serious trouble fell upon the 
poet in 1873, when he was attacked by paralysis, and lost his 
mother by death. He now gave up all official work, and 
retired to Camden, New Jersey, where his brother, Colonel 
Whitman, resided. He suffered much from ill-health from 
this time forward, but in 1875 wrote a new prose work, 
Memoranda during the War. He also reprinted Leaves of Grass, 
and prepared a companion volume of prose and verse, with the 
title of Two Rivulets. 

Partially recovering his health, Whitman travelled in 1879 
through Kansas, Missouri, Colorado, etc., and spent the summer 
of the ensuing year in Canada. In 1881 Messrs. Osgood of 
Boston issued a new edition of Leaves of Grass, but suppressed 
it under threats of prosecution. Whitman took the plates, and 
issued from Camden, in 1882, "the author's edition." The 



WALT WHITMAN 229 

various issues of the Leaves are much sought after by collectors. 
An edition, carefully revised by the poet, appeared at Phila- 
delphia in 1883, together with an autobiographical volume 
entitled Specimen Days and Collect. The latter was chiefly 
constructed of Whitman's prose writings, old and new. He 
subsequently published November Boughs ; and at intervals 
leisurely and exploringly travelled to the Prairie States, the 
Rocky Mountains, Canada, New York, Long Island, and 
Boston. At length he took up his abode in a little old cottage 
and lot in Mickle Street, Camden, with a housekeeper and man- 
nurse. He was completely disabled from paralysis, but still 
continued to write for publication. Strange to say, although 
he was the singer of the new democracy, his books were less 
received and read in America than in the British Islands and 
on the European Continent. In 1888 Whitman added to the 
Leaves " Sands at Seventy " and other poems. The English 
admirers of Whitman presented him with a testimonial in the 
shape of a purse of gold in 1887 ; and in 1889 he received 
congratulations from men of letters in all parts of the world on 
the occasion of his seventieth birthday. Whitman wrote a 
characteristic " Ode to the New Republic of Brazil " in January 
1890. 

The genius of this writer was early recognised in England 
by Lord Tennyson, Thomas Carlyle, and others. He was 
acknowledged to be something more than a mere voice. His 
uncouth style ; his contempt for rhyme, metre, and even in 
many cases rhythm ; and a freedom of language which is 
frequently unpardonable, will militate against Whitman's 
acceptance by the general public. But he had an intense 
earnestness of conviction, and was undoubtedly a man of great 
freshness of thought and fecundity of ideas. His philosophy 
was strongly optimistic, and whatever defects his poems may 
reveal, they at least testify that their author was a man of 
power, fertility, and resource ; and he cannot but exercise 
considerable effect upon the future of American literature. 



LORD BRAMWELL 

1808-1892 

Obituary Notice, Tuesday, May 10, 1892 

In Lord Bramwell one of the most original figures of our time, 
among the best known of Englishmen — one, indeed, whom all 
knew by name and to whom many were deeply attached — has 
disappeared. There have been and will be even greater lawyers 
than he was ; English law has never had, and perhaps never 
again will have, a representative cast in his unique mould. 

Lord Bramwell was the eldest son of a London banker, the 
late Mr. George Bramwell, and was born in 1808. He was 
educated at a private school, and early entered his father's bank, 
where he acquired that intimate knowledge of business habits and 
forms which stood him in good stead in later years. He read in 
the chambers of Fitzroy Kelly, then a junior in large practice, and 
with a reputation second to none as a master of the Common 
Law. Among his fellow-pupils were several — for the most part 
long gone — who were to be his colleagues and companions at the 
Bar and on the Bench. For some time Bramwell practised 
with considerable success as a special pleader, and in 1838 he was 
called to the Bar. He did not get at once, or even very rapidly, a 
large practice — a fact which he often mentioned in his kindly 
way to disconsolate, despairing juniors. Success came a little 
tardily and gradually. " One day I was sitting in my chambers 
when there came a shagbag attorney with a brief for Maidstone, 
Piatt to lead me. In the course of the case the Judge or the 
other side raised an objection ; Piatt answered the point, in- 
differently, and the Judge thought so. I whispered something 
to Piatt, and found myself on my legs, giving my answer. 



LORD BRAMWELL 231 

' Oh, that is quite a different matter, Mr. Piatt,' said the Judge, 
satisfied and convinced ; and I sat down, having made a very 
good impression. I thought briefs would be showered upon 
me, but they were not ; that attorneys would be at my chambers 
when I returned, but they were not. Still, from that time, 
somehow, I never looked back." 

Bramwell joined the Home Circuit at a time when much 
business of a substantial character was taken to it, and when it 
boasted a very able Bar. Probably Thesiger and Piatt had the 
pick of the cases. But there were other leaders of repute, and 
there was a crowd of excellent juniors forcing their way to the 
front Lush, Shee, Honymau, and Bovill ; and Ballantine, 
Parry, and Hawkins were soon to make themselves known in 
civil as well as criminal cases. It would be wrong to speak 
of Lord Bramwell as supremely successful when at the Bar. 
His worth was first fully admitted when he became a Judge. 
He was never an eloquent advocate ; indeed, he had not much 
liking or respect for so-called eloquence, and he was too much 
alive to the defects of his own case to be always persuasive. 
Arnould, the poet laureate of the circuit, described him in those 
days in lines well known on the Home Circuit — 

And Bramwell, blushing vvitli a maiden grace, 
Strives to look honest in a jury's face ; 
While stubborn juries, proof against his wiles, 
Decide for Nokes, while he appears for Styles. 

This rough circuit wit was not quite just to the effects of Mr. 
Bramwell's advocacy. But these lines hint, truly enough, that 
with an inferior tribunal he was sometimes less successful than 
counsel who stooped to acts of which his altogether candid 
nature was incapable. With a special jury, and in commercial 
cases, he was much more at home ; he was still better in an 
argument at banc, and such reports as " Meeson and Welsby," 
" Hurlston and Norman," record many admirable arguments by 
him. He was at his best whenever complete legal knowledge 
and robust good sense were needed. " We always used to 
notice he became uneasy when a real point of law turned up," 
he himself once said of the late Lord Denman. It was just the 
opposite with Bramwell ; then he put out his full strength. 

A master of the art of special pleading, fit to bandy subtleties 
with Littledale or Parke, he was never an admirer of the 



232 EMINENT PERSONS 

technicalities, offensive to good sense, which prevailed when he 
was at the Bar ; and when a Commission was appointed, in 
1849, to inquire into the procedure of the Courts of Common 
Law, Mr. Bramwell was naturally appointed a member of it. 
Many of the best suggestions of that most useful Commission 
were due to him. To him and the late Mr. Justice Willes, then 
also a stuff-gownsman, fell the honour of framing the first 
Common Law Procedure Acts. In 1851 Mr. Bramwell was 
made a Q.C. His practice, though never of the very largest, 
was chiefly in important cases. His reputation as a lawyer and 
as a man of robust sense was growing ; and his appointment, in 
1856, as a Baron of the Exchequer was universally popular. 
Most of us have forgotten that each of the three Courts at West- 
minster, with civil jurisdiction in most respects nominally equal, 
had a character of its own. Suitors might resort to any of 
them • but for ages they had preferred the Court of Queen's Bench, 
the Court of Common Pleas coming next, the Court of Exchequer 
coming last Things somewhat changed, and the presence of 
Baron Bramwell did much to bring it about. Whether he was 
best as a member of the Court in Banc, or sitting at Nisi 
Prius, or presiding in a Criminal Court, the profession was not 
agreed. If we may hazard an opinion, he was seen to most ad- 
vantage in trying a case of importance with the aid of a special 
jury. The force of common sense could no further go than in 
his pregnant summings-up. Evil-doers dreaded him ; for to the 
brutal, the cowardly, the rowdy, the professional ruffians of 
every sort, he was not over-merciful. But no innocent prisoner 
had reason to lament being tried by the strong-minded, sagacious 
Baron. No one was more patient in helping out a dull witness, 
half scared by the novelty of his circumstances. One of the 
first criminal cases of importance which it fell to him to try was 
the charge of murder brought against William Dove. In those 
days people were not so familiar as they are now with theories 
of moral insanity ; certain fallacies on the subject were then 
much more plausible than they now seem. Two well-known 
doctors, Dr. Pyeman Smith and Dr. Williams, deposed to the 
prisoner being morally insane ; but the Judge kept the jury to 
the legal issue whether the prisoner knew that he was doing 
wrong, and the result was a conviction, perfectly just, followed 
by execution. 

Baron Bramwell did not always, especially in his early days 



LORD BRAMWELL 233 

on the Bench, respect conventional traditions, and his plain 
directness of speech sometimes shocked sensitive people. There 
was a hubbub when he did not, upon one occasion, insist upon 
a witness taking off his glove while the oath was being ad- 
ministered. Still greater was the outcry when, on another 
occasion, in pronouncing sentence of death upon one Richard 
Reeve, he merely said, " My duty is to pass upon you the 
sentence of death for that offence, and that is my only duty." 
His sayings were misquoted and often perverted. What was 
uttered half -humorously was foolishly attributed to feelings 
wholly alien to him. When he advised in court a husband who 
complained of a termagant wife to " chain her up," or in a 
general assembly proposed that the State should prosecute 
all round everybody who attacked anybody's religious belief, 
only the dullest understood him literally. He had an anti- 
pathy to all the unctuous platitudes of the Bench ; and the 
following dialogue seems to show that he sympathised with the 
dislike of criminals to have a course of high-pitched moral re- 
flections in addition to the statutory sentence : — 

Baron Bramwell (to prisoner found guilty). — You have been 
convicted. 

Prisoner. — 'Ow much 1 

Baron Bramwell. — Nine months. (Exit prisoner.) 

After having sat in the Exchequer longer than any member 
of it, after having seen almost all his colleagues disappear, he 
was, in 1876, appointed a Lord Justice of Appeal. Whether 
he was equally successful in his new position we will not 
undertake to say. But he was a valuable and invariably strong 
member of the Court ; his knowledge of the Common Law was 
unmatched ; and he never failed to temper it with that best of 
all kinds of equity — the manly good sense which gives to 
technical rules their just limitations. In 1881 he retired from 
the Bench. He was still vigorous, versatile, and ingenious ; 
but his health had failed a little, and he had been obliged to 
winter abroad. He had held office longer than any judge of 
his generation, not excepting Baron Parke. Raised to the 
Bench long before judges much older than he — long before 
Sir Fitzroy Kelly, for example, with whom he had read — he 
was an interesting link between the present and the past. He 
had been called to the Bar a little after Lord Tenterden made, 
reluctantly and apologetically, a few changes in the supposed 



234 EMINENT PERSONS 

perfection of the Common Law. He had helped to frame and 
to work the Common Law Procedure Acts. He had given 
valuable aid in shaping the Judicature Acts, and, unlike some 
of his colleagues, he showed no desire to thwart or lessen the 
effect of the changes. He had aided in introducing the principle 
of limited liability — indeed, by the way, he was proud of having 
devised the term " limited." " Mention it in my life," he once 
jocularly observed to the present writer. The Bar decided to 
pay to the oldest and most popular of judges a unique mark of 
respect. Those who were present at the dinner given to him 
in the Inner Temple Hall, attended by almost every practising 
barrister, by judges and high officials, will never forget the 
scene. It was the affectionate, regretful parting of true friends ; 
the Bar knew that it lost a judge who had no enemies ; he did 
not conceal the fact that he tore himself with difficulty from 
old scenes, or that he still delighted in the strife. But he did 
not pass into retirement. In 1882 he was raised to the peerage 
as Baron Bramwell of Hever. His help in the House of Lords 
was needed. Lord Blackburn had acquired an influence, it 
might almost be said a supremacy, in regard to Common Law 
questions, which had its disadvantages. Lord Bramwell was an 
excellent addition to the final Court of Appeal. He was 
inclined to dissent, perhaps, a little too often. But his dissent- 
ing judgments were vigorous and instructive, expressed in his 
forcible, direct, homely way. In the Bank of England v. 
Vagliano, which gave rise to so much difference of opinion as to 
the construction of the Bills of Exchange Act, Lord Bramwell 
and Lord Field held that the Bank of England was not liable. 
We all recollect his criticism of the doctrine, countenanced by 
some judges, that Petridi and Co., the alleged drawers, were a 
sham and yet somehow existed. " This beats me. They are 
at the same time real and unreal ; they are that which is said 
to be an impossibility — being and not being at the same time." 
And here occurs to us the characteristic way in which he 
expressed his dissent in another case : " Lord Cairns was a 
great lawyer and a consummate judge, but I differ from him 
unhesitatingly." In the Lovat peerage claim one of his com- 
ments on the claimant's case was that the person through 
whom he claimed " must have been working at manual labour 
manifestly from the time when he was at least 112 years old, 
and eloped at 75 with a young woman, and had a child at 95 "; 



LORD BRAMWELL 235 

and it was characteristic of Lord Bramwell, an economist well 
acquainted with the history of the currency, that he pointed 
out that the claimant stated that he had paid thirty guineas for 
a horse in Inverness at a time when no gold coins circulated 
in Scotland. 

Of most judges all is told when their history at the Bar and 
on the Bench is narrated. Not so with Lord Bramwell ; though 
he has left a mark upon English law, a full half of his intel- 
lectual life was outside it. He followed political and social 
events with the keenest interest, and of political economy he 
was an enthusiastic student. He was elected a member of the 
Political Economy Club in March 1855, in succession to Mr. 
E. P. Bouverie, and until lately there was no more regular 
attendant at the dinners of the club, and no more frequent 
sharer in the discussions. The first discussion which he opened 
at the club was, " Is there any sufficient foundation for the 
provision that all contracts involving the value of more than 
ten pounds shall be in writing ? " Another was, " How should 
the liability of employers to workmen in consequence of 
accidents arising from the negligence of fellow-workmen be 
regulated according to economic principles?" Though rarely 
opener of the discussions, he took a part second to none in the 
debates. Members of the club will never forget the old man, 
wise, keen, vigilant, and ever attentive when anything to the 
purpose was heard, and swiftly interposing with some pertinent, 
incisive question, often more instructive than any speech. To 
the youngest member — to the young especially — he was 
attentive ; nothing irritated him except arrogance and flatulent 
verbiage. Of one member, long passed away, who was fond of 
indulging in tirades against the House of Lords as composed of 
idlers, etc., he quietly observed : " If what he says of us be true, 
I am not fit to be a member here ; and if it isn't, he is not fit" 
Lord Bramwell did not delight in some of the modern develop- 
ments of economic science. He thought some modern speculations 
on the subject profitless and wire-drawn. " I have in my mind a 
book, very clever and very deep, which I cannot read. It is very 
subtle, but not practical, and after a few pages I get bewildered." 
In the applications of the science to currency questions he was 
most at home. In the address which he delivered in 1888, as 
President of Section E of the British Association, he remarked 
that he had spent " nearly two-thirds of a century in trying to 



236 EMINENT PERSONS 

learn something about it." He would not allow that political 
economy was a dull subject. It "has been called a dismal 
science ; I never could read ten pages of him who so called it." 
His position in regard to economics was simple and clear. He 
had an utter disbelief in the benefit of State interference, 
Laisser faire, laisser alter, was in his view the highest wisdom ; 
and he wrote, in answer to a speech by his friend Mr. Shaw- 
Lefevre, a brilliant pamphlet, entitled, " Laissez faire," in which 
occurred such sentences as these : " Suppose my friend and I 
had to think for each other's wants instead of each for his own, 
I am afraid I should feed him sometimes when he was not 
hungry, and he occasionally would put me to bed when I was 
not sleepy. I should take him, for his good, to the Liberty and 
Property Defence League, and he would take me, for mine, to a 
Social Science Congress, to the edification of neither." And yet 
he was not so insensible to the evils and misery existing under 
the present constitution of society as was apt to be supposed. 
" Every good man has been at some time of his life a socialist," 
he often said ; never failing to add, " And, if wise, very soon 
ceased to be one." In regard to ethics, he was of the school of 
Bentham and the elder Mill, and he expressed his convictions in 
his vigorous way : " Natural rights are talked of. Nonsense ! 
Natural rights may exist when men are in a state of nature — 
what they may be I know not ; but when man is in a social 
state, his rights are what the law gives him ; and if the law is 
wise it will give him all he can get." 

Lord Bramwell knew the legal system administered before the 
Common Law Procedure Acts. He knew also its defects. He 
had been a contemporary of Baron Parke, the greatest master of 
relentless legal logic, but he was never blind to the defects of 
the system. Only lately, in speaking of the preposterous mode 
of enforcing judgments before the Judicature Acts, he observed : 
"I think that some twenty or thirty years hence, when the 
present generation of lawyers has ceased to exist, it will scarcely 
be believed that such a state of things did exist in a civilised 
country." For authorities, no matter how venerable, if irra- 
tional or founded on no principle, he had little respect. If they 
were too firmly rooted to be explained away, he was ready to give 
his powerful aid in removing them by legislation. " I am prone 
to decide cases on principle," he once wrote, "and when I think 
I have got the right one, I am apt (I hope I am not presuinp- 



LORD BEAMWELL 237 

tuous), like Caliph Omar, to think authorities wrong or need- 
less." We will add that he had constantly present to his mind 
that which is so apt to slip out of the sight of lawyers — the ends 
for which laws and courts exist. A great judge himself, he once 
said : " I declare that if I had the choice to be a great Judge or 
a good Judge, I should much prefer to be the latter." He 
initiated not a few measures of legal reform, and gave his 
aid to many more. Thus, to prevent the scandal of prisoners 
being detained for long periods waiting their trial for burglary, 
he proposed to widen the jurisdiction of justices. Writing to a 
friend of his Bill for this purpose, he remarks : " To say that 
justices cannot try these cases is absurd. It is to say they 
cannot try what o'clock it was when the thing was done, for on 
that depends whether it is burglary or only house-breaking." 
He introduced into the House of Lords a useful Bill consolidat- 
ing the entire law as to arbitration. 

No man appeared to think less of words and more of sub- 
stance than Lord Bramwell, yet few of his contemporaries were 
greater masters of style than he. Not Cobbett or Bright used 
his mother tongue with more effect. For the vague, namby- 
pamby, the stilted, the rolling, rotund style of oratory he had 
an antipathy. A sort of happy, classical colloquialism was his 
natural style. How often in our columns, under the familiar 
signature "B.," has the right word been said — something 
felicitous, apt, and portable as a proverb, bright and glittering 
as an epigram, good sense in its best attire ! How often in the 
future shall we miss his thrusts into the very vitals of imposture. 
Of the style of his judgments, no praise can be too high. They 
are welcome to every student of reports — true oases in arid 
deserts. Often they are, unconsciously and without a thought 
about effect, true literary masterpieces. There have been, we 
repeat, greater lawyers than Lord Bramwell. None could be 
more missed than he. A personality as vigorous and original as 
Thurlow's or Maule's, one who was as well known in society as 
Lyndhurst, he who stood so many years four square to all the 
winds that blew, has passed away, and every Englishman who 
knew him well will regret him as one of the sturdiest, manliest, 
and kindliest of his generation. A monument to him will be 
somewhere erected. All barristers will subscribe to do honour 
to one who was their common friend. Whether the sculpture 
will show him genial, sagacious, alert, with upraised finger 



238 EMINENT PERSONS 

putting to counsel before him his favourite dilemma, we do not 
know. But the aptest inscription would be the words which 
we bave quoted : " I declare that if I had the choice to be a 
great Judge or a good Judge, I should much prefer to be the 
latter," with one addition, that it was his rare fortune to be 
both. 



THOMAS COOPER 

1805-1892 

Obituary Notice, Saturday, July 16, 1892 

Mr. Thomas Cooper, the well-known Chartist leader and 
Christian lecturer, died at Lincoln yesterday afternoon, in the 
eighty-eighth year of his age. On Thursday he was seized with 
a slight attack of illness, which in his enfeebled state left him 
entirely prostrate, and he passed peacefully away. The career 
of this well-known Chartist leader, and religious and political 
controversialist, furnishes another example of the triumphs which 
may be achieved by indomitable resolution and perseverance in 
the humblest spheres. By his father's side, Thomas Cooper 
was descended from Yorkshire Quakers. He was born at 
Leicester in March 1805. Before he was twelve months old, 
his father, who was a travelling dyer, removed his family to 
Exeter. It is said that young Cooper learnt to read almost 
without instruction, and that at the age of three he was set to 
teach a youth of seven his letters. Mrs. Cooper, being left a 
widow when her son was only four years old, quitted Exeter for 
her native Lincolnshire, and settled down at Gainsborough, where 
the next twenty-five years of Thomas Cooper's life were passed. 
One of the first friends he made was Thomas Miller, the poet, 
who was learning the trade of basket-making when the youths 
became acquainted. In 1813 Cooper was sent to the Bluecoat 
School. From 1816 to 1820 he was at a private school, where 
he greatly extended his reading in history, poetry, and other 
subjects. Necessity compelled him to learn a craft for his live- 
lihood, and at the age of fifteen he was apprenticed to a 
shoemaker. Whilst pursuing his trade, he gave up every 



240 EMINENT PERSONS 

moment of spare time to his books, rising every morning at 
three or four o'clock in order to study. By the time he was 
twenty-three he had taught himself the Greek, Latin, Hebrew, 
and French languages, together with mathematics and a 
knowledge of English history and literature. His general 
reading was of the most extensive and varied character, and by 
way of recreation the omnivorous student would commit such 
masterpieces as Hamlet to memory. But circumstances at this 
time were very adverse for Cooper, and in describing the period 
long afterwards, he said : " I not ^infrequently swooned away 
and fell along the floor when I tried to take my cup of oatmeal 
gruel at the end of the day's labour. Next morning, of course, 
I was not able to rise at an early hour ; and then the next 
day's study had to be stinted. I needed better food than we 
could afford to buy, and often had to contend with the sense of 
faintness, while I still plodded on with my double task of mind 
and body." A serious illness ensued, during which he was once 
given up for dead. 

In 1828 Cooper abandoned his trade of shoemaking and 
opened a school, to which the children of poor parents flocked 
eagerly. A year later, after many mental struggles and much 
spiritual wrestling, he joined the Wesleyan Methodist body, and 
became a local preacher. In 1834 he married the sister of a 
revivalist preacher in Lincoln, and established a school in that 
city. Here he had much to do with the foundation and 
prosperity of the Lincoln Mechanics' Institute, and the Lincoln 
Choral Society. He also acted as correspondent for the Lincoln, 
Rutland, and Stamford Mercury. It was at this time that he 
conceived the idea of his ambitious poem on " The Purgatory of 
Suicides." Cooper was a strong Radical in politics, and he 
wrote warmly in support of Sir Edward Lytton Bulwer, who 
was then in great favour with the Liberal electors of Lincoln. 
After a brief residence at Stamford, whither he moved upon 
leaving Lincoln, Cooper went to London in 1839, where he 
passed through many vicissitudes in endeavouring to launch 
himself upon a journalistic and literary career. For a brief 
period he resided at Greenwich, where he edited the Kentish 
Mercury. In 1840 he moved to Leicester, his birthplace, 
became associated with the Leicestershire Mercury, joined the 
Cbartists, and conducted the Chartist organ, the Midland 
Counties Illuminator. Cooper soon became recognised as the 






THOMAS COOPER 241 

leader of the Chartists, and was nominated as a Parliamentary 
candidate both for the town and county, but was not returned. 
Among the converts to Chartist views, whom Cooper made by 
his eloquent appeals, was a youth of fifteen, named Anthony 
John Mundella, whose later career is sufficiently well known. 

Cooper lived to see that Chartism was but the fly on the 
wheel during this great period of political agitation. Free 
trade became the one overwhelming cry of the nation, though 
there were many sanguine spirits who thought that an enlarge- 
ment of the franchise, with the accompanying political demands 
embodied in the People's Charter, would take precedence of 
Corn Law Repeal. Cooper was one of these, and clung 
enthusiastically to the cause when others wavered, or altogether 
abandoned it. Being elected delegate from Leicester to the 
Chartist Convention at Manchester in August 1842, he went 
thither by way of the Staffordshire Potteries. He addressed a 
number of large gatherings of working men, and on 1 5th August 
took the chair at a great meeting held on the Crown Bank at 
Hanley. The fiat had already gone forth in various parts of 
the country that all labour should cease until the People's 
Charter became the law of the land, and in some places riots 
had occurred. The Hanley meeting passed off peaceably, and 
Cooper, personally, strongly appealed for the observance of law 
and order. But a riot had taken place at Longton, and the 
noisy spirits of Hanley endeavoured to promote a riot there also. 
Cooper, who was widely known, was advised by his friends to 
leave the town, and he did so. But he had scarcely got away 
when the spirit of turbulence triumphed, and Hanley was the 
scene of riot and excess. At Burslem, Cooper was arrested, but 
was released for lack of evidence. On reaching Manchester the 
city appeared to be almost in a state of siege. All the manu- 
factories were closed, and cavalry and artillery were parading 
the streets. The convention was held on the 17 th, and Cooper 
and other Chartists recommended armed resistance to the law. 
An address was afterwards printed and sent out for distribution 
by the executive. The police arrested some of the leaders, but 
Cooper got away to Leicester. Here several out-door demon- 
strations were held, but they were dispersed by the county 
police. Cooper was arrested on a warrant held by the constable 
of Hanley, and conveyed back to the Potteries. He was 
committed to Stafford Gaol on the charge of aiding in the riot 

VOL. V R 



242 EMINENT PERSONS 

at Hanley, and while awaiting his trial he composed several of 
the simple tales which will be found in Wise Saws and Modern 
Instances, published in 1845. The assizes began on 11th 
October 1842, before Lord Chief Justice TindaL Cooper was 
charged with the crime of arson, but as it was conclusively 
shown that he was in Burslem and not in Hanley at all at the 
time when the offence was committed, the jury returned a 
verdict of " Not Guilty." Two days later he was again 
arraigned, this time on the charges of conspiracy and sedition. 
The trial was postponed, however, and after five weeks Cooper 
was liberated. On arriving at Leicester he was made the hero 
of demonstrations throughout the town. 

Divisions now assailed the Chartist party. The cause was 
practically ruined by the time when Cooper's second trial came 
on at the Stafford Assizes, 20th March 1843. Sir Thomas 
Erskine was the Judge, and the chief counsel against the 
prisoner was the scholarly Serjeant Talfourd, M.P. Cooper 
conducted his own defence, and delivered a powerful speech. 
But there were certain stubborn facts in the way of an acquittal, 
and the prisoner was found guilty of conspiracy and sedition, and 
sentenced to two years' imprisonment in Stafford Gaol. While 
in prison, Cooper began the composition of The Purgatory of 
Suicides, an epic poem in ten books, written in the Spenserian 
stanza. This " Mind History," as the author described it, dealt 
with the great social and religious questions of the past and present, 
making the spirits of suicides the actors or speakers. 

Now, for some time, Cooper had been gravitating towards 
atheistical opinions. He had been treated by his Methodist 
friends in a manner which did not seem to him to savour of 
Christianity ; his wife was ill and bed-ridden ; and his own 
imprisonment reacted upon his sensitive nature. After his 
release from gaol in 1845 he studied the translation of Strauss 
begun by Charles Hennell and finished by George Eliot. He 
became, as he himself said, " fast bound in the net of Strauss," 
nor was he thoroughly able to break its meshes for twelve years. 
Cooper applied to Tom Duncombe, the eccentric member for 
Finsbury, to find him a publisher for his poem, and Duncombe 
gave him this characteristic note to Mr. Disraeli : — 

" My dear Disraeli — I send you Mr. Cooper, a Chartist, red 
hot from Stafford Gaol. But don't be frightened. He won't 



THOMAS COOPER 243 

bite you. He has written a poem and a romance, and thinks 
he can cut out ' Coningsby' and ' Sybil ' ! Help him if you can, 
and oblige yours, T. S. Duncombe." 

Disraeli received Cooper very kindly, and gave him notes to 
Moxon and Colburn, but these and other publishers would do 
nothing ; "poetry was an absolute drug in the market." Douglas 
Jerrold and Charles Dickens subsequently read The Purgatory of 
Suicides, of which they formed a high opinion, and Jerrold 
secured a publisher for it. The work appeared in September 
1845, and the first edition of 500 copies was sold off before 
Christmas. It was succeeded by another poem, The Baron's Yule 
Feast, dedicated to the Countess of Blessington. Carlyle wrote 
to the author concerning his Purgatory ',' of Suicides: "I have 
looked into your poem, and find indisputable traces of genius in 
it, — a dark, Titanic energy struggling there, for which we hope 
there will be clearer daylight by and by." Carlyle not only 
helped Cooper with advice, but by substantial acts of kindness. 
In 1846, while in the Lake District, Cooper had an interview 
with the venerable poet Wordsworth, who engaged him in a long 
conversation upon poets and poetry, and the events of the day. 
When they parted, Wordsworth said with emphasis, " The people 
are sure to have the franchise as knowledge increases ; but you will 
not get all you seek at once, and you must never seek it again by 
physical force ; it will only make you the longer about it." 

In 1847 Cooper published his Triumphs of Perseverance and 
Triumphs of Enterprise. In the same year he joined Mazzini's 
new society, "The People's International League," which held 
its London meetings at the residence of the secretary, W. J. 
Linton, the engraver, in Hatton Garden. From the Chartist 
meetings and disturbances of 1848, however, he kept entirely 
aloof ; and he was in complete disagreement with Feargus 
O'Connor over his land scheme. Cooper now became an active 
political and historical lecturer in London and in all parts of 
Great Britain and Ireland. His first novel, Alderman Ralph, 
was published in 1853, and another followed in the succeeding 
year. Towards the close of 1855 Cooper's opinions on religious 
questions underwent a change. He had never lectured as an 
infidel, but he had certainly given utterance to sceptical opinions. 
He now renounced these opinions, declared himself to be firmly 
convinced of the existence of a Divine Moral Governor of the 



244 EMINENT PERSONS 

universe, and for many years lectured upon the Evidences of 
Christianity. In September 1856 he began a course of Sunday 
evening lectures and discussions with the London sceptics, and 
continued them until the end of May 1858. In the latter year 
Mr. Cowper-Temple found him employment in the Department 
of the Board of Health, where, in addition to routine work, he 
assisted Dr. Simon, of the Privy Council Office, in the prepara. 
tion of his valuable report on vaccination. In 1859, having 
become thoroughly settled in his religious convictions, Cooper 
joined the general Baptist body, and from time to time preached 
under the auspices of that organisation. Shortly before taking 
this step he had held several public discussions with George 
Jacob Holyoake, but long afterwards he expressed his clear 
conviction that public discussions on the evidences of Christianity 
never do any good, and often do great harm. At length his 
health broke down, and Mr. W. E. Forster, Mr. Samuel Morley, 
Dr. Jobson, and other friends initiated a subscription for him 
in his illness and his need. Eventually a sum of ,£1300 was 
raised, which was used in the purchase of an annuity of <£100 in 
the National Debt Office, for himself and his wife. 

From 1867 to 1872 Cooper was again employed in lecturing. 
In 1878 his Poetical Works were collected and published, and 
shortly afterwards appeared The Bridge of History over the Gulf of 
Time. In 1882 he published his Autobiography, and since that 
period he has lived in retirement. During the course of his 
long career Cooper was thrown into contact with many of the 
most distinguished men of his time in literature and politics. 
His character was strongly marked, and it was impossible not to 
be struck by his honesty, his manliness, and his independence. 
His opinions on many questions were extreme, but his sincerity 
was undoubted. 

In 1886, when the Home Bule Bill was introduced, Cooper 
said in a letter to the secretary of the Liberal Unionist Society 
in Lincoln : " I shall not vote at the city election, because I 
agree with neither of the candidates. The Tory candidate 
knows perfectly well that the old Chartist prisoner cannot vote 
for him. I cannot vote for the Liberal candidate, because, so far 
as my perception reaches, it would be voting in the dark. The 
Irish people share the common privileges of English, Scotch, 
and Welsh men. What is it they want besides ? I ask the 
question because they never tell us what they really want 



THOMAS COOPER 245 

Home Eule is a vague answer, for it may have twenty meanings, 
and none of them be good. Lately Mr. Gladstone has invented 
a new phrase — he proposes to give Ireland a ' statutory Parlia- 
ment.' But what is that, and wherein does it differ from our 
Parliament ? Why do the Irish want a separate Parliament ? 
It would only help to make us more and more a divided instead 
of a United Kingdom. I must declare, whatever offence it may 
give to some people, that the Irish cry of Home Eule means 
separation from England, and that would be ruin to Ireland 
herself, and a costly war for England." 



VISCOUNT SHERBROOKE 

1811-1892 

Obituary Notice, Thursday, Jdly 28, 1892 

Twenty years ago Mr. Lowe's name was much better known 
than it now is. He had of late years sunk into bad health. 
Under several physical infirmities he always laboured, and they 
had increased. His nimble wit moved slowly. His bright in- 
tellect, interested in so much, had begun, his friends saw with 
regret, to be dimmed. In the House of Lords he rarely spoke, 
for some years past his voice was absolutely silent there. He, 
formerly so pugnacious and ever ready with a sharp word and 
apt answer, took of late no part in the struggles and controversies 
which were once his delight Though withdrawn into the 
background, he could not be forgotten by this generation ; and 
when the names of many of his contemporaries, still bustling on 
the stage, are scarcely known, Robert Lowe will be remembered 
as one of the striking figures of English public life. 

He was born eighty-one years ago in the rectory of Bingham, 
in Nottinghamshire, in the same year as Mr. Bright, and two 
years after Mr. Gladstone. He went to Winchester in Dr. 
Gabell's time, and he was not the least remarkable among a 
remarkable group. Among such contemporaries as Roundell 
Palmer, Cardwell, Eardley Wilmot, Monsell, and last, but 
certainly not least promising, William George Ward, he seemed 
marked out for future distinction. He took no part in games ; 
his weak sight debarred him through life from these. His 
scholarship was excellent ; his reputation for dialectical acuteness 
was still greater. He went in due course to Oxford. There he 
read hard. At the Union he spoke often and well ; in fact, he 



VISCOUNT SHERBROOKE 247 

and Ward were esteemed the best speakers of their time. He 
did not win any of the great University prizes, but he completed 
a brilliant career by taking a first class in classics and a second 
class in mathematics at the same time (1833) that Liddell, 
afterwards Dean of Christchurch, and Scott, afterwards Master 
of Balliol, took first classes. Two years later he was elected a 
fellow of Magdalen, and for several years he was fully occupied 
as a busy and successful coach. Even now linger memories of 
his triumphs in this field. Luckily, as events proved — most 
unfortunately as it seemed at the time — he failed in an attempt 
to obtain an office for which he was well fitted, but the holding 
of which would have doomed him to comparative obscurity. 
He applied for the chair of Greek in the University of Glasgow. 
The electors preferred Sir David Sandford. " To fail in that 
object," said Mr. Lowe himself some thirty years afterwards, 
" was the greatest disappointment that ever happened to me in 
my life." He was called to the Bar, but not caring for the 
drudgery, which was the only avenue to success open to one 
seeking it without the aid of professional friends, he turned his 
face towards the colonies, and in 1840 he landed at Sydney. 
The colony was then in its infancy. The population was small, 
and no great future seemed in store for it, for gold had not 
yet been discovered. Representative government had not been 
established ; only the rudiments of it existed in a council of 
thirty-six members, of whom twenty-four were elected by the 
constituencies. The Governor, Sir George Gipps, who was 
glad to get the services of a clever debater able to hold his own 
with men of ability such as William Wentworth, nominated Mr. 
Lowe to a seat in the Legislative Council in November 1843. 
There he made good the expectations of his friends. But he 
was not made to be a placeman, his position became irksome to 
him, and he resigned his official seat only to be re-elected shortly 
afterwards for Sydney. From 1844 to 1850 his life was full 
and varied. He had no small practice as a barrister. He took 
part in every public movement in the colony, and he found 
time to contribute to the Atlas newspaper many clever articles 
on politics, and even Puseyism, poems, satires, vers de societe. 
Had he remained in New South Wales the utmost success which 
the public life of the colony could offer was assured him. But 
tired of many of its concomitants, and allured by tempting 
prospects at home, he returned to England in 1850. 



248 EMINENT PERSONS 

The Botany Bay barrister had not his fame to make in this 
country. His University reputation still survived ; some of his 
school and college friends had already become powers in the 
State, and he returned here at a time when attention was turned 
to colonial affairs, and when his experience was welcomed. In 
1852 he was elected as a Liberal for Kidderminster, and in the 
House of Commons he was not slow to make his mark. Not 
that he quickly showed himself an orator, or at once fulfilled the 
high expectation of his friends. He too ostentatiously despised 
some of the devices which are the high-road to success. But 
his acuteness and courage were unquestionable ; he was a valu- 
able ally in debate and a vigorous and harassing foe ; he won 
the esteem of Lord Palmerston and other leaders, and in due 
time he became Vice-President of the Board of Trade — an office 
which he held for three years — and one of the joint secretaries 
of the Board of Control. This part of his official life was not 
barren or unmemorable. He conducted through Parliament 
several measures of importance, and inspired not a few reforms 
in commercial legislation. Though it did not fall to him to 
give full effect to the principle of limited liability, he was the 
parent of measures which were the forerunners of the Act of 
1862 ; and never, probably, was a clearer or more cogent 
argument for reform presented to Parliament than that contained 
in his speech in 1856, introducing the Partnership and Joint- 
Stock Companies Bills. 

One part of Mr. Lowe's activity after his return to London 
must not be passed over in silence. He was an admirable and 
experienced journalist. In these columns he wrote much and 
often ; and never, in the opinion of his friends, did he show so 
well the variety and the extent of his powers as in his writings 
as a journalist. His administration at the Education Office will 
always be memorable. No one left so profound a mark upon 
our educational system as he. On the benefit of payment by 
results, and the superiority of examination over inspection, he 
strenuously insisted. The Revised Code, the embodiment of 
his policy, will always be condemned by one class of school- 
masters, but unquestionably is one of the chief facts in the 
history of English education. Mr. Lowe delighted to shake 
the pillars of educational institutions. His own University has 
not yet quite forgotten his address to the Edinburgh Philo- 
sophical Institution in November 1867. Nowadays the same 



VISCOUNT SHERBROOKE 249 

thesis is often enough maintained. But it was rare then to 
find a ripe scholar tolling the knell of the classics and even 
mathematics, and urging youth to turn to modern languages and 
" bread-and-butter " studies. 

To a much larger circle Robert Lowe became known in 1866. 
The introduction of Mr. Gladstone's Reform Bill prefaced the 
most important passage in Mr. Lowe's career. All his life, in 
New South Wales as at the University, he had been a Liberal ; 
in regard to many questions foremost in pleading for reform, 
and ready to go all lengths. But he was no thoroughgoing 
admirer of democracies. He was in many things of the school 
of Canning and Peel. He revered the Constitution as he found 
it. He was not sure that it could be much improved. At all 
events, he was not prepared to cast it into the crucible of party 
passion. Our future masters were not, he thought, ready to 
discharge the functions which they were called to exercise. So 
he opposed with the energy of true conviction the change so 
lightly, as he thought, undertaken. He stood in the breach, 
when so many others, his natural allies, turned tail. He did 
not quit his station, though next year Mr. Disraeli went over 
horse and foot to the enemy. Indefatigable, earnest, and un- 
sparing he was in his opposition ; and surely the Praeds, the 
Cannings, the Copleys — all who had once stood where he stood 
— must have looked down with approving eye on this brilliant 
swordsman, the courageous champion of a lost cause. The 
occasion was memorable — a peaceful revolution was in store for 
the country, and one at least of the combatants was not un- 
worthy of the struggle. The controversy has sunk to rest. 
But his Reform speeches will still bear reading — 

" Demagogues are the commonplace of history. They are to 
be found wherever popular commotion has prevailed, and they 
all bear to one another a strong family likeness. Their names 
float lightly on the stream of time ; they are in some way 
handed down to us, but then they are as little regarded as the 
foam which rides on the crest of the stormy wave and be- 
spatters the rock which it cannot shake. Such men, sir, I do 
not fear, but I have, I confess, some misgivings when I see a 
number of gentlemen of rank, of character, of property, and in- 
telligence, carried away without being convinced, or even over- 
persuaded, into the support of policy which many of them in 
their inmost hearts detest and abhor. Monarchies exist by 



250 EMINENT PERSONS 

loyalty, aristocracies by honour, popular assemblies by political 
virtue and patriotism ; and it is in the loss of these things, and 
not in comets and eclipses, that we are to look for the portents 
that herald the fall of States." 

In another famous passage he observed — 

" To our hands at this moment is entrusted the noble and 
sacred future of free and self-determined government. We are 
about to surrender good for more than doubtful changes ; we 
are about to barter maxims and traditions that have never failed 
for theories and doctrines that have never succeeded. Demo- 
cracy you may have at any time. Night and day the gate is 
open that leads to that bare and level plain where every ant's 
nest is a mountain and every thistle a forest tree. But a 
Government such as England has, a Government the work of 
no human hand, but which has grown up the imperceptible 
aggregation of centuries — this is a thing we can only enjoy, 
which we cannot impart to others, and which once lost we 
cannot recover for ourselves. Because you have at once 
contrived to be dilatory and hasty heretofore, that is no reason 
for pressing forward rashly and unpremeditatedly now. We 
are not agreed upon details. We have not come to any accord 
upon principles. To precipitate a decision in the case of a 
single human life would be cruel — it is more than cruel, it is 
parricide, in the case of the Constitution, which is the life and 
soul of this great nation. If it is to perish, as all human 
things must perish, give it, at any rate, time to gather its robe 
about it, and to fall with dignity and deliberation. 

To-morrow — 
Oh, that's sudden, spare it, spare it : 
It ought not so to die." 

Mr. Lowe failed ; the tide flowed too strongly against him 
for him to roll back the advancing waves. The controversy 
over, the combatants at peace, there remained to Mr. Lowe a 
position properly his, but never accorded to him before. In 
1868 he was elected first member for the University of London, 
and in the same year he was appointed Chancellor of the 
Exchequer, an office which he held until 1873. It is the 
fashion to criticise harshly his fiscal administration ; to forget 
the applause with which his first ingenious Budget was received ; 
to dwell upon the fate of the ill-starred match-tax — best of 



VISCOUNT SHERBROOKE 251 

taxes in theory, worst, as it proved, in practice — to recall his 
ill-considered plan for estahlishing seigniorage, or "sweating 
the sovereign " ; and, to dilate upon the slipshod manner in 
which, owing to his imperfect sight, he made his financial 
statements. But his virtues, if unpopular, were real, his 
achievements considerable. He said in a speech at Sheffield : 

"During the last four years I have been able to take off 
twelve millions of taxes ; and I ask you if you had been paying 
three millions extra for expenditure, as you would have done 
had the expenditure not been watched over, how much of 
these twelve millions would have been remitted ? But the ex- 
penditure has diminished, and the consequence is that the 
revenue of this country having increased during the period that 
I had charge of the finances by a sum of twelve millions a 
year, every farthing of that twelve millions a year has gone into 
the pockets of the people, and not one sixpence of it has gone to 
increase the public expenditure. Nor, gentlemen, is that all ; 
you have now, with the exception of Exchequer Bills, which 
are for the purpose of convenience, no important debt at all ; 
for, although I have been obliged to increase the debt ten 
millions in order to pay for telegraphs, I have diminished the 
debt during four years by twenty-six millions. Even that is 
not alL I was called upon in 1870 to provide two millions on 
account of the war in Europe, and, as you know, in the present 
year (1873) I have been called upon to pay the sum of 
£1,600,000, half of the Alabama indemnity, making altogether 
£3,600,000. So prosperous have been the finances during 
this period that I have paid off the whole sum of £3,600,000 
without borrowing a sixpence or imposing a tax on you at all. 
That is the answer which I have to give to those who have 
been so liberal in criticising." 

These achievements and services should be remembered 
when we are told that he snubbed deputations, gibbeted people 
with designs on the public purse, and told the working man 
that he was venal and drunken. For a short time he was at 
the Home Office, where he did not show himself an exception 
to the rule that it is the grave of reputations. When the 
Liberals returned to power in 1880 he did not take office, and 
he was raised to the peerage as Viscount Sherbrooke. 

His career as a politician then ended. He never again held 
office ; but his influence upon public affairs did not cease. He 



252 EMINENT PERSONS 

was a useful critic. His pithy words were always heard with 
acceptance, at least by cultivated men. When ill-directed 
sentiment was uppermost, when there was a conspiracy of 
hypocrisy not to say the plain truth, Mr. Lowe blurted it out 
Popular he never was, nor aspired to be ; he had too little 
knowledge of his countrymen, and, we might add, too little 
respect for them, to win their affections, to understand the 
depth of the convictions which he sometimes irritated with so 
much levity, or to save him from making signal mistakes. 
Witness his unfortunate speech at East Eetford in 1878 with 
his ill-judged references to Her Majesty. But, right or wrong, 
judicious or ill-advised, his words must be listened to ; his 
opponents winced under sentences which fell like strokes of a 
whip. In politics, society, or business he was the terror of 
bores, and scores of his sharp sayings still circulate in Downing 
Street and Whitehall. " Let us begin by assuming we are all 

d d fools, and now to business," was his abrupt opening of 

proceedings on a committee of which X, a fussy bore, vacant 
and captious, was a member. " Why quarrel with your natural 
advantages?" was his query to a friend holding up an ear 
trumpet to listen to another bore. 

On the last phase of the Irish question Lord Sherbrooke did 
not publicly express himself, but his opinions were no secret. 
A memorable passage in one of his speeches states them : 

"I have no doubt myself that in Ireland more than anywhere 
else it is necessary our legislation should be founded on 
principles perfectly broad, perfectly well ascertained, perfectly 
defensible upon the most abstract philosophical grounds. I say 
in Ireland especially, because in the turgid vortex of Irish 
opinion and discord we have nothing but abstract principle to 
rely upon. You cannot give up principle without encouraging 
their dreams of reconquering land which has been taken from 
them. You cannot give up all that is asked by the Ultra- 
montane Episcopate without encouraging them in dreams equally 
fatal to the welfare of the people of the country. You must 
take your stand upon something ; the something might be 
truth, honesty, and sound principle. If it is necessary to 
maintain them in England, it is ten times more necessary to 
adhere to them with punctilious accuracy in Ireland. Our 
wisdom is when we have got existing institutions, whether they 
be land laws, colleges, or schools, founded on the best principles 



VISCOUNT SHERBROOKE 253 

we can find out for our own use in this country, and when we 
find them existing in Ireland, to stand by them and maintain 
them firmly, yielding to no clamour, seeking no momentary 
popularity, but doing our duty as far as we know with reference 
to what is true and good, and not with any idea of momentary 
expediency. If I were to describe what our policy with regard 
to Ireland ought to be in a few words, I should say it consisted 
in patience, forbearance, firmness, and impartiality." 

Mr. Lowe wrote much, but he has left no book behind him 
to preserve an adequate record of his gifts. The collection of 
graceful verses which he was induced to publish a few years ago 
contained little more than scholarly trifles. Perhaps he had 
not thought sufficiently on any one subject to treat it authorita- 
tively ; he was too apt to be satisfied with a sharp, rapid glance. 
Political economy interested him much ; he was an active 
member of the Political Economy Club. Until lately he 
regularly attended its meetings, and his duels with Mr. John 
Stuart Mill are still remembered there. But Mr. Lowe had not 
had leisure to make original investigations in the field of know- 
ledge. His habit of exaggerating the importance of political 
economy, his obliviousness to the many necessary limitations of 
the teaching of Ricardo, showed that he had not watched the 
later developments of the science. True literary faculties, 
however, he possessed. He laid his hand with certainty upon 
the right word and phrase. Though prone to denounce the 
University training of his day, he was from first to last the 
outcome of it. 

Qui viret in foliis venit a radicibus humor. 

On the whole we look back on a full and fortunate life. In 
his little volume of verses we notice these lines, with a date 
attached which gives the secret of them : — 

Success has come, the thing that men admire ; 

The pomp of office and the cares of State ; 
Ambition has nought left her to desire : 

Success has come — but ah ! has come too late. 

But that could only have been a passing feeling. His was a 
healthy, vigorous nature ; and regrets never showed themselves 
except in verse. He had almost exactly the career which in 
youth he would have most desired ; and if he fought for lost 



254 EMINENT PERSONS 

causes, his was not the nature to be much depressed by the 
result. His tall, handsome, striking figure, youthful complexion, 
and hair white before its time, as he fumbled and peered among 
his notes upside down, scattering sarcasm, wit, irony, and 
pointed sense among an audience alternately irritated and 
amused, will not fade soon from the memory of this generation. 
Lord Sherbrooke was twice married, — in 1836 to Miss 
Georgiana Orred (she died in 1884), and in 1885 to Miss 
Caroline Sneyd ; but he leaves no children, and the peerage 
becomes extinct. The second Lady Sherbrooke survives her 
husband. 






JOHN GREENLEAF WHITTIER 

1807-1892 

Obituary Notice, Thursday, September 8, 1892 

In John Greenleaf Whittier, who died early yesterday morning 
at Hampton Falls, New Hampshire, a remarkable man has 
passed away, and America has to mourn the loss of one of 
her foremost men of letters. Mr. Whittier, who, with the 
single exception of Longfellow, was the most popular of all 
American poets, was an earnest member of the Society of 
Friends. Down to the last he remained faithful to the 
principles and traditional practices of the Society, conforming 
even to its peculiarities of speech and garb in a community 
where such an observance must have been very trying at times 
to one of so retiring and sensitive a nature. His life was not 
distinguished for any remarkable episodes, though it was not 
devoid of political incidents and of stormy mental struggles. 
But for thirty years before his death he led a quiet and placid 
existence, " far from the madding crowd " and the busy haunts 
of men. 

Whittier's first American ancestor went over to Massa- 
chusetts in 1638, and the conversion to Quakerism took 
place in the second generation of the family, after the settle- 
ment of the Bay Colony, and at a time when that sect was 
rigorously persecuted. It has not unnaturally been inferred 
that there was something of heredity in the unswerving con- 
stancy of Whittier to unpopular opinions. The poet was born 
on the 17th of December 1807, at Haverhill, Massachusetts, 
then a farming village, and one of the prettiest of the many 
hamlets which gave a peaceful charm to the New England 



256 EMINENT PERSONS 

State. Little is known of his parents, so that we may consider 
them happy in their history. Whittier early fulfilled all the 
duties of a farmer's boy, driving the kine to and from pasture, 
riding to mill, fetching in wood for the fires, and helping in the 
various labours of haying and harvest. Up to his twentieth 
year he resided at the family homestead, acquiring only such 
simple education as was then thought necessary. In the rural 
districts of New England, at the beginning of the nineteenth 
century, there were no public libraries, no Lyceums, reading 
clubs, or debating societies. Books in the Whittier household, 
moreover, were scarce, and consisted only of about a score 
of volumes, chiefly relating to the doctrines of Quakerism 
and the lives of its founders. One novel and one book of 
poetry only found a lodgment thera But these circumstances, 
which were so untoward for one who longed to drink at the 
fountain of knowledge, were somewhat relieved when the 
young student was made free of the library of Dr. Elias 
Weld, of Haverhill. Apart from the inadequate training 
obtained in the district school, which was only open for about 
twelve weeks in midwinter, one year of academy life was 
all the scholastic education which the future poet received. 
A farm-hand taught him shoemaking, a common occupation 
during winter in the fishing and farming villages along the 
coast, and it was by this means he was enabled to attend the 
Haverhill Academy for the extra study just mentioned. Being, 
according to the current notions of the time, now sufficiently 
learned to be himself a teacher, he taught in the district school 
of West Amesbury during the winter of 1828, and spent the 
money thus earned on his own education. 

A copy of Robert Burns's poems, which fell into Whittier's 
hands in his fourteenth year, stirred the literary ambition within 
him, and at the age of eighteen he contributed anonymous 
poems to the Free Press, a journal edited by W. Lloyd Garrison 
in Newburyport Garrison discerned signs of promise in the 
effusions, and sought out the writer. A lasting friendship was 
formed between the two, and it is conjectured that this " had 
some influence in preparing Whittier to enlist in the anti- 
slavery crusade which began with the establishment of the 
Liberator in 1831, and afterwards caught so much of its 
inspiration from his fervid lyrics." Whittier contributed 
poems also to John Neal's Yankee, and to the New England 



JOHN GREENLEAF WHITTIER 257 

Magazine, where Oliver Wendell Holmes first revealed himself 
as the garrulous and delightful " Autocrat." But except as 
regards a certain limited circle of readers, it was as a prose 
writer that Whittier first became known. He contributed to 
the American Manufacturer, a journal in which tariffs and 
other questions of political economy were discussed, and of 
which he became editor. In 1830 he was appointed editor 
of the Haverhill Gazette, and shortly afterwards of the New 
England Weekly Review, published at Hartford, Connecticut. 
For some years before this he had carried on the farm, after 
the death of his father. Whittier's first volume, entitled 
Legends of New England, in prose and verse, was published 
at Hartford in 1831. It was succeeded in the following year 
by Moll Pitcher, a poetical tale, of which Mistress Mary 
Pitcher, a famous old witch of Nahant, was the heroine. On 
account of ill health, Whittier resigned the editorship of the 
Weekly Review in 1832, and returned home. For the next 
four or five years he was alternately a biographer, a politician, 
a farmer, and a legislator. He wrote a memoir of that gifted 
young writer J. G. C. Brainerd, which was prefixed to the 
second edition of his Literary Remains, and an essay entitled 
"Justice and Expediency, or Slavery considered with a view 
to its Abolition." It required no small amount of courage 
to give utterance at this period to anti-slavery sentiments ; but 
Whittier never allowed anything to stand in the way of a 
fearless advocacy of his opinions. 

In 1835 Whittier published his Mogg Megone. He became 
Secretary of the American Anti-Slavery Society in 1836, and 
lie afterwards removed to Philadelphia, where for a year 
(1838-9) he edited the Pennsylvania Freeman. This he did 
with such uncompromising vigour and earnestness that the 
printing-office of the journal was sacked and burned by a 
mob. But the editor was a man of passionate conviction, 
and, delicate as was his physical organisation, he faced many 
a brutal mob with unflinching composure. His enemies even 
were compelled to acknowledge the moral grandeur of the 
man. Nevertheless, he was never a mere fanatic, but was 
always ready to recognise and honour high qualities in his 
adversaries, as many of his poems show. He refused to follow 
Lloyd Garrison in his renunciation of political action as one 
means of reform. For some time he was a ceaseless worker 
VQL,V 8 



258 EMINENT PERSONS 

among the abolitionists, and edited the Anti-Slavery Reporter . 
In 1840 he took up his abode in Aniesbury, a quiet village 
near his birthplace ; and there — with the exception of six 
months spent at Lowell as editor of the Middlesex Standard — 
in the simple dignity of a frugal independence, the fruit of 
his own literary labours, he spent most of the remainder of 
his long life. 

A volume of Ballads, issued in 1838, was followed by Lays 
of My Home, and other Poems, in 1843. Miscellaneous Poems 
appeared in 1844, and the same year the first English edition 
of Whittier's poems was published in London under the title 
of Ballads and other Poems, with an introduction by Eliezer 
Wright. Two prose works now followed, The Stranger in 
Lowell, in 1845, and Swpernaturalism in New England, in 1847. 
Leaves from Margaret Smith's Journal appeared in 1849. This 
work purported to be the production of a young English 
maiden — on a visit to the Province of Massachusetts Bay 
in 1678-79 — who jotted down in her journal whatever struck 
her as being likely to interest her friends in England. She 
seized the salient points of colonial life, and described the 
social and religious condition of the settlers, who were much 
exercised by Quakers and witchcraft. Altogether it was a 
very faithful reproduction of a bygone age. In 1849 Whittier 
collected his anti-slavery poems, written during a period of 
fifteen years, under the title of Voices of Freedom. While they 
were serviceable in their day, they manifested less of the essence 
of poetry than any of the author's other productions, and, as the 
subject which called them forth is no longer a battle-ground for 
contending parties, they are little read now. But that the poet 
even here could rise occasionally to a fine and touching strain, 
is shown in his "Farewell of a Virginia Slave Mother to her 
Daughters sold into Southern Bondage." In 1850 was pub- 
lished Old Portraits and Modern SIcetches, and in 1853 Songs of 
Labour and other Poems. The latter volume witnessed another 
expansion of the poet's mind, these objective sketches being 
very vigorous in expression, and infused with a hopeful spirit 
for the future toilers of the race. By some critics these poems 
have been regarded as the most characteristic of all their 
author's productions, and those by which foreign readers would 
most readily recognise him as an American poet 

During the period shortly before and shortly after the Civil 



JOHN GREENLEAF WHITTIER 259 

War Whittier's works followed each other in rapid succession. 
In 1853 came Tlie Chapel of the Hermits, and other Poems, 
and A Sabbath Scene: a Sketch of Slavery in Verse. The 
former was based upon an incident related in a note to St. Pierre's 
Etudes de la Nature. Rousseau and St. Pierre had arrived 
at the habitation of the hermits just as they were reciting the 
Litanies of Providence. The visitors were much moved, and 
offered up their own devotions. Rousseau confessed to the feeling 
of peace and happiness which pervaded his soul, when St. Pierre 
exclaimed, " If Fdnelon had lived you would have been a 
Catholic." Rousseau replied with tears in his eyes, "Oh, if 
Fdnelon were alive, I would struggle to get into his service, even 
as a lackey ! " This incident the poet has utilised for contrast- 
ing the characters of Rousseau and St. Pierre, and also for the 
enforcement of certain moral sentiments. Literary Recreations 
and Miscellanies was published in 1854, and The Panorama and 
other Poems in 1856. A complete edition of Whittier's works 
was issued in 1857 in two volumes, and his next original work 
was Home Ballads and Poems, published in 1860. 

In his seclusion, Whittier was far from being insensible to 
what was going on in the outer world ; nor did he neglect his 
duties as a citizen. As the late Mr. Russell Lowell remarked 
of his friend — 

"Whenever occasion offered, some burning lyric of his flew 
across the country like the fiery cross, to warn and rally. 
Never mingling in active politics (unless filling the office of 
presidential elector may be called so), he probably did more 
than anybody in preparing the material out of which the 
Republican party was made. When the Civil War was impend- 
ing he would have evaded it if possible by any concession short 
of surrender, as his Word for the Hour (January 1861) shows. 
While the war continued he wrote little with direct reference 
to it, and never anything that showed any bitterness towards 
the authors of it. After it was over he would have made the 
terms of settlement liberal and conciliatory. He was too wise 
and too humane to stir the still living embers of passion and 
resentment for any political end, however dear to him." 

In 1862 Whittier published one of the finest of his works, 
Snow Bound. There is no English poem with which it can 
fairly be compared unless it be Burns's " Cottar's Saturday 
Night." New Englanders regard it as one of their greatest 



260 EMINENT PERSONS 

literary treasures. The snow-bound family which the poet 
describes was his father's family, and each member of it is 
invested with a striking individuality as he or she describes 
exciting incidents connected with Indian raids, or depicts 
pastoral scenes of quietude and beauty. It was a perfect 
idyl of New England life and manners, and possesses a 
historical value as a vivid picture of modes of life even then 
obsolete. This volume was followed by another complete 
edition of the author's poetical works, and then in 1863 ap- 
peared In War Time, and Other Poems, closely succeeded by 
National Lyrics. Then came a collection of his prose works, 
after which, in 1867, was issued The Tent on the Beach, where 
the poet resumed his character of a story-teller in verse, though 
with a wider range than he had hitherto shown in the choice 
of subjects. Among the Hills, and other Poems (1868) was 
followed by a complete illustrated edition of the author's 
poetical works, corresponding in appearance and typography 
with the prose works. A volume of Ballads of New England, 
issued in 1869, contained sixty illustrations by various artists. 
Miriam, and other Poems was published in 1870, and two years 
later appeared The Pennsylvanian Pilgrim, and other Poems, 
which had for its chief character Francis Daniel Pastorius, who 
drew up the first protest made in America by a religious body 
against negro slavery. Hazel Blossoms was published in 1874, 
Mabel Martin in 1875, and in the latter year also appeared a 
new collected edition of the poet's works, comprising all the 
poems that he had written up to the date of publication. The 
subsequent works of Whittier were written and published in 
the order named — the noble Centennial Hymn, 1876; The 
Vision of E chard, and other Poems, 1878 ; The King's Missive, 
and other Poems, 1881 ; Bay of Seven Islands, and other Poems, 
1883 ; Poems of Nature, 1885 ; and St. Gregory's Guest and recent 
Poems, 1886. A final edition of his poetical and prose works, 
supervised by the poet himself, was issued in seven volumes in 
1888-89. This edition likewise included the poems of his 
sister, Elizabeth Hussey Whittier, who, like her brother, was a 
member of the Society of Friends, and an ardent advocate of 
liberty. 

Whittier has generally been regarded as the most distinct- 
ively American of all American poets, with the one exception, 
perhaps, of William Cullen Bryant. But Whittier had a wider 



JOHN GREENLEAF WHITTIER 261 

range than Bryant, and was more intense in feeling. He had 
both action and reflection in his poetry. His "Floyd Ireson" 
is an excellent ballad, and it may almost be said of him that 
what Sir Walter Scott did for Scotland, Whittier did for New 
England. His poems, dealing with individual characters, are 
also remarkable for their individuality and their graphic force. 
Take " Cassandra Southwick," for example, where we see por- 
trayed a veritable woman, noble in her tribulations, and 
glorious in her triumph : or " Randolph of Roanoke," a splendid 
tribute to the memory of a great man, and all the more praise- 
worthy that it was wrung from the lips of an opponent. " The 
Quaker poet saw the great Virginia slave-holder as he was — a 
man to be known and respected." Strikingly, also, Whittier 
drew Daniel Webster in " Ichabod." That famous statesman 
"disappointed the moral sense of New England by the stand 
he took about the Fugitive Slave Law, and was sadly and 
sternly reprobated, even by his admirers " ; Whittier grieved 
over his defection, but " with a noble manliness that was as 
honourable to Webster as to himself." Whittier's poetical 
compositions may be divided into six categories — picturesque 
poems dealing with Indian character and scenery ; legendary 
poems descriptive of the colonial life of the Puritans and the 
Quakers ; anti-slavery poems ; songs relating to labour ; poems 
in celebration of freedom ; and religious poems. Many of his 
devotional lyrics recall those of Cowper, and some of them have 
now taken a permanent place in English hymnology. The 
most salient features in Whittier's verse were those also observ- 
able in his personal character — sincerity, simplicity, earnest- 
ness, and manliness. No criticism could more happily describe 
his worth generally than the verses which he prefixed as a 
"proem" to one of his earlier volumes, and from which we 
extract these two stanzas — 

Yet here at least an earnest sense 
Of human right and weal is shown ; 

A hate of tyranny intense, 

And hearty in its vehemence, 
As if my brother's pain and sorrow were my own. 

Freedom ! if to me belong 
Nor mighty Milton's gift divine, 

Nor Marvel's wit and graceful song, 

Still with a love as deep and strong 
As theirs, I lay, like them, my best gifts on thy shrine ! 



262 EMINENT PERSONS 

For some years before his death Whittier resided at Oak 
Knoll, Danvers, Massachusetts, a delightful home, surrounded 
with sylvan glades and beautiful oak vistas. Here he was 
made the recipient of affectionate demonstrations on the part 
of his friends — first on completing his seventieth year, and 
again in December 1887, when he attained the age of four- 
score years. This latter event was also publicly celebrated in 
Boston and elsewhere. 



M. RENAN 

1823-1892 

Obituary Notice, Monday, October 3, 1892 

France has lost one of her most unquestioned literary glories, 
one of the most generous and large-minded of her philosophers, 
one of her thinkers most imbued with classical philosophy and 
Oriental learning, one of those who have brought to the highest 
point the beauty, purity, and clearness of the French language. 
M. Renan died after an illness of only a few days, but following 
on some weeks of debility and suffering. He had been brought 
back with some difficulty from Brittany, where he had passed 
the holidays amidst those familiar associations by which he 
loved to be surrounded, and of which he spoke with so peculiar 
a charm. As soon, however, as he felt himself in serious 
danger he was anxious to return to Paris, to die within the 
walls of the College de France, of which he was the head, 
which he loved so much, and where, to use his own expression, 
" the days were more productive and the nights more serene." 
While in Brittany he had been troubled with insomnia, and his 
son Ary Renan, a young painter of much promise, was forced 
to spend part of the night in reading to him. On returning to 
Paris, he was confined to his bed, and his sufferings prevented 
his listening to reading, but in the short intervals of ease he 
spoke with the resigned serenity of a philosopher, and even with 
something of the hopeful temper of a Christian. At two o'clock 
this morning, four hours before his death, he turned to his 
wife and said, " Why are you sad I" " Because I see you 
suffer," she replied. " Be calm and resigned," replied the 
dying man ; " we undergo the laws of that nature of which we 



264 EMINENT PERSONS 

are a manifestation. We perish, we disappear, but heaven and 
earth remain, and the march of time goes on for ever." He 
soon lost consciousness, and in a few hours was dead. 

It is thought that France will give a national funeral to this 
great writer, this powerful thinker, equalled only by Victor 
Hugo in the admiration of his contemporaries. In his private 
relations he was the most charming, simple, and amiable of 
men, and when, at home or elsewhere, he was seen leaning back 
in a chair, his hands clasped on his breast, his head slightly 
leaning to the left, his eyes half closed, but listening with 
sustained attention to what was said to him, as though any man 
who approached him could teach him something, you felt that 
he was full of indulgence for his fellow-men and of ardent 
curiosity for all that interests the human mind. For more 
than forty years — from 1848, when the French Academy 
awarded him the Volney Prize, up to his latest works, his early 
reminiscences, and his admirable Histoire du Peuple d'Israel, 
but barely completed — each successive production of his intellect 
and learning made a great impression, and even amid the 
greatest political and social agitations fixed itself on the atten- 
tion of the world. For a happily very brief period of his life 
he was tempted by politics. His programme was summed up 
in these four phrases, which embody the idea of the philosopher 
more than of the politician, when in 1869 he was a candidate 
for the Chamber : — "No war, no revolution, progress, liberty." 
It is fortunate that he was defeated, withdrawn from politics, 
and restored to literature, which he never again quitted. 

Educated at the Seminary of St. Sulpice, destined for the 
priesthood, solicited and encouraged to persevere in that vocation, 
Renan tore himself from his surroundings on finding that 
implicit faith had forsaken him. A mind like his could not 
long remain a prey to hesitation. He sought eternally to 
understand, and for him miracle and legend vanished, and he 
renounced being a priest. He preserved, however, a touching 
recollection of his stay at the seminary, and, in spite of the 
attacks, calumnies, and insults lavished on him by the Catholics, 
who alleged that he had betrayed them, he never uttered or 
wrote a bitter word against the Sulpiciens, whose life and 
labours he had shared, and to whom he remained profoundly 
grateful. If, moreover, his Life of Jesus, which appeared thirty 
years ago, which made so great an uproar, which has ever since 



M. RENAN 265 

been constantly combated, and to which one of the most 
eloquent preachers of the day, Pere Didon, virtually replied 
two years ago by his erudite and earnest Je'sus Christ — if that 
work raised against him all the anger and indignation of 
extreme Catholics, he himself always cherished the predilection 
for the moral doctrine of Christianity, preaching charity, love, 
and pardon, of which Christ was the founder and the highest 
personification. He was no atheist or freethinker. He believed 
in God, and, though doing his utmost to reduce Christ to the 
proportions of a divinely-inspired philosopher, he had a sub- 
missive respect and obedient admiration for every syllable 
falling or reported to have fallen from the lips of the Master. 
This was just why he was anxious to discriminate between 
what he found to be authoritative and what appeared to him 
to be inauthentic. In no conversation with him did we ever 
detect a single word which was that of a freethinker, and if he 
spoke harshl)' of priests, it was because he reproached them for 
misconceiving the grand figure of Christ and impairing the 
celestial beauty of his character. 

His visit to the East, which he accomplished under some- 
what romantic conditions, and in which he sought to tread the 
very shores and byeways trodden by Christ, had left indelible 
traces in his mind. The East appealed to him. The great 
barren plains, without shade or breeze, had imbued him with 
their melancholy monotony, and from that moment he en- 
deavoured to solve the problems which disquieted him much 
more with a view to pacify his own mind than to give fresh 
light to fellow-men groping their way. His philosophy gradu- 
ally took the shape of large-minded indulgence and resignation, 
and, if a man's last words embody the idea of his whole life, 
that philosophy is found in the sentence just quoted : — " We 
disappear, but heaven and earth remain." The unending 
current which impels mankind to love had also borne him 
along with it, and his Abbesse de Jouarre, described by some as 
indicating senility, is a natural reversion to his earliest im- 
pressions, and a deliberate homage to that tenderness of soul 
and heart which cannot be stifled without occasioning bitter 
regrets. But even if his works did not bear the traces of his 
profound and constant meditations, they would remain the 
finest monument raised by genius in honour of the French 
language, an almost inimitable model of clear thought and 



266 EMINENT PERSONS 

crystalline expression, precise and elegant, the culminating point 
reached by the tongue of Bossuet and of Fenelon. Renan could 
die with a conviction of having added treasures of reflection and 
learning to the intellectual patrimony of his country, its 
language, literature, and philosophy, and with having shown 
generations to come that there is no true science without an 
unshakable faith in the existence and justice of God. 

Ernest Renan was born on the 27th of February 1823, at 
Treguier, a small town on the coast of Brittany. His father 
was captain of a coasting vessel, and perished mysteriously at 
sea. His mother was a Gascon, with the joyous, sympathetic 
temper of the south. On her husband's death his mother, 
reduced to poverty, retired for a time to the neighbouring town 
of Lannion. On going back to Treguier, Ernest was sent to the 
municipal college, where he was a model of studiousness and 
good conduct. The Abbe, afterwards Bishop Dupanloup, then 
head of the St. Nicolas du Chardonnet Seminary, in Paris, 
happened to hear of his collegiate successes, and, being anxious 
to recruit promising youths for the priesthood, sent for him 
to Paris. At Issy and St. Sulpice he continued his studies, 
especially in philosophy and Hebrew. But while in minor 
orders his faith in Catholicism gave way, and he left the 
seminary, to the great regret but with the sincere respect of its 
professors. The history of this crisis he has fully related in his 
souvenirs and in the biography of his sister Henriette, printed 
for private circulation. His sister's letters from abroad, where 
she was acting as governess, had a considerable influence on the 
formation of his opinions at this critical moment. He supported 
himself by teaching in Paris while continuing his own studies. 

In 1848 he obtained the Volney Prize for an essay on 
Semitic languages, and two years later a second prize for an 
essay on the study of Greek in the Middle Ages. In the meantime 
his sister, who had returned from Poland, had joined him in his 
modest lodgings. In 1849 he went to Italy and collected the 
materials for his doctoral thesis on Averroes. In 1851 he 
received an appointment in the Paris National Library, and in 
1856 he succeeded Augustin Thierry in the Academy of 
Inscriptions. He had married a daughter of Henry Scheffer, 
brother of Ary Scheffer, and like him a painter. In 1860, with 
hie wife and sister, he went to Syria. There his sister died, and 
he himself was dangerously ilL In 1863 he was nominated 



M. RENAN 267 

Professor of Hebrew at the College de France, but there was a 
noisy scene at his opening lecture, and the course was suspended 
by the Government, which offered him as compensation a post at 
the National Library ; but this he refused. He enjoyed the 
intimacy of Prince Napoleon, and was considered a Liberal 
Imperialist, but he was an Independent and unsuccessful 
candidate for the Chamber in 1869. During the war of 1870 
he vainly appealed to Strauss for intervention in favour of 
France. He was reinstated in his professorship by the Republic, 
and retained it till his death, while latterly holding also the 
office of Rector, and consequently residing at the College. He 
had, of course, only a handful of auditors in a small stuffy room, 
but foreigners, especially Englishmen, eagerly embraced this 
opportunity of seeing and hearing a man so much talked about. 
His unprepossessing physiognomy never failed to surprise those 
who had admired his writings, and that physiognomy was even 
exaggerated in the portrait by M. Bonnat in the last Salon. His 
ungraceful posture as he leaned over the table, or threw himself 
back in his chair, was also quite out of keeping with the ideal 
conception of him. But his voice had a decided charm. 

On the creation of the Senate, Renan expressed a wish to 
enter it, but he stood no chance. Though with his easy 
optimism he accepted the Republic, he almost to the last pre- 
ferred a mild despotism, which should patronise savants and 
men of letters, and allow full liberty of thought except in 
politics. In 1878 he succeeded Claude Bernard at the French 
Academy, and M. Mezieres, who welcomed him, mingled his 
compliments with some good-humoured sarcasms on his historical 
inventiveness. It fell to Renan to welcome several new Aca- 
demicians, and his speeches were models of elegance, criticism, 
and banter. In 1888 he was promoted Grand Officer of the 
Legion of Honour. His delivery of the Hibbert Lectures in 
England will be well remembered. He leaves a widow and two 
children, the son a painter of the Puvis de Chavannes school, 
while the daughter, who received the Protestant rite of confirma- 
tion, is married to an erudite Greek, M. Psichare. Subjoined is 
a list of M. Renan's works : — Vie de Je'sus, Les Apdtres, St. Paul, 
Antichrist, Les Evangiles et la Seconde Generation Chrdienne, Marc 
Aurele et la Jm du Monde Antique, Le Livre de Job, Le Cantique 
des Cantiques, L'Eccle'siaste, Histoire G^nerale des Langues Semi- 
tiques, Histoire du Peuple d'Israel, Etudes d'Histoire Religieuse, 



268 EMINENT PERSONS 

Nouvelles Etudes cPHistoire Religieuse, Averroes et VAverrcnsme, 
Essais de Morale et de Critique, Melanges d'Histoire et de Voyages, 
Questions Contemporaines, La Beforme Intellectuelle et Morale, De 
VOrigine du Langage, Dialogues Philosophiques, Caliban, L'Eau 
de Jouvence, Le Pretre de Nemi, L'Abbesse de Jouarre, Souvenirs 
d'Enfance et de Jeunesse, Discours et Conferences, UAvenir de la 
Science, Mission de Phenicie, Conferences d' Angleterre. The two 
remaining volumes of his Histoire du Penple d'Israel are ready 
for publication, and it is understood that he has also left some 
further reminiscences which are not to be published for five 
years. 

M. Renan was a Breton by birth, and, as he loved to say, a 
Breton with a spice of the Gascon by nature. In 1823 he was 
born at Treguier, and in that ancient city, with a strong ecclesi- 
astical flavour, over which the Revolution had lightly passed — 
a city, to use M. Renan's own words, "stranger to commerce 
and industry, a vast monastery where no sound of the outer 
world penetrated, where people called vanity what others seek 
after, and- where what the laity called illusions were deemed the 
only realities" — he passed his childhood, and contracted, he 
tells us, a bent which he never lost. His forefathers, the 
Renans, had come, he tells us, from the county of Cardigan 
"under the guidance of Fragan about 480." "What is more 
certain is that his people were simple, honest Bretons, who early 
saw in their clever young kinsman a future professor at the 
College of Trdguier, perhaps Grand Vicar of St. Brieuc, and 
perhaps in the end a distinguished Bishop. Certain it is that 
from his earliest age he was destined for the Church. " I was 
born a priest a priori, as so many others are born soldiers or 
magistrates." In after years he was wont to protest against the 
narrowing isolation of his early education. But in his impartial 
moods he did justice to his preceptors, and to the excellent 
instruction in Latin and other subjects which he received at 
their hands. He knew how to profit by it. His powers of 
acquisition were prodigious, his passion for knowledge pre- 
cocious and not to be satiated. In 1838 he won all the prizes 
at the College of Treguier ; and the keen-sighted Abbe" Dupan- 
loup, who then directed the famous seminary of St. Nicolas 
du Chardonnet, and, in fact, was the life and soul of that institu- 
tion, saw in the clever student a future helper. " In a moment 
my fate was decided. 'Bring him hither,' said the impetuous 



M. KENAN 269 

Superior. I was fifteen and a half ; we had no time for reflec- 
tion. I was spending the holidays with a friend in a village 
near to Treguier, and in the afternoon of the 4th of September 
a messenger came post-haste to find me. I recall that coming 
back- as if it were yesterday. I had to walk a league across 
country. The ringing of the evening Angelus echoed from 
village to village, filling the air with a gentle melancholy and 
calm, an image of the life which I was giving up for ever. The 
next day I departed for Paris ; on the 7 th I saw a host of things 
as new to me as if I had been suddenly dropped into France 
from Tahiti or Timbuctoo." 

It was in truth the opening of a wholly new life. Three or 
four years he passed in St. Nicolas du Chardonnet, and a further 
period of training for the priesthood was spent in the seminary 
of Issy, near Paris. He threw himself with ardour into the 
studies of the place. " C'etait une sorte de fureur," to use his 
own words in his Souvenirs d'Enfance. His next step was to 
enter. St. Sulpice, in 1843, to study theology. Here he became 
acquainted, partly through attending the course of lectures at 
the College de France by M. Etienne Quatremere, with the 
writings of the German Biblical critics ; what were the exact 
stages in the great change which took place is not clear ; M. 
Kenan's later explanations of his mental revolution left it half 
unexplained. What is certain is that in September 1845 he 
announced his resolution to quit the seminary. " I cannot," he 
said, "become a priest without culpable hypocrisy." 

Remonstrances were unavailing ; and on the 6th of October 
1845 he left St. Sulpice to begin the life of a man of letters. 
As a teacher of Oriental languages, and subsequently as the 
holder of a post in the Manuscript Department of the National 
Library, he was able to supply his few wants ; for his wants 
were simple, his life then as afterwards that of a scholar. Perhaps 
his first literary success was his essay " De l'Origine du Langage," 
which appeared in 1848, and which attracted the favourable 
attention of Grimm and other philologists. It supported the 
thesis, much more novel then than now, that language was not 
a mechanical invention, coming at a late stage in man's history, 
but the creation of the human faculties acting spontaneously. 
A succession of works marked not only by erudition, but by a 
rare charm and matchless distinction of style — in particular his 
History of the Semitic Languages — brought him fame, and led to 



270 EMINENT PERSONS 

his being intrusted with literary missions to Italy and Syria. 
In 1862 he was chosen to fill the Chair of Hebrew at the College 
of France ; and it will not be forgotten that his opening lecture 
was made the occasion of a hostile demonstration so serious as to 
induce the Government to refuse to ratify the appointment. 

Outside France he first became known by the publication of 
his Vie de Jesus in 1863. The writings of Strauss and Baur 
had early profoundly affected him ; his visit to Syria led him 
to think further of the subject ; and the result was a volume 
which excited as much controversy perhaps as any book of this 
century. It would be impossible to give here even the names 
of the books and pamphlets which, with prodigious fecundity, 
M. Renan poured forth during his literary life of more than 
forty years. The Histoire des Origines du Ghristianisme, Les 
ApStres, Saint Paul et Sa Mission, Marc Aurele, L'Eglise Chrelienne, 
followed each other in quick succession ; and even while they 
were being published he was an indefatigable contributor to the 
records of the Acad^mie des Inscriptions. Nor did he confine 
himself to the provinces of the philologist and historian. He 
travelled often into the realms of philosophy and literature. 
He even essayed, though with indifferent success, the art of the 
dramatic author, and in the De'bats and Eevue des Deux Mondes 
he was at one time a frequent contributor. More than once he 
was tempted to begin a political career. Fortunately for him, 
he was uniformly rejected. Even if he had been gifted with 
that practical capacity of which he admitted he was absolutely 
destitute, his political creed, embodied in the saying " La 
jalousie, principe de la democratic," did not recommend him to 
a French constituency. Perhaps the only time he played a 
political part of importance was when he addressed to Strauss 
and other German savants a letter of rebuke for their exultation 
over the prostration of France. 

In his late years everything was done by his country to make 
amends for the treatment which he experienced when he was 
deprived of the Professorship of Hebrew. He was elected a 
member of the Academy in 1878, and Vice-Rector of the 
College de France in 1883 ; and his countrymen delighted to 
speak of him as the foremost man of letters in Europe. 

Whether this is a correct verdict, or what is the proper and 
final place of M. Renan in literature, it is premature to say. 
Great authorities have criticised his scholarship, and his value as 



M. RENAN 271 

a historian is vitiated by faults which inferior men are able to 
shun. " So strong is M. Eenan's desire to fill up all gaps ir 
history," says M. Scherer, " that he sometimes inserts in the 
narrative a point of detail which looks well and fills out the 
situation, and then tells his reader in a note not to believe it." 
He who strove to be in all things a critic was himself subject to 
the very weaknesses from which criticism is supposed to 
emancipate men. But when all is said as to his failings, there 
must remain a sense of his supreme literary gifts. His horizon 
was wide ; he looked at men and things in a large way ; and he 
moved easily and habitually in regions of thought to which few 
writers can reach. Whether the resources of the French 
language were ever known better to any one than to him, only 
his countrymen can determine ; but to find his equal it may be 
necessary to go back to his compatriot Chateaubriand, wbom in 
so many respects he resembled. Never, probably, has French 
prose been made so musical, flowing, pliant, expressive of so 
much, as under his touch. None of his generation, it is certain, 
surpassed him in that artistic finish which art cannot reach, and 
in that winning naivete with which the simplicity of ignorance 
cannot vie. The mould in which he was cast is broken ; and 
even if France should have deeper scholars, more sober and 
accurate historians, and tongues as eloquent, never again will be 
found that union of faculties which gave him supreme distinction 
in the eyes of his countrymen. 



LORD TENNYSON 

1809-1892 

Obituary Notice, Friday, October 7, 1892 

The death of Lord Tennyson extinguishes the most brilliant 
light in English literature — a light which has shone to the last 
with un waning lustre. He linked us with the golden age of the 
famous poets of the beginning of the century, and his loss, 
following on that of his old friend Browning, leaves a blank we 
can scarcely hope to fill. Though the late Laureate had kept 
his powers and much of his natural energy to the last, he has 
died in the fulness of years as of fame. He lived to a good old 
age ; he did great and imperishable work ; his name had long 
been a charmed household word around the hearths and in the 
hearts of his admiring countrymen, for he was eminently the 
poet of the feelings and the affections ; and if he cared for lower 
honours and for riches, he had won enough of both to satisfy his 
ambition. The greatest or most conspicuous men are often the 
least to be envied ; but we should say that few lots were more 
enviable than his. The son of a clergyman in affluent circum- 
stances, life from the first was made smooth and pleasant to him. 
From the first he found delight in a congenial vocation ; and 
his genius became his philosopher and guide in the boundless 
realms of the fancy. When most boys are still drudging at the 
gradus, or beginning to labour over the grindstone of Latin 
verse, he wrote flowing poetry, which is readable, and was full 
of promise for the future. The promise was promptly recognised 
by those who were nearest and dearest to him ; and he had 
never to complain of that lack of encouragement which may chill 
the susceptible temperament of the poet. Perhaps the excessive 



LORD TENNYSON 273 

partiality of his friends, though the triumphs of the future 
justified their foresight, may have helped to provoke the severity 
of unkindly critics. Yet many an aspiring and self-confident 
poet would have given much to secure such universal notice as 
was speedily bestowed upon Tennyson. Susceptible he might 
be, like all refined and original spirits, but nature had gifted 
him with sterner qualities as well. He had a self-confidence 
which some pronounced overweening, and a resolute devotion 
to his art which rose superior to satire. If the one and the 
other served to blunt the shafts of the critics, they saved him as 
well from the injudicious flatteries of his enthusiastic admirers. 
At one time he seemed to stand at " the parting of the ways " ; 
and a weaker man might have chosen the worse, which would 
have led him downwards towards fluent mediocrity. Tennyson 
at that critical turning-point gave proof of his good sense and 
worldly wisdom. On calmer thought he profited by the 
stinging criticisms which had provoked him at first into in- 
discreet outbursts of temper. That is proved by the suppression 
in subsequent editions of the poems which had been most 
mercilessly ridiculed. He meditated and laboured over his 
gracefully-polished work ; each melodious line and measured 
couplet was the deliberate expression of his feelings ; he wrote 
slowly and published leisurely. The rich exuberances of fancy 
were lopped and pruned ; his deepest sentiments were seldom 
obscure ; the loftiest flights of his philosophical mysticism 
rarely carried him beyond reach of the perceptions of his in- 
telligent worshippers. In short, his methods were the very 
opposite of those of the greatest of his rivals, and he had his full 
reward. His genius ripened steadily and surely. His reputa- 
tion increased with the appreciative and sympathetic, as his 
popularity was widely extended among the crowd. With a 
single exception, which was soon forgotten or forgiven, each 
fresh publication was as warmly welcomed as it had been 
eagerly expected. In the enjoyment of ample means, absolute 
master of his time and of his arrangements, he made his 
favourite recreation his regular occupation, writing just as much 
or as little as he pleased. He led the easy life of a country 
gentleman as he understood it, drawing inspiration for his 
scenery and his minutely-exquisite painting of nature from the 
lanes and downs that surrounded his dwellings. He had the 
choice of two country residences in the fairest districts of 
vol. v T 



274 EMINENT PERSONS 

southern England ; he had hooks at will as the companions 
of his solitude when he cared for solitude ; and we may add, 
though it sounds something of a bathos, he found unfailing 
solace in an inexhaustible tobacco-jar. He chose to hold aloof 
from the so-called " society " that would have gladly courted and 
petted him, because he disliked anything in the shape of social 
dissipation. Bat from his school time and college days to 
extreme old age no one was more fortunate in the attachment of 
familiar friends, and had he not been as happy with his children 
as in his marriage, he might hardly have lived so much of a 
hermit. So far as we can know, the worst trouble of his later 
years was the notoriety that attracted troops of admirers to 
gaze at the roof that sheltered the Laureate, and, if possible, to 
force the consigne at his gates. It is said that he was fairly 
driven by obtrusive tourists from the home which lay near their 
beats in the Isle of Wight to pass the summer and autumn 
months in less accessible solitudes in Sussex. But if these were 
among his worst troubles, we may be sure we are right in 
pronouncing his lot a pre-eminently happy one. 

Alfred Tennyson was born on 5th August 1809, at Somers- 
by, a small village in Lincolnshire. His father was rector of 
the parish, and remarkable for bodily strength and stature, 
which may help to explain his son's longevity and the per- 
ennial vigour of mind which prolonged his powers of giving 
pleasure beyond reasonable expectation. The rector, though 
living remote from the world, was not only a gifted but an 
accomplished man, and most of his many children took after 
him. Alfred was the third of seven brothers, and they all 
either turned naturally towards intellectual amusements or 
were trained to them. They read much and wrote habitually. 
The Rector of Somersby devoted himself to his children, and 
Alfred's education, like that of his brothers, began under the 
care of their father at the village school. All the time, whether 
as a child or a schoolboy, lie was studying elsewhere than in 
printed books. He was reading and eagerly drinking in facts, 
fancies, and inspirations from the richly-illuminated volume of 
nature, and he never wearied of it It was then he was ground- 
ing himself in those minute details of natural history and 
botany which he was to turn to such graceful account. He 
is said to have been no mean artist, too, and at all events 
the scenery and the landscapes about him were indelibly 



LORD TENNYSON 275 

impressing themselves on his memory. Lincolnshire is not the 
most romantic of English counties, nor is the neighbourhood of 
Somersby especially picturesque. Nevertheless it is neither 
flat nor tame, and with its fields, fens, and marsh flowers it has 
characteristic charms of its own which have stamped themselves 
on the most pleasing pages of the Laureate's earlier poetry. 
There to the north of his native village rose " the long dun 
wolds " of the ballad of " Oriana " that were " ribb'd with 
snow " when the Norland whirlwinds were storming in the 
winter. Thence, or from the neighbouring heights, with the 
hero of his " Locksley Hall," he overlooked 

— the sandy tracts 
And the hollow ocean-ridges roaring into cataracts. 

for the sea stretches away at no great distance. Around many 
a Lincolnshire hall and quaint old farm-house was such a moat 
as encircled Mariana's Grange, where 

About a stone-cast from the wall 

A sluice with blacken'd waters slept, 

And o'er it many, round and small, 
The cluster'd marish-mosses crept. 

Each piece of minute description in the earlier poems 
seems to be the fond and vivid reflection of photographs 
on the memory. There are gray hills in the woodlands, with 
" Hangers " like that of Selborne ; the very numbers of the 
species of the trees standing before the rectory door are given 
exactly ; but, above all, we may identify the brook with its 
surroundings — the brook that ripples and murmurs through 
many of his pieces, besides the "Miller's Daughter" and the 
* Ode to Memory." It flowed at the bottom of the rectory 
garden, and like his Lotus-eaters he must have often dreamed 
away the summer days upon its banks, soothed by the drowsy 
melody of the water, as it " purled o'er matted cress and ribbed 
sand." "We may remark, by the way, how fond he was from 
first to last of certain epithets which are invariably suggestive 
and expressive. " Ribbed sand," for example, though it might 
have been borrowed from Coleridge, is perpetually recurring. 
Then everywhere in those poems we recognise the natural 
history as well as the scenery of his native parish. We have 



276 EMINENT PERSONS 

"the many -wintered crow that leads the clanging rookery- 
home " ; we have " the wanton lapwing," and many another 
bird of passage that frequents the dreary moorland and the 
barren shore. Like Scott, who was observed making notes of 
the wild flowers on Greta banks, Tennyson was never content 
with picturesque generalisation in his descriptions. As no one 
can talk a language like a native, who has not mastered it in 
his youth, so Tennyson could never have been so universally 
at home with nature had it not been for the close observations 
of the botanising and bird-nesting rambles of his boyhood. He 
was as precocious in his study of nature as in his poetry. It is 
Mr. Holbrook, the old country gentleman in " Cranford," who 
quotes the phrase " black as ash-buds in March" as a fact which 
he did not know " till this young man comes and tells me." 
So the marsh and moat botany in " Mariana " is almost perfect 
in its technical precision, and yet how wonderfully the creepers 
and the trailing water-plants have interwoven themselves with 
the beauties of the verse. "With unconscious, or at least imper- 
ceptible, effort his genius turns all it touches to his purpose ; 
and the trailers on a wall, as a gardener might have catalogued 
them, are poetical as the figure of the Pleiads on a stormy night, 
" glittering like a swarm of fireflies tangled in a silver braid." 
If we go down to the insect world it is always the same, for 
the lustre of his genius, like the microscopic lens, sets off the 
tiniest of objects in unsuspected beauty. He can brighten the 
stagnant surface of a mill-pond ; and there are few more finely 
expressed parables in his poems than that he draws from the 
glittering dragonfly in "The Two Voices" — 

An inner impulse rent the veil 
Of his old husk : from head to tail 
Came out clear plates of sapphire mail. 

He dried his wings : like gauze they grew ; 
Thro' crofts and pastures wet with dew 
A living flash of light he flew. 

If there be anything to surpass that in similar style in our 
English poets we should be glad to see it And if we have 
dwelt at length on his education by nature, it is because its 
influence on his poetry is hardly to be overrated. Books are 
well ; the intimacy with cultivated minds which Tennyson 
enjoyed and appreciated to the fullest extent is even better ; 



LORD TENNYSON 277 

but best of all for the poet is the familiarity with nature, which 
teaches him to read her very innermost soul, and to rejoice in 
singing her praises in her humblest works. We may add that 
that habit of close and searching observation became intro- 
spective and extended itself to mental phenomena as well. So 
much so, that at one time it threatened to become a snare to 
him, and to make much of his poetry metaphysical, if not 
mystic ; although, fortunately for our pleasure as for the poet's 
popularity, healthier and more natural impulses prevailed. 

From his village he was sent to the grammar school of 
Louth in Lincolnshire, an establishment which, we believe, 
had even then a high local reputation. It was there that, in 
conjunction with his elder brother Charles, he produced the 
Poems by Two Brothers. The little volume was so far a pecuni- 
ary success that the copyright was bought for ,£10 by a local 
bookseller. In point of merit there is little more than we 
might have expected to be said for it, considering the ages of 
the authors and their inexperience. But it is interesting as 
showing now and again the germs of ideas which were to ripen 
later, and still more as illustrating the width of the young 
writers' reading and scholarship. The Tennysons must have 
come far nearer than most young gentlemen of their years to 
Macaulay's typical and omniscient schoolboy. There are not 
only numerous quotations from the English and French poets, 
but there are evidences of a scholarly acquaintance with the 
choicest of the Roman classics. " The Lover's Tale," which 
was written in 1828, is a proof of the judicious self-restraint 
which tempered Alfred Tennyson's ambition and self-assurance. 
Though printed a few years after it was written, it was never 
published till 1879, and only then because garbled extracts had 
got abroad. Yet the genius that was still immature had made 
wonderful progress in the meantime, and in the "Tale" we 
recognise the marked characteristics that were chastened down 
afterwards by thought and by exercise. We are struck already 
by the independence and originality of the youthful poet. It 
has been said, and no doubt said with truth, that the poem 
bears traces of the influence of Shelley, with whom in some 
respects Tennyson was much in sympathy. But, though the 
influence may be distinctly traced, there is no servile imitation, 
and there is the promise of not a few of the beauties that 
became very distinctly Tennyson's own. 



278 EMINENT PERSONS 

In the year in which it was written the brothers went up 
to Cambridge, where they were entered at Trinity. There 
they were welcomed at once in as brilliant a circle of young 
and aspiring contemporaries as were ever assembled at that 
venerable seat of learning. We need only name among them 
Merivale and Spedding, Dean Alford, Archbishop Trench, 
Bishop Thirlwall, and Lord Houghton, Lord Stanley, Charles 
Buller, John Sterling, and the Lushingtons. Above all, and 
dearest of all, were Brookfield — to whom Tennyson was to 
dedicate one of the most beautiful of his sonnets — and Arthur 
Hallam, son of the historian, whose untimely death was the 
gain of literature, since it suggested the pathetic elegy of the 
" In Memoriam." The friendly intimacy of that gifted fellow- 
ship was to have a marked influence on his future and fortunes. 
That his mind was enriched we need hardly say by the cultured 
intercourse. But these youths, so many of whom were destined 
to high distinction, had formed themselves into what scoffers might 
call a mutual admiration society. They did justice, and more than 
justice, to Tennyson's poetical genius, and welcoming each fresh 
performance of his with affectionate sympathy and admiration, 
thenceforth they became the champions and guardians of his 
fame. It would have turned the head of a weaker man, and 
certainly it was no unmixed advantage to him, for Tennyson at 
no time undervalued his own powers. But, on the other hand, 
the ardent admiration of such critics was irresistible evidence of 
extraordinary talents ; they set themselves to discover subtle 
or hidden meanings ; they indicated the more conspicuous 
beauties with discriminating admiration, and, in short, they 
hurried the public judgment in the direction in which it must 
have drifted sooner or later. It is true, as we have remarked 
already, and shall notice again, that their obvious and excessive 
partiality provoked a reaction. Even if their praise of the 
beauties was not exaggerated, they were inclined to pass the 
faults and blemishes over in silence ; so it was certain that 
other and less friendly judges would charge themselves with 
the less grateful part of the critic's duty. When Hallam in- 
dulged in the Englishman's Magazine in almost unstinted lauda- 
tion, a writer in the Quarterly, believed to be Lockhart, and 
Wilson in Blackwood, seem to have felt bound to lay on the rod 
with extreme severity, greatly to Tennyson's displeasure and 
disgust He had good reason to feel annoyed, if not aggrieved, 



LORD TENNYSON 279 

for the Englishman's Magazine was a comparatively obscure 
periodical, with no such authority as either of the others. Yet 
the skirmish of the pens, and the slashes which left him smart- 
ing, contributed to bring him fame and fresh admirers. 

The occasion of the articles by Hallam and Wilson was the 
publication of a volume of Poems Chiefly Lyrical, which 
appeared in 1830, and contained not a few of the finest of his 
shorter effusions. Besides " Claribel," " Lilian," etc., there were 
" Mariana," " Oriana," and the " Recollections of the Arabian 
Nights." Hallam's article, obviously over-partial as it was, 
is still valuable for its delicately sympathetic appreciation. 
Tennyson, more than most, is a poet who should be read sym- 
pathetically ; and Hallam was at home with the mind that had 
cherished and fostered those graceful fancies. He analyses the 
distinctive features of the author's genius with fine discrimina- 
tion, and in the main with a truth there is no disputing. But 
the article in Blackwood we must now take cum grano. It was 
written at a time when the rising Scotch periodical was waging 
relentless and unscrupulous war against what it denominated 
" The Cockney School," and all who were supposed in any way 
to be affiliated to that school. Tennyson's warmest admirers 
will hardly deny that there were passages', and even whole 
poems, which justified the characteristic criticisms of " Crusty 
Christopher." In more serious vein, Wilson gave the young 
de'butant a great deal of excellent advice. He warned him 
against the danger to which we have alluded — of being too 
mystical and metaphysical. He remarked further on the 
tendency to mannerisms, and from mannerisms Tennyson has 
never altogether shaken himself free. But when Wilson turns 
from censure to praise, he shows as much critical prescience as 
good feeling. It was his habit to write in violent extremes, 
but no one could be more generously effusive. Even in his 
swing of reckless sarcasm he stops to say that the day may come 
when " Tennyson's genius will grow up and expand into a 
stately tree, embowering a solemn shade within a wide circum- 
ference." He gives the poet generous credit for fancy, imagina- 
tion, and genius, and he comments upon the beauties he 
extracts by the page. From the " Ode to Memory," through 
"Oriana," to the "Recollections of the Arabian Nights," he 
rises from eulogy to something approaching rapture. What can 
be more graceful than the compliment to the cluster of beauties, 



280 EMINENT PERSONS 

the Isabels and the Claribels 1 " We are in love, as an old man 
ought to be — as a father is with his ideal daughters — with them 
all." Nevertheless, it is not to be wondered at that Tennyson, 
though he may have had the wisdom to profit by the advice, 
was provoked to bitter retort. 

The volume which followed in 1833 contained, among others, 
the poems of " CEnone," the " May Queen," and " The Dream of 
Fair Women." It was then that the Quarterly article nipped with- 
out crushing him, for, indeed, it was already clear that he was a 
poet, and a poet of exceeding sweetness and rare endowments. 
There was the ring of rich music in his melodious measures ; 
he had the instinct of strangely harmonious cadences, which 
chimed in marvellously with his subjects, as in the refrain of 
" Mariana in the Moated Grange," and, above all, in the wildly 
plaintive burden of " Oriana." He had a luxuriant imagination 
that rather needed to be pruned ; the gift of most realistic and 
yet poetical description ; a happy selection of gracefully ap- 
propriate metaphor. He had a sweet intelligence of love in its 
changing moods ; he could analyse the passions and dramatise 
them in action ; he had powers of pathos and sympathy that 
awakened and soothed the affections. Within a limited range 
his versatility was remarkable. He drew on memory and 
observation for the descriptions of the " Moated Grange " or 
" Locksley Hall " ; on exuberant fancy for the gorgeous scenery 
in the Oriental visions of the " Arabian Nights." There is as 
much of antithesis as of similarity in the " May Queen " and in 
1 ' GUnone " ; yet the feeling in the one as the passion in the 
other are equally simply and pleasingly true to nature. 

Though a fertile and facile writer, Tennyson for one reason 
or another showed a self-restraint which poets who can afford it 
would do well to imitate. We know that he neither laid aside 
his pen nor let his faculties lie fallow, but for nearly ten years 
after 1833 he printed little. In 1842 appeared an edition of 
his poems in two volumes, consisting in great measure of reprints, 
but with some noteworthy additions. They were warmly 
welcomed, as they well might be. " The Two Voices " in itself 
might have made a poet's reputation. Many consider it Tenny- 
son's masterpiece. Melodiously metaphysical, without being 
mystically obscure, it leads up through softly-flowing stanzas to 
the practical lessons that help us to carry the burdens of life ; 
nor can anything be more artistic than the climax, which 



LORD TENNYSON 281 

whispers consolation and lets the glimmer of the dawn break 
gently through the darkness. Wordsworth remarked when he 
read the book that in the higher spheres of poetry Mr. Tenny- 
son afforded the richest promise. " He will do great things yet, 
and ought to have done greater things by this time." He was 
eoon to do greater things, or, at least, to undertake more im- 
portant work. In the fragment of the " Morte d' Arthur " was 
the germ of the grand conception which was expanded in the 
" Idylls " and " The Holy Grail." These volumes, like the former, 
were praised and blamed ; but now the praise immeasurably 
predominated. The best judges delighted to honour the rising 
star, and the Quarterly made something more than the amende 
honorable, though in this case, the writer being one of Tenny- 
son's friends, some of the savour may have been taken out of 
the incense. If he had taken parody as flattery instead of 
blasphemous desecration, assuredly he would have had no reason 
to complain. Aytoun and Martin, in their Bon Gaultier Ballads, 
did much to popularise " Locksley Hall " and the " May Queen " 
among the classes who might have missed the beauties of the 
originals. His publishers paid him well ; and he received 
besides a substantial tribute to his rising reputation in the shape 
of a pension of £200. We fear we must say that his prosperity 
provoked the envy of a man who should have been superior to 
petty jealousies. It was an unfortunate coincidence, to say the 
least, that in the very same year Lytton attacked Tennyson 
bitterly in the New Timon, and the attack was directed 
against the pensioner as much as the poet. Discreditable 
personalities were too much the fashion in. those days, as 
Lytton himself was to learn to his cost when Thackeray fell 
foul of him in the Epistles to the Literati. And, to do Tennyson 
simple justice, he was by no means behindhand when he 
answered his enemy's challenge in the pages of Punch. There 
was clever portraiture as well as rough caricature in the 
stanzas — 

The padded man that wears the stays. 

"The Princess" came out in 1847. It was the longest 
poem he had yet written, and he lost no reputation by it, if he 
gained little. It was a literal " medley " in which the beauties 
predominate, and^where many exquisite sentiments found har- 
monious expression. In a second edition he seems to have 



282 EMINENT PEKSONS 

considered and laid to heart the severe strictures of some of the 
critics ; although that does not necessarily follow, for he was in 
the habit of judging himself reflectively and dispassionately, 
recasting and polishing his work. He suppressed a few of the 
lines, he interpolated many others, and he introduced the brief 
lyrics dividing the chapters which are the sweetest and most 
attractive parts of the poem. He was in happier vein, and his 
warm affections had found a more congenial theme, when 
composing the " In Memoriam," which appeared two years after 
"The Princess." Tastes must differ widely as to styles and 
subjects ; but on the whole the " In Memoriam " must be 
pronounced one of the finest, and the most finished, as it is the 
most thoughtful, of Tennyson's poems. Never did the memory 
of an unknown youth receive such signal honour, and by what 
appeared a sad and untimely death young Hallam secured a 
world-wide and deathless fame. 

The success of the " In Memoriam " was wonderful, con- 
sidering the sadness of subject. No idea could have seemed 
more morbid than that of ringing the changes in a monotony of 
lament for one long departed. There seemed something of 
affectation, too, in inviting the public to chime in with the 
unrestrained indulgence of a private grief. But these obvious 
objections were surmounted by the genuine pathos of the poet, 
and by his masterly methods of treatment. There was nothing 
morbid in the course of the plaintive strains, bringing sweet 
consolation out of grief, and hope out of despondency. The 
poet of the " Voices " drew new lessons from the discipline of 
sorrow, and pointed the struggling victims of time to the 
glorious promise of a blessed eternity. If the ring of " The 
Princess " was sometimes hollow and even harsh, nothing can 
be richer or more sonorous than the deep melodies of " In 
Memoriam." 

The year 1850 was a memorable one for the poet, as well as 
for his admirers. He was married in the early summer, and 
appointed Laureate in the autumn. The wedding was at 
Shiplake Church, in Oxfordshire ; his wife was the eldest 
daughter of Mr. Henry Sellwood, and a niece of Sir John 
Franklin. It was shortly afterwards that the death of Words- 
worth left the Laureateship vacant. It was scarcely flattering 
to Tennyson that the only competitor seriously put forward was 
Leigh Hunt, another of the poets, by the way, whom Wilson 



LORD TENNYSON 283 

and Lockhart had satirised as singers of the Cockney School. 
Posterity will have no difficulty in deciding upon their com- 
parative claims to precedence ; and, indeed, the chief objection 
to the exercise of the Premier's patronage was that Tennyson 
was already a pensioner of the State. It may be doubted 
whether the Laureate's bays and mantle exercised a favourable 
influence on his poetry. In everything he has ever written we 
come as matter of course on fine ideas and noble passages. But 
no one of his court ditties, not even the welcome to the Princess 
of Wales, has risen in any great degree above the commonplace. 
Nor was " Maud," which came out in 1855, by any means one 
of his most successful efforts. Like " The Princess," its welcome 
by the reviewers was less warm than usual, and he had struck 
a key and taken a tone which was unlikely to popularise the 
poem. With such exceptions as the " Come into the Garden, 
Maud," which at once seized on the fancy, we missed some of 
the accustomed melody. The poet of sentiment, of nature, and 
the domestic affections, was scarcely at home in singing the 
praises of war. 

Whether or no he had sunk in " The Princess " and in 
" Maud," he soared again in the " Idylls of the King " in a 
more daring flight than he had hitherto attempted. It was the 
fault of the fragmentary design that he had to await the full 
triumph. The " Idylls " in their completed form are in reality 
a grand epic. The cycle of the Arthurian legend had long 
engaged his fancy ; he had touched it already in the " Morte 
d'Arthur " and elsewhere. It offered singular attractions to the 
chivalrous side of his genius ; it gave rare opportunities for 
his statelier and more severe forms of diction. His fancy might 
freely indulge its flights in gilding a national and favourite 
romance ; imagination might make what it would of myth and 
legend. Tennyson's ideal Arthur was the star of chivalry, the 
soul of honour, and the prince of purity, as well as the best and 
bravest lance among his Paladins. Virtue went hand in hand 
with valour at a Court which stood fast on the foundations of 
faith and chivalry in the surging sea of heathenism and 
barbarism. In the spotless Arthur, with his mysterious birth, 
we have something, if we may say so, like the antitype of the 
Saviour. He wears the form and bears the weapons of humanity; 
but he is too good for the world ; even the wife who should 
have known him best wearies of his spotless perfection. And 



284 EMINENT PERSONS 

in falling back upon Lancelot, she so far has our sympathy as a 
woman abandoning an unimaginable ideal for the noblest of 
frail and erring mortals. So that in our idea, save in the 
pathetic closing scene of forgiveness in u Guinevere," the very 
moral perfection of Arthur is a blemish, though, perhaps, an 
inevitable blemish, on the " Idylls." He fails to interest 
because we fail to conceive. As for meaner mortals, they are 
true enough to nature in the passions, the follies, and the 
caprices which are the common property of all ages and of men 
of every rank. We may say, indeed, that the passing brutality 
of Qeraint to his wife, extenuated by that fierce outburst of 
suspicion, is far truer to probabilities in that barbarous age than 
the graceful deportment of the ladies or the stately courtesy of 
the knights. The seduction of Merlin, where the mighty sage 
and enchanter falls a victim to the wiles of a worthless siren, is 
unpleasing. But it is a scene of all times, and symbolical to 
boot ; and by way of contrasts in companion pictures we have 
the gentle courtship of the knightly Geraint, and the death- 
love of the lily maid of Astolat. Yet, although the Arthur 
of the Idylls, the chivalrous champion of the holy Faith 
and of civilised order, had been purged of his impurities, still, 
in the blighting of friendship and love, and the darken- 
ing of his day-dreams, he was to expiate the faults of his hot 
youth. 

The earlier parts of the poem — which appeared the last — 
explain its full significance. The root of evil and bitterness 
springs up in Modred, the fruit of the good King's youthful 
follies. So the golden promise of " The Coming of Arthur " is 
heavily clouded before the end. In " Gareth and Lynette " the 
allegory is obvious. The young Hope and Faith which are to 
work marvels for the redemption of a world groaning in guilt 
and under the oppression of tyranny are personified in the 
chivalrous purity of tbe youthful knight-errant who gives full 
and perfect service to the master he adores. Going forward 
from " Gareth and Lynette," through the " Enid " and onwards, 
we comprehend the scheme and moral of the connected epic, as 
we trace the growth of sin with the harvest of evils which bring 
sorrows and speedy expiations in their train. Sin and sorrow 
predominate in the " Pelleas and Ettarre," and they culminate 
in " Guinevere," in the crowning and most moving scene where 
Arthur, bending over his fallen Queen, tells her that it is his fate 



LORD TENNYSON 285 

to love her always, and that it is their destiny to be reunited 
when she has been purged by suffering. 

Finally, in "The Passing of Arthur," the poet is at his 
grandest in painting the conflict of feelings in the wreck of 
hopes, when there is calm in the soul of the King amid the 
storms that are raging around him and beneath the black clouds 
that come drifting up. That group of idylls is a noble poem — 
rich in lofty lessons and noble thoughts ; rich in scenes of 
romantic description that sparkle like gems in a golden setting ; 
rich in the melody and yet the simplicity of the diction ; rich 
in a rare profusion of felicitous fancies and similes. And with 
the appearance of that volume of wonderful verse the author's 
reputation culminated likewise. The " Holy Grail " did little 
for it, and, though " Enoch Arden " and " Aylmer's Field " were 
eagerly bought and widely circulated, we doubt if either has 
been often re-read. More remarkable, and certainly more 
original, were the two minor pieces of the " Northern Farmer," 
old and new styles, which were given to the public with 
" Aylmer's Field." They are not only notable as specimens of 
uncompromising provincial English, ingeniously moulded to 
the purposes of the poet ; but there are strange depths of sad 
and cynical satire in the types of seemingly simple character 
that are photographed by unconscious self-revelation. 

Before we pass from these, the best known of the Laureate's 
works, we may note that they contain a remarkable number of 
felicitous phrases — "jewels five words long," which have speedily 
become the common property of our literature. Many of them 
are so familiar, so classical, that one is apt to forget their origin : 
but " the grand old gardener," " the supreme Caucasian mind," 
" the caste of Vere de Vere," " the falsehood of extremes," " the 
fairy tales of science," " the touch of a vanished hand," " sweet 
girl graduates," " the rosebud garden of girls," " mealy-mouthed 
philanthropies," "immemorial elms," "a stony British stare," 
" faultily faultless," " the little rift within the lute," and the 
"chorus of indolent reviewers," — these, and many others, are 
Tennyson's. 

As a dramatist Tennyson cannot take his place among the 
greatest masters, though there are scenes and passages in the 
plays which will not be easily forgotten. Within certain limits 
he shows great dramatic power, but his range was limited. He 
plays on the feelings with a masterly touch, and many of his 



286 EMINENT PERSONS 

characters are conceived with Velazquez-like realism and vigour. 
But he is conspicuously deficient in the flexibility of moods 
which lends itself lightly to changing attitudes, and identifies 
itself easily with an infinity of varying personalities. His 
finest piece is decidedly his Queen Mary, although even in that 
there is no great richness of dramatic fancy. Yet Queen Mary 
has many striking scenes, and would act well were it not too 
crowded with leading characters for good stage business. Mary 
is admirable, with her strong natural sagacity consciously sub- 
jugated to feminine weakness in spite of the warnings of her 
wisest counsellors, and her sister Elizabeth, though a slighter 
sketch, is perhaps even more spirited. Philip is represented, as 
we might imagine him in his youth, sensuous, yet cruel and a 
bigot in embryo, with an irrepressible disgust for the woman he 
is to wed, which he scarcely cares to conceal in his haughty 
selfishness. And Gardiner, a sturdy English patriot, though a 
zealot for the foreign faith, contrasts finely with the gentler 
Pole and the feebler but conscientious Cranmer. In Becket 
there are at least two great characters — the Prelate and the 
King — though perhaps the incarnation of the encroaching power 
of Home is relegated too decidedly to the second place. Harold 
in human interest falls far below the others, possibly because 
the dramatist is groping among more shadowy personages and in 
more mythical history. The Cup and The Falcon were slighter 
efforts ; and the Promise of May was not a success. In Robin 
Hood, published so lately as last March, it was evident that the 
poet had kept his delicacy of touch, and that the wand of the 
dramatist had not lost its charm. The play was long and in 
parts it dragged, but there were many redeeming passages of 
singular grace, and it was brightened with sparkling songs 
which breathed the very spirit of the greenwood. Yet even 
the brightest of the songs provoked not altogether favourable 
comparison with the lays and lyrics in Love Peacock's Maid 
Marian. 

Tennyson's place among the poets was honourably recognised 
by the Universities many years ago. Oxford took the lead in 
1855, instituting him a Doctor of Civil Law. Cambridge fol- 
lowed suit when the members of his own college placed the 
admirable bust by Mr. Woolmer in their library, and subse- 
quently elected him to an honorary fellowship. In December 
1885, the Laureate was raised to the peerage as Baron Tenny- 



LORD TENNYSON 287 

son of Aldworth in Sussex, and Freshwater in the Isle of 
Wight Doubtless he appreciated the unprecedented honour 
paid to English poetry in his person, yet the distinction did not, 
perhaps, give much additional dignity to the new peer, con- 
sidering the freedom with which titles of nobility have been 
lavished latterly. In the same year he brought out Tiresias 
and other Poems. The poems were undated, and it is doubtful 
when they were written, but for the most part they appear 
to bear the mark of a ripe, if not an over -ripe, maturity. 
They sing the old and favourite themes in the old familiar 
manner, and though they show neither barrenness of fancy nor 
enfeebling of the imaginative powers, they define the limits of 
the poet's conception and illustrate the monotony of his inspira- 
tion. In "Tiresias" he treads again the familiar classical 
ground, on the borderland between mythology and semi- 
mythical history, where human sympathies and passions are 
swayed by the unsympathetic gods, " who love and hate with 
mortal hates and loves," as they " move unseen among the ways 
of men." " Tiresias," although it gives the title to the volume, 
is short and slight. But there are fine passages in the impas- 
sioned appeal of the blind old prophet, who has still the vision 
of beauty that had blinded him burned in upon the brain, who 
is writhing under the sense of the predestined impotence, fore- 
seeing calamities it is powerless to avert. " Despair " is a 
daring and unpleasing theme : the poem ends abruptly, like 
" Tiresias " ; but in this case the abrupt termination, as it seems 
to us, is inartistic and eminently unsatisfactory. The poem 
breathes the raving despair of a would-be suicide saved sorely 
against his will from the sea that has swallowed his wife. It 
is the wail of a soul that foresees itself lost, and, anticipating 
the inconceivable horrors of hell, heaps curses on the cruel 
creed that has wrecked it. No ray of light breaks in upon the 
darkness, and the minister of religion to whom the ravings are 
addressed stands silenced and presumably self-convicted before 
the audacious blasphemer. "Balin and Balan" supplies a 
missing link in the series of the Idylls of Arthur's Court. It 
comes in as the prelude to " Merlin and Vivien," and one of 
the wandering brother-knights falls a victim to the wiles of the 
fair enchantress, when on the quest of a demon in a haunted 
forest. Wild and fanciful beyond the common, the chivalrous 
Christianity of Arthur's Court is brought face to face with the 



288 EMINENT PERSONS 

insane asceticism of a superannuated recluse, and with the 
fiends and ministers of evil that are the survivals of expiring 
Heathendom. There is many a graceful fancy and many a 
melodious line ; we remark again the Laureate's predilection 
for homely similes, and his extraordinary power of dignifying 
them in poetic dress, but we have never thought that " Balin 
and Balan" added to the reputation of the author of the 
Idylls. On the other hand, he never wrote anything better in 
its way, he never showed a lighter or more sprightly touch, 
than in " The Spinster's Sweet- Arts." It will be remembered 
that it is in the homely dialect of " The Northern Farmer." 
There is subtle and delicious comedy in the firmly-drawn char- 
acter of the old maid, who might have been married many 
times for her money, and is very glad she never married, as she 
sits musing among the cats she confounds with the sweethearts, 
after whom she has named them. 

Perhaps Locksley Hall Sixty Years After, published in 
1886, excited more attention if it did not win more praise than 
any of the later poems. Pleasant old memories were awakened 
by the old name and the old flowing measure ; curiosity was 
excited over the probable changes in the poet's mind, since it 
had cynically, under the blight that had befallen the lovelorn 
hero, surveyed the world and society of sixty years before. 
Curiosity was gratified, if fond expectations were not altogether 
fulfilled. The jilted lover of the shallow-hearted Amy had 
learnt lessons of wisdom with gathering years, and was in 
charity with his old rival, just dead, whose virtues he some- 
what contemptuously recognised. But the reckless cynicism of 
youthful despair had given place to the pessimism of sad 
experience, and in the character of the poet-prophet denounc- 
ing the decadence of his age his individuality is merged in that 
of Tennyson. This latter-day " Locksley Hall" is a personal re- 
velation ; it expresses with a candour of earnestness there is no 
mistaking the political and social opinions, the prepossessions, 
the prejudices, the vain aspirations, and the vanished illusions 
of the venerable poet. Although now and again a couplet 
sounds unusually harsh ; though here and there are gratuitous 
barbarisms of language, coined impetuously for the fiercer ex- 
pression of burning indignation, on the whole it is a remark- 
able tour de force. The dominating idea is lofty and tragical. 
The poem is the wail of age over the sins and sorrows, the 



LORD TENNYSON 289 

crimes, the follies, and the foul abuses of a world that is 
" groaning and travailing " in misery, and hastening downwards 
through democratic demoralisation to decay. But the incidents 
and the details, as we have said, are often inevitably prosaic, 
and though scathing invective and stinging satire came readily 
enough, it was difficult to sustain the level of lofty verse in 
denouncing such real scourges of humanity and such social 
nuisances as the East -end sweaters or the Socialist stump- 
orators. Yet the Laureate, having decided to sing out his soul, 
was not to be deflected from his course by subsidiary difficul- 
ties, and sometimes he soars in one of the highest of his flights 
when we should have expected him to come to the ground with 
crippled pinions. One couplet we might quote as holding up 
to scorn with fine irony the fond dreamers and the self-seeking 
anarchists who shadow out an ideal world which they fill with 
their wild chimeras — 

Hesper — Venus — were we native to that splendour or in Mars, 
We should see the Globe we groan in, fairest of their evening stars. 

Another poem, which recurs to the memory at the moment 
of the poet's death, is the beautiful lyric " Crossing the Bar," 
which closed the last published volume of verses, Demeter and 
Other Poems. Extremely domesticated, the Laureate loved to 
relax with congenial talk in the society of congenial friends, 
and he delighted in doing the honours of the Sussex wood- 
lands and the marine scenery which had so often inspired his 
muse. One of the surest ways to his heart was the admiration 
of that cherished scenery, and he says as much in his charming 
verses to General Hamley, the prologue to his ode on the Bala- 
clava charge of the Heavy Brigade. Under pressure he would 
not infrequently read poetry of his own, though he much pre- 
ferred to recite the poetry of others. But, with all his sym- 
pathetic appreciation, he was wanting in the gifts of an 
elocutionist, and his manner of reading was somewhat monoto- 
nous and unimpassioned. Since he rose into celebrity, his good- 
nature had been overtaxed by correspondents who submitted 
their manuscripts for examination and revision. Bepeatedly 
he raised a cry of expostulation in our columns, and so lately 
as December 1885, we published a letter, declaring, once for 
all, that he was overwhelmed with such unscrupulous requests, 
and imploring immunity from them for the future. Another 
vol. v u 



290 EMINENT PERSONS 

of the drawbacks to his world-wide reputation was the per- 
secutions he had to endure from obtrusive notoriety-hunters. 
The familiar figure will long linger in the recollections of the 
sightseers who had the good fortune to catch a glimpse of the 
shy quarry they were stalking. They will remember him as 
he appears on the canvas of Millais, with the soft felt hat in 
the hand, and the thin grey beard falling over the well-worn 
Inverness cape, which is almost as much associated with the 
personality of Tennyson as their mantles with the memories of 
Moses or Elijah. 

Lady Tennyson survives her husband. Of the poet's two 
sons, the elder, Hallam, who has been in latter years his 
father's constant companion and secretary, survives him, and 
succeeds to the title. He married, in 1884, Audrey Georgiana 
Florence, daughter of Mr. Charles John Boyle, and has two 
sons. The poet's younger son, Lionel, died in 1886, leaving a 
widow, the daughter of Mr. Frederick Locker -Lampson, and 
three sons. Mrs. Lionel Tennyson has since married Mr. 
Augustine Birrell, M.P. 



SIR RICHARD OWEN 

1804-1892 

Obituary Notice, Monday, December 19, 1892 

Sir R. Owen was the youngest son of Richard Owen, of Bucks. 
He was born at Lancaster on the 20th of July 1804 ; and was 
sent while young to the grammar-school of his native town, 
where he first made the acquaintance of Whewell, afterwards the 
illustrious Master of Trinity College, Cambridge — an acquaintance 
that ripened into a lasting friendship, only ended by the death 
of Dr. Whewell. He soon showed a taste for the study of 
medicine, and in 1824 matriculated in the University of 
Edinburgh, entering St. Bartholomew's Hospital in London, as 
a student, in the following year, and taking his diploma at the 
Royal College of Surgeons, London, in 1826. It was in this 
year that he published his first paper on " The Calculus of the 
Urinary Bladder." While at St. Bartholomew's he had been 
one of the dissectors to the famous surgeon Abernethy, who soon 
discerned that he had a special taste for anatomy ; but at this 
time there appeared no opening for the pursuit of a purely 
scientific career, and, on the completion of his professional 
studies, Owen settled down to practise in Serle Street, Lincoln's 
Inn Fields. 

As a well-read man, with musical abilities of no mean order, 
he was soon the centre of a select social set, many of whom 
remained in after-life his constant friends. Another phase of 
that life was, however, at hand, and Owen was not destined for 
long to attend to the ailments of young barristers or solicitors' 
clerks. The collection of the famous John Hunter had recently 
been purchased by the Government ; the care of it had been 
vol. v u 2 



292 EMINENT PERSONS 

vested in trustees ; and it became part of their duty to see that 
it was catalogued, and that a series of lectures should be given 
each year in illustration of its contents. The collection itself 
had been stored in the College of Surgeons, but up to 1828 no 
attempt at making a catalogue of it had been made. The atten- 
tion of the trustees was called to this breach of trust, and Mr. 
Abernethy insisted on his old pupil Owen undertaking the task 
— " the collection was located near his private residence ; he 
could devote his leisure hours to the work ; there was no one 
else equally qualified to do so." Owen assented. At this time 
William Clift was the Conservator of the Museum of the College 
of Surgeons, with his own special duties to perform ; he resided 
by the college, and he had one son and one daughter. His son 
was to be his successor, and part of the bargain would appear to 
have been that when the Hunterian collection had been cata- 
logued Owen was to betake himself once more to the full pursuit 
of his profession, and not to think of comparative anatomy again. 
The first part of this catalogue was published in 1830. 

In this year the scientific meetings of the Zoological Society 
of London were instituted, the first meeting being held on 9th 
November 1830, at which Owen read an interesting paper on 
the anatomy of the Ourang-outang. In 1832 he published an 
admirable monograph on the Pearly Nautilus, which was 
illustrated by many elaborate drawings from his own pencil. 
During this period he was steadily pursuing his profession, and 
was a constant attendant at, and a reader of papers before, the 
Medical and Chirurgical Society of London and the Medical 
Society of St. Bartholomew's. One of the most remarkable of 
these papers was that describing the anatomical results of the 
ligature of the internal iliac artery by Dr. Stevens at Santa Cruz 
in 1812. Dr. Stevens had performed this then heroic operation 
on a negro, and saved his patient's life ; but on his reporting 
the case it was pretty generally disbelieved in, and it was 
asserted that the artery had never been tied. The negro after- 
wards died of some acute disease, and, determined to settle the 
point and prove the accuracy of his assertion, Dr. Stevens sent 
the body to London in a barrel of Jamaica rum, to have the 
anatomical question settled by independent authority. This 
Owen was able to do beyond all doubt, and thus to vindicate the 
skill and courage of Dr. Stevens. 

During the troubles that ensued on the abdication of Charles X. 



SIR RICHARD OWEN 293 

of France, Baron Cuvier had found it conA T enient to visit London, 
where he soon made the acquaintance of Owen. On Cuviers 
return to Paris, to serve under the Orleanist regime, he invited 
Owen to visit that city, which he did in 1831. Cuvier was 
then hard at work with Valenciennes on their great history of 
fishes, over which he spent from six to ten hours a day. The 
fossil vertebrate collection then examined by Owen seems to 
have made a great impression on him, and to have given a 
direction to his after studies of fossil remains in which he so 
eminently distinguished himself. 

In Lincoln's Inn Fields all was at this time going on pleasantly, 
patients were increasing, the Hunterian collection was being 
catalogued. In 1834 Owen discovered the Trichina spiralis 
(since notable in trichinosis), and at the age of thirty he was 
elected a Fellow of the Royal Society. His own hospital elected 
him in the same year to their newly-established Chair of Com- 
parative Anatomy, and the daughter of the Conservator of the 
Museum of the College of Surgeons had promised to give him 
her hand, and had already given him her heart. It was con- 
ceded by all that William Home Clift was to succeed his father, 
but he was not destined to survive him. 

One day in 1834, while that father was in the country on a 
short holiday, the son was driving home in a cab to Lincoln's 
Inn Fields. The cab too rapidly turned up Chancery Lane out 
of Fleet Street, was upset in the act, and young Clift, who was 
probably looking out of the cab window at the moment, was 
pitched on his head, and in a few minutes taken up insensible. 
Recognised by none, he was carried to St. Bartholomew's 
Hospital, there to be received by Owen. His injury was a 
fracture at the base of the skull, and his death speedily followed., 
Owen had to communicate the news to Clift's old father, whose 
sorrow was only assuaged by a promise that Owen would take 
the son's place, and never desert him or the Museum. 

After his marriage to Miss Clift he succeeded, in 1836, Sir 
Charles Bell as Professor of Anatomy and Physiology to the 
College of Surgeons, and the Trustees of the Hunterian Museum 
having about this time established the Hunterian Professorship, 
Owen was elected thereto. In 1837 he edited Hunter's Animal 
Economy, and continued to fill both chairs until 1855 ; during 
this time he published ten more volumes of the catalogue of the 
Hunterian collection, and on Mr. Clift's death he became also 



294 EMINENT PERSONS 

Conservator of the Museum. He now gradually retired from 
the practice of his profession and devoted himself entirely to 
scientific pursuits. It is quite amazing to take even a rapid 
survey of the amount of work published during this period. 
Not again to refer to the volumes of catalogues, nor to the very 
numerous memoirs contributed to the Royal and other learned 
societies, the following may be mentioned : — The volumes on 
Odontography, the Lectures on Comparative Anatomy, on The 
Archetype and Homologies of the Vertebrate Skeleton, on The Nature 
of Limbs, on Parthenogenesis, many volumes on The British Fossil 
Reptiles, on The Gigantic Fossil Birds of New Zealand, on Fossil 
Mammals of Australia, and on The Great Megatherium of America. 

But while thus leaving no day without some record of 
scientific work, Owen gave his leisure to affairs more immedi- 
ately interesting to his fellow-men. From 1843 to 1846 he sat 
on the Commission to inquire into the Health of Towns. He 
contributed in 1845 a special report on the sanitary condition of 
his native town of Lancaster, and the greatly improved system 
of drainage now adopted in that town, and its constant supply of 
water at high pressure, followed on this report. He was 
appointed as one of the Commissioners on the Health of the 
Metropolis in 1846-1848, and, again, on the Commission to 
inquire into the Meat Supply in 1849. It was on the report of 
this latter Commission that the present cattle - market was 
established at Islington and the famous old market at Smitbfield 
was suppressed. Professor Owen was one of the Commission for 
the Great Exhibition of 1851. He was engaged in directing 
and selecting the extinct animals placed in the geological section 
of the grounds of the Crystal Palace. In 1852 the Queen 
offered him a residence in Kensington. The then King of 
Hanover disputed the right of the British Crown to the premises, 
which right it was in time proved that the Crown did possess. 
Sheen Lodge, Richmond Park, just then, however, became 
vacant, and Professor Owen mentioned to the Prince Consort 
that, if he were allowed the choice, he would prefer the cottage 
to the larger mansion. At first the Prince refused to agree to 
this, but finding out that the salaries of scientific men were not 
as large as he had imagined, he gave way, and on representing 
matters to the Queen, Sheen Lodge was at once offered to and 
accepted by Professor Owen. 

Professor Owen's connection with the Royal College of 



SIR RICHARD OWEN 295 

Surgeons ceased in 1856, in which year he was appointed 
Superintendent of the Department of Natural History in the 
British Museum. It was generally understood that this post was 
specially made for Owen ; he had had no connection previously 
with the Museum, and it is not, perhaps, to he wondered at 
that his promotion over the heads of a numher of most eminent 
biologists on the staff of the Museum should have given rise to 
some little umbrage, if not on the part of the individual officers, 
at least on that of their friends. It is pleasant to record that 
the relations of the new chief with the then senior assistants, 
all of whom have now passed away, were of a friendly and 
cordial character. 

For some years before Owen's reign at the National Museum 
began, Dr. John Edward Gray, whose name will always be 
held in honour for what he accomplished for the natural 
history collection of the Museum, had repeatedly called the 
attention of the trustees to the excessively crowded state of the 
zoological specimens. Urgently did he call for more room. 
The splendid series of birds, the magnificent collection of shells, 
were to be only half seen, while ton-weights of treasure were 
filling up the vaults and passages underground. Numerous 
were the suggestions which were made to remedy this state of 
things, but none of them seemed to meet the case. The Govern- 
ment of the day had set their faces against purchasing any 
ground in the vicinity of Great Russell Street, or of adding any 
merely temporary accommodation to the existing galleries, and 
had resolved rather to sever the Natural History Department 
altogether from the British Museum. The desirableness of this 
was stoutly contested by many — indeed, by the vast majority 
of scientific men ; but, with a remarkably keen insight into the 
future, it seemed to Professor Owen to be unwise, and, indeed, 
even wrong, to hazard the safety and utility of these vast 
collections by persisting in the advocacy of a course which was 
futile — " he loved the site in Bloomsbury much, but he loved 
space for the collections much more." In 1857 Panizzi in his 
annual report stated "that he was precluded from even 
speculating on the possibility of the natural history collections 
being ever detached from the rest of the Museum." 

In 1861, during a debate in Committee of the House of 
Commons on the Civil Service Estimates, Sir (then Mr.) W. H. 
Gregory said — 



296 EMINENT PERSONS 

" He wished to open the eyes of the public to the outrageous 
proposition which the Government had apparently entertained 
in 1859 ; for it would appear that on the 10th of July in that 
year Professor Owen had submitted a plan to the Trustees of 
the British Museum, in which he said that with the utmost 
economy of space he should require for the present wants of his 
collection, and for its probable expansion within the next 
thirty years, a one-storied building covering ten acres, or one of 
two stories covering five acres. . . He regretted that a man 
whose name stood so high as Professor Owen's should connect 
himself with so foolish, crazy, and extravagant a scheme, and 
should persevere in it after the folly had been pointed out by 
most unexceptionable witnesses." 

The then Chancellor of the Exchequer regretted the allusions 
made by the hon. member for Galway to " the greatest living 
naturalist, whose splendid genius and high character ought to 
have exempted him from having been the object of the terms 
indulged in." In 1862 the Bill for the removal of certain 
portions of the British Museum was introduced. The second 
reading was moved on the 1 9th of May by the Chancellor of the 
Exchequer. Mr. Disraeli had the same evening concluded one 
of his most remarkable speeches on the Customs and Inland 
Revenue Bill by accusing the Liberal party of a "lavish ex- 
penditure of public money." The House was in a fever for 
retrenchment when the order for the second reading of the 
Museum Bill came on. Mr. W. H. Gregory moved that the 
Bill be read a second time that day three months, and, despite 
the pleadings of Lord Palmerston and Mr. Monckton Milnes, 
the Government were defeated by a majority of 92 in a House 
of 234 members. In special answer to a leading article in our 
columns, in which we asked, " What, then, does Professor Owen 
demand ? " he published a work On the Extent and Aims of a 
National Museum of Natural History. As a final result, the 
Government obtained the sanction of Parliament in 1872 to the 
erection at South Kensington of the magnificent range of 
buildings there erected, and the space that is now placed at the 
disposal of the superintendent is one not of five, but of over 
seven acres. In 1872 also the freedom of the City of London 
was conferred upon Owen. 

In obtaining the splendid mansion in which to store the 
treasures of nature Professor Owen saw accomplished the 



SIR RICHARD OWEN 297 

crowning ambition of his long and arduous life. To most it 
would have been like the beginning of a new life : to him it 
was but the expansion of his old life. He entered on the new 
work with enthusiasm. On Easter Monday, 1881, the New 
Museum of Natural History was opened for the first time to the 
public, on which occasion it was visited by some 16,000 
persons. In only some of the galleries were the collections 
arranged, but with a willing staff the task of arrangement made 
great progress, and by the close of 1883 was nearly completed. 
Then it was that Owen retired from the position which he had 
filled for well-nigh twenty-seven years, leaving the guidance of 
the affairs of the Museum to younger and very able hands. 
The necessary and often trying routine work required of 
Professor Owen, as the head of so large a department (since 
1855), does not seem to have checked his great mental activity, 
nor to have diminished his extraordinary productiveness as an 
author. 

The record of his contributions to science during this period 
equals, if it does not surpass, that when he was at the College of 
Surgeons. Among the more important of these we must 
notice : — Memoir on the British Fossil Reptiles of the Mesozoic 
Formations — Pterodactyles, 1873-1877; On the British Fossil 
Reptiles of the Liassic Formations — Icthyosaurs and Plesiosaurs, 
1865-1870 ; On the British Fossil Cetacea of the Red Crag, 1870 ; 
On the Fossil Reptiles of South Africa, 1876 ; On the Classifica- 
tion and Geographical Distribution of Mammals, 1859 ; and a 
Manual of Palaeontology, 1861. The long list of papers 
published in the Proceedings of learned societies, to be found in 
the Royal Society's invaluable catalogue (numbering over 360), 
includes many, the scientific value of which would alone have 
given abiding fame to their author. 

It would be impossible here to give even a tithe of their 
titles, but we quote a few to show that Professor Owen left few 
of the classes of the animal kingdom unexamined : — On the 
Andaman Islanders ; on the Anthropoid Apes ; on the Aye- 
Aye ; on the Giraffe ; on the Great Anteater ; on the Great 
Auk ; on the Dodo ; on Apteryx Australis ; on Lepidosiren 
annectens ; on Argonauta argo ; on Spirula Australis ; on 
Clavigella ; on Limulus polyphemus ; on Entozoa ; on Euplec- 
tella cucumis and E. aspergillum. Perhaps Owen's magnum opus 
is the richly -illustrated History of British Fossil Reptiles, in 



298 EMINENT PERSONS 

three volumes, published in 1884, in which the memoirs 
already mentioned, along with others, were collected. Although 
Owen retired in 1883 from his official position, his activity as a 
scientific worker did not cease, and up to a very recent date he 
continued to contribute papers to the Eoyal Society, one of the 
latest of these being read on 6th December 1888, on " Thylaco- 
pardus Australis," an extinct feline mammal of New South 
Wales. 

It was scarcely possible that a life like Owen's could have 
been passed without controversy. As long as scientific men 
confine themselves to the recording of facts — though mistakes 
may be made as to what a fact is — there will be little room for 
opposition. If facts are their forte, speculation now and then 
betrays their foible, and the speculations of one man are but 
too apt to seem a very folly in the eyes of another. Still, 
speculation often leads to the discovery of facts, and perhaps 
no really impartial critic would say that Owen's numerous 
speculative treatises — on the Extinction of Species, on the 
Classification of the Mammals by Brain Characters, on the Ideal 
Vertebrate Type — were without their value, still less that they 
detracted in any serious nature from the sterling work which he 
has left behind him for the benefit of scientific men. Owen's 
attitude to Darwinism can hardly be said to have been actively 
hostile. He was naturally loth to renounce his own pet theory 
of " Archetypes " in favour of the new doctrine. Still, though 
not a disciple of Darwin, the researches of Owen did much 
to furnish proofs of the probability of the great doctrine of 
evolution 

To know Owen as a man of science, as the eloquent 
lecturer, or as the courteous man of business, was to know but 
half the man. A well-educated musician, well read in history 
and literature, full of sparkling anecdote, an admirable reader, 
he had a great share of those genial social qualities that tend 
to make a man, even when not otherwise distinguished, beloved. 
In his early days, as a Professor in Lincoln's Inn Fields, he 
proved himself an able lecturer. He had often critical audi- 
ences, among whom were Wilberforce, Hallam, Rogers, Sir 
Robert Peel — even when Prime Minister — and a host of other 
well-known men. Scientific men born in countries not our 
own came to London from time to time to pay him their 
respects, and many can still testify to the pleasant momenta 



SIR RICHARD OWEN 299 

spent on the green lawn of Sheen Lodge, with the Royal Park 
of Richmond opening on the view. There, even up to within 
the last few years, he was able to receive and enjoy the company 
of old acquaintances. 

In concluding this short sketch of a distinguished career we 
add the chief honours he received. In 1842 the Royal Society 
conferred on him the Royal Medal for his memoirs on the 
General Economy of the Monotremes and Marsupials. In 1846 
the same society decreed to him the Copley Medal. In 1851 
the King of Prussia sent to him the Ordre pour le M^rite. In 
1855 the Emperor of the French bestowed on him the cross of 
the Legion d'Honneur. The Universities of Oxford, Cambridge, 
and Dublin conferred on him honorary degrees. The Royal 
College of Surgeons of Ireland made him an Honorary Fellow, 
and most of the European and American Societies numbered 
his name on their lists of honorary or corresponding members. 
In 1857 he was elected President of the British Association for 
the Advancement of Science. In 1859 he was chosen one of 
the eight foreign associates of the Institute of France (in 
succession to Robert Brown). The Emperor of Brazil, in 1873, 
gave him the Imperial Order of the Rose, while in the same 
year the Queen conferred on him the Order of the Bath, of 
which Order he was made a Knight Commander in December 
1883, on the occasion of his resigning the post of Superin- 
tendent of the Natural History Museum. In 1874 the 
Academy of Medicine, Paris, elected him as one of their foreign 
associates, in succession to Baron Liebig. In 1882 the King of 
Italy sent him the Order of St. Maurice and St. Lazare. 



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