« AnteriorContinuar »
is intended to convey what I private! But we would fain conceive to be the meaning of dwell on a softer phase. “When the word, and what your ex I came in from seeing poor, dear pressions lead me to think you Watson's grave, Mrs Watson also understand by it, then I asked me to go up into the can only say that, alas ! I am gallery, which I had last seen not so, though every day of my in the days of our merry play. life I strive with greater earnest. We went up and walked into ness according to my ability the very part he made and was more and more to resemble this so fond of, and she looked out character. If people, however, of one window and I looked out understand by the word "saint' of another, and for the life of a 'Pietist,' one of those who lay me I could not decide in my their hands on their laps and own heart whether I should expect Providence to do their console or distress her by going work for them, talk of the in- and taking her hand and saying compatibility of the heavenly something
of what was naturally calling with the earthly, and in my mind. So I said nothing are incapable of loving with and came out again." their whole hearts any human “I am going,” remarks Grebeing or anything on earth, ville, in his matter-of-fact way, then, God be praised ! such an “if not too lazy, to note down one I am not, and hope never to the everyday nothings of my become.' And the second is life, and see what it looks like." like unto it: "I well know that The “everyday nothings” comfor thorough self-cultivation the prise some of the most serious whole of a man's life is required, events in English history. Greand often does not suffice.” ville's prosaic nonchalance be
Dickens throughout the whole longs to the Whigs of George range of his writings “Travels the Fourth and Worst. His for the great firm of Human diary is rich in green - room Interest Brothers.” His un- gossip of politics and society; approached spirits and sense of but his jottings are dusty with humour, his rollicking self-con- Whig exclusiveness and official fidence and lovable humanity, red-tape. As we read them, we distinguish his letters also. discern a wooden man of the “Lord, what a blessed thing it world, frivolous upon caste-comis,” he ejaculates in one of them, pulsion, self-complacent even “ to read a man who can write!” while he deplores the unintelThe Salon-satellites must have lectuality of his routine, a prebeen shocked at his first im- cise, prudent, punctilious failure, pression of George Sand as of abounding in cautious insight * the Queen's monthly nurse." but bare of generous impulse. How good, too, is that descrip- There is nothing spontaneous tion of the Paris drama on about him. One of the newsEnglish life, whose villain was papers has undiscriminatingly “ Meester Corn'ill ”; and of Lon- termed Mr George Russell “a don in the dead season, with modern Greville.' his tailor playing the piano in serve as a popular label, but as
loyalty and friendship.
& cap it will not fit. Mr Russell partee." Royalties and Prince-
stand An «Children,” and the like ; and, the antipodes of Greville, who Book.” “ Links with the Past" is dry and unreciprocal. Gre- are by no means conventional
. ville was never a brilliant talker. There is old-world Lady Robert Mr Russell is the last of the Seymour, who “used the pottiold conversationalists. Greville cary” whenever she sent for the misses the literary touch. Mr doctor; there is
the Earl of Russell is essentially a man of Bathurst, whose private school letters. Greville is most dis- reserved a bench for the little creet.
Mr Russell is perhaps sons of peers ; there is ancient sometimes defective in this re- “Polly Arnold ” of Harrow, who gard; but his satire of con- had sold
“ cribs” to Byron. temporaries is the sort that
And there is Mr Russell's father,
page at George IV.'s coronation, “just the medium hit,
who discussed the ‘Bride of And heals with morals what it hurts
Lammermoor’ with Scott bewith wit."
fore its authorship was divulged. Mr Russell, like Lord Gran- We may be allowed in this conville, is “un radical qui aime la nection to pay our own tribute bonne société.” His "Recollec- to the memory of Lord Charles tions' group reflections round James Fox Russell, whose very personalities and subjects—dis- names perpetuate history, and tinct but not ordered in rota- whose kindness, enthusiasm, and tion, scarcely even in sequence. simplicity we remember and reThe menu is inviting. The hors vere.
We miss Mrs Norton in d'ouvres of “Links with the the gallery ; perhaps this omisPast” precede the pièces de ré- sion may be remedied hereafter. sistance of “ Religion and Moral- The “Pièces de Résistance” chapity,” “Social Equalisation and ters afford a genuine contribuAmelioration,”
," "The Evangeli- tion to solid history. First-rate, cal Influence," and Politics. worthy of Thackeray or of Here as with a sorbet the ban- Disraeli, is the figure of that quet simulates a close, to re- Marquis of Abercorn who alcommence with the relevés of ways went out shooting in his “Oratory and Conversation."
blue ribbon, and required his The chaudfroid of “Clergymen” housemaids to wear white kid is followed by the gibier of gloves when they made his bed, “Titles” and the salad of “Re- and his wife to use the family
coach when she eloped. 1818 revelation.
Lord Beaconsfield is far from 1718, but this orna- is handled by Mr Russell with a ment of his order is in close perverse mixture of sympathy likeness to that immortal Duke and suspicion, applause and of Somerset—the feeble terror apology. Throughout he quotes of three successive Courts—who him with evident delight even ordered his daughters to be oftener than Dickens; and if standing sentinels of his siesta, morale be at stake, he protests and, on awaking to find one of a "sneaking sympathy" for the them dropped into a chair from genius who penned that inspirsheer fatigue, curtailed her in- ing passage concerning Youth heritance. Mr Russell's favour- in Coningsby. Yet he dwells ites in “Conversation”are chiefly with deliberate satire on his of the Holland House School. alleged arts as courtier, and We could have wished for more ostentation as host.
Had we of Lord Granville—the British room we could answer exhaustTalleyrand. Again, of Lord ively. We might have enlarged Bowen we should like to have on the ethics of anecdote. Disfound the dulcet reply to the raeli was dreamer and a question whether a successful poet. Imagination coloured his prig was not becoming “almost thoughts and actions. Like interesting” –“I think that Canning, he was early misperhaps when I have the pleas- named “Adventurer" by the ure of meeting him in another jealousy and prejudice of a world, he may just begin to be Dunciad. Like Canning, he interesting"; and of Lowe, that will be justified by history. retort about the excellent 6 or- Throughout his career the sufgan for the articles of public fering million appealed to him men — “Organ, yes; but you with increasing power, but the must take the monkey with it.” shrieks of paid agitation were Among “Clergymen” he oddly never “vox Dei ” in his ears. enough omits Dr Magee; while No more than Carlyle could he in “Repartee" we miss that of tolerate the material creed of Jowett to his secretary explod- Utilitarianism. Like Gladstone ing into fits of officious laughter himself, he sought to acclimatise at an anecdote of the Master's the germs of inevitable democ—“Don't do that, Knight; you racy in the native air and soil are not my wife.” But these of the constitution. His ideas
recollections. are already triumphing. To Manning's medieval presence quote his " diabolical cleverand Cæsarism, Lord Houghton, ness” at the time when an with the subacidity of his old imperious tribune was out of age amiably erased, are speak- place, is as out of place as was ing portraits. But the “Lord then the imperious tribune. To Shaftesbury” who, as patrician, bear out his pretentious hospischolar, and polished host, sur- tality by a story about ices at rendered a career, dedicated Hughenden, which is in fact a privilege to humanity, and con mot long before of Sir David secrated it to God, is a real Dundas; to substantiate the
convincing. Nor can we admit
"grotesque performances of his middle life” by a passage about science. Long before his official "riding an Arabian mare across eminence he moved among the country," which, unless we mis- best in Germany and France. take, occurs in the Home Let He is always perceptive. ters,' and refers to his fantastic style is full of nicety and sugyouth, is, to say the least, un- gestion. And yet it seems to non-existent tenants as pall- touched. bearers for his wife. He was their freshness by the
a historian, and a
His us there is a want of elasticity. the myth of his demand for The passages have
been They lose some of
subsesurely too shrewd for the parade quent glosses.
are in of territoriality at the expense fact Commentaries rather than of being made ridiculous at Diaries.
College essays home. But this is a digression quoted, and
the Touching “ An old Photograph- :Notes' resemble them.
There Book" it would ill become the is also a want of selection. The present writer to speak. He register is blent with the recital. recalls the glamour of those we are told, for instance, of a days with gratitude and regret. consultation with
German As we bid the volume farewell oculist just after a lecture on we re-echo Cicero,—“ Departing Austria in 1851.
We cannot like a guest who has well dined.” be interested in the author's
If Mr Russell's conversation- eyes as we are in Stella's. He alists hail from Holland House, dances from disquisition to perSir Mountstuart Grant Duff's sonality. There are too many are akin to Madame Mohl and figureheads among the figures. the Seniors. We could desire But here criticism must end. larger limits to saunter through Like the late Lord Houghton, the severer Academe of the a patriotic cosmopolitan with an · Notes from a Diary.'
For abnormal memory, our author academical Sir Mountstuart gazes at once on Europe and remains, despite his exceptional England with a keen eye for gifts and opportunities, and his movements and an enthusiasm long conversance with affairs. for every noble effort.
How Nor is this disparagement. fine is that phrase of his about The outlook of Balliol at its Maurice's sermons
How interestzenith is one of delicate gravity champagne”! of culture applied to career. ing his glimpses of Disraeli “in If its fastidiousness of tread be the faint dawn discoursing of now and then somewhat the Lord John Russell”! And he daintiness of Agag, if its omnis- owns
the saving grace of
Excellent is the decient studies and studied omnis- humour. cience recall the palmy com- scription of Carlyle trotting mencements of the Saturday Emerson round London and Review, they are none the less vainly endeavouring to make definite and active. Sir Mount- him believe in “ the Deil.” Adstuart was from the first
a mirable, too, is his account of scholar, a traveller, a politician, Wilkes's dream, where Lord
Sandwich, “on the other side Lockhart, Moore, Hawthorne, of the Styx,” is made to swear and Boyle; the Letters of because the champagne was not Thackeray and Disraeli, among iced, and the ghostly innkeeper the number; and there are “shook his head very sadly countless “women who have and said, “No ices here, no kept a diary.” Has not Mark ices here.' Nor should we Twain insisted on “The Diary neglect his faculty for land- of Adam and Eve"? scape painting : “Great banks To “men who have kept a of cloud lying along the south- diary” we owe a deep debt of West; all the rest clear. Not gratitude. They take us behind even the highest leaves of the the scenes of character and trees moving. Snowberries achievement. They carry on seen against the azaleas with the apostolic succession of extheir leaves all red. Hill of perience. Pepys was the friend Stonyley under the sunset.
sunset. of Evelyn. Swift in his youth Song of the redbreast remind- might have seen Evelyn in his ing us of Cornish's lines, quoted age; Walpole in his boyhood in the Christian Year' for might have beheld Swift. Walthe twenty-first Sunday after pole wrote for the Berrys. The Trinity.”
Berrys lived to know both JohnFrom Pepys to Grant-Duff son and Robinson. Grant-Duff what distance! yet these records his meeting with the diaries bridge it over. Our latter. The continuity of life cursory pictures have been only thus popularises the uniformvignettes, and we have perforce ity of nature,—“ Vitai lampada omitted many—Defoe's Tour,' tradunt.” Speaker Onslow, Eckermann,