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“It was no profession, Lucy."
“And I worshipped you I lived but in your presence-I clung to you as to life. And you left me for another. In the evening, in the morning, at noon-day you were with her; riding, walking, whispering by her side."
« Oh, Lucy, believe me I had no love for her! I did it without thought. She was an attractive woman, and I was willing to amuse away an idle hour. I never loved her.”
" It may have been so," she feebly articulated. “Want of thought causes more misery than does want of heart. I could not read your secret feelings : I only knew you were ever with another."
He acknowledged it had been as she said, and would have poured forth his vain repentance. Repentance ! what availeth it, when there can be no atonement ?
“Forgive me, Lucy,” he murmured, as he laid his cheek upon her pale young face, “ forgive, forgive me. Oh that I could as readily forgive myself! Had I taken care to keep you for my own, you never would have been brought to this."
The scalding tears were coursing down her face, and lingeringly she withdrew her hands from his. “I have forgiven you long ago, Francis : may you be happy with the wife you have chosen. Farewell ! Farewell !”
He closed the door; the footman sprang up behind; the carriage rolled away, and Lucy sank back in it. The excitement caused by thus suddenly meeting him had been too great. A fearful oppression, almost as of coming death, was upon her : she dreaded that life was about to depart there and then ; and when she would have spoken to the coachman to drive faster, her strength suddenly failed her.
· When the carriage reached the chateau-gates, there, heated and breathless, stood Francis Ravensburg. He opened the door himself, and would have lifted her out. But she remained in the corner, huddled up, it seemed, half sitting, half lying. He turned his colourless face to the servants, and there was something in it which caused them hastily to approach. She had died in the carriage.
Not in the cemetery attached to the gossiping French seaport, with its numerous groups of summer idlers, but in that of a retired country hamlet, a few miles distant, in the narrow corner of it consecrated to Protestant interments, is a plain, white-marble tomb. The inscription on it consists of only two initial letters, and the date of a year. It is the grave of Lucy Chard.
LITERARY L E A FLETS.
BY SIR NATHANIEL.
No. XI.—Sir Thomas Noon TALFOURD. To win golden opinions (we speak not of fees) from all sorts of men, in and out of Westminster Hall, as Mr. Serjeant and as Mr. Justice, is good. To win renown in literature—such renown as comes not of sounding brass and tinkling cymbal—is—well, out with it !-better. To win the loving esteem of all one's associates, as a man with heart large enough for them all, is best. This good, better, best, hath Sir Thomas Noon Talfourd. His it is to enjoy at once the three degrees of comparison-the positive forensic, the comparative literary, and the superlative humane. A case in Rule of Three with a splendid quotient. To “take a rule” of that sort, is not allowed to many. But Sir Thomas has it all his own way—"rule absolute.” And probably, were his good wishes for his brethren as efficacious as they are cordial and general, there would be hardly an instance of “rule refused.” But there is no surplusage of instances of combined literary and forensic success. To him who would be at once a great lawyer and a great poet, and would bind up together in his book of life the studies of Blackstone and the dreams of Coleridge,-to him Experience, harsh monitor, whispers, or if need be screams, Divide and conquer. Eminence in both departments is of the rarest. Scott retained his clerkship at the Court of Session, but who ever heard of the Wizard of the North as a law authority ? Jeffrey is one of the select inner circle to which Talfourd belongs. Wilson and Lockhart—"oh no, we never mention them” in wig and gown. Sir Archibald Alison and Professor Aytoun, Mr. Procter and Serjeant Kinglake, Lords Brougham and Campbell, Mr. Ten Thousand-a-Year Warren and a few others, are not all unexceptionable exceptions to prove the rule. And yet there has ever been, more or less, a hankering after the Muses and the Magazines on the part of Messieurs of the long robe. * Very natural, too, if only by a law of reaction. But very hazardous, notwithstanding; and alarmingly symptomatic of a fall between two stools. One thing at a time the ambiguously ambitious arocat may do triumphantly; but to drive Pegasus up and down an act of parliament, whatever may be done with a coach-and-six, is no everyo day sight, no anybody's feat. Lord Eldon, when plain Jack Scott, keeping his terms at Oxford, obtained the prize of English composition, "On the Advantages and Disadvantages of Foreign Travel ;" and it has been remarked, we believe by Mr. Justice Talfourd himself, + that since the subject of this essay was far removed from John's Newcastle experience, and alien from his studies, and must therefore have owed its
* For example (though one swallow proves not summer), the French lawyers of the sixteenth century. A biographer of Etienne Pasquier, after relating his debut as avocat at the barreau de Paris, proceeds to say: "Et en même temps, pour occuper ses loisirs, il se livra à la poésie, à la composition litéraire, caractère qui distingué sa génération d'avocats, et Pasquier entre tous les autres."
I Unless we err in attributing to his pen the very pleasant notice of the Lives of Lord Eldon and Lord Stowell, in the Quarterly Review for December, 1844.
success either to the ingenuity of its suggestions, or to the graces of its style; and that as, in after-life the prize essayist was never distinguished for felicity of expression or fertility of illustration, and acquired a style not only destitute of ornament, but unwieldy and ponderous ; this youthful success suggests the question, "Whether, in devoting all his powers to the study of the law, he crushed the faculty of graceful composition with so violent an effort, that Nature, in revenge, made his ear dull to the music of language, and involved, though she did not darken, his wisest words ?” Happily no such quære affects the career of the author of “ Ion.” He, indeed, is not Lord High Chancellor; which makes a difference. But neither did the great Eldon write a triumphant tragedy; and that again makes a difference in the Puisne Judge's favour. Fancy Lord Eldon editing the Reliques of Elia, or measuring Macready for blank verse; and if that is not extravagant enough, then fancy yourself reading the one, or squeezing into the pit to see the other.
Sir Thomas was not far gone in his teens when he woo'd and won publicity, it is said, by a “poem” on the liberation of Sir Francis Burdett from durance vile. While still a schoolboy at Reading, he published a volume of “poems,” including a sacred drama on the “Offering of Isaac" (inspired by that admiration of Mistress Hannah More, of which lingering traces survive in the preface to “ Ion"), “An Indian Tale,” and some verses about the Education of the Poor, suggested by a visit to Reading of Joseph Lancaster. School-days over, he came to London, and fagged under the famous Chitty, in whose Criminal Law he aided and abetted. Then we find him fertile in the production of pamphlets, on toleration, on penal institutions, &c., and taking a gallant stand on the side of Wordsworth, at a time (1815) when to do so was to be in a scouted and flouted minority. Anon he is on the list of contributors to the periodical literature of the day—to the Retrospective Review, the Encyclopædia Metropolitana, and the London Magazine. This kind of work he engaged in for love and money. Himself is our authority for making lucre a part of his motive : for when old Godwin toddled into the young advocate's chambers, the very morning after an introduction at Charles Lamb's, and then and there a carelessly observed that he had a little bill for 1501. falling due on the morrow, which he had forgotten till that morning, and desired the loan of the necessary amount for a few weeks,”—the flattered and regretful Talfourd “was obliged, with much confusion,” he tells us, “to assure my distinguished visitor how glad I should have been to serve him, but that I was only just starting as a special pleader, was obliged to write for magazines to help me on, and had not such a sum in the world."* The articles contributed to the Encyclopædia are the most notable of his labours at this period, and well deserved their recent republication in a compact, collected form. Foremost among these is his history of Greek Literature. Here he contrives to press a large annount of information into very narrow limits -as they seem, at least, when compared with those defined for himself, on the same classical ground, by Colonel Mure. We are told all that is known, and of course a trifle more, about such early birds as Linus* Final Memorials of Charles Lamb.
| In the series of reprints by Messrs. Griffin, in crown octavo, commenced in 1849.
be he singular, dual, or plurimal—and Orpheus, who brought Wisdom into Greece, and married her to immortal verse, and by his music subdued l'Inferno itself, “ creating a soul under the ribs of death”-and Musæus, priest of the mysteries of Orpheus, and perhaps his son. Homer is amply discussed-large place being given to what Hartley Coleridge calls the Wolfish and Heinous point of view, and due stress laid on the good old conservative ereed, which believes in the strict individuality of the bard. To divide, the stanchly orthodox feel, is to destroy :-" that fame which has so long resisted time, change, and mortal accident, would crumble into ruinsan immense blank would be left to the imagination, an aching void in the heart—the greatest light, save one, shining from the depth of time, would be extinguished, and a glory pass away from the earth.” Homer, therefore, is assumed to be, not a class, but a man ; not an abstract, impersonal Un-Self and Co., but our familiar childhood honoured Homer's own Self; the man we came to know in connexion with Donnegan's obsolete lexicon, and Pope's sonorous verse; the wellknown blind old man of Scio's rocky isle—who was born in one of the seven states hexametrically immortalised,
Smyrna, Rhodus, Colophon, Salamis, Chios, Argos, Athenæ, and not in all seven at once, not in seventy times seven, as the German theory would imply.-Hesiod is designated the most unequal of poets ; sometimes daringly and ardently imaginative, at other times insufferably low, creeping, tame, and prosaic; in his didactic poetry, rising occasionally into a high and philosophical strain of thought, but commonly giving mere trite maxims of prudence, and the most common-place worldly cunning; without any of Homer's refined gallantry, and, indeed, something very like a misogynist and a croaker.—The three great tragic poets of Greece are ably portrayed, though without, perhaps, any very original criticism or subtle discrimination : the “intrepid and fiery” Æschylus, on whose soul mighty imaginations trooped so fast, that, in the heat of his inspiration, he stopped not to accurately define or clearly develop them, like his own Prometheus, stealing fire from heaven to inspire and vivify his characters--however mighty his theme, always bringing to it à kindred emotion, but never losing his stateliness in his passion, never denuding his terrors of an unearthly grandeur and awe. Sophocles : always perfect master of himself and his subject; conscious of the precise measure of his own capacities; maintaining, undisturbed, his majestic course, in calm and beautiful progression; in everything lucid and clear, never forgetting the harmony and proportion of the whole, in the variety and complexity of the parts--his philosophy musical as is Apollo's lute-his wisdom made visible in the form of beauty. Euripides : appealing less to the imagination than to the sensibilities and the understanding-loving to triumph by involving us in metaphysical subtleties, or by dissolving us in tears, and scarcely ever labouring to attain the great object of the other tragedians, a representation of serene beauty ;-a mind more penetrating and refined than exalted; holding up to nature a mirror rather microscopic than ennobling; intent on depicting situations the most cheerless and externally desolate, so that “ Electra appears tottering not only beneath the weight of affliction, but of a huge pitcher of water; and Menelaus mourns at once the mangled honour of his wife and the tattered condition of his garments.” To the same Encyclopædia, Sir Thomas contributed the notices of the Lyric Poets of Greece, of Thucydides, sections of the history of Greece and of Rome, the Arts and Sciences of the Ancients, &c.
He stood well, too, on the once brilliant staff of the London Magazine, that bright-starred, thickly-starred, ill-starred rival of Old Ebony. Remembering how noble an army of coadjutors it once maintained, we may well concur in Hood's saying, that perhaps no ex-periodical might so appropriately be apostrophised with the Irish funeral question, “ Arrah, honey, why did you die?” “Had you not,” he continues (and as poor John Scott's successor he speaks feelingly), “ an editor, and elegant prose writers, and beautiful poets, and broths of boys for criticism and classics, and wits and humorists,-Elia, Cary, Procter, Cunningham, Bowring, Barton, Hazlitt, Elton, Hartley Coleridge, Talfourd, Soane, Horace Smith, Reynolds, Poole, Clare, and Thomas Benyon, with a power besides? Hadn't you Lions' Heads with Traditional Tales ? Hadn't you an Opium-eater, and a Dwarf, and a Giant, and a learned Lamb, and a Green Man ? Arrah, why did you die?"* To that longer-lived Magazine which the reader now holds in his hand, was Mr. Talfourd also a steady contributor; and he has amusingly recorded his sense of the utter unfitness of the then Editor (Campbell) for his office - alleging that he regarded a magazine as if it were a long affidavit, or a short answer in Chancery, in which the absolute truth of every sentiment and the propriety of every jest were verified by the editor's oath or solemn affirmation; that he stopped the press for a week at a comma, balanced contending epithets for a fortnight, and at last grew rash in his despair, and tossed the nearest, and often the worst article, “unwhipp'd of justice,” to the impatient printer. Both the great Quarterlies, we believe, may also claim the name of Talfourd on their respective lists of critical allies. · But though periodical literature had provided his labours with a “ local habitation," a "name" of prominent import and illuminated letters was first secured to him by the production of " Ion.” The play was privately printed in 1834, and reviewed in the Quarterly ; 'its performance at Covent Garden in 1836 was one of the memorabilia of the modern stage. Miss Mitford has told us of one brilliant gathering con
* Hood's Own (1846). The pathetic Why in this inquest touching the “ dear deceased” seems to find its answer in the mismanagement of new proprietors, and the falling off of old contributors. Thus we read in a letter of Lamb's to Wordsworth (1822): “ Our chief reputed assistants have forsaken us. The Opiumeater crossed us once with a dazzling path, and hath as suddenly left us darkling:”—and again, to Bernard Barton (1823): “ The London, I fear, falls off. I linger among its creaking rafters, like the last rat; it will topple down if they don't get some buttresses. They have pulled down three; Hazlitt, Procter, and their best stay, kind, light-hearted Wainright, their Janus." (Of the last mentioned [Janus Weathercock], Justice Talfourd disclosed a lamentable history in the Final Memorials.) Thomas Hood thus sketches the catastrophe of the declining Magazine: “Worst of all, a new editor tried to put the Belles Lettres in Utilitarian envelopes; whereupon the circulation of the Miscellany, like that of poor Le Fevre, got slower, slower, slower,—and slower still,--and then stopped for ever! It was a sorry scattering of those old Londoners! Some went out of the country; one (Clare) went into it. Lamb retreated to Colebrooke. Mr. Cary presented himself to the British Museum. Reynolds and Barry took to engrossing when they should pen a stanza; and Thomas Benyon gave up literature."