The Times Great Victorian Lives Ian Brunskill Obituaries of the most influential Victorians as profiled by The Times, including Dickens, Darwin, Ruskin, Peel, WG Grace and Florence Nightingale.For over 150 years, The Times obituaries have been providing the most respected and perceptive verdicts on the lives of the great and the good. Scientists, social reformers, composers, writers, sportsmen and politicians…Times Great Victorian Lives examines the achievements of eminent Victorians, from Isambard Kingdom Brunel to Charles Darwin, Disraeli to Gladstone and Florence Nightingale to Sarah Bernhardt.Figures have been chosen according to their importance today and are ordered chronologically. The Times Great Victorian Lives gives a fascinating insight into Victorian history, revealing how the Victorian figures we now consider 'great' were seen in their day. The Times Great Victorian Lives An Erain Obituaries GENERAL EDITOR: IAN BRUNSKILL EDITED BY PROFESSOR ANDREW SANDERS Table of Contents Cover Page (#u0a407884-1FFF-11e9-9e03-0cc47a520474) Title Page (#u0a407884-2FFF-11e9-9e03-0cc47a520474) Introduction (#u0a407884-4FFF-11e9-9e03-0cc47a520474) Thomas Arnold (#u0a407884-7FFF-11e9-9e03-0cc47a520474) Felix Mendelssohn (#u0a407884-8FFF-11e9-9e03-0cc47a520474) George Stephenson (#u0a407884-9FFF-11e9-9e03-0cc47a520474) William Wordsworth (#u0a407884-10FF-11e9-9e03-0cc47a520474) Sir Robert Peel (#u0a407884-11FF-11e9-9e03-0cc47a520474) J. M. W. Turner, R. A. (#u0a407884-12FF-11e9-9e03-0cc47a520474) Isambard Kingdom Brunel (#u0a407884-13FF-11e9-9e03-0cc47a520474) Robert Stephenson (#u0a407884-14FF-11e9-9e03-0cc47a520474) William Makepeace Thackeray (#u0a407884-15FF-11e9-9e03-0cc47a520474) Nicholas, Cardinal Wiseman (#u0a407884-16FF-11e9-9e03-0cc47a520474) Abraham Lincoln (#u0a407884-17FF-11e9-9e03-0cc47a520474) Lord Palmerston (#u0a407884-18FF-11e9-9e03-0cc47a520474) Michael Faraday (#u0a407884-19FF-11e9-9e03-0cc47a520474) Charles Dickens (#u0a407884-20FF-11e9-9e03-0cc47a520474) General Robert E. Lee (#u0a407884-21FF-11e9-9e03-0cc47a520474) Charles Babbage, F. R. S. (#u0a407884-22FF-11e9-9e03-0cc47a520474) Emperor Napoleon Iii (#u0a407884-23FF-11e9-9e03-0cc47a520474) William Charles Macready (#u0a407884-24FF-11e9-9e03-0cc47a520474) David Livingstone (#u0a407884-25FF-11e9-9e03-0cc47a520474) John Stuart Mill (#u0a407884-26FF-11e9-9e03-0cc47a520474) Sir Edwin Landseer (#u0a407884-27FF-11e9-9e03-0cc47a520474) Harriet Martineau (#litres_trial_promo) Sir Titus Salt (#litres_trial_promo) William Henry Fox Talbot (#litres_trial_promo) Pope Pius Ix (#litres_trial_promo) George Gilbert Scott (#litres_trial_promo) John Thadeus Delane (#litres_trial_promo) George Eliot (#litres_trial_promo) Thomas Carlyle (#litres_trial_promo) Benjamin Disraeli, First Earl Of Beaconsfield (#litres_trial_promo) Dante Gabriel Rossetti (#litres_trial_promo) Charles Darwin (#litres_trial_promo) Anthony Trollope (#litres_trial_promo) Richard Wagner (#litres_trial_promo) Karl Marx (#litres_trial_promo) Victor Hugo (#litres_trial_promo) Sir Moses Montefiore (#litres_trial_promo) Franz Liszt (#litres_trial_promo) Matthew Arnold (#litres_trial_promo) George Charles Bingham, 3rd Earl Of Lucan (#litres_trial_promo) Wilkie Collins (#litres_trial_promo) Robert Browning (#litres_trial_promo) John Henry Newman (#litres_trial_promo) Charles Bradlaugh (#litres_trial_promo) Charles Stewart Parnell (#litres_trial_promo) Thomas Cook (#litres_trial_promo) Alfred Lord Tennyson (#litres_trial_promo) Louis (lajos) Kossuth (#litres_trial_promo) Robert Louis Stevenson (#litres_trial_promo) Christina Rossetti (#litres_trial_promo) T. H. Huxley (#litres_trial_promo) Friedrich Engels (#litres_trial_promo) Louis Pasteur (#litres_trial_promo) Lord Leighton (#litres_trial_promo) Clara Schumann (#litres_trial_promo) Sir John Everett Millais (#litres_trial_promo) William Morris (#litres_trial_promo) Johannes Brahms (#litres_trial_promo) Charles Lutwidge Dodgson (lewis Carroll) (#litres_trial_promo) William Ewart Gladstone (#litres_trial_promo) Sir Edward Burne-jones (#litres_trial_promo) Otto Von Bismarck (#litres_trial_promo) Helen Faucit (#litres_trial_promo) Henry Tate (#litres_trial_promo) John Ruskin (#litres_trial_promo) Sir Arthur Sullivan (#litres_trial_promo) Oscar Wilde (#litres_trial_promo) Dr Barnardo (#litres_trial_promo) Sir Henry Irving (#litres_trial_promo) Josephine Butler (#litres_trial_promo) Lord Kelvin (#litres_trial_promo) Florence Nightingale (#litres_trial_promo) Count Leo Tolstoy (#litres_trial_promo) W. S. Gilbert (#litres_trial_promo) Octavia Hill (#litres_trial_promo) W. G. Grace (#litres_trial_promo) Elizabeth Garrett Anderson (#litres_trial_promo) Sarah Bernhardt (#litres_trial_promo) Index (#litres_trial_promo) Copyright (#litres_trial_promo) About the Publisher (#litres_trial_promo) INTRODUCTION (#) Ian Brunskill Obituaries Editor of The Times By the middle of the 19th century, when the obituaries collected here began to appear, The Times was well on the way to becoming a British institution, secure in its values, confident of its position and proud of the influence it exercised in the world. That confidence and influence had been hard won. The London press, when The Times was founded (as the Daily Universal Register) in 1785, was notable as much for its venality as for anything else. In the rough and tumble of political life, newspapers and journals were there to fight a corner or settle a score. Precisely which corner or score was not always important, if the price was right. The Times had dragged itself on to higher ground. Thomas Barnes, Editor from 1817 to his death in 1841, began to build the paper into a significant independent force in British politics. His successor, John Thadeus Delane, whose obituary is reprinted here, consolidated the work; at the height of his 36-year editorship, the paper’s prestige was considerable, its power much feared – and its support could not be bought. In 1854 Delane gave a ringing summation of the paper’s understanding of its role. Attacked in Parliament by the Leader of the Opposition, he replied the next morning in a leading article: ‘We hold ourselves responsible, not to Lord Derby or the House of Lords, but to the people of England, for the accuracy and fitness of that which we think proper to publish…This journal never was, and we trust never will be, the journal of any Minister, and we place our own independence far above the highest marks of confidence that could be given us by any servant of the Crown.’ That defiant firmness of judgement and independence of thought lent significant weight to the paper’s obituary coverage. In an area where the risks of personal bias and parti-pris are great, Delane saw that The Times’s unique authority gave it a valuable advantage over less high-minded rivals. He determined to make the most of it, expanding the paper’s reporting of important deaths to the point where obituaries became an essential and enduring element of The Times’s editorial core. Other papers’ efforts came nowhere near. Delane was aware that he lived in an age both fascinated by historical greatness and well stocked with remarkable personalities of its own. He saw that the demiseof a prominent national figure would capture the public imagination as nothing else could. It was worth covering in depth and, if necessary, at considerable length. The death of the Duke of Wellington, he told his deputy, ‘will be the only topic’. Readers seemed to agree. Wellington’s obituary, all 47,000 words of it, dominated The Times over two days in September 1852; such was the demand that it was republished as a pamphlet for separate sale. Similarly, in 1865, when the paper’s circulation stood at 65,000, the publication of Palmerston’s obituary on 18 October added more than 11,000 copies to the daily sale. In its early days, the paper’s approach to obituary coverage had been haphazard. Notable deaths had been recorded, from the French Revolution onwards, but there was no great consistency of quality or tone. If The Times found itself without an obituary of an important person who had died, it was not above plagiarism, or simply reprinting a notice from another publication (as it did with the life of General Lee, included here). All this changed under Delane. There was no attempt to be comprehensive, and nothing like the daily obituary column of modern times, but Delane made sure that The Times would rise to the big occasion in matchless style. In doing so, he was able to call on the remarkable editorial team that he and his predecessor had assembled. Some of these ‘Men of The Times’ were to be found each night at ‘the office’ in Printing House Square, writing leading articles and editing reports; some wrote to order from Oxford and Cambridge colleges and country rectories; some were critics whose engagement showed the paper’s commitment to serious coverage of music, literature, theatre and the visual arts; some were diplomatic specialists, at home in Europe’s embassies; some were foreign correspondents in the field. Together with the Editor’s own contacts in the corridors of power, and those of the Walter family, hereditary ‘chief proprietors’ of The Times, they made up a formidable intelligence network, and among them were some formidable minds. A leading role in the paper’s obituary coverage was for many years taken by Charles Dod, founder of Dod’s Parliamentary Companion and, as head of the Times gallery staff at Westminster, responsible for setting new standards in the reporting of parliamentary debates. After Dod’s death in 1855, much work on obituaries was done by the versatile Scottish man of letters Eneas Dallas; one of the paper’s most prolific book reviewers and author of a well-regarded study of poetry, The Gay Science, Dallas also volunteered to report from inside Paris when the French capital was under siege. Among the many obituary notices in which Dallas’s was the sole or principal hand were those of Dickens, Palmerston, the Austrian Chancellor Prince Metternich, Thackeray, the historian and politician Thomas Babington Macaulay, and Albert, the Prince Consort. From 1868 much responsibility was taken by Edward Walford, antiquary, biographer and prolific author, a former Editor of the Gentleman’s Magazine and the compiler of such reference works as Hardwicke’s Titles of Courtesy and the Shilling Baronetage and Knightage. Obituaries of leading statesmen might be furnished by Henry Reeve, a hugely influential figure both at The Times and behind the scenes in political life; known by his Times colleagues, not entirely affectionately, as Il Pomposo, he had risen from humble beginnings to become an intimate of Government ministers and royalty. The Reverend Thomas Mozley – pupil, friend and brother-in-law to John Henry Newman and himself a participant in the Oxford Movement and the upheavals it wrought in the Victorian Church of England – was responsible for the lives of such leading Tractarians as John Keble and Edward Bouverie Pusey. W. H. Russell, the great foreign correspondent whose vivid dispatches from the Crimea brought home to the British public the realities of war, supplied obituaries of military men. Leonard Courtney, a leader writer who had read mathematics at Cambridge, wrote on scientists; Tom Taylor, the paper’s art critic, covered painters; Antonio Gallenga, a colourful Italian exile turned foreign correspondent, accounted for several of his compatriots. It is only thanks to the paper’s meticulously kept archive and the published volumes of its official history that we can know now in such detail who did what. None of these authors received a byline. Anonymity was, and would long continue to be, the Times’s watchword. The self-effacing Thomas Barnes had his own death marked only by a two-line announcement which made no reference to the fact that he had, for 24 years, been Editor of The Times. The Times obituaries were the paper’s verdict, not the individual author’s, however well-informed or personally distinguished he might be. Delane made sure of this. He was away when Palmerston died, but he instructed his deputy to retrieve the prepared obituary from ‘the little basket which hangs over the davenport in my breakfast room’-he had revised it himself at home in Searjants’ Inn. Delane saw to it that most of the important notices were prepared well ahead of time, and regularly updated as required. There are tales – reassuring to a 21st-century obituary editor – of copy being frantically written in the office late at night, or even in the train up to town from Ramsgate, when the paper had for some reason been caught unprepared. On the whole, however, as I hope this collection confirms, the major obituaries published in the 19th-century Times were the products of authoritative inside knowledge, and of long and careful thought. Here are the lives of some of the leading figures of the 19th century as they were recorded and judged by one of the defining institutions of the age, a paper that, as a correspondent once remarked approvingly to Delane, contrived somehow or other to be ‘always in at the Death!’ Professor Andrew Sanders Readers of this collection of Victorian obituaries will discover a series of reasoned, and often admirably critical, assessments of public lives. They were all written before the age of Hollywood stardom and the emergence of the cult of celebrity fostered by the popular media. Victorian obituarists and biographers who dealt with public achievements did not see it as their business to probe into the private circumstances of their subjects; nor did they suppose that their readers would be interested in them reporting issues that they probably assumed were little better than backstairs gossip. Theirs was an age when ‘A’ and ‘B’ lists of celebrities were still determined by Burke’s Peerage and the Almanach de Gotha, and when very few people outside princely houses were famous for merely being famous. Fashions were both worn and created exclusively by the upper classes, and ‘sport’ was still largely regarded as the genteel matter of hunting, shooting and fishing. W. G. Grace, a Bristol doctor by profession and a gentleman cricketer by calling, was essentially an admired amateur. The idea that Mrs Grace might somehow be a ‘celebrity’ merely by association with her husband’s sporting prowess would have seemed preposterous. This present selection of thoughtful obituaries offers a sample of the ‘innumerable biographies’ that Thomas Carlyle thought formed the essence of history. It serves to illuminate a range of cultural, social and political issues of the Victorian century by offering a select view of public life expressed in exclusively Victorian terms. The first obituary reprinted in this present collection is that of Thomas Arnold, the headmaster of Rugby school and the fosterer of much of the earnestness that shaped Victorian Britain. Two years after his death, a substantial biography of Arnold was published by his former pupil, Arthur Stanley. It was a book that had achieved something of the status of a classic by the end of the century. The problem with Stanley’s life of Dr Arnold, and indeed with any piously uncritical Victorian biography, lies now in the fact that Arnold – together with three other ‘Eminent Victorians’-had been debunked by that slick master of innuendo, Lytton Strachey. Strachey’s Eminent Victorians first appeared in 1918 and, in the often cynical and disillusioned post-First World War world, it had an immediate appeal. Strachey knew that a military metaphor for his historical method was appropriate: he described how an ‘explorer of the past’ had now to ‘attack his subject in unexpectedplaces; he will fall upon the flank, or the rear; he will shoot a sudden, revealing searchlight into obscure recesses, hitherto undivined’. The achievements and reputations of Strachey’s four ‘eminent’ Victorians have long since recovered from his tactical assaults, but, since 1918, both the strategies and the ‘art’ of biography have undergone a radical shift. Twentieth and twenty-first century biographers are generally disinclined either to describe the heroism of earnestness or to overlook moral shortcomings and sexual peccadillos; they also tend to suffer neither fools nor would-be saints gladly. It is, however, in the pre-Stracheyan context that we must both place and understand Victorian obituaries. Most obituarists, prompted by a sense of the historical significance of biography, readily recognised that the lives of their subjects had a social context. Nineteenth-century Britain had been required to redefine itself and its role models in order to cope with the changes brought about by industrialisation, urbanisation and an increase in literacy. As a ‘newspaper of record’, The Times acknowledged its responsibility in recording the impact of these social readjustments. As the readers of Carlyle’s On Heroes, Hero-Worship, and the Heroic in History realised, heroism had to be re-examined in the light of the idea of the self-made man; they would also have appreciated that the evolving concept of heroism in Victorian Britain could not remain an exclusively male prerogative. The first generation of Victorian women included professional writers of the first eminence, but it is significant that neither the Brontë sisters nor Charlotte’s biographer, Elizabeth Gaskell, were deemed worthy of an obituary notice in The Times. In the period after 1865, however, partly as a result of John Delane’s resolution to enhance the status of his newspaper, the lives and achievements of professional women, as opposed to the mere social prestige accorded to titled women, were to find their proper place in the The Times’s obituary columns. From what was called ‘The Age of Reform’ onwards, new avenues of expression for both men and women were slowly broadening out. Some of the obituaries included in the present collection remind us of the opening up of government and its institutions to those who did not form part of the old Establishment: Benjamin Disraeli, born a Jew, not only rose to the highest political office, but he also made determined efforts to open up the House of Commons to those practising Jews who were unable to take the requisite Christian oath of allegiance to sit in the House. The campaigns in the 1880s of the avowed atheist, Charles Bradlaugh, mark a further shift away from the confessional narrowness which had defined the State at the beginning of the century. The issue of women’s suffrage (which seems to vex John Stuart Mill’s obituarist) was not to be resolved until after the Great War, but it is clear from the enterprise of Harriet Martineau, George Eliot and Elizabeth Garrett Anderson that social, educational and professional liberation for women were seen as the proper precursors to the achievement of full political rights. It is significant too that a good number of the men and women commemorated in this volume were classic Victorian examples of what Samuel Smiles famously described as ‘Self-Help’. Smiles (1812-1904), who wrote a life of George Stephenson in 1857 and who would go on to publish Lives of the Engineers in 1867, first issued his bestselling Self-Help in 1859. Smiles saw the spirit of self-help as ‘the root of all genuine growth in the individual’, which constituted ‘the true source of national vigour and strength’, and his aim was to provide role models for a newly aspirant class of what the Victorians referred to as ‘mechanics’. This body of skilled working men was to form a vital part of the emergent lower middle class, who, once enfranchised from 1867 onwards, began to change the political balance of power. What Smiles recognised was that the true gentleman was manifest in all classes as the ‘honest, truthful, upright, polite, temperate, courageous, self-respecting and self-helping’ citizen. This was in marked contrast to the upper-class definition of gentlemanliness, but Smiles clearly struck a profound note in a society where national wealth substantially came from trade and manufacture rather than from land. Writers and artists as well as men of science, invention and commerce were the new heroes, and this is reflected in The Times. Although his obituarist did not know the true extent of Dickens’s rise from childhood adversity, the novelist had, by the time of his death, emerged as the quintessential product of Victorian social mobility fostered by the application of an innate genius; The Times also recognised the achievement of other notable meritocrats who had risen above the humble circumstances of their birth – men and women such as George Stephenson, Thomas Carlyle, Michael Faraday, David Livingstone, George Eliot and Thomas Cook. Its 19-century obituary columns also honoured the philanthropical energy of men who had either made their money as enterprising manufacturers (Sir Titus Salt) or as City business men (Sir Moses Montefiore). Victorian society was, however, far from class-less. Britain’s traditional ruling class remained entrenched and The Times remained duly deferential to those who had been born great. Its obituary of Queen Victoria herself (arguably the most influential woman of her generation) is so substantial and detailed that its very length precludes its inclusion in such a selection as this. The Queen’s tastes, antipathies and patronage are nonetheless evident in many of the other obituaries reprinted in this collection. This is equally true of Prince Albert, whose untimely death in 1861 occasioned lengthy and adulatory tributes, which often skirted over the widespread unpopularity Albert had experienced earlier in his life, and whose obituary notice is not included here. To give a full flavour of each person’s life and of the period, each obituary has been included here in its entirety, though they vary hugely in length. In order to include as wide and representative a selection as possible in the space available, it has been necessary to omit some fulsome tributes paid to others – from members of the Royal Family, to the upper clergy of the Church of England, Oxbridge dons, admirals and generals and lawyers and medical men who seem to posterity not to have made such a lasting contribution to the advancement of their professions. One celebrated British army officer, Lord Lucan, is included for the part he played in the debâcle of the Charge of the Light Brigade; he also forms part of a loosely linked group of obituary subjects (Delane, Tennyson and Florence Nightingale) who all share a connection with The Times’s critical reporting of the Crimean War. It has proved impossible, again due to its length, to include the death notice of the greatest soldier of the century, the Duke of Wellington, who died in 1852. Wellington’s career, both as a soldier and as a politician, also substantially fell outside the Victorian age, but his great funeral procession through London was perhaps the most memorable state occasion of the period. One great military figure remembered here, Robert E. Lee, ended his days regarded as an ignominious figure by a good many of his fellow Americans. His rehabilitation as a man of honour and a great strategist may have begun with the kind of posthumous tribute of which The Times’s is a fine example. Four Prime Ministers, all of them accorded very long obituaries in The Times, firmly merit inclusion here: Peel, Palmerston, Disraeli and Gladstone all made profound contributions to the history of parliamentary government in the United Kingdom. Each of them also extended Britain’s international influence and resolutely established the country as, for the most part, a highly respected European power-broker. The substance of the political careers of all four would probably demand tributes of a similar expansiveness nowadays. So might the lives of a number of foreign heads of state, or heads of government. Abraham Lincoln’s assassination, which so appalled his contemporaries on both sides of the Atlantic, did not occasion what could strictly be described as an obituary, but The Times’s reporting of the event captures something of its immediate impact and perceived long-term import. Though it is not included here, the shocked telling of the assassination of Tsar Alexander II is comparable, and an account that suggests how alien Russian affairs may have seemed to British readers of The Times in 1881. The former Emperor Napoleon III received a surprisingly generous obituary notice, despite the fact that he had so often been dismissed by the British press as a charlatan during his reign, while his arch enemy, Otto von Bismarck, the Chancellor of the new German Empire which he had forged into existence, earns the extraordinarily flattering compliment that he was ‘one of the rare men who leave indelible marks on the world’s history’. Pope Pius IX’s demise in 1878 might well have elicited a similar adulatory comment, but his obituary dwells instead on the Pontiff’s manifest disappointments, diplomatic shortcomings and political failures, as much as on the great changes he both wrought and witnessed in the Roman Catholic Church. When it came to foreign politicians and revolutionaries who spent their lives in exile The Times obituarists are far more guarded and ambiguous in their opinions. As the death notice of Lajos Kossuth implies, here was a man past his political peak. Kossuth, with Mazzini and Garibaldi, had been much admired by mid-century British liberals, and his obituary – representative of all three – demonstrates the combination of political inconsistency, frustrated energy and old-age compromise, common enough characteristics in unfulfilled politicians, that appeared to disconcert the three obituarists. It will probably surprise modern readers that both Karl Marx and Friedrich Engels receive such short shrift from their obituarists (the tribute to Marx, who died in London, was actually contributed by the paper’s Paris correspondent). Both men were long-term residents in England and both were familiar to a tight-knit international community of socialist thinkers but neither, The Times seems to suggest, possessed much immediate relevance to an exclusively British political world view. The fact that the major theoretical works of both had, at the time of their deaths, yet to appear in articulate English translations may well have contributed to this feeling of relative indifference. William Morris, one of the rare contemporary Englishmen to acknowledge Marx’s importance – though his overt and conspicuous involvement with socialist politics is given the briefest of mentions – emerges from his Times obituary as ambiguous in quite another way. If there are anomalies in Morris’s career they lie in the balance of his distinctive achievement as a poet and his work as a craftsman and designer. Morris’s marriage is barely alluded to and his wife’s long association with Dante Gabriel Rossetti is passed over without mention. Morris’s obituary is representative in this way – in most cases the irregular domestic circumstances of the writers, musicians and painters whose obituaries appear in this collection are left unmentioned. This may be the result of an ignorance of the facts, or a matter of tact, but for the most part we may be left to assume that the private lives of artists were always regarded as challenging conventional views of sexual and marital morality. Only in the case of the once-provo cative Oscar Wilde does an obituary see a fall from social grace as salutary; it views him as the kind of artist whose essentially flippant approach to life made him prone to overstep the mark. In nearly all cases of those Victorians accorded obituaries in The Times, the secrets kept behind closed doors, and of their hearts, were left to be revealed not just before the Court of Heaven but by inquisitive, and sometimes prying, post-Victorian biographers. All obituaries have been taken directly from The Times and therefore use the original spelling and punctuation throughout. THOMAS ARNOLD (#) Pioneer educator and historian: ‘A death more to be mourned as a public loss…could scarcely have occurred.’ 15 JUNE 1842 WE ANNOUNCED ON Monday the death of the Rev. Thomas Arnold, D.D., head master of Rugby School, which took place at Rugby on Sunday morning last, after a few hours’ illness of a disease of the heart. He had been master of Rugby school 15 years. Dr. Arnold had latterly devoted the whole of his time unoccupied by scholastic duties to his lectures on Modern History and to his History of Rome, and was contemplating a retirement, in the course of a few years, to his favourite residence at Fox-how, in Westmoreland. Dr. Arnold had, we believe, attained the age of 52. He was born at Cowes, Isle of Wight, and was the son of the late Mr. William Arnold, collector of Her Majesty’s Customs of that port. He was educated at Winchester school, and thence went to Corpus Christi College, Oxford. He was afterwards Fellow of Oriel. Dr. Arnold married a daughter of the late Rev. John Penrose, and has left behind him a numerous family. On Sunday morning Dr. Arnold was seized with pain and oppressed breathing, indicating to his medical attendants some sudden and severe affection, most probably of a spasmodic nature, in the heart. A loss more precious to his family, his friends, his country – a death more to be mourned as a public loss – could scarcely have occurred. Dr. Arnold had a sharp attack of fever some little time since, but appeared to have recovered from it. His father died early in life, and from a similar disease, we believe. Arnold, born in the same year as Keats and Carlyle, only narrowly made it into the Victorian era. He died, prematurely, just short of his forty-seventh birthday while still in post as headmaster of Rugby School. He was, nevertheless, one of four Eminent Victorians selected to have their posthumous reputations sapped by Lytton Strachey in 1918. Arnold had transformed the moral and educational ethos of Rugby, an achievement variously celebrated in the work of two strikingly contrasted expupils: Arthur Penryn Stanley (whose influential Life and Correspondence of Thomas Arnold D.D. appeared in 1844) and Thomas Hughes’s enduringly popular Tom Brown’s Schooldays by an Old Boy (1857). FELIX MENDELSSOHN (#) Composer: ‘He will be lamented wherever his name was known or his art be loved.’ 4 NOVEMBER 1847 IT IS WITH no ordinary regret that we have received intelligence of the premature and most unlooked-for death of Dr. Felix Mendelssohn Bartholdy. He expired at Leipsic, on Thursday last, after a short illness, which brought on paralysis of the brain. The triumphant reception which he had met with in London last spring, and the magnificent productions which were then heard under the directing influence of his genius, will never be forgotten by those who witnessed them. Never had the great musician of our time appeared to be more full of life, energy, and creative power. But upon his return to Germany in the beginning of May, these brilliant recollections were damped by the death of a favourite sister, who had just fallen a victim to the same form of cerebral disease. Dr. Mendelssohn retired to Interlachen, in Switzerland, for the summer months, where although he had shaken off the fatigues of the London season, this family affliction seemed to have given him some foreboding of his own impending fate. He returned to his duties at Leipsic, but very few weeks elapsed before his imperishable labours were terminated for ever. He had not yet completed his 39th year, having been born on the 3rd of February, 1809. We shall leave it to others to tender an appropriate homage to the musical works of this great composer, and to celebrate his memorable achievements in that art of which he was so perfect a master. But the people of this country owe, and will surely pay, no slender and indifferent tribute to his memory, for he loved England as heartily as his own home; and from early youth to the splendid maturity of the last season he has found amongst us several of his warmest friends and many of his proudest distinctions. The genius of Shakspeare awakened in the youth of 17 years the inimitable fancy and grace of the overture to the Midsummer Night’s Dream, which he afterwards produced at the Conservatoire in Paris and at the Philharmonic Concerts in 1829. The poetry of Oesian and the stern scenery of the Scotch Isles inspired the Halls of Fingal. And, above all, the Church music of England and the great oratorios, which are the objects of our traditional veneration, led his mind to those awful conceptions which he realized in St. Paul and in Elijah. The latter work was first produced by its author at the Birmingham festival of last year, and in the English tongue. Of the thousands who have already been excited or touched by its sublime choruses and its affecting melodies, none could have imagined that those were the last strains of their illustrious author’s life, and that the genius which seemed already to have approached so nearly to an heavenly inspiration was about to leave us for ever. Like Mozart, like Raphael, the beauty of youth seemed in Mendelssohn to have exhausted the fullness of life; and his career has terminated in its glory, before it had concluded the abundant labours of a perfect artist’s existence. From early childhood Felix Mendelssohn was already the wonder and the pride of the musical schools of Berlin. At eight years old he was already one of the most accomplished pianoforte players of the age; and his musical science kept pace with his astonishing power of execution and of ear. In boyhood he was profoundly versed in the works of Sebastian Bach, and the severer masters; and throughout his life his mind was keenly alive to all that was great in intellect or beautiful in poetry. Goethe had affectionately greeted his early promise, and never was the promise of a marvellous precocity more amply fulfilled. A more striking proof of the great general cultivation and refinement of Felix Mendelssohn’s mind could hardly be given than in his masterly adaptation of the resources of his art to several of the most sublime and terrible creations of the Greek drama. His music to the Œdipus Colonus and the Antigone was as nearly akin to the genius of Sophocles as if his imagination had been nurtured in the traditions of classical antiquity. In like manner his sacred oratorios were penetrated with the spirit of the Bible. He was wont to construct and combine these great epics himself from the sacred volume, which was the subject of his constant and devout meditation. In St. Paul, it was the nascent energy of the Church of Christ, impersonated in the Apostle of the Gentiles, which inspired his imagination. In the Elijah, it was the servant of God labouring in his appointed course, against the perversity of the world, and the infirmities of his own imperfect nature, until he had perfected the work which was given him to do. But in all these productions, whilst the execution is that of a great musician, the conception belongs to the highest range of poetry. In all the relations of life, Felix Mendelssohn has left few men of lesser genius who can equal him in the humbler graces and the more private virtues. He was affectionate, generous, and true beyond the common virtue of men. In his profession he leaves no equal, but no enemy, almost no rival; his many and early triumphs had never for an instant impaired the simplicity of his character, or the unassuming cordiality of his manners. His conversation was unusually animated, and even brilliant; never more so than when he had shaken off his customary pursuits, to revel in those natural beauties which he passionately enjoyed, to animate his household circle with his pleasantry, or discourse on the subjects which could elevate and excite his mind. To those who had the happiness of living in habitual intercourse with him, this most unhappy loss is one to which all the sympathy of the world can bring but a slight alleviation; but he will be lamented wherever his name was known or his art beloved. In 1847 the Musical Times paid tribute to Mendelssohn as an ‘adopted son of England’ and as ‘probably the first who opened a regular musical inter-communication between Germany and England’. Mendelssohn’s commitment to his British audiences had been at its most conspicuous in the spring and summer of 1846. His final and triumphant engagement had taken place on 18 August when he had conducted the first performance of his oratorio Elijah at Birmingham, the city which had commissioned the work. Mendelssohn, a pioneer in the revival of interest in the music of Bach, was also celebrated in his own time as the conductor of the Leipzig Gewandhaus Orchestra. He had received an honorary Doctorate from the University of Leipzig in 1835. GEORGE STEPHENSON (#) Inventor and engineer: The ‘Father of Railways.’ 12 AUGUST 1848 IT IS WITH much concern that we announce the decease of Mr. George Stephenson, the celebrated engineer. He died at his establishment in Derbyshire on Saturday last, aged 67. Few men have obtained, or deserved, a higher reputation. He rose from the humblest life from the elasticity of his native talent overcoming the obstacles of narrow circumstances and even confined education. In his profession he was as happy and ingenious in his discoveries as generous in imparting the benefit of them to the world. In the history of railroad enterprise and movement the name of George Stephenson will live. This relatively short notice of Stephenson, who had died on 12 August at Tapton House, Chesterfield, is fulsome in its praise but singularly brief in detail about his considerable engineering achievements. His death was ascribed to a cold caught while inspecting the beloved green-houses which he had erected on his estate in the hope of eclipsing those of Chatsworth. The most adulatory contemporary study of Stephenson’s career, Samuel Smiles’s Life of George Stephenson, was to appear in 1859. WILLIAM WORDSWORTH (#) Poet: ‘Few poets have exercised greater influence in his own country.’ 23 APRIL 1850 IT IS WITH feelings of much regret that we announce today the death of William Wordsworth. The illustrious poet breathed his last at noon on Tuesday by the side of that beautiful lake in Westmoreland which his residence and his verse had rendered famous. We are not called upon in his case to mourn over the untimely fate of genius snatched away in the first feverish struggles of development, or even in the noonday splendour of its mid career. Full of years, as of honours, the old man had time to accomplish all that he was capable of accomplishing ere he was called away. It may well be, that he had not carried out to completion many of his plans, but it is a natural incident to humanity that execution falls far short of design. What a man could not accomplish in something like half a century of a poetical career under all the favourable conditions of unbroken quiet, moderate but sufficient means, and vigorous health, may fairly be supposed to have been beyond his reach. Therefore, as far as concerns the legacy of song William Wordsworth has bequeathed to his country, we have nothing to regret. Removed by taste and temperament from the busy scenes of the world, his long life was spent in the conception and elaboration of his poetry in the midst of the sylvan solitudes to which he was so fondly attached. His length of days permitted him to act as the guardian of his own fame, – he could bring his maturer judgment to bear upon the first bursts of his youthful inspiration, as well as upon the more measured flow of his maturest compositions. Whatever now stands in the full collection of his works has received the final imprimatur from the poet’s hand, sitting in judgment upon his own works under the influence of a generation later than his own. It is sufficiently characteristic of the man, that little has been altered, and still less condemned. Open at all times to the influences of external nature, he was singularly indifferent to the judgment of men, or rather so enamoured of his own judgment that he could brook no teacher. Nature was his book, he would admit no interpretation but his own. It was this which constituted the secret of his originality and his strength, at the same time that the abuse of the principle laid him open at times to strictures, the justice of which few persons but the unreasoning fanatics of his school would now be prepared to deny. But we feel this is not a season for criticism. There is so much in the character, as well as in the works of William Wordsworth, to deserve hearty admiration, that we may indulge in the language most grateful to our feelings without overstepping the decent limits of propriety and plain sincerity. We would point out, in the first place, one of the great excellencies of the departed worthy. His life was as pure and spotless as his song. It is rendering a great service to humanity when a man exalted by intellectual capacities above his fellow-men holds out to them in his own person the example of a blameless life. As long as men are what they are it is well that the fashion of virtue should be set them by men whose rare abilities are objects of envy and emulation even to the most dissolute and unprincipled. If this be true of the statesman, of the warrior, of the man of science, it is so in a tenfold degree of the poet and the man of letters. Their works are in the hands of the young and inexperienced. Their habits of life become insensibly mixed up with their compositions in the minds of their admirers. They spread the moral infection wider than other men, because those brought within their influence are singularly susceptible of contamination. The feelings, the passions, the imagination, which are busy with the compositions of the poet, are quickly interested in the fashion of his life. From ‘I would fain write so’ to ‘I would fain live so’ there is but a little step. Under this first head the English nation owes a deep debt of gratitude to William Wordsworth. Neither by the influence of his song, nor by the example of his life, has he corrupted or enervated our youth; by one, as by the other, he has purified and elevated, not soiled and abased, humanity. If we may pass from this more general and important consideration to a more limited sphere of action, we would point out the example of the venerable old man who now lies sleeping by the side of the Westmoreland lake to the attention of all who aim at high literary distinction. To William Wordsworth his art was his all, and sufficed to him as its own rich reward. We do not find him trucking the inspirations of his genius for mere sums of money, nor aiming at political and social distinctions by prostituting the divine gift that was in him. He appears to have felt that in the successful cultivation of his art he was engaged in a laborious, if in a delightful occupation. Could he succeed, he was on the level of the greatest men of his age, although he might not have a single star or riband to hang up against the wall of his rustic cottage, nor a heavy balance at his banker’s as evidence of his success. These things are but the evidence of one species of triumph, the poet, the dramatist, the historian, should aim at distinctions of another kind. If we think the present occasion an unfit one for cold criticism, we may without impropriety devote a few brief sentences to the excellences of the compositions of the Poet of Rydal Mount. There must be something essentially ‘English’ in his inspirations, for while few poets have exercised greater influence in his own country, on the continent his works are little known even to students who have devoted much time and attention to English literature. In Germany, for example, you will find translations at the chief seats of literary society of the poetry of Scott, Byron, Moore, and Shelley: Southey and Coleridge are less known; the name of Wordsworth scarcely pronounced at all. Of France the same thing may with truth be said. In either country there may be rare instances of students of the highest order, of a Guizot, a Merimée, a Humboldt, a Bunsen, who are well acquainted with the writings of Wordsworth, and share our insular admiration for his beauties, but such exceptions are few indeed. There must, therefore, be some development of ‘English’ thought in Wordsworth which is the secret of his success amongst ourselves, as of his failure in securing an European reputation. It is certain that some of the great poets whose names we have mentioned have left it upon record that they are indebted for the idea of some of their most beautiful passages to the teaching and example of Wordsworth, and yet the scholars have charmed an audience which the master could not obtain. It is probably the case that in no country of Europe is the love for a country life so strongly developed as in England, and no man who could not linger out a summer day by the river bank or on the hill side is capable of appreciating Wordsworth’s poetry. The familiarity with sylvan scenes, and an habitual calm delight under the influence of nature, are indispensable requisites before the tendency of the song canbe understood which works by catching a divine inspiration even from the dewy fragrance of the heatherbell and the murmur of the passing brook. It was not in Wordsworth’s genius to people the air with phantoms, but to bring the human mind in harmony with the operations of nature, of which he stood forth the poet and the interpreter. We write with the full recollection of many lovely human impersonations of the departed poet present to our minds; but his great aim appears to have been that which we have endeavoured to shadow out as distinctly as our limited space would permit. Before concluding we would advert to a point which is perhaps more in keeping with the usual subjects of our columns than the humble tribute of admiration we have endeavoured to offer to the illustrious man who has just been called away. Let us hope that the office of Poet Laureate, which was dignified by its two last possessors, may never be conferred upon a person unworthy to succeed them. The title is no longer an honour, but a mere badge of ridicule, which can bring no credit to its wearer. It required the reputation of a Southey or a Wordsworth to carry them through an office so entirely removed from the ideas and habits of our time without injury to their fame. Let whatever emoluments go with the name be commuted into a pension, and let the pension be bestowed upon a deserving literary man without the ridiculous accompaniment of the bays. We know well enough that birthday odes have long since been exploded; but why retain a nickname, not a title, which must be felt as a degradation rather than an honour by its wearer? Having said thus much, we will leave the subject to the better judgment of those whose decision is operative in such matters. Assuredly, William Wordsworth needed no such Court distinctions or decorations. His name will live in English literature, and his funeral song be uttered, amidst the spots which he has so often celebrated, and by the rivers and hills which inspired his verse. Wordsworth died at midday on 23 April 1850. Readers of this obituary may well have been inclined to agree with the poet himself who in 1801 had remarked to a friend that ‘in truth my life has been unusually barren of events’. A version of his great autobiographical poem, The Prelude: Growth of a Poet’s Mind was not to appear until shortly after his death and full revelations about his time in France during the early stages of the Revolution were only made in the 1920s. In November 1791 Wordsworth had crossed the Channel to France and, on 6 December, had moved from Paris to Orléans where he met Annette Vallon. He and Annette moved to Blois in February 1792. He was alone in Paris when Annette gave birth to his daughter Anne-Caroline on 15 December and he was back in England, without Annette and his daughter, by the end of the month. The Prelude memorably describes both the elation and the later disillusion occasioned by the political upheaval in France but it does not mention the liaison with Annette. Wordsworth’s eventless and ‘blameless’ life was therefore more open to question than his Times obituarist knew. Despite the claim that ‘he might not have a single star or riband to hang up against the wall of his rustic cottage’, some of his admirers, including Browning in his poem The Lost Leader, regarded the sometime-radical Wordsworth’s acceptance of government appointments as a sell-out. He was succeeded as Poet Laureate by Tennyson. SIR ROBERT PEEL (#) Politician: ‘One of the most sagacious statesmen that England ever produced.’ 2 JULY 1850 A GREAT AGE has lost a great man. Sir Robert Peel, whom all parties and all nations associate more than any other statesman with the policy and glory of this empire, is now a name of the past. He has been taken, as it were, from his very seat in the Senate, with nothing to prepare us for his departure, and everything now to remind us of it, with his powers unabated, and his part unfulfilled. Although gradually removed during the last four years from the sphere of party, he had still political friends to be reconciled, a social position to be repaired, motives to be appreciated, and acts to be justified by the tardy and conflicting testimony of results. A devoted band of admirers hoped to see him set right with all the world, while life and strength still remained; and that day of peaceful triumph seemed not very distant. There were others who still saw in Sir Robert Peel the man who had more than once saved his country at the cost of his party, and might again be called to a task which demanded such marvellous powers and so singular a position. The page that recorded his last great effort was scarcely spread before the eyes of the nation when the object of all these hopes and calculations was suddenly withdrawn, and they who speculate or dream over the great game of politics have to readjust their thoughts to the loss of the principal actor. The highest possible estimate of Sir Robert Peel’s services is that which we are invited to take from the mouth of his opponents. If we are to trust them, we are to believe that but for Sir Robert Peel this country would long since have repudiated the exact performance of its pecuniary obligations; that half our fellow subjects would still be excluded by their creed from office and power; and that the means of existence would still be obstructed and enhanced in their way to a teeming and industrious population. Nor can it be denied that this estimate has a very general consent in its favour. If it be asked who bound England to the faithful discharge of the largest debt ever contracted or imagined by man, and who thereby raised her credit and advanced her prosperity to an unexampled standard, one name, and one only, will present itself to the mind of either Englishman or foreigner, and that name is Peel. If, again, it be asked who admitted eight or nine million British subjects to the rights of British citizenship, the answer still is Peel. If, lastly, it be asked who opened the gates of trade, and bade the food of man flow hither from every shore in an uninterrupted stream, it is still Peel who did it. On these three monuments of wisdom and beneficence other names may be written, but the name of Peel is first and foremost. Yet they were no ordinary achievements. It is within the memory of the living generation that every one of these three things was generally thought impossible, and was wholly despaired of even by those who were most clearly convinced of their moral and political obligation. These things, too, were not done on any mean stage, but in the greatest empire of the world, and where the difficulties were in proportion to the work. But how far does the name of Peel justly occupy this honourable position? Was he the author of these three great acts? Others, indeed, originated and proposed, for they were freer to originate, and it is always easy to gain the start of a statesman more or less implicated in existing legislation and encumbered by his supporters. But to confine ourselves to Sir Robert’s last and crowning achievement, it must be said that while others advised the repeal of the Corn Laws when it was their interest to do so, he was the first to propose it when everything was to be lost by it – when, in fact, he did lose everything by it. His was the risk, so his must be the renown. His right is now proved, not by what he did, but by what he suffered, and he is the confessed author of free trade, because he has been a martyr to it. We cannot question the conscientious convictions of those who drove Sir Robert from power, but in so doing they testify that but for him the Corn Laws would not have been repealed. But these acts, great as they were, and insulated as they seem, were only parts of a series, and by no means the most laborious parts. The amelioration of our criminal code, the reform of our police, the introduction of simpler forms and more responsible management into every part of our administrative system, took up large parts of Sir Robert’s career, while there was not a subject that could possibly come within his reach that he did not grasp resolutely and well. We have had to differ from him; we do differ from him; but we must admit that no man ever undertook public affairs with a more thorough determination to leave the institutions of his country in an orderly, honest, and efficient state. But are we wholly to pass over the ambiguities of this honourable career? Must it be left to the future historian to relate that when England lost her greatest living statesman, there were points of his character too tender to be touched, and that all parties agreed to slur over what they could not all praise? Surely not. Truth is as sacred as the grave, and the grief confessed by all may, perhaps, infuse new gravity and candour into a painful discussion. Sir Robert, so it is said, besides many smaller violences to the conscience of his followers, twice signally betrayed them. Twice he broke them up, and we now behold the result in a smitten and divided party. They give us the most undeniable proofs that their indignation is sincere. Suicide is so frequent a form of indignant adjuration that we cannot help respecting such an evidence of wrong. But with the knell of departed greatness sounding in our ear, it is time to view these acts by the light of the future. Posterity will ask, – Were they right or were they wrong? Our own answer shall be without hesitation or reserve. They were among the most needful and salutary acts that ever were given man to do. Grant that Sir Robert compassed them unfairly, and it must at least be admitted that he had a fine taste for glory and prized the gifts of Heaven when he saw them. But is it possible that a man should do such deeds, and a whole life full of them, and yet do them basely? To confess that were indeed a keen satire on man, if not a presumptuous imputation on his Maker. But perhaps there is some semblance of truth in it. Take, then, the long list of earth’s worthies from the beginning of story to the present hour, and let us be candid with them. It will not be easy to find many of that canonized throng whose patriotism has not been alloyed with some baseness, who have not won triumphs with subtlety, deceived nations to their good, countermined against fraudful antagonists, or otherwise sinned against their own greatness. But when we have employed towards other men the candour imposed upon us in the case of Sir Robert Peel, we find these imperfections rather a condition of humanity than a fault of the individual. Nearly all great things, even the greatest of them, have been done in this earthly fashion. In the language of purists all government is bad, Courts are corrupt, and policy a word of opprobrium. An abstract philosopher, indeed, can easily be abstractedly good, but when once we have to deal with the human material there is no choice but to condescend. But a charge so oft repeated, and so fixed upon the man, demands a closer scrutiny. That charge is double-dealing. It is not that Sir Robert was ‘a doubleminded man,’ and, therefore, ‘unstable in his ways,’ but that he assembled his followers on one understanding and used them for another; or, to take a milder supposition, that he gave way to a different set of impulses when on one side of the House from those which swayed him on the other. Some sort of doubleness is alleged, and some sort must be conceded, though it may not be easily described. Sir Robert was one man by parentage, education, friends, and almost every circumstance of his very early entrance into public life, and another man by the workings of his great intellect, the expansion of his sympathies, and his vast and varied experience. He was early taught to worship George III, and to adore the very shadow of Pitt, for his father published a pamphlet to prove that the National Debt was a positive source of prosperity. From this ultra-Tory household he passed to Harrow, where, as the world knows, he was the contemporary of Byron, of Aberdeen, and other great men, but it was at Oxford that he chiefly acquired confidence and fame. He was the most distinguished son of that University, and its most cherished representative. Thirty years ago Peel was to do everything for the Universities, the Church of England, the aristocracy, and every man and every thing that reposes under those institutions. The only question was, whether he would stand by them – whether he was stanch; for in those days it was the office of a statesman to do what he was bid. It is enough for our present purpose to remind our readers that he first took office under Perceval, continued under Lord Liverpool, Eldon all the time being Lord Chancellor; that as Irish Secretary he was early pressed into the service of the Orange party; and that meanwhile old Sir Robert Peel, himself in Parliament, showed a most amiable vigilance for the integrity of his son’s opinions. In fact, never was a rising young statesman blessed with so many fathers and mothers, and godfathers and godmothers. Tories and Orangemen, Oxford and the Church, Perceval and Lord Liverpool, Eldon, and we believe we must add Wellington, with old Sir Robert to hold all together, constituted a political nursery in which it was scarcely possible to go wrong. Unfortunately for his numerous patrons and advisers, Peel had something else in him than a capacity for receiving nursery impressions. He was a great man, and broke through his trammels, but his life was spent in that long and painful struggle. His affections, his friendships, his pledges, and his speeches kept in record against him, held him back, while his far-seeing and active solicitude for his country drew him on. His life was one long contest, for warm pledges are not easily broken, nor, on the other hand, are deep convictions easily belied. But is it impossible for a really honest man to suffer such a struggle? All history and every man’s own experience will tell him that it is not impossible. The larger a man’s capacity, and the kindlier his nature, the wider also will be his sympathies; and the more likely also will he be to embrace and feel many conflicting considerations. His heart may draw him one way, and his reason another. The influence of a sudden event, the force of some new argument, the excitement of some discussion, the persuasion of some example may ever and anon take possession of the imagination and senses, while the mind within pursues its even tenour, finds out truth at last, and then holds it fast. But the age wherein we live is interested in vindicating the character of its own statesman. Be he double or single, Sir Robert Peel was the type and representative of his generation. We have lived in a period of transition, and Sir Robert has conducted us safely through it. England has changed as well as he. Sir Robert has died ‘in harness.’ He never sought repose, and his almost morbid restlessness rendered him incapable of enjoying it. His was a life of effort. The maxim that if anything is worth doing, it is worth doing well, seemed ever present to his mind, so that everything he did or said was somewhat over-laboured. His official powers, as some one said the other day, were Atlantean, and his Ministerial expositions on the same gigantic scale. There was an equal appearance of effort, however, in his most casual remarks, at least when in public, for he would never throw away a chance; and he still trusted to his industry rather than to his powers. But a man whose life is passed in the service of the public, and whose habits are Parliamentary or official, is not to be judged by ordinary rules, for he can scarcely fail to be cold, guarded, and ostentatious. What is a senate but a species of theatre, where a part must be acted, feelings must be expressed, and applause must be won? Undoubtedly the habit of political exhibition told on Sir Robert’s manner and style, and even on his mind. His egotism was proverbial, but besides the excessive use of the first person, it occasionally betrayed him into performances at variance both with prudence and taste. His love of applause was closely allied to a still more dangerous appetite for national prosperity, without sufficient regard to its sources and permanence. It was this that seduced him into encouraging, instead of controlling the railway mania. Had the opportunity been allowed, we are inclined to think he would have falsified the common opinion as to his excessive discretion, and astonished mankind with some splendid, if successful, novelties. His style of speaking was admirably adapted for its purpose, for it was luminous and methodical, while his powerful voice and emphatic delivery gave almost too much assistance to his language, for it was apt to be redundant and common-place. He had not that strong simplicity of expression which is almost a tradition of the old Whig school, and is no slight element of its power. We had almost omitted Sir Robert’s private character. This is not the place to trumpet private virtues, which never shine better than when they are really private. Suffice it to say that Sir Robert was honoured and beloved in every relation of private life. Such is the man, the statesman, and the patriot, with his great virtues, and perhaps his little failings, that has fallen at his post. Under Providence he has been our chief guide from the confusions and darkness that hung round the beginning of this century to the comparatively quiet haven in which we are now embayed. Under the lamentable circumstances of his departure, we again revert with renewed satisfaction to the speech which, little as he thought it, was his farewell to the nation. Not the least prominent or least pleasing portion of that speech was its calm, retrospective, and conciliatory character, and, in particular, the manner in which he unconsciously took leave of the man whose policy he stood up to review, and who had entered public life with him, under the same master, forty-one years ago. Having in his introductory sentences declared his cordial concurrence with many parts of the Ministerial policy during their whole period of office, when he came at last to speak of the course recently taken by our diplomacy, he observed, – ‘I have so little disposition – and I say it with truth, for the feelings which have actuated me for the last four years remain unabated (hear, hear) – I have so little disposition, I say, for entering into any angry or hostile controversy, that I shall make no reference whatever to many of the topics which were introduced into that most able and most temperate speech, which made us proud of the man who delivered it (loud and general cheering), and in which he vindicated with becoming spirit, and with an ability worthy of his name and place, that course of conduct which he had pursued. (Cheers.)’ The man who said this had his heart in the right place, and no reconciliation forced by the agonies, the terrors, or the weakness of a deathbed ever exceeded the feeling of that simple and spontaneous acknowledgment. Sir Robert, it is a comfort to think, has left us with words of peace and candour on his lips, and that same peace and candour, we cannot help believing, will be awarded to his memory by his own political opponents. In the following brief narrative of the principal facts in the life of the great statesman who has just been snatched from among us, we must disclaim all intention of dealing with his biography in any searching or ambitious spirit. The national loss is so great, the bereavement so sudden, that we cannot sit down calmly either to eulogize or arraign the memory of the deceased. We cannot forget that it was not a week ago we were occupied in recording and commenting upon his last eloquent address to that Assembly which had so often listened with breathless attention to his statesman-like expositions of policy. We freely confess, too, that, however much under ordinary circumstances we feel it our duty to be prepared with such information as is most likely to interest the public, the death of poor Sir Robert Peel was an exceptional case. It was too revolting to prepare the biography of so great a man while he was yet alive – crushed and mangled indeed, and with little hope of recovery – but still alive. We could do little else when the mournful intelligence reached us that Sir Robert Peel was no more than pen a few expressions of sorrow and respect. Even now the following imperfect record of facts, prepared, as it has been, in the course of a few hours, must be accepted as a poor substitute for the biography of that great Englishman whose loss will be felt almost as a private bereavement by every family throughout the British Empire. Sir Robert Peel was in the 63d year of his age, having been born near Bury, in Lancashire, on the 5th of February, 1788. His father was a manufacturer on a grand scale, and a man of much natural ability, and of almost unequalled opulence. Full of a desire to render his son and probable successor worthy of the influence and the vast wealth which he had to bestow, the first Sir Robert Peel took the utmost pains personally with the early training of the future Prime Minister. He retained his son under his own immediate superintendence until he arrived at a sufficient age to be sent to Harrow. Mr. Robert Peel went to Harrow certainly a ready recipient of scholarship, but by no means an advanced schoolboy. From the outset he was assiduous, docile, and submissive, yet in the prompt and vigorous performance of school duties he lagged for a time behind boys who in everything but experience were infinitely his inferiors. This, however, was only a temporary check at the threshold of a great career. He advanced rapidly and securely, and soon left all competition in the rear; but he wanted the animal energy and buoyancy of spirit which give pre-eminence out of school. Lord Byron, his contemporary at Harrow, was a better declaimer and a more amusing actor, but in sound learning and laborious application to school duties young Peel had no equal. So marked was his superiority in these respects that the unanimous opinion of the little senate to which he then gave laws was, that he could not fail to be a Cabinet Minister at an early age. Masters and scholars shared this sentiment. He had scarcely completed his 16th year when he left Harrow and became a gentleman commoner of Christ Church, Oxford, where he took the degree of A. B., in Michaelmas Term, 1808, with unprecedented distinction. Advisedly it may be said that his success was unprecedented, for the present system of examination being then new, no man before his time ever took the honours of a double first class – first in classics, first in mathematics. It did so happen that Mr. Peel was the first recipient of that muchprized object of youthful ambition. The year 1809 saw him attain his majority, and saw him also take his seat in the House of Commons as member for the ancient city of Cashel, in the county of Tipperary – a place not then returning the nominee of the popular party in Ireland, but the man who, on account of party interests or other considerations, could find favour in the sight of Mr. Richard Pennefather, who, in the phraseology of that day, ‘had the patronage of Cashel.’ Whether similarity of opinion in matters political, or a more direct influence, may have led to Mr. Peel’s being member for Cashel, one need not at this distance of time too minutely inquire. Whatever may have been the consideration, the 12 voters of Cashel (then the only electors in that city) enjoyed his first services in Parliament, and continued to call him their member till the general election in 1812, when he came in for Chippenham, a Wiltshire borough, where he acquired–probably by means similarto those used at Cashel-the honour of a seat in Parliament. The main difference between the two boroughs consisted in the fact that in the former case he had only 12 constituents, in the latter 135. The first Sir Robert Peel had long been a member of the House of Commons, and the early efforts of his son in that assembly were regarded with considerable interest, not only on account of his University reputation, but also because he was the son of such a father. He did not, however, begin public life by staking his fame on the results of one elaborate oration; on the contrary, he rose now and then on comparatively unimportant occasions; made a few brief modest remarks, stated a fact or two, explained a difficulty when he happened to understand the matter in hand better than others, and then sat down without taxing too severely the patience or good-nature of all auditory accustomed to great performances. Still in the second year of his Parliamentary course he ventured to make a set speech, when, at the commencement of the session of 1810, he seconded the address in reply to the King’s speech. Thenceforward for 19 years a more highflying Tory than Mr. Peel was not to be found within the walls of Parliament. Lord Eldon applauded him as a young and valiant champion of those abuses in the State which were then fondly called ‘the institutions of the country,’ Lord Sidmouth regarded him as his rightful political heir, and even the Duke of Cumberland patronised Mr. Peel. He further became the favourite elève of Mr. Perceval, then First Lord of the Treasury, and entered office as Under-Secretary for the Home Department. Mr. Richard Ryder, uncle of the present Earl of Harrowby, was at that time the principal Secretary. He continued in the Home Department for two years, not often speaking in Parliament, but rather qualifying himself for those prodigious labours in debate, in council, and in office, which it has since been his lot to encounter and perform. In the month of May, 1812, Mr. Perceval fell by the hand of an assassin, and the composition of the Ministry necessarily underwent a great change. The result, so far as Mr. Peel was concerned, was that he was appointed Chief Secretary to the Lord-Lieutenant of Ireland. This was an office which in those days, and long afterwards, it was the practice of successive Governments to confer upon the most promising of the youthful members of their party. Mr. Peel had only reached his 26th year when, in the month of September, 1812, the duties of that anxious and laborious position were intrusted to his hands. The late Duke of Richmond held the office of Viceroy, and Mr. Vesey Fitzgerald, afterwards Lord Fitzgerald, that of Chancellor of the Exchequer for Ireland. The Legislative Union was then but lately consummated, and the demand for Catholic emancipation had given rise to an agitation of only very recent date. But in proportion to its novelty so was its vigour. Mr. Peel was, therefore, as the representative of the old Tory Protestant school, called upon to encounter a storm of unpopularity such as not even an Irish Secretary has ever been exposed to. No term of reproach was too strong; no amount of obloquy considered disproportioned to the high enormities which the Roman Catholic party charged upon him whom they would never call by any other appellation than ‘Orange Peel.’ That he bore it all with becoming fortitude, and resented it as often as it was safe to do so, is no more than the subsequent course of his life would lead one to expect. But he sometimes went a little further, and condescended personally to take notice of the offensive violence which marked the course of Irish opposition. The late Mr. O’Connell at various public meetings, and in various forms, through the agency of the press, poured forth upon Mr. Peel a torrent of invective, which went beyond even his extraordinary performances in the science of scolding. At length he received from Mr. Peel a communication in the shape of a hostile message. Sir Charles Saxton, who was Under-Secretary in Ireland, had an interview first with Mr. O’Connell and afterwards with a friend of that gentleman, a Mr. Lidwell. Negotiations went on for three or four days, when Mr. O’Connell was taken into custody and bound over to keep the peace towards all his fellow-subjects in Ireland. Mr. Peel and his friend immediately came to this country, and subsequently proceeded to the continent. Mr. O’Connell followed them to London, but the police were active enough to bring him before the Chief Justice of England, when he entered into recognizances to keep the peace towards all His Majesty’s subjects; and so ended one of the few personal squabbles in which Mr. Peel had ever been engaged. For six years he held the office of Chief Secretary to the Lord-Lieutenant, at a time when the government was conducted upon what might be called ‘anti-conciliation principles.’ The opposite course was commenced by Mr. Peel’s immediate successor Mr. Charles Grant, now Lord Glenelg. That a Chief Secretary so circumstanced, struggling to sustain extreme Orangeism in its dying agonies, should have been called upon to encounter great toil and anxiety, is a truth too obvious to need illustration. That in these straits Mr. Peel acquitted himself with infinite address was as readily acknowledged at that time as it has ever been, even in the zenith of his fame. He introduced and defended many Irish measures, including some peace-preservation bills. The establishment of the constabulary force in that country has, however, been amongst the most permanent results of his administration. It is, moreover, one which may be considered as the experimental or preliminary step to the introduction of that system of metropolitan police, which gives security to person and property amidst the congregated millions of the vast cluster of cities, boroughs, and villages which we call London, and which has since been extended to every considerable provincial town. The minor measures of Sir Robert Peel’s administration in Ireland possess, at this distance of time, but few features of interest to readers who live in the year 1850. He held office in that country under three successive Viceroys, the Duke of Richmond, Earl Whitworth and Earl Talbot, all of whom have long since passed away from this life, their names and their deeds alike forgotten. But the history of their Chief Secretary happens not to have been composed of such perishable materials, and we now approach one of the most memorable passages of his eventful career. He was Chairman of the great Bullion Committee; but before he engaged in that stupendous task he had resigned the Chief-Secretaryship of Ireland. As a consequence of the report of that committee, he took charge of and introduced the bill for authorizing a return to cash payments which bears his name, and which measure received the sanction of Parliament in the year 1819. That measure brought upon Mr. Peel no slight or temporary odium. The first Sir Robert Peel was then alive, and altogether differed from his son as to the tendency of his measure. It was roundly asserted at the time, and very faintly denied, that it rendered that gentleman a more wealthy man; by something like half a million sterling, than he had previously been. The deceased statesman, however, must in commonjustice be acquitted of any sinister purpose. This narrative now reaches the year 1820, when we have to relate the only domestic event in the history of Sir Robert Peel which requires notice. On the 8th of June, at Upper Seymour-street, London, being then in the 33d year of his age, he married Julia, daughter of General Sir John Floyd, who had then attained the age of 25. Two years afterwards there was a lull in public affairs, which gave somewhat the appearance of tranquillity; Lord Sidmouth was growing old, he thought that his system was successful, and that at length he might find repose. He considered it then consistent with his public duty to consign to younger and stronger hands the seats of the Home Department. He accepted a seat in the Cabinet without office, and continued to give his support to Lord Liverpool, his ancient political chief. In permitting his mantle to fall upon Mr. Peel he thought he was assisting to invest with authority one whose views and policy were as narrow as his own, and whose practice in carrying them out would be not less rigid and uncompromising. But, like many others, he lived long enough to be grievously disappointed by the subsequent career of him whom the Liberal party have since called ‘the great Minister of progress,’ and whom their opponents have not scrupled to designate by appellations too harsh to be repeated in these hours of sorrow and bereavement. On the 17th January, 1822, Mr. Peel was installed at the head of the Home Department, where he remained undisturbed till the political demise of Lord Liverpool in the spring of 1827. And here for a moment the narrative of his official life may be interrupted in order to remind the reader that he did not always represent in Parliament such insignificant places as Cashel and Chippenham. The most distinguished man that has filled the chair of the House of Commons in the present century was Charles Abbott, afterwards Lord Colchester. In the summer of 1817 this gentleman had completed 16 years of hard service in that most eminent office, and he had represented the University of Oxford for 11 years. His valuable labours having been rewarded with a pension and a peerage, he took his seat, full of years and honours, among the hereditary legislators of the land, and left a vacancy in the representation of his alma mater, which Mr. Peel above all living men was deemed the most fitting person to occupy. At that time he was an intense Tory – or as the Irish called him, the Orange Protestant of the deepest dye – one prepared to make any sacrifice for the maintenance of Church and State as established by the Revolution of 1688. Who, therefore, so fit as he to represent the loyalty, learning and orthodoxy of Oxford? To have done so and been the object of Mr. Canning’s young ambition, but in 1817 he could not be so ungrateful to Liverpool as to reject its representation even for the early object of his Parliamentary affections. Mr. Peel therefore was returned in the month of June without opposition, for that constituency which many consider the most important in the land – a constituency with which Mr. Peel remained on the best possible terms for an unbroken period of 12 years. The question of the repeal of the penal laws affecting the Roman Catholics, which severed so many political connexions, was, however, destined to separate Mr. Peel from Oxford. In the year 1828 rumours of the coming change were rife, and many expedients were devised to extract from Mr. Secretary Peel his opinions on the Catholic question. But with the impenetrable reserve which ever marked his character he baffled inquiry and left all curiosity at fault. At last the hard necessities of the Government rendered farther concealment impossible, and out came the frightful truth that Mr. Peel was no longer an Orangeman. The ardent friends who had frequently supported his Oxford elections, and the hot partisans who shouted ‘Peel and Protestantism’ at the Brunswick Clubs, reviled him for his defection in no measured terms. On the 4th of February, 1829, he addressed a letter to the Vice-Chancellor of Oxford, stating in many well turned phrases that the Catholic question must be forthwith adjusted, under advice in which he concurred; and that, therefore, he considered himself bound to resign that trust which the University had during so many years confided to his hands. Mr. Peel’s resignation was accepted; but as the avowed purpose of that important step was to give his constituents an opportunity of pronouncing an opinion upon a change of policy, he merely accepted the Chiltern Hundreds with the intention of immediately becoming a candidate for that seat in Parliament which he had just vacated. At this election Mr. Peel was opposed by Sir Robert Inglis, who was elected by 755 to 609. Mr. Peel was therefore obliged to cast himself on the favour of Sir Mannasseh Lopez, who returned him for the borough of Westbury in Wiltshire, which undignified constituency he continued to represent during two years, until at the general election in 1830, he was chosen for Tamworth, in the representation for which borough he has continued for exactly 20 years. The main features of his official life still remain to be noticed. With the exception of Lord Palmerston no statesman of modern times has spent so many years in the civil service of the Crown as Sir Robert Peel. If no account be taken of the short time he was engaged upon the Bullion Committee in effecting the change in the currency, and in opposing for a few months the Ministries of Mr. Canning and Lord Goderich, it may be stated that from 1810 to 1830 he formed part of the Government, and presided over it as First Minister in 1834-5, as well as from 1841 to 1846 inclusive. During the time that he held the office of Home Secretary under Lord Liverpool he effected many important changes in the administration of domestic affairs, and many legislative improvements of a practical and comprehensive character. But his fame as a member of Parliament was principally sustained at this period of his life by the extensive and admirable alterations which he effected in the criminal law. Romilly and Mackintosh had preceded him in the great work of reforming and humanizing the code of England. For his hand, however, was reserved the introduction of ameliorations which they had long toiled and struggled for in vain. The Ministry through whose influence he was enabled to carry these salutary reforms lost its chief in the person of Lord Liverpool during the early part of the year 1827. When Mr. Canning undertook to form a Government, Mr. Peel, the late Lord Eldon, the Duke of Wellington, and other eminent Tories of that day, threw up office, and are said to have persecuted Mr. Canning with a degree of rancour far outstripping the legitimate bounds of political hostility. At least those were the sentiments expressed by some of the less discreet friends of Mr. Canning. It was certainly the opinion held by the late Lord George Bentinck when he said that ‘they hounded to the death my illustrious relative;’ and the ardour of his subsequent opposition to Sir Robert Peel evidently derived its intensity from a long cherished sense of the injuries supposed to have been inflicted upon Mr. Canning. In the language of Lord George Bentinck, and in that of many others who had not the excuse of private friendship, there was much of exaggeration, if not of absolute error. It is the opinion of men not ill informed respecting the sentiments of Canning that he considered Peel as his true political successor – as a statesman competent to the task of working out that large and liberal policy which he fondly hoped the Tories might, however tardily, be induced to sanction. At all events, he is believed not to have entertained towards Mr. Peel any personal hostility, and to have stated during his short-lived tenure of office that that gentleman was the only member of his party who had not treated him with ingratitude and unkindness. In the month of January, 1828, the Wellington Ministry took office and held it till November, 1830. Mr. Peel’s reputation suffered during this period very rude shocks. He gave up, as already stated, his anti-Catholic principles, lost the force of 20 years consistency, and under unheard of disadvantages introduced the very measure he had spent so many years in opposing. The debates upon Catholic Emancipation, which preceded the great Reform question, constitute a period in the life of Sir Robert Peel which 20 years ago every one would have considered its chief and prominent feature. There can be no doubt that the course he then adopted demanded greater moral courage than at any previous period of his life he had been called upon to exercise. He believed himself incontestably in the right; he believed, with the Duke of Wellington, that the danger of civil war was imminent, and that such an event was immeasurably a greater evil than surrendering the boasted constitution of 1688. But he was called upon to snap asunder a Parliamentary connexion of 12 years with a great University, in which the most interesting period of his youth had been passed; he was called upon to encounter the reproaches of adherents whom he had often led in well fought contests against the advocates of what was termed ‘civil and religious liberty;’ he had further to tell the world that the character of public men for consistency, however precious, is not to be directly opposed to the common weal; and to communicate to many the novel as well as unpalatable truth that what they deemed ‘principle’ must give way to what he called ‘expediency.’ It is to be expected, however, that posterity will do him the justice to acknowledge that, if he accomplished much, he suffered much in the performance of what he believed to be his highest duties. When he ceased to be a Minister of the Crown, that general movement throughout Europe which succeeded the deposition of the elder branch of the Bourbons rendered Parliamentary reform as unavoidable as two years previously Catholic emancipation had been. He opposed this change, no doubt with increased knowledge and matured talents, but with impaired influence and few Parliamentary followers. The history of the reform debates will show that Mr. (then Sir Robert) Peel made many admirable speeches which served to raise his reputation, but never for a moment turned the tide of fortune against his adversaries, and in the first session of the first reformed Parliament he found himself at the head of a party that in numbers little exceeded one hundred. As soon as it was practicable he rallied his broken forces; either he or some of his political friends gave them the name of ‘Conservatives,’ and it required but a short interval of reflection and observation to prove to his sagacious intellect that the period of reaction was at hand. Every engine of party organization was put into vigorous activity, and before the summer of 1834 reached its close he was at the head of a compact, powerful, and well-disciplined Opposition. Such a high impression of their vigour and efficiency had King William IV received, that when, in November, Lord Althorp became a peer, and the Whigs therefore lost their leader in the House of Commons, His Majesty sent to Italy to summon Sir Robert Peel to his councils, with a view to the immediate formation of a Conservative Ministry. Sir Robert accepted this heavy responsibility, though he thought that the King had grievously mistaken the condition of the country and the chances of success which awaited his political friends. A new House of Commons was instantly called, and for nearly three months Sir Robert Peel maintained a gallant struggle against the most formidable opposition that for nearly a century past any Minister has been called upon to encounter. At no time did his command of temper, his almost exhaustless resources of information, his vigorous and comprehensive intellect appear to create such astonishment or draw forth expressions of such unbounded admiration as in the early part of the year 1835. But, after a well-fought contest, he retired once more into opposition till the close of the second Melbourne Administration in 1841. It was in the month of April, 1835, that Lord Melbourne was restored to power, but the continued enjoyment of office did not much promote the political interests of his party, and from various causes the power of the Whigs began to decline. The commencement of a new reign gave them some popularity, but in the new House of Commons, elected in consequence of that event, the Conservative party were evidently gaining strength; still, after the failure of 1834-5, it was no easy task to dislodge an existing Ministry, and at the same time to be prepared with a Cabinet and a party competent to succeed them. Sir Robert Peel, therefore, with characteristic caution, ‘bided his time,’ conducting the business of Opposition throughout the whole of this period with an ability and success of which history affords few examples. He had accepted the Reform Bill as the established law of England, and as the system upon which the country was thenceforward to be governed. He was willing to carry it out in its true spirit, but he would proceed no further. He marshalled his Opposition upon the principle of resistance to any further organic changes, and he enlisted the majority of the peers and nearly the whole of the country gentlemen of England in support of the great principle of protection to British industry. The little manoeuvres and small political intrigues of the period are almost forgotten, and the remembrance of them is scarcely worthy of revival. It may, however, be mentioned that in 1839 Ministers, being left in a minority, resigned, and Sir Robert Peel, when sent for by the Queen, demanded that certain ladies in the household of Her Majesty, – the near relatives of eminent Whig politicians, – should be removed from the personal service of the Sovereign. As this was refused, he abandoned for the time any attempt to form a Government, and his opponents remained in office till September, 1841. It was then Sir Robert Peel became First Lord of the Treasury, and the Duke of Wellington, without office, accepted a seat in the Cabinet, taking the management of the House of Lords. His Ministry was formed emphatically on Protectionist principles, but the close of its career was marked by the adoption of free trade doctrines in the widest and most liberal sense. We do not here propose to reopen a question already decided, but to record the fact that Sir Robert Peel’s sense of public duty impelled him once more to incur the odium and obloquy which attend a fundamental change of policy, and a repudiation of the political partisans by whose ardent support a Minister may have attained office and authority. It was his sad fate to encounter more than any man ever did of that most painful hostility which such conduct, however necessary, never fails to produce. This great change in our commercial policy, however unavoidable, must be regarded as the proximate cause of Sir Robert Peel’s final expulsion from office in the month of July, 1846. His administration, however, had been signalized by several measures of great political importance. Among the earliest and most prominent of these were his financial plans, the striking feature of which was an income-tax; greatly extolled for the exemption it afforded from other burdens pressing more severely on industry, but loudly condemned for its irregular and unequal operation, a vice which has since rendered its contemplated increase impossible. Of the Ministerial life of Sir Robert Peel little more remains to be related except that which properly belongs rather to the history of the country than to his individual biography. But it would be unjust to the memory of one of the most sagacious statesmen that England ever produced to deny that his latest renunciation of political principles required but two short years to attest the vital necessity of that unqualified surrender. If the corn laws had been in existence at the period when the political system of the Continent was shaken to its centre and dynasties crumbled into dust, a question would have been left in the hands of the democratic party of England, the force of which neither skill nor influence could then have evaded. Instead of broken friendships, shattered reputations for consistency, or diminished rents, the whole realm of England might have borne a fearful share in that storm of wreck and revolution which had its crisis on the 10th of April, 1848. In the course of his long and eventful life many honours were conferred upon Sir Robert Peel. Wherever he went, and almost at all times, he attracted universal attention, and was always received with the highest consideration. At the close of the year 1836 the University of Glasgow elected him their Lord Rector, and the Conservatives of that city in January, 1837, invited him to a banquet at which 3,000 gentlemen assembled to do honour to their great political chief. But this was only one among many occasions on which he was ‘the great guest.’ Perhaps the most remarkable of these banquets was that given to him in 1835 at Merchant Tailors’ Hall by 300 members of the House of Commons. Many other circumstances might be related to illustrate the high position which Sir Robert Peel occupied in this country. Anecdotes innumerable might be recorded to show the extraordinary influence in Parliament which made him ‘the great commoner’ of the age; for Sir Robert Peel was not only a skilful and adroit debater, but by many degrees the most able and one of the most eloquent men in either house of Parliament. Nothing could be more stately or imposing than the long array of sounding periods in which he expounded his doctrines, assailed his political adversaries, or vindicated his own policy. But when the whole land laments his loss, when England mourns the untimely fate of one of her noblest sons, the task of critical disquisition upon literary attainments or public oratory possesses little attraction. It may be left for calmer moments, and a more distant time, to investigate with unforgiving justice the sources of his errors, or to estimate the precise value of services which the public is now disposed to regard with no other feelings than those of unmingled gratitude. The news of Peel’s death, three days after being thrown from his horse on Constitution Hill on 29 June 1850, was greeted with a great outpouring of public grief, particularly amongst working class Londoners. To his fellow parliamentarians, however, Peel had emerged as a deeply ambiguous figure, a personally admirable man who had been prepared to betray his party in the interests of what he perceived to be the greater good of the country at large. The Times obituary is frank about its disapproval of these betrayals though it is equally fulsome in its praise of Peel’s very considerable political achievements. While readily acknowledging his distinctive genius as a Prime Minister it tends to play down the lasting significance of Peel’s two periods as Home Secretary (1822-1827 and 1828-1830). In 1826 he had begun the process of radically reforming the criminal justice system and in 1829 had introduced the Metropolitan Police Improvement Bill that established London’s police force – hence the popular nicknames ‘Bobbies’ and ‘Peelers’ still occasionally attached to the force. In the words of later Prime Minister, Harold Wilson, he was ‘undoubtedly the greatest reforming Home Secretary of all time’. J. M. W. TURNER, R. A. (#) Artist: ‘Mastering every mode of expression, combining scientific labour with an air of negligent profusion.’ 19 DECEMBER 1851 THE FINE ARTS in this country have not produced a more remarkable man than Joseph Mallord William Turner, whose death it was yesterday our duty to record; and although it would here be out of place to revive the discussions occasioned by the peculiarities of Mr. Turner’s style in his later years, he has left behind him sufficient proofs of the variety and fertility of his genius to establish an undoubted claim to a prominent rank among the painters of England. His life had been extended to the verge of human existence; for, although he was fond of throwing mystery over his precise age, we believe that he was born in Maiden-lane, Coventgarden, in the year 1775, and was consequently, in his 76th or 77th year. Of humble origin, he enjoyed the advantages of an accurate rather than a liberal education. His first studies, some of which are still in existence, were in architectural design, and few of those who have been astonished or enchanted by the profusion and caprice of form and colour in his mature pictures would have guessed the minute and scientific precision with which he had cultivated the arts of linear drawing and perspective. His early manhood was spent partly on the coast, where he imbibed his inexhaustible attachment for marine scenery and his acquaintance with the wild and varied aspect of the ocean. Somewhat later he repaired to Oxford, where he contributed for several years the drawing to the University Almanac. But his genius was rapidly breaking through all obstacles, and even the repugnance of public opinion; for, before he had completed his 30th year he was on the high road to fame. As early as 1790 he exhibited his first work, a watercoloured drawing of the entrance to Lambeth, at the exhibition of the Academy; and in 1793 his first oil painting. In November, 1799, he was elected an associate, and in February, 1802, he attained the rank of a Royal Academician. We shall not here attempt to trace the vast series of his paintings from his earlier productions, such as the ‘Wreck,’ in Lord Yarborough’s collection, the ‘Italian Landscape,’ in the same gallery, the pendant to Lord Ellesmere’s Vanderwelde, or Mr. Munro’s ‘Venus and Adonis,’ in the Titianesque manner, to the more obscure, original, and, as some think, unapproachable productions of his later years, such as the ‘Rome,’ the ‘Venice,’ the ‘Golden Bough,’ the ‘Téméraire,’ and the ‘Tusculum.’ But while these great works proceeded rapidly from his palette, his powers of design were no less actively engaged in the exquisite water-coloured drawings that have formed the basis of the modern school of ‘illustration.’ The ‘Liberstudiorum’ had been commenced in 1807 in imitation of Claude’s ‘Liber veritatis,’ and was etched, if we are not mistaken, by Turner’s own hand. The title page was engraved and altered half-a-dozen times from his singular and even nervous attention to the most trifling details. But this volume was only the precursor of an immense series of drawings and sketches, embracing the topography of this country in the ‘River Scenery’ and the ‘Southern Coast’ – the scenery of the Alps, of Italy, and great part of Europe – and the ideal creations of our greatest poets, from Milton to Scott and Rogers, all imbued with the brilliancy of a genius which seemed to address itself more peculiarly to the world at large when it adopted the popular form of engraving. These drawings are now widely diffused in England, and form the basis of several important collections, such as those of Petworth, of Mr. Windus, Mr. Fawkes, and Mr. Munro. So great is the value of them that 120 guineas have not unfrequently been paid for a small sketch in watercolours; and a sketchbook, containing chalk drawings of one of Turner’s river tours on the continent, has lately fetched the enormous sum of 600 guineas. The prices of his more finished oil paintings have ranged in the last few years from 700 to 1,200 or 1,400 guineas. All his works may now be said to have acquired triple or quadruple the value originally paid for them. Mr. Turner undoubtedly realized a very large fortune, and great curiosity will be felt to ascertain the posthumous use he has made of it. His personal habits were peculiar, and even penurious, but in all that related to his art he was generous to munificence, and we are not without hope that his last intentions were for the benefit of the nation, and the preservation of his own fame. He was never married, he was not known to have any relations, and his wants were limited to the strictest simplicity. The only ornaments of his house in Queen Anne-street were the pictures by his own hand, which he had constantly refused to part with at any price, among which the ‘Rise and Fall of Carthage’ and the ‘Crossing the Brook’ rank among the choicest specimens of his finest manner. Mr. Turner seldom took much part in society, and only displayed in the closest intimacy the shrewdness of his observation and the playfulness of his wit. Everywhere he kept back much of what was in him, and while the keenest intelligence, mingled with a strong tinge of satire, animated his brisk countenance, it seemed to amuse him to be but half understood. His nearest social ties were those formed in the Royal Academy, of which he was by far the oldest member, and to whose interests he was most warmly attached. He filled at one time the chair of Professor of Perspective, but without conspicuous success, and that science has since been taught in the Academy by means better suited to promote it than a course of lectures. In the composition and execution of his works Mr. Turner was jealously sensitive of all interference or supervision. He loved to deal in the secrets and mysteries of his art, and many of his peculiar effects are produced by means which it would not be easy to discover orto imitate. We hope that the Society of Arts or the British Gallery will take an early opportunity of commemorating the genius of this great artist, and of reminding the public of the prodigious range of his pencil, by forming a general exhibition of his principal works, if, indeed, they are not permanently gathered in a nobler repository. Such an exhibition will serve far better than any observations of ours to demonstrate that it is not by those deviations from established rules which arrest the most superficial criticism that Mr. Turner’s fame or merit are to be estimated. For nearly 60 years Mr. Turner contributed largely to the arts of this country. He lived long enough to see his greatest productions rise to uncontested supremacy, however imperfectly they were understood when they first appeared in the earlier years of this century; and, though in his later works and in advanced age, force and precision of execution have not accompanied his vivacity of conception, public opinion has gradually and steadily advanced to a more just appreciation of his power. He is the Shelley of English painting – the poet and the painter both alike veiling their own creations in the dazzling splendour of the imagery with which they are surrounded, mastering every mode of expression, combining scientific labour with an air of negligent profusion, and producing in the end works in which colour and language are but the vestments of poetry. Of such minds it may be said in the words of Alastor:— ‘Nature’s most secret steps ‘He, like her shadow, has pursued, wheree’er ‘The red volcano overcanopies ‘The fields of snow and pinnacles of ice ‘With burning smoke; or where the starry domes ‘Of diamond and of gold expand above ‘Numberless and immeasurable halls, ‘Frequent with crystal column and clear shrines ‘Of pearl, and thrones radiant with chrysolite. ‘Nor had that scene of ampler majesty ‘Than gems or gold – the varying roof of heaven ‘And the green earth – lost in his heart its claims ‘To love and wonder……’ It will devolve on our contemporaries, more exclusively devoted than ourselves to the history of the fine arts to record with greater fullness and precision the works of Mr. Turner’s long and active life; but in these hasty recollections we have endeavoured to pay a slight tribute to the memory of a painter who possessed many of the gifts of his art in extraordinary abundance, and who certainly in dying leaves not his like behind. He will be buried, by his own desire, in St. Paul’s Cathedral, by the side of Sir Joshua Reynolds. Turner, who had been born on 23 April 1775, died on 19 December 1851 at his cottage on Cheyne Walk at Chelsea. The fate of the many major paintings remaining unsold in his possession was not known until his will was made public. His estate, amounting to some £140,000, was not finally settled until 1857, the will having been disputed by relatives. Two pictures – Dido building Carthage and Sun rising through Vapour – were specifically left to the newly founded National Gallery on condition that they should hang next to two pictures by Claude. The other ‘finished’ paintings in his collection were also left to the nation under the proviso that they should be housed within ten years in a building attached to the National Gallery called ‘Turner’s Gallery’. He also left money for the establishment of almshouses for ‘decayed artists’. These two ambitions were frustrated. Although the National Gallery (and, by succession, the Tate) inherited the paintings, no dedicated ‘Turner Gallery’ was established until the ‘Clore’ Gallery, designed by James Stirling, was added to Tate Britain in 1982-1986. The Times’s pious hope that ‘an early opportunity of commemorating the genius of this great artist’ was very belatedly, and only in part, realised when the Turner Prize for visual artists under the age of 50 was initiated in 1984. ISAMBARD KINGDOM BRUNEL (#) Engineer: ‘born an engineer.’ 15 SEPTEMBER 1859 OUR COLUMNS OF Saturday last contained the ordinary record of the death of one of our most eminent engineers, Mr. I. K. Brunel. The loss of a man whose name has now for two generations, from the commencement of this century to the present time, been identified with the progress and the application of mechanical and engineering science, claims the notice due to those who have done the State some service. This country is largely indebted to her many eminent civil engineers for her wealth and strength, and Mr. Brunel will take a high rank among them when the variety and magnitude of his works are considered, and the original genius he displayed in accomplishing them. He was, as it were, born an engineer, about the time his father had completed the block machinery at Portsmouth, then one of the most celebrated and remarkable works of the day, and which remains efficient and useful. Those who recollect him as a boy recollect full well how rapidly, almost intuitively, indeed, he entered into and identified himself with all his father’s plans and pursuits. He was very early distinguished for his powers of mental calculation, and not less so for his rapidity and accuracy as a draughtsman. His power in this respect was not confined to professional or mechanical drawings only. He displayed an artist-like feeling for and a love of art, which in later days never deserted him. He enjoyed and promoted it to the last, and the only limits to the delight it afforded him were his engrossing occupations and his failing health. The bent of his mind when young was clearly seen by his father and by all who knew him. His education was therefore directed to qualify him for that profession in which he afterwards distinguished himself. His father was his first, and, perhaps, his best tutor. When he was about 14 he was sent to Paris, where he was placed under the care of M. Masson, previous to entering the college of Henri Quartre, where he remained two years. He then returned to England, and it may be said that, in fact, he then commenced his professional career under his father, Sir I. Brunel, and in which he rendered him important assistance – devoting himself from that time forward to his profession exclusively and ardently. He displayed even then the resources, not only of a trained and educated mind, but great, original, and inventive power. He possessed the advantage of being able to express or draw clearly and accurately whatever he had matured in his own mind. But not only that; he could work out with his own hands, it he pleased, the models of his own designs, whether in wood or iron. As a mere workman he would have excelled. Even at this early period steam navigation may be said to have occupied his mind, for he made the model of a boat, and worked it with locomotive contrivances of his own. Everything he did, he did with all his might and strength, and he did it well. The same energy, thoughtfulness, and accuracy, the same thorough conception and mastery of whatever he undertook distinguished him in all minor things, whether working as a tyro in his father’s office, or as the engineer of the Great Western Railway Company, or, later, in the conception and design in all its details of the Great Eastern. Soon after his return to England his father was occupied, among other things, with plans for the formation of a tunnel under the Thames. In 1825 this work was commenced, and Brunel took an active part in the work under his father. There are many of his fellow labourers now living who well know the energy and ability he displayed in that great scientific struggle against physical difficulties and obstacles of no ordinary magnitude, and it may be said that at this time the anxiety and fatigue he underwent, and an accident he met with, laid the foundation of future weakness and illness. Upon the stoppage of that undertaking by the irruption of the river in 1828, he became employed on his own account upon various works. Docks at Sunderland and Bristol were constructed by him, and when it was proposed to throw a suspension bridge across the Avon at Clifton, his design and plan was approved by Mr. Telford, then one of the most eminent engineers of the day. This work was never completed. He thus became known, however, in Bristol, and when a railway was in contemplation between London and Bristol, and a company formed, he was appointed their engineer. He had previously been employed, however, as a railway engineer in connexion with the Bristol and Glocestershire and the Merthyr and Cardiff tramways. In these works his mind was first turned to the construction of railways, and when he became engineer of the Great Western Railway Company he recommenced and introduced what is popularly called the broad guage, and the battle of the guages began. This is not the place or the time to say one word upon this controversy. No account of Mr. Brunel’s labours, however, would be complete without mentioning so important a circumstance in his life. Considering the Great Western Railway as an engineering work alone, it may challenge a comparison with any other railway in the world for the general perfection of its details, and the speed and ease of travelling upon it. Many of its structures, such as the viaduct at Hanwell, the Maidenhead-bridge, which has the flattest arch of such large dimensions ever attempted in brickwork, the Box-tunnel, which, at the date of its construction, was the longest in the world, and the bridges and tunnels between Bath and Bristol deserve the attention of the professional student. They are all more or less remarkable and original works. In the South Devon and Cornish railways there are also works of great magnitude and importance. The sea wall of the South Devon Railway, and, above all, the bridge over the Tamar, called the Albert-bridge from the interest taken in it by the Prince Consort, deserve to be specially mentioned, together with the bridge over the Wye at Chepstow, as works which do honour to the genius of the engineer and the country too. It was on the South Devon Railway that he adopted the plan which had been previously tried on the London and Croydon line, – viz., of propelling the carriages by atmospheric pressure. This plan failed, but he entertained a strong opinion that this power would be found hereafter capable of adoption for locomotive purposes. It is impossible, in such a rapid sketch as this of his energetic and professional life, to do more than notice, or rather catalogue, his works. It was in connexion with the interests of the Great Western Railway that he first conceived the idea of building a steamship to run between England and America. The Great Western was built accordingly. The power and tonnage of this vessel was about double that of the largest ship afloat at the time of her construction. Subsequently, as the public know, the Great Britain was designed and built under Mr. Brunel’s superintendence. This ship, the result, as regards magnitude, of a few years’ experience in iron shipbuilding, was not only more than double the tonnage of the Great Western, and by far the largest ship in existence, but she was more than twice as large as the Great Northern, the largest iron ship which at that time had been attempted. While others hesitated about extending the use of iron in the construction of ships, Mr. Brunel saw that it was the only material in which a very great increase of dimensions could safely be attempted. The very accident which befell the Great Britain upon the rocks in Dundrum Bay showed conclusively the skill he had then attained in the adaptation of iron to the purposes of shipbuilding. The means taken under his immediate direction to protect the vessel from the injury of winds and waves attracted at the time much attention, and they proved successful, for the vessel was again floated, and is still afloat. While noticing these great efforts to improve the art of shipbuilding, it must not be forgotten that Mr. Brunel, we believe, was the first man of eminence in his profession who perceived the capabilities of the screw as a propeller. He was brave enough to stake a great reputation upon the soundness of the reasoning upon which he had based his conclusions. From his experiments on a small scale in the Archimedes he saw his way clearly to the adoption of that method of propulsion which he afterwards adopted in the Great Britain. And in the report to his directors in which he recommended it, he conveyed his views with so much clearness and conclusiveness that when, with their approbation, he submitted it to the Admiralty he succeeded in persuading them to give it a trial in Her Majesty’s navy, under his direction. In the progress of this trial he was much thwarted; but the Rattler, the ship which was at length placed at his disposal, and fitted under his direction with engines and screw by Messrs. Maudslay and Field, gave results which justified his expectations under somewhat adverse circumstances. She was the first screw ship which the British navy possessed, and it must be added, to the credit of Brunel, that though she had originally been built for a paddle ship, her performance with a screw was so satisfactory that numerous screw ships have since been added to the navy. Thus prepared by experience and much personal devotion to the subject of steam navigation by means of large ships, he, in the later part of 1851 and the beginning of 1852, begun to work out the idea he had long entertained – that to make long voyages economically and speedily by steam required that the vessels should be large enough to carry the coal for the entire voyage outwards, and, unless the facilities for obtaining coal were very great at the outport, then for the return voyage also; and that vessels much larger than any then built could be navigated with great advantages from the mere effects of size. Hence originated the Great Eastern. The history of this great work is before the public, and its success in a nautical point of view is admitted, as well as the strength and stability of the construction of the vessel. More than this cursory notice of this last memorial of his skill cannot now be given. All the circumstances attending the construction, the launching, the trial of this great ship are before the public. It would hardly be just, however, to the memory of this distinguished engineer if we were to conclude this notice without an allusion to his private character and worth. Few men were more free from that bane of professional life – professional jealousy. He was always ready to assist others, and to do justice to their merits. It is a remarkable circumstance that in the early part of his career he was brought into frequent conflict with Robert Stephenson, as Stephenson was with him, and that, nevertheless, their mutual regard and respect were never impaired. Brunel was ever ready to give his advice and assistance whenever Stephenson desired it, and the public will recollect how earnestly and cordially during the launch of the Great Eastern Stephenson gave his assistance and lent the weight of his authority to his now deceased friend. Such rivalry and such unbroken friendship as theirs are rare, and are honourable to both. The death of Mr. Brunel was hastened by the fatigue and mental strain caused by his effort to superintend the completion of the Great Eastern, and in these efforts his last days were spent. But we must not forget to mention that for several years past that Mr. Brunel had been suffering from ill-heath brought on by over exertion. Nevertheless he allowed himself no relaxation from his professional labours, and it was during the period of bodily pain and weakness that his greatest difficulties were surmounted and some of his greatest works achieved. Possessing a mind strong in the consciousness of rectitude, he pursued, in single hearted truthfulness, what he believed to be the course of duty, and in his love of and devotion to his profession he accomplished, both at home and abroad, on the continent and in India, works, the history of which will be the best monument to his memory. With an intellect singularly powerful and acute, for nothing escaped his observation in any branch of science which could be made available in his own pursuits, yet it was accompanied by humility and a kindliness of heart which endeared him to all who knew him and enjoyed his friendship. The very boldness and originality of his works, of which he was never known to boast, while it added to his fame added no little to his anxiety, and not unfrequently encompassed him with difficulty – ‘Great was the glory, but greater was the strife,’ which told ultimately upon his health and strength, and finally closed his life when he was little more than 53 years of age. We have left unnoticed many of his works, and many that deserve the attention and study of the young engineer. They will find their record in professional works, and in them his works will hereafter be fully described and considered. Mr. Brunel was a member of the Royal Society, having been elected at the early age of 26. In 1857 he was admitted by the University of Oxford to the honorary degree of Doctor of Civil Laws, a distinction of which he was justly proud. Brunel, who reputedly smoked forty cigars a day, suffered a stroke shortly before the Great Eastern made her maiden voyage to New York. He died on 15 September. The obituary, rightly, praises Brunel’s huge achievements as a railway engineer and as an innovatory ship designer and it briefly notes his one great failure: the Atmospheric Railway at Dawlish (which only ran for a year). His espousal of the broad gauge for the Great Western Railway, which led to what The Times calls ‘the battle of the guages [sic]’, only became a lost cause in 1892 (when the standard gauge was imposed on all British lines). The obituarist’s comment on Brunel’s ‘artist-like feeling for and love of art’ was borne out by his contentious design for the Clifton Suspension Bridge and by his own sense of triumph in producing uniformity in the 15-man committee vetting his designs on ‘the most ticklish subject – taste’. Largely thanks to the fund-raising efforts of the Institute of Civil Engineers, who considered the Clifton project to be a fitting memorial to the great man, work on the bridge was restarted three years after Brunel’s death and completed in 1864. The obituarist also mentions the accident at Dundrum Bay in Ireland which nearly brought about the end of the Great Britain (the ship had to be refloated from the rocks on which she had run aground in 1846 by James Bremner, but the cost of salvage in 1847 bankrupted the Great Western Steamship Company). The steady decline in the ship’s fortunes finally led to her being abandoned in the Falkland Islands only to be towed back to Bristol for restoration in 1970. ROBERT STEPHENSON (#) Engineer: ‘His heart was worthy of his head.’ 12 OCTOBER 1859 THE DEATH OF STEPHENSON comes with startling rapidity upon that of Brunel. Both men of rare genius, and both occupying a sort of double throne at the head of their profession, they have gone to their rest together, and their rivalry has ceased. Distinguished sons of distinguished fathers, the two men who in these latter years have done most to perfect the art of travel, and in this way to cultivate social intercourse, multiply wealth, and advance civilization, have been struck down at one fell swoop in all the maturity of their power. Mr. Stephenson’s health had been delicate for about two years, and he complained of failing strength just before his last journey to Norway. In Norway he became very unwell; his liver was so much affected that he hurried home, and when he arrived at Lowestoft he was so weak that he had to be carried from his yacht to the railway, and thence to his residence in Gloucester-square, where his malady grew so rapidly as to leave from the first but faint hope of his recovery. He had not strength enough to resist the disease, and he gradually sunk until at length he expired yesterday morning. If his loss will be felt severely in his profession, it will be still more poignantly felt in his large circle of friends and acquaintances, for he was as good as he was great, and the man was even more to be admired than the engineer. His benevolence was unbounded, and every year he expended thousands in doing good unseen. His chief care in this way was for the children of old friends who had been kind to him in early life, sending them to the best schools and providing for them with characteristic generosity. His own pupils regarded him with a sort of worship, and the number of men belonging to the Stephenson school who have taken very high rank in their peculiar walk shows how successful he was in his system of training, and how strong was the force of his example. The feeling of his friends and associates was not less warm. A man of the soundest judgment and the strictest probity, with a noble heart and most genial manner, he won the confidence of all who knew him, and perhaps in all London there were not more pleasant social gatherings than those which were to be found in his house in Gloucester-square, he himself being the life of the party. Without a spark of professional jealousy in his own nature, he was liked by all his fellow engineers, if they did not know him sufficiently to bear him affection; and we do not believe that even those who had the most reason to wish him out of the way, such as the promoters of the Suez Canal, which he strenuously opposed, ever bore him any ill will. He has passed away, if not very full of years, yet very full of honours – the creator of public works, a benefactor of his race, the idol of his friends. He was certainly born under very humble circumstances. George Stephenson, his father, deemed himself a right happy man when, on earnings of 1l. a week, he could offer his hand and fortune to the pretty farm servant, Fanny Henderson. He took her to his home at Willington-quay, on the north bank of the Tyne, about six miles below Newcastle, towards the end of 1802, and his biographer tells us that his signature, as it appears in the parish books on the occasion of his marriage, was that of a person who had just learnt to write. On the 16th of December in the following year George Stephenson’s only son, Robert, was born; and there on Willington-quay he was familiarized from his earliest years with the steady industry of his parents, for when his father was not busy in shoemaking or cutting out shoe lasts, or cleaning clocks, or making clothes for the pitmen he was occupied with some drawing or model with which he sought to improve himself. Robert’s mother very soon died, and his father, whose heart was bound up in the boy, had to take the sole charge of him. George Stephenson felt deeply his own want of education, and in order that his son might not suffer from the same cause, sent him first to a school at Long Benton, and afterwards to the school of a Mr. Bruce, in Newcastle, one of the best seminaries of the district, although the latter was rather expensive for Stephenson. There young Robert remained for three years, and his father not only encouraged him to study for himself but also made him in a measure the instrument of his own better education, by getting the lad to read for him at the library in Newcastle, and bring home the results of his weekly acquirements, as well as frequently a scientific book which father and son studied together. On leaving school, at the age of 15, Robert Stephenson was apprenticed to Mr. Nicholas Wood, at Killingworth, to learn the business of the colliery, where he served for three years, and became familiar with all the departments of underground work. His father was engaged at the same colliery, and the evenings of both were usually devoted to their mutual improvement. Mr. Smiles describes the animated discussions which in this way took place in their humble cottage, these discussions frequently turning on the then comparatively unknown powers of the locomotive engine daily at work on the waggon-way. The son was even more enthusiastic than the father on the subject. Robert would suggest alterations and improvements in all the details of the machine. The father would make every possible objection, defending the existing arrangements, but proud, nevertheless, of his son’s suggestions, often warmed by his brilliant anticipations of the triumph of the locomotive, and perhaps anxious to pump him as much as he could. It was probably out of these discussions that there arose in George Stephenson’s mind the desire to give his son a still better education. He sent him in the year 1820 to the Edinburgh University, where Hope was lecturing on chymistry, Sir John Leslie on natural philosophy, and Jameson on natural history. Though young Stephenson remained in Edinburgh but six months it is supposed that he did as much work in that time as most students do in a three years’ course. It cost his father some 80l., but the money was not grudged when the son returned to Killingworth in the summer of 1821, bringing with him the prize for mathematics, which he had gained at the University. In 1822 Robert Stephenson was apprenticed to his father, who had by this time started his locomotive manufactory at Newcastle; but his health giving way after a couple of years’ exertion, he accepted a commission to examine the gold and silver mines of South America. The change of air and scene contributed to the restoration of his health, and, after having founded the Silver Mining Company of Columbia, he returned to England in December, 1827, by way of the United States and Canada, in time to assist his father in the arrangements of the Liverpool and Manchester Railway, by placing himself at the head of the factory at Newcastle. About this time, indeed, he seems to have almost exclusively devoted his attention to the study of the locomotive engine, the working of which he explained jointly with Mr. Locke, in a report replying to that of Messrs. Walker and Rastrick, who advocated stationary engines. How well he succeeded in carrying out the ideas of his father was afterwards seen when he obtained the prize of 500l. offered by the directors of the Liverpool and Manchester Railway for the best locomotive. He himself gave the entire credit of the invention to his father and Mr. Booth, although we believe that the ‘Rocket,’ which was the designation of the prize-winning engine, was entered in the name of Robert Stephenson. Even this locomotive, however, was far from perfect, and was not destined to be the future model. The young engineer saw where the machine was defective, and designed the ‘Planet,’ which, with its multitubular boiler, with cylinders in the smoke-box, with its cranked axletree, and with its external framework, forms, in spite of some modifications, the type of the locomotive engines employed up to the present day. About the same time he designed for the United States an engine specially adapted to the curves of American railways, and named it the ‘Bogie,’ after a kind of low waggon used on the quay at Newcastle. To Robert Stephenson we are accordingly indebted for the type of the locomotive engines used in both hemispheres. The next great work upon which Mr. Stephenson was engaged was the survey and construction of the London and Birmingham Railway, which he undertook in 1833. He had already been employed in the execution of abranch from the Liverpool and Manchester Railway, and in the construction of the Leicester and Swannington line, so that he brought to his new undertaking considerable experience. On being appointed engineer to the company he settled in London, and had the satisfaction of seeing the first sod cut on the 1st of June, 1834, at Chalk Farm. The line was complete in four years, and on the 15th of September, 1838, was opened. The difficulties of this vast undertaking are now all forgotten, but at the time they were so formidable that one poor fellow, who had contracted for the Kilsby tunnel, died of fright at the responsibility which he had assumed. It was ascertained that about 200 yards from the south end of the tunnel there existed, overlaid by a bed of clay 40 feet thick, a hidden quicksand. The danger was so imminent that it was seriously proposed to abandon the tunnel altogether, but Robert Stephenson accepted the responsibility of proceeding, and in the end conquered every difficulty. He worked with amazing energy, walking the whole distance between London and Birmingham more than 20 times in the course of his superintendence. All this time, however, he had not ceased to devote his attention to the manufactory in Newcastle, convinced that good locomotives are the first step to rapid transit; and his assistance was sought by many companies anxious to secure his advice if not more constant service. His evidence before Parliamentary committees was grasped at, and it may be said that in one way or another he has been engaged on all the railways in England, while in conjunction with his father he has directed the execution of more than a third of the various lines in the country. Father and son were consulted as to the Belgium system of railways, and obtained from King Leopold the Cross of the Legion of Honour in 1844. For similar services performed in Norway, which he visited in 1846, Robert Stephenson received the Grand Cross of St. Olof. So also he assisted either in actually making or in laying out the systems of lines in Switzerland, in Germany, in Denmark, in Tuscany, in Canada, in Egypt, and in India. As the champion of locomotive in opposition to stationary engines, he resisted to the uttermost the atmospheric railway system, which was backed with the authority of Brunel, and had at one time a considerable repute, although it is now nearly forgotten. In like manner he had to fight with Mr. Brunel the battle of the gauges, the narrow against the broad gauge, and it is superfluous to say that he was successful here as in all his undertakings. In the sphere of railways he has been since the death of his father the foremost man, the safest guide, the most active worker. Of his railway doings we have spoken in very general terms, only mentioning the great Kils by tunnel incidentally. It is, however, in this tunnel and in the bridges which he erected for railway purposes that his genius as an engineer is most strikingly displayed, and by these it is that he will be best remembered, Of his bridges, of course, we refer to the high level one at Newcastle, constructed of wood and iron, to the Victoria-bridge at Berwick, built of stone and brick, to the bridge in wrought and cast iron across the Nile, to the Conway and the Britannia bridges over the Menai Straits, and to the Victoria-bridge over the St. Lawrence. Those who care to examine the matter more closely will find a full account of most of these works in an article on iron bridges contributed by Mr. Stephenson himself to the Encyclopaedia Britannica. They are all splendid works, and have made his name famous over the world. The idea of the tubular bridge was an utter novelty, and, as carried out at the Menai Straits, was a grand achievement. Considering the enormous span of a bridge placed across these straits, the immense weight which it has to sustain, and the height to which it must be raised in order that great ships may pass beneath, the undertaking seamed chimerical, and he must have been a man of great daring, as well as of no common experience, who could think of conquering the difficulty. Robert Stephenson, however, fairly faced the difficulty, and threw bridges of 460 feet span from pier to pier across this formidable gulf. It was the first thing of the kind ever attempted, and the success was so triumphant that under Mr. Stephenson’s auspices it has been repeated more than once. In the Egyptian railway there are two tubular bridges, one over the Damietta branch of the Nile, and the other over the large canal near Besket-al-Saba; but they have this peculiarity, that the trains run not, as at the Menai Straits, within the tube, but on the outside upon the top. It is with this method of tubular bridging that Stephenson’s name is peculiarly identified, and by which he will probably be best known to posterity as distinguished from his father, who has almost the entire credit of the railway system. It will not be supposed that Mr. Robert Stephenson’s labours were confined to the construction and survey of railways. We have reports of his on the London and Liverpool systems of waterworks. In 1847 he was returned as member of Parliament for Whitby, in the Conservative interest. He took a great interest in all scientific investigations and was a member of more than one Scientific Society. As a specimen of his liberality in the cause of science, it may be mentioned that he placed his yacht the Titania – and it is said he had the best manned yacht in the Squadron – at the disposal of Professor Piazzi Smyth, who was sent out with very limited means to Tenerife to make sundry scientific observations, and thus materially assisted the researches of that gentleman. In the same spirit he came forward in 1855, and paid off a debt amounting to 3,100l., which the Newcastle Literary and Philosophical Society had incurred, his motive being, to use his own phrase, gratitude for the benefits which he himself had received from it in early life, and a hope that other young men might find it equally useful. It was like the man to do so, for, as we have already suggested, his heart was worthy of his head, and in one form or another he was always doing good. Robert Stephenson, the only son of George Stephenson, died at his house in Gloucester Square, north of Hyde Park, on 12 October 1859, just short of a month after Brunel. The achievements of both men were a matter of national pride but Stephenson’s relatively humble origins and somewhat basic education rendered him all the more heroic as a prime example of what Samuel Smiles styled ‘Self Help’. Smiles approvingly quotes Stephenson’s modest claim that the development of the railway locomotive was due to ‘not one man, but to the efforts of a nation of mechanical engineers.’ Robert Stephenson was buried in Westminster Abbey underneath a monumental brass designed by Sir George Gilbert Scott. A window in the west aisle of the north transept of the Abbey, installed in 1862, commemorates both Stephensons, father and son. WILLIAM MAKEPEACE THACKERAY (#) Novelist and humourist: ‘He…shrouded an over tender heart in a transparent veil of cynicism.’ 24 DECEMBER 1863 MR. THACKERAY was found dead in his bed on Thursday morning. Sudden as the loss of Peel, or of Talfourd, or of Lord Macaulay, whose death saddened the Christmas holydays three years ago, – sudden, also, as other recent deaths of able men who laboured worthily in the world’s eye, but whose calling did not bring them so near as that of a foremost novelist to the world’s heart, has been this new cause of public grief. For a few days past Mr. Thackeray had been slightly unwell, yet he was about among his friends, and he was out even on Wednesday evening. But when called at about 9 o’clock on Thursday morning he was found dead in his bed, with placid face, having apparently died without suffering pain. Mr. Thackeray’s age was but 52, and he seemed a man large, vigorous, cheerful, with yet a quarter of a century of life in him. There were some parts of his character that never felt the touch of his years, and these were tenderly remembered yesterday at many a Christmas fireside. There was to the last in him the sensibility of a child’s generous heart that time had not sheathed against light touches of pleasure and pain. His sympathy was prompt and keen, but the same quick feeling made him also over sensitive to the small annoyances that men usually learn to take for granted as but one form of the friction that belongs to movements of all kinds. He was sensitive to his sensitiveness, and did in his writings what thousands of men do in their lives, shrouded an over tender heart in a transparent veil of cynicism. Often he seemed to his readers to be trifling or nervously obtruding himself into his story when he was but shrinking from the fell discovery of his own simple intensity of feeling. In his most polished works, Vanity Fair, Esmond, or the Newcomes – in which last book the affected cynicism, that, after all, could not strike deeper than into the mere surface of things, is set aside, and more nearly than in any other of his works discharge is made of the whole true mind of William Makepeace Thackeray – in these his masterpieces there is nothing better, nothing more absolutely genuine and perfect in its way than the pure spirit of frolic in some of his comic rhymes. He could play with his ‘Pleaseman X,’ very much as a happy child plays with a toy; and how freely and delightfully the strength of his wit flowed into the child’s pantomime tale of the Rose and the Ring. It is not now the time for taking exact measure of the genius of the true writer we have lost. What sort of hold it took upon the English mind and heart his countrymen knew by the sad and gentle words that yesterday connected the sense of his loss in almost every household with the great English festival of lovingkindness. There are men who, appealing to widely spread forms of ignorance or prejudice, have more readers than Mr. Thackeray, and yet the loss of one of these writers on the eve of Christmas would have struck home nowhere beyond the private circle of his friends. Whatever the extent or limit of his genius, Mr. Thackeray found the way to the great generous English heart. And the chief secret of his power was the simple strength of sympathy within him, that he might flinch from expressing fully but that was none the less the very soul of his successful work. Quickly impressible, his mind was raw to a rough touch; but the same quality gave all the force of its truth to his writing, all the lively graces to his style. That part of him which was the mere blind he put up at the inconveniently large window in his breast, degenerated into formula; and there were some who might be pardoned for becoming weary at the repetition of old patterns of sarcasm at the skin-deep vanities of life. But the eye was a dull one that could not look through this muslin work into a mind that so to speak, was always keeping Christmas, although half ashamed to be known at the clubs as guilty of so much indulgence in the luxuries of kindly fellowship, and so continual an enjoyment of the purest side of life. Whatever little feuds may have gathered about Mr. Thackeray’s public life lay lightly on the surface of the minds that chanced to be in contest with him. They could be thrown off in a moment, at the first shock of the news that he was dead. In the course of his active career there are few of his literary brethren with whom he has not been brought into contact. At one time he was a fellow-worker with us in this journal. He worked much and variously; many and various also were his friends. To some of the worthiest in the land he was joined in friendship that had endured throughout the lifetime of a generation, and there are very humble rooms in London where there were tears yesterday for him whose left hand did not know what his right hand had done in silent charity.—Examiner Thackeray was found dead on Christmas Eve morning in 1863 at the house he had built for himself at Palace Green in Kensington. The obituary reflects both the admiration and affection in which he was held by his contemporaries, but it makes no mention of his education, his early struggles to make a name for himself in the literary world and, above all, of his difficult private circumstances. In 1836, by which time he had squandered most of his inheritance, he married Isabella Shawe who was to bear him three daughters (two of whom survived into adulthood). In 1840, after an attempted suicide, Isabella was diagnosed as incurably insane and was confined to a private mental asylum. She was not to die until 1894. Charlotte Brontë, who was ignorant of Isabella’s condition, had caused some real embarrassment to Thackeray when she dedicated the second edition of Jane Eyre to him in January 1848. There was idle speculation concerning a supposed connection between the character of Mr. Rochester and Thackeray himself. NICHOLAS, CARDINAL WISEMAN (#) First Archbishop of Westminster: ‘the only [English Roman Catholic] who had earned for himself a wide and lasting reputation for ability and learning.’ 15 FEBRUARY 1865 WE REGRET TO learn that the long illness of his Eminence Cardinal Wiseman has at length reached a fatal termination. He died yesterday, at the comparatively early age of 62. Nicholas Wiseman was the son of the late Mr. James Wiseman, merchant, of Waterford and of Seville, in which latter city the late Cardinal was born on the 2nd of August, 1802. The family of Wiseman is one of considerable antiquity, and they appear to have had lands in the county of Essex since the reign of Edward IV. Soon after the Reformation Sir John Wiseman, who had been one of the Auditors of the Exchequer under Henry VIII, and was knighted for his bravery at the Battle of Spurs, acquired by purchase Much Canfield-park in that county. His grandson, William, who married into the noble family of Capel, afterwards Earls of Essex, was created a baronet by King Charles I in 1628, and a younger brother of the second baronet was Lord Bishop of Dromore. The title has continued in a direct line of succession down to the present time and is now represented by Sir William Saltonstall Wiseman, eighth baronet, who is a captain in the Royal Navy. From a younger branch of this family the late Cardinal traditionally claimed descent. His Eminence’s mother, whose maiden name was Strange, and whose family, in spite of large confiscations of their property under Oliver Cromwell, is still seated at Aylward’s Town Castle, in the county of Kilkenny, lived to see her son elevated to a Cardinal’s hat, and died full of years in 1851. Though born upon Spanish soil, young Nicholas Wiseman, when he was little more than five years old, was sent to England. He arrived at Portsmouth in January, 1808, in the Melpomene frigate, Captain Parker, and was sent, while still very young, to a boarding school at Waterford. In March, 1810, he was transferred thence to the Roman Catholic College of St. Cuthbert, at Ushaw, near Durham, where he remained until 1818. In that year he obtained leave to quit Ushaw for Rome, where he arrived in the December of that year and became one of the first members of the English College, then recently founded at Rome. In the next year he had the honour of preaching before the then Pope, Pius VII, and, having pursued with diligence the usual course of philosophical and theological studies, he maintained a public disputation on theology, and was created a doctor in Divinity July 7, 1824, shortly before the completion of his 22nd year. In the following Spring he received holy orders, and in 1827 was nominated Professor of Oriental languages in the Roman University, being at that time Vice-Rector of the English College, to the rectorship of which he was promoted in the year 1829. He had already distinguished himself, not merely as a theologian, but also as a scholar, for in 1827 he composed and printed a learned work, entitled Horoe Syriacæ chiefly drawn from Oriental manuscripts in the Library of the Vatican. Dr. Wiseman returned to England in 1835, and in the winter of that year delivered a series of lectures, during the season of Advent, at the Sardinian Chapel in Lincoln’s-inn fields. In the Lent of the following year, at the request of the late Bishop Bramston, then Vicar-Apostolic of the London District, he delivered at St. Mary’s, Moorfields, another course of lectures, in which he vindicated, at considerable length, the principal doctrines and practices of the Roman Catholic Church, and with such success, that the Roman Catholics of the metropolis presented him with a gold medal, commemorative of their gratitude and of their high regard for his talents and acquirements. These ‘Lectures’ were speedily followed by a ‘Treatise on the Holy Eucharist,’ which occasioned a theological controversy with Dr. Turton, the late Bishop of Ely, and by another work, in two volumes, entitled ‘Lectures on the Connexion between Science and Revealed Religion.’ In the Lent of the year 1837, when he happened to be in Rome, he delivered four lectures on the ‘Offices and Ceremonies of Holy Week,’ which were afterwards given to the world as a separate publication. In 1840 the late Pope Gregory XVI increased the number of his Vicars Apostolic in England from four to eight, and Dr. Wiseman was appointed coadjutor to the late Bishop Walsh, then Vicar Apostolic of the Midland District, being at the same time elevated to the Presidency of St. Mary’s College, Oscott, near Birmingham. While there he took the deepest interest in the theological movement at Oxford which is associated with the names of Dr. Newman and Dr. Pusey, and which has furnished Rome with such an abundant store of recruits. In 1848, on the death of Bishop Griffiths, Dr. Wiseman became Pro-Vicar-Apostolic of the London district, and subsequently was nominated coadjutor to Dr. Walsh, cum jure successionis on the translation of that prelate to London. Bishop Walsh survived his translation but a short time, and on his death, in 1849, Bishop Wiseman succeeded him as Vicar Apostolic. The next stage in Dr. Wiseman’s life is that which, as it has been more controverted than any other, so also is that by which his name will be longest remembered. In August, 1850, Bishop Wiseman was summoned to Rome to the ‘threshold of the Apostles,’ by his Holiness Pope Pius IX, who on the 29th of the following September issued his celebrated ‘Apostolical Letter,’ re-establishing the Roman Catholic hierarchy in England and Wales, at the same time issuing a ‘Brief’ elevating Dr. Wiseman to the ‘Archbishopric of Westminster.’ In a private consistory, held the following day, the new ‘Archbishop’ was raised by the Sovereign Pontiff to the dignity of a Cardinal Priest, the ancient church of St. Pudentiana, at Rome, in conformity with the ecclesiastical custom, being selected by him as his title. His Eminence was the seventh Englishman who has been elevated to the hat of a Cardinal since the Reformation, his predecessors in this respect having been Cardinal Pole, Cardinal Allen, Cardinal Howard, Cardinal York, Cardinal Weld and Cardinal Acton. The name of Cardinal Wiseman was well known in that portion of the literary world which interests itself in controversy, as one of the most frequent and able contributors to the Dublin Review, of which he was for some years the joint editor. Among other productions of his pen which appeared in that periodical we may name his Strictures on the High Church Movement in Oxford, which were reprinted by the Catholic Institute about 20 years ago for circulation in a cheap form, under the attractive title of High Church Claims. His Eminence’s Essays and Contributions to the Dublin Review were collected and published, with a preface by the author, in 3 volumes 8vo. in 1853. It is also understood that he contributed to the Penny Cyclopaedia the article which treats on the ‘Catholic Church.’ Among the best known of his Eminence’s other controversial and miscellaneous publications are his Fabiola, a tale of the Early Christians; his Reminiscences of the Four last Popes; A Letter on Catholic Unity, addressed to the late Earl of Shrewsbury; A Letter to the Rev. J. H. Newman, on the Controversy relating to the Oxford Tracts for the Times; and A Letter addressed to John Poynder, Esq., upon his Work entitled ‘Popery in Alliance with Heathenism.’ To these must be added his Appeal to the Reason and Good Feeling of the People of England, respecting the Papal aggression, in which he endeavoured to prove that the matter at issue was merely a question relating to the internal and spiritual organization of the English Roman Catholics and in no sense a temporal measure, or one which involved any practical assault on the freedom of Protestants. To the London world and to the public at large Cardinal Wiseman’s name was rendered most familiar by his frequent appearance upon the platform as a public lecturer upon a wide range of subjects connected with education, history, art and science; and in this capacity his Eminence always found an attentive and eager audience, even among those who were most conscientiously opposed to his spiritual claims and pretensions, and who most thoroughly noted him as ‘Archbishop of Westminster.’ The illness of which his Eminence has died has been of long standing, and when he left England for Rome in the Spring of 1860, there were many of his friends who feared that they would see his face no more. But he lived to return to England, and to recover some portion of his former health. It is almost superfluous to add that his Eminence’s loss will be severely felt among the English Roman Catholics, both lay and clerical, as he was nearly the only member of their body who had earned for himself a wide and lasting reputation for ability and learning. Given the continuing antipathy to Roman Catholicism in England and indeed the furore which had greeted the announcement of Wiseman’s appointment to the newly created see of Westminster, this obituary offers a surprisingly sympathetic commentary on his achievement. In the eighteenth century the religious lives of the small body of English Catholics had been regulated by Vicars Apostolic. Plans to create a series of new dioceses to cope with increasing numbers of the faithful were formulated in the late 1840s but had to be shelved due to legal problems in England and to the eviction of Pius IX from his see by the short-lived Roman Republic. On 7 October 1850, however, Wiseman was able to issue a florid pastoral letter ‘from out the Flaminian Gate’ announcing the new hierarchy and his own elevation to be both Cardinal and Archbishop of Westminster and asserting that ‘Catholic England has been restored to its orbit in the ecclesiastical firmament’. Popular, and official, wrath was stirred by the supposed presumption of the Vatican in usurping the title of ‘Westminster’, the seat of British Government, hence The Times’s patronising adoption here of apostrophes for Wiseman’s dignity and see. On 22 October 1850 an editorial in the same newspaper had greeted the appointment as ‘one of the grossest acts of folly and impertinence which the court of Rome has ventured to commit since the crown and people of England threw off its yoke’. ABRAHAM LINCOLN (#) American statesman: ‘a singular depth of insight.’ 15 APRIL 1865 The News of the Assassination in New York (from our Special Southern Correspondent) IT MAY SAFELY be affirmed that in the history of mankind no civilized capital ever wore the aspect which, upon the receipt of the ghastly tidings of this morning, New York at this hour presents. There was excitement, doubtless, in Paris when Henry I of Navarre fell before Ravaillac’s dagger, – in London when Mr. Perceval yielded his life to a maniac’s bullet, – in Rome when Cardinal Rossi fell slaughtered in the public streets; but what facilities had Paris, London, or Rome for thrilling in an instant the public heart and brain compared with those which the diffusive penny press and swiftly recurring telegrams of America place at this hour at the disposal of New York? Or was there ever a nation so sensitively plastic to the impress of great national sentiments as the keenly sentient, mercurial, quick witted population which, in wild bewilderment, surges and sways through the thronging streets now under my gaze? Last night the people of this great city went to bed, lulled by their cheerful optimism, reckoning of the rebellion as already a thing of the past, little heeding difficulties, social, financial, and economical, which might well make a statesman stand aghast; believing that Abraham Lincoln and William H. Seward were the chief apostles of the revived American Union, which is described in a work recently published as synonymous with the new Heaven and the new Earth. This morning they woke to the stunning consciousness that in the night the shadow of a great and ghastly crime had passed over the land; that assassination, sudden and unlooked for, executed with remorseless cruelty, but intrepid effrontery, had engraven its hideous tale upon that page which records four years of horrors without parallel, culminating in the abhorred crime which has added to the victims of this war the names of Abraham Lincoln, and, as seems too probable, of William H. Seward. A thousand American cities, linked together by a network of lightning, have this morning awakened to the simultaneous knowledge that he who 12 hours ago was their first citizen, the chief architect of their fabric of a resuscitated Union, the figure-head round which clustered their hopes and pride, is numbered with the dead. Already over hundreds of thousands of square miles is every particular and detail of the rash and bloody deed of last night scrutinized by millions of eager eyes. It is believed that precisely at the same hour two ruffians, manifestly in concert with each other, lifted their hands against the two most valued lives of the Republican party – that upon the night of Good Friday Abraham Lincoln was stricken with his death-wound in his private box at Ford’s Theatre; that the small pocket pistol which launched the fatal bullet was found, still smoking, on the floor of the box; that the undaunted assassin, having entered the box from the rear, stretched his hand over Mrs. Lincoln’s shoulder until the muzzle of his pistol almost touched the President’s head; that the bullet, designedly (as it would seem) propelled by a small charge of powder, did not pass through the head, but lodged in the brain about three inches from its point of entrance; that the ruffian who fired it, rescuing himself without difficulty from Colonel Parker, of General Grant’s Staff, who was in the box with Mr. and Mrs. Lincoln, calmly stepped from the private box upon the stage; that, brandishing with melodramatic gesture a naked dagger in his hand, he pronounced the well-known motto of the State of Virginia, ‘Sic semper tyrannis,’ in apparent justification of a deed against the atrocity of which all that is noble and manly in that proud old State will recoil with indignant execration; that, turning with unruffled imperturbability, he left the stage and made his exit from the theatre by one of the side scenes with which he seemed familiar, and, mounting a horse which was attached to a tree in the immediate neighbourhood of the theatre, galloped swiftly off into the night, and was lost. But it was reserved for his accomplice to exhibit still more undaunted nerve, although wherever this tale is read humanity will shudder at the heartless cruelty which could instigate an assassin to force his way to the bedside of a suffering old man already half dead, and to anticipate by a savage act of vindictive butchery the fatal event whereby Mr. Seward’s life seemed yesterday but too gravely menaced. It must be remembered that Mr. Seward is 65 years old, and it would appear there are justifiable grounds for the general belief that the sufferer, if ever he arose from his sick bed again, could scarcely have recovered, even without the horrible events of last night, from a fracture of the arm and jawbone, and from the exhaustion which is known to have followed his accident, without a sensible abatement of those singular powers, physical and mental, which have enabled him during these last four years to flood every European Foreign-office with a deluge of despatches such as never issued in like space of time from any single pen. Boldly entering Mr. Seward’s residence under the pretext of being the bearer of some important medicine which Dr. Verdi designed for his patient, the assassin, undeterred by three men who attempted to interpose, forced a road to his victim’s bedside, and with his knife deeply wounded Dr. Seward’s face and throat. Closing with Mr. Frederick Seward (the Assistant-Secretary of State, and eldest son to the sufferer), the ruffian dealt him a blow upon the head which fractured his skull in two places, and has probably terminated Mr. Frederick Seward’s earthly career. Almost simultaneously he poniarded a male nurse in attendance upon Mr. Seward, inflicting wounds since pronounced to be mortal. Upon Major Seward (another son, if I am not mistaken, of the Secretary of State) the miscreant inflicted injuries which, though not likely to be fatal, effectually prevented any further interference with his own escape from under a roof which had looked down within a few seconds upon the grim horrors of a fourfold assassination. Mounting his horse outside the door he saved himself, like his associate by swift flight, and up to the present hour both have escaped detection and capture. The public voice seems unanimous in pronouncing the assassin of President Lincoln to be an actor named Wilkes Booth (the brother of the more celebrated Edwin Booth, who has lately won high reputation in this city by his admirable impersonation for 100 nights of Hamlet), whose face, it is asserted, was recognized by many spectators acquainted with him. As I write, revelations flashed along the electric wires, indicating the existence of a preconcerted conspiracy, in which Wilkes Booth was a principal, and which was designed to have taken effect on the 4th of March, are placarded at the corners of the street, and devoured by thousands of hungry eyes. The feeling with which the brief record ‘Abraham Lincoln expired at 22 minutes past 7 this morning’ is read may be conceived by those of your readers who are acquainted with the character and temperament of Americans. How shall I describe the scene which already New York presents? There is, as I have already said, no city upon earth permeated by nerves of such exquisite sensibility, vibrating at the slightest access of popular fever, carrying spasmodic sensation through a dense mass of human beings, which in any other capital I have ever seen would take hours to learn and understand what is here known, felt, and appreciated in a few passionate seconds. In a hundred instances during the last four years your correspondents have portrayed the fever fits of New York – mass meetings in this Square or that, processions longer than that which welcomed the Prince of Wales, convulsions which shook Wall-street and Broadway like an all pervading ague – but I doubt whether a scene like that of this morning has yet been witnessed. The chronic excitement of this war influences this strange population as cumulative poisons are said to act upon their victims. Instead of a dispersion of electricity through the medium of these popular thunderbursts, the excitement of the mass seems to accumulate and be hoarded; until, upon the occasion of each recurrent explosion, the reserve of delirious passion is greater and greater in volume. There have often before been paroxysms of sanguine intoxication in this city, or of depression, if not of despair, but never before has the thunderbolt fallen from a smiling sky, never has the proud and swelling note of victory been converted in the twinkling of an eye into the wail of a nation. Abraham Lincoln had grown to be regarded, in a higher degree than any soldier or sailor, as the impersonation of the war power of the Union. Creeping into Washington in disguise and with timid irresolution to be inaugurated as chief magistrate upon the 4th of March, 1861, he lived so to conciliate and, within four brief years, to win popular affection that his second inauguration upon the 4th of March, 1865, was the ovation of an almost unanimous people. The estimates of his character and of the calibre of his intellect since he was suddenly tossed to the surface of a great nation have been numerous and contradictory; but the opinion seems to be daily gaining ground that impartial history will assign to him one of the highest places among the statesmen who have hitherto presided over the North in the supreme agony of the nation. There can be quoted against Mr. Lincoln no such extravagant vaunts or unseemly denunciations of others, no such rash predictions or disingenuous colourings, as crowd the despatches of Mr. Seward; on the other hand, there are thousands of Mr. Lincoln’s anecdotes and quaint conceits, none of which fail to indicate shrewdness, while many reveal a singular depth of insight into the circumstances under which they were spoken. It was mentioned to me by one of the Southern Peace Commissioners that at the recent conference in Hampton Roads he was deeply impressed by the ascendancy of Mr. Lincoln throughout the interview over Mr. Seward. The flags at half-mast, the festoons of crape hung out by each store in succession, and already creeping along the whole length of Broadway upon either side of the street, the eager closing of shutters and suspension of business in Wall-street, the feverish bewilderment of thousands, who can as yet but half realize the truth, the agitated swaying to and fro of hurrying multitudes in the streets, the frenzied accents of grief and rage, the tolling bells, the deep boom of the minute guns, are fitting expressions of the public grief, for they indicate not only the lamentation that a just, temperate, calm, and well-intentioned statesman has died in the track of duty by the most appalling of deaths, but that in one of the most awful of crises which ever overtook a nation his successor should be Andrew Johnson. Dreadful as is the fashion of his death, if ever man was felix opportunitate mortis that man may be pronounced to be Abraham Lincoln. The difficulties which he has surmounted during his first term of office, stupendous as they have been, are feathers, trifles, air bubbles when compared with those which await his successor during the four coming years. But there can hardly be two opinions that in the interest of the South no event could be more prejudicial, or more deeply to be deprecated, than the foul assassination of last night. There breathes nowhere in the Northern States a partisan so blinded by sectional passion or so exasperated against Secessia as to imagine that the execrable crime of which Washington was last night the scene could be regarded by Jefferson Davis, Robert E. Lee, and the men who share their confidence, otherwise than with unmeasured detestation and poignant regret. This is not the place nor the moment for attempting to expatiate upon the character of Mr. Davis. But having long occupied a position which afforded peculiar facilities for understanding him, I cannot forbear briefly saying that, be his faults what they may, the time is not far distant when history will mete out to Mr. Davis that justice which is at present denied to him not only, as is natural, by Northerners, but also by many of his own ignorant and ungrateful countrymen. Meantime the natural vindictiveness, consequent upon the fearful crime of last night, will be employed to intensify Northern bitterness against Mr. Davis. There is already a disposition to draw a line of demarcation between him and General Lee, which none would resent more than the latter. The advocates of harshness will be fearfully augmented by the crime of last night, against which Mr. Davis, whose leniency throughout this war has amounted to a weakness, and who under terrible provocation has never permitted one act of retaliation, would revolt with un-utterable horror. The denunciations of General Grant for his liberal-terms to the Confederates who surrendered to him will be fiercer than ever, especially those which proceed from General Butler, and which are embittered with obvious personal malignity against the General. It has always seemed to me that the surrender of General Lee and the opportunity for generosity so admirably seized by General Grant bridged over the gulf which divides the two sections to a degree which none could have hoped two months ago. But the bullet of a dastardly assassin has in one instant neutralized the effect of the great stride towards conciliation so happily taken by General Grant. This is not strictly an obituary, but it conveys much of the sense of horror and the awareness of the severity and abruptness of America’s loss which was felt on both sides of the Atlantic. Lincoln’s assassination is compared to those of Henry IV of France in May 1610, of the British Prime Minister Spencer Perceval in May 1812, and of Count (not Cardinal) Rossi, the Papal Minister of Justice, in November 1849. On 14 April 1865 Lincoln had been shot in the head while attending a performance of the play Our American Cousin at Ford’s Theater in Washington. He died the next day. After firing the fatal shot, his assassin, John Wilkes Booth, jumped from Lincoln’s box, on to the stage (breaking his leg in the process). Witnesses differed as to whether he shouted ‘Sic semper tyrannis’ or ‘The South is avenged’. Booth was shot while resisting arrest on 26 April. Lincoln was buried at Springfield, Illinois, on 4 May 1865. LORD PALMERSTON (#) Statesman: ‘There was never a statesman who more truly represented England.’ 18 OCTOBER 1865 THE FEARS WHICH for months past the state of Lord Palmerston’s health has excited have at length been realized. The great statesman is no more. Many who saw him towards the close of last Parliament, broken and bent by a recent attack of illness, shook their heads and whispered to each other that he could never meet another Parliament. That fear has been quickly and fatally verified. The bulletins we have published will have prepared most persons for the sad news which we have to announce to-day, that Lord Palmerston died yesterday morning, at a quarterto 11. There never was a statesman who more truly represented England than Lord Palmerston. His name is now added to that splendid but very short list of Ministers, from Walpole to Pitt and from Pitt to Peel, who in times of great difficulty have rendered England prosperous at home and famous abroad, and who, while obtaining place from the Court, have derived their chief power from the country. Pitt, properly speaking, belonged to the last century, and there have been but three men in the present century who attained to the same enviable position. The first was Canning, a great spirit, but greater in what he devised than in what he accomplished; for no sooner had he reached the pinnacle of power, and excited the brightest hopes of the nation, than, sick at heart, he fell before the intrigues of rivals, leaving it to others to avenge his death and to prosecute his policy. After Canning, two statesmen from among his colleagues, the one his rival the other his disciple – Peel and Palmerston – gradually rose to the highest offices in the realm, and won, as only great characters win, the most sweet voices of the multitude. They have this in common – both were trained in the Tory camp, both forsook the traditions of Toryism, both have been decried as the most inconsistent statesmen that ever lived. Yet no two men could be more unlike, and the inconsistency of each was so different, that what in the one was a failing in the other was a virtue. Sir Robert Peel gave up his principles; Lord Palmerston merely relinquished his party. Less sociable than Palmerston, and less capable of forming new alliances, Peel clung to the Tories while rejecting their dogmas, and compelled them again and again to follow a course which they had learnt from his own lips to regard as the road to destruction. Free and frank, of a jovial nature, hail fellow with good men and true of every rank and politicians of every shade, Lord Palmerston was less fettered by party ties, and, so the objects dearest to his heart were attained, cared little whether the men with whom he sat on the Treasury benches were styled Whigs or Tories, Liberal-Conservatives, or Conservative-Liberals. His very consistency in this respect has been denounced as a fault. It has been said that he was constant only in the retention of office; that he was fixed only to the Treasury bench; that his one principle was that of the Vicar of Bray. He was a member of every Government since 1807, with the exception of those years in which Sir Robert Peel, and subsequently Lord Derby, held the reins. He began life as a Pittite; gradually he developed into a Canningite; when the Whigs came into power he renewed his youth; when they had fallen into disrepute he expanded into a Conservative-Liberal; afterwards he stood forward as the Tory chief of a Radical Cabinet; and he closed his wonderful career as the head of a Ministry with the motto of ‘Rest and be thankful.’ In all these changes there may be traced a consistency of purpose which, when the clue to it is perceived, becomes entitled to our highest respect; and this clue is furnished in the fact that, whatever changes come over the domestic or colonial policy of England, her foreign policy is unalterable. That policy is indeed, more or less modified by the circumstances of the time, by the amount of our resources, by the temper of our allies, by the spirit of the nation; but in principle it is always the same. Our domestic reforms are for the most part carried in the face of a formidable Opposition; but our foreign policy is supported by overwhelming majorities, and by a national enthusiasm which nothing can resist. We have never a dispute about the principle; it is a tradition based on the universal sentiment of patriotism, and handed from generation to generation – from Cabinet to Cabinet. The Minister of such a policy may through all changes adhere to the Treasury bench if he can; nothing need remove him from it but his personal relations with its other occupants; and he who, like Lord Palmerston, can preserve his seat there through the vicissitudes of half a century is indeed a great man as well as a great statesman. Henry John Temple was the third Viscount Palmerston, and was born at Broadlands, near Romsey, on the 20th of October, 1784. Although an Irish Peer, his descent is traced to Saxon earls anterior to the Conquest. In the arms of his family may still be seen the eagle displayed of that Leofric, Earl of Mercia, who is remarkable chiefly for his treatment of his wife, the Lady Godiva. Lord Palmerston, however, bears a nearer resemblance to another and less mythological member of his family, of whom his father was the heir male – Sir William Temple, the friend of William III, the patron of Dean Swift, the author of that triple alliance which bound England, Sweden, and the States-General to prevent France from entering the Netherlands, and, singularly enough, a statesman who, while he remained in public life, was always on the winning side, and had the credit of all the popular acts of the Government after the Restoration. M. Capefigue, in noting this resemblance, has been pleased to observe that the chief point of similarity between the Minister of William III and the Minister of Queen Victoria lies in the utter hatred which both had to everything French, and thinks that on one occasion, as he was dining with Lord Palmerston, he made a terrible home thrust when he recalled the unpleasant fact that Sir William Temple, in bequeathing his property to his grand-daughters, stipulated that they should not marry Frenchmen. It gave M. Capefigue considerable satisfaction that Lord Palmerston could only laugh at the remark; it never entered into his head that the statement is quite unfounded, there being no mention of such a condition in the will of Sir W. Temple. Not from Sir William Temple, however – it was from Sir John Temple, younger brother of the diplomatist, and the same of whom Archbishop Sheldon said, ‘He has the curse of the Gospel, for all men speak well of him,’ that Lord Palmerston was descended. The first viscount of the name was the grandson of Sir John Temple, and was created a peer in 1722. Little more has to be said of him than this, – that his wife was regarded as a perfect model of conjugal affection, her will being quoted with admiration in the Annual Register. The second viscount, the father of our great statesman, was grandson of the first, and, like his grandmother, has been regarded as a pattern of conjugal tenderness. The epitaph which he wrote on the death of his first wife is said to be the most pathetic ever penned; and written at a time when our poetry had reached its lowest ebb, when all was artifice and platitude, phrase and frippery, it must be admitted that the lines have a genuine tenderness which it is almost impossible to find, in other compositions of the period. To his father, indeed, Lord Palmerston owes much of that taste for literature which furnished many a happy illustration to his speeches in Parliament, besides enabling him in his younger days to join with Croker and Peel in assailing the Whigs with literary satire. Of his father’s lively humour the late Lord Palmerston himself gave an amusing illustration in one of those anecdotes with which he, of all men, knew best how to parry the questions of political opponents or the entreaties of troublesome deputations. He said that it was his father’s habit, in placing wine before his guests, to say, ‘Here is claret, gentlemen; here is sherry; but I cannot answer for them, I can only give you the word of my wine merchant for them. Here is port, however, for which I can give my own word, – it is very good – I made it myself.’ If he was a bad judge of wine, he was considered a good judge of pictures. He collected in Broadlands a gallery of paintings which, at the beginning of the century, had a high repute, and Sir Joshua Reynolds, in bequeathing to his friends the works of his own easel unsold at the time of his death, gave to the Earl of Upper Ossory the first choice and to Lord Palmerston the second. He enjoyed the gift of his artistic friend ten years, and, dying in 1802, left by his second wife, who did not long survive him, two sons and two daughters. Of these sons, Henry John Temple, the elder, is the subject of the present sketch; the younger was afterwards known as Sir William Temple, the British Envoy at the Court of Naples. Not much is known regarding the early life of Henry John Temple. He was one of the late flowering plants. Always remarkable for his ability, and generally successful in his undertakings, he rejoiced in a splendid constitution, and had to get rid of a certain excess of animal spirits before his ambition could rise to the level of his powers. There is a long period of some five and forty years – considerably more than the half of a man’s life – which Lord Palmerston passed in comparative inactivity, and which is a puzzle to the biographer whose idea of the man is derived from the later glories of his career. To account for this anomaly, it has by some of his eulogists been asserted that he was never at heart a Tory, that he was out of his element in the Ministry of Liverpool and Castlereagh, and that he never truly lived until he escaped from the thraldom of Tory ideas and joined the friends of liberality and progress. This theory is quite unfounded. Lord Palmerston was at the last what he was at the first. There is no real difference between Palmerston Secretary-at-War, Palmerston Foreign Secretary, Palmerston Home Secretary, and Palmerston Prime Minister. The explanation of his backwardness lies wholly on the surface, and is what we have already indicated. He was never what would be called an ambitious man; and, delighting in society, he found in the pleasures of private life what, together with the cares of his particular office, was sufficient in his hot youth, if not fully to occupy his powers, at all events to employ his time. Whatever he had to do he did well, but it is quite evident in his parliamentary history that he never cared to go out of his way for work. As Secretary-at-War for some 20 years, he hardly ever made a speech except on the subject of the army, and then only when he was compelled to do so. As Foreign Secretary for a period little less, he in like manner confined his attention to the business of his own department. At a time when he was the most popular statesman in England, he was content to serve now under his junior, and now under his rival. On the dissolution of the Aberdeen Cabinet he consented to serve even under Lord Derby if certain of his colleagues could be induced to follow the same course. It was not until every possible combination had been tried, and every possible Premier had given up the task in despair, that, as a last resource, Lord Palmerston was asked to form a Government. He at once accepted the position which he had not sought and filled with dignity to himself and advantage to the country an office which, from his never having grasped at it, persons who measure men, not according to their deserts, but according to their demands, regarded as beyond his power. In the little that is known concerning the early life of Lord Palmerston there is not much that is remarkable. He received his education at Harrow, at Edinburgh, and at Cambridge. He went to Harrow a little after Lord Aberdeen, and about the same time as Sir Robert Peel and Lord Byron. Thence he proceeded to Edinburgh, to enjoy the benefit of Dugald Stewart’s instruction; and, by the way, it may be noted as something peculiar that he was one of the very few Tories who followed the example of the young Whigs of that generation in sitting at the feet of the great Whig Professor of Moral Philosophy and Political Economy. It certainly does not appear that he entered with any enthusiasm into the studies which absorbed every inmate of Stewart’s family; and one might with some show of reason accept it as a proof of this apathy that his name is not to be found among the members of that Speculative Society which was joined by every man of mark in the University, and which, besides Lord Lansdowne, Henry Brougham, Sydney Smith, Francis Jeffrey, Francis Horner, Walter Scott, and Lord John Russell, included Lord Palmerston’s own brother, Sir William Temple. But he himself stated about two years ago in one of his speeches, ‘I passed three years of my youth in studying at the University of Edinburgh, and I will frankly own, without disparagement to any other seat of learning at which I had the fortune to reside, that I enjoyed greater advantages in the acquirement of useful knowledge and sound principles during the three years’ residence in Edinburgh than I possessed at any other place.’ Certainly, the influence of Stewart’s training was at a later period apparent in the strong determination expressed by Lord Palmerston to maintain those principles of government of which Huskisson was the exponent. So long as Huskisson remained in the Cabinet he felt certain that these doctrines would be honoured; when Huskisson was ejected from the Duke of Wellington’s Ministry on purely personal grounds he too seceded, because he had no guarantee, he said, that these doctrines would have the weight to which they were entitled. We may add that it must have been in Stewart’s classroom that a phrase which he often turned to good account in his speeches, and on one memorable occasion with most brilliant effect, first caught his fancy and left upon it an indelible impression –‘The fortuitous concourse of atoms.’ Having been inoculated at Edinburgh, where he remained three years, with these liberal views and this inkling of philosophy, he turned southward again to the University which Pitt represented in Parliament, and which was at that time the chief school of thought in England. Almost all his political contemporaries who took a leading position, whether in the Whig or in the Tory ranks, were Cambridge men. If Byron, Coleridge, and Wordsworth are to be classed among our greatest poets, it would appear that in other departments than that of politics Cambridge had, at the beginning of the present century, a pre-eminence over the sister University of Oxford. Lord Palmerston, who had in the meantime succeeded to his title through the death of his father, entered at St. John’s College in 1803, and worked in good earnest for academical success at a time when it was not usual for a nobleman to present himself for any but an honorary degree. The Temples were a family predestined to rule. Within the space of 50 years Macaulay has counted among the sons and grandsons of the Countess Temple alone, and she died in 1752, three First Lords of the Treasury (George Grenville, W. Pitt, and Lord Grenville), three Secretaries of State, two Keepers of the Privy Seal, and four First Lords of the Admiralty. Although Lord Palmerston belonged to a different branch of the Temple family, he too, whose father had been a Lord both of the Admiralty and of the Treasury, looked forward to political life, and, in 1806, immediately on the death of Pitt, offered himself to the University of Cambridge as a candidate to represent it in Parliament. He was opposed, on this occasion, by Lord Henry Petty, who had become Chancellor of the Exchequer in room of the ‘heaven-born Minister’ and who thus came to the election with a weight of Ministerial influence which his rival found it vain to withstand. That rival, however, was not to be discouraged. He presented himself again as a candidate in 1807, when he failed of success by only two votes; and in 1811 he tried his fortune a third time, in this case attaining the object of his ambition so unmistakably that he continued to represent the University until, in 1831, he gave mortal offence to his constituents by joining the Whigs. In the meantime, however, he found his way into Parliament, at first through the pocket borough of Bletchingley, and then through the borough of Newport, in the Isle of Wight. Nor was he long in Parliament before he enjoyed the sweets of office. The notorious Ministry of ‘All the Talents’ soon fell to pieces; and, as if in mockery of that splendid coalition, a Ministry succeeded to power headed by a nobleman whose natural incapacity was aided by a natural indolence, and whose indolence was aggravated not only by sickness, but also, to make assurance doubly sure, by continual opiates, under the influence of which he would fall asleep over his papers. Not able to touch animal food, not caring to open his mouth, often found sleeping at his desk, it would be one of the marvels of government that the Duke of Portland contrived to keep a Cabinet together for more than a couple of years, were we not too well acquainted with the truth of Oxenstiern’s commonplace regarding the wisdom of rulers. It was in this singular Ministry, whose great achievement was the Walcheren disaster, that Lord Palmerston first entered upon office. He entered on the office which his father had long enjoyed, as a Lord of the Admiralty; and when, on the quarrel of Castlereagh and Canning on the subject of the Walcheren expedition, the Duke of Portland resigned, and Perceval was called upon to form a Government, Lord Palmerston became Secretary at War. A number of writers, in recording this fact, have fallen into the mistake of confounding the Secretary at War with the Secretary for War, and thence inferring that Lord Palmerston at the early age of five-and-twenty succeeded Lord Castlereagh as War Minister while we were engaged in the gigantic contest with Napoleon. Castlereagh was Colonial Secretary, as such was Secretary for War, and in that double office was succeeded by Lord Liverpool. Palmerston succeeded Sir James Pulteney as Secretary at War, doubtless a very important post, but one which by no means implied a seat in the Cabinet. For some 20 years, amid all sorts of changes, he held the same appointment. Lord Liverpool succeeded Perceval as Premier – still Palmerston held to the War-office. Canning reigned in the room of Lord Liverpool – still Palmerston was found at the War-office. Lord Goderich assumed the position of Canning-still Palmerston remained at the War-office. The Duke of Wellington displaced Lord Goderich – still Palmerston and the War-office seemed to be inseparable. The secret of this devotion to the one office is partly to be found in the Secretary’s want of ambition, but chiefly in his perfect mastery of the business of his office at a time when it was of peculiar importance to his colleagues that it should be well represented in the House of Commons. During the first few years of his appointment he was the financer of the army, while we were engaged in the most costly war on which this country had ever entered, and when it was of the greatest moment that our resources should be turned to the best account. When the war came to an end, the Whigs, who had always been lukewarm in supporting it, joined with the Radicals in their outcry against standing armies and in their demand for retrenchment. As in our time the Manchester school of politicians required that our military establishments should be reduced to their condition in 1835, so, on the conclusion of peace, the refrain of many a debate through many a year of Parliament was that we should reduce our military establishments to their condition in 1792. It was in urging this policy of retrenchment that Joseph Hume first signalized himself; and it must be evident that, to meet the attacks of such an opponent, Lord Palmerston had a still more difficult game to play than when, backed with all the enthusiasm of the nation, he regulated the expenses of an army whose victories continually appealed to the national pride. He fought the battle of the Government with consummate skill, and by the accuracy of his information, the readiness of his wit, and the abundance of his good humour, sorely troubled honest Joseph Hume, who, compelled to take his seat silenced and discomfited, but neither convinced nor discouraged, would return to the charge on the following night, would read out sum upon sum, and would announce the ‘tottle of the whole’ with all the assurance of a man born with the multiplication table in his head but only to undergo a renewal of the process at the hands of his adroit adversary. If Lord Palmerston was thus successful in parrying the thrusts of his arithmetical opponents, it was in a great measure because he had a good case to defend, and because, being, as Hume termed him, ‘the alpha and the omega of the War-office, ’ he had imbued that department with his own spirit, introducing order where before there had been only confusion, efficiency where there had been only stagnation, and economy where all hadbeen profusion and waste. On one occasion, in reply to the attack of his indefatigable foe, he had the satisfaction of announcing a miracle which so staggered honest Joseph that he refused to believe it. He said that, by a careful supervision of past accounts and calling-up of arrears, he had for the two previous years been able to conduct the enormous business of his office without cost or charge to the country. Poor Hume, who was in those days very unpopular in the House, could not understand it, and insisted that the expenses had been increased; but it was only to see Lord Palmerston get up, and hear him, to the enjoyment of his audience, quote in his airiest style the ancient saying that there are but two things over which the immortal gods have no control – past events and arithmetic. Although Mr. Hume refused what the immortal gods are compelled to accept, the announcement of Lord Palmerston regarding the management of the War-office is by no means incredible to any one acquainted with the financial position of the various public departments during the early years of the present century. The state of our accounts was disgraceful. When Lord Henry Petty was Chancellor of the Exchequer, in 1806, he brought forward a Bill for the better auditing the public accounts, and on that occasion somewhat startled the House of Commons by the assertion that in some of the offices there had been no audit for more than 20 years, that in all the offices the accounts were more or less in arrear and apparently without check, and that, taking altogether, public money had been expended to the amount of 455,000,000l. which had never been accounted for, a sum at that time larger than the National Debt. The arrear and confusion, the peculation and the waste which Lord Palmerston found at the War-office were but a part of this extravagant system. He brought his clear head and his vigorous habit to bear upon it, and succeeded in repelling the attacks of Hume not less by the fact that he had of his own accord effected the most important reforms in his department than by that art offence of which he had the most perfect mastery. Lord Palmerston in those days, we have said, rarely opened his mouth in the House of Commons, unless to propose the Army Estimates or to answer some question relating to the army. Whatever he did in this way was always remarkable for clearness and brevity, but otherwise his colleagues obtained from him very little assistance in debate. Canning in vain expressed the wish that he could bring ‘that three-decker Palmerston into action.’ Palmerston held to his post, thought only of the army, and refrained from general discussion so entirely that one of the many names which in his lifetime have been given to him was ‘the silent friend.’ In his first 20 years of office he probably did not rise to address the House of Commons on any subject beyond his own department more than a dozen times; and, curiously enough, on those rare occasions, it was not to questions of foreign policy, in which as a War Minister it might be supposed that he would be chiefly interested, that his attention was turned. He spoke of the Catholic claims, of the law of copyright, of the game laws, of usury laws, of church extension, of slavery, of electioneering. Only once did he canvass our foreign policy, and that was in the first speech which he delivered in Parliament. The speech was a defence of the celebrated expedition to Copenhagen-an expedition of which the only defence that could then be offered to the country was that the result had been most successful, while the information on the strength of which it had been projected could not on any account be divulged. It was a good speech, terse, clear, forcible; and we may remark, as something characteristic of Lord Palmerston’s first Parliamentary effort, that it was not only devoted to a question of foreign policy, it was also devoted to a defence of official secrecy, and it was a following of Canning’s lead. This portion of Lord Palmerston’s career may be dismissed with the record of two more facts. The first is that on the 8th of April, 1818, as he was mounting the stairs of the Horse Guards, a pistol was fired at him by a half-pay lieutenant named Davies. He was only slightly hurt, the ball striking him above the hip and causing nothing more serious than a contusion. It was said that had he not turned quickly round when passing the corner of the baluster the bullet must have taken a fatal direction. The would-be assassin was tried, proved to be insane, and confined for life in Bedlam, where he only recently expired. The other fact to which we have alluded is of higher biographical importance, although our information with respect to it is rather general than particular. It is that Lord Palmerston joined with Croker and Peel in producing that series of satires against the Parliamentary Opposition which was published under the title of the New Whig Guide. How much he contributed to this work, which, after all, perhaps, did not do the Whigs any great damage, it is difficult to say; nor are we well informed as to those squibs of his which appeared in the John Bull. On the whole, the satire in which the Tories indulged in those days was more remarkable for its personality and bluffness than for either wit or elegance, and very little of it deserves to live. Satire is the great weapon of Opposition, and when a party firmly seated in power resorts to it they are generally driven to extremities, and goaded into anger. In that case they are apt to be unsparing in their abuse, they are inclined to tread on the opponent whom they have managed to trip, and they hope to win by bullying what they lose in fair fight. This is the character of most of those shafts launched by the Tories against the Liberal party; and if we are forced to make such a statement with regard to men of great ability, it is but right to add that much of what is so distasteful to us now was due, not to the coarseness of the men, but to the temptations of their position; and that had they changed places with the Whigs, the latter, even with such men as Sydney Smith and Thomas Moore among their number, might have been guilty of the same excesses. The Whigs were at a discount in the eyes of the nation; they were therefore compelled to be circumspect; they found it necessary to guard against the imputation of using insolence for invective and personality for logic; they were obliged to rest their cause on its merits, and to attack the Government with genuine arguments and genuine wit; whereas the Tories, rioting in power, were less nice in their choice of missiles, and found it for their interest to show upon some occasions that the sole difference between them and their opponents was one of personalities. The turning point in Lord Palmerston’s career was now fast approaching. Hitherto he had been a member of the Government only in a subordinate capacity; he had never been a member of the Cabinet. Lord Liverpool’s Ministry was in its later years divided into two sections, the principal point of difference being solicited by the claims of the Catholics to emancipation. At the head of the one section was Canning, and he had followers in Mr. Robinson (Lord Goderich), in Huskisson, in Sir John Copley, and in Lord Palmerston. At the head of the other section was the Premier himself, while among those who sided with him were Lord Eldon, the Duke of Wellington, and Mr. Peel. Canning, it is well known, was the advocate of Catholic Emancipation – therefore, up to a certain limit, of Constitutional Reform; while, on the other hand, Peel bore the standard of commercial and juridical reform. The Canning party fully accepted the Peel reforms, but the Peel party had the utmost horror of any attempt to meddle with the Constitution, and were determined to stop the way. Therefore, when Lord Liverpool was struck down by paralysis, and when Canning, as the most popular man in the Cabinet, was requested to form a Ministry, his colleagues, who were opposed to the very small measure of constitutional reform implied in Catholic Emancipation, refused to stand by him, and he was compelled to look for aid in the first place from the subordinates of the Government, among whom was Palmerston, and in the second place from the more moderate Whigs, among whom were Lord Lansdowne and W. Lamb, afterwards Lord Melbourne. It was under these difficult circumstances, which forced Canning to the dubious expedient of a coalition, that Lord Palmerston was called to the Cabinet and put upon his mettle. Unfortunately the Coalition Ministry of 1827 shared the fate of all coalitions, and after it had put Canning to death, and Goderich, his successor, to his wits’ end, it went the way of all flesh. It served its purpose, however, in preparing the way for a new race of Ministers, of whom by far the most remarkable was Lord Palmerston. Of all the Tory Ministers who on this occasion coalesced with the Whigs he was attached to his party by the fewest number of ties, and was drawn to his political opponents by the greatest number. He was ripe for a quarrel with the men who had hunted his friend Canning to death, and he was ripe for a union with the men who had been his own companions at College and had sat with him at the feet of the eloquent professor of Whiggism. At first, however, his junction with the Whigs was not such as to preclude, when the Coalition fell to pieces, an acceptance of office under the Duke of Wellington, whose Government was pledged to oppose Reform. In the Duke’s Cabinet the Canningites found that they occupied by no means so high a place as in the previous Government; but it was less on personal grounds than on grounds of principle that Lord Palmerston felt the necessity of seceding from it; and it may be worth while to trace the steps by which he was led finally to change sides. The Canningites agreed with the Whigs in their desire to emancipate Dissenters, both Catholic and Protestant; but they agreed with the Tories in their opposition to Parliamentary Reform. It was the opinion of Huskisson and Palmerston that by mitigating the more palpable abuses – by, for example, giving a member to Manchester–it might be possible to stave off more Radical measure of Reform. ‘I am anxious,’ said the latter, ‘to express my desire that the franchise should be extended to a great town, not because I am a friend to Reform in principle, but because I am its decided enemy. I think that extending the franchise to large towns is the only mode in which the House can avoid the adoption at some time or other of a general plan of Reform.’ Therefore, when East Retford and Penryn were to be disfranchised, and the Opposition proposed that the power of electing members should be transferred to Manchester and Birmingham, it so happened that by a curious shuffling of the question at issue Huskisson and Palmerston found themselves in the division lobby voting against the Government of which they were members. The real point of difference between themselves and the Government was quite unimportant, since they were all agreed on the Tory side of the House to give to a large town – Birmingham was the favourite – the franchise which had been taken from one of the corrupt boroughs, and to give that which was taken from the other to the neighbouring hundred. But in the particular division to which we refer, Mr. Huskisson and the Canningites, as fate would have it, were found voting the franchise of East Retford to Manchester, while their colleagues were voting it to the hundred in which the borough was situate. Poor Huskisson, with considerable ability and the best possible intentions, was all his life a bungler. He was always in difficulties through his clumsiness, which was physical as well as moral. He was always stumbling over chairs, tripping against ropes as he landed from steamboats, breaking his shins upon stones, until at last he was knocked down and killed outright by the first railway train. On the present occasion he sent in his resignation and didn’t send it in, explained and tried to retract without retracting. ‘There is no mistake, there can be no mistake, there shall be no mistake,’ said the Duke, in his most oracular style. Palmerston and some others followed Huskisson, and it will be observed that they had the credit of retiring from the Ministry as the advocates of a certain measure of Reform. When afterwards Palmerston became the member of a Whig Cabinet pledged to Reform, he could say this in his defence, that he had been anxious to avoid a Radical measure by the application of partial remedies, but that the time had long passed for piecemeal legislation, and that nothing less than sweeping changes would satisfy the country. To sit in the House of Commons no longer as a Minister was a novelty for Lord Palmerston. It was also a novelty that he now turned his attention especially to foreign politics. How came this about? The care of foreign politics devolved upon him as the ablest of Canning’s disciples. Upon him the mantle of the master fell. Add to this, that among the eventualities to be foreseen was the chance of his one day taking a seat in a Whig Cabinet. Which of the great offices of State could he hold in that Cabinet with most satisfaction to himself and to his colleagues? Evidently the post in which he should find himself most enjoying the sympathy of the party would be the Foreign Secretaryship. The Whigs were always enthusiastic in praise of Canning’s foreign policy, and they would back Palmerston as the successor of Canning. In quitting the Tory ranks however, he was not all at once committed to the Whigs. The Duke of Wellington tried to win him back to the Cabinet, but although he might conscientiously, and even triumphantly, have joined it when its leading members came round to his opinions on Catholic Emancipation, the position of the Government was so unsatisfactory that he deemed it better to maintain his independence. It was in this independent character that he made two very able speeches – the first (June 1, 1829) on our foreign relations generally, the second (March 10, 1830), on the affairs of Portugal in particular – which at once marked him out as the exponent of a Liberal foreign policy. Before the year in which the latter speech was delivered had expired, the Whigs, with Lord Grey at their head, found themselves unexpectedly in power, – and to whom should the seals of the Foreign-office be intrusted but to Lord Palmerston? He stepped into the post as unquestionably the right man in the right place, and during that 10 years’ run of power which the Reform Bill gave to the Whigs he stood forth as the most brilliant member of the Cabinet, the man of men, the Minister of Ministers, the type and the glory of England. No English Minister ever attained to more world-wide fame than he acquired in these and subsequent years of office. All over the globe his name was invoked as the symbol of English generosity and English omnipotence. The Bedouin of the Desert recognised in Palmerston Pasha a being whom Allah had endowed with more than mortal power. The negro on the Guinea Coast knew that Palmerston was his friend, and worked day and night against slavery. Brown in the back-woods of America, or in the gardens of Siam, felt that he had an infallible safeguard if he had Palmerston’s passport to show. Palmerston, it was imagined, would move the whole force of the British empire in order that this Brown – Civis Romanus – might not be defrauded of his Worcester sauce amid the ice of Siberia, or of his pale ale on the Mountains of the Moon. He could do anything, and he would do everything. Nothing great was accomplished without being attributed to him. He was supposed to have his pocket full of constitutions, to have a voice in half the Cabinets of Europe, to have monarchs past reckoning under his thumb. He humbled the Shah, he patronized the Sultan, he abolished the Mogul, he conquered the Brother of the Sun, he opened to the world the empire which had been walled round for centuries by impregnable barriers, he defied the Czar, and the Emperor of the French felt safe when he received the assurances of the brilliant Foreign Secretary. The foreign policy of Lord Palmerston has given rise to much controversy. Many a fierce debate has it kindled in both Houses of Parliament. Its author was said to be the firebrand of Europe, the destroyer of peace, a luckless lucifer match, the plague of the world, the Jonah of England, which was always in a storm when he was in the Cabinet. The question has been so stirred by political passions, and has been whipt into such a froth by the eloquence of interminable discussions, that there are very few of us indeed who know what is the real point at issue. And the perplexity is heightened by the fact that, after 20 years of opposition to his policy, Lord Aberdeen, his great rival, coalesced with him in 1853, and defended the coalition with the memorable statement ‘that, though there may have been differences in the execution, according to the different hands intrusted with the direction of affairs, the principles of the foreign policy of the country have for the last 30 years been the same.’ The cardinal doctrine of our foreign policy in those years was, as it is now, the principle of non-interference. There was not one of our statesmen who did not give his adhesion to this principle; and where, then, it may be asked, was the ground of dispute ? In order to understand this fully from Lord Palmerston’s point of view we must grasp his ruling idea in politics. If anybody will take the trouble to read his speeches from beginning to end he will be struck with the prevalence of one great idea running through them all like a thread of gold, and serving as a clue to every inconsistency. He saw in Public Opinion a force and a meaning which no statesman before him had realized, and which Peel only of his contemporaries acknowledged with anything like the same clearness. On two great occasions Peel sacrificed to Public Opinion. But all through his political life Lord Palmerston bowed to this deity, recognized its power, and used it as he could. He saw that opinion often creates a right where no right previously existed, – that it not seldom makes good evil and evil good. It has this peculiarity, too, that, exerting an enormous power it acts informally, beyond control and beyond rebuke. All the armies in the world cannot put down an opinion, which is a silent influence that remains even when the holder of the opinion is down in the dust. We may compel our neighbours to change their tactics, but we cannot compel them to alter their estimate of us; we cannot even quarrel with them for thinking as they do. We must submit to opinion, and though there are men who do not care for what other people say, yet those in whom the social instinct is strong are powerfully moved by it. The sociable nature of Lord Palmerston felt this deeply. The force of Public Opinion was a great fact, and he raised it into a great doctrine. Opinions in his view were more than opinions – they were deeds – they were title-deeds. All through his speeches we find him insisting on opinion as the source of political power, a moral influence which survives every physical force, and which, although more formidable than armies, we can bring into action without danger of hostilities. People said, – ‘What is the use of his expressing sympathy for oppressed nationalities when he declines to fight for his opinions? He is a sham; he has only words to offer; he says one thing and does another; his talk is in favour of liberty, but his inaction is in favour of tyranny.’ Lord Palmerston, in effect, said, – ‘No, our principle is non-interference with foreign Governments; we have no right to appeal to the arbitrament of the sword; it is no business of ours to dictate to others. But we cannot help having our opinions; I express mine frankly; let it go for what it is worth; I believe that the opinion of an English Minister is worth something – is more than words, and, giving my voice to the side of freedom and justice, I leave the despots to their own intelligence, to conscience, and to God.’ And while thus, on the one hand, he was attacked by those who saw an inconsistency between his words and his work, and who wished him not only to sympathize with freedom but also to undertake a crusade in behalf of it, he was attacked, on the other hand, by those who, like Lord Aberdeen and Sir Robert Peel, agreed in the policy of non-interference, but thought that he was not consistent, that he was not honest in carrying out that policy, since he did not abstain from the expression of opinion as well as from the declaration of war. The expression of opinion, the offer of advice, they said, is in effect dictation and interference. There is no middle course. We have no right to interfere with the domestic affairs of other countries unless some clear and undeniable necessity arises from circumstances affecting the interests of our own country, and the attitude of non-interference is that of interested, it may be, but silent spectators. ‘It is my firm belief,’ said Peel, in the last speech which he delivered, ‘that you will not advance the cause of Constitutional Government by attempting to dictate to other nations. If you do, your intentions will be mistaken, you will rouse feelings upon which you do not calculate, you will invite opposition to Government; and beware that the time does not arrive when, frightened by your own interference, you withdraw your countenance from those whom you have excited, and leave upon their minds the bitter recollection that you have betrayed them. If you succeed, I doubt whether or no the institutions that take root under your patronage will be lasting. Constitutional liberty will be best worked out by those who aspire to freedom by their efforts. You will only overload it by your help.’ It was in this speech, delivered the day before he fell from his horse, that Sir Robert Peel, in spite of so emphatic a condemnation of Lord Palmerston’s policy, passed upon him, or rather upon the speech in which Lord Palmerston defended his policy, the cordial eulogium – ‘We are all proud of the man who delivered it.’ The House of Commons, by a majority of 46, pronounced against Sir Robert Peel, and in favour of the foreign policy which he condemned. Lord Palmerston insisted upon it that there is a middle course between interference and absolute silence. We are not stocks and stones – our non-interference is not that of lifeless blocks. Let the foreign States have the liberty of acting, but we surely have the liberty of thinking. If it is criminal to have our opinions, it is the crime of possessing intelligence; if it is criminal to express our opinions, it is the crime of possessing freedom. We cannot help having our opinions, and we should despise ourselves were we to conceal them. An English Minister has no right to dictate to foreign States, but it is very hard, indeed, if he alone is to be tongue-tied – if he alone is to see no difference between right and wrong, if he alone is to express no sympathy with suffering and no dissatisfaction with wrong. Besides which, it may well be asked whether non-interference, in the extreme sense of the word, be a possible thing. We know that silence may be eloquent, and that, as the world is constituted a sympathetic world, to hold our peace and to restrain our sympathies may, to all appearance, be the condonation of tyranny and the casting of our influence into the scale of the oppressor. In point of fact, Lord Aberdeen, who carried out the policy of non-interference in the most determined manner, obtained thereby the reputation of being partial to the continental despotisms, and of looking with an evil eye on the struggling liberties of Europe. Being one of the most liberal-minded men in England, he by reason of his liberality – we mean, by reason of his strict adherence to the principle of non-interference – gave the whole weight of his influence to the despotic Governments of the Continent, and withdrew his countenance entirely from the popular cause. In that first great speech on our foreign relations which Lord Palmerston delivered (June 11, 1829,) in Opposition, and which marked him out as the future Foreign Secretary, he laid down principles which afford the key to his subsequent conduct in office. ‘There are two great parties in Europe,’ he said; ‘one which endeavours to bear sway in the force of public opinion, another which endeavours to bear away by the force of physical control; and the judgment, almost unanimous, of Europe assigns the latter as the present connexion of England. The principle on which the system of this party is founded is, in my view, fundamentally erroneous. There is in nature no moving power but mind; all else is passive and inert. In human affairs this power is opinion, in political affairs it is public opinion; and he who can grasp the power with it will subdue the fleshy arm of physical strength and compel it to work out his purpose.’ This was the weapon of weapons; Lord Palmerston had faith in its power; he believed also in the right of every man to have this weapon at his side and to use it as he could. If any statesman refused to arm himself with this power, he had but one other weapon to depend upon–he ranged himself definitely with those who had but the one resource of brute power, the one baptism of blood and fire. These are the principles of foreign policy which were discussed through 20 long years, while Lords Aberdeen and Palmerston were rivals. If interest will lead us to side more frequently with Lord Aberdeen, every generous feeling will incline us to take the side of Lord Palmerston; although in the long run there is perhaps not much difference between these statesmen. At all events, from the general statement which we have thus given, the reader will be able to determine for himself how far the floods of eloquence that have been exhausted in endless debates on this question are important or unimportant; and we save ourselves the trouble of going over the history of Lord Palmerston’s foreign policy in detail. It will be enough if we state some of the results, and foremost among these must be mentioned the establishment of Belgium as an independent kingdom with free institutions. We who now behold in Belgium a State which knows how to unite liberty with order, and which preserves its dignity in spite of limited means, are apt to forget in the midst of so much prosperity and quiet what anxiety the establishment of this little kingdom gave to the Ministers who had to conduct the negotiations, what interminable discussions in the Legislative Assemblies, what hosts of prophecies, what odious taunts, what waggonloads of despatches it called into being. Lord Palmerston came in for a good share of the abuse. His ‘little experimental Monarchy’ was a never-failing subject of jest. Through himself and Talleyrand the negotiations were principally conducted; and if the caricatures of ‘H. B.’ may be taken as a faithful index of the popular opinion, we should leap to the conclusion that our Foreign Secretary was a mere tool in the hands of his wily adversary. He was pictured as a blind man led by a French poodle to a precipice; again, as a blind man carrying a lame one who points the way; as a fly listening to the blandishments of the spider; as a cat held by a monkey, after the manner of Landseer’s picture, in which the monkey makes use of the cat’s-paw to get the chestnuts out of the fire. The caricatures were amazingly clever, and Talleyrand had such a reputation for cunning and success that people were ready to believe anything to his glory, and to the disadvantage of a younger adept who ventured to cope with him. If we may judge, however, by the facts, we do not see how Lord Palmerston could have acted differently; and if we may judge from results, it does not appear that France has gained anything by the transaction, while Europe has the advantage of possessing one more State which presents a favourable example of Constitutional government. It may be added that Talleyrand himself gave his opinion of Lord Palmerston in the phrase, ‘C’est un homme qui n’a pas le talent du raisonnement,’ – which really means that he found his opponent proof against all his arguments and not to be deceived by all his talk. But the establishment of what has been termed The Quadruple Alliance was still more fiercely canvassed. This was a treaty of alliance negotiated by Lord Palmerston between England, France, Spain, and Portugal; and the object of it was the defence of the existing monarchies in the Peninsula, that of Donna Isabella in Spain, and that of Donna Maria in Portugal, against all attempts to displace them. Don Carlos laid claim to the Spanish throne, and Dom Miguel to the Portuguese. Their claims were really false, but, besides the weakness of their titles, they were obnoxious to the English statesman on account of their antipathy to Constitutional government. The claims of the two Queens to their respective crowns were asserted by the Liberal Cabinets at Paris and London, and for the preservation of their rights the Quadruple Alliance was established. More than this, Lord Palmerston placed certain English forces at the disposal of the Peninsular Governments, and consequently engaged in armed as well as moral interference in the Affairs of two foreign States. Here was an opening for the enemy. Lord Aberdeen objected entirely to The Palmerstonian policy, and pertinently asked how the Foreign Secretary could work out the Quadruple Treaty, supposing – what was not at all unlikely – that Don Carlos should make his way to Madrid, should seize upon the throne, and should expel his niece from the country? What right had we to interfere in such a case? What business was it of ours to impose a Sovereign upon a foreign State? What voice had we in the election of a Peninsular potentate? The logic of debate evidently belonged to Lord Aberdeen; but Lord Palmerston had the still more convincing logic of success. He violated the principle of neutrality; but the principle could never be absolute; the violation was necessary, and it proved to be beneficial. In defending his policy long afterwards, in that great speech which he delivered in the Don Pacifico debate, Lord Palmerston observed:– ‘As long as England is England, as long as the English people are animated by the feelings, and spirit, and opinions which they possess, you may knock down twenty Foreign Ministers one after another, but, depend upon it, none will keep the place who does not act upon the same principles.’ The most brilliant of Lord Palmerston’s exploits, however, during the first period of his Foreign Secretaryship was an armed interference to prevent the dismemberment of the Turkish Empire. It is well known that Mehemet Ali, from being the mere vassal of the Grand Seignior, had by his great ability raised himself as Pasha of Egypt into a position of real, though not nominal independence. Not content, however with the Pashalic of Egypt, he wished to add to it Syria, and, with the assistance of his son Ibrahim, proceeded to carry out his plans. Turkey, which had from its weakness been for many years an object of anxiety to European statesmen, was apparently in a very critical position. It had practically lost Egypt, and it was now to lose another great province. The beginning of the end seemed to have come, as more than a dozen years later it seemed to have come again, when the Emperor Nicholas proposed that the European Powers should dispose of the sick man’s effects. Lord Palmerston determined to avert this catastrophe if it were possible, and he made the utmost efforts to draw the great Powers into a league for the preservation of the Ottoman Empire in its integrity. Thiers at that time held the portfolio of Foreign Affairs in Paris, and, probably from some lingering sympathy with the Napoleonic designs on Egypt, kept aloof from the movement while he continued to play with it. The results of all M. Thiers’s objections and doubts and despatches, however was that Mehemet Ali was gaining time; he was planting himself firmly in Syria, and the object for which the league was started was slipping from their grasp. Lord Palmerston saw through this Fabian policy, and set to work to counteract it. A treaty was suddenly signed by England, Austria, and Turkey, on the strength of which a fleet was sent to the Syrian coast with orders to co-operate in driving the Egyptian troops out of the country. The squadron was principally composed of English ships, and was under the command of Sir Robert Stopford, with Sir Charles Napier as second in command. In a very short time the intruders were driven from every position which they held in Syria, with the exception of the fortress of St. Jean d’Acre; and the defences of this town were so very strong that the Admiral declined the responsibility of an attack upon it. Sir Charles Napier’s plans for its reduction, however, were forwarded to Lord Palmerston, who, at once accepting the responsibility, took the unusual course of giving orders to Sir Robert Stopford for the attack in accordance with the views of his second in command. Who does not know the rest? The fortress, which had defied Napoleon, was taken in the most brilliant style, and Mehemet Ali was finally driven from the country and compelled to give up his claims. The rapidity with which the exploit was conceived and executed, the daring of the attempt, and the magnitude of the result gave a lustre to the reputation of Lord Palmerston, and rendered him at once the most popular statesman in England. The energy and skill which he displayed on this and other occasions were really marvellous, and we can have little idea of it unless we remember at the same time the precarious condition of the Government to which he belonged. With a straggling party, which barely contrived to present the appearance of a majority, Lord Melbourne’s Administration was by its weakness forced into inaction and the most miserable expedients. The dashing Foreign Secretary, however, so far from acting as the member of a tottering Cabinet, went to work as if he had invincible majorities at his back, and could boast of being the most formidable Minister in Europe. He was, perhaps, the most active Minister then living, and his activity was felt in ways which but seldom came under the observation of the public. His exertions for the suppression of the slave trade, to give a single example, were of the most effectual, but also of the most unobtrusive, kind. He worked in that cause with the warmest zeal; others might wax cold in their endeavours, or might change their opinions, but he never altered – his interest in the negro never flagged, his desire to suppress the nefarious traffic amounted to a passion; and those who are fond of showing their own wisdom by talking of Lord Palmerston’s insincerity in the cause of constitutional liberty might acquire a further insight into his character by turning their attention to his ceaseless but silent efforts in this sacred cause. To crown all, let it be added that in the midst of all these labours Lord Palmerston found time to marry. The most active Minister in the world was the lightest of heart and the freest from care. He married in 1839 the sister of Lord Melbourne, and the widow of the fifth Earl Cowper. There never was a happier union, and Lord Palmerston owed to it not only the comfort of a happy home, but also much of that public influence which comes of an extended social intercourse and which in the end raised him to the Premiership. It was delightful to see him in public with his wife, and to note the interest which the pair excited. At the opera a thousand glasses would be levelled at his box, and all his little attentions to Lady Palmerston would be studiously observed, and criticized as if he were different from other men. If he differed from other men in this respect, it was in being the most devoted and attentive of husbands and in asserting his resemblance to those conjugal models, the first Lady Palmerston and the second Lord Palmerston. At length the Whigs were driven from office; Peel became Premier, and Lord Aberdeen ruled at the Foreign-office. Sir Robert Peel had no sooner attained the object of his ambition than Lord Palmerston made a remarkable prediction, which we must record in his own words. ‘The right hon. baronet,’ he observed, ‘has said that he is not prepared to declare that he will never propose a change in the Corn Laws, but that he certainly shall not do so unless at the head of a united Cabinet. Why, looking at the persons who form his Administration, he must wait something near five years before he can do it.’ Lord Palmerston waited something near five years, and, perhaps, to his own astonishment, beheld the prediction verified. It will be remembered that when Sir Robert Peel proposed to abolish the Corn Laws he soon felt the necessity of handing over that work to the Whigs and of resigning his Premiership, but that the Whigs were unable to form a Government, through the refusal of Lord Grey to sit in the same Cabinet with Lord Palmerston. The first Earl Grey was the only one of the Whigs who stubbornly refused to coalesce with the Canningites in 1827, and now his son imitated his example by refusing to become the colleague of the last of the Canningites, if the direction of the Foreign-office was to be in his hands. This was too much for Lord Palmerston, who expressed his willingness to retire from office altogether, but insisted on being placed in the Foreign-office if he was to have a place at all. In the following year Lord Grey got over his scruples, and, under Lord John Russell, a Whig Ministry was formed, with Lord Palmerston as Foreign Secretary. But, this preliminary complication seemed to indicate that even his colleagues began to doubt the policy of him who was at once the most popular and best abused statesman in England; and in the end Lord John Russell’s Cabinet was overturned through its resistance to Lord Palmerston. Six years of office, however, is a long lease of power as Cabinets go; and in Lord Palmerston’s department they were six very eventful years. The repeal of the Corn Laws had sweetened the political atmosphere of England, and had removed all anxiety from the administration of our domestic affairs. But, unfortunately, that which had brought peace and plenty to England – the repeal, which had done so much to alter the face of the country – had, by contrast, been the signal for revolution and disturbances of every kind throughout Europe. Lord Palmerston had scarcely received the seals of the Foreign-office, when he found himself in the midst of a Swiss difficulty. A majority of the Cantons had ordered the Jesuits to retire from Switzerland; the Catholic-Cantons resisted the order, and the Catholic States seemed not unwilling to assist the minority by force of arms. By very skilful negotiations, and by a promptitude and decision which distanced every attempt to keep up with him, Lord Palmerston settled the difficulty, holding the Catholic States back with a promise of joint intervention, until the Protestants of Switzerland had fairly put down their adversaries, scattered their forces in a single engagement, and left no question open for the interference of an European Congress. Then came the affair of the Spanish marriages, in which Louis Philippe was supposed to have outwitted the Foreign Secretary. If in this business Louis Philippe had a triumph, it was a short lived one; for in the following February the dynasty which he thought to strengthen and make sure for ever was banished from France. In that tempestuous year 1848 every one of the Continental Thrones was shaken, the oppressed nationalities of Europe arose, and there seemed to be every likelihood of universal Democracy. The attitude which our Foreign Secretary assumed in this conjuncture was that of’a judicious bottle-holder,’ to use a term which was constantly applied to him, – in plain English, was that of cautious sympathy. He was too sympathetic to please those whose watchword was the law, and who frowned on constitutional liberty, – he was too cautious, too much a friend to order, too little disposed for forcible interferences, to please those who wished for subsidies as well as opinions, soldiers as well as advice, and so falling between two stools, his conduct gave satisfaction to very few on the Continent. The Germans sang— ‘Hat der Teufel einen sohn, So ist er, sicher, Palmerston,’ because he refused to help them. So, also, he gave his support to Turkey when Austria and Russia with threats demanded the extradition of Kossuth and other refugees who had fled to the dominions of the Sultan, and he ventured to express great sympathy with the Hungarians; but, because he would not consent to go further, and wage war with Austria in behalf of the Hungarian and Italian nationalities he was denounced as a traitor. His conduct in the affair of Pacifico gave still greater offence on the Continent and not a little offence at home. He sent a powerful fleet to Athens in order to compel the Greek Government to pay up the ‘little bill’ of a certain Jew of the Ionian Islands, and of some others, for losses which they had sustained through outrages committed by the Greeks. There was something so amusingly disproportionate in the spectacle of the British fleet being sent to bombard Athens in order to force the payment of a disputed debt – of a British fleet dunning a Royal city for the recovery of a Jew’s pots and pans and chamber crockery – that nobody can wonder at the earnestness with which the policy that led to such a result was assailed in both Houses of Parliament. The debates on Lord Palmerston’s foreign policy which arose out of this incident are among the ablest and most important upon record, and, although his policy was entirely condemned in the House of Lords, it received the sanction of the House of Commons by a considerable majority. It was in reference to the vote of censure passed in the Upper House that Lord John Russell made the memorable statement – ‘So long as we continue the Government of this country, I can answer for my noble friend that he will act not as Minister of Austria, or of Russia, or of France, or of any other country, but as the Minister of England,’ – a statement which seemed to suggest that the question in dispute was something much deeper than that of a petty debt, and infringed on far more important rights affecting our relative position in the balance of power. The question was decided by the speech of Lord Palmerston himself, which was the ablest oration he ever made; and a very masterly, as well as very eloquent exposition of his whole foreign policy it is. The peroration is particularly effective, and when he came to that concluding passage in which he compared the British to the Roman citizen, reminded his audience of the protection which the latter could invoke in the simple phrase – ‘Civis Romanus sum’ – and asked why the former should not claim a similar protection in a similar formula, the enthusiasm of his supporters rose to its height, he was tumultuously cheered, and for that night the debate closed with this miracle of a speech, which, said Sir Robert Peel, ‘made us proud of the man who delivered it.’ Lord Palmerston gained the day, but the seeds of distrust were sown in the Cabinet, and soon bore their fruit. In December, 1851, he was forced to resign, because on his own authority he had pronounced in favour of Louis Napoleon when he assumed the dictatorship of France. It had been arranged that no important step in our foreign affairs should be taken without the assent of the whole Cabinet as well as of the Queen, and Lord Palmerston had – perhaps without knowing it – violated this arrangement, which was a restriction upon his powers. Lord John’s Cabinet, however, did not long survive the dismissal of the Foreign Secretary, who quietly kicked it over on a Militia Bill. Lord Derby’s Government succeeded, when, strangely enough, the Premier offered to Lord Palmerston that very post in the Foreign-office from which he had been dismissed by Lord John Russell, and for his conduct in which the House of Lords had, at the instigation of Lord Derby, passed a vote of censure. Lord Palmerston declined the offer, chiefly on account of the equivocal position which the Tory party maintained on the subject of Free Trade; and the consequence was that the Derby Ministry only held office until the more Liberal statesmen could compose their differences and make up an alliance. An alliance was soon formed under the auspices of Lord Aberdeen, who entered upon office at the head of the strongest Cabinet which has ever controlled the destinies of England. Lord Palmerston consented to serve in the Home-office under his old rival, while to propitiate the Whigs, Lord Clarendon was placed in the Foreign-office. The Russian War was the leading incident of this coalition. It finally broke down in consequence of those Crimean disasters which introduced an element of strife between the Conservatives and Liberal sections of the Ministry. In the meantime Lord Palmerston was plodding at the Home-office as if there were no such thing as foreign politics, and as if smoke nuisances and sewer nuisances were the only great themes of Ministerial anxiety. He dilated upon manure, and informed the world that dirt was only ‘a good thing in the wrong place;’ he discussed the subject of the cholera, and informed the English public that cleanliness is a more certain preventive than prayer. In this last piece of administration it was wittily said that the Foreign Secretary peeped out – he treated Providence as a foreign Power. There were not a few who in those days wished that he were indeed Foreign Secretary, – that he occupied a post which would bring more directly under his control the real work of the Aberdeen Cabinet, either the conduct of our negotiations for peace or the conduct of our military operations; and when he succeeded Lord Aberdeen as Prime Minister he more than justified the public expectation by the vigour which he threw into the war and the tact with which he concluded a peace. It was certainly a proud day for him when, in answer to the long series of attacks upon him, he was elevated to the highest office in the State, as the only man able and ready to carry out that very policy of a war with Russia and an alliance with the French Emperor, which had been the source of misunderstandings innumerable and recriminations without end. It showed also immense courage on his part that he was willing to undertake this arduous task with the assistance of a Cabinet which Lord Brougham is said to have characterized as ‘a staff of eleventh-rate men.’ He was feebly supported both in administration and in debate; and the effects soon became visible in little incidents which do not come before the public, but which in the undercurrents of the Legislature tell with great force on the credit of a Government. The weakness of some of his colleagues compelled them into occasional discourtesies, which were nothing more than the natural refuge of incapacity, but which left a bad impression on political opponents and wavering allies; and the Prime Minister had so much to do to cover the deficiencies of his Cabinet that he was known to have given offence to certain of the Liberals by the assumed airiness of his manner and the levity of his answers to serious questions, while others reported to his discredit that he, the kind of heart and light of soul – he who had not one particle of bitterness in his nature – he who had been notorious for his good humour under the most trying circumstances – he who had won the hearts of the country gentlemen by refusing to side with the rest of the Liberal party in demanding from them a humiliating confession of the advantages of Free Trade, had on one occasion lost his temper and spoke angrily. The House of Commons was slipping from his grasp, and on the Chinese question he lost his majority. Nor did he recover it without an appeal to the country, from which he received the most enthusiastic support. He returned to Parliament with an enormous increase of power, and it seemed that, spite of the feebleness of his coadjutors, his term of office would be coincident with his life. Unfortunately, the same series of causes which deprived him of his majority in the previous Parliament gradually tended to deprive him of his majority in that which had been newly summoned. On a mere question of form the vote went against him. It is useless to say that there was anything really offensive to the country in his conduct to the French Emperor. The Tories voted in favour of his policy one day and against it the next. When they succeeded to power they but carried out the Palmerstonian policy. There was no real difference between Lords Derby and Palmerston on this question. A slight informality in the mode of conducting our foreign correspondence was seized as a fit opportunity for the annoyance of the Government, and the annoyance proceeded to the extent of placing Lord Palmerston in a minority. A minority in a Parliament summoned to support himself was a serious matter, and he instantly resigned. Lord Derby, who ruled in his stead, did not long enjoy power. In about a year the whole of the Liberal party combined, agreed to sink their differences, and to cope with the Tories for victory. By a small majority they won, and Lord Palmerston was installed in office. If, however, one inquires why the Whigs again came in, it would be difficult to show any reason, save that of personal confidence in their chief. Nominally, Lord Derby’s Cabinet was ousted because it was not sufficiently reforming, and because its foreign policy was not safe. But the new Government failed to carry a Reform Bill, and the new Secretary for Foreign Affairs distinctly declared after he got into office that his policy did not differ from Lord Malmesbury’s. As far as we can see, the change of Government is to be explained only in one way. The Italian war broke out; there was an uneasy feeling in the country; and politicians of every shade wished to see the reins of Government in the hands of the most able, the most popular, and the most experienced statesman in the land. So Lord Palmerston was again raised to the chief office in the State. His Government carried us through the danger of the Italian war, united us through the treaty of commerce in a closer alliance with France, carried out reforms in India that led to its comparative prosperity, remodelled our bankruptcy law and our educational system, and steered through the difficulties raised by the American war and by the Polish rebellion. Amid these and other perplexities, which are so recent that they will be in everybody’s recollection, it was constantly apparent that nothing but the personal popularity and adroitness of Lord Palmerston saved the Government from going to wreck in the House of Commons. While he sat on the Treasury Bench everything went on smoothly. Whenever an attack of gout compelled him for an instant to leave the guidance of the House of Commons, even to such an accomplished orator as Mr. Gladstone, defeat and disaster were the consequence. Again and again the Government were saved from ruin only by the marvellous popularity and address of its chief, who has been a Prime Minister for a greater number of years than any man in this century, with the exception of Lord Liverpool. Nor was it merely his fame, his dexterity, and his good humour that thus succeeded; he worked hard for success even in extreme old age. As a young man he did less than his friends expected of him; as an old one he did far more. It was amazing to see how he could sit out the whole House of Commons in its longest sittings. At 3 or 4 o’clock in the morning he was the freshest and liveliest man there, ready with his joke or a clever explanation to appease the irritability of a worn assembly. Besides the toil of debate and incessant watching in the House of Commons, his office work was enormous. His despatches, all written in that fine bold hand which he desired to engraft upon the Foreign-office, are innumerable. His minutes upon every conceivable subject of interest in the last 50 years would fill many volumes, and it is to be hoped that some of them will be published. Moreover, in private, he was always ready to write for the information of his friends, and he always wrote well. We may add, in a parenthesis, that generally he wrote standing. To get through this immense amount of work he lived during the Session what most men would regard as an unwholesome life. Four days a week, when the House sat at night, he dined at 3 o’clock; on other days at half-past 8. When his dinner was late he took no lunch; when it was early he seldom took any supper. While young men went off from a debate to enjoy a comfortable meal, he sat on the Treasury Bench all night and never budged from it except to get a cup of tea in the tea-room, where he liked a gossip with whoever was there. For, with all his official labours, he kept his hold on society and enjoyed life like a youth. Lord Palmerston – and in this Lady Palmerston resembles him – was in his very nature genial and social. They loved society – not necessarily their own society, but all men and women. In the country, as in town, their hospitality was unbounded. A large family circle continually gathered about them, reinforced by whoever was remarkable for political or literary or artistic eminence, for sport, for travel, for military or naval exploits. All were welcome, and all found in both host and hostess a sympathizing audience. Yet they were never rich until latterly, and even at last their means were as nothing when compared with the opulence of many who never open their doors except to the members of a coterie. All this was the result of a prodigious vitality. Any doubts on that score might be settled by seeing Lord Palmerston at a public dinner – he sat down to it with the zest of an Eton boy; or by seeing him on horseback – when nearly an octogenarian he would ride some 15 miles to cover and think nothing of it. His mind neverlost its interest in whatever was new. He was as keen as any young man about the coming ‘Derby,’ and would rather have won it then gained any political triumph. These things are worth mentioning, for they are elements of political success. Great as Pitt was, he was said to have lost much through deficient sociability. Lord Palmerston lost nothing in this way, but gained a great deal. He owed, indeed, so much to his social tact, that superficial observers have seen in it the whole secret of his power. There is no mistake more common than this. A dark and heavy writer is supposed to be profound; a pompous and reserved statesman gets the credit of wisdom. A clear writer is regarded as shallow, and a light-hearted statesman is said to have nothing in him. We, however, who breathe a religion the Founder of which was set at naught for His social habit, because He came eating and drinking, may learn not to think the less of a statesman because of his geniality, his ready jest, and his open house. As this full, appreciative and observant obituary makes clear, Palmerston was a ‘late flowering plant’ who retained his zest both for life and for politics until his dying day. Latterly he may have been inclined to doze both in the Commons chamber and in Cabinet but in the July of last year of his long life he dissolved Parliament and increased his majority at the subsequent general election. As an Irish peer, who had succeeded to his title in 1802, Palmerston was able to sit in the House of Commons, representing a series of different constituencies for some fifty-eight years. The obituarist is well aware of Palmerston’s widespread rapport with the general public, though he plays down his frequent disagreements over foreign policy with Queen Victoria and, above all, Prince Albert. His mistakes, notably his overt sympathy with the Confederate States during the American Civil War, are played down and there is also no hint of the womanising that inspired his nickname: ‘Lord Cupid’. A twentieth-century Prime Minister, Harold Wilson, described him as ‘undoubtedly the greatest “character” Downing Street has seen…Not all Prime Ministers enjoy the job; few enjoyed it more than Palmerston.’ MICHAEL FARADAY (#) Natural scientist: ‘Disinterested zeal and lofty purity of life.’ 25 AUGUST 1867 THE WORLD OF science lost on Sunday one of its most assiduous and enthusiastic members. The life of Michael Faraday had been spent from early manhood in the single pursuit of scientific discovery, and though his years extended to 73, he preserved to the end the freshness and vivacity of youth in the exposition of his favourite subjects, coupled with a measure of simplicity which youth never attains. His perfect mastery of the branches of physical knowledge he cultivated, and the singular absence of personal display which characterized everything he did, must have made him under any circumstances a lecturer of the highest rank, but as a man of science he was gifted with the rarest felicity of experimenting, so that the illustrations of his subjects seemed to answer with magical ease to his call. It was this peculiar combination which made his lectures attractive to crowded audiences in Albemarle-street for so many years, and which brought, Christmas after Christmas, troops of young people to attend his expositions of scientific processes and scientific discovery with as much zest as is usually displayed in following lighter amusements. Faraday was born in the neighbourhood of London in the year 1794. He was one of those men who have become distinguished in spite of every disadvantage of origin and of early education, and if the contrast between the circumstances of his birth and of his later worldly distinction be not so dazzling as is sometimes seen in other walks of life, it is also true that his career was free from the vulgar ambition and uneasy strife after place and power which not uncommonly detract from the glory of the highest honours. His father was a smith, and he himself, after a very imperfect elementary education, was apprenticed to a bookbinder named Riebau, in Blandford-street. He was, however, already inspired with the love of natural science. His leisure was spent in the conduct of such chymical experiments as were within his means, and he ventured on the construction of an electrifying machine, thus foreshowing the particular sphere of his greatest future discoveries. He was eager to quit trade for the humblest position as a student of physical science, and his tastes becoming known to a gentleman who lived in his master’s neighbourhood, he obtained for him admission to the chymical lectures which Sir Humphry Davy, then newly knighted and in the plenitude of his powers, was delivering at the Royal Institution. This was in 1812. Faraday not only attended the lectures, but took copious notes of them, which he carefully re-wrote and boldly sent to Sir Humphry, begging his assistance in his desire ‘to escape from trade and to enter into the service of science.’ The trust in Davy’s kindliness which prompted the appeal was not misplaced. Sir Humphry warmly praised the powers shown in the notes of his lectures, and hoped he might be able to meet the writer’s wishes. Early in 1813 the opportunity came. The post of assistant in the Laboratory in Albemarle-street became vacant, and Sir Humphry offered it to Faraday, who accepted it with a pleasure which can be easily imagined, and thus commenced in March, 1813, the connexion between Faraday and the Royal Institution which only terminated with his life. Faraday became very soon firmly attached to Davy. The only instance of a suspension – for it was a suspension and not a breach – of his connexion with the Royal Institution occurred from October, 1813, to April, 1815, during which time he accompanied Sir Humphry as his scientific assistant and secretary in his travels on the Continent. His life after his return was devoted uninterruptedly to his special studies. In 1821, while assisting Davy in pursuing the investigation of the relations between electricity and magnetism, first started by Oersted, he made the brilliant discovery of the convertible rotation of a magnetic pole and an electric current, which was the prelude to his wonderful series of experimental researches in electricity. These investigations procured him the honour of being elected Corresponding Member of the Academy of Sciences in 1823, and Fellow of the Royal Society in 1825. In 1827 he published his first work, a volume on Chymical Manipulation; and in 1829 he was appointed Chymical Lecturer at the Royal Military Academy at Woolwich, a post he held, in conjunction with his duties at the Royal Institution, for many years. In 1831 his first paper appeared in the Philosophical Transactions on the subject of electricity, describing his experimental studies of the science, and from that time for many years the Transactions annually contained papers by Faraday giving the method and results of his investigations. These papers, with some others contributed to scientific journals on the same subject, were subsequently collected at different intervals in three volumes under the title of Experimental Researches in Electricity. The first volume appeared in 1839, and contained the contributions to the Philosophical Transactions up to that date. The second volume was published in 1844, and the third in 1855. It is not too much to say that by the experiments thus described Faraday formed the science of electricity. He established the identity of the forces manifested in the phenomena known as electrical, galvanic, and magnetic; he ascertained with exactness the laws of its action; he determined its correlation with the other primal forces of the natural world. While he was still pursuing the brilliant career of investigation which thus proved so successful, the chair of Chymistry was founded at the Royal Institution in 1833, and Faraday was naturally appointed the first Professor. In 1835 he was recommended by Lord Melbourne for a pension of 300l. a year, in recognition of his great distinction as a discoverer. From that time his career has been one of increasing honour. Oxford conferred on him an honorary degree upon the first occasion of the meeting of the British Association at the University. He was raised from the position of Corresponding Member to be one of the eight foreign Associates of the Academy of Sciences. He was an officer of the Legion of Honour, and Prussia and Italy decorated him with the crosses of different Orders. The Royal Society conferred on him its own medal and the Romford medal. In 1858 the Queen most graciously allotted to him a residence at Hampton Court, between which and Albemarle-street he spent the last years of his life, and where he peaceably died on Sunday. The belief in the disinterested zeal and lofty purity of life of the students of philosophy, which was one motive for Faraday’s petition when a lad to Davy to enable him to become a servant in the humblest walks of science rather than to spend his days in the pursuit of trade, was redeemed by Faraday’s whole life. No man was ever more entirely unselfish, or more entirely beloved. Modest, truthful, candid, he had the true spirit of a philosopher and of a Christian, for it may be said of him, in the words of the father of English poetry, ‘Gladly would he learn, and gladly teach.’ The cause of science would meet with fewer enemies, its discoveries would command a more ready assent, were all its votaries imbued with the humility of Michael Faraday. Faraday, born the son of an artisan near the Elephant and Castle in London, was yet another of the ‘Self Helpers’ so admired by Victorian social moralists. He was not only a first-rate scientist in his own right but also a pioneer populariser of science during a key period of progress in the subject. Faraday was a lucid and much appreciated lecturer at the Royal Insitution in Albemarle Street where, from January to April, weekly lectures and laboratory demonstrations were open to subscribers. He died in his grace and favour residence at Hampton Court. Being a devout member of the Sandemanian sect (founded in Scotland by John Glas) he was interred at Highgate Cemetery rather than being offered a tomb at Westminster Abbey. CHARLES DICKENS (#) Novelist: ‘There was always a lesson beneath his mirth.’ 9 JUNE 1870 WE FEEL SURE that a thrill of sorrow as well as of surprise will be felt by our readers when they hear of the sudden death of Mr. Charles Dickens. On Wednesday evening he was seized with a fit, at his residence, Gad’s Hill-place, Higham, near Rochester, between 6 and 7 o’clock, while at dinner. Mr. Stephen Steele, a surgeon at Strood, was sent for, and promptly arrived. He found Mr. Dickens in a very dangerous state, and remained with him for some hours. A physician was summoned from London yesterday morning, and Mr. Steele was also in attendance. Unfortunately, there was no improvement in the patient. In the afternoon Mr. Steele was again summoned from Strood. The reports in the after part of the day were discouraging, and shortly after 6 o’clock the great novelist expired. There is no one, we are sure, of the men of the present day whose name will live longer in the memories of English readers, or will be more thoroughly identified with the English language, than the inimitable author of Pickwick. But the story of his life is soon told. The son of Mr. John Dickens, who held at one time a position in the Navy Pay Department, Charles Dickens was born at Portsmouth in the month of February, 1812. The duties of his father’s office obliged him frequently to change his residence, and much of the future novelist’s infancy was spent at Plymouth, Sheerness, Chatham, and other seaport towns. The European war, however, came to an end before he had completed his fourth year, and his father, finding his ‘occupation gone,’ retired on a pension and came to London, where he obtained employment as a Parliamentary reporter for one of the daily papers. It was at first intended that young Charles should be sent to an attorney’s office; but he had literary tastes, and eventually was permitted by his father to exchange the law for a post as one of the reporters on the staff of the True Sun, from which he subsequently transferred his services to the Morning Chronicle then under the late Mr. John Black, who accepted and inserted in the evening edition of his journal the first fruits of the pen of Charles Dickens – those ‘Sketches of English Life and Character’ which were afterwards reprinted and published in a collective form under the title of Sketches by Boz in 1836, and the following year. These Sketches at once attracted notice, and the public looked with something more than curiosity for the time when the successful author should throw off his mask and proclaim himself to the world. To adopt the phrase of an epigram which appeared in the Carthusian, ‘Who the Dickens “Boz” could be ‘Puzzled many a learned elf; ‘But time unveiled the mystery, ‘And “Boz” appeared as Dickens’ self.’ Almost simultaneously with these Sketches appeared a comic opera from his pen, entitled The Village Coquettes. The graphic power of describing the ordinary scenes of common life, more especially in their more ludicrous aspects, did not escape the notice of Messrs. Chapman and Hall, then of the Strand, but now of Piccadilly, and they accordingly requested ‘Boz’ to write for them a serial story in monthly parts; the result was the publication of the Posthumous Papers of the Pickwick Club. It is said that a portion of the rough outline of the work was the result of a suggestion thrown out by Mr. Hall, one of the firm above-mentioned; but be that as it may, the subject was treated by ‘Boz’ in a manner at once so easy, so graphic, and so natural, and yet with such a flow of genuine humour, that the author found himself raised almost at a single step to the highest pinnacle of literary fame. Illustrated at first by poor Seymour, and afterwards by Mr. Hablot K. Brown (‘Phiz’), the Pickwick Papers found an enormous sale from their first appearance, and Mr. Charles Dickens presented himself to the world as their author in 1838. The great success of Pickwick naturally led to offers being made to Mr. Dickens by the London publishers; but the author wisely consulted his own reputation, and confined himself to the production of Nicholas Nickleby in a similar style and form. The work was written to expose in detail the cruelties which were practised upon orphans and other neglected children at small and cheap schools, where the sum charged for the board of hungry and growing lads, with everything included, ranges from 16l. to 20l. a year. Mr. Dickens tells us, in the preface to this book, as it stands republished in the collective edition of his works, that it was the result of a personal visit of inspection paid by himself to some nameless ‘Dotheboys’-hall’ amid the wolds of Yorkshire; and the reader who has carefully studied it will with difficulty be persuaded that Mr. Squeers and Mr. John Browdie are not taken from living examples. The work was published in 1839. About the same time he commenced in the pages of Bentley’s Miscellany, of which he was the first editor, a tale of a very different cast. Oliver Twist lets the reader into the secrets of life as it was, and, perhaps, still is, to be found too often in workhouses and in the ‘slums’ of London. When finished it was republished as a novel in three volumes, and in that shape too enjoyed an extensive sale. The following year Mr. Dickens undertook the production of a collection of stories in weekly numbers. The series was entitled Master Humphrey’s Clock, and it contained, among other tales, those since republished under the names of The Old Curiosity Shop – famous for its touching episode of ‘Little Nell,’ – and of Barnaby Rudge, which carries the reader back to the days of the Gordon Riots. The pen of Mr. Charles Dickens was henceforth almost incessantly at work. About the time of the publication of Master Humphrey’s Clock appeared his Memoirs of Joseph Grimaldi, the celebrated Clown, almost his only production which deals with the plain prose of facts, and with everyday life divested of all imagination. Though much interest attaches to the work, we shall not be suspected of any intention of depreciating the author’s reputation when we say that his imaginative powers rank far higher than his skill as a biographer. In fact, while Pickwick and Nickleby live, Grimaldi is forgotten. After completing Master Humphrey’s Clock Mr. Dickens visited America, where he was received with extraordinary honours. On his return, in 1842, he published the materials which he had collected in the United States under the title ‘American Notes for General Circulation.’ Many of its statements, however, were controverted by American pens in a book entitled Change for American Notes. In 1844 he published Martin Chuzzlewit in numbers, like Pickwick and Nicholas Nickleby, and in the summer of the same year visited Italy and Rome. An account of much that he saw and heard in this tour he gave afterwards to the world in the columns of the Daily News, of which he became the first editor. Its first number appeared on January 1, 1846; but after a few months Mr. Dickens withdrew from the editorship, and returned to his former line of humorous serial publications, varying, however, their monthly appearances with occasional stories of a more strictly imaginative cast, called ‘Christmas Books.’ Of these the first, A Christmas Carol, was published so far back as 1843; the second, the Chimes, appeared at Christmas, 1845; the third, the Cricket on the Hearth, followed in 1846; the fourth, the Battle of Life in 1847; and the fifth, the Haunted Man and the Ghost’s Bargain, in 1848. Besides these Mr. Dickens has published Dealings with the Firm of Dombey and Son, the History of David Copperfield, Bleak House, Little Dorrit, A Tale of Two Cities, Our Mutual Friend, the Uncommercial Traveller, Great Expectations, and last of all the Mystery of Edwin Drood, of which only three numbers have appeared. In 1850 Mr. Dickens projected a cheap weekly periodical which he called Household Words, and which was published by Messrs. Bradbury and Evans;but, difficulties having arisen between author and publisher, it was discontinued in 1859, and Mr. Dickens commenced in its stead its successor, All the Year Round, which he continued to conduct to the last. Mr. Dickens was one of the founders of the Guild of Literature, and was an ardent advocate of reforms in the administration of the Literary Fund. He was also an accomplished amateur performer, and often took part in private theatricals for charitable objects. Of late years he had frequently appeared before the public as a ‘reader’ of the most popular portions of his own works, of which he showed himself to be a most vivid and dramatic interpreter. He retired from this work only in March last, when his reputation stood at its highest. His renderings of his best creations, both humorous and pathetic, of his most stirring scenes and warmest pictures of life, will not readily be forgotten. Men and women, persons and places, we knew all before in the brilliant pages of his novels; but the characters lived with a new life, and the scenes took the shape of reality in the readings of the master. America had an opportunity of appreciating his powers in this direction on the second visit he paid to that country in 1868. That is all over now; but Mr. Dickens, in bidding his last audience farewell, consoled them with the promise that his retirement would be devoted all the more to his original and higher art. His words have scarcely had time to allow of their fulfilment in the way and in the degree in which, doubtless, he hoped to be able to fulfil them. It may be well here to place on record his parting speech on the occasion of his last reading at St. James’s-hall:- ‘Ladies and Gentlemen, – It would be worse than idle, it would he hypocritical and unfeeling, if I were to disguise that I close this episode in my life with feelings of very considerable pain. For some 15 years, in this hall and in many kindred places, I have had the honour of presenting my own cherished ideas before you for your recognition; and, in closely observing your reception of them, have enjoyed an amount of artistic delight and enjoyment which, perhaps, it is given to few men to know. In this task, and in every other I have ever undertaken as a faithful servant of the public, always imbued with a sense of duty to them, and always striving to do his best, I have been uniformly cheered by the readiest response, the most generous sympathy, and the most stimulating support. Nevertheless, I have thought it well at the full floodtide of your favour to retire upon those older associations between us which date from much further back than these, and henceforth to devote myself exclusively to the art that first brought us together. Ladies and gentlemen, in but two short weeks from this time I hope that you may enter, in your own homes, on a new series of readings at which my assistance will be indispensable, but from these garish lights I vanish now for evermore, with one heartfelt, grateful, respectful, and affectionate farewell.’ While Pickwick charms us with its broad humour, it is in Nicholas Nickleby and Oliver Twist that the power of Charles Dickens’s pathos shows itself. In those two works he evinced a sympathy for the poor, the suffering, and the oppressed which took all hearts by storm. This power of sympathy it was, no doubt, which has made his name a household word in English homes. How many a phase of cruelty and wrong his pen exposed, and how often he stirred others to try at least to lessen the amount of evil and of suffering which must be ever abroad in the world, will never be fully known. There was always a lesson beneath his mirth. It only remains for us to add that he married in 1838 a daughter of the late Mr. George Hogarth, a musical writer of some eminence in his day, and a man of high literary attainments – who was formerly the friend and law agent of Sir Walter Scott, and well known in private life to Jeffrey Cockburn, and the other literary celebrities who adorned the society of Edinburgh some 40 or 50 years ago. The relatively scant information about Dickens’s early life which was available to the general public during the novelist’s lifetime seems to have been scrupulously edited by Dickens himself. This obituary therefore makes no mention of his father’s shameful financial embarrassments and confinement in the Marshalsea Prison, of Dickens’s fragmented education and, above all, of his acute misery when he was employed as a twelve-year-old drudge at Warren’s Blacking. These facts were not exposed until Dickens’s friend John Forster published them in the first volume of his Life of Charles Dickens in 1872. Detailed revelations about the break-up of the novelist’s marriage to Catherine Hogarth and his subsequent intense relationship with the young actress Ellen Ternan were not made until the second third of the twentieth century. Dickens had given his last Public Reading at St. James’s Hall in Piccadilly on 15 March 1870 to the largest audience ever assembled there. Hundreds more had been turned away at the doors. The hall was demolished in 1905. GENERAL ROBERT E. LEE (#) American soldier: ‘one of the noblest soldiers who have ever drawn a sword in a cause which they believed just.’ 12 OCTOBER 1870 EVEN AMID THE turmoil of the great European struggle the intelligence from America announcing that General Robert E. Lee is dead will be received with deep sorrow by many in this country, as well as by his followers and fellow-soldiers in America. It is but a few years since Robert Lee ranked among the great men of the present time. He was the able soldier of the Southern Confederacy, the bulwark of her northern frontier, the obstacle to the advance of the Federal armies and the leader who twice threatened by the capture of Washington to turn the tide of success, and to accomplish a revolution which would have changed the destiny of the United States. Six years passed by, and then we heard that he was dying at an obscure town in Virginia, where, since the collapse of the Confederacy, he had been acting as a schoolmaster. When at the head of the last 8,000 of his valiant army-the remnants which battle, sickness, and famine had left him – he delivered up his sword to General Grant at Appomattox Court House, his public career ended; he passed away from men’s thoughts; and few in Europe cared to inquire the fate of the General whose exploits had aroused the wonder of neutrals and belligerents, and whose noble character had excited the admiration of even the most bitter of his political enemies. If, however, success is not always to be accounted as the sole foundation of renown, General Lee’s life and career deserve to be held in reverence by all who admire the talents of a General and the noblest qualities of a soldier. His family were well known in Virginia. Descended from the Cavaliers who first colonized that State, they had produced more than one man who fought with distinction for their country. They were allied by marriage to Washington, and previous to the recent war were possessed of much wealth; General, then Colonel, Robert Lee residing, when not employed with his regiment, at Arlington Heights, one of the most beautiful places in the neighbourhood of Washington. When the civil war first broke out he was a colonel in the United States’ army, who had served with distinction in Mexico, and was recounted among the best of the American officers. To him, as to others, the difficult choice presented itself whether to take the side of his State, which had joined in the secession of the South, or to support the Central Government. It is said that Lee debated the matter with General Scott, then commander-in-chief, that both agreed that their first duty lay with their State, but that the former only put in practice what each held in theory. It was not until the second year of the war that Lee came prominently forward, when, at the indecisive battle of Fairoaks, in front of Richmond, General Johnston having been wounded, he took command of the army; and subsequently drove M’Clellau, with great loss, to the banks of the James river. From that time he became the recognized leader of the Confederate army of Virginia. He repulsed wave after wave of invasion, army after army being hurled against him only to be thrown back beaten and in disorder. The Government at Washington were kept in constant alarm by the near vicinity of his troops, and witnessed more than once the entry into their entrenchments of a defeated and disorganised rabble which a few days previous had left there a confident host. Twice he entered the Northern States at the head of a successful army, and twice in decisive battles alone preserved from destruction the Federal Government and turned the fortune of the war. He impressed his character on those who acted under him. Ambition for him had no charms; duty alone was his guide. His simplicity of life checked luxury and display among his officers, while his disregard of hardships silenced the murmurs of his harassed soldiery. By the troops he was loved as a father as well as admired as a general; and his deeply religious character impressed itself on all who were brought in contact with him and made itself felt through the ranks of the Virginian army. It is said that during four years of war he never slept in a house, but in winter and summer shared the hardships of his soldiers. Such was the man who in mature age, at a period of life when few generals have acquired renown, fought against overwhelming odds for the cause which he believed just. He saw many of his bravest generals and dearest friends fall around him, but, although constantly exposed to fire, escaped without a wound. The battles which prolonged and finally decided the issue of the contest are now little more than names. Antietam, Fredericksburg, Chancellorsville and Gettysburg are forgotten in Europe by all excepting those who study recent wars as lessons for the future and would collect from the deeds of other armies experience which they may apply to their own. To them the boldness of Lee’s tactics at Chancellorsville will ever be a subject of admiration; while even those who least sympathize with his cause will feel for the General who saw the repulse of Longstreet’s charge at Gettysburg, and beheld the failure of an attempt to convert a defensive war into one of attack, together with the consequent abandonment of the bold stroke which he had hoped would terminate the contest. Quietly he rallied the broken troops; taking all the blame on himself; he encouraged the officers dispirited by the reverse, and in person formed up the scattered detachments. Again, when fortune had turned against the Confederacy, when overwhelming forces from all sides pressed back her defenders, Lee for a year held his ground with a constantly diminishing army, fighting battle after battle in the forests and swamps around Richmond. No reverses seemed to dispirit him, no misfortune appeared to ruffle his calm, brave temperament. Only at last, when the saw the remnants of his noble army about to be ridden down by Sheridan’s cavalry, when 8,000 men, half-starved and broken with fatigue, were surrounded by the vast net which Grant and Sherman had spread around them, did he yield; his fortitude for the moment gave way; he took a last farewell of his soldiers and, giving himself up as a prisoner, retired a ruined man into private life, gaining his bread by the hard and uncongenial work of governing Lexington College. When political animosity has calmed down and when Americans can look back on those years of war with feelings unbiased by party strife, then will General Lee’s character be appreciated by all his countrymen as it is now by a part, and his name will be honoured as that of one of the noblest soldiers who have ever drawn a sword in a cause which they believed just, and at the sacrifice of all personal considerations have fought manfully a losing battle. Even amid the excitement of the terrible war now raging in Europe, some may still care to carry their thoughts back to the career of the great and good man who now lies dead in Virginia, and to turn a retrospective glance over the scenes in which a short time ago he bore so prominent a part. – Pall Mall Gazette In a letter to The Times, Lieutenant-Colonel Arthur Fremantle of the Coldstream Guards suggested that Lee was ‘the greatest soldier that America has produced’. The present obituary, printed after Fremantle’s letter on 15 October 1870, three days after Lee’s death, appeared as the Franco-Prussian War was drawing to a bloody close and as the Communards were defeated in Paris. This generous obituary offers a balanced appreciation of Lee, who, after the defeat of the Army of Northern Virginia, had retired, not to a schoolmastership, but to the ill-paid Presidency of Washington College (now Washington and Lee University) at Lexington, Virginia. Honourable to the end, he had earlier refused an offer of $10,000 from a Virginia insurance company that sought to use his name. Lee had petitioned the government in Washington for the restoration of his US citizenship. His application, which had apparently been mislaid, was only granted in the 1970s. CHARLES BABBAGE, F. R. S. (#) Mathematician: ‘The Father of the Computer.’ 18 OCTOBER 1871 OUR OBITUARY COLUMN on Saturday contained the name of one of the most active and original of original thinkers, and whose name has been known through the length and breadth of the kingdom for nearly half a century as a practical mathematician-we mean Mr. Charles Babbage. He died at his residence in Dorset-street, Marylebone, at the close of last week, at an age, spite of organ-grinding persecutors, little short of 80 years. Little is known of Mr. Babbage’s parentage and early youth, except that he was born on the 26th of December, 1792, and was educated privately. During the whole of his long life, even when he had won for himself fame and reputation, he was always extremely reticent on that subject, and, in reply to questioners he would uniformly express an opinion that the only biography of living personages was to be found, or, at all events, ought to be found, in the list of their published works. As this list, in Mr. Babbage’s own case, extended to upwards of 80 productions, there ought to be no dearth of materials for the biographer; but these materials, after all, as a matter of fact, are scanty, in spite of an autobiographical work which he gave to the world about seven years ago, entitled Passages in the Life of a Philosopher. At the usual age Mr. Babbage was entered at the University of Cambridge, and his name appears in the list of those who took their Bachelor’s degree from Peterhouse in the year 1814. It does not, however, figure in the Mathematical Tripos, he preferring to be Captain of the Poll to any honours but the Senior Wranglership of which he believed Herschel to be sure. While, however, at Cambridge he was distinguished by his efforts, in conjunction with the late Sir John Herschel and Dean Peacock, to introduce in that University, and thereby among the scientific men of the country in general, a knowledge of the refined analytic methods of mathematical reasoning which had so long prevailed over the Continent, whereas we in our insular position, for the most part, were content with what has been styled ‘the cramped domain of the ancient synthesis.’ The youthful triumvirate, it must be owned, made a successful inroad on the prejudices and predilections which had prevailed up to that time. Keeping this object steadily in view, in the first place they translated and edited the smaller treatise on the Calculus by Lacroix, with notes of their own, and an Appendix (mainly, if not wholly, from the pen of Sir John Herschel) upon Finite Differences. They next published a solution of exercises on all parts of the Infinitesimal Calculus, a volume which is still of great service to the mathematical student, in spite of more recent works with a similar aim. To this publication Mr. Babbage contributed an independent essay on a subject at that time quite new, the solution of Functional Equations. By steps and stages, of which the records at our command are scanty, these pursuits graduallyled Mr. Babbage on to that practical application of mathematical studies which may justly be considered to be his crowning scientific effort – we mean, of course, the invention and partial construction of the famous calculating engine or machine which the world has associated with his name. As a writer in the Dictionary of Universal Biography remarks:- ‘The possibility of constructing a piece of mechanism capable of performing certain operations on numbers is by no means new; it was thought of by Pascal and geometers, and more recently it has been reduced to practice by M. Thomas, of Colmar, in France, and by the Messrs Schütz, of Sweden; but never before or since has any scheme so gigantic as that of Mr. Babbage been anywhere imagined.’ His achievements here were twofold; he constructed what he called a Difference Engine, and he planned and demonstrated the practicability of an Analytical Engine also. It is difficult, perhaps, to make the nature of such abstruse inventions at all clear to the popular and untechnical reader, since Dr. Larduer, no unskilful hand at mechanical description, filled no less than twenty-five pages of the Edinburgh Review with but a partial account of its action, confessing that there were many features which it was hopeless to describe effectively without the aid of a mass of diagrams. All that can here be said of the machine is that the process of addition automatically performed is at the root of it. In nearly all tables of numbers there will be a law of order in the differences between each number and the next. For instance, in a column of square numbers – say, 9, 16, 25, 36, 49, 64, 81, &c.– the successive differences will be 7, 9, 11, 13, 15, 17, &c. These are differences of the first order. If, then, the process of differencing be repeated with those, we arrive at a remarkably simple series of numbers – to wit 2, 2, 2, 2, &c. And into some such simple series most tables resolve themselves when they are analyzed into orders of differences; an element – an atom, so to speak – is arrived at, from which by constant addition the numbers in the table may be formed. It was the function of Mr. Babbage’s machine to perform this addition of differences by combinations of wheels acting upon each other in an order determined by a preliminary adjustment. This working by differences gave it the name of the ‘Difference Engine.’ It has been repeatedly stated that the construction of this machine was suddenly suspended, and that no reason was ever assigned for its suspension. But the writer in the Dictionary already quoted above thus solves the mystery in which the matter has hitherto been shrouded:- ‘In spite of the favourable report of a Commission appointed to inquire into the matter, the Government were led by two circumstances to hesitate about proceeding further. Firstly, Mr. Clements the engineer or machinist employed as his collaborateur, suddenly withdrew all his skilled workmen from the work, and what was worse, removed all the valuable tools which had been employed upon it.’ -an act which is justified as strictly legal by Mr. Weld in his History of the Royal Society, though a plain common-sense man of the world may reasonably doubt its equity, as the tools themselves had been made at the joint expense of Mr. Babbage and the Treasury. ‘Secondly,’ says the same authority, ‘the idea of the Analytical Engine – one that absorbed and contained as a small part of itself the Difference Engine – arose before Mr. Babbage.’ Of course he could not help the fact that ‘Alps upon Alps should arise’ in such matters and that, when one great victory was achieved, another and still greater battle remained to be faced and fought. But sooner did Mr. Babbage, like an honest man, communicate the fact to the Government that the then Ministers, with Sir Robert Peel and Mr. H. Goulburn at the head of the Treasury, took alarm, and, scared at the prospect of untold expenses before then, resolved to abandon the enterprise. Mr. Babbage, apart from all help from the public purse, had spent upon his machine, as a pet hobby, no small part of his private fortune – a sum which has been variously estimated between 6,000l. and 17,000l. And so, having resolved on not going further into the matter, they offered Mr. Babbage, by way of compensation, that the Difference Engine as constructed should remain as his own property – an offer which the inventor very naturally declined to accept. The engine, together with the drawings of the machinery constructed and not constructed, and of many other contrivances connected with it, extending, it is said, to some 400 or 500 drawings and plans, was presented in 1843 to King’s College, London, where we believe they are to be seen in the museum, bearing their silent witness to great hopes dashed down to the ground, or, at all events, to the indefinite postponement of their realization. In speaking at this length of Mr. Babbage’s celebrated machine, we have a little anticipated the order of events, and must return to our record of the leading facts of his life. In the year 1828 he was nominated to the Lucasian Professorship of Mathematics in his old University, occupying in that capacity a chair which had once been held by no less a man than Sir Isaac Newton. This chair he held during eleven years. It was while holding this Professorship, namely, at the general election of November, 1832 – which followed on the passing of the first Reform Bill – that he was put forward as a candidate for the representation of the newly-formed borough of Finsbury, standing in the advanced Liberal interest, as a supporter not only of parliamentary, financial, and fiscal reform, but also of ‘the Ballot, triennial Parliaments, and the abolition of all sinecure posts and offices.’ But the electors did not care to choose a philosopher; so he was unsuccessful, and we believe never again wooed the suffrages of either that or any other constituency. We have mentioned the fact that Mr. Babbage was the author of published works to the extent of some 80 volumes. A full list of these, however, would not interest or edify the general reader, and those who wish to study their names can see them recorded at full length in the new library catalogue of the British Museum. Further information respecting them will be found in the 12th chapter of Mr. Weld’s History of the Royal Society, which we have already quoted. One or two of them, however, we should specify. The best known of them all, perhaps is his Ninth Bridgewater Treatise, a work designed by him at once to refute the opinion supposed to be implied and encouraged in the first volume of that learned series, that an ardent devotion to mathematical studies is unfavourable to a real religious faith, and also to give specimens of the defensive aid which the evidences of Christianity may receive from the science of numbers, if studied in a proper spirit. Another of his works which has found a celebrity of its own is a volume called The Decline of Science, both the title and the contents of which give reason to believe that its author looked somewhat despondingly on the scientific attainments of the present age. The same opinion was still further worked out by Mr. Babbage in a book on the first Great Exhibition, which he published just 20 years ago. Another of his works which deserve mention here is one on The Economy of Manufactures, which was one result of a tour of inspection which he made through England and upon the Continent in search of mechanical principles for the formation of Logarithmic Tables. It is about 40 years since Mr. Babbage produced his Tables of Logarithms from 1 to 108,000, a work upon which he bestowed a vast amount of labour, and in the publication of which he paid great attention to the convenience of calculators, whose eyes, he well knew, must dwell for many hours at a time upon their pages. He was rewarded by the full appreciation of his work by the computers not only of his own, but of foreign countries; for in several of those countries editions from the stereotyped plates of the tables were published, with translations of the preface. Notwithstanding the numerous logarithmic tables which have since appeared, those of Mr. Babbage are still held in high esteem by all upon whom the laborious calculations of astronomy and mathematical science devolve. Mr. Babbage was one of the oldest members of the Royal Society at the time of his death; he was also more than fifty years ago one of the founders of the Astronomical Society, and he and Sir John Herschel were the last survivors of that body. He was also an active and zealous member of many of the leading learned societies of London and Edinburgh, and in former years at least an extensive contributor to their published Transactions. His last important publication was the amusing and only too characteristic autobiographical work to which we have already referred as Passages in the Life of a Philosopher. Shortly after this obituary appeared on 23 October 1871 Babbage’s nephew wrote to The Times to point out that the mathematician had been born in 1791 not 1792. His father, a banker who owned an estate at Bitton in south Devon, was at his death resident at 44 Crosby Row in the Walworth Road in south London. Babbage had been baptised at St Mary’s, Walworth, on 6 January 1792. He was educated at a succession of schools in Devon and London, matriculating at Trinity College, Cambridge, in October 1810 and transfering to Peterhouse in 1814. Without taking any examinations, he was granted an honorary MA in 1814. In his lifetime Babbage’s vastly innovative calculating machines seem to have been considered enigmatic. His first Difference Engine weighed an ungainly 15 tonnes. His second was not fully constructed until 1989-1991 when the Science Museum proved the accuracy of its calculations. Had it been realised in the nineteenth century his Analytical Engine, using punch cards, would have been the first programmable computer. Babbage was instrumental in establishing the standard gauge used on British railways and is credited with the invention of the ‘pilot’ or cow-catcher affixed to railway locomotives. A crater on the moon was named after him. EMPEROR NAPOLEON III (#) Emperor of the French: ‘History will find much to reproach him with, but it is certain his contemporaries have been very unjust to him.’ 9 JANUARY 1873 IT IS WITH regret we announce the death of the Emperor Napoleon yesterday. Although the fate of the illustrious patient’s general health and the critical nature of the operation performed on him naturally excited uneasiness as to the ultimate result, yet there was little apprehension of immediate danger. Indeed he had slept so soundly through the night and awakened comparatively so strong in the early morning that it had been decided to undertake a further operation at noon. He sank, however, suddenly, and in a very short time all was over. In the singular career of the late Emperor, as in that of most remarkable men, there are breaks which divide it into distinct periods, without injuring the general dramatic unity. He was born seemingly to greatness. Apparently it threatened to elude him. He struggled after it in the face of adverse circumstances from the time he attained to years of discretion. He partly achieved it, partly had it thrust upon him, and after a success which should have satisfied his wildest dreams, he ended his active life an exile, as he had begun it. It would not be enough to say that Charles Louis Napoleon Bonaparte was born in the purple. His cradle was at the Tuileries Palace, in the closest vicinity to the Throne. He was the youngest son of Louis, King of Holland, and of Hortense Beauharnais, the Empress Josephine’s daughter. His father was Napoleon’s third brother; but the descendants of Joseph were excluded from the succession by their sex, and those of Lucien by the disfavour under which that stern Republican had fallen; so that, at the date of Louis Napoleon’s birth, the 20th of April, 1808, the heir-apparent was sought among the scions of the younger branch. Whether, in the event of the Emperor’s dying without a son, preference would have been given to Louis Napoleon over his elder brother Napoleon Louis, and what reasons might have determined such a choice, it would now be useless to inquire. Suffice it to know that the Emperor evinced a strong predilection in favour of this younger son of his step-daughter, Hortense. ‘His name,’ we are told, ‘was written down at the head of the family register of the Napoleon dynasty.’ His baptism was put off for more than two years and a half, till the 10th of November, 1810, when the Emperor and his newly-married Empress, Maria Louisa, soon to be a mother, held him at the font; and although the birth of the King of Rome, five months later, disappointed the hopes of his immediate succession, the infant of Hortense still held for several years a most important position in his uncle’s household, and was treated with all the honours due to an heir presumptive. He was seven years old when he stood by his uncle’s side at the great gathering on the Champ de Mai during the Hundred Days, and, after Waterloo, he clung to his uncle’s knees when the Emperor left La Malmaison, struggling against separation, as if instinct had told him that with the Emperor his own fortunes and those of the House were overshadowed. The young Prince, reduced, with his mother, to a private station, spent eight years then at the Augsburg Gymnasium; then six more as a student under domestic tutors at the Castle of Arenenberg, in the canton of Thurgau, on the Lake of Constance, became proficient in history and mathematics, skilful in fencing, horse-manship, and swimming, and curious about military affairs; joining the ranks of the Swiss Militia, and making the acquaintance of the Federal General Dufour. Next to the pale reminiscences of Court pageantries in his early childhood, nothing, perhaps, so powerfully contributed to form the character of the future Emperor as the influence of the mother in whose house he grew up as an only child. The marriage of Hortense with Louis Bonaparte was, by his confession, ‘forced and ill-assorted.’ Seven months before the birth of their third son the Royal couple parted never to be re-united. It was not without contention that the ex-King of Holland, now Duke of Saint Leu, made good his claims to his elder son, leaving the younger in the undisputed possession of the mother. Chagrined as she seemed with her retirement at Arenenberg, Hortense, however, not unfrequently spent the winter in Italy, chiefly at Rome. It was not under the ascendancy of such a mother that the aspiring youth could learn resignation to a humble lot. Louis Napoleon was taught to look for a change with as full a confidence as he would expect daylight at the close of the natural period of darkness. It little mattered when, where, or by what means the turn in his fortunes might come. Enough that an opening would be made. The Man was there; he would not have to wait long for the Hour. The July Revolution in Paris was hailed as the dawn, but it was only a momentary and deceitful twilight. The Prince’s advances met with no favour from the men at the head of the movement in France, but a chance soon offered itself in Italy. The outbreak in the Roman States in February, 1831, found both the sons of Hortense in arms under the Italian tricolour. There was a bloodless campaign – a mere promenade under Sertognani from Foligno to Otricoli; then a journey to Forli, where the elder brother died of the measles on the 17th of March. Louis Napoleon, attacked by the same complaint at Ancona, was tended by his mother, smuggled away to Marseilles and Paris, and hence, after vain endeavours to obtain a restingplace, conveyed, a convalescent, to Arenenberg. On the downfall of the Italian cause, the Prince was seized with enthusiasm for Polish independence. He travelled through Germany on his way to Warsaw, but the tidings of the final catastrophe met him in Saxony, and for four years, from 1832 to 1836, he was forced back to his life of expectant leisure on the Bodensee. While, in all probability, the future candidate for power, at the early stage of his career, sought only for distinction as a soldier and a patriot, more than one short cut to fortune seemed to present itself to him. At Foligno and Forli he was emphatically hailed as ‘the Prince;’ Polish Generals tempted him with the proffered command of their legions; at the London Conference his name, it is said, was brought forward as a candidate for Belgian Royalty, and he was even, it would be difficult to say with what truth, put down among the suitors for the hand of Maria da Gloria of Portugal. Any ambitious views of that nature he, however, invariably disclaimed. To struggling nations he would only bring a volunteer’s sword; and as to France, ‘the hope to be able to serve her as a citizen and soldier was in his eyes worth more than all the thrones in the world.’ His devotion to France, however, was stimulated by other considerations than those of disinterested patriotism. The Duke of Reichstadt had died at Schönbrunn, and the Prince was now the acknowledged head of the Napoleon dynasty. Notwithstanding the greatest dissimilarity of mind and heart, his intense admiration for his uncle led him to a strange identification of himself with the great conqueror. His landing at Cannes, and ‘the flight’ of the Imperial Eagle from steeple to steeple, till ‘it folded its wings on the towers of Nôtre Dame,’ were, he thought, feats only to be tried again to meet with the same success. Nor was he altogether out of his reckoning. From 1831 to 1848 Bonapartism in France had made common cause with Republicanism. The First Empire, it was argued, had been an era of war and despotism; but it had peace and freedom in reserve. There was no limit to which ‘Napoleonic ideas’ could not be stretched; no degree of perfectibility incompatible with their full development. Of these ideas the young enthusiast at Arenenberg made himself the high priest and interpreter with an earnestness of faith of which he was, possibly, the first dupe. Those ideas, it must be borne in mind, were not altogether peculiar to the Prince. They were the great delusion of the age. The memory of the First Napoleon was no sooner released from the pressure under which the senseless reaction of the Bourbons vainly attempted to hold it than it was idealized into a myth. Napoleon was no longer the man of the Dix-huit Brumaire, of the Levée en masse. What men remembered of him were the Code Civil, the Alpine roads, the Legion of Honour. His name was, above all things, associated with the liberal Acte Additionel of 1815. He was the man with whose good intentions the courtyard of the villa at Longwood was paved. It was from this Prometheus bound that the young Pretender professed to hold his commission. He came to repair and to fulfil; he stood forth as the redeemer of the great man’s dying pledges, the executor of his last will and testament. Louis Philippe, who dreaded the Pretender and honoured him with the crown of proscription was all the time playing into his hands. From beginning to end the July Monarchy laboured at the apotheosis of Imperialism. Aware of the nature of the people’s complaint, their rulers hoped to overcome it by ministering to it homeopathically. They inoculated the virus already creeping in the nation’s veins. From the restoration of the bronze statue on the top of the Vendˆme column in 1831 to the laying of the granite coffin beneath the dome of the Invalides in 1840, France was being turned into a vast Napoleonic monument. The Press teemed with little else but Napoleonic literature. The attack on the Strasburg barracks in 1836, and the landing at Boulogne in 1840, were only egregious blunders in so far that they took France by surprise. There was neither preparation nor opportunity. Nations are not easily roused in cold blood. Popular movements must be in a great measure dependent on time and place. It was not because the Prince had any reason to believe that he would be particularly welcome in Alsace or in Picardy that he made choice of a city on the Rhine or of a seaport on the Channel. It was because those places happened to be each at a different period nearest at hand – the one nearest to him as he came up from Switzerland, the other opposite to him as he steamed from the English coast. The precedent at Cannes bewildered him. He acted in obedience to that blind idolatry of his uncle, to that servility of imitation, which, as may be seen in the sequel, marred not less than it made him. Strasburg and Boulogne were in every respect poor parodies of the Return from Elba. They were also clearly a rehearsal of the Coup d’Etat on a small scale. In 1836 and in 1840 Louis Napoleon had forgotten all his disclaimers of 1831. He no longer aspired to the glory of a mere French citizen and soldier of France. He was already a full-grown Cæsar, not with the tricolor merely, but with the crown, sceptre, and eagle. His notions about the sovereignty of the people were sufficiently plain and consistent. The people were to be free – free to choose him. At Strasburg and Boulogne he evidently took the nation’s consent for granted. His appeal was to the soldiers; his faith was in them. Had the barracks realized his expectation, had his cry ‘Vivel’Empereur’ found an echo in the ranks, the plébiscite would have followed as a matter of course. Those miserable failures at Strasburg and Boulogne darkened the prospects of Bonapartism apparently for ever. They deprived the Pretender of all initiative in revolutionary movements. Henceforth the Prince would have to watch the tide. The quarry might be his yet, but only when others had struck it down for him. Those very failures, however, were instrumental in revealing no less than in forming his character. Placed in the power of his enemies, after Strasburg, from the 30th of October to the 21st of November, 1836, and, after Boulogne, from the 4th of August, 1840, to the 25th of May, 1846, he gave proof of fortitude and dignity. In his intercourse with his captors, judges, and gaolers, he managed to have himself treated as a Monarch, though a vanquished one. He repaid Swiss hospitality by a spontaneous departure from Arenenberg in August, 1838, when the gallant Confederacy professed its readiness to run the risk of a quarrel with France for his sake. Neither his six years’ confinement in a State fortress – his ‘course of studies at the University of Ham,’ as he termed it, nor the two distinct periods of his not ungenial exile in London – 1838 to 1840, and 1846 to 1848, were lost upon him. Amid the gloom of a captive’s life, as among the dissipations of a small if not quite select society, the activity of his mind was uncommon. He studied England; he conceived for this country that quiet but steady attachment which seldom fails to spring up in the heart of those who spend a summer and winter among us. Among the French the Prince generally sought tools and accomplices; of the English he made friends and companions. He was stanch rather than choice in his connexions. The consciousness of the loftiness of his ends rendered him indifferent to the lowness of his means. The best instrument in the schemer’s hand was the most passive, hence, if necessary, the most unscrupulous. His knowledge of men seldom failed him, and commensurate with his knowledge was his indulgence to their foibles, and his sympathy with their moods. He accepted devotion with all its burdens and drawbacks. He was a friend à toute épreuve. A partisan might have to be disavowed, but no one was ever sacrificed; nor was the least act of kindness shown to the Pretender in adversity ever forgotten by the Sovereign in his prosperity. Eighteen hundred and forty-eight came. The faintheartedness of a King and the infatuation of a Minister left France to her own mastery. Ahandful of dreamers and schemers pulled down the whole social edifice. From February to June of that year the disorganization, though less violent and bloody, was far more thorough than during the worst period of the Reign of Terror. In an evil day France had been taken by surprise. On the morrow she was appalled at the results of her own supineness and improvidence. On the third day she was anxious for reaction, on the look-out for a man who could save society. That task was morally fulfilled by Lamartine with a happy phrase; materially by Cavaignac with an awful massacre. By biding his time Louis Napoleon reaped the benefit both of the poet’s and of the soldier’s work. In February he made a tender of his services; but in April and in June he still declined the seats which were offered to him in the National Assembly. On the memorable 10th of April, as the world remembers, Prince Louis Napoleon was still doing duty as special constable in King-street, St. James’s. He ‘wished to undeceive those who charged him with ambition,’ but he ‘would know how to fulfil any duty which the people might lay upon him.’ He said this on the 15th of June; ten days later the revolution was crushed. On the 26th of September he crossed the Channel and made his first appearance in the Assembly. Clear as the ground was before him, actively as his friends exerted themselves in his behalf, he still felt his way cautiously, almost timidly. Republicanism was in the mouth of all; monarchic restoration in the hearts of most men. Lamartine, Cavaignac, any of the so-called Republicans du lendemain, would keep the seat warm for a Prince either of the elder or of the younger Bourbonbranch; but Louis Napoleon, if he took it, would be sure to keep it for himself. Hence there was, doubtless, considerable mistrust of and illwill towards him. Aware of this feeling, and with but little confidence in his debating powers, the Pretender limited himself to a defensive policy in the Assembly. His rare attempts to speak were neither brilliant nor successful. He sat down unmoved, in sullen, silent discomfiture, trusting to the prestige of his uncle’s name to plead his cause among the people. Whether dictated by choice or necessity, his course was the wisest. On the 10th of December, 1848, Cavaignac had a million and a half of the people’s votes for the Presidency of the Republic. Prince Napoleon had above six millions. Upon that vote the supreme power of the Pretender could have been legally and peacefully founded for ever. Up to the close of the year 1848 no good whatever was known about the newly-elected President. Ridicule is apt to kill the most honourable names in France, and the Prince’s name was only associated with the farces of Strasburg and Boulogne. The vast majority of the national representation, the whole wealth and worth of the country, were dead against him; yet the mass of the people had, with very little solicitation and hardly any exertion on his part, pronounced for him. Henceforth the President had possession – nine-tenths of the law – on his side. For the best part of the next two years the President and the still hostile Assembly were busy with the task of killing the dead. Republicanism had no friends, and no quarter was to be given to it. All efforts were turned to the reestablishment of that compact, centralized administration which, in normal times, constitutes the strength and pride of France. The sword of the State was being tempered; no matter who might be destined to wield it, every one was interested in the keenness of its edge and the sharpness of its point. In the meanwhile, however, its hilt was in the President’s hand and every repressive measure tightened his grasp upon it. Louis Napoleon was sure that the ‘union of the two powers – legislative and executive – was indispensable to the tranquillity of the country.’ The Assembly perceived, too late, that the President was bringing his theory into practice. They strove to limit his powers, to circumscribe his influence; they attempted to curtail his expenditure; they set up a permanent committee; they proposed to take from him the command-in-chief of the Army, and to invest it with the President of the Assembly. Goaded into action by imminent danger, the so-called ‘old parties’ – Bourbonists and Orleanists – were accused of a design to hasten a Restoration, which, if not absolutely impossible, was, at least, premature. In their visits to Claremont after Louis Philippe’s death, and to Wiesbaden at the time of the Count de Chambord’s stay in that place, the friends of the exiled Princes were supposed to be negotiating a fusion between the two branches of the Bourbon family – a negotiation which remains unfinished to the present time. Changarnier, the General in command of the Army of Paris and of the National Guard of the Seine, was pointed out as the French Monk who was to enable the legitimate dynasty to come by its own again. There may have been much or little in these surmises, but Louis Napoleon knew how to make the most of them. The President fought his battles with indifferent success in the Chamber, but his very defeats paved the way for his victories in the country. Nothing could be more daring than his self-assertion; nothing more open than his plans of operation. The Bonapartist conspiracy embodied in the Société du Dix Decembre was carried on with the cards on the table. ‘In extreme dangers,’ said the President, ‘Providence not unfrequently trusts one man with the safety of all.’ At the reviews of St. Maur and Satory the soldiers hailed the President with that cry of ‘Vivel’Empereur!’ to which the garrisons of Strasburg and Boulogne had refused to respond years before. From the beginning of 1851 everything was being made ready for a final conflict. Early in January Changarnier was removed from his command. In October and November the President laid his ultimatum–first before his Ministers, then before the Assembly. He proposed the repeal of the law of May 31, 1850, by which universal suffrage had been restricted. ‘That measure,’ said the President, ‘was tantamount to the disfranchisement of 3,000,000 electors.’ Had even the law really had such sweeping effects the President had but little to fear from an appeal to the people. Had even that law been in force in December, 1848, the balance of the votes would still have been decisive in his favour. Nothing, however, but the certainty of an overwhelming majority could allay his apprehensions. To insure it he resolved on the Coup d’Etat of the 2d of December. He laid a violent hand on his most dreaded opponents. He dispersed the less dangerous. He dissolved the Assembly and the Council of State. He abrogated the law of May 31, and re-established universal suffrage. He then called together the ‘Comitia of the nation.’ In the mean time he declared Paris in a State of Siege; he deluged its streets with blood; he terrorized France by wholesale transportation. He finally asked for a sanction or condemnation of his deed of violence. Seven millions and a half of Frenchmen against little above half a million gave sentence in his favour. The Second Napoleon had thus his Deux Decembre, as the first had his Dix-huit Brumaire. The elevation of Louis Napoleon under any circumstances appeared so certain that one is almost tempted to fancy that wanton display of uncalled-for energy to have only been prompted by the nephew’s blind obligation to tread in his uncle’s footsteps. Every subsequent act of his, at any rate, was sheer repetition. From the 2d of December, 1851, to the same day and month of the following year, the Imperial Revolution went through the same phases which it exhibited from the 10th of November, 1799, to the 18th of May, 1804; only the more recent catastrophe was limited within a narrower cycle. There was the same impatient stir in the Departments; the same obsequious solicitations of the Senate; the same martial pageantries on the Champ de Mars; the same triumphal progress of the Cæsar. The Constitution was a paltry copy. The history on the coins was identical. Even the fortuitous coincidence of the assassin’s dagger and of the infernal machine was not wanting. It was only in the number of votes that the new generation outdid the old. And now, at last, Louis Napoleon was back at the Tuileries. It would be to little purpose if we were to endeavour to realize his sensations, as, at the mature age of 44, the pale reminiscences of thirty-seven years since crowded upon him on the threshold of that lately desecrated palace. Verily, the man’s faith had its reward! That faith which never forsook him at the gloomiest periods of his career; that faith which, at a distance, raised a sneer at his expense, yet cast a magnetic spell over all who came within his reach – that faith proved to have been founded on unerring instincts. The Pretender’s claims were admitted. He had aimed no higher than his stubborn will could lift him. That intense yearning by which the uncle had been haunted all his lifetime had certainly fallen to the nephew, whatever other parts of the rich inheritance might have been denied to him. The words by which that undefinable feeling found utterance in the strain of the Italian poet apply with equal force to the two aspiring relatives. There was in both cases ‘the stormy, trembling joy of a great purpose, the longing of a heart fretting as it impatiently thirsted for empire, and attaining it at last, and grasping a prize for which it had seemed madness to hope.’ In the magnitude of the result people easily lost sight of the means by which it had been achieved. The cold shiver which had followed closely upon the revolutionary fever heat of 1848 had scarcely passed away three years later, and, under its fit, men were ready to go any length in the way of reaction. The cry was everywhere for strong Government; and, somehow, the Coup d’Etat, whatever might be the grounds of justice or expediency on which it was made to stand, was hailed as evidence of its author’s energy, and accepted as a pledge of social security. The hand which had displayed so much vigour in seizing the reins of government might surelybe relied uponto hold them with equal firmness. Even for men swayed by more rigid notions of right and wrong, the moral question how the supreme power had been obtained was absorbed in the other far more momentous problem – what uses it would be put to. The ends of Providence are often fulfilled in inscrutable ways; and it little mattered, after all, by what means another Napoleon had ascended the throne of France, if men could only ascertain how much of the good or the evil of the old Napoleonic era would be reproduced in the new. We have already expressed our opinion that the nephew carried the worship of the uncle’s memory to the verge of superstition. He was, however, aware that there was a weak no less than a strong side to old Imperialism. He announced the coming not of the Caesarean but of the Augustan age. The Second Empire brought not a sword but peace. In the mind of the French people the mere reappearance of the Eagle, the revival of the name of Napoleon, constituted a victory over allied Europe. The Deux-Decembre had avenged Waterloo. France had broken through the dynastic arrangements of 1815, and her ancient enemies had not a word to say against her achievement. This negative homage being paid to her vanity, France had no longer an interest in the disturbance of the common tranquillity. Questions about natural frontiers, about oppressed nationalities might, indeed, arise; but moral ascendency could now, perhaps, accomplish more than the edge of the sword. France would be no less true to her mission because she put off its fulfilment by violent means till she was convinced of the inefficiency of all other arguments. There was, at the outlet, perfect harmony between the views of the French people and those of their new Sovereign with respect to foreign politics. There was faith in the undisputed, though pacific, ascendency of the Empire over the council of nations – in the necessity for a revision of existing Treaties, for a remodelling of the map of Europe, for the emancipation of enslaved nations, for the protection of minor States, of those especially which had shown the greatest devotion to the cause of Imperial France and had been involved in its downfall; of States like Belgium, Denmark, and Saxony; of nations like Italy and Poland. Over and above these general French sympathies, the Emperor brought with him, as peculiar to himself, a genuine regard for England, our own estimate of the true bases of national greatness, our notions of a free commercial policy. It is not a little remarkable that the first enterprise of real magnitude in which France was engaged, after panting for so many years to avenge Waterloo, should have been planned in concert with the very country upon which vengeance for that defeat was to be mainly wreaked. Yet the Crimean War of 1854 was waged not only in obedience to what the majority of the French people were inclined to consider as English views, but also in subservience to what they regarded as English interests. It was the Emperor’s own war, and Napoleon only brought it to a sudden end when we refused to mix up with the original quarrel those French schemes about Poland and the Rhine in which he found it difficult to withstand his people’s aspirations. Against the same rock were wrecked, in later times, 1864, all hopes of a cordial co-operation of the two great Western Powers in behalf of invaded Denmark. As to the immediate relations between the two nations, there is no doubt that against the half-smothered animosities of French Chauvinisim nothing availed us so much as the Emperor’s stout determination, not only not to be driven into hostilities but to strengthen the bonds of amity with us at any price. Neither the vapouring and blustering of the Press nor the famous address of the Colonels were able to shake the Emperor’s determination to maintain the cordial understanding between the two countries; and the conclusion of the Commercial Treaty and the abolition of passports in favour of English travellers must be traced to his sole initiative. Equally sincere and unbounded was the Emperor’s sympathy with the land which had witnessed his earliest exploits – Italy; and he never, perhaps, spoke more in earnest, never did greater justice to the generosity of his impulses, than when in 1859, calling upon the Italians to be men, he offered his help to free their country from the Alps to the Adriatic. The scheme of the Unity of the Peninsula did not, indeed, appear practicable to him any more than to some of the wisest and noblest Italian Liberals; and he, doubtless, conceived that the independence of Italy, although it might imply the complete severance of that country from Austria, need not therefore exclude some bond of alliance between the freed nation and its deliverer – a bond of alliance which might easily have been strengthened into a compact of indirect allegiance. In all this, however, the welfare of Italy, as he understood it, was the object nearest to the Emperor’s heart; and, with a self-denial of which, in trying moments, he never failed to give evidence, and with respect to which his cold and deliberate nature stands forth in strong contrast with the wilful and headlong character of his uncle, he gave up his own opinions in deference to those of the Italians; he accepted ‘accomplished facts,’ and not only never willingly opposed the spread and growth of Italian nationality, but actually screened it from the attacks to which, in its helplessness, it would repeatedly have succumbed. True, he extinguished the Roman Republic in 1849; he exacted the cession of Savoy and Nice in 1860; he accepted from Austria the temporary gift of Venetia in 1866, and he re-occupied Rome in 1867. All these, however, were not the spontaneous acts of the Emperor’s own mind. He was influenced by what he considered due to French susceptibilities; to the claims of the Great Nation to her ‘natural frontiers;’ to her jealousy of her immediate neighbours; to her assumption of paramount authority as universal arbitrator; finally, to her half-chivalrous, half-selfish pretentions as Eldest Daughter of the Church. By most of these considerations he was also and much more forcibly moved in the policy he pursued with respect to Germany. That the instinct of Union was at work across the Rhine as well as south of the Alps the Emperor was fully aware, and he was also convinced that what the German nation firmly and unanimously willed it was not in the power of French jealousy to gain-say. He had been somewhat awed by the attitude of Germany, both in the full tide of his success after Solferino and in the furtherance of his designs in behalf of Poland and Denmark. It was not by opposing German Union, but by taking advantage of German disunion, that the Emperor hoped to secure the command. When the Germans had torn each other to pieces, when the victor lay on the battle-field as exhausted as the vanquished, to snatch from their grasp that Rhenish frontier which would free France from all uneasiness in that quarter would prove, as the Emperor conceived, no more impracticable an undertaking than it had been to rectify the border-line on the Italian side. The conditions which were peremptorily laid down at Plombières need hardly be as much as hinted at Biarritz. In Italy it was the help of France that was solicited. In Germany all that was required of her was neutrality. Mere looking on would do as much for her in the second case as stout fighting had done in the first. In all these calculations the Emperor relied on ‘the irresistible logic of events.’ But events were too quick for him. Germany achieved her unity in 1861; and France came in too late to claim her share of the spoil. Before Sadowa and Nikolsburg the Emperor’s European policy appeared faultless in the eyes of the vast majority of the French people. But the first check naturally prompted a review of its course from the outset, and encouraged that criticism which is always extremely easy after the event. The main difficulty for the Emperor lay between conceding too much or too little to the warlike and domineering spirit of the French nation. The French had hailed with satisfaction the Bordeaux announcement of October, 1852, that ‘the Empire was Peace;’ but they were no less delighted with the subsequent assurance that ‘not a gun should be fired in Europe without the assent of the Tuileries.’ France had no objection that ‘the universe should be tranquil,’ but only on condition that ‘she herself should be contented.’ The Third Napoleon was called upon to exercise by mere moral ascendency that sway over the European councils which the First failed to establish by might of arms; and for many years there is no doubt that he acquitted himself of the task with unparalleled success. But he pressed that success beyond its due limits; he fretted himself about Congresses and Conferences, the only object or result of which was to be the enhancement of his own importance. There is no doubt that he suffered the notion that it was at all times necessary to busy and, so to say, to amuse the French people to gain too strong a hold upon his fancy. The scheme of diverting public attention from domestic affairs by distant expeditions to China, Japan, Syria, and, finally, to Mexico, had little to recommend it on the score of originality. The rulers who preceded Napoleon III had found a vent for the superfluous activity of French enterprise in Algeria, and it was only unfortunate that the gradual pacification of that colony should have deprived the Second Empire of a convenient safety-valve so near home. Most of the Emperor’s Quixotic undertakings beyond sea proved, as was to be expected, barren of results, but one, as might have been feared, turned out fatal. The project of a Mexican Empire, the scheme of the exaltation of the Latin races on the American continent, would have been sheer failures, even if the Emperor’s belief that the breach in the United States was incurable had been correct; for a European Power has little chance of obtaining a footing anywhere across the Atlantic, except as a tool in the hands of some of the native factions, and these turn out mere quicksands under those who would build upon them. But the result of the Mexican experiment was not brought even to this test. The Americans recovered sufficient strength to make a stand for the Monroe doctrine; and France had to back out of her Mexican position with a hurry in which her very dignity was not consulted. Independently of success, however, it may be fairly admitted that the general tendency of the Emperor’s foreign policy was moderate and pacific; but it would not be equally easy to clear it altogether from the charge of disingenuousness and irresolution. The Emperor’s diplomacy was unlike that of any other man. No Sovereign ever came to the Throne with so large a crowd of ready-made agents and advisers; none attained power by so long a series of underhand manoeuvres. Louis Napoleon had been for half his life a conspirator. Necessity, no less than habit, made him a plotter on the Throne. Bent uponbringing into his hands all legislative and executive authority, upon exacting from all and each of his subordinates the fullest responsibility to himself alone, the Emperor had, properly speaking, no Ministers, but simply Heads of Departments, blind and passive tools to be taken up or cast off at his own pleasure. But, behind his responsible Cabinet, behind his acknowledged Council of State, there was always a little knot of more trusted and devoted instruments, chosen chiefly among the faithful followers of the Pretender’s obscure fortunes, men upon whom, in the gloomy isolation of absolute power, he must needs rely for his knowledge of that public opinion to which he denied all free utterance, and among whom he must seek such executors of his will as would rather guess than question his motives – men who would allow him all the merit of success, and take upon themselves all the blame of miscarriage; men between whom and himself there must be such a bond of freemasonry as to give them the intimate consciousness of their employers unfailing support, even under the cloud of his affected displeasure or the storm of his formal disavowal. It was in obedience to these necessities, created no less by the origin than by the nature of his government, that the Emperor, in his relations with foreign States, was frequently induced to give preference to indirect and clandestine negotiation; to intrust to extra-official agents messages un-meet for the conveyance of regularly accredited Envoys; to reserve for unwitnessed interviews the transaction of affairs of which no tangible document should be allowed to remain. Not satisfied with these not very dignified acts, which for some time established his credit for consummate dexterity, the Emperor also seemed to stake his reputation on a suddenness of action commensurate with his maturity of deliberation. He was perpetually taking the world by surprise. A Government ushered in by a Coup d’Etat was carried on by a succession of Coups de Théâtre. Whether a declaration of war was to be conveyed in a New Year’s greeting to a foreign Ambassador, or peace to be announced in an after-dinner speech to a Provincial Magistrate; whether the revelation of the Imperial mind was to take the shape of a mysterious pamphlet, or whether his mind was to be intimated in a familiar letter-the aim as well as the result invariably was to give the Emperor’s policy a ‘sensational’ character. ‘The Emperor,’ as his flatterers observed, ‘allows himself no rest.’ Perpetual activity and almost actual ubiquity seemed to be as indisputable attributes of an Imperial Providence as omniscience and omnipotence. Wherever the Emperor might go he must be in pursuit of some hidden object; his simplest act must proceed from some farfetched motive. A morbid expectation was created to which it daily became more difficult to minister. The Emperor’s speech and his silence were invested with an equally awful significance. Such overweening assumption must, however, be borne out by deeds of corresponding magnitude. The mere prestige of moral ascendency is soon brought to the test of material success. The world grew tired of all that solemn emphasis and oracular ambiguity. It looked for the results of all that profound statescraft, and saw it foiled by Cavour’s superior cunning; thwarted by Bismarck’s steadier resolve; it saw it wrecked against the Pope’s passive obstinacy; it saw it everywhere frustrated by the combination of unforeseen circumstances, by a series of irresistible catastrophes. It heard it acknowledging the force of a fatal necessity by alluding to the presence of dark spots on the horizon. And it was, be it observed, not so much to error of judgment as to infirmity of purpose that the repeated failures of the Emperor were imputed. Hesitation and inconsistency were the bane of his political conduct. He would have been equally powerful to create a United or a Federal Italy. He might as easily have upheld as pulled down the Papacy. He might have checked all Germany in the Danish War of 1864. He might have backed one-half of it against the other half during the seven weeks’ campaign of 1866. He might have done much less in Mexico, or he could have gone much greater lengths against the United States. His fault consisted in an excess of caution and circumspection. He seemed everywhere to arrive one day too late, and only to make up his mind when he had missed his opportunity. His Ministers were twitted in the Legislature by emboldened opponents, who asserted that there ‘was not one fault left for the Imperial Government to commit,’ and thus challenged them, as it were, to remain in office without a vital change in their policy. Two courses were open to the Emperor Napoleon after Sadowa – to make up by brute force what he had lost by unsuccessful manoeuvre, or else to acquiesce in the inevitable, to put a cheerful countenance on a losing game, and even to claim credit for a consummation which he had been unable to prevent. For nearly two years the Emperor wavered between the two resolutions. To rush into war before Nikolsburg or after Prague was declared to be impossible, owing to the unreadiness of the French military forces. Yet to accept and even to applaud the rise of a rival nation close on the Rhine frontier, especially after all that had been said about territorial compensations, natural boundaries, and popular aspirations, was, perhaps, to inflict too sore a wound on French susceptibilities. Hence there began that tentative, faltering, fidgeting policy; those abortive negotiations at Berlin, at the Hague, at Munich, at Vienna; those mysterious journeys and ominous interviews, which at first bewildered and dismayed, and at last half-amused, half-wearied Europe. At Paris and at Lille, the Emperor talked of peace. At Luxembourg, Salzburg, Copenhagen, he sought allies and nursed pretexts for war. Unequal to single-handed action, France affected to look for confederates. The real object was, if not to win partisans, at least to gain time; but both purposes were defeated. France revealed her unprepared condition at the same time that she widened and completed her isolation. War, except on the most hazardous conditions, was clearly out of the question. Could, then, the Emperor resolve on peace? Peace he could certainly have with the world if he could only have it with France. The Emperor Napoleon was not cast in the mould of heroic conquerors. He was cold, cautious, even to the extreme of moral timidity. He had no love for war, at least for war’s sake and on a large scale. He had a great respect for ‘the odds’ in any game. He never would launch France on an equal duel with Germany. The difficulty lay in preventing France from dragging him into such a war against his better judgment. All his sayings and doings since Sadowa had but one object – to humour, to soothe, to reassure French opinion. Faith in his infallibility, he conceived, was shaken in others as well as in himself; that his wonted good fortune had to some extent forsake him, that black spots were looming in the horizon, he had himself deemed it necessary to avow. It was now important for him to allay the apprehensions he had himself created, to restore the confidence which his words had undermined as much as his deeds. The real question, however, lay in the estimate the Emperor could arrive at with respect to the state of public opinion. He had lived for many years away from the Throne; he was a man of the world, a cool, shrewd observer, and might form a correct judgment of whatever came before his eyes. But for the last twenty years he was labouring under the ‘curse of Kings.’ He had deprived France offree utterance. He must either take her at a rude guess or see her through the medium of that cumbrous scaffolding of official administration which he had reared between himself and the nation instead of the regular edifice of a responsible Government. Besides the France he had studied in the writings of M. Thiers, or in the Mémorial de Sainte Héléne, or that he had contemplated through the bars of his prison windows at Ham, he only knew the France which Messrs. De Morny, Persigny, or, at the utmost, Messrs. Billault and Rouher chose to describe to him; a France more Imperialist than the Emperor, more illiberal than the Deux Décembre. The only safety out of his embarrassing position could be found in his abdicating absolute power. Atonement for the errors of the past could best be made by relinquishing undivided responsibility for the future. To make up to the nation for its somewhat tarnished glory abroad it was before all things advisable to restore its liberties at home. His first movement upon having to acknowledge ‘the force of irresistible circumstances’ was to throw himself upon his people. The first result of the disaster of July, 1866, was the letter of January, 1867. Between the ‘Elected of December,’ however, and the millions of his electors there was a conditional, though an irrevocable, compact. The French nation – or, at least, that part of it which constituted a majority resulting from the experiment of universal suffrage – had accepted its ruler on his own terms. The alternative lay between order and freedom, and he said ‘Order at all events; Freedom whenever it might be.’ As a President and as an Emperor, Napoleon always deemed the perfection of government to lie in the combination both of legislative and executive power in the same hand. His notions of a Constitution were those of the Consulate and the First Empire, and he seemed to forget that the concentration of all power in one hand had only been deemed advisable by the First Napoleon when he aspired to grasp France as a sword, and that the system had broken down, by confession of its original inventor, towards the close of his reign. With a new Empire which was to be ‘Peace’ there was no longer a necessity for the same strong military organization, and liberty should, therefore, have been compatible with it. But the tendency of the people, like that of their ruler, at the time was towards energetic repression. Society had to be saved. War to the bitter end was to be waged – not against foreign enemies, but against domestic parties. Even for such a war a Dictatorship was found indispensable. The State was constituted in the shape of a pyramid, with nothing between the electing masses at the base and the elected Autocrat at the point. Yet something like regret and misgiving seemed at times to assail the Sovereign in the awful solitude of his elevation. It was not for his own sake, not from personal ambition, he hinted, that so unbounded a power had been placed in his hands. He held it simply on trust. The people’s liberties were only in abeyance. Indeed, a show was made now and then of slackening the reins of Government. Imperialism was described as by its nature progressive. It was considered as a temporary structure – a means to an end; the application of force to the establishment of legal authority. When the end was attained, when order could be pronounced quite safe, the superstructure should be removed, and the ‘crowning of the edifice’ would follow. It is difficult to say to what extent the Emperor deceived himself or others. But, whatever his intentions might be, they could not be carried into effect without far greater resolution than seemed at any time to be at his command. His rule had sprung from the masses; it was identified with the multitude. He had ascended the Throne as the ‘Working Man’s Friend; the Emperor of the Peasant.’ The millions who reigned through him were not as ready to resign their supremacy as he, perhaps, might have been. The Senate consisted of his own nominees; the Legislative Body was elected by constituencies over which his Administration was supposed to exercise almost absolute control. But there was in that Senate, in that Elective Assembly, in that Administration, in that vast mass of voters, a party, a vastly predominant party, which would stand up for Imperialism even against the Emperor. With such a Constitution as the Emperor framed mere legislative improvement must needs be illusory. It was impossible to get over the fact that in a State like the France of the present day the mass of the nation overrode its intelligence; the body crushed the soul. The reign of the upper and middle classes had come to an end in that country with the first and second revolution. It was now the turn of the multitude, and the only question was whether the Government should be in the hands of a mere mob or in that of a mob-delegated despot. With all its purple and gold the Imperial Government was heir to the communistic notions of the Red Republican régime. The Emperor’s mission was to tax the rich for the benefit of the poor. By his arbitrary control over the price of bread, by his promotion of public works, the Emperor was perpetually bringing back his authority to its original sources. Put that authority to the test of a hundred elections, and the suffrage would always give the same results. This assurance of almost boundless popular support was a source of weakness no less than of strength. With the exception of a few ambitious statesmen, and still fewer more or less devoted friends of the fallen dynasties, there were no elements for wholesome legal opposition in France. Hence the various proposals of the Emperor for an extension of constitutional liberties could hardly find sufficient support from the enlightened classes to overcome the mutinous ill-will of the mob-majority. It required the personal influence of the Sovereign to force even such paltry measures as the Press and Public Meetings Bill through a Legislature otherwise too ready to endorse all other Imperial Acts of home and foreign policy. A Government placed so widely above all check or hindrance had it certainly in its power to achieve much, and twenty years of Imperial rule have not been without most splendid results for the general welfare of France. Within its own boundaries the country had never known a period of greater material progress. Beyond them, till very recent times, it had exercised an ascendency grounded on a moral prestige more than commensurate with its actual strength. The recognition of the advantages of Prussia’s military system came most inopportunely for the Emperor to confirm a favourite saying of his, ‘That a nation’s influence is gauged by the number of soldiers it can bring into the field.’ The Army Bill was no doubt a disastrous measure for him, but he had been drifting into a most difficult dilemma. He had to choose between resigning himself to a condition of comparative weakness, which must infallibly be exposed sooner or later, and a measure that levied ‘a tribute of blood’ on the classes where he found his warmest supporters. The dilemma was a difficult one. The Emperor had, indeed, asserted his ascendency by a pretension of controlling circumstances which had passed almost unchallenged. He had biased the policy of Europe by merely indicating the attitude of France. But the state of affairs had been insensibly shifting, until he had become conscious of a pressure he was powerless to resist. He had been led by Cavour, and the astuteness of the Italian statesman had betrayed him into positions where his only safety lay in pressing onwards. Now he was being forced by Bismarck. As Germany grew strong Europe was threatened with a change of masters, and it seemed that in the future the impulses in European politics might come as probably from Berlin as from Paris. The Emperor’s sense of the change was indicated by his language. He affected to consider the disruption of the German Confederation as a weakening of Germany. One of those inspired pamphlets that appeared from time to time traced the parallel between the First and the Second Empires to the advantage of the latter. Napoleon III and his uncle had been revolving in identical historical cycles. But the pamphleteer stopped short in his comparisons. He neglected to point out that Sadowa, with its disclosures more than its successes, was the Moscow of that Second Empire which was paying the penalty of the domineering pretensions of the First. The Seven Weeks’ War demonstrated the results of that military system which France had forced upon Prussia after the crowning victory of Jena. Now the Emperor recognized that, thanks to the apathy or irresolution he had certainly not borrowed from his uncle, the regular standing armies of France had to count with a nation of civilian-soldiers, trained, armed, and organized. He felt there was truth in the invectives of those political opponents who, appealing to the pride of France, told him he had blundered away France’s commanding influence. It must be proved sooner or later whether he or they were in the right, and, with a belief in his destiny which had begun to falter, he set himself to prepare for the inevitable test. At that time, too, he was already a prey to the painful malady to which he yesterday succumbed, and no doubt bodily suffering enfeebled the resolution which had once been believed indomitable. Radical and Republican pamphleteers and journalists gloated over his ailments in language that outraged decency and humanity. Rochefort’s Lanternes became a feature in Parisian life; the noble turned Socialist shot his daily flight of poisoned arrows, and respectable Paris laughed, as its wont is, forgiving the coarseness of the scurrility for the sake of the keenness of the sarcasm. It became clear that things were ripening for a crisis, unless the credit of the Emperor was to be saved by his death; yet none but fanatic Red Republicans, ready to believe in everything they longed for, could have fancied the end of the Empire so imminent. The year ‘68 must have been one of great searchings of heart at the Court of the Tuileries. The interview of the German Emperors at Salzburg, although followed by all manner of satisfactory assurances, kept minds uneasy as to the new relations of France with her neighbours, and stimulated the audacity of those reckless men who fish for profit and popularity in troubled waters. Ugly omens multiplied towards the close of the year, urging the Emperor towards some decided if not desperate resolution. The incident in the Hall of the Sorbonne, when, at the distribution of prizes, young Cavaignac refused to receive his at the hands of the Imperial Prince, must have shaken the Emperor’s faith in the hold Imperialism had on the upper classes, while of a sudden the turbulent democracy discovered a martyr in Baudin, one of the victims of the Coup d’Etat, and even the eminent veteran Berryer contributed a letter and a subscription to the agitation. The Emperor’s resolution was taken. He would use his personal power and what remained of his prestige to promulgate a scheme of comprehensive Constitutional reform. Judging by the course of events, we may well doubt whether the resolution would have served him had he taken it earlier. As it was, he was late then, as he had so often been before. It seemed as if he was graciously making a gift of the power he felt slipping through his fingers; and after all, the gift, such as it was, was in a degree illusory. For the future his Ministers were to be responsible to the Chambers; they were to be chosen by the party that commanded a parliamentary majority, they were to hold office by the votes of the House, as in England. But so long as the Empire maintained its traditional electoral machinery the Emperor assured himself an enormous working majority, happen what might. The masses of the rural voters were drilled by obsequious Préfets on their promotion, and the different circumscriptions were manipulated, so that in most instances the votes of the stolid and loyal country should swamp those of the feverish radical towns. In the towns, if the voters were not bribed, and bought with hard cash, they were delicately conciliated by the concession of serviceable public works – town-halls, lines of railway, free bridges. The Autocratic Empire had consolidated its popularity on a system of corruption; it would have been simply suicidal had it reformed and become pure all of a sudden. There had been another unlucky coincidence for the shaking Empire. The Assembly had been dissolved, and there had been a general election. Of course, the Government obtained its commanding majority; but, unfortunately, Paris and the great cities had returned Opposition members as a rule. The logical deduction was obvious – the intelligence of the country is opposed to Imperialism, and the Opposition represents a moral force out of all proportion to its numerical strength. It is notorious that in France, the inert masses are swayed to one side or the other, as they receive the impulse, and it became clear that any day an accident might derange the existing equilibrium. The various chiefs of the Opposition attacked, with the whole weight of their eloquence and their influence, the vicious electoral system that made politics a comedy and falsified opinion. Excited mobs in the town shouted for the Republic and Rochefort. The Emperor was being forced towards abdication or a Coup d’Etat. He decided again for the Coup d’Etat, but this time it was altogether a Constitutional one. Cæsar proposed a ‘senatus consultum,’ which resigned the power he had held in trust into the hands of the people, from whom it had flowed originally, and charged responsible Ministers with the exercise of the people’s authority. The stanch Imperialist Ministers shook their heads at this putting new wine into old bottles. Rouher, Duruy, Lavalette, and Baroche resigned. Prince Napoleon made a remarkable and characteristic speech, which gave some colour to the theory of certain political seers that, with the assent of the head of his house, he held himself in reserve in case of a political catastrophe that should prove fatal to his cousin. The Prince approved the measure in the main, although, in his opinion, it was not sufficiently thorough. He avowed that he was not one of those who believed the Empire incompatible with the most absolute liberty, and he boldly touched all those burning topics which the official orators had carefully shunned. It was remarked at the time that the daring speaker had a long interview immediately afterwards with his Imperial cousin, and it was understood that they separated on the most cordial terms. It is probable the Emperor, having lost self-confidence, was in painful uncertainty as to the direction in which unforeseen circumstances might hurry him. The Home Minister, M. Forcade de la Roquette, proclaimed the programme of the Court in language sufficiently precise. The Empire hoped to succeed in solidly founding liberty, where the Governments of the Restoration and of July had failed, ‘because its principle is stronger and more popular; because it rests upon the national will several times proclaimed, and because it defies surprises.’ At that moment it felt so strongly that its existing titles were discredited that already it was thinking of a fresh appeal to the democracy; while it was the suspicion of surprises in store that had suggested its present attitude. Weakened and compromised by the secessions, the last genuinely Imperialist Ministry resigned, and the Emperor had recourse to the flexible Liberals, as represented by Emile Ollivier and his colleagues. We may judge him with tolerable confidence after the event, and, enlightened by results, we may estimate pretty fairly the formidable difficulties against which he precipitated himself. The fact remains that at that time men who would rather have been rid of the dynasty believed it so firmly established that the best and most patriotic course was to come to an understanding with it. Men patriotic or ambitious, like Ollivier, Buffet, and Daru, accepted office and undertook the execution of the new programme. Yet the signs of the times were thickening. Not the least significant was the retirement of Haussmann, whose magnificent schemes – half developed, and arrived at a stage where perseverance might have been the truest economy – had so terribly embarrassed the finances of the capital. It was an acknowledgment that the Empire had reached the limits of its lavish expenditure and pushed to an extreme the fatal principle of national workshops. Yet it was plain that if the men who had so long been subsidized became idle, needy, and discontented, the streets of the capital would be crowded with turbulent émeutiers, ready to swell the ranks of the Reds, and to force the hand of the Government when prudence and patriotism should alike suggest a cautious game. A sinister incident occurred on the very day when the Chambers met the new Ministers. Prince Pierre Bonaparte shooting Victor Noir at Auteuil threw a weapon into the hands of the Red Republicans which they were not slow to lay hold of. Rochefort’s language in his Marseillaise exceeded all measure. Noir was made a martyr, and the Empire was in more imminent danger on the day of his funeral than men suspected at the time. Had Rochefort been as daring in action as in speech, had his nerves not failed him before the starting of the funeral cortége, and had the impetuous Flourens taken his place at its head, it is hardly doubtful that there would have been a sauguinary collision in the Champs Elysées. The Empire would have triumphed for the day, for it was well prepared. But in its discredited condition a second carnage among the citizens of Paris could scarcely have failed to be a fatal defeat for it. On the eve of the famous Plébiscite the position of the Olivier Ministry was more treacherous than ever, and the attitude of the Government was visibly ill-assured. The Ministry trembled between Liberalism and extreme Imperialism, and one of its genuinely liberal measures had terribly multiplied its difficulties by allowing full licence of language to all its most unscrupulous enemies. In throwing the rein to the Press, Olivier had said that they trusted it in future to the control of a healthy public opinion. It is hard to believe that either the Minister or the Emperor could have had any such confidence. Opinion had so long been stifled and gagged that it was debauched and thoroughly diseased. It was inevitable that the régime of repression should be followed by the reaction of excess, and the Empire suffered from the vice of its origin, and paid the penalty of the system by which it had hitherto succeeded. Now that writers could speak out, they reverted with justice to those crimes of the Coup d’Etat, when the President for motives they assumed to be purely selfish, had violated the oath of the Constitution, and abused the responsibilities he had solemnly accepted. They raked up the details of all those high-handed proceedings that had necessarily been received at the time in sullen silence. They denounced the sensational foreign policy that had been dictated by dynastical motives. They attacked the luxury and extravagances the people, and especially the middle classes, had been taxed for. They had facts enough at command, which needed scarcely to be distorted or overcoloured, to make up a damaging indictment. But they did not stop at facts. They made unsparing use of every calumny and falsehood perverted ingenuity could invent, and the condemnation of Pierre Bonaparte to a simple fine gave the demagogues of the democracy a standing text for philippics against the family with which he had so little in common. The virulent energy of the Opposition Press was swaying opinion; the organized agitation which was being fed with unfaltering activity might spread from the cities to the Conservative bourgeoisie of the towns, and from the towns to the loyal country people, who were drilled and directed by Préfets and Maires in the country. The Plébiscite was pressed on, lest delay should reduce the Government majority. Henceforth the Constitution, drawn in the most democratic sense, was only to be revised by the masses of the people on the initiative of the Sovereign. The Sovereign, in having his election confirmed by an overwhelming assent of his constituents, was to receive a retrospective act of oblivion for all the misdemeanours he had been charged with; he was to have a deed of indemnity for all the blood and the treasure the Empire had spent at home and abroad. The Emperor had urged on the step with feverish impatience, in opposition, it was understood, to the advice of the Achitophels by whom he had been wont to be guided. He waited the result with intense anxiety, although the vote was a foregone conclusion. With his superstitious cast of mind and his belief in destiny, he must have felt he had come to one of the turning points in his career, and no doubt he sought his horoscope in an analysis of the voting list, as soothsayers used to search for the omens on some solemn national ceremony. The omens were sinister, and although there were seven millions of ayes as against a million and a half of noes, the forebodings were confirmed which had induced him to tempt his fate. Not only was the vote against him in Paris and most of the great cities, in the centres of industry, intelligence, and political intrigue, but 50,000 of his soldiers were with the enemy. The shock was severe; what was Cæsar in the face of adverse circumstances if he could not count on the fidelity of the legions? Nothing could give more striking proof of the extreme impolicy of a measure which invited the soldiers to discuss the conduct of the master who relied upon their bayonets. As one blunder leads on to another, the Emperor, in his haste, advertised to the world his uneasiness at this military vote in a letter written to Marshal Canrobert and intended for publication to the Army, in which he made ostentatiously light of it. From that time the suspicions that his power was declining turned to convictions confirmed by electoral statistics. It appeared he could not even reckon on that backing from brute force, in the last resort, with which even his enemies had hitherto been inclined to credit him. The Plébiscite had been presented to the country as a vote of peace, as the commencement of a new era of sound Constitutional progress, and as giving a fresh impulse to domestic prosperity. It is just possible it might have turned out so, had the voting answered the Emperor’s hopes or dreams. As it was, it could scarcely fail to prove a vote of war sooner or later. That jealousy of growing German influence must become a question more dangerous to the dynasty than ever, now that the Emperor’s power seemed to be tottering. Now that there was a Fronde in the Army, must there not be a foreign war to divert the minds of politicians of the canteen? Almost simultaneously with these events had come a change in the Cabinet, which had been nearly as freely commented on in Germany as in France. Daru and Buffet had retired from the enfeebled Ministry. After the Plébiscite, the former statesman had been replaced at the Foreign Office by the Duc de Gramont. We may be very certain that Napoleon, who had been given to hesitation in his best days, was hesitating now more painfully than ever over that question of a war with Germany. But, taking the Gramont appointment in connexion with all that followed on it, we can scarcely doubt that at that time he inclined to war. Had it been his settled resolution, or even his ardent wish, to preserve peaceful relations, he could hardly have made so unfortunate a choice. Not only was the Duke by no means the man to direct the Foreign Office, where susceptibilities had become so sensitive, but his Prussian antipathies were notorious. Nor should the fact that he came straight from Vienna have been a recommendation in the circumstances. The suspicion that he might have been selected on account of his excellent relations in the Austrian capital would, doubtless, have strengthened the Emperor’s hands had he decided upon war, by giving Europe the idea that Austria was prepared to revenge Sadowa. But if it was desirable to preserve peace, nothing could have been more injudicious than to give Prussia a pretext for taking the initiative in war, by persuading her that she was threatened by a danger which promptitude might best avert. It is idle to speculate on what might have happened had the Emperor decided to play the patriot at all hazards – to accept facts abroad, and try to induce his subjects to accept them; to stake the fortunes of his family on his domestic policy. We have the authority of M. Thiers for asserting that the Empress urged him to make war for the sake of her son, and the assertion seems not improbable. It is certain that a knot of the most Bonapartist of the Bonapartists unceasingly pressed war on him for the most strictly personal reasons. They deluded themselves with the idea of the military preponderance of France; they believed the victory to be assured beforehand; the blood and treasure it might cost were nothing to them so long as they were assured a fresh lease of prosperity. The Emperor cannot altogether have shared these delusions, although doubtless to some extent he was deceived and willing to be deceived. But the successes that had once been matter of congratulation were now crowding their consequences upon him. He was being driven to seek for safety in provoking Providence; he was paying the penalties of a political vie orageuse. The Coup d’Etat had cut him loose from relations that should have been his security in time of danger, had he held his throne by a more legitimate title. But his interests already were trending far apart from those of his subjects; the events of the night of the 2d of December had left him few conscientious advisers, and limited his choice of capable military instruments. He had able creatures and subordinates who were bound fast to him; but the most eminent politicians of France, the men who might have had the confidence of the country, were in opposition or retreat, while disinterested veterans like Changarnier and Trochu were banished from his councils of war. The interests of an individual and of something far smaller than a faction were to decide on the destinies of the country at the moment when its fortunes were trembling in the balance. But no man, even in that extremity, would have rushed blindly on ruin to escape the dangers which menaced him. Did the Emperor believe he could enter on the war with reasonable hopes of success? Leboeuf might have deceived him so far with that unhesitating answer –‘We are ready, and more than ready.’ But, after Leboeuf, there should have been no better judge of the situation than the Emperor himself. His master rolls might have been falsified, yet, all deductions made, he could roughly estimate the effective strength of his forces. At least, he knew the numbers Germany could put on foot in a given number of days, for the German military statistics were open to the world, and there was Stoffel at Berlin shrewdly noting everything and duly transmitting his Cassandra-like despatches to Paris. He must have been aware that, unless he could strike before those nine days of mobilization were accomplished, even Northern Germany would have a great numerical superiority in the field. The probability is that he taxed his ingenuity to combat the remonstrances of his common sense. In trying to deceive himself, he had plausible grounds to go upon. There was the reputation of those troops who had been the terror of Europe since the days of his uncle. They had only been repulsed by a combination of all the armies of Europe, when exhausted by unparalleled exertions. They had sustained that reputation in his own time, although he might have taken warning from the considerations which persuaded him to sign in haste the unlooked-for Peace of Villafranca. Then there were the chasse-pots, the mitrailleuses, and those new rifled cannon of bronze. Moral and armaments might compensate for lack of numbers, fortresses which could not be taken might be masked, and the French élan might carry him into Germany before the more sluggish Teutons had settled their plans or combined their operations. The communications once cut between the North of Germany and the South, he might hide his allies in the enemy’s country, and beat Prussia, as his uncle had done, with South German auxiliaries. It was the Emperor’s misfortune that he was doubly deceived, – that he was alike ill served in military affairs and in diplomacy. Had he been informed of the real spirit of Germany, he might have dismissed his notion of German alliances as the most extravagant of dreams; but his envoys to the minor German Principalities accepted the temper of the Courts as representing the spirit of the people. As is the manner of Frenchmen, they spoke no German. They reported that if France won a first success she might count on enlisting on her side South German jealousies of Prussia. It is less surprising that the Emperor received the fable at the time, since a man so intelligent as Edmond About repeats it confidently to this very moment. Moreover, as it appears now, the new Foreign Minister was persuaded that he had secured the adhesion of Austria. What he had to tell the Emperor probably confirmed such false reports as came from Courts like Würtemberg and Hesse Darmstadt. Thus we may understand the Emperor’s mental attitude early in the year. It was with anything but a light heart that he looked forward to this war looming on his horizon, yet to a certain extent he had succeeded in persuading himself that the venture was not so very desperate. Did not Leboeuf answer for the army? Had not De Gramont and his colleagues reassured him as to German alliances? Meanwhile, men were speaking of peace, while a sense of coming troubles was spreading, and there were rumours of war in the air. The country, and even the obsequious Chamber, became dangerously susceptible. Stanch Imperialists like Baron Jerome David held strange language. The project of a railway over the Alps threatened to create a conflagration in Europe. For a time there was a lull, but the heavens were lowering. Ollivier’s voluble assurances in the debate on the Army Bill made most people uneasy; the barometer was falling fast, and men felt somehow by the movements of the ship of State that the hands which steered it were beginning to falter. Early in July the squall of the Hohenzollorn-Sigmaringen candidate for the Spanish Crown blew up. The Emperor found himself suddenly forced towards the resolution over which he had been hesitating so long. Let us judge his conduct and that of his Cabinet as we may, it is idle to say they regulated their policy on considerations of the dignity of France. The dignity of France was saved, and more than saved, when the King of Prussia formally approved the withdrawal of the objectionable candidate. But for the sake of the Emperor, of the dynasty, and the Bonapartist place-holders, it was deemed necessary there should be a diplomatic triumph to compensate the humiliation of Sadowa, by offering French vanity a brilliant satisfaction. The Emperor himself doubted and hesitated; if France was to be flattered by a triumph, Germany must smart under a defeat. But, in place of grasping at the reprieve which was offered him, doing his best in the circumstances, and giving himself time for reflection, he was tempted to push his success, and try if he could insult Prussia without having previously beaten her. Probably his judgment was remonstrating all the time. But we may believe that prolonged suspense was wearing a nature which had been tried by reaction of ill-luck after an extraordinary flush of prosperity. The Emperor saw that safety lay in waiting, had waiting been possible; but he had no longer either the resolution or the time to hold by his old maxim – ‘Everything comes to him who waits.’ The matter was precipitately discussed with the brutal bluntness of the telegraph. The most momentous questions were decided by the readiest pen in Cabinet Councils held standing, and in feverish exaltation of spirits. Stories were invented and facts deliberately misrepresented by officials with the idea of provoking popular enthusiasm. On the 19th of July the die was cast, and war was declared by Ministers almost as thoughtless as the gamins who raised the cry of ‘A Berlin’ upon the Boulevards. The war was declared, and the Emperor could have prevented or delayed it, but the French were never more unjust than when they subsequently insisted on holding him solely responsible. It was not only that seven millions of them, men like M. Guizot included, had voted the affirmative in the Plébiscite, but organs of all shades of opinion had been stimulating their jealousy of German unity, and the illustrious Thiers himself had published his gospel of war and revenge in his History of the Consulate and the Empire. Had it not been for the tone held by French writers for many years before, the Emperor would never have dreamt of the German war-path as the shortest way to regain his lost popularity; and it is matter of little consequence whether the cries on the Boulevards which followed the declaration of war came from his paid police agents or his enfranchised voters of the faubourgs. Every one should be familiar with the history of the war, so far as it can be gathered from the conflicting testimony of the leading actors in it. The error of declaring it once committed, the Emperor became only secondarily responsible for the disasters which cost him so dearly. The moral and material efficiency Leboeuf had pledged himself for was lacking. A multitude of men who had been carried on the rolls were missing, and those who were actually under arms were never in the right place at the critical moment. The boasted Intendance system utterly broke down; magazines were found unfurnished, and supplies ran short. There was recrimination, disunion, and discontent among the leaders of the several corps d’armée. Time was lost when time was everything, and instead of France breaking ground with the swift advance that alone could have extenuated her precipitate declaration of war, her attenuated armies stood echeloned in a long line of observation along her assailable frontier. The plan attributed to the Emperor, of an aggressive movement that should sever Germany at once strategically and politically, had broken down before it could even be attempted. Had it been attempted it may be doubted whether it would not have proved more disastrous, if possible, than the one actually adopted. The last pageants in which the unfortunate Emperor figured as the favourite of fortune were the arrival with the Army of Metz and the war rehearsal on the heights above Saarbrück, where his son received his ‘baptism of fire.’ While the world was expecting that, whatever might be the issue of the war, victory at first would incline to France, the Emperor was figuring as Commander-in-Chief of all the armies in the field. Had things gone well he would have accepted laurels of ceremony like the Grand Monarque when he travelled in his lumbering coach to see a town taken by one of his Marshals. But in reality, so far as the truth can be arrived at, it seems he only accompanied his troops in the capacity of spectator and adviser, perhaps as arbitrator in the last resort in some vexed question of combinations. Had all gone as well as in Italy, Cæsar’s chariot or charger would have moved along in the middle of his victorious columns, through triumphs and ovations, and over roads strewed with bloody laurels. The great object of the war would have been attained, and Louis the Younger would have been presented to France and Europe as the spoilt child of Victory and Fortune. It was the dream of some such result which led the Prince’s father to tempt this desperate game when he felt the odds were against him. His first proclamation, written in what should have been the flush of sanguine excitement, had somewhat chilled the more ardent spirits. He warned the troops of the formidable work that awaited them on their march in the country ‘bristling with fortresses.’ The anxiety that address shadowed out had more than realized itself. After the famous ‘Tout peut se rétablir’ that followed the defeats of Woerth and Forbach, nothing can be conceived more deplorable than the position of the Emperor. Conscious of an irretrievable error, and moving despondently in the shadow of the approaching end, among disorganized and half-mutinous troops, who in their looks or language made him responsible for their misfortunes, surrounded by Generals who had lost head and heart, and had no comfort to offer to their master, he could do nothing by staying where he was, while he was sure to be made answerable for the defeats which impended when these demoralized troops of his should again be opposed to the disciplined and victorious Germans. The only thing more miserable than the scenes that were passing around him was the news which came from the capital. Paris would only receive him victorious; therefore, Paris would never receive him again. This was where he had been landed by revolving in that vicious circle which had commenced with the coup d’etat. This was the end of the years of strong personal government when he had boasted himself omnipotent for good or evil. It was but a year or two since he had declared that France was the arbiter of Europe, implying that he had the power to enforce her judgments; it was but a year since he had confidently answered for domestic order. Now the Germans were in France, and Paris, as he knew, was on the brink of a revolution. For him and for his son there was no safe home in his wide dominions but the head-quarters of a beaten and retreating army. He had no choice left him when he turned back with Mac-Mahon in that Quixotic enterprise of releasing Bazaine. Mac-Mahon, with candid chivalrousness, has acquitted his master of responsibility for that wild bit of strategy, but the surrender at Sedan must have come as a relief from a situation that was growing intolerable. Thenceforward the Emperor’s life has a personal rather than a political interest. The surrender of his sword to the King of Prussia symbolized nothing. He had ceased actually to be Emperor when Jules Favre had dared to demand his deposition three weeks before. The Palikao Ministry was Provisional rather than Imperial; it was understood that its precarious tenure of existence depended altogether on the news from the seat of war. With the capitulation of Sedan it ceased to be; the Empress sought safety in flight from Paris, not an hour too soon, and ‘the gentlemen of the pavement’ scrambled into authority over the fresh ruins of the personal power. A howl of obloquy pursued the Emperor over the Belgian frontier to his seclusion at Wilhelmshöhe. It was not unnatural. The war was in great measure his; it had brought unspeakable suffering and bitter humiliation on the country, and his accomplices execrated him for not influencing them for their own good, in virtue of the authority their votes had vested in him. But dispassionate spectators regarded the fallen man with very different feelings. It was not only that such startling reverses might well have silenced harsh judgment, but the manner in which he bore them commanded involuntary respect and esteem. People who had called him a charlatan at the Tuileries confessed him to be a man when they saw him in the depths of misfortune. The wonderful result of his ambitions had been blighted so late in his life, that all hope was over for him; his pride was stung by the thought that his career had closed in humiliation; that posterity would denounce him as an impostor who had owed his rise and reputation to luck rather than genius; that the son, like the father, would begin life in proscription and exile, and find it the harder to repeat his father’s successes among opponents forewarned by his father’s example. With reflections so bitter gnawing at his mind, with his physical maladies conspiring to produce intense depression, he not only preserved his apparent serenity, but displayed invariably that dignified courtesy which denotes a mind too stable to be easily shaken. Nor was the effort merely a passing one. It has lasted from then till now. Beset by a mortal malady which would have made most men irritable and captious, the Emperor has shown himself invariably calm and strong. Nothing, perhaps, is so admirable in the life of this remarkable man as the silence he has consistently preserved with regard to those whose ill-advised counsels, incapacity, and self-interested falsehoods contributed so largely to his ruin. Ungrateful protégés, from whom he should have been sacred, have sought to make him their scapegoat, as he has been abused and calumniated by bitter enemies. He has neither remonstrated nor recriminated in person or by deputy. The wranglers might tell their stories as they would, they might be sure enough he would never contradict them. History will find much to reproach him with, but it is certain his contemporaries have been very unjust to him. We have lingered long on the last year of his reign, pregnant as it was with events which have shifted the landmarks of history. We may dismiss his sojourn at Chislehurst in a line or two. His life passed there uneventfully and in apparent tranquillity. Silent, self-reserved, and self-controlled, he did not take the world into the secret of his regrets or remorse. If his party raised their heads again and bragged of a new revolution to their profit while France was struggling still in the social and financial chaos into which they had cast her, we have no reason to believe he gave them encouragement. Disappointed adventurers might talk and act madly when life was short. But the Emperor returned to England, whose life and people he had always liked, and lived like an English country gentleman, whose shattered health condemns him to retirement and the society of a few intimates. There were attached friends with him when he died, and if constancy should command friends few men deserved friends better. It was unfortunate for his reputation that he was spared to live out his life. Had he succumbed some years ago to the first attacks of the disease he died of, he would have found eulogists enough to justify his policy by its brilliant success, and to deny that the Imperial system carried the inevitable seeds of dissolution. Had it collapsed after his decease they might have urged that the collapse was but a proof the more of his unrivalled genius, – that such a man could leave no successor to develope the ideas he had originated. As it is, it can hardly be doubted that his contemporaries will do him injustice, and that his memory will be, in a measure, rehabilitated by posterity. Unless absorbing ambition is to be pleaded as an excuse by Pretenders born in the people, we must judge his political morality severely. The Coup d’Etat was an offence almost more venial than the systematically relaxing and demoralizing nature of the rule that followed it. His best excuse was that he honestly believed himself and his system better adapted to the French than any other that could be substituted for it; and subsequent errors seem to have shown that he was not altogether wrong. In considering himself to the best of his lights, he did the best he could for his country. His foreign policy was generous and consistent, until personal motives compelled him to arrange a series of sensational surprises. His enlightened commercial ideas cost him some popularity among the Protectionist supporters of his dynasty. England at least had nothing to reproach him with, and the firmness with which he had held to her friendship assured him a friendly welcome when he sought refuge on her shores. As might be presumed from the marvellous vicissitudes of his career, few men showed stranger or subtler contrasts in their nature. He owed his rise to the unflinching resolution with which he pursued a fixed idea; yet he hesitated over each step he took, and it was that habit of he sitation that ruined him in the end. His strong point was that no disappointment discouraged him, and so long as he felt he had time to wait, his patience was inexhaustible. Confined at Ham, in place of dashing himself against his prison bars, he turned quietly to his studies, and educated himself for the destinies in store for him. After the ridicule of his failures on the frontiers and in the Chamber of Deputies, he tried again as if nothing had happened. It was significant of the man that he succeeded in France in spite of ridicule, yet there may have been cool policy in the deeds that changed ridicule to terror on the 2d of December. With his unquestionable ability and some extraordinary gifts, it must be confessed he owed much to fortune. She repeatedly did wonderful things for him when his circumstances were critical. He came to count with too great confidence on her favours when they were showering down on him, and he drew recklessly on his prestige instead of nursing it against gloomier days. It had been his aim to persuade his subjects that he was something more than mortal; when his mishaps proved his mortality, they resented the deception he had practised on them, and trampled their idol in the dust. It is not in our province now to speculate as to the influence of his rule on France, or to examine how far France is to be blamed for the vices and corruption of the Empire. If he misunderstood the people he governed when he treated them rather like children than men, we can only repeat, the fault was a venial one. Had he been born in a station beneath the influence of those ambitions that tempt men to become criminal, he would have lived distinguished and died esteemed. As it is, if the circle of his devoted friends has sadly dwindled since his fall and abdication, we trust for the honour of human nature that there are many who mourn him sincerely, in common gratitude. The Times had been concerned for days with the former Emperor’s deteriorating condition. His death, following an emergency operation designed to break up his kidney stones, was announced on 10 January 1873. Five days later his supporters issued a manifesto, stating that ‘the Emperor is dead but the Empire is living and indestructible’. All hopes of reviving the Empire died when Napoleon’s son, Eugène Louis, the Prince Imperial, was killed in Zululand, fighting with the British army, on 1 June 1879. Following his detention in Germany, the deposition of the Bonaparte dynasty and the declaration of the Third Republic in September 1870, Napoleon and his family had retired to Camden Place at Chislehurst in Kent. It was here that he died. In 1881 the Empress Eugénie moved to Farnborough in Hampshire, where she constructed a flamboyant domed mausoleum for her late husband and her son in 1887. She herself was interred there after her death in 1922. As this obituary consistently suggests, British responses to Napoleon Ill’s policies as Emperor were at best ambiguous, and at worst suspicious and antipathetic. He and Eugénie had forged an amicable personal relationship with Queen Victoria, but many British critics, including this otherwise fair-minded obituarist, seem to have found the term ‘charlatan’ an appropriate description of both the Emperor and his régime. WILLIAM CHARLES MACREADY (#) Actor: ‘A deep and subtle insight into the shades and peculiarities of character.’ 27 APRIL 1873 IT SOUNDS A little strange, even to the ear of veteran playgoers, to record the death of Macready, the favourite of half-a-century ago, the contemporary of the Keans and the Kembles, more than 20 years since his retirement from the stage. As our obituary of yesterday mentioned, William Charles Macready died on Sunday at Cheltenham, at the ripe age of 80 years. The son of a gentleman who had not been very fortunate as lessee and manager of one or two provincial theatres, he was born in the parish of St. Pancras, London, on the 3rd of March, 1796. He was educated at Rugby, with a view to following one of the learned professions, probably either the Bar or the Church. But it was not his destiny to become either a Judge or a Bishop. His father was suffering from pecuniary embarrassments, and it became necessary for the son to turn his hand to some line of life where he could be earning money, instead of spending it. Accordingly, he appeared on the boards for the first time at Birmingham in June, 1810, performing the part of Romeo, when he had little more than completed his 17th year. His appearance is traditionally said to have been successful, and he remained with his father’s Company until the year 1814 or 1815, performing at Bath, Birmingham, Chester, Sheffield, Birmingham, and Glasgow, and in other large provincial towns, with similar results. In September, 1816, he made his first appearance on the boards of a London theatre, performing Orestes in The Distressed Mother, at Covent Garden. Here, too, his success was undoubted, but he had difficulties to overcome. To use the words of a writer in the English Cyclopedia, ‘Kemble, Young, and Kean had taken a sort of exclusive possession of the characters of Shakespeare in which, at a later period, Macready was destined to display such excellence. With a resolute industry, however, a deep and subtle insight into the shades and peculiarities of character, and a style at once original and simple, he made a certain range his own. He won applause as Rob Roy and Gambia; but it was in the Virginius of Sheridan Knowles that his true position was first fully demonstrated. ’ From this time he continued to rise steadily in the favour of the public; and he increased his reputation abroad by well-timed visits to America and to Paris in the years 1826-28. It was in the autumn of 1837 that he added to his many engagements and responsibilities by undertaking the post of lessee and manager of Covent Garden Theatre. Here his labour was immense. In the words of the writer already quoted, ‘he did not overlay the drama by too gorgeous scenery or by too minute attention to the details of costume, as though they were to be the principal attractions, but strove to make them appropriate to the situation and feeling of the scene as a whole.’ He also endeavoured to purify the atmosphere of his theatre by the exclusion of immoral characters and of all that could justify the suspicions and attacks of the enemies of drama. It cannot, however, be said that the financial results corresponded to his praiseworthy attempt; and at the end of two years he resigned his management. At the close of his management, however, his friends not only entertained him at a public dinner, but presented him with a more solid ‘testimonial’ of their sympathy. After a short performance at the Haymarket, we find him next undertaking the management of Drury Lane, undeterred by his experience at the rival house. His management here was distinguished by the introduction of musical dramas set forth in the highest style of scenic illustration, among which we ought to particularize Acis and Galatea and The Masque of Comus. It also marked the introduction of new dramas to the public, including many of the best pieces of Serjeant (afterwards Mr. Justice) Talfourd, Sheridan Knowles, and the late Lord Lytton, then better known to the world by the familiar name of Bulwer, who was his firm and fast friend for many years, and who wrote for him both Richelieu and the Lady of Lyons. As the great French Cardinal Macready achieved one of his chief histrionic triumphs; but still, with reference to financial results, his management was not successful. Accordingly, he resigned it at the end of a second season; and it is not a little remarkable that in his parting address he took occasion to denounce the injurious operation of the dramatic monopoly which then prevailed. This step he followed up by a petition to Parliament for its removal, and before long he had the satisfaction of seeing his wishes realized. In 1849 Macready again paid a professional visit to North America; and on this occasion it will be remembered that a quarrel raised by the well-known American actor named Forrest, lately deceased, gave rise to a riot in the Astor Opera-house at New York while the performance was going on, in which Macready’s life was endangered. The riot was not suppressed until the military were called out; shots were fired, and several persons killed. Returning to England towards the close of the same year, Mr. Macready entered upon his last engagement at the Haymarket; but his health was not good, and he soon after retired, fortunately in good time to enjoy his professional honours in private life, but not until he had completed the representation of all his principal characters. It was in February, 1851, that he took his formal farewell of the stage and was entertained at a public dinner in London, the chair being filled by his old friend Sir E. Bulwer Lytton, whom he has now followed to the grave. After his retirement from public life, he took up his residence first at Sherborne, in Dorsetshire, and subsequently at Cheltenham, where, as we have said, he breathed his last on Sunday. At Sherborne he employed his leisure time in literary pursuits, and nothing pleased him better than to deliver lectures at the local Mechanics’ Institutes and other similar institutions for the benefit of the humbler classes of society; and both there and at Cheltenham he did his best to promote the cause of popular education. About 25 years ago Mr. Macready published an edition of the poetical works of Pope, which was originally prepared and privately printed by him for the use of his children, to whom it is de dicated. Despite being born into the theatre, Macready had claims to be a gentleman and, as this obituary argues, he consistently strove to render both his profession and his art as an actor and manager ‘respectable’. Gradually emerging from the long shadows cast by his popular contemporaries, Edmund Kean and John Philip Kemble, he achieved a singular reputation in playing non-Shakespearian roles. He remained the victim of professional jealousy, notably during his visit to New York in 1849 when the American actor, Edwin Forrest, fomented a riot at the Astor Opera House. Macready barely escaped with his life, and the military had to be called in to suppress the disturbance in which seventeen men were killed and thirty wounded. He was manager of Covent Garden 1837-1839 and of Drury Lane Theatre 1841-1843. It was as part of a series of important revivals of Shakespeare plays at the former theatre that Macready mounted a production of King Lear in January 1838. It was the first stage performance since the seventeenth century to dispense with Nahum Tate’s happy ending and to reintroduce the character of the Fool. Macready took leave of the theatre in a farewell performance of Macbeth at Drury Lane on 28 February 1851 and retired to Cheltenham, where he died on 27 April 1873. DAVID LIVINGSTONE (#) Missionary and explorer: ‘Fallen in the cause of civilization and progress.’ 1 MAY 1873 THE FOLLOWING TELEGRAM, dated Aden, the 27th inst., has been received at the Foreign Office from Her Majesty’s Acting Consul-General at Zanzibar:- ‘The report of Livingstone’s death is confirmed by letters received from Cameron, dated Unyanyembe, October 20. He died of dysentery after a fortnight’s illness, shortly after leaving Lake Bemba for eastward. He had attempted to cross the lake from the north, and failing in this had doubled back and rounded the lake, crossing the Chambize and the other rivers down from it; had then crossed the Luapuia, and died in Lobisa, after having crossed a marshy country with the water for three hours at a time above the waist; ten of his men had died, and the remainder, consisting of 79 men, were marching to Unyanyembe. They had disembowelled the body and had filled it with salt, and had put brandy into the mouth to preserve it. His servant Chumas went on ahead to procure provisions, as the party was destitute, and gave intelligence to Cameron, who expected the body in a few days. Cameron and his party had suffered greatly from fever and ophthalmia, but hoped to push on to Ujiji. Livingstone’s body may be expected at Zanzibar in February. Please telegraph orders as to disposal. No leaden shells procurable here.’ A plain Scottish missionary, and the son of poor parents, David Livingstone yet came of gentle extraction. The Livingstones have ever been reckoned one of the best and oldest of the Highland families. Considering that his father and himself were strong Protestants, it is singular that his grandfather fell at Culloden fighting in the Cause of the Stuarts. And that the family were Roman Catholics down to about a century ago, when (to use his own words) ‘they were made Protestants by the laird coming round their village with a man who carried a yellow staff’ to compel them, no doubt, to attend the established worship. More recently the Livingstones were settled in the little island of Ulva, on the coast of Argyleshire not far from the celebrated island of Iona, so well known in the annals of medieval missionary enterprise. Dr. Livingstone’s father, one Neill Livingstone, who kept a small teadealer’s shop in the neighbourhood of Hamilton, in Lanarkshire, is represented by him, in a biographical sketch prefixed to his volume of Travels, as having been too strictly honest and conscientious in his worldly dealings ever to become a rich and wealthy man. The family motto, we are told by one writer, was ‘Be honest.’ He was a ‘deacon’ in an independent chapel in Hamilton; and he died in the early part of the year 1855. His son was born at East Kilbride, in Lanarkshire, in or about the year 1816. His early youth was spent in employment as a ‘hand’ in the cotton-mills in the neighbourhood of Glasgow; and he tells us, in the book to which we have already referred, that during the winter he used to pursue his religious studies with a view to following the profession of a missionary in foreign parts, returning in the summer months to his daily labour in order to procure support during his months of renewed mental study. While working at the Blantyre mills, young Livingstone was able to attend an evening school, where he imbibed an early taste for classical literature. By the time he was 16 years of age he had got by heart the best part of both Horace and Virgil. Here also he acquired a considerable taste for works on religion and on natural science; in fact, he ‘devoured’ every kind of reading, ‘except novels.’ Among the most favourite books of his boyhood and early manhood, he makes special mention of Dr. Dick’s Philosophy of Religion and Philosophy of a Future State. His religious feelings, however, warmed towards a missionary life; he felt an intense longing to become ‘a pioneer of Christianity in China,’ hoping that he might be instrumental in teaching the religion to the inhabitants of the Far East, and also that by so doing might ‘lead to the material benefit of some portions of that immense empire.’ In order to qualify himself for some such an enterprise he set himself to obtain a medical education, as a superstructure to that which he had already gained so laboriously; and this he supplemented by botanical and geological explorations in the neighbourhood of his home, and the study of Patrick’s work on the Plants of Lanarkshire. We next find him, at the age of 19, attending the medical and Greek classes in Glasgow in the winter, and the divinity lectures of Dr. Wardlaw in the summer. His reading while at work in the factory was carried on by ‘placing his book on the spinning-jenny,’ so that he could ‘catch sentence after sentence while he went on with his labour,’ thus ‘keeping up a constant study undisturbed by the roar of machinery.’ Having completed his attendance on Dr. Wardlaw’s lectures, and having been admitted a Licentiate of the Faculty of Physicians and Surgeons, he resolved in 1838 to offer his services to the London Missionary Society as a candidate for the ministry in foreign parts. This step he was induced to take, to use his own words, on account of the ‘unsectarian character of that society, which sends out neither Episcopacy nor Presbyterianism, but the Gospel of God, to the heathen.’ In this ‘unsectarian’ movement he saw, or thought he saw, realized his ideal of the missionary life as it ought to be. The opium war, which then was raging, combined with other circumstances to divert his thoughts from China to Africa; and from the published accounts of the missionary labours of Messrs. Moffat, Hamilton, and other philanthropists in that quarter of the globe, he saw that an extensive and hopeful field of enterprise lay open before him. His offer was accepted by the society, and having spent three months in theological study in England, and having been ordained to the pastoral office, he left these shores in 1840 for Southern Africa, and after a voyage of nearly three months reached Cape-Town. His first destination was Port Natal, where he became personally acquainted with his fellow countryman, the still surviving Rev. Robert Moffat, whose daughter subsequently became his wife and the faithful and zealous sharer of his toils and travels, and accompanied him in his arduous journey to Lake Ngami. From Natal he proceeded inland to a mission station in the Bechuana country, called Kuruman, about 700 miles distant from Cape-Town, where, and at Mahotsa, he was employed in preparatory labours, joined with other missionaries down to about the year 1845. From that date for about four years more he continued to work at Chenuane, Lepelole, and Ko’obeng, aided and supported by no larger staff than Mrs. Livingstone and three native teachers. It was not until 1849 that he made his first essay as an explorer, strictly so called, as distinct from a missionary; in that year he made his first journey in search of Lake Ngami. In 1852 he commenced, in company with his wife, the ‘great journey,’ as he calls it, to Lake Ngami, of which a full and detailed account is given in the work already quoted above, and which he dedicated on its publication to Sir Roderick Murchison, as ‘a token of gratitude for the kind interest he has always taken in the author’s pursuits and welfare.’ The outline of this ‘greatjourney’ is so familiar to all readers of modernbooks of travel and enterprise that we need not repeat it here. It is enough to say that in the ten years previous to 1855 Livingstone led several independent expeditions, into the interior of Southern Africa, during which he made himself acquainted with the languages, habits, and religious notions of several savage tribes that were previously unknown to Englishmen, and twice crossed the entire African continent, a little south of the tropic of Capricorn, from the shores of the Indian Ocean to those of the Atlantic. In 1855 the Victoria gold medal of the Geographical Society was awarded to Livingstone in recognition of his services to science by ‘traversing south Africa from the Cape of Good Hope, by Lake Ngami, to Linyanti, and thence to the western coast in 10 degrees south latitude.’ He subsequently retraced his steps, returning from the western coast to Linyanti, and then – passing through the entire eastern Portuguese settlement of Tete – he followed the Zambesi to its mouth in the Indian Ocean. In the whole of these African explorations it was calculated at the time that Livingstone must have passed over no less than 11,000 miles of land, for the most part untrodden and untraversed by any European, and up to that time believed to be inaccessible. In 1856 Livingstone returned to England, to use the eloquent words of his firm friend, the late Sir Roderick Murchison, – ‘As the pioneer of sound knowledge, who by his astronomical observations had determined the sites of various places, hills, rivers and lakes, hitherto nearly unknown; while he had seized upon every opportunity of describing the physical features, climatology, and even geological structure of the countries which he had explored, and pointed out many new sources of commerce as yet unknown to the scope and enterprise of the British merchant.’ The late Lord Ellesmere bore similar testimony to the importance of his discoveries, adding his warm approval of the ‘scientific precision with which the unarmed and unassisted English missionary had left his mark upon so many important stations in regions hitherto blank upon our maps.’ It may possibly be remembered that in a letter published in our columns on the 29th of December, 1856, Dr. Livingstone publicly stated his views and convictions upon the question of African civilization in general, and strongly recommended the encouragement of the growth of cotton in the interior of that continent, as a means towards the opening up of commercial intercourse between this country and the tribes of Southern and Central Africa. Such measures, if adequately supported, he considered, would lend, in the course of time, to the graduate but certain and final suppression of the slave trade, and the proportionate advancement of human progress and civilization. Early in the spring of 1858 Livingstone returned to Africa for the purpose of prosecuting further researches and pushing forward the advantages which his former enterprise had to some extent secured. He went back with the good wishes of the entire community at home, who were deeply touched by his manly, modest, and unvarnished narrative, and by the absence of all self-seeking in his character. He carried with him the patronage and encouragement and the substantial support of Her Majesty’s Government (more especially of Lords Clarendon and Russell), and of the Portuguese Government also; and before setting out on his second expedition in that year he was publicly entertained at a banquet at the London Tavern, and honoured by the Queen with a private audience, at which Her Majesty expressed, on behalf of herself and the Prince Consort, her deep interest in Dr. Livingstone’s new expedition. In the meantime a ‘Livingstone Testimonial Fund’ was raised in the city of London by the liberal subscription of the leading merchants, bankers, and citizens, headed by the Lord Mayor. Within a very few months from the time of leaving England, Dr. Livingstone and his expedition reached that part of the eastern coast of Africa at which the Zambesi falls into the ocean; her two small steamers were placed at their disposal, and they resolved to ascend the river and thence make their way into the interior. Passing over the details of the expedition, a full account of which is given in the Narrative published by himself and his brother in 1865, we may state that in these journeys Livingstone and his companions discovered the lakes Nyassa and Shirwa, two of the minor inland meres of Africa, and explored the regions to the west and north-west of Lake Nyassa for a distance of 300 miles – districts hitherto unknown to Europeans, and which lead to the head waters of the north-eastern branch of the Zambesi and of several of that river’s tributaries. The geographical results of the expedition, then, were the discovery of the real mouths of the Zambesi and the exploring of the immense territories around that river and its tributary, the Shire – results which not only possess much interest, but may prove hereafter of great value if this part of Africa can be brought within the sphere of civilization and commerce. It was hoped, indeed, at one time, that this exploration of the Zambesi would lead to a permanent settlement of Christianity on the banks of that river; but the first head of that mission, sent out mainly by Oxford and Cambridge – Bishop Mackenzie – soon fell a victim to the climate; and the mission itself was abandoned as hopeless by his successor, Bishop Tozer. The fact was that we had endeavoured to plant the tree before the land was dug up and prepared to receive it. In this second work, the Narrative, which was written in the hospitable abode of Newstead Abbey, in the autumn and winter of 1864-65, the author tells his own story with a genuine modesty and yet a native force which carries the reader irresistibly onwards. Like its precursor, it obtained a sale of upwards of 30,000 copies. In its pages he sums up the positive results of his researches as the discovery of a large tract offertile soil, rich in cotton, in tobacco, and in timber, though subject to periodical droughts, and also the establishment of an excellent port, the capacities of which had been overlooked by previous travellers. It is only fair to add that some of those results have been disputed by independent writers, who, however, have never visited those parts. Still, it is no slight thing to be able to boast, as Dr. Livingstone could boast, that by means of the Zambesi a pathway has been opened towards Central Highlands, where Europeans, with their accustomed energy and enterprise, may easily form a healthy and permanent settlement, and where, by opening up communications and establishing commercial relations with the friendly natives, they may impart Christianity and that civilization which has for centuries marked the onward progress of the Anglo-Saxon race. This expedition, it is right to add, originated among the members of the Geographical Society, and Livingstone was aided in it from first to last, not only by the support of Her Majesty’s Government, but by the counsel of Captain Washington, the Hydrographer to the Admiralty, Commander Bedingfield, R. N., Dr. Kirk, of Edinburgh, Mr. Baines, of African and Australian fame, and by his ever faithful friend and companion, his devoted wife. By their assistance he was enabled, to use the expression of Sir R. Murchison, ‘to reach the high watersheds that lie between his own Nyassa and the Tanganyika of Burton and Speke, and to establish the fact that those lakes did not communicate with each other; and that, if so, then there was, to say the least, a high probability that the Tanganyika, if it did not empty itself to the west, through the region of Congo, must find an exit for its waters northwards by way of the Nile.’ This leads us to the third and last great journey of Dr. Livingstone, the one from which such great results have been expected, and in which he has twice or thrice previous to the last sad news been reported to have lost his life. Leaving England at the close of 1865, or early in the following year, as our readers are probably aware, he was despatched once more to Central Africa, under the auspices of the Geographical Society, in order to prosecute still further researches which would throw a light on that mystery of more than 2,000 years’ standing – the real sources of the Nile. Of his explorations since that date the public were for several years in possession of only scanty and fragmentary details, for it must be remembered that Dr. Livingstone was accredited in this last expedition as Her Britannic Majesty’s Consul to the various native chiefs of the unknown interior. This post, no doubt, gave him considerable advantages connected with his official status; but one result was that his home despatches have been of necessity addressed, not to the Geographical Society, but to the Foreign Office. It was known, however, that he spent many months in the central district between 10 deg. and 15 deg. south of the Equator, and Dr. Beke – no mean authority upon such a subject – considers that he has solved the mystery of the true source of the Nile among the high tablelands and vast forests which lie around the lake with which his name will for ever be associated. Although we cannot travel quite so rapidly in our inferences as Dr. Beke, we are bound to record the fact that Dr. Livingstone claims to have found that ‘the chief sources of the Nile arise between 11 deg. and 12 deg. of south latitude, or nearly in the position assigned to them by Ptolemy.’ This may or may not be the case; for time alone will show us whether this mystery has been actually solved, or whether we are still bound to say, as Sir R. Murchison, said in 1865,–‘We hope at the hands of Dr. Livingstone for a solution of the problem of the true watershed of that unexplored country far to the south of the huge water-basins which, we know, contribute to feed the Nile, the Victoria Nyanza of Speke and Grant, and the Albert Nyanza of Baker.’ During the last year or two our news of Dr. Livingstone has been but scanty, though from time to time communications – some alarming and others, again, reassuring-have reached us from himself or from other African Consuls, officially through the Foreign Office and privately through Sir Roderick Murchison. It will be remembered, more especially, that in the Spring of 1867, a letter from Dr. Kirk, dated Zanzibar, December 20, 1866, was received by Sir R. Murchison and Mr. Bates, giving an apparently circumstantial account of Livingstone’s death by an attack of a band of Matites, some miles to the west of Luke Nyassa. The news rested mainly upon the testimony of some Johanna men, who declared that they had with difficulty escaped the same fate; and for some days half London believed the sad story to be true; but Sir Roderick Murchison, with a keen insight which almost amounted to intuition, refused to believe the evidence on which the tale was based and gradually the world came round and followed suit. The story, as told in the Times of India, March 13, 1867, ran as follows:- ‘It would appear that Dr. Livingstone had crossed Lake Nyassa about the middle of September last, and had advanced a few stages beyond its western shores, when he encountered a horde of savages of the Matite tribe. He was marching, as usual, ahead of his party, having nine or ten personal attendants, principally boys from Nassick, immediately behind him. The savages are said to have set upon them without any provocation and with very little warning. Dr. Living-stone’s men fired, and before the smoke of their muskets had cleared away their leader had fallen beneath the stroke of a battle axe, and his men speedily shared the same fate. Moosa who witnessed the encounter and the death-blow of his master from behind a neighbouring tree, immediately retreated and meeting the rest of the party they fled into the deep forest, and eventually made their way back to Lake Nyassa, whence they returned to the coast with a caravan. When the news of Dr. Livingstone’s sad death reached Zanzibar, the English and other European Consuls lowered their flags, an example which was followed by all the ships in the harbour, as well as by the Sultan. It may be worth while to remark that Dr. Livingstone himselfhad a strong presentiment that he would never return from the expedition which has terminated thus disastrously; and this presentiment he frequently expressed to the officers of Her Majesty’s ship Penguin, who were the last Europeans he sawbefore starting for the interior.’ It will be within the memory of our readers also that in 1867 an expedition was sent out by the British Government, in concert with the Geographical Society, under Mr. E. D. Young, R. N., and Mr. H Faulkner, in order to ascertain the fate, and, if still alive, the position of Dr. Livingstone. The result of this expedition was that they found sufficient traces of his recent presence at Mapunda’s and Marenga’s towns on the Lake Nyassa, to negative entirely the melancholy rumour of his murder, by showing that these Johanna men had deserted him while still pursuing his travels, and that, consequently, he was alive when he and they parted company. It was in this westward journey that he was said to have been killed in the autumn of the year 1868; but the story as soon as it reached London was discredited, both by Sir R. Murchison and by the city merchants, as inconsistent with the known dates of his movements, and afterwards happily proved to be false. In July, 1869, Dr. Livingstone resolved to strike westwards from his head-quarters at Ujiji, on the Tanganyika Lake, in order to trace out a series of lakes which lay in that direction, and which, he hoped, would turn out eventually to be the sources of the Nile. If that, however, should prove not to be the case, it would be something, he felt, to ascertain for certain that they were the head waters of the Congo; and, in the latter case, he would probably have followed the course of the Congo, and have turned up, sooner or later, on the Western Coast of Africa. But this idea he appears to have abandoned after having penetrated as far west as Bainbarro and Lake Kamolondo, and stopping short at Bagenya about four degrees west from his starting point. At all events, from this point he returned, and which, in the winter of 1870-71, he was found by Mr. Stanley, he was once more in the neighbourhood of his old haunts, still bent on the discovery of certain ‘fountains on the hills,’ which he trusted to be able to prove to be the veritable springs of the Nile, and to gain the glory of being alone their discoverer – to use his own emphatic words, ‘So that no one may come after and cut me out with a fresh batch of sources.’ During the last two years or so, if we except the sudden light thrown upon his career by the episode of Mr. Stanley’s successful search after him, we have been kept rather in the dark as to the actual movements of Dr. Livingstone. Mr. Stanley’s narrative of his discovery of the Doctor in the neighbourhood of Ujiji is in the hands of every well-informed Englishman, and his journey in company with him round the northern shores of Lake Tanganyika (with some hint of a possible modification of his opinion as to the connexion between that sea and the Nile) was recorded in the address delivered by Sir Henry Rawlinson, the President of the Geographical Society, last summer. On that occasion the President remarked:- ‘Our knowledge of Livingstone’s present whereabouts is not very definite. He appears to have been so thoroughly impressed with a belief or the identity of his triple Lunlaba with the Nile that, in spite of earnest longings to revisit his native land, he could not persuade himself to leave Africa until he had fairly traced to their sources in the southern mountains the western branches of the great river that he had explored in Manyema. Awaiting accordingly, at Unyanyembe the arrival of stores and supplies which were partly furnished by Mr. Stanley, and partly by our own First Relief Expedition, no sooner had they arrived than he started in September last (1872) for the further end of Tanganyika, intending from that point to visit a certain mound in about 11 deg. South latitude, from which the Lufira and Lulua were said to flow to the north, and the Leeambye and Kafué to the south. Hence he proposed to return northwards to the copper mines of Katanga, in the Koné mountains, of which he had heard such an extraordinary account. Later still he was bent on visiting Lake Lincoln, and following the river which flowed out of it, and which, under the name of the Loeki or Lomanae, joined the Lualaba a little further down, to the great unexplored lake at the Equator. His expectation seems to have been that this lake communicated with the Bahr-el-Gazal, and that he might thus either return home by the route of the Nile or retrace his steps to Ujiji but if, as we hope will be the case, either the one or the other of the expeditions which are now penetrating into the interior from the East and West Coast respectively should succeed in opening communication with him before he is called on to decide on the line of his return journey from the Equatorial lake, it is far from probable that, with the new light thus afforded him, he will continue his journey along the Congo, and emerge from the interior on the Western Coast.’ We fear that these forecastings have been falsified by the event, and that we must now add the name of David Livingstone to the roll of those who have fallen in the cause of civilization and progress. It is impossible not to mourn the loss of a missionary so liberal in his views, so large-hearted, so enlightened. By his labours it has come to pass that throughout the protected tribes of Southern Africa Queen Victoria is generally acknowledged as ‘the Queen of the people who love the black man.’ Livingstone had his faults and his failings; but the self-will and obstinacy he possibly at times displayed were very near akin to the qualities which secured his triumphant success, and much allowance must be made for a man for whom his early education had done so little, and who was forced, by circumstances around him, to act with a decision which must have sometimes offended his fellow-workers. Above all, his success depended, from first to last, in an eminent degree upon the great power which he possessed of entering into the feelings, wishes, and desires of the African tribes and engaging their hearty sympathy. As the best memorial of such a man as Livingstone, we would here place on permanent record his own eloquent words, in which he draws out his idea of the missionary’s work in the spirit, not merely of a Christian, but of a philosopher and statesman:- ‘The sending of the Gospel to the heathen must include much more than is implied in the usual picture of a missionary, which is that of a man going about with a bible under his arm. The promotion of commerce ought to be specially attended to, as this more speedily than anything else demolishes that sense of isolation which is engendered by heathenism, and makes the tribes feel themselves to be mutually dependent on each other. Those laws which still prevent free commercial intercourse among civilized nations appear to me to be nothing but the remains of our own heathenism. But by commerce we may not only put a stop to the slave trade, but introduce the negro family into the body corporate of nations, no one member of which can suffer without the others suffering with it. This in both Eastern and Western Africa would lead to much larger diffusion of the blessings of civilization than efforts exclusively spiritual and educational confined to any one tribe. These should, of course, be carried out at the same time where possible – at all events, at large central and healthy stations; but neither civilization nor Christianity can be promoted alone; in fact, they are inseparable.’ In conclusion, our readers will forgive us for quoting the following testimony to Livingstone’s character from the pen of Mr. E. D. Young, whom we have mentioned above: ‘His extensive travels place him at the head of modern explorers, for no one has dared as yet to penetrate where he has been; no one, through a lengthy series of years, has devoted so much of his life to the work of searching out tribes hitherto unknown and I believe that his equal will rarely, if ever, be found in one particular and essential characteristic of the genuine explorer. He has the most singular faculty of ingratiating himself with natives whithersoever he travels. A frank openhearted generosity combined with a constant jocular way in treating with them carries him through all. True, it is nothing but the most iron bravery which enables a man thus to move among difficulties and dangers with a smile on his face instead of a haggard, careworn, and even a suspicious look. Certain it is, also, that wherever he has passed, the natives are only too anxious to see other Englishmen, and in this way we must crown him “the King of African Pioneers.” ’ This obituary never doubts the nature and enterprise of Livingstone’s missionary work in Africa. Although it portrays the man as one who early on in his life raised himself above his humble origins by education and a sure sense of vocation, it also seems to rejoice in suggesting that there may be a significance in his distinctive Highland ancestry. This is ‘self help’ with an added degree of genetic determining. Livingstone, a meticulous observer and recorder of the topography of the continent on which he laboured, is honoured as a pioneer explorer of territory unknown to Europeans and as one who earned the respect of the Africans amongst whom he worked. After his death on 1 May 1873 from dysentery in what is now Zambia, his body, accompanied as far as Zanzibar by his two most faithful servants, was brought back to Britain for burial in Westminster Abbey. His posthumous reputation was fostered by Henry Morton Stanley. JOHN STUART MILL (#) Philosopher and political theorist: ‘the most candid of controversialists.’ 8 MAY 1873 LIKE MANY OF his most distinguished contemporaries – like Charles Buller, Macaulay, Buckle, Dickens, Thackeray, George Cornewall Lewis, Sydney Herbert, Lytton – John Stuart Mill has died when many years of thought and action might still have been confidently anticipated for him by his friends. He was born in 1806, and may be cited as one of the strongest confirmations of their theory by those who maintain the hereditary nature of genius or capacity; for he was the son of a man eminently endowed with the same qualities of mind by which he himself rose to be one of the most remarkable writers and thinkers of his generation. James Mill, the father, popularly known as the historian of British India, was the author of a great variety of essays on morals, government, and philosophy; among others of an essay on Education, in which he takes for granted, as an indisputable fact, ‘that the early sequences to which we are accustomed form those primary habits, and that the primary habits are the fundamental character of the man. The consequence is most important, for it follows that as soon as the infant, or rather the embryo begins to feel, the character begins to be formed, and that the habits which are then contracted are the most pervading and operative of all.’ The ‘primary habits’ of the infant or embryo disciple of Bentham were formed with especial reference to this principle. His education was in every sense private and paternal. He was hardly allowed to breathe out of the utilitarian atmosphere, he was swathed in metaphysics, he was dieted on political economy; and, instead of lisping, like Pope, in numbers, he lisped in syllogisms. His father, before going to the India House, had him up at 6 in the morning to dictate the tasks of the day, which included classics and modern languages, besides other branches of knowledge. He was, by all accounts an extraordinary child; and it is within our personal knowledge that he was an extraordinary youth when, in 1824, he took the lead at the London Debating Club in one of the most remarkable collections of ‘spirits of the age’ that ever congregated for intellectual gladiatorship, he being by two or three years the junior of the clique. The rivalry was rather in knowledge and reasoning than in eloquence: mere declamation was discouraged; and subjects of paramount importance were conscientiously thought out. He was already a frequent contributor to the Westminster Review, and a prominent member of the long defunct party, the Philosophic Radicals, whose sayings and doings in its heyday have recently been revived by Mrs. Grote. He must have been a boy in years when a foolish scheme for carrying out the Malthusian principle brought him under the lash of the satirist. In Moore’s Ode to the Goddess Ceres we find:- ‘There are two Mr. Mills, too, whom those who like reading ‘What’s vastly unreadable, call very clever; ‘And whereas Mill senior makes war on good breeding ‘Mill junior makes war on all breeding whatever.’ Coleridge, in his Biographia Literaria, plausibly suggests that literature will be most efficiently pursued by those who are tied down to some regular employment, official or professional, apart from and independent of it. Such employment, he thinks, exercises a steadying and bracing influence upon the mind. ‘Three hours of leisure, unannoyed by any alien anxiety, and looked forward to with delight as a change and recreation, will suffice to realize in literature a larger product of what is truly genial than weeks of compulsion.’ During the entire period of his greatest intellectual efforts John Stuart Mill held an important office under the East India Company, and discharged its duties in a manner to make his retirement a real loss to the public when, in 1868, he declined a seat in the Indian Council offered him by the present Lord Derby. The despatches and other documents drawn up by him would entitle him to a high rank among those it is the fashion to call ‘closet statesmen.’ The first edition of his System of Logic, the work on which his reputation would be most confidently rested by his admirers, appeared in 1843. ‘This book,’ he says in his preface, ‘makes no pretence of giving to the world a new theory of the intellectual operations. Its claim to attention, if it possess any, is grounded on the fact that it is an attempt, not to supersede, but to embody and systematize the best ideas which have been either promulgated on its subject by speculative writers or confirmed by accurate thinkers in their scientific inquiries.’ It is a book which no one would read for amusement, hardly; indeed, except as a task; his style, always dry, is here at its driest, and the circumstance of the work having reached an eighth edition in 1872 is, therefore, a conclusive proof of its completeness as a system and a text-book. The same praise may be granted to his Principles of Political Economy, from which the existing state of the so-called science may be learnt; but in this work, instead of confining himself to the collection of known and recognized theories or facts, he has propounded sundry doctrines of dangerous tendency and doubtful soundness, which have laid him open to suspicion and attack – for instance, his doctrine of property in land, which, he maintains, is the inalienable inheritance of the human species, and may at any moment be wholly or in part resumed from considerations of expediency. We need hardly add that many of his opinions on society and government have been generally and justly condemned; and that, in his more appropriate domain of mental and moral philosophy, he was engaged in unceasing feuds. He was, however, the most candid of controversialists, and too amiable to indulge in scorching sarcasm or inflict unnecessary pain. He was often a wrong-headed, but always a kind-hearted man. After conversing with some Oxford tutors in 1863, Mrs. Grote sets down:- ‘Grote and Mill may be said to have revived the study of the two master sciences – History and Mental Philosophy among the Oxford undergraduates. A new current of ideas, new and original modes of interpreting the past, the light of fresh learning cast upon the peoples of antiquity; such are their impulses given, by these two great teachers, that our youth are completely kindled to enthusiasm towards both at the present time.’ Mill’s election for Westminster in 1865 was an honourable tribute to his character and reputation, as his rejection in 1868 was the natural consequence and well-deserved penalty of his imprudence in exhibiting an uncalled-for sympathy with Mr. Odger and otherwise recklessly offending the most respectable portion of the constituency. He was well received in the House of Commons, and, although wanting in most of the physical requisites of an orator, he seldom failed to command attention when he rose. Indeed, he made a better figure even as a debater than was expected from his former appearances in that capacity, and the proof is that a well known writer produced a carefully finished parallel between him and Mr. Lowe apropos of some passages of arms between them during the Cattle Plague debates:- ‘Mr. Lowe takes by preference the keen, practical common-sense view of his subject; Mr. Mill the philosophical, speculative and original view. Mr. Lowe’s strength lies in his acquired knowledge, memory, and dialectic skill; Mr. Mill’s in his intellectual resources and accumulated stores of thought. Their reading has been in different lines, and employed in a different manner; Mr. Lowe being the much superior classic, and Mr. Mill (we suspect) more at home in legislation, morals, metaphysics, and philosophy. Books, ancient and modern, are more familiar to Mr. Lowe, and have been better digested by Mr. Mill. The one has most imagination, the other most wit. The one almost rises to genius, whilst the palm of the highest order of talent must be awarded to the other. The one fights for truth, the other for victory. In conflict it is the trained logician against the matured thinker; not that the logician wants thought, or the thinker logic. A set combat between them would resemble one between the retiarius or netman of the Roman arena and a swordsman; and the issue would depend on whether Mr. Lowe could entangle his adversary in the close meshes of his reasoning by an adroit throw, or whether Mr. Mill could evade the cast by an intellectual bound, close, and decide the contest by a home thrust.’ We do not reproduce this parallel as agreeing with it, but as strikingly presenting some illustrative trait of each. Of late years Mill has not come before the world with advantage. When he appeared in public it was to advocate the fanciful rights of women, to propound some impracticable reform or revolutionary change in the laws relating to the land; but, with all his error and paradoxes, he will be long remembered as a thinker and reasoner who has largely contributed to the intellectual progress of the age. This is a deeply grudging notice of the career of a man whose work was to exert a profound influence over succeeding generations. The obituarist evidently draws on Mill’s Autobiography of 1873 but he eschews mention of what latter-day readers might consider his most significant works: On Liberty (1859), Representative Government (1861), Utilitarianism (1863) and The Subjection of Women (1869). Mill had entered Parliament as an Independent MP for Westminster in July 1865. During his time in Parliament he was an outspoken advocate of liberal reform and of women’s rights and acted as a supporter of George Odger, a shoemaker and trades unionist who made five unsuccessful attempts to become a working class MP. In 1851 Mill married the newly widowed Harriet Taylor, with whom he had been intimate for twenty-one years. Her tuberculosis obliged the couple to retire to Avignon for her health. She died there in 1858. Mill is buried beside her. SIR EDWIN LANDSEER (#) Painter: ‘His paintings are known…through the length and breadth of the land.’ 1 OCTOBER 1873 WE HAVE TO announce, with deep regret, the death yesterday morning, at 10.40, of Sir Edwin Landseer. Sir Edwin had been long known to be in a most precarious state of health, but the news will not the less shock and grieve the worlds both of Art and of Society, in which he was an equal favourite. The great painter never, however, courted publicity; he was singularly reticent about all that concerned himself, and it is astonishing to find how little was known to his contemporaries respecting his early career. The grandfather of Sir Edwin, we are told, settled as a jeweller in London in the middle of the last century; and here, it is said, his father, Mr. John Landseer, was born in 1761, though another account fixes Lincoln as his birthplace, and his birth itself at a later date. John Landseer became an engraver, rose to eminence in his line of art, became an Associate of the Royal Academy, and, having held that position for nearly 50 years, died in 1852. He was largely employed in engraving pictures for the leading publishers, including Macklin, who engaged him on the illustrations to his ‘Bible;’ this employment led to his marriage with a Miss Pot, a great friend of the Macklins, and whose portrait as a peasant girl, with a sheaf of corn upon her head, was painted by Sir Thomas Lawrence. The issue of this marriage consisted of three daughters and also of three sons – Thomas born in or about the year 1795; Charles, born in 1799; and Edwin, the youngest, in 1802. In 1806 Mr. John Landseer delivered to large audiences at the Royal Institution in Albemarle-street a series of lectures on engraving, in which he laid down broader, higher, and truer views of that branch of art than those which had hitherto prevailed. His name will also be remembered by many as the author or Observations on the Engraved Gems brought from Babylon to England by Mr. Abraham Lockeit in 1817; Saboean Researches, another work on the same subject; and a Description of Fifty of the Earliest Pictures in the National Gallery. He subsequently edited the Review of the Fine Arts and the Probe. Later in life he exhibited at the Academy some water-colour studies from Druidical Temples, and finally engraved his son Edwin’s ‘Dogs of St. Bernard,’ of which he wrote also a small explanatory pamphlet. The chief work, however, of John Landseer lay in bringing up his three sons, of whom the eldest is as well known by his engravings as was his father, and the second was elected keeper of the Academy in 1851. The artistic education of Edwin Landseer was commenced at an early age under the eye of his father, who, after the example of the greatest masters, directed him to the study of nature herself, and sent him constantly to Hampstead-heath and other suburban localities to make studies of donkeys, sheep, and goats. A series of early drawings and etchings from his hand, preserved in the South Kensington Museum, will serve to show how faithful and true an interpreter of nature the future Academician was even more than half a century since, for some of his efforts are dated as early as his eighth year, so that he is a standing proof that precocity does not always imply subsequent failure. Indeed, he drew animals correctly and powerfully even before he was five years old! His first appearance, however, as a painter dates from 1815, when, at the age of 13, he exhibited two paintings at the Academy; they are entered in the catalogue as Nos. 443 and 584; ‘Portrait of a Mule’ and ‘Portraits of a Pointer Bitch and Puppy,’ and the young painter appears as: Master E. Landseer,33, Foley-street. In the following year he was one of the exhibitors at ‘the Great Room in Spring-gardens,’ then engaged for ‘the Society of Painters in Oil and Water Colours,’ along with De Wint, Chalon, and the elder Pugin; about the same time, too, we find him receiving regular instruction in art as a pupil in the studio of Haydon, and the residence of the family in Foley-street was the very centre of a colony of artists and literary celebrities. Mulready, Stothard, Benjamin West, A. E. Chalon, Collins, Constable, Daniel, Flaxman, and Thomas Campbell all lived within a few hundred yards of John Landseer’s house; and from their society young Landseer, we may be sure, took care to draw profit and encouragement. He also derived considerable assistance from a study of the Elgin marbles at Burlington-house, where they lay for some time before finding a home in the British Museum. These ancient treasures he was led to study by the advice of his teacher Haydon. In the same year (1816) he was admitted as a student to the Royal Academy. In the following year he exhibited ‘Brutus, a portrait of a Mastiff,’ at the Academy, and also a ‘Portrait of an Alpine Mastiff;’ at the Gallery in Spring-gardens already mentioned. With the year 1818 commenced an important epoch in the life of Landseer. His ‘Fighting Dogs Getting Wind,’ exhibited this summer at the rooms of the Society of Painters in Oil and Water Colours, excited an extraordinary amount of attention; and, being purchased by Sir George Beaumont, it set the stream of fashion in his favour. Sir David Wilkie, writing to Haydon at this date, remarked, as much in earnest as in jest, ‘Young Landseer’s jackasses are good.’ Конец ознакомительного фрагмента. Текст предоставлен ООО «ЛитРес». Прочитайте эту книгу целиком, купив полную легальную версию (https://www.litres.ru/ian-brunskill/the-times-great-victorian-lives/?lfrom=390579938) на ЛитРес. Безопасно оплатить книгу можно банковской картой Visa, MasterCard, Maestro, со счета мобильного телефона, с платежного терминала, в салоне МТС или Связной, через PayPal, WebMoney, Яндекс.Деньги, QIWI Кошелек, бонусными картами или другим удобным Вам способом.