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6“ Hear my prayer, oh Lord, and hide not thyself from my petition.
«« My heart is disquieted within me, and the fear of death is fallen upon me.
““ Fearfulness and trembling are come upon me, and an horrible dread hath overwhelmed me.
« « It is not an open enemy that hath done me this dishonour, for then I could have borne it.
6" It was even thou my companion, my guide, and my own familiar friend."
• Forlorn victim of a cruel time! Twenty-one years old—no more. At the end of an hour he went to bed, with his page at his side. An hour later they two were lying dead in the garden under the stars.'— ii. pp. 369-70.
Of the authenticity of the famous letters, Mr. Froude has not the least doubt; he has enwoven them into his story. And in truth, after Hume's note, it may seem, to the calm inquirer, surprising that they have been held in doubt. Poetry and Romance may still submit to that spell of fascination which held all Scotland, all but Knox, under its resistless magic; the sad fate of Mary may still appeal to what Mr. Froude well calls the 'imaginative sympathies,' which still repudiate the severe truths of history. Fotheringay may disturb the least impassioned judgment, and cast back, as it were, a shade of compassionate doubt, on Kirk-aField. But calm, stern Reason cannot swerve from her office.
At all events with Mr. Froude was all contemporary feeling, all contemporary belief. From that moment all was lost to Catholicism in the two kingdoms. This the Catholics themselves acknowledged; many of the English hastened to transfer their allegiance to their last hopeless hope, Catherine Grey.
Spain at once threw up her game in utter desperation. The war against Elizabeth, against England, must be carried on no longer in Scotland; it must be resumed by other means and in other quarters. All the French documents are to the same effect. M. Mignet is at one with Mr. Froude.
It would indeed be difficult, we believe, to produce one authority of the time in favour of Mary. It was not until much, if not all, was forgotten, that a reaction took place; a reaction of romantic compassion for her sufferings, a vague admiration of her beauty, a feeling half of romantic Scoticism, half of religious antipathy to Elizabeth. Mary has, notwithstanding the verdict of friends as well as of foes, continued to bewitch a large part of posterity into belief in her innocence.
ART. VIII.-1. A Memoir of Charles James Blomfield, D.D.,
Bishop of London ; with Selections from his Correspondence. Edited by his Son, Alfred Blomfield, M.A., Fellow of All Souls College, Oxford, and Incumbent of St. Philip's, Stepney.
1863. 2. Addresses and Charges of Edward Stanley, D.D. (late Bishop
of Norwich); with a Memoir. By his Son, Arthur Penrhyn Stanley, M.A., Fellow and Tutor of University College,
Oxford. 1851. 3. The Life of the Right Rev. Daniel Wilson, D.D., late Lord
Bishop of Calcutta and Metropolitan of India. By the Rev. Josiah Bateman, M.A., Rector of North Cray, Kent, his Son
in-Law and First Chaplain. 2 vols. 8vo. London, 1859. T EW branches of literature are more generally, or, if well
executed, more deservedly popular than biographies. The history of almost any man, if truly and simply told, must be full of interest to other men. The causes of this interest are suggested with all his wonted tenderness of touch and truth of sentiment by M. Guizot in his étude entitled “L'Amour dans le Mariage. “Men will have,' he says, “ romances. Why not instead look closely into history? There, too, they would find human life, with its infinitely varied and dramatic scenes; the human heart with all its passions, startling and tender, and, above all, the master-charm of reality. . . Beings who have really lived, who have actually felt the chances, the passions, the joys and griefs, the aspect of which affects us so powerfully, these seen close at hand attract me more powerfully than the most perfect of romances. A human being, the handywork of God, so displayed before us, is far above all the works of man. Of all poets God is the greatest.' *
Beyond, moreover, this portraiture of human nature, many biographies afford the finest and most real of touches of history. Events are for the most part only interesting to us in proportion to our power of associating with them the feelings, and sufferings, and interests of the men by whom they were accomplished, or on whom they acted; and when therefore biography reveals to us the actors in the great dramas of history as they really lived and felt, and aspired and wrought, it rises to the highest conceivable conditions of interest.
The difficulty of obtaining such biography is extreme. Writers who follow the subjects of their memoirs at a small distance of time are peculiarly liable to imperfect and distorted views,
* • L'Amour dans le Mariage,' 1 and 2.
The Church of England and her Bishops. Mists ever hang the thickest and the darkest around the near objects of the low valleys, even when the giant tops which pierce the sky are bright in their inaccessible distance with the light of heaven. Actual contemporaries are almost certain to be too much interested on the one side or the other in the scenes in which their hero has been an actor to be free from the strong temptation to depreciate an adversary or to exalt a friend. Autobiography is, perhaps, the best form which this species of contemporary history can take. For though there are few who can take so impartial a view of themselves, and of matters round them, as to pen lines like those in which Gibbon has so inimitably sketched himself, yet it is easier for honest criticism to rectify, so to speak, the misrepresentations of the autobiographer than those of the friendly relator as to whose special views and weaknesses it has not such full information.
This is the best justification we know of that of which late years have given so many examples, namely, the writing of the father's life by the son. For this is the next step to autobiography. It is not plainly without its peculiar dangers. The portrait of a mother exhibited in the Royal Academy, in 1862, shows us that there are faces which a son can venture to draw with absolute fidelity, and that there are limners capable of transferring exquisitely to canvas the well-known and beloved lineaments. But there are not many painters like Sir Coutts Lindsay, nor many subjects such as it was his lot to paint. Still such sketching is autobiography at one remove, and we are ready to receive it as such, and are, we believe, able, when so taken, to correct by a calculation which is not in itself difficult, the errors which are likely to find their way into the recorded series.
The works the titles of which we have placed at the head of this article are all of this character; two of them being written by sons, and one by the son-in-law of the subjects of their memoirs. In literary merit they differ widely. Mr. Bateman's Life of his father-in-law is detailed, and evidently faithful; but homely and unpretending in its execution. The most living parts are those in which the Bishop is let to speak for himself. The chaplain son-in-law's surrounding text suggests to us the belief that he was sometimes scandalised by the more unrestrained movements of his episcopal superior, and would, if he could, havc cut the doublet something squarer, slouched the hat a little broader, and settled the somewhat coarse but kindly and expressive features into a more habitually artificial gravity.
Canon Stanley's memoir is a very different production, though he, too, has a few difficulties to reduce, and a few softening touches with which to send forth his portraiture before a critical world. But it exhibits all the excellences of his character and the graces of his pen. There is that power of making the picture live before the eye, which adds so fascinating a charm to all his writings. There is such a loving reverence breathing through the whole, that it soon imparts itself to the reader; and as he proceeds he is hardly able to blame what he disa pproves. As we read of his father's work on Birds, and on his reception of Jenny Lind, we could almost fancy that the Canon of Christchurch found some interest in Natural History, and did not abhor Music. The memoir is what all his writings are-a most skilful, because a concealed, justification of his own opinions, thrown into a sketch of such beauty of language, such tenderness of feeling, and such completeness of execution, that we cannot imagine any reader of well-instructed taste beginning the memoir and laying it down unfinished. We must in truthfulness add, that discerning and observant readers will, we fear, trace already in these pages an inclination to blot out the supernatural element from a revelation which, if it be not supernatural, must be false alike in fact and in intention. It grieves us to remark this tendency ; nor should we have called attention to it here, had we not felt bound to mingle with our praises this note of caution as to every theological composition of this polished and graceful pen.
The memoir of Bishop Blomfield, if it does not sparkle or beguile like that of Bishop Stanley, is on the whole a creditable performance. The Life was in more respects than one difficult for a son to write. It would not have been difficult to make it jocular and unbecoming its purpose; it would have been easy to make it stately, defensive, and dull. It has happily, to a great degree, avoided both of these dangers. If those who were familiar with the Bishop, and knew how his overtasked mind continually sought some rest in fun and merriment, sometimes complain of the absence of his jests, we must remind them that to have read the written joke, in the midst of the narrative of the Life, would have been a widely different thing from witnessing the spark as it was cast forth the candescent metal, and seeing how small was its volume beside the living man who cast it from him. The volumes have, upon the whole, escaped the dulness of a chronicle, whilst they are a real sketch-generally fair, and sometimes almost dramatic-of the events in the midst of which the Bisbop's life was cast. They are, too, all sketches which possess the double claim on our attention of representing human life as it was seen by the narrators close at hand for our interest and instruction, and also of affording many materials for the history of
the the years which have but recently passed from us in one, at least, of their most important chapters--the changes which have passed in them on the religious life of this nation.
At first sight, perhaps, it might seem as if the Church of England could not be greatly affected by the character of those who happened at the time to be even her leading prelates. That such an impress of individual bishops can be traced upon the broader flow of the Church Catholic, we all allow. After the lapse of all the intervening years, we see yet upon the bosom of those ancient waters the reflected lineaments of such men as St. Basil, St. Ambrose, St. Athanasius, and St. Augustin. But our Church seems to be so identified with the national life of England, and to be so hemmed in with the narrowing accidents of Articles, fixed Services, and legal decisions, that it scarcely affords a breast tranquil enough to mirror the features of individuals, or sufficiently expansive to be capable of being stirred this way or that by the breath of these separate influences, how strong soever they may be. Yet a closer examination of facts seems to establish a contrary conclusion. Fixed, definite, and national as undoubtedly is the character of the Church of England, yet no one can doubt but that it has been greatly affected by the personal character and individual leanings of such men as Whitgift, Laud, Sancroft, and Tillotson, or, even in spite of his extraordinary weaknesses, of Burnett. We may, then, hope to gather from the records of such more modern lives as these, some important suggestions as to the recent history of our Church.
Few can doubt that, in the last sixty years, there have passed over it many marked and important changes. At the commencement of the century it seemed as if the Church was passing rapidly and hopelessly into a mere department of the State, touching public worship. The suppression of her Convocations had proved a great step in this direction. She had lost all power of corporate action, and, as must be the result, the loss of the power of corporate feeling had certainly and not slowly followed. Further, through a long succession of years her truest-hearted and most able sons had been studiously excluded from all clerical posts of place and power. Such a policy was, perhaps, an unavoidable, certainly a most mischievous, consequence of the Revolution, which placed upon the throne a king de facto, whom many of his most conscientious subjects could not regard as king de jure, with sufficient certainty to enable them with clear consciences to transfer to him the oaths of allegiance which they had already taken to another. The Court patronage of Hoadley prolonged and fixed this miserable tradition; and the desperate worldliness of Walpole