Page images

be defeated. It is when the new way to the Indies becomes his one idea that Columbus discovers America. It is when Luther defies all the opposing devils, although they are as many as the tiles upon the roofs, that he establishes Protestantism.

The doctors and the distinguished company decide upon Mr. Gerry's complaint that the bicycle-riding of the children at Barnum's is healthful and not injurious, and to Mr.

Bergh's remonstrance about killing the elephant Pilot, Mr. Barnum replies that he is not likely to inflict a serious loss upon himself by killing one of his animals unless it were clearly necessary. All this may be conceded. But it is very fortunate for the community that there are sentinels of humanity who will summarily challenge everything that has an evil appearance, and compel a clear and complete explanation.



Editor's Literary Record.

HEN Carlyle, in one of his pragmatical | tions, it was impossible for him to put them moods, likened collections of letters out of sight even if he had been so minded. to an uncounted handful of needles in an And so, true to his character whenever he unmeasured continent of hay," he not alto- had a difficult, or a perplexing, or a disgether inaptly described the character and agreeable thing to do, now that he had no quality of the letters of Mrs. Carlyle, which longer Mrs. Carlyle to shuffle his burthen years afterward he was destined to collect upon, he shuffled it upon Mr. Froude, Mr. and annotate in much tribulation of spirit, Forster, and Mr. John Carlyle. He could and which are now edited and given to the not make up his mind to direct positively world by Mr. Froude. Undoubtedly Mrs. the publication of the letters, nor could he Carlyle's Letters and Memorials have their make up his mind to interdict it; he would full proportion of the sort of material that seem anxiously to desire it; Mr. Froude, Carlyle, in his high and mighty way, con- Mr. Forster, and Mr. John Carlyle would temptuously sets down as "hay;" but it is solve the problem for him, perhaps to doubtful if there are any letters extant that publish, possibly to stifle. The last two teem more abundantly than hers with pas- died, however, in Mr. Carlyle's lifetime, sages radiant with brilliant intellect, or when the responsibility fell entirely upon sparkling with apt anecdote and illustration, Mr. Froude; and Mr. Froude was not a man or coruscating with graphic description and to suppress facts, however unwelcome. Evidelicate portraiture, or bristling with points dently still undecided in his own mind, a sharp, incisive, and penetrating as a needle few months before his death-the letters -many of which last must have punctured having then been in Mr. Froude's hands Carlyle to the quick when he came to read nearly ten years-Carlyle asked Mr. Froude them, after the patient writer had laid down what he meant to do with them, and rethe weary load that his selfishness and ceived for reply that, when the Reminiscences thoughtlessness had shuffled upon her had been published, he had decided that the through long years. These letters and Letters might and should be published also. memorials furnish the key to the cheap This settled the matter. In his will Carlyle sentimentalities, made up of penitential requested that Mr. Froude's judgment should ejaculations and self-flagellations, with which be accepted as his own. Whether it was Carlyle's Reminiscences were so liberally gar- his genuine desire that the letters should be nished. That he "did not order their pub- published, or whether he had a secret hope lication, though he anxiously desired it," as that they might be ultimately withheld, will Mr. Froude informs us in the preface, must remain an unsolved problem. It must not have been because of a lingering sense of be inferred from anything that has been shame on the one hand, and a feeling of said that Mrs. Carlyle's Letters and Memorials remorse on the other. He shrunk from are wholly, or even in large part, taken up admitting the world to a sight of the life he with the story of her drudgery, discomforts, had made an intolerable burthen; but yet and mortifications, and of Carlyle's trying he was irresistibly drawn to make a public humours and more trying neglect. expiation in the nature of a public con- otherwise; for the first twenty years of their fession. Moreover, it could not be concealed London life her letters are not merely that he had been engaged in collecting Mrs. cheerful and contented, but light-hearted, Carlyle's letters, with a view, as it was sur-merry, and prodigal of blithesome foremised, to their publication, and therefore, though he could not have been other than self-convicted by their unwelcome revela

Letters and Memorials of Jane Welsh Carlyle. Prepared for Publication by THOMAS CARLYLE. Edited by JAMES ANTHONY FROUDE. 2 vols. cr. 8vo. London: Longmans, Green & Co.


castings, revealing a thoroughly happy home, rendered so no less by Carlyle's loving admiration for and frank comradeship with his wife than by the magnetism of her own personal graces and attractions. smoothed his life by her tact, her industry, She and her admirable domestic management, so

that it was possible for him to absorb himself in his work without being cumbered by cares; and she brightened and sweetened it by her gaiety, her spirit, her versatility, and her skill in the art of making all around her bright and happy; and he gladdened her life by imparting to her his projects, plans, and hopes, and by selecting her for his earliest and most trusted critic. But gradually, after the lapse of a score of years, the shadows begin to fall upon the bright letters, and year by year thereafter they fall more and more swiftly. The drudgery that had been a joy is becoming a burthen too heavy for her to bear, because the treasured companionship that had made self-sacrifice a pleasure is no longer hers, but is shared with others, who not only rob her of his society, but wound her womanly pride and mortify her wifely feelings. Still, when the shadows fall heaviest and darkest, Mrs. Carlyle makes no parade of her grievances, but her letters continue as gay, as sprightly, as full of loving-kindness for others and of loving thoughtfulness for Carlyle himself, as ever; only here and there, as if wrung from her in a moment of pain and mortification, a word or a sentence crops out that betrays the fire that is smouldering in her heart. Mostly it is in her letters to old and dear friends to whom she may speak freely that we are able to read a sadly pitiful meaning between the lines a meaning implied rather than expressed, and which filled Carlyle's rugged heart with compunction when it was too late. Aside from these dark threads, which are so delicate as to be almost imperceptible, the letters are very charming compositions more free-spoken, perhaps, and charged with stronger epithets, than we should expect from a woman of refined taste, besides occasionally betraying an unfeminine contempt for sacred things, but sweet and wholesome in their general tone, and pouring out pure and gentle and generous thoughts in a rich stream. Considered as a whole, they are a delightful medley of wit and humour, of shrewd and practical sense, of crisp criticism, of spirited description, of graphic characterisations of men and things, and of most minute and genial delineations of the peculiar characters and bizarre society that revolved around the Carlyle hearth-stone, as well as of the surroundings of Carlyle's own every-day literary and domestic life. The letters appeal in a special manner to the sympathies of women, and will scarcely increase their veneration for Carlyle.

THE Correspondent of Carlyle and Emerson, admirably edited by Professor Norton, and just published in two compact volumes, admits us to a close view of a very pleasing side of the character of both these eminent

1 The Correspondence of Thomas Carlyle and Ralph

Waldo Emerson, 1834-1872. In 2 vols. 8vo. London: Chatto and Windus.

VOL. LXVII-No. 397.-10.


men. From the time when Emerson, attracted by impassioned utterances that voiced his own musings, first hunted out Carlyle in his lair at Craigenputtock, in 1833, until the close of Carlyle's life in 1881, a little more than a year before the summons came to Emerson himself, these two, so dissimilar in their temperaments and in the general structure of their minds, but so much alike in many of their sympathies and aspirations, were bound together by ties of the most genuine and unalterable friendship. To Carlyle, who was hungering for the recognition that he conceived to be his due, but which his countrymen were slow to vouchsafe, or gave grudgingly only, the vision of the young and intellectual American scholar, already a deep and independent thinker and a dreamer of profound dreams, was not unlike that of an angel from heaven, and frequently in after-years he was wont to liken it to that of a sky-messenger who alighted to him in the Desert, and then vanished into the Blue again." Emerson's acute and discriminating praise and the generous enthusiasm of his admiration were like a ray of sunlight upon the life of the moody, irritable, and morbidly self-conscious student, and coming from the denizen of another hemisphere, seemed to him to be prelusive of the verdict of posterity-a welcome and relishing foretaste of the fame that awaited him in the future. The correspondence that ensued after this first meeting consists of one hundred and seventy-three letters, nearly equally divided, and generally responsive, and it covers every year from 1834 to 1872, with the exception of 1857, 1863, and 1868, when there are gaps, which were not caused by any intermission of their friendship, but are probably due to their letters in those years having been lost or mislaid. The correspondence ceases with 1872, in which year Emerson went to England, and the two friends met again. After a short stay Emerson proceeded to the Continent and Egypt, returning to London in the spring of 1873. "Then, for the last time," as Professor Norton observes in a closing paragraph, ICarlyle and he saw each other. In May, Emerson went home. After this time no letters passed between him and Carlyle. They were both old men. Writing had become difficult to them. They were secure in each other's friendship. Carlyle died, eighty-four years old, on the 5th of February, 1881. Emerson died, seventy-nine years old, on the 27th of April, 1882." The letters are eminently characteristic of the men, and admit the reader to an undress rehearsal of their opinions and impressions of the productions and personal traits of many prominent men of letters among their contemporaries, and also of their own and each other's productions. In the case of Carlyle these judgments of stitutional arrogance, and his tendency to other men are invariably marked by his condepreciate whatever lay outside of those

[ocr errors]

grooves he had laid out for himself, and they no less bear the stamp of his native shrewd and caustic sagacity. In Emerson's case these judgments are more generous, more catholic, more dispassionate, and more just. As relates to their opinions of their own works, Carlyle betrays a lack of delicacy and a degree of self-assertion of which Emerson is never guilty, and with this self-assertion is coupled a habit of speaking disparagingly and even contemptuously of his own performances, which does not seem to have been altogether genuine, but to have been assumed in order to invite welcome contradiction. It is not to be denied that a vein of mutual admiration pervades the letters on both sides, but in the main it is so discriminating and frank as to be inoffensive. If we compare the letters, the meed of superiority must be acccorded to those of Emerson. He is less occupied with self and its concerns than Carlyle, is more affluent of thought on extraneous things, more poetic, more philosophical, more evenly balanced in his judgments and feelings, and his diction is incomparably more chaste and finished, though this last may have been due to Emerson's habit of preparing first drafts of his letters to Carlyle, and of sending off the copies as carefully corrected as if he were finishing them for the press. Carlyle's letters are more spontaneous than Emerson's, as if written on the spur of the moment, and doubtless to this extent they reflect the individuality of the man more accurately than the letters of Emerson. In fact, while reading Emerson's letters we are often led to doubt whether he is not utterly lacking in individuality except of a purely negative and colourless kind. While reading Carlyle's letters we never lose sight of Carlyle. He is always brooding over himself, and perpetually exasperating himself by the contemplation, from which he finds relief only by parading his contempt of others. As we read Emerson's letters we are conscious of his presence only by his attachments and environments-his family, his garden, the charms of nature, the society of men and books. If he is conscious of himself, it is only amiably so as a part of the great whole, and his subtlest introspections seem to be prosecuted as a means toward comprehending and influencing the thoughts and hearts of others.

MR. CONWAY has succeeded in making a very pleasant book on Emerson at Home and Abroad, and pending the elaborate Life of Emerson, which will be written in due time, his sketch of the poet-philosopher is something to be grateful for. Although it is far from being an exhaustive biography, it is a very generous and genial sketch, and supplies numerous interesting details of Emerson's life, movements, manners, habits, and personal traits

1 Emerson at Home and Abroad, By MONCURE D. CONWAY. 12mo. pp. 383. London: Trübner & Co.

as a boy and as a man, and of incidents illustrative of his mental and moral evolution, or connected with the composition of some of his poems and essays. In addition to this Mr. Conway affords us delightful glimpses of Emerson's friends, companionships, and the surroundings of his daily life, and gives us the opportunity to read several characteristic letters of Emerson that have never before been printed, together with certain of his miscellaneous writings that are not to be found in his collected works. The book is highly interesting and valuable as a personal memorial, but its chief interest consists in its subtle delineation of the unfolding of Emerson's religious and philosophical opinions, and its careful historical account of his writings.

DOUBTLESS the reading people of our day, those at least who do not live within the charmed circle of St. James' and Westminster, know far less of the Court and diplomatic life of the Victorian era than they know of the Georgian period, so graphically and entertainingly pictured by Fanny Burney and her contemporaries. The Queen has herself given us a glimpse of the inner life of the Royal Family; but the gossip and bons mots of the Court, save for the slight newspaper tattle that is soon lost sight of and forgotten, is reserved for the enjoyment of a future generation. No doubt many a Pepys is at this moment busy with his diary for the benefit of posterity, but to Lady Georgiana Bloomfield we are indebted for the publication in our own day of a most interesting chronicle of the time, based upon her own long experience of Court and Diplomatic life.'

The Hon. Georgiana Liddon, afterwards Lady Bloomfield, began her career as a Maid of Honour to the then youthful Queen, though previous to that she had seen and heard much of Court life through her elder sister, the Marchioness of Normanby, being a Lady in Waiting, and had attended State balls, and been present at the Queen's Coronation, of which she speaks in the early pages of her narrative. From the year 1811, when she was appointed Maid of Honour, to the close of 1871, when with her husband she retired to private life, her daily history was one succession of novel experiences, and into it there came famous people, historic scenes, splendid pageants without number. It is interesting to compare the daily routine at Buckingham Palace and Windsor with Miss Burney's lively picture of the dull Court of Queen Charlotte. Among the striking scenes of this period are the christening of the Prince of Wales, at which the King of Prussia was present, the Queen's yachting pageant on the Channel,

[blocks in formation]

and visit to Louis Philippe at Château d'Eu -the first visit paid by a British Sovereign to France since the Field of the Cloth of Gold Her Majesty's visit in State to the City, to open the Royal Exchange, and several Royal journeys to distant places. The descriptions and narrative are enlivened always with racy anecdotes, bits of conversation, and extracts from letters, and give a charming picture of the domestic life of the Royal Household.

In 1845 the author's marriage to Mr. Bloomfield took her to new and distant scenes, and the Reminiscences from this point are devoted chiefly to diplomatic life at the Courts of St. Petersburg, Berlin, and Vienna, where her husband (who soon after the marriage became Lord Bloomfield) served in turn as British Minister for more than a quarter of a century. The pictures of Russian Court life and of the famous people and places Lady Bloomfield met with during the six years she spent at St. Petersburg, are perhaps the most novel and interesting of the reminescences. At that day (as late as 1851) there were no railways in Russia, the native manners and customs were almost uninfluenced by the rest of Europe, and the Czar Nicholas ruled his people with greater ease and security than any other European sovereign. Before the Crimean war began, Lord Bloomfield had been transferred to Berlin, and some account is here given of the painful state of mind prevailing in the German capital at that time. The great political changes going on in Europe are of course often referred to, for during Lord Bloomfield's service at St. Petersburg, Berlin, and Vienna, Germany became an empire, Italy was united under Victor Emmanuel, France experimented with no less than four different forms of Government, Spain with two, and Mexico with two, while Austria-Hungary became united, and Lord Bloomfield was present officially at the Emperor's Coronation. Some idea of the scope of the reminiscences may be gathered when we remember that the official prominence which Lady Bloomfield shared with her husband brought her into contact with most of the leading spirits in European politics during all these years, and nothing that was memorable or interesting seems to have escaped her.

ONE of the most important literary events of the year that has now half finished its course has been the publication, in French and English almost simultaneously, of the Duc de Broglie's long-expected volumes on Frederick the Great and Maria Theresa.1 A foretaste of their remarkable contents has

already been given to French readers in a series of historical studies contributed by the author from time to time to the Revue des Deux Mondes, but the revelations there made or hinted at are now for the first time brought to a focus, so to speak, by the publication of the complete and connected story, and certain historical facts which have been suppressed for nearly a century and a half are brought at last into the full light of day.

The literary career of the Duc de Broglie has been as distinguished as his history as a statesman, and more successful. His first laurels were won during the lifetime of his father, as Prince Albert de Broglie, and his great work, Le Secret du Roi (translated by Mrs. Cashel Hoey, and published in London under the title of The King's Secret), placed him high amid the historians of the age. That work, with its extraordinary revelation of the secret diplomacy of Louis XV., of which the Duke's own ancestor, the Count de Broglie, was at once the agent and the victim, has all the fascination of the most exciting romance, and includes a sketch of the career of Poniatowski and the secret history of the partition of Poland, which is not surpassed in brilliancy by any writer within our knowledge.

The present work is a political study of the first two years of the reign of Frederick the Second of Prussia, therefore it ranges in point of time with a portion of The King's Secret, but does not touch at all upon the same points of history, and is entirely unconnected with it as a whole. The opening of the Archives of Vienna and Berlin to the researches of students has placed at the disposal of the Duke a vast mass of unpublished and hitherto unavailable documents relative to the invasion of Silesia, the taking of Prague, the political and military career of Marshal Belle Isle, and the transactions of Frederick the Second with his allies and the Court of Vienna, and these, supplemented by his family papers-for the correspondence of Marshal de Broglie is of great historical value-have enabled him to enrich literature with a truly memorable work. A more complete, convincing, unanswerable indictment has never been framed by a historian than this one against the Prussian monarch. We do not even except Macaulay's tremendous castigation of Barère-for the Duc de Broglie's tone is more calmly critical, and its contempt is finer and more cold. The Carlyle myth vanishes before the array of inexorable facts brought against it, but almost without allusion to it, for the Duke contents himself with a mild expression of surprise that the eminent English writer should have fallen into errors of statement which he might have avoided, even though the docu

1 Frederick the Great and Maria Theresa. From Hither-ments now brought to light were not procurto Unpublished Documents, 1740-1742. By the Duc DE BROGLIE. From the French by Mrs. CASHEL HOEY and Mr. JOHN LILLIE. In 2 vols. post. 8vo, London: Sampson Low & Co.

able in his time. The shameful story of the invasion of the territory of his benefactor's daughter by the King of Prussia (for

[ocr errors]

Frederick had owed his life to the intercession of the Emperor, Charles VI., with his brutal father, the "dumb poet of Mr. Carlyle), of his alliance with France, the hereditary enemy of Austria, and of the execrable meanness, falsehood, and treachery that marked every stage of that alliance, until his defection which shocked the conscience of all Europe, though it has unfortunately found an English historian to defend it, is told with masterly skill, and such refinement of style as renders the book a literary monument.

The revelations of D'Ameth and Droysen; the correspondence of the Marquis de Valori; Maria Theresa's letters to Cardinal Fleury; the story of Voltaire's vile letter to Frederick on his breach of faith with France; the secret history of Belle Isle's mission; the petty spite and vindictiveness of Frederick's nature; his avarice; his absolute absence of moral sense; his habitual lying and low craftiness; his profanity; his baseness and his genius; his cynical disbelief in any good; his utter selfishness, and the shamelessness that so staggered his victims that they could not even protest against one who trampled principles and appearances, treaties and forms underfoot equally; all these make a wonderful picture. The artist to whom we owe it will no doubt go on with these masterly studies, and in time present the full and true record to the world of the man whom it has been sought to exalt into a demigod by the English evangelist of brute force, who in his own turn now stands revealed to the world as a cold and cruel domestic tyrant. In the Frederick of these two years, 174042, we see the Frederick of after days-he who drove his miserable soldier-slaves back into the battle with a curse"The do they want to live for ever?" (surely the most brutal utterance recorded in history)— and in the young Queen of Hungary, of whom the Duke, while upholding the antiAustrian policy of France, writes with noble enthusiasm, we see the perfect wife and mother, and the wise sovereign, the loss of whose counsels to her daughter was, in later days, one of the great premonitory calamities

of France.

The vividness of the style, the vitality of the portraiture, the minute and careful sequence, never for a moment tedious, of this chapter in European history, unite with its authentic value and the entire novelty of the materials of which it is composed, to place it in the very first rank of politicohistorical literature.

IN the summer of 1882 a special loan exhibition was opened at the South Kensington Museum, made up of a rich collection of Danish, Swedish, and Norwegian antiquities, sent from the Danish museums by permission of the King. The great interest manifested in these remarkable collections led the Lords

of the Committee of Council on Education to invite two of the most eminent Scandinavian antiquarians, Dr. Hildebrand, the Royal Antiquary of Sweden, and Chamberlain Worsaae, Director of the Royal Museums and Archæological Monuments of Denmark, to prepare handbooks for English readers on the Industrial Arts of their countries. The first of these to appear was Mr. Worsaae's treatise on the arts of Denmark from the earliest times to the Danish conquest of England,' a period which to most readers is shrouded in darkness, but by the skill of the author, aided by the numerous illustrations and maps, the Stone Age, Bronze Age, Iron Age, and Viking Period are made almost as real to us as the last century. Among the remarkable discoveries of objects of this very remote antiquity that have been made, and are illustrated in the handbook, are tools, ornaments, weapons, and utensils of the Stone Age; similar objects of the Bronze Age, and also articles of clothing, armour, vases, gold vessels, and rock carvings of the same period; while of the Iron Age, in addition to the above, are ornamented vessels in earthenware, silver, gold, bronze, wood, and glass, helmets and coats of mail, spurs, horse's bit with chains attached, stirrups, rings, bracelets, brooches and buckles of gold and silver, gold trumpets, and woven cloth with gold and silver thread, and a great variety of other things-the illustrations being more than two hundred in number.

In sketching the Industrial Arts of Scandinavia, Dr. Hildebrand has followed the same plan as Mr. Worsaae, but his style is even more clear and attractive, and many of the illustrations, especially those of the jewels, ornaments, and weapons of the later Iron Age in Gotland and Scandinavia, are beautiful. The word Scandinavia, by the way, is generally misapplied by English people to Denmark, Sweden, and Norway. According to Dr. Hildebrand it should properly be applied to Sweden and Norway only.

with the Players, has supplemented those THE author of A Book of the Play, and Hours admirable books by another of similar value, but in a different way, called Nights at the Play. Probably no English writer of the present day has so thorough a knowledge of the drama or so keen an insight and so felicitous a way of describing what passes theatrical reviews which he has been contrion the stage as Mr. Dutton Cook, and the

1 The Industrial Arts of Denmark. From the Earliest Times to the Danish Conquest of England. By J. J. A. WORSAAE, Hon. F.S.A., M.R.I.A., F.S.A. Scot., etc. With map and woodcuts. London: Chapman & Hall. 8vo. pp. 206.

2 The Industrial Arts of Scandinavia in the Pagan Time.

BY HANS HILDEBRAND, Royal Antiquary of Sweden. With numerous woodcuts. 8vo. pp. 150. London: Chapman & Hall.

3 Nights at the Play. A view of the English stage. By DUTTON COOK. 2 vols. 8vo. London: Chatto & Windus.

« PreviousContinue »