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Fifth Series, }
No. 1505. - April 12, 1873.
S From Beginning, ? Vol. CXVII.
CONTENTS. I. LORD LYTTON, . . .
. . Blackwood's Magazine, . . 67 II. THE PARISIANS. By Lord Lytton, author of
“The Last Days of Pompeii,” “My Novel,”
"The Caxtons, etc., etc. Part III., . Blackwood's Magazine, . . 84 III. THE FIRST ARCTIC EXPEDITION TO THE
North-WEST, . . . . . . Contemporary Review, . . IV. THE PRESCOTTS OF PAMPHILLON. By the
author of “Dorothy Fox," . . . . Good Words, . . . . 114 V. FRANCIS LIEBER. Translated from . . The Revue de Droit International, 125
POETRY. FELLOW-SUFFERERS, . . . . 66 | WATCHING BY NIGHT, . . . 66 Pot-POURRI, . . . . . . 66
MISCELLANY. GLEANINGS FROM AUGUSTINE, . . 128 | HORSE NAILS BY MACHINERY, . . 128 A GENTLEMAN AT HOME IN 1588, . 128 |
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Peered at the still-room's sacred stores,
And rapped at walls for sliding doors
Of feigned existence.
Vogue la galère! What need for cares!
The hot sun parched the old parterres
And dahlia closes,
Played hide and seek behind the trees
Then plucked these roses.
Louise was one — light, mad Louise,
But newly freed from starched decrees
Of school decorum;
And Bell, the Beauty, unsurprised
At fallen locks that scandalized
Our censor morum : -
Shy Ruth, all heart and tenderness,
Who wept - like Chaucer's prioress —
When Dash was smitten;
Who blushed before the mildest men,
Yet waxed a very Corday when
You teased her kitten.
I loved them all. Bell first and best;
Or madcap masking;
And Ruth, I thought, — why, failing these, Fare worse for loss of thee than thou canst fare; When my 'High-Mightiness should please, The wind that whispered lied,
'She'd come for asking.
Louise was grave when last we met;
Bell's beauty, like a sun, has set;
And Ruth, Heaven bless her,
Ruth that I wooed, — and wooed in vain, -
Has gone where neither grief nor pain
Can now distress her.
Good Words. cold and bare.
“Si jeunesse savait!” I PLUNGE my hand among the leaves :An alien touch but dust perceives,
Nought else supposes; — For me those fragrant ruins raise Clear memory of the vanished days
When they were roses.
WATCHING BY NIGHT.
I see thee hiding with thy vaporous hands
greet. Thus, while the darkness and the night abide, Be thou love's gyide, and guide me to my « Sweet.”
“ If youth but knew !” Ah," if” in truth I can recall with what gay youth,
To what light chorus, Unsobered yet by time or change, We roamed the many-gabled Grange,
All life before us;
Braved the old clock-tower's dust and damp
In misty distance;
From Blackwood's Magazine. so lightly, so easily woven. None of us LORD LYTTON.
could have predicted, even then, what This has been a mournful winter, full further development his mind might take, of the sombre excitement of public loss - or whether it was reserved for the Bulwer an excitement which, though very differ- of our youth to become not only the acent from the penetrating anguish of per- complished and wise historian of the sonal bereavement, affects us with an ab- splendour of mature manhood, but the stract sadness almost more heavy. Those expositor of a new romance of Age, soft symptoms of the ending of a generation with all the silvery lights of the long-ex– those breakings-up of dynasties, of tended evening, the mixture of earthly sovereignties more extended than any wisdom and visionary insight which beroyal house possesses - those periodical longs to Genius grown old. This possiheavings of the volcano of time, in which bility is now, however, ended. - He who so much is carried away from us - do won so many laurels will win no more : they not impress us almost more strongly, there is no new chapter to be added to though more vaguely, than individual the record which we know so well; unloss? Another wave has beaten upon less, indeed, it be written in the last work, the eternal shore, strewing the beach which will be given to the public almost with mournful relics,- and another is as soon as this page — and in which the coming, and another,– that which carries last thoughts of the man who has taught ourselves, perhaps, the next; and so the us and charmed us for nearly half a cenlong cadence goes on for ever. We who tury, will be read with a certain sentiment were the children a little while ago, are of affectionate sadness too warm to admit, now the fathers and the mothers, hon- for the moment, of anything like critioured, respected, smiled at, made allow- cism. ance for, as is the lot of the older genera- Nearly half a century!-- for the pretion; and by-and-by a great hush will face of the young Bulwer's first work is come, and standing over us, as we now dated 1828 ; and during the whole of that stand over our predecessors, calm voices long period his mind has more or less will record what we have done. How dif- been in constant communication with the ferent is that record with the oldest, with mind of his country. He has in this very the loftiest, to-day while life lasts, to-fact a curious advantage which few writmorrow when it is over! No uncertainty ers share with him. His great contemnow is in the tone, no fear to offend, no poraries, Dickens and Thackeray, altodelicacy lest some chance touch should gether lacked the thread of sympathy, of cause a wound, no flattery to win a smile. common growth and development, with In one day, in one hour, criticism changes his audience, which so long a career natinto history - the career rounds off be- urally produced. Dickens did not defore our eyes, a perfect thing, to be velop — his first works are his bestjudged now as a whole, never before but there is no fulness of youth in them, in parts. It is past; it is ended; it is and no ripening of maturity in those that perfect. This is the first rule of the followed. Thackeray, on the other hand, mournful yet splendid grammar of life. was scarcely known as a writer until his
And with few lives is this so emphati- mind was fully matured : no young man cally the case as with that of the great could have written “ Vanity Fair.” But writer whom, a few days ago, we laid with Bulwer, who was the magician of our his peers, in sorrow and in honour, under youth, grew with us as we grew, gained the noble arches of Westminster; the maturity as we gained it, and has had a highest and last acknowledgment which longer and closer influence upon us, a England can give to a completed fame. spiritual intimacy more complete and exDuring the very last years of his life he was tended, than almost any other mind of making new reputations carelessly, as a the age. People who have been young child makes garlands, not even taking the will remember with tender delight and trouble to put upon his head the wreaths I gratitude those pages (alas ! so much less
readable by us now) full of sentiment, full | prehensive of social philosophers. His of youthful exuberance, enthusiasm, mag- glance takes in all society, not to find out nificence, which are always dear and sub- its defects, not to represent its humours lime to youth. When Bulwer gave forth only, with no specialty of class or purthe lofty splendour of those high-flown pose, but with a large and extended vispassions and sorrows, we too were high-ion, less intense, perhaps, than that of flown, and revelled in the lofty diction some writers in a more limited circle, but and elevation of sentiment in which there broader and fuller than any. His was not was more than genius — which embodied the faculty which preaches or criticises, in its first fervour and reality that Youth which takes public grievances or individ. which he always looked back upon with ual hardships as a foundation for fiction, such warmth of regretful admiration. or works in illustration of a principle. And yet no man had less occasion to re- Lord Lytton's art was of a broader, older, gret his youth. From the exuberance of more primitive description - it was the that period of poetry, the years that art which represents. Human creatures bring the philosophic mind” matured acting upon no given standard, working and developed his rare gifts into some- out no foregone conclusion, appear to us thing greater and broader than the most in his brilliant pages. He neither selects enthusiastic admirer of his early genius the odd and the eccentric, like one of his could have hoped. The author of the great rivals, nor sets himself forth as an “ Caxtons," and of the cycle of noble anatomist of human motive, like another; works which followed — first produced, but, while giving its corner to eccentricity we are proud to remember, in the pages and a due importance to the unseen workof this Magazine - made proof of some- ings of the mind, lays in the lines of his thing more than genius,- of that large broader landscape, his larger outlines of knowledge of things and men which only form, with a humanity which outreaches experience of the world, and the facilities and transcends the specialties of purpose. for observing it possessed by a man to It is characteristic of this breadth and whom all circles are open, could have humanness of his mind, that there should given. Men to whom the thoughts and be so strong a distinction between his projects of a statesman are familiar as earlier and his later works ; for in his those of a poet, who are deeply acquaint- youth he was young, as other men are ed with the laws that act upon society as young, with all the defects of his age – well as of those that influence the indi- and in his maturity he was mature, with vidual mind, are, by the nature of things, all the widened views, the deeper concepof very rare occurrence among us. But tions, that belong to advancing life,– Lord Lytton added to the inspiration of more serious, more tolerant, more undernature almost everything that experience standing of all difficulties and heartaches, could give him. It was equally easy to more humorous in kindly, keen appreciahim to place upon his canvas the Nestortion of mental peculiarities and freaks, of society, the wise man of the world, more tenderly sorrowful, more softly gay. learned and skilful in all emergencies, No man could possess this varied and and the noble vagabond incapable of any sympathetic reputation who had been pruwisdom at all but that taught by generos- dent enough to act upon the famous rule ity and love; the statesman, heavily which enjoins an author to keep a work weighed, and full of the responsibilities by him so many years before he prints it. of Government, and the light-hearted Had Bulwer done this, “ Pelham” and youth of fashion, acknowledging no re- his earlier works would never have apsponsibility; the duke and the cobbler ; peared at all; and though probably, in the bookworm and the rural squire. that case, his reputation in the abstract This wide range gave him an extent of would have been higher, it would have power which we think no other writer of been of a totally different kind. As it the day has reached. He is the most was, he was rash enough to pour his brilliant of story-tellers, the most com-learly utterances into the world warm and
swift as they came from his lips, and he / works — or perhaps it would be now right had his recompense accordingly. To to say, the last group but one, since there many critics he has been the object of yet remains, beyond the ground of critiunsparing attack; he has represented the cism which we have chosen, another sentimental, the high-flown, the sham- mystic Three, the almost posthumous magnificent, in many a popular diatribe ; children of his genius — belongs emand some voices usually worth listening phatically to the first class; but yet is so to have denied him genius altogether, clearly distinct from all his earlier promoved no doubt by the promptings of a ductions, that we reserve it for discusmore mature taste and graver •judgment ssion by itself. Among the novels of than that which revels in the fine dis-society published in his earlier years, tresses of Godolphin and Maltravers. “ Pelham " is the greatest as well as the But with all these drawbacks his reward first. It was followed by “Godolphin,” has been in proportion to the generous the “Disowned,” the two novels which rashness with which he gave all that was embody the fortunes of Maltravers, and in him to the world. There was a day in the exaggerated but admirably-constructwhich Godolphin and Maltravers were ed and powerful story of “ Night and splendid to us also. We have outgrown Morning." All these works profess to that day, and so did their author ; but we afford us a picture of society, and the like him the better for having been young manner in which certain characters make with us, foolish with us. No splendour their way through it. The “ Disowned," of maturity could quite replace this sym- it is true, belongs to a somewhat earlier pathetic bond. Goethe's “ Meister," age than our own; but as it is not treated saved up till the man was old, and mean- with any attempt at archæological coring had gone out of it, is a cold and rectness, it may fairly be considered dreary puzzle even to those who love among the novels of contemporary life. Goethe best; but Bulwer's Meisters, These, then, compose the first class of sent forth red-hot out of the glowing their author's productions. We have youth that produced them, woke other said that Bulwer's Meisters came forth youths to an enthusiasm which men smile red-hot and glowing out of the delightful at, but do not forget. There is thus a foolishness of his youth ; but we confess compensation to the hasty, to the bold, that there may be many readers who will to those writers who cannot always be fail to see any resemblance between the thinking of their reputation, and who young heroes whom he conducts through give out what is in them with prodigality, so many lively and stormy scenes, and as the fountain flows. They may not win the dreamy being to whose apprenticethe crown of perennial excellence; but it ship and journeyman experience of life is something to lay hold of the sympathy the great German gave so much toil and of your contemporaries, to be young and trouble. A closer glance, however, will to grow old with them, and to feel thus a show the resemblance to which - in, we silent multitude by your side as you go think, the preface to “ Maltravers ” — our forward in the inevitable race.
author himself refers. His invariable aim Lord Lytton's books divide themselves is, through many diversities of circumnaturally into various classes, all exhibit-stances, to exhibit to us an apprenticeing distinct phases and developments of ship-a training in the School of Life, his mind. He has himself so arranged with the results naturally arising from it. them, indeed, in the later editions issued Love, it may be said, is the paramount under his supervision; and we will con- inspiration and interest of each ; but yet sider them according to his classification. I love itself is but one of the educational There are stories of life and manners ; processes through which the subject of historical romances ; tales of magic and the story is perfected. And in every mystery; and what for want of a better case success and reputation are the title we may call romances of crime. The rewards which the author allots to his last and greatest group of his mature creations. The alternative of failure