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cost only half-a-crown, while my two volumes
was out of temper and out of heart, and cost thirty shillings.
resolved to publish no more in his life“ December 16, 1847.— Yesterday my third
time. series was published at Murray's trade sale,
The unkindest cut of all came where 2200 copies were disposed of. I had a from a quarter to which he looked for malicious pleasure in showing Brougham, as laudation and encouragement, from our we sat in the Judicial Committee, a note from Murray communicating the intelligence. He ored organ of the Whigs.
Blue and Yellow contemporary, the honsaid people were obliged to make up. sets, having bought the former volumes."
Although the third volume of my 'Lives
of the Chief Justices' has been abundantly On October 11th, 1849, he received a praised, there have been flippant criticisms letter from Lord John Russell, offering upon it which have annoyed me. A critic in the Chief Justiceship of the Queen's ity, says that I refer to the Rolliad' and to
the Edinburgh Review, from malice or stupidBench on the resignation of Denman, Waverley' as historical authorities, and repwhich was deemed inevitable and imme- resents me as more credulous than the Irish diate. He accepted and set about fur- bishop who declared that he met with some bishing his legal lore, which had become things in Gulliver's Travels' which he could
hardly believe to be true.' somewhat rusty from disuse. Denman, although prostrated by paralysis, delayed Our readers may judge for themselves his resignation till the following March, whether our contemporary can fairly be and Campbell was accused of hastening accused of malice or stupidity. After it by newspaper paragraphs and twitted quoting Foster, East, and the State with unseemly eagerness to succeed a Trials, to prove that a particular line of man incapacited by age who, in point of argument was employed to justify rebelfact, was younger than himself. There lion, Campbell (vol. ii. p. 224) adds : was not the shadow of a ground for any
“See likewise the trial of Fergus McIvor of the imputations levelled at him in and Evan Dhu M'Cormick, which took place connection with this appointment, at Carlisle a few weeks after."-Waverley,' which, although he was never personally vol. iii. p. 300.) popular, was fully approved by the judi
In the “Life of Chief Justice Rolle" cial bench and the bar. He was pains- (vol. i. p. 434) are these passages : taking, patient, courteous, considerate, learned enough for all practical pur- scendants. The late Lord Rolle was the head
“The Chief Justice (Rolle) left numerous de. poses, and familiar with the business of of the family, which, if we may trust to the the court. He was also devoid of pro- pedigree prefixed to the Rolliad,'' was descendfessional prejudices, and lent the full ed from the ancient Duke Rollo of Normandy weight of his authority to measures for and the wife of a Saxon drummer.'
Note.-A doubt is stated to have existed the improvement of the law.
whether, in the time of the wars of York and His“ Lives of the Chief Justices," Lancaster, although the Rolles were representthe first two volumes of which appeared ed by our author to have been sheriffs of the in 1849, was admitted on all hands to be county ("Scheriffi Devonienses Rolli fuerunt'),
the head of the house was not a sheriff's officer a most agreeable book, and he had no
(* Bailivus ipse potius quam scheriffus'). But cause to complain of its reception by the Chief Justice certainly vindicated the glory the general public, to whom it mattered of his race. See 'Short Account of the Family little how or where he got his materials, of the Rollos, now Rolles, faithfully extracted and still less that an amusing anecdote from the Records of the Heralds' Office."" might be occasionally discovered to be
This Short Account begins thus : apocryphal. But somehow or other the critics had grown less indulgent ; his
“John Rolle, Esq., is descended from the
ancient Duke Rullo of Normandy. Rollo predecessors in the same line were no passed over into Britain, anno 983, where he longer tolerant of unacknowledged bor- soon begat another Rollo, upon the wife of a rowings; and a lady author, Miss Saxon drummer. Our young Rollo was disStrickland, was so exasperated at the tinguished by his gigantic stature, and as we
learn from Ordericus Vitalis, was slain by Hilliberties taken with her “Queens of debrand, the Danish champion, in a fit of jealEngland," that, assuming the tone and ousy. We find in Camden that the race of the attitude of a despoiled virgin, she began
Rollos fell into adversity in the reign of ringing the changes on all the pleas of
Stephen, and in the succeeding reign Gaspar
de Rollo was an ostler in Denbighshire. But the Crown. Soon after the appearance during the unhappy contests of York and Lanof the third volume, 1857, therefore, he caster, William de Wyrcester and the continu
ator of the annals of England have it that the think me unfeeling ; but I never expect an Rollos became sheriffs of Devon. Scheriffi hour of real happiness in this world, notwithDevonienses Rolli fuerunt,' and in another standing all the devoted affection and neverpassage, 'arrestaverunt Debitores olurime Rol- ceasing solicitude to comfort me of all my lorum'-hence a doubt in Fabian whether this children.' Rollo was not bailiff, ipse potius quam Scheriffus. From this period, however, they gradu- His anxiety during a Ministerial crisis ally advanced in circumstances ; Rollo, in contrasts oddly enough with his fancied Henry VIII., being amerced in 800 marks for wish to be relieved from the cares of pilfering two manchetts of beef from the king's office. Referring to the Bill for the Rebuttery, the which, saith Selden, facillime pay. avit.'
peal of the Paper Duties, he says that he Even the Irish bishop would have watched at the door of the House of thought twice before gravely citing this Commons during the division till he
heard a tremendous shout and a cry
. bell's Index, the Rolliad” is described of "fifteen majority,” when he felt as " a political work published by the be fifteen for the Government :
crushed indeed,” till it turned out to Whigs.”
At the formation of Lord Palmerston's “ I should not at all mind being honorably Government in 1859, it was found incon- released from the labors and anxieties of the venient, for one reason or another, to
Great Seal. Pergustavi imperium, and I
should be satisfied to have repose during the give the Great Seal either to Lord Cran- remaining short space of my earthly career. worth or Bethell, and accordingly it was But I did not at all relish the notion of being offered to Campbell, who happened to turned out in such a ridiculous manner; and I fulfil the precise conditions. Returning must add that I felt much for the country, which
certainly would have suffered by the transfer home on the 15th of April, he found a
of office at this moment to Lord Derby and his note from Lord Palmerston requesting a associates. few minutes' conversation.
He went, “I am now within four days of completing expecting to be consulted about a vacant the second year of my reign. Thank heaven, I law office. As soon as he was seated he have got through my work creditably, if not was requested to accept the Great Seal. splendidly, and I am not without hope that
some of my judgments may hereafter be quoted He answered that his ambition was and relied upon. already satisfied, but if the proposed arrangement would be serviceable to the This entry, June 12th, 1861, is the Liberal party and to the public, he was last in his Journal. On the 22d he had ready to concur in it:
a large party to dinner, with whom he
conversed with his usual animation. He “He made a flattering reply, referring to the times when we had before sat in the Cabi- retired to rest about twelve, showing no net together, and to the judicial reputation I symptoms of illness; and the next mornhad since gained in the Queen's Bench. Thus ing he was found dead in his bedroom, in five minutes I was virtually Lord Chancel
seated in an arm-chair, having apparentlor. I suggested that Bethell might be dissatisfied. Palmerston. Lord Campbell hav- ly died without a struggle. ing consented, Bethell cannot object.'”
Any doubts that may have been enter
tained touching the merits or demerits The chief of a common law court of Lord Campbell will be set at rest by transferred to the Court of Chancery is this book. He was not an eloquent adlike an infantry colonel suddenly placed vocate, nor a great lawyer, nor an acin command of a cavalry regiment. He complished statesman, nor a man of brillhas his drill to learn, and till he has iant abilities. He will not rank with learned it he is a good deal at the mercy the Holts and Mansfields, nor with the of his subordinates. Within a month Erskines, 'Lyndhursts, and Broughams, after his elevation, Campbell reports that although there were points in which he he is getting on pretty well, and in less equalled the best of them. He was a than five that he is out of leading- sound practical law-reformer, a highly strings.'
respectable judge, and an author who The death of Lady Stratheden, March undeniably obtained signal success in a 25th, 1860, was a severe blow, against class of literature which he was the first which he bore up by a strong effort : to popularize. He was an admirable
“ I have been enabled wonderfully to per- example of what may be done by perseform my public duties, and I dare say some verance, energy and industry, combined with shrewdness and sagacity. He asking for, never refusing, and never reshould have a section to himself in the signing anything." Luck had little or next edition of “Self-Help.” In his nothing to do with success, for which readiness to turn his hand to anything the train was carefully laid by years of that could be turned to advantage-to well-directed labor, and it was far more write dramatic criticisms or undertake owing to assiduous training than to natuthe department of wit, to learn dancing ral gifts that he reached the pre-appointor teach French-he rivalled the man ed and long-anticipated goal. who, being asked whether he could play He was a good-natured kind-hearted on ine oddle, replied that he didn't man, despite of sodie personal prejudices know, but he would try. If there were a and dislikes ; and his affectionate dispobump in the phrenological system for sition is seen in his relations with his the get-on faculty, there would be one family-father, brother, wife, childrenof the biggest on Campbell's cranium. who doted on him. “Choose out,” exBut he did not abide implicitly by the claimed Erskine, in one of his finest well-known Scotch maxim. He got on bursts, "the wisest, brightest, noblest honestly. He used his opportunities of mankind, and how many of them without abusing them, and he was en- could bear to be pursued into the little abled to do so by being always prepared corners of their lives ?" Campbell has for them when they occurred.
enabled, nay invited, the whole world to He was never before or after the time, look into the little corners of his; and never in or out of the way, when prefer- the severest moralist, making a fair ment or promotion was in the air. He allowance for human frailty, will not could afford to wait. In not pressing hesitate to declare that his career was his pretensions at inconvenient moments, eminently useful and honorable, and his he came near the Italian cardinal who, character, in whatever light we place it, to the inquiry how he attained dignity above reproach.-Quarterly Review. after dignity, made answer, “ By never
TENNYSON AND MUSSET.
BY ALGERNON CHARLES SWINBURNE.
When the history of poetry in this sect or school known among its memage shall be written by the critical bers as the school of realists, among chroniclers of the next, one thing will men at once of sounder and more sensiof necessity be noted as distinctive of tive organs as the sect of bestialists. its latter years : the singular and splen- As lyric poet and as republican leader, did persistence of genius and prolonga- the master-poet of the world has equally tion of working power in the greatest of deserved to attain this obloquy, to inthose great writers who were born in the cur this tribute from a journal to infancy or in the adolescence of the which the principles of republican faith, nineteenth century. Its eighty-first year a writer to whom the pretensions of lyric has given us from the hand of its might- poetry, are naturally and equally abhoriest master a poem acclaimed at once by rent and contemptible ; nor could any the applause of mankind and the abuse law of nature or any result of chance be of M. Zola : acceptable, admirable, more equitably satisfactory than one wonderful to all men, but as a stench in which should gratify the wish-or the the nostrils to which all stinks are per- three wishes-that all who do not love fumes, a discord in the ears which find the one should hate the other ; that all harmony in echoes too horrible for hell. such men should be even as M. Zola ; Against the glories of Tennyson and and that all such writers as M. Zola Browning hardly a wandering ass or a should be haters and scorners alike of casual mule can yet be found to stretch republican principle and of lyric song. his throat or to lift up his heel ; but the The expression of this wish may be splendor of Hugo is even now as dark- thought to savor too much of cosmopolness visible to the owl-eyed head of the itan optimism ; but I trust it will not be ascribed to the narrow partiality of pro- one more proof-and a proof beyond all vincial patriotism, if I take leave to ex- price and beyond all question-that press also my satisfaction that no such passion and imagination are justified of note of insult from any so noticeable all their children. Were it not so, the quarter should have broken the harmony very crowning glory of this most pathetof acclamation with which England in ic and terrible poem would be frightful the same year has received the new gift rather than terrible, and unbearable of Mr. Browning, and receives the new rather than pathetic. As it is, those gift of Mr. Tennyson.
four central and consummating lines, unIt is no new experience for me to feel speakblý pitiful and unutterably beautideeply the inadequacy of language to ful, are made endurable, and therefore express the depth and translate the in some deeper sense delightful, by sheer fervor of admiration ; but never assur- force of genius alone. They should edly has any poor penman of the hum- not, and by me they shall not, be sepablest order been more inwardly conscious rately transcribed-wrenched out of their of such impotence in his words to sus- natural framework, or torn off the stem tain the weight of their intention, than of thorns on which they set the topmost am I at this moment of my inability to crown of tear-drenched and passion-colcast into any shape of articulate speech ored blossom. But six words of them the impression and the emotion pro- -the last six words, “they had moved duced by the first reading of Tenny. in my side"-give perfect proof once son's “Rizpah." Only this much I more of the deep truth that great poets must take heart and must have leave to are bisexual ; male and female at once, say : that never since the very begin- motherly not less than fatherly in their ning of all poetry were the twin passions instincts toward little children; from of terror and pity more divinely done the day when Homer put Astyanax into into deathless words or set to more per the arms of Hector to the day when fect and profound magnificence of Hugo found the sweetest of all cradlemusic ; never more inseparably fused songs on the lips of the death-stricken and harmonized into more absolute and Fantine. And among all these not one sublime identity. The poet never lived not even Victor Hugo's very selfon earth-such at least is my humble has ever touched the very deepest and and hearty conviction-whose glory finest chord on the lyre of the human would not be heightened by the attribu- spirit with a diviner power, a more godtion of this poem to his hand. Thou- like strength of tenderness, than Mr. sands of readers for centuries to come Tennyson has touched it here. Nothing will be moved by it to trembling and to more piteous, more passionate, more tears. I do not forget the fact that adorable for intensity of beauty, was prediction of this kind is proverbially ever before this wrought by human cunfutile ; but it should also be remem- ning into the likeness of such words as bered that art has her certainties no less words are powerless to praise. than those of science ; and that this is Any possible commentary on a poem one of them the judgment which could of this rank must needs be as weak and hesitate to affirm must either be cancer- as worthless as the priceless thing which ous with malevolence or paralytic with ' evoked it is beautiful and strong ; but stupidity. Some indeed may probably one which should attempt by selection be found to object that pity is here or indication to underline as it were and strained and racked into actual and in- to denote the chiefest among its manitolerable anguish-that terror here dark- fold beauties and glories, would be also ens and condenses into sheer physical as long and as wordy as the poem is pain and horror; and, undoubtedly, of short and reticent. Once or twice in no living writer can it be so truly said reading it a man may feel, and may -nor can it be said more truly of any know himself to be none the unmanlier writer in time past—that he has “cre- for feeling, as though the very heart in ated a new shudder ;' a pang of pierc- him cried out for agony of pity, and ing and dreadful compassion which hardly the flesh could endure the burden cleaves as it were the very core of “the and the strain of it, the burning bitterspirit of sense" in sunder. But here is ness of so keen and so divine a draught. A woman might weep it away and be quisite work on those lines-so delicate, “ all right” again—but a man born of so subtle, so supple, so gayly grave and woman can hardly be expected to bear so fancifully pensive, so full of inspired the pity of it.
ease and instinctive ability, it becomes Two consequences, each of some little more difficult to trim the balance with importance to students of poetry, though absolute security of hand; especially to a writer of Mr. Tennyson's rank and when we consider that all this charming station they may be personally indiffer- work, without ever once touching on the ent and insignificant enough, should fol- detestable as well as debatable land of low on the appearance of such a poem pseudo-poetic rhapsody in hermaphrodias this. First, there must be an end for- tic prose after the least admirable manever on all hands to the once debatable ner of such writers as De Quincey, is question whether the author can prop- always, so to speak, impregnated and erly be called in the strictest sense a permeated with something of a genugreat poet, or whether his admirers inely poetical sense or spirit. Grace and should be content with the application sweetness never fail him in any part of to their favorite of such commendatory his work which any kindly reader would epithets as “a fine, a gracious, an ex- care to remember. quisite poet.” If after a thousand years Heine, that snake of the Hebrew Paraall trace of all his poems had vanished dise-a 'smooth-lipped serpent, surefrom all human record, save only these ly high inspired'' --was never inspired eighty-six verses of “Ripzah, proof more truly by the serpent's genius of positive and ample and overflowing virulent wisdom than when he uttered, would be left in the survival of these in a most characteristic hiss of sarcasm, that in him, if ever upon earth, a great a sentence as conclusive in its judgment poet had been born among men. If as venomous in its malignity, describing this be not great work, no great work was Musset before he had reached middle ever or will ever be done in verse by age as “ a young man with a very fine any human hand. And secondly there career-behind him" (un jeune homme must be an end, forever and a day be- d'un bien beau passé). Never was there yond at least, of a question which once a truer, as assuredly there never was a
more hotly debatable than crueller witticism. Brilliant and early this—the long-contested question of
question of as was the first flight of Mr. Tennyson poetic precedence between Alfred Ten- above the bright circle of his early colnyson and Alfred de Musset. Four lege friends and admirers-a circle then lines of “ Rizpah,'' placed in one scale doubtless' very plausibly definable by of the balance of judgment, would send nameless dogs of letters as a “ mutual all the loveliest verse of Musset flying admiration society," artificially heated up in the other, to kick the beam and by the steam of reciprocal incense for vanish. Of passion such as this he the incubation of “coterie glory”—the knew no more than he knew of such ex- simultaneous dawn of Musset on the ecution. He was about as capable of far more splendid horizon of contemeither as of writing “Ratbert, “ The porary Paris was
itself as far more Cenci,” or “ King Lear.”
splendid than the sunrise over CamIt would seem to follow from this, if bridge of “Poems chiefly Lyrical.' such a decision be accepted as equi- When all due deductions and reserves table, that any comparison of claims be- are made, it remains undeniable that the tween the two men must be unprofitable world of letters has hardly ever seen in itself, as well as unfair to the mem- such a first book as the “Contes d'Esory of the lesser poet. But it needs no pagne et d'Italie.” Its very faults were great expense of argument to prove that promises—unhappily too soon to be falsuch is by no means the case.
sified-of riper and not less radiant exnot, in any fair estimate of the two rival cellence to come. Of all thin and shalclaimants, omit or neglect to take account low criticisms, none ever was shallower of the rich legacy left by Musset in the or thinner than that which would deprovince of imaginative prose, narrative scribe these firstlings of Musset's genius and dramatic, And when we have thus as mere Byronic echoes. In that case taken account of all his various and ex- they would be tuneless as their original;