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for a shower of rain?” So they walked home, and were heroically wet through.”
It would have been worth while to tell this tale more fully; not to envelope the chief personage in fine words, as statuaries do their sitters in Roman togas, and, making them assume the heroic-conventional dook, take away from them that infinitely more interesting one which Nature gave them. It would have been well if we could thave had this stirring little story in detail. The young fellow, forced to the proctor's desk, quite angry with the drudgery, theatre-stricken, poetry-stricken, writing dramatic sketches in Barry Cornwall's man:ler, spouting Leonidas before a manager, driven away starving from home, and, pennyless and full of romance, courting his beautiful young wise. “Come on, Jerrold ! what use shall we be to the Greeks if we stand up for a shower of rain * How the native humor breaks out of the man Those who knew them can fancy the effect of such a pair of warriors steering the Ureek fire-ships, or manning the breach at Missoloughi. Then there comes that pathetic little outbreak of despair, when the poor young fellow is nearly giving up; his father banishes him, no one will buy his poetry, he has no chance on his darling theatre, no chance of the wife that he is longing for. Why not finish with life at once 2 He has read Werter, and can understand suicide. “None,” he says, in a sonnet,_
mother of his children, was attacked with paralysis, which impaired her mind and terminated fatally at the end of the year. Her husband was constantly with her, occupied by her side, whilst watching her distressing malady, in his daily task of literary business. Her illness had the severest effect upon him. He, too, was attacked with partial paralysis and congestion of the brain, during which first seizure his wife died. The rest of the story was told in all the newspapers of the beginning of last year. Rallying partially from his fever at times, a sudden catastrophe overwhelmed him. On the night of the 14th February, in a gust of delirium, having his little boy in bed by his side, and having said the Lord's Prayer but a short time before, he sprang out of bed in the absence of his nurse (whom he had besought not to leave him), and made away with himself with a razor. He was no more guilty in his death than a man who is murdered by a madman, or who dies of the rupture of a blood-vessel. In his last prayer he asked to be forgiven, as he in his whole heart forgave others; and not to be led into that irresistible temptation under which it pleased Heaven that the poor wandering spirit should succumb. At the very moment of his death his friends were making the kindest and most generous exertions in his behalf. Such a noble, loving, and generous creature, is never without such. The world, it is pleasant to think, is always a good and gentle world to the gentle and good, and reflects the benevolence with which they regard it. This memoir contains an affecting letter from the poor fellow himself, which indicates Sir Edward Bulwer's admirable and delicate generosity towards him. “I bless and thank you always,” writes the kindly and affectionate soul, to another excellent friend, Mr. Forster. There were other friends, such as Mr. Fonblanque, Mr. Ainsworth, with whom he was connected in literary labor, who were not less eager to serve and befriend him. As soon as he was dead, a number of other persons came forward to provide means for the maintenance of his orphan family. Messrs. Chapman and Hall took one son into their publishing-house, another was provided in a merchant's house in the City, the other is of an age and has the talents to follow and succeed in his father's profession. Mr. Colburn and Mr. Ainsworth gave up their copyrights of his Essays, which are now printed in three handsome volumes, for the benefit of his children. The following is Sir Edward Bulwer's just estimate of the writer:—
136 A brothek of the press on the history of A Liter ARY MAN, etc.
'* It remains now to speak (and I will endeavor to do so not too partially) of the talents which Laman Blanchard displayed, and of the writings he has left behind.
“His habits, as we have seen, necessarily forbade the cultivation of deep scholarship, and the careful development of serious thought. But his information upon all that interested the day was, for the same reason, various and extending over a wide surface. His observation was quick and lively. He looked abroad with an inquiring eye, and noticed the follies and humors of men with a light and pleasant gaiety, which wanted but the necessary bitterness (that was not in him) to take the dignity of satire. His style and his conceptions were not marked by the vigor which comes partly from concentration of intellect, and partly from heat of passion; but they evince, on the other hand, a purity of taste, and a propriety of feeling, which preserve him from the caricature and exaggeration that deface many compositions obtaining the praise of broad humor or intense purpose. His fancy did not soar high. but its play was sportive, and it sought its aliment with the graceful instincts of the poet. He certainly never fulfilled the great promise which his Lyric Offerings held forth. He never wrote up to the full mark of his powers; the sountain never rose to the level of its source. But in our day the professional man of letters is compelled to draw too frequently, and by too small disbursements, upon his capital, to allow large and profitable investments of the stock of mind and idea, with which he commences his career. The number and variety of our periodicals have tended to results which benefit the pecuniary interests of the author, to the o of his substantial fame. A writer like Otway could not now-a-days starve; a writer like Goldsmith might live in Mayfair and lounge in his carriage; but it may be doubted whether the one would now-adays have composed a Venice Preserred, or the other have given us a Deserted Village and a Vicar of Wakefield. There is a fatal facility in supplying the wants of the week by the rapid striking off a pleasant article, which interferes with the steady progress, even with the mature conception, of an elaborate work.
“Born at an earlier day, Laman Blanchard would probably have known sharper trials of pecuniary circumstance; and instead of the sufficient, though precarious income, which his reputation as a periodical writer afforded him, he might have often slept in the garret, and been fortunate is he had dined often in the cellar. But then he would have been compelled to put forth all that was in him of mind and genius; to have written books. not papers; and books not intended for t.
or the month, but for permanent effect upon the public.
“In such circumstances, I firmly believe that his powers would have sufficed to enrich our poetry and our stage with no inconsiderable acquisitions. All that he wanted for the soil of his mind was time to wait the seasons, and to sow upon the more patient system. But too much activity and too little preparation were his natural doom. To borrow a homely illustration from the farm, he exhausted the land by a succession of white crops.
“On the other hand, had he been born a German, and exhibited, at Jena or Bonn, the same abilities and zeal for knowledge which distinguished him in the school of Southwark, he would, doubtless, have early attained to some moderate competence, which would have allowed fair play and full leisure for a character of genius which, naturally rather elegant than strong, required every advantage of forethought and preparation.
“But when all is said—when all the drawbacks upon what he actually was are made and allowed—enough remains to justify warm o and to warrant the rational hope that he will occupy an honorable place among the writers of his age. Putting aside his poetical pretensions, and regarding solely what he performed, not what he promised, he unquestionably stands high amongst a class of writers, in which for the last century we have not been rich—the Essayists, whose themes are drawn from social subjects, sporting lightly between literature and manners. And this kind of composition is extremly difficult in itself requiring intellectual combinations rarely found. The volumes prefaced by this slight memoir deserve a place in every collection of belles lettres, and form most agreeable and characteristic illustrations of our manners and our age. They possess what is seldom found in light reading, the charm that comes from bequeathing pleasurable impressions. They are suffused in the sweetness of the author's disposition; they shun all painful views of life, all acerbity in observation, all gall in their gentle sarcasms. Added to this, they contain not a thought, not a line, from wo. the most anxious parent would guard his child. They may be read with safety by the most simple, and yet they contain enough of truth and character to interest the most reflective.”