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´╗┐Title: Letters of Edward FitzGerald to Fanny Kemble (1871-1883)
Author: FitzGerald, Edward, 1809-1883
Language: English
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*** Start of this Doctrine Publishing Corporation Digital Book "Letters of Edward FitzGerald to Fanny Kemble (1871-1883)" ***

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FANNY KEMBLE (1871-1883)***



Transcribed from the 1902 Macmillan and Co. edition by David Price, email
ccx074@pglaf.org



LETTERS
OF
EDWARD FITZGERALD
TO
FANNY KEMBLE
1871-1883


EDITED BY
WILLIAM ALDIS WRIGHT

London
MACMILLAN AND CO., LIMITED

NEW YORK: THE MACMILLAN COMPANY
1902

_All rights reserved_

_First Edition_ 1895
_Second Edition_ 1902

{Edward FitzGerald.  From a photograph by Mess. Cade & Wight, Ipswich:
pi.jpg}

Of the letters which are contained in the present volume, the first
eighty-five were in the possession of the late Mr. George Bentley, who
took great interest in their publication in _The Temple Bar Magazine_,
and was in correspondence with the Editor until within a short time of
his death.  The remainder were placed in the Editor's hands by Mrs.
Kemble in 1883, and of these some were printed in whole or in part in
FitzGerald's Letters and Literary Remains, which first appeared in 1889.

TRINITY COLLEGE, CAMBRIDGE,
20_th_ _June_ 1895.

{Frances Anne Kemble.  Engraved by J. G. Stodart from the original
painting by Sully in the possession of the Hon. Mrs. Leigh: pii.jpg}



LETTERS OF EDWARD FITZGERALD TO FANNY KEMBLE
1871-1883


'Letters . . . such as are written from wise men, are, of all the words
of man, in my judgment the best.'--BACON.

The following letters, addressed by Edward FitzGerald to his life-long
friend Fanny Kemble, form an almost continuous series, from the middle of
1871 to within three weeks of his death in 1883.  They are printed as
nearly as possible as he wrote them, preserving his peculiarities of
punctuation and his use of capital letters, although in this he is not
always consistent.  In writing to me in 1873 he said, 'I love the old
Capitals for Nouns.'  It has been a task of some difficulty to arrange
the letters in their proper order, in consequence of many of them being
either not dated at all or only imperfectly dated; but I hope I have
succeeded in giving them, approximately at least, in their true sequence.
The notes which are added are mainly for the purpose of explaining
allusions, and among them will be found extracts from other letters in my
possession which have not been published.  The references to the printed
'Letters' are to the separate edition in the Eversley Series, 2 vols.
(Macmillans, 1894).

In a letter to Mr. Arthur Malkin, October 15, 1854 ('Further Records,'
ii. 193), Mrs. Kemble enunciates her laws of correspondence, to which
frequent reference is made in the present series as the laws of the Medes
and Persians: 'You bid me not answer your letter, but I have certain
_organic laws_ of correspondence from which nothing short of a miracle
causes me to depart; as, for instance, I never write till I am written
to, I always write when I am written to, and I make a point of always
returning the same amount of paper I receive, as you may convince
yourself by observing that I send you two sheets of note-paper and Mary
Anne only half one, though I have nothing more to say to you, and I have
to her.'

WILLIAM ALDIS WRIGHT.

_January_ 1895.



I.


WOODBRIDGE, _July_ 4, [1871.]

DEAR MRS. KEMBLE,

I asked Donne to tell you, if he found opportunity, that some two months
ago I wrote you a letter, but found it so empty and dull that I would not
send it to extort the Reply which you feel bound to give.  I should have
written to tell you so myself; but I heard from Donne of the Wedding soon
about to be, and I would not intrude then.  Now that is over {3a}--I hope
to the satisfaction of you all--and I will say my little say, and you
will have to Reply, according to your own Law of Mede and Persian.

It is a shame that one should only have oneself to talk about; and yet
that is all I have; so it shall be short.  If you will but tell me of
yourself, who have read, and seen, and done, so much more, you will find
much more matter for your pen, and also for my entertainment.

Well, I have sold my dear little Ship, {3b} because I could not employ my
Eyes with reading in her Cabin, where I had nothing else to do.  I think
those Eyes began to get better directly I had written to agree to the
Man's proposal.  Anyhow, the thing is done; and so now I betake myself to
a Boat, whether on this River here, or on the Sea at the Mouth of it.

Books you see I have nothing to say about.  The Boy who came to read to
me made such blundering Work that I was forced to confine him to a
Newspaper, where his Blunders were often as entertaining as the Text
which he mistook.  We had 'hangarues' in the French Assembly, and, on one
occasion, 'ironclad Laughter from the Extreme Left.'  Once again, at the
conclusion of the London news, 'Consolations closed at 91, ex Div.'--And
so on.  You know how illiterate People will jump at a Word they don't
know, and twist it in[to] some word they are familiar with.  I was
telling some of these Blunders to a very quiet Clergyman here some while
ago, and he assured me that a poor Woman, reading the Bible to his
Mother, read off glibly, 'Stand at a Gate and swallow a Candle.'  I
believe this was no Joke of his: whether it were or not, here you have it
for what you may think it worth.

I should be glad to hear that you think Donne looking and seeming well.
Archdeacon Groome, who saw him lately, thought he looked very jaded:
which I could not wonder at.  Donne, however, writes as if in good
Spirits--brave Man as he is--and I hope you will be able to tell me that
he is not so much amiss.  He said that he was to be at the Wedding.

You will tell me too how long you remain in England; I fancy, till
Winter: and then you will go to Rome again, with its new Dynasty
installed in it.  I fancy I should not like that so well as the old; but
I suppose it's better for the Country.

I see my Namesake (Percy) Fitzgerald advertizes a Book about the Kembles.
That I shall manage to get sight of.  He made far too long work of
Garrick.  I should have thought the Booksellers did not find that pay,
judging by the price to which Garrick soon came down.  Half of it would
have been enough.

Now I am going for a Sail on the famous River Deben, to pass by the same
fields of green Wheat, Barley, Rye, and Beet-root, and come back to the
same Dinner.  Positively the only new thing we have in Woodbridge is a
Waxen Bust (Lady, of course) at the little Hairdresser's opposite.  She
turns slowly round, to our wonder and delight; and I caught the little
Barber the other day in the very Act of winding her up to run her daily
Stage of Duty.  Well; she has not got to answer Letters, as poor Mrs.
Kemble must do to hers always sincerely

E. F.G.



II.


WOODBRIDGE.  NOVr. 2/71.

DEAR MRS. KEMBLE,

Is it better not to write at all than only write to plead that one has
nothing to say?  Yet I don't like to let the year get so close to an end
without reminding you of me, to whom you have been always so good in the
matter of replying to my letters, as in other ways.

If I can tell you nothing of myself: no Books read because of no Eyes to
read them: no travel from home because of my little Ship being vanished:
no friends seen, except Donne, who came here with Valentia for two
days--_you_ can fill a sheet like this, I know, with some account of
yourself and your Doings: and I shall be very glad to hear that all is
well with you.  Donne said he believed you were in Ireland when he was
here; and he spoke of your being very well when he had last seen you;
also telling me he thought you were to stay in England this winter.  By
the by, I also heard of Mrs. Wister being at Cambridge; not Donne told me
this, but Mr. Wright, the Bursar of Trinity: and every one who speaks of
her says she is a very delightful Lady.  Donne himself seemed very well,
and in very good Spirits, in spite of all his domestic troubles.  What
Courage, and Good Temper, and Self-sacrifice!  Valentia (whom I had not
seen these dozen years) seemed a very sensible, unaffected Woman.

I would almost bet that you have not read my Namesake's Life of your
Namesakes, which I must borrow another pair of Eyes for one day.  My Boy-
reader gave me a little taste of it from the Athenaeum; as also of Mr.
Harness' Memoirs, {6} which I must get at.

This is a sorry sight {7} of a Letter:--do not trouble yourself to write
a better--that you must, in spite of yourself--but write to me a little
about yourself; which is a matter of great Interest to yours always

E. F.G.



III.


[_Nov._ 1871.]

DEAR MRS. KEMBLE,

I ought to be much obliged to you for answering my last letter with an
uneasy hand, as you did.  So I do thank you: and really wish that you
would not reply to this under any such pain: but how do I know but that
very pain will make you more determined to reply?  I must only beg you
not to do so: and thus wash _my_ hands of any responsibilities in the
matter.

And what will you say when I tell you that I can hardly pity one who
suffers from Gout; though I would undoubtedly prefer that you should be
free from that, or any other ailment.  But I have always heard that Gout
exempts one from many other miseries which Flesh is heir to: at any rate,
it almost always leaves the Head clear: and that is so much!  My Mother,
who suffered a good deal, used often to say how she was kept awake of
nights by the Pain in her feet, or hands, but felt so clear aloft that
she made Night pass even agreeably away with her reflections and
recollections.

And you have your recollections and Reflections which you are gathering
into Shape, you say, in a Memoir of your own Life.  And you are good
enough to say that you would read it to me if I--were good enough to
invite you to my House here some Summer Day!  I doubt that Donne has
given you too flattering an account of my house, and me: you know he is
pleased with every one and everything: I know it also, and therefore no
longer dissuade him from spending his time and money in a flying Visit
here in the course of his Visits to other East Anglian friends and
Kinsmen.  But I feel a little all the while as if I were taking all, and
giving nothing in return: I mean, about Books, People, etc., with which a
dozen years discontinuance of Society, and, latterly, incompetent Eyes,
have left me in the lurch.  If you indeed will come and read your Memoir
to me, I shall be entitled to be a Listener only: and you shall have my
Chateau all to yourself for as long as you please: only do not expect me
to be quite what Donne may represent.

It is disgusting to talk so much about oneself: but I really think it is
better to say so much on this occasion.  If you consider my
circumstances, you will perhaps see that I am not talking unreasonably: I
am sure, not with sham humility: and that I am yours always and sincerely

E.  F.G.

P.S.  I should not myself have written so soon again, but to apprise you
of a brace of Pheasants I have sent you.  Pray do not write expressly to
acknowledge them:--only tell me if they don't come.  I know you thank me.
{9}



IV.


[27 _Feb._, 1872.]

DEAR MRS. KEMBLE,

Had I anything pleasant to write to you, or better Eyes to write it with,
you would have heard from me before this.  An old Story, by way of
Apology--to one who wants no such Apology, too.  Therefore, true though
it be there is enough of it.

I hear from Mowbray Donne that you were at his Father's Lectures, {10a}
and looking yourself.  So that is all right.  Are your Daughters--or one
of them--still with you?  I do not think you have been to see the
Thanksgiving Procession, {10b} for which our Bells are even now
ringing--the old Peal which I have known these--sixty years almost--though
at that time it reached my Eyes (_sic_) through a Nursery window about
two miles off.  From that window I remember seeing my Father with another
Squire {10c} passing over the Lawn with their little pack of Harriers--an
almost obliterated Slide of the old Magic Lantern.  My Mother used to
come up sometimes, and we Children were not much comforted.  She was a
remarkable woman, as you said in a former letter: and as I constantly
believe in outward Beauty as an Index of a Beautiful Soul within, I used
sometimes to wonder what feature in her fine face betrayed what was not
so good in her Character.  I think (as usual) the Lips: there was a twist
of Mischief about them now and then, like that in--the Tail of a
Cat!--otherwise so smooth and amiable.  I think she admired your Mother
as much as any one she knew, or had known.

And (I see by the Athenaeum) Mr. Chorley is dead, {11} whom I used to see
at your Father's and Sister's houses.  Born in 1808 they say: so, one
year older than yours truly E. F.G.--who, however, is going to live
through another page of Letter-paper.  I think he was a capital Musical
Critic, though he condemned Piccolomini, who was the last Singer I heard
of Genius, Passion, and a Voice that told both.  I am told she was no
Singer: but that went some way to make amends.  Chorley, too, though an
irritable, nervous creature, as his outside expressed, was kind and
affectionate to Family and Friend, I always heard.  But I think the
Angels must take care to keep in tune when he gets among them.

This is a wretched piece of Letter to extort the Answer which you feel
bound to give.  But I somehow wished to write: and not to write about
myself; and so have only left room to say--to repeat--that I am yours
ever sincerely

E. F.G.



V.


[1872.]

DEAR MRS. KEMBLE,

I set off with a Letter to you, though I do not very well know how I am
to go on with it.  But my Reader has been so disturbed by a Mouse in the
room that I have dismissed him--9.30 p.m.--and he has been reading (so
far as he could get on) Hawthorne's Notes of Italian Travel: which
interest me very much indeed, as being the Notes of a Man of Genius who
will think for himself independently of Murray &c.  And then his Account
of Rome has made me think of you more than once.  We have indeed left off
to-night at Radicofani: but, as my Boy is frightened away by the Mouse, I
fancy I will write to you before I take my one Pipe--which were better
left alone, considering that it gives but half an hour's rather pleasant
musing at the expense of a troubled night.  Is it not more foolish then
to persist in doing this than being frightened at a Mouse?  This is not a
mere fancy of the Boy--who is not a Fool, nor a 'Betty,' and is seventeen
years old: he inherits his terror from his Mother, he says: positively he
has been in a cold Sweat because of this poor little thing in the room:
and yet he is the son of a Butcher here.  So I sent him home, and write
to you instead of hearing him read Hawthorne.  He is to bring some
poisoned Wheat for the Mouse to-morrow.

Another Book he read me also made me think of you: Harness: whom I
remember to have seen once or twice at your Father's years ago.  The
Memoir of him (which is a poor thing) still makes one like--nay,
love--him--as a kindly, intelligent, man.  I think his latter letters
very pleasant indeed.

I do not know if you are in London or in your 'Villeggiatura' {13a} in
Kent.  Donne must decide that for me.  Even my Garden and Fields and
Shrubs are more flourishing than I have yet seen them at this time of
Year: and with you all is in fuller bloom, whether you be in Kent or
Middlesex.  Are you going on with your Memoir?  Pray read Hawthorne.  I
dare say you do not quite forget Shakespeare now and then: dear old
Harness, reading him to the last!

Pray do you read Annie Thackeray's new Story {13b} in Cornhill?  She
wrote me that she had taken great pains with it, and so thought it might
not be so good as what she took less pains with.  I doated on her Village
on the Cliff, but did not care for what I had read of hers since: and
this new Story I have not seen!  And pray do you doat on George Eliot?

Here are a few questions suggested for you to answer--as answer I know
you will.  It is almost a Shame to put you to it by such a piece of
inanity as this letter.  But it is written: it is 10 p.m.  A Pipe--and
then to Bed--with what Appetite for Sleep one may.

And I am yours sincerely always

E. F.G.



VI.


WOODBRIDGE: _June_ 6, [1872].

DEAR MRS. KEMBLE,

Some little while ago I saw in a London Book Catalogue 'Smiles and
Tears--a Comedy by Mrs. C. Kemble'--I had a curiosity to see this: and so
bought it.  Do you know it?--Would you like to have it?  It seems to be
ingeniously contrived, and of easy and natural Dialogue: of the half
sentimental kind of Comedy, as Comedies then were (1815) with a
serious--very serious--element in it--taken from your Mother's Friend's,
Mrs. Opie's (what a sentence!) story of 'Father and Daughter'--the
seduced Daughter, who finds her distracted Father writing her name on a
Coffin he has drawn on the Wall of his Cell--All ends happily in the
Play, however, whatever may be the upshot of the Novel.  But an odd thing
is, that this poor Girl's name is 'Fitz Harding'--and the Character was
played by Miss Foote: whether before, or after, her seduction by Colonel
Berkeley I know not.  The Father was played by Young.

Sir Frederick Pollock has been to see me here for two days, {15} and put
me up to much that was going on in the civilized World.  He was very
agreeable indeed: and I believe his Visit did him good.  What are you
going to do with your Summer?  Surely never came Summer with more
Verdure: and I somehow think we shall have more rain to keep the Verdure
up, than for the last few years we have had.

I am quite sure of the merit of George Eliot, and (I should have thought)
of a kind that would suit me.  But I have not as yet found an Appetite
for her.  I have begun taking the Cornhill that I may read Annie
Thackeray--but I have not found Appetite for her as yet.  Is it that one
recoils from making so many new Acquaintances in Novels, and retreats
upon one's Old Friends, in Shakespeare, Cervantes, and Sir Walter?  Oh, I
read the last as you have lately been reading--the Scotch Novels, I mean:
I believe I should not care for the Ivanhoes, Kenilworths, etc., any
more.  But Jeanie Deans, the Antiquary, etc., I shall be theirs as long
as I am yours sincerely

E. F.G.



VII.


WOODBRIDGE: _August_ 9, [1872].

DEAR MRS. KEMBLE,

I think I shall hear from you once again before you go abroad.  To Rome!
My Brother Peter also is going to winter there: but you would not have
much in common with him, I think, so I say nothing of an Acquaintance
between you.

I have been having Frederick Tennyson with me down here. {16a}  He has
come to England (from Jersey where his home now is) partly on Business,
and partly to bring over a deaf old Gentleman who has discovered the
Original Mystery of Free-masonry, by means of Spiritualism.  The
Freemasons have for Ages been ignorant, it seems, of the very Secret
which all their Emblems and Signs refer to: and the question is, if they
care enough for their own Mystery to buy it of this ancient Gentleman.  If
they do not, he will shame them by Publishing it to all the world.
Frederick Tennyson, who has long been a Swedenborgian, a Spiritualist,
and is now even himself a Medium, is quite grand and sincere in this as
in all else: with the Faith of a Gigantic Child--pathetic and yet
humorous to consider and consort with.

I went to Sydenham for two days to visit the Brother I began telling you
of: and, at a hasty visit to the Royal Academy, caught a glimpse of Annie
Thackeray: {16b} who had first caught a glimpse of me, and ran away from
her Party to seize the hands of her Father's old friend.  I did not know
her at first: was half overset by her cordial welcome when she told me
who she was; and made a blundering business of it altogether.  So much
so, that I could not but write afterwards to apologize to her: and she
returned as kind an Answer as she had given a Greeting: telling me that
my chance Apparition had been to her as 'A message from Papa.'  It was
really something to have been of so much importance.

I keep intending to go out somewhere--if for no other reason than that my
rooms here may be cleaned! which they will have it should be done once a
year.  Perhaps I may have to go to my old Field of Naseby, where Carlyle
wants me to erect a Stone over the spot where I dug up some remains of
those who were slain there over two hundred years ago, for the purpose of
satisfying him in his Cromwell History.  This has been a fixed purpose of
his these twenty years: I thought it had dropped from his head: but it
cropped up again this Spring, and I do not like to neglect such wishes.
Ever yours

E. F.G.



VIII.


_April_ 22, [1873.]

DEAR MRS. KEMBLE,

One last word about what you call my 'Half-invitation' to Woodbridge.  In
one sense it is so; but not in the sense you imagine.

I never do invite any of my oldest Friends to come and see me, am almost
distressed at their proposing to do so.  If they take me in their way to,
or from, elsewhere (as Donne in his Norfolk Circuit) it is another
matter.

But I have built a pleasant house just outside the Town, where I never
live myself, but keep it mainly for some Nieces who come there for two or
three months in the Summer: and, when they are not there, for any Friends
who like to come, for the Benefit of fresh Air and Verdure, _plus_ the
company of their Host.  An Artist and his Wife have stayed there for some
weeks for the last two years; and Donne and Valentia were to have come,
but that they went abroad instead.

And so, while I should even deprecate a Lady like you coming thus far
only for my sake, who ought rather to go and ask Admission at your Door,
I should be glad if you liked to come to my house for the double purpose
aforesaid.

My Nieces have hitherto come to me from July to September or October.
Since I wrote to you, they have proposed to come on May 21; though it may
be somewhat later, as suits the health of the Invalid--who lives on small
means with her elder Sister, who is her Guardian Angel.  I am sure that
no friend of mine--and least of all you--would dissent from my making
them my first consideration.  I never ask them in Winter, when I think
they are better in a Town: which Town has, since their Father's Death,
been Lowestoft, where I see them from time to time.  Their other six
sisters (one only married) live elsewhere: all loving one another,
notwithstanding.

Well: I have told you all I meant by my 'Half-Invitation.'  These N.E.
winds are less inviting than I to these parts; but I and my House would
be very glad to entertain you to our best up to the End of May, if you
really liked to see Woodbridge as well as yours always truly

E. F.G.

P.S.--You tell me that, once returned to America, you think you will not
return ever again to England.  But you will--if only to revisit those at
Kenilworth--yes, and the blind Lady you are soon going to see in Ireland
{19a}--and two or three more in England beside--yes, and old England
itself, 'with all her faults.'

By the by:--Some while ago {19b} Carlyle sent me a Letter from an
American gentleman named Norton (once of the N. American Review, C. says,
and a most amiable, intelligent Gentleman)--whose Letter enclosed one
from Ruskin, which had been entrusted to another American Gentleman named
Burne Jones--who kept it in a Desk ten years, and at last forwarded it as
aforesaid--to me!  The Note (of Ruskin's) is about one of the Persian
Translations: almost childish, as that Man of Genius is apt to be in his
Likes as well as Dislikes.  I dare say he has forgotten all about
Translator and Original long before this.  I wrote to thank Mr. Norton
for

(_Letter unfinished_.)



IX.


[1873.]

DEAR MRS. KEMBLE,

It is scarce fair to assail you on your return to England with another
Letter so close on that to which you have only just answered--you who
_will_ answer!  I wish you would consider this Letter of mine an Answer
(as it really is) to that last of yours; and before long I will write
again and call on you then for a Reply.

What inspires me now is, that, about the time you were writing to me
about Burns and Beranger, I was thinking of them 'which was the Greater
Genius?'--I can't say; but, with all my Admiration for about a Score of
the Frenchman's almost perfect Songs, I would give all of them up for a
Score of Burns' Couplets, Stanzas, or single Lines scattered among those
quite _im_perfect Lyrics of his.  Beranger, no doubt, was The _Artist_;
which still is not the highest Genius--witness Shakespeare, Dante,
AEschylus, Calderon, to the contrary.  Burns assuredly had more _Passion_
than the Frenchman; which is not Genius either, but a great Part of the
Lyric Poet still.  What Beranger might have been, if born and bred among
Banks, Braes, and Mountains, I cannot tell: Burns had that advantage over
him.  And then the Highland Mary to love, amid the heather, as compared
to Lise the Grisette in a Parisian Suburb!  Some of the old French
Virelays and _Vaux-de-vire_ come much nearer the Wild Notes of Burns, and
go to one's heart like his; Beranger never gets so far as that, I think.
One knows he will come round to his pretty _refrain_ with perfect grace;
if he were more Inspired he couldn't.

   'My Love is like the red, red, Rose
      That's newly sprung in June,
   My Love is like the Melody
      That's sweetly play'd in tune.'

and he will love his Love,

   'Till a' the Seas gang Dry'

Yes--Till a' the Seas gang dry, my Dear.  And then comes some weaker
stuff about Rocks melting in the Sun.  All Imperfect; but that red, red
Rose has burned itself into one's silly Soul in spite of all.  Do you
know that one of Burns' few almost perfect stanzas was perfect till he
added two Syllables to each alternate Line to fit it to the lovely Music
which almost excuses such a dilution of the Verse?

   'Ye Banks and Braes o' bonnie Doon,
      How can ye bloom (so fresh) so fair?
   Ye little Birds how can ye sing,
      And I so (weary) full of care!
   Thou'lt break my heart, thou little Bird,
      That sings (singest so) upon the Thorn:
   Thou minds me of departed days
      That never shall return
      (Departed never to) return.'

Now I shall tell you two things which my last Quotation has recalled to
me.

Some thirty years ago A. Tennyson went over Burns' Ground in Dumfries.
When he was one day by Doon-side--'I can't tell how it was, Fitz, but I
fell into a Passion of Tears'--And A. T. not given to the melting mood at
all.

No. 2.  My friend old Childs of the romantic town of Bungay (if you can
believe in it!) told me that one day he started outside the Coach in
company with a poor Woman who had just lost Husband or Child.  She talked
of her Loss and Sorrow with some Resignation; till the Coach happened to
pull up by a roadside Inn.  A 'little Bird' was singing somewhere; the
poor Woman then broke into Tears, and said--'I could bear anything but
that.'  I dare say she had never even heard of Burns: but he had heard
the little Bird that he knew would go to all Hearts in Sorrow.

Beranger's Morals are Virtue as compared to what have followed him in
France.  Yet I am afraid he partly led the way.  Burns' very _Passion_
half excused him; so far from its being Refinement which Burke thought
deprived Vice of half its Mischief!

Here is a Sermon for you, you see, which you did not compound for: nor I
neither when I began my Letter.  But I think I have told you the two
Stories aforesaid which will almost deprive my sermon of half its
Dulness.  And I am now going to transcribe you a _Vau-de-vire_ of old
Olivier de Basselin, {23a} which will show you something of that which I
miss in Beranger.  But I think I had better write it on a separate Paper.
Till which, what think you of these lines of Clement Marot on the Death
of some French Princess who desired to be buried among the Poor? {23b}

[P.S.--These also must go on the Fly-leaf: being too long, Alexandrine,
for these Pages.]

What a Letter!  But if you are still at your Vicarage, you can read it in
the Intervals of Church.  I was surprised at your coming so early from
Italy: the famous Holy Week there is now, I suppose, somewhat shorn of
its Glory.--If you were not so sincere I should think you were
persiflaging me about the Photo, as applied to myself, and yourself.  Some
years ago I said--and now say--I wanted one of you; and if this letter
were not so long, would tell you a little how to sit.  Which you would
not attend to; but I should be all the same, your long-winded

Friend
E. F.G.



X.


WOODBRIDGE, _May_ 1, [1873.]

DEAR MRS. KEMBLE,

I am very glad that you will be Photographed: though not by the Ipswich
Man who did me, there are no doubt many much better in London.

Of course the whole Figure is best, if it can be artistically arranged.
But certainly the safe plan is to venture as little as possible when an
Artist's hand cannot harmonize the Lines and the Lights, as in a Picture.
And as the Face is the Chief Object, I say the safest thing is to sit for
the Face, neck, and Shoulders only.  By this, one not only avoids any
conflict about Arms and Hands (which generally disturb the Photo), but
also the Lines and Lights of Chair, Table, etc.

For the same reason, I vote for nothing but a plain Background, like a
Curtain, or sober-coloured Wall.

I think also that there should be no White in the Dress, which is apt to
be too positive for the Face.  Nothing nearer White than such material as
(I think) Brussels Lace (?) of a yellowish or even dirty hue; of which
there may be a Fringe between Dress and Skin.  I have advised Men Friends
to sit in a--dirty Shirt!

I think a three-quarter face is better that a Full; for one reason, that
I think the Sitter feels more at ease looking somewhat away, rather than
direct at the luminous Machine.  This will suit you, who have a finely
turned Head, which is finely placed on Neck and Shoulders.  But, as your
Eyes are fine also, don't let them be turned too much aside, nor at all
downcast: but simply looking as to a Door or Window a little on one side.

Lastly (!) I advise sitting in a lightly clouded Day; not in a bright
Sunlight at all.

You will think that I am preaching my own Photo to you.  And it is true
that, though I did not sit with any one of these rules in my head; but
just as I got out of a Cab, etc., yet the success of the Thing made me
consider afterward why it succeeded; and I have now read you my Lecture
on the Subject.  Pray do not forgo your Intention--nay, your Promise, as
I regard it--to sit, and send me the result. {25}

Here has been a bevy of Letters, and long ones, from me, you see.  I
don't know if it is reasonable that one should feel it so much easier to
write to a Friend in England than to the same Friend abroad; but so it
is, with me at least.  I suppose that a Letter directed to Stoneleigh
will find you before you leave--for America!--and even after that.  But I
shall not feel the same confidence and ease in transcribing for you
pretty Norman Songs, or gossiping about them as I have done when my
Letters were only to travel to Kenilworth: which very place--which very
name of a Place--makes the English world akin.  I suppose you have been
at Stratford before this--an event in one's Life.  It was not the Town
itself--or even the Church--that touched me most: but the old Footpaths
over the Fields which He must have crossed three Centuries ago.

Spedding tells me he is nearing Land with his Bacon.  And one begins to
think Macready a Great Man amid the Dwarfs that now occupy his Place.

Ever yours sincerely

E. F.G.



XI.


_September_ 18/73.

DEAR MRS. KEMBLE,

I have not forgotten you at all, all these months--What a Consolation to
you!  But I felt I had nothing to send among the Alps after you: I have
been nowhere but for two Days to the Field of Naseby in Northamptonshire,
where I went to identify the spot where I dug up the Dead for Carlyle
thirty years ago.  I went; saw; made sure; and now--the Trustees of the
Estate won't let us put up the Memorial stone we proposed to put up; they
approve (we hear) neither of the Stone, nor the Inscription; both as
plain and innocent as a Milestone, says Carlyle, and indeed much of the
same Nature.  This Decision of the foolish Trustees I only had some ten
days ago: posted it to Carlyle who answered from Dumfries; and his Answer
shows that he is in full vigour, though (as ever since I have known him)
he protests that Travelling has utterly discomfited him, and he will move
no more.  But it is very silly of these Trustees. {28a}

And, as I have been nowhere, I have seen no one; nor read anything but
the Tichborne Trial, and some of my old Books--among them Walpole,
Wesley, and Johnson (Boswell, I mean), three very different men whose
Lives extend over the same times, and whose diverse ways of looking at
the world they lived in make a curious study.  I wish some one would
write a good Paper on this subject; I don't mean to hint that I am the
man; on the contrary, I couldn't at all; but I could supply some [one]
else with some material that he would not care to hunt up in the Books
perhaps.

Well: all this being all, I had no heart to write--to the Alps!  And now
I remember well you told me you [were] coming back to England--for a
little while--a little while--and then to the New World for ever--which I
don't believe! {28b}  Oh no! you will come back in spite of yourself,
depend upon it--and yet I doubt that my saying so will be one little
reason why you will not!  But do let me hear of you first: and believe me
ever yours

E. F.G.



XII.


[WOODBRIDGE, 1873.]

DEAR MRS. KEMBLE,

You must attribute this third Letter to an '_Idee_' that has come into my
head relating to those Memoirs of yourself which you say you are at some
loss to dispose of.  I can easily understand that your Children, born and
bred (I think) in another World, would not take so much interest in them
as some of your old Friends who make part of your Recollections: as you
yourself occupy much of theirs.  But then they are _old_ Friends; and are
not their Children, Executors and Assigns, as little to be depended on as
your own Kith and Kin?  Well; I bethink me of one of your old Friends'
Children whom I could reckon upon for you, as I would for myself: Mowbray
Donne: the Son of one who you know loves you of old, and inheriting all
his Father's Loyalty to his Father's Friends.  I am quite convinced that
he is to be perfectly depended upon in all respects for this purpose; for
his Love, his Honour, and his Intelligence.  I should then make him one
day read the Memoirs to me--for I can't be assured of my own Eyes
interpreting your MS. without so much difficulty as would disturb one's
Enjoyment, or Appreciation, of such a Memoir.  Unless indeed you should
one day come down yourself to my Chateau in dull Woodbridge, and there
read it over, and talk it over.

Well; this is what I seriously advise, always supposing that you have
decided not to print and publish the Memoir during your Life.  No doubt
you could make money of it, beside 'bolting up' {30} such Accident as the
Future comprehends.  The latter would, I know, be the only recommendation
to you.

I don't think you will do at all as I advise you.  But I nevertheless
advise you as I should myself in case I had such a Record as you have to
leave behind me.--

Now once more for French Songs.  When I was in Paris in 1830, just before
that Revolution, I stopped one Evening on the Boulevards by the Madeleine
to listen to a Man who was singing to his Barrel-organ.  Several passing
'Blouses' had stopped also: not only to listen, but to join in the Songs,
having bought little '_Libretti_' of the words from the Musician.  I
bought one too; for, I suppose, the smallest French Coin; and assisted in
the Song which the Man called out beforehand (as they do Hymns at
Church), and of which I enclose you the poor little Copy.  '_Le Bon
Pasteur_, s'il vous plait'--I suppose the Circumstances: the 'beau
temps,' the pleasant Boulevards, the then so amiable People, all
contributed to the effect this Song had upon me; anyhow, it has
constantly revisited my memory for these forty-three years; and I was
thinking, the other day, touched me more than any of Beranger's most
beautiful Things.  This, however, may be only one of 'Old Fitz's'
Crotchets, as Tennyson and others would call them. {31}

I have been trying again at another Great _Artist's_ work which I never
could care for at all, Goethe's _Faust_, in Hayward's Prose Translation;
Eighth Edition.  Hayward quotes from Goethe himself, that, though of
course much of a Poem must evaporate in a Prose Translation, yet the
Essence must remain.  Well; I distinguish as little of that Essential
Poetry in the Faust now as when I first read it--longer ago than '_Le Bon
Pasteur_,' and in other subsequent Attempts.  I was tempted to think this
was some Defect--great Defect--in myself: but a Note at the end of the
Volume informs me that a much greater Wit than I was in the same
plight--even Coleridge; who admires the perfect German Diction, the
Songs, Choruses, etc. (which are such parts as cannot be translated into
Prose); he also praises Margaret and Mephistopheles; but thinks Faust
himself dull, and great part of the Drama flat and tiresome; and the
whole Thing not a self-evolving Whole, but an unconnected Series of
Scenes: all which are parts that can be judged of from Translation, by
Goethe's own Authority.  I find a great want of Invention and Imagination
both in the Events and Characters.

Gervinus' Theory of Hamlet is very staking.  Perhaps Shakespeare himself
would have admitted, without ever having expressly designed, it.  I
always said with regard to the Explanation of Hamlet's Madness or Sanity,
that Shakespeare himself might not have known the Truth any more than we
understand the seeming Discords we see in People we know best.
Shakespeare intuitively imagined, and portrayed, the Man without being
able to give a reason--_perhaps_--I believe in Genius doing this: and
remain your Inexhaustible Correspondent

E. F.G.

Excuse this very bad writing, which I have gone over 'with the pen of
Correction,' and would have wholly re-written if my Eyes were not
be-glared with the Sun on the River.  You need only read the first part
about Donne.



XIII.


[1873.]

DEAR MRS. KEMBLE,

Had you but written your Dublin Address in full, I should have caught you
before you left.  As you did not, I follow your Directions, and enclose
to Coutts.

You see which of the three Photos I prefer--and very much prefer--by the
two which I return: I am very much obliged to you indeed for taking all
the Trouble; and the Photo I have retained is very satisfactory to me in
every respect: as I believe you will find it to be to such other Friends
as you would give a Copy to.  I can fancy that this Photo is a fair one;
I mean, a fair Likeness: one of the full Faces was nearly as good to me,
but for the darkness of the Lips--that common default in these things--but
the other dark Fullface is very unfair indeed.  You must give Copies to
dear old Donne, and to one or two others, and I should like to hear from
you [before you] leave England which they prefer.

It was indeed so unlike your obstinate habit of Reply--this last
exception--that I thought you must be ill; and I was really thinking of
writing to Mr. Leigh to ask about you--I have been ailing myself with
some form of Rheumatism--whether Lumbago, Sciatica, or what not--which
has made my rising up and sitting down especially uncomfortable; Country
Doctor quite incompetent, etc.  But the Heavenly Doctor, Phoebus, seems
more efficient--especially now he has brought the Wind out of N.E.

I had meant to send you the Air of the Bon Pasteur when I sent the words:
I never heard it but that once, but I find that the version you send me
is almost identical with my Recollection of it.  There is little merit in
the Tune, except the pleasant resort to the Major at the two last Verses.
I can now hear the Organist's _burr_ at the closing 'Benira.'

I happened the other day on some poor little Verses {34a} which poor
Haydon found of his poor Wife's writing in the midst of the Distress from
which he extricated himself so suddenly.  And I felt how these poor
Verses touched me far more than any of Beranger's--though scarcely more
than many of Burns'.  I know that the Story which they involve appeals
more to one's heart than the Frenchman does; but I am also sure that his
perfect _Art_ injures, and not assists, the utterance of Nature.  I
transcribe these poor Verses for you, as you may not have the Book at
hand, and yet I think you will thank me for recalling them to you.  I
find them in a MS. Book I have which I call 'Half Hours with the Worst
Authors,' {34b} and if People would believe that I know what is good for
them in these matters, the Book would make a very good one for the
Public.  But if People don't see as I do by themselves, they wouldn't any
the more for my telling them, not having any Name to bid their Attention.
So my Bad Authors must be left to my Heirs and Assigns; as your Good
Memoirs!

On second Thoughts, I shall (in spite of your Directions) keep two of the
Photos: returning you only the hateful dark one.  That is, I shall keep
the twain, unless you desire me to return you one of them.  Anyhow, do
write to me before you go quite away, and believe me always yours

E. F.G.



XIV.


WOODBRIDGE: _Novr._ 18/73.

DEAR MRS. KEMBLE,

I should have written to you before, but that I was waiting for some
account, for better or worse, of our friend Donne; who has been seriously
ill this Fortnight and more.  I don't know what his original Ailment was,
unless a Cold; but the Effect has been to leave him so weak, that even
now the Doctor fears for any Relapse which he might not be strong enough
to bear.  He had been for a Visit to friends in the West of England: and
became ill directly he returned to London.  You may think it odd I don't
know what was his Illness; but Mowbray, who has told me all I know, did
not tell me that: and so I did not ask, as I could do no good by knowing.
Perhaps it is simply a Decay, or Collapse, of Body, or Nerves--or even
Mind:--a Catastrophe which I never thought unlikely with Donne, who has
toiled and suffered so much, for others rather than for himself; and
keeping all his Suffering to himself.  He wrote me a letter about himself
a week ago; cheerful, and telling me of Books he read: so as no one would
guess he was so ill; but a Letter from Mowbray by the same Post told me
he was still in a precarious Condition.  I had wished to tell you that he
was better, if not well: but I may wait some time for that: and so I will
write now:--with the Promise that I will write again directly there is
anything else to tell.

Here my Reader comes to give me an Instalment of Tichborne: so I shall
shut up, perhaps till To-morrow.

The Lord Chief Justice and Co. have just decided to adjourn the Trial for
ten Days, till Witnesses arrive from your side of the Atlantic.  My
Reader has just adjourned to some Cake and Porter--I tell him not to
hurry--while I go on with this Letter.  To tell you that, I might almost
have well adjourned writing 'sine die' (can you construe?), for I don't
think I have more to tell you now.  Only that I am reading--Crabbe!  And
I want you to tell me if he is read on that side of the Atlantic from
which we are expecting Tichborne Witnesses.

(Reader finishes Cake and Porter: and we now adjourn to 'All the Year
Round.')

10 p.m.  'All the Year Round' read--part of it--and Reader departed.

Pray do tell me if any one reads Crabbe in America; nobody does here, you
know, but myself; who bore about it.  Does Mrs. Wister, who reads many
things?  Does Mrs. Kemble, now she has the Atlantic between her and the
old Country?

   'Over the Forth I look to the North,
      But what is the North and its Hielands to me?
   The North and the East gie small ease to my breast,
      The far foreign land and the wide rolling Sea.' {37}

I think that last line will bring the Tears into Mrs. Kemble's Eyes--which
I can't find in the Photograph she sent me.  Yet they are not
extinguisht, surely?

I read in some Athenaeum that A. Tennyson was changing his Publisher
again: and some one told me that it was in consequence of the resigning
Publisher having lost money by his contract with the Poet; which was, to
pay him 1000 pounds per Quarter for the exclusive sale of his Poems.  It
was a Woodbridge _Literati_ who told me this, having read it in a Paper
called 'The Publisher.'  More I know not.

A little more such stuff I might write: but I think here is enough of it.
For this Night, anyhow: so I shall lick the Ink from my Pen; and smoke
one Pipe, not forgetting you while I do so; and if nothing turns up To-
morrow, here is my Letter done, and I remaining yours always sincerely

E. F.G.



XV.


WOODBRIDGE: _Nov._ 24, [1873].

DEAR MRS. KEMBLE,

A note from Mowbray to-day says 'I think I can report the Father really
on the road to recovery.'

So, as I think you will be as glad to know this as I am, I write again
over the Atlantic.  And, after all, you mayn't be over the Atlantic, but
in London itself!  Donne would have told me: but I don't like to trouble
him with Questions, or writing of any sort.  If you be in London, you
will hear somehow of all this matter: if in America, my Letter won't go
in vain.

Mowbray wrote me some while ago of the Death of your Sister's Son in the
Hunting-field. {38}  Mowbray said, aged thirty, I think: I had no idea,
so old: born when I was with Thackeray in Coram Street--(_Jorum_ Street,
he called it) where I remember Mrs. Sartoris coming in her Brougham to
bid him to Dinner, 1843.

I wrote to Annie Thackeray yesterday: politely telling her I couldn't
relish her Old Kensington a quarter as much as her Village on the Cliff:
which, however, I doat on.  I still purpose to read Miss Evans: but my
Instincts are against her--I mean, her Books.

What have you done with your Memoirs?  Pollock is about to edit
Macready's.  And Chorley--have you read him?  I shall devour him in
time--that is, when Mudie will let me.

I wonder if there are Water-cresses in America, as there are on my tea-
table while I write?

What do you think of these two lines which Crabbe didn't print?

   'The shapeless purpose of a Soul that feels,
   And half suppresses Wrath, {39} and half reveals.'

My little bit of Good News about our Friend is the only reason and
Apology for this Letter from

Yours ever and always
E. F.G.



XVI.


LOWESTOFT: _Febr._ 10/74.

DEAR MRS. KEMBLE,

A Letter to be written to you from the room I have written to you before
in: but my Letter must wait till I return to Woodbridge, where your
Address is on record.  I have thought several times of writing to you
since this Year began; but I have been in a muddle--leaving my old
Markethill Lodgings, and vacillating between my own rather lonely
Chateau, and this Place, where some Nieces are.  I had wished to tell you
what I know of our dear Donne: who Mowbray says gets on still.  I suppose
he will never be so strong again.  Laurence wrote me that he had met him
in the Streets, looking thinner (!) with (as it were) keener Eyes.  That
is a Portrait Painter's observation: probably a just one.  Laurence has
been painting for me a Copy of Pickersgill's Portrait of Crabbe--but I am
afraid has made some muddle of it, according to his wont.  I asked for a
Sketch: he _will_ elaborate--and spoil.  Instead of copying the Colours
he sees and could simply match on his Palette, he _will_ puzzle himself
as to whether the Eyebrows were once sandy, though now gray; and wants to
compare Pickersgill's Portrait with Phillips'--which I particularly
wished to be left out of account.  Laurence is a dear little fellow--a
Gentleman--Spedding said, 'made of Nature's very finest Clay.' {40}  So
he is: but the most obstinate little man--'incorrigible,' Richmond called
him; and so he wearies out those who wish most to serve and employ him;
and so has spoiled his own Fortune.

Do you read in America of Holman Hunt's famous new Picture of 'The Shadow
of Death,' which he has been some seven Years painting--in Jerusalem, and
now exhibits under theatrical Lights and accompaniments?  This does not
induce me to believe in H. Hunt more than heretofore: which is--not at
all.  Raffaelle, Mozart, Shakespeare, did not take all that time about a
work, nor brought it forth to the world with so much Pomp and
Circumstance.

Do you know Sainte Beuve's Causeries?  I think one of the most delightful
Books--a Volume of which I brought here, and makes me now write of it to
you.  It is a Book worth having--worth buying--for you can read it more
than once, and twice.  And I have taken up Don Quixote again: more
Evergreen still; in Spanish, as it must be read, I doubt.

Here is a Sheet of Paper already filled, with matters very little worthy
of sending over the Atlantic.  But you will be glad of the Donne news, at
any rate.  Do tell me ever so little of yourself in return.

Now my Eyes have had enough of this vile steel pen; and so have yours, I
should think: and I will mix a Glass of poor Sherry and Water, and fill a
Pipe, and think of you while I smoke it.  Think of me sometimes as

Yours always sincerely,
E. F.G.

P.S.  I shall venture this Letter with no further Address than I remember
now.



XVII.


LITTLE GRANGE: WOODBRIDGE, _May_ 2/74.

DEAR MRS. KEMBLE,

My Castle Clock has gone 9 p.m., and I myself am but half an hour home
from a Day to Lowestoft.  Why I should begin a Letter to you under these
circumstances I scarce know.  However, I have long been intending to
write: nay, actually did write half a Letter which I mislaid.  What I
wanted to tell you was--and is--that Donne is going on very well: Mowbray
thinks he may be pronounced 'recovered.'  You may have heard about him
from some other hand before this: I know you will be glad to hear it at
any time, from any quarter.

This my Castle had been named by me 'Grange Farm,' being formerly a
dependency of a more considerable Chateau on the hill above.  But a fine
tall Woman, who has been staying two days, ordered me to call it 'Little
Grange.'  So it must be.  She came to meet a little Niece of mine: both
Annies: one tall as the other is short: both capital in Head and Heart: I
knew they would _fadge_ well: so they did: so we all did, waiting on
ourselves and on one another.  Odd that I have another tip-top Annie on
my small list of Acquaintances--Annie Thackeray.

I wonder what Spring is like in America.  We have had an April of really
'magnifique' Weather: but here is that vixen May with its N.E. airs.  A
Nightingale however sings so close to my Bedroom that (the window being
open) the Song is almost too loud.

I thought you would come back to Nightingale-land!

Donne is better: and Spedding has at last (I hear) got his load of Bacon
off his Shoulders, after carrying it for near Forty years!  Forty years
long!  A fortnight ago there was such a delicious bit of his in Notes and
Queries, {42} a Comment on some American Comment on a passage in Antony
and Cleopatra, that I recalled my old Sorrow that he had not edited
Shakespeare long ago instead of wasting Life in washing his Blackamoor.
Perhaps there is time for this yet: but is there the Will?

Pray, Madam, how do you emphasize the line--

   'After Life's fitful Fever he sleeps well,'

which, by the by, one wonders never to have seen in some Churchyard?  What
do you think of this for an Epitaph--from Crabbe?--

   'Friend of the Poor--the Wretched--the Betray'd,
   They cannot pay thee--but thou shalt be paid.' {43}

This is a poor Letter indeed to make you answer--as answer you will--I
really only intended to tell you of Donne; and remain ever yours

E. F.G.

Pollock is busy editing Macready's Papers.



XVIII.


LOWESTOFT: _June_ 2/74.

DEAR MRS. KEMBLE,

Many a time have I written to you from this place: which may be the
reason why I write again now--the very day your Letter reaches me--for I
don't know that I have much to say, nor anything worth forcing from you
the Answer that you will write.  Let me look at your Letter again.  Yes:
so I thought of '_he_ sleeps well,' and yet I do not remember to have
heard it so read.  (I never heard you read the Play) I don't think
Macready read it so.  I liked his Macbeth, I must say: only he would say
'Amen st-u-u-u-ck in his throat,' which was not only a blunder, but a
vulgar blunder, I think.

Spedding--I should think indeed it was too late for him to edit
Shakespeare, if he had not gone on doing so, as it were, all his Life.
Perhaps it is too late for him to remember half, or a quarter, of his own
Observations.  Well then: I wish he would record what he does remember:
if not an Edition of Shakespeare yet so many Notes toward an Edition.  I
am persuaded that no one is more competent. {45a}

You see your Americans will go too far.  It was some American Professor's
Note {45b} on 'the Autumn of his Bounty' which occasioned Spedding's
delightful Comment some while ago, and made me remember my old wish that
he should do the thing.  But he will not: especially if one asks him.

Donne--Archdeacon Groome told me a Fortnight ago that he had been at
Weymouth Street.  Donne better, but still not his former Self.

By the by, I have got a Skeleton of my own at last: Bronchitis--which
came on me a month ago--which I let go on for near three weeks--then was
forced to call in a Doctor to subdue, who kept me a week indoors.  And
now I am told that, every Cold I catch, my Skeleton is to come out, etc.
Every N.E. wind that blows, etc.  I had not been shut up indoors for some
fifty-five years--since Measles at school--but I had green before my
Windows, and Don Quixote for Company within.  _Que voulez-vous_?

Shakespeare again.  A Doctor Whalley, who wrote a Tragedy for Mrs.
Siddons (which she declined), proposed to her that she should read--'But
screw your Courage to the _sticking place_,' with the appropriate action
of using the Dagger.  I think Mrs. Siddons good-naturedly admits there
may be something in the suggestion.  One reads this in the last memoir of
Madame Piozzi, edited by Mr. Hayward.

_Blackbird_ v. _Nightingale_.  I have always loved the first best: as
being so jolly, and the Note so proper from that golden Bill of his.  But
one does not like to go against received opinion.  Your _Oriole_ has been
seen in these parts by old--very old--people: at least, a gay bird so
named.  But no one ever pretends to see him now.

Now have you perversely crossed the Address which you desire me to abide
by: and I can't be sure of your 'Branchtown'?  But I suppose that enough
is clear to make my Letter reach you if it once gets across the Atlantic.
And now this uncertainty about your writing recalls to me--very
absurdly--an absurd Story told me by a pious, but humorous, man, which
will please you if you don't know it already.

_Scene_.--Country Church on Winter's Evening.  Congregation, with the Old
Hundredth ready for the Parson to give out some Dismissal Words.

_Good old Parson_, not at all meaning rhyme, 'The Light has grown so very
dim, I scarce can see to read the Hymn.'

_Congregation_, taking it up: to the first half of the Old Hundredth--

   'The Light has grown so very dim,
   I scarce can see to read the Hymn.'

(Pause, as usual: _Parson_, mildly impatient) 'I did not mean to read a
Hymn; I only meant my Eyes were dim.'

_Congregation_, to second part of Old Hundredth:--

   'I did not mean to read a Hymn;
   I only meant my Eyes were dim.'

_Parson_, out of Patience, etc.:--

   'I didn't mean a Hymn at all,--
   I think the Devil's in you all.'

I say, if you don't know this, it is worth your knowing, and making known
over the whole Continent of America, North and South.  And I am your
trusty and affectionate old Beadsman (left rather deaf with that blessed
Bronchitis)

E. F.G.



XIX.


LITTLE GRANGE: WOODBRIDGE, _July_ 21, [1874.]

DEAR MRS. KEMBLE,

I must write to you--for I have seen Donne, and can tell you that he
looks and seems much better than I had expected, though I had been told
to expect well: he was upright, well coloured, animated; I should say
(_sotto voce_) better than he seemed to me two years ago.  And this in
spite of the new Lord Chamberlain {48a} having ousted him from his
Theatrical post, wanting a younger and more active man to go and see the
Plays, as well as read them.  I do not think this unjust; I was told by
Pollock that the dismissal was rather abrupt: but Donne did not complain
of it.  When does he complain?  He will now, however, leave Weymouth
Street, and inhabit some less costly house--not wanting indeed so large
[a] one for his present household.  He is shortly going with his
Daughters to join the Blakesleys at Whitby.  Mowbray was going off for
his Holiday to Cornwall: I just heard him speaking of Freddy's present
Address to his father: Blanche was much stronger, from the treatment of a
Dr. Beard {48b} (I think).  I was quite moved by her warm salutation when
I met her, after some fifteen years' absence.  All this I report from a
Visit I made to Donne's own house in London.  A thing I scarce ever
thought to do again, you may know: but I could not bear to be close to
him in London for two days without assuring myself with my own Eyes how
he looked.  I think I observed a slight hesitation of memory: but
certainly not so much as I find in myself, nor, I suppose, unusual in
one's Contemporaries.  My visit to London followed a visit to Edinburgh:
which I have intended these thirty years, only for the purpose of seeing
my dear Sir Walter's House and Home: and which I am glad to have seen, as
that of Shakespeare.  I had expected to find a rather Cockney Castle: but
no such thing: all substantially and proportionably built, according to
the Style of the Country: the Grounds well and simply laid out: the woods
he planted well-grown, and that dear Tweed running and murmuring still--as
on the day of his Death. {49a}  I did not so much care for Melrose, and
Jedburgh, {49b} though his Tomb is there--in one of the half-ruined
corners.  Another day I went to Trossachs, Katrine, Lomond, etc., which
(as I expected) seemed much better to me in Pictures and Drop-scenes.  I
was but three days in Scotland, and was glad to get back to my own dull
flat country, though I did worship the Pentland, Cheviot, and Eildon,
Hills, more for their Associations than themselves.  They are not big
enough for that.

I saw little in London: the Academy Pictures even below the average, I
thought: only a Picture by Millais of an old Sea Captain {49c} being read
to by his Daughter which moistened my Eyes.  I thought she was reading
him the Bible, which he seemed half listening to, half rambling over his
past Life: but I am told (I had no Catalogue) that she was reading about
the North West Passage.  There were three deep of Bonnets before Miss
Thompson's famous Roll Call of the Guards in the Crimea; so I did not
wait till they fell away. {50a}

Yours always

E. F.G.



XX.


LOWESTOFT: _Aug._ 24, [1874.]

DEAR MRS. KEMBLE,

Your letter reached me this morning: and you see I lose no time in
telling you that, as I hear from Pollock, Donne is allowed 350 pounds a
year retiring Pension.  So I think neither he nor his friends have any
reason to complain.  His successor in the office is named (I think)
'Piggott' {50b}--Pollock thinks a good choice.  Lord Hertford brought the
old and the new Examiners together to Dinner: and all went off well.
Perhaps Donne himself may have told you all this before now.  He was to
be, about this time, with the Blakesleys at Whitby or Filey.  I have not
heard any of these particulars from himself: nothing indeed since I saw
him in London.

Pollock was puzzled by an entry in Macready's Journal--1831 or
1832--'Received Thackeray's Tragedy' with some such name as
'Retribution.'  I told Pollock I was sure it was not W. M. T., who
(especially at that time) had more turn to burlesque than real Tragedy:
and sure that he would have told me of it then, whether accepted or
rejected--as rejected it was.  Pollock thought for some while that, in
spite of the comic Appearance we keep up, we should each of us rise up
from the Grave with a MS. Tragedy in our hands, etc.  However, he has
become assured it was some other Thackeray: I suppose one mentioned by
Planche as a Dramatic _Dilettante_--of the same Family, I think, as W. M.
T.

Spedding has sent me the concluding Volume of his Bacon: the final
summing up simple, noble, deeply pathetic--rather on Spedding's own
Account than his Hero's, for whose Vindication so little has been done by
the sacrifice of forty years of such a Life as Spedding's.  Positively,
nearly all the new matter which S. has produced makes against, rather
than for, Bacon: and I do think the case would have stood better if
Spedding had only argued from the old materials, and summed up his
Vindication in one small Volume some thirty-five years ago.

I have been sunning myself in Dickens--even in his later and very
inferior 'Mutual Friend,' and 'Great Expectations'--Very inferior to his
best: but with things better than any one else's best, caricature as they
may be.  I really must go and worship at Gadshill, as I have worshipped
at Abbotsford, though with less Reverence, to be sure.  But I must look
on Dickens as a mighty Benefactor to Mankind. {52}

This is shamefully bad writing of mine--very bad manners, to put any
one--especially a Lady--to the trouble and pain of deciphering.  I hope
all about Donne is legible, for you will be glad of it.  It is Lodging-
house Pens and Ink that is partly to blame for this scrawl.  Now, don't
answer till I write you something better: but believe me ever and always
yours

E. F.G.



XXI.


LOWESTOFT: _October_ 4/74.

DEAR MRS. KEMBLE,

Do, pray, write your Macready (Thackeray used to say 'Megreedy') Story to
Pollock: Sir F. 59 Montagu Square.  I rather think he was to be going to
Press with his Megreedy about this time: but you may be sure he will deal
with whatever you may confide to him discreetly and reverently.  It is
'Miladi' P. who worshipped Macready: and I think I never recovered what
Esteem I had with her when I told her I could not look on him as a
'Great' Actor at all.  I see in Planche's Memoirs that when your Father
prophesied great things of him to your Uncle J. P. K., the latter said,
'_Con quello viso_?' which '_viso_' did very well however in parts not
positively heroic.  But one can't think of him along with Kean, who was
heroic in spite of undersize.  How he swelled up in Othello!  I remember
thinking he looked almost as tall as your Father when he came to Silence
that dreadful Bell.

I think you agree with me about Kean: remembering your really capital
Paper--in _Macmillan_ {53a}--about Dramatic and Theatric.  I often look
to that Paper, which is bound up with some Essays by other
Friends--Spedding among them--no bad Company.  I was thinking of your
Pasta story of 'feeling' the Antique, etc., {53b} when reading in my dear
Ste. Beuve {53c} of my dear Madame du Deffand asking Madame de Choiseul:
'You _know_ you love me, but do you _feel_ you love me?'  '_Quoi_? _vous
m'aimez donc_?' she said to her secretary Wiart, when she heard him
sobbing as she dictated her last letter to Walpole. {53d}

All which reminds me of one of your friends departed--Chorley--whose
Memoirs one now buys from Mudie for 2_s._ 6_d._ or so.  And
well--_well_--worth to those who recollect him.  I only knew him by
Face--and Voice--at your Father's, and your Sister's: and used to think
what a little waspish _Dilettante_ it was: and now I see he was something
very much better indeed: and I only hope I may have Courage to face my
Death as he had.  Dickens loved him, who did not love Humbugs: and
Chorley would have two strips of Gadshill Yew {54} put with him in his
Coffin.  Which again reminds me that--_a propos_ of your comments on
Dickens' crimson waistcoat, etc., Thackeray told me thirty years ago,
that Dickens did it, not from any idea of Cockney fashion: but from a
veritable passion for Colours--which I can well sympathize with, though I
should not exhibit them on my own Person--for very good reasons.  Which
again reminds me of what you write about my abiding the sight of you in
case you return to England next year.  Oh, my dear Mrs. Kemble, you must
know how wrong all that is--_tout au contraire_, in fact.  Tell me a word
about Chorley when next you write: you said once that Mendelssohn laughed
at him: then, he ought not.  How well I remember his strumming away at
some Waltz in Harley or Wimpole's endless Street, while your Sister and a
few other Guests went round.  I thought then he looked at one as if
thinking 'Do you think me then--a poor, red-headed Amateur, as Rogers
does?'  That old Beast!  I don't scruple to say so.

I am positively looking over my everlasting Crabbe again: he naturally
comes in about the Fall of the Year.  Do you remember his wonderful
'October Day'? {55}

         'Before the Autumn closed,
   When Nature, ere her Winter Wars, reposed
   When from our Garden, as we looked above,
   No Cloud was seen; and nothing seem'd to move;
   When the wide River was a Silver Sheet,
   And upon Ocean slept the unanchor'd fleet:
   When the wing'd Insect settled in our Sight,
   And waited Wind to recommence her flight.'

And then, the Lady who believes her young Lover dead, and has vowed
eternal Celibacy, sees him advancing, a portly, well to do, middle aged
man: and swears she won't have him: and does have him, etc.

Which reminds me that I want you to tell me if people in America read
Crabbe.

Farewell, dear Mrs. Kemble, for the present: always yours

E. F.G.

Have you the Robin in America?  One is singing in the little bit Garden
before me now.



XXII.


59 MONTAGU SQUARE, LONDON, W.
5 _Oct._/74.

MY DEAR FITZ,

It is very good of Mrs. Kemble to wish to tell me a story about Macready,
and I shall be glad to know it.

Only--she should know that I am not writing his life--but editing his
autobiographical reminiscences and diaries--and unless the anecdote could
be introduced to explain or illustrate these, it would not be serviceable
for my present purpose.

But for its own sake and for Macready's I should like to be made
acquainted with it.

I am making rapid way with the printing--in fact have got to the end of
what will be Vol. I. in slip--so that I hope the work may be out by or
soon after Christmas, if the engravings are also ready by that time.

It will be, I am sure, most interesting--and will surprise a great many
people who did not at all know what Macready really was.

You last heard of me at Clovelly--where we spent a delightful month--more
rain than was pleasant--but on the whole charming.  I think I told you
that Annie Thackeray was there for a night--and that we bound her over
not to make the reading public too well acquainted with the place, which
would not be good for it.

Since then--a fortnight at St. Julians--and the same time at Tunbridge
Wells--I coming up to town three times a week--

   Noctes atque dies patet atri janua Ditis, {56}

and as there are other points of resemblance--so it is natural that the
Gates of Justice should be open even during the Vacation--just a little
ajar--with somebody to look after it, which somebody it has been my lot
to be this year.

T. Wells was very pleasant--I like the old-fashioned place--and can
always people the Pantiles (they call it the Parade now) with Dr. Johnson
and the Duchess of Kingston, and the Bishop of Salisbury and the foreign
baron, and the rest. {57a}

Miladi and Walter are at Paris for a few days.  I am keeping house with
Maurice--Yours, W. F. Pk.

We have J. S.'s {57b} seventh volume--and I am going to read it--but do
not know where he is himself.  I have not seen the 'white, round
object--which is the head of him' for some time past--not since--July.--



XXIII.


WOODBRIDGE: _Novr._ 17/74.

DEAR MRS. KEMBLE,

Your Letter about Megreedy, as Thackeray used to call him, is very
interesting: I mean as connected with your Father also.  Megreedy, with
all his flat face, managed to look well as Virginius, didn't he?  And, as
I thought, well enough in Macbeth, except where he _would_ stand with his
mouth open (after the Witches had hailed him), till I longed to pitch
something into it out of the Pit, the dear old Pit.  How came _he_ to
play Henry IV. instead of your Father, in some Play I remember at C. G.,
though I did not see it?  How well I remember your Father in Falconbridge
(Young, K. John) as he looked sideway and upward before the Curtain fell
on his Speech.

Then his Petruchio: I remember his looking up, as the curtain fell at the
end, to where he knew that Henry had taken me--some very upper Box.  And
I remember too his standing with his Hunting spear, looking with pleasure
at pretty Miss Foote as Rosalind.  He played well what was natural to
him: the gallant easy Gentleman--I thought his Charles Surface rather
cumbrous: but he was no longer young.

Mrs. Wister quite mistook the aim of my Query about Crabbe: I asked if he
were read in America for the very reason that he is not read in England.
And in the October _Cornhill_ is an Article upon him (I hope not by
Leslie Stephen), so ignorant and self-sufficient that I am more wroth
than ever.  The old Story of 'Pope in worsted stockings'--why I could
cite whole Paragraphs of as fine texture as Moliere--incapable of
Epigram, the Jackanapes says of 'our excellent Crabbe'--why I could find
fifty of the very best Epigrams in five minutes.  But now do you care for
him?  'Honour bright?' as Sheridan used to say.  I don't think I ever
knew a Woman who did like C., except my Mother.  What makes People (this
stupid Reviewer among them) talk of worsted Stockings is because of
having read only his earlier works: when he himself talked of his Muse as

   'Muse of the Mad, the Foolish, and the Poor,' {59a}

the Borough: Parish Register, etc.  But it is his Tales of the Hall which
discover him in silk Stockings; the subjects, the Scenery, the Actors, of
a more Comedy kind: with, I say, Paragraphs, and Pages, of fine Moliere
style--only too often defaced by carelessness, disproportion, and
'longueurs' intolerable.  I shall leave my Edition of Tales of the Hall,
made legible by the help of Scissors and Gum, with a word or two of Prose
to bridge over pages of stupid Verse.  I don't wish to try and supersede
the Original, but, by the Abstract, to get People to read the whole, and
so learn (as in Clarissa) how to get it all under command.  I even wish
that some one in America would undertake to publish--in whole, or part by
part--my 'Readings in Crabbe,' viz., Tales of the Hall: but no one would
let me do the one thing I can do.

I think you must repent having encouraged such a terrible Correspondent
as myself: you have the remedy in your own hands, you know.  I find that
the Bronchitis I had in Spring returns upon me now: so I have to give up
my Night walks, and stalk up and down my own half-lighted Hall (like
Chateaubriand's Father) {59b} till my Reader comes.  Ever yours truly

E. F.G.

_Novr._ 21.

I detained this letter till I heard from Donne, who has been at Worthing,
and writes cheerfully.



XXIV.


LOWESTOFT, _Febr._ 11/75.

DEAR MRS. KEMBLE,

Will you please to thank Mr. Furness for the trouble he has taken about
Crabbe.  The American Publisher is like the English, it appears, and both
may be quite right.  They certainly are right in not accepting anything
except on very good recommendation; and a Man's Fame is the best they can
have for that purpose.  I should not in the least be vext or even
disappointed at any rejection of my Crabbe, but it is not worth further
trouble to any party to send across the Atlantic what may, most probably,
be returned with thanks and Compliments.  And then Mr. Furness would feel
bound to ask some other Publisher, and you to write to me about it.  No,
no!  Thank him, if you please: you know I thank you: and then I will let
the matter drop.

The Athenaeum told me there was a Paper by Carlyle in the January
Fraser--on the old Norway Kings.  Then People said it was not his: but
his it is, surely enough (though I have no Authority but my own Judgment
for saying so), and quite delightful.  If missing something of his Prime,
missing also all his former 'Sound and Fury,' etc., and as alive as ever.
I had thoughts of writing to him on the subject, but have not yet done
so.  But pray do you read the Papers: there is a continuation in the
February Fraser: and 'to be continued' till ended, I suppose.

Your Photograph--Yes--I saw your Mother in it, as I saw her in you when
you came to us in Woodbridge in 1852.  That is, I saw her such as I had
seen her in a little sixpenny Engraving in a 'Cottage Bonnet,' something
such as you wore when you stept out of your Chaise at the Crown Inn.

My Mother always said that your Mother was by far the most witty,
sensible, and agreeable Woman she knew.  I remember one of the very few
delightful Dinner parties I ever was at--in St. James' Place--(was it?) a
Party of seven or eight, at a round Table, your Mother at the head of the
Table, and Mrs. F. Kemble my next Neighbour.  And really the (almost)
only other pleasant Dinner was one you gave me and the Donnes in Savile
Row, before going to see Wigan in 'Still Waters,' which you said was
_your_ Play, in so far as you had suggested the Story from some French
Novel.

I used to think what a deep current of melancholy was under your Mother's
Humour.  Not 'under,' neither: for it came up as naturally to the surface
as her Humour.  My mother always said that one great charm in her was,
her Naturalness.

If you read to your Company, pray do you ever read _the_ Scene in the
'Spanish Tragedy' quoted in C. Lamb's Specimens--such a Scene as (not
being in Verse, and quite familiar talk) I cannot help reading to my
Guests--very few and far between--I mean by 'I,' one who has no gift at
all for reading except the feeling of a few things: and I can't help
stumbling upon Tears in this.  Nobody knows who wrote this one scene: it
was thought Ben Jonson, who could no more have written it than I who read
it: for what else of his is it like?  Whereas, Webster one fancies might
have done it.  It is not likely that you do not know this wonderful bit:
but, if you have it not by heart almost, look for it again at once, and
make others do so by reading to them.

The enclosed Note from Mowbray D[onne] was the occasion of my writing
thus directly to you.  And yet I have spoken 'de omnibus other rebus'
first.  But I venture to think that your feeling on the subject will be
pretty much like my own, and so, no use in talking.

Now, if I could send you part of what I am now packing up for some
Woodbridge People--some--some--Saffron Buns!--for which this Place is
notable from the first day of Lent till Easter--A little Hamper of these!

Now, my dear Mrs. Kemble, do consider this letter of mine as an Answer to
yours--your two--else I shall be really frightened at making you write so
often to yours always and sincerely

E. F.G.



XXV.


LOWESTOFT, _March_ 11/75.

DEAR MRS. KEMBLE,

I am really ashamed that you should apologize for asking me a Copy of
Calderon, etc. {64a}  I had about a hundred Copies of all those things
printed _when_ printed: and have not had a hundred friends to give them
to--poor Souls!--and am very well pleased to give to any one who
likes--especially any Friend of yours.  I think however that your reading
of them has gone most way to make your Lady ask.  But, be that as it may,
I will send you a Copy directly I return to my own Chateau, which I mean
to do when the Daffodils have taken the winds of March. {64b}

We have had severe weather here: it has killed my Brother Peter (not
John, my eldest) who tried to winter at Bournemouth, after having
wintered for the last ten years at Cannes.  Bronchitis:--which (_sotto
voce_) I have as yet kept Cold from coming to.  But one knows one is not
'out of the Wood' yet; May, if not March, being, you know, one of our
worst Seasons.

I heard from our dear Donne a week ago; speaking with all his own blind
and beautiful Love for his lately lost son; and telling me that he
himself keeps his heart going by Brandy.  But he speaks of this with no
Fear at all.  He is going to leave Weymouth Street, but when, or for
where, he does not say.  He spoke of a Letter he had received from you
some while ago.

Now about Crabbe, which also I am vext you should have trouble about.  I
wrote to you the day after I had your two Letters, with Mr. Furness'
enclosed, and said that, seeing the uncertainty of any success in the
matter, I really would not bother you or him any more.  You know it is
but a little thing; which, even if a Publisher tried piece-meal, would
very likely be scouted: I only meant 'piece-meal,' by instalments: so as
they could be discontinued if not liked.  But I suppose I must keep my
Work--of paste, and scissors--for the benefit of the poor Friends who
have had the benefit of my other Works.

Well: as I say, I wrote and posted my Letter at once, asking you to thank
Mr. Furness for me.  I think this must be a month ago--perhaps you had my
Letter the day after you posted this last of yours, dated February 21.  Do
not trouble any more about it, pray: read Carlyle's 'Kings of Norway' in
Fraser and believe me ever yours

E. F.G.

I will send a little bound Copy of the Plays for yourself, dear Mrs.
Kemble, if you will take them; so you can give the Lady those you
have:--but, whichever way you like.



XXVI.


LOWESTOFT, _March_ 17/75.

DEAR MRS. KEMBLE,

This bit of Letter is written to apprise you that, having to go to
Woodbridge three days ago, I sent you by Post a little Volume of the
Plays, and (what I had forgotten) a certain little Prose Dialogue {65}
done up with them.  This is more than you wanted, but so it is.  The
Dialogue is a pretty thing in some respects: but disfigured by some
confounded _smart_ writing in parts: And this is all that needs saying
about the whole concern.  You must not think necessary to say anything
more about it yourself, only that you receive the Book.  If you do not,
in a month's time, I shall suppose it has somehow lost its way over the
Atlantic: and then I will send you the Plays you asked for, stitched
together--and those only.

I hope you got my Letter (which you had not got when your last was
written) about Crabbe: for I explained in it why I did not wish to
trouble you or Mr. Furness any more with such an uncertain business.
Anyhow, I must ask you to thank him for the trouble he had already taken,
as I hope you know that I thank you also for your share in it.

I scarce found a Crocus out in my Garden at home, and so have come back
here till some green leaf shows itself.  We are still under the dominion
of North East winds, which keep people coughing as well as the Crocus
under ground.  Well, we hope to earn all the better Spring by all this
Cold at its outset.

I have so often spoken of my fear of troubling you by all my Letters,
that I won't say more on that score.  I have heard no news of Donne since
I wrote.  I have been trying to read Gil Blas and La Fontaine again; but,
as before, do not relish either. {67}  I must get back to my Don Quixote
by and by.

Yours as ever

E. F.G.

I wonder if this letter will smell of Tobacco: for it is written just
after a Pipe, and just before going to bed.



XXVII.


LOWESTOFT: _April_ 9/75.

DEAR MRS. KEMBLE,

I wrote you a letter more than a fortnight ago--mislaid it--and now am
rather ashamed to receive one from you thanking me beforehand for the
mighty Book which I posted you a month ago.  I only hope you will not
feel bound to acknowledge [it] when it does reach you, I think I said so
in the Letter I wrote to go along with it.  And I must say no more in the
way of deprecating your Letters, after what you write me.  Be assured
that all my deprecations were for your sake, not mine; but there's an end
of them now.

I had a longish letter from Donne himself some while ago; indicating, I
thought, _some_ debility of Mind and Body.  He said, however, he was
going on very well.  And a Letter from Mowbray (three or four days old)
speaks of his Father as 'remarkably well.'  But these Donnes won't
acknowledge Bodily any more than Mental fault in those they love.  Blanche
had been ill, of neuralgic Cold: Valentia not well: but both on the
mending hand now.

It has been indeed the Devil of a Winter: and even now--To-day as I
write--no better than it was three months ago.  The Daffodils scarce dare
take April, let alone March; and I wait here till a Green Leaf shows
itself about Woodbridge.

I have been looking over four of Shakespeare's Plays, edited by Clark and
Wright: editors of the 'Cambridge Shakespeare.'  These 'Select Plays' are
very well done, I think: Text, and Notes; although with somewhat too much
of the latter.  Hamlet, Macbeth, Tempest, and Shylock--I heard them
talking in my room--all alive about me.

By the by--How did _you_ read 'To-morrow and To-morrow, etc.'  All the
Macbeths I have heard took the opportunity to become melancholy when they
came to this: and, no doubt, some such change from Fury and Desperation
was a relief to the Actor, and perhaps to the Spectator.  But I think it
_should_ all go in the same Whirlwind of Passion as the rest:
Folly!--Stage Play!--Farthing Candle; Idiot, etc.  Macready used to drop
his Truncheon when he heard of the Queen's Death, and stand with his
Mouth open for some while--which didn't become him.

I have not seen his Memoir: only an extract or two in the Papers.  He
always seemed to me an Actor by Art and Study, with some native Passion
to inspire him.  But as to Genius--we who have seen Kean!

I don't know if you were acquainted with Sir A. Helps, {68} whose Death
(one of this Year's Doing) is much regretted by many.  I scarcely knew
him except at Cambridge forty years ago: and could never relish his
Writings, amiable and sensible as they are.  I suppose they will help to
swell that substratum of Intellectual _Peat_ (Carlyle somewhere calls it)
{69} from [which] one or two living Trees stand out in a Century.  So
Shakespeare above all that Old Drama which he grew amidst, and which (all
represented by him alone) might henceforth be left unexplored, with the
exception of a few twigs of Leaves gathered here and there--as in Lamb's
Specimens.  Is Carlyle himself--with all his Genius--to subside into the
Level?  Dickens, with all his Genius, but whose Men and Women act and
talk already after a more obsolete fashion than Shakespeare's?  I think
some of Tennyson will survive, and drag the deader part along with it, I
suppose.  And (I doubt) Thackeray's terrible Humanity.

And I remain yours ever sincerely,
A very small Peat-contributor,
E. F.G.

I am glad to say that Clark and Wright Bowdlerize Shakespeare, though
much less extensively than Bowdler.  But in one case, I think, they have
gone further--altering, instead of omitting: which is quite wrong!



XXVIII.


LOWESTOFT: _April_ 19/75.

DEAR MRS. KEMBLE,

Yesterday I wrote you a letter: enveloped it: then thought there was
something in it you might misunderstand--Yes!--the written word across
the Atlantic looking perhaps so different from what intended; so kept my
Letter in my pocket, and went my ways.  This morning your Letter of April
3 is forwarded to me; and I shall re-write the one thing that I yesterday
wrote about--as I had intended to do before your Letter came.  Only, let
me say that I am really ashamed that you should have taken the trouble to
write again about my little, little, Book.

Well--what I wrote about yesterday, and am to-day about to re-write,
is--Macready's Memoirs.  You asked me in your previous Letter whether I
had read them.  No--I had not: and had meant to wait till they came down
to Half-price on the Railway Stall before I bought them.  But I wanted to
order something of my civil Woodbridge Bookseller: so took the course of
ordering this Book, which I am now reading at Leisure: for it does not
interest me enough to devour at once.  It is however a very unaffected
record of a very conscientious Man, and Artist; conscious (I think) that
he was not a great Genius in his Profession, and conscious of his defect
of Self-control in his Morals.  The Book is almost entirely about
_himself_, _his_ Studies, _his_ Troubles, _his_ Consolations, etc.; not
from Egotism, I do think, but as the one thing he had to consider in
writing a Memoir and Diary.  Of course one expects, and wishes, that the
Man's self should be the main subject; but one also wants something of
the remarkable people he lived with, and of whom one finds little here
but that 'So-and-so came and went'--scarce anything of what they said or
did, except on mere business; Macready seeming to have no Humour; no
intuition into Character, no Observation of those about him (how could he
be a great Actor then?)--Almost the only exception I have yet reached is
his Account of Mrs. Siddons, whom he worshipped: whom he acted with in
her later years at Country Theatres: and who was as kind to him as she
was even then heart-rending on the Stage.  He was her Mr. Beverley: {71}
'a very young husband,' she told him: but 'in the right way if he would
study, study, study--and not marry till thirty.'  At another time, when
he was on the stage, she stood at the side scene, called out 'Bravo, Sir,
Bravo!' and clapped her hands--all in sight of the Audience, who joined
in her Applause.  Macready also tells of her falling into such a
Convulsion, as it were, in Aspasia {72a} (what a subject for such a
sacrifice!) that the Curtain had to be dropped, and Macready's Father,
and Holman, who were among the Audience, looked at each other to see
which was whitest!  This was the Woman whom people somehow came to look
on as only majestic and terrible--I suppose, after Miss O'Neill rose upon
her Setting.

Well, but what I wrote about yesterday--a passage about you yourself.  I
fancy that he and you were very unsympathetic: nay, you have told me of
some of his Egotisms toward you, 'who had scarce learned the rudiments of
your Profession' (as also he admits that he scarce had).  But, however
that may have been, his Diary records, 'Decr. 20 (1838) Went to Covent
Garden Theatre: on my way continued the perusal of Mrs. Butler's Play,
which is a work of uncommon power.  Finished the reading of Mrs. Butler's
Play, which is one of the most powerful of the modern Plays I have
seen--most painful--almost shocking--but full of Power, Poetry and
Pathos.  She is one of the most remarkable women of the present Day.'

So you see that if he thought you deficient in the Art which you (like
himself) had unwillingly to resort to, you were efficient in the far
greater Art of supplying that material on which the Histrionic must
depend.  (N.B.--Which play of yours?  Not surely the 'English Tragedy'
unless shown to him in MS.? {72b} Come: I have sent you my Translations:
you should give me your Original Plays.  When I get home, I will send you
an old Scratch by Thackeray of yourself in Louisa of Savoy--shall I?)

On the whole, I find Macready (so far as I have gone) a just, generous,
religious, and affectionate Man; on the whole, humble too!  One is well
content to assure oneself of this; but it is not worth spending 28_s._
upon.

Macready would have made a better Scholar--or Divine--than Actor, I
think: a Gentleman he would have been in any calling, I believe, in spite
of his Temper--which he acknowledges, laments, and apologizes for, on
reflection.

Now, here is enough of my small writing for your reading.  I have been
able to read, and admire, some Corneille lately: as to Racine--'_Ce n'est
pas mon homme_,' as Catharine of Russia said of him.  Now I am at Madame
de Sevigne's delightful Letters; I should like to send you a Bouquet of
Extracts: but must have done now, being always yours

E. F.G.



XXIX.


LOWESTOFT: _May_ 16/75

DEAR MRS. KEMBLE,

I have been wishing to send you Carlyle's Norway Kings, and oh! such a
delightful Paper of Spedding's on the Text of Richard III. {74}  But I
have waited till I should hear from you, knowing that you _will_ reply!
And not feeling sure, till I hear, whether you are not on your way to
England Eastward ho!--even as I am now writing!--Or, I fancy--should you
not be well?  Anyhow, I shall wait till some authentic news of yourself
comes to me.  I should not mind sending you Carlyle--why, yes!  I _will_
send him!  But old Spedding--which is only a Proof--I won't send till I
know that you are still where you were to receive it--Oh! such a piece of
musical criticism! without the least pretence to being Musick: as dry as
he can make it, in fact.  But he does, with utmost politeness, smash the
Cambridge Editors' Theory about the Quarto and Folio Text of R. III.--in
a way that perhaps Mr. Furness might like to see.

Spedding says that Irving's Hamlet is simply--_hideous_--a strong
expression for Spedding to use.  But--(lest I should think his
condemnation was only the Old Man's fault of depreciating all that is
new), he extols Miss Ellen Terry's Portia as simply _a perfect
Performance_: remembering (he says) all the while how fine was Fanny
Kemble's.  Now, all this you shall read for yourself, when I have token
of your Whereabout, and Howabout: for I will send you Spedding's Letter,
as well as his Paper.

Spedding won't go and see Salvini's Othello, because he does not know
Italian, and also because he hears that Salvini's is a different
Conception of Othello from Shakespeare's.  I can't understand either
reason; but Spedding is (as Carlyle {75a} wrote me of his Bacon) the
'invincible, and victorious.'  At any rate, I can't beat him.  Irving I
never could believe in as Hamlet, after seeing part of his famous
Performance of a Melodrama called 'The Bells' three or four years ago.
But the Pollocks, and a large World beside, think him a Prodigy--whom
Spedding thinks--a Monster!  To this Complexion is the English Drama
come.

I wonder if your American Winter has transformed itself to such a sudden
Summer as here in Old England.  I returned to my Woodbridge three weeks
ago: not a leaf on the Trees: in ten days they were all green, and
people--perspiring, I suppose one must say.  Now again, while the Sun is
quite as Hot, the Wind has swerved round to the East--so as one broils on
one side and freezes on t'other--and I--the Great Twalmley {75b}--am
keeping indoors from an Intimation of Bronchitis.  I think it is time for
one to leave the Stage oneself.

I heard from Mowbray Donne some little while ago; as he said nothing (I
think) of his Father, I conclude that there is nothing worse of him to be
said.  He (the Father) has a Review of Macready--laudatory, I suppose--in
the Edinburgh, and _Mr._ Helen Faucit (Martin) as injurious a one in the
Quarterly: the reason of the latter being (it is supposed) because _Mrs._
H. F. is not noticed except just by name.  To this Complexion also!

Ever yours,
E. F.G.

Since writing as above, your Letter comes; as you do not speak of moving,
I shall send Spedding and Carlyle by Post to you, in spite of the Loss of
Income you tell me of which would (I doubt) close up _my_ thoughts some
while from such speculations.  I do not think _you_ will take trouble so
to heart.  Keep Spedding for me: Carlyle I don't want again.  Tired as
you--and I--are of Shakespeare Commentaries, you will like this.



XXX.


LOWESTOFT: _July_ 22/75.

DEAR MRS. KEMBLE,

I have abstained from writing since you wrote me how busily your Pen was
employed for the Press: I wished more than ever to spare you the trouble
of answering me--which I knew you would not forgo.  And now you will feel
called upon, I suppose, though I would fain spare you.

Though I date from this place still, I have been away from it at my own
Woodbridge house for two months and more; only returning here indeed to
help make a better Holiday for a poor Lad who is shut up in a London
Office while his Heart is all for Out-of-Door, Country, Sea, etc.  We
have been having wretched Holyday weather, to be sure: rain, mist, and
wind; St. Swithin at his worst: but all better than the hateful London
Office--to which he must return the day after To-morrow, poor Fellow!

I suppose you will see--if you have not yet seen--Tennyson's Q. Mary.  I
don't know what to say about it; but the Times says it is the finest Play
since Shakespeare; and the Spectator that it is superior to Henry VIII.
Pray do you say something of it, when you write:--for I think you must
have read it before that time comes.

Then Spedding has written a delicious Paper in Fraser about the late
Representation of The Merchant of Venice, and his E. Terry's perfect
personation of his perfect Portia.  I cannot agree with him in all he
says--for one thing, I must think that Portia made 'a hole in her
manners' when she left Antonio trembling for his Life while she all the
while [knew] how to defeat the Jew by that knowledge of the Venetian Law
which (oddly enough) the Doge knew nothing about.  Then Spedding thinks
that Shylock has been so pushed forward ever since Macklin's time as to
preponderate over all the rest in a way that Shakespeare never intended.
{77}  But, if Shakespeare did not intend this, he certainly erred in
devoting so much of his most careful and most powerful writing to a
Character which he meant to be subsidiary, and not principal.  But
Spedding is more likely to be right than I: right or wrong he pleads his
cause as no one else can.  His Paper is in this July number of Fraser: I
would send it you if you had more time for reading than your last Letter
speaks of; I _will_ send if you wish.

I have not heard of Donne lately: he had been staying at Lincoln with
Blakesley, the Dean: and is now, I suppose, at Chislehurst, where he took
a house for a month.

And I am yours ever and sincerely
E. F.G.



XXXI.


WOODBRIDGE, _Aug._ 24, [1875.]

Now, my dear Mrs. Kemble, you will have to call me 'a Good Creature,' as
I have found out a Copy of your capital Paper, {78} and herewith post it
to you.  Had I not found this Copy (which Smith & Elder politely found
for me) I should have sent you one of my own, cut out from a Volume of
Essays by other friends, Spedding, etc., on condition that you should
send me a Copy of such Reprint as you may make of it in America.  It is
extremely interesting; and I always think that your Theory of the
Intuitive _versus_ the Analytical and Philosophical applies to the other
Arts as well as that of the Drama.  Mozart couldn't tell how he made a
Tune; even a whole Symphony, he said, unrolled itself out of a leading
idea by no logical process.  Keats said that no Poetry was worth
[anything] unless it came spontaneously as Leaves to a Tree, etc. {79}  I
have no faith in your Works of Art done on Theory and Principle, like
Wordsworth, Wagner, Holman Hunt, etc.

But, one thing you can do on Theory, and carry it well into Practice:
which is--to write your Letter on Paper which does not let the Ink
through, so that (according to your mode of paging) your last Letter was
crossed: I really thought it so at first, and really had very hard work
to make it out--some parts indeed still defying my Eyes.  What I read of
your remarks on Portia, etc., is so good that I wish to keep it: but
still I think I shall enclose you a scrap to justify my complaint.  It
was almost by Intuition, not on Theory, that I deciphered what I did.
Pray you amend this.  My MS. is bad enough, and on that very account I
would avoid diaphanous Paper.  Are you not ashamed?

I shall send you Spedding's beautiful Paper on the Merchant of Venice
{80} if I can lay hands on it: but at present my own room is given up to
a fourth Niece (Angel that I am!)  You would see that S[pedding] agrees
with you about Portia, and in a way that I am sure must please you.  But
(so far as I can decipher that fatal Letter) you say nothing at all to me
of the other Spedding Paper I sent to you (about the Cambridge Editors,
etc.), which I must have back again indeed, unless you wish to keep it,
and leave me to beg another Copy.  Which to be sure I can do, and will,
if your heart is set upon it--which I suppose it is not at all.

I have not heard of Donne for so long a time, that I am uneasy, and have
written to Mowbray to hear.  M[owbray] perhaps is out on his Holyday,
else I think he would have replied at once.  And 'no news may be the Good
News.'

I have no news to tell of myself; I am much as I have been for the last
four months: which is, a little ricketty.  But I get out in my Boat on
the River three or four hours a Day when possible, and am now as ever
yours sincerely

E. F.G.



XXXII.


[_Oct._ 4, 1875]

DEAR MRS. KEMBLE,

I duly received your last legible Letter, and Spedding's Paper: for both
of which all Thanks.  But you must do something more for me.  I see by
Notes and Queries that you are contributing Recollections to some
American Magazine; I want you to tell me where I can get this, with all
the back Numbers in which you have written.

I return the expected favour (Hibernice) with the enclosed Prints, one of
which is rather a Curiosity: that of Mrs. Siddons by Lawrence when he was
_aetat._ 13.  The other, done from a Cast of herself by herself, is only
remarkable as being almost a Copy of this early Lawrence--at least, in
Attitude, if not in Expression.  I dare say you have seen the Cast
itself.  And now for a Story better than either Print: a story to which
Mrs. Siddons' glorious name leads me, burlesque as it is.

You may know there is a French Opera of Macbeth--by Chelard.  This was
being played at the Dublin Theatre--Viardot, I think, the Heroine.
However that may be, the Curtain drew up for the Sleep-walking Scene;
Doctor and Nurse were there, while a long mysterious Symphony went
on--till a Voice from the Gallery called out to the Leader of the Band,
Levey--'Whisht!  Lavy, my dear--tell us now--is it a Boy or a Girl?'  This
Story is in a Book which I gave 2_s._ for at a Railway Stall; called
Recollections of an Impresario, or some such name; {82a} a Book you would
not have deigned to read, and so would have missed what I have read and
remembered and written out for you.

It will form the main part of my Letter: and surely you will not expect
anything better from me.

Your hot Colorado Summer is over; and you are now coming to the season
which you--and others beside you--think so peculiarly beautiful in
America.  We have no such Colours to show here, you know: none of that
Violet which I think you have told me of as mixing with the Gold in the
Foliage.  Now it is that I hear that Spirit that Tennyson once told of
talking to himself among the faded flowers in the Garden-plots.  I think
he has dropt that little Poem {82b} out of his acknowledged works; there
was indeed nothing in it, I think, but that one Image: and that sticks by
me as _Queen Mary_ does not.

I have just been telling some Man enquiring in Notes and Queries where he
may find the beautiful foolish old Pastoral beginning--

   'My Sheep I neglected, I broke my Sheep-hook, &c.' {82c}

which, if you don't know it, I will write out for you, ready as it offers
itself to my Memory.  Mrs. Frere of Cambridge used to sing it as she
could sing the Classical Ballad--to a fairly expressive tune: but there
is a movement (Trio, I think) in one of dear old Haydn's Symphonies
almost made for it.  Who else but Haydn for the Pastoral!  Do you
remember his blessed Chorus of 'Come, gentle Spring,' that open the
Seasons?  Oh, it is something to remember the old Ladies who sang that
Chorus at the old Ancient Concerts rising with Music in hand to sing that
lovely piece under old Greatorex's Direction.  I have never heard Haydn
and Handel so well as in those old Rooms with those old Performers, who
still retained the Tradition of those old Masters.  Now it is getting
Midnight; but so mild--this October 4--that I am going to smoke one Pipe
outdoors--with a little Brandy and water to keep the Dews off.  I told
you I had not been well all the Summer; I say I begin to 'smell the
Ground,' {83} which you will think all Fancy.  But I remain while above
Ground

Yours sincerely
E. F.G.



XXXIII.


[_October_, 1875.]

DEAR MRS. KEMBLE,

My last Letter asked you how and where I could get at your Papers; this
is to say, I have got them, thanks to the perseverance of our Woodbridge
Bookseller, who would not be put off by his London Agent, and has finally
procured me the three Numbers {84} which contain your 'Gossip.'  Now
believe me; I am delighted with it; and only wish it might run on as long
as I live: which perhaps it may.  Of course somewhat of my Interest
results from the Times, Persons, and Places you write of; almost all more
or less familiar to me; but I am quite sure that very few could have
brought all before me as you have done--with what the Painters call, so
free, full, and flowing a touch.  I suppose this 'Gossip' is the Memoir
you told me you were about; three or four years ago, I think: or perhaps
Selections from it; though I hardly see how your Recollections could be
fuller.  No doubt your Papers will all be collected into a Book; perhaps
it would have been financially better for you to have so published it
now.  But, on the other hand, you will have the advantage of writing with
more freedom and ease in the Magazine, knowing that you can alter,
contract, or amplify, in any future Re-publication.  It gives me such
pleasure to like, and honestly say I like, this work--and--I know I'm
right in such matters, though I can't always give the reason why I like,
or don't like, Dr. Fell: as much wiser People can--who reason themselves
quite wrong.

I suppose you were at School in the Rue d'Angouleme near about the time
(you don't give dates enough, I think--there's one fault for you!)--about
the time when we lived there: I suppose you were somewhat later, however:
for assuredly my Mother and yours would have been together often--Oh, but
your Mother was not there, only you--at School.  We were there in 1817-
18--signalised by The Great Murder--that of Fualdes--one of the most
interesting events in all History to me, I am sorry to say.  For in that
point I do not say I am right.  But that Rue d'Angouleme--do you not
remember the house cornering on the Champs Elysees with some ornaments in
stone of Flowers and Garlands--belonging to a Lord Courtenay, I believe?
And do you remember a Pepiniere over the way; and, over that, seeing that
Temple in the Beaujon Gardens with the Parisians descending and ascending
in Cars?  And (I think) at the end of the street, the Church of St.
Philippe du Roule?  Perhaps I shall see in your next Number that you do
remember all these things.

Well: I was pleased with some other Papers in your Magazine: as those on
V. Hugo, {85a} and Tennyson's Queen Mary: {85b} I doubt not that
Criticism on English Writers is likely to be more impartial over the
Atlantic, and not biassed by Clubs, Coteries, etc.  I always say that we
in the Country are safer Judges than those of even better Wits in London:
not being prejudiced so much, whether by personal acquaintance, or party,
or Fashion.  I see that Professor Wilson said much the same thing to
Willis forty years ago.

I have written to Donne to tell him of your Papers, and that I will send
him my Copies if he cannot get them.  Mowbray wrote me word that his
Father, who has bought the house in Weymouth Street, was now about
returning to it, after some Alterations made.  Mowbray talks of paying me
a little Visit here--he and his Wife--at the End of this month:--when
what Good Looks we have will all be gone.

Farewell for the present; I count on your Gossip: and believe me (what it
serves to make me feel more vividly)

Your sincere old Friend
E. F.G.



XXXIV.


[Nov. 1875.]

DEAR MRS. KEMBLE,

The Mowbray Donnes have been staying some days {86} with me--very
pleasantly.  Of course I got them to tell me of the fine things in
London: among the rest, the Artists whose Photos they sent me, and I here
enclose.  The Lady, they tell me--(Spedding's present Idol)--is better
than her Portrait--which would not have so enamoured Bassanio.  Irving's,
they say, is flattered.  But 'tis a handsome face, surely; and one that
should do for Hamlet--if it were not for that large Ear--do you notice?  I
was tempted to send it to you, because it reminds me of some of your
Family: your Father, most of all, as Harlowe has painted him in that
famous Picture of the Trial Scene. {87a}  It is odd to me that the fine
Engraving from that Picture--once so frequent--is scarce seen now: it has
seemed strange to me to meet People who never even heard of it.

I don't know why you have a little Grudge against Mrs. Siddons--perhaps
you will say you have not--all my fancy.  I think it was noticed at
Cambridge that your Brother John scarce went to visit her when she was
staying with that Mrs. Frere, whom you don't remember with pleasure.  She
did talk much and loud: but she had a fine Woman's heart underneath, and
she could sing a classical Song: as also some of Handel, whom she had
studied with Bartleman.  But she never could have sung the Ballad with
the fulness which you describe in Mrs. Arkwright. {87b}

Which, together with your mention of your American isolation, reminds me
of some Verses of Hood, with which I will break your Heart a little.  They
are not so very good, neither: but I, in England as I am, and like to be,
cannot forget them.

   'The Swallow with Summer
      Shall wing o'er the Seas;
   The Wind that I sigh to
      Shall sing in your Trees;

   The Ship that it hastens
      Your Ports will contain--
   But for me--I shall never
      See England again.' {88a}

It always runs in my head to a little German Air, common enough in our
younger days--which I will make a note of, and you will, I dare say,
remember at once.

I doubt that what I have written is almost as illegible as that famous
one of yours: in which however only [paper] was in fault: {88b} and now I
shall scarce mend the matter by taking a steel pen instead of that old
quill, which certainly did fight upon its Stumps.

Well now--Professor Masson of Edinburgh has asked me to join him and
seventy-nine others in celebrating Carlyle's eightieth Birthday on
December 4--with the Presentation of a Gold Medal with Carlyle's own
Effigy upon it, and a congratulatory Address.  I should have thought such
a Measure would be ridiculous to Carlyle; but I suppose Masson must have
ascertained his Pleasure from some intimate Friend of C.'s: otherwise he
would not have known of my Existence for one.  However Spedding and
Pollock tell me that, after some hesitation like my own, they judged best
to consent.  Our Names are even to be attached somehow to a--White Silk,
or Satin, Scroll!  Surely Carlyle cannot be aware of that?  I hope
devoutly that my Name come too late for its Satin Apotheosis; but, if it
do not, I shall apologise to Carlyle for joining such Mummery.  I only
followed the Example of my Betters.

Now I must shut up, for Photos and a Line of Music is to come in.  I was
so comforted to find that your Mother had some hand in Dr. Kitchener's
Cookery Book, {89} which has always been Guide, Philosopher, and Friend
in such matters.  I can't help liking a Cookery Book.

Ever yours
E. F.G.

No: I never turned my tragic hand on Fualdes; but I remember well being
taken in 1818 to the Ambigu Comique to see the 'Chateau de Paluzzi,'
which was said to be founded on that great Murder.  I still distinctly
remember a Closet, from which came some guilty Personage.  It is not only
the Murder itself that impressed me, but the Scene it was enacted in; the
ancient half-Spanish City of Rodez, with its River Aveyron, its lonely
Boulevards, its great Cathedral, under which the Deed was done in the
'Rue des Hebdomadiers.'  I suppose you don't see, or read, our present
Whitechapel Murder--a nasty thing, not at all to my liking.  The Name of
the Murderer--as no one doubts he is, whatever the Lawyers may
disprove--is the same as that famous Man of Taste who wrote on the Fine
Arts in the London Magazine under the name of Janus Weathercock, {90a}
and poisoned Wife, Wife's Mother and Sister after insuring their Lives.
De Quincey (who was one of the Magazine) has one of his Essays about this
wretch.

Here is another half-sheet filled, after all: I am afraid rather
troublesome to read.  In three or four days we shall have another
Atlantic, and I am ever yours

E. F.G.



XXXV.


WOODBRIDGE: _Decr._ 29/75.

DEAR MRS. KEMBLE,

You will say I am a very good Creature indeed, for beginning to answer
your Letter the very day it reaches me.  But so it happens that this same
day also comes a Letter from Laurence the Painter, who tells me something
of poor Minnie's Death, {90b} which answers to the Query in your Letter.
Laurence sends me Mrs. Brookfield's Note to him: from which I quote to
you--no!--I will make bold to send you her Letter itself!  Laurence says
he is generally averse to showing others a Letter meant for himself (the
little Gentleman that he is!), but he ventures in this case, knowing me
to be an old friend of the Family.  And so I venture to post it over the
Atlantic to you who take a sincere Interest in them also.  I wonder if I
am doing wrong?

In the midst of all this mourning comes out a new Volume of Thackeray's
Drawings--or Sketches--as I foresaw it would be, too much Caricature, not
so good as much [of] his old Punch; and with none of the better things I
wanted them to put in--for his sake, as well as the Community's.  I do
not wonder at the Publisher's obstinacy, but I wonder that Annie T. did
not direct otherwise.  I am convinced I can hear Thackeray saying, when
such a Book as this was proposed to him--'Oh, come--there has been enough
of all this'--and crumpling up the Proof in that little hand of his.  For
a curiously little hand he had, uncharacteristic of the grasp of his
mind: I used to consider it half inherited from the Hindoo people among
whom he was born. {91}

I dare say I told you of the Proposal to congratulate Carlyle on his
eightieth Birthday; and probably some Newspaper has told you of the
Address, and the Medal, and the White Satin Roll to which our eighty
names were to be attached.  I thought the whole Concern, Medal, Address,
and Satin Roll, a very Cockney thing; and devoutly hoped my own
illustrious name would arrive too late.  I could not believe that Carlyle
would like the Thing: but it appears by his published Answer that he did.
He would not, ten years ago, I think.  Now--talking of illustrious names,
etc., oh, my dear Mrs. Kemble, your sincere old Regard for my Family and
myself has made you say more--of one of us, at least--than the World will
care to be told: even if your old Regard had not magnified our lawful
Deserts.  But indeed it has done so: in Quality, as well as in Quantity.
I know I am not either squeamishly, or hypocritically, saying all this: I
am sure I know myself better than you do, and take a juster view of my
pretensions.  I think you Kembles are almost Donnes in your determined
regard, and (one may say) Devotion to old Friends, etc.  A rare--a
noble--Failing!  Oh, dear!--Well, I shall not say any more: you will know
that I do not the less thank you for publickly speaking of [me] as I
never was spoken of before--only _too_ well.  Indeed, this is so; and
when you come to make a Book of your Papers, I shall make you cut out
something.  Don't be angry with me now--no, I know you will not. {92}

The Day after To-morrow I shall have your new Number; which is a
Consolation (if needed) for the Month's going.  And I am ever yours

E. F.G.

Oh, I must add--The Printing is no doubt the more legible; but I get on
very well with your MS. when not crossed. {94}

Donne, I hear, is fairly well.  Mowbray has had a Lift in his Inland
Revenue Office, and now is secure, I believe, of Competence for Life.
Charles wrote me a kindly Letter at Christmas: he sent me his own Photo;
and then (at my Desire) one of his wife:--Both of which I would enclose,
but that my Packet is already bulky enough.  It won't go off to-night
when it is written--for here (absolutely!) comes my Reader (8 p.m.) to
read me a Story (very clever) in All the Year Round, and no one to go to
Post just now.

Were they not pretty Verses by Hood?  I thought to make you a little
miserable by them:--but you take no more notice than--what you will.

Good Night!  Good Bye!--Now for Mrs. Trollope's Story, entitled 'A
Charming Fellow'--(very clever).



XXXVI.


WOODBRIDGE: _Febr_: 2/76.

Now, my dear Mrs. Kemble, I have done you a little good turn.  Some days
ago I was talking to my Brother John (I dared not show him!) of what you
had said of my Family in your Gossip.  He was extremely interested: and
wished much that I [would] convey you his old hereditary remembrances.
But, beside that, he wished you to have a Miniature of your Mother which
my Mother had till she died.  It is a full length; in a white Dress, with
blue Scarf, looking and tending with extended Arms upward in a Blaze of
Light.  My Brother had heard my Mother's History of the Picture, but
could not recall it.  I fancy it was before your Mother's Marriage.  The
Figure is very beautiful, and the Face also: like your Sister Adelaide,
and your Brother Henry both.  I think you will be pleased with this: and
my Brother is very pleased that you should have it.  Now, how to get it
over to you is the Question; I believe I must get my little Quaritch, the
Bookseller, who has a great American connection, to get it safely over to
you.  But if you know of any surer means, let me know.  It is framed: and
would look much better if some black edging were streaked into the Gold
Frame; a thing I sometimes do only with a strip of Black Paper.  The old
Plan of Black and Gold Frames is much wanted where Yellow predominates in
the Picture.  Do you know I have a sort of Genius for Picture-framing,
which is an Art People may despise, as they do the Milliner's: but you
know how the prettiest Face may be hurt, and the plainest improved, by
the Bonnet; and I find that (like the Bonnet, I suppose) you can only
judge of the Frame, by trying it on.  I used to tell some Picture Dealers
they had better hire me for such Millinery: but I have not had much Scope
for my Art down here.  So now you have a little Lecture along with the
Picture.

Now, as you are to thank me for this good turn done to you, so have I to
thank you for Ditto to me.  The mention of my little Quaritch reminds me.
He asked me for copies of Agamemnon, to give to some of his American
Customers who asked for them; and I know from whom they must have somehow
heard of it.  And now, what Copies I had being gone, he is going, at his
own risk, to publish a little Edition.  The worst is, he _will_ print it
pretentiously, I fear, as if one thought it very precious: but the Truth
is, I suppose he calculates on a few Buyers who will give what will repay
him.  One of my Patrons, Professor Norton, of Cambridge Mass., has sent
me a second Series of Lowell's 'Among my Books,' which I shall be able to
acknowledge with sincere praise.  I had myself bought the first Series.
Lowell may do for English Writers something as Ste. Beuve has done for
French: and one cannot give higher Praise. {97a}

There has been an absurd Bout in the Athenaeum {97b} between Miss Glyn
and some Drury Lane Authorities.  She wrote a Letter to say that she
would not have played Cleopatra in a revival of Antony and Cleopatra for
1000 pounds a line, I believe, so curtailed and mangled was it.  Then
comes a Miss Wallis, who played the Part, to declare that 'the Veteran'
(Miss G.) had wished to play the Part as it was acted: and furthermore
comes Mr. Halliday, who somehow manages and adapts at D. L., to assert
that the Veteran not only wished to enact the Desecration, but did enact
it for many nights when Miss Wallis was indisposed.  Then comes Isabel
forward again--but I really forget what she said.  I never saw her but
once--in the Duchess of Malfi--very well: better, I dare say, than
anybody now; but one could not remember a Word, a Look, or an Action.  She
speaks in her Letter of being brought up in the grand School and
Tradition of the Kembles.

I am glad, somehow, that you liked Macready's Reminiscences: so honest,
so gentlemanly in the main, so pathetic even in his struggles to be a
better Man and Actor.  You, I think, feel with him in your Distaste for
the Profession.

I write you tremendous long Letters, which you can please yourself about
reading through.  I shall write Laurence your message of Remembrance to
him.  I had a longish Letter from Donne, who spoke of himself as well
enough, only living by strict Rule in Diet, Exercise, etc.

We have had some remarkable Alternations of Cold and Hot here too: but
nothing like the extremes you tell me of on the other side of the Page.

Lionel Tennyson (second Son), who answered my half-yearly Letter to his
father, tells me they had heard that Annie Thackeray was well in health,
but--as you may imagine in Spirits.

And I remain yours always
E. F.G.

How is it my Atlantic Monthly is not yet come?



XXXVII.


WOODBRIDGE: _Febr_: 17/76.

DEAR MRS. KEMBLE,

I ought to have written before to apprise you of your Mother's Miniature
being sent off--by Post.  On consideration, we judged that to be the
safest and speediest way: the Post Office here telling us that it was not
too large or heavy so to travel: without the Frame.  As, however, our
Woodbridge Post Office is not very well-informed, I shall be very glad to
hear it has reached you, in its double case: wood within, and tin without
(quite unordered and unnecessary), which must make you think you receive
a present of Sardines.  You lose, you see, the Benefit of my exalted
Taste in respect of Framing, which I had settled to perfection.  Pray get
a small Frame, concaving inwardly (Ogee pattern, I believe), which leads
the Eyes into the Picture: whereas a Frame convexing outwardly leads the
Eye away from the Picture; a very good thing in many cases, but not
needed in this.  I dare say the Picture (faded as it is) will look poor
to you till enclosed and set off by a proper Frame.  And the way is, as
with a Bonnet (on which you know much depends even with the fairest
face), to try one on before ordering it home.  That is, if you choose to
indulge in some more ornamental Frame than the quite simple one I have
before named.  Indeed, I am not sure if the Picture would not look best
in a plain gold Flat (as it is called) without Ogee, or any ornament
whatsoever.  But try it on first: and then you can at least please
yourself, if not the Terrible Modiste who now writes to you.  My Brother
is very anxious you should have the Picture, and wrote to me again to
send you his hereditary kind Regards.  I ought to be sending you his
Note--which I have lost.  Instead of that, I enclose one from poor
Laurence to whom I wrote your kind message; and am as ever

Yours
E. F.G.

You will let me know if the Picture has not arrived before this Note
reaches you?



XXXVIII.


LOWESTOFT: _March_ 16/76.

DEAR MRS. KEMBLE,

Directly that you mentioned 'Urania,' I began to fancy I remembered her
too. {100}  And we are both right; I wrote to a London friend to look out
for the Engraving: and I post it to you along with this Letter.  If it do
not reach you in some three weeks, let me know, and I will send another.

The Engraving stops short before the Feet: the Features are coarser than
the Painting: which makes me suppose that it (Engraving) is from the
Painting: or from some Painting of which yours is a Copy--(I am called
off here to see the Procession of Batty's Circus parade up the street)--

The Procession is past: the Clowns, the Fine Ladies (who should wear a
little Rouge even by Daylight), the 'performing' Elephants, the helmeted
Cavaliers, and last, the Owner (I suppose) as 'the modern Gentleman'
driving four-in-hand.

This intoxication over, I return to my Duties--to say that the Engraving
is from a Painting by 'P. Jean,' engraved by Vendramini: published by
John Thompson in 1802, and dedicated to the 'Hon. W. R. Spencer'--(who, I
suppose, was the 'Vers-de Societe' Man of the Day; and perhaps the owner
of the original: whether now yours, or not.  All this I tell you in case
the Print should not arrive in fair time: and you have but to let me
know, and another shall post after it.

I have duly written my Brother your thanks for his Present, and your
sincere Gratification in possessing it.  He is very glad it has so much
pleased you.  But he can only surmise thus much more of its history--that
it belonged to my Grandfather before my Mother: he being a great lover of
the Theatre, and going every night I believe to old Covent Garden or old
Drury Lane--names really musical to me--old Melodies.

I think I wrote to you about the Framing.  I always say of that, as of
other Millinery (on which so much depends), the best way is--to try on
the Bonnet before ordering it; which you can do by the materials which
all Carvers and Gilders in this Country keep by them.  I have found even
my Judgment--the Great Twalmley's Judgment--sometimes thrown out by not
condescending to this; in this, as in so many other things, so very
little making all the Difference.  I should not think that Black next the
Picture would do so well: but try, try: try on the Bonnet: and if you
please yourself--inferior Modiste as you are--why, so far so good.

Donne, who reports himself as very well (always living by Discipline and
Rule), tells me that he has begged you to return to England if you would
make sure of seeing him again.  I told Pollock of your great Interest in
Macready: I too find that I am content to have bought the Book, and feel
more interest in the Man than in the Actor.  My Mother used to know him
once: but I never saw him in private till once at Pollock's after his
retirement: when he sat quite quiet, and (as you say) I was sorry not to
have made a little Advance to him, as I heard he had a little wished to
see me because of that old Acquaintance with my Mother.  I should like to
have told him how much I liked much of his Performance; asked him why he
would say 'Amen stu-u-u-u-ck in my Throat' (which was a bit of wrong, as
well as vulgar, Judgment, I think).  But I looked on him as the great Man
of the Evening, unpresuming as he was: and so kept aloof, as I have ever
done from all Celebrities--yourself among them--who I thought must be
wearied enough of Followers and Devotees--unless those of Note.

I am now writing in the place--in the room--from which I wrote ten years
ago--it all recurs to me--with Montaigne for my Company, and my Lugger
about to be built.  Now I have brought Madame de Sevigne (who loved
Montaigne too--the capital Woman!) and the Lugger--Ah, there is a long
sad Story about that!--which I won't go into--

Little Quaritch seems to have dropt Agamemnon, Lord of Hosts, for the
present: and I certainly am not sorry, for I think it would only have
been abused by English Critics: with some, but not all, Justice.  You are
very good in naming your American Publisher, but I suppose it must be
left at present with Quaritch, to whom I wrote a 'Permit,' so long as I
had nothing to do with it.

Ever yours
E. F.G.



XXXIX.


[LOWESTOFT, _April_, 1876.]

MY DEAR MRS. KEMBLE,

From Lowestoft still I date: as just ten years ago when I was about
building a Lugger, and reading Montaigne.  The latter holds his own with
me after three hundred years: and the Lugger does not seem much the worse
for her ten years' wear, so well did she come bouncing between the Piers
here yesterday, under a strong Sou'-Wester.  My Great Captain has her no
more; he has what they call a 'Scotch Keel' which is come into fashion:
her too I see: and him too steering her, broader and taller than all the
rest: fit to be a Leader of Men, Body and Soul; looking now Ulysses-like.
Two or three years ago he had a run of constant bad luck; and, being
always of a grand convivial turn, treating Everybody, he got deep in
Drink, against all his Promises to me, and altogether so lawless, that I
brought things to a pass between us.  'He should go on with me if he
would take the Tee-total Pledge for one year'--'No--he had broken his
word,' he said, 'and he would not pledge it again,' much as he wished to
go on with me.  That, you see, was very fine in him; he is altogether
fine--A Great Man, I maintain it: like one of Carlyle's old Norway Kings,
with a wider morality than we use; which is very good and fine (as this
Captain said to me) 'for you who are born with a silver spoon in your
mouths.'  I did not forget what Carlyle too says about Great Faults in
Great Men: even in David, the Lord's Anointed.  But I thought best to
share the Property with him and let him go his way.  He had always
resented being under any Control, and was very glad to be his own sole
Master again: and yet clung to me in a wild and pathetic way.  He has not
been doing better since: and I fear is sinking into disorder.

This is a long story about one you know nothing about except what little
I have told you.  But the Man is a very remarkable Man indeed, and you
may be interested--you must be--in him.

'Ho! parlons d'autres choses, ma Fille,' as my dear Sevigne says.  She
now occupies Montaigne's place in my room: well--worthily: she herself a
Lover of Montaigne, and with a spice of his free thought and speech in
her.  I am sometimes vext I never made her acquaintance till last year:
but perhaps it was as well to have such an acquaintance reserved for
one's latter years.  The fine Creature! much more alive to me than most
Friends--I _should_ like to see her 'Rochers' in Brittany. {105}

'Parlons d'autres choses'--your Mother's Miniature.  You seemed at first
to think it was taken from the Engraving: but the reverse was always
clear to me.  The whole figure, down to the Feet, is wanted to account
for the position of the Legs; and the superior delicacy of Feature would
not be gained _from_ the Engraving, but the contrary.  The Stars were
stuck in to make an 'Urania' of it perhaps.  I do not assert that your
Miniature is the original: but that such a Miniature is.  I did not
expect that Black next the Picture would do: had you 'tried on the
Bonnet' first, as I advised?  I now wish I had sent the Picture over in
its original Frame, which I had doctored quite well with a strip of Black
Paper pasted over the Gold.  It might really have gone through Quaritch's
Agency: but I got into my head that the Post was safer.  (How badly I am
writing!)  I had a little common Engraving of the Cottage bonnet
Portrait: so like Henry.  If I did not send it to you, I know not what is
become of it.

Along with your Letter came one from Donne telling me of your Niece's
Death. {106}  He said he had written to tell you.  In reply, I gave him
your message; that he must 'hold on' till next year when peradventure you
may see England again, and hope to see him too.

Sooner or later you will see an Account of 'Mary Tudor' at the Lyceum.
{107}  It is just what I expected: a 'succes d'estime,' and not a very
enthusiastic one.  Surely, no one could have expected more.  And now
comes out a new Italian Hamlet--Rossi--whose first appearance is recorded
in the enclosed scrap of _Standard_.  And (to finish Theatrical or
Dramatic Business) Quaritch has begun to print Agamemnon--so leisurely
that I fancy he wishes to wait till the old Persian is exhausted, and so
join the two.  I certainly am in no hurry; for I fully believe we shall
only get abused for the Greek in proportion as we were praised for the
Persian--in England.  I mean: for you have made America more favourable.

'Parlons d'autres choses.'  'Eh? mais de quoi parler,' etc.  Well: a
Blackbird is singing in the little Garden outside my Lodging Window,
which is frankly opened to what Sun there is.  It has been a singular
half year; only yesterday Thunder in rather cold weather; and last week
the Road and Rail in Cambridge and Huntingdon was blocked up with Snow;
and Thunder then also.  I suppose I shall get home in ten days: before
this Letter will reach you, I suppose: so your next may be addressed to
Woodbridge.  I really don't know if these long Letters are more of
Trouble or Pleasure to you: however, there is an end to all: and that End
is that I am yours as truly as ever I was

E. F.G.



XL.


WOODBRIDGE, _July_ 4, [1876.]

DEAR MRS. KEMBLE,

Here I am back into the Country, as I may call my suburb here as compared
to Lowestoft; all my house, except the one room--which 'serves me for
Parlour and Bedroom and all' {108a}--occupied by Nieces.  Our weather is
temperate, our Trees green, Roses about to bloom, Birds about to leave
off singing--all sufficiently pleasant.  I must not forget a Box from
Mudie with some Memoirs in it--of Godwin, Haydon, etc., which help to
amuse one.  And I am just beginning Don Quixote once more for my 'piece
de Resistance,' not being so familiar with the First Part as the Second.
Lamb and Coleridge (I think) thought that Second Part should not have
been written; why then did I--not for contradiction's sake, I am sure--so
much prefer it?  Old Hallam, in his History of Literature, resolved me, I
believe, by saying that Cervantes, who began by making his Hero
ludicrously crazy, fell in love with him, and in the second part tamed
and tempered him down to the grand Gentleman he is: scarce ever
originating a Delusion, though acting his part in it as a true Knight
when led into it by others. {108b}  A good deal however might well be
left out.  If you have Jarvis' Translation by, or near, you, pray
read--oh, read all of the second part, except the stupid stuff of the old
Duenna in the Duke's Palace.

I fear I get more and more interested in your 'Gossip,' as you approach
the Theatre.  I suppose indeed that it is better to look on than to be
engaged in.  I love it, and reading of it, now as much as ever I cared to
see it: and that was, very much indeed.  I never heard till from your
last Paper {109a} that Henry was ever thought of for Romeo: I wonder he
did not tell me this when he and I were in Paris in 1830, and used to go
and see 'La Muette!' (I can hear them calling it now:) at the Grand
Opera.  I see that 'Queen Mary' has some while since been deposed from
the Lyceum; and poor Mr. Irving descended from Shakespeare to his old
Melodrama again.  All this is still interesting to me down here: much
more than to you--over there!--

'Over there' you are in the thick of your Philadelphian Exhibition,
{109b} I suppose: but I dare say you do not meddle with it very much, and
will probably be glad when it is all over.  I wish now I had sent you the
Miniature in its Frame, which I had instructed to become it.  What you
tell us your Mother said concerning Dress, I certainly always felt: only
secure the Beautiful, and the Grand, in all the Arts, whatever Chronology
may say.  Rousseau somewhere says that what you want of Decoration in the
Theatre is, what will bewilder the Imagination--'ebranler l'Imagination,'
I think: {110} only let it be Beautiful!

_June_ 5.

I kept this letter open in case I should see Arthur Malkin, who was
coming to stay at a Neighbour's house.  He very kindly did call on me: he
and his second wife (who, my Neighbour says, is a very proper Wife), but
I was abroad--though no further off than my own little Estate; and he
knows I do not visit elsewhere.  But I do not the less thank him, and am
always yours

E. F.G.

Pollock writes me he had just visited Carlyle--quite well for his Age:
and vehement against Darwin, and the Turk.



XLI.


WOODBRIDGE, _July_ 31/76.

DEAR MRS. KEMBLE,

A better pen than usual tempts me to write the little I have to tell you;
so that [at] any rate your Eyes shall not be afflicted as sometimes I
doubt they are by my MS.

Which MS. puts me at once in mind of Print: and to tell you that I shall
send you Quaritch's Reprint of Agamemnon: which is just done after many
blunders.  The revises were not sent me, as I desired: so several things
are left as I meant not: but 'enfin' here it is at last so fine that I am
ashamed of it.  For, whatever the merit of it may be, it can't come near
all this fine Paper, Margin, etc., which Quaritch _will_ have as counting
on only a few buyers, who will buy--in America almost wholly, I think.
And, as this is wholly due to you, I send you the Reprint, however little
different to what you had before.

'Tragedy wonders at being so fine,' which leads me to that which ought
more properly to have led to _it_: your last two Papers of 'Gossip,'
which are capital, both for the Story told, and the remarks that arise
from it.  To-morrow, or next day, I shall have a new Number; and I really
do count rather childishly on their arrival.  Spedding also is going over
some of his old Bacon ground in the Contemporary, {111} and his writing
is always delightful to me though I cannot agree with him at last.  I am
told he is in full Vigour: as indeed I might guess from his writing.  I
heard from Donne some three weeks ago: proposing a Summer Holyday at
Whitby, in Yorkshire: Valentia, I think, not very well again: Blanche
then with her Brother Charles.  They all speak very highly of Mrs.
Santley's kindness and care.  Mowbray talks of coming down this way
toward the end of August: but had not, when he last wrote, fixed on his
Holyday place.

Beside my two yearly elder Nieces, I have now a younger who has spent the
last five Winters in Florence with your once rather intimate (I think)
Jane FitzGerald my Sister.  She married, (you may know) a Clergyman
considerably older than herself.  I wrote to Annie Thackeray lately, and
had an answer (from the Lakes) to say she was pretty well--as also Mr.
Stephen.

And I am ever yours
E. F.G.

P.S.  On second thoughts I venture to send you A. T.'s letter, which may
interest you and cannot shame her.  I do not want it again.



XLII.


WOODBRIDGE: _Septr._ 21/76.

DEAR MRS. KEMBLE,

Have your American Woods begun to hang out their Purple and Gold yet? on
this Day of Equinox.  Some of ours begin to look rusty, after the Summer
Drought; but have not turned Yellow yet.  I was talking of this to a
Heroine of mine who lives near here, but visits the Highlands of
Scotland, which she loves better than Suffolk--and she said of those
Highland Trees--'O, they give themselves no dying Airs, but turn Orange
in a Day, and are swept off in a Whirlwind, and Winter is come.'

Now too one's Garden begins to be haunted by that Spirit which Tennyson
says is heard talking to himself among the flower-borders.  Do you
remember him? {113a}

And now--Who should send in his card to me last week--but the old Poet
himself--he and his elder Son Hallam passing through Woodbridge from a
Tour in Norfolk. {113b}  'Dear old Fitz,' ran the Card in pencil, 'We are
passing thro'.' {113c}  I had not seen him for twenty years--he looked
much the same, except for his fallen Locks; and what really surprised me
was, that we fell at once into the old Humour, as if we had only been
parted twenty Days instead of so many Years.  I suppose this is a Sign of
Age--not altogether desirable.  But so it was.  He stayed two Days, and
we went over the same old grounds of Debate, told some of the old
Stories, and all was well.  I suppose I may never see him again: and so I
suppose we both thought as the Rail carried him off: and each returned to
his ways as if scarcely diverted from them.  Age again!--I liked Hallam
much; unaffected, unpretending--no Slang--none of Young England's
nonchalance--speaking of his Father as 'Papa' and tending him with great
Care, Love, and Discretion.  Mrs. A. T. is much out of health, and scarce
leaves Home, I think. {114a}

I have lately finished Don Quixote again, and I think have inflamed A. T.
to read him too--I mean in his native Language.  For this _must_ be, good
as Jarvis' Translation is, and the matter of the Book so good that one
would think it would lose less than any Book by Translation.  But somehow
that is not so.  I was astonished lately to see how Shakespeare's Henry
IV. came out in young V. Hugo's Prose Translation {114b}: Hotspur,
Falstaff and all.  It really seemed to show me more than I had yet seen
in the original.

Ever yours,
E. F.G.



XLIII.


LOWESTOFT: _October_ 24/76.

DEAR MRS. KEMBLE,

Little--Nothing--as I have to write, I am nevertheless beginning to write
to you, from this old Lodging of mine, from which I think our
Correspondence chiefly began--ten years ago.  I am in the same Room: the
same dull Sea moaning before me: the same Wind screaming through the
Windows: so I take up the same old Story.  My Lugger was then about
building: {115} she has passed into other hands now: I see her from time
to time bouncing into Harbour, with her '244' on her Bows.  Her Captain
and I have parted: I thought he did very wrongly--Drink, among other
things: but he did not think he did wrong: a different Morality from
ours--that, indeed, of Carlyle's ancient Sea Kings.  I saw him a few days
ago in his house, with Wife and Children; looking, as always, too big for
his house: but always grand, polite, and unlike anybody else.  I was
noticing the many Flies in the room--'Poor things,' he said, 'it is the
warmth of our Stove makes them alive.'  When Tennyson was with me, whose
Portrait hangs in my house in company with those of Thackeray and this
Man (the three greatest men I have known), I thought that both Tennyson
and Thackeray were inferior to him in respect of Thinking of Themselves.
When Tennyson was telling me of how The Quarterly abused him (humorously
too), and desirous of knowing why one did not care for his later works,
etc., I thought that if he had lived an active Life, as Scott and
Shakespeare; or even ridden, shot, drunk, and played the Devil, as Byron,
he would have done much more, and talked about it much less.  'You know,'
said Scott to Lockhart, 'that I don't care a Curse about what I write,'
{116} and one sees he did not.  I don't believe it was far otherwise with
Shakespeare.  Even old Wordsworth, wrapt up in his Mountain mists, and
proud as he was, was above all this vain Disquietude: proud, not vain,
was he: and that a Great Man (as Dante) has some right to be--but not to
care what the Coteries say.  What a Rigmarole!

Donne scarce ever writes to me (Twalmley the Great), and if he do not
write to you, depend upon it he thinks he has nothing worth sending over
the Atlantic.  I heard from Mowbray quite lately that his Father was very
well.

Yes: you told me in a previous Letter that you were coming to England
after Christmas.  I shall not be up to going to London to see you, with
all your Company about you; perhaps (don't think me very impudent!) you
may come down, if we live till Summer, to my Woodbridge Chateau, and
there talk over some old things.

I make a kind of Summer in my Room here with Boccaccio.  What a Mercy
that one can return with a Relish to these Books!  As Don Quixote can
only be read in his Spanish, so I do fancy Boccaccio only in his Italian:
and yet one is used to fancy that Poetry is the mainly untranslateable
thing.  How prettily innocent are the Ladies, who, after telling very
loose Stories, finish with 'E cosi Iddio faccia [noi] godere del nostro
Amore, etc.,' sometimes, _Domeneddio_, more affectionately. {117a}

Anyhow, these Ladies are better than the accursed Eastern Question;
{117b} of which I have determined to read, and, if possible, hear, no
more till the one question be settled of Peace or War.  If war, I am told
I may lose some 5000 pounds in Russian Bankruptcy: but I can truly say I
would give that, and more, to ensure Peace and Good Will among Men at
this time.  Oh, the Apes we are!  I must retire to my Montaigne--whom, by
the way, I remember reading here, when the Lugger was building!  Oh, the
Apes, etc.  But there was A Man in all that Business still, who is so
now, somewhat tarnished.--And I am yours as then sincerely

E. F.G.



XLIV.


LOWESTOFT: _December_ 12/76.

DEAR MRS. KEMBLE,

If you hold to your Intention of coming to Europe in January, this will
be my last Letter over the Atlantic--till further Notice!  I dare say you
will send me a last Rejoinder under the same conditions.

I write, you see, from the Date of my last letter: but have been at home
in the meanwhile.  And am going home to-morrow--to arrange about
Christmas Turkeys (God send we haven't all our fill of that, this Year!)
and other such little matters pertaining to the Season--which, to myself,
is always a very dull one.  Why it happens that I so often write to you
from here, I scarce know; only that one comes with few Books, perhaps,
and the Sea somehow talks to one of old Things.  I have ever my Edition
of Crabbe's Tales of the Hall with me.  How pretty is this--

   'In a small Cottage on the rising Ground
   West of the Waves, and just beyond their Sound.' {118}

Which reminds me also that one of the Books I have here is Leslie
Stephen's 'Hours in a Library,' really delightful reading, and, I think,
really settling some Questions of Criticism, as one wants to be finally
done in all Cases, so as to have no more about and about it.  I think I
could have suggested a little Alteration in the matter of this Crabbe,
whom I probably am better up in than L. S., though I certainly could not
write about it as he does.  Also, one word about _Clarissa_.  Almost all
the rest of the two Volumes I accept as a Disciple. {119a}

Another Book of the kind--Lowell's 'Among my Books,' is excellent also:
perhaps with more _Genius_ than Stephen: but on the other hand not so
temperate, judicious, or scholarly in _taste_.  It was Professor Norton
who sent me Lowell's Second Series; and, if you should--(as you
inevitably will, though in danger of losing the Ship) answer this Letter,
pray tell me if you know how Professor Norton is--in health, I mean.  You
told me he was very delicate: and I am tempted to think he may be less
well than usual, as he has not acknowledged the receipt of a Volume
{119b} I sent him with some of Wordsworth's Letters in it, which he had
wished to see.  The Volume did not need Acknowledgment absolutely: but
probably would not have been received without by so amiable and polite a
Man, if he [were] not out of sorts.  I should really be glad to hear that
he has only forgotten, or neglected, to write.

Mr. Lowell's Ode {120a} in your last Magazine seemed to me full of fine
Thought; but it wanted Wings.  I mean it kept too much to one Level,
though a high Level, for Lyric Poetry, as Ode is supposed to be: both in
respect to Thought, and Metre.  Even Wordsworth (least musical of men)
changed his Flight to better purpose in his Ode to Immortality.  Perhaps,
however, Mr. Lowell's subject did not require, or admit, such
Alternations.

Your last Gossip brought me back to London--but what Street I cannot make
sure of--but one Room in whatever Street it were, where I remember your
Mr. Wade, who took his Defeat at the Theatre so bravely. {120b}  And your
John, in Spain with the Archbishop of Dublin: and coming home full of
Torrijos: and singing to me and Thackeray one day in Russell Street:
{120c}

{Music score for Si un Elio conspiro alevo. . .: p120.jpg}

All which comes to me west of the waves and just within the sound: and is
to travel so much farther Westward over an Expanse of Rollers such as we
see not in this Herring-pond.  Still, it is--The Sea.

Now then Farewell, dear Mrs. Kemble.  You will let me know when you get
to Dublin?  I will add that, after very many weeks, I did hear from
Donne, who told me of you, and that he himself had been out to dine: and
was none the worse.

And I still remain, you see, your long-winded Correspondent

E. F.G.



XLV.


12 MARINE TERRACE, LOWESTOFT,
_February_ 19/77.

DEAR MRS. KEMBLE,

Donne has sent me the Address on the cover of this Letter.  I know you
will write directly you hear from me; that is 'de rigueur' with you; and,
at any rate, you have your Voyage home to England to tell me of: and how
you find yourself and all in the Old Country.  I suppose you include my
Old Ireland in it.  Donne wrote that you were to be there till this
Month's end; that is drawing near; and, if that you do not protract your
Visit, you will [be] very soon within sight of dear Donne himself, who, I
hear from Mowbray, is very well.

Your last Gossip was very interesting to me.  I see in it (but not in the
most interesting part) {122a} that you write of a 'J. F.,' who tells you
of a Sister of hers having a fourth Child, etc.  I fancy this must be a
Jane FitzGerald telling you of her Sister Kerrich, who would have
numbered about so many Children about that time--1831.  Was it that Jane?
I think you and she were rather together just then.  After which she
married herself to a Mr. Wilkinson--made him very Evangelical--and
tiresome--and so they fed their Flock in a Suffolk village. {122b}  And
about fourteen or fifteen years ago he died: and she went off to live in
Florence--rather a change from the Suffolk Village--and there, I suppose,
she will die when her Time comes.

Now you have read Harold, I suppose; and you shall tell me what you think
of it.  Pollock and Miladi think it has plenty of Action and Life: one of
which Qualities I rather missed in it.

Mr. Lowell sent me his Three Odes about Liberty, Washington, etc.  They
seemed to me full of fine Thought, and in a lofty Strain: but wanting
Variety both of Mood and Diction for Odes--which are supposed to mean
things to be chanted.  So I ventured to hint to him--Is he an angry man?
But he wouldn't care, knowing of me only through amiable Mr. Norton, who
knows me through you.  I think _he_ must be a very amiable, modest, man.
And I am still yours always

E. F.G.



XLVI.


12 MARINE TERRACE, LOWESTOFT,
_March_ 15, [1877.

DEAR MRS. KEMBLE,

By this time you are, I suppose, at the Address you gave me, and which
will now cover this Letter.  You have seen Donne, and many Friends,
perhaps--and perhaps you have not yet got to London at all.  But you will
in time.  When you do, you will, I think, have your time more taken up
than in America--with so many old Friends about you: so that I wish more
and more you would not feel bound to answer my Letters, one by one; but I
suppose you will.

What I liked so much in your February Atlantic {123} was all about Goethe
and Portia: I think, _fine_ writing, in the plain sense of the word, and
partly so because not 'fine' in the other Sense.  You can indeed spin out
a long Sentence of complicated Thought very easily, and very clearly; a
rare thing.  As to Goethe, I made another Trial at Hayward's Prose
Translation this winter, but failed, as before, to get on with it.  I
suppose there is a Screw loose in me on that point, seeing what all
thinking People think of it.  I am sure I have honestly tried.  As to
Portia, I still think she ought not to have proved her 'Superiority' by
withholding that simple Secret on which her Husband's Peace and his
Friend's Life depended.  Your final phrase about her 'sinking into
perfection' is capital.  Epigram--without Effort.

You wrote me that Portia was your _beau-ideal_ of Womanhood {124a}--Query,
of _Lady-hood_.  For she had more than 500 pounds a year, which Becky
Sharp thinks enough to be very virtuous on, and had not been tried.  Would
she have done Jeanie Deans' work?  She might, I believe: but was not
tried.

I doubt all this will be rather a Bore to you: coming back to England to
find all the old topics of Shakespeare, etc., much as you left them.  You
will hear wonderful things about Browning and Co.--Wagner--and H. Irving.
In a late TEMPLE BAR magazine {124b} Lady Pollock says that her Idol
Irving's Reading of Hood's Eugene Aram is such that any one among his
Audience who had a guilty secret in his Bosom 'must either tell it, or
die.'  These are her words.

You see I still linger in this ugly place: having a very dear little
Niece a little way off: a complete little 'Pocket-Muse' I call her.  One
of the first Things she remembers is--_you_, in white Satin, and very
handsome, she says, reading Twelfth Night at this very place.  And I am

Yours ever
E. F.G.

(I am now going to make out a Dictionary-list of the People in my dear
Sevigne, for my own use.) {125a}



XLVII.


LITTLE GRANGE: WOODBRIDGE.
_May_ 5/77.

DEAR MRS. KEMBLE,

I am disappointed at not finding any Gossip in the last Atlantic; {125b}
the Editor told us at the end of last Year that it was to be carried on
through this: perhaps you are not bound down to every month: but I hope
the links are not to discontinue for long.

I did not mean in my last letter to allude again to myself and Co. in
recommending some omissions when you republish. {126}  That--_viz._,
about myself--I was satisfied you would cut out, as we had agreed before.
(N.B.  No occasion to omit your kindly Notices about my Family--nor my
own Name among them, if you like: only not all about myself.)  What I
meant in my last Letter was, some of your earlier Letters--or parts of
Letters--to H.--as some from Canterbury, I think--I fancy some part of
your early Life might be condensed.  But I will tell you, if you will
allow me, when the time comes: and then you can but keep to your own
plan, which you have good reason to think better than mine--though I am
very strong in Scissors and Paste: my 'Harp and Lute.'  Crabbe is under
them now--as usual, once a Year.  If one lived in London, or in any busy
place, all this would not be perhaps: but it hurts nobody--unless you,
who do hear too much about it.

Last night I made my Reader begin Dickens' wonderful 'Great
Expectations': not considered one of his best, you know, but full of
wonderful things, and even with a Plot which, I think, only needed less
intricacy to be admirable.  I had only just read the Book myself: but I
wanted to see what my Reader would make of it: and he was so interested
that he re-interested me too.  Here is another piece of Woodbridge Life.

Now, if when London is hot you should like to run down to this
Woodbridge, here will be my house at your Service after July.  It may be
so all this month: but a Nephew, Wife, and Babe did talk of a Fortnight's
Visit: but have not talked of it since I returned a fortnight ago.  June
and July my Invalid Niece and her Sister occupy the House--not longer.
Donne, and all who know me, know that I do not like anyone to come out of
their way to visit me: but, if they be coming this way, I am very glad to
do my best for them.  And if any of them likes to occupy my house at any
time, here it is at their Service--at yours, for as long as you will,
except the times I have mentioned.  I give up the house entirely except
my one room, which serves for Parlour and Bed: and which I really prefer,
as it reminds me of the Cabin of my dear little Ship--mine no more.

Here is a long Story about very little.  Woodbridge again.

A Letter from Mowbray Donne told me that you had removed to some house
in--Connaught Place? {127a}--but he did not name the number.

Valentia's wedding comes on: perhaps you will be of the Party. {127b}  I
think it would be one more of Sorrow than of Gladness to me: but perhaps
that may be the case with most Bridals.

It is very cold here: ice of nights: but my Tulips and Anemones hold up
still: and Nightingales sing.  Somehow, I don't care for those latter at
Night.  They ought to be in Bed like the rest of us.  This seems talking
for the sake of being singular: but I have always felt it, singular or
not.

And I am yours always

E. F.G.



XLVIII.


[_June_, 1877.]

MY DEAR MRS. KEMBLE,

I only write now on the express condition (which I understand you to
accept) that you will not reply till you are in Switzerland.  I mean, of
course, within any reasonable time.  Your last Letter is not a happy one
*: but the record of your first Memoir cannot fail to interest and touch
me.

I surmise--for you do not say so--that you are alone in London now: then,
you must get away as soon as you can; and I shall be very glad to hear
from yourself that you are in some green Swiss Valley, with a blue Lake
before you, and snowy mountain above.

I must tell you that, my Nieces being here--good, pious, and tender, they
are too--(but one of them an Invalid, and the other devoted to attend
her) they make but little change in my own way of Life.  They live by
themselves, and I only see them now and then in the Garden--sometimes not
five minutes in the Day.  But then I am so long used to Solitude.  And
there is an end of that Chapter.

I have your Gossip bound up: the binder backed it with Black, which I
don't like (it was his doing, not mine), but you say that your own only
Suit is Sables now.  I am going to lend it to a very admirable Lady who
is going to our ugly Sea-side, with a sick Brother: only I have pasted
over one column--_which_, I leave you to guess at.

I think I never told you--what is the fact, however--that I had wished to
dedicate Agamemnon to you, but thought I could not do so without my own
name appended.  Whereas, I could, very simply, as I saw afterwards when
too late.  If ever he is reprinted I shall (unless you forbid) do as I
desired to do: for, if for no other reason, he would probably never have
been published but for you.  Perhaps he had better [have] remained in
private Life so far as England is concerned.  And so much for that grand
Chapter.

I think it is an ill-omened Year: beside War (which I _won't_ read about)
so much Illness and Death--hereabout, at any rate.  A Nephew of mine--a
capital fellow--was pitched upon his head from a Gig a week ago, and we
know not yet how far that head of his may recover itself.  But, beside
one's own immediate Friends, I hear of Sickness and Death from further
Quarters; and our Church Bell has been everlastingly importunate with its
"Toll-toll." But Farewell for the present: pray do as I ask you about
writing: and believe me ever yours,

E. F.G.

*  You were thinking of something else when you misdirected your letter,
which sent it a round before reaching Woodbridge.



XLIX.


WOODBRIDGE, _June_ 23/77.

DEAR MRS. KEMBLE,

I knew the best thing I could do concerning the Book you wanted was to
send your Enquiry to the Oracle itself:--whose Reply I herewith enclose.

Last Evening I heard read Jeanie Deans' Audience with Argyle, and then
with the Queen.  There I stop with the Book.  Oh, how refreshing is the
leisurely, easy, movement of the Story, with its true, and
well-harmonized Variety of Scene and Character!  There is of course a
Bore--Saddletree--as in Shakespeare.  I presume to think--as in
Cervantes--as in Life itself: somewhat too much of him in Scott, perhaps.
But when the fuliginous and Spasmodic Carlyle and Co. talk of Scott's
delineating his Characters from without to within {131a}--why, he seems
to have had a pretty good Staple of the inner Man of David, and Jeanie
Deans, on beginning his Story; as of the Antiquary, Dalgetty, the
Ashtons, and a lot more.  I leave all but the Scotch Novels.  Madge has a
little--a wee bit--theatrical about her: but I think her to be paired off
with Ophelia, and worth all Miss Austen's Drawing-room Respectabilities
put together.  It is pretty what Barry Cornwall says on meeting Scott
among other Authors at Rogers': 'I do not think any one envied him any
more than one envies Kings.' {131b}  You have done him honour in your
Gossip: as one ought to do in these latter Days.

So this will be my last letter to you till you write me from Switzerland:
where I wish you to be as soon as possible.  And am yours always and
sincerely

E. F.G.

A Letter from Donne speaks cheerfully.  And Charles to be married again!
It may be best for him.



L.


31, GREAT GEORGE STREET, S.W.
_Feb._ 20, 1878.

DEAR EDWARD FITZGERALD,

I have sent your book ('Mrs. Kemble's Autobiography') as far as Bealings
by a safe convoy, and my cousin, Elizabeth Phillips, who is staying
there, will ultimately convey it to its destination at your house.

It afforded Charlotte [wife] and myself several evenings of very
agreeable reading, and we certainly were impressed most favourably with
new views as to the qualities of heart and head of the writer.  Some
observations were far beyond what her years would have led one to expect.
I think some letters to her friend 'S.' on the strange fancy which
hurried off her brother from taking orders, to fighting Spanish quarrels,
are very remarkable for their good sense, as well as warm feeling.  Her
energy too in accepting her profession at the age of twenty as a means of
assisting her father to overcome his difficulties is indicative of the
best form of genius--steady determination to an end.

Curiously enough, whilst reading the book, we met Mrs. Gordon (a daughter
of Mrs. Sartoris) and her husband at Malkin's at dinner, and I had the
pleasure of sitting next to her.  The durability of type in the Kemble
face might be a matter for observation with physiologists, and from the
little I saw of her I should think the lady worthy of the family.

If the book be issued in a reprint a few omissions might be well.  I fear
we lost however by some lacunae which you had caused by covering up a
page or two.

Charlotte unites with me in kindest regards to yourself

Yours very sincerely,
HATHERLEY.

E. FITZGERALD, ESQ.

I send this to you, dear Mrs. Kemble, not because the writer is a Lord--Ex-
Chancellor--but a very good, amiable, and judicious man.  I should have
sent you any other such testimony, had not all but this been oral, only
this one took away the Book, and thus returns it.  I had forgot to ask
about the Book; oh, make Bentley do it; if any other English Publisher
should meditate doing so, he surely will apprise you; and you can have
some Voice in it.

Ever yours
E. F.G.

No need to return, or acknowledge, the Letter.



LI.


LITTLE GRANGE: WOODBRIDGE.
_February_ 22, [1878.]

MY DEAR LADY,

I am calling on you earlier than usual, I think.  In my 'Academy' {134a}
I saw mention of some Notes on Mrs. Siddons in some article of this
month's 'Fortnightly' {134b}--as I thought.  So I bought the Number, but
can find no Siddons there.  You probably know about it; and will tell me?

If you have not already read--_buy_ Keats' Love-Letters to Fanny Brawne.
One wishes she had another name; and had left some other Likeness of
herself than the Silhouette (cut out by Scissors, I fancy) which dashes
one's notion of such a Poet's worship.  But one knows what
misrepresentations such Scissors make.  I had--perhaps have--one of
Alfred Tennyson, done by an Artist on a Steamboat--some thirty years ago;
which, though not inaccurate of outline, gave one the idea of a
respectable Apprentice. {134c}  But Keats' Letters--It happened that,
just before they reached me, I had been hammering out some admirable
Notes on Catullus {135a}--another such fiery Soul who perished about
thirty years of age two thousand years ago; and I scarce felt a change
from one to other. {135b}  From Catullus' better parts, I mean; for there
is too much of filthy and odious--both of Love and Hate.  Oh, my dear
Virgil never fell into that: he was fit to be Dante's companion beyond
even Purgatory.

I have just had a nice letter from Mr. Norton in America: an amiable,
modest man surely he must be.  His aged Mother has been ill: fallen
indeed into some half-paralysis: affecting her Speech principally.  He
says nothing of Mr. Lowell; to whom I would write if I did not suppose he
was very busy with his Diplomacy, and his Books, in Spain.  I hope he
will give us a Cervantes, in addition to the Studies in his 'Among my
Books,' which seem to me, on the whole, the most conclusive Criticisms we
have on their several subjects.

Do you ever see Mrs. Ritchie?  Fred. Tennyson wrote me that Alfred's son
(Lionel, the younger, I suppose) was to be married in Westminster Abbey:
which Fred, thinks an ambitious flight of Mrs. A. T.

I may as well stop in such Gossip.  Snowdrops and Crocuses out: I have
not many, for what I had have been buried under an overcoat of Clay, poor
little Souls.  Thrushes tuning up; and I hope my old Blackbirds have not
forsaken me, or fallen a prey to Cats.

And I am ever yours
E. F.G.



LII.


THE OLD (CURIOSITY) SHOP.  WOODBRIDGE,
_April_ 16, [1878.]

[Where, by the by, I heard the Nightingale for the first time yesterday
Morning.  That is, I believe, almost its exact date of return, wind and
weather permitting.  Which being premised--]

DEAR MRS. KEMBLE,

I think it is about the time for you to have a letter from me; for I
think I am nearly as punctual as the Nightingale, though at quicker
Intervals; and perhaps there may be other points of Unlikeness.  After
hearing that first Nightingale in my Garden, I found a long, kind, and
pleasant, Letter from Mr. Lowell in Madrid: the first of him too that I
have heard since he flew thither.  Just before he wrote, he says, he had
been assigning Damages to some American who complained of having been fed
too long on Turtle's Eggs {136}:--and all that sort of Business, says the
Minister, does not inspire a man to Letter-writing.  He is acclimatizing
himself to Cervantes, about whom he must write one of his fine, and (as I
think) final Essays: I mean such as (in the case of others he has done)
ought to leave no room for a reversal of Judgment.  Amid the multitude of
Essays, Reviews, etc., one still wants _that_: and I think Lowell does it
more than any other Englishman.  He says he meets Velasquez at every turn
of the street; and Murillo's Santa Anna opens his door for him.  Things
are different here: but when my Oracle last night was reading to me of
Dandie Dinmont's blessed visit to Bertram in Portanferry Gaol, I said--'I
know it's Dandie, and I shouldn't be at all surprized to see him come
into this room.'  No--no more than--Madame de Sevigne!  I suppose it is
scarce right to live so among Shadows; but--after near seventy years so
passed--'Que voulez-vous?'

Still, if any Reality would--of its own Volition--draw near to my still
quite substantial Self; I say that my House (if the Spring do not prove
unkindly) will be ready to receive--and the owner also--any time before
June, and after July; that is, before Mrs. Kemble goes to the Mountains,
and after she returns from them.  I dare say no more, after so much so
often said, and all about oneself.

Yesterday the Nightingale; and To-day a small, still, Rain which we had
hoped for, to make 'poindre' the Flower-seeds we put in Earth last
Saturday.  All Sunday my white Pigeons were employed in confiscating the
Sweet Peas we had laid there; so that To-day we have to sow the same
anew.

I think a Memoir of Alfred de Musset, by his Brother, well worth reading.
{138a}  I don't say the best, but only to myself the most acceptable of
modern French Poets; and, as I judge, a fine fellow--of the moral French
type (I suppose some of the Shadow is left out of the Sketch), but of a
Soul quite abhorrent from modern French Literature--from V. Hugo (I
think) to E. Sue (I am sure).  He loves to read--Clarissa! which reminded
me of Tennyson, some forty years ago, saying to me _a propos_ of that
very book, 'I love those large, _still_, Books.'  During a long Illness
of A. de M. a Sister of the Bon Secours attended him: and, when she left,
gave him a Pen worked in coloured Silks, 'Pensez a vos promesses,' as
also a little 'amphore' she had knitted.  Seventeen years (I think)
after, when his last Illness came on him, he desired these two things to
be enclosed in his Coffin. {138b}

And I am ever yours
E. F.G.



LIII.


DUNWICH: _August_ 24, [1878.]

DEAR MRS. KEMBLE,

I forget if I wrote to you from this solitary Seaside, last year: telling
you of its old Priory walls, etc.  I think you must have been in
Switzerland when I was here; however, I'll not tell you the little there
is to tell about it now; for, beside that I may have told it all before,
this little lodging furnishes only a steel pen, and very diluted ink (as
you see), and so, for your own sake, I will be brief.  Indeed, my chief
object in writing at all, is, to ask when you go abroad, and how you have
done at Malvern since last I heard from you--now a month ago, I think.

About the beginning of next week I shall be leaving this place--for good,
I suppose--for the two friends--Man and Wife--who form my Company here,
living a long musket shot off, go away--he in broken health--and would
leave the place too solitary without them.  So I suppose I shall decamp
along with them; and, after some time spent at Lowestoft, find my way
back to Woodbridge--in time to see the End of the Flowers, and to prepare
what is to be done in that way for another Year.

And to Woodbridge your Answer may be directed, if this poor Letter of
mine reaches you, and you should care to answer it--as you will--oh yes,
you will--were it much less significant.

I have been rather at a loss for Books while here, Mudie having sent me a
lot I did not care for--not even for Lady Chatterton.  Aldis Wright gave
me his Edition of Coriolanus to read; and I did not think '_pow wow_' of
it, as Volumnia says.  All the people were talking about me.

And I am ever yours truly
E. F.G.



LIV.


WOODBRIDGE: _April_ 3/79.

MY DEAR MRS. KEMBLE:--

I know well how exact you are in answering Letters; and I was afraid that
you must be in some trouble, for yourself, or others, when I got no reply
to a second Letter I wrote you addressed to Baltimore Hotel,
Leamington--oh, two months ago.  When you last wrote to me, you were
there, with a Cough, which you were just going to take with you to Guy's
Cliff.  That I thought not very prudent, in the weather we then had.  Then
I was told by some one, in a letter (not from any Donne, I think--no,
Annie Ritchie, I believe) that Mrs. Sartoris was very ill; and so between
two probable troubles, I would not trouble you as yet again.  I had to go
to London for a day three weeks ago (to see a poor fellow dying, sooner
or later, of Brain disease), and I ferreted out Mowbray Donne from
Somerset House and he told me you were in London, still ill of a Cough;
but not your Address.  So I wrote to his Wife a few days ago to learn it;
and I shall address this Letter accordingly.  Mrs. Mowbray writes that
you are better, but obliged to take care of yourself.  I can only say 'do
not trouble yourself to write'--but I suppose you will--perhaps the more
if it be a trouble.  See what an Opinion I have of you!--If you write,
pray tell me of Mrs. Sartoris--and do not forget yourself.

It has been such a mortal Winter among those I know, or know of, as I
never remember.  I have not suffered myself, further than, I think,
feeling a few stronger hints of a constitutional sort, which are, I
suppose, to assert themselves ever more till they do for me.  And that, I
suppose, cannot be long adoing.  I entered on my 71st year last Monday,
March 31.

My elder--and now only--Brother, John, has been shut up with Doctor and
Nurse these two months--AEt. 76; his Wife AEt. 80 all but dead awhile
ago, now sufficiently recovered to keep her room in tolerable ease: I do
not know if my Brother will ever leave his house.

Oh dear!  Here is enough of Mortality.

I see your capital Book is in its third Edition, as well it deserves to
be.  I _see_ no one with whom to talk about it, except one brave Woman
who comes over here at rare intervals--she had read my Atlantic Copy, but
must get Bentley's directly it appeared, and she (a woman of remarkably
strong and independent Judgment) loves it all--not (as some you know)
wishing some of it away.  No; she says she wants all to complete her
notion of the writer.  Nor have I _heard_ of any one who thinks
otherwise: so 'some people' may be wrong.  I know you do not care about
all this.

I am getting my 'Tales of the Hall' printed, and shall one day ask you,
and three or four beside, whether it had better be published.  I think
you, and those three or four others, will like it; but they may also
judge that indifferent readers might not.  And that you will all of you
have to tell me when the thing is done.  I shall not be in the least
disappointed if you tell me to keep it among 'ourselves,' so long as
'ourselves' are pleased; for I know well that Publication would not carry
it much further abroad; and I am very well content to pay my money for
the little work which I have long meditated doing.  I shall have done 'my
little owl.'  Do you know what that means?--No.  Well then; my
Grandfather had several Parrots of different sorts and Talents: one of
them ('Billy,' I think) could only huff up his feathers in what my
Grandfather called an owl fashion; so when Company were praising the more
gifted Parrots, he would say--'You will hurt poor Billy's feelings--Come!
Do your little owl, my dear!'--You are to imagine a handsome,
hair-powdered, Gentleman doing this--and his Daughter--my Mother--telling
of it.

And so it is I do my little owl.

This little folly takes a long bit of my Letter paper--and I do not know
that you will see any fun in it.  Like my Book, it would not tell in
Public.

Spedding reads my proofs--for, though I have confidence in my Selection
of the Verse (owl), I have but little in my interpolated Prose, which I
make obscure in trying to make short.  Spedding occasionally marks a
blunder; but (confound him!) generally leaves me to correct it.

Come--here is more than enough of my little owl.  At night we read Sir
Walter for an Hour (Montrose just now) by way of 'Play'--then 'ten
minutes' refreshment allowed'--and the Curtain rises on Dickens
(Copperfield now) which sends me gaily to bed--after one Pipe of solitary
Meditation--in which the--'little owl,' etc.

By the way, in talking of Plays--after sitting with my poor friend and
his brave little Wife till it was time for him to turn bedward--I looked
in at the famous Lyceum Hamlet; and soon had looked, and heard enough.  It
was incomparably the worst I had ever witnessed, from Covent Garden down
to a Country Barn.  I should scarce say this to you if I thought you had
seen it; for you told me you thought Irving might have been even a great
Actor, from what you saw of his Louis XI. I think.  When he got to
'Something too much of this,' I called out from the Pit door where I
stood, 'A good deal too much,' and not long after returned to my solitary
inn.  Here is a very long--and, I believe (as owls go) a rather pleasant
Letter.  You know you are not bound to repay it in length, even if you
answer it at all; which I again vainly ask you not to do if a bore.

I hear from Mrs. Mowbray that our dear Donne is but 'pretty well'; and I
am still yours

E. F.G.



LV.


WOODBRIDGE: _April_ 25, [1879.]

DEAR MRS. KEMBLE,

I think I have let sufficient time elapse before asking you for another
Letter.  I want to know how you are: and, if you can tell me that you are
as well as you and I now expect to be--anyhow, well rid of that Whooping
Cough--that will be news enough for one Letter.  What else, you shall add
of your own free will:--not feeling bound.

When you last wrote me from Leamington, you crossed over your Address:
and I (thinking perhaps of America) deciphered it 'Baltimore.'  I wonder
the P. O. did not return me my Letter: but there was no Treason in it, I
dare say.

My Brother keeps waiting--and hoping--for--Death: which will not come:
perhaps Providence would have let it come sooner, were he not rich enough
to keep a Doctor in the house, to keep him in Misery.  I don't know if I
told you in my last that he was ill; seized on by a Disease not uncommon
to old Men--an 'internal Disorder' it is polite to say; but I shall say
to you, disease of the Bladder.  I had always supposed he would be found
dead one good morning, as my Mother was--as I hoped to be--quietly dead
of the Heart which he had felt for several Years.  But no; it is seen
good that he shall be laid on the Rack--which he may feel the more keenly
as he never suffered Pain before, and is not of a strong Nerve.  I will
say no more of this.  The funeral Bell, which has been at work, as I
never remember before, all this winter, is even now, as I write, tolling
from St. Mary's Steeple.

'Parlons d'autres choses,' as my dear Sevigne says.

I--We--have finished all Sir Walter's Scotch Novels; and I thought I
would try an English one: Kenilworth--a wonderful Drama, which Theatre,
Opera, and Ballet (as I once saw it represented) may well reproduce.  The
Scene at Greenwich, where Elizabeth 'interviews' Sussex and Leicester,
seemed to me as fine as what is called (I am told, wrongly) Shakespeare's
Henry VIII. {145}  Of course, plenty of melodrama in most other
parts:--but the Plot wonderful.

Then--after Sir Walter--Dickens' Copperfield, which came to an end last
night because I would not let my Reader read the last Chapter.  What a
touch when Peggotty--the man--at last finds the lost Girl, and--throws a
handkerchief over her face when he takes her to his arms--never to leave
her!  I maintain it--a little Shakespeare--a Cockney Shakespeare, if you
will: but as distinct, if not so great, a piece of pure Genius as was
born in Stratford.  Oh, I am quite sure of that, had I to choose but one
of them, I would choose Dickens' hundred delightful Caricatures rather
than Thackeray's half-dozen terrible Photographs.

In Michael Kelly's Reminiscences {146} (quite worth reading about
Sheridan) I found that, on January 22, 1802, was produced at Drury Lane
an Afterpiece called _Urania_, by the Honourable W. Spencer, in which
'the scene of Urania's descent was entirely new to the stage, and
produced an extraordinary effect.'  Hence then the Picture which my poor
Brother sent you to America.

'D'autres choses encore.'  You may judge, I suppose, by the N.E. wind in
London what it has been hereabout.  Scarce a tinge of Green on the
hedgerows; scarce a Bird singing (only once the Nightingale, with broken
Voice), and no flowers in the Garden but the brave old Daffydowndilly,
and Hyacinth--which I scarce knew was so hardy.  I am quite pleased to
find how comfortably they do in my Garden, and look so Chinese gay.  Two
of my dear Blackbirds have I found dead--of Cold and Hunger, I suppose;
but one is even now singing--across that Funeral Bell.  This is so, as I
write, and tell you--Well: we have Sunshine at last--for a day--'thankful
for small Blessings,' etc.

I think I have felt a little sadder since March 31 that shut my
seventieth Year behind me, while my Brother was--in some such way as I
shall be if I live two or three years longer--'Parlons d'autres'--that I
am still able to be sincerely yours

E. F.G.



LVI.


WOODBRIDGE: _May_ 18, [1879.]

MY DEAR MRS. KEMBLE,

By this Post you ought to receive my Crabbe Book, about which I want your
Opinion--not as to your own liking, which I doubt not will be more than
it deserves: but about whether it is best confined to Friends, who will
like it, as you do, more or less out of private prejudice--Two points in
particular I want you to tell me;

(1) Whether the Stories generally seem to you to be curtailed so much
that they do not leave any such impression as in the Original.  That is
too long and tiresome; but (as in Richardson) its very length serves to
impress it on the mind:--My Abstract is, I doubt not, more readable: but,
on that account partly, leaving but a wrack behind.  What I have done
indeed is little else than one of the old Review Articles, which gave a
sketch of the work, and let the author fill in with his better work.

Well then I want to know--(2) if you find the present tense of my Prose
Narrative discordant with the past tense of the text.  I adopted it
partly by way of further discriminating the two: but I may have
misjudged: Tell me: as well as any other points that strike you.  You can
tell me if you will--and I wish you would--whether I had better keep the
little _Opus_ to ourselves or let it take its chance of getting a few
readers in public.  You may tell me this very plainly, I am sure; and I
shall be quite as well pleased to keep it unpublished.  It is only a
very, very, little Job, you see: requiring only a little Taste, and Tact:
and if they have failed me--_Voila_!  I had some pleasure in doing my
little work very dexterously, I thought; and I did wish to draw a few
readers to one of my favourite Books which nobody reads.  And, now that I
look over it, I fancy that I may have missed my aim--only that my Friends
will like, etc.  Then, I should have to put some Preface to the Public:
and explain how many omissions, and some transpositions, have occasioned
the change here and there of some initial particle where two originally
separated paragraphs are united; some use made of Crabbe's original MS.
(quoted in the Son's Edition;) and all such confession to no good, either
for my Author or me.  I wish you could have just picked up the Book at a
Railway Stall, knowing nothing of your old Friend's hand in it.  But that
cannot be; tell me then, divesting yourself of all personal Regard: and
you may depend upon it you will--save me some further bother, if you bid
me let publishing alone.  I don't even know of a Publisher: and won't
have a favour done me by 'ere a one of them,' as Paddies say.  This is a
terrible Much Ado about next to Nothing.  'Parlons,' etc.

Blanche Donne wrote me you had been calling in Weymouth Street: that you
had been into Hampshire, and found Mrs. Sartoris better--Dear Donne seems
to have been pleased and mended by his Children coming about him.  I say
but little of my Brother's Death. {149}  We were very good friends, of
very different ways of thinking; I had not been within side his lawn
gates (three miles off) these dozen years (no fault of his), and I did
not enter them at his Funeral--which you will very likely--and
properly--think wrong.  He had suffered considerably for some weeks: but,
as he became weaker, and (I suppose) some narcotic Medicine--O blessed
Narcotic!--soothed his pains, he became dozily happy.  The Day before he
died, he opened his Bed-Clothes, as if it might be his Carriage Door, and
said to his Servant 'Come--Come inside--I am going to meet them.'

Voila une petite Histoire.  Et voila bien assez de mes Egoismes.  Adieu,
Madame; dites-moi tout franchement votre opinion sur ce petit Livre; ah!
vous n'en pouvez parler autrement qu'avec toute franchise--et croyez moi,
tout aussi franchement aussi,

Votre ami devoue
E. F.G.



LVII.


WOODBRIDGE: _May_ 22, [1879.]

MY DEAR MRS. KEMBLE,

I must thank you for your letter; I was, beforehand, much of your
Opinion; and, unless I hear very different advice from the two others
whom I have consulted--Spedding, the All-wise--(I mean that), and Aldis
Wright, experienced in the Booksellers' world, I shall very gladly abide
by your counsel--and my own.  You (I do believe) and a few friends who
already know Crabbe, will not be the worse for this 'Handybook' of one of
his most diffuse, but (to me) most agreeable, Books.  That name
(Handybook), indeed, I had rather thought of calling the Book, rather
than 'Readings'--which suggests readings aloud, whether private or
public--neither of which I intended--simply, Readings to oneself.  I, who
am a poor reader in any way, have found it all but impossible to read
Crabbe to anybody.  So much for that--except that, the Portrait I had
prepared by way of frontispiece turns out to be an utter failure, and
that is another satisfactory reason for not publishing.  For I
particularly wanted this Portrait, copied from a Picture by Pickersgill
which was painted in 1817, when these Tales were a-writing, to correct
the Phillips Portrait done in the same year, and showing Crabbe with his
company Look--not insincere at all--but not at all representing the
_writer_.  When Tennyson saw Laurence's Copy of this Pickersgill--here,
at my house here--he said--'There I recognise the Man.'

If you were not the truly sincere woman you are, I should have thought
that you threw in those good words about my other little Works by way of
salve for your _dictum_ on this Crabbe.  But I know it is not so.  I
cannot think what 'rebuke' I gave you to 'smart under' as you say. {151a}

If you have never read Charles Tennyson (Turner's) Sonnets, I should like
to send them to you to read.  They are not to be got now: and I have
entreated Spedding to republish them with Macmillan, with such a preface
of his own--congenial Critic and Poet--as would discover these Violets
now modestly hidden under the rank Vegetation of Browning, Swinburne, and
Co.  Some of these Sonnets have a Shakespeare fancy in them:--some rather
puerile--but the greater part of them, pure, delicate, beautiful, and
quite original. {151b}  I told Mr. Norton (America) to get them published
over the water if no one will do so here.

Little did I think that I should ever come to relish--old Sam Rogers!  But
on taking him up the other day (with Stothard's Designs, to be sure!) I
found a sort of Repose from the hatchet-work School, of which I read in
the Athenaeum.

I like, you know, a good Murder; but in its place--

   'The charge is prepared; the Lawyers are met--
   The Judges all ranged, a terrible Show' {152}--

only the other night I could not help reverting to that sublime--yes!--of
Thurtell, sending for his accomplice Hunt, who had saved himself by
denouncing Thurtell--sending for him to pass the night before Execution
with perfect Forgiveness--Handshaking--and 'God bless you--God bless
you--you couldn't help it--I hope you'll live to be a good man.'

You accept--and answer--my Letters very kindly: but this--pray do
think--is an answer--verily by return of Post--to yours.

Here is Summer!  The leaves suddenly shaken out like flags.  I am
preparing for Nieces, and perhaps for my Sister Andalusia--who used to
visit my Brother yearly.

Your sincere Ancient
E. F.G.



LVIII.


WOODBRIDGE: _August_ 4, [1879].

MY DEAR MRS. KEMBLE:

Two or three days, I think, after receiving your last letter, I posted an
answer addrest to the Poste Restante of--Lucerne, was it?--anyhow, the
town whose name you gave me, and no more.  Now, I will venture through
Coutts, unwilling as I am to trouble their Highnesses--with whom my
Family have banked for three--if not four--Generations.  Otherwise, I do
not think they would be troubled with my Accounts, which they attend to
as punctually as if I were 'my Lord;' and I am now their last Customer of
my family, I believe, though I doubt not they have several Dozens of my
Name in their Books--for Better or Worse.

What now spurs me to write is--an Article {153} I have seen in a Number
of Macmillan for February, with very honourable mention of your Brother
John in an Introductory Lecture on Anglo Saxon, by Professor Skeat.  If
you have not seen this 'Hurticle' (as Thackeray used to say) I should
like to send it to you; and will so do, if you will but let me know where
it may find you.

I have not been away from this place save for a Day or two since last you
heard from me.  In a fortnight I may be going to Lowestoft along with my
friends the Cowells.

I take great Pleasure in Hawthorne's Journals--English, French, and
Italian--though I cannot read his Novels.  They are too thickly detailed
for me: and of unpleasant matter too.  We of the Old World beat the New,
I think, in a more easy manner; though Browning & Co. do not bear me out
there.  And I am sincerely yours

E. F.G.



LIX.


LOWESTOFT, _Septr._ l8, [1879.]

MY DEAR MRS. KEMBLE,

Your last letter told me that you were to be back in England by the
middle of this month.  So I write some lines to ask if you _are_ back,
and where to be found.  To be sure, I can learn that much from some
Donne: to the Father of whom I must commit this letter for any further
Direction.  But I will also say a little--very little having to
say--beyond asking you how you are, and in what Spirits after the great
Loss you have endured. {154}

Of that Loss I heard from Blanche Donne--some while, it appears, before
you heard of it yourself.  I cannot say that it was surprising, however
sad, considering the terrible Illness she had some fifteen years ago.  I
will say no more of it, nor of her, of whom I could say so much; but
nothing that would not be more than superfluous to you.

It did so happen, that, the day before I heard of her Death, I had
thought to myself that I would send her my Crabbe, as to my other
friends, and wondered that I had not done so before.  I should have sent
off the Volume for Donne to transmit when--Blanche's Note came.

After writing of this, I do not think I should add much more, had I much
else to write about.  I will just say that I came to this place five
weeks ago to keep company with my friend Edward Cowell, the Professor; we
read Don Quixote together in a morning and chatted for two or three hours
of an evening; and now he is gone away to Cambridge and [has] left me to
my Nephews and Nieces here.  By the month's end I shall be home at
Woodbridge, whither any Letter you may please to write me may be
addressed.

I try what I am told are the best Novels of some years back, but find I
cannot read any but Trollope's.  So now have recourse to Forster's Life
of Dickens--a very good Book, I still think.  Also, Eckermann's
Goethe--almost as repeatedly to be read as Boswell's Johnson--a German
Johnson--and (as with Boswell) more interesting to me in Eckermann's
Diary than in all his own famous works.

Adieu: Ever yours sincerely
E. F.G.

I am daily--hourly--expecting to hear of the Death of another Friend
{155}--not so old a Friend, but yet a great loss to me.



LX.


11 MARINE TERRACE, LOWESTOFT,
_Septr._ 24, [1879 ]

MY DEAR MRS. KEMBLE,

I was to have been at Woodbridge before this: and your Letter only
reached me here yesterday.  I have thought upon your desire to see me as
an old Friend of yourself and yours; and you shall not have the trouble
of saying so in vain.  I should indeed be perplext at the idea of your
coming all this way for such a purpose, to be shut up at an Hotel with no
one to look in on you but myself (for you would not care for my Kindred
here)--and my own Woodbridge House would require a little time to set in
order, as I have for the present lost the services of one of my 'helps'
there.  What do you say to my going to London to see you instead of your
coming down to see me?  I should anyhow have to go to London soon; and I
could make my going sooner, or as soon as you please.  Not but, if you
want to get out of London, as well as to see me, I can surely get my
house right in a little time, and will gladly do so, should you prefer
it.  I hope, indeed, that you will not stay in London at this time of
year, when so many friends are out of it; and it has been my thought--and
hope, I may say--that you have already betaken yourself to some pleasant
place, with a pleasant Friend or two, which now keeps me from going at
once to look for you in London, after a few Adieus here.  Pray let me
know your wishes by return of Post: and I will do my best to meet them
immediately: being

Ever sincerely yours
E. F.G.



LXI.


WOODBRIDGE: _Sept._ 28, [1879.]

DEAR MRS. KEMBLE:--

I cannot be sure of your Address: but I venture a note--to say that--If
you return to London on Wednesday, I shall certainly run up (the same
day, if I can) to see you before you again depart on Saturday, as your
letter proposes. {157}

But I also write to beg you not to leave your Daughter for ever so short
a while, simply because you had so arranged, and told me of your
Arrangement.

If this Note of mine reach you somehow to morrow, there will be plenty of
time for you to let me know whether you go or not: and, even if there be
not time before Wednesday, why, I shall take no harm in so far as I
really have a very little to do, and moreover shall see a poor Lady who
has just lost her husband, after nearly three years anxious and uncertain
watching, and now finds herself (brave and strong little Woman) somewhat
floored now the long conflict is over.  These are the people I may have
told you of whom I have for some years met here and there in
Suffolk--chiefly by the Sea; and we somehow suited one another. {158}  He
was a brave, generous, Boy (of sixty) with a fine Understanding, and
great Knowledge and Relish of Books: but he had applied too late in Life
to Painting which he could not master, though he made it his Profession.
A remarkable mistake, I always thought, in so sensible a man.

Whether I find you next week, or afterward (for I promise to find you any
time you appoint) I hope to find you alone--for twenty years' Solitude
make me very shy: but always your sincere

E. F.G.



LXII.


LITTLE GRANGE: WOODBRIDGE.  _October_ 7, [1879]

DEAR MRS. KEMBLE,

When I got home yesterday, and emptied my Pockets, I found the precious
Enclosure which I had meant to show, and (if you pleased) to give you.  A
wretched Sketch (whether by me or another, I know not) of your Brother
John in some Cambridge Room, about the year 1832-3, when he and I were
staying there, long after Degree time--he, studying Anglo-Saxon, I
suppose--reading something, you see, with a glass of Ale on the table--or
old Piano-forte was it?--to which he would sing very well his German
Songs.  Among them,

{Music Score: p159.jpg}

Do you remember?  I afterwards associated it with some stray verses
applicable to one I loved.

   'Heav'n would answer all your wishes,
      Were it much as Earth is here;
   Flowing Rivers full of Fishes,
      And good Hunting half the Year.'

Well:--here is the cause of this Letter, so soon after our conversing
together, face to face, in Queen Anne's Mansions.  A strange little After-
piece to twenty years' Separation.

And now, here are the Sweet Peas, and Marigolds, sown in the Spring,
still in a faded Blossom, and the Spirit that Tennyson told us of fifty
years ago haunting the Flower-beds, {160} and a Robin singing--nobody
else.

And I am to lose my capital Reader, he tells me, in a Fortnight, no Book-
binding surviving under the pressure of Bad Times in little Woodbridge.
'My dear Fitz, there is no Future for little Country towns,' said Pollock
to me when he came here some years ago.

But my Banker here found the Bond which he had considered unnecessary,
safe in his Strong Box:--and I am your sincere Ancient

E. F.G.

Burn the poor Caricature if offensive to you.  The 'Alexander' profile
was become somewhat tarnished then.



LXIII.


WOODBRIDGE: _Oct._ 27, [1879.]

MY DEAR MRS. KEMBLE,

I am glad to think that my Regard for you and yours, which I know to be
sincere, is of some pleasure to you.  Till I met you last in London, I
thought you had troops of Friends at call; I had not reflected that by
far the greater number of them could not be Old Friends; and those you
cling to, I feel, with constancy.

I and my company (viz. Crabbe, etc.) could divert you but little until
your mind is at rest about Mrs. Leigh.  I shall not even now write more
than to say that a Letter from Mowbray, which tells of the kind way you
received him and his Brother, says also that his Father is well, and
expects Valentia and Spouse in November.

This is all I will write.  You will let me know by a line, I think, when
that which you wait for has come to pass.  A Post Card with a few words
on it will suffice.

You cross over your Address (as usual) but I do my best to find you.

Ever yours
E. F.G.



LXIV.


WOODBRIDGE: _Octr._ [? _Nov._] 4/79.

MY DEAR LADY:--

I need not tell you that I am very glad of the news your note of Sunday
tells me: and I take it as a pledge of old Regard that you told it me so
soon: even but an hour after that other Kemble was born. {161}

I know not if the short letter which I addressed to 4 Everton Place,
Leamington (as I read it in your former Letter), reached you.  Whatever
the place be called, I expect you are still there; and there will be for
some time longer.  As there may be some anxiety for some little time, I
shall not enlarge as usual on other matters; if I do not hear from you, I
shall conclude that all is going on well, and shall write again.
Meanwhile, I address this Letter to London, you see, to make sure of you
this time: and am ever yours sincerely

E. F.G.

By the by, I think the time is come when, if you like me well enough, you
may drop my long Surname, except for the external Address of your letter.
It may seem, but is not, affectation to say that it is a name I dislike;
{162} for one reason, it has really caused me some confusion and trouble
with other more or less Irish bodies, being as common in Ireland as
'Smith,' etc., here--and particularly with 'Edward'--I suppose because of
the patriot Lord who bore [it].  I should not, even if I made bold to
wish so to do, propose to treat you in the same fashion; inasmuch as I
like your Kemble name, which has become as it were classical in England.



LXV.


WOODBRIDGE: _Nov._ 13/79.

MY DEAR LADY,

Now that your anxieties are, as I hope, over, and that you are returned,
as I suppose, to London, I send you a budget.  First: the famous
_Belvidere Hat_; which I think you ought to stick into your Records.
{163a}  Were I a dozen years younger, I should illustrate all the Book in
such a way; but, as my French song says, 'Le Temps est trop court pour de
si longs projets.'

Next, you behold a Photo of Carlyle's Niece, which he bid her send me two
or three years ago in one of her half-yearly replies to my Enquiries.
What a shrewd, tidy, little Scotch Body!  Then you have her last letter,
telling of her Uncle, and her married Self, and thanking me for a little
Wedding gift which I told her was bought from an Ipswich Pawnbroker
{163b}--a very good, clever fellow, who reads Carlyle, and comes over
here now and then for a talk with me.  Mind, when you return me the
Photo, that you secure it around with your Letter paper, that the Postman
may not stamp into it.  Perhaps this trouble is scarce worth giving you.

'Clerke Sanders' has been familiar to me these fifty years almost; since
Tennyson used to repeat it, and 'Helen of Kirkconnel,' at some Cambridge
gathering.  At that time he looked something like the Hyperion shorn of
his Beams in Keats' Poem: with a Pipe in his mouth.  Afterwards he got a
touch, I used to say, of Haydon's Lazarus.  Talking of Keats, do not
forget to read Lord Houghton's Life and Letters of him: in which you will
find what you may not have guessed from his Poetry (though almost
unfathomably deep in that also) the strong, masculine, Sense and Humour,
etc., of the man more akin to Shakespeare, I am tempted to think, in a
perfect circle of Poetic Faculties, than any Poet since.

Well: the Leaves which hung on more bravely than ever I remember are at
last whirling away in a Cromwell Hurricane--(not quite that, neither)--and
my old Man says he thinks Winter has set in at last.  We cannot complain
hitherto.  Many summer flowers held out in my Garden till a week ago,
when we dug up the Beds in order for next year.  So now little but the
orange Marigold, which I love for its colour (Irish and Spanish) and
Courage, in living all Winter through.  Within doors, I am again at my
everlasting Crabbe! doctoring his Posthumous Tales _a la mode_ of those
of 'The Hall,' to finish a Volume of simple 'Selections' from his other
works: all which I will leave to be used, or not, whenever old Crabbe
rises up again: which will not be in the Lifetime of yours ever

E. F.G.

I dared not decypher all that Mrs. Wister wrote in my behalf--because I
knew it must be sincere!  Would she care for my Eternal Crabbe?



LXVI.


[_Nov._ 1879.]

MY DEAR LADY,

I must say a word upon a word in your last which really pains me--about
yours and Mrs. Wister's sincerity, etc.  Why, I do most thoroughly
believe in both; all I meant was that, partly from your own old personal
regard for me, and hers, perhaps inherited from you, you may both very
sincerely over-rate my little dealings with other great men's thoughts.
For you know full well that the best Head may be warped by as good a
Heart beating under it; and one loves the Head and Heart all the more for
it.  Now all this is all so known to you that I am vexed you will not at
once apply it to what I may have said.  I do think that I have had to say
something of the same sort before now; and I do declare I will not say it
again, for it is simply odious, all this talking of oneself.

Yet one thing more.  I did go to London on this last occasion purposely
to see you at that particular time: for I had not expected Mrs. Edwards
to be in London till a Fortnight afterward, until two or three days after
I had arranged to go and meet you the very day you arrived, inasmuch as
you had told me you were to be but a few days in Town.

There--there!  Only believe me; my sincerity, Madam; and--_Voila ce qui
est fait_.  _Parlons_, etc.

Well: Mrs. Edwards has opened an Exhibition of her husband's works in
Bond Street--contrary to my advice--and, it appears, rightly contrary:
for over 300 pounds of them were sold on the first private View day,
{166} and Tom Taylor, the great Art Critic (who neither by Nature nor
Education can be such, 'cleverest man in London,' as Tennyson once said
he was), has promised a laudatory notice in the omnipotent Times, and
then People will flock in like Sheep.  And I am very glad to be proved a
Fool in the matter, though I hold my own opinion still of the merit of
the Picture part of the Show.  Enough! as we Tragic Writers say: it is
such a morning as I would not have sacrificed indoors or in
letter-writing to any one but yourself, and on the subject named.

BELIEVE ME YOURS SINCERELY.



LXVII.


WOODBRIDGE: _Decr._ 10, [1879.]

MY DEAR LADY,

Pray let me know how you have fared thus far through Winter--which began
so early, and promises to continue so long.  Even in Jersey Fred.
Tennyson writes me it is all Snow and N.E. wind: and he says the North of
Italy is blocked up with Snow.  You may imagine that we are no better off
in the East of England.  How is it in London, and with yourself in Queen
Anne's Mansions?  I fancy that you walk up and down that ante-room of
yours for a regular time, as I force myself to do on a Landing-place in
this house when I cannot get out upon what I call my Quarter-deck: a walk
along a hedge by the upper part of a field which 'dominates' (as the
phrase now goes) over my House and Garden.  But I have for the last
Fortnight had Lumbago, which makes it much easier to sit down than to get
up again.  However, the time goes, and I am surprised to find Sunday come
round again.  (Here is my funny little Reader come--to give me 'All the
Year Round' and Sam Slick.)

_Friday_.

I suppose I should have finished this Letter in the way it begins, but by
this noon's post comes a note from my Brother-in-law, De Soyres, telling
me that his wife Andalusia died yesterday. {168}  She had somewhile
suffered with a weak Heart, and this sudden and extreme cold paralysed
what vitality it had.  But yesterday I had posted her a Letter
re-enclosing two Photographs of her Grand Children whom she was very fond
and proud of; and that Letter is too late, you see.  Now, none but Jane
Wilkinson and E. F.G. remain of the many more that you remember, and
always looked on with kindly regard.  This news cuts my Letter shorter
than it would have been; nevertheless pray let me know how you yourself
are: and believe me yours

Ever and truly,
E. F.G.

I have had no thought of going to London yet: but I shall never go in
future without paying a Visit to you, if you like it.  I know not how
Mrs. Edwards' Exhibition of her Husband's Pictures succeeds: I begged her
to leave such a scheme alone; I cannot admire his Pictures now he is gone
more than I did when he was here; but I hope that others will prove me to
be a bad adviser.



LXVIII.


WOODBRIDGE: _Jan._ 8/80.

MY DEAR MRS. KEMBLE,

I think sufficient time has elapsed since my last letter to justify my
writing you another, which, you know, means calling on you to reply.  When
last you wrote, you were all in Flannel; pray let me hear you now are.
Certainly, we are better off in weather than a month ago: but I fancy
these Fogs must have been dismal enough in London.  A Letter which I have
this morning from a Niece in Florence tells me they have had 'London Fog'
(she says) for a Fortnight there.  She says, that my sister Jane (your
old Friend) is fairly well in health, but very low in Spirits after that
other Sister's Death.  I will [not] say of myself that I have weathered
away what Rheumatism and Lumbago I had; nearly so, however; and tramp
about my Garden and Hedgerow as usual.  And so I clear off Family scores
on my side.  Pray let me know, when you tell of yourself, how Mrs. Leigh
and those on the other side of the Atlantic fare.

Poor Mrs. Edwards, I doubt, is disappointed with her Husband's Gallery:
not because of its only just repaying its expenses, except in so far as
that implies that but few have been to see it.  She says she feels as if
she had nothing to live for, now that 'her poor Old Dear' is gone.  One
fine day she went down to Woking where he lies, and--she did not wish to
come back.  It was all solitary, and the grass beginning to spring, and a
Blackbird or two singing.  She ought, I think, to have left London, as
her Doctor told her, for a total change of Scene; but she may know best,
being a very clever, as well as devoted little Woman.

Well--you saw 'The Falcon'? {169}  Athenaeum and Academy reported of it
much as I expected.  One of them said the Story had been dramatised
before: I wonder why.  What reads lightly and gracefully in Boccaccio's
Prose, would surely not do well when drawn out into dramatic Detail: two
People reconciled to Love over a roasted Hawk; about as unsavoury a Bird
to eat as an Owl, I believe.  No doubt there was a Chicken substitute at
St. James', but one had to believe it to be Hawk; and, anyhow, I have
always heard that it is very difficult to eat, and talk, on the
Stage--though people seem to manage it easily enough in real Life.

By way of a Christmas Card I sent Carlyle's Niece a Postage one, directed
to myself, on the back of which she might [write] a few words as to how
he and herself had weathered the late Cold.  She replied that he was
well: had not relinquished his daily Drives: and was (when she wrote)
reading Shakespeare and Boswell's Hebrides.  The mention of him reminds
me of your saying--or writing--that you felt shy of 'intruding' yourself
upon him by a Visit.  My dear Mrs. Kemble, this is certainly a mistake
(wilful?) of yours; he may have too many ordinary Visitors; but I am
quite sure that he would be gratified at your taking the trouble to go
and see him.  Pray try, weather and flannel permitting.

I find some good Stuff in Bagehot's Essays, in spite of his name, which
is simply 'Bagot,' as men call it.  Also, I find Hayward's Select Essays
so agreeable that I suppose they are very superficial.

At night comes my quaint little Reader with Chambers' Journal, and All
[the] Year Round--the latter with one of Trollope's Stories {171}--always
delightful to me, and (I am told) very superficial indeed, as compared to
George Eliot, whom I cannot relish at all.

Thus much has come easily to my pen this day, and run on, you see, to the
end of a second Sheet.  So I will 'shut up,' as young Ladies now say; but
am always and sincerely yours

E. F.G.



LXIX.


WOODBRIDGE: _Febr_: 3/80.

MY DEAR LADY,

I do not think it is a full month since I last taxed you for some account
of yourself: but we have had hard weather, you know, ever since: your
days have been very dark in London, I am told, and as we have all been
wheezing under them, down here, I want to know how you stand it all.  I
only hope my MS. is not very bad; for I am writing by Candle, before my
Reader comes.  He eat such a Quantity of Cheese and Cake between the Acts
that he could scarce even see to read at all after; so I had to remind
him that, though he was not quite sixteen, he had much exceeded the years
of a Pig.  Since which we get on better.  I did not at all like to have
my Dombey spoiled; especially Captain Cuttle, God bless him, and his
Creator, now lying in Westminster Abbey.  The intended Pathos is, as
usual, missed: but just turn to little Dombey's Funeral, where the
Acrobat in the Street suspends his performance till the Funeral has
passed, and his Wife wonders if the little Acrobat in her Arms will so
far outlive the little Boy in the Hearse as to wear a Ribbon through his
hair, following his Father's Calling.  It is in such Side-touches, you
know, that Dickens is inspired to Create like a little God Almighty.  I
have read half his lately published letters, which, I think, add little
to Forster's Account, unless in the way of showing what a good Fellow
Dickens was.  Surely it does not seem that his Family were not fond of
him, as you supposed?

I have been to Lowestoft for a week to see my capital Nephew, Edmund
Kerrich, before he goes to join his Regiment in Ireland.  I wish you
could see him make his little (six years old) put him through his Drill.
That is worthy of Dickens: and I am always yours sincerely--and I do hope
not just now very illegibly--

LITTLEGRANGE.



LXX.


WOODBRIDGE: _Febr_: 12/80.

MY DEAR MRS. KEMBLE:

A week ago I had a somewhat poor account of Donne from Edith D.--that he
had less than his usually little Appetite, and could not sleep without
Chloral.  This Account I at first thought of sending to you: but then I
thought you would soon be back in London to hear [of] him yourself; so I
sent it to his great friend Merivale, who, I thought, must have less
means of hearing about him at Ely.  I enclose you this Dean's letter:
which you will find worth the trouble of decyphering, as all this Dean's
are.  And you will see there is a word for you which you will have to
interpret for me.  What is the promised work he is looking for so
eagerly? {173}  Your Records he 'devoured' a Year ago, as a letter of his
then told me; and I suppose that his other word about the number of your
Father's house refers to something in those Records.  I am not surprised
at such an Historian reading your Records: but I was surprised to find
him reading Charles Mathews' Memoir, as you will see he has been doing.  I
told him I had been reading it: but then that is all in my line.  Have
you?  No, I think: nor I, by the way, quite half, and that in Vol.
ii.--where is really a remarkable account of his getting into Managerial
Debt, and its very grave consequences.

I hear that Mr. Lowell is coming Ambassador to England, after a very
terrible trial in nursing (as he did) his Wife: who is only very slowly
recovering Mind as well as Body.  I believe I wrote all this to you
before, as also that I am ever yours

E. F.G.

I cannot remember Pangloss in Candide: only a Pedant Optimist, I think,
which became the _soubriquet_ of Maupertuis' _Akakia_ Optimism; but I
have not the book, and do not want to have it.



LXXI.


WOODBRIDGE, _March_ 1, [1880.]

MY DEAR LADY,

I am something like my good old friend Bernard Barton, who would
begin--and end--a letter to some one who had just gone away from his
house.  I should not mind that, only you will persist in answering what
calls for no answer.  But the enclosed came here To-day, and as I might
mislay it if I waited for my average time of writing to you, I enclose it
to you now.  It shows, at any rate, that I do not neglect your Queries;
nor does he to whom I refer what I cannot answer myself. {174}

This Wright edits certain Shakespeare Plays for Macmillan: very well, I
fancy, so far as Notes go; simply explaining what needs explanation for
young Readers, and eschewing all _aesthetic_ (now, don't say you don't
know what 'aesthetic' means, etc.) aesthetic (detestable word)
observation.  With this the Swinburnes, Furnivalls, Athenaeums, etc.,
find fault: and a pretty hand they make of it when they try that tack.  It
is safest surely to give people all the _Data_ you can for forming a
Judgment, and then leave them to form it by themselves.

You see that I enclose you the fine lines {175} which I believe I
repeated to you, and which I wish you to paste on the last page of my
Crabbe, so as to be a pendant to Richard's last look at the Children and
their play.  I know not how I came to leave it out when first printing:
for certainly the two passages had for many years run together in my
Memory.

Adieu, Madame: non pas pour toujours, j'espere; pas meme pour long temps.
Cependant, ne vous genez pas, je vous prie, en repondant a une lettre qui
ne vaut--qui ne reclame pas meme--aucune reponse: tandis que vous me
croyez votre tres devoue

EDOUARD DE PETITGRANGE.



LXXII.


WOODBRIDGE: _March_ 26, [1880.]

MY DEAR LADY:

The Moon has reminded me that it is a month since I last went up to
London.  I said to the Cabman who took me to Queen Anne's, 'I think it
must be close on Full Moon,' and he said, 'I shouldn't wonder,' not
troubling himself to look back to the Abbey over which she was riding.
Well; I am sure I have little enough to tell you; but I shall be glad to
hear from you that you are well and comfortable, if nothing else.  And
you see that I am putting my steel pen into its very best paces all for
you.  By far the chief incident in my life for the last month has been
the reading of dear old Spedding's Paper on the Merchant of Venice: {176}
there, at any rate, is one Question settled, and in such a beautiful way
as only he commands.  I could not help writing a few lines to tell him
what I thought; but even very sincere praise is not the way to conciliate
him.  About Christmas I wrote him, relying on it that I should be most
likely to secure an answer if I expressed dissent from some other work of
his; and my expectation was justified by one of the fullest answers he
had written to me for many a day and year.

I read in one of my Papers that Tennyson had another Play accepted at the
Lyceum.  I think he is obstinate in such a purpose, but, as he is a Man
of Genius, he may surprise us still by a vindication of what seem to me
several Latter-day failures.  I suppose it is as hard for him to
relinquish his Vocation as other men find it to be in other callings to
which they have been devoted; but I think he had better not encumber the
produce of his best days by publishing so much of inferior quality.

Under the cold Winds and Frosts which have lately visited us--and their
visit promises to be a long one--my garden Flowers can scarce get out of
the bud, even Daffodils have hitherto failed to 'take the winds,' etc.
Crocuses early nipt and shattered (in which my Pigeons help the winds)
and Hyacinths all ready, if but they might!

My Sister Lusia's Widower has sent me a Drawing by Sir T. Lawrence of my
Mother: bearing a surprising resemblance to--The Duke of Wellington.  This
was done in her earlier days--I suppose, not long after I was born--for
her, and his (Lawrence's) friend Mrs. Wolff: and though, I think, too
Wellingtonian, the only true likeness of her.  Engravings were made of
it--so good as to be facsimiles, I think--to be given away to Friends.  I
should think your mother had one.  If you do not know it, I will bring
the Drawing up with me to London when next I go there: or will send it up
for your inspection, if you like.  But I do not suppose you will care for
me to do that.

Here is a much longer letter than I thought for; I hope not troublesome
to your Eyes--from yours always and sincerely

LITTLEGRANGE.

I have been reading Comus and Lycidas with wonder, and a sort of awe.
Tennyson once said that Lycidas was a touchstone of poetic Taste.



LXXIII.


WOODBRIDGE: _March_ 28, [1880.]

MY DEAR MRS. KEMBLE,

No--the Flowers were not from me--I have nothing full-blown to show
except a few Polyanthuses, and a few Pansies.  These Pansies never throve
with me till last year: after a Cartload or two of Clay laid on my dry
soil, I suppose, the year before.  Insomuch that one dear little Soul has
positively held on blowing, more or less confidently, all winter through;
when even the Marigold failed.

Now, I meant to have intimated about those Flowers in a few French words
on a Postcard--purposely to prevent your answering--unless your rigorous
Justice could only be satisfied by a Post Card in return.  But I was not
sure how you might like my Card; so here is a Letter instead; which I
really do beg you, as a favour, not to feel bound to answer.  A time will
come for such a word.

By the by, you can make me one very acceptable return, I hope with no
further trouble than addressing it to me.  That 'Nineteenth Century' for
February, with a Paper on 'King John' (your Uncle) in it. {179}  Our
Country Bookseller has been for three weeks getting it for me--and now
says he cannot get it--'out of print.'  I rather doubt that the Copy I
saw on your Table was only lent to you; if so, take no more trouble about
it; some one will find me a Copy.

I shall revolve in my own noble mind what you say about Jessica and her
Jewels: as yet, I am divided between you, and that old Serpent, Spedding.
Perhaps 'That is only his Fancy,' as he says of Shylock.  What a light,
graceful, way of saying well-considered Truth!

I doubt you are serious in reminding me of my Tumbler on the Floor; and,
I doubt not, quite right in being so.  This comes of one's living so long
either with no Company, or with only free and easy.  But I am always the
same toward you, whether my Tumbler in the right place or not,

THE LAIRD OF LITTLEGRANGE.



LXXIV.


WOODBRIDGE, _April_ 6, [1880.] {180a}

MY DEAR LADY,

I hope my letter, and the Magazine which accompanies it, will not reach
you at a time when you have family troubles to think about.  You can,
however, put letter and Magazine aside at once, without reading either;
and, anyhow, I wish once more--in vain, I suppose--that you would not
feel bound to acknowledge them.

I think this Atlantic, {180b} which I took in so long as you were
embarked on it, was sent me by Mr. Norton, to whom I had sent my Crabbe;
and he had, I suppose, shown it to Mr. Woodberry, the Critic.  And the
Critic has done his work well, on the whole, I think: though not quite up
to my mark of praise, nor enough to create any revival of Interest in the
Poems.  You will see that I have made two or three notes by the way: but
you are still less bound to read them than the text.

If you be not bothered, I shall ask you to return me the Magazine.  I
have some thought of taking it in again, as I like to see what goes on in
the literary way in America, and I found their critics often more
impartial in their estimation of English Authors than our own Papers are,
as one might guess would be the case.

I was, and am, reading your Records again, before this Atlantic came to
remind me of you.  I have Bentley's second Edition.  I feel the Dullness
of that Dinner Party in Portland Place {181a} (I know it was) when Mrs.
Frere sang.  She was somewhile past her prime then (1831), but could sing
the Classical Song, or Ballad, till much later in Life.  Pasta too, whom
you then saw and heard!  I still love the pillars of the old Haymarket
Opera House, where I used to see placarded MEDEA IN CORINTO. {181b}

And I am still yours sincerely
LITTLEGRANGE.

You are better off in London this black weather.

P.S.  Since my letter was written, I receive the promised one from
Mowbray: his Father well: indeed, in better health and Spirits than
usual: and going with Blanche to Southwell on Wednesday (to-morrow)
fortnight.

His London house almost, if not quite, out of Quarantine.  But--do not
go! say I.



LXXV.


WOODBRIDGE: _April_ 23, [1880.]

MY DEAR MRS. KEMBLE,

I was really sorry to hear from you that you were about to move again.  I
suppose the move has been made by this time: as I do not know whither, I
must trouble Coutts, I suppose, to forward my Letter to you; and then you
will surely tell me your new Address, and also how you find yourself in
it.

I have nothing to report of myself, except that I was for ten days at
Lowestoft in company (though not in the house) with Edward Cowell the
Professor: with whom, as in last Autumn, I read, and all but finished,
the second part of Don Quixote.  There came Aldis Wright to join us; and
he quite agrees with what you say concerning the Jewel-robbery in the
Merchant of Venice.  He read me the Play; and very well; thoroughly
understanding the text: with clear articulation, and the moderate
emphasis proper to room-reading; with the advantage also of never having
known the Theatre in his youth, so that he has not picked up the twang of
any Actor of the Day.  Then he read me King John, which he has some
thoughts of editing next after Richard III.  And I was reminded of you at
Ipswich twenty-eight years ago; and of your Father--his look up at
Angiers' Walls as he went out in Act ii.  I wonder that Mrs. Siddons
should have told Johnson that she preferred Constance to any of
Shakespeare's Characters: perhaps I misremember; she may have said Queen
Catharine. {183a}  I must not forget to thank you for the Nineteenth
Century from Hatchard's; Tieck's Article very interesting to me, and I
should suppose just in its criticism as to what John Kemble then was.  I
have a little print of him about the time: in OEdipus--(whose Play, I
wonder, on such a dangerous subject?) from a Drawing by that very clever
Artist De Wilde: who never missed Likeness, Character, and Life, even
when reduced to 16mo Engraving. {183b}

What you say of Tennyson's Eyes reminded me that he complained of the
Dots in Persian type flickering before them: insomuch that he gave up
studying it.  This was some thirty years ago.  Talking on the subject one
day to his Brother Frederick, he--(Frederick)--said he thought possible
that a sense of the Sublime was connected with Blindness: as in Homer,
Milton, and Handel: and somewhat with old Wordsworth perhaps; though his
Eyes were, I think, rather weak than consuming with any inward Fire.

I heard from Mr. Norton that Lowell had returned to Madrid in order to
bring his Wife to London--if possible.  She seems very far from being
recovered; and (Norton thinks) would not have recovered in Spain: so
Lowell will have one consolation for leaving the land of Cervantes and
Calderon to come among the English, whom I believe he likes little better
than Hawthorne liked them.

I believe that yesterday was the first of my hearing the Nightingale;
certainly of hearing _my_ Nightingale in the trees which I planted,
'hauts comme ca,' as Madame de Sevigne says.  I am positively about to
read her again, 'tout Madame de Sevigne,' as Ste. Beuve said. {184a}  What
better now Spring is come? {184b}  She would be enjoying her Rochers just
now.  And I think this is a dull letter of mine; but I am always
sincerely yours

E. DE PETITGRANGE.



LXXVI.


WOODBRIDGE: _May_ 25/80.

MY DEAR LADY,

Another full Moon reminds [me] of my monthly call upon you by Letter--a
call to be regularly returned, I know, according to your Etiquette.  As
so it must be, I shall be very glad to hear that you are better than when
you last wrote, and that some, if not all, of the 'trouble' you spoke of
has passed away.  I have not heard of Donne since that last letter of
yours: but a Post Card from Mowbray, who was out holyday-making in
Norfolk, tells me that he will write as soon as he has returned to
London, which, I think, must be about this very time.

I shall be sorry if you do not get your annual dose of Mountain Air; why
can you not? postponing your visit to Hampshire till Autumn--a season
when I think those who want company and comfort are most glad of it.  But
you are determined, I think, to do as you are asked: yes, even the more
so if you do not wish it.  And, moreover, you know much more of what is
fittest to do than I.

A list of Trench's works in the Academy made me think of sending him my
Crabbe; which I did: and had a very kind answer from him, together with a
Copy of a second Edition of his Calderon Essay and Translation.  He had
not read any Crabbe since he was a Lad: what he may think of him now I
know not: for I bid him simply acknowledge the receipt of my Volume, as I
did of his.  I think much the best way, unless advice is wanted on either
side before publication.

If you write--which you will, unless--nay, whether troubled or not, I
think--I should like to hear if you have heard anything of Mr. Lowell in
London.  I do not write to him for fear of bothering him: but I wish to
know that his Wife is recovered.  I have been thinking for some days of
writing a Note to Carlyle's Niece, enclosing her a Post Card to be
returned to me with just a word about him and herself.  A Card only: for
I do not know how occupied she may be with her own family cares by this
time.

I have re-read your Records, in which I do not know that I find any too
much, as I had thought there was of some early Letters.  Which I believe
I told you while the Book was in progress. {186}  It is, I sincerely say,
a capital Book, and, as I have now read it twice over with pleasure, and
I will say, with Admiration--if but for its Sincerity (I think you will
not mind my saying that much)--I shall probably read it over again, if I
live two years more.  I am now embarked on my blessed Sevigne, who, with
Crabbe, and John Wesley, seem to be my great hobbies; or such as I do not
tire of riding, though my friends may weary of hearing me talk about
them.

By the by, to-morrow is, I think, Derby Day; which I remember chiefly for
its marking the time when Hampton Court Chestnuts were usually in full
flower.  You may guess that we in the Country here have been gaping for
rain to bring on our Crops, and Flowers; very tantalising have been many
promising Clouds, which just dropped a few drops by way of Compliment,
and then passed on.  But last night, when Dombey was being read to me we
heard a good splash of rain, and Dombey was shut up that we might hear,
and see, and feel it. {187}  I never could make out who wrote two lines
which I never could forget, wherever I found them:--

   'Abroad, the rushing Tempest overwhelms
   Nature pitch dark, and rides the thundering elms.'

Very like Glorious John Dryden; but many others of his time wrote such
lines, as no one does now--not even Messrs. Swinburne and Browning.

And I am always your old Friend, with the new name of

LITTLEGRANGE.



LXXVII.


WOODBRIDGE: _June_ 23, [1880.]

MY DEAR MRS. KEMBLE,

You smile at my 'Lunacies' as you call my writing periods; I take the
Moon as a signal not to tax you too often for your inevitable answer.  I
have now let her pass her Full: and June is drawing short: and you were
to be but for June at Leamington: so--I must have your answer, to tell me
about your own health (which was not so good when last you wrote) and
that of your Family; and when, and where, you go from Leamington.  I
shall be sorry if you cannot go to Switzerland.

I have been as far as--Norfolk--on a week's visit (the only visit of the
sort I now make) to George Crabbe, my Poet's Grandson, and his two
Granddaughters.  It was a very pleasant visit indeed; the people all so
sensible, and friendly, talking of old days; the Country flat indeed, but
green, well-wooded, and well-cultivated: the weather well enough. {188a}

I carried there two volumes of my Sevigne: and even talked of going over
to Brittany, only to see her Rochers, as once I went to Edinburgh only to
see Abbotsford.  But (beside that I probably should not have gone further
than talking in any case) a French Guide Book informed me that the
present Proprietor of the place will not let it be shown to Strangers who
pester him for a view of it, on the strength of those 'paperasses,' as he
calls her Letters. {188b}  So this is rather a comfort to me.  Had I
gone, I should also have visited my dear old Frederick Tennyson at
Jersey.  But now I think we shall never see one another again.

Spedding keeps on writing Shakespeare Notes in answer to sundry Theories
broached by others: he takes off copies of his MS. by some process he has
learned; and, as I always insist on some Copy of all he writes, he has
sent me these, which I read by instalments, as Eyesight permits.  I
believe I am not a fair Judge between him and his adversaries; first,
because I have but little, if any, faculty of critical Analysis; and
secondly, because I am prejudiced with the notion that old Jem is
Shakespeare's Prophet, and must be right.  But, whether right or wrong,
the way in which he conducts, and pleads, his Case is always Music to me.
So it was even with Bacon, with whom I could not be reconciled: I could
not like Dr. Fell: much more so with 'the Divine Williams,' who is a
Doctor that I do like.

It has turned so dark here in the last two days that I scarce see to
write at my desk by a window which has a hood over it, meant to
exclude--the Sun!  I have increased my Family by two broods of Ducks, who
compete for the possession of a Pond about four feet in diameter: and but
an hour ago I saw my old Seneschal escorting home a stray lot of
Chickens.  My two elder Nieces are with me at present, but I do not think
will be long here, if a Sister comes to them from Italy.

Pray let me hear how you are.  I am pretty well myself:--though not quite
up to the mark of my dear Sevigne, who writes from her Rochers when close
on sixty--'Pour moi, je suis d'une si parfaite sante, que je ne comprends
point ce que Dieu veut faire de moi.' {190}

But yours always and a Day,
LITTLEGRANGE.



LXXVIII.


[WOODBRIDGE, _July_ 24, 1880.]

'Il sera le mois de Juillet tant qu'il plaira a Dieu' writes my friend
Sevigne--only a week more of it now, however.  I should have written to
my friend Mrs. Kemble before this--in defiance of the Moon--had I not
been waiting for her Address from Mowbray Donne, to whom I wrote more
than a fortnight ago.  I hope no ill-health in himself, or his Family,
keeps him from answering my Letter, if it ever reached him.  But I will
wait no longer for his reply: for I want to know concerning you and your
health: and so I must trouble Coutts to fill up the Address which you
will not instruct me in.

Here (Woodbridge) have I been since last I wrote--some Irish Cousins
coming down as soon as English Nieces had left.  Only that in the week's
interval I went to our neighbouring Aldeburgh on the Sea--where I first
saw, and felt, the Sea some sixty-five years ago; a dreary place enough
in spite of some Cockney improvements: my old Crabbe's Borough, as you
may remember.  I think one goes back to the old haunts as one grows old:
as the Chancellor l'Hopital said when he returned to his native
Bourdeaux, I think: 'Me voici, Messieurs,' returned to die, as the Hare
does, in her ancient 'gite.' {191}  I shall soon be going to Lowestoft,
where one of my Nieces, who is married to an Italian, and whom I have not
seen for many years, is come, with her Boy, to stay with her Sisters.

Whither are you going after you leave Hampshire?  You spoke in your last
letter of Scarboro': but I still think you will get over to Switzerland.
One of my old Friends--and Flames--Mary Lynn (pretty name) who is of our
age, and played with me when we both were Children--at that very same
Aldeburgh--is gone over to those Mountains which you are so fond of:
having the same passion for them as you have.  I had asked her to meet me
at that Aldeburgh--'Aldbro''--that we might ramble together along that
beach where once we played; but she was gone.

If you should come to Lowestoft instead of Scarbro', we, if you please,
will ramble together too.  But I do not recommend the place--very ugly--on
a dirty Dutch Sea--and I do not suppose you would care for any of my
People; unless it were my little Niece Annie, who is a delightful
Creature.

I see by the Athenaeum that Tom Taylor is dead {192a}--the 'cleverest Man
in London' Tennyson called him forty years ago.  Professor Goodwin, of
the Boston Cambridge, is in England, and made a very kind proposal to
give me a look on his travels.  But I could not let him come out of his
way (as it would have been) for any such a purpose. {192b}  He wrote that
Mrs. Lowell was in better health: residing at Southampton, which you knew
well near fifty years ago, as your Book tells.  Mr. Lowell does not write
to me now; nor is there reason that he should.

Please to make my remembrances to Mr. Sartoris, who scarcely remembers
me, but whose London House was very politely opened to me so many years
ago.  Anyhow, pray let me hear of yourself: and believe me always yours
sincerely

THE LAIRD OF LITTLEGRANGE.



LXXIX.


WOODBRIDGE: _Friday_, [30 _July_, 1880.]

MY DEAR LADY,

I send you Mowbray's reply to my letter of nearly three weeks ago.  No
good news of his Father--still less of our Army (news to me told to-day)
altogether a sorry budget to greet you on your return to London.  But the
public news you knew already, I doubt not: and I thought as well to tell
you of our Donne at once.

I suppose one should hardly talk of anything except this Indian Calamity:
{193} but I am selfish enough to ignore, as much as I can, such Evils as
I cannot help.

I think that Tennyson in calling Tom Taylor the 'cleverest man,' etc.,
meant pretty much as you do.  I believe he said it in reply to something
I may have said that was less laudatory.  At one time Tennyson almost
lived with him and the Wigans whom I did not know.  Taylor always seemed
to me as 'clever' as any one: was always very civil to me: but one of
those toward whom I felt no attraction.  He was too clever, I think.  As
to Art, he knew nothing of it then, nor (as he admits) up to 1852 or
thereabout, when he published his very good Memoir of Haydon.  I think he
was too 'clever' for Art also.

Why will you write of 'If you _bid_ me come to Lowestoft in October,'
etc., which, you must know, is just what I should not ask you to do:
knowing that, after what you say, you would come, if asked, were--(a Bull
begins here)--were it ever so unlikely for you.  I am going thither next
week, to hear much (I dare say) of a Brother in Ireland who may be called
to India; and am

Ever yours sincerely,
LITTLEGRANGE.

Why won't you write to me from Switzerland to say where a Letter may find
you?  If not, the Harvest Moon will pass!



LXXX.


IVY HOUSE, LOWESTOFT:
_Septr._ 20, {194} [1880.]

MY DEAR MRS. KEMBLE,

Here is a second Full Moon since last I wrote--(Harvest Moon, I think).  I
knew not where to direct to you before, and, as you remain determined not
to apprize me yourself, so I have refused to send through Coutts.  You do
not lose much.

Here have been for nearly two months Five English Nieces clustered round
a Sister who married an Italian, and has not been in England these dozen
years.  She has brought her Boy of six, who seems to us wonderfully
clever as compared to English Children of his Age, but who, she tells us,
is counted rather behind his Fellows in Italy.  Our meeting has been what
is called a 'Success'--which will not be repeated, I think.  She will go
back to her adopted Country in about a month, I suppose.  Do you know of
any one likely to be going that way about that time?

Some days ago, when I was sitting on the Pier, rather sad at the
Departure [of] a little Niece--an abridgment of all that is pleasant--and
good--in Woman--Charles Merivale accosted me--he and his good,
unaffected, sensible, wife, and Daughter to match.  He was looking well,
and we have since had a daily stroll together.  We talked of you, for he
said (among the first things he did say) that he had been reading your
Records again: so I need not tell you his opinion of them.  He saw your
Uncle in Cato when he was about four years old; and believes that he (J.
P. K.) had a bit of red waistcoat looking out of his toga, by way of
Blood.  I tell him he should call on you and clear up that, and talk on
many other points.

Mowbray Donne wrote me from Wales a month ago that his Father was going
on pretty well.  I asked for further from Mowbray when he should have
returned from Wales: but he has not yet written.  Merivale, who is one of
Donne's greatest Friends, has not heard of him more lately than I.

Now, my dear Mrs. Kemble, I want to hear of you from yourself: and I have
told you why it is that I have not asked you before.  I fancy that you
will not be back in England when this Letter reaches Westminster: but I
fancy that it will not be long before you find it waiting on your table
for you.

And now I am going to look for the Dean, who, I hope, has been at Church
this morning: and though I have not done that, I am not the less
sincerely yours

E. F.G.



LXXXI.


WOODBRIDGE: _Octr._ 20, 1880.

MY DEAR MRS. KEMBLE,

I was to have gone to London on Monday with my Italian Niece on her way
homeward.  But she feared saying 'Farewell' and desired me to let her set
off alone, to avoid doing so.

Thus I delay my visit to you till November--perhaps toward the middle of
it: when I hope to find you, with your blue and crimson Cushions {197} in
Queen Anne's Mansions, as a year ago.  Mrs. Edwards is always in town:
not at all forgetful of her husband; and there will be our Donne also of
whom I hear nothing, and so conclude there is nothing to be told, and
with him my Visits will be summed up.

Now, lose not a Day in providing yourself with Charles Tennyson Turner's
Sonnets, published by Kegan Paul.  There is a Book for you to keep on
your table, at your elbow.  Very many of the Sonnets I do not care for:
mostly because of the Subject: but there is pretty sure to be some
beautiful line or expression in all; and all pure, tender, noble,
and--original.  Old Spedding supplies a beautiful Prose Overture to this
delightful Volume: never was Critic more one with his Subject--or,
Object, is it?  Frederick Tennyson, my old friend, ought to have done
something to live along with his Brothers: all who _will_ live, I
believe, of their Generation: and he perhaps would, if he could, have
confined himself to limits not quite so narrow as the Sonnet.  But he is
a Poet, and cannot be harnessed.

I have still a few flowers surviving in my Garden; and I certainly never
remember the foliage of trees so little changed in October's third week.
A little flight of Snow however: whose first flight used to quicken my
old Crabbe's fancy: Sir Eustace Grey written under such circumstances.
{198}

And I am always yours
LITTLEGRANGE

(not 'Markethill' as you persist in addressing me.)



LXXXII.


WOODBRIDGE, _Novr._ 17/80.

MY DEAR LADY,

Here is the Moon very near her Full: so I send you a Letter.  I have it
in my head you are not in London: and may not be when I go up there for a
few days next week--for this reason I think so: viz., that you have not
acknowledged a Copy of Charles Tennyson's Sonnets, which I desired Kegan
Paul to send you, as from me--with my illustrious Initials on the Fly
Leaf: and, he or one of his men, wrote that so it should be, or had been
done.  It may nevertheless not have been: or, if in part done, the
illustrious Initials forgotten.  But I rather think the Book was sent:
and that you would have guessed at the Sender, Initials or not.  And as I
know you are even over-scrupulous in acknowledging any such things, I
gather that the Book came when you had left London--for Leamington, very
likely: and that there you are now.  The Book, and your Acknowledgment of
it, will very well wait: but I wish to hear about yourself--as also about
yours--if you should be among them.  I talk of 'next week,' because one
of my few Visitors, Archdeacon Groome, is coming the week after that, I
believe, for a day or two to my house: and, as he has not been here for
two years, I do not wish to be out of the way.

A Letter about a fortnight ago from Mowbray Donne told me that his Father
was fairly well: and a Post Card from Mowbray two days ago informed [me]
that Valentia was to be in London this present week.  But I have wanted
to be here at home all this time: I would rather see Donne when he is
alone: and I would rather go to London when there is more likelihood of
seeing you there than now seems to me.  Of course you will not in the
slightest way hasten your return to London (if now away from it) for my
poor little Visits: but pray let me hear from you, and believe me always
the same

E. F.G.



LXXXIII.


WOODBRIDGE: _Decr._ 6, [1880.]

MY DEAR LADY,

I was surprised to see a Letter in your MS. which could not be in answer
to any of mine.  But the Photos account for it.  Thank you: I keep that
which I like best, and herewith return the other.

Why will you take into your head that I could suppose you wanting in
Hospitality, or any other sort of Generosity!  That, at least, is not a
Kemble failing.  Why, I believe you would give me--and a dozen
others--1000 pounds if you fancied one wanted it--even without being
asked.  The Law of Mede and Persian is that you _will_ take up--a
perverse notion--now and then.  There!  It's out.

As to the Tea--'pure and simple'--with Bread and Butter--it is the only
meal I do care to join in:--and this is why I did not see Mowbray Donne,
who has not his Dinner till an hour and a half after my last meal is
done.

I should very gladly have 'crushed a Cup of Tea' with you that last
Evening, coming prepared so to do.  But you had Friends coming; and so
(as Mrs. Edwards was in the same plight) I went to the Pit of my dear old
Haymarket Opera: {200} remembering the very corner of the Stage where
Pasta stood when Jason's People came to tell her of his new Marriage; and
(with one hand in her Girdle--a movement (Mrs. Frere said) borrowed from
Grassini) she interrupted them with her "Cessate--intesi!"--also when
Rubini, feathered hat in hand, began that "Ah te, oh Cara"--and Taglioni
hovered over the Stage.  There was the old Omnibus Box too where D'Orsay
flourished in ample white Waistcoat and Wristbands: and Lady
Blessington's: and Lady Jersey's on the Pit tier: and my own Mother's,
among the lesser Stars, on the third.  In place of all which I dimly saw
a small Company of less distinction in all respects; and heard an Opera
(_Carmen_) on the Wagner model: very beautiful Accompaniments to no
Melody: and all very badly sung except by Trebelli, who, excellent.  I
ran out in the middle to the dear Little Haymarket opposite--where
Vestris and Liston once were: and found the Theatre itself spoilt by
being cut up into compartments which marred the beautiful Horse-shoe
shape, once set off by the flowing pattern of Gold which used to run
round the house.

Enough of these Old Man's fancies--But--Right for all that!

I would not send you Spedding's fine Article {201a} till you had returned
from your Visit, and also had received Mrs. Leigh at Queen Anne's.  You
can send it back to me quite at your leisure, without thinking it
necessary to write about it.

It is so mild here that the Thrush sings a little, and my Anemones seem
preparing to put forth a blossom as well as a leaf.  Yesterday I was
sitting on a stile by our River side.

You will doubtless see Tennyson's new Volume, {201b} which is to my
thinking far preferable to his later things, though far inferior to those
of near forty years ago: and so, I think, scarce wanted.  There is a bit
of Translation from an old War Song which shows what a Poet can do when
he condescends to such work: and I have always said that 'tis for the old
Poets to do some such service for their Predecessors.  I hope this long
letter is tolerably legible: and I am in very truth

Sincerely yours
THE LAIRD OF LITTLEGRANGE.



LXXXIV.


WOODBRIDGE, _Christmas Day_, [1880.]

MY DEAR LADY:

You are at Leamington for this day, I expect: but, as I am not sure of
your address there, I direct to Queen Anne as usual.  This very morning I
had a letter from my dear George Crabbe, telling me that he has met your
friend Mr. H. Aide at Lord Walsingham's, the Lord of G. C.'s parish: and
that Mr. Aide had asked him (G. C.) for his copy of my Crabbe.  I should
have been very glad to give him one had he, or you, mentioned to me that
he had any wish for the book: I am only somewhat disappointed that so few
do care to ask for it.

I am here all alone for my Christmas: which is not quite my own fault.  A
Nephew, and a young London clerk, were to have come, but prevented; even
my little Reader is gone to London for his Holyday, and left me with Eyes
more out of _Kelter_ {202} than usual to entertain myself with.  'These
are my troubles, Mr. Wesley,' as a rich man complained to him when his
Servant put too many Coals on the fire. {203a}  On Friday, Aldis Wright
comes for two days, on his road to his old home Beccles: and I shall
leave him to himself with Books and a Cigar most part of the Day, and
make him read Shakespeare of a night.  He is now editing Henry V. for
what they call the Clarendon Press.  He still knows nothing of Mr.
Furness, who, he thinks, must be home in America long ago.

Spedding writes me that Carlyle is now so feeble as to be carried up and
down stairs.  But very 'quiet,' which is considered a bad sign; but, as
Spedding says, surely much better than the other alternative, into which
one of Carlyle's temperament might so probably have fallen.  Nay, were it
not better for all of us?  Mr. Froude is most constantly with him.

If this Letter is forwarded you, I know that it will not be long before I
hear from you.  And you know that I wish to hear that all is well with
you, and that I am always yours

E. F.G.

How is Mr. Sartoris?  And I see a Book of _hers_ advertised. {203b}



LXXXV.


WOODBRIDGE: _Jan._ 17, [1881.]

DEAR MRS. KEMBLE,

The Moon has passed her Full: but my Eyes have become so troubled since
Christmas that I have not written before.  All Christmas I was alone:
Aldis Wright came to me on New Year's Day, and read to me, among many
other things, 'Winter's Tale' which we could not take much delight in.  No
Play more undoubtedly, nor altogether, Shakespeare's, but seeming to me
written off for some 'occasion' theatrical, and then, I suppose that Mrs.
Siddons made much of the Statue Scene.

I cannot write much, and I fancy that you will not care to read much, if
you are indeed about to leave Queen Anne.  That is a very vexatious
business.  You will probably be less inclined to write an answer to my
letter, than to read it: but answer it you will: and you need trouble
yourself to say no more than how you are, and where, and when, you are
going, if indeed you leave where you are.  And do not cross your letter,
pray: and believe me always your sincere old friend

E. F.G.



LXXXVI.


[_Feb._, 1881.]

MY DEAR LADY:

I expected to send you a piece of Print as well as a Letter this Full
Moon. {205}  But the Print is not come from the Printer's: and perhaps
that is as well: for now you can thank me for it beforehand when you
reply (as I know you will) to this Letter--and no more needs to be said.
For I do [not] need your Advice as to Publication in this case; no such
Design is in my head: on the contrary, not even a Friend will know of it
except yourself, Mr. Norton, and Aldis Wright: the latter of whom would
not be of the party but that he happened to be here when I was too
purblind to correct the few Proofs, and very kindly did so for me.  As
for Mr. Norton (America), he it was for whom it was printed at all--at
his wish, he knowing the MS. had been lying by me unfinisht for years.  It
is a Version of the two OEdipus Plays of Sophocles united as two Parts of
one Drama.  I should not send it to you but that I feel sure that, if you
are in fair health and spirits, you will be considerably interested in
it, and probably give me more credit for my share in it than I deserve.
As I make sure of this you see there will be no need to say anything more
about it.  The Chorus part is not mine, as you will see; but probably
quite as good.  Quite enough on that score.

I really want to know how you like your new Quarters in dear _old_
London: how you are; and whether relieved from Anxiety concerning Mr.
Leigh.  It was a Gale indeed, such as the oldest hereabout say they do
not remember: but it was all from the East: and I do not see why it
should have travelled over the Atlantic.

If you are easy on that account, and otherwise pretty well in mind and
Body, tell me if you have been to see the Lyceum 'Cup' {206a} and what
you make of it.  Somebody sent me a Macmillan {206b} with an Article
about it by Lady Pollock; the extracts she gave seemed to me a somewhat
lame imitation of Shakespeare.

I venture to think--and what is more daring--to write, that my Eyes are
better, after six weeks' rest and Blue Glasses.  But I say so with due
regard to my old Friend Nemesis.

I have heard nothing about my dear Donne since you wrote: and you only
said that you had not _heard_ a good account of him.  Since then you
have, I doubt not, seen as well as heard.  But, now that I see better
(Absit Invidia!) I will ask Mowbray.

It is well, I think, that Carlyle desired to rest (as I am told he did)
where he was born--at Ecclefechan, from which I have, or had, several
Letters dated by him.  His Niece, who had not replied to my note of
Enquiry, of two months ago, wrote to me after his Death.

Now I have written enough for you as well as for myself: and am yours
always the same

LITTLEGRANGE. *

*  'What foppery is this, sir?'--_Dr. Johnson_.



LXXXVII.


[_Feb._, 1881.]

MY DEAR MRS. KEMBLE:--

As you generally return a Salute so directly, I began to be alarmed at
not hearing from you sooner--either that you were ill, or your Daughter,
or some ill news about Mr. Leigh.  I had asked one who reads the
Newspapers, and was told there had been much anxiety as to the Cunard
Ship, which indeed was only just saved from total Wreck.  But all is well
so far as you and yours are concerned; and I will sing 'Gratias' along
with you.

Mowbray Donne wrote to tell me that he and his had provided for some man
to accompany our dear old Friend in his walks; and, as he seems himself
to like it, all is so far well in that quarter also.

I was touched with the account of Carlyle's simple Obsequies among his
own Kinsfolk, in the place of his Birth--it was fine of him to settle
that so it should be.  I am glad also that Mr. Froude is charged with his
Biography: a Gentleman, as well as a Scholar and 'Writer of Books,' who
will know what to leave unsaid as well as what to say.

Your account of 'The Cup' is what I should have expected from you: and,
if I may say so, from myself had I seen it.

And with this Letter comes my Sophocles, of which I have told you what I
expect you will think also, and therefore need not say--unless of a
different opinion.  It came here I think the same Day on which I wrote to
tell you it had not come: but I would not send it until assured that all
was well with you.  Such corrections as you will find are not meant as
Poetical--or rather Versifying--improvements, but either to clear up
obscurity, or to provide for some modifications of the two Plays when
made, as it were, into one.  Especially concerning the Age of OEdipus:
whom I do not intend to be the _old_ man in Part II. as he appears in the
original.  For which, and some other things, I will, if Eyes hold, send
you some printed reasons in an introductory Letter to Mr. Norton, at
whose desire I finished what had been lying in my desk these dozen years.

As I said of my own AEschylus Choruses, I say of old Potter's now: better
just to take a hint from them of what they are about--or imagine it for
yourself--and then imagine, or remember, some grand Organ piece--as of
Bach's Preludes--which will be far better Interlude than Potter--or I--or
even (as I dare think) than Sophocles' self!

And so I remain your ancient Heretic,

LITTLE G.

The newly printed Part II. would not bear Ink.



LXXXVIII.


[_Feb._, 1881.]

MY DEAR LADY,

Pray keep the Book: I always intended that you should do so if you liked
it: and, as I believe I said, I was sure that like it you would.  I did
not anticipate how much: but am all the more glad: and (were I twenty
years younger) should be all the more proud; even making, as I do, a
little allowance for your old and constant regard to the Englisher.  The
Drama is, however, very skilfully put together, and very well versified,
although that not as an original man--such as Dryden--would have
versified it: I will, by and by, send you a little introductory letter to
Mr. Norton, explaining to him, a Greek Scholar, why I have departed from
so much of the original: 'little' I call the Letter, but yet so long that
I did not wish him, or you, to have as much trouble in reading, as I,
with my bad Eyes, had in writing it: so, as I tell him--and you--it must
go to the Printers along with the Play which it prates about.

I think I once knew why the two Cities in Egypt and Boeotia were alike
named Thebes; and perhaps could now find out from some Books now stowed
away in a dark Closet which affrights my Eyes to think of.  But any of
your learned friends in London will tell you, and probably more
accurately than Paddy.  I cannot doubt but that Sphinx and heaps more of
the childish and dirty mythology of Greece came from Egypt, and who knows
how far beyond, whether in Time or Space!

Your Uncle, the great John, did enact OEdipus in some Tragedy, by whom I
know not: I have a small Engraving of him in the Character, from a
Drawing of that very clever artist De Wilde; {210} but this is a heavy
Likeness, though it may have been a true one of J. K. in his latter
years, or in one of his less inspired--or more asthmatic--moods.  This
portrait is one of a great many (several of Mrs. Siddons) in a Book I
have--and which I will send you if you would care to see it: plenty of
them are rubbish such as you would wonder at a sensible man having ever
taken the trouble to put together.  But I inherit a long-rooted Affection
for the Stage: almost as real a World to me as Jaques called it.  Of
yourself there is but a Newspaper Scrap or two: I think I must have cut
out and given you what was better: but I never thought any one worth
having except Sir Thomas', which I had from its very first Appearance,
and keep in a large Book along with some others of a like size: Kean,
Mars, Talma, Duchesnois, etc., which latter I love, though I heard more
of them than I saw.

Yesterday probably lighted you up once again in London, as it did us down
here.  'Richard' thought he began to feel himself up to his Eyes again:
but To-day all Winter again, though I think I see the Sun resolved on
breaking through the Snow clouds.  My little Aconites--which are
sometimes called 'New Year Gifts,' {211a} have almost lived their little
Lives: my Snowdrops look only too much in Season; but we will hope that
all this Cold only retards a more active Spring.

I should not have sent you the Play till Night had I thought you would
sit up that same night to read it.  Indeed, I had put it away for the
Night Post: but my old Hermes came in to say he was going into Town to
market, and so he took it with him to Post.

Farewell for the present--till next Full Moon?  I am really glad that all
that Atlantic worry has blown over, and all ended well so far as you and
yours are concerned.  And I am always your ancient

LITTLE G.



LXXXIX. {211b}


[_March_, 1881.]

MY DEAR LADY,

It was very, very good and kind of you to write to me about Spedding.
Yes: Aldis Wright had apprised me of the matter just after it happened--he
happening to be in London at the time; and but two days after the
accident heard that Spedding was quite calm, and even cheerful; only
anxious that Wright himself should not be kept waiting for some
communication which S. had promised him!  Whether to live, or to die, he
will be Socrates still.

Directly that I heard from Wright, I wrote to Mowbray Donne to send me
just a Post Card--daily if he or his wife could--with but one or two
words on it--'Better,' 'Less well,' or whatever it might be.  This
morning I hear that all is going on even better than could be expected,
according to Miss Spedding.  But I suppose the Crisis, which you tell me
of, is not yet come; and I have always a terror of that French
Adage--'_Monsieur se porte mal_--_Monsieur se porte mieux_--_Monsieur
est_'--Ah, you know--or you guess, the rest.

My dear old Spedding, though I have not seen him these twenty years and
more--and probably should never see him again--but he lives--his old
Self--in my heart of hearts; and all I hear of him does but embellish the
recollection of him--if it could be embellished--for he is but the same
that he was from a Boy--all that is best in Heart and Head--a man that
would be incredible had one not known him.

I certainly should have gone up to London--even with Eyes that will
scarce face the lamps of Woodbridge--not to see him, but to hear the
first intelligence I could about him.  But I rely on the Postcard for but
a Night's delay.  Laurence, Mowbray tells me, had been to see him, and
found him as calm as had been reported by Wright.  But the Doctors had
said that he should be kept as quiet as possible.

I think, from what Mowbray also says, that you may have seen our other
old Friend Donne in somewhat worse plight than usual because of his being
much shocked at this Accident.  He would feel it indeed!--as you do.

I had even thought of writing to tell you of all this, but could not but
suppose that you were more likely to know of it than myself; though
sometimes one is greatly mistaken with those 'of course you knows,
etc.'--But you have known it all: and have very kindly written of it to
me, whom you might also have supposed already informed of it: but you
took the trouble to write, not relying on 'of course you know, etc.'

I have thought lately that I ought to make some enquiry about Arthur
Malkin, who was always very kind to me.  I had meant to send him my
Crabbe, who was a great favourite of his Father's, 'an excellent
companion for Old Age' he told--Donne, I think.  But I do not know if I
ever did send him the Book, and now, judging by what you tell me, it is
too late to do so, unless for Compliment.

The Sun, I see, has put my Fire out--for which I only thank him, and will
go to look for him himself in my Garden--only with a Green Shade over my
Eyes.  I must get to London to see you before you move away to
Leamington; when I can bear Sun or Lamp without odious blue Glasses, etc.
I dare to think those Eyes are better, though not Sun-proof: and I am
ever yours

LITTLE G.



XC. {214}


20 _March_, [1881.]

MY DEAR LADY,

I have let the Full Moon pass because I thought you had written to me so
lately, and so kindly, about our lost Spedding, that I would not call on
you too soon again.  Of him I will say nothing except that his Death has
made me recall very many passages in his Life in which I was partly
concerned.  In particular, staying at his Cumberland Home along with
Tennyson in the May of 1835.  'Voila bien long temps de ca!'  His Father
and Mother were both alive--he, a wise man, who mounted his Cob after
Breakfast, and was at his Farm till Dinner at two--then away again till
Tea: after which he sat reading by a shaded lamp: saying very little, but
always courteous, and quite content with any company his Son might bring
to the house so long as they let him go his way: which indeed he would
have gone whether they let him or no.  But he had seen enough of Poets
not to like them or their Trade: Shelley, for a time living among the
Lakes: Coleridge at Southey's (whom perhaps he had a respect for--Southey,
I mean), and Wordsworth, whom I do not think he valued.  He was rather
jealous of 'Jem,' who might have done available service in the world, he
thought, giving himself up to such Dreamers; and sitting up with Tennyson
conning over the Morte d'Arthur, Lord of Burleigh, and other things which
helped to make up the two Volumes of 1842.  So I always associate that
Arthur Idyll with Basanthwaite Lake, under Skiddaw.  Mrs. Spedding was a
sensible, motherly Lady, with whom I used to play Chess of a Night.  And
there was an old Friend of hers, Mrs. Bristow, who always reminded me of
Miss La Creevy, if you know of such a Person in Nickleby.

At the end of May we went to lodge for a week at Windermere--where
Wordsworth's new volume of Yarrow Revisited reached us.  W. was then at
his home: but Tennyson would not go to visit him: and of course I did
not: nor even saw him.

You have, I suppose, the Carlyle Reminiscences: of which I will say
nothing except that, much as we outsiders gain by them, I think that, on
the whole, they had better have been kept unpublished--for some while at
least.  As also thinks Carlyle's Niece, who is surprised that Mr. Froude,
whom her Uncle trusted above all men for the gift of Reticence, should
have been in so much hurry to publish what was left to his Judgment to
publish or no.  But Carlyle himself, I think, should have stipulated for
Delay, or retrenchment, if publisht at all.

Here is a dull and coldish Day after the fine ones we have had--which
kept me out of doors as long as they lasted.  Now one turns to the
Fireside again.  To-morrow is Equinox Day; when, if the Wind should
return to North East, North East will it blow till June 21, as we all
believe down here.  My Eyes are better, I presume to say: but not what
they were even before Christmas.  Pray let me hear how you are, and
believe me ever the same

E. F.G.

Oh! I doubted about sending you what I yet will send, as you already have
what it refers to.  It really calls for no comment from any one who does
not know the Greek; those who do would probably repudiate it.



XCI. {216a}


[_April_, 1881.]

MY DEAR MRS. KEMBLE,

Somewhat before my usual time, you see, but Easter {216b} comes, and I
shall be glad to hear if you keep it in London, or elsewhere.  Elsewhere
there has been no inducement to go until To-day: when the Wind, though
yet East, has turned to the Southern side of it: one can walk without any
wrapper; and I dare to fancy we have turned the corner of Winter at last.
People talk of changed Seasons: only yesterday I was reading in my dear
old Sevigne, how she was with the Duke and Duchess of Chaulnes at their
Chateau of Chaulnes in Picardy all but two hundred years ago; that is in
1689: and the green has not as yet ventured to show its 'nez' nor a
Nightingale to sing. {217}  You see that I have returned to her as for
some Spring Music, at any rate.  As for the Birds, I have nothing but a
Robin, who seems rather pleased when I sit down on a Bench under an Ivied
Pollard, where I suppose he has a Nest, poor little Fellow.  But we have
terrible Superstitions about him here; no less than that he always kills
his Parents if he can: my young Reader is quite determined on this head:
and there lately has been a Paper in some Magazine to the same effect.

My dear old Spedding sent me back to old Wordsworth too, who sings (his
best songs, I think) about the Mountains and Lakes they were both
associated with: and with a quiet feeling he sings, that somehow comes
home to me more now than ever it did before.

As to Carlyle--I thought on my first reading that he must have been
'_egare_' at the time of writing: a condition which I well remember
saying to Spedding long ago that one of his temperament might likely fall
into.  And now I see that Mrs. Oliphant hints at something of the sort.
Hers I think an admirable Paper: {218} better than has yet been written,
or (I believe) is likely to be written by any one else.  Merivale, who
wrote me that he had seen you, had also seen Mrs. Procter, who was vowing
vengeance, and threatening to publish letters from Carlyle to Basil
Montagu full of 'fulsome flattery'--which I do not believe, and should
not, I am sorry to say, unless I saw it in the original.  I forget now
what T. C. says of him: (I have lent the Book out)--but certainly Barry
Cornwall told Thackeray he was 'a humbug'--which I think was no uncommon
opinion: I do not mean dishonest: but of pretension to Learning and
Wisdom far beyond the reality.  I must think Carlyle's judgments mostly,
or mainly, true; but that he must have 'lost his head,' if not when he
recorded them, yet when he left them in any one's hands to decide on
their publication.  Especially when not about Public Men, but about their
Families.  It is slaying the Innocent with the Guilty.  But of all this
you have doubtless heard in London more than enough.  'Pauvre et triste
humanite!'  One's heart opens again to him at the last: sitting alone in
the middle of her Room--'I want to die'--'I want--a Mother.'  'Ah, Mamma
Letizia!' Napoleon is said to have murmured as he lay.  By way of pendant
to this, recurs to me the Story that when Ducis was wretched his mother
would lay his head on her Bosom--'Ah, mon homme, mon pauvre homme!'

Well--I am expecting Aldis Wright here at Easter: and a young London
Clerk (this latter I did invite for his short holiday, poor Fellow!).
Wright is to read me 'The Two Noble Kinsmen.'

And now I have written more than enough for yourself and me: whose Eyes
may be the worse for it to-morrow.  I still go about in Blue Glasses, and
flinch from Lamp and Candle.  Pray let me know about your own Eyes, and
your own Self; and believe me always sincerely yours

LITTLEGRANGE.

I really was relieved that you did not write to thank me for the poor
flowers which I sent you.  They were so poor that I thought you would
feel bound so to do, and, when they were gone, repented.  I have now some
gay Hyacinths up, which make my pattypan Beds like China Dishes.



XCII. {219}


[_April_, 1881.]

MY DEAR LADY:

This present Letter calls for no answer--except just that which perhaps
you cannot make it.  If you have that copy of Plays revised by John the
Great which I sent, or brought, you, I wish you would cause your Maid to
pack it in brown Paper, and send it by Rail duly directed to me.  I have
a wish to show it to Aldis Wright, who takes an Interest in your Family,
as in your Prophet.  If you have already dismissed the Book elsewhere--not
much liking, I think, the stuff which J. K. spent so much trouble on, I
shall not be surprised, nor at all aggrieved: and there is not much for
A. W. to profit by unless in seeing what pains your noble Uncle took with
his Calling.

It has been what we call down here 'smurring' rather than raining, all
day long: and I think that Flower and Herb already show their gratitude.
My Blackbird (I think it is the same I have tried to keep alive during
the Winter) seems also to have 'wetted his Whistle,' and what they call
the 'Cuckoo's mate,' with a rather harsh scissor note, announces that his
Partner may be on the wing to these Latitudes.  You will hear of him at
Mr. W. Shakespeare's, it may be.  There must be Violets, white and blue,
somewhere about where he lies, I think.  They are generally found in a
Churchyard, where also (the Hunters used to say) a Hare: for the same
reason of comparative security, I suppose.

I am very glad you agree with me about Mrs. Oliphant.  That one paper of
hers makes me wish to read her Books.

You must somehow, or somewhile, let me know your Address in Leamington,
unless a Letter addressed to Cavendish Square will find you there.  Always
and truly yours

LITTLE G.



XCIII. {221}


_May_ 8, [1881.]

MY DEAR MRS. KEMBLE:

You will not break your Law, though you have done so once--to tell me of
Spedding--But now you will not--nor let me know your Address--so I must
direct to you at a venture: to Marshall Thompson's, whither I suppose you
will return awhile, even if you be not already there.  I think, however,
that you are not there yet.  If still at Leamington, you look upon a
sight which I used to like well; that is, the blue Avon (as in this
weather it will be) running through buttercup meadows all the way to
Warwick--unless those Meadows are all built over since I was there some
forty years ago.

Aldis Wright stayed with me a whole week at Easter: and we did very well.
Much Shakespeare--especially concerning that curious Question about the
Quarto and Folio Hamlets which people are now trying to solve by Action
as well as by Discussion.  Then we had The Two Noble Kinsmen--which
Tennyson and other Judges were assured has much of W. S. in it.  Which
parts I forget, or never heard: but it seemed to me that a great deal of
the Play might be his, though not of his best: but Wright could find him
nowhere.

Miss Crabbe sent me a Letter from Carlyle's Niece, cut out from some
Newspaper, about her Uncle's MS. Memoir, and his written words concerning
it.  Even if Froude's explanation of the matter be correct, he ought to
have still taken any hesitation on Carlyle's part as sufficient proof
that the MS. were best left unpublisht: or, at any rate, great part of
it.  If you be in London, you will be wearied enough with hearing about
this.

I am got back to my--Sevigne!--who somehow returns to me in Spring: fresh
as the Flowers.  These latter have done but badly this Spring, cut off or
withered by the Cold: and now parched up by this blazing Sun and dry
Wind.  If you get my letter, pray answer it and tell me how you are: and
ever believe me yours

LITTLEGRANGE.



XCIV.


_May_, [1881.]

MY DEAR LADY,

If I did not write (as doubtless I ought) to acknowledge the Playbook, I
really believe that I thought you would have felt bound to answer my
acknowledgment!  It came all right, thank you: and A. Wright looked it
over: and it has been lying ready to be returned to you whenever you
should be returned to London.  I assure you that I wish you to keep it,
unless it be rather unacceptable than otherwise; I never thought you
would endure the Plays themselves; only that you might be interested in
your brave Uncle's patient and, I think, just, revision of them.  This
was all I cared for: and wished to show to A. W. as being interested in
all that concerns so noble an Interpreter of his Shakespeare as your
Uncle was.  If you do not care--or wish--to have the Book again, tell me
of some one you would wish to have it: had I wished, I should have told
you so at once: but I now give away even what I might have wished for to
those who are in any way more likely to be more interested in them than
myself, or are likely to have a few more years of life to make what they
may of them.  I do not think that A. W. is one of such: he thought (as
you may do) of so much pains wasted on such sorry stuff.

So far from disagreeing with you about Shakespeare emendations, etc., I
have always been of the same mind: quite content with what pleased
myself, and, as to the elder Dramatists, always thinking they would be
better all annihilated after some Selections made from them, as C. Lamb
did.

Mowbray Donne wrote to me a fortnight or so since that his Father was
'pretty well,' but weak in the knees.  Three days ago came in Archdeacon
Groome, who told me that a Friend of Mowbray's had just heard from him
that his Father had symptoms of dropsy about the Feet and Ankles.  I have
not, however, written to ask; and, not having done so, perhaps ought not
to sadden you with what may be an inaccurate report.  But one knows that,
sooner or later, some such end must come; and that, in the meanwhile,
Donne's Life is but little preferable to that which promises the speedier
end to it.

We are all drying up here with hot Sun and cold Wind; my Water-pot won't
keep Polyanthus and Anemone from perishing.  I should have thought the
nightly Frosts and Winds would have done for Fruit as well as Flower: but
I am told it is not so as yet: and I hope for an honest mess of
Gooseberry Fool yet.  In the meanwhile, 'Ce sera le mois de Mai tant
qu'il plaira a Dieu,' and I am always your ancient

LITTLE G.



XCV.


WOODBRIDGE: TUESDAY:
[_End of May_, 1881.]

MY DEAR MRS. KEMBLE:

I must write you a word of 'God Speed' before you go: before even you go
to London to prepare for going: for, if I wait till then, you will be all
bother with preparations, and leave-takings; and nevertheless feel
yourself bound to answer.  Pray do not, even if (as I suppose) still at
Leamington; for you will still have plenty to think about with Daughter
and Children.  I do not propose to go to London to shake hands before you
go off: for, as I say, you will have enough of that without me--and my
blue Spectacles, which I can only discard as yet when looking on the
Grass and young Leaves.

I duly sent your Book to Henry Kemble, as you desired: and received a
very polite Note from him in acknowledgment.

And now my house is being pulled about my Ears by preparations for my
Nieces next week.  And, instead of my leaving the coast clear to Broom
and Dust-pan, I believe that Charles Keene will be here from Friday to
Monday.  As he has long talked of coming, I do not like to put him off
now he has really proposed to come, and we shall scramble on somehow.  And
I will get a Carriage and take him a long Drive into the Country where it
is greenest.  He is a very good fellow, and has lately lost his Mother,
to whom he was a very pious Son; a man who can _reverence_, although a
Droll in _Punch_.

You will believe that I wish you all well among your Mountains.  George
Crabbe has been (for Health's sake) in Italy these last two months, and
wrote me his last Note from the Lago Maggiore.  My Sister Jane Wilkinson
talks of coming over to England this Summer: but I think her courage will
fail her when the time comes.  If ever you should go to, or near,
Florence, she would be sincerely glad to see you, and to talk over other
Days.  She is not at all obtrusively religious: and I think must have
settled abroad to escape some of the old Associations in which she took
so much part, to but little advantage to herself or others.

You know that I cannot write to you when you are abroad unless you tell
me whither I am to direct.  And you probably will not do that: but I do
not, and shall [not] cease to be yours always and truly

E. F.G.



XCVI.


[_Nov._ 1881.]

MY DEAR LADY:

I was not quite sure, from your letter, whether you had received mine
directed to you in the Cavendish Square Hotel:--where your Nephew told me
you were to be found.  It is no matter otherwise than that I wish you to
know that I had not only enquired if you were returned from abroad, but
had written whither I was told you were to be found.  Of which enough.

I am sorry you are gone again to Westminster, to which I cannot reconcile
myself as to our old London.  Even Bloomsbury recalls to me the pink May
which used to be seen in those old Squares--sixty years ago.  But 'enfin,
voila qui est fait.'  You know where that comes from.  I have not lately
been in company with my old dear: Annie Thackeray's Book {227a} is a
pretty thing for Ladies in a Rail carriage; but my old Girl is scarce
half herself in it.  And there are many inaccuracies, I think.  Mais
enfin, voila, etc.

Athenaeum and Academy advertise your Sequel to Records. {227b}  I need
not tell you that I look forward to it.  I wish you would insert that
capital Paper on Dramatic and Theatrical from the Cornhill. {227c}  It
might indeed very properly, as I thought, have found a place in the
Records.

Mowbray Donne wrote me a month ago that his Father was very feeble: one
cannot expect but that he will continue to become more and more so.  I
should run up to London to see him, if I thought my doing so would be any
real comfort to him: but _that_ only his Family can be to him: and I
think he may as little wish to exhibit his Decay to an old Friend, who so
long knew him in a far other condition, as his friend might wish to see
him so altered.  This is what I judge from my own feelings.

I have only just got my Garden laid up for the winter, and planted some
trees in lieu of those which that last gale blew down.  I hear that
Kensington Gardens suffered greatly: how was it with your Green Park, on
which you now look down from such a height, and, I suppose, through a
London Fog?

Ever yours
LITTLE G.



XCVII.


[_Dec._ 1881.]

MY DEAR MRS. KEMBLE:

I _will_ write to you before 1881 is gone, carrying Christmas along with
him.  A dismal Festivity it always seems to me--I dare say not much
merrier to you.  I think you will tell me where, and with whom, you pass
it.  My own company are to be, Aldis Wright, with whom Shakespeare, etc.,
a London Clerk, may be--that is, if he can get sufficient Holyday--and
one or two Guests for the Day.

I forget if I wrote to you since I had a letter from Hallam Tennyson,
telling me of a Visit that he and his Father had been making to
Warwickshire and Sherwood.  The best news was that A. T. was 'walking and
working as usual.'

Why, what is become of your Sequel?  I see no more advertisement of it in
Athenaeum and Academy--unless it appears in the last, which I have not
conned over.  Somehow I think it not impossible--or even unlikely--that
you--may--have--withdrawn--for some reason of your own.  You see that I
speak with hesitation--meaning no offence--and only hoping for my own,
and other sakes that I am all astray.

We are reading Nigel, which I had not expected to care for: but so far as
I got--four first Chapters--makes me long for Night to hear more.  That
return of Richie to his Master, and dear George Heriot's visit just
after!  Oh, Sir Walter is not done for yet by Austens and Eliots.  If one
of his Merits were not his _clear Daylight_, one thinks, there ought to
be Societies to keep his Lamp trimmed as well as--Mr. Browning.  He is
The Newest Shakespeare Society of Mr. Furnivall.

The Air is so mild, though windy, that I can even sit abroad in the
Sunshine.  I scarce dare ask about Donne; neither you, nor Mowbray--I
dare say I shall hear from the latter before Christmas.  What you wrote
convinced me there was no use in going up only to see him--or little
else--so painful to oneself and so little cheering to him!  I do think
that he is best among his own.

But I do not forget him--'No!'--as the Spaniards say.  Nor you, dear Mrs.
Kemble, being your ancient Friend (with a new name) LITTLEGRANGE!

What would you say of the OEdipus, not of Sophocles, but of Dryden and
Nat Lee, in which your uncle acted!

P.S.  You did not mention anything about your Family, so I conclude that
all is well with them, both in England and America.

I wish you would just remember me to Mr. H. Aide, who was very courteous
to me when I met him in your room.

This extra Paper is, you see, to serve instead of crossing my Letter.



XCVIII. {230}


[_Feb._ 1882.]

MY DEAR MRS. KEMBLE:

This week I was to have been in London--for the purpose of seeing--or
offering to see--our dear Donne.  For, when they told him of my offer, he
said he should indeed like it much--'if he were well enough.'  Anyhow, I
can but try, only making him previously understand that he is not to make
any effort in the case.  He is, they tell me, pleased with any such mark
of remembrance and regard from his old Friends.  And I should have
offered to go before now, had I not judged from your last account of him
that he was better left with his Family, for his own sake, as well [as]
for that of his Friends.  However, as I said, I should have gone up on
Trial even now, but that I have myself been, and am yet, suffering with
some sort of Cold (I think, from some indications, Bronchial) which would
ill enable me to be of any use if I got to London.  I can't get warm, in
spite of Fires, and closed doors, so must wait, at any rate, to see what
another week will do for me.

I shall, of course, make my way to Queen Anne's, where I should expect to
find you still busy with your Proof-sheets, which I am very glad to hear
of as going on.  What could have put it into my head even to think
otherwise?  Well, more unlikely things might have happened--even with
Medes and Persians.  I do not think you will be offended at my vain
surmises.

I see my poor little Aconites--'New Year's Gifts'--still surviving in the
Garden-plot before my window; 'still surviving,' I say, because of their
having been out for near a month agone.  I believe that Messrs. Daffodil,
Crocus and Snowdrop are putting in appearance above ground: but (old
Coward) I have not put my own old Nose out of doors to look for them.

I read (Eyes permitting) the Correspondence between Goethe and Schiller
(translated) from 1798 to 1806 {231}--extremely interesting to me, though
I do not understand--and generally skip--the more purely AEsthetic Part:
which is the Part of Hamlet, I suppose.  But, in other respects, two such
men so freely discussing together their own, and each other's, works
interest me greatly.  At Night, we have The Fortunes of Nigel; a little
of it--and not every night: for the reason that I do not wish to eat my
Cake too soon.  The last night but one I sent my Reader to see Macbeth
played by a little 'Shakespearian' company at a Lecture Hall here.  He
brought me one new Reading--suggested, I doubt not, by himself, from a
remembrance of Macbeth's tyrannical ways: 'Hang out our _Gallows_ on the
outward walls.'  Nevertheless, the Boy took great Interest in the Play;
and I like to encourage him in Shakespeare, rather than in the Negro
Melodists.

Such a long Letter as I have written (and, I doubt, ill written) really
calls for Apology from me, busy as you may be with those Proofs.  But
still believe me sincerely yours

Though Laird of LITTLEGRANGE.



XCIX.


[_Feb._ 1882.]

MY DEAR LADY:--

The same Post which brought me your very kind Letter, brought me also the
enclosed.

The writer of it--Mr. Schutz Wilson--a _Litterateur general_--I
believe--wrote up Omar Khayyam some years ago, and, I dare say, somewhat
hastened another (and so far as I am concerned) final Edition.  Of his
Mr. Terriss I did not know even by name, till Mr. Wilson told me.  So now
you can judge and act as you see fit in the matter.

If Terriss and Schutz W. fail in knowing your London 'habitat,' you see
that the former makes amends in proposing to go so far as Cheltenham to
ask advice of you.  Our poor dear Donne would have been so glad, and so
busy, in telling what he could in the matter--if only in hope of keeping
up your Father's Tradition.

I am ashamed to advert to my own little ailments, while you, I doubt not,
are enduring worse.  I should have gone to London last week had I
believed that a week earlier or later mattered; as things are, I will not
reckon on going before next week.  I want to be well enough to 'cut
about' and see the three friends whom I want to see--yourself among the
number.

Blakesley (Lincoln's Dean) goes to stay in London next week, and hopes to
play Whist in Weymouth Street.

Kegan Paul, etc., publish dear Spedding's 'Evenings,' {233} etc., and
never was Book more worth reading--and buying.  I think I understand your
weariness in bringing out your Book: but many will be the Gainers:--among
them yours always

LITTLEG.



C.


[_Feb._ 1882.]

MY DEAR MRS. KEMBLE:

I have quoted, and sent to Mr. Schutz Wilson, just thus much of your
Letter, leaving his Friend to judge whether it is sufficiently
encouraging to invite him to call on you.  I suppose it is: but I thought
safest to give your _ipsissima verba_.

'It is so perfectly easy for any one in London to obtain my Address, that
I think I may leave the future Mercutio to do so at his leisure or
pleasure.'

I dare say you are pretty much indifferent whether he ventures or not; if
he does, I can only hope that he is a Gentleman, and if he be so, I do
not think you will be sorry to help him in trying to keep up your
Father's traditionary excellence in the part, and to save Mr. Terriss--to
save Mercutio--from the contagion of Mr. Irving's treatment of
Shakespeare--so far as I have seen of it--which is simply two acts of
Hamlet.

As I told you, I know nothing--even hitherto heard nothing of Mr.
Terriss.  His friend, S. Wilson, I have never seen neither.  And I hope
you will think I have done fairly well in my share of the Business.

Fanny Kerrich, my Niece, and a capital Woman, comes to me to-day, not
more for the purpose of seeing myself, than my Brother's Widow who lives
alone in a dismal place three miles off. {234a}  I am still wheezy, and
want to get in order so as to visit my few friends in London next week.
{234b}

You see there is no occasion for you to answer this: for, even if I have
done amiss, it is past recall; and I am none the less ancient Friend

LITTLEG.!



CI.


[_March_, 1882.]

MY DEAR LADY,

It is very kind of you to break through your rule of Correspondence, that
you may tell me how it was with you that last Evening.  I was aware of no
'stupidity' on your side: I only saw that you were what you called 'a
little tired, and unwell.'  Had I known how much, I should of course have
left you with a farewell shake of hands at once.  And in so far I must
blame you.  But I blame myself for rattling on, not only then, but
always, I fear, in a manner that you tell me (and I thank you for telling
me) runs into occasional impertinence--which no length of acquaintance
can excuse, especially to a Lady.  You will think that here is more than
enough of this.  But pray do you also say no more about it.  I know that
you regard me very kindly, as I am sure that I do you, all the while.

And now I have something to say upon something of a like account; about
that Mr. Schutz Wilson, who solicited an Introduction to you for his
Mercutio, and then proposed to you to avail _himself_ of it.  That I
thought he had better have waited for, rather than himself proposed; and
I warned you that I had been told of his being somewhat of a 'prosateur'
at his Club.  You, however, would not decline his visit, and would
encourage him, or not, as you saw fit.

And now the man has heaped coals of fire on my head.  Not content with
having formerly appraised that Omar in a way that, I dare say, advanced
him to another Edition: he (S.W.) now writes me that he feels moved to
write in favour of another Persian who now accompanies Omar in his last
Avatar!  I have told him plainly that he had better not employ time and
talent on what I do not think he will ever persuade the Public to care
about--but he thinks he will. {236}  He may very likely cool upon it:
but, in the meanwhile, such are his good Intentions, not only to the
little Poem, but, I believe, to myself also--personally unknown as we are
to one another.  Therefore, my dear Lady, though I cannot retract what I
told you on such authority as I had,--nevertheless, as you were so far
prejudiced in his favour because of such service as he formerly was to
me, I feel bound to tell you of this fresh offer on his part: so that, as
you were not unwilling to receive him on trial before, you may not be
less favourably disposed toward him now; in case he should call--which I
doubt not he will do; though be pleased to understand that I have no more
encouraged him to do so now than at first I did.

What a long Story!--I still chirp a little in my throat; but go my ways
abroad by Night as well as by Day: even sitting out, as only last night I
did.  The S.W. wind that is so mild, yet sweeps down my garden in a way
that makes havoc of Crocus and Snowdrop; Messrs. Daffodil and Hyacinth
stand up better against it.

I hear that Lord Houghton has been partly paralysed; but is up again.
Thompson, Master of Trinity, had a very slight attack of it some months
ago; I was told Venables had been ill, but I know not of what, nor how
much; and all these my contemporaries; and I, at any rate, still yours as
ever

E. F.G.



CII.


LITTLEGRANGE: WOODBRIDGE,
_March_ 31, [1882.]

DEAR MRS. KEMBLE:--

It is not yet full Moon: {237a}--but it is my 74th Birthday: and you are
the only one whom I write to on that great occasion.  A good Lady near
here told me she meant to pay me a visit of congratulation: and I begged
her to stay at home, and neither say, nor write, anything about it.  I do
not know that [I] have much to say to you now that I am inspired; but it
occurred to me that you might be going away somewhere for Easter, and so
I would try to get a word from you concerning yourself before you left
London.

_The Book_?  'Ready immediately' advertised Bentley near a fortnight ago:
to-morrow's Academy or Athenaeum will perhaps be talking of it to-morrow:
of all which you will not read a word, I 'guess.'  I think you will get
out of London for Easter, if but to get out of the way.  Or are you too
indifferent even for that?

Satiated as you may have been with notices and records of Carlyle, do,
nevertheless, look at Wylie's Book {237b} about him: if only for a Scotch
Schoolboy's account of a Visit to him not long before he died, and also
the words of his Bequest of Craigenputtock to some Collegiate Foundation.
Wylie (of whom I did not read all, or half) is a Worshipper, but not a
blind one.  He says that Scotland is to be known as the 'Land of Carlyle'
from henceforward.  One used to hear of the 'Land of Burns'--then, I
think, 'of Scott.'

There is already a flush of Green, not only on the hedges, but on some of
the trees; all things forwarder, I think, by six weeks than last year.
Here is a Day for entering on seventy-four!  But I do think,
notwithstanding, that I am not much the better for it.  The Cold I had
before Christmas, returns, or lurks about me: and I cannot resolve on my
usual out-of-door liberty.  Enough of that.  I suppose that I shall have
some Company at Easter; my poor London Clerk, if he can find no more
amusing place to go to for his short Holyday; probably Aldis Wright, who
always comes into these parts at these Seasons--his 'Nazione' being
Beccles.  Perhaps also a learned Nephew of mine--John De Soyres--now
Professor of some History at Queen's College, London, may look in.

Did my Patron, Mr. Schutz Wilson, ever call on you, up to this time?  I
dare say, not; for he may suppose you still out of London.  And, though I
have had a little correspondence with him since, I have not said a word
about your return--nor about yourself.  I saw in my Athenaeum or Academy
that Mercutio did as usual.  Have you seen the Play?

I conclude (from not hearing otherwise from Mowbray) that his Father is
much as when I saw him.  I do not know if the Papers have reported
anything more of Lord Houghton, and I have not heard of him from my few
correspondents.

But pray do you tell me a word about Mrs. Kemble; and beg her to believe
me ever the same

E. F.G.



CIII.


[_Spring_, 1882.]

MY DEAR MRS. KEMBLE,

I scarce think, judging by my old Recorder the Moon, that it is a month
since I last wrote to you.  But not far off, neither.  Be that as it may,
just now I feel inclined to tell you that I lately heard from Hallam
Tennyson by way of acknowledgment of the Programme of a Recital of his
Father's verse at Ipswich, by a quondam Tailor there.  This, as you may
imagine, I did for fun, such as it was.  But Hallam replies, without much
reference to the Reading: but to tell me how his Father had a fit of Gout
in his hand while he was in London: and therefore it was that he had not
called on you as he had intended.  Think of my dear old Fellow with the
Gout!  In consequence of which he was forbidden his daily allowance of
Port (if I read Hallam's scrawl aright), which, therefore, the Old Boy
had stuck to like a fine Fellow with a constancy which few modern Britons
can boast of.  This reminded me that when I was on my last visit to him,
Isle of Wight, 1854, he stuck to his Port (I do not mean too much) and
asked me, who might be drinking Sherry, if I did not see that his was
'the best Beast of the two.'  So he has remained true to his old Will
Waterproof Colours--and so he was prevented from calling on you--his
hand, Hallam says, swelled up like 'a great Sponge.'  Ah, if he did not
live on a somewhat large scale, with perpetual Visitors, I might go once
more to see him.

Now, you will, I know, answer me (unless your hand be like his!) and then
you will tell me how you are, and how your Party whom you were expecting
at Leamington when last you wrote.  I take for granted they arrived safe,
in spite of the Wind that a little alarmed you at the time of your
writing.  And now, in another month, you will be starting to meet your
American Family in Switzerland, if the Scheme you told me of still
hold--with them, I mean.  So, by the Moon's law, I shall write to you
once again before you leave, and you--will once more answer!

I shall say thus much of myself, that I do not shake off the Cold and
Cough that I have had, off and on, these four months: I certainly feel as
if some of the internal timbers were shaken; which is not to be wondered
at, nor complained of. {241a}  Tell me how you fare; and believe me

Your sincere as ancient

LITTLEGRANGE.

I now fancy that it must be Bentley who delays your Book, till Ballantine
& Co. have blown over. {241b}



CIV.


_Whitmonday_, [_May_ 29_th_, 1882.]

MY DEAR MRS. KEMBLE,

Not full moon yet, but Whitsun the 29th of May, {241c} and you told me of
your expecting to be in Switzerland.  And when once you get there, it is
all over with full moons as far as my correspondence with you is
concerned.

I heard from Mowbray that his Father had been all but lost to him: but
had partially recovered.  Not for long, I suppose: nor need I hope: and
this is all I will say to you on this subject.

I have now Charles Keene staying Whitsuntide with me, and was to have had
Archdeacon Groome to meet him; but he is worn out with Archidiaconal
Charges, and so cannot come.  But C. K. and I have been out in Carriage
to the Sea, and no visitor, nor host, could wish for finer weather.

But this of our dear Donne over-clouds me a little, as I doubt not it
does you.  Mowbray was to have come down for three days just now to a
Friend five miles off: but of course--you know.

Somehow I am at a loss to write to you on such airy topics as usual.
Therefore, I shall simply ask you to let me know, in as few lines as you
care to write, when you leave England: and to believe me, wherever you
go,

Your sincere Ancient
E. F.G.



CV.


WOODBRIDGE, _June_ 24, [1882.]

MY DEAR MRS. KEMBLE,

You wrote me that you had bidden Blanche to let you know about her
Father: and this I conclude that she, or some of her family have done.
Nevertheless, I will make assurance doubly sure by enclosing you the
letters I received from Mowbray, according to their dates: and will send
them--for once--through Coutts, in hopes that he may find you, as you
will not allow me to do without his help.  Of that Death {243a} I say
nothing: as you may expect of me, and as I should expect of you also; if
I may say so.

I have been to pay my annual Visit to George Crabbe and his Sisters in
Norfolk.  And here is warm weather come to us at last (as not unusual
after the Longest Day), and I have almost parted with my Bronchial
Cold--though, as in the old Loving Device of the open Scissors, 'To meet
again.'  I can only wonder it is no worse with me, considering how my
contemporaries have been afflicted.

I am now reading Froude's Carlyle, which seems to me well done.  Insomuch,
that I sent him all the Letters I had kept of Carlyle's, to use or not as
he pleased, etc.  I do not think they will be needed among the thousand
others he has: especially as he tells me that his sole commission is, to
edit Mrs. Carlyle's Letters, for which what he has already done is
preparatory: and when this is completed, he will add a Volume of personal
Recollections of C. himself.  Froude's Letter to me is a curious one: a
sort of vindication (it seems to me) of himself--quite uncalled for by
me, who did not say one word on the subject. {243b}  The job, he says,
was forced upon him: 'a hard problem'--No doubt--But he might have left
the Reminiscences unpublisht, except what related to Mrs. C.--in spite of
Carlyle's oral injunction which reversed his written.  Enough of all
this!

Why will you not 'initiate' a letter when you are settled for a while
among your Mountains?  Oh, ye Medes and Persians!  This may be
impertinent of me: but I am ever yours sincerely

E. F.G.

I see your Book advertised as 'ready.'



CVI. {245a}


[_August_, 1882.]

MY DEAR MRS. KEMBLE,

I have let the Full Moon {245b} go by, and very well she looked, too--over
the Sea by which I am now staying.  Not at Lowestoft: but at the old
extinguished Borough of Aldeburgh, to which--as to other 'premiers
Amours,' I revert--where more than sixty years ago I first saw, and first
felt, the Sea--where I have lodged in half the houses since; and where I
have a sort of traditional acquaintance with half the population.  'Clare
Cottage' is where I write from; two little rooms--enough for me--a poor
civil Woman pleased to have me in them--oh, yes,--and a little spare
Bedroom in which I stow a poor Clerk, with his Legs out of the window
from his bed--like a Heron's from his nest--but rather more horizontally.
We dash about in Boats whether Sail or Oar--to which latter I leave him
for his own good Exercise.  Poor fellow, he would have liked to tug at
that, or rough-ride a horse, from Boyhood: but must be made Clerk in a
London Lawyer's Office: and so I am glad to get him down for a Holyday
when he can get one, poor Fellow!

The Carlyle 'Reminiscences' had long indisposed me from taking up the
Biography.  But when I began, and as I went on with that, I found it one
of the most interesting of Books: and the result is that I not only
admire and respect Carlyle more than ever I did: but even love him, which
I never thought of before.  For he loved his Family, as well as for so
long helped to maintain them out of very slender earnings of his own;
and, so far as these two Volumes show me, he loved his Wife also, while
he put her to the work which he had been used to see his own Mother and
Sisters fulfil, and which was suitable to the way of Life which he had
been used to.  His indifference to her sufferings seems to me rather
because of Blindness than Neglect; and I think his Biographer has been
even a little too hard upon him on the score of Selfish disregard of her.
Indeed Mr. Norton wrote to me that he looked on Froude as something of an
Iago toward his Hero in respect of all he has done for him.  The
publication of the Reminiscences is indeed a mystery to me: for I should
[have] thought that, even in a mercantile point of view, it would
indispose others, as me it did, to the Biography.  But Iago must have
bungled in his work so far as I, for one, am concerned, if the result is
such as I find it--or unless I am very obtuse indeed.  So I tell Mr.
Norton; who is about to edit Carlyle's Letters to Emerson, and whom I
should not like to see going to his work with such an 'Animus' toward his
Fellow-Editor.

Yours always,
E. F.G.

Faites, s'il vous plait, mes petits Compliments a Madame Wister.



CVII. {247}


ALDEBURGH: _Sept._ 1, [1882.]

MY DEAR MRS. KEMBLE,

Still by the Sea--from which I saw _The Harvest Moon_ rise for her three
nights' Fullness.  And to-day is so wet that I shall try and pay you my
plenilunal due--not much to your satisfaction; for the Wet really gets
into one's Brain and Spirits, and I have as little to write of as ever
any Full Moon ever brought me.  And yet, if I accomplish my letter, and
'take it to the Barber's,' where I sadly want to go, and, after being
wrought on by him, post my letter--why, you will, by your Laws, be
obliged to answer it.  Perhaps you may have a little to tell me of
yourself in requital for the very little you have to hear of me.

I have made a new Acquaintance here.  Professor Fawcett (Postmaster
General, I am told) married a Daughter of one Newson Garrett of this
Place, who is also Father of your Doctor Anderson.  Well, the Professor
(who was utterly blinded by the Discharge of his Father's Gun some twenty
or twenty-five years ago) came to this Lodging to call on Aldis Wright;
and, when Wright was gone, called on me, and also came and smoked a Pipe
one night here.  A thoroughly unaffected, unpretending, man; so modest
indeed that I was ashamed afterwards to think how I had harangued him all
the Evening, instead of getting him to instruct me.  But I would not ask
him about his Parliamentary Shop: and I should not have understood his
Political Economy: and I believe he was very glad to be talked to
instead, about some of those he knew, and some whom I had known.  And, as
we were both in Crabbe's Borough, we talked of him: the Professor, who
had never read a word, I believe, about him, or of him, was pleased to
hear a little; and I advised him to buy the Life written by Crabbe's Son;
and I would give him my Abstract of the Tales of the Hall, by way of
giving him a taste of the Poet's self.

Yes; you must read Froude's Carlyle above all things, and tell me if you
do not feel as I do about it.  Professor Norton persists {248} in it that
I am proof against Froude's invidious insinuations simply because of my
having previously known Carlyle.  But how is it that I did not know that
Carlyle was so good, grand, and even loveable, till I read the Letters,
which Froude now edits?  I regret that I did not know what the Book tells
us while Carlyle was alive; that I might have loved him as well as
admired him.  But Carlyle never spoke of himself in that way: I never
heard him advert to his Works and his Fame, except one day he happened to
mention 'About the time when Men began to talk of me.'

I do not know if I told you in my last that (as you foretold me would be
the case) I did not find your later Records so interesting as the
earlier.  Not from any falling off of the recorder, but of the material.

The two dates of this Letter arise from my having written this second
half-sheet so badly that I resolved to write it over again--I scarce know
whether for better or worse.  I go home this week, expecting Charles
Keene at Woodbridge for a week.  Please to believe me (with Compliments
to Mrs. Wister)

Yours sincerely always
E. F.G.



CVIII. {249}


WOODBRIDGE: _Oct._ 17, [1882.]

MY DEAR MRS. KEMBLE,

I suppose that you are returned from the Loire by this time; but as I am
not sure that you have returned to the 'Hotel des Deux Mondes,' whence
you dated your last, I make bold once more to trouble Coutts with adding
your Address to my Letter.  I think I shall have it from yourself not
long after.  I shall like to hear a word about my old France, dear to me
from childish associations; and in particular of the Loire endeared to me
by Sevigne--for I never saw the glimmer of its Waters myself.  If you
were in England I should send you an account of a tour there, written by
a Lady in 1833--written in the good old way of Ladies' writing, without
any of the smartness, and not too much of the 'graphic' of later times.
Did you look at Les Rochers, which, I have read, is not to be looked
_into_ by the present owner? {250a}

Now for my 'Story, God bless you,' etc., you may guess where none is to
be told.  Only, my old Housekeeper here has been bedded for this last
month, an illness which has caused her great pain, and at one time seemed
about to make an End of her.  So it may do still: but for the last few
days she has suffered less pain, and so we--hope.  This has caused much
trouble in my little household, as you may imagine--as well on our own
account, as on hers.

Mowbray Donne wrote me that his Edith had been seriously--I know not if
dangerously--ill; and he himself much out of sorts, having never yet (he
says, and I believe) recovered from his Father's death.  Blanche, for the
present, is quartered at Friends' and Kinsfolk's houses.

Aldis Wright has sent me a Photograph, copied from Mrs. Cameron's
original, of James Spedding--so fine that I know not whether I feel more
pleasure or pain in looking at it.  When you return to England, you shall
see it somehow.

I have had a letter or two from Annie Ritchie, who is busy writing
various Articles for Magazines.  One concerning Miss Edgeworth in the
Cornhill is pleasant reading. {250b}  She tells me that Tennyson is at
Aldworth (his Hampshire house, you know), and a notice in Athenaeum or
Academy tells that he is about to produce 'a Pastoral Drama' at one of
the smaller Theatres! {251a}

You may have seen--but more probably have not seen--how Mr. Irving and
Co. have brought out 'Much Ado' with all _eclat_.

It seems to me (but I believe it seems so every year) that our trees keep
their leaves very long; I suppose because of no severe frosts or winds up
to this time.  And my garden still shows some Geranium, Salvia,
Nasturtium, Great Convolvulus, and that grand African Marigold whose
Colour is so comfortable to us Spanish-like Paddies. {251b}  I have also
a dear Oleander which even now has a score of blossoms on it, and touches
the top of my little Greenhouse--having been sent me when 'haut comme
ca,' as Marquis Somebody used to say in the days of Louis XIV.  Don't you
love the Oleander?  So clean in its leaves and stem, as so beautiful in
its flower; loving to stand in water, which it drinks up so fast.  I
rather worship mine.

Here is pretty matter to get Coutts to further on to Paris--to Mrs.
Kemble in Paris.  And I have written it all in my best MS. with a pen
that has been held with its nib in water for more than a
fortnight--Charles Keene's recipe for keeping Pens in condition--Oleander-
like.

Please to make my Compliments to Mrs. Wister--my good wishes to the young
Musician; {252a} and pray do you believe me your sincere as ever--in
spite of his new name--

LITTLEGRANGE.



CIX.


[_Nov._, 1882.]

MY DEAR MRS. KEMBLE:

You must be homeward-bound by this time, I think: but I hope my letter
won't light upon you just when you are leaving Paris, or just arriving in
London--perhaps about to see Mrs. Wister off to America from Liverpool!
But you will know very well how to set my letter aside till some better
opportunity.  May Mrs. Wister fare well upon her Voyage over the
Atlantic, and find all well when she reaches her home.

I have been again--twice or thrice--to Aldeburgh, when my contemporary
old Beauty Mary Lynn was staying there; and pleasant Evenings enough we
had, talking of other days, and she reading to me some of her Mudie
Books, finishing with a nice little Supper, and some hot grog (for me)
which I carried back to the fire, and _set on the carpet_. {252b}  She
read me (for one thing) 'Marjorie Fleming' from a Volume of Dr. Brown's
Papers {253a}--read it as well as she could for laughing--'idiotically,'
she said--but all the better to my mind.  She had been very dismal all
day, she said.  Pray get some one to read you 'Marjorie'--which I say,
because (as I found) it agrees with one best in that way.  If only for
dear Sir Walter's sake, who doated on the Child; and would not let his
Twelfth Night be celebrated till she came through the Snow in a Sedan
Chair, where (once in the warm Hall) he called all his Company down to
see her nestling before he carried her upstairs in his arms.  A very
pretty picture.  My old Mary said that Mr. Anstey's 'Vice Versa' made her
and a friend, to whom she read it, laugh idiotically too: but I could not
laugh over it alone, very clever as it is.  And here is enough of me and
Mary.

Devrient's Theory of Shakespeare's Sonnets (which you wrote me of) I
cannot pretend to judge of: what he said of the Englishwomen, to whom the
Imogens, Desdemonas, etc., were acceptable, seems to me well said.  I
named it to Aldis Wright in a letter, but what he thinks on the
subject--surely no otherwise than Mrs. Kemble--I have not yet heard.  My
dear old Alfred's Pastoral troubles me a little--that he should have
exposed himself to ridicule in his later days.  Yet I feel sure that his
aim is a noble one; and there was a good notice in the Academy {253b}
saying there was much that was fine in the Play--nay, that a whole good
Play might yet be made of it by some better Playwright's practical Skill.

And here is the end of my paper, before I have said something else that I
had to say.  But you have enough for the present from your ancient E.
F.G.--who has been busy arranging some 'post mortem' papers.



CX.


WOODBRIDGE: _March_ 6, [1883.]

MY DEAR MRS. KEMBLE,

I have asked more than one person for tidings of you, for the last two
months: and only yesterday heard from M. Donne that he had seen you at
the Address to which I shall direct this letter.  I wrote to you about
mid-November, desiring Coutts to forward my letter: in which I said that
if you were in no mood to write during the time of Mrs. Wister's
departure for America (which you had told me was to be November end) you
were not to trouble yourself at all.  Since which time I have really not
known whether you had not gone off to America too.  Anyhow, I thought
better to wait till I had some token of your 'whereabout,' if nothing
more.  And now Mowbray tells me that much, and I will venture another
Letter to you after so long an interval.  You must always follow your own
inclination as to answering me--not by any means make a 'Duty' of it.

As usual I have nothing to say of myself but what you have heard from me
for years.  Only that my (now one year old) friend Bronchitis has thus
far done but little more than to keep me aware that he has not quitted
me, nor even thinks of so doing.  Nay, this very day, when the Snow which
held off all winter is now coming down under stress of N.E. wind, I feel
my friend stirring somewhat within.

Enough of that and of myself.  Mowbray gives me a very good report of
you--Absit Nemesis for my daring to write it!--And you have got back to
something of our old London Quarters, which I always look to as better
than the new.  And do you go to even a Play, in the old Quarters also?
Wright, who was with me at Christmas, was taken by Macmillan to see 'Much
Ado,' and found, all except Scenery, etc. (which was too good) so bad
that he vowed he would never go to see Sh. 'at any of your Courts' again.
Irving without any Humour, Miss Terry with simply Animal Spirits, etc.
However, Wright did intend once more to try--Comedy of Errors, at some
theatre; but how he liked it--I may hear if he comes to me at Easter.

Now this is enough--is it not?--for a letter: but I am as always

Sincerely yours,

E. F.G.



CXI.


WOODBRIDGE: _April_ 12, [1883.]

MY DEAR MRS. KEMBLE:

I do not think you will be sorry that more than a Moon has waxed and
waned since last I wrote to you.  For you have seen long enough how
little I had to tell, and that nevertheless you were bound to answer.  But
all such Apologies are stale: you will believe, I hope, that I remain as
I was in regard to you, as I shall believe that you are the same toward
me.

Mowbray Donne has told me two months ago that he could not get over the
Remembrance of last May; and that, acting on Body as well as Mind, aged
him, I suppose, as you saw.  Mowbray is one of the most loyal men toward
Kinsman and Friend.

Now for my own little Budget of News.  I got through those Sunless East
winds well enough: better than I am feeling now they both work together.
I think the Wind will rule till Midsummer: 'Enfin tant qu'il plaira a
Dieu.'  Aldis Wright was with me for Easter, and we went on our usual
way, together or apart.  Professor Norton had sent me his Carlyle-Emerson
Correspondence, which we conned over together, and liked well on either
side.  Carlyle should not have said (and still less Norton printed) that
Tennyson was a 'gloomy' Soul, nor Thackeray 'of inordinate Appetite,'
neither of which sayings is true: nor written of Lord Houghton as a
'Robin Redbreast' of a man.  I shall wait very patiently till Mudie sends
me Jane Carlyle--where I am told there is a word of not unkindly
toleration of me; which, if one be named at all, one may be thankful for.
{257}

Here are two Questions to be submitted to Mrs. Kemble by Messrs. Aldis
Wright and Littlegrange--viz., What she understands by--

(1.)  'The Raven himself is hoarse,' etc.

(2.)  'But this _eternal_ Blazon must not be,' etc.

Mrs. Kemble (who _will_ answer my letter) can tell me how she fares in
health and well-being; yes, and if she has seen, or heard, anything of
Alfred Tennyson, who is generally to be heard of in London at this time
of year.  And pray let Mrs. Kemble believe in the Writer of these poor
lines as her ancient, and loyal, Subject

E. F.G.

'The raven himself is hoarse,' etc.

   "Lady Macbeth compares the Messenger, hoarse for lack of Breath, to a
   raven whose croaking was held to be prophetic of Disaster.  This we
   think the natural interpretation of the words, though it is rejected
   by some Commentators."--_Clark and Wright's Clarendon Press
   Shakespeare_.

   "'Eternal Blazon' = revelation of Eternity.  It may be, however, that
   Sh. uses 'eternal' for 'infernal' here, as in _Julius Caesar_ I. 2,
   160: 'The eternal Devil'; and _Othello_ IV. 2, 130: 'Some eternal
   villain.'  'Blazon' is an heraldic term, meaning Description of
   armorial bearings, * hence used for description generally; as in _Much
   Ado_ II. 1, 307.  The verb 'blazon' occurs in _Cymbeline_ IV. 2,
   170."--_Ibid_.

Thus have I written out in my very best hand: as I will take care to do
in future; for I think it very bad manners to puzzle anyone--and
especially a Lady--with that which is a trouble to read; and I really had
no idea that I have been so guilty of doing so to Mrs. Kemble.

Also I beg leave to say that nothing in Mowbray's letter set me off
writing again to Mrs. Kemble, except her Address, which I knew not till
he gave it to me, and I remain her very humble obedient Servant,

THE LAIRD OF LITTLEGRANGE--

of which I enclose a side view done by a Woodbridge Artisan for his own
amusement.  So that Mrs. Kemble may be made acquainted with the
'_habitat_' of the Flower--which is about to make an Omelette for its
Sunday Dinner.

N.B.--The 'Raven' is not he that reports the news to Miladi M., but 'one
of my fellows Who almost dead for breath, etc.'

*  Not, as E. F.G. had thought, the Bearings themselves.



CXII.


[_May_, 1883.]

MY DEAR LADY,

I conclude (from what you wrote me in your last letter) that you are at
Leamington by this time; and I will venture to ask a word of you before
you go off to Switzerland, and I shall have to rely on Coutts & Co. for
further Correspondence between us.  I am not sure of your present
Address, even should you be at Leamington--not sure--but yet I think my
letter will find you--and, if it do not--why, then you will be saved the
necessity of answering it.

I had written to Mowbray Donne to ask about himself and his Wife: and
herewith I enclose his Answer--very sad, and very manly.  You shall
return it if you please; for I set some store by it.

Now I am reading--have almost finished--Jane Carlyle's Letters.  I dare
say you have already heard them more than enough discussed in London; and
therefore I will only say that it is at any rate fine of old Carlyle to
have laid himself so easily open to public Rebuke, though whether such
Revelations are fit for Publicity is another question.  At any rate, it
seems to me that _half_ her letters, and _all_ his ejaculations of
Remorse summed up in a Preface, would have done better.  There is an
Article by brave Mrs. Oliphant in this month's Contemporary Review {259}
(or Magazine) well worth reading on the subject; with such a Challenge to
Froude as might almost be actionable in Law.  We must 'hear both sides,'
and wait for the Volume which [is] to crown all his Labours in this
Cause.

I think your Leamington Country is more in Leaf than ours 'down-East:'
which only just begins to 'stand in a mist of green.' {260}  By the by, I
lately heard from Hallam Tennyson that all his Party were well enough;
not having been to London this Spring because Alfred's Doctor had warned
him against London Fogs, which suppress Perspiration, and bring up Gout.
Which is the best piece of news in my Letter; and I am

Yours always and a Day
E. F.G.

P.S.  I do not enclose Mowbray's letter, as I had intended to do, for
fear of my own not finding you.



CXIII.


[_May_, 1883.]

MY DEAR LADY;

Stupid me!  And now, after a little hunt, I find poor Mowbray's Letter,
which I had made sure of having sent you.  But I should not now send it
if I did not implore you not to write in case you thought fit to return
it; which indeed I did ask you to do; but now I would rather it remained
with you, who will acknowledge all the true and brave in it as well as
I--yes, it may be laid, if you please, even among those of your own which
you tell me Mowbray's Father saved up for you.  If you return it, let it
be without a word of your own: and pray do not misunderstand me when I
say that.  You will hear of me (if Coutts be true) when you are among
your Mountains again; and, if you do hear of me, I know you will--for you
must--reply.

At last some feeling of Spring--a month before Midsummer.  And next week
I am expecting my grave Friend Charles Keene, of Punch, to come here for
a week--bringing with him his Bagpipes, and an ancient Viol, and a Book
of Strathspeys and Madrigals; and our Archdeacon will come to meet him,
and to talk over ancient Music and Books: and we shall all three drive
out past the green hedges, and heaths with their furze in blossom--and I
wish--yes, I do--that you were of the Party.

I love all Southey, and all that he does; and love that Correspondence of
his with Caroline Bowles.  We (Boy and I) have been reading an account of
Zetland, which makes me thirst for 'The Pirate' again--tiresome, I
know--more than half of it--but what a Vision it leaves behind! {261}

Now, Madam, you cannot pretend that you have to jump at my meaning
through my MS.  I am sure it is legible enough, and that I am ever yours

E. F.G.

You write just across the Address you date from; but I jump at that which
I shall direct this Letter by.



CXIV.


WOODBRIDGE, _May_ 27/83.

MY DEAR MRS. KEMBLE:

I feel minded to write you a word of Farewell before you start off for
Switzerland: but I do not think it will be very welcome to you if, as
usual, you feel bound to answer it on the Eve of your Departure.  Why not
let me hear from you when you are settled for a few days somewhere among
your Mountains?

I was lately obliged to run to London on a disagreeable errand: which,
however, got itself over soon after midday; when I got into a Cab to
Chelsea, for the purpose of seeing Carlyle's Statue on the Embankment,
and to take a last look at his old House in Cheyne Row.  The Statue very
good, I thought, though looking somewhat small for want of a good
Background to set it off: but the old House!  Shut up--neglected--'To
Let'--was sad enough to me.  I got back to Woodbridge before night. {263}

Since then I have had Charles Keene (who has not been well) staying with
me here for ten days.  He is a very good Guest, inasmuch as he entertains
himself with Books, and Birds'-nests, and an ancient Viol which he has
brought down here: as also a Bagpipe (his favourite instrument), only
leaving the 'Bag' behind: he having to supply its functions from his own
lungs.  But he will leave me to-morrow or next day; and with June will
come my two Nieces from Lowestoft: and then the Longest Day will come,
and we shall begin declining toward Winter again, after so shortly
escaping from it.

This very morning I receive The Diary of John Ward, Vicar of Stratford on
Avon from 1648 to 1679--with some notices of W. S. which you know all
about.  And I am as ever

Sincerely yours
LITTLEGRANGE.

Is not this Letter legible enough?



INDEX


Academy (Royal), pictures at, 49

Aconites, "New Year's Gifts," 211, 231

Aide (H.), 202

Anstey's 'Vice Versa,' 253

Arkwright (Mrs.), 87

Autumn colours, 112

Bagehot's Essays, 170

Barton (Bernard), 174

Basselin (Olivier), quoted, 23

Beard (Dr.), 48

Belvidere Hat, 163

Beranger, 20-22

Beuve (Sainte), Causeries, 40, 53

Blackbird _v._ Nightingale, 46

Blakesley (J. W.), Dean of Lincoln, 78, 233

Boccaccio, 117

Brown (Dr. John), 253

Burns, compared with Beranger, 20-22; quoted, 37

Burrows (General), his defeat by Ayoub Khan, 193

Calderon, 63, 185

Candide, 174

Carlyle (T.), 17; forwards Mr. Ruskin's letter to E. F.G., 19; his Kings
of Norway, 61, 65; presented with a Medal and Address on his 80th
birthday, 88, 91; vehement against Darwin and the Turk, 110; on Sir
Walter Scott, 131; is reading Shakespeare and Boswell's Hebrides, 170;
becomes very feeble, 203; is buried at Ecclefechan, 206, 207; his
Reminiscences, 215, 218; his Letters to Emerson, 246, 256

Carlyle (Mrs.), her Letters, 257, 259

Carlyle (Mrs. Alexander), 163, 170, 186, 207, 215, 222

Chateaubriand's father, 59

Chorley (H. F.), his death, 11; Life of, 38, 53

Clerke Saunders, 164

Coriolanus, 139

Corneille, 73

Country church, Scene in, 46

Cowell (Professor), 155

Crabbe (G.), the Poet, quoted, 39, 43, 55, 59, 118; his portrait by
Pickersgill, 39,150; article on him in the Cornhill, 58; his fancy
quickened by a fall of snow, 198

Crabbe (George), Vicar of Bredfield, the poet's son, 43

Crabbe (George), Rector of Merton, the poet's grandson, 202, 225

Deffand (Madame du), 53

De Quincey (T.), on Janus Weathercock, 90

Derby Day, 186

De Soyres (John), E. F.G.'s nephew, 238

De Soyres (Mrs.), E. F.G.'s sister, her death, 168

Devrient, his Theory of Shakespeare's Sonnets, 253

Dickens (Charles), 69; E. F.G.'s admiration for him, 51, 126; his passion
for colours, 54

Donne (Blanche), 48, 111, 149, 154

Donne (Charles), 95, 111, 131

Donne (Mrs. Charles), her death, 106

Donne (Mowbray), 10, 29, 39, 62, 86, 95, 111, 140, 181, 185, 193, 196,
199, 206, 207, 212, 223, 227, 242, 259, 260; visits E. F.G., 86

Donne (Valentia), 6, 18, 111, 161, 199; her marriage, 127

Donne (W. B.), mentioned, 3, 4, 6, 8, 18, 48, 60, 64, 78, 98, 102, 111,
121, 181, 207, 212, 223, 227, 229, 241; his Lectures, 10; his illness,
35, 37, 39, 42; retires from his post as Licenser of Plays, 48, 50; his
successor, 50; reviews Macready's Memoirs, 75; his death, 243

Ducis, 219

Dunwich, 138

Eastern Question (the), 117

Eckermann, a German Boswell, 155

Edwards (Edwin), 139, 140, 158; his death, 155; exhibition of his
pictures, 166, 168, 169

Elio (F. J.), 120

Elliot (Sir Gilbert), pastoral by, 82

Euphranor, 65

FitzGerald (Edward), parts with his yacht, 3; his reader's mistakes, 4;
his house at Woodbridge, 8; his unwillingness to have visitors, 8, 9; his
mother, 11; reads Hawthorne's Notes of Italian Travel, 12; Memoirs of
Harness, 13; cannot read George Eliot, 15, 38, 171; his love for Sir
Walter Scott, 15, 229; visits his brother Peter, 16; on the art of being
photographed, 24, 25; reads Walpole, Wesley, and Boswell's Johnson, 28;
in Paris in 1830, 31; cannot read Goethe's Faust, 31, 124; reads Ste.
Beuve's Causeries, 40, and Don Quixote, 41, 45; has a skeleton of his
own, bronchitis, 45, 47, 75; goes to Scotland, 49; to the Academy, 49;
reads Dickens, 51; Crabbe, 54; condenses the Tales of the Hall, 59, 64,
118; death of his brother Peter, 64; translations from Calderon, 63;
tries to read Gil Blas and La Fontaine, 66; admires Corneille, 73; reads
Madame de Sevigne, 73; writes to Notes and Queries, 82; begins to 'smell
the ground,' 83; his recollections of Paris, 85; reads Mrs. Trollope's 'A
Charming Fellow,' 95; on framing pictures, 96, 99, 102, 106; translation
of the Agamemnon, 97, 103, 107, 111; meets Macready, 103; his Lugger
Captain, 104, 115, 117; prefers the Second Part of Don Quixote, 108;
scissors and paste his 'Harp and Lute,' 126; reads Dickens' Great
Expectations, 126; on nightingales, 128, 136, 184; wished to dedicate
Agamemnon to Mrs. Kemble, 129; reads The Heart of Mid-Lothian, 130;
Catullus, 135; Guy Mannering, 137; at Dunwich, 138; reads Coriolanus,
139; Kenilworth, 145; David Copperfield, 145; his Readings in Crabbe,
147, 150; reads Hawthorne's Journals, 153; at Lowestoft, 155; reads
Forster's Life of Dickens, 155; and Trollope's Novels, 155, 171;
Eckermann's Goethe, 155; works on Crabbe's Posthumous Tales, 164; his
Quarter-deck, 167; Dombey and Son, 172, 187; Comus and Lycidas, 178; Mrs.
Kemble's Records, 186; Madame de Sevigne, 186, 188; visits George Crabbe
at Merton, 188, 243; his ducks and chickens, 189; his Irish cousins, 190;
at Aldeburgh, 190; with his nieces at Lowestoft, 195; sends Charles
Tennyson's Sonnets to Mrs. Kemble, 198; his eyes out of 'Keller,' 202,
206; reads Winter's Tale, 204; his translations of the two OEdipus plays,
205, 208; his affection for the stage, 210; his collection of actors'
portraits, 210; his love for Spedding, 212; his reminiscences of a visit
with Tennyson at Mirehouse, 214; reads Wordsworth, 217; sends his reader
to see Macbeth, 231; feels as if some of the internal timbers were
shaken, 240; reads Froude's Carlyle, 243, 245, 248; at Aldeburgh, 245,
247; meets Professor Fawcett, 247; consults Mrs. Kemble on two passages
of Shakespeare, 257; goes to look at Carlyle's statue and his old house,
262

FitzGerald (Jane), afterwards Mrs. Wilkinson, E. F.G.'s sister, 112, 122

FitzGerald (J. P.), E. F.G.'s eldest brother, 95, 100; his illness, 141,
144; and death, 149

FitzGerald (Mrs.), E. F.G.'s mother, 11, 61, 96; her portrait by Sir T.
Lawrence, 177

FitzGerald (Percy), his Lives of the Kembles, 5, 6

FitzGerald (Peter), E. F.G.'s brother, 16; his death, 64

Frere (Mrs.), 83, 87, 181

Froude (J. A.), constantly with Carlyle, 203; is charged with his
biography, 208; his Life of Carlyle, 243; writes to E. F.G., 243

Fualdes, murder of, 85; play founded on, 89

Furness (H. H.), 60, 64, 66, 101, 203

Gil Blas, 66

Glyn (Miss), 97

Goethe, 31, 123, 124; his conversations by Eckermann, 155

Goethe and Schiller, correspondence of, 231

Goodwin (Professor), proposes to visit E. F.G., 192

Gordon (Mrs.), 132, 203

Gout, 7

Groome (Archdeacon), 4, 45, 199, 223

Half Hours with the Worst Authors, 31, 34

Hamlet, theory of Gervinus on, 32; the Quarto and Folio Texts of, 221

Harlowe's picture of the Trial Scene in Henry VIII., 87

Harness (Rev. W.), Memoirs of, 6, 13

Hatherley (Lord), letter from, 132

Hawthorne (Nathaniel), his Notes of Italian Travel, 12, 153

Haydn, 83

Haydon (B. R.), verses by his wife, 34

Haymarket Opera (The), 200

Hayward (A.), his translation of Faust, 124; his Select Essays, 170

Helen of Kirkconnel, 164

Helps (Sir Arthur), his death, 68

Hertford (Lord), 48, 50

Hood (T.), verses by, 87, 95

Houghton (Lord), 164, 236, 239, 257

Hugo (F. Victor), his translation of Shakespeare, 114

Hunt (Holman), The Shadow of Death, 40

Intellectual Peat, 69

Irving (Henry), in Hamlet, 74, 75; his portrait, 86; in Queen Mary, 107,
109; his reading of Eugene Aram, 124; in Much Ado about Nothing, 251, 255

Jenny (Mr.), the owner of Bredfield House, 10

Jessica, 179

Kean (Edmund), in Othello, 53

Keats (John), his Letters, 134; his Life and Letters, by Lord Houghton,
164

Keene (Charles), 225, 249, 261; at Little Grange, 242, 263

Kelly (Michael), his Reminiscences, 146

Kemble (Charles), in Othello, 53; as Falconbridge and Petruchio, 58; in
As You Like It, 58; as Charles Surface, 58; as Cromwell, 87; in King
John, 182

Kemble (Mrs. Charles), 61, 62; her 'Smiles and Tears,' 14; contributes to
Kitchener's Cook's Oracle, 89; miniature of her as Urania, 96, 99, 100,
101, 106, 146

Kemble (Fanny), her laws of correspondence, 2; her daughter's marriage,
3; her Memoirs, 29; in America, 36, 46; her article 'On the Stage' in the
Cornhill Magazine, 53, 78, 227; her letter about Macready, 57; her
photograph, 61; as Louisa of Savoy, 73; writes her 'Old Woman's Gossip'
in the Atlantic Monthly, 84, 92; letter from her to the Editor, 93;
omitted passage from her 'Gossip,' 93-94; uses a type-writer, 94; her
opinion of Portia, 95, 124; on Goethe and Portia, 123; end of her
'Gossip,' 125, 129; her Records of a Girlhood, 186; her favourite
Colours, 197; her portrait by Sir T. Lawrence, 210; her Records of Later
Life, 227, 228

Kemble (Henry), Mrs. Kemble's brother, 58, 109

Kemble (Henry), Mrs. Kemble's nephew, 225

Kemble (John Mitchell), 120, 153, 159

Kemble (J. P.), 179, 183; portrait of him as OEdipus, 183, 210; Plays
revised by him, 220

Kerrich (Edmund), E. F.G.'s nephew, 129, 172

La Fontaine, 66

Laurence (S.), copies Pickersgill's portrait of Crabbe, 39; letter from,
90

Leigh (the Hon. Mrs.), Mrs. Kemble's daughter, 161; her marriage, 3

L'Hopital (Chancellor), quoted, 191

Little Grange, first named, 42

Lowell (J. R.), 'Among my Books,' 97, 119, 135; his Odes, 120, 122;
letter from, 136; his coming to England as Minister of the United States,
174; illness of his wife, 174, 184, 186, 192

Lynn (Mary), 191, 252, 253

Macbeth quoted, 43, 68; French opera by Chelard, acted at Dublin, 81

Macready (W. C,), 27; his Memoirs edited by Sir W. F. Pollock, 38, 44,
50, 52, 68, 70, 98, 102; his Macbeth, 44, 57, 68; plays Henry IV., 58;
reads Mrs. Kemble's English Tragedy, 72

Malkin (Arthur), 110, 132, 213

Malkin (Dr. B. H.), Master of Bury School, 94; Crabbe a favourite with
him, 213

Marjorie Fleming, 252

Marot (Clement), quoted, 23

Matthews (Charles), his Memoir, 173

Merivale (Charles), Dean of Ely, 195, 218

Montaigne, 103, 104, 105, 117

Musset (Alfred de), Memoir of, 138; loves to read Clarissa Harlowe, 138

Napoleon, saying of, 218

Naseby, proposed monument at, 17, 27

Norton (C. E), 19, 97, 119, 123, 135, 151, 180, 183, 205, 209, 246, 256

OEdipus, by Dryden and Lee, 229

Oleander, 251

Oliphant (Mrs.), on Carlyle, 218, 220; on Mrs. Carlyle, 259

Oriole, 46

Pasta, saying of, 53

Pasta, in Medea, 181, 200

Pasteur (Le Bon), 30, 33

Peacock (E.), Headlong Hall quoted, 40

Piccolomini, 11

Pigott (E. F. S.), succeeds W. B. Donne, 50

Piozzi (Mrs.), Memoirs of, 46

Pollock (Sir W. F ), visits E. F.G., 15; edits Macready's Memoirs, 38,
44; letter from, 55; visits Carlyle, 110

Portia, 95, 124

Quixote (Don), 41, 108, 155, 182; must be read in Spanish, 114, 117

Ritchie (Mrs.), Miss Thackeray, 135

Rossi in Hamlet, 107

Rousseau on stage decoration, 110

Santley (Mrs.), 111

Sartoris (Edward), 192, 203

Sartoris (Greville), death of, 38

Sartoris (Mrs.), Mrs. Kemble's sister, 38; her illness, 140, 149; and
death, 154; her Medusa and other Tales, 203

Scott (Sir Walter), his indifference to fame, 116; the easy movement of
his stories, 130; Barry Cornwall's saying of him, 131; his Kenilworth,
145; the Fortunes of Nigel, 228, 231; Marjorie Fleming, 252; The Pirate,
261

Sevigne (Madame de), 73, 103, 105, 137, 184, 186, 188, 222; her Rochers,
105, 184; not shown to visitors, 188; list of her dramatis personae, 125;
quoted, 190, 217

Shakespeare, edited by Clark and Wright, 68, 69

Shakespeare, 69

Shakespeare's predecessors, 223

Siddons (Mrs.), 46, 71, 183; her portrait by Sir T. Lawrence, 81; article
on her in the Nineteenth Century, 134; in Winter's Tale, 204

Skeat (Professor), his Inaugural Lecture, 153

Southey's Correspondence with Caroline Bowles, 261

Spanish Tragedy (The), scene from, 62

Spedding (James), is finishing his Life and Letters of Bacon, 27; has
finished them, 42, 51: his note on Antony and Cleopatra, 43, 45;
emendation of Shakespeare, 45; paper on Richard III., 74; his opinion of
Irving's Hamlet, 74; and Miss Ellen Terry's Portia, 74, 77; will not see
Salvini in Othello, 74; on The Merchant of Venice, 77, 80, 176, 201; the
Latest Theory about Bacon, 111; Shakespeare Notes, 189; his Preface to
Charles Tennyson Turner's Sonnets, 197; his accident, 212; and death,
214; his Evenings with a Reviewer, 233: Mrs. Cameron's photograph of him,
250

Stephen (Leslie), 58; his 'Hours in a Library,' 118

Taylor (Tom), 166, 193; his death, 192; his Memoir of Haydon, 194

Tennyson (A.), in Burns's country, 22; changes his publisher, 37; his
Queen Mary, 77; mentioned, 82, 113, 160, 193, 228, 239; his Mary Tudor,
107, 109; visits E. F.G. at Woodbridge, 113, 114; the attack on him in
the Quarterly, 116; his Harold, 122; portrait of him, 134; his saying of
Clarissa Harlow, 138; of Crabbe's portrait by Pickersgill, 151; used to
repeat Clerke Saunders and Helen of Kirkconnel, 164; The Falcon, 169; The
Cup, 206, 208; his saying of Lycidas, 178; his eyes, 183; Ballads and
other Poems, 201; with E. F.G. at Mirehouse, 214; The Promise of May,
251, 253

Tennyson (Frederick), visits E. F.G., 16; his saying of blindness, 183;
his poems, 197

Tennyson (Hallam, now Lord), 114, 228, 239, 260

Tennyson (Lionel), 98; his marriage, 135

Terry (Miss Ellen), as Portia, 74, 77; Tom Taylor's opinion of her, 95

Thackeray (Minnie), death of, 90

Thackeray (Miss), 99; her Old Kensington, 13, 15, 39; meets E. F.G. at
the Royal Academy, 16; her Village on the Cliff, 38; on Madame de
Sevigne, 227; on Miss Edgeworth, 250

Thackeray (W. M.), 38, 120; not the author of a Tragedy, 51; his Drawings
published, 'The Orphan of Pimlico,' etc., 91; his pen and ink drawing of
Mrs. Kemble as Louisa of Savoy, 73

Thurtell, the murderer, 152

Tichborne trial, 28, 36

Tieck, 'an Eyewitness of John Kemble' in The Nineteenth Century, 179, 183

Trench (Archbishop), his Translation of Calderon, 185; E. F.G. sends him
his Crabbe, 185

Tunbridge Wells, 57

Turner (Charles Tennyson), his Sonnets, 151, 197

'Twalmley' ('the Great'), 75, 102, 116

Two Noble Kinsmen (The), 221

Urania, 146

Wade (T.), author of the Jew of Aragon, 120

Wainewright (T. G.), 90

Wales (Prince of), Thanksgiving service for his recovery, 10

Ward (John), Vicar of Stratford on Avon, his diary, 263

Wesley (John), his Journal one of E. F.G.'s hobbies, 28, 186

Whalley (Dr.), his reading of a passage in Macbeth, 46

Wilkinson (Mrs.), E. F.G.'s sister, 112, 122, 169, 225

Wilson (H. Schutz), 232, 233, 235

Wister (Mrs.), Mrs. Kemble's daughter, 6, 36, 252, 254

Woodberry (G. E.), his article on Crabbe, 180

Wylie (W. H.), on Thomas Carlyle, 237



Footnotes:


{3a}  Mrs. Kemble's daughter, Frances Butler, was married to the Hon. and
Rev. James Wentworth Leigh, now Dean of Hereford, 29th June 1871.

{3b}  See 'Letters,' ii. 126.

{6}  Fitzgerald's Lives of the Kembles was reviewed in the _Athenaeum_,
12th August 1871, and the 'Memoirs of Mr. Harness,' 28th October.

{7}  Macbeth, ii. 2, 21.

{9}  In writing to Sir Frederick Pollock on November 17th, 1871,
FitzGerald says:--

   'The Game-dealer here telling me that he has some very good Pheasants,
   I have told him to send you a Brace--to go in company with Braces to
   Carlyle, and Mrs. Kemble.  This will, you may think, necessitate your
   writing a Reply of Thanks before your usual time of writing: but don't
   do that:--only write to me now in case the Pheasants don't reach you;
   I know you will thank me for them, whether they reach you or not; and
   so you can defer writing so much till you happen next upon an idle
   moment which you may think as well devoted to me; you being the only
   man, except Donne, who cares to trouble himself with a gratuitous
   letter to one who really does not deserve it.

   'Donne, you know, is pleased with Everybody, and with Everything that
   Anybody does for him.  You must take his Praises of Woodbridge with
   this grain of Salt to season them.  It may seem odd to you at
   first--but not perhaps on reflection--that I feel more--nervous, I may
   say--at the prospect of meeting with an old Friend, after all these
   years, than of any indifferent Acquaintance.  I feel it the less with
   Donne, for the reason aforesaid--why should I not feel it with you who
   have given so many tokens since our last meeting that you are well
   willing to take me as I am?  If one is, indeed, by Letter what one is
   in person.--I always tell Donne not to come out of his way here--he
   says he takes me in the course of a Visit to some East-Anglian
   kinsmen.  Have you ever any such reason?--Well; if you have no better
   reason than that of really wishing to see me, for better or worse, in
   my home, come--some Spring or Summer day, when my Home at any rate is
   pleasant.  This all sounds mock-modesty; but it is not; as I can't
   read Books, Plays, Pictures, etc. and don't see People, I feel, when a
   Man comes, that I have all to ask and nothing to tell; and one doesn't
   like to make a Pump of a Friend.'

{10a}  At the Royal Institution, on 'The Theatre in Shakespeare's Time.'
The series consisted of six lectures, which were delivered from 20th
January to 24th February 1872.  On 18th February 1872, Mrs. Kemble wrote:
'My dear old friend Donne is lecturing on Shakespeare, and I have heard
him these last two times.  He is looking ill and feeble, and I should
like to carry him off too, out of the reach of his too many and too heavy
cares.'--'Further Records,' ii. 253.

{10b}  27th February, 1872, for the recovery of the Prince of Wales.

{10c}  Mr. Jenney, the owner of Bredfield House, where FitzGerald was
born.  See 'Letters,' i. 64.

{11}  H. F. Chorley died 16th February 1872.

{13a}  Perhaps Widmore, near Bromley.  See 'Further Records,' ii. 253.

{13b}  'Old Kensington,' the first number of which appeared in the
_Cornhill Magazine_ for April 1872.

{15}  He came May 18th, 1872, the day before Whitsunday.

{16a}  F. T. came August 1st, 1872.

{16b}  See 'Letters,' ii. 142-3.

{19a}  Miss Harriet St. Leger.

{19b}  April 14th, 1873.  See 'Letters,' ii. 154.

{23a}  Probably the piece beginning--

   'On plante des pommiers es bords
   Des cimitieres, pres des morts, &c

Olivier Basselin ('Vaux-de-Vire,' ed Jacob, 1858, xv. p. 28)

On Oct 13th, 1879, FitzGerald wrote of a copy of Olivier (ed. Du Bois,
1821) which he had sent by me to Professor Cowell: "If Cowell does not
care for Olivier--the dear Phantom!--pray do you keep him.  Read a little
piece--the two first Stanzas--beginning 'Dieu garde de deshonneur,' p.
184--quite beautiful to me; though not classed as Olivier's.  Also 'Royne
des Flours, &c,' p. 160.  These are things that Beranger could not reach
with all his Art; but Burns could without it."

{23b}  De Damoyselle Anne de Marle (Marot, 'Cimetiere,' xiv ):--

   'Lors sans viser au lieu dont elle vint,
   Et desprisant la gloire que l'on a
   En ce bas monde, icelle Anne ordonna,
   Que son corps fust entre les pauures mys
   En cette fosse.  Or prions, chers amys,
   Que l'ame soit entre les pauures mise,
   Qui bien heureux sont chantez en l'Eglise.'

{25}  On March 30, 1873, FitzGerald wrote to Sir Frederick Pollock:--

   "At the beginning of this year I submitted to be Photo'ed at last--for
   many Nieces, and a few old Friends--I must think that you are an old
   Friend as well as a very kind and constant one; and so I don't like
   not to send you what I have sent others.--The Artist who took me, took
   (as he always does) three several Views of one's Face: but the third
   View (looking full-faced) got blurred by my blinking at the Light: so
   only these two were reproduced--I shouldn't know that either was meant
   for [me]: nor, I think, would any one else, if not told: but the Truth-
   telling Sun somehow did them; and as he acted so handsomely by me, I
   take courage to distribute them to those who have a regard for me, and
   will naturally like to have so favourable a Version of one's Outward
   Aspect to remember one by.  I should not have sent them if they had
   been otherwise.  The up-looking one I call 'The Statesman,' quite
   ready to be called to the Helm of Affairs: the Down-looking one I call
   The Philosopher.  Will you take which you like?  And when next old
   Spedding comes your way, give him the other (he won't care which) with
   my Love.  I only don't write to him because my doing so would impose
   on his Conscience an Answer--which would torment him for some little
   while.  I do not love him the less: and believe all the while that he
   not the less regards me."

Again on May 5, he wrote: "I think I shall have a word about M[acready]
from Mrs. Kemble, with whom I have been corresponding a little since her
return to England.  She has lately been staying with her Son in Law, Mr.
Leigh (?), at Stoneleigh Vicarage, near Kenilworth.  In the Autumn she
says she will go to America, never to return to England.  But I tell her
she _will_ return.  She is to sit for her Photo at my express desire, and
I have given her Instructions _how_ to sit, derived from my own
successful Experience.  One rule is to sit--in a dirty Shirt--(to avoid
dangerous White) and another is, not to sit on a Sunshiny Day: which we
must leave to the Young.

"By the by, I sent old Spedding my own lovely Photo (_the Statesman_)
which he has acknowledged in Autograph.  He tells me that he begins to
'smell Land' with his Bacon."

{28a}  See 'Letters,' ii. 165-7.

{28b}  See letter of April 22nd, 1873.

{30}  Shakespeare, Ant. & Cl., v. 2, line 6:--

   'Which shackles accidents, and bolts up change.'

{31}  In his 'Half Hours with the Worst Authors' FitzGerald has
transcribed 'Le Bon Pasteur,' which consists of five stanzas of eight
lines each, beginning:--

   'Bons habitans de ce Village,
   Pretez l'oreille un moment,' &c.

Each stanza ends:--

   'Et le bon Dieu vous benira.'

He adds: 'One of the pleasantest remembrances of France is, having heard
this sung to a Barrel-organ, and chorus'd by the Hearers (who had bought
the Song-books) one fine Evening on the Paris Boulevards, June: 1830.'

{34a}  Haydon entered these verses in his Diary for May, 1846: 'The
struggle is severe, for myself I care not, but for her so dear to me I
feel.  It presses on her mind, and in a moment of pain, she wrote the
following simple bit of feeling to Frederick, who is in South America, on
Board _The Grecian_.'  There are seven stanzas in the original, but
FitzGerald has omitted in his transcript the third and fourth and
slightly altered one or two of the lines.  He called them 'A poor
Mother's Verses.'

{34b}  See 'Letters,' ii. 280.

{37}  Burns, quoted from memory as usual.  See Globe Edition, p. 214; ed.
Cunningham, iv. 293.

{38}  Greville Sartoris was killed by a fall from his horse, not in the
hunting-field, 23 Oct. 1873.

{39}  'Rage' in the original.  See Tales of the Hall, Book XII.  Sir Owen
Dale.

{40}  Quoting from Peacock's 'Headlong Hall':--

      'Nature had but little clay
   Like that of which she moulded him.'

See 'Letters,' i. 75, note.

{42}  18 April 1874.  Professor Hiram Corson endeavoured to maintain the
correctness of the reading of the Folios in Antony and Cleopatra, v. 2.
86-88:

         'For his Bounty,
   There was no winter in 't.  An _Anthony_ it was,
   That grew the more by reaping.'

Spedding admirably defended Theobald's certain emendation of 'autumn' for
'Anthony.'

{43}  These lines are not to be found in Crabbe, so far as I can
ascertain, but they appear to be a transformation of two which occur in
the Parish Register, Part II., in the story of Phebe Dawson (Works, ii.
183):

   'Friend of distress!  The mourner feels thy aid;
   She cannot pay thee, but thou wilt be paid.'

They had taken possession of FitzGerald's memory in their present shape,
for in a letter to me, dated 5 Nov. 1877, speaking of the poet's son, who
was Vicar of Bredfield, he says: "It is now just twenty years since the
Brave old Boy was laid in Bredfield Churchyard.  Two of his Father's
Lines might make Epitaph for some good soul:--

   'Friend of the Poor, the Wretched, the Betray'd;
   They cannot pay thee--but thou shalt be paid.'

Pas mal ca, eh!"

{45a}  In a letter to me dated October 29th, 1871, FitzGerald says:--

   "A suggestion that casually fell from old Spedding's lips (I forget
   how long ago) occurred to me the other day.  Instead of

   'Do such business as the bitter day,'

read 'better day'--a certain Emendation, I think.  I hope you take
Spedding into your Counsel; he might be induced to look over one Play at
a time though he might shrink from all in a Body; and I scarce ever heard
him conning a page of Shakespeare but he suggested something which was an
improvement--on Shakespeare himself, if not on his Editors--though don't
[tell] Spedding that I say so, for God's sake."

{45b}  In 'Notes and Queries,' April 18th, 1874.

{48a}  Lord Hertford

{48b}  Frank Carr Beard, the friend and medical adviser of Dickens and
Wilkie Collins.

{49a}  See Lockhart's 'Life of Scott,' vii. 394.  'About half-past one,
P.M., on the 21st of September, [1832], Sir Walter breathed his last, in
the presence of all his children.  It was a beautiful day--so warm that
every window was wide open, and so perfectly still, that the sound of all
others most delicious to his ear, the gentle ripple of the Tweed over its
pebbles, was distinctly audible as we knelt around the bed, and his
eldest son kissed and closed his eyes.'

{49b}  Dryburgh.

{49c}  The North West Passage.  The 'Old Sea Captain' was Trelawny.

{50a}  See 'Letters,' ii. 173-4.

{50b}  E. F. S. Pigott.

{52}  See 'Letters,' ii. 172.

{53a}  Not _Macmillan_, but _Cornhill Magazine_, Dec. 1863, 'On the
Stage.'  See Letter of 24 Aug. 1875.

{53b}  "Pasta, the great lyric tragedian, who, Mrs. Siddons said, was
capable of giving her lessons, replied to the observation, 'Vous avez du
beaucoup etudier l'antique.'  'Je l'ai beaucoup senti.'"--From Mrs.
Kemble's article 'On the Stage' ('Cornhill,' 1863), reprinted as an
Introduction to her Notes upon some of Shakespeare's Plays.

{53c}  'Causeries du Lundi,' xiv. 234.

{53d}  Lettre de Viard a M. Walpole, in 'Lettres de Madame du Deffand,'
iv. 178 (Paris, 1824).  FitzGerald probably read it in Ste. Beuve,
'Causeries du Lundi,' i. 405.

{54}  Cedars, not yew.  See Memoirs of Chorley, ii. 240.

{55}  In Tales of the Hall, Book XI. ('Works,' vi. 284), quoted from
memory.

{56}  Virgil, AEn. vi. 127.

{57a}  Referring to the well-known print of 'Remarkable Characters who
were at Tunbridge Wells with Richardson in 1748.'

{57b}  James Spedding.

{59a}  In the original draft of Tales of the Hall, Book VI.

{59b}  See Memoirs of Chateaubriand, written by himself, Eng. trans. 1849
p. 123.  At the Chateau of Combourg in Brittany, 'When supper was over,
and the party of four had removed from the table to the chimney, my
mother would throw herself, with a sigh, upon an old cotton-covered sofa,
and near her was placed a little stand with a light.  I sat down by the
fire with Lucile; the servants removed the supper-things, and retired.  My
father then began to walk up and down, and never ceased until his
bedtime.  He wore a kind of white woollen gown, or rather cloak, such as
I have never seen with anyone else.  His head, partly bald, was covered
with a large white cap, which stood bolt upright.  When, in the course of
his walk, he got to a distance from the fire, the vast apartment was so
ill-lighted by a single candle that he could be no longer seen, he could
still be heard marching about in the dark, however, and presently
returned slowly towards the light, and emerged by degrees from obscurity,
looking like a spectre, with his white robe and cap, and his tall, thin
figure.'

{64a}  'The Mighty Magician' and 'Such Stuff as Dreams are made of.'

{64b}  See Winter's Tale, iv. 4, 118-120.

{65}  'Euphranor.'

{67}  See 'Letters,' ii. 180.

{68}  Sir Arthur Helps died March 7th, 1875.

{69}  The Passage of Carlyle to which FitzGerald refers is perhaps in
'Anti-Dryasdust,' in the Introduction to Cromwell's Letters and Speeches.
'By very nature it is a labyrinth and chaos, this that we call Human
History; an _abatis_ of trees and brushwood, a world-wide jungle, at once
growing and dying.  Under the green foliage and blossoming fruit-trees of
To-day, there lie, rotting slower or faster, the forests of all other
Years and Days.  Some have rotted fast, plants of annual growth, and are
long since quite gone to inorganic mould; others are like the aloe,
growths that last a thousand or three thousand years.'  Ste. Beuve, in
his 'Nouveaux Lundis' (iv. 295), has a similar remark: 'Pour un petit
nombre d'arbres qui s'elevent de quelques pieds au-dessus de terre et qui
s'apercoivent de loin, il y a partout, en litterature, de cet humus et de
ce detrius vegetal, de ces feuilles accumulees et entassees qu'on ne
distingue pas, si l'on ne se baisse.'  At the end of his copy FitzGerald
has referred to this as 'Carlyle's Peat.'

{71}  In The Gamester.  See 'Macready's Reminiscences,' i. 54-57.

{72a}  In Rowe's Tamerlane.  See 'Macready's Reminiscences,' i. 202.

{72b}  Probably the English Tragedy, which was finished in October 1838.
See 'Records of Later Days,' ii. 168.

{74}  In the _Transactions of the New Shakspere Society_ for 1875-76.  The
surviving editor of the 'Cambridge Shakspeare' does not at all feel that
Spedding's criticism 'smashed' the theory which was only put forward as a
tentative solution of a perhaps insoluble problem.

{75a}  See 'Letters,' ii. 177.

{75b}  See 'Letters,' ii. 198, 228, and Boswell's 'Johnson' (ed. Birkbeck
Hill), iv. 193.

{77}  FitzGerald wrote to me about the same time:

   "Spedding has (you know) a delicious little Paper about the Merchant
   of Venice in July _Fraser_:--but I think he is wrong in subordinating
   Shylock to the Comedy Part.  If that were meant to be so, Williams
   ['the divine Williams,' as some Frenchman called Shakespeare]
   miscalculated, throwing so much of his very finest writing into the
   Jew's Mouth, the downright human Nature of which makes all the Love-
   Story Child's play, though very beautiful Child's play indeed."

{78}  'On the Stage,' in the _Cornhill Magazine_ for December 1863
Reprinted as an Introduction to Mrs. Kemble's 'Notes upon some of
Shakespeare's Plays.'

{79}  See his 'Life and Letters,' p. 46.

{80}  In the _Cornhill Magazine_ for July 1875, The Merchant of Venice at
the Prince of Wales's Theatre.

{82a}  'The Enterprising Impresario' by Walter Maynard (Thomas Willert
Beale), 1867, pp 273-4.

{82b}  Beginning, 'A spirit haunts the year's last hours.'  It first
appeared in the poems of 1830, p. 67, and is now included in Tennyson's
Collected Works.  See 'Letters,' ii. 256.

{82c}  By Sir Gilbert Elliot, father of the first Lord Minto.  The query
appeared 25 Sept. 1875 ('N. & Q.' 5th Series, iv. 247), and two answers
are given at p. 397, but not by E. F.G.

{83}  See 'Letters,' ii. 185.

{84}  The _Atlantic Monthly_ for August, September, and October 1875.

{85a}  _Atlantic Monthly_, August 1875, p. 167, by T. S. Perry.

{85b}  _Ibid._, p. 240.

{86}  From Oct. 30 to Nov. 4.

{87a}  The Trial of Queen Katharine in _Henry VIII_.  Charles Kemble
acted Cromwell.

{87b}  _Atlantic Monthly_, August 1875, p. 165.

{88a}  'The Exile,' quoted from memory.

{88b}  See letter of August 24, 1875.

{89}  _Atlantic Monthly_, August 1875, p. 156.

{90a}  Thomas Griffiths Wainewright.  De Quincey's account of him is in
his essay on Charles Lamb ('Works,' ed. 1862, viii. 146).  His career was
the subject of a story by Dickens, called 'Hunted Down.'

{90b}  Minnie Thackeray (Mrs. Leslie Stephen) died Nov. 28.

{91}  About the same time he wrote to me:--

   'A dozen years ago I entreated Annie Thackeray, Smith & Elder, &c., to
   bring out a Volume of Thackeray's better Drawings.  Of course they
   wouldn't--now Windus and Chatto have, you know, brought out a Volume
   of his inferior: and now Annie T. S. & E. prepare a Volume--when it is
   not so certain to pay, at any rate, as when W. M. T. was the Hero of
   the Day.  However, I send them all I have: pretty confident they will
   select the worst; of course, for my own part, I would rather have any
   other than copies of what I have: but I should like the World to
   acknowledge he could do something beside the ugly and ridiculous.
   Annie T. sent me the enclosed Specimen: very careless, but full of
   Character.  I can see W. M. T. drawing it as he was telling one about
   his Scotch Trip.  That disputatious Scotchman in the second Row with
   Spectacles, and--teeth.  You may know some who will be amused at
   this:--but send it back, please: no occasion to write beside.'

{92}  When I was preparing the first edition of FitzGerald's Letters I
wrote to Mrs. Kemble for permission to quote the passage from her Gossip
which is here referred to.  She replied (11 Dec. 1883):--

   'I have no objection whatever to your quoting what I said of Edward
   Fitzgerald in the _Atlantic Monthly_, but I suppose you know that it
   was omitted from Bentley's publication of my book at Edward's _own
   desire_.  He did not certainly knock me on the head with Dr. Johnson's
   sledge-hammer, but he did make me feel painfully that I had been
   guilty of the impertinence of praising.'

I did not then avail myself of the permission so readily granted, but I
venture to do so now, in the belief that the publicity from which his
sensitive nature shrank during his lifetime may now without impropriety
be given to what was written in all sincerity by one of his oldest and
most intimate friends.  It was Mrs. Kemble who described him as 'an
eccentric man of genius, who took more pains to avoid fame than others do
to seek it,' and this description is fully borne out by the account she
gave of him in the offending passage which follows:--

   "That Mrs. Fitzgerald is among the most vivid memories of my girlish
   days.  She and her husband were kind and intimate friends of my father
   and mother.  He was a most amiable and genial Irish gentleman, with
   considerable property in Ireland and Suffolk, and a fine house in
   Portland Place, and had married his cousin, a very handsome, clever,
   and eccentric woman.  I remember she always wore a bracelet of his
   hair, on the massive clasp of which were engraved the words, '_Stesso
   sangue_, _stessa sorte_.'  I also remember, as a feature of sundry
   dinners at their house, the first gold dessert and table ornaments
   that I ever saw, the magnificence of which made a great impression
   upon me; though I also remember their being replaced, upon Mrs.
   Fitzgerald's wearying of them, by a set of ground glass and dead and
   burnished silver, so exquisite that the splendid gold service was
   pronounced infinitely less tasteful and beautiful.  One member of her
   family--her son Edward Fitzgerald--has remained my friend till this
   day.  His parents and mine are dead.  Of his brothers and sisters I
   retain no knowledge, but with him I still keep up an affectionate and
   to me most valuable and interesting correspondence.  He was
   distinguished from the rest of his family, and indeed from most
   people, by the possession of very rare intellectual and artistic
   gifts.  A poet, a painter, a musician, an admirable scholar and
   writer, if he had not shunned notoriety as sedulously as most people
   seek it, he would have achieved a foremost place among the eminent men
   of his day, and left a name second to that of very few of his
   contemporaries.  His life was spent in literary leisure, or literary
   labours of love of singular excellence, which he never cared to
   publish beyond the circle of his intimate friends: Euphranor,
   Polonius, collections of dialogues full of keen wisdom, fine
   observation, and profound thought; sterling philosophy written in the
   purest, simplest, and raciest English; noble translations, or rather
   free adaptations of Calderon's two finest dramas, The Wonderful
   Magician and Life's a Dream, and a splendid paraphrase of the
   Agamemnon of AEschylus, which fills its reader with regret that he
   should not have _Englished_ the whole of the great trilogy with the
   same severe sublimity.  In America this gentleman is better known by
   his translation or adaptation (how much more of it is his own than the
   author's I should like to know if I were Irish) of Omar Khayyam, the
   astronomer-poet of Persia.  Archbishop Trench, in his volume on the
   life and genius of Calderon, frequently refers to Mr. Fitzgerald's
   translations, and himself gives a version of Life's a Dream, the
   excellence of which falls short, however, of his friend's finer
   dramatic poem bearing the same name, though he has gallantly attacked
   the difficulty of rendering the Spanish in English verse.  While these
   were Edward Fitzgerald's studies and pursuits, he led a curious life
   of almost entire estrangement from society, preferring the
   companionship of the rough sailors and fishermen of the Suffolk coast
   to that of lettered folk.  He lived with them in the most friendly
   intimacy, helping them in their sea ventures, and cruising about with
   one, an especially fine sample of his sort, in a small fishing-smack
   which Edward Fitzgerald's bounty had set afloat, and in which the
   translator of Calderon and AEschylus passed his time, better pleased
   with the fellowship and intercourse of the captain and crew of his
   small fishing craft than with that of more educated and sophisticated
   humanity.  He and his brothers were school-fellows of my eldest
   brother under Dr. Malkin, the master of the grammar school of Bury St.
   Edmunds."

{94}  Mrs. Kemble's letter was written with a typewriter (see 'Further
Records,' i. 198, 240, 247).  It was given by FitzGerald to Mr. F.
Spalding, now of the Colchester Museum, through whose kindness I am
enabled to quote it:--

'YORK FARM, BRANCHTOWN.
'_Tuesday_, _Dec._ 14. 1875.

'MY DEAR EDWARD FITZGERALD,

'I have got a printing-machine and am going to try and write to you upon
it and see if it will suit your eyes better than my scrawl of
handwriting.  Thank you for the Photographs and the line of music; I know
that old bit of tune, it seems to me.  I think Mr. Irving's face more
like Young's than my Father's.  Tom Taylor, years ago, told me that Miss
Ellen Terry would be a consummate comic actress.  Portia should never be
without some one to set her before the Public.  She is my model woman.'

{97a}  See 'Letters,' ii. 192

{97b}  See the _Athenaeum_ for Jan. 1, 15, 22, 29, 1876.

{100}  In her 'Further Records,' i. 250, Mrs. Kemble wrote, March 11th,
1876:--

   'Last week my old friend Edward Fitzgerald (Omar Kyam, you know), sent
   me a beautiful miniature of my mother, which his mother--her intimate
   friend--had kept till her death, and which had been painted for Mrs.
   Fitzgerald.  It is a full-length figure, very beautifully painted, and
   very like my mother.  Almost immediately after receiving this from
   England, my friend Mr. Horace Furness came out to see me.  He is a
   great collector of books and prints, and brought me an old engraving
   of my mother in the character of Urania, which a great many years ago
   I remember to have seen, and which was undoubtedly the original of
   Mrs. Fitzgerald's miniature.  I thought the concidence of their both
   reaching me at the same time curious.'

{105}  On July 22nd, 1880, he wrote to me:--"I am still reading her!  And
could make a pretty Introduction to her; but Press-work is hard to me
now, and nobody would care for what I should do, when done.  Mrs. Edwards
has found me a good Photo of 'nos pauvres Rochers,' a straggling old
Chateau, with (I suppose) the Chapel which her old 'Bien Bon' Uncle built
in 1671--while she was talking to her Gardener Pilois and reading
Montaigne, Moliere, Pascal, _or_ Cleopatra, among the trees she had
planted.  Bless her!  I should like to have made Lamb like her, in spite
of his anti-gallican Obstinacy."

{106}  Mrs. Charles Donne, daughter of John Mitchell Kemble, died April
15th, 1876.

{107}  First acted April 18th, 1876.

{108a}  See 'Letters,' ii. 293.

{108b}  See 'Letters,' ii. 198.

{109a}  _Atlantic Monthly_, June 1876, p. 719.

{109b}  Which opened May 10th, 1876.

{110}  In one of his Common Place Books FitzGerald has entered from the
_Monthly Mirror_ for 1807 the following passage of Rousseau on Stage
Scenery--'Ils font, pour epouventer, un Fracas de Decorations sans Effet.
Sur la scene meme il ne faut pas tout dire a la Vue: mais ebranler
l'Imagmation.'

{111}  For April and May 1876: 'The Latest Theory about Bacon.'

{113a}  See letter of October 4th, 1875

{113b}  See 'Letters,' ii. 202-205.

{113c}  This card is now in my possession, 'Mr. Alfred Tennyson.
Farringford.'  On it is written in pencil, "Dear old Fitz--I am passing
thro' and will call again.  [The last three words are crossed out and 'am
here' is written over them].  A.T."  FitzGerald enclosed it to Thompson
(Master of Trinity) and wrote on the back, 'P.S.  Since writing, this
card was sent in: the Writer followed with his Son: and here we all are
as if twenty years had not passed since we met.'

{114a}  About the same time he wrote to me:--"Tennyson came here suddenly
ten days ago--with his Son Hallam, whom I liked much.  It was a Relief to
find a Young Gentleman not calling his Father 'The Governor' but
even--'Papa,' and tending him so carefully in all ways.  And nothing of
'awfully jolly,' etc.  I put them up at the Inn--Bull--as my own House
was in a sort of Interregnum of Painting, within and without: and I knew
they would be well provided at 'John Grout's'--as they were.  Tennyson
said he had not found such Dinners at Grand Hotels, etc.  And John
(though a Friend of Princes of all Nations--Russian, French, Italian,
etc.--who come to buy Horse flesh) was gratified at the Praise: though he
said to me 'Pray, Sir, what is the name of the Gentleman?'"

{114b}  On September 11th, 1877, he wrote to me: 'You ought to have
Hugo's French Shakespeare: it is not wonderful to see how well a German
Translation thrives:--but French Prose--no doubt better than French
Verse.  When I was looking over King John the other day I knew that
Napoleon would have owned it as the thing he craved for in the Theatre:
as also the other Historical Plays:--not Love of which one is sick: but
the Business of Men.  He said this at St. Helena, or elsewhere.'

{115}  It was in 1867.  See 'Letters,' ii. 90, 94.

{116}  Life, vi. 215.  Letter to Lockhart, January 15th, 1826.

{117a}  These expressions must not be looked for in the Decameron, as
'emendato secondo l'ordine del Sacro Concilio di Trento.'

{117b}  See 'Letters,' ii. 203.  In a letter to me dated November 4th,
1876, he says:--

"I have taken refuge from the Eastern Question in Boccaccio, just as the
'piacevoli Donne' who tell the Stories escaped from the Plague.  I
suppose one must read this in Italian as my dear Don in Spanish: the
Language of each fitting the Subject 'like a Glove.'  But there is
nothing to come up to the Don and his Man."

{118}  Book XVIII., vol. vii. p. 188.

{119a}  See 'Letters,' ii. 208.

{119b}  Gillies' Memoirs of a Literary Veteran.  See Letters, ii. 197,
199.

{120a}  An Ode for the Fourth of July, 1876.

{120b}  Mr. Wade, author of _The Jew of Aragon_, which failed.  Mrs.
Kemble says (_Atlantic Monthly_, December 1876, p. 707):--

   "I was perfectly miserable when the curtain fell, and the poor young
   author, as pale as a ghost, came forward to meet my father at the side
   scene, and bravely holding out his hand to him said, 'Never mind, Mr.
   Kemble, I'll do better another time.'"

{120c}  Francisco Javier Elio, a Spanish General, was executed in 1822
for his seventies against the liberals dining the reactionary period 1814-
1820.

{122a}  _Atlantic Monthly_, February 1877, p. 222.

{122b}  Holbrook, near Ipswich.  That she had also some of the family
humour is evident from what she wrote to Mr. Crabbe of her brother's
early life.  'As regards spiritual advantages out of the house he had
none; for our Pastor was one of the old sort, with a jolly red nose
caused by good cheer.  He used to lay his Hat and Whip on the Communion
Table and gabble over the service, running down the Pulpit Stairs not to
lose the opportunity of being invited to a good dinner at the Hall.'  It
was with reference to his sister's husband that FitzGerald in
conversation with Tennyson used the expression 'A Mr. Wilkinson, a
clergyman.'

'Why, Fitz,' said Tennyson, 'that's a verse, and a very bad one too.'  And
they would afterwards humorously contend for the authorship of the worst
line in the English language.

{123}  _Atlantic Monthly_, February 1877, pp. 210, 211, and pp. 220, 221.

{124a}  See note to Letter of Dec. 29_th_ 1875.

{124b}  For November 1875, in an article called 'The Judgment of Paris,'
p. 400.

{125a}  See 'Letters,' ii. 217.  This is in my possession.

{125b}  It came to an end in April 1877.  In a letter to Miss St. Leger,
December 31st, 1876 ('Further Records,' ii. 33), Mrs. Kemble says, 'You
ask me how I mean to carry on the publication of my articles in the
_Atlantic Magazine_ when I leave America; but I do not intend to carry
them on.  The editor proposed to me to do so, but I thought it would
entail so much trouble and uncertainty in the transmission of manuscript
and proofs, that it would be better to break off when I came to Europe.
The editor will have manuscript enough for the February, March, and April
numbers when I come away, and with those I think the series must close.
As there is no narrative or sequence of events involved in the
publication, it can, of course, be stopped at any moment; a story without
an end can end anywhere.'

{126}  See letter of December 29th, 1875.

{127a}  15, Connaught Square.  See 'Further Records,' ii. 42, etc.

{127b}  Valentia Donne marred the Rev. R. F. Smith, minor Canon of
Southwell, May 24th, 1877.

{131a}  'We might say in a short word, which means a long matter, that
your Shakespeare fashions his characters from the heart outwards, your
Scott fashions them from the skin inwards, never getting near the heart
of them.'--Carlyle, 'Miscellanies,' vi. 69 (ed. 1869), 'Sir Walter Scott'

{131b}  Procter, 'Autobiographical Fragments,' p. 154.

{134a}  February 9th, 1878.

{134b}  It was not in the _Fortnightly_ but in the _Nineteenth Century_.

{134c}  This portrait is in my possession.  FitzGerald fastened it in a
copy of the 'Poems chiefly Lyrical' (1830) which he gave me bound up with
the 'Poems' of 1833.  He wrote underneath, 'Done in a Steamboat from
Gravesend to London, Jan: 1842.'

{135a}  Criticisms and Elucidations of Catullus by H. A. J.  Munro.

{135b}  See 'Letters,' ii. 233, 235, 236, 238, 239.

{136}  See 'Letters,' ii. 247.

{138a}  See 'Letters,' ii. 243.

{138b}  See 'Letters,' ii. 248.

{145}  See 'Letters,' ii. 265.

{146}  II. 166 (ed. 1826).

{149}  John Purcell FitzGerald died at Boulge, May 4th, 1879.

{151a}  See letter of May 5th, 1877.

{151b}  In a letter to me dated May 7th, 1879, he says:--

   'I see by Athenaeum that Charles Tennyson (Turner) is dead.  _Now_
   people will begin to talk of his beautiful Sonnets: small, but
   original, things, as well as beautiful.  Especially after that
   somewhat absurd Sale of the Brothers' early Editions.'

{152}  Gay, _The Beggar's Opera_, Act III, Air 57.

{153}  Professor Skeat's Inaugural Lecture, in _Macmillan's Magazine_ for
February 1879, pp. 304-313.

{154}  Mrs. Sartoris, Mrs. Kemble's sister, died August 4, 1879.  See
'Further Records,' ii. 277.

{155}  Edwin Edwards, who died September 15.  See 'Letters,' ii. 277.

{157}  In a letter to me of September 29 1879, he says, "My object in
going to London is, to see poor Mrs. Edwards, who writes me that she has
much collapsed in strength (no wonder!) after the Trial she endured for
near three years more or less, and, you know, a very hard light for the
last year . . .

"Besides her, Mrs. Kemble, who has lately lost her Sister, and returned
from Switzerland to London just at a time when most of her Friends are
out of it--_she_ wants to see me, an old Friend of hers and her Family's,
whom she has not seen for more than twenty years.  So I do hope to do my
'petit possible' to solace both these poor Ladies at the same time."

{158}  On September 11 he wrote to me, 'Ah, pleasant Dunwich Days!  I
should never know a better Boy than Edwards, nor a braver little Wife
than her, were I to live six times as long as I am like to do.'

{160}  See letter of October 4, 1875.

{161}  Mrs. Leigh's son, Pierce Butler, was born on Sunday, November 2,
1879.

{162}  See 'Letters,' ii. 326.

{163a}  Mrs. Kemble appears to have adopted this suggestion.  In her
'Records of a Girlhood,' ii. 41, she says of Sir Thomas Lawrence, 'He
came repeatedly to consult with my mother about the disputed point of my
dress, and gave his sanction to her decision upon it.  The first dress of
Belvidera [in _Venice Preserved_], I remember, was a point of nice
discussion between them. . . . I was allowed (not, however, without
serious demur on the part of Lawrence) to cover my head with a black hat
and white feather.'

{163b}  William Mason.

{166}  November 10, 1879.

{168}  Mrs. De Soyres died at Exeter, December 11, 1879.

{169}  Played at St. James's Theatre, December 18, 1879.

{171}  'The Duke's Children.'

{173}  Probably the 'Records of Later Life,' published in 1882.

{174}  On 1st February 1880, FitzGerald wrote to me:--"Do you know what
'Stub Iron' is? (I do), and what 'Heel-taps' derives from, which Mrs.
Kemble asks, and I cannot tell her."  This is probably the query referred
to.

{175}  Beginning 'As men may children at their sports behold!'--Tales of
the Hall, book xxi., at the end of 'Smugglers and Poachers.'

{176}  In the _Cornhill Magazine_, March 1880, 'The Story of the Merchant
of Venice.'

{179}  'An Eye-witness of John Kemble,' by Sir Theodore Martin.  The eye-
witness is Tieck.

{180a}  This letter was written on a Tuesday, and April 6 was a Tuesday
in 1880.  Moreover, in 1880, at Easter, Donne's house was in quarantine.
FitzGerald probably had the advanced sheets of the _Atlantic Monthly_ for
May from Professor Norton as early as the beginning of April.

{180b}  The _Atlantic Monthly_ for May 1880, contained an article by Mr.
G. E. Woodberry on Crabbe, 'A Neglected Poet.'  See letter to Professor
Norton, May 1, 1880, in 'Letters,' ii. 281.

{181a}  No. 39, where FitzGerald's father and mother lived.  See 'Records
of a Girlhood,' iii. 28.

{181b}  See 'Letters,' ii. 138.

{183a}  It was Queen Catharine.  When Mrs. Siddons called upon Johnson in
1783, he "particularly asked her which of Shakespeare's characters she
was most pleased with.  Upon her answering that she thought the character
of Queen Catharine, in _Henry the Eighth_, the most natural:--'I think so
too, Madam, (said he;) and when ever you perform it, I will once more
hobble out to the theatre myself.'"--Boswell's 'Life of Johnson' (ed.
Birkbeck Hill), iv. 242.

{183b}  See letters of February and December 1881.

{184a}  See 'Letters,' ii. 244, 249.

{184b}  On June 30, 1880, he wrote to me, 'Half her Beauty is the liquid
melodiousness of her language--all unpremeditated as a Blackbird's.'

{186}  See letter of May 5, 1877.

{187}  In a letter to me of the same date he wrote: 'Last night when Miss
Tox was just coming, like a good Soul, to ask about the ruined Dombey, we
heard a Splash of Rain, and I had the Book shut up, and sat listening to
the Shower by myself--till it blew over, I am sorry to say, and no more
of the sort all night.  But we are thankful for that small mercy.

'I am reading through my Sevigne again--welcome as the flowers of May.'

{188a}  On June 9, 1879, FitzGerald wrote to me: "I was from Tuesday to
Saturday last in Norfolk with my old Bredfield Party--George, not very
well: and, as he has not written to tell me he is better, I am rather
anxious.  You should know him; and his Country: which is still the old
Country which we have lost here; small enclosures, with hedgeway timber:
green gipsey drift-ways: and Crome Cottage and Farmhouse of that
beautiful yellow 'Claylump' with red pantile roof'd--not the d---d Brick
and Slate of these parts."

{188b}  See 'Letters,' ii. 290.

{190}  See letter of Madame de Sevigne to Madame de Grignan, June 15,
1689.

{191}  In one of FitzGerald's Common Place Books he gives the story thus:
"When Chancellor Cheverny went home in his Old Age and for the last time,
'Messieurs' (dit-il aux Gentilshommes du Canton accourus pour le saluer),
'Je ressemble au bon Lievre qui vient mourir au Gite.'"

{192a}  Tom Taylor died July 12, 1880.

{192b}  On July 16 FitzGerald wrote to me: 'Not being assured that you
were back from Revision, I wrote yesterday to Cowell asking him--and you,
when returned--to call on Professor Goodwin, of American Cambridge, who
goes to-morrow to your Cambridge--to see--if not to stay with--Mr. Jebb.
Mr. Goodwin proposed to give me a look here before he went to Cambridge:
but I told him I could not bear the thought of his coming all this way
for such a purpose.  I think you can witness that I do not wish even old
English Friends to take me except on their way elsewhere: and for an
American Gentleman!  It is not affectation to say that any such proposal
worried me.  So what must I do but ask him to be sure to see Messrs.
Wright and Cowell when he got to Cambridge: and spend part of one of his
days there in going to Bury, and (even if he cared not for the Abbey with
its Abbot Samson and Jocelyn) to sit with a Bottle of light wine at the
Angel window, face to face with that lovely Abbey gate.  Perhaps Cowell,
I said, might go over with him--knowing and loving Gothic--that was a
liberty for me to take with Cowell, but he need not go--I did not hint at
you.  I suppose I muddled it all.  But do show the American Gentleman
some civilities, to make amends for the disrespect which you and Cowell
told me of in April.'

{193}  The defeat of General Burrows by Ayoub Khan, announced in the
House of Commons, July 28, 1880.  On July 29 further telegrams reported
that General Burrows and other officers had arrived at Candahar after the
defeat.

{194}  The date should be September 19, which was a Sunday in 1880.  Full
moon was on September 18.

{197}  In her 'Further Records,' i. 295, Mrs. Kemble says, 'Russia
leather, you know, is almost an element of the atmosphere of my rooms, as
all the shades of violet and purple are of their colouring, so that my
familiar friends associate the two with their notions of my habitat.'

{198}  See 'Life of Crabbe,' p. 262.

{200}  See 'Letters,' ii. 295.

{201a}  On 'The Story of the Merchant of Venice' in the _Cornhill
Magazine_ for March 1880.

{201b}  'Ballads and other Poems,' 1880.

{202}  _Kelter_, condition, order.  Forby's 'Vocabulary of East Anglia.'

{203a}  See 'Letters,' ii. 110

{203b}  'Medusa and other Tales' (1868), republished in 1880 with a
preface by her daughter, Mrs. Gordon.

{205}  Full moon February 14th.

{206a}  Acted at the Lyceum, January 3rd, 1881.

{206b}  For February 1881.

{210}  See letters of April 23rd, 1880, and December 1881.

{211a}  See 'Letters,' ii. 180, 320.

{211b}  Printed in 'Letters,' ii. 298-301.

{214}  Partly printed in 'Letters,' ii. 305-7.

{216a}  Printed in 'Letters,' ii. 310-312.

{216b}  April 17th was Easter Day in 1881.

{217}  Madame de Sevigne writes from Chaulnes, April 17th, 1689, 'A peine
le vert veut-il montrer le nez; pas un rossignol encore; enfin, l'hiver
le 17 d'Avril.'

{218}  In _Macmillan's Magazine_ for April 1881.

{219}  Partly printed in 'Letters,' ii. 313.

{221}  Partly printed in 'Letters,' ii. 312.

{227a}  On Madame de Sevigne.

{227b}  Published in 1882 as 'Records of Later Life.'

{227c}  See letter of August 24th, 1875.

{230}  Partly printed in 'Letters,' ii. 320-1.

{231}  The correct date is 1794-1805.

{233}  'Evenings with a Reviewer.'  The Reviewer was Macaulay, and the
review the Essay on Bacon.

{234a}  At Boulge.

{234b}  He was in London from February 17th to February 20th.

{236}  See 'Letters,' ii. 324-6.

{237a}  Full moon April 3rd, 1882.

{237b}  'Thomas Carlyle.  The Man and His Books.'  By W. H. Wylie.  1881,
p. 363.

{241a}  On May 7 FitzGerald wrote to me from Lowestoft:

   "I too am taking some medicine, which, whatever effect it has on me,
   leaves an indelible mark on Mahogany: for (of course) I spilled a lot
   on my Landlady's Chiffonier, and found her this morning rubbing at the
   'damned Spot' with Turpentine, and in vain."

And two days later:

   "I was to have gone home to-day: but Worthington wishes me to stay, at
   any rate, till the week's end, by which time he thinks to remove what
   he calls 'a Crepitation' in one lung, by help of the Medicine which
   proved its power on the mahogany.  Yesterday came a Cabinet-maker, who
   was for more than half an hour employed in returning that to its
   'sound and pristine health,' or such as I hope my Landlady will be
   satisfied with."

{241b}  Serjeant Ballantine's 'Experiences of a Barrister's Life'
appeared in March 1882.

{241c}  Full moon was June 1st, 1882.

{243a}  W. B. Donne died June 20th, 1882.

{243b}  This letter is in my possession, and as it indicates what Mr.
Froude's plan originally was, though he afterwards modified it, I have
thought it worth while to give it in full.

   '5 ONSLOW GARDENS, S.W.
   '_May_ 19.

   'DEAR MR. FITZGERALD,

   'Certainly you are no stranger to me.  I have heard so often from
   Carlyle, and I have read so much in his letters, about your exertions,
   and about your entertainment of him at various times, that I can
   hardly persuade myself that I never saw you.

   'The letters you speak of must be very interesting, and I would ask
   you to let me see them if I thought that they were likely to be of use
   to me; but the subject with which I have to deal is so vast that I am
   obliged to limit myself, and so intricate that I am glad to be able to
   limit myself.  I shall do what Carlyle desired me to do, _i.e._ edit
   the collection of his wife's letters, which he himself prepared for
   publication.

   'This gift or bequest of his governs the rest of my work.  What I have
   already done is an introduction to these letters.  When they are
   published I shall add a volume of personal recollections of his later
   life; and this will be all.  Had I been left unencumbered by special
   directions I should have been tempted to leave his domestic history
   untouched except on the outside, and have attempted to make a complete
   biography out of the general materials.  This I am unable to do, and
   all that I can give the world will be materials for some other person
   to use hereafter.  I can explain no further the conditions of the
   problem.  But for my own share of it I have materials in abundance,
   and I must avoid being tempted off into other matters however
   important in themselves.

   'I may add for myself that I did not seek this duty, nor was it
   welcome to me.  C. asked me to undertake it.  When I looked through
   the papers I saw how difficult, how, in some aspects of it, painful,
   the task would be.

   'Believe me,
   'faithfully yours,
   'J. A. FROUDE.'

{245a}  Printed in 'Letters,' ii. 332.

{245b}  July 30th.

{247}  Printed in 'Letters,' ii. 333.

{248}  Here begins second half-sheet, dated 'Monday, Sept. 5.'

{249}  Partly printed in 'Letters,' ii. 335.

{250a}  See letter of June 23rd, 1880.

{250b}  Reprinted in 'A Book of Sibyls,' 1883.

{251a}  _The Promise of May_ was acted at the Globe Theatre, November
11th, 1882.

{251b}  See letter of November 13th, 1879.

{252a}  Mrs. Wister's son.

{252b}  See letter of March 28th, 1880.

{253a}  'John Leech and other Papers,' 1882.

{253b}  November 18th, 1882.

{257}  See 'Letters and Memorials of Jane Welsh Carlyle,' ii. 249.

{259}  For May 1883: 'Mrs. Carlyle.'

{260}  Tennyson's 'Brook.'

{261}  In a letter to Sir Frederick Pollock, March 16th, 1879, he says:--

   "I have had Sir Walter read to me first of a Night, by way of Drama;
   then ten minutes for Refreshment, and then Dickens for Farce.  Just
   finished the Pirate--as wearisome for Nornas, Minnas, Brendas, etc.,
   as any of the Scotch Set; but when the Common People have to talk, the
   Pirates to quarrel and swear, then Author and Reader are at home; and
   at the end I 'fare' to like this one the best of the Series.  The Sea
   scenery has much to do with this preference I dare say."

{263}  See 'Letters,' ii. 344.





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