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´╗┐Title: Immortal Memories
Author: Shorter, Clement King, 1857-1926
Language: English
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Copyright Status: Not copyrighted in the United States. If you live elsewhere check the laws of your country before downloading this ebook. See comments about copyright issues at end of book.

*** Start of this Doctrine Publishing Corporation Digital Book "Immortal Memories" ***

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Transcribed from the 1907 Hodder and Stoughton edition by David Price,
email ccx074@pglaf.org




_Butler and Tanner_, _The Selwood Printing Works_, _Frome_, _and London_.


The following addresses were delivered at the request of various literary
societies and commemorative committees.  They amused me to write, and
they apparently interested the audiences for which they were primarily
intended.  Perhaps they do not bear an appearance in print.  But they are
not for my brother-journalists to read nor for the judicious men of
letters.  I prefer to think that they are intended solely for those whom
Hazlitt styled "sensible people."  Hazlitt said that "the most sensible
people to be met with in society are men of business and of the world."  I
am hoping that these will buy my book and that some of them will like it.

It is recorded by Sir Henry Taylor of Samuel Rogers that when he wrote
that very indifferent poem, _Italy_, he said, "I will make people buy.
Turner shall illustrate my verse."  It is of no importance that the
biographer of Rogers tells us that the poet first made the artist known
to the world by these illustrations.  Taylor's story is a good one, and
the moral worth taking to heart.  The late Lord Acton, most learned and
most accomplished of men, wrote out a list of the hundred best books as
he considered them to be.  They were printed in a popular magazine.  They
naturally excited much interest.  I have rescued them from the pages of
the _Pall Mall Magazine_.  Those who will not buy my book for its seven
other essays may do so on account of Lord Acton's list of books being
here first preserved "between boards."  I shall be equally well pleased.




A toast proposed at the Johnson Birthday Celebration held at the Three
Crowns Inn, Lichfield, in September, 1906.

In rising to propose this toast I cannot ignore what must be in many of
your minds, the recollection that last year it was submitted by a very
dear friend of my own, who, alas! has now gone to his rest, I mean Dr.
Richard Garnett. {3}  Many of you who heard him in this place will
recall, with kindly memories, that venerable scholar.  I am one of those
who, in the interval have stood beside his open grave; and I know you
will permit me to testify here to the fact that rarely has such brilliant
scholarship been combined with so kindly a nature, and with so much
generosity to other workers in the literary field.  One may sigh that it
is not possible to perpetuate for all time for the benefit of others the
vast mass of learning which such men as Dr. Garnett are able to
accumulate.  One may lament even more that one is not able to present in
some concrete form, as an example to those who follow, his fine qualities
of heart and mind--his generous faculty for 'helping lame dogs over

Dr. Garnett had not only a splendid erudition that specially qualified
him for proposing this toast, he had also what many of you may think an
equally exceptional qualification--he was a native of Lichfield; he was
born in this fine city.  As a Londoner--like Boswell when charged with
the crime of being a Scotsman I may say that I cannot help it--I suppose
I should come to you with hesitating footsteps.  Perhaps it was rash of
me to come at all, in spite of an invitation so kindly worded.  Yet how
gladly does any lover, not only of Dr. Johnson, but of all good
literature, come to Lichfield.  Four cathedral cities of our land stand
forth in my mind with a certain magnetic power to draw even the most
humble lover of books towards them--Oxford, Bath, Norwich, Lichfield,
these four and no others.  Oxford we all love and revere as the
nourishing mother of so many famous men.  Here we naturally recall Dr.
Johnson's love of it--his defence of it against all comers.  The glamour
of Oxford and the memory of the great men who from age to age have walked
its streets and quadrangles, is with us upon every visit.  Bath again has
noble memories.  Upon house after house in that fine city is inscribed
the fact that it was at one time the home of a famous man or woman of the
past.  Through its streets many of our great imaginative writers have
strolled, and those streets have been immortalized in the pages of
several great novelists, notably of Jane Austen and Charles Dickens.

For the City of Norwich I have a particular affection, as for long the
home in quite separate epochs of Sir Thomas Browne and of George Borrow.
I recall that in the reign of one of its Bishops--the father of Dean
Stanley--there was a literary circle of striking character, that men and
women of intellect met in the episcopal palace to discuss all 'obstinate

But if he were asked to choose between the golden age of Bath, of
Norwich, or of Lichfield, I am sure that any man who knew his books would
give the palm to Lichfield, and would recall that period in the life of
Lichfield when Dr. Seward resided in the Bishop's Palace, with his two
daughters, and when they were there entertaining so many famous friends.
I saw the other day the statement that Anna Seward's name was unknown to
the present generation.  Now I have her works in nine volumes {6}; I have
read them, and I doubt not but that there are many more who have done the
same.  Sir Walter Scott's friendship would alone preserve her memory if
every line she wrote deserved to be forgotten as is too readily assumed.
Scott, indeed, professed admiration for her verse, and a yet greater
poet, Wordsworth, wrote in praise of two fine lines at the close of one
of her sonnets, that entitled 'Invitation to a Friend,' lines which I
believe present the first appearance in English poetry of the form of
blank verse immortalized by Tennyson.

   Come, that I may not hear the winds of night,
   Nor count the heavy eave-drops as they fall.

"You have well criticized the poetic powers of this lady," says
Wordsworth, "but, after all, her verses please me, with all their faults,
better than those of Mrs. Barbauld, who, with much higher powers of mind,
was spoiled as a poetess by being a dissenter."

Less, however, can be said for her poetry to-day than for her capacity as
a letter writer.  A letter writing faculty has immortalized more than one
English author, Horace Walpole for example, who had this in common with
Anna Seward, that he had the bad taste not to like Dr. Johnson.

Sooner or later there will be a reprint of a selection of Anna Seward's
correspondence; you will find in it a picture of country life in the
middle of the eighteenth century--and by that I mean Lichfield life--that
is quite unsurpassed.  Anna Seward, her friends and her enemies, stand
before us in very marked outline.  As with Walpole also, she must have
written with an eye to publication.  Veracity was not her strong point,
but her literary faculty was very marked indeed.  Those who have read the
letters that treat of her sister's betrothal and death, for example, will
not easily forget them.  The accepted lover, you remember, was a Mr.
Porter, a son of the widow whom Johnson married; and Sarah Seward, aged
only eighteen, died soon after her betrothal to him.  That is but one of
a thousand episodes in the world into which we are introduced in these
pages. {8}

The Bishop's Palace was the scene of brilliant symposiums.  There one
might have met Erasmus Darwin of the _Botanic Garden_, whose fame has
been somewhat dulled by the extraordinary genius of his grandson.  There
also came Richard Edgeworth, the father of Maria, whose _Castle Rackrent_
and _The Absentee_ are still among the most delightful books that we
read; and there were the two young girls, Honora and Elizabeth Sneyd, who
were destined in succession to become Richard Edgeworth's wives.  There,
above all, was Thomas Day, the author of _Sanford and Merton_, a book
which delighted many of us when we were young, and which I imagine with
all its priggishness will always survive as a classic for children.
There, for a short time, came Major Andre, betrothed to Honora Sneyd, but
destined to die so tragically in the American War of Independence.  It is
to Miss Seward's malicious talent as a letter writer that we owe the
exceedingly picturesque account of Day's efforts to obtain a wife upon a
particular pattern, his selection of Sabrina Sidney, whom he prepared for
that high destiny by sending her to a boarding school until she was of
the right age--his lessons in stoicism--his disappointment because she
screamed when he fired pistols at her petticoats, and yelled when he
dropped melted sealing-wax on her bare arms; it is a tragi-comic picture,
and one is glad that Sabrina married some other man than her exacting
guardian.  But we would not miss Miss Seward's racy stories for anything,
nor ignore her many letters with their revelation of the glories of old-
time Lichfield, and of those 'lunar meetings' at which the wise ones
foregathered.  Now and again these worthies burst into sarcasm at one
another's expense, as when Darwin satirizes the publication of Mr.
Seward's edition of _Beaumont and Fletcher_, and Dr. Johnson's edition of

   From Lichfield famed two giant critics come,
   Tremble, ye Poets! hear them!  Fe, Fo, Fum!
   By Seward's arm the mangled Beaumont bled,
   And Johnson grinds poor Shakspere's bones for bread.

But perhaps after all, if we eliminate Dr. Johnson, the lover of letters
gives the second place, not to Miss Seward and her circle, but to David
Garrick.  Lichfield contains more than one memento of that great man.  The
actor's art is a poor sort of thing as a rule.  Johnson, in his tarter
moments, expresses this attitude, as when he talked of Garrick as a man
who exhibited himself for a shilling, when he called him 'a futile
fellow,' and implied that it was very unworthy of Lord Campden to have
made much of the actor and to have ignored so distinguished a writer as
Goldsmith, when thrown into the company of both.  Still undoubtedly
Johnson's last word upon Garrick is the best--'his death has eclipsed the
gaiety of nations and diminished the public stock of harmless pleasure.'
We who live more than a hundred years later are able to recognize that
Garrick has been the one great actor from that age to this.  As a rule
the mummers are mimics and little more, and generations go on, giving
them their brief but glorious hour of fame, and then leaving them as mere
names in the history of the stage.  Garrick was preserved from this fate,
not only by the circumstance that he had an army of distinguished
literary friends, but by his interesting personality and by his own
writings.  Many lines of his plays and prologues have become part of
current speech.  Moreover his must have been a great personality, as
those of us who have met Sir Henry Irving in these latter days have
realized that his was also a great personality.  It is fitting,
therefore, that these two great actors, the most famous of an
interesting, if not always an heroic profession, should lie side by side
in Westminster Abbey.

I now come to my toast "The memory of Dr. Johnson."  After all, Johnson
was the greatest of all Lichfieldians, and one of the great men of his
own and of all ages.  We may talk about him and praise him because we
shall be the better for so doing, but we shall certainly say nothing new.
One or two points, however, seem to me worthy of emphasis in this company
of Johnsonians.  I think we should resent two popular fallacies which you
will not hear from literary students, but only from one whom it is
convenient to call "the man in the street."  The first is, that we should
know nothing about Johnson if it were not for Boswell's famous life, and
the second that Johnson the author is dead, and that our great hero only
lives as a brilliant conversationalist in the pages of Boswell and
others.  Boswell's _Life of Johnson_ is the greatest biography in the
English language; we all admit that.  It is crowded with incident and
anecdote.  Neither Walter Scott nor Rousseau, each of whom has had an
equal number of pages devoted to his personality, lives so distinctly for
future ages as does Johnson in the pages of Boswell.  Understanding all
this, we are entitled to ask ourselves what we should have thought of Dr.
Johnson had there been no Boswell; and to this question I do not hesitate
to answer that we should have loved him as much as ever, and that there
would still have been a mass of material with the true Boswellian
flavour.  He would not have made an appeal to so large a public, but some
ingenious person would have drawn together all the anecdotes, all the
epigrams, all the touches of that fine humanity, and given us from these
various sources an amalgam of Johnson, that every bookman at least would
have desired to read and study.  In Fanny Burney's _Letters and Diaries_
the presentation of Johnson is delightful.  I wonder very much that all
the Johnson fragments that Miss Burney provides have not been published
separately.  Then Mrs. Thrale has chatted about Johnson copiously in her
"Anecdotes," and these pleasant stories have been reprinted again and
again for the curious.  I recall many other sources of information about
the great man and his wonderful talk--by Miss Hawkins, Miss Reynolds,
Miss Hannah More for example--and many of you who have Dr. Birkbeck
Hill's _Johnson Miscellanies_ have these in a pleasantly acceptable form.

My second point is concerned with Dr. Johnson's position apart from all
this fund of anecdote, and this brilliant collection of unforgettable
epigram in Boswell and elsewhere.  As a writer, many will tell you, Dr.
Johnson is dead.  The thing is absurd on the face of it.  There is room
for some disagreement as to his position as a poet.  On that question of
poetry unanimity is ever hard to seek; so many mistake rhetoric for
poetry.  Only twice at the most, it seems to me, does Dr. Johnson reach
anything in the shape of real inspiration in his many poems, {15}
although it must be admitted that earlier generations admired them
greatly.  To have been praised ardently by Sir Walter Scott, by Byron,
and by Tennyson should seem sufficient to demonstrate that he was a poet,
were it not that, as I could prove if time allowed, poets are almost
invariably bad critics of poetry.  Sir Walter Scott read _The Vanity of
Human Wishes_ with "a choking sensation in the throat," and declared that
he had more pleasure in reading that and Johnson's other long poem,
_London_, than any other poetic compositions he could mention.  But then
I think it was always the sentiment in verse, and not its quality, that
attracted Scott.  Byron also declared that _The Vanity of Human Wishes_
was "a great poem."  Certainly these poems are quotable poems.  Who does
not recall the line about "surveying mankind from China to Peru," or
think, as Johnson taught us, to:--

   Mark what ills the scholar's life assail,
   Toil, envy, want, the patron, and the jail.

Or remember his epitaph on one who:--

   Left a name at which the world grew pale,
   To point a moral or adorn a tale.

One line--"Superfluous lags the veteran on the stage" has done duty again
and again.  I might quote a hundred such examples to show Johnson,
whatever his qualities as a poet, is very much alive indeed in his verse.
It is, however, as a great prose writer, that I prefer to consider him.
Here he is certainly one of the most permanent forces in our literature.
_Rasselas_, for example, while never ranking with us moderns quite so
high as it did with the excellent Miss Jenkins in _Cranford_, is a never
failing delight.  So far from being a dead book, is there a young man or
a young woman setting out in the world of to-day, aspiring to an
all-round literary cultivation, who is not required to know it?  It has
been republished continually.  What novelist of our time would not give
much to have so splendid a public recognition as was provided when Lord
Beaconsfield, then Mr. Disraeli, after the Abyssinian Expedition,
pictured in the House of Commons "the elephants of Asia dragging the
artillery of Europe over the mountains of Rasselas."

Equally in evidence are those wonderful _Lives of The Poets_ which
Johnson did not complete until he was seventy-two years of age, literary
efforts which have always seemed to me to be an encouraging demonstration
that we should never allow ourselves to grow old.  Many of these 'Lives'
are very beautiful.  They are all suggestive.  Only the other day I read
them again in the fine new edition that was prepared by that staunch
Johnsonian, Dr. Birkbeck Hill.  The greatest English critic of these
latter days, Mr. Matthew Arnold, showed his appreciation by making a
selection from them for popular use.  From age to age every man with the
smallest profession of interest in literature will study them.  Of how
many books can this be said?

Greatest of all was Johnson as a writer in his least premeditated work,
his _Prayers and Meditations_.  They take rank in my mind with the very
best things of their kind, _The Meditations of Marcus Aurelius_, _The
Confessions of Rousseau_, and similar books.  They are healthier than any
of their rivals.  William Cowper, that always fascinating poet and
beautiful letter writer, more than once disparaged Johnson in this
connexion.  Cowper said that he would like to have "dusted Johnson's
jacket until his pension rattled in his pocket," for what he had said
about Milton.  He read some extracts, after Johnson's death, from the
_Meditations_, and wrote contemptuously of them. {18}  But if Cowper had
always possessed, in addition to his fascinating other-worldliness the
healthy worldliness of Dr. Johnson, perhaps we should all have been the
happier.  To me that collection of _Prayers and Meditations_ seems one of
the most helpful books that I have ever read, and I am surprised that it
is not constantly reprinted in a handy form. {19}  It is a valuable
inspiration to men to keep up their spirits under adverse conditions, to
conquer the weaknesses of their natures; not in the stifling manner of
Thomas a Kempis, but in a breezy, robust way.  Yes, I think that these
three works, _Rasselas_, _The Lives of the Poets_, and the _Prayers and
Meditations_, make it quite clear that Johnson still holds his place as
one of our greatest writers, even if we were not familiar with his many
delightful letters, and had not read his _Rambler_--which his old enemy,
Miss Anna Seward, insisted was far better than Addison's _Spectator_.

All this is only to say that we cannot have too much of Dr. Johnson.  The
advantage of such a gathering as this is that it helps us to keep that
fact alive.  Moreover, I feel that it is a good thing if we can hearten
those who have devoted themselves to laborious research connected with
such matters.  Take, for example, the work of Dr. Birkbeck Hill: his many
volumes are a delight to the Johnson student.  I knew Dr. Hill very well,
and I have often felt that his work did not receive half the
encouragement that it deserved.  We hear sometimes, at least in London,
of authors who advertise themselves.  I rather fancy that all such
advertisement is monopolized by the novelist, and that the newspapers do
not trouble themselves very much about literary men who work in other
fields than that of fiction.  Fiction has much to be said for it, but as
a rule it reaps its reward very promptly, both in finance and in fame.  No
such rewards come to the writer of biography, to the writer of history,
to the literary editor.  Dr. Hill's beautiful edition of Boswell's
_Life_, with all its fascinating annotation, did not reach a second
edition in his lifetime.  I am afraid that the sum that he made out of
it, or that his publishers made out of it, would seem a very poor reward
indeed when gauged by the results in other fields of labour.

Within the past few weeks I have had the privilege of reading a book that
continues these researches.  Mr. Aleyn Lyell Reade has published a
handsome tome, which he has privately printed, entitled _Dr. Johnson's
Ancestry_: _His Kinsfolk and Family Connexions_.  I am glad to hear that
the Johnson Museum has purchased a copy, for such a work deserves every
encouragement.  The author must have spent hundreds of pounds, without
the faintest possibility of obtaining either fame or money from the
transaction.  He seems to have employed copyists in every town in
Staffordshire, to copy wills, registers of births and deaths, and kindred
records from the past.  Now Dr. Birkbeck Hill could not have afforded to
do this; he was by no means a rich man.  Mr. Reade has clearly been able
to spare no expense, with the result that here are many interesting facts
corrective of earlier students.  The whole is a valuable record of the
ancestry of Dr. Johnson.  It shows clearly that whereas Dr. Johnson
thought very little of his ancestry, and scarcely knew anything of his
grandfather on the paternal or the maternal side, he really sprang from a
very remarkable stock, notably on the maternal side; and that his
mother's family, the Fords, had among their connexions all kinds of
fairly prosperous people, clergymen, officials, professional men as well
as sturdy yeomen.  These ancestors of Dr. Johnson did not help him much
to push his way in the world.  Of some of them he had scarcely heard.  All
the same it is of great interest to us to know this; it in a manner
explains him.  That before Samuel Johnson was born, one of his family had
been Lord Mayor of London, another a Sheriff, that they had been
associated in various ways, not only with the city of his birth, but also
with the great city which Johnson came to love so much, is to let in a
flood of fresh light upon our hero.  My time does not permit me to do
more than make a passing reference to this book, but I should like to
offer here a word of thanks to its author for his marvellous industry,
and a word of congratulation to him for the extraordinary success that
has accrued to his researches.

I mention Mr. Reade's book because it is full of Lichfield names and
Lichfield associations, and it is with Dr. Johnson's life-long connexion
with Lichfield that all of us are thinking to-night.  Now here I may say,
without any danger of being challenged by some visitor who has the
misfortune not to be a citizen of Lichfield--you who are will not wish to
challenge me--that this city has distinguished itself in quite an unique
way.  I do not believe that it can be found that any other town or city
of England--I will not say of Scotland or of Ireland--has done honour to
a literary son in the same substantial measure that Lichfield has done
honour to Samuel Johnson.  The peculiar glory of the deed is that it was
done to the living Johnson, not coming, as so many honours do, too late
for a man to find pleasure in the recognition.  We know that--

   Seven wealthy towns contend for Homer dead,
   Through which the living Homer begged his bread.

But I doubt whether in the whole history of literature in England it can
be found that any other purely literary man has received in his lifetime
so substantial a mark of esteem from the city which gave him birth, as
Johnson did when your Corporation, in 1767, "at a common-hall of the
bailiffs and citizens, without any solicitation," presented him with the
ninety-nine years' lease of the house in which he was born.  Your
citizens not only did that for Johnson, but they gave him other marks of
their esteem.  He writes from Lichfield to Sir Joshua Reynolds to express
his pleasure that his portrait has been "much visited and much admired."
"Every man," he adds, "has a lurking desire to appear considerable in his
native place."  Then we all remember Boswell's naive confession that his
pleasure at finding his hero so much beloved led him, when the pair
arrived at this very hostelry, to imbibe too much of the famous Lichfield
ale.  If Boswell wished, as he says, to offer incense to the spirit of
the place, how much more may we desire to do so to-night, when exactly
125 years have passed, and his hero is now more than ever recognized as a
king of men.

I do not suggest that we should honour Johnson in quite the same way that
Boswell did.  This is a more abstemious age.  But we must drink to his
memory all the same.  Think of it.  A century and a quarter have passed
since that memorable evening at the _Three Crowns_, when Johnson and
Boswell thus foregathered in this very room.  You recall the journey from
Birmingham of the two companions.  "We are getting out of a state of
death," the Doctor said with relief, as he approached his native city,
feeling all the magic and invigoration that is said to come to those who
in later years return to "calf-land."  Then how good he was to an old
schoolfellow who called upon him here.  The fact that this man had failed
in the battle of life while Johnson had succeeded, only made the Doctor
the kinder.  I know of no more human picture than that--"A Mr. Jackson,"
as he is called by Boswell, "in his coarse grey coat," obviously very
poor, and as Boswell suggests, "dull and untaught."  The "great Cham of
Literature" listens patiently as the worthy Jackson tells his troubles,
so much more patiently than he would have listened to one of the famous
men of his Club in London, and the hero-worshipping Boswell drinks his
deep potations, but never neglects to take notes the while.  Of Boswell
one remembers further that Johnson had told Wilkes that he had brought
him to Lichfield, "my native city," "that he might see for once real
Civility--for you know he lives among savages in Scotland, and among
rakes in London."  All good stories are worth hearing again and again,
and so I offer an apology for recalling the picture to your mind at this
time and in this place.

Alas! I have not the gift of the worldfamed Lord Verulam, who, as Francis
Bacon, sat in the House of Commons.  The members, we are told, so
delighted in his oratory that when he rose to speak they "were fearful
lest he should make an end."  I am making an end.  Johnson then was not
only a great writer, a conversationalist so unique that his sayings have
passed more into current speech than those of any other Englishman, but
he was also a great moralist--a superb inspiration to a better life.  We
should not love Johnson so much were he not presented to us as a man of
many weaknesses and faults akin to our own, not a saint by any means, and
therefore not so far removed from us as some more ethereal characters of
whom we may read.  Johnson striving to methodize his life, to fight
against sloth and all the minor vices to which he was prone, is the
Johnson whom some of us prefer to keep ever in mind.  "Here was," I quote
Carlyle, "a strong and noble man, one of our great English souls."  I
love him best in his book called _Prayers and Meditations_, where we know
him as we know scarcely any other Englishman, for the good, upright
fighter in this by no means easy battle of life.  It is as such a fighter
that we think of him to-night.  Reading the account of _his_ battles may
help us to fight ours.

Gentlemen, I give you the toast of the evening.  Let us drink in solemn
silence, upstanding, "The Immortal Memory of Dr. Samuel Johnson."


An address entitled 'The Sanity of Cowper,' delivered at the Centenary
Celebration at Olney, Bucks, on the occasion of the Hundredth Anniversary
of the Death of the poet William Cowper, April 25, 1900.

I owe some apology for coming down to Olney to take part in what I
believe is a purely local celebration, in which no other Londoner, as far
as I know, has been asked to take part.  I am here not because I profess
any special qualification to speak about Cowper, in the town with which
his name is so pleasantly associated, but because Mr. Mackay, {31} the
son-in-law of your Vicar, has written a book about the Brontes, and I
have done likewise, and he asked me to come.  This common interest has
little, you will say, to do with the Poet of Olney.  Between Cowper and
Charlotte Bronte there were, however, not a few points of likeness or at
least of contrast.  Both were the children of country clergymen; both
lived lives of singular and, indeed, unusual strenuousness; both were the
very epitome of a strong Protestantism; and yet both--such is the
inevitable toleration of genius--were drawn in an unusual manner to
attachment to friends of the Roman Catholic Church--Cowper to Lady
Throckmorton, who copied out some of his translations from Homer for him,
assisted by her father-confessor, Dr. Gregson, and Miss Bronte to her
Professor, M. Heger, the man in the whole world whom she most revered.
Under circumstances of peculiar depression both these great Protestant
writers went further on occasion than their Protestant friends would have
approved, Cowper to contemplate--so he assures us in one of his
letters--the entering a French monastery, and Miss Bronte actually to
kneel in the Confessional in a Brussels church.  Further, let me remind
you that there were moments in the lives of Charlotte Bronte and her
sisters, when Cowper's poem, _The Castaway_, was their most soul-stirring
reading.  Then, again, Mary Unwin's only daughter became the wife of a
Vicar of Dewsbury, and it was at Dewsbury and to the very next vicar,
that Mr. Bronte, the father of Charlotte, was curate when he first went
into Yorkshire.  Finally, let it be recalled that Cowper and Charlotte
Bronte have attracted as much attention by the pathos of their lives as
by anything that they wrote.  Thus far, and no further, can a strained
analogy carry us.  The most enthusiastic admirers of the Brontes can only
claim for them that they permanently added certain artistic treasures to
our literature.  Cowper did incomparably more than this.  His work marked
an epoch.

But first let me say how interested we who are strangers naturally feel
in being in Olney.  To every lover of literature Olney is made classic
ground by the fact that Cowper spent some twenty years of his life in
it--not always with too genial a contemplation of the place and its
inhabitants.  "The genius of Cowper throws a halo of glory over all the
surroundings of Olney and Weston," says Dean Burgon.  But Olney has
claims apart from Cowper.  John Newton {34} presents himself to me as an
impressive personality.  There was a time, indeed, of youthful
impetuosity when I positively hated him, for Southey, whose biography I
read very early in life, certainly endeavours to assist the view that
Newton was largely responsible for the poet's periodical attacks of

But a careful survey of the facts modifies any such impression.  Newton
was narrow at times, he was over-concerned as to the letter, often
ignoring the spirit of true piety, but the student of the two volumes of
his _Life and Correspondence_ that we owe to Josiah Bull, will be
compelled to look at "the old African blasphemer" as he called himself,
with much of sympathy.  That he had a note of tolerance, with which he is
not usually credited, we learn from one of his letters, where he says:

   I am willing to be a debtor to the wise and to the unwise, to doctors
   and shoemakers, if I can get a hint from any one without respect of
   parties.  When a house is on fire Churchmen and Dissenters, Methodists
   and Papists, Moravians and Mystics are all welcome to bring water.  At
   such times nobody asks, "Pray, friend, whom do you hear?" or "What do
   you think of the five points?"

Even my good friend Canon Benham, who has done so much to sustain the
honourable fame of Cowper, and who would have been here to-day but for a
long-standing engagement, is scarcely fair to Newton. {35}  It is not
true, as has been suggested, that Cowper always changed his manner into
one of painful sobriety when he wrote to Newton.  One of his most
humorous letters--a rhyming epistle--was addressed to that divine.

   I have writ (he says) in a rhyming fit, what will make you dance, and
   as you advance, will keep you still, though against your will, dancing
   away, alert and gay, till you come to an end of what I have penned;
   which you may do ere Madam and you are quite worn out with jigging
   about, I take my leave, and here you receive a bow profound, down to
   the ground, from your humble me, W. C.

Now, I quote this very familiar passage from the correspondence to remind
you that Cowper could only have written it to a man possessed of
considerable healthy geniality.

At any rate, alike as a divine and as the author of the _Olney Hymns_,
Newton holds an important place in the history of theology, and Olney has
a right to be proud of him.  An even more important place is held by
Thomas Scott, {36} and it seems to me quite a wonderful thing that Olney
should sometimes have held at one and the same moment three such
remarkable men as Cowper, Newton, and Scott.

In my boyhood Scott's name was a household word, and many a time have I
thumbed the volumes of his _Commentaries_, those _Commentaries_ which Sir
James Stephen declared to be "the greatest theological performance of our
age and country."  Of Scott Cardinal Newman in his _Apologia_ said, it
will be remembered, that "to him, humanly speaking, I almost owe my
soul."  Even here our literary associations with Olney and its
neighbourhood are not ended, for, it was within five miles of this
town--at Easton Maudit--that Bishop Percy {37} lived and prepared those
_Reliques_ which have inspired a century of ballad literature.  Here the
future Bishop of Dromore was visited by Dr. Johnson and others.  What a
pity that with only five miles separating them Cowper and Johnson should
never have met!  Would Cowper have reconsidered the wish made when he
read Johnson's biography of Milton in the _Lives of the Poets_: "Oh! I
could thresh his old jacket till I made his pension jingle in his

But it is with Cowper only that we have here to do, and when we are
talking of Cowper the difficulty is solely one of compression.  So much
has been written about him and his work.  The Lives of him form of
themselves a most substantial library.  He has been made the subject of
what is surely the very worst biography in the language and of one that
is among the very best.  The well-meaning Hayley {38a} wrote the one, in
which the word "tenderness" appears at least twice on every page, and
Southey {38b} the other.  Not less fortunate has the poet been in his
critics.  Walter Bagehot, James Russell Lowell, Mrs. Oliphant, George
Eliot {38c}--these are but a few of the names that occur to me as having
said something wise and to the point concerning the Poet of Olney.

I somehow feel that it is safer for me to refer to the Poet of Olney than
to speak of William Cowper, because I am not quite sure how you would
wish me to pronounce his name.  _Cooper_, he himself pronounced it, as
his family are in the habit of doing.  The present Lord Cowper is known
to all the world as Lord Cooper.  The derivation of the name and the
family coat-of-arms justify that pronunciation, and it might be said that
a man was, and is, entitled to settle the question of the pronunciation
of his own name.  And yet I plead for what I am quite willing to allow is
the incorrect pronunciation.  All pronunciation, even of the simplest
words, is settled finally by a consensus of custom.  Throughout the
English-speaking world the name is now constantly pronounced Cowper, as
if that most useful and ornamental animal the cow had given it its
origin.  Well-read Scotland is peculiarly unanimous in the custom, and
well-read America follows suit.  William Shakspere, I doubt not, called
himself Shaxspere, and we decline to imitate him, and so probably many of
us will with a light heart go on speaking of William Cowper to the end of
the chapter.  At any rate Shakspere and Cowper, divergent as were their
lives and their work--and one readily recognizes the incomparably greater
position of the former--had alike a keen sense of humour, rare among
poets it would seem, and hugely would they both have enjoyed such a
controversy as this.

This suggestion of the humour of Cowper brings me to my main point.
Humour is so essentially a note of sanity, and it is the sanity of Cowper
that I desire to emphasize here.  We have heard too much of the insanity
of Cowper, of the "maniac's tongue" to which Mrs. Browning referred, of
the "maniacal Calvinist" of whom Byron wrote somewhat scornfully.  Only a
day or two ago I read in a high-class journal that "one fears that
Cowper's despondency and madness are better known to-day than his
poetry."  That is not to know the secret of Cowper.  It is true that
there were periods of maniacal depression, and these were not always
religious ones.  Now, it was from sheer nervousness at the prospect of
meeting his fellows, now it was from a too logical acceptance of the
doctrine of eternal punishment.  Had it not been these, it would have
been something else.  It might have been politics, or a hundred things
that now and again give a twist to the mind of the wisest.  With Cowper
it was generally religion.  I am not here to promote a paradox.  I accept
the only too well-known story of Cowper's many visitations, but, looking
back a century, for the purpose of asking what was Cowper's contribution
to the world's happiness and why we meet to speak of our love for him to-
day, I insist that these visitations are not essential to our memory of
him as a great figure in our literature--the maker of an epoch.

Cowper lived for some seventy years--sixty-nine, to be exact.  Of these
years there was a period longer than the full term of Byron's life, of
Shelley's or of Keats's, of perfect sanity, and it was in this period
that he gave us what is one of the sanest achievements in our literature,
view it as we may.

Let us look backwards over the century--a century which has seen many
changes of which Cowper had scarcely any vision--the wonders of machinery
and of electricity, of commercial enterprise, of the newspaper press, of
book production.  The galloping postboy is the most persistent figure in
Cowper's landscape.  He has been replaced by the motor car.  Nations have
arisen and fallen; a thousand writers have become popular and have ceased
to be remembered.  Other writers have sprung up who have made themselves
immortal.  Burns and Byron, Coleridge and Wordsworth, Scott and Shelley
among the poets.

We ask ourselves, then, what distinctly differentiates Cowper's life from
that of his brothers in poetry, and I reply--his sanity.  He did not
indulge in vulgar amours, as did Burns and Byron; he did not ruin his
moral fibre by opium, as did Coleridge; he did not shock his best friends
by an over-weening egotism, as did Wordsworth; he did not spoil his life
by reckless financial complications, as did Scott; or by too great an
enthusiasm to beat down the world's conventions, as did Shelley.  I do
not here condemn any one or other of these later poets.  Their lives
cannot be summed up in the mistakes they made.  I only urge that, as it
is not good to be at warfare with your fellows, to be burdened with debts
that you have to kill yourself to pay, to alienate your friends by
distressing mannerisms, to cease to be on speaking terms with your
family--therefore Cowper, who avoided these things, and, out of
threescore years and more allotted to him, lived for some forty or fifty
years at least a quiet, idyllic life, surrounded by loyal and loving
friends, had chosen the saner and safer path.  That, it may be granted,
was very much a matter of temperament, and for it one does not need to
praise him.  The appeal to us of Robert Burns to gently scan our brother
man will necessarily find a ready acceptance to-day, and a plea on behalf
of kindly toleration for any great writer who has inspired his fellows is
natural and honourable.  But Cowper does not require any such kindly
toleration.  His temperament led him to a placid life, where there were
few temptations, and that life with its quiet walks, its occasional
drives, its simple recreations, has stood for a whole century as our
English ideal.  It is what, amid the strain of the severest commercialism
in our great cities, we look forward to for our declining years as a
haven on this side of the grave.

But I have undertaken to plead for Cowper's sanity.  I desire, therefore,
to beg you to look not at this or that episode in his life, when, as we
know, Cowper was in the clutches of evil spirits, but at his life as a
whole--a life of serene contentment in the company of his friends, his
hares Puss, Tiny and Bess, his "eight pair of tame pigeons," his
correspondents; and then I ask you to turn to his work, and to note the
essential sanity of that work also.

First there is his poetry.  When after the Bastille had fallen Charles
James Fox quoted in one of his speeches Cowper's lines--written long
years before--praying that that event might occur, he paid an unconscious
tribute to the sanity of Cowper's genius. {44}  Few poets who have let
their convictions and aspirations find expression in verse have come so
near the mark.

Wordsworth's verse--that which was written at the same age--is studded
with prophecy of evils that never occurred.  It was not because of any
supermundane intelligence, such as latter-day poets have been pleased to
affect and latter-day critics to assume for them, that Cowper wrote in
anticipation of the fall of the Bastille in those thrilling lines, but
because his exceedingly sane outlook upon the world showed him that
France was riding fast towards revolution.

We have been told that Cowper's poetry lacked the true note of passion,
that there was an absence of the "lyric cry."  I protest that I find the
note of passion in the "Lines on the Receipt of my Mother's Picture," in
his two sets of verses to Mrs. Unwin, in his sonnet to Wilberforce not
less marked than I find it in other great poets.  I find in _The Task_
and elsewhere in Cowper's works a note of enthusiasm for human
brotherhood, for man's responsibility for man, for universal kinship,
that had scarcely any place in literature before he wrote quietly here at
Olney thoughts wiser and saner than he knew.  To-day we call ourselves by
many names, Conservatives or Liberals, Radicals, or Socialists; we differ
widely as to ways and means; but we are all practically agreed about one
thing--that the art of politics is the art of making the world happier.
Each politician who has any aspirations beyond mere ambition desires to
leave the world a little better than he found it.  This is a commonplace
of to-day.  It was not a commonplace of Cowper's day.  Even the great-
hearted, lovable Dr. Johnson was only concerned with the passing act of
kindliness to his fellows; patriotism he declared to be the last refuge
of a scoundrel; collective aspiration was mere charlatanry in his eyes,
and when some one said that he had lost his appetite because of a British
defeat, Johnson thought him an impostor, in which Johnson was probably
right.  There have been plenty of so-called patriots who were scoundrels,
there has been plenty of affectation of sentiment which is little better
than charlatanry, but we do not consider when we weigh the influence of
men whether Rousseau was morally far inferior to Johnson.  We know that
he was.  But Rousseau, poor an instrument as he may have been, helped to
break many a chain, to relieve many a weary heart, to bring to whole
peoples a new era in which the horrors of the past became as a nightmare,
and in which ideals were destined to reign for ever.  Cowper, an
incomparably better man than Rousseau, helped to permeate England with
that collective sentiment, which, while it does not excuse us for
neglecting our neighbour, is a good thing for preserving for nations a
healthy natural life, a more and more difficult task with the growing
complications of commercialism.  Cowper here, as I say, unconsciously
performed his greatest service to humanity; and it was performed, be it
remembered, at Olney.  It has been truly said that in Cowper:--

   The poetry of human wrong begins, that long, long cry against
   oppression and evil done by man to man, against the political, moral,
   or priestly tyrant, which rings louder and louder through Burns,
   Coleridge, Shelley, and Byron, ever impassioned, ever longing, ever
   prophetic--never, in the darkest time, quite despairing. {47}

And Cowper achieved this without losing sight for one moment of the
essential necessity for personal worth:

      Spend all thy powers
   Of rant and rhapsody in Virtue's praise,
   Be most sublimely good, verbosely grand,

and it profiteth nothing, he said in effect.

That was not his only service as a citizen.  He struck the note of honest
patriotism as it had not been struck before since Milton, by the familiar
lines commencing:

   England, with all thy faults, I love thee still,
      My country!

As also in that stirring ballad "On the Loss of the _Royal George_:"

   Her timbers yet are sound,
      And she may float again,
   Full charged with England's thunder,
      And plough the distant main.

There are two other great claims that might here be made for Cowper did
time allow, that he anticipated Wordsworth alike as a lover of nature, as
one who had more than a superficial affection for it--the superficial
affection of Thomson and Gray--and that he anticipated Wordsworth also as
a lover of animal life.  Cowper's love of nature was the less effective
than Wordsworth's only, surely, in that he had not had Wordsworth's
advantage of living amid impressive scenery.  His love of animal life was
far less platonic than Wordsworth's.  To his hares and his pigeons and
all dumb creatures he was genuinely devoted.  Perhaps it was because he
had in him the blood of kings--for, curiously enough, it is no more
difficult to trace the genealogical tree of both Cowper and Byron down to
William the Conqueror than it is to trace the genealogical tree of Queen
Victoria--it was perhaps, I say, this descent from kings which led him to
be more tolerant of "sport" than was Wordsworth.  At any rate, Cowper's
vigorous description of being in at the death of a fox may be contrasted
with Wordsworth's "Heart Leap Well," and you will prefer Cowper or
Wordsworth, as your tastes are for or against our old-fashioned English
sports.  But even then, as often, Cowper in his poetry was less tolerant
than in his prose, for he writes in _The Task_ of:

         detested sport
   That owes its pleasures to another's pain,

We may note in all this the almost entire lack of indebtedness in Cowper
to his predecessors.  One of his most famous phrases, indeed, that on
"the cup that cheers, but not inebriates," he borrowed from Berkeley; but
his borrowings were few, far fewer than those of any other great poet,
whereas mine would be a long essay were I to produce by the medium of
parallel columns all that other poets have borrowed from him.

Lastly, among Cowper's many excellencies as a poet let me note his
humour.  His pathos, his humanity--many fine qualities he has in common
with others; but what shall we say of his humour?  If the ubiquitous Scot
were present, so far from his native heath--and I daresay we have one or
two with us--he might claim that humour was also the prerogative of
Robert Burns.  He might claim, also, that certain other great
characteristics of Cowper were to be found almost simultaneously in
Burns.  There is virtue in the _almost_.  Cowper was born in 1731, Burns
in 1759.  At any rate humour has been a rare product among the greater
English poets.  It was entirely absent in Wordsworth, in Shelley, in
Keats.  Byron possessed a gift of satire and wit, but no humour, Tennyson
only a suspicion of it in "The Northern Farmer."  From Cowper to
Browning, who also had it at times, there has been little humour in the
greatest English poetry, although plenty of it in the lesser poets--Hood
and the rest.  But there was in Cowper a great sense of humour, as there
was also plenty of what Hazlitt, almost censoriously, calls "elegant
trifling."  Not only in the imperishable "John Gilpin," but in the "Case
Between Nose and Eyes," "The Nightingale and Glow-worm," and other pieces
you have examples of humorous verse which will live as long as our
language endures.

Cowper's claims as a poet, then, may be emphasized under four heads:--

I.  His enthusiasm for humanity.

II.  His love of nature.

III.  His love of animal life.

IV.  His humour.

And in three of these, let it be said emphatically, he stands out as the
creator of a new era.

There is another claim I make for him, and with this I close--his
position as a master of prose, as well as of poetry.  Cowper was the
greatest letter-writer in a language which has produced many great letter-
writers--Walpole, Gray, Byron, Scott, FitzGerald, and a long list.  But
nearly all these men were men of affairs, of action.  Given a good
literary style they could hardly have been other than interesting, they
had so much to say that they gained from external sources.  Even
FitzGerald--the one recluse--had all the treasures of literature
constantly passing into his study.  Cowper had but eighteen books
altogether during many of his years in Olney, and some of us who have
lent our volumes in the past and are still sighing over gaps in our
shelves find consolation in the fact that six of Cowper's books had been
returned to him after a friend had borrowed for twenty years or so.  Now,
it is comparatively easy to write good letters with a library around you;
it is marvellous that Cowper could have done this with so little
material, and his letters are, from this point of view, the best of
all--"divine chit-chat" Coleridge called them.  His simple style
captivates us.  And here let me say--keeping to my text--that it is the
_sanest_ of styles, a style with no redundancies, no rhetoric, no
straining after effect.  The outlook on life is sane--what could be finer
than the chase for the lost hare, or the call of the Parliamentary
candidate, or the flogging of the thief?--and the outlook on literature
is particularly sane.

Cowper was well-nigh the only true poet in the first rank in English
literature who was at the same time a true critic.  Literary history
affords a singular revelation of the wild and incoherent judgments of
their fellows on the part of the poets.  For praise or blame, there are
few literary judgments of Byron, of Shelley, of Wordsworth that will
stand.  Coleridge was a critic first, and his poetry, though good, is
small in quantity, and the same may be said of Matthew Arnold.  Tennyson
discreetly kept away from prose, and his letters, be it remembered, lack
distinction as do most letters of the nineteenth century.  If, however,
as we are really to believe, he it was who really made the first edition
of Palgrave's _Golden Treasury of Lyric Poetry_, he came near to Cowper
in his sanity of judgment, and one delights to think that in that
precious volume Cowper ranks third--that is, after Shakspere and
Wordsworth--in the number of selections that are there given, and rightly
given, as imperishable masterpieces of English poetry.  Tennyson, also,
was at one with Cowper in declaring that an appreciation of _Lycidas_ was
a touchstone of taste for poetry.  To Tennyson, as to Cowper, Milton was
the one great English poet after Shakspere; and here, also, we revere the
saneness of view.  More sane too, was Cowper than any of the modern
critics, in that he did not believe that mere technique was the
standpoint from which all poetry must ultimately be judged.

   "Give me," he says, "a manly rough line with a deal of meaning in it,
   rather than a whole poem full of musical periods, that have nothing in
   them, only smoothness to recommend them!"

And thus he justified Robert Browning and many another singer.

Let us then dismiss from our minds the one-sided picture of Cowper as a
gloomy fanatic, who was always asking himself in Carlylian phrase, "Am I
saved?  Am I damned?"  Let us remember him as staunch to the friends of
his youth, sympathetic to his old schoolfellow, Warren Hastings, when the
world would make him out too black.  Opposed in theory to tobacco, how he
delighted to welcome his good friend Mr. Bull.  "My greenhouse," he says,
"wants only the flavour of your pipe to make it perfectly delightful!"
Naturally tolerant of total abstinence, he asks one friend to drink to
the success of his Homer, and thanks another for a present of
bottle-stands.  From beginning to end, save in those periods of
aberration, there is no more resemblance to Cowper in the picture that
certain narrow-minded people have desired to portray than there is in
these same people's conception of Martin Luther.  The real Luther, who
loved dancing and mirth and the joy of living as much as did any of the
men he so courageously opposed, was not more remote from a conception of
him once current in this country than was the real Cowper--the frank,
genial humorist, who wrote "John Gilpin," who in his youth "giggled and
made giggle" with his girl-cousins, and in his maturer years "laughed and
made laugh" with Lady Austen and Lady Hesketh.

To all men there are periods of weariness and depression, side by side
with periods of happiness and hopefulness.  Cowper, alas! had more than
his share of the tragedy of life, but let us not forget that he had some
of its joy, and that joy is reflected for us in a substantial literary
achievement, which has lived, and influenced the world, while his more
tragic experiences may well be buried in oblivion.  This, you may have
noted, is not a criticism of Cowper, but an eulogy.  I would wish to say,
however, that the criticism of Cowper by living writers has been of
surpassing excellence.  For the first fifty or sixty years of the century
that we are recalling Cowper was the most popular poet of our country,
with Burns and Byron for rivals.  He has been largely dethroned by
Wordsworth and Shelley, and Tennyson, not one of whom has been praised
too much.  But if Cowper has sunk somewhat out of sight of late years,
owing to inevitable circumstances, it is during these late years that he
has secured the goodwill of the best living critics.  Would that Mr.
Leslie Stephen {56}--who wrote his life in the _Dictionary of National
Biography_--would that Mr. Edmund Gosse--who has so recently published a
great biography of Cowper's memorable ancestor, Dr. Donne--were, one or
other of them, here to-day; or Mr. Austin Dobson, who has visited Olney,
and described his impressions; or Dr. Jessopp, who lives near Cowper's
tomb in East Dereham Church.  These writers are, alas! not with us, and
some presentment of a poet they love has fallen to less capable hands.

But not the most brilliant of speeches, not all the enthusiasm of all the
critics, can ever restore Cowper to his former immense popularity.  We do
well, however, to celebrate his centenary, because it is good at certain
periods to remember our indebtedness to the great men who have helped us
in literature or in life.  But that is not to say that we work for the
dethronement of later favourites.  "Each age must write its own books,"
says Emerson, and this is particularly the case with the great body of
poetry.  Cowper, however, will live to all time among students of
literature by his longer poems; he will live to all time among the
multitude by his ballads and certain of his lyrics.  He will, assuredly,
live by his letters, to study which will be a thousand times more helpful
to the young writer than many volumes of Addison, to whom we were once
advised to devote our days and our nights.  Cowper will live, above all,
as a profoundly interesting and beautiful personality, as a great and
good Englishman--the greatest of all the sons of this his adopted town.


An Address delivered in Norwich on the Occasion of the Borrow Centenary,

One hundred years ago there was born some two miles from the pleasant
little town of East Dereham, in this county, a child who was christened
George Henry Borrow.  That is why we are assembled here this evening.  I
count it one of the most interesting coincidences in literary history
that only three years earlier there should have left the world in the
same little town--a town only known perhaps to those of us who are
Norfolk men--a poet who has always seemed to me to be one of the greatest
glories of our literature: I mean William Cowper.  Cowper died in April,
1800, and Borrow was born in July, 1803, in this same town of East
Dereham: and there very much it might be thought, any point of likeness
or of contrast must surely end.

Cowper and Borrow do, indeed, come into some trivial kind of kinship at
one or two points.  In reading Cowper's beautiful letters I have come
across two addressed by him to one Richard Phillips, a bookseller of that
day, who had been in prison for publishing some of Thomas Paine's works.
Cowper had been asked by Phillips to write a sympathetic poem
denunciatory of the political and religious tyranny that had sent
Phillips to jail.  Cowper had at first agreed, but was afterwards advised
not to have anything more to do with Phillips.  Judging by the after
career of Phillips, Cowper did wisely; for Phillips was not a good man,
although twenty years later he had become a sheriff of London and was
knighted.  As Sir Richard Phillips he was visited by George Borrow, then
a youth at the beginning of his career.  Borrow came to Phillips armed
with an introduction from William Taylor of Norwich, and his reception is
most dramatically recorded in the pages of _Lavengro_.  This is, however,
to anticipate.  Then there is a poem by Cowper to Sir John Fenn {62} the
antiquary, the first editor of the famous _Paston Letters_.  In it there
is a reference to Fenn's spouse, who, under the pseudonym of "Mrs.
Teachwell," wrote many books for children in her day.  Now Borrow could
remember this lady--Dame Eleanor Fenn--when he was a boy.  He recalled
the "Lady Bountiful leaning on her gold-headed cane, while the sleek old
footman followed at a respectful distance behind."  Lady Fenn was forty-
six years old when Cowper referred to her.  She was sixty-six when the
boy Borrow saw her in Dereham streets.  At no other points do these great
East Dereham writers come upon common ground: Cowper during the greater
part of his life was a recluse.  He practically fled from the world.  In
reading the many letters he wrote--and they are among the best letters in
the English language--one is struck by the small number of his
correspondents.  He had few acquaintances and still fewer friends.  He
had never seen a hill until he was sixty, and then it was only the modest
hills of Sussex that seemed to him so supremely glorious.  He was never
on the Continent.  For half a lifetime he did not move out of one county,
the least picturesque part of Buckinghamshire, the neighbourhood of Olney
and of Weston.  There he wrote the poems that have been a delight to
several generations, poems which although they may have gone out of
fashion with many are still very dear to some among us; and there, as I
have said, he wrote the incomparable letters that have an equally
permanent place in literature.

You could not conceive a more extraordinary contrast than the life of
this other writer associated with East Dereham, whom we have met to
celebrate this evening.  George Borrow was the son of a soldier, who had
risen from the ranks, and of a mother who had been an actress.  Soldier
and actress both imply to all of us a restless, wandering life.  The
soldier was a Cornishman by birth, the actress was of French origin, and
so you have blended in this little Norfolk boy--who is a Norfolk boy in
spite of it all--every kind of nomadic habit, every kind of fiery,
imaginative enthusiasm, a temperament not usually characteristic of those
of us who claim East Anglia as the land of our birth or of our
progenitors.  I wish it were possible for me to reconstruct that Norwich
world into which young George Borrow entered at thirteen years of age.
That it was a Norwich of great intellectual activity is indisputable.  In
the year of Borrow's birth John Gurney, who died six years later, first
became a partner in the Norwich bank.  His more famous son, Joseph John
Gurney--aged fifteen--left the Earlham home in order to study at Oxford.
His sister, the still more famous Elizabeth Fry, was now twenty-three.  So
that when Borrow, the thirteen year old son of the veteran soldier--who
had already been in Ireland picking up scraps of Irish, and in Scotland
adding to his knowledge of Gaelic--settled down for some of his most
impressionable years in Norwich, Joseph John Gurney was a young man of
twenty-eight and Elizabeth Fry was thirty-six.  Dr. James Martineau was
eleven years of age and his sister Harriet was fourteen.  Another equally
clever woman, not then married to Austin, the famous jurist, was Sarah
Taylor, aged twenty-three.  This is but to name a few of the crowd of
Norwich worthies of that day.  Would that some one could produce a
picture of the literary life of Norwich of this time and of a quarter of
a century onward--a period that includes the famous Bishop Stanley's {66}
occupancy of the See of Norwich and the visits to this city from all
parts of England of a great number of famous literary men.  It is my
pleasant occupation to-night to endeavour to show that Borrow, the very
least of these men and women in public estimation for a good portion of
his life, and perhaps the least in popular judgment even since his death,
was really the greatest, was really the man of all others to whom this
beautiful city should do honour if it asks for a name out of its
nineteenth century history to crown with local recognition.

For whatever homage may have fallen to Borrow during the half-century or
more since his name first came upon many tongues Norwich, it must be
admitted, has given very little of it.  No one associated with your city,
I repeat, but has heard of the Gurneys and the Martineaus, of the
Stanleys and the Austins, whose life stories have made so large a part of
your literary and intellectual history during this very period.  But I
turn in vain to a number of books that I have in my library for any
information concerning one who is indisputably the greatest among the
intellectual children of Norwich.  I turn to Mr. Prothero's _Life of Dean
Stanley_--not one word about Borrow; to that pleasant _Memoir_ of Sarah
Austin and her mother, Mrs. Taylor, called _Three Generations of a
Norfolk Family_--again not one word.  I turn to Mr. Braithwaite's
biography of Joseph John Gurney, and to Mr. Augustus Hare's book _The
Gurneys of Earlham_--upon these worthy biographers Borrow made no
impression whatever, although Joseph John Gurney was personally helpful
to him and we read in _Lavengro_ of that pleasant meeting between the
pair on the river bank when Mr. Gurney chided the boy Borrow or Lavengro
for angling.  "From that day," he says, "I became less and less a
practitioner of that cruel fishing."  In Harriet Martineau's
_Autobiography_, which enjoyed its hour of fame when it was published
twenty-six years ago, there is a contemptuous reference to the disciple
of William Taylor, "this polyglot gentleman, who went through Spain
disseminating Bibles."  If Miss Martineau were alive now she would hear
the works of "this polyglot gentleman" praised on every hand, and would
find that a cult had arisen which to her would certainly be quite
incomprehensible.  In that large, dismal book--the _Life of James
Martineau_, again, there is but one mention of Dr. Martineau's famous
schoolfellow whose name has been linked with him only by a silly story.
Do not let it be thought that I am complaining of this neglect; the world
will always treat its greatest writers in precisely this fashion.  Borrow
did not lack for fame of a kind, but he was, as I desire to show, praised
in his lifetime for the wrong thing, where he was praised at all.
Everyone in the fifties and sixties read _The Bible in Spain_, as they
read a hundred other books of that period, now forgotten.  Many read it
who were deceived by its title.  They expected a tract.  Many read it as
we to-day read the latest novel or biography of the hour.  Then a new
book arises and the momentary favourite is forgotten.  We think for a
whole week that we are in contact with a well-nigh immortal work.  A
little later we concern ourselves not at all whether the book is immortal
or not.  We go on to something else.  The critic is as much to blame as
the reader.  Not one man in a hundred whose profession it is to come
between the author and the public, and to guide the reader to the best in
literature, has the least perception of what is good literature.  It is
easy when a writer has captured the suffrages of the crowd for the critic
to tell the world that he is great.  That happened to Carlyle, to
Tennyson, to many a popular author whose earliest books commanded little
attention: but, happily, these writers did not lose heart.  They kept on
writing.  Borrow was otherwise made.  He wrote _The Bible in Spain_--a
book of travel of surprising merit.  It sold largely on its title.  Mr.
Augustine Birrell has told us that he knew a boy in a very strict
household who devoured the narrative on Sunday afternoons, the title
being thought to cover a conventional missionary journey.  Well, when I
was a boy _The Bible in Spain_ had gone out of fashion and the public had
not taken up with the author's greater work, _Lavengro_.  Borrow was
naturally disappointed.  He abused the critics and the public.  Perhaps
he grew somewhat soured.  He did not hesitate in _The Romany Rye_ to talk
candidly about those "ill-favoured dogs . . . the newspaper editors," and
he made the gentleman's gentleman of _Lavengro_ describe how he was
excluded from the Servants' Club in Park Lane because his master followed
a profession "so mean as literature."  In fact as a reaction from the
unfriendly reception accorded to the _Romany Rye_--now one of the most
costly of his books in a first edition--he lost heart, and he grew to
despise the whole literary and writing class.  Hence the various stories
presenting him in not very sympathetic guise, the story of Thackeray
being snubbed on asking Borrow if he had read the _Snob Papers_, of Miss
Agnes Strickland receiving an even more forcible rebuff when she offered
to send him her _Queens of England_.  "For God's sake don't Madame; I
should not know where to put them or what to do with them."  These
stories are in Gordon Hake's _Memoirs of Eighty Years_, but Mr. Francis
Hindes Groome has shown us the other side of the picture, and others also
to whom I shall refer a little later have done the same.  Perhaps the
literary class is never the worse for a little plain speaking.  The real
secret of Borrow is this--that he was a man of action turned into a
writer by force of circumstances.

The life of Borrow, unlike that of most famous men of letters, has not
been overwritten.  His death in 1881 caused little emotion and attracted
but small attention in the newspapers.  _The Times_, then as now so
excellent in its biographies as a rule, devoted but twenty lines to him.
Here I may be pardoned for being autobiographical.  I was last in Norwich
in the early eighties.  I had a wild enthusiasm for literature so far as
my taste had been directed--that is to say I read every book I came
across and had been doing so from my earliest boyhood.  But I had never
heard of George Borrow or of his works.  In my then not infrequent visits
to Norwich I cannot recall that his name was ever mentioned, and in my
life in London, among men who were, many of them, great readers, I never
heard of Borrow or of his achievement.  He died in 1881, and as I do not
recall hearing his name at the time of his death or until long
afterwards, I must have missed certain articles in the _Athenaeum_--two
of them admirable "appreciations" by Mr. Watts-Dunton--and so my state of
benightedness was as I have described.  It may be that those who are a
year or two older than I am and those who are younger may find this
extraordinary.  You have always heard of Borrow and of his works, but I
think I am entitled to insist that when Borrow sank into his grave, an
old, and to many an eccentric and bitter man, he had fallen into the most
curious oblivion with the public that has ever come to a man, I will not
say of equal distinction, but of any distinction whatever.  Mr. Egmont
Hake told the readers of the _Athenaeum_ in a biography that appeared at
the time of Borrow's death that Borrow's works were "forgotten in
England" and I find in turning to the biography of Borrow in _The
Norvicensian_, for 1882--the organ of the Norwich Grammar School--that
the writer of this obituary notice confessed that there were none of
Borrow's works in the library of the school of which Borrow had been the
most distinguished pupil.

From that time--in 1881--until 1899, a period of eighteen years, Borrow
had but little biographical recognition.  A few introductions to his
books, sundry encyclopaedia articles, and one or two magazine essays made
up the sum total of information concerning the author of _Lavengro_ until
Dr. Knapp's _Life_ appeared in 1899.  That _Life_ has been severely
handled by some lovers of Borrow, and lovers of Borrow are now plentiful
enough.  Dr. Knapp had not the cunning of the really successful
biographer.  His book still remains in the huge two-volumed form in which
it was first issued four years ago, and I do not anticipate that it will
ever be a popular book.  There is no literary art in it.  There is a
capacity for amassing facts, but no power of co-ordinating these facts.
Moreover Dr. Knapp did a great deal of mischief by very over-zeal.  He
made too great a research into all the current gossip in Norfolk and
Suffolk concerning Borrow.  If you were to make special research into the
life of any friend or acquaintance of the past you would hear much
foolish gossip and a great many wrong motives imputed, and possibly you
would not have an opportunity of checking the various statements.  The
whole of Dr. Knapp's book seems to be written upon the principle of "I
would if I could" say a good many things, and, indeed, every few months
there appears in the _Eastern Daily Press_, a journal of your city that I
have read every day regularly since boyhood, a letter from some one
explaining that the less inquiry about this or that point in Borrow's
career the better for Borrow.  Take, for example, last Saturday's issue
of the journal I have named, where I find the following from a

   Dr. Knapp, from dictates of courtesy, left it unrevealed, and as he
   could say nothing to Borrow's credit, passed the affair over in
   silence, and on this point all well-wishers of Borrow's reputation
   would be wise to take their cue from this biographer's example.

Now there is nothing more damnatory than a sentence of this kind.  What
does it amount to?  What is the 'it' that is unrevealed by the courteous
Dr. Knapp?  It seems to amount to the charge that Borrow is accused of
gibbeting in his books the people he dislikes; this is what every great
imaginative writer has been charged with to the perplexing of dull
people.  There are many characters in Dickens's novels which are supposed
to be a presentation of near relatives or friends.  These he ought to
have treated with more kindliness.  That heroic little woman, Miss
Bronte, gave a picture of Madame Heger, who kept a school at Brussels,
that conveyed, I doubt not, a very mistaken presentation of the subject
of her satire.  Imaginative writers have always taken these liberties.
When the worst is said it simply amounts to this, that Borrow was a good
hater.  Dr. Johnson said that he loved a good hater, and he might very
well have loved Borrow.  Dante, whom we all now agree to idolize, treated
people even more roughly; he placed some of his acquaintances who had ill-
used him in the very lowest circles of hell.  May I express a hope,
therefore, that this type of letter to the Norwich newspapers about Dr.
Knapp's "kindness" to Borrow's reputation may cease.  If Dr. Knapp had
printed the whole of the facts we should know how to deal with them; but
this is one of his limitations as a biographer.  He has not in the least
helped to a determination of Borrow's real character.

Had Borrow possessed a biographer so skilful with her pen as Mrs. Gaskell
in her _Life of Charlotte Bronte_, so keen-eyed for the dramatic note as
Sir George Trevelyan in his _Life of Macaulay_, he would have multiplied
readers for _Lavengro_.  There are many people who have read the Bronte
novels from sheer sympathy with the writers that their biographer, Mrs.
Gaskell, had kindled.  Let us not, however, be ungrateful to Dr. Knapp.
He has furnished those of us who are sufficiently interested in the
subject with a fine collection of documents.  Here is all the material of
biography in its crude state, but presenting vividly enough the live
Borrow to those who have the perception to read it with care and
judgment.  Still more grateful may we be to Dr. Knapp for his edition of
Borrow's works, particularly for those wonderful episodes in _Lavengro_
which he has reproduced from the original manuscript, episodes as
dramatic as any other portion of the text, and making Dr. Knapp's edition
of _Lavengro_ the only possible one to possess.

But to return to the main facts of Borrow's career, which every one here
at least is familiar with.  You know of his birth at East Dereham, of his
life in Ireland and in Scotland, of his school days at Norwich, of his
departure from Norwich to London on his father's death, of his dire
struggles in the literary whirlpool, and of his wanderings in gipsy land.
You know, thanks to Dr. Knapp, more than you could otherwise have learned
of his life at St. Petersburg, whither he had been sent by the Bible
Society, on the recommendation of Mr. Joseph John Gurney and another
patron.  Then he has himself told us in picturesque fashion of his life
in Portugal and Spain.  After this we hear of his marriage to Mary
Clarke, his residence from 1840 to 1853 at Oulton, in Suffolk, from 1853
to 1860 at Yarmouth, from 1860 to 1874 in Hereford Square, London, and
finally from 1874 to 1881 at Oulton, where he died.  That is the bare
skeleton of Borrow's life, and for half his life, I think, we should be
content with a skeleton.  For the other half of it we have the best
autobiography in the English language.  An autobiography that ranks with
Goethe's _Truth and Poetry from my Life_ and Rousseau's _Confessions_.  In
four books--in _Lavengro_, _Romany Rye_, _The Bible in Spain_, and _Wild
Wales_ we have some delightful glimpses of an interesting personality,
and here we may leave the personal side of Borrow.  Beyond this we know
that he was unquestionably a devoted son, a good husband, a kind father.
The literary life has its perils, so far as domesticity is concerned.  Sir
Walter Scott in his life of Dryden speaks of:--

   Her who had to endure the apparently causeless fluctuation of spirits
   incidental to one compelled to dwell for long periods of time in the
   fitful realms of the imagination,

and it is certain that those who dwell in the realms of the imagination
are usually very irritable, very difficult to live with.  Literary
history in its personal side is largely a dismal narrative of the
uncomfortable relations of men of genius with their wives and with their
families.  Your man of genius thinks himself bound to hang up his fiddle
in his own house, however merry a fellow he may prove himself to a
hundred boon companions outside.  George Borrow was perhaps the opposite
of all this.  As a companion and a neighbour he did not always shine, if
the impression of many a witness is to be trusted.  They tell anecdotes
of his lack of cordiality, of his unsociability, and so on.  They have
told those anecdotes more industriously in Norwich than anywhere else.  He
himself in an incomparable account of going to church with the gypsies in
_The Romany Rye_ has the following:

   It appeared as if I had fallen asleep in the pew of the old church of
   pretty Dereham.  I had occasionally done so when a child, and had
   suddenly woke up.  Yes, surely, I had been asleep and had woke up; but
   no! if I had been asleep I had been waking in my sleep, struggling,
   striving, learning and unlearning in my sleep.  Years had rolled away
   whilst I had been asleep--ripe fruit had fallen, green fruit had come
   on whilst I had been asleep--how circumstances had altered, and above
   all myself whilst I had been asleep.  No, I had not been asleep in the
   old church!  I was in a pew, it is true, but not the pew of black
   leather, in which I sometimes fell asleep in days of yore, but in a
   strange pew; and then my companions, they were no longer those of days
   of yore.  I was no longer with my respectable father and mother, and
   my dear brother, but with the gypsy cral and his wife, and the
   gigantic Tawno, the Antinous of the dusky people.  And what was I
   myself?  No longer an innocent child but a moody man, bearing in my
   face, as I knew well, the marks of my strivings and strugglings; of
   what I had learnt and unlearnt.

But this "moody man," let it be always remembered, was a good husband and
father.  His wife was devoted to him, his step-daughter carries now to an
old age a profound reverence and affection for his memory.  Grieved
beyond all words was she--the Henrietta or "Hen" of all his books--at
what is maintained to be the utterly fictitious narrative of Borrow's
described deathbed that Professor Knapp presented from the ill-considered
gossip that he picked up while staying in the neighbourhood. {80}  Borrow
has himself something to say concerning his family in _Wild Wales_:--

   Of my wife I will merely say that she is a perfect paragon of
   wives--can make puddings and sweets and treacle posset, and is the
   best woman of business in East Anglia: of my step-daughter, for such
   she is though I generally call her daughter, and with good reason
   seeing that she has always shown herself a daughter to me, that she
   has all kinds of good qualities and several accomplishments, knowing
   something of conchology, more of botany, drawing capitally in the
   Dutch style, and playing remarkably well on the guitar.

Yes, I am not quite sure but that Borrow was really a good fellow all
round, as well as being a good husband and father.  He hated the literary
class, it is true.  He considered that the "contemptible trade of
author," as he called it, was less creditable than that of a jockey.  He
avoided as much as possible the writers of books, and particularly the
blue-stocking, and when they came in his way he was not always very
polite, sometimes much the reverse.  Only the other day a letter was
published from the late Professor Cowell describing a visit to Borrow and
his not very friendly reception.  Well, Borrow was here as elsewhere a
man of insight.  The literary class is usually a very narrow class.  It
can talk about no trade but its own.  Things have grown worse since
Borrow's day, I am sure, but they were bad enough then.  Borrow was a man
of very varied tastes.  He took interest in gypsies and horses and prize
fighters and a hundred other entertaining matters, and so he despised the
literary class, which cared for none of these things.  But unhappily for
his fame the literary class has had the final word; it has revealed all
the gossip of a gossiping peasantry, and it has done its best to present
the recluse of Oulton in a disagreeable light.  Fortunately for Borrow,
who kept the bores at bay and contented himself with but few friends,
there were at least two who survived him to bear testimony to the effect
that he was "a singularly steadfast and loyal friend."  One of these was
Mr. Watts-Dunton, who tells us in one of his essays that:

   George Borrow was a good man, a most winsome and a most charming
   companion, an English gentleman, straightforward, honest, and brave as
   the very best examplars of that fine old type.

I have dwelt longer on this aspect of my subject than I should have done
had I been addressing any other audience than a Norwich one.  But the
fact is that all the gossip and backbiting and censoriousness that has
gathered round Borrow for a hundred years has come out of this very city,
commencing with the "bursts of laughter" that, according to Miss
Martineau, greeted Borrow's travels in Spain for the Bible Society.
Borrow was twenty-one years of age when he left Norwich to make his way
in the world.  During the next twenty years he may have undergone many
changes of intellectual view, as most of us do, as Miss Martineau notably
did, and Miss Martineau and her laughing friends were diabolically
uncharitable.  That lack of charity followed Borrow throughout his life.
He was libelled by many, by Miss Frances Power Cobbe most of all.
However, the great city of Norwich will make up for it in the future, and
she will love Borrow as Borrow indisputably loved her.  How he praised
her fine cathedral, her lordly castle, her Mousehold Heath, her meadows
in which he once saw a prize fight, her pleasant scenery--no city, not
even glorious Oxford, has been so well and adequately praised, and I
desire to show that that praise is not for an age but for all time.

If George Borrow has not been happy in his biographer, and if, as is
true, he has received but inadequate treatment on this account--such
series of little books as _The English Men of Letters_ and the _Great
Writers_ quite ignoring him--he has been equally unfortunate in his
critics.  There are hardly any good and distinctive appreciations in
print of Borrow's works.  While other great names in the great literature
of the Victorian Period have been praised by a hundred pens, there has
scarcely been any notable and worthy praise of Borrow, and if I were in
an audience that was at all sceptical as to Borrow's supreme merits,
which happily I am not; if I were among those who declared that they
could see but small merit in Borrow themselves, but were prepared to
accept him if only I could bring good authority that he was a very great
writer, I should be hardly put to to comply with the demand.  I can only
name Mr. Theodore Watts-Dunton and Mr. Augustine Birrell as critics of
considerable status who have praised Borrow well.  "The delightful, the
bewitching, the never sufficiently-to-be-praised George Borrow," says Mr.
Birrell in one of the essays he has written on the subject; {84} while
Mr. Theodore Watts-Dunton, has written no less than four papers on one
whom he knew and admires personally, and of whom he insists that "his
idealizing powers, his romantic cast of mind, his force, his originality,
give him a title to a permanent place high in the ranks of English prose

All this is very interesting, but in literature as in life we have got to
work out our own destinies.  We have not got to accept Borrow because
this or that critic tells us he is good.  I have therefore no quarrel
with any one present who does not share my view that Borrow was one of
the greater glories of English literature.  I only desire to state my
case for him.

To be a lover of Borrow, a Borrovian, in fact, it is not necessary to
know all his books.  You may never have seen copies of the _Romantic
Ballads_ or of _Faustus_, of _Targum_ or of _The Turkish Jester_, of
Borrow's translation of _The Talisman_ of Pushkin.  Your state may be
none the less gracious.  To possess these books is largely a collector's
hobby.  They are interesting, but they would not have made for the author
an undying reputation.  Further, you may not care for _The Bible in
Spain_, you may be untouched by the _Gypsies in Spain_ and _Wild Wales_,
and even then I will not deny to you the title of a good Borrovian, if
only you pronounce _Lavengro_ and _The Romany Rye_ to be among the
greatest books you know.  I can admire the _Gypsies in Spain_ and _Wild
Wales_.  I can read _The Bible in Spain_ with something of the enthusiasm
with which our fathers read it.  It is a stirring narrative of travel and
much more.  Robert Louis Stevenson did, indeed, rank it among his "dear
acquaintances" in bookland, "the _Pilgrim's Progress_ in the first rank,
_The Bible in Spain_ not far behind," he says.  All the same, it has not,
none of these three books has, the distinctive mark of first class genius
that belongs to the other two in the five-volumed edition of Borrow's
Collected Works that many of us have read through more than once.  Not
all clever people have thought _Lavengro_ and _The Romany Rye_ to be thus
great.  A critic in the _Athenaeum_ declared _Lavengro_ when it was
published in 1851 to be "balderdash," while a critic writing just fifty
years afterwards and writing from Norfolk, alas! insisted that the author
of this book "was absolutely wanting in the power of invention" that he
(Borrow) could "only have drawn upon his memory," that he had "no sense
of humour."  If all this were true, if half of it were true, Borrow was
not the great man, the great writer that I take him to be.  But it is not
true.  _Lavengro_ with its continuation _The Romany Rye_, is a great work
of imagination, of invention; it is in no sense a photograph, a memory
picture, and it abounds in humour as it abounds in many other great
characteristics.  What makes an author supremely great?  Surely a certain
quality which we call genius, as distinct from the mere intellectual
power of some less brilliant writer:--

   True genius is the ray that flings
   A novel light o'er common things

and here it is that Borrow shines supreme.  He has invested with quite
novel light a hundred commonplace aspects of life.  Not an inventor! not
imaginative!  Why, one of the indictments against him is that
philologists decry his philology and gyptologists his gypsy learning.  If,
then, his philology and his gypsy lore were imperfect, as I believe they
were, how much the greater an imaginative writer he was.  To say that
_Lavengro_ merely indicates keen observation is absurd.  Not the keenest
observation will crowd so many adventures, adventures as fresh and as
novel as those of Gil Blas or Robinson Crusoe, into a few months'
experience.  "I felt some desire," says Lavengro, "to meet with one of
those adventures which upon the roads of England are generally as
plentiful as blackberries in autumn."  I think that most of us will
wander along the roads of England for a very long time before we meet an
Isopel Berners, before we have such an adventure as that of the
blacksmith and his horse, or of the apple woman whose favourite reading
was _Moll Flanders_.  These and a hundred other adventures, the fight
with the Flaming Tinman, the poisoning of Lavengro by the gypsy woman,
the discourse with Ursula under the hedge, when once read are fixed upon
the memory for ever.  And yet you may turn to them again and again, and
with ever increasing zest.  The story of Isopel Berners is a piece of
imaginative writing that certainly has no superior in the literature of
the last century.  It was assuredly no photographic experience.  Isopel
Berners is herself a creation ranking among the fine creations of
womanhood of the finest writers.  I doubt not but that it was inspired by
some actual memory of Borrow--the memory of some early love affair in
which the distractions of his mania for word-learning--the Armenian and
other languages--led him to pass by some opportunity of his life, losing
the substance for the shadow.  But whether there were ever a real Isopel
we shall never know.  We do know that Borrow has presented his fictitious
one with infinite poetry and fine imaginative power.  We do know,
moreover, that it is not right to describe Isopel Berners as a marvellous
episode in a narrative of other texture.  _Lavengro_ is full of
marvellous episodes.  Some one has ventured to comment upon Borrow's
style--to imply that it is not always on a high plane.  What does that
matter?  Style is not the quality that makes a book live, but the novelty
of the ideas.  Stevenson was a splendid stylist, and his admirers have
deluded themselves into believing that he was, therefore, among the
immortals.  But Stevenson had nothing new to tell the world, and he was
not, he is not, therefore of the immortals.  Borrow is of the immortals,
not by virtue of a style, but by virtue of having something new to say.
He is with Dickens and with Carlyle as one of the three great British
prose writers of the age we call Victorian, who in quite different ways
have presented a new note for their own time and for long after.  It is
the distinction of Borrow that he has invested the common life of the
road, of the highway, the path through the meadow, the gypsy encampment,
the country fair, the very apple stall and wayside inn with an air of
romance that can never leave those of us who have once come under the
magnificent spell of _Lavengro_ and the _Romany Rye_.  Perhaps Borrow is
pre-eminently the writer for those who sit in armchairs and dream of
adventures they will never undertake.  Perhaps he will never be the
favourite author of the really adventurous spirit, who wants the real
thing, the latest book of actual travel.  But to be the favourite author
of those who sit in arm-chairs is no small thing, and, as I have said
already, Borrow stands with Carlyle and Dickens in _our_ century, by
which I mean the nineteenth century; with Defoe and Goldsmith in the
eighteenth century, as one of the really great and imperishable masters
of our tongue.

What then will Norwich do for George Borrow?  I ask this question,
although it would, perhaps, be an impertinence to ask it were I not a
Norwich man.  If you have read Dr. Knapp's _Life of Borrow_, you will
have seen more than one reference to Mrs. Borrow's landlord, "old King,"
"Tom King the carpenter," and so on, who owned the house in Willow Lane
in which Borrow spent his boyhood.  That 'old King the carpenter'--I
believe he called himself a builder, but perhaps this was when he grew
more prosperous--was my great-great-uncle.  One of his sons became
physician to Prince Talleyrand and married a sister of John Stuart Mill.
One of his great-nieces was my grandmother, and her mother's family, the
Parkers, had lived in Norwich for many generations.  So on the strength
of this little piece of genealogy let me claim, not only to be a good
Borrovian, but also a good Norvicensian.  Grant me then a right to plead
for a practical recognition of Borrow in the city that he loved most,
although he sometimes scolded it as it often scolded him.  I should like
to see a statue, or some similar memorial.  If you pass through the
cities of the Continent--French, German, or Belgian--you will find in
well-nigh every town a memorial to this or that worthy connected with its
literary or artistic fame.  How many memorials has Norwich to the people
connected with its literary or artistic fame?  Nay, I am not rash and
impetuous.  I would beg any one of my hearers who thinks that Borrow
might well have a memorial in marble or bronze in your city to wait a
while.  You are busy with a statue to Sir Thomas Browne--a most
commendable scheme.  To attempt to raise one to Borrow at this moment
would probably be to court disaster.  Nor do I advocate a memorial by
private subscription.  Observation has shown me what that means: failure
or half failure in nearly every case.  The memorial when it comes must be
initiated by the City Fathers in council assembled.  That time is perhaps
far distant.  But let us all do everything we can to make secure the high
and honourable achievement of George Borrow, to kindle an interest in him
and his writings, to extend a taste for the undoubted beauties of his
works among all classes of his fellow-citizens--that is to secure Borrow
the best of all monuments.  More durable than brass will be the memorial
that is contained in the assurance that he possesses the reverence and
the homage of all true Norfolk hearts.


An Address delivered at the Crabbe Celebration at Aldeburgh in Suffolk on
the 16th of September, 1905.

I have been asked to say something in praise of George Crabbe.  The task
would be an easier one were it not for the presence of the distinguished
critic from the University of Nancy who is with us to-day.  M. Huchon
{97} has devoted to the subject a singleminded zeal to which one whose
profession is primarily that of a journalist can make no claim.  Moreover
it has been well said that _the judgment of foreigners is the judgment of
posterity_, and I fully believe that where a writer has secured the
suffrages of men of another nation than his own, he has done more for his
ultimate fame than the passing and fickle favour of his countrymen can
secure for him.  In any case Crabbe has been praised more eloquently than
almost any other modern, and this in spite of the fact that he was not
read by the generation succeeding his death, nor is he read much in our
own time.

If you want to read Crabbe to-day in his entirety, you must become
possessed of a huge and clumsy volume of sombre appearance, small type
and repellant double columns.  For fully seventy years it has not paid a
publisher to reprint Crabbe's poems properly. {98}  When this was
achieved in 1834, the edition in eight volumes was comparatively a
failure, and the promised two volumes of essays and sermons were not
forthcoming in consequence.  Selections from Crabbe have been many, but
when all is said he has been the least read for the past sixty or seventy
years of all the authors who have claims to be considered classics.  The
least read but perhaps the best praised--that is one point of certainty.
The praise began with the politicians--with the two greatest political
leaders of their age.  The eloquent and noble Edmund Burke, the great-
hearted Charles James Fox.  Burke "made" George Crabbe as no poet was
ever made before or since.  To me there is no picture in all literature
more unflaggingly interesting than that of the great man, whose life was
so full of affairs, taking the poor young stranger by the hand, reading
through his abundant manuscripts, and therefrom selecting--as the poet
was quite unable to select--_The Library_ and _The Village_ as the most
suitable for publication, helping him to a publisher, introducing him to
friends, and proving himself quite untiring on his behalf.  There is a
letter of Burke's printed in a little known book--_The Correspondence of
Sir Thomas Hanmer_, Speaker of the House of Commons--in which Burke takes
the trouble to defend Crabbe's moral character and to press his claims
for being admitted to holy orders.  "Dudley North tells me," he
continues, "that he has the best character possible among those with whom
he has always lived, that he is now working hard to qualify, and has not
only Latin, but some smattering of Greek."  It had its gracious
amenities, that eighteenth century, for I do not believe that there is a
man in the ranks of the present Government, or of the present Opposition,
who would take all this trouble for a poor unknown who had appealed to
him merely by two or three long letters recounting his career.  Nay,
Cabinet Ministers are less punctilious than formerly, and the newest
type, I understand, leaves letters unanswered.  I can imagine the
attitude of one of our modern statesmen in the face of two quite bulky
packages of many sheets from a young author.  He would request his
secretary to see what they were all about, and then would follow the curt
answer--"I am directed by Dash to say that he cannot comply with your
request."  Burke not only wrote to the Speaker of the House of Commons,
but enclosed Crabbe's letter to him, a quite wonderful piece of
autobiography. {100}  All Crabbe's admirers should read that letter.
Crabbe apologizes for writing again, and refers to "these repeated
attacks on your patience."  "My father," he said, "had a place in the
Custom House at Aldeburgh.  He had a large family, a little income and no
economy," and then the story of his life up to that time is told to Burke
in fullest detail.

Again, there is that other statesman-admirer of Crabbe, Charles James
Fox.  Fox gave to Crabbe's work an admiration which never faltered, and
on his death-bed requested that the pathetic story of Phoebe Dawson in
_The Parish Register_ should be read to him--it was, we are told, "the
last piece of poetry that soothed his dying ear."

In Lord Holland's _Memoirs of the Whig Party_ there is a statement by his
nephew which no biographer so far has quoted:--

   I read over to him the whole of Crabbe's _Parish Register_ in
   manuscript.  Some parts he made me read twice; he remarked several
   passages as exquisitely beautiful, and objected to some few which I
   mentioned to the author and which he, in almost every instance,
   altered before publication.  Mr. Fox repeated once or twice that it
   was a very pretty poem, that Crabbe's condition in the world had
   improved since he wrote _The Village_, and his view of life, likewise
   _The Parish Register_, bore marks of considerably more indulgence to
   our species; though not so many as he could have wished, especially as
   the few touches of that nature were beautiful in the extreme.  He was
   particularly struck with the description of the substantial happiness
   of a farmer's wife.

From great novelists the tributes are not less noteworthy than from great
statesmen.  Jane Austen, whose personality perhaps has more real womanly
attractiveness than that of any sister novelist of the first rank,
declared playfully that if she could have been persuaded to change her
state it would have been to become Mrs. Crabbe; and who can forget Sir
Walter Scott's request in his last illness: "Read me some amusing
thing--read me a bit of Crabbe."  They read to him from _The Borough_,
and we all remember his comment, "Capital--excellent--very good."  Yet at
this time--in 1832--any popularity that Crabbe had once enjoyed was
already on the wane.  Other idols had caught the popular taste, and from
that day to this there was to be no real revival of appreciation for
these poems.  There were to be no lack of admirers, however, of the
audience "fit though few."  Byron's praise has been too often quoted for
repetition.  Wordsworth, who rarely praised his contemporaries in poetry,
declared of Crabbe that his works "would last from their combined merit
as poetry and truth."  Macaulay writes of "that incomparable passage in
Crabbe's _Borough_ which has made many a rough and cynical reader cry
like a child"--the passage in which the condemned felon

   Takes his tasteless food, and when 'tis done,
   Counts up his meals, now lessen'd by that one,--

a story which Macaulay bluntly charges Robert Montgomery with stealing.
Lord Tennyson, again, at a much later date, admitted that "Crabbe has a
world of his own."

Not less impressive surely is the attitude of the two writers as far as
the poles asunder in their outlook upon life and its mysteries--Cardinal
Newman and Edward FitzGerald.  The famous theologian, we learn from the
_Letters and Correspondence_ collected by Anne Mozley, writes in 1820 of
his "excessive fondness" for _The Tales of the Hall_, and thirty years
later in one of his _Discourses_ he says of Crabbe's poems that they are
among "the most touching in our language."  Still another twenty years,
and the aged cardinal reread Crabbe to find that he was more delighted
than ever with our poet.  That great nineteenth century pagan, on the
other hand, that prince of letter-writers and wonderful poet of whom
Suffolk has also reason to be proud, Edward FitzGerald, was even more
ardent.  Praise of Crabbe is scattered freely throughout the many volumes
of his correspondence, and he edited, as we all know, a book of
Selections, which I want to see reprinted.  It contains a preface that,
it may be admitted, is not really worthy of FitzGerald, so lacking is it
in the force and vigour of his correspondence.  But this also was in fact
yet another death-bed tribute, for it was, I think, one of the last
things FitzGerald wrote.  FitzGerald, however, has done more for Crabbe
among the moderns than any other man.  His keen literary judgment must
have brought new converts to that limited brotherhood of the elect, of
which this gathering forms no inconsiderable portion.

We have one advantage in speaking about George Crabbe that does not
obtain with any other poet of great eminence; that is to say, that his
life story has not been hackneyed by repetition.  With almost any other
writer there is some standing biography which is widely familiar.  The
_Life of George Crabbe_, written by his son, although it is one of the
very best biographies that I have ever read, is little known.  It was
quite out of print for years, and it has never been reprinted separately
from the poems.  It is an admirable biography, and it offers a
contradiction of the view occasionally urged that a man's life should not
be written by a member of his own family; for George Crabbe the second
would seem not only to have been an exceedingly able man, but possessed
of a frankness of disposition in criticizing his father which sons are
often prone to show in real life, but which, I imagine, they rarely show
in print.  His book is a model of candid statement, treating of Crabbe's
little weaknesses--and who of us has not his little weaknesses--in the
most cheery possible manner.  It is perhaps a small matter to tell us in
one place of his father's want of "taste," his insensibility to the
beauty of order in his composition--that had been done by the critics
before him; but he even has something to say about the philandering which
characterized the old gentleman in the last years of his life, his
apparent anxiety to get married again. {106}  The only thing that he all
but ignores is Crabbe's opium habit--a habit that came to him as a
sedative from a painful complaint and inspired, as was the case with
Coleridge, his more melodious utterances.  Taken altogether the picture
is as pleasant as it is capable and exhaustive.  We see his early boyhood
at Aldeburgh, his schooldays: his first period of unhappiness at
Slaughden Quay, his apprenticeship near Bury St. Edmunds, where we seem
to hear his master's daughters, when he reached the door, exclaim with
laughter, "La!  Here's our new 'prentice."  We follow him a little
higher, to the house of the Woodbridge surgeon, then through his
prolonged courtship of Sarah Elmy, then to those dreary, uncongenial
duties of piling up butter casks on Slaughden Quay.  A brief period of
starvation in London, and we find him again in a chemist's shop in
Aldeburgh.  Lastly comes his most important journey to London upon the
borrowed sum of 5 pounds, only three of which he carried in hard cash.
His hand to mouth existence in London for some months is among the most
interesting things in literature.  Chatterton's tragic fate might have
been his, but, more fortunate than Chatterton, he had friends at Beccles
who helped him, and he was even able to publish a poem, _The Candidate_.
Although this poem contained only thirty-four pages, one is not quite
sure but that it helped to ruin its publisher.  In any case that
publisher went bankrupt soon after.

Crabbe has been reproached for having continually attempted to secure a
"patron" at this time, and it has been hinted by Sir Leslie Stephen that
he ought to have recognized that the patron was out of date, killed by
Dr. Johnson's sturdy defiance.  I do not agree with this view.  Dr.
Johnson, in spite of his famous epigram, was always more or less assisted
by the patron, although his personality was strong enough to enable him
to turn the tables at the end.  When one comes to think of it, Thrale the
brewer was a patron of Johnson, so was Strahan the printer.  And does he
not say in his famous letter to Lord Chesterfield that "Seven years, my
lord, have now passed since I waited in your outward rooms, or was
repulsed from your door," clearly implying that if Chesterfield was not
Johnson's patron it was not the great Doctor's fault?  In any case the
patron must always exist for the poor man of letters in every age.  Now,
he is frequently a collective personality rather than an individual.  He
is represented for the author who has tried and failed by the Royal
Literary Fund, by such bounty as is awarded by the Society of Authors, or
by the Civil List Grant.  For the author in embryo he is assisted above
all by the literary log-roller who flourishes so much in our day.  If he
is not this "collective personality," or one of the others I have named,
then he is something much worse--that is, a capitalist publisher.  We can
none of us who have to earn a living run away from the patronage of
capital, and when Sir Leslie Stephen was being paid a salary by the late
Mr. George Smith for editing the _Dictionary of National Biography_, and
was told, as we remember that he frequently was, that it was not a
remunerative venture and that, as Mr. Smith was fond of saying, his
publishing business did not pay for his vineries, Sir Leslie Stephen was
experiencing a patronage, if he had known it, not less melancholy than
anything Crabbe suffered from Edmund Burke or the Duke of Rutland.

When one meets a writer who desires to walk on high stilts and to talk of
the independence of literature, one is entitled to ask him if it was a
greater indignity for Lord Tennyson in his younger days to have received
200 pounds a year from the Civil List than for Crabbe to have received
the same sum as the Duke of Rutland's chaplain; in fact, Crabbe earned
the money, and Tennyson did not.  There are, as I have said, some most
wonderful and pathetic touches in the account of Crabbe's attempt to
conquer London.  There are his letters to his sweetheart, for example,
his "dearest Mira," in one of which he says that he is possessed of
6.25_d._ in the world.  In another he relates that he has sold his
surgical instruments in order to pay his bills.  Nevertheless, we find
him standing at a bookstall where he sees Dryden's works in three
volumes, octavo, for five shillings, and of his few shillings he ventures
to offer 3_s._ 6_d._--and carries home the Dryden.  What bibliophile but
must love such a story as that, even though a day or two afterwards its
hero writes, "My last shilling became 8_d._ yesterday."  But what a good
investment withal.  Dryden made him a much better poet.  Then comes the
famous letter to Burke, and the less known second letter to which I have
referred, and Burke's splendid reception of the writer.  Nothing, I
repeat, in the life of any great man is more beautiful than that.  As
Crabbe's son finely says: "He went in Burke's room a poor young
adventurer, spurned by the opulent and rejected by the publishers, his
last shilling gone, and his last hope with it.  He came out virtually
secure of almost all the good fortune that by successive stages
afterwards fell to his lot."  The success that comes to most men is built
up on such chances, on the kind help of some one or other individual.

Finally there came--for I am hastily recapitulating Crabbe's story--the
years of prosperity, curacies, rectories, the praise of great
contemporaries, but nothing surely more edifying than the burning of
piles of manuscripts so extensive that no fireplace would hold them.  The
son's account of his assisting at these conflagrations is not the least
interesting part of his biography, the merits of which I desire to

People who make jokes about that most succulent edible, the crab, when
the poet Crabbe is mentioned in their presence--and who can resist an
obvious pun--are not really far astray.  There can be little doubt but
that a remote ancestor of George Crabbe took his name from the
"shellfish," as we all persist, in spite of the naturalist, in calling
it; and the poet did not hesitate to attribute it to the vanity of an
ancestor that his name had had two letters added.  Nor when we hear of
Cromer crabs, or crabs from some other part of Norfolk as distinct from
what I am sure is equally palatable, the crustacean as it may be found in
Aldeburgh, are we remote from the story of our poet's life.  For there
cannot be a doubt but that Norfolk shares with Suffolk the glory of his
origin.  His family, it is clear, came first from Norfolk.  The Crabbes
of Norfolk were farmers, the Crabbes of Suffolk always favoured the
seacoast, and all the glory that surrounds the name of the poet to whom
we do honour to-day is reflected in the town in which he was born and
bred.  Aldeburgh is Crabbe's own town, and it is an interesting fact that
no other poet can be identified with one particular spot in the way in
which Crabbe can be identified with this beautiful watering-place in
which we are now assembled.  Shakspere was more of a Londoner than a
Stratfordian; nearly all his best work was written in London, and many of
the most receptive years of his life were spent in that city.  Milton's
honoured name is identified with many places, apart from London, the city
of his birth.  Shelley, Byron and Keats were essentially cosmopolitans in
their writings as in their lives.  Wordsworth was closely identified with
Grasmere, although born in a neighbouring county; but he went to many and
varied scenes, and to more than one country, for some of his most
inspired verses.  Then Cowper, the poet of whom one most often thinks
when one is recalling the achievement of Crabbe, is a poet of some half-
dozen places other than Olney, and perhaps his best verses were written
at Weston-Underwood.  Now George Crabbe in the years of his success was
identified with many places other than Aldeburgh: with Belvoir Castle,
with Muston, and with Trowbridge, where he died, and some of his admirers
have even identified him with Bath.  When all this is allowed, it is upon
Aldeburgh that the whole of his writings turned, the place where he was
born, where he spent his boyhood, and the earlier years of a perhaps too
sordid manhood, whither he returned twice, as a chemist's assistant and
as curate.  It is the place that primarily inspired all his verses.
Aldeburgh stands out vividly before us in each succeeding poem--in _The
Village_, _The Borough_, _The Parish Register_, _The Tales_, and even in
those _Tales of the Hall_, composed in later life in faraway Trowbridge.
Crabbe's vivid observations indeed come home to every one who has studied
his works when they have visited not only Aldeburgh but its vicinity.
Every reach of the river Ald recalls some striking line by him: the
scenery in _The Lover's Journey_ we know is a description of the road
between Aldeburgh and Beccles, and all who have sailed along the river to
Orford have recognized that no stream has been so perfectly portrayed by
a poet's pen.  Here in his writings you may have a suggestion of Muston,
here of Allington, and here again of Trowbridge; but in the main it is
the Suffolk scenery that most of us here know so well that was ever in
his mind.

When an attempt was once made to stir up the Great Eastern Railway to
identify this district with the name of Crabbe as the English Lakes were
identified with the name of Wordsworth, and the Scots Lakes with that of
Sir Walter Scott, a high official of the railway made the statement that
up to that moment he had never even heard the name of Crabbe.  Well, all
that is going to be changed.  I do not at all approve of the phrase
beloved of certain book-makers and of railway companies that implies that
any county or district is the monopoly of one man, be he ever so great a
writer.  Yet I venture to say that within the next ten years the "Crabbe
Country" will sound as familiar to the officials of the Great Eastern as
the "Wordsworth Country" does to those of the Midland or the North
Western.  It is true that once in the bitterness of his heart the poet
referred to Aldeburgh as "a little venal borough in Suffolk" and that he
more than once alluded to his unkind reception upon his reappearance as a
curate, when he had previously failed at other callings.  "In my own
village they think nothing of me," he once said.  But who does not know
how the heart turns with the years to the places associated with
childhood and youth, and Crabbe was a remarkable exemplification of this.
A well-known literary journal stated only last week that "Crabbe's
connexion with Aldeburgh was not very protracted."  So far from this
being true it would be no exaggeration to say that it extended over the
whole of his seventy-eight years of life.  It included the first five-and-
twenty years almost entirely.  It included also the brief curacy, the
prolonged residence at Parham and Glenham, frequent visits for holidays
in after years, and who but a lover of his native place would have done
as his son pictures him doing when at Stathern--riding alone to the coast
of Lincolnshire, sixty miles from where he was living, only to dip in the
waves that also washed the beach of Aldeburgh and returned immediately to
his home.  "There is no sea like the Aldeburgh sea," said Edward
FitzGerald, and we may be sure that was Crabbe's opinion also, for
revisiting it in later life he wrote:--

   There once again, my native place I come
   Thee to salute, my earliest, latest home.

One picture in Crabbe's life stands out vividly to us all--the long years
of devotion given by him to Sarah Elmy, and the reciprocal devotion of
the very capable woman who finally became his wife.  Crabbe's courtship
and marriage affords a pleasant contrast to the usual unhappy relations
of poets with their wives.  Shakspere, Milton, Dryden, Byron, Shelley,
and many another poet was less happy in this respect, and I am not sure
how far the belief in Crabbe's powers as a poet has been affected by the
fact that he lived on the whole a happy, humdrum married life.  The
public has so long been accustomed to expect a different state of things.

I have given thus much time to Crabbe's life story because it interests
me, and I do not believe that it is possible nowadays to kindle a very
profound interest in any writer without a definite presentation of his
personality.  Apart from his biography--his three biographies by George
Crabbe the second, Mr. T. E. Kebbel, and Canon Ainger, there are the
seven volumes of his works.  Now I do not imagine that any great
accession will be made to the ranks of Crabbe's admirers by asking people
to take down these seven volumes and read them right through--a thing I
have myself done twice, and many here also I doubt not.  Rather would I
plead for a reprint of Edmund FitzGerald's Selections, or failing that I
would ask you to look at the volume of Selections made by Mr. Bernard
Holland, or that other admirable selection by the Rev. Anthony Deane.  "I
must think my old Crabbe will come up again, though never to be popular,"
wrote FitzGerald to Archbishop Trench.  Well, perhaps the "large still
books" of the older writers are never destined to be popular again, but
they will always maintain with genuine book lovers their place in English
Literature, and if the adequate praise they have received from many good
judges is well kept to the front there will be constant accessions to the
ranks, and readers will want the whole of Crabbe's works in which to dig
for themselves.  Crabbe's place in English Literature needed not such a
gathering as this to make it secure, but we want celebrations of our
literary heroes to keep alive enthusiasm, and to encourage the

In the glorious tradition of English Literature, then, Crabbe comes after
Cowper and before Wordsworth.  There is a lineal descent as clear and
well-defined as any set forth in the peerages of "Burke" or "Debrett."  We
read in vain if we do not fully grasp the continuity of creative work.
Cowper was born in 1731, Crabbe in 1754, and Cowper was called to the Bar
in the year that Crabbe was born.  In spite of this disparity of years
they started upon their literary careers almost at the same time.  _The
Village_ was published in 1783, and _The Task_ in 1785, yet Cowper is in
every sense the elder poet, inheriting more closely the traditions of
Pope and Dryden, coming less near to humanity than Crabbe, and being more
emphatically a child of the eighteenth century in its artificial aspects.
It is impossible to indict a whole century with all its varied
accomplishments, and the century that produced Swift and Cowper and
Crabbe had no lack of the finer instincts of brotherhood.  Yet the
century was essentially a cruel one.  Take as an example the attitude of
naturally kindly men to the hanging of Dr. Dodd for forgery.  Even Samuel
Johnson, who did what he could for Dodd, did not find, as he should have
done, his whole soul revolted by such a punishment for a crime against
property.  Cowper has immense claim upon our regard.  He is one of the
truest of poets, and one of the most interesting figures in all English
literature, although no small share of his one-time popularity was due to
his identification with Evangelicalism in religion.  Cowper had humour
and other qualities which enabled him to make the universal appeal to all
hearts which is the test of the greatest literature--the appeal of "John
Gilpin," the "Lines" to his Mother's Portrait, and his verses on "The
loss of the _Royal George_."  Crabbe made no such appeal, and he has not
the adventitious assistance that association with a religious sect
affords.  Hence the popularity he once enjoyed was more entirely on his
merits than was that of Cowper.  He was the first of the eighteenth
century poets who was able to _see things as they really are_.  Therein
lies his strength.  Were they poets at all--those earlier eighteenth
century writers?  It sounds like rank blasphemy to question it, but what
is poetry?  Surely it is the expression artistically in rhythmic form--or
even without it--of the sincerest emotions concerning nature and life.
The greatest poet is not the one who is most sincere--a very bad poet can
be that--but the poet who expresses that sincerity with the most perfect
art.  From this point of view the poets before Cowper and Crabbe, Pope,
Goldsmith, Johnson and others were scarcely poets at all.  Masters of
language every one of them, able to command a fine rhetoric, but not
poets.  Gray in two or three pieces was a poet, but for Johnson that
claim can scarcely be made.  Cowper was the first to emancipate himself
from the conventionality of his age, and Crabbe emancipated himself still
further.  He had boundless sincerity, and he is really a very great poet
even if he has not the perfection of art of some later poets.  Many know
Crabbe only by the parody of his manner in _Rejected Addresses_:

   John Richard William Alexander Dwyer
   Was footman to Justinian Stubbs Esquire;
   But when John Dwyer listed in the blues,
   Emanuel Jennings polished Stubbs's shoes.

and it must be admitted that there are plenty of lines like these in
Crabbe, as for example:--

   Grave Jonas Kindred, Sybil Kindred's sire
   Was six feet high, and looked six inches higher.

or this:--

   The church he view'd as liberal minds will view
   And there he fixed his principles and pew.

Banalities of this kind are scattered through his pages as they are
scattered through those of Wordsworth.  Nevertheless he was a great poet,
bringing us before Wordsworth out of the ruck of artificiality and
insincerity.  Does any one suppose that Pope in his _Essay on Man_, that
Johnson in his _London_ or that Goldsmith in his _Deserted Village_ had
any idea other than the production of splendid phrases.  Each and all of
them were brilliant men of letters.  Crabbe was not a brilliant man of
letters, but he was a fine and a genuine poet.  You will look in vain in
his truest work for the lyrical and musical gift that we associate with
poets who came after:--Shelley, Keats, Tennyson--poets who made Crabbe's
work quite distasteful for some three generations.  Crabbe it has been
claimed had that gift also, to be found in "Sir Eustace Grey" and other
verses written under the inspiration of opium, as much of Coleridge's
best work was written--but it is not in these that his admirers will seek
to emphasize his achievement--it is in his work which treats of

   The simple annals of my parish poor.

_The Village_, _The Parish Register_, _The Borough_, and many of the
_Tales_ bear witness to a clear vision of life as it is lived by the
majority of people born into this world.  I have seen criticism of Crabbe
which calls him the poet who took the middle classes for his subjects,
criticism which compared him with George Eliot.  All this is quite beside
the mark.  Crabbe is pre-eminently the poet of the poor, with a lesson
for to-day as much as for a century ago.  Villages are not now what they
were then, we are told.  But I fully believe that there are all the
conditions of life to-day hidden beneath the surface as Crabbe's close
observations pictured them.  "The altered position of the poor," says Mr.
Courthope, "has fortunately deprived his poems of much of the reality
they once possessed."  I do not believe it.  The closely packed towns,
the herding together of families, the squalor are still to be found in
our midst.  Crabbe has his message for our time as well as for his own.
How he tore the veil from the conventional language of his day, the
picture of the ideal village where the happy peasantry passed through
life so joyously.  Contrast such pictures with his sad declaration--

   I've seldom known, though I have often read
   Of happy peasants on their dying-bed.

Solution Crabbe offers none for the tragedy of poverty.  He was no
politician.  He signed the nomination paper for John Wilson Croker the
Tory in his native Aldeburgh, and he supported a Whig at the same
election at Trowbridge.  His politics were summed up in backing his
friends of both parties.  But he did see, as politicians are only
beginning to see to-day, that the ultimate solution was a social one and
not a mere question of political parties.  Generations have passed away
since he lived, and men are still shouting themselves hoarse to prove
that in this Shibboleth or in that may be found the salvation of the
country, yet we have still our thousands on the verge of starvation, we
have still the very poor in our midst, and the problem seems as far from
solution as ever.  But it would be all the better for the State if we
could keep the questions raised by Crabbe in his wonderful pictures more
continually in view,--lacking in taste as they may sometimes seem to weak
stomachs, coarse, unvarnished narratives though they be of a life which
is really almost entirely sordid.

Then let us turn to Crabbe's gallery of pictures.  Phoebe Dawson, and the
equally pathetic Ruth, Blaney and Clelia, Peter Grimes and many another.
They are as clearly defined a set of entirely human beings as any Master
has given us.  It is not assuredly in George Eliot, as Canon Ainger
suggests, that I find an affinity to Crabbe among the moderns, but in two
much greater writers of quite different texture, Balzac and Dickens.  Had
Crabbe not been bounded and restrained by the conventions of his cloth,
he might have become one of the most popular story-tellers in our
literature--the English Balzac.  At a hundred points Charles Dickens is
an entire contrast to Crabbe--in his buoyant humour, his gaiety of heart,
in the glamour that he throws over the life of the poor, a glamour that
was more present in the early Victorian era than in our own, but Crabbe
is with Balzac and with Dickens in that he presents as no other moderns
have done living pictures of suffering human lives.

There is yet one other literary force, powerful in our day, that has been
largely influenced by Crabbe.  Those who love the novels of Mr. Thomas
Hardy, whom we rejoice to see with us at this Celebration,--his
_Woodlanders_, _The Return of the Native_, _Far from the Madding Crowd_,
and many another book that touches the very heart of things in nature and
human life, will rejoice to hear that this great writer has admitted
George Crabbe to be the most potent influence that has affected his work.
I have heard him declare many times how much he was inspired by Crabbe,
whereas the later French realists had no influence upon him whatever.
"Crabbe was our first great English realist" Mr. Hardy would tell you if
only we could persuade him to speak from this platform, as unfortunately
he will not.

Lastly let us take Crabbe as a great story-teller.  He has many more
ideas than most of the novelists.  That is why we do well to recall the
hint of the writer who said that when a new work came out we should take
down an old one from our shelves.  Instead of the "un-idead" novels, that
come out by the dozen and are so popular.  I wish we could agree to read
Crabbe's novels in verse.  Unhappily their form is against them in the
present age.  But it would not be at all a misfortune if we could make
Crabbe's _Tales_ once more the vogue.  They are good stories, absorbingly
interesting.  They leave a very vivid impression on the mind.  Once read
they are unforgettable.

I have seen it stated that these stories are old-fashioned both in manner
and in substance.  In manner they may be, but in substance I maintain
they are intensely modern, alive with the spirit of our time.  Any latter-
day novelist might envy Crabbe his power of developing a story.  It is
this essential modernity that is to make Crabbe's place in English
literature secure for generations yet to come.

Finally, Crabbe's place in English literature is as the bridge between
the eighteenth and nineteenth century.  With him begins that "enthusiasm
of humanity" which the eighteenth century so imperfectly understood.
Byron and Wordsworth, disliking each other cordially, did well to praise
him, for he was their forerunner.  A master of pathos, you may find in
his work incentive to tears and laughter, although sometimes the humour,
as in _The Learned Boy_, is sadly unconscious.

But I must bring these rambling remarks to a close, and in doing so I
must once again quote that other Suffolk worthy to whom many of us are
very much attached, I mean Edward FitzGerald.  When Sir Leslie Stephen
wrote what is to my mind a singularly infelicitous essay on Crabbe in the
_Cornhill_, he quoted the remark, which seemed to be new to FitzGerald,
as to Crabbe being a "pope in worsted stockings"--a remark made by Horace
Smith of _Rejected Addresses_, although I have seen it ascribed to Byron
and others.  "Pope in worsted stockings," exclaimed FitzGerald, "why I
could cite whole paragraphs of as fine a texture as Moliere; 'incapable
of epigram,' the jackanapes says--why, I could find fifty of the very
best epigrams in five minutes," and later, in another letter he writes--

   I am positively looking over my everlasting Crabbe again; he naturally
   comes in about the fall of the year.

Here surely is an appropriate quotation, a little prophetic perhaps, for
our gathering--the "everlasting Crabbe."  We cannot all love Crabbe as
much as FitzGerald loved him, but this gathering will not be vain if
after this we handle his volumes more lovingly, read his poems more
sympathetically, and continue with more zeal than ever before to be proud
of the man who, born in Aldeburgh a century and a half ago, is closely
identified with this county of Suffolk as I believe no other great writer
is closely identified with any county in England.  An Aldeburgh man--a
Suffolk man he was--yet even more in the future than in the past, he is
destined to gain the whole world for his parish.  He is the everlasting


An address to the East Anglian Society on the occasion of a dinner to Mr.
William Dutt, author of "Highways and Byways in East Anglia."  March 25,

I appreciate the privilege of being allowed to speak this evening for a
few minutes upon the literary associations of East Anglia, of being
permitted to ask you, while doing honour to a well-known East Anglian
writer of to-day, to cast a glance back upon the literature of the past
so far as it affects that portion of the British Empire with which we
nearly all of us here are proud to be associated.  There is necessarily
some difference of opinion as to what constitutes East Anglia.  I find
that our guest of to-night tells us that it is "Norfolk, Suffolk and
portions of Essex, Cambridgeshire and Lincolnshire."  Dr. Knapp, the
biographer of Borrow, says that it is Norfolk, Suffolk and
Cambridgeshire; personally I am content with that classification,
because, although I was born in London, I claim, apart from schoolboy
days at Downham Market, a pretty lengthy ancestry from Norwich on one
side--which is indisputably East Anglia--and from Welney, near Wisbeach,
on another side, and Welney and Wisbeach are, I affirm, just as much East
Anglia as Norwich and Ipswich.  With reference to those other counties
and portions of counties, I think that the inhabitants must be allowed to
decide for themselves.  I imagine that they will give every possible
stretch to the imagination in order to allow themselves the honour of
being incorporated in East Anglia, a name that one never pronounces
without recalling that fine old-world compliment of St. Augustine of
Canterbury to our ancestors, that they ought to be called not "Angles"
but "Angels."

Every one in particular who loves books must be proud to partake of our
great literary tradition.  If it is difficult to decide precisely what
East Anglia is, it is perhaps equally difficult to speak for a few
minutes on so colossal a theme as the literature of East Anglia.  It
would be easy to recapitulate what every biographical dictionary will
provide, a long list of famous names associated with our counties; to
remind you that we have produced two poet-laureates--John Skelton, of
Diss, the author of _Colyn Cloute_, and Thomas Shadwell, of Broomhill,
the playwright--the latter perhaps not entirely a subject for pride; two
very rough and ready political philosophers, Thomas Paine, born at
Thetford, and William Godwin, born at Wisbeach; a very popular novelist
in Bulwer Lytton, and a very popular theologian in Dr. Samuel Clarke; as
also the famous brother and sister whose works appealed to totally
different minds, James and Harriet Martineau.  Then there was that
pathetic creature and indifferent poet, Robert Bloomfield, whose
_Farmer's Boy_ once appeared in the luxurious glories of an expensive
quarto.  Finally, one recalls that two of the most popular women writers
of an earlier generation, Clara Reeve, the novelist, and Agnes
Strickland, the historian, were Suffolk women.

But I am not concerned to give you a recapitulation of all the East
Anglian writers, whose names, as I have said, can be found in any
biographical dictionary, and the quality of whose work would rather
suggest that East Anglia, from a literary point of view, is a land of
extinct volcanoes.  I am naturally rather anxious to make use of the
golden opportunity that has been afforded me to emphasize my own literary
sympathies, and to say in what I think lies the glory of East Anglia, at
least so far as the creation of books is concerned.  Here I make an
interesting claim for East Anglia, that it has given us in Captain
Marryat perhaps the very greatest prose writer of the nineteenth century
who has been a delight to youth, and two of the very greatest prose
writers of all times for the inspiration of middle-age, Sir Thomas Browne
and George Borrow.  It has given us in Sarah Austin an example of a
learned woman who was also a fascinating woman; it has given us again the
most remarkable letter-writers in the English language--Margaret Paston,
Horace Walpole and Edward FitzGerald.  To these there were only three
serious rivals as letter-writers--William Cowper, Thomas Grey and Charles
Lamb; and the first found a final home and a last resting-place in our
midst.  It has given us that remarkable novelist and entertaining
diarist, Fanny Burney.  Finally, it has given us in that same William
Cowper--who rests in East Dereham Church, and for whom we claim on that
and for other reasons some share and participation in his genius--a great
and much loved poet.  It has given us indeed in William Cowper and George
Crabbe the two most natural and the two most human poets in the English
literature of two centuries, only excepting the favourite poet of
Scotland--Robert Burns.  It is to these of all writers that I would pin
my faith in talking of East Anglia and its literature; it is their names
that I would have you keep in your mind when you call up memories of the
literature which has most inspired our East Anglian life.

In connexion with many writers a point of importance will occur to us.
Only occasionally has a great English author a special claim on one
particular portion of England.  He has not been the lesser or the greater
for that, it has merely been an accident of his birth and of his career.
The greatest of all writers, the one of whom all Englishmen are naturally
the most proud, Shakspere, has, it is true, an abundant association with
Warwickshire, but Shakspere stands almost alone in this, as in many
things.  Chaucer, Spenser, Milton, Byron and Keats were born in London;
they travelled widely, they lived in many different counties or
countries, and cannot be said to have adorned any distinctively local
tradition.  Shelley was born in Sussex, but a hundred cities, including
Rome, where his ashes rest, may claim some participation in his fine
spirit.  Wordsworth, on the other hand, who was born in Cumberland,
certainly obtained the greater part of his inspiration from the
neighbouring county of Westmorland, where his life was passed.  But when
we come to East Anglia we are face to face with a body of writers who
belong to the very soil, upon whom the particular character of the
landscape has had a permanent effect, who are not only very great
Englishmen and Englishwomen, but are great East Anglians as well.

I have said that Captain Marryat was an East Anglian, and have we not a
right to be proud of Marryat's breezy stories of the sea?  Our youth has
found such plentiful stimulus in _Peter Simple_, _Frank Mildmay_, and
_Mr. Midshipman Easy_; generations of boys have read them with delight,
generations of boys will read them.  And not only boys, but men.  One
recalls that Carlyle, in one of his deepest fits of depression, took
refuge in Marryat's novels with infinite advantage to his peace of mind.
Speaking of Captain Marryat and books for boys, a quite minor kind of
literature perhaps some of you may think, I must recall that an earlier
and still more famous story for children had an East Anglian origin.  Did
not The Babes in the Wood come out of Norfolk?  Was it not their estate
in that county that, as we learn from Percy's _Reliques_, their wicked
uncle coveted, and were not the last hours of those unfortunate children,
in this most picturesque and pathetic of stories, solaced by East Anglian
robins and their poor bodies covered by East Anglian vegetation?

Let me pass, however, to what may be counted more serious literature.
What can one say of Sir Thomas Browne unless indeed one has an hour in
which to say it.  Every page of that great writer's _Religio Medici_ and
_Urn Burial_ is quotable--full of worldly wisdom and of an inspiration
that is not of the world.  Browne was born in London, and not until he
was thirty-two years of age did he settle in Norwich, where he was "much
resorted to for his skill in physic," and where he lived for forty-five
years, when the fine church of St. Peter Mancroft, received his ashes--a
church in which, let me add, with pardonable pride, my own grandfather
and grandmother were married.  I am glad that Norwich is shortly to
commemorate by a fitting monument not the least great of her sons, one
who has been aptly called "the English Montaigne." {138}

Perhaps there are those who would dispute my claim for Marryat and for
Sir Thomas Browne that they were East Anglians--both were only East
Anglians by adoption.  There are even those who dispute the claim for one
whom I must count well-nigh the greatest of East Anglian men of
letters--George Borrow.  Borrow, I maintain, was an East Anglian if ever
there was one, although this has been questioned by Mr. Theodore Watts-
Dunton.  Now I have the greatest possible regard for Mr. Watts-Dunton.  He
is distinguished alike as a critic, a poet, and a romancer.  But I must
join issue with him here, and you, I know, will forgive me for taking up
your time with the matter; for if Mr. Watts-Dunton were right, one of the
chief glories would be shorn from our East Anglian traditions.  He denies
in the Introduction to a new edition of _The Romany Rye_, just published,
the claim of Borrow to be an East Anglian, although Borrow himself
insisted that he was one.

   One might as well call Charlotte Bronte a Yorkshire woman as call
   Borrow an East Anglian.  He was no more an East Anglian than an
   Irishman born in London is an Englishman.  His father was a Cornishman
   and his mother of French extraction.  Not one drop of East Anglian
   blood was in the veins of Borrow's father, and very little in the
   veins of his mother.  Borrow's ancestry was pure Cornish on one side,
   and on the other mainly French.  But such was the egotism of Borrow
   that the fact of his having been born in East Anglia made him look
   upon that part of the world as the very hub of the universe.

Well, I am not prepared to question the suggestion that East Anglia is
the hub of the universe, only to question Mr. Watts-Dunton's position.
There is virtue in that qualification of his that there was "very little"
East Anglian blood in the veins of Borrow's mother, and that she was
"mainly" French.  As a matter of fact she was, of course, partly East
Anglian; that is to say, she must have had two or three generations of
East Anglian blood in her, seeing that it was her great-grandfather who
settled in Norfolk from France, and he and his children and grandchildren
intermarried with the race.  But I do not pin my claim for Borrow upon
that fact--the fact of three generations of his mother's family at
Dumpling Green--or even on the fact that he was born near East Dereham.
There is nothing more certain than that we are all of us influenced
greatly by our environment, and that it is this, quite as much as birth
or ancestry, that gives us what characteristics we possess.  It is the
custom, for example, to call Swift an Irishman, whereas Swift came of
English parentage and lived for many of his most impressionable years in
England.  Nevertheless, he may be justly claimed by the sister-island,
for during a long sojourn in that country he became permeated with the
subtle influence of the Irish race, and in many things he thought and
felt as an Irishman.  It is the custom to speak of Maria Edgeworth as an
Irish novelist, yet Miss Edgeworth was born in England of English
parentage.  Nevertheless, she was quite as much an Irish novelist as
Charles Lever and Samuel Lover, for all her life was spent in direct
communion with the Irish race, and her books were Irish books.  It is, on
the other hand, quite unreasonable to deny that Charlotte Bronte was a
Yorkshire woman.  Only once at the end of her life did she visit Ireland
for a few weeks.  Her Irish father and her Cornish mother doubtless
influenced her nature in many ways, but not less certain was the
influence of those wonderful moors around Haworth, and the people among
whom she lived.  Neither Ireland nor Cornwall has as much right to claim
her as Yorkshire.  I am the last to disclaim the influence of what is
sometimes called "Celticism" upon English literature; upon this point I
am certain that Matthew Arnold has said almost the last word.  The
Celts--not necessarily the Irish, as there are three or four races of
Celts in addition to the Irish--have in the main given English literature
its fine imaginative quality, and even where he cannot trace a Celtic
origin to an English writer we may fairly assume that there is Celtic
blood somewhere in an earlier generation.

Nevertheless, the impressions, as I have said, derived from environment
are of the utmost vitality, and assuredly Borrow was an East Anglian, as
Sir Thomas Browne was an East Anglian.  In each writer you can trace the
influence of our soil in a peculiar degree, and particularly in Borrow.
Borrow was proud of being an East Anglian, and we are proud of him.  In
_Lavengro_, I venture to assert, we have the greatest example of prose
style in our modern literature, and I rejoice to see a growing Borrow
cult, a cult that is based not on an acceptance of the narrower side of
Borrow--his furious ultra-Protestantism, for example--as was the
popularity that he once enjoyed, but upon the fact that he was a
magnificent artist in words.  No artist in words but is influenced by
environment.  Charles Kingsley, for example, who came from quite
different surroundings, was profoundly influenced by the East Anglian fen-

   "They have a beauty of their own, those great fens," he said, "a
   beauty of the sea, of boundless expanse and freedom.  Overhead the
   arch of heaven spreads more ample than elsewhere, and that vastness
   gives such cloud-lands, such sunrises, such sunsets, as can be seen
   nowhere else within these isles."

But I must hasten on, although I would fain tarry long over George Borrow
and his works.  I have said that East Anglia is the country of great
letter writers.  First, there was Margaret Paston.  There is no such
contribution to a remote period of English history as that contained in
the _Paston Letters_, and I think we must associate them with the name of
a woman--Margaret Paston.  Margaret's husband, John Paston; her son, Sir
John Paston; and her second son, who, strangely enough, was also a John,
and called himself "John Paston the Youngest," come frequently before us
in the correspondence, but Margaret Paston is the central figure.

It may not be without interest to some of my hearers who are married to
recall that Margaret Paston addresses her husband not as "Dear John," or
"My dear John," as I imagine a wife of to-day would do, but as "Right
Reverend and Worshipful Husband."  Nowhere is there such a vivid picture
of a bygone age as that contained in these _Paston Letters_.  We who sit
quietly by the hearth in the reign of King Edward VII may read what it
meant to live by the hearth in the reign of King Edward IV.  It is
curious that the most humane documents of far-off times in our history
should all come from East Anglia, not only those _Paston Letters_,
brimful of the most vital interest concerning the reigns of Henry VI and
Edward IV, but also an even earlier period--the life, or at least the
monastic life in the time of the first Richard and of King John is in a
most extraordinarily human fashion mirrored for us in that Chronicle of
St. Edmund's Bury Monastery known as the Jocelyn Chronicle, published by
the Camden Society, which Carlyle has vitalized so superbly for us in
_Past and Present_.

But I was speaking of the great letter writers, commencing with Margaret
Paston.  Who are our greatest letter writers?  Undoubtedly they are
Horace Walpole, William Cowper and Edward FitzGerald.  You know what a
superb picture of eighteenth century life has been presented to us in the
nine volumes of correspondence we have by Horace Walpole. {144}  Walpole
was to all practical purposes an East Anglian, although he happened to be
born in London.  His father, the great Sir Robert Walpole, was a notable
East Anglian, and he had the closest ties of birth and association with
East Anglia.  Many of his letters were written from the family mansion of
Houghton. {145}

Next in order comes William Cowper.  I believe that more than one
literary historian has claimed Cowper as a Norfolk man.  Cowper was born
in Hertfordshire; he lived for a very great deal of his life in Olney, in
Buckinghamshire, in London and in Huntingdon, but if ever there was a man
who took on the texture of East Anglian scenery and East Anglian life it
was Cowper.  That beautiful river, the Ouse, which empties itself into
the Wash, was a peculiar inspiration to Cowper, and those who know the
scenery of Olney know that it has conditions exactly analogous in every
way to those of East Anglia.  One of Cowper's most beautiful poems is
entitled "On Receipt of my Mother's Portrait out of Norfolk," and he
himself, as I have said, found his last resting-place on East Anglian
soil--at East Dereham.

If there may be some doubt about Cowper, there can be none whatever about
Edward FitzGerald, the greatest letter-writer of recent times.  In
mentioning the name of FitzGerald I am a little diffident.  It is like
introducing "King Charles's head" into this gathering; for was he not the
author of the poem known to all of us as the _Rubaiyat of Omar Khayyam_,
and there is no small tendency to smile to-day whenever the name of Omar
Khayyam is mentioned and to call the cult a "lunacy."  It is perhaps
unfortunate that FitzGerald gave that somewhat formidable title to his
paraphrase, or translation, of the old Persian poet.  It is not the fault
of those who admire that poem exceedingly that it gives them a suspicion
of affecting a scholarship that they do not in most cases possess.  What
many of us admire is not Omar Khayyam the Persian, nor have we any desire
to see or to know any other translation of that poet.  We simply admit to
an honest appreciation of the poem by Edward FitzGerald, the Suffolk
squire, the poem that Tennyson describes as "the one thing done divinely
well."  That poem by FitzGerald will live as long as the English
language, and let it never be forgotten that it is the work of an East
Anglian, an East Anglian who, like Borrow, possessed a marked Celtic
quality, the outcome of a famous Irish ancestry, nevertheless of an East
Anglian who loved its soil, its rivers and its sea.

Then I come to another phase of East Anglian literary traditions.  It is
astonishing what a zest for learning its women have displayed; I might
give you quite a long list of distinguished women who have come out of
East Anglia.  Crabbe must have had one in mind when he wrote of Arabella
in one of his _Tales_:--

   This reasoning maid, above her sex's dread
   Had dared to read, and dared to say she read,
   Not the last novel, not the new born play,
   Not the mere trash and scandal of the day;
   But (though her young companions felt the shock)
   She studied Berkeley, Bacon, Hobbes and Locke.

The one who perhaps made herself most notorious was Harriet Martineau,
and in spite of her disagreeable egotism it is still a pleasure to read
some of her less controversial writings.  Her _Feats on the Fiord_, for
example, is really a classic.  But I can never quite forgive Harriet
Martineau in that she spoke contemptuously of East Anglian scenery,
scenery which in its way has charms as great as any part of Europe can
offer.  No, in this roll of famous women, the two I am most inclined to
praise are Sarah Austin and Fanny Burney.  Mrs. Austin was, you will
remember, one of the Taylors of Norwich, married to John Austin, the
famous jurist.  She was one of the first to demonstrate that her sex
might have other gifts than a gift for writing fiction, and that it was
possible to be a good, quiet, domestic woman, and at the same time an
exceedingly learned one.  Even before Carlyle she gave a vogue to the
study of German literature in this country; she wrote many books, many
articles, and made some translations, notably what is still the best
translation of von Ranke's _History of the Popes_.  In the muster-roll of
East Anglian worthies let us never forget this singularly good woman,
this correspondent of all the most famous men of her day, of Guizot, of
Grote, of Gladstone, and one who also, as a letter-writer, showed that
she possessed the faculty that seems, as I have said, to be peculiar to
the soil of East Anglia.  Still less must we forget Fanny Burney, who,
born in King's Lynn, lived to delight her own generation by _Evelina_ and
by the fascinating _Diary_ that gives so pleasant a picture of Dr.
Johnson and many another of her contemporaries.  _Evelina_ and the
_Diary_ are two of my favourite books, but I practise self-restraint and
will say no more of them here.

I now come to my ninth, and last, name among those East Anglian worthies
whom I feel that we have a particular right to canonize--George
Crabbe--"though Nature's sternest painter yet the best," as Byron
described him.  Now it may be frankly admitted that few of us read Crabbe
to-day.  He has an acknowledged place in the history of literature, but
there pretty well even well-read people are content to leave him.  "What
have our literary critics been about that they have suffered such a
writer to drop into neglect and oblivion?" asks a recent Quarterly
Reviewer.  He does not live as Cowper does by a few lyrics and ballads
and by incomparable letters.  Scarcely a line of Crabbe survives in
current conversation.  If you turn to one of those handy volumes of
reference--Dictionaries of Quotation, as they are called--from which we
who are journalists are supposed to obtain most of the literary knowledge
that we are able to display on occasion, you will scarcely find a dozen
lines of Crabbe.  And yet I venture to affirm that Crabbe has a great and
permanent place in literature, and that as he has been a favourite in the
past, he will become a favourite in the future.  Crabbe can never lose
his place in the history of literature, a place as the forerunner of
Wordsworth and even of Cowper, but it would be a tragedy were he to drop
out of the category of poets that are read.  A dainty little edition in
eight volumes is among my most treasured possessions.  I have read it not
as we read some so-called literature, from a sense of duty, but with
unqualified interest.  We have had much pure realism in these latter
days; why not let us return to the most realistic of the poets.  He was
beloved by all the greatest among his contemporaries.  Scott and
Wordsworth were devoted to his work, and so also was Jane Austen.  At a
later date Tennyson praised him.  We have heard quite recently the story
of Mr. James Russell Lowell in his last illness finding comfort in
reading Scott's _Rob Roy_.  Let us turn to Scott's own last illness and
see what was the book he most enjoyed, almost on his deathbed:--

   "Read me some amusing thing," said Sir Walter, "read me a bit of
   Crabbe."  "I brought out the first volumes of his old favourite that I
   could lay hand on," says Lockhart, "and turned to what I remembered
   was one of his favourite passages in it.  He listened with great
   interest.  Every now and then he exclaimed, "Capital, excellent,
   excellent, very good."

Cardinal Newman and Edward FitzGerald at the opposite poles, as it were,
of religious impressions, agree in a devotion to Crabbe's poetry.
Cardinal Newman speaks of _Tales of the Hall_ as "a poem whether in
conception or in execution one of the most touching in our language," and
in a footnote to his _Idea of a University_ he tells us that he had read
the poem thirty years earlier with extreme delight, "and have never lost
my love of it," and he goes on to plead that it is an absolute _classic_.

Not to have read Crabbe, therefore, is not to know one of the most
individual in the glorious muster-roll of English poets, and Crabbe was
pre-eminently an East Anglian, born and bred in East Anglia, and taking
in a peculiar degree the whole character of his environment, as only
Shakspere, Cowper and Wordsworth among our great poets, have done.

In conclusion, let me recapitulate that the names of Marryat, Sir Thomas
Browne, George Borrow, Margaret Paston, Horace Walpole, Sarah Austin,
Fanny Burney, Edward FitzGerald, and George Crabbe are those that I
prefer to associate with East Anglian Literature.  We are well aware that
literature is but an aspect of our many claims on the gratitude of those
Englishmen who have not the good fortune to be East Anglians.  We have
given to the Empire a great scholar in Porson, a great statesman in Sir
Robert Walpole, a great lawyer in Sir Edward Coke, great ecclesiastics in
Cardinal Wolsey and Archbishop Parker, great artists in Gainsborough,
Constable and Crome, and perhaps above all great sailors in Sir
Cloudesley Shovel and the ever memorable Lord Nelson.  Personally I
admire a certain rebel, Kett the Tanner, as much as any of those I have

Of all these East Anglian worthies the praise has often been sung, but
let me be pardoned if, on an occasion like this, I have dwelt rather at
length on the less familiar association of East Anglia with letters.  That
I have but touched the fringe of the subject is obvious.  What might not
be said, for example, concerning Norwich as a literary centre under
Bishop Stanley--the Norwich of the Taylors and the Gurneys, possessed of
as much real intellectual life as London can boast of to-day.  What,
again, might not be said of the influence upon writers from afar.  Read
Kingsley's _Hereward the Wake_, Mr. Swinburne's _Midsummer Holiday_,
Charles Dickens' description of Yarmouth and Goldsmith's poetical
description in his _Deserted Village_, where clearly Houghton was
intended. {153}  These, and a host of other memories touch the heart of
all good East Anglians, but that East Anglians do not forget the living
in doing honour to the dead is indicated by this gathering to-night.  We
are grateful to Dr. Augustus Jessopp, to Mr. Walter Rye, to Mr. Edward
Clodd, and to our guest of this evening, Mr. William Dutt, for keeping
alive the folk-lore, the literary history, the historical tradition of
that portion of the British Isles to which we feel the most profound
attachment by ties of residence or of kinship.


A paper read before the members of the Johnson Club of London at
Simpson's Restaurant in the Strand.

There is, I believe, a definite understanding among our members that we,
the Brethren of the Johnson Club, have each and all of us read every line
about Dr. Johnson that is in print, to say nothing of his works.  It is
particularly accepted that the thirteen volumes in which our late
brother, Dr. Birkbeck Hill, enshrined his own appreciation of our Great
Man, are as familiar to us all as are the Bible and the Book of Common
Prayer.  For my part, with a deep sense of the responsibility that must
belong to any one who has rashly undertaken to read a paper before the
Club, I admit to having supplemented these thirteen volumes by a
reperusal of the little book entitled _Johnson Club Papers_, by Various
Hands, issued in 1899 by Brother Fisher Unwin.  I feel as I reread these
addresses that there were indeed giants in those days, although my
admiration was moderated a little when I came across the statement of one
Brother that Johnson's proposal for an edition of Shakspere "came to
nothing"; and the statement of another that "Goldsmith's failings were
almost as great and as ridiculous as Boswell's;" while my bibliographical
ire was awakened by the extraordinary declaration in an article on "Dr.
Johnson's Library," that a first folio edition of Shakspere might have
realized 250 pounds in the year 1785.  Still, I recognize the talent that
illuminated the Club in those closing years of the last century.  Happily
for us, who love good comradeship, most of the giants of those days are
still in evidence with their polished armour and formidable spears.

What can I possibly say that has not already been said by one or other of
the Brethren?  Well, I have put together these few remarks in the hopes
that no one of you has seen two books that are in my hands, the first,
_The Reades of Blackwood Hill_, _with Some Account of Dr. Johnson's
Ancestry_, by Aleyn Lyell Reade; the other, _The Life and Letters of Dr.
Birkbeck Hill_, by his daughter Mrs. Crump.  The first of these is
privately printed, although it may be bought by any one of the Brethren
for a couple of guineas.  As far as I am able to learn, Brother Augustine
Birrell is the only one of the Brethren who has as yet purchased a copy.
The other book, our Brother Birkbeck Hill's biography, is to be issued
next week by Mr. Edward Arnold, who has kindly placed an early copy at my
disposal.  In both these volumes there is much food for reflection for
all good Johnsonians.  Dr. Johnson's ancestry, it may be, makes little
appeal to the crowd, but it will to the Brethren.  There is no more
favourite subject for satire than the tendency to minute study of an
author and his antecedents.  But the lover of that author knows the
fascination of the topic.  He can forgive any amount of zeal.  I confess
that personally I stand amazed at the variety and interest of Mr. Reade's
researches.  Let me take a sample case of his method before coming to the
main issue.  In the opening pages of Boswell's _Johnson_ there is some
account of Mr. Michael Johnson, the father.  The most picturesque
anecdote told of Johnson Senior is that concerning a young woman of Leek
in Staffordshire, who while he served his apprenticeship there conceived
a passion for him, which he did not return.  She followed him to
Lichfield, where she took lodgings opposite to the house in which he
lived, and indulged her hopeless flame.  Ultimately she died of love and
was buried in the Cathedral at Lichfield, when Michael Johnson put a
stone over her grave.  This pathetic romance has gone unchallenged by all
Boswell's editors, even including our prince of editors, Dr. Birkbeck
Hill.  Mr. Reade, it seems to me, has completely shattered the story,
which, as all Johnsonian students know, was obtained by Boswell from Miss
Anna Seward.  Mr. Reade is able to show that Michael Johnson had been
settled in Lichfield for at least eleven years before the death of
Elizabeth Blaney, that for five years she had been the much appreciated
domestic in a household in that city.  Her will indicates moreover a
great affection for her mistress and for that mistress's son; she leaves
the boy a gold watch and his mother the rest of her belongings.  The only
connexion that Michael Johnson would seem to have had with the woman was
that he and his brother were called in after her decease to make an
inventory of her little property.  I think that these little facts about
Mistress Blaney, her five years' residence at Lichfield apparently in a
most comfortable position, her omission of Michael Johnson from her will,
and the fact that he had been in Lichfield at least six months before she
arrived, are conclusive.

There is another picturesque fact about Michael Johnson that Mr. Reade
has brought to light.  It would seem that twenty years before his
marriage to Sarah Ford, he had been on the eve of marriage to a young
woman at Derby, Mary Neyld; but the marriage did not take place, although
the marriage bond was drawn out.  Mary was the daughter of Luke Neyld, a
prominent tradesman of Derby; she was twenty-three years of age at the
time and Michael twenty-nine.  Even Mr. Reade's industry has not been
able to discover for us why at the very last moment the marriage was
broken off.  It explains, however, why Michael Johnson married late in
life and his melancholia.  The human romance that Mr. Reade has unveiled
has surely a certain interest for Johnsonians, for had Michael Johnson
brought his first love affair to a happy conclusion, we should not have
had the man described twenty years later as "possessed of a vile
melancholy," who, when his wife's tongue wagged too much, got upon his
horse and rode away.  There would have been no Samuel Johnson, and there
would have been no Johnson Club--a catastrophe which the human mind finds
it hard to conceive of.  Two years after the breaking off of her
engagement with Michael Johnson, I may add, Mary Neyld married one James

Mr. Reade also calls in question another statement of Boswell's, that
Michael Johnson was really apprenticed at Leek in Staffordshire; our only
authority for this also is the excellent Anna Seward.  Further, it is
sufficiently curious that the names of two Samuel Johnsons are recorded
as being buried in one of the churches at Lichfield, one before our
Samuel came into the world, the other three years later: of these, one
died in 1654, the other in 1712.  But these points, although of a certain
interest, have nothing to do with Dr. Johnson's ancestry.  Now before we
left our homes this evening, each member of the Johnson Brotherhood, as
is his custom, turned up Brother Birkbeck Hill's invaluable index to see
what Johnson had to say upon the subject of ancestry.  We know that the
Doctor was very keen upon the founding of a family; that when Mr. Thrale
lost his only son Johnson's sympathies went out to him in a double way,
and perhaps in the greater degree because as he said to Boswell, "Sir,
don't you know how you yourself think?  Sir, he wished to propagate his
name."  Johnson himself, Boswell tells us, had no pretensions to blood.
"I here may say," he said, "that I have great merit in being zealous for
subordination and the honours of birth; for I can hardly tell who was my
grandfather."  Johnson further informed Mrs. Thrale that he did not
delight in talking much of his family: "There is little pleasure," he
says, "in relating the anecdotes of beggary."  He constantly deprecated
his origin.  According to Miss Seward, he told his wife before he married
her that he was of mean extraction; but the letter in which Miss Seward
gives her version of Johnson's courtship is worth recalling, although I
do not believe a single word of it:--

   The rustic prettiness and artless manners of her daughter, the present
   Mrs. Lucy Porter, had won Johnson's youthful heart, when she was upon
   a visit at my grandfather's in Johnson's school-days.  Disgusted by
   his unsightly form, she had a personal aversion to him, nor could the
   beautiful verses he addressed to her teach her to endure him.  The
   nymph at length returned to her parents at Birmingham, and was soon
   forgotten.  Business taking Johnson to Birmingham on the death of his
   own father, and calling upon his coy mistress there, he found her
   father dying.  He passed all his leisure hours at Mr. Porter's,
   attending his sick bed, and in a few months after his death, asked
   Mrs. Johnson's consent to marry the old widow.  After expressing her
   surprise at a request so extraordinary--"No, Sam, my willing consent
   you will never have to so preposterous a union.  You are not twenty-
   five, and she is turned fifty.  If she had any prudence, this request
   had never been made to me.  Where are your means of subsistence?
   Porter has died poor, in consequence of his wife's expensive habits.
   You have great talents, but, as yet, have turned them into no
   profitable channel."  "Mother, I have not deceived Mrs. Porter: I have
   told her the worst of me; that I am of mean extraction; that I have no
   money, and that I have had an uncle hanged.  She replied, that she
   valued no one more or less for his descent; that she had no more money
   than myself; and that, although she had not had a relation hanged, she
   had fifty who deserved hanging."

Now why did Dr. Johnson take this attitude about his ancestry, so
contrary to the spirit that guided him where other people's genealogical
trees were concerned?  It was certainly not indifference to family ties,
because Brother Birkbeck Hill publishes many interesting letters written
by Johnson in old age, when finding that he had a certain sum of money to
bequeath, he looked around to see if there were any of his own kin
living.  The number of letters the old man wrote, inquiring for this or
that kinsman, are quite pathetic.  It seems to me that it was really due
to an ignorant vagueness as to his family history.  During his early
years his family had passed from affluence to penury.  They were of a
type very common in England, but very rare in Scotland and Ireland, that
take no interest whatever in pedigrees, and never discuss any but their
immediate relations, with whom, in the case of the Johnsons, very
friendly terms did not prevail.  I think we should be astonished if we
were to go into some shops in London of sturdy prosperous tradesmen in
quite as good a position as old Michael Johnson, and were to try and draw
out one or other individual upon his ancestry.  We should promptly come
against a blank wall.

What then do we know of Johnson's father from the ordinary sources?  That
he was a bookseller at Lichfield, and that he was Sheriff of that city in
the year that his son Samuel was born; that he feasted the citizens, as
Johnson tells us, in his _Annals_, with "uncommon magnificence."  He is
described by Johnson as "a foolish old man," because he talked with too
fond a pride of his children and their precocious ways.  He was a zealous
High Churchman and Jacobite.  We are told by Boswell further, on the
authority of Mr. Hector of Birmingham, that he opened a bookstall once a
week in that city, but lost money by setting up as a maker of parchment.
"A pious and most worthy man," Mrs. Piozzi tells us of him, "but wrong-
headed, positive and affected with melancholia."  "I inherited a vile
melancholy from my father," Johnson tells us, "which has made me mad all
my life."  When he died in 1731 his effects were estimated at 20 pounds.
"My mother had no value for his relations," Johnson tells us.  "Those we
knew were much lower than hers."  Of Michael Johnson's brother, Andrew,
Johnson's uncle, we know still less.  From the various Johnson books we
only cull the story mentioned in Mrs. Piozzi's _Anecdotes_.  She relates
that Johnson, after telling her of the prowess of his uncle, Cornelius
Ford, at jumping, went on to say that he had another uncle, Andrew--"my
father's brother, who kept the ring at Smithfield for a whole year, and
was never thrown or conquered.  Here are uncles for you, Mistress, if
that is the way to your heart."  Mr. Reade has supplemented this by
showing us that not only was Andrew Johnson a skilful wrestler, but that
he was a very good bookseller.  For a time he assisted his brother in the
conduct of the business at Lichfield.  Later, however, he settled as a
bookseller at Birmingham, which was to be his home until his death over
thirty years later.  Here he published some interesting books; the title-
pages of some of these are given by Mr. Reade, who reproduces of course
his will.  He had a son named Thomas who fell on evil days.  You will
find certain letters to Thomas in Birkbeck Hill's edition; Dr. Johnson
frequently helped him with money.

Of more interest, however, than Andrew Johnson was Catherine, the one
sister of Michael and Andrew, an aunt of Samuel's, who was evidently for
some unknown reason ignored by her two brothers.  Here we are not on
absolutely firm ground, but it seems to me clear that Catherine Johnson
married into a position far above her brothers.  A fortnight before his
death Dr. Johnson wrote to the Rev. William Vyse, Rector of Lambeth; a
letter in which he asked him to find out "whether Charles Skrymsher"--he
misspelt it "Scrimshaw"--"of Woodseaves"--he misspelt it "Woodease"--"in
your neighbourhood, be now alive," and whether he could be found without
delay.  He added that "it will be an act of great kindness to me,"
Charles Skrymsher being "very nearly related."  Charles Skrymsher was not
found, and Johnson told Dr. Vyse that he was disappointed in the
inquiries that he had made for his relations.  This particular relation,
indeed, had been twenty-two years dead when Dr. Johnson, probably with
the desire of leaving him something in his will, made these inquiries.
His mother, Mrs. Gerald Skrymsher, was Michael Johnson's sister.  One of
her daughters became the wife of Thomas Boothby.  Boothby was twice
married, and his two wives were cousins, the first, Elizabeth, being the
daughter of one Sir Charles Skrymsher, the second, Hester, as I have
said, of Gerald Skrymsher, Dr. Johnson's uncle.  Hence Johnson had a
cousin by marriage who was a potentate in his day, for it is told of
Thomas Boothby of Tooley Park, grand-nephew of a powerful and wealthy
baronet, that he was one of the fathers of English sport.  An issue of
_The Field_ newspaper for 1875 contains an engraving of a hunting horn
then in the possession of the late Master of the Cheshire Hounds, and
upon the horn is the inscription: "Thomas Boothby, Esq., Tooley Park,
Leicester.  With this horn he hunted the first pack of fox hounds then in
England fifty-five years."  He died in 1752.  His eldest son took the
maternal name of Skrymsher, and under the title of Thomas Boothby
Skrymsher became M.P. for Leicester, and an important person in his day.
His wife was Anne, daughter of Sir Hugh Clopton of New Place, Stratford-
on-Avon.  Admirers of Mrs. Gaskell will remember the Clopton legend told
by her in Howett's _Visits to Remarkable Places_.

I wish that I had time to follow Mr. Reade through all the ramifications
of an interesting family history, but I venture to think that there is
something pathetic in Dr. Johnson's inquiries a fortnight before his
death as to cousins of whose life story he knew nothing, whose well-known
family home of Woodseaves he--the great Lexicographer--could not spell
correctly, and of whose very name he was imperfectly informed.  Yet he,
the lover of family trees and of ancestral associations, was all his life
in ignorance of these wealthy connexions and their many substantial

Before Mr. Reade it was known that Johnson's father was a manufacturer of
parchment as well as a bookseller; but it was supposed that only in his
last few years or so of life did he undertake this occupation which
ruined him.  Mr. Reade shows that he had been for thirty years engaged in
this trade in parchment.  Brother Birkbeck Hill quotes Croker, who hinted
that Johnson's famous definition of Excise as "a hateful tax levied upon
commodities, and adjudged not by the Common Judge of Property but by
wretches hired by those to whom Excise is paid," was inspired by
recollections of his father's constant disputes with the Excise officers.
Mr. Reade has unearthed documents concerning the crisis of this quarrel,
when Michael Johnson in 1718 was indicted "for useing ye Trade of a
Tanner."  The indictment, which is here printed in full, charges him,
"one Michael Johnson, bookseller," "that he did in the third year of the
reign of our Lord George by the Grace of God now King of Great Britain,
for his own proper gain, get up, use and exercise the art, mystery or
manual occupation of a Byrseus, in English a Tanner, in which art,
mystery or manual occupation of a Tanner the said Michael Johnson was not
brought up or apprenticed for the space of seven years, an evil example
of all others offending in such like case."  Michael's defence was that
he was "tanned for" and did not tan himself, he being only "a merchant in
skins tradeing to Ireland, Scotland and the furthermost parts of
England."  The only known example of Michael Johnson's handwriting is
this defence.  Michael was committed for trial but acquitted.  It is
probable, however, that this prosecution laid the foundation of his ruin.

But I must pass on to the other branch: the family of Dr. Johnson's
mother.  Here Dr. Johnson did himself a great injustice, for he had a
genuine right to count his mother's "an old family," although the term is
in any case relative.  At any rate he could carry his pedigree back to
1620.  "In the morning," says Boswell, "we had talked of old families,
and the respect due to them.  Johnson said--

   "'Sir, you have a right to that kind of respect, and are arguing for
   yourself.  I am for supporting the principle, and I am disinterested
   in doing it, as I have no such right.'"

Nevertheless, Boswell, in this opening chapter, refers to the mother as
"Sarah Ford, descended of an ancient race of substantial yeomanry in
Warwickshire," and Johnson's epitaph upon his mother's tomb describes her
as "of the ancient family of Ford."  Thus one is considerably bewildered
in attempting to reconcile Johnson's attitude.  The only one of his
family for whom he seems to have had a good word was Cornelius Harrison,
of whom, writing to Mrs. Thrale, he said that he was "perhaps the only
one of my relations who ever rose in fortune above penury or in character
above neglect."  This Cornelius was the son of John Harrison, who had
married Johnson's aunt, Phoebe Ford.  Johnson's account of Uncle John in
his _Annals_ is not flattering, but he was the son of a Rector of
Pilborough, whose father was Sir Richard Harrison, one of the gentlemen
of the King's Bedchamber, and a personality of a kind.  Cornelius, the
reputable cousin, died in 1748, but his descendants seem to have been a
poor lot, whatever his ancestors may have been.  Mr. Reade traces their
history with all the relentlessness of the genealogist.

Johnson's great-grandfather was one Henry Ford, a yeoman in Birmingham.
One of his sons, Henry, Johnson's grand-uncle, was born in 1628.  He
owned property at West Bromwich and elsewhere, and was a fellow of
Clifford's Inn, London.  Then we come to Cornelius Ford--"Cornelius Ford,
gentleman," he is styled in his marriage settlement.  Cornelius died four
months before Samuel Johnson was born.  Cornelius had a sister Mary, who
married one Jesson, and their only son, I may mention incidentally,
entered at Pembroke College in 1666, sixty years before his
second-cousin, our Samuel, entered the same college.  Another cousin by
marriage was a Mrs. Harriots, to whom Johnson refers in his _Annals_, and
also in his _Prayers and Meditations_.  The only one of Cornelius Ford's
family referred to in the biographies is Joseph Ford, the father of the
notorious Parson Ford, Johnson's cousin, of whom he several times speaks.
Joseph was a physician of eminence who settled at Stourbridge.  He
married a wealthy widow, Mrs. Hickman.  He was a witness to the marriage
of his sister Sarah to Michael Johnson.  There can be no doubt but that
the presence of Dr. Ford and his family at Stourbridge accounts for
Johnson being sent there to school in 1725.  He stayed in the house of
his cousin Cornelius Ford, not as Boswell says his _uncle_ Cornelius, at
Pedmore, about a mile from Stourbridge.  He walked in every day to the
Grammar School.  A connexion of the boy, Gregory Hickman, was residing
next to the Grammar School.  A kinsman of Johnson and a descendant of
Hickman, Dr. Freer, still lives in the house.  I met him at Lichfield
recently, and he has sent me a photograph of the very house, which stands
to-day much as it did when Johnson visited it, and wrote at twenty-two, a
sonnet to Dorothy Hickman "playing at the Spinet."  Dorothy was one of
Johnson's three early loves, with Ann Hector and Olivia Lloyd.  Dorothy
married Dr. John Turtin and had an only child, Dr. Turtin, the celebrated
physician who attended Goldsmith in his last illness.

I have not time to go through the record of all Dr. Johnson's uncles on
the maternal side, and do full justice to Mr. Reade's industry and
mastery of detail.  I may, however, mention incidentally that the uncle
who was hanged, if one was, must have been one of his father's brothers,
for to the Fords that distinction does not seem to have belonged.  Much
that is entertaining is related of the cousin Parson Ford, who, after
sharing with the famous Earl of Chesterfield in many of his profligacies,
received from his lordship the Rectory of South Luffenham.  There is no
evidence, however, that Chesterfield ever knew that his at one time
chaplain and boon companion was cousin of the man who wrote him the most
famous of letters.

The mother of Cornelius Ford was a Crowley, and this brings Johnson into
relationship with London city worthies, for Mrs. Ford's brother was Sir
Ambrose Crowley, Kt., Alderman, of London, the original of Addison's Jack
Anvil.  One of Sir Ambrose Crowley's daughters married Humphrey Parsons,
sometime M.P. for London and twice Lord Mayor.  Thus we see that during
the very years of Johnson's most painful struggle in London one of his
distant cousins or connexions was Chief Magistrate of this City.  Another
connexion, Elizabeth Crowley, was married in 1724 at Westminster Abbey to
John, tenth Lord St. John of Bletsoe.  "Here are ancestors for you,
Mistress," Dr. Johnson might have said to Mrs. Thrale if he had only
known--if he had had a genealogist at his elbow as well as a pushful

Mr. Reade prints the whole of the marriage settlement upon the union of
Johnson's mother and father.  It is a very elaborate document, and
suggests the undoubted prosperity of the parties at the time.  The
husband was fifty, the bride thirty-seven.  Samuel was not born until
three years and three months after the marriage.  The pair frequently in
early married life received assistance by convenient deaths as the
following extracts from wills indicate:--

   _Cornelius Ford of Packwood in the Co. of Warwick_.

   I give and bequeath unto my son-in-law Michaell Johnson the sum of
   five pounds, and to his wife my daughter five and twenty pounds.

   Proved May 1, 1709.

   _Jane Ford of Old Turnford_, _widow of Joseph Ford_.

   I do will and appoint that my son Cornelius Ford do and shall pay to
   my brother-in-law, Mr. Michael Johnson and his wife and their
   trustees, the sum of 200 pounds which is directed by his late father's
   Will to be paid to me and in lieu of so much moneys which my said late
   husband received in trust for my said brother Johnson and his wife.

   Proved at Worcester, October 2, 1722.

Then "good cousin Harriotts" does not forget them:--

   I give and bequeath to my cousin Sarah the wife of Michael Johnson the
   like sum of 40 pounds for her own separate use, and one pair of my
   best flaxen sheets and pillow coats, a large pewter dish and a dozen
   of pewter plates, provided that her husband doth at the same time give
   the like bond to my executor to permit his wife to dispose of the same
   at her will and pleasure.

   Elizabeth Harriotts of Trysall in Staff.,
   October 23, 1726.

But I must leave this fascinating volume.  I cannot find time to tell you
all it has to say about the Porter family.  Mr. Reade is as informative
when treating of the Porters, of Mrs. Johnson and her daughter Lucy, as
he is with the family trees of which I have spoken.

I hasten on to Dr. Hill's _Life_, with which I am only concerned here at
the point where it is affected by Mr. Reade's book.  The reflection
inevitably arises that it is well-nigh impossible efficiently to do work
involving research unless one has an income derived from other sources.
Your historian in proportion to the value of his work must be a rich man,
and so must the biographer.  Good as Brother Birkbeck Hill's work was, it
would have been better if he had had more money.  He might have had many
of these wills and other documents copied, upon the securing of which Mr.
Reade must have expended such very large sums.  Dr. Hill was fully alive
to this.  "If I had not some private means," he wrote to a friend in
1897, "I could never edit Johnson and Boswell; but I do not get so well
paid as a carpenter."  As a matter of fact, I find that he lost exactly 3
pounds by publishing _Dr. Johnson_: _his Friends and his Critics_.  He
made 320 pounds by the first four years' sale of the "Boswell."  This 320
pounds, including American rights, made the bulk of his payments for his
many years' work, and the book has not yet gone into a second edition.  I
think 2,000 were printed.  There were between 40,000 and 50,000 copies of
Croker's editions sold, so that we must not be too boastful as to the
improved taste of the present age.  320 pounds is a mere bagatelle to
numbers of our present writers of utterly foolish fiction.  Several of
them have been known to spend double that sum on a single motor-car.  In
connexion with this matter I cannot refrain from giving one passage from
a letter of Brother Hill's:--

   My old friend D--- lamented that the two new volumes (of my _Johnson
   Miscellanies_) are so dear as to be above his reach.  The net price is
   a guinea.  On Sunday he had eight glasses of hollands and seltzer--a
   shilling each, a pint of stout and some cider, besides half a dozen
   cigars or so.  Two days' abstinence from cigars and liquor would have
   paid for my book.

Mrs. Crump, who writes her father's life, has expressed regret to me that
there is so little in the book concerning the Johnson Club to which
Brother Hill was so devoted.  She had asked me for letters, but I felt
that all in my possession were unsuited for publication, dealing rather
freely with living persons.  Brother Hill was impatient of the mere
bookmaker--the literary charlatan who wrote without reading sufficiently.
There are two pleasant glimpses of our Club in the volume; I quote one.
It was of the night that we discussed _Dr. Johnson as a Radical_:--

   I wish that you and Lucy could have been present last night and
   witnessed my scene of triumph.  I was indeed most nobly welcomed.  The
   scribe told me with sympathetic pride that the correspondent of the
   _New York Herald_ had asked leave to attend, as he wished to telegraph
   my paper out to America!!! as well as the discussion.  There were some
   very good speeches made in the discussion that followed, especially by
   a Mr. Whale, a solicitor, who spoke remarkably well and with great
   knowledge of his _Boswell_.  He said that he preferred to call it, not
   Johnson's radical side, but his humanitarian side.  Mr. Birrell, the
   _Obiter Dicta_ man, also spoke very well.  He is a clever fellow.  He
   was equally complimentary.  He maintained in opposition to Mr. Whale
   that radical was the right term, and in fact that radicalism and
   humanitarianism were the same.  Many of them said what a light the
   paper had thrown on Johnson's character.  One gentleman came up and
   congratulated me on the very delicate way in which I had handled so
   difficult a subject, and had not given offence to the Liberal
   Unionists and Tories present.  Edmund Gosse, by whom I sat, was most
   friendly, and called the paper a wonderful _tour de force_, referring
   to the way in which I had linked Johnson's sayings.  He asked me to
   visit him some day at Trinity College, Cambridge, and assured me of a
   hearty welcome.  It is no wonder that what with the supper and the
   smoke I did not get to sleep till after two.  Among the guests was the
   great Bonner, the Australian cricketer, whose health had been drunk
   with that of the other visitors, and his praise sounded at having hit
   some balls over the pavilion at Lord's.  With great simplicity he said
   that after seeing the way in which Johnson's memory was revered, he
   would much rather have been such a man than have gained his own
   greatest triumphs at cricket.  He did not say it jocularly at all.

Another letter from Dr. Hill describes how he found himself at Ashbourne
in Derbyshire with the Club, or rather with a fragment of it.  He wrote
from the _Green Man_ there concerning his adventures.

I have far exceeded my time, but I would like in conclusion to say how
admirably his daughter has written this book on our Brother Birkbeck
Hill.  What a pleasant picture it presents of a genuine lover of
literature.  His was not an analytical mind nor was he a great critic.
His views on Dante and Newman will not be shared by any of us.  But, what
is far more important than analysis or criticism, he had an entirely
lovable personality and was a most clubbable man.  He was moreover the
ideal editor of Boswell.  What more could be said in praise of a beloved
Brother of the Johnson Club!


   Ich habe die Inventur meines Lebens gemacht.
   Es war gross, brav, wacker, tapfer und glanzend genug.
   Eine kunftige Zeit wird mir gerecht zu warden wissen.

   --FERDINAND LASSALLE, _August_ 9, 1864.

I.  The Countess Sophie von Hatzfeldt.

Ferdinand Lassalle was born at Breslau on April 11, 1825.  His parents
were of Jewish race, his father a successful silk merchant.  From boyhood
he was now the tyrant, now the slave of a mother whom he loved and by
whom he was adored.  Heymann Lassal--his son changed the spelling during
his Paris sojourn--appears to have been irritable and tyrannical; and
there are some graphic instances in the recently published "Diary" {186}
of the differences between them, ending on one occasion in the boy
rushing to the river, where his terrified father finds him hesitating on
the brink, and becomes reconciled.  A more attractive picture of the old
man is that told of his visit to his son-in-law, Friedland, who had
married Lassalle's sister.  Friedland was ashamed of his Jewish origin,
and old Lassalle startled the guests at dinner by rising and frankly
stating that he was a Jew, that his daughter was a Jewess, and that her
husband was of the same race.  The guests cheered, but the host never
forgave his too frank father-in-law.

Lassalle was a student at Breslau University, and later at Berlin, where
he laid the foundation of those Hegelian studies to which he owed his
political philosophy.  In 1845 he went to Paris, and there secured the
friendship of Heine, being included with George Sand in the interesting
circle around the "mattress grave" of the sick poet.

Among Heine's letters {187} there are four addressed to Lassalle, now as
"Dear and best beloved friend," now as "Dearest brother-in-arms."  "Be
assured," he says, "that I love you beyond measure.  I have never before
felt so much confidence in any one."  "I have found in no one," he says
again, "so much passion and clearness of intellect united in action.  You
have good right to be audacious--we others only usurp this Divine right,
this heavenly privilege."  And to Varnhagen von Ense he writes:--

   My friend, Herr Lassalle, who brings you this letter, is a young man
   of the most remarkable intellectual gifts.  With the most thorough
   erudition, with the widest learning, with the greatest penetration
   that I have ever known, and with the richest gift of exposition, he
   combines an energy of will and a capacity for action which astonish
   me. . . . In no one have I found united so much enthusiasm and
   practical intelligence.

"In every line," says Brandes, "this letter shows the far-seeing student
of life, indeed, the prophet!"

Lassalle is not backward in reciprocating the enthusiasm.

   "I love Heine," he declares; "he is my second self.  What audacity!
   what crushing eloquence!  He knows how to whisper like a zephyr when
   it kisses rose-blooms, how to breathe like fire when it rages and
   destroys; he calls forth all that is tenderest and softest, and then
   all that is fiercest and most daring.  He has the command of all the
   range of feeling."

Lassalle's sympathy with Heine never lessened.  It was Heine who lost
grasp of the intrinsically higher nature of his countryman and
co-religionist, and an acute difference occurred, as we shall see, when
Lassalle interfered in the affairs of the Countess von Hatzfeldt.
Introduced to the Countess by his friend Dr. Mendelssohn, in 1846,
Lassalle felt that here in concrete form was scope for all his enthusiasm
of humanity, and he determined to devote his life to championing the
cause of the oppressed lady. {188}  The Countess was the wife of a
wealthy and powerful nobleman, who ill-treated her shamefully.  He
imprisoned her in his castles, refused her doctors and medicine in
sickness, and carried off her children.  Her own family, as powerful as
the Count, had often intervened, and the Count's repentances were many
but short-lived.  In 1846 matters reached a crisis.  The Count wrote to
his second son, Paul, asking him to leave his mother.  The boy carried
this letter to the Countess; and Lassalle relates that, finding the lady
in tears, he persuaded her to a full disclosure of the facts.  He pledged
himself to save her, and for nine years carried on the struggle, with
ultimate victory, but with considerable loss of reputation.  He first
told the story to Mendelssohn and Oppenheim, two friends of great wealth,
the latter a Judge of one of the superior courts in Prussia.  They agreed
to help him; for then, as always, Lassalle's persuasive powers were
irresistible.  They went with him from Berlin to Dusseldorf, the Count
being in that neighbourhood.  Von Hatzfeldt was at Aix-la-Chapelle,
caught in the toils of a new mistress, the Baroness Meyendorff.  Lassalle
discovered that she had obtained from the Count a deed assigning to her
some property which should in the ordinary course have come to the boy
Paul.  The Countess, hearing of the disaster which seemed likely to
befall her favourite son, made her way into her husband's presence, and
in the scene which followed secured a promise that the document should be
revoked--destroyed.  But no sooner had she left him than the Count
returned to the Meyendorff influence, and refused to see his wife again.
Soon afterwards it was discovered that the woman had set out for Cologne.
Lassalle begged his friends Oppenheim and Mendelssohn, to follow her and,
if possible, to ascertain whether the momentous document had actually
been destroyed.  They obeyed, and reached the hotel at Cologne about the
same time as the Baroness.  Here they were guilty of an indiscretion, if
of nothing worse, for which Lassalle can surely in no way be blamed, but
which was used for many a year to tarnish his name.  Oppenheim, on his
way upstairs, observed a servant with the luggage of the Baroness; among
other things a desk or casket of a kind commonly used to carry valuable
papers.  Thinking only of the fact that it was desirable to obtain a
certain document from the brutal Count, he pounced upon the casket when
the servant's back was turned.  But he had no luggage with him in which
to conceal it, and so handed it to Mendelssohn.  Mendelssohn, although
fully sensible of the blunder that had been committed, could not desert
his friend, and placed the casket in his trunk.

The whole hotel was in an uproar when the Baroness discovered her loss.
The friends fled panic-stricken in opposite directions.  Suspicion
immediately fell upon Dr. Mendelssohn, because his room was seen to have
been left in confusion.  He was pursued, but succeeded in escaping from a
railway carriage and fleeing to Paris, leaving his luggage in the hands
of the police.  In his box some papers were found which incriminated
Oppenheim; and Oppenheim, a Judge of one of the superior courts, and the
son of a millionaire, was arrested and imprisoned for theft!

Lassalle visited Oppenheim in prison, and extracted from him a promise of
silence as to the motive for his conduct.  He then threw himself
vigorously into the struggle, both in the press and in the law courts.
Here he seems to have parted company with Heine, because, as he tells us,
"the Baroness Meyendorff was a friend of the Princess de Lieven, and the
Princess de Lieven was the mistress of Guizot, and Heine received a
pension from Guizot."

Oppenheim was acquitted in 1846, and Mendelssohn, who was really innocent
of the actual robbery, naturally thought it safe to return to Germany.  He
was, however, tried before the assize court of Cologne, and sentenced to
five years' imprisonment.  Alexander von Humboldt obtained a reduction of
the sentence to one year, but on condition that Mendelssohn should leave
Europe.  He went, after his release from prison, to Constantinople, and
when the Crimean war broke out joined the Turkish army, dying on the
march in 1854.

Meanwhile Germany rang for many years with the story of the so-called
robbery, and Lassalle's name was even more associated therewith than were
those of his more culpable friends.  And this was not unnatural, because
he was engaged year after year in continuous warfare with Count
Hatzfeldt.  At length, in 1854, about the time that the unfortunate Dr.
Mendelssohn died in the East, he secured for the Countess complete
separation and an ample provision.

Lassalle's friendship with this lady inevitably gave rise to scandal.  But
never surely was scandal so little justified.  She was twenty years his
senior, and the relation was clearly that of mother and son.  In her
letters he is always "my dear child," and in his she is the confidante of
the innumerable troubles of mind and of heart of which so impressionable
a man as Ferdinand Lassalle had more than his share.

"You are without reason and judgment where women are concerned," she
tells him, when he confides to her his passion for Helene von Donniges;
and the remark opens out a vista of confidences of which the world
happily knows but little.  From the assize court of Dusseldorf, of all
places, we have a very definite glimpse of a good-looking man, likely to
be a favourite in the society of the opposite sex:--

   "Ferdinand Lassalle," runs the official document, "aged twenty-three,
   a civilian, born at Breslau, and dwelling recently at Berlin.  Stands
   five feet six inches in height, has brown curly hair, open forehead,
   brown eyebrows, dark blue eyes, well proportioned nose and mouth, and
   rounded chin."

He was indeed a favourite in Berlin drawing-rooms, pronounced a
"Wunderkind" by Humboldt, and enthusiastically admired on all sides.  But,
assuming the story of Sophie Solutzeff to be mythical, there is no
evidence that Lassalle had ever had any very serious romance in his life
until he met Helene von Donniges.

   _Es ist eine alte Geschichte_,
   _Doch bleibt sie immer neu_.--HEINE.

II.  Helene von Donniges

Helene von Donniges has told us the story in fullest detail--the story of
that tragic love which was to send Lassalle to his too early death.  She
was the daughter of a Bavarian diplomatist who had held appointments in
Italy, and later in Switzerland.  She was betrothed as a child of twelve
to an Italian of forty years of age.  At a time when, as she says, her
thoughts should have been concentrated upon her studies, they were
distracted by speculations on marriage and the marriage tie.  A young
Wallachian student named Yanko Racowitza crossed her path.  His
loneliness--he was far from home and friends--kindled her sympathy.  Dark
and ugly, she compared him to Othello, and called him her "Moor."  In
spite of some parental opposition she insisted upon plighting her troth
to him, and the Italian lover was scornfully dismissed.  Then comes the
opening scene of the present story.  It was in Berlin, whither Helen--we
will adopt the English spelling of the name--had travelled with her
grandmother in 1862, that she was asked at a ball the momentous question,
"Do you know Lassalle?"  She had never heard his name.  Her questioner
was Baron Korff, a son-in-law of Meyerbeer, who, charmed by her
originality, remarked that she and Lassalle were made for one another.
Two weeks later her curiosity was further excited, when Dr. Karl
Oldenberg let fall some similar remark as to her intellectual kinship
with the mysterious Lassalle.  She asked her grandmother about him, and
was told that he was a "shameless demagogue."  Then she turned to her
lover, who promised to inquire.  Racowitza brought her information about
the Countess, the casket, and other "sensations"--only to excite her
curiosity the more.  Finally a friend, Frau Hirsemenzel, undertook to
introduce her to the notorious Socialist.  The introduction took place at
a party, and if her account is to be trusted, no romance could be more
dramatic than the actuality.  They loved one another at first sight,
conversed with freedom, and he called her by an endearing name as he
offered her his arm to escort her home.

"Somehow it did not seem at all remarkable," she says, "that a stranger
should thus call me 'Du' on first acquaintance.  We seemed to fit to one
another so perfectly."

She was in her nineteenth year, Lassalle in his thirty-ninth.  The pair
did not see one another again for some months, not in fact until Helen
visited Berlin as the guest of a certain lawyer Holthoff.  Here she met
Lassalle at a concert, and the friendly lawyer connived at their being
more than once together.  At a ball, on one occasion, Lassalle asked her
what she would do if he were sentenced to death, and she beheld him
ascending the scaffold.

"I should wait till your head was severed," was her answer, "in order
that you might look upon your beloved to the last, and then--I should
take poison."

He was pleased with her reply, but declared that there was no fear--his
star was in the ascendant!  And so it seemed; for although young
Racowitza even then accosted him in the ballroom, the friendly Holthoff
soon arranged an informal betrothal; and Lassalle was on the eve of a
great public triumph which seemed more likely to take him to the throne
than to the scaffold.

To many this will seem an exaggeration.  Yet hear Prince Bismarck in the
Reichstag seventeen years after Lassalle's death:--

   He was one of the most intellectual and gifted men with whom I have
   ever had intercourse, a man who was ambitious in high style, but who
   was by no means Republican: he had very decided national and
   monarchical sympathies, and the idea which he strove to realize was
   the German Empire, and therein we had a point of contact.  Lassalle
   was extremely ambitious, and it was perhaps a matter of doubt to him
   whether the German Empire would close with the Hohenzollern dynasty or
   the Lassalle dynasty; but he was monarchical through and through.
   Lassalle was an energetic and very intellectual man, to talk with whom
   was very instructive.  Our conversations lasted for hours, and I was
   always sorry when they came to an end. {198}

The year 1864, which was to close so tragically, opened indeed with
extraordinary promise.  Lassalle left Berlin in May--Helen had gone back
to Geneva two or three months earlier--travelling by Leipzig and Cologne
through the Rhenish provinces, and holding a "glorious review" the while.

   "I have never seen anything like it," he writes to the Countess von
   Hatzfeldt.  "The entire population indulged in indescribable
   jubilation.  The impression made upon me was that such scenes must
   have attended the founding of new religions."

And it appeared possible that Heine's description of Lassalle as the
Messiah of the nineteenth century was to be realized.  The Bishop of
Mayence was on his side, and the King of Prussia sympathetic.  As he
passed from town to town the whole population turned out to do him
honour.  Countless thousands met him at the stations: the routes were
ornamented with triumphal arches, the houses decorated with wreaths, and
flowers were thrown upon him as he passed.  As the cavalcade approached
the town of Ronsdorf, for example, it was easy to see that the people
were on tip-toe with expectation.  At the entrance an arch bore the

   Willkommen dem Dr. Ferdinand Lassalle
   Viel tausendmal im Ronsdorfer Thal!

Under arches and garlands, smothered with flowers thrown by young work-
girls, whose fathers, husbands, brothers, cheered again and again,
Lassalle and his friends entered the town, while a vast multitude
followed in procession.  It was at Ronsdorf that Lassalle made the speech
which had in it something of fateful presentiment:--

   "I have not grasped this banner," he said, "without knowing quite
   clearly that I myself may fall.  The feelings which fill me at the
   thought that I may be removed cannot be better expressed than in the
   words of the Roman poet:

   '_Exoriare aliquis nostris ex ossibus ultor_!'

   or in German, '_Moge_, _wenn ich beseitigt werde_, _irgend ein Racher
   und Nachfolger aus meinen Gebeinen auferstehen_!'  May this great and
   national movement of civilization not fall with my person, but may the
   conflagration which I have kindled spread farther and farther, so long
   as one of you still breathes.  Promise me that, and in token raise
   your right hands."

All hands were raised in silence, and the impressive scene closed with a
storm of acclamation.

But Lassalle was worn out, and he fled for a time from the storm and
conflict to Switzerland.  Helen at Geneva heard of his sojourn at Righi-
Kaltbad, and she made an excursion thither with two or three friends, and
thus on July 25 (1864) the lovers met again.  An account of their
romantic interview comes to us in Helen's own diary and in the letter
which Lassalle wrote to the Countess Hatzfeldt two days later.  Helen
tells how they climbed the Kulm together, discussing by the way the
question of their marriage and the possibility of opposition.

"What have your parents against me?" asked Lassalle; and was told that
only once had she mentioned his name before them, and that their horror
of the Jew agitator had ever since closed her mouth.  So the conversation
sped.  The next morning their hope of "a sunrise" was destroyed by a fog.
"How often," says Helen, "when in later years I have stood upon the
summit of the Righi and seen the day break in all its splendour, have I
recalled this foggy, damp morning, and Lassalle's disappointment!"

As he looked upon her, so pale and trembling, he abused the climate, and
promised that he would give up politics, devote himself to science and
literature, and take her to Egypt or India.  He talked to her of the
Countess, "who will think only of my happiness," and he talked of
religion.  Was his Jewish faith against him in her eyes?  Mahommedanism
and Judaism, it was all one to her, was the answer, but paganism by
preference!  They parted, to correspond immediately, and Lassalle to
write to the astonished, and in this affair, unsympathetic Countess, of
the meeting with his beloved.  With the utmost friendliness, however, he
endeavoured to keep the elder lady at a distance for a time.

On July 20 Helen writes to him, repeating her promise to become his wife.

   You said to me yesterday: "Say but a sensible and decided 'Yes'--_et
   je me charge du reste_."  Good; I say "Yes"--_chargez-vous donc du
   reste_.  I only require that we first do all in our power to win my
   parents to a friendly attitude.  To me belongs, however, a painful
   task.  I must slay in cold blood the true heart of Yanko von
   Racowitza, who has given me the purest love, the noblest devotion.
   With heartless egotism I must destroy the day-dream of a noble youth.
   But for your sake I will even do what is wrong.

Meanwhile Lassalle's unhappy attempts to conciliate the Countess
continue.  He writes of Helen's sympathy and dwells upon her entire
freedom from jealousy.  He tells Frau von Hatzfeldt how much Helen is
longing to see his old friend.  In conclusion, as though not to show
himself too blind a lover, he remarks that Helen's one failing is a total
lack of will.  "When, however, we are man and wife," he adds, "then shall
I have 'will' enough for both, and she will be as clay in the hands of
the potter."  The Countess continues obdurate, and in a further letter
(Aug. 2) Lassalle says:--

   It is really a piece of extraordinary good fortune that, at the age of
   thirty-nine and a half, I should be able to find a wife so beautiful,
   so sympathetic, who loves me so much, and who--an indispensable
   requirement--is so entirely absorbed in my personality.

At Lassalle's request, Helen herself wrote thus to the Baroness von


   Armed with an introduction from my lord and master, I, his affianced
   wife, come to you--unhappily only in writing--_le coeur et la main
   ouverte_, and beg of you a little of that friendship which you have
   given to him so abundantly.  How deeply do I regret that your illness
   separates us, that I cannot tell you face to face how much I love and
   honour him, how ardently I long for your help and advice as to how I
   can best make my beautiful and noble eagle happy.  This my first
   letter must necessarily seem somewhat constrained to you; for I am an
   insignificant, unimportant being, who can do nothing but love and
   honour him, and strive to make him happy.  I would fain dance and sing
   like a child, and drive away all care from him.  My one desire is to
   understand his great and noble nature, and in good fortune and in bad
   to stand faithful and true by his side.

Then followed a further appeal for the love and help of this friend of
Lassalle's early years.  It was all in vain.  Instead of a letter, Helen
received from the Countess what she called "a scrawl," and Lassalle a
long homily on his lack of judgment and foresight.  Lassalle defended
himself, and so the not too pleasing correspondence went on.

Yet these days in Berne were the happiest in the lives of Lassalle and
his betrothed.  Helen was staying with a Madame Aarson, and was
constantly visited by her lover.  It was agreed between them that
Lassalle should follow her to Geneva, and see her parents.  But no sooner
had he entered his room at the Pension Leovet, in the neighbourhood of
the house of Herr von Donniges, than a servant handed him a letter from
Helen.  It told how on her arrival she had found the whole house excited
by the betrothal of her sister Margaret to Count von Keyserling.  Her
mother's delight in the engagement had tempted her (contrary to
Lassalle's express wish) to confidences, and she had told of her love for
the arch-agitator.  Her mother had turned upon her with loathing,
execrated Lassalle without stint, spoken scornfully of the Countess, the
casket robbery, and kindred matters.  "It is quite impossible," urged the
frantic woman, "that Count Keyserling will unite himself to a family with
a connexion of this kind."  The father joined in the upbraiding, the
disowning of an undutiful daughter.  One has but to remember the vulgar,
tradesman instinct, which then, as now, guides the marriage ideals of a
certain class, to take in the whole situation at a glance.

Lassalle had hardly begun to read the letter when Helen appeared before
him, and begged him to take her away immediately--to France--anywhere!
Her father's violence, her mother's abuse, had driven her to despair.

Lassalle was indignant with her.  Why had she not obeyed him?  He would
speak to her father.  All would yet be well.  But--she was compromised
there--at his hotel.  Had she a friend in the neighbourhood?

At this moment her maid came in to say that there was a carriage ready to
take them to the station.  A train would start for Paris in a quarter of
an hour.  Helen renewed her entreaty, but Lassalle remained resolute.  He
would only receive her from her father.  To what friend could he take
her?  Helen named Madame Caroline Rognon, who beheld them with

A few minutes later Frau von Donniges and her daughter Margaret entered
the house.  Then followed a disagreeable scene between Lassalle and the
mother, ending, after many scornful words thrown at the ever
self-restrained lover, in Helen being carried off before his eyes--indeed,
by his wish.  Lassalle had shown dignity and self-restraint, but he had
killed the girl's love--until it was too late.

Duhring speaks of Lassalle's "inconceivable stupidity," and there is a
great temptation at this date, with all the circumstances before us, to
look at the matter with Duhring's eyes.  But to one whom Heine had called
a Messiah, whom Humboldt had termed a "Wunderkind," and Bismarck had
greeted as among the greatest men of the age, it may well have seemed
flatly inconceivable that this insignificant little Swiss diplomatist
could long refuse the alliance he proposed.  Yet stronger and more potent
may have been the feeling--although of this there is no positive evidence
extant--that the social movement which he had so much at heart could not
well endure a further scandal.  The Hatzfeldt story had been used against
him frequently enough.  An elopement--so sweetly romantic under some
circumstances--would have been the ruin of his great political

Lassalle speedily regretted his course of action--what man in love would
not have done so?--but his first impulse was consistent with the life of
strenuous effort for the cause he had embraced.  To a romantic girl,
however, his conduct could but seem brutal and treacherous.  Helen had
done more than enough.  She had compromised herself irretrievably, and an
immediate marriage was imperatively demanded by the conventionalities.
She was, however, seized by a brutal father and confined to her room,
until she understood that Lassalle had left Geneva.  Then the entreaties
of her family, the representation that her sister's marriage, even her
father's position, were in jeopardy, caused her to declare that she would
abandon Lassalle.

At this point the story is conflicting.  Helen herself says that she
never saw Lassalle again after he had handed her over to her mother, and
that after a long period of ill-usage and petty persecution, she was
hurried one night across the lake.  Becker, however, declares that as
Lassalle and his friend Rustow were walking in Geneva a carriage passed
them on the way to the station containing Helen and another lady, and
that Helen acknowledged their salute.  Anyway, it is clear that Helen
went to Bex on August 9, and that Lassalle left Geneva on the 13th.
Letter after letter was sent by Lassalle to Helen--one from Karlsruhe on
the 15th, and one from Munich on the 19th, but no answer.  In Karlsruhe,
according to von Hofstetten, Lassalle wept like a child.  His
correspondence with the Countess and with Colonel Rustow becomes forcible
in its demands for assistance.  Writing to Rustow, he tells of a two
hours' conversation with the Bavarian Minister for Foreign Affairs, Baron
von Schrenk, who assures him of his sympathy, says that he cannot
understand the objections of von Donniges, and that in similar
circumstances he would be proud of the alliance, although he deprecated
the political views of Lassalle.  Finally this accommodating Minister of
State--here, at least, the tragi-comedy is but too apparent--engages to
send a lawyer, Dr. Haenle, as an official commissioner to negotiate with
the obdurate father and refractory ambassador.

Richard Wagner, the great composer, the Bishop of Mayence, and noblemen,
generals, and scholars without number were also pressed into the service,
but in vain.  The treachery of intimate friends more than counterbalanced
all that could be achieved by well-meaning strangers.  If Helen is to be
believed--and the charge is not denied--Lassalle's friend Holthoff, sent
to negotiate in his favour, entreated her to abandon Lassalle, and to
comply with her parents' wishes.  Lassalle, he declared, was not in any
way a suitable husband, and her father had decided wisely.  The poor girl
lived in a constant atmosphere of petty persecution.  Her father, she was
told, might lose his post in the Bavarian service if she married this
Socialist, her brother would have absolutely no career open to him, her
sisters could not marry in their own rank of life; in fact, the whole
family were alleged to be entirely unhappy and miserable through her
stubbornness.  The following letter--obviously dictated--was the not
unnatural outcome:--



   I have again become reconciled to my betrothed bridegroom, Herr Yanko
   von Racowitza, whose love I have regained, and I deeply repent my
   earlier action.  I have given notice of this to your legal
   representative, Herr Holthoff, and I now declare to you of my own free
   will and firm conviction, that there never can be any further question
   of a marriage between us, and that I hold myself in all respects to be
   released from such an engagement.  I am now firmly resolved to devote
   to my aforesaid betrothed bridegroom my eternal love and fidelity.


This letter came through Rustow, and Lassalle addressed the following
reply to Helen, which, however, she never received--it came in fact into
the possession of the Countess--a sufficient commentary on the duplicity
and the false friendship not only of Holthoff, but of Colonel Rustow and
the Countess Hatzfeldt in this sad affair.

   MUNICH, _Aug._ 20, 1864.


   My heart is breaking!  Rustow's letter will kill me.  That you have
   betrayed me seems impossible!  Even now I cannot believe in such
   shamelessness, in such frightful treachery.  It is only for a moment
   that some one has overridden your will and obliterated your true self.
   It is inconceivable that this can be your real, your abiding
   determination.  You cannot have thrown aside all shame, all love, all
   fidelity, all truth.  If you did, you would dishonour and disfigure
   humanity.  There can be no truth left in the world if you are false,
   if you are capable of descending to this depth of abandonment, of
   breaking such holy oaths, of crushing my heart.  Then there is nothing
   more under the sun in which a man can still believe.

   Have you not filled me with a longing to possess you?  Have you not
   implored me to exhaust all proper measures, before carrying you away
   from Wabern?  Have you not by your own lips and by your letters, sworn
   to me the most sacred oaths?  Have you not declared to me, even in
   your last letters, that you were nothing, nothing but my loving wife,
   and that no power on earth should stay your resolution?  And now,
   after you have bound this true heart of mine to yourself so strongly,
   this heart which when once it gives itself away gives itself for ever;
   now, when the battle has scarcely begun, do you cast me off?  Do you
   betray me?  Do you destroy me?  If so, you succeed in doing what else
   no fate can do; you will have crushed and shattered one of the hardest
   of men, who could withstand unflinchingly all outward storms.  No, I
   can never survive such treachery.  It will kill me inwardly and
   outwardly.  It is not possible that you are so dishonourable, so
   shameless, so reckless of duty, so utterly unworthy and infamous.  If
   you were, you would deserve of me the most deadly hatred.  You would
   deserve the contempt of the world.  Helen, it is not your own
   resolution which you have communicated to Rustow.  Some one has
   fastened it upon you by a coercion of your better feelings.  Listen to
   me.  If you abide by this resolution, you will lament it as long as
   you live.

   Helen, true to my words, "_Je me charge du reste_," I shall stay here,
   and shall take all possible steps to break down your father's
   opposition.  I have already excellent means in my hand, which will
   certainly not remain unused, and if they do not succeed, I shall still
   possess thousands of other means, and I will grind all hindrances to
   dust if you will but remain true to me.  If you remain true, there is
   no limit to my strength or to my love of you, _Je me charge toujours
   du reste_!  The battle is hardly begun, you cowardly girl.  But can it
   be, that while I sit here, and have already achieved what seemed
   impossible, you are betraying me, and listening to the flattering
   words of another man?  Helen, my fate is in your hands!  But if you
   destroy me by this wicked treachery, from which I cannot recover, then
   may evil fall upon you, and my curse follow you to the grave!  This is
   the curse of a true heart, of a heart that you wantonly break, and
   with which you have cruelly trifled.  Yes, this curse of mine will
   surely strike you.

   According to Rustow's message, you want your letters to be returned to
   you.  In any case, you will never receive them otherwise than from
   me--after a personal interview.  For I must and will speak to you
   personally, and to you alone.  I must and will hear my death-doom from
   your own lips.  It is only thus that I can believe what otherwise
   seems impossible to me.

   I am continuing here to take further steps to win you, and when I have
   done all that is possible, I shall come to Geneva.  Helen, our
   destinies are entwined!

   F. LASSALLE. {213}

It is pitiable to realize the amount of false or imperfect friendship
which led Lassalle on to his ruin.  Rustow was false, and Holthoff was
false, if it were not rather that both looked upon Lassalle's affection
for this girl, half his age, as a mad freak to be cured and forgotten.
More might have been expected from the Countess, to whom Lassalle had
given so much pure and disinterested devotion; but here again, a sense of
maternal ownership in Lassalle was sufficient to justify, in such a
woman, any means to keep him apart from this fancy of the hour.  To the
Countess, however, Helen had turned for help, and had received a note
which had but enraged her, and made the breach between her and Lassalle
yet wider.  In the after years, Helen published one letter and the
Countess another as the actual reply of the Countess to Helen's appeal,
and the truth will now never be known.  Meanwhile Dr. Arndt, a nephew of
von Donniges, had gone to Berlin to fetch Yanko von Racowitza.  Of Yanko
Helen has herself given us a pleasant picture, as the one man for whom
she really cared until the overwhelming presence of Lassalle appeared
upon the scene, as her one friend during her persecution.  Absent from
Lassalle's influence, it was not strange that the delicate
Wallachian--even younger than herself and the slave of her every
whim--should have an influence in her life.  Had Lassalle, however, had
yet another personal interview with her, there can scarcely be a doubt
that she would have been as he had once said, "as clay in the hands of
the potter"--but this was not to be.  Lassalle came back to Geneva on
August 23, and immediately wrote an earnest letter to Herr von Donniges,
begging for an interview, and stating that he had not the least enmity
towards him for what had happened.  With the fear of the Foreign Minister
at Munich before his eyes Helen's father could not well refuse again, and
the interview took place.  Lassalle, according to von Donniges, demanded
that Yanko von Racowitza should be forbidden the house, while he himself
should have ready access to Helen.  He further charged von Donniges with
cruelty to his daughter, and was called a liar to his face, while even
the cook was called upon the scene to give her evidence as to the
domestic ethics of this family circle.  The letter of von Donniges to Dr.
Haenle was clearly meant to be shown to the Foreign Minister, and the
wily diplomatist naturally took the opportunity both to justify himself
and to vilify Lassalle.  Then began a painful dispute as to whether Herr
von Donniges had ill-used his daughter; the overwhelming evidence, which
includes the testimony of that daughter, written long after her father's
death, tending to prove the truth of Lassalle's allegation.  Lassalle
meanwhile found no opportunity of approaching Helen, and having every
reason to believe that she was entirely faithless, gave up the struggle.
He referred to the girl in language characteristic of a despairing and
jilted lover, and sent von Donniges a challenge, although many years
before, in a political controversy, he had declined to fight--on
principle.  His seconds were to be General Becker and Colonel Rustow, and
the latter has left us a long account of the affair.

On the appointed day, August 22, Rustow went everywhere to look for Herr
von Donniges, but the minister had fled to Berne.  Rustow then saw
Lassalle at the rooms of the Countess von Hatzfeldt.  Lassalle mentioned
that he had that morning had his challenge accepted by von Racowitza,
whose seconds were Count Keyserling and Dr. Arndt.  Rustow insisted, both
to Lassalle and to Racowitza's friends, that von Donniges should have
priority, but was overruled; and it was agreed that the duel should be
fought that very evening.  Rustow protested that he could not find
another second in so short a time--General Becker does not seem to have
been available--but at length it was arranged that General Bethlem should
be asked to fill the office, and that the duel should take place on the
following morning, August 28.  There seems to have been considerable
difficulty in finding suitable pistols, and at the last moment General
Bethlem declined to be a second, and Herr von Hofstetten consented to
act.  Rustow called upon Lassalle at the Victoria Hotel at five o'clock.
At half-past six the party started for Carouge, a village in the
neighbourhood of Geneva, which they reached an hour later.  Lassalle was
quite cheerful, and perfectly confident that he would come unharmed out
of the conflict.  The opponents faced one another and Racowitza wounded
Lassalle, who was carried by Rustow and Dr. Seiler to a coach, and thence
to the Victoria Hotel, Geneva.  He suffered dreadfully both then and
afterwards, and was only relieved by a plentiful use of opium.  Three
days later, on Wednesday, August 31, 1864, he died.

Was it the chance shot of a delicate boy that killed one of the most
remarkable men of the nineteenth century, or was it a planned attack upon
one who loved the people?  This last view was taken and is still taken by
many of his followers; but it is needless to say that it has no
foundation in fact.  Lassalle was killed by a chance shot, and killed in
a duel which had not even the doubtful justification of hatred of his
opponent.  "Count me no longer as a rival; for you I have nothing but
friendship," were the words written to Racowitza at the moment that he
challenged von Donniges, and he declared on his death-bed that he died by
his own hand.

The revolutionists of all lands assembled around his dead body, which was
embalmed by order of the Countess.  This woman talked loudly of
vengeance, called not only von Racowitza but Helen a murderer, {218}
little thinking that posterity would judge her more hardly than Helen.
She proposed to take the corpse in solemn procession through Germany; but
an order from the Prussian Government disturbed her plans, and at
Breslau, Lassalle's native town, it was allowed to rest.  Lassalle is
buried in the family vault in the Jewish Cemetery, and a simple monument
bears the inscription:


To understand the whole tragedy and to justify its great victim is to
feel something of the strain which comes to every thinker and fighter
who, like Lassalle, writes and speaks persistently to vast audiences,
often against great odds, and always with the prospect of a prison before
him.  That his nerves were utterly unstrung, that he was not his real
self in those last days, is but too evident.  Armed, as he claimed, with
the entire culture of his century, a maker of history if ever there was
one, he became the victim of a love drama which I suppose that Mr.
Matthew Arnold would describe as of the surgeon's apprentice order: but
which, apart from his political creed, will always endear him to men and
women who have "lived and loved."

And what shall we say of Helen von Donniges?  Her own story is surely one
of the most romantic ever written.  In _My Relation to Ferdinand
Lassalle_, she tells how Yanko broke to her the news that he was going to
fight Lassalle, and how much she grieved.  "Lassalle will inevitably kill
Yanko," she thought; and she pitied him, but her pity was not without
calculation.  "When Yanko is dead and they bring his body here, there
will be a stir in the house," she said, "and I can then fly to Lassalle."
But the hours flew by, and finally Yanko came to tell her that he had
wounded his opponent.  For the moment, and indeed until after Lassalle's
death, she hated her successful lover; but a little later his undoubted
goodness, his tenderness and patience, won her heart.  They were married,
but he died within a year, of consumption.  Being disowned by her
relations, Helen then settled in Berlin, and studied for the stage.  She
herself relates how at Breslau on one occasion, when acting a boy's part
in one of Moser's comedies, some of Lassalle's oldest friends being
present remarked upon her likeness to Lassalle in his youth, a
resemblance on which she and Lassalle had more than once prided
themselves.  At a later date Frau von Racowitza married a Russian
Socialist, S. E. Shevitch, then resident in America.  M. Shevitch
returned to Russia a few years after this and lived with his wife at
Riga.  Those who have seen Madame Shevitch describe her as one of the
most fascinating women they have ever met.  She and her husband were very
happy in their married life.  Madame Shevitch is now living in Munich.
Our great novelist and poet George Meredith has immortalized her in his
_Tragic Comedians_.


Every one has heard of Lord Avebury's (Sir John Lubbock's) Hundred Best
Books, not every one of Lord Acton's.  It is the privilege of the _Pall
Mall Magazine_ {225} to publish this latter list, the final impression as
to reading of one of the most scholarly men that England has known in our
time.  The list in question is, as it were, an omitted chapter of a book
that was one of the successes of its year--_The Letters of Lord Acton to
Miss Mary Gladstone_--published by Mr. George Allen.  That series of
letters made very pleasant reading.  They showed Lord Acton not as a
Dryasdust, but as a very human personage indeed, with sympathies
invariably in the right place.

Nor can his literary interests be said to have been restricted, for he
read history and biography with avidity, and probably knew more of
theology than any other layman of modern times.  In imaginative
literature, however, his critical instinct was perhaps less keen.  He
called Heine "a bad second to Schiller in poetry," which is absurd; and
he thought George Eliot the greatest of modern novelists.  In arriving at
the latter judgment he had the excuse of personal friendship and
admiration for a woman whose splendid intellectual gifts were undeniable.

In one letter we find Lord Acton discussing with Miss Gladstone the
eternal question of the hundred best books.  Sir John Lubbock had
complained to her of the lack of a guide or supreme authority on the
choice of books.  Lord Acton had replied that, "although he had something
to learn on the graver side of human knowledge," Sir John would execute
his own scheme better than almost anybody.  We all know that Sir John
Lubbock attempted this at a lecture delivered at the Great Ormond Street
Working Men's College; that that lecture has been reprinted again and
again in a book entitled _The Pleasures of Life_, and that the publishers
have sold more than two hundred thousand copies--a kind of success that
might almost make some of our popular novelists turn green with envy.
Later on in the correspondence Lord Acton quoted one of the popes, who
said that "fifty books would include every good idea in the world."
"But," continued Lord Acton, "literature has doubled since then, and it
would be hard to do without a hundred."

Lord Acton was possessed of the happy thought that he would like some of
his friends and acquaintances each to name his ideal hundred best
books--as for example Bishop Lightfoot, Dean Church, Dean Stanley, Canon
Liddon, Professor Max Muller, Mr. J. R. Lowell, Professor E. A. Freeman,
Mr. W. E. H. Lecky, Mr. John Morley, Sir Henry Maine, the Duke of Argyll,
Lord Tennyson, Cardinal Newman, Mr. Gladstone, Matthew Arnold, Professor
Goldwin Smith, Mr. R. H. Hutton, Mr. Mark Pattison, and Mr. J. A.
Symonds.  Strange to say, he thought there would be a surprising
agreement between these writers as to which were the hundred best books.
I am all but certain, however, that there would not have been more than
twenty books in common between rival schools of thought--the secular and
the ecclesiastical--between, let us say, Mr. John Morley and Cardinal
Newman.  But it is probable that not one of these eminent men would have
furnished a list with any similarity whatever to the remainder.  Each
would have written down his own hundred favourites, and herein may be
admitted is an evidence of the futility of all such attempts.  The best
books are the books that have helped us most to see life in all its
complex bearings, and each individual needs a particular kind of mental
food quite unlike the diet that best stimulates his neighbour.  Writing
more than a year later, Lord Acton said that he had just drawn out a list
of recommended authors for his son, as being the company he would like
him to keep; but this list is not available--it is not the one before me.
That was compiled yet another twelve months afterwards, when we find Lord
Acton sending to Miss Mary Gladstone (Mrs. Drew) his own ideal "hundred
best books."  This list is now printed for the first time.  Evidently
Miss Gladstone remonstrated with her friend over the character of the
list; but Lord Acton defended it as being in his judgment really the
hundred _best books_, apart from works on physical science--that it
treated of principles that every thoughtful man ought to understand, and
was calculated, in fact, to give one a clear view of the various forces
that make history.  "We are not considering," he adds, "what will suit an
untutored savage or an illiterate peasant woman, who would never come to
an end of the _Imitation_."

However, here is Lord Acton's list, which Mrs. Drew has been kind enough
to place in the hands of the Editor of the _Pall Mall Magazine_.  I give
also Lord Acton's comment with which it opens, and I add in footnotes one
or two facts about each of the authors:

* * * * *

"In answer to the question: Which are the hundred best books in the

"Supposing any English youth, whose education is finished, who knows
common things, and is not training for a profession.

"To perfect his mind and open windows in every direction, to raise him to
the level of his age so that he may know the (20 or 30) forces that have
made our world what it is and still reign over it, to guard him against
surprises and against the constant sources of error within, to supply him
both with the strongest stimulants and the surest guides, to give force
and fullness and clearness and sincerity and independence and elevation
and generosity and serenity to his mind, that he may know the method and
law of the process by which error is conquered and truth is won,
discerning knowledge from probability and prejudice from belief, that he
may learn to master what he rejects as fully as what he adopts, that he
may understand the origin as well as the strength and vitality of systems
and the better motive of men who are wrong, to steel him against the
charm of literary beauty and talent; so that each book, thoroughly taken
in, shall be the beginning of a new life, and shall make a new man of
him--this list is submitted":--

1.  Plato--_Laws_--Steinhart's _Introduction_. {230a}

2.  Aristotle--_Politics_--Susemihl's _Commentary_. {230b}

3.  Epictetus--_Encheiridion_--_Commentary_ of Simplicius. {230c}

4.  St. Augustine--_Letters_. {230d}

5.  St. Vincent's _Commonitorium_. {231a}

6.  Hugo of S. Victor--_De Sacramentis_. {231b}

7.  St. Bonaventura--_Breviloquium_. {231c}

8.  St. Thomas Aquinas--_Summa contra Gentiles_. {231d}

9.  Dante--_Divina Commedia_. {232a}

10.  Raymund of Sabunde--_Theologia Naturalis_. {232b}

11.  Nicholas of Cusa--_Concordantia Catholica_. {232c}

12.  Edward Reuss--_The Bible_. {232d}

13.  Pascal's Pensees--_Havet's Edition_. {233a}

14.  Malebranche, _De la Recherche de la Verite_. {233b}

15.  Baader--_Speculative Dogmatik_. {233c}

16.  Molitor--_Philosophie der Geschichte_. {233d}

17.  Astie--_Esprit de Vinet_. {233e}

18.  Punjer--_Geschichte der Religions-philosophie_. {234a}

19.  Rothe--_Theologische Ethik_. {234b}

20.  Martensen--_Die Christliche Ethik_. {234c}

21.  Oettingen--_Moralstatistik_. {234d}

22.  Hartmann--_Phanomenologie des sittlichen Bewusstseins_. {234e}

23.  Leibniz--_Letters_ edited by Klopp. {235a}

24.  Brandis--_Geschichte der Philosophie_. {235b}

25.  Fischer--_Franz Bacon_. {235c}

26.  Zeller--_Neuere Deutsche Philosophie_. {235d}

27.  Bartholomess--_Doctrines Religieuses de la Philosophie Moderns_.

28.  Guyon--_Morale Anglaise_. {236b}

29.  Ritschl--_Entstehung der Altkatholischen Kirche_. {236c}

30.  Loening--_Geschichte des Kirchenrechts_. {236d}

31.  Baur--_Vorlesungen uber Dogmengeschichte_. {237a}

32.  Fenelon--_Correspondence_. {237b}

33.  Newman's _Theory of Development_. {237c}

34.  Mozley's _University Sermons_. {237d}

35.  Schneckenburger--_Vergleichende Darstellung_. {238a}

36.  Hundeshagen--_Kirckenvorfassungsgeschichte_. {238b}

37.  Schweizer--_Protestantische Centraldogmen_. {238c}

38.  Gass--_Geschichte der Lutherischen Dogmatik_. {238d}

39.  Cart--_Histoire du Mouvement Religieux dans le Canton de Vaud_.

40.  Blondel--_De la Primaute_. {239a}

41.  Le Blanc de Beaulieu--_Theses_. {239b}

42.  Thiersch.--_Vorlesungen uber Katholizismus_. {239c}

43.  Mohler--_Neue Untersuchungen_. {239d}

44.  Scherer--_Melanges de Critique Religieuse_. {240a}

45.  Hooker--_Ecclesiastical Polity_. {240b}

46.  Weingarten--_Revolutionskirchen Englands_. {240c}

47.  Kliefoth--_Acht Bucher von der Kirche_. {240d}

48.  Laurent--_Etudes de l'Histoire de l'Humanite_. {240e}

49.  Ferrari--_Revolutions de l'ltalie_. {241a}

50.  Lange--_Geschichte des Materialismus_. {241b}

51.  Guicciardini--_Ricordi Politici_. {241c}

52.  Duperron--_Ambassades_. {241d}

53.  Richelieu--_Testament Politique_. {242a}

54.  Harrington's Writings. {242b}

55.  Mignet--_Negotiations de la Succession d'Espagne_. {242c}

56.  Rousseau--_Considerations sur la Pologne_. {243a}

57.  Foncin--_Ministere de Turgot_. {243b}

58.  Burke's _Correspondence_. {243c}

59.  Las Cases--_Memorial de Ste. Helene_. {243d}

60.  Holtzendorff--_Systematische Rechtsenzyklopadie_. {244a}

61.  Jhering--_Geist des Romischen Rechts_. {244b}

62.  Geib--_Strafrecht_. {244c}

63.  Maine--_Ancient Law_. {245a}

64.  Gierke--_Genossenschaftsrecht_. {245b}

65.  Stahl--_Philosophie des Rechts_. {245c}

66.  Gentz--_Briefwechsel mit Adam Muller_. {246a}

67.  Vollgraff--_Polignosie_. {246b}

68.  Frantz--_Kritik aller Parteien_. {246c}

69.  De Maistre--_Considerations sur la France_. {246d}

70.  Donoso Cortes--_Ecrits Politiques_. {247a}

71.  Perin--_De la Richesse dans les Societes Chretiennes_. {247b}

72.  Le Play--_La Reforme Sociale_. {247c}

73.  Riehl--_Die Burgerliche Sociale_. {247d}

74.  Sismondi--_Etudes sur les Constitutions des Peuples Libres_. {248a}

75.  Rossi--_Cours du Droit Constitutionnel_. {248b}

76.  Barante--_Vie de Royer Collard_. {248c}

77.  Duvergier de Hauranne--_Histoire du Gouvernement Parlementaire_.

78.  Madison--_Debates of the Congress of Confederation_. {249b}

79.  Hamilton--_The Federalist_. {249c}

80.  Calhoun--_Essay on Government_. {249d}

81.  Dumont--_Sophismes Anarchiques_. {250a}

82.  Quinet--_La Revolution Francaise_. {250b}

83.  Stein--_Sozialismus in Frankreich_. {250c}

84.  Lassalle--_System der Erworbenen Rechte_. {251a}

85.  Thonissen--_Le Socialisme depuis l'Antiquite_. {251b}

86.  Considerant--_Destines Sociale_. {251c}

87.  Roscher--_Nationalokonomik_. {251d}

89.  Mill--_System of Logic_. {251e}

90.  Coleridge--_Aids to Reflection_. {252a}

91.  Radowitz--_Fragmente_. {252b}

92.  Gioberti--_Pensieri_. {252c}

93.  Humboldt--_Kosmos_. {253a}

94.  De Candolle--_Histoire des Sciences et des Savants_. {253b}

95.  Darwin--_Origin of Species_. {253c}

96.  Littre--_Fragments de Philosophie_. {253d}

97.  Cournot--_Enchainements des Idees fondamentales_. {253e}

98.  _Monatschriften der wissenschaftlichen Vereine_. {254}

This list, written in 1883 in Miss Gladstone's (Mrs. Drew's) Diary, must
always have an interest in the history of the human mind.

But my readers will, I imagine, for the most part, agree with me that
there are others besides untutored savages and illiterate peasant women
to whom such a list is entirely impracticable.  It indicates the enormous
preference which on the whole Lord Acton gave to the Literature of
Knowledge over the Literature of Power, to use De Quincey's famous
distinction.  With the exception of Dante's _Divine Comedy_ there is
practically not a single book that has any title whatever to a place in
the Literature of Power, a literature which many of us think the only
thing in the world of books worth consideration.  Great philosophy is
here, and high thought.  Who would for a moment wish to disparage St.
Bonaventure, the Seraphic Doctor, or Aquinas the Angelic?  Plato and
Pascal, Malebranche and Fenelon, Bossuet and Machiavelli are all among
the world's immortals.  Yet now and again we are bewildered by finding
the least important book of a well-known author--as for example
Rousseau's _Poland_ instead of the _Confessions_ and Coleridge's _Aids to
Reflection_ instead of the _Poems_ or the _Biographia Literaria_.  Think
of an historian whose ideal of historical work was so high that he
despised all who worked only from printed documents, selecting the
_Memorial of St. Helena_ of Las Casas in preference not only to a hundred-
and-one similar compilations concerning Napoleon's exile, but in
preference to Thucydides, Herodotus and Gibbon.

Sometimes Lord Acton names a theologian who is absolutely out-of-date, at
others a philosopher who is in the same case.  But on the whole it is a
fascinating list as an index to what a well-trained mind thought the
noblest mental equipment for life's work.  At the best, it is true, it
would represent but one half of life.  But then Lord Acton recognized
this when he asked that men should be "steeled against the charm of
literary beauty and talent," and he was assuming in any case that all the
books in aesthetic literature, the best poetry and the best history had
already been read, as he undoubtedly had read them.

"The charm of literary beauty and talent!"  There is the whole question.
Nothing really matters for the average man, so far as books are
concerned, but this charm, and I am criticizing Lord Acton's list for the
average man.  The student who has got beyond it need not worry himself
about classified lists.  He may read his Plato, and Aristotle, his Pascal
and Newman, his Christian apologists and German theologians, as he wills;
or he may read in some other quite different direction.  Guidance is
impossible to a mind at such a stage of cultivation as Lord Acton had in

Only minds at a more primitive stage of culture than this most learned
and most accomplished man seemed able to conceive of, could be bettered
by advice as to reading.  Given, indeed, contact with some superior mind,
which out of its rich equipment of culture should advise as to the books
that might be most profitably read, I could imagine advice being helpful.
It would be of no value, it is true, to an untutored savage or illiterate
peasant, but to a youth fresh from school-books and much modern fiction,
to a young girl about to enter upon life in its more serious aspects, it
would be immensely serviceable.  It was of such as these that Mr. Ruskin
thought when he wrote of "King's Treasures" in _Sesame and Lilies_, and
the same idea was doubtless in Sir John Lubbock's mind when he lectured
on the "Hundred Best Books."  But Lord Avebury's list had its
limitations, it seems to me, for any one who has an interest in good
literature and guidance to the reading thereof.  To give "Scott" as one
book and "Shakspere" as another was I suggest to shirk much
responsibility of selection.  Scott is a whole library, Shakspere is yet
another.  One may give "Keats" or "Shelley" because they are more limited
in quantity.  Even to name novels by Charles Kingsley and Bulwer Lytton
in this select hundred was to demonstrate to men of this generation that
Lord Avebury being of an earlier one had a bias in favour of the books
that we are all outgrowing.  To include Mill's _Logic_ is to ignore the
Time Spirit acting on philosophy; to include Tennyson's _Idylls_ its
action on poetry.  Mill and Tennyson will always live in literature but
not I think by these books.

But the fact is that there is no possibility of naming the hundred best
books.  No one could quarrel with Lord Avebury if he had named these as
his hundred own favourites among the books of the world.  Still, it might
have been _his_ hundred; it could not possibly have been any one else's
hundred because every man of education must make his own choice.  No! the
naming of the hundred best books for any large, general audience is quite
impossible.  All that is possible in such a connexion is to state
emphatically that there are very few books that are equally suitable to
every kind of intellect.  Temperament as well as intellectual endowment
make for so much in reading.  Take, for example, the _Imitation_ of
_Christ_.  George Eliot, although not a Christian, found it
soul-satisfying.  Thackeray, as I think a more robust intellect, found it
well nigh as mischievous as did Eugene Sue, whose anathematizations in
his novel _The Wandering Jew_ are remembered by all.  Other books that
have been the outcome of piety of mind leave less room for difference of
opinion.  Surely Dante's _Divine Comedy_, and Bunyan's _Pilgrim's
Progress_, make an universal appeal.  That universal appeal is the point
at which alone guidance is possible.  There are great books that can be
read only by the few, but surely the very greatest appeal alike to the
educated and the illiterate, to the man of rich intellectual endowment
and to the man to whom all processes of reasoning are incomprehensible.
_Hamlet_ is a wonderful test of this quality.  It "holds the boards" at
the small provincial theatre, it is enacted by Mr. Crummles to an
illiterate peasantry, and it is performed by the greatest actor to the
most select city audience.  It is made the subject of study by learned
commentators.  It is world-embracing.

Are there in the English language, including translations, a hundred
books that stand the test as _Hamlet_ stands it?  No two men would make
the same list of books that answer to this demand of an universal appeal,
and obviously each nation must make its own list.  Mine is for English
boys and girls just growing into manhood and womanhood, or for those who
have had no educational advantages in early years.  I exclude living
writers, and I give the hundred in four groups.


1.  The Bible. {260a}

2.  _The Odyssey_, translated by Butcher and Lang. {260b}

3.  The _Iliad_, translated by Lang, Leaf and Myers. {260b}

4.  Aeschylus, translated by George Warr. {261a}

5.  Sophocles, translated by J. S. Phillimore. {261a}

6.  Euripides, translated by Gilbert Murray. {261a}

7.  Virgil, translated by Dryden. {261b}

8.  Catullus, translated by Theodore Martin. {261c}

9.  Horace, translated by Theodore Martin. {261d}

10.  Dante, translated by Cary. {262a}

11.  Shakspere, _Hamlet_. {262b}

12.  Chaucer, _Canterbury Tales_. {262c}

13.  FitzGerald, _Omar Khayyam_. {263a}

14.  Goethe, _Faust_. {263b}

15.  Shelley. {263c}

16.  Byron. {263d}

17.  Wordsworth. {264a}

18.  Keats. {264b}

19.  Burns. {264c}

20.  Coleridge. {264d}

21.  Cowper. {264e}

22.  Crabbe. {265a}

23.  Tennyson. {265b}

24.  Browning. {265c}

25.  Milton. {265d}


1.  _The Arabian Nights Entertainment_. {266a}

2.  _Don Quixote_, by Cervantes. {266b}

3.  _Pilgrim's Progress_, by Bunyan. {266c}

4.  _Robinson Crusoe_, by Defoe. {266d}

5.  _Gulliver's Travels_, by Swift. {267a}

6.  _Clarissa_, by Richardson. {267b}

7.  _Tom Jones_, by Fielding. {267c}

8.  _Rasselas_, by Johnson. {267d}

9.  _Vicar of Wakefield_, by Goldsmith. {268a}

10.  _Sentimental Journey_, by Sterne. {268b}

11.  _Nightmare Abbey_, by Peacock. {268c}

12.  _Kenilworth_, by Walter Scott. {268d}

13.  _Pere Goriot_, by Balzac. {268e}

14.  _The Three Musketeers_, by Dumas. {269a}

15.  _Vanity Fair_, by Thackeray. {269b}

16.  _Villette_, by Charlotte Bronte. {269c}

17.  _David Copperfield_, by Charles Dickens. {269d}

18.  _Barchester Towers_, by Anthony Trollope. {269e}

19.  Boccaccio's _Decameron_. {269f}

20.  _Wuthering Heights_, by Emily Bronte. {270a}

21.  _The Cloister and the Hearth_, by Charles Reade. {270b}

22.  _Les Miserables_, by Victor Hugo. {270c}

23.  _Cranford_, by Mrs. Gaskell. {270d}

24.  _Consuelo_, by George Sand. {270e}

25.  _Charles O'Malley_, by Charles Lever. {270f}


1.  Macaulay, _History of England_. {271a}

2.  Carlyle, _Past and Present_. {271b}

3.  Motley, _Dutch Republic_. {271c}

4.  Gibbon, _Decline and Fall of the Roman Empire_. {271d}

5.  Plutarch's _Lives_. {272a}

6.  Montaigne's _Essays_. {272b}

7.  Richard Steele, _Essays_. {272c}

8.  Lamb, _Essays of Elia_. {272d}

9.  De Quincey, _Opium Eater_. {272e}

10.  Hazlitt, _Essays_. {273a}

11.  Borrow, _Lavengro_. {273b}

12.  Emerson, _Representative Men_. {273c}

13.  Landor, _Imaginary Conversations_. {273d}

14.  Arnold, _Essays in Criticism_. {273e}

15.  Herodotus, _Macaulay's Translation_. {273f}

16.  Howell's _Familiar Letters_. {274a}

17.  Buckle's _History of Civilization_. {274b}

18.  Tacitus, Church and Brodribb's Translation. {274c}

19.  Mitford's _Our Village_. {274d}

20.  Green's _Short History of the English People_. {274e}

21.  Taine, _Ancient Regime_. {275a}

22.  Bourrienne, _Napoleon_. {275b}

23.  Tocqueville, _Democracy in America_. {275c}

24.  Walton, _Compleat Angler_. {275d}

25 White, _Natural History of Selbourne_. {276a}


1.  Boswell's Johnson. {276b}

2.  Lockhart's Scott. {276c}

3.  Pepys's Diary. {276d}

4.  Walpole's Letters. {277a}

5.  The Memoirs of Count de Gramont. {277b}

6.  Gray's Letters. {277c}

7.  Southey's Nelson. {277d}

8.  Moore's Byron. {277e}

9.  Hogg's Shelley. {278a}

10.  Rousseau's Confessions. {278b}

11.  Froude's Carlyle. {278c}

12.  Rogers's Table Talk. {279a}

13.  Confessions of St. Augustine. {279b}

14.  Amiel's Journal. {279c}

15.  Meditations of Marcus Aurelius. {279d}

16.  Lewes's Life of Goethe. {279e}

17.  Sime's Life of Lessing. {280a}

18.  Franklin's Autobiography. {280b}

19.  Greville's Memoirs. {280c}

20.  Forster's Life of Dickens. {280d}

21.  Madame D'Arblay's Diary. {280e}

22.  Newman's Apologia. {281a}

23.  The Paston Letters. {281b}

24.  Cellini's Autobiography. {281c}

25.  Browne's Religio Medici. {281d}

My readers for the most part have read every one of these books.  I throw
out this list as a tentative effort in the direction of suggesting a
hundred books with which to start a library.  The young student will find
much to amuse, and certainly nothing here to bore him.  These books will
not make him a prig, as Mr. James Payn said that Lord Avebury's list
would make him a prig.  They will make the dull man less dull, the bright
man brighter.  Here is good, cheerful, robust reading for boy and girl,
for man and woman.  There are many sins of omission, but none of
commission.  Our young friend will add to this list fast enough, but
there is nothing in it that he may not read with profit.  These books, I
repeat, make an universal appeal.  The learned man may enjoy them, the
unlearned may enjoy them also.  They are, as _Hamlet_ is, of universal
interest.  Devotion to science will not impair a taste for them, nor will
zest for abstract speculations.  Not even those who are "better skilled
in grammar than in poetry" can fail to appreciate.  These hundred books
will in the main be the hundred best books of many of my readers who are
quite capable of selecting for themselves.  One last word of advice.  Let
not the young reader buy large quantities of books at once or be beguiled
into subscribing for some cheap series which will save him the trouble of
selecting.  He may buy many books from such cheap series afterwards, but
not his first hundred, I think.  These should be acquired through much
saving, and purchased with great thought and deliberation.  The purchase
of a book should become to the young book-lover a most solemn function.

_Butler and Tanner_, _The Selwood Printing Works_, _Frome_, _and London_


{3}  Richard Garnett (1835-1906) was son of the philologist of the same
name who was for a time priest-vicar of Lichfield Cathedral.  He attended
the Johnson Celebration on Sept. 18, 1905, and proposed "the Immortal
Memory of Dr. Johnson."  He died on the following Good Friday, April 13,
and was buried in Highgate Cemetery April 17, 1906.

{6}  Anna Seward (1747-1809).  Her works were published after her
death:--_The Poetical Works of Anna Seward_.  _With Extracts from her
Literary Correspondence_.  Edited by Walter Scott, Esq.  In three
volumes--_John Ballantyne & Co._, 1810.  _Letters of Anna Seward written
between the Years_ 1784 _and_ 1807.  In six volumes.  Archibald Constable
& Co., 1811.  "Longwinded and florid" one biographer calls her letters,
but by the aid of what Scott calls 'the laudable practice of skipping'
they are quite entertaining.

{8}  Sir Robert Thomas White-Thomson, K.C.B., wrote to me in reference to
this estimate of Miss Seward from Broomford Manor, Exbourne, North Devon,
and his letter seemed of sufficient importance from a genealogical
standpoint for me to ask his permission to make an extract from the
letter: "I have read your address in a Lichfield newspaper.  Apart from
the wider and more important bearings of your words, those which had
reference to the Seward family were especially welcome to me.  You will
understand this when I tell you that, with the exception of the Romney
portrait of Anna, and a few other objects left 'away' by her will, my
grandfather, Thomas White, of Lichfield Close, her cousin and residuary
legatee, became possessed of all the contents of her house.  Some of the
books and engravings were sold by auction, but the remainder were taken
good care of, and passed to me on my mother's death in 1860.  As thus,
'in a way' the representative of the 'Swan of Lichfield,' you can easily
see what such an appreciation of her as was yours means to me.  Of course
I know her weak points, and how the pot of clay must suffer in trying to
'bump' the pot of iron in midstream, but I also know that she was no
ordinary personage in her day, when the standard of feminine culture was
low, and I have resented some things that have been written of her.  Mrs.
Oliphant treats her kindly in her _Literary History of England_, and now
I have your 'appreciation' of her, for which I beg to thank you."

{15}  Once certainly in the lines "On the Death of Mr. Robert Levet":--

   Well try'd through many a varying year,
      See Levet to the grave descend,
   Officious, innocent, sincere,
      Of ev'ry friendless name the friend.

{18}  _Prayers and Meditations_: composed by Samuel Johnson, LL.D., and
published from his Manuscripts by George Straham, D.D., Prebendary of
Rochester and Vicar of Islington in Middlesex, 1785.  Dr. Birkbeck Hill
suggests that Johnson could not have contemplated the publication of the
work in its entirety, but the world is the better for the self
revelation, notwithstanding Cowper's remark in a letter to Newton (August
27, 1785), that "the publisher of it is neither much a friend to the
cause of religion nor to the author's memory; for by the specimen of it
that has reached us, it seems to contain only such stuff as has a direct
tendency to expose both to ridicule."

{19}  There is an edition with a brief Introduction by Augustine Birrell,
published by Elliot Stock in 1904, and another, with an Introduction by
"H. C.," was issued by H. R. Allenson in 1906.

{31}  The Rev. Angus Mackay, author of _The Brontes In Fact and Fiction_.
He was Rector of Holy Trinity Church, Dean Bridge, Edinburgh, when he
died, aged 54, on New Year's Day, 1907.  Earlier in life he had been a
Curate at Olney.

{34}  John Newton (1725-1807) had been the captain of a slave ship before
his 'conversion.'  He became Curate of Olney in 1764 and published the
famous Olney Hymns with Cowper in 1779.  In 1780 Newton became the
popular Incumbent of St. Mary Woolnoth, London.

{35}  See the Globe _Cowper_, with an Introduction by the Rev. William
Benham, the Rector of St. Edmund's, Lombard Street.  Canon Benham has
written many books, but he has done no better piece of work than this
fine Introduction which first appeared in 1870.

{36}  Thomas Scott (1747-1821).  His commentaries first appeared in
weekly parts between 1788 and 1792, and were first issued in ten volumes,
1823-25.  He was Rector of Astin Sandford in Buckinghamshire from 1801
until his death.  His _Life_ was published by his son, the Rev. John
Scott, in 1822.

{37}  Thomas Percy (1729-1811) became Vicar of Easton Maudit,
Northamptonshire, in 1753.  Johnson visited him here in 1764.  In 1765
Percy published his _Reliques of Ancient English Poetry_.  He became
Bishop of Dromere in 1782.

{38a}  William Hayley (1745-1820) was counted a great poet in his day and
placed in the same rank with Dryden and Pope.  He wrote _Triumphs of
Temper_ 1781, _Triumphs of Music_ 1804, and many other works; but he is
of interest here by virtue of his _Life and Letters of William Cowper_,
_Esq._, _with Remarks on Epistolary Writers_, published in 1803.

{38b}  Robert Southey (1774-1843), whose _Life and Works of Cowper_ is in
fifteen volumes, which were published by Baldwin & Cradock between the
years 1835 and 1837.  The attractive form in which the works are
presented, the many fine steel engravings, and the excellent type make
this still the only way for book lovers to approach Cowper.  Southey had
to suffer the competition of the Rev. T. S. Grimshawe, who produced,
through Saunders & Otley, about the same time a reprint of Hayley's
biography with much of Cowper's correspondence that is not in Southey's
volumes.  The whole correspondence was collected by Mr. Thomas Wright,
and published by Hodder & Stoughton in 1904.

{38c}  Walter Bagehot (1826-1877) in his _Literary Studies_.  James
Russell Lowell (1819-1891) in his _Essays_.  Mrs. Oliphant (1828-1897) in
her _Literary History of England_; and George Eliot (1819-1880) in her
_Essays_ (Worldliness and Other Worldliness).

{44}  It has no bearing upon the subject that the horrors of the Bastille
at the time of its fall were greatly exaggerated.

{47}  _Theology in the English Poets_, by Stopford A. Brooke.

{56}  Mr. Leslie Stephen, who became Sir Leslie Stephen, K.C.B., in 1902,
was born in 1832 and died in 1904.  In addition to the article in the
_D.N.B._, this great critic has one on "Cowper and Rousseau" in his
_Hours in a Library_.

{62}  Sir John Fenn (1739-1794), the antiquary, obtained the originals of
the _Paston Letters_ from Thomas Worth, a chemist of Diss.  The following
lines were first printed in Cowper's Collected Poems, by Mr. J. C. Bailey
in his admirable edition of 1906, published by the Methuens:--

   Two omens seem propitious to my fame,
   Your spouse embalms my verse, and you my name;
   A name, which, all self-flattery far apart
   Belongs to one who venerates in his heart
   The wise and good, and therefore of the few
   Known by these titles, sir, both yours and you.

They were written to please his cousin John Johnson who was to oblige
Fenn by giving him an autograph of Cowper's.

{66}  Edward Stanley (1779-1849), the father of Arthur Penrhyn Stanley
(1815-1881), Dean of Westminster, was Bishop of Norwich from 1837 to

{80}  Borrow's step-daughter, Henrietta Clarke, married James McOubrey,
an Irish doctor.  She outlived Borrow for many years, dying at Great
Yarmouth in 1904.  All her literary effects, including many interesting
manuscripts, have been passed on to me by her executor, Mr. Hubert Smith,
and these will be used in my forthcoming biography of Borrow.

{84}  I ventured to ask my friend Mr. Birrell for a line to read to my
Norwich audience and he sent me the following characteristic letter dated
December 8, 1903:--

". . . For my part I should leave George Borrow alone, to take his own
part even as Isopel Berners learnt to take hers in the great house at
Long Melford.  He has an appealing voice which no sooner falls on the ear
of the born Borrovian, than up the lucky fellow must get and follow his
master to the end of the chapter.

"However, if you will insist upon going out into the highways and hedges
and compelling the wayfaring man--though a fool--to come in and take a
seat at the _Lavengro_ feast, nobody can stop you.

"The great thing is to get people to read the Borrow books: there is
nothing else to be done.  If, after having read them, some enthusiasts go
on to learn _Romany_ and seek to trace authorities on Gypsies and Gypsy
lore--why, let them.  They may soon know more about Gypsies than Borrow
ever did--but they will never write about them as he did.

"The essence of the matter is to enjoy Borrow's books for themselves
alone.  As for Borrow's biography, it appears to me either that he has
already written it, or it is not worth writing.  Anyhow, place the books
in the forefront, reprint things as often as you dare without _note or
comment_ or even _prefatory appreciation_, and you cannot but earn the
gratitude of every true Borrovian who in consequence of your efforts come
upon the Borrow books for the first time."

{97}  M. Rene Huchon, who addressed the visitors at the Crabbe
Celebration, published his _George Crabbe and his Times_: _A Critical and
Biographical Study_, through Mr. John Murray, early in the present year,

{98}  This reproach has since been removed by the appearance of the
_Complete Works of George Crabbe_ in three volumes of the Cambridge
English Classics Series, published by the Cambridge University Press, and
edited by Dr. A. W. Ward, the Master of Peterhouse.

{100}  The original letter is in the possession of Mr. A. M. Broadley, of
Bridport.  It is reprinted from the Hanmer Correspondence in an appendix
to M. Huchon's biography.

{106}  But M. Huchon makes it clear in _George Crabbe and his Times_ that
Crabbe declined at the last moment to marry Miss Charlotte Ridout, who
seems to have been really in love with him.

{138}  This monument, a fine statue facing the house which replaces the
one in which Sir Thomas Browne lived, was unveiled in October, 1905.

{144}  For every student Cunningham's nine volumes have been superseded
since this Address was delivered by the sixteen volumes of the Letters of
Horace Walpole, edited by Mrs. Paget Toynbee for the Clarendon Press.

{145}  The other side of the picture may, however, be presented.  Horace,
says Cunningham (Walpole's _Letters_, vol. i.), hated Norfolk, the native
country of his father, and delighted in Kent, the native country of his
mother.  "He did not care for Norfolk ale, Norfolk turnips, Norfolk
dumplings and Norfolk turkeys.  Its flat, sandy aguish scenery was not to
his taste."  He dearly liked what he calls most happily, "the rich, blue
prospects of Kent."

{153}   Goldsmith doubtless had more than one experience in his mind when
he wrote of:--

   Sweet Auburn! loveliest village of the plain.

Lissoy, near Ballymahon, Ireland, served to provide many concrete
features of the picture, but that the author drew upon his experiences of
Houghton is believed by his principal biographer, John Forster, by
Professor Masson and others, and on no other assumption than that of an
English village can the lines be explained:--

   A time there was, ere England's griefs began,
   When every rood of ground maintained its man.

{185}  Originally written to serve as an Introduction to an edition of
Mr. George Meredith's _Tragic Comedians_, of which book Lassalle is the
hero.  That edition was published by Messrs. Ward Lock & Bowden, who
afterwards transferred all rights in it to Messrs. Archibald Constable &
Co., by whose courtesy the paper is included here.

{186}  Lassalle's _Tagebuch_, edited by Paul Lindau, 1891.

{187}  _Henrich Heine's sammtliche Werke_, vol. xxii., pp. 84-99.

{188}  The most concise account of the affair is contained in the story
of Sophie Solutzeff, entitled, _Eine Liebes-episode aus dem Leben
Ferdinand Lassalle's_.  This booklet, which is published in German,
French, and Russian, professes to be an account of Lassalle's love for a
young Russian lady, Sophie Solutzeff, some two years before he met Helene
von Donniges.  He is represented as being himself in a frenzy of passion;
the lady, however, rejecting as a lover the man she had been prepared to
worship as a teacher.  There can be little doubt that the whole story is
a fabrication, in which the Countess von Hatzfeldt had a considerable
part.  The Countess was rightly judged by popular opinion to have played
a discreditable role in the love passages between Lassalle and Helene;
and Helene's own account of the matter in her _Reminiscences_ was an
additional blow at the pseudo-friend who might have helped the lovers so
much.  What more natural than that the Countess should be anxious to
break the force of Helene's indictment, by endorsing the popular, and
indeed accurate judgment, that Lassalle was very inflammable where women
were concerned.  This she could do by depicting him, a little earlier, in
precisely similar bondage to that which he had professed to Helene.  That
the Countess wrote, or assisted to write, the compilation of letters and
diaries, does not, however, destroy its value as a record of Lassalle's
struggle on her behalf.  That account, if not written by Lassalle, was
written or inspired by the other great actor in the Hatzfeldt drama, and
may therefore be considered a fairly safe guide in recounting the story.
Mr. Israel Zangwill, since the above was written, has published an
article on Lassalle in his _Dreamers of the Ghetto_.  He accepts Sophie
Solutzeff's story as genuine, but that is merely the credulity of an
accomplished romancer.

{198}  Debate in the German Reichstag, April 2, 1881.  Quoted by W. H.

{213}  Becker's _Enthullungen_, 1868.

{218}  Briefe an Hans von Bulow, 1885.

{225}  Reprinted with alterations from the _Pall Mall Magazine_ of July,
1905, by kind permission of the proprietor and editor; and of Miss Mary
Gladstone (Mrs. Drew) to whom the list of books was sent in a letter.

{230a}  Plato (B.C. 427-347).  Dr. Jowett has translated the _Laws_.  See
_The Dialogues_ of Plato With Analysis and Introductions by Benjamin
Jowett.  In Five Volumes.  Vol. V.  The Clarendon Press.

{230b}  Aristotle (B.C. 384-322).  Dr. Jowett has translated the
_Politics_ into English.  Two volumes.  The Clarendon Press.

{230c}  Epictetus (born A.D. 50, died in Rome, but date unknown).  His
_Encheiridion_, a collection of Maxims, was made by his pupil Arrian.  The
best translation into English is that by George Long, first published in
1877.  (George Bell.)

{230d}  St. Augustine (A.D. 353-430).  See a translation of his _Letters_
edited by Mary Allies, published in 1890.

{231a}  St. Vincent of Lerins--Vincentius Lirinensis.  Native of Gaul.
Monk in monastery of Lerinat, opposite Cannes.  Died about 450.  In 434
wrote _Commonitorium adversus profanus omnium heretiecrum novitates_.  It
contains the famous threefold text of orthodoxy--"quod ubique, quod
semper, quod ad omnibus creditum est."  Printed at Paris, 1663 and later.
Also in Mignes, Patrologia Latina, Vol. 50.  Hallam calls the text "the
celebrated rule."  It is all now remembered of St. V. by most educated
men.  It is shown to be of no practical value in an able criticism by Sir
G. C. Lewis, _Influence of Authority in Matters of Opinion_, 2nd ed.,
1875, p. 57.  Mr Gladstone reviewed this work of Lewis, _Nineteenth
Century_ March, 1877.

{231b}  Hugo of St. Victor (1097-1141), a celebrated Mystic born at Ypres
in Flanders.  His collected works first appeared at Rouen in 1648.

{231c}  St. Bonaventura (A.D. 1221-1274).  Born at Bagnarea, near
Orvieto, in Tuscany, became a Franciscan monk and afterwards a Professor
of Theology at Paris, where he gained the title of the "Seraphic Doctor."
Made a Cardinal by Pope Gregory X, who sent him as his Legate to the
Council at Lyons, where he died.  In 1482 he was canonized.  His writings
appeared at Rome in 1588-96.

{231d}  St. Thomas Aquinas (A.D. 1225-1274).  The Angelic Doctor was born
at the castle of Rocca-Secca near Aquino, between Rome and Naples.
Entered the Dominican Order in 1243.  Went to Paris in 1252 and attained
great distinction as a theologian.  His _Summa Theologiae_ was followed
by his _Summa contra Gentiles_.  His works were first collected in 17
volumes in 1570.  Aquinas was canonized in 1323.

{232a}  Dante (A.D. 1265-1321).  The _Divina Commedia_ has been
translated into English by many scholars.  The best known version is the
poetical renderings of H. F. Cary (1772-1844) and W. W. Longfellow (1807-
1882) and the prose translations (the "Inferno" only) of John Carlyle
(1801-79) and A. J. Butler in whose three volumes of the "Purgatory,"
"Paradise" and "Inferno" the original Italian may be studied side by side
with the translation.

{232b}  Raymund of Sabunde, a physician of Toulouse of the fifteenth
century.  He published his _Theologia naturalis_ at Strassburg in 1496.
"I found the concerts of the author to be excellent, the contexture of
his works well followed, and his project full of pietie" writes Montaigne
in telling us of his father's request that he should translate Sabunde's
_Theologia naturalis_.  Florio's Translation.  Book II, Ch. XII.

{232c}  Nicholas of Cusa (A.D. 1401-1464) was born at Kues on the
Moselle.  His _De Concordantia Catholica_ was a treatise in favour of the
Councils of the Church and against the authority of the Pope.  He was
made a Cardinal by Pope Nicholas V.

{232d}  Edward Reuss (1804-1891), a professor of Theology, who was born
at Strassburg.  Published his _History of the New Testament_ in 1842 and
his _History of the Old Testament_ in 1881.  _The Bible_, _a new
translation with Introduction and Commentaries_, appeared in 19 volumes
between 1874 and 1881.

{233a}  Pascal, Blaise (1623-1662).  Born at Clermont-Ferrand in
Auvergne.  His _Letters to a Provincial_, written in 1656-7, made his
fame by their attack on the Jesuists.  His _Pensees_ appeared after his
death, in 1669, and they have reappeared in many forms, "edited" by many
schools of thought.  The edition edited by Ernest Havet (1813-1889) was
published in 1852.

{233b}  Malebranche, Nicolas (1638-1715).  Born in Paris.  The works of
Descartes drew him to philosophy.  The famous dictum, "Malebranche saw
all things in God," had reference to his treatise, _De la Recherche de la
Verite_, first published in 1674.

{233c}  Baader, Franz (1765-1841).  A speculative philosopher and
theologian, born at Munich, who endeavoured to reconcile the tenets of
the Church of Rome with philosophy.  Of his many works his _Vorlesungen
uber Spekulative Dogmatik_ is here selected.  It appeared between 1828
and 1838 in five parts.

{233d}  Molitor, Franz Joseph (1779-1860).  A philosophical writer, born
near Frankfurt.  His _Philosophie der Geschichte_, _oder uber Tradition_
was published in 4 volumes between 1827 and 1853.

{233e}  Astie, Jean Frederic (1822-1894).  A French Protestant
theologian, who held a Chair of Theology in New York from 1848 to 1853.
In 1856 became a Professor in Switzerland.  He published his _Esprit
d'Alexandre Vinet_ at Paris in 1861. In 1882 appeared his _Le Vinet de la
legende et celui de l'histoire_.

{234a}  Punjer, Bernard (1850-1884).  A theologian whose _Geschichte der
Religions-philosophie_ was much the vogue with theological students at
the time of its publication in 1880.  It was reissued in 1887 in an
English translation by W. Hastie, under the title, _History of the
Christian Philosophy of Religion from the Reformation to Kant_.  Punjer
also wrote _Die Religionslehre Kant's_, published at Jena in 1874.

{234b}  Rothe, Richard (1799-1867).  A Protestant theologian.  Was for a
time preacher to the Prussian Embassy in Rome, and afterwards in
succession Professor of Theology at Wittenberg, at Heidelberg, and at
Bonn.  His _Theologische Ethik_ appeared at Wittenberg in 3 volumes
between 1845 and 1848.

{234c}  Martensen, Hans Lassen (1808-1884).  A Danish theologian, born at
Fleusburg and died at Copenhagen, where he was long a Professor of
Theology.  He became Bishop of Zeeland.  _Die Christliche Ethik_ was one
of many works by him.  He also wrote _Die Christliche Dogmatik_, _Die
Christliche Taufe_, and a _Life of Jakob Bohme_.

{234d}  Oettingen, Alexander von (1827-1905).  A theologian and
statistician principally associated with Dorpat in Livonia, where he
studied from 1845 to 1849.  He became Professor of Theology at its famous
University.  His principal book is entitled, _Die Moralstatistik in ihrer
Bedeutung fur eine Sozialethik_.

{234e}  Hartmann, Karl Robert Eduard von (1842-1906).  Born in Berlin,
the son of General Robert von Hartmann, and served for some time in the
Artillery of the German Army.  He has written many philosophical works.
His _Phanomenologie des sittlichlen Bewusstseins_ was published in Berlin
in 1879.

{235a}  Leibniz, Gottfried Wilhelm (1646-1716).  Born at Leipzig and died
at Hanover.  Visited Paris and London, and became acquainted with Boyle
and Newton.  In 1676 appointed to a librarianship at Hanover.  His
philosophical views are mainly derived from his letters.  The edition of
the _Letters_, edited by Ouno Klopp (1822-1903), appeared at Hanover
between 1862 and 1884 in 11 volumes.

{235b}  Brandis, Christian August (1790-1867).  A philosopher and
philologist, born in Hildesheim, studied in Gottingen and Kiel.
Accompanied Niebuhr as Secretary to the Embassy to Rome in 1816.  In 1822
became Professor of Philosophy in Bonn.  His _Handbuch der Geschichte der
griechischromischen Philosophie_, doubtless here referred to by Lord
Acton, was published in Berlin at long intervals (1835-66) in 3 volumes.

{235c}  Fischer, Kuno (1824-1907).  Born at Sandewalde in Silesia.
Deprived of his professorship of philosophy at Heidelberg by the Baden
Government in 1853 on account of charge of Pantheism, but recalled to
Heidelberg in 1872.  His principal book is _Geschichte der Neuern
Philosophie_ (1852-1903).  His _Franz Baco von Verulam_ appeared in 1856,
and _Francis Bacon und seine Schule_ made the 10th volume of his

{235d}  Zeller, Eduard (1814- still living).  Theologian and historian of
philosophy.  Studied at Tubingen and Berlin, became Professor of Theology
at Berne, afterwards held chairs successively at Heidelberg and Berlin.
His many works include _The Philosophy of Ancient Greece_, _Platonic
Studies_ and _Zwingli's Theological System_.

{236a}  Bartholomess, Christian (1815-1856).  A French philosopher, born
at Geiselbronn in Alsace.  From 1853 Professor of Philosophy at
Strassburg.  Died at Nuremberg.  Wrote a _Life of Giordano Bruno_, and
_Philosophical History of the Prussian Academy_, _particularly under
Frederick the Great_, as well as the _Histoire critique des doctrines
religieuses de la philosophie moderne_, published in 2 volumes in 1855.

{236b}  Madame Guyon (1648-1717) was born at Montargis in France, and her
maiden name was Jeanne Marie Bouvieres de la Mothe.  She married at 16
years of age Jacques Guyon. Left a widow, she devoted herself to a
religious mysticism which raised up endless controversies during the
succeeding years.  She was compelled to leave Geneva because her
doctrines were declared to be heretical.  She was imprisoned in the
Bastile from 1695 to 1702.  Her works are contained in 39 volumes.

{236c}  Ritschl, Albrecht (1822-1889).  Professor of Theology, born in
Berlin, died in Gottingen.  Became Professor of Theology in Bonn and
later in Gottingen.  He wrote many books.  His _Die Entstehung der
altkatholischen Kirche_ first appeared in 1850.

{236d}  Loening, Edgar (1843- still living), was born in Paris.  Has held
professorial chairs at Strassburg, Dorpat, Rostock, and at Halle.  His
_Geschichte des deutschen Kirchenrechts_ first appeared in 1878.

{237a}  Baur, Ferdinand Christian (1792-1860).  Born at Schmiden, near
Kannstatt.  Held various theological chairs before that of Tubingen,
which he occupied from 1826 until his death.  He wrote a great number of
theological works, of which his _Vorlesungen uber die christliche
Dogmengeschichte_ was published in Leipzig in 3 volumes between 1865 and

{237b}  Fenelon, Francois de Salignac de la Mothe (1651-1715).  Born in
Perigord in France, and famous alike as a divine and as a man of letters,
his _Telemaque_ living in literature.  His controversy over Madame Guyon
is well known.  Louis XIV made him preceptor to his grandson, the Duke of
Burgundy, and later Archbishop of Cambrai.  His _Correspondence_ was
published between 1727 and 1729 in 11 volumes.

{237c}  Newman, John Henry (1801-1890).  A famous Cardinal of the Church
of Rome; born in London, educated at Trinity College, Oxford; first Vicar
of St. Mary's, Oxford; took part in the Tractarian Movement with some of
the _Tracts for the Times_.  His _Apologia pro Vita Sua_ appeared in
1864, his _Dream of Gerontius_ in 1865.  There is no _Theory of
Development_ by Newman.  His _Essay on the Development of Christian
Doctrine_ appeared in 1845, and was replied to by the Rev. J. B. Mozley
in a volume bearing the title _The Theory of Development_.

{237d}  Mozley, James Bowling (1813-1878).  A Church of England divine;
born at Gainsborough, educated at Oriel College, Oxford; became Vicar of
Old Shoreham, Canon of Worcester, and, in 1871, Regius Professor of
Divinity at Oxford.  His _Oxford University Sermons_ appeared in 1876.

{238a}  Schneckenburger, Matthias (1804-1848).  A Protestant theologian;
born at Thalheim and died in Berne, where he was for a time Professor of
Theology at the newly founded University.  His _Vergleichende Darstellung
des lutherischen und reformierten Lehrbegriffs_ was published in
Stuttgart in 2 volumes in 1855.

{238b}  Hundeshagen, Karl Bernhard (1810-1872).  A Protestant theologian
who held a professorship in Berne, later in Heidelberg and finally in
Bonn, where he died.  His many works included one upon the Conflict
between the Lutheran, the Calvinistic, and the Zwinglian Churches.  His
_Beitrage zur Kirchenverfassungsgeschichte und Kirchenpolitik
insbesondere des Protestantismus_ was published at Wiesbaden in 1864 in 1

{238c}  Schweizer, Alexander (1808-1888).  A theologian and preacher who
studied in Zurich and Berlin.  He wrote his _Autobiography_ which was
published in Zurich the year after his death.  His book, _Die
protestantischen Centraldogmen innerhalb der reformierten Kirche_,
appeared in Zurich in 2 volumes in 1854 and 1856.

{238d}  Gass, Wilhelm (1813-1889).  A Protestant theologian; born at
Breslau and died in Heidelberg, where he held a theological chair.  His
best-known book is his _Geschichte der protestantischen Dogmatik_,
published in Berlin between 1854 and 1867 in 4 volumes, and to this Lord
Acton doubtless refers.

{238e}  Cart, Jacques Louis (1826- probably still living).  A Swiss
pastor; born in Geneva; the author of many books, of which the one named
by Lord Acton is fully entitled, _Histoire du mouvement religieux et
ecclesiastique dans le canton de Vaud pendant la premiere moitie du XIXe
siecle_.  It appeared between 1871 and 1880 in 6 volumes.

{239a}  Blondel, David (1590-1655).  Born at Chalons-sur-Marne in France;
a learned theologian and historian who defended the Protestant position
against the Catholics.  Was Professor of History at Amsterdam.  His _De
la primaute de l'Eglise_ appeared in 1641.

{239b}  Le Blanc de Beaulieu, Louis (1614-1675).  A French Protestant
theologian who enjoyed the consideration of both parties and was
approached by Turenne with a view to a reunion of the churches.  His
position was sustained before the Protestant Academy at Sedan with
certain theses published under the title of _Theses Sedanenzes_ in 1683.

{239c}  Thiersch, Heinrich Wilhelm Josias (1817-1885).  Born in Munich
and died in Basle; held for a time a Professorship of Theology in
Marburg, then became the principal pastor of the Irvingite Church in
Germany, preaching in many cities.  He wrote many books.  His
_Vorlesungen uber Katholizismus und Protestantismus_ appeared first in

{239d}  Mohler, Johann Adam (1796-1838).  Born in Igersheim and died in
Munich.  A Catholic theologian and Professor of Theology at Tubingen.  His
_Neue Untersuchungen der Lehrgegensatze zwischen den Katholiken und
Protestanten_ was first published in Mainz in 1834.

{240a}  Scherer, Edmond (1815-1889).  A French theologian; born in Paris,
died at Versailles.  Was for a time in England, then Professor of
Exegesis in Geneva.  Was for many years a leader of the French Protestant
Church.  His _Melanges de critique religieuse_ appeared in Paris in 1860.

{240b}  Hooker, Richard (1554-1600).  Born in Exeter.  In 1584 was Rector
of Drayton-Beauchamp, near Tring, and the following year became Master of
the Temple.  In 1591 became Vicar of Boscombe and sub-Dean of Salisbury.
His _Laws of Ecclesiastical Polity_ was published in 1594.  In 1595 he
removed to Bishopsbourne, near Canterbury, where he died.

{240c}  Weingarten, Hermann (1834-1892).  Protestant ecclesiastical
historian, born in Berlin, where in 1868 he became a professor, later
held chairs successively at Marberg and Breslau.  His book _Die
Revolutionskirchen Englands_ appeared in 1868.

{240d}  Kliefoth, Theodor Friedrich (1810-1895).  A Lutheran theologian;
born at Kirchow in Mecklenburg, and died at Schwerin, where he was for a
time instructor to the Grand Duke of Mecklenburg-Schwerin, and held
various offices in connexion with that state.  He wrote many theological
works.  His _Acht Bucher von der Kirche_ was published at Schwerin in 1
volume in 1854.

{240e}  Laurent, Francois (1810-1887).  Born in Luxemburg and died in
Gent, where he long held a professorship.  His principal work, _Etudes
sur l'histoire de l'humanite_, _Histoire du droit des gens_ was published
in Brussels in 18 volumes between 1860 and 1870.

{241a}  Ferrari, Guiseppe (1812-1876) was born in Milan, and died in
Rome.  Achieved fame as a philosophical historian.  Held a chair at Turin
and afterwards at Milan.  As member of the Parliament of Piedmont he was
an opponent of Cavour's policy of a United Italy.  His principal book is
entitled _Histoire des revolutions de l'Italie_, _ou Guelfes et
Gibelins_, published in Paris in four volumes between 1856 and 1858.

{241b}  Lange, Friedrich Albert (1828-1875).  Philosopher and economic
writer, born at Wald bei Solingen, died at Marburg.  Held a professorial
chair at Zurich and later at Marburg.  His most famous book, the
_Geschichte des Materialismus und Kritik seiner Bedentung in der
Gegenwart_, first appeared in 1866.  It was published in England in 1878-
81 by Trubner in three volumes.

{241c}  Guicciardini, Francesco (1483-1540), the Italian historian and
statesman, was born at Florence.  Undertook in 1512 an embassy from
Florence to the Court of Ferdinand the Catholic, and learned diplomacy in
Spain.  In 1515 he entered the service of Pope Leo X.  His principal book
is his _History of Italy_.  The _Istoria d'Italia_ appeared in Florence
in ten volumes between 1561 and 1564.  His _Recordi Politici_ consists of
some 400 aphorisms on political and social topics and has been described
by an Italian critic as "Italian corruption codified and elevated to a
rule of life."

{241d}  Duperron, Jacques Davy (1556-1618), a Cardinal of the Church,
born at Saint Lo.  He was a Court preacher under Henry III of France and
denounced Elizabeth of England in a funeral sermon on Mary Stuart.  It is
told of him that he once demonstrated before the king the existence of
God, and being complimented upon his irrefutable arguments, replied that
he was prepared to bring equally good arguments to prove that God did not
exist.  He became Bishop of Evreux in 1591.

{242a}  Richelieu, Cardinal--(Armand-Jean Du Plessis)--(1585-1642).  The
famous minister of Louis XIII; born in Paris, of a noble family of
Poitou.  Was made Bishop of Lucon by Henry IV at the age of twenty-two.
Became Almoner to Marie de Medici, the Regent of France.  Was elected a
Cardinal in 1622.  He wrote many books, including theological works,
tragedies, and his own Memoirs.  The authenticity of his _Testament
politique_ was disputed by Voltaire.

{242b}  Harrington, James (1611-1677) was born at Upton,
Northamptonshire; was educated at Trinity College, Cambridge.  He
travelled on the Continent, but was back in England at the time of the
Civil War, in which, however, he took no part.  He published his _Oceana_
in 1656.  He is buried in St. Margaret's Church, Westminster, next to the
tomb of Sir Walter Raleigh.  His _Writings_ in an edition issued in 1737
by Millar contained twenty separate treatises in addition to _Oceana_,
but concerned with that book.

{242c}  Mignet, Francois Auguste Marie (1796-1884).  The historian; was
born at Aix and died in Paris.  Published his _History of the French
Revolution_ in 1824.  His _Negociations relatives a la succession
d'Espagne_ appeared in 4 volumes between 1836 and 1842.  He also wrote a
_Life of Franklin_, a _History of Mary Stuart_, and many other works.

{243a}  Rousseau, Jean Jacques (1712-1778), the famous writer, was born
in Geneva and died at Ermenonville.  Much of his life story has been told
in his incomparable _Confessions_.  In 1759 he published _Nouvelle
Heloise_; in 1762, _L'Emile ou de l'Education_.  His _Considerations sur
la Pologne_ was written by Rousseau in 1769 in response to an application
to apply his own theories to a scheme for the renovation of the
government of Poland, in which land anarchy was then at its height.  Mr.
John Morley (_Rousseau_, Vol. II) dismisses the pamphlet with a
contemptuous line.

{243b}  Foncin, Pierre (1841- still living).  A French Professor of
History; born at Limoges, and has long held important official positions
in connexion with education.  He has written many books, including an
_Atlas Historique_.  His _Essai sur le ministere Turgot_ appeared in
1876, and obtained a prize from the French Academy.

{243c}  Burke, Edmund (1729-1797), the famous statesman, was born in
Dublin and died at Beaconsfield, Bucks, where he was buried.  His
_Vindication of Natural Society_ appeared in 1756.  Burke entered
Parliament for Wendover in 1765, sat for Bristol, 1774-80, and Malton,
1780-94.  His _Collected Works_ first appeared in 1792-1827 in 8 volumes,
the first three of which were issued in his lifetime; his _Collected
Works and Correspondence_ was published in 8 volumes in 1852, but the
_Correspondence_ had appeared separately in 4 volumes in 1844.

{243d}  Las Cases, Emmanuel Augustine Dieudonne Marir Joseph (1766-1842).
Educated at the Military School in Paris but entered the French navy;
emigrated at the Revolution; fought at Quiberon; taught French in London;
published in 1802 his _Atlas historique et geographique_ under the
pseudonym of "Le Sage."  On his return to France he came under the notice
of Napoleon, who made him a Count of the Empire and sent him upon several
important missions.  During the Emperor's exile in Elba he again went to
England.  He returned during the Hundred Days and accompanied Napoleon to
St. Helena.  Here he recorded day by day the conversations of the great
exile.  At the end of eighteen months he was exiled by Sir Hudson Lowe to
the Cape of Good Hope.  He returned to France after the death of Napoleon
and became a Deputy under Louis Philippe.  His _Memorial de
Sainte-Helene_, published in 1823-1824, secured a great success.

{244a}  Holtzendorff, Franz von (1829-1889), was Professor of
Jurisprudence first at Berlin and afterwards at Munich, where he died.  He
wrote many books concerned with crime and its punishment, with the prison
systems of the world, etc.  His _Enzyklopadie der Rechtswissenschaft in
systematischer und alphabetischer Bearbeitung_ was first published at
Leipzig in 1870 and 1871.

{244b}  Jhering, Rudolph von (1818-1892), was for a time professor at
Basle, Rostock, Kiel and Vienna.  His _Geist des romischen Rechts auf den
verschiedenen Stufen seiner Entwickelung_ appeared in Leipzig between
1852 and 1865, and is counted a classic in jurisprudence.

{244c}  Geib, Karl Gustav (1808-1864).  An eminent criminologist.  Was a
Professor of Zurich and afterwards of Tubingen, where he died.  Wrote
many books, of which the most important was his _Geschichte des romischen
Kriminalprozesses bis zum Tode Justinians_ in 1842.  His _Lehrbuch des
deutschen Strafrechts_ appeared in 1861 and 1862, but was never

{245a}  Maine, Sir Henry James Sumner (1822-1888).  Jurist; born in
Kelso, Scotland; educated at Christ's Hospital, London, and at Pembroke
College, Cambridge; was Regius Professor of Civil Law at Cambridge, 1847-
54.  In 1862 he became a legal member of Council in India and held the
office for seven years.  In 1871 he became a K.C.S.I. and had a seat on
the Indian Council.  In 1877 he was elected Master of Trinity Hall,
Cambridge, and in 1887 became Whewell Professor of International Law at
Cambridge.  He died at Cannes.  His principal work is his _Ancient Law_:
_its Connexion with the Early History of Society and its Relation to
Modern Ideas_, first published in 1861.

{245b}  Gierke, Otto Friedrich (1841- still living), was born in Stettin;
was Professor of Law in Breslau, Heidelberg and Berlin successively.
Served in the Franco-German War of 1870.  His principal work, _Das
deutsche Genossenschaftsrecht_, appeared in 3 volumes in Berlin, the
first in 1868, the third in 1881.

{245c}  Stahl, Friedrich Julius (1802-1861), was born in Munich of Jewish
parents, died in Bruckenau.  Held chairs of law and jurisprudence in
Berlin and other cities, and wrote many books.  His _Die Philosophie des
Rechts und geschichtlicher Ansicht_ appeared at Heidelberg in 2 volumes
in 1830 and 1837.

{246a}  Gentz, Friedrich von (1764-1832).  A distinguished publicist and
statesman; born in Breslau, died at Weinhaus, near Vienna; studied
Jurisprudence in Konigsberg.  One of his earliest literary efforts was a
translation of Burke's _Reflections upon the French Revolution_.  Played
a very considerable part in the combination of the powers of Europe
against Napoleon in 1809-15.  He was the author of many books.  His
_Briefewechsel mit Adam Muller_ was published in Stuttgart in 1857--long
after his death.

{246b}  Vollgraff, Karl Friedrich (1794-1863), was for a time Professor
of Jurisprudence at Marburg, where he died.  His two most important books
were: (1) _Der Systeme der praktischen Politik im Abendlande_; (2)
_Erster Versuch einer Begrundung der allgemeinen Ethnologie durch die
Anthropologie und der Staats und Rechts Philosophie durch die Ethnologie
oder Nationalitat der Volker_, published in 4 volumes in 1851 to 1855.  It
is in this last volume that a section is devoted to Polignosie.

{246c}  Frantz, Konstantin (1817-1891).  Distinguished publicist; born at
Halberstadt and died at Blasewitz, near Dresden, where he made his home
for many years.  Was for a time German Consul in Spain.  His great
doctrine laid down in his _Die Weltpolitik_, 1883, was the union of
Central Europe against the growing power of Russia and the United States
of America.  His _Kritik aller Parteien_ was published in Berlin in 1862.

{246d}  Maistre, Joseph Marie Comte de (1753-1821).  A distinguished
French publicist; born at Chambery; studied at the University of Turin.
Lived for some years at Lausanne, where he published in 1796 his
_Considerations sur la Revolution francaise_.

{247a}  Donoso Cortes, Jean Francois (1809-1853).  A famous Spanish
publicist; born in Estremadura; played a considerable part in Spanish
affairs under Marie-Christine and Queen Isabella.  Was for a time Spanish
Ambassador to Berlin, and later to France, where he died in Paris.  He
wrote much upon such questions as the Catholic Church and Socialism.

{247b}  Perin, Henri Charles Xavier (1815- ), a Belgium economist, born
at Mons; became an advocate at Brussels and also Professor of Political
Economy in that city.  His book _De la Richesse dans les Societes
Chretiennes_ appeared in Paris in 2 volumes in 1861.

{247c}  Le Play, Pierre Guillaume Frederic (1806-1882).  Born at
Honfleur.  He directed the organization of the Paris International
Exhibitions of 1855 and 1867.  He wrote many books.  His _La reforme
sociale en France deduite de l'observation comparee des peuples
Europeens_ was published in two volumes in 1864.

{247d}  Riehl, Wilhelm Heinrich (1823-1897).  A well-known author; born
at Biebrich-am-Rhein, died in Munich.  He was associated with several
German newspapers, and edited from 1848 to 1851 the _Nassauische
Allgemeine Zeitung_, from 1851 to 1853 the _Augsburger Allgemeine
Zeitung_, and afterwards became a Professor of Literature at Munich.  In
1885 he became the director of the Bavarian National Museum.  He wrote
many books, the one referred to by Lord Acton having been published in
1851 under the title of _Die burgerliche Gesellschaft_.

{248a}  Sismondi, Jean Charles Leonard Sismonde de (1773-1842), the
distinguished historian of the Italian republics, was born at Geneva of
an Italian family originally from Pisa.  He resided for a time in
England.  His famous book the _Histoire des Republiques Italiennes de
Moyen-Age_ appeared between 1807 and 1818 in 16 volumes.  His _Etudes sur
les Constitutions des Peuples Libres_, was one of many other books.

{248b}  Rossi, Pellegrino Luigi Odoardo (1787-1848).  An Italian
publicist; born at Carrara.  Keenly sympathized with the French
Revolution and served under Murat in the Hundred Days, after which he
fled to Geneva.  In later years he became a nationalized Frenchman,
occupied a Chair of Constitutional Law, and finally became a peer.  As
Comte Rossi he went on a special embassy to Rome.  He was assassinated in
that city during the troubles of 1848.  His _Traite du Droit
Constitutionnel_ appeared in 2 volumes.

{248c}  Barante, Aimable Guillaume Prosper Brugiere, baron de
(1782-1868), historian and politician, was born at Riom.  He was made a
Counciller of State by Louis XVIII in 1815, and a peer of France in 1819.
He was elected a member of the French Academy in 1828.  Under Louis
Philippe he became Ambassador first at Turin and afterwards at St.
Petersburg.  After the revolution of 1848 he devoted himself entirely to
literature.  He wrote many historical and literary studies, and
translated the works of Schiller into French.  His _Vie politique de
Royer-Collard_ has several times been reprinted.

{249a}  Duvergier de Hauranne, Prosper (1798-1881), was a distinguished
French publicist, born at Rouen.  He was parliamentary deputy for
Sancerre in 1831 and took part in most of the political struggles of the
following twenty years.  He was exiled from France at the time of the
_Coup d'Etat_, but returned during the reign of Napoleon III.  Henceforth
he devoted himself exclusively to historical studies.  His _Histoire du
gouvernement parlementaire en France_, published in 1870, secured his
election to the French Academy.

{249b}  Madison, James (1751-1836).  The fourth President of the United
States; born at Port Conway, Virginia.  Acted with Jay and Hamilton in
the Convention which framed the Constitution and wrote with them _The
Federalist_.  He had two terms of office--between 1809 and 1817--as
President.  He died at Montpelier, Virginia.  His _Debates of the
Congress of Confederation_ was published in Elliot's "Debates on the
State Conventions," 4 vols., Philadelphia, 1861.

{249c}  Hamilton, Alexander (1757-1804).  A great American statesman, who
served in Washington's army, and after the war became eminent as a lawyer
in New York.  He wrote fifty-one out of the eighty-five essays of _The
Federalist_.  He was appointed Secretary of the Treasury to the United
States in 1789.  He was mortally wounded in a duel by Aaron Burr in 1804.
His influence upon the American Constitution gives him a great place in
the annals of the Republic.

{249d}  Calhoun, John Campbell (1782-1850).  An American statesman; born
in Abbeville County, South Carolina and studied at Yale.  As a Member of
Congress he supported the war with Great Britain in 1812-15.  He was
twice Vice-President of the United States.  He died at Washington.  A
_Disquisition on Government_ and a _Discourse on the Constitution and
Government of the United States_ were written in the last months of his
life.  His _Collected Works_ appeared in 1853-4.

{250a}  Dumont, Pierre Etienne Louis (1759-1829).  A great publicist;
born in Geneva, and principally known in England by his association with
Bentham, to whom he acted as an editor and interpreter.  Lived much in
Paris, St. Petersburg, and, above all, in London, where he knew Fox,
Sheridan, and other famous men, and taught the children of Lord
Shelburne.  Dumont's _Sophismes Anarchiques_ appears in Bentham's
_Collected Works_ as _Anarchical Fallacies_.

{250b}  Quinet, Edgar (1803-1875).  French historian and philosopher;
born at Borg and died in Paris.  His epic poem of _Ahasuerus_ was placed
upon the Index.  Of his many books his _La Revolution Francaise_ is the
best known.  It was written in Switzerland, where he was an exile during
the reign of Napoleon III.  He returned to France in 1870.

{250c}  Stein, Lorenz von (1815-1890).  Writer on economics, studied in
Kiel and in Jena.  In 1855 he became Professor of International Law in
Vienna.  He wrote books on statecraft and international law.  His work
entitled _Der Sozialismus und Kommunismus des heutigen Frankreich_
appeared in Leipzig in 1843.

{251a}  Lassalle, Ferdinand (1825-1864), the famous social democrat, was
of Jewish birth; born at Breslau.  He took part in the revolution of 1848
and received six months' imprisonment.  He was wounded in a duel at
Geneva over a love affair and died two days later.  His _System der
Erworbenen Rechte_ appeared in 1861.

{251b}  Thonissen, Jean Joseph (1817-1891).  A distinguished jurist; born
in Belgium.  He studied at Liege and in Paris; became a Professor of the
Catholic University of Louvain; afterwards became a Minister of State.  Of
his many works his _Socialisme depuis l'antiquite jusqu'a la constitution
francaise de 1852_ is best known.

{251c}  Considerant, Victor (1808-1894).  Born at Salins, and, after the
Revolution of 1848, entered the Chamber of Deputies.  He crossed to
America to found a colony in Texas, but ruined himself by the experiment.
He returned to France in 1869.  He was the author of many socialistic

{251d}  Roscher, Wilhelm (1817-1894), economist, was born in Hanover.
Held a chair first in Gottingen and afterwards in Leipzig, where he died.
His _Geschichte der Nationalokonomik in Deutschland_ appeared in Munich
in 1874.

{251e}  Mill, John Stuart (1806-1873), the famous publicist and author,
was born in London, and educated by his father, James Mill (1773-1836).
He served in the India Office, 1823-58; he was M.P. for Westminster, 1865-
68.  His works include the _Principles of Political Economy_, 1848; the
_Essay on Liberty_, 1859, and the _System of Logic_, which first appeared
in 1843.

{252a}  Coleridge, Samuel Taylor (1772-1834), poet and critic, was born
at Ottery St. Mary, Devonshire; educated at Christ's Hospital, London,
and at Jesus College, Cambridge.  In the volume of _Lyrical Ballads_ by
Wordsworth of 1798 Coleridge contributed the _Ancient Mariner_, and he
was to make his greatest reputation by this and other poems.  His best
prose work was his _Biographia Literaria_ (1817).  His _Aids to
Reflection_ was first published in 1825.

{252b}  Radowitz, Joseph Maria von (1797-1853).  A Prussian general and
statesman; born in Blankenberg and died in Berlin.  Fought in the
Napoleonic wars and was wounded at the battle of Leipzig.  Afterwards
served as Ambassador to various German Courts.  He wrote several
treatises bearing upon current affairs, and his _Fragments_ form Vols. IV
and V of his _Collected Works_ in 5 volumes, which were issued in Berlin
in 1852-53.

{252c}  Gioberti, Vincent (1801-1852).  An Italian statesman and
philosopher; born in Turin, where he afterwards became Professor of
Theology.  Was for a time Court Chaplain, but his liberal views led to
exile, and he retired first to Paris, then to Brussels.  Afterwards
became famous as a neo-Catholic with his attempt to combine faith with
science and art, and urged the independence and the unity of Italy.  His
_Jesuite moderne_, published in 1847, created a sensation.  After some
years of home politics he was appointed by King Victor Emmanuel as
Ambassador to Paris.  It is noteworthy in the light of Lord Acton's
recommendation of his _Pensieri_ that his works have been placed on the

{253a}  Humboldt, Friedrich Heinrich Alexander Baron von (1769-1859), the
great naturalist, was born and died in Berlin, and studied at Frankfort-
on-the-Oder, Berlin and Gottingen; he spent five years (1799-1804) in
exploring South America, and in 1829 travelled through Central Asia.  His
_Kosmos_ appeared between 1845 and 1858 in 4 volumes.

{253b}  De Candolle, Alphonse de (1806-1893).  The son of the celebrated
botanist, Augustin Pyramus de Candolle, and was himself a professor of
that science at Geneva.  His _Histoire des sciences et des savants depuis
deux siecles_ appeared in 1873.

{253c}  Darwin, Charles Robert (1809-1882), the great naturalist and
discoverer of natural selection, was born at Shrewsbury, where he was
educated at the Grammar School, at Edinburgh University, and at Christ's
College, Cambridge.  His most famous book, _The Origin of Species by
means of Natural Selection_, was first published in 1859.

{253d}  Littre, Maximilien Paul Emile (1801-1884), the famous
lexicographer whose _Dictionnaire de la langue francaise_ gave him a
world-wide reputation.  He was born in Paris.  He associated himself with
Auguste Comte and the _Positive Philosophy_, and contributed many volumes
in support of Comte's standpoint.

{253e}  Cournot, Antoine Augustin (1801-1877).  Born at Gray in Savoy;
wrote many mathematical treatises.  His _Traite de l'enchainement des
idees fondamentales dans les sciences et dans l'histoire_ was published
in 2 volumes.

{254}  This was a most comprehensive addition, and fully makes up for the
abrupt termination of the list of the hundred best books with two
omissions.  The omission of the book numbered 88 will also have been
remarked.  There are probably a hundred "Monatschriften der
Wissenschaftlichen Vereine" or magazines of scientific societies issued
in Germany.  Sperling's _Zeitschriften-Adressbuch_ gives more than two
columns of these.

{260a}  The Bible can be best read in paragraph form from the Eversley
edition, published by the Macmillans, or from the Temple Bible, issued by
J. M. Dent--the latter an edition for the pocket.  The translation of
1610 is literature and has made literature.  The revised translation of
our own day has neither characteristic.  Something can be said for the
Douay Bible in this connexion.  It was published in Douay in the same
year as the Protestant version appeared--1610.  Certain words from it,
such as "Threnes" for "Lamentations" as the Threnes of Jeremiah, have a
poetical quality that deserved survival.

{260b}  The Iliad may be read in a hundred verse translations of which
those by Pope and Cowper are the best known.  Both these may be found in
Bohn's Libraries (G. Bell & Sons); but the prose translation for which
Mr. Lang and his friends are responsible (Macmillan) is for our
generation far and away the best introduction to Homer for the

{261a}  Under the title of "The Athenian Drama," George Allen has
published three fine volumes of the works of the Greek dramatists.

{261b}  Dryden's translation of Virgil has been followed by many others
both in prose and verse.  There was one good prose version by C. Davidson
recently issued in Laurie's Classical Library.  An interesting
translation of Virgil's _Georgics_ into English verse was recently made
by Lord Burghclere and published by John Murray.  The young student,
however, will do well to approach Virgil through Dryden.  He will find
the book in the Chandos Classics, or superbly printed in Professor
Saintsbury's edition of _Dryden's Works_, Vol. XIV.

{261c}  There have been many translations of Catullus.  One, by Sir
Richard Burton, was issued by Leonard Smithers in 1894.  In Bohn's
Library there is a prose translation by Walter K. Kelly.  Professor
Robinson Ellis made a verse translation that has been widely praised.
Grant Allen translated the Attis in 1892.  On the whole, the English
verse translation by Sir Theodore Martin made in 1861 (Blackwood & Son)
is far and away the best suited for a first acquaintance with this the
'tenderest of Roman Poets.'

{261d}  Horace has been made the subject of many translations.  Perhaps
there are fifty now available.  John Conington's edition of his complete
works, two volumes (Bell), is well known.  The best introduction to
Horace for the young student is in Sir Theodore Martin's translation, two
volumes (Blackwood), and a volume by the same author entitled _Horace_ in
"Ancient Classics for English Readers" (Blackwood) is a charming little

{262a}  Dante's _Divine Comedy_ as translated by Henry Francis Cary (1772-
1844) has been described by Mr. Ruskin as better reading than Milton's
"Paradise Lost."  James Russell Lowell, with true patriotism, declared
that his countrymen Longfellow's translation (Routledge) was the best.
Something may be said for the prose translation by Dr. John Carlyle of
the _Inferno_ (Bell) and for Mr. A. J. Butler's prose translation of the
whole of the _Divine Comedy_ in three volumes (Macmillan).  Other
translations which have had a great vogue are by Wright and Dean
Plumptre.  The best books on Dante are those by Dr. Edward Moore
(Clarendon Press).  Cary's translation can be obtained in one volume in
Bohn's Library (Bell) or in the Chandos Classics (Warne).

{262b}  I contend that while most of the poets are self-contained in a
single volume, Shakspere's plays are best enjoyed as separate entities.
Certainly each of them has a library attached to it, and it is quite
profitable to read Hamlet in Mr. Horace Howard Furness's edition
(Lippincott) with a multitude of criticisms of the play bound up with the
text of Hamlet.  But Hamlet should be read first in the Temple Shakspere
(Dent) or in the Arden Shakspere (Methuen).  To this last there is an
admirable introduction by Professor Dowden.

{262c}  Chaucer's _Canterbury Tales_ should be read in Mr. Alfred W.
Pollard's edition, which forms two volumes of the "Eversley Library"
(Macmillan).  The "Tales" may be obtained in cheaper form in the
_Chaucer_ of the Aldine Poets (Bell), of which I have grateful memories,
having first read "Chaucer" in these little volumes.  The enthusiast will
obtain the Complete Works of Chaucer edited for the Clarendon Press by
Professor W. W. Skeat.

{263a}  FitzGerald's _Omar Khayyam_ can be obtained in its four versions,
each of which has its merits, only from the Macmillans, who publish it in
many forms.  The edition in the Golden Treasury Series may be
particularly commended.  The present writer has written an introduction
to a sixpenny edition of the first version.  It is published by William

{263b}  Goethe's _Faust_ has been translated in many forms.  Certainly
Anster's version (Sampson Low) is the most vivacious.  Anna Swanwick, Sir
Theodore Martin and Bayard Taylor's translations have about equal merit.

{263c}  Shelley's _Poetical Works_ should be read in the one volume
issued in green cloth by the Macmillans, with an introduction by Edward
Dowden, or in the Oxford Poets (Henry Froude), with an introduction by H.
Buxton Forman, but perhaps the best edition is that of the Clarendon
Press with an introduction by Thomas Hutchinson.  Mr. Forman's library
edition of _Shelley's Complete Works_ is the desire of all collectors.

{263d}  _Byron's Poetical Works_, edited by Ernest Coleridge, form seven
volumes of John Murray's edition of Byron's _Works_ in thirteen volumes.
There is not a good one-volume Byron.  I particularly commend the three-
volume edition (George Newnes).

{264a}  Wordsworth may be read in his entirety in the sixteen volumes of
_Prose and Poetry_ edited by William Knight in the Eversley Library
(Macmillan).  The same publisher issues an admirable _Wordsworth_ in one
volume, edited, with an introduction by John Morley.  But the first
approach to Wordsworth's verse should be made through Matthew Arnold's
_Select Poems_ in the Golden Treasury Series (Macmillan).

{264b}  _Keats's Works_ are issued in one volume in the Oxford Poets
(Froude), and in five shilling volumes by Gowans and Gray of Glasgow.  Mr.
Buxton Forman's annotations to this cheap edition exceed in value those
attached to his more expensive "Library Edition," which, however, as with
the _Shelley_, in eight volumes, is out of print.

{264c}  The four volumes of Burns, with an introduction by W. E. Henley,
are pleasant to read.  They are published by Jack, of Edinburgh.  The
best single-volume _Burns_ is that in the Globe Library (Macmillan), with
an introduction by Alexander Smith.

{264d}  There is no rival to the one-volume edition of _Coleridge's
Poems_, with an introduction by J. Dykes Campbell, published by
Macmillan.  Mr. Dykes Campbell's biography of Coleridge should also be
read.  The prose works of Coleridge are obtainable in Bohn's Library.  The
fortunate book lover has many in Pickering editions.

{264e}  _Cowper's Complete Works_ are acquired for a modest sum of the
second-hand bookseller in Southey's sixteen-volume edition.  The two best
one-volume issues of the _Poems_ are the Globe Library Edition with an
introduction by Canon Benham (Macmillan), and _Cowper's Complete Poems_
with an introduction by J. C. Bailey (Methuen).  The best of the letters
are contained in a volume in the Golden Treasury Series, with an
introduction by Mrs. Oliphant.  _The Complete Letters of Cowper_, edited
by Thomas Wright, have been published by Hodder & Stoughton in four

{265a}  _Crabbe's Works_, in eight volumes, with biography by his son,
may be obtained very cheaply from the second-hand book seller.  With all
the merits of both _Works_ and _Life_ they have not been reprinted
satisfactorily.  The only good modern edition of _Crabbe's Poems_ is in
three volumes published by the Cambridge University Press, edited by A.
W. Ward.

{265b}  The best one-volume _Tennyson_ is issued by the Macmillans, who
still hold certain copyrights.  The Library Edition of _Tennyson_, with
the Biography included in the twelve volumes, is a desirable acquisition.

{265c}  Not all the sixteen volumes of the Library Edition of _Browning_
pay for perusal.  The most convenient form is that of the two-volume
edition (Smith, Elder & Co.), with notes by Augustine Birrell.

{265d}  _Milton's Poetical Works_ as annotated by David Masson
(Macmillan) make the standard library edition, and the same publishers
have given us the best one-volume _Milton_ in the Globe Library, with an
introduction by Professor Masson, Milton's one effective biographer.

{266a}  _The Arabian Nights' Entertainments_ is first introduced to us
all as a children's story-book.  Tennyson has placed on record his own
early memories:--

   "In sooth it was a goodly time,
   For it was in the golden prime
      Of good Haroun Alraschid."

But the collector of the hundred best books will do well to read the
_Arabian Nights_ in the translation by Edward William Lane, edited by
Stanley Lane Poole, in 4 volumes, for George Bell & Sons.

{266b}  The most satisfactory translation of Cervantes's great romance is
that made by John Ormesby, revised and edited by James Fitzmaurice-Kelly,
published by Gowans & Gray in 4 shilling volumes.

{266c}  _The Pilgrim's Progress_ is presented in a hundred forms.  The
present writer first read it in a penny edition.  It should be possessed
by the book-lover in a volume of the Cambridge English Classics, in which
_Grace Abounding_ and _The Pilgrim's Progress_ are given together, edited
by Dr. John Brown, and published by the Cambridge University Press.

{266d}  Schoolboys, notwithstanding Macaulay, usually know but few good
books, but every schoolboy knows Defoe's _Robinson Crusoe_ in one form or
another.  The maker of a library will prefer it as a Volume of Defoe's
_Works_ (J. M. Dent), or as Volume VII of Defoe's _Novels and
Miscellaneous Works_ (Bell & Sons).  There are many good shilling
editions of the book by itself, but Defoe should be read in many of his
works and particularly in _Moll Flanders_.

{267a}  As with _Robinson Crusoe_, _Gulliver's Travels_ can be obtained
in many cheap forms, but it is well that it should be obtained as Volume
VIII of _Swift's Prose Works_, published in Bohn's Libraries by George
Bell & Sons.  There has not been a really good edition of Swift's works
since Scott's monumental book.

{267b}  _Clarissa_ should be read in nine of the twenty volumes of
Richardson's Novels, published by Chapman & Hall--a very dainty
well-printed book.  "I love these large, still books," said Lord

{267c}  The greatest of all novels, _Tom Jones_, is obtainable in several
Library Editions of Fielding's _Works_.  A cheap well-printed form is
that of the _Works of Henry Fielding_ in 12 volumes, published by Gay &
Bird.  Here _The Story of Tom Jones a Foundling_ is in 4 volumes.  The
book is in 2 volumes in Bohn's Library--an excellent edition.

{267d}  Johnson's _Rasselas_ has frequently been reprinted, but there is
no edition for a book-lover at present in the bookshops.  It is included
in _Classic Tales_ in a volume of Bohn's Standard Library.  The wise
course is to look out for one of the earlier editions with copper plates
that are constantly to be found on second-hand bookstalls.  But Johnson's
_Works_ should be bought in a fine octavo edition.

{268a}  Goldsmith's _Vicar of Wakefield_ should be possessed in the
edition which Mr. Hugh Thomson has illustrated and Mr. Austin Dobson has
edited for the Macmillans.  There is a good edition of Goldsmith's
_Works_ in Bohn's Library.

{268b}  Sterne's _Sentimental Journey_ is also a volume for the second-
hand bookstall, although that and the equally fine _Tristram Shandy_ may
be obtained in many pretty forms.  I have two editions of Sterne's books,
but they are both fine old copies.

{268c}  There are two very good editions of Peacock's delightful
romances.  _Nightmare Abbey_ forms a volume of J. M. Dent's edition in 9
volumes, edited by Dr. Garnett; and the whole of Peacock's remarkable
stories are contained in a single volume of Newnes' "Thin Paper

{268d}  Sir Walter Scott's novels are available in many forms equally
worthy of a good library.  The best is the edition published by Jack of
Edinburgh.  The Temple Library of Scott (J. M. Dent) may be commended for
those who desire pocket volumes, while Mr. Andrew Lang's Introductions
give an added value to an edition published by the Macmillans, Scott's
twenty-eight novels are indispensable to every good library, and every
reader will have his own favourite.

{268e}  Balzac's novels are obtainable in a good translation by Ellen
Marriage, edited by George Saintsbury, published in New York by the
Macmillan Company and in London by J. M. Dent.

{269a}  A translation of Dumas' novels in 48 volumes is published by
Dent.  _The Three Musketeers_ is in 2 volumes.  There are many cheap one
volume editions.

{269b}  Thackeray's _Vanity Fair_ is pleasantly read in the edition of
his novels published by J. M. Dent.  His original publishers, Smith,
Elder & Co., issue his works in many forms.

{269c}  The best edition of Charlotte Bronte's _Villette_ is that in the
"Haworth Edition," published by Smith, Elder & Co., with an Introduction
by Mrs. Humphry Ward.

{269d}  Charles Dickens' novels, of which _David Copperfield_ is
generally pronounced to be the best, should be obtained in the "Oxford
India Paper Dickens" (Chapman & Hall and Henry Frowde).  A serviceable
edition is that published by the Macmillans, with Introductions by
Charles Dickens's son, but that edition still fails of _Our Mutual
Friend_ and _The Mystery of Edwin Drood_, of which the copyright is not
yet exhausted.

{269e}  Anthony Trollope's novels are being reissued, in England by John
Lane and George Bell & Sons, and in America in a most attractive form by
Dodd, Mead & Co.  All three publishers have a good edition of _Barchester
Towers_, Trollope's best novel.

{269f}  Boccaccio's _Decameron_ is in my library in many forms--in 3
volumes of the Villon Society's publications, translated by John Payne;
in 2 handsome volumes issued by Laurence & Bullen; and in the Extra
Volumes of Bohn's Library.  There is a pretty edition available published
by Gibbons in 3 volumes.

{270a}  Emily Bronte's _Wuthering Heights_ forms a volume of the Haworth
Edition of the Bronte novels, published by Smith, Elder & Co.  It has an
introduction by Mrs. Humphry Ward.

{270b}  Charles Reade's _Cloister and the Hearth_ is available in many
forms.  The pleasantest is in 4 volumes issued by Chatto & Windus, with
an Introduction by Sir Walter Besant.  There is a remarkable shilling
edition issued by Collins of Glasgow.

{270c}  Victor Hugo's _Les Miserables_ may be most pleasantly read in the
10 volumes, translated by M. Jules Gray, published by J. M. Dent & Co.

{270d}  Mrs. Gaskell's _Cranford_ can be obtained in the six volume
edition of that writer's works published by Smith, Elder & Co., with
Introductions by Dr. A. W. Ward; in a volume illustrated by Hugh Thomson,
with an Introduction by Mrs. Ritchie, published by the Macmillans, or in
the World's Classics (Henry Frowde), where there is an additional chapter
entitled, "The Cage at Cranford."

{270e}  The translation of George Sand's _Consuelo_ in my library is by
Frank H. Potter, 4 volumes, Dodd, Mead & Co., New York.

{270f}  Lever's _Charles O'Malley_ I have as volumes of the _Complete
Works_ published by Downey.  There is a pleasant edition in Nelson's
"Pocket Library."

{271a}  Macaulay's _History of England_ is available in many attractive
forms from the original publishers, the Longmans.  There is a neat thin
paper edition for the pocket in 5 volumes issued by Chatto & Windus.

{271b}  For Carlyle's _Past and Present_ I recommend the Centenary
Edition of Carlyle's _Works_, published by Chapman & Hall.  There is an
annotated edition of _Sartor Resartus_ by J. A. S. Barrett (A. & C.
Black), two annotated editions of _The French-Revolution_, one by Dr.
Holland Rose (G.  Bell & Sons), and an other by C. R. L. Fletcher, 3
volumes (Methuen), and an annotated edition of _The Cromwell Letters_,
edited by S. C. Lomax, 3 volumes (Methuen).  No publisher has yet
attempted an annotated edition of _Past and Present_, but Sir Ernest
Clarke's translation of _Jocelyn of Bragelond_ (Chatto & Windus) may be
commended as supplemental to Carlyle's most delightful book.

{271c}  Motley's _Works_ are available in 9 volumes of a Library Edition
published by John Murray.  A cheaper issue of the _Dutch Republic_ is
that in 3 volumes of the World's Classics, to which I have contributed a
biographical introduction.

{271d}  For many years the one standard edition of _Gibbon_ was that
published by John Murray, in 8 volumes, with notes by Dean Milman and
others.  It has been superseded by Professor Bury's annotated edition in
7 volumes (Methuen).

{272a}  Plutarch's _Lives_, translated by A. Stewart and George Long,
form 4 volumes of Bohn's Standard Library.  There is a handy volume for
the pocket in Dent's Temple Classics in 10 volumes, translated by Sir
Thomas North.

{272b}  Montaigne's _Essays_ I have in three forms; in the Tudor
Translations (David Nutt), where there is an Introduction to the 6
volumes of Sir Thomas North's translation by the Rt. Hon. George Wyndham;
in Dent's Temple Classics, where John Florio's translation is given in 5
volumes.  A much valued edition is that in 3 volumes, the translation by
Charles Cotton, published by Reeves & Turner in 1877.

{272c}  Steele's essays were written for the _Tatler_ and the _Spectator_
side by side with those of Addison.  The best edition of _The Spectator_
is that published in 8 volumes, edited by George A. Aitken for Nimmo, and
of _The Tatler_ that published in 4 volumes, edited also by Mr. Aitken
for Duckworth & Co.

{272d}  Lamb's _Essays of Elia_ can be read in a volume of the Eversley
Library (Macmillan), edited by Canon Ainger.  The standard edition of
Lamb's _Works_ is that edited by Mr. E. V. Lucas, in 7 volumes, for
Methuen.  Mr. Lucas's biography of Lamb has superseded all others.

{272e}  Thomas de Quincey's _Opium Eater_ may be obtained as a volume of
Newnes's Thin Paper Classics, in the World's Classics, or in Dent's
Everyman's Library.  But the _Complete Works_ of De Quincey, in 16
volumes, edited by David Mason and published by A. & C. Black, should be
in every library.

{273a}  William Hazlitt never received the treatment he deserved until
Mr. J. M. Dent issued in 1903 his _Collected Works_, in 13 volumes,
edited by A. R. Waller and Arnold Glover.  Of cheap reprints of Hazlitt I
commend _The Spirit of the Age_, _Winterslow_ and _Sketches and Essays_,
three separate volumes of the World's Classics (Frowde).

{273b}  George Borrow's _Lavengro_ should only be read in Mr. John
Murray's edition, as it there contains certain additional and valuable
matter gathered from the original manuscript by William I. Knapp.  The
Library Edition of Borrow, in 6 volumes (Murray), may be particularly

{273c}  Emerson's _Complete Works_ are published by the Routledges in 4
volumes, in which _Representative Men_ may be found in Vol. II.  Some may
prefer the Eversley Library _Emerson_, which has an Introduction by John
Morley.  There are many cheap editions of about equal value.

{273d}  Lander's _Imaginary Conversations_ form six volumes of the
complete _Landor_, edited by Charles G. Crump, and published in 10
volumes by J. M. Dent.

{273e}  Matthew Arnold's _Essays in Criticism_ is published by Macmillan.
It also forms Vol. III of the Library Edition of his _Works_ in 15
volumes.  A "Second Series" has less significance.

{273f}  _The Works of Herodotus_, published by the Macmillans, translated
by George C. Macaulay, is the best edition for the general reader.  Canon
Rawlinson's _Herodotus_, published by John Murray, has had a longer life,
but is now only published in an abridged form.

{274a}  James Howell's _Familiar Letters_, or _Epistolae Ho Elianae_,
should be read in the edition published in 2 volumes by David Nutt, with
an Introduction by Joseph Jacobs.

{274b}  _The History of Civilization_, by Henry Thomas Buckle, is in my
library in the original 2 volumes published by Parker in 1857.  It is now
issued in 3 volumes in Longman's Silver Library, and in 3 volumes in the
World's Classics.

{274c}  _The History of Tacitus_ should be read in the translation by
Alfred John Church and William Jackson Brodripp.  It is published by the

{274d}  _Our Village_, by Mary Russell Mitford, is a collection of essays
which in their completest form may be obtained in two volumes of Bohn's
Library (Bell).  The essential essays should be possessed in the edition
published by the Macmillans--_Our Village_, by Mary Russell Mitford, with
an Introduction by Anne Thackeray Ritchie, and one hundred illustrations
by Hugh Thomson.

{274e}  Green's _Short History of the English People_ is published by the
Macmillans in 1 volume, or illustrated in 4 volumes.  The book was
enlarged, but disimproved, under the title of _A History of the English
People_, in 4 volumes, uniform with the _Conquest of England_ and the
_Making of England_ by the same author.

{275a}  Taine's _Ancient Regime_ is a good introduction to the conditions
which made the French Revolution.  It forms the first volume of _Les
Origines de la France Contemporaine_, and may be read in a translation by
John Durand, published by Dalby, Isbister & Co. in 1877.

{275b}  _The Life of Napoleon_ has been written by many pens, in our own
day most competently by Dr. Holland Rose (2 vols. Bell); but a good
account of the Emperor, indispensable for some particulars and an
undoubted classic, is that by de Bourrienne, Napoleon's private
secretary, published in an English translation, in 4 volumes, by Bentley
in 1836.

{275c}  _Democracy in America_, by Alexis de Tocqueville, may be had in a
translation by Henry Reeve, published in 2 volumes by the Longmans.  Read
also _A History of the United States_ by C. Benjamin Andrews, 2 volumes
(Smith, Elder), and above all the _American Commonwealth_, by James
Bryce, 2 volumes (Macmillan).

{275d}  _The Compleat Angler_ of Isaac Walton may be purchased in many
forms.  I have a fine library edition edited by that prince of living
anglers, Mr. R. B. Marston, called The Lea and Dove Edition, this being
the 100th edition of the book (Sampson Low, 1888).  I have also an
edition edited by George A. B. Dewar, with an Introduction by Sir Edward
Grey and Etchings by William Strang and D. Y. Cameron, 2 volumes
(Freemantle), and a 1 volume edition published by Ingram & Cooke in the
Illustrated Library.

{276a}  There are many editions of Gilbert White's _Natural History of
Selbourne_ to be commended.  Three that are in my library are (1) edited
with an Introduction and Notes by L. C. Miall and W. Warde Fowler
(Methuen); (2) edited with Notes by Grant Allen, illustrated by Edmund H.
New (John Lane); (3) rearranged and classified under subjects by Charles
Mosley (Elliot Stock).

{276b}  Of _Boswell's Life of Johnson_ there are innumerable editions.
The special enthusiast will not be happy until he possesses Dr. Birkbeck
Hill's edition in 6 volumes (Clarendon Press).  The most satisfactory 1
volume edition is that published on thin paper by Henry Frowde.  I have
in my library also a copy of the first edition of _Boswell_ in 2 volumes.
It was published by Henry Baldwin in 1791.

{276c}  The best edition of Lockhart's _Life of Scott_ is that published
in 10 volumes by Jack of Edinburgh.  Readers should beware of
abridgments, although one of these was made by Lockhart himself.  The
whole eighty-five chapters are worth reading, even in the 1 volume
edition published by A. & C. Black.

{276d}  _Pepys's Diary_ can be obtained in Bohn's Library or in Newnes'
Thin Paper Classics, but Pepys should only be read under Mr. H. B.
Wheatley's guidance.  A cheap edition of his book, in 8 volumes, has
recently been published by George Bell & Sons.  I have No. 2 of the large
paper edition of this book, No. 1 having gone to Pepys's own college of
Brazenose, where the Pepys cypher is preserved.

{277a}  Until recently one knew Walpole's _Letters_ only through Peter
Cunningham's edition, in 9 volumes (Bentley), and this has still
exclusive matter for the enthusiast, Cunningham's Introduction to wit;
but the Clarendon Press has now published Walpole's _Letters_, edited by
Mrs. Paget Toynbee, in 16 volumes, or in 8.  Here are to be found more
letters than in any previous edition.

{277b}  _The Memoirs of Count de Gramont_, by Anthony, Count Hamilton,
can be obtained in splendid type, unannotated, in an edition published by
Arthur L. Humphreys.  A well-illustrated and well-edited edition is that
published by Bickers of London and Scribner of New York, edited by Allan

{277c}  Gray's _Letters_, with poems and life, form 4 volumes in
Macmillan's Eversley Library, edited by Edmund Gosse.

{277d}  You can obtain Southey's _Nelson_, originally written for
Murray's Pocket Library as a publisher's commission, in one well-printed
volume, with Introduction by David Hannay, published by William
Heinemann.  It should, however, be supplemented in the _Life_ by Captain
Mahan (2 volumes, Sampson Low & Co.), or by Professor Laughton's _Nelson
and His Companion in Arms_ (George Allen).

{277e}  Moore's _Life and Letters of Byron_ is published by John Murray
in 6 volumes.  It is best purchased second-hand in an old set.  Moore's
book must be supplemented by the 6 volumes of _Correspondence_ edited by
Rowland Prothero for Mr. Murray.

{278a}  Sir George Trevelyan says in his _Early History of Charles James
Fox_ that Hogg's _Life of Shelley_ is "perhaps the most interesting book
in our language that has never been republished."  The reproach has been
in some slight measure removed by a cheap reprint in small type issued by
the Routledges in 1906.  The reader should, however, secure a copy of the
first edition, 2 volumes, 1857.  Professor Dowden, in his _Life of
Shelley_, 1886, uses the book freely.

{278b}  "What is the best book you have ever read?" Emerson is said to
have asked George Eliot when she was about twenty-two years of age and
residing, unknown, near Coventry.  "Rousseau's _Confessions_," was the
reply.  "I agree with you," Emerson answered.  But the book should not be
read in a translation.  The completest translation is one in 2 volumes
published by Nicholls.  There is a more abridged translation by Gibbons
in 4 volumes.

{278c}  _The Life of Carlyle_, by James Anthony Froude, which created so
much controversy upon its publication, is worthy of a cheap edition,
which does not, however, seem to be forthcoming.  The book appeared in 4
volumes, _The First Forty Years_ in 1882 and _Life in London_ in 1884.  It
had been preceded by _Reminiscences_ in 1881.  Every one should read the
_Letters and Memorials of Jane Welsh Carlyle_, 3 volumes, 1883.  All the
9 volumes are published by the Longmans.

{279a}  Samuel Rogers' _Table Talk_ has been given us in two forms, first
as _Recollections of the Table Talk of Samuel Rogers_, edited by
Alexander Dyce, 1856, and second as _Reminiscences of Samuel Rogers_,
1859.  The _Recollections_ were reprinted in handsome form by H. A.
Rogers, of New Southgate, in 1887, and the material was combined in a
single volume in 1903 by G. H. Powell (R. Brimley Johnson).  I have the
four books, and delight in the many good stories they contain.

{279b}  _The Confessions of St. Augustine_ may be commended in many small
and handy editions.  One, with an Introduction by Alice Meynell, was
published in 1900.  The most beautifully printed modern edition is that
issued by Arthur Humphreys in his Classical Series.

{279c}  Amiel's _Journal_ is a fine piece of introspection.  A
translation by Mrs. Humphry Ward is published in 2 volumes by the
Macmillans.  De Senancour's _Obermann_, translated by A. E. Waite
(Wellby), should be read in this connexion.

{279d}  _The Meditations of Marcus Aurelius_, translated by George Long,
appears as a volume of Bohn's Library, and more beautifully printed in
the Library of Arthur Humphreys.  There are many other good
translations--one by John Jackson, issued in 1906 by the Clarendon Press,
has great merit.

{279e}  George Henry Lewes's _Life of Goethe_ has gone through many
editions and remains a fascinating book, although it may be supplemented
by the translation of Duntzer's _Life of Goethe_, 2 volumes, Macmillan,
and Bielschowsky's _Life of Goethe_, Vols. I and II (Putnams).

{280a}  _The Life of Lessing_, by James Sime, is not a great biography,
but it is an interesting and most profitable study of a noble man.
Lessing will be an inspiration greater almost than any other of the
moderns for those who are brought in contact with his fine personality.
The book is in 2 volumes, published by the Trubners.

{280b}  You can read Benjamin Franklin's _Autobiography_ in 1 volume
(Dent), or in his Collected Works--_Memoirs of the Life and Writings of
Benjamin Franklin_, edited by his grandson, William Temple Franklin, 6
volumes (Colburn), 1819.  There have been at least two expensive reprints
of his _Works_ of late years.

{280c}  _The Greville Memoirs_ were published in large octavo form in the
first place.  Much scandal was omitted from the second edition.  They are
now obtainable in 8 volumes of Longmans' Silver Library.  They form an
interesting glimpse into the Court life of the later Guelphs.

{280d}  It has been complained of John Forster's _Life of Charles
Dickens_ that there is too much Forster and not enough Dickens.  Yet it
is the only guide to the life-story of the greatest of the Victorian
novelists.  Is most pleasant to read in the 2 volumes of the Gadshill
Edition, published by Chapman & Hall.

{280e}  _The Early Diary of Frances Burney_, afterwards Madame D'Arblay,
edited by Annie Raine Ellis, has just been reprinted in two volumes of
Bohn's Library (Bell).  We owe also to Mr. Austen Dobson a fine reprint
of the later and more important _Diaries_, which he has edited in 6
volumes for the Macmillans.

{281a}  The _Apologia pro Vita Sua_ of John Henry Newman is one of the
volumes of Cardinal Newman's _Collected Works_ issued by the Longmans.  It
is the most interesting, and is perhaps the most destined to survive, of
all the books of theological controversy of the nineteenth century.

{281b}  There is practically but one edition of the _Paston Letters_,
that edited by James Gairdner, of the Public Record Office, and published
by the firm of Archibald Constable.  The luxurious Library Edition issued
by Chatto & Windus in 6 volumes should be acquired if possible.

{281c}  _The Autobiography of Benvenuto Cellini_ is best known in the
translation of Thomas Roscoe in Bohn's Library.  Mr. J. Addington
Symonds, however, made a new translation, issued in two fine volumes by

{281d}  The _Religio Medici_ of Sir Thomas Browne can be obtained in many
forms, although the well-to-do collector will be satisfied only with the
edition edited by Simon Wilkin.  The book is admirably edited by W. A.
Greenhill for the "Golden Treasury Series."

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