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Title: What I Remember, Volume 2
Author: Trollope, Thomas Adolphus, 1810-1892
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.

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WHAT I REMEMBER

BY

THOMAS ADOLPHUS TROLLOPE

IN TWO VOLUMES

VOL. II

1887



CONTENTS.

CHAPTER I.
IN THE NORTH OF ENGLAND

CHAPTER II.
JOURNEY IN BRITTANY

CHAPTER III.
AT PENRITH.--AT PARIS

CHAPTER IV.
IN WESTERN FRANCE.--AGAIN IN PARIS

CHAPTER V.
IN IRELAND.--AT ILFRACOMBE--IN FLORENCE

CHAPTER VI.
IN FLORENCE

CHAPTER VII.
CHARLES DICKENS

CHAPTER VIII.
AT LUCCA BATHS

CHAPTER IX.
THE GARROWS.--SCIENTIFIC CONGRESSES.--MY FIRST MARRIAGE

CHAPTER X
ELIZABETH BARRETT BROWNING

CHAPTER XI.
REMINISCENCES AT FLORENCE

CHAPTER XII.
REMINISCENCES AT FLORENCE

CHAPTER XIII.
LETTERS FROM PEARD--GARIBALDI--LETTERS FROM PULSZKY

CHAPTER XIV.
WALTER S. LANDOR.--G.P. MARSH

CHAPTER XV.
MR. AND MRS. LEWES

CHAPTER XVI.
LETTERS FROM MR. AND MRS. LEWES

CHAPTER XVII.
MY MOTHER.--LETTERS OF MARY MITFORD.--LETTERS OF T.C. GRATTAN

CHAPTER XVIII.
THEODOSIA TROLLOPE

CHAPTER XIX.
DEATH OF MR. GARROW--PROTESTANT CEMETERY.--ANGEL IN THE HOUSE NO MORE

CHAPTER XX.
CONCLUSION

INDEX



CHAPTER I.


No! as I said at the end of the last chapter but one, before I was led
away by the circumstances of that time to give the world the benefit
of my magnetic reminiscences--_valeat quantum!_--I was not yet bitten,
despite Colley Grattan's urgings, with any temptation to attempt
fiction, and "passion, me boy!" But I am surprised on turning over my
old diaries to find how much I was writing, and planning to write,
in those days, and not less surprised at the amount of running about
which I accomplished.

My life in those years of the thirties must have been a very busy
one. I find myself writing and sending off a surprising number of
"articles" on all sorts of subjects--reviews, sketches of travel,
biographical notices, fragments from the byeways of history, and the
like, to all kinds of periodical publications, many of them long since
dead and forgotten. That the world should have forgotten all these
articles "goes without saying." But what is not perhaps so common an
incident in the career of a penman is, that _I_ had in the majority
of cases utterly forgotten them, and all about them, until they were
recalled to mind by turning the yellow pages of my treasured but
almost equally forgotten journals! I beg to observe, also, that all
this pen-work was not only printed, but _paid for_. My motives were of
a decidedly mercenary description. "_Hic scribit famâ ductus, at ille
fame._" I belonged emphatically to the latter category, and little
indeed of my multifarious productions ever found its final resting
place in the waste-paper basket. They were rejected often, but
re-despatched a second and a third time, if necessary, to some other
"organ," and eventually swallowed by some editor or other.

I am surprised, too, at the amount of locomotion which I contrived to
combine with all this scribbling. I must have gone about, I think,
like a tax-gatherer, with an inkstand slung to my button-hole! And
in truth I was industrious; for I find myself in full swing of some
journey, arriving at my inn tired at night, and finishing and sending
off some article before I went to my bed. But it must have been only
by means of the joint supplies contributed by all my editors that
I could have found the means of paying all the stage-coaches,
diligences, and steamboats which I find the record of my continually
employing. "_Navibus atque Quadrigis petimus bene vivere!_" And
I succeeded by their means in living, if not well, at least very
pleasantly.

For I was born a rambler.

I heard just now a story of a little boy, who replied to the common
question, "What he would like to be when he grew up?" by saying that
he should like to be either a giant or a _retired_ stockbroker! I find
the qualifying adjective delicious, and admire the pronounced taste
for repose indicated by either side of the alternative. But my
propensities were more active, and in the days before I entered my
teens I used always to reply to similar demands, that I would be a
"king's messenger"! I knew no other life which approached so nearly to
perpetual motion. "The road" was my paradise, and it is a true saying
that the child is father to the man. The Shakespearian passage which
earliest impressed my childish mind and carried with it my heartiest
sympathies was the song of old Autolycus:

  "Jog on, jog on, the foot-path way,
  And merrily hent the stile-a:
  Your merry heart goes all the day,
  Your sad tires in a mile-a."

Over how many miles of "foot-path way," under how many green hedges,
has my childish treble chanted that enlivening ditty!

But that was in much earlier days to those I am now writing of.

During the years between my dreary time at Birmingham and my first
departure for Italy, I find the record of many pedestrian or other
rambles in England and abroad. There they are, all recorded day by
day--the qualities of the inns and the charges at them (not so much
less than those of the present day as might be imagined, with the
exception of the demands for beds), the beauty and specialties of the
views, the talk of wayfaring companions, the careful measurements of
the churches, the ever-recurring ascent of the towers of them, &c. &c.

Here and there in the mountains of chaff there may be a grain worth
preserving, as where I read that at Haddon Hall the old lady who
showed the house, and who boasted that her ancestors had been
servitors of the possessors of it for more than three hundred
years, pointed out to me the portrait of one of them, who had been
"forester," hanging in the hall. She also pointed out the window from
which a certain heiress had eloped, and by doing so had carried the
hall and lands into the family of the present owners, and told me that
Mrs. Radcliffe, shortly before the publication of her _Mysteries
of Udolpho_, had visited Haddon, and had sat at that window busily
writing for a long time.

I seem to have been an amateur of sermons in those days, from the
constant records I find of sermons listened to, by no means always,
or indeed generally, complimentary to the preachers. Here is an entry
criticising, with young presumption, a sermon by Dr. Dibdin, whose
bibliophile books, however, I had much taste for.

"I heard Dr. Dibdin preach. He preached with much gesticulation,
emphasis, and grimace the most utterly trashy sermon I ever heard;
words--words--words--without the shadow of an idea in them."

I remember, as if it were yesterday, a shrewd sort of an old lady, the
mother, I think, of the curate of the parish, who heard me, as we were
leaving the church, expressing my opinion of the doctor's discourse,
saying, "Well, it is a very old story, young gentleman, and it is
mighty difficult to find anything new to say about it!"

The bibliomaniacal doctor, however, seems to have pleased me better
out of the pulpit than in it, for I find that "he called in the
afternoon and chatted amusingly for an hour. He fell tooth and nail
upon the Oxford Tracts men, and told us of a Mr. Wackerbarth, a curate
in Essex, a Cambridge man, who, he says, elevates the host, crosses
himself, and advocates burning of heretics. It seems to me, however,"
continues this censorious young diarist, "that those who object to the
persecution, even to extermination of heretics, admit the uncertainty
and dubiousness of all theological doctrine and belief. For if it be
_certain_ that God will punish disbelief in doctrines essential to
salvation, and _certain_ that any Church possesses the knowledge what
those doctrines are, does it not follow that a man who goes about
persuading people to reject those doctrines should be treated as we
treat a mad dog loose in the streets of a city?" Thus fools, when they
are young enough, rush in where wise men fear to tread!

I had entirely forgotten, but find from my diary that it was our
pleasant friend but indifferent preacher, Dr. Dibdin, who on the 11th
of February, 1839, married my sister, Cecilia, to Mr., now Sir John,
Tilley.

It appears that I was not incapable of appreciating a good sermon
when I heard one, for I read of the impression produced upon me by an
"admirable sermon preached by Mr. Smith" (it must have been Sydney, I
take it) in the Temple Church. The preacher quoted largely from Jeremy
Taylor, "giving the passages with an excellence of enunciation and
expression which impressed them on my mind in a manner which will not
allow me to forget them." Alack! I _have_ forgotten every word of
them!

I remember, however, perfectly well, without any reference to my
diary, hearing--it must have been much about the same time--Sydney
Smith preach a sermon at St. Paul's, which much impressed me. He took
for his text, "Knowledge and wisdom shall be the stability of thy
times" (I write from memory--the memory of half a century ago--but I
think the words ran thus). Of course the gist of his discourse may be
readily imagined. But the manner of the preacher remains more vividly
present to my mind than his words. He spoke with extreme rapidity, and
had the special gift of combining extreme rapidity of utterance with
very perfect clearness. His manner, I remember thinking, was unlike
any that I had ever witnessed in the pulpit, and appeared to me to
resemble rather that of a very earnest speaker at the hustings than
the usual pulpit style. His sentences seemed to run downhill, with
continually increasing speed till they came to a full stop at the
bottom. It was, I think, the only sermon I ever heard which I wished
longer. He carried me with him completely, for the century was in
those days, like me, young. But if I were to hear a similarly fervid
discourse now on the same subject, I should surely desire some clearer
setting forth of the difference between "knowledge" and "wisdom."

It was about this time, _i.e._, in the year 1839, that my mother, who
had been led, by I forget what special circumstances, to take a great
interest in the then hoped-for factory legislation, and in Lord
Shaftesbury's efforts in that direction, determined to write a novel
on the subject with the hope of doing something towards attracting the
public mind to the question, and to visit Lancashire for the purpose
of obtaining accurate information and local details.

The novel was written, published in the then newly-invented fashion of
monthly numbers, and called _Michael Armstrong_. The publisher, Mr.
Colburn, paid a long price for it, and did not complain of the result.
But it never became one of the more popular among my mother's novels,
sharing, I suppose, the fate of most novels written for some
purpose other than that of amusing their readers. Novel readers are
exceedingly quick to smell the rhubarb under the jam in the dose
offered to them, and set themselves against the undesired preachment,
as obstinately as the naughtiest little boy who ever refused to be
physicked with nastiness for his good.

My mother neglected no means of making the facts stated in her book
authentic and accurate, and the _mise en scène_ of her story graphic
and truthful. Of course I was the companion of her journey, and was
more or less useful to her in searching for and collecting facts in
some places where it would have been difficult for her to look
for them. We carried with us a number of introductions from Lord
Shaftesbury to a rather strange assortment of persons, whom his
lordship had found useful both as collectors of trustworthy
information, and energetic agitators in favour of legislation.

The following letter from the Earl of Shaftesbury, then Lord Ashley,
to my mother on the subject, is illustrative of the strong interest he
took in the matter, and of the means which he thought necessary for
obtaining information respecting it:

       *       *       *       *       *

"MADAM,--The letters to Macclesfield and Manchester shall be sent by
this evening's post. On your arrival at Macclesfield be so kind as
to ask for Reuben Bullock, of Roe Street, and at Manchester for John
Doherty, a small bookseller of Hyde's Cross in the town. They will
show you the secrets of the place, as they showed them to me.

"Mr. Wood himself is not now resident in Bradford, he is at present in
Hampshire; but his partner, Mr. Walker, carries out all his plans with
the utmost energy. I will write to him to-night. The firm is known
by the name of 'Wood and Walker,' Mr. Wood is a person whom you may
easily see in London on your return to town. With every good wish and
prayer for your success,

"I remain your very obedient servant,

"ASHLEY.

"P.S.--The _Quarterly Review_ of December, 1836, contains an article
on the factory system, which would greatly assist by the references to
the evidence before Committee, &c. &c."

       *       *       *       *       *

It is useless here and now to say anything of the horrors of
uncivilised savagery and hopeless abject misery which we witnessed.
They are painted in my mother's book, and should any reader ever refer
to those pages for a picture of the state of things among the factory
hands at that time, he may take with him my testimony to the fact that
there was no exaggeration in the outlines of the picture given. What
we are there described to have seen, we saw.

And let doctrinaire economists preach as they will, and Radical
socialists abuse a measure, which helps to take from them the fulcrum
of the levers that are to upset the whole existing framework of
society, it is impossible for one who _did_ see those sights, and
who has visited the same localities in later days, not to bless Lord
Shaftesbury's memory, ay, and the memory, if they have left any, of
the humble assistants whose persistent efforts helped on the work.

But the little knot of apostles to whom Lord Shaftesbury's letters
introduced us, and into whose intimate _conciliabules_ his
recommendations caused our admittance, was to my mother, and yet more
to me, to whom the main social part of the business naturally fell, a
singularly new and strange one. They were all, or nearly all of them,
men a little raised above the position of the factory hands, to the
righting of whose wrongs they devoted their lives. They had been at
some period of their lives, in almost every case, factory workers
themselves, but had by various circumstances, native talent, industry,
and energy, or favouring fortune--more likely by all together--managed
to raise themselves out of the slough of despond in which their
fellows were overwhelmed. One, I remember, a Mr. Doherty, a very small
bookseller, to whom we were specially recommended by Lord Shaftesbury.
He was an Irishman, a Roman Catholic, and a furious Radical, but a
_very_ clever man. He was thoroughly acquainted with all that had been
done, all that it was hoped to do, and with all the means that were
being taken for the advancement of those hopes, over the entire
district.

He came and dined with us at our hotel, but it was, I remember, with
much difficulty that we persuaded him to do so, and when at table his
excitement in talking was so great and continuous that he could eat
next to nothing.

I remember, too, a Rev. Mr. Bull, to whom he introduced us
subsequently at Bradford. We passed the evening with this gentleman at
the house of Mr. Wood, of the firm of Walker and Wood, to whom also we
had letters from Lord Shaftesbury. He, like our host, was an ardent
advocate of the ten hours' bill, but unlike him, had very little hope
of legislative interference. Messrs. Walker and Wood employed three
thousand hands. At a sacrifice of some thousands per annum, they
worked their hands an hour less than any of their neighbours, which
left the hours, as Mr. Wood strongly declared, still too long. Those
gentlemen had built and endowed a church and a school for their hands,
and everything was done in their mill which could humanise and improve
the lot of the men, women, and children. Mr. Bull, who was to be the
incumbent of the new church, then not quite finished, was far less
hopeful than his patron. He told me that he looked forward to some
tremendous popular outbreak, and should not be surprised any night to
hear that every mill in Bradford was in flames.

But perhaps the most remarkable individual with whom this Lancashire
journey brought us into contact, was a Mr. Oastler. He was the Danton
of the movement. He would have been a remarkable man in any position
or calling in life. He was a very large and powerfully framed man,
over six feet in height, and proportionately large of limb and
shoulder. He would, perhaps, hardly have been said to be a handsome
man. His face was coarse, and in parts of it heavy. But he had a most
commanding presence, and he was withal a picturesque--if it be not
more accurate to say a statuesque--figure. Some of the features, too,
were good. He had a very keen and intelligent blue eye, a mass of iron
grey hair, lips, the scornful curl of which was terrible, and with all
this a voice stentorian in its power, and yet flexible, with a flow
of language rapid and abundant as the flow of a great river, and as
unstemmable--the very _beau-idéal_ of a mob orator.

"In the evening," says my diary, "we drove out to Stayley Bridge to
hear the preaching of Stephens, the man who has become the subject of
so much newspaper celebrity," (Does any one remember who he was?) "We
reached a miserable little chapel, filled to suffocation, and besieged
by crowds around the doors. We entered through the vestry with very
great difficulty, and only so by the courtesy of sundry persons who
relinquished their places, on Doherty's representing to them that we
were strangers from a distance and friends to the cause. Presently
Stephens arrived, and a man who had been ranting in the pulpit,
merely, as it seemed, to occupy the people till he should come,
immediately yielded his place to him. Stephens spoke well, and said
some telling words in that place, of the cruel and relentless march of
the great Juggernauth, Gold. But I did not hear anything which seemed
to me to justify his great reputation. Really the most striking part
of the performance, and that which I thought seemed to move the people
most, was Oastler's mounting the pulpit and giving out the verses of a
hymn, one by one, which the congregation sang after him." So says my
diary. Him I remember well, though Stephens not at all. I remember,
too, the pleasure with which I listened to his really fine delivery of
the lines; his pronunciation of the words was not incorrect, and when
he spoke, as I heard him on sundry subsequent occasions, his language,
though emphasised rather, as it seemed, than marred by a certain
roughness of Lancashire accent, was not that of an uncultivated man.
Yes! Oastler, the King of Lancashire as the people liked to call
him, was certainly a man of power, and an advocate whom few platform
orators would have cared to meet as an adversary.

When my mother's notes for her projected novel were completed, we
thought that before turning our faces southwards, we would pay a
flying visit to the lake district, which was new ground to both of
us. I remember well my intense delight at my first introduction to
mountains worthy of the name. But I mean to mention here two only of
my reminiscences of that first visit to lake-land.

The first of these concerns an excursion on Windermere with Captain
Hamilton, the author of _Cyril Thornton_, which had at that time made
its mark. He had recently received a new boat, which had been built
for him in Norway. He expected great performances from her, and as
there was a nice fresh wind idly curling the surface of the lake, he
invited us to come out with him and try her, and in a minute or two we
were speeding merrily before the breeze towards the opposite shore.
But about the middle of the lake we found the water a good deal
rougher, and the wind began to increase notably. Hamilton held the
tiller, and not liking to make fast the haulyard of the sail, gave me
the rope to hold, with instructions to hold on till further orders. He
was a perfect master of the business in hand, and so was the new boat
a perfect mistress of _her_ business, but this did not prevent us from
getting thoroughly ducked. My attention was sufficiently occupied in
obeying my orders, and keeping my eye on him in expectation of fresh
ones. The wind meanwhile increased from minute to minute, and I could
not help perceiving that Hamilton, despite his cheery laughter, was
becoming a little anxious. We got back, however, to the shore we had
left after a good buffeting, and in the condition of drowned rats. My
mother was helped out of the boat, and while she was making her way
up the bank, and I was helping him to make the boat secure, I said,
"Well! the new boat has done bravely!" "Between you and me, my dear
fellow," said he, as he laid his hand on my shoulder with a grip, that
I think must have left his thumb-mark on the skin, "if the boat had
not behaved better than any boat of her class that I ever saw, there
would have been a considerable probability of our being dined on by
the fishes, instead of dining together, as I hope we are going to do!
I have been blaming myself for taking your mother out; but the truth
is that on these lakes it is really impossible to tell for half an
hour what the next half hour may bring forth."

The one other incident of our visit to lake-land which I will record,
was our visit to Wordsworth.

For my part I managed to incur his displeasure while yet on the
threshold of his house. We were entering it together, when observing
a very fine bay-tree by the door-side, I unfortunately expressed
surprise at its luxuriance in such a position. "Why should you be
surprised?" he asked, suddenly turning upon me with much displeasure
in his manner. Not a little disconcerted, I hesitatingly answered
that I had imagined the bay-tree required more and greater warmth of
sunshine than it could find there. "Pooh!" said he, much offended at
the slight cast on his beloved locality, "what has sunshine got to do
with it?"

I had not the readiness to reply, that in truth the world had
abundance of testimony that the bay could flourish in those latitudes!
But I think, had I done so it might have made my peace--for the
remainder of that evening's experiences led me to imagine that the
great poet was not insensible to incense from very small and humble
worshippers.

The evening, I think I may say the entire evening, was occupied by
a monologue addressed by the poet to my mother, who was of course
extremely well pleased to listen to it. I was chiefly occupied in
talking to my old schoolfellow, Herbert Hill, Southey's nephew, who
also passed the evening there, and with whom I had a delightful walk
the next day. But I did listen with much pleasure when Wordsworth
recited his own lines descriptive of Little Langdale. He gave them
really exquisitely. But his manner in conversation was not impressive.
He sat continuously looking down with a green shade over his eyes even
though it was twilight; and his mode of speech and delivery suggested
to me the epithet "maundering," though I was ashamed of myself for the
thought with reference to such a man. As we came away I cross-examined
my mother much as to the subjects of his talk. She said it had been
all about himself and his works, and that she had been interested. But
I could not extract from her a word that had passed worth recording.

I do not think that he was popular with his neighbours generally.
There were stories current, at Lowther among other places, which
imputed to him a tendency to outstay his welcome when invited to visit
in a house. I suspect there was a little bit of a feud between him and
my brother-in-law, Mr. Tilley, who was the Post Office surveyor of the
district. Wordsworth as receiver of taxes, or issuer of licenses or
whatever it was, would have increased the profits of his place if the
mail coach had paid its dues, whether for taxes or license, at his end
of the journey instead of at Kendal, as had been the practice. But of
course any such change would have been as much to the detriment of the
man at Kendal as to Wordsworth's advantage. And my brother-in-law,
thinking such a change unjust, would not permit it.

I cannot say that on the whole the impression made on me by the poet
on that occasion (always with the notable exception of his recital of
his own poetry) was a pleasant one. There was something in the manner
in which he almost perfunctorily, as it seemed, uttered his long
monologue, that suggested the idea of the performance of a part got
up to order, and repeated without much modification as often as
lion-hunters, duly authorised for the sport in those localities, might
call upon him for it. I dare say the case is analogous to that of the
hero and the valet, but such was my impression.



CHAPTER II.


I had been for some time past, as has been said, trying my hand,
not without success, at a great variety of articles in all sorts of
reviews, magazines, and newspapers. I already considered myself a
member of the guild of professional writers. I had done much business
with publishers on behalf of my mother, and some for other persons,
and talked glibly of copyrights, editions, and tokens.

(I fancy, by the by, that the latter term has somewhat fallen out of
use in these latter days, whether from any change of the methods used
by printers or publishers I do not know. But it strikes me that many
youngsters, even of the scribbling tribe, may not know that the phrase
"a token" had no connection whatever with signs and wonders of any
sort, but simply meant two hundred and fifty copies.)

And being thus equipped, I began to think that it was time that I
should attempt _a book_. During a previous hurried scamper in Normandy
I had just a glimpse of Brittany, which greatly excited my desire to
see more of it. So I pitched on a tour in Brittany as the subject of
my first attempt.

Those were happy days, when all the habitable globe had not been
run over by thousands of tourists, hundreds of whom are desirous of
describing their doings in print--not but that the notion, whether
a publisher's or writer's notion, that new ground is needed for the
production of a good and amusing book of travels, is other than a
great mistake. I forget what proposing author it was, who in answer
to a publisher urging the fact that "a dozen writers have told us all
about so and so," replied, "But _I_ have not told you what _I_ have
seen and thought about it." But if I had been the publisher I should
at once have asked to see his MS. The days when a capital book may be
written on a _voyage autour de ma chambre_ are as present as ever they
were. And "A Summer Afternoon's Walk to Highgate" might be the subject
of a delightful book if only the writer were the right man.

Brittany, however, really was in those days to a great extent fresh
ground, and the strangely secluded circumstances of its population
offered much tempting material to the book-making tourist. All this is
now at an end; not so much because the country has been the subject of
sundry good books of travel, as because the people and their mode of
life, the country and its specialties have all been utterly changed by
the pleasant, convenient, indispensable, abominable railway, which in
its merciless irresistible tramp across the world crushes into a
dead level of uninteresting monotony so many varieties of character,
manners, and peculiarities. And thus "the individual withers, and the
world is more and more!" But _is_ the world more and more in any sense
that can be admitted to be desirable, in view of the eternity of that
same Individual?

As for the Bretons, the individual has withered to that extent that
he now wears trousers instead of breeches, while his world has become
more and more assimilated to that of the Faubourg St. Antoine, with
the result of losing all those really very notable and stiff and
sturdy virtues which differentiated the Breton peasant, when I first
knew him, while it would be difficult indeed to say what it has
gained. At all events the progress which can be stated is mainly to be
stated in negatives. The Breton, as I first knew him, believed in all
sorts of superstitious rubbish. He now believes in nothing at all.
He was disposed to honour and respect God, and his priest, and his
seigneur perhaps somewhat too indiscriminately. Now he neither honours
nor respects any earthly or heavenly thing. These at least were the
observations which a second, or rather third visit to the country a
few years ago suggested to me, mainly, it is true, as regards the
urban population. And without going into any of the deeper matters
which such changes suggest to one's consideration, there can be no
possible doubt as to the fact that the country and its people are
infinitely less interesting than they were.

My plans were soon made, and I hastened to lay them before Mr.
Colburn, who was at that time publishing for my mother. The trip was
my main object, and I should have been perfectly contented with terms
that paid all the expenses of it. _Dî auctius fecerunt_, and I came
home from my ramble with a good round sum in my pocket.

I was not greedy of money in those days, and had no unscriptural
hankerings after laying up treasure upon earth. All I wanted was a
sufficient supply for my unceasing expenditure in locomotion and inn
bills--the latter, be it observed, always on a most economical scale.
I was not a profitable customer; I took nothing "for the good of the
house." I had a Gargantuesque appetite, and needed food of some sort
in proportion to its demands. I neither took, or cared to take, any
wine with my dinner, and never wanted any description of "nightcap."
As for accommodation for the night, anything sufficed me that gave me
a clean bed and a sufficient window-opening on fresh air, under such
conditions as made it possible for me to have it open all night. To
the present day I cannot sleep to my liking in a closed chamber; and
before now, on the top of the Righi, have had my bed clothes blown off
my bed, and snow deposited where they should have been.

But _quo musa tendis?_ I was talking about my travels in Brittany.

I do not think my book was a bad _coup d'essai_. I remember old John
Murray coming out to me into the front office in Albemarle Street,
where I was on some business of my mother's, with a broad good-natured
smile on his face, and putting into my hands the _Times_ of that
morning, with a favourable notice of the book, saying as he did so,
"There, so _you_ have waked this morning to find yourself famous!"
And, what was more to the purpose, my publisher was content with the
result, as was evidenced by his offering me similar terms for another
book of the same description--of which, more anon.

As my volumes on Brittany, published in 1840, are little likely to
come under the eye of any reader at the present day, and as the
passage I am about to quote indicates accurately enough the main point
of difference between what the traveller at that day saw and what the
traveller of the present day may see, I think I may be pardoned for
giving it.

"We had observed that at Broons a style of _coiffure_ which was new
to us prevailed; and my companion wished to add a sketch of it to his
fast-increasing collection of Breton costumes. With this view, he had
begun making love to the maid a little, to induce her to do so much
violence to her maiden modesty, as to sit to him for a few minutes,
when a far better opportunity of achieving his object presented
itself.

"The landlady's daughter, a very pretty little girl about fourteen
years old, was going to be confirmed, and had just come down stairs
to her mother, who was sitting knitting in the _salle à manger_, for
inspection and approval before she started. Of course, upon such an
occasion, the art of the _blanchisseuse_ was taxed to the utmost. Lace
was not spared; and the most _recherché coiffure_ was adopted, that
the rigorous immutability of village modes would permit.

"It would seem that the fickleness of fashion exercises in constant
local variations that mutability which is utterly denied to it in
Brittany with regard to time. Every district, almost every commune
has its own peculiar 'mode' (for both sexes) which changes not from
generation to generation. As the mothers dress, so do their daughters,
so did their grandmothers, and so will their grand-daughters." [But I
reckoned when writing thus without the railroad and its consequences.]
"If a woman of one parish marries, or takes service, or for any other
cause resides in another, she still retains the mode of her native
village; and thus carries about her a mark, which is to those, among
whom she is a sojourner, a well-recognised indication of the place
whence she comes, and to herself a cherished souvenir of the home
which she never ceases to consider her own country.

"But though the form of the dress is invariable, and every inhabitant
of the commune, from the wealthy farmer's wife to the poorest cottager
who earns her black bread by labour in the fields, would as soon think
of adopting male attire as of innovating on the immemorial _mode du
pays_, yet the quality of the materials allows scope for wealth and
female coquetry to show themselves. Thus the invariable _mode de
Broons_, with its trifling difference in form, which in the eye of the
inhabitants made it as different as light from darkness from the _mode
de St. Jouan_,' was equally observable in the coarse linen _coiffe_ of
the maid, and the richly-laced and beautifully 'got up' head-dress of
the daughter of the house.

"A very slight observation of human nature under a few only of its
various phases may suffice to show that the instinct which prompts a
woman to adorn her person to the best possible advantage is not the
hot-house growth of cities, but a genuine wild flower of nature. No
high-born beauty ever more repeatedly or anxiously consulted her
wax-lit _psyché_ on every faultless point of hair, face, neck, feet,
and figure, before descending to the carriage for her first ball, than
did our young Bretonne again and again recur to the mirror, which
occupied the pier between the two windows of the _salle à manger_,
before sallying forth on the great occasion of her confirmation.

"The dear object of girlish ambition was the same to both; but the
simplicity of the little _paysanne_ showed itself in the utter absence
of any wish to conceal her anxiety upon the subject. Though delighted
with our compliments on her appearance, our presence by no means
prevented her from springing upon a chair every other minute to obtain
fuller view of the _tout ensemble_ of her figure. Again and again the
modest kerchief was arranged and rearranged to show a hair's breadth
more or a hair's breadth less of her brown but round and taper throat.
Repeatedly, before it could be finally adjusted to her satisfaction,
was the delicate fabric of her _coiffure_ moved with cautious care and
dainty touch a _leetle_ backwarder or a _leetle_ forwarder over her
sun-browned brow.

"Many were the pokings and pinchings of frock and apron, the
smoothings down before and twitchings down behind of the not less
anxious mother. Often did she retreat to examine more correctly the
general effect of the _coup d'oeil_, and as often return to rectify
some injudicious pin or remodel some rebellious fold. When all was at
length completed, and the well-pleased parent had received from the
servants, called in for the express purpose, the expected tribute of
admiration, the little beauty took _L'Imitation de la Vierge_ in her
hand, and tripped across to a convent of _Soeurs Grises_ on the other
side of the way to receive their last instructions and admonitions
respecting her behaviour when she should be presented to the bishop,
while her mother screamed after her not to forget to pull up her frock
when she kneeled down.

"All the time employed in this little revision of the toilet had not
been left unimproved by my companion, who at the end of it produced
and showed to the proud mother an admirable full-length sketch of her
pretty darling. The delighted astonishment of the poor woman, and her
accent, as she exclaimed, '_O, si c'était pour moi_!' and then blushed
to the temples at what she had said, were irresistible, and the
good-natured artist was fain to make her a present of the drawing."

My Breton book ("though I says it as shouldn't") is not a bad one,
especially as regards the upper or northern part of the province. That
which concerns Lower Brittany is very imperfect, mainly, I take it,
because I had already nearly filled my destined two volumes when I
reached it. I find there, however, the following notice of the sardine
fishery, which has some interest at the present day. Perhaps the
majority of the thousands of English people who nowadays have
"sardines" on their breakfast-table every morning are not aware that
the contents of a very large number of the little tin boxes which are
supposed to contain the delicacy are not sardines at all. They are
very excellent little fishes, but not sardines; for the enormously
increased demand for them has outstripped the supply. In the days when
the following sentences were written sardines might certainly be had
in London (as what might not?) at such shops as Fortnum and Mason's,
but they were costly, and by no means commonly met with.

On reaching Douarnenez in the summer of 1839 I wrote:--"The whole
population and the existence of Douarnenez depend on the sardine
fishery. This delicious little fish, which the _gourmands_ of Paris so
much delight in, when preserved in oil, and sent to their capital in
those little tin boxes whose look must be _familiar to all who have
frequented the Parisian breakfast-houses_" [but is now more familiar
to all who have entered any grocers shop throughout the length and
breadth of England], "is still more exquisite when eaten fresh on the
shores which it frequents. They are caught in immense quantities along
the whole of the southern coast of Brittany, and on the western shore
of Finisterre as far to the northward as Brest, which, I believe, is
the northern limit of the fishery. They come into season about the
middle of June, and are then sold in great quantities in all the
markets of southern Brittany at two, three, or four sous a dozen,
according to the abundance of the fishery and the distance of the
market from the coast. I was told that the commerce in sardines along
the coast from l'Orient to Brest amounted to three millions of francs
annually."

At the present day it must be enormously larger. I remember well the
exceeding plentifulness of the little fishes--none of them so large as
many of those which now fill the so-called sardine boxes--when I was
at Douarnenez in 1839. All the men, women, and children in the place
seemed to be feasting upon them all day long. Plates with heaps of
them fried and piled up crosswise, like timber in a timber-yard, were
to be seen outdoors and indoors, wherever three or four people could
be found together. All this was a thing of the past when I revisited
Douarnenez in 1866. Every fish was then needed for the tinning
business. They were to be had of course by ordering and paying for
them, but very few indeed were consumed by the population of the
place.

And this subject reminds me of another fishery which I witnessed a
few months ago--last March--at Sestri di Ponente, near Genoa. We
frequently saw nearly the whole of the fisher population of the place
engaged in dragging from the water on to the sands enormously long
nets, which had been previously carried out by boats to a distance not
more I think than three or four hundred yards from the shore. From
these nets, when at last they were landed after an hour or so of
continual dragging by a dozen or twenty men and women, were taken huge
baskets-full of silvery little fish sparkling in the sun, _exactly_
like whitebait. I had always supposed that whitebait was a specialty
of the Thames. Whether an icthyologist would have pronounced the
little Sestri fishes to be the same creatures as those which British
statesmen consume at Greenwich I cannot say; but we ate them
frequently at the hotel under the name of _gianchetti_, and could find
_no_ difference between them and the Greenwich delicacy. The season
for them did not seem to last above two or three weeks. The fishermen
continued to drag their net, but caught other fishes instead of
_giancketti_. But while it lasted the plenty of them was prodigious.
All Sestri was eating them, as all Douarnenez ate sardines in the old
days. When the net with its sparkling cargo was dragged up on the sand
and the contents were being shovelled into huge baskets to be carried
up into the town, the men would take up handfuls of them, fresh, and I
suppose still living, from the sea, and plunging their bearded mouths
in them, eat them up by hundreds. The children too, irrepressibly
thronging round the net, would pick from its meshes the fishes which
adhered to them and eat them, as more inland rising generations eat
blackberries. I did not try the experiment of eating them thus, as one
eats oysters, but I can testify that, crisply fried, and eaten with
brown bread and butter and lemon juice, they were remarkably good.

Fortified by the excellent example of Sir Francis Doyle, who in his
extremely amusing volume of _Reminiscences_ gives as a reason for
disregarding the claims of chronology in the composition of it, the
chances that he might forget the matter he had In his mind if he did
not book it at once, I have ventured for the same reason to do the
same thing here. But I have an older authority for the practice in
question, which Sir Francis is hardly likely to have lighted on.
That learned antiquary and portentously voluminous writer, Francesco
Cancellieri, who was well known to the Roman world in the latter years
of the last, and the earliest years of the present, century, used
to compose his innumerable works upon a similar principle. And when
attacked by the critics his cotemporaries, who Italian-like supposed
academically correct form to be the most important thing in any
literary work, he defended himself on the same ground. "If I don't
catch it _now_, I may probably forget it; and is the world to be
deprived of the information it is in my power to give it, for the sake
of the formal correctness of my work?"

There is another passage in my book on Brittany respecting which it
would be interesting to know whether recent travellers can report
that the state of things there described no longer exists. I wrote in
1839--

"Very near Treguier, on a spot appropriately selected for such a
worship--the barren top of a bleak unsheltered eminence--stands the
chapel of _Notre Dame de la Haine!_ Our Lady of HATRED! The most
fiendish of human passions is supposed to be under the protection of
Christ's religion! What is this but a fragment of pure and unmixed
Paganism, unchanged except in the appellation of its idol, which has
remained among these lineal descendants of the Armorican Druids for
more than a thousand years after Christianity has become the professed
religion of the country! Altars, professedly Christian, were raised
under the protection of the Protean Virgin, to the demon _Hatred_; and
have continued to the present day to receive an unholy worship from
blinded bigots, who hope to obtain Heaven's patronage and assistance
for thoughts and wishes which they would be ashamed to breathe to man.
Three _Aves_ repeated with devotion at this odious and melancholy
shrine are firmly believed to have the power to cause, within the
year, the certain death of the person against whom the assistance of
Our Lady of Hatred has been invoked. And it is said that even yet
occasionally, in the silence and obscurity of the evening, the figure
of some assassin worshipper at this accursed shrine may be seen
to glide rapidly from the solitary spot, where he has spoken the
unhallowed prayer whose mystic might has doomed to death the enemy he
_hates_."

I must tell one other story of my Breton recollections, which refers
to a time much subsequent to the publication of the book I have been
quoting. It was in 1866 that I revisited Brittany in company with
my present wife; and one of the objects of our little tour was the
Finisterre land's end at the extreme point of the horn-like promontory
which forms the department so named. We found some difficulty in
reaching the spot, not the least part of which was caused by the
necessity of threading our way, when in the immediate neighbourhood of
the cliffs, among enormous masses of seaweed stacked in huge heaps
and left to undergo the process of decay, which turns it into very
valuable manure. The odour which impregnated the whole surrounding
atmosphere from these heaps was decidedly the worst and most
asphyxiating I ever experienced.

We stood at last on the utmost _Finis terrae_ and looked over the
Atlantic not only from the lighthouse, which, built three hundred feet
above the sea level, is often, we were told, drenched by storm-driven
spray, but from various points of the tremendous rocks also. They are
tremendous, in truth. The scene is a much grander one than that at our
own "Land's End," which I visited a month or two ago. The cliffs are
much higher, the rocks are more varied in their forms--more cruelly
savage-looking, and the cleavages of them are on a larger scale. The
spot was one of the most profound solitude, for we were far from the
lighthouse, and the scream of the white gulls as they started from
their roosting-places on the face of the rocks, or returned to them
from their swirling flights, were the only indication of the presence
of any creature having the breath of life.

The rock ledges, among which we were clambering, were in many places
fearful spots enough--places where a stumble or a divagation of
the foot but six or eight inches from the narrow path would have
precipitated the blunderer to assured and inevitable destruction.
"Here," said I to my wife, as we stood side by side on one such ledge,
"would be the place for a husband, who wanted to get rid of his
wife, to accomplish his purpose. Done in ten seconds! With absolute
certainty! One push would suffice! No cry of any more avail than the
screams of those gulls! And no possibility of the deed being witnessed
by any mortal eye!"

I had hardly got the words out of my mouth before our ears were
startled by a voice hailing us; and after some searching of the eye
we espied a man engaged in seeking sea-fowls' eggs, who had placed
himself in a position which I should have thought it absolutely
impossible to reach, whence he had seen us, as we now saw him!

Let this then, my brethren, be a warning to you!



CHAPTER III.


Returning from my Breton journey, I reached my mother's house in York
Street on the 23rd of July, 1839, and on the 26th of the same month
left London with her to visit my married sister in her new home at
Penrith, where Mr. Tilley had established himself as Post Office
surveyor of the northern district. His home was a pretty house
situated between the town and the well-known beacon on the hill to the
north of it.

The first persons I became acquainted with in this, to me, entirely
new region, were Sir George Musgrave, of Edenhall, and his wife, who
was a sister of Sir James Graham. My brother-in-law took me over to
Edenhall, a lovely walk from Penrith, and we found both Sir George
and Lady Musgrave at home. We--my mother and I--had not at that
time conceived the idea of becoming residents at Penrith. But when
subsequently we were led to do so, we found extremely pleasant and
friendly neighbours at Edenhall, and though not in strict chronology
due in this place, I may throw together my few reminiscences of Sir
George.

He was the _beau-idéal_ of a country gentleman of the old school. He
rarely or never went to London--not, as was the case with some of his
neighbours, because the expense of a season there was formidable, for
his estate was a fine one, and he was a rich man living largely within
his income, but because his idea was, that a country gentleman's
proper place was on his own acres, and because London had no
temptations for him. He was said to be the best landlord in the
county, and really seemed to look upon all his numerous tenants,
and all their labourers, as his born subjects, to whom protection,
kindness, assistance, and general looking after were due, in return
for their fealty and loyal attachment. I think he would have kicked
off his land (and he was a man who could kick) any man who talked in
his hearing of the purely commercial relationship between a landlord
and his tenants. Of course he was adored by all the country side. No
doubt the stout Cumberland and Westmoreland farmers and hinds were
good and loyal subjects of Queen Victoria, but for all practical
purposes of reverence and obedience, Musgrave was king at Edenhall.

Lady Musgrave was a particularly lady-like woman, the marked elegance
of whose breeding might, with advantage, have given the tone to many a
London drawing-room. I have seen her surrounded by country neighbours,
and though she was _velut inter ignes luna minores_, I never saw the
country squire's or country parson's wife, who was not perfectly happy
and at ease in her drawing-room, while unconsciously all the time
taking a lesson in good breeding and lady-like manners. She was
thoroughly a help-meet for her husband in all his care for his people.
I believe that both he and she were convinced at the bottom of their
hearts that Cumberland and Westmoreland constituted the choicest,
best, and most highly civilised part of England. And she was one of
those of whom I was thinking, when in a former chapter I spoke of
highly educated people whom I had known to affect provincialism of
speech. Lady Musgrave always, or perhaps it would be more correct to
say generally, called a cow a "coo," and though I suspect she would
have left Westmoreland behind if evil fate had called her to London,
on her own hill-sides she preferred the accents of the native speech.

Sir George had, or affected to have, considerable respect for all the
little local superstitions and beliefs which are so prevalent in
that "north countree." And the kindness with which he welcomed us as
neighbours, when we built a house and came to live there, was shown
despite a strong feeling which he had, or affected to have, with
regard to an incident which fatally marked our _début_ in that
country.

We bought a field in a very beautiful situation overlooking the ruins
of Brougham Castle and the confluence of the Eden with the Lowther,
and proceeded to build a house on the higher part of it. But there was
a considerable drop from the lower limit of our ground to the road
which skirted the property, and furnished the only access to it. There
was some difficulty, therefore, in contriving a tolerable entrance
from the road for wheel traffic, and it was found necessary to cause a
tiny little spring that rose in the bank by the roadside to change
its course in some small degree. The affair seemed to us a matter of
infinitesimal importance, but Sir George was dismayed. We had moved,
he said, a holy well, and the consequence would surely be that we
should never succeed in establishing ourselves in that spot.

And surely enough we never did so succeed; for, after having built a
very nice little house, and lived in it one winter and half a summer,
we--for I cannot say that it was my mother more than I, or I more than
my mother--made up our minds that "the sun yoked his horses too far
from Penrith town," and that we had had enough of it. Sir George,
of course, when he heard our determination, while he expressed
all possible regret at losing us as neighbours, said that he knew
perfectly well that it must be so, from the time that we so recklessly
meddled with the holy well.

He was the most hospitable man in the world, and could never let many
days pass without asking us to dine with him. But his hospitality was
of quite the old world school. One day, but that was after our journey
to Italy and when he had become intimate with us, being in a hurry to
get back into the drawing-room to rejoin a pretty girl next whom I had
sat at dinner, I tried to escape from the dining-room. "Come back!"
he roared, before I could get to the door, "we won't have any of your
d--d forineering habits here! Come back and stick to your wine, or by
the Lord I'll have the door locked."

He was, unlike most men of his sort, not very fond of riding, but was
a great walker. He used to take the men he could get to walk with him
a tramp over the hill, till they were fain to cry "Hold! enough!" But
_there_ I was his match.

Most of my readers have probably heard of the "Luck of Edenhall," for
besides Longfellow's[1] well-known poem, the legend relating to it
has often been told in print. I refer to it here merely to mention a
curious trait of character in Sir George Musgrave in connection with
it. The "Luck of Edenhall" is an ancient decorated glass goblet, which
has belonged to the Musgraves time out of mind, and which bears on it
the legend:--

  "When this cup shall break or fall,
  Farewell the luck of Edenhall."

[Footnote 1: Subsequently to the publication of his poem Musgrave
asked Longfellow to dine at Edenhall, and "picked a crow" with him on
the conclusion of the poem, which represents the "Luck" to have been
broken, which Sir George considered a flight of imagination quite
transcending all permissible poetical licence.]

After what I have written of Sir George and the holy well, which we so
unfortunately moved from its proper site, it will be readily imagined
that he attached no small importance to the safe keeping of the
"Luck;" and truly he did so. But instead of simply locking it up,
where he might feel sure it could neither break nor fall, he would
show it to all visitors, and not content with that, would insist
on their taking it into their hands to examine and handle it. He
maintained that otherwise there was no fair submission to the test of
luck, which was intended by the inscription. It would have been mere
cowardly prevarication to lock it away under circumstances which took
the matter out of the dominion of "luck" altogether. I wonder
that under such circumstances it has not fallen, for the nervous
trepidation of the folks who were made to handle it may be imagined!

I made another friend at Penrith in the person of a man as strongly
contrasted with Sir George Musgrave as two north-country Englishmen
could well be. This was a Dr. Nicholson, who has died within the last
few months, to my great regret, for I had promised myself the great
pleasure of taking him by the hand yet once again before starting on
the journey on which we may, or may not meet. He was my senior by a
few years, but not by many. Nicholson was a man of very extensive
reading and of profound Biblical learning. It may be deemed surprising
by others, as it was, and is, to me, that such a man should have been
an earnest and thoroughly convinced Swedenborgian--but such was the
case. And I can conscientiously give this testimony to the excellence
of that creed--that it produced in the person of its learned
north-country disciple at least one truly good and amiable man. Dr.
Nicholson was emphatically such in all the relations of life. He was
the good and loving husband of a very charming wife, the unremittingly
careful and affectionate father of a large family, a delightful host
at his own table, an excellent and instructive companion over a cigar
(hardly correctly alluded to in the singular number!) and a most
_jucundus comes_ in a tramp over the hills.

Amusing to me still is the contrast between those Cumberland walks
with Sir George and my ramblings over the same or nearly the same
ground with the meditative Swedenborgian doctor;--the first always
pushing ahead as if shouldering along a victorious path through life,
knowing the history of every foot of ground he passed over, interested
in every detail of it, and with an air of continually saying "Ha!
ha!" among the breezy trumpets of those hills, like the scriptural
war-horse; the second with his gaze very imperfectly turned
outward, but very fruitfully turned inward, frequently pausing with
argumentative finger laid on his companion's breast, and smile half
satirical half kindly as the flow of discourse revealed theological
_lacunae_ in my acquirements, which, I fear, irreparably and most
unfairly injured the Regius professor of divinity in the mind of the
German graduate. For Nicholson was a theological "doctor" by virtue of
a degree from I forget what German university, and had a low estimate,
perhaps more justified at that day than it would be now, of the extent
and calibre of Oxford theological learning. He was himself a disciple,
and an enthusiastic admirer of Ewald, a very learned Hebraist, and an
unflagging student.

I was more capable of appreciating at its due value the extent and
accuracy of his knowledge upon another subject--a leg of mutton! It
_may_ be a mere coincidence, but certainly the most learned Hebraist
it was ever my lot to know was also the best and most satisfactory
carver of a leg of mutton.

Nobody knows anything about mutton in these days, for the very
sufficient reason that there is no mutton worth knowing anything about.
Scientific breeding has improved it off the face of the earth. The
immature meat is killed at two years old, and only we few survivors of a
former generation know how little like it is to the mutton of former
days. The Monmouthshire farmers told me the other day that they could
not keep Welsh sheep of pure breed, because nothing under an eight-foot
park paling would confine them. Just as if they did not jump in the days
when I jumped too! Believe me, my young friends, that George the Third
knew what he was talking about (as upon certain other occasions) when he
said that very little venison was equal to a haunch of four-year-old
mutton. And the gravy!--chocolate-coloured, not pink, my innocent young
friends. Ichabod! Ichabod!

My uncle, too, Mr. Partington--who married my father's sister, and
lived many years chairman of quarter sessions at Offham, among the
South Downs, near Lewes--there was a man who understood mutton! A
little silver saucepan was placed by his side when the leg of mutton,
or sometimes two, about as big as fine fowls, were placed in one
dish before him. Then, after the mutton had been cut, the abundantly
flowing gravy was transferred to the saucepan, a couple of glasses of
tawny old port, and a _quantum suff._ of currant jelly and cayenne
were added, the whole was warmed in the dining-room, and then--we ate
mutton, as I shall never eat it again in this world!

Well! _revenir a nos moutons_ we never, never shall! So we must, alas!
do the reverse in returning to my Penrith reminiscences.

I remember specially an excellent old fellow and very friendly
neighbour, Colonel Macleod, a bachelor, who having fallen in love with
a very beautiful spot, in the valley of the Lowther, built an ugly
brick house, three stories high, because, as he said, he was so greedy
of the view, forgetful apparently that he was providing it mainly for
his maid servants. Then there was the old maiden lady, with a name
that might have been found in north-country annals at almost any
date during the last seven hundred years, who mildly and maternally
corrected my sister at table for speaking of _vol-au-vent_, telling
her that the correct expression was _voulez-vous!_ My sister always
adopted the old lady's correction in future, at least when addressing
her.

Then there were two pretty girls, Margaret and Charlotte Story, the
nieces of old De Whelpdale, the lord of the manor. I think he and Mrs.
De Whelpdale never left their room, for I do not remember to have ever
seen either of them; nor do I remember that I at all resented their
absence from the drawing-room when I used to call at the manor house.
One of the girls was understood to be engaged to be married to a far
distant lieutenant, of whom Penrith knew nothing, which circumstance
gave rise to sundry ingenious conceits in the acrostic line, based on
allusions to "his story" and "mystery!" I wonder whether Charlotte is
alive! If she is, and should see this page, she will remember! It was
for her sake that I deserted, or tried to desert, Sir George's port,
as related above.

We left Penrith on that occasion without having formed any decided
intention of establishing ourselves there, and returned to London
towards the end of August, 1839. During the next two months I was hard
at work completing the MS. of my volumes on Brittany. And in November
of the same year, after that long fast from all journeying, my mother
and I left London for a second visit to Paris. But we did not on this
occasion travel together.

I left London some days earlier than she did, and travelled by Ostend,
Cologne, and Mannheim, my principal object being to visit my old
friend, Mrs. Fauche, who was living at the latter place. I passed
three or four very pleasant days there, including, as I find by my
diary, sundry agreeable jaunts to Heidelberg, Carlsruhe, &c. My mother
and I had arranged to meet at Paris on the 4th of December, and at
that date I punctually turned up there.

I think that I saw Paris and the Parisians much more satisfactorily on
this occasion than during my first visit; and I suspect that some of
the recollections recorded in these pages as connected with my first
visit to Paris, belong really to this second stay there, especially I
think that this must have been the case with regard to my acquaintance
with Chateaubriand, though I certainly was introduced to him at the
earlier period, for I find the record of much talk with him about
Brittany, which was a specially welcome subject to him.

It was during this second visit that I became acquainted with Henry
Bulwer, afterwards Lord Dalling, and at that time first secretary of
the British legation. My visits were generally, perhaps always, paid
to him when he was in bed, where he was lying confined by, if I
remember rightly, a broken leg, I used to find his bed covered with
papers and blue-books, and the like. And I was told that the whole, or
at all events the more important part of the business of the embassy
was done by him as he lay there on the bed, which must have been for
many a long hour a bed of suffering.

Despite certain affectations--which were so palpably affectations, and
scarcely pretended to be aught else, that there was little or nothing
annoying or offensive in them--he was a very agreeable man, and was
unquestionably a very brilliant one. He came to dine with me, I
remember, many years afterwards at my house in Florence, when he
insisted (the dining-room being on the first floor) on being carried
up stairs, as we thought at the time very unnecessarily. But for
aught I know such suspicion may have wronged him. At all events his
disability, whatever it may have been, did not prevent him from making
himself very agreeable.

One of our guests upon that same occasion (I must drag the mention of
the fact in head and shoulders here, or else I shall forget it), was
that extraordinary man, Baron Ward, who was, or perhaps I ought to say
at that time had been, prime minister and general administrator to the
Duke of Lucca. Ward had been originally brought from Yorkshire to be
an assistant in the ducal stables. There, doubtless because he knew
more about the business than anybody else concerned with it, he soon
became chief. In that capacity he made himself so acceptable to the
Duke, that he was taken from the stables to be his highness's personal
attendant. His excellence in that position soon enlarged his duties
to those of controller of the whole ducal household. And thence, by
degrees that were more imperceptible in the case of such a government
than they could have been in a larger and more regularly administered
state, Ward became the recognised, and nearly all-powerful head,
manager, and ruler of the little Duchy of Lucca. And I believe the
strange promotion was much for the advantage of the Duke and of the
Duke's subjects. Ward, I take it, never robbed him or any one else.
And this eccentric specialty, the Duke, though he was no Solomon,
had the wit to discover. In his cups the ex-groom, ex-valet, was not
reticent about his sovereign master, and his talk was not altogether
of an edifying nature. One sally sticks in my memory. "Ah, yes! He was
a grand favourite with the women. But _I_ have had the grooming of
him; and it was a wuss job than ever grooming his hosses was!"

Ward got very drunk that night, I remember, and we deemed it fortunate
that our diplomatist guest had departed before the outward signs of
his condition became manifest.

Henry Bulwer, by mere circumstance of synchronism, has suggested the
remembrance of Ward, Ward has called up the Duke of Lucca, and he
brings with him a host of Baths of Lucca reminiscences respecting his
Serene Highness and others. But all these _must_ be left to find their
places, if anywhere, when I come to them later on, or we shall never
get back to Paris.

It was on this our second visit to _Lutetia Parisiorum_ that my mother
and I made acquaintance with a very specially charming family of the
name of D'Henin. The family circle consisted of General le Vicomte
D'Henin, his English wife, and their daughter. The general was a
delightful old man, more like an English general officer than any
other Frenchman I ever met. Madame D'Henin was like an Englishwoman
not unaccustomed to courts and wholly unspoiled by them. Mademoiselle
D'Henin, very pretty, united the qualities of a denizen of the inmost
circles of the fashionable world with those of a really serious
student, to a degree I have never seen equalled. They were great
friends of the Bishop of London, and Mademoiselle D'Henin used to
correspond with him. She was earnestly religious, and I remember her
telling me of a _démêlé_ she had had with her confessor. She had told
him in confession that she was in the habit of reading the English
Bible. He strongly objected, and at last told her that he could not
give her absolution unless she promised to discontinue the practice.
She told him that rather than do so, she would take what would be to
her the painful step of declaring herself a Protestant, whereupon he
undertook to obtain a special permission for her to read the English
Bible. Whether he did really take any such measures I don't know, and
I fancy she never knew; but the upshot was that she continued to read
the heretical book, and nothing more was ever said of refusing her
absolution.

I have a large bundle of letters from this highly accomplished young
lady to my mother. Many passages of them would be interesting and
valuable to an historian of the reign of Louis Philippe. She writes at
great length, and her standpoint is the very centre of the monarchical
side of the French political world of that day. But as I am _not_
writing a history of the reign of Louis Philippe, I must content
myself with extracting two or three suggestive notices.

In a letter dated from Paris, 19th July, 1840, she writes:--"You shew
much hospitality towards your royal guests. But I assure you it will
not in this instance be taken as an homage to superior merit--words
which I have heard frequently applied here to John Bull's frenzy
about Soult, and to the hospitality of the English towards the Duc de
N[emours], When I told him how much I should like to be in his place
(_i.e._, about to go to England), he protested that he would change
places with no one, '_quand il s'agissait d'aller dans un aussi
delicieux pays, que cette belle Angleterre, que vous avez si bonne
raison d'aimer et d'admirer._'"

On the 29th of August in the same year she writes at great length of
the indignation and fury produced in Paris by the announcement of
the Quadruple Alliance. She is immensely impressed by the fact that
"people gathered in the streets and discussed the question in the open
air." "Ireland, Poland, and Italy are to rise to the cry of Liberty."
But she goes on to say, "Small causes produce great effects. Much of
this warlike disposition has arisen from the fact of Thiers having
bought a magnificent horse to ride beside the King at the late
review." She proceeds to ridicule the minister in a tone very
naturally suggested by the personal appearance of the little great man
under such circumstances, which no doubt furnished Paris with much
fun. But she goes on to suggest that the personal vanity which
made the prospect of such a public appearance alluring to him
was reinforced by "certain other secondary but still important
considerations of a different nature, looking to the results which
might follow from the exhibition of a war policy. This desirable end
being attained beyond even the most sanguine hopes, the martial fever
seems on the decline."

Now all this gossip may be accepted as evidencing the tone prevailing
in the very inmost circles of the citizen king's friends and
surroundings, and as such is curious.

Writing on the 8th of October in the same year, after speaking at
great length of Madame Laffarge, and of the extraordinary interest
her trial excited, dividing all Paris into Laffargists and
anti-Laffargists, and almost superseding war as a general topic
of conversation, she passes to the then burning subject of the
fortification of Paris, and writes as follows--curiously enough,
considering the date of her letter:--

"Louis Philippe, whose favourite hobby it has ever been, from the idea
that it makes him master of Paris, lays the first stone to-day. Some
people consider it the first stone of the mausoleum of his dynasty.
I sincerely hope not; for everything that can be called lady or
gentleman runs a good chance of forming part of the funeral pile. The
political madness which has taken possession of the public mind is
fearful. Foreign or civil war! Such is the alternative. Thiers, who
governs the masses, flatters them by promises of war and conquest. The
_Marsellaise_, so lately a sign of rebellion, is sung openly in the
theatres; the soldiers under arms sing it in chorus. The Guarde
Nationale urges the King to declare war. He has resisted it with all
his power, but has now, they say, given way, and has given Thiers
_carte blanche_. He is in fact entirely under his control. The
Chambers are not consulted. Thiers is our absolute sovereign. We call
ourselves a free people. We have beheaded one monarch, exiled three
generations of kings merely to have a dictator, '_mal né, mal fait, et
mal élevé_.' There has been a rumour of a change of ministry, but no
one believes it. The overthrow of Thiers would be the signal for a
revolution, and the fortifications are not yet completed to master it.
May not all these armaments be the precursors of some _coup d'état_? A
general gloom is over all around us. All the faces are long; all the
conversations are sad!"

This may be accepted as a thoroughly accurate and trustworthy
representation of the then state of feeling and opinion among the
friends of Louis Philippe's Government, whether _Parceque Bourbon_ or
_Quoique Bourbon_, and as such is valuable. It is curious too, to find
a staunch friend of the existing government, who may be said to have
been even intimate with the younger members of the royal family,
speaking of the Prime Minister with the detestation which these
letters again and again express for Thiers.

In a letter of the 19th November, 1840, the writer describes at great
length the recent opening of the Chamber by the King. She enlarges on
the intensity of the anxiety felt for the tenor of the King's speech,
which was supposed to be the announcement of war or peace; and
describes the deep emotion, with which Louis Philippe, declaring his
hope that peace might yet be preserved, called upon the nation to
assist him in the effort to maintain it; and expresses the scorn and
loathing with which she overheard one republican deputy say to another
as the King spoke, "_Voyez donc ce Robert Macaire, comme il fait
semblant d'avoir du coeur_!"

A letter of the 14th March, 1842, is written in better spirits and
a lighter tone. Speaking of the prevalent hostile feeling towards
England the writer wishes that her countrymen would remember
Lamartine's observation that "_ce patriotisme coûte peu! Il suffit
d'ignorer, d'injurier et de hair_." She tells her correspondent that
"if Lord Cowley has much to do to establish the exact line between
Lord Aberdeen's _observations_ and _objections_, Lady Cowley has
no less difficulty in keeping a nice balance between dignity and
popularity," as "the Embassy is besieged by all sets and all parties;
the tag and rag, because pushing is a part of their nature; the _juste
milieu_ [how the very phrase recalls a whole forgotten world!] because
they consider the English Embassy as their property; the noble
Faubourg because they are tired of sulking, and would not object
to treating Lady Cowley as they treated Colonel Thorn,[1] viz.,
establishing their quarters at the 'Cowley Arms,' as they did at
the 'Thorn's Head,' and inviting their friends on the recognised
principle, '_C'est moi qui invite, et Monsieur qui paie_'"

[Footnote 1: Colonel Thorn was an American of fabulous wealth, who was
for a season or two very notorious in Paris. He was the hero of the
often-told story of the two drives to Longchamps the same day; first
with one gorgeous equipment of _liveries_, and a second time with
other and more resplendently clothed retainers.]

Then follows an account of a fancy _bal monstre_ at the Tuileries,
which might have turned out, says the writer, to deserve that title
in another sense. It was believed that a plot had been formed for
the assassination of the King, at the moment, when, according to his
invariable custom, he took his stand at the door of the supper-room to
receive the ladies there. Four thousand five hundred tickets had been
issued and a certain number of these, still blank, had disappeared.
That was certain. And it was also certain that the King did not go to
the door of the supper-room as usual. But the writer remarks that the
tickets may have been stolen by, or for, people who could not obtain
them legitimately. But the instantly conceived suspicion of a plot is
illustrative of the conditions of feeling and opinions in Paris at the
time.

"For my part," continues Mademoiselle D'Henin, "I never enjoyed a
ball so much; perhaps because I did not expect to be amused; perhaps
because all the royal family, the Jockey Club, and the fastidious
Frenchwomen congratulated me upon my toilet, and voted it one of the
handsomest there. They _said_ the most becoming (but that was _de
l'eau bénite de Cour_); perhaps it was because the Dukes of Orleans,
Nemours, and Aumale, who never dance, and did so very little that
evening, all three honoured me with a quadrille. You see I expose to
you all the very linings of my heart I dissect it and exhibit all
the vanity it contains. But you will excuse me when I tell you of a
compliment that might have turned a wiser head than mine. The fame of
my huntress's costume (Mademoiselle D'Henin was in those days the very
_beau-idéal_ of a Diana!) was such that it reached the ears of the
wife of our butcher, who sent to beg that I would lend it to her to
copy, as she was going to a fancy ball!"

A letter of the 8th of August, 1842, written from Fulham Palace,
contains some interesting notices of the grief and desolation caused
by the sad death of the Duke of Orleans.

"Was there ever a more afflicting calamity!" she writes. "When last
I wrote his name in a letter to you, it was to describe him as the
admired of all beholders, the hero of the _féte_, the pride and honour
of France, and now what remains of him is in his grave! The affliction
of his family baffles all description. I receive the most touching
accounts from Paris. Some ladies about the Court write to me that
nothing can equal their grief. As long as the coffin remained in the
chapel at Neuilly, the members of the family were incessantly kneeling
by the side of it, praying and weeping. The King so far mastered his
feelings, that whenever he had official duties to perform, he was
sufficiently composed to perform _son métier de Roi_. But when the
painful task was done he would rush to the chapel, and weep over the
dead body of his son, till the whole palace rang with his cries and
lamentations. When the body was removed from Neuilly to Notre Dame,
the scene at Neuilly was truly heartrending. My father has seen the
King and the Princes several times since the catastrophe, and he says
it has done the work of years on their personal appearance, The Due de
Nemours has neither eaten nor slept since his brother died, and
looks as if walking out of his grave. Mamma wrote him a few lines
of condolence, which he answered by a most affecting note. Papa was
summoned to attend the King to the House, as _Grand Officier_, and
says he never witnessed such a scene. Even the opposition shed their
crocodile tears. Placed immediately near the King on the steps of
the throne, he saw the struggle between kingly decorum and fatherly
affliction. Nature had the victory. Three times the King attempted to
speak, three times he was obliged to stop, and at last burst into a
flood of tears. The contagion gained all around him. And it was only
interrupted by sobs that he could proceed. And it is in the face of
this despair, when the body of the prince is scarcely cold, that
that horrid Thiers and his associates begin afresh their infernal
manoeuvres!"

A letter of the 3rd April, 1842, contains among a quantity of the
gossip of the day an odd story, which, the writer says, "is putting
Rome in a ferment, and the clergy in raptures." I think I remember
that it made a considerable stir in ecclesiastic circles at the time.
A certain M. Ratisbonne, a Jew, it seems entered a church in Rome (the
writer does not say so, but if I remember rightly, it was the "Gesu"),
with a friend, a M. de Bussières, who had some business to transact in
the sacristy. The Jew, who professed complete infidelity, meantime was
looking at the pictures. But M. de Bussières, when his business was
done, found him prostrate on the pavement in front of a picture of the
Madonna. The Jew on coming to himself declared that the Virgin had
stepped from her frame, and addressed him, with the result, as he
said, that having fallen to the ground an infidel, he rose a convinced
Christian! Mademoiselle D'Henin writes in a tone which indicates small
belief in the miracle, but seems to accept as certain the further
facts, that the convert gave all he possessed to the Church and became
a monk.

I have recently--even while transcribing these extracts from her
letters--heard of the death, within the last few years, of the writer
of them. She died in England, I am told, and unmarried. Her sympathies
and affections were always strongly turned to her mother's country, as
indeed may be in some degree inferred from even those passages of her
letters which have been given. And I can well conceive that the events
which, each more disastrous than its predecessor, followed in France
shortly after the date of the last of them, may have rendered,
especially after the death of her parents, a life in France
distasteful to her. But I, and, I think, my mother also, had entirely
lost sight of her for very many years. Had I imagined that she was
living in England, I should undoubtedly have endeavoured to see her.

I have known many women, denizens of _le grand monde_, who have
adorned it with equally brilliant talents, equally captivating beauty,
equally sparkling wit and vivacity of intelligence. And I have known
many, denizens of the studious and the book world, gifted with larger
powers of intellect, and more richly dowered with the results of
thought and study But I do not think that I ever met with one who
possessed in so large a degree the choice product resulting from
conversance with both these worlds. She was in truth a very brilliant
creature.

Madame D'Henin I remember made us laugh heartily one evening by
telling us the following anecdote. At one of those remarkable
_omnium-gatherum_ receptions at the Tuileries, of which I have spoken
in a former chapter, she heard an American lady, to whom Louis
Philippe was talking of his American recollections and of various
persons he had known there, say to him, "Oh, sire, they all retain the
most lively recollections of your majesty's sojourn among them, _and
wish nothing more than that you should return among them again_!" The
Duke of Orleans, who was standing behind the King, fairly burst into a
guffaw.

There was a story current in Rome, in the days of Pius the Ninth,
which may be coupled with this as a good _pendant_. His Holiness, when
he had occupied the papal throne for a period considerably exceeding
the legendary twenty-five years of St. Peter, was one day very affably
asking an Englishman, who had been presented to him, whether he had
seen everything in Rome most calculated to interest a stranger, and
was answered; "Yes indeed, your Holiness, I think almost everything,
except one which I confess I have been particularly anxious to
witness--a conclave!"

Here are a few jottings at random from my diary, which may still have
some little interest.

"Madame Le Roi, a daughter of General Hoche, told me (22nd January,
1840), that as she was driving on the boulevard a day or two ago,
a sou piece was thrown with great violence at the window of her
carriage, smashing it to pieces. This, she said, was because her
family arms were emblazoned on the panel. Most of the carriages in
Paris, she said, had no arms on them for fear of similar attacks."

Then we were active frequenters of the theatres. We go, I find, to the
Français, to see Mars, then sixty years old, in _Les Dehors Trompeurs_
and in the _Fausses Confidences_; to the opera to hear _Robert le
Diable_ and _Lucia di Lammermuir_, with Persiani, Tamburini, and
Rubini; and the following night to the Français again, to see Rachel
in _Cinna_.

I thought her personally, I observe, very attractive. But that, and
sundry other subsequent experiences, left me with the impression
that she was truly very powerful in the representation of scorn,
indignation, hatred, and all the sterner and less amiable passions of
the soul, but failed painfully when her _rôle_ required the exhibition
of tenderness or any of the gentler emotions. These were my
impressions when she was young and I was comparatively so. But when,
many years afterwards, I saw her repeatedly in Italy, they were not, I
think, much modified.

The frequent occasions on which subsequently I saw Ristori produced an
impression on me very much the reverse. I remember thinking Ristori's
"Mirra" too good, so terribly true as to be almost too painful for the
theatre. I thought Rachel's "Marie Stuart" upon the whole her finest
performance, though "Adrienne" ran it hard.

Persiani, I note, supported by Lablache and Rubini, had a most
triumphant reception in _Inez de Castro_, while Albertazzi was very
coldly received in _Blanche de Castille_. Grisi in _Norma_ was
"superb." "Persiani and P. Garcia sang a duet from _Tancredi_; it was
divine! I think I like Garcia's voice better than any of them. Nor
could I think her ugly, as it is the fashion to call her, though it
must be admitted that her mouth and teeth are alarming."

Then there were brilliant receptions at the English Embassy (Lord
Granville) and at the Austrian Embassy (Comte d'Appony). My diary
remarks that stars and gold lace and ribbons of all the Orders in
Christendom were more abundant at the latter, but female beauty at the
former. I remember much admiring that of Lady Honoria Cadogan, and
that of a very remarkably lovely Visconti girl, a younger sister of
the Princess Belgiojoso. But despite this perfect beauty, my diary
notes, that it was "curious to observe the unmistakable superiority
as a human being of the young English patrician." I remember that the
"sit-down" suppers at the Austrian Embassy--a separate little table
for every two, three, or four guests--were remarked on as a novelty
(and applauded) by the Parisians.

Then at Miss Clarke's (afterwards Madame Mohl) I find Fauriel, "the
first Provençal scholar in Europe," delightful, and am disgusted with
Merimée, because he manifested self-sufficiency, as it seemed to my
youthful criticism, by pooh-poohing the probability of the temple
at Lanleff in Brittany having been aught else than a church of the
Templars.

Then Arago reads an _Eloge_ on "old Ampère," of which I only remark
that it lasted two hours and a half. Then there was a dinner at Dr.
Gilchrist's whose widow our old friend Pepe, who for many years had
always called her "Madame Ghee-cree," subsequently married. My notes,
written the same evening, remind me that "I did not much like the
radical old Doctor (his wife was an old acquaintance, but I had
never seen him before); he is eighty, and ought to know better. Old
Nymzevitch (I am not sure of the spelling), the ex-Chancellor of
Poland, dined with us. He is eighty-four. When he said that he had
conversed with the Duc de Richelieu, I started as if he had announced
himself as the Wandering Jew. But, in fact, he had had, when a young
man, an interview with the Duc, then ninety. He was, Nymzevitch told
me, dreadfully emaciated, but dressed very splendidly in a purple
coat all bedizened with silver lace. He received me, said the old
ex-Chancellor, with much affable dignity."'

Then comes a breakfast with Pepe, at which I met the President
Thibeaudeau, "a grey old man who makes a point of saying rude, coarse,
and disagreeable things, which his friends call dry humour. He found
fault with everything at the breakfast table."

Then a visit to the Chamber (where I heard Soult, Dupin, and Teste
speak, and thought it "a terrible bear-garden)" is followed by
attendance at a sermon by Athanase Coquerel, the Protestant preacher
whose reputation in the Parisian _beau monde_ was great in those days.
He was, says my diary, "exceedingly eloquent, but I did not like his
sermon;" for which dislike my notes proceed to give the reasons, which
I spare the, I hope grateful, reader. Then I went to hear Bishop
Luscombe at the Ambassador's chapel, and listened to "a very stupid
sermon." I seem, somewhat to my surprise as I read the records of it,
to have had a pronounced taste for sermons in those days, which I fear
I have somehow outgrown. But then I have been very deaf during my
later decades.

Bishop Luscombe may perhaps however be made more amusing to the reader
than he was to me in the Embassy chapel by the following fragment of
his experience. The Bishop arrived one day at Paddington, and could
not find his luggage. He called a porter to find it for him, telling
him the name to be read on the articles. The man, very busy with other
people, answered hurriedly, "You must go to hell for your luggage."
Now, Luscombe, who was a somewhat pompous and very _bishopy_ man, was
dreadfully shocked, and felt, as he said, as if the porter had struck
him in the face. In extreme indignation he demanded where he could
speak with any of the authorities, and was told that "the Board"
was then sitting up stairs. So to the boardroom the Bishop went
straightway, and announcing himself, made his complaint. The chairman,
professing his regret that such offence should have been given,
said he feared the man must have been drunk, but that he should be
immediately summoned to give an account of his conduct. So the porter
in great trepidation appeared in a few minutes before the august
tribunal of "the Board."

"Well, sir," said he in reply to the chairman's indignant questioning,
"what could I do? I was werry busy at the time. So when the gentleman
says as his name was Luscombe, I could do no better than tell him to
go to h'ell for his luggage, and he'd have found it there all right!"

"Oh! I see," said the chairman, "it is a case of misplaced aspirate!
We have spaces on the wall marked with the letters of the alphabet,
and you would have found your luggage at the letter L. You will see
that the man meant no offence. I am sorry you should have been so
scandalised, but though we succeed, I hope, in making our porters
civil to our customers, it would be hopeless, I fear, to attempt to
make them say L correctly." _Solvuntur risu tabulae_.

I find chronicled a long talk with Mohl one evening at Madame
Récamier's. The room was very full of notable people of all sorts, and
the tide of chattering was running very strong. "How can anything last
long in France?" said he, in reply to my having said (in answer to
his assertion that Cousin's philosophy had gone by) that it had been
somewhat short-lived. "Reputations are made and pass away. It is
impossible that they should endure. It is in such places as this that
they are destroyed. The friction is prodigious!"

We then began to talk of the state of religion in France. He said
that among a large set, religion was now _à la mode_. But he did not
suppose that many of the fine folks who _patronised_ it had much
belief in it. The clergy of France were, he said, almost invariably
very illiterate. Guizot, I remembered, calls them in his _History of
Civilisation doctes et crudits_, but I abstained from quoting him.
Mohl went on to tell me a story of a newspaper that had been about to
be established, called _Le Democrat_. The shareholders met, when it
appeared that one party wished to make it a Roman Catholic, and the
other an atheist organ. Whereupon the existence of God was put to the
vote and carried by a majority of one, at which the atheist party were
so disgusted that they seceded in a body.

I got to like Mohl much, and had more conversation, I think, with him
than with any other of the numerous men of note with whom I became
more or less acquainted. On another occasion, when I found him in his
cabinet, walled up as usual among his books, our talk fell on his
great work, the edition of the oriental MSS. in the _Bibliothèque
Royale_, which was to be completed in ten folio volumes, the first
of which, just out, he was showing me. He complained of the extreme
slowness of the Government presses in getting on with the work. This
he attributed to the absurd costliness, as he considered it, of the
style in which the work was brought out. The cost of producing that
first volume he told me had been over 1,600_l_. sterling. It was to be
sold at a little less than a hundred francs. Something was said (by
me, I think) of the possibility of obtaining assistance from the King,
who was generally supposed to be immensely wealthy. Mohl said that he
did not believe Louis Philippe to be nearly so rich a man as he was
supposed to be. He had spent, he said, enormous sums on the châteaux
he had restored, and was affirmed by those who had the means of
knowing the fact, to be at that time twelve millions of francs in
debt.

My liking for Mohl seems to have been fully justified by the
estimation he was generally held in. I find in a recently published
volume by Kathleen O'Meara on the life of my old friend, Miss Clarke,
who afterwards became his wife, the following passage quoted from
Sainte-Beuve, who describes him as "a man who was the very embodiment
of learning and of inquiry, an oriental _savant_--more than a
_savant_--a sage, with a mind clear, loyal, and vast; a German mind
passed through an English filter, a cloudless, unruffled mirror, open
and limpid; of pure and frank morality; early disenchanted with all
things; with a grain of irony devoid of all bitterness, the laugh of a
child under a bald head; a Goethe-like intelligence, but free from all
prejudice." "A charming and _spirituelle_ Frenchwoman," Miss O'Meara
goes on to say, "said of Julius Mohl that Nature in forming his
character had skimmed the cream of the three nationalities to which he
belonged by birth, by adoption and by marriage, making him deep as a
German, _spirituel_ as a Frenchman, and loyal as an Englishman."

I may insert here the following short note from Madame Mohl, because
the manner of it is very characteristic of her. It is, as was usual
with her, undated.

       *       *       *       *       *

"MY DEAR MR. TROLLOPE,--By accident I have just learned that you are
in London. If I could see you and talk over my dear old friend (Madame
Récamier) I should be so much obliged and so glad. I live 68 Oxford
Terrace, Hyde Park. If you would write me a note to say when I should
be at home for the purpose. But if you can't, I am generally, not
always, found after four. But if you could come on the 10th or 12th
after nine we have a party. I am living at Mrs. Schwabe's just now
till 16th this month. Pray write me a note, even If you can't come.

"Yours ever,

"MARY MOHL."

       *       *       *       *       *

All the capital letters in the above transcript, except those in her
name are mine, she uses none. The note is written in headlong hurry.

Mignet, whom I met at the house of Thiers, I liked too, but Mohl was
my favourite.

It was all very amusing, with as much excitement and interest of
all kinds crammed into a few weeks as might have lasted one for a
twelvemonth. And I liked it better than teaching Latin to the youth of
Birmingham. But it would seem that there was something that I liked
better still. For on March 30th, leaving my mother in the full swing
of the Parisian gaieties, I bade adieu to them all and once again
"took to the road," bound on an excursion through Central France.



CHAPTER IV.


My journey through central France took me by Chartres, Orleans, down
the Loire to Nantes, then through La Vendée to Fontenay, Niort,
Poitiers, Saintes, Rochefort, La Rochelle, Bordeaux, Angouleme,
Limoges, and thence back to Paris. On looking at the book for the
first time since I read the proof-sheets I find it amusing. The fault
of it, as an account of the district traversed, is, that it treats
of the localities described on a scale that would have needed twenty
volumes, instead of two, to complete the story of my tour in the same
proportion. I do not remember that any of my critics noted this fault.
Perhaps they feared that on the first suggestion of such an idea I
should have set about mending the difficulty by the production of a
score of other volumes on the subject! I could easily have done so. I
was in no danger of incurring the anathema launched by Sterne--I think
it was Sterne--against the man who went from Dan to Beersheba and
found all barren. I found matter of interest everywhere, and could
have gone on doing so, as it seemed to me in those days, for ever.

The part of France I visited is not much betravelled by Englishmen,
and the general idea is that it is not an interesting section of the
country. I thought, and still think, otherwise. My notion is, that
if a line were drawn through France from Calais to the centre of the
Pyrenean chain, by far the greater part of the prettiest country and
most interesting populations, as well as places, would be found to the
westward of it. I do not think that my bill of fare excited any great
interest in the reading world. But I suppose that I contrived to
interest a portion of it; for the book was fairly successful.

I wrote a book in many respects of the same kind many years
subsequently, giving an account of a journey through certain
little-visited districts of central Italy, under the title of a
_Lenten Journey_. It is not, I think, so good a book as my French
journeys furnished, mainly to my mind because it was in one small
volume instead of two big ones, and both for want of space and want of
time was done hurriedly and too compendiously. The true motto for the
writer of such a book is _nihil a me alienum puto_, whether _humanum_
or otherwise. My own opinion is, to make a perfectly clean breast of
it, that I could now write a fairly amusing book on a journey from
Tyburn turnpike to Stoke Pogis. But then such books should be
addressed to readers who are not in such a tearing hurry as the
unhappy world is in these latter days.

It would seem that I found my two octavo volumes did not afford me
nearly enough space to say my say respecting the country traversed,
for they are brought to an end somewhat abruptly by a hurried return
from Limoges to Paris; whereas my ramble was much more extended,
including both the upper and lower provinces of Auvergne and the
whole of the Bourbonnais. My voluminous notes of the whole of these
wanderings are now before me. But I will let my readers off easy,
recording only that I walked from Murat to St. Flour, a distance of
fifteen miles, in five minutes under three hours. Not bad! My diary
notes that it was frequently very difficult to find my way in walking
about Auvergne, from the paucity of people I could find who could
speak French, the _langue du pays_ being as unintelligible as Choctaw.
This would hardly be the case now.

I don't know whether a knot of leading tradesmen at Bordeaux could
now be found to talk, as did such a party with whom I got into
conversation in that year, 1840. It was explained to me that England,
as was well known, had liberated her slaves in the West Indies
perfectly well knowing that the colonies would be absolutely ruined by
the measure, but expecting to be amply compensated by the ruin of
the French colonies, which would result from the example, and the
consequent extension of trade with the East Indies, from which France
would be compelled to purchase all the articles her own colonies now
supplied her with. One of these individuals told me and the rest of
his audience, that he had the means of _knowing_ that the interest of
the English national debt was paid every year by fresh borrowing, and
that bankruptcy and absolute smash must occur within a few years.
"Ah!" said a much older, grey-headed man, who had been listening
sitting with his hands reposing on his walking-stick before him, and
who spoke with a sort of patient, long-expecting hope and a deep sigh,
"ah! we have been looking for that many a year; but I am beginning to
doubt whether I shall live to see it." My assurances that matters were
not altogether so bad as they supposed in England of course met with
little credence. Still, they listened to me, and did not show angry
signs of a consciousness that I was audaciously befooling them, till
the talk having veered to London, I ventured to assure them that
London was not surrounded by any _octroi_ boundary, and that no impost
of that nature was levied there.[1] Then in truth I might as well have
assured them that London streets were literally paved with gold.

[Footnote 1: It may possibly be necessary to tell untravelled
Englishmen that the _octroi_, universal on the Continent, is an impost
levied on all articles of consumption at the gates of a town.]

On the 30th of May, 1840, I returned with my mother from Paris to
her house in York Street. Life had been very pleasant there to her
I believe, and certainly to me during those periods of it which my
inborn love of rambling allowed me to pass there. But in the following
June it was determined that the house in York Street should be given
up. Probably the _causa causans_ of this determination was the fact of
my sister's removal to far Penrith. But I think too, that there was
a certain unavowed feeling, that we had eaten up London, and should
enjoy a move to new pastures.

I remember well a certain morning in York Street when we--my mother
and I--held a solemn audit of accounts. It was found that during her
residence in York Street she had spent a good deal more than she had
supposed. She had entertained a good deal, giving frequent "little
dinners." But dinners, however little, are apt in London to leave
tradesmen's bills not altogether small in proportion to their
littleness. "The fact is," said my mother, "that potatoes have been
quite exceptionally dear." For a very long series of years she never
heard the last of those exceptional potatoes. But despite the alarming
deficit caused by those unfortunate vegetables, I do not think
the abandonment of the establishment in York Street was caused by
financial considerations. She was earning in those years large sums
of money--quite as large as any she had been spending--and might have
continued in London had she been so minded.

No doubt I had much to do with the determination we came to. But
for my part, if it had at that time been proposed to me, that our
establishment should be reduced to a couple of trunks, and all our
worldly possessions to the contents of them, with an opening vista of
carriages, diligences, and ships _ad libitum_ in prospect, I should
have jumped at the idea. A caravan, which in addition to shirts and
stockings could have carried about one's books and writing tackle
would have seemed the _summum bonum_ of human felicity.

So we turned our backs on London without a thought of regret and once
again "took the road;" but this time separately, my mother going to
my sister at Penrith and I to pass the summer months in wanderings
in Picardy, Lorraine, and French Flanders, and the ensuing winter in
Paris.

I hardly know which was the pleasanter time. By this time I was
no stranger to Paris, and had many friends there. It was my first
experiment of living there as a bachelor, as I was going to say, but I
mean "on my own hook," and left altogether to my own devices. I found
of course that my then experiences differed considerably from those
acquired when living _en famille_. But I am disposed to think that the
tolerably intimate knowledge I flatter myself I possessed of the Paris
and Parisians of Louis Philippe's time was mainly the result of this
second residence. I remember among a host of things indicating the
extent of the difference between those days and these, that I lived
in a very good apartment, _au troisième_, in one of the streets
immediately behind the best part of the Rue de Rivoli for one hundred
francs a month! This price included all service (save of course a tip
to the porter), and the preparation of my coffee for breakfast if I
needed it. For dinner, or any other meal, I had to go out.

"Society" lived in Paris in those days--not unreasonably as the result
soon showed--in perpetual fear of being knocked all to pieces by an
outbreak of revolution, though of course nobody said so. But I lived
mainly (though not entirely) among the _bien pensants_ people, who
looked on all anti-governmental manifestations with horror. Perhaps
the restless discontent which destroyed Louis Philippe's government
is the most disheartening circumstance in the whole course of recent
French history. That the rule of Charles Dix should have occasioned
revolt may be regrettable, but is not a matter for surprise. But that
of Louis Philippe was not a stagnant or retrogressive _régime. "La
carrière_" was very undeniably open to talent and merit of every
description. Material well-being was on the increase. And the door
was not shut against any political change which even very advanced
Liberalism, of the kind consistent with order, might have aspired to.
But the Liberalism which moved France was not of that kind.

One of my most charming friends of those days, Rosa Stewart, who
afterwards became and was well known to literature as Madame Blaze de
Bury, was both too clever and too shrewd an observer, as well as, to
me at least, too frank to pretend any of the assurance which was then
_de mode_. She saw what was coming, and was fully persuaded that it
must come. I hope that her eye may rest on this testimony to her
perspicacity, though I know not whether she still graces this planet
with her very pleasing presence. For as, alas! in so many scores of
other instances, our lives have drifted apart, and it is many years
since I have heard of her.

One excursion I specially remember in connection with that autumn was
partly, I think, a pedestrian one, to Amiens and Beauvais, made
in company with the W---- A----, of whom my brother speaks in his
autobiography; which I mention chiefly for the sake of recording my
testimony to the exactitude of his description of that very singular
individual. If it had not been for the continual carefulness
necessitated by the difficulty of avoiding all cause of quarrel, I
should say that he was about the pleasantest travelling companion I
have ever known.

In the beginning of April, 1841, after a little episode of spring
wandering in the Tyrol and Bavaria (in the course of which I met my
mother at the château of her very old friend the Baroness de Zandt,
who has been mentioned before, and was now living somewhat solitarily
in her huge house in its huge park near Bamberg), my mother and I
started for Italy. Neither of us had at that time conceived the idea
of making a home there. The object of the journey, which had been long
contemplated by my mother, was the writing of a book on Italy, as she
had already done on Paris and on Vienna.

Our journey was a prosperous one in all respects, and our flying visit
to Italy was very pleasant. My mother's book was duly written, and
published by Mr. Bentley in 1842. But the _Visit to Italy_, as the
work was entitled (with justly less pretence than the titles of either
of its predecessors had put forward), was in truth all too short. And
I find that almost all of the huge mass of varied recollections which
are connected in my mind with Italy and Italian people and things
belong to my second "visit" of nearly half a century's duration!

We made, however, several pleasant acquaintances and some fast
friends, principally at Florence, and thus paved the way, although
little intending it at the time, for our return thither.

Our visit was rendered shorter than it would probably otherwise have
been by my mother's strong desire to be with my sister, who was
expecting the birth of her first child at Penrith. And for this
purpose we left Rome in February, 1842, in very severe weather. We
crossed the Mont Cenis in sledges--which to me was a very acceptable
experience, but to my mother was one, which nothing could have induced
her to face, save the determination not to fail her child at her need.

How well I remember hearing as I sat in the _banquette_ of the
diligence which was just leaving Susa for its climb up the mountain
amid the snow, then rapidly falling, the driver of the descending
diligence, which had accomplished its work and was just about entering
the haven of Susa, sing out to our driver--"_Vous allez vous amuser
joliment là haut, croyez moi_!"

We did not, however, change the diligence for the sledges till we came
to the descent on the northern side. But as we made our slow way to
the top our vehicle was supported from time to time on either side by
twelve strapping fellows, who put their shoulders to it.

I appreciated during that journey, though I was glad to see the
mountain in its winter dress, the recommendation not to let your
flight be in the winter.



CHAPTER V.


I accompanied my mother to Penrith, and forthwith devoted myself heart
and body to the preparation of our new house, and the beautifying
of the very pretty paddock in which it was situated. I put in some
hundreds of trees and shrubs with my own hands, which prospered
marvellously, and have become, I have been told, most luxuriant
shrubberies. I was bent on building a cloistered walk along the entire
top of the field, which would have afforded a charming ambulatory
sheltered from the north winds and from the rain, and would have
commanded the most lovely views, while the pillars supporting the
roof would have presented admirable places for a world of flowering
climbing plants. And doubtless I should have achieved it, had we
remained there. But it would have run into too much money to be
undertaken immediately,--fortunately; for, inasmuch as there was
nothing of the sort in all that country side, no human being would
have given a stiver more for the house when it came to be sold, and
the next owner would probably have pulled it down. There was no
authority for such a thing. Had it been suffered to remain it would
probably have been called "Trollope's folly!"

Subsequently, but not immediately after we left it, the place--oddly
enough I forget the name we gave it--became the property and the
residence of my brother-in-law.

Of my life at Penrith I need add nothing to the jottings I have
already placed before the reader on the occasion of my first visit to
that place.

My brother, already a very different man from what he had been in
London, came from his Irish district to visit us there; and I returned
with him to Ireland, to his head-quarters at Banagher on the Shannon.
Neither of this journey need I say much. For to all who know anything
of Ireland at the present day--and who does not? worse luck!--anything
I might write would seem as _nihil ad rem_, as if I were writing of
an island in the Pacific. I remember a very vivid impression that
occurred to me on first landing at Kingstown, and accompanied me
during the whole of my stay in the island, to the effect, that the
striking differences in everything that fell under my observation from
what I had left behind me at Holyhead, were fully as great as any that
had excited my interest when first landing in France.

One of my first visits was to my brother's chief. He was a master of
foxhounds and hunted the country. And I well remember my astonishment,
when the door of this gentleman's residence was opened to me by an
extremely dirty and slatternly bare-footed and bare-legged girl. I
found him to be a very friendly and hospitable good fellow, and his
wife and her sister very pleasant women. I found too that my brother
stood high in his good graces by virtue of simply having taken the
whole work and affairs of the postal district on his own shoulders.
The rejected of St. Martin's-le-Grand was already a very valuable and
capable officer.

My brother gave me the choice of a run to the Killeries, or to
Killarney. We could not manage both. I chose the former, and a most
enjoyable trip we had. He could not leave his work to go with me, but
was to join me subsequently, I forget where, in the west. Meantime
he gave me a letter to a bachelor friend of his at Clifden. This
gentleman immediately asked me to dinner, and he and I dined
_tête-à-tête._ Nevertheless, he thought it necessary to apologise for
the appearance of a very fine John Dory on the table, saying, that he
had been himself to the market to get a turbot for me, but that he had
been asked half-a-crown for a not very large one, and really he could
not give such absurd prices as that!

Anthony duly joined me as proposed, and we had a grand walk over
the mountains above the Killeries. I don't forget and never shall
forget--nor did Anthony ever forget; alas! that we shall never more
talk over that day again--the truly grand spectacular changes from
dark thick enveloping cloud to brilliant sunshine, suddenly revealing
all the mountains and the wonderful colouring of the intertwining
sea beneath them, and then back to cloud and mist and drifting sleet
again. It was a glorious walk. We returned wet to the skin to "Joyce's
Inn," and dined on roast goose and whisky punch, wrapped in our
blankets like Roman senators!

One other scene I must recall. The reader will hardly believe that it
occurred in Ireland. There was an election of a member for I forget
what county or borough, and my brother and I went to the hustings--the
only time I ever was at an election in Her Majesty's dominions. What
were the party feelings, or the party colours, I utterly forget. It
was merely for the fun of the thing that we went there. The fun indeed
was fast and furious. The whole scene on the hustings, as well
as around them, seemed to me one seething mass of senseless but
good-humoured hustling and confusion. Suddenly in the midst of the
uproar an ominous cracking was heard, and in the next minute the
hustings swayed and came down with a crash, heaping together in a
confused mass all the two or three hundreds of human beings who were
on the huge platform. Some few were badly hurt. But my brother and I
being young and active, and tolerably stout fellows, soon extricated
ourselves, regained our legs, and found that we were none the worse.
Then we began to look to our neighbours. And the first who came to
hand was a priest, a little man, who was lying with two or three
fellows on the top of him, horribly frightened and roaring piteously
for help. So Anthony took hold of one of his arms and I of the other,
and by main force dragged him from under the superincumbent mass of
humanity. When we got him on his legs his gratitude was unbounded.
"Tell me your names," he shouted, "that I'll pray for ye!" We told him
laughingly that we were afraid it was no use, for we were heretics.
"Tell me your names," he shouted again, "that I'll pray for ye all the
more!"

I wonder whether he ever did! He certainly was very much in earnest
while the fright was on him.

Not very long after my return from this Irish trip, we finally left
Penrith on the 3rd of April, 1843; and I trust that the nymph of the
holy well, whose spring we had disturbed, was appeased.

My mother and I had now "the world before us where to choose." She had
work in hand, and more in perspective. I also had some in hand and
very much more in perspective, but it was work of a nature that might
be done in one place as well as another. So when "Carlton Hill" (all
of a sudden the name comes back to my memory!) was sold, we literally
stood with no _impedimenta_ of any sort save our trunks, and
absolutely free to turn our faces in whatsoever direction we pleased.

What we did in the first instance was to turn them to the house of our
old and well-beloved cousin, Fanny Bent, at Exeter. There after a few
days we persuaded her to accompany us to Ilfracombe, where we
spent some very enjoyable summer weeks. What I remember chiefly in
connection with that pleasant time, was idling rambles over the rocks
and the Capstone Hill, in company with Mrs. Coker and her sister Miss
Aubrey, the daughters of that Major A. who needs to the whist-playing
world no further commemoration. The former of them was the wife and
mother of Wykehamists (founder's kin), and both were very charming
women. Ilfracombe was in those days an unpretending sort of fishing
village. There was no huge "Ilfracombe Hotel," and the Capstone Hill
was not strewed with whitey-brown biscuit bags and the fragments of
bottles, nor continually vocal with nigger minstrels and ranting
preachers. The "Royal Clarence" did exist in the little town, whether
under that name or not, I forget. But I can testify from experience,
acquired some forty years afterwards, that Mr. and Mrs. Clemow now
keep there one of the best inns of its class, that I, no incompetent
expert in such matters, know in all England.

Then, when the autumn days began to draw in, we returned to Exeter,
and many a long consultation was held by my mother and I, sallying
forth from Fanny Bent's hospitable house for a _tête-à-tête_ stroll on
Northernhay, on the question of "What next?"

It turned out to be a more momentous question than we either of us
imagined it to be at the time; for the decision of it involved the
shape and form of the entire future life of one of us, and still more
important modification of the future life of the other. Dresden was
talked of. Rome was considered. Paris was thought of. Venice was
discussed. No one of them was proposed as a future permanent home.
Finally Florence came on the _tapis_. We had liked it much, and had
formed some much valued friendships there. It was supposed to be
economical as a place to live in, which was one main point. For our
plan was to make for ourselves for two or three years a home and way
of living sufficiently cheap to admit of combining with it large plans
of summer travel. And eventually Florence was fixed on.

As for my mother, it turned out that she was then selecting her last
and final home--though the end was not, thank God, for many a long
year yet. As for me, the decision arrived at during those walks on
Exeter Northernhay, was more momentous still. For I was choosing the
road that led not only to my home for the next half century nearly,
but to two marriages, both of them so happy in all respects as rarely
to have fallen to the lot of one and the same man!

How little we either of us, my mother and I, saw into the
future--beyond a few immediate inches before our noses! Truly _prudens
futuri temporis exitum caliginosâ nocte premit Deus!_ And when I hear
talk of "conduct making fate," I often think--humbly and gratefully, I
trust; marvelling, certainly,--how far it could have _à priori_ seemed
probable, that the conduct of a man who, without either _oes in
presenti_, or any very visible prospect of _oes in futuro_, turns
aside from all the beaten paths of professional industry should
have led him to a long life of happiness and content, hardly to be
surpassed, and, I should fear, rarely equalled. _Deus nobis haec otia
fecit!--Deus_, by the intromission of one rarely good mother, and two
rarely good, and I may add rarely gifted, wives!

Not that I would have the reader translate "_otia_" by idleness. I
have written enough to show that my life hitherto had been a full
and active one. And it continued in Italy to be an industrious one.
Translate the word rather into "independence." For I worked at work
that I liked, and did no taskwork. Nevertheless, I would not wish to
be an evil exemplar, _vitiis imitabile_, and I don't recommend you,
dear boys, to do as I did. I have been quite abnormally fortunate.

Well, we thought that we were casting the die of fate on a very
subordinate matter, while, lo! it was cast for us by the Supernal
Powers after a more far-reaching and over-ruling fashion.

So on the 2nd of September, 1843, we turned our faces southwards and
left London for Florence.

We became immediately on arriving in Firenze la gentile (after a
little tour in Savoy, introduced as an interlude after our locomotive
rambling fashion) the guests of Lady Bulwer, who then inhabited in the
Palazzo Passerini an apartment far larger than she needed, till we
could find a lodging for ourselves.

We had become acquainted with Lady Bulwer in Paris, and a considerable
intimacy arose between her and my mother, whose nature was especially
calculated to sympathise with the good qualities which Lady Bulwer
unquestionably possessed in a high degree. She was brilliant, witty,
generous, kind, joyous, good-natured, and very handsome. But she
was wholly governed by impulse and unreasoning prejudice; though
good-natured, was not always good-humoured; was totally devoid of
prudence or judgment, and absolutely incapable of estimating men
aright. She used to think me, for instance, little short of an
admirable Crichton!

Of course all the above rehearsed good qualities were, or were
calculated to be, immediately perceived and appreciated, while the
less pleasant specialties which accompanied them were of a kind to
become more perceptible only in close intimacy. And while no intimacy
ever lessened that regard of my mother and myself that had been won by
the first, it was not long before we were both, my mother especially,
vexed by exhibitions of the second.

As, for instance:--Lady Bulwer had for some days been complaining of
feeling unwell, and was evidently suffering. My mother urged her to
have some medical advice, whereupon she turned on her very angrily,
while the tears started to her beautiful eyes, and said, "How _can_
you tell me to do any such thing, when you know that I have not a
guinea for the purpose?" (She was frequently wont to complain of her
poverty.) But she had hardly got the words out of her mouth when the
servant entered the room saying that the silversmith was at the door
asking that the account which he laid on the table might be paid. The
account (which Lady Bulwer made no attempt to conceal, for concealment
of anything was not at all in her line) was for a pair of small silver
spurs and an ornamented silver collar which she had ordered a week or
two previously for the _ceremonial knighting of her little dog Taffy_!

On another occasion a large party of us were to visit the Boboli
Gardens. It was a very hot day, and we had to climb the hill to the
upper part of the gardens, from whence the view over Florence and the
Val d'Arno is a charming one. But the hill, as those who have been at
Florence will not have forgotten, is not only an extremely steep, but
a shadeless one. The broad path runs between two wide margins of
turf, which are enclosed on either side by thick but not very high
shrubberies. The party sorted themselves into couples, and the men
addressed themselves to facilitating as best they might the not
slightly fatiguing work before the ladies. It fell to my lot to give
Lady Bulwer my arm. Before long we were the last and most lagging
couple on the path. It was hard work, but I did my best, and flattered
myself that my companion, despite the radical moisture which she was
copiously losing, was in high good humour, as indeed she seemed to be,
when suddenly, without a word of warning, she dashed from the path,
threw herself prone among the bushes, and burst into an uncontrollable
fit of sobs and weeping. I was horrified with amazement. What had I
done, or what left undone? It was long before I could get a word out
of her. At last she articulated amidst her sobs, "It is TOO hot! It
is cruel to bring one here!" Yes, it was _too_ hot; but that was all.
Fortunately I was not the cruel bringer. I consoled her to the best of
my power, and induced her to wipe her eyes. I dabbled a handkerchief
in a neighbouring fountain for her to wash her streaked face, and
eventually I got her to the top of the hill, where all the others had
long since arrived.

The incident was entirely characteristic of her. She was furiously
angry with all things in heaven above and on the earth below because
she was at the moment inconvenienced.

Here is the beginning of a letter from her of a date some months
anterior to the Boboli adventure:

"Illustrissimo Signor Tommaso" (that was the usual style of her
address to me), "as your book is just out you must feel quite _en
train_ for puffs of any description. Therefore I send you the best I
have seen for a long while, _La Physiologie du Fumeur_. But even if
you don't like it, _don't_ put it in your pipe and smoke it. _Vide_
Joseph Fume."

A little subsequently she writes: "Signor Tommaso, the only revenge
I shall take for your lecture" (probably on the matter of some
outrageous extravagance) "is not to call you _illustrissimo_ and not
to send you an illuminated postillion" (a previous letter having been
ornamented with such a decoration at the top of the sheet), "but let
you find your way to Venice in the dark as you can, and then and
there, 'On the Rialto I will rate you,' and, being a man, you know
there is no chance of my _over-rating_ you."

The following passage from the same letter refers to some negotiations
with which she had entrusted me relative to some illustrations she was
bent on having in a forthcoming book she was about to publish:--"As
for the immortal Cruikshank, tell him that I am sure the mighty genius
which conceived Lord Bateman could not refuse to give any lady
the _werry best_, and if he does I shall pass the rest of my
life registering a similar _wow_ to that of the fair Sophia, and
exclaiming, 'I vish, George Cruikshank, as you vas mine.'"

The rest of the long, closely-written four-paged letter is an
indiscriminate and bitter, though joking attack, upon the race of
publishers. She calls Mr. Colburn an "embodied shiver," which will
bring a smile to the lips of those--few, I fear--who remember the
little man.

Here are some extracts from a still longer letter written to my mother
much about the same time: "I hear Lady S---- has committed another
novel, called _The Three Peers_, no doubt _l'un pire que l'autre_!...
I have a great many kind messages to you from that very charming
person Madame Récamier, who fully intends meeting you at Venice with
Chateaubriand in October, for so she told me on Sunday. I met her at
Miss Clarke's some time ago, and as I am a bad _pusher_ I am happy to
say she asked to be introduced to me, and was, thanks to you, my kind
friend! She pressed me to go and see her, which I have done two or
three times, and am going to do again at her amiable request on
Thursday. I think that her fault is that she flatters a little too
much. And flattery to one whose ears have so long been excoriated by
abuse does not sound safe. However, all is right when she speaks of
you. And the point she most eulogised in you is that which I have
heard many a servile coward who could never go and do likewise" [no
indication is to be found either in this letter or elsewhere to
whom she alludes], "select for the same purpose, namely, your
straightforward, unflinching, courageous integrity.... Balzac is
furious at having his new play suppressed by Thiers, in which Arnauld
acted Louis Philippe, wig and all, to the life; but, as I said to M.
Dupin, '_Cest tout naturel que M. Thiers ne permetterait à personne de
jouer Louis Philippe que lui-même._' ... There is a wonderful pointer
here that has been advertised for sale for twelve hundred francs. A
friend of mine went to see him, and after mounting up to a little
garret about the size of a chessboard, _au vingt-septième_, he
interrogated the owner as to the dog's education and acquirements, to
which the man replied, '_Pour ca, monsieur, c'est un chien parfait. Je
lui ai tout appris moi-même dans ma chambre_'[1] After this my friend
did not sing 'Together let us range the fields!' ... Last week I met
Colonel Potter M'Queen, who was warm in his praises of you, and the
great good your _Michael Armstrong_" (the factory story) "had done....
Last Thursday despatches arrived and Lord Granville had to start for
London at a moment's notice. I was in hopes this beastly ministry
were out! But no such luck! For they are a compound of glue,
sticking-plaister, wax, and vice--the most adhesive of all known
mixtures."

[Footnote 1: "As for that, sir, the dog is perfect. I have myself
taught him everything _in my own room_!"]

Before concluding my recollections of Rosina, Lady Lytton Bulwer,
I think it right to say that I consider myself to have perfectly
sufficient grounds for feeling certain that the whispers which were
circulated in a cowardly and malignant fashion against the correctness
of her conduct as a woman were wholly unfounded. Her failings and
tendency to failings lay in a quite different direction. I knew
perfectly well the person whose name was mentioned scandalously in
connection with hers, and knew the whole history of the relationship
that existed between them. The gentleman in question was for years
Lady Bulwer's constant and steadfast friend. It is quite true that he
would fain have been something more, but true also that his friendship
survived the absolute rejection of all warmer sentiments by the object
of it. It was almost a matter of course that such a woman as Lady
Bulwer, living unprotected in the midst of such a society as that of
Florence in those days, should be so slandered. And were it not that
there were very few if any persons at the time, and I think certainly
not one still left, able to speak upon the subject with such
_connaissance de cause_ as I can, I should not have alluded to it.

She was an admirably charming companion before the footlights of the
world's stage--not so uniformly charming behind its scenes, for
her unreasonableness always and her occasional violence were very
difficult to deal with. But she was, as Dickens's poor Jo says in
_Bleak House_, "werry good to me!"



CHAPTER VI.


After some little time and trouble we found an apartment in the
Palazzo Berti, in the ominously named Via dei Malcontenti. It was so
called because it was at one time the road to the Florentine Tyburn.
Our house was the one next to the east end of the church of Santa
Croce. Our rooms looked on to a large garden, and were pleasant
enough. We witnessed from our windows the building of the new steeple
of Santa Croce, which was completed before we left the house.

It was built in great measure by an Englishman, a Mr. Sloane, a
fervent Catholic, who was at that time one of the best-known figures
in the English colony at Florence.

He was a large contributor to the recently completed façade of the
Duomo in Florence, and to many other benevolent and pietistic good
works. He had been tutor in the Russian Boutourlin family, and when
acting in that capacity had been taken, by reason of his geological
acquirements, to see some copper mines in the Volterra district, which
the Grand Duke had conceded to a company under whose administration
they were going utterly to the bad. Sloane came, saw, and eventually
conquered. In conjunction with Horace Hall, the then well known and
popular partner in the bank of Signor Emanuele Fenzi (one of whose
sons married an English wife, and is still my very good and forty
years old friend), he obtained a new concession of the mines from
the Grand Duke on very favourable terms, and by the time I made his
acquaintance had become a wealthy man. I fancy the Halls, Horace and
his much esteemed brother Alfred (who survived him many years, and was
the father of a family, one of the most respected and popular of the
English colony during the whole of my Florence life), subsequently
considered themselves to have been shouldered out of the enterprise
by a certain unhandsome treatment on the part of the fortunate tutor.
What may have been the exact history of the matter I do not know. But
I do know that Sloane always remained on very intimate terms with the
Grand Duke, and was a power in the inmost circles of the ecclesiastic
world.

He used to give great dinners on Friday, the principal object of which
seemed to be to show how magnificent a feast could be given without
infringing by a hair's breadth the rule of the Church. And admirably
he succeeded in showing how entirely the spirit and intention of
the Church in prescribing a fast could be made of none effect by a
skilfully-managed observance of the letter of its law.

The only opportunity I ever had of conversing with Cardinal Wiseman
was in Casa Sloane. And what I chiefly remember of His Eminence was
his evident annoyance at the ultra-demonstrative zeal of the female
portion of the mixed Catholic and Protestant assembly, who _would_
kneel and kiss his hand. A schoolmaster meeting boys in society, who,
instantly on his appearance should begin unbuttoning their brace
buttons behind, would hardly appreciate the recognition more
gratefully.

Within a very few weeks of our establishment in Casa Berti my
mother's home became, as usual, a centre of attraction and pleasant
intercourse, and her weekly Friday receptions were always crowded. If
I were to tell everything of what I remember in connection with those
days, I should produce such a book as _non dî, non homines, non
concessere columnae_--a book such as neither publishers, nor readers,
nor the _columns_ of the critical journals would tolerate, and should
fill my pages with names, which, however interesting they may still be
for me, would hardly have any interest for the public, however gentle
or pensive.

One specialty, and that not a pleasant one, of a life so protracted as
mine has been in the midst of such a society as that of Florence in
those days, is the enormous quantity of the names which turn the
tablets of memory into palimpsests, not twice, but fifty times written
over!--unpleasant, not from the thronging _in_ of the motley company,
but from the inevitable passing _out_ of them from the field of
vision. One's recollections come to resemble those of the spectator of
a phantasmagoric show. Processions of heterogeneous figures, almost
all of them connected in some way or other with more or less pleasant
memories, troop across the magic circle of light, only, alack! to
vanish into uttermost night when they pass beyond its limit. Of course
all this is inevitable from the migratory nature of such a society as
that which was gathered together on the banks of the Arno.

Some fixtures--comparatively fixtures--of course there were, who gave
to our moving quicksand-like society some degree of cohesion.

Chief among these was of course the British minister--at the time of
our arrival in Florence, and many years afterwards--Lord Holland. A
happier instance of the right man in the right place could hardly be
met with. At his great _omnium-gatherum_ dinners and receptions--his
hospitality was of the most catholic and generous sort--both he
and Lady Holland (how pretty she then was there is her very clever
portrait by Watts to testify) never failed to win golden opinions from
all sorts and conditions of men and women. And in the smaller circle,
which assembled in their rooms yet more frequently, they showed to
yet greater advantage, for Lord Holland was one of the most amusing
talkers I ever knew.

Of course many of those who ought to have been grateful for their
admission to the minister's large receptions were discontented at
not being invited to the smaller ones. And it was by some of these
malcontents with more wit than reason, that Lady Holland was accused
of receiving in two very distinct fashions--_en ménage_ and _en
ménagerie_. The _mot_ was a successful one, and nobody was more amused
by it than the _spirituelle_ lady of whom it was said. It was too
happy a _mot_ not to have been stolen by divers pilferers of such
articles, and adapted to other persons and other occasions. But it was
originally spoken of the time, place, and person here stated to have
been the object of it.

Generally, in such societies in foreign capitals, a fruitful source of
jealousy and discord is found in the necessary selection of those to
be presented at the court of the reigning sovereign. But this, as
far as I remember, was avoided in those halcyon days by the simple
expedient of presenting all who desired it. And that Lord Holland
_was_ the right man in the right place as regards this matter the
following anecdote will show.

When Mr. Hamilton became British minister at Florence, it was
announced that his intention was, for the avoiding of all trouble
and jealousy on the subject, to adhere strictly to the proper and
recognised rule. He would present everybody and anybody who had been
presented at home, and nobody who had not been so presented. And he
commenced his administration on these lines, and the Grand Duke's
receptions at the Pitti became notably weeded. But this had not gone,
on for more than two or three weeks before it was whispered in the
minister's ear that the Grand Duke would be pleased if he were less
strict in the matter of his presentations. "Oh!" said Hamilton,
"that's what he wants! _A la bonne heure!_ He shall have them all,
rag, tag, and bobtail." And so we returned to the _Saturnia regna_ of
"the good old times," and the Duke was credibly reported to have said
that he "kept the worst drawing-room in Europe." But, of course, His
Highness was thinking of the pockets of his liege Florentine letters
of apartments and tradesmen, and was anxious only to make his city a
favourite place of resort for the gold-bringing foreigners from that
distant and barbarous western isle. The Pope, you see, had the pull
in the matter of gorgeous Church ceremonies, but he couldn't have the
fertilising barbarians dancing in the Vatican once a week!

One more anecdote I must find room for, because it is curiously
illustrative in several ways of those _tempi passati, che non tornano
piu_. Florence was full of refugees from the political rigours of the
papal government, who had for some time past found there an unmolested
refuge. But the aspect of the times was becoming more and more
alarming to Austria, and the _Duchini_, as we called the Sovereigns of
Modena and Parma; and pressure was put on the Duke by the pontifical
government insisting on the demand that these refugees should be given
up by Tuscany. Easy-going Tuscany, not yet in anywise alarmed for
herself, fought off the demand for a while, but was at last driven to
notify her intention of acceding to it. It was in these circumstances
that Massino d'Azeglio came to me one morning, in the garden of our
house in the Via del Giglio--the same in which the poet Milton lodged
when he was in Florence--to which we had by that time moved, and told
me that he wanted me to do something for him. Of course I professed
all readiness, and he went on to tell me of the critical and dangerous
position in which the refugees of whom I have spoken were placed, and
said that I must go to Lord Holland and ask him to give them British
passports. He urged that nothing could be easier, that no objection
could possibly be taken to it; that the Tuscan government was by no
means desirous of giving up these men, and would only be too glad to
get out of it; that England both at Malta and in the Ionian Islands
had plenty of Italian subjects--and in short, I undertook the mission,
I confess with very small hopes of success. Lord Holland laughed
aloud when I told my tale, and said he thought it was about the most
audacious request that had ever been made to a British minister. But
he ended by granting it. Doubtless he knew very well the truth of what
d'Azeglio had stated--that the Tuscan government would be much too
well pleased to ask any questions; and the passports were given.

It was not long after our establishment in the Via dei Malcontenti
that a great disaster came upon Florence and its inhabitants and
guests. Arno was not in the habit of following the evil example of the
Tiber by treating Florence as the latter so frequently did Rome. But
in the winter of the year 1844 a terrible and unprecedented flood
came. The rain fell in such torrents all one night that it was feared
that the Arno, already much swollen, would not be able to carry off
the waters with sufficient rapidity. I went out early in the morning
before breakfast, in company with a younger brother of the Dr.
Nicholson of Penrith whom I have mentioned, who happened to be
visiting us. We climbed to the top of Giotto's tower, and saw at once
the terrible extent and very serious character of the misfortune.
One-third, at least, of Florence, was under water, and the flood was
rapidly rising. Coming down from our lofty observatory, we made our
way to the "Lung' Arno," as the river quays are called. And there the
sight was truly a terrible and a magnificent one. The river, extending
in one turbid, yellow, swirling mass from the walls of the houses on
the quay on one side, to those of the houses opposite, was bringing
down with it fragments of timber, carcases of animals, large
quantities of hay and straw;--and amid the wreck we saw a cradle with
a child in it, safely navigating the tumbling waters! It was drawn
to the window of a house by throwing a line over it, and the infant
navigator was none the worse.

But very great fears were entertained for the very ancient Ponte
Vecchio, with its load of silversmiths' and jewellers' shops, turning
it from a bridge into a street--the only remaining example in Europe,
I believe, of a fashion of construction once common. The water
continued to rise as we stood watching it. Less than a foot of space
yet remained between the surface of the flood and the keystone of the
highest arch; and it was thought that if the water rose sufficiently
to beat against the solid superstructure of the bridge, it must have
been swept away. But at last came the cry from those who were watching
it close at hand, that for the last five minutes the surface had
been stationary; and in another half hour it was followed by the
announcement that the flood had begun to decrease. Then there was
an immense sensation, of relief; for the Florentines love their old
bridge; and the crowd began to disperse.

All this time I had had not a mouthful of breakfast, and we betook
ourselves to Doney's _bottega_ to get a cup of coffee before going
home. But when we attempted this we found that it was more easily said
than done. The Via dei Malcontenti as well as the whole of the Piazza
di Santa Croce was some five feet under water! We succeeded, however,
in getting aboard a large boat, which was already engaged in carrying
bread to the people in the most deeply flooded parts of the town. But
all difficulty was not over. Of course the street door of the Palazzo
Berti was shut, and no earthly power could open it. Our apartment was
on the second floor. Our landlord's family occupied the _primo_. Of
course I could get in at their windows and then go up stairs. And we
had a ladder in the boat; but the mounting to the first floor by this
ladder, placed on the little deck of the boat, as she was rocked by
the torrent, was no easy matter, especially for me, who went first.
Eventually, however, Nicholson and I both entered the window,
hospitably opened to receive us, in safety.

But it was one or two days before the flood subsided sufficiently for
us to be provisioned in any other manner than by the boat; and for
long years afterwards social events were dated in Florence as having
happened "before or after the flood." In those days, and for many days
subsequently to them, Florence did indeed--as I have observed when
speaking of the motives which induced us to settle there--join to its
other attractions that of being an economical place of residence. Our
money consisted of piastres, pauls, and crazie. Eight of the latter
were equal to a paul, ten of which were equivalent to a piastre.
The value of the paul was, as nearly as possible, equal to
fivepence-halfpenny English. The lira--the original representative
of the leading denomination of our own _l.s.d._--no longer existed
in--the flesh I was going to say, but rather in--the metal. And it is
rather curious, that just as the guinea remained, and indeed remains,
a constantly-used term of speech after it has ceased to exist as
current coin, so the scudo remained, in Tuscany, no longer visible or
current, but retained as an integer in accounts of the larger sort. If
you bought or sold house or land, for instance, you talked of scudi.
In more every-day matters piastre or "francesconi" were the integers
used, the latter being only a synonym for the former. And the
proportion in value of the scudo and the piastre was exactly the same
as that of the guinea and the sovereign, the former being worth
ten and a half pauls, and the latter ten. The handsomest and best
preserved coin ordinarily current was the florin, worth two pauls and
a half. Gold we rarely saw, but golden sequins (_zecchini_) were in
existence, and were traditionally used, as it was said, for I have no
experience in the matter, in the payment by the government of prizes
won in the lottery.

Now, after this statement the reader will be in a position to
appreciate the further information that a flask of excellent Chianti,
of a quality rarely met with nowadays, was ordinarily sold for one
paul. The flask contained (legal measure) seven troy pounds weight of
liquid, or about three bottles. The same sum purchased a good fowl
in the market. The subscription (_abbuonamento_) to the Pergola, the
principal theatre, came to exactly two crazie and a half for each
night of performance. This price admitted you only to the pit, but as
you were perfectly free to enter any box in which there were persons
of your acquaintance, the admission in the case of a bachelor,
permanently or temporarily such, was all that was necessary to him.
And the price of the boxes was small in proportion.

These boxes were indeed the drawing-rooms in which very much of
the social intercourse of the _beau monde_ was carried on. The
performances were not very frequently changed (two operas frequently
running through an entire season), and people went four or five times
a week to hear, or rather to be present at, the same representation.
And except on first nights or some other such occasion, or during the
singing of the well-known tit-bits of any opera, there was an amount
of chattering in the house which would have made the hair of a
_fanatico per la musica_ stand on end. There was also an exceedingly
comfortable but very parsimoniously-lighted large room, which was
a grand flirting place, where people sat very patiently during the
somewhat long operation of having their names called aloud, as their
carriages arrived, by an official, who knew the names and addresses of
us all. We also knew _his_ mode of adapting the names of foreigners to
his Italian organs. "Hasa" (Florentine for _casa_) "Tro-lo-pé," with
a long-drawn-out accent on the last vowel, was the absolutely fatal
signal for the sudden breaking up of many a pleasant chat.

Florence was also, in those days, an especially economical place for
those to whom it was pleasant to enjoy during the whole of the gay
season as many balls, concerts, and other entertainments as they could
possibly desire, without the necessity, or indeed the possibility, of
putting themselves to the expense of giving anything in return. There
was a weekly ball at the Pitti Palace, and another at the Casino
dei Nobili, which latter was supported entirely by the Florentine
aristocracy. There were two or three balls at the houses of the
foreign ministers, and generally one or two given by two or three
wealthy Florentine nobles--there were a few, but very few such.

Perhaps the pleasantest of all these were the balls at the Pitti. They
were so entirely _sans gêne_. No court dress was required save on the
first day of the year, when it was _de rigueur_. But absence on that
occasion in no way excluded the absentee from the other balls. Indeed,
save to a new comer, no invitations to foreigners were issued, it
being understood that all who had been there once were welcome ever
after. The Pitti balls were not by any means concluded by, but rather
divided into two, by a very handsome and abundant supper, at which, to
tell tales out of school (but then the offenders have no doubt mostly
gone over to the majority), the guests used to behave abominably. The
English would seize the plates of _bonbons_ and empty the contents
bodily into their coat pockets. The ladies would do the same with
their pocket-handkerchiefs. But the Duke's liege subjects carried on
their depredations on a far bolder scale. I have seen large portions
of fish, sauce and all, packed up in a newspaper, and deposited in a
pocket. I have seen fowls and ham share the same fate, without any
newspaper at all. I have seen jelly carefully wrapped in an Italian
countess's laced _mouchoir_! I think the servants must have had orders
not to allow entire bottles of wine to be carried away, for I never
saw that attempted, and can imagine no other reason why. I remember
that those who affected to be knowing old hands used to recommend
one to specially pay attention to the Grand Ducal Rhine wine,
and remember, too, conceiving a suspicion that certain of these
connoisseurs based their judgment in this matter wholly on their
knowledge that the Duke possessed estates in Bohemia!

The English were exceedingly numerous in Florence at that time, and
they were reinforced by a continually increasing American contingent,
though our cousins had not yet begun to come in numbers rivalling our
own, as has been the case recently. By the bye, it occurs to me, that
I never saw an American pillaging the supper table; though, I may add,
that American ladies would accept any amount of _bonbons_ from English
blockade runners.

And the mention of American ladies at the Pitti reminds me of a really
very funny story, which may be told without offence to any one now
living. I have a notion that I have seen this story of mine told
somewhere, with a change of names and circumstances that spoil it,
after the fashion of the people "who steal other folks' stories and
disfigure them, as gipsies do stolen children to escape detection."

I had one evening at the Pitti, some years however after my first
appearance there, a very pretty and naively charming American lady on
my arm, whom I was endeavouring to amuse by pointing out to her all
the personages whom I thought might interest her, as we walked through
the rooms. Dear old Dymock, the champion, was in Florence that winter,
and was at the Pitti that night.--I dare say that there may be
many now who do not know without being told, that Dymock, the last
champion, as I am almost afraid I must call him--though doubtless
Scrivelsby must still be held by the ancient tenure--was a very small
old man, a clergyman, and not at all the sort of individual to answer
to the popular idea of a champion. He was sitting in a nook all by
himself, and not looking very heroic or very happy as we passed, and
nudging my companion's arm, I whispered, "That is the champion." The
interest I excited was greater than I had calculated on, for the lady
made a dead stop, and facing round to gaze at the old gentleman, said
"Why, you don't tell me so! I should never have thought that that
could be the fellow who licked Heenan! _But he looks a plucky little
chap!_"

Perhaps the reader may have forgotten, or even never known, that the
championship of the pugilistic world had then recently been won by
Sayers--I think that was the name--in a fight with an antagonist of
the name of Heenan. In fact it was I, and not my fair companion, who
was a muff, for having imagined that a young American woman, nearly
fresh from the other side of the Atlantic, was likely to know or ever
have heard anything about the Champion of England.

There happened to be several Lincolnshire men that year in Florence,
and there was a dinner at which I, as one of the "web-footed," by
descent if not birth, was present, and I told them the story of my
Pitti catastrophe. The lady's concluding words produced an effect
which may be imagined more easily than described.

The Grand Duke at these Pitti balls used to show himself, and take
part in them as little as might be. The Grand Duchess used to walk
through the rooms sometimes. The Grand Duchess, a Neapolitan princess,
was not beloved by the Tuscans; and I am disposed to believe that she
did not deserve their affection. But there was at that time another
lady at the Pitti, the Dowager Grand Duchess, the widow of the late
Grand Duke. She had been a Saxon princess, and was very favourably
contrasted with the reigning Duchess in graciousness of manner,
in appearance--for though a considerably older, she was still an
elegant-looking woman--and, according to the popular estimate, in
character. She also would occasionally walk through the rooms; but her
object, and indeed that of the Duke, seemed to be to attract as little
attention as possible.

Only on the first night of the year, when we were all in _gran gala_,
_i.e._ in court suits or uniform, did any personal communication with
the Grand Duke take place. His manner, when anybody was presented to
him on these or other occasions, was about as bad and imprincely
as can well be conceived. His clothes never fitted him. He used to
support himself on one foot, hanging his head towards that side,
and occasionally changing the posture of both foot and head, always
simultaneously. And he always appeared to be struggling painfully with
the consciousness that he had nothing to say. It was on one of these
occasions that an American new arrival was presented to him by Mr.
Maquay, the banker, who always did that office for Americans, the
United States having then no representative at the Grand Ducal court.
Maquay, thinking to help the Duke, whispered in his ear that the
gentleman was connected by descent with the great Washington, upon
which the Duke, changing his foot, said, "_Ah! le grand Vash_!" His
manner was that of a lethargic and not wide-awake man. When strangers
would sometimes venture some word of compliment on the prosperity
and contentment of the Tuscans, his reply invariably was, "_Sono
tranquilli_"--they are quiet. But in truth much more might have been
said; for assuredly Tuscany was a Land of Goshen in the midst of the
peninsula. There was neither want nor discontent (save among a very
small knot of politicians, who might almost have been counted on the
hand), nor crime. There was at Florence next to no police of any kind,
but the streets were perfectly safe by night or by day.

There was a story, much about that time, which made some noise in
Europe, and was very disingenuously made use of, as such stories are,
of a certain Florentine and his wife, named Madiai, who had been, it
was asserted, persecuted for reading the Bible. It was not so. They
were "persecuted" for, _i.e._ restrained from, preaching to others
that they ought to read it, which is, though doubtless a bad, yet a
very different thing.

I believe the Grand Duke (_gran ciuco_--great ass--as his irreverent
Tuscans nicknamed him) was a good and kindly man, and under the
circumstances, and to the extent of his abilities, not a bad ruler.
The phrase, which Giusti applied to him, and which the inimitable
talent of the satirist has made more durable than any other memorial
of the poor _gran ciuco_ is likely to be, "_asciuga tasche e
maremme_"--he dries up pockets and marshes--is as unjust as such
_mots_ of satirists are wont to be. The draining of the great marshes
of the Chiana, between Arezzo and Chiusi, was a well-considered and
most beneficent work on a magnificent scale, which, so far from
"drying pockets," added enormously to the wealth of the country, and
is now adding very appreciably to the prosperity of Italy. Nor was
Giusti's reproach in any way merited by the Grand Ducal government.
The Grand Duke personally was a very wealthy man, as well as, in
respect to his own habits, a most simple liver. The necessary expenses
of the little state were small; and taxation was so light that a
comparison between that of the Saturnian days in question and that
under which the Tuscans of the present day not unreasonably groan,
might afford a text for some very far-reaching speculations. The
Tuscans of the present day may preach any theological doctrines they
please to any who will listen to them, or indeed to those who won't,
but it would be curious to know how many individuals among them
consider that, or any other recently-acquired liberty, well bought at
the price they pay for it.

The Grand Duke was certainly not a great or a wise man. He was one
of those men of whom their friends habitually say that they are "no
fools," or "not such fools as they look," which generally may
be understood to mean that the individual spoken of cannot with
physiological accuracy be considered a _crétin_. Nevertheless, in his
case the expression was doubtless accurately true. He was not such
a fool as he looked, for his appearance was certainly not that of a
wise, or even an intelligent man.

One story is told of him, which I have reason to believe perfectly
true, and which is so characteristic of the man, and of the time, that
I must not deprive the reader of it.

It was the custom that on St. John's Day the Duke should visit and
inspect the small body of troops who were lodged in the Fortezza di
San Giovanni, or Fortezza da Basso, as it was popularly called, in
contradistinction from another fort on the high ground above the
Boboli Gardens. And it was expected that on these occasions the
sovereign should address a few words to his soldiers. So the Duke,
resting his person first on one leg and then on the other, after his
fashion, stood in front of the two or three score of men drawn up
in line before him, and after telling them that obedience to their
officers and attachment to duty were the especial virtues of a
soldier, he continued, "Above all, my men, I desire that you should
remember the duties and observances of our holy religion, and--and--"
(here, having said all he had to say, His Highness was at a loss for
a conclusion to his harangue. But looking down on the ground as he
strove to find a fitting peroration, he observed that the army's shoes
were sadly in want of the blacking brush, so he concluded with more of
animation and significance than he had before evinced) "and keep your
shoes clean!"

I may find room further on to say a few words of what I remember of
the revolution which dethroned poor _gran ciuco_. But I may as well
conclude here what I have to say of him by relating the manner of his
final exit from the soil of Tuscany, of which the malicious among the
few who knew the circumstances were wont to say--very unjustly--that
nothing in his reign became him like the leaving of it. I saw him pass
out from the Porta San Gallo on his way to Bologna among a crowd of
his late subjects, who all lifted their hats, though not without some
satirical cries of "_Addio, sai" "Buon viaggio_!" But a few, a very
few, friends accompanied his carriage to the papal frontier, an
invisible line on the bleak Apennines, unmarked by any habitation.
There he descended from his carriage to receive their last adieus, and
there was much lowly bowing as they stood on the highway. The Duke,
not unmoved, bowed lowly in return, but unfortunately backing as
he did so, tripped himself up with characteristic awkwardness, and
tumbled backwards on a heap of broken stones prepared for the road,
with his heels in the air, and exhibiting to his unfaithful Tuscans
and ungrateful Duchy, as a last remembrance of him, a full view of a
part of his person rarely put forward on such occasions.

And so _exeunt_ from the sight of men and from history a Grand Duke
and a Grand Duchy.



CHAPTER VII.


It was not long after the flood in Florence--it seems to me, as I
write, that I might almost leave out the two last words!--that I saw
Dickens for the first time. One morning in Casa Berti my mother was
most agreeably surprised by a card brought in to her with "Mr. and
Mrs. Charles Dickens" on it. We had been among his heartiest admirers
from the early days of _Pickwick_. I don't think we had happened to
see the _Sketches by Boz_. But my uncle Milton used to come to
Hadley full of "the last _Pickwick_," and swearing that each number
out-Pickwicked Pickwick. And it was with the greatest curiosity and
interest that we saw the creator of all this enjoyment enter in the
flesh.

We were at first disappointed, and disposed to imagine there must be
some mistake! No! _that_ is not the man who wrote _Pickwick_! What we
saw was a dandified, pretty-boy-looking sort of figure, singularly
young looking, I thought, with a slight flavour of the whipper-snapper
genus of humanity.

Here is Carlyle's description of his appearance at about that period
of his life, quoted from Froude's _History of Carlyle's Life in
London_:

"He is a fine little fellow--Boz--I think. Clear blue, intelligent
eyes, eyebrows that he arches amazingly, large, protrusive, rather
loose mouth, a face of most extreme mobility, which he shuttles
about--eyebrows, eyes, mouth and all--in a very singular manner when
speaking. Surmount this with a loose coil of common-coloured hair,
and set it on a small compact figure, very small, and dressed _à la_
D'Orsay rather than well--this is Pickwick. For the rest, a quiet,
shrewd-looking little fellow, who seems to guess pretty well what he
is and what others are."

One may perhaps venture to suppose that had the second of these
guesses been less accurate, the description might have been a less
kindly one.

But there are two errors to be noted in this sketch, graphic as it
is. Firstly, Dickens's eyes were not blue, but of a very distinct and
brilliant hazel--the colour traditionally assigned to Shakspeare's
eyes. Secondly, Dickens, although truly of a slight, compact figure,
was _not a very_ small man. I do not think he was below the average
middle height. I speak from my remembrance of him at a later day,
when I had become intimate with him; but curiously enough, I find on
looking back into my memory, that if I had been asked to describe him,
as I first saw him, I too should have said that he was very small.
Carlyle's words refer to Dickens's youth soon after he had published
_Pickwick_; and no doubt at this period he had a look of delicacy,
almost of effeminacy, if one may accept Maclise's well-known portrait
as a truthful record, which might give those who saw him the
impression of his being smaller and more fragile in build than was
the fact. In later life he lost this D'Orsay look completely, and was
bronzed and reddened by wind and weather like a seaman.

In fact, when I saw him subsequently in London, I think I should have
passed him in the street without recognising him. I never saw a man so
changed.

Any attempt to draw a complete pen-and-ink portrait of Dickens has
been rendered for evermore superfluous, if it were not presumptuous,
by the masterly and exhaustive life of him by John Forster. But one
may be allowed to record one's own impressions, and any small incident
or anecdote which memory holds, on the grounds set forth by the great
writer himself, who says in the introduction to the _American Notes_
(first printed in the biography)--"Very many works having just the
same scope and range have been already published. But I think that
these two volumes stand in need of no apology on that account. The
interest of such productions, if they have any, lies in the varying
impressions made by the same novel things on different minds, and not
in new discoveries or extraordinary adventures."

At Florence Dickens made a pilgrimage to Landor's villa, the owner
being then absent in England, and gathered a leaf of ivy from Fiesole
to carry back to the veteran poet, as narrated by Mr. Forster. Dickens
is as accurate as a topographer in his description of the villa, as
looked down on from Fiesole. How often--ah, _how_ often!--have I
looked down from that same dwarf wall over the matchless view where
Florence shows the wealth of villas that Ariosto declares made it
equivalent to two Romes!

Dickens was only thirty-three when I first saw him, being just two
years my junior. I have said what he appeared to me then. As I knew
him afterwards, and to the end of his days, he was a strikingly manly
man, not only in appearance but in bearing. The lustrous brilliancy of
his eyes was very striking. And I do not think that I have ever seen
it noticed, that those wonderful eyes which saw so much and so keenly,
were appreciably, though to a very slight degree, near-sighted eyes.
Very few persons, even among those who knew him well, were aware of
this, for Dickens never used a glass. But he continually exercised his
vision by looking at distant objects, and making them out as well as
he could without any artificial assistance. It was an instance of that
force of will in him, which compelled a naturally somewhat delicate
frame to comport itself like that of an athlete. Mr. Forster somewhere
says of him, "Dickens's habits were robust, but his health was not."
This is entirely true as far as my observation extends.

Of the general charm of his manner I despair of giving any idea to
those who have not seen or known him. This was a charm by no means
dependent on his genius. He might have been the great writer he was
and yet not have warmed the social atmosphere wherever he appeared
with that summer glow which seemed to attend him. His laugh was
brimful of enjoyment. There was a peculiar humorous protest in it when
recounting or hearing anything specially absurd, as who should say
"'Pon my soul this is _too_ ridiculous! This passes all bounds!" and
bursting out afresh as though the sense of the ridiculous overwhelmed
him like a tide, which carried all hearers away with it, and which
I well remember. His enthusiasm was boundless. It entered into
everything he said or did. It belonged doubtless to that amazing
fertility and wealth of ideas and feeling that distinguished his
genius.

No one having any knowledge of the profession of literature can read
Dickens's private letters and not stand amazed at the unbounded
affluence of imagery, sentiment, humour, and keen observation which
he poured out in them. There was no stint, no reservation for trade
purposes. So with his conversation--every thought, every fancy, every
feeling was expressed with the utmost vivacity and intensity, but a
vivacity and intensity compatible with the most singular delicacy and
nicety of touch when delicacy and nicety of touch were needed.

What were called the exaggerations of his writing were due, I have no
doubt, to the extraordinary luminosity of his imagination. He saw and
rendered such an individuality as Mr. Pecksniff's or Mrs. Nickleby's
for instance, something after the same fashion as a solar microscope
renders any object observed through it. The world in general beholds
its Pecksniffs and its Mrs. Nicklebys through a different medium. And
at any rate Dickens got at the quintessence of his creatures, and
enables us all, in our various measures, to perceive it too. The proof
of this is that we are constantly not only quoting the sayings and
doings of his immortal characters, but are recognising other sayings
and doings as what _they_ would have said or done.

But it is impossible for one who knew him as I did to confine what
he remembers of him either to traits of outward appearance or to
appreciations of his genius. I must say a few, a very few words of
what Dickens appeared to me as a man. I think that an epithet, which,
much and senselessly as it has been misapplied and degraded, is yet,
when rightly used, perhaps the grandest that can be applied to a human
being, was especially applicable to him. He was a _hearty_ man, a
large-hearted man that is to say. He was perhaps the largest-hearted
man I ever knew. I think he made a nearer approach to obeying the
divine precept, "Love thy neighbour as thyself," than one man in a
hundred thousand. His benevolence, his active, energising desire for
good to all God's creatures, and restless anxiety to be in some way
active for the achieving of it, were unceasing and busy in his heart
ever and always.

But he had a sufficient capacity for a virtue, which, I think, seems
to be moribund among us--the virtue of moral indignation. Men and
their actions were not all much of a muchness to him. There was none
of the indifferentism of that pseudo-philosophic moderation, which,
when a scoundrel or a scoundrelly action is on the _tapis_, hints that
there is much to be said on both sides. Dickens hated a mean action or
a mean sentiment as one hates something that is physically loathsome
to the sight and touch. And he could be angry, as those with whom he
had been angry did not very readily forget.

And there was one other aspect of his moral nature, of which I am
reminded by an observation which Mr. Forster records as having been
made by Mrs. Carlyle. "Light and motion flashed from every part of it
[his face]. It was as if made of steel." The first part of the phrase
is true and graphic enough, but the image offered by the last words
appears to me a singularly infelicitous one. There was nothing of the
hardness or of the (moral) sharpness of steel about the expression of
Dickens's face and features. Kindling mirth and genial fun were
the expressions which those who casually met him in society were
habituated to find there, but those who knew him well knew also well
that a tenderness, gentle and sympathetic as that of a woman, was a
mood that his surely never "steely" face could express exquisitely,
and did express frequently.

I used to see him very frequently in his latter years. I generally
came to London in the summer, and one of the first things on my list
was a visit to 20, Wellington Street. Then would follow sundry other
visits and meetings--to Tavistock House, to Gadshill, at Verey's in
Regent Street, a place he much patronised, &c., &c. I remember one day
meeting Chauncy Hare Townsend at Tavistock House and thinking him a
very singular and not particularly agreeable man. Edwin Landseer I
remember dined there the same day. But he had been a friend of my
mother's, and was my acquaintance of long long years before.

Of course we had much and frequent talk about Italy, and I may say
that our ideas and opinions, and especially feelings on that subject,
were always, I think, in unison. Our agreement respecting English
social and political matters was less perfect. But I think that it
would have become more nearly so had his life been prolonged as mine
has been. And the approximation would, if I am not much mistaken, have
been brought about by a movement of mind on his part, which already
I think those who knew him best will agree with me in thinking had
commenced. We differed on many points of politics. But there is one
department of English social life--one with which I am probably more
intimately acquainted than with any other, and which has always been
to me one of much interest--our public school system, respecting which
our agreement was complete. And I cannot refrain from quoting. The
opinion which he expresses is as true as if he had, like me, an eight
years' experience of the system he is speaking of. And the passage,
which I am about to give, is very remarkable as an instance of the
singular acumen, insight, and power of sympathy which enabled him to
form so accurately correct an opinion on a matter of which he might be
supposed to know nothing.

"In July," says Mr. Forster, writing of the year 1858-9, "he took
earnest part in the opening efforts on behalf of the Royal Dramatic
College, which he supplemented later by a speech for the establishment
of schools for actors' children, in which he took occasion to declare
his belief that there were no institutions in England so socially
liberal as its public schools, and that there was nowhere in the
country so complete an absence of servility to mere rank, position,
and riches. 'A boy there'" (Mr. Forster here quotes Dickens's own
words) "'is always what his abilities and personal qualities make
him. We may differ about the curriculum and other matters, but of the
frank, free, manly, independent spirit preserved in our public schools
I apprehend there can be no kind of question.'"

I have in my possession a great number of letters from Dickens, some
of which might probably have been published in the valuable collection
of his letters published by his sister-in-law and eldest daughter had
they been get-at-able at the time when they might have been available
for that publication.[1] But I was at Rome, and the letters were
safely stowed away in England in such sort that it would have needed a
journey to London to get at them.

[Footnote 1: Some of the letters in question--such as I had with
me--were sent to London for that purpose. I do not remember now which
were and which were not. But if it should be the case that any of
those printed here have been printed before, I do not think any reader
will object to having them again brought under his eye.]

I was for several years a frequent contributor to _Household Words_,
my contributions for the most part consisting of what I considered
tit-bits from the byways of Italian history, which the persevering
plough of my reading turned up from time to time.

In one case I remember the article was sent "to order," I was dining
with him after I had just had all the remaining hairs on my head made
to stand on end by the perusal of the officially published _Manual for
Confessors_, as approved by superior authority for the dioceses of
Tuscany. I was full of the subject, and made, I fancy, the hairs of
some who sat at table with me stand on end also. Dickens said, with
nailing forefinger levelled at me, "Give us that for _Household
Words_. Give it us just as you have now been telling it to us"--which
I accordingly did. Whether the publication of that article was in
anywise connected with the fact that when I wished to purchase a
second copy of that most extraordinary work I was told that it was out
of print, and not to be had, I do not know. Of course it was kept as
continually in print as the _Latin Grammar_, for the constant use of
the class for whom it was provided, and who most assuredly could not
have found their way safely through the wonderful intricacies of the
Confessional without it. And equally, of course, the publishers of
so largely-circulated a work did not succeed in preventing me from
obtaining a second copy of it.

Many of the letters addressed to me by Dickens concerned more or less
my contributions to his periodical, and many more are not of a nature
to interest the public even though they came from him. But I may give
a few extracts from three or four of them.[1]

[Footnote 1: I wish it to be observed that any letters, or parts of
letters, from Dickens here printed are published with the permission
and authorisation of his sister-in-law, Miss Georgina Hogarth.]

Here is a passage from a letter dated 3rd December, 1861, which my
vanity will not let me suppress.

"Yes; the Christmas number _was_ intended as a conveyance of all
friendly greetings in season and out of season. As to its lesson, you
need it almost as little as any man I know; for all your study and
seclusion conduce to the general good, and disseminate truths that men
cannot too earnestly take to heart. Yes, a capital story that of 'The
Two Seaborn Babbies,' and wonderfully droll, I think. I may say so
without blushing, for it is not by me. It was done by Wilkie Collins."

Here is another short note, not a little gratifying to me personally,
but not without interest of a larger kind to the reader:--

       *       *       *       *       *

"_Tuesday, 15th November, 1859._

"MY DEAR TROLLOPE,--I write this hasty word, just as the post leaves,
to ask you this question, which this moment occurs to me.

"Montalembert, in his suppressed treatise, asks, 'What wrong has Pope
Pius the Ninth done?' Don't you think you can very pointedly answer
that question in these pages? If you cannot, nobody in Europe can.
Very faithfully yours always,

"CHARLES DICKENS"

       *       *       *       *       *

Some, some few, may remember the interest excited by the treatise to
which the above letter refers. No doubt I could, and doubtless did,
though I forget all about it, answer the question propounded by the
celebrated French writer. But there was little hope of my doing it
as "pointedly" as my correspondent would have done it himself. The
answer, which might well have consisted of a succinct statement of all
the difficulties of the position with which Italy was then struggling,
had to confine itself to the limits of an article in _All The Year
Round_, and needed in truth to be pointed. I have observed that, in
all our many conversations on Italian matters, Dickens's views and
opinions coincided with my own, without, I think, any point of
divergence. Very specially was this the case as regards all that
concerned the Vatican and the doings of the Curia. How well I remember
his arched eyebrows and laughing eyes when I told him of Garibaldi's
proposal that all priests should be summarily executed! I think
it modified his ideas of the possible utility of Garibaldi as a
politician.

Then comes an invitation to "my Falstaff house at Gadshill."

Here is a letter of the 17th February, 1866, which I will give _in
extenso_, bribed again by the very flattering words in which the
writer speaks of our friendship:--

       *       *       *       *       *

"MY DEAR TROLLOPE,--I am heartily glad to hear from you. It was such
a disagreeable surprise to find that you had left London" [I had been
called away at an hour's notice] "on the occasion of your last visit
without my having seen you, that I have never since got it out of my
mind. I felt as if it were my fault (though I don't know how that can
have been), and as if I had somehow been traitorous to the earnest and
affectionate regard with which you have inspired me.

"The lady's verses are accepted by the editorial potentate, and shall
presently appear." [I am ashamed to say that I totally forget who the
lady was.]

"I am not quite well, and am being touched up (or down) by the
doctors. Whether the irritation of mind I had to endure pending the
discussions of a preposterous clerical body called a Convocation, and
whether the weakened hopefulness of mankind which such a dash of the
middle ages in the colour and pattern of 1866 engenders, may have
anything to do with it, I don't know.

"What a happy man you must be in having a new house to work at. When
it is quite complete, and the roc's egg hung up, I suppose you will
get rid of it bodily and turn to at another." [_Absit omen!_ At this
very moment, while I transcribe this letter, I _am_ turning to at
another.]

"_Daily News_ correspondent" [as I then for a short time was], "Novel,
and Hospitality! Enough to do indeed! Perhaps the day _might_ be
advantageously made longer for such work--or say life." [Ah! if the
small matters rehearsed had been all, I could more contentedly have
put up with the allowance of four-and-twenty hours.] "And yet I don't
know. Like enough we should all do less if we had time to do more in.

"Layard was with us for a couple of days a little while ago, and
brought the last report of you, and of your daughter, who seems to
have made a great impression on him. I wish he had had the keepership
of the National Gallery, for I don't think his Government will hold
together through many weeks.

"I wonder whether you thought as highly of Gibson's art as the lady
did who wrote the verses. I must say that I did _not_, and that I
thought it of a mechanical sort, with no great amount of imagination
in it. It seemed to me as if he 'didn't find me' in that, as the
servants say, but only provided me with carved marble, and expected me
to furnish myself with as much idea as I could afford.

"Very faithfully yours,

"CHARLES DICKENS."

       *       *       *       *       *

I do not remember the verses, though I feel confident that the lady
who sent them through me must have been a very charming person. As to
Gibson, no criticism could be sounder. I had a considerable liking for
Gibson as a man, and admiration for his character, but as regards his
ideal productions I think Dickens hits the right nail on the head.

In another letter of the same year, 25th July, after a page of remarks
on editorial matters, he writes:--

       *       *       *       *       *

"If Italy could but achieve some brilliant success in arms! That she
does not, causes, I think, some disappointment here, and makes her
sluggish friends more sluggish, and her open enemies more powerful. I
fear too that the Italian ministry have lost an excellent opportunity
of repairing the national credit in London city, and have borrowed
money in France for the poor consideration of lower interest, which"
_[sic_, but I suspect _which_ must be a slip of the pen for _than_]
"they could have got in England, greatly to the re-establishment of a
reputation for public good faith. As to Louis Napoleon, his position
in the whole matter is to me like his position in Europe at all times,
simply disheartening and astounding. Between Prussia and Austria there
is, in my mind (but for Italy), not a pin to choose. If each could
smash the other I should be, as to those two Powers, perfectly
satisfied. But I feel for Italy almost as if I were an Italian born.
So here you have in brief my confession of faith.

"Mr. Home" [as he by that time called himself,--when he was staying in
my house his name was Hume], "after trying to come out as an actor,
first at Fechter's (where I had the honour of stopping him short), and
then at the St. James's Theatre under Miss Herbert (where he was
twice announced, and each time very mysteriously disappeared from the
bills), was announced at the little theatre in Dean Street, Soho, as
a 'great attraction for one night only,' to play last Monday. An
appropriately dirty little rag of a bill, fluttering in the window of
an obscure dairy behind the Strand, gave me this intelligence last
Saturday. It is like enough that even that striking business did not
come off, for I believe the public to have found out the scoundrel; in
which lively and sustaining hope this leaves me at present.

"Ever faithfully yours,

"CHARLES DICKENS."

       *       *       *       *       *

Here is a letter which, as may be easily imagined, I value much. It
was written on the 2nd of November, 1866, and reached me at Brest. It
was written to congratulate me on my second marriage, and among the
great number which I received on that occasion is one of the most
warm-hearted:--

       *       *       *       *       *

"MY DEAR TROLLOPE,--I should have written immediately to congratulate
you on your then approaching marriage, and to assure you of my most
cordial and affectionate interest in all that nearly concerns you, had
I known how best to address you.

"No friend that you have can be more truly attached to you than I am.
I congratulate you with all my heart, and believe that your marriage
will stand high upon the list of happy ones. As to your wife's winning
a high reputation out of your house--if you care for that; it is not
much as an addition to the delights of love and peace and a suitable
companion for life--I have not the least doubt of her power to make
herself famous.

"I little thought what an important master of the ceremonies I was
when I first gave your present wife an introduction to your mother.
Bear me in your mind then as the unconscious instrument of your having
given your best affection to a worthy object, and I shall be the best
paid master of the ceremonies since Nash drove his coach and six
through the streets of Bath.

"Faithfully yours,

"CHARLES DICKENS."

       *       *       *       *       *

Among a heap of others I find a note of invitation written on the 9th
of July, 1867, in which he says: "My 'readings' secretary, whom I am
despatching to America at the end of this week, will dine with me at
Verey's in Regent Street at six exact to be wished God-speed. There
will only be besides, Wills, Wilkie Collins, and Mr. Arthur Chappell.
Will you come? No dress. Evening left quite free."

I went, and the God-speed party was a very pleasant one. But I liked
best to have him, as I frequently had, all to myself. I suppose I
am not, as Johnson said, a "clubbable" man. At all events I highly
appreciate what the Irishman called a tatur-tatur dinner, whether the
gender in the case be masculine or feminine; and I incline to give
my adherence to the philosophy of the axiom that declares "two to
be company, and three none." But then I am very deaf, and that has
doubtless much to do with it.

On the 10th of September, 1868, Dickens writes:--

       *       *       *       *       *

"The madness and general political bestiality of the General Elections
will come off in the appropriate Guy Fawkes days. It was proposed to
me, under very flattering circumstances indeed, to come in as the
third member for Birmingham; I replied in what is now my stereotyped
phrase, 'that no consideration on earth would induce me to become
a candidate for the representation of any place in the House of
Commons.' Indeed it is a dismal sight, is that arena altogether. Its
irrationality and dishonesty are quite shocking." [What would he have
said now!] "How disheartening it is, that in affairs spiritual or
temporal mankind will not begin at the beginning, but _will_ begin
with assumptions. Could one believe without actual experience of the
fact, that it would be assumed by hundreds of thousands of pestilent
boobies, pandered to by politicians, that the Established Church in
Ireland has stood between the kingdom and Popery, when as a crying
grievance it has been Popery's trump-card!

"I have now growled out my growl, and feel better.

"With kind regards, my dear Trollope,

"Faithfully yours,

"CHARLES DICKENS."

       *       *       *       *       *

In the December of that year came another growl, as follows:--

       *       *       *       *       *

"KENNEDY'S HOTEL, EDINBURGH.

"MY DEAR TROLLOPE,--I am reading here, and had your letter forwarded
to me this morning. The MS. accompanying it was stopped at _All The
Year Round_ office (in compliance with general instructions referring
to any MS. from you) and was sent straight to the printer.

"Oh dear no! Nobody supposes for a moment that the English Church
will follow the Irish Establishment. In the whole great universe of
shammery and flummery there is no such idea floating. Everybody knows
that the Church of England as an endowed establishment is doomed, and
would be, even if its hand were not perpetually hacking at its own
throat; but as was observed of an old lady in gloves in one of my
Christmas books, 'Let us be polite or die!'

"Anthony's ambition" [in becoming a candidate for Beverley] "is
inscrutable to me. Still, it is the ambition of many men; and the
honester the man who entertains it, the better for the rest of us, I
suppose.

"Ever, my dear Trollope,

"Most cordially yours,

"CHARLES DICKENS."

       *       *       *       *       *

Here is another "growl," provoked by a species of charlatan, which
he, to whom all charlatans were odious, especially abominated--the
pietistic charlatan:--

       *       *       *       *       *

"Oh, we have such a specimen here! a man who discourses
extemporaneously, positively without the power of constructing one
grammatical sentence; but who is (ungrammatically) deep in Heaven's
confidence on the abstrusest points, and discloses some of his private
information with an idiotic complacency insupportable to behold.

"We are going to have a bad winter in England too probably. What with
Ireland, and what with the last new Government device of getting in
the taxes before they are due, and what with vagrants, and what with
fever, the prospect is gloomy."

The last letter I ever received from him is dated the 10th of
November, 1869. It is a long letter, but I will give only one passage
from it, which has, alas! a peculiarly sad and touching significance
when read with the remembrance of the catastrophe then hurrying on,
which was to put an end to all projects and purposes. I had been
suggesting a walking excursion across the Alps. He writes:--

"Walk across the Alps? Lord bless you, I am 'going' to take up my
alpenstock and cross all the passes. And, I am 'going' to Italy. I am
also 'going' up the Nile to the second cataract; and I am 'going' to
Jerusalem, and to India, and likewise to Australia. My only dimness
of perception in this wise is, that I don't know _when_. If I did but
know when, I should be so wonderfully clear about it all! At present
I can't see even so much as the Simplon in consequence of certain
farewell readings and a certain new book (just begun) interposing
their dwarfish shadow. But whenever (if ever) I change 'going' into
'coming,' I shall come to see you.

"With kind regards, ever, my dear Trollope,

"Your affectionate friend,

"CHARLES DICKENS."

       *       *       *       *       *

And those were the last words I ever had from him!



CHAPTER VIII.


In those days--_temporibus illis_, as the historians of long-forgotten
centuries say--there used to be a very general exodus of the English
colony at Florence to the baths of Lucca during the summer months.
Almost all Italians, who can in anywise afford to do so, leave the
great cities nowadays for the seaside, even as those do who have
preceded them in the path of modern luxurious living. But at the time
of which I am writing the Florentines who did so were few, and almost
confined to that inner circle of the fashionable world which partly
lived with foreigners, and had adopted in many respects their modes
and habits. Those Italians, however, who did leave their Florence
homes in the summer, went almost all of them to Leghorn. The baths of
Lucca were an especially and almost exclusively English resort.

It was possible to induce the _vetturini_ who supplied carriages and
horses for the purpose, to do the journey to the baths in one day, but
it was a very long day, and it was necessary to get fresh horses
at Lucca. There was no good sleeping-place between Florence and
Lucca--nor indeed is there such now--and the journey from the capital
of Tuscany to that of the little Duchy of Lucca, now done by rail in
less than two hours, was quite enough for a _vetturino's_ pair of
horses. And when Lucca was reached there were still fourteen miles,
nearly all collar work, between that and the baths, so that the plan
more generally preferred was to sleep at Lucca.

The baths (well known to the ancient Romans, of course, as what warm
springs throughout Europe were not?) consisted of three settlements,
or groups of houses--as they do still, for I revisited the
well-remembered place two or three years ago. There was the "Ponte," a
considerable village gathered round the lower bridge over the Lima, at
which travellers from Florence first arrived. Here were the
assembly rooms, the reading room, the principal baths, _and_ the
gaming-tables--for in those pleasant wicked days the remote little
Lucca baths were little better than Baden subsequently and Monte Carlo
now. Only we never, to the best of my memory, suicided ourselves,
though it might happen occasionally, that some innkeeper lost the
money which ought to have gone to him, because "the bank" had got hold
of it first.

Then secondly there was the "Villa," about a mile higher up the lovely
little valley of the Lima, so called because the Duke's villa was
situated there. The Villa had more the pretension--a very little
more--of looking something like a little bit of town. At least it had
its one street paved. The ducal villa was among the woods immediately
above it.

The third little group of buildings and lodging-houses was called the
"Bagni Caldi." The hotter, and, I fancy, the original springs were
there, and it was altogether more retired and countrified, nestling
closely among the chesnut woods. The whole surrounding country indeed
is one great chesnut forest, and the various little villages, most of
them picturesque in the highest degree, which crown the summits of the
surrounding hills, are all of them closely hedged in by the chesnut
woods, which clothe the slopes to the top. These villages burrow in
what they live on like mice in a cheese, for many of the inhabitants
never taste any other than chesnut flour bread from year's end to
year's end.

The inhabitants of these hills, and indeed those of the duchy
generally, have throughout Italy the reputation of being morally about
the best population in the peninsula. Servants from the Lucchese, and
especially from the district I am here speaking of, were, and are
still, I believe, much prized. Lucca, as many readers will remember,
enjoys among all the descriptive epithets popularly given to the
different cities of Italy, that of _Lucca la industriosa_.

To us migratory English those singularly picturesque villages which
capped all the hills, and were reached by curiously ancient paved mule
paths zig-sagging up among the chesnut woods, seemed to have been
created solely for artistic and picnic purposes. The Saturnian nature
of the life lived in them may be conceived from the information once
given me by the inhabitants of one of these mountain settlements in
reply to some inquiry about the time of day, that it was always noon
there when the priest was ready for his dinner.

Such were the summer quarters of the English Florentine colony,
_temporibus illis_. There used to be, I remember, a somewhat amusingly
distinctive character attributed, of course in a general way subject
to exceptions, to the different groups of the English rusticating
world, according to the selection of their quarters in either of the
above three little settlements. The "gay" world preferred the "Ponte,"
where the gaming-tables and ballrooms were. The more strictly "proper"
people went to live at the "Villa," where the English Church service
was performed. The invalid portion of the society, or those who wished
quiet, and especially economy, sought the "Bagni Caldi."

In a general way we all desired economy, and found it. The price at
the many hotels was nine pauls a day for board and lodging, including
Tuscan wine, and was as much a fixed and invariable matter as a penny
for a penny bun. Those who wanted other wine generally brought it with
them, by virtue of a ducal ordinance which specially exempted from
duty all wine brought by English visitors to the Baths.

I dare say, if I were to pass a summer there now, I should find the
atmosphere damp, or the wine sour, or the bread heavy, or the society
heavier, or indulge in some such unreasonable and unseasonable
grumbles as the near neighbourhood of four-score years is apt to
inspire one with; but I used to find it amazingly pleasant once upon
a time. It is a singular fact, which the remembrance of those days
suggests to me, and which I recommend to the attention of Mr. Galton
and his co-investigators, that the girls were prettier then than they
are in these days, or that there were more of them! The stupid
people, who are always discovering subjective reasons for objective
observations, are as impertinent as stupid!

The Duke of Lucca used to do his utmost to make the baths attractive
and agreeable. There is no Duke of Lucca now, as all the world knows.
The Congress of Vienna put an end to him by ordaining that, when the
ducal throne of Parma should become vacant, the reigning Duke of Lucca
should succeed to it, while his duchy of Lucca should be united to
Florence. This change took place while I was still a Florentine.
The Duke of Lucca would none of the new dukedom proposed to him. He
abdicated, and his son became Duke of Parma. This son was, in truth, a
great ne'er-do-well, and very shortly got murdered in the streets of
his new capital by an offended husband.

The change was most unwelcome to Lucca, and especially to the baths,
which had thriven and prospered under the fostering care of the old
Duke. He used to pass every summer there, and give constant very
pleasant, but very little royal, balls at his villa. The Tuscan
satirist Giusti, in the celebrated little poem in which he
characterises the different reigning sovereigns in the peninsula,
calls him the Protestant Don Giovanni, and says that in the roll of
tyrants he is neither fish nor flesh.

Of the first two epithets I take it he deserved the second more than
the first. His Protestantising tendencies might, I think, have been
more accurately described as non-Catholicising. But people are
very apt to judge in this matter after the fashion of the would-be
dramatist, who, on being assured that he had no genius for tragedy,
concluded that he must therefore have one for comedy. The Duke's
Protestantism, I suspect, limited itself to, and showed itself in, his
dislike and resistance to being bothered by the rulers of neighbouring
states into bothering anybody else about their religious opinions. As
for his place in the "roll of tyrants," he was always accused of (or
praised for) liberalising ideas and tendencies, which would in those
days have very soon put an end to him and his tiny duchy, if he had
attempted to govern it in accordance with them. As matters were, his
"policy," I take it, was pretty well confined to the endeavour to make
his sovereignty as little troublesome to himself or anybody else as
possible. His subjects were _very_ lightly taxed, for his private
property rendered him perfectly independent of them as regarded his
own personal expenditure.

The "gayer" part of our little world at the baths used, as I have
said, more especially to congregate at the "Ponte," and the more
"proper" portion at the "Villa," for, as I have also said, the English
Church service was performed there, in a hired room, as I remember,
when I first went there. But a church was already in process of being
built, mainly by the exertions of a lady, who assuredly cannot be
forgotten by any one who ever knew the Baths in those days, or for
many years afterwards--Mrs. Stisted. Unlike the rest of the world she
lived neither at the "Ponte," nor at the "Villa," nor at the "Bagni
Caldi," but at "The Cottage," a little habitation on the bank of the
stream about half-way between the "Ponte" and the "Villa." Also unlike
all the rest of the world she lived there permanently, for the place
was her own, or rather the property of her husband, Colonel Stisted.
He was a long, lean, grey, faded, exceedingly mild, and perfectly
gentlemanlike old man; but she was one of the queerest people my
roving life has ever made me acquainted with.

She was the Queen of the Baths. On one occasion at the ducal villa,
his Highness, who spoke English perfectly, said as she entered the
room, "Here comes the Queen of the Baths!" "He calls me his Queen,"
said she, turning to the surrounding circle with a magnificent wave of
the hand and delightedly complacent smile. It was not exactly _that_
that the Duke had said, but he was immensely amused, as were we all,
for some days afterwards.

She was a stout old lady, with large rubicund face and big blue eyes,
surrounded by very abundant grey curls. She used to play, or profess
to play, the harp, and adopted, as she explained, a costume for the
purpose. This consisted of a loose, flowing garment, much like a
muslin surplice, which fell back and allowed the arm to be seen when
raised for performance on her favourite instrument. The arm probably
was, or had once been, a handsome one. The large grey head, and
the large blue eyes, and the drooping curls, were also raised
simultaneously, and the player looked singularly like the picture of
King David similarly employed, which I have seen as a frontispiece in
an old-fashioned prayer-book. But the specialty of the performance was
that, as all present always said, no sound whatever was heard to issue
from the instrument! "Attitude is everything," as we have heard in
connection with other matters; but with dear old Mrs. Stisted at her
harp it was absolutely and literally so to the exclusion of all else!

She and the good old colonel--he _was_ a truly good and benevolent
man, and, indeed, I believe she was a good and charitable woman,
despite her manifold absurdities and eccentricities--used to drive out
in the evening among her subjects--_her_ subjects, for neither I
nor anybody else ever heard him called King of the Baths!--in an
old-fashioned, very shabby and very high-hung phaeton, sometimes with
her niece Charlotte--an excellent creature and universal favourite--by
her side, and the colonel on the seat behind, ready to offer the
hospitality of the place by his side to any mortal so favoured by the
queen as to have received such an invitation.

The poor dear old colonel used to play the violoncello, and did at
least draw some more or less exquisite sounds from it. But one winter
they paid a visit to Rome, and the old man died there. She wished, in
accordance doubtless with his desire, to bring back his body to be
buried in the place they had inhabited for so many years, and with
which their names were so indissolubly entwined in the memory of all
who knew them--which means all the generations of nomad frequenters of
the Baths for many, many years. The Protestant burial-ground also was
recognised as _quasi_ hers, for it is attached to the church which she
was mainly instrumental in building. The colonel's body therefore was
to be brought back from Rome to be buried at Lucca Baths.

But such an enterprise was not the simplest or easiest thing in the
world. There were official difficulties in the way, ecclesiastical
difficulties and custom-house difficulties of all sorts. Where there
is a will, however, there is a way. But the way which the determined
will of the Queen of the Baths discovered for itself upon this
occasion was one which would probably have occurred to few people in
the world save herself. She hired a _vetturino_, and told him that he
was to convey a servant of hers to the baths of Lucca, who would be
in charge of goods which would occupy the entire interior of the
carriage. She then obtained, what was often accorded without much
difficulty in those days, from both the Pontifical and the Tuscan
Governments, a _lascia passare_ for the contents of the carriage as
_bonâ fide roba usata_--"used up, or second-hand goods." And under
this denomination the poor old colonel, packed in the carriage
together with his beloved violoncello, passed the gates of Rome and
the Tuscan frontier, and arrived safely at the place of his latest
destination. The servant who was employed to conduct this singular
operation did not above half like the job entrusted to him, and used
to tell afterwards how he was frightened out of his wits, and the
driver exceedingly astonished, by a sudden _pom-m-m_ from the interior
of the carriage, caused by the breaking, in consequence of some
atmospheric change, of one of the strings of the violoncello.

Malicious people used to say that the Queen of the Baths was innocent
of all deception as regarded the custom-house officials; for that
if any article was ever honestly described as _roba usata_, the old
colonel might be so designated.

The queen herself shortly followed (by another conveyance), and was
present at the interment, on which occasion she much impressed the
population by causing a superb crimson chair to be placed at the head
of the grave, in order that she might be present without standing
during the service. The chair was well known, because the queen, both
at the Baths and at Florence, was in the habit of sending it about
to the houses at which she visited, since she preferred doing so to
incurring the risk of the less satisfactory accommodation her friends
might offer her!

If space and the reader's patience would allow of it, I might gossip
on of many more reminiscences of the baths of Lucca, all pleasant or
laughable. But I must conclude by the story of a tragedy, which I will
tell, because it is, in many respects, curiously characteristic of the
time and place.

The Duke, who, as I have said, spoke English perfectly well, was
fond of surrounding himself with foreign, and specially English,
dependents. He had at the time of which I am speaking, two English--or
rather, one English and one Irish--chamberlains, and a third, who,
though a German, was, from having married an Englishwoman, and
habitually speaking English, and living with Englishmen, much the
same, at least to the Duke, as an Englishman. The Englishman was a
young man; the German an older man, and the father of a family. And
both were good, upright, and honourable men; both long since gone over
to the majority.

The Irishman, also a young man, was a bad fellow; but he was an
especial favourite with the Duke, who was strongly attached to him. It
is not necessary to print his name. He has gone to his account. But it
might nevertheless happen that the printing of my story with his name
in these pages might still give pain to somebody.

There was also that year an extremely handsome and attractive lady, a
widow, at the Baths. I will not give her name either. For though there
was no sort of blame or discredit of any kind attached or attachable
to her from any part of my story, as she is, I believe, still living,
and as the memory of that time cannot but be a painful one to her, it
is as well to suppress it. The lady, as I have said, was handsome and
young, and of course all the young fellows who got a chance flirted
with her--_en tout bien tout honneur_. But the Irish chamberlain
attached himself to her, not with any but perfectly avowable
intentions, but more seriously than the other youngsters, and with an
altogether serious eye to her very comfortable dower.

Now during that same summer there was at the Baths Mr. Plowden, the
banker from Rome. He was then a young man; he has recently died an
old one in the Eternal City. His name I mention in telling my story
because much blame was cast upon him at the time by people in Rome, in
Florence, and at the Baths, who did not know the facts as entirely and
accurately as I knew them; and I am able here to declare publicly what
I have often declared privately, that he behaved well and blamelessly
in the whole matter.

And probably, though I have no distinct recollection that it was so,
Plowden may have also been smitten by the lady. Now, whether the
Irishman imagined that the young banker was his most formidable rival,
or whether there may have been some previous cause of ill-will between
the two men, I cannot say, but so it was that the chamberlain sent
a challenge to the banker. The latter declined to accept it on the
ground that he _was_ a banker and not a fighting man, and that his
business position would have been materially injured by his fighting a
duel. The Irishman might have made the most of this triumph, such as
it was. But he was not content with doing so, and lost none of the
opportunities, which the social habits of such a place daily afforded
him, for insulting and outraging his enemy. And he was continually
boasting to his friends that before the end of the season he would
compel him to come out and be shot at.

And before the end of the season came, his persistent efforts were
crowned with success. Plowden finding his life altogether intolerable
under the harrow of the bully's insolence, at length one day
challenged _him_. Then arose the question of the locality where the
duel was to take place. The laws of the duchy were very strict against
duelling, and the Duke himself was personally strongly opposed to it.
In the case of his own favourite chamberlain, too, his displeasure
was likely to be extreme. But in the neighbourhood of the Baths the
frontier line which divides the Duchy of Modena from that of Lucca is
a very irregular and intricate one. A little below the "Ponte" at the
Baths, the Lima falls into the Serchio, and the upper valley of the
latter river is of a very romantic and beautiful character. Now we
all knew that hereabouts there were portions of Modenese territory
interpenetrating that of the Duchy of Lucca, but none of us knew the
exact line of the boundary. And the favourite chamberlain, with true
Irish impudence, undertook to obtain exact information from the Duke
himself.

There was a ball that night, at which the whole of the society were
present, and, strange as It may seem, I do not think there was a man
there who did not know that the duel was to be fought on the morrow,
except the Duke himself. Many of the women even knew it perfectly
well. The chamberlain getting the Duke into conversation on the
subject of the frontier, learned from him that a certain highly
romantic gorge, opening out from the valley of the Serchio, and called
Turrite Cava, which he pretended to take an interest in as a place
fitted for a picnic, was within the Modenese frontier.

All was arranged, therefore, for the meeting with pistols on the
following morning; and the combatants proceeded to the spot fixed on,
some five or six miles, I think, from the Baths. Plowden, who, as a
sedate business man was less intimate with the generality of the young
men at the Baths, was accompanied only by his second; his adversary
was attended by a whole cohort of acquaintances--really far more after
the fashion of a party going to a picnic, or some other party of
pleasure, than in the usual guise of men bent on such an errand.

Plowden had never fired a pistol in his life, and knew about as much
of the management of one as an archbishop. The other was an old
duellist, and a practised performer with the weapon. All this was
perfectly well known, and the young men around the Irishman were
earnest with him during their drive to the ground not to take his
adversary's life, beseeching him to remember how heavy a load on his
mind would such a deed be during the whole future of his own. Not a
soul of the whole society of the Baths, who by this time knew what
was going on to a man, and almost to a woman (my mother, it may be
observed, had not been at the ball, and knew nothing about it),
doubted that Plowden was going out to be shot as certainly as a
bullock goes into the slaughter house to be killed.

The Irishman, in reply to all the exhortations of his companions,
jauntily told them not to distress themselves; he had no intention of
killing the fellow, but would content himself with "winging" him. He
would have his right arm off as surely as he now had it on!

In the midst of all this the men were put up. At the first shot the
Irishman's well-directed bullet whistled close to Plowden's head, but
the random shot of the latter struck his adversary full in the groin!

He was hastily carried to a little _osteria_, which stood (and still
stands) by the side of the road which runs up the valley of the
Serchio, at no great distance from the mouth of the Turrite Cava
gorge. There was a young medical man among those gathered there, who
shook his head over the victim, but did not, I thought, seem very well
up to dealing with the case.

One of my mother's earliest and most intimate friends at Florence
was a Lady Sevestre, who was then at the Baths with her husband, Sir
Thomas Sevestre, an old Indian army surgeon. He was a very old man,
and was not much known to the younger society of the place. But it
struck me that _he_ was the man for the occasion. So I rushed off to
the Baths in one of the _bagherini_ (as the little light gigs of the
country are called) which had conveyed the parties to the ground, and
knocked up Sir Thomas. Of course all the story came new to him, and
he was very much inclined to wash his hands of it. But on my
representations that a life was at stake, his old professional habits
prevailed, and he agreed to go back with me to Turrite Cava.

But no persuasions could induce him to trust himself to a _bagherino_.
And truly it would have shaken the old man well-nigh to pieces. There
was no other carriage to be had in a hurry. And at last he allowed me
to get an arm-chair rigged with a couple of poles for bearers, and
placed himself in it--not before he had taken the precaution of
slinging a bottle of pale ale to either pole of his equipage. He wore
a very wide-brimmed straw hat, a suit of professional black, and
carried a large white sunshade. And thus accoutred, and accompanied
by four stalwart bearers, he started, while I ran by the side of the
chair, as queer-looking a party as can well be imagined. I can see it
all now; and should have been highly amused at the time had I not very
strongly suspected that I was taking him to the bedside of a dying
man.

And when he reached his patient, a very few minutes sufficed for the
old surgeon to pronounce the case an absolutely hopeless one. After a
few hours of agony, the bully, who had insisted on bringing this fate
on himself, died that same afternoon.

Then came the question who was to tell the Duke. Who it was that
undertook that disagreeable but necessary task, I forget. But the
Duke came out to the little _osteria_ immediately on hearing of the
catastrophe; also the English clergyman officiating at the Baths came
out. And the scene in that large, nearly bare, upper chamber of the
little inn was a strange one. The clergyman began praying by the dying
man's bedside, while the numerous assemblage in the room all kneeled,
and the Duke kneeled with them, interrupting the prayers with his sobs
after the uncontrolled fashion of the Italians.

He was very, very angry. But in unblushing defiance of all equity and
reason, his anger turned wholly against Plowden, who, of course, had
placed himself out of the small potentate's reach within a very
few minutes after the catastrophe. But the Duke strove by personal
application to induce the Grand Duke of Tuscany to banish Plowden
from his dominions, which, to the young banker, one branch of whose
business was at Florence and one at Rome, would have been a very
serious matter. But this, poor old _ciuco_, more just and reasonable
in this case than his brother potentate, the Protestant Don Giovanni
of Lucca, refused to do.

So our pleasant time at the Baths, for that season at least, ended
tragically enough; and whenever I have since visited that singularly
romantic glen of Turrite Cava, its deep rock-sheltered shadows have
been peopled for me by the actors in that day's bloody work.



CHAPTER IX.


It was, to the best of my recollection, much about the same time as
that visit of Charles Dickens which I have chronicled in the last
chapter but one, which turned out to be eventually so fateful a one to
me, as the correspondence there given shows, that my mother received
another visit, which was destined to play an equally influential
part in the directing and fashioning of my life. Equally influential
perhaps I ought not to say, inasmuch as one-and-twenty years (with the
prospect I hope of more) are more important than seventeen. But both
the visits I am speaking of, as having occurred within a few days of
each other, were big with fate, to me, in the same department of human
affairs.

The visit of Dickens was destined eventually to bring me my second
wife, as the reader has seen. The visit of Mr. and Mrs. Garrow to the
Via dei Malcontenti, much about the same time, brought me my first.

The Arno and the Tiber both take their rise in the flanks of
Falterona. It was on the banks of the first that my first married
life was passed; on those of the more southern river that the largest
portion of my second wedded happiness was enjoyed.

Why Mr. and Mrs. Garrow called on my mother I do not remember.
Somebody had given them letters of introduction to us, but I forget
who it was. Mr. Garrow was the son of an Indian officer by a high
caste Brahmin woman, to whom he was married. I believe that unions
between Englishmen and native women are common enough. But a marriage,
such as that of my wife's grandfather I am assured was, is rare,
and rarer still a marriage with a woman of high caste. Her name was
Sultana. I have never heard of any other name. Joseph Garrow, my
father-in-law, was sent to England at an early age, and never again
saw either of his parents, who both died young. His grandfather was an
old Scotch schoolmaster at Hadley, near Barnet, and his great-uncle
was the well known Judge Garrow. My father-in-law carried about with
him very unmistakable evidence of his eastern origin in his yellow
skin, and the tinge of the white of his eyes, which was almost that of
an Indian. He had been educated for the bar, but had never practised,
or attempted to do so, having while still a young man married a wife
with considerable means. He was a decidedly clever man, especially in
an artistic direction, having been a very good musician and performer
on the violin, and a draughtsman and caricaturist of considerable
talent. The lady he married had been a Miss Abrams, but was at the
time he married her the widow of (I believe) a naval officer named
Fisher. She had by her first husband one son and one daughter. There
had been three Misses Abrams, Jewesses by race undoubtedly, but
Christians by baptism, whose parent or parents had come to this
country in the suite of some Hanoverian minister, in what capacity I
never heard. They were all three exceptionally accomplished musicians,
and seem to have been well known in the higher social circles of the
musical world. One of the sisters was the authoress of many once well
known songs, especially of one song called "Crazy Jane," which had a
considerable vogue in its day. I remember hearing old John Cramer
say that my mother-in-law could, while hearing a numerous orchestra,
single out any instrument which had played a false note--and this he
seemed to think a very remarkable and exceptional feat. She was past
fifty when Mr. Garrow married her, but she bore him one daughter, and
when they came to Florence both girls, Theodosia, Garrow's daughter,
and Harriet Fisher, her elder half-sister, were with them, and at
their second morning call both came with them.

The closest union and affection subsisted between the two girls, and
ever continued till the untimely death of Harriet. But never were two
sisters, or half-sisters, or indeed any two girls at all, more unlike
each other.

Harriet was neither specially clever nor specially pretty, but she
was, I think, perhaps the most absolutely unselfish human being I ever
knew, and one of the most loving hearts. And her position was one,
that, except in a nature framed of the kindliest clay, and moulded by
the rarest perfection of all the gentlest and self-denying virtues,
must have soured, or at all events crushed and quenched, the
individual placed in such circumstances. She was simply nobody in the
family save the ministering angel in the house to all of them. I
do not mean that any of the vulgar preferences existed which are
sometimes supposed to turn some less favoured member of a household
into a Cinderella. There was not the slightest shadow of anything of
the sort. But no visitors came to the house or sought the acquaintance
of the family for _her_ sake. She had the dear, and, to her, priceless
love of her sister. But no admiration, no pride of father or mother
fell to _her_ share. _Her_ life was not made brilliant by the notice
and friendship of distinguished men. Everything was for the younger
sister. And through long years of this eclipse, and to the last, she
fairly worshipped the sister who eclipsed her. Garrow, to do him
justice, was equally affectionate in his manner to both girls, and
entirely impartial in every respect that concerned the material
well-being of them. But Theodosia was always placed on a pedestal on
which there was no room at all for Harriet. Nor could the closest
intimacy with the family discover any faintest desire on her part to
share the pedestal She was content and entirely happy in enjoying the
reflected brightness of the more gifted sister.

Nor would perhaps a shrewd judge, whose estimate of men and women had
been formed by observation of average humanity, have thought that the
position which I have described as that of the younger of these two
sisters, was altogether a morally wholesome one for her. But the
shrewd judge would have been wrong. There never was a humbler, as
there never was a more loving soul, than that of the Theodosia Garrow
who became, for my perfect happiness, Theodosia Trollope. And it was
these two qualities of humbleness and lovingness that, acting like
invincible antiseptics on the moral nature, saved her from all
"spoiling,"--from any tendency of any amount of flattery and
admiration to engender selfishness or self-sufficiency. Nothing more
beautiful in the way of family affection could be seen than the tie
which united in the closest bonds of sisterly affection those two so
differently constituted sisters. Very many saw and knew what Theodosia
was as my wife. Very few indeed ever knew what she was in her own home
as a sister.

When I married Theodosia Garrow she possessed just one thousand pounds
in her own right, and little or no prospect of ever possessing any
more; while I on my side possessed nothing at all, save the prospect
of a strictly bread and cheese competency at the death of my mother,
and "the farm which I carried under my hat," as somebody calls it. The
marriage was not made with the full approbation of my father-in-law;
but entirely in accordance with the wishes of my mother, who simply,
dear soul, saw in it, what she said, that "Theo" was of all the girls
she knew, the one she should best like as a daughter-in-law. And here
again the wise folks of the world (and I among them!) would hardly
have said that the step I then took was calculated, according to all
the recognised chances and probabilities of human affairs, to lead to
a life of contentment and happiness. I suppose it ought not to have
done so! But it did! It would be monstrously inadequate to say that I
never repented it. What should I not have lost had I not done it!

As usual my cards turned up trumps! but they began to do so in a way
that caused me much, and my wife more, grief at the time. Within two
years after my marriage, poor, dear, good, loving Harriet caught
small-pox and died! She was much more largely endowed than her
half-sister, to whom she bequeathed all she had.

She had a brother, as I have said above. But he had altogether
alienated himself from his family by becoming a Roman Catholic priest
There was no open quarrel. I met him frequently in after years at
Garrow's table at Torquay, and remember his bitter complaints that he
was tempted by the appearance of things at table which he ought not to
eat. It would have been of no use to give or bequeath money to
him, for it would have gone immediately to Romanist ecclesiastical
purposes. He had nearly stripped himself of his own considerable
means, reserving to himself only the bare competence on which a
Catholic priest might live. He was altogether a very queer fish!
I remember his coming to me once in tearful but very angry mood,
because, as he said, I had guilefully spread snares for his soul! I
had not the smallest comprehension of his meaning till I discovered
that his woe and wrath were occasioned by my having sent him as a
present Berington's _Middle Ages_. I had fancied that his course of
studies and line of thought would have made the book interesting to
him, utterly ignorant or oblivious of the fact that it laboured under
the disqualification of appearing in the _Index_.

I take it I knew little about the _Index_ in those days. In after
years, when three or four of my own books had been placed in its
columns, I was better informed. I remember a very elegant lady who
having overheard my present wife mention the fact that a recently
published book of mine had been placed in the _Index_, asked her, with
the intention of being extremely polite and complimentary, whether
_her_ (my wife's) books had been put in the _Index_. And when the
latter modestly replied that she had not written anything that could
merit such a distinction, her interlocutor, patting her on the
shoulder with a kindly and patronising air, said "Oh! my dear, I am
_sure_ they will be placed there. They certainly ought to be!"

Mrs. Garrow, my wife's mother, was not, I think, an amiable woman. She
must have been between seventy and eighty when I first knew her; but
she was still vigorous, and had still a pair of what must once have
been magnificent, and were still brilliant and fierce black eyes. She
was in no wise a clever woman, nor was our dear Harriet a clever girl.
Garrow on the other hand and _his_ daughter were both very markedly
clever, and this produced a closeness of companionship and alliance
between the father and daughter which painfully excited the jealousy
of the wife and mother. But it was totally impossible for her to cabal
with her daughter against the object of her jealousy. Harriet always
seeking to be a peacemaker, was ever, if peace could not be made,
stanchly on Theo's side. I am afraid that Mrs. Garrow did not love her
second daughter at all; and I am inclined to suspect that my marriage
was in some degree facilitated by her desire to get Theo out of the
house. She was a very fierce old lady, and did not, I fear, contribute
to the happiness of any member of her family.

How well I remember the appearance of Mr. and Mrs. Garrow, and those
two girls in my mother's drawing-room in the Via dei Malcontenti. The
two girls, I remember, were dressed exactly alike and very _dowdily_.
They had just arrived in Florence from Tours, I think, where they
had passed a year, or perhaps two, since quitting "The Braddons" at
Torquay; and everything about them from top to toe was provincial, not
to say shabby. It was a Friday, my mother's reception day, and the
room soon filled with gaily dressed and smart people, with more than
one pretty girl among them. But I had already got into conversation
with Theodosia Garrow, and, to the gross neglect of my duties as
master of the house, and to the scandal of more than one fair lady, so
I remained, till a summons more than twice repeated by her father took
her away.

It was not that I had fallen in love at first sight, as the phrase is,
by any means. But I at once felt that I had got hold of something of a
quite other calibre of intelligence from anything I had been recently
accustomed to meet with in those around me, and with a moral nature
that was sympathetic to my own. And I found it very delightful. It is
no doubt true that, had her personal appearance been other than
it was, I should not probably have found her conversation equally
delightful. But I am sure that it is equally true that had she been in
face, figure, and person all she was, and at the same time stupid, or
even not sympathetic, I should not have been equally attracted to her.

She was by no means what would have been recognised by most men as a
beautiful girl. The specialties of her appearance, in the first place,
were in a great measure due to the singular mixture of races from
which she had sprung. One half of her blood was Jewish, one quarter
Scotch, and one quarter pure Brahmin. Her face was a long oval, too
long and too lanky towards the lower part of it for beauty. Her
complexion was somewhat dark, and not good. The mouth was mobile,
expressive, perhaps more habitually framed for pathos and the gentler
feelings, than for laughter. The jaw was narrow, the teeth good and
white, but not very regular. She had a magnificent wealth of very dark
brown hair, not without a gleam here and there of what descriptive
writers, of course, would call gold, but which really was more
accurately copper colour. And this grand and luxuriant wealth of hair
grew from the roots on the head to the extremity of it, at her waist,
when it was let down, in the most beautiful ripples. But the great
feature and glory of the face were the eyes, among the largest I
ever saw, of a deep clear grey, rather deeply set, and changing in
expression with every impression that passed over her mind. The
forehead was wide, and largely developed both in those parts of it
which are deemed to indicate imaginative and idealistic power, and
those that denote strongly marked perceptive and artistic faculties.
The latter perhaps were the more prominently marked. The Indian strain
showed itself in the perfect gracefulness of a very slender and
elastic figure, and in the exquisite elegance and beauty of the
modelling of the extremities.

That is not the description of a beautiful girl. But it is the fact
that the face and figure very accurately so described were eminently
attractive to me physically, as well as the mind and intelligence,
which informed them, were spiritually. They were much more attractive
to me than those of many a splendidly beautiful girl, the immense
superiority of whose beauty nobody knew better than I. Why should this
have been so? That is one of the mysteries to the solution of which no
moral or physical or psychical research has ever brought us an iota
nearer.

I am giving here an account of the first impression my future wife
made on me. I had no thought of wooing and winning her, for, as I have
said, I was not in a position to marry. Meanwhile she was becoming
acclimatised to Florentine society. She no longer looked _dowdy_ when
entering a room, but very much the reverse; and the little Florentine
world began to recognise that they had got something very much like
a new Corinne among them. But of course I rarely got a chance of
monopolising her as I had done during that first afternoon. We were
however constantly meeting, and were becoming ever more and more close
friends. When the Garrows left Florence for the summer, I visited them
at Lucerne, and subsequently met them at Venice. It was the year of
the meeting of the Scientific Congress in that city.

That was a pleasant autumn in Venice! By that time I had become
pretty well over head and ears in love with the girl by whose side
I generally contrived to sit in the gondolas, in the Piazza in the
evening, etcaetera. It was lovely September weather--just the time for
Venice. The summer days were drawing in, but there was the moon, quite
light enough on the lagoons; and we were a great deal happier than the
day was long.

Those Scientific Congresses, of which that at Venice was the seventh
and the last, played a curious part, which has not been much observed
or noted by historians, in the story of the winning of Italian
independence. I believe that the first congress, at Pisa, I think, was
really got up by men of science, with a view to furthering their own
objects and pursuits. It was followed by others in successive autumns
at Lucca, Milan, Genoa, Naples, Florence, and this seventh and last
at Venice. But Italy was in those days thinking of other matters than
science. The whole air was full of ideas, very discordant all of them,
and vague most of them, of political change. The governments of the
peninsula thought twice, and more than twice, before they would grant
permission for the first of these meetings. Meetings of any kind were
objects of fear and mistrust to the rulers. Those of Tuscany, who were
by comparison liberal, and, as known to be such, were more or
less objects of suspicion to the Austrian, Roman, and Neapolitan
Governments, led the way in giving the permission asked for; and
perhaps thought that an assembly of geologists, entomologists,
astronomers, and mathematicians might act as a safety valve, and
divert men's minds from more dangerous subjects. But the current of
the times was running too strongly to be so diverted, and proved too
much for the authorities and for the real men of science, who were, at
least some of them, anxious to make the congresses really what they
professed to be.

Gradually these meetings became more and more mere social gatherings
in outward appearance, and revolutionary propagandist assemblies in
reality. As regards the former aspect of them, the different cities
strove to outdo each other in the magnificence and generosity of their
reception of their "scientific" guests. Masses of publications were
prepared, especially topographical and historical accounts of the city
which played Amphytrion for the occasion, and presented gratuitously
to the members of the association. Merely little guide-books, of which
a few hundred copies were needed in the case of the earlier meetings,
they became in the case of the latter ones at Naples, Genoa, Milan,
and Venice, large and magnificently printed tomes, prepared by the
most competent authorities and produced at a very great expense.

Venice especially outdid all her rivals, and printed an account of the
Queen of the Adriatic, embracing history, topography, science in
all its branches, and artistic story, in four huge and magnificent
volumes, which remains to the present day by far the best
topographical monograph that any city of the peninsula possesses. This
truly splendid work, which brought out in the ordinary way could not
have been sold for less than six or eight guineas, was presented,
together with much other printed matter--an enormous lithographed
panorama of Venice and her lagoons some five feet long in a handsome
roll cover, I remember among them--to every "member" on his enrolment
as such.

Then there were concerts, and excursions, and great daily dinners
the gayest and most enjoyable imaginable, at which both sexes were
considered to be equally scientific and equally welcome. The dinners
were not absolutely gratuitous, but the tickets for them were issued
at a price very much inferior to the real cost of the entertainment.
And all this it must be understood was done not by any subscription of
members scientific or otherwise, but by the city and its municipality;
the motive for such expenditure being the highly characteristic
Italian one, of rivalling and outdoing in magnificence other
cities and municipalities, or in the historical language of Italy,
"communes."

Old Rome, with her dependent cities, made no sign during all these
autumns of ever increasing festivity. Pity that they should have come
to an end before she did so; for at the rate at which things were
going, we should all at least have been crowned on the Capitol, if not
made Roman senators, _pour l'amour du Grec_, as the _savant_ says in
the _Précieuses Ridicules_, if we had gone to the Eternal City!

But the fact was, that the _soi-disant_ 'ologists kicked up their
heels a little too audaciously at Venice under Austria's nose; and the
Government thought it high time to put an end to "science."

For instance, Prince Canino made his appearance in the uniform of the
Roman National Guard! This was a little too much; and the Prince, all
prince and Buonaparte as he was, was marched off to the frontier.
Canino had every right to be there as a man of science; for his
acquirements in many branches of science were large and real; and
specially as an entomologist he was known to be probably the first
in Italy. But he was the man, who, when selling his principality of
Canino, insisted on the insertion in the legal instrument of a claim
to an additional five pauls (value about two shillings), for the title
of prince which was attached to the possessor of the estates he was
selling. He was an out-and-out avowed Republican, and was the blackest
of black sheep to all the constituted governments of the peninsula.
He looked as little as he felt and thought like a prince. He was a
paunchy, oily-looking black haired man, whose somewhat heavy face
was illumined by a brilliant black eye full of humour and a mouth
expressive of good nature and _bonhomie_. His appearance in the
proscribed uniform might have been considered by Austria, if her
police authorities could have appreciated the fun of the thing, as
wholesomely calculated to throw ridicule on the hated institution. He
was utterly unassuming, and good-natured in his manner, and when seen
in his ordinary black habiliments looked more like a well-to-do Jewish
trader than anything else.

As for the social aspects of these Scientific Congresses, they were
becoming every year more festive, and, at all events to the ignoramus
outsiders who joined them, more pleasant. My good cousin and old
friend, then Colonel, now General, Sir Charles Trollope, was at Venice
that autumn. I said on meeting him, "Now the first thing is to, make
you a member." "Me! a member of a Scientific Congress!" said he. "God
bless you! I am as ignorant as a babe of all possible 'epteras and
'opteras, and 'statics and 'matics!" "Oh! nonsense! we are all men
of science here! Come along!"--_i.e._, to the ducal palace to be
inscribed. "But what do you mean to tell them I am?" he asked. "Well!
let's see! You must have superintended a course of instruction in the
goose-step in your day?" "Rather so!" said he. "Very well, then. You
are Instructor in Military Exercises in her B.M. Forces! You are all
right! Come along!" And if I had said that he was Trumpeter Major of
the 600th Regiment in the British Army, it would doubtless have been
equally all right. So said, so done! And I see his bewildered look
now, as the four huge volumes, about a load for a porter, to which he
had become entitled, together with medals and documents of many kinds,
were put into his arms.

Ah! those were pleasant days! And while Italy, under the wing of
science, was plotting her independence, I was busy in forging the
chains of that dependence which was to be a more unmixed source of
happiness to me, than the independence which Italy was compassing has
yet proved to her.

Those chains, however, as regarded at all events the outward and
visible signs of them, had not got forged yet. I certainly had no
"proposed" to Theodosia. In fact, to the very best of my recollection
I never did "propose" to her--or "pop," as the hideous phrase is--any
decisive question at all. We seem, to my recollection, to have come
gradually, insensibly, and mutually to consider it a matter of course
that what we wanted was to be married, and that the only matter
which needed any words or consideration was the question, how the
difficulties in the way of our wishes were to be overcome.

In the autumn of 1847 my mother and I went to pass the winter in Rome.
My sister Cecilia's health had been failing; and it began to be feared
that there was reason to suspect the approach of the malady which had
already destroyed my brother Henry and my younger sister Emily. It
was decided therefore that she should pass the winter in Rome. Her
husband's avocations made it impossible for him to accompany her
thither, and my mother therefore took an apartment there to receive
her. It was in a small _palazzo_ in that part of the Via delle Quattro
Fontane, which is now situated between the Via Nazionale and the
Church of Santa Maria Maggiore, to the left of one going towards the
latter. There was no Via Nazionale then, and the buildings which now
make the Via delle Quattro Fontane a continuous line of street existed
only in the case of a few isolated houses and convents. It was a very
comfortable apartment, roomy, sunny, and quiet. The house exists
still, though somewhat modernised in outward appearance, and is, I
think, the second, after one going towards Santa Maria Maggiore has
crossed the new Via Nazionale.

But the grand question was, whether it could be brought about that
Theodosia Garrow should be permitted to be my mother's guest during
that winter. A hint on the matter was quite sufficient for my dear
mother, although I do not think that she had yet any idea that I
was minded to give her a daughter-in-law. Theodosia's parents had
certainly no faintest idea that anything more than ordinary friendship
existed between me and their daughter, or, if they had had such,
she would certainly have never been allowed to accept my mother's
invitation. As for Theodosia herself and her willingness to come, it
seems to me, as I look back, that nothing was said between us at all,
any more than anything was said about making her my wife. I think it
was all taken for granted, _sans mot dire_, by both of us. But there
was one person who knew all about it; knew what was in both our
hearts, and was eagerly anxious that the desire of them should be
fulfilled. This was the good fairy Harriet Fisher. Without the
strenuous exertion of her influence on her mother and Mr. Garrow, the
object would hardly have been accomplished. Of course the plea put
forward was the great desirability of taking advantage of such an
opportunity of seeing Rome.

My sister, whose health, alas! profited nothing by that visit to Rome,
and could have been profited by no visit to any place on earth, became
strongly attached to Theodosia; and the affection which grew up
between them was the more to the honour of both of them, in that they
were far as the poles asunder in opinions and habits of thought. My
sister was what in those days was called a "Puseyite." Her opinions
were formed on the highest High Church model, and her Church opinions
made the greatest part, and indeed nearly the whole of her life.
Theodosia had no Church opinions at all, High or Low! All her mind and
interests were, at all events at that time, turned towards poetry
and art. Subsequently she interested herself keenly in political and
social questions, but had hardly at that time begun to do so. But she
made a conquest of my sister.

Indeed it would have been very difficult for any one to live in
the same house with her without loving her. She was so bright, her
sympathies so ready, her intelligence so large and varied, that day
after day her presence and her conversation were a continual delight;
and she was withal diffident of herself, gentle and unassuming to a
fault. My mother had already learned to love her truly as a daughter,
before there was any apparent probability of her becoming one.

We did not succeed in bearing down all the opposition that in the name
of ordinary prudence was made to our marriage, till the spring of
forty-eight. We were finally married on the 3rd of April in that
year, in the British Minister's chapel in Florence, in the quiet,
comfortable way in which we used to do such things in those days.

I told my good friend Mr. Plunkett (he had then become the English
representative at the Court of Tuscany), that I wanted to be married
the next day. "All right!" said he; "will ten o'clock do?" "Could not
be better!" "Very good! Tell Robbins [the then English clergyman] I'll
be sure to be there." So at ten the next morning we looked in at the
Palazzo Ximenes, and in about ten minutes the business was done!

Of Mr. Robbins, who was as kind and good a little man as could be, I
may note, since I have been led to speak of him, the following rather
singular circumstance. He was, as I have been told, the son of a
Devonshire farmer, and his two sisters were the wives of two of the
principal Florentine nobles, one having married the Marchese Inghirami
and the other the Marchese Bartolomei. What circumstances led to the
accomplishment of a destiny apparently so strange for the family of a
Devonshire farmer, I never heard. The clergyman and his sisters were
all much my seniors.

After the expeditious ceremony we all--about half a score of us--went
off to breakfast at the house of Mr. Garrow in the Piazza di Santa
Maria Novella, and before noon my wife and I were off on a ramble
among the Tuscan cities.



CHAPTER X.


My very old friend, Colonel Grant--General Grant many years before
he died--used to say that if he wished without changing his place
himself, to see the greatest possible number of his friends and
acquaintances, he should stand perpetually at the foot of the column
in the Place Vendôme. But it seems to me that at least as advantageous
a post of observation for the purpose would be the foot of Giotto's
tower in Florence! Who in these days lives and dies without going to
Florence; and who goes to Florence without going to gaze on the most
perfectly beautiful tower that human hands ever raised?

Let me tell (quite parenthetically) a really good story of that
matchless building, which yet however will hardly be appreciated at
its full value by those who have never yet seen it. When the Austrian
troops were occupying Florence, one of the white-coated officers had
planted himself in the Piazza in front of the tower, and was gazing at
it earnestly, lost in admiration of its perfect beauty. "_Si svita,
signore_," said a little street urchin, coming up behind him--"It
_unscrews_, sir!" As much as to say, "Wouldn't you like just to take
it off bodily and carry it away?" But, as I said, to apprehend the
aptitude of the _gamin's_ sneer, one must have oneself looked on the
absolute perfection of proportion and harmony of its every part, which
really does suggest the idea that the whole might be lifted bodily in
one piece from its place on the soil Whether the Austrian had the
wit to answer "You are blundering, boy! you are taking me for a
Frenchman," I don't know!

But I was saying, when the mention of the celebrated tower led me into
telling, before I forgot it, the above story, that Florence was of all
the cities of Europe, that in which one might be likely to see
the greatest number of old, and make the greatest number of new
acquaintances. I lived there for more than thirty years, and the
number of persons, chiefly English, American, and Italian, whom I knew
during that period is astonishing. The number of them was of course
all the greater from the fact that the society, at least so far as
English and Americans were concerned, was to a very great degree a
floating one. They come back to my memory, when I think of those
times, like a long procession of ghosts! Most of them, I suppose,
_are_ ghosts by this time. They pass away out of one's ken, and are
lost!

Some, thank Heaven, are _not_ lost; and some though lost, will never
pass out of ken! If I were writing only for myself, I should like to
send my memory roving among all that crowd of phantoms, catch them one
after another as they dodge about half eluding one when just on
the point of recovering them, and, fixing them in memory's camera,
photograph them one after another. But I cannot hope that such a
gallery would be as interesting to the reader as it certainly would to
me. And I must content myself with recording my recollections of those
among them in whom the world may be supposed to take an interest.

Theodosia Garrow, when living with her parents at "The Braddons," at
Torquay, had known Elizabeth Barrett. The latter was very much of an
invalid at the time; so much so, as I think I have gathered from my
wife's talk about those times, as to have prevented her from being a
visitor to "The Braddons." But Theodosia was, I take it, to be very
frequently found by the side of the sofa to which her friend was more
or less confined. I fancy that Mr. Kenyon, who was an old friend
and family connection of Elizabeth Barrett's family, and was also
intimately acquainted with the Garrows and with Theodosia, must have
been the first means of bringing the girls together. There were
assuredly _very_ few young women in England at that day to whom
Theodosia Garrow in social intercourse would have had to look _up_,
as to one on a higher intellectual level than her own. But Elizabeth
Barrett was one of them. I am not talking of _acquirements_. Nor was
my wife thinking of such when she used to speak of the poetess as she
had known her at that time. I am talking, as my wife used to talk,
of pure native intellectual power. And I consider it to have been no
small indication of the capacity of my wife's intelligence, that she
so clearly and appreciatingly recognised and measured the distance
between her friend's intellect and her own. But this appreciation on
the one side was in nowise incompatible with a large and generous
amount of admiration on the other. And many a talk in long subsequent
years left with me the impression of the high estimation which the
gifted poetess had formed of the value of her highly, but not so
exceptionally, gifted admirer.

Of course this old friendship paved the way for a new one when the
Brownings came to live in Florence. I flatter myself that that would
in any case have found some _raison d'être_. But the pleasure of the
two girls--girls no more in any sense--in meeting again quickened
the growth of an intimacy which might otherwise have been slower in
ripening.

To say that amid all that frivolous, gay, giddy, and, it must be
owned, for the most part very unintellectual society (in the pleasures
and pursuits of which, to speak honestly, I took, well pleased, my
full share), my visits to Casa Guidi were valued by me as choice
morsels of my existence, is to say not half enough. I was conscious
even then of coming away from those visits a better man, with higher
views and aims. And pray, reader, understand that any such effect was
not produced by any talk or look or word of the nature of preaching,
or anything approaching to it, but simply by the perception and
appreciation of what Elizabeth Barrett Browning was; of the immaculate
purity of every thought that passed through her pellucid mind, and the
indefeasible nobility of her every idea, sentiment, and opinion. I
hope my reader is not so much the slave of conventional phraseology as
to imagine that I use the word "purity" in the above sentence in its
restricted and one may say technical, sense. I mean the purity of the
upper spiritual atmosphere in which she habitually dwelt; the absolute
disseverance of her moral as well as her intellectual nature from all
those lower thoughts as well as lower passions which smirch the human
soul. In mind and heart she was _white_--stainless. That is what I
mean by purity.

Her most intimate friend at Florence was a Miss Isabella Blagden, who
lived for many years at Bellosguardo, in a villa commanding a lovely
view over Florence and the valley of the Arno from the southern side,
looking across it therefore to Fiesole and its villa-and-cypress-covered
slopes. Whether the close friendship between Mrs. Browning and Isa
Blagden (we all called her Isa always) was first formed in Florence, or
had its commencement at an earlier date, I do not know. But Isa was also
the intimate and very specially highly-valued friend of my wife and
myself. And this also contributed to our common friendship. Isa was
(yes, as usual, "was," alas, though she was very much my junior) a very
bright, very warm-hearted, very clever little woman, who knew everybody,
and was, I think, more universally beloved than any other individual
among us. A little volume of her poems was published after her untimely
death. They are not such as could take by storm the careless ears of the
world, which knows nothing about her, and must, I suppose, be admitted
to be marked by that mediocrity which neither gods nor men can tolerate.
But it is impossible to read the little volume without perceiving how
choice a spirit the authoress must have been, and understanding how it
came to pass that she was especially honoured by the close and warm
attachment of Mrs. Browning. I have scores of letters signed "Isa," or
rather Sibylline leaves scrawled in the vilest handwriting on all sorts
of abnormal fragments of paper, and despatched in headlong haste,
generally concerning some little projected festivity at Bellosguardo,
and advising me of the expected presence of some stranger whom she
thought I should like to meet. Very many of such of these fragmentary
scribblings, as were written before the Brownings left Florence, contain
some word or reference to her beloved "Ba," for such was the pet name
used between them, with what meaning or origin I know not.

Dear Isa's death was to me an especially sad one, because I thought,
and think, that she need not have died. She lived alone with a couple
of old servants, and though she was rich in troops of friends, and
there were one or two near her during the day or two of her illness,
they did not seem to have managed matters wisely. Our Isa was
extremely obstinate about calling in medical advice. It could not be
done at a moment's notice, for a message had to be sent and a doctor
to come from Florence. And this was not done till the second day of
her illness. And I had good reason for thinking that, had she been
properly attended to on the first day, her life might have been saved.
She would not let her friends send for the doctor, and the friends
were unable to make her do so. Unhappily, I was absent for a few days
at Siena, and returned to be met by the intelligence that she was
dead. It seemed the more sad in that I knew that if I had been there
I could have made her call a doctor before it was too late. Browning
could also have done so; but it was after the death of Mrs. Browning
and his departure from Florence.

How great her sorrow was for the death of her friend, Browning knew,
doubtless, but nobody else, I think, in the world save myself.

I have now before me one of her little scraps of letters, in which she
encloses one from Mrs. Browning which is of the highest interest. The
history and genesis of it is as follows. Shortly after the publication
of the well-known and exquisite little poem on the god Pan in the
_Cornhill Magazine_, my brother Anthony wrote me a letter venturing to
criticise it, in which he says: "The lines are very beautiful, and the
working out of the idea is delicious. But I am inclined to think that
she is illustrating an allegory by a thought, rather than a thought
by an allegory. The idea of the god destroying the reed in making the
instrument has, I imagine, given her occasion to declare that in the
sublimation of the poet the man is lost for the ordinary purposes of
man's life. It has been thus instead of being the reverse; and I can
hardly believe that she herself believes in the doctrine which her
fancy has led her to illustrate. A man that can be a poet is so much
the more a man in becoming such, and is the more fitted for a man's
best work. Nothing is destroyed, and in preparing the instrument for
the touch of the musician the gods do nothing for which they need
weep. The idea however is beautiful, and it is beautifully worked."

Then follows some verbal criticism which need not be transcribed.
Going on to the seventh stanza he says, "In the third line of it, she
loses her antithesis. She must spoil her man, as well as make a poet
out of him--spoil him as the reed is spoilt. Should we not read the
lines thus:--

  "'Yet one half beast is the great god Pan
  Or he would not have laughed by the river.
  Making a poet he mars a man;
  The true gods sigh,' &c."?

In justice to my brother's memory I must say that this was not
written to me with any such presumptuous idea as that of offering his
criticism to the poetess. But I showed the letter to Isa Blagden, and
at her request left it with her. A day or two later, she writes to me:
"Dear friend,--I send you back your criticism and Mrs. B.'s rejoinder.
She _made_ me show it to her, and she wishes you to see her answer."
Miss Blagden's words would seem to imply that she thought the
criticism mine. And if she did, Mrs. Browning was doubtless led to
suppose so too. Yet I think this could hardly have been the case.

Of course my only object in writing all this here is to give the
reader the great treat of seeing Mrs. Browning's "rejoinder." It is
very highly interesting:--

       *       *       *       *       *

"DEAREST ISA,--Very gentle my critic is; I am glad I got him out of
you. But tell dear Mr. Trollope he is wrong nevertheless" [here it
certainly seems that she supposed the criticism to be mine]; "and
that my 'thought' was really and decidedly _anterior_ [_sic_] to my
'allegory.' Moreover, it is my thought still. I meant to say that the
poetic organisation implies certain disadvantages; for instance an
exaggerated general susceptibility, ...[1] which may be shut up,
kept out of the way in every-day life, and must be (or the man is
'_marred_' indeed, made a Rousseau or a Byron of), but which is
necessarily, for all that, cultivated in the very cultivation of art
itself. There is an inward reflection and refraction of the heats
of life ...[1] doubling pains and pleasures, doubling therefore the
motives (passions) of life. I have said something of this in A.L.
[_Aurora Leigh_]. Also there is a passion for essential truth (as
apprehended) and a necessity for speaking it out at all risks,
inconvenient to personal peace. Add to this and much else the loss of
the sweet unconscious cool privacy among the 'reeds' ...[1] which I
for one care so much for--the loss of the privilege of being glad or
sorry, ill or well, without a 'notice.' That may have its glory to
certain minds. But most people would be glad to 'stir their tea in
silence' when they are grave, and even to talk nonsense (much too
frivolously) when they are merry, without its running the round of the
newspapers in two worlds perhaps. You know I don't _invent_, Isa. In
fact, I am sorely tempted to send Mr. Trollope a letter I had this
morning, as an illustration of my view, and a reply to his criticism.
Only this letter among many begins with too many fair speeches. Still
it seems written by somebody in earnest and with a liking for me. Its
main object is to complain of the cowardly morality in _Pan_. Then a
stroke on the poems before Congress. The writer has heard that I 'had
been to Paris, was _fêted_ by the Emperor, and had had my head turned
by Imperial flatteries,' in consequence of which I had taken to
'praise and flatter the tyrant, and try to help his selfish ambition.'
Well! one should laugh and be wise. But somehow one doesn't laugh. A
letter beginning, 'You are a great teacher of truth,' and ending, 'You
are a dishonest wretch,' makes you cold somehow, and ill disposed
towards the satisfactions of literary distinction. Yes! and be sure,
Isa, that the 'true gods sigh,' and have reason to sigh, for the cost
and pain of it; sigh only ... don't haggle over the cost; don't grudge
a crazia, but.... sigh, sigh ... while they pay honestly.

"On the other hand, there's much light talking and congratulation,
excellent returns to the pocket from the poem in the _Cornhill_;
pleasant praise from dear Mr. Trollope.... with all drawbacks: a good
opinion from Isa worth its gold--and Pan laughs.

"But he is a beast up to the waist; yes, Mr. Trollope, a beast. He is
not a true god.

"And I am neither god nor beast, if you please--only a

"BA."

       *       *       *       *       *

[Footnote 1: These dots do not indicate any hiatus. They exist in the
MS. as here given.]

It seems that she certainly imagined me to be the critic; but must
have been subsequently undeceived. I will not venture to say a word on
the question of the marring or making of a man which results from the
creation of a poet; but if my brother had known Mrs. Browning as well
as I knew her, he would not have written that he could "hardly believe
that she herself believes in the doctrine that her fancy has led her
to illustrate." At all events, the divine afflatus had not so marred
the absolutely single-minded truthfulness of the woman in her as
to make it possible that she should, for the sake of illustrating,
however appositely, any fancy however brilliant, put forth a
"doctrine" as believing in it, which she did not believe. It may seem
that this is a foolish making of a mountain out of a molehill; but she
would not have felt it to be so. She had so high a conception of the
poet's office and responsibilities that nothing would have induced her
to play at believing for literary purposes any position, or fancy, or
imagination, which she did not in her heart of hearts accept.

There was one subject upon which both my wife and I disagreed in
opinion with Mrs. Browning; and it was a subject which sat very near
her heart, and was much occupying all minds at that time--the phases
of Italy's struggle for independence, and especially the part which
the Emperor Napoleon the Third was taking in that struggle, and his
conduct towards Italy. We were all equally "Italianissimi," as the
phrase went then; all equally desirous that Italy should accomplish
the union of her _disjecta membra_, throw off the yoke of the bad
governments which had oppressed her, make herself a nation, and do
well as such. But we differed widely as to the ultimate utility, the
probable results, and, above all, as to the motives of the Emperor's
conduct. Mrs. Browning believed in him and trusted him. We did
neither. Hence the following interesting and curious letter, written
to my wife at Florence by Mrs. Browning, who was passing the summer at
Siena. Mrs. Browning felt very warmly upon this subject--so indeed did
my wife, differing from her _toto coelo_ upon it. But the difference
not only never caused the slightest suspension of cordial feeling
between them, but never caused either of them to doubt for a moment
that the other was with equal sincerity and equal ardour anxious for
the same end. The letter was written, as only the postmark shows, on
September 26th, 1859, and was as follows:--

       *       *       *       *       *

"MY DEAR MRS. TROLLOPE,--I feel doubly ungrateful to you ... for the
music (one of the proofs of your multiform faculty) and for your kind
and welcome letter, which I have delayed to thank you for. My body
lags so behind my soul always, and especially of late, that you must
consider my disadvantages in whatever fault is committed by me trying
to forgive it.

"Certainly we differ in our estimate of the Italian situation, while
loving and desiring for Italy up to the same height and with the same
heart.

"For me I persist in looking to _facts_ rather than to words official
or unofficial, and in repeating that, 'whereas we were bound, now we
are free.'

"'I think, therefore, I am.' _Cogito, ergo sum_, was, you know, an old
formula. Italy thinks (aloud) at Florence and Bologna; therefore she
_is_. And how did that happen? Could it have happened last year,
with the Austrians at Bologna, and ready (at a sign) to precipitate
themselves into Tuscany? Could it have happened previous to the French
intervention? And could it happen _now_ if France used the power she
has in Italy _against_ Italy? Why is it that the _Times_ newspaper,
which declared ... first that the elections were to be prevented
by France, and next that they were to be tampered with ... is not
justified before our eyes? I appeal to your sober judgment ... if
indeed the Emperor Napoleon _desires the restoration of the Dukes!!_
Is he not all the more admirable for being loyal and holding his hand
off while he has fifty thousand men ready to 'protect' us all and
prevent the exercise of the people's sovereignty? And he a despot (so
called) and accustomed to carry out his desires. Instead of which
Tuscans and Romagnoli, Parma and Modena, have had every opportunity
allowed them to combine, carry their elections, and express their
full minds in assemblies, till the case becomes so complicated and
strengthened that her enemies for the most part despair.

"The qualities shown by the Italians--the calm, the dignity, the
intelligence, the constancy ... I am as far from not understanding
the weight of these virtues as from not admiring them. But the
_opportunity_ for exercising them comes from the Emperor Napoleon, and
it is good and just for us all to remember this while we admire the
most.

"So at least I think; and the Italian official bodies have always
admitted it, though individuals seem to me to be too much
influenced by the suspicions and calumnies thrown out by foreign
journals--English, Prussian, Austrian, and others--which traduce the
Emperor's motives in diplomacy, as they traduced them in the war. A
prejudice in the eye is as fatal to sight as mote and beam together.
And there are things abroad _worse_ than any prejudices--yes, worse!

"It is a fact that the Emperor used his influence with England to
get the Tuscan vote accepted by the English Government. Whatever
wickedness he meant by _that_ the gods know; and English statesmen
suspect ... (or suspected a very short short time ago); but the deed
itself is not wicked, and you and I shall not be severe on it whatever
bad motive may be imputable.

"So much more I could write ... about Villafranca, but I won't. The
Emperor, great man as he is, could not precisely anticipate the
high qualities given proof of in the late development of Italian
nationality. He made the best terms he could, having had his hand
forced. In consequence of this treaty he has carried out his
engagement to Austria in certain official forms, knowing well that the
free will and choice of the Italians are hindered by none of them;
and knowing besides that every apparent coldness and reserve of his
towards the peninsula removes a jealousy from England, and instigates
her to a more liberal and human bearing than formerly.

"Forgive me for all these words. I am much better, but still not as
strong as I was before my attack; only getting strength, I hope.

"Miss Blagden and Miss Field are staying still with us, and are gone
to Siena to-day to see certain pictures (which has helped to expose
you to this attack). We talk of returning to Florence by the first of
October, or soon after, in spite of the revival of fine weather. Mr.
Landor is surprisingly improved by the good air here and the repose of
mind; walks two miles, and writes alcaics and pentameters on most days
... on his domestic circumstances, and ... I am sorry to say ... Louis
Napoleon. But I tell him that I mean him to write an ode on my side of
the question before we have done.

"I honour you and your husband for the good work you have both done on
behalf of this great cause. But his book[1] we only know yet by the
extracts in the _Athenaeum_, which brings us your excellent articles.
May I not thank you for them? And when does Mr. Trollope come back?"
[from a flying visit to England]. "We hope not to miss him out of
Florence long.

[Footnote 1: _Tuscany in_ 1849 _and_ 1859.]

"Peni's love to Bice.[1] He has been very happy here, galloping
through the lanes on a pony the colour of his curls. Then he helps to
work in the vineyards and to keep the sheep, having made close friends
with the _contadini_ to whom he reads and explains Dall' Ongaro's
poems with great applause. By the way, the poet paid us a visit
lately, and we liked him much.

[Footnote 1: Browning's boy and my girl.]

"And let me tell _Bice's mother_ another story of Penini. He keeps a
journal, be it whispered; I ventured to peep through the leaves the
other morning, and came to the following notice: 'This is the happiest
day of my _hole (sic)_ life, because dearest Vittorio Emanuele is
really _nostro re!_'

"There's a true Italian for you! But his weak point is spelling.

"Believe me, with my husband's regards,

"Ever truly and affectionately yours,

"ELIZABETH BARRETT BROWNING."

       *       *       *       *       *

It may possibly enter into the mind of some one of those who never
enjoyed the privilege of knowing Mrs. Browning the woman, to couple
together the stupidly calumnious insinuations to which she refers in
the first letter I have given, with the admiration she expresses for
the third Napoleon in the second letter. I differed from her wholly in
her estimate of the man, and in her views of his policy with regard to
Italy. And many an argument have I had with her on the subject. And my
opinions respecting it were all the more distasteful to her because
they concerned the character of the man himself as well as his policy
as a ruler. And those talks and arguments have left me probably the
only man alive, save one, who knows with such certainty as I know it,
and can assert as I can, the absolute absurdity and impossibility of
the idea that she, being what she was, could have been bribed by any
amount of Imperial or other flattery, not only to profess opinions
which she did not veritably hold--this touches her moral nature,
perhaps the most pellucidly truthful of any I ever knew--but to hold
opinions which she would not have otherwise held. This touches her
intellectual nature, which was as incapable of being mystified or
modified by any suggestion of vanity, self-love, or gratified pride,
as the most judicial-minded judge who ever sat on the bench. Her
intellectual view on the matter _was_, I thought, mystified and
modified by the intensity of her love for the Italian cause, and of
her hatred for the evils from which she was watching the Italians
struggling to liberate themselves.

I heard, probably from herself, of whispered calumnies, such as those
she refers to in the first of the two letters given. She despised them
then, as those who loved and valued her did, though the sensitive
womanly gentleness of her nature made it a pain to her that any
fellow-creature, however ignorant and far away from her, should so
think of her. And my disgust at a secret attempt to stab has impelled
me to say what I _know_ on the subject. But I really think that not
only those who knew her as she lived In the flesh, but the tens of
thousands who know her as she lives in her written words, cannot but
feel my vindication superfluous.

The above long and specially interesting letter is written in very
small characters on ten pages of extremely small duodecimo note-paper,
as is also the other letter by the same writer given above. Mrs.
Browning's handwriting shows ever and anon an odd tendency to form
each letter of a word separately--a circumstance which I mention for
the sake of remarking that old Huntingford, the Bishop of Hereford, in
my young days, between whom and Mrs. Browning there was one thing in
common, namely, a love for and familiarity with Greek studies, used to
write in the same manner.

The Dall' Ongaro here spoken of was an old friend of ours--of my
wife's, if I remember right--before our marriage. He was a Venetian,
or rather to speak accurately, I believe, a Dalmatian by birth, but
all his culture and sympathies were Venetian. He had in his early
youth been destined for the priesthood, but like many another had been
driven by the feelings and sympathies engendered by Italy's political
struggles to abandon the tonsure for the sake of joining the "patriot"
cause. His muse was of the drawing-room school and calibre. But
he wrote very many charming little poems breathing the warmest
aspirations of the somewhat extreme _gauche_ of that day, especially
some _stornelli_ after the Tuscan fashion, which met with a very wide
and warm acceptance. I remember one extremely happy, the _refrain_
of which still runs in my head. It is written on the newly-adopted
Italian tricolour flag. After characterising each colour separately in
a couplet, he ends:--

  "_E il rosso, il bianco, e il verde,
  È un terno che si giuoca, e non si perde_."

The phrase is borrowed from the language of the lottery. "And the
red, and the white, and the green, are a threefold combination" [I
am obliged to be horribly prosaic in order to make the allusion
intelligible to non-Italian ears!] "on which we may play and be sure
not to lose!"

I am tempted to give here another of Mrs. Browning's letters to my
first wife, partly by the persuasion that any letter of hers must be
a matter of interest to a very large portion of English readers, and
partly for the sake of the generously appreciative criticism of one of
my brother's books, which I also always considered to be one of his
best. I must add that Mrs. Browning's one bit of censure coincides as
perfectly with my own judgment. The letter as usual is dateless,
but must have been written very shortly after the publication of my
brother's novel called _The Three Clerks_.

"My dear Mrs. Trollope,--I return _The Three Clerks_ with our true
thanks and appreciation. We both quite agree with you in considering
it the best of the three clever novels before the public. My husband,
who can seldom get a novel to hold him, has been held by all three,
and by this the strongest. Also it has qualities which the others gave
no sign of. For instance, I was wrung to tears by the third volume.
What a thoroughly _man's_ book it is! I much admire it, only wishing
away, with a vehemence which proves the veracity of my general
admiration, the contributions to the _Daily Delight_--may I dare to
say it?

"I do hope you are better. For myself, I have not suffered more than
was absolutely necessary in the late unusual weather.

"I heard with concern that Mrs. Trollope" [my mother] "has been less
well than usual. But who can wonder, with such cold?

"Most truly yours,

"Elizabeth Barrett Browning.

"_Casa Guidi, Wednesday._"

Here is also one other little memorial, written not by "Elizabeth
Barrett Browning," but by "Elizabeth Barrett." It is interesting
on more than one account. It bears no date, save "Beacon Terrace
[Torquay], Thursday," But it evidently marks the beginning of
acquaintanceship between the two exceptionally, though not equally
gifted girls--Elizabeth Barrett and Theodosia Garrow. It is written on
a sheet of the very small duodecimo note paper which she was wont to
use many years subsequently, but in far more delicate and elegant
characters than she used, when much pen-work had produced its usual
deteriorating effect on her caligraphy.

       *       *       *       *       *

"I cannot return the _Book of Beauty_" [Lady Blessington's annual] "to
Miss Garrow without thanking her for allowing me to read in it sooner
than I should otherwise have done, those contributions of her own
which help to justify its title, and which are indeed sweet and
touching verses.

"It is among the vexations brought upon me by my illness, that I still
remain personally unacquainted with Miss Garrow, though seeming to
myself to know her through those who actually do so. And I should
venture to hope that it might be a vexation the first to leave me, if
a visit to an invalid condemned to the _peine forte et dure_ of being
very silent, notwithstanding her womanhood, were a less gloomy thing.
At any rate I am encouraged to thank Miss Fisher and Miss Garrow
for their visits of repeated inquiry, and their other very kind
attentions, by these written words, rather than by a message. For I am
sure that wherever kindness _can_ come thankfulness _may_, and that
whatever intrusion my note can be guilty of, it is excusable by the
fact of my being Miss Garrow's

"Sincerely obliged,

"E. BARRETT."

       *       *       *       *       *

Could anything be more charmingly girlish, or more prettily worded!
The diminutive little note seems to have been preserved, an almost
solitary survival of the memorials of the days to which it belongs.
It must doubtless have been followed by sundry others, but was, I
suppose, specially treasured as having been the first step towards a
friendship which was already highly valued.

Of course, in the recollections of an Englishman living during those
years in Florence, Robert Browning must necessarily stand out in high
relief, and in the foremost line. But very obviously this is neither
the time nor the place, nor is my dose of presumption sufficient for
any attempt at a delineation of the man. To speak of the poet, since
I write for Englishmen, would be very superfluous. It may be readily
imagined that the "tag-rag and bobtail" of the men who mainly
constituted that very pleasant but not very intellectual society, were
not likely to be such as Mr. Browning would readily make intimates
of. And I think I see in memory's magic glass that the men used to be
rather afraid of him. Not that I ever saw him rough or uncourteous
with the most exasperating fool that ever rubbed a man's nervous
system the wrong way; but there was a quiet, lurking smile which,
supported by very few words, used to seem to have the singular
property of making the utterers of platitudes and the mistakers of
_non-sequiturs_ for _sequiturs_, uncomfortably aware of the nature of
their words within a very few minutes after they had uttered them. I
may say, however, that I believe that in any dispute on any sort of
subject between any two men in the place, if it had been proposed to
submit the matter in dispute for adjudication to Mr. Browning, the
proposal would have been jumped at with a greater readiness of
_consensus_ than in the case of any other man there.



CHAPTER XI


The Italians, I believe, were "thinking" at a considerably earlier
period than that which in the second letter transcribed in the
preceding chapter Mrs. Browning seems to have considered as the
beginning of their "cogitating" existence, and thinking on the
subjects to which she is there adverting. They were "thinking,"
perhaps, less in Tuscany than in any other part of the peninsula, for
they were eating more and better there. They were very lightly taxed.
The _mezzeria_ system of agriculture, which, if not absolutely the
same, is extremely similar to that which is known as "conacre,"
rendered the lot of the peasant population very far better and more
prosperous than that of the tillers of the earth in any of the other
provinces. And upon the whole the people were contented. The Tuscan
public was certainly not a "pensive public." They ate their bread not
without due condiment of _compagnatico_,[1] or even their chesnuts in
the more remote and primitive mountain districts, drank their sound
Tuscan wine from the generous big-bellied Tuscan flasks holding three
good bottles, and sang their _stornelli_ in cheerfulness of heart, and
had no craving whatsoever for those few special liberties which were
denied them.

[Footnote 1: Anything to make the bread "go down," as our people
say--a morsel of bacon or sausage, a handful of figs or grapes, or a
bit of cheese.]

_Epicuri de grege porci!_ No progress! Yes, I know all that, and
am not saying what should have been, but what was. There _was_ no
progress! The _contadini_ on the little farm which I came to possess
before I left Tuscany cultivated it precisely after the fashion of
their grandfathers and great-grandfathers, and strenuously resisted
any suggestion that it could, should, or might be cultivated in any
other way. But my _contadino_ inhabited a large and roomy _casa
colonica_; he and his buxom wife, had six stalwart sons, and was the
richer man in consequence of having them. No, in my early Florentine
days the _cogito, ergo sum_ could not have been predicated of the
Tuscans.

But the condition of things in the other states of the peninsula, in
Venice and Lombardy under the Austrians, in Naples under the Bourbon
kings, in Romagna under the Pope, and very specially in Modena under
its dukes of the House of Este, was much otherwise. In those regions
the Italians were "thinking" a great deal, and had been thinking for
some time past. And somewhere about 1849, those troublesome members
of the body social who are not contented with eating, drinking, and
singing--cantankerous reading and writing people living in towns, who
wanted most unreasonably to say, as the phrase goes, that "their souls
were their own" (as if such fee-simple rights ever fall to the lot
of any man!)--began in Tuscany to give signs that they also were
"thinking."

I remember well that Albèri, the highly accomplished and learned
editor of the _Reports of the Venetian Ambassadors_, and of the great
edition of Galileo's works, was the first man who opened my altogether
innocent eyes to the fact, that the revolutionary leaven was working
in Tuscany, and that there were social breakers ahead! This must
have been as early as 1845, or possibly 1844. Albèri himself was a
Throne-and-Altar man, who thought for his part, that the amount of
proprietorship over his own soul which the existing _régime_ allowed
him was enough for his purposes. But, as he confided to me, a very
strong current of opinion was beginning to run the other way in
Florence, in Leghorn, in Lucca, and many smaller cities--not in Siena,
which always was, and is still, a nest of conservative feeling.

Nevertheless there never was, at least in Florence, the strength and
bitterness of revolutionary feeling that existed almost everywhere
else throughout Italy. I remember a scene which furnished a very
remarkable proof of this, and which was at the same time very
curiously and significantly characteristic of the Florentine
character, at least as it then existed.

It was during the time of the Austrian occupation of Florence. On the
whole the Austrian troops behaved well; and their doings, and the
spirit in which the job they had in hand was carried out, were
very favourably contrasted with the tyranny, the insults, and the
aggressive arrogance, with which the French army of occupation
afflicted the Romans. The Austrians accordingly were never hated in
Florence with the bitter intensity of hate which the French earned in
the Eternal City. Nevertheless, there were now and then occasions
when the Florentine populace gratified their love of a holiday and
testified to the purity of their Italian patriotism by turning out
into the streets and kicking up a row.

It was on an occasion of this sort, that the narrow street called Por'
Santa Maria, which runs up from the Ponte Vecchio to the Piazza, was
thickly crowded with people. A young lieutenant had been sent to that
part of the town with a small detachment of cavalry to clear the
streets. Judging from the aspect of the people, as his men, coming
down the Lung' Arno, turned into the narrow street, he did not
half like the job before him. He thought there certainly would be
bloodshed. And just as his men were turning the corner and beginning
to push their horses into the crowd, one of them slipped sideways on
the flagstones, with which, most distressingly to horses not used to
them, the streets of Florence are paved, and came down with his rider
partly under him.

The officer thought, "Now for trouble! That man will be killed to
a certainty!" The crowd--who were filling the air with shouts of
"_Morte!" "Abbasso l'Austria!" "Morte agli Austriaci_!"[1]--crowded
round the fallen trooper, while the officer tried to push forward
towards the spot. But when he got within earshot, and could see also
what was taking place, he saw the people immediately round the fallen
man busily disengaging him from his horse! "_O poverino! Ti sei fatto
male? Orsu! Non sara niente! Su! A cavallo, eh?_"[2] And having helped
the man to remount, they returned to their amusement of roaring
"_Morte agli Austriaci!_" The young officer perceived that he had a
very different sort of populace to deal with from an angry crowd
on the other side of the Alps, or indeed on the other side of the
Apennines.

[Footnote 1: "Death! Down with Austria! Death to the Austrians!"]

[Footnote 2: "Oh! Poor fellow! Have you hurt yourself? Up with you! It
will be nothing! Up again on your horse, eh?"]

I remember another circumstance which occurred a few years
previously to that just mentioned, and which was in its way equally
characteristic. In one of the principal _cafés_ of Florence, situated
on the Piazza del Duomo--the cathedral yard--a murder was committed.
The deed was done in full daylight, when the _café_ was full of
people. Such crimes, and indeed violent crimes of any sort, were
exceedingly rare in Florence. That in question was committed by
stabbing, and the motive of the criminal who had come to Florence for
the express purpose of killing his enemy was vengeance for a great
wrong. Having accomplished his purpose he quietly walked out of the
_café_ and went away. I happened to be on the spot shortly afterwards,
and inquired, with some surprise at the escape of the murderer, why he
had not been arrested red-handed. "He had a sword in his hand!" said
the person to whom I had addressed myself, in a tone which implied
that that quite settled the matter--that of course it was absolutely
out of the question to attempt to interfere with a man who had a sword
in his hand!

It is a very singular thing, and one for which it is difficult to
offer any satisfactory explanation, that the change in Florence in
respect to the prevalence of crime has been of late years very great
indeed I have mentioned more than once, I think, the very remarkable
absence of all crimes of violence which characterised Florence in
the earlier time of my residence there. It was not due to rigorous
repression or vigilance of the police, as may be partly judged by the
above anecdote. There was, in fact, _no_ police that merited the name.
But anything in the nature of burglary was unheard of. The streets
were so absolutely safe that any lady might have traversed them alone
at any hour of the day or night. And I might add to the term "crimes
of violence" the further statement that pocket-picking was equally
unheard of.

_Now_ there is perhaps more crime of a heinous character in Florence,
in proportion to the population, than in any city in the peninsula. I
think that about the first indication that all that glittered in the
mansuetude of _Firenze la Gentile_ was not gold, showed itself on
the occasion of an attempt to naturalise at Florence the traditional
sportiveness of the Roman Carnival. There and then, as all the world
knows, it has been the immemorial habit for the population, high and
low, to pelt the folks in the carriages during their Corso procession
with _bonbons, bouquets_, and the like. Gradually at Rome this
exquisite fooling has degenerated under the influence of modern
notions, till the _bouquets_ having become cabbage stalks, very
effective as offensive missiles, and the _bonbons_ plaster of Paris
pellets, with an accompanying substitution of a spiteful desire to
inflict injury for the old horse-play, it has become necessary to
limit the duration of the Saturnalia to the briefest span, with the
sure prospect of its being very shortly altogether prohibited. But at
Florence on the first occasion, now several years ago, of an attempt
to imitate the Roman practice, the conduct of the populace was such as
to demand imperatively the immediate suppression of it. The carriages
and the occupants of them were attacked by such volleys of stones and
mud, and the animus of the people was so evidently malevolent and
dangerous, that they were at once driven from the scene, and any
repetition of the practice was forbidden.

It is so remarkable as to be, at all events, worth noting, that
contemporaneously with this singular deterioration in respect to
crime, another social change has taken place in Florence. _La
Gentile Firenze_ has of late years become very markedly the home of
clericalism of a high and aggressive type. This is an entirely new
feature in the Florentine social world. In the old time clerical views
were sufficiently supported by the Government to give rise to the
famous Madiai incident, which has been before alluded to. But
clericalism in its more aggressive aspects was not in the ascendant
either bureaucratically or socially. The spirit which had informed
the policy and government of the famous Leopoldine laws was still
sufficiently alive in the mental habitudes of both governors and
governed to render Tuscany a rather suspected and disliked region
in the mind of the Vatican and of the secular governments which
sympathised with the Vatican's views and sentiments. The change that
has taken place is therefore a very notable one. I have no such
sufficiently intimate knowledge of the subject as would justify me in
linking together the two changes I have noticed in the connection of
cause and effect. I only note the synchronism.

On the other hand there are not wanting sociologists who maintain
that the cause of the outburst of lawlessness and crime which has
undeniably characterised Florence of late years is to be sought for
exactly in that old-time, easy-going tolerance in religious matters,
which they say is now producing a tardy but sure crop from seeds
that, however long in disclosing the true nature of the harvest to
be expected from them, ought never to have been expected by wise
legislators to produce any other.

_Non nostrum est tantas componere lites!_ But Florence is certainly no
longer _Firenze la Gentile_ as she so eminently was in the days when I
knew her so well.

Whether any of the other cities of Italy have in any degree ceased to
merit the traditional epithets which so many successive generations
assigned to them--how far Genoa is still _la Superba_, Bologna _la
Grassa_, Padua _la Dotta_, Lucca _la Industriosa_--I cannot say.
Venezia is unquestionably still _la Bella_. And as for old Rome, she
vindicates more than ever her title to the epithet _Eterna_, by her
similitude to those nursery toys which, throw them about as you will,
still with infallible certitude come down heads uppermost.

As for the Florence of my old recollections, there were in the early
days of them many little old-world sights and sounds which are to be
seen and heard no longer, and which differentiated the place from
other social centres.

I remember a striking incident of this sort which happened to my
mother and myself "in the days before the flood," therefore very
shortly after our arrival there.

It was the practice in those days to carry the bodies of the dead on
open biers, with uncovered faces, to their burial. It had doubtless
been customary in old times so to carry all the dead; but the custom
was retained at the time of which I am writing only in the case
of distinguished persons, and very generally of the priesthood. I
remember, for instance, a poor little humpbacked Grand Duchess being
so carried through the street magnificently bedecked as if she were
going to a ball, and with painted cheeks. She had been a beneficent
little body, and the people, as far as they knew anything about
her, revered her, and looked on her last presentation to them with
sympathetic feelings. But it was a sorry sight to see the poor little
body, looking much like a bedizened monkey, so paraded.

Well, my mother and I were, aimlessly but much admiringly, wandering
about the vast spaces of the cathedral when we became aware of a
_funzione_ of some sort--a service as we should say--being conducted
in a far part of the building. There was no great crowd, but a score
or two of spectators, mainly belonging to the _gamin_ category, were
standing around the officiating priests and curiously looking on. We
went towards the spot, and found that the burial service was being
performed over the body of a young priest. The body lay on its back on
the open bier, clad in full canonicals and with the long tasselled cap
of the secular clergy on his head. We stood and gazed with the others,
when suddenly I saw the dead man's head slightly move! A shiver, I
confess, ran through me. A moment's reflection, however, reminded me
of the recognised deceitfulness of the eyes in such matters, and I did
not doubt that I had been mistaken. But the next minute I again saw
the dead priest slightly shake his head, and this time I was sure that
I was not mistaken. I clutched my mother's arm and pointed, and again
saw the awful phenomenon, which sent a cold wave through both of us
from head to foot. But nobody save ourselves seemed to have seen
anything unusual. The service was proceeding in its wonted order.
Doubting whether it might possibly be one of those horrible cases of
suspended animation and mistaken death, I was thinking whether it were
not my duty to call attention to the startling thing we had seen,
and had with outstretched neck and peering eyes advanced a step for
further observation, and with the half-formed purpose of declaring
aloud that the man was not dead, when I spied crouched beneath the
bier a little monkey, some nine or ten years old, who had taken in his
hand the tassel of the cap, which hung down between the wooden bars
which formed the bier, and was amusing himself with slowly swaying it
forwards and backwards, and had thus communicated the motion to the
dead man's head! It was almost impossible to believe that the little
urchin had been able to reach the position he occupied without having
been observed by any of the clerical attendants, of whom several were
present, and still more difficult to suppose that no one of them had
seen what we saw, standing immediately in front of the corpse while
one of them performed the rite of lustration with holy water, the
vessel containing which was held by another. But no one interfered,
and none but those who know the Florentines as well as I know them can
feel how curiously and intensely characteristic of them was the fact
that no one did so. The awful reverence for death which would
have impelled an Englishman of almost any social position to feel
indignation and instantly put a stop to what he would consider a
profanation, was absolutely unknown to all those engaged in that
perfunctory rite. A certain amount of trouble and disturbance would
have been caused by dislodging the culprit, and each man there felt
only this; that it didn't matter a straw, and that there was no reason
for _him_ to take the trouble of noticing it. As far as I could
observe, the amusement the little wretch derived from his performance
was entirely unsocial, and confined to his own breast; for I could not
see that any of the _gamin_ fraternity noticed it, or cared about it,
any more than their seniors.

I remember another somewhat analogous adventure of mine, equally
illustrative of the Florentine habits of those days. I saw a man
suddenly stagger and fall in the street. It was in the afternoon, and
there were many persons in the street, some of them nearer to the
fallen man than I was, but nobody, attempted to help him. I stepped
forward to do so, and was about to take hold of him and try to raise
him, when one of the by-standers eagerly caught me by the arm, saying,
"He is dying, he is dying!" "Let us try to raise him," said I, still
pressing forward. "You mustn't, you mustn't! It is not permitted," he
added, as he perceived that he was speaking to a foreigner, and then
went on to explain to me that what must be done was to call the
Misericordia, for which purpose one must run and ring a certain bell
attached to the chapel of that brotherhood in the Piazza del Duomo.

Among the many things that have been written of the Florentine
Misericordia, I do not think that I have met with the statement that
it used to be universally believed in Florence that the law gave the
black brethren the privilege and the monopoly of picking up any dying
or dead person in the streets, and that it was forbidden to any one
else to do so. Whether any such _law_ really existed I much doubt, but
the custom of acting in accordance with it, and the belief that such
practice was imperative, undoubtedly did. And I have no doubt that
many a life has been sacrificed to it. The half hour or twenty minutes
which necessarily elapsed before the Misericordia could be called and
answer the call, must often have been supremely important, and in many
cases ought to have been employed in the judicious use of the lancet.

The sight of the black robed and black cowled brethren, as they went
about the streets on their errands of mercy, was common enough in
Florence. But the holiday visitor had very little opportunity of
hearing anything of the internal management and rules of that peculiar
mediaeval society or of the nature of the work it did.

The Florentine Misericordia was founded in the days when pestilence
was ravaging the city so fiercely that the dead lay uncared for in the
streets, because there was no man sufficiently courageous to bury or
to touch them. The members of the association, which was formed
for the performance of this charitable and arduous duty, chose for
themselves a costume, the object of which was the absolute concealment
of the individual performing it. A loose black linen gown drapes the
figure from the neck to the heels, and a black cowl, with two holes
cut for the eyes, covers and effectually conceals the head and face.
For more than five hundred years, up to the present day, the dress
remains the same, and no human being, either of those to whom their
services are rendered, or of the thousands who see them going about
in the performance of their self-imposed duty, can know whether the
mysterious weird-looking figure he sees be prince or peasant. He knows
that he may be either, for the members of the brotherhood are drawn
from all classes of society.

It used to be whispered, and I have good reasons for believing the
whisper to have been true, that the late Grand Duke was a member, and
took his turn of duty with his brethren. Some indiscreet personal
attendant blabbed the secret, for assuredly the Duke himself was never
untrue to the oath which binds the members to secrecy.

The whole society is divided into a number of companies, one of which
is by turns on duty. There is a large, most melancholy and ominously
sounding bell in the chapel of the brotherhood (not that already
mentioned by which anybody can call the attention of the brother in
permanent attendance, but a much larger one), which is heard all over
the city. This summons the immediate attendance of every member of the
company on duty, and the mysterious black figures may any day be seen
hurrying to the rendezvous. There they learn the nature of the call,
and the place at which their presence is required.

I remember the case of an English girl who was fearfully burned at
a villa at some little distance from the city. The injuries were so
severe that, while it was extremely desirable that she should be
removed to a hospital, there was much doubt as to the possibility of
moving her. In this difficulty the Misericordia were summoned. They
came, five or six of them, bringing with them their too well-known
black covered litter, and transported the patient to the hospital,
lifting her from her bed and placing her in the litter with an
exquisitely delicate and skilled gentleness of handling which spared
her suffering to the utmost, and excited the surprise and admiration
of the English medical man who witnessed the operation. Every part of
the work, every movement, was executed in absolute silence and with
combined obedience to signalled orders from the leader of the company.

Another case which was brought under my notice was that of a woman
suffering from dropsy, which made the necessary removal of her a very
arduous and difficult operation. It would probably have been deemed
impossible save by the assistance of the Misericordia, who managed so
featly and deftly that those who saw it marvelled at the skill and
accurately co-operating force, which nothing but long practice could
have made possible.

It is a law of the brotherhood, never broken, that they are to accept
nothing, not so much as a glass of water, in any house to which
they are called. The Florentines well know how much they owe as a
community, and how much each man may some day come to owe personally
to the Misericordia; and when the doleful clang of their well-known
bell is heard booming over the city, women may be seen to cross
themselves with a muttered prayer, while men, ashamed of their
religiosity, but moved by feeling as well as habit, will furtively do
the same.

There is an association at Rome copied from that at Florence, and
vowed to the performance of very similar duties. I once had an
opportunity of seeing the registers of this Roman Misericordia, and
was much impressed by the frequently recurring entry of excursions
into the Campagna to bring in the corpses of men murdered and left
there!



CHAPTER XII.


Among the other things that contributed to make those Florence
days very pleasant ones, we did a good deal in the way of private
theatricals. Our _impresario_ at least in the earlier part of the
time, was Arthur Vansittart. He engaged the Cocomero Theatre for our
performances, and to the best of my remembrance defrayed the whole of
the expense out of his own pocket. Vansittart was an exceptionally
tall man, a thread-paper of a man, and a very bad actor. He was
exceedingly noisy, and pushed vivacity to its extreme limits. I
remember well his appearance in some play--I fancy it was in _The Road
to Ruin_, in which I represented some character, I entirely forget
what--where he comes on with a four-in-hand whip in his hand; and I
remember, too, that for the other performers in that piece, their
appearance on the stage was a service of danger, from which the
occupants of the stage boxes were not entirely free. But he was
inexhaustibly good-natured and good-humoured, and gave us excellent
suppers after the performance.

Then there was Edward Hobhouse, with--more or less with--his
exceedingly pretty and clever wife, and her sister, the not at all
pretty but still more clever and very witty Miss Graves. Hobhouse was
a man abounding in talent of all sorts, extremely witty, brim full
of humour, a thorough good fellow and very popular. He and his wife,
though very good friends did not entirely pull together; and it used
to be told of him, that replying to a man, who asked him "How's your
wife?" he answered with much humorous semblance of indignation, "Well!
if you come to that, how's yours?" Hobhouse was far and away the
cleverest and best educated man of the little set (these dramatic
reminiscences refer to the early years of my Florence life), and in
truth was somewhat regrettably wasted in the midst of such a frivolous
and idle community. But I take it that he was much of an invalid.

Of course we got up _The Rivals_. I was at first Bob Acres, with an
Irishman of the name of Torrens for my Sir Lucius, which he acted,
when we could succeed in keeping him sober, to the life. My Bob Acres
was not much of a success. And I subsequently took Sir Anthony, which
remained my stock part for years, and which I was considered to do
well.

Sir Francis Vincent, a resident in Florence for many years, with whom
I was for several of them very intimate, played the ungrateful part
of Falkland. He was a heavy actor with fairly good elocution and
delivery, and not unfitted for a part which it might have been
difficult to fill without him. He was to a great degree a reading man,
and had a considerable knowledge of the byeways of Florentine history.

My mother "brought the house down" nightly as Mrs. Malaprop; and
a very exceptionally beautiful Madame de Parcieu (an Englishwoman
married to a Frenchman) was in appearance, _manière d'être_, and
deportment the veritable _beau idéal_ of Lydia Languish, and might
have made _a furore_ on any stage, if it had been possible to induce
her to raise her voice sufficiently. She was most good-naturedly
amenable. But when she was thus driven against her nature and habits
to speak out, all the excellence of her acting was gone. The meaning
of the words was taken out of them.

Sir Anthony Absolute became, as I said, my stock part. And the phrase
is justified by my having acted it many years afterwards in a totally
different company--I the only remaining brick of the old edifice--and
to audiences not one of whom could have witnessed the performances of
those earlier days. Mrs. Richie, an American lady--who had, I think,
been known on a London stage under the name of "Mowatt"--was in those
latter days, now so far away in the dim past, our manageress. Mrs.
Proby, the wife, now I am sorry to say the widow, of the British
Consul, was on that occasion our Mrs. Malaprop, and was an excellent
representative of that popular lady, though she will, I am sure,
forgive me for saying not so perfect a one as my mother.

Quite indescribably strange is the effect on my mind of looking back
at my three Thespian avatars--Falstaff at Cincinnati, Acres and Sir
Anthony in Grand Ducal Florence, and Sir Anthony again in a liberated
Tuscany! I seem to myself like some old mail-coach guard, who goes
through the whole long journey, while successive coachmen "Leave you
here, sir!" But then in my case the passengers are all changed too;
and I arrive at the end of the journey without one "inside" or
"outside" of those who started with me! I can still blow my horn
cheerily, however, and chat with the passengers, who joined the coach
when my journey was half done, as if they were quite old fellow
travellers!

It must not be imagined, however, that that pleasant life at Florence
was all cakes and ale.

I was upon the whole a hard worker. I wrote a series of volumes on
various portions of Italian, and especially Florentine, history,
beginning with _The Girlhood of Catherine de Medici_. They were all
fairly well received, the _Life of Filippo Strozzi_ perhaps the most
so. But the volume on the story of the great quarrel between the
Papacy and Venice, entitled _Paul the Pope and Paul the Friar_, was, I
think, the best. The volumes entitled _A Decade of Italian Women_,
and dealing with ten typical historic female figures, has attained,
I believe, to some share of public favour. I see it not unfrequently
quoted by writers on Italian subjects. Then I made a more ambitious
attempt, and produced a _History of the Commonwealth of Florence_, in
four volumes.

Such a work appeals, of course, to a comparatively limited audience.
But that it was recognised to have some value among certain
Anglo-Saxons whose favourable judgment in the matter was worth having,
may be gathered from the fact that it has been a text-book in our own
and in transatlantic universities; while a verdict perhaps still
more flattering (though I will not say more gratifying) was given by
Professor Pasquale Villari (now senator of the kingdom of Italy), who,
in a letter in my possession, pronounces my history of Florence to be
in his opinion the best work on the subject extant.

Professor Villari is not only an accomplished scholar of a wide
range of culture, but his praise of any work on Italian--and perhaps
especially on Tuscan--history comes from no "prentice han'." His
masterly _Life of Macchiavelli_ is as well known in our country as
in his own, through the translation of it into English by his gifted
wife, Linda Villari, whilom Linda White, and my very valued friend.
All these historical books were written _con amore_. The study of
bygone Florentines had an interest for me which was quickened by the
daily and hourly study of living Florentines. It was curious to mark
in them resemblances of character, temperament, idiosyncrasy, defects,
and merits, to those of their forefathers who move and breathe before
us in the pages of such old chroniclers as Villani, Segni, Varchi, and
the rest, and in sundry fire-graven strophes and lines of their mighty
poet. Dante's own local and limited characteristics, as distinguished
from the universality of his poetic genius, have always seemed to me
quintessentially Tuscan.

Of course it is among the lower orders that such traits are chiefly
found, and among the lower orders in the country more than those
in the towns. But there is, or was, for I speak of years ago, a
considerable conservative pride in their own inherited customs and
traditions common to all classes.

Especially this is perceived in the speech of the genuine Florentine.
Quaint proverbs, not always of scrupulous refinement, old-world
phrases, local allusions, are stuffed into the conversation of your
real citizen or citizeness of _Firenze la Gentile_ as thickly as the
beads in the _vezzo di corallo_ on the neck of a _contadina_. And
above all, the accent--the soft (not to say slobbering) _c_ and
_g_, and the guttural aspirate which turns _casa_ into _hasa_ and
_capitale_ into _hapitale_, and so forth--this is cherished with
peculiar fondness. I have heard a young, elegant, and accomplished
woman discourse in very choice Italian with the accent of a
market-woman, and on being remonstrated with for the use of some
very pungent proverbial illustration in her talk, she replied with
conviction, "That is the right way to speak Tuscan. I have nothing to
do with what Italians from other provinces may prefer. But pure, racy
Tuscan--the Tuscan tongue that we have inherited--is spoken as I speak
it--or ought to be!"

I had gathered together, partly for my own pleasure, and partly in the
course of historical researches, a valuable collection of works on
_Storia Patria_, which were sold by me when I gave up my house there.
The reading of Italian, even very crabbed and ancient Italian which
might have puzzled more than one "elegant scholar," became quite easy
and familiar to me, but I have never attained a colloquial mastery
over the language. I can talk, to be sure, with the most incorrect
fluency, and I can make myself understood--at all events by Italians,
whose quick, sympathetic apprehension of one's meaning, and courteous
readiness to assist a foreigner in any linguistic straits, are
deserving of grateful recognition from all of us who, however
involuntarily, maltreat their beautiful language.

But the colloquial use of a language must be acquired when the organs
are young and lissom. I began too late. And besides, I have laboured
under the great disadvantage that my deafness prevents me from sharing
in the hourly lessons which those who hear all that is going on around
them profit by.

Besides the above-mentioned historical works, I wrote well nigh a
score, I think, of novels, which also had no great, but a fair, share
of success. The majority of them are on Italian subjects; and these,
if I may be allowed to say so, are good. The pictures they give of
Italian men and women and things and habits are true, vivid, and
accurate. Those which I wrote on English subjects are unquestionably
bad. I had been living the best part of a life-time out of England; I
knew but little comparatively of English life, and I had no business
to meddle with such subjects. But besides all this, I was always
writing in periodical publications of all sorts, English and American,
to such an extent that I should think the bulk of it, if brought
together, would exceed that of all the many volumes I am answerable
for. No! my life in that Castle of Indolence--Italy--was not a
_far-niente_ one!

We were great at picnics in those Florence days. Perhaps the most
favourite place of all for such parties was Pratolino, a park
belonging to the Grand Duke, about seven miles from Florence, on the
Bologna road. These seven miles wave almost all more or less up hill,
and when the high ground on which the park is situated has been
reached, there is a magnificent view over the Val d'Arno, its thousand
villas, and Florence, with its circle of surrounding hills.

There was once a grand ducal residence there, which was famous in
the later Medicean days for the multiplicity and ingenuity of its
water-works. All kinds of surprises, picturesque and grotesque
effects, and practical jokes, had been prepared by the ingenious, but
somewhat childish skill of the architect. Turning the handle of a
door would produce a shower-bath, sofas would become suddenly boats
surrounded by water, and such like more or less disagreeable surprises
to visitors, who were new to the specialties of the place. But all
this practical joking was at length fatal to the scene of it. The
pipes and conduits got out of order, and eventually so ruined the
edifice that it had to be taken down, and has never been replaced.

But the principal object of attraction--besides the view, the charming
green turf for dining on, the facility for getting hot water, plates,
glasses, &c., from a gardeners house, and a large hall in the same,
good for dancing--was the singular colossal figure, representing "The
Apennine," said to have been designed by Michael Angelo. One used
to clamber up inside this figure, which sits in a half crouching
attitude, and reach on the top of the head a platform, on which four
or five persons could stand and admire the matchless view.

About three miles further, still always ascending the slope of the
Apennine, is a Servite monastery which is the cradle and mother
establishment of the order. Sometimes we used to extend our rambles
thither. The brethren had the reputation, I remember, of possessing a
large and valuable collection of prints. They were not very willing
to exhibit it; but I did once succeed in examining it, and, as I
remember, found that it contained nothing much worth looking at.

A much more favourite amusement of mine was a picnic arranged to last
for two or three days, and intended to embrace objects further afield.
Vallombrosa was a favourite and admirably well selected locality
for this purpose. And many a day and moonlight night never to be
forgotten, have I spent there. Sometimes we pushed our expeditions to
the more distant convents--or "Sanctuaries" as they were called--of
Camaldoli and Lavernia. And of one very memorable excursion to these
two places I shall have to speak in a subsequent chapter.

Meantime those dull mutterings as of distant thunder, which Signor
Albèri had, as mentioned at a former page, first signalised to me,
were gradually growing into a roar which was attracting the attention
and lively interest of all Europe.

Of the steady increase in the volume of this roar, and of the results
in which it eventuated, I need say little here, for I have already
said enough in a volume entitled _Tuscany in 1849 and in 1859_. But
I may jot down a few recollections of the culminating day of the
Florentine revolution.

I had been out from an early hour of that morning, and had assisted at
sundry street discussions of the question, What would the troops do?
Such troops as were in Florence were mainly lodged in the forts, the
Fortezza da Basso, which I have had occasion to mention in a former
chapter, and the other situated on the high ground beyond the Boboli
Gardens, and therefore immediately above the Pitti Palace. My house at
the corner of the large square, now the Piazza dell Indipendenza, was
almost immediately under the walls and the guns of the Fortezza da
Basso; but I felt sure that the troops would simply do nothing; might
very possibly fraternise with the people; but would in no case burn a
cartridge for the purpose of keeping the Grand Duke on his throne.

A short wide street runs in a straight line from the middle of one
side of the Piazza to the fort; and a considerable crowd of people,
at about ten o'clock, I think, began to advance slowly up this street
towards the _fortezza_, and I went with them. High above our heads
on the turf-covered top of the lofty wall, there were a good number,
perhaps thirty or forty soldiers, not drawn up in line, but apparently
merely lounging and enjoying the air and sunshine. They had, I think
all of them, their muskets in their hands, but held them idly and with
apparently no thought whatever of using them. I felt confirmed in my
opinion that they had no intention of doing so.

Arrived at the foot of the fortress wall, the foremost of the people
began calling out to the soldiers, "_Abbasso l'Austria! Siete per
Italia o per l'Austria?_" I did not--and it is significant--hear any
cries of "_Abbasso il Gran Duca!_" The soldiers, as far as I could see
at that distance, appeared to be lazily laughing at the people.
One man called out "_Ecco un bel muro per fracassare il capo
contro!_"--"That is an excellent wall to break your heads against!"
It was very plain that they had no intention of making any hostile
demonstration against the crowd. At the same time there was no sort
of manifestation of any inclination to fraternise with the
revolutionists. They were simply waiting to see how matters would go;
and under the circumstances they can hardly be severely blamed for
doing so. But there can be no doubt that, whichever way things might
go, their view of the matter would be strongly influenced by the very
decided opinion that that course would be best which should not imply
the necessity for _doing_ anything. I think that the feeling generally
in "the army," if such it could be called, was on the whole kindly
to the Grand Duke, but not to the extent of being willing to fight
anybody, least of all the Florentines, in his defence!

How matters _did_ go it is not necessary to tell here. If ever there
was a revolution "made with rose-water," it was the revolution which
deposed the poor _gran ciuco_. I don't think it cost any human being
in all Florence a scratch or a bloody nose. It cost an enormous amount
of talking and screaming, but nothing else. At the same time it is
fair to remember that the popular leaders could not be sure that
matters might not have taken another turn, and that it _might_ have
gone hard with some of them. In any case, however, it would not have
gone _very_ hard with any of them. Probably exile would have been the
worst fate meted out to them. It is true that exile from Tuscany just
then would have been attended by a similar difficulty to that which
caused the old Scotch lady, when urged to run during an earthquake, to
reply, "Ay! but whar wull I run to?"

I do not think there was any bitter, or much even unkind, feeling
on the part of the citizens towards the sovereign against whom they
rebelled. If any fact or circumstance could be found which was
calculated to hold him up to ridicule, it was eagerly laid hold of,
but there was no fiercer feeling.

A report was spread during the days that immediately followed the
Duke's departure that orders had been given to the officers in the
upper fortress to turn their cannon on the city at the first sign of
rising. Such reports were very acceptable to those who for political
purposes would fain have seen somewhat of stronger feeling against the
Duke. I have good reason to believe that such orders _had_ been given.
But I have still stronger reasons for doubting that they were ever
given by the Grand Duke. And I am surest of all, that let them have
been given by whom they may, there was not the smallest chance of
their being obeyed. As for the Duke himself, I am very sure that he
would have given or even done much to prevent any such catastrophe.

But perhaps the most remarkable and most singular scene of all that
rose-water revolution was the Duke's departure from his capital and
his duchy. Other sovereigns in similar plight have hidden themselves,
travestied themselves, had hairbreadth escapes, or have not escaped at
all. In Tuscany the fallen ruler went forth in his own carriage with
one other following it, both rather heavily laden with luggage. The
San Gallo gate is that by which the hearse that conveys the day's dead
to the cemetery on the slope of the Apennine leaves the city every
night. And the Duke passed amid the large crowd assembled at the gate
to see him go, as peaceably as the vehicle conveying those whose days
in Florence, like his, were at an end, went out a few hours later by
the same road.



CHAPTER XIII.


Among the very great number of men and women whom I have known during
my life in Italy--some merely acquaintances, and many whom I knew
to be, and a few, alas! a very few, whom I still know to be trusty
friends--there were many of whom the world has heard, and some perhaps
of whom it would not unwillingly hear something more. But time and
space are limited, and I must select as best I may.

I have a very pleasant recollection of "Garibaldi's Englishman,"
Colonel Peard. Peard had many more qualities and capabilities than
such as are essential to a soldier of fortune. The phrase, however, is
perhaps not exactly that which should be used to characterise him. He
had qualities which the true soldier of fortune should not possess.
His partisanship was with him in the highest degree a matter of
conviction and conscientious opinion, and _nothing_ would have tempted
him to change his colours or draw his sword on the other side. I am
not sure either, whether a larger amount of native brain power, and
(in a much greater degree) a higher quality of culture, than that of
the general under whom it may be his fortune to serve, is a good part
of the equipment of a soldier of fortune. And Peard's relation to
Garibaldi very notably exemplified this.

He was a native of Devonshire, as was my first wife; we saw a good
deal of him in Florence, and I have before me a letter written to her
by him from Naples on the 28th of January, 1861, which is interesting
in more respects than one. Peard was a man who _would_ have all that
depended on him ship-shape. And this fact, taken in conjunction with
the surroundings amid which he had to do his work, is abundantly
sufficient to justify the growl he indulges in.

       *       *       *       *       *
"My dear Mrs. Trollope," he writes, "I am ashamed to think either of
you or of other friends at Florence; it is such an age since I have
written to any of you. But I have been daily, from morning to night,
hard at work for weeks. The _honour_ of having a command is all very
well, but the trouble and worry are unspeakable. Besides, I had such
a set under me that it was enough to rile the sweetest tempered man.
Volunteers may be very well in their way. I doubt not their efficiency
in repelling an attack in their own country. But defend me from ever
again commanding a brigade of English volunteers in a foreign country.
As to the officers, many were most mutinous, and some something worse.
Thank goodness the brigade is at an end. All I now wait for is the
settlement of the accounts. If I can get away by the second week in
February, I at present think of taking a run as far as Cairo, then
crossing to Jerusalem, and back by Jaffa, Beyrout, Smyrna, and Athens
to Italy, when I shall hope once more to see you and yours.

"Politics do not look well in Southern Italy, I fear. The Mazzinists
have been most active, and have got up a rather strong feeling against
Cavour and what they think the peace party. Now Italy must have a
little rest for organisation, civil as well as military. They do not
give the Government time to do or even propose good measures for
the improvement of the country. No sooner are one set of ministers
installed than intrigues are on foot to upset them. I firmly believe
that the only hope for Southern Italy and Sicily is in a strong
military Government. These districts must be treated as _conquered
provinces_, and the people educated and taught habits of industry,
whether they like it or not. The country is at present in a state
of barbarism, and must be saved from that. All that those who are
_supposed to be educated_ seem to think about is how they can get a
few dollars out of Government." [I fear the honest Englishman would
find that those supposed to be educated in those provinces are as much
in a state of barbarism in the matters that offended him as ever.] "I
never saw such a set of harpies in my life. One had the assurance to
come to me a few days since, asking if I could not take him on the
strength of the brigade, so as to enable him to get six months pay out
of the Government. As to peculation, read _Gil Blas_, and that will
give you a faint sketch of the customs and habits of all _impiegati_
[civil servants] in this part of Italy. I do not believe that the
Southern Italians, taken as a body, know what honesty is." [All that
he says is true to the present day. But the distinction which he makes
between the Southern Italians and those of the other provinces is most
just, and must be remembered.] "But that is the fault of the horrid
system of tyranny under which they have so long lived. I do not say
that the old system must be reformed, it must be totally changed.
Solomon might make laws, but so corrupt are all the _impiegati_, that
I doubt if he could get them carried out. Poor Garibaldi is made a
tool of by a set of designing intriguers, who will sacrifice him
at any moment. He is too honest to see or believe of dishonesty in
others. He has no judgment of character. He has been surrounded by
a set of blacklegs and swindlers, many among them, I regret to say,
English. How I look forward to seeing you all again! Till we meet,
believe me

"Most truly yours,

"GIO. [_sic_] PEARD."

The last portion of this letter is highly interesting and historically
well worth preserving. It is entirely and accurately true. And there
was no man in existence more fitted by native integrity and hatred of
dishonesty on the one hand, and close intimacy with the subject of
his remarks on the other, to speak authoritatively on the matter than
"Garibaldi's Englishman."

The following letter, written, as will be seen, on the eve of
his departure for the celebrated expedition to Sicily, is also
interesting. It is dated Genoa.

       *       *       *       *       *

"DEAR MRS. TROLLOPE,--I have been thinking over your observations
about _terno_. I don't give up my translation; but would it not be
literal enough to translate it, 'the bravest three colours'?

[This refers to the rendering of the lottery phrase _terno_ in a
translation by my wife of the _stornello_ of Dall' Ongaro previously
mentioned. In the Italian lottery, ninety numbers, 1-90, are always
put into the wheel. Five only of these are drawn out. The player
bets that a number named by him shall be one of these (_semplice
estratto_); or that it shall be the first drawn (_estratto
determinato_); or that two numbers named by him shall be two of the
five drawn (_ambo_); or that three so named shall be drawn (_terno_).
It will be seen, therefore, that the winner of an _estratto
determinato_, ought, if the play were quite even, to receive ninety
times his stake. But, in fact, such a player would receive only
seventy-five times his stake, the profit of the Government consisting
of this pull of fifteen per ninety against the player. Of course, what
he ought to receive in any of the other cases is easily (not by me,
but by experts) calculable. It will be admitted that the difficulty
of translating the phrase in Dall' Ongaro's little poem, so as to be
intelligible to English readers, was considerable. The letter then
proceeds]:

"I did not start, you will see, direct from Livorno [Leghorn], for
Medici wrote me to join him here. Moreover, the steamer by which I
expected to have gone, did not make the trip, but was sent back to
this city. I will worry you with a letter when anything stirring
occurs. We sail to-night. Part went off last evening--1,500. We go in
three steamers, and shall overtake the others.

"With kind regards to all friends, believe me,

"Yours very faithfully,

"JOHN PEARD."

       *       *       *       *       *

The remarks contained in the former of the two letters here
transcribed seem to make this a proper place for recording "what I
remember" of Garibaldi.

My first acquaintance with him was through my very old, and very
highly valued, loved, and esteemed friend, Jessie White Mario. The
Garibaldi _culte_ has been with her truly and literally the object
(apart from her devoted love for her husband, an equally ardent
worshipper at the same shrine) for which she has lived, and for which
she has again and again affronted death. For she accompanied him in
all his Italian campaigns as a hospital nurse, and on many occasions
rendered her inestimable services in that capacity under fire. If
Peard has been called "Garibaldi's Englishman," truly Jessie White
Mario deserves yet more emphatically the title of "Garibaldi's
Englishwoman." She has published a large life of Garibaldi, which is
far and away the best and most trustworthy account of the man and
his wonderful works. She is not blind to the spots on the sun of her
adoration, nor does she seek to conceal the fact that there were such
spots, but she is a true and loyal worshipper all the same.

Her husband was--alas! that I should write so; for no Indian wife's
life was ever more ended by her suttee than Jessie Mario's life has
practically been ended by her husband's untimely death!--Alberto Mario
was among the, I fear, few exceptions to Peard's remarks on the men
who were around Garibaldi. He was not only a man of large literary
culture, a brave soldier, an acute politician, a formidable political
adversary, and a man of perfect and incorruptible integrity, but he
would have been considered in any country and in any society in Europe
a very perfect gentleman. He was in political opinion a consistent and
fearlessly outspoken Republican. He and I therefore differed _toto
coelo_. But our differences never diminished our, I trust, mutual
esteem, nor our friendly intercourse. But he was a born _frondeur_. He
edited during his latter years a newspaper at Rome, which was a thorn
in the side of the authorities. I remember his being prosecuted and
condemned for persistently speaking of the Pope in his paper as
"Signor Pecci." He was sentenced to imprisonment. But all the
Government wanted was his condemnation; and he was never incarcerated.
But he used to go daily to the prison and demand the execution of
his sentence. The gaoler used to shut the door in his face, and he
narrated the result of his visit in the next day's paper!

It was as Jessie Mario's friend then, that I first knew Garibaldi.

One morning at the villa I then possessed, at Ricorboli, close to
Florence, a maid-servant came flying into the room, where I was
still in bed at six o'clock in the morning, crying out in the utmost
excitement, "_C'è il Generale! c'è il Generale; e chiede di lei,
signore!_"--"Here's the General! here's the General! And he is asking
for you, sir!" She spoke as if there was but one general in all the
world. But there was hardly any room in Florence at that time where
her words would not have been understood as well as I understood them.

I jumped out of bed, got into a dressing-gown, and ran out to where
the "General" was on the lawn before the door, just as I was, and
hardly more than half awake. There he was, all alone. But if there had
been a dozen other men around him, I should have had no difficulty in
recognising him. There was the figure as well known to every Italian
from Turin to Syracuse as that of his own father--the light grey
trousers, the little foraging cap, the red shirt, the bandana
handkerchief loosely thrown over his shoulders and round his neck.

Prints, photographs, portraits of all kinds, have made the English
public scarcely less familiar than the Italian, with the physiognomy
of Giuseppe Garibaldi. But no photograph, of course, and no painting
which I have ever seen, gives certain peculiarities of that striking
head and face, as I first saw it, somewhere about twenty years ago.

The pose of the head, and the general arrangement and colour of the
tawny hair (at that time but slightly grizzled) justified the epithet
"leonine" so often applied to him. His beard and moustache were of the
same hue, and his skin was probably fair by nature, but it had been
tanned by wind and weather. The clear blue eyes were surrounded by a
network of fine lines. This had no trace or suggestion of _cunning_,
as is often the case with wrinkles round the setting of the eyes, but
was obviously the result of habitual contraction of the muscles in
gazing at very distant objects. In short, Garibaldi's eyes, both in
this respect and in respect of a certain, steadfast, far-away look in
them, were the eyes of a sailor. Seamanship, as is generally known,
was his first profession. Another physical peculiarity of his which
I do not remember to have seen noticed in print was a remarkably
beautiful voice. It was fine in quality and of great range; sweet, yet
manly, and with a suggestion of stored-up power which harmonised with
the man. It seemed to belong, too, to the benevolence, which was the
habitual expression of his face when in repose.

"Jessie [pronounced Jèssee] told me I should find you up; but you are
not so early as I am!" was his salutation. I said he had _dans le
temps_ been beforehand with others as well as with me! At which he
laughed, not, I thought, ill-pleased. And then we talked--about Italy
of course. One subject of his talk I specially remember, because it
gave rise to a little discussion, and in a great degree gave me the
measure of the man.

"As for the priests," said he, "they ought all to be put to death,
without exception and without delay!"

"Rather a strong measure!" I ventured to say.

"Not a bit too strong! not a bit!" he rejoined warmly. "Do we not put
assassins to death? And is not the man who murders your soul worse
than the man who only kills your body?"

I attempted to say that the difference of the two cases lay in the
fact, that as to the killing of the body there was no doubt about the
matter, whereas mankind differed very widely as to the killing of the
soul; and that as long as it remained a moot point whether priests did
so or not, it would hardly be practicable or even politic to adopt the
measure he suggested.

But he would not listen to me--only repeated with increasing
excitement that no good could come to humanity till all priests were
destroyed.

Then we talked about the Marries, of both of whom he spoke with the
greatest affection; and of the prospects of "going to Rome," which of
course he considered the simplest and easiest thing possible.

I saw Garibaldi on many subsequent occasions, but never again
_tête-à-tête_, or _a Quattro Oct_, as the Italians more significantly
phrase it. The last time I ever saw him was under melancholy
circumstances enough, though the occasion professed to be one of
rejoicing. It was at the great gathering at Palermo for celebrating
the anniversary of the Sicilian Vespers. Of course such a celebration
would have brought Garibaldi to partake in it, wherever he might have
been, short of in his grave. And truly he was then very near that. It
was a melancholy business. He was brought from the steamer to his bed
in the hotel on a litter through the streets lined by the thousands
who had gathered to see him, but who had been warned that his
condition was such, that the excitement occasioned by any shouting
would be perilous to him. Amid dead silence his litter passed through
the crowds who were longing to welcome him to the scene of his old
triumphs! Truly it was more like a funeral procession than one of
rejoicing.

It was very shortly before his death, which many people thought had
been accelerated by that last effort to make his boundless popularity
available for the propagation of Radicalism.

Peard's words reveal with exactitude the deficiency which lay at the
root of all the blunders, follies, and imprudence which rendered his
career less largely beneficent for Italy than it might have been.
"He had no judgment of character," and was too honest to believe in
knavery. It must be added that he was too little intelligent to detect
it, or to estimate the consequences of it. Of any large views of
social life, or of the means by which, and the objects for which, men
should be governed, he was as innocent as a baby. In a word, he was
not an intellectual man. All the high qualities which placed him on
the pinnacle he occupied were qualities of the heart and not of the
head. They availed with admirable success to fit him for exercising a
supreme influence over men, especially young men, in the field, and
for all the duties of a guerilla leader. They would not have sufficed
to make him a great commander of armies; and did still less fit him
for becoming a political leader.

Whom next shall I present to the reader from the portrait gallery of
my reminiscences?

Come forward, Franz Pulszky, most genial, most large-hearted of
philosophers and friends!--I can't say "guides," for though he was
both the first, he was not the last, differing widely as we did
upon--perhaps not most, but at all events--many large subjects.

I had known the lady whom Pulszky married in Vienna many years
previously, and long before he knew her. She was the daughter of that
highly cultivated Jewish family of whom I have spoken before. When I
first knew her she was as pretty and charming a young girl as could be
imagined. She was possessed then of all the accomplishments that can
adorn a girl at that period of life. Later on she showed that she
was gifted with sense, knowledge, energy, firmness, courage and
_caractère_ in a degree very uncommon. Since leaving Vienna I had
neither seen nor heard more of her, till she came to live with
her husband and family of children in Florence. But our old
acquaintanceship was readily and naturally renewed, and his villa near
the city became one of the houses I best loved to frequent. She had at
that time, and even well-nigh I take it in those old days at Vienna,
abandoned all seeming of conformity to the practices of the faith she
was born in.

I used to say of Pulszky that he was like a barrel full to the bung
with generous liquor, which flowed in a full stream, stick the spigot
in where you would. He was--is, I am happy to say is the proper tense
In his case--a most many-sided man. His talk on artistic subjects,
mainly historical and biographical, was abundant and most amusing.
His antiquarian knowledge was large. His ethnographical learning,
theories, and speculations were always interesting and often most
suggestive. Years had, I think, put some water in the wine of his
political ideas, but not enough to prevent differences between us on
such subjects. He was withal--there again I mean "is," for I am sure
that years and the air of his beloved Pesth cannot have put any water
in _that_ generous and genial wine--a fellow of infinite jest, and
full of humour; in a word, one of the fullest and most delightful
companions I have ever known. He talked English with no further accent
than served to add a raciness to the flavour of his conversation;
and every morning of one fixed day in the week he used to come to
Ricorboli for what he called a tobacco parliament.

I used frequently to spend the evening at his villa, where one met a
somewhat extraordinary cosmopolitan gathering. Generally we had some
good music; for Madame Pulszky was--unhappily in her case the past
tense is needed--a very perfect musician. Among other people more
or less off the world's beaten track, I used to meet there a very
extraordinary Russian, who had accomplished the rare feat of escaping
from Siberia. He was a Nihilist of the most uncompromising type; a
huge, shaggy man, with an unkempt head and chest like those of a bear;
and by his side--more or less--there was a pretty, _petite_, dainty
little young wife--beauty and the beast, if ever that storied couple
were seen in the flesh!

Many years afterwards when I and my wife saw Pulszky at Pesth, and
were talking of old times, he reminded me of this person; and on
my doubting that any man in his senses could believe in the
practicability of the extreme Nihilist theories, he instanced our old
acquaintance, saying, "Yes, there is a man, who in his very inmost
conscience believes that no good of any sort can be achieved for
humanity till the sponge shall have been passed over _all_ that
men have instituted and done, and a perfect _tabula rasa_ has been
substituted for it!"

I have many letters from Pulszky, written most of them after his
return to Pesth, and for the most part too much occupied with the
persons and politics of that recent day to be fit for publication.

Here is one, written before he left Florence, which may be given:

       *       *       *       *       *

"VILLA PETROVICH.

"MY DEAR TROLLOPE,--I am just returned from a long excursion with
Boxall to Arezzo, Cortona, Borgo San Sepolcro, Città di Castello,
Perugia, and Assisi. We were there for a week, and enjoyed it
amazingly. I am sorry to say that I am not now able to join your party
to Camaldoli, since I must see Garibaldi, and do not know as yet
what I shall do when the war begins, which might happen during your
excursion. I hope you will drink a glass of water to my remembrance at
La Vernia from the miraculous well, called from the rocks by my patron
saint, St. Francis of Assisi. I shall come to you on Sunday, and will
tell you more about him. I studied him at Assisi.

"Yours sincerely,

"FR. PULSZKY."

       *       *       *       *       *

The following passages may be given from a long letter, written from
Pesth on the 27th of March, 1869. It is for the most part filled with
remarks on the party politics of the hour, and persons, many of them
still on the scene:--

       *       *       *       *       *

"MY DEAR MRS. AND MR. TROLLOPE,--You don't believe how glad I was to
get a token of remembrance from you. It seems to me quite an age since
I left Florence, and your letter was like a voice from a past period.
I live here as a stranger; you would not recognise me. I talk nothing
but politics and business. There is not a man with whom I could speak
in the way that we did on Sundays at your villa. I am of course much
with old Deak. I often dine with him. I know all his anecdotes and
jokes by heart. He likes it, if I visit him; but our conversation
remains within the narrow limits of party politics and the topics of
the day. Sometimes I spend an evening with Baron Eotvös, the Minister
of Public Instruction, my old friend; and there only we get both
warm in remembering the days of our youth, and building _châteaux
en Espagne_ for the future of the country. Eotvös has appointed me
Director of the National Museum, which contains a library of 180,000
volumes, mostly Hungarian; a very indifferent picture gallery, with
a few good pictures and plenty of rubbish; a poor collection of
antiquities; splendid mediaeval goldsmith work; arms, coins, and some
miserable statues; a good collection of stuffed birds; an excellent
one of butterflies; a celebrated one of beetles, and good specimens
for geology and mineralogy. But all this collection is badly, if at
all, catalogued; badly arranged; and until now we have in a great
palace an appropriation of only 1,200_l._ a year. I shall have much to
do there--as much as any minister in his office, if politics leave me
the necessary time for it.

[Then follows a quantity of details about the party politics of the
day. And then he continues:--]

"Such a contested election with us costs about 2,000_l._ to 3,000_l._
I must say I never spent money with more regret than this; but I had
to maintain the party interest and my family influence in my electoral
district. I have there a fine old castle and a splendid park, but I
rarely go to the country, since I have jumped, as you know, once more
into the whirlpool of politics, and can't get out again. An agrarian
communistic agitation has been initiated, I do not know whether with
or without the sanction of S----, but certainly it has spread rapidly
over a great portion of the country, and I doubt whether Government
has the energy for putting that agitation down. It is a very serious
question, especially as it finds us engaged in many other questions of
the highest interest.

[Then he gives an outline of the position of Hungary in relation to
other States, and then he continues:--]

"We remain still in opposition with the Wallachians, or, as they now
like to call themselves, Rumanes, and we try to maintain the peace
with Prussia. And now when we should concentrate all our forces to
meet the changes which threaten us, a stupid and wicked Opposition
divides the nation into two hostile camps [how very singular and
unexampled!]. We fight one another to the great pleasure of Russia
and Prussia, who enjoy our fratricidal feuds as the Romans in the
amphitheatre enjoyed the fights of the barbarians in the arena.

"I must beg your pardon, dear Mrs. Trollope, that I grow so pathetic!
You know it is not my custom when I am with ladies. But you must know
likewise that I live now outside of female society. I do not exactly
know whether it is my fault or that of the ladies of Pesth; so much is
certain that only at Vienna, where I go from time to time, I call upon
ladies. As to my children, Augustus, whom you scarcely know, is a
volunteer in the army according to our law of universal conscription.
Charles you may have seen at Florence. I sent him thither to visit his
grandmother." [Madame Walter, the mother of Madame Pulszky; the lady
who had received us with such pleasant hospitality at Vienna, and who
had come to reside at Florence, where she lived to a great age much
liked and respected.] "Polixena gets handsome and clever; little
Garibaldi is to go to school in September next. I grow old,
discontented, insupportable;" [we found him at Pesth many years
afterwards no one of the three!]; "a journey to Greece and Italy would
certainly do me immense good; but I fear I must give up that plan for
the present year, since after a contested election it is a serious
thing to spend money for amusement. In June I shall leave my present
lodging and go to the Museum, which stands in a handsome square
opposite to the House of Parliament. Excuse me for my long, long talk;
and do not forget your faithful friend, _in partibus infidelium_,

"FR. PULSZKY."

       *       *       *       *       *

On the 26th of March, 1870, he writes a letter which was brought to
us by his son, the Augustus mentioned in the letter I have just
transcribed.

       *       *       *       *       *

"MY DEAR MRS. AND MR. TROLLOPE,--Detained by Parliamentary duties and
the management of my own affairs, I am still unable to make a trip
to Italy to visit my friends, who made the time of my exile more
agreeable to me than my own country. But I send in my stead a second
edition of the old Pulszky, revised and corrected _ad usum Delphini_,
though I do not doubt that you prefer the old book, to which you were
accustomed. My son Augustus has now finished his studies, and is
D.E.L.--in a few days Lieutenant in the reserve, and Secretary at
the Ministry of Finance. Few young men begin their career in a more
promising way. As to myself, Augustus will tell you more than I could
write. I have remained too long in foreign countries to feel entirely
at home at Pesth, where people know how to make use of everybody. I am
M.P., belong to the Finance Committee, am Chairman of the Committee of
Foreign Affairs in the Delegation, Director of the Museum, Chairman of
the Philological Section in the Academy of Sciences, Chairman of the
Society of Fine Arts, Vice-President of three Insurance Offices,
and Member of the Council of two railroads. This long list proves
sufficiently that my time is taken up from early morning to night. But
my health is good, despite of the continuous wear and tear.

"During the summer vacations I wish to go to England. For ten years
I have not been there; and I long to see again a highly civilised
people; else I become myself a barbarian. Still I am proud of my
Hungarians, who really struggle hard, and not without success, to be
more than they are now--the first of the barbarians.

"I have for a long time not heard of you. Of course, in our
correspondence your letter was the last, not mine. It is my own fault.
But you must excuse me still for one year. Then I hope I can put
myself in a more comfortable position. For the present I am unable
even to read anything but Hungarian papers, bills, reports, and
business letters. I envy you in your elegant villa, where you enjoy
life! I hope you are both well, and do not forget your old friend,

"FR. PULSZKY.

"P.S.--Augustus will give you a good photograph of me."

       *       *       *       *       *

Here is one other letter of the 13th June, 1872:--

       *       *       *       *       *

"MY DEAR TROLLOPE,--What a pity that my time does not allow me to
visit Italy at any other season than just in summer. We are in the
midst of our canvass for the general elections. My son Augustus is to
be returned for my old place Szecseny without opposition on the 21st.
On the following day we go to the poll at Gyöngyös, a borough which is
to send me to Parliament. It is a contested election, therefore rather
troublesome and expensive, though not too expensive. Parliament meets
with us on the first of September. Thus my holidays are in July and
August. Shall we never have the pleasure to see you and Mrs. Trollope,
to whom I beg you to give my best regards, here at Pesth? Next year
is the great exhibition at Vienna. Might it not induce you to visit
Vienna, whence by an afternoon trip you come to Pesth, where I know
you would amuse yourselves to your hearts' content.

"My children are quite well. Charles is at the University at Vienna.
He despises politics, and wants to become Professor at the University
of Pesth in ten or twelve years.

"As to me I am well, very busy; much attacked by the Opposition since
I am a dreaded party man. Besides I have to re-organise the National
Museum, from the library, which has no catalogue, to the great
collections of mineralogy and plants. We bought the splendid picture
gallery of Prince Esterhazy. This too is under my direction, with a
most important collection of prints and drawings. You see, therefore,
that my time is fully occupied.

"Yours always,

"FR. PULSZKY."

       *       *       *       *       *

My wife and I did subsequently visit our old friend at Pesth, and much
enjoyed our brief stay there and our chat of old times. But the work
of re-organising the Museum was not yet completed. I do sincerely hope
that the task has been brought to an end by this time, and that I may
either in England or at Pesth once again see Franz Pulszky in the
flesh!



CHAPTER XIV.


According to the pathetic, and on the face of it accurately truthful,
account of the close of his life in Mr. Forster's admirable and
most graphic life of him, I never knew Landor. For the more than
octogenarian old man whom I knew at Florence was clearly not the
Landor whom England had known and admired for so many and such
honoured years. Of all the painful story of the regrettable
circumstances which caused him to seek his last home in Florence it
would be mere impertinence in me to speak, after the lucid, and at the
same time delicately-touched, account of them which his biographer has
given.

I may say, however, that even after the many years of his absence from
Florence there still lingered a traditional remembrance of him--a sort
of Landor legend--which made all us Anglo-Florentines of those days
very sure, that however blamable his conduct (with reference to the
very partially understood story of the circumstances that caused
him to leave England) may have been in the eyes of lawyers or of
moralists, the motives and feelings that had actuated him must have
been generous and chivalrous. Had we been told that, finding a brick
wall in a place where he thought no wall should be, he had forthwith
proceeded to batter it down with his head, though it was not his wall
but another's, we should have recognised in the report the Landor of
the myths that remained among us concerning him. But that while in any
degree _compos mentis_ he had under whatever provocation acted in a
base, or cowardly, or mean, or underhand manner, was, we considered,
wholly impossible.

There were various legendary stories current in Florence in those
days of his doings in the olden time. Once--so said the tradition--he
knocked a man down in the street, was brought before the _delegato_,
as the police magistrate was called, and promptly fined one piastre,
value about four and sixpence; whereupon he threw a sequin (two
piastres) down upon the table and said that it was unnecessary to give
him any change, inasmuch as he purposed knocking the man down again as
soon as he left the court. We, _poteri_, as regarded the date of the
story, were all convinced that the true verdict in the matter was that
of the old Cornish jury, "Sarved un right."

Landor, as I remember him, was a handsome-looking old man, very much
more so, I think, than he could have been as a young man, to judge
by the portrait prefixed to Mr. Forster's volumes. He was a man
of somewhat leonine aspect as regards the general appearance and
expression of the head and face, which accorded well with the large
and massive build of the figure, and to which a superbly curling white
beard added not only picturesqueness, but a certain nobility.

Landor had been acquainted with the Garrows, and with my first wife
at Torquay; and the acquaintance was quickly renewed during his last
years at Florence. He would frequently come to our house in the Piazza
dell' Independenza, and chat for a while, generally after he had sat
silent for some little time; for he used to appear fatigued by his
walk. Later, when his walks and his visits had come to an end, I used
often to visit him in "the little house under the wall of the
city, directly back of the Carmine, in a bye-street called the Via
Nunziatina, not far from that in which the Casa Guidi stands," which
Mr. Forster thus describes. I continued these visits, always short,
till very near the close; for whether merely from the perfect courtesy
which was a part of his nature, or whether because such interruptions
of the long morning hours were really welcome to him, he never allowed
me to leave him without bidding me come again.

I remember him asking me after my mother at one of the latest of these
visits. I told him that she was fairly well, was not suffering, but
that she was becoming very deaf. "Dead, is she?" he cried, for he had
heard me imperfectly, "I wish I was! I can't sleep," he added, "but I
very soon shall, soundly too, and all the twenty-four hours round."
I used often to find him reading one of the novels of his old friend
G.P.R. James, and he hardly ever failed to remark that he was a
"woonderful" writer; for so he pronounced the word, which was rather a
favourite one with him.

It was a singular thing that Landor always dropped his aspirates. He
was, I think, the only man in his position in life whom I ever heard
do so. That a man who was not only by birth a gentleman, but was by
genius and culture--and such culture!--very much more, should do
this, seemed to me an incomprehensible thing. I do not think he ever
introduced the aspirate where it was not needed, but he habitually
spoke of 'and, 'ead, and 'ouse.

Even very near the close, when he seemed past caring for anything, the
old volcanic fire still lived beneath its ashes, and any word which
touched even gently any of his favourite and habitual modes of thought
was sure to bring forth a reply uttered with a vivacity of manner
quite startling from a man who the moment before had seemed scarcely
alive to what you were saying to him. To what extent this old volcanic
fire still burned may be estimated from a story which was then current
in Florence. The circumstances were related to me in a manner that
seemed to me to render it impossible to doubt the truth of them. But
I did not _see_ the incident in question, and therefore cannot assert
that it took place. The attendance provided for him by the kindly care
of Mr. Browning, as narrated by Mr. Forster, was most assiduous and
exact, as I had many opportunities of observing. But one day when he
had finished his dinner, thinking that the servant did not come to
remove the things so promptly as she ought to have done, he took
the four corners of the table-cloth (so goes the story), and thus
enveloping everything that was on the table, threw the whole out of
the window.

I received many notes from Landor, for the most part on trifling
occasions, and possessing little interest. They were interesting,
however, to the race of autograph collectors, and they have all been
coaxed out of me at different times, save one. I have, however, in my
possession several letters from him to my father-in-law, Mr. Garrow,
many passages in which are so characteristic that I am sure my readers
will thank me for giving them, as I am about to do. The one letter
of his that remains to me is, as the reader will see, not altogether
without value as a trait of character. The young lady spoken of in
it is the same from whose papers in the _Atlantic Monthly_, entitled
"Last Days of Walter Savage Landor," Mr. Forster has gleaned, as he
says, one or two additional glimpses of him in his last Florence home.
The letter is without date, and runs as follows:--

       *       *       *       *       *

"MY DEAR SIR,--Let me confess to you that I am not very willing that
it should be believed desirous" [he evidently meant to write either
'that I should be believed desirous,' or 'that it should be believed
that I am desirous'] "of scattering my image indiscriminately over the
land. On this sentiment I forbade Mr. Forster to prefix an engraving
of me over my collected works. If Miss Field wishes _one_ more
photograph, Mr. Alinari may send it to her, and I enclose the money to
pay for it. With every good wish for your glory and prosperity,

"I remain, my dear sir,

"Very truly yours,

"W.S. LANDOR."

       *       *       *       *       *

The writing is that of a sadly shaking hand. The lady's request would
unquestionably have been more sure of a favourable response had she
preferred it in person, instead of doing so through me. But I suspect
from the phrase "one more," and the underlining of the word one, that
she had already received from him more than one photograph, and was
ashamed to make yet another application. But she had led, or allowed,
me to imagine that she was then asking for the first time. The care to
send the money for the price of the photograph was a characteristic
touch. Miss Field was, I well remember, a great favourite with Landor.
I remember her telling me that he wished to give her a very large sort
of scrap book, in which, among a quantity of things of no value, there
were, as I knew, some really valuable drawings; and asking me whether
she should accept it, her own feeling leaning to the opinion that she
ought not to do so, in which view I strongly concurred. If I remember
right the book had been sent to her residence, and had to be sent back
again, not without danger of seriously angering him.

Here are the letters I have spoken of, written by Landor to Mr.
Garrow. They are all undated save by the day of the month, but the
post-marks show them to have been all written in 1836-8. The first
is a very long letter, almost the whole of which is about a quarrel
between husband and wife, both friends of the writer, which it would
serve no good purpose to publish. The following passage from it,
however, must not be lost:--


       *       *       *       *       *

"What egregious blockheads must those animals have been who discover a
resemblance to my style in Latin or other quotations. I have no need
of crutches. I can walk forward without anybody's arm; and if I wanted
one, I should not take an old one in preference. Not only do I think
that quotations are deformities and impediments, but I am apt to
believe that my own opinion, at least in those matters of which I
venture to treat, is quite as good as any other man's, living or dead.
If their style is better than my own, it would be bad policy to insert
it; if worse, I should be like a tailor who would recommend his
abilities by engrafting an old sleeve on a new coat.... Southey
tells me that he has known his lady more than twenty years, that the
disproportion of their ages is rational, and that having only one
daughter left, his necessary absences would be irksome to her.
Whatever he does, is done wisely and virtuously. As for Rogers,
almost an octogenarian, be it on his own head! A dry nettle tied to
a rose-bud, just enough life in it to sting, and that's all Lady
Blessington would be delighted at any fresh contribution from Miss
Garrow. Let it be sent to her at Gore House. I go there to-morrow for
ten days, then into Warwickshire, then to Southampton. But I have not
given up all hope of another jaunt to Torquay. Best compliments to the
ladies.

"Yours ever,

"W.S.L."

       *       *       *       *       *


The following is dated the 15th of November, 1837--just half a century
ago!

       *       *       *       *       *

"35, ST. JAMES'S SQUARE, BATH.

"I should be very ungrateful if I did not often think of you. But
among my negligences, I must regret that I did not carry away with me
the address of our friend Bezzi." [A Piedmontese refugee who was a
very intimate friend of Garrow's. I knew him in long subsequent years,
when political changes had made it possible for him to return to
Italy. He was a very clever and singularly brilliant man, whose name,
I think, became known to the English public in connection with the
discovery of the celebrated portrait of Dante on a long whitewashed
wall of the Bargello, in Florence. There was some little jealousy
about the discovery between him and Kirkup. The truth was that
Kirkup's large and curious antiquarian knowledge led him to feel sure
that the picture must be there, under the whitewash; while Bezzi's
influence with the authorities succeeded in getting the wall cleared
of its covering.] "I am anxious to hear how he endures his absence
from Torquay, and I will write to him the moment I hear of him. Tell
Miss Garrow that the muses like the rustle of dry leaves almost as
well as the whispers of green ones. If she doubts it, entreat her
on my part to ask the question of them. Nothing in Bath is vastly
interesting to me now. Two or three persons have come up and spoken to
me whom I have not seen for a quarter of a century. Of these faces I
recollect but one, and it was the ugliest! By the same token--but here
the figure of aposiopesis is advantageous to me--old Madam Burridge,
of my lodgings, has sent me three large forks and one small, which I
left behind. She forgot to send another of each. What is worse, I left
behind me a three-faced seal, which I think I once showed you. It was
enclosed in a black rough case. This being of the time of Henry the
Eighth, and containing the arms of my family connections, I value far
above a few forks, or a few dozens. It cannot be worth sixpence to
whoever has it. One of the engravings was a greyhound with an arrow
through him, a crest of my grandmother's, whose maiden name was Noble.
If you pass by, pray ask about it--not that I am ever disappointed at
the worst result of an inquiry. I am afraid the ladies of your house
will think me imprudent; and what must be their opinion, if you let it
transpire that I have furthermore invested a part of my scrip in the
beaver trade. Offer my best regards to them all, and believe me,

"My dear sir,

"Yours very sincerely,

"W.S.L."

       *       *       *       *       *

The following is dated only January 2nd, but the post-mark shows it to
have been written from Bath on that day, 1838.

       *       *       *       *       *

"MY DEAR SIR,--Yesterday there were lying across my fender three
or four sheets of paper, quite in readiness to dry themselves, and
receive my commands. One of these, I do assure you, was destined for
Torquay, but the interruption of visitors would allow me time only to
cover half a one with my scrawl. Early last week I wrote a long letter
to Bezzi, but wanted the courage to send it. I wish him to remain in
England as much almost as you yourself can do. But if after promising
his lady" [it is noteworthy that such a master of English as Landor,
should use, now for the second time in these letters, this ugly
phrase] "to let her try the air of Italy, he should withdraw, she
might render his life less comfortable by reproaches not altogether
unmerited. When she gets there she will miss her friends; she will
hear nothing but a language which is unknown to her, and will find
that no change of climate can remove her ailments. I offered my house
to Bezzi some time ago, with its two gardens and a hundred acres of
land, all for a hundred a year. But I am confident my son will never
remain in England, and after the expiration of the year will return
to Tuscany. Bezzi cannot find another house, even without garden, for
that money. James paid for a worse twelve louis a month, although he
took it for eight months. So the houses in Tuscany are very far from
inviting to an economist, although vastly less expensive than at
Torquay, the rival of Naples in this respect as in beauty.... I have
found my seal in a waistcoat pocket. I do not think the old woman
stole the forks, but she knew they were stolen.... Kenyon has
something of Falstaff about him, both in the physical and the moral.
But he is a friendly man, of rare judgment in literary works, and of
talents that only fall a little short of genius.

"God preserve you from your Belial Bishop!" [Philpotts]. "What an
incumbent! I would not see the rascal once a month to be as great a
man as Mr. Shedden, or as sublime a genius as Mr. Wise," [word under
the seal] "would drown me in bile or poison me with blue pills. A
society has been formed here, of which the members have come to the
resolution of making inquiries at every house about the religion of
the inmates, what places of worship they attend, &c., &c. Is not
it hard upon a man, who has changed a couple of sovereigns into
half-crowns for Christmas boxes, to be forced to spend ten shillings
for a horsewhip, when he no longer has a horse? Our weather here is
quite as mild and beautiful as it can possibly be at Torquay. Miss
Garrow, I trust, has listened to the challenges of the birds, and sung
a new song. As Bezzi is secretary and librarian, I must apply to him
for it, unless she will condescend to trust me with a copy. I will now
give you a specimen of my iron seal, brass setting and pewter mending.

"Yours ever,

"W.S.L."

       *       *       *       *       *

The mention of Bishop Philpotts (though not by name) in the foregoing
letter, reminds me of a story which used to be told of him, and which
is too good to be lost, even though thus parenthetically told. When at
Torquay he used to frequent a small church, in which the service was
at that time performed by a very young curate of the extra gentle
butter-won't-melt-in-his-mouth kind, who had much objection to
the phrase in the Communion service, "eateth and drinketh his
own damnation," and ventured somewhat tremblingly to substitute
"condemnation" for the word which offended him. Whereupon the orthodox
Bishop reared his head, as he knelt with the rest of the congregation
and roared aloud "_Damnation!_" Whether the curate had to be carried
out fainting, I don't remember.

The next letter of Landor's that I have is dated 13th April, St.
James's Square, Bath. The postmark shows that it was written in 1838.

       *       *       *       *       *

"MY DEAR SIR,--I have had Kenyon here these last four days. He tells
me that he saw Bezzi in London, and that we may entertain some hopes
that he will be induced to remain in England. All he wants is some
employment; and surely his powerful friends among the Whigs could
easily procure him it. But the Whigs of all scoundrelly factions, are,
and have ever been, the most scoundrelly, the most ungenerous, the
most ungrateful. What have they done for Fonblanque, who could have
kicked them overboard on his toe-nail? Their abilities put together
are less than a millionth of his; and his have been constantly and
most zealously exerted in their favour. My first conversation with
Kenyon was about the publication of his poems, which are just come
out. They are in part extremely clever; particularly one on happiness
and another on the shrine of the Virgin. He was obliged to print them
at his own expense; and his cousin, Miss Barrett, who also has written
a few poems of no small merit, could not find a publisher. These,
however, bear no proportion to Miss Garrow's.[1] Yet I doubt whether
publishers and the folks they consult would find out that.

[Footnote 1: To those who never knew Landor, and the habitual
limitless exaggeration of his manner of speaking, it may be necessary
to observe that he did not really hold any opinion so monstrous as
might be supposed from the passage in the text. And a letter given
by Mr. Forster expresses earnestly and vigorously enough his high
admiration for Miss Barrett's poetry. It must be remembered also, that
at the time this was written, Mr. Landor could only have seen some of
the earliest of Miss Barrett's writings.]

"Southey was about to write to me when his brothers death, by which
six children come under his care, interrupted him. I wish I possessed
one or two of Miss Garrow's beautiful poems, that I might ask his
opinion and advice about them. His opinion I know would be the same as
mine; but his advice is what I want. Surely it cannot be requisite and
advantageous to withhold them from the world so long as you imagine.
In one single year both enough of materials and of variety for a
volume might be collected and prepared. Would Miss Garrow let me offer
one to the _Book of Beauty_? I shall be with Lady Blessington the
last day of the present month. One of the best poems of our days" [on
death], "appeared in the last _Book of Beauty_. But in general its
poetry is very indifferent. With best regards to the ladies,

"I am ever, my dear sir,

"Yours most sincerely,

"W.S.L."

       *       *       *       *       *

The following, dated merely "Gore House, Sunday morning," was written,
or at least posted, on the 14th May, 1838.

       *       *       *       *       *

"MY DEAR SIR,--It is impossible you should not often have thought me
negligent and ungrateful. Over and over again have I redd [_sic_],
the incomparably fine poetry you sent me; and intended that Lady
Blessington should partake in the high enjoyment it afforded me. I had
promised her to be at Gore House toward the end of April, but I had
not the courage to face all my friends. However, here I came on Friday
evening; and before I went to bed I redd to her ladyship what I
promised her. She was enchanted. I then requested her to toss aside
some stuff of mine, and to make way for it in the next _Book of
Beauty_. The gods, as Homer says, granted half my prayer, and it
happened to be (what was not always the case formerly) the better
half. She will insert both. It is only by some such means as that that
the best poetry in our days comes with mincing step into popularity.
Mine being booted and spurred, both ladies and gentlemen get out of
the way of it, and look down at it with a touch of horror.

"Now for news, and about your neighbours. Captain Ackland is going to
marry a niece of Massy Dawson. Mischievous things are said about poor
Lady M----, all false, you may be sure. Admiral Aylmer after all his
services under Nelson, &c., &c., is unable to procure a commission in
the marines for his nephew, Frederick Paynter. Lord A. will not ask. I
am a suitor to all the old women I know, and shall fail too, for it is
not the thing they want me to ask of them.

"I see two new Deputy Lord-Lieutenants have been appointed for
the County of Monmouth. My estate there is larger than the Lord
Lieutenant's; yet even this mark of respect has not been paid me. It
might be, safely. I shall consider myself sold to the devil, and for
more than my value, when I accept any distinction, or anything else
from any man living. The Whigs are growing unpopular, I hear. I hope
never to meet any of them. Last night, however, I talked a little with
Grantley Berkeley, and told him a bit of my mind. You see, I have not
much more room in my paper, else I should be obliged to tell you that
the bells are ringing, and that I have only just time to put on my
gloves for church.

"Adieu, and believe me with kindly regards to the ladies,

"Yours,

"W.S.L."

       *       *       *       *       *

The last in this series of letters which has reached my hands is
altogether undated, but appears by the post-mark to have been written
from Bath, 19th July, 1838.

       *       *       *       *       *

"MY DEAR SIR,--There is one sentence in your letter which shocked
me not a little. You say 'The Whigs have not offered you a Deputy
Lieutenantcy; so cheap a distinction could not have hurt them. But
then you are too proud to ask,' &c. Do you really suppose that I would
have accepted it even if it had been offered? No, by God! I would not
accept any distinction even if it were offered by honest men. I will
have nothing but what I can take. It is, however, both an injustice
and an affront to confer this dignity on low people, who do not
possess a fourth of my property, and whose family is as ignoble as
Lord Melbourne's own, and not to have offered the same to me. In the
eleventh page of the _Letters_ I published after the quelling of
Bonaparte are these words: 'I was the first to abjure the party of
the Whigs, and shall be the last to abjure the principles. When the
leaders had broken all their promises to the nation, had shown their
utter incapacity to manage its affairs, and their inclination to
crouch before the enemy, I permitted my heart after some struggles to
subside and repose in the cool of this reflection--Let them escape.
It is only the French nation that ever dragged such feebleness to the
scaffold,' Again, page 35--'Honest men, I confess, have generally in
the present times an aversion to the Whig faction, not because it
is suitable either to honesty or understanding to prefer the narrow
principles of the opposite party, but because in every country lax
morals wish to be and are identified with public feeling, and because
in our own a few of the very best have been found in an association
with the very worst.' Whenever the Tories have deviated from their
tenets, they have enlarged their views and exceeded their promises.
The Whigs have always taken an inverse course. Whenever they have come
into power, they have previously been obliged to slight those matters,
and to temporise with those duties, which they had not the courage
either to follow or to renounce.

"And now, my dear sir, to pleasanter matters. I have nothing in the
press, and never shall have. I gave Forster all my works, written or
to be written. Neither I nor my family shall have anything to do with
booksellers. They say a new edition of my _Imaginary Conversations_ is
called for. I have sent Forster a dozen or two of fresh ones, but I
hope he will not hazard them before my death, and will get a hundred
pounds or near it for the whole.

"If ever I attended a public dinner, I should like to have been
present at that which the people gave to you. Never let them be quiet
until the Church has gone to the devil, its lawful owner, and till
something a little like Christianity takes its place. If parsons are
to be Lords, it is but right and reasonable that the Queen should be
Pope. Indeed, I have no objection to this, but I have to the other.
What a singularity it is that those who profess a belief in Christ do
not obey Him, while those who profess it in Mahomet or Moses or Boodh
are obedient to their precepts, if not in certain points of morality,
in all things else. Carlyle is a vigorous thinker, but a vile writer,
worse than Bulwer. I breakfasted in company with him at Milman's.
Macaulay was there, a clever clown, and Moore too, whom I had not seen
till then. Between those two Scotchmen he appeared like a glow-worm
between two thistles. There were several other folks, literary and
half literary, Lord Northampton, &c., &c. I forgot Rogers. Milman has
written the two best volumes of poetry we have seen lately; but when
Miss Garrow publishes hers I am certain there will be a total eclipse
of them. My friend Hare's brother, who married a sister of the
impudent coxcomb, Edward Stanley, has bought a house at Torquay, and
Hare tells me that unless he goes to Sicily be shall be there in
winter. If so, we may meet; but Bath is my dear delight in all
seasons. I have been sitting for my picture, and have given it to Mrs.
Paynter. It is admirably executed by Fisher.

"Yours ever,

"W.S.L."

       *       *       *       *       *

These letters are all written upon the old-fashioned square sheet of
letter paper, some gilt-edged, entirely written over, even to the
turned-down ends, and heavily sealed.

Mr. Forster says no word about the Deputy-Lieutenantcy, and Landor's
anger and disgust in connection with it. He must necessarily have
known all about it, but probably in the exuberance of his material did
not think it worth mentioning. But it evidently left almost as painful
an impression on Landor's mind as the famous refusal of the Duke of
Beaufort to appoint him a justice of the peace.

During the later portion of my life at Florence, and subsequently at
Rome, Mr. G.P. Marsh and his very charming wife were among our
most valued friends for many years. Marsh was an exception to the
prevailing American rule, which for the most part changes their
diplomatists with the change of President. He had been United States
minister at Constantinople and at Turin before he came to Florence
with the Italian monarchy. At Rome he was "the Dean" of the diplomatic
body, and on many occasions various representative duties fell upon
him as such which were especially unwelcome to him. The determination
of the Great Powers to send ambassadors to the Court of the Quirinal
instead of ministers plenipotentiary, as previously, came as a great
boon to Mr. Marsh. For as the United States send no ambassadors, his
position as longest in office of all the diplomatic body no longer
placed him at the head of it.

Mr. Marsh was a man of very large and varied culture. A thorough
classical scholar and excellent modern linguist, philology was perhaps
his most favourite pursuit. He wrote various books, his best I think a
very large octavo volume, entitled not very happily _Man in Nature_.
The subject of it is the modifications and alterations which this
planet has undergone at the hands of man. His subject leads him to
consider much at large the denudation of mountains, which has caused
and is causing such calamitous mischief in Italy and the south
of France. He shows very convincingly and interestingly that the
destruction of forests causes not only floods in winter and spring,
but drought in summer and autumn. And the efforts which have recently
been made in Italy to take some steps towards the reclothing of the
mountain sides, have in great measure been due to his work, which has
been largely circulated in an Italian translation.

The following letter which I select from many received from him, is
not without interest. It is dated 30th November, 1867.

       *       *       *       *       *

"DEAR SIR,--I return you Layard's article, which displays his usual
marked ability, and has given me much pleasure as well as instruction.
I should much like to know what are his grounds for believing that
'a satisfactory settlement of this Roman question would have been
speedily brought about with the concurrence of the Italian Government
and the Liberal party in Rome, and with the tacit consent of the
Emperor of the French, had it not been for the untoward enterprise
of Garibaldi,' p. 283. I certainly have not the slightest ground for
believing any such thing; nor do I understand _to whom_ the settlement
referred to would have been 'satisfactory.' Does Mr. Layard suppose
that any conceivable arrangement would be satisfactory both to the
Papacy and to Italian Liberals out of Rome? The _Government_ of Italy,
which changes as often as the moon, might have accepted something
which would have satisfied Louis Napoleon, Antonelli, and the three
hundred _nobili_ of Rome, who waited at dinner, napkin on arm, on the
Antiboini, to whom they gave an entertainment,--but the people?

"I send you one of Ferretti's pamphlets, which please keep. And I
enclose in the package two of Tuckerman's books. If you could turn
over the leaves of these and say to me in a note that they impress you
favourably, and that you are not displeased with his magazine article,
I will make him a happy man by sending him the note.

"Very truly yours,

"GEO.P. MARSH."

       *       *       *       *       *

I did more than "turn over the leaves" of the book sent, and did very
truly say that they had interested me much. It is rather suggestive to
reflect how utterly unintelligible to the present generation must
be the term "Antiboini" in the above letter, without a word of
explanation. The highly unpopular and objectionable "Papal Legion" had
been in great part recruited from Antibes, and were hence nicknamed
"Antiboini," and not, as readers of the present day might fairly
imagine, from having been the opponents of any "boini."

The personal qualities of Mr. Marsh had obtained for him a great, and
I may indeed say, exceptional degree of consideration and regard from
his colleagues of the diplomatic body, and from the Italian ministers
and political world generally. And I remember one notable instance of
the manifestation of this, which I cannot refrain from citing. Mr.
Marsh had written home to his Government some rather trenchantly
unfavourable remarks on some portion of the then recent measures of
the Italian Ministry. And by some awkward accident or mistake these
had found their way into the columns of an American newspaper.
The circumstances might have given rise to very disagreeable and
mischievous complications and results. But the matter was suffered to
pass without any official observation solely from the high personal
consideration in which Mr. Marsh was held, not only at the Consulta
(the Roman Foreign Office), but at the Quirinal, and in many a Roman
salon.

Mr. Marsh died full of years and honours at a ripe old age. But the
closing scene of his life was remarkable from the locality of it. He
had gone to pass the hot season at Vallombrosa, where a comfortable
hotel replaces the old _forestieria_ of the monastery, while a School
of Forestry has been established by the Government within its walls.
Amid those secular shades the old diplomatist and scholar breathed his
last, and could not have done so in a more peaceful spot. But the very
inaccessible nature of the place made it a question of some difficulty
how the body should be transported in properly decorous fashion to the
railway station in the valley below--a difficulty which was solved by
the young scholars of the School of Forestry, who turned out in a body
to have the honour of bearing on their shoulders the remains of the
man whose writings had done so much to awaken the Government to the
necessity of establishing the institution to which they belonged.

Mrs. Marsh, for so many years the brightest ornament of the
Italo-American society, and equally admired and welcomed by the
English colony, first at Florence and then at Rome, still lives for
the equal delight of her friends on the other side of the Atlantic. I
may not, therefore, venture to say more of "what I remember" of her,
than that it abundantly accounts for the feeling of an unfilled void,
which her absence occasioned and occasions in both the American and
English world on the banks of the Tiber.



CHAPTER XV.


It was in the spring of the year 1860 that I first became acquainted
with "George Eliot" and G H. Lewes in Florence. But it was during
their second visit to Italy in 1861 that I saw a good deal more of
them. It was in that year, towards the end of May, that I succeeded
in persuading them to accompany me in a visit to the two celebrated
Tuscan monasteries of Camaldoli and La Vernia. I had visited both on
more than one occasion previously--once with a large and very merry
party of both sexes, of whom Colley Grattan was one--but the excursion
made in company with G.H. Lewes and George Eliot was another-guess
sort of treat, and the days devoted to it stand out in high relief in
my memory as some of the most memorable in my life.

They were anxious to be moving northwards from Florence, and I had
some difficulty in persuading them to undertake the expedition. A
certain weight of responsibility, therefore, lay on me--that folks
whose days were so sure of being turned to good profit, should not by
my fault be led to waste any of them. But I had already seen enough of
both of them to feel sure that the specialties of the very exceptional
little experience I proposed to them would be appreciated and
acceptable. Neither he nor she were fitted by their habits, or indeed
by the conditions of their health, to encounter much "roughing," and
a certain amount of that was assuredly inevitable--a good deal more
five-and-twenty years ago than would be the case now. But if the flesh
was weak, truly the spirit was willing! I have heard grumbling and
discontent from the young of either sex in the heyday of health and
strength in going over the same ground. But for my companions on the
present occasion, let the difficulties and discomforts be what they
might, the continually varied and continually suggestive interest they
found in everything around them, overrode and overbore all material
considerations.

Never, I think, have I met with so impressionable and so delicately
sensitive a mind as that of George Eliot! I use "sensitive" in the
sense in which a photographer uses the word in speaking of his plates.
Everything that passed within the ken of that wonderful organism,
whether a thing or combination of things seen, or an incident, or a
trait revealing or suggesting character, was instantly reproduced,
fixed, registered by it, the operating light being the wonderful
native force of her intellect. And the photographs so produced were by
no means evanescent. If ever the admirably epigrammatic phrase, "wax
to receive and marble to retain," was applicable to any human mind,
it was so to that of George Eliot. And not only were the enormous
accumulations of stored-up impressions safe beyond reach of oblivion
or confusion, but they were all and always miraculously ready for
co-ordination with those newly coming in at each passing moment! Think
of the delight of passing, in companionship with such a mind, through
scenes and circumstances entirely new to it!

Lewes, too, was a most delightful companion, the cheeriest of
philosophers! The old saying of "_Comes jucundus in viâ pro vehiculo
est_," was especially applicable to him. Though very exhaustible in
bodily force, he was inexhaustible in cheerfulness, and above all in
unwearied, incessant, and minute care for "Polly." In truth, if any
man could ever be said to have lived in another person, Lewes in those
days, and to the end of his life, lived in and for George Eliot. The
talk of worshipping the ground she trod on, and the like, are pretty
lovers phrases, sometimes signifying much, and sometimes very little.
But it is true accurately and literally of Lewes. That care for her,
at once comprehensive and minute, unsleeping watchfulness, lest she
should dash her foot against a stone, was _never_ absent from his
mind. She had become his real self, his genuine _ego_ to all intents
and purposes. And his talk and thoughts were egoistic accordingly. Of
his own person, his ailments, his works, his ideas, his impressions,
you might hear not a word from him in the intercourse of many days.
But there was in his inmost heart a _naïf_ and never-doubting faith
that talk on all these subjects as regarded _her_ must be profoundly
interesting to those he talked with. To me, at all events, it was so.
Perhaps had it been otherwise, there would have been less of it.

We were to reach Camaldoli the first night, and had therefore to
leave Florence very early in the morning. At Pelago, a little
_paése_--village we should call it--on the Arno some fourteen or
fifteen miles above Florence, we were to find saddle-horses, the
journey we were about to make being in those days practicable in no
other way, unless on foot. There was at that time a certain Antonio da
Pelago, whose calling it was to act as guide, and to furnish horses.
I had known him for many years, as did all those whose ramblings took
them into those hills. He was in many respects what people call
"a character," and seemed to fancy himself to have in some degree
proprietary rights over the three celebrated Tuscan monasteries,
Vallombrosa, Camaldoli, and La Vernia. He was well known to the
friars at each of these establishments, and indeed to all the sparse
population of that country-side. He was a very good and competent
guide and courier, possessed with a very amusingly exaggerated notion
of his own importance, and rather bad to turn aside from his own
preconceived and predetermined methods of doing everything that had to
be done. George Eliot at once made a study of him.

I am reminded, too, as I write, of the great amusement with which my
old and highly-valued friend of many years, Alfred Austin, who long
subsequently was making the same excursion with me and both our wives,
listened to an oration of the indispensable Antonio. One of his
baggage horses had strayed and become temporarily lost among the
hills. He was exceedingly wroth, and poured forth his vexation in
a torrent of very unparliamentary language. "_Corpo di Guida!_"
he exclaimed, among a curious assortment of heterogeneous
adjurations--"Body of Judas!" stooping to the ground as he spoke, and
striking the back of his hand against it, with an action that very
graphically represented a singular survival of the classical _testor
inferos!_ Then suddenly changing his mood, he apostrophised the
missing beast with the almost tearful reproach, "There! there now!
Thou hast made me throw away all my devotions! All! And Easter only
just gone!" That is to say, your fault has betrayed me into violence
and bad language, which has begun a new record of offences just after
I had made all clear by my Easter devotions.

The first stage of our rough ride was to the little hill town of
Prato Vecchio on the infant Arno, and close under the lofty peaks of
Falterona, in the flanks of which both the Arno and the Tiber rise.
The path, as it descends to the town, winds round the ruins of an
ancient castle, beneath the walls of which is still existent that
Fontebranda fountain, which Adam the forger in the _Inferno_ longed
for a drop of, and which almost all Dantescan scholars and critics
mistake for a larger and nowadays better known fountain of the same
name at Siena. On pointing it out to George Eliot, I found, of course,
that the name and the whole of Adam the forger's history was familiar
to her; but she had little expected to find his local habitation among
these wild hills; and she was unaware of the current mistake between
the Siena Fontebranda, and the little rippling streamlet before us.

The little _osteria_, at which we were to get some breakfast, was a
somewhat lurid dwelling in an uninviting back lane. But the ready and
smiling good-humour with which the hostess prepared her coffee and
bread, and eggs and bacon, availed much to make up for deficiencies,
especially for guests far more interested in observing every minute
specialty of the place, the persons, and the things, than they were
extreme to mark what was amiss. I remember George Eliot was especially
struck by the absence of either milk or butter, and by the fact that
the inhabitants of these hills, and indeed the Tuscans of the remoter
parts of the country generally, never use them at all--or did not in
those days.

But it was beyond Prato Vecchio that the most characteristic part of
our ride began. The hills, into the folds and gullies of which we
plunged almost immediately after leaving the walls of the little town,
are of the most arid, and it is hardly too much to say, repulsive
description. It is impossible to imagine soil more evidently to the
least experienced eye hopeless for any purpose useful to man, than
these rolling and deeply water-scored hills. Nor has the region any
of the characters of the picturesque. The soil is very friable,
consisting of an easily disintegrated slaty limestone, of a pale
whitey-brown in prevailing colour, varied here and there by stretches
of similar material greenish in tint. For the most part the hill-sides
are incapable of nourishing even a blade of grass; and they are
evidently in the process of rapid removal into the Mediterranean, for
the further extension of the plain that has been formed between Pisa
and the shore since the time, only a few hundred years ago, when Pisa
was a first-class naval power. All this, with the varied historical
corollaries and speculations which it suggested, was highly
interesting to my fellow-travellers.

But the ride, nowhere dangerous, though demanding some strong faith in
the sure-footedness of Antonio's steeds, is not an easy one. The
sun was beating with unmitigated glare on those utterly shadeless
hill-sides. It was out of the question to attempt anything beyond
a walk. The sides of the gullies, which had to be ascended and
descended, though never reaching to the picturesque proportions
of precipices, were yet sufficiently steep and rough to make very
fatiguing riding for a lady unaccustomed to such exercise. And George
Eliot was in no very robust condition of health at the time. And
despite his well dissembled anxiety I could see that Lewes was not
easy respecting her capability of resisting the heat, the fatigue, and
the unwonted exercise. But her cheerfulness and activity of interest
never failed her for an instant. Her mind "made increment of
everything." Nor even while I led her horse down some of the
worst descents did the exigencies of the path avail to interrupt
conversation, full of thought and far-reaching suggestiveness, as her
talk ever was.

At last we reached the spot where the territory of the monastery
commences; and it is one that impresses itself on the imagination and
the memory in a measure not likely to be forgotten. The change is like
a pantomime transformation scene! The traveller passes without the
slightest intermediate gradation from the dreary scene which has been
described, into the shade and the beauty of a region of magnificent
and well-managed forest! The bodily delight of passing from the severe
glare of the sun into this coolness, welcome alike to the skin and to
the eye, was very great. And to both my companions, but especially to
George Eliot, the great beauty of the scene we entered on gave the
keenest pleasure.

Assuredly Saint Romuald in selecting a site for his Camaldolese did
not derogate from the apparently instinctive wisdom which seems to
have inspired the founders of monasteries of every order and in every
country of Europe. Invariably the positions of the religious houses
were admirably well chosen; and that of Camaldoli is no exception to
the rule. The convent is not visible from the spot where the visitor
enters the forest boundary which marks the limit of the monastic
domain. Nearly an hour's ride through scenery increasing in beauty
with each step, where richly green lawns well stocked with cattle
are contrasted wonderfully with the arid desolation so recently left
behind, has still to be done ere the convent's hospitable door is
reached.

The convent door, however, in our case was not reached, for the
building used for the reception of visitors, and called the
_forestieria_, occupies its humble position by the road side a hundred
yards or so before the entrance to the monastery is reached. There
Antonio halted his cavalcade, and while showing us our quarters with
all the air of a master, sent one of his attendant lads to summon
the _padre forestieraio_--the monk deputed by the society to receive
strangers.

Had our party consisted of men only, we should have been received in
the convent, where there was a very handsome suite of rooms reserved
for the purpose. But females could not enter the precincts of the
cloister. The father in question very shortly made his appearance, a
magnificent figure, whose long black beard flowing over his perfectly
clean white robe made as picturesque a presentment of a friar as could
be desired. He was extremely courteous, and seemed to desire nothing
better than to talk _ad libitum_. But for my fellow travellers, rest
after their broiling ride was the thing most urgently needed.

And this requirement brought us to the consideration of our
accommodation for the night. The humble little _forestieria_ at
Camaldoli was not built for any such purpose. It never, of course,
entered into the heads of the builders that need could ever arise
for receiving any save male guests. And for such, as I have said, a
handsome suite of large rooms, both sitting-rooms and bedrooms,
with huge fireplaces for the burning of colossal logs, is provided.
Ordinary brethren of the order would not be lodged there. The
magnificence is reserved for a Cardinal (Gregory XVI. who had been
a Camaldolese frequently came here), or a travelling Bishop and his
suite, or a heretic English or American milord! But not for any
daughter of Eve! And the makeshift room over a carpenter's shop, which
is called the _forestieria_, has been devoted to the purpose only in
consequence of the incomprehensible mania of female English heretics
for visiting the disciples of St. Romuald. And there the food supplied
from the convent can be brought to them. But for the night? I had
warned my friends that they would have to occupy different quarters;
and it now became necessary to introduce George Eliot to the place she
was to pass the night in.

At the distance of about twenty minutes' walk above the convent,
across a lovely but very steep extent of beautifully green turf,
encircled by the surrounding forest, there is a cow-house, with an
annexed lodging for the cowherd and his wife. And over the cow stable
is--or was, for the monks have been driven away and all is altered
now!--a bedchamber with three or four beds in it, which the
toleration of the community has provided for the accommodation of the
unaccountable female islanders. I have assisted in conveying parties
of ladies up that steep grassy slope by the light of a full moon,
when all the beds had to be somewhat more than fully occupied. But
fortunately George Eliot had the whole chamber to herself--perhaps,
however, not quite fortunately, for it was a very novel and not
altogether reassuring experience for her to be left absolutely alone
for the night, to the protection of an almost entirely unintelligible
cowherd and his wife! But there was no help for it! G.H. Lewes did not
seem to be quite easy about it; but George Eliot did not appear to be
troubled by the slightest alarm or misgiving. She seemed, indeed, to
enjoy all the novelty and strangeness of the situation; and when she
bade us good-night from the one little window of her chamber over the
cows, as we turned to walk down the slope to our grand bedrooms at the
convent, she said she should be sure to be ready when we came for her
in the morning, as the cows would call her, if the cowherds failed to
do so.

The following morning we were to ride up the mountain to the Sagro
Eremo. Convent hours are early, and soon after the dawn we
had convoyed our female companion down the hill to the little
_forestieria_ for breakfast, where the _padre forestieraio_ gave us
the best coffee we had had for many a day. George Eliot declared that
she had had an exceptionally good night, and was delighted with the
talk of the magnificently black-bearded father, who superintended our
meal, while a lay brother waited on us.

The former was to start in a day or two on his triennial holiday, and
he was much excited at the prospect of it. His _naïf_ talk and quite
childlike questions and speculations as to times and distances, and
what could be done in a day, and the like, amused George Eliot much.
In reckoning up his available hours he deducted so much in each day
for the due performance of his canonical duties. I remarked to him
that he could read the prescribed service in the diligence, as I had
often seen priests doing. "Secular priests no doubt!" he said, "but
that would not suit one of _us!_"

Our ride up to the Sagro Eremo was a thing to be remembered! I had
seen and done it all before; but I had not seen or done it in company
with George Eliot. It was like doing it with a new pair of eyes, and
freshly inspired mind! The way is long and steep, through magnificent
forests, with every here and there a lovely enclosed lawn, and
fugitive peeps over the distant country. On our way up we met a
singular procession coming down.

It consisted of a low large cart drawn by two oxen, and attended by
several lay brothers and peasants, in the centre of which was seated
an enormously fat brother of the order, whose white-robed bust with
immense flowing white beard, emerging from a quantity of red wraps
and coverings, that concealed the lower part of his person, made an
extraordinary appearance. He was being brought down from the Sagro
Eremo to the superior comfort of the convent, because he was unwell.

At the Sagro Eremo--the sacred hermitage--is seen the operation of the
Camaldolese rule in its original strictness and perfection. At the
convent itself it is, or has become, much relaxed in many respects.
The Camaldolese, like other Carthusians, are properly _hermits_, that
is to say, their life is not conventual, but eremitical. Each brother
at the Sagro Eremo inhabits his own separately built cell,
consisting of sleeping chamber, study, wood-room, and garden, all of
microscopical dimensions. His food, exclusively vegetable, is
passed in to him by a little turntable made in the wall. There is a
refectory, in which the members of the community eat in common on two
or three festivals in the course of the year. On these occasions only
is any speech or oral communication between the members permitted.
There is a library tolerably well furnished with historical as well as
theological works. But it is evidently never used. Nor is there any
sign that the little gardens are in any degree cultivated by the
occupants of them. I remarked to George Eliot on the strangeness of
this abstinence from both the two permitted occupations, which might
seem to afford some alleviation of the awful solitude and monotony of
the eremitical life. But she remarked that the facts as we saw them
were just such as she should have expected to find!

The Sagro Eremo is inhabited by three classes of inmates; firstly, by
novices, who are not permitted to come down to the comparative luxury
and comfort and milder climate of the convent till they have passed
three or four years at the Sagro Eremo. Secondly, by those who have
been sent thither from the convent below as punishment for some
misdoing. Thirdly, by those who remain there of their own free will,
in the hope of meriting a higher and more distinguished reward for
their austerities in a future life. One such was pointed out to us,
who had never left the Eremo for more than fifty years, a tall,
very gaunt, very meagre old man with white hair, hollow cheeks, and
parchment skin, a nose like an eagle's beak, and deep-set burning
eyes--as typical a figure, in its way, as the rosy mountain of a man
whom we met travelling down in his ox cart.

Lewes was always anxious lest George Eliot should over-tire herself.
But she was insatiably interested both in the place and the denizens
of it.

Then before supper at the _forestieria_ was ready, our friend the
father _forestieraio_ insisted on showing us the growing crop of
haricot beans, so celebrated for their excellence that some of them
were annually sent to Pope Gregory the Sixteenth as long as he lived.

Then followed another night in the cow-house for George Eliot and for
us in the convent, and the next morning we started with Antonio and
his horses for La Vernia.

The ride thither from Camaldoli, though less difficult, is also less
peculiar than that from Prato Vecchio to the latter monastery, at
least, until La Vernia is nearly reached. The _penna_ (Cornish, Pen;
Cumbrian, Penrith; Spanish, Peña) on which the monastery is built is
one of the numerous isolated rocky points which have given their names
to the Pennine Alps and Apennines. The Penna de la Vernia rises very
steeply from the rolling ground below, and towers above the traveller
with its pyramidal point in very suggestive fashion. The well-wooded
sides of the conical hill are diversified by emergent rocks, and the
plume of trees on the summit seems to suggest a Latin rather than a
Celtic significance for the "Penna."

It is a long and tedious climb to the convent, but the picturesque
beauty of the spot, the charm of the distant outlook, and above all
the historical interest of the site, rewards the visitor's toil
abundantly. There is a _forestieria_ here also, within the precincts
of the convent, but not within the technical "cloister." It is simply
a room in which visitors of either sex may partake of such food as the
poor Franciscans can furnish them, which is by no means such as the
more well-to-do Carthusians of Camaldoli supply to their guests. Nor
have the quarters set apart for the sleeping accommodation of male
visitors within the cloister anything of the spacious old-world
grandeur of the strangers' suite of rooms at the latter monastery. The
difficulty also of arranging for the night's lodging of a female is
much greater at La Vernia. There is indeed a very fairly comfortable
house, kept under the management of two sisters of the order of Saint
Francis, expressly for the purpose of lodging lady pilgrims to the
shrine. For in former days--scarcely now, I think--the wives of the
Florentine aristocracy used to undertake a pilgrimage to La Vernia
as a work of devotion. But this house is at the bottom of the long
ascent--nearly an hour's severe climb from the convent--an arrangement
which necessarily involves much additional fatigue to a lady visitor.

George Eliot writes to Miss Sara Hennell on the 19th of June, a letter
inserted by Mr. Cross in his admirable biography of his wife--"I
wish you could have shared the pleasures of our last expedition from
Florence to the monasteries of Camaldoli and La Vernia. I think it
was just the sort of thing you would have entered into with thorough
zest." And she goes on to speak of La Vernia in a manner which seems
to show that it was the latter establishment which most keenly
interested and impressed her. She was in fact under the spell of the
great and still potent personality of Saint Francis, which informs
with his memory every detail of the buildings and rocks around you.
Each legend was full of interest for her. The alembic of her mind
seemed to have the secret of distilling from traditions, which in
their grossness the ordinary visitor turns from with a smile of
contempt, the spiritual value they once possessed for ages of faith,
or at least the poetry with which the simple belief of those ages has
invested them. Nobody could be more alive to every aspect of natural
beauty than she showed herself during the whole of this memorable
excursion. But at La Vernia the human interest over-rode the simply
aesthetic one.

Her day was a most fatiguing one. And when Lewes and I wearily climbed
the hill on foot, after escorting her to her sleeping quarters, he was
not a little anxious lest on the morrow she should find herself unable
for the ride which was to take us to the spot where a carriage was
available for our return to Florence.

But it was not so. She slept well under the care of the Franciscan
nuns, who managed to get her a cup of milkless coffee in the morning,
and so save her from the necessity of again climbing the hill. A
charming drive through the Casentino, or valley of the Upper Arno,
showing us the aspect of a Tuscan valley very different from that
of the Lower Arno, brought to an end an expedition which has always
remained in my memory as one of the most delightful of my life.

I had much talk with George Eliot during the time--very short at
Florence--when she was maturing her Italian novel, _Romola_. Of
course, I knew that she was digesting the acquisitions of each day
with a view to writing; but I had not the slightest idea of the period
to which her inquiries were specially directed, or of the nature of
the work intended. But when I read _Romola_, I was struck by the
wonderful power of absorption manifested in every page of it. The
rapidity with which she squeezed out the essence and significance of a
most complex period of history, and assimilated the net results of its
many-sided phases, was truly marvellous.

Nevertheless, in drawing the girl Romola, her subjectivity has
overpowered her objectivity. Romola is not--could never have been--the
product of the period and of the civilisation from which she is
described as having issued. There is far too much of George Eliot in
her. It was a period, it is true, in which female culture trod upon
the heels of the male culture of the time perhaps more closely than it
has ever done since. But let Vittoria Colonna be accepted, as probably
she may be, as a fair exponent of the highest point to which that
culture had reached, and an examination of the sonnets into which
she has put her highest thoughts and aspirations together with a
comparison of those with the mental calibre of Romola will, I think,
support the view I have taken.

Tito, on the other hand, gives us with truly wonderful accuracy and
vigour "the very form and pressure of the time." The pages which
describe him read like a quintessential distillation of the Florentine
story of the time and of the human results which it had availed to
produce. The character of Savonarola, of course, remains, and must
remain, a problem, despite all that has been done for the elucidation
of it since _Romola_ was written. But her reading of it is most
characteristically that which her own idiosyncrasy--so akin to it
in its humanitarian aspects, so superior to it in its methods of
considering man and his relations to the unseen--would lead one to
expect.

In 1869-70, George Eliot and Mr. Lewes visited Italy for the fourth
time. I had since the date of their former visit quitted my house in
Florence, and established myself in a villa and small _podere_ at
Ricorboli, a commune outside the Florentine Porta San Niccolò. And
there I had the great pleasure of receiving them under my roof,
assisted in doing so by my present wife. Their visit was all too short
a one--less than a week, I think.

But one knows a person with whom one has passed even that short time
under the same roof far better than can ever be the result of a very
much longer acquaintanceship during which one meets only in the
ordinary intercourse of society. And the really intimate knowledge of
her which I was thus enabled to obtain has left with me the abiding
conviction that she was intellectually by far the most extraordinarily
gifted person it has ever been my good fortune to meet. I do not
insist much on the uniform and constant tender consideration for
others, which was her habitual frame of mind, for I have known others
of whom the same might have been said. It is true that it is easy for
those in the enjoyment of that vigorous health, which renders mere
living a pleasure, to be kindly; and that George Eliot was never
betrayed by suffering, however protracted and severe, into the
smallest manifestation of impatience or unkindly feeling. But neither
is this trained excellence of charity matchless among women. What
was truly, in my experience, matchless, was simply the power of her
intelligence; the precision, the promptitude, the rapidity (though
her manner was by no means rapid), the largeness of the field of
knowledge, the compressed outcome of which she was at any moment ready
to bring to bear on the topic in hand; the sureness and lucidity
of her induction; the clearness of vision, to which muddle was as
impossible and abhorrent as a vacuum is supposed to be to nature; and
all this lighted up and gilded by an infinite sense of, and capacity
for, humour,--this was what rendered her to me a marvel, and an object
of inexhaustible study and admiration.

To me, though I never passed half an hour in conversation with her
without a renewed perception of the vastness of the distance which
separated her intelligence from mine, she was a companion each minute
of intercourse with whom was a delight. But I can easily understand
that, despite her perfect readiness to place herself for the nonce on
the intellectual level of those with whom she chanced to be brought in
contact, her society may not have been agreeable to all. I remember a
young lady--by no means a stupid or unintelligent one--telling me that
being with George Eliot always gave her a pain in "her mental neck,"
just as an hour passed in a picture gallery did to her physical neck.
She was fatigued by the constant attitude of looking up. But had she
not been an intelligent girl, she need not have constantly looked up.
It would be a great mistake to suppose that George Eliot's mental
habits exacted such an attitude from those she conversed with.

Another very prominent and notable characteristic of that most
remarkable idiosyncrasy was the large and almost universal tolerance
with which George Eliot regarded her fellow creatures. Often and
often has her tone of mind reminded me of the French saying, "_Tout
connaître ce serait tout pardonner!_" I think that of all the human
beings I have ever known or met George Eliot would have made the most
admirable, the most perfect father confessor. I can conceive nothing
more healing, more salutary to a stricken and darkened soul, than
unrestricted confession to such a mind and such an intelligence as
hers. Surely a Church with a whole priesthood of such confessors would
produce a model world.

And with all this I am well persuaded that her mind was at that time
in a condition of growth. Her outlook on the world could not have
been said at that time to have been a happy one. And my subsequent
acquaintance with her in after years led me to feel sure that this had
become much modified. She once said to me at Florence that she wished
she never had been born! I was deeply pained and shocked; but I am
convinced that the utterance was the result, not of irritation and
impatience caused by pain, but of the influence exercised on the tone
of thought and power of thinking by bodily malady. I feel sure that
she would not have given expression to such a sentiment when I and my
wife were subsequently staying with her and Lewes at their lovely
home in Surrey. She had by that time, I cannot but think, reached a
brighter outlook and happier frame of mind.

We had as neighbours at Ricorboli, although on the opposite bank of
the Arno, our old and very highly-valued friends, Mr. G.P. Marsh, the
United States Minister, and his charming wife, to whom for the sake of
both parties we were desirous of introducing our distinguished guests.
We thought it right to explain to Mrs. Marsh fully all that was not
strictly normal in the relationship of George Eliot and G.H. Lewes
before bringing them together, and were assured both by her and by her
husband that they saw nothing in the circumstances which need deprive
them of the pleasure of making the acquaintance of persons whom it
would be so agreeable to them to know. The Marsh's were at that time
giving rather large weekly receptions in the fine rooms of their
villa, and our friends accompanied us to one of these. It was very
easy to see that both ladies appreciated each other. There was a
large gathering, mostly of Americans, and Lewes exerted himself to be
agreeable and amusing--which he always was, when he wished to be, to a
degree rarely surpassed.

He and I used to walk about the country together when "Polly" was
indisposed for walking; and I found him an incomparable companion,
whether a gay or a grave mood were uppermost. He was the best
_raconteur_ I ever knew, full of anecdote, and with a delicious
perception of humour. She also, as I have said--very needlessly
to those who have read her books--had an exquisite feeling and
appreciation of the humorous, abundantly sufficient if unsupported by
other examples, to put Thackeray's dicta on the subject of woman's
capacity for humour out of court. But George Eliot's sense of humour
was different in quality rather than in degree from that which Lewes
so abundantly possessed. And it was a curious and interesting study to
observe the manifestation of the quality in both of them. It was not
that the humour, which he felt and expressed, was less delicate
in quality or less informed by deep human insight and the true
_nihil-humanum-a-me-alienum-puto_ spirit than hers, but it was less
wide and far-reaching in its purview of human feelings and passions
and interests; more often individual in its applicability, and less
drawn from the depths of human nature as exhibited by types
and classes. And often they would cap each other with a mutual
relationship similar to that between a rule of syntax and its example,
sometimes the one coming first and sometimes the other.

I remember that during the happy days of this visit I was writing a
novel, afterwards published under the title of _A Siren_, and Lewes
asked me to show him the manuscript, then nearly completed. Of course
I was only too glad to have the advantage of his criticism. He was
much struck by the story, but urged me to invert the order in which
it was told. The main incident of the plot is a murder caused by
jealousy, and I had begun by narrating the circumstances which led up
to it in their natural sequence. He advised me to begin by bringing
before the reader the murdered body of the victim, and then unfold the
causes which had led to the crime. And I followed his advice.

The murder is represented as having been committed on a sleeping
person by piercing the heart with a needle, and then artistically
covering the almost imperceptible orifice of the wound with wax, in
such sort as to render the discovery of the wound and the cause of
death almost impossible even by professional eyes. And I may mention
that the facts were related to me by a distinguished man of science at
Florence, as having really occurred.

Perhaps, since I have been led to speak of this story of mine, I may
be excused for recording an incident connected with it, which occurred
some years subsequently at Rome, in the drawing-room of Mrs. Marsh.
The scene of the story is Ravenna. And Mrs. Marsh specially introduced
me to a very charming young couple, the Count and Countess Pasolini
of Ravenna, as the author of _A Siren_. They said they had been most
anxious to know who could have written that book! They thought that no
Englishman could have been resident at Ravenna without their having
known him, or at least known _of_ him. And yet it was evident that a
writer, who could photograph the life and society of Ravenna as it had
been photographed in the book in question must have resided there and
lived in the midst of it for some time. But I never was in Ravenna for
a longer time than a week in my life.

It was many years after the visit of George Eliot and Mr. Lewes to my
house at Ricorboli that I and my wife visited them at The Heights,
Witley, in Surrey. I found that George Eliot had grown! She was
evidently happier. There was the same specially quiet and one may say
harmonious gentleness about her manner and her thought and her ways.
But her outlook on life seemed to be a brighter, a larger, and as I
cannot doubt, a healthier one. She would no longer, I am well assured,
have talked of regretting that she had been born! It would be to give
an erroneous impression if I were to say that she seemed to be more in
charity with all men, for assuredly I never knew her otherwise. But,
if the words may be used, as I think they may be understood, without
irreverence, or any meaning that would be akin to blasphemy, she
seemed to me to be more in charity with her Creator. The ways of God
to man had become more justified to her; and her outlook as to the
futurity of the world was a more hopeful one. Of course optimism had
with her to be long-sighted! But she seemed to have become reconciled
to the certainty that he who stands on a lofty eminence must needs see
long stretches of dusty road across the plains beneath him.

Nothing could be more enjoyable than the evenings passed by the
_partie carrée_ consisting of herself and Lewes, and my wife and
myself. I am afflicted by hardness of hearing, which shuts me out from
many of the pleasures of society. And George Eliot had that excellency
in woman, a low voice. Yet, partly no doubt by dint of an exertion
which her kindness prompted, but in great measure from the perfection
of her dainty articulation, I was able to hear her more perfectly than
I generally hear anybody. One evening Mr. and Mrs. Du Maurier joined
us. The Lewes's had a great regard for Mr. Du Maurier, and spoke to us
in a most feeling way of the danger which had then recently threatened
the eyesight of that admirable artist. We had music; and Mr. Du
Maurier sang a drinking song, accompanying himself on the piano.
George Eliot had specially asked for this song, saying, I remember, "A
good drinking song is the only form of intemperance I admire!"

I think also that Lewes seemed in higher spirits than when I had
been with him at Florence. But this was no more than an additional
testimony to the fact that _she_ was happier.

She also was, I take it, in better health, for we had some most
delightful walks over the exceptionally beautiful country in the
neighbourhood of their house, to a greater extent than she would, I
think, have been capable of at Florence.

One day we made a most memorable excursion to visit Tennyson at Black
Down. It was the first time I had ever seen him. He walked with us
round his garden, and to a point finely overlooking the country below,
charmingly varied by cultivated land, meadow and woodland. It was
a magnificent day; but as I looked over the landscape I thought I
understood why the woods, which one looks down on from a similar
Italian height, are called _macchie_--stains, whereas our ordinarily
more picturesque language knows no such term and no such image. In
looking over a wide-spread Italian landscape one is struck by the
accuracy and picturesque truth of the image; but it needs the sun and
the light and the atmosphere of Italy to produce the contrast of light
and shade which justifies the phrase.

Our friends were evidently _personae gratae_ at the court of the
Laureate; and after our walk he gave us the exquisite treat of reading
to us the just completed manuscript of _Rizpah_. And how he read it!
Everybody thinks that he has been impressed by that wonderful poem to
the full extent of the effect that it is capable of producing. They
would be astonished at the increase of weird terror which thrills the
hearer of the poet's own recital of it.

He was very good-natured about it. It was explained to him by George
Eliot that I should not be able to enjoy the reading unless I were
close to him, so he placed me by his side. He detected me availing
myself of that position to use my good eyes as well as my bad ears,
and protested; but on my appeal _ad misrecordiam_, and assurance that
I should so enjoy the promised treat to infinitely greater effect, he
allowed me to look over his shoulder as he read. After _Rizpah_ he
read the _Northern Cobbler_ to us, also with wonderful effect. The
difference between reading the printed lines and hearing them so read
is truly that between looking on a black and white engraving and the
coloured picture from which it has been taken. Another thing also
struck me. The provincial dialect, which, when its peculiarities are
indicated by letters, looks so uncouth as to be sometimes almost
puzzling, seemed to produce no difficulty at all as he read it, though
he in nowise mitigated it in the least. It seemed the absolutely
natural and necessary presentation of the thoughts and emotions to be
rendered. It was, in fact, a dramatic rendering of them of the highest
order.

I remember with equal vividness hearing Lowell read some of his
_Biglow Papers_ in the drawing-room of my valued friend Arthur Dexter,
of Boston, when there were no others present save him and his mother
and my wife and myself. And that also was a great treat; that also was
the addition of colour to the black and white of the printed page. But
the difference between reading and hearing was not so great as in the
case of the Laureate.

When, full of the delight that had been afforded us, we were taking
our leave of him, our host laid on us his strict injunctions to say
no word to any one of what we had heard, adding with a smile that was
half _naïf_, half funning, and wholly comic, "The newspaper fellows,
you know, would get hold of the story, and they would not do it as
well!"

And then our visit to the Lewes's in their lovely home drew to an end,
and we said our farewells, little thinking as we four stood in that
porch, that we should never in this world look on their faces more.

The history of George Eliot's intellect is to a great extent legible
in her books. But there are thousands of her readers in both
hemispheres who would like to possess a more concrete image of her
in their minds--an image which should give back the personal
peculiarities of face, voice, and manner, that made up her outward
form and semblance. I cannot pretend to the power of creating such an
image; but I may record a few traits which will be set down at all
events as truthfully as I can give them.

She was not, as the world in general is aware, a handsome, or even a
personable woman. Her face was long; the eyes not large nor beautiful
in colour--they were, I think, of a greyish blue--the hair, which she
wore in old-fashioned braids coming low down on either side of her
face, of a rather light brown. It was streaked with grey when last I
saw her. Her figure was of middle height, large-boned and powerful.
Lewes often said that she inherited from her peasant ancestors a frame
and constitution originally very robust. Her head was finely formed,
with a noble and well-balanced arch from brow to crown. The lips and
mouth possessed a power of infinitely varied expression. George Lewes
once said to me when I made some observation to the effect that she
had a sweet face (I meant that the face expressed great sweetness),
"You might say what a sweet hundred faces! I look at her sometimes in
amazement. Her countenance is constantly changing." The said lips and
mouth were distinctly sensuous in form and fulness.

She has been compared to the portraits of Savonarola (who was
frightful) and of Dante (who though stern and bitter-looking, was
handsome). _Something_ there was of both faces in George Eliot's
physiognomy. Lewes told us in her presence, of the exclamation uttered
suddenly by some one to whom she was pointed out at a place of public
entertainment--I believe it was at a Monday Popular Concert in St.
James's Hall. "That," said a bystander, "is George Eliot." The
gentleman to whom she was thus indicated gave one swift, searching
look and exclaimed _sotto voce_, "Dante's aunt!" Lewes thought this
happy, and he recognised the kind of likeness that was meant to the
great singer of the _Divine Comedy_. She herself playfully disclaimed
any resemblance to Savonarola. But, although such resemblance was very
distant--Savonarola's peculiarly unbalanced countenance being a strong
caricature of hers--some likeness there was.

Her speaking voice was, I think, one of the most beautiful I ever
heard, and she used it _conscientiously_, if I may say so. I mean that
she availed herself of its modulations to give thrilling emphasis to
what was profound in her utterances, and sweetness to what was gentle
or playful. She bestowed great care too on her enunciation, disliking
the slipshod mode of pronouncing which is so common. I have several
times heard her declare with enthusiasm that ours is a beautiful
language, a noble language even to the ear, when properly spoken; and
imitate with disgust the short, _snappy_, inarticulate way in which
many people utter it. There was no touch of pedantry or affectation in
her own measured, careful speech, although I can well imagine that she
might have been accused of both by those persons--unfortunately more
numerous than could be desired--who seem to take it for granted that
_all_ difference from one's neighbour, and especially a difference in
the direction of superiority, must be affected.

It has been thought by some persons that the influence of George Henry
Lewes on her literary work was not a fortunate one, that he fostered
too much the scientific bent of her mind to the detriment of its
artistic richness. I do not myself hold this opinion. I am even
inclined to think that but for his companionship and encouragement she
might possibly never have written fiction at all. It is, I believe,
impossible to over-estimate the degree to which the sunshine of
his complete and understanding sympathy and his adoring affection
developed her literary powers. She has written something to this
effect--perhaps more than once; I have not her biography at hand at
this moment for reference--in a letter to Miss Sara Hennell. And no
one who saw them together in anything like intimate intercourse could
doubt that it was true. As I have said before, Lewes worshipped
her, and it is considered a somewhat unwholesome experience to be
worshipped. Fortunately the process is not so common as to constitute
one of the dangers of life for the average human being! But in George
Eliot's case I really believe the process was not deleterious. Her
nature was at once stimulated and steadied by Lewes's boundless faith
in her powers, and boundless admiration for their manifestation. Nor
was it a case of sitting like an idol to be praised and incensed. Her
own mental attitude towards Lewes was one of warm admiration. She
thought most highly of his scientific attainments, whether well
foundedly or mistakenly I cannot pretend to gauge with accuracy. But
she also admired and enjoyed the sparkling brightness of his talk,
and the dramatic vivacity with which he entered into conversation and
discussion, grave or gay. And on these points I may venture to record
my opinion that she was quite right. I always used to think that the
touch of Bohemianism about Lewes had a special charm for her. It must
have offered so piquant a contrast with the middle-class surroundings
of her early life. I observed that she listened with great complacency
to his talk of theatrical things and people. Lewes was fond of
talking about acting and actors, and in telling stories of
celebrated theatrical personages, would imitate--half involuntarily
perhaps--their voice and manner. I remember especially his doing this
with reference to Macready.

Both of them loved music extremely. It was a curious, and, to me,
rather pathetic study to watch Lewes--a man naturally self-sufficient
(I do not use the word in any odious sense), of a combative turn of
intellect, and with scarcely any diffidence in his nature--so humbly
admitting, and even insisting upon, "Polly's" superiority to himself
in every department. Once when he was walking with my wife in the
garden of their house in Surrey, she turned the conversation which had
been touching other topics to speak of George Eliot. "Oh," said Lewes,
stopping short and looking at her with those bright eyes of his,
"_Your blood be on your own head_! I didn't begin it; but if you wish
to speak of her, _I_ am always ready." It was this complete candour,
and the genuineness of his admiring love for her, which made its
manifestations delightful, and freed them from offence.



CHAPTER XVI.


I have a great many letters from G.H. Lewes, and from George Eliot.
Many of the latter are addressed to my wife. And many, especially of
those from Lewes, relating as they do mainly to matters of literary
business, though always containing characteristic touches, are not of
sufficient general interest to make it worth while to transcribe them
for publication. In no case is there any word in any of them that
would make it expedient to withhold them on any other ground. I might
perhaps have introduced them into my narrative as nearly as possible
at the times to which chronologically they refer. But it has seemed to
me so probable that there may be many readers who may be glad of an
opportunity of seeing these letters without feeling disposed to give
their time to the rest of these volumes, that I have thought it best
to throw them together in this place.

I will begin with one written from Blandford Square, by George Eliot
to me, which is of great interest. It bears no date whatever, save
that of place; but the subject of it dates it with considerable
accuracy.

       *       *       *       *       *

"DEAR MR. TROLLOPE,--I am very grateful to you for your notes.
Concerning _netto di specchio_, I have found a passage in Varchi which
decides the point according to _your_ impression." [Passages equally
decisive might be found _passim_ in the old Florentine historians.
And I ought to have referred her to them. But as she had altogether
mistaken the meaning of the phrase, I had insinuated my correction as
little presumptuously as I could.]

"My inference had been gathered from the vague use of the term to
express disqualification [_i.e._ NON _netto di specchio_ expressed
disqualification]. But I find from Varchi, b. viii. that the
_specchio_ in question was a public book, in which the names of all
debtors to the _Commune_ were entered. Thus your doubt [no doubt at
all!] has been a very useful caveat to me.

"Concerning the Bardi, my authority for making them originally
_popolani_ is G. Villani. He says, c. xxxix., '_e gia cominciavano
a venire possenti i Frescobaldi e Bardi e Mozzi_ ma di piccolo
cominciamento.' And c. lxxxi. '_e questi furono le principale case
de Guelfi che uscirono di Firenze. Del Sesto d' Oltr' Arno, i Rossi,
Nerli, e parte de' Manelli, Bardi, e Frescobaldi de' Popoloni dal
detto Sesto_, case nobili _Canigiani_,' &c. These passages corrected
my previous impression that they were originally Lombard nobles.

[It needs some familiarity with the Florentine chroniclers to
understand that the words quoted by no means indicate that the
families named were not of patrician origin. "There walked into the
lobby with the Radicals, Lord ---- and Mr. ----," would just as much
prove that the persons named had not belonged to the class of
landowners. But the passage is interesting as showing the great care
she took to make her Italian novel historically accurate. And it is to
be remembered that she came to the subject absolutely new to it. She
would have known otherwise, that the _Case_ situated in the Oltr'
Arno quarter, were almost all noble. That ward of the city was the
Florentine _quartier St. Germain_.]

"Concerning the phrase _in piazza_, and _in mercato_, my choice of
them was partly founded on the colloquial usage as represented by
Sacchetti, whose dialogue is intensely idiomatic. Also _in piazza_ is,
I believe, used by the historians (I think even by Macchiavelli), when
speaking of popular _turn-outs_. The ellipse took my fancy because of
its colloquial stamp. But I gather from your objection that it seems
too barbarous in a modern Italian ear. Will you whisper your final
opinion in Mr. Lewes's ear on Monday?

[I do not remember what the ellipse in question was. As regards the
use of the phrase _in piazza_ she is perfectly right. The term keeps
the same meaning to the present day, and is equivalent in political
language to _the street_.]

"_Boto_ was used on similar grounds, and as it is recognised by the
_Voc. della, Crusca_, I think I may venture to keep it, having a
weakness for those indications of the processes by which language is
modified.

[_Boto_ for _voto_ is a Florentinism which may be heard to the present
day, though the vast majority of strangers would never hear it, or
understand it if they did. George Eliot no doubt met with it in some
of those old chroniclers who wrote exactly as not only the lower
orders, but the generality of their fellow citizens, were speaking
around them. And her use of it testifies to the minuteness of her
care to reproduce the form and pressure of the time of which she was
writing.]

"Once more thank you, though my gratitude is in danger of looking too
much like a lively sense of anticipated favours, for I mean to ask you
to take other trouble yet.

"Yours very truly,

"MARION E. LEWES."

       *       *       *       *       *

The following letter, written from Blandford Square on the 5th July,
1861, is, as regards the first three pages, from him, and the last
from her.

       *       *       *       *       *

"MY DEAR TROLLOPE,--We have now read _La Beata_ [my first novel], and
must tell you how charmed we have been with it. _Nina_ herself is
perfectly exquisite and individual, and her story is full of poetry
and pathos. Also one feels a breath from the Val d'Arno rustling amid
the pages, and a sense of Florentine life, such as one rarely gets out
of books. The critical objection I should make to it, apart from minor
points, is that often you spoil the artistic attitude by adopting
a critical antagonistic attitude, by which I mean that instead of
painting the thing objectively, you present it critically, _with an
eye to the opinions_ likely to be formed by certain readers; thus,
instead of relying on the simple presentation of the fact of Nina's
innocence you _call up_ the objection you desire to anticipate by side
glances at the worldly and 'knowing' reader's opinions. In a word
I feel as if you were not engrossed by your subject, but were
sufficiently aloof from it to contemplate it as a spectator, which is
an error in art. Many of the remarks are delicately felt and finely
written. The whole book comes from a noble nature, and so it impresses
the reader. But I may tell you what Mrs. Carlyle said last night,
which will in some sense corroborate what I have said. In her opinion
you would have done better to make two books of it, one the love
story, and one a description of Florentine life. She admires the book
very much I should add. Now, although I cannot by any means agree
with that criticism of hers, I fancy the origin of it was some such
feeling, as I have endeavoured to indicate in saying you are often
critical when you should be simply objective.

"We had a pleasant journey home over the St. Gothard, and found our
boy very well and happy at Hofwyl, and our bigger boy _ditto_ awaiting
us here. Polly is very well, and as you may imagine talks daily of
Florence and our delightful trip, our closer acquaintance with you and
yours being among the most delightful of our reminiscences.

"Yesterday Anthony dined with us, and as he had never seen Carlyle he
was glad to go down with us to tea at Chelsea. Carlyle had read and
_agreed_ with the West Indian book, and the two got on very well
together; both Carlyle and Mrs. Carlyle liking Anthony, and I suppose
it was reciprocal, though I did not see him afterwards to hear what he
thought. He had to run away to catch his train.

"He told us of the sad news of Mrs. Browning's death. Poor Browning!
That was my first, and remains my constant reflection. When people
love each other and have lived together any time they ought to die
together. For myself I should not care in the least about dying. The
dreadful thing to me would be to live after losing, if I should ever
lose, the one who has made life for me. Of course you who all knew and
valued her will feel the loss, but I cannot think of anybody's grief
but his.

"The next page must be left for Polly's postscript, so I shall only
send my kindest regards and wishes to Mrs. Trollope and the biggest of
kisses to _la cantatrice_" [my poor girl Bice!].

"Ever faithfully yours,

"G.H. LEWES."

       *       *       *       *       *

"DEAR MRS. TROLLOPE,--While I am reading _La Beata_ I constantly feel
as if Mr. Trollope were present telling it all to me _vivâ voce_. It
seems to me more thoroughly and fully like himself than any of his
other books. And in spite of our having had the most of his society
away from you" [on our Camaldoli excursion] "you are always part of
his presence to me in a hovering aerial fashion. So it seems quite
natural that a letter addressed to him should have a postscript
addressed to you. Pray reckon it amongst the good you do in this
world, that you come very often into our thoughts and conversation.
We see comparatively so few people that we are apt to recur to
recollections of those we like best with almost childish frequency,
and a little fresh news about you would be a welcome variety,
especially the news that you had quite shaken off that spine
indisposition which was still clinging to you that last morning when
we said our good-byes. We have enough knowledge about you and your
world to interpret all the details you can give us. But our words
about our own home doings would be very vague and colourless to you.
You must always imagine us coming to see you and wanting to know as
much about you as we can, and like a charming hostess gratify that
want. I must thank you for the account of Cavour in _The Athenaeum_,
which stirred me strongly. I am afraid I have what _The Saturday
Review_ would call 'a morbid delight in deathbeds'--not having reached
that lofty superiority which considers it bad taste to allude to them.

"How is Beatrice, the blessed and blessing? That will always be a
history to interest us--how her brown hair darkens, how her voice
deepens and strengthens, and how you get more and more delight in her.
I need send no separate message to Mr. Trollope, before I say that

"I am always yours, with lively remembrance,

"MARION E. LEWES."

       *       *       *       *       *

It needed George Eliot's fine and minute handwriting to put all this
into one page of note-paper.

The next letter that came from Blandford Square, dated 9th December,
1861, was also a joint one, the larger portion of which however is
from her pen.

       *       *       *       *       *

"DEAR GOOD PEOPLE,--If your ears burn as often as you are talked about
in this house, there must be an unpleasant amount of aural circulation
to endure! And as the constant _refrain_ is, 'Really we must write to
them, that they may not altogether slip away from us,' I have this
morning screwed my procrastination to the writing-desk.

"First and foremost let us know how you are, and what are the results
of the bathing. Then a word as to the new novel, or any other work,
will be acceptable. I lend about _La Beata_ in all good quarters, and
always hear golden opinions from all sorts of people. Of course you
hear from Anthony.

"Is he prosperous and enjoying his life? The book will have an enormous
sale just now; but I fancy he will find more animosity and less
friendliness than he expected, to judge from the state of exasperation
against the Britisher, which seems to be general.

"We have been pursuing the even baritone--I wish I could say tenor--of
our way. My health became seriously alarming in September, so we went
off to Malvern for a fortnight; and there the mountain air, exercise,
and regular diet set me up, so that I have been in better training for
work than I had been for a long while. Polly has not been strong, yet
not materially amiss. But as she will add a postscript to this I shall
leave her to speak for herself.

"In your (T.A.T.) book huntings, if you could lay your hand on a copy
of Hermolaus Barbarus, _Compendium Scientiae Naturalis_, 1553, or any
of Telesio's works, think of me and pounce on them. I was going to
bother you about the new edition of Galileo, but fortunately I fell in
with the Milan edition cheap, and contented myself with that. Do you
know what there is _new_ in the Florentine edition? I suppose you
possess it, as you do so many enviable books.

"We heard the other day that Miss Blagden had come to stay in London
for the winter, so Polly sent a message to her to say how glad we
should be to see her. If she comes she will bring us some account of
_casa_ Trollope. When you next pass Giotto's tower salute it for me;
it is one of my dearest Florentines, and always beckoning to us to
come back.

"Ever your faithful friend,

"G.H. LEWES."

       *       *       *       *       *

She writes:--

       *       *       *       *       *

"DEAR FRIENDS,--Writing letters or asking for them is not always the
way to make one's memory agreeable, but you are not among those people
who shudder at letters, since you _did_ say you would like to hear
from us, and let us hear from you occasionally. I have no good news to
tell about myself; but to have my husband back again and enjoying his
work is quite enough happiness to fall to one woman's share in this
world, where the stock of happiness is so moderate and the claimants
so many. He is deep in Aristotle's _Natural Science_ as the first step
in a history of science, which he has for a long while been hoping
that he should be able to write. So you will understand his demand for
brown folios. Indeed, he is beginning to have a slight contempt
for authors sufficiently known to the vulgar to be inserted in
biographical dictionaries. Hermolaus Barbaras is one of those
distinguished by omission in some chief works of that kind; and we
learned to our surprise from a don at Cambridge that _he_ had never
heard the name. Let us hope there is an Olympus for forgotten authors.

"Our trial of the water cure at Malvern made us think with all the
more emphasis of the possible effect on a too delicate and fragile
friend at Florence." [My wife.] "It really helped to mend George. And
as I hope the Florentine hydropathist may not be a quack as Dr.----
at Malvern certainly is, I shall be disappointed if there is no good
effect to be traced to 'judicious packing and sitz baths' that you can
tell us of. Did Beatrice enjoy her month's dissipation at Leghorn? And
is the voice prospering? Don't let her quite forget us. We make rather
a feeble attempt at musical Saturday evenings, having a new grand
piano, which stimulates musical desires. But we want a good violin and
violoncello--difficult to be found among amateurs. Having no sunshine
one needs music all the more. It would be difficult for you to imagine
very truthfully what sort of atmosphere we have been living in here in
London for the last month--warm, heavy, dingy grey. I have seen some
sunshine once--in a dream. Do tell us all you can about yourselves. It
seems only the other day that we were shaking you by the hand; and all
details will be lit up as if by your very voice and looks. Say a kind
word for me sometimes to the bright-eyed lady by whose side I sat in
your balcony the evening of the National Fête. At the moment I cannot
recall her name. We are going now to the British Museum to read--a
fearful way of getting knowledge. If I had Aladdin's lamp I should
certainly use it to get books served up to me at a moment's notice.
It may be better to search for truth than to have it at hand without
seeking, but with books I should take the other alternative.

"Ever yours,

"M.E. LEWES."

       *       *       *       *       *

The lady in the balcony spoken of in the above letter was Signora
Mignaty, the niece of Sir Frederick Adam, whom I had known long years
previously in Rome, and who had married Signor Mignaty, a Greek
artist, and was (and is) living in Florence. She was, in fact, the
niece of the Greek lady Sir Frederick married. I remember her aunt, a
very beautiful woman. The niece, Signorina Margherita Albani as she
was when I first knew her at eighteen years old in Rome, inherited so
much of the beauty of her race that the Roman artists were constantly
imploring her to sit for them. She has made herself known in the
literary world by several works, especially by a recent book on
Correggio, his life and works, published in French.

The next letter from Lewes, written from Blandford Square on the 2nd
June, without date of year, but probably 1863, is of more interest to
myself than to the public. But I may perhaps be permitted to indulge
my vanity by publishing it as a testimony that his previous praise
of what I had written was genuine, and not merely the laudatory
compliments of a correspondent.

       *       *       *       *       *

"MY DEAR TROLLOPE,--Enclosed is the proof you were good enough to say
you would correct. When am I to return the compliment?

"I have finished _Marietta_. Its picture of Italian life is extremely
vivid and interesting, but it is a long way behind _La Beata_ in
interest of story. I have just finished one volume of Anthony's
_America_, and am immensely pleased with it--so much so that I hope to
do something towards counteracting the nasty notice in the _Saturday_.

"Ever yours faithfully,

"G.H. LEWES."

       *       *       *       *       *

The next letter is from Lewes, dated "The Priory, North Bank, Regent's
Park, 20th March, 1864."--

       *       *       *       *       *

"MY DEAR TROLLOPE,--My eldest boy, who spends his honeymoon in
Florence (is not that sugaring jam tart?), brings you this greeting
from your silent but affectionate friends. Tell him all particulars
about yourselves, and he will transmit them in his letters to us.
First and foremost about the health of your wife, and how this bitter
winter has treated her. Next about Bice, and then about yourself.

"We rejoice in the prospect of your _History of Florence_, and I am
casting about, hoping to find somebody to review it worthily for the
_Fortnightly Review_. By the way, would not you or your wife help me
there also! Propose your subjects!

"I hope you will like our daughter. She is a noble creature; and
Charles is a lucky dog (his father's luck) to get such a wife.

"We have been and are in a poor state of health, but manage to
scramble on. Charles will tell you all there is to tell. With our love
to your dear wife and Bice,

"Believe me, ever faithfully yours,

"G.H. LEWES."

       *       *       *       *       *

Shortly after receiving this my wife had a letter from George Eliot,
from Venice, dated 15th May, 1864. She writes from the "Hôtel de
Ville."

       *       *       *       *       *

"MY DEAR MRS. TROLLOPE,--I wonder whether you are likely to be at Lake
Como next month, or at any other place that we could take on our way
to the Alps. It would make the prospect of our journey homeward much
pleasanter if we could count on seeing you for a few hours; and I will
not believe that you will think me troublesome if I send the question
to you. I am rather discontented with destiny that she has not let us
see anything of you for nearly three years. And I hope you too will
not be sorry to take me by the hand again.

"My ground for supposing it not unlikely that you will be at one of
the lakes, is the report I heard from Mr. Pigott, that such a plan was
hovering in your mind. My chief fear is that our return, which is not
likely at the latest to be later than the middle of June, may be too
early for us to find you. We reached Venice three days ago, after a
short stay at Milan, and have the delight of finding everything more
beautiful than it was to us four years ago. That is a satisfactory
experience to us, who are getting old, and are afraid of the
traditional loss of glory on the grass and all else, with which
melancholy poets threaten us.

"Mr. Lewes says I am to say the sweetest things that can be said with
propriety to you, and love to Bice, to whose memory he appeals, in
spite of all the friends she has made since he had the last kiss from
her.

"I too have love to send to Bice, whom I expect to see changed like
a lily-bud to something more definitely promising. Mr. Trollope,
I suppose, is in England by this time, else I should say all
affectionate regards from us both to him. I am writing under
difficulties.

"Ever, dear Mrs. Trollope,

"Very sincerely yours,

"M.E. LEWES."

       *       *       *       *       *

Here is another from Lewes, which the post-mark only shows to have
been written in 1865:--

       *       *       *       *       *

"DEAR TROLLOPE,--Thank Signor ---- for the offer of his paper, and
express to him my regret that in the present crowded state of the
_Review_ I cannot find a place for it. Don't you however run away with
the idea that I don t want _your_ contributions on the same ground!
The fact is ----'s paper is too wordy and heavy and not of sufficient
interest for our publication; and as I have a great many well on hand,
I am forced to be particular. Originally my fear was lest we should
not get contributors enough. That fear has long vanished. But _good_
contributions are always scarce; so don't you fail me!

"We have been at Tunbridge Wells for a fortnight's holiday. I was
forced to 'cave in,' as the Yankees say--regularly beat. I am not very
flourishing now, but I can go into harness again. Polly has been,
and alas! still is, anything but in a satisfactory state. But she is
gestating, and gestation with her is always perturbing. I wish the
book were done with all my heart.

"I don't think I ever told you how very much your _History of
Florence_ interested me. I am shockingly ignorant of the subject, and
not at all competent to speak, except as one of the public; but you
made the political life of the people clear to me. I only regretted
here and there a newspaper style which was not historic. Oscar
Browning has sent me his review, but I have not read it yet. It is at
the printers. Polly sends her love.

"Ever faithfully yours,

"G.H.L."

       *       *       *       *       *

He writes again, dating his letter 1st January, 1866, but post-marked
1865. It is singular, that the date as given by the writer, 1866, must
have been right, and that given by the post-mark, 1865, wrong. And
the fact may possibly some day be useful to some counsel having to
struggle against the evidence of a post-mark. The letter commences:--

       *       *       *       *       *

"MY DEAR TROLLOPE,--A happy new year to you and Bice!

[It is quite impossible that Lewes could have so written, while my
wife, Theodosia, so great a favourite with both him and his wife, and
so constantly inquired for tenderly by them, was yet alive. I lost
her on the 13th of April, 1865. It is certain therefore, that Lewes's
letter was written in 1866, and not as the post-mark declares in 1865.
After speaking of some literary business matters, the letter goes
on:--]

"And when am I to receive those articles from you, which you
projected? I suppose other work keeps you ever on the stretch. But so
active a man must needs 'fulfil himself in many ways.'

"We have been ailing constantly without being ill, but our work gets
on somehow or other. Polly is miserable over a new novel, and I am
happy over the very hard work of a new edition of my _History of
Philosophy_, which will almost be a new book, so great are the changes
and additions. Polly sends her love to you and Bice.

"Yours very faithfully,

"G.H. LEWES."

       *       *       *       *       *

Then after a long break, and after a new phase of my life had
commenced, Lewes writes on the 14th of January, 1869, from "21, North
Bank":--

       *       *       *       *       *

"DEAR T.T.,--We did not meet in Germany because our plans were
altogether changed. We passed all the time in the Black Forest, and
came home through the Oberland. I did write to Salzburg however, and
perhaps the letter is still there; but there was nothing in it.

"You know how fond we are of you, and the pleasure it always gives
us to get a glimpse of you. (Not that we have not also very pleasant
associations with your wife,[1] but she is as yet stranger to us of
course.) But we went away in search of complete repose. And in the
Black Forest there was not a soul to speak to, and we liked it so much
as to stay on there.

[Footnote 1: I had married my second wife on the 29th of October,
1866.]

"We contemplate moving southwards in the spring, and if we go to Italy
and come _near_ Florence, we shall assuredly make a _détour_ and come
and see you. Polly wants to see Arezzo and Perugia. And I suppose we
can still get a _vetturino_ to take us that way to Rome? Don't want
railways, if to be avoided. I don't think we can get away before
March, for my researches are so absorbing, that, if health holds out,
I must go on, if not, we shall pack up earlier. The worst of Lent is
that one gets no theatres, and precisely because we never go to the
theatre in London, we hugely enjoy it abroad. Yesterday we took the
child of a friend of ours to a morning performance of the pantomime,
and are utterly knocked up in consequence. Somehow or other abroad the
theatre agrees with us. Polly sends the kindest remembrances to you
and your wife. Whenever you want anything done in London, consider me
an idle man.

"Ever yours faithfully,

"G.H. LEWES."

       *       *       *       *       *

And on the 28th February, in the same year, accordingly he writes:--

       *       *       *       *       *

"Touching our visit to Florence, you may be sure we could not lightly
forego such a pleasure. We start to-morrow, and unless we are recalled
by my mother's health, we calculate being with you about the end of
March. But we shall give due warning of our arrival. We both look
forward to this holiday, and 'languish for the purple seas;' though
the high winds now howl a threat of anything but a pleasant crossing
to Calais. _Che! Che!_ One must pay for one's pleasure! With both of
our warmest salutations to you and yours,

"Believe me, yours faithfully,

"G.H. LEWES."

       *       *       *       *       *

The travellers must, however, have reached us some days before the end
of March, for I have a letter to my wife from George Eliot, dated
from Naples on the 1st of April, 1869, after they had left us. She
writes:--

       *       *       *       *       *

"MY DEAR MRS. TROLLOPE,--The kindness which induces you to shelter
travellers will make you willing to hear something of their subsequent
fate. And I am the more inclined to send you some news of ourselves
because I have nothing dismal to tell. We bore our long journey better
than we dared to expect, for the night was made short by sleep in
our large coupé, and during the day we had no more than one headache
between us. Mr. Lewes really looks better, and has lost his twinges.
And though pleasure-seekers are notoriously the most aggrieved and
howling inhabitants of the universe, we can allege nothing against
our lot here but the persistent coldness of the wind, which is in
dangerously sudden contrast with the warmth of the sunshine whenever
one gets on the wrong side of a wall. This prevents us from
undertaking any carriage expeditions, which is rather unfortunate,
because such expeditions are among the chief charms of Naples. We have
not been able to renew our old memories of that sort at all, except by
a railway journey to Pompeii; and our days are spent in the museum
and in the sunniest out-of-door spots. We have been twice to the San
Carlo, which we were the more pleased to do, because when we were here
before, that fine theatre was closed. The singing is so-so, and the
tenor especially is gifted with limbs rather than with voice or
ear. But there is a baritone worth hearing and a soprano, whom the
Neapolitans delight to honour with hideous sounds of applause.

"We are longing for a soft wind, which will allow us to take the long
drive to Baiae during one of our remaining days here. At present we
think of leaving for Rome on Sunday or Monday. But our departure will
probably be determined by an answer from the landlord of the Hôtel
de Minerva, to whom Mr. Lewes has written. We have very comfortable
quarters here, out of the way of that English and American society,
whose charms you can imagine. Our private dinner is well served; and I
am glad to be away from the Chiaja, except--the exception is a great
one--for the sake of the sunsets which I should have seen there.

"Mr. Lewes has found a book by an Italian named Franchi, formerly a
priest, on the present condition of philosophy in Italy. He emerges
from its depths--or shallows--to send his best remembrances; and to
Bice he begs especially to recommend Plantation Bitters.

"I usually think all the more of things and places the farther I get
from them, and, on that ground, you will understand that at Naples
I think of Florence, and the kindness I found there under my small
miseries. Pray offer my kind regards to Miss Blagden when you see
her, and tell her that I hope to shake hands with her in London this
spring.

"We shall obey Mr. Trollope's injunctions to write again from Perugia
or elsewhere, according to our route homeward. But pray warn him, that
when my throat is not sore, and my head not stagnant, I am a much
fiercer antagonist. It is perhaps a delight to one's egoism to have a
friend who is among the best of men with the worst of theories. One
can be at once affectionate and spit-fire. Pray remember me with
indulgence, all of you, and believe, dear Mrs. Trollope,

"Most truly yours,

"M.E. LEWES."

       *       *       *       *       *

It will be seen from the above that George Eliot had very quickly
fraternised--what is the feminine form?--with my second wife, as I,
without any misgivings, foresaw would be the case. Indeed subsequent
circumstances allowed a greater degree of intimacy to grow up
between them than had been possible in the case of my Bice's mother,
restricted as her intercourse with the latter had been by failing
health, and the comparative fewness of the hours they had passed
together. Neither she nor Lewes had ever passed a night under my roof
until I received them in the villa at Ricorboli, where I lived with my
second wife.

What was the subject of the "antagonism" to which the above letter
alludes, I have entirely forgotten. In all probability we differed on
some subject of politics,[1] by reason of the then rapidly maturing
Conservatism which my outlook ahead forced upon me. Nevertheless it
would seem from some words in a letter written to me by Lewes in the
November of 1869, that my political heresies were not deemed
deeply damning. There was a question of my undertaking the foreign
correspondence of a London paper, which came to nothing till some four
years later, under other circumstances; and with reference to that
project he writes:--

[Footnote 1: My wife, on reading this passage, tells me that according
to her recollection the differences in question had no reference to
politics at all, but to matters of higher interest relating to man's
ultimate destinies.]

       *       *       *       *       *

"Polly and I were immensely pleased at the prospect for you. She
was rejoiced that you should once more be giving yourself to public
affairs, which you so well understand.... We are but just come back
from the solitudes of a farm-house in Surrey, whither I took Polly
immediately after our loss [of his son], of which I suppose Anthony
told you. It had shaken her seriously. She had lavished almost a
mother's love on the dear boy, and suffered a mother's grief in the
bereavement. He died in her arms; and for a long while it seemed as if
she could never get over the pain. But now she is calm again, though
very sad. But she will get to work, and _that_ will aid her.

"For me, I was as fully prepared (by three or four months' conviction
of its inevitableness) as one can be in such cases. It is always
sudden, however foreseen. Yet the preparation was of great use; and
I now have only a beautiful image living with me, and a deep
thankfulness that his sufferings are at an end, since recovery was
impossible.

"Give my love to your wife and Bice, and believe ever in yours
faithfully,

"G.H. LEWES."

       *       *       *       *       *

The following highly interesting letter was written to my wife by
Mrs. Lewes, about a year after his death. It is dated "The Priory, 19
December, 1879":--

       *       *       *       *       *

"DEAR MRS. TROLLOPE,--In sending me Dr. Haller's words you have sent
me a great comfort. A just appreciation of my husband's work from a
competent person is what I am most athirst for; and Dr. Haller has
put his finger on a true characteristic. I only wish he could print
something to the same effect in any pages that would be generally
read.

"There is no biography. An article entitled 'George Henry Lewes'
appeared in the last _New London Quarterly_. It was written by a man
for whom he had much esteem; but it is not strong. A few facts about
the early life and education are given with tolerable accuracy, but
the estimate of the philosophic and scientific activity is inadequate.
Still it is the best thing you could mention to Dr. Haller. You know
perhaps that a volume entitled _The Study of Psychology_ appeared in
May last, and that another volume (500 pp.) of _Problems of Life
and Mind_ has just been published. The best history of a writer is
contained in his writings; these are his chief actions. If he happens
to have left an autobiography telling (what nobody else can tell) how
his mind grew, how it was determined by the joys, sorrows, and other
influences of childhood and youth--that is a precious contribution
to knowledge. But biographies generally are a disease of English
literature.

"I have never yet told you how grateful I was to you for writing to me
a year ago. For a long while I could read no letter. But now I have
read yours more than once, and it is carefully preserved. You had been
with us in our happiness so near the time when it left me--you and
your husband are peculiarly bound up with the latest memories.

"You must have had a mournful summer. But Mr. Trollope's thorough
recovery from his severe attack is a fresh proof of his constitutional
strength. We cannot properly count age by years. See what Mr.
Gladstone does with seventy of them in his frame. And my lost one had
but sixty-one and a half.

"You are to come to England again in 1881, I remember, and then, if I
am alive, I hope to see you. With best love to you both, always, dear
Mrs. Trollope,

"Yours faithfully,

"M.E. LEWES."

       *       *       *       *       *

The "words of Dr. Haller," to which the above letter refers, were to
the effect that one of Lewes's great advantages in scientific and
philosophical research was his familiar acquaintance with the works
of German and French writers, which enabled him to follow the
contemporaneous movement of science throughout Europe, whereas many
writers of learning and ability wasted their own and their readers'
time in investigating questions already fully investigated elsewhere,
and advancing theories which had been previously proved or disproved
without their knowledge. Dr. Ludwig Haller, of Berlin, in writing to
me about G.H. Lewes, then recently deceased, had said, if I remember
rightly, that he had some intention of publishing a sketch of Lewes in
some German periodical. I am not aware whether this intention was ever
carried into effect.

The attack to which the above letter alludes was a very bad one
of sciatica. At length the baths of Baden in Switzerland cured me
permanently, but after their--it is said ordinary and normal, but very
perverse--fashion, having first made me incomparably worse. I suffered
excruciatingly, consolingly (!) assured by the doctor that sciatica
never kills--only makes you wish that it would! While I was at the
worst my brother came to Baden to see me, and on leaving me after
a couple of days, wrote to my wife the following letter, which I
confiscated and keep as a memorial.

After expressing his commiseration for me, he continues:--

"For you, I cannot tell you the admiration I have for you. Your
affection and care and assiduity were to be expected. I knew you well
enough to take them as a matter of course from you to him. But your
mental and physical capacity, your power of sustaining him by your
own cheerfulness, and supporting him by your own attention, are
marvellous. When I consider all the circumstances I hardly know how to
reconcile so much love with so much self-control."

Every word true! And what he saw for a few hours in each of a couple
of days, I saw every hour of the day and night for four terrible
months!

But all this is a parenthesis into which I have been led, I hope
excusably, by Mrs. Lewes's mention of my illness.

N.B.--I said at an early page of these recollections that I had never
been confined to my bed by illness for a single day during more than
sixty years. The above-mentioned illness leaves the statement still
true. The sciatica was bad, but never kept me in bed. Indeed I was
perhaps in less torment out of it.

Here is the last letter of George Eliot's which reached us. It is
written by Mrs. Lewes to my wife, from "The Priory, 30 December,
1879":--

       *       *       *       *       *

"DEAR MRS. TROLLOPE,--I inclose the best photograph within my reach.
To me all portraits of him are objectionable, because I see him more
vividly and truly without them. But I think this is the most like what
he was as you knew him. I have sent your anecdote about the boy to Mr.
Du Maurier, whom it will suit exactly. I asked Charles Lewes to copy
it from your letter with your own pretty words of introduction.

"Yours affectionately,

"M.E. LEWES."

       *       *       *       *       *

It is pretty well too late in the day for me to lament the loss of old
friends. They have been well-nigh some time past all gone. I have
been exceptionally fortunate in an aftermath belonging to a younger
generation. But they too are dropping around me! And few losses from
this second crop have left a more regretted void than George Henry
Lewes and his wife.



CHAPTER XVII.


I have thought that it might be more convenient to the reader to have
the letters contained in the foregoing chapter all together, and have
not interrupted them therefore to speak of any of the events which
were meantime happening in my own life.

But during the period which the letters cover the two greatest sorrows
of my life had fallen upon me--I had lost first my mother, then my
wife.

The bereavement, however, was very different in the two cases. If my
mother had died a dozen years earlier I should have felt the loss as
the end of all things to me--as leaving me desolate and causing a void
which nothing could ever fill. But when she died at eighty-three she
had lived her life, upon the whole a very happy one, to the happiness
of which I had (and have) the satisfaction of believing I largely
contributed.

It is very common for a mother and daughter to live during many years
of life together in as close companionship as I lived with my mother,
but it is not common for a son to do so. During many years, and many,
many journeyings, and more _tête-à-tête_ walks, and yet more of
_tête-à-tête_ home hours, we were inseparable companions and friends.
I can truly say that, from the time when we put our horses together on
my return from Birmingham to the time of my marriage, she was all in
all to me! During some four or five days in the early time of our
residence at Florence I thought I was going to lose her, and I can
never forget the blank wretchedness of the prospect that seemed to be
before me.

She had a very serious illness, and was, as I had subsequently
reason to believe, very mistakenly treated. She was attended by a
practitioner of the old school, who had at that time the leading
practice in Florence. He was a very good fellow, and an admirable
whist player; and I do not think the members of our little colony
drew a sufficiently sharp line of division between his social and his
professional qualifications. He was, as I have said, essentially a man
of the (even then) old school, and retained the old-fashioned general
practitioners phraseology. I remember his once mortally disgusting an
unhappy dyspeptic old lady by asking her, "Do we go to our dinner with
glee?" As if the poor soul had ever done anything with glee!

This gentleman had bled my mother, and had appointed another bleeding
for the evening. I believe she would assuredly have died if that had
been done, and I attribute to Lord Holland the saving of her. Her
doctor had very wrongly resisted the calling in of other English
advice, professional jealousy, and indeed enmity, running high just
then among us. Lord Holland came to the house just in the nick of
time; and over-ruling authoritatively all the difficulties raised by
the Esculapius in possession of the field, insisted on at once sending
his own medical attendant. The result was the immediate administration
of port wine instead of phlebotomy, and the patient's rapid recovery.

My mother was at the time far past taking any part in the discussion
of the medical measures to be adopted in her case. But I am not
without a suspicion that she too, if she could have been consulted,
would have sided with phlebotomy and whist, as against modern practice
unrelieved by any such alleviation. For the phlebotomist had been a
constant attendant at her Friday night whist-table; and as it was she
lost him, for he naturally was offended at her recovery under rival
hands.

What my mother _was_ I have already said enough to show, as far as
my imperfect words can show it, in divers passages of these
reminiscences. She was the happiest natured person I ever knew--happy
in the intense power of enjoyment, happier still in the conscious
exercise of the power of making others happy; and this continued to
be the case till nearly the end. During the last few years the bright
lamp began to grow dim and gradually sink into the socket. She
suffered but little physically, but she lost her memory, and then
gradually more and more the powers of her mind generally. I have often
thought that this perishing of the mind before the exceptionally
healthy and well-constituted physical frame, in which it was housed,
may have been due to the tremendous strain to which she was subjected
during those terrible months at Bruges, when she was watching the
dying bed of a much-loved son during the day, and, dieted on green tea
and laudanum, was writing fiction most part of the night. The cause,
if such were the case, would have preceded the effect by some forty
years; but whether it is on the cards to suppose that such an effect
may have been produced after such a length of time, I have not
physiological knowledge enough to tell.

She was, I think, to an exceptional degree surrounded by very many
friends, mostly women, but including many men, at every period of her
life. But the circumstances of it caused the world of her intimates
during her youth, her middle life, and her old age, to be to a great
degree peopled by different figures.

She was during all her life full of, and fond of, fun; had an
exquisite sense of humour; and at all times valued her friends and
acquaintances more exclusively, I think, than most people do, for
their intrinsic qualities, mainly those of heart, and, not so much
perhaps intellect, accurately speaking, as brightness. There is a
passage in my brother's _Autobiography_ which grates upon my mind,
and, I think, very signally fails to hit the mark.

He writes (vol. i. p. 28):--"She loved society, affecting a somewhat
Liberal _rôle_, and professing an emotional dislike to tyrants, which
sprung from the wrongs of would-be regicides and the poverty of
patriot exiles. An Italian marquis who had escaped with only a second
shirt from the clutches of some archduke whom he had wished to
exterminate, or a French _prolétaire_ with distant ideas of
sacrificing himself to the cause of liberty, were always welcome to
the modest hospitality of her house. In after years, when marquises of
another caste had been gracious to her, she became a strong Tory, and
thought that archduchesses were sweet. But with her, politics were
always an affair of the heart, as indeed were all her convictions. Of
reasoning from causes I think that she knew nothing."

Now there is hardly a word of this in which Anthony is not more
or less mistaken; and that simply because he had not adequate
opportunities for close observation. The affection which subsisted
between my mother and my brother Anthony was from the beginning to the
end of their lives as tender and as warm as ever existed between a
mother and son. Indeed I remember that in the old days of our youth
we used to consider Anthony the Benjamin. But from the time that he
became a clerk in the Post Office to her death, he and my mother were
never together but as visitors during the limited period of a visit.
From the time that I resigned my position at Birmingham to the time
of her death, I was uninterruptedly an inmate of her house, or she of
mine. And I think that I knew her, as few sons know their mothers.

No regicide, would-be or other, ever darkened her doors. No French
_prolétaire_, or other French political refugee was ever among her
guests. She never was acquainted with any Italian marquis who had
escaped in any degree of distress from poverty. With General Pepe she
was intimate for years. But of him the world knows enough to perceive
that my brother cannot have alluded to him. And I recollect no other
marquis. It is very true that in the old Keppel Street and Harrow days
several Italian exiles, and I think some Spaniards, used to be her
occasional guests. This had come to pass by means of her intimacy with
Lady Dyer, the wife and subsequently widow of Sir Thomas Dyer, whose
years of foreign service had interested him and her in many such
persons. The friends of her friend were her friends. They were not
such by virtue of their political position and ideas. Though it is no
doubt true, that caring little about politics, and in a jesting way
(how jesting many a memorial of fun between her and Lady Dyer, and
Miss Gabell, the daughter of Dr. Gabell of Winchester, is still extant
in my hands to prove;) the general tone of the house was "Liberal."
But nothing can be farther from the truth than the idea that my mother
was led to become a Tory by the "graciousness" of any "marquises" or
great folks of any kind. I am inclined to think that there was _one_
great personage, whose (not graciousness, but) intellectual influence
_did_ impel her mind in a Conservative direction. And this was
Metternich. She had more talk with him than her book on Vienna would
lead a reader to suppose; and very far more of his mind and influence
reached her through the medium of the Princess.

To how great a degree this is likely to have been the case may be in
some measure perceived from a letter which the Princess addressed to
my mother shortly after she had left Vienna. She preserved it among a
few others, which she specially valued, and I transcribe it from the
original now before me.

       *       *       *       *       *

"Vous ne pourriez croire, chère Madame Trollope, combien le portrait
que vous avez chargé le Baron Hügel de me remettre m'a fait de
plaisir!

"Il y a longtemps que je cachais au fonds de mon coeur le désir de
posséder votre portrait, qui, interressant pour le monde, est devenu
précieux pour moi, puisque j'ai le plaisir de vous connaître telle
que vous êtes, bonne, simple, bienveillante, et loin de tout ce qui
effroie et eloigne des reputations litéraires. Je remercie M. Hervieu
de Tavoir fait aussi ressemblant. Et je vous assure, chère Madame
Trollope, que rien ne pouvait me toucher aussi vivement et me faire
autant de plaisir que ce souvenir venant de vous, qui me rappelera
sans cesse les bons moments que j'ai eu la satisfaction de passer avec
vous et qui resteront à jamais chères à ma mémoire.

"MELANIE, PRINCESSE DE METTERNICH."

       *       *       *       *       *

I think that the hours passed by the Princess and my mother
_tête-à-tête_, save for the presence of the artist occupied by his
work during the painting of the Princess Melanie's portrait for
my mother, were mainly the cause of the real intimacy of mind and
affection which grew up between them--though, of course, the painting
of the portrait shows that a considerable intimacy had previously
arisen. And it had been arranged that the portrait of my mother, which
was the occasion of the above letter, should be exchanged for that of
the Princess. But there had been no time amid the whirl of the Vienna
gaieties to get it executed. It was, therefore, sent from England by
Baron Hügel when he called on my mother, on visiting this country
shortly after her return from Austria.

It occurs to me here to mention a circumstance which was, I think,
the first thing to begin--not the acquaintance but--the intimacy in
question; and which may be related as possessing an interest not
confined to either of the ladies in question.

The Archduchess Sophie had graciously intimated her desire that my
mother should be presented to her, and an evening had been named
for the purpose. But a few days before--just three, if I remember
rightly--my mother caught a cold, which resulted in erysipelas,
causing her head to become swollen to nearly double its usual size!
Great was the dismay of the ladies who had arranged the meeting with
the Archduchess, chief among whom had been the Princess Melanie.
She came to my mother, and insisted upon sending to her an old
homoeopathic physician, who was her own medical attendant, and had
been Hahnemann's favourite pupil. He came, saw his patient, and
was told that what he had to do was to make her presentable by the
following Friday! He shook his head, said the time was too short--but
he would do his best. And the desired object was _fully_ attained.

I have no doubt that my mother returned from her Vienna visit a more
strongly convinced Conservative in politics than she had hitherto
been. And it does not seem to me that the modification of her
opinions in that direction, which was doubtless largely operated by
conversation with the great Conservative statesman and his _alter
ego_, the Princess, needs to be in any degree attributed to the
"graciousness" of people in high position either male or female. Is
it not very intelligible and very likely that such opinions, so set
forth, as she from day to day heard them, should have honestly and
legitimately influenced her own?

But I think that I should be speaking, if perhaps presumptuously, yet
truly, if I were to add that there was also one very far from great
personage, whose influence in the same direction was greater than even
that of Prince Metternich or of any other great folks whatever; and
that was the son in daily and almost hourly communion and conversation
with whom she lived. I also had begun life as a "Liberal," and was
such in the days when Mr. Gladstone was a high Tory. But my mind had
long been travelling in an inverse direction to his. And far too large
a number of my contemporaries distinguished and undistinguished have
been moving in the same direction for it to be at all necessary to
say that most assuredly my slowly maturing convictions were neither
generated nor fostered by any "graciousness" or other influence of
dukes or duchesses or great people of any sort.

That my mother's political ideas were in no degree "an affair of the
heart," I will not say, and by no means regret not being able to say.
But I cannot but assert that it is a great mistake to say that they
were uninfluenced by "reasoning from causes," or that the movement
of her mind in this respect was in any degree whatever due to the
caresses which my brother imagines to have caused it.

She was not a great or careful preserver of papers and letters, or
I might have been able to print here very many communications from
persons in whom the world feels an interest. Among her early and very
dear friends was Mary Mitford.

I have a very vivid remembrance of the appearance of Mary Russell
Mitford as I used to see her on the occasions of my visits to Reading,
where my grandfather's second wife and then widow was residing. She
was not corpulent, but her figure gave one the idea of almost cubical
solidity. She had a round and red full moon sort of face, from the
ample forehead above which the hair was all dragged back and stowed
away under a small and close-fitting cap, which surrounding her face
increased the effect of full-blown rotundity. But the grey eye and
even the little snub nose were full of drollery and humour, and the
lines about the generally somewhat closely shut mouth indicated
unmistakable intellectual power. There is a singular resemblance
between her handwriting and that of my mother. Very numerous letters
must have passed between them. But of all these I have been able to
find but four.

On the 3rd of April, 1832, she writes from the "Three Mile Cross," so
familiar to many readers, as follows:--

       *       *       *       *       *

"My dear Mrs. Trollope,--I thank you most sincerely for your very
delightful book, as well as for its great kindness towards me; and I
wish you joy from the bottom of my heart of the splendid success which
has not merely attended but awaited its career--a happy and I trust
certain augury of your literary good fortune in every line which you
may pursue. I assure you that my political prejudices are by no
means shocked at your dislike of Republicanism. I was always a very
aristocratic Whig, and since these reforming days am well-nigh become
a staunch Tory, for pretty nearly the same reason that converted
you--a dislike to mobs in action.... Refinement follows wealth,
but not often closely, as witness the parvenu people even in dear
England.... I heard of your plunge into the Backwoods first from Mr.
Owen himself, with whom I foregathered three years ago in London,
and of whom you have given so very true and graphic a picture. What
extraordinary mildness and plausibility that man possesses! I
never before saw an instance of actual wildness--madness of theory
accompanied by such suavity and soberness of manner. Did you see my
friend, Miss Sedgwick? Her letters show a large and amiable mind, and
a little niece of nine years old, who generally writes in them, has
a style very unusual in so young a girl, and yet most youthful and
natural too.... Can you tell me if Mr. Flint be the author of _George
Mason, or the Young Backwoodsman_? I think that he is; and whether
the name of a young satirical writer be Sams or Sands? Your answering
these questions will stead me much, and I am sure that you will answer
them if you can.

"Now to your kind questions. I am getting ready a fifth and last
volume of _Our Village_ as fast as I can, though with pain and
difficulty, having hurt my left hand so much by a fall from an
open carriage that it affects the right, and makes writing very
uncomfortable to me. And I am in a most perplexed state about my
opera, not knowing whether it will be produced this season or not, in
consequence of Captain Polhill and his singers having parted. This
would not have happened had my coadjutor the composer kept to his
time. And I have still hopes that when the opera be [shall, omitted
probably] taken in (the music is even now not finished), a sense of
interest will bring the parties together again. I hope that it may,
for it will not only be a tremendous hit for all of us, but it will
take me to London and give me the pleasure of a peep at you, a
happiness to which I look forward very anxiously. I know Mr. Tom, and
like him of all things, as everybody who knows him must, and I hear
that his sisters are charming. God bless you, my dear friend. My
father joins me in every good wish, and

"I am ever most affectionately yours,

"M.R. MITFORD."

       *       *       *       *       *

A few weeks later she writes a very long letter almost entirely filled
with a discussion of the desirability or non-desirability of writing
in this, that, and the other "annual" or magazine. Most of those she
alludes to are dead, and there is no interest in preserving her mainly
unfavourable remarks concerning them and their editors and publishers.
One sentence, however, is so singularly and amusingly suggestive
of change in men and women and things, that I must give it. After
reviewing a great number of the leading monthlies she says "as for
Fraser's and Blackwood's, they are hardly such as a lady likes to
write for"!

After advising my mother to stick to writing novels, she says, "I have
not a doubt that that is by far the most profitable branch of the
literary profession. If ever I be bold enough to try that arduous
path, I shall endeavour to come as near as I can to Miss Austen, my
idol. You are very good about my opera. I am sorry to tell you, and
you will be sorry to hear, that the composer has disappointed me,
that the music is not even yet ready, and that the piece is therefore
necessarily delayed till next season. I am very sorry for this on
account of the money, and because I have many friends in and near
town, yourself amongst the rest, whom I was desirous to see. But
I suppose it will be for the good of the opera to wait till the
beginning of a season. It is to be produced with extraordinary
splendour, and will, I think, be a tremendous hit. I hope also to have
a tragedy out at nearly the same time in the autumn, and _then_ I
trust we shall meet, and I shall see your dear girls.

"How glad I am to find that you partake of my great aversion to the
sort of puffery belonging to literature. I hate it! and always did,
and love you all the better for partaking of my feeling on the
subject. I believe that with me it is pride that revolts at the trash.
And then it is so false; the people are so clearly flattering to be
flattered. Oh, I hate it!!!

"Make my kindest regards [_sic_] and accept my father's.

"Ever most faithfully and affectionately yours,

"M.R. MITFORD.

"P.S.--I suppose my book will be out in about a month. I shall desire
Whittaker to send you a copy. It is the fifth and last volume."

       *       *       *       *       *

The following interesting letter, franked by her friend Talfourd, and
shown only by the post-mark to have been posted on the 20th of June,
1836, is apparently only part of a letter, for it is written upon one
page, and the two "turnovers" only; and begins abruptly:--

       *       *       *       *       *

"My being in London this year seems very uncertain, although if Mr.
Sergeant Talfourd's _Ion_ be played, as I believe it will, for Mr.
Macready's benefit, I shall hardly be able to resist the temptation of
going up for a very few days to be present upon that occasion. But
I scarcely ever stir. I am not strong, and am subject to a painful
complaint, which renders the service of a maid indispensable not only
to my comfort but to my health; and that, besides the expense, has an
appearance of fuss and finery, to which I have a great objection, and
to which indeed I have from station no claim. My father, too, hates to
be left even for a day. And splendid old man as he is in his healthful
and vigorous age, I cannot but recollect that he is seventy-five, and
that he is my only tie upon earth--the only relation (except, indeed,
a few very distant cousins, Russells, Greys, Ogles, and Deans, whom I
am too proud and too poor to hook on upon), my only relation in the
wide world. This is a desolate view of things; but it explains a
degree of clinging to that one most precious parent which people can
hardly comprehend. You can scarcely imagine how fine an old man he is;
how clear of head and warm of heart. He almost wept over your letter
to-day, and reads your book with singular delight and satisfaction,
in spite of the difference in politics. He feels strongly, and so, I
assure you, do I, your kind mention of me and my poor writings--a sort
of testimony always gratifying, but doubly so when the distinguished
writer is a dear friend. Even in this desolation, your success--that
of your last work [_Paris and the Parisians_] especially must be
satisfactory to you. I have no doubt that two volumes on Italy will
prove equally delightful to your readers, whilst the journey will be
the best possible remedy for all that you have suffered in spirits and
health.

"I am attempting a novel, for which Messieurs Saunders and Ottley have
agreed to give 700_l_. It is to be ready some time in September--I
mean the MS.--and I am most anxious upon every account to make it as
good as possible, one very great reason being the fair, candid, and
liberal conduct of the intended publishers. I shall do my very best.
Shall I, do you think, succeed? I take for granted that our loss is
your gain, and that you see Mr. Milman and his charming wife, who
will, I am sure, sympathise most sincerely in your present[1]
affliction.

[Footnote 1: Mr. Milman had resigned recently the incumbency of a
parish in Reading. My mother's affliction alluded to was the death of
her youngest daughter, Emily.]

"Adieu, my dear friend. I am tying myself up from letter-writing until
I have finished my novel. While I cannot but hope for one line from
you to say that you are recovering. Letters to me may always be
inclosed to Mr. Sergeant Talfourd, M.P., 2, Elm Court, Temple. Even if
he be on circuit, they will reach me after a short delay. God bless
you all. My father joins heartily in this prayer, with

"Your faithful and affectionate,

"M.R. MITFORD."

       *       *       *       *       *

The next, and last which I have found, is entirely undated, but
post-marked 20th April, 1837.

       *       *       *       *       *

"MY DEAR FRIEND,--I don't know when a trifle has pleased me so much as
the coincidence which set us a-writing to each other just at the same
time. I have all the north-country superstition flowing through my
veins, and do really believe in the exploded doctrine of sympathies.
That is to say, I believe in all _genial_ superstitions, and don't
like this steam-packet railway world of ours, which puts aside with so
much scorn that which for certain Shakespeare and Ben Jonson held for
true. I am charmed at your own account of yourself and your doings.
Mr. Edward Kenyon--(whose brother, John Kenyon, of Harley Place, the
most delightful man in London--of course you know him--is my especial
friend)--Mr. Edward Kenyon, who lives chiefly at Vienna, although,
I believe, in great retirement, spending 200_l_. upon himself, and
giving away 2,000_l_.--Mr. Edward Kenyon spoke of you to me as having
such opportunities of knowing both the city and the country as rarely
befell even a resident, and what you say of the peasantry gives me a
strong desire to see your book.

"A happy subject is in my mind, a great thing, especially for you
whose descriptions are so graphic. The thing that would interest me
in Austria, and for the maintenance of which one almost pardons (not
quite) their retaining that other old-fashioned thing, the State
prisons, is their having kept up in their splendour those grand old
monasteries, which are swept away now in Spain and Portugal. I have
a passion for Gothic architecture, and a leaning towards the
magnificence of the old religion, the foster-mother of all that is
finest and highest in art, and if I have such a thing as a literary
project, it is to write a romance, of which Reading Abbey in its
primal magnificence should form a part, not the least about forms
of faith, understand, but as an element of the picturesque, and as
embodying a very grand and influential part of bygone days. At present
I have just finished (since writing _Country Stories_, which people
seem so good as to like) writing all the prose (except one story about
the fashionable subject of Egyptian magicians, furnished to me by your
admirer, Henry Chorley; I wish you had seen him taking off his hat to
the walls as I showed him your father's old residence at Heckfield),
all the prose of the most splendid of the annuals, Finden's
_Tableaux_, of which my longest and best story--a Young Pretender
story--I have been obliged to omit in consequence of not calculating
on the length of my poetical contributors. But my poetry, especially
that by that wonderful young creature Miss Barrett, Mr. Kenyon, and
Mr. Procter, is certainly such as has seldom before been seen in an
annual, and joined with Finden's magnificent engravings ought to make
an attractive work.

"I am now going to my novel, if it please God to grant me health. For
the last two months I have only once crossed the outer threshold, and,
indeed, I have never been a day well since the united effects of the
tragedy and the influenza ... [word destroyed by the seal]. What will
become of that poor play is in the womb of time. But its being by
universal admission a far more striking drama than _Rienzi_, and by
very far the best thing I ever wrote, it follows almost of course,
that it will share the fate of its predecessor, and be tossed about
the theatres for three or four years to come. Of course I should be
only too happy that it should be brought out at Covent Garden under
the united auspices of Mr. Macready and Mr. Bartley.[1] But I am in
constitution and in feeling a much older person than you, my dear
friend, as well as in look, however the acknowledgment of age (I
am 48) may stand between us; and belonging to a most sanguine and
confiding person, I am of course as prone to anticipate all probable
evil as he is to forestall impossible good. He, my dear father, is,
I thank Heaven, splendidly well. He speaks of you always with much
delight, is charmed with your writings, and I do hope that you will
come to Reading and give him as well as me the great pleasure of
seeing you at our poor cottage by the roadside. You would like my
flower-garden. It is really a flower-garden becoming a duchess. People
are so good in ministering to this, my only amusement. And the effect
is heightened by passing through a labourer's cottage to get at it,
for such our poor hut literally is.

[Footnote 1: This gentleman was an old and highly valued friend of my
mother.]

"You have heard, I suppose, that Mr. Wordsworth's eldest son, who
married a daughter of Mr. Curwen, has lost nearly, if not quite, all
of his wife's portion by the sea flowing in upon the mine, and has now
nothing left but a living of 200_l._ given him by his father-in-law.
So are we all touched in turn.

"I have written to the Sedgwicks for the scarlet lilies mentioned by
Miss Martineau in her American book. Did you happen to see them in
their glory? of course they would flourish here; and having sent them
primroses, cowslips, ivy, and many other English wild flowers, which
took Theodore Sedgwick's fancy, I have a right to the return. How glad
I am to hear the good you tell me of my friend Tom. His fortune seems
now assured. My father's kindest regards.

"Ever my dear friend,

"Very faithfully yours,

"M.R. MITFORD.

"P.S.--Mr. Carey, the translator of Dante, has just been here. He
says that he visited Cowper's residence at Olney lately, and that his
garden room, which suggested mine, is incredibly small, and not
near so pretty. Come and see. You know, of course, that the 'Modern
Antiques' in _Our Village_ were Theodosia and Frances Hill, sisters of
Joseph Hill, cousins and friends of poor Cowper."

       *       *       *       *       *

What the "good" was by which my "fortune was assured" I am unable
to guess. But I am sure of the sincerity of the writer's rejoicing
thereat.

Mary Mitford was a genuinely warm-hearted woman, and much of her talk
would probably be stigmatised by the young gentlemen of the present
generation, who consider the moral temperature of a fish to be "good
form," as "gush." How old Landor, who "gushed" from cradle to grave,
would have massacred and rended in his wrath such talkers! Mary
Mitford's "gush" was sincere at all events. But there is a
"hall-mark," for those who can decipher it, "without which none is
genuine."

A considerable intimacy grew up between my mother and the author of
_Highways and Byeways_ during the latter part of his residence in
England, and subsequently, when returning from Boston on leave, he
visited Florence and Rome. Many letters passed between them after
his establishment as British Consul at Boston, some characteristic
selections from which will, I doubt not, be acceptable to many
readers.

The following was written on the envelope enclosing a very long letter
from Mrs. Grattan, and was written, I think, in 1840:--

       *       *       *       *       *

"I cannot avoid squeezing in a few words more just as the ship is on
the point of sailing or steaming away for England ... 'The President'
has been a fatal title this spring. Poor Harrison, a good and honest
man, died in a month after he was elected, and this fine ship, about
which we have been at this side of the Atlantic so painfully excited
ever since March, is, I fear, gone down with its gallant captain
(Roberts, with whom we crossed the Atlantic in the _British Queen_)
and poor Power, whom the public cannot afford to lose.

"Since I wrote my letter three days ago--pardon the boldly original
topic--the weather has mended considerably. Tell Tom that every tree
is also striving to turn over a new leaf, and it is well for you that
I have not another to turn too. God bless you.

"T.C.G."

       *       *       *       *       *

I beg to observe that the exhortation addressed to me had no moral
significance, but was the writer's characteristic mode of exciting me
to new scribblements.

The following, also written on the envelope enclosing a letter from
Mrs. Grattan, is dated the 30th of July, 1840:--

       *       *       *       *       *

"I cannot let the envelope go quite a blank, though I cannot quite
make it a prize ... In literature I have done nothing but write a
preface and notes for two new editions of the old _Highways and
Byeways_, and a short sketchy article in this month's number of the
_North American Review_ on the present state of Ireland. I am going to
follow it up in the next number in reference to the state of the Irish
in America, and I hope I shall thus do some good to a subject I have
much at heart. I have had various applications to deliver lectures at
Lyceums, &c, and to preside at public meetings for various objects.
All this I have declined. I have been very much before the public at
dinners for various purposes, and have refused many invitations to
several neighbouring cities. I must now draw back a little. I think I
have hitherto done good to the cause of peace and friendship between
the countries. But I know these continued public appearances will
expose me to envy, hatred, and malice. I hope to do something
historical by and by, and perhaps an occasional article in the _North
American Review_. But anything like light writing I never can again
turn to."

       *       *       *       *       *

From a very long letter written on the 13th of May, 1841, I will give
a, few extracts:--

       *       *       *       *       *

"MY DEAR AND VALUED FRIEND,--Your letter from Penryth [_sic_] without
date, but bearing the ominous post-mark, 'April 1st,' has completely
made a fool of me, in that sense which implies that nothing else can
excuse a grey head and a seared heart for thinking and feeling that
there are such things in the world as affection and sincerity. Being
fond of flying in the face of reason, and despising experience,
whenever they lay down general rules, I am resolved to believe in
exceptions, to delight in instances, and to be quite satisfied that I
have 'troops of friends'--you being one of the troopers--no matter how
few others there may be, or where they are to be found.

"You really must imagine how glad we were to see your handwriting
again, and I may say also, how surprised; for it passeth our
understanding to discover how you _make_ time for any correspondence
at all. We have followed all your literary doings step by step since
we left Europe, and we never cease wondering at your fertility and
rejoicing at your success. But I am grieved to think that all this is
at the cost of your comfort. Or is it that you wrote in a querulous
mood, when you said those sharp things about your grey goose quill.
Surely composition must be pleasant to you. No one who writes so fast
and so well can find it actually irksome. I am aware that people
sometimes think they find it so. But we may deceive ourselves on the
dark as well as on the bright side of our road, and more easily,
because it _is_ the dark. That is to say, we may not only cheat
ourselves with false hopes of good, but with false notions of
evil, which proves, if it proves anything just now, that you are
considerably mistaken when you fancy writing to be a bore, and that I
know infinitely better than you do what you like or dislike."

It is rather singular to find a literary _workman_ talking in this
style. Grattan was not a fertile writer, and, I must suppose, was
never a very industrious one. But he surely must have known that talk
about the pleasures of "composition" was wholly beside the mark.
_That_ may be, often is, pleasant enough, and if the thoughts could
be telephoned from the brain to the types it would all be mighty
agreeable; and the world would be very considerably more overwhelmed
with authorship than it is. It is the "grey goose quill" work, the
necessity for incarnating the creatures of the brain in black and
white, that is the world's protection from this avalanche. And I for
one do not understand how anybody who, eschewing the sunshine and
the fields and the song of birds, or the enjoyment of other people's
brain-work, has glued himself to his desk for long hours, can say
or imagine that his task is, or has been, aught else than hard and
distasteful work, demanding unrelaxing self-denial and industry. And
however fine the frenzy in which the poet's eye may roll while he
builds the lofty line, the work of putting some thousands of them on
the paper when built must be as irksome to him as the penny-a-liner's
task is to _him_--more so, in that the mind of the latter does not
need to be forcibly and painfully restrained from rushing on to the
new pastures which invite it, and curbed to the pack-horse pace of the
quill-driving process.

"You must not," he continues, "allow yourself to be, or even to fancy
that you are tired or tormented, or worn out. Work the mine to the
last. Pump up every drop out of the well. Put money i' thy purse; and
add story after story to that structure of fame, which will enable you
to do as much to that house by the lake side, where I _will_ hope to
see you yet."

       *       *       *       *       *

He then goes on to speak at considerable length of the society of
Boston, praising it much, yet saying that it is made more charming to
a visitor than to a permanent resident. "In this it differs," he says,
"from almost all the countries I have lived in in Europe, except
Holland."

Speaking of a visit to Washington during the inauguration of General
Harrison, which seems to have delighted him much, he says he travelled
back with a family, "at least with the master and mistress of it,
of whom I must tell you something. Mr. Paige is a merchant, and
brother-in-law of Mr. Webster; Mrs. Paige a niece of Judge Story. From
this double connection with two of the first men in the country their
family associations are particularly agreeable. Mrs. Paige is one of
three sisters, all very handsome, spirited, and full of talent. One is
married to Mr. Webster's eldest son. Another, Mrs. Joy, has for her
husband an idle gentleman, a rare thing in this place. Mrs. Paige was
in Europe two years ago with Mr. and Mrs. Webster senior (the latter
by the bye is a _most_ charming person) and had the advantage of
seeing society in England and France in its best aspect, and is one
who can compare as well as see ... Among the men [of the Boston
society] are Dr. Chinning, a prophet in our country, a pamphleteer
in his own; Bancroft, _the_ historian of America, a man of superior
talents and great agreeability, but a black sheep in society, on
account of his Van Buren politics, against whom the white sheep of the
Whig party will not rub themselves; Prescott, the author of _Ferdinand
and Isabella_, a handsome, half blind shunner of the vanities of the
world, with some others, who read and write a good deal, and no one
the wiser for it. Edward Everett is in Italy, where you will surely
meet him [we saw a good deal of him]. He is rather formal than
cold, if all I hear whispered of him be true; of elegant taste in
literature, though not of easy manners, and altogether an admirable
specimen of an American orator and scholar. At Cambridge, three miles
off, we have Judge Story, of the Supreme Court, eloquent, deeply
learned, garrulous, lively, amiable, excellent in all and every way
that a mortal can be. He is decidedly the gem of this western world.
Mr. Webster is now settled at Washington, though here at this moment
on a visit to Mrs. Paige. Among our neighbouring notabilities is John
Quincy Adams, an ex-President of the United States, ex-Minister at
half the courts in Europe, and now at seventy-five, a simple Member of
Congress, hard as a piece of granite, and cold as a lump of ice."

Speaking of his having very frequently appeared at public meetings
during the first year of his Consulship, and of his having since that
refrained from such appearances, he continues: "I was doubtful as to
the way my being so much _en evidence_ might be relished _at home_. Of
late public matters have been on so ticklish a footing, that all the
less a British functionary was seen the better.

"In literature I have done nothing barring a couple of articles on
Ireland and the Irish in America, a subject I have much at heart.
But much as I feel for them and with them, I refused dining with my
countrymen on St. Patrick's Day because they had the _gaucherie_ (of
which I had previous notice), to turn the festive meeting into a
political one, by giving 'O'Connell and success to repeal' as one of
their 'regular' toasts, and by leaving out the Queen's health, which
they gave when I dined with them last year."

Then after detailed notices of the movements of his sons, he goes on:

"We have many plans in perspective, Niagara, Canada, Halifax, the
mountains, the springs, the sea; the result of which you shall know as
soon as we receive a true and faithful account of your adventures in
just as many pages as you can afford; but Tom must in the meantime
send me a long letter ... Tell Tom I have half resolved to give up
punning and take to repartee. A young fellow said to me the other day,
'Ah! Mr. Consul (as I am always called), I wish I could discover a
new pleasure.' 'Try virtue!' was my reply. A pompous ex-Governor said
swaggeringly to me at the last dinner party at which I assisted,
'Well, Mr. Consul, I suppose you Europeans think us semi-civilised
here in America?' 'Almost!' said I. Now ask Tom if that was not pretty
considerable smart. But assure him at the same time, it is nothing at
all to what I _could_ do in the way of impertinence! Need I say how
truly and affectionately we all love you?

"T.C. GRATTAN."

       *       *       *       *       *

I wrote back that I would enter the lists with him in the matter of
impertinence; and as a sample told him that I thought he had better
return to the punning.

I could, I doubt not, find among my mother's papers some further
letters that might be worth printing or quoting. But my waning space
warns me that I must not indulge myself with doing so.



CHAPTER XVIII.


I said at the beginning of the last chapter, that during the period,
some of the recollections of which I had been chronicling, the two
greatest sorrows I had ever known had befallen me. A third came
subsequently. But that belonged to a period of my life which does not
fall within the limits I have assigned to these reminiscences. Of the
first, the death of my mother, I have spoken. The other, the death of
my wife, followed it at no great distance, and was of course a far
more terrible one. She had been ailing--so long indeed that I had
become habituated to it, and thought that she would continue to live
as she had been living. We had been travelling in Switzerland, in the
autumn of 1864; and I remember very vividly her saying on board the
steamer, by which we were leaving Colico at the head of the Lake of
Como, on our return to Italy, as she turned on the deck to take a last
look at the mountains, "Good-bye, you big beauties!" I little thought
it was her last adieu to them; but I thought afterwards that she
probably may have had some misgiving that it was so.

But it was not till the following spring that I began to realise that
I must lose her. She died on the 13th of April, 1865.

I have spoken of her as she was when she became my wife, but without
much hope of representing her to those who never had the happiness
of knowing her, as she really was, not only in person, which matters
little, but in mind and intellectual powers. And to tell what she was
in heart, in disposition--in a word, in soul--would be a far more
difficult task.

In her the aesthetic faculties were probably the most markedly
exceptional portion of her intellectual constitution. The often cited
dictum, _les races se feminisent_ was not exemplified in her case.
From her mother, an accomplished musician, she inherited her very
pronounced musical[1] faculty and tendencies, and, I think, little
else. From her father, a man of very varied capacities and culture,
she drew much more. How far, if in any degree, this fact may be
supposed to have been connected in the relation of cause and effect,
with the other fact that her mother was more than fifty years of age
at the time of her birth, I leave to the speculations of physiological
inquirers. In bodily constitution her inheritance from her father's
mother was most marked. To that source must be traced, I conceive, the
delicacy of constitution, speaking medically, which deprived me of
her at a comparatively early age; for both father and mother were
of thoroughly healthy and strong constitutions. But if it may be
suspected that the Brahmin Sultana, her grandmother, bequeathed her
her frail diathesis, there was no doubt or difficulty in tracing to
that source the exterior delicacy of formation which characterised
her. I remember her telling me that the last words a dying sister of
her mother's ever spoke, when Theodosia standing by the bedside placed
her hand on the dying woman's forehead were, "Ah, that is Theo's
little Indian hand," And truly the slender delicacy of hand and foot,
which characterised her, were unmistakably due to her Indian descent.
In person she in nowise resembled either father or mother, unless it
were possibly her father in the conformation and shape of the teeth.

[Footnote 1: But this she might also have got from her father, who was
passionately fond of music, and was a very respectable performer on
the violin.]

I have already in a previous chapter of these reminiscences given
a letter from Mrs. Browning in which she speaks of Theodosia's
"multiform faculty." And the phrase, which so occurring, might in
the case of almost any other writer be taken as a mere epistolary
civility, is in the case of one whose absolute accuracy of veracity
never swerved a hair's-breadth, equivalent to a formal certificate of
the fact to the best of her knowledge. And she knew my wife well both
before and after the marriage of either of them. Her faculty was truly
_multiform_.

She was not a great musician; but her singing had for great musicians
a charm which the performances of many of their equals in the art
failed to afford them. She had never much voice, but I have rarely
seen the hearer to whose eyes she could not bring the tears. She had
a spell for awakening emotional sympathy which I have never seen
surpassed, rarely indeed equalled.

For language she had an especial talent, was dainty in the use of
her own, and astonishingly apt in acquiring--not merely the use for
speaking as well as reading purposes, but--the delicacies of other
tongues. Of Italian, with which she was naturally _most_ conversant,
she was recognised by acknowledged experts to be a thoroughly
competent critic.

She published, now many years ago, in the _Athenaeum_, some
translations from the satirist Giusti, which any intelligent reader
would, I think, recognise to be cleverly done. But none save the very
few in this country, who know and can understand the Tuscan poet's
works in the original, can at all conceive the difficulty of
translating him into tolerable English verse. And I have no hesitation
in asserting, that any competent judge, who is such by virtue of
understanding the original, would pronounce her translations of Giusti
to be a masterpiece, which very few indeed of contemporary men or
women could have produced. I have more than once surprised her in
tears occasioned by her obstinate struggles with some passage of
the intensely idiomatic satirist, which she found it almost--but
eventually not quite--impossible to render to her satisfaction.

She published a translation of Niccolini's _Arnaldo da Brescia_, which
won the cordial admiration and friendship of that great poet. And
neither Niccolini's admiration nor his friendship were easily won. He
was, when we knew him at Florence in his old age, a somewhat crabbed
old man, not at all disposed to make new acquaintances, and, I think,
somewhat soured and disappointed, not certainly with the meed of
admiration he had won from his countrymen as a poet, but with the
amount of effect which his writings had availed to produce in the
political sentiments and then apparent destinies of the Italians.
But he was conquered by the young Englishwoman's translation of
his favourite, and, I think, his finest work. It is a thoroughly
trustworthy and excellent translation; but the execution of it was
child's play in comparison with the translations from Giusti.

She translated a number of the curiously characteristic _stornelli_ of
Tuscany, and especially of the Pistoja mountains. And here again it
is impossible to make any one, who has never been familiar with these
_stornelli_ understand the especial difficulty of translating them. Of
course the task was a slighter and less significant one than that of
translating Giusti, nor was the same degree of critical accuracy and
nicety in rendering shades of meaning called for. But there were
not--are not--many persons who could cope with the especial
difficulties of the attempt as successfully as she did. She produced
also a number of pen-and-ink drawings illustrating these _stornelli_,
which I still possess, and in which the spirited, graphic, and
accurately truthful characterisation of the figures could only have
been achieved by an artist very intimately acquainted _intus et in
cute_ with the subjects of her pencil.

She published a volume on the Tuscan revolution, which was very
favourably received. The _Examiner_, among other critics--all of them,
to the best of my remembrance, more or less favourable--said of these
_Letters_ (for that was the form in which the work was published, all
of them, I think, having been previously printed in the _Athenaeum_),
"Better political information than this book gives may be had in
plenty; but it has a special value which we might almost represent by
comparing it to the report of a very watchful nurse, who, without the
physician's scientific knowledge, uses her own womanly instinct in
observing every change of countenance and every movement indicating
the return of health and strength to the patient ... She has written a
very vivid and truthful account." The critic has very accurately, and,
it may be said, graphically, assigned its true value and character to
the book.

I have found it necessary in a former chapter, where I have given a
number of interesting and characteristic letters from Landor to my
wife's father, to insert a deprecatory _caveat_ against the exuberant
enthusiasm of admiration which led him to talk of the probability of
her eclipsing the names and fame of other poets, including in this
estimate Elizabeth Barrett Browning. The preposterousness of this
no human being would have felt more strongly than Theodosia Garrow,
except Theodosia Trollope, when such an estimate had become yet
more preposterous. But Landor, whose unstinted admiration of Mrs.
Browning's poetry is vigorously enough expressed in his own strong
language, as may be seen in Mr. Forster's pages, would not have
dreamed of instituting any such comparison at a later day. But that
his critical acumen and judgment were not altogether destroyed by the
enthusiasm of his friendship, is, I think, shown by the following
little poem by Theodosia Trollope, written a few years after the birth
of her child. I don't think I need apologise for printing it.

The original MS. of it before me gives no title; nor do I remember
that the authoress ever assigned one to the verses.


  I.

    "In the noon-day's golden pleasance,
      Little Bice, baby fair,
    With a fresh and flowery presence,
      Dances round her nurse's chair,
  In the old grey loggia dances, haloed by her shining hair.

  II.

    "Pretty pearl in sober setting,
      Where the arches garner shade!
    Cones of maize like golden netting,
      Fringe the sturdy colonnade,
  And the lizards pertly pausing glance across the balustrade.

  III.

    "Brown cicala drily proses,
      Creaking the hot air to sleep,
    Bounteous orange flowers and roses,
      Yield the wealth of love they keep,
  To the sun's imperious ardour in a dream of fragrance deep.

  IV.

    "And a cypress, mystic hearted,
      Cleaves the quiet dome of light
    With its black green masses parted
      But by gaps of blacker night,
  Which the giddy moth and beetle circle round in dubious flight.

  V.

    "Here the well chain's pleasant clanging,
      Sings of coolness deep below;
    There the vine leaves breathless hanging,
      Shine transfigured in the glow,
  And the pillars stare in silence at the shadows which they throw.

  VI.

    "Portly nurse, black-browed, red-vested,
      Knits and dozes, drowsed with heat;
    Bice, like a wren gold-crested,
      Chirps and teases round her seat,
  Hides the needles, plucks the stocking, rolls the cotton o'er her feet.

  VII.

    "Nurse must fetch a draught of water,
      In the glass with painted wings,[1]
    Nurse must show her little daughter
      All her tale of silver rings,
  Dear sweet nurse must sing a couplet--solemn nurse, who _never_
  sings!

  VIII.

    "Blest Madonna! what a clamour!
      Now the little torment tries,
    Perched on tiptoe, all the glamour
      Of her coaxing hands and eyes!
  May she hold the glass she drinks from--just one moment, Bice cries.

  IX.

    "Nurse lifts high the Venice beaker,
      Bossed with masks, and flecked with gold,
    Scarce in time to 'scape the quicker
      Little fingers over-bold,
  Craving tendril-like to grasp it, with the will of four years old.

  X.

    "Pretty wood bird, pecking, flitting,
      Round the cherries on the tree.
    Ware the scarecrow, grimly sitting,
      Crouched for silly things, like thee!
  Nurse hath plenty such in ambush. 'Touch not, for it burns,'[2] quoth
    she.

  XI.

    "And thine eyes' blue mirror widens
      With an awestroke of belief;
    Meekly following that blind guidance,
      On thy finger's rosy sheaf,
  Blow'st thou softly, fancy wounded, soothing down a painless grief.

  XII.

    "Nurse and nursling, learner, teacher,
      Thus foreshadow things to come,
    When the girl shall grow the creature
      Of false terrors vain and dumb,
  And entrust their baleful fetish with her being's scope and sum.

  XIII.

    "Then her heart shall shrink and wither,
      Custom-straitened like her waist,
    All her thought to cower together,
      Huddling sheep-like with the rest,
  With the flock of soulless bodies on a pattern schooled and laced.

  XIV.

    "Till the stream of years encrust her
      With a numbing mail of stone,
    Till her laugh lose half its lustre,
      And her truth forswear its tone,
  And she see God's might and mercy darkly through a glass alone!

  XV.

    "While our childhood fair and sacred.
      Sapless doctrines doth rehearse,
    And the milk of falsehoods acrid,
      Burns our babe-lips like a curse,
  Cling we must to godless prophets, as the suckling to the nurse.

  XVI.

    "As the seed time, so the reaping,
      Shame on us who overreach,
    While our eyes yet smart with weeping,
      Hearts so all our own to teach,
  Better they and we lay sleeping where the darkness hath no speech!"


[Footnote 1: Those unacquainted with the forms of the old decorated
Venetian glass will hardly understand the phrase in the text. Those
who know them will feel the accuracy of the picture.]

[Footnote 2: "_Non toccare che brucia_," Tuscan proverb.]

It is impossible for any but those who know--not Florence, but--rural
Tuscany well, to appreciate the really wonderful accuracy and
picturesque perfection of the above scene from a Tuscan afternoon. But
I think many others will feel the lines to be good. In the concluding
stanzas, in which the writer draws her moral, there are weak lines.
But in the first eleven, which paint her picture, there is not one.
Every touch tells, and tells with admirable truth and vividness of
presentation. In one copy of the lines which I have, the name is
changed from Bice to "Flavia," and this, I take it, because of the
entire non-applicability of the latter stanzas to the child, whose
rearing was in her own hands. But the picture of child and nurse--how
life-like none can tell, but I--was the picture of her "baby
Beatrice," and the description simply the reproduction of things seen.

I think I may venture to print also the following lines. They are, in
my opinion, far from being equal in merit to the little poem printed
above, but they are pretty, and I think sufficiently good to do no
discredit to her memory. Like the preceding, they have no title.

  I.

  "I built me a temple, and said it should be
  A shrine, and a home where the past meets me,
  And the most evanescent and fleeting of things,
  Should be lured to my temple, and shorn of their wings,
    To adorn my palace of memories.

  II.

  "The pearl of the morning, the glow of the noon,
  The play of the clouds as they float past the moon,
  The most magical tint on the snowiest peak,
  They are gone while I gaze, fade before you can speak,
    Yet they stay in my palace of memories.

  III.

  "I stood in the midst of the forest trees,
  And heard the sweet sigh of the wandering breeze,
  And this with the tinkle of heifer bells,
  As they trill on the ear from the dewy dells,
    Are the sounds in my palace of memories.

  IV.

  "I looked in the face of a little child,
  With its fugitive dimples and eyes so wild,
  It springs off with a bound like a wild gazelle,
  It is off and away, but I've caught my[1]
    And here's mirth for my palace of memories.

  V.

  "In the morning we meet on a mountain height,
  And we walk and converse till the fall of night,
  We hold hands for a moment, then pass on our way,
  But that which I've got from the friend of a day,
    I'll keep in my palace of memories."


[Footnote 1: Word here illegible.]

The verses which Landor praised with enthusiasm so excessive were
most, or I think all of them, published in the annual edited by his
friend Lady Blessington, and were all written before our marriage. I
have many long letters addressed to her by that lady, and several by
her niece Miss Power, respecting them. They always in every instance
ask for "more."

Many of her verses she set to music, especially one little poemlet,
which I remember to this day the tune of, which she called the _Song
of the Blackbird_, and which was, if I remember rightly, made to
consist wholly of the notes uttered by the bird.

Another instance of her "multiform faculty" was her learning landscape
sketching. I have spoken of her figure drawing. And this, I take it,
was the real bent of her talent in that line. But unable to compass
the likeness of a haystack myself, I was desirous of possessing some
record of the many journeys which I designed to take, and eventually
did take with her. And wholly to please me she forthwith made the
attempt, and though her landscape was never equal to her figure
drawing, I possess some couple of hundred of water-colour sketches
done by her from nature on the spot.

I used to say that if I wanted a Sanscrit dictionary, I had only to
put her head straight at it, and let her feel the spur, and it would
have been done!

We lived together seventeen happy years. During the five first, I
think I may say that she lived wholly and solely in, by, and for me.
That she should live for somebody other than herself was an absolute
indefeasible necessity of her nature. During the last twelve years I
shared her heart with her daughter. Her intense worship for her "Baby
Beatrice" was equalled only by--that of all the silliest and all the
wisest women, who have true womanly hearts in their bosoms, for their
children. The worship was, of course, all the more absorbing that the
object of it was unique. I take it that, after the birth of her child,
I came second in her heart. But I was not jealous of little Bice.

I do not think that she would have quite subscribed to the opinion of
Garibaldi on the subject of the priesthood, which I mentioned in a
former chapter--that they ought all to be forthwith put to death. But
all her feelings and opinions were bitterly antagonistic to them. She
was so deeply convinced of the magnitude of the evil inflicted by them
and their Church on the character of the Italians, for whom she ever
felt a great affection, that she was bitter on the subject. And it
is the only subject on which I ever knew her to feel in any degree
bitterly. Many of her verses written during her latter years are
fiercely denunciatory or humorously satirical of the Italian
priesthood, and especially of the Pontifical Government. I wish that
my space permitted me to give further specimens of them here. But I
must content myself with giving one line, which haunts my memory, and
appears to me excessively happy In the accurate truthfulness of its
simile. She is writing of the journey which Pius the Ninth made, and
describing his equipment, says that he started "with strings of cheap
blessings, like glass beads for savages."

With the exception of this strong sentiment my wife was one of the
most tolerant people I ever knew. What she most avoided in those with
whom she associated was, not so much ignorance, or even vulgarity of
manner, as pure native stupidity. But even of that, when the need
arose, she was tolerant. I never knew her in the selection of an
acquaintance, or even of a friend, to be influenced to the extent
of even a hair's-breadth, by station, rank, wealth, fashion, or any
consideration whatever, save personal liking and sympathy, which was,
in her case, perfectly compatible with the widest divergence of views
and opinions on nearly any of the great subjects which most divide
mankind, and even with divergence of rules of conduct. Her own
opinions were the honest results of original thinking, and her conduct
the outcome of the dictates of her own heart--of her heart rather than
of her reasoning powers, or of any code of law--a condition of mind
which might be dangerous to individuals with less native purity of
heart than hers.

As a wife, as a daughter, as a daughter-in-law, as a mother, she was
absolutely irreproachable. In the first relationship she was all in
all to me for seventeen years. She brought sweetness and light into
my life and into my dwelling. She was the angel in the house, if ever
human being was.

Her father became an inmate of our house after the death of his wife
at a great age at Torquay, whither they had returned after the
death of my wife's half-sister, Harriet Fisher. He was a jealously
affectionate, but very exacting father; and few daughters, I think,
could have been more admirable in her affection for him, her attention
to him, her care of him. And I may very safely say that very few
mothers of sons have the fortune of finding such a daughter-in-law.
My mother had been very fond of her before our marriage, and became
afterwards as devotedly attached to her as she was to me, of whom she
knew her to be an indivisible part, while she was to my mother simply
perfect. Her own mother she had always been in the habit of calling by
that name. She always spoke to and of my mother as "mammy." What she
was to her own daughter I have already said. There was somewhat of
the tendency towards "spoiling," which is mostly inseparable from
the adoration which a young mother, of the right sort, feels for her
firstborn child, but she never made any attempt to avert or counteract
my endeavours to prevent such spoiling. When little Bice had to be
punished by solitary confinement for half an hour, she only watched
anxiously for the expiration of the sentence.[1]

[Footnote 1: I do not remember that little Bice ever consoled herself
under the disgrace of such captivity as my present wife has confessed
to me that she did when suffering under the same condemnation. _Her_
method of combining the maintenance of personal dignity with revenge
on the oppressor, was to say to the first person who came to take her
out of prison: "No! you can't come into _my_ parlour!"]

But that her worth, her talent, her social qualities, were recognised
by a wider world than that of her own family, or her own circle of
friends, is testified by the recording stone, which the Municipality
placed on my house at the corner of the Piazza dell' Independenza,
where it may still be seen. Indeed the honour was not undeserved. For
during the whole of her residence in Italy, which nearly synchronised
with the struggle of Italy for her independence and unity, she had
adopted the Italian cause heart and soul, and done what was in her to
do, for its advancement. The honour was rendered the more signal, and
the more acceptable, from the fact that the same had recently been
rendered by the same body to Elizabeth Barrett Browning.



CHAPTER XIX.


The house in the Piazza dell' Independenza, which was known in the
city as "Villino Trollope," and of which I have spoken at the close of
the last chapter, was my property, and I had lived in it nearly the
whole of my married life. During that time four deaths had occurred
among its inmates.

The first to happen was that of the old and highly valued servant
of whom I had occasion to speak when upon the subject of Mr. Hume's
spiritualistic experiences at my house. She had been for many years
a much trusted and beloved servant in the family of Mr. Garrow at
Torquay, and had accompanied them abroad. Her name was Elizabeth
Shinner. Her death was felt by all of us as that of a member of our
family, and she lies in the Protestant cemetery at Florence by the
side of her former master, and of the young mistress whom she had
loved as a child of her own.

The next to go was Mr. Garrow. His death was a very sudden and
unexpected one. He was a robust and apparently perfectly healthy man.
I was absent from home when he died. I had gone with a Cornishman, a
Mr. Trewhella, who was desirous of visiting Mr. Sloane's copper mine,
in the neighbourhood of Volterra, of which I have before spoken. We
had accomplished our visit, and were returning over the Apennine about
six o'clock in the morning in a little _bagherino_, as the country
cart-gigs are called, when we were hailed by a man in a similar
carriage meeting us, whom I recognised as the foreman of a carpenter
we employed. He had been sent to find me, and bring me home with all
speed, in consequence of the sudden illness of Mr. Garrow. As far as
I could learn from him there was little probability of finding my
father-in-law alive. I made the best of my way to Florence. But he had
been dead several hours when I arrived. He had waked with a paralytic
attack on him, which deprived him of the power of moving on the left
side, and drawing his face awry, made speech almost impossible to him.
He assured his servant--who was almost immediately with him--speaking
with much difficulty, that it was nothing of any importance, and that
he should soon get over it. But these were the last words he ever
spoke, and in two or three hours afterwards he breathed his last.

Then in a few years more the _crescendo_ wave of trouble took my
mother from me at the age of eighty-three. For the last two or three
years she had entirely lost her memory, and for the last few months
the use of her mental faculties. And she did not suffer much. The last
words she uttered were "Poor Cecilia!"--her mind reverting in her
latest moments to the child whose loss had been the most recent. She
had for years entertained a great horror and dread of the possibility
of being buried alive, in consequence of the very short time allowed
by the law for a body to remain unburied after death; and she had
exacted from me a promise that I would in any case cause a vein to be
opened in her arm after death. In her case there could be no possible
room for the shadow of doubt as to the certainty of death; but I was
bound by my promise, and found some difficulty in the performance of
it. The medical man in attendance, declaring the absolute absurdity of
any doubt on the subject, refused to perform an operation which, he
said, was wholly uncalled for, and argued that my promise could only
be understood to apply to a case of possible doubt. I had none; but
was none the less determined to be faithful to my promise. But it
was not till I declared that I would myself sever a vein, in however
butcher-like a manner, that I induced him to accompany me to the
death-chamber and perform under my eyes the necessary operation.

My mother, the inseparable companion of so many wanderings in so many
lands, the indefatigable labourer of so many years, found her rest
near to the two who had gone from my house before, in the beautiful
little cemetery on which the Apennine looks down.

But it was not long before this sorrow was followed by a very much
sorer one--by the worst of all that could have happened to me! After
what I have written in the last chapter it is needless to say anything
of the blank despair that fell upon me when my wife died, on the 13th
of April, 1865. She also lies near the others.

My house was indeed left unto me desolate, and I thought that life and
all its sweetness was over for me!

I immediately took measures for disposing of the house in the Piazza
dell' Independenza, and before long found a purchaser for it. I had
bought it when the speculator, who had become the owner of the ground
at the corner of the space which was beginning to assume the semblance
of a "square" or "piazza," had put in the foundations but had not
proceeded much further with his work. I completed it, improving
largely, as I thought, on his plan; adapted it for a single residence,
instead of its division into sundry dwellings; obtained possession of
additional ground between the house and the city wall, sufficient for
a large garden; built around it, looking to the south, the largest and
handsomest "stanzone"[1] for orange and lemon plants in Florence, and
gathered together a collection of very fine trees, the profits from
which (much smaller in my hands than would have been the case in those
of a Florentine to the manner born) nevertheless abundantly sufficed
to defray the expenses of the garden and gardeners. In a word, I made
the place a very complete and comfortable residence. Nearly the whole
of my first married life was spent in it. And much of the literary
work of my life has been done in it.

[Footnote 1: "Stanzone" is the term used in Tuscany to signify the
buildings destined to shelter the "Agrumi," as the orange and lemon
plants are called generically, in the winter; which in Florence is too
severe to permit of their being left in the open air.]

I used in those days, and for very many years afterwards, to do all
my writing standing; and I strongly recommend the practice to brother
quill-drivers. Pauses, often considerable intervals, occur for thought
while the pen is in the hand. And if one is seated at a table, one
remains sitting during these intervals. But if one is standing, it
becomes natural to one, during even a small pause, to take a turn up
and down the room, or even, as I often used to do, in the garden. And
such change and movement I consider eminently salutary both for mind
and body.

I had specially contrived a little window immediately above the desk
at which I stood, fixed to the wall. The room looking on the "loggia,"
which was the scene of the little poem transcribed in the preceding
chapter, was abundantly lighted, but I liked some extra light close to
my desk.

In that room my Bice was born. For it was subsequently to her birth
that the destination of it was changed from a bedroom to a study.

Few men have passed years of more unchequered happiness than I did in
that house. And I was very fond of it.

But, as may be readily imagined, it became all the more odious and
intolerable to me when the "angel in the house" had been taken from
me.



CHAPTER XX.

CONCLUSION.


Assuredly it seemed to me that all was over; and the future a dead
blank. And for a time I was as a man stunned.

But in truth it was very far otherwise! I was fifty-five; but I was in
good health, young for my years, strong and vigorous in constitution,
and before a year had passed it began to seem to me that a future,
and life and its prospects, might open to me afresh; that the curtain
might be dropped on the drama that was passed, and a new phase of life
begun.

I had had, and vividly enjoyed an entire life, according to the
measure that is meted out to many, perhaps I may say to most men.
But I felt myself ready for another! And--thanks this time also to
a woman--I have _had_ another, _in no wise_ less happy, in some
respects, as less chequered by sorrows--more happy than the first! I
am in better health too, having outgrown apparently several of the
maladies which young people are subject to!

Of this second life I am not now going to tell my readers anything.
"What I remember" of my first life may be, and I hope has been, told
frankly without giving offence or annoyance to any human being. I
don't know that the telling of the story of my second life would
necessarily lead me to say anything which could hurt anybody. But
mixed up as its incidents and interests and associations have been
with a great multitude of men and women still living and moving and
talking and writing round about me, I should not feel myself so
comfortably at liberty to write whatever offered itself to my memory.

Ten years hence, perhaps ("Please God, the public lives!" as a
speculative showman said), I may tell the reader, if he cares to hear
it, the story of my second life. For the present we will break off
here.

But not without some words of parting kindness--and shall we say,
wisdom!--from an old man to readers, most of whom probably might be
his sons, and many doubtless his grandsons.

Especially, my young friends, don't pay overmuch attention to what the
Psalmist says about "the years of man." I knew _dans le temps_ a fine
old octo-and-nearly-nonogenarian, one Graberg de Hemsö, a Swede (a man
with a singular history, who passed ten years of his early life in the
British navy, and was, when I knew him, librarian at the Pitti Palace
in Florence), who used to complain of the Florentine doctors that "Dey
doosen't know what de nordern constitooshions is!" and I take it the
same may be said of the Psalmist. The years beyond three score and
ten need not be all sorrow and trouble. Depend upon it kindly
nature--_prudens_, as that jolly fellow, fine gentleman, and true
philosopher, Horace, says in a similar connection--kindly nature knows
how to make the closing decade of life every whit as delightful as any
of the preceding, if only you don't baulk her purposes. Don't weigh
down your souls, and pin your particles of divine essence to earth by
your yesterday's vices; be sure that when you cannot jump over the
chairs so featly as you can now, you will not want to do so; tell the
girls with genial old Anacreon, when the time comes, that whether the
hairs on your forehead be many or few, you know not, but do know
well that it behoves an old man to be cheery in proportion to the
propinquity of his exit, and go on your way rejoicing through this
beautiful world, which not even the Radicals have quite spoilt yet.

And so _à rivederci_--_au revoir_--_auf Wiedersehn_--why have we no
English equivalent better than "Here's to our next pleasant meeting!"



INDEX.

A.

Abbey, Reading, Mary Mitford's project concerning
Aberdeen, Lord, and Lord Cowley
Abrams, the Misses
Absolute, Sir A., my representation of
Ackland, Captain
Adam, Sir Frederick
Adam the forger, Dante's
Adams, John Quincy, Grattan on
Affinities Elective
Age not counted by years
Aladdin's lamp, G. Eliot wishes for
Albani, Margherita
Albèri, Signor
Albertazzi in 1840
Alinari, photographer at Florence
_All the Year Round_, contributions to
American lady at Tuileries
Americans at the Pitti Palace
  anecdote of
  meeting Lewes at an
America, my brother's book on
  criticised by Lewes
  Irish in, Grattan on
Amiens, excursion to
Ampère, his éloge at the Academy by Arago
Amphytrion, Venice as
Anacreon on old age
Antagonism with G. Eliot, subject of
Antagonist, G. Eliot as an
Antiboini, the
Antiques, modern, in _Our Village_
Antonelli, Cardinal
Apennines, Grand Duke crossing the
  figure representing the, by Michael Angelo
  scenery among the
Apoplexy, man dying of, anecdote of
Appony, Comte d', his receptions in Paris
April fool, Grattan an
Arago, M., at the Academy
Archduchesses, sweetness of
Archduchess Sophie
Arezzo, marshes near
  Pulszky at
  G. Eliot wishes to see
Aristotle's Natural Science
Army, Tuscan attitude of at the Revolution
_Arnaldo da Brescia_, Niccolini's
Arno river in flood
  the
Articulation, George Eliot's
Ashley, Lord, letter from
Aspirates, Landor used to drop them
Aspirations, early
_Athenaeum_, my wife's letters in the
_Atlantic Monthly_ on Landor
Aubrey, Miss
Aumale, Duke of
Aunt, Dante's
Aural circulation, Lewes on
_Aurora Leigh_, Mrs. Browning's
Austen, Miss, Mary Mitford's idol
Austin, Alfred
Austrian troops in Florence
  officers, anecdote of
Austria, Mary Mitford on
  Napoleon III.'s negotiations with
Autobiography, G. Eliot on
Autograph collectors
Autolycus, his song
Auvergne, pedestrianising in
  dialect of
Aylmer, Admiral
  Lord
Azeglio d'Massimo, anecdote of

B.

Baby Beatrice
_Backwoodsman, Young_, Mary Mitford asks about
Baden in Switzerland
Bagni Caldi at Lucca Baths
Baiae, excursion to, G. Eliot's
Balzac's suppressed play
Bamberg, Baroness Zandt at
Banagher, my brother at
Bancroft, the Historian, Grattan on
  his anti-Whig politics
Bandi, the family at Florence
Barbaras, Hermolaus
Bargello, at Florence, Dante's portrait in
Baritone of our way, Lewes
Barrett, Elizabeth, at Torquay
  Theodosia Garrow's appreciation of
  her affection for Isa Blagden
  Landor on
  Mary Mitford's admiration for
Bartley, Mrs., and Mary Mitford
Bartolomei, Marchese
Bath, and W.S. Landor
Bavaria, ramble in
Bay tree, Wordsworth's
Beacon Terrace, Torquay, Mrs. Browning at
_Beata, La_, my novel, Lewes and G. Eliot on
  Mrs. Carlyle on
Beatrice, my daughter, George Eliot on
Beaufort, Duke of
Belial, Bishop, Landor calls Philpotts a
Bellosguardo, at Florence
Benjamin, my mother's
Ben Jonson's superstition, Mary Mitford on
Bereavements, different
Berkeley, Grantley, and Landor
Berington's _Middle Ages_
Berti Palazzo, in Florence,
Bezzi, Signor A. and Landor
Bible, persecution for reading the
Bier, open, used in Florence
_Biglow Papers_, Lowell's
Biographies, G. Eliot on
Birmingham, my return from
Blackbird, Song of the
Black Down, Tennyson's house at
Black Forest, Leweses in the
_Blackwood's Magazine_, Mary Mitford on
Blagden, Isa, Miss
  her poems
  her death
  note from
  Lewes inquires after
  and George Eliot
Blandford Square, Leweses at
Blaze de Bury, Madame
Blessington, Lady
Bob Acres, my representation of
Boboli Gardens, the, at Florence
  anecdote of Lady Bulwer in
Bohemia, Grand Duke's estates in
Bologna, Grand Duke on way to
  Austrians at
Bologna, "la Grassa"
Boodh, Landor on
_Book of Beauty_, Lady Blessington's
Booksellers, Landor eschews all
Bordeaux, Conversations at
Borgo, San Sepolcro, Pulszky at
Boston Consulate, Grattan on leave from
  Society of, Grattan on the
"Boto," Florentine for "Voto"
Bourbonnais, travels in
Boutourlin family
Braddons, the, at Torquay
Brahman Princess, my wife's grandmother
Brest
Bretons, changes in character of
Brightness, my mother's value for
Brittany, book on
  costume in
Broons in Brittany, costume of
  innkeeper's daughter, at
Brougham Castle
Browning, Oscar
Browning, Robert
  at Florence
  his care for Landor in Florence
Browning, Elizabeth Barrett, specialties of her character
  letters from
  her absolute truthfulness
  on Napoleon III
  and Theodosia Garrow
  her handwriting
  her death, Lewes on
  on Theodosia Trollope's faculty
Bull, Rev. Mr., of Bradford
Bullock, Reuben
Bully, an Irish
Bulwer, Lord, Landor on
Bulwer, Henry, at Paris
Bulwer, Lady, at Florence
  her character
  anecdote of
  in Boboli gardens
  letters from her
Burial, manner of, in Florence
Burial, premature fear of
Burridge, Landor's landlady at Torquay
Butcher's wife, anecdote of the
Butter, not used by Tuscans
Byron

C

Cadogan, Lady Honoria
Calais, crossing to, Lewes on
Camaldoli, with George Eliot to
  _Padre forestieraio_ at
Cambridge, near Boston, notable men there
Canada
Cancellieri, Francesco, his mode of writing
Canigiani family at Florence
Canino, Prince
  is marched off to the frontier
  his sale of his title
  his personal appearance
Capstone Hill, at Ilfracombe
Caravan, _summum bonum_
Carlo, San, theatre at Naples, G. Eliot at
Carlsruhe
Carlton Hill at Penrith
Carlyle, Thomas, his description of Dickens's person
  Landor on
  and Anthony Trollope
Carlyle, Mrs., her description of Dickens's personal appearance
  on my novel _La Beata_
Carnival at Rome
  at Florence
Carey, translator of Dante, with Miss Mitford
"Casa Colonica," Tuscan
Casentino, the
Casino dei Nobili at Florence
Cathedral in Florence and Mr. Sloane
  burial of priest in, anecdote of
Cavour, my wife's account of his death, George Eliot on
Cemetery, Protestant, at Florence
Champion, the, at the Pitti, anecdote of
Charming, Dr., of Boston, Grattan on
Chappell, Mr. Arthur, dinner with
Chateaubriand
Cheapness at the Baths of Lucca
Chelsea, tea at
Chiaja at Naples, G. Eliot on the
Chiana, draining marshes of
Chianti wine, price of
Chiusi, marshes near
Chorley, Henry, and Mary Mitford,
  at Heckfield
Church, the, Landor on
Church, English, Dickens on the
Città di Castello, Pulszky at
Clarke, Miss (Mme. Mohl)
Clemow, Mr. and Mrs., of the Royal Hotel, Ilfracombe
Clergy, French, in 1840
  Guizot on the
Clericalism at Florence
Clifden, Turbot at
_Cobler, Northern, The_, read by Tennyson
Coins in use at Florence
Coker, Mrs.
Colburn, Mr.
  and Lady Bulwer
Colico on Lake Como
Collins, Wilkie, story by
  dinner with
Colloquial use of a language must be learned young
Cologne
Colonna Vittoria
Commons, House of, Dickens on
_Commonwealth of Florence_, my history of the
Como, Lake of
  George Eliot at
"Compagnatico." Tuscan
Composition, George Eliot's difficulty in
Composition, literary, Grattan on
_Confessor's Manual_
Congress, member of
Congresses, Italian Scientific
Conservatism forced on me
Consolation, child's, in confinement
Consul, British, at Boston, Grattan
  Mr. Grattan addressed as
Consulship at Boston, Grattan on the
Consultations and plans, my mother's and mine
"Contadini," Tuscan
Convocation, Dickens on
Copper mine near Volterra
Coquerel, Athanase, his preaching
Corinne, a new
_Cornhill Magazine_
Cornish jury, verdict of
Correggio, book on, by Signor Mignaty
Correspondence of London paper
_Country Stories_, Mary Mitford's
Court Supreme, American judge, story of the
Cousin, his philosophy obsolete
Covent Garden Theatre, Mary Mitford's play at
Cowley, Lord, ambassador in Paris
Cowley, Lady, as ambassadress
Cowper's home at Olney, Mary Mitford on
Cramer, John
_Crazy Jane_, authoress of
Crime almost unknown in Grandducal Florence
Croce, Santa, church of, in Florence and Mr. Sloane
Cross, Mr., his _Life of George Eliot_
Cruikshank and Lady Bulwer
Curwen, Mr., flooding of his mine

D.

Dalling, Lord, at Paris
  at Florence
Dall' Ongaro, the Poet
Dante, his portrait at Florence
Deak, Pulszky's visits to
Deans, cousins of Mary Mitford
Death in the street at Florence, anecdote of
Death of Lewes's son
Deathbeds, taste for, George Eliot's
Decade of Italian Women, my book on
Decade, last of life
  how to enjoy the
Decision, a momentous
D'Henin
  Mdlle
  her letters to my mother, _et seq._
  at Tuileries ball
  her death
"Dehors Trompeurs, les;" Mdlle. Mars in
_Democrat Le_, French newspaper anecdote of
Departure of the Duke from Florence
Deputies, Chamber of, opening of in 1840
  at the
Desk, writing, standing at
Devonshire farmer, a
De Whelpdale, Lord of Manor Penrith
Dexter, Arthur, of Boston
Dialect, Florentine
  anecdote of lady speaking
Dialect, provincial, as read by Tennyson
Dialect, George Eliot on use of
Dibden, Dr.
  his preaching
Dickens, Charles, first meeting with
  personal appearance of in early youth
    subsequently
    was near-sighted
  his manner
  his so-called exaggerations
  his character
  his opinions on Italy
  on public schools
  letters from
  on conversation
  on Gibson the sculptor
  on Italian political situation
  on Louis Napoleon
  on Home the Medium
  introduces me to my first wife
  on the general elections
  on the House of Commons
  on the English Church
  on my brothers standing for Beverley
  last letter from
Dinner, going with glee to
Director of Museum, Pesth
Disaffection in Tuscany, beginning of
Doherty, John,
Doney's coffee-house at Florence
Don Giovanni, Protestant,
Douarnenez, sardine fishing, etc
Doubt of death
Doyle, Sir F., his reminiscences
Dramatic College, Royal, Dickens at
Dresden as a residence
Drinking-song, sung by Mr. Du Maurier
Duel at Baths of Lucca,
Du Maurier, Mrs.
Du Maurier, Mr. and Mrs.
Dupin, at the Chamber
Dupin and Lady Bulwer
Dyer, Lady
  Sir Thomas
Dymock, Champion, at Florence

E.

Easter devotions
Edenhall in Cumberland
  Luck of
Election in Ireland
  General, Dickens on
  in Hungary, cost of
  Hungarian
Elm Court, Temple, Sergeant Talfourd's address
English Government and Tuscany
English language, George Eliot on the
Enunciation, George Eliot's
Eotvös, Baron, and Pulszky
Eremo, Sagro at Camaldoli
  rule there
  ride up to
  inmates of
Error in post-mark, singular
Erysipelas, attack of, cured by Homoeopathy
Esterhazy, his picture gallery
Eternal City, French hated in
Everett, Ed, Grattan on
_Examiner_, the, criticism of, on my first wife's letters
Exchange of portraits
Ex-governor, pompous, and Grattan

F.

Factory legislation
  Lords, leaders of
Faculty, multiform, my first wife's
"Falkland" in the _Rivals_, by Sir F. Vincent
"Falstaff House," of Dickens
Falterona, rivers rising in Mount
  the mountain
Fanny Bent
Fauche, Mrs.
Fauriel, M.
Fête, National, at Florence
Field, Miss,
  a favourite with Landor
  returns his present of a scrap book
Fiesole, Leader's villa at
Filippo Strozzi, my book on
Finance Committee, Pesth, Pulszky on
Finden's tableaux
Fine Arts Society at Pesth, Pulszky chairman of
Finisterre, at
  anecdote of
_Firenze la Gentile_
  no longer such
Firing on Florence, orders for
  Duke never gave such
Fisher, Harriet, my wife's half sister
  her character
  her death
Fisher, Harriet, her brother
  always a peacemaker
  her beneficent influence
Flanders, French, rambles in
Flavia, verses on, by my first wife
Flint, Mrs. and Mary Mitford
Flood in Florence
Florence decided on as a residence
  departure from London for
  society of
  flood at
  coins in use at
  cheapness of life at
  police at
  revolution at
  number of English residing at
  singular social change at
  social changes in, causes of
  my History of
    Lewes criticises
  leading medical practitioner at
Florentine nobles
  Municipality places a tablet to the memory of my first wife
  characteristics
Flower garden, Mary Mitford's
Fonblanque, Mr. Landor on
Fontebranda fountain
Fool, April, Grattan is made an
Foreign Affairs Committee at Pesth, Pulszky on
Forster, Mr., on Dickens
  his life of Landor
  portraits prefixed to
  Landor gives him all his works
Fortezza da Basso at Florence, Grand Duke at
  in Florentine revolution
_Fortnightly Review_
France, Central, Journey through
  which portion most interesting
Franchi, book by G.H. Lewes, reading
Francis, St., and Pulszky
_Fraser's Magazine_, Mary Mitford on
French hated at Rome
Frescobaldi family, at Florence
Friday receptions, my mother's in Florence
  my mother's whist parties
Friends, my mother's, in youth and age
Fun, my mother's love of

G.

Gabell, Miss
Gabell, Dr., of Winchester
Galileo, new edition of work of
  Milan edition of
Gambling tables at Lucca Baths
Garcia, P., in 1840
Garibaldi and Dickens
  Col. Peard's judgment of
  my remembrance of him
  visits me at Ricorboli
  his personal appearance
  dispute with him, a
  at Palermo
Garrow, Mr. Joseph
  Landor's letters to
  his musical talent
  a very exacting father
  his death
Garrow, Mrs.
Garrow, Judge
Garrow, Theodosia
  her position in her family
  her fortune and prospects
  her personal appearance
  her ancestors
  in Rome
  her Church opinions
  as an inmate
  at the "Braddons,"
  her appreciation of Miss Barrett
  and Landor
Genoa, fishing near
  La Superba
George Eliot. _See_ Lewes, Mrs.
Germany, Lewes's in
Ghosts of memory
Gianchetti and whitebait
Gibson the sculptor
  Dickens on
Giglio, Via del, at Florence
Gilchrist, Dr., dinner given by
Giotto's tower at Florence
  anecdote concerning
  G.H. Lewes on
Giusti, the poet, and Grand Duke of Tuscany
  my first wife's translations from
Gladstone, his age, G. Eliot on
  when a High Tory
"Glass beads for savages,"
Glee, going to dinner with
Gore House
Gothard, St. over the, Lewes's journey
Gothic architecture, Mary Mitford on
Grand Duke of Tuscany
  anecdote of
  exit of, from Tuscany
Grand Duchess Florentini, burial of
Grant, General
Granville, Lord
  his receptions in Paris
Grattan, T.C., consul at Boston
  letters from
  his message to me
  blank, no prize, Grattan
  prepares new edition of _Highways and Byeways_
  writes in _North American Review_
  endeavours to promote peace between England and America
  speaks of his seared heart
  pessimism as often deceptive as optimism
  not a fertile writer
  his advice to my mother as a writer
  visits Washington
  doubts respecting his conduct as consul
  writes on Ireland
  proposes various travels
  resolves to give up punning
  his repartees
Grattan, Mrs
Graves, Miss, at Florence
Green tea and laudanum, effects of
Gregory XVI. a Camaldolese
  beans annually sent to
Grey goose quill work, Grattan on
Greys, cousins of Mary Mitford
Grisi in 1840
Guidi Casa, visits to
Guizot on the French clergy
"Gush" and Mary Mitford
Gyöngyös in Hungary, election for

H

Haddon Hall
Haine, Notre Dame de la
Hahnemann's favourite pupil
Halifax
Hall, Mr. Horace, and Mr. Sloane
Hall, Alfred, and family at Florence
Haller, Dr., of Berlin
  on Lewes's philosophic work
Hamilton, Mr., Minister at Florence
Hamilton, Captain, author of _Cyril Thornton_
  his boat on lake
Handwriting, Mary Mitford's
Hare, Landor's friend
Harrison, American President
Harrow days, old
Hatred, Our Lady of
Hebraist, learned
Heckfield, Mary Mitford at
Heenan the pugilist
Heidelberg
Heights, Witley
Hennell, Miss Sara, Mrs. Lewes to
Heretics, persecution of
Hermolaus, Barbarus
Hervieu, M., his portrait of my mother
High Church opinions, my sister's
_Highways and Byeways_, Grattan's
  new edition of
Hill, Herbert, Southey's nephew
Hill, Theodosia, in _Our Village_
Hill, Frances, in _Our Village_
Hill, Joseph, Cowper's cousin
_History of Philosophy_, G.H. Lewes's
_History of Florence_, my, G.H. Lewes's criticism of
Hoche, General, his daughter, anecdote of
Hobhouse, Edward, at Florence
Hofwyl, Lewes's at
Holland, society of, Grattan on
Holland, Lord, Minister at Florence
  anecdote of
  saved my mother's life
  Lady
Homoeopathic cure of erysipelas
_Household Words_, my contributions to
Hügel, Baron
Hume, Mr., the "Medium," Dickens on
Humour, that of George Eliot
  that of Lewes, different
  my mother's sense of
Hungarian politics, Pulszky on
 elections
Hungarians, Pulszky proud of the
Huntingford, Bishop of Hereford
  his handwriting
Hustings, fall of

I.

Ilfracombe, visit to
  Royal Clarence Hotel, at
Impudence, Irish, notable case of
Independenza, Piazza, dell', in Florence
Index, the Roman Catholic
Indian hand, my first wife's
Influenza and tragedy, Mary Mitford suffers from
Inghirami Marchese
Intimates, my mother's, in youth and age
_Ion_, Sergeant Talfourd's
Ireland in 1841
  Grattan on
Irish in America, Grattan on the
Italy, my mother's book on
  takes to political thinking

J.

James, G.P.R., Lander's friend
Jealousy, professional, at Florence
Joy, Mr., of Boston
Joyce's Inn, dinner at
Judge Story, Grattan on

K.

Kenyon, Mr.
  and Landor
  his poems, Landor on
  Landor on
    and Miss Mitford
Kenyon, Mr. Edward, and Miss Mitford
  his munificence
Keppel Street days, old
Killeries, excursion to
Kingstown, landing at
Kirkup, Seymour, and Signor Bezzi

L.

_La Beata_, my novel, George Eliot on
  Lewes on
Lablache in 1840
"Lady" for wife, used by Landor
Laffarge, Madame
Lake of Como, George Eliot at
Lamartine, cited
Landor, Walter Savage
  at Siena
  circumstances under which he left England
  his character
  personal appearance
  last days at Florence
  anecdote of
  his deafness
  dropped his aspirates
  threw his dinner service out of window
  his vivacity of manner
  his objection to scattering his photograph
  letters to Mr. Garrow
  offers to let his villa at Florence
  his extravagant exaggerations
  anger respecting Lieutenantcy of Monmouth
  abuses the Whigs
  at a breakfast at Milman's
  and Mary Mitford
Land's End, the
Landseer, Edwin
Langdale, Little, Wordsworth's lines on
Lanleff, Temple of
_Lascia Passare_ extraordinary
Laudanum and green tea, effects of
La Vernia
  ride to
  _forestieria_, &c,
  night-lodging at
Layard, visit to Dickens
  and G.P. Marsh
Leaf, turning over a new, Grattan on
"Lenten Journey," my
Leopoldine laws at Florence
Le Roi, Madame, anecdote of
Letters, my first wife's in the _Athenaeum_
Lewes, G.H., my first acquaintance with
  a delightful companion
  his incessant care for his wife
  his anxiety about Mrs. Lewes's fatigue
  his fourth visit to Italy
  as a _raconteur_
  at the house of the American Minister
  his adieu to me about my novel
  happier than previously
  last adieu to him and Mrs. Lewes
  his saying of George Eliot's person and constitution
  his literary influence on George Eliot
  his faith in her powers
  his insistance on her superiority to him
  his delight in talking of her
  letters from him and George Eliot
  letter criticizing my novel _La Beata_
  his remarks on Mrs. Browning's death
  visits Malvern
  his criticism of my _Marietta_
  his ill health
  _Fortnightly Review_, his editing of
  at Tunbridge Wells
  his _History of Philosophy_
  in the Black Forest
  at a pantomime
  on crossing to Calais
  on my corresponding with a London paper
  death of his son
  no biography of
  his special advantages in writing on philosophy
  photograph of him
Lewes, Mrs. excursion to Camaldoli
  her cheerfulness under fatigue
  her sensitiveness to all matters of interest
passes the night in the cow-house
  at La Vernia
  her fourth visit to Italy
  her intellectual power
  consideration for others
  as a companion
  her Catholic tolerance
  would have been an admirable confessor
  not happy
    subsequently more so
  her sense of humour
  my visit to her at Witley
  her growth
  optimism in her case
  her articulation
  her love for a drinking song
  her improved health
  last adieu to her and Lewes
  her personal appearance
  her likeness to Savonarola
    to Dante
  her voice
  and mode of speaking
  her opinion of Lewes's scientific attainments
  Bohemianism in Lewes pleasant to her
  letters from her and Lewes
  questions concerning Florentine history, letter on
  her remarks on my novel _La Beata_
speaks of her interest in deathbeds
  her handwriting
  on letter-writing
  her Sunday musical evenings
  her poor state of health
  at Venice
  difficulties in composing
  in the Black Forest
  wishes to see Arezzo and Perugia
  at Naples
  as an antagonist
  and my second wife
  her affection for Lewes's son
  her wishes concerning her husband
  after her husband's death
  on her husband's photograph
Lewes, Charles
Liberalism, my mother's
_Life and Mind, Problems of_, G.H. Lewes's book on
Lilies, scarlet, American
Lima, river
Lira, Tuscan
Literature, English, biographies in
"Loggia," Tuscan, picture of afternoon in a
Lombard nobles
Lombardy under the Austrians
_London Quarterly_ on G.H. Lewes
Longfellow and Sir G. Musgrave
Lorraine, ramble in
Lottery, Italian, scheme of
Louis Philippe, history of reign of
  his hobby
Louis Philippe opens French Chambers
  his grief at death of Duc d'Orleans
  anecdote of
  his wealth
  his debts
  his reign, character of
Lowell, his _Biglow Papers_, read by him
L.S.D, origin of our
Lucca, Scientific Congress at
Lucca Baths
  journey thither from Florence
  English Church at
  tragedy at
  _La Industriosa_
Lucca, Duke of
  at the Baths
  his protestantizing tendencies
  his English chamberlains
  opposed to duelling
  by his chamberlain's dying bed
Lucchesi, character of
Lucerne, visit to the Garrows at
"Luck of Edenhall"
"Lung' Arno," at Florence
Luscombe, Bishop, his preaching
  anecdote of
Lydia Languish played by Madame di Parcieu

M.

Macaulay, Landor on
_Macchiavelli, Life of_, Villari's
"Macchie" in Italian landscape
Macleod, Col., at Penrith
Macready and Mary Mitford
  and G.H. Lewes
  plays _Ion_ for his benefit
M'Queen, Col. Potter
Madiai, the story of the
Magazines, writing in, Mary Mitford on
Mahomet, Landor on
Malcontenti, Via dei, Florence
Malvern, Mr. and Mrs. Lewes's visit
Manelli, family at Florence
Mannheim
Manual for Confessors
_Marietta_, my novel, criticized by Lewes
Mario, Jessie White
Mario, Alberto
Marriage, my first, opposition to
  imprudence of
  performed in Florence
Mars, Madame, in _Les Dehors Trompeurs_
Marsellaise, in 1840
Marsh, G.P., American Minister to Italy
  dean of the diplomatic body
  his work, _Man in Nature_
  letter from him
  difficulty with the Italian Ministry
  his death
  and G. Eliot
  Mrs. Marsh
    and G. Eliot
  at Rome
Martineau, Miss, her American book
"Mason, George," Mary Mitford inquires about
Massy, Dawson
Master of Foxhounds, Irish
Mazzinists, Col. Peard on
Medical practice, and whist
_Medici, Catherine de, Girlhood of_, my book on
Medici, General, his departure from Genoa
Mediterranean, the
Melanie, Princess Metternich
  letter from
  exchange of portraits
Melbourne, Lord, his family, Landor on
Member of Congress
"Memories, Palace of," verses by my first wife
Ménage and Ménagerie
"Mercato in," Italian phrase
Merimée, M.
Messenger, King's
Metternich, influence of, on my mother
  Princess, influence of
Mezzeria system in Tuscany
Michael Angelo, his figure representing the Apennine
_Michael Armstrong_, novel by my mother
Mignaty, Signora
Mignaty, Signor
Mignet, M.
Milan, Scientific Congress at
Milk not used by Tuscans
Milman, Landor breakfasts with
  Lander's criticism on
  quits incumbency at Reading
Minerva Hotel, Rome, Lewes's at
Mitford, Mary
  her personal appearance
  letters from
  her handwriting
  an aristocratic Whig
  remarks on Owen, of Lanark
  and Captain Polhill
  her opera
  on writing in magazines
  her hopes for her tragedy
  her hatred of puffery
  anxious to go to London for the performance of Talfourd's _Ion_
  necessity for travelling with a maid
  her father
  her cousins
  writes a novel for Saunders and Ottley
  her belief in sympathies
  opinions on Austria
  admiration for Gothic architecture
  purposes a novel on Reading Abbey
  her _Country Stories_
  her admiration for Miss Barrett
  her garden
  sends wild flowers to the Sedgwicks
  Carey, translator of Dante, visits her
  her "gush"
Misericordia, the Florentine
  origin of
  dress of
  members of
  proceedings of
  anecdotes of
  Roman
Modena, frontier line between it and Lucca
  political feeling at
  under the Este dukes
"Modern Antiques" in _Our Village_
Mohl, Jules, at Madame Récamier's
  anecdote told by
  his great work
  character of
  Madam, life of, by K. O'Meara
    note from
Monasteries, sites of
Monday Popular Concerts, at the
Monmouth, Deputy Lieutenantcy of
Montalembert, Dickens's remarks on
Mont Cenis, crossing in February
Moore, Thomas, Landor on
Monthlies, writing in, Mary Mitford on
Moses, Landor on
Mountains, last look on the
Movement of mind towards Conservatism
Mowatt, Mrs.
Mozzi family at Florence
Mulgrave, Lady
Municipality, Florentine, place a tablet to the memory of my first wife
Municipalities, rivalry between
Murder at Florence, anecdote of a
Murder, singular method of
Murray, John, of Albemarle Street
Museum, National, at Pesth
Museum, British, George Eliot reading at
Musgraves of Edenhall
  Sir George
    and the Holy Well
  and Longfellow
  walks with
  Lady
Mutton, no more good

N.

Naples, Scientific Congress at
  under the Bourbons
  compared with Torquay
  the Lewes's at
  G. Eliot on quarters at
Napoleon, Louis, Dickens on
  his Italian policy, Mrs. Browning on
  W.S. Landor writes on
Nemours, Duc de, anecdote of
  his grief for his brother's death
Nerli family at Florence
"Netto dispecchio," query of George Eliot respecting the phrase
Neuilly, body of Duc d'Orleans lying at
Niagara
Niccolini, the poet, my first wife's translations from
  in his old age
  a disappointed man
Nicholson, Dr., of Penrith
  walks with
Nicholson, Dr. Wm., of Penrith
Nihilist, opinions of a
  appearance of a
Noble, name of Landor's grandmother
Northampton, Lord
_North American Review_, Grattan writes in
_Northern Cobbler_, the, read by Tennyson
Northernhay, at Exeter
Novels, my
Novel-writing, Mary Mitford on
Nunziatina, Via, in Florence
Nurse and child, picture of
Nymzevitch, ex-chancellor of Poland, anecdote of

O.

Oastler, Mr.
Oberland, the
O'Connell's health drunk at Boston
Octroi of London
Officer, Austrian and Tuscan mob, anecdote of
Ogles, cousins of Mary Mitford
Old school, practitioner of the
Olney, Cowper's residence at, Mary Mitford on
Olympus for forgotten authors
O'Meara, Miss K., on Jules Mohl
Opera, Mary Mitford's
Optimism in George Eliot
Orleans, Duke of
  his death
  grief of royal family for
  anecdote of
Ostend
Osteria, near Lucca baths, scene at
_Our Village_, last volume of
Owen, Mrs., of Lanark, Miss Mitford on

P.

Packing and Sitz baths
Paddington, Bishop Luscombe at
"Padre forestieraio" at Camaldoli
  plans for his holiday
Padua "la dotta"
Paige, Mr., of Boston, Grattan on
Paige, Mrs.
"Palace of Memories," verses by my first wife
Pan, God, Mrs. Browning's poem on
  morality of
Pantomime, Lewes at a
Papal Legion, the
Parcieu, Madame de, as Lydia Languish
Paris, second visit to
  residence at
  lodgings, cost of
  society in 1840
  as a permanent residence
_Paris and the Parisians_, my mother's book, Mary Mitford on
Parma, Duke of, his death
Parma, political feeling at
Partington, Mr., my uncle
Pasolini, Count and Countess
Passerini, Palazzo, at Florence
Patrick's, Saint, day, Grattan on
_Paul the Pope and Paul the Friar_, my book on
Paynter, Fred
Peard, Colonel
  letters from
Pelago in the Val d'Arno
  Antonio da
Penini, Browning's son, at Siena
  anecdote of
Penna de la Vernia
  origin of word
  appearance of
Penrith, at
  my sister's confinement at
  house at
Pepe, General, his marriage
  my mother's intimacy with
Pergola Theatre at Florence, prices at
  habits and manners at
  crush room at
Persecution of heretics
Persiani in 1840
Perugia, G. Eliot wishes to see
  at
Pesth, museum at
  ladies of
  University
  Museum
_Philosophy, History of_, Lewes's
Philpotts, Bishop of Exeter, Landor on
  anecdote of
Phlebotomy _versus_ port wine
  _versus_ whist
Photograph, Landor's
Physician, Princess Metternich's
Piastre, Landor fined one
Piazza del Duomo at Florence, café in
Piazza dell' Independenza at Florence
"Piazza in," Italian phrase
Picardy, ramble in
Picnics at Florence
Pigott, Edward, and G. Eliot
Pisa, Congress at
  region between it and the sea
Pistoja, mountains in the
Pitti Palace, presentations, anecdote of
  _versus_ Vatican
Pitti Palace, balls at
  suppers at
  Grand Duke at
    Duchess at
    Dowager Duchess at
Pitti Palace, the, at Florence
Pius IX., anecdote of
  line on
Place Vendôme
Plantation bitters, G.H. Lewes recommends
Plowden, Mr., at the baths of Lucca
  his duel with the Duke's chamberlain
Plunkett, Mr., Minister at Florence
Poem by Theodosia Trollope
Pointer, French, anecdote of
Polhill, Captain, and Mary Mitford
Police at Florence under the Grand Duke
Political opinion, Parisian, in 1840
Politics, Street, in Paris
  an affair of the heart
Ponte Vecchio at Florence in danger
  the
Ponte at baths of Lucca
Pontifical government, my first wife's hatred of
Populace, Florentine, anecdote of
  violence of
"Por' Santa Maria," in Florence
Port wine _versus_ phlebotomy
Portugal, destruction of monasteries in, Mary Mitford on
Post-mark, singular error in
Potatoes, cost of
Power, Miss, Lady Blessington's niece
Power, lost in the _President_
Prato Vecchio, town in the Apennines
  osteria at, 272
Pratolino, picnics at
  Medician villa
  view from
Premature burial, fear of
Prescott, the historian, Grattan on
"President," the, a fatal title
Pretender, Young, Mary Mitford's story of the
Priest, rescuing the
  burial of, in Florence Cathedral
Priory, the, Mrs. Lewes at
_Problems of Life and Mind_, G.H. Lewes's book on
Proby, Mrs., as Mrs. Malaprop
Procter, Mr., his poetry, Mary Mitford on
Prolétaire, French
Promise, my, to my mother
Protestant cemetery at Florence
Provincialism, affected
  Tuscan
_Psychology, Study of_, Lewes's book on the
Puffery, Mary Mitford on
Pulszky, Franz
  his talk
  his villa at Florence
  letters from
  our tobacco parliament
  and Deak
  and Baron Eotvös
  on Hungarian politics
  his children
  at Vienna
  his multifarious occupations
  visit to, at Pesth
Pulszky, Madame
Punning, Grattan abandons
"Puseyite," my sister a

Q.

Quadruple Alliance, the
_Quarterly, London_, on G.H. Lewes
Quattro Fontane, Via della
Quincy Adams, John
Queen of the Adriatic, monograph on
Queen's health not drunk at Boston
_Queen, British_, the, steamship
Queen of the Baths, Lucca
Queen, the, should be Pope, says Landor
Quotations, Landor on

R.

Rachel, Mademoiselle, in _Cinna_
  her specialties
  in _Marie Stuart_
  in _Adrienne_
Railways, social effect of
  the Lewes's wish to avoid
Ratcliffe, Mrs. anecdote of
Ratisbonne, M., his conversion
Ravenna, scene of a novel of mine
Reading, visits to
Reading Abbey, Mary Mitford's project concerning
Récamier, Madame, talk in her salon
  and Lady Bulwer
Refinement, its connection with wealth, Mary Mitfoid on
Refugees, political, in Florence
Regicides, would-be
Religion in France in 1840
Repartee, Grattan takes to
_Review, Fortnightly_
  _North American_,, Grattan writes in
Revolution at Florence
  entirely bloodless
  orders to fire on the city in the
Rialto, on the
Richie, Mrs.
Richelieu, Duc de, anecdote of
Ricorboli, my villa at
_Rienzi_, Mary Mitford's
Ristori, Madame, in _Mirra_
_Rivals, The_, acted at Florence
Riviera, the, Whitebait on
_Rizpah_, read by Tennyson
_Road to Ruin, The_, Arthur Vansittart in
"Roba usata,"
Robbins, English, clergyman at Florence
Roberts, Captain of the _President_
Rogers, Landor on
  at Milman's breakfast
_Rôle_, Liberal, profession of
Rome "la Eterna,"
Romagna under the Pope
Romagnoli, the
Rome as a residence
  takes no part in scientific congresses
  winter in
_Romola_, George Eliot's, faults of
  merits of
Romuald, Saint
Rossi family at Florence
Rousseau
Rubini in 1840
Rule and example
Russells, cousins of Mary Mitford

S.

Sagro Eremo, the, at Camaldoli
  rule there
  ride up to
  inmates of
Sainte-Beuve, cited
Saint Francis, sisters of the Order
Saint Patrick's Day, Giattan on
Sams or Sands? Miss Mitford asks
Sanctuaries, Tuscan
San Carlo Theatre at Naples, George Eliot at
San Gallo gate at Florence
Sainta Maria Maggiore in Rome
San Niccolò gate of Florence
Sanscrit dictionary, if wanted
Sardine fishing
_Saturday Review_, George Eliot on
Saunders and Ottley publish novel for Mary Mitford
Savonarola in George Eliot's _Romola_
  likeness of George, Eliot to
Savoy, tour in
Saws, Tuscan, for children
Sayers the pugilist
Sciatica, attack of
Scientific Congresses, Italian
Scrivelsby Manor
Seal, old, Landor loses his
Sedgwick Miss, Mary Mitford on
  Theodore asks for English wild flowers
Segni, the historian
Serchio, river
  upper valley of
Servite Monastery on the Apennines
Sestri di Ponente, fishery at
  whitebait at
Sevestre, Lady
  Sir Thomas
Shaftesbury, Lord
Shakespeare's superstition, Mary Mitford on
Shedden, Mr.
Shinner, Elizabeth, her death
Sicily and South Italy, Col. Peard on
  departure of volunteers for
Siena, Mrs. Browning at
  always Conservative
_Siren, A_, my novel
  advice of Lewes concerning
Sledges on Mont Cenis
Sloane, Mr. at Florence
  and Grand Duke
  his Friday dinners
Smith, Sydney
  his manner in the pulpit
Sophie, Austrian Archduchess
Sorrows, two greatest of my life
Soult, English frenzy about
  at the Chamber of Deputies
Southampton, Landor goes to
Southey, Landor on his marriage
  Landor on
Spain, destruction of monasteries, Mary Mitford on
"Specchio, netto di," query of George Eliot concerning
Standing to write
Stanley, Ed., Landor on
State prisons in Austria
Sterne quoted
Stephens, Mr., preacher
Stewart, Miss Rosa
Stisted, Mrs.
  was Queen of the Baths
  her harp playing
  brings her husband's body from Rome
  Colonel
  his death
  and bunal
"Stornelli," Tuscan
  my first wife's translations from
Story, Judge, Grattan on
Story, the Misses, at Penrith
  Charlotte
Sugaring jam tart, Lewes on
Sultana, my first wife's grandmother
Sunshine, George Eliot's, in London
Superstition, local
Suppers at the Pitti Palace
Supreme Court, American, Judge Story of the
Surrey, G. Eliot's home in
Swedenborgianism
Switzerland, Baden in, cured my sciatica
  travel in
Sympathies, Mary Mitford's belief in
Szecseny, in Hungary, election for

T.

Tablet, monumental, to my first wife
Taffy, Lady Bulwer's dog
Talfourd, Sergeant, Mary Mitford's friend
  his _Ion_
  franks Mary Mitford's letters
Tamburini, in 1840
Taylor, Jeremy
Telesio, works of
Tennyson, visit to
  his reading
Teste, at the Chamber
"Testor inferos,"
Thackeray, W.M., his dictum about humour
Theatres in London and abroad, G.H. Lewes on
Theatricals, private, at Florence
Thibeaudeau, President
Thiers, M.
  anecdote of
  flatters the masses
  and Lady Bulwer
Thorn, Colonel
_Three Clerks, The_, my brother's novel, Mrs. Browning on
Three Mile Cross, Miss Mitford's residence
_Three Peers, The_, by Lady S--, Lady Bulwer on
Tiber, river
Tirley, Sir John, married to my sister
_Times_, the, on Italian politics
Tito in George Eliot's _Romola_, merit of
Token, meaning of the term
Torquay, Landor at
  compared with Naples
Torrens, Mr., as Sir Lucius o'Trigger
Tory, process of becoming a
  Mary Mitford becomes a
Tours in France
Townsend, C.H.
Traditions of Landor in Florence
Travel, books of
Treguier in Brittany
Trewhella, Mr.
Trooper, Austrian, falls in streets of Florence
Trollope, Beatrice, my daughter, poem on, by her mother
  her mother's worship of
  early discipline of
Trollope, Cecilia, my sister, winters in Rome
Trollope, General Sir Charles, at Venice
  his membership of the Congress at Venice
Trollope, Theodosia, my first wife, her death
  her intellectual and moral qualities
  influence of race on
  Mrs. Browning on her multiform faculty
  her musical talent
  her talent for language
  poem by
  her landscape painting
  her opinions
  her hatred of the Pontifical Government
  her social preferences
  her rule of life
  as a daughter-in-law
Trollope, Frances, my mother, winters in Rome
  as Mrs. Malaprop
  serious illness of, was wrongly treated
  was my inseparable companion
  her intense power of enjoyment
  her last days
  my brother Anthony's mistaken judgment of
  portrait of, for Princess Metternich
  attacked by erisypelas
  her death
  my promise to her, the keeping of
Trollope, Anthony, my brother, in Ireland
  walk at the Killeries
  his standing for Beverley, Dickens on
  his criticism on Mrs. Browning
  his _Three Clerks_, Mrs. Browning on
  dines with G.H. Lewes
  with Carlyle
  comes to see me at Baden
  his letter to my wife
  his autobiography, a passage in
  his mistaken judgment of my mother
Trollope, T. Adolphus, early literary work
  a born rambler
  taste for sermons
  offends Wordsworth
  first book
  early habits of rambling
  book on Brittany
  second visit to Paris
  preparation of house at Penrith
  visit to Ireland
  plans and consultations
  acquaintance with Dickens
  building a house
  _Daily News_ correspondent
  first marriage, opposition to
  imprudence of
  first meeting with future wife
  with her at Venice
  first marriage
  book on _Tuscany in 1849 and 1859_
  acts Sir Anthony Absolute
  three Thespian avatars
  literary work at Florence
  writes novels good and bad
  knowledge of Italian
  visits Pesth
  visits to Landor
  visits Camaldoli with Lewes and his wife
  talk with her
  receives her and Lewes
  visits them at Witley
  visit to Tennyson, at Black Down
  my conversatism
  attack of sciatica
  closeness of association with my mother
  my political opinions
  sorrows come upon me
  keeping my promise to my mother
  end of first life
  beginning of second life
Troops, Tuscan, and the Revolution
Tuckerman, Mr., American writer
Tuileries, _bal monstre_ at
  suspected conspiracy at
Tunbridge Wells, G.H. Lewes at
Turrite Cava, gorge of
Tuscan cities, wedding trip among
  Stornelli, my first wife's translations from
Tuscans, not progressive
Tuscany and Papal States
  condition of, in 1840
  Duke of, his justice
  Grandducal, disliked at the Vatican
Tyrol, ramble in

U.

Upper Arno, the valley of the

V.

Vallombrosa
Van Buren politics, Grattan on
Vansittart, Arthur
Varchi, the historian
Vatican, Dickens on the
Vein, opening of a
Venice as a residence
  autumn at
  Scientific Congress at
  magnificent reception of the Congress
  under the Austrians
  George Eliot at
  glass and child
Venetian ambassadors, reports of
Verey's in Regent Street, Dickens at
  Dickens's "God speed" dinner at
Via Nazionale in Rome
Vienna Exhibition
  Mr. E. Kenyon at
Villa, the, at Lucca Baths
Villafranca
_Village, Our_, last volume of
Villages on hills around Baths of Lucca
  mode of keeping time at
Villani, the historian
Villari, Professor Pasquale
  Linda
"Villino Trollope," at Florence
  my study in the
Vincent, Sir Francis, at Florence
Visconti, Mademoiselle
Visits, two important
Vol-au-vent, true pronunciation of
Volterra, copper mines near, and Mr. Sloane
Volunteers, Colonel Peard on, 223

W.

Wackerbarth, Mr., High Church curate
Walker and Wood, Memoirs of Bradford
Walter, Madame
Ward, Baron, his extraordinary career
  anecdote of
Warwickshire, Landor goes to
Washington, Grattan's visit to
Watts, portrait of Lady Holland by
Webster, Mr., of Boston, Grattan on Mrs.
Wellington Street, No. 20, visits to
West India, Book on, Anthony's
Whig, aristocratic
Whigs, the, Landor on
Whist and medical practice
White, Linda
Whitebait and Gianchetti
Whittaker, Mr., Mary Mitford's publisher
Wife, my second, and G. Eliot
Wills, Mr., dinner with
Winchester, Dr. Gabell of
Wise, Mr.
Wiseman, Cardinal, in Casa Sloane
Witley, the Heights
Wood, Mr., of Bradford
  and Walker, Messieurs
"Woonderful," favourite word with Landor
Wordsworth, visit to
  his recitation of his own lines
  manner of reciting
  his eldest son's misfortune
Work the great consoler, Lewes on

X.

Ximenes, Palazzo, in Florence

Y.

York Street, in
  return to
  house in given up
"Young Backwoodsman," Mary Mitford asks about
"Young Pretender, the," Mary Mitford's story of

Z.

Zandt, Baroness





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