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No, 1465,-July 6, 1872.
1. Horace Walpole Cornhill Magazine, ... 3
2. On The Skellios. By Jean Ingelow. Putt XL, . Saint Pauls 14
3. The Historical Manuscripts Commission. By
John Piggott, Jun., F.S.A., .... Prater't Magazine; . . .22
4. The Strange Adventubes o? A Phaeton. By
William Black, author of "A Daughter of
Heth," etc. Part XI Macmillan't Magazine, . . 85
6. Alf..•- - The Wise, Kino Of Castile. By Mary
Ward, ....... Macmillan't Magazine, . . 51
6; Pagan Aspects or Christianity, . . . Saturday Review, . . .59
7. Asciest Musical Instruments. By Charles Reade, Pall Mall Gazette, . . .63
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DREAMING AND AWAKING.
If I had laid tbee low in the mould,
Why, I had mourned the long hours through,
If I had seen thee turn away,
Why, I had felt, though not for me,
To win that noble heart,
I may watch his steadfast course afar,
I may joy in the light of my one proud star,
As I sit in the shade apart.
But to know our trust was baseless,
All The Year KoiiDd.
"MUHE BIN ICH, GEll'ZUR RUH," U. S. W,
"Tieed am I, and seek repose,
• Have I evil done this day t
•• Near and dear to me, may those
"0 relieve the aching breast,
We flung the close-kept casement wide;
The myriad atom-play
Across him as he lay;
The notes he writ were barely dry;
The entering breeze's breath
Checked at the leaf where Death —
0 fool and blind! The leaf that grew,
The opening bud, the trees,
Or careless turned from these
He left, for mute Salmasins,
For ^aws of dead Libanius,
No voice had pierced the sheep-skin crust
That bound the heart of Dryasdust.
And so, with none to close his eyes,
And none to mourn him dead,
With grey dust garmented
Dig we his grave where no birds greet, —
He loved no song of birds;
He loved no spoken words;
The huntsman to the mountain sped,
What plashes in the water there?
Sib J. Bowbino Deutsche Volksliedcr, 1577.
the piles of contemporary correspondence. When the history of the times comes to be finally written in the fashion now pre
From The Cornhiii Magazine. of George Grenville, as they sounded HORACE WALPOLE. in contemporary ears — and it will be
The history of England, throughout a safe to say that, on counting thorn up, a very large segment of the eighteenth cen- good half will turn out to be reflections tury, is simply a synomyn for the works from the illuminating flashes of Walpole. of Horace Walpole. There are, indeed, Excise all that comes from him, and the some other books upon the subject. Some ' history sinks towards the level of the solid good stories are scattered up and down j Archdeacon Coxe; add his keen touches, the Annual Register, the Gentleman's Mag- and, as in the Castle of Olrantn, the porazine, and Nichol's Anecdotes. There is! traits of our respectable old ancestors, a speech or two of Burke's not without, which have been hanging in gloomy remerit, aud a readable letter may be dis- ] pose upon the wall, suddenly step from interred every now and then from beneath their frames and, for some brief space, assume a spectral vitality.
It is only according to rule that a writer who has been so useful should have been valent, in which some six portly octavos a good deal abused. No one is so amusing are allotted to a year, and an event and so generally unpopular as a clever retakea longer to describe than to occur, tailer of gossip. Yet it does seem rather the industrious will find ample mines of ! hard that Walpole should have received waste paper in which they may quarry to such hard measure from Macaulay, through their heart's content. Though Hansard '• whose pages Bo much of his light has been was not, and newspapers were in their in- transfused. The explanation, perhaps, is fancy, the shelves of the British Museum easy. Macaulay dearly loved the paradox and other repositories groan beneath that a man wrote admirably precisely bemountains of State papers, law reports, | cause he was a fool, and applied it to the pamphlets, and chaotic raw materials, from two greatest portrait painters of the times which some precious ore may be smelted — Walpole and Boswell. There is somedown. But these amorphous masses are thing which hurts our best feelings in the attractive chiefly to the philosophers who success of a man whom we heartily despise. are too profound to care for individual It seems to imply, which is intolerable, character, or to those praiseworthy stu-, that our penetration has been at fault, or dents who would think the labour of a ' that merit — that is to say, our own con-, year well rewarded by the discovery of a • spicuous quality — is liable to be outsingle fact tending to throw a shade of j stripped in this world by imposture. It is additional perplexity upon the secret of consoling if we can wrap ourselves in the Junius. Walpole's writings belong to the belief that good work can be extracted good old-fashioned type of history, which from bad brains, and that shallowness, afaspires to be nothing more than the quin- fectation, and levity can, by some strange tessence of contemporary gossip. If the chemistry, be transmuted into a substitute opinion be pardonable in these days, his- for genius. Do we not all, if we have tory of that kind has not only its charm, reached middle age, remember some idiot but its serious value. If not very profound (of course he was an idiot I) at school or or comprehensive, it impresses upon us college who had somehow managed to slip the fact — so often forgotten — that our past us in the race of life, and revenge ourgrandfathera were human beings. The or- selves by swearing that he is an idiot still, dinary historian reduces them to mere me- and that idiocy is a qualification for good chained mummies; in Walpole's pages fortune? Swift somewhere says that a they are still living flesh and blood. Turn paper-cutter does its work all the better
over any of the proper decorous history
when it is blunt, and converts the fact
books, mark every passage where for a into an allegory of human affairs, showing moment, we seem to be transported to the j that decorous dullness is an over-match past — to the thunders of Chatham, the for genius. Macaulay was incapable, both drivellings of Newcastle, or the prosings in a good and bad sense, of Swift's treu
chant misanthropy. His dislike to Waipole was founded not so much upon posthumous jealousy — though that passion is not so rare as absurd — but on the singular contrast between the character and intellect of the two men. The typical Englishman, with his rough, strong sense, passing at times into the narrowest insular prejudice, detested the Frenchified fine gentleman who minced his mother tongue and piqued himself on cosmopolitan indifference to patriotic sentiment: the ambitious historian was irritated by the contempt which the dilettante dabbler in literature affected for their common art; and the thorough-going Whig was scandalized by the man who, whilst claiming that sacred name, and living face to face with Chatham and Burke and the great Revolution families in all their glory, ventured to intimate his opinion that they, like other idols, had a fair share of clay and rubbish in their composition, and who, after professing a kind of sham republicanism, was frightened by the French Revolution into a paroxism of ultra-Toryism. "You wretched fribble!" exclaims Macaulay; "you shallow scorner of all that is noble 1 You are nothing but a heap of silly whims and conceited airs I Strip off one mask of affectation from your mind, and we are still as far as ever from the real man. The very highest faculty that can be conceded to you is a keen eye for oddities, whether old curiosity shops or in Parliament; and to that you owe whatever just reputation you have acquired." Macanlay's fervour of rebuke is amusing, though, by a righteous Nemesis, it includes a specimen of blindness as gross as any that he attributes to Walpole. The summary decision that the chief use of France is to interpret England to Europe, is a typical example of that insular arrogance for which Mr. Arnold has popularized the name of Philistinism.
Yet criticism of this one-sided kind has its value. At least it suggests a problem. What is the element left out of account? Folly is never the real secret of a literary reputation, or what noble harvests of genius we should produce 1 If we patiently take off all the masks we must come at last to the animating principle beneath.
Even the great clothes philosophers did not hold that a mere Chinese puzzle of mask within mask could enclose sheer vacancy; there must be some kernel within, which may be discovered by sufficient patience. And in the first place, it may be asked, why did poor Walpole wear a mask at all? The answer seems obvious. The men of that age may be divided by a line which, to the philosophic eye, is of far more importance than that which separated Jacobites from loyal Whigs or Dess-enters from High Churchmen. It separated the men who could drink (wo bottles of port after dinner from the men who could not. To men of delicate digestions the test imposed by the jovial party in ascendancy must have been severer than those due to political or ecclesiastical bigotry. They had to choose between social disabilities on the one side, and on the other indigestion for themselves and gout for their descendants. Thackeray, in a truly pathetic passage, partly draws the veil from their sufferings. Almost all the wits of Queen Anne's reign, he observes, were fat: "Swift was fat; Addison was fat; Gay and Thompson were preposterously fat; all that fuddling and punch drinking, that club and coffee-house boozing, shortened the lives and enlarged the waistcoats of men of that age." Think of the dinner described in Swift's Polite Conversation, and compare the following bill of fare for a party of seven with the menu of a modern London dinner. First course: a sirloin of beef, fish, a shoulder of veal and a tongue; second course, almond pudding, patties, and soup; third course, a venison pasty, a hare, a rabbit, some pigeons, a goose, and a ham. All which is washed down by wine and beer, until, at length, a large tankard of October having been passed round, the gentlemen sit down to drink. Think of this and imagine supper in the perspective ; imagine a man of irritable nerves and without the stomach of an ostrich, set down to such a meal, and regarded as a milksop if he flinches. The very report of such conviviality — before which Christopher North's performances in the Nodes Ambrosiance sink into insignificance — is enough to produce nightmares in the men of our degenerate times, and maj
help na to understand the peevishness of feeble invalids such as Pope and Lord Harvey in the elder generation, or Walpolo in that which was rising. Amongst these Garagantuan consumers, who combined in one the attributes of " gorging Jack and guzzling Jemmy," Sir Robert Walpole was celebrated for his powers and seems to have owed to them no small share of his popularity. Horace writes piteously from the paternal mansion, to which he had returned in 1743, not long after his tour in Italy, to one of his artistic friends: "Only imagine," he exclaims, "that I here every day see men who are mountains of roast beef, and only seem just roughly hewn out into outlines of human form, like the giant rock at Pratolino! I shudder when I see them brandish their knives in act to carve, and look on them as savages that devour one another. I should not stare at all more than I do if yonder alderman at the lower end of the table were to stick his fork into his neighbour's jolly cheek, and cut a brave slice of brown and fat. Why, I'll swear I see no difference between a country gentleman and a sirloin; whenever the first laughs or the second is cut, there run out just the same streams of gravy! Indeed, the surloin does not ask quite so many questions." What was the style of conversation at these tremendous entertainments had better be left to the imagination. Sir R. Walpole's theory on that subject is upon record; and we can dimly guess at the feelings of a delicate young gentleman who had just learned to talk about Domenichinos and Guido?, and to buy ancient bronzes, when plunged into the coarse society of these mountains of roast beef. As he grew up manners became a trifle more refined, and the customs described so faithfully by Fielding and Smollett belonged to a lower social stratum. Yet we can fancy Walpole's occasional visit to his constituents, and imagine him forced to preside at one of those election feasts which still survive on Hogarth's canvas. Substitute him for the luckless fine gentleman in a laced coat, who represents the successful candidate in the first picture of the series. A drunken voter is dropping lighted pipe
I ashes upon his wig; a hideous old hag is picking his pockets; a boy is brewing oceans of punch in a mash-tub; a man is blowing bagpipes in his ear; a fat parson
I close by is gorging the remains of a haunch of venison; a butcher is pouring gin on his neighbour's broken head; an al lerman — a very mountain of roast beef — is sinking back in a fit, whilst a barber is trying to bleed him; brickbats are flying in at the windows; the room reeks with the stale smell of heavy viands and the fresh vapours of punch and gin, whilst the very air is laden with discordant howls and thick with oaths and ribald songs. Only think of the smart young candidate's headache next morning in the days when soda-water was not invented! And remember too that the representatives were not entirely free from sympathy with the coarseness of their constituents. Just at the period of Hogarth's painting, Walpole, when speaking of the feeling excited by a Westminster election, has occasion to use this pleasing "new fashionable proverb'' — "We spit in his hat on Thursday, and wiped it off on Friday." It owed its origin to a feat performed by Lord Cobham at an assem
'bly given at his own house. For a bet of a guinea he came behind Lord Hervey, who was talking to some ladies, and made use of his hat as a spittoon. The point of the joke was that Lord Hervey — son of Pope's "mere white curd of asses' milk," and related, as the scandal went, rather too closely to Horace Walpole himself—was a person of effeminate appearance, and therefore considered un
| likely — wrongly, as it turned out — to re
| sent the insult. We may charitably hope that the assailants, who thus practically exemplified the proper mode of treating milksops, were drunk. Tho two-bottlemen who lingered till our day were surviving relics of the type which then gave the tone to society. Within a few years there was a prime minister who always consoled himself under defeats and celebrated triumphs with his bottle; a chancellor who abolished evening sittings on the ground that he was always drunk in the evening; and even an archbishop — an Irish archbishop, it is true — whose