Letters of Edward FitzGerald in Two Volumes, by Edward FitzGerald

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Title: Letters of Edward FitzGerald in Two Volumes
       Vol. II

Author: Edward FitzGerald

Editor: William Aldis Wright

Release Date: February 6, 2007  [eBook #20539]

Language: English

Character set encoding: ISO-646-US (US-ASCII)


Transcribed from the 1901 Macmillan and Co. edition by David Price, email ccx074@pglaf.org



new york: the macmillan company


All rights reserved

p. iiFirst Edition 1894.  Reprinted 1901

The “Little Grange,” Woodbridge


To E. B. Cowell.

88 Gt. Portland St., London,
Jan. 13/59.

My dear Cowell,

I have been here some five weeks: but before my Letter reaches you shall probably have slid back into the Country somewhere.  This is my old Lodging, but new numbered.  I have been almost alone here: having seen even Spedding and Donne but two or three times.  They are well and go on as before.  Spedding has got out the seventh volume of Bacon, I believe: with Capital Prefaces to Henry VII., etc.  But I have not yet seen it.  After vol. viii. (I think) there is to be a Pause: till Spedding has set the Letters to his Mind.  Then we shall see what he can make of his Blackamoor. . . .

I am almost ashamed to write to you, so much p. 2have I forsaken Persian, and even all good Books of late.  There is no one now to ‘prick the Sides of my Intent’; Vaulting Ambition having long failed to do so!  I took my Omar from Fraser [? Parker], as I saw he didn’t care for it; and also I want to enlarge it to near as much again, of such Matter as he would not dare to put in Fraser.  If I print it, I shall do the impudence of quoting your Account of Omar, and your Apology for his Freethinking: it is not wholly my Apology, but you introduced him to me, and your excuse extends to that which you have not ventured to quote, and I do.  I like your Apology extremely also, allowing its Point of View.  I doubt you will repent of ever having showed me the Book.  I should like well to have the Lithograph Copy of Omar which you tell of in your Note.  My Translation has its merit: but it misses a main one in Omar, which I will leave you to find out.  The Latin Versions, if they were corrected into decent Latin, would be very much better. . . .  I have forgotten to write out for you a little Quatrain which Binning found written in Persepolis; the Persian Tourists having the same propensity as English to write their Names and Sentiments on their national Monuments. [2]

* * * * *

In the early part of 1859 his friend William Browne was terribly injured by his horse falling upon him and lingered in great agony for several weeks.

p. 3To W. B. Donne.

Goldington, Bedford.
March 26 [1859].

My dear Donne,

Your folks told you on what Errand I left your house so abruptly.  I was not allowed to see W. B. the day I came: nor yesterday till 3 p.m.; when, poor fellow, he tried to write a line to me, like a child’s! and I went, and saw, no longer the gay Lad, nor the healthy Man, I had known: but a wreck of all that: a Face like Charles I. (after decapitation almost) above the Clothes: and the poor shattered Body underneath lying as it had lain eight weeks; such a case as the Doctor says he had never known.  Instead of the light utterance of other days too, came the slow painful syllables in a far lower Key: and when the old familiar words, ‘Old Fellow—Fitz’—etc., came forth, so spoken, I broke down too in spite of foregone Resolution.

They thought he’d die last Night: but this Morning he is a little better: but no hope.  He has spoken of me in the Night, and (if he wishes) I shall go again, provided his Wife and Doctor approve.  But it agitates him: and Tears he could not wipe away came to his Eyes.  The poor Wife bears up wonderfully.

p. 4To E. B. Cowell.

Geldestone Hall, Beccles.
April 27 [1859]

My dear Cowell,

Above is the Address you had better direct to in future.  I have had a great Loss.  W. Browne was fallen upon and half crushed by his horse near three months ago: and though the Doctors kept giving hopes while he lay patiently for two months in a condition no one else could have borne for a Fortnight, at last they could do no more, nor Nature neither: and he sunk.  I went to see him before he died—the comely spirited Boy I had known first seven and twenty years ago lying all shattered and Death in his Face and Voice. . . .

Well, this is so: and there is no more to be said about it.  It is one of the things that reconcile me to my own stupid Decline of Life—to the crazy state of the world—Well—no more about it.

I sent you poor old Omar who has his kind of Consolation for all these Things.  I doubt you will regret you ever introduced him to me.  And yet you would have me print the original, with many worse things than I have translated.  The Bird Epic might be finished at once: but ‘cui bono?’  No one cares for such things: and there are doubtless so many better things to care about.  I hardly know why I print any of these things, which nobody buys; and I scarce now see the few p. 5I give them to.  But when one has done one’s best, and is sure that that best is better than so many will take pains to do, though far from the best that might be done, one likes to make an end of the matter by Print.  I suppose very few People have ever taken such Pains in Translation as I have: though certainly not to be literal.  But at all Cost, a Thing must live: with a transfusion of one’s own worse Life if one can’t retain the Original’s better.  Better a live Sparrow than a stuffed Eagle.  I shall be very well pleased to see the new MS. of Omar.  I shall one day (if I live) print the ‘Birds,’ and a strange experiment on old Calderon’s two great Plays; and then shut up Shop in the Poetic Line.  Adieu: Give my love to the Lady: and believe me yours very truly E. F. G.

You see where those Persepolitan Verses [5] come from.  I wonder you were not startled with the metre, though maimed a bit.

To T. Carlyle.

Geldestone Hall, Beccles.
June 20/59.

Dear Carlyle,

Very soon after I called and saw Mrs. Carlyle I got a violent cold, which (being neglected) flew to my Ears, and settled into such a Deafness I p. 6couldn’t hear the Postman knock nor the Omnibus roll.  When I began (after more than a Month) to begin recovering of this (though still so deaf as to determine not to be a Bore to any one else) I heard from Bedford that my poor W. Browne (who got you a Horse some fifteen years ago) had been fallen on and crushed all through the middle Body by one of his own: and I then kept expecting every Postman’s knock was to announce his Death.  He kept on however in a shattered Condition which the Doctors told me scarce any one else would have borne a Week; kept on for near two Months, and then gave up his honest Ghost.  I went to bid him Farewell: and then came here (an Address you remember), only going to Lowestoft (on the Sea) to entertain my old George Crabbe’s two Daughters, who, now living inland, are glad of a sight of the old German Sea, and also perhaps of poor Me.  I return to Lowestoft (for a few days only) to-morrow, and shall perhaps see the Steam of your Ship passing the Shore.  I have always been wanting to sail to Scotland: but my old Fellow-traveller is gone!  His Accident was the more vexatious as quite unnecessary—so to say—returning quietly from Hunting.  But there’s no use talking of it.  Your Destinies and Silences have settled it.

I really had wished to go and see Mrs. Carlyle again: I won’t say you, because I don’t think in your heart you care to be disturbed; and I am p. 7glad to believe that, with all your Pains, you are better than any of us, I do think.  You don’t care what one thinks of your Books: you know I love so many: I don’t care so much for Frederick so far as he’s gone: I suppose you don’t neither.  I was thinking of you the other Day reading in Aubrey’s Wiltshire how he heard Cromwell one Day at Dinner (I think) at Hampton Court say that Devonshire showed the best Farming of any Part of England he had been in.  Did you know all the Dawson Turner Letters?

I see Spedding directs your Letter: which is nearly all I see of his MS.: though he would let me see enough of it if there were a good Turn to be done.

Please to give my best Remembrances to Mrs. Carlyle, and believe me yours sincerely,

Edward FitzGerald.

To Mrs. Charles Allen.

Lowestoft, October 16/59.

My dear Mrs. Allen,

In passing through London a week ago I found a very kind letter from you directed to my London Lodging.  This will explain why it has not been sooner answered.  As I do not know your Address, I take the Opportunity of enclosing my Reply to John Allen, of whom I have not heard since May.

p. 8I have been in these Suffolk and Norfolk Parts ever since I left London in March to see my poor Lad die in Bedford.  The Lad I first met in the Tenby Lodging house twenty-seven years ago—not sixteen then—and now broken to pieces and scarce conscious, after two months such suffering as the Doctor told me scarce any one would have borne for a Fortnight.  They never told him it was all over with him until [within] ten Days of Death: though every one else seem’d to know it must be so—and he did not wish to die yet.

I won’t write more of a Matter that you can have but little Interest in, and that I am as well not thinking about.  I came here partly to see his Widow, and so (as I hope) to avoid having to go to Bedford for the Present.  She, though a wretchedly sickly woman, and within two months of her confinement when he died, has somehow weathered it all beyond Expectation.  She has her children to attend to, and be her comfort in turn: and though having lost what most she loved yet has something to love still, and to be beloved by.  There are worse Conditions than that.

I am not going to be long here: but hope to winter somewhere in Suffolk (London very distasteful now)—But here again:—my good Hostess with whom I have lodged in Suffolk is dead too: and I must wait till that Household settles down a little.

If it ever gives you pleasure to write to me, p. 9it gives me real Pleasure to hear of you: and I am sincerely grateful for your kind Remembrance of me.

‘Geldestone Hall—Beccles’ or ‘Farlingay Hall, Woodbridge,’ are pretty sure Addresses.  Please to remember me kindly to your Husband and believe me

Yours very sincerely,

Edwd FitzGerald.

Bath House, Lowestoft.
October 26 [1859].

Dear Mrs. Allen,

I must thank you for your so kind Letter, and kind Invitation.  But if I was but five Days with my old College Friend after twelve years’ Promise, and then didn’t go just on to Teignmouth to see my Sister, and her Family, I must not talk of going elsewhere—even to Prees—where John is always good enough to be asking me: even in a Letter To day received.

By the way, Last Saturday at Norwich while I was gazing into a Shop, a Woman’s Voice said, ‘How d’ ye do, Mr. FitzGerald?’  I looked up: a young Woman too, whom (of course) I didn’t know.  ‘You don’t remember me, Andalusia Allen that was!’  Now Mrs. Day.  I had not seen her since ’52, a Girl of, I suppose, twelve, playing p. 10some Character in a Family Play.  John’s Letter too tells me of his son going to College.

But Tenby—I don’t remember a pleasanter Place.  I can now hear the Band on the Steamer as it left the little Pier for Bristol, the Steamer that brought me and the poor Boy now in his Grave to that Boardinghouse.  It was such weather as now howls about this Lodging when one of those poor starved Players was drowned on the Sands, and was carried past our Windows after Dinner: I often remember the dull Trot of Men up the windy Street, and our running to the Window, and the dead Head, hair, and Shoulders hurried past.  That was Tragedy, poor Fellow, whatever Parts he had played before.

I think you remember me with Kindness because accidentally associated with your old Freestone in those pleasant Days, that also were among the last of your Sister’s Life.  Her too I can see, with her China-rose complexion: in the Lilac Gown she wore.

I keep on here from Week to week, partly because no other Place offers: but I almost doubt if I shall be here beyond next week.  Not in this Lodging anyhow: which is wretchedly ‘rafty’ and cold; lets the Rain in when it Rains: and the Dust of the Shore when it drives: as both have been doing by turns all Yesterday and To day.  I was cursing all this as I was shivering here by myself last Night: and in the Morning I hear of p. 11three Wrecks off the Sands, and indeed meet five shipwreckt Men with a Troop of Sailors as I walk out before Breakfast.  Oh Dear!

Please remember me to your ‘Gude Man’ and believe me yours truly,

E. F. G.

Pray do excuse all this Blotting: my Paper won’t dry To day.

To W. H. Thompson.

10 Marine Terrace, Lowestoft.
Nov. 27, 1859.

My dear Thompson,

After a Fortnight’s Visit to my Sister’s (where I caught Cold which flew at once to my Ears, and there hangs) I returned hither, as the nearest Place to go to, and here shall be till Christmas at all Events.  I wish to avoid London this winter: and indeed seem almost to have done with it, except for a Day’s Business or Sightseeing every now and then.  Often should I like to roam about old Cambridge, and hear St. Mary’s Chimes at Midnight—but—but!  This Place of course is dull enough: but here’s the Old Sea (a dirty Dutch one, to be sure) and Sands, and Sailors, a very fine Race of Men, far superior to those in Regent Street.  Also the Dutchmen (an ugly set whom I can’t help liking for old Neighbours) come over in their broad Bottoms and take in Water at a p. 12Creek along the Shore.  But I believe the East winds get very fierce after Christmas, when the Sea has cooled down.  You won’t come here, to be sure: or I should be very glad to smoke a Cigar, and have a Chat: and would take care to have a Fire in your Bedroom this time: a Negligence I was very sorry for in London.

I read, or was told, they wouldn’t let old Alfred’s Bust into your Trinity.  They are right, I think, to let no one in there (as it should be in Westminster Abbey) till a Hundred Years are past; when, after too much Admiration (perhaps) and then a Reaction of undue Dis-esteem, Men have settled into some steady Opinion on the subject: supposing always that the Hero survives so long, which of itself goes so far to decide the Question.  No doubt A. T. will do that.

To W. F. Pollock.

10 Marine Terrace,
Febr. 23/60.

My dear Pollock,

‘Me voilà ici’ still! having weathered it out so long.  No bad Place, I assure you, though you who are accustomed to Pall Mall, Clubs, etc., wouldn’t like it.  Mudie finds one out easily: and the London Library too: and altogether I can’t complain of not getting such drowsy Books as I want.  Hakluyt lasted a long while: then came Captain Cook, whom p. 13I hadn’t read since I was a Boy, and whom I was very glad to see again.  But he soon evaporates in his large Type Quartos.  I can hardly manage Emerson Tennent’s Ceylon: a very dry Catalogue Raisonnée of the Place.  A little Essay of De Quincey’s gave me a better Idea of it (as I suppose) in some twenty or thirty pages.  Anyhow, I prefer Lowestoft, considering the Snakes, Sand-leaches, Mosquitos, etc.  I suppose Russell’s Indian Diary is over-coloured: but I feel sure it’s true in the Main: and he has the Art to make one feel in the thick of it; quite enough in the Thick, however.  Sir C. Napier came here to try and get the Beachmen to enlist in the Naval Reserve.  Not one would go: they won’t give up their Independence: and so really half starve here during Winter.  Then Spring comes and they go and catch the Herrings which, if left alone, would multiply by Millions by Autumn: and so kill their Golden Goose.  They are a strange set of Fellows.  I think a Law ought to be made against their Spring Fishing: more important, for their own sakes, than Game Laws.

I laid out half a crown on your Fraser [13]: and liked much of it very much: especially the Beginning about the Advantage the Novelist has over the Play-writer.  A little too much always about Miss Austen, whom yet I think quite capital in a Circle I have found quite unendurable to walk in.  Thackeray’s first Number was famous, I thought: his own little Roundabout p. 14Paper so pleasant: but the Second Number, I say, lets the Cockney in already: about Hogarth: Lewes is vulgar: and I don’t think one can care much for Thackeray’s Novel.  He is always talking so of himself, too.  I have been very glad to find I could take to a Novel again, in Trollope’s Barchester Towers, etc.: not perfect, like Miss Austen: but then so much wider Scope: and perfect enough to make me feel I know the People though caricatured or carelessly drawn.  I doubt if you can read my writing here: or whether it will be worth your Pains to do so.  If you can, or can not, one Day write me a Line, which I will read.  I suppose when the Fields and Hedges begin to grow green I shall move a little further inland to be among them.

To Mrs. Charles Allen.

Farlingay: Woodbridge,
June 2/60.

Dear Mrs. Allen,

Your kind Note has reacht me here after a Fortnight’s abode at my old Lodgings in London.  In London I have not been for more than a year, unless passing through it in September, and have no thought of going up at present.  I don’t think you were there last Spring, were you?  Or perhaps I was gone before you arrived, as I generally used to get off as soon as it began to fill, and the Country to become p. 15amiable.  Here at last we have the ‘May’ coming out: there it is on some Thorns before my Windows, and the Tower of Woodbridge Church beyond: and beyond that some low Hills that stretch with Furze and Broom to the Seaside, about ten miles off.

I am of course glad of so good a Report of John Allen.  I have long been thinking of writing to him: among other things to give his Wife a Drawing Laurence made of him for me some four and twenty years ago: in full Canonicals—very serious—I think a capital Likeness on the whole, and one that I take pleasure to look at.  But I think his Wife and Children have more title to it: and one never can tell what will become of one’s Things when one’s dead.  This same Drawing is now in London (I hope: for, if not, it’s lost) and you should see it if you had a mind.  For you don’t seem to find your way to Frees any more than I do: I should go if there weren’t a large Family.  Mrs. John is always very kind to me.  I do think it is very kind of you too to remember and write to me: at any rate I do answer Letters, which many better Men don’t.

Please to remember me to your Husband: and believe me unforgetful of the Good old Days, and of you, and yours,

Edward FitzGerald.

p. 16Farlingay: Woodbridge,
Septr. 9/60.

My dear Mrs. Allen,

It is very kind of you to write to me.  Ah! how I can fancy the Stillness, and the Colour, of your pretty Tenby!—now eight and twenty years since seen!  But I can’t summon Resolution to go to it: and daily get worse and worse at moving any where, a common Fate as we grow older.

Your Note came in an Enclosure from your Cousin John, who seems to flourish with Wife and Children.  It is Children who keep alive one’s Interest in Life: that is to say, if one happens to like one’s Children.

I have had to stay with me the two sons of my poor Friend killed last year: he whom I first made Acquaintance with at your very Tenby.  As I haven’t found Courage to go to their Country, their Mother would have them come here, and I took them to our Seaside; not a beautiful Coast like yours—no Rocks, no Sands, and few Trees—but yet liked because remembered by me as long as I can remember.  Anyhow, there are Ships, Boats, and Sailors: and the Boys were well pleased with all that.  The place we went to is called Aldborough: spelt Aldeburgh: and is the Birth place of the Poet Crabbe, who also has Daguerrotyped much of the Character of the Place in his Poems.  You send me some Lines about the Sea: what if I return you four of his?

p. 17Still as I gaze upon the Sea I find
Its waves an Image of my restless mind:
Here Thought on Thought: there Wave on Wave succeeds,
Their Produce—idle Thought and idle Weeds!

Adieu: please to remember me to your Husband: and believe me yours ever very sincerely,

Edward FitzGerald.

To George Crabbe.

Market Hill, Woodbridge,
Decr. 28/60.

My dear George,

. . . I forgot to tell you I really ran to London three weeks ago: by the morning Express, and was too glad to rush back by the Evening Ditto.  I went up for a Business I of course did not accomplish: did not call on, or see, a Friend: couldn’t get into the National Gallery: and didn’t care a straw for Holman Hunt’s Picture.  No doubt, there is Thought and Care in it: but what an outcome of several Years and sold for several Thousands!  What Man with the Elements of a Great Painter could come out with such a costive Thing after so long waiting!  Think of the Acres of Canvas Titian or Reynolds would have covered with grand Outlines and deep Colours in the Time it has taken to niggle this Miniature!  The Christ seemed to me only a wayward Boy: the Jews, Jews no doubt: the Temple I dare say very correct in its Detail: but think of p. 18even Rembrandt’s Woman in Adultery at the National Gallery; a much smaller Picture, but how much vaster in Space and Feeling!  Hunt’s Picture stifled me with its Littleness.  I think Ruskin must see what his System has led to.

I have just got Lady Waterford’s ‘Babes in the Wood,’ which are well enough, pretty in Colour: only, why has she made so bad a Portrait of one of her chief Performers, whose Likeness is so easily got at, the Robin Redbreast?  This Lady Waterford was at Gillingham this Summer: and my Sister Eleanor said (as Thackeray had done) she was something almost to worship for unaffected Dignity.

Market-Hill, Woodbridge.
Whit-Monday [May 20, 1861].

My dear George,

. . . I take pleasure in my new little Boat: and last week went with her to Aldbro’; and she ‘behaved’ very well both going and returning; though, to be sure, there was not much to try her Temper.  I am so glad of this fine Whit-Monday, when so many Holiday-makers will enjoy theirselves, and so many others make a little money by their Enjoyment.  Our ‘Rifles’ are going to march to Grundisburgh, manuring and skrimmaging as they go, and also (as the Captain [18] hopes) recruiting.  He is a right good little Fellow, I do believe.  It is a shame the Gentry p. 19hereabout are so indifferent in the Matter: they subscribe next to nothing: and give absolutely nothing in the way of Entertainment or Attention to the Corps.  But we are split up into the pettiest possible Squirarchy, who want to make the utmost of their little territory: cut down all the Trees, level all the old Violet Banks, and stop up all the Footways they can.  The old pleasant way from Hasketon to Bredfield is now a Desert.  I was walking it yesterday and had the pleasure of breaking down and through some Bushes and Hurdles put to block up a fallen Stile.  I thought what your Father would have said of it all.  And really it is the sad ugliness of our once pleasant Fields that half drives me to the Water where the Power of the Squirarchy stops!

To E. B. Cowell.

Market Hill: Woodbridge:
May 22/61.

My dear Cowell,

I receive two Books, viâ Geldestone, from you: Khold-i-barin (including a Lecture of your own) and ‘Promises of Christianity’: I think directed in your Wife’s hand.  The Lecture was, I doubt not, very well adapted to its purpose: the other two Publications I must look at by and bye.  I can’t tell you how indolent I have become about Books: some Travels and Biographies from Mudie are nearly all I read now.  Then, I have only been in London p. 20some dozen hours these two years past: my last Expedition was this winter for five hours: when I ran home here like a beaten Dog.  So I have little to tell you of Friends as of Books.  Spedding hammers away at his Bacon (impudently forestalled by H. Dixon’s Book).  Carlyle is not so up to work as of old (I hear).  Indeed, he wrote me he was ill last Summer, and obliged to cut Frederick and be off to Scotland and Idleness: the Doctors warned him of Congestion of Brain: a warning he scorned.  But what more likely?  The last account I had of Alfred Tennyson from Mrs. A. was a good one.  Frederic T. is settled at Jersey.  I cannot make up my mind to go to see any of these good, noble men: I only hope they believe I do not forget, or cease to regard them.

My chief Amusement in Life is Boating, on River and Sea.  The Country about here is the Cemetery of so many of my oldest Friends: and the petty race of Squires who have succeeded only use the Earth for an Investment: cut down every old Tree: level every Violet Bank: and make the old Country of my Youth hideous to me in my Decline.  There are fewer Birds to be heard, as fewer Trees for them to resort to.  So I get to the Water: where Friends are not buried nor Pathways stopt up: but all is, as the Poets say, as Creation’s Dawn beheld.  I am happiest going in my little Boat round the Coast to Aldbro’, with some Bottled Porter and some Bread and Cheese, and some good rough Soul who works p. 21the Boat and chews his Tobacco in peace.  An Aldbro’ Sailor talking of my Boat said—‘She go like a Wiolin, she do!’  What a pretty Conceit, is it not?  As the Bow slides over the Strings in a liquid Tune.  Another man was talking yesterday of a great Storm: ‘and, in a moment, all as calm as a Clock.’

By the bye, Forby reasons that our Suffolk third person singular ‘It go, etc.,’ is probably right as being the old Icelandic form.  Why should the 3rd p. sing. be the only one that varies.  And in the auxiliaries May, Shall, Can, etc., there is no change for the 3rd pers.  I incline to the Suffolk because of its avoiding a hiss.

To George Crabbe.

Market-Hill, Woodbridge.
June 4/61.

My dear George,

Let me know when you come into these Parts, and be sure I shall be glad to entertain you as well as I can if you come while I am here.  Nor am I likely to be away further than Aldbro’, so far as I see.  I do meditate crossing one fine Day to Holland: to see the Hague, Paul Potter, and some Rembrandt at Rotterdam.  This, however, is not to be done in my little Boat: but in some Trader from Ipswich.  I also talk of a cruise to Edinburgh in one of their Schooners.  But both these Excursions I reserve for such hot weather as may make a retreat from the Town agreeable.  I make no advances to Farlingay, p. 22because (as yet) we have not had any such Heat as to bake the Houses here: and, beside, I am glad to be by the River.  It is strange how sad the Country has become to me.  I went inland to see Acton’s Curiosities before the Auction: and was quite glad to get back to the little Town again.  I am quite clear I must live the remainder of my Life in a Town: but a little one, and with a strip of Garden to saunter in. . . .

I go sometimes to see the Rifles drill, and shoot at their Target, and have got John [22] to ask them up to Boulge to practise some day: I must insinuate that he should offer them some Beer when they get there.  It is a shame the Squires do nothing in the matter: take no Interest: offer no Encouragement, beyond a Pound or two in Money.  And who are those who have most interest at stake in case of Rifles being really wanted?  But I am quite assured that this Country is dying, as other Countries die, as Trees die, atop first.  The lower Limbs are making all haste to follow. . . .

By the bye, don’t let me forget to ask you to bring with you my Persian Dictionary in case you come into these Parts.  I read very very little: and get very desultory: but when Winter comes again must take to some dull Study to keep from Suicide, I suppose.  The River, the Sea, etc., serve to divert one now.

Adieu.  These long Letters prove one’s Idleness.

p. 23To R. C. Trench. [23a]

Market-Hill, Woodbridge.
July 3/61.

Dear Doctor Trench,

Thank you sincerely for the delightful little Journal [23b] which I had from you yesterday, and only wished to be a dozen times as long.  The beautiful note at p. 73 speaks of much yet unprinted!  It is a pity Mrs. Kemble had not read p. 79.  I thought in the Night of ‘the subdued Voice of Good Sense’ and ‘The Eye that invites you to look into it.’  I doubt I can read, more or less attentively, most personal Memoirs: but I am equally sure of the superiority of this, in its Shrewdness, Humour, natural Taste, and Good Breeding.  One is sorry for the account of Lord Nelson: but one cannot doubt it.  It was at the time when he was intoxicated, I suppose, with Glory and Lady Hamilton.  What your Mother says of the Dresden Madonna reminds me of what Tennyson once said: that the Attitude of The Child was that of a Man: but perhaps not the less right for all that.  As to the Countenance, he said that scarce any Man’s Face could look so grave and rapt as a Baby’s could at times.  He once said of his own Child’s, ‘He was a whole hour this morning worshipping the Sunshine p. 24playing on the Bedpost.’  He never writes Letters or Journals: but I hope People will be found to remember some of the things he has said as naturally as your Mother wrote them. [24]

To W. H. Thompson.

Market-Hill, Woodbridge.
July 15/61.

My dear Thompson,

I was very glad to hear of you again.  You need never take it to Conscience, not answering my Letters, further than that I really do want to hear you are well, and where you are, and what doing, from time to time.  I have absolutely nothing to tell about myself, not having moved from this place since I last wrote, unless to our Sea coast at Aldbro’, whither I run, or sail, from time to time to idle with the Sailors in their Boats or on their Beach.  I love their childish ways: but they too degenerate.  As to reading, my Studies have lain chiefly in some back Volumes of the New Monthly Magazine and some French Memoirs.  Trench was good enough to send me a little unpublished Journal by his Mother: a p. 25very pretty thing indeed.  I suppose he did this in return for one or two Papers on Oriental Literature which Cowell had sent me from India, and which I thought might interest Trench.  I am very glad to hear old Spedding is really getting his Share of Bacon into Print: I doubt if it will be half as good as the ‘Evenings,’ where Spedding was in the Passion which is wanted to fill his Sail for any longer Voyage.

I have not seen his Paper on English Hexameters [25] which you tell me of: but I will now contrive to do so.  I, however, believe in them: and I think the ever-recurring attempts that way show there is some ground for such belief.  To be sure, the Philosopher’s Stone, and the Quadrature of the Circle, have had at least as many Followers. . . .

It was finding some Bits of Letters and Poems of old Alfred’s that made me wish to restore those I gave you to the number, as marking a by-gone time to me.  That they will not so much do to you, who did not happen to save them from the Fire when the Volumes of 1842 were printing.  But I would waive that if you found it good or possible to lay them up in Trinity Library in the Closet with Milton’s!  Otherwise, I would still look at them now and then for the few years I suppose I have to live. . . .

This is a terribly long Letter: but, if it be legible sufficiently, will perhaps do as if I were spinning it in talk under the walls of the Cathedral.  I dare not p. 26now even talk of going any visits: I can truly say I wish you could drop in here some Summer Day and take a Float with me on our dull River, which does lead to The Sea some ten miles off. . .

You must think I have become very nautical, by all this: haul away at ropes, swear, dance Hornpipes, etc.  But it is not so: I simply sit in Boat or Vessel as in a moving Chair, dispensing a little Grog and Shag to those who do the work.

To E. B. Cowell.

Market hill, Woodbridge.
December 7/61.

My dear Cowell,

. . . I shall look directly for the passages in Omar and Hafiz which you refer to and clear up, though I scarce ever see the Persian Character now.  I suppose you would think it a dangerous thing to edit Omar: else, who so proper?  Nay, are you not the only Man to do it?  And he certainly is worth good re-editing.  I thought him from the first the most remarkable of the Persian Poets: and you keep finding out in him Evidences of logical Fancy which I had not dreamed of.  I dare say these logical Riddles are not his best: but they are yet evidences of a Strength of mind which our Persian Friends rarely exhibit, I think.  I always said about Cowley, Donne, etc., whom Johnson calls the metaphysical Poets, that their very Quibbles of Fancy showed a p. 27power of Logic which could follow Fancy through such remote Analogies.  This is the case with Calderon’s Conceits also.  I doubt I have given but a very one-sided version of Omar: but what I do only comes up as a Bubble to the Surface, and breaks: whereas you, with exact Scholarship, might make a lasting impression of such an Author.  So I say of Jeláluddín, whom you need not edit in Persian, perhaps, unless in selections, which would be very good work: but you should certainly translate for us some such selections exactly in the way in which you did that apologue of Azräel. [27]  I don’t know the value of the Indian Philosophy, etc., which you tell me is a fitter exercise for the Reason: but I am sure that you should give us some of the Persian I now speak of, which you can do all so easily to yourself; yes, as a holiday recreation, you say, to your Indian Studies.  As to India being ‘your Place,’ it may be: but as to your being lost in England, that could not be.  You know I do not flatter. . . .

I declare I should like to go to India as well as any where: and I believe it might be the best thing for me to do.  But, always slow at getting under way as I have been all my Life, what is to be done with one after fifty!  I am sure there is no longer any great pleasure living in this Country, so tost with perpetual Alarms as it is.  One Day we are all p. 28in Arms about France.  To-day we are doubting if To-morrow we may not be at War to the Knife with America!  I say still, as I used, we have too much Property, Honour, etc., on our Hands: our outward Limbs go on lengthening while our central Heart beats weaklier: I say, as I used, we should give up something before it is forced from us.  The World, I think, may justly resent our being and interfering all over the Globe.  Once more I say, would we were a little, peaceful, unambitious, trading, Nation, like—the Dutch! . . .

Adieu, My Dear Cowell; once more, Adieu.  I doubt if you can read what I have written.  Do not forget my Love to your Wife.  I wonder if we are ever to meet again: you would be most disappointed if we were!

To W. H. Thompson.

Market hill, Woodbridge.
Dec. 9/61.

My dear Thompson,

The MS. came safe to hand yesterday, thank you: and came out of its Envelope like a Ray of Old Times to my Eyes.  I wish I had secured more leaves from that old ‘Butcher’s Book’ torn up in old Spedding’s Rooms in 1842 when the Press went to work with, I think, the Last of old Alfred’s Best.  But that, I am told, is only a ‘Crotchet.’  However, had I taken some more of the Pages that went into p. 29the Fire, after serving in part for Pipe-lights, I might have enriched others with that which AT [29] himself would scarce have grudged, jealous as he is of such sort of Curiosity.

I have seen no more of Tannhäuser than the Athenæum showed me; and certainly do not want to see more.  One wonders that Men of some Genius (as I suppose these are) should so disguise it in Imitation: but, if they be very young men, this is the natural course, is it not?  By and by they may find their own Footing.

As to my own Peccadilloes in Verse, which never pretend to be original, this is the story of Rubáiyát.  I had translated them partly for Cowell: young Parker asked me some years ago for something for Fraser, and I gave him the less wicked of these to use if he chose.  He kept them for two years without using: and as I saw he did’nt want them I printed some copies with Quaritch; and, keeping some for myself, gave him the rest.  Cowell, to whom I sent a Copy, was naturally alarmed at it; he being a very religious Man: nor have I given any other Copy but to George Borrow, to whom I had once lent the Persian, and to old Donne when he was down here the other Day, to whom I was showing a Passage in another Book which brought my old Omar up.

(end of letter lost.)

p. 30Market Hill, Woodbridge.
March 19/62.

My dear Thompson,

Thanks for your Letter in the middle of graver occupations.  It will give me very great pleasure if you will come here: but not if you only do so out of kindness; I mean, if you have no other call of Business or Pleasure to yourself.  For I don’t deserve—

You should have sent me some Photograph.  I hate them nearly all: but S. Rice [30] was very good.  I wonder you don’t turn out well: I suppose, too black, is it?  It is generally florid people, I think, who fail: yet, strange to say, my Brother Peter has come quite handsome in the Process. . . .

I am all for a little Flattery in Portraits: that is, so far as, I think, the Painter or Sculptor should try at something more agreeable than anything he sees sitting to him: when People look either bored, or smirking: he should give the best possible Aspect which the Features before him might wear, even if the Artist had not seen that Aspect.  Especially when he works for Friends or Kinsfolk: for even the plainest face has looked handsome to them at some happy moment, and just such we like to have perpetuated.

Now, I really do feel ashamed when you ask about my Persian Translations, though they are p. 31all very well: only very little affairs.  I really have not the face to send to Milnes direct: but I send you four Copies which I have found in a Drawer here to do as you will with.  This will save Milnes, or any one else, the bore of writing to me to acknowledge it.

My old Boat has been altered, I hope not spoiled; and I shall soon be preparing for the Water—and Mud.  I don’t think one can reckon on warm weather till after the Longest Day: but if you should come before, it will surely be warm enough to walk, or drive, if not to sail; and Leaves will be green, if the Tide should be out.

You would almost think I wanted to repay you in Compliment if I told you I regarded even your hasty Letters as excellent in all respects.  I do, however: but I do not wish you to write one when you are busy or disinclined.

Market hill, Woodbridge.
Sept. 29/62.

My dear Thompson,

‘What Cheer, ho!’  I somehow fancy that a Line of Nonsense will catch you before you leave Ely: and yet, now I come to think, you will have left Ely, probably, and will be returning in another Fortnight to Cambridge for the Term.  Well, I will direct to Cambridge then; and my Note shall await you there, and you need not answer it till p. 32some very happy hour of Leisure and Inclination.  As to Inclination, indeed, I don’t think you will ever have much of that, toward writing such Letters, I mean; what sensible Man after forty has?  You have done so much more (in my Eyes, and perhaps so much less in your own) coming all this way to see me!  I did wonder at the Goodness of that.  I suppose Spedding didn’t tell you that I wrote to him to say so.  It was very unlucky I was out when you came: I have often thought of that with vexation.

Well, I have gone on Boating, etc., just the same ever since.  And just now I have been applying to Spring Rice to use his Influence to get a larger Buoy laid at the mouth of our River; across which lies a vile Bar of shifting Sand, and such a little Bit of a Buoy to mark it that we often almost miss it going in and out, and are in danger of running on the Shoal; which would break the Boat to Pieces if not drown us.  Here is a fine Piece of Information to a Canon of Ely and Professor of Greek at Cambridge!

Spring Rice does not speak well, I think, of his health; not at all well; and his Handwriting looks shaky.  What a Loyal Kind Heart it is!

p. 33To W. B. Donne.

Market hill: Woodbridge,
Nov. 28/62.

My dear Donne,

I talk indignantly against others bothering you, and do worse than all myself, I think, what with Bookbindings, Dressing-gowns, etc.  (N.B. You know that the last is only in case when you are going your Rounds to St. James, etc.)  Now I have a little Query to make: which, not being even so much out of your way, won’t I hope trouble you.  I remember Thompson telling me that, from what he had read and seen of Grecian Geography, he almost thought Clytemnestra’s famous Account of the Line of Signal Fires from Troy to Mycenæ to be possible (I mean you know in the Agamemnon).  At least this is what I believe he said: I must not assert from a not very accurate Memory anything that would compromise a Greek Professor: I am so ignorant of Geography, ancient as well as modern, I don’t know exactly, or at all, the Points of the Beacons so enumerated: and Lempriere, the only Classic I have to refer to, doesn’t help me in what I want.  Will you turn to the passage, and tell me what, and where, are:

1.  The Μακίστου σκοπαί—

2.  The Μεσαπίου φυλακες—

3.  The ορος Αιyίπλαyκτον.

p. 34What, where, and why, so called?  The rest I know, or can find in Dictionary, and Map.  But for these—

      Is no-where;
      Liddell and Scott
      Don’t help me a jot:
      When I’m off, Donnegan
      Don’t help me on again.—
So I’m obliged to resort to old Donne again!

Rhyme and Epigram quite worthy of the German.

To W. H. Thompson.

Fragment of a Letter written in Nov. 1862.

I took down a Juvenal to look for a Passage about the Loaded Waggon rolling through the Roman Streets. [34]  I couldn’t find it.  Do you know where it is?  Not that you need answer this Question, which only comes in as if I were talking to you.  I remember asking you whence Æschylus made his Agamemnon speak of Ulysses as unwilling at first to go on the Trojan Expedition.  I see Paley refers it to some Poem called the Cypria quoted by Proclus.  I was asking Donne the other Day as to some of the names of the Beacon-places in Clytemnestra’s famous Speech: and I then said I believed—but only believed, as an inaccurate Man, not wishing to p. 35implicate others—that you, Thompson, had once told me that you thought the Chain of Fires might have passed from Troy to Mycenæ in the way described—just possibly might, I think—I assure you I took care not to commit your Credit by my uncertain Memory, whatever it was you said was only in a casual way over a Cigar.  Are you for Ατης θυλλαι—Ατης θυλαι—ζωσι? [35a] a point I don’t care a straw about; so don’t answer this neither.

No, I didn’t go to the Exhibition: which, I know, looks like Affectation: but was honest Incuriosity and Indolence.

. . . On looking over Juvenal for the Lines I wanted I was amused at the prosaic Truth of one I didn’t want:

Intolerabilius nihil est quam femina dives. [35b]

To George Crabbe.

Dec. 20, 1862.

My dear George,

. . . I have been, and am, reading Borrow’s ‘Wild Wales,’ which I like well, because I can hear him talking it.  But I don’t know if others will like it: anyhow there is too much of the same thing.  Then what is meant for the plainest record of Conversation, etc., has such Phrases as ‘Marry p. 36come up,’ etc., which mar the sense of Authenticity.  Then, no one writing better English than Borrow in general, there is the vile IndividualPerson—and Locality always cropping up: and even this vulgar Young Ladyism, ‘The Scenery was beautiful to a Degree.’  What Degree?  When did this vile Phrase arise?

To W. H. Thompson.

Good Friday, 1863.

My dear Thompson,

Pray never feel ashamed of not answering my Letters so long as you do write twice a year, to let me know you live and thrive.  As much oftener as you please: but you are only to be ashamed of not doing that.  For that I really want of all who have been very kind and very constant (‘loyal’ is the word that even Emperors now use of themselves) for so many years.  This I say in all sincerity.

Now, while you talk of being ashamed of not writing, I am rather ashamed of writing so much to you.  Partly because I really have so little to say; and also because saying that little too often puts you to the shame you speak of.  You say my Letters are pleasant, however: and they will be so far pleasant if they assure you that I like talking to you in that way: bad as I am at more direct communication.  I can tell you your p. 37letters are very pleasant to me; you at least have always something to tell of your half-year’s Life: and you tell it so wholesomely, I always say in so capital a Style, as makes me regret you have not written some of your better Knowledge for the Public.  I suppose (as I have heard) that your Lectures [37] are excellent in this way; I can say I should like very much to attend a course of them, on the Greek Plays, or on Plato.  I dare say you are right about an Apprenticeship in Red Tape being necessary to make a Man of Business: but is it too late in Life for you to buckle to and screw yourself up to condense some of your Lectures and scholarly Lore into a Book?  By ‘too late in Life’ I mean too late to take Heart to do it.

I am sure you won’t believe that I am scratching you in return for any scratchings from your hands.  We are both too old, too sensible, and too independent, I think, for that sort of thing.

As to my going to Ely in June, I don’t know yet what to say; for I have been Fool enough to order a Boat to be building which will cost me £350, and she talks of being launched in the very first week of June, and I have engaged for some short trips in her as soon as she is afloat.  I begin to feel tired of her already; I felt I should when I was persuaded to order her: and that is the Folly of it.  They say it is a very bad Thing p. 38to do Nothing: but I am sure that is not the case with those who are born to Blunder; I always find that I have to repent of what I have done, not what I have left undone; and poor W. Browne used to say it was better even to repent of what [was] undone than done.  You know how glad I should be if you came here: but I haven’t the Face to ask it, especially after that misfit last Summer; which was not my fault however.

I always look upon old Spedding’s as one of the most wasted Lives I know: and he is a wise Man!  Twenty years ago I told him that he should knock old Bacon off; I don’t mean give him up, but wind him up at far less sacrifice of Time and Labour; and edit Shakespeare.  I think it would have been worth his Life to have done those two; and I am always persuaded his Bacon would have been better if done more at a heat.  I shall certainly buy the new Shakespeare you tell me of, if the Volumes aren’t bulky; which destroys my pleasure in the use of a Book.

I have had my share of Influenza: even this Woodbridge, with all its capital Air and self-contented Stupidity (which you know is very conducive to long Life) has been wheezing and coughing all the very mild winter; and the Bell of the Tower opposite my Room has been tolling oftener than I ever remember.

Though I can’t answer for June, I am really meditating a small trip to Wiltshire before June; p. 39mainly to see the daughters of my old George Crabbe who are settled at Bradford on Avon, and want very much that I should see how happily they live on very small means indeed.  And I must own I am the more tempted to go abroad because there is preparation for a Marriage in my Family (a Niece—but not one of my Norfolk Nieces) which is to be at my Brother’s near here; and there will be a Levée of People, who drop in here, etc.  This may blow over, however.

Now I ought to be ashamed of this long Letter: don’t you make me so by answering it.

Ever yours, E. F. G.

To George Crabbe.

Woodbridge, June 8/63.

My dear George,

Your sister wrote me a very kind Letter to tell of her safe Return home.  I must repeat to you very sincerely that I never recollect to have passed a pleasanter week.  As far as Company went, it was like Old Times at Bredfield; and the Oak-trees were divine!  I never expected to care so very much for Trees, nor for your flat Country: but I really feel as one who has bathed in Verdure.  I suppose Town-living makes one alive to such a Change.

I spent a long Day with Thompson: [40] and much p. 40liked the painted Roof.  On Thursday I went to Lynn: which I took a Fancy to: the odd old Houses: the Quay: the really grand Inn (Duke’s Head, in the Market place) and the civil, Norfolk-talking, People.  I went to Hunstanton, which is rather dreary: one could see the Country at Sandringham was good.  I enquired fruitlessly about those Sandringham Pictures, etc.: even the Auctioneer, whom I found in the Bar of the Inn, could tell nothing of where they had gone.

To W. B. Donne.

Market hill, Woodbridge.
Sat. July 18/63.

My dear Donne,

. . . I can hardly tell you whether I am much pleased with my new Boat; for I hardly know myself.  She is (as I doubted would be from the first) rather awkward in our narrow River; but then she was to be a good Sea-boat; and I don’t know but she is; and will be better in all ways when we have got her in proper trim.  Yesterday we gave her what they call ‘a tuning’ in a rather heavy swell round Orford Ness: and she did well without a reef, etc.  But, now all is got, I don’t any the more want to go far away by Sea, any more than by Land; having no Curiosity left for other Places, and glad to get back to my own Chair and Bed after three or four Days’ Absence.  So long as I get p. 41on the Sea from time to time, it is much the same to me whether off Aldbro’ or Penzance.  And I find I can’t sleep so well on board as I used to do thirty years ago: and not to get one’s Sleep, you know, indisposes one more or less for the Day.  However, we talk of Dover, Folkestone, Holland, etc., which will give one’s sleeping Talents a tuning.

To George Crabbe.

Woodbridge, July 19, [1863].

My dear George,

You tell me the Romney is at Gardner’s: but where is Gardner’s?  And what was the Price of the Portrait?  Laurence said well about Romney that, as compared to Sir Joshua and Gainsboro’, his Pictures looked tinted, rather than painted; the colour of the Cheek (for instance) rather superficially laid on, as rouge, rather than ingrained, and mantling like Blood from below.  Laurence had seen those at last year’s Exhibition: I have not seen near so many.  I remember one that seemed to me capital at Lord Bute’s in Bedfordshire.

I came home yesterday from a short Cruise to Yarmouth, etc., where some people were interested in the Channel Fleet.  But I could take no interest in Steam Ships and Iron Rams.

p. 42Woodbridge, August 4, [1863].

My dear George,

I have at last done my Holland: you won’t be surprised to hear that I did it in two days, and was too glad to rush home on the first pretence, after (as usual) seeing nothing I cared the least about.  The Country itself I had seen long before in Dutch Pictures, and between Beccles and Norwich: the Towns I had seen in Picturesque Annuals, Drop Scenes, etc.

But the Pictures—the Pictures—themselves?

Well, you know how I am sure to mismanage: but you will hardly believe, even of me, that I never saw what was most worth seeing, the Hague Gallery!  But so it was: had I been by myself, I should have gone off directly (after landing at Rotterdam) to that: but Mr. Manby was with me: and he thought best to see about Rotterdam first: which was last Thursday, at whose earliest Dawn we arrived.  So we tore about in an open Cab: saw nothing: the Gallery not worth a visit: and at night I was half dead with weariness.  Then again on Friday I, by myself, should have started for the Hague: but as Amsterdam was also to be done, we thought best to go there (as furthest) first.  So we went: tore about the town in a Cab as before: and I raced through the Museum seeing (I must say) little better than what I have seen over and over again in England.  I couldn’t p. 43admire the Night-watch much: Van der Helst’s very good Picture seemed to me to have been cleaned: I thought the Rembrandt Burgomasters worth all the rest put together.  But I certainly looked very flimsily at all.

Well, all this done, away we went to the Hague: arriving there just as the Museum closed for that day; next Day (Saturday) it was not to be open at all (I having proposed to wait in case it should), and on Sunday only from 12 to 2.  Hearing all this, in Rage and Despair I tore back to Rotterdam: and on Saturday Morning got the Boat out of the muddy Canal in which she lay and tore back down the Maas, etc., so as to reach dear old Bawdsey shortly after Sunday’s Sunrise.  Oh, my Delight when I heard them call out ‘Orford Lights!’ as the Boat was plunging over the Swell.

All this is very stupid, really wrong: but you are not surprised at it in me.  One reason however of my Disgust was, that we (in our Boat) were shut up (as I said) in the Canal, where I couldn’t breathe.  I begged Mr. Manby to let me take him to an Inn: he would stick to his Ship, he said: and I didn’t like to leave him.  Then it was Murray who misled me about the Hague Gallery: he knew nothing about its being shut on Saturdays.  Then again we neither of us knew a word of Dutch: and I was surprised how little was known of English in return.

But I shall say no more.  I think it is the last foreign Travel I shall ever undertake; unless I should p. 44go with you to see the Dresden Madonna: to which there is one less impediment now Holland is not to be gone through. . . .  I am the Colour of a Lobster with Sea-faring: and my Eyes smart: so Good-Bye.  Let me hear of you.  Ever yours E. F. G.

Oh dear!—Rembrandt’s Dissection—where and how did I miss that?

To E. B. Cowell.

Market hill, Woodbridge.
Aug. 5/63.

My dear Cowell,

I don’t hear from you: I rather think you are deterred by those Birds which I asked you to print (in my last Letter) with some Correction, etc., of your own: and which you have not found Time or Inclination to get done.  But don’t let anything of this sort prevent your writing to me now and then: no one can be more utterly indifferent than I am whether these Birds are printed or not: and I suppose I distinctly told you not to put yourself to any Trouble.  Indeed I dare say I should only be bored with the Copies when they were printed: for I don’t know a Soul here who would care for the Thing if it were ten times as well done as I have done it: nor do I care for Translation or Original, myself.  Oh dear, when I do look into Homer, Dante, and Virgil, Æschylus, Shakespeare, etc., those Orientals p. 45look—silly!  Don’t resent my saying so.  Don’t they?  I am now a good [deal] about in a new Boat I have built, and thought (as Johnson took Cocker’s Arithmetic with him on travel, because he shouldn’t exhaust it) so I would take Dante and Homer with me, instead of Mudie’s Books, which I read through directly.  I took Dante by way of slow Digestion: not having looked at him for some years: but I am glad to find I relish him as much as ever: he atones with the Sea; as you know does the Odyssey—these are the Men!

I am just returned in my Ship from Holland—where I stayed—two days!—and was so glad to rush away home after being imprisoned in a sluggish un-sweet Canal in Rotterdam: and after tearing about to Amsterdam, the Hague, etc., to see things which were neither new nor remarkable to me though I had never seen them before—except in Pictures, which represent to you the Places as well as if you went there, without the trouble of going.  I am sure wiser men, with keener outsight and insight would see what no Pictures could give: but this I know is always the case with me: this is my last Voyage abroad, I believe: unless I go to see Raffaelle’s Madonna at Dresden, which no other Picture can represent than itself: unless Dante’s Beatrice.

I don’t think you ever told me if you had got, or read, Spedding’s two first volumes of Bacon.  My opinion is not the least altered of the Case: and (as I anticipated) Spedding has brooded over his Egg so p. 46long he has rather addled it.  Thompson told me that the very Papers he adduces to clear Bacon in Essex’s Business, rather go against him: I haven’t seen any Notice of the Book in any Review but Fraser: where Donne (of course) was convinced, etc., and I hear that even the wise old Spedding is mortified that he has awakened so little Interest for his Hero.  You know his Mortification would not be on his own score.  His last Letter to me (some months ago) seemed to indicate that he could scarce lift up his Pen to go on—he had as yet, he said, written nothing of volumes 3 and 4.  But I suppose he will in time.  I say this Life of his wasted on a vain work is a Tragedy pathetic as Antigone or Iphigenia.  Of Tennyson I hear but little: and I have ceased to look forward to any future Work of his.  Thackeray seems dumb as a gorged Blackbird too: all growing old!

I have lost my sister Kerrich, the only one of my family I much cared for, or who much cared for me.

But (not to dwell on what cannot be helped, and to which my talking of all growing old led me) I see in last week’s Athenæum great Praise of a new Volume of Poems by Jean Ingelow.  The Reviewer talks of a ‘new Poet,’ etc., quite unaware that some dozen years ago the ‘new Poet’ published a Volume (as you may remember) with as distinct Indications of sweet, fresh, and original Genius as anything he adduces from this second Volume.  I remember writing a sort of Review, when about you at Bramford, p. 47which I sent to Mitford, to try and give the Book a little move: but Mitford had just quitted the Gentleman’s Magazine, and I tore up my Paper.  Your Elizabeth knows (I think) all about this Lady: who, I suppose, is connected with Lincolnshire: for the Reviewer speaks of some of the Poems as relating to that Coast—Shipwrecks, etc.  I was told that Tennyson was writing a sort of Lincolnshire Idyll: I will bet on Miss Ingelow now: he should never have left his old County, and gone up to be suffocated by London Adulation.  He has lost that which caused the long roll of the Lincolnshire Wave to reverberate in the measure of Locksley Hall.  Don’t believe that I rejoice like a Dastard in what I believe to be the Decay of a Great Man: my sorrow has been so much about it that (for one reason) I have the less cared to meet him of late years, having nothing to say in sincere praise.  Nor do I mean that his Decay is all owing to London, etc.  He is growing old: and I don’t believe much in the Fine Arts thriving on an old Tree: I can’t think Milton’s Paradise Lost so good as his Allegro, etc.; one feels the strain of the Pump all through: only Shakespeare—the exception to all rule—struck out Macbeth at past fifty. [47a]

By the way, there is a new—and the best—edition [47b] of Him coming out: edited by two men (Fellows) of Cambridge.  Just the Text, with the various readings of Folio and Quartos: scarce any notes: but suggestions of Alteration from Pope, Theobald, Coleridge, p. 48etc., and—Spedding; who (as I told him twenty years ago) should have done the work these men are doing.  He also says they are well doing about half what is wanted to be done.  He should—for he could—have done all; and one Frontispiece Portrait would have served for Author and Editor.

Come—here is a long Letter—and (as I read it over) with more Go than usually attends my old Pen now.  Let it inspire you to answer: never mind the Birds:—which really suggests to me one of Dante’s beautiful lines which made me cry the other Day at Sea.

Mentre che gli occhi per la fronda verde
   Ficcava io così, come far suole
Chi dietro all’ uccellin la vita perde,
   Lo più che Padre mi dicea, etc. [48a]

To W. B. Donne.

Market hill, Woodbridge.
October 4/63.

My dear Donne,

Very rude of me not to have acknowledged your Tauchnitz [48b] before: but I have been almost living in my Ship ever since: and I supposed also that you were abroad in Norfolk.  I pitied you undergoing those dreadful Oratorios: I never heard one that was not tiresome, and in part ludicrous.  Such subjects are scarce fitted for Catgut.  Even Magnus Handel—even p. 49Messiah.  He (Handel) was a good old Pagan at heart, and (till he had to yield to the fashionable Piety of England) stuck to Opera, and Cantatas, such as Acis and Galatea, Milton’s Penseroso, Alexander’s Feast, etc., where he could revel and plunge and frolic without being tied down to Orthodoxy.  And these are (to my mind) his really great works: these, and his Coronation Anthems, where Human Pomp is to be accompanied and illustrated

Now for Tauchnitz; somehow, that which you sent me is not the thing: I don’t like it half so well as my little Tauchnitz stereotype Sophocles of 1827.  The Euripides you send bears date 1846: and is certainly not so clear to my eyes as 1827.  Never mind: don’t trouble yourself further: I shall light upon what I want one of these Days.  It is wonderful how The Sea brought up this Appetite for Greek: it likes to be called Θαλασσα and ποντος better than the wretched word ‘Sea,’ I am sure: and the Greeks (especially Æschylus—after Homer) are full of Seafaring Sounds and Allusions.  I think the Murmur of the Ægean (if that is their Sea) wrought itself into their Language.  How is it the Islandic (which I read is our Mother Tongue) was not more Poluphloisboi-ic?

Sophocles has almost shaken my Allegiance to Æschylus.  Oh, those two Œdipuses! but then that Agamemnon!  Well: one shall be the Handel and ’tother the Haydn; one the Michel Angelo, and ’tother the Raffaelle, of Tragedy.  As to the famous Prometheus, I think, as I always thought, it is somewhat p. 50over-rated for Sublimity; I can’t see much in the far famed Conception of the Hero’s Character: and I doubt (rest wanting).

To S. Laurence.

Market hill: Woodbridge.
Jan. 7/64.

Dear Laurence,

. . . I want to know about your two Portraits of Thackeray: the first one (which I think Smith and Elder have) I know by the Print: I want to know about one you last did (some two years ago?) whether you think it as good and characteristic: and also who has it.  Frederic Tennyson sent me a Photograph of W. M. T. old, white, massive, and melancholy, sitting in his Library.

I am surprized almost to find how much I am thinking of him: so little as I had seen him for the last ten years; not once for the last five.  I had been told—by you, for one—that he was spoiled.  I am glad therefore that I have scarce seen him since he was ‘old Thackeray.’  I keep reading his Newcomes of nights, and as it were hear him saying so much in it; and it seems to me as if he might be coming up my Stairs, and about to come (singing) into my Room, as in old Charlotte Street, etc., thirty years ago. [50]

p. 51To George Crabbe.

Market hill: Woodbridge.
Jan. 12/64.

My dear George,

. . . Have we exchanged a word about Thackeray since his Death?  I am quite surprised to see how I sit moping about him: to be sure, I keep reading his Books.  Oh, the Newcomes are fine!  And now I have got hold of Pendennis, and seem to like that much more than when I first read it.  I keep hearing him say so much of it; and really think I shall hear his Step up the Stairs to this Lodging as in old Charlotte Street thirty years ago.  Really, a great Figure has sunk under Earth.

To W. H. Thompson.

Market hill: Woodbridge.
Jan. 23/64.

My dear Thompson,

You see I return with your other troubles of Term time.  Only when you have ten spare minutes let me know how you are, etc. . . .  I have almost wondered at myself how much occupied I have been thinking of Thackeray; so little as I had seen of him for the last ten years, and my Interest in him a little gone from hearing he had become somewhat spoiled: which also some of his later writings hinted to me of p. 52themselves.  But his Letters, and former works, bring me back the old Thackeray. . . .  I had never read Pendennis and the Newcomes since their first appearance till this last month.  They are wonderful; Fielding’s seems to me coarse work in comparison.  I have indeed been thinking of little this last month but of these Books and their Author.  Of his Letters to me I have only kept some Dozen, just to mark the different Epochs of our Acquaintance.

To E. B. Cowell.

Market hill: Woodbridge.
Jan. 31/64.

My dear Cowell,

I have only Today got your Letter: have been walking out by myself in the Seckford Almshouse Garden till 9 p.m. in a sharp Frost—with Orion stalking over the South before me—(do you know him in India?  I forget) have come in—drunk a glass of Porter; and am minded to answer you before I get to Bed.  Perhaps the Porter will leave me stranded, however, before I get to the End of my Letter.

Before this reaches you—probably before I write it—you will have heard of Thackeray’s sudden Death.  It was told me as I was walking alone in those same Seckford Gardens on Christmas-day Night; by a Corn-merchant—one George Manby—(do you remember him?) who came on purpose to tell me—and to wish me in other respects a Happy Christmas.  p. 53I have thought little else than of W. M. T. ever since—what with reading over his Books, and the few Letters I had kept of his; and thinking over our five and thirty years’ Acquaintance as I sit alone by my Fire these long Nights.  I had seen very little of him for these last ten years; nothing for the last five; he did not care to write; and people told me he was become a little spoiled: by London praise, and some consequent Egotism.  But he was a very fine Fellow.  His Books are wonderful: Pendennis; Vanity Fair; and the Newcomes; to which compared Fielding’s seems to me coarse work.  I don’t know yet how his two daughters are left provided for; the Papers say well.  He had built and furnished a fine House at 7 or 8000 £ cost; which is as good a Property for them to let or sell as any other, I suppose; and the Copyright of his Books must also be a good Property: always supposing he had not encumbered all these by anticipation.

I was not at all well myself for three months; but either the Doctor’s Stuff, or the sharp clear weather, or both, have set me up pretty much as I was before.  I have nothing to tell, as usual, of People or Places; for I have scarce stirred from this Place since my little Ship was laid up in the middle of October.  Donne writes sometimes; I see an article of his about the Antonines advertised in the present Edinburgh; but that you know is out of my Line.  His second son, Mowbray, is lately married to a Daughter (I don’t know which) of Mrs. Salmon’s; widow of p. 54a former Rector here, whom your Elizabeth will remember all about, I dare say.

This time ten years I was lodging at Oxford, reading Persian with you.  I doubt I shall never do so again; I am too lazy to turn Dictionaries over now; and indeed had some while ceased to expect much to turn up from them.  You are quite right, as a Scholar, to work out the Mine; but you admit that nothing is likely to come out of such Value as from the Greek, Latin, and English, which we have ready to our hands.  Did I tell you how pleased I had been with Sophocles and Æschylus in my Boat this Summer?

I dare say you are quite right about my ‘Birds’: indeed I think I had always told you that my Version was of no public use; I only wanted a few Copies for private use; and I wanted you to add a short Account, and a few Notes; in which I am shy of trusting my own Irish Accuracy.  But you have plenty of better work, and this is quite as well left.

Miss Ingelow’s second volume isn’t half so good as her first, to my thinking; more ambitious, with a twang of Tennyson.  I can’t add to the List you have sent of Elizabeth’s Poems.

Maria C[harlesworth] was staying with my Brother at Boulge in the Autumn, and sent a very kind message to me; I now am sorry I did not see her; but I keep out of the way of the Company at Boulge, though I am glad to see my Brother here.  So I wish I had asked her to take the Trouble to come p. 55and see me in my Den.  Alas! if ever you do come back, you will have to come and see me; for I really go nowhere now.  Frederic Tennyson came to me for a few Days, and talked of you two: he was looking very well; and was grand and kind as before.  I hear little of Alfred.  Spedding’s Bacon seems to hang fire; they say he is disheartened at the little Interest, and less Conviction, that his two first volumes carried; Thompson told me they had only convinced him the other way; and that Ellis had long given up Bacon’s Defence before he died.

Now my sheet is filled on the strength of my own Glass of Porter—all at a heat.  So Good Bye: ever yours, E. F. G.

To S. Laurence.

Market hill: Woodbridge.
April 23/64.

Dear Laurence,

I only got home last Night, from Wiltshire, where I had been to see Miss Crabbe, daughter of the old Vicar whom you remember.  I found your two Letters: and then your Box.  When I had unscrewed the last Screw, it was as if a Coffin’s Lid were raised; there was the Dead Man. [55]  I took him up to my Bedroom; and when morning came, he was there—reading; alive, and yet dead.  I am perfectly satisfied with it on the whole; indeed, could only have suggested a very, very, slight alteration, if any. . .

p. 56As I passed through London, I saw that wonderful Collection of Rubbish, the late Bishop of Ely’s Pictures; but I fell desperately in Love with a Sir Joshua, a young Lady in white with a blue Sash, and a sweet blue Sky over her sweet, noble, Head; far above Gainsboro’ in its Air and Expression.  I see in the Papers that it went for £165; which, if I thought well to give so much for any Picture, I could almost have given, by some means, for such a delightful Work.

Market hill, Woodbridge.
April 27/64.

Dear Laurence,

. . . I will send back the Gainsboro’ copy [56a] at once; I think the Original must be one of the happiest of the Painter’s; while he had Vandyke in his Eye, with whom he was to go to Heaven. [56b]  I will not argue how far he was superior to Reynolds in Colour; but in the Air of Dignity and Gentility (in the better Sense) he was surely inferior; it must be so, from the Difference of Character in the two men.  Madame D’Arblay (Miss Burney) relates how one day when she was dining with Sir Joshua at Richmond, she chanced to see him looking at her in a peculiar way; she said to him, ‘I know what you are thinking about.’  ‘Ay,’ he said, ‘you may come and sit to me now whenever you please.’  They had often met; but he at last caught the p. 57phase of her which was best; but I don’t think it ever went to Canvas.  I don’t think Gainsboro’ could have painted the lovely portrait at the Bishop of Ely’s, slight as it was; Sir Joshua was by much the finer Gentleman; indeed Gainsboro’ was a Scamp.

* * * * *

In the summer of 1864 FitzGerald bought a small farmhouse in the outskirts of Woodbridge, which he afterwards converted into Little Grange.

To George Crabbe.

Woodbridge: July 31/64.

My dear George,

I returned yesterday from a Ten Days’ Cruise to the Sussex Coast: which was pleasant enough.  To-morrow I talk of Lowestoft and Yarmouth.

. . . Read Newman’s Apologia pro Vitâ Suâ, something of a very different order [from the ‘Dean’s English’], deeply interesting; pathetic, eloquent, and, I think, sincere: sincere, in not being conscious of all the steps he took in reaching his present Place.

To E. B. Cowell.

Market hill: Woodbridge.
Aug. 31, [1864].

My dear Cowell,

. . . I hope you don’t think I have forgotten you.  Your visit gave me a sad sort of Pleasure, dashed with the Memory of other Days; I now p. 58see so few People, and those all of the common sort, with whom I never talk of our old Subjects; so I get in some measure unfitted for such converse, and am almost saddened with the remembrance of an old contrast when it comes.  And there is something besides; a Shadow of Death: but I won’t talk of such things: only believe I don’t forget you, nor wish to be forgotten by you.  Indeed, your kindness touched me.

I have been reading Juvenal with Translation, etc., in my Boat.  Nearly the best things seem to me what one may call Epistles, rather than Satires: viii.  To Ponticus: xi.  To Persicus: and xii. xiii. and xiv to several others: and, in these, leaving out the directly satirical Parts.  Satires iii and x, like Horace’s Poems, are prostituted by Parliamentary and vulgar use, and should lie by for a while.  One sees Lucretius, I think, in many parts; but Juvenal can’t rise to Lucretius, who is, after all, the true sublime Satirist of poor Man, and of something deeper than his Corruptions and Vices: and he looks on all, too, with ‘a Countenance more in Sorrow than in Anger.’  By the way, I want you to tell me the name and Title of that Essay on Lucretius [58] which you said was enlarged and reprinted by the Author from the original Cambridge and Oxford Essays.  I want much to get it.

p. 59There is a fine Passage in Juvenal’s 6th Satire on Women: beginning line 634, ‘Fingimus hæc, etc.’ to 650: but (as I think) leaving out lines 639, 640; because one can understand without them, and they jingle sadly with their one vowel ending.  I mention this because it occurs in a Satire which, from its Subject, you may perhaps have little cared for.

Another Book I have had is Wesley’s Journal, which I used to read, but gave away my Copy—to you? or Robert Groome [59a] was it?  If you don’t know it, do know it; it is curious to think of this Diary of his running almost coevally with Walpole’s Letter-Diary; the two men born and dying too within a few years of one another, and with such different Lives to record.  And it is remarkable to read pure, unaffected, and undying, English, while Addison and Johnson are tainted with a Style, which all the world imitated!  Remember me to all.  Ever yours E. F. G.

‘Sed genus humanum damnat caligo Futuri’—a Lucretian line from Juvenal. [59b]

Market hill: Woodbridge.
Nov. 11/64.

My dear Cowell,

Let me hear of you whenever you have something to tell of yourself: or indeed whenever you p. 60have a few spare minutes, and happen, to think—of me.  I don’t forget you: and ‘out of sight’ is not ‘out of mind’ with you, and three or four more in the World.  I hope you see Donne at times: and you must look out for old Spedding, that melancholy Ruin of the 19th Century, with his half-white-washed Bacon.  Perhaps you will see another Ruin—the Author of Enoch Arden.  Compare that with the Spontaneous Go of Palace of Art, Mort d’Arthur, Gardener’s Daughter, Locksley Hall, Will Waterproof, Sleeping Palace, Talking Oak, and indeed, one may say, all the two volumes of 1842.  As to Maud, I think it the best Poem, as a whole, after 1842.

To come down to very little, from once great, Things—I don’t know if it’s your coming home, or my being better this Winter, or what: but I have caught up a long ago begun Version of my dear old Mágico, and have so recast it that scarce a Plank remains of the original!  Pretty impudence: and yet all done to conciliate English, or modern, Sympathy.  This I sha’n’t publish: so say (pray!) nothing of it at all—remember—only I shall print some Copies for you and one or two more: and you and Elizabeth will like it a great deal too much.  There is really very great Skill in the Adaptation, and Remodelling of it.  By the bye, would you translate Demonio, Lucifer, or Satan?  One of the two I take.  I cut out all the precioso very ingeniously: and give all the Mountain-moving, p. 61etc., in the second Act without Stage direction, so as it may seem to pass only in the dazzled Eyes, or Fantasy, of Cyprian.  All this is really a very difficult Job to me; not worth the Candle, I dare say: only that you two will be pleased.  I also increase the religious Element in the Drama; and make Cyprian outwit the Devil more cleverly than he now does; for the Devil was certainly too clever to be caught in his own Art.  That was very good Fun for an Autodafé Audience, however.

But please say nothing of this to any one.  I should like to take up the Vida es Sueño too in the same manner; but these plays are more difficult than all the others put together: and I have no spur now.

How would you translate Pliny’s ‘Quisquis est Deus, et quacumque in parte, totus est Sensûs, totus Visûs, totus Auditûs, totus Animæ, totus Animi, totus Sui?’ [61]

This Passage is alluded to by Calderon; but, in the manner of our old Playwrights, I quote it in the Latin and translate.  I want to know by you if I have done it sufficiently; and I don’t send you mine, in order that you may send me your Version freely.

Now, Good Bye: I suppose it’s this rainy Day that draws out this, with several other Letters, that had waited some while to be written.

Yours ever E. F. G.

p. 62To R. C. Trench.

Market hill: Woodbridge.
February 25/65.

My dear Lord,

Edward Cowell’s return to England [62a] set him and me talking of old Studies together, left off since he went to India.  And I took up three sketched out Dramas, two of Calderon, [62b] and have licked the two Calderons into some sort of shape of my own, without referring to the Original.  One of them goes by this Post to your Grace; and when I tell you the other is no other than your own ‘Life’s a Dream,’ you won’t wonder at my sending the present one on Trial, both done as they are in the same lawless, perhaps impudent, way.  I know you would not care who did these things, so long as they were well done; but one doesn’t wish to meddle, and in so free-and-easy a way, with a Great Man’s Masterpieces, and utterly fail: especially when two much better men have been before one.  One excuse is, that Shelley and Dr. Trench only took parts of these plays, not caring surely—who can?—for the underplot and buffoonery which stands most in the way of the tragic Dramas.  Yet I think it is as a whole, that is, the whole main Story, that these Plays are capital; and therefore I have tried to present that whole, leaving out the rest, or nearly so; and altogether the p. 63Thing has become so altered one way or another that I am afraid of it now it’s done, and only send you one Play (the other indeed is not done printing: neither to be published), which will be enough if it is an absurd Attempt.  For the Vida is not so good even, I doubt: dealing more in the Heroics, etc.

I tell Donne he is too partial a Friend; so is Cowell: Spedding, I think, wouldn’t care.  So, as you were very kind about the other Plays, and love Calderon (which I doubt argues against me), I send you my Magician.

You will not mind if I blunder in addressing you; in which I steered a middle course between the modes Donne told me; and so, probably, come to the Ground!

To John Allen.

Market hill: Ipswich. [63]
April 10/65.

My dear Allen,

I was much obliged to you for your former Letters; and now send you the second Play.  This I don’t suppose you’ll like as well as the first: perhaps not at all; it is rather ‘Ercles vein’ I doubt.  I wish to know however from you what you do think of it; because if it seem to you at all preposterous, I shall not send it to some others: but leave them with the first, which really does p. 64please those I wished it to please, with its fine Story and Moral.  If you like what I now send, I will send you a Copy of Both stitched together, and another copy to your Cousin: and indeed to any one else you think might be pleased with it.

I am indulging in the expensive amusement of Building, though not on a very large scale.  It is very pleasant, certainly, to see one’s little Gables and Chimnies mount into Air and occupy a Place in the Landscape.

There is a duller Memoir than the ‘Lady of Quality,’ Miss Lucy Aitken’s Letters, etc.  You will find the Private Life of an Eastern Queen a good little Book.  I have now got Carlyle’s two last volumes of Frederick: of which I have only read the latter Part; I don’t know whether I can read through the Wars and Battles, which are said to be very fine.

The piece of Literature I really could benefit Posterity with, I do believe, is an edition of that wonderful and aggravating Clarissa Harlowe; and this I would effect with a pair of Scissors only.  It would not be a bit too long as it is, if it were all equally good; but pedantry comes in, and might, I think, be cleared away, leaving the remainder one of the great, original, Works of the World! in this Line.  Lovelace is the wonderful character, for Wit: and there is some grand Tragedy too.  And nobody reads it!  Ever yours,

E. F. G.

p. 65To Mrs. Cowell.


My dear Lady,

I answer you thus directly because I would stick in a Bit of a Letter from Thompson of Cambridge: which relates to a question I asked him weeks ago, as I told E. B. C. I would.

You must not think I was in a hurry to have my Play praised: I was really fearful of its being bombastic.  You are so enthusiastic in your old and kind Regards and Memories that I can scarce rely on you for a cool Judgment in the matter.  But I gather from E. B. C. that he was not struck with what I doubted: and I am very glad, at any rate, that you are very well pleased, both of you.

E. B. C. is quite right about obscurity of Phrase: which is inexcusable unless where the Passion of the Speakers makes such utterance natural.  This is very often not the case in the Plays, I know: and the Language, as he says, becomes obscure from elaborate Brevity.

What you tell of the Music in the Air at your Father’s Death—Oh, how Frederic Tennyson would open all his Eyes at this!  For he lives in a World of Spirits—Swedenborg’s World, which you would not approve; which I cannot sympathize with: but yet I admire the Titanic old Soul so resolutely blind to the Philosophy of the Day.

p. 66Oh, I think England would be much better for E. B. C. and you: but I can’t say anything against what he thinks the Duty chalked out for him.  I don’t believe the English Rule will hold in India: but, meanwhile, a good Man may think he must do what Good he can there, come what may of it.  There is also Good to be done in England!

The Wind is still very ‘stingy’ though the Sun shines, and though it blows from the West.  So we are all better at our homes for the present.

Ever yours, E. F. G.

To W. B. Donne.

Ramsgate: August 27, [1865].

My dear Donne,

Your letter found me here, where I have been a week cruising about with my old Brother Peter.  To morrow we leave—for Calais, as we propose; just to touch French Soil, and drink a Bottle of French Wine in the old Town: then home again to Woodbridge as fast as we may.  For thither goes William Airy, partly in hopes of meeting me: he says he is much shaken by the dangerous illness he had this last Spring: and thinks, truly enough, that our chances of meeting in this World sensibly diminish.

You must not talk of my kindness to you at p. 67Lowestoft: when all the good is on your side, going out of your way to see me.  Really it makes me ashamed.

Together with your Letter, I found a very kind one from Mrs. Kemble, who took the trouble to write only to tell me how well she liked the Plays.  I know that Good Nature would not affect her Judgment (which I very honestly think too favourable), but it was Good Nature made her write to tell me.

Don’t forget to sound Murray at some good opportunity about a Selection from Crabbe.  Of course he won’t let me do it, though I could do it better than any he would be likely to employ: for you know I rely on my Appreciation of what others do, not on what I can do myself.

The ‘Parcel’ you write of has not been sent me here: but I shall find it when I return, and will write to you again.  I puzzle my Brains to remember what the ‘Conscript’ is.

I have been reading, and reducing to one volume from two (more meo), a trashy Book, ‘Bernard’s Recollections of the Stage,’ with some good recollections of the Old Actors, up to Macklin and Garrick.  But, of all people’s, one can’t trust Actors’ Stories.  In ‘Lethe,’ where your Garrick figures in Sir Geoffrey, also figured Woodward, as ‘The Fine Gentleman’; so I think, at least, is the Title of a very capital mezzotint I have of him in Character,

p. 68Oh! famous is your Story of Lord Chatham and the Bishops; [68] be sure you set it afloat again in print.

You don’t tell me if Trench be recovered: but I shall conclude from your Silence that, at any rate, he is not now seriously ill.

Now I hear my good Brother come in from Morning Mass, and we shall have Breakfast.  He is really capital to sail about with.  I read your letter yesterday while sitting out on a Bench with her—his Wife—a brave Woman, of the O’Dowd sort; and she wanted to know all about you and yours.  We like Ramsgate very much: genial air: pleasant Country: good Harbour, Piers, etc.: and the Company, though overflowing, not showy, nor vulgar: but seemingly come to make the most of a Holiday.  I am surprized how little of the Cockney, in its worse aspect, is to be seen.

To E. B. Cowell.

Market hill: Woodbridge.
Septr. 5/65.

My dear Cowell,

Let me hear of you: I don’t forget, though I don’t see, you.  Nor am I so wrapt up in my Ship as not to have many a day on which I should be very glad p. 69to dispense with her and have you over here: but I can’t well make sure what day: sometimes I ask one man to go, sometimes another, and so all is cut up.  Besides I was away six weeks in all at Lowestoft; then a fortnight at Ramsgate, Dover, Calais, etc.  When the apple ερευθεται ακρω επ οσδω [69a]—then my Ship will be laid up, and one more Summer of mine departed, and then I hope you will come over to talk over many things.

Read Lady Duff Gordon’s Letters from Egypt: which you won’t like, because of some latitude in Religious thought, and also because of some vulgar slang, such as Schoolboys, and American Women use, and it is now the bad fashion for even English Ladies to adopt.  But the Book is worth reading notwithstanding this, and making allowance for a Lady or Gentleman seeing all rose-colour in a new Pet or Plaything.  On sending the Book back to the Library this morning I quote out of it something about Oriental Poetry which you may know well enough but I was not so conscious of.  In a Love-song where the Lover declines a Physician for the wound which the Wind (Love) has caused, he says ‘For only he who has hurt can cure me.’   ‘N.B. The masculine pronoun is always used instead of the feminine in Poetry, out of decorum: sometimes even in conversation.’ [69b]  (It being as forbidden to talk of women as to see them, etc.)

p. 70I was very pleased with Calais, which remains the ‘vieille France’ of my Childhood.

Donne came to see me for a Day at Lowestoft, the same ‘vieil Donne’ also of my Boyhood.

Ever yours, E. F. G.

To John Allen.

Markethill: Woodbridge.
Nov. 1/65.

My dear Allen,

Let me hear how you and yours are: it is now a long [time] since we exchanged Letters.  G. Crabbe wrote me you were corresponding with a very different person: the Editor of the Times.  I never see that nor any other Paper but the good old Athenæum.  G. Crabbe also said you were at the Norwich Congress.  Then why didn’t you come here?  He said the Bishop of Oxford, whom he had never met before, met him at Lord Walsingham’s, and shook him so cordially by the hand, and pressed him so for a visit to Oxford, that he (G. C.) rather thought he (Sam) deserved the Epithet usually added to his Name.  Perhaps, however, the Bishop did feel for a Grandson of the Poet.

I have no more to tell you of myself this past Summer than for so many Summers past.  Only sailing about, Lowestoft, Ramsgate, Dover, Calais, etc.  I was very pleased indeed with Calais; just p. 71as I remember it forty years ago except for the Soldiers’ Uniform.

Duncan wrote me not a very cheerful Letter some while ago: he was unwell, of Cold and rheumatism, I think.  Of other Friends I know nothing: but am going to write my annual Letters to them.  What a State of things to come to!  How one used to wonder, hearing our predecessors talk in that way, something!  But I don’t think our successors wonder if we talk so; for they seem to begin Life with indifference, instead of ending it.

My house is not yet finished: two rooms have taken about five months: which is not slow for Woodbridge.  To day I have been catching Cold in looking at some Trees planted—‘factura Nepotibus umbram.’

Now this precious Letter can’t go to-night for want of Envelope; and in half an hour two Merchants are coming to eat Oysters and drink Burton ale.  I would rather be alone, and smoke my own pipe in peace over one of Trollope’s delightful Novels, ‘Can you forgive her?’

Now, my dear Allen, here is enough of me, for your sake as well as mine.  But let me hear something from you.  All good Remembrances to the Wife and those of your Children who remember yours ever, E. F. G.

p. 72[Woodbridge]
Decr. 3/65.

My dear Allen,

I enclose you two prints which may amuse you to look at and keep.

I have a wonderful Museum of such scraps of Portrait; about once a year a Man sends me a Portfolio of such things.  But my chief Article is Murderers; and I am now having a Newgate Calendar from London.  I don’t ever wish to see and hear these things tried; but, when they are in print, I like to sit in Court then, and see the Judges, Counsel, Prisoners, Crowd: hear the Lawyers’ Objections, the Murmur in the Court, etc.

The Charge is prepared; the Lawyers are met,
The Judges are rang’d, a terrible show.

De Soyres came here the other Day, and we were talking of you; he said you had invited Newman to your house.  A brave thing, if you did.  I think his Apology very noble; and himself quite honest, so far as he can see himself.  The Passage in No. 7 of the Apology where he describes the State of the World as wholly irreflective of its Creator unless you turn—to Popery—is very grand.

Now I probably sha’n’t write to you again before Christmas: so let me wish you and Mrs. Allen and your Family a Happy time of it.

Ever yours, E. F. G.

p. 73I was very disappointed in Miss Berry’s Correspondence; one sees a Woman of Sense, Taste, Good Breeding, and I suppose, Good Looks; but what more, to make three great Volumes of!  Compare her with Trench’s Mother.  And with all her perpetual travels to improve health and spirits (which lasted perfectly well to near ninety) one would have been more interested if there were one single intimation of caring about any Body but herself, helping one poor Person, etc.

I don’t know if she or Mrs. Delany is dullest.

To W. H. Thompson.

Woodbridge: March 15/66.

My dear Thompson,

To-day’s Post brings me a Letter from Robert Groome, which tells me (on ‘Times’ authority) that you are Master of Trinity.  Judging by your last Letter, I suppose this was unexpected by yourself: I have no means of knowing whether it was expected by others beside those who voted you to the Honour.  For I had heard nothing further of the whole matter, even of Whewell’s accident, than you yourself told me.  Well, at our time of Life, any very vehement Congratulations are, I suppose, irrelevant on both sides.  But I am very sure I do congratulate you heartily, if you are yourself gratified.  Whether you are glad of the Post itself or not, you must, I think, be gratified with the Confidence in your Scholarship p. 74and Character which has made your Society elect you.  And so far one may unreservedly congratulate you. . . .

To-day I was looking at the Carpenters, etc., carrying away Chips, etc., of a Tree I had cut down: and, coming home, read—

δρυος πεσουσης πας ανηρ ξυλευεται [74]

Whose Line?—Certainly not of

Yours ever sincerely, E. F. G.

To John Allen.

Market hill: Woodbridge,
March 19 [1866].

My dear Allen,

You shall hear a very little about me; and you shall tell me a very little about yourself?  I forget when I last wrote to you, or heard from you: I suppose, about the end of Autumn.  Here have I been ever since, without stirring further than Ipswich: and seeing nobody you know except R. Groome once.  He wrote me the other day to announce that Thompson was Master of Trinity; an Honour quite unexpected by Thompson himself, I conclude, seeing that he himself had written to me only a Fortnight before, telling me of Whewell’s Disaster, and sincerely hoping for his Recovery, from a Dread of a new King p. 75Log or King Stork, he said.  He also said something of coming here at Easter: which now, I suppose, he won’t be able to do.  I have written to congratulate him in a sober way on his Honours; for, at our Time of Life, I think exultation would be unseasonable on either side.  He will make a magnanimous Master, I believe; doing all the Honours of his Station well, if he have health.

Spedding wrote me a kind long Letter some while ago.  Duncan tells me Cameron has had a slight Paralysis.  Death seems to rise like a Wall against one now whichever way one looks.  When I read Boswell and other Memoirs now, what presses on me most is—All these people who talked and acted so busily are gone.  It is said that when Talma advanced upon the Stage his Thought on facing the Audience was, that they were all soon to be Nothing.

I bought Croker’s Boswell; which I find good to refer to, but not to read; so hashed up it is with interpolations.  Besides, one feels somehow that a bad Fellow like Croker mars the Good Company he introduces.  One should stop with Malone, who was a good Gentleman: only rather too loyal to Johnson, and so unjust to any who dared hint a fault in him.  Yet they were right.  Madame D’Arblay, who was also so vext with Mrs. Piozzi, admits that she had a hard time with Johnson in his last two years; so irritable and violent he became that she says People would not ask him when they invited all the rest of the Party.

p. 76Why, my Paper is done, talking about these dead and gone whom you and I have only known in Print; and yet as well so as most we know in person.  I really find my Society in such Books; all the People seem humming about me.  But now let me hear of you, Allen: and of Wife and Family.

Ever yours, E. F. G.

To W. H. Thompson.

Market hill, Woodbridge.
[March, 1866.]

My dear Thompson,

I should write ‘My dear Master’ but I don’t know if you are yet installed.  However, I suppose my Letter, so addressed, will find you and not the Old Lion now stalking in the Shades. . . .

In burning up a heap of old Letters, which one’s Executors and Heirs would make little of, I came upon several of Morton’s from Italy: so good in Parts that I have copied those Parts into a Blank Book.  When he was in his money Troubles I did the same from many other of his Letters, and Thackeray asked Blackwood to give ten pounds for them for his Magazine.  But we heard no more of them.

I have the usual Story to tell of myself: middling well: still here, pottering about my House, in which I expect an invalid Niece; and preparing for my Ship p. 77in June.  William Airy talks of coming to me soon.  I am daily expecting the Death of a Sister in law, a right good Creature, who I thought would outlive me a dozen years, and should rejoice if she could.  Things look serious about one.  If one only could escape easily and at once!  For I think the Fun is over: but that should not be.  May you flourish in your high Place, my dear Master (now I say) for this long while.

[June, 1866.]

My dear Thompson,

I won’t say that I should have gone to Ely under any Circumstances, though it is the last Place I have been to stay at with a Friend: three years ago!  And all my Stays there were very pleasant indeed: and I do not the less thank you for all your Constancy and Kindness.  But one is got down yet deeper in one’s Way of Life: of which enough has been said.

William Airy was to have come here about this time: and him I am obliged to put off because another old Fellow Collegian, Duncan, [77] who has scarce stirred from his Dorsetshire Parsonage these twenty years, was seized with a Passion to see me just once more, he says: and he is now with me: a Hypochondriack Man, nervous, and restless, with a vast deal of uncouth Humour. . . .

My Ship is afloat, with a new Irish Ensign; but I p. 78have scarce been about with her yet owing to ‘Mr. Wesley’s Troubles.’ [78a]

Only yesterday I took down my little Tauchnitz Sophocles to carry to Sea with me; and made Duncan here read—

οποια χρηζει ρηyνυτω· τουμον δ' εyω, [78b] etc.

and began to blubber a little at

ω φίλτατ' Αιyέως παι, μονοις ου yίyνεται, etc.

in the other Great Play. [78c]  The Elgin Marbles, and something more, began to pass before my Eyes.

I believe I write all this knowing you are at Ely: where I suppose you are more at Leisure than on your Throne in Trinity.  But no doubt your Tyranny follows you there too; post Equitem and all.

To E. B. Cowell.

Woodbridge: Friday
[June, 1866].

My dear Cowell,

I got your new Address from your Brother a Fortnight ago.  You don’t write to me for the very good reason that you have so much to do: I don’t write to you because I have nothing to do, and so nothing to tell you of.  My idle reading all goes down to a few Memoirs and such things: I am not got down to Miss Braddon and Mrs. Wood yet, and I believe p. 79never shall: not that I think this a merit: for it would show more Elasticity of Mind to find out and make something out of the Genius in them.  But it is too late for me to try and retrace the ‘Salle des pas perdus’ of years; I have not been very well, and more and more ‘smell the Mould above the Rose’ as Hood wrote of himself.  But I don’t want to talk of this.

You are very good to talk of sparing a Day for me when you come down.  I will be sure to be at home any Day, or Days, next week.  I can give you Bed and Board as you know: and a Boat Sail on the River if you like.  Why I don’t go over to you I have written and spoken of enough—all I can, if not satisfactorily: only don’t think it is indolence, Neglect, or Distaste for you, or any of yours. . . .

I haven’t, I think, taken in your Sanskrit morsel as yet, for I am called about this morning on some Furniture Errands: and yet I want to post this Letter To-day that you may have it this week.

I still think I shall take a Tauchnitz Sophocles with me to Sea, once more to read the two Œdipuses, and Philoctetes; perhaps more carefully than before; perhaps not!  It is stupid not to get up those three noble Pieces as well as one can.

I have not yet done my house: and, when I write of Furniture, it is because I want to get so much ready as will suffice for an Invalid Niece who wishes to come with her Maid by the End of June, or the Beginning of July.  Your old opposite Neighbour p. 80Mason is my Apollo in these matters: I find him a very clever Fellow, and so well inclined to me that every one else says he can scarce make money of what he sells me.  He has humour too.

I think you and Elizabeth should one day come and stay in this new House, which will be really very pleasant.  As far as I am concerned, I sha’n’t have much to do with it, I believe; but some one will inherit, and—sell it!

I want you to choose a Lot of my Things to be bequeathed you: Books, Pictures, Furniture.  You mustn’t think I prematurely deck myself in Sables for my own Funeral; but it happens that I sent the rough Draft of a Will to my Lawyer only three days ago.

My Brother John so much wants a Copy of Elizabeth’s Verses to my Sister Isabella in other Days.

This time twenty years you were going to me at Boulge Cottage: this time ten years you were preparing for India.

Adieu, Love to the Lady.

Ever yours, E. F. G.

To W. H. Thompson.

Lowestoft: July 27 [1866].

My dear Thompson,

Your welcome Letter was forwarded to me here To day.

p. 81I feel sure that the Lady I once saw at the Deanery is all you say; and you believe of me, as I believe of myself, that I don’t deal in Compliment, unless under very strong Compulsion.  I suppose, as Master of Trinity you could not do otherwise than marry, and so keep due State and Hospitality there: and I do think you could not have found one fitter to share, and do, the honours.  And if (as I also suppose) there is Love, or Liking, or strong Sympathy, or what not? why, all looks well.  Be it so!

I had not heard of Spedding’s entering into genteel House-keeping till your Letter told me of it.  I suppose he will be a willing Victim to his Kinsfolk.

A clerical Brother in law of mine has lost his own whole Fortune in four of these Companies which have gone to smash.  Nor his own only.  For, having, when he married my Sister, insisted on having half her Income tied to him by Settlement, that half lies under Peril from the ‘Calls’ made upon him as Shareholder.

At Genus Humanum damnat Caligo Futuri.

So I, trusting in my Builder’s Honesty, have a Bill sent in about one third bigger than it should be.

All which rather amuses me, on the whole, though I spit out a Word now and then: and indeed am getting a Surveyor to overhaul the Builder: a hopeless Process, I believe all the while.

Meanwhile, I go about in my little Ship, where I do think I have two honest Fellows to deal with.

p. 82We have just been boarding a Woodbridge Vessel that we met in these Roads, and drinking a Bottle of Blackstrap round with the Crew.

With me just at present is my Brother Peter, for whose Wife (a capital Irishwoman, of the Mrs. O’Dowd Type) my Paper is edged with Black.  No one could be a better Husband than he; no one more attentive and anxious during her last Illness, more than a year long; and, now all is over, I never saw him in better Health or Spirits.  Men are not inconsolable for elderly Wives; as Sir Walter Scott, who was not given to caustic Aphorisms, observed long ago.

When I was sailing about the Isle of Wight, Dorsetshire, etc., I read my dear old Sophocles again (sometimes omitting the nonsense-verse Choruses) and thought how much I should have liked to have them commented along in one of your Lectures.  All that is now over with you: but you will look into the Text now and then.  I have now got Munro’s Lucretius on board again.  Why is it that I never can take up with Horace—so sensible, elegant, agreeable, and sometimes even grand?

Some one gave me the July Number of the Cornhill to read the ‘Loss of the London’ in; and very well worth reading it is.  But there is also the Beginning of a Story that I am sure must be by Annie Thackeray—capital and wonderful.  I forget the name.

Now I won’t finish this Second Sheet—all with p. 83such Scraps as the foregoing.  But do believe how sincerely and truly I wish you well in your new Venture.  And so I will shut up, my dear Thompson, for the present.  No man can have more reason to wish you a good Return for your long generous Kindness than your old Friend,

E. F. G.

To E. B. Cowell.

Woodbridge: August 13/66.

My dear Cowell,

I think you have given me up as a bad Job: and I can’t blame you.  I have been expecting to hear of you in these parts: though, had it been so, I doubt if I should have been here to meet you.  For the last six weeks I have scarce been at home; what with sailing to the Isle of Wight, Norfolk Coast, staying at Lowestoft, etc.  And now I am just off again to the latter place, having only returned here on Saturday.  Nor can I say when I shall be back here for any long while: the Kerriches are at Lowestoft; and I have yet one or two more Sea-trips to make before October consigns me once more to Cold, Indoor Solitude, Melancholy, and Illhealth.

My Companion on board has been Sophocles, as he was three years ago, I find.  I am even now going to hunt up some one-volume Virgil to take with me.  Horace I never can care about, in spite of his Good Sense, Elegance, and occasional Force.  He never made my Eyes wet as Virgil does.

p. 84When I was about Cromer Coast, I was reading Windham’s Diary: well worth reading, as one of the most honest; but with little else in it than that.  You would scarcely guess from it that he was a man of any Genius, as yet I suppose he was.

Somehow I fancy you must be travelling abroad!  Else surely I should have heard something of you.  Well: I must anyhow enclose this Letter, or direct it, to your Mother’s or Brother’s at Ipswich.  Do let me hear of yourself and Elizabeth, and believe that I do not forget you, nor cease to be

Yours very sincerely
Edward FitzGerald.

Lowestoft: August 19/66.

My dear Cowell,

I don’t wish you to think I am in Woodbridge all this while since your Note came.  It was forwarded to me here, where I have been since I wrote to you a week ago.  The fact is, I had promised to return on finding that the Kerriches were to be here.  So, here I am: living on board my little Ship: sometimes taking them out for a Sail: sometimes accompanying them in a walk.  In other respects, I am very fond of this Place, which I have known and frequented these forty years; till the last three years in company with my Sister Kerrich, who has helped to endear it to me.  I believe I shall be here, off and on, some p. 85while longer; as my Brother Peter (who has lately lost a capital Wife) is coming to sail about with me.  Should I be at Woodbridge for some days I will let you know.

Do you see ‘Squire Allenby,’ as the folks at Felixtow Ferry call him?  If so, ask him why he doesn’t sometimes sail here with his ship; he would like it, I fancy: and everybody seems to like him.

Only yesterday I finished reading the Electra.  Before that, Ajax; which is well worth re-reading too.  I am sorry to find I have only Antigone left of all the precious Seven; a lucid Constellation indeed!  I suppose I must try Euripides after this; some few of his Plays.

This time ten years—a month ago—we were all lounging about in the hayfield before your Mother’s House at Rushmere.  I do not forget these things: nor cease to remember them with a sincere, sad, and affectionate interest: the very sincerity of which prevents me from attempting to recreate them.  This I wish you and yours, who have been so kind to me, to believe.

I am going to run again to the Coast of Norfolk—as far as Wells—to wander about Holkham, if the Weather permit.  We have had too much Wind and Wet to make such excursions agreeable: for, when one reached the Places by Sea, the Rain prevented one’s going about on Shore to look about.  But now that there has been rather a better look-out of Weather for the last few Days, and that—

p. 86δεινωντ' αημα πνευματων εκοίμισε
στένοντα ποντον— [86]

I shall try again for two or three Days.  How do you translate δεινων here?

Ever yours, E. F. G.

Lowestoft still!  Septr. 4 [1866].

My dear Cowell,

Still here, you see!  Till the end of last week I had my Kerrich people here; I am now expecting my Brother Peter again: he has lately lost his capital Wife, and flies about between Ireland and England for Company and Diversion of Thought.  I am also expecting Mowbray Donne over from Yarmouth this week.

I wonder if you ever would come over here, and either Bed and Board in my little Ship, or on Shore?  Anyhow, do write me a line to tell me about yourself—yourselves—and do not think I am indifferent to you.

I have been reading Euripides (in my way) but, as heretofore do not take greatly to him.  He is always prosy, whereas (except in the matter of funeral Lamentations, Condolence, etc., which I suppose the Greek Audience expected—as I suppose they also expected the little sententious truism at the end of every Speech), except in these respects, Sophocles always goes ahead, and makes his Dialogue act in p. 87driving on the Play.  He always makes the most of his Story too: Euripides not often.  A remarkable instance of this is in his Heraclidæ (one of the better Plays, I think), where Macaria is to be sacrificed for the common good: but one hears no more of her: and a fine opportunity is lost when Jocasta [87a] insults Eurystheus whom they have conquered, and is never told that that Conquest is at the cost of her Grand-daughter’s Life—a piece of Irony which Sophocles would not have forgotten, I think.  I have not yet read over Rhesus, Hippolytus, Medea, Ion, or the Iphigenias; altogether, the Phœnissæ is the best of those I have read; the interview between Jocasta and her two sons, before the Battle, very good.  There is really Humour and Comedy in the Servant’s Account of Hercules’ conviviality in Admetus’ House of Mourning.  I thought the story of the Bacchæ poorly told: but some good descriptive passages.

In the midst of Euripides, I was seized with a Passion to return to Sophocles, and read the two Œdipuses again.  Oh, how immeasurably superior!  In dramatic Construction, Dialogue, and all!  How can they call Euripides τραyικωτατος, [87b] putting a few passages of his against whole Dramas of the other, who also can show sentence for sentence more moving than any Euripides wrote.

But I want to read these Plays once with some very accurate Guide, oral or printed.  I mean p. 88Sophocles; I don’t care to be accurate with the other.  Can you recommend any Edition—not too German?  I should write to Thompson about it; but I suppose he is busy with Marriage coming on.  I mean, the present Master of Trinity, who is engaged to the widow of Dean Peacock; a very capital Lady to preside as Queen of Trinity Lodge.

I have also been visiting dear old Virgil; his Georgics, and the 6th and 8th Books of the Æneid.  I could now take them up and read them both again.  Pray look at lines 407-415 of Book VIII—the poor Matron kindling her early fire—so Georgic! so Virgilian! so unsuited, or disproportionate, to the Thing it illustrates.

Here is a long Letter—of the old Sort, I suppose.  All these Books come back to me with Summer and the Sea: in another Month all will be gone together!—I look with Terror toward Winter, though I have not to encounter one, at any rate, of the three Giants which old Mrs. Bloomfield said were coming upon her—Winter, Want, and Sickness. [88]

Pray remember me, in spite of all practical Forgetfulness, to Wife and Friends.

Ever yours, E. F. G.

p. 89To F. Tennyson.

Woodbridge: Jan. 29/67.

My dear Frederic,

Let me hear from you one Day.  I would send you my MS. Book of Morton’s Letters: but I scarce know if the Post would carry it to you; though not so very big: and I am still less sure that you would ever return it to me.  And what odds if you didn’t?  It might as well die in your Possession as in mine.

In answer to my yearly Letter to Alfred and Co. I heard (from Mrs.) that they were about to leave Freshwater, frightened away by Hero-worshippers, etc., and were going to a Solitude called Greyshott Hall, Haslemere; which, I am told, is in Hants.  Whether they go to settle there I don’t know.  Lucretius’ Death is thought to be too free-spoken for Publication, I believe; not so much in a religious, as an amatory, point of View.  I should believe Lucretius more likely to have expedited his Departure because of Weariness of Life and Despair of the System, than because of any Love-philtre.  I wrote also my yearly Letter to Carlyle, begging my compliments to his Wife: who, he replies, died, in a very tragical way, last April.  I have since heard that the Papers reported all the Circumstances.  So, if one lives so much out of the World as I do, it seems better to give up that Ghost altogether.  Old Spedding has written a Pamphlet about ‘Authors p. 90and Publishers’; showing up, or striving to show up, the Publishers’ system.  He adduces his own Edition of Bacon as a sample of their mismanagement, in respect of too bulky Volumes, etc.  But, as he says, Macaulay and Alison are still bulkier; yet they sell.  The truth is that a solemnly-inaugurated new Edition of all Bacon was not wanted.  The Philosophy is surely superseded; not a Wilderness of Speddings can give men a new interest in the Politics and Letters.  The Essays will no doubt always be in request, like Shakespeare.  But I am perhaps not a proper Judge of these high matters.  How should I? who have just, to my great sorrow, finished ‘The Woman in White’ for the third time, once every last three Winters.  I wish Sir Percival Clyde’s Death were a little less of the minor Theatre sort; then I would swallow all the rest as a wonderful Caricature, better than so many a sober Portrait.  I really think of having a Herring-lugger I am building named ‘Marian Halcombe,’ the brave Girl in the Story.  Yes, a Herring-lugger; which is to pay for the money she costs unless she goes to the Bottom: and which meanwhile amuses me to consult about with my Sea-folks.  I go to Lowestoft now and then, by way of salutary Change: and there smoke a Pipe every night with a delightful Chap, who is to be Captain.  I have been, up to this time, better than for the last two winters: but feel a Worm in my head now and then, for all that.  You will say, only a Maggot.  Well; we shall see.  When I p. 91go to Lowestoft, I take Montaigne with me; very comfortable Company.  One of his Consolations for The Stone is, that it makes one less unwilling to part with Life.  Oh, you think that it didn’t need much Wisdom to suggest that?  Please yourself, Ma’am.  January, just gone!  February, only twenty-eight Days: then March with Light till six p.m.: then April with a blush of Green on the Whitethorn hedge: then May, Cuckoos, Nightingales, etc.; then June, Ship launched, and nothing but Ship till November, which is only just gone.  The Story of our Lives from Year to Year.  This is a poor letter: but I won’t set The Worm fretting.  Let me hear how you are: and don’t be two months before you do so.

To W. B. Donne.

Woodbridge: Febr. 15 [1867].

My dear Donne,

I came home yesterday from a week’s Stay at Lowestoft.  As to the Athenæum, [91] I would bet that the last Sentence was tacked on by the Editor: for it in some measure contradicts the earlier part of the Article.

When your letter was put into my hands, I happened to be reading Montaigne, L. ii. Ch. 8, De l’Art de Conferer, where at the end he refers to p. 92Tacitus; the only Book, he says, he had read consecutively for an hour together for ten years.  He does not say very much: but the Remarks of such a Man are worth many Cartloads of German Theory of Character, I think: their Philology I don’t meddle with.  I know that Cowell has discovered they are all wrong in their Sanskrit.  Montaigne never doubts Tacitus’ facts: but doubts his Inferences; well, if I were sure of his Facts, I would leave others to draw their Inferences.  I mean, if I were Commentator, certainly: and I think if I were Historian too.  Nothing is more wonderful to me than seeing such Men as Spedding, Carlyle, and I suppose Froude, straining Fact to Theory as they do, while a scatter-headed Paddy like myself can keep clear.  But then so does the Mob of Readers.  Well, but I believe in the Vox Populi of two hundred Years: still more, of two thousand.  And, whether we be right or wrong, we prevail: so, however much wiser are the Builders of Theory, their Labour is but lost who build: they can’t reason away Richard’s Hump, nor Cromwell’s Ambition, nor Henry’s Love of a new Wife, nor Tiberius’ beastliness.  Of course, they had all their Gleams of Goodness: but we of the Mob, if we have any Theory at all, have that which all Mankind have seen and felt, and know as surely as Day-light; that Power will tempt and spoil the Best.

Well, but what is all this Lecture to you for?  Why, I think you rather turn to the re-actionary Party about these old Heroes.  So I say, however p. 93right you may be, leave us, the many-headed, if not the wise-headed, to go our way, only making the Text of Tacitus as clear for us to flounder about in as you can.  That, anyhow, must be the first Thing.  Something of the manners and customs of the Times we want also: some Lights from other contemporary Authors also: and then, ‘Gentlemen, you will now consider your Verdict, and please yourselves.’

Can’t you act on Spedding’s Advice and have your Prolegomena separate, if considerable in size?  I don’t doubt its Goodness: but you know how, when one wants to take a Volume of an Author on Travel, Ship-board, etc., how angry one is with the Life, Commentary, etc., which takes up half the first volume.  This we don’t complain of in George III. because he is not a Classic, and your Athenæum Critic admits that yours is the best Part of the Business by far.

To E. B. Cowell.

Scandal’; Lowestoft, June 17 [1867].

My dear Cowell,

I wrote to Elizabeth, I think, to congratulate you both on the result of the Election: I have since had your Letter: you will not want me to repeat what, without my ever having written or said, you will know that I feel.  I wrote to Thompson on the subject, and have had a very kind Letter from him.

p. 94Now you will live at Cambridge among the Learned; but, I repeat, you would rather live among the Ignorant.  However, your Path is cut out for you: and, to be sure, it is a more useful and proper one for you than the cool sequestered one which one might like to travel.

I am here in my little Ship—cool and sequestered enough, to be sure—with no Company but my Crew of Two, and my other—Captain of the Lugger now a-building: a Fellow I never tire of studying—If he should turn out knave, I shall have done with all Faith in my own Judgment: and if he should go to the Bottom of the Sea in the Lugger—I sha’n’t cry for the Lugger.

Well, but I have other Company too—Don Quixote—the 4th Part: where those Snobs, the Duke and Duchess—(how vulgar Great Folks then, as now!) make a Fool and Butt of him.  Cervantes should have had more respect for his own Creation: but, I suppose, finding that all the Great Snobs could only laugh at the earlier part, he thought he had better humour them.  This very morning I read the very verses you admired to me twenty years ago—

Ven muerte tan escondida, etc.

They are quoted ironically in Part iv. Lib. vii. Ch. 38.

Ever yours, E. F. G.

p. 95Woodbridge: Oct. 12 [1867].

My dear Cowell,

When you have leisure you will let me know of your being settled at Cambridge?  I also want to have your exact Address because I want to send you the Dryden and Crabbe’s Life I promised you.  At present you are busy with your Inaugural Address, I suppose; beside that you feel scarce at home yet in your new Quarters.

Mr. Allenby told me on Wednesday that Mrs. Charlesworth was really up again, and even got to Cambridge.  Please to remember me to her, and to all your Party.

My Ship is still afloat: but I have scarce used her during the last cold weather.  I was indeed almost made ill sleeping two nights in that cold Cabin.  I may, however, run to Lowestoft and back; but by the end of next week I suppose she (the Ship) will be laid up in the Mud; my Men will have eaten the Michaelmas Goose which I always regale them with on shutting up shop; and I may come home to my Fire here to read ‘The Woman in White’ and play at Patience:—which (I mean the Game at Cards so called) I now do by myself for an hour or two every night.  Perhaps old Montaigne may drop in to chat with and comfort me: but Sophocles, Don Quixote, and Boccaccio—I think I must leave them with their Halo of Sea and Sunshine about them.  I have, however, found the second volume of p. 96Sophocles; and may perhaps return to look for Ajax and Deianeira.

Adieu: E. F. G.

To W. F. Pollock.

Market hill: Woodbridge.
October 28 [1867],

Now, My dear Pollock,

I have put on a new Goose-quill Nib, on purpose to write my best MS. to you.  But the new Nib has very little to say for me: the old Story: dodging about in my Ship for these last five months: indeed during all that time not having lain, I believe, for three consecutive Nights in Christian Sheets.  But now all that is over: this very day is my little Ship being dismantled, and to-morrow will she go up to her middle in mud, and here am I anchored to my old Desk for the Winter; and beginning, as usual, by writing to my Friends, to tell them what little there is to tell of myself, and asking them to tell what they can of themselves in return.  I shall even fire a shot at old Spedding; who would not answer my last Letters at all: innocent as they were, I am sure: and asking definite Questions, which he once told me he required if I wanted any Answer.  I suppose he is now in Cumberland.  What is become of Bacon?  Are you one of the Converted, who go the whole Hog?

Thompson—no, I mean the Master of Trinity—has replied to my half-yearly Enquiries in a very p. 97kind Letter.  He tells me that my friend Edward Cowell has pleased all the Audience he had with an inaugural Lecture about Sanskrit. [97a]  Also, that there is such an Article in the Quarterly about the Talmud [97b] as has not been seen (so fine an Article, I mean) for years.  I have had Don Quixote, Boccaccio, and my dear Sophocles (once more) for company on board: the first of these so delightful, that I got to love the very Dictionary in which I had to look out the words: yes, and often the same words over and over again.  The Book really seemed to me the most delightful of all Books: Boccaccio, delightful too, but millions of miles behind; in fact, a whole Planet away.

To W. A. Wright.

Market hill, Woodbridge.
Dec. 11 [1867].

Dear Sir,

When Robert Groome was with me a month ago, I was speaking to him of having found some Bacon in Montaigne: and R. G. told me that you had observed the same, and were indeed collecting some instances; I think, quotations from Seneca, so employed as to prove that Bacon had them from the Frenchman.  It has been the fashion of late to scoff at Seneca; whom such men as Bacon and Montaigne quoted: perhaps not Seneca’s own, but cribbed from some Greek which would have been admired by those who scoff at the Latin.

p. 98I had not noticed this Seneca coincidence: but I had observed a few passages of Montaigne’s own, which seemed to me to have got into Bacon’s Essays.  I dare say I couldn’t light upon all these now; but, having been turning over Essai 9, Lib. iii. De la Vanité, I find one sentence which comes to the point: ‘Car parfois c’est bien choisir de ne choisir pas.’  In the same Essay is a piece of King Lear, perhaps; ‘De ce mesme papier où il vient d’escrire l’arrest de condemnation contre un Adultere, le Juge en desrobe un lopin pour en faire un poulet à la femme de son compaignon.’  One doesn’t talk of such things as of plagiarisms, of course; as if Bacon and Shakespeare couldn’t have said much better things themselves; only for the pleasure of tracing where they read, and what they were struck by.  I see that ‘L’Appetit vient en mangeant’ is in the same Essay.

If I light some other day on the other passages, I will take the liberty of telling you.  You see I have already taken the liberty of writing to a man, not unknown to me in several ways, but with whom I have not the pleasure of being acquainted personally.  Perhaps I may have that pleasure one of these days; we are both connected with the same town of Beccles, and may come together.  I hope so.

But I have also another reason for writing to you.  Your ‘Master’ wrote me word the other day, among other things, that you as well as he wished for my own noble works in your Library.  I quite understand that this is on the ground of my being a p. 99Trinity man.  But then one should have done something worthy of ever so little a niche in Trinity Library; and that I do know is not my case.  I have several times told the Master what I think, and know, of my small Escapades in print; nice little things, some of them, which may interest a few people (mostly friends, or through friends) for a few years.  But I am always a little ashamed of having made my leisure and idleness the means of putting myself forward in print, when really so many much better people keep silent, having other work to do.  This is, I know, my sincere feeling on the subject.  However, as I think some of the Translations I have done are all I can dare to show, and as it would be making too much fuss to wait for any further asking on the subject, I will send them if you think good one of these days all done up together; the Spanish, at least, which are, I think, all of a size.  Will you tell the Master so if you happen to see him and mention the subject?  Allow me to end by writing myself yours sincerely,

Edward FitzGerald.

To E. B. Cowell.

12 Marine Terrace, Lowestoft.
Dec. 28 [1867].

My dear Cowell,

. . . I don’t think I told you about Garcin de Tassy.  He sent me (as no doubt he sent you) his annual Oration.  I wrote to thank him: and said I p. 100had been lately busy with another countryman of his, Mons. Nicolas, with his Omar Khayyám.  On which De Tassy writes back by return of post to ask ‘Where I got my Copy of Nicolas?  He had not been able to get one in all Paris!’  So I wrote to Quaritch: who told me the Book was to be had of Maisonneuve, or any Oriental Bookseller in Paris; but that probably the Shopman did not understand, when ‘Les Rubáiyát d’Omar, etc.,’ were asked for, that it meant ‘Les Quatrains, etc.’  This (which I doubt not is the solution of the Mystery) I wrote to Garcin: at the same time offering one of my two Copies.  By return of Post comes a frank acceptance of one of the Copies; and his own Translation of Attár’s Birds by way of equivalent.  τοιονδ' απέβη τοδε πραyγμα.  Well, as I got these Birds just as I was starting here, I brought them with me, and looked them over.  Here, at Lowestoft, in this same row of houses, two doors off, I was writing out the Translation I made in the Winter of 1859.  I have scarce looked at Original or Translation since.  But I was struck by this; that eight years had made little or no alteration in my idea of the matter: it seemed to me that I really had brought in nearly all worth remembering, and had really condensed the whole into a much compacter Image than the original.  This is what I think I can do, with such discursive things: such as all the Oriental things I have seen are.  I remember you thought that I had lost the Apologues towards the close; but I believe p. 101I was right in excluding them, as the narrative grew dramatic and neared the Catastrophe.  Also, it is much better to glance at the dangers of the Valley when the Birds are in it, than to let the Leader recount them before: which is not good policy, morally or dramatically.  When I say all this, you need not suppose that I am vindicating the Translation as a Piece of Verse.  I remember thinking it from the first rather disagreeable than not: though with some good parts.  Jam satis.

There is a pretty story, which seems as if it really happened (p. 201 of De Tassy’s Translation, referring to v. 3581 of the original), of the Boy falling into a well, and on being taken out senseless, the Father asking him to say but a word; and then, but one word more: which the Boy says and dies.  And at p. 256, Translation (v. 4620), I read, ‘Lorsque Nizâm ul-mulk fut à l’agonie, il dit: “O mon Dieu, je m’en vais entre les mains du vent.”’  Here is our Omar in his Friend’s mouth, is it not?

I have come here to wind up accounts for our Herring-lugger: much against us, as the season has been a bad one.  My dear Captain, who looks in his Cottage like King Alfred in the Story, was rather saddened by all this, as he had prophesied better things.  I tell him that if he is but what I think him—and surely my sixty years of considering men will not so deceive me at last!—I would rather lose money with him than gain it with others.  Indeed I never proposed Gain, as you may imagine: but only p. 102to have some Interest with this dear Fellow.  Happy New Year to you Both!

I wish you would have Semelet’s Gulistan which I have.  You know I never cared for Sadi.

To W. F. Pollock.

Market hill: Woodbridge.
Jan: 9/68.

My dear Pollock,

I saw advertised in my old Athenæum a Review [102] of Richardson’s Novels in the January Cornhill.  So I bought it: and began to think you might have written it: but was not so assured as I went on.  It is however very good, in my opinion, whoever did it: though I don’t think it does all justice to the interminable Original.  When the Writer talks of Grandison and Clarissa being the two Characters—oh, Lovelace himself should have made the third: if unnatural (as the Reviewer says), yet not the less wonderful: quite beyond and above anything in Fielding.  Whether you wrote the article or not, I know you are one of the few who have read the Book.  The Reviewer admits that it might be abridged; I am convinced of that, and have done it for my own satisfaction: but you thought this was not to be done.  So here is internal proof that you didn’t write what Thackeray used to call the ‘Hurticle,’ or that you have changed your mind on that score.  But you haven’t.  But I p. 103know better, Lord bless you: and am sure I could (with a pair of Scissors) launch old Richardson again: we shouldn’t go off the stocks easy (pardon nautical metaphors), but stick by the way, amid the jeers of Reviewers who had never read the original: but we should float at last.  Only I don’t want to spend a lot of money to be hooted at, without having time to wait for the floating.

I have spent lots of money on my Herring-lugger, which has made but a poor Season.  So now we are going (like wise men) to lay out a lot more for Mackerel; and my Captain (a dear Fellow) is got ill, which is much worst of all: so hey for 1868!  Which is wishing you better luck next time, Sir, etc.

Spedding at last found and sent me his delightful little Paper about Twelfth Night.  I was glad to be set right about Viola: but I think he makes too much of the whole play, ‘finest of Comedies,’ etc.  It seems to me quite a light, slight, sketch—for Twelfth Night—What you will, etc.  What else does the Name mean?  Have I uttered these Impieties!  No more!  Nameless as shameless.

To E. B. Cowell.

Woodbridge: May 28/68.

My dear Cowell,

I was just about to post you your own Calcutta Review when your Letter came, asking about some Euphranors.  Oh yes!  I have a Lot of them: p. 104returned from Parker’s when they were going to dissolve their House; I would not be at the Bother of any further negociation with any other Bookseller, about half a dozen little Books which so few wanted: so had them all sent here.  I will therefore send you six copies.  I had supposed that you didn’t like the second Edition so well as the first: and had a suspicion myself that, though I improved it in some respects, I had done more harm than good: and so I have never had courage to look into it since I sent it to you at Oxford.  Perhaps Tennyson [104] only praised the first Edition and I don’t know where to lay my hands on that.  I wonder he should have thought twice about it.  Not but I think the Truth is told: only, a Truth every one knows!  And told in a shape of Dialogue really something Platonic: but I doubt rather affectedly too.  However, such as it is, I send it you.  I remember being anxious about it twenty years ago, because I thought it was the Truth (as if my telling it could mend the matter!): and I cannot but think that the Generation that has grown up in these twenty years has not profited by the Fifty Thousand Copies of this great work!

I am sorry to trouble you about Macmillan; I should not have done so had I kept my Copy with your corrections as well as my own.  As Lamb said of himself, so I say; that I never had any Luck with p. 105printing: I certainly don’t mean that I have had much cause to complain: but, for instance, I know that Livy and Napier, put into good Verse, are just worth a corner in one of the swarm of Shilling Monthlies. [105]

‘Locksley Hall’ is far more like Lucretius than the last Verses put into his mouth by A. T.  But, once get a Name in England, and you may do anything.  But I dare say that wise men too, like Spedding, will be of the same mind with the Times Critic. (I have not seen him.) What does Thompson say?  You, I, and John Allen, are among the few, I do say, who, having a good natural Insight, maintain it undimmed by public, or private, Regards.

P.S.  Having consulted my Landlord, I find that I can pay carriage all through to Cambridge.  Therefore it is that I send you, not only your own Book, and my own, but also one of the genteel copies of Boswell’s Johnson; and Wesley’s Journal: both of which I gave you, only never sent!  Now they shall go.  Wesley, you will find pleasant to dip into, I think: of course, there is much sameness; and I think you will allow some absurdity among so much wise and good.  I am almost sorry that I have not noted down on the fly-leaf some of the more remarkable Entries, as I have in my own Copy.  If you have not read the little Autobiography of Wesley’s Disciple, John Nelson, give a shilling for it.  It p. 106seems to me something wonderful to read these Books, written in a Style that cannot alter, because natural; while the Model Writers, Addison, Johnson, etc., have had their Day.  Dryden holds, I think: he did not set up for a Model Prose man.  Sir T. Browne’s Style is natural to him, one feels.

Felixtow Ferry: July 25 [1868.]

My dear Cowell,

I found your Letter on reaching Woodbridge yesterday; where you see I did not stay long.  In fact I only left Lowestoft partly to avoid a Volunteer Camp there which filled the Town with People and Bustle: and partly that my Captain might see his Wife: who cannot last very much longer I think: scarcely through Autumn, surely.  She goes about, nurses her children, etc., but grows visibly thinner, weaker, and more ailing.

If the Wind changes (now directly in our Teeth) I shall sail back to Lowestoft to-morrow.  Thompson and Mrs. T. propose to be at the Royal Hotel there till Wednesday, and we wish, I believe, to see each other again.  Sailing did not agree with his bilious temperament: and he seemed to me injudicious in his hours of Exercise, Dinner, etc.  But he, and she, should know best.  I like her very much: head and heart right feminine of the best, it seemed to me: and her experience of the World, and the Wits, not having injured either.

p. 107I only wanted Macmillan to return the Verses [107] if he wouldn’t use them, because of my having no corrected Copy of them.

I see in the last Athenæum a new ‘and revised’ Edition of Clarissa advertised.  I suppose this ‘revised’ does not mean ‘abridged,’ without which the Book will not permanently make way, as I believe.  That, you know, I wanted to do: could do: and nearly have done;—But that, and my Crabbe, I must leave for my Executors and Heirs to consign to Lumber-room, or fire.

Pray let me hear of your movements, especially such as tend hitherward.  About September—Alas!—I think we shall be a good Deal here, or at Woodbridge; probably not so much before that time.

Ever yours and Lady’s, E. F. G.

Woodbridge: March 1/69.

My dear Cowell,

. . . My Lugger Captain has just left me to go on his Mackerel Voyage to the Western Coast; and I don’t know when I shall see him again.  Just after he went, a muffled bell from the Church here began to toll for somebody’s death: it sounded like a Bell under the sea.  He sat listening to the Hymn played by the Church chimes last evening, and said he could hear it all as if in Lowestoft Church when he was a Boy, ‘Jesus our Deliverer!’  You can’t think what a grand, tender, Soul this is, lodged in a suitable carcase.

p. 108To Mrs. W. H. Thompson.


Dear Mrs. Thompson,

(I must get a new Pen for you—which doesn’t promise to act as well as the old one—Try another.)

Dear Mrs. Thompson—Mistress of Trinity—(this does better)—

I am both sorry, and glad, that you wrote me the Letter you have written to me: sorry, because I think it was an effort to you, disabled as you are; and glad, I need not say why.

I despatched Spedding’s letter to your Master yesterday; I daresay you have read it: for there was nothing extraordinary wicked in it.  But, he to talk of my perversity! . . .

My Sir Joshua is a darling.  A pretty young Woman (‘Girl’ I won’t call her) sitting with a turtle-dove in her lap, while its mate is supposed to be flying down to it from the window.  I say ‘supposed,’ for Sir J. who didn’t know much of the drawing of Birds, any more than of Men and Women, has made a thing like a stuffed Bird clawing down like a Parrot.  But then, the Colour, the Dove-colour, subdued so as to carry off the richer tints of the dear Girl’s dress; and she, too, pensive, not sentimental: a Lady, as her Painter was a Gentleman.  Faded as it is in the face (the Lake, which he would use, having partially flown), it is one of the most beautiful things of his I have seen: more p. 109varied in colour; not the simple cream-white dress he was fond of, but with a light gold-threaded Scarf, a blue sash, a green chair, etc. . . .

I was rather taken aback by the Master’s having discovered my last—yes, and bonâ-fide my last—translation in the volume I sent to your Library.  I thought it would slip in unobserved, and I should have given all my little contributions to my old College, without after-reckoning.  Had I known you as the Wife of any but the ‘quondam’ Greek Professor, I should very likely have sent it to you: since it was meant for those who might wish for some insight into a Play [109] which I must think they can scarcely have been tempted into before by any previous Translation.  It remains to be much better done; but if Women of Sense and Taste, and Men of Sense and Taste (who don’t know Greek) can read, and be interested in such a glimpse as I give them of the Original, they must be content, and not look the Horse too close in the mouth, till a better comes to hand.

My Lugger has had (along with her neighbours) such a Season hitherto of Winds as no one remembers.  We made £450 in the North Sea; and (just for fun) I did wish to realize £5 in my Pocket.  But my Captain would take it all to pay Bills.  But if he makes another £400 this Home Voyage!  Oh, then we shall have money in our Pockets.  I do wish this.  For the anxiety about all these People’s lives p. 110has been so much more to me than all the amusement I have got from the Business, that I think I will draw out of it if I can see my Captain sufficiently firm on his legs to carry it on alone.  True, there will then be the same risk to him and his ten men, but they don’t care; only I sit here listening to the Winds in the Chimney, and always thinking of the Eleven hanging at my own fingers’ ends.

This Letter is all desperately about me and mine, Translations and Ships.  And now I am going to walk in my Garden: and feed my Captain’s Pony with white Carrots; and in the Evening have my Lad come and read for an hour and a half (he stumbles at every third word, and gets dreadfully tired, and so do I; but I renovate him with Cake and Sweet Wine), and I can’t just now smoke the Pipe nor drink the Grog.  ‘These are my Troubles, Mr. Wesley;’ [110] but I am still the Master’s and Mistress’ loyal Servant,

Edward FitzGerald.

p. 111To E. B. Cowell.

Woodbridge: Tuesday,
[28 Dec. 1869.]

My dear Cowell,

Your Letter to day was a real pleasure—nay, a comfort—to me.  For I had begun to think that, for whatever reason, you had dropt me; and I know not one of all my friends whom I could less afford to lose.

You anticipate rightly all I think of the new Idylls. [111]  I had bought the Book at Lowestoft: and when I returned here for Christmas found that A. T.’s Publisher had sent me a Copy.  As I suppose this was done by A. T.’s order, I have written to acknowledge the Gift, and to tell him something, if not all, of what I think of them.  I do not tell him that I think his hand weakened; but I tell him (what is very true) that, though the main Myth of King Arthur’s Dynasty in Britain has a certain Grandeur in my Eyes, the several legendary fragments of it never did much interest me; excepting the Morte, which I suppose most interested him also, as he took it up first of all.  I am not sure if such a Romance as Arthur’s is not best told in the artless old English in which it was told to Arthur’s artless successors four hundred years ago; or dished up anew in something of a Ballad Style like his own Lady of Shalott, rather than elaborated into a modern p. 112Epic form.  I never cared, however, for any chivalric Epic; neither Tasso, nor Spenser, nor even Ariosto, whose Epic has a sort of Ballad-humour in it; Don Quixote is the only one of all this sort I have ever cared for.

I certainly wish that Alfred had devoted his diminished powers to translating Sophocles, or Æschylus, as I fancy a Poet should do—one work, at any rate—of his great Predecessors.  But Pegasus won’t be harnessed.

From which I descend to my own humble feet.  I will send you some copies of Calderon when I have uncloseted and corrected them.  As to Agamemnon, I bound up a Copy of him in the other Translations I sent to Trinity Library—not very wisely, I doubt; but I thought the Book would just be put up on its shelf, and I had given all I was asked for, or ever could be asked for.  The Master, however, wrote me that it came to his Eyes, and I dare say he thought I had best have let Æschylus alone.  My Version was not intended for those who know the Original; but, by hook or by crook, to interest some who do not.  The Shape I have wrought the Play into is good, I think: the Dialogue good also: but the Choruses (though well contrived for the progress of the Story) are very false to Æschylus; and anyhow want the hand of a Poet.  Mine, as I said, are only a sort of ‘Entr’ acte’ Music, which would be better supplied by Music itself.

I will send you in a day or two my Christmas p. 113Gossip for the East Anglian, where I am more at home.  But you have heard me tell it all before.

It is too late to wish you a good Christmas—(I wonder how you passed it, mine was solitary and dull enough) but you know I wish you all the Good the New Year can bring.  Love to Elizabeth; do not be so long without writing again, if only half a dozen lines, to yours and hers sincerely,

E. F. G.

To S. Laurence.

Market hill: Woodbridge.
Jan. 13/70.

My dear Laurence,

Can you tell me (in a line) how I should treat some old Pictures of mine which have somehow got rusty with the mixt damp and then fires (I suppose) of my new house, which, after being built at near double its proper cost, is just what I do not want, according to the usage of the Ballyblunder Family, of which I am a very legitimate offshoot?

If you were down here, I think I should make you take a life-size Oil Sketch of the Head and Shoulders of my Captain of the Lugger.  You see by the enclosed that these are neither of them of a bad sort: and the Man’s Soul is every way as well proportioned, missing in nothing that may become A Man, as I believe.  He and I will, I doubt, part Company; well as he likes me, which is perhaps as well as a sailor cares for any one but Wife and p. 114Children: he likes to be, what he is born to be, his own sole Master, of himself, and of other men.  So now I have got him a fair start, I think he will carry on the Lugger alone: I shall miss my Hobby, which is no doubt the last I shall ride in this world: but I shall also get eased of some Anxiety about the lives of a Crew for which I now feel responsible.  And this last has been a Year of great Anxiety in this respect.

I had to run to London for one day about my Eyes (which, you see by my MS., are not in prime order at all) and saw a Sir Joshua at a Framer’s window, and brought it down.  The face faded, but elegant and lady-like always; the dress in colour quite Venetian.  It was in Leicester Square; I can’t think how all the world of Virtuosos kept passing and would not give twenty pounds for it.  But you don’t rate Sir Joshua in comparison with Gainsboro’.

Woodbridge: Jan. 20/70.

My dear Laurence,

. . . My Captain lives at Lowestoft, and is there at present: he also in anxiety about his Wife who was brought to bed the very same day my Landlady died, and (as a letter from him this morning tells me) has a hard time of it.  I should certainly like a large Oil-sketch, like Thackeray’s, done in your most hasty, and worst, style, to hang up with Thackeray and Tennyson, with whom he shares a certain Grandeur of Soul and Body.  As you guess, the p. 115colouring is (when the Man is all well) as fine as his form: the finest Saxon type: with that complexion which Montaigne calls ‘vif, mâle, et flamboyant’; blue eyes; and strictly auburn hair, that any woman might sigh to possess.  He says it is coming off, as it sometimes does from those who are constantly wearing the close hot Sou’westers.  We must see what can be done about a Sketch.

Lowestoft, February 27 [1870].

My dear Laurence,

. . . I came here a few days ago, for the benefit of my old Doctor, The Sea, and my Captain’s Company, which is as good.  He has not yet got his new Lugger home; but will do so this week, I hope; and then the way for us will be somewhat clearer.

If you sketch in a head, you might send it down to me to look at, so as I might be able to guess if there were any likelihood in that way of proceeding.  Merely the Lines of Feature indicated, even by Chalk, might do.  As I told you, the Head is of the large type, or size, the proper Capital of a six foot Body, of the broad dimensions you see in the Photograph.  The fine shape of the Nose, less than Roman, and more than Greek, scarce appears in the Photograph; the Eye, and its delicate Eyelash, of course will remain to be made out; and I think you excel in the Eye.

When I get home (which I shall do this week) I p. 116will send you two little Papers about the Sea words and Phrases used hereabout, [116a] for which this Man (quite unconsciously) is my main Authority.  You will see in them a little of his simplicity of Soul; but not the Justice of Thought, Tenderness of Nature, and all the other good Gifts which make him a Gentleman of Nature’s grandest Type.

Suffolk Hotel, Lowestoft, August 2/70.

Dear Laurence,

. . . The Lugger is now preparing in the Harbour beside me; the Captain here, there, and everywhere; with a word for no one but on business; the other side of the Man you saw looking for Birds’ Nests; all things in their season.  I am sure the Man is fit to be King of a Kingdom as well as of a Lugger.  To-day he gives the customary Dinner to his Crew before starting, and my own two men go to it; and I am asked too: but will not spoil the Fun.

I declare, you and I have seen A Man!  Have we not?  Made in the mould of what Humanity should be, Body and Soul, a poor Fisherman.  The proud Fellow had better have kept me for a Partner in some of his responsibilities. [116b]  But no; he must rule alone, as is right he should too.

I date from the Inn where my Letters are p. 117addressed; but I write in the little Ship which I live in.  My Nieces are now here; in the town, I mean; and my friend Cowell and his Wife; so I have more company than all the rest of the year.  I try to shut my Eyes and Ears against all tidings of this damnable War, seeing that I can do no good to others by distressing myself.

To W. F. Pollock.

Bridgewood, Nov. 1, [1870].

My dear Pollock,

I must say that my savageness against France goes no further than wishing that the new and gay part of Paris were battered down; not the poor working part, no, nor any of the People destroyed.  But I wish ornamental Paris down, because then I think the French would be kept quiet till they had rebuilt it.  For what would France be without a splendid Palace?  I should not wish any such Catastrophe, however, if Paris were now as I remember it: with a lot of old historic houses in it, old Gardens, etc., which I am told are now made away with.  Only Notre Dame, the Tuileries, and perhaps the beautiful gilt Dome of the Invalides do I care for.  They are historical and beautiful too.

But I believe it would be a good thing if the rest of Europe would take possession of France itself, and rule it for better or worse, leaving the French themselves to amuse and enlighten the world by their p. 118Books, Plays, Songs, Bon Mots, and all the Arts and Sciences which they are so ingenious in.  They can do all things but manage themselves and live at peace with others: and they should themselves be glad to have their volatile Spirits kept in order by the Good Sense and Honesty which other Nations certainly abound in more than themselves. [118a]

I see what I think very good remarks about them in old Palmerston’s Papers quoted in my Athenæum. [118b]  He was just the Man they wanted, I think.

Woodbridge, Nov. 15, [1870].

My dear Pollock,

. . . Ah, I should like to hear Fidelio again, often as I have heard it.  I do not find so much ‘Melody’ in it as you do: understanding by Melody that which asserts itself independently of Harmony, as Mozart’s Airs do.  I miss it especially in Leonora’s Hope song.  But, what with the story itself, and the Passion and Power of the Music it is set to, the Opera is one of those that one can hear repeated as often as any.

p. 119If any one ever would take a good suggestion from me, you might suggest to Mr. Sullivan, or some competent Musician, to adapt that Epilogue part of Tennyson’s King Arthur, beginning—

And so to bed; where yet in sleep I seem’d
To sail with Arthur, etc.

down to

And War shall be no more—

to adapt this, I say, to the Music of that grand last Scene in Fidelio: Sullivan & Co. supplying the introductory Recitative; beginning dreamily, and increasing, crescendo, up to where the Poet begins to ‘feel the truth and Stir of Day’; till Beethoven’s pompous March should begin, and the Chorus, with ‘Arthur is come, etc.’; the chief Voices raising the words aloft (as they do in Fidelio), and the Chorus thundering in upon them.  It is very grand in Fidelio: and I am persuaded might have a grand effect in this Poem.  But no one will do it, of course; especially in these Days when War is so far from being no more!

I want to hear Cherubini’s Medea, which I dare say I should find masterly and dull.  I quite agree with you about the Italians: Mozart the only exception; who is all in all.

Woodbridge, Dec. 5/70.

My dear Pollock,

. . . Had not Sunday followed Saturday I was a little tempted to run up to hear Cherubini’s Medea, p. 120which I saw advertised for the Night.  But I believe I should feel strange at a Play now: and probably should not have sat the Opera half out.  So you have a good Play, [120] and that well acted, at last, on English Boards!  At the old Haymarket, I think: the pleasantest of all the Theatres (for size and Decoration) that I remember; yes, and for the Listons and Vestrises that I remember there in the days of their Glory.  Vestris, in what was called a ‘Pamela Hat’ with a red feather; and, again, singing ‘Cherry Ripe,’ one of the Dozen immortal English Tunes.  That was in ‘Paul Pry.’  Poor Plays they were, to be sure: but the Players were good and handsome, and—oneself was young—1822-3!  There was Macready’s Virginius at old Covent Garden, an event never to be forgotten.

One Date leads to another.  In talking one day about different Quotations which get abroad without people always knowing whence they are derived, I could have sworn that I remember Spring Rice mentioning one that he himself had invented, and had been amused at seeing quoted here and there—

Coldly correct and critically dull.

Now only last night I happened to see the Line quoted in the Preface to Frederick Reynolds’ (the Playwright’s) stupid Memoirs, published in 1827; p. 121some time before Spring Rice would have thought of such things, I suppose. . . .

What Plays Reynolds’ were, which made George III. laugh so, and put £500 apiece into the writer’s Pocket!  But then there were Lewis, Quick, Kemble, Edwin, Parsons, Palmer, Mrs. Jordan, etc. to act them.

Woodbridge, Jan. 22, [1871].

My dear Pollock,

My acquaintance with Spanish, as with other Literature, is almost confined to its Fiction; and of that I have read nothing to care about except Don Quixote and Calderon.  The first is well worth learning Spanish for.  When I began reading the Language more than twenty years ago, with Cowell who taught me nearly all I know, I tried some of the other Dramatists, Tirso de Molina, Lope de Vega, Moratin, etc., but could take but little interest in them.  All Calderon’s, I think, have something beautiful in them: and about a score of them altogether bear reading again, and will be remembered if read but once.  But Don Quixote is the Book, as you know; to be fully read, I believe, in no language but its own, though delightful in any.  You know as well as I that Spanish History has a good name; Mariana’s for one: and one makes sure that the Language, at any rate, must be suitable to relate great Things with.  But I do not meddle with History.

p. 122There are very good Selections from the Spanish Dramas published in good large-type Octavo by Don Ochoa, printed (I think) by Baudry, in Paris.  There is one volume of Calderon; one of Lopé, I believe: and one or two made up of other Playwrights.  These Books are very easily got at any foreign Bookseller’s.

An Artist [122a] to whom I have lent my house for a while has been teaching me ‘Spanish Dominoes,’ a very good Game.  He, and I, and the Captain whose Photo I sent you (did I not?) had a grand bout with it the other day.  If I went about in Company again I think I should do as old Rossini did, carry a Box of Dominoes, or pack of Cards, which I think would set Conversation at ease by giving people something easy to do beside conversing.  I say Rossini did this; but I only know of his doing it once, at Trouville, where F. Hiller met him, who has published the Conversations they had together.

Did you lead the very curious Paper in the Cornhill, [122b] a year back, I think, concerning the vext question of Mozart’s Requiem?  It is curious as a piece of Evidence, irrespective of any musical Interest.  Evidence, I believe, would compel a Law Court to decide that the Requiem was mainly, not Mozart’s, but his pupil Süssmayer’s.  And perhaps the Law Court might justly so decide, if by p. 123‘mainly’ one understood the more technical business of filling up the ideas suggested by the Master.  But then those ideas are just everything; and no Court of Musical Equity but would decide, against all other Evidence, that those ideas were Mozart’s.  It is known that he was instructing Süssmayer, almost with his last breath, about some drum accompaniments to the Requiem; and I have no doubt, hummed over the subjects, or melodies, of all.

To W. H. Thompson.

Woodbridge, Feb. 1, [1871],

My dear Master,

The Gorgias duly came last week, thank you: and I write rather earlier than I should otherwise have done to satisfy you on that point.  Otherwise, I say, I should have waited awhile till I had gone over all the Notes more carefully, with some of the sweet-looking Text belonging to them; which would have taken some time, as my Eyes have not been in good trim of late, whether from the Snow on the Ground, and the murky Air all about one, or because of the Eyes themselves being two years older than when they got hurt by Paraffin.

The Introduction I have read twice, and find it quite excellently written.  Surely I miss some—ay, more than some—of the Proof you sent me p. 124two years ago; some of the Argument to prove the relation between this Dialogue and the Republic, and consequently of the Date that must be assigned to it.  All that interested me then as it does now, and I would rather have seen the Introduction all the longer by it.  Perhaps, however, I am confounding my remembrances of the Date question (which of course follows from the matter) with the Phædrus Introduction.

Then as to what I have seen of the Notes: they seem to me as good as can be.  I do not read modern Scholars, and therefore do not know how generally the Style of English Note-writing may be [different] from that of the Latin one was used to.  But your Notes, I know, seem excellent to me; I mean, in the Style of them (for of the Scholarship I am not a proper Judge); totally without pedantry of any sort, whether of solving unnecessary difficulties, carping at other Critics, etc., but plainly determined to explain what needs explanation in the shortest, clearest, way, and in a Style which is most of all suited to the purpose, ‘familiar but by no means vulgar,’ such as we have known in such cases, whether in Latin or English.  My Quotation reminds me of yours: how sparingly, and always just to the point, introduced; Polus ‘gambolling’ from the Theme: old Wordsworth’s Robin Hood, etc.  And the paraphrases you give of the Greek are so just the thing.  I have not read Vaughan’s (?) Translation p. 125of the Republic; which I am told is good.  But this I know that I never met with any readable Translation of Plato.  Whewell’s was intolerable.  You should have translated—(that is, paraphrased, for however far some People may err on this score, rushing in where Scholars fear to tread) a Translation must be Paraphrase to be readable; and especially in these Dialogues where the familiar Grace of the Narrative and Conversation is so charming a vehicle of the Philosophy.  If people will conscientiously translate ω βέλτιστε ‘Oh most excellent man,’ when perhaps ‘My good Fellow’ was the thing meant, and ‘By the Dog!’ and so on, why, it is not English talk, and probably not Greek either.  I say you should have, or should translate one or two Dialogues to show how they should be done; if no longer than the Lysis, or one of those small and sweet ones which I believe the Germans disclaim for Plato’s.

‘The Dog’ however does need a Note, as I suppose that, however far-fetched Olympiodorus’ suggestion, this was an Oath familiar to Socrates alone, and which he took up for some, perhaps whimsical, reason.  It is not to be found (is it?) in Aristophanes, where I suppose all the common Oaths come in; but then again I wonder that, if it were Socrates’ Oath, it did not find its way into the Clouds, or perhaps into the criminal Charge against Socrates, as being a sort of mystical or scoffing Blasphemy.

p. 126I am afraid I tire you more with my Letter than you tired me with your Introduction, a good deal.  And you see, to your cost, that my MS. does not argue much pleasure in the act of writing.  But I would say my little say; which perhaps is all wrong. . . .

One of your Phrases I think truly delightful, about the Treasure to be sometimes found in a weak Vessel like Proclus.  That I think is very Platonic; all the more for such things coming only now and then, which makes them tell.  Modern Books lose by being over-crowded with good things.

* * * * *

In the course of this year 1871, FitzGerald parted with his little yacht the Scandal, so called, he said, because it was the staple product of Woodbridge, and on September 4 he wrote to me:—

Woodbridge: Septr. 4/71.

‘I run over to Lowestoft occasionally for a few days, but do not abide there long: no longer having my dear little Ship for company.  I saw her there looking very smart under her new owner ten days ago, and I felt so at home when I was once more on her Deck that—Well: I content myself with sailing on the river Deben, looking at the Crops as they grow green, yellow, russet, and are finally carried away in the red and blue Waggons with the sorrel horse.’

p. 127To W. F. Pollock.


My dear Pollock,

. . . A night or two ago I was reading old Thackeray’s Roundabouts; and (sign of a good book) heard him talking to me.  I wonder at his being so fretted by what was said of him as some of these Papers show that he was: very unlike his old self, surely.  Perhaps Ill Health (which Johnson said made every one a Scoundrel) had something to do with this.  I don’t mean that W. M. T. went this length: but in this one respect he was not so good as he used to be.

Annie Thackeray in her yearly letter wrote that she had heard from Mrs. A. T. that the Laureate was still suffering.  I judge from your Letter that he is better. . . .  I never heard any of his coadjutor Sullivan’s Music.  Is there a Tune, or originally melodious phrase, in any of it?  That is what I always missed in Mendelssohn, except in two or three of his youthful Pieces; Fingal and Midsummer Night’s Dream overtures, and Meeresstille.  Chorley [127] mentions as a great instance of M.’s candour, that when some of his Worshippers were sneering at Donizetti’s ‘Figlia,’ M. silenced them by saying ‘Do you [know] I should like to have written it myself.’  If he meant that he ever could have written it if he had pleased, he ought to have had his nose tweaked.

p. 128I have been reading Sir Walter’s Pirate again, and am very glad to find how much I like it—that is speaking far below the mark—I may say how I wonder and delight in it.  I am rejoiced to find that this is so; and I am quite sure that it is not owing to my old prejudice, but to the intrinsic merit and beauty of the Book itself.  With all its faults of detail, often mere carelessness, what a broad Shakespearian Daylight over it all, and all with no Effort, and—a lot else that one may be contented to feel without having to write an Essay about.  They won’t beat Sir Walter in a hurry (I mean of course his earlier, Northern, Novels), and he was such a fine Fellow that I really don’t believe any one would wish to cast him in the Shade. [128]

To T. Carlyle.

Woodbridge, Dec. 20, [1871].

Dear Carlyle,

Do not be alarmed at another Letter from me this year.  It will need no answer: and is only written to tell you that I have not wholly neglected the wish you expressed in your last about the Naseby stone.  I was reading, some months ago, your letters about our Naseby exploits in 1842: as also one which you wrote in 1855 (I think) about that Stone, giving me an Inscription for it.  And it was not wholly my p. 129fault that your wishes were not then fulfilled, though perhaps I was wanting in due energy about the matter.  Thus, however, it was; that when you wrote in 1855, we had just sold Naseby to the Trustees of Lord Clifden: and, as there was some hitch in the Business (Lord Carlisle being one of the Trustees), I was told I had better not put in my oar.  So the matter dropt.  Since then Lord Clifden is dead: and I do not know if the Estate belongs to his Family.  But, on receiving your last Letter, I wrote to the Lawyers who had managed for Lord Clifden to know about it: but up to this hour I have had no answer.  Thus much I have done.  If I get the Lawyer’s and Agent’s consent, I should be very glad indeed to have the stone cut, and lettered, as you wished.  But whether I should pluck up spirit to go myself and set it up on the proper spot, I am not so sure; and I cannot be sure that any one else could do it for me.  Those who were with me when I dug up the bones are dead, or gone; and I suppose the Plough has long ago obliterated the traces of sepulture, in these days of improved Agriculture; and perhaps even the Tradition is lost from the Memory of the Generation that has sprung up since I, and the old Parson, and the Scotch Tenant, turned up the ground.  You will think me very base to hesitate about such a little feat as a Journey into Northamptonshire for this purpose.  But you know that one does not generally grow more active in Travel as one gets older: and I have been a bad Traveller all my life.  p. 130So I will promise nothing that I am not sure of doing.  Only, if you continue to desire this strongly, when next Summer comes, I will resolve upon it if I can.

These Naseby Letters of yours—they are all yours I have preserved, because (as in the case of Tennyson and Thackeray) I would not leave anything of private personal history behind me, lest it should fall into some unscrupulous hand.  Even these Naseby letters—would you wish them returned to you?  Only in case you should desire this, trouble yourself to answer me now.

To W. F. Pollock.

Woodbridge, Dec. 24, [1871]

My dear Pollock,

. . . The Pirate is, I know, not one of Scott’s best: the Women, Minna, Brenda, Norna, are poor theatrical figures.  But Magnus and Jack Bunce and Claud Halcro (though the latter rather wearisome) are substantial enough: how wholesomely they swear! and no one ever thinks of blaming Scott for it.  There is a passage where the Company at Burgh Westra are summoned by Magnus to go down to the Shore to see the Boats go off to the Deep Sea fishing, and ‘they followed his stately step to the Shore as the Herd of Deer follows the leading Stag, with all manner of respectful Observance.’  This, coming in at the close of the preceding unaffected Narrative is p. 131to me like Homer, whom Scott really resembles in the simplicity and ease of his Story.  This is far more poetical in my Eyes than all the Effort of ---, ---, etc.  And which of them has written such a Lyric as ‘Farewell to Northmaven’?  I finished the Book with Sadness; thinking I might never read it again. . . .

P.S.  Can’t you send me your Paper about the Novelists?  As to which is the best of all I can’t say: that Richardson (with all his twaddle) is better than Fielding, I am quite certain.  There is nothing at all comparable to Lovelace in all Fielding, whose Characters are common and vulgar types; of Squires, Ostlers, Lady’s maids, etc., very easily drawn.  I am equally sure that Miss Austen cannot be third, any more than first or second: I think you were rather drawn away by a fashion when you put her there: and really old Spedding seems to me to have been the Stag whom so many followed in that fashion.  She is capital as far as she goes: but she never goes out of the Parlour; if but Magnus Troil, or Jack Bunce, or even one of Fielding’s Brutes, would but dash in upon the Gentility and swear a round Oath or two!  I must think the ‘Woman in White,’ with her Count Fosco, far beyond all that.  Cowell constantly reads Miss Austen at night after his Sanskrit Philology is done: it composes him, like Gruel: or like Paisiello’s Music, which Napoleon liked above all other, because he said it didn’t interrupt his Thoughts.

p. 132Woodbridge, Dec. 29 [1871].

My dear Pollock,

If you come here, come some very fine weather, when we look at our best inland, and you may take charge of my Boat on the River.  I doubt I did my Eyes damage this Summer by steering in the Sun, and peering out for the Beacons that mark the Channel; but your Eyes are proof against this, and I shall resign the command to you, as you wrote that you liked it at Clovelly. . . .

I had thought Beauty was the main object of the Arts: but these people, not having Genius, I suppose, to create any new forms of that, have recourse to the Ugly, and find their Worshippers in plenty.  In Poetry, Music, and Painting, it seems to me the same.  And people think all this finer than Mozart, Raffaelle, and Tennyson—as he was—but he never ceases to be noble and pure.  There was a fine passage quoted from his Last Idyll: about a Wave spending itself away on a long sandy Shore: that was Lincolnshire, I know.

Carlyle has written to remind me of putting up a Stone on the spot in Naseby field where I dug up the Dead for him thirty years ago.  I will gladly have the Stone cut, and the Inscription he made for it engraved: but will I go again to Northamptonshire to see it set up?  And perhaps the people there have forgotten all about the place, now that a whole p. 133Generation has passed away, and improved Farming has passed the Plough over the Ground.  But we shall see.

To W. A. Wright.

Woodbridge, Jan. 20/72.

By way of flourishing my Eyes, I have been looking into Andrew Marvell, an old favourite of mine, who led the way for Dryden in Verse, and Swift in Prose, and was a much better fellow than the last, at any rate.

Two of his lines in the Poem on ‘Appleton House,’ with its Gardens, Grounds, etc., run:

But most the Hewel’s wonders are,
Who here has the Holtseltster’s care.

The ‘Hewel’ being evidently the Woodpecker, who, by tapping the Trees, etc., does the work of one who measures and gauges Timber; here, rightly or wrongly, called ‘Holtseltster.’   ‘Holt’ one knows: but what is ‘seltster’?  I do not find either this word or ‘Hewel’ in Bailey or Halliwell.  But ‘Hewel’ may be a form of ‘Yaffil,’ which I read in some Paper that Tennyson had used for the Woodpecker in his Last Tournament. [133]

This reminded me that Tennyson once said to me, some thirty years ago, or more, in talking of Marvell’s ‘Coy Mistress,’ where it breaks in—

p. 134But at my back I always hear
Time’s winged chariot hurrying near, etc.

That strikes me as Sublime, I can hardly tell why.  Of course, this partly depends on its place in the Poem.

Apropos of the Woodpecker, a Clergyman near here was telling our Bookseller Loder, that, in one of his Parishioners’ Cottages, he observed a dried Woodpecker hung up to the Ceiling indoors; and was told that it always pointed with its Bill to the Quarter whence the Wind blew.

To Miss Anna Biddell.

WoodbridgeFeb. 22, [1872].

. . . I have lost the Boy who read to me so long and so profitably: and now have another; a much better Scholar, but not half so agreeable or amusing a Reader as his Predecessor.  We go through Tichborne without missing a Syllable, and, when Tichborne is not long enough, we take to Lothair! which has entertained me well.  So far as I know of the matter, his pictures of the manners of English High Life are good: Lothair himself I do not care for, nor for the more romantic parts, Theodora, etc.  Altogether the Book is like a pleasant Magic Lantern: when it is over, I shall forget it: and shall want to return to what I do not forget, some of Thackeray’s monumental Figures of ‘pauvre et triste Humanité,’ p. 135as old Napoleon called it: Humanity in its Depths, not in its superficial Appearances.

To W. F. Pollock.

The Old Place, Feb. 25/72.

. . . Aldis Wright must be right about ‘sear’ [135a]—French serre he says.  What a pity that Spedding has not employed some of the forty years he has lost in washing his Blackamoor in helping an Edition of Shakespeare, though not in the way of these minute archæologic Questions!  I never heard him read a page but he threw some new Light upon it.  When you see him pray tell him I do not write to him, because I judge from experience that it is a labour to him to answer, unless it were to do me any service I asked of him except to tell me of himself.

My heart leaped when the Boy read me the Attorney General’s Quotation from A. T. [135b]

From T. Carlyle.

Chelsea, 15, June, 1872.

Dear FitzGerald,

I am glad that you are astir on the Naseby-Monument question; and that the auspices are so favourable.  This welcome ‘Agent,’ so willing and beneficent, will p. 136contrive, I hope, to spare you a good deal of the trouble,—except indeed that of seeing with your own eyes that the Stone is put in its right place, and the number of ‘yards rearward’ is exactly given.

I think the Inscription will do; and as to the shape, etc., of the monument, I have nothing to advise,—except that I think it ought to be of the most perfect simplicity, and should [136] go direct to its object and punctually stop there.  A small block of Portland stone—(Portland excels all stones in the world for durability and capacity for taking an exact inscription)—block of Portland stone of size to contain the words and allow itself to be sunk firmly in the ground; to me it could have no other good quality whatever; and I should not care if the stone on three sides of it were squared with the hammer merely, and only polished on its front or fourth side where the letters are to be.

In short I wish you my dear friend to take charge of this pious act in all its details; considering me to be loyally passive to whatever you decide on respecting it.  If on those terms you will let me bear half the expense and flatter myself that in this easy way I have gone halves with you in this small altogether genuine piece of patriotism, I shall be extremely obliged to you.

Pollock has told you an altogether flattering tale about my strength, as it is nearly impossible for any person still on his feet to be more completely useless.

Yours ever truly,

T. Carlyle.

J. A. Froude (just come to walk with me) scripsit.

p. 137To W. F. Pollock.

Woodbridge, June 16, [1872].

My dear Pollock,

Some forty years ago there was a set of Lithograph Outlines from Hayter’s Sketches of Pasta in Medea: caricature things, though done in earnest by a Man who had none of the Genius of the Model he admired.  Looking at them now people who never saw the Original will wonder perhaps that Talma and Mrs. Siddons should have said that they might go to learn of Her: and indeed it was only the Living Genius and Passion of the Woman herself that could have inspired and exalted, and enlarged her very incomplete Person (as it did her Voice) into the Grandeur, as well as the Niobe Pathos, of her Action and Utterance.  All the nobler features of Humanity she had indeed: finely shaped Head, Neck, Bust, and Arms: all finely related to one another: the superior Features too of the Face fine: Eyes, Eyebrows—I remember Trelawny saying they reminded him of those in the East—the Nose not so fine: but the whole Face ‘homogeneous’ as Lavater calls it, and capable of all expression, from Tragedy to Farce.  For I have seen her in the ‘Prova d’ un’ Opera Seria,’ where no one, I believe, admired her but myself, except Thomas Moore, whose Journal long after published revealed to me one who thought,—yes, and knew—as I did.  Well, these Lithographs p. 138are as mere Skeleton Outlines of the living Woman, but I suppose the only things now to give an Idea of her, I have been a dozen years looking out for a Copy.

I think I love the Haymarket as much as any part of London because of the Little Theatre where Vestris used to sing ‘Cherry Ripe’ in her prime: and (soon after) because of the old Bills on the opposite Colonnade: ‘Medea in Corinto.  Medea, Signora Pasta.’  You know what she said, to the Confusion of all æsthetic People, one of whom said to her, ‘sans doute vous avez beaucoup étudié l’Antique?’  ‘Peut-être je l’ai beaucoup senti.’

My dear Pollock,

I have remembered, since last writing to you, that the Hayter Sketches were published by Dickenson of Bond Street, about 1825-6, I fancy.  I have tried to get them, and all but succeeded two years ago.  I am afraid they would give you and Miss Bateman the impression that Pasta played the Virago: which was not so at all.  Her scene with her Children was among the finest of all: and it was well known at the time how deeply she felt it.  But I suppose the stronger Situations offered better opportunities for the pencil, such a pencil as Hayter’s.  I used to admire as much as anything her Attitude and Air as she stood at the side of the Stage when Jason’s Bridal Procession p. 139came on: motionless, with one finger in her golden girdle: a habit which (I heard) she inherited from Grassini.  The finest thing to me in Pasta’s Semiramide was her simple Action of touching Arsace’s Shoulder when she chose him for husband.  She was always dignified in the midst of her Passion: never scolded as her Caricature Grisi did.  And I remember her curbing her Arsace’s redundant Action by taking hold of her (Arsace’s) hands, Arsace being played by Brambilla, who was (I think) Pasta’s Niece. [139a]

Woodbridge, July 4/72.

My dear Pollock,

I like your Fraser Paper very much, and recognised some points we had talked of together, [139b] but nothing that I can claim as my own.  I suppose that I think on these points as very many educated men do think; I mean as to Principles of Art.  I am not sure I understand your word ‘Imagination’ as opposed to realistic (d---d word) detail at p. 26, but I suppose I suppose I know what is meant, nevertheless, and agree with that.  Is the Prophet of p. 24 Gurlyle? [139c]  I think so.  The fine head of him which figures as Frontispiece to the People’s Edition of Sartor made me think of a sad Old Prophet; so that I bought the Book for the Portrait only.

The ‘Brown Umbrella’ pleased me greatly.

p. 140Well; and I thought there were other Papers in Fraser which made me think that, on the whole, I would take in Fraser rather than the Cornhill which you advised.  Perhaps I am just now out of tune for Novels; whether that be so or not, I don’t get an Appetite for Annie Thackeray’s [140] from the two Numbers I have had.

And here is Spedding’s vol. vi. which leaves me much where it found me about Bacon: but though I scarce care for him, I can read old Spedding’s pleading for him for ever; that is, old Spedding’s simple statement of the case, as he sees it.  The Ralegh Business is quite delightful, better than Old Kensington.

Then I have bought 3 vols of the ‘Ladies Magazine’ for 1750-3 by ‘Jasper Goodwill’ who died at Vol. iv.  It contains the Trials and Executions (16 men at a time) of the time; Miss Blandy above all; and such delightful Essays, Poems, and Enigmas, for Ladies!  The Allegories are in the Rasselas style, all Oriental.  The Essays ‘of all the Virtues which adorn, etc.’  Then Anecdotes of the Day: as of a Country woman in St. James’ Park taking on because she cannot go home till she has kissed the King’s hand: one of the Park keepers tells one of the Pages, who tells the King, who has the Woman in to kiss his hand, and take some money beside.  One wonders there weren’t heaps of such loyal Subjects.

p. 141Mowbray Donne wrote me that he sent you the Fragments I had saved and transcribed of Morton’s Letters; the best part having been lost by Blackwood’s People thirty years ago, as I believe I told you.  But don’t you think what remains capital?  I wish you would get them put into some Magazine, just for the sake of some of our Day getting them in Print.  You might just put a word of Preface as to the Author: an Irish Gentleman, of Estate and Fortune (which of course went the Irish way), who was Scholar, Artist, Newspaper Correspondent, etc.  A dozen lines would tell all that is wanted, naming no names.  It might be called ‘Fragments of Letters by an “Ill-starred” or “Unlucky” Man of Genius,’ etc. as S. M. was: ‘Unlucky’ being still used in Suffolk, with something of Ancient Greek meaning.  See if you cannot get this done, will you?  For I think many of S. M.’s friends would be glad of it: and the general Public assuredly not the worse.  Some of the names would need some correction, I think: and the Letters to be put in order of Time. [141a]  ‘Do it!’ as Julia in the Hunchback says.

p. 142[1872.]

My dear Pollock,

I went to London at the end of last week, on my way to Sydenham, where my second Brother is staying, whom I had not seen these six years, nor his Wife. . . .  On Saturday I went to the Academy, for little else but to see Millais, and to disagree with you about him!  I thought his three Women and his Highlanders brave pictures, which you think also; but braver than you think them.  The Women looked alive: the right Eye so much smaller than the left in the Figure looking at you that I suppose it was so in the original, so that I should have chosen one of the other Sisters for the position.  I could not see any analogy between the Picture and Sir Joshua’s Graces, except that there were Three.  Nor could I think the Highlanders in the Landscape vulgar; they seemed to me in character with the Landscape.  Both Pictures want tone, which may mean Glazing: wanting which they may last the longer, and sober down of themselves without the danger of cracking by any transparent Colour laid over them.

p. 143I scarce looked at anything else, not having much time.  Just as I was going out, who should come up to me but Annie Thackeray, who took my hands as really glad to see her Father’s old friend.  I am sure she was; and I was taken aback somehow; and, out of sheer awkwardness, began to tell her that I didn’t care for her new Novel!  And then, after she had left her Party to come to me, I ran off!  It is true, I had to be back at Sydenham: but it would have been better to forgo all that: and so I reflected when I had got halfway down Piccadilly: and so ran back, and went into the Academy again: but could not find A. T.  She told me she was going to Normandy this week: and I have been so vext with myself that I have written to tell her something of what I have told you.  It was very stupid indeed.

Woodbridge: November 1, [1872].

My dear Pollock,

The Spectator, as also the Athenæum, somewhat over-praise Gareth, I think: but I am glad they do so. . . .  The Poem seems to me scarce more worthy of what A. T. was born to do than the other Idylls; but you will almost think it is out of contradiction that I like it better: except, of course, the original Morte.  The Story of this young Knight, who can submit and conquer and do all the Devoir of Chivalry, interests me much p. 144more than the Enids, Lily Maids, etc. of former Volumes.  But Time is—Time was—to have done with the whole Concern: pure and noble as all is, and in parts more beautiful than any one else can do. . . .

Rain—Rain—Rain!  What will become of poor Italy?  I think we ought to subscribe for her.  Did you read of one French Caricature of the Pope leaving Rome with the Holy Ghost in a Bird Cage?

Woodbridge, Nov. 20.

My dear Pollock,

I am glad the Rogers Verses [144] gratified you.  I forget where I saw them quoted, some ten years ago; but as I had long wished for them myself, and thought others might wish for them also, I got them reprinted here in the form I sent you. . . .  I have no compunction at all in reviving this Satire upon the old Banker, whom it is only paying off in his own Coin.  Spedding (of course) used to deny that R. deserved his ill Reputation: but I never heard any one else deny it.  All his little malignities, unless the epigram on Ward be his, are dead along with his little sentimentalities; while Byron’s Scourge hangs over his Memory.  The only one who, so far as I have seen, has given any idea of his little cavilling style, is Mrs. Trench in her Letters; her excellent Letters, so far as I can see p. 145and judge, next best to Walpole and Cowper in our Language. . . .

I have bought Regnard, of the old Molière times, very good; and (what is always odd to me) as French as the French of To-day: I mean, in point of Language.

[Nov. 1872.]

My dear Pollock,

In a late Box of books which I had from Mudie were Macmillan and Fraser, for 1869-1870.  And in one of these—I am nearly sure, Macmillan—is an Article called ‘Objects of Art’ [145] which treats very well, I think, on the subject you and I talked of at Whitsun. . . .

My new Reader . . . has been reading to me Fields’ ‘Yesterdays with Authors,’ Hawthorne, Dickens, Thackeray.  The latter seems to me a Caricature: the Dickens has one wonderful bit about Macready in 1869, which ought not to have been printed during his Life, but which I will copy out for you if you have not seen it.  Hawthorne seems to me the most of a Man of Genius America has produced in the way of Imagination: yet I have never found an Appetite for his Books.  Frederic Tennyson sent me Victor Hugo’s ‘Toilers of the Sea,’ which he admires, I suppose; but I can’t get up an Appetite for that neither.  I think the Scenes being laid in the Channel Islands p. 146may have something to do with old Frederic’s Liking. . . .

The Daily News only tells me of Crisises in France, Floods in Italy, Insubordination of London Policemen, and Desertion from the British Army.  So I take refuge in other Topics.  Do look for ‘Objects of Art’ among them.

Which are you for

Noi leggiavamo }
or } un giorno per diletto? [146a]
Noi leggevamo }

Woodbridge: Nov. 28 [1872].

‘Multæ Epistolæ pertransibunt et augebitur Scientia.’  Our one Man of Books down here, Brooke, [146b] had told me that the old Editions on the whole favoured ‘leggiavamo.’  Now I shall tell him that the Germans have decided on ‘leggevamo.’  But Brooke quotes one Copy (1502) which reads ‘leggevam,’ which I had also wished for, to get rid of a fifth (and superfluous) o in the line.  I suppose such a plural is as allowable as

Noi andavam per lo solingo Piano, etc.

What is all this erudite Enquiry about?  I was talking with Edwards one night of this passage, and of this line in particular, which came into my head as a motto for a Device [146c] we were talking of; and hence all this precious fuss.

p. 147But I want to tell you what I forgot in my last letter; what Dickens himself says of his ‘Holyday Romance’ in a letter to Fields.

July 25, 1867.

‘I hope the Americans will see the joke of Holyday Romance.  The writing seems to me so much like Children’s, that dull folk (on any side of any water) might perhaps rate it accordingly.  I should like to be beside you when you read it, and particularly when you read the Pirate’s Story.  It made me laugh to that extent that my people here thought I was out of my wits: until I gave it to them to read, when they did likewise.’

One thinks, what a delightful thing to be such an Author!  Yet he died of his work, I suppose.

Woodbridge, Jan, 5/73.

My dear Pollock,

I don’t know that I have anything to tell you, except a Story which I have already written to Donne and to Mrs. Kemble, all the way to Rome, out of a French Book. [147]  I just now forget the name, and it is gone back to Mudie.  About 1783, or a little later, a young Danseur of the French Opera falls in love with a young Danseuse of the same.  She, however, takes up with a ‘Militaire,’ who indeed commands the Guard who are on p. 148Service at the Opera.  The poor Danseur gets mad with jealousy: attacks the Militaire on his post; who just bids his Soldiers tie the poor Lad to a Column, without further Injury.  The Lad, though otherwise unhurt, falls ill of Shame and Jealousy; and dies, after bequeathing his Skeleton to the Doctor attached to the Opera, with an understanding that the said Skeleton is to be kept in the Doctor’s Room at the Opera.  Somehow, this Skeleton keeps its place through Revolutions, and Changes of Dynasty: and re-appears on the Scene when some Diablerie is on foot, as in Freischütz; where, says the Book, it still produces a certain effect.  I forgot to say that the Subject wished to be in that Doctor’s Room in order that he might still be near his Beloved when she danced.

Now, is not this a capital piece of French all over?

In Sophie Gay’s ‘Salons de Paris’ [148] I read that when Madlle Contat (the Predecessor of Mars) was learning under Préville and his Wife for the Stage, she gesticulated too much, as Novices do.  So the Prévilles confined her Arms like ‘une Momie’ she says, and then set her off with a Scene.  So long as no great Passion, or Business, was needed, she felt pretty comfortable, she says: but when the Dialogue grew hot, then she could not help trying to get her hands free; and that, as the Prévilles told her, sufficiently told her when Action should begin, and not till then, whether in Grave or Comic.  This p. 149anecdote (told by Contat herself) has almost an exact counterpart in Mrs. Siddons’ practice: who recited even Lear’s Curse with her hands and arms close to her side like an Egyptian Figure, and Sir Walter Scott, [149a] who heard her, said nothing could be more terrible. . . .

The Egyptian Mummy reminds me of a clever, dashing, Book we are reading on the subject, by Mr. Zincke, Vicar of a Village [149b] near Ipswich.  Did you know, or do you believe, that the Mummy was wrapt up into its Chrysalis Shape as an Emblem of Future Existence; wrapt up, too, in bandages all inscribed with ritualistic directions for its intermediate stage, which was not one of total Sleep?  I supposed that this might be a piece of ingenious Fancy: but Cowell, who has been over to see me, says it is probable.

I have brought my Eyes by careful nursing into sufficient strength to read Molière, and Montaigne, and two or three more of my old ‘Standards’ with all my old Relish.  But I must not presume on this; and ought to spare your Eyes as well as my own in respect of this letter.

Woodbridge, Jan. /73.

My dear Pollock,

I have not been reading so much of my Gossip lately, to send you a good little Bit of, which I think may do you a good turn now and then.  Give a look at ‘Egypt of the Pharaohs’ by Zincke, Vicar of a p. 150Parish near Woodbridge; the Book is written in a light, dashing (but not Cockney pert) way, easily looked over.  There is a supposed Soliloquy of an English Labourer (called ‘Hodge’) as contrasted with the Arab, which is capital.

Do you know Taschereau’s Life of Molière?  I have only got that prefixed to a common Edition of 1730.  But even this is a delightful serio-comic Drama.  I see that H. Heine says the French are all born Actors: which always makes me wonder why they care so for the Theatre.  Heine too, I find, speaks of V. Hugo’s Worship of Ugliness; of which I find so much in --- and other modern Artists, Literary, Musical, or Graphic. . . .

What, you tell me, Palgrave said about me, I should have thought none but a very partial Friend, like Donne, would ever have thought of saying.  But I’ll say no more on that head.  Only that, as regards the little Dialogue, [150] I think it is a very pretty thing in Form, and with some very pretty parts in it.  But when I read it two or three years ago, there was, I am sure, some over-smart writing, and some clumsy wording; insomuch that, really liking the rest, I cut out about a sheet, and substituted another, and made a few corrections with a Pen in what remained, though plenty more might be made, little as the Book is.  Well; as you like this little Fellow, and I think he is worth liking, up to a Point, I shall send you a Copy of these amended Sheets.

p. 151[March 1873.]

My dear Pollock,

7¼ p.m.  After a stroll in mine own Garden, under the moon—shoes kicked off—Slippers and Dressing Gown on—A Pinch of Snuff—and hey for a Letter—to my only London Correspondent!

And to London have I been since my last Letter: and have seen the Old Masters; and finished them off by such a Symphony as was worthy of the best of them, two Acts of Mozart’s ‘Così.’  You wrote me that you had ‘assisted’ at that also: the Singing, as you know, was inferior: but the Music itself!  Between the Acts a Man sang a song of Verdi’s: which was a strange Contrast, to be sure: one of Verdi’s heavy Airs, however: for he has a true Genius of his own, though not Mozart’s.  Well: I did not like even Mozart’s two Bravuras for the Ladies: a bad Despina for one: but the rest was fit for—Raffaelle, whose Christ in the Garden I had been looking at a little before.  I had thought Titian’s Cornaro, and a Man in Black, by a Column, worth nearly all the rest of the Gallery till I saw the Raffaelle: and I couldn’t let that go with the others.  All Lord Radnor’s Pictures were new to me, and nearly all very fine.  The Vandykes delightful: Rubens’ Daniel, though all by his own hand, not half so good as a Return from Hunting, which perhaps was not: the Sir Joshuas not first rate, p. 152I think, except a small life Figure of a Sir W. Molesworth in Uniform: the Gainsboro’s scratchy and superficial, I thought: the Romneys better, I thought.  Two fine Cromes: Ditto Turners: and—I will make an End of my Catalogue Raisonnée. . . .

I suppose you never read Béranger’s Letters: there are four thick Volumes of these, of which I have as yet only seen the Second and Third: and they are well worth reading.  They make one love Béranger: partly because (odd enough) he is so little of a Frenchman in Character, French as his Works are.  He hated Paris, Plays, Novels, Journals, Critics, etc., hated being monstered himself as a Great Man, as he proved by flying from it; seems to me to take a just measure of himself and others, and to be moderate in his Political as well as Literary Opinions.

I am hoping for Forster’s second volume of Dickens in Mudie’s forthcoming Box.  Meanwhile, my Boy (whom I momently expect) reads me Trollope’s ‘He knew he was right,’ the opening of which I think very fine: but which seems to be trailing off into ‘longueur’ as I fancy Trollope is apt to do.  But he ‘has a world of his own,’ as Tennyson said of Crabbe.

March 30/73.

My dear Pollock,

. . . You have never told me how you thought him [Spedding] looking, etc., though you told me p. 153that your Boy Maurice went to sit with him.  It really reminds me of some happy Athenian lad who was privileged to be with Socrates.  Some Plato should put down the Conversation.

I have just finished the second volume of Forster’s Dickens: and still have no reason not to rejoice in the Man Dickens.  And surely Forster does his part well; but I can fancy that some other Correspondent but himself should be drawn in as Dickens’ Life goes on, and thickens with Acquaintances.

We in the Country are having the best of it just now, I think, in these fine Days, though we have nothing to show so gay as Covent Garden Market.  I am thinking of my Boat on the River. . . .

You say I did not date my last letter: I can date this: for it is my Birthday. [153]  This it was that made me resolve to send you the Photos.  Hey for my 65th year!  I think I shall plunge into a Yellow Scratch Wig to keep my head warm for the Remainder of my Days.

* * * * *

In September 1863 Mr. Ruskin addressed a letter to ‘The Translator of the Rubaiyat of Omar,’ which he entrusted to Mrs. Burne Jones, who after an interval of nearly ten years handed it to Mr. Charles Eliot Norton, Professor of the History p. 154of Fine Art in Harvard University.  By him it was transmitted to Carlyle, who sent it to FitzGerald, with the letter which follows, of which the signature alone is in his own handwriting.

* * * * *

Chelsea, 14 April, 1873.

Dear FitzGerald,

Mr. Norton, the writer of that note, is a distinguished American (co-editor for a long time of the North American Review), an extremely amiable, intelligent and worthy man; with whom I have had some pleasant walks, dialogues and other communications, of late months;—in the course of which he brought to my knowledge, for the first time, your notable Omar Khayyam, and insisted on giving me a copy from the third edition, which I now possess, and duly prize.  From him too, by careful cross-questioning, I identified, beyond dispute, the hidden ‘Fitzgerald,’ the Translator;—and indeed found that his complete silence, and unique modesty in regard to said meritorious and successful performance, was simply a feature of my own Edward F.!  The translation is excellent; the Book itself a kind of jewel in its way.  I do Norton’s mission without the least delay, as you perceive.  Ruskin’s message to you passes through my hands sealed.  I am ever your affectionate

T. Carlyle.

p. 155Carlyle to Norton.

5 Cheyne Row, Chelsea,
18 April 1873.

Dear Norton,

It is possible Fitzgerald may have written to you; but whether or not I will send you his letter to myself, as a slight emblem and memorial of the peaceable, affectionate, and ultra modest man, and his innocent far niente life,—and the connexion (were there nothing more) of Omar, the Mahometan Blackguard, and Oliver Cromwell, the English Puritan!—discharging you completely, at the same time, from ever returning me this letter, or taking any notice of it, except a small silent one.

FitzGerald to Carlyle.

(Enclosed in the preceding.)

[15 April 1873.]

My dear Carlyle,

Thank you for enclosing Mr. Norton’s Letter: and will you thank him for his enclosure of Mr. Ruskin’s?  It is lucky for both R. and me that you did not read his Note; a sudden fit of Fancy, I suppose, which he is subject to.  But as it was kindly meant on his part, I have written to thank him.  Rather late in the Day; for his Letter (which Mr. Norton thinks may have lain a year or two in his Friend’s Desk) is dated September 1863.

p. 156Which makes me think of our old Naseby Plans, so long talked of, and undone.  I have made one more effort since I last wrote to you; by writing to the Lawyer, as well as to the Agent, of the Estate; to intercede with the Trustees thereof, whose permission seems to be necessary.  But neither Agent nor Lawyer have yet answered.  I feel sure that you believe that I do honestly wish this thing to be done; the plan of the Stone, and Inscription, both settled: the exact site ascertained by some who were with me when I dug for you: so as we can even specify the so many ‘yards to the rear’ which you stipulated for: only I believe we must write ‘to the East—or Eastward’—in lieu of ‘to the rear.’  But for this Change we must have your Permission as well as from the Trustees theirs.

I am glad to hear from Mr. Norton’s Letter to you that you hold well, through all the Wet and Cold we have had for the last six months.  Our Church Bell here has been tolling for one and another of us very constantly.  I get out on the River in my Boat, and dabble about my five acres of Ground just outside the Town.  Sometimes I have thought you might come to my pleasant home, where I never live, but where you should be treated with better fare than you had at Farlingay: where I did not like to disturb the Hostess’ Economy.  But I may say this: you would not come; nor could I press you to do so.  But I remain yours sincerely, I assure you,

E. F. G.

p. 157P.S.  Perhaps I had better write a word of thanks to Mr. Norton myself: which I will do.  I suppose he may be found at the address he gives.

To C. E. Norton.

Woodbridge, April 17/73.

Dear Sir,

Two days ago Mr. Carlyle sent me your Note, enclosing one from Mr. Ruskin ‘to the Translator of Omar Khayyám.’  You will be a little surprized to hear that Mr. Ruskin’s Note is dated September 1863: all but ten years ago!  I dare say he has forgotten all about it long before this: however, I write him a Note of Thanks for the good, too good, messages he sent me; better late than never; supposing that he will not be startled and bored by my Acknowledgments of a forgotten Favor rather than gratified.  It is really a funny little Episode in the Ten years’ Dream.  I had asked Carlyle to thank you also for such trouble as you have taken in the matter.  But, as your Note to him carries your Address, I think I may as well thank you for myself.  I am very glad to gather from your Note that Carlyle is well, and able to walk, as well as talk, with a congenial Companion.  Indeed, he speaks of such agreeable conversation with you in the Message he appends to your Letter.  For which thanking you once more, allow me to write myself yours sincerely,

Edward FitzGerald.

p. 158To W. F. Pollock.

[5 May, 1873.]

Dear Pollock,

. . . I see that you were one of those who were at Macready’s Funeral.  I, too, feel as if I had lost a Friend, though I scarce knew him but on the Stage.  But there I knew him as Virginius very well, when I was a Boy (about 1821), and when Miss Foote was his Daughter.  Jackson’s Drawing of him in that Character is among the best of such Portraits, surely.  I think I shall have a word about M. from Mrs. Kemble, with whom I have been corresponding a little since her return to England.  She has lately been staying with her Son-in-Law, Mr. Leigh, at Stoneleigh Vicarage, near Kenilworth.  In the Autumn she says she will go to America, never to return to England.  But I tell her she will return. . . .

My Eyes have been leaving me in the lurch again: partly perhaps from taxing them with a little more Reading: partly from going on the Water, and straining after our River Beacons, in hot Sun and East Wind; partly also, and main partly I doubt, from growing so much older and the worse for wear.  I am afraid this very Letter will be troublesome to you to read: but I must write at a Gallop if at all. . . .


My dear Pollock,

. . . This is Sunday Night: 10 p.m.  And what is the Evening Service which I have been listening p. 159to?  The ‘Eustace Diamonds’: which interest me almost as much as Tichborne.  I really give the best proof I can of the Interest I take in Trollope’s Novels, by constantly breaking out into Argument with the Reader (who never replies) about what is said and done by the People in the several Novels.  I say ‘No, no!  She must have known she was lying!’  ‘He couldn’t have been such a Fool! etc.’


My dear Pollock,

. . . I am very shy of ‘The Greatest Poem,’ The Greatest Picture, Symphony, etc., but one single thing I always was assured of: that ‘The School’ was the best Comedy in the English Language.  Not wittier than Congreve, etc., but with Human Character that one likes in it; Charles, both Teazles, Sir Oliver, etc.  Whereas the Congreve School inspires no sympathy with the People: who are Manners not Men, you know.  Voilà de suffisamment péroré à ce sujet-là. . . .  I set my Reader last night on beginning The Mill on the Floss.  I couldn’t take to it more than to others I have tried to read by the Greatest Novelist of the Day: but I will go on a little further.  Oh for some more brave Trollope; who I am sure conceals a much profounder observation than these Dreadful Denners of Romance under his lightsome and sketchy touch, as Gainboro compared to Denner.

p. 160[July 1873.]

My dear Pollock,

Thank you for the Fraser, and your Paper in it: which I relished very much for its Humour, Discrimination, and easy style; like all you write.  Perhaps I should not agree with you about all the Pictures: but you do not give me any great desire to put that to the test.

Max Müller’s Darwin Paper reminded me of an Observation in Bacon’s Sylva; [160] that Apes and Monkeys, with Organs of Speech so much like Man’s have never been taught to speak an Articulate word: whereas Parrots and Starlings, with organs so unlike Man’s, are easily taught to do so.  Do you know if Darwin, or any of his Followers, or Antagonists, advert to this?

I have been a wonderful Journey—for me—even to Naseby in Northamptonshire; to authenticate the spot where I dug up some bones of those slain there, for Gurlyle thirty years ago.  We are to put up a Stone there to record the fact, if we can get leave of the present Owners of the Field; a permission, one would think, easy enough to obtain; but I have been more than a Year trying to obtain it, notwithstanding; and do not know that I am nearer the point after all.  The Owner is a Minor: and three Trustees must sanction the thing for him; and these three Trustees are all great People, all living in different p. 161parts of England; and, I suppose, forgetful of such a little matter, though their Estate-agent, and Lawyer, represented it to them long ago.

I stayed at Cambridge some three hours on my way, so as to look at some of the Old, and New, Buildings, which I had not seen these dozen years and more.  The Hall of Trinity looked to me very fine; and Sir Joshua’s Duke of Gloucester the most beautiful thing in it.  I looked into the Chapel, where they were at work: the Roof seemed to me being overdone: and Roubiliac’s Newton is now nowhere, between the Statues of Bacon and Barrow which are executed on a larger scale. [161]  And what does Spedding say to Macaulay in that Company?  I never saw Cambridge so empty, but not the less pleasant.


My dear Pollock,

Two or three years ago I had three or four of my Master-pieces done up together for admiring Friends.  It has occurred to me to send you one of these instead of the single Dialogue which I was looking in the Box for.  I think you have seen, or had, all the p. 162things but the last, [162] which is the most impudent of all.  It was, however, not meant for Scholars: mainly for Mrs. Kemble: but as I can’t read myself, nor expect others of my age to read a long MS.  I had it printed by a cheap friend (to the bane of other Friends), and here it is.  You will see by the notice that Æschylus is left ‘nowhere,’ and why; a modest proviso.  Still I think the Story is well compacted: the Dialogue good, (with one single little originality; of riding into Rhyme as Passion grows) and the Choruses (mostly ‘rot’ quoad Poetry) still serving to carry on the subject of the Story in the way of Inter-act.  Try one or two Women with a dose of it one day; not Lady Pollock, who knows better. . . .  When I look over the little Prose Dialogue, I see lots that might be weeded.  I wonder at one word which is already crossed—‘Emergency.’  ‘An Emergency!’  I think Blake could have made a Picture of it as he did of the Flea.  Something of the same disgusting Shape too. . . .  Blake seems to me to have fine things: but as by random, like those of a Child, or a Madman, of Genius.  Is there one good whole Piece, of ever so few lines? . . .

What do you think of a French saying quoted by Heine, that when ‘Le bon Dieu’ gets rather bored in Heaven, he opens the windows, and takes a look at the Boulevards?  Heine’s account of the Cholera in France is wonderful.

p. 163[1873.]

My dear Pollock,

I am wondering in what Idiom you will one day answer my last. [163a]  Meanwhile, I have to thank you for Lady Pollock’s Article on American Literature: which I like, as all of hers.  Only, I cannot understand her Admiration of Emerson’s ‘Humble Bee’; which, without her Comment, I should have taken for a Burlesque on Barry Cornwall, or some of that London School.  Surely, that ‘Animated Torrid Zone’ without which ‘All is Martyrdom,’ etc., is rather out of Proportion.  I wish she had been able to tell us that ten copies of Crabbe sold in America for one in England: rather than Philip of Artevelde.  Perhaps Crabbe does too.  What do you and Miladi think of these two Lines of his which returned to me the other day?  Talking of poor Vagrants, etc.,

Whom Law condemns, and Justice with a Sigh
Pursuing, shakes her Sword, and passes by. [163b]

There are heaps of such things lying hid in the tangle of Crabbe’s careless verse; and yet such things, you know, are not the best of him, the distressing Old Man!  Who would expect such a Prettyness as this of him?

As of fair Virgins dancing in a round,
Each binds the others, and herself is bound—[163c]

p. 164so the several Callings and Duties of Men in Civilized Life, etc.  Come!  If Lady Pollock will write the Reason of all this, I will supply her with a Lot of it without her having the trouble of looking through all the eight volumes for it.  I really can do little more than like, or dislike, Dr. Fell, without a further Reason: which is none at all, though it may be a very good one.  So I distinguish Phil-osophers, and Fell-osophers; which is rather a small piece of Wit.  And I don’t like the Humble Bee; and won’t like the Humble Bee, in spite of all the good reasons Miladi gives why I should; and so tell her: and tell her to forgive hers and yours always,

E. F. G.

To W. B. Donne.

Alde Cottage, Aldeburgh.
August 18, [1873].

My dear Donne,

There being a change of servants in Market Hill, Woodbridge, I came here for a week, bringing Tacitus [164] in my Pocket.  You know I don’t pretend to judge of History: I can only say that you tell the Story of Tacitus’ own Life, and of what he has to tell of others, very readably indeed to my Thinking: and so far I think my Thinking is to be relied on.  Some of the Translations from T. by your other hands read so well also that I have wished to get at p. 165the original.  But I really want an Edition such as you promised to begin upon.  Thirty years ago I thought I could make out these Latins and Greeks sufficiently well for my own purpose; I do not think so now; and want good help of other men’s Scholarship, and also of better Eyes than my own.

I am not sure if you were ever at this place: I fancy you once were.  It is duller even than it used to be: because of even the Fishing having almost died away.  But the Sea and the Shore remain the same; as to Nero, in that famous passage [165] I remember you pointed out to me: not quite so sad to me as to him, but not very lively.  I have brought a volume or two of Walpole’s Letters by way of amusement.  I wish you were here; and I will wait here if you care to come.  Might not the Sea Air do you good?

To T. Carlyle.

Woodbridge, Septr. 8/73.

My dear Carlyle,

Enclosed is the Naseby Lawyer’s answer on behalf of the Naseby Trustees.  I think it will seem marvellous in your Eyes, as it does in mine.

You will see that I had suggested whether moving the Obelisk, the ‘foolish Obelisk,’ might not be accomplished in case The Stone were rejected.  You see also that my Lawyer offers his mediation in the p. 166matter if wished.  I cannot believe the Trustees would listen to this Scheme any more than to the other.  Nor do I suppose you would be satisfied with the foolish Obelisk’s Inscription, which warns Kings not to exceed their just Prerogative, nor Subjects [to swerve from] their lawful Obedience, etc., but does not say that it stands on the very spot where the Ashes of the Dead told of the final Struggle.

I say, I do not suppose any good will come of this second Application.  The Trouble is nothing to me; but I will not trouble this Lawyer, Agent, etc., till I hear from you that you wish me to do so.  I suppose you are now away from Chelsea; I hope among your own old places in the North.  For I think, and I find, that as one grows old one returns to one’s old haunts.  However, my letter will reach you sooner or later, I dare say: and, if one may judge from what has passed, there will be no hurry in any future Decision of the ‘Three Incomprehensibles.’

I have nothing to tell of myself; having been nowhere but to that Naseby.  I am among my old haunts: so have not to travel.  But I shall be very glad to hear that you are the better for having done so; and remain your ancient Bedesman,

E. F. G.

p. 167From T. Carlyle.

The Hill, Dumfries, N.B.
13 Sep., 1873.

Dear FitzGerald,

There is something at once pathetic and ridiculous and altogether miserable and contemptible in the fact you at last announce that by one caprice and another of human folly perversity and general length of ear, our poor little enterprize is definitively forbidden to us.  Alas, our poor little ‘inscription,’ so far as I remember it, was not more criminal than that of a number on a milestone; in fact the whole adventure was like that of setting up an authentic milestone in a tract of country (spiritual and physical) mournfully in want of measurement; that was our highly innocent offer had the unfortunate Rulers of the Element in that quarter been able to perceive it at all!  Well; since they haven’t, one thing at least is clear, that our attempt is finished, and that from this hour we will devoutly give it up.  That of shifting the now existing pyramid from Naseby village and rebuilding it on Broadmoor seems to me entirely inadmissible;—and in fact unless you yourself should resolve, which I don’t counsel, on marking, by way of foot-note, on the now existing pyramid, accurately how many yards off and in what direction the real battle ground lies from it, there is nothing visible to me which can without ridiculous impropriety be done.

The trouble and bother you have had with all this, which I know are very great, cannot be repaid you, dear old friend, except by my pious thankfulness, which p. 168I can well assure you shall not be wanting.  But actual money, much or little, which the surrounding blockheads connected with this matter have first and last cost you, this I do request that you will accurately sum up that I may pay the half of it, as is my clear debt and right.  This I do still expect from you; after which Finis upon this matter for ever and a day. . . .

Good be ever with you, dear FitzGerald,
I am and remain Yours truly
(Signed) T. Carlyle.

To W. F. Pollock.

[16 Dec. 1873.]

. . . What do you think I am reading?  Voltaire’s ‘Pucelle’: the Epic he was fitted for.  It is poor in Invention, I think: but wonderful for easy Wit, and the Verse much more agreeable to me than the regularly rhymed Alexandrines.  I think Byron was indebted to it in his Vision of Judgment, and Juan: his best works.  There are fine things too: as when Grisbourdon suddenly slain tells his Story to the Devils in Hell where he unexpectedly makes his Appearance,

Et tout l’Enfer en rit d’assez bon cœur.

This is nearer the Sublime, I fancy, than anything in the Henriade.  And one Canto ends:

J’ai dans mon temps possédé des maîtresses,
Et j’aime encore à retrouver mon cœur—

is very pretty in the old Sinner. . . .

p. 169I am engaged in preparing to depart from these dear Rooms where I have been thirteen years, and don’t know yet where I am going. [169]

To John Allen.

Grange Farm: Woodbridge
Febr: 21/74.

My dear Allen,

While I was reading a volume of Ste. Beuve at Lowestoft a Fortnight ago, I wondered if you got on with him; j’avais envie de vous écrire une petite Lettre à ce sujet: but I let it go by.  Now your Letter comes; and I will write: only a little about S. B. however, only that: the Volume I had with me was vol. iii. of my Edition (I don’t know if yours is the same), and I thought you [would] like all of three Causeries in it: Rousseau, Frederick the Great, and Daguesseau: the rest you might not so much care for: nor I neither.

Hare’s Spain was agreeable to hear read: I have forgot all about it.  His ‘Memorials’ were insufferably p. 170tiresome to me.  You don’t speak of Tichborne, which I never tire of: only wondering that the Lord Chief Justice sets so much Brains to work against so foolish a Bird. [170]  The Spectator on Carlyle is very good, I think.  As to Politics I scarce meddle with them.  I have been glad to revert to Don Quixote, which I read easily enough in the Spanish: it is so delightful that I don’t grudge looking into a Dictionary for the words I forget.  It won’t do in English; or has not done as yet: the English colloquial is not the Spanish do.  It struck me oddly that—of all things in the world!—Sir Thomas Browne’s Language might suit.

They now sell at the Railway Stalls Milnes’ Life of Keats for half a crown, as well worth the money as any Book.  I would send you a Copy if you liked: as I bought three or four to give away.

You may see that I have changed my Address: obliged to leave the Lodging where I had been thirteen years: and to come here to my own house, while another Lodging is getting ready, which I doubt I shall not inhabit, as it will entail Housekeeping on me.  But I like to keep my house for my Nieces: it is not my fault they do not make it their home.

Ever yours, E. F. G.

p. 171To S. Laurence.

Grange Farm, Woodbridge.
February 26/74.

My dear Laurence,

. . . I am not very solicitous about the Likeness [171] as I might be of some dear Friend; but I was willing to have a Portrait of the Poet whom I am afraid I read more than any other of late and with whose Family (as you know) I am kindly connected.  The other Portrait, which you wanted to see, and I hope have not seen, is by Phillips; and just represents what I least wanted, Crabbe’s company look; whereas Pickersgill represents the Thinker.  So I fancy, at least.

Little Grange, Woodbridge.
[July 4/74.]

My dear Laurence,

. . . I am (for a wonder) going out on a few days’ visit. . . .  And, once out, I meditate a run to Edinburgh, only to see where Sir Walter Scott lived and wrote about.  But as I have meditated this great Enterprize for these thirty years, it may perhaps now end again in meditation only. . . .

I am just finishing Forster’s Dickens: very good, I think: only, he has no very nice perception of Character, I think, or chooses not to let his readers into it.  But there is enough to show that Dickens p. 172was a very noble fellow as well as a very wonderful one. . . .  I, for one, worship Dickens, in spite of Carlyle and the Critics: and wish to see his Gadshill as I wished to see Shakespeare’s Stratford and Scott’s Abbotsford.  One must love the Man for that.

To W. F. Pollock.

Little Grange, Woodbridge.
July 23, [1874].

But I did get to Abbotsford, and was rejoiced to find it was not at all Cockney, not a Castle, but only in the half-castellated style of heaps of other houses in Scotland; the Grounds simply and broadly laid out before the windows, down to a field, down to the Tweed, with the woods which he left so little, now well aloft and flourishing, and I was glad.  I could not find my way to Maida’s Grave in the Garden, with its false Quantity,

Ad jănuam Domini, etc.

which the Whigs and Critics taunted Scott with, and Lockhart had done it.  ‘You know I don’t care a curse about what I write’; nor about what was imputed to him.  In this, surely like Shakespeare: as also in other respects.  I will worship him, in spite of Gurlyle, who sent me an ugly Autotype of Knox whom I was to worship instead.

Then I went to see Jedburgh [172] Abbey, in a half ruined corner of which he lies entombed—Lockhart p. 173beside him—a beautiful place, with his own Tweed still running close by, and his Eildon Hills looking on.  The man who drove me about showed me a hill which Sir Walter was very fond of visiting, from which he could see over the Border, etc.  This hill is between Abbotsford and Jedburgh: [173] and when his Coach horses, who drew his Hearse, got there, to that hill, they could scarce be got on.

My mission to Scotland was done; but some civil pleasant people, whom I met at Abbotsford, made me go with them (under Cook’s guidance) to the Trossachs, Katrine, Lomond, etc., which I did not care at all about; but it only took a day.  After which, I came in a day to London, rather glad to be in my old flat land again, with a sight of my old Sea as we came along.

And in London I went to see my dear old Donne, because of wishing to assure myself, with my own eyes, of his condition; and I can safely say he looked better than before his Illness, near two years ago.  He had a healthy colour; was erect, alert, and with his old humour, and interest in our old topics. . . .

I looked in at the Academy, as poor a show as ever I had seen, I thought; only Millais attracted me: a Boy with a red Sash: and that old Seaman with his half-dreaming Eyes while the Lassie reads to him.  I had no Catalogue: and so thought the Book was—The Bible—to which she was drawing his thoughts, while the sea-breeze through the open p. 174Window whispered of his old Life to him.  But I was told afterwards (at Donne’s indeed) that it was some account of a N. W. Passage she was reading.  The Roll Call I could not see, for a three deep file of worshippers before it: I only saw the ‘hairy Cap’ as Thackeray in his Ballad, [174] and I supposed one would see all in a Print as well as in the Picture.  But the Photo of Miss Thompson herself gives me a very favourable impression of her.  It really looks, in face and dress, like some of Sir Joshua’s Women. . . .

Another Miss Austen!  Of course under Spedding’s Auspices, the Father of Evil.

From W. H. Thompson to W. A. Wright.

On 17 July 1883, shortly after FitzGerald’s death, the late Master of Trinity wrote to me from Harrogate, ‘As regards FitzGerald’s letters, I have preserved a good many, which I will look through when we return to College.  I have a long letter from Carlyle to him, which F. gave me.  It is a Carlylesque étude on Spedding, written from dictation by his niece, but signed by the man himself in a breaking hand.  The thing is to my mind more characteristic of T. Carlyle than of James Spedding—that “victorious man” as C. calls him.  He seems unaware of one distinguishing feature of J. S.’s mind—its subtlety of perception—and the excellence of his English style escapes his critic, whose notices on that subject by the bye would not necessarily command assent.’

p. 175From Thomas Carlyle.

5 Cheyne Row, Chelsea
6 Nov. 1874.

Dear FitzGerald,

Thanks for your kind little Letter.  I am very glad to learn that you are so cheerful and well, entering the winter under such favourable omens.  I lingered in Scotland, latterly against my will, for about six weeks: the scenes there never can cease to be impressive to me; indeed as natural in late visits they are far too impressive, and I have to wander there like a solitary ghost among the graves of those that are gone from me, sad, sad, and I always think while there, ought not this visit to be the last?

But surely I am well pleased with your kind affection for the Land, especially for Edinburgh and the scenes about it.  By all means go again to Edinburgh (tho’ the old city is so shorn of its old grim beauty and is become a place of Highland shawls and railway shriekeries); worship Scott, withal, as vastly superior to the common run of authors, and indeed grown now an affectingly tragic man.  Don’t forget Burns either and Ayrshire and the West next time you go; there are admirable antiquities and sceneries in those parts, leading back (Whithorn for example, Whitterne or candida casa) to the days of St. Cuthbert; not to speak of Dumfries with Sweetheart Abbey and the brooks and hills a certain friend of yours first opened his eyes to in this astonishing world.

I am what is called very well here after my return, worn weak as a cobweb, but without bodily ailment p. 176except the yearly increasing inability to digest food; my mind, too, if usually mournful instead of joyful, is seldom or never to be called miserable, and the steady gazing into the great unknown, which is near and comes nearer every day, ought to furnish abundant employment to the serious soul.  I read, too; that is my happiest state, when I can get good books, which indeed I more and more rarely can.

Like yourself I have gone through Spedding, seven long long volumes, not skipping except where I had got the sense with me, and generally reading all of Bacon’s own that was there: I confess to you I found it a most creditable and even surprising Book, offering the most perfect and complete image both of Bacon and of Spedding, and distinguished as the hugest and faithfullest bit of literary navvy work I have ever met with in this generation.  Bacon is washed clean down to the natural skin; and truly he is not nor ever was unlovely to me; a man of no culpability to speak of; of an opulent and even magnificent intellect, but all in the magnificent prose vein.  Nothing or almost nothing of the ‘melodies eternal’ to be traced in him.  Spedding’s Book will last as long as there is any earnest memory held of Bacon, or of the age of James VI., upon whom as upon every stirring man in his epoch Spedding has shed new veritable illumination; in almost the whole of which I perfectly coincided with Spedding.  In effect I walked up to the worthy man’s house, whom I see but little, to tell him all this; and that being a miss, I drove up, Spedding having by request called here and missed me, but hitherto we have not met; and Spedding I doubt not could contrive to dispense with my eulogy.  There p. 177is a grim strength in Spedding, quietly, very quietly invincible, which I did not quite know of till this Book; and in all ways I could congratulate the indefatigably patient, placidly invincible and victorious Spedding.

Adieu, dear F.  I wish you a right quiet and healthy winter, and beg to be kept in memory as now probably your oldest friend.

Ever faithfully yours, dear F.,
T. Carlyle.

To W. H. Thompson.

[9 Nov. 1874.]

My dear Master,

I think there can be no criminal breach of Confidence in your taking a Copy, if you will, of C[arlyle]’s Letter.  Indeed, you are welcome to keep it:—there was but one Person else I wished to show it to, and she (a She) can do very well without it.  I sent it to you directly I got it, because I thought you would be as pleased as I was with C.’s encomium on Spedding, which will console him (if he needs Consolation) for the obduracy of the World at large, myself among the number.  I can indeed fully assent to Carlyle’s Admiration of Spedding’s History of the Times, as well as of the Hero who lived in them.  But the Question still remains—was it worth forty years of such a Life as Spedding’s to write even so good an Account of a few, not the most critical, Years of English History, and to leave Bacon (I think) a little less well off than when S. began washing him: I p. 178mean in the eyes of candid and sensible men, who simply supposed before that Bacon was no better than the Men of his Time, and now J. S. has proved it.  I have no doubt that Carlyle takes up the Cudgels because he thinks the World is now going the other way.  If Spedding’s Book had been praised by the Critics—Oh Lord!

But what a fine vigorous Letter from the old Man!  When I was walking my Garden yesterday at about 11 a.m. I thought to myself ‘the Master will have had this Letter at Breakfast; and a thought of it will cross him tandis que le Prédicateur de Ste Marie soit en plein Discours, etc.’ . . .

If Lord Houghton be with you pray thank him for the first ébauche of Hyperion he sent me.  Surely no one can doubt which was the first Sketch.

To Miss Anna Biddell.

12 Marine Terrace, Lowestoft.
Jan. 18/75.

Dear Miss Biddell,

I am sending you a Treat.  The old Athenæum told me there was a Paper by ‘Mr. Carlyle’ in this month’s Magazine; and never did I lay out half-a-crown better.  And you shall have the Benefit of it, if you will.  Why, Carlyle’s Wine, so far from weak evaporation, is only grown better by Age: losing some of its former fierceness, and grown mellow without losing Strength.  It seems to me p. 179that a Child might read and relish this Paper, while it would puzzle any other Man to write such a one.  I think I must write to T. C. to felicitate him on this truly ‘Green Old Age.’  Oh, it was good too to read it here, with the old Sea (which also has not sunk into Decrepitude) rolling in from that North: and as I looked up from the Book, there was a Norwegian Barque beating Southward, close to the Shore, and nearly all Sail set.  Read—Read! you will, you must, be pleased; and write to tell me so.

This Place suits me, I think, at this time of year: there is Life about me: and that old Sea is always talking to one, telling its ancient Story.

LowestoftFebr. 2/75.

Dear Miss Biddell,

I am so glad (as the Gushingtons say) that you like the Carlyle.  I have ordered the second Number and will send it to you when I have read it.  Some People, I believe, hesitate in their Belief of its being T. C. or one of his School: I don’t for a moment: if for no other reason than that an Imitator always exaggerates his Model: whereas this Paper, we see, unexaggerates the Master himself: as one would wish at his time of Life. . . .

I ran over for one day to Woodbridge, to pay Bills, etc.  But somehow I was glad to get back here.  The little lodging is more to my liking p. 180than my own bigger rooms and staircases: and this cheerful Town better (at this Season) than my yet barren Garden.  One little Aconite however looked up at me: Mr. Churchyard (in his elegant way) used to call them ‘New Year’s Gifts.’

To E. B. Cowell.

12 Marine Terrace, Lowestoft.
Feb. 2/75.

My dear Cowell,

. . . I hope you have read, and liked, the Paper on the old Kings of Norway in last Fraser.  I bought it because the Athenæum told me it was Carlyle’s; others said it was an Imitation of him: but his it must be, if for no other reason than that the Imitator, you know, always exaggerates his Master: whereas in this Paper Carlyle is softened down from his old Self, mellowed like old Wine.  Pray read, and tell me you think so too.  It is quite delightful, whoever did it.  I was on the point of writing a Line to tell him of my own delight: but have not done so. . . .

I have failed in another attempt at Gil Blas.  I believe I see its easy Grace, humour, etc.  But it is (like La Fontaine) too thin a Wine for me: all sparkling with little adventures, but no one to care about; no Colour, no Breadth, like my dear Don; whom I shall resort to forthwith.

p. 181To W. F. Pollock.

Lowestoft, Sept. 22, [1878].

My dear Pollock,

You will scarce thank me for a letter in pencil: perhaps you would thank me less if I used the steel pen, which is my other resource.  You could very well dispense with a Letter altogether: and yet I believe it is pleasant to get one when abroad.

I dare say I may have told you what Tennyson said of the Sistine Child, which he then knew only by Engraving.  He first thought the Expression of his Face (as also the Attitude) almost too solemn, even for the Christ within.  But some time after, when A. T. was married, and had a Son, he told me that Raffaelle was all right: that no Man’s face was so solemn as a Child’s, full of Wonder.  He said one morning that he watched his Babe ‘worshipping the Sunbeam on the Bedpost and Curtain.’  I risk telling you this again for the sake of the Holy Ground you are now standing on.

Which reminds me also of a remark of Béranger’s not out of place.  He says God forgot to give Raffaelle to Greece, and made a ‘joli cadeau’ of him to the Church of Rome.

I brought here some Volumes of Lever’s ‘Cornelius O’Dowd’ Essays, very much better reading p. 182than Addison, I think.  Also some of Sainte Beuve’s better than either.  A sentence in O’Dowd reminded me of your Distrust of Civil Service Examinations: ‘You could not find a worse Pointer than the Poodle which would pick you out all the letters of the Alphabet.’  And is not this pretty good of the World we live in?  ‘You ask me if I am going to “The Masquerade.”  I am at it: Circumspice!’

So I pick out and point to other Men’s Game, this Sunday Morning, when the Sun makes the Sea shine, and a strong head wind drives the Ships with shortened Sail across it.  Last night I was with some Sailors at the Inn: some one came in who said there was a Schooner with five feet water in her in the Roads: and off they went to see if anything beside water could be got out of her.  But, as you say, one mustn’t be epigrammatic and clever.  Just before Grog and Pipe, the Band had played some German Waltzes, a bit of Verdi, Rossini’s ‘Cujus animam,’ and a capital Sailors’ Tramp-chorus from Wagner, all delightful to me, on the Pier: how much better than all the dreary oratorios going on all the week at Norwich; Elijah, St. Peter, St. Paul, Eli, etc.  There will be an Oratorio for every Saint and Prophet; which reminds me of my last Story.  Voltaire had an especial grudge against Habakkuk.  Some one proved to him that he had misrepresented facts in Habakkuk’s history.  ‘C’est égal,’ p. 183says V., ‘Habakkuk était capable de tout.’  Cornewall Lewis, who (like most other Whigs) had no Humour, yet tells this: I wonder if it will reach Dresden.

To Mrs. W. H. Thompson.

Little Grange, Woodbridge.
Sept. 23, [1875].

Dear Mrs. Thompson,

It is very good of you to write to me, so many others as, I know, you must have to write to.  I can tell you but little in return for the Story of your Summer Travel: but what little I have to say shall be said at once.  As to Travel, I have got no further than Norfolk, and am rather sorry I did not go further North, to the Scottish Border, at any rate.  But now it is too late.  I have contented myself with my Boat on the River here: with my Garden, Pigeons, Ducks, etc.; a great Philosopher indeed!  But (to make an end of oneself) I have not been well all the summer; unsteady in head and feet; the Beginning of the End, I suppose; and if the End won’t be too long spinning out, one cannot complain of its coming too soon. . . .

I had a kindly Letter from Carlyle some days ago: he was summering at some place near Bromley in Kent, lent him by a Lady Derby; once, he says, Lady Salisbury, which I don’t understand.  p. 184He had also the use of a Phaeton and Pony; which latter he calls ‘Shenstone’ from a partiality to stopping at every Inn door.  Carlyle had been a little touched in revisiting Eltham, and remembering Frank Edgeworth who resided there forty years ago ‘with a little Spanish Wife, but no pupils.’  Carlyle would name him with a sort of sneer in the Life of Sterling; [184] could not see that any such notice was more than needless, just after Edgeworth’s Death.  This is all a little Scotch indelicacy to other people’s feelings.  But now Time and his own Mortality soften him.  I have been looking over his Letters to me about Cromwell: the amazing perseverance and accuracy of the Man, who writes so passionately!  In a letter of about 1845 or 6 he says he has burned at least six attempts at Cromwell’s Life: and finally falls back on sorting and elucidating the Letters, as a sure Groundwork. . . .

I have this Summer made the Acquaintance of a great Lady, with whom I have become perfectly intimate, through her Letters, Madame de Sévigné.  I had hitherto kept aloof from her, because of that eternal Daughter of hers; but ‘it’s all Truth and Daylight,’ as Kitty Clive said of Mrs. Siddons.  Her Letters from Brittany are best of all, not those from Paris, for she loved the Country, dear Creature; and now I want to go and visit her ‘Rochers,’ but never shall.

p. 185To E. B. Cowell.


My dear Cowell,

. . . I told Elizabeth, I think, all I had to write about Arthur C.  I had a letter from him a few days ago, hoping to see me in London, where I thought I might be going about this time, and where I would not go without giving him notice to meet me, poor lad.  As yet however I cannot screw my Courage to go up: I have no Curiosity about what is to be seen or heard there; my Day is done.  I have not been very well all this Summer, and fancy that I begin to ‘smell the Ground,’ as Sailors say of the Ship that slackens speed as the Water shallows under her.  I can’t say I have much care for long Life: but still less for long Death: I mean a lingering one.

Did you ever read Madame de Sévigné?  I never did till this summer, rather repelled by her perpetual harping on her Daughter.  But it is all genuine, and the same intense Feeling expressed in a hundred natural yet graceful ways: and beside all this such good Sense, good Feeling, Humour, Love of Books and Country Life, as makes her certainly the Queen of all Letter writers.

p. 186To C. E. Norton.

Little Grange, Woodbridge, Suffolk.
(Post Mark Dec. 8.)  Dec. 9/75.

My dear Sir,

Mr. Carlyle’s Niece has sent me a Card from you, asking for a Copy of an Agamemnon: taken—I must not say, translated—from Æschylus.  It was not meant for Greek Scholars, like yourself, but for those who do not know the original, which it very much misrepresents.  I think it is my friend Mrs. Kemble who has made it a little known on your wide Continent.  As you have taken the trouble to enquire for it all across the Atlantic, beside giving me reason before to confide in your friendly reception of it, I post you one along with this letter.  I can fancy you might find some to be interested in it who do not know the original: more interested than in more faithful Translations of more ability.  But there I will leave it: only begging that you will not make any trouble of acknowledging so small a Gift.

Some eighty of Carlyle’s Friends and Admirers have been presenting him with a Gold Medal of himself, and an Address of Congratulation on his 80th Birthday.  I should not have supposed that either Medal or Address would be much to his Taste: but, as more important People than myself joined in the Thing, I did not think it became me to demur.  But I shall not the less write him p. 187my half-yearly Letter of Good Hopes and Good Wishes.  He seems to have been well and happy in our pretty County of Kent during the Summer.

Believe me, with Thanks for the Interest you have taken in my Libretti, yours sincerely, E. FitzGerald.

P.S.  I am doing an odd thing in bethinking me of sending you two Calderon Plays, which my friend Mrs. Kemble has spoken of also in your Country.  So you might one day hear of them: and, if you liked what came before, wish to see them.  So here they are, for better or worse; and, at any rate, one Note of Thanks (which I doubt you will feel bound to write) will do for both, and you can read as little as you please of either.  All these things have been done partly as an amusement in a lonely life: partly to give some sort of idea of the originals to friends who knew them not: and printed, because (like many others, I suppose) I can only dress my best when seeing myself in Type, in the same way as I can scarce read others unless in such a form.  I suppose there was some Vanity in it all: but really, if I had that strong, I might have done (considering what little I can do) like Crabbe’s Bachelor—

I might have made a Book, but that my Pride
In the not making was more gratified. [187]

Do you read more of Crabbe than we his Countrymen?

p. 188To Miss Aitken. [188a]

WoodbridgeDec. 9/75.

Dear Miss Aitken,

It is a fact that the night before last I thought I would write my half-yearly Enquiry about your Uncle: and at Noon came your Note.  I judge from it that he is well.  I think he will thrash me (as Bentley said [188b]) even now.

I must say I scarce knew what to do when asked to join in that Birthday Address.  I did not know whether it would be agreeable to your Uncle: and of course I could not ask him.  So I asked Spedding and Pollock, and found they were of the Party: so it did not become me to hesitate.  I hope we were not all amiss.

But as to Agamemnon the King: I shall certainly send Mr. Norton a Copy, as he has taken the trouble to send across the Atlantic for it.  But as to Mr. Carlyle, ‘c’est une autre affaire.’  It was not meant for any Greek Scholar, and only for a few not Greek, who I thought would be interested, as they have been, in my curious Version.  Among these was Mrs. Kemble, who I suppose it is has praised it in a way that somehow gains ground in America.  But your Uncle—a few years ago he would have been perhaps p. 189a little irritated with it; and now would not, I feel sure, care to spend his Eyes over its sixty or seventy pages.  He would even now think—but in Pity now—how much better one might have spent one’s time (though not very much was spent) than in such Dilettanteism.  So tell him not quite to break his heart if I don’t put him to the Trial: but still believe me his, and, if you will allow me, yours sincerely,

E. FitzGerald.

Fragment of a Letter to Miss Biddell.

Dec. 1875.

Thank you for the paragraph about Shelley.  Somehow I don’t believe the Story, [189] in spite of Trelawney’s Authority.  Let them produce the Confessor who is reported to tell the Story; otherwise one does not need any more than such a Squall as we have late had in these Seas, and yet more sudden, I believe, in those, to account for the Disaster.

I believe I told you that my Captain Newson and his Nephew, my trusty Jack, went in the Snow to the Norfolk Coast, by Cromer, to find Newson’s Boy.  They found him, what remained of him, in a Barn there: brought him home through the Snow by Rail thus far: and through the Snow by Boat to Felixstow, where he is to lie among his Brothers and Sisters, to the Peace of his Father’s Heart.

p. 190To S. Laurence.

WoodbridgeDec. 30/75.

My dear Laurence,

. . . I cannot get on with Books about the Daily Life which I find rather insufferable in practice about me.  I never could read Miss Austen, nor (later) the famous George Eliot.  Give me People, Places, and Things, which I don’t and can’t see; Antiquaries, Jeanie Deans, Dalgettys, etc. . . .  As to Thackeray’s, they are terrible; I really look at them on the shelf, and am half afraid to touch them.  He, you know, could go deeper into the Springs of Common Action than these Ladies: wonderful he is, but not Delightful, which one thirsts for as one gets old and dry.

To C. E. Norton.

Little Grange, WoodbridgeJan. 23/76.

My dear Sir,

. . . I suppose you may see one of the Carlyle Medallions: and you can judge better of the Likeness than I, who have not been to Chelsea, and hardly out of Suffolk, these fifteen years and more.  I dare say it is like him: but his Profile is not his best phase.  In two notes dictated by him since that Business he has not adverted to it: I think he must be a little ashamed of it, though it would not do to say so in return, I suppose.  And yet I think he might have declined the Honours of a Life of p. 191‘Heroism.’  I have no doubt he would have played a Brave Man’s Part if called on; but, meanwhile, he has only sat pretty comfortably at Chelsea, scolding all the world for not being Heroic, and not always very precise in telling them how.  He has, however, been so far heroic, as to be always independent, whether of Wealth, Rank, and Coteries of all sorts: nay, apt to fly in the face of some who courted him.  I suppose he is changed, or subdued, at eighty: but up to the last ten years he seemed to me just the same as when I first knew him five and thirty years ago.  What a Fortune he might have made by showing himself about as a Lecturer, as Thackeray and Dickens did; I don’t mean they did it for Vanity: but to make money: and that to spend generously.  Carlyle did indeed lecture near forty years ago before he was a Lion to be shown, and when he had but few Readers.  I heard his ‘Heroes’ which now seems to me one of his best Books.  He looked very handsome then, with his black hair, fine Eyes, and a sort of crucified Expression.

I know of course (in Books) several of those you name in your Letter: Longfellow, whom I may say I love, and so (I see) can’t call him Mister: and Emerson whom I admire, for I don’t feel that I know the Philosopher so well as the Poet: and Mr. Lowell’s ‘Among my Books’ is among mine.  I also have always much liked, I think rather loved, O. W. Holmes.  I scarce know why I could never take to that man of true Genius, Hawthorne.  There is a p. 192little of my Confession of Faith about your Countrymen, and I should say mine, if I were not more Irish than English.

[WoodbridgeFeb. 7/76.]

My dear Sir,

I will not look on the Book you have sent me as any Return for the Booklet I sent you, but as a free and kindly Gift.  I really don’t know that you could have sent me a better.  I have read it with more continuous attention and gratification than I now usually feel, and always (as Lamb suggested) well disposed to say Grace after reading.

Seeing what Mr. Lowell has done for Dante, Rousseau, etc., one does not wish him to be limited in his Subjects: but I do wish he would do for English Writers what Ste. Beuve has done for French.  Mr. Lowell so far goes along with him as to give so much of each Writer’s Life as may illustrate his Writings; he has more Humour (in which alone I fancy S. B. somewhat wanting), more extensive Reading, I suppose; and a power of metaphorical Illustration which (if I may say so) seems to me to want only a little reserve in its use: as was the case perhaps with Hazlitt.  But Mr. Lowell is not biassed by Hazlitt’s—(by anybody’s, so far as I see)—party or personal prejudices; and altogether seems to me the man most fitted to do this Good Work, where it has not (as with Carlyle’s Johnson) been done, for good and all, before.  Of course, one only wants the p. 193Great Men, in their kind: Chaucer, Pope (Dryden being done [193]), and perhaps some of the ‘minora sidera’ clustered together, as Hazlitt has done them.  Perhaps all this will come forth in some future Series even now gathering in Mr. Lowell’s Head.  However that may be, this present Series will make me return to some whom I have not lately looked up.  Dante’s face I have not seen these ten years: only his Back on my Book Shelf.  What Mr. Lowell says of him recalled to me what Tennyson said to me some thirty-five or forty years ago.  We were stopping before a shop in Regent Street where were two Figures of Dante and Goethe.  I (I suppose) said, ‘What is there in old Dante’s Face that is missing in Goethe’s?’  And Tennyson (whose Profile then had certainly a remarkable likeness to Dante’s) said: ‘The Divine.’  Then Milton; I don’t think I’ve read him these forty years; the whole Scheme of the Poem, and certain Parts of it, looming as grand as anything in my Memory; but I never could read ten lines together without stumbling at some Pedantry that tipped me at once out of Paradise, or even Hell, into the Schoolroom, worse than either.  Tennyson again used to say that the two grandest of all Similes were those of the Ships hanging in the Air, and ‘the Gunpowder one,’ which he used slowly and grimly to enact, in the Days that are no more.  He certainly then thought Milton the sublimest of all the Gang; his Diction modelled on Virgil, as perhaps Dante’s.

p. 194Spenser I never could get on with, and (spite of Mr. Lowell’s good word) shall still content myself with such delightful Quotations from him as one lights upon here and there: the last from Mr. Lowell.

Then, old ‘Daddy Wordsworth,’ as he was sometimes called, I am afraid, from my Christening, he is now, I suppose, passing under the Eclipse consequent on the Glory which followed his obscure Rise.  I remember fifty years ago at our Cambridge, when the Battle was fighting for him by the Few against the Many of us who only laughed at ‘Louisa in the Shade,’ etc.  His Brother was then Master of Trinity College; like all Wordsworths (unless the drowned Sailor) pompous and priggish.  He used to drawl out the Chapel responses so that we called him the ‘Mēēserable Sinner’ and his brother the ‘Meeserable Poet.’  Poor fun enough: but I never can forgive the Lakers all who first despised, and then patronized ‘Walter Scott,’ as they loftily called him: and He, dear, noble, Fellow, thought they were quite justified.  Well, your Emerson has done him far more Justice than his own Countryman Carlyle, who won’t allow him to be a Hero in any way, but sets up such a cantankerous narrow-minded Bigot as John Knox in his stead.  I did go to worship at Abbotsford, as to Stratford on Avon: and saw that it was good to have so done.  If you, if Mr. Lowell, have not lately read it, pray read Lockhart’s account of his Journey to Douglas Dale on (I think) July 18 or 19, 1831.  It is a piece of Tragedy, even to the muttering Thunder, p. 195like the Lammermuir, which does not look very small beside Peter Bell and Co.

My dear Sir, this is a desperate Letter; and that last Sentence will lead to another dirty little Story about my Daddy: to which you must listen or I should feel like the Fine Lady in one of Vanbrugh’s Plays, ‘Oh my God, that you won’t listen to a Woman of Quality when her Heart is bursting with Malice!’  And perhaps you on the other Side of the Great Water may be amused with a little of your old Granny’s Gossip.

Well then: about 1826, or 7, Professor Airy (now our Astronomer Royal) and his Brother William called on the Daddy at Rydal.  In the course of Conversation Daddy mentioned that sometimes when genteel Parties came to visit him, he contrived to slip out of the room, and down the garden walk to where ‘The Party’s’ travelling Carriage stood.  This Carriage he would look into to see what Books they carried with them: and he observed it was generally ‘Walter Scott’s.’  It was Airy’s Brother (a very veracious man, and an Admirer of Wordsworth, but, to be sure, more of Sir Walter) who told me this.  It is this conceit that diminishes Wordsworth’s stature among us, in spite of the mountain Mists he lived among.  Also, a little stinginess; not like Sir Walter in that!  I remember Hartley Coleridge telling us at Ambleside how Professor Wilson and some one else (H. C. himself perhaps) stole a Leg of Mutton from Wordsworth’s Larder for the fun of the Thing.

p. 196Here then is a long Letter of old world Gossip from the old Home.  I hope it won’t tire you out: it need not, you know.

P.S.  By way of something better from the old World, I post you Hazlitt’s own Copy of his English Poets, with a few of his marks for another Edition in it.  If you like to keep it, pray do: if you like better to give it to Hazlitt’s successor, Mr. Lowell, do that from yourself.

To Mrs. Cowell.

12 Marine Terrace, Lowestoft.
April 8/76.

. . . If you go to Brittany you must go to my dear Sévigné’s ‘Rochers.’  If I had the ‘Go’ in me, I should get there this Summer too: as to Abbotsford and Stratford.  She has been my Companion here; quite alive in the Room with me.  I sometimes lament I did not know her before: but perhaps such an Acquaintance comes in best to cheer one toward the End.

To C. E. Norton.

Little Grange, Woodbridge.
June 10 [196], [1876].

My dear Sir,

I don’t know that I should trouble you so soon again—(only, don’t trouble yourself to answer for p. 197form’s sake only)—but that there is a good deal of Wordsworth in the late Memoir of Haydon by his Son.  All this you might like to see; as also Mr. Lowell.  And do you, or he, know of some dozen very good Letters of Wordsworth’s addressed to a Mr. Gillies who published them in what he calls the Life of a Literary Veteran some thirty years ago, [197] I think?  This Book, of scarce any value except for those few Letters, and a few Notices of Sir Walter Scott, all good, is now not very common, I think.  If you or Mr. Lowell would like to have a Copy, I can send you one, through Quaritch, if not per Post: I have the Letters separately bound up from another Copy of long ago.  There is also a favorable account of a meeting between Wordsworth and Foscolo in an otherwise rather valueless Memoir of Bewick the Painter.  I tell you of all this Wordsworth, because you have, I think, a more religious regard for him than we on this side the water: he is not so much honoured in his own Country, I mean, his Poetry.  I, for one, feel all his lofty aspiration, and occasional Inspiration, but I cannot say that, on the whole, he makes much of it; his little pastoral pieces seem to me his best: less than a Quarter of him.  But I may be wrong.

I am very much obliged to you for wishing me to see Mr. Ticknor’s Life, etc.  I hope to make sure of that through our Briareus-handed Mudie; and have p. 198marked the Book for my next Order.  For I suppose that it finds its way to English Publishers, or Librarians.  I remember his Spanish Literature coming out, and being for a long time in the hands of my friend Professor Cowell, who taught me what I know of Spanish.  Only a week ago I began my dear Don Quixote over again; as welcome and fresh as the Flowers of May.  The Second Part is my favorite, in spite of what Lamb and Coleridge (I think) say; when, as old Hallam says, Cervantes has fallen in Love with the Hero whom he began by ridiculing.  When this Letter is done I shall get out into my Garden with him, Sunday though it be.

We have also Memoirs of Godwin, very dry, I think; indeed with very little worth reading, except two or three Letters of dear Charles Lamb, ‘Saint Charles,’ as Thackeray once called him, while looking at one of his half-mad Letters, and remember[ing] his Devotion to that quite mad Sister.  I must say I think his Letters infinitely better than his Essays; and Patmore says his Conversation, when just enough animated by Gin and Water, was better than either: which I believe too.  Procter said he was far beyond the Coleridges, Wordsworths, Southeys, etc.  And I am afraid I believe that also.

I am afraid too this is a long letter nearly [all] about my own Likes and Dislikes.  ‘The Great Twalmley’s.’ [198]  But I began only thinking about Wordsworth.  Pray do believe that I do not wish p. 199you to write unless you care to answer on that score.  And now for the Garden and the Don: always in a common old Spanish Edition.  Their coarse prints always make him look more of the Gentleman than the better Artists of other Countries have hitherto done.

Carlyle, I hear, is pretty well, though somewhat shrunk: scolding away at Darwin, The Turk, etc.

Little Grange, Woodbridge,
Septr. 10/76.

My dear Sir,

When your Letter reached me a few days ago I looked up Gillies: and found the Wordsworth Letters so good, kindly, sincere, and modest, that I thought you and Mr. Lowell should have the Volume they are in at once.  So it travels by Post along with this Letter.  The other two volumes shall go one day in some parcel of Quaritch’s if he will do me that Courtesy; but there is, I think, little you would care for, unless a little more of ‘Walter Scott’s’ generosity and kindness to Gillies in the midst of his own Ruin; a stretch of Goodness that Wordsworth would not, I think, have reached.  However, these Letters of his make me think I ought to feel more filially to my Daddy: I must dip myself again in Mr. Lowell’s excellent Account of him with a more reverent Spirit.  Do you remember the fine Picture that Haydon gives of him sitting with his grey head in the free Benches of some London Church? [199]  I wonder p. 200that more of such Letters as these to Gillies are not preserved or produced; perhaps Mr. Lowell will make use of them on some future occasion; some new Edition, perhaps, of his last volume.  I can assure you and him that I read that volume with that Interest and Pleasure that made me sure I should often return to it: as indeed I did more than once till—lent out to three several Friends!  It is now in the hands of a very civilized, well-lettered, and agreeable Archdeacon, [200] of this District.

I bought Mr. Ticknor’s Memoirs in an Edition published, I hope with due Licence, by Sampson Low.  What a just, sincere, kindly, modest Man he too!  With more shrewd perception of the many fine folks he mixed with than he cared to indulge in or set down on Paper, I fancy: judging from some sketchy touches of Macaulay, Talfourd, Bulwer, etc.  His account of his Lord Fitzwilliam’s is surely very creditable to English Nobility.  Macaulay’s Memoirs were less interesting to me; though I quite believe in him as a brave, honest, affectionate man, as well (of course) as a very powerful one.  It is wonderful how he, Hallam and Mackintosh could roar and bawl at one another over such Questions as Which is the Greatest Poet?  Which is the greatest Work of that Greatest Poet? etc., like Boys at some Debating Society.

You can imagine the little dull Country town on whose Border I live; our one merit is an Estuary p. 201that brings up Tidings of the Sea twice in the twenty-four hours, and on which I sail in my Boat whenever I can.

I must add a P.S. to say that having written my half-yearly Letter to Carlyle, just to ask how he was, etc., I hear from his Niece that he has been to his own Dumfries, has driven a great deal about the Country: but has returned to Chelsea very weak, she says, though not in any way ill.  He has even ceased to care about Books; but, since his Return, has begun to interest himself in them a little again.  In short, his own Chelsea is the best Place for him.

Another reason for this other half Sheet is—that—Yes! I wish very much for your Translation of the Vita Nuova, which I did read in a slovenly (slovenly with Dante!) way twenty or thirty years ago, but which I did not at all understand.  I should know much more about it now with you and Mr. Lowell.

I could without ‘roaring’ persuade you about Don Quixote, I think; if I were to roar over the Atlantic as to ‘Which is the best of the Two Parts’ in the style of Macaulay & Co.  ‘Oh for a Pot of Ale, etc.,’ rather than such Alarums.  Better dull Woodbridge!  What bothered me in London was—all the Clever People going wrong with such clever Reasons for so doing which I couldn’t confute.  I will send an original Omar if I find one.

p. 202To E. B. Cowell.

WoodbridgeOctober 5/76.

My dear Cowell,

. . . I bought Clemencin’s Quixote after all: but have looked little into him as yet, as I had finished my last Reading of the Don before he came . . .  I fear his Notes are more than one wants about errors, or inaccuracies of Style, etc.  Cervantes had some of the noble carelessness of Shakespeare, Scott, etc., as about Sancho’s stolen Dicky. [202]  But why should Clemencin, and his Predecessors, decide that Cervantes changed the title of his second Part from ‘Hidalgo’ to ‘Caballero’ from negligence?  Why should he not have intended the change for reasons of his own?  Anyhow, they should have printed the Title as he printed it, and pointed out what they thought the oversight in a Note.  This makes one think they may have altered other things also: which perhaps I shall see when I begin another Reading: which (if I live) won’t be very far off.  I think I almost inspired Alfred Tennyson (who suddenly came here a Fortnight ago) to begin on the Spanish.  Yes: A. T. called one day, after near twenty years’ separation, and we were in a moment as if we had been together all that while.  He had his son Hallam with him: whom I liked much: unaffected and unpretentious: so attentive to his Father, with a humorous sense of his Character as well as a loving p. 203and respectful.  It was good to see them together.  We went one day down the Orwell and back again by Steamer: but the weather was not very propitious.  Altogether, I think we were all pleased with our meeting.

To C. E. Norton.

WoodbridgeNovr. 8/76.

My dear Sir,

‘Vita Nuova’ reached me safe, and ‘siempre verde,’ untarnished by its Voyage.  I am afraid I liked your account of it more than itself: I mean, I was more interested: I suppose it is too mystical for me.  So I felt when I tried to read it in the original twenty years ago: and I fear I must despair of relishing it as I ought now I have your Version of it, which, it seems to me, must be so good.  I don’t think you needed to bring in Rossetti, still less Theodore Martin, to bear Witness, or to put your Work in any other Light than its own.

After once more going through my Don Quixote (‘siempre verde’ too, if ever Book was), I returned to another of the Evergreens, Boccaccio, which I found by a Pencil mark at the Volume’s end I had last read on board the little Ship I then had, nine years ago.  And I have shut out the accursed ‘Eastern Question’ by reading the Stories, as the ‘lieta Brigata’ shut out the Plague by telling them.  Perhaps Mr. Lowell will give us Boccaccio one day, p. 204and Cervantes?  And many more, whom Ste. Beuve has left to be done by him.  I fancy Boccaccio must be read in his Italian, as Cervantes in his Spanish: the Language fitting either ‘like a Glove’ as we say.  Boccaccio’s Humour in his Country People, Friars, Scolds, etc., is capital: as well, of course, as the easy Grace and Tenderness of other Parts.  One thinks that no one who had well read him and Don Quixote would ever write with a strain again, as is the curse of nearly all modern Literature.  I know that ‘Easy Writing is d---d hard Reading.’  Of course the Man must be a Man of Genius to take his Ease: but, if he be, let him take it.  I suppose that such as Dante, and Milton, and my Daddy, took it far from easy: well, they dwell apart in the Empyrean; but for Human Delight, Shakespeare, Cervantes, Boccaccio, and Scott!

Tennyson (a Man of Genius, who, I think, has crippled his growth by over-elaboration) came suddenly upon me here six weeks ago: and, many years as it was since we had met, there seemed not a Day’s Interval between.  He looked very well; and very happy; having with him his eldest Son, a very nice Fellow, who took all care of ‘Papa,’ as I was glad to hear him say, not ‘Governor’ as the Phrase now is.  One Evening he was in a Stew because of some nasty Paragraph in a Newspaper about his not allowing Mr. Longfellow to quote from his Poems.  And he wrote a Note to Mr. L. at once in this room, and his Son carried it off to the Post that same Night, p. 205just in time.  So my House is so far become a Palace, being the Place of a Despatch from one Poet to the other, all over that Atlantic!

We never had the trees in Leaf so long as this Year: they are only just rusty before my window, this Nov. 8.  So I thought they would die of mere Old Age: but last night came a Frost, which will hasten their End.  I suppose yours have been dying in all their Glory as usual.

You must understand that this Letter is to acknowledge the Vita Nuova (which, by the by, I think ought to be the Title on the Title page as well as outside), so do not feel obliged to reply, but believe me yours truly,

E. F. G.

To Miss Anna Biddell.

Saturday, Nov. 76.

. . . You spoke once of even trying Walpole’s Letters; capital as they are to me, I can’t be sure they would much interest, even if they did not rather disgust, you: the Man and his Times are such as you might not care for at all, though there are such men as his, and such Times too, in the world about us now.  If you will have the Book on your return home, I will send you a three-volume Collection of his Letters: that is, not a Third part of all his collected Letters: but perhaps the best part, and quite enough for a Beginning.  I can scarce imagine better p. 206Christmas fare: but I can’t, I say, guess how you would relish it.  N.B.  It is not gross or coarse: but you would not like the man, so satirical, selfish, and frivolous, you would think.  But I think I could show you that he had a very loving Heart for a few, and a very firm, just, understanding under all his Wit and Fun.  Even Carlyle has admitted that he was about the clearest-sighted Man of his time.

To John Allen.

LowestoftDecr. 9/76.

My dear Allen,

It was stupid of me not to tell you that I did not want Contemporary back.  It had been sent me by Tennyson or his son Hallam (for I can’t distinguish their MS. now), that I might see that A. S. Battle fragment: [206] which is remarkable in its way, I doubt not.  I see by the Athenæum that A. T. is bringing out another Poem—another Drama, I think—as indeed he hinted to me during his flying visit to Woodbridge.  He should rest on his Oars, or ship them for good now, I think: and I was audacious to tell him as much.  But he has so many Worshippers who tell him otherwise.  I think he might have stopped after 1842, leaving Princesses, Ardens, Idylls, etc., all unborn; all except The Northern Farmer, which makes me cry. . . .

p. 207I dare say there are many as good, if not better, Arctic accounts than ‘Under the Northern Lights,’ but it was pleasant as read out to me by the rather intelligent Lad who now serves me with Eyes for two hours of a Night at Woodbridge. . . .  I am, you see at old Quarters: but am soon returning to Woodbridge to make some Christmas Arrangements.  Will Peace and Good Will be our Song this year?  Pray that it be so.

To Miss Thackeray.

Little Grange, Woodbridge.
Decr. 12, 1876.

Dear Annie Thackeray,

Messrs. Smith and Elder very politely gave me leave to print, and may be publish, three Stanzas of your Father’s ‘Ho, pretty Page,’ adapted (under proper direction) to an old Cambridge Tune, which he and I have sung together, tho’ not to these fine Words, as you may guess.  I asked this of Messrs. Smith and Elder, because I thought they had the Copyright.  But I did not mean to publish them unless with your Approval: only to print a few Copies for friends.  And I will stop even that, if you don’t choose.  Please to tell me in half a dozen words as directly as you can.

The Words, you know, are so delightful (stanzas one, two, and the last), and the old Tune of ‘Troll, troll, the bonny brown Bowl’ so pretty, and (with p. 208some addition) so appropriate, I think, that I fancied others beside Friends might like to have them together.  But, if you don’t approve, the whole thing shall be quashed.  Which I ought to have asked before: but I thought your Publishers’ sanction might include yours.  Please, I say, to say Yes or No as soon as you can.

I have been reading the two Series of ‘Hours in a Library’ with real delight.  Some of them I had read before in Cornhill, but all together now: delighted, I say, to find all I can so heartily concur and believe in put into a shape that I could not have wrought out for myself.  I think I could have suggested a very little about Crabbe, in whom I am very much up: and one word about Clarissa. [208]  But God send me many more Hours in a Library in which I may shut myself up from this accursed East among other things.

To C. E. Norton.

Little Grange, Woodbridge.
Dec. 22/76.
[Post mark Dec. 21.]

My dear Sir,

. . . In the last Atlantic Monthly was, as you know, an Ode by Mr. Lowell; lofty in Thought and p. 209Expression: too uniformly lofty, I think, for Ode.  Do you, would Mr. Lowell, agree?  I should not say so, did I not admire the work very much.  You are very good to speak of sending me his new Volume: but why should you?  My old Athenæum will tell me of it here, and I will be sure to get it.

You see --- has come out with another Heroic Poem!  And the Athenæum talks of it as a Great Work, etc., with (it seems to me) the false Gallop in all the Quotations.  It seems to me strange that ---, ---, and ---, should go on pouring out Poem after Poem, as if such haste could prosper with any but First-rate Men: and I suppose they hardly reckon themselves with the very First.  I feel sure that Gray’s Elegy, pieced and patched together so laboriously, by a Man of almost as little Genius as abundant Taste, will outlive all these hasty Abortions.  And yet there are plenty of faults in that Elegy too, resulting from the very Elaboration which yet makes it live.  So I think.

I have been reading with real satisfaction, and delight, Mr. L. Stephen’s Hours in a Library: only, as I have told his Sister in law, I should have liked to put in a word or two for Crabbe.  I think I could furnish L. S. with many Epigrams, of a very subtle sort, from Crabbe: and several paragraphs, if not pages, of comic humour as light as Molière.  Both which L. S. seems to doubt in what he calls ‘our excellent Crabbe,’ who was not so ‘excellent’ (in the goody sense) as L. S. seems to intimate.  But then p. 210Crabbe is my Great Gun.  He will outlive ---, --- and Co. in spite of his Carelessness.  So think I again.

His Son, Vicar of a Parish near here, and very like the Father in face, was a great Friend of mine.  He detested Poetry (sc. verse), and I believe had never read his Father through till some twenty years ago when I lent him the Book.  Yet I used to tell him he threw out sparks now and then.  As one day when we were talking of some Squires who cut down Trees (which all magnanimous Men respect and love), my old Vicar cried out ‘How scandalously they misuse the Globe!’  He was a very noble, courageous, generous Man, and worshipped his Father in his way.  I always thought I could hear this Son in that fine passage which closes the Tales of the Hall, when the Elder Brother surprises the Younger by the gift of that House and Domain which are to keep them close Neighbours for ever.

Here on that lawn your Boys and Girls shall run,
And gambol, when the daily task is done;
From yonder Window shall their Mother view
The happy tribe, and smile at all they do:
While you, more gravely hiding your Delight,
Shall cry—‘O, childish!’—and enjoy the Sight.

By way of pendant to this, pray read the concluding lines of the long, ill-told, Story of ‘Smugglers and Poachers.’  Or shall I fill up my Letter with them?  This is a sad Picture to match that sunny one.

p. 211As men may children at their sports behold,
And smile to see them, tho’ unmoved and cold,
Smile at the recollected Games, and then
Depart, and mix in the Affairs of men;
So Rachel looks upon the World, and sees
It can no longer pain, no longer please:
But just detain the passing Thought; just cause
A little smile of Pity, or Applause—
And then the recollected Soul repairs
Her slumbering Hope, and heeds her own Affairs.

I wish some American Publisher would publish my Edition of Tales of the Hall, edited by means of Scissors and Paste, with a few words of plain Prose to bridge over whole tracts of bad Verse; not meaning to improve the original, but to seduce hasty Readers to study it.

What a Letter, my dear Sir!  But you encourage me to tattle over the Atlantic by your not feeling bound to answer.  You are a busy man, and I quite an idle one, but yours sincerely,

E. FitzGerald.

Carlyle’s Niece writes me that he is ‘fairly well.’

Ecce iterum!  That mention of Crabbe reminds me of meeting two American Gentlemen at an Inn in Lichfield, some thirty years ago.  One of them was unwell, or feeble, and the other tended him very tenderly: and both were very gentlemanly and well-read.  They had come to see the English Cathedrals, and spoke together (it was in the common Room) of Places and Names I knew very well.  So that I took the Liberty of telling them something of some matters p. 212they were speaking of.  Among others, this very Crabbe: and I told them, if ever they came Suffolk way, I would introduce them to the Poet’s son.  I suppose I gave them my Address: but I had to go away next morning before they were down: and never heard of them again.

I sometimes wonder if this eternal Crabbe is relished in America (I am not looking to my Edition, which would be a hopeless loss anywhere): he certainly is little read in his own Country.  And I fancy America likes more abstract matter than Crabbe’s homespun.  Excuse Ætat. 68.

Yes, ‘Gillies arise! etc.’  But I remember one who used to say he never got farther with another of the Daddy’s Sonnets than—

Clarkson!  It was an obstinate hill to climb, etc.

English Sonnets, like English Terza Rima, want, I think, the double rhyme.

To S. Laurence.

WoodbridgeJan. 15/77.

My dear Laurence,

Then I sent you the Greek instead of the Persian whom you asked for?  The two are the same size and binding: so of course I sent the wrong one.  But I will send the right one directly: and you need not make a trouble of acknowledging it: I know you will thank me, and I think you will feel a sort of p. 213‘triste Plaisir’ in it, as others beside myself have felt.  It is a desperate sort of thing, unfortunately at the bottom of all thinking men’s minds; but made Music of. . . .  I shall soon be going to old ugly Lowestoft again to be with Nephews and Nieces.  The Great Man . . . is yet there: commanding a Crew of those who prefer being his Men to having command of their own.  And they are right; for the man is Royal, tho’ with the faults of ancient Vikings. . . .  His Glory is somewhat marred; but he looks every inch a King in his Lugger now.  At home (when he is there, and not at the Tavern) he sits among his Dogs, Cats, Birds, etc., always with a great Dog following abroad, and aboard.  This is altogether the Greatest Man I have known.

To C. E. Norton.

WoodbridgeFebruary 1/77.

My dear Sir,

I really only write now to prevent your doing so in acknowledgment of Thackeray’s Song [213] which I sent you, and you perhaps knew the handwriting of the Address.  Pray don’t write about such a thing, so soon after the very kind Letter I have just had from you.  Why I sent you the Song I can hardly tell, not knowing if you care for Thackeray or Music: but that must be as it is; only, do not, pray, write expressly about it.

The Song is what it pretends to be: the words p. 214speak for themselves; very beautiful, I think: the Tune is one which Thackeray and I knew at College, belonging to some rather free Cavalier words,

Troll, troll, the bonny brown Bowl,

with four bars interpolated to let in the Page.  I have so sung it (without a Voice) to myself these dozen years, since his Death, and so I have got the words decently arranged, in case others should like them as well as myself.  Voilà tout!

I thought, after I had written my last, that I ought not to have said anything of an American Publisher of Crabbe, as it might (as it has done) set you on thinking how to provide one for me.  I spoke of America, knowing that no one in England would do such a thing, and not knowing if Crabbe were more read in your Country than in his own.  Some years ago I got some one to ask Murray if he would publish a Selection from all Crabbe’s Poems: as has been done of Wordsworth and others.  But Murray (to whom Crabbe’s collected Works have always been a loss) would not meddle. . . .  You shall one day see my ‘Tales of the Hall,’ when I can get it decently arranged, and written out (what is to be written), and then you shall judge of what chance it has of success.  I want neither any profit, whether of money, or reputation: I only want to have Crabbe read more than he is.  Women and young People never will like him, I think: but I believe every thinking man will like him more as he grows older; p. 215see if this be not so with yourself and your friends.  Your Mother’s Recollection of him is, I am sure, the just one: Crabbe never showed himself in Company, unless to a very close and experienced observer: his Company manner was exactly the reverse of his Books: almost, as Moore says, ‘doucereux’; the apologetic politeness of the old School over-done, as by one who was not born to it.  But Campbell observed his ‘shrewd Vigilance’ awake under all his ‘politesse,’ and John Murray said that Crabbe said uncommon things in so common a way that they escaped recognition.  It appears, I think, that he not only said, but wrote, such things: even to such Readers as Mr. Stephen; who can see very little Humour, and no Epigram, in him.  I will engage to find plenty of both.  I think Mr. Stephen could hardly have read the later Books: viz., Tales of the Hall, and the Posthumous Poems: which, though careless and incomplete, contain Crabbe’s most mature Self, I think.  Enough of him for the present: and altogether enough, unless I wish to become a ‘seccatore’ by my repeated, long, letters. . . .

Mr. Lowell was good enough to send me his Odes, and I have written to acknowledge them with many thanks and a few observations, not meant to instruct such a Man, but just to show that I had read with Attention, as I did.  I think I had much the same to say of them as I said to you: and so I won’t say it again.  I think it is a mistake to rely p. 216on the reading, or recitation, for an Effect which ought to speak for itself in any capable Reader’s Head.  Tennyson, with the grand Voice he had (I fancy it is somewhat weakened now) could make sonorous music of such a beginning to an Ode as

Bury the Great Duke!

The Thought is simple and massy enough: but where is a Vowel?  Dryden opened better:

’Twās at the rōyal Feast o’er Persia won.

But Mr. Lowell’s Odes, which do not fail in the Vowel, are noble in Thought, with a good Organ roll in the music, which perhaps he thinks more fitted to Subject and occasion.

To Mrs. Cowell.

12 Marine Terrace, Lowestoft.
March 11/77.

. . . I scarce like your taking any pains about my Works, whether in Verse, Prose, or Music.  I never see any Paper but my old Athenæum, which, by the way, now tells me of some Lady’s Edition of Omar which is to discover all my Errors and Perversions.  So this will very likely turn the little Wind that blew my little Skiff on.  Or the Critic who incautiously helped that may avenge himself on Agamemnon King, as he pleases.  If the Pall Mall Critic knew Greek, I am rather surprised he should have vouchsafed even so much praise as the words p. 217you quoted.  But I certainly have found that those few whom I meant it for, not Greek scholars, have been more interested in it than I expected.  Not you, I think, who, though you judge only too favourably of all I do, are not fond of such Subjects.

I have here two Volumes of my dear Sévigné’s Letters lately discovered at Dijon; and I am writing out for my own use a Dictionary of the Dramatis Persons figuring in her Correspondence, whom I am always forgetting and confounding.

* * * * *

In May 1877 his old boatman West died and FitzGerald wrote to Professor Cowell, ‘I have not had heart to go on our river since the death of my old Companion West, with whom I had traversed reach after reach for these dozen years.  I am almost as averse to them now as Peter Grimes. [217]  So now I content myself with the River Side.’

To W. A. Wright.

Little Grange, Woodbridge.
June 23/77.

My dear Wright,

. . . I have been regaling myself, in my unscholarly way, with Mr. Munro’s admirable Lucretius.  Surely, it must be one of the most admirable Editions p. 218of a Classic ever made!  I don’t understand the Latin punctuation, but I dare say there is good reason for it.  The English Translation reads very fine to me: I think I should have thought so independent of the original: all except the dry theoretic System, which I must say I do all but skip in the Latin.  Yet I venerate the earnestness of the man, and the power with which he makes some music even from his hardest Atoms; a very different Didactic from Virgil, whose Georgics, quoad Georgics, are what every man, woman, and child, must have known; but, his Teaching apart, no one loves him better than I do.  I forget if Lucretius is in Dante: he should have been the Guide thro’ Hell: but perhaps he was too deep in it to get out for a Holiday.  That is a very noble Poussin Landscape, v. 1370-8 ‘Inque dies magis, etc.’

I had always observed that mournful ‘Nequicquam’ which comes to throw cold water on us after a little glow of Hope.  When Tennyson went with me to Harwich, I was pointing out an old Collier rolling by to the tune of

Trudit agens magnam magno molimine navem.  [iv. 902.]

That word ‘Magnus’ rules in Lucretius as much as ‘Nequicquam.’  I was rejoiced to meet Tennyson quoted in the notes too, and my old Montaigne who discourses so on the text of

Pascit amore avidos inhians in te, Dea, visus.  [i. 36.]

p. 219Ask Mr. Munro, when he reprints, to quote old Montaigne’s Version of

Nam veræ voces tum demum, etc.  [iii. 57.]

‘A ce dernier rolle de la Mort, et de nous, il n’y a plus que feindre, il faut parler Français; il faut montrer ce qu’il y a de bon et de net dans le fond du pot.’ [219a]  And tell him (damn my impudence!) I don’t like my old Fathers ‘dancing’ under the yellow and ferruginous awnings. [219b] . . .

There is a coincidence with Bacon in verses 1026-9 of Book ii. (Lucretius, I mean).

To John Allen.

My dear Archdeacon,

I have little else to send you in reply to your letter (which I believe however was in reply to one of mine) except the enclosed from Notes and Queries: which I think you will like to read, and to return to me.

I think I will send you (when I can lay hand on it) two volumes of some one’s Memorials of Wesley’s Family: which you can look over, if you do not read, and return to me also.  I wonder at your writing to me that I gave you his Journal so long as thirty years ago.  I scarce knew that I was so constant in my Affections: and yet I think I do not change in p. 220literary cases.  Pray read Southey’s Life of him again: it does not tell all, I think, which might be told of Wesley’s own character from his own Mouth: but then it errs on the right side: it does not presumptuously guess at Qualities and Motives which are not to be found in Wesley: unlike Carlyle and the modern Historians, Southey, I think, cannot be wrong by keeping so much within the bounds of Conjecture: Conjecture about any other Man’s Soul and Motives!

To FitzEdward Hall. [220a]

Woodbridge: June 24 [1877].

My dear Sir,

I have run through your Ability [220b] again, since I sent it to Wright: but as I before said (I believe) am not a competent Critic.  I know that I coincide (unless I misconstrue) with your Canons laid down at pp. 162, etc.  I am for all words that are smooth, or strong, (as the meaning requires) which have proved their worth by general admission into the Language.  ‘Reliable’ is, what ‘trustworthy’ is not, good current coin for general use, though ‘trustworthy’ may be good too for occasional emphasis.

I remember old Hudson Gurney cavilling a little at ‘realize’ as I innocently used the word in a Memoir p. 221of my old Bernard Barton near thirty years ago: this word I have also seen branded as American; let America furnish us with more such words; better than what our ‘old English’ pedants supply, with their ‘Fore-word’ for ‘Preface,’ ‘Folk-lore,’ and other such conglomerate consonants.  Odd, that a Lawyer (Sugden) should have lubricated ‘Hand-book’ by a sort of Persian process into ‘Handy-book’!

I remember, years ago, thinking I must rebel against English by using ‘impitiable’ for ‘incapable of Pity.’  Yet I suppose that, according to Alford & Co., I was justified, though ‘pitiable’ is, I think always used of the thing pitied, not the Pitier.  But I should defer to customary usage rather than to any particular whim of my own; only that it happened to come handy at the time, and I did not, and do not, much care.

But is not usage against your use of ‘imitable’ at p. 100, meaning what ought not, not what cannot, be imitated?  ‘Non imitabile fulmen,’ etc., and, negatively, ‘inimitable’?

Vengeable’ with its host of Authorities surprised, and gratified, me.

Johnson, you say (p. 34) called ‘uncomeatable’ a low corrupt word: rather, as you well say, ‘a permissible colloquialism.’  Yes; like old Johnson’s own ‘Clubable’ by which he designated some Good sociable Fellow.

Party’ has good Authority (from Shakespeare himself, as we know), and is a handy word we ought p. 222not to dismiss: better than the d---d ‘Individual’ which should only be used in philosophic or scientific discrimination.  Still, Crabbe, in his fine Opium-inspired ‘World of Dreams’ should not recall his beloved as ‘that dear Party.’

Other adjectives beside those that ‘exit in able’ are cavilled at.  ‘Fadeless’; what is ‘a Fade’?  Why not ‘unfading’?  Yet there is a difference between what has not as yet faded, and what cannot fade.  And I shall become very ‘tiresome,’ though I don’t know of any ‘tire’ but of a Waggon wheel; and remain yours truly.

E. FitzGerald.

To C. E. Norton.

WoodbridgeAugust 21/77.

My dear Sir,

You have doubtless heard from Mr. Lowell since he got to Spain: he may have mentioned that unaccomplished visit to me which he was to have undertaken at your Desire.  I doubt the two letters I wrote to be given him in London (through Quaritch) did not reach him: only the first which said my house was full of Nieces, so as I must lodge him (as I did our Laureate) at the Inn: but the second Letter was to say that I had Houseroom, and would meet him at the Train any day and hour.  He wrote to me the day before he left for Paris to say that he had never intended to do more than just run down for the Day, shake hands, and away!  That I had an Instinct p. 223against: that one half-day’s meeting of two Septuagenarians (I believe), to see one another’s face for that once, ‘But here, upon that Bank and Shoal of Time and’ then, ‘jump the Life to come’ as well as the Life before.  No: I say I am glad he did not do that: but I had my house all ready to entertain him as best I could; and had even planned a little Visit to our neighbouring Coast, where are the Village remains of a once large Town devoured by the Sea: and, yet undevoured (except by Henry VIII.), the grey walls of a Grey Friars’ Priory, beside which they used to walk, under such Sunsets as illumine them still.  This pathetic Ruin, still remaining by the Sea, would (I feel sure) have been more to one from the New Atlantis than all London can show: but I should have liked better had Mr. Lowell seen it on returning to America, rather than going to Spain, where the yet older and more splendid Moors would soon have effaced the memory of our poor Dunwich.  If you have a Map of England, look for it on the Eastern Coast.  If Mr. Lowell should return this way, and return in the proper Season for such cold Climate as ours, he shall see it: and so shall you, if you will, under like conditions; including a reasonable and available degree of Health in myself to do the honours. . . .

I live down in such a Corner of this little Country that I see scarce any one but my Woodbridge Fellow-townsmen, and learn but little from such Friends as could tell me of the World beyond.  But the English p. 224do not generally love Letter writing: and very few of us like it the more as we get older.  So I have but little to say that deserves an Answer from you: but please to write me a little: a word about Mr. Lowell, whom you have doubtless heard from.  [One politeness I had prepared for him here was, to show him some sentences in his Books which I did not like!]  Which also leads me to say that some one sent me a number of your American ‘Nation’ with a Review of my redoubtable Agamemnon: written by a superior hand, and, I think, quite discriminating in its distribution of Blame and Praise: though I will not say the Praise was not more than deserved; but it was where deserved, I think.

To J. R. Lowell. [224]

WoodbridgeAugust 26/77.

My dear Sir,

I ought scarce to trouble you amid your diplomatic cares and dignities.  But I will, so far as to say I hope you had my second letter before you left London: saying that my house was emptied of Nieces, and I was ready to receive you for as long as you would.  Indeed, I chiefly flinched at the thought of your taking the trouble to come down only for a Day: which means, less than half a Day: a sort of meeting that seems a mockery in the lives p. 225of two men, one of whom I know by Register to be close on Seventy.  I do indeed deprecate any one coming down out of his way: but, if he come, I would rather he did so for such time as would allow of some palpable Acquaintance.  And I meant to take you to no other sight than the bare grey walls of an old Grey Friars’ Priory near the Sea; and I proposed to make myself further agreeable by showing you three or two passages in your Books that I do not like amid all the rest which I like so much: and had even meant to give you a very small thirty year old Dialogue of my own, which one of your ‘Study Windows’ reminded me of.  All this I meant; and, any how, wrote to say that I and my house were ready.  And there is enough of the matter.  You are busied with other and greater things.  Nor must you think yourself called on to answer this letter at all.

When you were to start for Spain, I was thinking what a hot time of it you would have there: in Madrid too, I suppose, worst of all, I have heard.  But you have Titian and Velasquez to refresh you.  Cervantes too is not far.  We have here (some two or three years old) a Book ‘Untrodden Spain’; unaffectedly and pleasantly written by some Clergyman, Rose, who lived chiefly among the mining folk.  But there is a Chapter in Vol. 2 entitled ‘[El] Pajaro,’ and giving account of a day’s sport with [Pedro the Barber] who carries a Decoy Bird, which is as another Chapter to Don Quixote.  Ah! I look at him on my Shelf, and know that I can take him down when I p. 226will, and that I shall do so many a time before 1878 if I live. . . .

Tell me something of the Spanish Drama, Lope, or Calderon.  I think you could get one acted by Virtue of your Office.

Woodbridge.  [October, 1877.]

My dear Sir—(which I will exchange for your own name if you will set me Example).

You see I write to you; but do not expect any answer from the midst of all your Business.  But I have lately been re-reading—(at that same old Dunwich, too)—those Essays of yours on which you wished to see my ‘Adversaria.’  These are too few and insignificant to specify by Letter: when you return to English-speaking World, you shall, if you please, see my Copy, or Copies, marked with a Query at such places as I stumbled at.  Were not the whole so really admirable, both in Thought and Diction, I should not stumble at such Straws; such Straws as you can easily blow away if you should ever care to do so.  Only, pray understand (what I really mean) that, in all my remarks, I do not pretend to the level of an original Writer like yourself: only as a Reader of Taste, which is a very different thing you know, however useful now and then in the Service of Genius.  I am accredited with the Aphorism, ‘Taste is the Feminine of Genius.’  However that may be, I have some confidence in my p. 227own.  And, as I have read these Essays of yours more than once and again, and with increasing Satisfaction, so I believe will other men long after me; not as Literary Essays only, but comprehending very much beside of Human and Divine, all treated with such a very full and universal Faculty, both in Thought and Word, that I really do not know where to match in any work of the kind.  I could make comparisons with the best: but I don’t like comparisons.  But I think your Work will last, as I think of very few Books indeed.  You are yet two good years from sixty (Mr. Norton tells me), and have yet at least a dozen more of Dryden’s later harvest: pray make good use of it: Cervantes, at any rate, I think to live to read, though one of your great merits is, not being in a hurry: and so your work completes itself.  But I nearer seventy than you sixty. . . .

You should get Dryden’s Prefaces published separately in America, with your own remarks on them, and also Johnson’s very fine praise: in which he praises Dryden for those unexpected turns in which he himself is so deficient.  But pray love old Johnson, a little more than I think you do.  We have, you may know, a rather clumsy Edition of this Dryden Prose in four 8vo volumes by Malone; the first volume all Life and a few Letters.  I have bought some three or four Copies of this work, more or less worse for wear, to give away: one extra Copy, much the worse for wear, on a back shelf now, waiting its destination.  No p. 228English Publisher, I suppose, would do this work, unless under some great name: perhaps under yours, if your own Country were not the fitter place.  As in the case of your Essays, I don’t pretend to say which is finest: but I think that to me Dryden’s Prose, quoad Prose, is the finest Style of all.  So Gray, I believe, thought: that man of Taste, very far removed, perhaps as far as feminine from masculine, from the Man he admired.

Your Wordsworth should introduce any future Edition of him, as I think some of Ste. Beuve’s Essays do some of his men.  He rarely, you know, gets beyond French.

Now, as I see my Paper draws short, I turn from your Works to those of ‘The Great Twalmley,’ viz.: the Dialogue I mentioned, and you ask for.  I really got it out: but, on reading it again after many years, was so much disappointed even in the little I expected that I won’t send it to you, or any one more.  It is only eighty 12 mo pages, and about twenty too long, and the rest over-pointed (Oh Cervantes!), and all somewhat antiquated.  But the Form of it is pretty: and the little Narrative part: and one day I may strike out, etc., and make you a present of a pretty Toy.  But it won’t do now.

I have at last bid Adieu to poor old Dunwich: the Robin singing in the Ivy that hangs on those old Priory walls.  A month ago I wrote to ask p. 229Carlyle’s Niece about her Uncle, and telling her of this Priory, and how her Uncle would once have called me Dilettante; all which she read him; he only said ‘Poor, Poor old Priory!’  She says he is very well, and abusing V. Hugo’s ‘Misérables.’   I have been reading his Cromwell, and not abusing it.  You tell all the Truth about him.

To C. E. Norton.

WoodbridgeOctober 28/77.

My dear Sir (‘Norton’ I will write in my next if you will anticipate me by a reciprocal Familiarity).

I wish I had some English Life, Woodbridge, or other, to send you: but Woodbridge, I sometimes say, is as Pompeii, in that respect; and I know little of the World beyond but what a stray Newspaper tells me.  So I must get back to my Friends on the Shelf.

Thence I lately took down Mr. Lowell’s (I have proposed to un-mister him too), Lowell’s Essays, and carried them with me to that old Dunwich, which I suppose I shall see no more this year.  Robin Redbreast—have you him?—was piping in the Ivy along the Walls; and, under them, Blackberries ripening from stems which those old Grey Friars picked from.  And I had the Essays abroad, and within doors; and marked with a Query some words, or sentences, which p. 230I stumbled at: which I should not have stumbled at had all the rest not been such capital Reading.  I really believe I know not, on the whole, any such Essays, of that kind: and that a very comprehensive kind, both in Subject, and Treatment.  I think he settles many Questions that every one discusses: and on which a Final Verdict is what we now want.  I believe the Books will endure: and that is why I want a few blemishes, as I presume to think them, removed: and the Author is to see my Pencil marks, when he returns to England, or to her ‘Gigantic Daughter of the West.’  I hope he will live to write many more such Books: Cervantes, first of all!

I have also been reading Carlyle’s Cromwell: which I think will last also, and so carry along with it many of his more perishable tirades.  I don’t know indeed if his is the Final Verdict on Oliver: or on so many of the subordinate Characters whom he sketches in so confidently.  A shrewd Man is he; but it is not so easy to judge of men by a few stray hints of them in Books.  A quaint instance of this Carlyle himself supplied me with, in his total misapprehension of his hitherto unseen Correspondent ‘Squire,’ who burned the Cromwell Diary.  I was the intelligent Friend who interviewed Squire; as unlike as might be in Age, Person, and Character, to the Man Carlyle had prefigured from his Letters.  One day I will send you the little Correspondence between T. C. and p. 231his intelligent Friend, as rather a Curiosity in Historical Acumen.

I, Dryasdust, want to know if the Moon, the ‘Harvest’ Moon, too, really ‘waded through the Clouds’ on the night before Dunbar Battle.  She makes so good a Figure in the Scene that I wish the Almanack to authorize her Presence.  Carlyle is, I believe, generally accurate in these as in sublunary matters, but I had just found him writing of Orion looking down on Paris on August 9, when Orion is hardly up before Sunrise. . . .

And you have been so near where once I lived as Wherstead! in which Parish my Family resided from about 1822 to 1835, at a large Square House on the hill opposite to the Vicarage.  I know no more of Mr. Zincke than his Books, which are very good, I think: there is a bit concerning Hodge the English Labourer’s inward thoughts as he works in a ditch through a Winter’s Day, that is—a piece of Shakespeare.  It is one of my few recital pieces: and I was quoting it the other day to two People, who wondered they had never observed it in the Book it came from, which is ‘Egypt under the Pharaohs,’ [231] I think.

WoodbridgeFebruary 14/78.

My dear Sir,

It is so long since I have heard from you that, in spite of knowing how inopportunely an idle p. 232Letter may reach any one amid any sorrows, or much business, I venture one, you see: but whether it be a trouble to lead or not, do not feel bound to answer it except in the fewest words, in case you are any way indisposed.  You have—a family: you had an aged Mother, when last I heard from you: room enough for anxieties and sorrows!

I had your printed Report on Olympia, which I do not pretend to be a Judge [of].  I lent it to one who thinks he returned it, but certainly did not: and I wanted to lend it to another much more competent Judge, very much interested in the Subject, Edward Cowell, a Brother Professor of yours at our Cambridge: the most learned man there, I believe, and the most amiable and delightful, I believe, also.  He came here to see me a month ago: and I had one more search for the Pamphlet which I knew was no longer ‘penes me,’ which he much wished to see.  Will you send me another Copy for him: if not to ‘Professor Cowell, Cambridge, England’ direct?

I have been rubbing up a little Latin from some Criticisms and Elucidations of Catullus, by H. Munro, who edited Lucretius so capitally that even German Scholars, I am told, accept it with a respect which they accord to very few English.  Do you know it in America?  If not, do.  The Text and capital English prose Translation in vol. i; and Notes in vol. ii: all admirable, it seems to me, though I do not understand his English p. 233Punctuation.  I do not follow all Lucretius’ Atoms, etc.: but other parts are as fine to me as any Poet has done.  Catullus I have never taken much to: though some of him too is as fine as anything else in its way, I think.  So I have read through this Book of Munro’s, only 240 pages, not commenting on the best of the Poems, but on those which most needed Elucidation; which are many of them the least interesting, and even most disagreeable.  Like your Olympia, I don’t understand much: but what I do understand is so good that I feel sure the rest (and that is the larger and perhaps more important part) is as good for those it is intended for.

Just as I shut up Catullus, I opened Keats’ Love Letters just published; and really felt no shock of change between the one Poet and the other.  This Book will doubtless have been in America long before my Letter reaches it.  Mr. Lowell, who justly writes (in his Keats) that there is much in a Name, will wish Keats’ mistress went by some other than ‘Fanny Brawne,’ which I cannot digest.

And Mr. Lowell himself?  I do not like to write to him amid his diplomatic avocations; if I did, I should perhaps tell him that I did not like the style of his ‘Moosehead Journal,’ which has been sent me by I know not whom.  I hope he is getting on with his Cervantes; which I know I shall like, if it be at all of the same Complexion as his other two Volumes, which I still think are best of their kind.

p. 234WoodbridgeFebruary 20/78.

My dear Norton!

If Packet follows Packet duly, you will have received ere this a letter I wrote you, and posted, a few hours before yours reached me.  You will have seen that I guessed at some Shadow as of Illness in your household: no wonderful conjecture in this World in any case; still less where a Life of eighty years is concerned.  It is in vain to wish well: but I wish the best.

Your mention of your Mother reminded me of another Eighty years that I had forgotten to tell you of—Carlyle.  I wrote to enquire about him of his Niece a month ago: he had been very poorly, she said, but was himself again; only going in Carriage, not on foot, for his daily Exercise: wrapt up in furry Dressing-gown, and wondering that any one else complained of Cold.  He kept on reading assiduously, sometimes till past midnight, in spite of all endeavours to get him to bed.  ‘Qu’est ce que cela fait si je m’amuse?’ as old Voltaire said on like occasions.

I have got down the Doudan [234] you recommended me: but have not yet begun with him.  Pepys’ Diary and Sir Walter, read to me for two hours of a night, have made those two hours almost the best of the twenty-four for all these winter months.  That Eve of Preston Battle, with the p. 235old Baron’s Prayers to his Troop!  He is tiresome afterwards, I know, with his Bootjack.  But Sir Walter for ever!  What a fine Picture would that make of Evan Dhu’s entrance into Tully Veolan Breakfast Hall, with a message from his Chief; he standing erect in his Tartan, while the Baron keeps his State, and pretty Rose at the Table.  There is a subject for one of your Artists.  Another very pretty one (I thought the other Day) would be that of the child Keats keeping guard with a drawn sword at his sick Mother’s Chamber door.  Millais might do it over here: but I don’t know him. . . .

I will send you Carlyle’s Squire correspondence, which you will keep to yourself and Lowell: you being Carlyle’s personal friend as well as myself.  Not that there is anything that should not be further divulged: but one must respect private Letters.  Carlyle’s proves a droll instance of even so shrewd a man wholly mistaking a man’s character from his Letters: had now that Letter been two hundred years old! and no intelligent Friend to set C. right by ocular Demonstration.

To J. R. Lowell.

Little Grange, Woodbridge.
February 28/78.

My dear Sir,

I ventured to send you Keats’ Love Letters to Miss—Brawne! a name in which there is much, p. 236as you say of his, and other names. . . .  Well, I thought you might—must—wish to see these Letters, and, may be, not get them so readily in Spain.  So I made bold.  The Letters, I doubt not, are genuine: whether rightly or wrongly published I can’t say: only I, for one, am glad of them.  I had just been hammering out some Notes on Catullus, by our Cambridge Munro, Editor of Lucretius, which you ought to have; English Notes to both, and the Prose Version of Lucretius quite readable by itself.  Well, when Keats came, I scarce felt a change from Catullus: both such fiery Souls as wore out their Bodies early; and I can even imagine Keats writing such filthy Libels against any one he had a spite against, even Armitage Brown, had Keats lived two thousand years ago. . . .

I had a kind letter lately from Mr. Norton: and have just posted him some Carlyle letters about that Squire business.  If you return to America before very long you will find them there.  How long is your official Stay in Spain?  Limited, or Unlimited?  By the bye of Carlyle, I heard from his Niece some weeks ago that he had been poorly: but when she wrote, himself again: only taking his daily walk in a Carriage, and sitting up till past Midnight with his Books, in spite of Warnings to Bed.  As old Voltaire said to his Niece on like occasion, ‘Qu’est ce que cela fait si je m’amuse?’  I have from Mudie a sensible p. 237dull Book of Letters from a Miss Wynn: with this one good thing in it.  She has been to visit Carlyle in 1845: he has just been to visit Bishop Thirlwall in Wales, and duly attended Morning Chapel, as a Bishop’s Guest should.  ‘It was very well done; it was like so many Souls pouring in through all the Doors to offer their orisons to God who sent them on Earth.  We were no longer Men, and had nothing to do with Men’s usages; and, after it was over, all those Souls seemed to disperse again silent into Space.  And not till we all met afterward in the common Room, came the Human Greetings and Civilities.’ [237]  This is, I think, a little piece worth sending to Madrid; I am sure, the best I have to offer.

I have had read to me of nights some of Sir Walter’s Scotch Novels; Waverley, Rob, Midlothian, now the Antiquary: eking them out as charily as I may.  For I feel, in parting with each, as parting with an old Friend whom I may never see again.  Plenty of dull, and even some bad, I know: but parts so admirable, and the Whole so delightful.  It is wonderful how he sows the seed of his Story from the very beginning, and in what seems barren ground: but all comes up in due course, and there is the whole beautiful Story at last.  I think all this Fore-cast is to be read in Scott’s shrewd, humorous, Face: as one sees it in Chantrey’s Bust; and as he seems meditating on p. 238his Edinburgh Monument.  I feel a wish to see that, and Abbotsford again; taking a look at Dunbar by the way: but I suppose I shall get no further than Dunwich.

Some one (not you) sent me your Moosehead Journal: but I told Mr. Norton I should tell you, if I wrote, that I did not like the Style of it at all; all ‘too clever by half.’  Do you not say so yourself after Cervantes, Scott, Montaigne, etc.?  I don’t know I ought to say all this to you: but you can well afford to be told it by one of far more authority than yours most sincerely,

E. FitzGerald.

To W. A. Wright.

WoodbridgeMarch 3/78.

My dear Wright,

. . . You may infer that I have been reading—yes, and with great Interest, however little Scholarship—your Fellow-Collegian’s new Book of Notes, etc. [238]  And just as I had done my best with his Catullus, came to hand the Love-Letters of a kindred Spirit, Keats; whose peevish Jealousy might, two thousand years ago, have made him as bitter and indecent against his friend Armitage Brown, as Catullus against Cæsar.  But in him too Malice was not stronger than Love, any more than in Catullus; not only of the Lesbia-Brawne, but of the p. 239Fraternal, kind.  Keats sighs after ‘Poor Tom’ as well as he whose ‘Frater ave atque vale’ continues sighing down to these times.  (I hope I don’t misquote, more Hibernorum.)

That is a fine Figure of old Cæsar entertaining his Lampooner at the Feast.  And I have often thought what a pretty picture, for Millais to do, of the Child Keats keeping guard outside his sick Mother’s Chamber with a drawn Sword.  If Catullus, however, were only Fescennining, his ‘Malice’ was not against Cæsar, but against the Nemesis that might else be revenged on him—eh?  But I don’t understand how Suetonius, or those he wrote for, could have forgotten, though for party purposes they may have ignored, the nature and humour of that Fescennine which is known to Scholars two thousand years after.  How very learned, and probably all wrong, have I become, since becoming interested in this Book!

WoodbridgeMarch 21 [1878].

My dear Wright,

. . . The Enclosed only adds a little to the little Paper of Data: [239] you may care to add so much in better MS. than mine to the leaves I sent you.  Those leaves were more intended for such an Edition of the Letters in batches, as now edited; and, as many of them are private right, so edited they must continue for some time, I suppose.

p. 240An odd coincidence happened only yesterday about them.  I was looking to Lamb’s Letter to Manning of Feb. 26, 1808, where he extols Braham, the Singer, who (he says) led his Spirit ‘as the Boys follow Tom the Piper.’  I had not thought who Tom was: rather acquiesced in some idea of the ‘pied Piper of Hamelin’; and, not half an hour after, chancing to take down Browne’s Britannia’s Pastorals, [240a] found Tom against the Maypole, with a ring of Dancers about him.  I suppose Tom survived in ‘Folk lore’ . . . till dear Lamb’s time: but how he, a Cockney, knew of it, I don’t know.

I was looking for Keats (when I happened on Browne) to find the passage you quote [240b]: but (of course) I could not find the Book I wanted.  Nor can I construe him any more than so much of Shakespeare: whether from the negligent hurry of both (Johnson says Shakespeare often contented himself with a halfborn expression), or from some Printer’s error.  The meaning is clear enough to me, if I conjecture the context right; and more so to you, I dare say.  The passage is one of those bad ones, except the first line, which he afterwards repeated, mutatis mutandis,

   The leaves
That tremble round a Nightingale, [240c]

and is one of those which justly incensed the p. 241Quarterly, and which K. himself knew were bad: but he must throw off the Poem red hot, and could not alter.

To C. E. Norton.

WoodbridgeApril 4, 1878.

My dear Norton,

I wish you would not impose on yourself to write me a Letter; which you say is ‘in your head.’  You have Literary work, and a Family to enjoy with you what spare time your Professional Studies leave you.  Whereas I have nothing of any sort that I am engaged to do: all alone for months together: taking up such Books as I please; and rather liking to write Letters to my Friends, whom I now only communicate with by such means.  And very few of my oldest Friends, here in England, care to answer me, though I know from no want of Regard: but I know that few sensible men, who have their own occupations, care to write Letters unless on some special purpose; and I now rarely get more than one yearly Letter from each.  Seeing which, indeed, I now rarely trouble them for more.  So pray be at ease in this respect: you have written to me, as I to you, more than has passed between myself and my fifty years old Friends for some years past.  I have had two notes from you quite lately: one to tell me that Squire reached you; and another that he was on his way back here.  I was in no hurry for him, knowing p. 242that, if he got safe into your hands, he would continue there as safe as in my own.  I also had your other two Copies of Olympia: one of which I sent to Cowell, who is always too busy to write to me, except about twice a year, in his Holydays.

I am quite content to take History as you do, that is, as the Squire-Carlyle presents it to us; not looking the Gift Horse in the Mouth.  Also, I am sure you are quite right about the Keats’ Letters.  I hope I should have revolted from the Book had anything in it detracted from the man: but all seemed to me in his favour, and therefore I did not feel I did wrong in having the secret of that heart opened to me.  I hope Mr. Lowell will not resent my thinking he might so far sympathize with me.  In fact, could he, could you, resist taking up, and reading, the Letters, however doubtful their publication might have seemed to your Conscience?

Now I enclose you a little work of mine [242] which I hope does no irreverence to the Man it talks of.  It is meant quite otherwise.  I often got puzzled, in reading Lamb’s Letters, about some Data in his Life to which the Letters referred: so I drew up the enclosed for my own behoof, and then thought that others might be glad of it also.  If I set down his Miseries, and the one Failing for which those Miseries are such a Justification, I only set down what has been long and publickly known, and what, except in a Noodle’s eyes, must enhance the dear Fellow’s p. 243character, instead of lessening it.  ‘Saint Charles!’ said Thackeray to me thirty years ago, putting one of C. L.’s letters [243] to his forehead; and old Wordsworth said of him: ‘If there be a Good Man, Charles Lamb is one.’

I have been interested in the Memoir and Letters of C. Sumner: a thoroughly sincere, able, and (I should think) affectionate man to a few; without Humour, I suppose, or much artistic Feeling.  You might like to look over a slight, and probably partial, Memoir of A. de Musset, by his Brother, who (whether well or ill) leaves out the Absinthe, which is generally supposed to have shortened the Life of that man of Genius.  Think of Clarissa being one of his favourite Books; he could not endure the modern Parisian Romance.  It reminded me of our Tennyson (who has some likeness, ‘mutatis mutandis’ of French Morals, Absinthe, etc., to the Frenchman)—of his once saying to me of Clarissa, ‘I love those large, still, Books.’

I parted from Doudan with regret; that is, from two volumes of him; all I had: but I think I see four quoted.  That is pretty, his writing to his Brother, who is dwelling (1870-1) in some fortified Town, on whose ramparts, now mounted with cannon, ‘I used to gather Violets.’  And I cannot forget what he says to a Friend at that crisis, ‘Engage in some long course of Study to drown Trouble in:’ p. 244and he quotes Ste. Beuve saying, one long Summer Day in the Country, ‘Lisons tout Madame de Sévigné.’  You may have to advise me to some such course before long.  I will avoid speaking, or, so far as I can, thinking, of what I cannot prevent, or alter.  You say you like my Letters: which I say is liking what comes from this old Country, more yours than mine.  I have heard that some of your People would even secure a Brick, or Stone, from some old Church here to imbed in some new Church a-building over the Atlantic.  Plenty of such materials might be had, for this foolish People are restoring, and rebuilding, old Village Churches that have grown together in their Fields for Centuries.  Only yesterday I wrote to decline helping such a work on a poor little Church I remember these sixty years.  Well, you like my Letters; I think there is too much of this one; but I will end, as I believe I began, in praying you not to be at any trouble in answering it, or any other, from

Yours sincerely,
E. F. G.

Pray read the Scene at Mrs. MacCandlish’s Inn when Colonel Mannering returns from India to Ellangowan.  It is Shakespeare.

WoodbridgeApril 16/1878.

Only a word; to say that yesterday came Squire-Carlyle from you: and a kind long letter from Mr. p. 245Lowell: and—and the first Nightingale, who sang in my Garden the same song as in Shakespeare’s days: and, before the Day had closed, Dandie Dinmont came into my room on his visit to young Bertram in Portanferry Gaol-house.

To J. R. Lowell.

WoodbridgeApril 17/78.

My dear (Sir ---)—(Lowell)?

Your letter reached me just after hearing this year’s first Nightingale in my Garden: both very welcome.  I am very glad you did not feel bound to answer me before; I should not write otherwise to you or to some very old Friends who, like most sensible men as they grow older, dislike all unnecessary writing more and more.  So that I scarce remind them of myself more than once a year now.  I shall feel sure of your good Will toward me whether you write or not; as I do of theirs.

Mr. Norton thinks, as a Gentleman should, that Keats’ Letters should not have been published.  I hope I should not have bought them, had I not gathered from the Reviews that they were not derogatory to him.  You know, I suppose, that she of whom K. wrote about to others so warmly, his Charmian, was not Fanny Brawne.  Some years ago Lord Houghton wrote me it was: but he is a busy man of the World, though really a very good Fellow: indeed, he did not deserve your skit about his ‘Finsbury p. 246Circus gentility,’ which I dare say you have forgotten.  I have not seen him, any more than much older and dearer friends, for these twenty years: never indeed was very intimate with him; but always found him a good natured, unaffected, man.  He sent me a printed Copy of the first draught of the opening of Keats’ Hyperion; very different from the final one: if you wished, I would manage to send it to you, quarto size as it is.  This now reminds me that I will ask his Lordship why it was not published (as I suppose it was not).  For it ought to be.  He said he did not know if it were not the second draught rather than the first.  But he could hardly have doubted if he gave his thoughts to it, I think. . . .

I want you to do De Quincey; certainly a very remarkable Figure in Literature, and not yet decisively drawn, as you could do it.  There is a Memoir of him by one Page, showing a good deal of his familiar, and Family, Life: all amiable: perhaps the frailties omitted.  It is curious, his regard to Language even when writing (as quite naturally he does) to his Daughter, ‘I was disturbed last night at finding no natural, or spontaneous, opening—how barbarous by the way, is this collision of ings—finding—opening, etc.’  And some other instances.

I cannot understand why I have not yet taken to Hawthorne, a Man of real Genius, and that of a kind which I thought I could relish.  I will have another Shot.  His Notes of Travel seemed to me p. 247very shrewd, original, and sincere.  Charles Sumner, of so different a Genius, also appears to me very truthful, and, I still fancy, strongly attached to the few he might care for.  I am sorry he got a wrong idea of Sir Walter from Lord Brougham, and the Whigs, who always hated Scott.  Indeed (as I well remember) it was a point of Faith with them that Scott had not written the Novels, till the Catastrophe discovered him: on which they changed their Cry into a denunciation of his having written them only for money, ‘Scott’s weak point,’ Sumner quotes from Brougham.  As if Scott loved Money for anything else than to spend it: not only on Lands and House (which I maintain were simply those of a Scotch Gentleman) but to help any poor Devil that applied to him.  Then that old Toad Rogers must tell Sumner that Manzoni’s ‘Sposi’ were worth any ten of Scott’s; yes, after Scott’s Diary spoke of ‘I really like Rogers, etc.,’ and such moderate expressions of regard as Scott felt for him and his Breakfast of London Wits.

Here am I running over to Chapter II.  You will be surfeited, like your Captain, if not on Turtles’ Eggs.  But you can eat me at intervals, you know, or not at all.  Only you will certainly read my last Great Work, [247] which I enclose, drawn up first for my own benefit, in reading Lamb’s Letters, as now printed in batches to his several Correspondents; and so I thought others than myself might be glad p. 248of a few Data to refer the letters to.  Pollock calls my Paper ‘Côtelette d’Agneau à la minute.’

As to my little Dialogue, I can’t send it: so pretty in Form, I think, and with some such pretty parts: but then some odious smart writing, which I had forgotten till I looked it over again before sending to you.  But I will send you the Calderon which you already like.

And, if you would send me any samples of Spanish, send me some Playbill (of the old Drama, if now played), or some public Advertisement, or Newspaper; this is what I should really like.  As to Books, I dare say Quaritch has pretty well ferreted them out of Spain.  Give a look, if you can, at a Memoir of Alfred de Musset written by his Brother.  Making allowance for French morals, and Absinthe (which latter is not mentioned in the Book) Alfred appears to me a fine Fellow, very un-French in some respects.  He did not at all relish the new Romantic School, beginning with V. Hugo, and now alive in --- and Co.—(what I call The Gurgoyle School of Art, whether in Poetry, Painting, or Music)—he detested the modern ‘feuilleton’ Novel, and read Clarissa! . . .  Many years before A. de M. died he had a bad, long, illness, and was attended by a Sister of Charity.  When she left she gave him a Pen with ‘Pensez à vos promesses’ worked about in coloured silks: as also a little worsted ‘Amphore’ she had knitted at his Bed side.  When he came to die, some seventeen years after, he had these two little things put with him in his Coffin.

p. 249WoodbridgeMay 1878.

Ecce iterum—Crispin!  I think you will soon call me ‘Les FitzGeralds’ as Madame de Sévigné called her too officious friend ‘Les Hacquevilles.’  However, I will risk that in sending you a Copy of that first Draught of an opening to Hyperion.  I have got it from that Finsbury Circus Houghton, who gave me the first Copy, which I keep: so you shall have this, if you please; I know no one more worthy of it; and indeed I told Lord H. I wanted it for you; so you see he bears no malice.  He is in truth a very good natured fellow. . . .

Well, to leave that, he writes me that he had the original MS.: it was stolen from him.  Fortunately, a friend of his (Edmund Lushington) had taken a MS. copy, and from that was printed what I send you.  The corrections are from Lushington.  I do not understand why Lord H. does not publish it.  He says he has just written to Bendizzy to do something from the state purse for an aged Sister of Keats, now surviving in great Poverty.  Her name is ‘Fanny.’  Ben might do much worse: some say he is about worse, now: I do not know; I cannot help: and I distress myself as little as I can.  ‘Lisons tout Madame de Sévigné,’ said Ste. Beuve one day to some Friends in the Country; and Doudan (whom Mr. Norton admires, as I do) bids a Friend take that advice in 1871.  One may be glad of it here in England ere 1879.

p. 250A short while ago we were reading the xith Chapter of Guy Mannering, where Colonel Mannering returns to Ellangowan after seventeen years.  A long gap in a Story, Scott says: but scarcely so in Life, to any one who looks back so far.  And, at the end of the Novel, we found a pencil note of mine, ‘Finished 10½ p.m.  Tuesday Decr. 17/1861.’  Not on this account, but on account of its excellence, pray do read the Chapter if you can get the Book: it is altogether admirable—Cervantes—Shakespeare.  I mean that Chapter of the Colonel’s return to Mrs. MacCandlish’s Inn at Kippletringan.

We are now reading ‘Among the Spanish People,’ by the Mr. Rose who wrote ‘Untrodden Spain’; a really honest, good-hearted, fellow, I think: with some sentimentality amid his Manhood, and (I suppose) rather too rose-coloured in his Estimate of the People he has long lived among.  But he can’t help recalling Don Quixote.  He has a really delightful account of a Visit he pays to a pueblo he calls Baños up the Sierra Morena: one would expect Don and Sancho there, by one of the old Houses with Arms over the Door.  Pray get hold of this Book also if you can: else ‘les Hacquevilles’ will have to buy it second hand from Mudie and send—‘Coals to Newcastle.’

With Keats I shall send you an Athenæum with a rather humorous account of a Cockney squabble about whether Shelley called his Lark an ‘un-bodied,’ or ‘em-bodied,’ Spirit.  I really forget which way was p. 251settled by MS.  Shelley is now the rage in Cockayne; but he is too unsubstantial for me.

It is now hot here: I suppose something [like] February in Andalusia.  Do you find Madrid Climate as bad as Rose and others describe it?  He has also a very pleasant [chapter] about the Lavanderas of the Manzanares.  What delightful words!

To W. A. Wright.


On looking into my dear old Montaigne, I find a passage which may have rustled in Shakespeare’s head while doing Othello: it is about the pleasures of Military Life in the Chapter ‘De l’Expérience’ beginning ‘Il n’est occupation plaisante comme la militaire, etc.’ in course of which occurs in Florio, ‘The courageous minde-stirring harmonic of warlike music, etc.’  What a funny thing is that closing Apostrophe to Artillery—but this is not Æsthetic.

Bacon’s appropriation you know of C’est bien choisir de ne choisir pas’ (De la Vanité, I think).

WoodbridgeJune 11, [1878]

My dear Wright,

If you do not remember the passage in Bacon’s Essays [251] about ‘not to decide, etc.’  I must have fancied it.  I am glad you recognize the Othello p. 252bit of Montaigne.  You know, as I know, the nonsense of talking of Shakespeare stealing such things: one is simply pleased at finding his footsteps in the Books he read, just as one is in walking over the fields he walked about Stratford and seeing the Flowers, and hearing the Birds, he heard and saw, and told of.  My Canon is, there is no plagiarism when he who adopts has proved that he could originate what he adopts, and a great deal more: which certainly absolves Shakespeare from any such Charge—even ‘The Cloud capt Towers, etc.’  That Passage in Othello about the Propontic and the Hellespont, was, I have read, an afterthought, after reading some Travel: and, like so many Afterthoughts, I must think, a Blunder: breaking the Torrent of Passion with a piece of Natural History.  One observes it particularly when acted: the actor down on his Knees, etc.  Were I to act Othello (there’d be many a Bellow

From Pit, Boxes, etc., on that occasion) [252]

I should leave out the passage. . . .

An answer from Carlyle’s Niece to my half-yearly enquiry tells me that he is well, and hardy, and reading Goethe which he never tires of: glancing over Reviews which he calls ‘Floods of Nonsense,’ etc.  I sent them Groome’s ‘Only Darter,’ which I think so good that I shall get him to let me print it for others beside those of the Ipswich Journal: it seems to me a beautiful Suffolk ‘Idyll’ (why not p. 253Eidyll?) and so it seemed to those at Chelsea.  By the by, I will send you their Note, if Groome returns it to me.

To C. E. Norton.

July 2/78.

My dear Norton,

You wrote me a very kind Invitation—to your own home—in America!  But it is all too late for that; more on account of habit than time of life: I will not repeat what I feel sure I have told you before on that subject.  You will be more interested by the enclosed note: of which this is the simple Story.  Some three weeks ago I wrote my half-yearly note of enquiry to Carlyle’s Niece; he was, she said, quite well; walking by the river before Breakfast: driving out of an Afternoon: constantly reading: just then reading Goethe of whom he never tired: and glancing over Magazines and Reviews which he called ‘Floods of Nonsense, Cataracts of Twaddle,’ etc.  I had sent him the enclosed paper, [253] written by a Suffolk Archdeacon for his Son’s East Anglian Notes and Queries: and now reprinted, with his permission, by me, for the benefit of others, yourself among the number.  Can you make out the lingo, and see what I think the pretty Idyll it tells of?  If I were in America, at your home, I would recite it to you; nay, were the Telephone prepared across p. 254the Atlantic!  Well: it was sent, as I say, to Carlyle: who, by what his Niece replied, I suppose liked it too.  And, by way of return, I suppose, he sends me a Volume of Norway Kings and Knox: which I was very glad to have, not only as a token of his Good Will, but also because Knox was, I believe, the only one of his works I had not read.  And I was obliged to confess to him in my acknowledgment of his kindly Present, that I relished these two children of his old Age as much as any of his more fiery Manhood.  I had previously asked if he knew anything of John Wesley’s Journal, which I was then re-perusing; as he his Goethe: yes, he knew that Wesley too, and ‘thought as I did about it’ his Niece said; and in reply to my Question if he knew anything of two ‘mountains’ (as English people called hills a hundred years ago) which Wesley says were called ‘The Peas’ at Dunbar [254]—why, here is his Answer: evincing the young Blood in the old Man still.

Wesley’s Journal is very well worth reading, and having; not only as an outline of his own singular character, but of the conditions of England, Ireland, and Scotland, in the last Century.  Voilà par exemple un Livre dont Monsr Lowell pourrait faire une jolie critique, s’il en voudrait, mais il s’occupe de plus grandes choses, du Calderon, du Cervantes.  I always wish to run on in bad French: but my friends would not care to read it.  But pray make acquaintance p. 255with this Wesley; if you cannot find a copy in America, I will send you one from here: I believe I have given it to half a dozen Friends.  Had I any interest with Publishers, I would get them to reprint parts of it, as of my old Crabbe, who still sticks in my Throat.

I have taken that single little Lodging at Dunwich for the next three months, and shall soon be under those Priory Walls again.  But the poor little ‘Dunwich Rose,’ brought by those monks from the North Country, will have passed, after the hot weather we are at last having.  Write when you will, and not till then; I believe in your friendly regard, with, or without, a Letter to assure me of it.

WoodbridgeOctober 15/78.

My dear Norton,

. . . I got little more than a Fortnight at that old Dunwich; for my Landlady took seriously ill, and finally died: and the Friend [255a] whom I went to meet there became so seriously ill also as to be obliged to return to London before August was over.  So then I went to an ugly place [255b] on the sea shore also, some fifteen miles off the old Priory; and there was with some Nephews and Nieces, trying to read the Novels from a Circulating Library with indifferent Success.  And now here am I at home once more; getting my Garden, if not my House, in order; and here I shall p. 256be probably all Winter, except for a few days visit to that sick Friend in London, if he desires it. . . .

We too have been having a Fortnight of delightful weather, so as one has been able to sit abroad all the Day.  And now, that Spirit which Tennyson sung of in one of his early Poems is heard, as it were, walking and talking to himself among the decaying flower-beds.  This Season (such as we have been enjoying)—my old Crabbe sings of it too, in a very pathetic way to me: for it always seems to me an Image of the Decline of Life also.

It was a Day ere yet the Autumn closed,
When Earth before her Winter’s War reposed;
When from the Garden as we look’d above,
No Cloud was seen, and nothing seem’d to move;
[When the wide River was a silver Sheet,
And upon Ocean slept the unanchored fleet;] [256a]
When the wing’d Insect settled in our sight,
And waited wind to recommence its flight. [256b]

You see I cross out two lines which, fine as they are, go beyond the Garden: but I am not sure if I place them aright.  The two last lines you will feel, I think: for I suppose some such Insect is in America too.  (You must not mind Crabbe’s self-contradiction about ‘nothing moving.’) . . .

I have two Letters I want to send Lowell: but I do not like writing as if to extort answers from him.  p. 257You see Carlyle’s Note within: I do not want it back, thank you.  Good night: for Night it is: and my Reader is coming.  We look forward to The Lammermoor, and Old Mortality before long.  I made another vain attempt on George Eliot at Lowestoft, Middlemarch.

To J. R. Lowell.

WoodbridgeOctr. 17/78.

My dear Sir,

I scarce like to write to you again because of seeming to exact a Letter.  I do not wish that at all, pray believe it: I don’t think letter-writing men are much worth.  What puts me up to writing just now is, the enclosed two Letters by other men; one of them relating to yourself; the other to the Spain you are now in.  I sent Frederic Tennyson, eldest Brother of the Laureate, your Study Windows: and now you see what he says about it.  He is a Poet too, as indeed all the Brethren more or less are; and is a Poet: only with (I think) a somewhat monotonous Lyre.  But a very noble Man in all respects, and one whose good opinion is worth having, however little you read, or care for, opinion about yourself, one way or other.  I do not say that I agree with all he says: but here is his Letter.  I am going to send him a Volume of yours ‘Among my Books,’ which I know is a maturer work than the Windows; and you know what I think of it.

p. 258The other Letter, or piece of Letter, is from our Professor Cowell, and has surely a good Suggestion concerning a Spanish Dictionary.  You might put some Spanish Scholar on the scent.  And so much about my two Letters.

I was but little at my old Dunwich this Summer, for my Landlady fell sick, and died: and the Friend I went to be with was obliged to leave; I doubt his Brain is becoming another Ruin to be associated with that old Priory wall, already so pathetic to me.  So here am I back again at my old Desk for all the Winter, I suppose, with my old Crabbe once more open before me, disembowelled too; for I positively meditate a Volume made up of ‘Readings’ from his Tales of the Hall, that is, all his better Verse connected with as few words of my own Prose as will connect it intelligibly together.

To C. E. Norton.

WoodbridgeDecr. 15/78.

My dear Norton,

You are very good to ask for my Œdipodes, etc.  And when I can find Eyes as well as Courage to copy out a ‘brouillon,’ I will see what can be done.  Only, you and Professor Goodwin must not feel any way bound to print them, even if you both approved of them; and that is not at all certain.  How would you two Scholars approve of two whole Scenes omitted in either Œdipus (as I know to be the p. 259case), and the Choephori [259a] reduced almost to an Act?  So that would be, I doubt.  Then, as you know, Sophocles does not strike Fire out of the Flint, as old Æschylus does; and though my Sophocles has lain by me (lookt at now and then) these ten years, I was then a dozen years older than when Agamemnon haunted me, until I laid his Ghost so far as I myself was concerned.  By the way, I see that Dr. Kennedy, Professor of Greek at our Cambridge, has published a Translation of Agamemnon in ‘rhythmic English.’  So, at any rate, I have been the cause of waking up two great men (Browning and Kennedy) and a minor Third (I forget his name) [259b] to the Trial, if it were only for the purpose of extinguishing my rash attempt.  However that may be, I cannot say my attempt on Sophocles would please you and my American Patrons (in England I have none) so well as Æschylus; indeed I only see in what I remember to have done, good English, and fair Verse, beyond the chief merit of shaping the Plays to modern Taste by the very excisions which Scholars will most deprecate.  However, you shall see, one day. . . .

I want to send you a very little volume by Charles Tennyson, long ago published: too modest to make a noise: worth not only all me, but all ---, ---, & Co. put together.  Three such little volumes have appeared, but just appeared; like Violets, I say: to be overlooked by the p. 260‘madding Crowd,’ but I believe to smell sweet and blossom when all the gaudy Growths now in fashion are faded and gone.  He ought to be known in America—everywhere; is he?

To J. R. Lowell.

WoodbridgeDecr. 19/78.

My dear Sir,

I am writing to you because you say you like to hear from me.  I dare say, a Letter from your home, or mine, is acceptable in Madrid, which, by the by, if Travellers’ Stories be true, must be terrible this winter: and I always try to stuff my Letters with all I can about other people more or less worth hearing of.  But for that I have but little to say, certainly nothing worth your keeping.  But if you like me to write, no matter why.  I wish I could find you a short Letter written to me this time last year by C. Merivale, Dean of Ely, Roman Historian; a man of infinite dry humour, and quaint fancy.  I have put it away in some safe place where (of course) I can’t find it.  Perhaps the like may happen to yourself now and then.  I tell him that some one should pick up his Table-talk and Letter-talk: for he of course would not do it himself.  I have known him from College days, fifty years ago; but have never read his History: never having read any History but Herodotus, I believe.  But p. 261I should like you to see how an English Dean and Roman Historian can write in spite of Toga and Canonicals.

December 22.

I left off when my Reader came to finish The Bride of Lammermoor; as wonderful to me as ever.  O, the Austens, Eliots, and even Thackerays, won’t eclipse Sir Walter for long.

To come down rather a little from him, my Calderon, which you speak of—very many beside myself, with as much fair Dramatic Spirit, knowledge of good English and English Verse, would do quite as well as you think I do, if they would not hamper themselves with Forms of Verse, and Thought, irreconcilable with English Language and English Ways of Thinking.  I am persuaded that, to keep Life in the Work (as Drama must) the Translator (however inferior to his Original) must re-cast that original into his own Likeness, more or less: the less like his original, so much the worse: but still, the live Dog better than the dead Lion; in Drama, I say.  As to Epic, is not Cary still the best Dante?  Cowper and Pope were both Men of Genius, out of my Sphere; but whose Homer still holds its own?  The elaborately exact, or the ‘teacup-time’ Parody?  Is not Fairfax’ Tasso good?  I never read Harington’s Ariosto, English or Italian.  Another shot have I made p. 262at Faust in Bayard Taylor’s Version: but I do not even get on with him as with Hayward, hampered as he (Taylor) is with his allegiance to original metres, etc.  His Notes I was interested in: but I shall die ungoethed, I doubt, so far as Poetry goes: I always believe he was Philosopher and Critic.

But, harking back to Calderon, surely you have seen the ‘Mágico’ printed from the Duc d’Osuna’s original MS., with many variations from the text as we have it.  This volume is edited, in French, by ‘Alfred Morel Fatio,’ printed at ‘Heilbronn’ (wherever that is), and to be bought of ‘M. Murillo, Calle de Alcalá, Num. 18, Madrid.’  It contains a Facsimile of the old Boy’s MS.  I will send you my Copy if there be ‘no Coal in Newcastle.’

To C. E. Norton.

WoodbridgeMay 18/79.

My dear Norton,

It is over six months, I believe, since we exchanged a letter; mine the last shot: which I mention only because that has been my reason for not writing again till I should hear from you that all was well enough with you and yours to justify my writing an idle letter.  You have spoken of an aged Mother:—if your Winter has been such as ours!  And not over yet, as scarce a p. 263leaf on the trees, and a N. E. wind blowing Cold, Cough, Bronchitis, etc., and the confounded Bell of a neighbouring Church announcing a Death, day after day.  I certainly never remember so long, and so mortal a Winter: among young as well as old.  Among the latter, I have just lost my elder, and only surviving Brother.  But I shall close this Bill of Mortality before turning over the leaf.

Well: it is Mr. Clarke’s pamphlet which has encouraged me to ‘take up the pen,’ for I think it was you who sent it to me.  All I am qualified to say about it is, that it is very well and earnestly written; but on a Subject, like your own Olympia, that I am no Judge of.  I think of forwarding it to Cowell at our Cambridge, who is a Judge of Everything, I think, while pretending to Nothing. . . .

This reminds me of all the pains he bestowed on me five and twenty years ago; of which the result is one final Edition of Omar and Jámí. . . .  Omar remains as he was; Jámí (Salámán) is cut down to two-thirds of his former proportion, and very much improved, I think.  It is still in a wrong key: Verse of Miltonic strain, unlike the simple Eastern; I remember trying that at first, but could not succeed.  So there is little but the Allegory itself (not a bad one), and now condensed into a very fair Bird’s Eye view; quite enough for any Allegory, I think. . . .

p. 264And—(this Letter is to be all about myself)—by this post I send you my Handbook of Crabbe’s Tales of the Hall, of which I am so doubtful that I do not yet care to publish it.  I wished to draw a few readers to a Book which nobody reads, by an Abstract of the most readable Parts connected with as little of my Prose as would tell the story of much prosaic Verse, but that very amount of prosy Verse may help to soak the story into the mind (as Richardson, etc.) in a way that my more readable Abstract does not.  So it may only serve to remind any one of a Book—which he never read!  The Original must be more obsolete in America than here in England; however, I should like to know what you make of it: and you see that you may tell me very plainly, for it is not as an Author, but only as Author’s Showman that I appear.

It is rather shameful to take another Sheet because of almost filling the first with myself.  And I have but little to tell in it.  Carlyle I have not heard of for these six months: nor Tennyson: I must write to hear how they have weathered this mortal Winter.  Tennyson’s elder, not eldest, Brother Charles is dead: and I was writing only yesterday to persuade Spedding to insist on Macmillan publishing a complete edition of Charles’ Sonnets: graceful, tender, beautiful, and quite original, little things.  Two thirds of them would be enough: but no one can select p. 265in such a case, you know.  I have been reading again your Hawthorne’s Journal in England when he was Consul here; this I have: I cannot get his ‘Our old Home,’ nor his Foreign Notes: can you send me any small, handy, Edition of these two last?  I delight in them because of their fearless Truthfulness as well as for their Genius.  I have just taken down his Novels, or Romances, to read again, and try to relish more than I have yet done; but I feel sure the fault must be with me, as I feel about Goethe, who is yet as sealed a Book to me as ever. . . .  I have (alas!) got through all Sir Walter’s Scotch Novels this winter, even venturing further on Kenilworth: which is wonderful for Plot: and one scene, Elizabeth reconciling her Rival Earls at Greenwich, seeming to me as good as Shakespeare’s Henry VIII., which is mainly Fletcher’s, I am told.  I have heard nothing of Mr. Lowell since I heard of you, and do think that I will pitch him a Crabbe into the midst of Madrid, if he be still there.  (N.B.  Some of Crabbe is not in the Text but from MS. first (and best) readings printed in the Son’s edition.)

The Nightingale is now telling me that he is not dead.

p. 266To J. R. Lowell.

WoodbridgeMay 20/79.

My dear Sir,

By this post I send you a bit of a Book, in which you see that I only play very second Fiddle.  It is not published yet, as I wait for a few friends to tell me if it be worth publishing, or better kept among ourselves, who know Crabbe as well as myself.  You could tell me better than any one, only that I doubt if any Transatlantic Man can care, even if he knows of a Writer whose Books are all but unread by his own Countrymen, so obsolete has become his Subject (in this Book) as well as his way of treating it.  So I think I may exonerate you from giving an opinion, and will only send it to you for such amusement as it may afford you in your Exile.  I fancied I could make a pleasant Abstract of a much too long and clumsy Book, and draw a few Readers to the well-nigh forgotten Author.  But, on looking over my little work, I doubt that my short and readable Handybook will not leave any such impression as the long, rather un-readable, original; mere length having, you know, the inherent Virtue of soaking it in: so as my Book will scarce do but as a reminder of the original, which nobody reads! . . .

Voilà assez sur ce sujet là.  I think that you p. 267will one day give us an account of your Spanish Consulship, as Hawthorne did of his English: a noble Book which I have just been reading over again.  His ‘Our old Home’ is out of print here; and I have asked Mr. Norton to send me any handy Edition of it, as also of the Italian Journal, my Copies having been lent out past recovery.  I am going to begin again with his Scarlet Letter and Seven Gables; which (oddly to myself) I did not take to.  And yet I think they are not out of my line, or reach, I ought to say.

We have had such a long, and mortal Winter as never do I remember in my seventy years, which struck 70 on March 31 last.  I have just lost a Brother—75.  Proximus ardet, etc.  But I escaped through all these seven months Winter, till a week or ten days ago, when a South Wind and Sunshine came for a Day, and one expatiated abroad, and then down comes a North Easter, etc.  I was like the Soldier in Crabbe’s Old Bachelor (now with you), who compares himself to the Soldier stricken by a random Shot, when resting on his Arms, etc. [267]  So Cold, Cough, Bronchitis, etc.  And To-day Sunshine again, and Ruiseñor (do you know him?) in my Shrubs only just be-greening, and I am a Butterfly again.  I have heard nothing of Carlyles, Tennysons, etc., save that the latter had written some Ballad about Lucknow.  I shall be glad to hear a word of p. 268yourself, Calderon, and Don Quixote, the latter of whom σαίνει με from my Bookshelf.  Yes, yes, I am soon coming.

WoodbridgeJune 13/79.

My dear Sir,

I had just written a Letter to Tennyson, a thing I had not done these two years, when one was brought to me with what I thought his Subscription, which I have not seen for twice two years, I suppose.  Well, but the Letter was from you.  I ought not to write again so quick: but you know I never exact a Reply: especially as you never will answer what I ask you, which I rather admire too.  To be sure you have so much filled your Letter with my Crabbe that you have told me nothing of yourself, Calderon, and Cervantes, both of whom, I suppose, are fermenting, and maturing, in your head.  Cowell says he will come to this coast this Summer with Don Quixote that we may read him together: so, if you should come, you will find yourself at home.  I have said all I can say about your taking any such trouble as coming down here only to shake hands with me, as you talk of.  I never make any sort of ‘hospitality’ to the few who ever do come this way, but just put a fowl in the Pot (as Don Quixote’s ama might do), and hire a Shandrydan for a Drive, or a Boat on the river, and ‘There p. 269you are,’ as one of Dickens’ pleasant young fellows says.  But I never can ask any one to come, and out of his way, to see me, a very ancient, and solitary, Bird indeed.  But you know all about it.  ‘Parlons d’autres choses,’ as Sévigné says.

I was curious to know what an American, and of your Quality, would say of Crabbe.  The manner and topics (Whig, Tory, etc.) are almost obsolete in this country, though I remember them well: how then must they appear to you and yours?  The ‘Ceremoniousness’ you speak of is overdone for Crabbe’s time: he overdid it in his familiar intercourse, so as to disappoint everybody who expected ‘Nature’s sternest Poet,’ etc.; but he was all the while observing.  I know not why he persists in his Thee and Thou, which certainly Country Squires did not talk of, except for an occasional Joke, at the time his Poem dates from, 1819: and I warned my Readers in that stillborn Preface to change that form into simple ‘You.’  If this Book leaves a melancholy impression on you, what then would all his others?  Leslie Stephen says his Humour is heavy (Qy is not his Tragedy?), and wonders how Miss Austen could admire him as it appears she did; and you discern a relation between her and him.  I find plenty of grave humour in this Book: in the Spinster, the Bachelor, the Widow, etc.  All which I pointed out (in the still-born) to L. S. . . .  He p. 270says too that Crabbe is ‘incapable of Epigram,’ which also you do not agree in; Epigrams more of Humour than Wit; sometimes only hinted, as in those two last lines of that disagreeable, and rather incomprehensible Sir Owen Dale.  I think he will do in the land of Cervantes still.

When my Copy of Tennyson’s Lover’s Tale comes home I will send it to you. . . .  As to Gray—Ah, to think of that little Elegy inscribed among the Stars, while ---, --- & Co., are blazing away with their Fireworks here below.  I always think that there is more Genius in most of the three volume Novels than in Gray: but by the most exquisite Taste, and indefatigable lubrication, he made of his own few thoughts, and many of other men’s, a something which we all love to keep ever about us. [270]  I do not think his scarcity of work was from Design: he had but a little to say, I believe, and took his time to say it. . . .

Only think of old Carlyle, who was very feeble indeed during the winter, having read through all Shakespeare to himself during these latter Spring months.  So his Niece writes me.  I do not hear of his doing the like by his Goethe.

p. 271I had another shot at your Hawthorne, a Man of fifty times Gray’s Genius, but I could not take to him.  Painfully microscopic and elaborate on dismal subjects, I still thought: but I am quite ready to admit that (as in Goethe’s case) the fault lies in me.  I think I have a good feeling for such things; but ‘non omnia possumus, etc.;’ some Screw loose.  ‘C’est égal.’  That is a serviceable word for so much.

Now have I any more that turns up for this wonderful Letter?  I should put it in, for I do think it might amuse you in Madrid.  But nothing does turn up this Evening.  Tea, and a Walk on our River bank, and then, what do you think?  An hour’s reading (to me) of a very celebrated Murder which I remember just thirty years ago at Norwich: then ‘Ten minutes’ Refreshment’; and then, Nicholas Nickleby!  Then one Pipe: and then to Bed.  Yours sincerely,

E. F. G.

This Letter shall sleep a night too before Travelling.  Next Morning.  Revenons à notre Crabbe.  ‘Principles and Pew’ very bad.  ‘The Flowers, etc., cut by busy hands, etc.,’ are, or were, common on the leaden roofs of old Houses, Churches, etc.  I made him stop at ‘Till the Does ventured on our Solitude,’ [271] without adding ‘We were so still!’—which is quite ‘de trop.’  You will see by the enclosed prefatory Notice what I have done in the matter, as little as I p. 272could in doing what was to be done.  My own Copy is full of improvements.  Yes, for any Poetaster may improve three-fourths of the careless old Fellow’s Verse: but it would puzzle a Poet to improve the better part.  I think that Crabbe differs from Pope in this thing for one: that he aims at Truth, not at Wit, in his Epigram.  How almost graceful he can sometimes be too!

What we beheld in Love’s perspective Glass
Has pass’d away—one Sigh! and let it pass. [272]

LowestoftAugust 20/79.

My dear Sir,

Mr. Norton wrote me that you had been detained in Spain by Mrs. Lowell’s severe, nay, dangerous, illness; a very great affliction to you.  I venture a bit of a Letter, which you are not to answer, even by a word; no, not even read further than now you have got, unless a better day has dawned on you, and unless you feel wholly at liberty to write.  I should be very glad to hear, in ever so few words, that your anxiety was over.

I do not think I shall make a long letter of this; for I do not think of much that can amuse you in the least, even if you should be open to such sort of amusement as I could give you.  I am come here to be a month with my friend Cowell; he and I are reading the Second Part of Don Quixote together, as we used to read together thirty years ago; he always p. 273the Teacher, and I the Pupil, although he is quite unaware of that Relation between us; indeed, rather reverses it.  It so happens that he is not so well acquainted with this Second Part as with the First; indeed not so well with the Story of it as I, but then he is so much a better Scholar in all ways that he lights up passages of the Book in a way that is all new to me.  Some of the strange words reminded me again of his wish for a Spanish Dictionary in the style of Littré’s French: he would assuredly be the Man to do it, but he has his Sanskrit Professorship to mind.

There is a Book rather worth reading called ‘On Foot through Spain’; [273] meaning, as much of Spain as extends from St. Sebastian on the Bay of Biscay to Barcelona on the Mediterranean; with a good deal of Cervantesque Ventas, Carreteros, etc., in it.  There is an account of the Obsequies of Pau Pi (Basque?) on the last Day of Carnival at Saragossa, which reminded me of the ‘Cortes de Muerte,’ etc.  Hawthorne (whose admirable Italian Journal I brought with me here) says that originally the Italian Carnival ended with somewhat of the same Burlesque Ceremonial, but was thought to mimic too Graciosoly that of the Church.  I believe the Moccoli, etc., are a remainder of it.

‘Eso allá se ha de entender, respondió Sancho, con los que naciéron en las malvas’ (ii. c. 4), made my Master jump at once to Job xxx. 4.

p. 274I cannot but suppose that you are gradually gathering materials for some Essay on Spanish Literature, and it is a rare Quality in these days to be in no hurry about such work, but to wait till one can do it thoroughly; as is the case with you.  I suppose you know Lope: of whom I have read, and now shall read, nothing: even Cowell, who has read some, is not much interested in him.  He delights in Calderon, of whom he has one thick Volume here, and still finds many obscure passages to clear up.  He was telling me of one about Madrid, [274] which (as you are now there) I must quote by way of filling up this Second Sheet of Letter.  But, to do this, I must wait till I have been with him for our morning’s reading, so as I may give it you Chapter and Verse.

P.S.  Here is my Professor’s MS. note for you, which I told him I wanted to send.  We have been reading Chapters 14-15 of Don Quixote, Second Part.  Do you know why Carrasco finds an Algebrista for his hurts?  Why the Moorish Aljebro = the setting of Fractions, etc.  So said my dear Pundit at once.  Ah! you would like to be with us, for the sake of him, rather than of yours sincerely E. F. G.

p. 275To C. E. Norton.

LowestoftSept. 3/79.

My dear Norton,

I must write you a few lines, on my knee (not, on my knees, however), in return for your kind letter.  As to my thinking you could be ‘importunate’ in asking again for my two Sophocles Abstracts, you must know that such importunity cannot but be grateful.  I am only rather ashamed that you should have to repeat it.  I laid the Plays by after looking them over some months ago, meaning to wait till another year to clear up some parts, if not all.  Thus do my little works arrive at such form as they result in, good or bad; so as, however I may be blamed for the liberties I take with the Great, I cannot be accused of over haste in doing so, though blamed I may be for rashness in meddling with them at all.  Anyhow, I would not send you any but a fair MS. if I sent MS. at all; and may perhaps print it in a small way, not to publish, but so as to ensure a final Revision, such as will also be more fitting for you to read.  It is positively the last of my Works! having been by me these dozen years, I believe, occasionally looked at.  So much for that.

Now, you would like to be here along with me and my delightful Cowell, when we read the Second Part of Don Quixote together of a morning.  This we have been doing for three weeks; and shall continue p. 276to do for some ten days more, I suppose: and then he will be returning to his Cambridge.  If we read very continuously we should be almost through the Book by this time: but, as you may imagine we play as well as work; some passage in the dear Book leads Cowell off into Sanskrit, Persian, or Goody Two Shoes, for all comes within the compass of his Memory and Application.  Job came in to the help of Sancho a few days ago: and the Duenna Rodriguez’ age brought up a story Cowell recollected of an old Lady who persisted in remaining at 50; till being told (by his Mother) that she could not be elected to a Charity because of not being 64, she said ‘She thought she could manage it’; and the Professor shakes with Laughter not loud but deep, from the centre. . . .

Pray read in our Athenæum some letters of Severn’s about Keats, full of Love and intelligent Admiration, all the better for coming straight from the heart without any style at all.  If I thought that Mr. Lowell would not find these Athenæums somewhere in Madrid, I would send them to him, as I would also to you in a like predicament. . . .

This letter has run on further than I expected: and I am now going to see Sancho off to his Island, under convoy of my Professor.

p. 277To S. Laurence.

11 Marine Terrace, Lowestoft.
Septr. 22/79.

My dear Laurence,

Your letter found me here this morning: here, where I have now been near six weeks, for a month of which Edward Cowell and his Wife were my neighbours; and we had two or three hours of Don Quixote’s company of a morning, and only ourselves for company at night.  They are gone, however; and I might have gone to my own home also, but that some Nephews and Nieces wished to see a little more of me; and I thought also that Lowestoft would be more amusing than Woodbridge to a young London Clerk, a Nephew of the Cowells, who comes to me for a short Holyday, when he can get away from his Desk.  But early in October I shall be back at my old routine, stale enough.  I think that, as a general rule, people should die at 70.

Yes: though Edwards was comparatively a Friend of late growth—he, and his brave wife—they encountered me down in my own country here, and we somehow suited one another; and I feel sad thinking of the pleasant days at Dunwich, which the Tide now rolling up here will soon reach. [277] . . .

I am here re-reading Forster’s Life of Dickens, p. 278which seems to me a very good Book, though people say, I believe, there is too much Forster in it.  At any rate, there is enough to show the wonderful Dæmonic Dickens: as pure an instance of Genius as ever lived; and, it seems to me, a Man I can love also.

Sentence from a Letter written to Prof. Norton Feb. 22/80.

‘I cannot yet get the 2nd Part (Coloneus) to fit as I wish to the first: finding (what I never doubted) that nothing is less true than Goethe’s saying that these two Plays and Antigone must be read in Sequence, as a Trilogy.’

To C. E. Norton.

WoodbridgeMarch 4, 1880.

My dear Norton,

Herewith you will receive, I suppose, Part I. of Œdipus, which I found on my return here after a week’s absence.  I really hope you will like it, after taking the trouble more than once to ask for it: only (according to my laudable rule of Give or Take in such cases) say no more of it to me than to point out anything amendable: for which, you see, I leave a wide margin, for my own behoof as well as my reader’s.  And again I will say that I wish you would keep it wholly to yourself: and, above all, not p. 279let a word about it cross the Atlantic.  I will not send a Copy even to Professor Goodwin, to whom you can show yours, if he should happen to mention the subject; nor will I send one to Mrs. Kemble, the only other whom I had thought of.  In short, you, my dear Sir, are the only Depository of this precious Document, which I would have you keep as though it were very precious indeed.

You will see at once that it is not even a Paraphrase, but an Adaptation, of the Original: not as more adapted to an Athenian Audience 400 years b.c. but to a merely English Reader 1800 years a.d.  Some dropt stitches in the Story, not considered by the old Genius of those days, I have, I think, ‘taken up,’ as any little Dramatist of these Days can do: though the fundamental absurdity of the Plot (equal to Tom Jones according to Coleridge!) remains; namely, that Œdipus, after so many years reigning in Thebes as to have a Family about him, should apparently never have heard of Laius’ murder till the Play begins.  One acceptable thing I have done, I think, omitting very much rhetorical fuss about the poor man’s Fatality, which I leave for the Action itself to discover; as also a good deal of that rhetorical Scolding, which, I think, becomes tiresome even in its Greek: as the Scene between Œdipus and Creon after Tiresias: and equally unreasonable.  The Choruses which I believe are thought fine by Scholars, I have left to old Potter to supply, as I was hopeless of making anything of them; pasting, p. 280you see, his ‘Finale’ over that which I had tried.

I believe that I must leave Part II. for the present, being rather wearied with the present stupendous Effort, at Ætat. 71.  If I live another year, and am still free from the ills incident to my Time, I will make an end of it, and of all my Doings in that way.

To Charles Keene. [280a]


My dear Keene,

. . . Beckford’s Hunting is an old friend of mine: excellently written; such a relief (like Wesley and the religious men) to the Essayist style of the time.  Do not fail to read the capital Squire’s Letter in recommendation of a Stable-man, dated from Great Addington, Northants, 1734: of which some little is omitted after Edition I.; which edition has also a Letter from Beckford’s Huntsman about a wicked ‘Daufter,’ wholly omitted.  This first Edition is a pretty small 4to 1781, with a Frontispiece by Cipriani! . . .

If you come down this Spring, but not before May, I will show you some of these things in a Book [280b] I have, which I might call ‘Half Hours with the Worst Authors,’ and very fine things by them.  It would be the very best Book of the sort ever published, p. 281if published; but no one would think so but myself, and perhaps you, and half a dozen more.  If my Eyes hold out I will copy a delightful bit by way of return for your Ballad.

To C. E. Norton.

May 1, 1880.

My dear Norton,

I must thank you for the Crabbe Review [281] you sent me, though, had it been your own writing, I should probably not tell you how very good I think it.  I am somewhat disappointed that Mr. Woodberry dismisses Crabbe’s ‘Trials at Humour’ as summarily as Mr. Leslie Stephen does; it was mainly for the Humour’s sake that I made my little work: Humour so evident to me in so many of the Tales (and Conversations), and which I meant to try and get a hearing for in the short Preface I had written in case the Book had been published.  I thought these Tales showed the ‘stern Painter’ softened by his Grand Climacteric, removed from the gloom and sadness of his early associations, and looking to the Follies rather than to the Vices of Men, and treating them often in something of a Molière way, only with some pathetic humour mixt, so as these Tales were almost the only one of his Works which left an agreeable impression behind them.  But if so good a Judge as p. 282Mr. Woodberry does not see all this, I certainly could not have persuaded John Bull to see it: and perhaps am wrong myself in seeing what is not there.  I doubt not that Mr. Woodberry is quite right in what he says of Crabbe not having Imagination to draw that Soul from Nature of which he enumerates the phenomena: but he at any rate does so enumerate and select them as to suggest something more to his Reader, something more than mere catalogue could suggest.  He may go yet further in such a description, as that other Autumnal one in ‘Delay has Danger,’ beginning—

Early he rose, and look’d with many a sigh,
On the red Light that fill’d the Eastern sky, etc.

Where, as he says, the Decay and gloom of Nature seem reflected in—nay, as it were, to take a reflection from—the Hero’s troubled Soul.  In the Autumn Scene which Mr. Woodberry quotes, [282] and contrasts with those of other more imaginative Poets, would not a more imaginative representation of the scene have been out of character with the English Country Squire who sees and reflects on it?  As would have been more evident if Mr. W. had quoted a line or two further—

While the dead foliage dropt from loftier trees
The Squire beheld not with his wonted ease,
But to his own reflections made reply,
And said aloud—‘Yes, doubtless we must die.’

οίη περ φυλλων yενεη—

p. 283This Dramatic Picture touches me more than Mr. Arnold.

One thing more I will say, that I do not know where old Wordsworth condemned Crabbe as un-poetical (except in the truly ‘priggish’ candle case) though I doubt not that Mr. Woodberry does know.  We all know that of Crabbe’s ‘Village’ one passage was one of the first that struck young Wordsworth: and when Crabbe’s son was editing his Father’s Poems in 1834, old Wordsworth wrote to him that, because of their combined Truth and Poetry, those Poems would last as long at least as any that had been written since, including Wordsworth’s own.  And Wordsworth was too honest, as well as too exclusive, to write so much even to a Son of the dead Poet, without meaning all he said.

I should not have written all this were it not that I think so much of Mr. Woodberry’s Paper; but I doubt I could not persuade him to think more of my old Man than he sees good to think for himself.  I rejoice that he thinks even so well of the Poet: even if his modified Praise does not induce others to try and think likewise.  The verses he quotes—

Where is that virtue which the generous boy, etc. [283]

made my heart glow—yes, even out at my Eyes—though so familiar to me.  Only in my private Copy, instead of

When Vice had triumph—who his tear bestow’d
On injured merit—

p. 284in place of that ‘bestowed Tear,’ I cannot help reading

When Vice and Insolence in triumph rode, etc.

which is, of course, only for myself, and you, it seems: for I never mentioned that, and some scores of such impudencies.

To R. C. Trench.

Little Grange, Woodbridge.
May 9/80.

My dear Lord,

You are old enough, like myself, to remember People reading and talking of Crabbe.  I know not if you did so yourself; but you know that no one, unless as old as ourselves, does so now.  As he has always been one of my Apollos, in spite of so many a cracked string, I wanted to get a few others to listen a little as I did; and so printed the Volume which I send you: printed it, not by way of improving, or superseding, the original, but to entice some to read the original in all its length, and (one must say) uncouth and wearisome ‘longueurs’ and want of what is now called ‘Art.’  These Tales are perhaps as open to that charge as any of his; and, moreover, not principally made up of that ‘sternest’ stuff which Byron celebrated as being most characteristic of him.  When writing these Tales, the Poet had reached his Grand Climacteric, and liked to look on somewhat of the sunnier side of things; more on the Comedy than the Tragedy of Human Life: and p. 285hence these Tales are, with all their faults, the one work of his which leaves me (ten years past my Grand Climacteric also) with a pleasant Impression.  So I tried to make others think; but I was told by Friends whose Judgment I could trust that no Public would listen to me. . . .  And so I paid for my printing, and kept my Book to be given away to some few as old as myself, and brought up in somewhat of another Fashion than what now reigns.  And so I now take heart to send it to you whose Poems and Writings prove that you belong to another, and, as I think, far better School, whether you care for Crabbe or not.  I dare say you will feel bound to acknowledge the Book; but pray do so, if at all, by a simple acknowledgment of its receipt; I mean, so far as I am concerned in it: any word about Crabbe I shall be very glad to have if you care to write it; but I always maintain it best to say nothing, unless to find fault, with what is sent to one in this Book Line.  And so to be done by.

To Lord Houghton. [285a]

WoodbridgeMay 10th 1880. [285b]

Dear Lord Houghton,

I think I have sent you a yearly letter of some sort or other for several years, so it has come upon p. 286me once again.  I have nothing to ask of you except how you are.  I should just like to know that, including ‘yours’ in you.  Just a very few words will suffice, and I daresay you have no time for more.  I have so much time that it is evident I have nothing to tell, except that I have just entered upon a military career in so far as having become much interested in the battle of Waterloo, which I just remember a year after it was fought, when a solemn anniversary took place in a neighbouring parish where I was born, and the village carpenter came to my father to borrow a pair of Wellington boots for the lower limbs of a stuffed effigy of Buonaparte, which was hung on a gibbet, and guns and pistols were discharged at him, while we and the parson of the parish sat in a tent where we had beef and plum pudding and loyal toasts.  To this hour I remember the smell of the new-cut hay in the meadow as we went in our best summer clothes to the ceremony.  But now I am trying to understand whether the Guards or the 52nd Regiment deserved most credit for écraséing the Imperial Guard. [286]  Here is a fine subject to address you on in the year 1880!  Let it go for nothing; but just tell me how you are, and believe me, with some feeling of old, if not very close intimacy,

Yours sincerely,
Edward FitzGerald.

p. 287To R. C. Trench.

WoodbridgeMay 18/80.

My dear Lord,

I should have sent a line before now to thank you for your Calderon, had I not waited for some tidings of Donne from Mowbray, to whom I wrote some days ago.  Not hearing from him, I suppose that he is out holyday-making somewhere; and therefore I will delay no longer.

You gave me your Calderon when it first came out, now some five and twenty years ago!  I am always glad to know that it, or any of your writings, Prose or Verse, still flourish—which I think not many others of the kind will do after the Generation they are born in.  I remember that you regretted having tried the asonante, and you now decide that Prose is best for English Translation.  It may be so; in a great degree it must be so; but I think the experiment might yet be tried; namely, the short trochaic line, regardless of an assonant that will not speak in our thin vowels, but looped up at intervals with a strong monosyllabic rhyme, without which the English trochaic, assonant or not, is apt to fray out, or run away too watery-like without some such interruption; I mean when running to any considerable length, as I should think would be the case in Longfellow’s Hiawatha; which I have not however seen since it appeared.  Were I a dozen years younger I might try this with Calderon which I think I have found to p. 288succeed in some much shorter flights: but it is too late now, and you may think it well that it is so, with one who takes such great liberties with great Poets, himself pretending to be little more than a Versifier.  I know not how it is with you who are really a Poet; and perhaps you may think I am as wrong about my trochee as about my iambic.

As for the modern Poetry, I have cared for none of the last thirty years, not even Tennyson, except in parts: pure, lofty and noble as he always is.  Much less can I endure the Gurgoyle school (I call it) begun, I suppose, by V. Hugo. . . .  I do think you will find something better than that in the discarded Crabbe; whose writings Wordsworth (not given to compliment any man on any occasion) wrote to Crabbe’s Son and Editor would continue as long at least as any Poetry written since, on account of its mingled ‘Truth and Poetry.’  And this includes Wordsworth’s own.  So I must think my old Crabbe will come up again, though never to be popular.

This reminds me that just after I had written to you, Crabbe’s Grandson, one of the best, most amiable, and most agreeable, of my friends, paid me a two days’ Visit, and told me that a Nephew of yours was learning to farm with a Steward of Lord Walsingham at Merton in Norfolk, George Crabbe’s own parish; I mean the living George, who spoke of your Nephew as a very gentlemanly young man indeed.  I think he will not gainsay what I write to you of his ‘Parson.’

p. 289Your kind Letter has encouraged me to write all this.  I felt some hesitation in addressing you again after an interval of some fifteen years, I think; and now I think I shall venture on writing to you once again before another year be gone, if we both live to see 1881 in, and out.

To Charles Keene.


My dear Keene,

Your Letter reached me yesterday when I was just finishing my Sévigné; I mean, reading it over.  I have plenty of Notes for an Introductory Argument and List of Dramatis Personæ, and a clue to the course of her Letters, so as to set a new reader off on the right tack, with some previous acquaintance with the People and Places she lives among.  But I shrink from trying to put such Notes into shape; all writing always distasteful to me, and now very difficult, at seventy odd.  Some such Introduction would be very useful: people being in general puzzled with Persons, Dates, etc., if not revolted by the eternal, though quite sincere, fuss about her Daughter, which the Eye gradually learns to skim over, and get to the fun.  I felt a pang when arriving at—

Ci git
Marie de Rabutin-Chantal
Marquise de Sévigné
Décédée le 18 Avril 1696

p. 290still to be found, I believe, on a Tablet in the Church of Grignan in Provence.  I have been half minded to run over to Brittany just to see Les Rochers; but a French ‘Murray’ informed me that the present owner will not let it be seen by Strangers attracted by all those ‘paperasses,’ as he calls her Letters.  Probably I should not have gone in any case when it came to proof. . . .

I did not forget Waterloo Day.  Just as I and my Reader Boy were going into the Pantry for some grub, I thought of young Ensign Leeke, not 18, who carried the Colours of that famous 52nd which gave the ‘coup de grace’ to the Imperial Guard about 8 p.m. and then marched to Rossomme, seeing the Battle was won: and the Colour-serjeant found some bread in some French Soldier’s knapsack, and brought a bit to his Ensign, ‘You must want a bit, Sir, and I am sure you have deserved it.’  That was a Compliment worth having!

I have, like you, always have, and from a Child had, a mysterious feeling about that ‘Sizewell Gap.’  There were reports of kegs of Hollands found under the Altar Cloth of Theberton Church near by: and we Children looked with awe on the ‘Revenue Cutters’ which passed Aldbro’, especially remembering one that went down with all hands, ‘The Ranger.’

They have half spoilt Aldbro’; but now that Dunwich is crossed out from my visiting Book by the loss of that fine fellow, [290] whom this time of year p. 291especially reminds me of, I must return to Aldbro’ now and then.  Why can’t you go there with me?  I say no more of your coming here, for you ought to be assured that you would be welcome at any time; but I never do ask any busy, or otherwise engaged man to come. . . .

Here is a good Warwickshire word—‘I sheered my Eyes round the room.’  So good, that it explains itself.

White Lion, Aldeburgh.
July 7/80.

My dear Keene,

I shall worry you with Letters: here is one, however, which will call for no answer.  It is written indeed in acknowledgement of your packet of Drawings, received by me yesterday at Woodbridge.

My rule concerning Books is, that Giver and Taker (each in his turn) should just say nothing.  As I am not an Artist (though a very great Author) I will say that Four of your Drawings seemed capital to me: I cannot remember the Roundabouts which they initialed: except two: 1. The lazy idle Boy, which you note as not being used; I suppose, from not being considered sufficiently appropriate to the Essay (which I forget), but which I thought altogether good; and the old Man, with a look of Edwards!  2. Little Boy in Black, very pretty: 3. (I forget the Essay) People looking at Pictures: one of them, the principal, surely a recollection of W. M. T. p. 292himself.  Then 4. There was a bawling Boy: subject forgotten.  I looked at them many times through the forenoon: and came away here at 2 p.m.

I do not suppose, or wish, that you should make over to me all these Drawings, which I suppose are the originals from which the Wood was cut.  I say I do not ‘wish,’ because I am in my 72nd year: and I now give away rather than accept.  But I wished for one at least of your hand; for its own sake, and as a remembrance, for what short time is left me, of one whom I can sincerely say I regard greatly for himself, as also for those Dunwich days in which I first became known to him.  ‘Violà qui est dit.’

And I wish you were here, not for your own sake, for it is dull enough.  No Sun, no Ship, a perpetual drizzle; and to me the melancholy of another Aldbro’ of years gone by.  Out of that window there ‘le petit’ Churchyard sketched Thorpe headland under an angry Sunset of Oct. 55 which heralded a memorable Gale that washed up a poor Woman with a Babe in her arms: and old Mitford had them buried with an inscribed Stone in the old Churchyard, peopled with dead ‘Mariners’; and Inscription and Stone are now gone.  Yesterday I got out in a Boat, drizzly as it was: but to-day there is too much Sea to put off.  I am to be home by the week’s end, if not before.  The melancholy of Slaughden last night, with the same Sloops sticking sidelong in the mud as sixty years ago!  And I the venerable Remembrancer.

p. 293My dear Keene,

I ought to have acknowledged the receipt of your Paris map, which is excellent; so that, eyes permitting, I can follow my Sévigné about from her Rue St. Catherine over the Seine to the Faubourg St. Germain quite distinctly.  These cold East winds, however, coming so suddenly after the heat, put those Eyes of mine in a pickle, so as I am obliged to let them lie fallow, looking only at the blessed Green of the Trees before my Window, or on my Quarterdeck. [293]  My two Nieces are with me, so that I leave all the house to them, except my one Room downstairs, which serves for Parlour, Bedroom and all.  And it does very well for me; reminding me of my former Cabin life in my little Ship ‘d’autrefois.’ . . .

Do not you forget (as you will) to tell Mr. Millais one day of the pretty Subject I told you; little Keats standing sentry before his sick Mother’s Door with a drawn sword; in his Shirt it might be, with some Rembrandtish Light and Shade.  The Story is to be found at the beginning of Lord Houghton’s Life.

Also, for any Painter you know of what they call the ‘Genre’ School:

Sévigné and the ‘de Villars’ looking through the keyhole at Mignard painting Madame de Fontevrauld (Rochechouart) while the Abbé Têtu talks to her (Letter of Sept. 6, 1675).  It might be done in two p. 294compartments, with the wall slipt between, so as to show both Parties, as one has seen on the Stage.

To C. E. Norton.

WoodbridgeNov. 3, 1880.

My dear Norton,

. . . With all your knowledge, and all the use you can make of it, I wonder that you can think twice of such things as I can offer you in return for what you send me: but I take you at your word, and shall perhaps send you the last half of Œdipus, if I can prepare him for the Printer; a rather hard business to me now, when turned of seventy, and reminded by some intimations about the Heart that I am not likely to exceed the time which those of my Family have stopped going at.  But this is no great Regret to me.

I have sent you a better Book than any I can send you of my own: or of any one else’s in the way of Verse, I think: the Sonnets of Alfred Tennyson’s Brother Charles.  Two thirds of them I do not care for: but there is scarce one without some fine thought or expression: some of them quite beautiful to me: all pure, true, and original.  I think you in America may like these leaves from the Life of a quiet Lincolnshire Parson.

. . . We have had the Leaves green unusually late this year, I think: but so I have thought often before, I am told.  The last few nights have brought p. 295Frost, however: and changed the countenance of all.  A Blackbird (have you him as the ‘ousel’?) whom I kept alive, I think, through last hard winter by a saucer of Bread and Milk, has come to look for it again.

To Miss Anna Biddell.

Nov. 30, 1880.

One day I went into the Abbey at 3½ p.m. while a beautiful anthem was beautifully sung, and then the prayers and collects, not less beautiful, well intoned on one single note by the Minister.  And when I looked up and about me, I thought that Abbey a wonderful structure for Monkeys to have raised.  The last night, Mesdames Kemble and Edwards had each of them company, so I went into my old Opera House in the Haymarket, where I remembered the very place where Pasta stood as Medea on the Stage, and Rubini singing his return to his Betrothed in the Puritani, and Taglioni floating everywhere about: and the several Boxes in which sat the several Ranks and Beauties of forty and fifty years ago: my Mother’s Box on the third Tier, in which I often figured as a Specimen of both.  The Audience all changed much for the worse, I thought: and Opera and Singers also; only one of them who could sing at all, and she sang very well indeed; Trebelli, her name.  The opera by a Frenchman on the Wagner plan: excellent instrumentation, but not one new or melodious idea through the whole.

p. 296To W. H. Thompson.

Littlegrange: Woodbridge.
Decr. 15 [1880].

My dear Master,

I have not written to you this very long while, simply because I did not wish to trouble you: Aldis Wright will tell you that I have not neglected to enquire about you.  I drew him out of Jerusalem Chamber for five minutes three weeks ago: this I did to ask primarily about Mr. Furness on behalf of Mrs. Kemble: but also I asked about you, and was told you were still improving, and prepared to abide the winter here.  I saw nobody in London except my two Widows, my dear old Donne, and some coeval Suffolk Friends.  I was half tempted to jump into a Bus and just leave my name at Carlyle’s Door!  But I did not.  I should of course have asked and heard how he was: which I can find no one now to tell me.  For his Niece has a Child, if only one, to attend to, and I do not like to trouble.  I heard from vague Information in London that he is almost confined to his house.

I have myself been somewhat bothered at times for the last three months with pains and heaviness about the Heart: which I knew from a Doctor was unsettled five years ago.  I shall not at all complain if it takes the usual course, only wishing to avoid Angina, or some such form of the Disease.  My p. 297Family get on gaily enough till seventy, and then generally founder after turning the corner.

I hope you know Charles Tennyson’s Sonnets; three times too many, and some rather puerile: but scarce one but with something good in Thought or Expression: all original: and some delightful: I think, to live with Alfred’s, and no one else’s.  Old Fred might have made one of Three Brothers, I think, could he have compressed himself into something of Sonnet Compass: but he couldn’t.  He says, Charles makes one regard and love little things more than any other Poet.

My Nephew De Soyres seems to have made a good Edition of Pascal’s Letters: I should have thought they had been quite well enough edited before; and yet a more ‘exhaustive’ Edition is to follow the House that Jack built, he tells us.

Groome had proposed a month ago that he would visit me about this time: but I have heard no more of him: and am always afraid to write, for fear of those poor Eyes of his.

I was very glad to meet Merivale on Lowestoft Pier for some days.  Mrs. M. writes to me of an enlarged Photo of him whose Negative will be destroyed in a month unless subscribed for by Friends, etc.  ‘Will I ask Friends, etc.’  No: I will not do that, though I will take a copy if wanted to complete a number: though, if it be life size, having no where to hang it up: my own Mother, by Sir T. Lawrence, being put away in a cupboard for want of room.

p. 298Now, my dear Master, I want neither you nor the Mistress to reply to this Letter: but please to believe me, both of you, yours as ever sincerely

E. Fitz.

To C. E. Norton.

WoodbridgeFebruary 20, 1881.

My dear Norton,

. . . I have little to say about Carlyle, but that my heart did follow him to Ecclefechan, from which place I have, or had, several letters dated by him.  I think it was fine that he should anticipate all Westminster Abbey honours, and determine to be laid where he was born, among his own kindred, and with all the simple and dignified obsequies of (I suppose) his own old Puritan Church.  The Care of his Posthumous Memory will be left in good hands, I believe, if in those of Mr. Froude.  His Niece, who had not answered a Note of Enquiry I wrote her some two months ago, answered it a few days after his Death: she had told him, she said, of my letter, and he said, ‘You must answer that.’

To Mrs. Kemble.

[March, 1881].

My dear Lady,

It was very, very good and kind of you to write to me about Spedding.  Yes: Aldis Wright had p. 299apprised me of the matter just after it happened, he happening to be in London at the time; and but two days after the accident heard that Spedding was quite calm, and even cheerful; only anxious that Wright himself should not be kept waiting for some communication that S. had promised him!  Whether to live, or to die, he will be Socrates still.

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

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

I certainly should have gone up to London, even with Eyes that will scarce face the lamps of Woodbridge, not to see him, but to hear the first intelligence I could about him.  But I rely on the Post-card for p. 300but a Night’s delay.  Laurence, Mowbray tells me, had been to see him, and found him as calm as had been reported by Wright.  But the Doctors had said that he should be kept as quiet as possible.

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

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

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

The Sun, I see, has put my Fire out, for which I only thank him, and will go to look for him himself in my Garden, only with a Green Shade over my p. 301Eyes.  I must get to London to see you before you move away to Leamington; when I can bear Sun or Lamp without odious blue glasses, etc.  I dare to think those Eyes are better, though not Sun-proof.

To C. E. Norton.

WoodbridgeMarch 13, [1881].

My dear Norton,

I send you along with this Letter Part II. of Œdipus, with some corrections or suggestions which I have been obliged to make in Pencil, because of the Paper blotting under the lightest Penwork.  And, along with it, a preliminary Letter, which I believe I told you of also, addressed to your Initial: for I did not wish to compromise you even with yourself in such a Business.  I know you will like it probably more than it deserves, and excuse its inroads on the Original, though you may, and probably will, think I might better have left it alone, or followed it more faithfully.  As to those Students you tell me of who are meditating, or by this time may have accomplisht, their Representation, they could only look on me as a Blasphemer. . . .

It seems almost wrong or unreasonable of me to be talking thus of myself and my little Doings, when not only Carlyle has departed from us, but one, not so illustrious in Genius, but certainly not less wise, p. 302my dear old Friend of sixty years, James Spedding: [302] whose name you will know as connected with Lord Bacon.  To re-edit his Works, which did not want any such re-edition, and to vindicate his Character which could not be cleared, did this Spedding sacrifice forty years which he might well have given to accomplish much greater things; Shakespeare, for one.  But Spedding had no sort of Ambition, and liked to be kept at one long work which he knew would not glorify himself.  He was the wisest man I have known: not the less so for plenty of the Boy in him; a great sense of Humour, a Socrates in Life and in Death, which he faced with all Serenity so long as Consciousness lasted.  I suppose something of him will reach America, I mean, of his Death, run over by a Cab and dying in St. George’s Hospital to which he was taken, and from which he could not be removed home alive.  I believe that had Carlyle been alive, and but as well as he was three months ago, he would have insisted on being carried to the Hospital to see his Friend, whom he respected as he did few others.  I have just got the Carlyle Reminiscences, which will take me some little time to read, impatient as I may be to read them.  What I have read is of a stuff we can scarce find in any other Autobiographer: whether his Editor Froude has done quite well in publishing them as they are, and so soon, is another matter.  Carlyle’s Niece thinks, not quite.  She sent me a Pipe her Uncle had used, for Memorial.  I p. 303had asked her for the Bowl, and an Inch of stem, of one of the Clay Pipes such as I had smoked with him under that little old Pear Tree in his Chelsea garden many an Evening.  But she sent me a small Meerschaum which Lady Ashburton had given him, and which he used when from home.

To S. Laurence.

March 13/81.

My dear Laurence,

It was very very good of you to think of writing to me at all on this occasion: [303] much more, writing to me so fully, almost more fully than I dared at first to read: though all so delicately and as you always write.  It is over!  I shall not write about it.  He was all you say.

So I turn to myself!  And that is only to say that I am much as usual: here all alone for the last six months, except a two days visit to London in November to see Mrs. Kemble, who is now removed from Westminster to Marshall Thompson’s Hotel Cavendish Square: and Mrs. Edwards who is naturally better and happier than a year ago, but who says she never should be happy unless always at work.  And that work is taking off impressions of yet another—and I believe last—batch of her late Husband’s Etchings.  I saw and heard nothing else than these two Ladies: and some old Nurseys at St. John’s Wood: and dear p. 304Donne, who was infirmer than when I had seen him before, and, I hear, is infirmer still than when I saw him last.

By the by, I began to think my own Eyes, which were blazed away by Paraffin some dozen years ago, were going out of me just before Christmas.  So for the two dreary months which followed I could scarce read or write.  And as yet I am obliged to use them tenderly: only too glad to find that they are better; and not quite going (as I hope) yet.  I think they will light me out of this world with care.  On March 31 I shall enter on my seventy-third year: and none of my Family reaches over seventy-five.

When I was in London I was all but tempted to jump into a Cab and just knock at Carlyle’s door, and ask after him, and give my card, and—run away. . . .

The cold wind will not leave us, and my Crocuses do not like it.  Still I manage to sit on one of those Benches you may remember under the lee side of the hedge, and still my seventy-third year approaches.

To Miss Anna Biddell.

March 1881.

I can only say of Carlyle what you say; except that I do not find the style ‘tiresome’ any more than I did his Talk: which it is, only put on Paper, quite fresh, from an Individual Man of Genius, unlike p. 305almost all Autobiographic Memoirs.  I doubt not that he wrote it by way of some Employment, as well as (in his Wife’s case) some relief to his Feelings. . . .

I did not know that I should feel Spedding’s Loss as I do, after an interval of more than twenty years [since] meeting him.  But I knew that I could always get the Word I wanted of him by Letter, and also that from time to time I should meet with some of his wise and delightful Papers in some Quarter or other.  He talked of Shakespeare, I am told, when his Mind wandered.  I wake almost every morning feeling as if I had lost something, as one does in a Dream: and truly enough, I have lost him.  ‘Matthew is in his Grave, etc.’

To Mrs. Kemble.

[20 March, 1881.]

My dear Lady,

I have let the Full Moon pass because I thought you had written to me so lately, and so kindly, about our lost Spedding, that I would not call on you so soon again.  Of him I will say nothing except that his Death has made me recall very many passages in his Life in which I was partly concerned.  In particular, staying at his Cumberland Home along with Tennyson in the May of 1835.  ‘Voilà bien longtemps de ça!’  His Father p. 306and Mother were both alive: he, a wise man, who mounted his Cob after Breakfast and was at his Farm till Dinner at two; then away again till Tea: after which he sat reading by a shaded lamp: saying very little, but always courteous and quite content with any company his Son might bring to the house, so long as they let him go his way: which indeed he would have gone whether they let him or no.  But he had seen enough of Poets not to like them or their Trade: Shelley, for a time living among the Lakes: Coleridge at Southey’s (whom perhaps he had a respect for—Southey I mean); and Wordsworth whom I do not think he valued.  He was rather jealous of ‘Jem,’ who might have done available service in the world, he thought, giving himself up to such Dreamers; and sitting up with Tennyson conning over the Morte d’Arthur, Lord of Burleigh, and other things which helped to make up the two volumes of 1842.  So I always associate that Arthur Idyll with Basanthwaite Lake, under Skiddaw.  Mrs. Spedding was a sensible, motherly Lady, with whom I used to play Chess of a Night.  And there was an old Friend of hers, Miss Bristowe, who always reminded me of Miss La Creevy if you know of such a Person in Nickleby.

At the end of May we went to lodge for a week at Windermere, where Wordsworth’s new volume of Yarrow Revisited reached us.  W. was then at his home: but Tennyson would not go p. 307to visit him: and of course I did not: nor even saw him.

You have, I suppose, the Carlyle Reminiscences: of which I will say nothing except that much as we outsiders gain by them, I think that, on the whole, they had better have been kept unpublished, for some while at least.

To W. F. Pollock.


My dear Pollock,

Thank you for your kind Letter; which I forwarded, with its enclosure, to Thompson, as you desired.

If Spedding’s Letters, or parts of them, would not suit the Public, they would surely be a very welcome treasure to his Friends.  Two or three pages of Biography would be enough to introduce them to those who knew him less long and less intimately than ourselves: and all who read would be the better, and the happier, for reading them.

I am rather surprised to find how much I dwell upon the thought of him, considering that I had not refreshed my Memory with the sight or sound of him for more than twenty years.  But all the past (before that) comes upon me: I cannot help thinking of him while I wake; and when I do wake from Sleep, I have a feeling of something lost, as in a Dream, and it is J. S. p. 308I suppose that Carlyle amused himself, after just losing his Wife, with the Records he has left: what he says of her seems a sort of penitential glorification: what of others, just enough in general: but in neither case to be made public, and so immediately after his Decease. . . .  I keep wondering what J. S. would have said on the matter: but I cannot ask him now, as I might have done a month ago. . . .

Dear old Jem!  His Loss makes one’s Life more dreary, and ‘en revanche’ the end of it less regretful.

To Mrs. Alfred Tennyson. [308a]

Woodbridge: March 22, [1881].

My dear Mrs. Tennyson,

It is very, very [good] of you to write to me, even to remember me.  I have told you before why I did not write to any other of your Party, as I might occasionally wish to do for the sake of asking about you all: the task of answering my Letter was always left to you: and I did not choose to put you to that trouble.  Laurence had written me some account of his Visit to St. George’s: all Patience: only somewhat wishful to be at home: somewhat weary with lying without Book, or even Watch, for company.  What a Man! as in Life so in Death, which, as Montaigne says, proves what is at the bottom of the Vessel. [308b]  p. 309I had not seen him for more than twenty years, and should never have seen him again, unless in the Street, where Cabs were crossing!  He did not want to see me; he wanted nothing, I think: but I was always thinking of him, and should have done till my own Life’s end, I know.  I only wrote to him about twice a year: he only cared to answer when one put some definite Question to him: and I had usually as little to ask as to tell.  I was thinking that, but for that Cab, I might even now be asking him what I was to think of his Cousin Froude’s Carlyle Reminiscences.  I see but one Quotation in the Book, which is ‘of the Days that are no more,’ which clung to him when his Sorrow came, as it will to many and many who will come after him.

I certainly hope that some pious and judicious hand will gather, and choose from our dear Spedding’s Letters: no fear of indelicate personality with him, you know: and many things which all the world would be the wiser and better for.  Archdeacon Allen sent me the other day a Letter about Darwin’s Philosophy, so wise, so true, so far as I could judge, and, though written off, all fit to go as it was into Print, and do all the World good. [309] . . .

It was fine too of Carlyle ordering to be laid among his own homely Kindred in the Village p. 310of his Birth: without Question of Westminster Abbey.  So think I, at least.  And dear J. S. at Mirehouse where your Husband and I stayed, very near upon fifty years ago, in 1835 it was, in the month of May, when the Daffodil was out in a field before the house, as I see them, though not in such force, owing to cold winds, before my window now.  Does A. T. remember them?

To Mrs. Kemble.

[April, 1881.]

My dear Mrs. Kemble,

Somewhat before my usual time, you see; but Easter comes, and I shall be glad to hear if you keep it in London, or elsewhere.  Elsewhere there has been no inducement to go until To-day: when the Wind though yet East has turned to the Southern side of it; one can walk without any wrapper; and I dare to fancy we have turned the corner of Winter at last.  People talk of changed Seasons: only yesterday I was reading in my dear old Sévigné, how she was with the Duke and Duchess of Chaulnes at their Chateau of Chaulnes in Picardy all but two hundred years ago: that is in 1689: and the green has not as yet ventured to shew its ‘nez’ nor a Nightingale to sing.  You see that I have returned to her as for some Spring Music, at any rate.  As for p. 311the Birds, I have nothing but a Robin who seems rather pleased when I sit down on a Bench under an old Ivied Pollard, where I suppose he has a Nest, poor little Fellow.  But we have terrible Superstitions about him here; no less than that he always kills his Parents if he can: my young Reader is quite determined on this head: and there lately has been a Paper in some Magazine to the same effect.

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

As to Carlyle, I thought on my first reading that he must have been égaré at the time of writing: a condition which I well remember saying to Spedding long ago that one of his temperament might likely fall into.  And now I see that Mrs. Oliphant hints at something of the sort.  Hers I think an admirable Paper: [311] better than has yet been written, or (I believe) is likely to be written by any one else. . . .  I must think Carlyle’s judgments mostly, or mainly, true; but that he must have ‘lost his head’ if not when he recorded them, yet when he left them in any one’s hands to decide on their publication.  Especially when not about Public Men, but about their Families.  p. 312It is slaying the Innocent with the Guilty.  But of all this you have doubtless heard in London more than enough.  ‘Pauvre et triste Humanité!’  One’s heart opens again to him at the last: sitting alone in the middle of her Room.  ‘I want to die.’  ‘I want—a Mother.’  ‘Ah mamma Letizia!’ Napoleon is said to have murmured as he lay.  By way of pendant to this recurs to me the Story that when Ducis was wretched his Mother would lay his head on her Bosom—‘Ah, mon homme! mon pauvre homme!’ . . .

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

May 8, [1881].

If still at Leamington, you look upon a sight which I used to like well; that is, the blue Avon (as in this weather it will be) roaming through buttercup meadows all the way to Warwick; unless those meadows are all built over since I was there some forty years ago. . . .

I am got back to my Sévigné! who somehow returns to me in Spring; fresh as the Flowers.  These latter have done but badly this Spring: p. 313cut off or withered by the Cold: and now parched up by this blazing Sun and dry Wind.

From another Letter in the same year.

It has been what we call down here ‘smurring’ rather than raining, all day long, and I think that Flower and Herb already show their gratitude.  My Blackbird (I think it is the same I have tried to keep alive during the Winter) seems also to have ‘wetted his Whistle,’ and what they call the ‘Cuckoo’s mate’ with a rather harsh scissor note announces that his Partner may be on the wing to these Latitudes.  You will hear of him at Mr W. Shakespeare’s, it may be. [313]  There must be Violets, white and blue, somewhere about where he lies, I think.  They are generally found in a Churchyard, where also (the Hunters used to say) a Hare: for the same reason of comparative security I suppose.

To Miss S. F. Spedding.

Little Grange, Woodbridge.
July /81.

. . . As I am so very little known to yourself, or your Mother, I did not choose to trouble you with any of my own feelings about your Uncle’s Death.  But I am not sorry to take this opportunity of saying, and, I know, truly, there was no one p. 314I loved and honoured more; that, though I had not seen him for more than twenty years, I was always thinking of him all the while: always feeling that I could apply to him for a wise word I needed for myself; always knowing that I might light upon some wiser word than any one else’s in some Review, etc., and now always thinking I have lost all that.  I say that I have not known, no, nor heard of, any mortal so prepared to step unchanged into the better world we are promised—Intellect, and Heart, and such an outer Man to them as I remember.

Woodbridge: July 31, [1881].

. . . I rejoice to hear of a Collection, or Reprint, of his stray works. . . .  I used to say he wrote ‘Virgilian Prose.’  One only of his I did not care for; but that, I doubt not, was because of the subject, not of the treatment: his own printed Report of a Speech he made in what was called the ‘Quinquaginta Club’ Debating Society (not the Union) at Cambridge about the year 1831.  This Speech his Father got him to recall and recompose in Print; wishing always that his Son should turn his faculties to such public Topics rather than to the Poets, of whom he had seen enough in Cumberland not to have much regard for: Shelley, for one, at one time stalking about the mountains, with Pistols, and other such Vagaries.  p. 315I do not think he was much an Admirer of Wordsworth (I don’t know about Southey), and I well remember that when I was at Merehouse (as Miss Bristowe would have us call it) with A. Tennyson in 1835, Mr. Spedding grudged his Son’s giving up much time and thought to consultations about Morte d’Arthur’s, Lords of Burleigh, etc., which were then in MS.  He more than once questioned me, who was sometimes present at the meetings: ‘Well, Mr. F., and what is it?  Mr. Tennyson reads, and Jem criticizes:—is that it?’ etc.  This, while I might be playing Chess with dear Mrs. Spedding, in May, while the Daffodils were dancing outside the Hall door.

To C. E. Norton.

WoodbridgeAugust 5/81.

My dear Norton,

I am sorry that you felt bound to write me so fully about the Play when, as you tell me, you had so much other work on your hands.  Any how, do not trouble yourself to write more.  If you think my Version does as well, or better, without any introduction, why, tear that out; all, except (if you like the Verse well enough to adopt it) the first sentence of Dedication to yourself: adding your full name and Collegiate Honours whenever you care so to do.

p. 316Your account of your Harvard original in the Atlantic Monthly was quite well fitted for its purpose: a general account of it for the general reader, without going into particulars which only the Scholar would appreciate.

I believe I told you that thirty years ago at least I advised our Trinity’s Master, then only Greek Professor, to do the like with one of the Greek Tragedies, in what they call their Senate-house, well fitted for such a purpose.  But our Cambridge is too well fed, and slow to stir; and I not important enough to set it a-going.

By the way, I have been there for two days; not having seen the place for those same thirty years, except in passing through some ten years ago to Naseby Field, for the purpose of doing Carlyle’s will in setting up a memorial Stone with his Inscription upon it.  But the present owners of the Place would not consent: and so that simple thing came to nothing.

Well, I went again, as I say, to Cambridge a month ago; not in my way to Naseby, but to my friend George Crabbe’s (Grandson of my Poet) in Norfolk.  I went because it was Vacation time, and no one I knew up except Cowell and Aldis Wright.  Cowell, married, lives in pleasant lodging with trees before and behind, on the skirts of the town; Wright, in ‘Neville’s Court,’ one side of which is the Library, all of Wren’s design, and (I think) very good.  I felt at home in the rooms there, walled with Books, large, p. 317and cool: and I was lionized over some things new to me, and some that I was glad to see again.  Now I am back again, without any design to move; not even to my old haunts on our neighbouring Sea-coast.  The inland Verdure suits my Eyes better than glowing sand and pebble: and I suppose that every year I grow less and less desirous of moving.

I will scarce touch upon the Carlyle Chapter: except to say that I am sorry Froude printed the Reminiscences; at any rate, printed them before the Life which he has begun so excellently in the ‘Nineteenth Century’ for July.  I think one can surely see there that Carlyle might become somewhat crazed, whether by intense meditation or Dyspepsy or both: especially as one sees that his dear good Mother was so afflicted.  But how beautiful is the Story of that home, and the Company of Lads travelling on foot to Edinburgh; and the monies which he sends home for the paternal farm: and the butter and cheese which the Farm returns to him.  Ah! it is from such training that strength comes, not from luxurious fare, easy chairs, cigars, Pall Mall Clubs, etc.  It has all made me think of a very little Dialogue [317] I once wrote on the matter, thirty years ago and more, which I really think of putting into shape again: and, if I do, will send it to you, by way of picture of what our Cambridge was in what I think were better days than now.  I see the little tract is overdone and in some respects in bad taste as it is.  Now, do p. 318not ask for this, nor mention it as if it were of any importance whatsoever: it is not, but if pruned, etc., just a pretty thing, which your Cambridge shall see if I can return to it.

By the by, I had meant to send you an emendation of a passage in my Tyrannus which you found fault with.  I mean where Œdipus, after putting out his eyes, talks of seeing those in Hades he does not wish to see.  I knew it was not Greek: but I thought that a note would be necessary to explain what the Greek was: and I confess I do not care enough for their Mythology for that.  But, if you please, the passage (as I remember it) might run:

            Eyes, etc.,
Which, having seen such things, henceforth, he said,
Should never by the light of day behold
Those whom he loved, nor in the after-dark
Of Hades, those he loathed, to look upon.

All this has run me into a third screed, you see: a word we used at School, only calling it ‘screet’—‘I say, do lend me a screet of paper,’ meaning, a quarter of a foolscap sheet.

WoodbridgeJan. 18/82.

My dear Norton,

At last I took heart, and Eyes, to return to the Œdipus of this time last year; and have left none of your objections unattended to, if not all complied with.  Not but that you may be quite as right p. 319in objecting as I in leaving things as they were: but as I believe I said (right or wrong) a little obscurity seems to me not amiss in certain places, provided enough is left clear, I mean in matter of Grammar, etc.  But I see that you have good reason to object in other cases: and, on looking at the Play again, I also discover more, too many perhaps to have heart or Eyes to devote to their rectification.  The Paper on which the second Part is printed will not endure Ink, which also daunts me: nevertheless, I send you a Copy pencilled, rather than references and alterations written by way of Letter: I hope the least trouble to you of either Alternative. . . .

I scarcely know what I have written, but I know it must be bad MS.; all which I ought in good manners to rectify, or re-write.  I think you in America think more of Calligraphy than we here do: a really polite accomplishment, I always maintain: and yet ‘deteriora sequor.’  But you know that my eyes are not very active: and now my hand is less than usually so, possessed as I am with a Devil of a Chill (in spite, or in consequence, of warm wet weather) attended with something of Bronchitis, I think. . . .

I forget if I told you in my last of my surprising communication with the Spanish Ambassador who sent me the Calderon medal, I doubt not at Mr. Lowell’s instance.  But I think I must have told you.  Cowell came over to me here on Monday: he, to whom a Medal is far more due than to me; p. 320always reading, and teaching, Calderon at Cambridge now (as he did to me thirty years ago), in spite of all his Sanskrit Duties.  I wish I could send him to you across the Atlantic, as easily as Arbuthnot once bid Pope ‘toss Johnny Gay’ to him over the Thames.  Cowell is greatly delighted with Ford’s ‘Gatherings in Spain,’ a Supplement to his Spanish Handbook, and in which he finds, as I did, a supplement to Don Quixote also.  If you have not read, and cannot find, the Book, I will toss it over the Atlantic to you, a clean new Copy, if that be yet procurable, or my own second-hand one in default of a new. . . .

To Mrs. Kemble.

[Jan. 1882.]

I see my poor little Aconites—‘New Year’s Gifts’—still surviving in the Garden-plot before my window: ‘still surviving,’ I say, because of their having been out for near a month agone.  I believe that Messrs. Daffodil, Crocus and Snowdrop are putting in appearance above ground, but (old Coward) I have not put my own old Nose out of doors to look for them.  I read (Eyes permitting) the Correspondence between Goethe and Schiller (translated) from 1798 to 1806, extremely interesting to me, though I do not understand, and generally skip, the more purely Æsthetic Parts: which is the Part of Hamlet, I suppose.  But in other respects, two such men so p. 321freely discussing together their own, and each other’s, works interest me greatly.  At night, we have the Fortunes of Nigel; a little of it, and not every night: for the reason that I do not wish to eat my Cake too soon.  The last night but one I sent my Reader to see Macbeth played by a little Shakespearian company at a Lecture Hall here.  He brought me one new Reading; suggested, I doubt not by himself, from a remembrance of Macbeth’s tyrannical ways: ‘Hang out our Gallows on the outward walls.’  Nevertheless, the Boy took great Interest in the Play, and I like to encourage him in Shakespeare rather than in the Negro Melodists.

To C. E. Norton.

WoodbridgeJan. 25/82.

My dear Norton,

I forgot in my last letter to beg you not to write for the mere purpose of acknowledging the revised Œdipus who was to travel along with it.  You know that I am glad to hear from you at any time when you are at leisure, not otherwise; and I shall take for granted that you think my alterations are improvements, so far as they go.  And that is enough.

I herewith enclose you a sort of Choral Epilogue for the second Part, which you can stick in or not as you will.  I cannot say much for it: but it came together in my head after last writing to you, while I was pacing up and down a Landing-place in my p. 322house, to which I have been confined for the last ten days by a Bronchial Cold.  But for which I should have been last week in London for the purpose of seeing a very dear old, coævally old, Friend, [322] who has been gradually declining in Body and Mind for the last three years.

Yours always sincerely

To W. A. Wright.

Friday [24 February 1882].

My dear Wright,

I went to London this day week: saw my poor Donne (rather better than I had expected to find him—but all declining) three times: and came home—glad to come home!—on Monday.  Mrs. Kemble, Edwards (Keene at the latter Lady’s) and my old Nursey friends, all I saw beside, in the human way, save Streetfarers, Cabmen, etc.  The Shops seemed all stale to me: the only Exhibition I went to (Old Masters) ditto.  So I suppose that I have lost my Appetite for all but dull Woodbridge Life.  I have not lost my Cold—nor all its bronchial symptoms; but may do so—as I get a little older.

p. 323Tennyson was in London, I heard: but in some grand Locality of Eaton Square; so I did not venture down to him.  But a day scarcely passes without my thinking of him, in one way or other.

Browning told Mrs. Kemble he knew there was ‘a grotesque side’ to his Society, etc., but he could not refuse the kind solicitations of his Friends, Furnivall and Co.  Mrs. K. had been asked to join: but declined, because of her somewhat admiring him; nay, much admiring what he might have done.

I enclose a note from Keene which appeals to you: I suppose that his ‘fastous’ means ‘festuous,’ or what is now called in Music ‘Pompous.’  Charles’ ‘plump bass’ is good. [323]

You had a bad cold when last you wrote: so you can tell me, if you please, that you have shaken it off, as your Seniors cannot so easily do.  Let me know, of course, how the Master is, and give him my Love.  Does he know of Musurus Pasha’s Translation of Dante’s Inferno into Modern Greek?  I was so much interested in it from the Academy that I bought; and, so far as I have seen through uncut leaves, do not repent of having done so.

The Academy also announced that an MS. p. 324account of Carlyle’s Visit to Ireland in 1849 was in Froude’s hands for the Press.  As T. C. stayed some, if not the greater part of his time there at the country house of my Uncle’s Widow, I can only hope that he did not jot down much to offend her surviving Children.  Perhaps not: for they were, and are, all of them (Mother dead) quite unpretending people, and T. C. himself not then so savage as after his Wife’s death.  From Froude no mercy of reticence can be expected.

You left here Rabisha [324a] and Groome’s Book of Tracts [324b]: unless you will be coming this way before long, I will send them to you.

You did not say whether you would undertake to look over Borrow’s Books and MSS., and I write his Step-daughter to that effect.  But I hope you will find it not inconvenient or unpleasant so to do: and am yours always


My Boy went to Macbeth at our Lecture Hall.  What do you say to his reading ‘Hang out our Gallows on the outward Walls’?

To H. Schütz Wilson.

[1 March, 1882.]

My dear Sir,

I must thank you sincerely for your thoughts about Salámán, in which I recognize a good will p. 325toward the Translator, as well as liking for his work.

Of course your praise could not but help that on: but I scarce think that it is of a kind to profit so far by any review as to make it worth the expense of Time and Talent you might bestow upon it.  In Omar’s case it was different: he sang, in an acceptable way it seems, of what all men feel in their hearts, but had not had exprest in verse before: Jámí tells of what everybody knows, under cover of a not very skilful Allegory.  I have undoubtedly improved the whole by boiling it down to about a Quarter of its original size; and there are many pretty things in it, though the blank Verse is too Miltonic for Oriental style.

All this considered, why did I ever meddle with it?  Why, it was the first Persian Poem I read, with my friend Edward Cowell, near on forty years ago: and I was so well pleased with it then (and now think it almost the best of the Persian Poems I have read or heard about), that I published my Version of it in 1856 (I think) with Parker of the Strand.  When Parker disappeared, my unsold Copies, many more than of the sold, were returned to me; some of which, if not all, I gave to little Quaritch, who, I believe, trumpeted them off to some little profit: and I thought no more of them.

But some six or seven years ago that Sheikh of mine, Edward Cowell, who liked the Version better than any one else, wished it to be reprinted.  So I p. 326took it in hand, boiled it down to three-fourths of what it originally was, and (as you see) clapt it on the back of Omar, where I still believed it would hang somewhat of a dead weight; but that was Quaritch’s look-out, not mine.  I have never heard of any notice taken of it, but just now from you: and I believe that, say what you would, people would rather have the old Sinner alone.  Therefore it is that I write all this to you.  I doubt not that any of your Editors would accept an Article from you on the Subject, but I believe also they would much prefer one on many another Subject: and so probably with the Public whom you write for.

Thus ‘liberavi animam meam’ for your behoof, as I am rightly bound to do in return for your Goodwill to me.

As to the publication of my name, I believe I could well dispense with it, were it other and better than it is.  But I have some unpleasant associations with it: not the least of them being that it was borne, Christian and Surname, by a man who left College just when I went there. [326] . . .  What has become of him I know not: but he, among other causes, has made me dislike my name, and made me sign myself (half in fun, of course), to my friends, as now I do to you, sincerely yours

(The Laird of) Littlegrange,

where I date from.

p. 327To C. E. Norton.

March 7, [1882].

My dear Norton,

You will receive by Post a volume of Translation of Dante’s Inferno by Musurus Pasha into Modern Greek.  I was so much interested in a quotation from it in our ‘Academy’ that I bought it for myself, and subsequently thought that a copy might be acceptable to you, loving both Greek and Dante as you do.  Had not I bidden the London Publishers to send it direct to you, I should have written your name and my own on the fly-leaf.  But you can do this for us both.

I have not as yet read much of it: for my Eyes are impatient of the Greek letter; but the Language comes out before me as the worthiest representative of the Italian: provided it be pronounced as we have learned to pronounce it, not as the modern Greek man is said to do.  I always maintain that a Language is apt to sound better from a Foreigner, who idealises the pronunciation.  As to the structure of the language, I doubt that I may prefer the modern to the ancient because of being cleared of many μεν, δε, etc., particles.  I think I shall send a Copy to Professor Goodwin.  This is nearly all that I have to send across the Atlantic to-day, which reminds me that I have just been quoting (in a little thing [327] I may send you),

      p. 328The fleecy Star that bears
Andromeda far off Atlantic Seas.

What a Line!

. . . It is, I think, worth your while to look at Dean Stanley’s Volume of Bishop Thirlwall’s Letters; nay, even Dean Perowne’s earlier volume, if but to show how the pedantic Boy grew into the large-hearted Man, and even Bishop: but, from the first, always sincere, just, and not pretentious.  I remember him at Cambridge: he, Fellow and Tutor, and I undergraduate: and he took a little fancy to me, I think.

To Hallam Tennyson. [328]

WoodbridgeMay 28 [1882].

My dear Hallam,

I believe I ought to be ashamed of reviving the little thing which accompanies this Letter.  My excuse must be that I have often been askt for a copy when I had no more to give; and a visit to Cambridge last summer, to the old familiar places, if not faces, made me take it up once more and turn it into what you now see.  I should certainly not send a copy to you, or yours, but for what relates to your Father in it.  He did not object, so far as I know, to what I said of him, though not by name, in a former Edition; but there is more of him in this, though still not by name, nor, as you see, intended for Publication.  p. 329All of this you can read to him, if you please, at pp. 25 and 56.  I do not ask him to say that he approves of what is said, or meant to be said, in his honour; and I only ask you to tell me if he disapproves of its going any further.  I owed you a letter in return for the kind one you sent me; and, if I do not hear from you to the contrary, I shall take silence, if not for consent, at least not for prohibition.  I really did, and do, wish my first, which is also my last, little work to record, for a few years at least, my love and admiration of that dear old Fellow, my old Friend.

To C. E. Norton.

WoodbridgeJune 9/82.

My dear Norton,

I told you, I think, but I scarce know when, that I would send you a very little Tract of mine written forty years ago; and reformed into its present shape in consequence of copies being askt for when I had none to give.  So a few days at Cambridge last Summer, among the old places, though not faces, set me off.  ‘Et voilà qui est fait,’ and posted to you along with this Letter, together with a Copy for Professor Goodwin.  The first and last of my little works: and I do think a pretty specimen of ‘chisell’d Cherry-stone.’  Having which opinion myself, I more than ever p. 330deprecate any word of praise from any to whom I send it.  Nay, I even assume beforehand that you will like it too: and Professor Goodwin also (so do not let him write): as my little tribute to my own old Cambridge sent to you in your new.  I think I shall send it to Mr. Lowell too.  So you see that I need no compliment, no, nor even acknowledgment of it. . . .

And now here is enough written.  And yet I will enclose some pretty Verses, [330a] some twenty years old, which I sent to ‘Temple Bar,’ which repaid me (as I deserved) with a dozen copies.  And I am always truly yours

Littlegrange the Laird.

Longfellow and Emerson! [330b]

WoodbridgeJuly 13/82.

My dear Norton,

Here is a speedy reply to your kind Letter.  For I wish to say at once that when Froude has done what he wants with my Carlyle Papers, you shall have them to do the like.  He thought (as I anticipated) that he could use but two or three of the Letters, as you will also guess from the scheme and compass of his Biography, as given in the Letter which I enclose along with this; but, as I bade him use what he saw good, and p. 331keep the Papers as long as convenient to him, I cannot as yet ask him, how much, nor how long.  When I think I may properly do so, I will: and shall be very glad that you should have them under like conditions.  You know that they chiefly concern Naseby, which might do for an Episode, or separate Item, in your Book, though not for Froude’s; I should also think the Letters about that Squire business would be well to clear somewhat up: but that can scarcely be done unless by vindicating Squire’s honesty at the expense of his sanity: and, as I have no reason to suppose but he is yet alive, I know not how this can be decently done.  Froude says he cannot see his way into the truth further than Carlyle’s printed Article on the subject goes: but I think Carlyle must have told him his conviction (whatever it was) some time during their long acquaintance.  Perhaps, however, he was too sick of what he thought an unimportant controversy to endure any more talk about it.  I am convinced, as from the first, that Squire’s story was true; and the fragments of Cromwell’s despatches genuine, though (as Critics pointed out) partially misquoted by a scatter-brained fellow, ignorant of the subject, and of the Writer.

p. 332To Mrs. Kemble.

[August 1882].

My dear Mrs. Kemble,

I have let the Full Moon go by, and very well she looked too, over the Sea by which I am now staying.  Not at Lowestoft; but at the old extinguished Borough of Aldeburgh, to which as to other ‘premiers Amours’ I revert: where more than sixty years ago I first saw, and first felt, the Sea; where I have lodged in half the houses since; and where I have a sort of traditional acquaintance with half the population: Clare Cottage is where I write from; two little rooms, enough for me; a poor civil woman pleased to have me in them. . . .

The Carlyle ‘Reminiscences’ had long indisposed me from taking up the Biography.  But when I began, and as I went on with that, I found it one of the most interesting of Books: and the result is that I not only admire and respect Carlyle more than ever I did: but even love him, which I never thought of before.  For he loved his Family, as well as for so long helped to maintain them out of very slender earnings of his own; and, so far as these two volumes show me, he loved his wife also, while he put her to the work which he had been used to see his own Mother and Sisters fulfil, and which was suitable to the p. 333way of Life which he had been used to.  His indifference to her sufferings seems to me rather because of Blindness than Neglect; and I think his Biographer has been a little too hard upon him on the Score of selfish disregard of her.

AldeburghSept. 1. [1882].

My dear mrs. Kemble,

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

I have made a new Acquaintance here.  Professor Fawcett (Postmaster General, I am told) married a daughter of one Newson Garrett of this Place, who is also Father of your Doctor Anderson.  Well, the Professor (who was utterly blinded by the Discharge of his Father’s Gun some twenty or five and twenty years ago) came to this Lodging to call on Aldis Wright; and, when Wright was p. 334gone, called on me, and also came and smoked a Pipe one night here.  A thoroughly unaffected, unpretending, man: so modest indeed that I was ashamed afterwards to think how I had harangued him all the Evening, instead of getting him to instruct me.  But I would not ask him about his Parliamentary Shop: and I should not have understood his Political Economy: and I believe he was very glad to be talked to instead, about some of those he knew, and some whom I had known.  And, as we were both in Crabbe’s Borough, we talked of him: the Professor, who had never read a word, I believe, about him, or of him, was pleased to hear a little; and I advised him to buy the Life written by Crabbe’s Son; and I would give him my abstract of the Tales of the Hall, by way of giving him a taste of the Poet’s self.

Yes; you must read Froude’s Carlyle above all things, and tell me if you do not feel as I do about it. . . .  I regret that I did not know what the Book tells us while Carlyle was alive; that I might have loved him as well as admired him.  But Carlyle never spoke of himself in that way.  I never heard him advert to his Works and his Fame, except one day he happened to mention ‘About the time when Men began to talk of me.’

p. 335WoodbridgeOct. 17, [1882].

My dear Mrs. Kemble,

I suppose that you are returned from the Loire by this time; but as I am not sure that you have returned to the ‘Hotel des Deux Mondes’ whence you dated your last, I make bold once more to trouble Coutts with adding your Address to my Letter.  I think I shall have it from yourself not long after.  I shall like to hear a word about my old France, dear to me from childish associations, and in particular of the Loire, endeared to me by Sévigné; for I never saw the glimmer of its waters myself. . . .

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

p. 336To W. F. Pollock.

WoodbridgeOctober 20/82.

My dear Pollock,

Pray let me hear how you and yours are after your Summer Holyday.  I have been no further for mine than Aldeburgh, an hour’s Rail distance from here: there I got out boating, etc., and I think became the more hearty in consequence: but my Bosom friend Bronchitis puts in a reminder every now and then, and, I suppose, will come out of his Closet, or Chest, when Winter sets in. . . .

When I was at Aldeburgh, Professor Fawcett . . . came to see Aldis Wright who was with me there for a Day.  When Wright was gone, the Professor came to smoke a Pipe (in his case a Cigar) with me.  What a brave, unpretending Fellow!  I should never have guessed that a notable man in any way.  ‘Brave’ too I say because of his cheerful Blindness; for which I should never have forgiven my Father and his Gun.  To see him stalking along the Beach, regardless of Pebble and Boulder, though with some one by his side to prevent his going quite to Sea!  He was on the Eve of starting for Scotland—to fish—in the dear Tweed, I think; though he scarce seemed to know much of Sir Walter.

p. 337To S. Laurence.

Littlegrange, Woodbridge.
Nov. 8/82.

My dear Laurence,

It is long since I have heard from you: which means, long since I have written to you.  But do not impute this to as long forgetfulness on my part.  My days and years go on one so like another: I see and hear no new thing or person; and to tell you that I go for a month or a week to our barren coast, which is all the travel I have to tell of, you can imagine all that as easily as my stay at home, with the old Pictures about me, and often the old Books to read.  I went indeed to London last February for the sole purpose of seeing our Donne: and glad am I to have done so as I heard it gave him a little pleasure.  That is a closed Book now.  His Death [337] was not unexpected, and even not to be deprecated, as you know; but I certainly never remember a year of such havock among my friends as this: if not by Death itself, by Death’s preliminary work and warning. . . .  I wonder to find myself no worse dealt with than by Bronchitis, bad enough, which came upon me last Christmas, hung upon me all Spring, Summer, and Autumn; and though comparatively dormant for the last three wet weeks p. 338(perhaps from repeated doses of Sea Air) gives occasional Signs that it is not dead, but, on the contrary, will revive with Winter.  Let me hear at least how you have been, and how are; I shall not grudge your being all well.

Aldis Wright has sent me a very fine Photo of Spedding done from one of Mrs. Cameron’s of which a copy is at Trinity Lodge.  It is so fine that I scarce know if it gives me more pleasure or pain to look at it.  Insomuch that I keep it in a drawer, not yet able to make up my mind to have it framed and so hung up before me.

My good old Housekeeper has been (along with so many more) very ill, bedded for five or six weeks; only now able to get about again.  I have this morning been scolding her for sending away a woman who came to do her work, without consulting me beforehand: she makes out that the woman wanted to go: I find the woman is very ready to return.  ‘These are my troubles, Mr. Wesley,’ as a Gentleman said to him when the Footman had put too much coal on the fire.

To W. F. Pollock.

Woodbridge.  [1882.]

My dear Pollock,

. . . The Book which has really, and deeply, interested me, and quite against Expectation, is p. 339Froude’s Carlyle Biography; which has (quite contrary to expectation also) not only made me honour Carlyle more, but even love him, which I had never taken into account before.  In the Biography, Froude seems to me to treat his man with Candour and Justice: even a little too severe in attributing to systematic Selfishness what seems to me rather unreflecting neglect, Carlyle’s relations to his Wife, whom, so far as we read, he loved.  Of his Love for his own Family, his Generosity to them, and his own sturdy refusal of help from others, one cannot doubt.

To C. E. Norton.

WoodbridgeDec. 20, [1882].

My dear Norton,

. . . You may have read somewhere of an ‘Ajax’ at our Cambridge over here.  Thirty years ago did I tell the Greek Professor (now Master of Trinity), ‘Have a Greek Tragedy in (what you call) your Senate-house.’  But I was not sufficiently important to stir up the ‘Dons.’  Cowell invited me to see and hear ‘Ajax’; but I remained here, content to snuff at it from the Athenæum of England, not of Attica.  And on the very day that Ajax fretted his hour on the stage, my two old Housekeepers were celebrating their Fiftieth, or Golden, wedding over a Bottle of Port wine in the adjoining room, though in that happier Catastrophe I did not further join.

p. 340Now, to end with myself; I have hitherto escaped any severe assault from my ‘Bosom-Enemy,’ Bronchitis, though he occasionally intimates that he is all safe in his Closet, and will reappear with the Butterflies, I dare say.  ‘Dici Beatus’ let no one in this country boast till May be over.

What you put off, and what you put on,
Never change till May be gone,

says an old Suffolk Proverb concerning our Clothing.  Five of my friendly contemporaries have been struck with Paralysis during this 1882: and here am I with only Bronchitis to complain of.

WoodbridgeMarch 7/83.

My dear Norton,

I wrote to you some little while before Christmas, praying you, among other things, not to put yourself to the trouble of sending me your Emerson-Carlyle Correspondence, inasmuch as I could easily get it over here; and, by way of answer, your two Volumes reached me yesterday, safe and sound from over the Atlantic.  I had not time (a strange accident with me) to acknowledge the receipt of them yesterday: but make all speed to do so, with all gratitude, to-day.  As you are simply the Editor of the Book, I may tell you something of my thoughts on it by and by.  I doubt not that I shall find Emerson’s Letters the more interesting, because the newer, to me.  p. 341The Portrait at the head of Vol. II. assures me that one will find only what is good in them.

. . . I was glad to find from Mozley’s Oriel Reminiscences that Newman had been an admirer of my old Crabbe; and Mr. L. Stephen has very kindly written out for me a passage from some late work, or Lecture, of Newman’s own, in which he says that, after fifty years, he read ‘Richard’s Story of his Boyhood,’ in the Tales of the Hall, with the same delight as on its first appearance, and he considers that a Poem which thus pleases in Age as it pleased in Youth must be called (in the ‘accidental’ sense of the word, logically speaking) ‘Classical.’

I owe this Courtesy on Mr. Stephen’s part to my having sent him a little Preface to my Crabbe, in which I contested Mr. Stephen’s judgment as to Crabbe’s Humour: and I did not choose to publish this without apprizing him, whom I know so far as he is connected with the Thackerays.  He replied very kindly, and sent me the Newman quotation I tell you of.  The Crabbe is the same I sent you some years ago: left in sheets, except the few Copies I sent to friends.  And now I have tacked to it a little Introduction, and sent forty copies to lie on Quaritch’s counter: for I do not suppose they will get further.  And no great harm done if they stay where they are. . . .

One day you must write, and tell me how you and yours have fared through this winter.  It has been a very mild, even, a warm, one over here; and I for p. 342my part have not yet had much to complain of in point of health thus far; no, not even though winter has come at last in Snow and Storm for the last three days.  I do not know if we are yet come to the worst, so terrible a Gale has been predicted, I am told, for the middle of March.  Yesterday morning I distinctly heard the sea moaning some dozen miles away; and to-day, why, the enclosed little scrap, [342] enclosed to me, will tell you what it was about, on my very old Crabbe’s shore.  It (the Sea) will assuredly cut off his old Borough from the Slaughden River-quay where he went to work, and whence he sailed in the ‘Unity’ Smack (one of whose Crew is still alive) on his first adventure to London.  But all this can but little interest you, considering that we in England (except some few in this Eastern corner of it) scarce know more of Crabbe and his where about than by name.

To W. F. Pollock.

[Easter, 1883].

My dear Pollock,

. . . Professor Norton sent me his Carlyle-Emerson—all to the credit of all parties, I think.  I must tell the Professor that in my opinion he p. 343should have omitted some personal observations which are all fair in a private letter; as about Tennyson being of a ‘gloomy’ turn (which you know is not so), Thackeray’s ‘enormous appetite’ ditto; and such mention of Richard Milnes as a ‘Robin Redbreast,’ etc.; which may be less untrue, though not more proper to be published of a clever, useful, and amiable man, now living.

To C. E. Norton.

WoodbridgeMay 12/83.

My dear Norton,

Your Emerson-Carlyle of course interested me very much, as I believe a large public also.  I had most to learn of Emerson, and that all good: but Carlyle came out in somewhat of a new light to me also.  Now we have him in his Jane’s letters, as we had seen something of him before in the Reminiscences: but a yet more tragic Story; so tragic that I know not if it ought not to have been withheld from the Public: assuredly, it seems to me, ought to have been but half of the whole that now is.  But I do not the less recognize Carlyle for more admirable than before—if for no other reason than his thus furnishing the world with weapons against himself which the World in general is glad to turn against him. . . .

And, by way of finishing what I have to say on p. 344Carlyle for the present, I will tell you that I had to go up to our huge, hideous, London a week ago, on disagreeable business; which Business, however, I got over in time for me to run to Chelsea before I returned home at Evening.  I wanted to see the Statue on the Chelsea Embankment which I had not yet seen: and the old No. 5 of Cheyne Row, which I had not seen for five and twenty years.  The Statue I thought very good, though looking somewhat small and ill set-off by its dingy surroundings.  And No. 5 (now 24), which had cost her so much of her Life, one may say, to make habitable for him, now all neglected, unswept, ungarnished, uninhabited


I cannot get it out of my head, the tarnished Scene of the Tragedy (one must call it) there enacted.

Well, I was glad to get away from it, and the London of which it was a small part, and get down here to my own dull home, and by no means sorry not to be a Genius at such a Cost.  ‘Parlons d’autres choses.’

I got our Woodbridge Bookseller to enquire for your Mr. Child’s Ballad-book; but could only hear, and indeed be shown a specimen, of a large Quarto Edition, de luxe I believe, and would not meddle with that.  I do not love any unwieldy Book, even a Dictionary; and I believe that I am contented enough with such Knowledge as I have of the old Ballads in many a handy Edition.  Not but I admire p. 345Mr. Child for such an undertaking as his; but I think his Book will be more for Great Libraries, Public or Private, than for my scanty Shelves at my age of seventy-five.  I have already given away to Friends all that I had of any rarity or value, especially if over octavo.

By the way there was one good observation, I think, in Mrs. Oliphant’s superficial, or hasty, History of English 18th Century Literature, viz., that when the Beatties, Blacks, and other recognized Poets of the Day were all writing in a ‘classical’ way, and tried to persuade Burns to do the like, it was certain Old Ladies who wrote so many of the Ballads, which, many of them, have passed as ancient, ‘Sir Patrick Spence’ for one, I think.

Our Spring flowers have been almost all spoilt by Winter weather, and the Trees before my window only just now beginning to

Stand in a mist of Green,

as Tennyson sings.  Let us hope their Verdure, late arrayed, will last the longer.  I continue pretty well, with occasional reminders from Bronchitis, who is my established Brownie.

p. 346To S. Laurence.

[June 12, 1883].

My dear Laurence,

It is very kind of you to remember one who does so little to remind you of himself.  Your drawing of Allen always seemed to me excellent, for which reason it was that I thought his Wife should have it, as being the Record of her husband in his younger days.  So of the portrait of Tennyson which I gave his Wife.  Not that I did not value them myself, but because I did value them, as the most agreeable Portraits I knew of the two men; and, for that very reason, presented them to those whom they were naturally dearer to than even to myself.  I have never liked any Portrait of Tennyson since he grew a Beard; Allen, I suppose, has kept out of that.

If I do not write, it is because I have absolutely nothing to tell you that you have not known for the last twenty years.  Here I live still, reading, and being read to, part of my time; walking abroad three or four times a day, or night, in spite of wakening a Bronchitis, which has lodged like the household ‘Brownie’ within; pottering about my Garden (as I have just been doing) and snipping off dead Roses like Miss Tox; and now and then a visit to the neighbouring Seaside, and a splash to Sea in one of the Boats.  I never see a new Picture, nor hear a note of Music except when I drum out some old p. 347Tune in Winter on an Organ, which might almost be carried about the Streets with a handle to turn, and a Monkey on the top of it.  So I go on, living a life far too comfortable as compared with that of better, and wiser men: but ever expecting a reverse in health such as my seventy-five years are subject to.  What a tragedy is that of ---!  So brisk, bright, good, a little woman, who seemed made to live!  And now the Doctors allot her but two years longer at most, and her friends think that a year will see the End! and poor ---, tender, true, and brave!  His letters to me are quite fine in telling about it.  Mrs. Kemble wrote me word some two or three months ago that he was looking very old: no wonder.  I am told that she keeps up her Spirits the better of the two.  Ah, Providence might have spared ‘pauvre et triste Humanité’ that Trial, together with a few others which (one would think) would have made no difference to its Supremacy.  ‘Voilà ma petite protestation respectueuse à la Providence,’ as Madame de Sévigné says.

To-morrow I am going (for my one annual Visit) to G. Crabbe’s, where I am to meet his Sisters, and talk over old Bredfield Vicarage days.  Two of my eight Nieces are now with me here in my house, for a two months’ visit, I suppose and hope.  And I think this is all I have to tell you of

Yours ever sincerely
E. F. G.

* * * * *

p. 348This was in all probability the last letter FitzGerald ever wrote.  On the following day, Wednesday, June 13, he went to pay his annual visit at Merton Rectory.  On Friday the 15th I received from Mr. Crabbe the announcement of his peaceful end: ‘I grieve to have to tell you that our dear friend Edward FitzGerald died here this morning [June 14].  He came last evening to pay his usual visit with my sisters, but did not seem in his usual spirits, and did not eat anything. . . .  At ten he said he would go to bed.  I went up with him. . . .  At a quarter to eight I tapped at his door to ask how he was, and getting no answer went in and found him as if sleeping peacefully but quite dead.  A very noble character has passed away.’  On the following Tuesday, June 19, he was buried in the little churchyard of Boulge, and the stone which marks his grave bears the simple inscription ‘Edward FitzGerald, Born 31 March 1809, Died 14 June 1883.  It is He that hath made us and not we ourselves.’

For some time before his death he seems to have had a foreboding that the end was not far distant.  In one of the last conversations I had with him, certainly during my last visit at Easter 1883, he spoke of his mother’s death, in its suddenness very like his own, and at the same age.  ‘We none of us get beyond seventy-five,’ he said.  At this age his eldest brother had died, four years before.  And in a letter to one of his nieces, after speaking of the fatal malady by which the wife of a dear friend was attacked, p. 349he added, ‘It seems strange to me to be so seemingly alert—certainly, alive—amid such fatalities with younger and stronger people.  But, even while I say so, the hair may break, and the suspended Sword fall.  If it would but do so at once, and effectually!’  Sixteen days later his wish was fulfilled.


To Miss Aitken, 188

To John Allen, 63*, 70-72*, 74, 169*, 206, 219

To Mrs. Charles Allen, 7-9*, 14-16*

To Miss Anna Biddell, 134, 178, 179, 189, 205, 295, 304

From Carlyle, 135, 154, 155, 167, 175*

To Carlyle, 5, 128, 155, 165

To E. B. Cowell, 1, 4*, 19*, 26, 44*, 52*, 57, 59*, 68*, 78*, 83-86*, 93-95*, 99, 103, 106*, 107, 111*, 128 note, 180, 185, 202, 270 note, 322 note

To Mrs. Cowell, 65*, 196, 216

To George Crabbe, 17, 18, 21, 35, 39, 41, 42, 51, 57, 208 note

To W. E. Crowfoot, 118 note

From W. B. Donne, 169 note

To W. B. Donne, 3, 33, 40, 48, 66, 91, 164

To FitzEdward hall, 220*

To Lord Houghton, 285*

To Charles Keene, 280, 289-293

To Mrs. Kemble, 298, 305, 310-312, 320, 332-335

To S. Laurence, 50, 55, 56, 113-116, 171, 190, 212, 277, 303, 337, 346

To J. R. Lowell, 224-226, 235, 245-249, 257, 260, 261, 266-272

To C. E. Norton, 157, 186, 190-192, 196-199, 203, 208, 213, 222, 229-234, 241-244, 253-255, 258, 262, 275, 278, 281, 294, 298, 301, 315-318, 321, 327, 329, 330, 339, 340, 343

To W. F. Pollock, 12, 96, 102, 117-121, 127, 130-132, 135, 137-152, 158-163, 168, 172, 181, 307, 336, 338, 342

To Miss S. F. Spedding, 313, 314

To Frederic Tennyson, 89

To Hallam (now Lord) Tennyson, 328

To Mrs. Alfred (now the Dowager Lady) Tennyson, 308

To Miss Thackeray, 141 note, 207

p. 352From W. H. Thompson, 174*

To W. H. Thompson, 11, 24, 28-31, 34, 36*, 51, 73, 76, 77, 80*, 123, 177*, 296*

To Mrs. W. H. Thompson, 108, 183

To R. C. Trench, 23, 62, 284, 287

To H. Schütz Wilson, 324

To W. A. Wright, 97, 126, 133, 217, 238, 239, 251, 322*

The asterisks indicate the letters which are here printed for the first time.

p. 353INDEX

Academy (Royal), Exhibition of, i. 39

Acis and Galatea, i. 101, 102, 239

Aconites, ‘New Year’s Gifts,’ ii. 180, 320

Æschylus, the geography of the Agamemnon, ii. 33-35; FitzGerald’s translation of the Agamemnon, 109, 112, 162, 186, 188, 216; reviewed in the Nation, 224; Dr. Kennedy’s translation, 259

Airy (William), at school with FitzGerald, i. 2; visits him at Woodbridge, ii. 66

Aitken (Lucy), her letters, ii. 64

Aldeburgh, ii. 290-292, 332; storm at, 342

Allegro and Penseroso, i. 153, 166

Allen (Anne), i. 72

—(Dr.), i. 79

—John, at Cambridge with FitzGerald, i. 2; letters to, 4, 5, etc.; his portrait by Laurence, ii. 15, 346

—(Mary), i. 70, 72, 73

Allenby (Mrs.), i. 155

Arnold (Dr.), his visit to Naseby with Carlyle, i. 125, 126, 132; his Life, 181

Art, objects of, article in Fraser, ii. 145

Arthur (King), the myth of, not suitable for an epic poem, ii.. 111

Attár’s Mantic uttair, i. 311, 312, 314-317, 319, 320, 342

Ausonius, i. 205 note

Austen (Miss), ii. 13, 131, 174; FitzGerald could not read her novels, 190

Austin (Mrs.), characteristics of Goethe, i. 53

Azaël the Prodigal, i. 268

Bacon, Essay of Friendship, i. 21; of Masques, 153; Sylva, ii. 160

Balfe, ballad by, i. 178

Barton (Bernard), his poems, i. 105; his visit to Peel, 203; his portrait by Laurence, 215, 225, 234; his death, 243, 246; edition of his Letters and Poems with Memoir by FitzGerald, 246, 251, 252, 308

—(Lucy), afterwards Mrs. Edward FitzGerald, i. 50 note, p. 354158, 186, 215, 216, 246, 249, 310, 326

Bassano, i. 186

Bath, i. 288

Beaumont (Sir G.), i. 165

Beauty the main object of the Arts, ii. 132

Beauty Bob, FitzGerald’s parrot, i. 159

Beckford (Peter), Essays on Hunting, ii. 280

—(W.), i. 288

Beethoven, i. 57, 103, 113, 195, 200, 277, 290, ii. 118, 119, his Life by Moscheles, i. 112

Béranger, his Letters, ii. 152, quoted 181

Berry (Miss), her correspondence, ii. 73

Bewick, his Life contains an account of a meeting of Wordsworth and Foscolo, ii. 197

Blake, Songs of Innocence, i. 25

Bletsoe, i. 61; the Falcon Inn, 74

Bloomfield (Mrs.), mother of the poet, a saying of hers quoted, ii. 88

Boccaccio, ii. 203, 204

Bodham (Mrs.), i. 190

Borrow (George), i. 317, 334, 342; his Romany Rye, 331; Wild Wales, ii. 35

Bosherston, i. 337

Boswell’s Life of Johnson, Croker’s edition of, ii. 75

Boughton, pictures at, i. 56

Boulge Hall, his father’s seat, i. 38, 75; ‘Malebolge,’ 79 note

Brambelli, i. 194

Bredfield House, i. 1, 63, 64

Brooke (F. C.), ii. 146

Browne (W.), Britannia’s Pastorals, ii. 240

Browne (W. K.), i. 55, 123, 167; his marriage, 168, 185; first meets FitzGerald at Tenby, 338; ii. 8, 10; his fatal accident 2-4, 6, 8

Browning Society (the), ii. 323

Brydges (Sir Egerton), i. 87

Burke’s Letters, i. 182

Burnet (John), on Painting, i. 147

Burnet’s History, i. 68

Burton’s Anatomy of Melancholy, i. 139; Carlyle’s style influenced by, ib.

Busbequius, i. 230

Byron’s Verses on Rogers, ii. 144

Calderon, translations from, i. 281, 282, 323, 346, 347; ii. 60, 112, 261; edition of the Mágico, 262; his lines about Madrid, 274; unfavourably noticed in the Athenæum, i. 284; Trench’s translation from 307; ii. 287; the Calderon medal sent to FitzGerald, 319

Campion (J. S.), On Foot in Spain, ii. 273

Carew quoted, i. 12, 13

Carlyle (Mrs.), her letters, ii. 343

—(T.), his French Revolution, i. 50; reviewed by Spedding, 73; Miscellanies, 65; Hero Worship, 82, 85; Sartor Resartus, 123; Cromwell, 126, etc, 187, 190, 196, 207; his account of the battle of Naseby, 205; writes on Ireland in the Examiner, 239, 253; his saying about Dickens, 251; his Latter Day Pamphlets, 258; at Malvern 272; at Firlingay with FitzGerald, 295; at Croydon, 302; reading p. 355Voltaire, 302; his Frederic the Great, ii. 7, 64; Mrs. Carlyle’s death, 89; Letters on Naseby, 128; on Omar Khayyám, 154, 155; article in Fraser, 178-180; staying near Bromley, 183; his letters to FitzGerald about Cromwell, 184; Medal and Address presented to him on his eightieth birthday, 186; his Lectures on Hero Worship, 191; his visit to Dumfries, 201; reads Victor Hugo, 229; till past midnight at his books, 234, 236; his visit to Thirlwall, 237; reading Goethe, 253; sends FitzGerald his Norway Kings and Knox, 254; reads Shakespeare through to himself, 270; buried at Ecclefechan, 298, 309; his Reminiscences, 302, 304, 308, 311, 317; his visit to Ireland, 323; Biography, 332, 334, 339; correspondence with Emerson, 340, 342

Castle Ashby, pictures at, i. 121

Catullus, ii. 232, 233, 238, 239

Charlesworth (Miss E.), afterwards Mrs. E. B. Cowell, i. 156, 160, 174; her poems, ii. 54

—(Miss M.), ii. 54

Cherubini’s Medea, ii. 119

Child (Professor), his English Ballads, ii. 344

Childs (Charles), of Bungay, i. 265

Chorley’s Musical Recollections, ii. 127

Churchyard (T.), a solicitor at Woodbridge, and an amateur artist, i. 94, 117, 133, 147, 148, 159, 190, 192, 2l6, 221, 243; calls the winter Aconites ‘New Year’s Gifts’, ii. 180; his sketch of Thorpe headland by Aldeburgh, 292

Clarissa Harlowe, i. 108; ii. 64, 107, 208; a favourite with Alfred de Musset, 243, 248

Clarke (E. W.), i. 114

Claude, i. 54

Clive (Kitty), her saying of Mrs. Siddons, ii. 184

Clora, verses to, i. 15, 19

Coleridge, Life by De Quincey, i. 32

Collins (Wilkie), The Woman in White, ii. 90, 95, 131

Constable (J.), pictures by, i. 76-78, 100, 104, 106, 117, 159; Life by Leslie, 165

Contat (Mademoiselle), ii. 148

Cookson (Dr. W.), a correspondent of Carlyle’s, i. 156, 157; his death, 161

Coverley, Sir Roger de, suggested illustrations of, by Thackeray, i. 29, 39

Cowell (E. B.), his translations from Hafiz, i. 205, 294, 304, 306, 332; paper on the Mesnavi, 232; goes up to Oxford, 261; article on Calderon in the Westminster Review, 284, 307; his Pracrit Grammar, 286; his Oxford Essay, 307; appointed Professor of History at the Presidency College, Calcutta 309; his translation of Azräel, ii. 27; visits FitzGerald on his return to England, 57; elected Sanskrit Professor at Cambridge, 93; his Inaugural Lecture, 95, 97; visits FitzGerald at Woodbridge, 232; his suggestion for a Spanish Dictionary on the plan of Littré, 258, 273; at Lowestoft p. 356with FitzGerald reading Don Quixote, 272, 274-277

Cowley, ii. 26

Crabbe (Rev. George), the poet, hears Wesley preach at Lowestoft, i. 292; quoted, ii. 17, 163, 187, 210, 211, 256, 272; selections from his poems, 67, 211, 214, 258, 281; portraits of him, 171; FitzGerald’s admiration for, 210, 215; readings from, 264, 266; his humour, 209, 269, 281; his epigrammatic power, 270, 272; article on him in the Atlantic Monthly, 281

—(Rev. George), Vicar of Bredfield, i. 39, 187, 260, 262, 265, 266, 274, 286, 296, 297; ii. 210; reads D’ Israeli’s Coningsby, i. 174; Whewell’s Plurality of Worlds, 293; his illness, 334; and death, 340

—(Rev. George), Rector of Merton, his account of FitzGerald, i. 148, 149

Crome, i. 117, 191

Cromwell, i. 137; his Lincolnshire campaign, 154; miniature copied by Laurence, 198; the Squire Letters, 213

Dante, his portrait by Giotto, i. 90, 93; like Homer atones with the sea, ii. 45; quoted, 48, 146; translated into Modern Greek by Musurus Pasha, 323, 327

D’Arblay (Madame), anecdote of, ii. 56; on Johnson’s later years, 75

Darien Song (the), i. 100

Davenant’s alteration of Macbeth, i. 31

De Quincey, life of Coleridge, i. 32; paper on Southey, etc., in Tait’s Magazine, 65; on Wordsworth, 199; proposed to Lowell as the subject for an Essay, ii. 246

De Soyres (the Rev. John), FitzGerald’s nephew, his edition of Pascal’s Letters, ii. 297

Deutsch (Emanuel), his article on the Talmud in the Quarterly, ii. 97

Dickens (C.), Master Humphrey’s Clock, i. 66; Dombey and Son, 238; David Copperfield, 251, 255; Holyday Romance, ii. 147; his Life by Forster, 153, 171, 277; FitzGerald’s admiration for, 172, 278

D’Israeli’s Lothair, ii. 134

Don Giovanni, i. 58, 195

Donne (John), sermons, i. 42; poems, ii. 26

—(W. B.), at school with FitzGerald, i. 2; FitzGerald’s affection for him, 22 note; article on Hallam, 80; writes in the British and Foreign Review, 84; engaged upon a History of Rome, 97, 99, 115; his Address to the Norwich Athenæum, 204; removes to Bury, 207; his portrait by Laurence, 259; articles on Pepys, 260; Deputy Licenser of Plays, 268; succeeds Kemble as Licenser of Plays, 323; writes on Calderon in Fraser, ib.; on the Antonines in the Edinburgh, ii. 53; his story of Lord Chatham and the Bishops, 68; article in the Athenæum on his edition of the Correspondence p. 357of George III. and Lord North, 91; his proposed edition of Tacitus, 93; his account of Tacitus in Ancient Classics for English Readers, 164; his declining health, 322; his death, 337

Donne (W. Mowbray), ii. 53

Don Quixote, ii. 94, 95, 97, 170, 198, 199, 201-204, 268, 272, 274

Doudan, ii. 234, 243, 249

Dryden, ii. 216; his Prefaces, 227; his prose style, 228

Duncan (Francis), i. 222, 223; ii. 71; stays with FitzGerald at Woodbridge, 77

Dunwich, ruins of the Grey Friars’ Monastery, ii. 223, 225, 228, 229, 255, 258, 277

Dysart (Louisa, Countess of), portrait of, by Sir Joshua Reynolds, i. 56

Eastlake (C. L.), i. 39; his translation of Goethe’s Theory of Colours, 67, 80

Edgeworth (F.), i. 31, 88; his wife and sister-in-law, 36; living at Eltham, 43; article on Pindar, 80; mentioned, 142, 144; his death, 210; mentioned in Carlyle’s Life of Stirling, ii. 184

—(Miss), i. 88-90, 144

Edwards (Edwin), ii. 122, 146; his illness, 255, 258; and death, 277

—(Mrs.), ii. 303

Eliot (George), The Mill on the Floss, ii. 159; not admired by FitzGerald, 190, 257

Elliott (Ebenezer), Posthumous Poems, i. 255, 256

Emerson (R. W.), Representative Men, i. 256; on Scott, ii. 194; his death, 330; correspondence with Carlyle, 340, 342, 343

English Gentry (the), i. 68

Eothen, i. 189

Etty (W.), picture of the Bridge of Sighs, i. 39; ‘Aaron,’ 239; ‘John the Baptist,’ ib.

Euphranor, i. 211, 266, 267; ii. 103, 150, 228, 317, 328, 329; praised by Tennyson, ii. 104

Euripides, ii. 48, 49, 85, 87

Evans (R. W.), i. 73

Faires (Mrs.), FitzGerald’s housekeeper at Boulge Cottage, i. 149, 159

Fidelio, ii. 118

Fields’ Yesterdays with Authors, ii. 145

FitzGerald, Edward, born at Bredfield, i. 1; goes to Paris, ib.; to school at Bury St. Edmunds, 2; to Trinity College, Cambridge, ib.; took his degree, 3; at Southampton, 5; at Naseby, ib.; earliest attempt at verse, 5-9; visits Salisbury, 10; and Bemerton, ib.; at Tenby, 11, 46, 69, 70; his Paradise, a collection of English verse, 12; reads Shakespeare’s Sonnets, 14; adopts a vegetable diet, 22; living in London, 24; sees Shakespeare’s Hamlet, 24, 28; Henry VIII., 24; Macbeth, 25, 31; with Spedding at Cambridge, 28; living at Wherstead Lodge, ib.; his friendships like loves, 30; reading The Merry Wives of Windsor, ib.; and the Spectator, ib.; with Spedding and Tennyson at Mirehouse, 33; p. 358ii. 305, 310, 315; at Ambleside, i. 33; his father removes to Boulge, 38, 39; reading Aristophanes, 44, 47; his cottage at Boulge, 47, 48; reading Plutarch’s Lives, ib., and Lyell’s Geology, ib.; his marriage with Miss Barton, 50 note; stays in Bedfordshire, 52, 61, 67; at Lowestoft with W. Browne, 55; reading Pindar, 56; Tacitus, 60; Homer, 64; at his uncle Peter Purcell’s at Halverstown, 62; reads Burnet, 68; Herodotus, 71; regrets his want of scholarship, ib.; grows bald, ib.; makes Tar water, 72; reads Newman’s sermons, 73; buys a picture by Constable, 76; stays at Edgeworthstown, 88; at Naseby, 90; reads Livy, 97; invited to lecture at Ipswich, 97, 99; his opinion of his own verses, 105; first meets Carlyle, 125; his excavations at Naseby, and correspondence with Carlyle, 126, etc.; reads Virgil’s Georgics, 134; in Ireland, 141-143; his cottage at Boulge, 150; visits Carlyle, 159, 169; his life at Boulge, 164, 176, 180; visits W. B. Donne, 173; makes an abstract of the Old Curiosity Shop for children, 174; at Leamington, 175; at Cambridge, 210; reads Thucydides, 214, 228, 233, 248; his interview with William Squire, 216-220; at Exeter, 220; reads Homer, 228; contributes notes to Selden’s Table Talk, 231; his father’s death, 278; translations from Calderon, 281; studies Persian, 282, 285, 286; at Farlingay, 287, 294; at Bath, 287; at Oxford, 290; Carlyle stays with him at Farlingay, 295; translates Jámí’s Salámán and Absál, 304, 306; reading Hafiz, 311; and Attár’s Mantic uttair, i. 311; which he translates, 312, 313, etc.; ii. 44, 100; reading Æschylus, i. 324, 325; thinks of translating the Trilogy, 330; at Gorlestone, 331; reading Omar Khayyám, 332, 335; his epitome of Attár’s Mantic uttair, 342, 348; his translations from Omar Khayyám offered to Fraser’s Magazine, 345, 348; ii. 2, 29; translates Calderon’s Mighty Magician, i. 346; ii. 60; and Vida es Sueño, i. 347; ii. 5, 61, 62; collects a Vocabulary of rustic English, i. 347; prints his translation of Omar, ii. 2, 4, 29; stays at Aldeburgh, 16; gives a fragment of Tennyson’s MS. to Thompson, 25; who returns it, 28; his new boat, 37, 40, 45; at Merton with George Crabbe, 39; at Ely, ib.; goes to Holland, 42; reads Dante and Homer, 45, 48; the sea brings up his appetite for Greek, 49; buys Little Grange, 57; sends his translation of the Mighty Magician to Trench, 62; and of Vida es Sueño to Archdeacon Allen, 63; proposes a Selection from Crabbe, 67; carries Sophocles to sea with him, 78, 79, 82, 83, 85; makes his will, 80; does not care for Horace, 82, p. 35983; reads Euripides, 86, 87; The Woman in White, 90, 95; his Herring-lugger, 90, 94, 101, 103, 109; reads Don Quixote, 94, 95, 97, 170; and Boccaccio, 95, 97; his Lugger Captain, 94, 101, 103, 106, 107, 110, 113-116, 213; his Sea Words and Phrases, 116; proposes to adapt the music of Fidelio to Tennyson’s King Arthur, 119; his acquaintance with Spanish, 121; gives up his yacht, The Scandal, 126; reads Scott, 128; cannot read George Eliot, 159, 190; goes to Naseby about the monument, 160; reports his failure to Carlyle, 165; goes to Abbotsford, 172, 194; makes the acquaintance of Madame de Sévigné, 184, 185; begins to ‘smell the ground,’ 185; sends the Agamemnon and two Calderon plays to Professor Norton, 186, 187; death of his old boatman, 217; reads Munro’s Lucretius, ib.; Carlyle’s Cromwell, 229, 230; at Dunwich, 255; his Readings from Crabbe, 264, 266; his Half Hours with the Worst Authors, 280; sends his Readings from Crabbe to Trench, 284; does not care for modern poetry, 288; his Quarter-deck, 293; is troubled with pains about the heart, 296; sends Professor Norton Part II. of Œdipus, 301; has Carlyle’s Meerschaum as a relic, 303; spends two days at Cambridge, 316; receives the Calderon medal, 319; reads the Fortunes of Nigel, 321; at Aldeburgh, 332; reads Carlyle’s Biography, 332, 334, 339; meets Professor Fawcett, 333, 336; his last letter, 346; dies at Merton, 348; and is buried at Boulge, ib.

FitzGerald (Isabella), FitzGerald’s sister, i. 73, 161

—(John Purcell), FitzGerald’s eldest brother, his wife’s illness, i. 35, 48; mentioned, 50; his death, ii. 263, 267

—(Lusia or Andalusia), Mrs. De Soyres, FitzGerald’s sister, i. 95; her marriage, 174; her home in Somersetshire, 222

—(Mary Frances), FitzGerald’s mother, i. i; her portrait by Sir Thomas Lawrence, ii. 297

—(Peter), brother of Edward, ii. 66; his wife, 68; her illness, 77; and death, 82, 85, 86

Fletcher, quoted, i. 16, 17

Ford (Richard), Gatherings in Spain, ii. 320

Forster’s Life of Dickens, ii. 153, 277

Foscolo, ii. 197

Franco-German War (the), ii. 117

Freestone, the Allens’ house at, i. 69-71, 337; ii. 10

French character, change in, ii. 118 note

French Revolution, i. 235

Frere (Mrs.), i. 58

Gainsborough Fight, i. 161, 162

—(T.), the Watering Place, i. 78, 95; picture attributed p. 360to, 94, 95; ‘the Goldsmith of Painters,’ 95; his method, 147; copy by Laurence of his portrait of Dupont, ii. 56; his saying on his deathbed, ib.

Gasker (Athanasius), Library of Useless Knowledge, i. 114

Gay (Sophie), Salons de Paris, ii. 148

Geldart (Joseph), i. 173, 243

Geldestone Hall, the residence of Fitz-Gerald’s sister, Mrs. Kerrich, i. 3, etc.

Generals (The Two), ii. 105, 107

Gil Blas, ii. 180

Gillies, his Life of a Literary Veteran, contains letters of Wordsworth and notices of Scott, ii. 197, 199

Goethe, Characteristics of, i. 53; Theory of Colours, 67; Tennyson’s saying of him, ii. 193; translation of Faust, 262; FitzGerald believed in him as philosopher and critic, not as poet, ib.; his theory that the two Œdipuses and Antigone were a Trilogy, 278

Goethe and Schiller, correspondence of, ii. 320

Gordon (Lady Duff), her Letters from Egypt, ii. 69

Gray’s Ode on a distant prospect of Eton College, i. 63; his Elegy, ii, 209, 270; his opinion of Dryden’s prose, 228

Griffin (Gerald), The Collegians, i. 90

Groome (J. H.), i. 260

—(R. H.), Archdeacon of Suffolk, ii. 59, 73, 97, 200, 253

Gurgoyle School of Art (the), ii. 248

Hafiz, i. 205, 294, 304, 306, 311, 319, 320, 322

Half Hours with the Worst Authors, ii. 280

Ham, i. 275

Hampton Court, i. 276

Handel, i. 101-103, 111, 112, 153, 166, 183, 200, 265, 266, 290; ii. 49

Hare (A. J. C.), his Spain, ii. 169; Memorials ib.

—(J. C. and A. W.), Guesses at Truth, i. 53

Harrington’s Oceana, i. 140

Hatifi, i. 329, 348

Hawthorne (Nathaniel), ii. 145; a man of true genius, 191, 246, 265, 271; his Journal in England, 265; a noble book, 267; FitzGerald does not take to him, 105, 246, 271; his Italian Journal, 273

Haydon (B. R.), Memoir by his son, contains notices of Wordsworth, ii. 197, 199

Haymarket Theatre (the), associated with Vestris, ii. 120, 138; Pasta, 138, 295; and Rubini, 295

Hazlitt (W.), his English Poets, ii. 196

Heine (H.), ii. 150, 162

Helmingham Hall, i. 56

Herodotus, i. 71, 73

Holmes (O. W.), ii. 191

Hugo (Victor), Toilers of the Sea, ii. 145, 150; his Misérables, 229

Hullah, i. 243

Hunt (Holman), his Christ in the Temple, ii. 17

—(Leigh), selections by, i. 179

Hypocrite (the), i. 254

Ingelow (Jean), ii. 46, 47, 54

p. 361Jámí’s Salámán and Absál, i. 304, 306, 312, 317, 318; new edition of FitzGerald’s version, ii. 263, 324; the first Persian poem read by FitzGerald, 325

Jeláleddín, i. 312, 317, 319; ii. 27

Jenney (Mr.), the owner of Bredfield House, i. 63, 64, 96, 106

Johnson’s lines on Levett quoted, i. 124; his bookcase, 196

Juvenal, ii. 34, 35, 58, 59

Keats’ Letters and Poems, i. 246; his Hyperion, ii. 178, 246, 249; his Love Letters, 233, 235, 238, 245; subject for picture from K., 235, 239, 293; his sister, 249; Severn’s letters about him, 276

Keene (C. S.), sends a packet of his drawings to FitzGerald, ii. 291; and an old map of Paris, 293; recommends North’s Memoir of Music, 323

Kemble (Charles), i. 44

—(J. M.), at school with FitzGerald, i. 2; recites Hotspur’s speech, ib., working on Anglo Saxon MSS. at Cambridge, 25; article in the British and Foreign Review, 80, 84

—(Mrs. Fanny), her opinion of the translations from Calderon, ii. 67, 187; makes the Agamemnon known in America, 186, 188; declines to join the Browning Society, 323

Kerrich (Mrs), FitzGerald’s favourite sister, her death, ii. 46

—(Walter), FitzGerald’s nephew, married, i. 335

Ladies Magazine, ii. 140

Lamb (Charles), Album Verses, i. 32; Essays in the London Magazine, 143; Letters, ii. 198, 240; FitzGerald’s Data of his life, 239, 242, 247

Landor (W. S.), i. 288, 289

Laurence (S.), Spedding’s description of, i. 75 note, his opinion of Gainsborough, 95; his portraits of Wilkinson, 167, 170; Coningham, 166, 171; Barton, 215, 225, 234; Tennyson, 242, 243; Donne, 259; studies the Venetian secret of colour, 243; his portrait of Archdeacon Allen, ii. 15; his opinion of Romney’s portraits, 41; his portraits of Thackeray, 50, 55; asked by FitzGerald to copy Pickersgill’s portrait of Crabbe, 171

Le Désert, i. 194

Lever (C.), his Cornelius O’Dowd, ii. 181

Lewis (G. Cornewall), ii. 183

Lily (Lyly or Lilly) quoted, i. 15

Lind (Jenny), i. 224, 237, 239

Longfellow, ii. 191; his death, 330

Longus, i. 211

Louis Philippe, i. 59

Louvre, the, i. 4

Lowell (J. R.), Among my Books, ii. 191, 192, 199, 203; his Odes, 208, 215; his Essays, 222, 223, 226, 227, 229, 230; proposed to visit FitzGerald, 224, 225; his Moosehead Journal, 233; Mrs. Lowell’s illness, 272

Lowestoft, the beachmen decline p. 362to join the Naval Reserve, ii. 13

Lucretius, ii. 58; Professor Sellar’s article on, ib., Munro’s edition, 82, 217-219; quoted, 218; coincidence with Bacon, 219

Lushington (Franklin), i. 291

Luton, pictures at, i. 74

Lyell’s Geology, i. 229

Macaulay’s Memoirs, ii. 200

Macnish (Dr.), lines on Milton, i. 65

Macready as Wolsey, i. 24; as Macbeth, 24, 25; as Hamlet, 28; his revival of Acis and Galatea, 102; as Virginius, ii. 120, 158; his funeral, 158

Malkin (Arthur), his marriage, i. 27

—(Dr.), master of Bury School, his opinion of Crabbe, ii. 300

Manfred, i. 31

Martial, i. 229, 230

Martineau (Miss), cured by mesmerism, i. 179

Marvell (Andrew), quoted, ii. 133, 134

Matthews (Rev. T. R.), of Bedford, i. 122, 160, 169; his death, 197

Maurice (F. D.), his Introductory Lecture, i. 139; the Kingdom of Christ, ib.

Mazzinghi, (T. J.), i. 14

Mendelssohn, new Symphony by, i. 120; his Midsummer Night’s Dream, 177, 237; Elijah, 237; Fingal’s Cave, ib.; his opinion of Donizetti, ii. 127

Merivale (C.), Dean of Ely, his marriage, i. 264; History of Rome, ib.; ii. 260; meets FitzGerald at Lowestoft, 297

Meyerbeer, i. 277

Millais, ii. 142, 173, 293

Milnes (R. M.), Lord Houghton, i. 114; ii. 245, 249

Molière, his Life by Taschereau, ii. 150

Montagu (Basil), Selections from Jeremy Taylor, etc. i. 34; Life of Bacon, 42; a saying of his recorded, 151

Montaigne, ii. 91, 92, 95, 97, 98; traces of him in Shakespeare and Bacon, 251

Montgomery (James), quoted, i. 185

—(Robert), i. 169

Moor (Major), i. 89; his death, 235; his Oriental Fragments, 308

Moore (Morris), i. 166, 175, 210, 239; his controversy with Eastlake, 225

—(T.), his Memoirs, i. 286

Morland, picture by, i. 192

Morton (Savile), i, 58, 59, 77, 81, 83, 85, 88, 93, 101, 104, 118, 121, 123, 150, 170, 177, 181, 188, 202, 239; a selection of his Letters sent to Blackwood’s Magazine but not published, ii. 76, 141; others collected by FitzGerald, 76, 89, 141

Moxon (E.) his Sonnets, i. 87

Mozart, i. 195, 200, 277; ii. 119; his Requiem, 122, 123; his Così, 151

Mozley’s Reminiscences of Oriel, ii. 341

Müller (Max), Essay on Comparative Mythology, i. 309; on Darwin, ii. 160

Munro (H. A. J.), his edition of Lucretius, ii. 82, 217-219; his Criticisms and Elucidations of Catullus, 232, 236, 238

p. 363Musset (Alfred de), ii. 243, 248

Naseby, i. 5, 75

—battle of, i. 91, 125; FitzGerald’s excavations, 126, etc., 206; ii. 129; Carlyle’s proposed inscription for a pillar, i. 301; ii. 128, 132, 135, 136

Nelson (John), his Autobiography, ii. 105:

—(Lord), ii. 23

Newman (J. H.), his Sermons, i. 73; his Apologia, ii. 57, 72; an admirer of Crabbe, 341

Newson, captain of FitzGerald’s yacht, his son drowned off Cromer, ii. 189

Newton, Roubiliac’s statue of, ii. 161; suggested inscription for, ib.

—(Dr.), a writer on Vegetable Regimen, i. 23 note

—(Rev. J.), his journal, i. 41

—(Napoleon), i. 311, 312, 321, 329; his death, 332

Niebuhr, i. 97

Nizámí, i. 300, 317

Nonnus, i. 211

Northcote, picture by, i. 99, 101

Norton (Professor C. E.), ii. 153; his translation of Dante’s Vita Nuova, 201, 203, 205; his Report on Olympia, 232, 233

Nursey (Perry), a Suffolk artist, i. 63, 72

Oliphant (Mrs.), her History of English Eighteenth Century Literature, ii. 345

Omar Khayyám, i. 320, 332-334, 343; ii. 26, 27, 325; transcript by FitzGerald sent to Garcin de Tassy, i. 325; MS. sent him from Calcutta by Prof. Cowell, 334, 336 edition by Nicolas; ii. 100; new edition of FitzGerald’s version, 263, 326

Opie, picture by, i. 107, 110

Ouse, the, i. 61, 68, 74, 168, 185

Paisiello’s Music liked by Napoleon, ii. 131

Pascal’s Letters, ii. 297

Pasta, ii. 137; in Medea, 138; in Semiramide, 139

Paul Veronese, i. 38, 107

Pembroke, siege of, i. 18

Pepys’ Diary, ii. 234

Piozzi (Mrs.), sale of her house at Streatham, i. 196

Plagiarism, ii. 252

Pliny’s Letters, i. 230

Poetry in relation to morals, i. 37

Pollock (Lady), her article on American Literature, ii. 163

—(W. F.), his marriage, i. 153; his article on British Novelists in Fraser, ii. 13

Polonius, i. 273

Portraits should be flattered, ii. 30

Poussin’s Orion, i. 221

Poussins (the two), i. 54

Raffaelle (or Raphael), i. 38, 54; ii. 151

‘Ranger (The),’ loss of, ii. 290

Regnard, ii. 145

Reliable, ii. 220

Rembrandt, i. 54

Repeal, i. 141, 142

Reynolds (F.), ii. 120, 121

—(Sir Joshua), pictures by, i. 192; ii. 56, 57, 108, 114, 151

p. 364Richardson, his Novels reviewed in the Cornhill, ii. 102; superior to Fielding, 131

Rogers (S.), ii. 144; depreciates Scott, 247

Romney, Life by Hayley, i. 124; his portraits, ii. 41

Roqueplan, ii. 147

Rose (H. J.), Untrodden Spain, ii. 225; Among the Spanish People, 250

Rossini, ii. 122

Rubens, i. 38, 54, 147; ii. 151

Rubini, ii. 295

Rushworth’s Collections, i. 199

Ruskin (J.), his letter to the Translator of Omar Khayyám, ii. 153

Sadi’s Bostán, i. 344

Ste. Beuve, ii. 169, 228; his saying of Madame de Sévigné, 244, 249

Schlegel (A. W. V.), his History of Literature, i. 92

Schutz (Mrs.), i. 44, 45, 49, 59, 174

Science, poetry of, i. 229

Scott (Sir Walter), The Pirate, ii. 128, 130, 131; FitzGerald’s love for, 190, 235, 237, 261; depreciated by the Lake Poets and Carlyle, 194; appreciated by Emerson, ib.; his Journey to Douglas Dale, ib.; subjects for pictures from, 235; Guy Mannering, 244, 245, 250; hated by the Whigs, 247; The Bride of Lammermoor, 261; Kenilworth, 265

Sea Words and Phrases, ii. 116

Selden’s Table Talk, FitzGerald’s notes on, i. 231

Sellar (Professor), his article on Lucretius, ii. 58

Selwyn’s Correspondence, i. 196

Seneca, i. 151, 182

Severn, his letters about Keats, ii. 276

Sévigné (Mad. de), ii. 184, 185, 196, 217, 310, 312; FitzGerald’s Dictionary of the Dramatis Personæ in her letters, 217, 289; Ste. Beuve’s saying of, 244, 249; subject for a picture from, 293

Shakespeare, his Sonnets, i. 14; FitzGerald buys the second and third Folios, 31; Othello, ii. 251, 252

—(the Cambridge), ii. 47

Shelley, reviewed in the Edinburgh, i. 62; Trelawny’s story of his death, ii. 189; disputed reading in, 250; too unsubstantial for FitzGerald, 251

Sheridan’s School for Scandal the best comedy in the language, ii. 159

Siddons (Mrs.), ii. 137, 149

Sizewell Gap, ii. 290

Smith (Horace), i. 97

Sonnets, FitzGerald’s indifference to, i. 84, 87; ii. 212

Sophocles, the Antigone of, i. 186, 188; FitzGerald’s admiration for, ii. 85; his superiority to Euripides, 86, 87; translation of the two Œdipuses, 258, 275, 278, 279, 301, 315, 318, 319, 321; the Œdipus Tyrannus played at Harvard, 316; the Ajax at Cambridge, 339

Sophocles and Æschylus compared, i. 240; ii. 49, 259

Southey, Life of Cowper by, i. 40, 42; his Life and Letters, 256

p. 365Southey (Mrs.), Caroline Bowles, i. 97

Spedding (James), at school with FitzGerald, i. 2; living in Lincoln’s Inn Fields, 43; reviews Carlyle’s French Revolution in the Edinburgh, 73; mentioned, 76, 114, 115, 138, 164, 167, 177, 207, 228, 239, 272, 276; ii. 38, 152, 174; his portrait by Laurence, i. 77; his forehead, 77, 78, 83, 116; his character, 193, 257; ii. 299, 302, 308; Evenings with a Reviewer, i. 241; ii. 25; at Bramford with the Cowells, i. 262; his article on Euphranor, 266; death of his niece, 291; his edition of Bacon, 310, 322; ii. 1, 25, 55; forestalled by Hepworth Dixon, 20; paper on English hexameters, 25; FitzGerald’s regret at his life wasted on Bacon, 38, 45, 46; should have edited Shakespeare, 38, 48, 135; his pamphlet on Authors and Publishers, 89; article on Twelfth Night, 103; Carlyle’s letter on him, 175; his accident, 298; and death, 301, 303, 305, 307; FitzGerald suggests a collection of his letters, 307, 309; Mrs. Cameron’s portrait of him, 338

Spenser, ii. 194

Spinoza, i. 204, 205, 209

Sprenger’s Catalogue, i. 342

Spring Rice (Hon. S.), ii. 30, 32

Squirarchy, ii. 19, 20, 22

Squire Letters (the), i. 213, 216-220, 231; ii. 230, 235, 241, 242, 244, 331

Stephen (Leslie), review of Richardson’s Novels in the Cornhill, ii. 102; his Hours in a Library, 208, 209; on Crabbe’s want of humour, 341

Sterling (John), i. 43

Stobæus, i. 122, 123

Strawberry Hill, i. 276

Suicide, i. 257

Sumner (Charles), Memoir and Letters of, ii. 243, 247

Tacitus, i. 60; ii. 164, 165

Talma, ii. 75

Tannhäuser, ii. 29

Tassy (Garcin de), i. 324, 325, 327; his edition of the Mantic, 325, 330, 342; ii. 100; his paper on Omar, i. 329, 343, 345

Taste the Feminine of Genius, i. 255; ii. 226

Taylor (Jeremy), i. 34, 35, 42, 44

—(Tom), Diogenes and his Lantern, i. 254

Tenby, i. 338

Tennant (R. J.), at Blackheath, i. 43; candidate for a school at Cambridge, ib.

Tennyson (A.), a contemporary of FitzGerald’s at Cambridge, i. 3; his Mariana, 9; and Lady of Shalott, 10; his new volume, 17; the Dream of Fair Women, 20; fresh poems, 25; at Mirehouse and Ambleside with FitzGerald, 33; ii. 305-307, 310; in London, i. 51, 81; at Leamington, Stratford, and Kenilworth with FitzGerald, 68; preparing for the press, 93, 113; edition of his poems, 1842, 115, 119; undergoing the water cure, 151; staying at Park House, 176, 224; at Carlyle’s, 181; In p. 366Memoriam, 187, 250, 263, 273; mentioned, 168, 190, 192, 277; new poem, 194; in the Isle of Wight, 207; The Princess, 237, 246, 249, 250, 253, 254; his portrait by Laurence, 242, 243; ii. 346; his opinion of Thackeray’s Pendennis, i. 244; in chambers in Lincoln’s Inn Fields, 250, 253, 254; his marriage, 263; at Twickenham, 285; goes to the Isle of Wight, 286, 287; King Arthur, 311; his saying of Hafiz, 320; his bust not at first admitted into Trinity College Library, ii. 12; his saying of the Dresden Madonna, 23, 181; FitzGerald regrets that he left Lincolnshire, 47; his Maud, 60; at Greyshott Hall, Haslemere, 89; his Death of Lucretius, 89; Locksley Hall, 105; The Holy Grail, 111; his Gareth and Lynette, 143; his saying of Crabbe, 152; of Dante and Goethe, 193; of Milton’s similes and his diction, 193; visits FitzGerald at Woodbridge, 202, 204; The Northern Farmer, 206; Ode on the Funeral of the Duke of Wellington, 216; Ballad on Lucknow, 267

Tennyson (Charles), his poems, ii. 259, 264, 294, 297; his death, 264

—(Frederic), his account of Cicero’s villa, i. 123; urged to publish his poems, 164, 250, 258, 264; their publication, 285, 289; with FitzGerald at Woodbridge, ii. 55; lives in a World of Spirits, 65; FitzGerald sends him Lowell’s Study Windows, 257

Tennyson (Hallam, now Lord), his Song of Brunanburh, ii. 206

—(Septimus), i. 152

Thackeray (Miss), afterwards Mrs. Richmond Ritchie, her story in the Cornhill, ii. 82; her Old Kensington, 140; meets FitzGerald at the Royal Academy Exhibition, 143

—(W. M.), at Cambridge with FitzGerald, i. 2; in Paris, 3, 38; mentioned, 17, 30, 77, 116, 125, 158, 257, 311; illustrated Undine for FitzGerald, 29; his Paris Sketch Book, 73; his second Funeral of Napoleon, 79; his Irish Sketch Book, 141; contributes to Punch, 163; goes to the East, 177; at Malta, 181; writes in Fraser’s Magazine, 193; Journal from Cornhill to Grand Cairo, 202; Mrs. Perkins’s Ball, 214; Vanity Fair, 238, 244; ii. 53; Pendennis, i. 244, 250, 255; ii. 51-53; his illness, i. 250; Lectures on the Humourists, 272; Esmond, 275, 276; goes to America, 279; letter of farewell to FitzGerald, 280; The Newcomes, 288; ii. 50, 51; Lectures on the Georges, i. 317; edits the Cornhill Magazine, ii. 13; his death, 50, etc.; his Roundabout Papers, 127; describes Humanity in its depths, 135, 190; his saying of Lamb, 198, 243; his song, ‘Ho, Pretty Page,’ set to music by FitzGerald, 207, 213

p. 367Thirlwall (Bishop), i. 73; his Letters, ii. 328

Thompson (W. H.), at Cambridge with FitzGerald, i. 2, 79; at the water cure, 264; his letters, ii. 37; appointed Master of Trinity, 73, 74; his marriage, 81, 88; his edition of Plato’s Gorgias, 123-126

Tichborne Trial (the), ii. 134, 135, 159, 170

Ticknor’s Memoirs, ii. 197, 200; his Spanish Literature, 198

Titian, pictures by, i. 107, 108, 141; ii. 151

Tom the Piper, ii. 240

Trench (Mrs.), her Journal, ii. 23, 24, 144

—(R. C.), i. 43; his Sabbation, 54; Study of Words, 274; his translation of Calderon’s Life’s a Dream, 307; ii. 287

Trinity College, Cambridge, the Hall, ii. 161; the Chapel, ib.

Trollope (Anthony), his Barchester Towers, ii. 14; Can you forgive her? 71; He knows he was right, 152; the Eustace Diamonds, 159

Turner (Dawson), i. 198

Twalmley, The Great, ii. 198, 228

Vandenhoff, as Macbeth, i. 31; as Iago, 43; in the Antigone, 188

Vandyke, ii. 151

Vaughan (Henry), Silex Scintillans, i. 46

Venables (G. S.), i. 257

Verdi, ii. 151

Vestiges of Creation, i. 186, 187

Vestris (Madame), ii. 120, 138

Virgil, his Georgics, i. 134; FitzGerald’s love for, ii. 83, 88, 218

Voltaire’s Pucelle, ii. 168; his saying of Habakkuk, 182

Volunteer Rifles, ii. 18, 22

Walpole (Horace), i. 276; his Letters, ii. 205; Carlyle’s opinion of him, 206

Warburton (Bishop), Letters quoted, i. 52

—(Eliot), i. 189

Waterford’s (Lady), Babes in the Wood, ii. 18

Waterloo, Battle of, ii. 286, 290

—Gallery, i. 63

Wesley’s Journal, i. 292; ii. 59, 219, 254; story from, 110; Memorials of his Family, 219; Southey’s Life of, 220

Westminster Abbey, ii. 295

Wherstead, i. 28; ii. 231

White (James), i. 201

Wilkie (David), i. 39

Wilkinson (Mrs.), Jane FitzGerald, E. FitzGerald’s sister, i. 147, 167, 170

—(Rev. J. B.), portrait by Laurence, i. 167, 170

Williams-Wynn (Miss), Memorials, ii. 237

Windham’s Diary, ii. 84

Winsby Fight, i. 155, 160

Woburn Abbey, pictures at, i. 56

Woodberry (G. E.), his article on Crabbe in the Atlantic Monthly, ii. 281

Wordsworth (Dr. C.), Master of Trinity, ii. 194

—(W.), i. 18; and Tennyson, p. 36836, 37; his Sonnets, 84, 87, 88; mentioned, ii. 194, 195, 197;  Lowell’s account of him, 199; his opinion of Crabbe, 283, 288

Wotton (Sir H.), quoted, i. 15

Xenophon, i. 240

Zincke (Rev. Foster Barbam), ii. 149, 150, 231

Zoolus, account of, by Capt. Allen Gardiner, i. 64

the end

Printed by R. & R. Clark, Limited, Edinburgh


[2]  See note on Omar Khayyám, stanza xviii.

[5]  See p. 2.

[13]  Article on ‘British Novelists’ in Fraser’s Magazine, Jan. 1860.

[18]  Major Rolla Rouse of Melton.

[22]  His brother.

[23a]  Dean of Westminster and afterwards Archbishop of Dublin.

[23b]  Journal of Mrs. Trench, not then published.

[24]  In 1872 he wrote to me: ‘I hope that others have remembered and made note of A. T.’s sayings—which hit the nail on the head.  Had I continued to be with him, I would have risked being called another Bozzy by the thankless World; and have often looked in vain for a Note Book I had made of such things.’

And again in 1876: ‘He said, and I dare say, says things to be remembered: decisive Verdicts; which I hope some one makes note of: post me memoranda.’

[25]  In Fraser’s Magazine for June 1861, ‘On Translating Homer.’

[27]  Journal of the Royal Asiatic Society for 1860, pp 1-17; published in 1861.

[29]  [In the book the AT is a symbol made of a capital A, with a small T inside it with the bar of the T in the same position as the bar in the A.—D.P.]

[30]  The Hon Stephen Spring Rice.

[34]  Sat. iii. 254.

[35a]  Hermann’s conjecture on Agam. 819.

[35b]  Sat. vi. 460.

[37]  As Greek Professor.

[40]  At Ely

[47a]  ?  Forty.

[47b]  The Cambridge Shakespeare.

[48a]  Purgatorio, xxiii.

[48b]  Euripides.

[50]  Thackeray died 24 Dec. 1863.

[55]  A copy by Laurence of his portrait of Thackeray.

[56a]  Gainsborough’s sketch of Dupont which Laurence copied.

[56b]  Gainsborough, when dying, whispered to Reynolds, ‘We are all going to heaven, and Vandyke is of the party.’

[58]  By Professor Sellar in the Oxford Essays for 1855: reprinted in his Roman Poets of the Republic, 1863.

[59a]  Late Archdeacon of Suffolk.

[59b]  VI. 556.

[61]  Pliny, Hist. Nat. ii. 5.  FitzGerald quotes only a part of the passage in the first scene of The Mighty Magician.

[62a]  In June 1864.

[62b]  The third was probably the Agamemnon.

[63]  So by mistake for Woodbridge.

[68]  Probably, as I am informed by Mr. Mowbray Donne, ‘that when Lord Chatham met any Bishops he bowed so low that you could see the peak of his nose between his legs.’

[69a]  Sappho, Fr. xlvi. (Gaisford).

[69b]  P. 308.

[74]  Quoted by the Scholiast on Theocritus, v. 65, and to be found in the editions of the Parœmiographi Græci by Gaisford and Leutsch.

[77]  Francis Duncan, Rector of West Chelborough.

[78a]  See note, p. 110.

[78b]  Œd. Tyr. 1076.

[78c]  Œd. Col. 607.

[86]  Sophocles, Ajax 674, 5.

[87a]  Not Jocasta, but Alcmene.

[87b]  Arist. Poet. 13, 10.

[88]  Her son, the Suffolk Poet, says that in the decline of her life she ‘observed to a relative with peculiar emphasis, that “to meet Winter, Old Age, and Poverty, was like meeting three great giants.”’  For ‘Sickness’ FitzGerald at first had written ‘Old Age.’

[91]  Article in the Athenæum of 2nd Feb. 1867 on Donne’s edition of the Correspondence of George III. and Lord North.

[97a]  Delivered 23rd Oct. 1867.

[97b]  By Emanuel Deutsch.

[102]  By Leslie Stephen.

[104]  Who said that the description of the boat race with which Euphranor ends was one of the most beautiful pieces of English prose.

[105]  Referring to The Two Generals, Letters and Literary Remains, vol. ii. p. 483.

[107]  See p. 105.

[109]  The Agamemnon.

[110]  FitzGerald frequently referred to a story from Wesley’s Journal, which he quotes in Polonius, p. lxx.  ‘A gentleman of large fortune, while we were seriously conversing, ordered a servant to throw some coals on the fire.  A puff of smoke came out.  He threw himself back in his chair, and cried out, “O Mr. Wesley, these are the crosses I meet with every day!”’

[111]  The Holy Grail.

[116a]  Printed in the East Anglian Notes and Queries for 1869 and 1870.

[116b]  The partnership was dissolved in June 1870.

[118a]  Ten years before, Nov. 2, 1860, FitzGerald wrote to his old friend, the late Mr. W. E. Crowfoot of Beccles: ‘I have been reading with interest some French Memoirs towards the end of the last century: when the French were a cheerful, ingenious, witty, trifling people; they had not yet tasted of the Blood of the Revolution, which really seems to me to have altered their character.  The modern French Novels exhibit Vengeance as a moving Virtue: even toward one another: can we suppose they think less well of it towards us?  In this respect they are really the most barbarous People of Europe.

[118b]  29 Oct. 1870.

[120]  Gilbert’s Palace of Truth.

[122a]  Edwin Edwards.

[122b]  Cornhill, June 1870.  ‘A Clever Forgery,’ by Dr. W. Pole.

[127]  Thirty Years’ Musical Recollections, vol. i. p. 162.

[128]  In 1879 he wrote to Professor Cowell, ‘O, Sir Walter will fly over all their heads “come aquila” still!’

[133]  Not ‘Yaffil’ but ‘yaffingale.’

[135a]  In Hamlet, ii. 2. 337, ‘Whose lungs are tickle o’ the sear.’

[135b]  ‘Read rascal in the motions of his back,
And scoundrel in the supple-sliding knee.’—Sea Dreams.

[136]  Thus far written in pencil by Carlyle himself.  The rest of the letter except the signature and postscript is in Mr. Froude’s hand.

[139a]  This appears to be a mistake.

[139b]  At Whitsuntide.

[139c]  As Thackeray used to call Carlyle.

[140]  Old Kensington.

[141a]  In 1873 he wrote to Miss Thackeray,

‘Only yesterday I lighted upon some mention of your Father in the Letters of that mad man of Genius Morton, who came to a sudden and terrible end in Paris not long after.  He was a good deal in Coram Street, and no one admired your Father more, nor made so sure of his ‘doing something’ at last, so early as 1842.  A Letter of Jan. 22/45 says: “I hear of Thackeray at Rome.  Once there, depend upon it, he will stay there some time.  There is something glutinous in the soil of Rome, that, like the sweet Dew that lies on the lime-leaf, ensnares the Butterfly Traveller’s foot.”  Which is not so bad, is it?  And again, still in England, and harping on Rome, whose mere name, he says, “moves the handle of the Pump of Tears in him” (one of his grotesque fancies), he suddenly bethinks him (Feb. 4/45).  “This is the last day of Carnival, Thackeray is walking down the Corso with his hands in his Breeches pockets: stopping to look at some little Child.  At night, millions of Moccoletti, dasht about with endless Shouts and Laughter, etc.”’

[144]  Byron’s verses on Rogers.

[145]  In Fraser’s Magazine, May 1870.

[146a]  Inferno, Canto v. 127.

[146b]  F. C. Brooke of Ufford.

[146c]  Probably a frontispiece to Omar Khayyám which was never used.

[147]  Roqueplan, La Vie Parisienne.

[148]  Salons Célèbres, p. 97, ed. 1882.

[149a]  Q. Rev. No. lxvii. p. 216.

[149b]  Wherstead.

[150]  Euphranor.

[153]  31st March, when the letter was probably finished.

[160]  Cent. iii. § 238.

[161]  In June 1871 he wrote to me, ‘One Improvement I persist in recommending for your Chapel: but no one will do it.  Instead of Lucretius’ line (which might apply to Shakespeare, etc.) at the foot of Newton’s Statue, you should put the first words of Bacon’s Novum Organum, (Homo) ‘Naturæ Minister et Interpres’: which eminently becomes Newton, as he stands, with his Prism; and connects him with his great Cambridge Predecessor, who now (I believe) sits in the Ante-Chapel along with him.’

[162]  Agamemnon.

[163a]  Written in French, 22 July 1873.

[163b]  The Family of Love, vol. viii p. 43.

[163c]  Ibid. p. 40.

[164]  Tacitus, by W. B. Donne, in Ancient Classics for English Readers, 1873.

[165]  Ann. xiv. 10.

[169]  In January 1874, Donne wrote to Thompson, ‘You probably know that our friend E. F. G. has been turned out of his long inhabited lodgings by a widow weighing at least fourteen stone, who is soon to espouse, and sure to rule over, his landlord, who weighs at most nine stone—“impar congressus.”  “Ordinary men and Christians” would occupy a new and commodious house which they have built, and which, in this case, you doubtless have seen.  But the FitzGeralds are not ordinary men, however Christian they may be, and our friend is now looking for an alien home for himself, his books, pictures, and other “rich moveables.”’

[170]  See Midsummer Night’s Dream, iii. i. 137.

[171]  A copy of Pickersgill’s portrait of Crabbe.

[172]  Dryburgh.

[173]  Dryburgh.

[174]  See the Chronicle of the Drum.

[184]  Chapter iv.

[187]  Tales of the Hall.  Book x. (vol. vi. p. 246).

[188a]  Carlyle’s niece, now Mrs. Alexander Carlyle.

[188b]  To his nephew Tom, meaning that he should outlive him.  Letter of Jeremiah Markland (Bowyer’s Miscellaneous Tracts, ed. Nichols, p. 521).

[189]  That his boat was intentionally run down by a felucca.

[193]  Among my Books.  First series.

[196]  June 10, 1876, was a Saturday.  Perhaps the letter was finished on Sunday.

[197]  In 1851.  Wordsworth’s Letters are in the second volume, pp. 145-173.

[198]  Boswell’s Johnson, viii. 183.

[199]  Haydon’s Memoirs, iii. 199.

[200]  Archdeacon Groome, Rector of Monk Soham, Suffolk.

[202]  Suffolk for ‘donkey.’

[206]  The Song of Brunanburh by Hallam Tennyson.  Contemporary Review, Nov. 1876.

[208]  In 1863 he wrote to George Crabbe,—

‘I am now reading Clarissa Harlowe, for about the fifth time: I dare say you wouldn’t have patience to read it once: indeed the first time is the most trying.  It is a very wonderful, and quite original, and unique, Book: but almost intolerable from its Length and Sentimentality.’

[213]  See p. 207.

[217]  In Crabbe’s Borough.

[219a]  Essais, i. 18.

[219b]  Lucr. iv. 76-80.

[220a]  Formerly Professor of Sanskrit in King’s College, London.

[220b]  On English Adjectives in -able, with special reference to reliable, 1877.

[224]  The Hon. J. R. Lowell, formerly United States Minister at the Courts of Madrid and St. James’.

[231]  Chap. xlv.

[234]  Mélanges et Lettres.

[237]  Memorials of Charlotte Williams-Wynn, p. 59.

[238]  Criticisms, and Elucidations of Catullus, by H. A. J. Munro.

[239]  Of Lamb’s Life, mentioned in the following letter.

[240a]  Book ii.  Song 2.

[240b]  Endymion, i. 26, etc.

[240c]  FitzGerald’s memory was at fault here.  The lines are from Tennyson’s Gardener’s Daughter.

[242]  Charles Lamb.  A calendar of his life in four pages.

[243]  That to Bernard Barton about Mitford’s vases, December 1, 1824.

[247]  A calendar of Charles Lamb’s Life.

[251]  Not in the Essays but in the Colours of Good and Evil, 4: ‘For as he sayth well, Not to resolve is to resolve.’

[252]  See Lamb’s Verses to Ayrton (Letters, ed. Ainger, ii. 2).

[253]  The Only Darter, A Suffolk Clergyman’s Reminiscence.  Written in the Suffolk Dialect by Archdeacon Groome under the name of John Dutfen.

[254]  Wesley’s Journal, 30 May 1786, and 22 May 1788.

[255a]  Edwin Edwards.

[255b]  Lowestoft.

[256a]  These two lines are crossed out.

[256b]  Tales of the Hall, Book xi. vol. vi., p. 284, quoted from memory.

[259a]  This was never finished.

[259b]  Lord Carnarvon.

[267]  Tales of the Hall, Book x.

[270]  A year before, FitzGerald wrote to Professor Cowell:

‘I was trying yesterday to recover Gray’s Elegy, as you had been doing down here at Christmas, with shut Eyes.  But I had to return to the Book: and am far from perfect yet: though I leave out several Stanzas; reserving one of the most beautiful which Gray omitted.  Plenty of faults still: but one doats on almost every line, every line being a Proverb now.’

[271]  Tales of the Hall, Book xiv. (vol. vii. p. 89).

[272]  Tales of the Hall, Book xiv. (vol. vii. p. 89).

[273]  On Foot in Spain, by J. S. Campion, 1879.

[274]  From Calderon’s Cada uno para sí, the seven lines beginning ‘Bien dijo uno, que su planta’ (Comedias, ed. Keil, iv. 731).

[277]  Edwards died on Sept. 15.  ‘Those two and their little Dunwich in Summer were among my Pleasures; and will be, I doubt, among my Regrets.’  So he wrote me at the end of 1877.

[280a]  C. K. of Punch.

[280b]  Now in my possession.

[281]  In the Atlantic Monthly for May 1880, ‘A Neglected Poet,’ by G. E. Woodberry.

[282]  Tales of the Hall, Book iv. vol. vi. p. 71.

[283]  Tales of the Hall, Book iii. vol. vi. p. 61.

[285a]  From the Life of Lord Houghton, by Mr. Wemyss Reid, ii. 406, and by his kind permission inserted here.

[285b]  Printed 1881.

[286]  FitzGerald was reading Lord Seaton’s Regiment (the 52nd Light Infantry) at the Battle of Waterloo, by the Rev. W. Leeke, who as Ensign Leeke carried the colours of the regiment on the 18th of June.

[290]  Edwin Edwards.

[293]  A sheltered path in the field next his garden, where he walked for hours together.

[302]  Spedding died on March 9.

[303]  The death of Spedding.

[308a]  Now (1893) the Dowager Lady Tennyson.

[308b]  See p. 219.

[309]  Printed in the Life of Archdeacon Allen, by Prebendary Grier, pp. 35-37.

[311]  In Macmillan’s Magazine for April 1881.

[313]  Mrs. Kemble was at Leamington.

[317]  Euphranor.

[322]  Nearly two years before, 21st March 1880, Fitzgerald wrote to Professor Cowell: ‘My dear Donne (who also was one object of my going) seemed to me feebler in Body and Mind than when I saw him in October: I need not say, the same Gentleman.  Mrs. Kemble says that he, more than any one she has known, is the man to do what Boccaccio’s Hero of the Falcon did.’  This was said, Mrs. Kemble informs me, by her sister Mrs. Sartoris.

[323]  Keene recommended FitzGerald to read Roger North’s Memoir of Music.  ‘You will see in North,’ he says, ‘that Old Rowley was a bit of a musician and sang “a plump Bass.”  Can’t you hear him?’  His question to me was about the meaning of the word ‘fastously,’ which is not a musical term, but described the conduct of an Italian violinist, Nicolai Matteis, who gave himself airs, ‘and behaved fastously’ or haughtily.  Barrow uses both ‘fastuous’ and ‘fastuously.’

[324a]  The Whole Body of Cookery Dissected, published in 1682.

[324b]  A volume of 17th century pamphlets, containing among others Howell’s Dodona’s Grove, given me by Archdeacon Groome.

[326]  Edward Marlborough FitzGerald.

[327]  Euphranor, referred to in the following letters.

[328]  Now (1893) Lord Tennyson.

[330a]  Virgil’s Garden, printed in Temple Bar for April, 1882.

[330b]  Longfellow died 26th March, and Emerson 27th April, 1882.

[337]  20 June, 1882.

[342]  A newspaper cutting: ‘ALDEBURGH.  The Storm.  On Tuesday evening the tide ran over the Promenade, in many places the river and sea meeting.  The cattle are all sent inland, and all the houses at Slaughden are evacuated.’


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