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that tender mockery which is of the very nature of love. Humour, indeed, in that aspect is more entirely his than it is an attribute of any of his contemporaries. Dickens is scarcely tender even of Mr Micawber, and the keen malice in Thackeray's eyes dances at the imperfections which he cannot help noting with delighted amusement even in the midst of his softest delineation; but in Reade there is a melting tone in the midst of the fun always, and while he is never above a laugh at his most cherished hero, he is always ready to turn in the twinkling of an eye into wrath with any man who lays a finger upon him, or scorn of the spectator who may be led away by his own loving banter. He wrote less, if we except his dramas, than any of his contemporaries in fiction; and as the dramas are in most cases either taken from or worked into novels, they can scarcely be taken as adding much to the quantity of his productions. And in all the energy and fervour of his genius, the most fiery spirit, and perhaps the most poetic imagination of his period, he never reached to that universalness, to use a bard's word, which has lifted Thackeray and Dickens over his head-we scarcely tell why-nor can we help feeling that to be contemporary with these men, and therefore inferior to them, was in some sense to this vaulting spirit an injury and wrong. May it lie lightly upon him, that "large sarcophagus of Mull granite" which covers what was mortal of Charles Reade! We should have chosen a soft and kindly sod for him instead, which he could have thrown aside lightly when that


great day of resurrection, in which from his grave he declares his faith, shall come. We need not fear, however, that all the granite of Mull will hold down that hotheaded Immortal when the sound of the great trumpet echoes among the tombs.


The memoir of Anne Gilchrist 1 is one which it was wholly unnecessary to write. It is a record of the modest and altogether uneventful life of a good woman who lost her husband at an early age, and bravely struggled on through the burdened ways of existence, bringing up her children and fulfilling all her duties as, let us thank heaven, a countless number of good women do who look for no honour or praise for it, and receive none. Her claims to literary reputation are of the slenderest. husband was the author of the Life of Blake, a work which has no doubt contributed much to extend the knowledge of that primitive and half-miraculous poet-painter, which is a good thing; but which has likewise organised, or at least revived, a sort of fantastic worship of him, which is much less good. The book, though successful in its object, was not of itself remarkable, although very laborious and conscientious. But the writer and his wife were members of a little band who, both in literature and art, have got themselves more talked about than any other coterie of their time; and this is perhaps the reason why young Mr Gilchrist has thought it necessary to add a memoir of his mother to the abundant literature which has gathered, and is still gathering, round the studio of Rossetti and his companions. It is a little hard upon us to be obliged to reckon with

1 Anne Gilchrist: Her Life and Writings. London: T. Fisher Unwin.

By Herbert H. Gilchrist.

another volume, and receive a roll of the pedigree and connection of Mrs Gilchrist, because she was acquainted with the Rossettis and other notable persons in literature and art. The following is an example of the style of the book :—

"We may find a suggestion of John Parker Burrows' personal appearance in the fact that the lawyer when walking would not unfrequently be mistaken for Sir Thomas Lawrence by friends of the latter," is the interesting beginning of the biography. "Mrs Burrows spoke of the physi

cian's admiration for her little one. The old doctor would come daily during bath-time to study the most beautifully formed baby' he had ever seen. The child must have had a memory to remember her first lesson -that of toddling from mother to


Annie (Gilchrist) possessed a 'kind and good father' who recognised ability in his daughter, and did all he could to develop the child's mind and character. John P. Burrows was fond of music, and often would little Annie be taken to hear a fine chorister; or sometimes on Sunday afternoon the two would walk from Gower Street to the Zoological Gardens. No wonder if the little feet ached on these occasions! At other times this companionable father would empty his pockets of coppers (before dressing) for Annie's benefit, Ann Carwardine's granddaughter taking care of their bright faces until there had accumulated enough to buy a rosewood desk. It must have been a pretty sight to see the father listening to his daughter's first piece, 'La Petite Surprise,' the chubby fingers of five summers rendering the small intricacies of this French composition upon the piano with painstaking fidelity. "Anne has a playmate in John F. Burrows, the typical brother, who burns the dollies of a yielding and half-hearted devotee of dolly."

It is inexcusable to pile a mass of nonsense like this upon the grave of a good woman who never did anything to expose herself to such treatment. There was nothing in her character or work to call

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for the jargon of the biographiser, and John P. and John T. Burrows are out of place anywhere, save in an American village. But " companionable father is a fine phrase ""mobled queen' is good." There is an affectionate condescension in it, very characteristic of the literary grandson looking down from an amiable elevation on the predecessor who was happy enough to be instrumental in producing him.

bad and entirely uncalled for, it is Nevertheless, though the book is not without interest-an interest which does not, however, attach to the chief personages of the record. Alexander Gilchrist, who died so early, was evidently a hard-working literary man, with a considerable knowledge of art, and indefatigable in research, following upon the trace of rare engravings and scraps of illustration in the true spirit of a collector. "He was regarded," says Mr W. M. Rossetti, "in my own circle as the best equipped and ablest of the various art-critics on the periodical press.' And his taste was evidently catholic and impartial, since he stepped from the Life of Etty to that of Blake, with but little interval, with the composure of an honest workman to whom one piece of work is as good as another. But his interest in engravings and the valuable historical illustrations

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supplied by old prints brought him in contact with Carlyle at the time when he was busy upon his 'Frederick,' and eager for everything that threw a little light upon the crowded and tumultuous period which he had undertaken to elucidate. This led to a correspondence, and finally to the establishment of the young ménage of the Gilchrists next door to the Carlyles in Cheyne Row, and to much pleasant intercourse the elder


and greater pair extending to extending to the younger that warm kindness and interest for which they were always remarkable before they came in their turn to be biographised. The most interesting pages in this book are those in which Mr Alexander Gilchrist notes his recollection of evenings spent in that now desecrated house-recol

lections which bring before us the pretty old-fashioned drawing-room, the kindly Sage, the lively talk, the pleasant and genial atmosphere of the place-in which the world has been taught to believe there was nothing but a sullen sense of wrong and perpetual storms. The record is very simple but very true. It is dated in 1857, after the conclusion of the Crimean


"Called on Carlyle about half-past three. Lady Stanley and her friend Mrs Brown were there. They talked the usual small-talk-about the Peace, the Naval Review, and so forth. Carlyle agreed with them in being glad of peace on any terms.' Reverting to the subject of the Naval Review, and what a muddle it had been, Lady Stanley said it was not to be talked of but under the breath; but the Queen was the cause of the confusion in not having chosen some other day -the previous day-and slept at the Isle of Wight.

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Carlyle. Well, I suppose the Queen thought it was hard if she, of all her subjects, must choose a day which was inconvenient to her.

"Lady S. Oh, but the line was shut up by her going; and the greedy railway people took more passengers than they could accommodate.

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Carlyle. I heard drunken peers were seen about.

Lady S. No; drunken stokers. "Carlyle. Ah! there was a good deal of spirituous liquor going.

"Carlyle asked Miss Brown whether she was related by her ancestors to a Marshal Brown, an Irish Jacobite, and distinguished in the Austrian service? Carlyle mentioned that there were two

Browns, Austrian generals; Marshal Brown, the more celebrated. A life of him (French) in existence which anything about him. he had never seen. Couldn't find out

Miss Brown didn't know-he probably was related. One Brown, an ancestor, had offered the crown of Ireland to the family. Miss Brown thinks he had been hung.

"It was a hanging business that.' Carlyle ended by asking her to inquire into the history of the Browns it would oblige him much.

"When I first went in, the ladies were commending Carlyle's beard. 'There is much to be said in favour of a beard. I see them gradually appearing up and down the world.' Admitted upright collars did not go well with them: flat linen ones which used to be worn with beards were necessary.

"The pretty lady talked much with Mrs Carlyle, next whom she sat-Carlyle with Miss Brown. On leaving, the pretty lady coaxingly said to Carevening? Now, don't screw up your lyle, 'You will come to my Saturday mouth so; you must say Yes.' (Lady Yes, now. Stanley, speaking imperatively) 'Say 'Yes,' round and full says Carlyle; who then conducted them to the street door."

This is nothing; but it is full of good-natured ease, the great man willing to linger in his wife's drawing-room, ready for a jest, to twit "the pretty lady," who could not refrain from a little dart under her breath at the Queen not displeased even to have his growing beard discussed (beards were rare in those days). The genial insignificance of the pretty scene is soothing to those who have seen that great man so gently courteous, listening to the smallest little voices without a sign of impatience: it helps to erect again the four protecting walls which have been shattered into such remorseless ruin. The next scene is of more general interest:

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doing with it. I stated that I had delivered his letter to Chapman, but was giving my MS. a last revisal before sending it in. He talked of the difficulties of a book, of getting it done, of reducing chaos to order. The whole world seems against you, but it is not so. Other men knock against you who are simply thinking of them selves, not of you at all. Carlyle's difficulties as to maps: sent for some to Germany; certain towns, battlefields of Frederick's, he wanted; reads maps very ill now to what he used to; obliged to use spectacles for them, through these cannot see quickly.

"Carlyle took his seat on the footstool by the fire as usual, to smoke: talk fell on the dog Nero, now very ailing. Mrs Carlyle has had it ten and a half years; six months old when Nero was brought to her. Carlyle says, 'Never dog had given trouble more disproportionate to its use and worth than Nero had to him.' Mrs Carlyle: 'It Mrs Carlyle: It had been worth it all.' He denied it, and reiterated the absurdity of

its existence. It would be a kindness to kill it. Mrs Carlyle: 'If he is to be believed, he shouldn't make affectionate speeches to Nero in the garden when he thought no one heard.'

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When this poor dog was killed by the doctor some time afterwards, the record is: " Carlyle that evening cried like a child."

We must make one other extract, though it has still nothing to do with the Gilchrists, being a report of a conversation between Mrs Carlyle and Mrs Gilchrist.

"Annie called on Mrs Carlyle, whose husband is in great misery over his proofs: always is; alters and re-alters always, and won't let them alone. Mrs Carlyle reads them, and suggests alterations. Carlyle begins by calling her a fool, and so on, and ends often, after a few days, by saying he thinks

he shall strike out so-and-so.' This

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time the proofs seemed to Mrs Car lyle to hang fire the story not to progress. A great deal about 'our melancholy friend,' which impeded

the progress. One passage in particular, justifying 'torture': the world has ceased to care for justice. 'If Mr Carlyle had had space to go more into it, he might have made good his position; but as it was, the impression would simply be: Mr Carlyle regrets the abolition of torture.' He at first angry with her. She, like the rest of the world, did not care for justice; did not see the distinction between the guilty and the innocent.' The first day Mr Carlyle came down very cross in the evening, saying that he had done nothing all day, hang it! had spent all the afternoon trying to alter that paragraph of hers, and he couldn't. The second day uneasy, the third day more so; the fourth sent L. in post-haste to recall the proofs, that he might strike out the whole of 'our melancholy friend's' remarks."

This is worth volumes of description as to the terms on which this pair stood with each other, and is perfectly true at once to fact and to nature.

The book has thus an interest entirely apart from its primary subjects. There is a great deal about the Rossettis, both the more and less famous members of the family, letters of condolence, letters of encouragement, a great deal of friendly and pleasant, but in no way remarkable, correspondence. And if any reader should desire to know how a poet looks and speaks when he is in search of a piece of land to build himself a house upon, he will find it fully set forth here - Mrs Gilchrist oured instrument of leading Lord having been the happy and honTennyson and his family to the delightful heights of Aldworth. Such episodes were the pleasure and charm of a life which was full of hard work and dutiful accomplishment of all a mother's offices -mingled with a little literature, not enough to be oppressive. When Mrs Gilchrist had reached the maturity of middle age, a


selection from the poems of Walt Whitman, published by Mr W. M. Rossetti, affected her mind with a passionate enthusiasm worthy of the first outburst of youth; and her letter-essay on this subject, called "An Englishwoman's Estimate of Walt Whitman," which is re-presented in the end of the volume, seems to have been received with warm approbation in America. This is not the place for any criticism of Whitman, so that we are unable to enter into the impassioned plea which she makes for a poet not understanded of the people. It is startling to hear that "he takes up the thread where Christ left it," and that "he inaugurates in his own person a new phase of religion." And we find another proof of that abnormal attraction which a class of highly cultured women in this age find in subjects naturally revolting to their womanhood, in her hot conviction that the poet's treatment of the subject of love, especially in its physical aspects, required "corroboration, acceptance from a woman, before it could be accepted by men." To decide from whence this strange perversion comes would be a curious question; probably the very revolt against such discussions has the result of violently driving into them a mind which has forced itself to reject as conventional the usual and natural bonds and limitations. This is at least the only way in which we can explain it to ourselves. "I often feel as if my enterprise were very like Lady Godiva's as if hers indeed were typical of mine," Mrs Gilchrist says, with, the reader will perceive, a robust confidence in her own power of convincing the world. But she has not yet, at least, convinced the world that Walt Whitman is the greatest of prophets and poets. What a wonderful blessing to the

world that the Christian faith, though it has done more for women than all the other religions put together, should have dwelt so little upon that question of sex which plays so large a part in all the heresies of this time, and of others before this!

Mrs Gilchrist wrote a life of Mary Lamb in the "Eminent Women" series, and several stories and magazine articles besides this Whitman defence and plea. We wonder, by the by, how Mary Lamb, poor suffering soul, came to figure as an eminent woman? She is a most pathetic figure, caught thus, a very fly in amber, on the edge of that notable group whose dependants and hangers-on have not escaped the fierce light that beats upon the paths of genius as well as upon a throne; but personal eminence is, after all, a different matter. This, however, has nothing to do with Mrs Gilchrist, who executed her commission well and sympathetically. "My dear, you write very nicely too!" had been said to her long before by Mrs Carlyle, who was not enthusiastic about literary performances generally. One wonders, by the way, under what rule it is that young writers take upon themselves to speak by their Christian names of eminent persons much older than themselves? Jane Carlyle is what the young gentleman who is the author of this volume takes upon himself to call the philosopher's wife. He carries the habit still further, familiarly mentioning his own grandmother as Henrietta Soand-so. We think that the line should certainly be drawn at a man's grandmother, both metaphorically and actually. No excellence or superiority in your own person can make it meet that you should call that venerable lady Henrietta.

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