Obrazy na stronie


chronicle has ever devoted so large and desultory conflict were made a proportion of space to the inci- intelligible. dents of conflict and to individual A whole generation thus not effort and achievement. The result only grew to manhood, but was of this unique mixture of fact and approaching middle age, while fancy, conveyed in a style of extra- Kinglake was seated amidst the ordinary and sustained animation, multitudinous materials of his has been found, and will continue task. And when he had obtained to be found, highly attractive as all the testimony possible respectthe expression of an intellect rare ing a particular feature of the both in its qualities and in the campaign, and had at last comcombination of them, and wield- posed the narrative of it, the ing a great and refined literary piece of work was still far from power.

ended. For then his fastidious When, therefore, the family of taste stepped in, and the polishing Lord Raglan invited him to under- of the manuscript was continued take the history of the war, he with unwearying zeal the already possessed a strong and per- proofs, till finish could go no sonal interest in the subject, as well further. All this time the colas another qualification for the task lection of evidence for future —namely, an extraordinary ardour volumes was going on; and perfor investigating and celebrating haps the most singular witnesses all kinds of warlike achievement. who appeared before his judicial His view of his duties was so con- chair were Lord Lucan and Lord scientious, and the pleasure he Cardigan, each intent on relieving took in them so incapable of cloy- himself of whatever of blame might ing, that they occupied nearly all attach to the famous action of the the remainder of his life. The Light Brigade. Lord Cardigan formidable masses of official papers was especially urgent in his represupplied him formed probably sentations, insomuch that Kingby no means the chief part of his lake speaks of a slight feeling materials. Upon every incident, of anger which his persistency all the evidence of the actors in gave me.” But if either noble it, or others possessing special in- lord imagined that he would be formation, was brought to bear. able to sway the mind of the All this had to be considered, re- judge he was grievously in error, conciled, and put in form, with a for Rhadamanthus himself could result that was sometimes happy, not have come to conclusions more sometimes not. The charge of the severely impartial. Heavy Brigade, for example, was His one paper in 'Blackwood' an affair of minutes; and when it is on the “Life of Madame de came to be expanded into seventy Lafayette,” which appeared in Seppages of the history, the distinc- tember 1872. Of the Reign of tive character of a short cavalry Terror it takes, as was to be exencounter was essarily lost. pected, a new and unconventional On the other hand, the long and view. The establishment of that confused struggle of Inkerman horrible domination is ascribed to formed a much more suitable sub- 'the supineness of those who should ject for close investigation; and have made head against its leaders. the result was that, for the first Everywhere,” says Kinglake, time, the phases of that obstinate “submission, submission, submis




sion, more than corresponding to these entertainments were somethe triple audacity of Danton." times a little shy of coming again, Speaking of the rule by guillotine, for an absolutism prevailed there, the writer asks, “What is the not a republic; the autocrat Haymeaning of all this? Were people ward seldom brooked contradicall madly wicked ? Not at all. tion-he was always positive, not Only a few were wicked; the rest to say contentious

and for a were cowed. ... That fatal guilt guest to maintain his own opinwhich had been the cause of so ions frequently led to war. But much evil in France is the guilt of however little inclined to venerResignation." In view of the indul- ate others, the irascible sage had gence accorded, with such shame- an extraordinary and invincible ful apathy, to mischief, of vari- esteem for Kinglake, who, without ous kinds, to the commonwealth, the slightest apparent attempt to which is crippling us as a nation, assert himself, received such a the matter of the paper is well degree of deference as, coming worth pondering, being far more from so peremptory a personage, applicable now than when it was and being so spontaneous, had written.

something touching in it. MoreKinglake's later years were over, this regard was of an active passed in that complete repose kind, and Hayward became in which wise men have in all times case of need his friend's champion, been supposed to covet. They —formidable both for the ardour will offer but scant material to a with which he would enter on a biographer. IIis walk in the Park, contest, and the logical power with his dinner and evening at the which he would maintain it, for Athenaeum, .were the chief of his his faculties were always ready recreations. Much of his time at to act with the precision and the club was passed in a singular snap of a well-oiled machine. companionship. Mr Hayward was Both of them had large acquainnever satisfied to dine alone—he tance with life and men, copious liked to have one or two friends hoards of recollection, quotation, to rely on, and then to add such and anecdote, and remarkable others as might fall in his way, powers of memory.

A trio was and whom he might consider eli- frequently made up by Mr, now gible for the purpose, it being in- Sir Edward, Bunbury, who, with a dispensable that they should be wider and deeper knowledge than persons of some note. A minister, either, had also a surprising memForster for example; an ambas- ory to render its stores at once sador on furlough, as Sir Henry available. Mr Chenery was also Bulwer; a traveller like Oliphant: welcome as bringing a deep learnsuch were invited (if a bidding so ing, as well as the new and imperemptory could be called an in- portant contributions to discussion vitation) to be of Hayward's party. which the editor of the Times' It was in vain to attempt an ex- must command. The alliance concuse, such as to say you were en- tinued to prosper up to the time gaged to somebody else, — Ilay- of Hayward's last illness. Kingward, like Justice Shallow, would lake was warm and assiduous to reply,

“ There is no excuse shall the end in his companionship,

-you shall not be excused." which was the consolation that People who had once assisted at most of all brightened the latter




days of his old friend. After that teristic of him that throughout he still continued to come to the that period he took this longclub, and was as good company as established home by the week.

Deafness, to which he had He was to be found there in long been subject, increased upon small double drawing - room him, however, and an eminent

the scene of his labours frequenter of the Athenæum once the front windows bearing on observed to the present writer: Hyde Park, those at the back “I always know when you are looking into St George's buryingdining, with Kinglake, for every- ground, a prospect not the more body hears everything that you cheerful for being quite close. say except Kinglake!” There When he moved it was farther was much humorous exaggeration, west, to larger and airier chamhowever, in this: he could hear a bers, still looking on the Park. companion quite well, and main- He was now well taken care of, tained a conversation without diffi- having placed himself in charge culty, and always with pleasure to of a professional nurse, a lady in the hearer. He was as precise in whom he was so lucky as to find memory, as epigrammatic in re- a companion at once helpful and mark as ever, and his observations agreeable. He continued to spend continued to be no less quaint and much time in reading, but he uncommon than those we had long probably did not get through recognised as peculiar to him. The many books, for he dealt with present writer, sitting at table the ideas of others as with his with him one evening when one own, long brooding over and rewho long ago was a leading advo- volving them. Even novels he cate of an important policy en- treated in this way, and of these tered the room, observed, " I sup- he had (for which he is to be pose, Kinglake, you knew Mr

highly commended) an unappeaswhen you were in the House ?”. able appetite for Mrs Oliphant's. Yes, yes, I knew him- a clever We knew no surer path to his man till he destroyed his intellect.” favour than to place in his hand “Good heavens ! how ? surely not in the drawing-room a new pro

We were about to venture duction of that prolific authoress. on a wild surmise, when he con- He was quite miserly in his jealtinued—“Destroyed his intellect ousy of this treasure; and in disby reading the newspapers.” No cussing her merits, as he was alexplanation was vouchsafed of ways ready to do, it would presthis oracular deliverance; but in ently appear that, though Scott, these days, when so many derive and Dickens, and Thackeray, and not only their information but Bulwer were all very well, the their opinions from an indiscrimi- novelist par excellence was Mrs nate flooding of their minds with Oliphant. Only there was light from the press, it may not path illuminated by her genius be deemed unsuggestive.

he would never enter on. About his eightieth year he don't like the supernatural,” he ceased altogether to come to the would say; and hence that extraclub, and near the same time he ordinary inspiration, “A Beleachanged his domicile. He had guered City," and her powerful for twenty years inhabited the ghost stories, remained unknown same rooms, and it was charac- to him. A book which was full


[ocr errors]

of interest for him, rousing once neatly cut; their calm expression more all his ready ardour for the did not often change. Friends military fame of the country, was might have known him long withLord Stanhope's Conversations out seeing him use one hurried with Wellington.' He would take gesture or hearing him utter a one of the Duke's opinions as a text, loud or hasty word. Below this to be cogitated on, viewed in every imperturbably placid demeanour light, and all possible meanings were incessantly at work the comextracted from it, which sermon- bative tendencies which lead to ising process caused the book to strong opinions, the refining prooccupy him for an extraordinary cesses of an intellect at once very length of time. His last year unresting and very acute, and was clouded by a terrible shadow that fire of the spirit which lends of approaching torment, from animation to the expression of which the only hope left to his thought. He will be friends was that a painless death bered, as he was always spoken might deliver him; and this sad of, with an affectionateness undidesire was realised.

nished by any suggestion of Mr Kinglake, short and slight abatement; for the effect of that of frame, preserved to the last remarkable personality was not a neat and always well-dressed only interesting and original, but figure. His features were very singularly engaging.


Printed by William Blackwood and Sons.

[blocks in formation]

The chief aim of this article is father as rector of Monk Soham. to present to a larger public than

Here in the course of forty-four years the readers of a country news

he built the rectory-house and school,

restored the fine old church, erected paper my father's Suffolk stories; but those stories may well be pre

an organ, and re-hung the bells. He

was Archdeacon of Suffolk from 1869 faced by a sketch of my father's

till 1887, when failing eyesight forced life. Such a sketch I wrote shortly him to resign, and when the clergy of after his death, for Mr Leslie the diocese presented him with his Stephen's great 'Dictionary of portrait. He died at Monk Soham, National Biography.' It runs

19th March 1889. Archdeacon

Groome was a man of wide culturethus :

a man, too, of many friends. Chief

among these were Edward Fitz“Robert Hindes Groome, Arch- Gerald, William Bodham Donne, Dr deacon of Suffolk, was born at Fram- Thompson of Trinity, and Henry lingham in 1810. Of Aldeburgh Bradshaw, the Cambridge librarian, ancestry, he was the second son of

who said of him, “I never see Groome the Rev. John Hindes Groome, ex- but what I learn something new.' fellow of Pembroke College, Cam- He read much, but published littlebridge, and rector for twenty-six a couple of charges, a sermon and years of Earl Soham and Monk lecture or two, some hymns and Soham in Suffolk. From Norwich hymn-tunes, and a good many articles school he passed to Caius College, in the Christian Advocate and ReCambridge, where he graduated B.A. view,' of which he was editor from in 1832, M.A. in 1836. In 1833 he 1861 to 1866. His best productions was ordained to the Suffolk curacy of are his Suffolk stories : for humour Tannington-with-Brundish ; in 1835 and tenderness these come near to travelled through Germany as tutor ‘Rab and his friends." to Rafael Mendizabal, the son of the Spanish ambassador; in 1839 became curate of Corfe Castle, Dorsetshire, of An uneventful life, like that of which little borough he was elected most country clergymen. But as mayor; and in 1845 succeeded his Gainsborough and Constable took


[ocr errors]


« PoprzedniaDalej »