Obrazy na stronie


of delightful little girls, and only recounts how she had been pressed find them again in maturity, carry- to dance, but declared that her ing on the extensive work which dancing days were over, at that was to occupy their life. We re- respectable age. Throughout all, member that it used to be the idea indeed, the accomplished authoress of the time that Elizabeth Strick- retains the essentially feminine, as land was the underground worker, understood in those pretty old hunting up authorities and veri- days when Jane Austen shrank fying references, and Agnes, the from having her performances eloquent writer, who turned the known, and would not for the whole into so pretty a web of world appear as a literary lady. mingled fact and fancy. We can

We can Miss Strickland was so far moved remember

to have heard by the spirit of the nineteenth speculations among the unrespect- century that she accepted and ful youth of the period, as to which liked this position ; but she was poke-bonnet in the old reading- a woman and a lady, not withroom of the British Museum cor- out the becoming affectations of ered the diligent brain of Elizabeth, an “elegant female,” through all. whose absolute self-sacrifice for her We remember a serio-comic acsister was the theme of a persistent count of an interview with her tradition. As usually happens in publishers, in which accounts or such cases, it was not true-Eliza- balance sheets were not to her beth being on the whole the more taste. Having tried in vain to vigorous writer of the two, but re- get them arranged to please her, taining, notwithstanding all the she took refuge in one of these changed ideas of the time about pretty devices of delicacy supposed female authorship, a determined then to be distinctive of the wodisinclination to the sight of her man who never could understand own name in print. It is very business—the woman whom all probable that she

more men were supposed to approve. original and marked character than She covered her forehead with her her sister, by all the indications lady-like hands—"Oh, my poor that peep through the veil of seclu- head !” she cried. How could even sion and silence, in which it seems the obdurate heart of a publisher to have been her pleasure to wrap resist such an appeal ? herself. The absence of information Apart from Agnes herself, there in such a case is suggestive. But are various glimpses of interesting Agnes was not born to blush un- persons in this book. The followseen. She went everywhere and ing is a very painful one; but it saw everybody, and made friends is an unusually vivid momentary wherever she turned, and her rec- look into a singularly successful, ords of her visits, her pretty toilets, almost great, but neither honoured and the dainty little feminine oc- nor happy life. It is from the cupations with which she filled up account of a visit to Brougham the crevices of her life, are always Castle. lively and readable. It is difficult to describe a number of country

“ His own home was not the place to house visits with originality. She

see the greit jurisconsult to advanwas still interested in her - ele- tage. He was labouring for the good gant ball toilet” and all her de his very advanced age, and was aus

of countless generations to come, at corations after she had reached tere and even morose in the domestic the mature age of seventy, and circle. All his affections seemed con



but was

centrated in his brother's youngest ed in the art of song. But nobody son, a sweet little boy named Reginald, who has read Miss Burney's record to whom he wrote when absent every of her servitude need seek the day, and of whose liking for Agnes he

dimmer reflection in these pages was apparently jealous—his passionate love for this child presenting the only with any hope of further insight. pleasing feature in his domestic char. The tragedy of that simple, formal, acter. To Lady Brougham he never innocent, unhappy Court is deep spoke, and the situation of this poor enough to bear a more powerful lady in her own house appeared to touch; but that is not to be found Agnes very pitiable ; for though she

here. was not capable of guiding it, a kind word from her distinguished husband

It is difficult in literature, as in would have been dearly appreciated anything else, to forget at this by her. Ah,' she said, with a moment the existence of that deep sigh, he was not always cross, troublesome aud restless compan

very fascinating.' Lord ion to whom fate and propinquity, Brougham seemed worn out and and that close kindred of mixed irritable when he appeared at dinner. races which Ireland tries to ignore, His intense studies and hard work

has bound us. probably caused his morose manners.

We have laid aside Although he was the benefactor of for another time a very interesting his own family, no female member and valuable little book, Indusof it seemed to love him but his trial Ireland'; but here are the neglected wife."

two handsome volumes, just pubNothing could well be sadder lished, by Mr O'Neill Daunt, one than this glimpse of the lonely of the survivors of O'Connell's band self-consuming life sinking morose- of moral-force repealers, to which ly among the clouds.

we must direct the reader's attenThe reader will not, we think, tion. Here surely is an opportumuch care for Mrs Papendiek's ac- nity of studying the Union and its count of the Court of George III. consequences through the eyes of and Queen Charlotte a frank and an Irish Nationalist and repealer. simple servants'- hall history of the But alas for our disappointment ! exalted gods and goddesses which Little does Mr Daunt's book dekings and queens appear to their serve its title. We expect a conlackeys. There is little interest nected and proportioned account in its monotonous records, except, of the events of the century. We indeed, when the excellent person find Mr Daunt's views of the who writes comes across some of Union, a very lengthy account of the musical celebrities of the time, some of the incidents in O'Conbeing herself a musician, and apt in nell's career, obsolete scandals her house at Kew or Windsor to against Orangemen, elaborate rereceive now and then stray nota- futations of forgotten newspaper bilities of this kind, German or paragraphs, a dissertation on the otherwise, who were always hang- evils of the late Irish Church, and ing on about the dull but tuneful very little beside. The history of Court. Mrs Papendiek was herself the book explains its composition. more than half-German, and learn- New and comprehensive as its

i Court and Private Life in the Time of Queen Charlotte. Being the Journals of Mrs Papendiek, Bedchamber-woman to her Majesty. London : Richard Bentley & Son. 1887.

2 Eighty-Five Years of Irish History—1800-1885. By William Joseph O'Neill Daunt. 2 vols. crown 8vo. London: Ward & Downey.

[ocr errors]


[ocr errors]


title sounds, it is nothing more promote the interests of the Land than the republication, with a League. I had hoped that Mr Parnew title, a new preface, and nell, the leader of the movement,

would have strongly and sternly detwo or three new chapters, of a

nounced the outrages

as horrible work which originally appeared in offences to Almighty God, injurious 1845, immediately after O'Con- to the cause he advocated, and unnell's trial, under the more appro- speakably disgraceful to the character priate name of Ireland and her of the country. He certainly proAgitators,' and republished nounced them to be unnecessary, but under the same name in 1867, in this gentle condemnation did not prethe crisis of the attack on the

vent their frequent repetition." Irish Church. Mr O'Neill Daunt But the reason of the republicais no doubt free to republish his tion of the book is not to be found works under any title he pleases, in such a passage as this, but in but it would be well that either the accounts of the rebellion of in the introduction or elsewhere 1798 and the Union. Mr Daunt he should give some idea of their believes that he has in Mr Gladhistory.

stone an illustrious convert to the Mr Daunt of course writes as a Nationalist views of those transstrong Nationalist, though by no actions, and restates those views means as a Parnellite. His book, with the most laudable explicithowever, has not always been

ness :quite brought up to date. It is amusing, for example, to find such deliberately provoked in order to give

• The rebellion [of 1798] ... was a passage as the following over- England a pretext for filling Ireland looked:

with troops to crush out popular op

The “ Mr Gladstone seized the moment Union is the offspring of conjoined

position to the Union. of our helpless prostration to add fifty- fraud and force. The Governtwo per cent to our previous taxes ; which friendly achievement consti- in order that the popular strength

ment goaded the people to rebellion tutes

, I presume, his claim to the might be paralysed by civil war and enthusiastic confidence so warmly its attendant horrors, so as to enable expressed by some of his Irish ad- Mr Pitt to force the legislative Union mirers.” 1

on a prostrate and divided people. ... Upon the subject of the Land The tranquillity of the country just League agitation and its outrages, Pitt's designs against Ireland. ... To he writes as a worthy disciple of exasperate the friends of reform not O'Connell :

only by an insolent rejection of their

claims, but also by a shameless perse“ The agitation, based on an un- verance in the practice of parliamentdoubted grievance and professing to ary corruption, became a settled part rescue the aggrieved from their op- of the policy of the Government. It pressors, was unhappily accompanied was likewise resolved to exasperate by a multitude of crimes. For many the Catholics. It was not difficult months the newspapers contained a for an able and unscrupulous Minister black record of constantly recurring to embroil this kingdom in a civil war, murders, cruel mutilations of cattle,and the results of which might facilitate destruction of property. I inferred his favourite scheme of a Union. .. from my conversations with peasants How completely he (Lord Fitzwilliam] that the perpetrators of these out- fell into the trap laid by Pitt ; how rages believed that their crimes would thoroughly he credited the sincerity

i Vol. i. p. 311.

2 Vol. ii. p. 213.

of Pitt's insincere declarations in fa- more baleful nearer home. No vour of the Catholics! . . . Pitt had wonder that Mr Daunt, if he no other intention than driving the believes this, should speak of Catholics to desperation by disap- " Pitt's infernal policy”. and pointing the hopes thus treacherously excited. A rebellion was just “series of demoniac crimes.” No what Pitt wanted. . . It was 'not wonder that Mr Gladstone, if he infatuation [by which Mr Pitt was has accepted this view, has blosled), except so far as infatuation somed into all the exuberant consists in deliberate and systematic flowers of epithet that have lately wickedness. To provoke rebellion

graced his utterances. was the object of Pitt's policy; and

But is this the case which Unionthe exasperation of the Catholics, excited by political disappointment, con

ists have to meet ? Can it be postributed to the success of that pol- sible that this is the position of icy... : A rebellion was deemed a Mr Gladstone? Mr Gladstone has useful means of laying waste the never explicitly stated it, but there strength of this kingdom.”ı

are various indications that he

adopts it. The charge is no new This is the Nationalist view of one: it forms part of the “ terrible history. These are the frightful proofs and citations” in O'Connell's charges which Nationalist writers great Dublin speech of 1843, which lightly, and as matter of course, Mr Gladstone in this Magazine bring against the Irish and English challenged Lord Brabourne to conGovernments. It is not merely fute. It is pointed at by the ex-alleged that those Governments treme violence of Mr Gladstone's were severe or even ferocious in language, and still more definitely suppressing fancied or real rebel- by his remark to Major Saurderlion. It is not merely stated that son, “ It was Pitt who led up to they applied corrupt arguments the rebellion.”' ? Mr Daunt, at all to corrupt politicians. They are events, is fully satisfied that he charged with something far blacker has the assent of Mr Gladstone to than cruelty or bribery. They are his thesis. But still it is hardly charged with having pursued for credible. Are sane Englishmen years a particular course of policy really being asked to frame their for the express purpose of creating present policy on the hypothesis a rebellion which should devastate that “the pilot who weathered the and destroy the country intrusted storm," the statesman who for to their care, for no other reason seventeen years possessed the enthan the covetousness, malignant thusiastic confidence of a country hatred, and petty spite of Mr in which party almost vanished, Pitt. It may be remembered that was a monster of such unspeakable the horrors of the French Revolu- wickedness as the charge supposes ? tion, and all the wars and troubles Are they to believe that their own that followed, were attributed in grandfathers were so blinded or so their time to the gold of Pitt. We corrupted as to accept and indorse laugh at the foreign invention of a such iniquity with cordiality and convenient enemy on whom all almost unbroken unanimity? Was harm can be fathered ; but the it ignorance or was it depravity fiction, if not less ridiculous, is that, more than a generation after

[ocr errors]

i Vol. i. pp. 14-25.

2 Interjected in the gallant member's speech on the Government of Irelar.d Bill, 12th April 1886.


Mr Pitt's death, led a political which Mr O'Connell or Mr Daunt opponent to say, as his deliberate brings forward to support so terjudgment of the conduct of Mr rible an accusation, is that the Pitt to Ireland

Government were for a year be

fore the outbreak of the rebellion “ It is only just to his memory to say, that he formed a scheme of policy in possession of information with so grand and so simple, so righteous regard to the Ulster leaders. and so humane, that it would alone On the strength of this, it is said entitle him to a high place among that the Government might at any statesmen"?1

moment have arrested and conDoes the charge need anything victed the leaders; and they are more than the plain naked state- accused of having cherished and ment which Mr Daunt has given nursed the rebellion as a means of it to refute itself and to destroy forwarding their fiendish machinaall faith in the historical trust- tions against the Irish nation. But worthiness of any man who can the Government were absolutely put forward or believe such a helpless in the matter. Traitors monstrosity ? But the case does there were in plenty, and the Govnot rest there. If the charge is ernment had full secret informaold, the reply is old too. Mr ticn of what was planning. But Daunt adds nothing to the case respect for their own lives made made by O'Connell in the House the informers, one and all, decline of Commons in 1834. We need to give evidence in open court on add litile to the reply made in any terms whatever. The choice that debate by Sir Robert Peel, of the Government was therefore and hitherto accepted as final by limited. Sometimes they arrested, all Englishmen. Putting aside all on comparatively trivial charges, knowledge of Mr Pitt and of the men such as Orr and O'ConnorBritish nation, and assuming that men whom they knew then, and Mr Pitt was the monster of cal- the world knows now, to have culating wickedness which the been deeply engaged in treasoncharge supposes, and that Ireland, able practices. In these cases except for his deliberate and in- they were attacked for having tentional efforts, would have re- created disaffection, and endeavmained quiet, peaceable, and loyal, oured by their tyranny to make would he have chosen as the a rebellion explode. time to stimulate a serious rebel- At other times they were conlion a moment when the national strained to wait better evidence existence of Great Britain was and the progress of events. For in the most urgent danger from such conduct they are now accused France? Is it to be supposed that of having sought to nurse and enhe who could wait a dozen years courage rebellion. to wreak vengeance for a slight Both charges are equally unwrought on him by the Irish Par- true. We know from the State liament in 1785, would not wait a papers 'to which Mr Froude has single year to get his hands free had access—as we might safely from the death-struggle in which have assumed even without evihis country was involved ?

dence—that Lord Camden's strong But let us examine on what the desire was to arrest and bring to charge is based. The only fact open trial all the leaders of treason,

i Macaulay, Life of Pitt. Works, vol. vii. p. 397.

« PoprzedniaDalej »