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enjoyment of those who were something less quiet; and a question arising about a subscription in aid of a disabled artist, he instantly offered to increase, if necessary, a sum he had previously promised. The writer's very last recollection of the cynic, therefore, is in connection with an unasked act of Christian kindness. On the following Monday he attended the funeral of a lady, who was interred in Kensal Green Cemetery. On the Tuesday he came to his favorite club, the Garrick, and asked a seat at the table of two friends, who, of course, welcomed him as all welcomed Thackeray. It will not be deemed too minute a record by any of the hundreds who personally loved him to note where he sat for the last time in that club. There is in the dining-room on the first floor a nook near the reading-room. The principal picture hanging in that nook, and fronting you as you approach it, is the celebrated one from "The Clandestine Marriage," with Lord Ogleby, Canton, and Brush. Opposite to that Thackeray took his seat and dined with his friends. He was afterwards in the smoke-room, a place in which he delighted. The Garrick Club will remove in a few months, and all these details will be nothing to its new members, but much to many of its old ones. His place there will know him and them no more. On Wednesday he was out several times, and was seen in Palace-gardens "reading a book." Before the dawn of Thursday he was where there is no night! May we meet him there!
JAMES HANNAY ON THACKERAY.
By birth Mr. Thackeray belonged to the upper middle class, — a section of our curiously divided society which contains many cadets of old families, and forms a link between the aristocracy and the general bulk of the liberal professions. He used sometimes to say that "it takes three generations to make a gentleman ; " and though this was not a maxim which he would have applied strictly in the case of another man, he was far from insensible to the advantage in himself. He was descended from an old Saxon stock long settled in Yorkshire. His great-grandfather was Dr. Thackeray, of Harrow, who
went to Cambridge in 1710, an excellent scholar and clever man, who partly educated Sir William Jones, and whose epitaph was written by his pupil Dr. Parr. The son of the Doctor married a Miss Webb, of the old English family to which the Brigadier Webb, of Marlborough's wars, belonged,
whose portrait is drawn with something of the geniality of kinsmanship in "Esmond." This Thackeray, we believe, was the first of the race to settle in India; where his son also sought his fortunes; and where his grandson the novelist was born at Calcutta in 1811. There are numerous descendants of the scholarly old Headmaster of Harrow scattered over the English Church and in the Indian Service, and traces of the influence of family connections are found all through the books of the man who has made his name famous. The feudal feeling of Scott — which in any case is Scotch rather than English Thackeray did not share. Heraldry to him had only the quaint interest and prettiness of old china. But it is impossible to appreciate either his philosophy, his style, or his literary position, without remembering that he was a wellborn, well-bred, and well-educated gentleman.
Like other English children born in India, young Thackeray was sent home early, and the voyage — during which he had an eager and wondering peep at the great Napoleon in his island prison, was among his earliest recollections. He received his education at Charterhouse the well-known Greyfriars of his stories, an ancient and famous public school. He somewhere talks of the "monkish seclusion" of his school-days, and in his critical and questioning moods he has sufficiently proved that he knew the weak points of the old educational system. But he never lost an opportunity of showing his respect for Charterhouse, and he was perfectly aware how much he owed to it. In after-life, he let most of his Greek slip away; but his acquaintance with the Latin language, and especially the Latin poets, was eminently respectable, and exercised a profound influence over his genius and his diction. The "Odes of Horace" he knew intimately well, and there are subtle indications of the knowledge — the smell of Italian vio
lets hidden in the green of his prose-only to be truly enjoyed by Horatians. A quotation from Horace was one of the favorite forms in which he used to embody his jokes. If you bored him with genealogy, he would begin
"Quantum distet ab Inacho,"
which was quite a sufficient hint; and when a low fellow in London hanged himself, he observed that it was a dignus vindice NODUS." Latin writers, French writers, and English eighteenth century men were the three sources at which his genius fed, and on which it was nourished.
From Charterhouse he went to Cambridge, which he left without taking a degree; and he entered on life with health, strength, a noble figure, an excellent genius, and twenty thousand pounds, the last of which blessings was the first (owing, it is said, to unfortunate speculations) to leave him. But this loss was not complete, till he had had the full benefit of a good culture and a good experience. He travelled over Europe, and resided in its capitals, while his mind was young and fresh, and laid in those stores of observation to which we owe sketches with which everybody is familiar. He had an interview with Goethe at Weimar, his description of which may be seen in the "Life of Goethe" by Mr. Lewes; and he studied art at Rome. If he had had his choice, he would rather have been famous as an artist than as a writer; but it was destined that he should paint in colors which will never crack and never need restoration. All his artist experience did him just as much good in literature as it could have in any other way; and, in travelling through Europe to see pictures, he learned not them only, but men, manners, and languages. He read German; he knew French well and spoke it elegantly; and in market-places, salons, hotels, museums, studios, the sketch-book of his mind was always filling itself. Paris was one of his most important head-quarters in every way, and to his stay there the world owes perhaps the best of his poems the "Chronicle of the Drum." His poetic vein was curiously original. He was not essentially poetical, as
Tennyson, for instance, is. Poetry was not the predominant mood of his mind, or the intellectual law by which the objects of his thought and observation were arranged and classified. But inside his fine sagacious common-sense understanding, there was, so to speak, a pool of poetry, like the impluvium in the hall of a Roman house, which gave an air of coolness and freshness and nature to the solid marble columns and tessellated floor. The highest products of this part of his mind were the "Chronicle" above mentioned, the “Bouillebaisse,” the lines on Charles Buller's death at the end of one of his "Christmas Books," and the Ho, pretty page with dimpled chin" of another of them. A song or two in his novels, and some passages in which rural scenery is quietly and casually described, might also be specified. But all this is chiefly valuable as showing that his nature was complete, and that there wanted not in his genius that softer and more sensitive side natural to one whose observation was so subtle and his heart so kind. He was essentially rather moralist and humorist, thinker and wit, than poet; and he was too manly to overwork his poetic vein as a man may legitimately work his mere understanding. This honorable self-restraint, this decent reticence, so natural to English gentlemen, was by some writers of the Gushing School mistaken for hardness. The Gusher is always for plenty of sentimentalism; — for showing his heart on his sleeve, after having previously inflated the vessels of that organ with wind to make it look bigger; and he sheds "blinding tears," -as the lower animals perform all the properly secret operations of nature, in public. This kind of thing was not in Thackeray's way, and wide as his sympathies were, he despised it. "I shall not try to describe her grief," he makes Sam Titmarsh say in the "Hoggarty Diamond, "for such things are sacred and secret; and a man has no business to place them on record for all the world to read." Few of his sentences are more characteristic.
Thackeray was still young and opulent when he began to make the acquaintance of London men of letters. Certain it
is, that he lent or in plainer English, gave- five hundred pounds to poor old Maginn, when he was beaten in the battle of life, and like other beaten soldiers made a prisoner the Fleet. With the generation going out, - that of Lamb and Coleridge, he had, we believe, no personal acquaintance. Sydney Smith he met at a later time; and he remembered with satisfaction that something which he wrote about Hood gave pleasure to that delicate humorist and poet in his last days. But his first friends were the Fraserians, of whom Father Prout, —always his intimate, — and Carlyle, — always one of his most appreciating friends, survive. From reminiscences of the wilder lights in the "Fraser" constellation were drawn the pictures of the queer fellows connected with literature in "Pendennis," Captain Shandon, the ferocious Bludyer, stout old Tom Serjeant, and so forth. Magazines in those days were more brilliant than they are now, when they are haunted by the fear of shocking the Fogy element in their circulation; and the effect of their greater freedom is seen in the buoyant, riant, and unrestrained comedy of Thackeray's own earlier "Fraser" articles. "I suppose we all begin by being too savage," is the phrase of a letter which he wrote in 1849; "I know one who did." He was alluding here to the "Yellowplush Papers" in particular, where living men were very freely handled. This old, wild satiric spirit it was which made him interrupt even the early chapters of "Vanity Fair," by introducing a parody, which he could not resist, of some contemporary novelists. In the last fifteen years of his life he wrote under greater restraint, and with a sense of his graver responsibilities as one of the leading men of letters of the country. But his satire was never at any time malignant; and the fine freedom of his early writing developed his genius as the scenes of the arena developed the athlete. He was writing for twelve or thirteen years, as a professional author, before "Vanity Fair" made him really known to the world at large. The best works of that epoch will be found in the "Miscellanies," published by Bradbury & Evans in 1857. But there is much of his writing buried in