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Biographical Study of A. W. Kinglake by Rev. W. Tuckwell

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Transcribed from the 1902 Edition by David Price, email



It is just eleven years since Kinglake passed away, and his life
has not yet been separately memorialized. A few years more, and
the personal side of him would be irrecoverable, though by
personality, no less than by authorship, he made his contemporary
mark. When a tomb has been closed for centuries, the effaced
lineaments of its tenant can be re-coloured only by the idealizing
hand of genius, as Scott drew Claverhouse, and Carlyle drew
Cromwell. But, to the biographer of the lately dead, men have a
right to say, as Saul said to the Witch of Endor, "Call up Samuel!"
In your study of a life so recent as Kinglake's, give us, if you
choose, some critical synopsis of his monumental writings, some
salvage from his ephemeral and scattered papers; trace so much of
his youthful training as shaped the development of his character;
depict, with wise restraint, his political and public life: but
also, and above all, re-clothe him "in his habit as he lived," as
friends and associates knew him; recover his traits of voice and
manner, his conversational wit or wisdom, epigram or paradox, his
explosions of sarcasm and his eccentricities of reserve, his words
of winningness and acts of kindness: and, since one half of his
life was social, introduce us to the companions who shared his
lighter hour and evoked his finer fancies; take us to the Athenaeum
"Corner," or to Holland House, and flash on us at least a glimpse
of the brilliant men and women who formed the setting to his
sparkle; "dic in amicitiam coeant et foedera jungant."

This I have endeavoured to do, with such aid as I could command
from his few remaining contemporaries. His letters to his family
were destroyed by his own desire; on those written to Madame
Novikoff no such embargo was laid, nor does she believe that it was
intended. I have used these sparingly, and all extracts from them
have been subjected to her censorship. If the result is not Attic
in salt, it is at any rate Roman in brevity. I send it forth with
John Bunyan's homely aspiration:

And may its buyer have no cause to say,
His money is but lost or thrown away.


The fourth decade of the deceased century dawned on a procession of
Oriental pilgrims, variously qualified or disqualified to hold the
gorgeous East in fee, who, with bakshish in their purses, a theory
in their brains, an unfilled diary-book in their portmanteaus,
sought out the Holy Land, the Sinai peninsula, the valley of the
Nile, sometimes even Armenia and the Monte Santo, and returned home
to emit their illustrated and mapped octavos. We have the type
delineated admiringly in Miss Yonge's "Heartsease," {1} bitterly in
Miss Skene's "Use and Abuse," facetiously in the Clarence Bulbul of
"Our Street." "Hang it! has not everybody written an Eastern book?
I should like to meet anybody in society now who has not been up to
the Second Cataract. My Lord Castleroyal has done one--an honest
one; my Lord Youngent another--an amusing one; my Lord Woolsey
another--a pious one; there is the 'Cutlet and the Cabob'--a
sentimental one; Timbuctoothen--a humorous one." Lord Carlisle's
honesty, Lord Nugent's fun, Lord Lindsay's piety, failed to float
their books. Miss Martineau, clear, frank, unemotional Curzon,
fuddling the Levantine monks with rosoglio that he might fleece
them of their treasured hereditary manuscripts, even Eliot
Warburton's power, colouring, play of fancy, have yielded to the
mobility of Time. Two alone out of the gallant company maintain
their vogue to-day: Stanley's "Sinai and Palestine," as a Fifth
Gospel, an inspired Scripture Gazetteer; and "Eothen," as a
literary gem of purest ray serene.

In 1898 a reprint of the first edition was given to the public,
prefaced by a brief eulogium of the book and a slight notice of the
author. It brought to the writer of the "Introduction" not only
kind and indulgent criticism, but valuable corrections, fresh
facts, clues to further knowledge. These last have been carefully
followed out. The unwary statement that Kinglake never spoke after
his first failure in the House has been atoned by a careful study
of all his speeches in and out of Parliament. His reviews in the
"Quarterly" and elsewhere have been noted; impressions of his
manner and appearance at different periods of his life have been
recovered from coaeval acquaintances; his friend Hayward's Letters,
the numerous allusions in Lord Houghton's Life, Mrs. Crosse's
lively chapters in "Red Letter Days of my Life," Lady Gregory's
interesting recollections of the Athenaeum Club in Blackwood of
December, 1895, the somewhat slender notice in the "Dictionary of
National Biography," have all been carefully digested. From these,
and, as will be seen, from other sources, the present Memoir has
been compiled; an endeavour--sera tamen--to lay before the
countless readers and admirers of his books a fairly adequate
appreciation, hitherto unattempted, of their author.

I have to acknowledge the great kindness of Canon William
Warburton, who examined his brother Eliot's diaries on my behalf,
obtained information from Dean Boyle and Sir M. Grant Duff, cleared
up for me not a few obscure allusions in the "Eothen" pages. My
highly valued friend, Mrs. Hamilton Kinglake, of Taunton, his
sister-in-law, last surviving relative of his own generation, has
helped me with facts which no one else could have recalled. To Mr.
Estcott, his old acquaintance and Somersetshire neighbour, I am
indebted for recollections manifold and interesting; but above all
I tender thanks to Madame Novikoff, his intimate associate and
correspondent during the last twenty years of his life, who has
supplemented her brilliant sketch of him in "La Nouvelle Revue" of
1896 by oral and written information lavish in quantity and of
paramount biographical value. Kinglake's external life, his
literary and political career, his speeches, and the more fugitive
productions of his pen, were recoverable from public sources; but
his personal and private side, as it showed itself to the few close
intimates who still survive, must have remained to myself and
others meagre, superficial, disappointing, without Madame
Novikoff's unreserved and sympathetic confidence.

Alexander William Kinglake was descended from an old Scottish
stock, the Kinlochs, who migrated to England with King James, and
whose name was Anglicized into Kinglake. Later on we find them
settled on a considerable estate of their own at Saltmoor, near
Borobridge, whence towards the close of the eighteenth century two
brothers, moving southward, made their home in Taunton--Robert as a
physician, William as a solicitor and banker. Both were of high
repute, both begat famous sons. From Robert sprang the eminent
Parliamentary lawyer, Serjeant John Kinglake, at one time a
contemporary with Cockburn and Crowder on the Western Circuit, and
William Chapman Kinglake, who while at Trinity, Cambridge, won the
Latin verse prize, "Salix Babylonica," the English verse prizes on
"Byzantium" and the "Taking of Jerusalem," in 1830 and 1832. Of
William's sons the eldest was Alexander William, author of
"Eothen," the youngest Hamilton, for many years one of the most
distinguished physicians in the West of England. "Eothen," as he
came to be called, was born at Taunton on the 5th August, 1809, at
a house called "The Lawn." His father, a sturdy Whig, died at the
age of ninety through injuries received in the hustings crowd of a
contested election. His mother belonged to an old Somersetshire
family, the Woodfordes of Castle Cary. She, too, lived to a great
age; a slight, neat figure in dainty dress, full of antique charm
and grace. As a girl she had known Lady Hester Stanhope, who lived
with her grandmother, Lady Chatham, at Burton Pynsent, her own
father, Dr. Thomas Woodforde, being Lady Chatham's medical
attendant. {2} The future prophetess of the Lebanon was then a
wild girl, scouring the countryside on bare-backed horses; she
showed great kindness to Mary Woodforde, afterwards Kinglake's
mother. It was as his mother's son that she received him long
afterwards at Djoun. To his mother Kinglake was passionately
attached; owed to her, as he tells us in "Eothen," his home in the
saddle and his love for Homer. A tradition is preserved in the
family that on the day of her funeral, at a churchyard five miles
away, he was missed from the household group reassembled in the
mourning home; he was found to have ordered his horse, and galloped
back in the darkness to his mother's grave. Forty years later he
writes to Alexander Knox: "The death of a mother has an almost
magical power of recalling the home of one's childhood, and the
almost separate world that rests upon affection." Of his two
sisters, one was well read and agreeably talkative, noted by
Thackeray as the cleverest woman he had ever met; the other, Mrs.
Acton, was a delightful old esprit fort, as I knew her in the
sixties, "pagan, I regret to say," but not a little resembling her
brother in the point and manner of her wit. The family moved in
his infancy to an old-fashioned handsome "Wilton House," adjoining
closely to the town, but standing amid spacious park-like grounds,
and inhabited in after years by Kinglake's younger brother
Hamilton, who succeeded his uncle in the medical profession, and
passed away, amid deep and universal regret, in 1898. Here during
the thirties Sydney Smith was a frequent and a welcome visitor; it
was in answer to old Mrs. Kinglake that he uttered his audacious
mot on being asked if he would object, as a neighbouring clergyman
had done, to bury a Dissenter: "Not bury Dissenters? I should
like to be burying them all day!"

Taunton was an innutrient foster-mother, arida nutrix, for such
young lions as the Kinglake brood. Two hundred years before it had
been a prosperous and famous place, its woollen and kersey trades,
with the population they supported, ranking it as eighth in order
among English towns. Its inhabitants were then a gallant race,
republican in politics, Puritan in creed. Twice besieged by Goring
and Lumford, it had twice repelled the Royalists with loss. It was
the centre of Monmouth's rebellion and of Jeffrey's vengeance; the
suburb of Tangier, hard by its ancient castle, still recalls the
time when Colonel Kirke and his regiment of "Lambs" were quartered
in the town. But long before the advent of the Kinglakes its glory
had departed; its manufactures had died out, its society become
Philistine and bourgeois--"little men who walk in narrow ways"--
while from pre-eminence in electoral venality among English
boroughs it was saved only by the near proximity of Bridgewater. A
noted statesman who, at a later period, represented it in
Parliament, used to say that by only one family besides Dr.
Hamilton Kinglake's could he be received with any sense of social
or intellectual equality.

Not much, however, of Kinglake's time was given to his native town:
he was early sent to the Grammar School at Ottery St. Mary's, the
"Clavering" of "Pendennis," whose Dr. Wapshot was George Coleridge,
brother of the poet. He was wont in after life to speak of this
time with bitterness; a delicate child, he was starved on
insufficient diet; and an eloquent passage in "Eothen" depicts his
intellectual fall from the varied interests and expanding
enthusiasm of liberal home teaching to the regulation gerund-
grinding and Procrustean discipline of school. "The dismal change
is ordained, and then--thin meagre Latin with small shreds and
patches of Greek, is thrown like a pauper's pall over all your
early lore; instead of sweet knowledge, vile, monkish, doggerel
grammars and graduses, dictionaries and lexicons, and horrible odds
and ends of dead languages are given you for your portion, and down
you fall, from Roman story to a three-inch scrap of 'Scriptores
Romani,'--from Greek poetry, down, down to the cold rations of
'Poetae Graeci,' cut up by commentators, and served out by school-

At Eton--under Keate, as all readers of "Eothen" know--he was
contemporary with Gladstone, Sir F. Hanmer, Lords Canning and
Dalhousie, Selwyn, Shadwell. He wrote in the "Etonian," created
and edited by Mackworth Praed; and is mentioned in Praed's poem on
Surly Hall as

"Kinglake, dear to poetry,
And dear to all his friends."

Dr. Gatty remembers his "determined pale face"; thinks that he made
his mark on the river rather than in the playing fields, being a
good oar and swimmer. His great friend at school was Savile, the
"Methley" of his travels, who became successively Lord Pollington
and Earl of Mexborough. The Homeric lore which Methley exhibited
in the Troad, is curiously illustrated by an Eton story, that in a
pugilistic encounter with Hoseason, afterwards an Indian Cavalry
officer, while the latter sate between the rounds upon his second's
knee, Savile strutted about the ring, spouting Homer.

Kinglake entered at Trinity, Cambridge, in 1828, among an
exceptionally brilliant set--Tennyson, Arthur Hallam, John
Sterling, Trench, Spedding, Spring Rice, Charles Buller, Maurice,
Monckton Milnes, J. M. Kemble, Brookfield, Thompson. With none of
them does he seem in his undergraduate days to have been intimate.
Probably then, as afterwards, he shrank from camaraderie, shared
Byron's distaste for "enthusymusy"; naturally cynical and self-
contained, was repelled by the spiritual fervour, incessant logical
collision, aggressive tilting at abuses of those young "Apostles,"

"Yearning for the large excitement that the coming years would
Eager-hearted as a boy when first he leaves his father's field,"

waxing ever daily, as Sterling exhorted, "in religion and
radicalism." He saw life differently; more practically, if more
selfishly; to one rhapsodizing about the "plain living and high
thinking" of Wordsworth's sonnet, he answered: "You know that you
prefer dining with people who have good glass and china and plenty
of servants." For Tennyson's poetry he even then felt admiration;
quotes, nay, misquotes, in "Eothen," from the little known
"Timbuctoo"; {3} and from "Locksley Hall"; and supplied long
afterwards an incident adopted by Tennyson in "Enoch Arden,"

"Once likewise in the ringing of his ears
Though faintly, merrily--far and far away -
He heard the pealing of his parish bells," {4}

from his own experience in the desert, when on a Sunday, amid
overpowering heat and stillness, he heard the Marlen bells of
Taunton peal for morning church. {5}

In whatever set he may have lived he made his mark at Cambridge.
Lord Houghton remembered him as an orator at the Union; and
speaking to Cambridge undergraduates fifty years later, after
enumerating the giants of his student days, Macaulay, Praed,
Buller, Sterling, Merivale, he goes on to say: "there, too, were
Kemble and Kinglake, the historian of our earliest civilization and
of our latest war; Kemble as interesting an individual as ever was
portrayed by the dramatic genius of his own race; Kinglake, as bold
a man-at-arms in literature as ever confronted public opinion." We
know, too, that not many years after leaving Cambridge he received,
and refused, a solicitation to stand as Liberal representative of
the University in Parliament. He was, in fact, as far as any of
his contemporaries from acquiescing in social conventionalisms and
shams. To the end of his life he chafed at such restraint: "when
pressed to stay in country houses," he writes in 1872, "I have had
the frankness to say that I have not discipline enough."
Repeatedly he speaks with loathing of the "stale civilization," the
"utter respectability," of European life; {6} longed with all his
soul for the excitement and stir of soldiership, from which his
shortsightedness debarred him; {7} rushed off again and again into
foreign travel; set out immediately on leaving Cambridge, in 1834,
for his first Eastern tour, "to fortify himself for the business of
life." Methley joined him at Hamburg, and they travelled by
Berlin, Dresden, Prague, Vienna, to Semlin, where his book begins.
Lord Pollington's health broke down, and he remained to winter at
Corfu, while Kinglake pursued his way alone, returning to England
in October, 1835. {8} On his return he read for the Chancery Bar
along with his friend Eliot Warburton, under Bryan Procter, a
Commissioner of Lunacy, better known by his poet-name, Barry
Cornwall; his acquaintance with both husband and wife ripening into
life-long friendship. Mrs. Procter is the "Lady of Bitterness,"
cited in the "Eothen" Preface. As Anne Skepper, before her
marriage, she was much admired by Carlyle; "a brisk witty prettyish
clear eyed sharp tongued young lady"; and was the intimate, among
many, especially of Thackeray and Browning. In epigrammatic power
she resembled Kinglake; but while his acrid sayings were emitted
with gentlest aspect and with softest speech; while, like Byron's

"he was the mildest mannered man
That ever scuttled ship or cut a throat,
With such true breeding of a gentleman,
You never could divine his real thought,"

her sarcasms rang out with a resonant clearness that enforced and
aggravated their severity. That two persons so strongly resembling
each other in capacity for rival exhibition, or for mutual
exasperation, should have maintained so firm a friendship, often
surprised their acquaintance; she explained it by saying that she
and Kinglake sharpened one another like two knives; that, in the
words of Petruchio,

"Where two raging fires meet together,
They do consume the thing that feeds their fury."

Crabb Robinson, stung by her in a tender place, his boastful
iterative monologues on Weimar and on Goethe, said that of all men
Procter ought to escape purgatory after death, having tasted its
fulness here through living so many years with Mrs. Procter; "the
husbands of the talkative have great reward hereafter," said
Rudyard Kipling's Lama. And I have been told by those who knew the
pair that there was truth as well as irritation in the taunt. "A
graceful Preface to 'Eothen,'" wrote to me a now famous lady who as
a girl had known Mrs. Procter well, "made friendly company
yesterday to a lonely meal, and brought back memories of Mr.
Kinglake's kind spoiling of a raw young woman, and of the wit, the
egregious vanity, the coarseness, the kindness, of that hard old
worldling our Lady of Bitterness." In the presence of one man,
Tennyson, she laid aside her shrewishness: "talking with Alfred
Tennyson lifts me out of the earth earthy; a visit to Farringford
is like a retreat to the religious." A celebrity in London for
fifty years, she died, witty and vigorous to the last, in 1888.
"You and I and Mr. Kinglake," she says to Lord Houghton, "are all
that are left of the goodly band that used to come to St. John's
Wood; Eliot Warburton, Motley, Adelaide, Count de Verg, Chorley,
Sir Edwin Landseer, my husband." "I never could write a book," she
tells him in another letter, "and one strong reason for not doing
so was the idea of some few seeing how poor it was. Venables was
one of the few; I need not say that you were one, and Kinglake."

Kinglake was called to the Chancery Bar, and practised apparently
with no great success. He believed that his reputation as a writer
stood in his way. When, in 1845, poor Hood's friends were helping
him by gratuitous articles in his magazine, "Hood's Own," Kinglake
wrote to Monckton Milnes refusing to contribute. He will send 10
pounds to buy an article from some competent writer, but will not
himself write. "It would be seriously injurious to me if the
author of 'Eothen' were affiched as contributing to a magazine. My
frailty in publishing a book has, I fear, already hurt me in my
profession, and a small sin of this kind would bring on me still
deeper disgrace with the solicitors."

Twice at least in these early years he travelled. "Mr. Kinglake,"
writes Mrs. Procter in 1843, "is in Switzerland, reading Rousseau."
And in the following year we hear of him in Algeria, accompanying
St. Arnaud in his campaign against the Arabs. The mingled interest
and horror inspired in him by this extra-ordinary man finds
expression in his "Invasion of the Crimea" (ii. 157). A few, a
very few survivors, still remember his appearance and manners in
the forties. The eminent husband of a lady, now passed away, who
in her lifetime gave Sunday dinners at which Kinglake was always
present, speaks of him as SENSITIVE, quiet in the presence of noisy
people, of Brookfield and the overpowering Bernal Osborne; liking
their company, but never saying anything worthy of remembrance. A
popular old statesman, still active in the House of Commons,
recalls meeting him at Palmerston, Lord Harrington's seat, where
was assembled a party in honour of Madame Guiccioli and her second
husband, the Marquis de Boissy, and tells me that he attached
himself to ladies, not to gentlemen, nor ever joined in general
tattle. Like many other famous men, he passed through a period of
shyness, which yielded to women's tactfulness only. From the first
they appreciated him; "if you were as gentle as your friend
Kinglake," writes Mrs. Norton reproachfully to Hayward in the
sulks. Another coaeval of those days calls him handsome--an
epithet I should hardly apply to him later--slight, not tall, sharp
featured, with dark hair well tended, always modishly dressed after
the fashion of the thirties, the fashion of Bulwer's exquisites, or
of H. K. Browne's "Nicholas Nickleby" illustrations; leaving on all
who saw him an impression of great personal distinction, yet with
an air of youthful ABANDON which never quite left him: "He was
pale, small, and delicate in appearance," says Mrs. Simpson, Nassau
Senior's daughter, who knew him to the end of his life; while Mrs.
Andrew Crosse, his friend in the Crimean decade, cites his finely
chiselled features and intellectual brow, "a complexion bloodless
with the pallor not of ill-health, but of an old Greek bust."


"Eothen" appeared in 1844. Twice, Kinglake tells us, he had
essayed the story of his travels, twice abandoned it under a sense
of strong disinclination to write. A third attempt was induced by
an entreaty from his friend Eliot Warburton, himself projecting an
Eastern tour; and to Warburton in a characteristic preface the
narrative is addressed. The book, when finished, went the round of
the London market without finding a publisher. It was offered to
John Murray, who cited his refusal of it as the great blunder of
his professional life, consoling himself with the thought that his
father had equally lacked foresight thirty years before in
declining the "Rejected Addresses"; he secured the copyright later
on. It was published in the end by a personal friend, Ollivier, of
Pall Mall, Kinglake paying 50 pounds to cover risk of loss; even
worse terms than were obtained by Warburton two years afterwards
from Colburn, who owned in the fifties to having cleared 6,000
pounds by "The Crescent and the Cross." The volume was an octavo
of 418 pages; the curious folding-plate which forms the
frontispiece was drawn and coloured by the author, and was compared
by the critics to a tea-tray. In front is Moostapha the Tatar; the
two foremost figures in the rear stand for accomplished Mysseri,
whom Kinglake was delighted to recognize long afterwards as a
flourishing hotel keeper in Constantinople, and Steel, the
Yorkshire servant, in his striped pantry jacket, "looking out for
gentlemen's seats." Behind are "Methley," Lord Pollington, in a
broad-brimmed hat, and the booted leg of Kinglake, who modestly hid
his figure by a tree, but exposed his foot, of which he was very
proud. Of the other characters, "Our Lady of Bitterness" was Mrs.
Procter, "Carrigaholt" was Henry Stuart Burton of Carrigaholt,
County Clare. Here and there are allusions, obvious at the time,
now needing a scholiast, which have not in any of the reprints been
explained. In their ride through the Balkans they talked of old
Eton days. "We bullied Keate, and scoffed at Larrey Miller and
Okes; we rode along loudly laughing, and talked to the grave
Servian forest as though it were the Brocas clump." {9} Keate
requires no interpreter; Okes was an Eton tutor, afterwards Provost
of King's. Larrey or Laurie Miller was an old tailor in Keate's
Lane who used to sit on his open shop-board, facing the street, a
mark for the compliments of passing boys; as frolicsome youngsters
in the days of Addison and Steele, as High School lads in the days
of Walter Scott, were accustomed to "smoke the cobler." The Brocas
was a meadow sacred to badger-baiting and cat-hunts. The badgers
were kept by a certain Jemmy Flowers, who charged sixpence for each
"draw"; Puss was turned out of a bag and chased by dogs, her chance
being to reach and climb a group of trees near the river, known as
the "Brocas Clump." Of the quotations, "a Yorkshireman
hippodamoio" (p. 35) is, I am told, an obiter dictum of Sir Francis
Doyle. "Striving to attain," etc. (p. 33), is taken not quite
correctly from Tennyson's "Timbuctoo." Our crew were "a solemn
company" (p. 57) is probably a reminiscence of "we were a gallant
company" in "The Siege of Corinth." For "'the own armchair' of our
Lyrist's 'Sweet Lady'" Anne'" (p. 161) see the poem, "My own
armchair" in Barry Cornwall's "English Lyrics." "Proud Marie of
Anjou" (p. 96) and "single-sin--" (p. 121), are unintelligible; a
friend once asked Kinglake to explain the former, but received for
answer, "Oh! that is a private thing." It may, however, have been
a pet name for little Marie de Viry, Procter's niece, and the chere
amie of his verse, whom Eothen must have met often at his friend's
house. The St. Simonians of p. 83 were the disciples of Comte de
St. Simon, a Parisian reformer in the latter part of the eighteenth
century, who endeavoured to establish a social republic based on
capacity and labour. Pere Enfantin was his disciple. The "mystic
mother" was a female Messiah, expected to become the parent of a
new Saviour. "Sir Robert once said a good thing" (p. 93), refers
possibly to Sir Robert Peel, not famous for epigram, whose one good
thing is said to have been bestowed upon a friend before Croker's
portrait in the Academy. "Wonderful likeness," said the friend,
"it gives the very quiver of the mouth." "Yes," said Sir Robert,
"and the arrow coming out of it." Or it may mean Sir Robert
Inglis, Peel's successor at Oxford, more noted for his genial
kindness and for the perpetual bouquet in his buttonhole at a date
when such ornaments were not worn, than for capacity to conceive
and say good things. In some mischievous lines describing the
Oxford election where Inglis supplanted Peel, Macaulay wrote

"And then said all the Doctors sitting in the Divinity School,
Not this man, but Sir Robert'--now Sir Robert was a fool."

But in the fifth and later editions Kinglake altered it to "Sir

By a curious oversight in the first two editions (p. 41) Jove was
made to gaze on Troy from Samothrace; it was rightly altered to
Neptune in the third; and "eagle eye of Jove" in the following
sentence was replaced by "dread Commoter of our globe." The phrase
"a natural Chiffney-bit" (p. 109), I have found unintelligible to-
day through lapse of time even to professional equestrians and
stable-keepers. Samuel Chiffney, a famous rider and trainer, was
born in 1753, and won the Derby on Skyscraper in 1789. He managed
the Prince of Wales's stud, was the subject of discreditable
insinuations, and was called before the Jockey Club. Nothing was
proved against him, but in consequence of the fracas the Prince
severed his connection with the Club and sold his horses. Chiffney
invented a bit named after him; a curb with two snaffles, which
gave a stronger bearing on the sides of a horse's mouth. His rule
in racing was to keep a slack rein and to ride a waiting race, not
calling on his horse till near the end. His son Samuel, who
followed him, observed the same plan; from its frequent success the
term "Chiffney rush" became proverbial. In his ride through the
desert (p. 169) Kinglake speaks of his "native bells--the innocent
bells of Marlen, that never before sent forth their music beyond
the Blaygon hills." Marlen bells is the local name for the fine
peal of St. Mary Magdalen, Taunton. The Blaygon, more commonly
called the Blagdon Hills, run parallel with the Quantocks, and
between them lies the fertile Vale of Taunton Deane. "Damascus,"
he says, on p. 245, "was safer than Oxford"; and adds a note on Mr.
Everett's degree which requires correction. It is true that an
attempt was made to non-placet Mr. Everett's honorary degree in the
Oxford Theatre in 1843 on the ground of his being a Unitarian; not
true that it succeeded. It was a conspiracy by the young lions of
the Newmania, who had organized a formidable opposition to the
degree, and would have created a painful scene even if defeated.
But the Proctor of that year, Jelf, happened to be the most-hated
official of the century; and the furious groans of undergraduate
displeasure at his presence, continuing unabated for three-quarters
of an hour, compelled Wynter, the Vice-Chancellor, to break up the
Assembly, without recitation of the prizes, but not without
conferring the degrees in dumb show: unconscious Mr. Everett
smilingly took his place in red gown among the Doctors, the Vice-
Chancellor asserting afterwards, what was true in the letter though
not in the spirit, that he did not hear the non-placets. So while
Everett was obnoxious to the Puseyites, Jelf was obnoxious to the
undergraduates; the cannonade of the angry youngsters drowned the
odium of the theological malcontents; in the words of Bombastes:

"Another lion gave another roar,
And the first lion thought the last a bore."

The popularity of "Eothen" is a paradox: it fascinates by
violating all the rules which convention assigns to viatic
narrative. It traverses the most affecting regions of the world,
and describes no one of them: the Troad--and we get only his
childish raptures over Pope's "Homer's Iliad"; Stamboul--and he
recounts the murderous services rendered by the Golden Horn to the
Assassin whose serail, palace, council chamber, it washes; Cairo--
but the Plague shuts out all other thoughts; Jerusalem--but
Pilgrims have vulgarized the Holy Sepulchre into a Bartholomew
Fair. He gives us everywhere, not history, antiquities, geography,
description, statistics, but only Kinglake, only his own
sensations, thoughts, experiences. We are told not what the desert
looks like, but what journeying in the desert feels like. From
morn till eve you sit aloft upon your voyaging camel; the risen
sun, still lenient on your left, mounts vertical and dominant; you
shroud head and face in silk, your skin glows, shoulders ache,
Arabs moan, and still moves on the sighing camel with his
disjointed awkward dual swing, till the sun once more descending
touches you on the right, your veil is thrown aside, your tent is
pitched, books, maps, cloaks, toilet luxuries, litter your spread-
out rugs, you feast on scorching toast and "fragrant" {10} tea,
sleep sound and long; then again the tent is drawn, the comforts
packed, civilization retires from the spot she had for a single
night annexed, and the Genius of the Desert stalks in.

Herein, in these subjective chatty confidences, is part of the
spell he lays upon us: while we read we are IN the East: other
books, as Warburton says, tell us ABOUT the East, this is the East
itself. And yet in his company we are always ENGLISHMEN in the
East: behind Servian, Egyptian, Syrian, desert realities, is a
background of English scenery, faint and unobtrusive yet persistent
and horizoning. In the Danubian forest we talk of past school-
days. The Balkan plain suggests an English park, its trees planted
as if to shut out "some infernal fellow creature in the shape of a
new-made squire"; Jordan recalls the Thames; the Galilean Lake,
Windermere; the Via Dolorosa, Bond Street; the fresh toast of the
desert bivouac, an Eton breakfast; the hungry questing jackals are
the place-hunters of Bridgewater and Taunton; the Damascus gardens,
a neglected English manor from which the "family" has been long
abroad; in the fierce, dry desert air are heard the "Marlen" bells
of home, calling to morning prayer the prim congregation in far-off
St. Mary's parish. And a not less potent factor in the charm is
the magician's self who wields it, shown through each passing
environment of the narrative; the shy, haughty, imperious Solitary,
"a sort of Byron in the desert," of cultured mind and eloquent
speech, headstrong and not always amiable, hiding sentiment with
cynicism, yet therefore irresistible all the more when he
condescends to endear himself by his confidence. He meets the
Plague and its terrors like a gentleman, but shows us, through the
vicarious torments of the cowering Levantine that it was courage
and coolness, not insensibility, which bore him through it. A foe
to marriage, compassionating Carrigaholt as doomed to travel
"Vetturini-wise," pitying the Dead Sea goatherd for his ugly wife,
revelling in the meek surrender of the three young men whom he sees
"led to the altar" in Suez, he is still the frank, susceptible,
gallant bachelor, observantly and critically studious of female
charms: of the magnificent yet formidable Smyrniotes, eyes, brow,
nostrils, throat, sweetly turned lips, alarming in their latent
capacity for fierceness, pride, passion, power: of the Moslem
women in Nablous, "so handsome that they could not keep up their
yashmaks:" of Cypriote witchery in hair, shoulder-slope,
tempestuous fold of robe. He opines as he contemplates the plain,
clumsy Arab wives that the fine things we feel and say of women
apply only to the good-looking and the graceful: his memory
wanders off ever and again to the muslin sleeves and bodices and
"sweet chemisettes" in distant England. In hands sensual and
vulgar the allusions might have been coarse, the dilatings
unseemly; but the "taste which is the feminine of genius," the
self-respecting gentleman-like instinct, innocent at once and
playful, keeps the voluptuary out of sight, teaches, as Imogen
taught Iachimo, "the wide difference 'twixt amorous and
villainous." Add to all these elements of fascination the unbroken
luxuriance of style; the easy flow of casual epigram or negligent
simile;--Greek holy days not kept holy but "kept stupid"; the mule
who "forgot that his rider was a saint and remembered that he was a
tailor"; the pilgrims "transacting their salvation" at the Holy
Sepulchre; the frightened, wavering guard at Satalieh, not
shrinking back or running away, but "looking as if the pack were
being shuffled," each man desirous to change places with his
neighbour; the white man's unresisting hand "passed round like a
claret jug" by the hospitable Arabs; the travellers dripping from a
Balkan storm compared to "men turned back by the Humane Society as
being incurably drowned." Sometimes he breaks into a canter, as in
the first experience of a Moslem city, the rapturous escape from
respectability and civilization; the apostrophe to the Stamboul
sea; the glimpse of the Mysian Olympus; the burial of the poor dead
Greek; the Janus view of Orient and Occident from the Lebanon
watershed; the pathetic terror of Bedouins and camels on entering a
walled city; until, once more in the saddle, and winding through
the Taurus defiles, he saddens us by a first discordant note, the
note of sorrow that the entrancing tale is at an end.

Old times return to me as I handle the familiar pages. To the
schoolboy six and fifty years ago arrives from home a birthday
gift, the bright green volume, with its showy paintings of the
impaled robbers and the Jordan passage; its bulky Tatar, towering
high above his scraggy steed, impressed in shining gold upon its
cover. Read, borrowed, handed round, it is devoured and discussed
with fifth form critical presumption, the adventurous audacity
arresting, the literary charm not analyzed but felt, the vivid
personality of the old Etonian winged with public school
freemasonry. Scarcely in the acquired insight of all the
intervening years could those who enjoyed it then more keenly
appreciate it to-day. Transcendent gift of genius! to gladden
equally with selfsame words the reluctant inexperience of boyhood
and the fastidious judgment of maturity. Delightful self-
accountant reverence of author-craft! which wields full knowledge
of a shaddock-tainted world, yet presents no licence to the
prurient lad, reveals no trail to the suspicious moralist.


Kinglake returned from Algiers in 1844 to find himself famous both
in the literary and social world; for his book had gone through
three editions and was the universal theme. Lockhart opened to him
the "Quarterly." "Who is Eothen?" wrote Macvey Napier, editor of
the "Edinburgh," to Hayward: "I know he is a lawyer and highly
respectable; but I should like to know a little more of his
personal history: he is very clever but very peculiar."
Thackeray, later on, expresses affectionate gratitude for his
presence at the "Lectures on English Humourists":- "it goes to a
man's heart to find amongst his friends such men as Kinglake and
Venables, Higgins, Rawlinson, Carlyle, Ashburton and Hallam,
Milman, Macaulay, Wilberforce, looking on kindly." He dines out in
all directions, himself giving dinners at Long's Hotel. "Did you
ever meet Kinglake at my rooms?" writes Monckton Milnes to
MacCarthy: "he has had immense success. I now rather wish I had
are reminded of Charles Lamb--"here's Wordsworth says he could have
written Hamlet, IF HE HAD HAD A MIND." "A delightful Voltairean
volume," Milnes elsewhere calls it.

"Eothen" was reviewed in the "Quarterly" by Eliot Warburton.
"Other books," he says, "contain facts and statistics about the
East; this book gives the East itself in vital actual reality. Its
style is conversational; or the soliloquy rather of a man
convincing and amusing himself as he proceeds, without reverence
for others' faith, or lenity towards others' prejudices. It is a
real book, not a sham; it equals Anastasius, rivals 'Vathek;' its
terseness, vigour, bold imagery, recall the grand style of Fuller
and of South, to which the author adds a spirit, freshness,
delicacy, all his own." Kinglake, in turn, reviewed "The Crescent
and the Cross" in an article called "The French Lake." From a
cordial notice of the book he passes to a history of French
ambition in the Levant. It was Bonaparte's fixed idea to become an
Oriental conqueror--a second Alexander: Egypt in his grasp, he
would pass on to India. He sought alliance against the English
with Tippoo Saib, and spent whole days stretched upon maps of Asia.
He was baffled, first at Aboukir, then at Acre; but the partition
of Turkey at Tilsit showed that he had not abandoned his design.
To have refrained from seizing Egypt after his withdrawal was a
political blunder on the part of England.

By far the most charming of Kinglake's articles was a paper on the
"Rights of Women," in the "Quarterly Review" of December, 1844.
Grouping together Monckton Milnes's "Palm Leaves," Mrs. Poole's
"Sketch of Egyptian Harems," Mrs. Ellis's "Women and Wives of
England," he produced a playful, lightly touched, yet sincerely
constructed sketch of woman's characteristics, seductions,
attainments; the extent and secret of her fascination and her
deeper influence; her defects, foibles, misconceptions. He was
greatly vexed to learn that his criticism of "Palm Leaves" was
considered hostile, and begged Warburton to explain. His praise,
he said, had been looked upon as irony, his bantering taken to
express bitterness. Warburton added his own conviction that the
notice was tributary to Milnes's fame, and Milnes accepted the
explanation. But the chief interest of this paper lies in the
beautiful passage which ends it. "The world must go on its own
way, for all that we can say against it. Beauty, though it beams
over the organization of a doll, will have its hour of empire; the
most torpid heiress will easily get herself married; but the wife
whose sweet nature can kindle worthy delights is she that brings to
her hearth a joyous, hopeful, ardent spirit, and that subtle power
whose sources we can hardly trace, but which yet so irradiates a
home that all who come near are filled and inspired by a deep sense
of womanly presence. We best learn the unsuspected might of a
being like this when we try the weight of that sadness which hangs
like lead upon the room, the gallery, the stairs, where once her
footstep sounded, and now is heard no more. It is not less the
energy than the grace and gentleness of this character that works
the enchantment. Books can instruct, and books can exalt and
purify; beauty of face and beauty of form will come with bright
pictures and statues, and for the government of a household hired
menials will suffice; but fondness and hate, daring hopes, lively
fears, the lust of glory and the scorn of base deeds, sweet
charity, faithfulness, pride, and, chief over all, the impetuous
will, lending might and power to feeling:- these are the rib of the
man, and from these, deep veiled in the mystery of her very
loveliness, his true companion sprang. A being thus ardent will
often go wrong in her strenuous course; will often alarm, sometimes
provoke; will now and then work mischief and even perhaps grievous
harm; but she will be our own Eve after all; the sweet-speaking
tempter whom heaven created to be the joy and the trouble of this
pleasing anxious existence; to shame us away from the hiding-places
of a slothful neutrality, and lead us abroad in the world, men
militant here on earth, enduring quiet, content with strife, and
looking for peace hereafter." {11} Beautiful words indeed! how
came the author of a tribute so caressingly appreciative, so
eloquently sincere, to remain himself outside the gates of
Paradise? how could the pen which in the Crimean chapter on the
Holy Shrines traced so exquisitely the delicate fancifulness of
purest sexual love, perpetrate that elaborate sneer over the
bachelor obsequies of Carrigaholt--"the lowly grave, that is the
end of man's romantic hopes, has closed over all his rich fancies
and all his high aspirations: he is utterly married." {12}

"Gai, gai, mariez vous,
Mettez vous dans la misere!
Gai, gai, mariez vous,
Mettez vous la corde au cou!" {13}

There is generally a good reason for prolonged celibacy, a reason
which the bachelor as generally does not betray: Kinglake remained
single, by his own account, because he had observed that women
always prefer other men to their own husbands. Yet, although
unmarried, perhaps because unmarried, he heartily admired many
clever women; formed with them sedate but genuine friendships, the
l'amour sans ailes, sometimes called "Platonic" by persons who have
not read Plato; found in their illogical clear-sightedness, in
their [Greek word which cannot be reproduced], to use the master's
own untranslatable phrase, a titillating stimulus which he missed
in men. He thought that the Church should ordain priestesses as
well as priests, the former to be the Egerias of men, as the latter
are the Pontiffs of women. And Lady Gregory tells us, that when
attacked by gout, he wished for the solace of a lady doctor, and
wrote to one asking if gout were beyond her scope. She answered:
"Dear Sir,--Gout is not beyond my scope, but men are."

In 1854 he accompanied Lord Raglan to the Crimea. "I had heard,"
writes John Kenyon, "of Kinglake's chivalrous goings on. We were
saying yesterday that though he might write a book, he was among
the last men to go that he might write a book. He is wild about
matters military, if so calm a man is ever wild." He had hoped to
go in an official position as non-combatant, but this was refused
by the authorities. His friend, Lord Raglan, whose acquaintance he
had made while hunting with the Duke of Beaufort's hounds, took him
as his private guest. Arrested for a time at Malta by an attack of
fever, he joined our army before hostilities began, rode with Lord
Raglan's staff at the Alma fight, likening the novel sensation to
the excitement of fox-hunting; and accompanied the chief in his
visit of tenderness to the wounded when the fight was over.
Throughout the campaign the two were much together, as we shall
notice more fully later on. There are often slight but
unmistakable signs of Kinglake's presence as spectator and auditor
of Lord Raglan's deeds and words; {14} his affection and reverence
for the great general animate the whole; in outward composure and
latent strength the two men resembled each other closely. The book
is, in fact, a history of Lord Raglan's share in the campaign;
begun in 1856 at the request of Lady Raglan, the narrative ends
when the "Caradoc" with the general's body on board steams out of
the bay, "Farewell" flying at her masthead, the Russian batteries,
with generous recognition, ceasing to fire till the ship was out of
sight. "Lord Raglan is dead," said Kinglake as vol. viii. was sent
to press, "and my work is finished."

Ten years were to elapse before the opening volumes should appear;
and meanwhile he entered parliament for the borough of Bridgewater,
which had rejected him in 1852. His colleague was Colonel Charles
J. Kemyss Tynte, member of a family which local influence and
lavish expenditure had secured in the representation of the town
for nearly forty years. Catechized as to his political creed, he
answered: "I call myself an advanced Liberal; but I decline to go
into parliament as the pledged adherent of Lord Palmerston or any
other Liberal." He adds, in response to a further question: "I am
believed to be the author of 'Eothen.'" He broke down in his
maiden speech; but recovered himself in a later effort, and spoke,
not unfrequently, on subjects then important, now forgotten; on the
outrage of the "Charles et George"; the capture of the Sardinian
"Cagliari" by the Neapolitans on the high seas; our attitude
towards the Paris Congress of 1857; while in 1858 he led the revolt
against Lord Palmerston's proposal to amend the Conspiracy Laws in
deference to Louis Napoleon; in 1860 vigorously denounced the
annexation of Savoy and Nice; and in 1864 moved the amendment to
Mr. Disraeli's motion in the debate on the Address, which was
carried by 313 to 295. His feeble voice and unimpressive manner
prevented him from becoming a power in the House; but his speeches
when read are full, fluent, and graceful; the late Sir Robert
Peel's remarkable harangue against the French Emperor in the course
of an earlier debate was taken, as he is said to have owned, mainly
from a speech by Kinglake, delivered so indistinctly that the
reporters failed to catch it, but audible to Sir Robert who sate
close beside him.

With his constituents he was more at ease and more effective. His
seat for Bridgewater was challenged at a general election by Henry
Padwick, a hanger-on to Disraeli and a well-known bookmaker on the
turf, who, with an Irish Colonel Westbrook, tried to cajole the
electors and their wives by extravagant compliments to the town,
its neighbourhood, its denizens; a place celebrated, as Captain
Costigan said of Chatteris, "for its antiquitee, its hospitalitee,
the beautee of its women, the manly fidelitee, generositee, and
jovialitee of its men." Kinglake met them on their own ground. In
his flowery speeches the romance of Sinai and Palestine faded
before the glories of the little Somersetshire town. What was the
Jordan by comparison with the Parrett? Could Libanus or Anti-
Libanus vie with the Mendip and the Quantock Hills? The view
surveyed by Monmouth from St. Mary's Tower on the Eve of Sedgemoor
transcended all the panoramas which the Holy Land or Asia Minor
could present! But his more serious orations were worthy of his
higher fame. In the panic of 1858, when the address of the French
colonels to the Emperor, beseeching to be led against England, had
created serious alarm on this side the Channel, he went down to
Bridgewater to enlighten the West of England. "Why," he asked, "do
we fear invasion? The population of France is peaceful, the
'turnip-soup Jacques Bonhomme' is peaceful, the soldiers of the
line are peaceful. Why are we anxious? Because there sits in his
chamber at the Tuileries a solitary moody man. He is deeply
interested in the science and the art of war; he told me once that
he was contemplating a history of all the great battles ever
fought. He holds absolute control over vast resources both in men
and money; he has shown that he can attack successfully at a few
weeks' notice the greatest European military power: gout or
indigestion may at any moment convert him into an enemy of
ourselves. Until France returns to parliamentary government this
danger is imminent and continual. Our safety lies in our fleet,
and in that alone. If for twenty-four hours only the Channel were
denuded of our ships in time of war with France, they would hurl
upon our shores a force we could not meet. Such denudation must be
made impossible; our fleet so augmented and strengthened as to
provide impregnably at all times for home defence no less than for
foreign necessities. Our danger, I repeat, lies in no hostility on
the part of the French army, in no ferocity on the part of the
French people, in no PRESENT unfriendliness on the part of the
French Emperor: it arises from the fact that a revolutionary
government exists in France, which has armed one man, under the
name of Emperor--Dictator rather, I should say--with a power so
colossal, that until such power is moderated, as all power ought to
be, no neighbour can be entirely safe." This speech was reproduced
in "The Times." Montalembert read it with admiration. "Who," he
asked Sir M. E. Grant Duff, "who is Mr. Kinglake?" "He is the
author of 'Eothen.'" "And what is 'Eothen?' I never heard of it."

He found great enjoyment in parliamentary life, but was in 1868
unseated on petition for bribery on the part of his agents. Blue-
books are not ordinarily light reading; but the Report of the
Commissioners appointed to inquire into the alleged corrupt
practices at Bridgewater is not only a model of terse and vigorous
composition, but to persons with a sense of humour, inclined to
view human irregularities and inconsistencies in a sportive rather
than an indignant light, it is a sustained and diverting comedy.
Of the constituency, both before and after the Reform Bill, three-
fourths, the Commissioners artlessly inform us, sought and received
bribes; of the remainder, all but a few individuals negotiated and
gave the bribes. So in every election, both sides bribed avowedly;
if a luckless Purity Candidate appeared, he was promptly informed
that "Mr. Most" would win the seat: highest bribes decided each
election, further bribes averted petitions. When once a desperate
riot took place and the ringleaders were tried at Quarter Sessions,
the jury were bribed to acquit, in the teeth of the Chairman's
summing up. At last, in 1868, the defeated candidate petitioned;
blue-book literature was enriched by a remarkable report, and the
borough was disfranchised. Of course Kinglake had only himself to
thank; if a gentleman chooses to sit for a venal borough, and to
intrust his interests to a questionable agent, he must, in the
words of Mrs. Gamp, "take the consequences of sech a sitiwation."
The consequences to him were loss of his present seat, and
permanent exclusion from Parliament.

He was keenly mortified by his ostracism, speaking of himself ever
after as "a political corpse." Thenceforward he gave his whole
energy to literary work, to occasional reviews, mainly to his
"Invasion of the Crimea." In the "Edinburgh" I think he never
wrote, cordially disliking its then editor. A fine notice in
"Blackwood" of Madame de Lafayette's life was from his pen.
Surveying the Revolutionary Terror, he points out that
Robespierre's opponents were in numbers overwhelmingly strong, but
lacked cohesion and leaders; while the Mountain, dominated by a
single will, was legally armed with power to kill, and went on
killing. The Church played into Robespierre's hands by enforcing
Patience and Resignation as the highest Christian virtues,
confusing the idea of submission to Heaven with the idea of
submission to a scoundrel. Had Hampden been a Papist he would have
paid ship-money. He wrote also in "The Owl," a brilliant little
magazine edited by his friend Laurence Oliphant; a "Society
Journal," conducted by a set of clever well-to-do young bachelors
living in London, addressed like the "Pall Mall Gazette," in
"Pendennis," "to the higher circles of society, written by
gentlemen for gentlemen." When the expenses of production were
paid, the balance was spent on a whitebait dinner at Greenwich, and
on offerings of flowers and jewellery to the lady guests invited.
It came to an end, leaving no successor equally brilliant, high-
toned, wholesome; its collected numbers figure sometimes at a
formidable price in sales and catalogues. {15}

The first two volumes of his "Crimea" had appeared in 1863. They
were awaited with eager expectation. An elaborate history of the
war had been written by a Baron de Bazancourt, condemned as unfair
and unreliable by English statesmen, and severely handled in our
reviews. So the wish was felt everywhere for some record less
ephemeral, which should render the tale historically, and
counteract Bazancourt's misstatements. "I hear," wrote the Duke of
Newcastle, "that Kinglake has undertaken the task. He has a noble
opportunity of producing a text-book for future history, but to
accomplish this it must be STOICALLY impartial."

The beauty of their style, the merciless portraiture of the Second
Empire, the unparalleled diorama of the Alma fight, combined to
gain for these first four-and-twenty chapters an immediate vogue as
emphatic and as widely spread as that which saluted the opening of
Macaulay's "History." None of the later volumes, though highly
prized as battle narratives, quite came up to these. The political
and military conclusions drawn provoked no small bitterness; his
cousin, Mrs. Serjeant Kinglake, used to say that she met sometimes
with almost affronting coldness in society at the time, under the
impression that she was A. W. Kinglake's wife. Russians were,
perhaps unfairly, dissatisfied. Todleben, who knew and loved
Kinglake well, pronounced the book a charming romance, not a
history of the war. Individuals were aggrieved by its notice of
themselves or of their regiments; statesmen chafed under the
scientific analysis of their characters, or at the publication of
official letters which they had intended but not required to be
looked upon as confidential, and which the recipients had in all
innocence communicated to the historian. Palmerstonians, accepting
with their chief the Man of December, were furious at the exposure
of his basenesses. Lucas in "The Times" pronounced the work
perverse and mischievous; the "Westminster Review" branded it as
reactionary. "The Quarterly," in an article ascribed to A. H.
Layard, condemned its style as laboured and artificial; as palling
from the sustained pomp and glitter of the language; as wearisome
from the constant strain after minute dissection; declaring it
further to be "in every sense of the word a mischievous book."
"Blackwood," less unfriendly, surrendered itself to the beauty of
the writing; "satire so studied, so polished, so remorseless, and
withal so diabolically entertaining, that we know not where in
modern literature to seek such another philippic."

Reeve, editor of the "Edinburgh," wished Lord Clarendon to attack
the book; he refused, but offered help, and the resulting article
was due to the collaboration of the pair. It caused a prolonged
coolness between Reeve and Kinglake, who at last ended the quarrel
by a characteristic letter: "I observed yesterday that my malice,
founded perhaps upon a couple of words, and now of three years'
duration, had not engendered corresponding anger in you; and if my
impression was a right one, I trust we may meet for the future on
our old terms."

On the other hand, the "Saturday Review," then at the height of its
repute and influence, vindicated in a powerful article Kinglake's
truth and fairness; and a pamphlet by Hayward, called "Mr. Kinglake
and the Quarterlies," amused society by its furious onslaught upon
the hostile periodicals, laid bare their animus, and exposed their
misstatements. "If you rise in this tone," he began, in words of
Lord Ellenborough when Attorney-General, "I can speak as loudly and
emphatically: I shall prosecute the case with all the liberality
of a gentleman, but no tone or manner shall put me down." And the
dissentient voices were drowned in the general chorus of
admiration. German eulogy was extravagant; French Republicanism
was overjoyed; Englishmen, at home and abroad, read eagerly for the
first time in close and vivid sequence events which, when spread
over thirty months of daily newspapers, few had the patience to
follow, none the qualifications to condense. Macaulay tells us
that soon after the appearance of his own first volumes, a Mr.
Crump from America offered him five hundred dollars if he would
introduce the name of Crump into his history. An English gentleman
and lady, from one of our most distant colonies, wrote to Kinglake
a jointly signed pathetic letter, intreating him to cite in his
pages the name of their only son, who had fallen in the Crimea. He
at once consented, and asked for particulars--manner, time, place--
of the young man's death. The parents replied that they need not
trouble him with details; these should be left to the historian's
kind inventiveness: whatever he might please to say in
embellishment of their young hero's end they would gratefully

Unlike most authors, from Moliere down to Dickens, he never read
aloud to friends any portion of the unpublished manuscript; never,
except to closest intimates, spoke of the book, or tolerated
inquiry about it from others. When asked as to the progress of a
volume he had in hand, he used to say, "That is really a matter on
which it is quite out of my power even to inform myself"; and I
remember how once at a well-selected dinner-party in the country,
whither he came in good spirits and inclined to talk his best, a
second-hand criticism on his book by a conceited parson, the
official and incongruous element in the group, stiffened him into
persistent silence. All England laughed, when Blackwood's
"Memoirs" saw the light, over his polite repulse of the kindly
officious publisher, who wished, after his fashion, to criticise
and finger and suggest. "I am almost alarmed, as it were, at the
notion of receiving suggestions. I feel that hints from you might
be so valuable and so important, it might be madness to ask you
beforehand to abstain from giving me any; but I am anxious for you
to know what the dangers in the way of long delay might be, the
result of even a few slight and possibly most useful suggestions. .
. . You will perhaps (after what I have said) think it best not to
set my mind running in a new path, lest I should take to re-
writing." Note, by the way, the slovenliness of this epistle, as
coming from so great a master of style; that defect characterizes
all his correspondence. He wrote for the Press "with all his
singing robes about him"; his letters were unrevised and brief.
Mrs. Simpson, in her pleasant "Memories," ascribes to him the
eloquence du billet in a supreme degree. I must confess that of
more than five hundred letters from his pen which I have seen only
six cover more than a single sheet of note-paper, all are alike
careless and unstudied in style, though often in matter
characteristic and informing. "I am not by nature," he would say,
"a letter-writer, and habitually think of the uncertainty as to who
may be the reader of anything that I write. It is my fate, as a
writer of history, to have before me letters never intended for my
eyes, and this has aggravated my foible, and makes me a wretched
correspondent. I should like very much to write letters gracefully
and easily, but I can't, because it is contrary to my nature." "I
have got," he writes so early as 1873, "to shrink from the use of
the pen; to ask me to write letters is like asking a lame man to
walk; it is not, as horse-dealers say, 'the nature of the beast.'
When others TALK to me charmingly, my answers are short, faltering,
incoherent sentences; so it is with my writing." "You," he says to
another lady correspondent, "have the pleasant faculty of easy,
pleasant letter-writing, in which I am wholly deficient."

In fact, the claims of his Crimean book, which compelled him
latterly to refuse all other literary work, gave little time for
correspondence. Its successive revisions formed his daily task
until illness struck him down. Sacks of Crimean notes, labelled
through some fantastic whim with female Christian names--the Helen
bag, the Adelaide bag, etc.--were ranged round his room. His
working library was very small in bulk, his habit being to cut out
from any book the pages which would be serviceable, and to fling
the rest away. So, we are told, the first Napoleon, binding
volumes for his travelling library, shore their margins to the
quick, and removed all prefaces, title-pages, and other superfluous
leaves. So, too, Edward Fitzgerald used to tear out of his books
all that in his judgment fell below their authors' highest
standard, retaining for his own delectation only the quintessential
remnants. Vols. III. and IV. appeared in 1868, V. in 1875, VI. in
1880, VII. and VIII. in 1887; while a Cabinet Edition of the whole
in nine volumes was issued continuously from 1870 to 1887. Our
attempt to appreciate the book shall be reserved for another


Was the history of the Crimean War worth writing? Not as a
magnified newspaper report,--that had been already done--but as a
permanent work of art from the pen of a great literary expert?
Very many of us, I think, after the lapse of fifty years, feel
compelled to say that it was not. The struggle represented no
great principles, begot no far-reaching consequences. It was not
inspired by the "holy glee" with which in Wordsworth's sonnet
Liberty fights against a tyrant, but by the faltering boldness, the
drifting, purposeless unresolve of statesmen who did not desire it,
and by the irrational violence of a Press which did not understand
it. It was not a necessary war; its avowed object would have been
attained within a few weeks or months by bloodless European
concert. It was not a glorious war; crippled by an incompatible
alliance and governed by the Evil Genius who had initiated it for
personal and sordid ends, it brought discredit on baffled generals
in the field, on Crown, Cabinet, populace, at home. It was not a
fruitful war; the detailed results purchased by its squandered life
and treasure lapsed in swift succession during twenty sequent
years, until the last sheet of the treaty which secured them was
contemptuously torn up by Gortschakoff in 1870. But a right sense
of historical proportion is in no time the heritage of the many,
and is least of all attainable while the memory of a campaign is
fresh. On Englishmen who welcomed home their army in 1855, the
strife from which shattered but victorious it had returned, loomed
as epoch-making and colossal, as claiming therefore permanent
record from some eloquent artist of attested descriptive power.
Soon the report gained ground that the destined chronicler was
Kinglake, and all men hailed the selection; yet the sceptic who in
looking back to-day decries the greatness of the campaign may
perhaps no less hesitate to approve the fitness of its chosen
annalist. His fame was due to the perfection of a single book; he
ranked as a potentate in STYLE. But literary perfection, whether
in prose or poetry, is a fragile quality, an afflatus irregular,
independent, unamenable to orders; the official tributes of a
Laureate we compliment at their best with the northern farmer's
verdict on the pulpit performances of his parson:

"An' I niver knaw'd wot a mean'd but I thow't a 'ad summut to saay,
And I thowt a said wot a owt to 'a said an' I comed awaay."

Set to compile a biography from thirty years of "Moniteurs," the
author of Waverley, like Lord Chesterfield's diamond pencil,
produced one miracle of dulness; it might well be feared that
Kinglake's volatile pen, when linked with forceful feeling and
bound to rigid task-work, might lose the charm of casual epigram,
easy luxuriance, playful egotism, vagrant allusion, which
established "Eothen" as a classic. On the other hand, he had been
for twenty years conversant with Eastern history, geography,
politics; was, more than most professional soldiers, an adept in
military science; had sate in the centre of the campaign as its
general's guest and comrade; was intrusted, above all, by Lady
Raglan with the entire collection of her husband's papers: her
wish, implied though not expressed, that they should be utilized
for the vindication of the great field-marshal's fame, he accepted
as a sacred charge; her confidence not only governed his decision
to become the historian of the war, but imparted a personal
character to the narrative.

In order, therefore, rightly to appreciate "The Invasion of the
Crimea," we must look upon it as a great prose epic; its argument,
machinery, actors, episodes, subordinate to a predominant ever
present hero. In its fine preamble Lord Raglan sits enthroned high
above generals, armies, spectators, conflicts; on the quality of
his mind the fate of two great hosts and the fame of two great
nations hang. He checks St. Arnaud's wild ambition; overrules the
waverings of the Allies; against his own judgment, but in dutiful
obedience to home instruction carries out the descent upon the Old
Fort coast. The successful achievement of the perilous flank march
is ascribed to the undivided command which, during forty-eight
hours, accident had conferred upon him. From his presence in
council French and English come away convinced and strengthened;
his calm in action imparts itself to anxious generals and panic-
stricken aides-de-camp. Through Alma fight, from the high knoll to
which happy audacity had carried him he rides the whirlwind and
directs the storm. In the terrible crisis which sees the Russians
breaking over the crest of Inkerman, in the ill-fated attack on the
Great Redan where Lacy Yea is killed, his apparent freedom from
anxiety infects all around him and achieves redemption from
disaster. {16} We see him in his moments of vexation and
discomfiture; dissembling pain and anger under the stress of the
French alliance, galled by Cathcart's disobedience, by the loss of
the Light Brigade, by Lord Panmure's insulting, querulous,
unfounded blame. We read his last despatch, framed with wonted
grace and clearness; then--on the same day--we see the outworn
frame break down, and follow mournfully two days later the
afflicting details of his death. As the generals and admirals of
the allied forces stand round the dead hero's form, as the palled
bier, draped in the flag of England, is carried from headquarters
to the port, as the "Caradoc," steaming away with her honoured
freight, flies out her "Farewell" signal, the narrative abruptly
ends. The months of the siege which still remained might be left
to other hands or lapse untold. Troy had still to be taken when
Hector died; but with his funeral dirge the Iliad closed, the blind
bard's task was over:

"Such honours Ilion to her hero paid,
And peaceful slept the mighty Hector's shade."

If the framework of the narrative is epic, its treatment is
frequently dramatic. The "Usage of Europe" in the opening pages is
not so much a record as a personification of unwritten Law: the
Great Eltchi tramps the stage with a majesty sometimes bordering on
fustian. Dramatic is the story of the sleeping Cabinet. "It was
evening--a summer evening"--one thinks of a world-famous passage in
the "De Corona"--when the Duke of Newcastle carried to Richmond
Lodge the fateful despatch committing England to the war. "Before
the reading of the Paper had long continued, all the members of the
Cabinet except a small minority were overcome with sleep"; the few
who remained awake were in a quiet, assenting frame of mind, and
the despatch "received from the Cabinet the kind of approval which
is awarded to an unobjectionable Sermon." Not less dramatic is
Nolan's death; the unearthly shriek of the slain corpse erect in
saddle with sword arm high in air, as the dead horseman rode still
seated through the 13th Light Dragoons; the "Minden Yell" of the
20th driving down upon the Iakoutsk battalion; the sustained and
scathing satire on the Notre Dame Te Deum for the Boulevard
massacre. A simple dialogue, a commonplace necessary act, is
staged sometimes for effect. "Then Lord Stratford apprised the
Sultan that he had a private communication to make to him. The
pale Sultan listened." . . . "Whose was the mind which had freshly
come to bear upon this part of the fight? Sir Colin Campbell was
sitting in his saddle, the veteran was watching his time." . . .
"The Emperor Nicholas was alone in his accustomed writing-room. He
took no counsel; he rang a bell. Presently an officer of his staff
stood before him. To him he gave his order for the occupation of
the Principalities." This overpasses drama--it is melodrama.

To the personal element which pervades the volumes great part of
their charm is due. The writer never obtrudes himself, but leaves
his presence to be discerned by the touches which attest an eye-
witness. Through his observant nearness we watch the Chief's
demeanour and hear his words; see him "turn scarlet with shame and
anger" when the brutal Zouaves carry outrage into the friendly
Crimean village, witness his personal succour of the wounded
Russian after Inkerman, hear his arch acceptance of the French
courtesy, so careful always to yield the post of danger to the
English; his "Go quietly" to the excited aide-de-camp; {17} his
good-humoured reception of the scared and breathless messenger from
D'Aurelle's brigade; the "five words" spoken to Airey commanding
the long delayed advance across the Alma; the "tranquil low voice"
which gave the order rescuing the staff from its unforeseen
encounter with the Russian rear. He records Codrington's leap on
his grey Arab into the breast-work of the Great Redoubt; Lacy Yea's
passionate energy in forcing his clustered regiment to open out;
Miller's stentorian "Rally" in reforming the Scots Greys after the
Balaclava charge; Clarke losing his helmet in the same charge, and
creating amongst the Russians, as he plunged in bareheaded amongst
their ranks, the belief that he was sheltered by some Satanic
charm. He notes on the Alma the singular pause of sound maintained
by both armies just before the cannonade began; the first death--of
an artilleryman riding before his gun--a new sight to nine-tenths
of those who witnessed it; {18} the weird scream of exploding
shells as they rent the air around. He crossed the Alma close
behind Lord Raglan, cantering after him to the summit of a
conspicuous hillock in the heart of the enemy's position, whence
the mere sight of plumed English officers scared the Russian
generals, and, followed soon by guns and troops, governed the issue
of the fight. The general's manner was "the manner of a man
enlivened by the progress of a great undertaking without being
robbed of his leisure. He spoke to me, I remember, about his
horse. He seemed like a man who had a clue of his own and knew his
way through the battle." When the last gun was fired Kinglake
followed the Chief back, witnessed the wild burst of cheering
accorded to him by the whole British army, a manifestation, Lord
Burghersh tells us, which greatly distressed his modesty--and dined
alone with him in his tent on the evening of the eventful day.

If Lord Raglan was the Hector of the Crimean Iliad, its Agamemnon
was Lord Stratford: "king of men," as Stanley called him in his
funeral sermon at Westminster; king of distrustful home Cabinets,
nominally his masters, of scheming European embassies, of insulting
Russian opponents, of presumptuous French generals, of false and
fleeting Pashas (Le Sultan, c'est Lord Stratford, said St. Arnaud),
of all men, whatever their degree, who entered his ambassadorial
presence. Ascendency was native to the man; while yet in his teens
we find Etonian and Cambridge friends writing to him deferentially
as to a critic and superior. At four and twenty he became Minister
to a Court manageable only by high-handed authority and menace. He
owned, and for the most part controlled, a violent temper; it broke
bounds sometimes, to our great amusement as we read to-day, to the
occasional discomfiture of attaches or of dependents, {19} to the
abject terror of Turkish Sublimities who had outworn his patience.
But he knew when to be angry; he could pulverize by fiery outbreaks
the Reis Effendi and his master, Abdu-l-Mejid; but as
Plenipotentiary to the United States he could "quench the terror of
his beak, the lightning of his eye," disarming by his formal
courtesy and winning by his obvious sincerity the suspicious and
irritable John Quincy Adams. When Menschikoff once insulted him,
seeing that a quarrel at that moment would be fatal to his purpose,
he pretended to be deaf, and left the Russian in the belief that
his rude speech had not been heard. Enthroned for the sixth time
in Constantinople, at the dangerous epoch of 1853, he could point
to an unequalled diplomatic record in the past; to the Treaty of
Bucharest, to reunion of the Helvetic Confederacy shattered by
Napoleon's fall, to the Convention which ratified Greek
independence, to the rescue from Austrian malignity of the
Hungarian refugees.

His conduct of the negotiations preceding the Crimean War is justly
called the cornerstone of his career: at this moment of his
greatness Kinglake encounters and describes him: through the
brilliant chapters in his opening volume, as more fully later on
through Mr. Lane Poole's admirable biography, the Great Eltchi is
known to English readers. He moves across the stage with a majesty
sometimes bordering on what Iago calls bombast circumstance; drums
and trumpets herald his every entrance; now pacing the shady
gardens of the Bosphorus, now foiling, "in his grand quiet way,"
the Czar's ferocious Christianity, or torturing his baffled
ambassador by scornful concession of the points which he formally
demanded but did not really want; or crushing with "thin, tight,
merciless lips and grand overhanging Canning brow" the presumptuous
French commander who had dared to enter his presence with a plot
for undermining England's influence in the partnership of the
campaign. Was he, we ask as we end the fascinating description,
was he, what Bright and the Peace Party proclaimed him to be, the
cause of the Crimean War? The Czar's personal dislike to him--a
caprice which has never been explained {20}--exasperated no doubt
to the mind of Nicholas the repulse of Menschikoff's demands; but
that the precipitation of the prince and his master had put the
Russian Court absolutely in the wrong is universally admitted. It
has been urged against him that his recommendation of the famous
Vienna Note to the Porte was official merely, and allowed the
watchful Turks to assume his personal approbation of their refusal.
It may be so; his biographer does not admit so much: but it is
obvious that the Turks were out of hand, and that no pressure from
Lord Stratford could have persuaded them to accept the Note.
Further, the "Russian Analysis of the Note," escaping shortly
afterwards from the bag of diplomatic secrecy, revealed to our
Cabinet the necessity of those amendments to the Note on which the
Porte had insisted. And lastly, the passage of the Dardanelles by
our fleet, which more than any overt act made war inevitable, was
ordered by the Government at home against Lord Stratford's counsel.
Between panic-stricken statesmen and vacillating ambassadors, Lord
Clarendon on one side, M. de la Cour on the other, the Eltchi
stands like Tennyson's promontory of rock,

"Tempest-buffeted, citadel-crowned."

Napoleon at St. Helena attributed much of his success in the field
to the fact that he was not hampered by governments at home. Every
modern commander, down certainly to the present moment, must have
envied him. Kinglake's mordant pen depicts with felicity and
compression the men of Downing Street, who without military
experience or definite political aim, thwarted, criticised, over-
ruled, tormented, their much-enduring General. We have Aberdeen,
deficient in mental clearness and propelling force, by his horror
of war bringing war to pass; Gladstone, of too subtle intellect and
too lively conscience, "a good man in the worst sense of the term";
Palmerston, above both in keenness of instinct and in strength of
will, meaning war from the first, and biding his time to insure it;
Newcastle, sanguine to the verge of rashness, loyally adherent to
Lord Raglan while governed by his own judgment, distrustful under
stress of popular clamour; Panmure, ungenerous, rough-tongued,
violent, churlish, yet not malevolent--"a rhinoceros rather than a
tiger"--hurried by subservience to the newspaper Press into
injustice which he afterwards recognized, yet did but sullenly
repair. We see finally that dominant Press itself, personified in
the all-powerful Delane, a potentate with convictions at once
flexible and vehement; forceful without spite and merciless without
malignity; writing no articles, but evoking, shaping, revising all.
The French commanders were not hampered by the muzzled Paris Press,
which had long since ceased to utter any but dictated sentiments;
they suffered even more disastrously from the imperious
interference of the Tuileries. Canrobert's inaction, mutability,
sudden alarms, flagrant breaches of faith, were inexplicable until
long afterwards, when the fall of the Empire disclosed the secret
instructions--disloyal to his allies and ruinous to the campaign--
by which Louis Napoleon shackled his unhappy General. In
Canrobert's successor, Pelissier, he met his match. For the first
time a strong man headed the French army. Short of stature, bull-
necked and massive in build, with grey hair, long dark moustache,
keen fiery eyes, his coarse rough speech masking tested brain power
and high intellectual culture, he brought new life to the benumbed
French army, new hope to Lord Raglan. The duel between the
resolute general and the enraged Emperor is narrated with a touch
comedy. All that Lord Raglan desired, all that the Emperor
forbade, Pelissier was stubbornly determined to accomplish; the
siege should be pressed at once, the city taken at any cost, the
expedition to Kertch resumed. Once only, under torment of the
Emperor's reproaches and the Minister at War's remonstrances, his
resolution and his nerve gave way; eight days of failing judgment
issued in the Karabelnaya defeat, the severest repulse which the
two armies had sustained; but the paralysis passed away, he showed
himself once more eager to act in concert with the English
general;--when the long-borne strain of disappointment and anxiety
sapped at last Lord Raglan's vital forces, and the hard fierce
Frenchman stood for upwards of an hour beside his dead colleague's
bedside, "crying like a child."

The lieutenants of Lord Raglan in the Crimea have long since passed
away, but in artistic epical presentment they retain their place
around him. Airey, his right hand from the first disembarkation at
Kalamita Bay, strong-willed, decisive, ardent, thrusting away
suspense and doubt, untying every knot, is vindicated by his Chief
against the Duke of Newcastle's wordy inculpation in the severest
despatch perhaps ever penned to his official superior by a soldier
in the field. Colin Campbell, with glowing face, grey kindling
eye, light, stubborn, crisping hair, leads his Highland brigade tip
the hill against the Vladimir columns, till "with the sorrowful
wail which bursts from the brave Russian infantry when they have to
suffer loss," eight battalions of the enemy fall back in retreat.
Lord Lucan, tall, lithe, slender, his face glittering and panther-
like in moments of strenuous action, wins our hearts as he won
Kinglake's, in spite of the mis-aimed cleverness and presumptuous
self-confidence which always criticised and sometimes disobeyed the
orders of his Chief. General Pennefather, "the grand old boy," his
exulting radiant face flashing everywhere through the smoke, his
resonant innocuous oaths roaring cheerily down the line, sustains
all day the handful of our troops against the tenfold masses of the
enemy. Generous and eloquent are the notices of Korniloff and
Todleben, the great sailor and the great engineer, the soul and the
brain of the Sebastopol defence. The first fell in the siege, the
second lived to write its history, to become a valued friend of
Kinglake, to explore and interpret in his company long afterwards
the scenes of struggle; his book and his personal guidance gave to
the historian what would otherwise have been unattainable, a clear
knowledge of the conflict as viewed from within the town.

The pitched battlefields of the campaign were three, Alma,
Balaclava, Inkerman. The Alma chapter is the most graphic, for
there the fight was concentrated, offering to a spectator by Lord
Raglan's side a coup d'oeil of the entire action. The French were
by bad generalship virtually wiped out; for Bosquet crossed the
river too far to the right, Canrobert was afraid to move without
artillery, Prince Napoleon and St. Arnaud's reserves were jammed
together in the bottom of the valley. We see, as though on the
spot, the advance, irregular and unsupported, of Codrington's
brigade, their dash into the Great Redoubt and subsequent
disorderly retreat; the enemy checked by the two guns from Lord
Raglan's knoll and by the steadiness of the Royal Fusiliers; the
repulse of the Scots Fusiliers and the peril which hung over the
event; then the superb advance of Guards and Highlanders up the
hill, thin red line against massive columns, which determined
finally the action.

The interest of the Balaclava fight centres in the two historic
cavalry charges. Here again, from his position on the hill above,
Kinglake witnessed both; the first, clear in smokeless air, the
second lost in the volleying clouds which filled the valley of
death. He saw the enormous mass of Russian cavalry, 3,500 sabres,
flooding like an avalanche down the hill with a momentum which
Scarlett's tiny squadron could not for a moment have resisted;
their unexplained halt, the three hundred seizing the opportunity
to strike, digging individually into the Russian ranks, the scarlet
streaks visibly cleaving the dense grey columns. Inwedged and
surrounded, in their passionate blood frenzy, with ceaseless play
of whirling sword, with impetus of human and equestrian weight and
strength, the red atoms hewed their way to the Russian rear,
turned, worked back, emerged, reformed; while the 4th and 5th
Dragoons, the Royals, the 1st Inniskillings, dashed upon the amazed
column right, left, front, till the close-locked mass headed slowly
up the hill, ranks loosened, horsemen turned and galloped off, a
beaten straggling herd. Eight minutes elapsed from the time when
Scarlett gave the word to charge, until the moment when the
Russians broke: we turn from the fifty describing pages,
breathless as though we had ridden in the melley; if the episode
has no historical parallel, the narrative is no less unique. Our
greatest contemporary poet tried to celebrate it; his lines are
tame and unexciting beside Kinglake's passionate pulsing rhapsody.
Its effect upon the Russian mind was lasting; out of all their vast
array hardly a single squadron was ever after able to keep its
ground against the approach of English cavalry; while but for
Cathcart's obstinacy and Lucan's temper it would have issued in the
immediate recapture of the Causeway Heights.

The Charge of the Light Brigade, on the other hand, while it
stirred the imagination of the poet, shocked the military
conscience of the historian. He saw in it with agony, as Lord
Raglan saw, as the French spectators saw, no act of heroic
sacrifice, but a needless, fruitless massacre. "You have lost the
Light Brigade," was his commander's salutation to Lord Lucan.
"C'est magnifique, mais ce n'est pas la guerre," was the oft-quoted
reproof of Bosquet. The "someone's blunder," the sullen perversity
in misconception which destroyed the flower of our cavalry, has
faded from men's memories; the splendour of the deed remains. It
is well to recover salvage from the irrevocable, to voice and to
prolong the deep human interest attaching to death encountered at
the call of duty; that is the poet's task, and brilliantly it has
been discharged. Its other side, the paean of sorrow for a self-
destructive exploit, the dirge on lives wantonly thrown away, the
deep blame attaching to the untractableness which sent them to
their doom, was the task of the historian, and that too has been
faithfully and lastingly accomplished.

Inkerman was the most complicated of the battles; the chapters
which record it are correspondingly taxing to the reader. More
than once or twice they must be scanned, with close study of their
lucid maps, before the intricate sequences are fairly and
distinctively grasped; the sixth book of Thucydides, a standing
terror to young Greek students, is light and easy reading compared
with the bulky sixth volume of Kinglake. The hero of the day was
Pennefather; he maintained on Mount Inkerman a combat of pickets
reinforced from time to time, while around him through nine hours
successive attacks of thousands were met by hundreds. The
disparity of numbers was appalling. At daybreak 40,000 Russian
troops advanced against 3,000 English and were repulsed. Three
hours later 19,000 fresh troops came on, passed through a gap in
our lines, which Cathcart's disobedience, atoned for presently by
his death, had left unoccupied, and seized the heights behind us;
they too were dispossessed, but our numbers were dwindling and our
strength diminishing. The Home Ridge, key of our position, was
next invaded by 6,000 Russians; the 7th St. Leger, linked with a
few Zouaves and with 200 men of our 77th Regiment, French and
English for once joyously intermingled, hurled them back. It was
the crisis of the fight; Canrobert's interposition would have
determined it; but he sullenly refused to move. Finally, led by
two or three daring young officers, 300 of our wearied troops
charged the Russian battery which had tormented us all day; their
artillerymen, already flinching under the galling fire of two 18-
pounders, brought up by Lord Raglan's foresight early in the
morning, hastily withdrew their guns, and the battle was won. It
was a day of Homeric rushes; Burnaby, with only twenty men to
support him, rescuing the Grenadier Guards' colours; the onset of
the 20th with their "Minden Yell"; Colonel Daubeny with two dozen
followers cleaving the Russian trunk column at the barrier; Waddy's
dash at the retreating artillery train, foiled only by the presence
and the readiness of Todleben. One marvels in reading how the
English held their own; their victory against so tremendous odds is
ascribed by the historian to three conditions; the hampering of the
enemy by his crowded masses; the slaughter amongst his officers
early in the fight, which deprived their men of leadership; above
all, the dense mist which obscured from him the fewness of his
opponents. If Canrobert with his fresh troops had followed in
pursuit, the Russian's retreat must have been turned into a rout
and his artillery captured; if on the following day he had
assaulted the Flagstaff Bastion, Sebastopol, Todleben owned, must
have fallen. He would do neither; his hesitancy and apparent
feebleness have already been explained; but to it, and to the
sinister influence which held his hand, were due the subsequent
miseries of the Crimean winter.

But the epic muse exacted from Kinglake, as from Virgil long
before, the portrayal not only of generals and of battles, but of
two great monarchs, each in his own day conspicuously and
absolutely prominent--the Czar Nicholas and the Emperor Napoleon:

"dicam horrida belia,
Dicam acies, actosque animis in funera REGES."

His handling of them is characteristic. Few men living then could
have approached either without a certain awe, their "genius"
rebuked,--like Mark Antony's, in the presence of Caesars so
imposing and so mighty; Kinglake's attitude towards both is the
attitude of cold analysis.

In the opening of the fifties the Czar Nicholas was the most
powerful man then living in the world. He ruled over sixty million
subjects whose loyalty bordered on worship: he had in arms a
million soldiers, brave and highly trained. In the troubles of
1848 he had stood scornful and secure amid the overthrow of
surrounding thrones; and the entire impact of his vast and well-
organized Empire was subject to his single will; whatever he chose
to do he did. Of stern and unrelenting nature, of active and
widely ranging capacity for business, of gigantic stature and
commanding presence, he inspired almost universal terror; and yet
his friendliness had when he pleased a glow and frankness
irresistible in its charm. Readers of Queen Victoria's early life
will recall the alarm she felt at his sudden proposal to visit
Windsor in 1844, the fascination which his presence exercised on
her when he became her guest. He professed to embody his standard
of conduct in the English word "gentleman"; his ideal of human
grandeur was the character of the Duke of Wellington. It was an
evil destiny that betrayed this high-minded man into crooked ways;
that made England sacrifice the stateliest among her ancient
friends to an ignoble and crime-stained adventurer; that poured out
blood and treasure for no public advantage and with no permanent
result; that first humiliated, then slew with broken heart the man
who had been so great, and who is still regarded by surviving
Russians who knew his inner life and had seen him in his gentle
mood with passionate reverence and affection.

Kinglake's description of "Prince Louis Bonaparte," of his
character, his accomplices, his policy, his crimes, is perhaps
unequalled in historical literature; I know not where else to look
for a vivisection so scientific and so merciless of a great
potentate in the height of his power. With scrutiny polite,
impartial, guarded, he lays bare the springs of a conscienceless
nature and the secrets of a crime-driven career; while for the
combination of precise simplicity with exhaustive synopsis, the
masquerading of moral indignation in the guise of mocking laughter,
the loathing of a gentleman for a scoundrel set to the measure not
of indignation but of contempt, we must go back to the refined
insolence, the [Greek text which cannot be reproduced] of Voltaire.
He had well known Prince Napoleon in his London days, had been
attracted by him as a curiosity--"a balloon man who had twice
fallen from the skies and yet was still alive"--had divined the
mental power veiled habitually by his blank, opaque, wooden looks,
had listened to his ambitious talk and gathered up the utterances
of his thoughtful, long-pondering mind, had quarrelled with him
finally and lastingly over rivalry in the good graces of a woman.
{21} He saw in him a fourfold student; of the art of war, of the
mind of the first Napoleon, of the French people's character, of
the science by which law may lend itself to stratagem and become a
weapon of deceit.

The intellect of this strange being was subject to an uncertainty
of judgment, issuing in ambiguity of enterprise, and giving an
impression of well-kept secrecy, due often to the fact that divided
by mental conflict he had no secret to tell. He understood truth,
but under the pressure of strong motive would invariably deceive.
He sometimes, out of curiosity, would listen to the voice of
conscience, and could imitate neatly on occasion the scrupulous
language of a man of honour; but the consideration that one of two
courses was honest, and the other not, never entered into his
motives for action. He was bold in forming plots, and skilful in
conducting them; but in the hour of trial and under the confront of
physical danger he was paralysed by constitutional timidity. His
great aim in life was to be conspicuous--digito monstrarier--
coupled with a theatric mania which made scenic effects and
surprises essential to the eminence he craved.

Handling this key to his character, Kinglake pursues him into his
December treason, contrasts the consummate cleverness of his
schemes with the faltering cowardice which shrank, like Macbeth's
ambition, from "the illness should attend them," and which, but for
the stronger nerve of those behind him, would have caused his
collapse, at Paris as at Strasburg and Boulogne, in contact with
the shock of action. It is difficult now to realize the commotion
caused by this fourteenth chapter of Kinglake's book. The Emperor
was at the summit of his power, fresh from Austrian conquest,
viewed with alarm by England, whose rulers feared his strength and
were distrustful of his friendship. Our Crown, our government, our
society, had condoned his usurpation; he had kissed the Queen's
cheek, bent her ministers to his will, ridden through her capital a
triumphant and applauded guest. And now men read not only a
cynical dissection of his character and disclosure of his early
foibles, but the hideous details of his deceit and treachery, the
phases of cold-blooded massacre and lawless deportation by which he
emptied France of all who hesitated to enrol themselves as his
accomplices or his tools. Forty years have passed since the
terrible indictment was put forth; down to its minutest allegation
it has been proved literally true; the arch criminal has fallen
from his estate to die in disgrace, disease, exile. When we talk
to-day with cultivated Frenchmen of that half-forgotten epoch, and
of the book which bared its horrors, we are met by their response
of ardent gratitude to the man who joined to passionate hatred of
iniquity surpassing capacity for denouncing it; their avowal that
with all its frequent exposure of their military shortcomings and
depreciation of their national character, no English chronicle of
the century stands higher in their esteem than the history of the
war in the Crimea.

The close of the book is grim and tragic in the main, the stir of
gallant fights exchanged for the dreary course of siege,
intrenchment, mine and countermine. We have the awful winter on
the heights, the November hurricane, the foiled bombardments, the
cruel blunder of the Karabelnaya assault, the bitter natural
discontent at home, the weak subservience of our government to
misdirected clamour, the touching help-fraught advent of the Lady
Nurses: then, just as better prospects dawn, the Chief's collapse
and death. From the morrow of Inkerman to the end, through no
fault of his, the historian's chariot wheels drag. More and more
one sees how from the nature of the task, except for the flush of
contemporary interest then, except by military students now, it is
not a work to be popularly read; the exhausted interest of its
subject swamps the genius of its narrator. Scattered through its
more serious matter are gems with the old "Eothen" sparkle, of
periphrasis, aphorism, felicitous phrase and pregnant epithet.
Such is the fine analogy between the worship of holy shrines and
the lover's homage to the spot which his mistress's feet have trod;
such France's tolerance of the Elysee brethren compared to the Arab
laying his verminous burnous upon an ant-hill; the apt quotation
from the Psalms to illustrate the on-coming of the Guards; the
demeanour of horses in action; the course of a flying cannon-ball;
the two ponderous troopers at the Horse Guards; Tom Tower and his
Croats landing stores for our soldiers from the "Erminia." Or
again, we have the light clear touches of a single line; "the
decisiveness and consistency of despotism"--"the fractional and
volatile interests in trading adventure which go by the name of
Shares"--"the unlabelled, undocketed state of mind which shall
enable a man to encounter the Unknown"--"the qualifying words which
correct the imprudences and derange the grammatical structure of a
Queen's Speech": but these are islets in the sea of narrative,
not, as in "Eothen," woof-threads which cross the warp.

To compare an idyll with an epic, it may be said, is like comparing
a cameo with a Grecian temple: be it so; but the temple falls in
ruins, the cameo is preserved in cabinets; and it is possible that
a century hence the Crimean history will be forgotten, while
"Eothen" is read and enjoyed. The best judges at the time
pronounced that as a lasting monument of literary force the work
was over refined: "Kinglake," said Sir George Cornewall Lewis,
"tries to write better than he can write"; quoting, perhaps
unconsciously, the epigram of a French art critic a hundred years
before-- Il cherche toujours a faire mieux qu'il ne fait. {22} He
lavished on it far more pains than on "Eothen": the proof sheets
were a black sea of erasures, intercalations, blots; the original
chaotic manuscript pages had to be disentangled by a calligraphic
Taunton bookseller before they could be sent to press. This
fastidiousness in part gained its purpose; won temporary success;
gave to his style the glitter, rapidity, point, effectiveness, of a
pungent editorial; went home, stormed, convinced, vindicated,
damaged, triumphed: but it missed by excessive polish the
reposeful, unlaboured, classic grace essential to the highest art.
Over-scrupulous manipulation of words is liable to the "defect of
its qualities"; as with unskilful goldsmiths of whom old Latin
writers tell us, the file goes too deep, trimming away more of the
first fine minting than we can afford to lose. Ruskin has
explained to us how the decadence of Gothic architecture commenced
through care bestowed on window tracery for itself instead of as an
avenue or vehicle for the admission of light. Read "words" for
tracery, "thought" for light, and we see how inspiration avenges
itself so soon as diction is made paramount; artifice, which
demands and misses watchful self-concealment, passes into
mannerism; we have lost the incalculable charm of spontaneity.
Comparison of "Eothen" with the "Crimea" will I think exemplify
this truth. The first, to use Matthew Arnold's imagery, is Attic,
the last has declined to the Corinthian; it remains a great, an
amazingly great production; great in its pictorial force, its
omnipresent survey, verbal eloquence, firm grasp, marshalled
delineation of multitudinous and entangled matter; but it is not
unique amongst martial records as "Eothen" is unique amongst books
of travel: it is through "Eothen" that its author has soared into
a classic, and bids fair to hold his place. And, apart from the
merit of style, great campaigns lose interest in a third, if not in
a second generation; their historical consequence effaced through
lapse of years; their policy seen to have been nugatory or
mischievous; their chronicles, swallowed greedily at the birth like
Saturn's progeny, returning to vex their parent; relegated finally
to an honourable exile in the library upper shelves, where they
hold a place eyed curiously, not invaded:

As fast as they are made, forgot as soon
As done. . . . To have done, is to hang
Quite out of fashion, like a rusty mail,
In monumental mockery."


The Cabinet Edition of "The Invasion of the Crimea" appeared in
1877, shortly after the Servian struggle for independence, which
aroused in England universal interest and sympathy. Kinglake had
heard from the lips of a valued lady friend the tragic death-tale
of her brother Nicholas Kireeff, who fell fighting as a volunteer
on the side of the gallant Servian against the Turk: and, much
moved by the recital, offered to honour the memory of the dead hero
in the Preface to his forthcoming edition. He kept his word; made
sympathetic reference to M. Kireeff in the opening of his Preface;
but passed in pursuance of his original design to a hostile
impeachment of Russia, its people, its church, its ruler. This was
an error of judgment and of feeling; and the lady, reading the
manuscript, indignantly desired him to burn the whole rather than
commit the outrage of associating her brother's name with an attack
on causes and personages dear to him as to herself. Kinglake
listened in silence, then tendered to her a crayon rouge, begging
her to efface all that pained her. She did so; and, diminished by
three-fourths of its matter, the Preface appears in Vol. I. of the
Cabinet Edition. The erasure was no slight sacrifice to an author
of Kinglake's literary sensitiveness, mutilating as it did the
integrity of a carefully schemed composition, and leaving visible
the scar. He sets forth the strongly sentimental and romantic side
of Russian temperament. Love of the Holy Shrines begat the war of
1853, racial ardour the war of 1876. The first was directed by a
single will, the second by national enthusiasm; yet the mind of
Nicholas was no less tossed by a breathless strife of opposing
desires and moods than was Russia at large by the struggle between
Panslavism and statesmanship. Kinglake paints vividly the imposing
figure of the young Kireeff, his stature, beauty, bravery, the
white robe he wore incarnadined by death-wounds, his body captured
by the hateful foes. He goes on to tell how myth rose like an
exhalation round his memory: how legends of "a giant piling up
hecatombs by a mighty slaughter" reverberated through mansion and
cottage, town and village, cathedral and church; until thousands of
volunteers rushed to arms that they might go where young Kireeff
had gone. Alexander's hand was forced, and the war began, which
but for England's intervention would have cleared Europe of the
Turk. We have the text, but not the sermon; the Preface ends
abruptly with an almost clumsy peroration.

The lady who inspired both the eulogy and the curtailment was
Madame Novikoff, more widely known perhaps as O. K., with whom
Kinglake maintained during the last twenty years of life an
intimate and mutual friendship. Madame Olga Novikoff, nee Kireeff,
is a Russian lady of aristocratic rank both by parentage and
marriage. In a lengthened sojourn at Vienna with her brother-in-
law, the Russian ambassador, she learned the current business of
diplomacy. An eager religious propagandist, she formed alliance
with the "Old Catholics" on the Continent, and with many among the
High Church English clergy; becoming, together with her brother
Alexander, a member of the Reunion Nationale, a society for the
union of Christendom. Her interest in education has led her to
devote extensive help to school and church building and endowment
on her son's estate. God-daughter to the Czar Nicholas, she is a
devoted Imperialist, nor less in sympathy, as were all her family,
with Russian patriotism: after the death of her brother in Servia
on July 6/18, 1876, she became a still more ardent Slavophile. The
three articles of her creed are, she says, those of her country,
Orthodoxy, Autocracy, Nationalism. Her political aspirations have
been guided, and guided right, by her tact and goodness of heart.
Her life's aim has been to bring about a cordial understanding
between England and her native land; there is little doubt that her
influence with leading Liberal politicians, and her vigorous
allocutions in the Press, had much to do with the enthusiasm
manifested by England for the liberation of the Danubian States.
Readers of the Princess Lieven's letters to Earl Grey will recall
the part played by that able ambassadress in keeping this country
neutral through the crisis of 1828-9; to her Madame Novikoff has
been likened, and probably with truth, by the Turkish Press both
English and Continental. She was accused in 1876 of playing on the
religious side of Mr. Gladstone's character to secure his interest
in the Danubians as members of the Greek Church, while with
unecclesiastical people she was said to be equally skilful on the
political side, converting at the same time Anglophobe Russia by
her letters in the "Moscow Gazette." Mr. Gladstone's leanings to
Montenegro were attributed angrily in the English "Standard" to
Madame Novikoff: "A serious statesman should know better than to
catch contagion from the petulant enthusiasm of a Russian Apostle."
The contagion was in any case caught, and to some purpose; letter
after letter had been sent by the lady to the great statesman, then
in temporary retirement, without reply, until the last of these, "a
bitter cry of a sister for a sacrificed brother," brought a feeling
answer from Mrs. Gladstone, saying that her husband was deeply
moved by the appeal, and was writing on the subject. In a few days
appeared his famous pamphlet, "Bulgarian Horrors and the Question
of the East."

Carlyle advised that Madame Novikoff's scattered papers should be
worked into a volume; they appeared under the title "Is Russia
Wrong?" with a preface by Froude, the moderate and ultra-prudent
tone of which infuriated Hayward and Kinglake, as not being
sufficiently appreciative. Hayward declared some woman had biassed
him; Kinglake was of opinion that by studying the etat of Queen
Elizabeth Froude had "gone and turned himself into an old maid."

Froude's Preface to her next work, "Russia and England, a Protest
and an Appeal," by O. K., 1880, was worded in a very different tone
and satisfied all her friends. The book was also reviewed with
highest praise by Gladstone in "The Nineteenth Century." Learning
that an assault upon it was contemplated in "The Quarterly,"
Kinglake offered to supply the editor, Dr. Smith, with materials
which might be so used as to neutralize a PERSONAL attack upon O.
K. Smith entreated him to compose the whole article himself. "I
could promise you," he writes, "that the authorship should be kept
a profound secret;" but this Kinglake seems to have thought
undesirable. The article appeared in April, 1880, under the title
of "The Slavonic Menace to Europe." It opens with a panegyric on
the authoress: "She has mastered our language with conspicuous
success; she expostulates as easily as she reproaches, and she
exhibits as much facility in barbing shafts of satire as in framing
specious excuses for daring acts of diplomacy." It insists on the
high esteem felt for her by both the Russian and Austrian
governments, telling with much humour an anecdote of Count Beust,
the Prime Minister of Austria during her residence in Vienna. The
Count, after meeting her at a dinner party at the Turkish Embassy,
composed a set of verses in her honour, and gave them to her, but
she forgot to mention them to her brother-in-law. The Prime
Minister, encountering the latter, asked his opinion of the verses;
and the ambassador was greatly amazed at knowing nothing of the
matter. {23} From amenities towards the authoress, the article
passes abruptly to hostile criticism of the book; declares it to be
proscribed in Russia as mischievous, and to have precipitated a
general war by keeping up English interest in Servian rebellion.
It sneers in doubtful taste at the lady's learning:

"sit non doctissima conjux,
Sit nox cum somno, sit sine lite dies;"

denounces the Slavs as incapable of being welded into a nation,
urging that their independence must destroy Austria-Hungary, a
consummation desired by Madame Novikoff, with her feline contempt
for "poor dear Austria," but which all must unite to prevent if
they would avert a European war.

How could one clear harp, men asked themselves as they read, have
produced so diverse tones? The riddle is solved when we learn that
the first part only was from Kinglake's pen: having vindicated his
friend's ability and good faith, her right to speak and to be heard
attentively, he left the survey of her views, with which he
probably disagreed, to the originally assigned reviewer. The
article, Madame Novikoff tells us in the "Nouvelle Revue," was
received avec une stupefaction unanime. It formed the general talk
for many days, was attributed to Lord Salisbury, was supposed to
have been inspired by Prince Gortschakoff. The name standing
against it in Messrs. Murray's books, as they kindly inform me, is
that of a writer still alive, and better known now than then, but
they never heard that Kinglake had a hand in it; the editor would
seem to have kept his secret even from the publishers. Kinglake
sent the article in proof to the lady; hoped that the facts he had
imparted and the interpolations he had inserted would please her;
he could have made the attack on Russia more pointed had he written
it; she would think the leniency shows a fault on the right side;
he did not know the writer of this latter part. He begged her to
acquaint her friends in Moscow what an important and majestic organ
is "The Quarterly," how weighty therefore its laudation of herself.
She recalls his bringing her soon afterwards an article on her,
written, he said, in an adoring tone by Laveleye in the "Revue des
Deux Mondes," and directing her to a paper in "Fraser," by Miss
Pauline Irby, a passionate lover of the "Slav ragamuffins," and a
worshipper of Madame Novikoff. He quotes with delight Chenery's
approbation of her "Life of Skobeleff"; he spoke of you "with a
gleam of kindliness in his eyes which really and truly I had never
observed before." "The Times" quotes her as the "eloquent
authoress of 'Russia and England'"; "fancy that from your enemy!
you are getting even 'The Times' into your net." A later article
on O. K. contains some praise, but more abuse. Hayward is angry
with it; Kinglake thinks it more friendly than could have been
expected "to YOU, a friend of ME, their old open enemy: the sugar-
plums were meant for you, the sprinklings of soot for me."

Besides "Russia and England" Madame Novikoff is the author of
"Friends or Foes?--is Russia wrong?" and of a "Life of Skobeleff,"
the hero of Plevna and of Geok Tepe. From her natural endowments
and her long familiarity with Courts, she has acquired a capacity
for combining, controlling, entertaining social "circles" which
recalls les salons d'autrefois, the drawing-rooms of an Ancelot, a
Le Brun, a Recamier. Residing in several European capitals, she
surrounds herself in each with persons intellectually eminent; in
England, where she has long spent her winters, Gladstone, Carlyle
and Froude, Charles Villiers, Bernal Osborne, Sir Robert Morier,
Lord Houghton, and many more of the same high type, formed her
court and owned her influence.

Kinglake first met her at Lady Holland's in 1870, and mutual liking
ripened rapidly into close friendship. During her residences in
England few days passed in which he did not present himself at her
drawing-room in Claridge's Hotel: when absent in Russia or on the
Continent, she received from him weekly letters, though he used to
complain that writing to a lady through the poste restante was like
trying to kiss a nun through a double grating. These letters, all
faithfully preserved, I have been privileged to see; they remind
me, in their mixture of personal with narrative charm, of Swift's
"Letters to Stella"; except that Swift's are often coarse and
sometimes prurient, while Kinglake's chivalrous admiration for his
friend, though veiled occasionally by graceful banter, is always
respectful and refined. They even imitate occasionally the "little
language" of the great satirist; if Swift was Presto, Kinglake is
"Poor dear me"; if Stella was M. D., Madame Novikoff is "My dear
Miss." This last endearment was due to an incident at a London
dinner table. A story told by Hayward, seasoned as usual with gros
sel, amused the more sophisticated English ladies present, but
covered her with blushes. Kinglake perceived it, and said to her
afterwards, "I thought you were a hardened married woman; I am glad
that you are not; I shall henceforth call you MISS." Sometimes he
rushes into verse. In answer to some pretended rebuff received
from her at Ryde he writes

"There was a young lady of Ryde, so awfully puffed up by pride,
She felt grander by far than the Son of the Czar,
And when he said, 'Dear, come and walk on the pier,
Oh please come and walk by my side;'
The answer he got, was 'Much better not,' from that awful young
lady of Ryde."

Oftenest, the letters are serious in their admiring compliments;
they speak of her superb organization of health and life and
strength and joyousness, the delightful sunshine of her presence,
her decision and strength of will, her great qualities and great
opportunities: "away from you the world seems a blank." He is
glad that his Great Eltchi has been made known to her; the old
statesman will be impressed, he feels sure, by her "intense life,
graciousness and grace, intellect carefully masked, musical faculty
in talk, with that heavenly power of coming to an end." He sends
playfully affectionate messages from other members of the
Gerontaion, as he calls it, the group of aged admirers who formed
her inner court; echoing their laments over the universality of her
patronage. "Hayward can pardon your having an ambassador or two at
your FEET, but to find the way to your HEART obstructed by a crowd
of astronomers, Russ-expansionists, metaphysicians, theologians,
translators, historians, poets;--this is more than he can endure.
The crowd reduces him, as Ampere said to Mme. Recamier, to the
qualified blessing of being only chez vous, from the delight of
being avec vous. He hails and notifies additions to the list of
her admirers; quotes enthusiastic praise of her from Stansfeld and
Charles Villiers, warm appreciation from Morier, Sir Robert Peel,
Violet Fane. He rallies her on her victims, jests at Froude's
lover-like galanterie--"Poor St. Anthony! how he hovered round the
flame";--at the devotion of that gay Lothario, Tyndall, whose
approaching marriage will, he thinks, clip his wings for
flirtation. "It seems that at the Royal Institution, or whatever
the place is called, young women look up to the Lecturers as
priests of Science, and go to them after the lecture in what
churchmen would call the vestry, and express charming little doubts
about electricity, and pretty gentle disquietudes about the solar
system: and then the Professors have to give explanations;--and
then, somehow, at the end of a few weeks, they find they have
provided themselves with chaperons for life." So he pursues the
list of devotees; her son will tell her that Caesar summarized his
conquests in this country by saying Veni, Vidi, Vici; but to her it
is given to say, Veni, Videbar, Vici.

On two subjects, theology and politics, Madame Novikoff was, as we
have seen, passionately in earnest. Himself at once an amateur
casuist and a consistent Nothingarian, whose dictum was that
"Important if true" should be written over the doors of churches,
he followed her religious arguments much as Lord Steyne listened to
the contests between Father Mole and the Reverend Mr. Trail. He
expresses his surprise in all seriousness that the Pharisees, a
thoughtful and cultured set of men, who alone among the Jews
believed in a future state, should have been the very men to whom
our Saviour was habitually antagonistic. He refers more lightly
and frequently to "those charming talks of ours about our

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