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death that he should be made a Privy conduct a beautiful veracity, as if it Councillor ; but he died before he could were unconscious of itself: a perfect be sworn in. The most eminent of all spontaneous absence of all cant, hypopolitical parties joined to commemorate crisy and hollow pretence, not in word his worth and brilliancy by a bust, and act only, but in thought and placed in Westminster Abbey, bearing instinct. To a singular extent, it can an inscription written by one of his be said of him, that he was a spontaoldest and most admiring friends, neous, clear man. Very gentle, too, another “ Apostle,” Richard Monckton though full of fire; simple, brave, Milnes. When Macaulay, excluded from graceful. What he did, and what he the House of Commons in 1847, was said, came from him as light from a re-elected for Edinburgh in 1852, he re- luminous body, and had thus always ferred in the speech which he addressed in it a high and rare merit, which to his constituents to some of the emi- any of the more discerning could nent men who had vanished during his appreciate fully."1 absence; and he began with Buller:-"In Is it not time that some friend should Parliament I shall look in vain for virtues collect the scattered remains of Charles which I loved, and for abilities which I Buller's wit and wisdom, and present admired. Often in debate, and never them to the world, with one of those more than when we discuss those ques
Memoirs with selected correspondence tions of colonial policy which are every which in later times have made so day acquiring a new interest, I shall numerous and valuable a department of remember with regret how much elo historical biography? quence and wit, how much acuteness This Cambridge Society may feel a and knowledge, how many engaging just pride in one whom all its members, qualities, how many fair hopes, are from the oldest to the youngest, from buried in the grave of poor Charles the most distinguished to the humblest, Buller.” Later, another distinguished regard with affection—the poet, the politician and man of genius, reviewing excellent prose-writer, the temperate the celebrities of St. Stephen's, has given and thoughtful politician, who, with Charles Buller a due place in his gallery general public approval, has lately been of fame.
made Lord Houghton. If Richard “ Farewell, fine humourist, finer reasoner
Monckton Milnes had not been a man still,
of the world and busy politician, and Lively as Luttrell, logical as Mill,
if he had been able to concentrate his Lamented Buller : just as each new hour
energies on poetry, and gird himself to Knit thy stray forces into steadfast power, Death shut thy progress from admiring
the building up of some great poem, eyes,
none who know what poetry he has And gave thy soul's completion to the written, can doubt that it was in him skies.” 1
to be a great poet; and none who know Charles Buller, before he went to
his “Life of Keats,” or any Cambridge, had been the pupil of one
pamphlets and articles in Reviews and of our greatest writers and worthiest Magazines, will deny that he presents inen, Thomas Carlyle, who always loves another example of what he has himself to speak of the fine endowments of lately proclaimed, and supported by his pupil, and who, immediately after much proof, that a good poet makes his death, testified publicly to his vir- himself a good prose-writer. To give tues and capacity. The author dwelt examples of Tennyson's poetry is needcharacteristically on the truthfulness less, but there may be readers who will and simplicity of
Charles Buller : wish now to see a specimen of Milnes. ** There shone mildly in his whole
1 Examiner, December, 1848. 1 “St. Stephen's, a Poem," known to be Sir 2 Introductory Address in the Philosophical E. B. Lytton's, though his name is not on the Institution, Edinburgh, by Lord Houghton,
of his many
Some specimens exist in earlier volumes and perhaps just, but disqualifies a man in of this Magazine. But take a little
some degree for the business of life, which
requires for its conduct a certain degree of gem, one of many, from his earliest prejudice. Mir. Vavasour's breakfasts were poems. The following was written renowned. Whatever your creed, class, or when he was nineteen :
country-one might almost add, your charac
ter, you were a welcome guest at his matutiMUTABILITY.
nal meal, provided you were celebrated. That
qualification, however, was rigidly enforced. “I saw two children intertwine
Individuals met at his hospitable house who Their arnis about each other,
had never met before, but who for years had Like the lithe tendrils of a vine,
been cherishing in solitude mutual detestation, Around its nearest brother :
with all the irritable exaggeration of the liteAnd ever and anon,
rary character. He prided himself on figuring As gaily they ran on,
as the social medium by which rival reputaEach lookt into the other's face, tions became acquainted, and paid each other Anticipating an embrace.
in his presence the compliments which veiled
their ineffable disgust. · A real philosopher, “ I markt those two when they were men, alike from his genial disposition and from the I watcht them meet one day ;
influence of his rich and various information, They toucht each other's hands, and then Vavasour moved amid the strife sympathizing Each went on his own way:
with everyone; and perhaps, afterall, the philanThere did not seem a tie
thropy, which was his boast, was not untinged Of love, the lightest chain,
by a dash of humour, of which rare and charmTo make them turn a ling'ring eye, ing quality he possessed po inconsiderable porOr press the hand again.
tion. Vavasour liked to know everybody who
was known, and to see everything which ought “This is a page in our life's book We all of us turn over ;
to be seen. His life was a gyration of energetic
curiosity, an insatiable whirl of social celebrity. The web is rent,
There was not a congregation of sages and The hour-glass spent, And, oh! the path we once forsook,
philosophers in any part of Europe which he
did not attend as a brother. As for his acHow seldom we recover !
quaintances, he was welcomed in every land : “Our days are broken into parts,
his universal sympathies seemed omnipotent. And every fragment has a tale
Emperor and king, jacobin and carbonari, alike Of the abandonment of hearts,
cherished him. He was the steward of Polish May make our freshest hopes turn pale ;
balls, and the vindicator of Russian humanity; Even in the plighting of our troth,
he dined with Louis Philippe and gave dinners Even in the passion of our oath,
to Louis Blanc.” A cold, hard voice may seem to mutter "We know not what it is we utter.'
A better knowledge of Lord Hough
ton would have taught the writer, and Some seventeen years ago Lord has very likely already taught him, that Houghton was sketched, with the ad- he seeks not celebrity only, but talent, dition of a little playful caricature, and whether celebrated or obscure ; and that of one or two touches inconsistent with merit, and not success, is the indispenthe whole, which the better feelings of sable qualification. Many are the young the man of genius who wrote that sketch authors, and obscure men of talent, who will probably have long since led him may afterwards perhaps attain fame or to regret, in Mr. Disraeli’s “ Tancred,” may miss it, who know the warmth of under the name of “Mr. Vavasour." his sympathy and the constancy of his The following sentences are a slightly friendship. Merit or mark, though marted recognition of qualities which lowly or unfashionable, is, indeed, to in the interval have become widely him as beauty to Van Artevelde's known :
Elena “Mr. Vavasour was a social favourite ; a “Beauty in plain attire her heart could fill; poet, and a real poet, quite a troubadour, as Yea, though in beggary, 'twas beauty still." well as a member of Parliament, travelled, sweet - tempered, and good - hearted; very Nor can I admit the justice of the amusing, and very clever. With catholic
insinuation that malice mingles in his sympathies and an eclectic turn of mind, Mr. Vavasour saw something good in everybody
catholic friendship and hospitality; and everything, which is certainly amiable, rather do I believe in the poet-politician's own account of his mission of and the author of the “ Friends in conciliation in lines, published in 1840, Council ” had a large circle of readers which are worthy to be quoted for and fame, before the name of Arthur themselves,
Helps was generally known. I believe * Amid the factions of the Field of Life
that, as is often the case, the merits of The Poet held his little neutral ground,
this writer were widely appreciated in And they who mixt the deepest in the strife the United States, even before they
Their evening way to his seclusion found. obtained a similar wide appreciation in * Thus, meeting oft the antagonists of the day, Who near in mute suspicion seemed to
I cannot conceive a more
decisive test of fame--as decisive, cerHe said what neither would be first to say, tainly, as the “Digito monstrari et dicier, And, having spoken, left them hand in hic est ”-than what accidentally came hand.”
under my notice a few years ago, viz., The description of Lord Houghton's a lecture given in a provincial town (by, life as "a gyration of energetic curiosity, I think, an American lecturer), called an insatiable whirl of social celebrity,” “ An Evening with Arthur Helps.” The is not too strong ; and the combination “ Claims of Labour” made the beginning of such a life with great acquirements of his popularity, and the “ Friends in
literary occupation, and Council" is the most popular of his with the mental activity which enables works. Many of the readers of these him to keep pace with the progress of books are perhaps yet unacquainted almost all branches of literature and with the learning, wisdom, and eloquence speculative philosophy, and to study and (see, for instance, the eloquent descripprosecute more political questions than tion of the city of Mexico) of his “ Hisare undertaken by most legislators, is tory of the Conquest of America,” or truly matter for amazement. To the with the practical wisdom condensed large mind Mr. Disraeli has done justice, into his “Essays written in the Interbut not to the large heart which is with vals of Business”-superior, perhaps, in it. This has been well described with some respects, and certainly for conciseone single touch, by a well-known popu- ness, to the Essays of the “Friends in lar writer, another “ Apostle," who, in Council.” And few beyond the friends his own quaint manner, in one of the of his youth know of a little volume, volumes of the “Friends in Council,” which was published while he was at has set himself to think how his friends Cambridge, and which it is to be rewould treat him if he should get into gretted that he has not reproduced-a serious trouble or discredit, aud declares little collection of aphorisms, “ Thoughts himself confident of one thing, that in the Cloister and the Crowd,” which, "Pontefract” would instantly ask him at the time of its anonymous publicato dinner.
eation, attracted the notice, and obtained There can hardly be a literary repu- the highly favourable judgment, of John tation whose growth and spread have Stuart Mill. This is twenty-seven been so remarkable and satisfactory as years ago.
The little book was the that which has come in early manhood subject of an article by Mr. John Mill, to the author of the “ Claims of Labour” which also treated of aphorisms geneand the “Friends in Council.” These rally, in the “London Review” of Januand other books, published without a
The same distinguished name, addressing neither the passions thinker and writer had been foremost nor the imagination, written in 110 to give warm welcome to the first poetry gorgeous or glittering style, but one of Alfred Tennyson. I remember, when singularly simple, unadorned, and clear, a boy, first learning of Alfred Tennyaltogether unaided by arts of puffing, son's name and poetry, by an article pushed by no newspaper or review, written by John Stuart Mill, pointing silently, steadily, widely worked their out the beauties and great promise of
“the general heart of man;" poems in which the Quarterly of that
day could find nothing but matter for young head-master of Harrow; Wilsneers and ridicule. This was published, liam Johnson, of Eton; and let me in 1830 or 1831, in a Magazine called end this list with one who may, the Monthly Repository, edited by W. J. without invidiousness, be selected from Fox. It is generally known that Arthur among the younger hopes of the Society, Helps is the author of the Preface to who has lately, in the pages of this the collection of the Prince Consort's Magazine, made a brilliant beginning in “Speeches and Addresses.”
literature as the Indian “ Competition Among living and dead there are Wallah,” and who, the heir of two repumany other members of this Cambridge tations, is expected by many to follow Society known more or less to fame. not unworthily in the two careers of Let me first enumerate a few of the literature and of politics. living : Frederick Maurice; Dr. Ken- Of Charles Buller I have already nedy, the Head Master of Shrewsbury; spoken at length. I will mention a few Trench, Archbishop of Dublin, poet as other members of this Society, who have well as divine; another poet and divine, prematurely died, leaving works and a Alford, the Dean of Canterbury ; James name behind them, an instalment only Spedding, who, having served for some of “unfulfilled renown.” There was time in the Colonial Office, refused John Sterling, who has had the high nearly twenty years ago the honourable honour of being the subject of two rival offer of succession to Sir James Stephen biographies by two such men as Julius as Under-Secretary for the Colonies, that Charles Hare and Thomas Carlyle; whose he might patiently devote himself to beautiful poem, the “Sexton's Daughter," his long labour of love on the life and ought to be known by all; whom I only works of Bacon; the Regius Professor saw and heard once,
Virgilium vidi of Greek, W. H. Thompson, a member of tantum,”—but the music of whose full the late Commission on Public Schools ; and flowing eloquence as heard on that Charles Merivale, the distinguished Latin occasion has never faded from my ears.1 scholar and Roman historian, the present There were the two Hallams, the elder ehaplain to the House of Commons ; of whom will be ever remembered by Kenneth Macaulay, the member for that great threnodia, greater than Cambridge, whose endowments singu- “Lycidas” or “Adonais,” which our larly fitted him for distinction in the
Poet Laureate has made in his memory, House of Commons, but whom en- and the younger of whom was refeebled health has prevented from
has prevented from garded by his contemporaries as of seeking there the prominence which in promise hardly inferior to his brother's.? younger days of strength he had, with There were John Kemble, the wellsurprising rapidity, acquired at the Bar; known Anglo-Saxon scholar; Henry W. F. Pollock, the translator of Dante; Lushington, who was Secretary of GoTom Taylor, in all whose versatile ac- vernment in Malta, and whose virtues complishments and industry are to be and accomplishments and works, much seen high principles of taste and moral diminished by constant ill-health, have aim, and the brightest element of whose been recorded in the charming biovarious fame is the elevation by scholar- graphy of his friend and brothership and moral purpose of his popular apostle, Venables; and, lastly, I will dramas ; Maine, who is now maintain- 1 Archdeacon Hare says of his reputation ing in India, as Legislative Member of as a speaker at Cambridge, “I have been told Council, the high name which he had
by several of the most intelligent among his acquired as a philosophical lawyer, and
contenporaries that, of all the speakers they ever heard, he
had the greatest gift of natural as author of a treatise on Ancient Law; eloquence.” Carlyle, speaking of bis college another young jurist of solid reputa- reputation as a speaker, says, that Charles tion, Fitzjames Stephen, author of "A Buller was considered to be the only one of General View of the Criminal Law
his companions who came near him.
2 See Dr. John Brown's "Horæ Subseciva," of England ;" Butler, the distinguished
first series, for notices of the two Hallams.
name one with whom I was united in the higher class, though it would seem crude close friendship, the late Secretary of
and pedantic to mature minds, is more ambithe Civil Service Commission, John
tious, more earnest, and more fruitful, than
the talk which furnishes excitement and relaxaGorham Maitland, the extent of whose tion in later life. Our Cambridge discussions powers and attainments his great would have been insufferably tedious to an modesty veiled from the world. At
experienced and accomplished listener of fifty ; Cambridge he seemed never to have
but in the audacity of metaphysical conjectures
or assertions, in the partisanship of literary any work to do; yet he was third enthusiasm, in the exuberant spirits, the occaclassic of his year, second Chancellor's sional melancholy, the far-fetched humour of medallist, and seventh wrangler. His youth, all were helping each other, governed mind embraced all subjects, and was as
by the incessant influence of contagious
sympathy. Like many past and future genefitted for the work of life as for specu- rations of students, we spent our dayslation. His superiors in the Civil Service
"In search of deep philosophy, Commission—I can speak for one of
Wit, eloquence and poetry, them at least, Sir John Lefevre-knew Arts which I loved, for they, my friend, his capacity and worth.
were thine.'” A few young men at College, attracted Some fifteen generations of young to companionship by a common taste “Apostles” have passed from college into for literature and speculation, make a life. A few have gained eminence, Society for a weekly essay and discus- several distinction. The just pride of sion. Such societies have often been members of the Society in the fame of made in public schools and Universities. its greater ornaments cannot surely be This Society was founded about 1820 proscribed by the most cynical. Within by some members of St. John's College, the Society itself there is no hierarchy among whom was Tomlinson, the late of greatness. All are friends. Those Bishop of Gibraltar. In a few
it who have been contemporaries meet gravitated to Trinity, and it began to be through life as brothers. All, old and famous in the time of Buller, Sterling, young, have a bond of sympathy in Maurice, and Trench. Then came the fellow-membership. All have a common halo of Tennyson's young celebrity. joy and a common interest in the Mr. Venables has alluded to the Society memory of bright days that are gone, of in his Life of Henry Lushington, as daily rambles and evening meetings, of the chief pleasure and occupation of times when they walked and talked Lushington's Cambridge days. Quoting with single-hearted friends in scenes from one of Lushington's Essays a hallowed by many memories and tracharming passage of reminiscences of ditions—or by the banks of Cam, or his college life, Mr. Venables adds to in the lime-trem avenues of Trinity, or the quotation a happy description of his within sound of the great organ of the own.
great chapel of King's, or in the rural
quiet of Madingley or Grantchester, — "There is,' he says in one of the accom- sometimes perhaps panying essays, 'a deep truth and tenderness in the tone in which Giusti recalls those four
“Yearning for the large excitement which happy years spent without care ; the days,
the coming years would yield,” the nights “ smoked away” in free gladness, in laughter, in uninterrupted talk ; the aspira- but all, as they stood on the threshold tions, the free open-hearted converse, as it was of life, hopeful and happy, gladdened then, of some who now meet us disguised as formal worldlings; all the delights of that
by genial influences which are never life, whether at Cambridge or at Pisa, that
forgotten, and sunned by warm friendcomes not again.' Youthful conversation of ships of youth which never die.