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West were among the guests, and Lady Hamilton's theatrical performances were among the day's amusements."*
On the 2nd of May, 1844, Beckford died calmly of a cold caught out riding. The great sarcophagus of red granite that held his body was inscribed with the lines from ' Vathek,'
On Christmas Day the first book reviewed is Douglas 'The Life and Remains of Douglas Jerrold,' by •'err his son Blanchard Jerrold. Among the quotations is the following:— His friendship '"Few of his friends,' Mr. Dickens writes, ' I think, for Dickens. caa have more favourable opportunities of knowing him in his gentlest and most affectionate aspect than I have had. He was one of the gentlest and most affectionate of men. I remember very well that when I first saw him, in about the year 1835, when I went into his sickroom in Thistle Grove, Brompton, and found him propped up in a great chair, bright-eyed, and quick, and eager in spirit, but very lame in body, he gave me an impression of tenderness. It never became dissociated from him.
Of his generosity I had a proof within these two or
three years, which it saddens me to think of now. There
* It is related of Nelson that " when he came out on the lawn and heard the militia band, Mr. Beckford said to him, 'Well, Nelson, how do you like that?' and Nelson, who was followed by two black servants, replied, 'Why, Beckford, I had rather be at sea hearing the wind blowing and the guns roaring.'"
had been an estrangement between us—not on any personal subject, and not involving an angry word—and a good many months had passed without my even seeing him in the street, when it fell out that we dined each with his own separate party, in the Stranger's Room of a club. Our chairs were almost back to back, and I took mine after he was seated and at dinner. I said not a word (I am sorry to remember), and did not look that way. Before we had sat so long, he openly wheeled his chair round, stretched out both his hands in a most engaging manner, and said aloud, with a bright and loving face that I can see as I write to you,' For God's sake, let us be friends again! A life's not long enough for this.'"
The review thus closes: "Jerrold in his little Jerrold in his study, with a cigar, a flask of Rhine wine on the study. table, a cedar log on the fire, and half-a-dozen literary youngsters round the board listening to his bright wit and his wisdom that was brighter even than his wit,—this is, we think, the image of the good friend and singular humourist that will live most brightly and permanently in the minds of those who knew him. Warmth and generosity, haste in giving and forgiving, a passionate desire to see every one cheery, prosperous, and content, went with him from cradle to tomb. His mound of flowers was nobly earned. Men who linger wistfully on the memory of that tiny frame, on that eager, radiant face, on those infantine ways, with their wonderfully subtle and elaborate guilelessness,
on that ailing constitution and fiery blood, on that joyous, tender, teasing, frolicsome, thoughtful heart, must always think of him, less as of the flashing wit and scathing satirist,—than as of some marvellously gifted, noble, and wayward child, the sport of nature and the delight of man. He will be recalled to those who knew and loved him, not by any big and sounding appellation, but by some affectionate and soft diminutive:—not as brilliant Douglas or magnificent Douglas, but simply and fondly as dear Douglas."
THE ATHENAEUM, 1859.
ENGLAND looked forward full of hope for the Promises of new year. The Indian trouble was now vir- Peacetually at an end. The government of the East India Company had ceased on the 1st of September, 1858, and on the 1st of November the Queen had been proclaimed throughout India, with Lord Canning as first Viceroy. The Athenceum on the morning of the 1st of January, 1859, congratulates its readers:—" A soft, warm week, with gleams of sun and webs of mist and rain, brings in a New Year's Day, with a face and presence like itself. No startling fear disturbs our holiday. War is dying out in the far East. Nearer home, we are everywhere friendly and at peace. The depression of last year is gone. Money is abundant, business brisk, the nation hopeful. Our columns during the past five weeks have borne emphatic witness to the enterprise and prosperity of the trade in Letters, Art and Science. New institutions are starting into life. Theatres are being enlarged and re
built. All the places of public entertainment seem to be thronged, and tremendous hits are the fashion and reality of the day. The country enters a new year with elastic tread, and with the courage of high blood and robust health."
Before the close of that New Year's Day, which opened with such promise, the whole of Europe was thrown into commotion by telegrams received from Paris stating that the Emperor of the French, at the reception at the
France and Tuileries, had told the Austrian Ambassador that the relations between the two empires were not such as he could desire. This declaration was followed in February by the publication of 'Napoleon III. et l'ltalie,' and the entry of the French into Genoa on the 3rd of May. The uncertainty of French politics caused Lord Derby to give his consent to the formation of
Volunteer Volunteer rifle corps, and in May General Peel's
founded. circular was issued. On the 8th of October the Athenaum announces that permission has been The Artists'. given to add a rifle company of artists to the Marylebone corps; and on the 3rd of December it states that a meeting had been held on the previous Monday, in the theatre of the Museum, South Kensington, by permission of the Lord President of the Council (H. Cole, C.B., in the chair), for the purpose of organizing a Volunteer engineer corps, to be composed of the