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PEN SKETCHES

BY A VANISHED HAND

FROM THE PAPERS
OF THE LATE MORTIMER COLLINS

EDITED BY

TOM TAYLOE

WITH NOTES BY THE EDITOR AND MRS. MORTIMER COLLINS

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LONDON
EICHAED BENTLEY AND SON

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1879.

EDINBURGH: T. AND A. CONSTABLE, PRINTERS TO THE QUEEN, AND TO THE UNIVERSITY.

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THE LITERARY CHARACTER OF
MR. DISRAELI.

The May of 1870 beheld Mr. Disraeli's reappearance as a novelist. Everywhere excitement was felt when the announcement came rather abruptly on the world. The name of the story was appropriately mysterious, the motto from Terence (we beg pardon, Terentius) afforded no basis for conjecture, and rumour found its way into the highest regions of pure imagination. What could the Tory ex-Premier design in again entering the arena of fiction, where he won his earliest laurels almost half a century ago? The quidnuncs were busy and fertile of inventions. The question was agitated in clubs and drawing-rooms. One ingenious theorist assured everybody that the tale was autobiographic, and the hero with so remarkable a name Mr. Disraeli himself. A second had it, on the very highest authority, that it was quite otherwise: Lothair was a masterly picture of the right honourable gentleman's bitterest political opponent. A third contradicted both; the tale was neither autobiographical nor satirical; it was a full revelation of dread political mysteries connected partly with Church dis

Vol. H. A

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