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de Vega, the celebrated Spanish dramatist. De Yes,' he replied ; 'my back-bone is shot through.' Vega was one of the most fertile writers upon Yet even now, not for a moment losing his presence of record : his miscellaneous works fill twenty-two mind, he observed, as they were carrying him down the quarto volumes, and his dramas twenty-five ladder, that the tiller ropes, which had been shot away, volumes. He died in 1635, aged seventy-three. were not yet replaced, and ordered that new ones should His fame has been eclipsed by abler Spanish be rove immediately : then, that he might not be seen writers; but De Vega gave a great impulse to the by the crew, he took out his handkerchief, and covered
his face and his stars. Had he but concealed these litérature of his nation, and is considered the badges of honour from the enemy, England perhaps parent of the continental drama. The amiable would not have had cause to receive with sorrow the and accomplished nobleman who recorded the life news of the battle of Trafalgar. The cockpit was of this Spanish prodigy, died at Holland House, crowded with wounded and dying men ; over whose October 22, 1840, aged sixty-seven. Lord Holland bodies he was with some difficulty conveyed, and laid was a generous patron of literature and art. upon a pallet in the midshipmen's berth. It was soon Holland House was but another name for refined perceived, upon examination, that the wound was mortal hospitality and social freedom, in which men of This, however, was concealed from all except Captain all shades of opinion participated. As a literary Hardy, the chaplain, and the medical attendants. He man, the noble lord left few or no memorials himself being certain, from the sensation in his back, and that will survive ; but he will long be remembered the gush of blood he felt momently within his breast,
that no human care could avail him, insisted that the as a generous-hearted English nobleman, who, with princely munificence and varied accomplish- he might be useful ; 'for," said he, ‘you can do nothing
surgeon should leave him, and attend to those to whom ments, ever felt a strong interest in the welfare of for me. All that could be done was to fan him with the great mass of the people ; who was an intrepid paper, and frequently to give him lemonade to alleviate advocate of popular rights in the most difficult his intense thirst. He was in great pain, and expressed and trying times; and who, amidst all his courtesy much anxiety for the event of the action, which now and hospitality, held fast his political integrity began to declare itself. As often as a ship struck, the and consistency to the last.
crew of the Victory hurraed ; and at every hurra, a visible expression of joy gleamed in the eyes, and marked
the countenance of the dying hero. But he became ROBERT SOUTHEY.
impatient to see Hardy; and as that officer, though The Life of Nelson, by SOUTHEY, published in often sent for, could not leave the deck, Nelson feared two small volumes—since compressed into one
that some fatal cause prevented him, and repeatedly in 1813, rose into instant and universal favour, and cried: Will no one bring Hardy to me? he must be may be considered as one of our standard popular elapsed from the time when Nelson received his wound,
killed; he is surely dead !' An hour and ten minutes biographies. Its merit consists in the clearness before Hardy could come to him. They shook hands and beautiful simplicity of its style, and its lucid in silence : Hardy in vain struggling to suppress the arrangement of facts, omitting all that is unim- feelings of that most painful and yet sublimest moment. portant or strictly technical. The substance of Well, Hardy,' said Nelson, ‘how goes the day with this Life was originally an article in the Quarterly us?'. Very well,' replied Hardy; "ten ships have Review; Mr Murray, the publisher, gave Southey struck, but five of the van have tacked, and shew an £100 to enlarge the essay, and publish it in a intention to bear down upon the Victory. I have separate form with his name; and this sum he called two or three of our fresh ships round, and have handsomely doubled. Southey afterwards pub- no doubt of giving them a drubbing.' 'I hope,' said lished a Life of John Wesley, the celebrated founder Nelson, none of our ships have struck?" Hardy
Then, and not of the Methodists, in which he evinces a minute answered, “There was no fear of that." acquaintance with the religious controversies and till then, Nelson spoke of himself. 'I am a dead man, publications of that period, joined to the art of the Hardy,' said he ; 'I am going fast : it will be all over
Come nearer to me. Let my dear Lady biographer, in giving prominence and effect to his Hamilton have my hair, and all other things belonging delineations. His sketches of field-preaching and to me. Hardy observed, that he hoped Mr Beatty lay-preachers present some curious and interest- could yet hold out some prospect of life. Ono,' he ing pictures of human nature under strong excite- replied; it is impossible. My back is shot through. ment. The same author contributed a series of Beatty will tell you so.' Hardy then, once more, shook Lives of British Admirals to the Cabinet Cyclo- hands with him, and with a heart almost bursting, pædia, edited by Dr Lardner.
hastened upon deck.
By this time all feeling below the breast was gone ; The Death of Nelson. From Southey's “Life of Nelson. and Nelson, having made the surgeon ascertain this,
said to him : 'You know I am gone. I know it. I It had been part of Nelson's prayer, that the British feel something rising in my breast,' putting his hand on fleet might be distinguished by humanity in the victory his left side, which tells me so.? And upon Beatty's which he expected. Setting an example himself, he inquiring whether his pain was very great, he replied, 'So twice gave orders to cease firing on the Redoubtable, great that he wished he was dead. Yet,' said he, in a supposing that she had struck, because her guns were lower voice, one would like to live a little longer too!' silent ; for, as she carried no flag, there was no means And after a few minutes, in the same undertone, he of instantly ascertaining the fact. From this ship, which added : What would become of poor Lady Hamilton, he had thus twice spared, he received his death. A ball if she knew my situation !' Next to his country she fired from her mizzen-top, which, in the then situation of occupied his thoughts. Captain Hardy, some fifty the two vessels, was not more than fifteen yards from minutes after he had left the cockpit, returned ; and, that
part of the deck where he was standing, struck the again taking the hand of his dying friend and comepaulette on his left shoulder, about a quarter after one, mander, congratulated him on having gained a complete just in the heat of action. He fell upon his face, on the victory. How many of the enemy were taken he did spot which was covered with his poor secretary's blood. not know, as it was impossible to perceive them disHardy, who was a few steps from him, turning round, tinctly ; but fourteen or fifteen at least. “That's well,' saw three men raising him up. 'They have done for cried Nelson ; 'but I bargained for twenty.' And then, me at last, Hardy,' said he. I hope not,' cried Hardy. I in a stronger voice, he said : 'Anchor, Hardy; anchor.'
Hardy, upon this, hinted that Admiral Collingwood died so full of honours, and at the height of human
Wesley's Old Age and Death. and kissed his forehead. •Who is that?' said Nelson;
From Southey's Life of John Wesley. and being informed, he replied, 'God bless you, Hardy.' And Hardy then left him-for ever. Nelson now 'Leisure and I,' said Wesley, 'have taken leave of desired to be turned upon his right side, and said, 'I one another. I propose to be busy as long as I live, if wish I had not left the deck ; for I shall soon be gone.' my health is so long indulged to me.' This resolution Death was, indeed, rapidly approaching. He said to the was made in the prime of life, and never was resolution chaplain, ' Doctor, I have not been a great sinner ;' and more punctually observed. 'Lord, let me not live to be after a short pause, 'Remember that I leave Lady useless !' was the prayer which he uttered after seeing Hamilton and my daughter Horatia as a legacy to my one whom he had long known as an active and useful country. His articulation now became difficult; but he magistrate, reduced by age to be a picture of human was distinctly heard to say, 'Thank God, I have done nature in disgrace, feeble in body and mind, slow of my duty!' These words he repeatedly pronounced ; speech and understanding.' He was favoured with and they were the last words which he uttered. He a constitution vigorous beyond that of ordinary men, expired at thirty minutes after four-three hours and a and with an activity of spirit which is even rarer than quarter after he had received his wound.
his singular felicity of health and strength. Ten thouThe death of Nelson was felt in England as some- sand cares of various kinds, he said, were no more thing more than a public calamity : men started at the weight or burden to his mind, than ten thousand hairs intelligence, and turned pale, as if they had heard of the were to his head. But in truth his only cares were loss of a dear friend. An object of our admiration and those of superintending the work of his ambition, which affection, of our pride and of our hopes, was suddenly continually prospered under his hands. Real cares he taken from us; and it seemed as if we had never till had none; no anxieties, no sorrows, no griefs which then known how deeply we loved and reverenced him. touched him to the quick. His manner of life was What the country had lost in its great naval hero—the the most favourable that could have been devised for greatest of our own and of all former times—was scarcely longevity. He rose early, and lay down at night with taken into the account of grief. So perfectly, indeed, nothing to keep him waking, or trouble him in sleep. had he performed his part, that the maritime war, after His mind was always in a pleasurable and wholesome the battle of Trafalgar, was considered at an end. The state of activity; he was temperate in his diet, and lived fleets of the enemy were not merely defeated, but de- in perpetual locomotion; and frequent change of air is stroyed; new navies must be built, and a new race of perhaps, of all things, that which most conduces to seamen reared for them, before the possibility of their joyous health and long life. invading our shores could again be contemplated. It Upon his eighty-sixth birth-day, he says, 'I now was not, therefore, from any selfish reflection upon the find I grow old. My sight is decayed, so that I cannot magnitude of our loss that we mourned for him : the read a small print, unless in a strong light. My strength general sorrow was of a higher character. The people is decayed ; so that I walk much slower than I did of England grieved that funeral ceremonies, and public some years since. My memory of names, whether of monuments, and posthumous rewards, were all which persons or places, is decayed, till I stop a little to they could now bestow upon him whom the king, the recollect them. What I should be afraid of is, if I took legislature, and the nation would have alike delighted thought for the morrow, that my body should weigh to honour ; whom every tongue would have blessed ; | down my mind, and create either stubbornness, by the whose presence in every village through which he might decrease of my understanding, or peevishness, by the have passed would have wakened the church-bells, increase of bodily infirmities. But thou shalt answer for have given school-boys a holiday, have drawn children me, O Lord, my God!' His strength now diminished from their sports to gaze upon him, and ‘old men from so much, that he found it difficult to preach more than the chimney-corner' to look upon Nelson ere they died. twice a day; and for many weeks he abstained from his The victory of Trafalgar was celebrated, indeed, with five o'clock morning sermons, because a slow and settled the usual forms of rejoicing, but they were without joy ; fever parched his mouth. Finding himself a little for such already was the glory of the British navy, better, he resumed the practice, and hoped to hold on a through Nelson's surpassing genius, that it scarcely little longer ; but, at the beginning of the year 1790, he seemed to receive any addition from the most signal writes: 'I am now an old man, decayed from head to victory that ever was achieved upon the seas; and the foot. My eyes are dim; my right hand shakes much; destruction of this mighty fleet, by which all the mari- my mouth is hot and dry every morning; I have a time schemes of France were totally frustrated, hardly lingering fever almost every day ; my motion is weak appeared to add to our security or strength; for, while and slow. However, blessed be God! I do not slack Nelson was living to watch the combined squadrons of my labours : I can preach and write still.' In the the enemy, we felt ourselves as secure as now, when middle of the same year, he closed his cash accountthey were no longer in existence.
book with the following words, written with a tremulous There was reason to suppose, from the appearances hand, so as to be scarcely legible : ‘For upwards of upon opening his body, that in the course of nature he eighty-six years I have kept my accounts exactly : I might have attained, like his father, to a good old age. will not attempt it any longer, being satisfied with the Yet he cannot be said to have fallen prematurely whose continual conviction, that I save all I can, and give all I work was done ; nor ought he to be lamented, who can ; that is, all I have.' His strength was now quite
gone, and no glasses would help his sight. “But I feel views taken by Dr M'Crie of some of those subno pain,' he says, from head to foot; only, it seems, jects, but there can be no variety of opinion as to nature is exhausted, and, humanly speaking, will sink the talents and learning he displayed. "His Life of more and more, till
Knox was first published in 1813, and has passed The weary springs of life stand still at last.
through six editions. Following up his historical On the ist of February 1791, he wrote his last letter and theological retrospect, the same author afterto America. It shews how anxious he was that his wards published a Life of Andrew Melville (1819), followers should consider themselves as one united body. but the subject is less interesting than that of his
See,' said he, that you never give place to one thought first biography. He wrote also Memoirs of Veitch of separating from your brethren in Europe. Lose no and Brysson-Scottish clergymen and supporters opportunity of declaring to all men, that the Methodists of the Covenant-and Histories of the Reformaare one people in all the world, and that it is their full tion in Italy and in Spain. Dr M'Crie published, determination so to continue.' He expressed, also, a in 1817, a series of papers in the Edinburgh sense that his hour was almost come. desire to write,' said he, or say anything to me, have Christian Instructor, containing a vindication of no time to lose; for Time has shaken me by the hand, the Covenanters from the distorted view which he and Death is not far behind:' words which his father believed Sir Walter Scott to have given of them had used in one of the last letters that he addressed to his in his tale of Old Mortality. Sir Walter replied sons at Oxford. On the 17th of that month, he took anonymously, by reviewing his own work in the cold after preaching at Lambeth. For some days he Quarterly Review! There were faults and absurdstruggled against an increasing fever, and continued to ities on the side both of the Covenanters and the preach till the Wedresday following, when he delivered Royalists, but the cavalier predilections of the his last sermon. From that time he became daily great novelist certainly led him to look with more weaker and more lethargic, and on the 2d of March, he regard on the latter-heartless and cruel as they died in peace ; being in the eighty-eighth year of his were--than on the poor persecuted peasants. age, and the sixty-fifth of his ministry. During his illness he said: 'Let me be buried in nothing
SIR WALTER SCOTT. but what is woollen ; and let my corpse be carried in my coffin into the chapel.' Some years before, he had pre- The general demand for biographical composipared a vault for himself
, and for those itinerant preachers tion tempted some of our most popular original who might die in London. In his will he directed that writers to embark in this delightful department six poor men should have twenty shillings each for carry; of literature. Southey, as we have seen, was early ing his body to the grave ; ‘for I particularly desire,' in the field; and his more distinguished poetical said he, 'there may be no hearse, no coach, no escutcheon, no pomp except the tears of them that loved me, and are
contemporaries, Scott, Moore, and Campbell, also following me to Abraham's bosom. I solemnly adjure joined. The first, besides his copious Memoirs my executors, in the name of God, punctually to observe of Dryden and Swift
, prefixed to their works, this.' At the desire of many of his friends, his body contributed a series of Lives of the English Novelwas carried into the chapel the day preceding the in- ists to an edition of their works published by terment, and there lay in a kind of state becoming Ballantyne, which he executed with great taste, the person, dressed in his clerical habit, with gown, candour, and discrimination. He afterwards uncassock, and band; the old clerical cap on his head, a dertook a Life of Napoleon Bonaparte, which was Bible in one hand, and a white handkerchief in the at first intended as a counterpart to Southey's other. The face was placid, and the expression which Life of Nelson, but ultimately swelled out into death had fixed upon his venerable features was that of
nine volumes. The hurried composition of this a serene and heavenly smile. The crowds who flocked to see him were so great, that it was thought prudent, for work, and the habits of the author, accustomed fear of accidents, to accelerate the funeral, and perform to the dazzling creations of fiction, rather than it between five and six in the morning. The intelligence, the sober plodding of historical inquiry and calm however, could not be kept entirely secret, and several investigation, led to many errors and imperfechundred persons attended at that unusual hour. Mr tions. It abounds in striking and eloquent pas, Richardson, who performed the service, had been one sages; the battles of Napoleon are described of his preachers almost thirty years. When he came to with great clearness and animation ; and the that part of the service, ‘Forasmuch as it hath pleased view taken of his character and talents is, on Almighty God to take unto himself the soul of our dear the whole, just and impartial, very different from brother, his voice changed, and he substituted the word the manner in which Scott had alluded to Napofather; and the feeling with which he did this was such, leon in his Vision of Don Roderick. The great that the congregation, who were shedding silent tears, diffuseness of the style, however, and the want burst at once into loud weeping.
of philosophical analysis, render the Life of
Napoleon more a brilliant chronicle of scenes DR THOMAS MÓCRIE.
and events than an historical memoir worthy the The most valuable historical biography of this genius of its author. It was at first full of errors, period is the Life of John Knox, by DR THOMAS The friends of Sir Walter attributed his mental
but afterwards carefully corrected by its author. M'CRIE (1772-1835), a Scottish clergyman. Dr M'Crie had a warm sympathy with the sentiments disease in great measure to the labour entailed and opinions of his hero; and on every point of upon him by this Life of Napoleon. A Life of his history he possessed the most complete infor- Napoleon, in four
volumes, 1828, was published by mation. He devoted himself to his task as to a
WILLIAM HAZLITT, the essayist and critic (1778great Christian duty, and not only gave a com
1830), but it is a partial and prejudiced work. plete account of the principal events of Knox's life, ‘his sentiments, writings, and exertions in the cause of religion and liberty,' but illustrated, MR MOORE published a Life of Richard Brinsley with masterly ability, the whole contemporaneous Sheridan, 1825; Notices of the Life of Lord Byron, history of Scotland.
Men may differ as to the 1830 ; and Memoirs of Lord Edward Fitzgerald,
1831. The last has little interest. The Life of great sources—the unexampled versatility of his powers Byron, by its intimate connection with recent and feelings, and the facility with which he gave way events and living persons, was a duty of very deli- to the impulses of both. No men,' says Cowper, in cate and difficult performance. This was further speaking of persons of a versatile turn of mind, 'are increased by the freedom and licentiousness of the better qualified for companions in such a world as this poet's opinions and conduct, and by the versatility two sides
, a dark and a bright one ; and the mind that
than men of such temperament. Every scene of life has or mobility of his mind, which changed with every has an equal mixture of melancholy and vivacity is passing impulse and impression. As well, says best of all qualified for the contemplation of either. It Moore, • from the precipitance with which he would not be difficult to shew that to this readiness in gave way to every impulse, as from the passion reflecting all hues, whether of the shadows or the lights he had for recording his own impressions, all of our variegated existence, Lord Byron owed not only those heterogeneous thoughts, fantasies, and de- the great range of his influence as a poet, but those sires that, in other men's minds, come like powers of fascination which he possessed as a man. shadows, so depart,” were by him fixed and This susceptibility, indeed, of immediate impressions, embodied as they presented themselves, and at which in him was so active, lent a charm, of all others once taking a shape cognisable by public opinion, the most attractive, to his social intercourse, by giving either in his actions or his words, in the hasty to those who were, at the moment, present, such ascend. letter of the moment, or the poem for all time, ant influence, that they alone for the time occupied all laid open such a range of vulnerable points before his thoughts and feelings, and brought whatever was his judges, as no one individual ever before, of this extreme mobility-this readiness to be strongly
most agreeable in his nature into play. So much did himself, presented.' Byron left ample materials acted on by what was nearest-abound in his disposifor his biographer. His absence from England, tion, that, even with the casual acquaintance of the and his desire to keep the minds of the English hour his heart was upon his lips, and it depended wholly public for ever occupied about him—if not with upon themselves whether they might not become at his merits, with his faults; if not in applauding, once the depositaries of every secret, if it might be so in blaming him'-led him to maintain a regular called, of his whole life. correspondence with Moore and his publisher The same facility of change observable in the moveMr Murray. Byron also kept a journal, and re- ments of his mind was seen also in the free play of his corded memoranda of his opinions, his reading, features, as the passing thoughts within darkened or &c.; something in the style of Burns He was a
shone through them. His eyes, though of a light gray, master of prose as of verse, unsurpassed in brilliant were capable of all extremes of expression, from the sketches of life, passion, and adventure, whether most joyous hilarity to the deepest sadness, from the
very sunshine of benevolence to the most concentrated serious or comic, and also an acute literary critic. scorn or rage. But it was in the mouth and chin that Byron had written Memoirs of his own life, which the great beauty as well as expression of his fine counten. he presented to Moore, who sold the manuscript ance lay. Many pictures have been painted of him,' to Murray the publisher for 2000 guineas. The says a fair critic of his features, ‘with various success'; friends of the noble poet became alarmed on but the excessive beauty of his lips escaped every painter account of the disclosures said to have been and sculptor. In their ceaseless play they represented made in the Memoir, and offered to advance the every emotion, whether pale with anger, curled in money paid for the manuscript, in order that disdain, smiling in triumph, or dimpled with archness Lady Byron and the rest of the family might and love. His head was remarkably small-so much so have an opportunity of deciding whether the work as to be rather out of proportion with his face. The should be published or suppressed. The result forehead, though a little too narrow, was high, and was, that the manuscript was destroyed by Mr appeared more so from his having his hair (to preserve Wilmot Horton and Colonel Doyle, as the re- dark brown curls, clustering over his head, gave the
it, as he said) shaved over the temples, while the glossy presentatives of Mrs Leigh, Byron's half-sister. finish to its beauty. When to this is added, that his Moore repaid the 2000 guineas to Murray, and nose, though handsomely, was rather too thickly shaped, the latter engaged him to write the Life of Byron, that his teeth were white and regular, and his complexion contributing a great mass of materials, and ulti-colourless, as good an idea perhaps as it is in the mately giving no less than £4870 for the Life power of mere words to convey may be conceived of his (Quarterly Review, 1853). Moore was, strictly features. In height he was, as he himself has informed speaking, not justified in destroying the manu- us, five feet eight inches and a half, and to the length of script which Byron had intrusted him with as a his limbs he attributed his being such a good swimvindication of his name and honour. He might his own notion of the size of hands as indicating birth
mer. His hands were very white, and-according to have expunged the objectionable passages. But it is urged in his defence, that while part of the aristocratically small. The lameness of his right foot, work never could have been published, all that though an obstacle to grace, but little impeded the
activity of his movements. was valuable or interesting to the public was included in the noble poet's journals and inemorandum-books. Moore's Notices are written with taste and modesty, and in very pure and unaffected English. As an editor, he preserved MR CAMPBELL, besides the biographies in his too much of what was worthless and unimport- Specimens of the Poets, published a Life of Mrs ant; as a biographer, he was too indulgent to Siddons, the distinguished actress, and a Life of the faults of his hero ; yet who could have Petrarch. The latter is homely and earnest, wished a friend to dwell on the errors of Byron ? though on a romantic and fanciful subject. There
is a reality about Campbell's biographies quite Character and Personal Appearance of Lord Byron. distinct from what might be expected to emanate
From Moore's Notices of the Life of Lord Byron. from the imaginative poet, but he was too little of The distinctive properties of Lord Byron's character, a student, and generally too careless and indolent as well moral as literary, arose mainly from those two to be exact.
Mrs Maclean (L. E. L.), of James Smith (one SIR JOHN MALCOLM, T. H. LISTER, P. FRASER Monk Lewis, Hayley, and many authors of less
of the authors of The Rejected Addresses), of TYTLER, ETC.
distinction. In this influx of biographies worthAmongst other additions to our standard biog- less materials are often elevated for a day, and raphy may be mentioned the Life of Lord Clive, the gratification of a prurient curiosity or idle by Sir JOHN MALCOLM (1836); and the Life of love of gossip is more aimed at than literary Lord Clarendon, by MR T. H. LISTER (1838). excellence or sound instruction. The error, howThe Life of Sir Walter Raleigh, by MR PATRICK ever, is one on the right side. , 'Better,' says FRASER TYTLER (published in one volume in the the traditional maxim of English law, 'that nine Edinburgh Cabinet Library, 1833), is also valuable guilty men should escape than that one innocent for its able defence of that adventurous and in- man should suffer'—and better, perhaps, that teresting personage, and for its careful digest of nine useless lives should be written than that state-papers and contemporaneous events. Free one valuable one should be neglected. The chaff access to all public documents and libraries is is easily winnowed from the wheat ; and even now easily obtained, and there is no lack of in the Memoirs of comparatively insignificant desire on the part of authors to prosecute, or of persons, some precious truth, some lesson of the public to reward these researches. A Life of dear-bought experience, may be found treasured Lord William Russell, by LORD JOHN RUSSELL up for a life beyond life.' In what may be (1819), is enriched with information from the termed professional biography, facts and prinfamily papers at Woburn Abbey ; and from a ciples not known to the general reader are often similarly authentic private source, LORD NUGENT conveyed. In Lives like those of Sir Samuel wrote Memoirs of Hampden (1831). The Diaries Romilly, Mr Wilberforce, Mr Francis Horner, and Journals of Evelyn and Pepys, so illustrative and Jeremy Bentham, new light is thrown on of the court and society during the seventeenth the characters of public men, and on the motives century, have already been noticed. To these we and sources of public events. Statesmen, lawyers, may add the Memoirs of Colonel Hutchinson, and philosophers both act and are acted upon by written by his wife, Mrs Lucy Hutchinson, and the age in which they live, and, to be useful, their first published in 1806. Colonel Hutchinson was biography should be copious. In the Life of Sir governor of Nottingham Castle during the period Humphry Davy by his brother, and of James of the Civil War. He was one of the best of the Watt" by M. Arago, we have many interesting Puritans, and his devoted wife has done ample facts connected with the progress of scientific justice to his character and memory in her charm- discovery and improvement; and in the Lives of ing domestic narrative. Another work of the same Curran, Grattan, and Sir James Mackintosh (each description, published from family papers in 1822, in two volumes), by their sons, the public history is Memoirs of the Lives and Characters of the Right of the country is illustrated. Sir John Barrow's Hon. George Baillie of Jerviswood, and of Lady Lives of Howe and Anson are excellent specimens Grisell Baillie, written by their daughter, Lady of naval biography; and we have also lengthy Murray of Stanhope. These Memoirs refer to a Memoirs of Lord St Vincent, Lord Collingwood, later period than that of the Commonwealth, and Sir Thomas Munro, Sir John Moore, Sir David illustrate Scottish history. George Baillie—whose Baird, Lord Exmouth, Lord Keppel, &c. On the father had fallen a victim to the vindictive tyranny subject of biography in general, we quote with of the government of Charles II.-was a Presby- pleasure an observation by Mr Carlyle: terian and Covenanter, but neither gloomy nor 'If an individual is really of consequence en
enough He held office under Queen Anne and to have his life and character recorded for public George I., and died in 1738, aged seventy-five. remembrance, we have always been of opinion His daughter, Lady Murray, who portrays the that the public ought to be made acquainted character of her parents with a skilful yet tender with all the inward springs and relations of his hand, and relates many interesting incidents of character. How did the world and man's life, the times in which they lived, was distinguished from his particular position, represent themselves in the society of the court of Queen Anne, and to his mind ? How did co-existing circumstances has been commemorated by Gay, as one of modify him from without-how did he modify the friends of Pope, and as 'the sweet-tongued these from within ? With what endeavours and Murray.
what efficacy rule over them ? with what resistWhile the most careful investigation is directed ance and what suffering sink under them? In towards our classic authors-Shakspeare, Milton, one word, what and how produced was the effect Spenser, Chaucer, &c. forming each the subject of society on him ? what and how produced was of numerous Memoirs-scarcely a person of the his effect on society? He who should answer least note has been suffered to depart without the these questions in regard to any individual, honours of biography. The present century has would, as we believe, furnish a model of perfecamply atoned for any want of curiosity on the tion in biography. Few individuals, indeed, can part of former generations, and there is some deserve such a study ; and many lives will be danger that this taste or passion may be carried written, and, for the gratification of innocent too far.
Memoirs of “persons of quality'-of curiosity, ought to be written, and read, and wits, dramatists, artists, and actors, appear every forgotten, which are not in this sense biographies.' season. Authors have become as familiar to us We have enumerated the most original biographas our personal associates. Shy, retired men like ical works of this period; but a complete list of Charles Lamb, and studious recluses like Words- all the Memoirs, historical and literary, that have worth, have been portrayed in all their strength appeared would fill pages. Two general Biographand weakness. We have Lives of Shelley, of ical Dictionaries have also been published: one Keats, Hazlitt, Hannah More, Mrs Hemans, in ten volumes quarto, published between the