Графични страници
PDF файл
ePub

Qualities, Manners, Morals, and translation of Faust,' his earliest Society;" but these, too, were treat- publication; the other the bioed from their light sides, and the graphy of Goethe for “Blacksame gay stream of agreeable wood's Foreign Classics "-written gossip about them bore on its when he was already a very old tide great shoals of anecdotes. man. "Sir Henry Holland's Recollec- We have been induced to offer tions,” “Madame de Sévigné," this sketch of Mr Hayward be“ Madame du Deffand,” suggest cause, as we have already noted, papers in which he would be quite he presented a very remarkable in his element, passing with a light individuality, and one well worth step through scenes made pictur- preserving, which is nowhere made esque and interesting by the notable apparent in these Letters. They and historic figures which crowd- might have been written by a man, ed them. But of the whole list, fond of society, of almost any prothe two in which Hayward must fession or almost any persuasion. have revelled most are “Holland When he wrote his letters he put House" and “Strawberry Hill”; off his shoes of swiftness and laid combining researches into corners aside his sword of sharpness, but of the history of former genera- put on his cloak of darkness, and tions with personal recollections of went masquerading in the, for him, famous guests who had frequented fancy costume of a quite commonthose mansions along with him; place character. In all companies the whole illustrated by a wealth of he was irrepressible and conspicuanecdote such as no one but him- ous. Nobody who knew him could self had amassed, and much of imagine him as conceding, or conwhich, until he recorded it, was ciliating, or deferring, or implying drifting on the casual current of concurrence which he did not feel, oral narrative towards oblivion. or meeting dissent with silence, To tell a good story about famous or ignoring arrogant pretension, people for the first time or resorting to any of the amiable probably as high a pleasure as he shifts which oil the machinery of could know.

social life. He was nothing if not Towards the end of his life his a gladiator. And he led, under strong memory perhaps began a these somewhat adverse conditions, little to fail him. In his “ Madame a very pleasant life. That there de Sévigné," published in the vol- was plenty of matter to outweigh ume of 1880, he quotes the well. his defects is apparent from the known passage about Cleopatra fact that most of his friends went thus

on habitually dining with him up to « Age cannot weary her, nor custom tire tion. He alludes, in the letters, to

the last with high mutual satisfacHer infinite variety.”

the well-known table at the Atheninstead of " wither” and “stale.” æum, which he had got to consider This was pointed out to him as a his own, as “the Corner," where his supposed injury done to him by most frequent companion was his the printer; but he shook his head old and intimate friend Mr Kingand said he feared he, not the lake, whom he esteemed probably printer, was the culprit.

more than he esteemed anybody Besides the seven volumes of else. Here he enjoyed, on most his selected Essays, he appears evenings when he was not dining only to have published two other out—which he very often wasworks in volumes—the one his one of the greatest pleasures he

was

could desire, that of being a con- of winter, he found that he could no spicuous member of a party of longer take his seat at the Club. He distinguished men. To the old remained for many weeks in his friends who generally assembled rooms, still able to enjoy the comround him, he added, at every pany of the many fast friends who opportunity, any eminent foreigner came to sit with him, his chief conor stranger admitted as a tempor- solation being in the company of his ary guest by the rules of the Club tried associate Kinglake, who was -and only such are admitted. unremitting in those visits which To say the truth, he carried this gave such comfort to the departing appropriation of desirable guests Hayward. For the last few days to an extreme; and many a pro- he took to his bed, having a nurse jected quiet converse between old to take care of him. Towards the friends, just met after long separa- close he wandered a little, and at tion, has been upset by Hayward one time fancied the Government insisting on laying hands on the wanted to talk with him about illustrious stranger. Here he difficulties in Egypt, and that he would air his anecdotes, ventilate ought to go to them. The nurse, his projects, report the progress experienced in such matters, sought of his literary work in hand, and to soothe him—“No, no, Mr Hayinveigh against his enemies, in- ward, 'tis all right about Egypt !” cluding in that comprehensive class This audacity of hers, first in coneverybody who differed from him. tradicting him, and then in presumThese scenes he continued to varying to know anything about Egypt, by visits to some of the most agree- recalled his wandering faculties. able houses in England, and to Looking at the erring though wellmost entertainments in London meaning woman, he said, “You where many great people were hold your tongue; you don't know gathered together. For this kind anything at all about it!"_which of life he made his income suffice; characteristic utterance was one of and it is quite probable that an his very last. accession of wealth would not have of the book itself we have said made him happier. He had quite little, for there is little to say. enough to preserve, what he doubt- Many of the letters are written less valued above most things, his by notable persons; but the subindependence.

ject-matter is dull, and often trivHe was of a small, slight figure, ial. An unusual amount of it stooping a good deal-pale of com- consists of what people don't want plexion and high-featured, large to read, or of what they have read of nose and mouth. His hair, elsewhere. To take an instancewhite latterly, was smooth, and there are many letters about the ended in rows of small curls-in- Crimean war; but what new light somuch that a lady to whom we do they throw on it? How can it pointed him out across Bond Street, interest anybody to be told what noting this fleecy chevelure, ob- each of several correspondents served that he was like a pet lamb thought of each of Mr Hayward's -an animal which he did not articles? or that the Duke of Newin other respects resemble. He castle was anxious to get into the seemed to enjoy unfailing health Athenæum Club? Yet if all matup to his final illness, when, in his ter of this kind were taken out of eighty-third year, at the approach the book, what would be left?

MOSS FROM A ROLLING STONE.

XIV.—THE ATTACK ON THE BRITISH LEGATION IN JAPAN IN 1861.

In October 1860, Mr de Nor- large gateway, an avenue, about man, First Secretary of Legation three hundred yards long, led to in Japan, who was temporarily a second gateway behind which attached to Lord Elgin's second stood the temple buildings. In special embassy to China, was bar- the outside court were the serbarously tortured and murdered at vants' offices and stables, in which Pekin; and early in the follow- stood always, saddled and bridled, ing year I was sent out to succeed like those of the knights of Brankhim. Sir Rutherford Alcock, who some Hall, the horses of our mounthad been appointed Minister to ed Japanese body-guard, without Japan under the treaty which we whose escort no member of the made with that country in 1858, Legation could at that time take when I was acting-secretary to the a ride abroad. Besides these, there special mission, had applied for was a foot-guard, partly composed two years' leave; and thus the of soldiers of the Tycoon, or Temprospect was opened to me of act- poral Emperor, as he was then ing as chargé d'affaires at Yedo called, and partly by retainers of for that period. It was one which the Daimios, or feudatory chiefs my former brief experience in that of the country—the whole amountinteresting and comparatively un- ing to 150 men. These guards known country rendered extreme- were placed here by the Governly tempting; and early in June ment for our protection, although I reached Shanghai, on my way some of us at the time thought to Yokohama. I was extremely that the precaution was altogether sorry to find that I had just exaggerated and unnecessary, and missed Sir Rutherford, who had that their constant presence was left Shanghai, only a fortnight be- intended rather as a measure of fore, for Nagasaki, from which surveillance over our movements. town he intended to travel over- To what extent this latter motive land to Yedo—a most interesting operated it is impossible to conjourney of at least a month, through jecture, but the sequel showed that an entirely unknown country; an the apprehensions of the Governexperience which, in view of my ment for our safety were by no future residence in it, would have means unfounded. I had been acbeen valuable in many ways. There companied from England by Mr was nothing left for it but to go, Reginald Russell, who had been on the first opportunity, by sea; appointed attaché, and it was with and towards the end of the month no little curiosity that we rode up I reached Yokohama, from which the avenue to what was to be our port I lost no time in pushing on to future home. Yedo. Here I found the Legation Two or three members of the established in a temple at the en- Legation were waiting to receive trance to the city, in one of its us, and showed us over the quaint principal suburbs, called Sinagawa. construction which had been apIt was separated from the sea by propriated by the Japanese Gova highroad, and on entering the ernment to the use of the first foreign Minister who had ever on wiry ponies shod with straw resided in their capital. Part of shoes, and with a marked tendency the building was still used for to being vicious and unmanageecclesiastical purposes, and haunt- able. These exploratory rides were ed by priests; but our quarters a great source of delight and inwere roomy and comfortable, the terest to me, for although I had interior economy being susceptible been in the country before, my of modification in the number, visit had only lasted a fortnight; size, and arrangement of the rooms, and my time had been exclusively by the simple expedient of mov- devoted to official work, and the ing the partition-walls, which con- examination of the city of Yedo sisted of paper-screens running in itself, so that I had seen nothing grooves. The ease with which whatever of the surrounding counthese could be burst through, as try. Now we scampered across it, it afterwards proved, afforded equal to the great consternation of our facilities of escape and attack. escort, who found great difficulty One felt rather as if one was liv- in keeping up with us—so much so, ing in a bandbox; and there was that upon more than one occasion an air of flimsiness about the whole only two or three of the original construction by no means calcu- number succeeded in reaching home lated to inspire a sense of security with us. I had determined, morein a capital of over two millions over, upon making an entomologiof people, a large proportion of cal collection for the British Muwhom we were given to under- seum, and set the juvenile part stand were thirsting for our lives. of the population of the villages Fortunately for our peace of mind, through which I passed to collectwe did not realise this at the time, ing insects, in the hope that on and were taken up rather by the subsequent visits I might find quaintness and novelty of our new something worth having. I was abode, and the picturesqueness of successful in almost my first ride its surroundings. We congratu- in finding a common-looking but lated ourselves upon the charming very rare beetle; and in this purgarden and grounds, comprising suit my English servant—who had probably two or three acres, abun- spent his youth in the house of a dantly furnished with magnificent naturalist and ornithologist, and wide-spreading trees, and innumer- was skilled in the use of the blowable shrubs and plants which were pipe, and in the cleaning and stuffnew to us; while small ponds and ing of birds—took an eager interest. tiny islands contributed a feature After I had been at Yedo about which is generally to be found in a week, we received news of the the landscape-gardening in which approach of Sir Rutherford Alcock the Japanese are so proficient. and his party, and rode out ten Sir Rutherford Alcock was not miles to meet them.

We were expected to arrive for a week, and delighted to see them arrive safe I occupied the time in establishing and sound after a land-journey of myself in my new quarters, and thirty-two days, as we had not been in exploring the neighbourhood on without anxiety on their behalf horseback.

—for Japan at that period was a On these occasions we were al- region in which sinister rumours ways accompanied by an escort of were rife, and never knew twenty or thirty horsemen, or ya- how much or how little to believe conins, as they are called, mounted of them; but now the great ex

we

periment of traversing the country material than the usual paperfor the first time by Europeans screens. Thinking that the dishad been safely and successfully turbances was probably caused by accomplished, and perhaps contrib- some quarrel among the servants, uted to lull us into a security, I jumped out of bed, intending the fallacy of which was destined to arm myself with my revolver, so shortly to be proved to us. which was lying in its case on the

On the night of the 5th of July table. Unfortunately my servant a comet was visible, a circumstance had that day been cleaning it, and to which some of us possibly owed after replacing it and locking the our lives, for we sat up till an un- case, had put the key where I usually late hour looking at it. could not lay my hands upon it. As one of the party was gifted A box which contained a sword with a good voice and an exten- and a coat of mail, which had sive repertory of songs, and the been laughingly presented to me evening was warm and still, we before leaving England by an protracted our vigil in the open anxious friend, had not been air until past midnight. At our opened; so, although well supmid-day halt on my ride from Yo- plied with means both of offence kohama to Yedo, I had acquired and defence, I was forced in the the affections of a stray dog, by hurry of the moment to content feeding him with our luncheon- myself with a hunting-crop, the scraps; and this animal had per- handle of which was so heavily manently attached himself to me, weighted, that I considered it a and was lying across the threshold sufficiently formidable weapon with of the door of my room when I which to meet anybody belonging went to bed. I had scarcely blown to our own household that I was out my candle and settled myself likely to encounter. Meantime the to a grateful repose, when this dog dog continued to bark violently, broke into a sudden and furious and to exhibit unmistakable signs barking, and at the same moment of alarm. Stepping past him, I proI heard the sounds of a watchman's ceeded along the passage leading rattle. We had two of these func- to the front of the house, which tionaries, whose business it was to was only dimly lighted by an oilperambulate the garden alternate- lamp that was standing in the ly throughout the night, and to dining-room ; the first room on my show that they were on the alert left was that occupied by Russell, by springing from time to time whom I hurriedly roused, and then a rattle made of bamboo which hearing the noise increasing, rushed they carried. Roused by these out towards it. I had scarcely noises, I listened attentively, and taken two steps, when I dimly distinctly heard the sounds of perceived the advancing figure of what seemed a scuffle at the front a Japanese, with uplifted arms and door. My room was on the other sword; and now commenced a side of the house, and opened on to struggle of which it is difficult to the garden, from which quarter it render an account. I remember was entirely unprotected. It was feeling most unaccountably hamconnected with the front of the pered in my efforts to bring the house by a narrow passage, the heavy butt-end of my hunting-whip walls of which, if I remember to bear upon him, and to be aware right, were of lath-and-plaster, that he was aiming blow after blow or at all events of some firmer at me, and no less unaccountably

« ПредишнаНапред »