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to Mrs. Piozzi's text, assumes that all readers of Shakspeare will call to mind the Countess of Auvergne's speech to Talbot.

Many a man of note went out of his way for the sake of a look at Frederick the Great. And what went they out for to see ? A man, as Comte de Ségur describes him in old age, great in genius, small in stature; stooping, and as it were bent down under the weight of his laurels and of his long toils. His blue coat, old and worn like his body; ... his waistcoat covered with snuff. ... In his small figure," nevertheless, "you discerned a spirit greater than any other man's”—a spirit especially self-asserting in the fire of his eyes.* So, again, General von der Marwitz, who had three memorable views of Frederick, dilates on his old three-cornered regimental hat, with the strings torn and loose, and the white feather in it tattered and dirty; his coat old and dusty, the yellow waistcoat covered with snuff ;" and of course what Mr. Carlyle calls those perpetual boots, of which the royal wearer would allow no polishing or blacking, still less any change for new ones while they would hang together. Even at dinner-timg, always his brightest hour, Frederick sits a very snuffy, and does not sufficiently abhor grease on his fingers, or keep his nails quite clean,” or perhaps his linen either, whereof his allowance was a thought scanty. “I think I have heard there were but twelve shirts, not in first-rate order, when the King died,” writes Mr. Carlyle: “A King supremely indifferent to small concerns; especially to that of shirts and tailorages not essential.”+ Shabby, spuffy, stooping little man, with uncleanly hands, with linen not white, and boots not black,-could that be Frederick the Great ?

Yet, be it here incidentally remarked, that M. de Sainte-Beuvet expressly signalises Frederick as having this caractère peculiar to great men, that your first view of him altogether surpassed your expectation.

Quite the converse of the late Lord Dudley's remark,ş that Nature seldom invests great men with any outward signs, from which their greatness may be known or foretold.

The satirical topographer of Little Pedlington and the Pedlingtonians recounts of his introduction to the great local artist, Daubson,

that, as “usually happens with one's preconceived notions of the personal appearance of eminent people,” his own, with respect to Daubson, turned out to be all wrong. For though one may descry, in the portrait of Michael Angelo, the severity and stern vigour of his works; and in Raphael's, tenderness, delicacy, and elegance ; and in Rembrandt's, his coarseness as well as his strength; and in Vandyck's, his refinement; in all, their intellectual power ;-in Daubson himself

was perceptible nothing indicative of his alleged) creative faculty.|| That is an amusing story which is told of Dr. Bentley-Richard the "

Great-on occasion of a Cambridge University court of inquiry into the propagation of atheism by Mr. Tinkler Ducket, a Fellow of Caius, and follower of Strutt. Court being seated, as De Quincey relates the procedure, Bentley begged to know which was the atheist; and upon Tinkler, who was a little meagre man,

1

* Mémoires par le Comte de Ségur.
| Cf. History of Friedrich II., vol. vi. pp. 639, 658, 674.
| Frédéric le Grand, Littérateur. (1850.)
Ś Letters to the Bishop of Llandaff, No. 7.
✓ Little Pedlington, ch. vi.

being pointed out to him, “ Atheist !” said he, “how! is that the atheist? Why, I thought an atheist would be at least as big as Burrough the beadle !" Burrough, it may readily be supposed, was a burly personage,--physically up to the Doctor's ideal of a leader to a defiant philosophy.* Tiny Tinkler in that capacity was, to Bentley's thinking, too absurd.

Milton moralises, in his magnificent prose, on the liability of Truth itself, with all its intrinsic royalty, to be disparaged and depreciated at first sight: “whose first appearance to our eyes, bleared and dimmed with prejudice and custom, is more unsightly and unplausible than many errors; even as”—he adds, and this simile occasions the quotation"even as the person is of many a great man slight and contemptible to see.”+

One of the great Corneille’s biographers declares that when first he saw that grand homme, he took him for a tradesman of Rouen. Could that lumpish creature be veritably the man who had made Greeks and Romans discourse in such lofty strains ? Not a trace of genius about that heavy exterior; and when the poet opened his mouth, it was but to convict himself of a greater dulness of dead-weight than before.

When you saw Malesherbes for the first time, they say,-in his chesnut-coloured coat with huge pockets, his waistcoat fouled with snuff, his wig ill combed and all awry, and heard him talk in so common-place and unaffected a style,—it was hard work to persuade yourself you were in the presence of a man so distinguished. So at least Boissy d'Anglas describes him. But according to Chateaubriand, the very first phrase that Malesherbes uttered was enough to declare him what he was.

Of John Lord Teignmouth, ex-Governor-General of India, in his Clapham retirement, Sir James Stephen says, that his appearance betokened anything but what he had been—the friend of Sir William Jones, the associate of Warren Hastings, the adviser of Henry Dundas, and the choice of William Pitt when he had a trust to confer, superior in splendour, perhaps in importance, to his own. If the fasces had really been borne before that quiet every-day-looking gentleman, then Clapham Common had totally misconceived what manner of men governors-general are. “ The idea of the Common was as magnificent as that of a Lord Mayor in the mind of Martinus Scriblerus”-or rather, perhaps, it might be said, in the mind of Continental Europe at large. “ But a glance at our Aurungzebe, in the Clapham coach, was enough to dispel the illusion."! Could'that be Talbot,-or Teignmouth, or any other

capital T?

We read in the voyages of Captain Cook, that when the all-conquering King of Bolabola, whose very name set folks trembling, arrived in Ulietea, — " from the terror attached to his name the English naturally expected to see a fine specimen of barbaric heroism, but he proved a feeble old man, half blind, and particularly stupid."S

The reader of Sir Walter Scott's first novel of note—whence all the brilliant series derived their generic title—will remember Waverley's surprise at the actual presence of the freebooter, Donald Bean Lean.

* De Quincey on Richard Bentley, D.D. (1830.) † Areopagitica.

Ecclesiastical Essays : The Clapham Sect. Biographia Borealis, vol. iii.; Captain James Cook.

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The profession which that marauder followed—the wilderness in which he dwelt-the wild warrior forms that surrounded him, were all calculated to inspire terror. From such accompaniments, Waverley prepared himself to meet a stern, gigantic, ferocious figure, such as Salvator Rosa would have chosen to be the central object of a group of banditti.

“Donald Bean Lean was the very reverse of all these. He was thin in person and low in stature, with light sandy-coloured hair, and small pale features, from which he derived his agnomen of Bean, or white; and although his form was light, well-proportioned, and active, he appeared, on the whole, rather a diminutive and insignificant figure. The redoubtable Hong-Kong pirate, Eli Boggs, was tried for piracy and murder during Mr. Wingrove Cooke's sojourn in China; and that gentleman has a word or two to say of the American felon. Instead of being in appearance, as his name and fame suggested, a villain of the Blackbeard class, he was like the hero of a sentimental novel : “a face of feminine beauty; not a down upon the upper lip; large lustrous eyes; a mouth the smile of which might woo coy maiden; affluent black hair, not carelessly parted; hands so small and so delicately white that they would create a sensation in Belgravia : such was the Hong-Kong pirate, Eli Boggs." And to Mr. Cooke it seemed impossible that the handsome boy in the prisoner's dock could be the culprit whose name had been for three years connected with the boldest and bloodiest acts of piracy.t

The French in Lewis the Twelfth's time had been taught to regard the Spanish hero, Gonsalvo of Cordova, with mingled feelings of fear and hatred, and, according to Guicciardini, could scarcely credit their senses when they beheld the bugbear of their imaginations distinguished above all others for the majesty of his presence, the polished elegance of his discourse, and manners in which dignity was blended with grace. I The Spaniards of the last generation called Lord Cochrane El Diablo,ş and we are told how the lady-wife of an expelled viceroy marvelled to find him a rational being and gentleman, instead of the ferocious brute that had been pictured to her.

Edward Irving, already mistrusted as a crazy heretic, records of his reception in Edinburgh soon after the outcry began against him, that “unbounded was the wonder of men to find that I had not a rough tiger's skin, with tusks and horns and other savage instruments.”'||

Colonel Montgomery Maxwell's narrative of his first inspection of Napoleon, in 1814, involves the “ frank confession" that he felt much disappointed, and that for the moment the film seemed to fall from his eyes, when the man who had been the idol of his imagination for years, stood before him, “a round ungraceful figure, with a most unpoetically protuberant stomach.”. “I mentally exclaimed, as I peeped at his round, thick, short thighs, and pot-belly, Is this the great Napoleon?'”

Mr. Tytler, the historian of Scotland, expresses the astonishment he felt when he first met Lord Hill (it was in 1830, at dinner with Lord

* Waverley, ch. xvii.

† Cooke's China, ch. vii. I See Prescott's History of the Reign of Ferdinand and Isabella, vol. iii. part ii. ch. xi.

See Autobiography of the Earl of Dundonald, vol. i.
Life of Edward Irving, p. 263. Fourth edit.
My Adventures, by Col. Montgomery Maxwell. (1844.)

Teignmouth): “Instead of a bold-looking soldier, there slipped into the room a short pot-bellied body, with a sweet round facie, and a remarkably mild expression, who seemed afraid of the sound of his own voice; speaking in a lisp, and creeping about the chairs and tables, as if he had a great inclination to hide himself under them. I almost laughed outright when I was told this was the famous Lord Hill.'

Thomas Moore once told Washington Irvingt of his hearing an eager exclamation from a carriage as he was passing, “ There's Moore ! there's Moore !" and that looking round, he saw a lady with upraised hands and an expression of sad disappointment, as much as to say, Impossible ! that can never be Moore ! - Southey used to say, after he had once seen Jeffrey, and taken his measure in the matter of physical inches, that it would be impossible

ever again to feel angry with anything so little. Little (Thomas, Esq.), alias Moore, often jots down in his Diary the surprises he experienced on meeting this, that, or the other “ celebrity," and finding them so different from his à priori impressions. For example, he meets Mr. Roebuck in 1839, at Colonel Napier's, and declares himself vastly “surprised," "as nothing could be less like a firebrand than he is, his manner and look being particularly gentle. But this is frequently the case ; my poor friend Robert Emmet was as mild and gentle in his manner as any girl.”I

Mr. Dickens good-humouredly pictures his presentation across the Atlantic to a Dr. Crocus, who “ looks as if I didn't by any means realise his expectations, which, in a linen blouse, and a great straw-hat with a green ribbon, and no gloves, and my face and nose profusely ornamented with the stings of mosquitoes and the bites of bugs, it is very likely I did not.”§ Boz in a blouse,-Boz bug-bitten all over his face,-alas for the illusion of idealising Doctor Crocus.

Dr. Croly, in his memoirs of Marston, soldier and statesman, takes or makes repeated occasion to illustrate the discrepancy between one's preconception of distinguished men and their actual presence. As where the autobiographer sees La Fayette for the first time, and reports: “I saw a quiet visage, and a figure of moderate size, rather embonpoint, and altogether the reverse of that fire-eyed and lean-countenanced Cassius which I had pictured in my imagination." Marston adds that the General's manners perplexed him as much as his features, being calm, easy, and almost frank; so that it was impossible to recognise the Frenchman in him except by his language ; and he was the last man in whom could be detected that toy of the theatre, “the French marquis."|| At another time Mr. Carlyle's Sea-green Incorruptible is Marston's subject. He pictures himself awaiting in a small room the approach of the terror of France and horror of Europe, during half an hour which seemed to him interminable. The door at last opened, a valet came in, and the name of “ Robespierre," writes our soldier-statesman, “ thrilled through every fibre; but, instead of the frowning giant to which my fancy had involuntarily attached the name, I saw following him a slight figure, highly dressed, and even with the air of a fop on the stage."I-Shifting the

* Memoir of P. F. Tytler, p. 204. † Life and Letters, vol. iv. ch. lxxii. Diary of Thomas Moore, Feb. 26, 1839.

§ American Notes. Marston, ch. xv.

Ibid., ch. xxii.

scene to England, we have, among others, Edmund Burke-of whom, in his political career, by-the-by, Dr. Croly became the enthusiastic biographer-thus referred to the same category of illusory preconceptions : « Like most men who have made themselves familiar with the works of a great writer, I had formed a portraiture of him by anticipation. I never was more disappointed. Instead of the expressive countenance and commanding figure which I had imagined to enshrine the soul of the most splendid of all orators, I saw the form of the middle size and of a homely appearance, a heavy physiognomy, and the whole finished by two appurtenances which would have been fatal to the divinity of the Apollo Belvedere—spectacles and a wig." His voice and manner, it is added, were scarcely more (Dr. Croly writes, or at least prints, it "scarcely less") prepossessing; the one being as abrupt and clamorous as the other was rustic and ungraceful: altogether, he had the general look of a farmer of the better order, and seemed, at best, made to figure on a grand jury.* John Philpot Curran, again, another of the author of “ Salathiel's” brilliant fellow-countrymen: “ Curran was the last man to be judged of by appearances. Nature had been singularly unkind to his exterior, as if the more to astonish us by the powers of the man within.”. His figure, we are told, was undersized, his visage brown, hard, and peasant-like; his gesture a gesticulation, and his voice alternately feeble and shrill; so that the whole effect of his oratory was to be derived from means with which that little meagre frame and sharp treble had nothing to dot-unless, perhaps, in the negative way of let and hindrance.

For once, however, the limner of these disappointing portraits has to declare his preconception realised; and that is in the instance of Charles James Fox. The great Whig is thus introduced by our Tory divine: “ I now saw Fox for the first time, and I was instantly struck with the singular similitude of all that I saw of him to all that I had conceived from his character and style. In the broad bold forehead it could not be difficult to discover the strong sense--in the relaxed mouth, the self-indulgent and reckless enjoyment–in the quick, small eye under those magnificent black brows, the man of sagacity, of sarcasm, and of humour."| This is the one noteworthy exception to the rule of Dr. Croly's disappointed anticipations, and the exception proves the rule.

Mr. Thackeray, under one of his aliases, is amusingly suggestive in his sketch of a Dinner in the City, where he is awed by the vision of a veteran officer in scarlet, with silver épaulets, and a profuse quantity of bullion and silver lace, &c. &c. “ Who is the general ?” he asks his neighbour at table; “is it the Marquis of Anglesea, or the Rajah of Sarawak?" “That! pooh!" says Pilkington; " that is Mr. Champignon, M.P., of Whitehall Gardens and Fungus Abbey, Citizen and Bellows-mender

. His uniform is that of a Colonel in the Diddlesex Militia." There is no end to similar mistakes that day. The innocent guest mistakes for a Foreign Ambassador at the very least a venerable man in a blue and gold uniform, and a large crimson sword-belt and brass-scabbarded sabre, who turns out to be only a Billingsgate Commissioner ; while "a little fellow in a blue livery, which fitted him so badly that I thought he must be one of the hired waiters of the Company, who had been put into a coat that didn't * Marston, ch. xxvi. † Ibid., ch. xxxix.

Ibid., ch. xxv.

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