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the facts upon which it is founded. M. Amédée Pichot has long been known in continental literature, as the editor of one of those clever periodicals which reflect with so much truth and vivacity the movement of French intellect in the various realms of thought. But to American readers he brings a still higher claim, as the translator of Prescott's Conquest of Mexico. It was during a tour in Scotland, and with Waverley for his guide-book, that he first formed the idea of a life of Charles Edward, as an episode of Scottish history. The canvass grew under his hands as he wrote, “and he was gradually led to draw a full picture of the long rivalry between Scotland and England. The first edition of his work appeared in 1830 ; that which we have cited at the head of our article is the fourth, a sufficient proof of the favor with which it has been received. Each new edition contains important additions, new documents, drawn from their resting-places in public or in private archives, where they had lain for years unregarded, and, but for his untiring perseverance, might have lain there still. During this interval, other writers have followed him into the field which he had opened ; Brown and Lord Mahon in England, and two in Germany. But as he was the first, so he continues to be the best ; and the enthusiasm which he brought to the beginning of his task seems, at the end of twenty years, to be as bright as ever.
A work composed under such circumstances must, necessarily, be original. M. Pichot's idea and plan are his own, and the execution of them is accurate and able. The state of parties, the popular mind as manifested in the popular literature of the day, all the great questions which were then in agitation, and many of those often neglected accessories which throw so strong a collateral light upon historical events, have found a place in his volumes, many of them being treated with skill, and all with great apparent fidelity.
Though far from believing in the doctrine of divine right, he is a warm admirer of his hero; but we cannot perceive that his sympathies have anywhere given a false coloring to his narrative ; and that man must be cold-hearted indeed, who should have no other feeling than that of common interest for a friend of twenty years' standing. If we were disposed to look for faults in a work of so much merit, we should say, that here and there we could have wished for greater fulness of detail, somewhat more of earnestness and warmth in the narrative, and of vigor and compression in the style ; but it is none the less the fullest and most satisfactory history that has yet appeared of this interesting period.
ART. II. — Lives of Men of Letters and Science, who flour.
ished in the time of George the Third. By HENRY, LORD BROUGHAM, F. R. S. Second Series. Philadelphia : Carey & Hart. 1846. 12mo. pp. 302.
We give a hearty welcome to this new volume from such a distinguished hand. It contains another series of animated portraits, struck off with free and bold execution. The writer, powerful as he is, has not, in every respect, the best qualifications for such a work ; but the reader is sure of finding independent views and valuable information ; and if there should be a measure of prejudice and occasional passion, this will only prove that his Lordship is not exempt from the misleading influences with which less gifted minds are afflicted. In the case of men of science, having a natural taste for their investigations, he has entered with all his heart into those studies and discoveries to which they are indebted for their fame. With moralists and literary men, he is, of course, less successful and happy. But a mind like his, which has been for years in a state of intense activity, cannot be turned to any subject without throwing light upon it, though it may, peradventure, be accompanied with occasional bursts of flame. At any rate, it is a good example for retired statesmen thus to engage in intellectual labors. Would it might be followed by persons of the same description in this country, who, after escaping from the scuffle of politics in the condition of Canning's “needy knife-grinder," with garments rent in twain, before the sartor can repair the damage they have sustained, are impatient as the war-horse to be in the same glorious strife again.
It is rather a curious procession which the ex-Chancellor now calls up from the deep. At its head rolls on the stern and melancholy Johnson, apparently not aware that he is fileleader to the eloquent Adam Smith, who was so distasteful
Jolitics in the rent in twain, bare impatient as
to him when living, that it would not be strange if he had a sharp word to say to him, even in the land of souls. They are separated by the Frenchman Lavoisier, as a barricade, from the spherical form of the sarcastic and not very amiable Gibbon. Next comes Sir Joseph Banks, who, with great forbearance, does not swear, — out of fear, perhaps, of him who leads the van; and last, but not least, appears D'Alembert, one of those sketches which his Lordship, who is a half-domesticated Frenchman, delights to draw, but which do not appear to be received by readers in France with unmingled satisfaction, perhaps for the reason that they are too severely true. Critics of that nation have complained of want of novelty in his life of Voltaire ; but they do not say whether they expected him to discover new facts in the history of one who spent all his life in the daylight, or whether they wished him to exert his inventive genius in giving a charm to biographical writing. Others have quarrelled with his portrait of Rousseau, as it would seem, because he does not represent that mean-spirited creature as a great philanthropist and benefactor of mankind. But if any one rejoices in filth, and is disposed to make declamation pass for philanthropy, he will find that the eyes of the world are wide open, and splendid shillings, if counterfeit, will be left on the hands that receive them. Meantime, Lord Brougham has been attacked by English critics, one or two of whom he has paid back with a compliment which will not make them impatient for another. In their desire to show off his ignorance and errors, they have made an unseemly exposure of their own. But on the whole, as his language is somewhat lofty, and as no man living has collected a richer variety of enemies than he, it is not strange if some should take this indirect way to resent those wrongs which otherwise they would have no means of avenging
The greatest fault in this writer's portrait-painting proceeds from an occasional waywardness and haste, which lead him into views and representations which his slower judgment would have disapproved. We need not go far for an illustration of the truth of this remark; there is the case of Dr. Johnson, to whom he seems disposed to render justice, though with the same uncertainty with which an eеl may be supposed to look upon the movements of a whale. There is a passage of his history in which he ascribes to him motives and feelings which, when examined, seem absurdly untrue. Thus, when the widow of his friend Thrale married Piozzi, the Doctor, like every body else at the time, considered it an injudicious and discreditable connection ; though, with the single exception of the word “ignominious,” which he applies to it, there is nothing indicating excitement of feeling ; and it should be remembered that this word, which sounds so formidable, was but one of the ponderous missiles which he was accustomed to employ. Lord Brougham professes himself unable to see why it was not a very tolerable match, and thinks that Johnson's opposition to it must have arisen from an attachment to her on his own part. Now, if this was so, all the world must have been smitten with her charms, for there was a persect unanimity of opinion as to the course which she pursued ; and as Lord Brougham evidently knows nothing more than others about Piozzi's character and standing, his conjectures will not outweigh the judgment which they had better opportunities of forming. As to the Doctor's affection, we speak with diffidence, having had very little experience in these affairs of the heart ; but it does not seem to us that at the age of seventy-five he would be transported with the tender passion; nor that, with one foot in the grave, he would have engaged in a love-chase with any brilliant promise of success. His Lordship makes himself merry with the aristocratic feeling of these humble persons, who considered her marriage with Piozzi as a degradation ; and, sure enough, it is ridiculous for one earthly potsherd to look down upon another, which happens to be an inch or two lower in the dust. But such is the way of the world ; it is universal, although it be not a true nor wise one ; and well as he discourses on the subject, theoretically considered, we strongly apprehend, that, if the case should be his own, and a daughter of his house should marry a foreign adventurer, he would set up an outcry of wrath and vexation that might be heard across the deep.
We do not ihink that this writer, in his estimate of Johnson, makes sufficient allowance for the effect of the disease which hung like a millstone round his neck through all his mortal existence,-a disease which brings with it every form of gloom and irritability, and which, in his case, was aggravated by the loneliness in which he lived ; for it is remarkable, that, with his wonderful power of conversation, his society
VOL. LXIV. — NO. 134.
should have been so little sought ; though, indeed, if the circle in which he moved had been ever so extensive and inspiring, it could not have afforded himn the relief and comfort of a home. And yet bis Lordship has had, as he says, unusual advantages for observing this fearful complaint, of seeing the paralyzing influence which it exerts upon the mind and the will, and the deadly aversion which it gives to those active efforts in which the only remedy can be found. This disorder was deeply engrained in Johnson's constitution ; it brought with it a sense of ever-present misery, and oppressed him with dark forebodings; he evidently feared the time when the intellect would sink under it, leaving him a miserable ruin. Had physical education been understood in his day, he might possibly have been relieved by attention to diet and exercise, which no one then seemed to suspect had any connection with health or the want of it. One brave effort of that kind he made, in giving up the stimulating drinks of all kinds to which he had resorted for relief, — an abstinence in which he persevered to the last ; but generally, in this instance, as in that of Collins and Cowper, the malady seems to have been treated as a visitation of God, with which there was no such thing as contending. When one thinks of his long struggle with poverty, — of his dining behind a screen at Cave's, because too meanly dressed to appear at that great man's table, – of his supporting life for a long time on less than sixpence a day,- of his occasional enjoyment of conversation with men like Burke, which, when it was over, left him in solitude and sorrow,- of the plaintive manner in which he would entreat others to sit up with him, that he might escape as long as possible the terrors of the night, - it gives us a view of his condition, which, one would think, would excuse many of those petulant expressions that appear numerous because Boswell has faithfully recorded them, and has not always stated that it was his own folly which brought down the shower-bath of compliments upon his head. We learn from Miss Reynolds, who was the Griffith among his chroniclers, that he gave the impression of a man of unhewn manners, but of a kind and affectionate heart. And while we do not undervalue that grace of life in which he was so sadly wanting, it is but right to remember bis active and self-denying charity ; it is but right to ask of those who censure him, if they would be ready to receive and support two helpless