LORD  BYRON  and  his  TIMES
Documents Biography Criticism

Memoir of Francis Hodgson
Chapter XXIII. 1840-52.

Vol. 1 Contents
Chapter I.
Chapter II. 1794-1807.
Chapter III. 1807-1808.
Chapter IV. 1808.
Chapter V. 1808-1809.
Chapter VI. 1810.
Chapter VII. 1811.
Chapter VIII. 1811.
Chapter IX. 1811.
Chapter X. 1811-12.
Chapter XI. 1812.
Chapter XII. 1812-13.
Chapter XIII. 1813-14.
Vol. 2 Contents
Chapter XIV. 1815-16.
Chapter XV. 1816-18.
Chapter XVI. 1815-22.
Chapter XVII. 1820.
Chapter XVIII. 1824-27.
Chapter XIX. 1827-1830
Chapter XX. 1830-36.
Chapter XXI. 1837-40.
Chapter XXII. 1840-47.
‣ Chapter XXIII. 1840-52.
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About the year 1845 Hodgson received some consolation for the comparatively early loss of some of his most intimate friends by the acquisition of a new friendship, which continued unimpaired until the end of his life. On the occasion of a visit to Brighton he formed the acquaintance of the Rev. Charles Webb Le Bas,1 whose social qualities were not less appreciated than his talents; a mathematician, a scholar, an historian, and a divine.

The congenial tastes and sympathies of this newly found friend rendered his companionship and corre-

1 Mr. Le Bas graduated at Cambridge as fourth wrangler in the year 1800. He was Principal of the East India College at Haileybury for many years, and author of the ‘Lives of Wiclif, Laud, Cranmer, and Jewel,’ in the Theological Library.

spondence equally agreeable to the evening of a life which had ever relied upon the intercourse and solace of friendship. Visits and letters were constantly interchanged, and literary, political, and ecclesiastical subjects were discussed with mutual satisfaction. In this, as in so many other cases, it has been found impossible to recover any of the Provost’s letters; but those of Mr. Le Bas which remain have some interesting passages and fragmentary allusions which, with a few other letters, will bring this memoir to a close.

The first in reference to the pretensions of the Papacy, a subject of especial interest at that period, gives some idea of the ecclesiastical tenets of the writer, which were in great measure shared by his correspondent.

June 25, 1845.

My dear Mr. Provost,—My remarks on Hildebrand were written purely from my somewhat imperfect recollections of his history, and without any reference to books. I have since, however, perused a very striking and instructive paper in the ‘Edinburgh Review,’ touching that same gigantic mind, which you, most probably, have likewise seen. If not, I would recommend you to lose no time in procuring it. It is, I believe, in the very last number, and, I have very little doubt, is the production of Stephen,
of the Colonial Office. In some respects it confirms my own view of the character of Gregory VII., for it gives him full credit for an unclouded persuasion of the truth of his Theocratic System, and of the perfect legitimacy of his own pretensions. How any man, or any set of men, could form such a theory, with the Scriptures open before them, it is next to impossible for us at this day to imagine; and yet the 350 extant letters of Gregory seem to indicate that he had no more doubt about the matter than of the Divine origin of Christianity itself. The reviewer is further of opinion that, whatever mischiefs may have been inflicted on society by this stupendous system, the evil was not altogether unmixed; and that, in the absence of some such antagonist force, the reign of brute violence might have been perpetual, and the greater part of the European population might have remained in a state of serfdom, to this very hour. But, be all this as it may, the name of Hildebrand ought never to be mentioned by a teacher of history, without pointed condemnation of the system, whatever allowance may be made for the man. His atrocious and vindictive ill-usage of the emperor ought, more especially, to be visited with unsparing reprobation.


A letter from Sir John Herschel, of about the same date, bears testimony to the versatility of his talents, and the correctness of his taste.

Dear sir,—I return you, with many thanks for their perusal, Dr. Hawtrey’s translations from Homer and Kallinos. Both are beautifully done, and read like the ancient metres, which, after all, is the point to be aimed at. But of the two I infinitely prefer the latter. There is, I fear, no denying it—the hexameter, unvaried by the pentameter, is too heavy for the English ear, which is attuned to such infinite (and I must say such delightful) variety of versification. And if I might venture to criticise on such a good critic, I should say that the one variety of which the hexameter is capable is in this specimen in some measure wanting; it is here and there too uniformly dactylic, canters too much. Nevertheless, I wish somebody competent to the task would give us in English a hexameter Homer, if only as a parallel to Voss.

But if I look with some degree of doubt as to the possibility of satisfying the English ear with a long hexameter poem—even with all the variety (no great amount) of which that metre is capable—I have none whatever about that of longs and
shorts, which strike me as, if cultivated, likely to attain in English a much higher point of metrical power (if I may use such an expression) than they have ever done in the Latin (where they always to my ear carry something of feebleness and puerility), or even in German. Their alternate lengths have an analogy to some of our most pleasing and popular measures (eights and sixes), and seem even not repugnant to combination with rhyme. As for example (I do not mean it as a specimen of poetry, but only of metre):—

Throw thyself on thy God, nor mock Him with feeble desire;
Sure of His love—and oh! sure of His mercy at last;
Bitter and deep tho’ the draught, yet shun not the cup of thy trial,
But in its healing effect smile at its bitterness past.
Pray for that holier cup, where sweet with bitter lies blending
Tears in the cheerful eye, smiles on the sorrowing cheek;
Death expiring in life—when the long-drawn struggle is ending,
Triumph and joy to the strong—strength to the weary and weak.

Repeating my thanks for the pleasure your attention has afforded me,

I remain, dear sir,
Your very faithful servant,
J. F. W. Herschel.

The Duke of Devonshire writes from Hardwicke and Brighton:—

I had a very agreeable and amusing dinner at Lord Denman’s with many law celebrities whom I was glad to have an opportunity of seeing. I love the railroads, and do not object to their coming within sight of Chatsworth, but the Duke of Rutland mourns over what he calls ‘the desecration of the valley.’

The Queen knew your picture directly at Chatsworth, and called her husband to come back and look at it.

Again from Civita Vecchia the Duke writes:—

I received your most delightful letter as I was leaving Rome yesterday; we have had a very wet winter all over Italy. I have just recovered from a cold that lasted more than a fortnight, and that has not affected the improved state of health produced by those wonderful baths at Gusteim in the Salzburg Alps. Either the baths, or the mountain air, or the early habits may be the cause, but everybody who goes there seems to derive the same strengthening and reviving benefits. I hope to be in London about the middle of April. The great object
of anxiety now is really too distressing to write about, I mean the state of Ireland. I am hurried, and must finish my letter without the rhapsody I meant to introduce about
Pio Nono, the liberal enlightened sovereign who is hard at work to improve and renovate his country.

The following extracts from letters of Mr. Le Bas, written in 1847, are highly characteristic of the genial kindliness of his disposition and of the quaint originality which distinguished him.

My dear Mr. Provost,—Our præcordia are in joyous agitation at the prospect of your appearance among us once more.

There has been no epidemic here, save the plague N.E. wind, and that seems to have been epidemic in the widest sense of the word. There was no flying from it in any quarter through the length and breadth of the land. However, that plague appears to be subsiding now; so that the little bipeds will have nothing to fear. The Dean of Peterborough is here—literally tied by the leg—imprisoned by a damaged shin, which the menders of limbs find it difficult to repair. We have found just the house to suit you; only you must make haste, or it will, probably, make itself wings and
flee away—from your grasp, at least. So, let there be no long tarrying; but, let us know your pleasure, incontinently.

Yes, I can very easily imagine the vehemence of the strife touching the locality of your organ. For I remember well a similar controversy, which raged more than twenty years ago, respecting the position of the organ in Winchester Cathedral. Moreover there was a conflict of the same description at Lincoln, in the time of our friend, Archdeacon Bayley. The issue, if I recollect right, was different in these two cases. I believe the Winchester organ is placed at the side; while, at Lincoln, it bisects the Cathedral. Fortunately, your organ can hardly bisect the chapel, the ante-chapel forming so small a portion of the building; though, to be sure, if placed at or near the western extremity, it will conceal the view of the whole interior from those who enter the building. You must even turn Papists, for the nonce, and invoke the aid of St. Cecilia! . . . . You told me John of Lincoln’s 1 advice; but, until your last, I did not know the decision of your College of Cardinals. I ardently pray for the peace of your Jerusalem. ‘They shall prosper that love her.’ Floreat

1 Dr. John Kaye, Bishop of Lincoln.

Etona! I can’t for the life of me help being very impatient to know the result of the conclave at your Vatican.

I have been looking into Carus’s biography of ό σμογερός. There is, of course, much in it that is truly admirable. But, still, the compound is too treacly for my palate. There is vastly too much sweetness about it; sweet seasons, sweet counsels, sweet meditations, sweet men and sweet women, sweet employments, congregations sweetly harmonious, etc., etc., etc. The venison is, really, a great deal of it, very good, but in parts it is so terribly overdone with loads of currant jelly! Sometimes it is quite syrupy; e.g. ‘I have got such a lovely man to be your curate!’ which is only to be paralleled by an expression which I recollect in some part of the writings of old John Newton, viz.—‘Eliza Cunningham is a very desirable girl;’ meaning that the lass was very amiable, and much to be liked and desired for her simplicity and piety. I should recommend an unsparing dilution of the oxymel in the next edition. After all, however, Simeon was a wonderful creature, and bravely conquered for himself a noble position in the religious world.

I have at last relented in favour of Goulburn,
in consideration of very long service and exemplary personal work; and so—for my sins—I must race away to Cambridge this day! You cannot think how glorious and beautiful old Oceanus has been looking of late! . . . .

The Jenny Lind epidemic has reached Brighton. The nightingale of Scandinavia has been warbling here this very morning at two guineas a ticket!! I could almost find in my heart to wish the nightingale with her sister as described by Virgil:—
Populeâ moerens Philomela sub umbri.

You may possibly recollect that I once mentioned to you a Rescript of Gregory XVI. to a French archbishop, on the subject of the prevalent diversity of liturgies in France, as a striking instance that uniformity of service is not maintained by the Popedom any more than by our episcopate. This document is printed in Gresley’sTreatise on the English Church,’ 1844. But as you may possibly not be in possession of that little volume, I have transcribed it for you. In fact, the liturgical irregularities in France were—and probably still are—beyond comparison greater than any which have ever occurred among ourselves; so great, indeed, that His Holiness is evidently shy of meddling with them! Gresley refers to the Tablet,
a Romanist publication, which complains that each diocese in France has had a rule of its own, and has its breviaries and missals cut up according to the passing fancies of each succeeding bishop. So that, however deeply we must lament our own rubrical dissensions, we find that herein ‘no strange thing hath happened to us.’ If the Pope hesitates to command perfect uniformity, what is the Primate of All England to do?

. . . . O! how I envy you your optimism: ‘This life a machine of so much happiness!!!’ Would to Heaven I could think it so! I speak this, however, not in a spirit of discontent with my own lot, μή γένοιτο, but with reference to the general condition of the world, bursting as it is with sin and sorrow, ‘groaning and travailing in pain together.’ Were I, myself, in possession of all the imaginable resources of felicity, the wailings of the creation would, I verily believe, nearly destroy my peace.

Our Lares and Penates salute yours with all cordial and friendly greeting. Enclosed you have your MS. reference, &c., &c. I know not the author of the article you mention; but if it is very good, it is probably by Boone, who was then the editor. The volume is at your service for any length of
time you may require it. I contend, lustily and incorrigibly, that the unwillingness to leave this scene does not necessarily imply the love of life. It is purely an instinctive feeling; quite an unreasoning instinct, implanted, doubtless, for the wisest purposes; for, without this instinct, there are multitudes so utterly wretched, that they would eagerly throw their lives away. Life can have no attractions for them; and yet there is something within them which shrinks from the loss of it. But that something cannot be the love of a ‘state of being which offers them nothing but suffering.’ Observe, I speak this apart from religious considerations. Religion, indeed, may reconcile us to any intensity of suffering. But religion, even in its higher power and influence, is sometimes very different indeed from love of life. And then, alas! how very limited is its operation, upon the human race collectively! However, yours beyond dispute is the more cheerful view, and, therefore, probably the wisest and most enviable. I do, most unaffectedly, wish I could adopt it. Perhaps I might if I were a Fellow of Eton College and you perpetual Provost. Yours ever, whether in weal or woe, most faithfully.

. . . . In a certain sense, optimism becomes all Christian men. For what is optimism, but another
name for the celestial triad—faith, hope, and charity! Mere philosophical optimism, however, must have a hard time of it in this weary world! Mine often gasps for breath, in the midst of the present scene of pestilence, famine, and bankruptcy. The havoc in the city and elsewhere is frightful. . . . . Be assured there is no place like the ocean-beach for ventilating and refreshing your optimism. It is impossible to be there on a genial day, with the waters below, catching all the variety of tints from the skies above, without feeling that we live in ‘the best of all possible worlds.’ Come as early in the spring as possible, and exclaim with me—

Καλόν μέν έστί ϕέγγος ήλίον τόδε,
Καλόν τε πόντον κυμʹ ίδειν εύήνεμον
Γη τʹ ήρινόν θάλλουσα, πλούσιον θʹ υδωρ.

I am truly grieved to find that the assault of the Iron Demon is likely to be double barrelled after all. But—
Si figit adamantines
Summis verticibus Dira necessitas
not even the majesty of Windsor or Etona can hope to resist; especially when iron and gold are in combination against them.

We have heard from Cork-begg, but our daugh-
ter takes no sort of notice of revolution or rebellion, of pikes, or rifles, or vitriol, or broken glass bottles! All these things she appears utterly to ignore. One would imagine, to judge by her letter, that the prayer for unity, peace, and concord was actually realised in Ireland; and yet we are told that Cork is feta armis, positively teeming with sedition, privy conspiracy, and treason. But the ladies—Heaven love their innocent hearts!—will seldom think evil, or see evil, unless it stares them broadly in the face.

If you have a mind to lay out a shilling or two advantageously, let me recommend you to procure a copy of Archdeacon Manning’s recent charge to the clergy of the archdeaconry of Chichester. Manning, you know, has the reputation of high-churchmanship. You will find, however, in this address, no indications whatever of bigotry or acrimony. A part of it is occupied with a retrospect of the Hampden case, and his view of it appears to me to be eminently candid and temperate. It is true that with regard to the question of Confirmation, he entertains an opinion different from that of Lord Denman. But his dissent is expressed in most respectful language, and is accompanied by a truly gratifying testimony to
his lordship’s high integrity and worth, and to the genuine nobility of his character. I think you will find the whole charge worthy at least of an attentive consideration. . . . . Our excursion to Somersetshire was, in one respect, dreary enough. Jupiter Pluvius was relentless in the exercise of his prerogative, and Ceres was in tears. . . . . Your account of the castle and its Lares et Penates is exceedingly refreshing. It speaks of stability to the throne, and of peace to the nation. . . . .

The attention of the Cambridge authorities will immediately be called to the ‘Charlemagne of the East.’1 Another subject has been proposed by Mr. Wilson, Sanskrit professor at Oxford; viz.:—‘Historical and Chronological determination of the extent, duration, and succession of the Several Principalities established in Bactria, and on the confines of India, by Greek Princes, after Alexander’s invasion of India.’ This subject has also been forwarded to Cambridge. The Professor was led to this choice by his conviction that the late discoveries made in Afghanistan, both antiquarian and numismatic, have not yet excited in this country the attention they deserve; although these discoveries have set the savants of France and

1 As a subject for the Le Bas Prize.

Germany eagerly to work, and although they are essentially a part of classical history. . . . .

The ‘Working man’ is admirable. Perhaps he has conceded a little too much, with regard to the right of demanding labour. I take the truth to be that the alleged right is not merely dangerous, but that it involves neither more nor less than a sheer impossibility. The anathematisers of Malthus may say what they please; but numbers always have increased, and always will increase, faster than any government on earth can find work to employ them or provender to feed them. It may be the duty of governments to legislate and to administer with a view to this end. But to demand work and provender of a government seems to me about as sane and reasonable as it would be to demand genial skies and fruitful seasons.

Brighton: January 5, 1849.

My dear Mr. Provost,—Here we all are by God’s mercy safely launched upon the voyage of 1849. Let us venture to hope that the navigation may be rather less perilous than that of 1847 and 1848. It would appear from the recent job of President-making that the heart of France is not, after all, quite so thoroughly republicanised and deroyalised
as we imagined in February last. The Republic is not in the heart of France, but in the frenzied brain of the red-capped and red-handed maniacs of Paris.

What is to be the issue of it all? Another Restoration, if we may believe a French Vicomte whom I met some time since, and who said that there must, he feared, be terrible havoc and bloodshed before Henri Cinq should recover the throne of his ancestors; not appearing to entertain the faintest doubt that the recovery will take place, sooner or later; that he seemed to consider as a booked thing.

All the world is mad after the two volumes of the mighty Tom Macaulay; as mad as the opera-going and concert-going world is after Jenny Lind. I have not yet seen the thumping twins. To say the truth, I am haunted by certain misgivings. Will the mighty Tom be able to ‘clear his mind of cant’—the cant of Liberalism? Is there not something of mocking devil always at his elbow? Will the Church of England get anything like justice at his hand? His strength may be gigantic, but is he not likely to use it too much ‘like a giant’? I am apt to distrust a man so destitute as he has shown himself of all reverential
feeling. . . . .
Hawtrey’s visit to Brighton appears to have ‘rapt him in measureless content.’

Your mention of Fleming reminds me of what I have heard recently, with great astonishment, that the Duke 1 has taken hotly to theology; that he holds post-prandial discussions on the Athanasian symbol, and turns out as a sturdy Defender of the Faith; nay, that he is actually mighty in the Prophecies. Now, only think of the Iron Man deep in Apocalyptics! Don Juan’s marble man sitting down to supper with him is scarcely more wonderful. Melbourne, they say, was latterly a great reader of Divinity. But, old ‘Up Guards and at ’em,’ one can hardly imagine such a thing! Saul among the prophets was nothing to this!

Referring to a house with a partial view of the sea, Mr. Le Bas writes:—

Whether this will be sufficient to satisfy the Provost I dare not pronounce. For, such an ocean worshipper is he that I do verily believe he would like the house all the better if its very walls were washed by the waters of the Atlantic.

It is even as you say just now! ‘Quâ terra

1 Wellington.

patet fera regnat Erinnys!’—with one blessed exception hitherto. European society, as the phrase goes, is in a state of transition; but transition whither? Our children or grandchildren will have to answer that question. In the meantime it is ours to implore that God’s gracious Providence may be pleased to preserve our Fatherland from the torch, and the snakes, and the venom of the Furies that are now abroad.

A fragment from Lord Brougham, of this date, gives proof of his filial affection, and of his tender regard for his old friend and colleague, Lord Denman:—

My dear Provost,—I wish to inform you that my brother William and I are desirous of erecting, jointly, a memorial to my father, an Eton man, and, therefore, request a stall. But I especially desire the great favour of your giving us a Latin inscription. He was a clever and accomplished man and a good scholar. We can send you a note of the dates and age.

I was truly vexed to find the C. Justice ill and in bed. . . . . I have asked Sir B. Brodie to come and tell me particulars. He was out to see him
yesterday, and called a second time. I will keep my letter open to tell you. Sir B.’s man told me yesterday he (Sir B.) was not at all alarmed. ‘Deo gratias super hoc!’ Kind regards to
Mrs. H.

Yours very truly,
H. Brougham.

P.S.—I have just seen Sir B. B., and am very happy to say his account is good, and on the whole comfortable.

In a letter, of nearly the same date, to Mrs. Hodgson, Lord Brougham repudiates with characteristic indignation a rumour that his own health was declining.

I returned last night, and have reason to be thankful that I am quite well, and that there is not the least foundation for the account in the papers that I read my judgment in so low a tone as not to be heard. I believe I bellowed; but it saved them trouble to say they did not hear.

Bishop Abraham, who for some years had been an Assistant-master at Eton, and had voluntarily undertaken the difficult duties of master in College, received, on his departure for New Zealand, a testi-
monial, in acknowledging which to the Provost he took occasion to observe:—

Allow me to thank you personally for your kind words on this and other occasions, and let me assure you that, if it please God to spare my life, the recollections of such kindness and such favours will help to cheer me on my way and work in distant climes.

Brighton: October 31, 1850.

My dear Mr. Provost,—There is now a vacancy at King’s, and (albeit no Etonian myself) I cannot suppress my anxiety to know how it is to be filled. It has been understood, I believe, that Dr. Hawtrey is desirous of the appointment; and, if so, of course all his friends must fervently wish for his success. And yet, if he does succeed, where can another Hawtrey be found for Eton?

So it seems that the Church of England is to be overshadowed by a higher1 episcopate than its own. In which of the new dioceses is Eton College to be placed? I wonder what certain members of your fraternity think of this specimen of the Catholic antiquity, of which they are so deeply enamoured? Are they prepared to accept the Pax Vobiscum of

1 In allusion to the Papal Bull given at Rome in September 1850, establishing a Roman Catholic Hierarchy in England.

Monsignore the
Cardinal Archbishop Nicolasnot by Divine permission, but by the grace of the Holy Apostolic See—etc., etc., etc.? And what will Her Majesty’s ministers do?—a question which I almost tremble to ask myself! And will all our Bishops protest as manfully and faithfully as the Bishop of London has protested? Are you entirely free from misgivings on this point? We men of Sussex, it appears, are to be in the diocese of Southwark! I should be thankful of good tidings of Lord Denman.

Accept the best wishes of Mrs. L., and of yours always right truly and faithfully,

C. W. Le Bas.

In allusion to the Lord Chief Justice’s retirement from the Bench, Le Bas writes:—

Will Lord Denman permit me to take this opportunity of most respectfully expressing the unaffected gratification with which I have listened to the chorus of applause and admiration, which rung throughout the length and breadth of the land, in honour of his retirement from public life? It is scarcely possible to imagine a more enviable termination to a long career of useful and arduous service. . . . .


Your copious and welcome dispatch makes me quite ashamed of my poor, meagre, starveling missive! I have received χρύσεα χαλκείων, έκατόμβοιʹ έννεαβοίων. I hasten to acknowledge how much I remain your debtor. I can scarcely describe to you how much we were all annoyed and troubled by the complication of circumstances which have disabled your admirable Magister Informator from accepting the position, so frankly and honourably tendered to him. The large heart, the open hand, the princely taste for literary treasure—these have been his faults—if faults they can be deemed. I can regard them only as the excuses of a noble spirit. Only if there be such a bump in craniology as the bump of calculation, one can hardly help wishing that such bump had been somewhat more amply developed in his phrenology! The disappointment, I dare say, will not break his manly spirit. But, the continued anxiety and toil! How many years longer will the physical man be able to bear up against that incessant demand? Be all this as it may, I beseech you to offer him the expression of my most respectful and most cordial wishes and regards.

The great pending question has, of course,
occupied much of my thoughts, as it has occupied and absorbed the thoughts of every one capable of thinking at all. And I am often out of the body with impatience at the brutish perverseness of some, who are eternally chattering about the sacred principles of toleration; as if Romish Dissent were in all respects similar to any other form of Dissent! It is a Dissent entirely sui generis. Ultramontane Romanism dissents from us, just as
Czar Nicholas dissents from all factious and insurgent Poles! Whoever dreams of persecuting or molesting the Romanists merely because they adore the Virgin Mary, or believe in the Sacrifice of Mass, etc. etc. etc.? No; all we now specifically want is to muzzle the Papacy—even as our Roman Catholic forefathers did! The Papacy is a politico-religious monster. Whether it be the Apocalyptic Beast or not, a beast it is, which ought to have a bridle in its jaws and a hook in its nostrils. And, with the exception of ourselves, every State in Europe, Romish or Protestant, holds the bridle and the hook in its hands. I hope it is true that our glorious little Queen is full of indignation at this intolerable insult. I cordially sympathise with your just and generous feelings towards the Church of Ireland. But alas! our statesmanship (whether Whig or
Tory) is so terribly manacled by the tenor of our antecedent legislation and policy! It has all but ignored the Papacy. It might almost as wisely have ignored

Finally, you love golden words dearly, I know. Here are a very few, which I have lately met with, from the once world-famous Pico di Mirandola:—
Veritatem Philosophia quaerit.
Theologia invenit.
Religio possidet.

The year 1851 bids fair to be an Annus Mirabilis indeed! To say nothing of Crystal Palaces, and monster toy-shops, and Œcumenical Councils of the human race, it seems likely to be eternally infamous for the triumph of triple crowns and red hats! The infatuation or the perfidy of our statesmen and Parliamentary counsellors almost surpasses belief. When, in short, was there ever such a labyrinth of follies and blunders? And what—humanly speaking—but a dissolution offers the smallest chance of extrication from it? A much longer continuance of such an interregnum of confusion must be almost enough to render Parliament contemptible in the eyes of the people.

I do not know whether you are aware of a very remarkable and original speech, delivered in the
Spanish Chamber of Deputies, on the 30th January, 1850, and since translated into English, and published at Liverpool; price (I believe) sixpence? If you have not seen it, let me recommend you to procure it. Its title is, ‘
General Condition of Europe; by Donoso Cortes, Marquess de Valdegamas.’ It is full of the direst vaticinations. But the prophet appears to stand upon a most commanding Pisgah; from which position he takes a survey of the destinies of the civilised world. Some things there are in this terrible ‘burden of the Lord,’ which, I confess, are beyond me! Nevertheless, the words of the seer cause the ears to tingle, and the heart to melt like wax within us! One most striking utterance of the oracle is, that the only hope of Europe is in the Church and the Army. ‘What would become of the world of civilisation,’ he exclaims, ‘were there neither priests nor soldiers?’ But do look at the speech, and judge for yourself. One thing must be recollected, the man is evidently an Ultramontane Romanist, though a profoundly intelligent and sincere one. He seems to be the Montalembert of Spain; but I suspect of a still mightier calibre than the Frenchman. . . . .

Well,—and now for the year 1852! A happy
new year! Dare we venture to hope it? Alas! all the good wishes immemorially appropriate to the season are well nigh forced to assume the negative form of deprecation: e.g. may Heaven graciously preserve us from such Christmas pudding, pie, and snap-dragon, as that which now enters so copiously into the bill of fare of Parisian entertainment!

But the Coup d’État!—had you any conception that Napoleon III. was such an Olympian wielder of the thunder-hammer? Waiving all question as to the moral and political merits or demerits of this tour de force, it is impossible to deny the consummate mastery of its execution. Never did the bolts of Heaven fall more suddenly. On the 18th Brumaire, An. viii, Napoleon I. exclaimed, ‘I am the God of thunder.’ But, all things considered, what was his thunder compared with that of his nephew? And, then, comes the question,—What does the thunder portend to us, and to all Christendom? We scarcely dare to ask ourselves. It really seems as if the vast Political Pendulum were destined to swing tempestuously, backwards and forwards, between Despotism and Anarchy, to the very ‘crack of doom,’ without ever resting for a moment at the safe intermediate point of Consti-
tutional Government. In the meantime, however, let us rejoice gratefully—albeit not wholly without trembling—in the peaceful blessings which, hitherto, are vouchsafed to ourselves, and strive to show that we are not wholly unworthy of their continuance.

Most devoutly is it to be wished that your version of the Dictator’s ambition may be the right one. He may, doubtless, himself aspire to a higher glory than that of ‘my uncle’—the glory of being immortalised as the Napoleon of Peace. But will the Army let him? Will they be content with the honours of a vast Police, with bayonets in their hands instead of constable’s staves? Alas! my dreams are of Armageddon! A huge thundercloud seems to be hovering over Europe, and who can think of its bursting without terror?

A month later Mr. Le Bas writes again:—

My dreams and musings are of Armageddon. My uncle’s nephew, you see, is mightily disposed to bully Switzerland and Belgium. And, if he touches Belgium, the Temple of Janus flies open instantly! for, have we not, together with other Powers, bound ourselves to guarantee the Belgian independence? And yet, all this while, with what a profusion of butter and honey is the adventurer labouring to
pacify the growling Cerbereous watchfulness of John Bull!

Have you any conception how the new Premier 1 is to get on? If he abjures protection, or even appears to waver in his fidelity to it, how is he to keep his party together? and, on the other hand, how can he raise a finger against free-trade, without throwing the land—from Dan even to Beersheba—into a state of insurrection? The thing, of all others, which we want, is a strong government. But how is a strong government to be had in the present decomposition of all parties?

I forget whether in any of my recent letters I have called your attention to two small but very remarkable pamphlets, published under the name of Pascal the younger? If not, let me now urgently recommend you to procure them. They exhibit such an apocalypse of the mysteries of Jesuitism, with which Rome is at this present more closely and intimately identified than ever. It is next to certain that the author is a man named Conelly; an ex-Romish priest, formerly chaplain to Lord Shrewsbury. He was driven from the Romish communion mainly by his abhorrence of the execrable and most pestilential casuistry of the Society

1 Lord Derby.

of Jesus, which whole system is stamped with the express and solemn sanction of the papacy by a decree of
Pius VII.

In May 1852 Hawtrey thus announces the death of Scrope Davies:—

I am sure you will be sorry to hear that our old friend, Scrope Davies, was found dead in his bed at Paris a few days since. He was a most agreeable and kind-hearted person, and I shall not soon forget the pleasant hours I have passed with him. He seemed quite broken down when I had a glimpse of him a few months since at Eton. I hardly knew him again, and should not have done so had he not mentioned his name.

Brighton: June 22, 1852.

My dear Provost,—Behold us once more on the breezy Montpellier heights! but still haunted by blissful dreams of the Elysian planities of Etona, with her genial hospitalities, and her kingly towers, and her groves populous with illustrious memories. Truly our recent visit there must ever be one of the sunniest spots in our biography. And Hornsey too was not without its enchantments. On Friday last, more especially, we found ourselves the com-
mensales1 of a very worshipful company of celebrities, viz.:
Bishop Lonsdale of Lichfield, Walter Hook2 of Leeds, Saunders,2 άρχιδιδάσκαλος of Charterhouse, Jackson,2 Rector of St. James’s (likely, it is thought, to grow into a bishop sooner or later), Sir Charles Trevelyan, Secretary to the Treasury, Thomas Bell, Secretary to the Royal Society, and the Reverend Dr. Scoresley, son to the old Harpooner of that name; himself, I believe, a harpooner in his earlier days, but now having long exchanged the whaling lance for the church’s fishing-net. He still retains, however, something of the spirit of his original calling; is full of the arctic expeditions, respecting which he discourses earnestly and prophesies sanguinely; and is not without hope that Franklin and his mates, or some of them at least, will at length emerge from their long and dreary occultation. When once they are found or lost beyond all hope, I trust there will be no more voyages of discovery to those ‘thrilling regions of thick ribbed ice.’

So you see, a very pretty quarrel has started up in the Higher House of Convocation, touching the

1 At Canon Harvey’s.

2 Afterwards respectively Dean of Chichester, Dean of Peterborough, Bishop of London.

right of the Primate to prorogue. Ominous signs of life these! If such sayings and doings should continue, there will be nothing for it, I presume, but for the crown to seize the extinguisher, and to put it all out. And yet, one cannot help wishing that there could be some sort of safe and effective synodical action. The Church seems almost halt and maimed without it. I have just been reading
Christopher Wordsworth’s sermons on the Irish Church. They appear to me, in all respects, admirable. If I were allowed to persecute a little, I would sentence the unctuous Cardinal, and his sour fanatical brother Paul Cullen, and the apostate father of the Oratory to get them by heart, on pain of a pilgrimage to the diggings.

The next letter, which is also the last received from Le Bas by his friend, is strangely prophetic of the event which occurred just a fortnight after it was written.

Brighton: December 16, 1852.

My dear Provost,—The county press (which comprises Bucks), has upwards of one obituary column and a half in honour of Empson,1 who expired at Haileybury, on Friday evening last. If the

1 Editor of The Edinburgh Review and Principal of Haileybury.

paper falls in your way, you will find this notice very interesting. It has not said one syllable too much of that truly admirable man. One passage I cannot refuse myself the gratification of transcribing. In his last illness Empson said, ‘Send my love to
Denman; and tell him that I do not forget how long I lived under the shadow of his noble nature.’ This dying testimony cannot be otherwise than delightful, though mournfully so, to Mrs. Hodgson and yourself. His admiration of Lord Denman amounted almost to a passion.—a passion at which none can wonder who knew anything of the two men.

We have heard a rumour of your possible appearance at Brighton. Has rumour spoken true?

Yours always very faithfully,
C. W. Le Bas.

This letter found the Provost in the midst of the anxieties of Eton Audit, immediately after which he was confined to his room by a violent attack of influenza, which turned to erysipelas, and terminated fatally two days before the end of the year.

For some days before his death he seemed greatly oppressed, and did not speak much, except to mention his old friend and father-in-law, Lord Denman
with tender affection and admiration. But at the last, when all his children came to him he blessed them each singly, and after they were gone and his wife alone with him he repeated after her their usual prayers, and exhorted her not to give way to grief. Soon afterwards, sinking on his pillow, he uttered the word ‘Charming,’ and on being asked what it was that was so charming he answered ‘God’s mercy,’ and so expired.

On January 4th, 1853, Le Bas wrote from Brighton to Mrs. Hodgson:—

It is quite impossible for words to express the heaviness of heart with which I now intrude upon the sacredness of domestic sorrow with these few lines of sympathy, I scarcely dare to add, of consolation! The voice of consolation will doubtless, make itself heard in due time. But it can scarcely be listened to yet!

I know not how to speak of this terrible bereavement. True, the deceased was full of years;1 and yet, to this moment, I can hardly realise to myself his removal from among us. On the depth of your own grief I will not presume to dwell. There is only ONE to whom it can be adequately known, but

1 Hodgson was just seventy-one at the time of his death, having been born Nov. 16, 1781.

that ONE is known to us as the God of all comfort, the protector of the widow and the fatherless; and, to His gracious and ‘fatherly goodness,’ I, humbly and most fervently, commend both you and yours.

You will, I am confident, forgive me and those who belong to me, for venturing to claim no ordinary place among the mourners. Our desolation cannot be like yours; but our loss, too, has been a heavy and a trying loss! I more especially have lost a true-hearted and invaluable friend, and a bright example of benevolence and worth, to say nothing of those graceful qualities and accomplishments which made his society so high a privilege. I can honestly aver that the friendship and good opinion of the late Provost will ever be regarded by me as among the most precious of the mercies which have been vouchsafed to my own declining years.

A week later Colonel Phipps wrote from Windsor Castle:—

I feel sure that it is unnecessary that I should assure you of how fully I join in the universal sympathy that is felt for you in your heavy affliction. It is impossible for any person to have quitted this
world more generally respected and beloved than the poor Provost.

These two letters are fair illustrations of the affectionate admiration which Hodgson’s character never failed to excite in the minds and hearts of all those with whom he was brought into contact. His varied talents, agreeable and courteous manner, refined intellectual taste, genial benevolent disposition, and sweet temper formed together a winning combination which made him acceptable in every society, and by the highest and the lowest were equally appreciated.

At Chatsworth, where, during the latter part of his residence in its neighbourhood, he used to stay for two nights in every week, he was generally the centre of an admiring circle; and at Windsor, where, during the period of his Provostship, he was a frequent visitor, he was highly valued. He had a wonderful fund of genuine wit and humour, the easy flow of which in conversation rendered his companionship most delightful.

An accomplished scholar, of profound learning and deep research, was once compared with Hodgson in the hearing of a mutual friend, whose answer bore forcible testimony to the superior originality of Hodgson’s talents: ‘You may fill the cistern as full
as you like, but you can never make it like the fountain.’

There are those among his surviving pupils and parishioners who, after the lapse in some cases of nearly half a century, cannot speak of him without enthusiastic expressions of respect for his goodness, and of tearful gratitude for his friendship. Upon the heart of his children, young as they were at the time of his death, an indelible impression was made by his tender solicitude for their welfare and progress; and his widow has ever cherished his memory with constant and devoted love.

The last years of his life were made very happy by the quiet pleasures of home life at Eton, and by numerous visits to friends and relations, especially to the Cokes in Herefordshire, to the Denmans in Derbyshire, and to the friend of his old age, Mr. Le Bas, at Brighton. All of these journeys were made in his own carriages with post-horses, in consequence of his great dislike for railway travelling, and were rendered most delightful to his family as well by his unfailing gentleness and good humour, as by his instructive and entertaining comments upon the various objects of historical or antiquarian interest on the way.

Byron’s prediction ‘you will rhyme to the end of the chapter,’ was literally fulfilled; for his love of
poetry was undiminished to the last, and hardly a day passed without the writing out of some poetical reverie in Latin or English.

A pane in one of the windows of the College Chapel commemorates his Provostship, and a monumental tablet was erected to his memory, with a Latin inscription written by Dr. Hawtrey. But the best memorial of his work at Eton is to be found in the numerous improvements which by his resolute energy, his conciliatory kindness and his consummate tact he successfully inaugurated, improvements which gave an impetus to similar efforts, and formed a fitting conclusion to a life devoted from the first to the best interests of religion and of literature.