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small hours of the morning, wrote to its author in terms of high praise, and showed his friendship for him in the most substantial way. The University of Bonn hastened to confer on him the honorary degree of Doctor, and he was afterwards appointed to the Chair of Literature in the University of Kiel.
'Quickborn' has been translated into Italian by Professor Teza, of Siena, and parts of it into French by Reinhardt. In England little has been done except by Professor Max Müller, who has noticed it in an article on Holstein and the 'Holsteiners,' now forming a chapter in his 'Chips from a 'German Workshop.' The same able scholar, we believe, tried to produce a complete translation of Quickborn' in English, with the co-operation of others; but the difficulty of adequately rendering the poems into our language was so great that the scheme had to be abandoned.
It is to the original, therefore, and not to any translation, that English readers must refer; and it is vastly better that it should be so. The strangeness of the dialect may at first present some difficulty; but with the help of Professor Müllenhoff's glossary, appended to the earlier editions of 'Quickborn,' or of the German translation accompanying the edition which heads this article, this difficulty may easily be overcome. To enjoy Quickborn,' a thorough knowledge of Low-German is not required. Like John Inglesant with his Plato, we shall soon attain that lazy facility which always 'gives a meaning, though often an incorrect one; not always a matter of regret to an imaginative reader, as adding a 'charm and, when his own thought is happy, a beauty.'
ART. IV.-Memoirs of an Ex-Minister. An Autobiography, by the Right Hon. the Earl of MALMESBURY, G.C.B. 2 vols., 8vo. London: 1884.
ENGLISH literature is not rich in political memoirs. We can hardly recall an instance, since the times of Lord Clarendon and Bishop Burnet, in which an English statesman, having filled offices of the first rank, has left behind him an autobiographical record of the events in which he played a part. It might be added, by way of contrast, that there is scarcely a French statesman or soldier of eminence who has not left some such record for the benefit of posterity; and the history of France for hundreds of years, from St. Louis and Philippe le Bel to the present time, may be read in the incomparable series of memoirs which are one of the most valuable possessions of the French language. Those who are curious in national characteristics might draw some inference from the fact; but we content ourselves with acknowledging that the French memoir-writers are far more numerous and brilliant than our own. We are, therefore, the more grateful to a veteran statesman, like Lord Malmesbury, who consents to make his personal reminiscences and diaries the property of the public, and to retrace the incidents of a long and busy life, with entire truth and simplicity, in the language in which he recorded them at the time. Lord Malmesbury says, modestly enough, that the readers of these Memoirs are not to expect a continuous narrative, but rather a macédoine of memoranda, diary, and correspondence, recalling the social and political events of a life of seventy-seven years. As he wrote at the time of men, events, and common things, so he publishes his remarks, which have therefore the freshness and reality of a contemporaneous impression, for the most part brief, but essentially clear and true.
And what a vista of incident and change does a retrospect of seventy years open to the view! Every reader of these volumes must be astonished at the prodigious number of events they revive in the memory, and at the velocity with which these events have succeeded each other and passed away. Hardly in any age has the world lived so fast and seen so much, and undergone such vicissitudes. The conditions of time and space have been altered. Almost every action of our daily lives would have been impracticable seventy years ago. The forms, and even the substance, of
social and political life are changed-et nos mutamur in illis. The more important is it to trace, even in slight and fugitive lines, the process of this amazing transmutation, in which the younger generation rising about us finds it hard to believe.
But Lord Malmesbury's recollections have a higher character and purport than the record of common things. He has been through life a consistent member of the Tory Party. He became, upon the termination of Sir Robert Peel's Administration, and the rupture of the Conservative body, one of the leaders of the Protectionist section of it, the trusted and valued colleague of its chief. He held the office of Foreign Secretary in the Cabinets of Lord Derby in 1852 and 1858, and the Privy Seal in that of 1866. He supplies, therefore, an important element hitherto entirely wanting to the historian of these times, for he lets us into the councils of the Tory leaders themselves; he produces with very little reserve their correspondence with himself, which was at the time confidential, and is now historical. Our own knowledge of these transactions is naturally derived from the opposite sources of information, which have been more freely published to the world by other hands. Nothing is more curious than to compare the impression produced by a given event or act of policy on the minds of those who were antagonists, and viewed the opposite side of the shield.
In his youth Lord Malmesbury lived a good deal with the Whigs. His father-in-law, Lord Tankerville, had been a Whig. He visited the family of Lord Grey at Howick, and it was at Bowood that he first met Mr. Stanley, the future Lord Derby, then wearing, like his host, Lord Lansdowne, the blue coat and yellow waistcoat which were the appropriate dress of the friends and followers of Mr. Fox. Later in life this acquaintance ripened into the closest intimacy, and the record of Lord Malmesbury's political relations with Lord Derby is the chief object and the most important result of this publication. It supplies us, for the first time, with authentic materials for the biography of that remarkable man, especially during his short Administrations of 1852 and 1858, to which we shall presently have occasion to revert. Lord Derby's numerous letters are of the utmost interest and value, and they do honour to his industry, foresight, and patriotism. It is a pleasing characteristic of English political life, or at least of what has been English political life, that its asperities are tempered by almost un
broken personal and social relations. has been all his life a strong Tory, but Lord Sydenham, Lord Canning, and Sidney Herbert were his most intimate friends; Lord Lansdowne writes him an affectionate letter on his leaving office; Lord Palmerston and Lord Clarendon assist him with their counsels, and the battle of the night before on the opposing benches of Parliament is forgotten the next day at the dinner-table. Now and then a little explosion of temper takes place, but it is laughed away, and inflicts no lasting wound on the friendships of a life.
It was Lord Malmesbury's good fortune to contract in his earlier years another intimacy which had a considerable influence on his after-life. In the course of a Continental tour which he made in 1829, he was introduced at Rome by Madame de Guiccioli to the Duchesse de St. Leu, Queen Hortense, whose house was one of the most agreeable resorts in the city.
'Here for the first time I met Hortense's son, Louis Napoleon, then just of age. Nor would anybody at that time have predicted his great and romantic career. He was a wild harum-scarum youth, or what the French call un crâne, riding at full gallop down the streets to the peril of the public, fencing, and pistol-shooting, and apparently without serious thoughts of any kind, although even then he was possessed with the conviction that he would some day rule over France. We became friends, but at that time he evinced no remarkable talent or any fixed idea but the one I mention. It grew upon him with his growth, and increased daily until it ripened into a certainty. He was a very good horseman and proficient at athletic games, being short, but very active and muscular. His face was grave and dark, but redeemed by a singularly bright smile. Such was his personal appearance in 1829, at twenty-one years of age.'
Lord Malmesbury's intimacy with these remarkable men would suffice to give a peculiar interest to his Memoirs, and indeed his principal object appears to have been to sketch their characters. But his own public career entitles him to a distinguished place in our political history. He speaks of it with becoming modesty, and with no wish to exaggerate its importance. But the reader of these volumes will be satisfied that he deserves a higher rank than that previously awarded to him by public opinion. It was not till 1846, after the disruption of the Tory Party, and the fall of Sir Robert Peel, that Lord Malmesbury entered upon active political life, and he entered upon it as the warm partisan of a lost cause. He never sat in the House of Commons, for although he once stood for Portsmouth and was a candidate for the Borough of Wilton in 1841, his father's death
at that very time placed him in the House of Peers. The strong excitement caused by the repeal of the Corn Laws roused his political energy, and he threw himself with ardour into the Protectionist party, led by Lord Derby, but condemned at the outset to abandon the cause of Protection. In 1852, when Lord Derby rallied the forlorn hope of the Tories and formed a Government, the Foreign Office was placed in his hands, although he was entirely without official experience, and his knowledge of diplomacy was derived from the careful study of his grandfather's despatches and correspondence, which he had recently published. But the love of letters and a ready appreciation of the foreign relations of the country and of the character of foreigners, with whose language and manners he was extremely familiar, were hereditary in the Harris family, and there is no trace in his correspondence of the hand of a novice. It was the opinion of his successors in office, Lord John Russell and Lord Clarendon, that the business of the department had been conducted with ability and dignity. Lord Malmesbury was never an ambitious politician. He accepted, more than he sought, the functions he was called upon to discharge, actuated mainly by a sense of duty to the House in which he sat, to the party which he had adopted, and to his country. When he took office in 1852, the recent coup d'état in France, which placed Louis Napoleon near the throne, had shaken the confidence of Europe, and raised in this country the liveliest apprehensions of what the renovated Empire might bring forth. Lord Malmesbury himself was viewed with suspicion from his known intimacy with the author of a revolution which was regarded in England as a detestable aggression on the liberties of France, and as an act dangerous to the peace of Europe. Here, however, his knowledge of the character and opinions of the future Emperor stood him in good stead. He firmly adhered to the conviction that peace and goodwill to England were the basis of the Imperial policy, and he was right; but at that moment a friendly reliance on the intentions of the ruler of France was unpopular in an English Minister.
As in 1852 Lord Malmesbury was accused of a leaning to France, so in 1859, when the Franco-Austrian war broke out in Italy, he was accused of a leaning to Austria, because at that time he strongly opposed the aggressive policy of Napoleon III., in the interest of the general peace. That war was more popular in England than it was in France,