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In the gloom of the wild forest, in the stillness of the sea,
Here's to thee, my Scottish lassie! In my sad and lonely hours,
Here's a health, my Scottish lassie!—here's a parting health to tbee!
EDWARD BULWER LYTTON,1 1805
This very versatile writer,—novelist, poet, dramatist, critic, historian, i" essayist,—the youngest son of General Bulwer, of Norfolk, was born in and educated at Cambridge, where, in 1825, he gained the "chancellor'i prisf for his English poem on Sculpture. In 1827 appeared his first novel, land,—which was followed, in the five succeeding years, by Pelham, Tin Dp owned, Devereux, Paul Clifford, and Eugene Aram,—thus completing might be called his first period of authorship. That all these works sis great talent in delineating character, a lively fancy, and no small sarcasm, and contain- many passages of eloquent sentiment and rich dcsc-rir tion, no one will deny; but that their general moral tone is an unhealthy not tending to make the reader wiser or better or happier, all must admit; »a they cannot give to their author any permanently enviable fame.
About 1831 he succeeded Campbell as editor of the New Mon soon after which, he published his poem of Milton,"1 which is considered best work in verse. In 1833 appeared England and the English, a series of t*di and sarcastic sketches of national manners. This was followed by Pilgrifu* the Rhine, an illustrated book; The. Last Days of Pompeii, an interesting f!«^ sical story; and Rienzi, the Last of the Tribunes, the best of all his romanrt fictions. In 1836 he published a play,— The. Duchess of La Vallitre.—whi.i was a failure.3 The next year came Ernest Maltravcrs, containing his Tir»l art and life; succeeded by Athens, it* Rise and Fall,—"full of research and eadid rhetoric." Upon the coronation of Her Majesty Victoria, in 1838, ho 8 created a baronet, "as the appropriate representative of British litpriitun1." this year appeared Leila, or the Siege of Granada, and Calderon, the Courtier, forks of fiction of a lighter order; which were followed by others, entitled ?ht and Morning, Day and Night, Lights and Shadows, flnd Glimmer and Gloom. ?n came Zanoni, a tale of the supernatural,—" the well-loved work," ns ho U it. "of his mature manhood." In 1846 appeared The New Timon; and in IS. King Arthur,—both poems of considerable merit. His next novels were— t Last of the Barons, Harold, and Lucretia.
1 Ho wn« Sir Edward Bulwer till 1843, when, on the death of hia mother, who was of the* ancient family of Lytton, of Hertfordshire, he Kurceeded to her estates find adopted her family name. Hia name in full ic Edward George Earlo Lyttmi Bulwer Lytton.
* Founded on a traditionary incident in the college life of the great epic poet, that, while walking out in the fields on a beautiful summer's day, he lay down under a tree and Jell aaleep. While thuM sleeping, an Italian lady of rank rode by in her carriage, and, struck wiUi hia unequalled beauty, left a card at his
side, expressing her admiration of him. "TV result of the whole is a noble picture >-f '• bard of C^mtu. in bis youth, manhood, i* age, connected by reference to a tr.^' which moHt of us cherish, but which Sir H' wer Lytton's muse has woven inw eon—' eney." Read an article in the Larttlm V' terly, April, 1885.
8 lie afterwards published two pUyn— Lady of Lyons, and Richelieu,—which are: popular, I believe, with theatrt^guers: »'-*•The tea-Captain, in flve acte; Hour}, in r" acts; and A'ot to Bad as we Sean, in An in
le now entered into a new walk of fiction, in My Ifovel, The Cartons, and hat will He do with It!—" in which the novelist, turning from baser ore, has uck upon a vein of pure and lustrous gold,"1 and given us works fur in adQoe of his early productions.2 In 1862 he published A Strange Story, which st appeared in All the Year Round; and in 1863 ho gave us Caxtoniana, or *jy* on Life, Literature, and Manners. In addition to all these works of lion, plays, poems, and essays, Sir Bulwer Lytton has contributed numerous Jcles to the Westminster and Edinburgh Review. In 1841 he wrote A Jtis•ital Remeio of the State of England at the Accession of Queen Victoria; and in (5. having received a wonderful renovation of his own health at a water-cure ablishment, he published The Confessions of a Water Patient, His political career, if not so marked as his literary, baa been one highly 'iit.'ible to himself. At the age of twenty-six he entered Parliament as imber for St. Ives, and was returned at other times from other places, making \ whole term of service about fourteen years, down to 1858, when he became nember of the Cabinet (Colonial Secretary) under the Derby administration. t with the resignation of Lord Derby's government in 1859, he retired from ice with the rest of his colleagues. Though not a frequent debater, he was nsidered one of the most finished speakers in the House, and always won earnest and respectful attention.
[t will thus be seen what an active and prolific life Sir Edward Bulwcr Lyti's hna been. No one can fail to be struck with his prodigious industry and luminousness as an author: for he has given to the world more than forty tinct works, most of them originally in three volumes. In every department literature which he has attempted he has done well,—in most, very well: t it is upon his novels that his fame will ultimately rest, and these will ever title him to a distinguished place in English literature.3
They am Englidh stories. " uniting the fha-
Beautiful and the True."—Wfstminxter AVriVw.
"It can hardly be doubted that, when Ipparded with candor and without prejudice, lie is entitled to rank among the ^renter and Hncr intellects of his day. and may reasonably iiri^o pretensions to a prominent niche in the temple of literary fame."—Oiittrfrrttt Jfrrieio. April, 1806.
DEATH OF 0A WTREY, THE COINER*
At both doors now were heard the sounds of voices. "Open, ia the king's name, or expect no mercy!" "Hist!" said Gawtref. "One way yet,—the window—the rope."
Morton opened the casement; Gawtrey uncoiled the rope. TV dawn was breaking; it was light in the streets, but all seeroe quiet without. The doors reeled and shook beneath the presur of the pursuers. Gawtrey flung the rope across the street tor. opposite parapet; after two or three efforts, the grappling-h« '> caught firm hold,—the perilous path was made.
"Go first," said Morton; "I will not leave you now; yon wi! be longer getting across than I shall. I will feep guard tillyu are over."
"Hark! hark! are you mad? Yvu keep guard! What a yoc strength to mine? Twenty men shall not move that door whi! my weight is against it. Quick, or you destroy us both! Besidcyou will hold the rope for me; it may not be strong enough ft my bulk of itself. Stay!—stay one moment. If you escape,and 1 fall—Fanny—my father, he will take care of her—you remen; her—thanks! Forgive me all! Go; that's right!"
With a firm pulse Morton threw himself on that dreadful bridge; it swung and crackled at his weight. Shifting his gni-i rapidly-—holding his breath—with set teeth—with closed eyehe moved on—he gained the parapet—he stood safe on the oppsite side. And now, straining his eyes across, he saw through iki open casement into the chamber he had just quitted. Gawtn-j was still standing against the door to the principal staircase; w that of the two was the weaker and the more assailed. Presentl] the explosion of a firearm was heard; they had shot through tl' panel. Gawtrey seemed wounded, for he staggered forward am uttered a fierce cry; a moment more, and he gained the windowhe seized the rope—he hung over the tremendous depth! MorM knelt by the parapet, holding the grappling-hook in its pla<< with convulsive grasp, and fixing his eyes, bloodshot with fwi and suspense, on the huge bulk that clung for life to that slencfei cord!
"Le voilti! le voila /" cried a voice from the opposite ?idr Morton raised his gaze from Gawtrey; the casement was darkens by the forms of the pursuers,—they had burst into the room—Sb officer sprung upon the parapet, and Gawtrey, now aware of l'1danger, opened his eyes, and, as lie moved on, glared upon the foe. The policeman deliberately raised his pistol—Gawtrey ar
ill pursuerf to the gnrret in which they i"* ».'ii living.
rested himself—from a wound in his side the blood trickled slowly and darkly down, drop by drop, upon the stones below; even the officers of law shuddered as they eyed him; his hair bristling—his cheek white-—his lips drawn convulsively from his teeth, and his eyes glaring from beneath the frown of agony and menace in which yet spoke the indomitable power and fierceness of the man. His look, so fixed, so intense, so stern, awed the policeman; his hand trembled as he fired, and the bull struck the parapet an inch below the spot where Morton knelt. An indistinct, wild, gurgling sound—half laugh, half yell—of scorn and glee, broke from Gawtrey's lips. He swung himself on— near—near—nearer—a yard from the parapet.
"You are saved!" cried Morton; when at that moment a volley burst from the fatal casement—the smoke rolled over both the fugitives—a groan, or rather howl, of rage, and despair, and agony, appalled even the hardiest on whose ear it came. • Morton sprung to his feet and looked below. He saw on the rugged stones, far down, a dark, formless, motionless mass—the strong man of passion and levity—the giant who had played with life and soul, as an infant with the baubles that it prizes and breaks —was what the Csesar and the leper alike are, when all clay is without God's breath—what glory, genius, power, and beauty would be forever and forever, if there were no God!
Nearly seventeen centuries had rolled away when the city of Pompeii was disinterred from its silent tomb, all vivid with undimmed hues; its walls fresh as if painted yesterday,—not a hue faded on the rich mosaic of its floors,—in its forum the half-finished columns as left by the workman's hand,—before the trees in its gardens the sacrificial tripod,—in its halls the chest of treasure,—in its baths the strigil,—in its theatres the counter of admission,—in its saloons the furniture and the lamp,—in its triclinia the fragments of the last feast,—in its cubicula the perfumes and the rouge of faded beauty,—and everywhere the bones and skeletons of those who once moved the springs of that minute yet gorgeous machine of luxury and of life!
In the house of Diomed, in the subterranean vaults, twenty skeletons (one of a babe) were discovered in one spot by the door, covered by a fine ashen dust that had evidently been wafted slowly through the aperture until it had filled the whole space. There were jewels and coins, candelabra for unavailing light, and wine hardened in the amphorse,—vain precautions for the prolongation of agonized life! The sand, consolidated by damps, had taken the forms of the skeletons as in a cast; and the traveller may yet see the impression of a female neck and bosom of young and round proportions,—the trace of the fated Julia! It seems to the inquirer as if the air had been gradually chang«d into a sulphureous vapor, the inmates of the vaults had rushed to the door to find it closed and blocked by the scoriae without, and in their attempts to force it had been suffocated by the atmosphere.
In the garden was found a skeleton, with a key by its boar hand, and near it a bag of coins. This is believed to have been the master of the house,—the unfortunate Diomed, who had probably sought to escape by the garden, and been destroyed either by -the vapors or some fragment of stone. Beside some silver vases lay another skeleton,—probably of a slave.
The houses of Sallust and of Pansa, the temple of Isis, •with the juggling concealments behind the statues,—the lurking-plan: of its holy oracles,—are now bared to the gaze of the curious. In one of the chambers of that temple was found a huge skeleton, with an axe beside it: two walls had been pierced by the axe.— the victim could penetrate no farther. In the midst of the city was found another skeleton, laden with coins, and many of the mystic ornaments of the fane of Isis. Death had fallen upyu him in his avarice, and Calenus perished simultaneously with Burbo! As the excavators cleared on through the mass of ruin, they found the skeleton of a man literally severed in two by a prostrate column; the skull was of so remarkable a conformation. so boldly marked in its intellectual, as well as its worse physical, developments, that it has excited the constant speculation <>f every itinerant believer in the theories of Spurzheim who ha.« gazed upon that ruined palace of the mind. Still, after a lap-e of eighteen centuries, the traveller may survey that airy ball, within whose cunning galleries and elaborate chambers onif thought, reasoned, dreamed, and sinned the soul of Arbaces the Egyptian!
Viewing the various witnesses of a social system which lot passed from the world forever, a stranger, from that remote an<l barbarian isle which the imperial Roman shivered when he namwi, paused amid the delights of the soft Campania, and composed this History!
CONVERSION TO CHRISTIANITY*
You speak of the growing sect of the Christians in Rome. Pallust, to you I may confide my secret: I have pondered much ov'.-r that faith,—I have adopted it. After the destruction of Pompeii, 1 met once more with Olinthus,—saved, alas! only for a day, and falling afterward a martyr to the indomitable energy of lib zeal.
i la in ratract from a letter from Glnucus to Sallust, ten yearn after the dMtmrtjoo >.'