« 上一頁繼續 »
you should devote half an hour to writing to me. I will only say that your doing so would make me very happy, and that a letter from you would be the next best substitute for the delightful moments I have passed in your society.
“ Believe me to be, with every sentiment of esteem, your ladyship’s sincerely obliged
ISABELLA F. Romer."
“31 Chester Square, Monday, 18th. “I would not thank you in form, my dear Lady Blessington, for the . Book of Beauty' until I had read every word of it. I have just finished it, and to my thanks I must add the expression of my sincere admiration for its contents, more especially those portions that have emanated from Gore House.
" It is no new thing to tell you that you do every thing well that you undertake; but I must, nevertheless, repeat the oft-told tale, and offer my humble meed of praise to your • Historical Sketches,' as I have so often done to your works of imagination. How ably you have been seconded by your
young coadjutrix! Pray congratulate Miss Power, in my name, upon the ability and grace she has evinced in her share of the undertaking. Her style is charming, at once showing extensive reading and deep research, without the alloy of stiffness or pedantry.
ISABELLA F. Romer."
Cairo, November 9th, 1845. “As you kindly expressed a wish to hear from me in the course of my peregrinations, I seize upon the first opportunity of sending letters to England which has occurred since my arrival in the City of the Califs, to recall myself to your remembrance, and to tell you that thus far we have journeyed most prosperously, par mer et par terre. A fortnight passed at Malta Sound served to increase my delight in that loveliest of all places, Valetta, and certainly tended to make me fastidious about the spots afterward to be visited. However, after making this declaration, I am bound to admit that traveling in Egypt is far less uncomfortable than I had previously been led to imagine, and that the pleasures so far overbalance the pains of the undertaking that I now begin to wonder at their being dwelt upon so much as they have been.
“We have been only a week in Cairo, and have therefore not yet seen one half of its lions; but as the prevailing winds are now favorable for the navigation of the Nile, we intend to profit by them to make an excursion to Upper Egypt, and on our return to Thebes we shall see Cairo in detail at our leisure. I shall therefore abstain from inflicting upon you any half finished description of the place, but merely say that, in point of local coloring, Cairo is far more interesting than Constantinople, inasmuch as that it is purely an Arabian city, and perfectly Oriental, both as regards men and things, customs and manners. The picturesque façades of the houses; the narrow streets, crowded with camels, dromedaries, and those most delightful of all animals, Egyptian asses; the thronging, noisy population in their graceful costumes; the strange garb of the women, muffled to the eyes in voluminous black man
tles, and mounted astride upon what is here termed the high ass-all is so totally dissimilar to any thing one has seen elsewhere, that one could almost fancy one's self carried back to the days of the great Saladin or Tagloon.
“ The present ruler of Egypt is a fine, healthy old man, likely to live a dozen years longer, and, for the sake of the country, it is to be hoped he may do
He is now much occupied with the marriage of his youngest daughter with Kiamil Pasha, which is to take place next month, when there will be extraordinary rejoicings in Cairo. He has given her £280,000 worth of diamonds, and also the Defterdar's Palace (the house where Kleber was assassinated), newly furnished, in the most sumptuous manner, partly in the Oriental, partly in the European style. I never saw mirrors of such magnitude and beauty as those in the princess's salaamlik. As the waters of the Nile have not yet subsided sufficiently to admit of a visit to the great pyramids of Ghizeh with any comfort, I have postponed going there until our return from the upper country, when, in descending the river, we shall take all the pyramids in detail, ending by the finest of them all, that of Cheops. And now, dear Lady Blessington, will you not exclaim at the egotism of this letter ? I blush for myself when I perceive that I have filled three pages without telling you of the deep concern with which we read in the papers at Malta of the painful accident Count D'Orsay had met with. I trust in Heaven that the injury has only been temporary, and I assure you that it would afford the greatest satisfaction both to Mr. B and to myself to hear that the wounded hand is restored to its healthy state.
Pray let me have the happiness of hearing that you are all as well as I wish you to be, and if you will write to me on the receipt of this, and direct your letter to J. B, Esq., care of Messrs. Briggs, Alexandria, Egypt, it will be forwarded to me here, and I shall have the pleasure of receiving news from Gore House on my return from the head-quarters of hieroglyphics. I dined yesterday at our consul general's, Colonel Barnett, where we met the French consul general, Monsieur Barrot (brother of Odillon Barrot), and his pretty English wife. There had been, on the previous day, a presentation to the Pasha of the Grand Cross of the Legion of Honor, which Louis Philippe sent out to him, in acknowledgment of the bon accueil which the Duc de Montpensier received in this country. Queen Victoria has also been sending her picture, set in diamonds, to Mohammed Ali; and, after the formal presentation of it, his highness gave a dinner to all the Englishmen in Cairo. This day he has done the same thing by the French sojourning here.
“ Adieu, my dear Lady Blessington. Mr. B- unites with me in a thousand kind regards to you and to your charming nieces, not forgetting l'artist par excellence, Count D'Orsay, and I remain, ever and affectionately yours,
(I. F. ROMER.”
W. S. LANDOR, ESQ. In a letter of Mr. Landor to Lady Blessington in 1837, the following brief notice of his career was given by him:
“Walter Landor, of Ipsley Court, in the county of Warwick, married first, Maria, only daughter and heiress of J. Wright, Esq., by whom he had an only daughter, married to her cousin, Humphrey Arden, Esq., of Longcroft, in Staffordshire ; secondly, Elizabeth, eldest daughter and co-heiress of Charles Savage, of Tachebrooke, who brought about eighty thousand pounds into the family. The eldest child of this marriage, Walter Savage Landor, was born January 30th, 1775. He was educated at Rugby: his private tutor was Dr. Heath, of St. Paul's. When he had reached the head of the school, he was too young for college, and was placed under the private tuition of Mr. Langley, of Ashbourne. After a year, he was entered at Trinity College, Oxford, where the learned Benwell was his private tutor. At the peace of Amiens he went to France, but returned at the end of the year.”
“In 1808, on the first insurrection in Spain, in June, he joined the Viceroy of Gallicia, Blake. The · Madrid Gazette of August mentions a gift from him of twenty thousand reals. On the extinction of the Constitution, he returned to Don P. Caval
It has been stated that Landor was rusticated at college for the boyish freak of firing a gun in the quadrangle of his college, and that, after this occurrence, he never returned to take a degree. He repaired to London on leaving college, and remained there for some time, under the care of General Powell, his godfather, who pressed him to enter the army. Having declined that proposition, his father, desiring to make him a lawyer, offered him £400 a year if he would reside in the Temple and study the law, but only a small pittance, of about £150 a year, in the event of a refusal. He proceeded to South Wales, and resided in great seclusion for some time at Swansea.-R. R. M.
! Men of the Time, p. 273, London, 1853.
los the tokens of royal approbation in no very measured terms.* In 1811 he married Julia, daughter of J. Thuillier de Malaperte, descendant and representative of J. Thuillier de Malaperte, Baron de Nieuveville, first gentleman of the bed-chamber to Charles the Eighth. He was residing at Tours, when, after the battle of Waterloo, many other Englishmen, to the number of four thousand, went away. He wrote to Carnot that he had no confidence in the moderation or honor of the emperor, but resolved to stay, because he considered the danger to be greater in the midst of a broken army. A week afterward, when this wretch occupied Tours, his house was the only one without a billet. In the autumn of that year he retired to Italy. For seven or eight years he occupied the Palazzo Medici in Florence, and then bought the celebrated villa of Count Gherardesea, at Fiesole, with its gardens, and two farms, immediately under the ancient villa of Lorenzo de Medici. His visits to England have been few and short."
For several years past Mr. Landor has resided in Bath ; he has been married, and has three children; his lady is still living, though not in the vicinity of Bath. Possessing a good fortune, Mr. Landor has retained a small portion of it, just sufficient to live on, for his own wants. The remainder has been allotted to his family.
The property inherited by Landor was very considerable, but so early as 1806 he had sold a very large portion of it in Staffordshire and Warwickshire, which his ancestors had possessed for nearly seven hundred years. He then bought two estates in Monmouthshire, on which he expended several thousand pounds ; on the building of a house alone, £8000. Some tenants of his, named Betham, having abandoned their farms and fled to the Crimea, being in his debt to the amount of £3000, he ceased to feel any interest in the place he had intended to
* He not only received the thanks of the Supreme Junta, but, soon after his return to England, the rank of colonel. He sent back the documents with his commission to Don Pedro Cavallos on the subversion of the Constitution li Ferdinand. He was "willing," he said, “to aid a people in the assertion of its liberties against the antagonist of Europe, but could have nothing to do with a perjurer and traitor."-See “Men of the Time.”
have permanently settled in, and, on the authority I have already referred to," he ordered his house to be demolished.”
When a large portion of the prose literature of our times that has acquired celebrity shall have lost its renown, or be remembered merely on account of an ephemeral celebrity, the “Imaginary Conversations" of Walter Savage Landor will live in honor, and flourish far and wide. There are intellectual gifts and graces of no ordinary kind exhibited in his prose productions: wonderful acquirements, scholarship of a genuine kind-massiveness of mind-keenness and subtilty of perception-earnestness and enthusiasm-geniality of disposition—tenderness of heart, and a noble love of every thing in nature good and beautiful. The poetry of Mr. Landor, in all probability, is not destined to the same immortality, and possibly few critics will imagine that any considerable portion of it is deserving even of passing commendation at the hands of his contemporaries.
In Landor’s disposition there is a singular combination of opposite qualities, and in his mental powers and abilities a mixture no less strange of force and energy, with a childish simplicity, deep erudition, an intimate acquaintance with ancient and modern history and literature, with strong prejudices, partialities, and dislikes, by which his opinions are considerably affected, often even on the gravest subjects ; great tenderness of heart is found allied with heat and excitability of temper, while critical acumen of no ordinary kind is found associated with credulity, and a disposition to believe things that to many appear marvelous, and to hesitate to give credence to those things which others think it important to receive with implicit trust.
The marked feature in the principal prose writings of Landor is that of originality of mind and a daring recklessness of all consequence in the expression of opinions he believes to be just and true. Take up any one of the “Imaginary Conversations," and
you feel yourself in communion with the mind of an author of powerful intellect—in the presence of a great original thinker—a fervent lover of truth and goodness—a fierce hater of every thing mean and base-of all shams, and of all kinds of scoundrelism, however grandly disguised or dignified with great