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GRUB STREET, Candlemas Day, 1871.

MY DEAR LEO,— SHALL I ever forget the evening, at the end of last November, when your feeling letter describing the death of our friend first met my eyes? I was alone in my garret; it was just dark; my landlady opened the door and threw a paper on the table. Selfish creatures that we are! my first thought was: It is a communication from the Literary Fund! The straits to which I am reduced by my long warfare with the Philistines, have at last, I said to myself, become known; they have excited sympathy; this is no doubt a letter from Mr. Octavian Blewitt, enclosing half-a-crown, the promise of my dinner at Christmas, and the kind wishes of Lord Stanhope for my better success in authorship. Hastily I lighted my lamp, and saw the Pall Mall Gazette. You know, Leo, how, after vainly knocking at the door of the Daily Telegraph, I carried to Northumberland Street my records of the conversations of Arminius. I love to think that the success of the "Workhouse Casual" had disposed the Editor's heart to be friendly towards Pariahs;

my communication was affably accepted, and from that day to this the Pall Mall Gazette, whenever there is any mention in it of Arminius, reaches me in Grub Street gratis. I took the paper, I opened it; your playful signature caught my eye. I read your letter through to the end, and then . . .

Suffer me, Leo, to draw a veil over those first days of grief. In the tumult of feeling plans were then formed to which I have not energy to give effect. I nourished the design of laying before the public a complete account of Arminius von Thunder-tenTronckh, and of the group which was gathered round him. The history of his family has been written by the famous Voltaire in his Candide; but I doubt whether an honest man can in conscience send the British public to even the historical works of that dangerous author. Yet a singular fortune brought together in our set the descendants of a number of the personages of Candide. Von Thunder-ten-Tronckh is, perhaps, sufficiently made known by the following letters; his curious delusion about the living representative of Pangloss is also fully noticed there. But not a glimpse, alas, do these records give of our poor friend Martin (de Mabille), who has just been shut up in Paris eating rats, the cynical descendant of that great foe of Pangloss's optimism, the Martin of Candide. Hardly a glimpse is given of the Marquis Pompeo Pococurante, little Pompey with the soft eyes and dark hair, whose acquaintance you made at Turin under the portiques du Pô, and whom you brought to London in the hope of curing, by the spectacle of the

Daily Telegraph, his hereditary indifference and ennui. Of our English friends, too, the public would, doubtless, be glad to hear more. Mr. Bottles himself fills, in the following letters, by no means that space to which his importance entitles him; the excellent Baptist minister, for whom Mr. Bottles has so high a regard, the Rev. Josiah Jupp, appears far too unfrequently; your Mary Jane, Leo, is a name and nothing more; hardly more than names are my good and kind patroness, the late lamented Mrs. Bottles, and her sister and successor, Miss Hannah. It is a small matter, perhaps; but I should have liked, too, the public to know something of my faithful landlady here in Grub Street, Kitty Crone, on whom, after my vain conflict with the Philistines is ended, will probably devolve the pious duty of closing my eyes.

I had imagined a memorial of Arminius, in which all these would have found their place; but my spirits broke down in the attempt to execute my design. All, therefore, that I have done is to collect the stray records of Arminius which have already been published, to illustrate them with notes so far as appeared necessary, and to give myself the melancholy pleasure of dedicating to you, Leo, a collection which owes to your brilliant and facile pen some of its best orna


Our friend had an odd way of showing it, but certainly Arminius had a love for this country. Do you remember, Leo, that conversation in the summer of last year, the last we spent together in his company! It was in the arbour of the garden of the "Bald-Faced

Stag" at Finchley. We had all been to the gallery of the House of Commons to hear Mr. Vernon Harcourt develop a system of unsectarian religion from the Life of Mr. Pickwick; but from some obstacle or other the expected treat did not come off. We adjourned to Finchley, and there, you remember, Arminius began with a discourse on religious education. He exacted from me, as you know, the promise not, as he harshly phrased it, to "make a hash of his ideas" by reporting them to the public; and the promises of friendship are sacred. But afterwards the conversation became general. It then took a wider range; and I remember Mr. Frederic Harrison beginning to harangue, with his usual fiery eloquence, on the enervation of England, and on the malignancy of all the brute mass of us who are not Comtists. Arminius checked him. “Enervation !"—said he; "depend upon it, yours is still the most fighting people in the whole world. Malignancy !—the best character of the English people ever yet given, friendly as the character is, is still this of Burke's: "The ancient and inbred integrity, piety, good nature, and good humour of the people of England." Your nation is sound enough, if only it can be taught that being able to do what one likes, and say what one likes, is not suffi cient for salvation. Its dangers are from a surfeit of clap-trap, due to the false notion that liberty and publicity are not only valuable for the use to be made of them, but are goods in themselves, nay, are the summum bonum!"

To the same effect he wrote to me from before

Paris, a week or two before his death.

"You know

I do not join in the common dislike of your nation, or in the belief in its certain decay. But no nation can, without danger, go on stuffing its mind with such nonsense as is talked by the newspapers which you are stupid (sic) enough to quote with admiration. 'The Germans, forsooth,' says your precious Telegraph, 'cannot too soon begin the lesson, of which England has been the special teacher, that national greatness and wealth are to be prized only in so far as they ensure the freedom of the individual citizen, and the right of all to join in free debate. Without that liberty, a German Empire will be only a gilded despotism, politically weak in spite of its military power, barbaric in spite of its schools and universities.' 'The fall,' says your Daily News, of the late Government of France is history's reassertion of the principle of political liberty.' Do you not see that, if France, without political liberty, has signally lost, and Germany, without political liberty, has signally won, it is absurd to make the presence or absence of political liberty in themselves the ground of the fall or success of nations? Of the fall or success of nations, certain virtues are the ground; political, ay, and social liberty, are, if you like, favourable to those virtues, where a root of them already exists; therefore I am a Republican;-but they by no means ensure them. If you have not these virtues, and imagine that your political liberty will pull you through without them, you will be ruined in spite of your political liberty. I admire England because she

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