Edward Frederick Leveson-Gower.

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to prove how much fewer court-martials had taken
place among them since they had been under his
command. He was an enemy to flogging, and
hurdly ever allowed it, so that if his returns were
reliable, they proved its inutility. I was told he
was much beloved by the soldiers, both for his
leniency and his attention to their wants. He
rebuked one he met the other day carrying to his
chum on guard some coffee in a lidless coffee-pot.
— " How would you like when on guard to have
your coftee cold ? " — Such an anecdote makes a
man loved by a whole regiment.

The remainder of our Spanish trip was enjoyable.
We hired horses at Gibraltar and rode the whole
way thence to Granada, and from Granada to
Cordova, where we joined the diligence which took
us on to Seville.

Our first halting-place was Gaucin, which is
most romantically situated on the summit of a
mo'.:ntain. It looks from below as if in the clouds,
and we at first took its white houses for snow.
The scenery around is delicious, Alpine in character,
with the addition of the most luxuriant and southern
vegetation, and towns where eagles' nests might



1846] GRANADA 83

be. The view from Gaucin is, as Ford in
his hand-book on Spain describes it, glorious :
" Gibraltar rises like a molar in the distance, and
Africa looms beyond." The next night we slept
at Ronda, the most picturesque of towns ; the third
at Loja, and on the last we reached Granada.
After Loja our road lay along the Genii, not a
gentle river though with a willowed shore.

Gentle river, gentle river,
Lo, thy stream is stained with gore.
Many a brave and Christian warrior
Lies along thy willowed shore.

I will say nothing about Granada, with its
Generalife and the Alhambra, so well described by
Washington Irving and others. Beautiful as their
buildings are, they are inferior to the similar ones
at Agra and Delhi. Those in India are in marble,
whilst these are only plaster. We had for our
guide Mateo, el hijo del Alhambra (" the son of
the Alhambra "), whom Irving praised so much and
who was his authority for his " Tales." He was
an Esparterist, and very confidential with his
political opinions. He was unhappy because we
persevered in going to the Moderado Cafe, but
we continued to do so as we found there the best
coffee.

The country, as we afterwards learnt, was not
free from robbers, but we thought so little of them
that I never took my pistols out of my saddle-bag.
They say the safest way to travel is to appear
poor and to carry no arms. Some of the country
through which we passed was beautiful, some parts
mountainous, but chiefly barren tracts with towns



84 SPANISH JOURNAL

on high hills and Moorish castles on still higher ones,
some corn country and rich z>ega (plain). At last
we found ourselves on the banks of the Guadalquivir,
which we crossed in a ferry, and soon afterwards
reached Cordova. It is a curious old town, looking
especially mediaeval. Our inn was attractive. It
had a court with Moorish columns round it, some
of marble, others of stone, a fountain in the middle
with plants round it and an immense vine-tree,
making a complete awning overhead.

One morning we took the helper of the inn,
faute de mieiix, as our guide to the mosque. You
first enter an immense court with colonnades at
each end and a grove of gigantic orange-trees in
the middle. The interior is a square of 400 ft.,
with 850 columns at equal distance from each other,
supporting arches of the horseshoe shape. The
effect of this forest of marble is indescribable —
marvellous rather than beautiful.

We found all the places in the diligence from
Cordova to Seville were taken besides our own.
They were occupied by a Frenchman, a Spaniard
and his wife. The former turned out to be
courier to Lord Foley, who was touring about
with my cousin, John Fortescue, and Mr.
Vaughan. The Spaniard was a curious speci-
men of a man, but not an agreeable travelling
companion. He seemed in bad health, smoked
without ceasing, and kept spitting in every direction.
Still he was, like all his countrymen, very civil.
He complained of everything and everybody, but
chiefly of the want of honesty in his countrymen.
He accused equally Ministers, clergy, custom-house



1846] SEVILLE 85

officers and Inn-keepers. From the Queen to the
poorest beggar they were all a set of robbers.
When the conversation turned on Rome and the
Pope he said it was a great shame that the
Cardinals had ceased to elect a Spaniard, upon
which the courier remarked that it was no wonder
if they were all such robbers. The Spaniard's wife
was what George called " an armful of joy," with
a handsome face, fine eyes, fine teeth, and still
finer moustache.

We found our English friends, George Vaughan,
Lord Foley, and John Fortescue, installed at our
hotel at Seville, and we agreed to mess together.
We were lucky in meeting with them. Vaughan
was very amusing in his dry way, my cousin
Fortescue a general favourite, and Foley very
amiable. Our first visit next morning was to the
Cathedral, which is magnificent with its lofty aisles.
It looks more Protestant than Catholic, and has
not the gorgeousness of that at Toledo. We then
visited the Alcazar, preferred by some to the
Alhambra ; and lastly to see the Murillos at the
Hospital de la Caridad. Nothing can be finer than
his two large pictures there : one of Moses striking
the rock, which represents the joy of the people at
the sight of the water ; the other of the miracle
of the loaves and fishes. The group around our
Saviour distributing food to the Apostles is beautiful.
We also visited the Museo, where I became still
more an admirer of this great artist. In one picture
the Virgin is stretching out her hands from above
towards her Son. Her attitude, her beauty, and the
expression of her countenance are divine. Our guide



86 SPANISH JOURNAL

was, as usual, full of anecdotes. — " Look at that
Virgin and Child at the end of the room. Is that
not beautiful ? The porter of this convent re-
minded Murillo one day that he never had made
him a present. * Lend me your pocket-hand-
kerchief,' said the painter ; and he returned next
day with that picture painted on it. It is one of
his chefs doeitv7'ey — " But," said George, " it is
painted on coarse canvas, which never could have
served for a pocket-handkerchief" — " Oh, but it
was, and the picture was named ' De la Servilleta '
in consequence." — " I do not care what it is called,"
added George, " but do not think you will persuade
me that any one ever blew his nose in that canvas."

Our guide, nothing daunted, continued : " You
see that ' Ascension ' high up there ? That, you
know, is magnificent. The monks ordered it, having
bargained to give a hundred dollars for it ; but
when it was finished they did not like it, and asked
to be off with their bargain. But Murillo said,
' Very well, but let me put it up in the place for
which it was destined before it is sent back.' When
half-way up the monks liked it better, at which he
said, ' I will now ask two hundred dollars ' ; and
when it had reached its proper place he would not
let it go for less than four hundred dollars, which
they readily paid."

At the gate of the Museo there was an amusing
equipage — a four-seated cabriolet, painted in the
gayest colours and of the most fantastic shape, to
which were harnessed seven mules, covered with
a profusion of red and yellow trappings. Its owner,
an ardent Free Trader, dressed in the smartest



1846] SEVILLE CATHEDRAL 87

Andalusian costume, had brought it out to drive
Mr. and Mrs. Cobden, who at that time were travel-
ling in Spain. This civility, as he afterwards told
me, was much to his annoyance, for the jolting,
dust, and noise were ill-suited to his frame, ex-
hausted by his journey from Madrid. He, indeed,
seemed little equal to all the fatigue his foreign
admirers entailed upon him. I was delighted to
make the acquaintance of a man I hold in such
admiration.^

The Cathedral at Seville is said to be no
longer the resort of lovers, but it certainly was
still the resort of beggars. They pestered one
in every direction. The last day I was there, a
well-dressed woman said something to me which
I took no notice of but passed on. She shouted
out '' Hombre /" which is a Spanish oath, ran
after me, and gave me a smart tap on the shoulder
with her fan. I stopped, and the old story began
again of sickness and a distressed family. The
beggars in Spain, from the picturesque old man
with his tattered brown cloak and staff to the
broken-down gentlewoman with her fan, all claim
charity as a right, and if you give it they receive
it as if you were paying them a debt. They
were difficult to get rid of except by the use of
the words I had often read of, but whose magical
effect I had hardly believed. If you said respect-
fully to one of them, '' Perdone listed, por DioSy
hermanoV ("Forgive me, brother, for God's
sake ! "), he would invariably retire.

I got fond of our inn with its little Moorish

^ I got afterwards to know him well.



88 SPANISH JOURNAL

court. Vaughan undertook to look after the
cooking department, and it was amusing to watch
his endless conferences with the inn-keeper, the
Welshman making fun of the single-minded
Spaniard. One day there were great preparations
for a dinner, to which Foley had invited the
Capitan-General, a pompous man and a distin-
guished officer. The whole household was thrown
into commotion, Vaughan was at his post the
whole morning, worrying the poor innkeeper,
whom such an honour and its attendant responsi-
bilities were nearly too much for. We hurried
home early to receive the great man ; but alas !
at the very last moment a note arrived with the
General's excuses on account of pain from his
wounds. I could not help laughing, and had the
satisfaction of eating an excellent dinner ; but the
waiters were angry, and Pedro re-echoed to me
their indignation. — '' Je vous assure, monsieur, quon
trouve cela tres peu poli''

Our guide, with his anecdotes and quaint
remarks, amused us, but we had reason to find
fault with him when, after promising to get
gypsies to dance before us, we found he had only
engaged some ballet-dancers whom we might
have seen every night at the theatre for com-
paratively nothing. They came with an immense
following of fathers, mothers and brothers, some
very handsome, particularly La Campanilla, so
called from living in the Giralda, the beautiful
old Moorish tower at one end of the Cathedral.
She had a fine figure, which her dress, consisting
of a black velvet corset covered with spangles



1846] CADIZ— LISBON 89

and a cherry-coloured petticoat, set ofif to advan-
tage. She danced with vivacity and grace. It
was a regular ball, with refreshments and sugar-
plums to be handed round to the performers.

From Seville we went to Cadiz and from Cadiz
to Lisbon ! How beautiful is the entrance into
the Tagus and the first view of Lisbon ! Our
fleet was anchored opposite to it. It was an
exciting time to arrive there, as the town was
surrounded by rebels who were expected every
minute to take it by storm. We were unable on
that account to go to Cintra. There is little to
be seen in Lisbon, which is inhabited by the
ugliest, filthiest population in the world. I have
since been there several times and it always gave
me the same impression.

From Lisbon we had a pleasant passage home
by sea.



SOCIETY

1846-50

UPON my father's death my brother and his wife
were reluctant to leave their apartment on the
ground floor in Bruton Street, to which they had be-
come attached. They consequently let the first floor
to Mr. Charles Greville, a relation and intimate
friend. Mr. Greville was the son of Lady Charlotte
Greville, a daughter of the third Duke of Portland,
who had married the sister of the fifth Duke of
Devonshire. She was therefore my mother's first
cousin. In society Mr. Greville was inclined to
be silent, and never spoke unless he had some-
thing to say — to my mind a merit. But when the
topic discussed interested him he became very
animated.

It, of course, perfectly suited Mr. Greville to live
in a charming and spacious apartment in the centre
of the most social part of the town, and where he
had on most evenings only to go downstairs to find
himself in the midst of the pleasantest company
possible. My brother and Lady Granville had on
their side the advantage of living in close proximity
to so agreeable a person, with whom they were
always on the best of terms. Mr. Greville was a

90



1846-50] CHARLES GREVILLE 91

remarkable man. He was intimate with the
principal politicians. He had a literary turn of
mind. He was a frequent contributor to the Times
and a friend of its distinguished editor, Mr. Delane.
He published some clever books and pamphlets ; but
what has chiefly contributed to his fame are his
admirable journals, which he left to Mr. Henry
Reeve ^ to edit after his death. They have become
classical, and I know of no book of my time which
has been as much referred to by those who have
dealt with the history of the period. He was
broad-minded, but not always quite accurate or
consistent in his views. I should say that it was
on this account that in spite of his ability he never
had any political influence. His complaint of my
brother was that, although they lived in the same
house, he would never divulge to him what took
place in the Cabinet, and was less communicative
than some of his colleagues. The truth was, my
brother did not entirely rely on his discretion. He
was a great reader on every subject, and even liked
to dabble in theology. He was as well up in the
Bible as he was in the Racing Calendar. I cannot
say that he was a happy man, for he had no strong
family affections, and was, as can be seen from his
journal, much dissatisfied with himself.

His best point was his readiness, when any
occasion arose for it, to spare no effort to serve
a friend. But honesty obliges me to add that he
dearly loved to have a finger in every pie, which

' For many years editor of The Edinburgh Review.



92 SOCIETY

may have been an inducement to him to occupy
himself about his friends' affairs. When Miss
Raikes pubHshed her father's amusing diary he
helped her with her publishers, but made them
some concessions of which she disapproved. The
next time he called, to show her displeasure she
seized his hat, ran upstairs, and locked it up in her
bedroom ; and then came down and told him he
might go home bare-headed, which he was forced to
do. I do not know whether he ever forgave her.

He likewise assisted my sister, Lady Georgiana
Fullerton, with her novel Ellen Middleto7i. It
was her first literary attempt, and it was a great
advantage to get the advice of so excellent a
writer with regard to style. He took the greatest
possible interest in the book and spared no pains
about it. The novel had great success, not
only in England but throughout the Continent,
and was translated into every European language.
Lord Brougham also volunteered to help her, and
his advice proved very useful. In return he asked
her to do him the favour of reading a tale which
he said was written by a young friend of his, who
wished to publish it but had some doubt whether
it was worth it. He said he relied on her giving
him an honest opinion, by which he would be
guided in his advice to the young man. She,
not suspecting the truth, told him, after reading it,
that she thought it a poor performance, and that
it would be a mistake to publish it. It turned out
that he himself was the author, and, undeterred



1846-50] LADY GEORGIANA FULLERTON 93

by her verdict, he sanctioned its publication. No
sooner did it make its appearance than it was so
generally condemned that he at once stopped
its circulation, and bought up all the copies he
could lay his hands on. I do not know whether
any copy now exists. There is probably one in
the British Museum. But the amusing part of the
story is that he at once cut my sister dead, and
they only renewed acquaintance just before his
death. This is an instance of how very little a
great man may be.

The following is a letter I received from my
friend, Mr. John George Phillimore, respecting
my sister's novel. It is very appreciative, but at
the same time discriminating, and contains some
interesting remarks.

" I send back Ellen Middleton. Its perusal has
added to the many pleasant hours I already owe to
your acquaintance. In return — a most inadequate
return it is — I give you my opinion as to the merits
of the work. That I read it as I should have
read the work of a person indifferent to me or to
my friends I do not assert, but I am quite sure
that it is not the effect of partiality on my part
when I say that the work is one of very unusual
merit. It abounds in passages of real eloquence,
of touching pathos, of vivid and powerful descrip-
tion. The writer has, it is obvious, taken a far
wider view of manners and society than is common
among those who attempt their delineation. She
has a very quick perception of character, and a keen
sense of its vanities. Her conversations are lively
and natural, and succeed where lady writers
generally fail altogether — I mean in giving an idea



94 SOCIETY

of dialogues among men, whether in ordinary life
or when excited by passion ; indeed the men are
excellent. The clergyman is perfect. Lovell is
most happily described in his two characters. I
have known his type. The Middletons are admir-
able portraits, though / think flattering ones, of
the firm, well-educated, right-thinking, high-minded,
but cold and born^ and undemonstrative English
gentleman of the patrician class. I am in love
with Mrs. Middleton ; Alice is a model of saintly
virtue ; Rose Moore is charming and draws the
line which is so apt to be overstepped and which
Walter Scott never clearly saw, between na'iveU
and vulgarity. The description of Miss Varley
is very good and so is that of Mrs. Hatton, who
sees everything couleur de rose, and thinks it very
lucky we have any weather at all, doing from mere
benevolence of nature what others would do from
an unworthy motive. The author's skill in rescuing
her from the character of a sycophant is remark-
able. To this knowledge of men and manners
the author adds the love of nature, that unfailing
source of happiness, and it imparts to her pages
the buoyant and exhilarating tone of elastic pleasure
which makes one long as Milton says — 'to go
out and see Nature's riches, and partake of her
rejoicings with heaven and earth.' The contrast
between these passages and those of a darker hue
reminded me of a favourite passage in Macbeth,
where the interval between the meditated crime
and its perpetration is relieved by the remarks on
the pure air and pleasant site of the castle which
was to be its scene. How the lines on the ' temple-
haunting martlet ' and its habits enhance the effect
of those fearful workings of fierce passion and
troubled conscience, which precede and follow it.
I cannot help thinking that in writing some of the
passages to which I allude this wonderful proof
of Shakespeare's genius must have been present



1846-50] "ELLEN MIDDLETON" 95

to the author's mind. Among many passages of a
higher tone that on the sea shows great power of
style — as does another where Ellen resolves to
shine and glitter, at least, although her heart be
broken, and her peace for ever cast away. These
then, style and knowledge of character, I think
the great merits of the book. The fault is exactly
that which you would expect in a young writer, i.e.
the story. The knowledge of society, which has
guarded her against exaggeration in character, has
not quite saved her from giving rather an im-
probable and violent cast to some of the incidents
she has introduced. Such, for instance, is the
scene between Rose and the Ruffians, that told
by Lovell between himself and Esdail when he
pays the gambling debt, and the event which is
the hinge of the story is, for an act quite unpre-
meditated and not quite unjustifiable, followed by
too tragical a series of calamities. Poor Ellen is
visited too hardly ; something is wanted as Dryden
says ' to absolve the Gods.' Moreover, but this
is a subject on which I express myself with all
becoming diffidence, I cannot help thinking that
the way in which Lovell abuses his advantage
would have induced the lady towards whom such
unmanly violence was exercised, even were she less
high-spirited than Ellen, to everything rather than
endure the persecution of a being so detestable.
There is also another point on which perhaps you
will not think my opinion very important, but on
which after all I have said it would be want of
candour not to communicate it. I mean the
allusions made to the external parts and accidents,
so I consider them, of Divine worship. I hope
nobody feels more deeply than I do, or appreciates
more thoroughly the depth and purity of feeling
which almost every line of this work discloses with
regard to the most important of all subjects. I
recollect with delight the glorious lines in the



96 SOCIETY

Penseroso and the eloquent denunciation of another
favourite writer against the dine reveche, I think he
calls it, on which the fretted aisle, and lofty arches,
and pealing organ, and fragrant clouds of our
Gothic cathedrals have no effect. But imposing
and awful as all this is, and difficult as it is to resist
the impressions of the senses at such a moment,
is it not going too far to suppose that they can
exalt or ennoble the relation between Man and his
Creator ? Can any work of human art, any rites
that it is in the power of man to invent, add
sublimity to ideas which are or ought to be solely
spiritual ? Ought we not to disclaim these ' rudi-
ments of the senses ' ? May not religion be as
sublime in a cottage as in a cathedral ? Would it
be religion were it not ? And when I recollect
that these edifices were raised and adorned in dark
and troubled times, by men inured to blood and
fraud, who imagined that by raising them they
atoned for a long life of oppression and injustice ;
and when I think how far more easy it is to raise a
splendid edifice or to practise any rites than to allay —

The troublous storms that toss
The private state and render Hfe unsweet,

or to keep pure the recesses of the heart, I own
that I am angry with myself for yielding to such
associations as the author labours so successfully
to awaken, and that I submit with patience to all
the epithets of domestic vituperation which the
mere hint of such opinions never fails to draw
down upon me from a great admirer of Ellen
Middleton/ I cannot help thinking the old
Covenanters who worshipped in the wilderness,
or an Irish priest in a roofless cabin, an object
far more sublime and affecting to the imagination
than all the gorgeous ceremonies, baldachins and

* He alludes to his wife, who after his death became a Roman
Catholic.



1846-50] CHARLES HENRY GREVILLE 97

stately structures which man ever devoted to the
worship of Him who made us.

Entire affection scorneth nicer hands,

says Spenser, and if this be true of an earthly
being, it is far more true of Him we worship, and
Petrarch has hit the right key when He says (I
have not the book here, so the quotation is perhaps
inaccurate) —

Qui non Teatro, non Palazzi o loggia,

Fra I'erba verde un pino, un abete, un faggio,

Giove da terra al ciel porta intelletto;

and Dante in one of his most wonderful passages
makes Poverty say that she ascended the Cross
with the Saviour of the world.

" After this you will not be surprised if I enter
my protest against the Christian Year — the writer's
admiration for which is however more than atoned
for in my eyes by the many proofs of excellent
taste her work affords and her thorough knowledge
of the best writers in our language — my favourite
Spenser whom I rank next Shakespeare among
our poets being therein to my great delight included.

" To conclude, I cannot help saying that the
writer possesses qualities which entitle her to hold
a very conspicuous place among English authors.
I will add no professions of sincerity, for I think
our acquaintance, short as it is, ought to enable
you to form a judgment for yourself on that point."

There was a great difference between Charles
Greville and his brother Henry, who also passed
much of his time in Bruton Street. The latter had
much less ability and was rather frivolous. His
diaries, edited after his death by his niece. Lady


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Online LibraryEdward Frederick Leveson-GowerBygone years; → online text (page 6 of 21)