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What, we naturally ask ourselves, by his present biographer. We have had a mind of this temper and cast of no wish to dispate the justice of this thought to do with the movement party commendation. But if law is truly in the state? Its place was in the said to be a jealous mistress, literaranks of safe and even timid Con- ture is not less exacting. In the servatism. But, in truth, all that attempt to unite the two characters, Jeffrey had willingly to do with these it is not the lawyer that suffers most, great subjects was to talk of them ; it is the writer and the thinker. to talk much and well was the busi- Jeffrey could edit bis Review, and ness of his life ;-he would never will- still master and retain sufficient legal ingly have acted, or proceeded from knowledge for all the emergencies of discourse to the real measure. When his profession; but he could not pracestimating the conduct of those who tise that profession, and lead the life brought about and conducted the of an eminent barrister, and acquire French Revolution, it is amusing to or preserve the habits of consciennotice how great a latitude he gives tious study, of high and independent the writer-how heavy a responsi- thinking, which the literary man ought bility he throws upon the legislator. to possess. For him, or for his friends, The usual rules of ethical reasoning it might have been far preferable that are set aside, that the man' of words he should rise through legal to politimay have free scope. After excusing cal honours, and finally retire to the the philosophers” of the French dignity of the Bench, than that he Revolution, he proceeds to say—"For should have written better essays, those who, with intentions equally and exerted a nobler influence on blameless, attempted to carry into the literature of his country. We execution the projects which had been have only to remark that, in this and suggested by the others, and actually in other cases, when a man is conengaged in measures which could not gratulated on successfully combining fail to terminate in important changes, the two professions of letters and of it will not be easy, we are afraid, to law, the success is achieved by the make so satisfactory an apology." If sacrifice of the higher character to those who legislated had“ intentions the lower of the more noble aims equally blameless,” we do not see that of life to the less noble. they were more morally culpable than Jeffrey's practice steadily increased; those who prompted and dictated their but his rising prosperity was cruelly legislation. Whether a man advises counterbalanced by a domestic afflicmeasures, or assists in carrying them, tion—the loss of his wife, who died whether he writes or votes, must in August 1805. This loss he seems depend merely upon his position. to have felt very severely; and The same man who has honestly and though he rallied sufficiently to perseveringly advocated any measure marry again, and even to sail to of legislation, would assuredly pro- America in search of a wife, it is evimote it by his voice in the legislature, dent that, for some time, it cast a if you give him a voice. The earnest gloom over his spirits. The effect writer is on the same level with the upon his mind was concealed from all earnest agent. The only real distinc- but his most intimate friends; but in tion that the case admits of is this, a letter to one of the oldest of themthat loose and careless talking, not to Horner-he reveals very touchingly being so pernicious as inconsiderate the utter indifference to life which this action, cannot be visited with so bereavement had produced. severe a censure. To the benefit of We have alluded more particularly this reflection all reviewers and to this incident, because, although the essay writers are certainly entitled. biographer does not connect the two

We resume the thread of the bio- facts, we cannot but see a very close graphy.

relation between the state of mind Neither the celebrity nor the occu- occasioned by the loss of his wife, and pation which the Review brought to the next conspicuous event which its editor, diverted him from the pur- occurs in the life of Jeffrey. We alsuit of his profession. For this pru- lude to his duel with Moore the poet, dent conduct he is much applauded and that on the most frivolous of all

grounds. The poet thought that a which it was at one time thought would personal offence was intended in the have ended in a marriage in England. severity of the critic; and the critic Her father was an Englishman, but had refused to appease his anger, by assur- been several years resident in America; ing him that no such personal offence and when his daughter was here, there was meant, and that he merely re

was a scheme of their all returning to viewed his book and castigated its been given up, however; and the bride

settle in this country. This plan had immoralities. When all was overthe duel having been prevented—Jef- of the Atlantic, it became necessary that

being established again on the other side frey freely gives him this assurance, he should earn her by going there. Acwhich, he says, “I was ready to have cordingly, in spring 1813, he actually done at the beginning, if he had ap- resolved to do so—what may be conplied amicably." The anger of the sidered one of the greatest achievements irritated poet' it is easy to compre- of love. For of all strong-minded men, hend; but it is not easy to under there never was one who, from what he stand why the critic should have deemed a just estimate of its dangers, risked his life, rather than return

an but in truth from mere nervous horror, answer which truth, as well as cour-watery adventures. No matter whether

recoiled with such sincerity from all tesy, required. We think we see the it was a sea that was to be crossed, or a explanation in the mere date of the lake, or a stream, or a pond;—it was occurrence. The event happened at enough that he had to be afloat. The a time when he was still suffering, in discomforts of a voyage to America in secret, from a morbid indifference to 1813, before steam had shortened the life. The challenge came upon him way, and relieved it by every luxury enwhen he was in this unhappy frame joyable by a landsman at sea, were very of mind : he gave himself no trouble great. To these were added the more to reflect how far it was necessary or

material dangers connected with the war rational to accept it, but felt rather then subsisting between the two countries, disposed to court than to avoid the and the almost personal passions under

which it was conducted. But to him all risk that it threatened to his life. As an incident characteristic of the these risks, including even that of deten

tion, were immaterial. The sad fact age, it will in future times wear a

was, that the Atlantic was not made of very curious aspect. A critic, in the solid land." interest of morality, censures a too amorous poet. The poet is in great The wife won in this not unrowrath-imputes this, imputes that; mantic manner, proved to be well the indignant moralist will answer not worth all the dangers, real or imaa word. The two meet with pistols ginary, of the voyage; and we again at Chalk Farm, and, when interrupted find Jeffrey in the full enjoyment of by the police, contemplate going over that domestic happiness of which he to Hamburg. A more absurd business was keenly susceptible, and to which it is impossible to conceive.

he was so well fitted, from his kindly The second marriage of Jeffrey ob- and amiable nature, to contribute. liged him to take a voyage to Ame- On his voyage to America he kept a rica ; or rather, if we understand the journal, some extracts of which are narrative, his own indecision led to here given. That one who was so this result. Miss Wilkes had been ardent a lover of nature should have residing with some friends at Edin- felt, as he expresses it, “a spite burgh, but her father was a banker in against the sea," is rather singular. New York-a nephew of the cele- The only effect it seems to have upon brated John Wilkes. He allowed her his imagination is to make him revert, to return to America, and then dis- by way of contrast, and with incovered that the strength of his affec- creased tenderness, to the quiet intion was such as to make it quite land scenes that memory conjures upnecessary that he should follow to morning walks with the dewy flowers bring her back. We will copy the round him, and open windows, openaccount which Lord Cockburn basing upon shady gardens, with the given of the matter :

swallows skimming past them. Yet “ His acquaintance with Miss Wilkes it is here, and with the sea for his had ripened into a permanent attachment, subject, that we think we should find

What, we naturally ask ourselves, by his present biographer. We have had a mind of this temper and cast of no wish to dispute the justice of this thought to do with the movement party commendation. But if law is truly in the state? Its place was in the said to be a jealous mistress, literaranks of safe and even timid Con- ture is not less exacting. In the servatism. But, in truth, all that attempt to unite the two characters, Jeffrey had willingly to do with these it is not the lawyer that suffers most, great subjects was to talk of them ;- it is the writer and the thinker. to talk much and well was the busi. Jeffrey could edit his Review, and ness of his life ;-he would never will still master and retain sufficient legal ingly have acted, or proceeded from knowledge for all the emergencies of discourse to the real measure. When his profession; but he could not pracestimating the conduct of those who tise that profession, and lead the life brought about and conducted the of an eminent barrister, and acquire French Revolution, it is amusing to or preserve the habits of consciennotice how great a latitude he gives tious study, of high and independent the writer-how heavy a responsi- thinking, which the literary man ought bility he throws upon the legislator. to possess. For him, or for his friends, The usual rules of ethical reasoning it might bave been far preferable that are set aside, that the man of words he should rise through legal to politimay have free scope. After excusing cal honours, and finally retire to the the "philosophers" of the French dignity of the Bench, than that he Revolution, he proceeds to say—“For should have written better essays, those who, with intentions equally and exerted a nobler influence on blameless, attempted to carry into the literature of his country. We execution the projects which had been have only to remark that, in this and suggested by the others, and actually in other cases, when a man is conengaged in measures which could not gratulated on successfully combining fail to terminate in important changes, the two professions of letters and of it will not be easy, we are afraid, to law, the success is achieved by the make so satisfactory an apology." If sacrifice of the higher character to those who legislated had “ intentions the lower - of the more noble aims equally blameless," we do not see that of life to the less noble. they were more morally culpable than Jeffrey's practice steadily increased; those who prompted and dictated their but his rising prosperity was cruelly legislation. Whether a man advises counterbalanced by a domestic afllicmeasures, or assists in carrying them, tion—the loss of his wife, who died whether he writes or votes, must in August 1805. This loss he seems depend merely upon his position. to have felt very severely; and The same man who has honestly and though he rallied sufficiently to perseveringly advocated any measure marry again, and even to sail to of legislation, would assuredly pro- America in search of a wife, it is evimote it by his voice in the legislature, dent that, for some time, it cast a if you give him a voice. The earnest gloom over bis spirits. The effect writer is on the same level with the upon his mind was concealed from all carnest agent. The only real distinc- but his most intimate friends ; but in tion that the case admits of is this, a letter to one of the oldest of themthat loose and careless talking, not to Horner--he reveals very touchingly being so pernicious as inconsiderate the utter indifference to life which this action, cannot be visited with so bereavement bad produced. severe a censure. To the benefit of We have alluded more particularly this reflection all reviewers and to this incident, because, although the essay writers are certainly entitled. biographer does not connect the two

We resume the thread of the bio facts, we cannot but see a very close graphy:

relation between the state of mind Neither the celebrity nor the occn- occasioned by the loss of his wife, and pation which the Review brought to the next conspicuous event which its editor, diverted him from the pur- occurs in the life of Jeffrey. We alsait of his profession. For this pru- lude to his duel with Moore the poet, dent conduct he is much applauded and that on the most frivolous of all

grounds. The poet thought that a which it was at one time thought would personal offence was intended in the have ended in a marriage in England. severity of the critic; and the critic Her father was an Englishman, but had refused to appease his anger, by assur

been several years resident in America; ing him that no such personal offence and when his daughter was here, there

was a scheme of their all returning to was meant, and that he merely reviewed his book and castigated its been given up, however; and the bride

settle in this country. This plan had immoralities. When all was over

being established again on the other side the duel having been prevented—Jef- of the Atlantic, it became necessary that frey freely gives him this assurance, he should earn her by going there. Acwhich, he says, “I was ready to have cordingly, in spring 1813, he actually done at the beginning, if he had ap- resolved to do so-what may be conplied amicably.” The anger of the sidered one of the greatest achievements irritated poet" it is easy to compre- of love. For of all strong-minded men, hend; but it is not easy to under- there never was one who, from what he stand why the critic should have deemed a just estimate of its dangers,

but in truth from mere nervous horror, risked his life, rather than return an

recoiled with such sincerity from all answer which truth, as well as courtesy, required. We think we see the watery adventures. No matter whether

it was a sea that was to be crossed, or a explanation in the mere date of the lake, or a stream, or a pond;—it was occurrence. The event happened at enough that he had to be afloat. The a time when he was still suffering, in discomforts of a voyage to America in secret, from a morbid indifference to 1813, before steam had shortened the life. The challenge came upon him way, and relieved it by every luxury enwhen he was in this unhappy frame joyable by a landsman at sea, were very of mind : he gave himself no trouble great. To these were added the more to reflect how far it was necessary or

material dangers connected with the war rational to accept it, but felt rather

then subsisting between the two countries, disposed to court than to avoid the

and the almost personal passions under

which it was conducted. But to him all risk that it threatened to his life. As an incident characteristic of the tion, were immaterial.

these risks, including even that of deten

The sad fact age, it will in future times wear a

was, that the Atlantic was not made of very curious aspect. A critic, in the solid land.” interest of morality, censures a too amorous poet. The poet is in great The wife won in this not unrowrath-imputes this, imputes that; mantic manner, proved to be well the indignant moralist will answer not worth all the dangers, real or imaa word. The two meet with pistols ginary, of the voyage; and we again at Chalk Farm, and, when interrupted find Jeffrey in the full enjoyment of by the police, contemplate going over that domestic happiness of which he to Hamburg. A more absurd business was keenly susceptible, and to which it is impossible to conceive.

he was so well fitted, from his kindly The second marriage of Jeffrey ob- and amiable nature, to contribute. liged him to take a voyage to Ame- On his voyage to America he kept a rica ; or rather, if we understand the journal, some extracts of which are narrative, his own indecision led to here given. That one who was so this result. Miss Wilkes had been ardent a lover of nature should have residing with some friends at Edin- felt, as he expresses it, .“ a spite burgh, but her father was a banker in against the sea,” is rather singular. New York-a nephew of the cele. The only effect it seems to have upon brated John Wilkes. He allowed her his imagination is to make him revert, to return to America, and then dis- by way of contrast, and with incovered that the strength of his affec- creased tenderness, to the quiet intion was such as to make it quite land scenes that memory conjures upnecessary that he should follow to morning walks with the dewy flowers bring her back. We will copy the round bim, and open windows, openaccount which Lord Cockburn basing upon shady gardens, with the given of the matter :

swallows skimming past them. Yet “ His acquaintance with Miss Wilkes it is here, and with the sea for his had ripened into a permanent attachment, subject, that we think we should find

one of the best specimens of that Quotations are made from his corspecies of description in which Jetfrey respondence which show how bitterly not unfrequently indulged. It is a the eminent Whig barrister lamented description of the sea under a gale of bis promotion. Lord Cockburn on wind, by no means intended to be more than one occasion manifests poetic, but which paints the scene that strong shrewd sense which has very correctly to the eye—which is all an especial enmity to every species that, in any attempts of this kind, he of affectation. If Jeffrey has been succeeds in. We have not space to talking of retiring to a cottage with quote the whole of it ; but the two £300 a-year, he pooh-poohs the idea. following sentences will convey as It is mere stutl--the Bar was now accurate a picture of a sea view as fairly open to him-he never dreamt words could easily accomplish: “The of retirement, and cottages, and sky was very dark, and the water £300 a-year : “ it makes a good senblue-black, with a little foam, and tence in a letter,” nothing more. many broad spots of dirty green, How is it that on this occasion he so where the swell had recently broke. readily adopts or acquiesces in a still

The only things that had more glaring affectation? The calaa sort of dreary magnificence were mity of being made Lord-Advocate some black-looking birds screaming was one he most assuredly could have through the mist, and a sort of smok- avoided if he pleased. He had not as ing spray which the wind swept from yet taken office of any description-it the water, and kept hanging like a was a new step in life-his party vapour all over its surface."

might have claimed his literary exerCelebrity and wealth, and profes- tions,—they had no peculiar claim on sional advancement, contributed to him to fill the place of Lord-Advorender his lot in life a very enviable cate, and there were others who could one. His country residence at Craig- have performed the troublesome funccrook, three miles to the north-west of tions of this office quite as ably as Edinburgh, was for himself a delightful himself. The Whigs did not want retreat, and formed a centre of attrac- another orator in Parliament; they tion to a most agreeable society. had more already than could obtain " It was the favourite resort," writes audience. The simple truth is, that Lord Cockburn, “ of his friends, who Jeffrey was borne along, as most men knew no such enjoyment as Jeffrey are, by the tide of ambition. He at that place; and, with the excep- could not resist the temptation to tion of Abbotsford, there were more mingle in the higher and greater interesting strangers there than in scenes of life. We have no desire any house in Scotland."

that he should have resisted it; we But now the Whigs come into office, are rather pleased that such men and Jeffrey is appointed Lord-Advo- should be in public life;—but it was cate. The tenor of his life is changedthe same ambition which drove him is disturbed.

from Craigcrook that would not allow “ He had hitherto,” says his biogra- and cottages, and £300 a-year.” If

him to think seriously of “retirement, pher,“ lived entirely in Edinburgh, or its neighbourhood, enjoying his fame and you once enter on this career, this popularity with his private friends-in

chase after wealth and distinction, honourable and private life. But he had

the difficulty to stop increases as you now to interrupt his profession; to go into proceed. Parliament, at alarming pecuniary risk ; to forego the paradise of Craigerook,

“ Retire--and timelyfrom the world, if ever and his delicious vacations, to pass many

Thou hopest tranquil days!” weary months, and these summer ones, in

The passing of the Reform Bill is London ; to be no longer the easy critic

an event too close at hand to make it of measures, but their responsible conductor ; and to be involved, without offi

needful or agreeable that we should cial training, in all the vexation of official

here dwell on it, or on the part which business. These calamities he would have the new Lord-Advocate took in foraroided if he could. But being assured warding the measure. That which that his party and the public were concern

will strike the reader of this biography cd, he submitted."

as being peculiarly characteristic of

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