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sought relief from the overwhelming cares of such a weight of business as, perhaps, never before or since fell to the share of a single officer of the state. Well might it be said of him by one of his household, 'I myself, as an eye-witness, can testify that I never saw him half an hour idle in four-and-twenty years together;' for through his hands, as well as through his head, every transaction involving in any degree the interests of the nation seems to have passed. He was far, indeed, from being of Choiseul's opinion,—to wit, that there is ink enough in a premier's standish if there be ' de quoi signer son nom.' Was an ambassador to be despatched to some foreign court,—the rough draft of his instructions is found in Cecil's handwriting; was any negociation pending, any treaty contemplated,—the arguments pro and con will be found drawn up by the same vigilant, unwearied pen, and the question, in private, decided by him alone. His endorsement is seen on most of the despatches of our statesmen, as well as on most of those letters which he daily received from the spies and emissaries which the dangerous complexion of the times and the want of newspapers rendered it indispensable to have distributed over England, Scotland, and the continent. In addition to his business in the council, he is said to have daily received never less than twenty or thirty letters containing domestic intelligence, and, during term time, from sixty to a hundred petitions. 'Indeed, he left himself scarce time for sleep, or meals, or leisure to go to bed,' says his domestic :—' It was notable to see his continual agitation both of body and mind. He was ever more weary of a little idleness than of great labour. When he went to bed and slept not, he was either meditating or reading; and was heard to say that he penetrated further into the depths of causes, and found out more resolutions of dubious points in his bed, than when he was up.' In vain, therefore, did he exclaim at night, when he put off his gown, * Lie there, Lord Treasurer!'
To read his private journals, (of which several have been preserved,) one would seriously doubt whether, instead of the memoranda of a prime minister, we had not stumbled on those of some ancient and very methodical housekeeper,—or at best, the precise steward of some small property. The wages of servants— the allowances or little perquisites to the miller, brewer, butcher, cook, &c, are all prescribed in his own hand. Thus, beside the miller's name, Burleigh writes, 'He shall have but three hens and one cock;' opposite the butcher's, the Atlas of the state indites, ' Of cattle-socking he shall have but the head, offal, and the skin.' We have notices of his minutest domestic arrangements; he tells us, for instance, that his Sunday dinner consisted
of of 'brawn and mustard, beef boiled, veal or pig, or such roast, roast capon, or some baked meat,' &c. Then we are treated with an inventory of his wardrobe; for which some excuse might perhaps be made, for
'Without black velvet breeches what is man?' But how shall we picture to ourselves the care-worn statesman at Wimbledon, finding time and inclination ever and anon to weigh himself, his wife, children, and servants, and gravely recording the result of the experiments in his memorandum-book?
While speaking of such small traits, we may notice one which we never remember to have seen pointed out, viz. that Cecil's handwriting was invariably excellent. He seems to have been gifted with a calm self-possession, which, even in moments of most pressure, never deserted him. Another peculiarity was his habit of preserving everything in the shape of a written paper which came into his hands; and this is deserving of notice, because to this we are indebted for much of the accurate information we possess concerning Queen Elizabeth's reign. No one who considers his papers attentively will doubt for an instant that his intention was to have destroyed a large proportion of them, which, owing to their immense variety and extent, it is not difficult to understand that he never lived to accomplish. We have sometimes been much struck with this last-named feature of Cecil's mind; how does it happen that he became re-possessed of so vast a number of his own letters; and, above all, how is it that the rough drafts of letters addressed to him—by his son's tutor, for example—came into his hands? There can be no question that he procured the surrender into his keeping of all the documents which in any way concerned himself, his family, or his affairs, as well as of a vast number with which he had no concern at all. His love of pedigrees must not be ranked among the minor features of his character; for, from his county-visitation books it was that he derived that intimate knowledge of the interests and alliances of private families, which he was enabled to turn to such good account on so many occasions.
But it is time to close this sketch, with an allusion to the sincere piety which seems to have influenced Cecil throughout the greater part at least of his life. The earnestness with which he looked upward for support amid his trials, as well as his habitual reference of every blessing to the source of all good, have been dwelt upon at considerable length by his contemporary biographer. In this practice we shall find the best explanation of the same writer's assertions respecting the calmness with which he received the most unfavourable, as well as the most agreeable intelligence—' never moved with passion in either case; and it was worthily noted of him that his courage never failed, as in times of greatest danger he ever spake most cheerfully, and executed things most readily, when others seemed full of doubt or dread. And when some did often talk fearfully of the greatness of our enemies, and of their power and possibility to harm us, he would ever answer, 'They shall do no more than God will let them.'
Before we close this paper we must say a word on what appears to us a most ridiculous matter. It is stated by Mr. Tytler in his preface that by far the largest portion of these original letters were, by permission of Lord John Russell, then Home Secretary, selected from the invaluable stores of the State Paper-office; but we have heard with some surprise a report that Lord John, shortly before he transferred himself from the Home Office to the Colonial, in deference to the remonstrances of certain royal Commissioners for the publication of State Papers, was prevailed on to interdict any continuation of this work. The plea upon which this very unusual step has been taken is, it is said, an alleged alarm that Mr. Tytler's labours may interfere with the large quarto volumes of State Papers now in progress of publication by these Commissioners. But surely it requires only a cursory glance at the vast plan of these gentlemen, as detailed in their preface, and as contrasted with the object and execution of Mr. Tytler's volumes, to be convinced how perfectly groundless are all such terrors. To bring before the reader the gigantic undertaking of Government, it need only be mentioned that, although these Commissioners have already published five or six volumes, each containing about nine hundred pages, in illustration of the reign of Henry VIII., not more than one fourth, or at most one third, of the papers relating to that one reign have been hitherto printed by them ;—that the papers of a later period increase so enormously in numerical extent, that fifty volumes, at least, would be required to embrace— on their plan—the annals of Elizabeth; and that the materials for history swell out in such an enormous ratio throughout all succeeding reigns, that it becomes absolutely impossible to say where the labour of publication would end. Next, it must be stated that the volumes in question were originally published at three guineas each, so that it was contemplated that a person, to possess himself of a copy of the State Papers, was to disburse—it cannot be an exaggeration to say—several hundred pounds. No one will deny that it was intended that the State Papers of Henry VIII.'s reign should cost about £60; since, to prevent any one from buying a single volume, or at least to prevent any use being made of it when bought, the index has been reserved for the end of the last volume!
Although the price of the volumes has of late been lowered to one guinea, we apprehend that we are not far from the mark in asserting that a complete set on the scale originally projected, would still cost some hundred pounds sterling; and let them cost what they might, the work cannot certainly be meant for the present age—it is obviously meant for posterity, and for a very remote posterity too. No living man must hope to see the Stats Papers of even Queen Elizabeth's reign; happy if he lives to possess the index to the volumes already published, relating to the history of her father. And all this—cheerless as the prospect is—is on the supposition that the work will be continued. Notwithstanding that the price has been so considerably reduced—a measure, we may be well assured, not of choice, but of stern necessity—the work has no sale; nor was a sale ever to be expected for it. It is, as far as it goes, well and carefully done; we have no fault to find in its execution; but it is not a book to be read; it is a book to be referred to; and of most books of reference it may be truly said, not only that they are to be found in all public libraries, but that they are not to be found anywhere else: while of the volumes hitherto published, it is obvious that their utility as books of reference is almost annihilated by the want of an index. The pains which have been taken to preserve the ancient orthography is also a serious obstacle which they have to contend with; for in point of fact, those who have never served an apprenticeship at the British Museum, or elsewhere, cannot decipher a sentence so as to render it intelligible. Scarcely, therefore, does it seem an exaggeration to say of the volumes in question, that they are parts of a work which, in the first place, will never be completed; which, if completed, would never be bought; and lastly, which, if bought, would never be read.
Mr. Tytler has printed, in all, 191 letters; of which about 160 are preserved in the state-paper office: these 160 letters extend over a period of twelve years, viz., from 1547 to 1558. Now, considering the official volumes to contain, on an average, 450 letters each—(the first volume contains 46'8, and we have not the others at hand to refer to)—it appears that thirty years of Henry VIII.'s reign (for the earliest date is 1517) will claim illustration from about 9000 letters! This comparison must of itself demonstrate how groundless is the assertion, that one of these publications interferes with the other. It would be almost as just to say that a literary man selecting a few instruments or treaties to illustrate some question of national history, finance, or political economy, was encroaching upon Rymer's Fcedera. Moreover, the modernized spelling which Mr. Tytler has adopted—the narrative with which he connects
bis letters---his criticism-his biographical sketches-and, above all, the protracted disquisition which he brings to bear upon a disputed point—unbroken, occasionally, throughout the space of twenty pages (as in the opening of the second volume, where the fall of Somerset is discussed)—all these features of his work effectually disconnect it from and render it dissimilar to the StatePaper publications ;—and they are features, we must say, which we had strongly wished to retrace in a collection respecting the glorious reign of Elizabeth.
We do not comprehend the Commissioners. To anticipate what booksellers call a 'lively sale for their productions would be about as reasonable as to expect a Treatise on the Cube Root from Lady Stepney—Mr. Sydney Smith to circulate papers for an edition of St. Jerome in a score of folios-or Dr. Pusey to start another · Book of Beauty' in opposition to Lady Blessington. Their sole ambition in following out their colossal scheme must be to become the means of depositing in each of the principal towns of the United Kingdom, as well as in each of the capitals on the continent, a complete series of most important materials for history. To accomplish this must be the summit of their ambition; and they need dread no collision. General as the love. of history undoubtedly is, it is quite obvious that a taste for the study of its original documents is still with the mass of society in its infancy. The public is like a great child : it requires to be led; and it is our deliberate opinion that, so far from interfering with the sale of the official State-papers, a series of volumes, conceived and executed like Mr. Tytler's, would conduce more effectually to promote the objects for which the commission was appointed than any scheme which could be devised for that purpose. The whole of this business appears to us absurd : and we are sure we are only doing Lord John Russell justice when we avow our belief that he never found leisure to bestow personal attention upon its bearings. If Lord Normanby should remain any time in the Home-office, we hope he may some fine morning happen to take up the fancy of overhauling the “outrage' of these Chartists.
Art. IV.FMémoires d'un Touriste ; poule Auteur de Rouge et
Noir. Popes 8vo. Edition seconde. Paris, 1839. W E have read these volumes with lively interest: much
amusement is to be found in them; not a dle of valuable information: the obsertations, reflections, jokes, and sarkasms, of a clever man-a very favourable specimen of the libérd of the present time; noted down from day to day, as he repeatedly