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January 27th, 1835. Dearest Brother,

The first real sorrow I ever experienced came on me this morning. I have lost my noble little son ; noble, generous, and good-natured as if he were grown up; and, no doubt, if the Lord had spared him, he would have done honor to his father's name. He is, I hope, this moment communing with your sainted mother.

I know not what I write, but I had rather you should learn this through me than through any other channel.

When I am more composed I will tell you more about him. The event has almost killed his father; their affection for each other was unbounded.'

Residence in Paris, after the death of his boy, became painful to him. His life there had been gloomy, and he would now be at home, amidst old scenes and faces, “ with memories not all sad." And yet what were these memories not all sad! The dream-land of those days wlien he wandered with Anne D—; the lost love; the dead mistress ; his own long sickness; the debts of the wild days; a dead mother; a broken, ruined body; fame dimmed as it shone most brightly; and now a forced return to all these scenes. Truly might he exclaim of Memory :

• To me, she tells of bliss for ever lost;
Of fair occasions, gone for ever by;
Of hopes too fondly nursed, too rudely crossed ;

Of many a cause to wish yet fear to die." But to be at home, to be at Kilkenny, was henceforth his constant longing. There was a beauty in the scenery, a balm in the air, a charm in the Nore, which no other place on earth could now supply to him; and he thus wrote to Michael, explaining his wishes as to the house he desired to secure :

Paris, April 30th, 1835. My dear Michael,

What I require is this. I must have a little garden, not overlooked, for with eyes on me I could not enjoy it. Herein paths to be, or afterwards so formed as to enable three persons to walk abreast. If not paths, grass plats formed out of its beds, for with the help of your neck or arm, dear Michael, I want to try and put my limbs under me: this is the reason for my last, and to you, perhaps, strange request; but indeed there is a reason, connected with my bodily and mental state, for all the previous matters to be sought for in my contemptible abode, and which I have so minutely particularised.

If possible, I would wish my little house to have a sunny aspect; sun into all possible windows every day that the glorious material god shines. I am a shivering being, and require, and rejoice in his invigorating rays as does the drooping sickly plant.

If this little house could be within view of our Nore stream, along the banks of which you and I have so often bounded, but along which I shall never bound again, it would enhance my pleasure.

I will begin to go home the 10th of the next month (May) : travelling is to me a most expensive and tedious process. Every league of the road will take a shackle off me. My mind is fixed on a little sunny nook in Kilkenny, where I may set myself down and die easily, or live a little longer as happily as I can.”*

He was impatient, as we have stated, to leave Paris, and commence his homeward journey; and so, to use the words of Mrs. Banim, he "bundled every thing," and started for Boulogne. Even here, on his journey, his

invariable attendant, sickness, pursued him-Mrs. Banim was attacked by typhus fever. He thus announces his position to Michael :

· Boulogne-Sur-Mer, May 20th, 1835. My dear Michael,

I left Paris the 10th, as I told you I should do, although much weakened from a regimen to arrest throwing up blood, which happened to me some weeks before. I arrived here the 13th, and was about to cross to England the 16th, when my

This description of the house in which he would pass his future life is very beautiful, and it may interest some readers to mark the simi. larity between it and that poet's home which Tennyson has so exquisitely described in “ The Gardener's Daughter":

“Not wholly in the busy world, nor quite
Beyond it, blooms the garden that I love.
News from the humming city comes to it
In sound of funeral or of marriage bells;
And, sitting muffled in dark leaves, you hear
The windy clanging of the minster clock;
Although between it and the garden lies
A league of grass, wash'd by a slow broad stream,
That, stirr'd with languid pulses of the oar,
Waves all its lazy lilies, and creeps on,
Bargc-laden, to three arches of a bridge
Crown'd with the minster-towers."

At any

poor Ellen was struck down by Typhus Fever-which fastening on a previous cold, has so inflamed her chest and side, that I don't vet know if she is to be spared to me. rate, do as well as she can, I must not stir for a month at least-God's will be done. There is always something to be grateful for. Had Ellen taken ill on the road from Paris, amongst strangers, instead of here, surrounded by real affection, how much more must I have suffered.

Indeed, from men and women, French, and English, and Irish, in Boulogne, we find nothing but great kindness.

May 21th. I am glad I did not send this yesterday; Ellen is better to-day, and the chances are all in her favour."

As “Ellen is better to-day, and the chances are all in her favour," and as he is on the road towards home, towards Kilkenny, with the garden not overlooked, and the flowers, and the sunshine, and the sparkling, winding, shady Nore, and with the soft warın wind of summer playing around him, and with kind English and French friends smiling by him, and helping him to restore Ellen, he must take up


pen, and he writes, and encloses, in the last quoted letter to Michael

From home, and hearth, and garden it resounds,
From chamber, stair, and all the old house bounds,
And from our boyhood's old play grounds.
And from my native skies and airs, which you
Tell me must nerve my wretched form anew,
Breathing forth hopes of life, alas! how few.
And from the humble chapel path we've trod
So often 'morn and eve, to worship God,
Or kneel, boy penitents, beneath his rod.
And from its humble grave yard, where repose
Our grandsire's ashes and our mother's woes,
That saint, who suffered with a smile to life's last close.
Brother, I come, you summon and I come;
From love like yours I never more will roam,
Yours is the call from brother and from home.
From the world's glare and struggle, loving some
And hating none; to share my mother's tomb,
Hoping to share her bliss, brother, I come.

In the succeeding parts of this Biography, we shall describe Banim in his own Irish home; somewhat iinproved in health ; writing and hoping, and his heart cheered by visits from distinguished friends; and, strangest of all in Ireland, recoguized as a inan of genius, and respected, in his native town, though owing nothing to politics, and being merely a sick man, who was an honor to his country's literature,


ART. III-SYDNEY SMITH. A Memoir of the Reverend Sydney Smith. By his Daughter,

Lady Ilolland. With a Selection from his Letters, Edited by Mrs. Austin. 2 vols. London : Longman and Co., 1855.

Men talk of that fiction called history, and of its twin-sister, historical romance, as instructive, amusing reading ; but, in our mind, the biography of distinguished writers, particularly of men who have been, within the last fifty years, remarkable as political writers, is intinitely more useful and interesting; and the interest and usefulness are immeasurably increased when, as in the book before us, the biography is the work of writers intimately acquainted with the every-day life of him whose thoughts, words, and actions are recorded.

We have heard, and read it, objected to this Memoir, that it deals only with the private life of Sydney Smith, and that his public career receives little notice. To us, this complete picture of home life is the best, and chief attraction. We have been, thousands, in these Kingdoms, and in America, have been, earnest students of Sydney Smith's political and literary writings: we have longed to know how he wrote and how he lived: his services to rational freedom and civil liberty are to all men known. He sprang into literary and political life at a time which, as he thirty-six years afterwards wrote, “was an awful period for those who had the misfortune to entertain liberal opinions, and who were too honest to sell them for the ermine of the judge, or the lawn of the prelate :-a long

: and hopeless career in your profession, the chuckling grin of noodles, the sarcastic leer of the genuine political rogueprebendaries, deans, and bishops made over your headreverend renegades advanced to the highest dignities of the Church, for belping to rivet the fetters of Catholic and Protestant Dissenters, and no more chance of a Whig administration than of a thaw in Zembla—these were the penalties exacted for liberality of opinion at that period; and not only was there no pay, but there were many stripes : the man who breathed a syllable against the senseless bigotry of the two Georges, or hinted at the abominable tyranny and persecution exercised upon Catholic Ireland, was shunned as unfit for the relations of social life. Not a murmur against any abuse was permitted ; to say a word against the suitorcide delays of




the Court of Chancery, or the cruel punishments of the Game Laws, or against any abuse which a rich man inflicted or a poor man suffered, was treason against the Plousiocracy, and was bitterly and steadily resented.”* Without fortune, without patronage, but with every thing to hope from a pliant, judicious dedication of his genius to the service of the Ministry, in his thirty-first year he abandoned all avenues to advancement by political prostitution of his intellect, and from that time to the hour of his death, we may apply to him his own noble eulogium upon the character of GRATTAN.

Men such as this require no record of their public lives from the pen of the biographer. Do we want a record of his sentiments upon the great questions of his time,—Catholic Emancipation, the Ballot, and Reform, we have them perfect in Peter Plymley's Letters, in the Speeches at Taunton, and in the papers of The Edinburgh Review. Do we require to know him, as he was amongst the first men of his time in genius, so he was amongst the first of that time's philanthropists,—we learn all in his essays entitled Prisons, Cruel Treatment of Un. tried Prisoners, Man Traps and Spring Guns, Mad Quakers, Botany Bay, Counsel for Prisoners, Poor Laws, Chimney Sweepers. Do we desire a knowledge of his opinions upon the great events in our national history, -his papers on Charles Fox, on Fox's Historical Work, on Captain Rock, and on America, place these before us. Do we wish to know his detestation of cant or fanaticism, we have but to read his papers on Methodism, and on the Society for the Suppression of Vice; and if any require to know how truly and unchangeably he was the defender of every just right and privilege of that charch to which he was an honor, his letters to Archdeacon Singleton, to Lord John Russell, and his paper Persecuting Bishops, evince it all, in every page, most nobly. Had Sydney Smith been a renegade, a time-server, a hanger-on at great men's levees; and had he, after desecrating his genius, hid his head in a mitre, his daughter and his friend might now be bound to write the history of, that is to extenuate, the unworthy deeds of his public life; but having done none of these things; knowing that his whole public life was in his public writings, they tell his friends, that is, they tell all the world who love him, and goodness of heart, when gracing high qualities of mind, what

* See Preface to Works, page 5.-ED, 1851.

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