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THE NEW BOOKS.
Wallace has been upset by the not inconsiderable testimony to the contrary of Sir Richard
Wallace himself). While our author has writGOSSIP OF THE CENTURY.*
ten, as we have said, off-hand, he has, neverSomeone ( was it Bagehot? ) has asserted, theless, carefully classified his material ; the with a pleasant touch of Hibernianism, that arrangement is excellent, and greatly enhances the people who can write are mostly those who the convenience and practical usefulness of the have nothing to tell—or something to that with book. A word should be added as to the adering effect. This irreverent dictum certainly mirable way in which the publishers have done does not apply to the author of the two matter
their part. The volumes are throughout notaful, sumptuously-appointed volumes before us. ble examples of correct, elegant book-making, So far from having nothing to tell, he may, in
and might well allure one to the perusal of mata way, be said to have had too much ; for he tan ter less interesting than that they contain. The talizingly informs us in the closing chapter that
text is enlivened by a great number of illustrahis best and most interesting reminiscences”.
tions, portraits, cuts from rare prints, etc., a are those he has been “ obliged to reserve for
fine frontispiece portrait of Monckton Milnes another volume.” For this reservation the and one of Walter Seott as a child being eswriter probably has personal reasons, sound pecially noteworthy. and sufficient—to which the fact that the vol The first planet of magnitude that swam into umes issued contain a minimum of "gossip" as our diarist's ken was His Majesty George IV., to people now living furnishes, perhaps, the styled by some the “first gentleman,” by others clue. The work as it stands, good as it is, the “first blackguard ” of Europe ; and a numwould, however, have been materially strength ber of anecdotes are given illustrative of the ened by the omission of some of the lesser chit- two main phases of the royal character. The chat in favor of the weightier matter withheld. author remembers being taken by his father The narrative is written, very properly, cur
in 1829 to obtain a glimpse of the King as he rente calamo, with the single purpose of setting
drove by : before the reader as directly and as pleasantly “Leaning back in the carriage and nearly covered by as possible the author's personal recollections the leather apron, were two gentlemen enveloped in
fur-lined coats; for, beside the King, sat the unpopular of men and women notable for their social rank,
Duke of Cumberland, his countenance strongly unpreability, or personal singularity, during the first
possessing, and his defective eye plainly discernable. seventy odd years of the present century. The The King's face, though bloated, wore a pleasant exwriter has wisely abstained from diluting his pression, and he bowed courteously, with a bland smile, recital with moral or other extraneous comment,
when my father lifted his hat. Both princes were
muffled up in those wonderful rolls of neck-cloth, havthe reader being handsomely credited through
ing the effect of bandages round the throat, and apout with intelligence enough to note a bearing parently requiring throats of peculiar length to suit or to draw an inference for himself. The in them; but the fur collars in this case concealed a good terest of the book rests solely in the interest of part of this now antiquated attire." its matter. The author is merely the raconteur, A curious delusion of George IV.'s later treating his material objectively, without effort years was that he had been present at Waterat style, and without those piquant displays of loo and had himself gained the battle ; indeed, personal temper—or ill-temper—which furnish one day at a dinner not long before his death, the zest, one may almost say the substance, of he not only re-asserted this, but appealed to the so many similar works. Most of the stories Duke of Wellington for confirmation. The given are, to the best of our recollection, fresh, Duke discretely replied, “I have heard your though the reader familiar with Greville and Majesty say so before.” other diarists will recognize here and there an | So notorious were George's habits of galold favorite. Like the recently-reviewed Diary lantry, says the author, that people were of an Englishman in Paris," the “Gossip of the scarcely surprised to find after his death that, Century” is issued anonymously, (and we may He had had sixteen accredited mistresses, and the take occasion to say of the former work that the packets of billet-doux, gloves, garters, locks of hair, surmise crediting it to the pen of Sir Richard faded flowers, etc., found stowed away, bore testimony
to the multiplicity of his adventures in the pays du * Gossip OF THE CENTURY : Personal and Traditional tendre.' Memories --Social, Literary, Artistic, etc. By the author of “Flemish Interiors." In two volumes, illustrated. New
Among other oddities developed by this liberal York: Macmillan & Co.
| Lothario was a raven-like proclivity for hiding ---- -things away. Despite his usually reckless and while the commandments were being read, he extravagant ways, a secret hoard of cast-off was heard to remark approvingly — * Steal! clothing was found in his wardrobe that might no, of course not ; musn't steal, musn't steal, have moved the envy of Wardour Street ; and musn't steal." The Duke of Brunswick, brother more than fifty pocket-books were found scat- of Queen Caroline, and son of - Brunswick's tered about in odd nooks, each containing fated chieftain " who, at Waterloo -money in smaller or larger amounts, the entire “Rushed to the field, and, foremost fighting, fell".. sum amounting to £10,000. Sir Thomas Ham- was a still more eccentric specimen. mond, who was aware of the King's hoarding
“ The detail of his unconventional practices and habits propensities, stated that he must have saved up would require a volume to itself. ... He possessed a in this way at least £600,000 during his reign. collection of silk wigs of various hues, but all consistGeorge IV. was by no means without cultiva ing of small tire-bouchon curls ; his face was liberally tion, and proved himself a competent patron of
painted with both red and white, and his toilet was pin
fully elaborated, while diamonds of the finest water art, and a skilled connoisseur of articles of
glittered upon his garments wherever they could poss. rirtù, of which he had one of the finest coller sibly be applied. Of course when he wore evening dress tions ever made by an individual. He was he had a better opportunity for displaying these gems, not devoid of wit and good-feeling, and the
of which be had the largest and finest collection in the
world. It is said that one night in Paris, being at a author remembers hearing in his youth of the
fashionable soirie, the Indies crowded round him to an following incident illustrative of both qualities: extent which at tirst Hattered his vanity considerably ;
- Driving one day through the Avenue in Windsor . but at last their persistent curiosity became troublesome, Park, he met a coarse, blustering fellow, one of those and to one of the fair bery who remarked, Jan, men who entertained no admiration for Royalts; on being Deu, Jonseigneur, roux en arez partout.'' be replied, told by a companion who sat beside him that the Oui, Madame, jusque sur mon caleron; poulez rou que se King's phaeton was approaching and that he must no- rous les fasse ivir!'... His diet was as curious an cover, he replied with an oath, and loud enough to be the rest. It was wonderful how he would go into nr heard by His Majesty, I won't take off my hat to any. confectioner's after another, if anytbing in the etniage body.' The King drew np, lifted his own hat, and said took his faney, and he would eat drintily, but plentswith a smile worthy of Prince Florizel,'. I would take fully, of bonlumns and plats fours at an hour of the day. off mine to the meanest of my subjects.' 'The man was He was constantly to be seen at Tortoni's, where he dumbfounded, but by the time he bad sufficiently re- would consume an unlimited number of ices, and when covered himself to return the salute, the King had there, instead of ordering up any specified confectiondriven off.”
ary, preferred lounging into the store-room, and tastA still neater example of the royal retort court
ing here and there, often as much to kill tin 49 to in
dulge his palate." eous was that on the occasion of the King's visit to Dublin in 1821.
Yet, strange to say, this begemmed and be. At a court held there. Lord Kinsale thought fit to painted fop, this ringletted devourer of sweets, air his ancient hereditary privilege of remaining covered had, in point of personal bravery, the heart of when before the Sovereign. George IV., whose sense a Paladin bearing out the Duke of Welling. of propriety was wounded by this breach of good taste ton's experience that the dandies in his army on the part of the Irish peer, said to him, My Lord of Kinsale, we recognize your privilege to wear your hat
made the best soldiers. The warlike episodes in the presence of your king, but it does not appear
and hairbreadth 'scapes in which the Duke of wheuce you draw your authority for covering your head Brunswick figured, his gallant attempts to re in the company of ladies,'*
gain his lost principality and his political standAmong the amusing stories related of ing, read more like fable than reality. He was George's family, the following of the Duke of a dangerous man to affront. Shortly after Cambridge — who had inherited his royal coming of age he conceived an intens hatred father's habit of repeating three times, ingeni. for (ount Munster (* Le Monstre," he still ously described by Walpole as " triptology"-- him), vowing nothing would satisfy him but is worth reprinting. The Duke, who habitu- taking that minister's life. While awaiting ally attended the Sunday morning services at his opportunity, he had an effigy made of the St. Paul's, Knightsbridge, often audibly ex Count, and spent two hours daily in the Quilppressed his approbation of the proceelings, to like diversion of tiring at it with a pistol. In the great delight of the irreverent; and the au. 1827 he sent a cartel, of which the Count very thor remembers on one occasion, when the cler properly took no notice, his semi-royal chal. gyman had pronounced the exhortation - Let lenger having wlected, as his second, Tattersal us pray," hearing the Duke cheerfully respond the horse alouer. from his pew — Ave, to be sure ; why not? Our author's Court Gossip" ocupies only let us pray, let us pray, let us pray:" Again, about a thiri of Volume I., the remainder of it being devoted to social, political, and literary ce Henry's hardihood than of his taste. George lebrities, and the liberal professions, while Vol. Eliot, says the writer, ume II. is wholly given over to recollections of “ Was by no means sparkling in conversation, indeed the stage and the atelier. We may here leave
her social attributes were rather of the heavier, almost the menagerie of royal and noble personages,
Johnsonian, order, and her remarks were often senten
tious, though apparently not designedly so, for there and pass on to people whose claims are less ad
was obviously no intentional arrogation of superiority, ventitious.
though perhaps an almost imperceptible evidence of That vigorous character, John Horne Tooke, self-consciousness. The impression she left was that of had a strong repugnance to matrimony, and he
seriousness and solid sense, untempered by any ray of
humor, scarcely of cheerfulness-Lewes, on the other often tried to inspire his friends with his own
hand, was really witty, interspersing his conversation sentiments on the subject. One of them, bent with natural flashes of humor, quite spontaneous in upon perpetrating the fatal blunder, received character, which would continually light up his talk ; from Tooke some sagacious advice as to prelim
even when he said bitter things he had a way of putting inaries :
them amusingly.” "This consisted in urging upon him the absolute
Toward Dickens, the writer is anything but necessity of obtaining from reliable sources every pos
friendly, animadverting severely upon his sible detail of his intended wife's antecedents, moral, heartlessness,” his " recognized lack of the material, and financial, and then of devoting as long a instincts of a gentleman,” his « immoral life," period as possible to the most scrutinizing personal vig
etc., etc. He and Dickens were once chance ilance, in order to ascertain the exact truth for himself ; when absolutely satisfied on every point, the only allow
fellow-travellers on the Boulogne packet: able course for him was to provide himself with a fleet “Travelling with him was a lady not his wife, nor his horse, to be ready saddled and bridled on the wedding- sister-in-law, yet he strutted about the deck with the air day, and to ride away froin the church as swiftly as of a man bristling with self-importance; every line of possible before the ceremony took place.”
his face and every gesture of his limbs seemed haught
ily to say— Look at me ; make the most of your When Tooke was on trial for high treason,
chance. I am the great, the only Charles Dickens; he suddenly resolved that he would speak in whatever I may choose to do is justified by that fact.”” his own defense, and sent word to that effect
This description is coupled with an anecdote to his counsel, Erskine :
that, to our thinking, rather takes the sting " I'll be hanged if I don't,' said Tooke, by way of out of it: emphasizing his intention. “. You'll certainly be hanged
“ A friend of mine whose countenance—perhaps it was if you do,” was the smart retort.
the cut of his beard-might by a stretch of imaginaThough our author never saw Byron's Coun tion be said to bear some resemblance to that of Charles tess Guiccioli, his friends who had furnished
Dickens, told me that having lunched at a Station re
freshment-bar one day, he had drawn out his purse to him with data for a very unflattering portrait :
settle the account, when the 'young lady'of the counter, • One of these gentlemen assured me that her com- | with bashful gestures, absolutely declined accepting any plexion reminded him of boiled pork (!) and another payment; she bad shown herself obsequiously attentive, asserted that her figure was absolutely shapeless; that
and now begged he would freely help himself to anyshe was not beautiful, and that so far from possessing thing he required.free, gracious (sic), for nothing.' His any grace or elegance of style she had the appearance astonishment was great, and was not diminished when of a short bolster with a string around its middle. he found that he had been actually mistaken for Charles Worse than this, it seems that the Guiccioli waddled Dickens, and in that character was not required to like a duck; her feet, which were as large and flat as liquidate his expenses!” Madame de Stael's-immortalized by her enemy Napo
It may be needless to add that the “ Station leon, when he described her as standing on her grand pied de Stael'-aiding in the suggestion of this simile."
refreshment-bar” in question was not the cel
ebrated one at "Mugby Junction.” The writer We are sorry to add that our author, incited
has not much to say of Carlyle, but quotes with thereto perhaps by Napoleon's example, com
evident relish Greville's curt dismissal of that ments upon Byron's “ in-fat-uation ” for his
pseudo-philosopher—who may be said to have stout charmer!
kept his philosophy, as Heine kept his bril. Some interesting facts are furnished as to
liancy, for the printer: George Eliot, in a description given of that
“ Dined at the Ashburton's, where met Carlyle, whom rather abnormal establishment, The Priory,
I had never seen before. He talks the broadest Scotch, where the great novelist and her - friend” and appears to have coarse manners, but might perhaps George Henry Lewes entertained so many liter be amusing at times.” ary and artistic notabilities and their Mæcenases. Assuredly, in the “ diarist,” Death has an added The text, we may add, is accompanied by an sting for notable people. especially hideous portrait of “Mrs.” Lewes, The second volume considerably the larger inspiring one with a higher opinion of George of the two, by the way — is devoted, as we have
said, to the stage and the studio, the painters taking up rather more than a third of it. To this portion of our author's reminiscences — rich in memories of Braham, Malibran, Vestris, Lablache, Liston, Macready, Paganini, Vernet, Turner, Landseer, and a throng of names scarcely less brilliant — we shall not attempt to do justice in the way of extracts. The description of Paganini is especially graphic. Between this “ Michael Angelo of Music” and the great Mme. Malibran an amusing tilt once took place. It was once reported to Paganini “ That the great songstress, while recognizing in him a «violiniste au delà de la première force' had added :
mais il ne fait pas chanter son instrument. Deep was the maestro's indignation : "Ha, ha!' said he ; c'est comme ça; attendez que je lui fasse voir'; and he forthwith challenged his fair critic to perform a duet with his violin which should take either part, and that with the limited resources of one string. Malibran thought it prudent to decline this contest, but the violinist could not thus swallow the affront. Shortly after, both were to perform in the same concert. Malibran was down for Di piacer, one of her most splendid successes; Paganini was to follow; he chose the same music, and divesting his violin before the public, of all but one string, he called forth all his genins, all his skill, and so marvellously simulated the prima donna's voice and execution, that the audience, mystified beyond expression, were persuaded that the tones could only be vocal, and that Paganini was not simply an instrumentalist of magic power, but a vocalist who, moreover, owned a splendid falsetto...."
Thomas Gray once said that “ if anyone were to form a book of what he has seen and heard, it must form a most useful and entertaining record.” It might be added that the record will, cæteris paribus, gain interest as the men and things seen and heard are more important; and that those who have enjoyed unusual opportunities in this way have incurred thereby a debt to posterity. Our author has been one of these, and he has handsomely discharged his obligation.
E. G. J. - - -
In two series of essays, Weismann has treated the subject of Heredity and its relations to Evolution. In the first series the author challenged the truth of certain doctrines in Biology which had in greater or less degree been taken for granted by previous authors. The so-called Lamarckian principles of the inheritance of acquired characters, Weismann denied in toto. This principle has been admitted by Darwin as a large factor in Evolution. It was recognized by Herbert Spencer as one of the foundationstones in his system of philosophy, while many of the later evolutionists, especially in France and America, had emphasized it even to the degree of belittling or ignoring the “ Darwinian principle” of Natural Selection. While the tendency to Lamarckism was at its height, and the greatest stress laid on the inherited results of use and disuse, effects of environment, habit and experience, the absolute denial of the existence of any evidence of such inheritance on the part of a trained naturalist and able writer could not fail to produce a decided sensation.
At the same time Dr. Weismann gave a denial of two still older dogmas,— the first, that natural death is a necessary attribute of all living beings; and the second, that the purpose or essence of the process of fertilization is a process of vitalization or rejuvenescence, or in any way a process to which these metaphorical terms could properly apply. These negative assertions accompanied a most remarkable piece of constructive work,—the development of a theory of the physical basis of heredity, of which all these negations form a part. This theory is so simple and so beautiful as to create the impression that, if not true, it must lie in the direction of the truth. At the same time, the testing of its validity opens a multitude of new fields for investigation, some of which have already yielded most important returns.
Omitting minor matters and technical details, the theory of Weismann may be stated as follows,—the first two paragraphs being given in his own language:
“Organic bodies are perishable, while Life maintains the appearance of immortality in the constant succession of similar individuals, the individuals themselves passing away. A single cell out of millions is specialized as a sexual cell. It is thrown off from the organism and is capable of reproducing all the peculiarities of the parent body, in the new individual which springs from it by self-division and the complex process of differentiation."
Experiments show that the laws and methods of heredity are essentially the same in all
THE PRESENT BATTLE-GROUND OF
EVOLUTION. * In the literature of Evolution, Dr. August Weismann occupies an unique position. With the single exception of Herbert Spencer, no other of the followers of Darwin has shown such boldness of hypothesis or originality in discussion. The writings of no one else have been so freely criticised, or have in such a degree acted as a stimulus to research.
* Essays UPON HEREDITY AND KINDRED BIOLOGICAL PROBLEMS. By Dr. August Weismann. Edited by Edward B. Poulton and Arthur E. Shipley. Authorized translation. Oxford : At the Clarendon Press. New York: Macmillan & Co.
organized beings. They show also that the largely accounts for this disappearance of strucphysical basis of heredity is located in certain ture no longer useful. parts of the plasm of the germinal cell, being Parthenogenesis (the development of eggs confined to certain structures in the nucleus of without fertilization) exists wherever for any the cell. The continuity of the germ-plasm from reason Amphimixis is not useful to the species, generation to generation is the basis of heredity. as where (among plant-lice, etc.) very many
The process of fertilization is essentially the similar individuals should appear at one time mingling of the germ-plasm of two reproduct and “ on short notice.” ive cells. Its essential purpose is the produc Natural death is a necessary result of comtion of variation through the mingling of two plexity of structure and specialization of cells strains of ancestral qualities.
into organs with different functions. It beThe continuity or immortality of the germ comes necessary so soon as it is useful to the cells is comparable to the “ immortality" of species. Thus, in the process of Evolution of one-celled organisms. These undergo change the higher forms, simplicity, ignorance, and by cell-division, one animal splitting into two immortality have been exchanged for specialor four creatures similar to itself, the orig- ization, sensibility, pain, and death. inal organism disappearing in the process but Thus far the views of Weismann may be acnot dying. These organisms are not subject cepted as in possible accord with the results of to natural death, as to die involves the leav. | most workers in this field at present. But the ing behind of a dead body or corpse, while following propositions have been strongly contheir cell-division and change leaves only live troverted by able writers, and the discussion products. Accidental death as a result of in- of their truth or falsity is the present battlejury or mutilation could of course come to all ground of Evolution : living structures. A one-celled organism must The germ-cells are fundamentally different be wholly well or wholly ill, as it is a single from the cells which make up the body. While life-unit. A many-celled organism may suffer the body-cells in the multicellular organisms loss or injury in one organ while others are in | (ontogenetic or somatogenic cells) change and a normal condition. So natural death may disappear, the germ-cells (phylogenetic) percome to compound organisms as the result of sist unchanged, and from them is built up the gradual wearing away of important organs. next generation. They are analogous to the
The new organism is “ made up bit by bit immortal bodies of one-celled organisms. These of inherited structures, as a new house is made germ-cells are sheltered from outside influences up of fragments of an old one.” A large part within the body (soma) to which they give of our heritage is unused, and may remain lat rise. They are in no way affected by the enent for one or more generations, and is yet sus vironment of the soma or body, and they receptible of being transmitted.
main unchanged by any incident in its expeThe process of conjugation among Infusoria rience. Consequently, “ Acquired characters (the sexual union of two like organisms fol are never inherited.” lowed by an interchange of nuclear substance) | It is generally admitted that the inheritis not for purposes of - rejuvenescence” butance of acquired characters has been taken for the purpose of producing variation. From for granted, rather than proved, by Darwin this simple process arises sexual reproduction and Spencer, and their followers. It is ad(called by Weismann - Amphimixis,” double mitted that the evidence for such inheritcrossing), as a specialized condition of the same ance is comparatively scanty, and most of it process, and existing for the same purpose of susceptible of interpretation on the basis of the production of variation.
the Darwinian principle of Natural Selection. Differentiation of sex in the process of spe On the other hand, there are many cases of cialization is to the advantage of the species, Evolution which seem to be more naturally exthe sexes and the sex-cells (ova and sperma- | plained by inherited experience, or the “ transtozoa) having been primitively alike.
mission of reaction tendencies,” in accord with “ Whatever is useful becomes necessary as | the Lamarckian principle, rather than by the soon as it is possible.”
hypothesis of Natural Selection. However few Whatever (structure, instinct, habit, or qual the cases of such transmission may be, a sinity) ceases to become useful shrinks away un- gle one would prove the contention. If inhertil it is harmless. The process of “ Panmixia ” | ited characters are even once transmitted, it (universal crossing) or cessation of selection I cannot be true that the process is imaginary.