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features and oval face, anything more lovely could not be imagined, and the Roman people crowded round her in undisguised admiration of 'La bella monaca Inglese.' Her charm of manner and her brilliant conversation will never be forgotten by those who knew her."
When Lord Dufferin attained his majority, they exchanged a small London house for a more commodious mansion. His mother paid off a debt of gratitude to the Duchess of Montebello, who had shown her much kindness, by giving a shelter after the Revolution of 1848 to the Duchess and her husband, who had been one of the Ministers of Louis Philippe. Next year Lord Dufferin was made a lord-in-waiting, and though he never lost his domestic tastes, he "lived the pleasant social life which is open to a young man about town." Unlike most young men, it was his chief source of pleasure that his mother was his companion in his visits to the best country-houses. And their own home in town was a centre of attraction for all that was most eminent in the world of literature. There they received Dickens and Thackeray, Stirling-Maxwell, who afterwards married his aunt, Macaulay, Venables, Charles Buller, Kingsley, and many others. But, in fact, Lady Dufferin's friendships were cosmopolitan, and one of her oldest and most intimate acquaintances was the Emperor William of Germany. She was in regular correspondence with him, and when he came to England he never failed to pay her frequent visits. Wherever she went, she made new and valuable acquaintances. In the course of a Syrian tour, it is curious to note the number of distinguished Frenchmen she found in residence at Beirût. There were General Chanzy and General Duc
rot, Cardinal Lavigerie, M. Renan, and M. Waddington.
Lord Dufferin, then Under-Secretary for India, was offered the Government of Bombay. The offer was tempting, nevertheless it was declined, simply because it would involve a separation from his mother. But the almost inevitable event in a man's life was impending, and in 1862 he married. "On no occasion did my mother's unselfishness and nobility of character declare itself more triumphantly than by the way in which she took to her heart of hearts the woman that was to share with her the adoration and affection which had hitherto been solely her own." Assuredly neither of them foresaw at the time another matrimonial episode which Lord Dufferin treats with infinite delicacy and sympathy. His beautiful mother had had numerous admirers, and had refused many proposals. But one of her lovers stood out from the rest, and had won her regard and something like love by his constancy. Her long and affectionate relations with Lord Gifford are a singularly romantic story. Lord Dufferin gives the highest praise to his moral qualities and his great intellectual powers, and Lady Dufferin's influence had done much to ennoble him, and to encourage and direct his ambitions and aspirations. Nevertheless, he knew, to his sorrow, that their attachment was purely platonic. In the pride of health and strength he was struck down by a fatal accident. He was removed to the Dufferins' house at Highgate, and there he lingered on for a year, while Lady Dufferin lavished attentions on his sick-bed. When the hour of death drew near, he again entreated her to marry him. Nor could she deny him that last
consolation. Her son quotes a beautiful letter to Lord Tweeddale, Lord Gifford's father, in which she explains the motives he already thoroughly understood. Suffering from that second bereavement and the exhaustion of long nursing, she was cheered by the warm sympathy of her second husband's relatives. She never recovered from that second shock, though with the joyous elasticity of her temperament she would rally from time to time. attack of cancer gave the finishing stroke. Yet, to the last, she was calm, cheerful, and sympathetic, till, in utter prostration, she quietly passed away.
We have dwelt at some length on the memoir, and to our regret can say little of the poems, though from these we might have learned much of the writer's individuality. The moods change from the gayest to the melancholy: now we see the reflection of the brilliant woman of society, and again it is an angel who seems to be walking the earth. The sweetest and the most characteristic are the Irish melodies, with the quick alternations of drollery and pathos, of smiles and tears. "Katie's Letter," which we have all so often heard sung in drawing-rooms, and "Sweet Kilkenny Town," are perhaps the most taking. But she strikes a
deeper note in "The Irish Emigrant," with the infinite sadness of its simple memories, and the apprehensions of deadly home-sickness in the future :
1 Sir William Gregory, K.C.M.G. Gregory. London: John Murray. 1894.
"I'm sitting on the stile, Mary,
Where we sat side by side,
I'm bidding you a long farewell, My Mary-kind and true; But I'll not forget you, darling, In the land I'm going to." For Mary, with their baby in her arms, sleeps in the little churchyard within sight of the stile.
There are many birthday tributes to her son, overflowing with fond memories and motherly affection; and again there is that rattling, tripping, rollicking song, "The Charming Woman," which had an extraordinary success in society when it appeared. In similar vein is "The Fine Young English Gentleman," suggested by the habits of her brother Charles, a clerk in a Government office, who enjoyed life like his grandfather. Still more humorous, to our mind, is "Donna Inez' Confession,' where a fair and frivolous Spanish beauty, going to confession, is candid as to the follies of a charming cousin, and entirely ignores her
The best autobiographies are those that are written with the least reserve, and that of Sir William Gregory has the recommendation of unusual candour.1 It was written for the edification of his son, with no idea of publication. A man of the world, he writes of men of the world with easy toleration. For himself, he puts forth no profes
An Autobiography, edited by Lady
sions of sanctity: on the contrary, he makes frank record of his indiscretions and follies, that his son may take warning and avoid them. En revanche and in compensation, he sees no reason to deny himself the eulogies which he feels he justly deserved. He can point with satisfaction to his brilliant classical attainments, to the active and useful part he played in politics, to the enlightened legislation he was among the first to advocate, to the many distinguished men who honoured him with their cordial friendship, and, above all, to the extraordinary success of his colonial administration. This posthumous memoir reopens a chapter in his history which he had resolutely closed while he was living. The present writer was in the habit of meeting him frequently, and had many interesting conversations with him. Yet never did he hear him make allusion to the turf, which had been the passion of his youth and early manhood. Naturally a quick-tempered man, he had cultivated severe self-control. Only twice in the writer's recollection did he get visibly overheated-once when he was defending Arabi Pasha, whose cause he had warmly espoused; and again when he resented an impeachment of the hospitality of his old friend Sir John Crampton, who shortly before had been our Minister at Madrid.
The volume is full of good stories, told with point and genuine Irish humour, and the introductory pages are not the least entertaining. We hear of the great-grandfather, the Nabob, who had made an immense fortune by shaking the Pagoda Tree, who scattered the garnered fruit by keeping up sumptuous state, and who gloried in a cabinet of uncut gems, from which his young lady
visitors were invited to draw prizes at leave - taking. Sir William's recollections-it must be remembered that he was a Galwayman-almost go back to the drinking and duelling Ireland of Sir Jonah Barrington and Charles O'Malley. The old Lord Clanricarde had shown him the meadow by the Shannon where a combat came off between Galway and Tipperary. The choice of banks was an important matter, for the survivor, if he stood on the wrong shore, was pretty sure to be murdered by the hostile county. The Galway champion, who shot his antagonist, escaped to the water's edge on a fleet horse, where his retreat was covered by the shillelahs of two thousand compatriots. In 'Charles O'Malley' the incident has been utilised, when old Considine acts as his young friend's second. As a youth Sir William went in state in the family coach from an episcopal palace with a cousin, the daughter of a strait-laced peer, on a three days' visit to a lively lady. The respectable seniors would have been sorely scandalised had the secrets of the entertainment ever been revealed. There was dancing till a nine o'clock dinner; there was dancing again to the late supper, after which the ladies withdrew then the gentlemen settled to serious drinking, till the majority subsided beneath the tables. Gregory got up the first morning, thinking of breakfast. The only soul stirring in the house was a grumbling old woman. Her answer to a request for information was decided, if unsatisfactory: "The divil a mouthful you'll get before three o'clock, so you had much better go to bed again."
He very soon began to form useful acquaintances. When a small boy he was fishing in the
Phoenix Park-his father for long held a high official appointment. A slight, elderly gentleman strolled up, and showed so much interest in the landing of a roach that the fisherman was greatly pleased with him. So, on the understanding that honourable secrecy was to be observed, he promised to show the best fishing-places. The elderly gentleman was Marquis Wellesley and Lord Lieutenant, and he never lost sight of his young acquaintance. At school Gregory distinguished himself by his brilliant capacity for the classics: he carried off various prizes and scholarships, but the scholastic successes, although they doubly enriched him, were by no means unmixed gain. The eccentric uncle, of whom he was the presumptive heir, invariably sent him a handsome cheque, which gave him the command of money and the means of premature self-indulgence. Consequently, he got into scrapes he might otherwise have avoided, and found himself in a fast set when he went up to the University. One fatal day some old Harrow friends took him to Newmarket, and thenceforward he was inoculated with his passion for racing. Though afterwards he only read by fits and starts, what between his studies and the racingstables, he burned the candle at both ends his health broke down, and he accompanied his parents to Italy. Though still an invalid, he found a plausible excuse for returning alone. The fact was, he had backed Coronation heavily for the Derby, and was bound to be on the spot in case of a mishap. The anxious parents, on their way back, overheard a conversation at a Belgian table d'hôte, which gave them the first reliable news of Young Hopeful, and explained the cause of his abrupt departure. A youthful Irishman
of the name of Gregory, fresh from College, had made a sensation at Epsom by landing £5000 on Coronation,-for that was long before the days of the plungers.
But the versatile youth was soon to win greater distinction in a more glorious field. No ordinary compliment was paid him when he was invited to contest the city of Dublin against Lord Morpeth, the popular Chief Secretary, backed by the whole influence of O'Connell. He carried the election after a fierce fight, and he won besides the admiration of the Liberator by the pluck and readiness with which he had repelled a tremendous personal onslaught. "Ould Dan crossed the hustings, and whispered in his ear, "Only speak the little word 'repeal'-only whisper it, mind you I will be the first at the polling - booth to-morrow to vote for you." The success at the election recommended him to Peel, although unfortunately he had fettered himself by rash pledges, which subsequently interfered with his political advancement. It clashes strangely with the popular notion of the stiff and starched repealer of the Corn Laws, when we find him generally addressing young Gregory as "my good fellow," and giving him the warmest welcome to his house on all occasions. But Gregory seems to have been the fashion in London society, and he was a habitué of the salon of Ladies Ashburton, Londonderry, and Jersey. He made acquaintance or formed intimacies with many of the most distinguished public men. He pays Sidney Herbert a doubtful compliment, saying that he could tell improper stories with exceptional grace. By the way, he asserts the truth of the story of his betraying an important State secret to Mrs Norton, who straightway went off
to sell it to The Times.' George Meredith founds a sensational episode on it in his 'Diana of the Crossways.' We happen to know that it was a baseless calumny. He frequently dined with Disraeli, who, as he says, shone at his own dinner-table rather by flashes of silence than by sparkling talk. And he tells a capital story of an old naval captain, whom Disraeli had sent for when a war was believed to be impending, that he might get information about China. The veteran took a look round the room. "Ah," said he, "I remember it very well, and these curtains. I dined here several times with a rum old girl, Mrs Wyndham Lewis." Disraeli, though sensitive to the ridicule of having married an elderly and eccentric woman-to whom, however, he always showed the most grateful attention was quite equal to the occasion, and answered placidly: "Yes, the curtains certainly are old and rather fusty. In fact, we must do up the whole room when our ship comes in." Gregory speaks of Disraeli as absolutely destitute of all principle in public life. He much doubts the correctness of the belief that Disraeli's fierce philippics against Peel "originated in resentment alone." We should have said there was no doubt in the matter; "but with that quickness which pre-eminently characterised him, he saw an opening for distinction and seized it at once." Of Lord George Bentinck, on the contrary, whom he knew as well or even better, Gregory speaks in the highest terms. Beyond the sacrifice he made when he sold his stud and Surplice, much is said of his lordship's consistent self-denial when he had left the turf to lead the Tories. "If ever a man killed himself by sheer hard labour and
told me repeatedly that he was in a state of inanition, because if he tasted food till his day's work was over, he would become liable to the drowsiness which only starvation overcame."
Gregory made a good figure in Parliament. Some of the quotations he gives from his speeches are really witty, and they read extremely well, but we understand that his delivery was somewhat ponderous. In 1846, Peel paid him the flattering compliment of offering him the conduct of Irish business in the Commons, although he would have had to hold his own against O'Connel and Sheil. But his awkward election pledges were stumbling-blocks, and. his sagacious father persuaded him to decline. As a private member, however, he took a prominent part in advocating various important measures; he always showed an intelligent interest in Eastern affairs; and when he sat for Galway County he gratified his constituents by his successful efforts to secure and prolong the unfortunate contract for a Transatlantic line of steam-packets. As his father had been before him, he seems to have been a most liberal and generous landlord, and his relations with his tenants had always been excellent, till, fortunately for himself, he disposed of great part of his estate, before the disastrous collapse of the land market. The famine year fell heavily on the family, and his father, who died at that time, left an estate burdened with debt. No wonder that a Galway proprietor's liabilities accumulated then. The nominal rent-roll was nearly £8000, but "poor-rates and other charges swallowed up everything. The rates over the division of Kinrara were eighteen shillings