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marvellous rapidity and accuracy of Shortly after Mr Dickens had so critical judgment. As a critic, bis suddenly eclipsed in popularity all perceptions were exquisite, and his his contemporaries, Professor Wilson resources boundless. He could put a spoke to me of him in terms of high new or an old idea into a sort of admiration, as a man of undoubted kaleidoscopic variety of striking and and great genius ; and he spoke of novel aspects, and with a charming “Nelly" as a beautiful creation. facility. He could bring out a mean- Professor Wilson told me that there ing often more distinctly and happily were two things he specially hated than bis author bimself. His rich, — letter-writing, and being made a comprehensive, and penetrating cri• lion of,” or, as I recolleet him saying ticism shed new splendour over contemptuously, “a Jionet." As for Homer, Shakespeare, Spenser, Mil. letter-writing, I never received from ton, Dryden, and whomsoever else him but one in my life ; and that was he willed to set before his own and written on half a sheet of paper, evihis reader's eye.
dently the blank sheet of some old One of his most distinguished con- letter. Mentioning a late accomtemporaries, not apt to bestow ealogy plished dignitary of the Church, he lavishly or unworthily,-I mean Mr said, laughingly, “
will Hallam,-in his Introduction to the continue writing to me, though I Literature of Europe, while sketching never answer his letters, por will!” the character of Spenser, thus alludes One of those letters happened to con. to a fine series of papers by Professor tain a friendly allusion to myself, and Wilson on the Fairy Queen: “It has he sent it to me through a common been justly observed by a living friend, thinking it would please me. writer, of the most ardent and enthu. He never called on me in the siastic genius, whose eloquence is as Temple but once; and then sate a the rush of mighty waters, and has long time, asking a multitude of ques. left it for others, almost as invidious, tions about the Temple,-its history, to praise in terms of less rapture, as the nature of chamber life, &c. &c., to censure what he has borne along in with lively interest ; almost suggestthe stream of unbesitating eulogy, ing that he might be thinking of writ
that no poet has ever had a more ing something on the subject. exquisite sense of the beautiful than He used to be a daily visitor at Spenser :'” adding, in a note, “I Messrs Blackwood's saloon, * in George allude here to a very brilliant series Street, to chat with them and one or of papers on the Fairy Queen, pub- two other friends, read the newslished in Blackwood's Magazine, during papers, and skim over the magazines, the years 1834 and 1835.” I think reviews, and new publications. He the observation which the Professor was much attached to all the Blackmakes concerning Spenser, may be woods, giving them many proofs of his well applied to the gifted critic him- zealous and affectionate good-will. self. “I fear, however, that I am How pleasantly have I chatted with wandering too far from the object of him in that saloon! How fresh and this bumble tribute to the memory of genial he always was! How sly his Professor Wilson.
humour! How playfully his eye glitI never heard him speak in disparag- tered while he was good-bumouredly ing terms of any of his contemporaries; making fun of you ? How racy bis but how tremendous, in his earlier comments on literary and political years, were his flagellations of those topics! How ready and correct his whom he considered deserving of them knowledge in all kinds of subjects, as literary offenders, is known to all even while he professed “to know well- informed literary readers. I very little about them !" have conversed with bim much about I saw him last in that saloon, toliterary men, and often admired his wards the close of September 1851. forbearing and generous spirit. I had been for ten days in Edinburgh,
* This is a spacious room dedicated by Messrs Blackwood to the use of their friends, where are lying numerous newspapers and magazines ; and ornamented with busts and pictures of their distinguished literary allies.
superintending- as that was the long always felt deep interest, on his apvacation-a work which was on the proaching marriage. I was in the eve of publication, and had lived quite saloon at the time, but on being told secluded all the time. In passing that he would be pleased to see me, hastily through the saloon with some though he was feeble and could not proofs in my hand, I came upon Pro- converse, I went to the carriage door. fessor Wilson, sitting there as usual; Shall I ever forget father and daughter, but I had not seen him for several as they sate opposite to each other, she years. He had become a great deal eyeing her gifted but afflicted father stouter than I had ever seen him with such tender anxiety! Never! before; he was also aged much ; but His hat was off, and his countenance, bis face was as fine, his eye as bright, on which fell the rays of setting sun. and his manner as delightful as ever. light, was fine as ever; his eye res He did not, however, speak with his not dim, por did his natural force seem former energy. “They tell me," abated, as he sate, and looked at me, said he, laughing good-humouredly, and stretched forth his band; but " that you've quite buried yourself when he attempted to speak, alas! since you have been here l' What it was in words few, indistinct, and have you been about ?" I told him. nnintelligible. To me it was an " Aye—it's a capital title, and pro- affecting moment—but a moment; mises well. You have set us all for he was not allowed to become gaping to know what we're to have! excited. Again he shook my band; Tell me what it's about—I'm anxious and I had looked my last on Professor to hear. What's your idea!" I Wilson. The next I heard of him, told him, as briefly as I could. “Let was his peaceful death; and then a me hear some of it," said he, after I burial befitting one of the great men had given him my notions of the of Scotland. scope of the work, and I read him, I am almost ashamed to counmit to at his desire, a considerable portion. the press this sudden and spontaneous, How I recollect his full, keen eyes, but poor tribute to the memory of watchfully fixed upon me as I read ! such a man of genius and goodness.
The next, and last time I saw him, I am altogether unequal to the task was also the last time that he left his of his intellectual portraiture ; but own house. During the intervening what I have written is true, and years, he had had a paralytic seizure, comes from my heart ; wherefore ! which affected his powers of motion hope it will be accepted in the spirit and speech, and to some extent his in which it is offered. mental faculties. He had driven up Adieu, Christopher North! Adieu, to Mr Blackwood's door, accompanied John Wilson ! by a fond daughter, for the purpose of congratulating one in whom he had
* Mrs Gordon.
INDEX TO VOL. LXXVI.
Aali Pasha,72—his defeat at Lepanto,81. Athenians, employment of white marble
regards the war, 100—his views on it, Australia, the gold discoveries in, and
lation, &c. with regard to the war, 601. capabilities for empire, 275.
the, 281, 282.
students at, 136-Highland students her present position, &c., 104 — her
tween her position in Italy and that of
Great Britain in India, 183.
Babylon, the ruins of, 462, 463, 471.
Balbek, the position of the, 633.
means for its improvement, 495. Basque race, the, 168.
417—its stationary condition in Greece Bavarians, mal-administration of Greece
and Turkey, and causes of this, 500. by the, 405 et seq.
Russia under, 99-review of his con- Bedouins, character of the, 254.
Bejant, origin of the term, 432.
King's College, Aberdeen, by, 431. Belgium, position of, with regard to Rus-
Bendigo gold-fields, the, 271.
Bills of exchange, first use of, 582.
Births, town and country proportion of,
Blair-Drummond, whale found at, 167.
Blind, number of, in Great Britain, 523.
Boglione, defence of Famagusta by, 78.
Bragadino, Marco Antonio, 78.
Bretons, the, 168.
review of, Part 288-Part II., 371.
Brigandage, prevalence of, in Greece,
BRITISH AMERICA, THE GROWTH AND PROS-
PECTS OF, 1.
BRITISH INDIA, THE GANGETIO PROVINCES Christianity, relations of the discoveries of
the telescope to, 289.
Christina, Queen, feeling against, in Spain,
363 - difficulties of the government
with regard to her, 365—ber departare
from Spain, 477.
CHRISTOPHER NORTH, A FEW PERSONAL
tion of the 132 - disappearance of Cities of the Plain, the alleged discovery
of the, 253.
Clarendon, lord, on the war, 233.
States, 268—its future prospects, 269 Clergy, numbers of the, 517.
Clive's DREAM BEFORE THE BATTLE OF
Rendezvous, 619-chap. ii. The Move- Cod-fisheries of Newfoundland, the, 14.
FORTUNES OF OUR, 268.
COLOUR IN NATURE AND ART, 539.
to statuary, 318.
Comte, M., views of, as regards literature,
ing, 99-Greek account of the capture
Cordova, regiment of, its revolt, 152.
Cornwallis, lord, system of, in India, 186
CORREGGIO, A TRAGEDY, review of, 698.
Corruption, prevalence of, in Greece, 407.
Cousin on classical education, 564.
, attempt of, for the union of Crimea, importance of the, 101—the Rus-
sian conquest of it, 105 — movement of
Criminals, proportions of male and female,
CRYSTAL PALACE, THE, 317.
269-and to Australia, 270-peculiar- regard to, 414-conduct of M. Soulé
with reference to it, 480—danger of it
Currency, depreciation of the, in Turkey, the precious metals, 579_-amount of
gold in, before and after the discovery
of America, 673.
Evelyn, John, sketch of, 38.
EUSEBIUS, LETTERS TO-RIDDLES, 18–
CIVILISATION—THE CENSUS, 435, 509.
Fasti Aberdonenses, the, 135.
those of Nova Scotia, 13—those of
which overthrown, 230—benefits to the Florence, the early banking business of,
Fontenelle's Plurality of Worlds, on, 294.
Forbes, Dr John, 147.
France, traces of pre-historic races in, 166
early employment, coinage, &c. of the
GANGETIC PROVINCES OF BRITISH INDIA,
Garden, colour as shown in the, 540.
Geelong, progress of, 276.
Geology, argument from, against the plu-
rality of worlds, 373 sketch of the
George III., influence of, on the national
German powers, views of the, regarding
al life of, 460—influence of gold on, 576. Germanic confederation, present state of
tralia from, 270-the early mercantile
to America, 15—to Australia, influence Gladstone, Mr, position of, 237.
of the gold discoveries on, 270. Glasgow, Mrs Stowe at, 302.
the national career of, 461 in, 136-judicial administration of, 425.
AND SOCIAL POSITION OF THE WORLD,
Gold, the discovery of, in California, and
363—his reception in Madrid, 364—his 270.
istics of, 577.
Golden Age steamer, the, 282, 283.
dition during the middle ages as regards Napoleon III., 238.
35 et seq.