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Page:Notes and Queries - Series 10 - Volume 12.djvu/590

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486


NOTES AND QUERIES. [io s. xn. DEC. is, im


an adverse criticism. The misfortune of this course is that young authors, knowing nothing of the events of the previous half-century, might cite the book as an authority.

It is noteworthy that Cyrus is only once mentioned by the editors of his father's

  • Autobiography.'- His name occurs in the

list of children, but is omitted from the index.

Jay was at his father's the day before he was to be married for the second time {in 1846, when he was 77) to a lady 72 years old. When his father told him, Cyrus did all he could to dissuade him from it, but with- out result, and, declining to be present at the wedding, he left the night before for London. Notwithstanding this, the lady bequeathed to Cyrus a life interest in 500Z., which he refused to accept (' The Law,'- p. 238). He was, however, chief mourner at his father's funeral (Gent. Mag., March, 1854, p. 324).

There are some amusing anecdotes in both Jay's books. One I had my doubts about. I have already mentioned " that Jay was articled to Luke Evill, and on looking his name up in * The Law List,* I find there was a firm named Evill & Else at Bath up to 1821. Cyrus Jay tells the following anecdote in * The Law * (p. 200) :

"I was one day walking with my father in Bath, when we met two attorneys, who were partners, and whose names were Evill and Else. The latter was a very little man. My father said, 'There goes Evil and little Else ! ' "

RALPH THOMAS.


VOLTAIRE AND CABLYLE. It is not often that the patriarch of Ferney and the philoso- pher of Chelsea are found treating subjects of a spiritual nature from a similar point of view. But the train of speculation in which Voltaire indulges in some lines of his famous ' Poeme sur le Desastre de Lisbonne en 1755 l seems to me to present a curious parallel to a passage with which every reader of Carlyle must be familiar :

On the hardest adamant some footprint of us is stamped ; the last rear of the host will read traces of the earliest van. But whence ? O Heaven, whither ? Sense knows not ; Faith knows not ; only that it is through Mystery to Mystery, from God and to God." ' Sartor Besartus.'

The solemn question thus raised by Car lyle had certainly been put most forcibly by Voltaire in the poem which, according to Lord Morley, exhibits the celebrated French-


man in one of the most serious moods he ever assumed, either in prose or verse. Here are the lines :

e peut done de 1'esprit la plus vaste 6tendue ? Rlen : le livre du sort se ferme a notre yue. L'homme Stranger a soi de I'homme est ignore 1 ; Que suis-je, ou suis-je, ou vais-je, et d'ou suis-je tire?

Vainly the mind doth seek to penetrate The secrets hidden in the book of fate. Man's mission here is all as dark to man As when the mystery of life began.

Carlyle, as we know, was well acquainted with Voltaire's writings. He had more than once, it would appear, given them a careful perusal, and his recollection of any- Dhing that ever struck him in the course of his reading was very strong. But even the most powerful memories will occasionally repro- iuce unconsciously the thoughts of others, and set them down as original inspirations. One may readily believe that Carlyle would never have borrowed from Voltaire, or from anybody else, an idea of any importance without due acknowledgment. Still less would he have been capable of paraphrasing the very words in which an idea had been conveyed. Be this as it may, the fourth line in the quotation from the ' Poeme sur le Desastre de Lisbonne * has been strangely echoed in the " Whence ? O Heaven, whither ? " of ' Sartor Resartus.*

MORGAN McMAHON.

Sydney, N.S.W.

COUNT D'ORSAY'S DEATH. In Black- wood's Magazine for this month occurs the following :

" Count d'Orsay was supposed to have died of spine-disease and a carbuncle in the back. As a matter of fact the carbuncle was a euphemism for a bullet aimed at the Emperor (Napoleon III.) as they were walking together in the gardens of the Elys^e. The facts were carefully suppressed." ' The Light Side of my Official Life,' by Sir Robert Anderson.

W. H, PEET.

HOGARTH'S HOUSE, CHISWICK. (See 2 S. ii. 406 ; 9 S. vii. 386 ; viii. 24.) It is announced that Col. Shipway, of Grove House, Chiswick, has presented to the Middlesex County Council the title-deeds of Hogarth House, Chiswick, the residence of the great artist, whose tomb is in Chiswick Churchyard. Col. Shipway bought the House some years ago to save it from the builders, and he has furnished it with many originals of the great artist's works, and copies of the original furniture. See Daily Chronicle, 9 November, R. J. FYNMORE.

Sandgate.