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was, as we have said, the main business of his life. His leisure was as the business of others. And while he was fortunate in the length of years allotted to him, he was still more fortunate because in the sad sense he never grew old. He preached incessantly the gospel of work, which he rightly welcomed as the true preserver of youth. “Frivolous pursuits,” said he, on his ninetieth birthday, “base passions unsubdued, narrow selfishness, vacuity of mind, life with sordid aims or no aims at all — these are the things that bring age upon the soul. Healthful tastes, an open eye for what is beautiful and good in nature and in man, a happy remembrance of youthful pleasures, a mind never without some active interest or pursuit — these are the things that carry on the feelings of youth into old age." There is the secret of his long and active life, a secret which few are permitted to discover. How well he discovered it all will acknowledge who remember the energy of his mind and body, his alert interest in men and things, the keen edge of his criticism, the clearness of his political and literary vision.

He endured one misfortune, inseparable from age. He grew into a world which was not the world of his youth, and with which he was not in sympathy. He witnessed the victory of speed and noise with something like dismay. The motor-omnibuses which destroyed the quietude and amenity of his house in London were for him a source of constant distress, a symbol of growing vulgarity. How should one who remembered the old stage-coach take pleasure in the raucous manner of modern traffic? He fought the ogres in the newspapers and by the processes of law, and he fought in vain. It is idle to oppose the onset of Juggernaut's car, and idle people will still proclaim by horn and rattle that they are leaving a place they have no desire to leave for another which they have no need to visit. In still worse distress Sir Theodore watched the encroachment of the people. He saw politios degenerate into the basest kind of flattery, and it is not strange that he who had seen the more gracious method of other days should deplore the interested recklessness of our spendthrift Government.

But he never despaired of the State; he believed devoutly in the reaction which will surely come; and he died as he lived, satisfied with the past, happy in the present, and of good hope for the future.

Printed by William Blackwood and Sons.

BLACKWOOD'S MAGAZINE.

No. MCXXVIII.

OCTOBER 1909.

VOL. CLXXXVI.

THE LIGHTER SIDE OF MY OFFICIAL LIFE.

EARLY DAYS AT THE IRISH BAR AND THE HOME OFFICE.

BY SIR ROBERT ANDERSON, K.C.B.

an

Even in the case of people would interest and amuse the of distinction an autobiography public; and it is with this is too often a blunder. In the modest

In the modest aim therefore that, case of commonplace folk it postponing graver “reminisois generally an impertinence. ences” to a future date, I now And I am not so foolish as to take up my pen. suppose that the public would

By way of introduction I care to know anything about may describe myself as me save in relation to matters Anglicanised Irishman of of publio interest. Here, how- Sootoh extraction. My “foreever, I am in a difficulty. bears

were among the Scotch Having regard to the position colonists who made Ulster what I held for so long at Whitehall, it is. My only further referand in more recent times at once to family history will be Scotland Yard, I cannot even to mention that an ancestor now write about the Secret of my mother, and an ancestor Service, or police work in of my wife's mother, won fame London, save with much re- in the siege of Derry-Colonel serve and under definite re- Gardner in command of royal straints. But it is constantly troops, and Samuel Lee as urged upon me that even the leader of the “Prentice Boys, lighter side of official life in the freemen of Derry, to whom these spheres has a fascination the sustained defence of the for many people, and that I maiden city was chiefly due. might say not a little which Born and brod in Dublin, my VOL, CLXXXVI.-NO. MCXXVIII.

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was

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home life in Ireland was inter- “Umpety Dumpety pendait au mur, rupted only by two years spent Ni tous les chevaux ni les hommes du

Umpety Dumpety tombait si dur, in France one year in Boulogne

roi and one in Paris. In view of Mettraient Umpety Dumpety comme recent events in France, certain autrefois." reminiscences of my school days in Boulogne are not without But I am forgetting the selfinterest. It then the denying ordinance paraded on habit of the children of the my opening page. lower orders to insult the When I left school, a rich priests, a practice which indi- and sonless friend of my father, cated the sort of influence that the owner of one of the famous prevailed in their homes. And Dublin breweries, brought me we English boys fared still into his business with the worse at their hands. Corbeau generous intention of making was the usual epithet shouted my fortune. And I after a priest as he passed along mention with pardonable pride the street; Sale Anglais, Vater- that within a year I was proloo, was the signal for many & moted to be cashier in this scrimmage in which we had to great commercial house. But stand on our defence, or not the love of money does not infrequently, I must confess, become a passion in the schoolto bolt.

boy stage of life; and after Of my life in Paris I will not eighteen months of office I bespeak, though if I were some- came increasingly conscious of body else about whom I might my deficiencies in “book-learned speak in the third person I skill," to borrow Goldsmith's should be tempted to tell some- phrase. A Dublin University thing of what a schoolboy saw degree might be obtained withand heard in the French capital out residence, by passing the in the early days of the Second prescribed examinations, and I Empire. And not a little of the appealed to my would-be benechatter of my French play- factor to consent to my abmates might possibly be worth senting myself from the office repeating-as, ex. gr., the ver- on all examination days. But sions they gave me of some of this he refused, and his refusal our English nursery rhymes. led to my abandoning “busiNever since have I heard them, ness." And four years later I nor have I ever seen them in was called to the Irish Bar. print. Here is a specimen- I cherish pleasant memories

of those years. Religion and “ Petit bo-bouton

politics are the bane of Ireland. A perdu ses moutons,

But the politicians and the
Et ne sait pas qui les a pris.
O laissez les tranquilles,

priests had not yet poisoned Ils viendront en ville,

the life of the country; and in Et chacun son queue après lui." Trinity College Orangemen and

Romanists,"ferocious Radicals" And our old friend Humpty and high Tories, mixed together Dumpty is better still and discussed their differences with the courtesy and kindli- category. In due course the ness of Irish gentlemen. We country is naturally reduced learned to give and take, to a condition of utter lawlessand to respect one another's ness and demoralisation. And opinions. This element has what is to be done? The row

. always been characteristic of in the nursery is intolerable : Trinity College, and it is pre- the children are quarrelling cisely the element which evokes and screaming because they the implacable hostility of cannot get this or that. “Well,

“ Maynooth. There may perhaps let them have whatever they be two sides to the Home Rule want. We can't have this controversy; and it is possible disgraceful noise." In this that if Home Rule had been parable lies “the Irish quesgranted half a century ago it tion.” Lord Morris's witty might have proved a success. definition of it applies with But there are no two sides to special aptness to-day. “It this University question. And was,” he said, “the attempt the men who are responsible of an honest, stupid people to for setting up a University govern a quick-witted, dishonest designed to keep Irishmen people.” And this mot applies apart, and to teach them to not only to the two nations but distrust or despise those who to the men who respectively differ from them in religion, represent them on the front will deserve to be pilloried for bench and below the gangway all time. No greater evil could of the House of Commons. be ini cted on that unfortunate While all my memories of country. Among “the benefits Trinity College are pleasant, of a University education” the pleasantest are those which one of the chiefest is precisely relate to the Clubs and Societies. the element which a sectarian And first and chiefest to the University is intended to elim- famous “College Historical ” — inate.

sister society to the Unions of But cui bono? At a certain Oxford and Cambridge. The stage of life people are apt to most distinguished members of become slovenly-minded. They the Society were my seniors, “ don't want to be bothered.' but as my brother was their conAnd this is the attitude temporary I was admitted to which England seems now to the circle of their friendship. adopt toward Irish questions. In the Historical Society it In the scramble for office was that I acquired any capacphilosopher is appointed to ity I possess for public speakgovern Ireland. He is followed ing. If, instead of being an by a Chief Secretary who be- utter sceptic, I were credulous longs (shall I say ?) to a different enough to accept the biological

a

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а

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1 Not a few of them have since made their mark in the world. mention among others Lecky (the historian), Gibson (now Lord Ashbourne), Plunket (now Lord Rathmore), Wilson (now Rt. Hon. Sir Arthur Wilson, K.C.I.E.), &c.

theories of Spencer and Huxley, before me as I write, I see a I should conclude that the par. notice of a police charge against ticular "germ” from which

my

a dumb man for using bad stock was evolved must have language. It reminds me of wriggled into life at a very late an answer I once heard my stage of evolutionary processes. brother give when asked For with us the gift of speech is whether he could play the as yet but imperfectly developed. violin : “I don't know, said From my father I inherited a he; “I never tried ”! natural inaptitude for speaking My reminiscences of College in public. Well do I remember days are all the happier because my first attempt at the “His- they are free from any element torical.” We met in the great to which one need look back dining-ball of the College. The with distress or regret. And debate was an important one: yet we did some wild things. the attendance of both members One such may be worth telling. and the public was unusually In those days “Chief Baron large, and some of our best Nicholson's " mock court in speakers had preceded me. I the “Cider Cellars” was half sick with nervousness of the stock amusements of when I rose, and before I was London. I forget who it was many minutes on my legs the that suggested the scheme of big gasolier and the distin- getting up an entertainment guished Don who occupied the of the kind; but it caught on, chair both began to gyrate and was carried through with round me. My knees began to great success. Manor Courts give way and my head to spin. were then in existence. A I could no longer see my notes, Manor Court had a civil jurisand I was on the point of col- diction akin to that of the lapsing on the floor, when as County Courts when first estaban expiring effort I emitted lished. And the judge was one of my elaborately prepared nominated by the Lord of “impromptus.” It evoked a the Manor. My father was laugh and a cheer. The effect at this time “Seneschal of the was magical. In an instant Manor of Mary's Abbey," an the chairman and the gasolier appointment which he owed to got back into position; my the friendship of Lady Harriet eyes followed suit, my legs Cowper, the Earl of Blessingstiffened, and when I sat down ton's daughter, who when a I was heartily congratulated school - girl had been married on my “maiden speech." I to Count d'Orsay by her stepsoon became one of the regular mother, the notorious Countess, speakers at the weekly debates, and who was then the wife and in due course I was elected of Mr Spencer Cowper, from Auditor (or President) of the whom the King's SandringSociety. The moral of which ham estate was afterwards puris that a man can do what he chased. We decided to make use makes

was one

up his mind to do. In of my father's court-house for the morning paper that lies our scheme. Accordingly my

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