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whatever favourable impression it may have made, was instantly destroyed: for no sooner had Disraeli hastened away to some great reception, than a mimic, assuming the voice and attitude of the poet, declaimed an impromptu burlesque of the opening lines which caused infinite merriment to all present. What can withstand ridicule? As for the poem, it fell flat upon publication, and was soon forgotten. Henceforth his poetical compositions were reserved for Lady Blessington's Book of Beauty.

His constant appearance in society gave him ample opportunity of falling in love, of which he persistently refused to avail himself. With all the romance and poetry of his character, he seemed somewhat cynical regarding this emotion. Once he asks his sister how she would like Lady Z for a sister-in-law. 'Very clever and twenty-five thousand pounds. As for love, all my friends who married for love and beauty either beat their wives or live apart from them. This is literally the case. I may commit many follies in life, but I never intend to marry for love, which I am sure is a guarantee of infelicity.'

But though he could keep out of love he could not keep free from debt. His election expenses, his manner of living, and bills which he had backed for friends who were unable to meet them, weighed him heavily. He considered that a poet suddenly disturbed in the midst of the rapture of creation by a dunning letter, was an object of pity; he complained of the


cruelty of having his powers marred at a moment when he believed they might produce something great and lasting; and at times he dreaded to leave the house on account of the Philistines who were lying in wait for him.


Edward Lytton Bulwer-Gambling in Paris-Love and Marriage-First Novels-Lady Blessington reads Pelham-Interview with an Eccentric Architect-Bulwer's Letters to His Mother-Hard Work and Bitter Criticism-Sets out for Italy with Introductions from Lady Blessington-His Opinion of Landor-Writes from Naples Letters from Landor, and Lady Blessington.

A FRIEND of Lady Blessington's scarcely less interesting or distinguished than Disraeli was Edward Lytton Bulwer, who in 1831, when in his twenty-eighth year, became editor of the New Monthly Magazine. Descended from a family which according to its own belief had been settled in Norfolk since the Conquest, this member was in bearing a dainty patrician, eccentric in his ideas and talented. In appearance he was of ordinary size, his hair light, his eyes pale blue, his nose prominent and his mouth full-lipped.

Being delicate in his youth he had been educated by his mother until such time as he questioned her whether she was 'not sometimes overcome by the sense of her own identity ;'

when she considered it was time he should be sent to school. His ability was evident from the beginning, and amongst those who looked forward to his future with enthusiasm was Dr Parr, an intimate of his grandfather, his mother's guardian, and Lady Blessington's friend. This enthusiasm was not without foundation; for at the age of seventeen he published a volume of poems 'Ismael'; and five years later whilst at Cambridge he won the Chancellor's medal by a poem on sculpture.

In 1826 at the age of twenty-three, he had taken his degree as B.A. and was then launched in London Society where he was known as 'a finished dandy' and styled by his acquaintances 'Childe Harold.' It was in this year that whilst in Paris he visited a gambling-house where he spent the night, and his luck being extraordinary, left next morning with a large sum in his pocket. Daylight was creeping into his rooms as he entered them; and as he went to secure his gains in his writing-desk standing upon a consol table in front of a mirror, he caught sight of his face which was not only pale and haggard but sinister, distorted by the fever of greed and nervous excitement. The shock this sight caused made him resolve never again to gamble.

The winnings however were invested and augmented the annuity of two hundred a year he inherited from his father, and the allowance made him by his mother whose estate was at her own disposal.

Before he had reached his twenty-fifth year

he had married Rosina Doyle Wheeler, an Irish beauty, clever and witty, with a will and a temper of her own. But a year before he had declared that love was dead in him for ever, that the freshness of his youth lay buried in the grave; but these were probably the avowals which the romance of his temperament inclined him to believe, but which his subsequent actions led him to belie: for his love for the woman he afterwards made his wife was sufficiently strong to withstand the opposition of his mother to whom he was devotedly attached.

Arguing with her that marriage was 'of all the cases the one in which a difference with parents is most universally allowed,' he goes on to say that matrimonial philandering has always appeared to him a contemptible frivolity: that he was not blind to Rosina's faults; that she was not to blame if she could not live with her mother; and that he knew her bringing up had been an unhappy one 'but it has not deprived her of a mind and heart, for which I love her far too well to flirt with her.'

This, the first and only difference of his life with his mother, and perhaps some knowledge of the unsuitability of the wife he was about to take, fretted his life at the moment when it should have been brightest.

'Prepare ma belle amie, prepare' he writes to his friend Mrs Cunningham, three months before his marriage 'I am going to be married. And that very soon. My intended is very

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