ven the military bands marched to the plaintive strains of Mrs. Norton's Love Not.
In prose literature, as has been said, Bulwer and Disraeli best represented that epoch.
The two fashionable novels, par excellence, of a whole generation, were Pelham and Vivian Grey.
In the latter, all the heights of foppery and persiflage did but set off what was then regarded as the unsurpassable pathos of Violet Fane's death; and though the consummate dandyism of the companion book had no such relief, ye these emotions; it will presently be shown that they had many advantages; but in their full and unquestioned vigor they certainly belonged to the period when men wore cravats swathed half a dozen times round the neck, and when, as the author of Pelham wrote, there was safety in a swallow-tail.
It is not in the English tongue alone that this emotional tendency was expressed, for Lamartine was then much read, and even his travels in the East were saturated with it; and so were the writings of
moris, without knowing that it had ever been used!
What a charm Irving threw about the literary career of Roscoe; but who now recognizes his name?
Ardent youths, eager to combine intellectual and worldly success, fed themselves in those days on Pelham and Vivian Grey; but these works are not now even included in Courses of Reading—that last infirmity of noble fames.
One may look in vain through the vast mausoleum of Bartlett's Dictionary of Quotations for even that one maxim of costume, which was Pelham's bid for immortality.
Literary fame is, then, by no means a fixed increment, but a series of vibrations of the pendulum.
Happy is that author who comes to be benefited by an actual return of reputation— as athletes get beyond the period of breathlessness, and come to their second wind.
Yet this is constantly happening.
Emerson, visiting Landor in 1847, wrote in his diary, He pestered me with Southey—but who is Southey?
Now, Southey had tasted fame more promptly than his grea<