Page:EB1911 - Volume 23.djvu/319

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302
RICHELIEU, DUC DE

condescending suit. of clothes '? by which Hazlitt unfairly defines Miss Burney's Lord Orville. When Richardson delineated Sir Charles Grandison-he was at his best, and his experiences and opportunities for inventing such a character were infinitely greater than they had ever been before. And he lost nothing of his gift for portraying the other sex. Harriet Byron, Clementina della Porretta and even Charlotte Grandison, are no whit behind Clarissa and her friend Miss Howe. Sir Charles Grandison, in ine, is a far better book than Pamela, although M. Taine regarded the hero as only ht to be stuffed and put in a museum.

Grandiron was published in 1753, and by this time Richardson was sixty-four.~ Although the book was welcomed as warmly as its predecessors, he wrote no other novel, contenting himself instead with indexing his works, and compiling an anthology of the “ maxims, " “ cautions ” and “ instructive sentiments ” they contained. To these things, as a professed moralist, he had always attached the greatest importance. He continued to correspond relentlessly with a large circle of worshippers, mostly women, whose counsels and fertilizing sympathy had not a little contributed to the success of his last two books.» He was a nervous, highly strung little man, intensely preoccupied with his health and his feelings, hungry for praise when he had once tasted it, and afterwards unable to exist without it; but apart from these things, well meaning, benevolent, honest, industrious and religious. Seven vast folio volumes of his correspondence with his lady friends, and with a. few men of the Young and Aaron Hill type, are preserved in the Forster Library at South Kensington. Parts of it only have been printed. There are several good portraits of him by Toseph Highmore, two of which are in the National Portrait Gallery.

Richardson is sometimes styled the “Father of the English Novel, ” a title which has also been claimed for Defoe. It wou.ld be more accurate to call him the father of the novel of sentimental analysis. As Sir Walter Scott has said, no one before. had dived so deeply into the human heart. No one, moreover, had brought to the study of feminine character so much prolonged research, so much patience of observation, so much interested and indulgent apprehension, as this twittering little printer of Salisbury Court. That he did not more materially control the course of fiction in his own country was probably owing to the new direction which was given to that hction by Fielding and Smollett, whose method, roughly speaking, was synthetic rather than analytic. Still, his influence is to be traced in Sterne and Henry Mackenzie, as well as in Miss Burney and Miss Austen, both of whom, it may be noted, at first adopted the epistolary form. But it was in France, where the sentimental soil was ready for the dressing, that the analytic process was most warmly welcomed. Extravagantly eulogized by the great critic, Diderot, modified with splendid variation by Rousseau, copied (unwillingly) by Voltaire, the vogue of Richardson was so great as to tempt some modern French critics to seek his original in the Marianne of a contemporary analyst, Marivaux. As.a matter of fact, though, there is some unconscious consonance of manner, there is nothing whatever to show that the little-lettered author of Pamela, who was also ignorant of French, had the slightest knowledge of Marivaux or M arianne. In Germany Richardson was even more popular than in France. Gellert, the fabulist, translated him; Wieland, Lessing, Hermes, all imitated him, and Coleridge detects him even in the Robbers of Schiller. What was stranger still, he returned to Englandagain under another form. Having given a fillip to the French comédie larmoyante, that -comedy crossed the channel as the sentimental comedy of Cumberland and Kelly, which, after a brief career of prosperity, received its death-blow at the hands of Goldsmith and Sheridan.

A selection from Richardson's Correspondence was published by Mrs A. L. Barbauld in 1804, in six volumes, with a valuable Memoir. Recent lives are biy Miss Clara L. Thomson, 1900, and by Austin Dobson (“ Men o Letters ), 1902. A convenient reprint of the novels, with copies of the old illustrations bv Stothard, Edward Burney and the rest, and anintroducton by Mrs E..M. M. McKenna, was issued in 1901 in 20 volumes. (A. D.)

BICHELIEU, ARMAND EMMANUEL SOPHIE SEPTE-MANIE DU PLESSIS, DUC DE (1766-1822), French statesman, was born in Paris on the 25th of September 1766, the son of Louis Antoine du Plessis, duc de Fronsac and grandson of the marshal de Richelieu (1696-1788). The Comte de Chinon, as the heir to the Richelieu honours was called, was married at fifteen to Rosalie de Rochechouart, a deformed child of twelve, with whom his relations were never more than formal. After two years of foreign travel he entered the Queen's dragoons and next year received-a place at court, where he had a reputation for Puritan austerity. He left Paris in 1790 for Vienna, and- in company with his friend Prince Charles de Ligne joined the Russian army as a volunteer, reaching the Russian headquarters at Bender on the 21st of November. He was present at the capture of Ismailia and received from the empress Catherine the cross of St George and a golden sword. By the death of his father in February 1791, he succeeded to the title of duc de Richelieu. He .returned to Paris shortly afterwards on the summons of Louis XVI., but he was not sufficiently in the confidence of the court to be informed of the projected flight to Varennes. In July he obtained a passport from the National Assembly for service in Russia. In the Russian army he obtained the grade of general-major, only to be forced by the intrigues of his enemies to resign. The accession of Alexander I. brightened his prospects. His erasure from the list of émigrés, which he had failed to secure from Napoleon, was accorded on the request of the Russian government, and in 1803 he became governor of Odessa. Two years later he became governor general of the Chersonese, of Ekaterinoslav and the Crimea, then called New Russia. In the eleven years of his administration, Odessa rose from a miserable village to an important city. He commanded a division in the Turkish War of 1806-7, and was engaged in frequent expeditions to the Caucasus. Richelieu returned to France in 1814; on the triumphant return of Napoleon from Elba he accompanied Louis XVIII. in his flight as far as Lille, whence he went to Vienna to join the Russian army, believing that he could best serve the interests of the monarchy and of France by attaching himself to the headquarters of the emperor Alexander. Richelieu's character and antecedents alike marked him out as valuable support of the monarchy after its second restoration. Though the bulk of his confiscated estates were lost beyond recall, he did not share the resentment of the mass of the returned émigrés, from whom and their intrigues he had held aloof during his exile, and was far from sharing their delusions as to the possibility of undoing the work of the Revolution. As the personal friend of the Russian emperor his influence in the councils of the Allies was likely to be of great service. He refused, indeed, Talleyrand's offer of a place in his ministry, pleading his long absence from France and ignorance of its conditions; but after Talleyrand's retirement he consented to follow him as prime minister, though-as he himself said-he did not know the face of one of his colleagues.

The events of Richelieu's tenure of office are noticed elsewhere (see FRANCE: History). Here it need only be said that it was mainly due to his efforts that France was so early relieved of the burden of the allied army of occupation. It was for this purpose mainly that he attended the congress of Aix-la-Chapelle in 1818. There he had been informed in confidence of the renewal by the Allies of their treaty binding them to interfere in case of a renewal of revolutionary trouble in France; and it was partly owing to this knowledge that he resigned office in December of the same year, on the refusal of his colleagues to support a reactionary modification of the electoral law. After the murder of the duc de Berry and the enforced retirement of Decazes, he again became president of the council (21st February 1821); but his position was untenable owing to the attacks of the “ Ultras ” on the one side and the Liberals on the other, and on the I2th of December he again resigned. He died of apoplexy on the 17th of May 1822.