Talfourd, Sir Thomas Noon
talleyrand paris france life king tallis england time career received
TALFOURD, SIR THOMAS NOON (1795-1854), was at tragedy was also well received in America, and it met with once eminent as a lawyer, as a writer, and as a member of the honour of reproduction at Sadler's Wells in December a brilliant and polished society. He had the faculty of 1861. This dramatic poem, its author's masterpiece, turns winning friendships ; so sympathetic indeed was his nature upon the voluntary sacrifice of Ion, king of Argos, in re-that he unconsciously biassed many of the most acute sponse to the Delphic oracle, which had declared that only among his acquaintances towards an estimate of his genius with the extinction of the reigning family could the press an author - more especially as a dramatist - hardly vailing pestilence incurred by the deeds of that family be commensurate with what more impartial criticism has removed. As a poem Ion has many high qualities. The ' decided to be his just meed of praise. But, though even blank verse, if lacking the highest excellence, is smooth his most excellent work in literature has now ceased to and musical, and the lines are frequently informed with the be generally cared for, his poetry must always be inter- spirit of genuine poetry ; the character of the high-souled esting to the literary student. son of the Argive king is finely developed, and the reader The son of a brewer in good circumstances, Talfourd is affected throughout by that same sense of the relentless was born on January 26, 1795, at Doxey, near Stafford working and potency of destiny which so markedly distin(some accounts mention Reading). He received his early guishes the writings of the Greek dramatists.
had always had an attraction for him, and at the general In addition to the writings above-mentioned, Talfourd was the election in 1835 he was returned for Reading. This seat author of The Letters of Charles Lamb, with a Sketch of his Life (1837); Recollections of a First Visit to the Alps (1841); Vacation he retained for close upon six years, and he was again Rambles and Thoughts, comprising recollections of three Conti• returned in 1S47. In the House of Commons he was no nental tours in the vacations of 1841, 1842, and 1843 (2 vols., 1844) ; mere ornamental member. Those efforts of his which have and Final Memorials of Charles Lamb (1849-50).
most interest for us of later date were made on behalf of TALISMAN. See AMULET.
the rights of authors, for whose benefit he introduced the TALLAGE, or TALLIAGE (from the French Jailer, i.e., International Copyright Bill ; his speech on this subject a part cut out of the whole), appears to have signified at was considered the most telling made in the House during first a tax in general, but became afterwards confined in that session. The bill met with strong opposition, but England to a special form of tax, the assessment upon cities, Talfourd had the satisfaction of seeing it ultimately pass boroughs, and royal demesnes - in effect, a land tax. Like into law in 1842, albeit in a greatly modified form. SCUTAGE (q.v.), tallage was superseded by the subsidy sysAt the period of his elevation to the bench he was tem in the 14th century. The last occasion on which it was created a knight, and thenceforward his life was, in the levied appears to be the year 1332. The famous statute intervals of his professional labours, devoted to scholarly of 25 Edw. I. (in some editions of the statutes 34 Edw. I.) and literary pursuits. From his school days he had enter- De Tallagio non Concedendo, though it is printed among tained dreams of attaining eminence as a writer ; and to the the statutes of the realm, and was cited as a statute in • last he remained a diligent student of literature, ancient the preamble to the Petition of Right in 1627, and by the and modern. During his early years in London Talfourd judges in John Hampden's case in 1637, is probably an found himself forced to depend - in great measure, at least imperfect and unauthoritative abstract of the Confirmatio - upon his literary exertions. He was at this period on Cartarum. The first section enacts that no tallage or aid the staff of the London Magazine, and was an occasional shall be imposed or levied by the king and his heirs with-contributor to the Edinburgh and Quarterly reviews, the out the will and assent of the archbishops, bishops, and New Monthly Magazine, and other periodicals ; while, on other prelates, the earls, barons, knights, burgesses, and joining the western circuit, he acted as law reporter to other freemen in the kingdom. Tallagium facere was the The Times. His legal writings on matters germane to lit- technical term for rendering accounts in the exchequer, the erature are excellent expositions, animated by a lucid and accounts being originally kept by means of tallies or sufficiently telling, if not highly polished, style. Among notched sticks. The tellers (a corruption of Colliers) of the the best of these are his article "On the Principle of exchequer were at one time important financial officers. Advocacy in the Practice of the Bar" (in the Law Magazine, The system of keeping the national accounts by tallies was January 1846); his Proposed New Law of Copyright of the abolished by 23 Geo. IIL c. 82, the office of teller by 57 Highest Importance to Authors (1838) ; Three Speeches de- Geo. III. c. 84.
livered in the House of Commons in Favour of an Extension TALLEYRAND DE PERIGORD, CHARLES MAURICE of Copyright (1840); and his famous Speech for the De- (1754-1838), created by Napoleon a prince of the empire fendant in the Prosecution, the Queen v. Moxon, for the under the title of the Prince de Benevent, was born at ' Publication of Shelley's Poetical Works (1841). Paris on 2d February 1754. His father, who was of a But Talfourd cannot be said to have gained any position younger branch of the princely family of Chalais, was an officer in the army of Louis XV., and his mother, also of noble family, was a member of the royal household at Versailles. An accident in infancy rendered Talleyrand lame for life, and changed his whole career. His upbringing was, in accordance with the fashionable heartlessness of the day, entirely left to strangers ; and while a boy he was, in consequence of his lameness, formally deprived by a conseil de famille of his rights of primogeniture, - his younger brother, the Comte d'Archambaud, taking his place ; and he was destined for the church. He keenly felt the blow, but was powerless to avert it ; and he used his enforced profession only as a stepping-stone to his ambition, always despising it, and coolly and defiantly forsaking it when he found it an embarrassment.
When he was removed from the country he was sent to the College d'Harcourt, where he speedily distinguished himself ; and in 1770, when sixteen years of age, he became an inmate of the Seminaire de St Sulpice, his education being completed by a course in the Sorbonne. Much as Talleyrand despised the church as a career, he never ceased highly to appreciate theology as a training, and he publicly testified to its value to the statesman and specially to the diplomatist. While achieving distinction as a student, be carefully cultivated such society as might promote his advancement ; and it was in the circle of Madame du Barry that his cynicism and wit, reported by her to the king, gained him the position of abbe. To his arts of manner were added, not only his advantages of birth and scholarship, but a penetrating judgment of men and affairs, a subtle audacity, and a boundlessly selfish ambition. As early as 1780 we find this abbe nudgre lui to have reached the important position of " agent-general " of the French clergy. His ability and his flagrant immorality alike rendered him a marked man, and the latter did not prevent his appointment, in accordance with his father's dying request to the king, as bishop of Autun in January 1789. The clergy of his own diocese immediately elected him a member of the states-general; and he delivered before his constituents one of the most remarkable speeches which the crisis produced, containing a sagacious and statesmanlike programme of the reforms which the condition of France demanded. He thus entered the assembly as one of its leaders.
The states-general had hardly met ere Talleyrand's influence was called into play. He successfully urged the clergy to yield to the demand of the commons that the three estates should meet together; and the nobles could thereafter only follow the example thus set. On the question of the extent of the assembly's authority he again sided with the popular leaders. As a financier of great foresight and power he soon became justly celebrated; and his position in the assembly may be estimated by his appointment as one of a committee of eight to frame the project of a constitution. All his previous successes were, however, eclipsed by the daring with which he attacked the rights and privileges of his own order. He had seconded the proposals that the clergy should give up their tithes and plate for the benefit of the nation, and on 10th October 1789 he himself proposed a scheme whereby the landed property of the church should be confiscated by the state. On 2d November, after violent debates, his project was carried, and the old clergy thereafter ranked him as an enemy. But his general popularity so much increased that he was charged by the national assembly to prepare a written memoir in defence of its labours; and the manifesto, read on February 10, 1790, was received with great approval throughout the country. On the 16th he was elected president of the assembly for the usual brief term. On various subjects he was now looked up to as an authority, - on education, on electoral and ecclesiastical reform, on banking, and on general finance. His career as a diplomatist had not yet begun.
On July 14, 1790, Talleyrand, at the head of 300 clergy, assisted at the fête in the Champ de Mars in commemoration of the fall of the Bastille, and publicly blessed the great standard of France. By this time, however, the dispute as to the civil constitution of the clergy had broken out, the decision of the assembly being resisted by the king, backed by the pope. When in November the king yielded, Talleyrand boldly took the required oath, only two bishops following his example. New bishops were elected by the assembly, and these he, in open defiance of the church, consecrated. In the end of April 1791 he was suspended from his functions and excommunicated by the pope. Without a moment's hesitation Talleyrand abandoned his profession, which he never afterwards resumed. He had been false to its vows, and had scandalized it by his shameless life. It was only in the preceding February that lie had, in declining nomination for the archbishopric of Paris, felt, indiscreetly enough and contrary to his usual practice, the necessity of writing to the Moniteur a hypocritical confession of his gambling propensities, stating his gains at 30,000 francs. Although in 1801 the excommunication was recalled, it was nearly half a century after his first act of defiance ere be became personally reconciled to the church, and then only when he was at the point of death.
On purely political lines, however, Talleyrand's career became more and more celebrated. In the beginning of the same month of April 1791, his friend Mirabeau having just died, he was appointed to succeed him as a director of the department of Paris, a position which still further increased his influence in the circles of the metropolis. On the flight of the king in June, Talleyrand leaned at first and cautiously towards the duke of Orleans, but finally declared for a constitutional monarchy with Louis XVI. still on the throne. Ere the constitutional assembly brought its existence to a close on 14th September, he unfolded before it his magnificent scheme of national education, which, in the words of Sir Henry Bulwer, "having at one extremity the communal school and at the other the Institute, exists with but slight alterations at this very day." The assembly had voted that none of its members should be members of the new legislative body, so that Talleyrand was free ; besides, events were hurrying on with strange and critical rapidity ; and Talleyrand left France for England, reaching London in the end of January 1792. With this visit his diplomatic career may be said to have begun.
He was not formally accredited, but had in his pocket an introduction to Lord Grenville by Delessart the foreign minister ; the king himself was aware of his mission, the ostensible object of which was to conciliate England. Talleyrand for his part shared the ulterior views of Narbonne, the minister of war, that it would be for the advantage of his country to divert its energies, which were morbidly directed to its internal troubles, into another channel, and to precipitate an Austrian war. Although received well in London society, be found the want of official credentials a fatal obstacle to his diplomatic negotiations, and he returned to Paris, whence he was almost immediately again despatched to the English court under much more favourable conditions. He was nominally only attendant with De Chauvelin, the minister plenipotentiary, but he was really the head of the embassy, and he carried with him a letter of Louis XVI. to George III. At this time, indeed, Talleyrand's relations with Louis were very close, - far closer than he afterwards cared or dared to avow. All, however, was of no avail. The startling course of the Revolution made the English look askance upon his mission, and he returned baffled to Paris, where he arrived shortly before the coup d'etat of the 10th of August. But this place, where his wariest manoeuvres were outdone by the rapidity of the popular movements, and where at any turn of affairs he might lose his head, was not to his liking ; and by the middle of September he is for the third time in London. It is characteristic of the man - of the dexterity as well as audacity of his intrigue - that he who had but shortly before carried with him a letter of favour from Louis XVI. was, now that royalty was abolished, the bearer of a specific passport" going to London by our orders " - under the hand of Danton. Equally characteristic is the express falsehood with which he opens his negotiations : he writes at once to Lord Grenville, " I have at this time absolutely no kind of mission in England " - he was selling his library and seeking repose. His courtesies were not returned; and, although he succeeded in making friends in certain high quarters, he was, in the end of January 1794, under the provisions of the Alien Act, ordered to leave England. Fortified with an introduction by Lord Lansdowne to Washington, he sailed for the United States.
A decree of the convention had issued against Talley-rand during his stay in England. He was an emigré. But as the excesses of the period drew to a close the proscription was recalled on the appeal of Chenier, who founded on Talleyrand's relations with Danton and his mission to England in the service of the Revolution I On July 25, 1795, he arrived at Hamburg, whence he passed to Berlin, and, after a short stay there, to Paris. He was received with enthusiasm in the circles of fashion and intrigue. He would have been eagerly welcomed by any of the political parties as a strength ; but the Directory was in power, and he supported it. Within the Directory he supported Barras, as against his compeers. He was thus a moderate constitutionalist and in the way of advancement.
During his absence from France he had been elected a member of the Institute. He was now elected its secretary. In this capacity he read before it two memoirs - one on the "commercial relations of the United States with England," and the other " on the advantages of withdrawing from new colonies in present circumstances." These memoirs exhibit Talleyrand at the very maturity of his powers, and are sufficient to establish his position as one of the most far-seeing and thoughtful statesmen that France ever possessed. The first paper shows how, in spite of the War of Independence, the force of language, race, and interest must in his view bind England and the States together as natural allies ; and it contains that remarkable passage (which once read is never forgotten) in which the civilization of America is described as exhibited in space as well as in time, - as the traveller moves westward from State to State he appears to go backward from age to age. The papers, which were read in April and July of 1797, made his claim to state recognition irresistible, and towards the end of the latter month he was appointed to the post of foreign minister.
He had been carefully scanning the political situation, and he accurately foresaw that the Directory, which represented no one set of opinions, but only a vain compound of all, could not stand against unity of policy backed by force, and in the meantime could be manipulated. Thus with a brutal swiftness its personnel becomes changed. Barras with his sluggish moderation remains ; but, behind and through him, it is the dexterous purpose of Talleyrand that is at work. This is the first characteristic of his administration. Its second is the ability which he displays in his communications with the diplordatic service, in view of the rupture with England. Its third is the shamelessly corrupt manner in which he approaches the American ambassadors on the subject of the seizure of certain ships, on the conclusion of a commercial treaty between England and the States, putting himself in his public and powerful position at their service, - if the bribe were suitably large. And its fourth is that he is hardly in the chair of office until he has shrewdly selected Bonaparte as the object of his assiduous flatteries, writing to him in semi-confidence, and laying the basis of their - future intimacy. But his first term of office was short : the American ambassadors spurned his offer and let his conduct be publicly known, with the result that for this and other reasons he resigned his post. Public opinion was outraged. His official corruption, however, was not ended, for Talleyrand turned everything into gold; in his later diplomacy also he could always be bought ; and this public immorality was but too faithfully reflected in his private life, in which gambling was his passion and a source of his vast wealth.
Out of office, but still pulling the strings of the Directory, he awaited the arrival of Napoleon in Paris, and it was his hand which was most powerful in shaping the events of the 18th and 19th Brumaire-9th and 10th November 1799. He reconciled Sieyes to Bonaparte ; a majority of the Directory - Sieyes, Ducos, and at last at his persuasion even Barras - resigned ; the Directory collapsed, and the consulate was established (see NAPOLEON and SinvEs). Napoleon was the first and Talleyrand the second man in France.
He was now an absolutist, the whole drift of his influence being in the direction of consolidating, under whatever title, the power of Bonaparte. For many years henceforward Talleyrand's career is part of the general history of France. He is soon again foreign minister ; and he is acknowledged to have been the ablest diplomatist of an age when diplomacy was a greater power than it has ever been before or since. To him falls a full share of responsibility for the kidnapping and murder of the Due d'Enghien in March 1804 (see SAVA1Y). He had assisted at the councils when the atrocity was planned, and he wrote to the grand-duke justifying the seizure of the prince while on Baden territory. His hand in the matter was of course concealed. But, when one advised him to tender his resignation, he demurely remarked, " If, as you say, Bonaparte has been guilty of a crime, that is no reason why I should be guilty of a folly." In other and more agreeable directions he had prostrated himself before Napoleon's purposes, approving among other things of the policy of the Concordat (15th July 1801), and securing thereby the recall of his excommunication. To the pope's grateful brief, which gave him liberty "to administer all civil affairs," he coolly gave a wide interpretation, and he shortly thereafter married. He of course supported and defended first the consulship for life and then the crowning of the emperor.
By and by, however, a change comes over his political attitude, and it is not long ere Napoleon detects it. This change we date, with Sainte-Beuve, from the end of January 1809. Before the peace of Tilsit, July 8, 1807, from Jena onwards, he had personally accompanied the great conqueror ; after it they stood apart, for the statesman saw in those brilliant but ceaseless conquests the prelude to the ruin of his master and his country. He was now prince of Benevento, and he withdrew from the ministry, receiving at his own desire the title of vice-grandelector of the empire. Yet he had not disapproved of the, Spanish war ; the young princes had even been entrusted to his surveillance at his country house at Valencay. But anything might have happened to the emperor in Spain, and Talleyrand had evidently been calculating the chances of the future. So at the date stated the explosion occurs, extreme difficulty. The king disliked him ; there were Napoleon pouring upon Talleyrand all the fury of his scenes bordering on violence in the royal presence ; the invective, reproaching him with the affair of the Due Russian emperor intimated his hostility to him ; he shared d'Enghien, and clamouring to know where his enormous the odium of having a man like Fouche for a colleague ; wealth had come from, - how much he had gained at Chateaubriand and his party hated and beset him. For-play or on the stock exchange, and what was the sum of tunately an excuse of a broad and national kind soon pre-his bribes by foreign powers. Over and over again such sented itself. He objected to the conditions which the scenes are repeated, the burden of the fierce reproaches allies were imposing upon France, refused to sign the being always the same; but Talleyrand stands impassive treaty, and on 24th September resigned office.
as a statue, remarking once, but not till he is out of the He retired into private life, in which he remained for room, and is limping away, "What a pity that such a fifteen years. He only spoke in the House of Peers great man has been so badly brought up !" or sending in, three times during this period, - twice (1821 and 1822) at another time, a resignation, which of course is not ac- in favour of the liberty of the press, and once (1823) cepted. The reproaches of the emperor were only too well to protest against the Spanish war. But in 1830, when founded, his minister having reaped a vast harvest from Charles X.'s reign was evidently imperilled, he again is at the smaller powers at the formation of the Rhenish Con- the centre t.
.of intrigue ; and it is actually at his private bu federation; it is indeed recorded that Talleyrand once put urgent suggestion that Louis Philippe heads the revolution, a figure upon his gains in this department of corruption - taking, to begin with, the title of lieutenant-general of the the figure being no less than sixty million francs. kingdom. Declining the post of foreign minister, he It is undoubtedly to his credit, however, that he steadily proceeded to London as ambassador, conducting himself resisted a warlike policy, and that he was particularly and serving his country with his usual consummate skill. opposed to the Russian invasion. He was occasionally He returned crowned with success after the formation of employed in diplomatic negotiations, and was even again the Quadruple Alliance. In November 1834 he resigned, offered the post of foreign minister if he would give up and quitted public life for ever.
that of vice-grand-elector. This offer, which would have He emerged from his retirement on March 3, 1838, to placed him at the mercy of Napoleon, he declined, and pronounce before the Institute the eloge of Reinhard, and the breach between the two widened. Before the events in so doing to treat of diplomacy in general, and to of 1814 his hotel had become the centre of anti-Napoleonic suggest an indirect but adroit apology for his own career. intrigue ; as the crisis approached he communicated with He was received with unbounded enthusiasm by the elite the allies ; when it was at hand he favoured a regency, of French literature and society - Cousin eyen exclaiming and appeared anxious that Marie Louise should remain in that the eloge was worthy of Voltaire. His last illness, Paris ; and when this was abandoned he carefully arranged which had by this time shown itself, soon prostrated him. a feigned departure himself, but that his carriage should He was visited on his death-bed by crowds of celebrities, be turned back at the city gates; he did return ; and the including the king. He died on May 17, 1838, at the emperor Alexander was his guest at the Hotel Talleyrand ! great age of eighty-four. He is buried at Valencay.
under a new master, lie was appointed foreign minister. There is a considerable body of anonymous and untrustworthy It would be difficult to overestimate the splendid services literature both in French and English on the subject of this sketch.
For the earlier part of Talleyrand's career, see the general literature which he now rendered to France. In Paris, on 23d April, of the Revolution; for the Napoleonic, the general histories, includthe treaty was concluded under which the soldiers of the ing especially the Memoirs of the Due de Rovigo ; for the third and allies were to leave French soil ; and Talleyrand success- last, also the general histories, and especially the Correspondence fully urged that the territory of France should be the between Talleyrand and Louis X VIIL, edited by Pullain (1880; trans]. into English, 1881), and the Memoirs of Guizot. Refer- enlarged territory of 1792, and also that the great art ences abound to the private life of Talleyrand., and on it see also treasures of which so many European cities had been the Histoire Politique et Vie blame, by G. Touchard-Lafosse (1848), despoiled should remain in Paris. A final tfcaty of peace and the Souvenirs Daiwa sur M. de Talleyrand, by Amedee between Europe and France was concluded on 30th May, Pichot (1870). The student must be on his guard in perusing and in September the congress of Vienna assembled. It most of this last-mentioned literature. For many years the HisLoire Politique et Privee, by G. Michaud (1853), stood practically was the scene of Talleyrand's greatest triumphs. He uncorrected, although evidently a studied and bitter attack. The succeeded single-banded in breaking up the confederation view taken by Louis Blanc in his Dix An.s (translated into English of the allies, and in reintroducing the voice of France into in 1845) is also quite distorted, and if one wishes to see a complete the deliberations of the European powers. Further, on misreading of Talleyrand's career it can be found in Blanc's tenth chapter of his fifth book. Sir Henry Lytton Bulwer rendered great January 3, 1815, a secret treaty was concluded between service by his life of Talleyrand, published in his Historical Char-Austria, France, and England. aeters; and the worth and accuracy of Bulwer's biography, which When Napoleon escaped from Elba and advanced was speedily translated into French, has been amply acknowledged towards Paris, Louis XVIII. retired to Ghent. Although by Sainte-Beuve in his valuable treatise (lectures) on Talleyrand, published in 1870. Reference should also be made to llignet, the congress of Vienna was thus broken up, Talleyrand Bastide, and the Memaires Politiques of Lamartine.
evidence iinplicating himself, e.g., at the moment when the remarking, when an explanation was asked for, that the(T. S.) Russian emperor was living at his house.
first duty of a diplomatist after a congress was to attend TALLIEN, JEAN LAMBERT (1769-1820), the chief to his liver ! Waterloo of course decided him. He ap- leader of the party that overthrew Robespierre, was the peared at Ghent, and was but coldly received. The foreign son of the maitre d'hôtel of the Marquis de Bercy, and powers, however, intervened, conscious after Vienna of was born in Paris in 1769. The marquis, perceiving the Talleyrand's value ; and, among others, Wellington insisted boy's ability, had him well educated, and got him a that the great diplomatist must be taken into the councils place as a lawyer's clerk. Being much excited by the first of Louis, - with the result that he became prime minister events of the Revolution, he gave up his desk to enter a at the second restoration. But his position was one of printer's office, and by 1791 he was overseer of the printing department of the Moniteur. While thus employed he elected to the Committee of Public Safety. Now came conceived the idea of the journal-qffiche, and from January the great months of his career : he showed himself a to May 1791 he placarded a large printed sheet on all vigorous Thermidorian ; he was instrumental in suppress-the walls of Paris twice a week under the title of the Ami ing the Revolutionary Tribunal and the Jacobin Club ; he des Citoyens. This enterprise of his, of which the expenses attacked Carrier and Lebon, the proconsuls of Nantes and were defrayed by the Jacobin Clubb made him well known Arras ; and he fought bravely against the insurgents of to the revolutionary leaders ; and he made himself still Prairial. In all these months he was supported by his more conspicuous in organizing the great "Fete de la Theresa, whom he married on December 26, 1794, and Liberte " on April 15, 1792, in honour of the released who became the leader of the social life of Paris. His last soldiers of Château-Vieux, with Collot d'Herbois. On political achievement was in July 1795, when he was present July 8, 1792, he was the spokesman of a deputation of with Hoche at the destruction of the army of the émigrés the section of the Place Royale which demanded from at Quiberon, and ordered the executions which followed. the legislative assembly the reinstatement of Petion and After the close of the Convention Tallien's political import-Manuel, and he was one of the most active popular leaders once came to an end, for, though he sat in the Council of in the attack upon the Tuileries on 10th August, on which Five Hundred, the moderates attacked him as terrorist, day he was appointed secretary or clerk to the revolution- and the extreme party as a renegade. Madame Tallien ary commune of Paris. In this capacity he exhibited an also got tired of him, and became the mistress of the rich almost feverish activity ; he perpetually appeared at the banker Ouvrard. Bonaparte, however, who is said to have bar of the assembly on behalf of the commune ; he been introduced by him to Barras, took him to Egypt in announced the massacres of September in the prisons in his great expedition of June 1798, and after the capture terms of praise and apology ; and he sent off the famous of Cairo he edited the official journal there, the Decade circular of 3d September to the provinces, recommending Egyptienne. But Menou sent him away from Egypt, and them to do likewise. At the close of the month he on his passage he was captured by an English cruiser and resigned his post on being elected, in spite of his youth, taken to London, where he had a good reception among a deputy to the Convention by the department of Seine- the Whigs and was well received by Fox. On returning et-Oise, and he commenced his legislative career by defend- to France in 1802 he got a divorce from his unfaithful ing the conduct of the commune during the massacres. He spouse (who eventually married the Prince de Chimay), and took his seat upon the Mountain, and showed himself one was left for some time without employment. At last, of the most vigorous Jacobins, particularly in his defence through Fouche and Talleyrand, he got the appointment of Marat ; he voted for the execution of the king, and was of consul at Alicante, and remained there until he lost the elected a member of the Committee of General Security on sight of one eye from yellow fever. On returning to Paris January 21, 1793. After a short mission in the western he lived on his half-pay until 1815, when he received the provinces he returned to Paris, and took an active part in especial favour of not being exiled like the other regicides. the coups d'etat of 31st May and 2d June, which resulted His latter days were spent in the direst poverty ; he had in the overthrow of the Girondins. For the next few to sell his books to get bread. He died at Paris on Nov-months he remained comparatively quiet, but on Septem- ember 16, 1820.
ber 23, 1793, he was sent with Ysabeau on his famous TALLIS (TALLYS, TALYS, or TALLISIIIS), THOMAS mission to Bordeaux. This was the very month in which (c. 1515-1585), justly styled "the father of English cathethe Terror was organized under the superintendence of the dral music," was born, as nearly as can be ascertained, Committees of Public Safety and General Security, and about the year 1515. The history of his youth is involved Bordeaux was one of the cities selected to feel its full in some obscurity ; there seems, however, but little doubt weight. Tallien showed himself one of the most vigorous that, after singing as a chorister at old Saint Paul's under of the proconsuls sent over France to establish the Terror Thomas Mulliner, he obtained a place among the children in the provinces ; though with but few adherents, he soon of the chapel royal. His next appointment was that of awed the great city into quiet, and kept the guillotine organist at Waltham abbey, where, on the dissolution of constantly employed. It was at this moment that the the monastery in 1540, he received,in compensation for romance of Tallien's life commenced. Among his prisoners the loss of his preferment, 20s. for wages and 20s. for was Theresa, Comtesse de Fontenay, the daughter of the reward. An interesting relic of this period of his career great Spanish banker Cabarrus, the most beautiful and is preserved in the library of the British Museum, in the fascinating woman of her time, and Tallien not only spared form of a volume of MS. treatises on music, once belong-her life but fell deeply in love with her. She quickly ing to the abbey, on the last page of which appears his abated the fierceness of his revolutionary ardour, and autograph, " Thomas Tallys," with the final letter pro-from the lives she saved by her entreaties she received the longed into an elaborate flourish - the only specimen of name of " Our Lady of Pity." This mildness, however, his handwriting now known to exist.
displeased the members of the committees ; Tallien was Not long after his dismissal from Waltham, Tallis was recalled to Paris ; and Madame de Fontenay was imprisoned appointed a gentleman of the chapel royal; and thence-there. Danton and his friends had but just fallen, and forward he laboured so zealously for the advancement of the members of the committees were half afraid to strike his art that his genius has left an indelible impression upon again at the moderates, so Tallien was spared for the time, the English school, which owes more to him than to any and was even elected president of the Convention on March other composer of the 16th century, and in the history of 24, 1794. But the Terror could not be maintained at the which his name plays a very important part indeed.
same pitch : Robespierre began to see that he must strike One of the earliest compositions by Tanis to which an at many of his own colleagues in the committees if he was approximate date can be assigned is the well-known Service to carry out his theories, and Tallien was one of the men in the Dorian Mode, consisting of the Venite, Te Deunz, condemned with them. They determined to strike first, Benedictus, Kyrie, Nicene Creed, Sanctus, Gloria in and on the great day of Thermidor it was Tallien who, Excelsis, 1i1a,gni.ficat, and Nunc Dimittis, for four voices, urged on by the danger in which his beloved lay, opened together with the Preces, Responses, Paternoster, and Litany, the attack upon Robespierre. The movement was suc- for five, all published for the first time, in the Rev. cessful ; Robespierre and his friends were guillotined ; John Barnard's First Book of Selected Church Music, in and the young Tallien, as the leading Thermidorian, was 1641, and reprinted, with the exception of the Venite and Paternoster, in Boyce's Cathedral Music in 1760.1 That this work was composed for the purpose of supplying a pressing need, after the publication of the second prayer-book of King Edward VI. in 1552 there can be no reasonable doubt ; and its perfect adaptation to its intended purpose is sufficiently proved by the fact that, for more than three hundred years, its claim to occupy the first and highest place among compositions of its class has been undisputed. Written in the style known among Italian composers as to stile farnigliare, i.e., in simple counterpoint of the first species, nota contra notam, with no attempt at ingenious points of imitation, or learned complications of any kind - it adapts itself with equal dignity and clearness to the expression of the verbal text it is intended to illustrate, bringing out the sense of the words so plainly that the listener cannot fail to interpret them aright, while its pure rich harmonies tend far more surely to the excitement of devotional feeling than the marvellous combinations by means of which too many of Tallis's contemporaries sought to astonish their hearers, while forgetting all the loftier attributes of their art. In this noble quality of self-restraint the Litany and Responses bear a close analogy to the Improperia and other similar works of Palestrina, wherein, addressing himself to the heart rather than to the ear, the princeps musicm produces the most thrilling effects by means which, to the superficial critic, appear almost puerile in their simplicity, while those who are able to look beneath the surface discern in them depths of learning such as none but a very highly cultivated musician can appreciate. Of this profound learning Tallis possessed an inexhaustible store ; and the rich resources it opened to his genius not only placed his compositions on a level with those produced by the best of his Italian and Flemish contemporaries, but enabled him to raise the English school itself to a height which it had never previously attained, and which, nevertheless, it continued to maintain undiminished until the death of its last representative, Orlando Gibbons, in 1625. Though this school is generally said to have been founded by Dr Tye, there can be no doubt that Tallis was its greatest master, and that it was indebted to him alone for the infusion of new life and vigour which prevented it from degenerating, as some of the earlier Flemish schools had done, into a mere vehicle for the display of fruitless erudition. Tallis's ingenuity far surpassed that of his most erudite contemporaries; but he never paraded it at the expense either of intrinsic beauty or truthfulness of expression. Like every other great musician of the period, he produced occasionally works confessedly intended for no more exalted purpose than the exhibition of his stupendous skill, one of the most remarkable characteristics of which was the apparent ease with which it disposed of difficulties that, to composers of ordinary ability, would have proved insurmountable. In his canon, Miserere nostri, the intricacy of the contrapuntal devices seems little short of miraculous ; yet, so smooth and flowing is the effect produced by their dizzy involutions, that no one unacquainted with the secret of their construction would suspect the presence of any unusual element in the composition. In his motet, Spem in alium non habui, written for forty voices disposed in eight five-part choirs, each singer is intrusted with a part, agreeable and interesting in itself, yet never for a moment interfering with any one of the thirty-nine equally interesting parts with which it is associated. These tours de force, however, though approachable only by the greatest contrapuntists living in an age in which counterpoint Boyce's unaccountable omission of the very beautiful Venite is a misfortune which cannot be too deeply deplored, since it has led to its consignment to almost hopeless oblivion.
was cultivated with a success that has never since been equalled, serve to illustrate one phase only of Tallis's many-sided genius, which shines with equal. brightness in the eight psalm-tunes (one in each of the first eight modes) and unpretending little Veni Creator, printed in 1567 at the end of Archbishop Parker's First Quinquagene of Metrical Psalms, and many other compositions of like simplicity.
In 1575 Tanis and his pupil William Byrd - as great a contrapuntist as himself, though by no means his equal in depth of expression - obtained from Queen Elizabeth royal letters patent granting them the exclusive right of printing music and ruling music-paper for twenty-one years; and, in virtue of this privilege, they issued, in the same year, a joint work, entitled Cantiones gum al) argument° Sacrx vocantur, quinque et sex partium, containing sixteen motets by Tallis and eighteen by Byrd, all of the highest degree of excellence. Some of these motets, adapted to English words, are now sung as anthems in the Anglican cathedral service. But no such translations appear to have been made during Tallis's lifetime ; and there is 'strong reason for believing that, though both he and Byrd outwardly conformed to the new religion, and composed music expressly for its use, they remained Catholics at heart to the end of their days.
Tallis's contributions to the Cantiones Sacra were the last of his compositions published during his lifetime. He did not, indeed, live to witness the expiration of the patent, though Byrd survived it and published two more books of Cantiones on his own account in-1589 and 1591, besides numerous other works. Tallis died November 23, 1585, and was buried in the parish church at Greenwich, where a quaint rhymed epitaph, preserved by Strype, and reprinted by Burney and Hawkins, recorded the fact that he served in the chapel royal during the reigns of Henry VIII., Edward VI., Mary, and Elizabeth. This was destroyed with the old church about 1710 ; and it was not until about twenty years ago that a copy was placed in the present building. Portraits, professedly authentic, of Tallis and Byrd were engraved by Vandergucht in 1730, for Nicolas Haym's projected History of Music, but never published. One copy only is known to exist.
Not very many works besides those already mentioned were printed during Tallis's lifetime; but a great number are still preserved in MS. Unhappily, it is to be feared that many more were destroyed, in the 17th century, during the spoliation of the cathedral libraries by the Puritans. (W. S. R.)