EDUGENE LEE-HAMILTON, the half-brother of Violet Paget (Vernon Lee), was born in London and educated in France, Germany, and Oriel College, Oxford, where he won a leading scholarship. He entered the British diplomatic service as attaché at Paris in 1869, was secretary of the Alabama Claims Commission at Geneva, and when his health began to decline as a result of over-study, he was transferred to Lisbon in 1873. But a complete nervous breakdown followed almost immediately and for twenty years he lay paralysed on a wheeled bed in Florence.
Hybrid of rack and of Procrustes' bed,
Thou thing of wood, of leather, and of steel,
Round which, by day and night, at head and heel,
Crouch shadowy Tormentors, dumb and dread;
Round which the wingless Hours, with feet of lead
Forever crawl, in spite of fierce appeal,
And the dark Terrors dance their silent reel;
What will they do with thee when I am dead?
Lest men should ask, who find thee stowed away
In some old lumber room, what wretch was he
Who used so strange an engine night and day;
Fain would I have thee shivered utterly;
For, please the Fates, no other son of clay
Will ever need so dire a bed.
So weak, so much in pain at first that he could only hear or write a line or two of poetry at a time, he produced no