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´╗┐Title: Pickwickian Manners and Customs
Author: Fitzgerald, Percy Hethrington, 1834-1925
Language: English
As this book started as an ASCII text book there are no pictures available.
Copyright Status: Not copyrighted in the United States. If you live elsewhere check the laws of your country before downloading this ebook. See comments about copyright issues at end of book.

*** Start of this Doctrine Publishing Corporation Digital Book "Pickwickian Manners and Customs" ***

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Transcribed from the [1897] Roxburghe Press edition by David Price, email
ccx074@pglaf.org

{Book cover: cover.jpg}



PICKWICKIAN
MANNERS AND CUSTOMS,


BY

PERCY FITZGERALD.

THE
_ROXBURGHE PRESS_,
LIMITED,
FIFTEEN, VICTORIA STREET,
WESTMINSTER.

{Bentley's Miscellany cartoon: p0.jpg}

Inscribed
TO
AUGUSTINE BIRRELL, M.P.



PICKWICKIAN MANNERS AND CUSTOMS.


No English book has so materially increased the general gaiety of the
country, or inspired the feeling of comedy to such a degree as, "The
Pickwick Club."  It is now some "sixty years since" this book was
published, and it is still heartily appreciated.  What English novel or
story is there which is made the subject of notes and commentaries on the
most elaborate scale; whose very misprints and inconsistencies are
counted up; whose earliest "states of the plates" are sought out and
esteemed precious?  "Pickwick," wonderful to say, is the only story that
has produced a literature of its own--quite a little library--and has
kept artists, topographers, antiquaries, and collectors all busily at
work.

There seems to be some mystery, almost miracle, here.  A young fellow of
four-and-twenty throws off, or rather "rattles off," in the exuberance of
his spirits, a never-flagging series of incidents and characters.  The
story is read, devoured, absorbed, all over the world, and now, sixty
years after its appearance, new and yet newer editions are being issued.
All the places alluded to and described in the book have in their turn
been lifted into fame, and there are constantly appearing in magazines
illustrated articles on "Rochester and Dickens," "Dickens Land,"
"Dickens' London," and the rest.  Wonderful!  People, indeed, seem never
to tire of the subject--the same topics are taken up over and over again.
The secret seems to be that the book was a living thing, and still lives.
It is, moreover, perhaps the best, most accurate picture of character and
manners that are quite gone by: in it the meaning and significance of old
buildings, old inns, old churches, and old towns are reached, and
interpreted in most interesting fashion; the humour, bubbling over, and
never forced, and always fresh, is sustained through some six hundred
closely-printed pages; all which, in itself, is a marvel and
unapproached.  It is easy, however, to talk of the boisterousness, the
"caricature," the unlicensed recklessness of the book, the lack of
restraint, the defiance of the probabilities.  It is popular and
acceptable all the same.  But there is one test which incontestably
proves its merit, and supplies its title, to be considered all but
"monumental."  This is its prodigious fertility and suggestiveness.

At this moment a review is being made of the long Victorian Age, and
people are reckoning up the wonderful changes in life and manners that
have taken place within the past sixty years.  These have been so
imperceptibly made that they are likely to escape our ken, and the eye
chiefly settles on some few of the more striking and monumental kind,
such as the introduction of railways, of ocean steamships, electricity,
and the like.  But no standard of comparison could be more useful or more
compendious than the immortal chronicle of PICKWICK, in which the old
life, not forgotten by some of us, is summarised with the completeness of
a history.  The reign of Pickwick, like that of the sovereign, began some
sixty years ago.  Let us recall some of these changes.

To begin: We have now no arrest for debt, with the attendant sponging-
houses, Cursitor Street, sheriffs' officers, and bailiffs; and no great
Fleet Prison, Marshalsea, or King's Bench for imprisoning debtors.  There
are no polling days and hustings, with riotous proceedings, or
"hocussing" of voters; and no bribery on a splendid scale.

Drinking and drunkenness in society have quite gone out of fashion.
Gentlemen at a country house rarely or never come up from dinner, or
return from a cricket match, in an almost "beastly" state of
intoxication; and "cold punch" is not very constantly drunk through the
day.  There are no elopements now in chaises and four, like Miss
Wardle's, with headlong pursuit in other chaises and four; nor are
special licenses issued at a moment's notice to help clandestine
marriages.  There is now no frequenting of taverns and "free and easies"
by gentlemen, at the "Magpie and Stump" and such places, nor do persons
of means take up their residence at houses like the "George and Vulture"
in the City.  No galleried inns (though one still lingers on in Holborn),
are there, at which travellers put up: there were then nearly a dozen, in
the Borough and elsewhere.  There are no coaches on the great roads, no
guards and bulky drivers; no gigs with hoods, called "cabs," with the
driver's seat next his fare; no "hackney coaches," no "Hampstead stages,"
no "Stanhopes" or "guillotined cabriolets"--whatever they were--or "mail-
carts," the "pwettiest thing" driven by gentlemen.  And there are no
"sedan chairs" to take Mrs. Dowler home.  There are no "poke" or "coal-
scuttle" bonnets, such as the Miss Wardles wore; no knee-breeches and
gaiters; no "tights," with silk stockings and pumps for evening wear; no
big low-crowned hats, no striped vests for valets, and, above all, no
gorgeous "uniforms," light blue, crimson, and gold, or "orange plush,"
such as were worn by the Bath gentlemen's gentlemen.  "Thunder and
lightning" shirt buttons, "mosaic studs"--whatever they were--are things
of the past.  They are all gone.  Gone too is "half-price" at the
theatres.  At Bath, the "White Hart" has disappeared with its waiters
dressed so peculiarly--"like Westminster boys."  We have no serjeants now
like Buzfuz or Snubbin: their Inn is abolished, and so are all the
smaller Inns--Clement's or Clifford's--where the queer client lived.
Neither are valentines in high fashion.  Chatham Dockyard, with its
hierarchy, "the Clubbers," and the rest, has been closed.  No one now
gives _dejeunes_, not _dejeuners_; or "public breakfasts," such as the
authoress of the "Expiring Frog" gave.  The "delegates" have been
suppressed, and Doctors' Commons itself is levelled to the ground.  The
"Fox under the Hill" has given place to a great hotel.  The old familiar
"White Horse Cellars" has been rebuilt, made into shops and a restaurant.
There are no "street keepers" now, but the London Police.  The
_Eatanswill Gazette_ and its scurrilities are not tolerated.  Special
constables are rarely heard of, and appear only to be laughed at: their
staves, tipped with a brass crown, are sold as curios.  Turnpikes, which
are found largely in "Pickwick," have been suppressed.  The abuses of
protracted litigation in Chancery and other Courts have been reformed.  No
papers are "filed at the Temple"--whatever that meant.  The Pound, as an
incident of village correction has, all but a few, disappeared.

Then for the professional classes, which are described in the chronicle
with such graphic power and vivacity.  As at this time "Boz" drew the
essential elements of character instead of the more superficial ones--his
later practice--there is not much change to be noted.  We have the
medical life exhibited by Bob Sawyer and his friends; the legal world in
Court and chambers--judges, counsel, and solicitors--are all much as they
are now.  Sir Frank Lockwood has found this subject large enough for
treatment in his little volume, "The Law and Lawyers of Pickwick."  It
may be thought that no judge of the pattern of Stareleigh could be found
now, but we could name recent performances in which incidents such as,
"Is your name Nathaniel Daniel or Daniel Nathaniel?" have been repeated.
Neither has the blustering of Buzfuz or his sophistical plaintiveness
wholly gone by.  The "cloth" was represented by the powerful but
revolting sketch of Stiggins, which, it is strange, was not resented by
the Dissenters of the day, and also by a more worthy specimen in the
person of the clergyman at Dingley Dell.  There are the mail-coach
drivers, with the "ostlers, boots, countrymen, gamekeepers, peasants, and
others," as they have it in the play-bills.  Truly admirable, and
excelling the rest, are "Boz's" sketches--actually "living pictures"--of
the fashionable footmen at Bath, beside which the strokes in that
diverting piece "High Life below Stairs" seem almost flat.  The
simperings of these gentry, their airs and conceit, we may be sure,
obtain now.  Once coming out of a Theatre, at some fashionable
performance, through a long lane of tall menials, one fussy aristocrat
pushed one of them out of his way.  The menial contemptuously pushed him
back.  The other in a rage said, "How dare you?  Don't you know, I'm the
Earl of ---"  "Well," said the other coldly, "If you _be_ a Hearl, can't
you be'ave as sich?"

After the wedding at Manor Farm we find that bride and bridegroom did not
set off from the house on a wedding tour, but remained for the night.
This seemed to be the custom.  Kissing, too, on the Pickwickian
principles, would not now, to such an extent, be tolerated.  There is an
enormous amount in the story.  The amorous Tupman had scarcely entered
the hall of a strange house when he began osculatory attempts on the lips
of one of the maids; and when Mr. Pickwick and his friends called on Mr.
Winkle, sen., at Birmingham, Bob Sawyer made similar playful
efforts--being called an "odous creetur" by the lady.  In fact, the
custom seemed to be to kiss when and wherever you could conveniently.
Getting drunk after any drinking, and at any time of the day, seemed to
be common enough.  There was a vast amount of open fields, &c., about
London which engendered the "Cockney sportsman."  He disappeared as the
fields were built over.  We have no longer the peculiar "stand-up"
collars, or "gills," and check neck-cloths.

But Mr. Bantam's costume at the Bath Assembly, shows the most startling
change.  Where is now the "gold eye glass?"--we know that eye glass,
which was of a solid sort, not fixed on the nose, but held to the eye--a
"quizzing glass," and folding up on a hinge--"a broad black ribbon" too;
the "gold snuffbox;" gold rings "innumerable" on the fingers, and "a
diamond pin" on his "shirt frill," a "curb chain" with large gold seals
hanging from his waistcoat--(a "curb chain" proper was then a little thin
chain finely wrought, of very close links.)  Then there was the "pliant
ebony cane, with a heavy gold top."  Ebony, however, is not pliant, but
the reverse--black was the word intended.  Then those "smalls" and
stockings to match.  Mr. Pickwick, a privileged man, appeared on this
occasion, indeed always, in his favourite white breeches and gaiters.  In
fact, on no occasion save one, when he wore a great-coat, does he appear
without them.  Bantam's snuff was "Prince's mixture," so named after the
Regent, and his scent "_Bouquet du Roi_."  "Prince's mixture" is still
made, but "_Bouquet du Roi_" is supplanted.

Perker's dress is also that of the stage attorney, as we have him now,
and recognize him.  He would not be the attorney without that dress.  He
was "all in black, with boots as shiny as his eyes, _a low white
neckcloth_, and a _clean_ shirt with a frill to it."  This, of course,
meant that he put on one every day, and is yet a slight point of contact
with Johnson, who described someone as being only able to go out "on
clean shirt days;" a gold watch and seals depended from his _Fob_.
"Depended" is a curious use of the word, and quite gone out.

Another startling change is in the matter of duels.  The duels in
Pickwick come about quite as a matter of course, and as a common social
incident.  In the "forties" I recall a military uncle of my own--a
gentleman, like uncle Toby--handing his card to some one in a billiard
room, with a view to "a meeting."  Dickens' friend Forster was at one
time "going out" with another gentleman.  Mr. Lang thinks that duelling
was prohibited about 1844, and "Courts of Honour" substituted.  But the
real cause was the duel between Colonel Fawcett and Lieut. Munro,
brothers-in-law, when the former was killed.  This, and some other
tragedies of the kind, shocked the public.  The "Courts of Honour," of
course, only affected military men.

Mr. Pickwick, himself, had nearly "gone out" on two or three occasions,
once with Mr. Slammer, once with Mr. Magnus; while his scuffle with
Tupman would surely have led to one.  Winkle, presumed to be a coward,
had no less than three "affairs" on his hands: one with Slammer, one with
Dowler, and one with Bob Sawyer.  At Bob Sawyer's Party, the two medical
students, tendered their cards.  For so amiable a man, Mr. Pickwick had
some extraordinary failings.  He seems to have had no restraint where
drink was in the case, and was hopelessly drunk about six times--on three
occasions, at least, he was preparing to assault violently.  He once
_hurled an inkstand_; he once struck a person; once challenged his friend
to "come on."  Yet the capital comedy spirit of the author carries us
over these blemishes.

When Sam was relating to his master the story of the sausage maker's
disappearance, Mr. Pickwick, horrified, asked had he been "Burked?"  There
_Boz_ might have repeated his apologetic footnote, on Jingle's share in
the Revolution of 1830.  "A remarkable instance of his force of prophetic
imagination, etc."  For the sausage story was related in the year of
grace 1827, and Burke was executed in 1829, some two years later.

Mr. Lang has suggested that the bodies Mr. Sawyer and his friend
subscribed for, were "snatched," but he forgets that this traffic was a
secret one, and the bodies were brought to the private residence of the
physicians, the only safe way (_Vide_ the memoirs of Sir A. Cooper).  At
a great public Hospital the practice would be impossible.

"Hot elder wine, well qualified with brandy and spice," is a drink that
would not now be accepted with enthusiasm at the humblest wedding, even
in the rural districts: we are assured that sound "was the sleep and
pleasant were the dreams that followed."  Which is not so certain.  The
cake was cut and "passed through the ring," also an exploded custom,
whatever its meaning was.  In what novel now-a-days would there be an
allusion to "Warren's blacking," or to "Rowland's oil," which was, of
course, their famous "Macassar."  These articles, however, may still be
procured, and to that oil we owe the familiar interposing towel or piece
of embroidery the "antimacassar," devised to protect the sofa or easy
chair from the unguent of the hair.  "Moral pocket handkerchiefs," for
teaching religion to natives of the West Indies, combining amusement with
instruction, "blending select tales with woodcuts," are no longer used.

Old Temple Bar has long since disappeared, so has the Holborn Valley.  The
Fleet was pulled down about ten years after Pickwick, but imprisonment
for debt continued until 1860 or so.  Indeed Mr. Lang seems to think it
still goes on, for he says it is now "disguised as imprisonment for
contempt of Court."  This is a mistake.  In the County Courts when small
debts under 3 pounds 10s. are sued for, the judge will order a small
weekly sum to be paid in discharge; in case of failure to pay, he will
punish the disobedience by duress not exceeding fifteen days--a wholly
different thing from imprisonment for debt.

Where now are the _Pewter Pots_, and the pot boy with his strap of
"pewters?"--we would have to search for them now.  Long cut glasses have
taken their place.  Where, too, is the invariable Porter, drunk almost
exclusively in Pickwick?  Bass had not then made its great name.  There
is no mention of Billiard tables, but much about Skittles and Bagatelle,
which were the pastimes at Taverns.

Then the Warming Pan!  Who now "does trouble himself about the Warming
Pan?"--which is yet "a harmless necessary and I will add a comforting
article of domestic furniture."  Observe _necessary_, as though every
family had it as an article of their "domestic furniture."  It is odd to
think of Mary going round all the beds in the house, and deftly
introducing this "article" between the sheets.  Or was it only for the
old people: or in chilly weather merely?  On these points we must be
unsatisfied.  The practice, however, points to a certain effeminacy--the
average person of our day would not care to have his bed so treated--with
invalids the "Hot Water Bottle" has "usurped its place."  We find this
superannuated instrument in the "antique" dealers' shops, at a good
figure--a quaint old world thing, of a sort of old-fashioned cut and
pattern.  There only do people appear to trouble themselves about it.

"Chops and tomato sauce."  This too is superannuated also.  A more
correct taste is now chops _au naturel_, and relying on their own natural
juices; but we have cutlets, with tomatos.

Again, are little boys no longer clad in "a tight suit of corduroy,
spangled with brass buttons of very considerable size:" indeed corduroy
is seldom seen save on the figures of some _chic_ ladies.  And how
fortunate to live in days when a smart valet could be secured for twelve
pounds a year, and two suits; {24} and not less.

Surprising too was the valet's accustomed dress.  "A grey coat, a black
hat, with a cockade on it, a pink striped waistcoat, light breeches and
gaiters."  What too were "bright _basket_ buttons" on a brown coat?  Fancy
Balls too, like Mrs. Leo Hunter's, were given in the daytime, and caused
no astonishment.  Nor have we lodging-houses with beds on the "twopenny
rope" principle.  There are no "dry arches" of Waterloo Bridge: though
here I suspect Boz was confounding them with those of the Adelphi.

Gone too are the simple games of childhood.  Marbles for instance.  We
recall Serjeant Buzfuz's pathetic allusion to little Bardell's "Alley
Tors and Commoneys; the long familiar cry of 'knuckle down' is
neglected."  Who sees a boy playing marbles now in the street or
elsewhere?  Mr. Lang in his edition gives us no lore about this point.
"Alley Tors" was short for "Alabaster," the material of which the _best_
marbles were made.

"Tor" however, is usually spelt "Taw."  "Commoneys" were the inferior or
commoner kind.  "Knuckle down," according to our recollections, was the
laying the knuckle on the ground for a shot.  "Odd and even" was also
spoken of by the Serjeant.  Another game alluded to, is mysteriously
called "Tip-cheese"--of which the latest editor speculates "probably Tip-
cat was meant: the game at which Bunyan was distinguishing himself when
he had a call."  The "cat" was a plain piece of wood, sharpened at both
ends.  I suppose made to jump, like a cat.  But _unde_ "cheese," unless
it was a piece of rind that was struck.

"Flying the garter" is another of the Pickwickian boy games.  Talking
with a very old gentleman, lately, I thought of asking him concerning
"Flying the garter:" he at once enlightened me.  It was a familiar thing
he remembered well "when a boy."  It was a sort of "Leap Frog,"
exercise--only with a greater and longer spring: he spoke also of a
shuffle of the feet during the process.

And again.  There is a piquant quaintness in the upside-down turning of
every thing in this wonderful Book.  Such as Perker's eyes, which are
described as playing with his "inquisitive nose" a "perpetual game
of"--what, think you?  Bo-Peep? not at all: but "peep-bo."  How odd and
unaccountable!  We all knew the little "Bo-peep," and her sheep--but
"peep-bo" is quite a reversal.

Gas was introduced into London about the year 1812 and was thought a
prodigiously "brilliant illuminant."  But in the Pickwickian days it was
still in a crude state--and we can see in the first print--that of the
club room--only two attenuated jets over the table.  In many of the
prints we find the dip or mould candle, which was used to light Sam as he
sat in the coffee room of the Blue Boar.  Mr. Nupkins' kitchen was _not_
lit by gas.

As to this matter of light--it all depends on habit and accommodating.
When a boy I have listened to "Ivanhoe" read out--O enchantment! by the
light of _two_ "mould" candles--the regular thing--which required
"snuffing" about every ten minutes, and snuffing required dexterity.  The
snuffers--laid on a long tray--were of ponderous construction; it was
generally some one's regular duty to snuff--how odd seems this now!  The
"plaited wicks" which came later were thought a triumph, and the snuffers
disappeared.  They also are to be seen in the Curio Shops.

How curious, too, the encroachment of a too practical age on the old
romance.  "Fainting" was the regular thing in the Pickwickian days, in
any agitation; "burnt feathers" and the "sal volatile" being the remedy.
The beautiful, tender and engaging creatures we see in the annuals, all
fainted regularly--and knew _how_ to faint--were perhaps taught it.  Thus
when Mr. Pickwick was assumed to have "proposed" to his landlady, she in
business-like fashion actually "fainted;" now-a-days "fainting" has gone
out as much as duelling.

In the travellers' rooms at Hotels--in the "commercial" room--we do not
see people smoking "large Dutch pipes"--nor is "brandy and water" the
only drink of the smoking room.  Mr. Pickwick and his friends were always
"breaking the waxen seals" of their letters--while Sam, and people of his
degree, used the wafer.  (What by the way was the "fat little boy"--in
the seal of Mr. Winkle's penitential letter to his sire?  Possibly a
cupid.)  Snuff taking was then common enough in the case of professional
people like Perker.

At this moment there is to be seen in the corner of many an antique
Hall--Sedan chair laid up in ordinary--of black leather, bound with brass-
nails.  We can well recall in our boyish days, mamma in full dress and
her hair in "bands," going out to dine in her chair.  On arriving at the
house the chair was taken up the steps and carried bodily into the
Hall--the chair men drew out their poles, lifted the head, opened the
door and the dame stepped out.  The operation was not without its state.

Gone too are the "carpet bags" which Mr. Pickwick carried and also Mr.
Slurk--(why he brought it with him into the kitchen is not very clear).
{30}

Skates were then spelt "Skaits."  The "Heavy smack," transported
luggage--to the Provinces by river or canal.  The "Twopenny Postman" is
often alluded to.  "Campstools," carried about for use, excited no
astonishment.  Gentlemen don't go to Reviews now, as Mr. Wardle did,
arrayed in "a blue coat and bright buttons, corduroy (Boz also spells it
_corderoy_) breeches and top boots," nor ladies "in scarfs and feathers."
It is curious, by the way, that Wardle talks something after the
fashionable manner of our day, dropping his g's--as who should say
"huntin'," or "rippin'"--"I spent some evnins" he says "at your club."
"My gals," he says also.  "Capons" are not much eaten now.  "Drinking
wine" or "having a glass of wine" has gone out, and with it Mr. Tupman's
gallant manner of challenge to a fair one, _i.e._ "touching the
enchanting Rachel's wrist with one hand and gently elevating his bottle
with the other."  "Pope Joan" is little played now, if at all; "Fish"
too; how rarely one sees those mother-of-pearl fish!  The "Cloth is not
_drawn_" and the table exposed to view, to be covered with dessert,
bottles, glasses, etc.  The shining mahogany was always a brave show, and
we fear this comes of using cheap made up tables of common wood.  Still
we wot of some homes, old houses in the country, where the practice is
kept up.  It is evident that Mr. Wardle's dinner was at about 3 or 4
o'clock, for none was offered to the party that arrived about 6.  This we
may presume was the mode in old fashioned country houses.  Supper came at
eleven.

A chaise and four could go at the pace of fifteen miles an hour.

A "1000 horse-power" was Jingle's idea of extravagant speed by steam
agency.  Now we have got to 4, 5, and 10 thousand horsepower.  Gentlemen's
"frills" in the daytime are never seen now.  Foot gear took the shape of
"Hessians'" "halves," "painted tops," "Wellington's" or "Bluchers."  There
are many other trifles which will evidence these changes.  We are told of
the "common eighteen-penny French skull cap."  Note _common_--it is
exhibited on Mr. Smangle's head--a rather smartish thing with a tassel.
Nightcaps, too, they are surely gone by now: though a few old people may
wear them, but then boys and young men all did.  It also had a tassel.
There is the "Frog Hornpipe," whatever dance that was: the "pousette;"
while "cold srub," which is not in much vogue now, was the drink of the
Bath Footmen.  "Botany Bay ease, and New South Wales gentility," refer to
the old convict days.  This indeed is the most startling transformation
of all.  For instead of Botany Bay, and its miserable associations, we
have the grand flourishing Australia, with its noble cities, Parliaments
and the rest.  Gone out too, we suppose, the "Oxford-mixture trousers;"
"Oxford grey" it was then called.

Then for Sam's "Profeel machine."  Mr. Andrew Lang in his notes wonders
what this "Profeel machine" was, and fancies it was the silhouette
process.  This had nothing to do with the "Profeel machine"--which is
described in "Little Pedlington," a delightful specimen of Pickwickian
humour, and which ought to be better known than it is.  "There now," said
Daubson, the painter of "the all but breathing Grenadier," (alas!
rejected by the Academy).  "Then get up and sit down, if you please,
mister."  "He pointed to a narrow high-backed chair, placed on a
platform; by the side of the chair was a machine of curious construction,
from which protruded a long wire.  'Heady stiddy, mister.'  He then
slowly drew the wire over my head and down my nose and chin."  Such was
the "Profeel machine."

There are many antiquated allusions in Pickwick--which have often
exercised the ingenuity of the curious.  Sam's "Fanteegs," has been given
up in despair--as though there were no solution--yet, Professor Skeat, an
eminent authority, has long since furnished it. {34}

"Through the button hole"--a slang term for the mouth, has been well
"threshed out"--as it is called.  Of "My Prooshian Blue," as his son
affectedly styled his parent, Mr. Lang correctly suggests the solution,
that the term came of George IV's intention of changing the uniform of
the Army to Blue.  But this has been said before.

Boz in his Pickwickian names was fond of disguising their sense to the
eye, though not to the ear.  Thus Lady Snuphanuph, looks a grotesque, but
somewhat plausible name--snuff-enough--a further indication of the
manners and customs.  So with Lord Mutanhed, _i.e._ "Muttonhead."
Mallard, Serjeant Snubbin's Clerk, I have suspected, may have been some
Mr. Duck--whom "Boz" had known--in that line.



"A MONUMENTAL PICKWICK."


The fruitfulness of Pickwick, and amazing prolificness, that is one of
its marvels.  It is regularly "worked on," like Dante or Shakespeare.  The
Pickwickian Library is really a wonder.  It is intelligible how a work
like Boswell's "Johnson," full of allusions and names of persons who have
lived, spoken, and written, should give rise to explanation and
commentaries; but a work of mere imagination, it would be thought, could
not furnish such openings.  As we have just seen, Pickwick and the other
characters are so real, so artfully blended with existing usages,
manners, and localities, as to become actual living things.

Mere panegyric of one's favourite is idle.  So I lately took a really
effective way of _proving_ the surprising fertility of the work and of
its power of engendering speculation and illustration.  I set about
collecting all that has been done, written, and drawn on the subject
during these sixty years past, together with all those lighter
manifestations of popularity which surely indicate "the form and
pressure" of its influence.  The result is now before me, and all but
fills a small room.  When set in proper order and bound, it will fill
over thirty great quartos--"huge armfuls" as Elia has it.  In short, it
is a "Monumental Pickwick."

The basis of _The Text_ is of course, the original edition of 1836.  There
are specimens of the titles and a few pages of every known edition; the
first cheap or popular one; the "Library" edition; the "Charles Dickens"
ditto; the _Edition de Luxe_; the "Victoria": "Jubilee," edited by C.
Dickens the younger; editions at a shilling and at sixpence; the edition
sold for one penny; the new "Gadshill," edited by Andrew Lang; with the
"Roxburghe," edited by F. Kitton, presently to be published.  The
_Foreign Editions in English_; four American editions, two of
Philadelphia, and two of New York; the Tauchnitz (German) and Baudry
(French); the curious Calcutta edition; with one of the most interesting
editions, viz., the one published at Launceston in Van Diemen's Land in
the year 1839, that is before the name of the Colony was changed.  The
publisher speaks feelingly of the enormous difficulties he had to
encounter, and he boasts, with a certain pride, that it is "the largest
publication that has issued from either the New South Wales or the
Tasmanian Press."  Not only this, but the whole of the work, printing,
engraving, and binding, was executed in the Colony.  He had to be content
with lithography for the plates, and indeed, could only manage a
selection of twenty of the best.  He says, too, that even in England,
lithography is found a process of considerable difficulty.  They are
executed in a very rough and imperfect way, and not very faithfully by an
artist who signs himself "Tiz."  The poor, but spirited publisher adds
that the expense has been enormous--"greater than was originally
contemplated," but he comforts himself with the compliment that "if any
publication would repay the cost of its production, it would be the far-
famed Pickwick Papers."  On the whole, it is a very interesting edition
to have, and I have never seen a copy save the one I possess.  I have
also an American edition, printed in Philadelphia, which has a great
interest.  It was bought there by Mrs. Charles Dickens, and presented by
her to her faithful maid, Anne.  I possess also a copy of the Christmas
Carol given by his son, the author, to his father John.  Few recall that
"Boz" wrote a sequel to his Pickwick--a rather dismal failure--quite
devoid of humour.  He revived Sam and old Weller, and Mr. Pickwick, but
they are unrecognizable figures.  He judiciously suppressed this attempt,
after making it a sort of introduction to Humphrey's Clock.  Of course,
we have it here.

_Translations_: Of these there are some twenty in all, but I have _only_
the French, German, Russian, Dutch, Norwegian, Swedish, Hungarian.

Then come _Selections_: "Readings" from "Pickwick"; "Dialogues" from
ditto; "Wellerisms," by Charles Kent and Mr. Rideal.

_Dramatic Versions_: "The Pickwickians," "Perambulations," "Sam Weller,"
etc.  The "Pickwick" opera, by Burnand; "The Trial in 'Pickwick'";
"Bardell _v._ Pickwick."  There are "Play Bills"--various.  Connected
with this department is the literature of the "Readings"--"Charles
Dickens as a Reader," by Kent, and "Pen Photographs," by Kate Field.  Also
Dolby's account of the Reading Tours, and the little prepared versions
for sale in the rooms in green covers; also bills, tickets, and
programmes _galore_.

In _Music_ we have "The Ivy Green" and "A Christmas Carol."

_Imitations_: "Pickwick Abroad," by G. W. Reynolds; "Pickwick in
America," the "Penny Pickwick," the "Queerfish Chronicles," the "Cadger
Club," and many more.

In the way of _Commentaries_: The "History of Pickwick," "Origin of Sam
Weller": Sir F. Lockwood's "The Law and Lawyers of Pickwick"; Kent's
"Humour and Pathos of Charles Dickens"; accounts from "Forster's Life"
and from the "Letters," "Controversy with Seymour" (Mrs. Seymour's rare
pamphlet is not procurable), "Dickensiana," by F. Kitton;
"Bibliographies" by Herne Shepherd, Cook and also by Kitton.

_Criticisms_: The _Quarterly Review_, the _Westminster Review_, _Fraser's
Magazine_, Taine's estimate, "L'inimitable Boz" by Comte de Heussey, with
many more.

_Topographical_: Hughes' "Tramp in Dickens-Land," "In Kent with Charles
Dickens," by Frost; "Bozland," by Percy Fitzgerald; "The Childhood and
Youth of C. Dickens," by Langton; "Dickens's London," by Allbutt; "About
England with Dickens," by Rimmer; Papers in American and English
Magazines; "A Pickwickian Pilgrimage," by Hassard; "Old Rochester," and
others.

_Commentaries on the Illustrations_: Here is a regular department--Account
of "Phiz," by Kitton; "Life of Hablot K. Browne," by Croal Thomson; "Life
of G. Cruikshank," Mr. Dexter's book, and another by Charles P. Johnson.

Next we refer to the _Illustrations_ themselves: The plates to the
original edition are by Seymour (7), Buss (2), Phiz-Seymour (7), and by
"Phiz" (35).  Variations, by "Phiz"; variations, coloured by Pailthorpe;
facsimiles of original drawings--altogether about 200.  There are _Extra
Plates_ by Heath, Sir John Gilbert, Onwhyn ("Sam Weller"), Sibson, Alfred
Crowquill, Antony (American), Onwhyn (Posthumous) and Frost, Frederick
Barnard (to popular edition); also some folio plates; C. J. Leslie (a
frontispiece).  "Phiz" published later a series of six, and also a large
number of coarse woodcuts to illustrate a cheap edition.

There are also a series of clever extra illustrations by Pailthorpe and
others, coloured by the same.  We have seen F. Barnard's illustrations
coloured by Pailthorpe.  There are here also the original plates re-drawn
in Calcutta.  They were also reproduced in Philadelphia, with additional
ones by Nast.  Others were issued in Sydney.  There are a number of
German woodcut illustrations to illustrate the German translations; some
rude woodcuts to illustrate Dicks' edition: ditto to Penny edition.  There
is also a set of portraits from "Pickwick" in _Bell's Life_, probably by
Kenny Meadows; and coloured figures by "Kyd."

There are many pictures in colours--Pickwick, Weller, &c.--to illustrate
Christmas calendars, chiefly "made in Germany."

The most curious tribute is the issue by the Phonographic Society of
"Pickwick" in shorthand; and, finally, "Pickwick" in raised characters on
the Braille system for the blind.

This odd publication of "Pickwick" for the Blind came about in a quaint
way enough.  As we know, the author issued at his own expense one of his
works in raised characters, as a present to these afflicted persons.  A
rich old gentleman had noticed a blind beggar seated with the Bible open
on his knees, droning out the passages in the usual fashion.  Some of the
impostor sort learn the lines by heart and "make believe" to read, as
they pass their fingers over the characters.  The rich old gentleman's
blind reader read in the genuine way, and got through about fifty
chapters a day.  No one, however, is much improved by the lecture.  They
merely wonder at the phenomenon and go their way.  The rich old gentleman
presently spoke to the blind reader: "Why don't you read 'Pickwick' or
some other book that the public will listen to?"  "Sir," he replied--he
must have been of the stock of Silas Wegg--"give me 'Pickwick' in raised
characters and I will read it."

The rich old gentleman went his way and inquired at the proper places,
but the work was not known.  He gave an order for a hundred copies of
"Pickwick" in "Wait's Improved Braille Type," and in about six months it
was delivered to him--not the whole work, but a selection of the more
effective episodes.  The blind reader was pleased; the old gentleman
insisted on a private rehearsal; select passages were chosen which were
calculated to take about twenty minutes each.  When he arrived on the
morning fixed for the first attempt, he found his friend at his post with
quite a crowd gathered round him, in convulsions of laughter.  The "poor
blind" was reading, or feeling out, old Mr. Weller's ejectment of the red-
nosed man.  The hat was overflowing with coppers and even silver.  So
things went on prospering for a while.  "Pickwick" was a magnificent
success, and the blind man was never without a crowd round him of some
fifteen to fifty persons.  But the other blind readers found the demand
for the sacred text vanishing; and people would unfeelingly interrupt
them to inquire the way to the "Pickwick man."  Eventually the police
began to interfere, and required him to "move on;" "he was obstructing
the pavement"--not, perhaps, he, but "Pickwick."  He _did_ move on to
Hyde Park, but there were others there, performers young and up-to-date,
and with full use of their eyes, who did the same thing with action and
elocution.  So he fairly gave the thing up, and returned to his
Scriptures.  This tale would have amused "Boz" himself.

Of a more miscellaneous kind are "The Pickwick Songster," "Sam Weller's
Almanac," "Sam Weller's Song Book," "The Pickwick Pen," "Oh, what a boon
and a blessing to men," etc.,--to say nothing of innumerable careless
sheets, and trifles of all kinds and of every degree.  Then we have
adapted advertisements.  The Proprietors of Beecham's Pills use the scene
of Mr. Pickwick's discovery of the Bill Stumps inscription.  Some carpet
cleaners have Sam and the pretty housemaid folding the carpet.  Lastly
comes the author, "Boz" himself, with letters, portraits, pictures of his
homes, etc., all more or less connected with the period when he was
writing this book, a facsimile of his receipt for copy money, a copy of
his agreement with Chapman and Hall, and many more items. {47}

I have often wondered how it was that "the inimitable Boz," took so
little interest in his great Book.  It always seemed to me that he did
not care for praise of it, or wish much that it should be alluded to.  But
he at once became interested, when you spoke of some of his artful plots,
in Bleak House, or Little Dorrit--then his eye kindled.  He may have
fancied, as his friend Forster also did, that Pickwick was a rather
_jejune_ juvenile thing, inartistically planned, and thrown off, or
rather rattled off.  His _penchant_, as was the case with Liston and some
of the low comedians, was for harrowing tragedy and pathos.

Once when driving with him on a jaunting car in Dublin, he asked me, did
I know so-and-so, and I answered promptly in Mr. Winkle's words, "I don't
know him, but I have seen him."  This _apropos_ made him laugh heartily.
I am now inclined to think that the real explanation of his distaste was,
that the Book was associated with one of the most painful and distracting
episodes of his life, which affected him so acutely, that he actually
flung aside his work in the full tumult of success, and left the eager
public without its regular monthly number.  "I have been so unnerved" he
writes, in an unpublished letter to Harrison Ainsworth, "and hurt by the
loss of the dear girl whom I loved, after my wife, more dearly and
fervently than anyone on earth, that I have been compelled for once to
give up all idea of my monthly work, and to try a fortnight's rest and
quiet."

In this long book, there are found allusions to only two or three other
works.  What these are might form one of the questions "set" at the next
Pickwick examination.  Fielding is quoted once.  In the dedication
allusion is made to Talfourd's three speeches in Parliament, on the
copyright question; these were published in a little volume, and make,
fairly enough, one of the illustrative documents of "Pickwick."  In the
first number of the first edition there is an odd note, rather out of
place, but it was withdrawn later--meant to ridicule Mr. Jingle's story
of "Ponto's" sagacity; it states that in Mr. Jesse's gleanings, there are
more amazing stories than this.

Mr. Jesse was a sort of personage living at Richmond--where I well
remember him, when I was there as a boy.  "Jesse's gleanings" was then a
well-known and popular book; and his stories of dogs are certainly
extraordinary enough to have invoked Boz's ridicule.  We are told of the
French poodle, who after rolling himself in the mud of the Seine, would
rub himself against any well-polished boots that he noticed, and would
thus bring custom to his master, who was a shoe black on the _Pont Neuf_.
He was taken to London by an English purchaser, but in a few days
disappeared, and was discovered pursuing his old trade on the Bridge.
Other dogs, we were told, after being transported long distances, would
invariably find their way back.  These prodigies, however, do not appear
so wonderful now, after the strange things about dogs and cats that have
been retailed in a well-known "weekly."  A third allusion is to Sterne's
_Maria of Moulines_, made, of all people in the world, by Sam Weller.



"BOZ" AND "BOZZY."


It may seem somewhat far-fetched to put "Pickwick" beside Boswell's also
immortal work, but I think really the comparison is not a fanciful one.
No one enjoyed the book so much as "Boz."  He knew it thoroughly.  Indeed,
it is fitting that "Boz" should relish "Bozzy;" for "Bozzy" would
certainly have relished "Boz" and have "attended him with respectful
attention."  It has not been yet shown how much there is in common
between the two great books, and, indeed, between them and a third,
greater than either, the immortal "Don Quixote."  All three are
"travelling stories."  Sterne also was partial to a travelling story.
Lately, when a guest at the "Johnson Club," I ventured to expound
minutely, and at length, this curious similarity between Boswell and
Dickens.  Dickens' appreciation of "Bozzy" is proved by his admirable
parody which is found in one of his letters to Wilkie Collins, and which
is superior to anything of the sort--to Chalmers', Walcot's, or any that
have been attempted:--

   "Sir," as Dr. Johnson would have said, "if it be not irrational in a
   man to count his feathered bipeds before they are hatched, we will
   conjointly astonish them next year."  _Boswell_.  "Sir, I hardly
   understand you."  _Johnson_.  "You never understood anything."
   _Boswell_ (in a sprightly manner).  "Perhaps, sir, I am all the better
   for it."  _Johnson_.  "I do not know but that you are.  There is Lord
   Carlisle (smiling)--he never understands anything, and yet the dog is
   well enough.  Then, sir, there is Forster--he understands many things,
   and yet the fellow is fretful.  Again, sir, there is Dickens, with a
   facile way with him--like Davy, sir, like Davy--yet I am told that the
   man is lying at a hedge alehouse by the seashore in Kent as long as
   they will trust him."  _Boswell_.  "But there are no hedges by the sea
   in Kent, sir."  _Johnson_.  "And why not, sir?"  _Boswell_ (at a
   loss).  "I don't know, sir, unless--" _Johnson_ (thundering).  "Let us
   have no unlesses, sir.  If your father had never said unless he would
   never have begotten you, sir."  _Boswell_ (yielding).  "Sir, that is
   very true."

To begin, the Christian names of the two great men were the same.  Sam
Johnson and Samuel Pickwick.  Johnson had a relation called Nathaniel,
and Pickwick had a "follower" also Nathaniel.  Both the great men founded
Clubs: Johnson's was in Essex Street, Strand, to say nothing of the
Literary or Johnson Club; the other in Huggin Lane.  Johnson had his
Goldsmith, Reynolds, Boswell, Burke, and the rest, as his members and
"followers:" Mr. Pickwick had his Tupman, Snodgrass, Winkle, and others.
These were the "travelling members," just as Dr. Johnson and Boswell were
the travelling members of their Club.  Boswell was the notetaker, so was
Snodgrass.  When we see the pair staying at the Three Crowns at
Lichfield--calling on friends--waited on by the manager of the local
Theatre, etc., we are forcibly reminded of the visits to Rochester and
Ipswich.

Boswell one night dropped into a tavern in Butcher Row, and saw his great
friend in a warm discussion with a strange Irishman, who was very short
with him, and the sketch recalls very forcibly Mr. Pickwick at the Magpie
and Stump, where old Jack Bamber told him that he knew nothing about the
mysteries of the old haunted chambers in Clifford's Inn and such places.
The Turk's Head, the Crown and Anchor, the Cheshire Cheese, The Mitre,
may be set beside the Magpie and Stump, the George and Vulture, and White
Horse Cellars.

More curious still in Boswell's life, there is mentioned a friend of
Johnson's who is actually named--Weller!  I leave it as a pleasant crux
for the ingenious Pickwickian to find out where.

Johnson had his faithful servant, Frank: Mr. Pickwick his Sam.  The two
sages equally revelled in travelling in post-chaises and staying at inns;
both made friends with people in the coaches and commercial rooms.  There
are also some odd accidental coincidences which help in the likeness.
Johnson was constantly in the Borough, and we have a good scene with Mr.
Pickwick at the White Hart in the same place.  Mr. Pickwick had his
widow, Mrs. Bardell; and Johnson his in the person of the fair Thrale.
Johnson had his friend Taylor at Ashbourne, to whom he often went on
visits, always going down by coach; while Mr. Pickwick had his friend
Wardle, with whom he stayed at Manor Farm, in Kent.  We know of the
review at Rochester which Mr. Pickwick and friends attended, and how they
were charged by the soldiery.  Oddly enough Dr. Johnson attended a review
also at Rochester, when he was on a visit to his friend Captain Langton.
Johnson, again, found his way to Bath, went to the Assembly Rooms, etc.;
and our friend Mr. Pickwick, we need not say, also enjoyed himself there.
In Boswell's record we have a character called Mudge, an "out of the way"
name; and in Pickwick we find a Mudge.  George Steevens, who figures so
much in Boswell's work, was the author of an antiquarian hoax played off
on a learned brother, of the same class as "Bill Stumps, his mark."  He
had an old inscription engraved on an unused bit of pewter--it was well
begrimed and well battered, then exposed for sale in a broker's shop,
where it was greedily purchased by the credulous virtuoso.  The notion,
by the way, of the Club button was taken from the Prince Regent, who had
his Club and uniform, which he allowed favourites to wear.

There is a story in Boswell's Biography which is transferred to
"Pickwick," that of the unlucky gentleman who died from a surfeit of
crumpets; Sam, it will be recollected, describes it as a case of the man
"as killed hisself on principle."

   "He used to go away to a coffee-house after his dinner and have a
   small pot o' coffee and four crumpets.  He fell ill and sent for the
   doctor.  Doctor comes in a green fly vith a kind o' Robinson Crusoe
   set o' steps as he could let down ven he got out, and pull up arter
   him ven he got in, to perwent the necessity o' the coachman's gettin'
   down, and thereby undeceivin' the public by lettin' 'em see that it
   wos only a livery coat he'd got on, and not the trousers to match.
   'How many crumpets at a sittin' do you think 'ud kill me off at once?'
   said the patient.  'I don't know,' says the doctor.  'Do you think
   half a crown's vurth 'ud do it?' says the patient.  'I think it
   might,' says the doctor.  'Three shillin' 's vurth 'ud be sure to do
   it, I s'pose?' says the patient.  'Certainly,' says the doctor.  'Wery
   good,' says the patient; 'good-night.'  Next mornin' he gets up, has a
   fire lit, orders in three shillin's' vurth o' crumpets, toasts 'em
   all, eat 'em all, and blows his brains out."

   "What did he do that for?" inquired Mr. Pickwick abruptly; for he was
   considerably startled by this tragical termination of the narrative.

   "Wot did he do it for, sir?" reiterated Sam.  "Wy, in support of his
   great principle that crumpets was wholesome, and to show that he
   vouldn't be put out of his vay for nobody!"

Thus Dickens marvellously enriched this quaint story.  It may be found
amusing to trace the genesis of the tale.  In Boswell it runs: "Mr.
Fitzherbert, who loved buttered muffins, but durst not eat them because
they disagreed with his stomach, resolved to shoot himself, and then eat
three buttered muffins for breakfast, knowing that he should not be
troubled with indigestion."  We find that De Quincey, in one of his
essays, reports the case of an officer holding the rank of lieutenant-
colonel who could not tolerate a breakfast without muffins.  But he
suffered agonies of indigestion.  "He would stand the nuisance no longer,
but yet, being a just man, he would give Nature one final chance of
reforming her dyspeptic atrocities.  Muffins therefore being laid at one
angle of the table and pistols at the other, with rigid equity the
Colonel awaited the result.  This was naturally pretty much as usual; and
then the poor man, incapable of retreating from his word of honour,
committed suicide, having left a line for posterity to the effect, "that
a muffinless world was no world for him."

It will be recollected that, during the Christmas festivities at Manor
Farm, after a certain amount of kissing had taken place under the
mistletoe, Mr. Pickwick was "standing under the mistletoe, looking with a
very pleased countenance on all that was passing round him, when the
young lady with the black eyes, after a little whispering with the other
young ladies, made a sudden dart forward, and putting her arm round Mr.
Pickwick's neck, saluted him affectionately on the left cheek, and before
he distinctly knew what was the matter he was surrounded by the whole
bevy, and kissed by every one of them."  Compare with this what happened
to Dr. Johnson in the Hebrides:

   "This evening one of our married ladies, a lively, pretty little
   woman, good-humouredly sat down upon Dr. Johnson's knee, and being
   encouraged by some of the company, put her hands round his neck and
   kissed him.  "Do it again," said he, "and let us see who will tire
   first."  He kept her on his knee some time while he and she drank tea.
   He was now like a _buck_ indeed.  All the company were much
   entertained to find him so easy and pleasant.  To me it was highly
   comic to see the grave philosopher--the Rambler--toying with a
   Highland beauty!  But what could he do?  He must have been surly, and
   weak too, had he not behaved as he did.  He would have been laughed
   at, and not more respected, though less loved."

Was not this Mr. Pickwick exactly?

Or, we might fancy this little scene taking place at Dunvegan Castle, on
the night of the dance, when Johnson was in such high good-humour.  His
faithful henchman might have come up to him and have said jocosely,
"_You_, sir, in silk stockings?"

   "And why not, sir--why not?" said the Doctor warmly.  "Oh, of course,"
   I answered, "there is no reason why you should not wear them."  "I
   imagine not, sir--I imagine not," said the Doctor in a very peremptory
   tone.  I had contemplated a laugh, but found it was a serious matter.
   I looked grave, and said they were a pretty pattern.  "I hope they
   are," said Dr. Johnson, fixing his eyes upon me.  "You see nothing
   extraordinary in these stockings _as_ stockings, I trust, sir?"
   "Certainly not; oh, certainly not," I replied, and my revered friend's
   countenance assumed its customary benign expression.

Now, is not this Pickwickian all over?  Yet it is the exact record of
what occurred at Manor Farm, in "Pickwick," with a change only in the
names, and would pass very fairly as an amiable outburst of the
redoubtable Doctor's.

Or, again, let us put a bit of "Boz" into "Bozzy's" work.  The amiable
"Goldy" was partial to extravagant dress, and to showing himself off.

   When a masquerade at Ranelagh was talked of, he said to Doctor
   Johnson, "I shall go as a Corsican."  "What!" said the Doctor, with a
   sudden start.  "As a Corsican," Dr. Goldsmith repeated mildly.  "You
   don't mean to say," said the Doctor to him, gazing at him with solemn
   sternness, "that it is your intention to put yourself into a green
   velvet jacket with a two-inch tail?"  "Such _is_ my intention, sir,"
   replied Goldsmith warmly; "and why not, sir?"  "Because, sir," said
   the Doctor, considerably excited, "you are too old."  "Too old!"
   exclaimed Goldsmith.  "And if any further ground of objection be
   wanting," said Dr. Johnson, "You are too fat, sir."  "Sir," said Dr.
   Goldsmith, his face suffused with a crimson glow, "this is an insult."
   "Sir," said the sage in the same tone, "it is not half the insult to
   you, that your appearance in my presence in a green velvet jacket with
   two-inch tail would be to me."  "Sir," said Dr. Goldsmith, "you're a
   fellow."  "Sir," said Dr. Johnson, "you're another!"

Winkle in a very amusing way often suggests Boswell; and Mr. Pickwick
treats him with as great rudeness as did Johnson _his_ Winkle.  When that
unhappy gentleman, or follower exhibited himself on the ice, Mr.
Pickwick, we are told, was excited and indignant.  "He beckoned to Mr.
Weller and said in a stern voice: Take the skates off."  "No, but I had
scarcely began," remonstrated Mr. Winkle.  "Take his skates off,"
repeated Mr. Pickwick, firmly.  The command was not to be resisted.  "Lift
him up," said Mr. Pickwick--Sam assisted him to rise.  Mr. Pickwick
retired a few paces apart from the by-standers and beckoning his friend
to approach, fixed a searching look on him and uttered in a low, but
distinct and emphatic tone, these remarkable words: "You're a humbug,
sir."  "A what?" said Mr. Winkle, starting.  "A humbug, sir, I will speak
plainer if you wish it--an impostor, sir."  With these words Mr. Pickwick
turned slowly on his heel and rejoined his friends.  Was not this exactly
the Sage's treatment of his "Bozzy" on many occasions?

There is yet another odd coincidence.  Everyone knows how Bob Sawyer's
party was disturbed by Mrs. Raddle's angry expostulations, and the guests
had to disperse.  Well, Mr. Boswell, who had much of the Sawyer tone--gave
a party at his rooms in Downing Street, and his landlord behaved so
outrageously, that he gave him notice, and the next day quitted his
rooms.  "I feel I shall have to give my landlady notice," said Mr. Sawyer
with a ghastly smile.  Mr. Boswell had actually to take some of the
invited guests to the Mitre and entertain them there.

There is a pleasant passage connected with Dr. Johnson's visit to
Plymouth, with his old friend Sir Joshua.  He was much pleased with this
jaunt and declared he had derived from it a great accession of new ideas
. . . "The magnificence of the Navy the ship building and all its
circumstances afforded him a grand subject of contemplation."  He
contemplated it in fact, as Mr. Pickwick contemplated Chatham and the
Medway.  The commissioner of the dockyard paid him the compliment, etc.
The characteristic part, however, was that the Doctor entered
enthusiastically into the local politics.  "There was a new town rising
up round the dockyard, as a rival to the old one, and knowing from the
sagacity and just observation of human nature, that it is certain if a
man hates at all, he will hate his next neighbour, he concluded that this
new and rising town could but excite the envy and jealousy of the old.  He
therefore set himself resolutely on the side of the old town, the
_established_ town in which he was.  Considering it a kind of duty to
_stand_ by it.  He accordingly entered warmly into its interests, and
upon every occasion talked of _the Dockers_ as "upstarts and aliens."  As
they wanted to be supplied with water from the old town, not having a
drop themselves, Johnson affecting to entertain the passions of the
place, was violent in opposition; and half laughing at himself for his
pretended zeal, and where he had no concern, exclaimed: "No!  I am
against the _Dockers_; I am a Plymouth man.  Rogues! let them die of
thirst; they shall not have a drop.  I _hate_ a Docker!"

Now all this is very like what the amiable Pickwick would have done; in
fact like something he _did_ do and felt, when he repaired to Eatanswill
for the election.  On entering the town he at once chose his party, and
took it up enthusiastically.  "With his usual foresight and sagacity,"
like Dr. Johnson, he had chosen a fortunately desirable moment for his
visit.  "Slumkey for ever," roared the honest and independent.  "Slumkey
for ever!" echoed Mr. Pickwick, taking off his hat.  "No Fizkin," roared
the crowd.  "Certainly not," shouted Mr. Pickwick.  "Who is Slumkey?"
whispered Mr. Tupman.  "I don't know," said Mr. Pickwick, in the same
tone.  "Hush! don't ask any questions.  It's always best on these
occasions to do what the mob do."  "But suppose there are two mobs,"
suggested Mr. Snodgrass.  "Shout with the largest," replied Mr. Pickwick.
Volumes could not have said more.  On asking for rooms at the Town Arms,
which was the Great White Horse, Mr. Pickwick was asked "was he Blue."
Mr. Pickwick in reply, asked for Perker.  "He is blue I think."  "O yes,
sir."  "Then _we_ are blue," said Mr. Pickwick, but observing the man
looked rather doubtful at this accommodating account he gave him his
card.  Perker arranged everything.  "Spirited contest, my dear sir," he
said, "I am delighted to hear it," said Mr. Pickwick.  "I like to see
sturdy patriotism, on whatever side it is called forth."  Later, we are
told, Mr. Pickwick entered heart and soul into the business, and, like
the sage, caught the prevailing excitement.  "Although _no great partisan
of either side_, Mr. Pickwick was sufficiently fired by Mr. Pott's
enthusiasm to apply his whole time and attention to the proceedings,
etc."  All this, of course, does not correspond exactly, but the spirit
of the selections are the same.

The Doctor it is known, would go out at midnight with his friends
Beauclerk and Layton to have what he called "a rouze," and Garrick was
humorously apprehensive that he would have to bail out his old friend
from the watchhouse.  Mr. Pickwick had many a "rouze" with his followers.
And Johnson himself, in the matter of drink, was at one time as bad as
Mr. Pickwick, only he had a better head, and could "carry his liquor
discreetly," like the Baron of Bradwardine.  He had actually to give up
drink on account of this tendency to excess.



PICKWICKIAN ORIGINALS.


There is a shrewd remark of the late Bishop Norwich, Dean Stanley's
father, that to catch and describe the tone and feeling of a place gives
a better idea of it than any minute or accurate description.  "Some
books," he says, "give one ideas of places without descriptions; there is
something which suggests more vivid and agreeable images than distinct
words.  Would _Gil Blas_ for instance?  It opens with a scene of history,
chivalry, Spain, orange trees, fountains, guitars, muleteers; there is
the picturesque and the sense of the picturesque, as distinct as the
actual object."  Now this exactly applies to "Pickwick," which brings up
before us Rochester, Ipswich, Muggleton, Birmingham, and a dozen other
places to the tourist.  The night of the arrival at Birmingham for
instance, and the going out after dinner to call on Mr. Winkle, sen., is
strangely vivid.

{Map of the Pickwick Tours: p70.jpg}

So real is our Pickwickian Odyssey that it can be followed in all its
stages as in a diary.  To put it all in "ship shape" as it were and
enhance this practical feeling I have drawn out the route in a little
map.  It is wonderful how much the party saw and how much ground they
covered, and it is not a far-fetched idea that were a similar party in
our day, good humoured, venturesome and accessible, to visit
old-fashioned, out of the way towns, and look out for fun, acquaintances
and characters, they might have a good deal of the amusement and
adventure that the Pickwickians enjoyed.

The Pickwickians first went to Rochester, Chatham, Dingley Dell, and
perhaps to Gravesend.  Mr. Pickwick with Wardle then pursued Jingle to
town, returning thence to the Dell, which he at once left for Cobham,
where he found his friend Tupman.  The party then returned to town.  Next
we have the _first_ visit to Ipswich--called Eatanswill--from which town
Mr. Pickwick and Sam posted to Bury St. Edmunds; thence to London.  Next
came their third expedition to Dingley Dell for the Christmas
festivities.  Then the second visit to Ipswich.  Then the journey to
Bath, and that from Bath to Bristol.  Later a second journey to
Bristol--another from Bristol to Birmingham, and from Birmingham to
London, Mr. Pickwick's final junketing before retiring to Dulwich.

Yet another interesting side of the Pickwick story is its almost
biographical character.  Boz seems to take us with him from his very
boyhood.  During the old days when his father was at Chatham he had seen
all the Rochester incidents, sat by the old Castle and Bridge, noted with
admiring awe the dockyard people, the Balls at "The Bull," the Reviews on
the Lines.  The officers--like Dr. Slammer, all the figures--fat boy
included--were drawn from this stage of his life.  The Golden Cross,
which figures also in _Copperfield_, he had constantly stopped at.  He
knew, too, the inns in the Boro'.  The large legal element and its odd
incidents and characters he had learned and studied during his brief
apprenticeship to the Law.  The interior economy of the Fleet Prison he
had learned from his family's disastrous experiences; the turnkeys, and
blighted inhabitants he had certainly taken from life.  But he shifted
the scene from the Marshalsea to the King's Bench Prison--the former
place would have been too painful a reminiscence for his father.  To his
reporting expeditions we owe the Election scenes at Ipswich, and to
another visit for the same object, his Bath experiences.  Much of the
vividness and reality of his touchings, particularly in the case of
Rochester and its doings, is the magnifying, searching power resulting
from a life of sorrow in childhood, family troubles working on a keen,
sensitive nature; these made him appreciate and meditate on all that was
going on about him, as a sort of relief and relaxation.  All the London
scenes the meetings at taverns--were personal experiences.  Among his
friends were medical students and many odd beings.  We can trace his
extraordinary appreciation of Christmas--and its genial, softening
festivities--which clung to him till it altogether faded out, to the same
sense of relief; it furnished an opportunity of forgetting for a time (at
least), the dismal, gloomy home.

Boz, if he drew his characters from life, did not draw wholesale; he
would take only a portion of a character that pleased him and work it up
in combination with another distinct character.  It was thus he dealt
with Leigh Hunt, borrowing his amusing, airy frivolity, and combining it
with the meanness and heartlessness of Skimpole.  I have always fancied
that Dowler in "Pickwick" was founded--after this composite principle--on
his true-hearted but imperious friend, Forster.  Forster was indeed also
a perfect reproduction of Dr. Johnson and had the despotic intolerance--in
conversation certainly--of that great man.  Like him "if his pistol
missed fire, he knocked you down with the butt end of it."  He could be
as amiable and tender-hearted as "old Sam" himself.  Listening to Dowler
at the coach office in Piccadilly we--who knew Forster well--seemed to
hear his very voice.  "It was a stern-eyed man of about five-and-forty,
who had large black whiskers.  He was buttoned up to the chin in a brown
coat and had a large seal-skin cap and a cloak beside him.  He looked up
from his breakfast as Mr. Pickwick entered with a fierce and peremptory
air, _which was very dignified_, and which seemed to say that he rather
expected _somebody wanted to take advantage of him_, _but it wouldn't
do_" . . . "Are you going to Bath?" said the strange man.  "I am, sir,"
replied Mr. Pickwick.  "And these other gentleman?"  "They are going
also," said Mr. Pickwick.  "Not inside--I'll be damned if you're going
inside," said the strange man.  "Not all of us," said Mr. Pickwick.
"No--not all of you," said the strange man, emphatically.  "We take two
places.  If they try and squeeze six people into an infernal box that
only holds four I'll take a post-chaise and bring an action.  It won't
do," etc.  This recalls the pleasant story about Forster and the cabman
who summoned him.  The latter was adjudged to be in the wrong and said he
knew it, but "that he was determined to show him up, he were _such a
harbitrary cove_."  None enjoyed this story more than Forster himself,
and I have heard him say to a lady humorously, "Now you must.  You know I
am 'such a harbitrary cove.'"  Dear good old Forster!

I must confess all Pickwickians would like to know biographical details,
as one might call them, about the personages engaged in the trial.  I
need not repeat that Judge Stareleigh was drawn from Mr. Justice Gazalee,
or that Buzfuz was founded on Mr. Serjeant Bompas, or Bumpus.  Charles
Carpenter Bompas was his full designation.  He was made a Serjeant in
1827, the very year of the memorable trial.  He obtained a Patent of
Precedence in 1834.  "Buzfuz's son"--Mr. W. Bompas, Q.C., who will pardon
the freedom of the designation--was born in the year of the celebrated
trial.  He was the youngest son and had a very distinguished career both
at College and at the Bar, being a "leader" on his circuit, revising
barrister, bencher, recorder, and was last year appointed a County Court
judge.

Who were Serjeant Snubbin, Skimpin, and Phunkey?  No traditions have come
to us as to these gentlemen.  Skimpin may have been Wilkins, and Snubbin
a Serjeant Arabin, a contemporary of Buzfuz.  But we are altogether in
the dark.

We should have liked also to have some "prehistoric peeps" at the
previous biography of Mr. Pickwick before the story began.  We have but a
couple of indications of his calling: the allusion by Perker at the close
of the story--"The agent at Liverpool said he had been obliged to you
many times when you were in business."  He was therefore a merchant or in
trade.  Snubbin at the trial stated that "Mr. Pickwick had retired from
business and was a gentleman of considerable independent property."

In the original announcement of the "Pickwick Papers" there are some
scraps of information about Mr. Pickwick and the Club itself.  This
curious little screed shows that the programme was much larger than the
one carried out:--

"On the 31st of March, 1836, will be published,
to be continued Monthly, price One
Shilling, the First Number of

THE POSTHUMOUS PAPERS
OF
THE PICKWICK CLUB;
containing a faithful record of the
PERAMBULATIONS, PERILS, TRAVELS,
ADVENTURES, AND SPORTING TRANSACTIONS
OF THE CORRESPONDING MEMBERS.

EDITED BY "BOZ."

And each Monthly Part embellished with
four illustrations by Seymour.

   "The Pickwick Club, so renowned in the annals of Huggin Lane, and so
   closely entwined with the thousand interesting associations connected
   with Lothbury and Cateaton Street, was founded in the year one
   thousand eight hundred and twenty-two, by Samuel Pickwick--the great
   traveller--whose fondness for the useful arts prompted his celebrated
   journey to Birmingham in the depth of winter; and whose taste for the
   beauties of nature even led him to penetrate to the very borders of
   Wales in the height of summer.

   "This remarkable man would appear to have infused a considerable
   portion of his restless and inquiring spirit into the breasts of other
   members of the Club, and to have awakened in their minds the same
   insatiable thirst for travel which so eminently characterized his own.
   The whole surface of Middlesex, a part of Surrey, a portion of Essex,
   and several square miles of Kent were in their turns examined and
   reported on.  In a rapid steamer they smoothly navigated the placid
   Thames; and in an open boat they fearlessly crossed the turbid Medway.
   High-roads and by-roads, towns and villages, public conveyances and
   their passengers, first-rate inns and road-side public houses, races,
   fairs, regattas elections, meetings, market days--all the scenes that
   can possibly occur to enliven a country place, and at which different
   traits of character may be observed and recognized, were alike visited
   and beheld by the ardent Pickwick and his enthusiastic followers.

   "The Pickwick Travels, the Pickwick Diary, the Pickwick
   Correspondence--in short, the whole of the Pickwick Papers'--were
   carefully preserved, and duly registered by the secretary, from time
   to time, in the voluminous Transactions of the Pickwick Club.  These
   Transactions have been purchased from the patriotic secretary, at an
   immense expense, and placed in the hands of 'Boz,' the author of
   "Sketches Illustrative of Every Day Life and Every Day People"--a
   gentleman whom the publishers consider highly qualified for the task
   of arranging these important documents, and placing them before the
   public in an attractive form.  He is at present deeply immersed in his
   arduous labours, the first fruits of which will appear on the 31st
   March.

   "Seymour has devoted himself, heart and graver, to the task of
   illustrating the beauties of Pickwick.  It was reserved to Gibbon to
   paint, in colours that will never fade, the Decline and Fall of the
   Roman Empire--to Hume to chronicle the strife and turmoil of the two
   proud houses that divided England against herself--to Napier to pen,
   in burning words, the History of the War in the Peninsula--the deeds
   and actions of the gifted Pickwick yet remain for 'Boz' and Seymour to
   hand down to posterity.

   "From the present appearance of these important documents and the
   probable extent of the selections from them, it is presumed that the
   series will be completed in about twenty numbers."

From this it will be seen that it was intended to exhibit all the humours
of the social amusements with which the public regaled itself.  Mr.
Pickwick and friends were to be shown on board a steamer; at races,
fairs, regattas, market days, meetings--"at all the scenes that can
possibly occur to enliven a country place, and at which different traits
of character may be observed and recognized."  This was a very scientific
and well drawn scheme; and it was, on the whole, most faithfully and even
brilliantly carried out.  But with infinite art Boz emancipated himself
from the formal hide-bound trammels of Syntax tours and the like, when it
was reckoned that the hero and his friends would be exhibited like "Bob
Logic" and "Tom and Jerry" in a regular series of public places.  "Mr.
Pickwick has an Adventure at Vauxhall," "Mr. Pickwick Goes to Margate,"
etc.: we had a narrow escape, it would seem, of this conventional sort of
thing, and no doubt it was this the publishers looked for.  But "Boz"
asserted his supremacy, and made the narrative the chief element.

It was interesting thus to know that Mr. Pickwick had visited the borders
of Wales--I suppose, Chester--but what was his celebrated journey to
Birmingham, prompted by his "fondness for the useful arts"?  This could
hardly refer to his visit to Mr. Winkle, sen.  The Club, it will be seen,
was founded in 1822, and its place of meeting would appear to have been
this Huggin Lane, City, "so intimately associated with Lothbury and
Cateaton Street."  The picture of the meeting of the Club shows us that
it consisted of the ominous number of _thirteen_.  There is not room for
more.  They seem like a set of well-to-do retired tradesmen; the faces
are such as we should see on the stage in a piece of low comedy: for the
one on the left Mr. Edward Terry might have sat.  The secretary sits at
the bottom of the table, with his back to us, and the chairman, with
capacious stomach, at the top.  Blotton, whom Mr. Pickwick rather
unhandsomely described as a "vain and disappointed haberdasher," may have
followed this business.  He is an ill-looking fellow enough, with black,
bushy whiskers.  The Pickwickians are decidedly the most gentlemanly of
the party.  But why was it necessary for Mr. Pickwick to stand upon a
chair?  This, however, may have been a custom of the day at free and easy
meetings.

"Posthumous _papers_"--moreover, did not correctly describe the character
of the Book, for the narrative did not profess to be founded on documents
at all.  He was, however, committed to this title by his early
announcement, and indeed intended to carry out a device of using
Snodgrass's "Note Books," whose duty it was during the course of the
adventures to take down diligently all that he observed.  But this
cumbrous fiction was discarded after a couple of numbers.  "Posthumous
papers" had been used some ten years before, in another work.

Almost every page--save perhaps a dismal story or two--in the 609 pages
of Pickwick is good; but there are two or three passages which are
obscure, if not forced in humour.  Witness Mr. Bantam's recognition of
Mr. Pickwick, as the gentleman residing on Clapham Green--not yet
Common--"who lost the use of his limbs from imprudently taking cold after
port wine, who could not be moved in consequence of acute suffering, and
who had the water from the King's Bath bottled at 103 degrees, and _sent
by waggon to his bedroom in Town_; when he bathed, sneezed, and same day
recovered."  This is grotesque enough and farcical, but without much
meaning.  On another occasion we are told that Tupman was casting certain
"_Anti_-Pickwickian glances" at the servant maids, which is unmeaning.  No
doubt, _Un_-Pickwickian was intended.

Why is there no "Pickwick Club" in London?  It might be worth trying, and
would be more successful than even the Johnson Club.  There is surely
genuine "stuff" to work on.  Our friends in America, who are Pickwickian
_quand meme_, have established the "All-Around Dickens Club."  The
members seem to be ladies, though there are a number of honorary members
of the other sex, which include members of "Boz's" own family, with Mr.
Kitton, Mr. W. Hughes, Mr. Charles Kent, myself, and some more.  The
device of the club is "Boz's" own book-plate, and the "flower" of the
club is his favourite geranium.  The President is Mrs. Adelaide Garland;
and some very interesting papers, to judge from their titles, have been
read, such as "Bath and its Associations with Landor," "The City of
Bristol with its Literary Associations," "The Excursion to the Tea
Gardens of Hampstead," prefaced by a description of the historic old inn,
"Poem by Charles Kent," "Dickens at Gad's Hill," "A Description of
Birmingham, its Institutions, and Dickens' Interest therein"; with a
"Reading of Mr. Pickwick's Mission to Birmingham, Coventry and the
adjacent Warwickshire Country," etc.  There is also a very clever series
of examination questions by the President in imitation of Calverley's.

"Had Mr. Pickwick loved?" Mr. Lang asks; "it is natural to believe that
he had never proposed, never.  His heart, however bruised, was neither
broken nor embittered."  His temperament was certainly affectionate--if
not absolutely amatory: he certainly never missed an opportunity where a
kiss was practicable.

But stay! has anyone noted that on the wall of his room at Dulwich, there
hangs the portrait of a lady--just over this might seem to mean
something.  But on looking close, we see it is the dear filial old
fellow's mother.  A striking likeness, and she has spectacles like her
celebrated son.

As all papers connected with the Pickwick era are scarce and meagre--for
the reason that no one was then thinking of "Boz"; any that have come
down to us are specially interesting.  Here are a few "pieces," which
will be welcomed by all Pickwickians.  The first is a letter of our
author to his publishers.

   "Furnival's Inn,
   "Friday Morning.

   "DEAR SIR,--I am very glad to find I shall have the pleasure of
   celebrating Mr. Pickwick's success with you on Sunday.  When you have
   sufficiently recovered from the fatigues of publication, will you just
   let me know from your books how we stand.  Drawing 10 pounds one day,
   and 20 pounds another, and so forth, I have become rather mystified,
   and jumbled up our accounts in my brain, in a very incomprehensible
   state.

   "Faithfully yours,
   "CHARLES DICKENS."

This must have been written at the conclusion of the story in 1837, and
is in a very modest tone considering how triumphant had been the success.
Connected with this is a paper of yet more interest, a receipt for
payment for one of the early numbers.

{Manuscript of a letter by Dickens: p88.jpg}

For this Pickwickian Banquet, he had reluctantly to give up one at the
home of his new friend Forster.  In an unpublished letter, he writes to
him as "Dear Sir"--the beginning of a four-and-thirty years'
friendship--"I have been so much engaged in the pleasing occupation of
moving."  He was unable to go to his new friend to dinner because he had
been "long engaged to the Pickwick publishers to a dinner in honour of
that hero, which comes off to-morrow."

In an interesting letter of Dickens'--Pickwickian ones are rare--sold at
Hodgson's rooms, July, 1895, he writes: "Mr. Seymour shot himself before
the second number of the Pickwick papers, not the third as you would have
it, was published.  While he lay dead, it was necessary the search should
be made in his working room for the plates to the second number, the day
for publication of which was drawing near.  The plates were found
unfinished, with their faces turned to the wall."  This scrap brought 12
pounds 10s.  Apropos of prices, who that was present will forget the
scene at Christie's when the six "Pickwick Ladles" were sold?  These were
quaint things, like enlarged Apostle Spoons, and the figures well
modelled.  They had been made specially, and presented to "Boz" on the
conclusion of his story, by his publishers.  The Pickwick Ladle brought
69 pounds.  Jingle, 30 pounds.  Winkle, 23 pounds.  Sam, 64 pounds.  Old
Weller, 51 pounds; and the Fat Boy, 35 pounds 14s., or over 280 pounds in
all.  Nay, the leather case was put up, and brought three guineas.  We
recall Andrew Halliday displaying one to us, with a sort of triumph.
Charles Dickens, the younger, got two, I think; Messrs. Agnew the others.



CONCERNING THE PLATES AND EXTRA PLATES AND "STATES" OF PICKWICK.


It is an interesting question what should be the relation of illustration
to the story, and of the artist to the story-teller; and what are the
limitations of their respective provinces.  Both should work
independently of each other; that is, the artist should tell the story
from his own point of view--he is not merely to servilely translate the
situations into "black and white."  He should be, in fact, what the actor
is to a drama.  When Eugene Delacroix's illustrations to Goethe's "Faust"
were shown to the great author, he expressed admiration of their truth
and spirit; and on his secretary saying that they would lead to a better
understanding of his poem, said: "With that we have naught to do; on the
contrary, the more complete imagination of such an artist compels us to
believe that the situations as he represents them are preferable to them
as described.  It is therefore likely that the readers will find that he
exerts a strong force upon their imagination."  This shows, allowing
something for the compliment, what a distinct force the great writer
attributed to the artist, that he did not consider him an assistant or
merely subsidiary.  The actor becomes, after his fashion, a distinct
creator and originator, supplying details, etc., of his own, but taking
care that these are consistent with the text and do not contradict it in
any way.

This large treatment was exactly "Phiz's."  He seems to "act" "Boz's"
drama, yet he did not introduce anything that was not warranted by the
spirit of the text.  He found himself present at the scene, and felt how
it _must_ have occurred.  He had a wonderful power of selecting what was
essential and what should be essential.  Nor did he make a minute
inventory of such details as were mentioned in the text.  Hence the
extraordinary vitality and spirit of his work.  There is action in all,
and each picture tells its own story.  To see the merit of this system,
we have only to contrast with it such attempts as we find in modern
productions, where the artist's method is to present to us figures
grouped together, apparently talking but not _acting_--such things as we
have week by week in _Punch_.  The late Sir John Millais and other
artists of almost equal rank used to furnish illustrations to serial
stories, and all their pictures were of this kind--two or three
figures--well drawn, certainly--one standing, the others sitting down, it
may be, engaged in conversation.  This brought us "no forrarder" and
supplied no dramatic interest.

It should be said, however, that it is only to "Pickwick" that this high
praise can be extended.  With every succeeding story the character of the
work seemed to fall off, or rather the methods of the artist to change.
It may have been, too, the inspiration from a dramatic spirited story
also failed, for "Boz" had abandoned the free, almost reckless style of
his first tale.  There was a living distinctness, too, in the Pickwickian
_coterie_, and every figure, familiar and recognizable, seemed to have
infinite possibilities.  The very look of them would inspire.

In this spirit of vitality and reality also, "Phiz" rather suggests a
famous foreign illustrator, Chodowiecki, who a century ago was in
enormous request for the illustration of books of all kinds, and whose
groups and figures, drawn with much spirit and roundness, arrested the
eye at once and told the situation.  Later "Phiz" fell off in his work
and indeed adopted quite new and more commercial methods, such as would
enable him to get through the vast amount of work that came to him.  There
were no longer these telling situations to limn which spoke for
themselves, and without straw, bricks are not to be made.  In this later
manner we seem to have bid adieu to the inspiration--to the fine old
_round_ style of drawing--where the figures "stand out" completely.  He
adopted a sort of sketchy fashion; his figures became silhouettes and
quite flat.  There was also a singular carelessness in finish--a mere
outline served for a face.  The result was a monotony and similarity of
treatment, with a certain unreality and grotesqueness which are like
nothing in life.  In this, however, he may have been inspired by the
grotesque personages he was put to illustrate--the Smallweeds and the
like.

It would be an interesting speculation to consider what would have become
of "Pickwick" had this artist not been forthcoming.  Would we have really
known our Mr. Pickwick and his "followers" as we do now, or, indeed,
would we have so keenly appreciated the humorous situations?  I believe
not.  It was the graven figures of these personages, and the brilliant
way in which the situations were concentrated, as it were, into a point,
that produced such striking effect: without these adjuncts the Head of
the Club and his friends would have been more or less abstractions, very
much what the characters in Theodore Hook's "Gilbert Gurney" are.  Take
Mr. Pickwick.  The author supplied only a few hints as to his personal
appearance--he was bald, mild, pale, wore spectacles and gaiters; but who
would have imagined him as we have him now, with his high forehead, bland
air, protuberant front.  The same with the others.  Mr. Thackeray tried
in many ways to give some corporeal existence to his own characters to
"Becky," Pendennis, and others; but who sees them as we do Mr. Pickwick?
So with his various "situations"--many most dramatic and effective, but
no one would guess it from the etchings.  The Pickwick scenes all tell a
story of their own; and a person--say a foreigner--who had never even
heard of the story would certainly smile over the situations, and be
piqued into speculating what could be the ultimate meaning.

At the exhibition "illustrating a century and a half of English
humorists," given by the Fine Art Society--under the direction of Mr.
Joseph Grego--in October, 1896, there was a collection of original
Pickwick drawings no less than fifty-six in number.  There were three by
Seymour, two by Bass and thirty-four by Phiz, all used in the book; while
of those unused--probably found unsuitable, there were five by Buss,
including a proposed title-page, and two of the Fat Boy "awake on this
occasion only."  There were also five by Phiz, which were not engraved,
and one by Leech.  The drawing of the dying clown, Seymour was engaged
upon when he committed suicide.  Of Buss' there were two of Mr. Pickwick
at the Review, two of the cricket match, two of the Fat Boy "awake," "the
influence of the salmon"--unused, "Mr. Winkle's first shot"--unused,
studies of character in Pickwick, and a study for the title-page.  The
poor, discarded Buss took a vast deal of pains therefore to accomplish
his task.  Of Phiz's unused designs there was "Mr. Winkle's first shot"
and two for the Gabriel Grub story, also one for "the Warden's room."
Most interesting of all was his "original study" for the figure of Mr.
Pickwick.

Mr. Grego, himself an excellent artist, placed at the door of the society
a very telling figure of Mr. Pickwick displayed on a poster and
effectively coloured.  It was new to find our genial old friend smiling
an invitation to us--in Bond Street.  This--which I took for a
lithographed "poster"--was Mr. Grego's own work, portrayed in water
colours.

There have been many would-be illustrators of the chronicle, some on
original lines of their own; but these must be on the whole pronounced to
be failures.  On looking at them we somehow feel that the figures and
situations are wholly strange to us; that we don't know them or recognize
them.  The reason is possibly that the artists are not in perfect
sympathy or intelligence with the story; they do not know every turning,
corner and cranny of it, as did "Phiz"--and indeed as did everyone else
living at that time; they were not inspired, above all, by its author.
But there was a more serious reason still for the failure.  It will be
seen that in Phiz's wonderful plates the faces and figures are more or
less _generalized_.  We cannot tell exactly, for instance, what were Mr.
Winkle's or even Sam Weller's features.  Neither their mouths, eyes, or
noses, could be put in distinct shape.  We have only the general air and
tone and suggestion--as of persons seen afar off in a crowd.  Yet they
are always recognizable.  This is art, and it gave the artist a greater
freedom in his treatment.  Now when an illustrator like the late
Frederick Barnard came, he drew his Jingle, his Pickwick, Weller, and
Winkle, with _all_ their features, in quite a literal and particular
fashion--the features were minutely and carefully brought out, with the
result that they seem almost strange to us.  Nor do they express the
characters.  There _is_ an expression, but it seems not the one to which
we are accustomed.  Mr. Pickwick is generally shown as a rather "cranky"
and testy old gentleman in his expressions, whereas the note of all
"Phiz's" faces is a good softness and unctuousness even.  Now this
somewhat philosophical analysis points to a principle in art illustration
which accounts in a great measure for the unsatisfactory results where it
is attempted to illustrate familiar works--such as those of Tennyson,
Shakespeare, etc.  The reader has a fixed idea before him, which he has
formed for himself--an indistinct, shapeless one it might be, but still
of sufficient outline to be disturbed.  Among the innumerable
presentments of Shakespeare's heroines no one has ever seen any that
satisfied or that even corresponded.  They are usually not generalized
enough.  Again, the readers of "Pickwick" grew month by month, or number
by number, more and more acquainted with the characters: for the figures
and faces appeared over and over and yet over again.

The most diverting, however, of all these imitators and
extra-illustrators is assuredly the artist of the German edition.  The
series is admirably drawn, every figure well finished, but figures,
faces, and scenes are unrecognizable.  It is the Frenchman's idea of
Hamlet.  Mr. Pickwick and his friends are stout Germans, dressed in
German garments, sitting in German restaurants with long tankards with
_lids_ before them.  The incidents are made as literal and historical as
possible.  The difficulty, of course, was that none of their adventures
could have occurred in a country like Germany, or if they did, would have
become an affair of police.  No German could see humour in that.
Notwithstanding all this, the true Pickwickian will welcome them as a
pleasant contribution to the Pickwickian humour, and no one would have
laughed so loudly at them as Boz himself.

The original illustrations form a serious and important department of
Pickwickian lore, and entail an almost _scientific_ knowledge.  Little,
indeed, did the young "Boz" dream, when he was settling with his
publishers that the work was to contain forty-two plates--an immense
number it might seem--that these were to fructify into such an enormous
progeny.  We, begin, of course, with the regular official plates that
belong strictly to the work.  Here we find three artists at work--each
succeeding the other--the unfortunate Robert Seymour coming first with
his seven spirited pictures; next the unlucky Buss, with his two
condemned productions, later to be dismissed from the book altogether;
and finally, "Phiz," or Hablot K. Browne, who furnished the remaining
plates to the end.  As is well known, so great was the run upon the book
that the plates were unequal to the duty, and "Phiz" had to re-engrave
them several times--often duplicates on the one plate--naturally not
copying them very closely.  Hence we have the rather interesting
"variations."  He by-and-bye re-engraved Seymour's seven, copying them
with wonderful exactness, and finally substituted two of his own for
those of the condemned Buss.  The volume, therefore, was furnished with
seven Seymours, and their seven replicas, the two Buss's, their two
replicas, and the thirty-three "Phiz" pictures, each with its
"variation."

These variations are very interesting, and even amusing.  On an ordinary
careless glance one would hardly detect much difference--the artist, who
seemed to wish to have a certain freedom, made these changes either to
amuse himself or as if resenting the monotony of copying.  In any case
they represent an amount of patient labour that is quite unique in such
things.

The Pickwickian "student" may be glad to go with us through some of the
plates and have an account of these differences.  We must premise that
the first state of the plates may be considered "proofs before
letters"--the descriptive titles being only found in the later editions.

1.  "The Frontispiece."  (We shall call the second state _b_, the first
_a_.)  In _a_ the signature "Phiz," "fct." or "fecit" is on the left, in
_b_ it is divided half on each side.  The harlequin painting has a full
face in _a_, a side face in _b_.  The face at the apex of the picture has
a mouth closed in _b_, and open in _a_.  There are variations in nearly
all the grotesque faces; and in _b_ the faces of Mr. Pickwick and Sam are
fuller and more animated.  In _b_ the general treatment of the whole is
richer.

2.  "The Title-page."  In _a_ the sign has Veller, in _b_ Weller.  Old
Weller's face in _b_ is more resolved and animated; in _a_ water is
flowing from the pail.

3.  "Mr. Pickwick Addressing the Club."  Mr. Pickwick in _b_ is more
cantankerous than in _a_--all the faces scarcely correspond in
expression, though the outlines are the same.  The work, shading, etc.,
is much bolder in _b_.

4.  "Scene with the Cabman."  Very little difference between the plates,
save in the spectacles lying on the ground.  These are trivialities.

5.  "The Sagacious Dog."  _b_ is more heavily shaded, but _a_ is much
superior in the dog and face of the sportsman.  Trees in _b_ more
elaborate.

6.  "Dr. Slammer's Defiance."  The figures on the top of the stairs are
much darker and bolder in _b_.  Jingle's and Tupman's faces are better in
_b_ than in _a_, and Jingle's legs are better drawn in _b_.

7.  "The Dying Clown."  A most dramatic and tragic conception, which
shows that Seymour would have been invaluable later on for Dickens' more
serious work.  The chief differences are in the face of the man at his
bedside and the candle.

8.  "Mr. Pickwick in Search of his Hat."  The drawing of Mr. Pickwick's
legs is rather strange.  The right leg could hardly be so much twisted
back while Mr. Pickwick runs straight forward; his left hand or arm is
obscure in both.  All the faces differ--the hat in _b_ has much more the
look of being blown along than that in _a_.

9.  "Mr. Winkle Soothes a Refractory Steed."  Seymour's horse is
infinitely more spirited and better drawn than Phiz's.  Its struggling
attitude is admirable.  Seymour's landscape is touched more delicately;
the faces differ in both.

10.  "The Cricket Match."  First Buss plate.  He introduced a farcical
incident not in the text--the ball knocking off the fielder's hat, who is
quite close to the batsman.  A very poor production.  Observe the
"antediluvian" shape of the bat--no paddings on the legs.  The sketch is
valuable as showing how _not_ to interpret Dickens' humour, or rather how
to interpret it in a strictly _literal_ way--that is, without humour.

11.  "Tupman in the Arbour."  Second Buss plate--rather ostentatiously
signed "Drawn and etched by R. W. Buss."  Tupman appears to be tumbling
over Miss Wardle.

12.  The same subject by "Phiz."  A remarkable contrast in treatment;
there is the suggestion of the pair being surprised.  We see how the fat
boy came on them.  The old Manor Farm in the background, with its gables,
etc., is a pleasing addition, and like all "Phiz's" landscapes,
delicately touched in.  The scared alarm on the two faces is
first-rate--even Miss Wardle's foot as well as Tupman's is expressive.
There appears to be no "variation" of this plate.

13.  "The Influence of the Salmon."  A truly dramatic group overflowing
with humour.  Note no fewer than ten faces in the background, servants,
etc., all expressing interest according to their class and degree.  The
five chief characters express drunkenness in five different fashions: the
hopeless, combative, despairing, affectionate, etc.  Wardle's stolid calm
is good.

14.  "The Breakdown."  This was "Phiz's" _coup d'essai_ after he was
called in, and is a most spirited piece.  But the variations make the
second plate almost a new one.  The drawing, grouping, etc., in _b_ are
an enormous improvement, and supply life and animation.  The three
figures, Pickwick, Wardle, and the postillion, are all altered for the
better.  In _b_ Mr. Pickwick's nervousness, as he is extricated from the
chaise, is well shown.  The postillion becomes a round spirited figure,
instead of a mere sketch; Wardle, as in the text, instead of stooping
down and merely showing his back, is tramping about gesticulating.  A
very spirited white horse is introduced with a postillion as spirited;
the single chaise in the distance, the horses drawn back, and Jingle
stretching out, is admirable.  It is somehow conveyed in a clever way in
_b_ that Miss Wardle is peeping through the hind window at the scene.
There is a wheel on the ground in _b_, and one hat; in _a_ there are two
hats--Mr. Pickwick's, which is recognizable, and Wardle's.

15.  "First Appearance of Mr. S. Weller."  In the first issue a faint
"Nemo" can be made out in the corner, and it is said the same signature
is on the preceding plate, though I have never been able to trace it
clearly.  This plate, as is well known, represents the court of the Old
White Hart Inn in the Borough, which was pulled down some years ago.  On
this background--the galleries, etc., being picturesquely indicated--stand
out brilliantly the four figures.  The plate was varied in important
ways.  In the _b_ version some fine effects of light and shade are
brought out by the aid of the loaded cart and Wardle's figure.  Wardle's
hat is changed from a common round one to a low broad-leafed one, his
figure made stouter, and he is clothed with dark instead of white
breeches, his face broadened and made more good-humoured.  Sam's face in
_b_ is made much more like the ideal Sam; that in _a_ is grotesque.
Perker's face and attitude are altered in _b_, where he is made more
interrogative.  Mr. Pickwick in _b_ is much more placid and bland than in
_a_, and he carries his hat more jauntily.  Top-boots in _b_ are
introduced among those which Sam is cleaning.  He, oddly, seems to be
cleaning a _white_ boot.  A capital dog in _b_ is sniffing at Mr.
Pickwick's leg; in _a_ there is a rather unmeaning skulking animal.  All
the smaller figures are altered.

16.  "Mrs. Bardell Faints."  The first plate is feeble and ill-drawn,
though Mrs. Bardell's and Tupman's faces are good, the latter somewhat
farcical; the boy "Tommy" is decidedly bad and too small.  Mr. Pickwick's
face in _a_ is better than in _b_.  In the second attempt all is bolder
and more spirited.  The three Pickwickians are made to express
astonishment, even in their legs.  There is a table-desk in _a_, not in
_b_.  A clock and two vases are introduced, and a picture over the mirror
representing a sleeping beauty with a cupid.

17.  "The Election at Eatanswill."  The first plate represents an
election riot in front of the hustings, which is wild and fairly
spirited.  But no doubt it appeared somewhat confused to the artist.  In
his second he made it quite another matter.  Over the hustings he
introduced a glimpse of the old Ipswich gables.  He changed the figure
and dress of Fizkin, the rival candidate.  He had Perker sitting on the
rail, but substituted a standing-up figure, talking--presumably Perker,
but taller than that gentleman.  In _b_, Mr. Pickwick's face expresses
astonishment at the disorder; in _a_ he is mildly placid.  In _b_ the
figure behind Mr. Pickwick is turned into Sam by placing a cockade on his
hat.  Next to Fizkin is a new portly figure introduced.  The figures in
the crowd are changed in wholesale fashion, and yet the "root idea" in
both is the same.  An artist, we fancy, would learn much from these
contrasts, seeing how strikingly "Phiz" could shift his characters.  In
the first draft there was not sufficient movement.  To the left there was
a stout sailor in a striped jacket who was thrusting a pole into the
chest of a thin man in check trousers.  This, as drawn, seemed too
tranquil, and he substituted a stouter, more jovial figure with gymnastic
action--the second was made more contrasted.  Next him was a confused
group--a man with a paper cap, in place of which he supplied a stout man
on whom the other was driven back, and who was being pushed from behind.
The animation of the background is immensely increased by hats, and arms,
and sticks being waved.  Everything is bolder and clearer.  The second
trombone player, however, is not so spirited as the first, and the drum-
beater becomes rather a "Punch and Judy" showman.  An artistic effect of
light is produced by this drum.  There are a great many more boards, too,
introduced in _b_.

"Mrs. Leo Hunter's Fancy dress Dejeune."  In _b_ the finish and treatment
are infinitely improved.  Mr. Pickwick's face and figure is more refined
and artistic.  The way he holds his hat in his right hand and his left
also are improved; both are more extended.  Mr. Snodgrass's left leg is
brought behind Mr. Pickwick's in _b_.  Water--a pond perhaps--is in
front.  Tupman's hat is altered in _b_, and feathers added; his face is
more serious and less grotesque.  Mrs. Pott is more piquant, as the
author suggested to the artist.  The birdcage, instead of being high in
the tree, is lowered and hangs from it.  The most curious change is that
of Pott, who in _a_ is out of all scale, seeming to be about seven feet
high.  He was lowered in _b_, and given a beard and a more hairy cap.  It
was said, indeed, that the original face was too like Lord Brougham's,
but the reason for the change was probably what I have given.

"The Young Ladies' Seminary."  All details are changed.  The rather
"cranky" face of Mr. Pickwick, utterly unlike him, was improved and
restored to its natural benevolence; more detail put into the faces,
notably the cook's.  The girls are made more distinct and attractive--the
lady principal at the back made effective; all the foliage treated
differently, a tree on the left removed.  In _a_ there is a sort of hook
on the inside of the door to hold a bell, which is absent; in _b_ it is
added.  The bolts, etc., are different.

"Mr. Pickwick in the Pound."  _b_ is more brilliant and vastly improved;
the smaller donkey is removed, the three reduced to two; the sweep's cap
is made _white_; the faces are altered, and made more animated.  Mr.
Pickwick's figure in the barrow is perhaps _not_ improved, but his face
is.

"Mr. Pickwick in the Attorney's Office."  Sam's face in _a_ was quite
unlike, and was improved; the position of his legs altered.  The other
points are much the same.

"Last Visit of Heyland to the Old Man."  This is a sort of anticipation
of "Phiz's" later treatment of tragic subjects, as supplied for "Bleak
House" and such stories.  Heyling's cloak in _b_ is draped over his left
arm, the boards of the door are outlined differently.  In _a_ the face of
the old man a side one, with little expression; in _b_ it was made three-
quarters, and contorted with horror--the attitude powerfully expressive,
indeed.  The figures of both are worth comparing.

"The Double-bedded Room."  In _b_ the lady's face is refined, and made
less of the "nut-cracker" type.  The comb is removed, her feet are
separated, and the figure becomes not ungraceful.  A white night-gown in
_b_ is introduced; in _a_ it is her day-gown, and dark; the back of the
chair in _b_ is treated more ornamentally; in _a_ a plain frilled
nightcap is hung on the chair, changed in _b_ to a more grotesque and
"Gamp-like" headgear.  Nothing can be better in _a_ than the effect of
light from the rushlight on the floor.  This is helped by the lady's
figure, which is darkened in _a_, and thrown out by the white curtains
behind.  Mr. Pickwick's face in _a_ is not good, and much improved in
_b_.  It will be noted that the artist often thus failed in his hero's
face--"missing his tip," as it were.  This picture admirably illustrates
the artist's power of _legitimately_ emphasizing details--such as the
night-cap--to add to the comic situation.

"Mr. Weller Attacks the Executive of Ipswich."  There is scarcely any
alteration worth notice.

"Job Trotter Encounters Sam."  The two plates are nearly the same, except
that Mary's face is made prettier.  Sam's is improved, and Job Trotter's
figure and face more marked and spirited.

"Christmas Eve at Mr. Wardle's."  The changes here are a cat and dog
introduced in the foreground in _b_, instead of the dog which in _a_ is
between Mr. Pickwick and the old lady.

"Gabriel Grubb."  A face is introduced into a branch or knot of the
tree--an odd, rather far-fetched effect.  The effectively outlined church
in the background is St. Albans Abbey.

"Mr. Pickwick Slides."  In _b_ Mr. Winkle's skates are introduced.  In
one version there are _five_ stakes instead of four, and Miss Allen's fur
boots and feet are depicted differently in each.

"Conviviality at Bob Sawyer's."  The two plates correspond almost
exactly--save for a slight alteration in the arrangement of the books in
the case.

"Mr. Pickwick Sits for his Portrait."  Slight alterations in the faces
and in the bird-cage.  The arrangement of the panes in the window is also
different.  Mr. Pickwick's face is made more intelligent.  A handle is
supplied to a pewter pot on the floor.

"The Warden's Room."  Almost exactly the same in both.  But why has Mr.
Pickwick his spectacles on when just roused from sleep?  There is a
collar to the shirt hanging from the cord.

"The Meeting with Jingle."  Very slight changes in the faces.  The
child's face in _b_ is admirable, and, like one of Cruikshank's
miniatures, it conveys alarm and grief.  The face of the woman watering
her plant is improved.  Note the Hogarthian touch of the initials carved
on the window, sufficiently distinct and yet not intrusively so.  This is
a most skilfully grouped and dramatic picture, and properly conveys the
author's idea.

"The Ghostly Passenger."  This illustration of what is one of the best
tales of mystery is equally picturesque and original.  The five figures
in front are truly remarkable.  The elegant interesting figure of the
woman, the fop with his hat in the air, the bully with the big sword, the
man with the blunderbuss, and the bewildered rustic, to say nothing of
the muffled figures on the coach, make up a perfect _play_.  There seems
a flutter over all; it is like, as it was intended to be, a scene in a
dream.

"Mr. Winkle Returns under Extraordinary Circumstances."  There is little
difference between the plates, save as to the details of the objects in
the cupboard.  In _b_ some bottles have been introduced on the top shelf.
Mrs. Winkle's is a pleasing, graceful figure in both, and improved and
refined in _b_.  More spirit, too, is put into Mr. Pickwick's figure as
he rises in astonishment.  It may be noted what a graceful type of
womanhood then prevailed, the face being thrown out by "bands" of hair
and ringlets, the large spreading bonnets and white veils.  Mary wears an
enormous bonnet or hat like her mistress.

"Mr. Sawyer's Mode of Travelling."  The amazing spirit and movement of
this picture cannot be too much praised.  The chaise seems whirling
along, so that the coach, meeting it, seems embarrassed and striving to
get out of the way.  The Irish family, struggling to keep up with the
chaise, is inimitable.  There are some changes in _b_.  The man with the
stick behind has a bundle or bag attached.  The mother with her three
children is a delightful group, and much improved in the second plate.
The child holding up flowers is admirably drawn.  The child who has
fallen is given a different attitude in _b_.  The dog, too, is slightly
altered.

"The Rival Editors."  There is little change made, save that more plates,
jugs, etc., are introduced.  The "row" is shown with extraordinary
spirit.  Note the grotesque effect of Pott's face, shown through the
cloth that Sam has put over his head.  The onions have got detached from
the hank hung to the ceiling, and are tumbling on the combatants, and--a
capital touch this--the blackbird, whose cage has been covered over to
secure its repose, is shown in _b_ dashing against the bars.  We might
ask, however, what does the cook there, and why does she "trouble herself
about the warming-pan"?

"Mary and the Fat Boy."  Both plates nearly the same, the languishing
face of the Fat Boy admirable.  Mary's figure, as she draws the chair,
charming, though somewhat stout at the back.  The cook is present, and a
plate laid for her, which is contrary to the text.

"Mr. Weller and his Friends Drinking to Mr. Pell."  Plates almost the
same, save for a slight alteration in the faces, and a vinegar cruet
introduced next to Mr. Pell's oysters.  Admirable and most original and
distinct are the figures of the four coachmen, even the one of whom we
have only a back view.

Perhaps no one of the plates displays Phiz's vivid power so forcibly as
the one of the trial "Bardell v. Pickwick."  Observe the dramatic
animation, with the difficulty of treating a number of figures seated in
regular rows.  The types of the lawyers are truly admirable.  In this
latter piece there are no less than thirty-five faces, all
characteristic, showing the peculiar smug and pedantic cast of the
barristerial lineaments.  Note specially the one at the end of the third
bench who is engrossed in his brief, the pair in the centre who are
discussing something, the two standing up.  But what is specially
excellent is the selection of faces for the four counsel concerned in the
case.  Nothing could be more appropriate or better suit the author's
description.  What could excel, or "beat" Buzfuz with his puffed, coarse
face and hulking form?  His brother Serjeant has the dried, "peaked" look
of the overworked barrister, and though he is in his wig we recognize him
at once, having seen him before at his chambers.  Mr. Phunkey, behind, is
the well-meaning but incapable performer to be exhibited in his
examination of Winkle; and Mr. Skimpin is the alert, unscrupulous, wide-
awake practitioner who "made such a hare" of Mr. Winkle.  The composition
of this picture is indeed a work of high art.

In "Mr. Pickwick sliding," how admirably caught is the tone of a genial,
frosty day at a country-house, with the animation of the spectators--the
charming landscape.  In the scene of "Under the Mistletoe" at Manor Farm,
the Fat Boy, by some mistake of size, cannot be more than five or six
years old, and Tupman is shown on one knee "making up" to one of the
young ladies.  Beaux seemed to have been very scarce in the district
where stout, elderly gentlemen were thus privileged.

The curious thing is that hardly a single face of Mr. Pickwick's
corresponds with its fellows, yet all are sufficiently like and
recognizable.  In the first picture of the club he is a cantankerous,
sour, old fellow, but the artist presently mellowed him.  The bald,
benevolent forehead, the portly little figure, the gaiters, eye-glass and
ribbon always put on expressively, seem his likeness.  The "Mr. Pickwick
sliding" and the "Mr. Pickwick sitting for his portrait in the Fleet"
have different faces.

There has always been a sort of fascination in tracing out and
identifying the Pickwickian localities.  It is astonishing the number of
persons that have been engrossed with this pursuit.  Take Muggleton for
instance, which seems to have hitherto defied all attempts at discovery.
The younger Charles Dickens fancied that town, Malling, which lies to the
south of Rochester.  Mr. Frost, Mr. Hughes, and other "explorers" all
have their favourite town.  I, myself, had fixed on Maidstone as
fulfilling the necessary conditions of having a Mayor and Corporation; as
against this choice and that of all the towns that were south of
Rochester there was always this fact, that Boz describes the party going
up the street as they left Rochester, a route that led them north-east.
But the late Miss Dickens--"Mamie" as she was affectionately called--in
her pleasing and very natural little book, "My Father as I Recall Him,"
has casually dropped a hint which puts us on the right track.  When
driving with her on the "beautiful back road to Cobham once, he pointed
out a spot.  There it was, he said, where Mr. Pickwick dropped his whip."
The distressed travellers had to walk some twelve or fourteen miles--about
the distance of Muggleton--which was important enough to have a Mayor and
Corporation, etc.  We ourselves have walked this road, and it led us
to--Gravesend.  Gravesend we believe to be Muggleton--against all
competitors.  Further, when chasing Jingle, Wardle went straight from
Muggleton to town, as you can do from Gravesend; from which place there
is a long walk to Cobham.

For abundance of editions the immortal Pickwick can hold its own with any
modern of its "weight, age, and size."  From the splendid yet unwieldy
_edition de luxe_, all but Bible-like in its proportions, to the one
penny edition sold on barrows in Cheapside, every form and pattern has
been supplied.

The Gadshill Edition, with Introduction by Andrew Lang, has recently been
issued by Messrs. Chapman and Hall, and is all that can be desired.
Print, paper, and size are excellent, perfect, even captivating.  The old
illustrations, from the original plates, are bright and clear, unworn and
unclogged with ink.  The editor has been judiciously reserved in his
introduction and annotations.  While Mr. Lang's lack of sympathy with
Dickens is well-known, and, like Sam Weller after leaving the witness-
box, he has said just as little respecting Mr. Pickwick as might be,
"which was precisely the object he had in view all along."  But it almost
seems as though one required to be "brought up" in Pickwick, so to speak,
thoroughly to understand him.  No true Pickwickian would ever have called
Tuckle the Bath Footman, "Blazer," or Jingle, "Jungle."  It were better,
too, not to adopt a carping tone in dealing with so joyous and
irresponsible a work.  "Dickens," we are told, "knew nothing of cricket."
Yet in his prime the present writer has seen him "marking" all day long,
or acting as umpire, with extraordinary knowledge and enthusiasm.  In
Pickwickian days the game was not what it is now; it was always more or
less irregular and disorderly.  As proof of "Boz's" ignorance, Mr. Lang
says it is a mystery why Podder "missed the bad balls, blocked the
doubtful ones, took the good ones, and sent them flying, etc."  Surely
nothing could be plainer.  He "missed"--that is, did not strike--the
balls of which nothing could be made, blocked the dangerous ones, and hit
the good ones all over the field.  What more or what better could Dr.
Grace do?

* * * * *

The original agreement for "Pickwick" I have not seen, though it is
probably in existence, but there is now being shown at the Earl's Court
Victorian Era Exhibition a very interesting Pickwickian curio.  When the
last number had appeared, a deed was created between the two publishers,
Edward Chapman and William Hall, giving them increased control over the
book.  It is dated November 18th, 1837, and sets out that the property
consisted of three shares held by the two publishers and author.  It was
contracted that the former should purchase for a period of five years the
author's third share.  And it was further stipulated that at the end of
that term, they, and no one else, should have the benefit of any new
arrangement.  There was also an arrangement about purchasing the "stock,"
etc., at the end of the term.  No mention, however, is made of the terms
or "consideration," for which reference is made to another deed.  The
whole is commendably short and intelligible.



Footnotes:


{24}  As I write it is mentioned in some "society case" that the valet
received 63 pounds a year, and 30s. a month "beer money."

{30}  Not long since, we noticed the general merriment at the Victoria
Station on the apparition of one of these curios carried by a rural
looking man.

{34}  _Vide_ "History of Pickwick."

{47}  NOTE--We have even in London the regular Pickwickian publisher,
whose work is stimulated by a generous ardour and prepared knowledge of
"States," Curios of all kinds associated with Boz in general, and
Pickwick in particular.  Among these is Mr. Spencer, of High Holborn--"who
will get you up a Pickwick" with all the advertisements, wrappers, etc.,
within a reasonable period--and who will point out to you some mysterious
error in the paging, which has escaped previous commentators.  There is
also Mr. Robson, of Coventry Street, and Mr. Harvey, of St. James'
Street.





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