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Title: De Libris: Prose and Verse
Author: Dobson, Austin, 1840-1921
Language: English
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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 "De Libris: Prose and Verse" ***

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Vt Mel Os, sic Cor Melos afficit, & reficit. _Deuteromelia_.

A mixture of a _Song_ doth ever adde Pleasure. BACON (_adapted_).


_Copyright 1908 by The Macmillan Company_





[_The Author desires to express his thanks to Lord Northcliffe, Messrs.
Macmillan and Co., Messrs. Smith, Elder and Co., Mr. William Heinemann,
and Messrs. Virtue and Co., for kind permission to reprint those pieces
in this volume concerning which no specific arrangements were made on
their first appearance in type._]


On Some Books And Their Associations
An Epistle To An Editor
Bramston's "Man Of Taste"
The Passionate Printer To His Love
M. Rouquet On The Arts
The Friend Of Humanity And The Rhymer
The Parent's Assistant
A Pleasant Invective Against Printing
Two Modern Book Illustrators--I. Kate Greenaway
A Song Of The Greenaway Child
Two Modern Book Illustrators--Ii. Mr. Hugh Thomson
Horatian Ode On The Tercentenary Of "Don Quixote"
The Books Of Samuel Rogers
Pepys' "Diary"
A French Critic On Bath
A Welcome From The "Johnson Club"
Thackeray's "Esmond"
A Miltonic Exercise
Fresh Facts About Fielding
The Happy Printer
Cross Readings--And Caleb Whitefoord
The Last Proof
General Index


pen-drawing by Mr. Hugh Thomson _Frontispiece_

*GROUP OF CHILDREN. From the original pen-drawing by Kate Greenaway for
_The Library,_ 1881

*PENCIL-SKETCHES, by the same (No. 1)

*PENCIL-SKETCH, by the same (No. 2)

*PENCIL-SKETCHES, by the same (No. 3)

*PENCIL-SKETCH, by the same (No. 4)

THE BROWN BOOK-PLATE. From the original design by Mr. Hugh Thomson in
the possession of Mr. Ernest Brown

*SIR ROGER DE COVERLEY AT THE ASSIZES. From a first rough pencil-sketch,
by the same, for _Days with Sir Roger de Coverley,_ 1886

PEN-SKETCHES, by the same, on the Half-Title of the _Ballad of Beau
Brocade,_ 1892. From the originals in the possession of Mr. A.
T.A. Dobson

*PEN-SKETCH (TRIPLET), by the same, on a Flyleaf of _Peg Woffington,_

EVELINA AND THE BRANGHTONS, by the same. From the Cranford _Evelina,_

LADY CASTLEWOOD AND HER SON, by the same. From the Cranford _Esmond_,

MERCERY LANE, CANTERBURY, by the same. From the original pencil-drawing
for _Highways and Byways in Kent_, 1907

_The originals of the illustrations preceded by an asterisk are in the
possession of the Author._


New books can have few associations. They may reach us on the best
deckle-edged Whatman paper, in the newest types of famous presses, with
backs of embossed vellum, with tasteful tasselled strings,--and yet be
no more to us than the constrained and uneasy acquaintances of
yesterday. Friends they may become to-morrow, the day after,--perhaps
"hunc in annum et plures" But for the time being they have neither part
nor lot in our past of retrospect and suggestion. Of what we were, of
what we like or liked, they know nothing; and we--if that be
possible--know even less of them. Whether familiarity will breed
contempt, or whether they will come home to our business and
bosom,--these are things that lie on the lap of the Fates.

But it is to be observed that the associations of old books, as of new
books, are not always exclusively connected with their text or
format,--are sometimes, as a matter of fact, independent of both. Often
they are memorable to us by length of tenure, by propinquity,--even by
their patience under neglect. We may never read them; and yet by reason
of some wholly external and accidental characteristic, it would be a
wrench to part with them if the moment of separation--the inevitable
hour--should arrive at last. Here, to give an instance in point, is a
stained and battered French folio, with patched corners,--Mons. N.
Renouard's translation of the _Metamorphoses d'Ovide_, 1637, "_enrichies
de figures à chacune Fable_" (very odd figures some of them are!) and to
be bought "_chez Pierre Billaine, ruë Sainct Iacques, à la Bonne-Foy,
deuant S. Yues_." It has held no honoured place upon the shelves; it has
even resided au rez-de-chaussée,--that is to say, upon the floor; but it
is not less dear,--not less desirable. For at the back of the
"Dedication to the King" (Lewis XIII. to wit), is scrawled in a
slanting, irregular hand: "_Pour mademoiselle de mons Son tres humble et
tres obeissant Serviteur St. André._" Between the fourth and fifth word,
some one, in a smaller writing of later date, has added "_par_" and
after "St. André," the signature "_Vandeuvre_." In these irrelevant (and
unsolicited) interpolations, I take no interest. But who was Mlle. de
Mons? As Frederick Locker sings:

  Did She live yesterday or ages back?
  What colour were the eyes when bright and waking?
  And were your ringlets fair, or brown, or black,
  Poor little Head! that long has done with aching![1]

"Ages back" she certainly did _not_ live, for the book is dated "1637,"
and "yesterday" is absurd. But that her eyes were bright,--nay, that
they were particularly lively and vivacious, even as they are in the
sanguine sketches of Antoine Watteau a hundred years afterwards, I am
"confidous"--as Mrs. Slipslop would say. For my theory (in reality a
foregone conclusion which I shrink from dispersing by any practical
resolvent) is, that Mile. de Mons was some delightful
seventeenth--century French child, to whom the big volume had been
presented as a picture-book. I can imagine the alert, strait-corseted
little figure, with ribboned hair, eagerly craning across the tall
folio; and following curiously with her finger the legends under the
copper "figures,"--"Narcisse en fleur," "Ascalaphe en hibou," "Jason
endormant le dragon,"--and so forth, with much the same wonder that the
Sinne-Beelden of Jacob Cats must have stirred in the little Dutchwomen
of Middelburg. There can be no Mlle. de Mons but this,--and for me she
can never grow old!


[1] This quatrain has the distinction of having been touched upon by
Thackeray. When Mr. Locker's manuscript went to the Cornhill Magazine
in 1860, it ran thus:

  Did she live yesterday, or ages sped?
  What colour were the eyes when bright and waking?
  And were your ringlets fair? Poor little head!
  --Poor little heart! that long has done with aching.

Sometimes it comes to pass that the association is of a more far-fetched
and fanciful kind. In the great Ovid it lies in an inscription: in my
next case it is "another-guess" matter. The folio this time is the
_Sylva Sylvarum_ of the "Right Hon. Francis Lo. Verulam. Viscount St.
Alban," of whom some people still prefer to speak as Lord Bacon. 'Tis
only the "sixt Edition"; but it was to be bought at the Great Turk's
Head, "next to the Mytre Tauerne" (not the modern pretender, be it
observed!), which is in itself a feature of interest. A former
possessor, from his notes, appears to have been largely preoccupied with
that ignoble clinging to life which so exercised Matthew Arnold, for
they relate chiefly to laxative simples for medicine; and he comforts
himself, in April, 1695, by transcribing Bacon's reflection that "a Life
led in _Religion_ and in _Holy Exercises_" conduces to longevity,--an
aphorism which, however useful as an argument for length of days, is a
rather remote reason for religion. But what to me is always most
seductive in the book is, that to this edition (not copy, of course) of
1651 Master Izaak Walton, when he came, in his _Compleat Angler_ of
1653, to discuss such abstract questions as the transmission of sound
under water, and the ages of carp and pike, must probably have referred.
He often mentions "Sir Francis Bacon's" _History of Life and Death_,
which is included in the volume. No doubt it would be more reasonable
and more "congruous" that Bacon's book should suggest Bacon. But there
it is. That illogical "succession of ideas" which puzzled my Uncle Toby,
invariably recalls to me, not the imposing folio to be purchased "next
to the Mytre Tauerne" in Fleet Street, but the unpretentious
eighteenpenny octavo which, two years later, was on sale at Richard
Marriot's in St. Dunstan's churchyard hard by, and did no more than
borrow its erudition from the riches of the Baconian storehouse.

Life, and its prolongation, is again the theme of the next book (also
mentioned, by the way, in Walton) which I take up, though unhappily it
has no inscription. It is a little old calf-clad copy of Lewis Cornaro's
_Sure and Certain Methods of attaining a Long and Healthful Life_, 4th
ed., 24mo, 1727; and was bought at the Bewick sale of February, 1884, as
having once belonged to Robert Elliot Bewick, only son of the famous old
Newcastle wood-engraver. As will be shown later, it is easy to be misled
in these matters, but I cannot help believing that this volume, which
looks as if it had been re-bound, is the one Thomas Bewick mentions in
his _Memoir_ as having been his companion in those speculative
wanderings over the Town Moor or the Elswick Fields, when, as an
apprentice, he planned his future _à la_ Franklin, and devised schemes
for his conduct in life. In attaining Cornaro's tale of years he did not
succeed; though he seems to have faithfully practised the periods of
abstinence enjoined (but probably not observed) by another of the "noble
Venetian's" professed admirers, Mr. Addison of the _Spectator_.

If I have admitted a momentary misgiving as to the authenticity of the
foregoing relic of the "father of white line," there can be none about
the next item to which I now come. Once, on a Westminster bookstall,
long since disappeared, I found a copy of a seventh edition of the
_Pursuits of Literature_ of T.J. Mathias, Queen Charlotte's Treasurer's
Clerk. Brutally cut down by the binder, that _durus arator_ had
unexpectedly spared a solitary page for its manuscript comment, which
was thoughtfully turned up and folded in. It was a note to this couplet
in Mathias, his Dialogue II.:--

  From Bewick's magick wood throw borrow'd rays
  O'er many a page in gorgeous Bulmer's blaze,--

"gorgeous Bulmer" (the epithet is over-coloured!) being the William
Bulmer who, in 1795, issued the _Poems of Goldsmith and Parnell_. "I"
(says the writer of the note) "was chiefly instrumental to this
ingenious artist's [Bewick's] excellence in this art. I first initiated
his master, Mr. Ra. Beilby (of Newcastle) into the art, and his first
essay was the execution of the cuts in my Treatise on Mensuration,
printed in 4to, 1770. Soon after I recommended the same artist to
execute the cuts to Dr. Horsley's edition of the works of Newton.
Accordingly Mr. B. had the job, who put them into the hands of his
assistant, Mr. Bewick, who executed them as his first work in wood, and
that in a most elegant manner, tho' spoiled in the printing by John
Nichols, the Black-letter printer. C.H. 1798."

"C.H." is Dr. Charles Hutton, the Woolwich mathematician. His note is a
little in the vaunting vein of that "founder of fortun's," the excellent
Uncle Pumblechook of _Great Expectations_, for his services scarcely
amounted to "initiating" Bewick or his master into the art of engraving
on wood. Moreover, his memory must have failed him, for Bewick, and not
Beilby, did the majority of the cuts to the _Mensuration_, including a
much-praised diagram of the tower of St. Nicholas Church at Newcastle,
afterwards a familiar object in the younger man's designs and
tail-pieces. Be this as it may, Dr. Hutton's note was surely worth
rescuing from the ruthless binder's plough.

Between the work of Thomas Bewick and the work of Samuel Pepys, it is
idle to attempt any ingenious connecting link, save the fact that they
both wrote autobiographically. The "Pepys" in question here, however, is
not the famous _Diary_, but the Secretary to the Admiralty's "only other
acknowledged work," namely, the privately printed _Memoires Relating to
the State of the Royal Navy of England, for Ten Years, 1690_; and this
copy may undoubtedly lay claim to exceptional interest. For not only
does it comprise those manuscript corrections in the author's
handwriting, which Dr. Tanner reproduced in his excellent Clarendon
Press reprint of last year, but it includes the two portrait plates by
Robert White after Kneller. The larger is bound in as a frontispiece;
the smaller (the ex-libris) is inserted at the beginning. The main
attraction of the book to me, however, is its previous owners--one
especially. My immediate predecessor was a well-known collector,
Professor Edward Solly, at whose sale in 1886 I bought it; and he in his
turn had acquired it in 1877, at Dr. Rimbault's sale. Probably what drew
us all to the little volume was not so much its disclosure of the
lamentable state of the Caroline navy, and of the monstrous toadstools
that flourished so freely in the ill-ventilated holds of His Majesty's
ships-of-war, as the fact that it had once belonged to that brave old
philanthropist, Captain Thomas Coram of the Foundling Hospital. To him
it was presented in March, 1724, by one C. Jackson; and he afterwards
handed it on to a Mr. Mills. Pasted at the end is Coram's autograph
letter, dated "June 10th, 1746." "To Mr. Mills These. Worthy Sir I
happend to find among my few Books, Mr. Pepys his memoires, w'ch I
thought might be acceptable to you & therefore pray you to accept of it.
I am w'th much Respect Sir your most humble Ser't. THOMAS CORAM."

At the Foundling Hospital is a magnificent full-length of Coram, with
curling white locks and kindly, weather-beaten face, from the brush of
his friend and admirer, William Hogarth. It is to Hogarth and his
fellow-Governor at the Foundling, John Wilkes, that my next jotting
relates. These strange colleagues in charity afterwards--as is well
known--quarrelled bitterly over politics. Hogarth caricatured Wilkes in
the _Times_: Wilkes replied by a _North Briton_ article (No. 17) so
scurrilous and malignant that Hogarth was stung into rejoining with that
famous squint-eyed semblance of his former crony, which has handed him
down to posterity more securely than the portraits of Zoffany and
Earlom. Wilkes's action upon this was to reprint his article with the
addition of a bulbous-nosed woodcut of Hogarth "from the Life." These
facts lent interest to an entry which for years had been familiar to me
in the Sale Catalogue of Mr. H.P. Standly, and which ran thus: "The
NORTH BRITON, No. 17, with a PORTRAIT of HOGARTH in WOOD; _and a severe
critique on some of his works: in Ireland's handwriting_ is the
following--'_This paper was given to me by Mrs. Hogarth, Aug. 1782, and
is the identical North Briton purchased by Hogarth, and carried in his
pocket many days to show his friends_.'" The Ireland referred to (as
will presently appear) was Samuel Ireland of the _Graphic
Illustrations_. When, in 1892, dispersed items of the famous Joly
collection began to appear sporadically in the second-hand catalogues, I
found in that of a well-known London bookseller an entry plainly
describing this one, and proclaiming that it came "from the celebrated
collection of Mr. Standly, of St. Neots." Unfortunately, the scrap of
paper connecting it with Mrs. Hogarth's present to Ireland had been
destroyed. Nevertheless, I secured my prize, had it fittingly bound up
with the original number which accompanied it; and here and there, in
writing about Hogarth, bragged consequentially about my fortunate
acquisition. Then came a day--a day to be marked with a black
stone!--when in the British Museum Print Room, and looking through the
"--Collection," for the moment deposited there, I came upon _another_
copy of the _North Briton_, bearing in Samuel Ireland's writing a
notification to the effect that it was the Identical No. 17, etc., etc.
Now which is the right one? Is either the right one? I inspect mine
distrustfully. It is soiled, and has evidently been folded; it is
scribbled with calculations; it has all the aspect of a _vénérable
vétusté_. That it came from the Standly collection, I am convinced. But
that other pretender in the (now dispersed) "--Collection"? And was
not Samuel Ireland (_nomen invisum_!) the, if not fraudulent, at least
too-credulous father of one William Henry Ireland, who, at eighteen,
wrote _Vortigern and Rowena_, and palmed it off as genuine Shakespeare?
I fear me--I much fear me--that, in the words of the American showman,
I have been "weeping over the wrong grave."

To prolong these vagrant adversaria would not be difficult. Here, for
example, dated 1779, are the _Coplas_ of the poet Don Jorge Manrique,
which, having no Spanish, I am constrained to study in the renderings of
Longfellow. Don Jorge was a Spaniard of the Spaniards, Commendador of
Montizon, Knight of the Order of Santiago, Captain of a company in the
Guards of Castile, and withal a valiant _soldado_, who died of a wound
received in battle. But the attraction of my volume is, that, at the
foot of the title-page, in beautiful neat script, appear the words,
"Robert Southey. Paris. 17 May 1817,"--being the year in which Southey
stayed at Como with Walter Savage Landor. Here are the _Works_ of
mock-heroic John Philips, 1720, whose _Blenheim_ the Tories pitted
against Addison's _Campaign_, and whose _Splendid Shilling_ still shines
lucidly among eighteenth-century parodies. This copy bears--also on the
title-page--the autograph of James Thomson, not yet the author of _The
Seasons_; and includes the book-plate of Lord Prestongrange,--that
"Lord Advocate Grant" of whom you may read in the _Kidnapped_ of
"R.L.S." Here again is an edition (the first) of Hazlitt's _Lectures on
the English Comic Writers_, annotated copiously in MS. by a contemporary
reader who was certainly not an admirer; and upon whom W.H.'s
cockneyisms, Gallicisms, egotisms, and "_ille_-isms" generally, seem to
have had the effect of a red rag upon an inveterately insular bull. "A
very ingenious but pert, dogmatical, and Prejudiced Writer" is his
uncomplimentary addition to the author's name. Then here is Cunningham's
_Goldsmith_ of 1854, vol. i., castigated with equal energy by that
Alaric Alexander Watts,[2] of whose egregious strictures upon Wordsworth
we read not long since in the _Cornhill Magazine_, and who will not
allow Goldsmith to say, in the _Haunch of Venison_, "the porter and
eatables followed behind." "They could scarcely have followed
before,"--he objects, in the very accents of Boeotia. Nor will he pass
"the hollow-sounding bittern" of the _Deserted Village_. A barrel may
sound hollow, but not a bird--this wiseacre acquaints us.


[2] So he was christened. But Lockhart chose to insist that his
second pre-name should properly be "Attila," and thenceforth he was
spoken of in this way.

Had the gifted author of _Lyrics of the Heart_ never heard of rhetorical
figures? But he is not Goldsmith's only hyper-critic. Charles Fox, who
admired _The Traveller_, thought Olivia's famous song in the _Vicar_
"foolish," and added that "folly" was a bad rhyme to "melancholy."[3] He
must have forgotten Milton's:--

  Bird that shunn'st the noise of folly,
  Most musicall, most melancholy!

Or he might have gone to the other camp, and remembered Pope on Mrs.

  Not warp'd by Passion, aw'd by Rumour,
  Not grave thro' Pride,, or gay thro' Folly,
  An equal Mixture of good Humour,
  And sensible soft Melancholy.


[3] _Recollections_, by Samuel Rogers, 2nd ed., 1859, 43.


"Jamais les arbres verts n'ont essayé d'être bleus."--

"A new Review!" You make me tremble
(Though as to that, I can dissemble
Till I hear more). But is it "new"?
And will it be a _real_ Review?--
I mean, a Court wherein the scales
Weigh equally both him that fails,
And him that hits the mark?--a place
Where the accus'd can plead his case,
If wrong'd? All this I need to know
Before I (arrogant!) say "Go."

"We, that are very old" (the phrase
Is STEELE'S, not mine!), in former days,
Have seen so many "new Reviews"
Arise, arraign, absolve, abuse;--
Proclaim their mission to the top
(Where there's still room!), then slowly drop,

Shrink down, fade out, and _sans_ preferment,
Depart to their obscure interment;--
We should be pardon'd if we doubt
That a new venture _can_ hold out.

It _will_, you say. Then don't be "new";
Be "old." The Old is still the True.
Nature (said GAUTIER) never tries
To alter her accustom'd dyes;
And all your novelties at best
Are ancient puppets, newly drest.
What you must do, is not to shrink
From speaking out the thing you think;
And blaming where 'tis right to blame,
Despite tradition and a Name.
Yet don't expand a trifling blot,
Or ban the book for what it's not
(That is the poor device of those
Who cavil where they can't oppose!);
Moreover (this is _very_ old!),
Be courteous--even when you scold!

Blame I put first, but not at heart.
You must give Praise the foremost part;--
Praise that to those who write is breath
Of Life, if just; if unjust, Death.
Praise then the things that men revere;
Praise what they love, not what they fear;
Praise too the young; praise those who try;
Praise those who fail, but by and by
May do good work. Those who succeed,
You'll praise perforce,--so there's no need
To speak of that. And as to each,
See you keep measure in your speech;--
See that your praise be so exprest
That the best man shall get the best;
Nor fail of the fit word you meant
Because your epithets are spent.
Remember that our language gives
No limitless superlatives;
And SHAKESPEARE, HOMER, _should_ have more
Than the last knocker at the door!

"We, that are very old!"--May this
Excuse the hint you find amiss.
My thoughts, I feel, are what to-day
Men call _vieux jeu_. Well!--"let them say."
The Old, at least, we know: the New
(A changing Shape that all pursue!)
Has been,--may be, a fraud.
--But there!
Wind to your sail! _Vogue la galère!_


Were you to inquire respectfully of the infallible critic (if such
indeed there be!) for the source of the aphorism, "Music has charms to
soothe a savage beast," he would probably "down" you contemptuously in
the Johnsonian fashion by replying that you had "just enough of learning
to misquote";--that the last word was notoriously "breast" and not
"beast";--and that the line, as Macaulay's, and every Board School-boy
besides must be abundantly aware, is to be found in Congreve's tragedy
of _The Mourning Bride_. But he would be wrong; and, in fact, would only
be confirming the real author's contention that "Sure, of all
blockheads, _Scholars_ are the worst." For, whether connected with
Congreve or not, the words are correctly given; and they occur in the
Rev. James Bramston's satire, _The Man of Taste_, 1733, running in a
couplet as follows:--

  Musick has charms to sooth a savage beast,
  And therefore proper at a Sheriff's feast.

Moreover, according to the handbooks, this is not the only passage from
a rather obscure original which has held its own. "Without
black-velvet-britches, what is man?"--is another (a speculation which
might have commended itself to Don Quixote);[4] while _The Art of
Politicks_, also by Bramston, contains a third:--

  What's not destroy'd by Time's devouring Hand?
  Where's _Troy_, and where's the _May-Pole_ in the _Strand_?

Polonius would perhaps object against a "devouring hand." But the
survival of--at least--three fairly current citations from a practically
forgotten minor Georgian satirist would certainly seem to warrant a few
words upon the writer himself, and his chief performance in verse.

The Rev. James Bramston was born in 1694 or 1695 at Skreens, near
Chelmsford, in Essex, his father, Francis Bramston, being the fourth son
of Sir Moundeford Bramston, Master in Chancery, whose father again was
Sir John Bramston, Lord Chief Justice of the King's Bench, generally
known as "the elder."[5]James Bramston was admitted to Westminster
School in 1708. In 1713 he became a scholar at Christ Church, Oxford,
proceeding B.A. in 1717, and M.A. in 1720. In 1723 he was made Vicar of
Lurgashall, and in 1725 of Harting, both of which Sussex livings he held
until his death in March 1744, ten weeks before the death of Pope. His
first published verses (1715) were on Dr. Radcliffe. In 1729 he printed
_The Art of Politicks_, one of the many contemporary imitations of the
_Ars Poetica_; and in 1733 _The Man of Taste_. He also wrote a mediocre
variation on the _Splendid Shilling_ of John Philips, entitled _The
Crooked Sixpence_, 1743. Beyond a statement in Dallaway's _Sussex_ that
"he [Bramston] was a man of original humour, the fame and proofs of
whose colloquial wit are still remembered"; and the supplementary
information that, as incumbent of Lurgashall, he received an annual
_modus_ of a fat buck and doe from the neighbouring Park of Petworth,
nothing more seems to have been recorded of him.


[4] Whose _grand tenue_ or holiday wear--Cervantes tells us--was "a
doublet of fine cloth and _velvet breeches_ and shoes to match." (ch. 1).

[5] Sir John Bramston, the younger, was the author of the "watery
incoherent _Autobiography_"--as Carlyle calls it--published by the Camden
Society in 1845.

_The Crooked Sixpence_ is, at best, an imitation of an imitation; and as
a Miltonic _pastiche_ does not excel that of Philips, or rival the more
serious _Lewesdon Hill_ of Crowe. _The Art of Politicks_, in its turn,
would need a fairly long commentary to make what is only moderately
interesting moderately intelligible, while eighteenth-century copies of
Horace's letter to the Pisos are "plentiful as blackberries." But _The
Man of Taste_, based, as it is, on the presentment of a never extinct
type, the connoisseur against nature, is still worthy of passing notice.

In the sub-title of the poem, it is declared to be "Occasion'd by an
Epistle of Mr. Pope's on that Subject" [i.e. "Taste"]. This was what is
now known as No. 4 of the _Moral Essays_, "On the Use of Riches." But
its first title In 1731 was "Of Taste"; and this was subsequently
altered to "Of False Taste." It was addressed to Pope's friend, Richard
Boyle, Earl of Burlington; and, under the style of "Timon's Villa,"
employed, for its chief illustration of wasteful and vacuous
magnificence, the ostentatious seat which James Brydges, first Duke of
Chandos, had erected at Canons, near Edgware. The story of Pope's
epistle does not belong to this place. But in the print of _The Man of
Taste_, William Hogarth, gratifying concurrently a personal antipathy,
promptly attacked Pope, Burlington, and his own _bête noire_,
Burlington's architect, William Kent. Pope, to whom Burlington acts as
hodman, is depicted whitewashing Burlington Gate, Piccadilly, which is
labelled "Taste," and over which rises Kent's statue, subserviently
supported at the angles of the pediment by Raphael and Michelangelo. In
his task, the poet, a deformed figure in a tye-wig, bountifully
bespatters the passers-by, particularly the chariot of the Duke of
Chandos. The satire was not very brilliant or ingenious; but its meaning
was clear. Pope was prudent enough to make no reply; though, as Mr. G.S.
Layard shows in his _Suppressed Plates_, it seems that the print was, or
was sought to be, called in by those concerned. Bramston's poem, which
succeeded in 1733, does not enter into the quarrel, it may be because of
the anger aroused by the pictorial reply. But if--as announced on its
title-page,--it was suggested by Pope's epistle, it would also seem to
have borrowed its name from Hogarth's caricature.

It was first issued in folio by Pope's publisher, Lawton Gilliver of
Fleet Street, and has a frontispiece engraved by Gerard Vandergucht.
This depicts a wide-skirted, effeminate-looking personage, carrying a
long cane with a head fantastically carved, and surrounded by various
objects of art. In the background rises what is apparently intended for
the temple of a formal garden; and behind this again, a winged ass
capers skittishly upon the summit of Mount Helicon. As might be
anticipated, the poem is in the heroic measure of Pope. But though many
of its couplets are compact and pointed, Bramston has not yet learned
from his model the art of varying his pausation, and the period closes
his second line with the monotony of a minute gun. Another defect,
noticed by Warton, is that the speaker throughout is made to profess the
errors satirised, and to be the unabashed mouthpiece of his own fatuity,
"Mine," say the concluding lines,--

  Mine are the gallant Schemes of Politesse,
  For books, and buildings, politicks, and dress.
  This is _True Taste_, and whoso likes it not,
  Is blockhead, coxcomb, puppy, fool, and sot.

One is insensibly reminded of a quotation from P.L. Courier, made in the
_Cornhill_ many years since by the once famous "Jacob Omnium" when
replying controversially to the author of _Ionica_, "_Je vois_"--says
Courier, after recapitulating a string of abusive epithets hurled at him
by his opponent--"_je vois ce qu'il veut dire: il entend que lui et moi
sont d'avis different; et c'est là sa manière de s'exprimer_." It was
also the manner of our Man of Taste.

The second line of the above quotation from Bramston gives us four of
the things upon which his hero lays down the law. Let us see what he
says about literature. As a professing critic he prefers books
with notes:--

  Tho' _Blackmore's_ works my soul with raptures fill,
  With notes by _Bently_ they'd be better still.

Swift he detests--not of course for detestable qualities, but because he
is so universally admired. In poetry he holds by rhyme as opposed to
blank verse:--

  Verse without rhyme I never could endure,
  Uncouth in numbers, and in sense obscure.
  To him as Nature, when he ceas'd to see,
  _Milton's_ an _universal Blank_ to me ...
  _Thompson _[_sic_] write blank, but know that for that reason
  These lines shall live, when thine are out of season.
  Rhyme binds and beautifies the Poet's lays
  As _London_ Ladies owe their shape to stays.

In this the Man of Taste is obviously following the reigning fashion.
But if we may assume Bramston himself to approve what his hero condemns,
he must have been in advance of his age, for blank verse had but sparse
advocates at this time, or for some time to come. Neither Gray, nor
Johnson, nor Goldsmith were ever reconciled to what the last of them
styles "this unharmonious measure." Goldsmith, in particular, would
probably have been in exact agreement with the couplet as to the
controlling powers of rhyme. "If rhymes, therefore," he writes, in the
_Enquiry into Polite Learning_,[6] "be more difficult [than blank
verse], for that very reason, I would have our poets write in rhyme.
Such a restriction upon the thought of a good poet, often lifts and
encreases the vehemence of every sentiment; for fancy, like a fountain,
plays highest by diminishing the aperture."[7]


[6] Ed. 1759, p. 151.

[7] Montaigne has a somewhat similar illustration: "As _Cleanthes_ The
Man of Taste's idol, in matters dramatic, is said, that as the voice
being forciblie pent in the narrow gullet of a trumpet, at last issueth
forth more strong and shriller, so me seemes, that a sentence cunningly
and closely couched in measure-keeping Posie, darts it selfe forth more
furiously, and wounds me even to the quicke".
(_Essayes_, bk. i. ch. xxv. (Florio's translation).

The Man of Taste's idol, in matters dramatic, is Colley Cibber, who,
however, deserves the laurel he wears, not for _The Careless Husband_,
his best comedy, but for his Epilogues and other Plays.

  It pleases me, that _Pope_ unlaurell'd goes,
  While _Cibber_ wears the Bays for Play-house Prose,
  So _Britain's_ Monarch once uncover'd sate,
  While _Bradshaw_ bully'd in a broad-brimmed hat,--

a reminiscence of King Charles's trial which might have been added to
Bramston stock quotations. The productions of "Curll's chaste press" are
also this connoisseur's favourite reading,--the lives of players in
particular, probably on the now obsolete grounds set forth in Carlyie's
essay on Scott.[8] Among these the memoirs of Cibber's "Lady Betty
Modish," Mrs. Oldfield, then lately dead, and buried in Westminster
Abbey, are not obscurely indicated.


[8] "It has been said. 'There are no English lives worth reading except
those of Players, who by the nature of the case have bidden Respectability

In morals our friend--as might be expected _circa_ l730--is a
Freethinker and Deist. Tindal is his text-book: his breviary the _Fable
of the Bees_;--

  T' Improve In Morals _Mandevil_ I read,
  And _Tyndal's_ Scruples are my settled Creed.
  I travell'd early, and I soon saw through
  Religion all, e'er I was twenty-two.
  Shame, Pain, or Poverty shall I endure,
  When ropes or opium can my ease procure?
  When money's gone, and I no debts can pay,
  Self-murder is an honourable way.
  As _Pasaran_ directs I'd end my life,
  And kill myself, my daughter, and my wife.

He would, of course, have done nothing of the kind; nor, for the matter
of that, did his Piedmontese preceptor.[9]


[9] Count Passeran was a freethinking nobleman who wrote _A
Philosophical Discourse on Death_, in which he defended suicide, though
he refrained from resorting to it himself. Pope refers to him in the
_Epilogue to the Satires_, Dialogue i. 124:--

  If Blount despatch'd himself, he play'd the man,
  And so may'st thou, illustrious Passeran!

_Nil admirari_ is the motto of the Man of Taste in Building, where he is
naturally at home. He can see no symmetry in the Banqueting House, or in
St. Paul's Covent Garden, or even in St. Paul's itself.

  Sure wretched _Wren_ was taught by bungling _Jones_,
  To murder mortar, and disfigure stones!

"Substantial" Vanbrugh he likes-=chiefly because his work would make
"such noble ruins." Cost is his sole criterion, and here he, too, seems
to glance obliquely at Canons:--

  _Dorick, Ionick,_ shall not there be found,
  But it shall cost me threescore thousand pound.

But this was moderate, as the Edgware "folly" reached £250,000. In
Gardening he follows the latest whim for landscape. Here is his
burlesque of the principles of Bridgeman and Batty Langley:--

  Does it not merit the beholder's praise,
  What's high to sink? and what is low to raise?
  Slopes shall ascend where once a green-house stood,
  And in my horse-pond I will plant a wood.
  Let misers dread the hoarded gold to waste,
  Expence and alteration show a _Taste_.

As a connoisseur of Painting this enlightened virtuoso is given over to
Hogarth's hated dealers in the Black Masters:--

  In curious paintings I'm exceeding nice,
  And know their several beauties by their _Price_.
  _Auctions_ and _Sales_ I constantly attend,
  But chuse my pictures by a _skilful Friend_,
  Originals and copies much the same,
  The picture's value is the _painter's name_.[10]

Of Sculpture he says--

  In spite of _Addison_ and ancient _Rome_,
  Sir _Cloudesly Shovel's_ is my fav'rite tomb.[11]
  How oft have I with admiration stood,
  To view some City-magistrate in wood?
  I gaze with pleasure on a Lord May'r's head
  Cast with propriety in gilded lead,--

the allusion being obviously to Cheere's manufactory of such popular
garden decorations at Hyde Park Corner.


[10]: See _post_, "M. Ronquet on the Arts," p. 51.

[11]: "Sir _Cloudesly Shovel's_ Monument has very often given me great
Offence: Instead of the brave rough English Admiral, which was the
distinguishing Character of that plain, gallant Man, he is represented
on his Tomb [in Westminster Abbey] by the Figure of a Beau, dressed in a
long Perriwig, and reposing himself upon Velvet Cushions under a Canopy
of State" (_Spectator_, March 30, 1711).

In Coins and Medals, true to his instinct for liking the worst the best,
he prefers the modern to the antique. In Music, with Hogarth's Rake two
years later, he is all for that "Dagon of the nobility and gentry,"
imported song:--

  Without _Italian_, or without an ear,
  To _Bononcini's_ musick I adhere;--

though he confesses to a partiality for the bagpipe on the ground that
your true Briton "loves a grumbling noise," and he favours organs and
the popular oratorios. But his "top talent is a bill of fare":--

  Sir Loins and rumps of beef offend my eyes,[12]
  Pleas'd with frogs fricass[e]ed, and coxcomb-pies.
  Dishes I chuse though little, yet genteel,
  _Snails_[13] the first course, and _Peepers_[14] crown the meal.
  Pigs heads with hair on, much my fancy please,
  I love young colly-flowers if stew'd in cheese,
  And give ten guineas for a pint of peas!
  No tatling servants to my table come,
  My Grace is _Silence_, and my waiter _Dumb_.

He is not without his aspirations.

  Could I the _priviledge_ of _Peer_ procure,
  The rich I'd bully, and oppress the poor.
  To _give_ is wrong, but it is wronger still,
  On any terms to _pay_ a tradesman's bill.
  I'd make the insolent Mechanicks stay,
  And keep my ready-money all for _play_.
  I'd try if any pleasure could be found
  In _tossing-up_ for twenty thousand pound.
  Had I whole Counties, I to _White's_ would go,
  And set lands, woods, and rivers at a throw.
  But should I meet with an unlucky run,
  And at a throw be gloriously undone;
  My _debts of honour_ I'd discharge the first,
  Let all my _lawful creditors_ be curst.


[12] As they did those of Goldsmith's "Beau Tibbs." "I hate your
immense loads of meat ... extreme disgusting to those who are in the
least acquainted with high life" (_Citizen of the World_, 1762, i.

[13]: The edible or Roman snail (_Helix pomatia_) is still
known to continental cuisines--and gipsy camps. It was introduced into
England as an epicure's dish in the seventeenth century.

[14]: Young chickens.

Here he perfectly exemplifies that connexion between connoisseurship and
play which Fielding discovers in Book xiii. of _Tom Jones_.[15] An
anecdote of C.J. Fox aptly exhibits the final couplet in action, and
proves that fifty years later, at least, the same convenient code was in
operation. Fox once won about eight thousand pounds at cards. Thereupon
an eager creditor promptly presented himself, and pressed for payment.
"Impossible, Sir," replied Fox," I must first discharge my debts of
honour." The creditor expostulated. "Well, Sir, give me your bond." The
bond was delivered to Fox, who tore it up and flung the pieces into the
fire. "Now, Sir," said he, "my debt to you is a debt of honour," and
immediately paid him.[16]


[15] "But the science of gaming is that which above all others
employs their thoughts [i.e. the thoughts of the 'young gentlemen of our
times']. These are the studies of their graver hours, while for their
amusements they have the vast circle of connoisseurship, painting,
music, statuary, and natural philosophy, or rather _unnatural_, which
deals in the wonderful, and knows nothing of nature, except her monsters
and imperfections" (ch. v.).

[16] _Table Talk of Samuel Rogers_ [by Dyce], 1856, p. 73.

But we must abridge our levies on Pope's imitator. In Dress the Man of
Taste's aim seems to have been to emulate his own footman, and at this
point comes in the already quoted reference to velvet
"inexpressibles"--(a word which, the reader may be interested to learn,
is as old as 1793). His "pleasures," as might be expected, like those of
Goldsmith's Switzers, "are but low"--

  To boon companions I my time would give,
  With players, pimps, and parasites I'd live.
  I would with _Jockeys_ from _Newmarket_ dine,
  And to _Rough-riders_ give my choicest wine ...
  My ev'nings all I would with _sharpers_ spend,
  And make the _Thief-catcher_ my bosom friend.
  In _Fig_, the Prize-fighter, by day delight,
  And sup with _Colly Cibber_ ev'ry night.

At which point--and probably in his cups--we leave our misguided fine
gentleman of 1733, doubtless a fair sample of many of his class under
the second George, and not wholly unknown under that monarch's
successors--even to this hour. _Le jour va passer; mais la folie ne
passera pas!_

A parting quotation may serve to illustrate one of those changes of
pronunciation which have taken place in so many English words. Speaking
of his villa, or country-box, the Man of Taste says--

  Pots o'er the door I'll place like Cits balconies,
  Which _Bently_ calls the _Gardens of Adonis_.

To make this a peg for a dissertation on the jars of lettuce and fennel
grown by the Greeks for the annual Adonis festivals, is needless. But it
may be noted that Bramston, with those of his day,--Swift
excepted,--scans the "o" in balcony long, a practice which continued far
into the nineteenth century. "Cóntemplate," said Rogers, "is bad enough;
but balcony makes me sick."[17] And even in 1857, two years after
Rogers's death, the late Frederick Locker, writing of _Piccadilly_,
speaks of "Old Q's" well-known window in that thoroughfare as
"Primrose balcony."


[17:]_Table Talk_, 1856, p. 248.


(_Whose name is Amanda._)

With Apologies to the Shade of Christopher Marlowe.

Come live with me and be my Dear;
  And till that happy bond shall lapse,
I'll set your Poutings in _Brevier_,[l8]
  Your Praises in the largest CAPS.

There's _Diamond_--'tis for your Eyes;
  There's _Ruby_--that will match your Lips;
_Pearl_, for your Teeth; and _Minion_-size.
  To suit your dainty Finger-tips.

In _Nonpareil_ I'll put your Face;
  In _Rubric_ shall your Blushes rise;
There is no _Bourgeois_ in _your_ Case;
  Your _Form_ can never need "_Revise_."

Your Cheek seems "_Ready for the Press_";
  Your Laugh as _Clarendon_ is clear;
There's more distinction in your Dress
  Than in the oldest _Elzevir_.

So with me live, and with me die;
  And may no "FINIS" e'er intrude
To break into mere "_Printers' Pie_"
  The Type of our Beatitude!

(ERRATUM.--If my suit you flout,
  And choose some happier Youth to wed,
'Tis but to cross AMANDA out,
  And read another name instead.)


[18] "Pronounced Bre-veer" (Printers' Vocabulary).


M. Rouquet's book is a rare duodecimo of some two hundred pages, bound
in sheep, which, in the copy before us, has reached that particular
stage of disintegration when the scarfskin, without much persuasion,
peels away in long strips. Its title is--_L'État des Arts, en
Angleterre. Par M. Rouquet, de l'Académie Royale de Peinture & de
Sculpture_; and it is "_imprime à Paris_" though it was to be obtained
from John Nourse, "_Libraire dans le_ Strand, _proche_ Temple-barr"--a
well-known importer of foreign books, and one of Henry Fielding's
publishers. The date is 1755, being the twenty-eighth year of the reign
of His Majesty King George the Second--a reign not generally regarded as
favourable to art of any kind. In what month of 1755 the little volume
was first put forth does not appear; but it must have been before
October, when Nourse issued an English version. There is a dedication,
in the approved French fashion, to the Marquis de Marigny, "_Directeur &
Ordonnateur Général de ses Bâtimens, Jardins, Arts, Académies &
Manufactures_" to Lewis the Fifteenth, above which is a delicate
headpiece by M. Charles-Nicolas Cochin (the greatest of the family),
where a couple of that artist's well-nourished _amorini_, insecurely
attached to festoons, distribute palms and laurels in vacuity under a
coroneted oval displaying fishes. For Monsieur Abel-François Poisson,
Marquis de Marigny et de Ménars, was the younger brother of
Jeanne-Antoinette Poisson, the celebrated Marquise de Pompadour.
Cochin's etching is dated "1754"; and the "Approbation" at the end of
the volume bears his signature in his capacity of _Censeur_.

Of the "M. Rouquet" of the title-page biography tells us little; but it
may be well, before speaking of his book, to bring that little together.
He was a Swiss Protestant of French extraction, born at Geneva in 1702.
His Christian names were Jean-André; and he had come to England from his
native land towards the close of the reign of George the First. Many of
his restless compatriots also sought these favoured shores. Labelye, who
rose from a barber's shop to be the architect of London Bridge; Liotard,
once regarded as a rival of Reynolds; Michael Moser, eventually Keeper
of the Royal Academy, had all migrated from the "stormy mansions" where,
in the words of Goldsmith's philosophic Wanderer--

  Winter ling'ring chills the lap of May.

Like Moser, Rouquet was a chaser and an enameller. He lodged on the
south side of Leicester Fields, in a house afterwards the residence of
another Switzer of the same craft, that miserable Theodore Gardelle, who
in 1761 murdered his landlady, Mrs. King. Of Rouquet's activities as an
artist in England there are scant particulars. The ordinary authorities
affirm that he imitated and rivalled the popular miniaturist and
enameller, Christian Zincke, who retired from practice in 1746; and he
is loosely described as "the companion of Hogarth, Garrick, Foote, and
the wits of the day." Of his relations with Foote and Garrick there is
scant record; but with Hogarth, his near neighbour in the Fields, he was
certainly well acquainted, since in 1746 he prepared explanations in
French for a number of Hogarth's prints. These took the form of letters
to a friend at Paris, and are supposed to have been, if not actually
inspired, at least approved by the painter. They usually accompanied all
the sets of Hogarth's engravings which went abroad; and, according to
George Steevens, it was Hogarth's intention ultimately to have them
translated and enlarged. Rouquet followed these a little later by a
separate description of "The March to Finchley," designed specially for
the edification of Marshal Foucquet de Belle-Isle, who, when the former
letters had been written, was a prisoner of war at Windsor. In a brief
introduction to this last, the author, hitherto unnamed, is spoken of as
"_Mr. Rouquet, connu par ses Outrages d'Émail_."

After thirty years' sojourn in this country, Rouquet transferred himself
to Paris. At what precise date he did this is not stated, but by a
letter to Hogarth from the French capital, printed by John Ireland, the
original of which is in the British Museum, he was there, and had been
there several months, in March 1753. The letter gives a highly
favourable account of its writer's fortunes. Business is "coming in very
smartly," he says. He has been excellently received, and is "perpetualy
imploy'd." There is far more encouragement for modern enterprise in
Paris than there is in London; and some of his utterances must have
rejoiced the soul of his correspondent. As this, for instance--"The
humbug _virtu_ is much more out of fashon here than in England, free
thinking upon that & other topicks is more common here than amongst you
if possible, old pictures & old stories fare's alike, a dark picture is
become a damn'd picture." On this account, he inquires anxiously as to
the publication of his friend's forthcoming _Analysis_; he has been
raising expectations about it, and he wishes to be the first to
introduce it into France. From other sources we learn that (perhaps
owing to his relations with Belle-Isle, who had been released in 1745)
he had been taken up by Marigny, and also by Cochin, then keeper of the
King's Drawings, and soon to be Secretary to the Academy, of which
Rouquet himself, by express order of Lewis the Fifteenth, was made a
member. Finally, as in the case of Cochin, apartments were assigned to
him in the Louvre. Whether he ever returned to this country is doubtful;
but, as we have seen, the _État des Arts_ was printed at Paris in 1755.
That it was suggested--or "commanded"--by Mme. de Pompadour's
connoisseur brother, to whom it was inscribed, is a not unreasonable

In any case, M. Rouquet's definition of the "Arts" is a generous one,
almost as wide as Marigny's powers, already sufficiently set forth at
the outset of this paper. For not only--as in duty bound--does he treat
of Architecture, Sculpture, Painting and Engraving, but he also has
chapters on Printing, Porcelain, Gold-and Silver-smiths' Work, Jewelry,
Music, Declamation, Auctions, Shop-fronts, Cooking, and even on Medicine
and Surgery. Oddly enough, he says nothing of one notable art with which
Marigny was especially identified, that "art of creating landscape"--as
Walpole happily calls Gardening--which, in this not very "shining
period," entered upon a fresh development under Bridgeman and William
Kent. Although primarily a Londoner, one would think that M. Rouquet
must certainly have had some experience, if not of the efforts of the
innovators, at least of the very Batavian performances of Messrs. London
and Wise of Brompton; or that he should have found at Nonsuch or
Theobalds--at Moor Park or Hampton Court--the pretext for some of his
pages--if only to ridicule those "verdant sculptures" at which Pope, who
played no small part in the new movement, had laughed in the _Guardian_;
or those fantastic "coats of arms and mottoes in yew, box and holly"
over which Walpole also made merry long after in the famous essay so
neatly done into French by his friend the Duc de Nivernais. M. Rouquet's
curious reticence in this matter cannot have been owing to any
consideration for Hogarth's old enemy, William Kent, for Kent had been
dead seven years when the _État des Arts_ made its appearance.

If, for lack of space, we elect to pass by certain preliminary
reflections which the _Monthly Review_ rather unkindly dismisses as a
"tedious jumble," M. Rouquet's first subject is History Painting, a
branch of the art which, under George the Second, attained to no great
excellence. For this M. Rouquet gives three main reasons, the first
being that afterwards advanced by Hogarth and Reynolds, namely,--the
practical exclusion, in Protestant countries, of pictures from churches.
A second cause was the restriction of chamber decorations to portraits
and engravings; and a third, the craze of the connoisseur for Hogarth's
hated "Black Masters," the productions of defunct foreigners. And this
naturally brings about the following digression, quite in Hogarth's own
way, against that contemporary charlatan, the picture-dealer:--"English
painters have an obstacle to overcome, which equally impedes the
progress of their talents and of their fortune. They have to contend
with a class of men whose business it is to sell pictures; and as, for
these persons, traffic in the works of living, and above all of native
artists, would be impossible, they make a point of decrying them, and,
as far as they can, of confirming amateurs with whom they have to deal
in the ridiculous idea that the older a picture is the more valuable it
becomes. See, say they (speaking of some modern effort), it still shines
with that ignoble freshness which is to be found in nature; Time will
have to indue it with his learned smoke--with that sacred cloud which
must some day hide it from the profane eyes of the vulgar in order to
reveal to the initiated alone the mysterious beauties of a venerable

These words are quite in the spirit of Hogarth's later "Time smoking a
Picture." As a matter of fact, they are reproduced almost textually from
the writer's letter of five years earlier on the "March to Finchley." To
return, however, to History Painting. According to Rouquet, its leading
exponent[19] under George the Second was Francis Hayman of the "large
noses and shambling legs," now known chiefly as a crony of Hogarth, and
a facile but ineffectual illustrator of Shakespeare and Cervantes. In
1754, however, his pictures of _See-Saw, Hot Cockles, Blind Man's Buff_,
and the like, for the supper-boxes at Vauxhall Gardens, with Sayer's
prints therefrom, had made his name familiar, although he had not yet
painted those more elaborate compositions in the large room next the
rotunda, over which Fanny Burney's "Holborn Beau," Mr, Smith, comes to
such terrible grief in ch. xlvi. of _Evelina_. But he had contributed a
"Finding of Moses" to the New Foundling Hospital, which is still to be
seen in the Court Room there, in company with three other pictures
executed concurrently for the remaining compartments, Joseph Highmore's
"Hagar and Ishmael," James Wills's "Suffer little Children," and
Hogarth's "Moses brought to Pharaoh's Daughter"--the best of the four,
as well as the most successful of Hogarth's historical pieces. All
these, then recently installed, are mentioned by Rouquet.


[19] This is confirmed by Arthur Murphy: "Every Thing is put out
of Hand by this excellent Artist with the utmost Grace and Delicacy, and
his History-Pieces have, besides their beautiful Colouring, the most
lively Expression of Character" (_Gray's Inn Journal, February
9, 1754_).

It will be observed that he says nothing about Hogarth's earlier and
more ambitious efforts in the "Grand Style," the "Pool of Bethesda" and
the "Good Samaritan" at St. Bartholomew's, nor of the "Paul before
Felix," also lately added to Lincoln's Inn Hall--omissions which must
have sadly exercised the "author" of those monumental works when he came
to read his Swiss friend's little treatise. Nor, for the matter of that,
does M. Rouquet, when he treats of portrait, refer to Hogarth's
masterpiece in this kind, the full-length of Captain Coram at the
Foundling. On the other hand, he says a great deal about Hogarth which
has no very obvious connection with History Painting. He discusses the
_Analysis_ and the serpentine Line of Beauty with far more insight than
many of its author's contemporaries; refers feelingly to the Act by
which in 1735 the painter had so effectively cornered the pirates; and
finally defines his satirical pictures succinctly as follows:--"M.
Hogarth has given to England a new class of pictures. They contain a
great number of figures, usually seven or eight inches high. These
remarkable performances are, strictly speaking, the history of certain
vices, to a foreign eye often a little overcharged, but always full of
wit and novelty. He understands in his compositions how to make pleasant
pretext for satirising the ridiculous and the vicious, by firm and
significant strokes, all of which are prompted by a lively, fertile and
judicious imagination."

From History Painting to Portrait in Oil, the title given by M. Rouquet
to his next chapter, transition is easy. Some of the artists mentioned
above were also portrait painters. Besides Captain Coram, for example,
Hogarth had already executed that admirable likeness of himself which is
now at Trafalgar Square, and which Rouquet must often have seen in its
home at Leicester Fields. Highmore too had certainly at this date
painted more than one successful portrait of Samuel Richardson, the
novelist; and even Hayman had made essay in this direction with the
picture of Lord Orford, now in the National Portrait Gallery. A good
many of the painters of the last reign must also, during Rouquet's
residence in England, have been alive and active, _e.g._ Jervas, Dahl,
Aikman, Thornhill and Richardson. But M. Rouquet devotes most of his
pages in this respect to Kneller, whose not altogether beneficent
influence long survived him. Strangely enough, Rouquet does not mention
that egregious and fashionable face-painter, Sir Joshua's master, Thomas
Hudson, whose "fair tied-wigs, blue velvet coats, and white satin
waistcoats" (all executed by his assistants) reigned undisputed until he
was eclipsed by his greater pupil. The two artists in portraiture
selected by Rouquet for special notice are Allan Ramsay and the younger
Vanloo (Jean Baptiste). Both were no doubt far above their predecessors;
but Ramsay would specially appeal to Rouquet by his continental
training, and Vanloo by his French manner and the superior variety of
his attitudes.[20] The only other name Rouquet recalls is that of the
drapery-painter Joseph Vanhaken; and we suspect it is to Rouquet that we
owe the pleasant anecdote of the two painters who, for the sum of £800 a
year, pre-empted his exclusive and inestimable services, to the
wholesale discomfiture of their brethren of the brush. The rest shall be
told in Rouquet's words:--"The best [artists] were no longer able to
paint a hand, a coat, a background; they were forced to learn, which
meant additional labour--what a misfortune! Henceforth there arrived no
more to Vanhaken from different quarters of London, nor by coach from
the most remote towns of England, canvases of all sizes, where one or
more heads were painted, under which the painter who forwarded them had
been careful to add, pleasantly enough, the description of the figures,
stout or slim, great or small, which were to be appended. Nothing could
be more absurd than this arrangement; but it would exist still--if
Vanhaken existed."[21]


[20] Another French writer, the Abbé le Blanc, gives a depressing account
of English portraits before Vanloo came to England: "At some distance one
might easily mistake a dozen of them for twelve copies of the same original.
Some have the head turned to the left, others to the right; and this is the
most sensible difference to be observed between them. Moreover, excepting
the face, you find in all the same neck, the same arms, the same flesh, the
same attitude; and to say all, you observe no more life than design in
those pretended portraits. Properly speaking, they [the artists] are not
painters, they know how to lay colours on the canvas; but they know not how
to animate it" (_Letters on the English and French Nations, 1747_, i. 160).

[21] He died in 1749.]

_"La peinture à l'huile, C'est bien difficile; Mais c'est beaucoup plus
beau Que la peinture à l'eau."_ About _la peinture à l'eau_, M. Rouquet
says very little, in all probability because the English Water Colour
School, which, with the advance of topographic art, grew so rapidly in
the second half of the century, was yet to come. He refers, however,
with approval to the _gouaches_ of Joseph Goupy, Lady Burlington's
drawing-master, perhaps better known to posterity by his (or her
ladyship's) caricature of Handel as the "Charming Brute." (Caricature,
by the way, is a branch of Georgian Art which M. Rouquet neglects.) As
regards landscape and animal painting, he "abides in generalities"; but
he must have been acquainted with the sea pieces of Monamy, and
Hogarth's and Walpole's friend Samuel Scott; and should, one would
think, have known of the horses and dogs of Wootton and Seymour. Upon
Enamel he might be expected to enlarge, although he mentions but one
master, his own model, Zincke, who carried the art of portrait in this
way much farther than any predecessor. Moreover, like Petitot, he made
discoveries which he was wise enough to keep to himself.
"It is most humiliating," says Rouquet, "for the genius of painting that
it can sometimes exist alone. M. Zincke left no pupil." Seeing that
Rouquet is also accused of jealously guarding his own contributions to
the perfection of his art, the words are--as Diderot says--remarkable.

With Sculpture, chiefly employed at this date for mortuary purposes, he
has less opportunity of being indefinite, since there were but three
notabilities, Scheemakers, Rysbrack, and Roubillac,--all foreigners. Of
these Scheemakers, whom Chesterfield regarded as a mere stone-cutter,
and who did the Shakespeare in Westminster Abbey, is certainly the least
considerable. Next come Rysbrack, whom Walpole and Rouquet would put
highest, the latter apparently because Rysbrack had been spoken of
contemptuously by the Abbé le Blanc. But the first is assuredly
Roubillac, whose monument to Mrs. Nightingale, however, belongs to a
later date than the _État des Arts_, though he had already achieved the
masterly figure of Eloquence on the Argyll monument. The only other
sculptor referred to by Rouquet is Gabriel Cibber, whose statues of
Madness and Melancholy, long at Bedlam, and now at South Kensington,
certainly deserve his praise. But Cibber died in 1700, and belongs to
the Caroline epoch. He no doubt owes his place in the _État des Arts_ to
the fact that he had been abused in the already-mentioned _Letters on
the English and French Nations_.

At this point we may turn M. Rouquet's pages more rapidly. It is not
necessary to linger over his account of Silk Stuffs, more excellent in
his opinion by their material than their make up. Under Medallists he
commends the clever medals of great men by his compatriot, Anthony
Dassier; under Printing he refers to that liberty of the Press which, in
England, amounted to impunity. "A few too thinly disguised blasphemies;
a few too rash reflections upon the Government, a few defamatory
libels--are the sole things which, at the present time, are not
allowed." And this brings about the following lively and very accurate
description of the eighteenth-century newspaper:--"One of the most
notable peculiarities which liberty of the Press produces in England, is
the swarm of fugitive sheets and half-sheets which one sees break forth
every morning, except Sunday, covering all the coffee-house tables.
Twenty of these different papers, under different titles, appear each
day; some contain a moral or philosophical discourse; the majority of
the rest offer political, and frequently seditious, comments on some
party question. In them is to be found the news of Europe, England,
London, and the day before. Their authors profess to be familiar with
the most secret deliberations of the Cabinet, which they make public. If
a fire occurs in a chimney or elsewhere; if a theft or a murder has
taken place; if any one commits suicide from _ennui_ or despair, the
public is informed thereof on the morning after with the utmost amount
of detail. After these articles come advertisements of all sorts, and in
very great numbers. In addition to those of different things which it is
desired to let, sell or purchase, there are some that are amusing. If a
man's wife runs away he declares that he will not be liable for any
debts she may contract; and as a matter of fact, this precaution,
according to the custom of the country, is essential if he desires to
secure himself from doing so. He threatens with all the rigour of the
law those who dare to give his wife an asylum. Another publishes the
particulars of his fortune, his age and his position, and adds that he
is prepared to unite himself to any woman whose circumstances are such
as he requires and describes; he further gives the address where
communications must be sent for the negotiation and conclusion of the
business. There are other notices which describe a woman who has been
seen at the play or elsewhere, and announces that some one has
determined to marry her. If any one has a dream which seems to him to
predict that a certain number will be lucky in the lottery, he proclaims
that fact, and offers a consideration to the possessor of the number if
he cares to dispose of it."

After these come the advertisements of the Quack Doctors. Of the account
of belles-lettres in 1754, two years after _Amelia_ and in the actual
year of _Sir Charles Grandison_, M. Rouquet's report is not
flattering:--"The presses of England, made celebrated by so many
masterpieces of wit and science, now scarcely print anything but
miserable and insipid romances, repulsive volumes, frigid and tedious
letters, where the most tasteless puerility passes for wit and genius,
and an inflamed imagination exerts itself under the pretext of forming
manners." It is possible that the last lines are aimed at Richardson;
certainly they describe the post-Richardsonian novel. But that the
passage does not in any part refer to Fielding is clear from the fact
that the writer presently praises _Joseph Andrews_, coupling it with
_Gil Blas_.

Mezzotint, Gem-cutting, Chasing (which serves to bring in M. Rouquet's
countryman, Moser), Jewelry, China, (_i.e._ Chelsea ware) are all
successfully treated with more or less minuteness, while, under
Architecture, are described the eighteenth-century house, and the new
bridge at Westminster of another Swiss, Labelye, who is not named: "The
architect is a foreigner," says Rouquet, who considered he had been
inadequately rewarded. "It must be confessed (he adds drily) that in
England this is a lifelong disqualification." From Architecture the
writer passes to the oratory of the Senate, the Pulpit and the Stage. In
the last case exception is made for "_le célébre M. Garic_," whose only
teacher is declared to be Nature. As regards the rest, M. Rouquet thus
describes the prevailing style:--"The declamation of the English stage
is turgid, full of affectation, and perpetually pompous. Among other
peculiarities, it frequently admits a sort of dolorous exclamation,--a
certain long-drawn tone of voice, so woeful and so lugubrious that it is
impossible not to be depressed by it." This reads like a recollection of
Quin in the Horatio of Rowe's _Fair Penitent_.

Upon Cookery M. Rouquet is edifying; and concerning the
eighteenth-century physician, with his tye-wig and gilt-head cane,
sprightly and not unmalicious. But we must now confine ourselves to
quoting a few detached passages from this discursive chronicle. The
description of Ranelagh (in the chapter on Music) is too lengthy to
reproduce. Here is that of the older Vauxhall:--"The Vauxhall concert
takes place in a garden singularly decorated. The Director of Amusements
in this garden [Jonathan Tyers] gains and spends successively
considerable annual sums. He was born for such enterprises. At once
spirited and tasteful, he shrinks from no expense where the amusement of
the public is concerned, and the public, in its turn, repays him
liberally. Every year he adds some fresh decoration, some new and
exceptional scene. Sculpture, Painting, Music, bestir themselves
periodically to render this resort more agreeable by the variety of
their different productions: in this way opportunities of relaxation are
infinite in England, above all at London; and thus Music plays a
prominent part. The English take their pleasure without amusing
themselves, or amuse themselves without enjoyment, except at table, and
there only up to the point when sleep supervenes to the fumes of wine
and tobacco."

Elsewhere M. Rouquet, like M. le Blanc before him, is loud in his
denunciation of the pitiful practices of Vails-giving, which blocks the
vestibule of every English house with an army of servants "ranged in
line, according to their rank," and ready "to receive, or rather exact,
the contribution of every guest." The excellent Jonas Hanway wrote a
pamphlet reprehending this objectionable custom. Hogarth steadily set
his face against it; but Reynolds is reported to have given his man £100
a year for the door. Here, from another place, is a description of one
of those popular auctions, at which, in the _Marriage À-la-Mode_, my
Lady Squanderfieid purchases the _bric-à-brac_ of Sir Timothy Babyhouse,
The scene is probably Cock's in the Piazza at Covent Garden:--"Nothing
is so diverting as this kind of sale--the number of those assembled, the
diverse passions which animate them, the pictures, the auctioneer
himself, his very rostrum, all contribute to the variety of the
spectacle. There you see the faithless broker purchasing in secret what
he openly depreciates; or--to spread a dangerous snare--pretending to
secure with avidity a picture which already belongs to him. There, some
are tempted to buy; and some repent of having bought. There, out of
pique and bravado, another shall pay fifty louis for an article which he
would not have thought worth five and twenty, had he not been ashamed to
draw back when the eyes of a crowded company were upon him. There, you
may see a woman of condition turn pale at the mere thought of losing a
paltry pagoda which she does not want, and, in any other circumstances,
would never have desired."

A closing word as to M. Rouquet himself. The _État des Arts_ was duly
noticed by the critics--contemptuously by the _Monthly Review_, and
sympathetically by the _Gentleman's_ and the _Scots Magazine_. In 1755,
the year to which it belongs, its author put forth another work--_L'Art
Nouveau de la Peinture en Fromage ou en Ramequin_ [toasted cheese],
_inventé pour suivre le louable projet de trouver graduellement des
facons de peindre inférieures à celles qui existent_. This, as its title
imports, is a skit, levelled at the recent _Histoire et Secret de la
Peinture en Cire_ of Diderot, who nevertheless refers to Rouquet under
_Émail_, in the _Dictionnaire Encyclapédique_, as "_un homme habile_."
He seems, however (like "_la_ _peinture à l'huile_)," to have been
somewhat "_difficile_"; and as we have said, his discoveries (for he had
that useful element in enamel-work, considerable chemical knowledge),
like Zincke's, perished with him. Several of his portraits, notably
those of Cochin and Marigny, were exhibited at the Paris Salons. Whether
he was overparted, or overworked, in the Pompadour atmosphere; or
whether he succumbed to the "continual headache" of which he speaks in
his letter to Hogarth, his health gradually declined. In the last year
of his life, his reason gave way; and when he died in 1759, it was as an
inmate of Charenton.


"Emam tua carmína sanus?"--MARTIAL.

F. OF H. I want a verse. It gives you little pains;--
         You just sit down, and draw upon your brains.

         Come, now, be amiable.

R.         To hear you talk,
         You'd make it easier to fly than walk.
         You seem to think that rhyming is a thing
         You can produce if you but touch a spring;

         That fancy, fervour, passion--and what not,

         Are just a case of "penny in the slot."
         You should reflect that no evasive bird
         Is half so shy as is your fittest word;
         And even similes, however wrought,
         Like hares, before you cook them, must be caught;--

         Impromptus, too, require elaboration,
         And (unlike eggs) grow fresh by incubation;
         Then,--as to epigrams,..

F. of H.   Nay, nay, I've done.
         I did but make petition. You make fun.

R.       Stay. I am grave. Forgive me if I ramble:
         But, then, a negative needs some preamble
         To break the blow. I feel with you, in truth,
         These complex miseries of Age and Youth;
         I feel with you--and none can feel it more
         Than I--this burning Problem of the Poor;
         The Want that grinds, the Mystery of Pain,
         The Hearts that sink, and never rise again;--
         How shall I set this to some careless screed,
         Or jigging stave, when Help is what you need,
         Help, Help,--more Help?

F. of H.   I fancied that with ease
         You'd scribble off some verses that might please,
         And so give help to us.

R.         Why then--TAKE THESE!


One of the things that perplexes the dreamer--for, in spite of the
realists, there are dreamers still--is the almost complete extinction of
the early editions of certain popular works. The pompous, respectable,
full-wigged folios, with their long lists of subscribers, and their
magniloquent dedications, find their permanent abiding-places in
noblemen's collections, where, unless--with the _Chrysostom_ in Pope's
verses--they are used for the smoothing of bands or the pressing of
flowers, no one ever disturbs their drowsy diuturnity. Their bulk makes
them sacred: like the regimental big drum, they are too large to be
mislaid. But where are all the first copies of that little octavo of 246
pages, price eighteenpence, "Printed by T. Maxey for Rich. Marriot, in
S. Dunstans Church-yard, Fleetstreet" in 1653, which constitutes the
_editio princeps_ of Walton's _Angler_. Probably they were worn out in
the pockets of Honest Izaak's "brothers of the Angle," or left to bake
and cockle in the sunny corners of wasp-haunted alehouse windows, or
dropped in the deep grass by some casual owner, more careful for flies
and caddis-worms, or possibly for the contents of a leathern bottle,
than all the "choicely-good" madrigals of Maudlin the milkmaid. In any
case, there are very few of the little tomes, with their quaint
"coppers" of fishes, in existence now, nor is it silver that pays for
them. And that other eighteenpenny book, put forth by "_Nath. Ponder_ at
the _Peacock_ in the _Poultrey_ near _Cornhil_" five and twenty years
later,--_The Pilgrim's Progress from This World, to That which is to
come_,--why is it that there are only five known copies, none quite
perfect, now extant, of which the best sold not long since for more than
£1400? Of these five, the first that came to light had been preserved
owing to its having taken sanctuary, almost upon publication, in a great
library, where it was forgotten. But the others that passed over Mr.
Ponder's counter in the Poultry,--were they all lost, thumbed and
dog's-eared out of being? They are gone,--that is all you can say; and
gone apparently beyond reach of recovery.

These remarks,--which scarcely rise to the dignity of reflections--have
been suggested by the difficulty which the writer has experienced in
obtaining particulars as to the earliest form of the _Parent's
Assistant_. As a matter of course, children's books are more liable to
disappear than any others. They are sooner torn, soiled, dismembered,
disintegratedsooner find their way to that mysterious unlocated limbo of
lost things, which engulfs so much. Yet one scarcely expected that even
the British Museum would not have possessed a copy of the first issue of
Miss Edgeworth's book. Such, however, seems to be the case. According to
the catalogue, there is nothing earlier at Bloomsbury than a portion of
the second edition; and from the inexplicit and conjectural manner in
which most of the author's biographers speak of the work, it can
scarcely--outside private collections--be very easily accessible.
Fortunately the old _Monthly Review_ for September, 1796, with most
exemplary forethought for posterity, gives, as a heading to its notice,
a precise and very categorical account of the first impression. _The
Parent's Assistant; or, Stories for Children_ was, it appears, published
in two parts, making three small duodecimo volumes. The price, bound,
was six shillings. There was no author's name; but it was said to be "by
E.M." (i.e. Edgeworth, Maria), and the publisher was Cowper's Dissenter
publisher, Joseph Johnson of No. 72, St. Paul's Churchyard. Part I.
contained "The Little Dog Trusty; or, The Liar and the Boy of Truth";
"The Orange Man; or, the Honest Boy and the Thief"; "Lazy Lawrence";
"Tarleton"; and "The False Key"; Part II., "The Purple Jar," "The
Bracelets," "Mademoiselle Panache," "The Birthday Present," "Old Poz,"
and "The Mimic." In the same year, 1796, a second edition appeared,
apparently with, some supplementary stories, e.g.: "Barring Out," and in
1800 came a third edition in six volumes. In this the text was increased
by "Simple Susan," "The Little Merchants," "The Basket Woman," "The
White Pigeon," "The Orphans," "Waste Not, Want Not," "Forgive and
Forget," and "Eton Montem." One story, "The Purple Jar" at the beginning
of Part II. of the first edition, was withdrawn, and afterwards included
in another series, while the stories entitled respectively "Little Dog
Trusty" and "The Orange Man" have disappeared from the collection,
probably for the reason given in one of the first prefaces, namely, that
they "were written for a much earlier age than any of the others, and
with such a perfect simplicity of expression as, to many, may appear
insipid and ridiculous." The six volumes of the third edition came out
successively on the first day of the first six months of 1800. The
Monthly Reviewer of the first edition, it may be added, was highly
laudatory; and his commendations show that the early critics of the
author were fully alive to her distinctive qualities, "The moral and
prudential lessons of these volumes," says the writer, "are judiciously
chosen; and the stories are invented with great ingenuity, and are
happily contrived to excite curiosity and awaken feeling without the aid
of improbable fiction or extravagant adventure. The language is varied
in its degree of simplicity, to suit the pieces to different ages, but
is throughout neat and correct; and, without the least approach towards
vulgarity or meanness, it is adapted with peculiar felicity to the
understandings of children. The author's taste, in this class of
writing, appears to have been formed on the best models; and the work
will not discredit a place on the same shelf with Berquin's _Child's
Friend_, Mrs. Barbauld's _Lessons for Children_, and Dr. Aikin's
_Evenings at Home_. The story of 'Lazy Lawrence'"--the notice goes
on--"is one of the best lectures on industry which we have ever read.
"The _Critical Review_, which also gave a short account of the _Parent's
Assistant_ in its number for January 1797, does not rehearse the
contents. But it confirms the title, etc., adding that the price, in
boards, was 4s. 6d.; and its praise, though brief, is very much to the
point. "The present production is particularly sensible and judicious;
the stories are well written, simple, and affecting; calculated, not
only for moral improvement, but to exercise the best affections of the
human heart."

With one of the books mentioned by the _Monthly Review_--_Evenings at
Home_--Miss Edgeworth was fully prepared, at all events as regards
format, to associate herself. "The stories," she says in a letter to her
cousin, Miss Sophy Ruxton, "are printed and bound the same size as
_Evenings at Home_, and I am afraid you will dislike the title." Her
father had sent the book to press as the _Parent's Friend_, a name no
doubt suggested by the _Ami des Enfants_ of Berquin; but "Mr. Johnson
[the publisher]," continues Miss Edgeworth, "has degraded it into _The
Parent's Assistant_, which I dislike particularly, from association with
an old book of arithmetic called The _Tutor's Assistant_." The ground of
objection is not very formidable; but the _Parent's Assistant_ is
certainly an infelicitous name. From some other of the author's letters
we are able to trace the gradual growth of the work. Mr. Edgeworth, her
father, an utilitarian of much restless energy, and many projects, was
greatly interested in education,--or, as he would have termed it,
practical education,--and long before this date, as early, indeed, as
May 1780, he had desired his daughter, while she was still a girl at a
London school, to write him a tale about the length of a _Spectator_;
upon the topic of "Generosity," to be taken from history or romance.
This was her first essay in fiction; and it was pronounced by the judge
to whom it was submitted,--in competition with a rival production by a
young gentleman from Oxford,--to be an excellent story, and extremely
well written, although with this commendation was coupled the somewhat
damaging inquiry,--"But where's the Generosity?" The question cannot be
answered now, as the manuscript has not been preserved, though the
inconvenient query, we are told, became a kind of personal proverb with
the young author, who was wont to add that this first effort contained
"a sentence of inextricable confusion between a saddle, a man, and his
horse." This was a defect from which she must have speedily freed
herself, since her style, as her first reviewer allowed, is
conspicuously direct and clear. Accuracy in speaking and writing had,
indeed, been early impressed upon her. Her father's doctrinaire ally and
co-disciplinarian, Mr. Thomas Day, later the author of _Sandford and
Merton_, and apparently the first person of whom it is affirmed that "he
talked like a book," had been indefatigable in bringing this home to his
young friend, when she visited him in her London school-days. Not
content alone to dose her copiously with Bishop Berkeley's Tar
Water--the chosen beverage of Young and Richardson--he was unwearied in
ministering to her understanding. "His severe reasoning and
uncompromising love of truth awakened her powers, and the questions he
put to her, the necessity of perfect accuracy in her answers, suited the
bent of her mind. Though such strictness was not always agreeable, she
even then perceived its advantages, and in after life was deeply
grateful to Mr. Day."[22]


[22] _Maria Edgeworth_, by Helen Zimmern, 1888, p. 13.

The training she underwent from the inexorable Mr, Day was continued by
her father when she quitted school, and moved with her family to the
parental seat at Edgeworthstown in Ireland. Mr. Edgeworth, whose
principles were as rigorous as those of his friend, devoted himself
early to initiating her into business habits. He taught her to copy
letters, to keep accounts, to receive rents, and, in short, to act as
his agent and factotum. She frequently accompanied him in the many
disputes and difficulties which arose with his Irish tenantry; and,
apart from the insight which this must have afforded her into the
character and idiosyncrasies of the people, she no doubt very early
acquired that exact knowledge of leases and legacies and dishonest
factors which is a noticeable feature even of her children's books.[23]
It is some time, however, before we hear of any successor to
"Generosity"; but, in 1782, her father, with a view to provide her with
an occupation for her leisure, proposed to her to prepare a translation
of the _Adèle et Théodore_ of Madame de Genlis, those letters upon
education by which that gentle and multifarious moralist acquired--to
use her own words--at once "the suffrages of the public, and the
irreconcilable hatred of all the so-called philosophers and their
partisans." At first there had been no definite thought of print in Mr,
Edgeworth's mind. But as the work progressed, the idea gathered
strength; and he began to prepare his daughter's manuscript for the
press. Then, unhappily, when the first volume was finished, Holcroft's
complete translation appeared, and made the labour needless. Yet it was
not without profit. It had been excellent practice in aiding Miss
Edgeworth's faculty of expression, and increasing her vocabulary--to say
nothing of the influence which the portraiture of individuals and the
satire of reigning follies which are the secondary characteristics of
Madame de Genlis's most well-known work, may have had on her own
subsequent efforts as a novelist. Meanwhile her mentor, Mr. Day, was
delighted at the interruption of her task. He possessed, to the full,
that rooted antipathy to feminine authorship of which we find so many
traces in Miss Burney's novels and elsewhere; and he wrote to
congratulate Mr. Edgeworth on having escaped the disgrace of having a
translating daughter. At this time, as already stated, he himself had
not become the author of _Sandford and Merton_, which, as a matter of
fact, owed its inception to the Edgeworths, being at first simply
intended as a short story to be inserted in the _Harry and Lucy_ Mr.
Edgeworth wrote in conjunction with his second wife, Honora Sneyd. As
regards the question of publication, both Maria and her father, although
sensible of Mr. Day's prejudices, appear to have deferred to his
arguments. Nor were these even lost to the public, for we are informed
that, in Miss Edgeworth's first book, ten years later, the _Letters to
Literary Ladies,_ she employed and embodied much that he had advanced.
But for the present, she continued to write--though solely for her
private amusement--essays, little stories, and dramatic sketches. One of
these last must have been "Old Poz," a pleasant study of a country
justice and a _gazza ladra_, which appeared in Part II. of the first
issue of the _Parent's Assistant_, and which, we are told, was acted by
the Edgeworth children in a little theatre erected in the dining-room
for the purpose. According to her sisters, it was Miss Edgeworth's
practice first to write her stories on a slate, and then to read them
out. If they were approved, she transcribed them fairly. "Her writing
for children"--says one of her biographers--"was a natural outgrowth of
a practical study of their wants and fancies; and her constant care of
the younger children gave her exactly the opportunity required to
observe the development of mind incident to the age and capacity of
several little brothers and sisters." According to her own account, her
first critic was her father. "Whenever I thought of writing anything, I
always told him [my father] my first rough plans; and always, with the
instinct of a good critic, he used to fix immediately upon that which
would best answer the purpose.--'_Sketch that, and shew it to
me._'--These words, from the experience of his sagacity, never failed to
inspire me with hope of success. It was then sketched. Sometimes, when I
was fond of a particular part, I used to dilate on it in the sketch; but
to this he always objected--'I don't want any of your painting--none of
your drapery!--I can imagine all that--let me see the bare skeleton.'"


[23] Cf. "Attorney Case" in the story of "Simple Susan."

Of the first issue of the _Parent's Assistant_ in 1796, a sufficient
account has already been given. In the "Preface" the practical intention
of several of the stories is explicitly set forth. "Lazy Lawrence," we
are told, illustrates the advantages of industry, and demonstrates that
people feel cheerful and happy whilst they are employed; while
"Tarleton" represents "the danger and the folly of that weakness of
mind, and that easiness to be led, which too often pass for good
nature"; "The False Key" points out some of the evils to which a
well-educated boy, on first going to service, is exposed from the
profligacy of his fellow-servants; "The Mimic," the drawback of vulgar
acquaintances; "Barring Out," the errors to which a high spirit and the
love of party are apt to lead, and so forth. In the final paragraph
stress is laid upon what every fresh reader must at once recognise as
the supreme merit of the stories, namely, their dramatic faculty, or (in
the actual words of the "Preface"), their art of "keeping alive hope and
fear and curiosity, by some degree of intricacy."[24] The plausibility
of invention, the amount of ingenious contrivance and of clever
expedient in these professedly nursery stories, is indeed extraordinary;
and nothing can exceed the dexterity with which--to use Dr. Johnson's
words concerning _She Stoops to Conquer_--"the incidents are so prepared
as not to seem improbable." There is no better example of this than the
admirable tale of "The Mimic," in which the most unlooked-for
occurrences succeed each other in the most natural way, while the
disappearance at the end of the little sweep, who has levanted up the
chimney in Frederick's new blue coat and buff waistcoat, is a
master-stroke. Everybody has forgotten everything about him until the
precise moment when he is needed to supply the fitting surprise of the
finish,--a surprise which is only to be compared to that other
revelation in _The Rose and the Ring_ of Thackeray, where the long-lost
and obnoxious porter at Valoroso's palace, having been turned by the
Fairy Blackstick into a door knocker for his insolence, is restored to
the sorrowing Servants' Hall exactly when his services are again
required in the capacity of Mrs. Gruffanuffs husband. But in Miss
Edgeworth's little fable there is no fairy agency. "Fairies were not
much in her line," says Lady Ritchie, Thackeray's daughter, "but
philanthropic manufacturers, liberal noblemen, and benevolent ladies in
travelling carriages, do as well and appear in the nick of time to
distribute rewards or to point a moral."


[24] The "Preface to Parents"--Miss Emily Lawless suggests to me--was
probably by Mr. Edgeworth.

Although, by their sub-title, these stories are avowedly composed for
children, they are almost as attractive to grown-up readers. This is
partly owing to their narrative skill, partly also to the clear
characterisation, which already betrays the coming author of _Castle
Rackrent_ and _Belinda_ and _Patronage_--the last, under its first name
of _The Freeman Family_, being already partly written, although many
years were still to pass before it saw the light in 1814. Readers, wise
after the event, might fairly claim to have foreseen from some of the
personages in the _Parent's Assistant_ that the author, however sedulous
to describe "such situations only ... as children can easily imagine,"
was not able entirely to resist tempting specimens of human nature like
the bibulous Mr. Corkscrew, the burglar butler in "The False Key," or
Mrs. Pomfret, the housekeeper of the same story, whose prejudices
against the _Villaintropic_ Society, and its unholy dealing with the
"_drugs and refuges_" of humanity, are quite in the style of the Mrs.
Slipslop of a great artist whose works one would scarcely have expected
to encounter among the paper-backed and grey-boarded volumes which lined
the shelves at Edgeworthstown. Mrs. Theresa Tattle, again, in "The
Mimic," is a type which requires but little to fit it for a subordinate
part in a novel, as is also Lady Diana Sweepstakes in "Waste not, Want
not." In more than one case, we seem to detect an actual portrait. Mr.
Somerville of Somerville ("The White Pigeon"), to whom that "little
town" belonged,--who had done so much "to inspire his tenantry with a
taste for order and domestic happiness, and took every means in his
power to encourage industrious, well-behaved people to settle in his
neighbourhood,"--can certainly be none other than the father of the
writer of the _Parent's Assistant_, the busy and beneficent, but surely
eccentric, Mr. Edgeworth of Edgeworthstown.

When, in 1849, the first two volumes of Macaulay's _History_ were
issued, Miss Edgeworth, then in her eighty-third winter, was greatly
delighted to find her name, coupled with a compliment to one of her
characters, enshrined in a note to chap. vi. But her gratification was
qualified by the fact that she could discover no similar reference to
her friend, Sir Walter Scott. The generous "twinge of pain," to which
she confesses, was intelligible. Scott had always admired her genius,
and she admired his. In the "General Preface" to the _Waverley Novels_,
twenty years before, he had gone so far as to say that, without hoping
to emulate "the rich humour, pathetic tenderness, and admirable tact" of
Miss Edgeworth, he had attempted to do for his own country what she had
done for hers; and it is clear, from other sources, that this was no
mere form of words. And he never wavered in his admiration. In his last
years, not many months before his death, when he had almost forgotten
her name, he was still talking kindly of her work. Speaking to Mrs. John
Davy of Miss Austen and Miss Ferrier, he said: "And there's that Irish
lady, too--but I forget everybody's name now" ... "she's _very_ clever,
and best in the little touches too. I'm sure in that children's story,
where the little girl parts with her lamb, and the little boy brings it
back to her again, there's nothing for it but just to put down the book
and cry."[25] The reference is to "Simple Susan," the longest and
prettiest tale in the _Parent's Assistant_.


[25] Lockhart's _Life of Sir Walter Scott_, ch. lxxxi. _ad finem_.

Another anecdote pleasantly connects the same book with a popular work
of a later writer. Readers of _Cranford_ will recall the feud between
the Johnson-loving Miss Jenkyns of that story and its _Pickwick_-loving
Captain Brown. The Captain--as is well-known--met his death by a railway
accident, just after he had been studying the last monthly "green
covers" of Dickens. Years later, the assumed narrator of _Cranford_
visits Miss Jenkyns, then faliing into senility. She still vaunts _The
Rambler_; still maunders vaguely of the "strange old book, with the
queer name, poor Captain Brown was killed for reading-that book by Mr.
Boz, you know--_Old Poz_; when I was a girl--but that's a long time
ago--I acted Lucy in _Old Poz_." There can be no mistake. Lucy is the
justice's daughter in Miss Edgeworth's little chamber-drama.


"Flee fro the PREES, and dwelle with sothfastnesse."--CHAUCER, _Balade
de Bon Conseil_.

The Press is too much with us, small and great:
We are undone of chatter and _on dit_,
Report, retort, rejoinder, repartee,
Mole-hill and mare's nest, fiction up-to-date,
Babble of booklets, bicker of debate,
Aspect of A., and attitude of B.--
A waste of words that drive us like a sea,
Mere derelict of Ourselves, and helpless freight!

"O for a lodge in some vast wilderness!"
Some region unapproachable of Print,
Where never cablegram could gain access,
And telephones were not, nor any hint
Of tidings new or old, but Man might pipe
His soul to Nature,--careless of the Type!



In the world of pictorial recollection there are many territories, the
natives of which you may recognise by their characteristics as surely as
Ophelia recognises her true-love by his cockle-hat and sandal shoon.
There is the land of grave gestures and courteous inclinations, of
dignified leave-takings and decorous greetings; where the ladies (like
Richardson's Pamela) don the most charming round-eared caps and frilled
_négligés_; where the gentlemen sport ruffles and bag-wigs and spotless
silk stockings, and invariably exhibit shapely calves above their silver
shoe-buckles; where you may come in St. James's Park upon a portly
personage with a star, taking an alfresco pinch of snuff after that
leisurely style in which a pinch of snuff should be taken, so as not to
endanger a lace cravat or a canary-coloured vest; where you may seat
yourself on a bench by Rosamond's Pond in company with a tremulous mask
who is evidently expecting the arrival of a "pretty fellow"; or happen
suddenly, in a secluded side-walk, upon a damsel in muslin and a dark
hat, who is hurriedly scrawling a _poulet_, not without obvious signs of
perturbation. But whatever the denizens of this country are doing, they
are always elegant and always graceful, always appropriately grouped
against their fitting background of high-ceiled rooms and striped
hangings, or among the urns and fish-tanks of their sombre-shrubbed
gardens. This is the land of STOTHARD.

In the adjoining country there is a larger sense of colour--a fuller
pulse of life. This is the region of delightful dogs and horses and
domestic animals of all sorts; of crimson-faced hosts and buxom
ale-wives; of the most winsome and black-eyed milkmaids and the most
devoted lovers and their lasses; of the most headlong and horn-blowing
huntsmen--a land where Madam Blaize forgathers with the impeccable
worthy who caused the death of the Mad Dog; where John Gilpin takes the
Babes in the Wood _en croupe_; and the bewitchingest Queen of Hearts
coquets the Great Panjandrum himself "with the little round button at
top"--a land, in short, of the most kindly and light-hearted fancies, of
the freshest and breeziest and healthiest types--which is the land of

Finally, there is a third country, a country inhabited almost
exclusively by the sweetest little child-figures that have ever been
invented, in the quaintest and prettiest costumes, always happy, always
gravely playful,--and nearly always playing; always set in the most
attractive framework of flower-knots, or blossoming orchards, or
red-roofed cottages with dormer windows. Everywhere there are green
fields, and daisies, and daffodils, and pearly skies of spring, in which
a kite is often flying. No children are quite like the dwellers in this
land; they are so gentle, so unaffected in their affectation, so easily
pleased, so trustful and so confiding. And this is GREENAWAY-land.

It is sixty years since Thomas Stothard died, and only fifteen since
Randolph Caldecott closed his too brief career.[26] And now Kate
Greenaway, who loved the art of both, and in her own gentle way
possessed something of the qualities of each, has herself passed away.
It will rest with other pens to record her personal characteristics, and
to relate the story of her life. I who write this was privileged to know
her a little, and to receive from her frequent presents of her books;
but I should shrink from anything approaching a description of the
quiet, unpretentious, almost homely little lady, whom it was always a
pleasure to meet and to talk with. If I here permit myself to recall one
or two incidents of our intercourse, it is solely because they bear
either upon her amiable disposition or her art. I remember that once,
during a country walk in Sussex, she gave me a long account of her
childhood, which I wish I could repeat in detail. But I know that she
told me that she had been brought up in just such a neighbourhood of
thatched roofs and "grey old gardens" as she depicts in her drawings;
and that in some of the houses, it was her particular and unfailing
delight to turn over ancient chests and wardrobes filled with the
flowered frocks and capes of the Jane Austen period. As is well known,
she corresponded frequently with Ruskin, and possessed numbers of his
letters. In his latter years, it had been her practice to write to him
periodically--I believe she said once a week. He had long ceased,
probably from ill-health, to answer her letters; but she continued to
write punctually lest he should miss the little budget of chit-chat to
which he had grown accustomed. At another time--in a pleasant
country-house which contained many examples of her art--and where she
was putting the last touches to a delicately tinted child-angel in the
margin of a Bible--I ventured to say, "Why do your children always ...?"
But it is needless to complete the query; the answer alone is important.
She looked at me reflectively, and said, after a pause, "Because I
see it so."


[26] This was written in 1902.

Answers not dissimilar have been given before by other artists in like
case. But it was this rigid fidelity to her individual vision and
personal conviction which constituted her strength. There are always
stupid, well-meaning busybodies in the world, who go about making
question of the sonneteer why he does not attempt something epic and
homicidal, or worrying the carver of cherry-stones to try his hand at a
Colossus; but though they disturb and discompose, they luckily do no
material harm. They did no material harm to Kate Greenaway. She yielded,
no doubt, to pressure put upon her to try figures on a larger scale; to
illustrate books, which was not her strong point, as it only put fetters
upon her fancy; but, in the main, she courageously preserved the even
tenor of her way, which was to people the artistic demesne she
administered with the tiny figures which no one else could make more
captivating, or clothe more adroitly. It may be doubted whether the
collector will set much store by Bret Harte's _Queen of the Pirate Isle_
or the _Pied Piper of Hamelin_, suitable at first sight as is the
latter, with its child-element, to her inventive idiosyncrasy. But he
will revel in the dainty scenes of "Almanacks" (1883 to 1895, and 1897);
in the charming Birthday Book of 1880; in _Mother Goose, A Day in a
Child's Life, Little Ann, Marigold Garden_ and the rest, of which the
grace is perennial, though the popularity for the moment may have waned.

I have an idea that _Mother Goose; or, the Old Nursery Rhymes_, 1881,
was one of Miss Greenaway's favourites, although it may have been
displaced in her own mind by subsequent successes. Nothing can certainly
be more deftly-tinted than the design of the "old woman who lived under
a hill," and peeled apples; nothing more seductive, in infantile
attitude, than the little boy and girl, who, with their arms around each
other, stand watching the black-cat in the plum-tree. Then there is
Daffy-down-dilly, who has come up to town, with "a yellow petticoat and
a green gown," in which attire, aided by a straw hat tied under her
chin, she manages to look exceedingly attractive, as she passes in front
of the white house with the pink roof and the red shutters and the green
palings. One of the most beautiful pictures in this gallery is the dear
little "Ten-o'-clock Scholar" in his worked smock, as, trailing his
blue-and-white school-bag behind him, he creeps unwillingly to his
lessons at the most picturesque timbered cottage you can imagine.
Another absolutely delightful portrait is that of "Little Tom Tucker,"
in sky-blue suit and frilled collar, singing, with his hands behind him,
as if he never could grow old. And there is not one of these little
compositions that is without its charm of colour and accessory--blue
plates on the dresser in the background, the parterres of a formal
garden with old-fashioned flowers, quaint dwellings with their gates and
grass-work, odd corners of countryside and village street, and all,
generally, in the clear air or sunlight. For in this favoured
Greenaway-realm,  as in the island-valley of Avilion there

     falls not hail, or rain, or any snow,
  Nor ever wind blows loudly; but it lies
  Deep-meadow'd, happy, fair with orchard-lawns.

To _Mother Goose_ followed _A Day in a Child's Life_, also 1881, and
_Little Ann_, 1883. The former of these contained various songs set to
music by Mr. Myles B. Foster, the organist of the Foundling Hospital,
and accompanied by designs on rather a larger scale than those in
_Mother Goose_. It also included a larger proportion of the floral
decorations which were among the artist's chief gifts. Foxgloves and
buttercups, tulips and roses, are flung about the pages of the book; and
there are many pictures, notably one of a little green-coated figure
perched upon a five-barred gate, which repeat the triumphs of its
predecessor. In _Little Ann and other Poems_, which is dedicated to the
four children of the artist's friend, the late Frederick Locker-Lampson,
she illustrated a selection from the verses for "Infant Minds" of Jane
and Ann Taylor, daughters of that Isaac Taylor of Ongar, who was first a
line engraver and afterwards an Independent Minister.[27] The
dedication contains a charming row of tiny portraits of the
Locker-Lampson family. These illustrations may seem to contradict what
has been said as to Miss Greenaway's ability to interpret the
conceptions of others. But this particular task left her perfectly free
to "go her own gait," and to embroider the text which, in this case, was
little more than a pretext for her pencil.


[27] Since this paper was written, the _Original Poems and Others_, of Ann
and Jane Taylor, with illustrations by F.D. Bedford, and a most interesting
"Introduction" by Mr. E.V. Lucas, have been issued by Messrs. Wells,
Gardner, Darton and Co.

In _Marigold Garden_, 1885, Miss Greenaway became her own poet; and next
to _Mother Goose_, this is probably her most important effort. The
flowers are as entrancing as ever; and the verse makes one wish that the
writer had written more. The "Genteel Family" and "Little Phillis" are
excellent nursery pieces; and there is almost a Blake-like note about
"The Sun Door."

  They saw it rise in the morning,
    They saw it set at night,
  And they longed to go and see it,
    Ah! if they only might.

  The little soft white clouds heard them,
    And stepped from out of the blue;
  And each laid a little child softly
    Upon its bosom of dew.

  And they carried them higher and higher,
    And they nothing knew any more,
  Until they were standing waiting,
    In front of the round gold door.

  And they knocked, and called, and entreated
    Whoever should be within;
  But all to no purpose, for no one
    Would hearken to let them in.

"_La rime n'est pas riche_" nor is the technique thoroughly assured; but
the thought is poetical. Here is another, "In an Apple-Tree," which
reads like a child variation of that haunting "Mimnermus in Church" of
the author of Ionica:--

  In September, when the apples are red,
  To Belinda I said,
  "Would you like to go away
  To Heaven, or stay
  Here in this orchard full of trees
  All your life? "And she said," If you please
  I'll stay here--where I know,
  And the flowers grow."

In another vein is the bright little "Child's Song":--

  The King and the Queen were riding
    Upon a Summer's day,
  And a Blackbird flew above them,
    To hear what they did say.

  The King said he liked apples,
    The Queen said she liked pears;
  And what shall we do to the Blackbird
    Who listens unawares?

But, as a rule, it must be admitted of her poetry that, while nearly
always poetic in its impulse, it is often halting and inarticulate in
its expression. A few words may be added in regard to the mere facts of
Miss Greenaway's career. She was born at 1 Cavendish Street, Hoxton, on
the 17th March, 1846, her father being Mr. John Greenaway, a draughtsman
on wood, who contributed much to the earlier issues of the _Illustrated
London News_ and _Punch_. Annual visits to a farm-house at Rolleston in
Nottinghamshire--the country residence already referred to--nourished
and confirmed her love of nature. Very early she showed a distinct bias
towards colour and design of an original kind. She studied at different
places, and at South Kensington. Here both she and Lady Butler "would
bribe the porter to lock them in when the day's work was done, so that
they might labour on for some while more." Her master at Kensington was
Richard Burchett, who, forty years ago, was a prominent figure in the
art-schools, a well instructed painter, and a teacher exceptionally
equipped with all the learning of his craft. Mr. Burchett thought highly
of Miss Greenaway's abilities; and she worked under him for several
years with exemplary perseverance and industry. She subsequently studied
in the Slade School under Professor Legros.

Her first essays in the way of design took the form of Christmas cards,
then beginning their now somewhat flagging career, and she exhibited
pictures at the Dudley Gallery for some years in succession, beginning
with 1868. In 1877 she contributed to the Royal Academy a water colour
entitled "Musing," and in 1889 was elected a member of the Royal
Institute of Painters in Water Colours.

By this date, as will be gathered from what has preceded, Miss Greenaway
had made her mark as a producer of children's books, since, in addition
to the volumes already specially mentioned, she had issued _Under the
Window_ (her earliest success), _The Language of Flowers, Kate
Greenaway's Painting Book, The Book of Games, King Pepito_ and other
works. Her last "Almanack," which was published by Messrs Dent and Co.,
appeared in 1897. In 1891, the Fine Arts Society exhibited some 150 of
her original drawings--an exhibition which was deservedly successful,
and was followed by others.[28] As Slade Professor at Oxford, Ruskin,
always her fervent admirer, gave her unstinted eulogium; and in France
her designs aroused the greatest admiration. The _Débats_ had a leading
article on her death; and the clever author of _L'Art du Rire_, M.
Arsène Alexandre, who had already written appreciatively of her gifts as
a "_paysagiste_," and as a "_maîtresse en l'art du sourire, du jolt
sourire_ _d'enfant inginu et gaiement candide_" devoted a column in the
_Figaro_ to her merits.


[28] Among other things these exhibitions revealed the great superiority
of the original designs to the reproductions with which the public are
familiar--excellent as these are in their way. Probably, if Miss
Greenaway's work were now repeated by the latest form of three-colour
process, she would be less an "inheritor"--in this respect--"of unfulfilled

It has been noted that, in her later years, Miss Greenaway's popularity
was scarcely maintained. It would perhaps be more exact to say that it
somewhat fell off with the fickle crowd who follow a reigning fashion,
and who unfortunately help to swell the units of a paying community. To
the last she gave of her best; but it is the misfortune of distinctive
and original work, that, while the public resents versatility in its
favourites, it wearies unreasonably of what had pleased it at
first--especially if the note be made tedious by imitation. Miss
Greenaway's old vogue was in some measure revived by her too-early death
on the 6th November 1901; but, in any case, she is sure of attention
from the connoisseur of the future. Those who collect Stothard and
Caldecott (and they are many!) cannot afford to neglect either _Marigold
Garden_ or _Mother Goose_.[29]


[29] Since the above article appeared in the _Art Journal_, from
which it is here substantially reproduced, Messrs. M.H, Spieimann and
G.S. Layard have (1905) devoted a sumptuous and exhaustive volume to
Miss Greenaway and her art. To this truly beautiful and sympathetic book
I can but refer those of her admirers who are not yet acquainted
with it.


As I went a-walking on _Lavender Hill_,
O, I met a Darling in frock and frill;
And she looked at me shyly, with eyes of blue,
"Are you going a-walking? Then take me too!"

So we strolled to the field where the cowslips grow,
And we played--and we played, for an hour or so;
Then we climbed to the top of the old park wall,
And the Darling she threaded a cowslip ball.

Then we played again, till I said--"My Dear,
This pain in my side, it has grown severe;
I ought to have mentioned I'm past three-score,
And I fear that I scarcely can play any more!"

But the Darling she answered,-"O no! O no!
You must play--you must play.--I sha'n't let you go!"

--And I woke with a start and a sigh of despair,
And I found myself safe in my Grandfather's-chair!



In virtue of certain gentle and caressing qualities of style, Douglas
Jerrold conferred on one of his contributors--Miss Eliza Meteyard--the
pseudonym of "Silverpen." It is in the silver-pensive key that one would
wish to write of Mr. HUGH THOMSON. There is nothing in his work of
elemental strife,--of social problem,--of passion torn to tatters. He
leads you by no _terribile via_,--over no "burning Marle." You cannot
conceive him as the illustrator of _Paradise Lost_, of Dante's
_Inferno_--even of Doré's _Wandering Jew_. But when, after turning over
some dozens of his designs, you take stock of your impressions, you
discover that your memory is packed with pleasant fancies. You have been
among "blown fields" and "flowerful closes"; you have passed quaint
roadside-inns and picturesque cottages; you are familiar with the
cheery, ever-changing idyll of the highway and the bustle of animal
life; with horses that really gallop, and dogs that really bark; with
charming male and female figures in the most attractive old-world
attire; with happy laughter and artless waggeries; with a hundred
intimate details of English domesticity that are pushed just far enough
back to lose the hardness of their outline in a softening haze of
retrospect. There has been nothing more tragic in your travels than a
sprained ankle or an interrupted affair of honour; nothing more
blood-curdling than a dream of a dragoon officer knocked out of his
saddle by a brickbat. Your flesh has never been made to creep: but the
cockles of your heart have been warmed. Mechanically, you raise your
hand to lift away your optimistic spectacles. But they are not there.
The optimism is in the pictures.

It must be more than a quarter of a century since Mr. Hugh Thomson,
arriving from Coleraine in all the ardour of one-and-twenty, invaded the
strongholds of English illustration. He came at a fortunate moment.
After a few hesitating and tentative attempts upon the newspapers, he
obtained an introduction to Mr. Comyns Carr, then engaged in
establishing the _English Illustrated Magazine_ for Messrs. Macmillan.
His recommendation was a scrap-book of minutely elaborated designs for
_Vanity Fair_, which he had done (like Reynolds) "out of pure idleness."
Mr. Carr, then, as always, a discriminating critic, with a keen eye to
possibilities, was not slow to detect, among much artistic recollection,
something more than uncertain promise; and although he had already
Randolph Caldecott and Mr. Harry Furniss on his staff, he at once gave
Mr. Thomson a commission for the magazine. The earliest picture from his
hand which appeared was a fancy representation of the Parade at Bath for
a paper in June, 1884, by the late H. D. Traill; and he also illustrated
(in part) papers on Drawing Room Dances, on Cricket (by Mr. Andrew
Lang), and on Covent Garden. But graphic and vividly naturalistic as
were his pictures of modern life, his native bias towards imaginary
eighteenth century subjects (perhaps prompted by boyish studies of
Hogarth in the old Dublin _Penny Magazine_), was already abundantly
manifest. He promptly drifted into what was eventually to become his
first illustrated book, a series of compositions from the _Spectator_.
These were published in 1886 as a little quarto, entitled _Days with Sir
Roger de Coverley_.

It was a "temerarious" task to attempt to revive the types which, from
the days of Harrison's _Essayists_, had occupied so many of the earlier
illustrators. But the attempt was fully justified by its success. One
has but to glance at the head-piece to the first paper, where Sir Roger
and "Mr. Spectator" have alighted from the jolting, springless,
heavy-wheeled old coach as the tired horses toil uphill, to recognise at
once that here is an artist _en pays de connaissance_, who may fairly be
trusted, in the best sense, to "illustrate" his subject. Whatever one's
predilections for previous presentments, it is impossible to resist Sir
Roger (young, slim, and handsome), carving the perverse widow's name
upon a tree-trunk; or Sir Roger at bowls, or riding to hounds, or
listening--with grave courtesy--to Will Wimble's long-winded and
circumstantial account of the taking of the historic jack. Nor is the
conception less happy of that amorous fine-gentleman ancestor of the
Coverleys who first made love by squeezing the hand; or of that other
Knight of the Shire who so narrowly escaped being killed in the Civil
Wars because he was sent out of the field upon a private message, the
day before Cromwell's "crowning mercy,"--the battle of Worcester. But
the varied embodiments of these, and of Mrs. Betty Arable ("the great
fortune"), of Ephraim the Quaker, and the rest, are not all. The figures
are set in their fitting environment; they ride their own horses, hallo
to their own dogs, and eat and drink in their own dark-panelled rooms
that look out on the pleached alleys of their ancient gardens. They live
and move in their own passed-away atmosphere of association; and a
faithful effort has moreover been made to realise each separate scene
with strict relation to its text.

All of the "Coverley" series came out in the _English Illustrated_. So
also did the designs for the next book, the _Coaching Days and Coaching
Ways_ of Mr. Outram Tristram, 1888. Here Mr. Thomson had a topographical
collaborator, Mr. Herbert Railton, who did the major part of the very
effective drawings in this kind. But Mr. Thomson's contributions may
fairly be said to have exhausted the "romance" of the road. Inns and
inn-yards, hosts and ostlers and chambermaids, stage-coachmen,
toll-keepers, mail-coaches struggling in snow-drifts, mail-coaches held
up by highwaymen, overturns, elopements, cast shoes, snapped poles, lost
linch-pins,--all the episodes and moving accidents of bygone travel on
the high road have abundant illustration, till the pages seem almost to
reek of the stableyard, or ring with the horn.[30] And here it may be
noted, as a peculiarity of Mr. Thomson's conscientious horse-drawing,
that he depicts, not the ideal, but the actual animal. His steeds are
not "faultless monsters" like the Dauphin's palfrey in _Henry the
Fifth_. They are "all sorts and conditions" of horses; and--if truth
required it--would disclose as many sand-cracks as Rocinante, or as many
equine defects (from wind-gall to the bolts) as those imputed to that
unhappy "Blackberry" sold by the Vicar of Wakefield at Welbridge Fair to
Mr, Ephraini Jenkinson.


[30] Sometimes a literary or historical picture creeps into the text.
Such are "Swift and Bolingbroke at Backlebury" (p. 30); "Charles
II. recognised by the Ostler" (p. 144), and "Barry Lyndon cracks a
Bottle" (p. 116). _Barry Lyndon_ with its picaresque note and Irish
background, would seem an excellent contribution to the "Cranford"
series. Why does not Mr. Thomson try his hand at it? He has illustrated
_Esmond_, and the _Great Haggarty Diamond_.

The _Vicar of Wakefield_--as it happens--was Mr. Thomson's next
enterprise; and it is, in many respects, a most memorable one. It came
out in December, 1890, having occupied him for nearly two years. He took
exceptional pains to study and realise the several types for himself,
and to ensure correctness of costume. From the first introductory
procession of the Primrose family at the head of chapter i. to the
awkward merriment of the two Miss Flamboroughs at the close, there is
scarcely a page which has not some stroke of quiet fun, some graceful
attitude, or some ingenious contrivance in composition. Considering that
from Wenham's edition of 1780, nearly every illustrator of repute had
tried his hand at Goldsmith's masterpiece in fiction,--that he had been
attempted without humour by Stothard, without lightness by
Mulready,[31]--that he had been made comic by Cruikshank, and vulgarised
by Rowiandson,--it was certainly to Mr. Thomson's credit that he had
approached his task with so much refinement, reverence and originality.
If the book has a blemish, it is to be mentioned only because the
artist, by his later practice, seems to have recognised it himself. For
the purposes of process reproduction, the drawings were somewhat loaded
and overworked.


[31]: Mulready's illustrations of 1843 are here referred to, net his

This was not chargeable against the next volumes to be chronicled. Mrs.
Gaskell's _Cranford_, 1891, and Miss Mitford's _Our Village_, 1893, are
still regarded by many as the artist's happiest efforts. I say "still,"
because Mr. Thomson is only now in what Victor Hugo called the youth of
old age (as opposed to the old age of youth); and it would be premature
to assume that a talent so alert to multiply and diversify its efforts,
had already attained the summit of its achievement. But in these two
books he had certain unquestionable advantages. One obviously would be,
that his audience were not already preoccupied by former illustrations;
and he was consequently free to invent his own personages and follow his
own fertile fancy, without recalling to that implacable and Gorgonising
organ, the "Public Eye," any earlier pictorial conceptions. Another
thing in his favour was, that in either case, the very definite, and not
very complex types surrendered themselves readily to artistic
embodiment. "It almost illustrated itself,"--he told an interviewer
concerning _Cranford_; "the characters were so exquisitely and
distinctly realised." Every one has known some like them; and the
delightful Knutsford ladies (for "Cranford" was "Knutsford"), the
"Boz"--loving Captain Brown and Mr. Holbrook, Peter and his father, and
even Martha the maid, with their _mise en scène_ of card-tables and
crackle-china, and pattens and reticules, are part of the memories of
our childhood. The same may be said of _Our Village_, except that the
breath of Nature blows more freely through it than through the quiet
Cheshire market-town; and there is a larger preponderance of those
"charming glimpses of rural life" of which Lady Ritchie speaks
admiringly in her sympathetic preface. And with regard to the "bits of
scenery"--as Mr. Thomson himself calls them--it may be noted that one of
the Manchester papers, speaking of _Cranford_, praised the artist's
intimate knowledge of the locality,--a locality he had never seen. Most
of his backgrounds were from sketches made on Wimbledon Common, near
which--until he moved for a space to the ancient Cinque Port of Seaford
in Sussex--he lived for the first years of his London life.

In strict order of time, Mr. Thomson's next important effort should have
preceded the books of Miss Mitford and Mrs. Gaskell. The novels of Jane
Austen--to which we now come--if not the artist's high-water mark, are
certainly remarkable as a _tour de force_. To contrive some forty page
illustrations for each of Miss Austen's admirable, but--from an
illustrator's standpoint--not very palpitating productions,--with a
scene usually confined to the dining-room or parlour,--with next to no
animals, and with rare opportunities for landscape accessory,--was an
"adventure"--in Cervantic phrase--which might well have given pause to a
designer of less fertility and resource. But besides the figures there
was the furniture; and acute admirers have pointed out that a nice
discretion is exhibited in graduating the appointments of Longbourn and
Netherfield Park,--of Rosings and Hunsford. But what is perhaps more
worthy of remark is the artist's persistent attempt to give
individuality, as well as grace, to his dramatis persona;. The
unspeakable Mr. Collins, Mr. Bennet, the horsy Mr. John Thorpe, Mrs.
Jennings and Mrs. Norris, the Eltons--are all carefully discriminated.
Nothing can well be better than Mr. Woodhouse, with his "almost
immaterial legs" drawn securely out of the range of a too-fierce fire,
chatting placidly to Miss Bates upon the merits of water-gruel; nothing
more in keeping than the Right Honourable Lady Catherine de Bourgh, "in
the very torrent, tempest, and whirlwind" of her indignation,
superciliously pausing to patronise the capabilities of the Longbourn
reception rooms. Not less happy is the dumbfounded astonishment of Mrs.
Bennet at her toilet, when she hears--to her stupefaction--that her
daughter Elizabeth is to be mistress of Pemberley and ten thousand a
year. This last is a head-piece; and it may be observed, as an
additional difficulty in this group of novels, that, owing to the
circumstances of publication, only in one of the books. _Pride and
Prejudice_, was Mr, Thomson free to decorate the chapters with those
ingenious _entêtes_ and _culs-de-lampe_ of which he so eminently
possesses the secret.[32]


[32] That eloquence of subsidiary detail, which has had so many
exponents in English art from Hogarth onwards, is one of Mr. Thomson's
most striking characteristics. The reader will find it exemplified in
the beautiful book-plate at page 111, which, by the courtesy of its
owner, Mr. Ernest Brown, I am permitted to reproduce.

By this time his reputation had long been firmly established. To the
Jane Austen volumes succeeded other numbers of the so-called "Cranford"
series, to which, in 1894, Mr. Thomson had already added, under the
title of _Coridon's Song and other Verses_, a fresh ingathering of
old-time minstrelsy from the pages of the _English Illustrated_. Many of
the drawings for these, though of necessity reduced for publication in
book form, are in his most delightful and winning manner,--notably
perhaps (if one must choose!) the martial ballad of that "Captain of
Militia, Sir Bilberry Diddle," who

  --dreamt, Fame reports, that he cut all the throats
  Of the French as they landed in flat-bottomed boats

--or rather were going to land any time during the Seven Years' War.
Excellent, too, are John Gay's ambling _Journey to Exeter_., the
_Angler's Song_ from Walton (which gives its name to the collection),
and Fielding's rollicking "A-hunting we will go." Other "Cranford"
books, which now followed, were James Lane Allen's _Kentucky Cardinal_,
1901; Fanny Burney's _Evelina_, 1903; Thackeray's _Esmond_, 1905; and
two of George Eliot's novels--_Scenes of Clerical Life_, 1906, and
_Silas Marner_, 1907. In 1899 Mr. Thomson had also undertaken another
book for George Allen, an edition of Reade's _Peg Woffington_,--a task
in which he took the keenest delight, particularly in the burlesque
character of Triplet. These were all in the old pen-work; but some of
the designs for _Silas Marner_ were lightly and tastefully coloured.
This was a plan the author had adopted, with good effect, not only in a
special edition of _Cranford_ (1898), but for some of his original
drawings which came into the market after exhibition. Nothing can be
more seductive than a Hugh Thomson pen-sketch, when delicately tinted in
sky-blue, _rose-Du Barry_, and apple-green (the _vert-pomme_ dear--as
Gautier says--to the soft moderns)--a treatment which lends them a
subdued but indefinable distinction, as of old china with a pedigree,
and fully justifies the amiable enthusiasm of the phrase-maker who
described their inventor as the "Charles Lamb of illustration."

From the above enumeration certain omissions have of necessity been
made. Besides the books mentioned, Mr. Thomson has contrived to prepare
for newspapers and magazines many closely-studied sketches of
contemporary manners. Some of the best of his work in this way is to be
found in the late Mrs. E.T. Cook's _Highways and Byways of London Life_,
1902. For the _Highways and Byways_ series, he has also illustrated,
wholly or in part, volumes on Ireland, North Wales, Devon, Cornwall and
Yorkshire. The last volume, Kent, 1907, is entirely decorated by
himself. In this instance, his drawings throughout are in pencil, and he
is his own topographer. It is a remarkable departure, both in manner and
theme, though Mr. Thomson's liking for landscape has always been
pronounced. "I would desire above all things," he told an interviewer,
"to pass my time in painting landscape. Landscape pictures always
attract me, and the grand examples, Gainsboroughs, Claudes, Cromes, and
Turners, to be seen any day in our National Gallery, are a source of
never-failing yearning and delight." The original drawings for the Kent
book are of great beauty; and singularly dexterous in the varied methods
by which the effect is produced. The artist is now at work on the county
of Surrey. It is earnest of his versatility that, in 1904, he
illustrated for Messrs. Wells, Darton and Co., with conspicuous success,
a modernised prose version of certain of Chaucer's _Canterbury Tales_,
as well as _Tales from Maria Edgeworth_, 1903; and he also executed, in
1892 and 1895,[33] some charming designs to selections from the verses of
the present writer, who has long enjoyed the privilege of his friendship.

Personal traits do not come within the province of this paper, or it
would be pleasant to dwell upon Mr. Thomson's modesty, his untiring
industry, and his devotion to his art. But in regard to that art, it may
be observed that to characterise it solely as "packing the memory with
pleasant fancies" may suffice for an exordium, but is inadequate as a
final appreciation. Let me therefore note down, as they occur to me,
some of his more prominent pictorial characteristics. With three of the
artists mentioned in this and the preceding paper, he has obvious
affinities, while, in a sense, he includes them all. If he does not
excel Stothard in the gift of grace, he does in range and variety; and
he more than rivals him in composition. He has not, like Miss Greenaway,
endowed the art-world with a special type of childhood; but his children
are always lifelike and engaging. (Compare, at a venture, the boy
soldiers whom Frank Castlewood is drilling in chapter xi. of _Esmond_,
or the delightful little fellow who is throwing up his arms in chapter
ix. of _Emma_.) As regards dogs and horses and the rest, his colleague,
Mr, Joseph Pennell, an expert critic, and a most accomplished artist,
holds that he has "long since surpassed" Randolph Caldecott.[34] I doubt
whether Mr. Thomson himself would concur with his eulogist in this. But
he has assuredly followed Caldecott close; and in opulence of
production, which--as Macaulay insisted--should always count, has
naturally exceeded that gifted, but shortlived, designer. If, pursuing
an ancient practice, one were to attempt to label Mr. Thomson with a
special distinction apart from, and in addition to, his other merits, I
should be inclined to designate him the "Master of the
Vignette,"--taking that word in its primary sense as including
head-pieces, tail-pieces and initial letters. In this department, no
draughtsman I can call to mind has ever shown greater fertility of
invention, so much playful fancy, so much grace, so much kindly humour,
and such a sane and wholesome spirit of fun.


[33] _The Ballad of Beau Brocade_, and _The Story of Rosina_.

[34] _Pen-Drawing and Pen-Draughtsmen, 2nd ed. 1894, p. 358._




_(Published at Madrid, by Francisco de Robles, January 1605)_

"Para mí sola nació don Quixote, y yo para él."--CERVANTES.

Advents we greet of great and small;
    Much we extol that may not live;
    Yet to the new-born Type we give
        No care at all!

This year,[35]--three centuries past,--by age
    More maimed than by LEPANTO'S fight,--
    This year CERVANTES gave to light
        His matchless page,

Whence first outrode th' immortal Pair,--
    The half-crazed Hero and his hind,--
    To make sad laughter for mankind;
        And whence they fare

Throughout all Fiction still, where chance
    Allies Life's dulness with its dreams--
    Allies what is, with what but seems,--
        Fact and Romance:--

O Knight of fire and Squire of earth!--
    O changing give-and-take between
    The aim too high, the aim too mean,
        I hail your birth,--

Three centuries past,--in sunburned SPAIN,
    And hang, on Time's PANTHEON wall,
    My votive tablet to recall
        That lasting gain!


[35] _I.e._ January 1905.


One common grave, according to Garrick, covers the actor and his art.
The same may be said of the raconteur. Oral tradition, or even his own
writings, may preserve his precise words; but his peculiarities of voice
or action, his tricks of utterance and intonation,--all the collateral
details which serve to lend distinction or piquancy to the
performance--perish irrecoverably. The glorified gramophone of the
future may perhaps rectify this for a new generation; and give us,
without mechanical drawback, the authentic accents of speakers dead and
gone; but it can never perpetuate the dramatic accompaniment of gesture
and expression. If, as always, there are exceptions to this rule, they
are necessarily evanescent. Now and then, it may be, some clever mimic
will recall the manner of a passed-away predecessor; and he may even
contrive to hand it on, more or less effectually, to a disciple. But the
reproduction is of brief duration; and it is speedily effaced or

In this way it is, however, that we get our most satisfactory idea of
the once famous table-talker, Samuel Rogers. Charles Dickens, who sent
Rogers several of his books; who dedicated _Master Humphrey's Clock_ to
him; and who frequently assisted at the famous breakfasts in St. James's
Place, was accustomed--rather cruelly, it may be thought--to take off
his host's very characteristic way of telling a story; and it is,
moreover, affirmed by Mr. Percy Fitzgerald[36] that, in the famous
Readings, "the strangely obtuse and owl-like expression, and the slow,
husky croak" of Mr. Justice Stareleigh in the "Trial from _Pickwick_"
were carefully copied from the author of the _Pleasures of Memory_, That
Dickens used thus to amuse his friends is confirmed by the autobiography
of the late Frederick Locker,[37] who perfectly remembered the old man,
to see whom he had been carried, as a boy, by his father. He had also
heard Dickens repeat one of Rogers's stock anecdotes (it was that of the
duel in a dark room, where the more considerate combatant, firing up the
chimney, brings down his adversary);[38]--and he speaks of Dickens as
mimicking Rogers's "calm, low-pitched, drawling voice and dry biting
manner very comically."[39] At the same time, it must be remembered that
these reminiscences relate to Rogers in his old age. He was over seventy
when Dickens published his first book, _Sketches by Boz_; and, though it
is possible that Rogers's voice was always rather sepulchral, and his
enunciation unusually deliberate and monotonous, he had nevertheless, as
Locker says, "made story-telling a fine art." Continued practice had
given him the utmost economy of words; and as far as brevity and point
are concerned, his method left nothing to be desired. Many of his best
efforts are still to be found in the volume of _Table-Talk_ edited for
Moxon in 1856 by the Rev. Alexander Dyce; or preferably, as actually
written down by Rogers himself in the delightful _Recollections_ issued
three years later by his nephew and executor, William Sharpe.


[36] _Recreations of a Literary Man_, 1882, p. 137.

[37] _My Confidences_, by Frederick Locker-Lampson, 1896, pp. 98
and 325.

[38] The duellists were an Englishman and a Frenchman; and
Rogers was in the habit of adding as a postscript: "When I tell that in
Paris, I always put the Englishman up the chimney!"

[39] It may be added that Mr. Percy Fitzgerald, himself no mean
mime, may be sometimes persuaded to imitate Dickens imitating Rogers.

But although the two things are often intimately connected, the "books,"
and not the "stories" of Rogers, are the subject of the present paper.
After this, it sounds paradoxical to have to admit that his reputation
as a connoisseur far overshadowed his reputation as a bibliophile. When,
in December 1855, he died, his pictures and curios,--his "articles of
virtue and bigotry" as a modern Malaprop would have styled
them,--attracted far more attention than the not very numerous volumes
forming his library.[40] What people flocked to see at the tiny
treasure-house overlooking the Green Park,[41] which its nonagenarian
owner had occupied for more than fifty years, were the "Puck" and
"Strawberry Girl" of Sir Joshua, the Titians, Giorgiones, and Guidos,[42]
the Poussins and Claudes, the drawings of Raphael and Dürer and Lucas
van Leyden, the cabinet decorated by Stothard, the chimney-piece carved
by Flaxman; the miniatures and bronzes and Etruscan vases,--all the
"infinite riches in a little room," which crowded No. 22 from garret to
basement. These were the rarities that filled the columns of the papers
and the voices of the quidnuncs when in 1856 they came to the hammer.
But although the Press of that day takes careful count of these things,
it makes little reference to the sale of the "books" of the banker-bard
who spent some £15,000 on the embellishments of his _Italy_ and his
_Poems_; and although Dr. Burney says that Rogers's library included
"the best editions of the best authors in most languages," he had
clearly no widespread reputation as a book-collector pure and simple.
Nevertheless he loved his books,--that is, he loved the books he read.
And, as far as can be ascertained, he anticipated the late Master of
Balliol, since he read only the books he liked. Nor was he ever diverted
from his predilections by mere fashion or novelty. "He followed Bacon's
maxim"--says one who knew him--"to read much, not many things: _multum
legere, non multa_. He used to say, 'When a new book comes out, I read
an old one.'"[43]


[40] The prices obtained confirm this. Thetotaisum realised was
£45,188:14:3. Of this the books represented no more than £1415:5.

[41] This--with its triple range of bow-windows, from one of
which Rogers used to watch his favourite sunsets--is now the residence
of Lord Northcliffe.

[42] Three of these--the "_Noli me tangere_" of Titian, Giorgione's
"Knight in Armour," and Guide's "_Ecce Homo_"--are now in the National
Gallery, to which they were bequeathed by Rogers.

[43] _Edinburgh Review_, vol. civ. p. 105, by Abraham Hayward.

The general Rogers-sale at Christie's took place in the spring of 1856,
and twelve days had been absorbed before the books were reached. Their
sale took six days more--_i.e._ from May 12 to May 19. As might be
expected from Rogers's traditional position in the literary world, the
catalogue contains many presentation copies. What, at first sight, would
seem the earliest, is the _Works_ of Edward Moore, 1796, 2 vols. But if
this be the fabulist and editor of the _World_, it can scarcely have
been received from the writer, since, in 1796, Moore had been dead for
nearly forty years. With Bloomfield's poems of 1802, l. p., we are on
surer ground, for Rogers, like Capel Lofft, had been kind to the author
of _The Farmer's Boy_, and had done his best to obtain him a pension.
Another early tribute, subsequently followed by the _Tales of the Hall_,
was Crabbe's Borough, which he sent to Rogers in 1810, in response to
polite overtures made to him by the poet. This was the beginning of a
lasting friendship, of no small import to Crabbe, as it at once admitted
him to Rogers's circle, an advantage of which there are many traces in
Crabbe's journal. Next comes Madame de Staël's much proscribed _De
l'Allamagne_ (the Paris edition); and from its date, 1813, it must have
been presented to Rogers when its irrepressible author was in England.
She often dined or breakfasted at St. James's Place, where (according to
Byron), she out-talked Whitbread, confounded Sir Humphry Davy, and was
herself well "_ironed_"[44] by Sheridan. Rogers considered _Corinne_ to
be her best novel, and _Delphine_ a terrible falling-off. The Germany he
found "very fatiguing." "She writes her works four or five times over,
correcting them only in that way"--he says. "The end of a chapter [is]
always the most obscure, as she ends with an epigram,"[45] Another early
presentation copy is the second edition of Bowles's _Missionary_, 1815.
According to Rogers, who claims to have suggested the poem, it was to
have been inscribed to him. But somehow or other, the book got dedicated
to noble lord who--Rogers adds drily--never, either by word or letter,
made any acknowledgment of the homage.[46] It is not impossible that
there is some confusion of recollection here, or Rogers is misreported
by Dyce. The first anonymous edition of the _Missionary_, 1813, had _no_
dedication; and the second was inscribed to the Marquess of Lansdowne
because he had been prominent among those who recognised the merit of
its predecessor.


[44] Perhaps a remembrance of Mrs Slipslop's "_ironing_."

[45] Clayden's _Rogers and his Contemporaries_, 1889, i. 225. As
an epigrammatist himself, Rogers might have been more indulgent to a
_consoeur_. Here is one of Madame de Staël's "ends of chapters":--"_La
monotonie, dans la retraite, tranquillise l'âme; la monotonie, dans le
grand monde, fatigue l'esprit_" (ch. viii.). But he evidently found her
rather overpowering.

[46] Table-Talk, 1856, p. 258.

Several of Scott's poems, with Rogers's autograph, and Scott's card,
appear in the catalogue; and, in 1812, Byron, who a year after inscribed
the _Giaour_ to Rogers, sent him the first two cantos of _Childe
Harold._ In 1838, Moore presents _Lalla Rookh_, with Heath's plates, a
work which, upon its first appearance, twenty years earlier, had been
dedicated to Rogers. In 1839 Charles Dickens followed with _Nicholas
Nickleby_, succeeded a year later by _Master Humphrey's Clock_ (1840-1),
also dedicated to Rogers in recognition, not only of his poetical merit,
but of his "active sympathy with the poorest and humblest of his kind."
Rogers was fond of "Little Nell"; and in the Preface to _Barnaby Rudge_,
Dickens gracefully acknowledged that "for a beautiful thought" in the
seventy-second chapter of the _Old Curiosity Shop_, he was indebted to
Rogers's Ginevra in the _Italy_:--

    And long might'st thou have seen
  An old man wandering _as in quest of something,_
  Something he could not find--he knew not what.

The _American Notes_, 1842, was a further offering from Dickens. Among
other gifts may be noted Wordsworth's _Poems_, 1827-35; Campbell's
_Pilgrim of Glencoe_, 1842; Longfellow's _Ballads and Voices of the
Night_, 1840-2; Macaulay's _Lays_ and Tennyson's _Poems_, 1842; and
lastly, Hazlitt's _Criticisms on Art_, 1844, and Carlyle's _Letters and
Speeches of Cromwell_, 1846. Brougham's philosophical novel of _Albert
Lunel; or, the Château of Languedoc_, 3 vols, 1844, figures in the
catalogue as "withdrawn." It had been suppressed "for private reasons"
upon the eve of publication; and this particular copy being annotated by
Rogers (to whom it was inscribed) those concerned were no doubt all the
more anxious that it should not get abroad. Inspection of the reprint of
1872 shows, however, that want of interest was its chief error. A
reviewer of 1858 roundly calls it "feeble" and "commonplace"; and it
could hardly have increased its writer's reputation. Indeed, by some, it
was not supposed to be from his Lordship's pen at all. Rogers, it may be
added, frequently annotated his books. His copies of Pope, Gray and
Scott had many _marginalia_. Clarke's and Fox's histories of James II.
were also works which he decorated in this way.

As already hinted, not very many bibliographical curiosities are
included in the St. James's Place collection; and to look for
Shakespeare quartos or folios, for example, would be idle. Ordinary
editions of Shakespeare, such as Johnson's and Theobald's;
Shakespeariana, such as Mrs. Montagu's _Essay_ and Ayscough's
_Index_,--these are there of course. If the list also takes in Thomas
Caldecott's _Hamlet_, and _As you like it_ (1832), that is, first,
because the volume is a presentation copy; and secondly, because
Caldecott's colleague in his frustrate enterprise was Crowe, Rogers's
Miltonic friend, hereafter mentioned. Rogers's own feeling for
Shakespeare was cold and hypercritical; and he was in the habit of
endorsing with emphasis Ben Jonson's aspiration that the master had
blotted a good many of his too-facile lines. Nevertheless, it is
possible to pick out a few exceptional volumes from Mr. Christie's
record. Among the earliest comes a copy of Garth's _Dispensary_, 1703,
which certainly boasts an illustrious pedigree. Pope, who received it
from the author, had carefully corrected it in several places; and in
1744 bequeathed it to Warburton. Warburton, in his turn, handed it on to
Mason, from whom it descended to Lord St. Helens, by whom, again,
shortly before his death (1815), it was presented to Rogers. To Pope's
corrections, which Garth adopted, Mason had added a comment. What made
the volume of further interest was, that it contained Lord Dorchester's
receipt for his subscription to Pope's _Homer_; and, inserted at the
end, a full-length portrait of Pope; viz., that engraved in Warton's
edition of 1797, as sketched in pen-and-ink by William Hoare of Bath.
Another interesting item is the quarto first edition (the first three
books) of Spenser's _Faerie Queene_, Ponsonbie, 1590: and a third, the
_Paradise Lost_ of Milton in ten books, the original text of 1667 (with
the 1669 title-page and the Argument and Address to the Reader)--both
bequeathed to Rogers by W, Jackson of Edinburgh. (One of the stock
exhibits at "Memory Hall"--as 22 St. James's Place was playfully called
by some of the owner's friends--was Milton's receipt to Symmons the
printer for the five pounds he received for his epic. This, framed and
glazeds hung, according to Lady Eastlake, on one of the doors.[47]) A
fourth rare book was William Bonham's black-letter Chaucer, a folio
which had been copiously annotated in MS. by Home Tooke, who gave it to
Rogers. It moreover contained, at folio 221, the record of Tooke's
arrest at Wimbledon on 16th May, 1794, and subsequent committal on the
19th to the Tower, for alleged high treason.[48] Further _notabilia_ in
this category were the Duke of Marlborough's _Hypnerotomachie_ of
Poliphilus, Paris, 1554, and also the Aldine edition of 1499; the very
rare 1572 issue of Camoens's _Lusiads_; Holbein's _Dance of Death_, the
Lyons issues of 1538 and 1547; first editions of Bewick's _Birds_ and
_Quadrupeds_; Le Sueur's _Life of St. Bruno_, with the autograph of Sir
Joshua Reynolds, and a rare quarto (1516) of Boccaccio's _Decameron_.


[47] It was, no doubt, identical with the "Original Articles of
Agreement" (Add. MSS. 18,861) between Milton and Samuel Symmons,
printer, dated 27th April, 1667, presented by Rogers in 1852 to the
British Museum. Besides the above-mentioned £5 down, there were to be
three further payments of £5 each on the sale of three editions, each of
1300 copies. The second edition appeared in 1674, the year of the
author's death.

[48] He was acquitted. His notes, in pencil, and relating chiefly to his
_Diversions of Parley_, were actually written in the Tower. Rogers, who
was present at the trial in November, mentioned, according to Dyce, a
curious incident bearing upon a now obsolete custom referred to by
Goldsmith and others. As usual, the prisoner's dock, in view of possible
jail-fever, was strewn with sweet-smelling herbs-fennel, rosemary and the
like. Tooke indignantly swept them away. Another of several characteristic
anecdotes told by Rogers of Tooke is as follows:--Being asked once at
college what his father was, he replied, "A Turkey Merchant." Tooke _père_
was a poulterer in Clare Market.

But the mere recapitulation of titles readily grows tedious, even to the
elect; and I turn to some of the volumes with which, from references in
the _Table-Talk_ and _Recollections_, their owner might seem to be more
intimately connected. Foremost among these--one would think--should come
his own productions. Most of these, no doubt, are included under the
auctioneers' heading of "Works and Illustrations." In the "Library"
proper, however, there are few traces of them. There is a quarto copy of
the unfortunate _Columbus_, with Stothard's sketches; and there is the
choice little _Pleasures of Memory_ of 1810, with Luke Clennell's
admirable cuts in _facsimile_ from the same artist's pen-and-ink,--a
volume which, come what may, will always hold its own in the annals of
book-illustration. That there were more than one of these latter may be
an accident. Rogers, nevertheless, like many book-lovers, must have
indulged in duplicates. According to Hayward, once at breakfast, when
some one quoted Gray's irresponsible outburst concerning the novels of
Marivaux and Crébillon _le fils_, Rogers asked his guests, three in
number, whether they were familiar with Marivaux's _Vie de Marianne_, a
book which he himself confesses to have read through six times, and
which French critics still hold, on inconclusive evidence, to have been
the "only begetter" of Richardson's _Pamela_ and the sentimental novel.
None of the trio knew anything about it. "Then I will lend you each a
copy," rejoined Rogers; and the volumes were immediately produced,
doubtless by that faithful and indefatigable factotum, Edmund Paine, of
whom his master was wont to affirm that he would not only find any book
_in_ the house, but _out_ of it as well. What is more (unless it be
assumed that the poet's stock was larger still), one, at least, of the
three copies must have been returned, since there is a copy in the
catalogue. As might be expected in the admirer of Marivaux's heroine,
the list is also rich in Jean-Jacques, whose "_goût vif pour les
déjeuners_," this Amphitryon often extolled, quoting with approval
Rousseau's opinion that "_C'est le temps de la journée où nous sommes le
plus tranquilles, où nous causons le plus à noire aise._" Another of his
favourite authors was Manzoni, whose _Promessi Sposi_ he was inclined to
think he would rather have written than all Scott's novels; and he never
tired of reading Louis Racine's _Mémoires_ of his father, 1747,--that
"_filon de l'or pur du dix-septième siecle_"--as Villemain calls
it--"_qui se prolonge dans l'âge suivant._" Some of Rogers's likings
sound strange enough nowadays. With Campbell, he delighted in Cowper's
_Homer_, which he assiduously studied, and infinitely preferred to that
of Pope. Into Chapman's it must be assumed that he had not
looked--certainly he has left no sonnet on the subject. Milton was
perhaps his best-loved bard. "When I was travelling in Italy (he says),
I made two authors my constant study for versification,--Milton _and
Crowe_" (The italics are ours.) It is an odd collocation; but not
unintelligible. William Crowe, the now forgotten Public Orator of
Oxford, and author of _Lewesdon Hill_, was an intimate friend; a writer
on versification; and, last but not least, a very respectable echo of
the Miltonic note, as the following, from a passage dealing with the
loss in 1786 of the _Halsewell_ East Indiaman off the coast of Dorset,
sufficiently testifies:--

    The richliest-laden ship
  Of spicy Ternate, or that annual sent
  To the Philippines o'er the southern main
  From Acapulco, carrying massy gold,
  Were poor to this;--freighted with hopeful Youth
  And Beauty, and high Courage undismay'd
  By mortal terrors, and paternal Love, etc., etc.

It is not improbable that Rogers caught the mould of his blank verse
from the copy rather than from the model. In the matter of style--as
Flaubert has said--the second-bests are often the better teachers. More
is to be learned from La Fontaine and Gautier than from Molière and
Victor Hugo.

Many art-books, many books addressed specially to the connoisseur, as
well as most of those invaluable volumes no gentleman's library should
be without, found their places on Rogers's hospitable shelves. Of such,
it is needless to speak; nor, in this place, is it necessary to deal
with his finished and amiable, but not very vigorous or vital poetry. A
parting word may, however, be devoted to the poet himself. Although,
during his lifetime, and particularly towards its close, his weak voice
and singularly blanched appearance exposed him perpetually to a kind of
brutal personality now happily tabooed, it cannot be pretended that,
either in age or youth, he was an attractive-looking man. In these
cases, as in that of Goldsmith, a measure of burlesque sometimes
provides a surer criterion than academic portraiture. The bust of the
sculptor-caricaturist, Danton, is of course what even Hogarth would have
classed as _outré_[49]; but there is reason for believing that Maclise's
sketch in _Fraser_ of the obtrusively bald, cadaverous and wizened
figure in its arm-chair, which gave such a shudder of premonition to
Goethe, and which Maginn, reflecting the popular voice, declared to be a
mortal likeness--"painted to the very death"--was more like the original
than his pictures by Lawrence and Hoppner. One can comprehend, too, that
the person whom nature had so ungenerously endowed, might be perfectly
capable of retorting to rudeness, or the still-smarting recollection of
rudeness, with those weapons of mordant wit and acrid epigram which are
not unfrequently the protective compensation of physical shortcomings.
But this conceded, there are numberless anecdotes which testify to
Rogers's cultivated taste and real good breeding, to his genuine
benevolence, to his almost sentimental craving for appreciation and
affection. In a paper on his books, it is permissible to end with
a bookish anecdote. One of his favourite memories, much repeated in his
latter days, was that of Cowley's laconic Will,--"I give my body to the
earth, and my soul to my Maker." Lady Eastlake shall tell the
rest:--"This ... proved on one occasion too much for one of the party,
and in an incautious moment a flippant young lady exclaimed, 'But, Mr.
Rogers, what of Cowley's _property_?' An ominous silence ensued, broken
only by a _sotto voce_ from the late Mrs. Procter: 'Well, my dear, you
have put your foot in it; no more invitations for you in a hurry,' But
she did the kind old man, then above ninety, wrong. The culprit
continued to receive the same invitations and the same welcome."[50]


[49] Rogers's own copy of this, which (it may be added), he held
in horror, now belongs to Mr. Edmund Gosse. Lord Londonderry has a
number of Danton's busts.

[50] _Quarterly Review_, vol. 167, p. 512.


To One who asked why he wrote it.

You ask me what was his intent?
  In truth, I'm not a German;
'Tis plain though that he neither meant
  A Lecture nor a Sermon.

But there it is,--the thing's a Fact.
  I find no other reason
But that some scribbling itch attacked
  Him in and out of season,

To write what no one else should read,
  With this for second meaning,
To "cleanse his bosom" (and indeed
  It sometimes wanted cleaning);

To speak, as 'twere, his private mind,
  Unhindered by repression,
To make his motley life a kind,
  Of Midas' ears confession;

And thus outgrew this work _per se_,--
    This queer, kaleidoscopic,
Delightful, blabbing, vivid, free
    Hotch-pot of daily topic.

So artless in its vanity,
    So fleeting, so eternal,
So packed with "poor Humanity"--
    We know as Pepys' his journal.[51]


[51] Written for the Pepys' Dinner at Magdalene College, Cambridge,
February 23rd, 1905.


Among other pleasant premonitions of the present _entente cordiale_
between France and England is the increased attention which, for some
time past, our friends of Outre Manche have been devoting to our
literature. That this is wholly of recent growth, is not, of course, to
be inferred. It must be nearly five-and-forty years since M. Hippolyte
Taine issued his logical and orderly _Histoire de la Littérature
Anglaise_; while other isolated efforts of insight and importance--such
as the _Laurence Sterne_ of M. Paul Stapfer, and the excellent _Le
Public et les Hommes de Lettres en Angleterre au XVIII^e Siècle_ of the
late M. Alexandre Beljame of the Sorbonne--are already of distant date.
But during the last two decades the appearance of similar productions
has been more recurrent and more marked. From one eminent writer
alone--M. J.-J. Jusserand--we have received an entire series of studies
of exceptional charm, variety, and accomplishment. M. Felix Rabbe has
given us a sympathetic analysis of Shelley; M. Auguste
Angellier,--himself a poet of individuality and distinction,--what has
been rightly described as a "splendid work" on Burns;[52] while M. Émile
Legouis, in a minute examination of "The Prelude," has contrasted and
compared the orthodox Wordsworth of maturity with the juvenile
semi-atheist of Coleridge. Travelling farther afield, M. W. Thomas has
devoted an exhaustive volume to Young of the _Night Thoughts_; M. Léon
Morel, another to Thomson; and, incidentally, a flood of fresh light has
been thrown upon the birth and growth of the English Novel by the
admirable _Jean-Jacques Rousseau et les Origines du Cosmopolitisme
Littéraire_ of the late Joseph Texte--an investigation unquestionably of
the ripest scholarship, and the most extended research. And now once
more there are signs that French lucidity and French precision are about
to enter upon other conquests; and we have M. Barbeau's study of a
famous old English watering-place[53]--appropriately dedicated, as is
another of the books already mentioned, to M. Beljame.[54]


[52] A volume of _Pages Choisies de Auguste Angellier, Prose et
Vers_, with an Introduction by M. Legouis, has recently (1908) been
issued by the Clarendon Press. It contains lengthy extracts from M.
Angellier's study of Burns.

[53:]_Une Ville d'Eaux anglaise au XVIIIe Siècle, La Société Elegante
et Littéraire à Bath sous la Reine Anne et sous les Georges_. Par A.
Barbeau. Paris, Picard, 1904.

[54] The list grows apace. To the above, among others, must now
be added M. René Huchon's brilliant little essay on Mrs. Montagu, and
his elaborate study of Crabbe, to say nothing of M. Jules Derocquigny's
Lamb, M. Jules Douady's Hazlitt, and M. Joseph Aynard's Coleridge.

At first sight, topography, even when combined with social sketches, may
seem less suited to a foreigner and an outsider than it would be to a
resident and a native. In the attitude of the latter to the land in
which he lives or has been born, there is always an inherent something
of the soil for which even trained powers of comparison, and a special
perceptive faculty, are but imperfect substitutes. On the other hand,
the visitor from over-sea is, in many respects, better placed for
observation than the inhabitant. He enjoys not a little--it has been
often said--of the position of posterity. He takes in more at a glance;
he leaves out less; he is disturbed by no apprehensions of explaining
what is obvious, or discovering what is known. As a consequence, he sets
down much which, from long familiarity, an indigenous critic would be
disposed to discard, although it might not be, in itself, either
uninteresting or superfluous. And if, instead of dealing with the
present and actual, his concern is with history and the past, his
external standpoint becomes a strength rather than a weakness. He can
survey his subject with a detachment which is wholly favourable to his
project; and he can give it, with less difficulty than another, the
advantages of scientific treatment and an artistic setting. Finally, if
his theme have definite limits--as for instance an appreciable
beginning, middle, and end--he must be held to be exceptionally
fortunate. And this, either from happy guessing, or sheer good luck, is
M. Barbeau's case. All these conditions are present in the annals of the
once popular pleasure-resort of which he has elected to tell the story.
It arose gradually; it grew through a century of unexampled prosperity;
it sank again to the level of a county-town. If it should ever arise
again,--and it is by no means a _ville morte_,--it will be in an
entirely different way. The particular Bath of the eighteenth
century--the Bath of Queen Anne and the Georges, of Nash and Fielding
and Sheridan, of Anstey and Mrs. Siddons, of Wesley and Lady Huntingdon,
of Quin and Gainsborough and Lawrence and a hundred others--is no more.
It is a case of _Fuit Ilium_. It has gone for ever; and can never be
revived in the old circumstances. To borrow an apposite expression from
M. Texte, it is an organism whose evolution has accomplished its course.

M. Barbeau's task, then, is very definitely mapped-out and
circumscribed. But he is far too good a craftsman to do no more than
give a mere panorama of that daily Bath programme which King Nash and
his dynasty ordained and established. He goes back to the origins; to
the legend of King Lear's leper-father; to the _Diary_ of the
too-much-neglected Celia Fiennes; to Pepys[55] and Grammont's Memoirs; to
the days when hapless Catherine of Braganza, with the baleful "_belle_
Stewart" in her train, made fruitless pilgrimage to Bladud's spring as a
remedy against sterility. He sketches, with due acknowledgments to
Goldsmith's unique little book, the biography of that archquack,
_poseur_, and very clever organiser, Mr. Richard Nash, the first real
Master of the Ceremonies; and he gives a full account of his followers
and successors. He also minutely relates the story of Sheridan's
marriage to his beautiful "St. Cecilia," Elizabeth Ann Linley. A
separate and very interesting chapter is allotted to Lady Huntingdon and
the Methodists, not without levies from the remarkable _Spiritual
Quixote_ of that Rev. Richard Graves of Claverton, of whom an excellent
account was given not long since in Mr. W. H. Hutton's suggestive
_Burford Papers_. Other chapters are occupied with Bath and its _belles
lettres_; with "Squire Allworthy" of Prior Park and his literary guests,
Pope, Warburton, Fielding and his sister, etc.; with the historic
Frascati vase of Lady Miller at Batheaston, which stirred the ridicule
of Horace Walpole, and is still, it is said, to be seen in a local park.
The dosing pages treat of Bath--musical, artistic, scientific--of its
gradual transformation as a health resort--of its eventual and
foredoomed decline and fall as the one fashionable watering-place,
supreme and single, for Great Britain and Ireland.


[55] Oddly enough--if M. Barbeau's index is to be trusted, and
it is an unusually good one,--he makes no reference to Evelyn's visit to
Bath. But Evelyn went there in June, 1654, bathed in the Cross Bath,
criticised the "_facciata_" of the Abbey Church, complained of the
"narrow, uneven and unpleasant streets," and inter-visited with the
company frequenting the place for health. "Among the rest of the idle
diversions of the town," he says, "one musician was famous for acting a
changeling [idiot or half-wit], which indeed he personated strangely."
(_Diary_, Globe edn., 1908, p. 174.)

But it is needless to prolong analysis. One's only wonder--as usual
after the event--is that what has been done so well had never been
thought of before. For while M. Barbeau is to be congratulated upon the
happy task he has undertaken, we may also congratulate ourselves that he
has performed it so effectively. His material is admirably arranged. He
has supported it by copious notes; and he has backed it up by an
impressive bibliography of authorities ancient and modern. This is
something; but it is not all[56]. He has done much more than this. He has
contrived that, in his picturesque and learned pages, the old "Queen of
the West" shall live again, with its circling terraces, its grey stone
houses and ill-paved streets, its crush of chairs and chariots, its
throng of smirking, self-satisfied prom-enaders.


[56] To the English version (Heinemann, 1904) an eighteenth-century map
of Bath, and a number of interesting views and portraits have been added.

One seems to see the clumsy stage-coaches depositing their touzled and
tumbled inmates, in their rough rocklows and quaint travelling headgear,
at the "Bear" or the "White Hart," after a jolting two or three days'
journey from Oxford or London, not without the usual experiences, real
and imaginary, of suspicious-looking horsemen at Hounslow, or masked
"gentlemen of the pad" on Claverton Down. One hears the peal of
five-and-twenty bells which greets the arrival of visitors of
importance; and notes the obsequious and venal town-waits who follow
them to their lodgings in Gay Street or Milsom Street or the
Parades,--where they will, no doubt, be promptly attended by the Master
of the Ceremonies, "as fine as fivepence," and a very pretty,
sweet-smelling gentleman, to be sure, whether his name be Wade or
Derrick. Next day will probably discover them in chip hats and flannel,
duly equipped with wooden bowls and bouquets, at the King's Bath, where,
through a steaming atmosphere, you may survey their artless manoeuvres
(as does Lydia Melford in _Humphry Clinker_) from the windows of the
Pump Room, to which rallying-place they will presently repair to drink
the waters, in a medley of notables and notorieties, members of
Parliament, chaplains and led-captains, Noblemen with ribbons and stars,
dove-coloured Quakers, Duchesses, quacks, fortune-hunters, lackeys,
lank-haired Methodists, Bishops, and boarding-school misses. Ferdinand
Count Fathom will be there, as well as my Lord Ogleby; Lady Bellaston
(and Mr. Thomas Jones); Geoffry Wildgoose and Tugwell the cobbler;
Lismahago and Tabitha Bramble; the caustic Mrs. Selwyn and the blushing
Miss Anville. Be certain, too, that, sooner or later, you will encounter
Mrs, Candour and Lady Sneerwell, Sir Benjamin Backbite and his uncle,
Mr. Crabtree, for this is their main haunt and region--in fact, they
were born here. You may follow this worshipful and piebald procession to
the Public Breakfasts in the Spring Gardens, to the Toy-shops behind the
Church, to the Coffee-houses in Westgate Street, to the Reading Rooms on
the Walks, where, in Mr. James Leake's parlour at the back--if you are
lucky--you may behold the celebrated Mr. Ralph Allen of Prior Park,
talking either to Mr. Henry Fielding or to Mr. Leake's brother-in-law,
Mr. Samuel Richardson, but never--if we are correctly informed--to both
of them together. Or you may run against Mr. Christopher Anstey of the
over-praised _Guide_, walking arm-in-arm with another Bathonian, Mr.
Melmoth, whose version of Pliny was once held to surpass its original.
At the Abbey--where there are daily morning services--you shall listen
to the silver periods of Bishop Kurd, whom his admirers call fondly "the
Beauty of Holiness"; at St. James's you can attend the full-blown
lectures, "more unctuous than ever he preached," of Bishop Beilby
Porteus; or you may succeed in procuring a card for a select hearing, at
Edgar Buildings, of Lady Huntingdon's eloquent chaplain, Mr. Whitefield.
With the gathering shades of even, you may pass, if so minded, to
Palmer's Theatre in Orchard Street, and follow Mrs. Siddons acting
Belvidera in Otway's _Venice Preserv'd_ to the Pierre of that forgotten
Mr. Lee whom Fanny Burney put next to Garrick; or you may join the
enraptured audience whom Mrs. Jordan is delighting with her favourite
part of Priscilla Tomboy in _The Romp_. You may assist at the concerts
of Signer Venanzio Rauzzini and Monsieur La Motte; you may take part in
a long minuet or country dance at the Upper or Lower Assembly Rooms,
which Bunbury will caricature; you may even lose a few pieces at the
green tables; and, should you return home late enough, may watch a
couple of stout chairmen at the door of the "Three Tuns" in Stall
Street, hoisting that seasoned toper, Mr. James Quin, into a sedan after
his evening's quantum of claret. What you do to-day, you will do
to-morrow, if the bad air of the Pump Room has not given you a headache,
or the waters a touch of vertigo; and you will continue to do it for a
month or six weeks, when the lumbering vehicle with the leathern straps
and crane-necked springs will carry you back again over the deplorable
roads ("so _sidelum_ and _jumblum_," one traveller calls them) to your
town-house, or your country-box, or your city-shop or chambers, as the
case may be. Here, in due course, you will begin to meditate upon your
next excursion to THE BATH, provided always that you have not dipped
your estate at "E.O.", or been ruined by milliners' bills;--that your
son has not gone northwards with a sham Scotch heiress, or your daughter
been married at Charicombe, by private license, to a pinchbeck Irish
peer. For all these things--however painful the admission--were,
according to the most credible chroniclers, the by-no-means infrequent
accompaniment or sequel of an unguarded sojourn at the old jigging,
card-playing, scandal-loving, pleasure-seeking city in the loop of "the
soft-flowing Avon."

It is an inordinate paragraph, outraging all known rules of composition!
But then--How seductive a subject is eighteenth-century Bath!--and how
rich in memories is M. Barbeau's book!


To William John Courthope, _March 12, 1903_

When Pope came back from Trojan wars once more,
He found a Bard, to meet him on the shore,
And hail his advent with a strain as clear
As e'er was sung by BYRON or by FRERE.[57]

You, SIR, have travelled from no distant clime,
Yet would JOHN GAY could welcome you in rhyme;
And by some fable not too coldly penned,
Teach how with judgment one may praise a Friend.

There is no need that I should tell in words
Your prowess from _The Paradise of Birds_;[58]
No need to show how surely you have traced
The Life in Poetry, the Law in Taste;[59]
Or mark with what unwearied strength you wear
The weight that WARTON found too great to bear.[60]
There Is no need for this or that. My plan
Is less to laud the Matter than the Man.

This is my brief. We recognise in you
The mind judicial, the untroubled view;
The critic who, without pedantic pose,
Takes his firm foothold on the thing he knows;
Who, free alike from passion or pretence,
Holds the good rule of calm and common sense;
And be the subject or perplexed or plain,--
Clear or confusing,--is throughout urbane,
Patient, persuasive, logical, precise,
And only hard to vanity and vice.

More I could add, but brevity is best;--
These are our claims to honour you as Guest.


[57] _Alexander Pope: his Safe Return from Troy. A Congratulatory Poem
on his Completing his Translation of Homer's Iliad._ (In _ottava rima_.)
By Mr. Gay, 1720(?). Frere's burlesque, _Monks and Giants_--it will be
remembered--set the tune to Byron's _Beppo_.

[58] _The Paradise of Birds_, 1870.

[59] _Life in Poetry, Law in Taste_, two series of Lectures
delivered in Oxford, 1895-1900. 1901.

[60] _A History of English Poetry_. 1895 (in progress).


At this date, Thackeray's _Esmond_ has passed from the domain of
criticism into that securer region where the classics, if they do not
actually "slumber out their immortality," are at least preserved from
profane intrusion. This "noble story"[61]--as it was called by one of its
earliest admirers--is no longer, in any sense, a book "under review."
The painful student of the past may still, indeed, with tape and
compass, question its details and proportions; or the quick-fingered
professor of paradox, jauntily turning it upside-down, rejoice in the
results of his perverse dexterity; but certain things are now
established in regard to it, which cannot be gainsaid, even by those who
assume the superfluous office of anatomising the accepted. In the first
place, if _Esmond_ be not the author's greatest work (and there are
those who, like the late Anthony Trollope, would willingly give it that
rank), it is unquestionably his greatest work in its particular kind,
for its sequel, _The Virginians_, however admirable in detached
passages, is desultory and invertebrate, while _Denis Duval_, of which
the promise was "great, remains unfinished. With _Vanity Fair_, the
author's masterpiece in another manner, _Esmond_ cannot properly be
compared, because an imitation of the past can never compete in
verisimilitude or on any satisfactory terms with a contemporary picture.
Nevertheless, in its successful reproduction of the tone of a bygone
epoch, lies _Esmond's_ second and incontestable claim to length of days.
Athough fifty years and more have passed since it was published, it is
still unrivalled as the typical example of that class of historical
fiction, which, dealing indiscriminately with characters real and
feigned, develops them both with equal familiarity, treating them each
from within, and investing them impartially with a common atmosphere of
illusion. No modern novel has done this in the same way, nor with the
same good fortune, as Esmond; and there is nothing more to be said on
this score. Even if--as always--later researches should have revised our
conception of certain of the real personages, the value of the book as
an imaginative _tour de force_ is unimpaired. Little remains therefore
for the gleaner of to-day save bibliographical jottings, and neglected
notes on its first appearance.


[61] "Never could I have believed that Thackeray, great as his abilities
are, could have written so noble a story as _Esmond_."--WALTER SAVAGE
LANDOR, August 1856.

In Thackeray's work, the place of _The History of Henry Esmond, Esq., a
Colonel in the Service of Her Majesty Q. Anne. Written by Himself_--lies
midway between his four other principal books, _Vanity Fair, Pendennis,
The Newcomes_, and _The Virginians_; and its position serves, in a
measure, to explain its origin. In 1848, after much tentative and
miscellaneous production, of which the value had been but imperfectly
appreciated, the author found his fame with the yellow numbers of
_Vanity Fair_. Two years later, adopting the same serial form, came
_Pendennis_. _Vanity Fair_ had been the condensation of a life's
experience; and excellent as _Pendennis_ would have seemed from any
inferior hand, its readers could not disguise from themselves that,
though showing no falling off in other respects, it drew to some extent
upon the old material. No one was readier than Thackeray to listen to a
whisper of this kind, or more willing to believe that--as he afterwards
told his friend Elwin concerning _The Newcomes_--"he had exhausted all
the types of character with which he was familiar." Accordingly he
began, for the time, to turn his thoughts in fresh directions; and in
the year that followed the publication of _Pendennis_, prepared and
delivered in England and Scotland a series of _Lectures upon the English
Humourists of the Eighteenth Century_. With the success of these came
the prompting for a new work of fiction,--not to be contemporary, and
not to be issued in parts. His studies for the _Humourists_ had
saturated him with the spirit of a time to which--witness his novelette
of _Barry Lyndon_--he had always been attracted; and when Mr. George
Smith called on him with a proposal that he should write a new story for
£1000, he was already well in hand with _Esmond_,--an effort in which,
if it were not possible to invent new puppets, it was at least possible
to provide fresh costumes and a change of background. Begun in 1851,
_Esmond_ progressed rapidly, and by the end of May 1852 it was
completed. Owing to the limited stock of old-cut type in which it was
set up, its three volumes passed but slowly through the press; and it
was eventually issued at the end of the following October, upon the eve
of the author's departure to lecture in America. In fact, he was waiting
on the pier for the tender which was to convey him to the steamer, when
he received his bound copies from the publisher.

Mr. Eyre Crowe, A.R.A., who accompanied Thackeray to the United States,
and had for some time previously been acting as his "factotum and
amanuensis," has recorded several interesting details with regard to the
writing of _Esmond_, To most readers it will be matter of surprise, and
it is certainly a noteworthy testimony to the author's powers, that this
attempt to revive the language and atmosphere of a vanished era was in
great part dictated. It has even been said that, like _Pendennis_, it
was _all_ dictated; but this it seems is a mistake, for, as we shall see
presently, part of the manuscript was prepared by the author himself. As
he warmed to his work, however, he often reverted to the method of oral
composition which had always been most congenial to him, and which
explains the easy colloquialism of his style. Much of the "copy" was
taken down by Mr. Crowe in a first-floor bedroom of No. 16 Young Street,
Kensington, the still-existent house where Vanity Fair had been written;
at the Bedford Hotel in Covent Garden; at the round table in the
Athenasum library, and elsewhere. "I write better anywhere than at
home,"--Thackeray told Elwin,--"and I write less at home than anywhere."
Sometimes author and scribe would betake themselves to the British
Museum, to look up points in connection with Marlborough's battles, or
to rummage Jacob Tonson's Gazettes for the official accounts of
Wynendael and Oudenarde. The British Museum, indeed, was another of
_Esmond's_ birthplaces. By favour of Sir Antonio Panizzi, Thackeray and
his assistant, surrounded by their authorities, were accommodated in one
of the secluded galleries. "I sat down,"--says Mr. Crowe--"and wrote to
dictation the scathing sentences about the great Marlborough, the
denouncing of Cadogan, etc., etc. As a curious instance of literary
contagion, it may be here stated that I got quite bitten, with the
expressed anger at their misdeeds against General Webb, Thackeray's
kinsman and ancestor; and that I then looked upon Secretary Cardonnel's
conduct with perfect loathing. I was quite delighted to find his
meannesses justly pilloried in _Esmond's_ pages." What rendered the
situation more piquant,--Mr. Crowe adds,--all this took place on the
site of old Montague House, where, as Steele's "Prue" says to St. John
in the novel," you wretches go and fight duels."[62]


[62] _With Thackeray in America_, 1893, p. 4.

Those who are willing to make a pilgrimage to Cambridge, may, if they
please, inspect the very passages which aroused the enthusiam of
Thackeray's secretary. In a special case in the Library of Trinity
College, not far from those which enclose the manuscripts of Tennyson
and Milton, is the original and only manuscript of _Esmond_, being in
fact the identical "copy" which was despatched to the press of Messrs.
Bradbury and Evans at Whitefriars. It makes two large quarto volumes,
and was presented to the College (Esmond's College!) in 1888 by the
author's son-in-law, the late Sir Leslie Stephen. It still bears in
pencil the names of the different compositors who set up the type. Much
of it is in Thackeray's own small, slightly-slanted, but oftener upright
hand, and many pages have hardly any corrections.[63] His custom was to
write on half-sheets of a rather large notepaper, and some idea may be
gathered of the neat, minute, and regular script, when it is added that
the lines usually contain twelve to fifteen words, and that there are
frequently as many as thirty-three of these lines to a page. Some of the
rest of the "copy" is in the handwriting of the author's daughter, now
Lady Ritchie; but a considerable portion was penned by Mr. Eyre Crowe.
The oft-quoted passage in book ii. chap. vi. about "bringing your
sheaves with you," was written by Thackeray himself almost as it stands;
so was the sham _Spectator_, hereafter mentioned, and most of the
chapter headed "General Webb wins the Battle of Wynendael." But the
splendid closing scene,--"August 1st, 1714,"--is almost wholly in the
hand of Mr. Crowe. It is certainly a remarkable fact that work at this
level should have been thus improvised, and that nothing, as we are
credibly informed, should have been before committed to paper.[64]

When _Esmond_ first made its appearance in October 1852, it was not
without distinguished and even formidable competitors. _Bleak House_ had
reached its eighth number; and Bulwer was running _My Novel in
Blackwood_. In _Fraser_, Kingsley was bringing out _Hypatia_; and Whyte
Melville was preluding with _Digby Grand_. Charlotte Brontë must have
been getting ready _Villette_ for the press; and Tennyson--undeterred by
the fact that his hero had already been "dirged" by the indefatigable
Tupper--was busy with his _Ode on the Death of the Duke of
Wellington_.[65] The critics of the time were possibly embarrassed with
this wealth of talent, for they were not, at the outset, immoderately
enthusiastic over the new arrival. The _Athenaeum_ was by no means
laudatory. _Esmond_ "harped upon the same string"; "wanted vital heat";
"touched no fresh fount of thought"; "introduced no novel forms of
life"; and so forth. But the _Spectator_, in a charming greeting from
George Brimley (since included in his _Essays_), placed the book, as a
work of art, even above _Vanity Fair_ and _Pendennis_; the "serious and
orthodox" _Examiner_, then under John Forster, was politely judicial;
the _Daily News_ friendly; and the _Morning Advertiser_ enraptured. The
book, this last declared, was the "beau-ideal of historical romance." On
December 4 a second edition was announced. Then, on the 22nd, came the
_Times_. Whether the _Times_ remembered and resented a certain
delightfully contemptuous "Essay on Thunder and Small Beer," with which
Thackeray retorted to its notice of _The Kickkburys on the Rhine_ (a
thing hard to believe!) or whether it did not,--its report of _Esmond_
was distinctly hostile. In three columns, it commended little but the
character of Marlborough, and the writer's "incomparably easy and
unforced style." Thackeray thought that it had "absolutely stopped" the
sale. But this seems inconsistent with the fact that the publisher sent
him a supplementary cheque for £250 on account of _Esmond's_ success.


[63] One is reminded of the accounts of Scott's "copy." "Page
after page the writing runs on exactly as you read it in print"--says
Mr. Mowbray Morris. "I was looking not long ago at the manuscript of
_Kenilworth_ in the British Museum, and examined the end with particular
care, thinking that the wonderful scene of Amy Robsart's death must
surely have cost him some labour. They were the cleanest pages in the
volume: I do not think there was a sentence altered or added in the
whole chapter" (Lecture at Eton, _Macmillan's Magazine_ (1889), lx.
pp. 158-9).

[64] "The sentences"--Mr. Crowe told a member of the Athenaeum,
when speaking of his task--"came out glibly as he [Thackeray] paced the
room." This is the more singular when contrasted with the slow
elaboration of the Balzac and Flaubert school. No doubt Thackeray must
often have arranged in his mind precisely much that he meant to say.
Such seems indeed to have been his habit. The late Mr. Lockcer-Lampson
informed the writer of this paper that once, when he met the author of
Esmond in the Green Park, Thackeray gently begged to be allowed to walk
alone, as he had some verses In his head which he was finishing. They
were those which afterwards appeared in the _Cornhill_ for January 1867,
under the title of _Mrs. Katherine's Lantern_.

[65] The Duke died 14th Sept. 1852.

Another reason which may have tended to slacken--not to stop--the sale,
is also suggested by the author himself. This was the growing popularity
of _My Novel_ and _Villette_. And Miss Brontë's book calls to mind the
fact that she was among the earliest readers of _Esmond_, the first two
volumes of which were sent to her in manuscript by George Smith, She
read it, she tells him, with "as much ire and sorrow as gratitude and
admiration," marvelling at its mastery of reconstruction,--hating its
satire,--its injustice to women. How could Lady Castlewood peep through
a keyhole, listen at a door, and be jealous of a boy and a milkmaid!
There was too much political and religious intrigue--she thought.
Nevertheless she said (this was in February 1852, speaking of vol. i.)
the author might "yet make it the best he had ever written." In March
she had seen the second volume. The character of Marlborough (here she
anticipated the _Times_) was a "masterly piece of writing." But there
was "too little story." The final volume, by her own request, she
received in print. It possessed, in her opinion, the "most sparkle,
impetus, and interest." "I hold," she wrote to Mr. Smith, "that a work
of fiction ought to be a work of creation: that the _real_ should be
sparingly introduced in pages dedicated to the _ideal_" In a later
letter she gives high praise to the complex conception of Beatrix,
traversing incidentally the absurd accusation of one of the papers that
she resembled. Blanche Amory [the _Athenaeum_ and _Examiner_, it may be
noted, regarded her as "another Becky"]. "To me," Miss Bronte exclaims,
"they are about as identical as a weasel and a royal tigress of Bengal;
both the latter are quadrupeds, both the former women." These frank
comments of a fervent but thoroughly honest admirer, are of genuine
interest. When the book was published, Thackeray himself sent her a copy
with his "grateful regards," and it must have been of this that she
wrote to Mr. Smith on November 3,--"Colonel Henry Esmond is just
arrived. He looks very antique and distinguished in his Queen Anne's
garb; the periwig, sword, lace, and ruffles are very well represented by
the old _Spectator_ type."[66]


[66] Mr. Clement Shorter's _Charlotte Brontë and her Circle_,
1896, p. 403; and Gaskell's _Life of Charlotte Brontë_, 1900, pp. 561
et seq.

One of the points on which Miss Brontë does not touch,--at all events
does not touch in those portions of her correspondence which have been
printed,--is the marriage with which _Esmond_ closes. Upon this event it
would have been highly instructive to have had her views, especially as
it appears to have greatly exercised her contemporaries, the first
reviewers. It was the gravamen of the _Times_ indictment; to the critic
of _Fraser_ it was highly objectionable; and the _Examiner_ regarded it
as "incredible." Why it was "incredible" that a man should marry a woman
seven years older than himself, to whom he had already proposed once in
vol. ii., and of whose youthful appearance we are continually reminded
("she looks the sister of her daughter" says the old Dowager at
Chelsea), is certainly not superficially obvious. Nor was it obvious to
Lady Castlewood's children, "Mother's in love with you,--yes, I think
mother's in love with you," says downright Frank Esmond; the only
impediment in his eyes being the bar sinister, as yet unremoved. And
Miss Beatrix herself, in vol. iii., is even more roundly explicit. "As
for you," she tells Esmond, "you want a woman to bring your slippers and
cap, and to sit at your feet, and cry 'O caro! O bravo!' whilst you read
your Shakespeares, and Miltons, and stuff" [which shows that she herself
had read Swift's _Grand Question Debated_]. "Mamma would have been the
wife for you, had you been a little older, though you look ten years
older than she does," "You do, you glum-faced, blue-bearded, little old
man!" adds this very imperious and free-spoken young lady. The situation
is, no doubt, at times extremely difficult, and naturally requires
consummate skill in the treatment. But if these things and others
signify anything to an intelligent reader, they signify that the author,
if he had not his end steadily in view, knew perfectly well that his
story was tending in one direction. There will probably always be some
diversity of opinion in the matter; but the majority of us have accepted
Thackeray's solution, and have dropped out of sight that hint of
undesirable rivalry, which so troubled the precisians of the early
Victorian age. To those who read _Esmond_ now, noting carefully the
almost imperceptible transformation of the motives on either side, as
developed by the evolution of the story, the union of the hero and
heroine at the end must appear not only credible but preordained. And
that the gradual progress towards this foregone conclusion is handled
with unfailing tact and skill, there can surely be no question.[67]


[67} Thackeray's own explanation was more characteristic than
convincing. "Why did you"--said once to him impetuous Mrs. John Brown of
Edinburgh--"Why did you make Esmond marry that old woman?" "My dear
lady," he replied, "it was not I who married them. They married
themselves." (Dr. _John Brmon_, by the late John Taylor Brown, 1903,
pp. 96-7.)

Of the historical portraits in the book, the interest has, perhaps, at
this date, a little paled. Not that they are one whit less vigorously
alive than when the author first put them in motion; but they have
suffered from the very attention which _Esmond_ and _The Humourists_
have directed to the study of the originals. The picture of Marlborough
is still as effective as when it was first proclaimed to be good enough
for the brush of Saint-Simon. But Thackeray himself confessed to a
family prejudice against the hero of Blenheim, and later artists have
considerably readjusted the likeness. Nor in all probability would the
latest biographer of Bolingbroke endorse _that_ presentment. In the
purely literary figures, Thackeray naturally followed the _Lectures_,
and is consequently open to the same criticisms as have been offered on
those performances. The Swift of _The Humourists_, modelled on Macaulay,
was never accepted from the first; and it has not been accepted in the
novel, or by subsequent writers from Forster onwards.[68] Addison has
been less studied; and his likeness has consequently been less
questioned. Concerning Steele there has been rather more discussion.
That Thackeray's sketch is very vivid, very human, and in most
essentials, hard to disprove, must be granted. But it is obviously
conceived under the domination of the "poor Dick" of Addison, and dwells
far too persistently upon Steele's frailer and more fallible aspect. No
one would believe that the flushed personage in the full-bottomed
periwig, who hiccups Addison's _Campaign_ in the Haymarket garret, or
the fuddled victim of "Prue's" curtain lecture at Hampton, ranked, at
the date of the story, far higher than Addison as a writer, and that he
was, in spite of his faults, not only a kindly gentleman and scholar,
but a philanthropist, a staunch patriot, and a consistent politician.
Probably the author of _Esmond_ considered that, in a mixed character,
to be introduced incidentally, and exhibited naturally "in the quotidian
undress and relaxation of his mind" (as Lamb says), anything like
biographical big drum should be deprecated. This is, at least, the
impression left on us by an anecdote told by Elwin. He says that
Thackeray, talking to him once about _The Virginians_, which was then
appearing, announced that he meant, among other people, to bring in
Goldsmith, "representing him as he really was, a little, shabby, mean,
shuffling Irishman." These are given as Thackeray's actual words. If so,
they do not show the side of Goldsmith which is shown in the last
lecture of _The Humourists._[69]


[68] Thackeray heartily disliked Swift, and said so. "As for
Swift, you haven't made me alter my opinion"--he replied to Hannay's
remonstrances. This feeling was intensified by the belief that Swift, as
a clergyman, was insincere. "Of course,"--he wrote in September, 1851,
in a letter now in the British Museum,--"any man is welcome to believe
as he likes for me _except_ a parson; and I can't help looking upon
Swift and Sterne as a couple of traitors and renegades ... with a
scornful pity for them in spite of all their genius and greatness."

[69] _Some XVIII. Century Men of Letters_, 1902, i. 187. The
intention was never carried out. In _The King over the Water_, 1908,
Miss A. Shield and Mr. Andrew Lang have recently examined another
portrait in _Esmond_,--that of the Chevalier de St. George,--not without
injury to its historical veracity. In these matters, Mr. Lang--like Rob
Roy--is on his native heath; and it is only necessary to refer the
reader to this highly interesting study.

But although, with our rectified information, we may except against the
picture of Steele as a man, we can scarcely cavil at the reproduction of
his manner as a writer. Even when Thackeray was a boy at Charterhouse,
his imitative faculty had been exceptional; and he displayed it
triumphantly in his maturity by those _Novels by Eminent Hands_ in which
the authors chosen are at once caricatured and criticised. The thing is
more than the gift of parody; it amounts (as Mr. Frederic Harrison has
rightly said) to positive forgery. It is present in all his works, in
stray letters and detached passages.

In its simplest form it is to be found in the stiff, circumstantial
report of the seconds in the duel at Boulogne in _Denis Duval_; and in
the missive in barbarous French of the Dowager Viscountess
Castlewood[70]--a letter which only requires the sprawling, childish
script to make it an exact facsimile of one of the epistolary efforts of
that "baby-faced" Caroline beauty who was accustomed to sign herself "L
duchesse de Portsmout." It is better still in the letter from Walpole to
General Conway in chap. xl. of _The Virginians_, which is perfect, even
to the indifferent pun of sleepy (and overrated) George Selwyn. But the
crown and top of these _pastiches_ is certainly the delightful paper,
which pretends to be No. 341 of the _Spectator_ for All Fools' Day,
1712, in which Colonel Esmond treats "Mistress Jocasta-Beatrix," to
what, in the parlance of the time, was decidedly a "bite."[71] Here
Thackeray has borrowed not only Steele's voice, but his very trick of
speech. It is, however, a fresh instance of the "tangled web we weave,
When first we practise to deceive," that although this
pseudo-_Spectator_ is stated to have been printed "exactly as those
famous journals were printed" for eighteenth-century breakfast-tables,
it could hardly, owing to one microscopic detail, have deceived the
contemporary elect. For Mr, Esmond, to his very apposite Latin epigraph,
unluckily appended an English translation,--a concession to the country
gentlemen from which both Addison and Steele deliberately abstained,
holding that their distinctive mottoes were (in Addison's own phrase)
"words to the wise," of no concern to unlearned persons.[72]


[70] _Esmond_, Book ii, chap, ii.

[71] _Ib_. Book iii, chap, iii.

[72] _Spectator_, No. 221, November 13, 1711.

This very minute trifle emphasises the pitfalls of would-be perfect
imitation. But it also serves to bring us finally to the vocabulary of
_Esmond_. As to this, extravagant pretensions have sometimes been
advanced. It has been asserted, for instance, by a high journalistic
authority, that "no man, woman, or child in _Esmond_, ever says anything
that he or she might not have said in the reign of Queen Anne." This is
one of those extreme utterances in which enthusiasm, losing its head,
invites contradiction. Thackeray professedly "copied the language of
Queen Anne,"--he says so in his dedication to Lord Ashburton; but he
himself would certainly never have put forward so comprehensive a claim
as the above. There is no doubt a story that he challenged Mr. Lowell
(who was his fellow-passenger to America on the _Canada_) to point out
in _Esmond_ a word which had not been used in the early eighteenth
century; and that the author of _The Biglow Papers_ promptly discovered
such a word. But even if the anecdote be not well-invented, the
invitation must have been more jest than earnest. For none knew better
than Thackeray that these barren triumphs of wording belong to ingenuity
rather than genius, being exercises altogether in the taste of the
Persian poet who left out all the A's (as well as the poetry) in his
verses, or of that other French funambulist whose sonnet in honour of
Anne de Montaut was an acrostic, a mesostic, a St. Andrew's Cross, a
lozenge,--everything, in short, but a sonnet. What Thackeray endeavoured
after when "copying the language of Queen Anne," and succeeded in
attaining, was the spirit and tone of the time. It was not pedantic
philology at which he aimed, though he did not disdain occasional
picturesque archaisms, such as "yatches" for "yachts," or despise the
artful aid of terminal k's, long s's, and old-cut type. Consequently, as
was years ago pointed out by Fitzedward Hall (whose manifest prejudice
against Thackeray as a writer should not blind us in a matter of fact),
it is not difficult to detect many expressions in the memoirs of Queen
Anne's Colonel which could never have been employed until Her Majesty
had long been "quietly inurned." What is more,--if we mistake not,--the
author of _Esmond_ sometimes refrained from using an actual
eighteenth-century word, even in a quotation, when his instinct told him
it was not expedient to do so. In the original of that well-known
anecdote of Steele beside his father's coffin, In _Tatler_ No. 181,
reproduced in book i. chap. vi. of the novel, Steele says, "My mother
catched me in her arms." "Catched" is good enough eighteenth-century for
Johnson and Walpole. But Thackeray made it "caught," and "caught" it
remains to this day both in _Esmond_ and _The Humourists_.


(TERCENTENARY, 1608-1908)

"Stops of various Quills."--LYCIDAS.

  What need of votive Verse
  To strew thy _Laureat Herse_
With that mix'd _Flora_ of th' _Aonian Hill_?
  Or _Mincian_ vocall Reed,
  That _Cam_ and _Isis_ breed,
When thine own Words are burning in us still?

  _Bard, Prophet, Archimage!_
  In this Cash-cradled Age,
We grate our scrannel Musick, and we dote:
  Where is the Strain unknown,
  Through Bronze or Silver blown,
That thrill'd the Welkin with thy woven Note?

  Yes,--"we are selfish Men":
  Yet would we once again
Might see _Sabrina_ braid her amber Tire;

  Or watch the _Comus_ Crew
  Sweep down the Glade; or view
Strange-streamer'd Craft from _Javan_ or _Gadire_!

  Or could we catch once more,
  High up, the Clang and Roar
Of Angel Conflict,--Angel Overthrow;
  Or, with a World begun,
  Behold the young-ray'd Sun
Flame in the Groves where the _Four Rivers_ go!

  Ay me, I fondly dream!
  Only the Storm-bird's Scream
Foretells of Tempest in the Days to come;
  Nowhere is heard up-climb
  The lofty lyric Rhyme,
And the "God-gifted Organ-voice" is dumb.[73]


[73] Written, by request, for the celebration at Christ's College,
Cambridge, July 10, 1908.


The general reader, as a rule, is but moderately interested in minor
rectifications. Secure in a conventional preference of the spirit to the
letter, he professes to be indifferent whether the grandmother of an
exalted personage was a "Hugginson" or a "Blenkinsop"; and he is equally
careless as to the correct Christian names of his cousins and his aunts.
In the main, the general reader is wise in his generation. But with the
painful biographer, toiling in the immeasurable sand of thankless
research, often foot-sore and dry of throat, these trivialities assume
exaggerated proportions; and to those who remind him--as in a cynical
age he is sure to be reminded--of the infinitesimal value of his
hard-gotten grains of information, he can only reply mournfully, if
unconvincingly, that fact is fact--even in matters of mustard-seed. With
this prelude, I propose to set down one or two minute points concerning
Henry Fielding, not yet comprised in any existing records of his


[74] Since this was published in April 1907, they have been
embodied in an Appendix to my "Men of Letters" _Fielding_; and used, to
some extent, for a fresh edition of the _Journal of a Voyage to Lisbon_
("World's Classics").

The first relates to the exact period of his residence at Leyden
University. His earliest biographer, Arthur Murphy, writing in 1762, is
more explicit than usual on this topic. "He [Fielding]," says Murphy,
"went from Eton to Leyden, and there continued to show an eager thirst
for knowledge, and to study the civilians with a remarkable application
for about two years, when, remittances failing, he was obliged to return
to London, not then quite twenty years old" [_i.e._ before 22nd April,
1727]. In 1883, like my predecessors, I adopted this statement, for the
sufficient reason that I had nothing better to put in its place. And
Murphy should have been well-informed. He had known Fielding personally;
he was employed by Fielding's publisher; and he could, one would
imagine, have readily obtained accurate data from Fielding's surviving
sister, Sarah, who was only three years younger than her brother, of
whose short life (he died at forty-eight) she could scarcely have
forgotten the particulars. Murphy's story, moreover, exactly fitted in
with the fact, only definitely made known in June 1883, that Fielding,
as a youth of eighteen, had endeavoured, in November 1725, to abduct or
carry off his first love, Miss Sarah Andrew of Lyme Regis. Although the
lady was promptly married to a son of one of her fluttered guardians,
nothing seemed more reasonable than to assume that the disappointed
lover (one is sure he was never an heiress-hunter!) was despatched to
the Dutch University to keep him out of mischief.[75] But in once more
examining Mr. Keightley's posthumous papers, kindly placed at my
disposal by his nephew, Mr. Alfred C. Lyster, I found a reference to an
un-noted article in the _Cornhill Magazine_ for November, 1863 (from
internal evidence I believe it to have been written by James Hannay),
entitled "A Scotchman in Holland." Visiting Leyden, the writer was
permitted to inspect the University Album; and he found, under 1728, the
following:--"_Henricus Fielding, Anglus, Ann. 20. Stud. Lit._", coupled
with the further detail that he "was living at the 'Hotel of Antwerp.'"
Except in the item of "_Stud. Lit._", this did not seem to conflict
materially with Murphy's account, as Fielding was nominally twenty from
1727 to 1728, and small discrepancies must be allowed for.


[75] "Men of Letters" _Fielding_, 1907, Appendix I.

Twenty years later, a fresh version of the record came to light. At
their tercentenary festival in 1875, tne Leyden University printed a
list of their students from their foundation to that year. From this Mr.
Edward Peacock, F.S.A., compiled in 1883, for the Index Society, an
_Index to English-Speaking Students who have graduated at Leyden
University_; and at p. 35 appears _Fielding, Henricus, Anglus_, 16
Mart. 1728, 915 (the last being the column number of the list). This
added a month-date, and made Fielding a graduate. Then, two years ago,
came yet a third rendering. Mr. A.E.H. Swaen, writing in _The Modern
Language Review_ for July 1906, printed the inscription in the Album as
follows; "Febr. 16. 1728: Rectore Johanne Wesselio, Henricus Fielding,
Anglus. 20, L." Mr. Swaen construed this to mean that, on the date named
(which, it may be observed, is not Mr. Peacock's date), Fielding, "aged
twenty, was _entered_ as _litterarum studiosus_ at Leyden." In this case
it would follow that his residence in Holland should have come after
February 16th, 1728; and Mr. Swaen went on to conjecture that, "as his
[Fielding's] first play, _Love in Several Masques_, was staged at Drury
Lane in February, 1728, and his next play, _The Temple Beau_, was
produced in January, 1730, it is not improbable that his residence in
Holland filled up the interval or part of it. Did the profits of the
play [he proceeded] perhaps cover part of his travelling expenses?"

The new complications imported into the question by this fresh aspect of
it, will be at once apparent. Up to 1875 there had been but one Fielding
on the Leyden books; so that all these differing accounts were
variations from a single source. In this difficulty, I was fortunate
enough to enlist the sympathy of Mr. Frederic Harrison, who most kindly
undertook to make inquiries on my behalf at Leyden University itself. In
reply to certain definite queries drawn up by me, he obtained from the
distinguished scholar and Professor of History, Dr. Pieter Blok, the
following authoritative particulars. The exact words in the original
_Album Academicum_ are:--"16 Martii 1728 Henricus Fielding, Anglus,
annor. 20 Litt. Stud." He was then staying at the "Casteel van
Antwerpen"--as related by "A Scotchman in Holland." His name only occurs
again in the yearly _recensiones_ under February 22nd, 1729, as
"Henricus Fieldingh," when he was domiciled with one Jan Oson. He must
consequently have left Leyden before February 8th, 1730, February 8th
being the birthday of the University, after which all students have to
be annually registered. The entry in the Album (as Mr. Swaen affirmed)
is an _admission_ entry; there are no leaving entries. As regards
"studying the civilians," Fielding might, in those days, Dr. Blok
explains, have had private lessons from the professors; but he could not
have studied in the University without being on the books. To sum up:
After producing _Love in Several Masques_ at Drury Lane, probably on
February 12th, I728,[76] Fielding was admitted a "Litt. Stud." at Leyden
University on March 16th; was still there in February 1729; and left
before February 8th, 1730. Murphy is therefore at fault in almost every
particular. Fielding did _not_ go from Eton to Leyden; he did _not_ make
any recognised study of the civilians, "with remarkable application" or
otherwise; and he did _not_ return to London before he was twenty. But
it is by no means improbable that the _causa causans_ or main reason for
his coming home was the failure of remittances.


[76] _Genest_, iii. 209.

Another recently established fact is also more or less connected with
"Mur.--" as Johnson called him. In his "Essay" of 1762, he gave a
highly-coloured account of Fielding's first marriage, and of the
promptitude with which, assisted by yellow liveries and a pack of
hounds, he managed to make duck and drake of his wife's little fortune.
This account has now been "simply riddled in its details" (as Mr.
Saintsbury puts it) by successive biographers, the last destructive
critic being the late Sir Leslie Stephen, who plausibly suggested that
the "yellow liveries" (not the family liveries, be it noted!) were
simply a confused recollection of the fantastic pranks of that other and
earlier Beau Fielding (Steele's "Orlando the Fair"), who married the
Duchess of Cleveland in 1705, and was also a Justice of the Peace for
Westminster. One thing was wanting to the readjustment of the narrative,
and that was the precise date of Fielding's marriage to the beautiful
Miss Cradock of Salisbury, the original both of Sophia Western and
Amelia Booth. By good fortune this has now been ascertained. Lawrence
gave the date as 1735; and Keightley suggested the spring of that year.
This, as Swift would say, was near the mark, although confirmation has
been slow in coming. In June 1906, Mr. Thomas S. Bush, of Bath,
announced in _The Bath Chronicle_ that the desired information was to be
found (not in the Salisbury registers which had been fruitlessly
consulted, but) at the tiny church of St. Mary, Charlcombe, a secluded
parish about one and a half miles north of Bath. Here is the
record:--"November y'e 28, 1734. Henry Fielding of y'e Parish of St.
James in Bath, Esq., and Charlotte Cradock, of y'e same Parish,
spinster, were married by virtue of a licence from y'e Court of Wells."
All lovers of Fielding owe a debt of gratitude to Mr. Bush, whose
researches, in addition, disclosed the fact that Sarah Fielding, the
novelist's third sister (as we shall see presently), was buried, not in
Bath Abbey, where Dr. John Hoadly raised a memorial to her, but "in y'e
entrance of the Chancel [of Charlcombe Church] close to y'e Rector's
seat," April 14th, 1768.[77] Mr. Bush's revelation, it may be added, was
made in connection with another record of the visits of the novelist to
the old Queen of the West, a tablet erected in June 1906 to Fielding and
his sister on the wall of Yew Cottage, now renovated as Widcombe Lodge,
Widcombe, Bath, where they once resided.


[77] Sarah Fielding's epitaph in Bath Abbey is often said to have been
written by Bishop Benjamin Hoadly. In this case, it must have been
anticipatory (like Dr. Primrose's on his Deborah), for the Bishop died
in 1761.

In the last case I have to mention, it is but fair to Murphy to admit
that he seems to have been better informed than those who have succeeded
him. Richardson writes of being "well acquainted" with four of
Fielding's sisters, and both Lawrence and Keightley refer to a Catherine
and an Ursula, of whom Keightley, after prolonged enquiries, could
obtain no tidings. With the help of Colonel W.F. Prideaux, and the kind
offices of Mr. Samuel Martin of the Hammersmith Free Library, this
matter has now been set at rest. In 1887 Sir Leslie Stephen had
suggested to me that Catherine and Ursula were most probably born at
Sharpham Park, before the Fieldings moved to East Stour. This must have
been the case, though Keightley had failed to establish it. At all
events, Catherine and Ursula must have existed, for they both died in
1750, The Hammersmith Registers at Fulham record the following

1750 July 9th, Mrs. Catherine Feilding (_sic_)
1750 Nov. 12th, Mrs. Ursula Fielding
1750 [--1] Feb'y. 24th, Mrs. Beatrice Fielding
1753 May 10th, Louisa, d. of Henry Fielding, Esq.

The first three, with Sarah, make up the "Four Worthy Sisters" of the
reprehensible author of that "truly coarse-titled _Tom Jones_"
concerning which Richardson wrote shudderingly in August 1749 to his
young friends, Astraea and Minerva Hill. The final entry relating to
Fielding's little daughter, Louisa, born December 3rd, 1752, makes it
probable that, in May, 1753, he was staying in the house at Hammersmith,
then occupied by his sole surviving sister, Sarah. In the following year
(October 8th) he himself died at Lisbon. There is no better short
appreciation of his work than Lowell's lapidary lines for the Shire Hall
at Taunton,--the epigraph to the bust by Miss Margaret Thomas:

  He looked on naked nature unashamed,
    And saw the Sphinx, now bestial, now divine,
  In change and re-change; he nor praised nor blamed,
    But drew her as he saw with fearless line.
  Did he good service? God must judge, not we!
    Manly he was, and generous and sincere;
  English in all, of genius blithely free:
    Who loves a Man may see his image here.


"_Hoc est vivere._"--MARTIAL.

The Printer's is a happy lot:
  Alone of all professions,
No fateful smudges ever blot
  His earliest "impressions."

The outgrowth of his youthful ken
  No cold obstruction fetters;
He quickly learns the "types" of men,
  And all the world of "letters."

With "forms" he scorns to compromise;
  For him no "rule" has terrors;
The "slips" he makes he can "revise"--
  They are but "printers' errors."

From doubtful questions of the "Press"
  He wisely holds aloof;
In all polemics, more or less,
  His argument is "proof."

Save in their "case," with High and Low,
  Small need has he to grapple!
Without dissent he still can go
  To his accustomed "Chapel,"[78]

From ills that others scape or shirk,
  He rarely fails to rally;
For him, his most "composing" work
  Is labour of the "galley."

Though ways be foul, and days are dim,
  He makes no lamentation;
The primal "fount" of woe to him
  Is--want of occupation:

And when, at last, Time finds him grey
  With over-close attention,
He solves the problem of the day,
  And gets an Old Age pension.


[78] This, derived, it is said, from Caxton's connection with
Westminster Abbey, is the name given to the meetings held by printers to
consider trade affairs, appeals, etc, (Printers' Vocabulary).


Towards the close of the year 1766--not many months after the
publication of the Vicat of Wakefield--there appeared in Mr. Henry
Sampson Woodfall's _Public Advertiser_, and other newspapers, a letter
addressed "To the Printer," and signed "PAPYRIUS CURSOR." The name was a
real Roman name; but in its burlesque applicability to the theme of the
communication, it was as felicitous as Thackeray's "MANLIUS
PENNIALINUS," or that "APOLLONIUS CURIUS" from whom Hood fabled to have
borrowed the legend of "Lycus the Centaur." The writer of the letter
lamented--as others have done before and since--the barren fertility of
the news sheets of his day. There was, he contended, some diversion and
diversity in card-playing. But as for the papers, the unconnected
occurrences and miscellaneous advertisements, the abrupt transitions
from article to article, without the slightest connection between one
paragraph and another--so overburdened and confused the memory that when
one was questioned, it was impossible to give even a tolerable account
of what one had read. The mind became a jumble of "politics, religion,
picking of pockets, puffs, casualties, deaths, marriages, bankruptcies,
preferments, resignations, executions, lottery tickets, India bonds,
Scotch pebbles, Canada bills, French chicken gloves, auctioneers, and
quack doctors," of all of which, particularly as the pages contained
three columns, the bewildered reader could retain little or nothing.
(One may perhaps pause for a moment to wonder, seeing that Papyrius
could contrive to extract so much mental perplexity from Cowper's "folio
of four pages"--he speaks specifically of this form,--what he would have
done with _Lloyd's_, or a modern American Sunday paper!) Coming later to
the point of his epistle, he goes on to explain that he has hit upon a
method (as to which, be it added, he was not, as he thought, the
originator[79]) of making this heterogeneous mass afford, like cards, a
"_variety_ of entertainment."


[79] As a matter of fact, he had been anticipated by a paper, No. 49 of
"little Harrison's" spurious _Tatler_, vol. v., where the writer reads a
newspaper "in a direct Line" ... "without Regard to the Distinction of
Columns,"--which is precisely the proposal of Papyrius.

By reading the afore-mentioned three columns horizontally and _onwards_,
instead of vertically and _downwards_ "in the old trite vulgar way," it
was contended that much mirth might observingly be distilled from the
most unhopeful material, as "_blind Chance_" frequently brought about the
oddest conjunctions, and not seldom compelled _sub juga aenea_ persons
and things the most dissimilar and discordant. He then went on to give a
number of examples in point, of which we select a few. This was the
artless humour of it:--

     "Yesterday Dr. Jones preached at St. James's,
and performed it with ease in less than 16 Minutes."
     "Their R.H. the Dukes of York and Gloucester
were bound over to their good behaviour."
     "At noon her R.H. the Princess Dowager was
married to Mr. Jenkins, an eminent Taylor."
     "Friday a poor blind man fell into a saw-pit,
to which he was conducted by Sir Clement Cottrell."[80]
     "A certain Commoner will be created a Peer.
N.B.--No greater reward will be offered."
     "John Wilkes, Esq., set out for France,
being charged with returning from transportation."
     "Last night a most terrible fire broke out,
and the evening concluded with the utmost Festivity."
     "Yesterday the new Lord Mayor was sworn in,
and afterwards toss'd and gored several Persons."
     "On Tuesday an address was presented;
it happily miss'd fire, and the villain made off,
when the honour of knighthood was conferred on him
to the great joy of that noble family."
     "Escaped from the New Gaol, Terence M'Dermot.
If he will return, he will be kindly received."
     "Colds caught at this season are
The Companion to the Playhouse."
     "Ready to sail to the West Indies,
the Canterbury Flying Machine in one day."
     "To be sold to the best Bidder,
My Seat in Parliament being vacated."
     "I have long laboured under a complaint
For ready money only,"
     "Notice is hereby given,
and no Notice taken."


[80] Master of the Ceremonies.]

And so forth, fully justifying the writer's motto from Cicero, _De
Finibus_: "_Fortuitu Concursu hoc fieri, mirum est._" It may seem that
the mirthful element is not overpowering. But "gentle Dulness ever loves
a joke"; and in 1766 this one, in modern parlance, "caught on." "Cross
readings" had, moreover, one popular advantage: like the Limericks of
Edward Lear, they were easily imitated. What is not so intelligible is,
that they seem to have fascinated many people who were assuredly not
dull. Even Johnson condescended to commend the aptness of the pseudonym,
and to speak of the performance as "ingenious and diverting." Horace
Walpole, writing to Montagu in December 1766, professes to have laughed
over them till he cried. It was "the newest piece of humour," he
declared, "except the _Bath Guide_ [Anstey's], that he had seen of many
years"; and Goldsmith--Goldsmith, who has been charged with want of
sympathy for rival humourists--is reported by Northcote to have even
gone so far as to say, in a transport of enthusiasm, that "it would have
given him more pleasure to have been the author of them than of all the
works he had ever published of his own,"--which, of course, must be
classed with "Dr. Minor's" unconsidered speeches.

"_Bien heureux_"--to use Voltaire's phrase--is he who can laugh much at
these things now. As Goldsmith himself would have agreed, the jests of
one age are not the jests of another. But it is a little curious that,
by one of those freaks of circumstance, or "fortuitous concourses,"
there is to-day generally included among the very works of Goldsmith
above referred to something which, in the opinion of many, is
conjectured to have been really the production of the ingenious compiler
of the "Cross Readings." That compiler was one Caleb Whitefoord, a
well-educated Scotch wine-merchant and picture-buyer, whose portrait
figures in Wilkie's "Letter of Introduction." The friend of Benjamin
Franklin, who had been his next-door neighbour at Craven Street, he
became, in later years, something of a diplomatist, since in 1782-83 he
was employed by the Shelburne administration in the Paris negotiation
for the Treaty of Versailles. But at the date of the "Cross Readings" he
was mainly what Burke, speaking contemptuously of his status as a
plenipotentiary, styled a "_diseur de bons mots_"; and he was for this
reason included among those "most distinguished Wits of the Metropolis,"
who, following Garrick's lead in 1774, diverted themselves at the St.
James's Coffee-house by composing the epitaphs on Goldsmith which gave
rise to the incomparable gallery entitled _Retaliation_. In the first
four editions of that posthumous poem there is no mention of Whitefoord,
who, either at, or soon after the first meeting above referred to, had
written an epitaph on Goldsmith, two-thirds of which are declared to be
"unfit for publication."[81] But when the fourth edition of _Retaliation_
had been printed, an epitaph on Whitefoord was forwarded to the
publisher, George Kearsly, by "a friend of the late Doctor Goldsmith,"
with an intimation that it was a transcript of an original in "the
Doctor's own handwriting." "It is a striking proof of Doctor Goldsmith's
good-nature," said the sender, glancing, we may suppose, at Whitefoord's
performance. "I saw this sheet of paper in the Doctor's room, five or
six days before he died; and, as I had got all the other Epitaphs, I
asked him if I might take it. "_In truth you may, my Boy_ (replied he),
_for it will be of no use to me where I am going_."


[81] Hewins's _Whitefoord Papers_, 1898, p. xxvii. ff., where the first
four lines of twelve are given. They run--

  Noll Goldsmith lies here, as famous for writing
  As his namesake old Noll was for praying and fighting,
  In friends he was rich, tho' not loaded with Pelf;
  He spoke well of them, and thought well of himself.

The lines--there are twenty-eight of them--speak of Whitefoord as, among
other things, a

  Rare compound of oddity, frolic and fun!
  Who relish'd a joke, and rejoic'd in a pun;[82]
  Whose temper was generous, open, sincere;
  A stranger to flatt'ry, a stranger to fear;
  Who scatter'd around wit and humour at will,
  Whose daily _bons mots_ half a column would fill;
  A Scotchman, from pride and from prejudice free,
  A scholar, yet surely no pedant was he.

  What pity, alas! that so lib'ral a mind
  Should so long be to news-paper-essays confin'd!
  Who perhaps to the summit of science could soar,
  Yet content "if the table he set on a roar";
  Whose talents to fill any station were fit,
  Yet happy if _Woodfall_ confess'd him a wit.


[82] "Mr, W."--says a note to the fifth edition--"is so notorious a
punster, that Doctor Goldsmith used to say, it was impossible to keep
him company, without being infected with the _itch_ of _punning_." Yet
Johnson endured him, and apparently liked him, though he had the
additional disqualification of being a North Briton.

The "servile herd" of "tame imitators"--the "news-paper witlings" and
"pert scribbling folks"--were further requested to visit his tomb--

  To deck it, bring with you festoons of the vine,
  And copious libations bestow on his shrine;
  Then strew all around it (you can do no less)
  _Cross-readings, Ship-news_, and _Mistakes_ of the _Press_.

It is not recorded that Kearsly ever saw this in Goldsmith's "own
handwriting"; the sender's name has never been made known; and--as above
observed--it has been more than suspected that Whitefoord concocted it
himself, or procured its concoction. As J.T. Smith points out in
_Nollekens and his Times_, 1828, i, 337-8, Whitefoord was scarcely
important enough to deserve a far longer epitaph than those bestowed on
Burke and Reynolds; and Goldsmith, it may be added--as we know In the
case of Beattie and Voltaire--was not in the habit of confusing small
men with great. Moreover, the lines would (as intimated by the person
who sent them to Kearsly) be an extraordinarily generous return for an
epitaph "unfit for publication," by which, it is stated, Goldsmith had
been greatly disturbed. Prior had his misgivings, particularly in
respect to the words attributed to Goldsmith on his death-bed; and
Forster allows that to him the story of the so-called "Postscript" has
"a somewhat doubtful look." To which we unhesitatingly say--ditto.

Whitefoord, it seems, was in the habit of printing his "Cross Readings"
on small single sheets, and circulating them among his friends.
"Rainy-Day Smith" had a specimen of these. In one of Whitefoord's
letters he professes to claim that his _jeux d'esprit_ contained more
than met the eye. "I have always," he wrote, "endeavour'd to make such
changes [of Ministry] a matter of _Laughter_ [rather] than of serious
concern to the People, by turning them into horse Races, Ship News, &c,
and these Pieces have generally succeeded beyond my most sanguine
Expectations, altho' they were not season'd with private Scandal or
personal Abuse, of which our good neighbours of South Britain are realy
too fond." In Debrett's _New Foundling Hospital for Wit_, new edition,
1784, there are several of his productions, including a letter to
Woodfall "On the Errors of the Press," of which the following may serve
as a sample: "I have known you turn a matter of hearsay, into a matter
of heresy; Damon into a daemon; a delicious girl, into a delirious girl;
the comic muse, into a comic mouse; a Jewish Rabbi, into a Jewish
Rabbit; and when a correspondent, lamenting the corruption of the times,
exclaimed 'O Mores!' you made him cry, 'O Moses!'" And here is an
extract from another paper which explains the aforegoing reference to
"horse Races": "1763--Spring Meeting... Mr. Wilkes's horse, LIBERTY,
rode by himself, took the lead at starting; but being pushed hard by Mr.
Bishop's black gelding, PRIVILEGE, fell down at the Devil's Ditch, and
was no where." The "Ship News" is on the same pattern. "_August_ 25
[1765] We hear that his Majesty's Ship _Newcastle_ will soon have a new
figure-head, the old one being almost worn out."



"_Hic Finis chartaeque viaeque._"

"FINIS at last--the end, the End, the END!
No more of paragraphs to prune or mend;
No more blue pencil, with its ruthless line,
To blot the phrase 'particularly fine';
No more of 'slips,' and 'galleys,' and 'revises,'
Of words 'transmogrified,' and 'wild surmises';
No more of _n_'s that masquerade as _u_'s,
No nice perplexities of _p_'s and _q_'s;
No more mishaps of _ante_ and of _post_,
That most mislead when they should help the most;
No more of 'friend' as 'fiend,' and 'warm' as 'worm';
No more negations where we would affirm;
No more of those mysterious freaks of fate
That make us bless when we should execrate;
No more of those last blunders that remain
Where we no more can set them right again;

No more apologies for doubtful data;
No more fresh facts that figure as Errata;
No more, in short, O TYPE, of wayward lore
From thy most _un_-Pierian fount--NO MORE!"

So spoke PAPYRIUS. Yet his hand meanwhile
Went vaguely seeking for the vacant file,
Late stored with long array of notes, but now
Bare-wired and barren as a leafless bough;--
And even as he spoke, his mind began
Again to scheme, to purpose and to plan.

There is no end to Labour 'neath the sun;
There is no end of labouring--but One;
And though we "twitch (or not) our Mantle blue,"
"To-morrow to fresh Woods, and Pastures new."

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