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´╗┐Title: Fielding
Author: Dobson, Austin
Language: English
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ENGLISH MEN OF LETTERS

FIELDING

BY AUSTIN DOBSON



PREFATORY NOTE.


From a critical point of view, the works of Fielding have received
abundant examination at the hands of a long line of distinguished
writers. Of these, the latest is by no means the least; and as Mr.
Leslie Stephen's brilliant studies, in the recent _edition de luxe_ and
the _Cornhill Magazine_, are now in every one's hands, it is perhaps no
more than a wise discretion which has prompted me to confine my
attention more strictly to the purely biographical side of the subject.
In the present memoir, therefore, I have made it my duty, primarily, to
verify such scattered anecdotes respecting Fielding as have come down to
us; to correct (I hope not obtrusively) a few mis-statements which have
crept into previous accounts; and to add such supplementary details as I
have been able to discover for myself.

In this task I have made use of the following authorities:--

I. Arthur Murphy's _Essay on the Life and Genius of Henry Fielding,
Esq._ This was prefixed to the first collected edition of Fielding's
works published by Andrew Millar in April 1762; and it continued for a
long time to be the recognised authority for Fielding's life. It is
possible that it fairly reproduces his personality, as presented by
contemporary tradition; but it is misleading in its facts, and
needlessly diffuse. Under pretence of respecting "the Manes of the
dead," the writer seems to have found it pleasanter to fill his space
with vagrant discussions on the "Middle Comedy of the Greeks" and the
machinery of the _Rape of the Lock_, than to make the requisite
biographical inquiries. This is the more to be deplored, because, in
1762, Fielding's widow, brother, and sister, as well as his friend
Lyttelton, were still alive, and trustworthy information should have
been procurable.

II. Watson's _Life of Henry Fielding, Esq_. This is usually to be found
prefixed to a selection of Fielding's works issued at Edinburgh. It also
appeared as a volume in 1807, although there is no copy of it in this
form at the British Museum. It carries Murphy a little farther, and
corrects him in some instances. But its author had clearly never even
seen the _Miscellanies_ of 1743, with their valuable Preface, for he
speaks of them as one volume, and in apparent ignorance of their
contents.

III. Sir Walter Scott's biographical sketch for Ballantyne's _Novelist's
Library_. This was published in 1821; and is now included in the
writer's _Miscellaneous Prose Works_. Sir Walter made no pretence to
original research, and even spoke slightingly of this particular work;
but it has all the charm of his practised and genial pen.

IV. Roscoe's Memoir, compiled for the one-volume edition of Fielding,
published by Washbourne and others in 1840.

V. Thackeray's well-known lecture, in the _English Humourists of the
Eighteenth Century_, 1853.

VI. _The Life of Henry Fielding; with Notices of his Writings, his
Times, and his Contemporaries_. By Frederick Lawrence. 1855. This is an
exceedingly painstaking book; and constitutes the first serious attempt
at a biography. Its chief defect--as pointed out at the time of its
appearance--is an ill-judged emulation of Forster's _Goldsmith_. The
author attempted to make Fielding a literary centre, which is
impossible; and the attempt has involved him in needless digressions. He
is also not always careful to give chapter and verse for his statements.

VII. Thomas Keightley's papers _On the Life and Writings of Henry
Fielding_ in _Fraser's Magazine_ for January and February 1858. These,
prompted by Mr. Lawrence's book, are most valuable, if only for the
author's frank distrust of his predecessors. They are the work of an
enthusiast, and a very conscientious examiner. If, as reported, Mr.
Keightley himself meditated a life of Fielding, it is much to be
regretted that he never carried out his intention.

Upon the two last-mentioned works I have chiefly relied in the
preparation of this study. I have freely availed myself of the material
that both authors collected, verifying it always, and extending it
wherever I could. Of my other sources of information--pamphlets,
reviews, memoirs, and newspapers of the day--the list would be too long;
and sufficient references to them are generally given in the body of the
text. I will only add that I think there is scarcely a quotation of
importance in these pages which has not been compared with the original;
and, except where otherwise stated, all extracts from Fielding himself
are taken from the first editions.

At this distance of time, new facts respecting a man of whom so little
has been recorded require to be announced with considerable caution.
Some definite additions to Fielding lore I have, however, been enabled
to make. Thanks to the late Colonel J. L. Chester, who was engaged, only
a few weeks before his death, in friendly investigations on my behalf, I
am able to give, for the first time, the date and place of Fielding's
second marriage, and the baptismal dates of all the children by that
marriage, except the eldest. I am also able to fix approximately the
true period of his love-affair with Miss Sarah Andrew. From the original
assignment at South Kensington I have ascertained the exact sum paid by
Millar for _Joseph Andrews_; and in chapter v. will be found a series of
extracts from a very interesting correspondence, which does not appear
to have been hitherto published, between Aaron Hill, his daughters, and
Richardson, respecting _Tom Jones_. Although I cannot claim credit for
the discovery, I believe the present is also the first biography of
Fielding which entirely discredits the unlikely story of his having been
a stroller at Bartholomew Fair; and I may also, I think, claim to have
thrown some additional light on Fielding's relations with the Cibbers,
seeing that the last critical essay upon the author of the _Apology_
which I have met with, contains no reference to Fielding at all. For
such minor novelties as the passage from the _Universal Spectator_, and
the account of the projected translation of Lucian, etc., the reader is
referred to the book itself, where these, and other waifs and strays,
are duly indicated. If, in my endeavour to secure what is freshest, I
have at the same time neglected a few stereotyped quotations, which have
hitherto seemed indispensable in writing of Fielding, I trust I may be
forgiven.

Brief as it is, the book has not been without its obligations. To Mr. B.
F. Sketchley, Keeper of the Dyce and Forster Collections at South
Kensington, I am indebted for reference to the Hill correspondence, and
for other kindly offices; to Mr. Frederick Locker for permission to
collate Fielding's last letter with the original in his possession. My
thanks are also due to Mr. R. Arthur Kinglake, J.P., of Taunton; to the
Rev. Edward Hale of Eton College, the Rev. G. C. Green of Modbury,
Devon, the Rev. W. S. Shaw of Twerton-on-Avon, and Mr. Richard Garnett
of the British Museum. Without some expression of gratitude to the last
mentioned, it would indeed be almost impossible to conclude any modern
preface of this kind. If I have omitted the names of others who have
been good enough to assist me, I must ask them to accept my
acknowledgments although they are not specifically expressed.

EALING, _March_ 1883.



I have taken advantage of the present issue to add, in the form of
Appendices, some supplementary particulars which have come to my
knowledge since the book was first published. The most material of these
is the curious confirmation and extension of Fielding's love affair with
Sarah Andrew. Besides these additions, a few necessary rectifications
have been made in the text.

A. D.

EALING, _April_ 1889.



The approaching bi-centenary (April 22, 1907) of Fielding's birth
affords a pretext for bringing together, in a fourth Appendix, some
additional particulars which have been discovered or established since
the issue of the last edition of this Memoir. These particulars relate
to his pedigree, his residence at Leyden as a student, his marriage to
his first wife Charlotte Cradock, his Will, his library, his family and
some other minor matters.

A. D.

EALING. _March_ 1907.



CONTENTS.


CHAPTER I.

EARLY YEARS--FIRST PLAYS

CHAPTER II.

MORE PLAYS--MARRIAGE--THE LICENSING ACT

CHAPTER III.

THE CHAMPION--JOSEPH ANDREWS

CHAPTER IV.

THE MISCELLANIES--JONATHAN WILD

CHAPTER V.

TOM JONES

CHAPTER VI.

JUSTICE LIFE--AMELIA

CHAPTER VII.

THE JOURNAL OF A VOYAGE TO LISBON

POSTSCRIPT

APPENDIX No. I.

FIELDING AND SARAH ANDREW

APPENDIX No. II.

FIELDING AND MRS. HUSSEY

APPENDIX No. III.

AMELIA'S ACCIDENT

APPENDIX No. IV.

FlELDINGIANA

INDEX



CHAPTER I.

EARLY YEARS--FIRST PLAYS.


Like his contemporary Smollett, Henry Fielding came of an ancient
family, and might, in his Horatian moods, have traced his origin to
Inachus. The lineage of the house of Denbigh, as given in Burke, fully
justifies the splendid but sufficiently quoted eulogy of Gibbon. From
that first Jeffrey of Hapsburgh, who came to England, _temp._ Henry
III., and assumed the name of Fieldeng, or Filding, "from his father's
pretensions to the dominions of Lauffenbourg and Rinfilding," the future
novelist could boast a long line of illustrious ancestors. There was a
Sir William Feilding killed at Tewkesbury, and a Sir Everard who
commanded at Stoke. Another Sir William, a staunch Royalist, was created
Earl of Denbigh, and died in fighting King Charles's battles. Of his two
sons, the elder, Basil, who succeeded to the title, was a
Parliamentarian, and served at Edgehill under Essex. George, his second
son, was raised to the peerage of Ireland as Viscount Callan, with
succession to the earldom of Desmond; and from this, the younger branch
of the Denbigh family, Henry Fielding directly descended. The Earl of
Desmond's fifth son, John, entered the Church, becoming Canon of
Salisbury and Chaplain to William III. By his wife Bridget, daughter of
Scipio Cockain, Esq., of Somerset, he had three sons and three
daughters. Edmund, the third son, was a soldier, who fought with
distinction under Marlborough. When about the age of thirty, he married
Sarah, daughter of Sir Henry Gould, Knt., of Sharpham Park, near
Glastonbury, in Somerset, and one of the Judges of the King's Bench.
These last were the parents of the novelist, who was born at Sharpham
Park on the 22d of April 1707. One of Dr. John Fielding's nieces, it may
here be added, married the first Duke of Kingston, becoming the mother
of Lady Mary Pierrepont, afterwards Lady Mary Wortley Montagu, who was
thus Henry Fielding's second cousin. She had, however, been born in
1689, and was consequently some years his senior.

According to a pedigree given in Nichols (_History and Antiquities of
the County of Leicester_), Edmund Fielding was only a lieutenant when he
married; and it is even not improbable (as Mr. Keightley conjectures
from the nearly secret union of _Lieutenant_ Booth and Amelia in the
later novel) that the match may have been a stolen one. At all events,
the bride continued to reside at her father's house; and the fact that
Sir Henry Gould, by his will made in March 1706, left his daughter
L3000, which was to be invested "in the purchase either of a Church or
Colledge lease, or of lands of Inheritance," for her sole use, her
husband having "nothing to doe with it," would seem (as Mr. Keightley
suggests) to indicate a distrust of his military, and possibly
impecunious, son-in-law. This money, it is also important to remember,
was to come to her children at her death. Sir Henry Gould did not long
survive the making of his will, and died in March 1710. [Footnote: Mr.
Keightley, who seems to have seen the will, dates it--doubtless by a
slip of the pen--May 1708. Reference to the original, however, now at
Somerset House, shows the correct date to be March 8, 1706, before which
time the marriage of Fielding's parents must therefore be placed.] The
Fieldings must then have removed to a small house at East Stour (now
Stower), in Dorsetshire, where Sarah Fielding was born in the following
November. It may be that this property was purchased with Mrs.
Fielding's money; but information is wanting upon the subject. At East
Stour, according to the extracts from the parish register given in
Hutchins's _History of Dorset_, four children were born,--namely, Sarah,
above mentioned, afterwards the authoress of _David Simple_, Anne,
Beatrice, and another son, Edmund. Edmund, says Arthur Murphy, "was an
officer in the marine service," and (adds Mr. Lawrence) "died young."
Anne died at East Stour in August 1716. Of Beatrice nothing further is
known. These would appear to have been all the children of Edmund
Fielding by his first wife, although, as Sarah Fielding is styled on her
monument at Bath the _second_ daughter of General Fielding, it is not
impossible that another daughter may have been born at Sharpham Park.

At East Stour the Fieldings certainly resided until April 1718, when
Mrs. Fielding died, leaving her elder son a boy of not quite eleven
years of age. How much longer the family remained there is unrecorded;
but it is clear that a great part of Henry Fielding's childhood must
have been spent by the "pleasant Banks of sweetly-winding Stour" which
passes through it, and to which he subsequently refers in _Tom Jones_.
His education during this time was confided to a certain Mr. Oliver,
whom Lawrence designates the "family chaplain." Keightley supposes that
he was the curate of East Stour; but Hutchins, a better authority than
either, says that he was the clergyman of Motcombe, a neighbouring
village. Of this gentleman, according to Murphy, Parson Trulliber in
_Joseph Andrews_ is a "very humorous and striking portrait." It is
certainly more humorous than complimentary.

From Mr. Oliver's fostering care--and the result shows that, whatever
may have been the pig-dealing propensities of Parson Trulliber, it was
not entirely profitless--Fielding was transferred to Eton. When this
took place is not known; but at that time boys entered the school much
earlier than they do now, and it was probably not long after his
mother's death. The Eton boys were then, as at present, divided into
collegers and oppidans. There are no registers of oppidans before the
end of the last century; but the Provost of Eton has been good enough to
search the college lists from 1715 to 1735, and there is no record of
any Henry Fielding, nor indeed of any Fielding at all. It may therefore
be concluded that he was an oppidan. No particulars of his stay at Eton
have come down to us; but it is to be presumed Murphy's statement that,
"when he left the place, he was said to be uncommonly versed in the
Greek authors, and an early master of the Latin classics," is not made
without foundation. [Footnote: Fielding's own words in the verses to
Walpole some years later scarcely go so far:--

"_Tuscan_ and _French_ are in my Head; _Latin_ I write, and _Greek_ I--
read."] We have also his own authority (in _Tom_ _Jones_) for supposing
that he occasionally, if not frequently, sacrificed "with true Spartan
devotion" at the "birchen Altar," of which a representation is to be
found in Mr. Maxwell Lyte's history of the College. And it may fairly be
inferred that he took part in the different sports and pastimes of the
day, such as Conquering Lobs, Steal baggage, Chuck, Starecaps, and so
forth. Nor does it need any strong effort of imagination to conclude
that he bathed in "Sandy hole" or "Cuckow ware," attended the cock-
fights in Bedford's Yard and the bull-baiting in Bachelor's Acre, drank
mild punch at the "Christopher," and, no doubt, was occasionally brought
back by Jack Cutler, "Pursuivant of Runaways," to make his explanations
to Dr. Bland the Head-Master, or Francis Goode the Usher. Among his
school-fellows were some who subsequently attained to high dignities in
the State, and still remained his friends. Foremost of these was George
Lyttelton, later the statesman and orator, who had already commenced
poet as an Eton boy with his "Soliloquy of a Beauty in the Country."
Another was the future Sir Charles Hanbury Williams, the wit and squib-
writer, then known as Charles Hanbury only. A third was Thomas
Winnington, for whom, in after years, Fielding fought hard with brain
and pen when Tory scribblers assailed his memory. Of those who must be
regarded as contemporaries merely, were William Pitt, the "Great
Commoner," and yet greater Earl of Chatham; Henry Fox, Lord Holland; and
Charles Pratt, Earl Camden. Gilbert West, the translator of Pindar, may
also have been at Eton in Fielding's time, as he was only a year older,
and was intimate with Lyttelton. Thomas Augustine Arne, again, famous in
days to come as Dr. Arne, was doubtless also at this date practising
sedulously upon that "miserable cracked common flute," with which
tradition avers he was wont to torment his school-fellows. Gray and
Horace Walpole belong to a later period.

During his stay at Eton, Fielding had been rapidly developing from a boy
into a young man. When he left school it is impossible to say; but he
was probably seventeen or eighteen years of age, and it is at this stage
of his career that must be fixed an occurrence which one of his
biographers places much farther on. This is his earliest recorded love-
affair. At Lyme Regis there resided a young lady, who, in addition to
great personal charms, had the advantage of being the only daughter and
heiress of one Solomon Andrew, deceased, a merchant of considerable
local reputation. Lawrence says that she was Fielding's cousin. This may
be so; but the statement is unsupported by any authority. It is certain,
however, that her father was dead, and that she was living "in maiden
meditation" at Lyme with one of her guardians, Mr. Andrew Tucker. In his
chance visits to that place, young Fielding appears to have become
desperately enamoured of her, and to have sadly fluttered the Dorset
dovecotes by his pertinacious and undesirable attentions. At one time he
seems to have actually meditated the abduction of his "flame," for an
entry in the town archives, discovered by Mr. George Roberts, sometime
Mayor of Lyme, who tells the story, declares that Andrew Tucker, Esq.,
went in fear of his life "owing to the behaviour of Henry Fielding and
his attendant, or man." Such a state of things (especially when
guardians have sons of their own) is clearly not to be endured; and Miss
Andrew was prudently transferred to the care of another guardian, Mr.
Rhodes of Modbury, in South Devon, to whose son, a young gentleman of
Oxford, she was promptly married. Burke (_Landed Gentry_, 1858) dates
the marriage in 1726, a date which is practically confirmed by the
baptism of a child at Modbury in April of the following year. Burke
further describes the husband as Mr. Ambrose Rhodes of Buckland House,
Buckland-Tout-Saints. His son, Mr. Rhodes of Bellair, near Exeter, was
gentleman of the Privy Chamber to George III.; and one of his
descendants possessed a picture which passed for the portrait of Sophia
Western. The tradition of the Tucker family pointed to Miss Andrew as
the original of Fielding's heroine; but though such a supposition is
intelligible, it is untenable, since he says distinctly (Book XIII.
chap. i. of _Tom Jones_) that his model was his first wife, whose
likeness he moreover draws very specifically in another place, by
declaring that she resembled Margaret Cecil, Lady Ranelagh, and, more
nearly, "the famous Dutchess of _Mazarine_." [Footnote: See Appendix No.
I.: Fielding and Sarah Andrew.]

With this early escapade is perhaps to be connected what seems to have
been one of Fielding's earliest literary efforts. This is a
modernisation in burlesque octosyllabic verse of part of Juvenal's sixth
satire. In the "Preface" to the later published _Miscellanies_, it is
said to have been "originally sketched out before he was Twenty," and to
have constituted "all the Revenge taken by an injured Lover." But it
must have been largely revised subsequent to that date, for it contains
references to Mrs. Clive, Mrs. Woffington, Cibber the younger, and even
to Richardson's _Pamela_. It has no special merit, although some of the
couplets have the true Swiftian turn. If Murphy's statement be correct,
that the author "went from Eton to Leyden," it must have been planned at
the latter place, where, he tells us in the preface to _Don Quixote in
England_, he also began that comedy. Notwithstanding these literary
distractions, he is nevertheless reported to have studied the civilians
"with a remarkable application for about two years." At the expiration
of this time, remittances from home failing, he was obliged to forego
the lectures of the "learned Vitriarius" (then Professor of Civil Law at
Leyden University), and return to London, which he did at the beginning
of 1728 or the end of 1727.

The fact was that his father, never a rich man, had married again. His
second wife was a widow named Eleanor Rasa; and by this time he was fast
acquiring a second family. Under the pressure of his growing cares, he
found himself, however willing, as unable to maintain his eldest son in
London as he had previously been to discharge his expenses at Leyden.
Nominally, he made him an allowance of two hundred a year; but this, as
Fielding himself explained, "any body might pay that would." The
consequence was, that not long after the arrival of the latter in the
Metropolis he had given up all idea of pursuing the law, to which his
mother's legal connections had perhaps first attracted him, and had
determined to adopt the more seductive occupation of living by his wits.
At this date he was in the prime of youth. From the portrait by Hogarth
representing him at a time when he was broken in health and had lost his
teeth, it is difficult to reconstruct his likeness at twenty. But we may
fairly assume the "high-arched Roman nose" with which his enemies
reproached him, the dark eyes, the prominent chin, and the humorous
expression; and it is clear that he must have been tall and vigorous,
for he was over six feet when he died, and had been remarkably strong
and active. Add to this that he inherited a splendid constitution, with
an unlimited capacity for enjoyment, and we have a fair idea of Henry
Fielding at that moment of his career, when with passions "tremblingly
alive all o'er"--as Murphy says--he stood,

  "This way and that dividing the swift mind,"

between the professions of hackney-writer and hackney-coachman. His
natural bias was towards literature, and his opportunities, if not his
inclinations, directed him to dramatic writing.

It is not necessary to attempt any detailed account of the state of the
stage at this epoch. Nevertheless, if only to avoid confusion in the
future, it will be well to enumerate the several London theatres in
1728, the more especially as the list is by no means lengthy. First and
foremost there was the old Opera House in the Haymarket, built by
Vanbrugh, as far back as 1705, upon the site now occupied by Her
Majesty's Theatre. This was the home of that popular Italian song which
so excited the anger of thorough-going Britons; and here, at the
beginning of 1728, they were performing Handel's opera of _Siroe_, and
delighting the _cognoscenti_ by _Dite che fa_, the echo-air in the same
composer's _Tolomeo_. Opposite the Opera House, and, in position, only
"a few feet distant" from the existing Haymarket Theatre, was the New,
or Little Theatre in the Haymarket, which, from the fact that it had
been opened eight years before by "the French Comedians," was also
sometimes styled the French House. Next comes the no-longer-existent
theatre in Lincoln's Inn Fields, which Christopher Rich had rebuilt in
1714, and which his son John had made notorious for pantomimes. Here the
_Beggar's Opera_, precursor of a long line of similar productions, had
just been successfully produced. Finally, most ancient of them all,
there was the Theatre-Royal in Drury Lane, otherwise the King's Play
House, or Old House. The virtual patentees at this time were the actors
Colley Cibber, Robert Wilks, and Barton Booth. The two former were just
playing the _Provok'd Husband_, in which the famous Mrs. Oldfield
(Pope's "Narcissa") had created a _furore_ by her assumption of Lady
Townley. These, in February 1728, were the four principal London
theatres. Goodman's Fields, where Garrick made his debut, was not opened
until the following year, and Covent Garden belongs to a still later
date.

Fielding's first dramatic essay--or, to speak more precisely, the first
of his dramatic essays that was produced upon the stage--was a five-act
comedy entitled _Love in Several Masques_. It was played at Drury Lane
in February 1728, succeeding the _Provok'd Husband_. In his "Preface"
the young author refers to the disadvantage under which he laboured in
following close upon that comedy, and also in being "contemporary with
an Entertainment which engrosses the whole Talk and Admiration of the
Town,"--i.e. the _Beggar's Opera_. He also acknowledges the kindness of
Wilks and Cibber "previous to its Representation," and the fact that he
had thus acquired their suffrages makes it doubtful whether his stay at
Leyden was not really briefer than is generally supposed, or that he
left Eton much earlier. In either case he must have been in London some
months before _Love in Several Masques_ appeared, for a first play by an
untried youth of twenty, however promising, is not easily brought upon
the boards in any era; and from his own utterances in _Pasquin_, ten
years later, it is clear that it was no easier then than now. The
sentiments of the Fustian of that piece in the following protest
probably give an accurate picture of the average dramatic experiences of
Henry Fielding:--

"These little things, Mr. _Sneerwell_, will sometimes happen. Indeed a
Poet undergoes a great deal before he comes to his Third Night; first
with the Muses, who are humorous Ladies, and must be attended; for if
they take it into their Head at any time to go abroad and leave you, you
will pump your Brain in vain: Then, Sir, with the Master of a
_Playhouse_ to get it acted, _whom you generally follow a quarter of a
Year before you know whether he will receive it or no_; and then perhaps
he tells you it won't do, and returns it you again, reserving the
Subject, and perhaps the Name, which he brings out in his next
_Pantomime_; but if he should receive the Play, then you must attend
again to get it writ out into Parts, and Rehears'd. Well, Sir, at last
the Rehearsals begin; then, Sir, begins another Scene of Trouble with
the Actors, some of whom don't like their Parts, and all are continually
plaguing you with Alterations: At length, after having waded thro' all
these Difficulties, his [the?] Play appears on the Stage, where one Man
Hisses out of Resentment to the Author; a Second out of Dislike to the
House; a Third out of Dislike to the Actor; a Fourth out of Dislike to
the Play; a Fifth for the Joke sake; a Sixth to keep all the rest in
Company. Enemies abuse him, Friends give him up, the Play is damn'd, and
the Author goes to the Devil, so ends the Farce."

To which Sneerwell replies, with much promptitude:

"The Tragedy rather, I think, Mr. _Fustian_." But whatever may have been
its preliminary difficulties, Fielding's first play was not exposed to
so untoward a fate. It was well received. As might be expected in a
beginner, and as indeed the references in the Preface to Wycherley and
Congreve would lead us to expect, it was an obvious attempt in the
manner of those then all-popular writers. The dialogue is ready and
witty. But the characters have that obvious defect which Lord
Beaconsfield recognised when he spoke in later life of his own earliest
efforts. "Books written by boys," he says, "which pretend to give a
picture of manners and to deal in knowledge of human nature must
necessarily be founded on affectation." To this rule the personages of
_Love in Several Masques_ are no exception. They are drawn rather from
the stage than from life, and there is little constructive skill in the
plot. A certain booby squire, Sir Positive Trap, seems like a first
indication of some of the later successes in the novels; but the rest of
the _dramatis personae_ are puppets. The success of the piece was
probably owing to the acting of Mrs. Oldfield, who took the part of Lady
Matchless, a character closely related to the Lady Townleys and Lady
Betty Modishes, in which she won her triumphs. She seems, indeed, to
have been unusually interested in this comedy, for she consented to play
in it notwithstanding a "slight Indisposition" contracted "by her
violent Fatigue in the Part of Lady Townly," and she assisted the author
with her corrections and advice--perhaps with her influence as an
actress. Fielding's distinguished kinswoman Lady Mary Wortley Montagu
also read the MS. Looking to certain scenes in it, the protestation in
the Prologue--

  "Nought shall offend the Fair Ones Ears to-day,
  Which they might blush to hear, or blush to say"--

has an air of insincerity, although, contrasted with some of the
writer's later productions, _Love in Several Masques_ is comparatively
pure. But he might honestly think that the work which had received the
_imprimatur_ of a stage-queen and a lady of quality should fairly be
regarded as morally blameless, and it is not necessary to bring any bulk
of evidence to prove that the morality of 1728 differed from the
morality of to-day.

To the last-mentioned year is ascribed a poem entitled the
"_Masquerade_. Inscribed to C--t H--d--g--r. By Lemuel Gulliver, Poet
Laureate to the King of Lilliput." In this Fielding made his satirical
contribution to the attacks on those impure gatherings organised by the
notorious Heidegger, which Hogarth had not long before stigmatised
pictorially in the plate known to collectors as the "large Masquerade
Ticket." As verse this performance is worthless, and it is not very
forcibly on the side of good manners; but the ironic dedication has a
certain touch of Fielding's later fashion. Two other poetical pieces,
afterwards included in the _Miscellanies_ of 1743, also bear the date of
1728. One is _A Description of U--n G--_ (alias _New Hog's Norton_) _in
Com. Hants_, which Mr. Keightley has identified with Upton Grey, near
Odiham, in Hampshire. It is a burlesque description of a tumbledown
country-house in which the writer was staying, and is addressed to
Rosalinda. The other is entitled _To Euthalia_, from which it must be
concluded that, in 1728, Sarah Andrew had found more than one successor.
But in spite of some biographers, and of the apparent encouragement
given to his first comedy, Fielding does not seem to have followed up
dramatic authorship with equal vigour, or at all events with equal
success. His real connection with the stage does not begin until January
1730, when the _Temple Beau_ was produced by Giffard the actor at the
theatre in Goodman's Fields, which had then just been opened by Thomas
Odell; and it may be presumed that his incentive was rather want of
funds than desire of fame. _The Temple Beau_ certainly shows an advance
upon its predecessor; but it is an advance in the same direction,
imitation of Congreve; and although Geneste ranks it among the best of
Fielding's plays, it is doubtful whether modern criticism would sustain
his verdict. It ran for a short time, and was then withdrawn. The
Prologue was the work of James Ralph, afterwards Fielding's colleague in
the _Champion_, and it thus refers to the prevailing taste. The
_Beggar's Opera_ had killed Italian song, but now a new danger had
arisen,--

  "Humour and Wit, in each politer Age,
  Triumphant, rear'd the Trophies of the Stage:
  But only Farce, and Shew, will now go down,
  And Harlequin's the Darling of the Town."

As if to confirm his friend's opinion, Fielding's next piece combined
the popular ingredients above referred to. In March following he
produced at the Haymarket, under the pseudonym of Scriblerus Secundus,
_The Author's Farce_, with a "Puppet Show" called _The Pleasures of the
Town_. In the Puppet Show, Henley, the Clare-Market Orator, and Samuel
Johnson, the quack author of the popular _Hurlothrumbo_, were smartly
satirised, as also was the fashionable craze for Opera and Pantomime.
But the most enduring part of this odd medley is the farce which
occupies the two first acts, and under thin disguises no doubt depicts
much which was within the writer's experience. At all events, Luckless,
the author in the play, has more than one of the characteristics which
distinguish the traditional portrait of Fielding himself in his early
years. He wears a laced coat, is in love, writes plays, and cannot pay
his landlady, who declares, with some show of justice, that she "would
no more depend on a Benefit-Night of an un-acted Play, than she wou'd on
a Benefit-Ticket in an un-drawn Lottery." "Her Floor (she laments) is
all spoil'd with Ink--her Windows with Verses, and her Door has been
almost beat down with Duns." But the most humorous scenes in the play--
scenes really admirable in their ironic delineation of the seamy side of
authorship in 1730--are those in which Mr. Bookweight, the publisher--
the Curll or Osborne of the period--is shown surrounded by the obedient
hacks, who feed at his table on "good Milk-porridge, very often twice a
Day," and manufacture the murders, ghost-stories, political pamphlets,
and translations from Virgil (out of Dryden) with which he supplies his
customers. Here is one of them as good as any:--

"_Bookweight._ So, Mr. _Index_, what News with you?

_Index._ I have brought my Bill, Sir.

_Book._ What's here?--for fitting the Motto of _Risum teneatis Amici_ to
a dozen Pamphlets at Sixpence per each, Six Shillings--For _Omnia vincit
Amor, & nos cedamus Amori_, Sixpence--For _Difficile est Satyram non
scribere_, Sixpence--Hum! hum! hum! Sum total, for Thirty-six _Latin_
Motto's, Eighteen Shillings; ditto _English_, One Shilling and Nine-
pence; ditto _Greek_, Four, Four Shillings. These _Greek_ Motto's are
excessively dear.

_Ind._ If you have them cheaper at either of the Universities, I will
give you mine for nothing.

_Book._ You shall have your Money immediately, and pray remember that I
must have two _Latin_ Seditious Motto's and one _Greek_ Moral Motto for
Pamphlets by to-morrow Morning....

_Ind._ Sir, I shall provide them. Be pleas'd to look on that, Sir, and
print me Five hundred Proposals, and as many Receipts.

_Book._ Proposals for printing by Subscription a new Translation of
Cicero, _Of the Nature of the Gods and his Tusculan Questions_, by
_Jeremy Index_, Esq.; I am sorry you have undertaken this, for it
prevents a Design of mine.

_Ind._ Indeed, Sir, it does not, for you see all of the Book that I ever
intend to publish. It is only a handsome Way of asking one's Friends for
a Guinea.

_Book._ Then you have not translated a Word of it, perhaps.

_Ind._ Not a single Syllable.

_Book._ Well, you shall have your Proposals forthwith; but I desire you
wou'd be a little more reasonable in your Bills for the future, or I
shall deal with you no longer; for I have a certain Fellow of a College,
who offers to furnish me with Second-hand Motto's out of the _Spectator_
for Two-pence each.

_Ind._ Sir, I only desire to live by my Goods, and I hope you will be
pleas'd to allow some difference between a neat fresh Piece, piping hot
out of the Classicks, and old thread-bare worn-out Stuff that has past
thro' ev'ry Pedant's Mouth...."

The latter part of this amusing dialogue, referring to Mr. Index's
translation from Cicero, was added in an amended version of the
_Author's Farce_, which appeared some years later, and in which Fielding
depicts the portrait of another all-powerful personage in the literary
life,--the actor-manager. This, however, will be more conveniently
treated under its proper date, and it is only necessary to say here that
the slight sketches of Marplay and Sparkish given in the first edition,
were presumably intended for Cibber and Wilks, with whom,
notwithstanding the "civil and kind Behaviour" for which he had thanked
them in the "Preface" to _Love in Several Masques_, the young dramatist
was now, it seems, at war. In the introduction to the Miscellanies, he
refers to "a slight Pique" with Wilks; and it is not impossible that the
key to the difference may be found in the following passage:--

"_Sparkish._ What dost think of the Play?

_Marplay._ It may be a very good one, for ought I know; _but I know the
Author has no Interest_.

_Spark._ Give me Interest, and rat the Play.

_Mar._ Rather rat the Play which has no Interest. Interest sways as much
in the Theatre as at Court.--And you know it is not always the Companion
of Merit in either."

The handsome student from Leyden--the potential Congreve who wrote _Love
in Several Masques_, and had Lady Mary Wortley Montagu for patroness,
might fairly be supposed to have expectations which warranted the
civilities of Messrs. Wilks and Cibber; but the "Luckless" of two years
later had probably convinced them that his dramatic performances did not
involve their _sine qua non_ of success. Under these circumstances
nothing perhaps could be more natural than that they should play their
parts in his little satire.

We have dwelt at some length upon the _Author's Farce_, because it is
the first of Fielding's plays in which, leaving the "wit-traps" of
Wycherley and Congreve, he deals with the direct censure of contemporary
folly, and because, apart from translation and adaptation, it is in this
field that his most brilliant theatrical successes were won. For the
next few years he continued to produce comedies and farces with great
rapidity, both under his own name, and under the pseudonym of Scriblerus
Secundus. Most of these show manifest signs of haste, and some are
recklessly immodest. We shall confine ourselves to one or two of the
best, and do little more than enumerate the others. Of these latter, the
_Coffee-House Politician; or, The Justice caught in his own Trap,_ 1730,
succeeded the _Author's Farce_. The leading idea, that of a tradesman
who neglects his shop for "foreign affairs," appears to be derived from
Addison's excellent character-sketch in the _Tatler_ of the "Political
Upholsterer." This is the more likely, in that Arne the musician, whose
father is generally supposed to have been Addison's original, was
Fielding's contemporary at Eton. Justice Squeezum, another character
contained in this play, is a kind of first draft of the later Justice
Thrasher in _Amelia_. The representation of the trading justice on the
stage, however, was by no means new, since Justice Quorum in Coffey's
_Beggar's Wedding_ (with whom, as will appear presently, Fielding's name
has been erroneously associated) exhibits similar characteristics.
Omitting for the moment the burlesque of _Tom Thumb_, the _Coffee-House
Politician_ was followed by the _Letter Writers; or, A new Way to Keep a
Wife at Home_, 1731, a brisk little farce, with one vigorously drawn
character, that of Jack Commons, a young university rake; the _Grub-
Street Opera_, 1731; the farce of the _Lottery_, 1731, in which the
famous Mrs. Clive, then Miss Raftor, appeared; the _Modern Husband_,
1732; the _Covent Garden Tragedy_, 1732, a broad and rather riotous
burlesque of Ambrose Philips' _Distrest Mother_; and the _Debauchees;
or, The Jesuit Caught_, 1732--which was based upon the then debated
story of Father Girard and Catherine Cadiere.

Neither of the two last-named pieces is worthy of the author, and their
strongest condemnation in our day is that they were condemned in their
own for their unbridled license, the _Grub Street Journal_ going so far
as to say that they had "met with the universal detestation of the
Town." The _Modern Husband_, which turns on that most loathsome of all
commercial pursuits, the traffic of a husband in his wife's dishonour,
appears, oddly enough, to have been regarded by its author with especial
complacency. Its prologue lays stress upon the moral purpose; it was
dedicated to Sir Robert Walpole; and from a couple of letters printed in
Lady Mary Wortley Montagu's _Correspondence_, it is clear that it had
been submitted to her perusal. It had, however, no great success upon
the stage, and the chief thing worth remembering about it is that it
afforded his last character to Wilks, who played the part of Bellamant.
That "slight Pique," of which mention has been made, was no doubt by
this time a thing of the past.

But if most of the works in the foregoing list can hardly be regarded as
creditable to Fielding's artistic or moral sense, one of them at least
deserves to be excepted, and that is the burlesque of _Tom Thumb_. This
was first brought out in 1730 at the little theatre in the Hay-market,
where it met with a favourable reception. In the following year it was
enlarged to three acts (in the first version there had been but two),
and reproduced at the same theatre as the _Tragedy of Tragedies; or, The
Life and Death of Tom Thumb the Great_, "with the Annotations of H.
Scriblerus Secundus." It is certainly one of the best burlesques ever
written. As Baker observes in his _Biographia Dramatica_, it may fairly
be ranked as a sequel to Buckingham's _Rehearsal_, since it includes the
absurdities of nearly all the writers of tragedies from the period when
that piece stops to 1730. Among the authors satirised are Nat. Lee,
Thomson (whose famous

"O Sophonisba, Sophonisba, O!"

is parodied by

"O Huncamunca, Huncamunca, O!"),

Banks's _Earl of Essex_, a favourite play at Bartholomew Fair, the
_Busiris_ of Young, and the _Aurengzebe_ of Dryden, etc. The
annotations, which abound in transparent references to Dr. B[_entle_]y,
Mr. T[_heobal_]d, Mr. D[_enni_]s, are excellent imitations of
contemporary pedantry. One example, elicited in Act 1 by a reference to
"giants," must stand for many:--

"That learned Historian Mr. S--n in the third Number of his Criticism
on our Author, takes great Pains to explode this Passage. It is, says
he, difficult to guess what Giants are here meant, unless the Giant
_Despair_ in the _Pilgrim's Progress_, or the giant _Greatness_ in the
_Royal Villain_; for I have heard of no other sort of Giants in the
Reign of King _Arthur_. _Petnis Burmanus_ makes three _Tom Thumbs_, one
whereof he supposes to have been the same Person whom the _Greeks_
called _Hercules_, and that by these Giants are to be understood the
_Centaurs_ slain by that Heroe. Another _Tom Thumb_ he contends to have
been no other than the _Hermes Trismegistus_ of the Antients. The third
_Tom Thumb_ he places under the Reign of King _Arthur_; to which third
_Tom Thumb_, says he, the Actions of the other two were attributed. Now,
tho' I know that this Opinion is supported by an Assertion of _Justus
Lipsius, Thomam ilium Thumbum non alium quam Herculem fuisse satis
constat_; yet shall I venture to oppose one Line of Mr. _Midwinter_,
against them all,

  _In_ Arthurs' Court Tom Thumb _did live_.

"But then, says Dr. _B-----y_, if we place _Tom Thumb_ in the Court of
King _Arthur_, it will he proper to place that Court out of _Britain_,
where no Giants were ever heard of. _Spencer_, in his _Fairy Queen_, is
of another Opinion, where describing Albion, he says,

  Far within, a salvage Nation dwelt
  Of hideous Giants.

And in the same canto:

 Then _Elfar_ with two Brethren Giants had
 The one of which had two Heads,--
 The other three.
 Risum teneatis, Amici."

Of the play itself it is difficult to give an idea by extract, as nearly
every line travesties some tragic passage once familiar to play-goers,
and now utterly forgotten. But the following lines from one of the
speeches of Lord Grizzle--a part admirably acted by Liston in later
years [Footnote: Compare Hazlitt, _On the Comic Writers of the Last
Century._]--are a fair specimen of its ludicrous use (or rather abuse)
of simile:--

  "Yet think not long, I will my Rival bear,
  Or unreveng'd the slighted Willow wear;
  The gloomy, brooding Tempest now confin'd,
  Within the hollow Caverns of my Mind,
  In dreadful Whirl, shall rowl along the Coasts,
  Shall thin the Land of all the Men it boasts,
  And cram up ev'ry Chink of Hell with Ghosts.
  So have I seen, in some dark Winter's Day,
  A sudden Storm rush down the Sky's High-Way,
  Sweep thro' the Streets with terrible ding-dong,
  Gush thro' the Spouts, and wash whole Crowds along.
  The crowded Shops, the thronging Vermin skreen,
  Together cram the Dirty and the Clean,
  And not one Shoe-Boy in the Street is seen."

In the modern version of Kane O'Hara, to which songs were added, the
_Tragedy of Tragedies_ still keeps, or kept the stage. But its crowning
glory is its traditional connection with Swift, who told Mrs. Pilkington
that he "had not laugh'd above twice" in his life, once at the tricks of
a merry-andrew, and again when (in Fielding's burlesque) Tom Thumb
killed the ghost. This is an incident of the earlier versions, omitted
in deference to the critics, for which the reader will seek vainly in
the play as now printed; and he will, moreover, discover that Mrs.
Pilkington's memory served her imperfectly, since it is not Tom Thumb
who kills the ghost, but the ghost of Tom Thumb which is killed by his
jealous rival, Lord Grizzle. A trifling inaccuracy of this sort,
however, is rather in favour of the truth of the story than against it,
for a pure fiction would in all probability have been more precise.
Another point of interest in connection with this burlesque is the
frontispiece which Hogarth supplied to the edition of 1731. It has no
special value as a design, but it constitutes the earliest reference to
that friendship with the painter, of which so many traces are to be
found in Fielding's works.

Hitherto Fielding had succeeded best in burlesque. But, in 1732, the
same year in which he produced the _Modern Husband_, the _Debauchees_,
and the _Covent Garden Tragedy_, he made an adaptation of Moliere's
_Medecin malgre lui_, which had already been imitated in English by Mrs.
Centlivre and others. This little piece, to which he gave the title of
the _Mock-Doctor_; or, _The Dumb Lady cur'd_, was well received. The
French original was rendered with tolerable closeness; but here and
there Fielding has introduced little touches of his own, as, for
instance, where Gregory (Sganarelle) tells his wife Dorcas (Martino),
whom he has just been beating, that as they are but one, whenever he
beats her he beats half of himself. To this she replies by requesting
that for the future he will beat the other half. An entire scene (the
thirteenth) was also added at the desire of Miss Raftor, who played
Dorcas, and thought her part too short. This is apparently intended as a
burlesque of the notorious quack Misaubin, to whom the _Mock-Doctor_ was
ironically dedicated. He was the proprietor of a famous pill, and was
introduced by Hogarth into the _Harlot's Progress_. Gregory was played
by Theophilus Cibber, and the preface contains a complimentary reference
to his acting, and the expected retirement of his father from the stage.
Neither Genest nor Lawrence gives the date when the piece was first
produced, but if the "April" on the dubious author's benefit ticket
attributed to Hogarth be correct, it must have been in the first months
of 1732.

The cordial reception of the _Mock-Doctor_ seems to have encouraged
Fielding to make further levies upon Moliere, and he speaks of his hope
to do so in the "Preface." As a matter of fact, he produced a version of
_L'Avare_ at Drury Lane in the following year, which entirely outshone
the older versions of Shadwell and Ozell, and gained from Voltaire the
praise of having added to the original "_quelques beautes de dialogue
particulieres a sa_ (Fielding's) _nation_." Lovegold, its leading
_role_, became a stock part. It was well played by its first actor
Griffin, and was a favourite exercise with Macklin, Shuter, and (in our
own days) Phelps.

In February 1733, when the _Miser_ was first acted, Fielding was five
and twenty. His means at this time were, in all probability, exceedingly
uncertain. The small proportion of money due to him at his mother's
death had doubtless been long since exhausted, and he must have been
almost wholly dependent upon the precarious profits of his pen. That he
was assisted by rich and noble friends to any material extent appears,
in spite of Murphy, to be unlikely. At all events, an occasional
dedication to the Duke of Richmond or the Earl of Chesterfield cannot be
regarded as proof positive. Lyttelton, who certainly befriended him in
later life, was for a great part of this period absent on the Grand
Tour, and Ralph Allen had not yet come forward. In default of the always
deferred allowance, his father's house at Salisbury (?) was no doubt
open to him; and it is plain, from indications in his minor poems, that
he occasionally escaped into the country. But in London he lived for the
most part, and probably not very worshipfully. What, even now, would be
the life of a young man of Fielding's age, fond of pleasure, careless of
the future, very liberally equipped with high spirits, and straightway
exposed to the perilous seductions of the stage? Fielding had the
defects of his qualities, and was no better than the rest of those about
him. He was manly, and frank, and generous; but these characteristics
could scarcely protect him from the terrors of the tip-staff, and the
sequels of "t'other bottle." Indeed, he very honestly and unfeignedly
confesses to the lapses of his youth in the _Journey from this World to
the Next_, adding that he pretended "to very little Virtue more than
general Philanthropy and private Friendship." It is therefore but
reasonable to infer that his daily life must have been more than usually
characterised by the vicissitudes of the eighteenth-century prodigal,--
alternations from the "Rose" to a Clare-Market ordinary, from gold-lace
to fustian, from champagne to "British Burgundy." In a rhymed petition
to Walpole, dated 1730, he makes pleasant mirth of what no doubt was
sometimes sober truth--his debts, his duns, and his dinnerless
condition. He (the verses tell us)

  "--from his Garret can look down
  On the whole Street of _Arlington_." [Footnote: Where Sir Robert lived]

Again--

  "The Family that dines the latest
  Is in our Street esteem'd the greatest;
  But latest Hours must surely fall
  Before him who ne'er dines at all;"

and

  "This too doth in my Favour speak,
  Your Levee is but twice a Week;
  From mine I can exclude but one Day,
  My Door is quiet on a _Sunday_."

When he can admit so much even jestingly of himself, it is but
legitimate to presume that there is no great exaggeration in the
portrait of him in 1735, by the anonymous satirist of _Seasonable
Reproof_:--

  "_F------g_, who _yesterday_ appear'd so rough,
  Clad in _coarse Frize_, and plaister'd down with _Snuff_,
  See how his _Instant_ gaudy Trappings shine;
  What _Play-house_ Bard was ever seen so fine!
  But this, not from his _Humour_ flows, you'll say,
  But mere _Necessity_;--for last Night lay
  In _Pawn_, the _Velvet_ which he wears to Day."

His work bears traces of the inequalities and irregularities of his mode
of living. Although in certain cases (e.g. the revised edition of _Tom
Thumb_) the artist and scholar seems to have spasmodically asserted
himself, the majority of his plays were hasty and ill-considered
performances, most of which (as Lady Mary said) he would have thrown
into the fire "if meat could have been got without money, and money
without scribbling." "When he had contracted to bring on a play, or a
farce," says Murphy, "it is well known, by many of his friends now
living, that he would go home rather late from a tavern, and would, the
next morning, deliver a scene to the players, written upon the papers
which had wrapped the tobacco, in which he so much delighted." It is not
easy to conceive, unless Fielding's capacities as a smoker were unusual,
that any large contribution to dramatic literature could have been made
upon the wrappings of Virginia or Freeman's Best; but that his
reputation for careless production was established among his
contemporaries is manifest from the following passage in a burlesque
_Author's Will_ published in the _Universal Spectator_ of Oldys:--

"_Item_, I give and bequeath to my very _negligent_ Friend _Henry
Drama_, Esq., all my INDUSTRY. And whereas the World may think this an
unnecessary Legacy, forasmuch as the said _Henry Drama_, Esq., brings on
the Stage _four Pieces_ every Season; yet as such Pieces are always
wrote with uncommon _Rapidity_, and during such fatal Intervals only as
the _Stocks_ have been on the _Fall_, this Legacy will be of use to him
to revise and correct his Works. Furthermore, for fear the said _Henry
Drama_ should make an ill Use of the said _Industry_, and expend it all
on a _Ballad Farce_, it's my Will the said Legacy should be paid him by
equal Portions, and as his Necessities may require."

There can be little doubt that the above quotation, which is reprinted
in the _Gentleman's_ for July 1734, and seems to have hitherto escaped
inquiry, refers to none other than the "very negligent" Author of the
_Modern Husband_ and the _Old Debauchees_--in other words, to Henry
Fielding.



CHAPTER II.

MORE PLAYS--MARRIAGE--THE LICENSING ACT.


The very subordinate part in the _Miser_ of "Furnish, an Upholsterer,"
was taken by a third-rate actor, whose surname has been productive of no
little misconception among Henry Fielding's biographers. This was
Timothy Fielding, sometime member of the Haymarket and Drury Lane
companies, and proprietor, for several successive years, of a booth at
Bartholomew, Southwark, and other fairs. In the absence of any Christian
name, Mr. Lawrence seems to have rather rashly concluded that the
Fielding mentioned by Genest as having a booth at Bartholomew Fair in
1733 with Hippisley (the original Peachum of the _Beggar's Opera_), was
Fielding the dramatist; and the mistake thus originated at once began
that prosperous course which usually awaits any slip of the kind. It
misled one notoriously careful inquirer, who, in his interesting
chronicles of Bartholomew Fair, minutely investigated the actor's
history, giving precise details of his doings at "Bartlemy" from 1728 to
1736; but, although the theory involved obvious inconsistencies,
apparently without any suspicion that the proprietor of the booth which
stood, season after season, in the yard of the George Inn at Smithfield,
was an entirely different person from his greater namesake. The late Dr.
Rimbault carried the story farther still, and attempted to show, in
_Notes and Queries_ for May 1859, that Henry Fielding had a booth at
Tottenham Court in 1738, "subsequent to his admission into the Middle
Temple;" and he also promised to supply additional particulars to the
effect that even 1738 was not the "_last_ year of Fielding's career as a
booth-proprietor." At this stage (probably for good reasons) inquiry
seems to have slumbered, although, with the fatal vitality of error, the
statement continued (and still continues) to be repeated in various
quarters. In 1875, however, Mr. Frederick Latreille published a short
article in _Notes and Queries_, proving conclusively, by extracts from
contemporary newspapers and other sources, that the Timothy Fielding
above referred to was the real Fielding of the fairs; that he became
landlord of the Buffalo Tavern "at the corner of Bloomsbury Square" in
1733; and that he died in August 1738, his christian name, so often
suppressed, being duly recorded in the register of the neighbouring
church of St. George's, where he was buried. The admirers of our great
novelist owe Mr. Latreille a debt of gratitude for this opportune
discovery. It is true that a certain element of Bohemian picturesqueness
is lost to Henry Fielding's life, already not very rich in recorded
incident; and it would certainly have been curious if he, who ended his
days in trying to dignify the judicial office, should have begun life by
acting the part of a "trading justice," namely that of Quorum in
Coffey's _Beggar's Wedding_, which Timothy Fielding had played at Drury
Lane. But, on the whole, it is satisfactory to know that his early
experiences did not, of necessity, include those of a strolling player.
Some obscure and temporary connection with Bartholomew Fair he may have
had, as Smollett, in the scurrilous pamphlet issued in 1742, makes him
say that he blew a trumpet there in quality of herald to a collection of
wild beasts; but this is probably no more than an earlier and uglier
form of the apparition laid by Mr. Latreille. The only positive evidence
of any connection between Henry Fielding and the Smithfield carnival is,
that Theophilus Cibber's company played the _Miser_ at their booth in
August 1733.

With the exception of the _Miser_ and an afterpiece, never printed,
entitled _Deborah; or, A Wife for you all_, which was acted for Miss
Raftor's benefit in April 1733, nothing important was brought upon the
stage by Fielding until January of the following year, when he produced
the _Intriguing Chambermaid_, and a revised version of the _Author's
Farce_. By a succession of changes, which it is impossible here to
describe in detail, considerable alterations had taken place in the
management of Drury Lane. In the first place, Wilks was dead, and his
share in the Patent was represented by his widow. Booth also was dead,
and Mrs. Booth had sold her share to Giffard of Goodman's Fields, while
the elder Cibber had retired. At the beginning of the season of 1733-34
the leading patentee was an amateur called Highmore, who had purchased
Cibber's share. He had also purchased part of Booth's share before his
death in May 1733. The only other shareholder of importance was Mrs.
Wilks. Shortly after the opening of the theatre in September, the
greater part of the Drury Lane Company, led by the younger Cibber,
revolted from Highmore and Mrs. Wilks, and set up for themselves.
Matters were farther complicated by the fact that John Rich had not long
opened a new theatre in Covent Garden, which constituted a fresh
attraction; and that what Fielding called the "wanton affected Fondness
for foreign Musick," was making the Italian opera a dangerous rival--the
more so as it was patronised by the nobility. Without actors, the
patentees were in serious case. Miss Raftor, who about this time became
Mrs. Clive, appears, however, to have remained faithful to them, as also
did Henry Fielding. The lively little comedy of the _Intriguing
Chambermaid_ was adapted from Regnard especially for her; and in its
published form was preceded by an epistle in which the dramatist dwells
upon the "Factions and Divisions among the Players," and compliments her
upon her compassionate adherence to Mr. Highmore and Mrs. Wilks in their
time of need. The epistle is also valuable for its warm and generous
testimony to the private character of this accomplished actress, whose
part in real life, says Fielding, was that of "the best Wife, the best
Daughter, the best Sister, and the best Friend." The words are more than
mere compliment; they appear to have been true. Madcap and humourist as
she was, no breath of slander seems ever to have tarnished the
reputation of Kitty Clive, whom Johnson--a fine judge, when his
prejudices were not actively aroused--called in addition "the best
player that he ever saw."

The _Intriguing Chambermaid_ was produced on the 15th of January 1734.
Lettice, from whom the piece was named, was well personated by Mrs.
Clive, and Colonel Bluff by Macklin, the only actor of any promise that
Highmore had been able to secure. With the new comedy the _Author's
Farce_ was revived. It would be unnecessary to refer to this again, but
for the additions that were made to it. These consisted chiefly in the
substitution of Marplay Junior for Sparkish, the actor-manager of the
first version. The death of Wilks may have been a reason for this
alteration; but a stronger was no doubt the desire to throw ridicule
upon Theophilus Cibber, whose behaviour in deserting Drury Lane
immediately after his father had sold his share to Highmore had not
passed without censure, nor had his father's action escaped sarcastic
comment. Theophilus Cibber--whose best part was Beaumont and Fletcher's
Copper Captain, and who carried the impersonation into private life, had
played in several of Fielding's pieces; but Fielding had linked his
fortunes to those of the patentees, and was consequently against the
players in this quarrel. The following scene was accordingly added to
the farce for the exclusive benefit of "Young Marplay":--

"_Marplay junior._ Mr. _Luckless_, I kiss your Hands--Sir, I am your
most obedient humble Servant; you see, Mr. _Luckless_, what Power you
have over me. I attend your Commands, tho' several Persons of Quality
have staid at Court for me above this Hour.

_Luckless._ I am obliged to you--I have a Tragedy for your House, Mr.
_Marplay_.

_Mar. jun._ Ha! if you will send it me, I will give you my Opinion of
it; and if I can make any Alterations in it that will be for its
Advantage, I will do it freely.

_Witmore._ Alterations, Sir?

_Mar. jun._ Yes, Sir, Alterations--I will maintain it, let a Play be
never so good, without Alteration it will do nothing.

_Wit._ Very odd indeed.

_Mar. jun._ Did you ever write, Sir?

_Wit._ No, Sir, I thank Heav'n.

_Mar. jun._ Oh! your humble Servant--your very humble Servant, Sir. When
you write yourself you will find the Necessity of Alterations. Why, Sir,
wou'd you guess that I had alter'd _Shakespear_?

_Wit._ Yes, faith, Sir, no one sooner.

_Mar. jun._ Alack-a-day! Was you to see the Plays when they are brought
to us--a Parcel of crude, undigested Stuff. We are the Persons, Sir, who
lick them into Form, that mould them into Shape--The Poet make the Play
indeed! The Colour-man might be as well said to make the Picture, or the
Weaver the Coat: My Father and I, Sir, are a Couple of poetical Tailors;
when a Play is brought us, we consider it as a Tailor does his Coat, we
cut it, Sir, we cut it: And let me tell you, we have the exact Measure
of the Town, we know how to fit their Taste. The Poets, between you and
me, are a Pack of ignorant--

_Wit._ Hold, hold, sir. This is not quite so civil to Mr. _Luckless_:
Besides, as I take it, you have done the Town the Honour of writing
yourself.

_Mar. jun._ Sir, you are a Man of Sense; and express yourself well. I
did, as you say, once make a small Sally into _Parnassus_, took a sort
of flying Leap over _Helicon_: But if ever they catch me there again--
Sir, the Town have a Prejudice to my Family; for if any Play you'd have
made them ashamed to damn it, mine must. It was all over Plot. It wou'd
have made half a dozen Novels: Nor was it cram'd with a pack of Wit-
traps, like _Congreve_ and _Wycherly_, where every one knows when the
Joke was coming. I defy the sharpest Critick of 'em all to know when any
Jokes of mine were coming. The Dialogue was plain, easy, and natural,
and not one single Joke in it from the Beginning to the End: Besides,
Sir, there was one Scene of tender melancholy Conversation, enough to
have melted a Heart of Stone; and yet they damn'd it: And they damn'd
themselves; for they shall have no more of mine.

_Wit._ Take pity on the Town, Sir.

_Mar. jun._ I! No, Sir, no. I'll write no more. No more; unless I am
forc'd to it.

_Luckless._ That's no easy thing, _Marplay_.

_Mar. jun._ Yes, Sir. Odes, Odes, a Man may be oblig'd to write those
you know." These concluding lines plainly refer to the elder Cibber's
appointment as Laureate in 1730, and to those "annual Birth-day
Strains," with which he so long delighted the irreverent; while the
alteration of Shakespeare and the cobbling of plays generally, satirised
again in a later scene, are strictly in accordance with contemporary
accounts of the manners and customs of the two dictators of Drury Lane.
The piece indicated by Marplay Junior was probably Theophilus Cibber's
_Lover_, which had been produced in January 1731 with very moderate
success.

After the _Intriguing Chambermaid_ and the revived _Author's Farce_,
Fielding seems to have made farther exertions for "the distressed Actors
in Drury Lane." He had always been an admirer of Cervantes, frequent
references to whose master-work are to be found scattered through his
plays; and he now busied himself with completing and expanding the loose
scenes of the comedy of _Don Quixote in England_, which (as before
stated) he had sketched at Leyden for his own diversion. He had already
thought of bringing it upon the stage, but had been dissuaded from doing
so by Cibber and Booth, who regarded it as wanting in novelty. Now,
however, he strengthened it by the addition of some election scenes, in
which--he tells Lord Chesterfield in the dedication--he designed to give
a lively representation of "the Calamities brought on a Country by
general Corruption;" and it was duly rehearsed. But unexpected delays
took place in its production; the revolted players returned to Drury
Lane; and, lest the actors' benefits should further retard its
appearance by postponing it until the winter season, Fielding
transferred it to the Haymarket, where, according to Geneste, it was
acted in April 1734. As a play, _Don Quixote in England_ has few stage
qualities and no plot to speak of. But the Don with his whimsies, and
Sancho with his appetite and string of proverbs, are conceived in
something of the spirit of Cervantes. Squire Badger, too, a rudimentary
Squire Western, well represented by Macklin, is vigorously drawn; and
the song of his huntsman Scut, beginning with the fine line "The dusky
Night rides down the Sky," has a verse that recalls a practice of which
Addison accuses Sir Roger de Coverley:--

  _"A brushing Fox in yonder Wood,
    Secure to find we seek;
  For why, I carry'd sound and good,
    A Cartload there last Week._
                 And a Hunting we will go."

The election scenes, though but slightly attached to the main story, are
keenly satirical, and considering that Hogarth's famous series of
kindred prints belongs to a much later date, must certainly have been
novel, as may be gathered from the following little colloquy between Mr.
Mayor and Messrs. Guzzle and Retail:--

"_Mayor_ (_to Retail_) ....I like an Opposition, because otherwise a Man
may be oblig'd to vote against his Party; therefore when we invite a
Gentleman to stand, we invite him to spend his Money for the Honour of
his Party; and when both Parties have spent as much as they are able,
every honest Man will vote according to his Conscience.

_Guz._ Mr. Mayor talks like a Man of Sense and Honour, and it does me
good to hear him.

_May._ Ay, ay, Mr. _Guzzle_, I never gave a Vote contrary to my
Conscience. I have very earnestly recommended the Country-Interest to
all my Brethren: But before that, I recommended the Town-Interest, that
is, the interest of this Corporation; and first of all I recommended to
every particular Man to take a particular Care of himself. And it is
with a certain way of Reasoning, That he who serves me best, will serve
the Town best; and he that serves the Town best, will serve the Country
best."

In the January and February of 1735 Fielding produced two more pieces at
Drury Lane, a farce and a five-act comedy. The farce--a lively trifle
enough--was _An Old Man taught Wisdom_, a title subsequently changed to
the _Virgin Unmasked_. It was obviously written to display the talents
of Mrs. Clive, who played in it her favourite character of a hoyden,
and, after "interviewing" a number of suitors chosen by her father,
finally ran away with Thomas the footman--a course in those days not
without its parallel in high life, above stairs as well as below. It
appears to have succeeded, though Bookish, one of the characters, was
entirely withdrawn in deference to some disapprobation on the part of
the audience; while the part of Wormwood, a lawyer, which is found in
the latest editions, is said to have been "omitted in representation."
The comedy, entitled _The Universal Gallant_; or, _The different
Husbands_, was scarcely so fortunate. Notwithstanding that Quin, who,
after an absence of many years, had returned to Drury Lane, played a
leading part, and that Theophilus Cibber in the hero, Captain Smart,
seems to have been fitted with a character exactly suited to his talents
and idiosyncrasy, the play ran no more than three nights. Till the third
act was almost over, "the _Audience_," says the _Prompter_ (as quoted by
"Sylvanus Urban"), "sat quiet, in hopes it would mend, till finding it
grew _worse_ and _worse_, they lost all Patience, and not an
_Expression_ or _Sentiment_ afterwards pass'd without its deserved
_Censure_." Perhaps it is not to be wondered at that the author--"the
prolifick _Mr. Fielding_," as the _Prompter_ calls him, attributed its
condemnation to causes other than its lack of interest. In his
_Advertisement_ he openly complains of the "cruel Usage" his "poor Play"
had met with, and of the barbarity of the young men about town who made
"a Jest of damning Plays"--a pastime which, whether it prevailed in this
case or not, no doubt existed, as Sarah Fielding afterwards refers to it
in _David Simple_. If an author--he goes on to say--"be so unfortunate
[_as_] to depend on the success of his Labours for his Bread, he must be
an inhuman Creature indeed, who would out of sport and wantonness
prevent a Man from getting a Livelihood in an honest and inoffensive
Way, and make a jest of starving him and his Family." The plea is a good
one if the play is good; but if not, it is worthless. In this respect
the public are like the French Cardinal in the story; and when the
famished writer's work fails to entertain them, they are fully justified
in doubting his _raison d'etre_. There is no reason for supposing that
the _Universal Gallant_ deserved a better fate than it met with.

Judging from the time which elapsed between the production of this play
and that of _Pasquin_ (Fielding's next theatrical venture), it has been
conjectured that the interval was occupied by his marriage, and brief
experience as a Dorsetshire country gentleman. The exact date of his
marriage is not known, though it is generally assumed to have taken
place in the beginning of 1735. But it may well have been earlier, for
it will be observed that in the above quotation from the Preface to the
_Universal Gallant_, which is dated from "Buckingham Street, Feb. 12,"
he indirectly speaks of "his family." This, it is true, may be no more
than the pious fraud of a bachelor; but if it be taken literally, we
must conclude that his marriage was already so far a thing of the past
that he was already a father. This supposition would account for the
absence of any record of the birth of a child during his forthcoming
residence at East Stour, by the explanation that it had already happened
in London; and it is not impossible that the entry of the marriage, too,
may be hidden away in some obscure Metropolitan parish register, since
those of Salisbury have been fruitlessly searched. At this distance of
time, however, speculation is fruitless; and, in default of more
definite information, the "spring of 1735," which Keightley gives, must
be accepted as the probable date of the marriage.

Concerning the lady, the particulars are more precise. She was a Miss
Charlotte Cradock, one of three sisters living upon their own means at
Salisbury, or--as it was then styled--New Sarum. Mr. Keightley's
personal inquiries, _circa_ 1858, elicited the information that the
family, now extinct, was highly respectable, but not of New Sarum's best
society. Richardson, in one of his malevolent outbursts, asserted that
the sisters were illegitimate; but, says the writer above referred to,
"of this circumstance we have no other proof, and I am able to add that
the tradition of Salisbury knows nothing of it."

They were, however, celebrated for their personal attractions; and if
the picture given in chap. ii. book iv. of _Tom Jones_ accurately
represents the first Mrs. Fielding, she must have been a most charming
brunette. Something of the stereotyped characteristics of a novelist's
heroine obviously enter into the description; but the luxuriant black
hair, which, cut "to comply with the modern Fashion," "curled so
gracefully in her Neck," the lustrous eyes, the dimple in the right
cheek, the chin rather full than small, and the complexion having "more
of the Lilly than of the Rose," but flushing with exercise or modesty,
are, doubtless, accurately set down. In speaking of the nose as "exactly
regular," Fielding appears to have deviated slightly from the truth; for
we learn from Lady Louisa Stuart that, in this respect, Miss Cradock's
appearance had "suffered a little" from an accident mentioned in book
ii. of _Amelia_, the overturning of a chaise. Whether she also possessed
the mental qualities and accomplishments which fell to the lot of Sophia
Western, we have no means of determining; but Lady Stuart is again our
authority for saying that she was as amiable as she was handsome.

From the love-poems in the first volume of the _Miscellanies_ of 1743--
poems which their author declares to have been "Productions of the Heart
rather than of the Head"--it is clear that Fielding had been attached to
his future wife for several years previous to 1735. One of them, _Advice
to the Nymphs of New S----m_, celebrates the charms of Celia--the
poetical equivalent for Charlotte--as early as 1730; another, containing
a reference to the player Anthony Boheme, who died in 1731, was probably
written at the same time; while a third, in which, upon the special
intervention of Jove himself, the prize of beauty is decreed by Venus to
the Salisbury sisters, may be of an earlier date than any. The year 1730
was the year of his third piece, the _Author's Farce_, and he must
therefore have been paying his addresses to Miss Cradock not very long
after his arrival in London. This is a fact to be borne in mind. So
early an attachment to a good and beautiful girl, living no farther off
than Salisbury, where his own father probably resided, is scarcely
consistent with the reckless dissipation which has been laid to his
charge, although, on his own showing, he was by no means faultless. But
it is a part of natures like his to exaggerate their errors in the
moment of repentance; and it may well be that Henry Fielding, too, was
not so black as he painted himself. Of his love-verses he says--"this
Branch of Writing is what I very little pretend to;" and it would be
misleading to rate them highly, for, unlike his literary descendant, Mr.
Thackeray, he never attained to any special quality of note. But some of
his octosyllabics, if they cannot be called equal to Prior's, fall
little below Swift's. "I hate"--cries he in one of the pieces,

  "I hate the Town, and all its Ways;
  Ridotto's, Opera's, and Plays;
  The Ball, the King, the Mall, the Court;
  Wherever the Beau-Monde resort....
  All Coffee-Houses, and their Praters;
  All Courts of Justice, and Debaters;
  All Taverns, and the Sots within 'em;
  All Bubbles, and the Rogues that skin 'em,"

--and so forth, the natural anti-climax being that he loves nothing but
his "Charmer" at Salisbury. In another, which is headed _To Celia--
Occasioned by her apprehending her House would be broke open, and having
an old Fellow to guard it, who sat up all Night, with a Gun without any
Ammunition_, and from which it has been concluded that the Miss Cradocks
were their own landlords, Venus chides Cupid for neglecting to guard her
favourite:--

  "'Come tell me, Urchin, tell no lies;
  Where was you hid, in _Vince's_ eyes?
  Did you fair _Bennet's_ Breast importune?
  (I know you dearly love a Fortune.)'
  Poor _Cupid_ now began to whine;
  'Mamma, it was no Fault of mine.
  I in a Dimple lay _perdue_,
  That little Guard-Room chose by you.
  A hundred Loves (all arm'd) did grace
  The Beauties of her Neck and Face;
  Thence, by a Sigh I dispossest,
  Was blown to _Harry Fielding's_ Breast;
  Where I was forc'd all Night to stay,
  Because I could not find my Way.
  But did Mamma know there what Work
  I've made, how acted like a Turk;
  What Pains, what Torment he endures,
  Which no Physician ever cures,
  She would forgive.' The Goddess smil'd,
  And gently chuck'd her wicked Child,
  Bid him go back, and take more Care,
  And give her Service to the Fair."

Swift, in his _Rhapsody on Poetry_, 1733, coupled Fielding with Leonard
Welsted as an instance of sinking in verse. But the foregoing, which he
could not have seen, is scarcely, if at all, inferior to his own
_Birthday Poems to Stella_. [Footnote: Swift afterwards substituted "the
laureate [Cibber]" for "Fielding," and appears to have changed his mind
as to the latter's merits. "I can assure Mr. _Fielding_," says Mrs.
Pilkington in the third and last volume of her _Memoirs_ (1754), "the
Dean had a high opinion of his Wit, which must be a Pleasure to him, as
no Man was ever better qualified to judge, possessing it so eminently
himself."]

The history of Fielding's marriage rests so exclusively upon the
statements of Arthur Murphy that it will be well to quote his words in
full:--

"Mr. Fielding had not been long a writer for the stage, when he married
Miss Craddock [_sic_], a beauty from Salisbury. About that time, his
mother dying, a moderate estate, at Stower in Dorsetshire, devolved to
him. To that place he retired with his wife, on whom he doated, with a
resolution to bid adieu to all the follies and intemperances to which he
had addicted himself in the career of a town-life. But unfortunately a
kind of family-pride here gained an ascendant over him; and he began
immediately to vie in splendour with the neighbouring country 'squires.
With an estate not much above two hundred pounds a-year, and his wife's
fortune, which did not exceed fifteen hundred pounds, he encumbered
himself with a large retinue of servants, all clad in costly yellow
liveries. For their master's honour, these people could not descend so
low as to be careful in their apparel, but, in a month or two, were
unfit to be seen; the 'squire's dignity required that they should be
new-equipped; and his chief pleasure consisting in society and convivial
mirth, hospitality threw open his doors, and, in less than three years,
entertainments, hounds, and horses, entirely devoured a little
patrimony, which, had it been managed with oeconomy, might have secured
to him a state of independence for the rest of his life, etc."

This passage, which has played a conspicuous part in all biographies of
Fielding, was very carefully sifted by Mr. Keightley, who came to the
conclusion that it was a "mere tissue of error and inconsistency."
[Footnote: Some of Mr. Keightley's criticisms were anticipated by
Watson.] Without going to this length, we must admit that it is
manifestly incorrect in many respects. If Fielding married in 1735
(though, as already pointed out, he may have married earlier, and
retired to the country upon the failure of the _Universal Gallant_), he
is certainly inaccurately described as "not having been long a _writer_
for the stage," since writing for the stage had been his chief
occupation for seven years. Then again his mother had died as far back
as April 10, 1718, when he was a boy of eleven; and if he had inherited
anything from her, he had probably been in the enjoyment of it ever
since he came of age. Furthermore, the statement as to "three years" is
at variance with the fact that, according to the dedication to the
_Universal Gallant_, he was still in London in February 1735, and was
back again managing the Haymarket in the first months of 1736. Murphy,
however, may only mean that the "estate" at East Stour was in his
possession for three years. Mr. Keightley's other points--namely, that
the "tolerably respectable farm-house," in which he is supposed to have
lived, was scarcely adapted to "splendid entertainments," or "a large
retinue of servants;" and that, to be in strict accordance with the
family arms, the liveries should have been not "yellow," but white and
blue--must be taken for what they are worth. On the whole, the
probability is, that Murphy's words were only the careless repetition of
local tittle-tattle, of much of which, as Captain Booth says pertinently
in _Amelia_, "the only basis is lying." The squires of the neighbourhood
would naturally regard the dashing young gentleman from London with the
same distrustful hostility that Addison's "Tory Foxhunter" exhibited to
those who differed with him in politics. It would be remembered,
besides, that the new-comer was the son of another and an earlier
Fielding of less pretensions, and no real cordiality could ever have
existed between them. Indeed, it may be assumed that this was the case,
for Booth's account of the opposition and ridicule which he--"a poor
renter!"--encountered when he enlarged his farm and set up his coach has
a distinct personal accent. That he was lavish, and lived beyond his
means, is quite in accordance with his character. The man who, as a Bow
Street magistrate, kept open house on a pittance, was not likely to be
less lavish as a country gentleman, with L1500 in his pocket, and newly
married to a young and handsome wife. "He would have wanted money," said
Lady Mary, "if his hereditary lands had been as extensive as his
imagination;" and there can be little doubt that the rafters of the old
farm by the Stour, with the great locust tree at the back, which is
figured in Hutchins's _History of Dorset_, rang often to hunting
choruses, and that not seldom the "dusky Night rode down the Sky" over
the prostrate forms of Harry Fielding's guests. [Footnote: An
interesting relic of the East Stour residence has recently been
presented by Mr. Merthyr Guest (through Mr. R. A. Kinglake) to the
Somersetshire Archaeological Society. It is an oak table of solid
proportions, and bears on a brass plate the following inscription,
emanating from a former owner:--"This table belonged to Henry Fielding,
Esq., novelist. He hunted from East Stour Farm, 1718, and in three years
dissipated his fortune keeping hounds." In 1718, it may be observed,
Fielding was a boy of eleven. Probably the whole of the latter sentence
is nothing more than a distortion of Murphy.] But even L1500, and (in
spite of Murphy) it is by no means clear that he had anything more,
could scarcely last for ever. Whether his footmen wore yellow or not, a
few brief months found him again in town. That he was able to rent a
theatre may perhaps be accepted as proof that his profuse hospitalities
had not completely exhausted his means.

The moment was a favourable one for a fresh theatrical experiment. The
stage-world was split up into factions, the players were disorganised,
and everything seemed in confusion. Whether Fielding himself conceived
the idea of making capital out of this state of things, or whether it
was suggested to him by some of the company who had acted _Don Quixote
in England_, it is impossible to say. In the first months of 1736,
however, he took the little French Theatre in the Haymarket, and opened
it with a company which he christened the "Great Mogul's Company of
Comedians," who were further described as "having dropped from the
Clouds." The "Great Mogul" was a name sometimes given by playwrights to
the elder Cibber; but there is no reason for supposing that any allusion
to him was intended on this occasion. The company, with the exception of
Macklin, who was playing at Drury Lane, consisted chiefly of the actors
in _Don Quixote in England_; and the first piece was entitled _Pasquin:
a Dramatick Satire on the Times: being the Rehearsal of Two Plays, viz.
a Comedy call'd the Election, and a Tragedy call'd the Life and Death of
Common-Sense_. The form of this work, which belongs to the same class as
Sheridan's _Critic_ and Buckingham's _Rehearsal_, was probably
determined by Fielding's past experience of the public taste. His latest
comedy had failed, and its predecessors had not been very successful.
But his burlesques had met with a better reception, while the election
episodes in _Don Quixote_ had seemed to disclose a fresh field for the
satire of contemporary manners. And in the satire of contemporary
manners he felt his strength lay. The success of _Pasquin_ proved he had
not miscalculated, for it ran more than forty nights, drawing, if we may
believe the unknown author of the life of Theophilus Cibber, numerous
and enthusiastic audiences "from _Grosvenor, Cavendish, Hanover_, and
all the other fashionable Squares, as also from _Pall Mall_, and the
_Inns of Court_."

In regard to plot, the comedy which _Pasquin_ contains scarcely deserves
the name. It consists of a string of loosely-connected scenes, which
depict the shameless political corruption of the Walpole era with a good
deal of boldness and humour. The sole difference between the "Court
party," represented by two Candidates with the Bunyan-like names of Lord
Place and Colonel Promise, and the "Country party," whose nominees are
Sir Harry Fox-Chace and Squire Tankard, is that the former bribe openly,
the latter indirectly. The Mayor, whose sympathies are with the "Country
party" is finally induced by his wife to vote for and return the other
side, although they are in a minority; and the play is concluded by the
precipitate marriage of his daughter with Colonel Promise. Mr. Fustian,
the Tragic Author, who, with Mr. Sneerwell the Critic, is one of the
spectators of the rehearsal, demurs to the abruptness with which this
ingenious catastrophe is brought about, and inquires where the
preliminary action, of which there is not the slightest evidence in the
piece itself, has taken place. Thereupon Trapwit, the Comic Author,
replies as follows, in one of those passages which show that, whatever
Fielding's dramatic limitations may have been, he was at least a keen
critic of stage practice:--

"_Trapwit._ Why, behind the Scenes, Sir. What, would you have every
Thing brought upon the Stage? I intend to bring ours to the Dignity of
the _French_ Stage; and I have _Horace's_ Advice of my Side; we have
many Things both said and done in our Comedies, which might be better
perform'd behind the Scenes: The _French_, you know, banish all Cruelty
from their Stage; and I don't see why we should bring on a Lady in ours,
practising all manner of Cruelty upon her Lover: beside, Sir, we do not
only produce it, but encourage it; for I could name you some Comedies,
if I would, where a Woman is brought in for four Acts together, behaving
to a worthy Man in a Manner for which she almost deserves to be hang'd;
and in the Fifth, forsooth, she is rewarded with him for a Husband: Now,
Sir, as I know this hits some Tastes, and am willing to oblige all, I
have given every Lady a Latitude of thinking mine has behaved in
whatever Manner she would have her."

The part of Lord Place in the _Election_, after the first few nights,
was taken by Cibber's daughter, the notorious Mrs. Charlotte Charke,
whose extraordinary Memoirs are among the curiosities of eighteenth-
century literature, and whose experiences were as varied as those of any
character in fiction. She does not seem to have acted in the _Life and
Death of Common-Sense_, the rehearsal of which followed that of the
_Election_. This is a burlesque of the _Tom Thumb_ type, much of which
is written in vigorous blank verse. Queen Common-Sense is conspired
against by Firebrand, Priest of the Sun, by Law, and by Physic. Law is
incensed because she has endeavoured to make his piebald jargon
intelligible; Physic because she has preferred Water Gruel to all his
drugs; and Firebrand because she would restrain the power of Priests.
Some of the strokes must have gone home to those receptive hearers who,
as one contemporary account informs us, "were dull enough not only to
think they contain'd Wit and Humour, but Truth also":--

  "_Queen Common-Sense._ My Lord of _Law_, I sent for you
          this Morning;

   I have a strange Petition given to me;
   Two Men, it seems, have lately been at Law
   For an Estate, which both of them have lost,
   And their Attorneys now divide between them.
     _Law._ Madam, these things will happen in the Law.
     _Q. C. S._ Will they, my Lord? then better we had none:
   But I have also heard a sweet Bird sing,
   That Men, unable to discharge their Debts
   At a short Warning, being sued for them,
   Have, with both Power and Will their Debts to pay
   Lain all their Lives in Prison for their Costs.
     _Law._ That may perhaps be some poor Person's Case,
   Too mean to entertain your Royal Ear.
     _Q. C. S._ My Lord, while I am Queen I shall not think
   One Man too mean, or poor, to be redress'd;
   Moreover, Lord, I am inform'd your Laws
   Are grown so large, and daily yet encrease,
   That the great Age of old _Methusalem_
   Would scarce suffice to read your Statutes out."

There is also much more than merely transitory satire in the speech of
"Firebrand" to the Queen:--

  "_Firebrand._ Ha! do you doubt it? nay, if you doubt
           that,
  I will prove nothing--But my zeal inspires me,
  And I will tell you, Madam, you yourself
  Are a most deadly Enemy to the Sun,
  And all his Priests have greatest Cause to wish
  You had been never born.
    _Q. C. S._ Ha! say'st thou, Priest?
  Then know I honour and adore the Sun!
  And when I see his Light, and feel his Warmth,
  I glow with naming Gratitude toward him;
  But know, I never will adore a Priest,
  Who wears Pride's Face beneath Religion's Mask.
  And makes a Pick-Lock of his Piety,
  To steal away the Liberty of Mankind.
  But while I live, I'll never give thee Power.
    _Firebrand._ Madam, our Power is not deriv'd from you,
  Nor any one: 'Twas sent us in a Box
  From the great Sun himself, and Carriage paid;
  _Phaeton_ brought it when he overturn'd
  The Chariot of the Sun into the Sea.
    _Q. C. S._ Shew me the Instrument, and let me read it.
    _Fireb._ Madam, you cannot read it, for being thrown
  Into the Sea, the Water has so damag'd it,
  That none but Priests could ever read it since."

In the end, Firebrand stabs Common-Sense, but her Ghost frightens
Ignorance off the Stage, upon which Sneerwell says--"I am glad you make
_Common-Sense_ get the better at last; I was under terrible
Apprehensions for your Moral." "Faith, Sir," says Fustian, "this is
almost the only Play where she has got the better lately." And so the
piece closes. But it would be wrong to quit it without some reference to
the numberless little touches by which, throughout the whole, the
humours of dramatic life behind the scenes are ironically depicted. The
Comic Poet is arrested on his way from "_King's Coffee-House,_" and the
claim being "for upwards of Four Pound," it is at first supposed that
"he will hardly get Bail." He is subsequently inquired after by a
Gentlewoman in a Riding-Hood, whom he passes off as a Lady of Quality,
but who, in reality, is bringing him a clean shirt. There are
difficulties with one of the Ghosts, who has a "Church-yard Cough," and
"is so Lame he can hardly walk the Stage;" while another comes to
rehearsal without being properly floured, because the stage barber has
gone to Drury Lane "to shave the Sultan in the New Entertainment." On
the other hand, the Ghost of Queen Common-Sense appears before she is
killed, and is with some difficulty persuaded that her action is
premature. Part of "the Mob" play truant to see a show in the park; Law,
straying without the playhouse passage is snapped up by a Lord Chief-
Justice's Warrant; and a Jew carries off one of the Maids of Honour.
These little incidents, together with the unblushing realism of the Pots
of Porter that are made to do duty for wine, and the extra two-penny
worth of Lightning that is ordered against the first night, are all in
the spirit of that inimitable picture of the _Strolling Actresses
dressing in a Barn_, which Hogarth gave to the world two years later,
and which, very possibly, may have borrowed some of its inspiration from
Fielding's "dramatic satire."

There is every reason to suppose that the profits of _Pasquin_ were far
greater than those of any of its author's previous efforts. In a rare
contemporary caricature, preserved in the British Museum, [Footnote:
Political and Personal Satires, No. 2287.] the "Queen of Common-Sense"
is shown presenting "Henry Fielding, Esq.," with a well-filled purse,
while to "Harlequin" (John Rich of Covent Garden) she extends a halter;
and in some doggerel lines underneath, reference is made to the "show'rs
of Gold" resulting from the piece. This, of course, might be no more
than a poetical fiction; but Fielding himself attests the pecuniary
success of _Pasquin_ in the Dedication to _Tumble-Down Dick_, and Mrs.
Charke's statement in her Memoirs that her salary for acting the small
part of Lord Place was four guineas a week, "with an Indulgence in Point
of Charges at her Benefit" by which she cleared sixty guineas, certainly
points to a prosperous exchequer. Fielding's own benefit, as appears
from the curious ticket attributed to Hogarth and facsimiled by A. M.
Ireland, took place on April 25, but we have no record of the amount of
his gains. Mrs. Charke farther says that "soon after _Pasquin_ began to
droop," Fielding produced Lillo's _Fatal Curiosity_ in which she acted
Agnes. This tragedy, founded on a Cornish story, is one of remarkable
power and passion; but upon its first appearance it made little
impression, although in the succeeding year it was acted to greater
advantage in combination with another satirical medley by Fielding, the
_Historical Register for the Year_ 1736.

Like most sequels, the _Historical Register_ had neither the vogue nor
the wit of its predecessor. It was only half as long, and it was even
more disconnected in character. "Harmonious Cibber," as Swift calls him,
whose "preposterous Odes" had already been ridiculed in _Pasquin_ and
the _Author's Farce_, was once more brought on the stage as Ground-Ivy,
for his alterations of Shakespeare; and under the name of Pistol,
Theophilus Cibber is made to refer to the contention between his second
wife, Arne's sister, and Mrs. Clive, for the honour of playing "Polly"
in the _Beggar's Opera_, a play-house feud which at the latter end of
1736 had engaged "the Town" almost as seriously as the earlier rivalry
of Faustina and Cuzzoni. This continued raillery of the Cibbers is, as
Fielding himself seems to have felt, a "Jest a little overacted;" but
there is one scene in the piece of undeniable freshness and humour, to
wit, that in which Cock, the famous salesman of the Piazzas--the George
Robins of his day--is brought on the stage as Mr. Auctioneer Hen (a part
taken by Mrs. Charke). His wares, "collected by the indefatigable Pains
of that celebrated Virtuoso, _Peter Humdrum_, Esq.," include such
desirable items as "curious Remnants of Political Honesty," "delicate
Pieces of Patriotism," Modesty (which does not obtain a bid), Courage,
Wit, and "a very neat clear Conscience" of great capacity, "which has
been worn by a Judge, and a Bishop." The "Cardinal Virtues" are then put
up, and eighteen-pence is bid for them. But after they have been knocked
down at this extravagant sum, the buyer complains that he had understood
the auctioneer to say "a Cardinal's Virtues," and that the lot he has
purchased includes "Temperance and Chastity, and a Pack of Stuff that he
would not give three Farthings for." The whole of this scene is
"admirable fooling;" and it was afterwards impudently stolen by
Theophilus Cibber for his farce of the _Auction_. The _Historical
Register_ concludes with a dialogue between Quidam, in whom the audience
recognised Sir Robert Walpole, and four patriots, to whom he gives a
purse which has an instantaneous effect upon their opinions. All five
then go off dancing to Quidam's fiddle; and it is explained that they
have holes in their pockets through which the money will fall as they
dance, enabling the donor to pick it all up again, "and so not lose one
Half-penny by his Generosity."

The frank effrontery of satire like the foregoing had by this time begun
to attract the attention of the Ministry, whose withers had already been
sharply wrung by _Pasquin_; and it has been conjectured that the ballet
of Quidam and the Patriots played no small part in precipitating the
famous "Licensing Act," which was passed a few weeks afterwards. Like
the marriage which succeeded the funeral of Hamlet's father, it
certainly "followed hard upon." But the reformation of the stage had
already been contemplated by the Legislature; and two years before, Sir
John Barnard had brought in a bill "to restrain the number of houses for
playing of Interludes, and for the better regulating of common Players
of Interludes." This, however, had been abandoned, because it was
proposed to add a clause enlarging the power of the Lord Chamberlain in
licensing plays, an addition to which the introducer of the measure made
strong objection. He thought the power of the Lord Chamberlain already
too great, and in support of his argument he instanced its wanton
exercise in the case of _Gay's Polly_, the representation of which had
been suddenly prohibited a few years earlier. But _Pasquin_ and the
_Register_ brought the question of dramatic lawlessness again to the
front, and a bill was hurriedly drawn, one effect of which was to revive
the very provision that Sir John Barnard had opposed. The history of
this affair is exceedingly obscure, and in all probability it has never
been completely revealed. The received or authorised version is to be
found in Coxe's _Life of Walpole_. After dwelling on the offence given
to the Government by _Pasquin_, the writer goes on to say that Giffard,
the manager of Goodman's Fields, brought Walpole a farce called _The
Golden Rump_, which had been proposed for exhibition. Whether he did
this to extort money, or to ask advice, is not clear. In either case,
Walpole is said to have "paid the profits which might have accrued from
the performance, and detained the copy." He then made a compendious
selection of the treasonable and profane passages it contained. These he
submitted to independent members of both parties, and afterwards read
them in the House itself. The result was that by way of amendment to the
"Vagrant Act" of Anne's reign, a bill was prepared limiting the number
of theatres, and compelling all dramatic writers to obtain a license
from the Lord Chamberlain. Such is Coxe's account; but notwithstanding
its circumstantial character, it has been insinuated in the sham memoirs
of the younger Cibber, and it is plainly asserted in the _Rambler's
Magazine_ for 1787, that certain preliminary details have been
conveniently suppressed. It is alleged that Walpole himself caused the
farce in question to be written, and to be offered to Giffard, for the
purpose of introducing his scheme of reform; and the suggestion is not
without a certain remote plausibility. As may be guessed, however, _The
Golden Rump_ cannot be appealed to. It was never printed, although its
title is identical with that of a caricature published in March 1737,
and fully described in the Gentleman's Magazine for that month. If the
play at all resembled the design, it must have been obscene and
scurrilous in the extreme. [Footnote: Horace Walpole, in his _Memoires
of the Last Ten Years of the Reign of George II._, says (vol. i. p. 12),
"I have in my possession the imperfect copy of this piece as I found it
among my father's papers after his death." He calls it Fielding's; but
no importance can be attached to the statement. There is a copy of the
caricature in the British Museum Print Room (Political and Personal
Satires, No. 2327).]

Meanwhile the new bill, to which it had given rise, passed rapidly
through both Houses. Report speaks of animated discussions and warm
opposition. But there are no traces of any divisions, or petitions
against it, and the only speech which has survived is the very elaborate
and careful oration delivered in the Upper House by Lord Chesterfield.
The "second Cicero"--as Sylvanus Urban styles him--opposed the bill upon
the ground that it would affect the liberty of the press; and that it
was practically a tax upon the chief property of men of letters, their
wit--a "precarious dependence"--which (he thanked God) my Lords were
not obliged to rely upon. He dwelt also upon the value of the stage as a
fearless censor of vice and folly; and he quoted with excellent effect
but doubtful accuracy the famous answer of the Prince of Conti [Conde]
to Moliere [Louis XIV.] when _Tartuffe_ was interdicted at the instance
of M. de Lamoignon:--"It is true, Moliere, Harlequin ridicules Heaven,
and exposes religion; but you have done much worse--you have ridiculed
the first minister of religion." This, although not directly advanced
for the purpose, really indicated the head and front of Fielding's
offending in _Pasquin_ and the _Historical Register_, and although in
Lord Chesterfield's speech the former is ironically condemned, it may
well be that Fielding, whose _Don Quixote_ had been dedicated to his
Lordship, was the wire-puller in this case, and supplied this very
illustration. At all events it is entirely in the spirit of Firebrand's
words in _Pasquin_:--

  "Speak boldly; by the Powers I serve, I swear
  You speak in Safety, even tho' you speak
  Against the Gods, provided that you speak
  Not against Priests."

But the feeling of Parliament in favour of drastic legislation was even
stronger than the persuasive periods of Chesterfield, and on the 21st of
June 1737 the bill received the royal assent.

With its passing Fielding's career as a dramatic author practically
closed. In his dedication of the _Historical Register_ to "the Publick,"
he had spoken of his desire to beautify and enlarge his little theatre,
and to procure a better company of actors; and he had added--"If Nature
hath given me any Talents at ridiculing Vice and Imposture, I shall not
be indolent, nor afraid of exerting them, while the Liberty of the Press
and Stage subsists, that is to say, while we have any Liberty left among
us." To all these projects the "Licensing Act" effectively put an end;
and the only other plays from his pen which were produced subsequently
to this date were the "Wedding Day," 1743, and the posthumous _Good-
Natured Man_, 1779, both of which, as is plain from the Preface to the
_Miscellanies_, were among his earliest attempts. In the little farce of
_Miss Lucy in Town_, 1742, he had, he says, but "a very small Share."
Besides these, there are three hasty and flimsy pieces which belong to
the early part of 1737. The first of these, _Tumble-Down Dick_; or,
_Phaeton in the Suds_, was a dramatic sketch in ridicule of the
unmeaning Entertainments and Harlequinades of John Rich at Covent
Garden. This was ironically dedicated to Rich, under his stage name of
"John Lun," and from the dedication it appears that Rich had brought out
an unsuccessful satire on _Pasquin_ called _Marforio_. The other two
were _Eurydice_, a profane and pointless farce, afterwards printed by
its author (in anticipation of Beaumarchais) "as it was d--mned at the
Theatre-Royal in Drury-Lane;" and a few detached scenes in which, under
the title of _Eurydice Hiss'd; or, a Word to the Wise_, its untoward
fate was attributed to the "frail Promise of uncertain Friends." But
even in these careless and half-considered productions there are happy
strokes; and one scarcely looks to find such nervous and sensible lines
in a mere _a propos_ as these from _Eurydice Hiss'd_:--

  "Yet grant it shou'd succeed, grant that by Chance,
  Or by the Whim and Madness of the Town,
  A Farce without Contrivance, without Sense
  Should run to the Astonishment of Mankind;
  Think how you will be read in After-times,
  When Friends are not, and the impartial Judge
  Shall with the meanest Scribbler rank your Name;
  Who would not rather wish a _Butler's_ fame,
  Distress'd, and poor in every thing but Merit,
  Than be the blundering Laureat to a Court?"

Self-accusatory passages such as this--and there are others like it--
indicate a higher ideal of dramatic writing than Fielding is held to
have attained, and probably the key to them is to be found in that
reaction of better judgment which seems invariably to have followed his
most reckless efforts. It was a part of his sanguine and impulsive
nature to be as easily persuaded that his work was worthless as that it
was excellent. "When," says Murphy, "he was not under the immediate
urgency of want, they, who were intimate with him, are ready to aver
that he had a mind greatly superior to anything mean or little; when his
finances were exhausted, he was not the most elegant in his choice of
the means to redress himself, and he would instantly exhibit a farce or
a puppet-shew in the Haymarket theatre, which was wholly inconsistent
with the profession he had embarked in." The quotation displays all
Murphy's loose and negligent way of dealing with his facts; for, with
the exception of _Miss Lucy in Town_, which can scarcely be ranked among
his works at all, there is absolutely no trace of Fielding's having
exhibited either "puppet-show" or "farce" after seriously adopting the
law as a profession, nor does there appear to have been much acting at
the Haymarket for some time after his management had closed in 1737.
Still, his superficial characteristics, which do not depend so much upon
Murphy as upon those "who were intimate with him," are probably
accurately described, and they sufficiently account for many of the
obvious discordances of his work and life. That he was fully conscious
of something higher than his actual achievement as a dramatist is clear
from his own observation in later life, "that he left off writing for
the stage, when he ought to have begun;"--an utterance which (we
shrewdly suspect) has prompted not a little profitless speculation as to
whether, if he had continued to write plays, they would have been equal
to, or worse than, his novels. The discussion would be highly
interesting, if there were the slightest chance that it could be
attended with any satisfactory result. But the truth is, that the very
materials are wanting. Fielding "left off writing for the stage" when he
was under thirty; _Tom Jones_ was published in 1749, when he was more
than forty. His plays were written in haste; his novels at leisure, and
when, for the most part, he was relieved from that "immediate urgency of
want," which, according to Murphy, characterised his younger days. If--
as has been suggested--we could compare a novel written at thirty with a
play of the same date, or a play written at forty with _Tom Jones_, the
comparison might be instructive, although even then considerable
allowances would have to be made for the essential difference between
plays and novels. But, as we cannot make such a comparison, further
inquiry is simply waste of time. All we can safely affirm is, that the
plays of Fielding's youth did not equal the fictions of his maturity;
and that, of those plays, the comedies were less successful than the
farces and burlesques. Among other reasons for this latter difference
one chiefly may be given:--that in the comedies he sought to reproduce
the artificial world of Congreve and Wycherley, while in the burlesques
and farces he depicted the world in which he lived.



CHAPTER III.

THE CHAMPION--JOSEPH ANDREWS.


The _Historical Register_ and _Eurydice Hiss'd_ were published together
in June 1737. By this time the "Licensing Act" was passed, and the
"Grand Mogul's Company" dispersed for ever. Fielding was now in his
thirty-first year, with a wife and probably a daughter depending on him
for support. In the absence of any prospect that he would be able to
secure a maintenance as a dramatic writer, he seems to have decided, in
spite of his comparatively advanced age, to revert to the profession for
which he had originally been intended, and to qualify himself for the
Bar. Accordingly, at the close of the year, he became a student of the
Middle Temple, and the books of that society contain the following
record of his admission: [Footnote: This differs slightly from previous
transcripts, having been verified at the Middle Temple.]--

[574 G] 1 Nov 1737.

_Henricus Fielding, de East Stour in Com Dorset Ar, filius et haeres
apparens Brig: Genlis: Edmundi Fielding admissus est in Societatem Medii
Templi Lond specialiter et obligator una cum etc.

Et dat pro fine 4. 0. 0._

It may be noted, as Mr. Keightley has already observed, that Fielding is
described in this entry as of East Stour, "which would seem to indicate
that he still retained his property at that place;" and further, that
his father is spoken of as a "brigadier-general," whereas (according to
the _Gentleman's Magazine_) he had been made a major-general in December
1735. Of discrepancies like these it is idle to attempt any explanation.
But, if Murphy is to be believed, Fielding devoted himself henceforth
with remarkable assiduity to the study of law. The old irregularity of
life, it is alleged, occasionally asserted itself, though without
checking the energy of his application. "This," says his first
biographer, "prevailed in him to such a degree, that he has been
frequently known, by his intimates, to retire late at night from a
tavern to his chambers, and there read, and make extracts from, the most
abstruse authors, for several hours before he went to bed; so powerful
were the vigour of his constitution and the activity of his mind." It is
to this passage, no doubt, that we owe the picturesque wet towel and
inked ruffles with which Mr. Thackeray has decorated him in _Pendennis_;
and, in all probability, a good deal of graphic writing from less able
pens respecting his _modus vivendi_ as a Templar. In point of fact,
nothing is known with certainty respecting his life at this period; and
what it would really concern us to learn--namely, whether by "chambers"
it is to be understood that he was living alone, and, if so, where Mrs.
Fielding was at the time of these protracted vigils--Murphy has not told
us. Perhaps she was safe all the while at East Stour, or with her
sisters at Salisbury. Having no precise information, however, it can
only be recorded, that, in spite of the fitful outbreaks above referred
to, Fielding applied himself to the study of his profession with all the
vigour of a man who has to make up for lost time; and that, when on the
20th of June 1740 the day came for his being "called," he was very
fairly equipped with legal knowledge. That he had also made many friends
among his colleagues of Westminster Hall is manifest from the number of
lawyers who figure in the subscription list of the _Miscellanies_.

To what extent he was occupied by literary work during his probationary
period it is difficult to say. Murphy speaks vaguely of "a large number
of fugitive political tracts;" but unless the _Essay on Conversation_,
advertised by Lawton Gilliver in 1737, be the same as that afterwards
reprinted in the _Miscellanies_, there is no positive record of anything
until the issue of True Greatness, an epistle to George Dodington, in
January 1741, though he may, of course, have written much anonymously.
Among newspapers, the one Murphy had in mind was probably the
_Champion_, the first number of which is dated November 15, 1739, two
years after his admission to the Middle Temple as a student. On the
whole, it seems most likely, as Mr. Keightley conjectures, that his
chief occupation in the interval was studying law, and that he must have
been living upon the residue of his wife's fortune or his own means, in
which case the establishment of the above periodical may mark the
exhaustion of his resources.

The _Champion_ is a paper on the model of the elder essayists. It was
issued, like the _Tatler_, on Tuesdays, Thursdays, and Saturdays. Murphy
says that Fielding's part in it cannot now be ascertained; but as the
"Advertisement" to the edition in two volumes of 1741 states expressly
that the papers signed C. and L. are the "Work of one Hand," and as a
number of those signed C. are unmistakably Fielding's, it is hard to
discover where the difficulty lay. The papers signed C. and L. are by
far the most numerous, the majority of the remainder being distinguished
by two stars, or the signature "Lilbourne." These are understood to have
been from the pen of James Ralph, whose poem of _Night_ gave rise to a
stinging couplet in the _Dunciad_, but who was nevertheless a man of
parts, and an industrious writer. As will be remembered, he had
contributed a prologue to the _Temple Beau_, so that his association
with Fielding must have been of some standing. Besides Ralph's essays in
the _Champion_, he was mainly responsible for the _Index to the Times_
which accompanied each number, and consisted of a series of brief
paragraphs on current topics, or the last new book. In this way Glover's
_London_, Boyse's _Deity_, Somervile's _Hobbinol_, Lillo's _Elmeric_,
Dyer's _Ruins of Rome_, and other of the very minor _poetae minores_ of
the day, were commented upon. These notes and notices, however, were
only a subordinate feature of the _Champion_, which, like its
predecessors, consisted chiefly of essays and allegories, social, moral,
and political, the writers of which were supposed to be members of an
imaginary "Vinegar family," described in the initial paper. Of these the
most prominent was Captain Hercules Vinegar, who took all questions
relating to the Army, Militia, Trained-Bands, and "fighting Part of the
Kingdom." His father, Nehemiah Vinegar, presided over history and
politics; his uncle, Counsellor Vinegar, over law and judicature; and
Dr. John Vinegar his cousin, over medicine and natural philosophy. To
others of the family--including Mrs. Joan Vinegar, who was charged with
domestic affairs--were allotted classic literature, poetry and the
Drama, and fashion. This elaborate scheme was not very strictly adhered
to, and the chief writer of the group is Captain Hercules.

Shorn of the contemporary interest which formed the chief element of its
success when it was first published, it must be admitted that, in the
present year of grace, the _Champion_ is hard reading. A kind of
lassitude--a sense of uncongenial task-work--broods heavily over
Fielding's contributions, except the one or two in which he is quickened
into animation by his antagonism to Cibber; and although, with our
knowledge of his after achievements, it is possible to trace some
indications of his yet unrevealed powers, in the absence of such
knowledge it would be difficult to distinguish the _Champion_ from the
hundred-and-one forgotten imitators of the _Spectator_ and _Tatler_,
whose names have been so patiently chronicled by Dr. Nathan Drake. There
is, indeed, a certain obvious humour in the account of Captain Vinegar's
famous club, which he had inherited from Hercules, and which had the
enviable property of falling of itself upon any knave in company, and
there is a dash of the _Tom Jones_ manner in the noisy activity of that
excellent housewife Mrs. Joan. Some of the lighter papers, such as the
one upon the "Art of Puffing," are amusing enough; and of the visions,
that which is based upon Lucian, and represents Charon as stripping his
freight of all their superfluous incumbrances in order to lighten his
boat, has a double interest, since it contains references not only to
Cibber, but also (though this appears to have been hitherto overlooked)
to Fielding himself. The "tall Man," who at Mercury's request strips off
his "old Grey Coat with great Readiness," but refuses to part with "half
his Chin," which the shepherd of souls regards as false, is clearly
intended for the writer of the paper, even without the confirmation
afforded by the subsequent allusions to his connection with the stage.
His "length of chin and nose," sufficiently apparent in his portrait,
was a favourite theme for contemporary personalities. Of the moral
essays, the most remarkable are a set of four papers, entitled _An
Apology for the Clergy_, which may perhaps be regarded as a set-off
against the sarcasms of _Pasquin_ on priestcraft. They depict, with a
great deal of knowledge and discrimination, the pattern priest as
Fielding conceived him. To these may be linked an earlier picture, taken
from life, of a country parson who, in his simple and dignified
surroundings, even more closely resembles the Vicar of Wakefield than
Mr. Abraham Adams. Some of the more general articles contain happy
passages. In one there is an admirable parody of the Norman-French
jargon, which in those days added superfluous obscurity to legal
utterances; while another, on "Charity," contains a forcible exposition
of the inexpediency, as well as inhumanity, of imprisonment for debt.
References to contemporaries, the inevitable Cibber excepted, are few,
and these seem mostly from the pen of Ralph. The following, from that of
Fielding, is notable as being one of the earliest authoritative
testimonies to the merits of Hogarth: "I esteem (says he) the ingenious
_Mr. Hogarth_ as one of the most useful Satyrists any Age hath produced.
In his excellent Works you see the delusive Scene exposed with all the
Force of Humour, and, on casting your Eyes on another Picture, you
behold the dreadful and fatal Consequence. I almost dare affirm that
those two Works of his, which he calls the _Rake's_ and the _Harlot's
Progress_, are calculated more to serve the Cause of Virtue, and for the
Preservation of Mankind, than all the _Folio's_ of Morality which have
been ever written; and a sober Family should no more be without them,
than without the _Whole Duty of Man_ in their House." He returned to the
same theme in the Preface to _Joseph Andrews_ with a still apter phrase
of appreciation:--"It hath been thought a vast Commendation of a
Painter, to say his Figures seem to breathe; but surely, it is a much
greater and nobler Applause, that they appear to think." [Footnote:
Fielding occasionally refers to Hogarth for the pictorial types of his
characters. Bridget Allworthy, he tells us, resembled the starched prude
in _Morning_; and Mrs. Partridge and Parson Thwackum have their
originals in the _Harlot's Progress_. It was Fielding, too, who said
that the _Enraged Musician_ was "enough to make a man deaf to look at"
(_Voyage to Lisbon_, 1755, p. 50).]

When the _Champion_ was rather more than a year old, Colley Cibber
published his famous _Apology_. To the attacks made upon him by Fielding
at different times he had hitherto printed no reply--perhaps he had no
opportunity of doing so. But in his eighth chapter, when speaking of the
causes which led to the Licensing Act, he takes occasion to refer to his
assailant in terms which Fielding must have found exceedingly galling.
He carefully abstained from mentioning his name, on the ground that it
could do him no good, and was of no importance; but he described him as
"a broken Wit," who had sought notoriety "by raking the Channel" (i.e.
Kennel), and "pelting his Superiors." He accused him, with a scandalised
gravity that is as edifying as Chesterfield's irony, of attacking
"Religion, Laws, Government, Priests, Judges, and Ministers." He called
him, either in allusion to his stature, or his pseudonym in the
_Champion_, a "_Herculean_ Satyrist," a "_Drawcansir_ in Wit"--"who, to
make his Poetical Fame immortal, like another _Erostratus_, set Fire to
his Stage, by writing up to an Act of Parliament to demolish it. I shall
not," he continues, "give the particular Strokes of his Ingenuity a
Chance to be remembered, by reciting them; it may be enough to say, in
general Terms, they were so openly flagrant, that the Wisdom of the
Legislature thought it high time, to take a proper Notice of them."

Fielding was not the man to leave such a challenge unanswered. In the
_Champion_ for April 22, 1740, and two subsequent papers, he replied
with a slashing criticism of the _Apology_, in which, after
demonstrating that it must be written in English because it was written
in no other language, he gravely proceeds to point out examples of the
author's superiority to grammar and learning--and in general, subjects
its pretentious and slip-shod style to a minute and highly detrimental
examination. In a further paper he returns to the charge by a mock trial
of one "Col. _Apol._" (i.e. Colley-_Apology_), arraigning him for that,
"not having the Fear of Grammar before his Eyes," he had committed an
unpardonable assault upon his mother-tongue. Fielding's knowledge of
legal forms and phraseology enabled him to make a happy parody of court
procedure, and Mr. Lawrence says that this particular "_jeu d'esprit_
obtained great celebrity." But the happiest stroke in the controversy--
as it seems to us--is one which escaped Mr. Lawrence, and occurs in the
paper already referred to, where Charon and Mercury are shown denuding
the luckless passengers by the Styx of their surplus _impedimenta_.
Among the rest, approaches "an elderly Gentleman with a Piece of
wither'd Laurel on his head." From a little book, which he is discovered
(when stripped) to have bound close to his heart, and which bears the
title of _Love in a Riddle_--an unsuccessful pastoral produced by Cibber
at Drury Lane in 1729--it is clear that this personage is intended for
none other than the Apologist, who, after many entreaties, is finally
compelled to part with his treasure. "I was surprized," continues
Fielding, "to see him pass Examination with his Laurel on, and was
assured by the Standers by, that _Mercury_ would have taken it off, if
he had seen it."

These attacks in the _Champion_ do not appear to have received any
direct response from Cibber. But they were reprinted in a rambling
production issued from "Curll's chaste press" in 1740, and entitled the
_Tryal of Colley Cibber, Comedian, &c._ At the end of this there is a
short address to "the _Self-dubb'd Captain_ Hercules Vinegar, _alias_
Buffoon," to the effect that "the malevolent Flings exhibited by him and
his Man _Ralph_," have been faithfully reproduced. Then comes the
following curious and not very intelligible "Advertisement:"--

"If the Ingenious _Henry Fielding_ Esq.; (Son of the Hon. Lieut. General
_Fielding_, who upon his Return from his Travels entered himself of the
_Temple_ in order to study the Law, and married one of the pretty Miss
_Cradocks of Salisbury_) will _own_ himself the AUTHOR of 18 strange
Things called Tragical _Comedies_ and Comical _Tragedies_, lately
advertised by _J. Watts_, of _Wild-Court_, Printer, he shall be
_mentioned_ in Capitals in the _Third_ Edition of Mr. CIBBER'S _Life_,
and likewise be placed _among_ the _Poetae minores Dramatici_ of the
Present Age: Then will both his _Name and Writings be remembered on
Record_, in the immortal _Poetical Register_ written by Mr. GILES
JACOB."

The "poetical register" indicated was the book of that name, containing
the _Lives and Characteristics of the English Dramatic Poets_, which Mr.
Giles Jacob, an industrious literary hack, had issued in 1723. Mr.
Lawrence is probably right in his supposition, based upon the foregoing
advertisement, that Fielding "had openly expressed resentment at being
described by Cibber as 'a broken wit,' without being mentioned by name."
He never seems to have wholly forgotten his animosity to the actor, to
whom there are frequent references in _Joseph Andrews_; and, as late as
1749, he is still found harping on "the withered laurel" in a letter to
Lyttelton. Even in his last work, the _Voyage to Lisbon_, Cibber's name
is mentioned. The origin of this protracted feud is obscure; but, apart
from want of sympathy, it must probably be sought for in some early
misunderstanding between the two in their capacities of manager and
author. As regards Theophilus Cibber, his desertion of Highmore was
sufficient reason for the ridicule cast upon him in the _Author's Farce_
and elsewhere. With Mrs. Charke, the Laureate's intractable and
eccentric daughter, Fielding was naturally on better terms. She was, as
already stated, a member of the Great Mogul's Company, and it is worth
noting that some of the sarcasms in _Pasquin_ against her father were
put into the mouth of Lord Place, whose part was taken by this undutiful
child. All things considered, both in this controversy and the later one
with Pope, Cibber did not come off worst. His few hits were personal and
unscrupulous, and they were probably far more deadly in their effects
than any of the ironical attacks which his adversaries, on their part,
directed against his poetical ineptitude or halting "parts of speech."
Despite his superlative coxcombry and egotism, he was, moreover, a man
of no mean abilities. His _Careless Husband_ is a far better acting play
than any of Fielding's, and his _Apology_, which even Johnson allowed to
be "well-done," is valuable in many respects, especially for its account
of the contemporary stage. In describing an actor or actress he had few
equals--witness his skilful portrait of Nokes, and his admirably graphic
vignette of Mrs. Verbruggen as that "finish'd Impertinent," Melantha, in
Dryden's _Marriage a-la-Mode_.

The concluding paper in the collected edition of the _Champion_,
published in 1741, is dated June 19, 1740. On the day following Fielding
was called to the Bar by the benchers of the Middle Temple, and (says
Mr. Lawrence) "chambers were assigned him in Pump Court." Simultaneously
with this, his regular connection with journalism appears to have
ceased, although from his statement in the Preface to the
_Miscellanies_,--that "as long as from _June_ 1741," he had "desisted
from writing one Syllable in the _Champion_, or any other public Paper,"
--it may perhaps be inferred that up to that date he continued to
contribute now and then. This, nevertheless, is by no means clear. His
last utterance in the published volumes is certainly in a sense
valedictory, as it refers to the position acquired by the _Champion_,
and the difficulty experienced in establishing it. Incidentally, it pays
a high compliment to Pope, by speaking of "the divine Translation of the
_Iliad_, which he [Fielding] has lately with _no Disadvantage to the
Translator_ COMPARED with the Original," the point of the sentence so
impressed by its typography, being apparently directed against those
critics who had condemned Pope's work without the requisite knowledge of
Greek. From the tenor of the rest of the essay it may, however, be
concluded that the writer was taking leave of his enterprise; and,
according to a note by Boswell, in his _Life of Johnson_, it seems that
Mr. Reed of Staple Inn possessed documents which showed that Fielding at
this juncture, probably in anticipation of more lucrative legal duties,
surrendered the reins to Ralph. The _Champion_ continued to exist for
some time longer; indeed, it must be regarded as long-lived among the
essayists, since the issue which contained its well-known criticism on
Garrick is No. 455, and appeared late in 1742. But as far as can be
ascertained, it never again obtained the honours of a reprint.

Although, after he was called to the Bar, Fielding practically
relinquished periodical literature, he does not seem to have entirely
desisted from writing. In Sylvanus Urban's Register of Books, published
during January 1741, is advertised the poem _Of True Greatness_
afterwards included in the _Miscellanies_; and the same authority
announces the _Vernoniad_, an anonymous burlesque Epic prompted by
Admiral Vernon's popular expedition against Porto Bello in 1739, "with
six Ships only." That Fielding was the author of the latter is
sufficiently proved by his order to Mr. Nourse (printed in Roscoe's
edition), to deliver fifty copies to Mr. Chappel. Another sixpenny
pamphlet, entitled _The Opposition, a Vision_, issued in December of the
same year, is enumerated by him, in the Preface to the _Miscellanies_,
among the few works he had published "since the End of _June_ 1741;"
and, provided it can be placed before this date, he may be credited with
a political sermon called the _Crisis_ (1741), which is ascribed to him
upon the authority of a writer in Nichols's _Anecdotes_. He may also,
before "the End of _June_ 1741," have written other things; but it is
clear from his _Caveat_ in the above-mentioned "Preface," together with
his complaint that "he had been very unjustly censured, as well on
account of what he had not writ, as for what he had," that much more has
been laid to his charge than he ever deserved. Among ascriptions of this
kind may be mentioned the curious _Apology for the Life of Mr. The'
Cibber, Comedian_, 1740, which is described on its title-page as a
proper sequel to the autobiography of the Laureate, in whose "style and
manner" it is said to be written. But, although this performance is
evidently the work of some one well acquainted with the dramatic annals
of the day, it is more than doubtful whether Fielding had any hand or
part in it. Indeed, his own statement that "he never was, nor would be
the Author of _anonymous_ Scandal [the italics are ours] on the private
History or Family of any Person whatever," should be regarded as
conclusive.

During all this time he seems to have been steadily applying himself to
the practice of his profession, if, indeed, that weary hope deferred
which forms the usual probation of legal preferment can properly be so
described. As might be anticipated from his Salisbury connections, he
travelled the Western Circuit; and, according to Hutchins's _Dorset_, he
assiduously attended the Wiltshire sessions. He had many friends among
his brethren of the Bar. His cousin, Henry Gould, who had been called in
1734, and who, like his grandfather, ultimately became a Judge, was also
a member of the Middle Temple; and he was familiar with Charles Pratt,
afterwards Lord Camden, whom he may have known at Eton, but whom he
certainly knew in his barrister days. It is probable, too, that he was
acquainted with Lord Northington, then Robert Henley, whose name appears
as a subscriber to the _Miscellanies_, and who was once supposed to
contend with Kettleby (another subscriber) for the honour of being the
original of the drunken barrister in Hogarth's _Midnight Modern
Conversation_, a picture which no doubt accurately represents a good
many of the festivals by which Henry Fielding relieved the tedium of
composing those MS. _folio_ volumes on Crown or Criminal Law, which,
after his death, reverted to his half-brother, Sir John. But towards the
close of 1741 he was engaged upon another work which has outweighed all
his most laborious forensic efforts, and which will long remain an
English classic. This was _The History of the Adventures of Joseph
Andrews, and of his Friend Mr. Abraham Adams_, published by Andrew
Millar in February 1742.

In the same number, and at the same page of the _Gentleman's Magazine_
which contains the advertisement of the _Vernoniad_, there is a
reference to a famous novel which had appeared in November 1740, two
months earlier, and had already attained an extraordinary popularity.
"Several Encomiums (says Mr. Urban) on a Series of _Familiar Letters_,
publish'd but last month, entitled PAMELA or _Virtue rewarded_, came too
late for this Magazine, and we believe there will be little Occasion for
inserting them in our next; because a Second Edition will then come out
to supply the Demands in the Country, it being judged in Town as great a
Sign of Want of Curiosity not to have read _Pamela_, as not to have seen
the _French_ and _Italian_ Dancers." A second edition was in fact
published in the following month (February), to be speedily succeeded by
a third in March and a fourth in May. Dr. Sherlock (oddly misprinted by
Mrs. Barbauld as "Dr. Slocock") extolled it from the pulpit; and the
great Mr. Pope was reported to have gone farther and declared that it
would "do more good than many volumes of sermons." Other admirers ranked
it next to the Bible; clergymen dedicated theological treatises to the
author; and "even at Ranelagh"--says Richardson's biographer--"those who
remember the publication say, that it was usual for ladies to hold up
the volumes of Pamela to one another, to shew that they had got the book
that every one was talking of." It is perhaps hypercritical to observe
that Ranelagh Gardens were not opened until eighteen months after Mr.
Rivington's _duodecimos_ first made their appearance; but it will be
gathered from the tone of some of the foregoing commendations that its
morality was a strong point with the new candidate for literary fame;
and its voluminous title-page did indeed proclaim at large that it was
"Published in order to cultivate the Principles of Virtue and Religion
in the Minds of the Youth of Both Sexes." Its author, Samuel Richardson,
was a middle-aged London printer, a vegetarian and water-drinker, a
worthy, domesticated, fussy, and highly-nervous little man. Delighting
in female society, and accustomed to act as confidant and amanuensis for
the young women of his acquaintance, it had been suggested to him by
some bookseller friends that he should prepare a "little volume of
Letters, in a common style, on such subjects as might be of use to those
country readers, who were unable to indite for themselves." As Hogarth's
Conversation Pieces grew into his Progresses, so this project seems to
have developed into _Pamela, or Virtue Rewarded_. The necessity for some
connecting link between the letters suggested a story, and the story
chosen was founded upon the actual experiences of a young servant girl,
who, after victoriously resisting all the attempts made by her master to
seduce her, ultimately obliged him to marry her. It is needless to give
any account here of the minute and deliberate way in which Richardson
filled in this outline. As one of his critics, D'Alembert, has
unanswerably said--_"La, nature est bonne a imiter, mais non pas
jusgu'a l'ennui"_--and the author of _Pamela_ has plainly disregarded
this useful law. On the other hand, the tedium and elaboration of his
style have tended, in these less leisurely days, to condemn his work to
a neglect which it does not deserve. Few writers--it is a truism to say
so--have excelled him in minute analysis of motive, and knowledge of the
human heart. About the final morality of his heroine's long-drawn
defence of her chastity it may, however, be permitted to doubt; and, in
contrasting the book with Fielding's work, it should not be forgotten
that, irreproachable though it seemed to the author's admirers, good Dr.
Watts complained (and with reason) of the indelicacy of some of the
scenes.

But, for the moment, we are more concerned with the effect which
_Pamela_ produced upon Henry Fielding, struggling with the "eternal want
of pence, which vexes public men," and vaguely hoping for some
profitable opening for powers which had not yet been satisfactorily
exercised. To his robust and masculine genius, never very delicately
sensitive where the relations of the sexes are concerned, the strange
conjunction of purity and precaution in Richardson's heroine was a thing
unnatural, and a theme for inextinguishable Homeric laughter. That
Pamela, through all her trials, could really have cherished any
affection for her unscrupulous admirer would seem to him a sentimental
absurdity, and the unprecedented success of the book would sharpen his
sense of its assailable side. Possibly, too, his acquaintance with
Richardson, whom he knew personally, but with whom he could have had no
kind of sympathy, disposed him against his work. In any case, the idea
presently occurred to Fielding of depicting a young man in circumstances
of similar importunity at the hands of a dissolute woman of fashion. He
took for his hero Pamela's brother, and by a malicious stroke of the pen
turned the Mr. B. of _Pamela_ into Squire Booby. But the process of
invention rapidly carried him into paths far beyond the mere parody of
Richardson, and it is only in the first portion of the book that he
really remembers his intention. After chapter x. the story follows its
natural course, and there is little or nothing of Lady Booby, or her
frustrate amours. Indeed, the author does not even pretend to preserve
congruity as regards his hero, for, in chapter v., he makes him tell his
mistress that he has never been in love, while in chapter xi. we are
informed that he had long been attached to the charming Fanny. Moreover,
in the intervening letters which Joseph writes to his sister Pamela, he
makes no reference to this long-existent attachment, with which, one
would think, she must have been perfectly familiar. These discrepancies
all point, not so much to negligence on the part of the author, as to an
unconscious transformation of his plan. He no doubt speedily found that
mere ridicule of Richardson was insufficient to sustain the interest of
any serious effort, and, besides, must have been secretly conscious that
the "Pamela" characteristics of his hero were artistically
irreconcilable with the personal bravery and cudgel-playing attributes
with which he had endowed him. Add to this that the immortal Mrs.
Slipslop and Parson Adams--the latter especially--had begun to acquire
an importance with their creator for which the initial scheme had by no
means provided; and he finally seems to have disregarded his design,
only returning to it in his last chapters in order to close his work
with some appearance of consistency. The _History of Joseph Andrews_, it
has been said, might well have dispensed with Lady Booby altogether, and
yet, without her, not only this book, but _Tom Jones_ and _Amelia_ also,
would probably have been lost to us. The accident which prompted three
such masterpieces cannot be honestly regretted.

It was not without reason that Fielding added prominently to his title-
page the name of Mr. Abraham Adams. If he is not the real hero of the
book, he is undoubtedly the character whose fortunes the reader follows
with the closest interest. Whether he is smoking his black and
consolatory pipe in the gallery of the inn, or losing his way while he
meditates a passage of Greek, or groaning over the fatuities of the man-
of-fashion in Leonora's story, or brandishing his famous crabstick in
defence of Fanny, he is always the same delightful mixture of
benevolence and simplicity, of pedantry and credulity and ignorance of
the world. He is "compact," to use Shakespeare's word, of the oddest
contradictions,--the most diverting eccentricities. He has Aristotle's
_Politics_ at his fingers' ends, but he knows nothing of the daily
_Gazetteers_; he is perfectly familiar with the Pillars of Hercules, but
he has never even heard of the Levant. He travels to London to sell a
collection of sermons which he has forgotten to carry with him, and in a
moment of excitement he tosses into the fire the copy of _AEschylus_
which it has cost him years to transcribe. He gives irreproachable
advice to Joseph on fortitude and resignation, but he is overwhelmed
with grief when his child is reported to be drowned. When he speaks upon
faith and works, on marriage, on school discipline, he is weighty and
sensible; but he falls an easy victim to the plausible professions of
every rogue he meets, and is willing to believe in the principles of Mr.
Peter Pounce, or the humanity of Parson Trulliber. Not all the
discipline of hog's blood and cudgels and cold water to which he is
subjected can deprive him of his native dignity; and as he stands before
us in the short great-coat under which his ragged cassock is continually
making its appearance, with his old wig and battered hat, a clergyman
whose social position is scarcely above that of a footman, and who
supports a wife and six children upon a cure of twenty-three pounds a
year, which his outspoken honesty is continually jeopardising, he is a
far finer figure than Pamela in her coach-and-six, or Bellarmine in his
cinnamon velvet. If not, as Mr. Lawrence says, with exaggerated
enthusiasm, "the grandest delineation of a pattern-priest which the
world has yet seen," he is assuredly a noble example of primitive
goodness and practical Christianity. It is certain--as Mr. Forster and
Mr. Keightley have pointed out--that Goldsmith borrowed some of his
characteristics for Dr. Primrose, and it has been suggested that Sterne
remembered him in more than one page of _Tristram Shandy_.

Next to Parson Adams, perhaps the best character in _Joseph Andrews_--
though of an entirely different type--is Lady Booby's "Waiting-
Gentlewoman," the excellent Mrs. Slipslop. Her sensitive dignity, her
easy changes from servility to insolence, her sensuality, her inimitably
distorted vocabulary, which Sheridan borrowed for Mrs. Malaprop, and
Dickens modified for Mrs. Gamp, are all peculiarities which make up a
personification of the richest humour and the most life-like reality.
Mr. Peter Pounce, too, with his "scoundrel maxims," as disclosed in that
remarkable dialogue which is said to be "better worth reading than all
the Works of _Colley Cibber_," and in which charity is defined as
consisting rather in a disposition to relieve distress than in an actual
act of relief; Parson Trulliber with his hogs, his greediness, and his
willingness to prove his Christianity by fisticuffs; shrewish Mrs. Tow-
wouse with her scold's tongue, and her erring but perfectly subjugated
husband,--these again are portraits finished with admirable spirit and
fidelity. Andrews himself, and his blushing sweetheart, do not lend
themselves so readily to humorous art. Nevertheless the former, when
freed from the wiles of Lady Booby, is by no means a despicable hero,
and Fanny is a sufficiently fresh and blooming heroine. The characters
of Pamela and Mr. Booby are fairly preserved from the pages of their
original inventor. But when Fielding makes Parson Adams rebuke the pair
for laughing in church at Joseph's wedding, and puts into the lady's
mouth a sententious little speech upon her altered position in life, he
is adding some ironical touches which Richardson would certainly have
omitted.

No selection of personages, however, even of the most detailed and
particular description, can convey any real impression of the mingled
irony and insight, the wit and satire, the genial but perfectly
remorseless revelation of human springs of action, which distinguish
scene after scene of the book. Nothing, for example, can be more
admirable than the different manifestations of meanness which take place
among the travellers of the stage-coach, in the oft-quoted chapter where
Joseph, having been robbed of everything, lies naked and bleeding in the
ditch. There is Miss Grave-airs, who protests against the indecency of
his entering the vehicle, but like a certain lady in the _Rake's
Progress_, holds the sticks of her fan before her face while he does so,
and who is afterwards found to be carrying Nantes under the guise of
Hungary-water; there is the lawyer who advises that the wounded man
shall be taken in, not from any humane motive, but because he is afraid
of being involved in legal proceedings if they leave him to his fate;
there is the wit who seizes the occasion for a burst of facetious
double-meanings, chiefly designed for the discomfiture of the prude;
and, lastly, there is the coachman, whose only concern is the shilling
for his fare, and who refuses to lend either of the useless greatcoats
he is sitting upon, lest "they should be made bloody," leaving the
shivering suppliant to be clothed by the generosity of the postilion ("a
Lad," says Fielding with a fine touch of satire, "who hath been since
transported for robbing a Hen-roost"). This worthy fellow accordingly
strips off his only outer garment, "at the same time swearing a great
Oath," for which he is duly rebuked by the passengers, "that he would
rather ride in his Shirt all his Life, than suffer a Fellow-Creature to
lie in so miserable a Condition." Then there are the admirable scenes
which succeed Joseph's admission into the inn; the discussion between
the bookseller and the two parsons as to the publication of Adams's
sermons, which the "Clergy would be certain to cry down," because they
inculcate good works against faith; the debate before the justice as to
the manuscript of AEschylus, which is mistaken for one of the Fathers;
and the pleasant discourse between the poet and the player which,
beginning by compliments, bids fair to end in blows. Nor are the stories
of Leonora and Mr. Wilson without their interest. They interrupt the
straggling narrative far less than the Man of the Hill interrupts _Tom
Jones_, and they afford an opportunity for varying the epic of the
highway by pictures of polite society which could not otherwise be
introduced. There can be little doubt, too, that some of Mr. Wilson's
town experiences were the reflection of the author's own career; while
the characteristics of Leonora's lover Horatio,--who was "a young
Gentleman of a good Family, bred to the Law," and recently called to the
Bar, whose "Face and Person were such as the Generality allowed
handsome: but he had a Dignity in his Air very rarely to be seen," and
who "had Wit and Humour, with an Inclination to Satire, which he
indulged rather too much"--read almost like a complimentary description
of Fielding himself.

Like Hogarth, in that famous drinking scene to which reference has
already been made, Fielding was careful to disclaim any personal
portraiture in _Joseph Andrews_. In the opening chapter of Book iii. he
declares "once for all that he describes not Men, but Manners; not an
Individual, but a Species," although he admits that his characters are
"taken from Life." In his "Preface," he reiterates this profession,
adding that in copying from nature, he has "used the utmost Care to
obscure the Persons by such different Circumstances, Degrees, and
Colours, that it will be impossible to guess at them with any degree of
certainty." Nevertheless--as in Hogarth's case--neither his protests
nor his skill have prevented some of those identifications which are so
seductive to the curious; and it is generally believed,--indeed, it was
expressly stated by Richardson and others,--that the prototype of Parson
Adams was a friend of Fielding, the Reverend William Young. Like Adams,
he was a scholar and devoted to AEschylus; he resembled him, too, in his
trick of snapping his fingers, and his habitual absence of mind. Of this
latter peculiarity it is related that on one occasion, when a chaplain
in Marlborough's wars, he strolled abstractedly into the enemy's lines
with his beloved _AEschylus_ in his hand. His peaceable intentions were
so unmistakable that he was instantly released, and politely directed to
his regiment. Once, too, it is said, on being charged by a gentleman
with sitting for the portrait of Adams, he offered to knock the speaker
down, thereby supplying additional proof of the truth of the allegation.
He died in August 1757, and is buried in the Chapel of Chelsea Hospital.
The obituary notice in the _Gentleman's Magazine_ describes him as "late
of Gillingham, Dorsetshire," which would make him a neighbour of the
novelist. [Footnote: Lord Thurlow was accustomed to find a later
likeness to Fielding's hero in his _protege_, the poet Crabbe.] Another
tradition connects Mr. Peter Pounce with the scrivener and usurer Peter
Walter, whom Pope had satirised, and whom Hogarth is thought to have
introduced into Plate i. of Marriage _a-la-Mode_. His sister lived at
Salisbury; and he himself had an estate at Stalbridge Park, which was
close to East Stour. From references to Walter in the _Champion_ for May
31, 1740, as well as in the _Essay on Conversation_, it is clear that
Fielding knew him personally, and disliked him. He may, indeed, have
been among those county magnates whose criticism was so objectionable to
Captain Booth during his brief residence in Dorsetshire. Parson
Trulliber, also, according to Murphy, was Fielding's first tutor--Mr.
Oliver of Motcombe. But his widow denied the resemblance; and it is hard
to believe that this portrait is not overcharged. In all these cases,
however, there is no reason for supposing that Fielding may not have
thoroughly believed in the sincerity of his attempts to avoid the exact
reproduction of actual persons, although, rightly or wrongly, his
presentments were speedily identified. With ordinary people it is by
salient characteristics that a likeness is established; and no variation
of detail, however skilful, greatly affects this result. In our own days
we have seen that, in spite of both authors, the public declined to
believe that the Harold Skimpole of Charles Dickens, and George Eliot's
Dinah Morris, were not perfectly recognisable copies of living
originals.

Upon its title-page, _Joseph Andrews_ is declared to be "written in
Imitation of the Manner of Cervantes," and there is no doubt that, in
addition to being subjected to an unreasonable amount of ill-usage,
Parson Adams has manifest affinities with Don Quixote. Scott, however,
seems to have thought that Scarron's _Roman Comique_ was the real model,
so far as mock-heroic was concerned; but he must have forgotten that
Fielding was already the author of _Tom Thumb_, and that Swift had
written the _Battle of the Books_. Resemblances--not of much moment--
have also been traced to the _Paysan Parvenu_ and the _Histoire de
Marianne_ of Marivaux. With both these books Fielding was familiar; in
fact, he expressly mentions them, as well as the _Roman Comique_, in the
course of his story, and they doubtless exercised more or less influence
upon his plan. But in the Preface, from which we have already quoted, he
describes that plan; and this, because it is something definite, is more
interesting than any speculation as to his determining models. After
marking the division of the Epic, like the Drama, into Tragedy and
Comedy, he points out that it may exist in prose as well as verse, and
he proceeds to explain that what he has attempted in _Joseph Andrews_ is
"a comic Epic-Poem in Prose," differing from serious romance in its
substitution of a "light and ridiculous" fable for a "grave and solemn"
one, of inferior characters for those of superior rank, and of ludicrous
for sublime sentiments. Sometimes in the diction he has admitted
burlesque, but never in the sentiments and characters, where, he
contends, it would be out of place. He further defines the only source
of the ridiculous to be affectation, of which the chief causes are
vanity and hypocrisy. Whether this scheme was an after-thought it is
difficult to say; but it is certainly necessary to a proper
understanding of the author's method--a method which was to find so many
imitators. Another passage in the Preface is worthy of remark. With
reference to the pictures of vice which the book contains, he observes:
"First, That it is very difficult to pursue a Series of human Actions,
and keep clear from them. Secondly, That the Vices to be found here
[i.e. in _Joseph Andrews_] are rather the accidental Consequences of
some human Frailty, or Foible, than Causes habitually existing in the
Mind. Thirdly, That they are never set forth as the Objects of Ridicule
but Detestation. Fourthly, That they are never the principal Figure at
the Time on the Scene; and, lastly, they never produce the intended
Evil." In reading some pages of Fielding it is not always easy to see
that he has strictly adhered to these principles; but it is well to
recall them occasionally, as constituting at all events the code that he
desired to follow.

Although the popularity of Fielding's first novel was considerable, it
did not, to judge by the number of editions, at once equal the
popularity of the book by which it was suggested. _Pamela_, as we have
seen, speedily ran through four editions; but it was six months before
Millar published the second and revised edition of _Joseph Andrews;_ and
the third did not appear until more than a year after the date of first
publication. With Richardson, as might be expected, it was never popular
at all, and to a great extent it is possible to sympathise with his
annoyance. The daughter of his brain, whom he had piloted through so
many troubles, had grown to him more real than the daughters of his
body, and to see her at the height of her fame made contemptible by what
in one of his letters he terms "a lewd and ungenerous engraftment," must
have been a sore trial to his absorbed and self-conscious nature, and
one which not all the consolations of his consistory of feminine
flatterers--"my ladies," as the little man called them--could wholly
alleviate. But it must be admitted that his subsequent attitude was
neither judicious nor dignified. He pursued Fielding henceforth with
steady depreciation, caught eagerly at any scandal respecting him,
professed himself unable to perceive his genius, deplored his "lowness,"
and comforted himself by reflecting that, if he pleased at all, it was
because he had learned the art from _Pamela_. Of Fielding's other
contemporary critics, one only need be mentioned here, more on account
of his literary eminence than of the special felicity of his judgment.
"I have myself," writes Gray to West, "upon your recommendation, been
reading Joseph Andrews. The incidents are ill laid and without
invention; but the characters have a great deal of nature, which always
pleases even in her lowest shapes. Parson Adams is perfectly well; so is
Mrs. Slipslop, and the story of Wilson; and throughout he [_the author_]
shews himself well read in Stage-Coaches, Country Squires, Inns, and
Inns of Court. His reflections upon high people and low people, and
misses and masters, are very good. However the exaltedness of some minds
(or rather as I shrewdly suspect their insipidity and want of feeling or
observation) may make them insensible to these light things, (I mean
such as characterise and paint nature) yet surely they are as weighty
and much more useful than your grave discourses upon the mind, the
passions, and what not." And thereupon follows that fantastic utterance
concerning the romances of MM. Marivaux and Crebillon _fils_, which has
disconcerted so many of Gray's admirers. We suspect that any reader who
should nowadays contrast the sickly and sordid intrigue of the _Paysan
Parvenu_ with the healthy animalism of _Joseph Andrews_ would greatly
prefer the latter. Yet Gray's verdict, though cold, is not
undiscriminating, and is perhaps as much as one could expect from his
cloistered and fastidious taste.

Various anecdotes, all more or less apocryphal, have been related
respecting the first appearance of _Joseph Andrews_, and the sum paid to
the author for the copyright. A reference to the original assignment,
now in the Forster Library at South Kensington, definitely settles the
latter point. The amount in "lawful Money of Great Britain," received by
"Henry Fielding, Esq." from "Andrew Millar of St. Clement's Danes in the
Strand," was L183 11s. In this document, as in the order to Nourse of
which a _facsimile_ is given by Roscoe, both the author's name and
signature are written with the old-fashioned double f, and he calls
himself "Fielding" and not "Feilding," like the rest of the Denbigh
family. If we may trust an anecdote given by Kippis, Lord Denbigh once
asked his kinsman the reason of this difference. "I cannot tell, my
lord," returned the novelist, "unless it be that my branch of the family
was the first that learned to spell." In connection with this
assignment, however, what is perhaps even more interesting than these
discrepancies is the fact that one of the witnesses was William Young.
Thus we have Parson Adams acting as witness to the sale of the very book
which he had helped to immortalise.



CHAPTER IV.

THE MISCELLANIES--JONATHAN WILD.


In March 1742, according to an article in the _Gentleman's Magazine_,
attributed to Samuel Johnson, "the most popular Topic of Conversation"
was the _Account of the Conduct of the Dowager Dutchess of Marlborough,
from her first coming to Court, to the Year 1710_, which, with the help
of Hooke of the _Roman History_, the "terrible old Sarah" had just put
forth. Among the little cloud of _Sarah-Ads_ and _Old Wives' Tales_
evoked by this production, was a _Vindication_ of her Grace by Fielding,
specially prompted, as appears from the title-page, by the "late
_scurrilous_ Pamphlet" of a "noble Author." If this were not
acknowledged to be from Fielding's pen in the Preface to the
_Miscellanies_ (in which collection, however, it is not reprinted), its
authorship would be sufficiently proved by its being included with _Miss
Lucy in Town_ in the assignment to Andrew Millar referred to at the
close of the preceding chapter. The price Millar paid for it was L5 5s,
or exactly half that of the farce. But it is only reasonable to assume
that the Duchess herself (who is said to have given Hooke L5000 for his
help) also rewarded her champion. Whether Fielding's admiration for the
"glorious Woman" in whose cause he had drawn his pen was genuine, or
whether--to use Johnson's convenient euphemism concerning Hooke--"he
was acting only ministerially," are matters for speculation. His father,
however, had served under the Duke, and there may have been a
traditional attachment to the Churchills on the part of his family. It
has even been ingeniously suggested that Sarah Fielding was her Grace's
god-child; [Footnote: _Memoirs of Sarah, Duchess of Marlborough_, etc.,
by Mrs. A. T. Thomson, 1839.] but as her mother's name was also Sarah,
no importance can be attached to the suggestion.

_Miss Lucy in Town_, as its sub-title explains, was a sequel to the
_Virgin Unmask'd_, and was produced at Drury Lane in May 1742. As
already stated in chapter ii., Fielding's part in it was small. It is a
lively but not very creditable trifle, which turns upon certain
equivocal London experiences of the Miss Lucy of the earlier piece; and
it seems to have been chiefly intended to afford an opportunity for some
clever imitation of the reigning Italian singers by Mrs. Clive and the
famous tenor Beard. Horace Walpole, who refers to it in a letter to
Mann, between an account of the opening of Ranelagh and an anecdote of
Mrs. Bracegirdle, calls it "a little simple farce," and says that "Mrs.
Clive mimics the Muscovita admirably, and Beard Amorevoli tolerably."
Mr. Walpole detested the Muscovita, and adored Amorevoli, which perhaps
accounts for the nice discrimination shown in his praise. One of the
other characters, Mr. Zorobabel, a Jew, was taken by Macklin, and from
another, Mrs. Haycock (afterwards changed to Mrs. Midnight), Foote is
supposed to have borrowed Mother Cole in _The Minor_. A third character,
Lord Bawble, was considered to reflect upon "a particular person of
quality," and the piece was speedily forbidden by the Lord Chamberlain,
although it appears to have been acted a few months later without
opposition. One of the results of the prohibition, according to Mr.
Lawrence, was a _Letter to a Noble Lord_ (the Lord Chamberlain) ...
_occasioned by a Representation ... of a Farce called "Miss Lucy in
Town."_ This, in spite of the Caveat in the Preface to the
_Miscellanies_, he ascribes to Fielding, and styles it "a sharp
expostulation ... in which he [Fielding] disavowed any idea of a
personal attack." But Mr. Lawrence must plainly have been misinformed on
the subject, for the pamphlet bears little sign of Fielding's hand. As
far as it is intelligible, it is rather against Miss Lucy than for her,
and it makes no reference to Lord Bawble's original. The name of this
injured patrician seems indeed never to have transpired; but he could
scarcely have been in any sense an exceptional member of the Georgian
aristocracy.

In the same month that _Miss Lucy in Town_ appeared at Drury Lane,
Millar published it in book form. In the following June, T. Waller of
the Temple-Cloisters issued the first of a contemplated series of
translations from Aristophanes by Henry Fielding, Esq., and the Rev.
William Young who sat for Parson Adams. The play chosen was _Plutus, the
God of Riches_, and a notice upon the original cover stated that,
according to the reception it met with from the public, it would be
followed by the others. It must be presumed that "the distressed, and at
present, declining State of Learning" to which the authors referred in
their dedication to Lord Talbot, was not a mere form of speech, for the
enterprise does not seem to have met with sufficient encouragement to
justify its continuance, and this special rendering has long since been
supplanted by the more modern versions of Mitchell, Frere, and others.
Whether Fielding took any large share in it is not now discernible. It
is most likely, however, that the bulk of the work was Young's, and that
his colleague did little more than furnish the Preface, which is partly
written in the first person, and betrays its origin by a sudden and not
very relevant attack upon the "pretty, dapper, brisk, smart, pert
Dialogue" of Modern Comedy into which the "infinite Wit" of Wycherley
had degenerated under Cibber. It also contains a compliment to the
numbers of the "inimitable Author" of the _Essay on Man_.

This is the second compliment which Fielding had paid to Pope within a
brief period, the first having been that in the _Champion_ respecting
the translation of the _Iliad_. What his exact relations with the author
of the _Dunciad_ were, has never been divulged. At first they seem to
have been rather hostile than friendly. Fielding had ridiculed the
Romish Church in the _Old Debauchees_, a course which Pope could
scarcely have approved; and he was, moreover, the cousin of Lady Mary,
now no longer throned in the Twickenham Temple. Pope had commented upon
a passage in _Tom Thumb_, and Fielding had indirectly referred to Pope
in the _Covent Garden Tragedy_. When it had been reported that Pope had
gone to see _Pasquin_, the statement had been at once contradicted. But
Fielding was now, like Pope, against Walpole; and _Joseph Andrews_ had
been published. It may therefore be that the compliments in _Plutus_ and
the _Champion_ were the result of some _rapprochement_ between the two.
It is, nevertheless, curious that, at this very time, an attempt appears
to have been made to connect the novelist with the controversy which
presently arose out of Cibber's well-known letter to Pope. In August
1742, the month following its publication, among the pamphlets to which
it gave rise, was announced _The Cudgel; or, a Crab-tree Lecture, To the
Author of the Dunciad_. "By Hercules Vinegar, Esq." This very mediocre
satire in verse is still to be found at the British Museum; but even if
it were not included in Fielding's general disclaimer as to unsigned
work, it would be difficult to connect it with him. To give but one
reason, it would make him the ally and adherent of Cibber,--which is
absurd. In all probability, like another Grub Street squib under the
same pseudonym, it was by Ralph, who had already attacked Pope, and
continued to maintain the Captain's character in the _Champion_ long
after Fielding had ceased to write for it. It is even possible that
Ralph had some share in originating the Vinegar family, for it is
noticeable that the paper in which they are first introduced bears no
initials. In this case he would consider himself free to adopt the name,
however disadvantageous that course might be to Fielding's reputation.
And it is clear that, whatever their relations had been in the past,
they were for the time on opposite sides in politics, since while
Fielding had been vindicating the Duchess of Marlborough, Ralph had been
writing against her.

These, however, are minor questions, the discussion of which would lead
too far from the main narrative of Fielding's life. In the same letter
in which Walpole had referred to _Miss Lucy in Town_, he had spoken of
the success of a new player at Goodman's Fields, after whom all the
town, in Gray's phrase, was "horn-mad;" but in whose acting Mr. Walpole,
with a critical distrust of novelty, saw nothing particularly wonderful.
This was David Garrick. He had been admitted a student of Lincoln's Inn
a year before Fielding entered the Middle Temple, had afterwards turned
wine-merchant, and was now delighting London by his versatility in
comedy, tragedy, and farce. One of his earliest theatrical exploits,
according to Sir John Hawkins, had been a private representation of
Fielding's _Mock-Doctor_, in a room over the St. John's Gate,
Clerkenwell, so long familiar to subscribers of the _Gentleman's
Magazine_; his fellow-actors being Cave's journeymen printers, and his
audience Cave, Johnson, and a few friends. After this he appears to have
made the acquaintance of Fielding; and late in 1742, applied to him to
know if he had "any Play by him," as "he was desirous of appearing in a
new Part." As a matter of fact Fielding had two plays by him--the _Good-
natured Man_ (a title subsequently used by Goldsmith), and a piece
called _The Wedding Day_. The former was almost finished: the latter was
an early work, being indeed "the third Dramatic Performance he ever
attempted." The necessary arrangements having been made with Mr.
Fleetwood, the manager of Drury Lane, Fielding set to work to complete
the _Good-natured Man_, which he considered the better of the two. When
he had done so, he came to the conclusion that it required more
attention than he could give it; and moreover, that the part allotted to
Garrick, although it satisfied the actor, was scarcely important enough.
He accordingly reverted to the _Wedding Day_, the central character of
which had been intended for Wilks. It had many faults which none saw
more clearly than the author himself, but he hoped that Garrick's energy
and _prestige_ would triumphantly surmount all obstacles. He hoped, as
well, to improve it by revision. The dangerous illness of his wife,
however, made it impossible for him to execute his task; and, as he was
pressed for money, the _Wedding Day_ was produced on the 17th of
February 1743, apparently much as it had been first written some dozen
years before. As might be anticipated, it was not a success. The
character of Millamour is one which it is hard to believe that even
Garrick could have made attractive, and though others of the parts were
entrusted to Mrs. Woffington, Mrs. Pritchard, and Macklin, it was acted
but six nights. The author's gains were under L50. In the Preface to the
_Miscellanies_, from which most of the foregoing account is taken,
Fielding, as usual, refers its failure to other causes than its inherent
defects. Rumours, he says, had been circulated as to its indecency (and
in truth some of the scenes are more than hazardous); but it had passed
the licenser, and must be supposed to have been up to the moral standard
of the time. Its unfavourable reception, as Fielding must have known in
his heart, was due to its artistic shortcomings, and also to the fact
that a change was taking place in the public taste. It is in connection
with the _Wedding Day_ that one of the best-known anecdotes of the
author is related.

Garrick had begged him to retrench a certain objectionable passage. This
Fielding, either from indolence or unwillingness, declined to do,
asserting that if it was not good, the audience might find it out. The
passage was promptly hissed, and Garrick returned to the green-room,
where the author was solacing himself with a bottle of champagne. "What
is the matter, Garrick?" said he to the flustered actor; "what are they
hissing now?" He was informed with some heat that they had been hissing
the very scene he had been asked to withdraw, "and," added Garrick,
"they have so frightened me, that I shall not be able to collect myself
again the whole night"--"Oh!" answered the author, with an oath, "they
HAVE found it out, have they?" This rejoinder is usually quoted as an
instance of Fielding's contempt for the intelligence of his audience;
but nine men in ten, it may be observed, would have said something of
the same sort.

The only other thing which need be referred to in connection with this
comedy--the last of his own dramatic works which Fielding ever witnessed
upon the stage--is Macklin's doggerel Prologue. Mr. Lawrence attributes
this to Fielding; but he seems to have overlooked the fact that in the
_Miscellanies_ it is headed, "_Writ_ and Spoken by Mr. Macklin," which
gives it more interest as the work of an outsider than if it had been a
mere laugh by the author at himself. Garrick is represented as too busy
to speak the prologue; and Fielding, who has been "drinking to raise his
Spirits," has begged Macklin with his "long, dismal, Mercy-begging
Face," to go on and apologise. Macklin then pretends to recognise him
among the audience, and pokes fun at his anxieties, telling him that he
had better have stuck to "honest _Abram Adams_," who, "in spight of
Critics, can make his Readers laugh." The words "in spite of critics"
indicate another distinction between Fielding's novels and plays, which
should have its weight in any comparison of them. The censors of the
pit, in the eighteenth century, seem to have exercised an unusual
influence in deciding whether a play should succeed or not; [Footnote:
Miller's _Coffee-House_, 1737, for example, was damned by the Templars
because it was supposed to reflect on the keepers of "Dick's."--(_Biog.
Dramatica_.)] and, from Fielding's frequent references to friends and
enemies, it would almost seem as if he believed their suffrages to be
more important than a good plot and a witty dialogue. On the other hand,
no coterie of Wits and Templars could kill a book like _Joseph Andrews_.
To say nothing of the opportunities afforded by the novel for more
leisurely character-drawing, and greater by-play of reflection and
description--its reader was an isolated and independent judge; and in
the long run the difference told wonderfully in favour of the author.
Macklin was obviously right in recommending Fielding, even in jest, to
stick to Parson Adams, and from the familiar publicity of the advice it
may also be inferred, not only that the opinion was one commonly
current, but that the novel was unusually popular.

The _Wedding Day_ was issued separately in February 1743. It must
therefore be assumed that the three volumes of _Miscellanies_, by Henry
Fielding, Esq., in which it was reprinted, and to which reference has so
often been made in these pages, did not appear until later. [Footnote:
By advertisement in the _London Daily Post and General Advertiser_, they
would seem to have been published early in April 1743.] They were
published by subscription; and the list, in addition to a large number
of aristocratic and legal names, contains some of more permanent
interest. Side by side with the Chesterfields and Marlboroughs and
Burlingtons and Denbighs, come William Pitt and Henry Fox, Esqs., with
Dodington and Winnington and Hanbury Williams. The theatrical world is
well represented by Garrick and Mrs. Woffington and Mrs. Clive.
Literature has no names of any eminence except that of Young; for Savage
and Whitehead, Mallet and Benjamin Hoadly, are certainly _ignes
minores_. Pope is conspicuous for his absence; so also are Horace
Walpole and Gray, while Richardson, of course, is wanting. Johnson, as
yet only the author of _London_, and journeyman to Cave, could scarcely
be expected in the roll; and, in any case, his friendship for the author
of _Pamela_ would probably have kept him away. Among some other well-
known eighteenth century names are those of Dodsley and Millar the
booksellers, and the famous Vauxhall _impresario_ Jonathan Tyers.

The first volume of the _Miscellanies_, besides a lengthy Preface,
includes the author's poems, essays _On Conversation_, _On the Knowledge
of the Characters of Men_, _On Nothing_, a squib upon the transactions
of the Royal Society, a translation from Demosthenes, and one or two
minor pieces. Much of the biographical material contained in the Preface
has already been made use of, as well as those verses which can be
definitely dated, or which relate to the author's love-affairs. The
hitherto unnoticed portions of the volume consist chiefly of Epistles,
in the orthodox eighteenth century fashion. One--already referred to--is
headed _Of True Greatness_; another, inscribed to the Duke of Richmond,
_Of Good-nature_; while a third is addressed to a friend _On the Choice
of a Wife_. This last contains some sensible lines, but although Roscoe
has managed to extract two quotable passages, it is needless to imitate
him here. These productions show no trace of the authentic Fielding. The
essays are more remarkable, although, like Montaigne's, they are
scarcely described by their titles. That on _Conversation_ is really a
little treatise on good breeding; that on the _Characters of Men_, a lay
sermon against Fielding's pet antipathy--hypocrisy. Nothing can well be
wiser, even now, than some of the counsels in the former of these papers
on such themes as the limits of raillery, the duties of hospitality, and
the choice of subject in general conversation. Nor, however threadbare
they may look to-day, can the final conclusions be reasonably objected
to:--"First, That every Person who indulges his Ill-nature or Vanity, at
the Expense of others; and in introducing Uneasiness, Vexation, and
Confusion into Society, however exalted or high-titled he may be, is
thoroughly ill-bred;" and "Secondly, That whoever, from the Goodness of
his Disposition or Understanding, endeavours to his utmost to cultivate
the Good-humour and Happiness of others, and to contribute to the Ease
and Comfort of all his Acquaintance, however low in Rank Fortune may
have placed him, or however clumsy he may be in his Figure or Demeanour,
hath, in the truest sense of the Word, a Claim to Good-Breeding." One
fancies that this essay must have been a favourite with the historian of
the _Book of Snobs_ and the creator of Major Dobbin.

The _Characters of Men_ is not equal to the _Conversation._ The theme is
a wider one; and the end proposed,--that of supplying rules for
detecting the real disposition through all the social disguises which
cloak and envelop it,--can scarcely be said to be attained. But there
are happy touches even in this; and when the author says--"I will
venture to affirm, that I have known some of _the best sort of Men in
the World_ (to use the vulgar Phrase,) who would not have scrupled
cutting a Friend's Throat; and _a Fellow whom no Man should be seen to
speak to_, capable of the highest Acts of Friendship and Benevolence,"
one recognises the hand that made the sole good Samaritan in Joseph
Andrews "a Lad who hath since been transported for robbing a Hen-roost."
The account of the Terrestrial Chrysipus or Guinea, a burlesque on a
paper read before the Royal Society on the Fresh Water Polypus, is
chiefly interesting from the fact that it is supposed to be written by
Petrus Gualterus (Peter Walter), who had an "extraordinary Collection"
of them. He died, in fact, worth L300,000. The only other paper in the
volume of any value is a short one _Of the Remedy of Affliction for the
Loss of our Friends_, to which we shall presently return.

The farce of _Eurydice_, and the _Wedding Day_, which, with _A Journey
from this World to the Next_, etc., make up the contents of the second
volume of the _Miscellanies_, have been already sufficiently discussed.
But the _Journey_ deserves some further notice. It has been suggested
that this curious Lucianic production may have been prompted by the
vision of Mercury and Charon in the _Champion_, though the kind of
allegory of which it consists is common enough with the elder essayists;
and it is notable that another book was published in April 1743, under
the title of _Cardinal Fleury's Journey to the other World_, which is
manifestly suggested by Quevedo. Fielding's _Journey_, however, is a
fragment which the author feigns to have found in the garret of a
stationer in the Strand. Sixteen out of five-and-twenty chapters in Book
i. are occupied with the transmigrations of Julian the Apostate, which
are not concluded. Then follows another chapter from Book xix., which
contains the history of Anna Boleyn, and the whole breaks off abruptly.
Its best portion is undoubtedly the first ten chapters, which relate the
writer's progress to Elysium, and afford opportunity for many strokes of
satire. Such are the whimsical terror of the spiritual traveller in the
stagecoach, who hears suddenly that his neighbour has died of smallpox,
a disease he had been dreading all his life; and the punishment of Lord
Scrape, the miser, who is doomed to dole out money to all comers, and
who, after "being purified in the Body of a Hog," is ultimately to
return to earth again. Nor is the delight of some of those who profit by
his enforced assistance less keenly realised:--"I remarked a poetical
Spirit in particular, who swore he would have a hearty Gripe at him:
'For, says he, the Rascal not only refused to subscribe to my Works; but
sent back my Letter unanswered, tho' I'm a better Gentleman than
himself.'" The descriptions of the City of Diseases, the Palace of
Death, and the Wheel of Fortune from which men draw their chequered
lots, are all unrivalled in their way. But here, as always, it is in his
pictures of human nature that Fielding shines, and it is this that makes
the chapters in which Minos is shown adjudicating upon the separate
claims of the claimants to enter Elysium the most piquant of all. The
virtuoso and butterfly hunter, who is repulsed "with great Scorn;" the
dramatic author who is admitted (to his disgust), not on account of his
works, but because he has once lent "the whole Profits of a Benefit
Night to a Friend;" the parson who is turned back, while his poor
parishioners are admitted; and the trembling wretch who has been hanged
for a robbery of eighteen-pence, to which he had been driven by poverty,
but whom the judge welcomes cordially because he had been a kind father,
husband, and son; all these are conceived in that humane and generous
spirit which is Fielding's most engaging characteristic. The chapter
immediately following, which describes the literary and other
inhabitants of Elysium, is even better. Here is Leonidas, who appears to
be only moderately gratified with the honour recently done him by Mr.
Glover the poet; here is Homer, toying with Madam Dacier, and profoundly
indifferent as to his birthplace and the continuity of his poems; here,
too, is Shakespeare, who, foreseeing future commentators and the "New
Shakespere Society," declines to enlighten Betterton and Booth as to a
disputed passage in his works, adding, "I marvel nothing so much as that
Men will gird themselves at discovering obscure Beauties in an Author.
Certes the greatest and most pregnant Beauties are ever the plainest and
most evidently striking; and when two Meanings of a Passage can in the
least ballance our Judgements which to prefer, I hold it matter of
unquestionable Certainty that neither is worth a farthing." Then, again,
there are Addison and Steele, who are described with so pleasant a
knowledge of their personalities that, although the passage has been
often quoted, there seems to be no reason why it should not be quoted
once more:--

"_Virgil_ then came up to me, with Mr. _Addison_ under his Arm. Well,
Sir, said he, how many Translations have these few last Years produced
of my _AEneid_? I told him, I believed several, but I could not possibly
remember; for I had never read any but Dr. _Trapp's_. [Footnote: Dr.
Trapp's translation of the AEneid was published in 1718.]--Ay, said he,
that is a curious Piece indeed! I then acquainted him with the Discovery
made by Mr. _Warburton_ of the _Eleusinian_ Mysteries couched in his 6th
book. What Mysteries? said Mr. _Addison_. The _Eleusinian_, answered
_Virgil_, which I have disclosed in my 6th Book. How! replied _Addison_.
You never mentioned a word of any such Mysteries to me in all our
Acquaintance. I thought it was unnecessary, cried the other, to a Man of
your infinite Learning: besides, you always told me, you perfectly
understood my meaning. Upon this I thought the Critic looked a little
out of countenance, and turned aside to a very merry Spirit, one _Dick
Steele_, who embraced him, and told him, He had been the greatest Man
upon Earth; that he readily resigned up all the Merit of his own Works
to him. Upon which, _Addison_ gave him a gracious Smile, and clapping
him on the Back with much Solemnity, cried out, _Well said, Dick._"

After encountering these and other notabilities, including Tom Thumb and
Livy, the latter of whom takes occasion to commend the ingenious
performances of Lady Marlborough's assistant, Mr. Hooke, the author
meets with Julian the Apostate, and from this point the narrative grows
languid. Its unfinished condition may perhaps be accepted as a proof
that Fielding himself had wearied of his scheme.

The third volume of the _Miscellanies_ is wholly occupied with the
remarkable work entitled the _History of the Life of the late Mr.
Jonathan Wild the Great_. As in the case of the _Journey from this World
to the Next_, it is not unlikely that the first germ of this may be
found in the pages of the _Champion_. "Reputation"--says Fielding in one
of the essays in that periodical--"often courts those most who regard
her the least. Actions have sometimes been attended with Fame, which
were undertaken in Defiance of it. _Jonathan Wyld_ himself had for many
years no small Share of it in this Kingdom." The book now under
consideration is the elaboration of the idea thus casually thrown out.
Under the name of a notorious thief-taker hanged at Tyburn in 1725,
Fielding has traced the Progress of a Rogue to the Gallows, showing by
innumerable subtle touches that the (so-called) greatness of a villain
does not very materially differ from any other kind of greatness, which
is equally independent of goodness. This continually suggested affinity
between the ignoble and the pseudo-noble is the text of the book.
Against genuine worth (its author is careful to explain) his satire is
in no wise directed. He is far from considering "_Newgate_ as no other
than Human Nature with its Mask off;" but he thinks "we may be excused
for suspecting, that the splendid Palaces of the Great are often no
other than _Newgate_ with the Mask on." Thus _Jonathan Wild the Great_
is a prolonged satire upon the spurious eminence in which benevolence,
honesty, charity, and the like have no part; or, as Fielding prefers to
term it, that false or "Bombast greatness" which is so often mistaken
for the "_true Sublime_ in Human Nature"--Greatness and Goodness
combined. So thoroughly has he explained his intention in the Prefaces
to the _Miscellanies_, and to the book itself, that it is difficult to
comprehend how Scott could fail to see his drift. Possibly, like some
others, he found the subject repugnant and painful to his kindly nature.
Possibly, too, he did not, for this reason, study the book very
carefully, for, with the episode of Heartfree under one's eyes, it is
not strictly accurate to say (as he does) that it presents "a picture of
complete vice, _unrelieved by any thing of human feeling_, and never by
any accident even deviating into virtue." If the author's introduction
be borne in mind, and if the book be read steadily in the light there
supplied, no one can refrain from admiring the extraordinary skill and
concentration with which the plan is pursued, and the adroitness with
which, at every turn, the villainy of Wild is approximated to that of
those securer and more illustrious criminals with whom he is so seldom
confused. And Fielding has never carried one of his chief and
characteristic excellences to so great perfection: the book is a model
of sustained and sleepless irony. To make any extracts from it--still
less to make any extracts which should do justice to it, is almost
impracticable; but the edifying discourse between Wild and Count La Ruse
in Book i., and the pure comedy of that in Book iv. with the Ordinary of
Newgate (who objects to wine, but drinks punch because "it is no where
spoken against in Scripture"), as well as the account of the prison
faction between Wild and Johnson, [Footnote: Some critics at this point
appear to have identified Johnson and Wild with Lord Wilmington and Sir
Robert Walpole (who resigned in 1742), while Mr. Keightley suspects that
Wild throughout typifies Walpole. But the advertisement "from the
Publisher" to the edition of 1754 disclaims any such "personal
Application." "The Truth is (he says), as a very corrupt State of Morals
is here represented, the Scene seems very properly to have been laid in
Newgate: Nor do I see any Reason for introducing any allegory at all;
unless we will agree that there are, without those Walls, some other
Bodies of Men of worse Morals than those within; and who have,
consequently, a Right to change Places with its present Inhabitants."
The writer was probably Fielding.] with its admirable speech of the
"grave Man" against Party, may all be cited as examples of its style and
method. Nor should the character of Wild in the last chapter, and his
famous rules of conduct, be neglected. It must be admitted, however,
that the book is not calculated to suit the nicely-sensitive in letters;
or, it may be added, those readers for whom the evolution of a purely
intellectual conception is either unmeaning or uninteresting. Its place
in Fielding's works is immediately after his three great novels, and
this is more by reason of its subject than its workmanship, which could
hardly be excelled. When it was actually composed is doubtful. If it may
be connected with the already-quoted passage in the _Champion_, it must
be placed after March 1740, which is the date of the paper; but, from a
reference to Peter Pounce in Book ii., it might also be supposed to have
been written after _Joseph Andrews_. The Bath simile in chapter xiv.
Book i., makes it likely that some part of it was penned at that place,
where, from an epigram in the _Miscellanies_ "written _Extempore_ in the
Pump Room," it is clear that Fielding was staying in 1742. But, whenever
it was completed, we are inclined to think that it was planned and begun
before _Joseph Andrews_ was published, as it is in the highest degree
improbable that Fielding, always carefully watching the public taste,
would have followed up that fortunate adventure in a new direction by a
work so entirely different from it as _Jonathan Wild_.

A second edition of the _Miscellanies_ appeared in the same year as the
first, namely in 1743. From this date until the publication of _Tom
Jones_ in 1749, Fielding produced no work of signal importance, and his
personal history for the next few years is exceedingly obscure. We are
inclined to suspect that this must have been the most trying period of
his career. His health was shattered, and he had become a martyr to
gout, which seriously interfered with the active practice of his
profession. Again, "about this time," says Murphy vaguely, after
speaking of the _Wedding Day_, he lost his first wife. That she was
alive in the winter of 1742-3 is clear, for, in the Preface to the
_Miscellanies_, he describes himself as being then laid up, "with a
favourite Child dying in one Bed, and my Wife in a Condition very little
better, on another, attended with other Circumstances, which served as
very proper Decorations to such a Scene,"--by which Mr. Keightley no
doubt rightly supposes him to refer to writs and bailiffs. It must also
be assumed that Mrs. Fielding was alive when the Preface was written,
since, in apologising for an apparent delay in publishing the book, he
says the "real Reason" was "the dangerous Illness of one from whom I
_draw_ [the italics are ours] all the solid Comfort of my Life." There
is another unmistakable reference to her in one of the minor papers in
the first volume, viz. that _Of the Remedy of Affliction for the Loss of
our Friends_. "I remember the most excellent of Women, and tenderest of
Mothers, when, after a painful and dangerous Delivery, she was told she
had a Daughter, answering; _Good God! have I produced a Creature who is
to undergo what I have suffered!_ Some Years afterwards, I heard the
same Woman, on the Death of that very Child, then one of the loveliest
Creatures ever seen, comforting herself with reflecting, that _her Child
could never know what it was to feel such a Loss as she then lamented_."
Were it not for the passages already quoted from the Preface, it might
almost be concluded from the tone of the foregoing quotation and the
final words of the paper, which refer to our meeting with those we have
lost in Heaven, that Mrs. Fielding was already dead. But the use of the
word "draw" in the Preface affords distinct evidence to the contrary. It
is therefore most probable that she died in the latter part of 1743,
having been long in a declining state of health. For a time her husband
was inconsolable. "The fortitude of mind," says Murphy, "with which he
met all the other calamities of life, deserted him on this most trying
occasion." His grief was so vehement "that his friends began to think
him in danger of losing his reason."

That Fielding had depicted his first wife in Sophia Western has already
been pointed out, and we have the authority of Lady Mary Wortley Montagu
and Richardson for saying that she was afterwards reproduced in
_Amelia_. "Amelia," says the latter, in a letter to Mrs. Donnellan,
"even to her _noselessness_, is again his first wife." Some of her
traits, too, are to be detected in the Mrs. Wilson of _Joseph Andrews_.
But, beyond these indications, we hear little about her. Almost all that
is definitely known is contained in a passage of the admirable
_Introductory Anecdotes_ contributed by Lady Louisa Stuart in 1837 to
Lord Wharncliffe's edition of Lady Mary Wortley Montagu's _Letters and
Works_. This account was based upon the recollections of Lady Bute, Lady
Mary's daughter.

"Only those persons (says Lady Stuart) are mentioned here of whom Lady
Bute could speak from her own recollection or her mother's report. Both
had made her well informed of every particular that concerned her
relation Henry Fielding; nor was she a stranger to that beloved first
wife whose picture he drew in his Amelia, where, as she said, even the
glowing language he knew how to employ did not do more than justice to
the amiable qualities of the original, or to her beauty, although this
had suffered a little from the accident related in the novel,--a
frightful overturn, which destroyed the gristle of her nose. [Footnote:
That any one could have remained lovely after such a catastrophe is
difficult to believe. But probably Lady Bute (or Lady Stuart)
exaggerated its effects; for--to say nothing of the fact that,
throughout the novel, Amelia's beauty is continually commended--in the
delightfully feminine description which is given of her by Mrs. James in
Book xi. chap. i., pp. 114-15 of the first edition of 1752, although she
is literally pulled to pieces, there is no reference whatever to her
nose, which may be taken as proof positive that it was not an assailable
feature. Moreover, in the book as we now have it, Fielding, obviously in
deference to contemporary criticism, inserted the following specific
passages:--"She was, indeed, a most charming woman; and I know not
whether the little scar on her nose did not rather add to, than diminish
her beauty" (Book iv. chap, vii.); and in Mrs. James's portrait:--"Then
her nose, as well proportioned as it is, has a visible scar on one
side." No previous biographer seems to have thought it necessary to make
any mention of these statements, while Johnson's speech about "That vile
broken nose, _never cured_," and Richardson's coarsely-malignant
utterance to Mrs. Donnellan, are everywhere industriously remembered and
repeated.] He loved her passionately, and she returned his affection;
yet led no happy life, for they were almost always miserably poor, and
seldom in a state of quiet and safety. All the world knows what was his
imprudence; if ever he possessed a score of pounds, nothing could keep
him from lavishing it idly, or make him think of tomorrow. Sometimes
they were living in decent lodgings with tolerable comfort; sometimes in
a wretched garret without necessaries; not to speak of the spunging-
houses and hiding-places where he was occasionally to be found. His
elastic gaiety of spirit carried him through it all; but, meanwhile,
care and anxiety were preying upon her more delicate mind, and
undermining her constitution. She gradually declined, caught a fever,
and died in his arms."

As usual, Mr. Keightley has done his best to test this statement to the
utmost. Part of his examination may be neglected, because it is based
upon the misconception that Lord Wharncliffe, Lady Mary's greatgrandson,
and not Lady Stuart, her granddaughter, was the writer of the foregoing
account. But as a set-off to the extreme destitution alleged, Mr.
Keightley very justly observes that Mrs. Fielding must for some time
have had a maid, since it was a maid who had been devotedly attached to
her whom Fielding subsequently married. He also argues that "living in a
garret and skulking in out o' the way retreats," are incompatible with
studying law and practising as a barrister. Making every allowance,
however, for the somewhat exaggerated way in which those of high rank
often speak of the distresses of their less opulent kinsfolk, it is
probable that Fielding's married life was one of continual shifts and
privations. Such a state of things is completely in accordance with his
profuse nature [Footnote: The passage as to his imprudence is, oddly
enough, omitted from Mr. Keightley's quotation.] and his precarious
means. Of his family by the first Mrs. Fielding no very material
particulars have been preserved. Writing, in November 1745, in the _True
Patriot_, he speaks of having a son and a daughter, but no son by his
first wife seems to have survived him. The late Colonel Chester found
the burial of a "James Fielding, son of Henry Fielding," recorded under
date of 19th February 1736, in the register of St. Giles in the Fields;
but it is by no means certain that this entry refers to the novelist. A
daughter, Harriet or Harriot, certainly did survive him, for she is
mentioned in the _Voyage to Lisbon_ as being of the party who
accompanied him. Another daughter, as already stated, probably died in
the winter of 1742-3; and the _Journey from this World to the Next_
contains the touching reference to this or another child, of which
Dickens writes so warmly in one of his letters. "I presently," says
Fielding, speaking of his entrance into Elysium, "met a little Daughter,
whom I had lost several Years before. Good Gods! what Words can describe
the Raptures, the melting passionate Tenderness, with which we kiss'd
each other, continuing in our Embrace, with the most extatic Joy, a
Space, which if Time had been measured here as on Earth, could not have
been less than half a Year."

From the death of Mrs. Fielding until the publication of the _True
Patriot_ in 1745 another comparative blank ensues in Fielding's history;
and it can only be filled by the assumption that he was still
endeavouring to follow his profession as a barrister. His literary work
seems to have been confined to a Preface to the second edition of his
sister's novel of _David Simple_, which appeared in 1744. This, while
rendering fraternal justice to that now forgotten book, is memorable for
some personal utterances on Fielding's part. In denying the authorship
of _David Simple_, which had been attributed to him, he takes occasion
to appeal against the injustice of referring anonymous works to his pen,
in the face of his distinct engagement in the Preface to the
_Miscellanies_, that he would thenceforth write nothing except over his
own signature; and he complains that such a course has a tendency to
injure him in a profession to which "he has applied with so arduous and
intent a diligence, that he has had no leisure, if he had inclination,
to compose anything of this kind (i.e. _David Simple_)." At the same
time, he formally withdraws his promise, since it has in no wise
exempted him from the scandal of putting forth anonymous work. From
other passages in this "Preface," it may be gathered the immediate cause
of irritation was the assignment to his pen of "that infamous paultry
libel" the _Causidicade_, a satire directed at the law in general, and
some of the subscribers to the _Miscellanies_ in particular. "This," he
says, "accused me not only of being a bad writer, and a bad man, but
with downright idiotism, in flying in the face of the greatest men of my
profession." It may easily be conceived that such a report must be
unfavourable to a struggling barrister, and Fielding's anxiety on this
head is a strong proof that he was still hoping to succeed at the Bar.
To a subsequent collection of _Familiar Letters between the Principal
Characters in David Simple and some others_, he supplied another preface
three years later, together with five little-known epistles which,
nevertheless, are not without evidence of his characteristic touch.

A life of ups and downs like Fielding's is seldom remarkable for its
consistency. It is therefore not surprising to find that, despite his
desire in 1744 to refrain from writing, he was again writing in 1745.
The landing of Charles Edward attracted him once more into the ranks of
journalism, on the side of the Government, and gave rise to the _True
Patriot_, a weekly paper, the first number of which appeared in
November. This, having come to an end with the Rebellion, was succeeded
in December 1747 by the _Jacobite's Journal_, supposed to emanate from
"John Trott-Plaid, Esq.," and intended to push the discomfiture of
Jacobite sentiment still further. It is needless to discuss these mainly
political efforts at any length. They are said to have been highly
approved by those in power: it is certain that they earned for their
author the stigma of "pension'd scribbler." Both are now very rare; and
in Murphy the former is represented by twenty-four numbers, the latter
by two only. The _True Patriot_ contains a dream of London abandoned to
the rebels, which is admirably graphic; and there is also a prophetic
chronicle of events for 1746, in which the same idea is treated in a
lighter and more satirical vein. But perhaps the most interesting
feature is the reappearance of Parson Adams, who addresses a couple of
letters to the same periodical--one on the rising generally, and the
other on the "young England" of the day, as exemplified in a very
offensive specimen he had recently encountered at Mr. Wilson's. Other
minor points of interest in connection with the _Jacobite's Journal_,
are the tradition associating Hogarth with the rude woodcut headpiece (a
Scotch man and woman on an ass led by a monk) which surmounted its
earlier numbers, and the genial welcome given in No. 5, perhaps not
without some touch of contrition, to the two first volumes, then just
published, of Richardson's _Clarissa_. The pen is the pen of an
imaginary "correspondent," but the words are unmistakably Fielding's:--

"When I tell you I have lately received this Pleasure [i.e. of reading a
new master-piece], you will not want me to inform you that I owe it to
the Author of CLARISSA. Such Simplicity, such Manners, such deep
Penetration into Nature; such Power to raise and alarm the Passions, few
Writers, either ancient or modern, have been possessed of. My Affections
are so strongly engaged, and my Fears are so raised, by what I have
already read, that I cannot express my Eagerness to see the rest. Sure
this Mr. _Richardson_ is Master of all that Art which _Horace_ compares
to Witchcraft

  --Pectus inaniter angit,
    Irritat, mulcet, falsis terroribus implet
    Ut Magus.--"

Between the discontinuance of the True Patriot and the establishment of
its successor occurred an event, the precise date of which has been
hitherto unknown, namely, Fielding's second marriage. The account given
of this by Lady Louisa Stuart is as follows:--

"His [Fielding's] biographers seem to have been shy of disclosing that
after the death of this charming woman [his first wife] he married her
maid. And yet the act was not so discreditable to his character as it
may sound. The maid had few personal charms, but was an excellent
creature, devotedly attached to her mistress, and almost broken-hearted
for her loss. In the first agonies of his own grief, which approached to
frenzy, he found no relief but from weeping along with her; nor solace,
when a degree calmer, but in talking to her of the angel they mutually
regretted. This made her his habitual confidential associate, and in
process of time he began to think he could not give his children a
tenderer mother, or secure for himself a more faithful housekeeper and
nurse. At least this was what he told his friends; and it is certain
that her conduct as his wife confirmed it, and fully justified his good
opinion."

It has now been ascertained that the marriage took place at St.
Bene't's, Paul's Wharf, an obscure little church in the City, at present
surrendered to a Welsh congregation, but at that time, like Mary-le-bone
old church, much in request for unions of a private character. The date
in the register is the 27th of November 1747. The second Mrs. Fielding's
maiden name, which has been hitherto variously reported as Macdonnell,
Macdonald, and Macdaniel, is given as Mary Daniel, [Footnote: See note
to Fielding's letter in Chap. vii.] and she is further described as "of
St Clement's Danes, Middlesex, Spinster." Either previously to this
occurrence, or immediately after it, Fielding seems to have taken two
rooms in a house in Back Lane, Twickenham, "not far," says the Rev. Mr.
Cobbett in his _Memorials_, "from the site of Copt Hall." In 1872 this
house was still standing,--a quaint old-fashioned wooden structure;
[Footnote: Now (1883) it no longer exists, and a row of cottages
occupies the site.]--and from hence, on the 25th February 1748, was
baptized the first of the novelist's sons concerning whom any definite
information exists--the William Fielding who, like his father, became a
Westminster magistrate. Beyond suggesting that it may supply a reason
why, during Mrs. Fielding's life-time, her husband's earliest biographer
made no reference to the marriage, it is needless to dwell upon the
proximity between the foregoing dates. In other respects the
circumstance now first made public is not inconsistent with Lady
Stuart's narrative; and there is no doubt, from the references to her in
the _Journal of a Voyage to Lisbon_ and elsewhere, that Mary Daniel did
prove an excellent wife, mother, and nurse. Another thing is made clear
by the date established, and this is that the verses "On Felix; Marry'd
to a Cook-Maid" in the _Gentleman's Magazine_ for July 1746, to which
Mr. Lawrence refers, cannot possibly have anything to do with Fielding,
although they seem to indicate that alliances of the kind were not
unusual. Perhaps _Pamela_ had made them fashionable. On the other hand,
the supposed allusion to Lyttelton and Fielding, to be found in the
first edition of _Peregrine Pickle_, but afterwards suppressed, receives
a certain confirmation. "When," says Smollett, speaking of the relations
of an imaginary Mr. Spondy with Gosling Scrag, who is understood to
represent Lyttelton, "he is inclined to marry his own cook-wench, his
gracious patron may condescend to give the bride away; and may finally
settle him in his old age, as a trading Westminster justice." That,
looking to the facts, Fielding's second marriage should have gained the
approval and countenance of Lyttelton is no more than the upright and
honourable character of the latter would lead us to expect.

The _Jacobite's Journal_ ceased to appear in November 1748. In the early
part of the December following, the remainder of Smollett's programme
came to pass, and by Lyttelton's interest Fielding was appointed a
Justice of the Peace for Westminster. From a letter in the _Bedford
Correspondence_, dated 13th December 1748, respecting the lease of a
house or houses which would qualify him to act for Middlesex, it would
seem that the county was afterwards added to his commission. He must
have entered upon his office in the first weeks of December, as upon the
ninth of that month one John Salter was committed to the Gatehouse by
Henry Fielding, Esq., "of Bow Street, Covent Garden, formerly Sir Thomas
de Veil's." Sir Thomas de Veil, who died in 1746, and whose _Memoirs_
had just been published, could not, however, have been Fielding's
immediate predecessor.



CHAPTER V.

TOM JONES.


Writing from Basingstoke to his brother Tom, on the 29th October 1746,
Joseph Warton thus refers to a visit he paid to Fielding:--

"I wish you had been with me last week, when I spent two evenings with
Fielding and his sister, who wrote David Simple, and you may guess I was
very well entertained. The lady indeed retir'd pretty soon, but Russell
and I sat up with the Poet [Warton no doubt uses the word here in the
sense of 'maker' or 'creator'] till one or two in the morning, and were
inexpressibly diverted. I find he values, as he justly may, his Joseph
Andrews above all his writings: he was extremely civil to me, I fancy,
on my Father's account." [Footnote: i.e. the Rev. Thomas Warton, Vicar
of Basingstoke, and sometime Professor of Poetry at Oxford.]

This mention of _Joseph Andrews_ has misled some of Fielding's
biographers into thinking that he ranked that novel above _Tom Jones_.
But, in October 1746, _Tom Jones_ had not been published; and, from the
absence of any reference to it by Warton, it is only reasonable to
conclude that it had not yet assumed a definite form, or Fielding, who
was by no means uncommunicative, would in all probability have spoken of
it as an effort from which he expected still greater things. It is
clear, too, that at this date he was staying in London, presumably in
lodgings with his sister; and it is also most likely that he lived much
in town when he was conducting the _True Patriot_ and the _Jacobite's
Journal_. At other times he would appear to have had no settled place of
abode. There are traditions that _Tom Jones_ was composed in part at
Salisbury, in a house at the foot of Milford Hill; and again that it was
written at Twiverton, or Twerton-on-Avon, near Bath, where, as the Vicar
pointed out in _Notes and Queries_ for March 15th, 1879, there still
exists a house called Fielding's Lodge, over the door of which is a
stone crest of a phoenix rising out of a mural coronet. This latter
tradition is supported by the statement of Mr. Richard Graves, author of
the _Spiritual Quixote_, and rector, _circa_ 1750, of the neighbouring
parish of Claverton, who says in his _Trifling Anecdotes of the late
Ralph Allen_, that Fielding while at Twerton used to dine almost daily
with Allen at Prior Park. There are also traces of his residence at Bath
itself; and of visits to the seat of Lyttelton's father at Hagley in
Worcestershire. Towards the close of 1747 he had, as before stated,
rooms in Back Lane, Twickenham; and it must be to this or to some
earlier period that Walpole alludes in his _Parish Register_ (1759):--

  "Here Fielding met his bunter Muse
   And, as they quaff'd the fiery juice,
   Droll Nature stamp'd each lucky hit
   With unimaginable wit;"--

a quatrain in which the last lines excuse the first. According to Mr.
Cobbett's already-quoted _Memorials of Twickenham_, he left that place
upon his appointment as a Middlesex magistrate, when he moved to Bow
Street. His house in Bow Street belonged to John, Duke of Bedford; and
he continued to live in it until a short time before his death. It was
subsequently occupied by his half-brother and successor, Sir John,
[Footnote: In the riots of '80--as Dickens has not forgotten to note in
_Barnaby Rudge_--the house was destroyed by the mob, who burned Sir
John's goods in the street (Boswell's _Johnson_, chap. lxx.)] who,
writing to the Duke in March 1770, to thank him for his munificent gift
of an additional ten years to the lease, recalls "that princely instance
of generosity which his Grace shewed to his late brother, Henry
Fielding."

What this was, is not specified. It may have been the gift of the leases
of those tenements which, as explained, were necessary to qualify
Fielding to act as a Justice of the Peace for the county of Middlesex;
it may even have been the lease of the Bow Street house; or it may have
been simply a gift of money. But whatever it was, it was something
considerable. In his appeal to the Duke, at the close of the last
chapter, Fielding referred to previous obligations, and in his
dedication of _Tom Jones_ to Lyttelton, he returns again to his Grace's
beneficence. Another person, of whose kindness grateful but indirect
mention is made in the same dedication, is Ralph Allen, who, according
to Derrick, the Bath M.C., sent the novelist a present of L200, before
he had even made his acquaintance, [Footnote: Derrick's Letters, 1767,
ii. 95.] which, from the reference to Allen in _Joseph Andrews_,
probably began before 1742. Lastly, there is Lyttelton himself,
concerning whom, in addition to a sentence which implies that he
actually suggested the writing of _Tom Jones_, we have the express
statements on Fielding's part that "without your Assistance this History
had never been completed," and "I partly owe to you my Existence during
great Part of the Time which I have employed in composing it." These
words must plainly be accepted as indicating pecuniary help; and, taking
all things together, there can be little doubt that for some years
antecedent to his appointment as a Justice of the Peace, Fielding was in
straitened circumstances, and was largely aided, if not practically
supported, by his friends. Even supposing him to have been subsidised by
Government as alleged, his profits from the _True Patriot_ and the
_Jacobite's Journal_ could not have been excessive; and his gout, of
which he speaks in one of his letters to the Duke of Bedford, must have
been a serious obstacle in the way of his legal labours.

_The History of Tom Jones, a Foundling_, was published by Andrew Millar
on the 28th of February 1749, and its appearance in six volumes, 12mo,
was announced in the _General Advertiser_ of that day's date. There had
been no author's name on the title-page of _Joseph Andrews_; but _Tom
Jones_ was duly described as "by Henry Fielding, Esq.," and bore the
motto from Horace, seldom so justly applied, of "_Mores hominum multorum
vidit._" The advertisement also ingenuously stated that as it was
"impossible to get Sets bound fast enough to answer the Demand for them,
such Gentlemen and Ladies as pleased, might have them sew'd in Blue
Paper and Boards at the Price of 16s a Set." The date of issue
sufficiently disposes of the statement of Cunningham and others, that
the book was written at Bow Street. Little more than the dedication,
which is preface as well, can have been produced by Fielding in his new
home. Making fair allowance for the usual tardy progress of a book
through the press, and taking into consideration the fact that the
author was actively occupied with his yet unfamiliar magisterial duties,
it is most probable that the last chapter of _Tom Jones_ had been penned
before the end of 1748, and that after that time it had been at the
printer's. For the exact price paid to the author by the publisher on
this occasion we are indebted to Horace Walpole, who, writing to George
Montagu in May 1749, says--"Millar the bookseller has done very
generously by him [Fielding]: finding Tom Jones, for which he had given
him six hundred pounds, sell so greatly, he has since given him another
hundred."

It is time, however, to turn from these particulars to the book itself.
In _Joseph Andrews_, Fielding's work had been mainly experimental. He
had set out with an intention which had unexpectedly developed into
something else. That something else, he had explained, was the comic
epic in prose. He had discovered its scope and possibilities only when
it was too late to re-cast his original design; and though _Joseph
Andrews_ has all the freshness and energy of a first attempt in a new
direction, it has also the manifest disadvantages of a mixed conception
and an uncertain plan. No one had perceived these defects more plainly
than the author; and in _Tom Jones_ he set himself diligently to perfect
his new-found method. He believed that he foresaw a "new Province of
Writing," of which he regarded himself with justice as the founder and
lawgiver; and in the "prolegomenous, or introductory Chapters" to each
book--those delightful resting-spaces where, as George Eliot says,
"he seems to bring his arm-chair to the proscenium and chat with us in
all the lusty ease of his fine English"--he takes us, as it were, into
his confidence, and discourses frankly of his aims and his way of work.
He looked upon these little "initial Essays" indeed, as an indispensable
part of his scheme. They have given him, says he more than once, "the
greatest Pains in composing" of any part of his book, and he hopes that,
like the Greek and Latin mottoes in the _Spectator_, they may serve to
secure him against imitation by inferior authors. [Footnote:
Notwithstanding this warning, Cumberland (who copied so much) copied
these in his novel of _Henry_. On the other hand, Fielding's French and
Polish translators omitted them as superfluous.] Naturally a great deal
they contain is by this time commonplace, although it was unhackneyed
enough when Fielding wrote. The absolute necessity in work of this kind
for genius, learning, and knowledge of the world, the constant
obligation to preserve character and probability--to regard variety and
the law of contrast:--these are things with which the modern tiro
(however much he may fail to possess or observe them) is now supposed to
be at least theoretically acquainted. But there are other chapters in
which Fielding may also be said to reveal his personal point of view,
and these can scarcely be disregarded. His "Fare," he says, following
the language of the table, is "HUMAN NATURE," which he shall first
present "in that more plain and simple Manner in which it is found in
the Country," and afterwards "hash and ragoo it with all the high
_French_ and _Italian_ seasoning of Affectation and Vice which Courts
and Cities afford." His inclination, he admits, is rather to the middle
and lower classes than to "the highest Life," which he considers to
present "very little Humour or Entertainment." His characters (as
before) are based upon actual experience; or, as he terms it,
"Conversation." He does not propose to present his reader with "Models
of Perfection;" he has never happened to meet with those "faultless
Monsters." He holds that mankind is constitutionally defective, and that
a single bad act does not, of necessity, imply a bad nature. He has also
observed, without surprise, that virtue in this world is not always "the
certain Road to Happiness," nor "Vice to Misery." In short, having been
admitted "behind the Scenes of this Great Theatre of Nature," he paints
humanity as he has found it, extenuating nothing, nor setting down aught
in malice, but reserving the full force of his satire and irony for
affectation and hypocrisy. His sincere endeavour, he says moreover in
his dedication to Lyttelton, has been "to recommend Goodness and
Innocence," and promote the cause of religion and virtue. And he has all
the consciousness that what he is engaged upon is no ordinary
enterprise. He is certain that his pages will outlive both "their own
infirm Author" and his enemies; and he appeals to Fame to solace and
reassure him--

"Come, bright Love of Fame,"--says the beautiful "Invocation" which
begins the thirteenth Book,--"inspire my glowing Breast: Not thee I
call, who over swelling Tides of Blood and Tears, dost bear the Heroe on
to Glory, while Sighs of Millions waft his spreading Sails; but thee,
fair, gentle Maid, whom _Mnesis_, happy Nymph, first on the Banks of
_Hebrus_ didst produce. Thee, whom _Maeonia_ educated, whom _Mantua_
charm'd, and who, on that fair Hill which overlooks the proud Metropolis
of _Britain_, sat, with thy _Milton_, sweetly tuning the Heroic Lyre;
fill my ravished Fancy with the Hopes of charming Ages yet to come.
Foretel me that some tender Maid, whose Grandmother is yet unborn,
hereafter, when, under the fictitious Name of _Sophia_, she reads the
real Worth which once existed in my _Charlotte_, shall, from her
sympathetic Breast, send forth the heaving Sigh. Do thou teach me not
only to foresee, but to enjoy, nay, even to feed on future Praise.
Comfort me by a solemn Assurance, that when the little Parlour in which
I sit at this Instant, shall be reduced to a worse furnished Box, I
shall be read, with Honour, by those who never knew nor saw me, and whom
I shall neither know nor see."

With no less earnestness, after a mock apostrophe to Wealth, he appeals
to Genius:--

"Teach me (he exclaims), which to thee is no difficult Task, to know
Mankind better than they know themselves. Remove that Mist which dims
the Intellects of Mortals, and causes them to adore Men for their Art,
or to detest them for their Cunning in deceiving others, when they are,
in Reality, the Objects only of Ridicule, for deceiving themselves.
Strip off the thin Disguise of Wisdom from Self-Conceit, of Plenty from
Avarice, and of Glory from Ambition. Come thou, that hast inspired thy
_Aristophanes_, thy _Lucian_, thy _Cervantes_, thy _Rabelais_, thy
_Moliere_, thy _Shakespear_, thy _Swift_, thy _Marivaux_, fill my Pages
with Humour, till Mankind learn the Good-Nature to laugh only at the
Follies of others, and the Humility to grieve at their own."

From the little group of immortals who are here enumerated, it may be
gathered with whom Fielding sought to compete, and with whom he hoped
hereafter to be associated. His hopes were not in vain. Indeed, in one
respect, he must be held to have even outrivalled that particular
predecessor with whom he has been oftenest compared. Like _Don Quixote_,
_Tom Jones_ is the precursor of a new order of things,--the earliest and
freshest expression of a new departure in art. But while _Tom Jones_ is,
to the full, as amusing as _Don Quixote_, it has the advantage of a
greatly superior plan, and an interest more skilfully sustained. The
incidents which, in Cervantes, simply succeed each other like the scenes
in a panorama, are, in _Tom Jones_, but parts of an organised and
carefully-arranged progression towards a foreseen conclusion. As the
hero and heroine cross and re-cross each other's track, there is
scarcely an episode which does not aid in the moving forward of the
story. Little details rise lightly and naturally to the surface of the
narrative, not more noticeable at first than the most everyday
occurrences, and a few pages farther on become of the greatest
importance. The hero makes a mock proposal of marriage to Lady
Bellaston. It scarcely detains attention, so natural an expedient does
it appear, and behold in a chapter or two it has become a terrible
weapon in the hands of the injured Sophia! Again, when the secret of
Jones' birth [Footnote: Much ink has been shed respecting Fielding's
reason for making his hero illegitimate. But may not "The History of Tom
Jones, a _Foundling_," have had no subtler origin than the recent
establishment of the Foundling Hospital, of which Fielding had written
in the _Champion_, and in which his friend Hogarth was interested?] is
finally disclosed, we look back and discover a hundred little
premonitions which escaped us at first, but which, read by the light of
our latest knowledge, assume a fresh significance. At the same time, it
must be admitted that the over-quoted and somewhat antiquated dictum of
Coleridge, by which _Tom Jones_ is grouped with the _Alchemist_ and
_OEdipus Tyrannus_, as one of the three most perfect plots in the world,
requires revision. It is impossible to apply the term "perfect" to a
work which contains such an inexplicable stumbling-block as the Man of
the Hill's story. Then again, progress and animation alone will not make
a perfect plot, unless probability be superadded. And although it cannot
be said that Fielding disregards probability, he certainly strains it
considerably. Money is conveniently lost and found; the naivest
coincidences continually occur; people turn up in the nick of time at
the exact spot required, and develop the most needful (but entirely
casual) relations with the characters. Sometimes an episode is so
inartistically introduced as to be almost clumsy. Towards the end of the
book, for instance, it has to be shown that Jones has still some power
of resisting temptation, and he accordingly receives from a Mrs.
Arabella Hunt, a written offer of her hand, which he declines. Mrs.
Hunt's name has never been mentioned before, nor, after this occurrence,
is it mentioned again. But in the brief fortnight which Jones has been
in town, with his head full of Lady Bellaston, Sophia, and the rest, we
are to assume that he has unwittingly inspired her with so desperate a
passion that she proposes and is refused--all in a chapter.
Imperfections of this kind are more worthy of consideration than some of
the minor negligences which criticism has amused itself by detecting in
this famous book. Such, among others, is the discovery made by a writer
in the _Gentleman's Magazine_, that in one place winter and summer come
too close together; or the "strange specimen of oscitancy" which another
(it is, in fact, Mr. Keightley) considers it worth while to record
respecting the misplacing of the village of Hambrook. To such trifles as
these last the precept of _non offendar maculis_ may safely be applied,
although Fielding, wiser than his critics, seems to have foreseen the
necessity for still larger allowances:--

"Cruel indeed," says he in his proemium to Book XI., "would it be, if
such a Work as this History, which hath employed some Thousands of Hours
in the composing, should be liable to be condemned, because some
particular Chapter, or perhaps Chapters, may be obnoxious to very just
and sensible Objections.... To write within such severe Rules as these,
is as impossible as to live up to some splenetic Opinions; and if we
judge according to the Sentiments of some Critics, and of some
Christians, no Author will be saved in this World, and no Man in the
next."

Notwithstanding its admitted superiority to _Joseph Andrews_ as a work
of art, there is no male character in _Tom Jones_ which can compete with
Parson Adams--none certainly which we regard with equal admiration.
Allworthy, excellent compound of Lyttelton and Allen though he be,
remains always a little stiff and cold in comparison with the "veined
humanity" around him. We feel of him, as of another impeccable
personage, that we "cannot breathe in that fine air, That pure severity
of perfect light," and that we want the "warmth and colour" which we
find in Adams. Allworthy is a type rather than a character--a fault
which also seems to apply to that Molieresque hypocrite, the younger
Blifil. Fielding seems to have welded this latter together, rather than
to have fused him entire, and the result is a certain lack of
verisimilitude, which makes us wonder how his pinchbeck professions and
vamped-up virtues could deceive so many persons. On the other hand, his
father, Captain John Blifil, has all the look of life. Nor can there be
any doubt about the vitality of Squire Western. Whether the germ of his
character be derived from Addison's Tory Foxhunter or not, it is certain
that Fielding must have had superabundant material of his own from which
to model this thoroughly representative, and at the same time,
completely individual character. Western has all the rustic tastes, the
narrow prejudices, the imperfect education, the unreasoning hatred to
the court, which distinguished the Jacobite country gentleman of the
Georgian era; but his divided love for his daughter and his horses, his
good-humour and his shrewdness, his foaming impulses and his quick
subsidings, his tears, his oaths, and his barbaric dialect, are all
essential features in a personal portrait. When Jones has rescued
Sophia, he will give him all his stable, the Chevalier and Miss Slouch
excepted; when he finds he is in love with her, he is in a frenzy to
"get _at un_" and "spoil his Caterwauling." He will have the surgeon's
heart's blood if he takes a drop too much from Sophia's white arm; when
she opposes his wishes as to Blifil, he will turn her into the street
with no more than a smock, and give his estate to the "_zinking_ Fund."
Throughout the book he is _qualis ab incepto_,--boisterous, brutal,
jovial, and inimitable; so that when finally in "Chapter the Last," we
get that pretty picture of him in Sophy's nursery, protesting that the
tattling of his little granddaughter is "sweeter Music than the finest
Cry of Dogs in _England_," we part with him almost with a feeling of
esteem. Scott seems to have thought it unreasonable that he should have
"taken a beating so unresistingly from the friend of Lord Fellamar," and
even hints that the passage is an interpolation, although he wisely
refrains from suggesting by whom, and should have known that it was in
the first edition. With all deference to so eminent an authority, it is
impossible to share his hesitation. Fielding was fully aware that even
the bravest have their fits of panic. It must besides be remembered that
Lord Fellamar's friend was not an effeminate dandy, but a military man--
probably a professed _sabreur_, if not a salaried bully like Captain
Stab in the _Rake's Progress_; that he was armed with a stick and
Western was not; and that he fell upon him in the most unexpected
manner, in a place where he was wholly out of his element. It is
inconceivable that the sturdy squire, with his faculty for distributing
"Flicks" and "Dowses,"--who came so valiantly to the aid of Jones in his
battle-royal with Blifil and Thwackum,--was likely, under any but very
exceptional circumstances, to be dismayed by a cane. It was the
exceptional character of the assault which made a coward of him; and
Fielding, who had the keenest eye for inconsistencies of the kind, knew
perfectly well what he was doing.

Of the remaining _dramatis personae_--the swarming individualities with
which the great comic epic is literally "all alive," as Lord Monboddo
said--it is impossible to give any adequate account. Few of them, if
any, are open to the objection already pointed out with respect to
Allworthy and the younger Blifil, and most of them bear signs of having
been closely copied from living models. Parson Thwackum, with his
Antinomian doctrines, his bigotry, and his pedagogic notions of justice;
Square the philosopher, with his faith in human virtue (alas! poor
Square), and his cuckoo-cry about "the unalterable Rule of Eight and the
eternal Fitness of Things;" Partridge--the unapproachable Partridge,--
with his superstition, his vanity, and his perpetual _Infandum regina_,
but who, notwithstanding all his cheap Latinity, cannot construe an
unexpected phrase of Horace; Ensign Northerton, with his vague and
disrespectful recollections of "Homo;" young Nightingale and Parson
Supple:--each is a definite character bearing upon his forehead the mark
of his absolute fidelity to human nature. Nor are the female actors less
accurately conceived. Starched Miss Bridget Allworthy, with her pinched
Hogarthian face; Miss Western, with her disjointed diplomatic jargon;
that budding Slipslop, Mrs. Honour; worthy Mrs. Miller, Mrs.
Fitzpatrick, Mrs. Waters, Lady Bellaston,--all are to the full as real.
Lady Bellaston especially, deserves more than a word. Like Lady Booby in
_Joseph Andrews_, she is not a pleasant character; but the picture of
the fashionable demirep, cynical, sensual, and imperious, has never been
drawn more vigorously, or more completely--even by Balzac. Lastly, there
is the adorable Sophia herself, whose pardon should be asked for naming
her in such close proximity to her frailer sister. Byron calls her
(perhaps with a slight suspicion of exigence of rhyme) too "emphatic;"
meaning, apparently, to refer to such passages as her conversation with
Mrs. Fitzpatrick, etc. But the heroine of Fielding's time--a time which
made merry over a lady's misadventures in horsemanship, and subjected
her to such atrocities as those of Lord Fellamar--required to be
strongly moulded; and Sophia Western is pure and womanly, in spite of
her unfavourable surroundings. She is a charming example--the first of
her race--of an unsentimentalised flesh-and-blood heroine; and Time has
hated no jot of her frank vitality or her healthy beauty. Her
descendants in the modern novel are far more numerous than the family
which she bore to the fortunate--the too fortunate--Mr. Jones.

And this reminds us that in the foregoing enumeration we have left out
Hamlet. In truth, it is by no means easy to speak of this handsome, but
very un-heroic hero. Lady Mary, employing, curiously enough, the very
phrase which Fielding has made one of his characters apply to Jones,
goes so far as to call him a "sorry scoundrel;" and eminent critics have
dilated upon his fondness for drink and play. But it is a notable
instance of the way in which preconceived attributes are gradually
attached to certain characters, that there is in reality little or
nothing to show that he was either sot or gamester. With one exception,
when, in the joy of his heart at his benefactor's recovery, he takes too
much wine (and it may be noted that on the same occasion the Catonic
Thwackum drinks considerably more), there is no evidence that he was
specially given to tippling, even in an age of hard drinkers, while of
his gambling there is absolutely no trace at all. On the other hand, he
is admittedly brave, generous, chivalrous, kind to the poor, and
courteous to women. What, then, is his cardinal defect? The answer lies
in the fact that Fielding, following the doctrine laid down in his
initial chapters, has depicted him under certain conditions (in which,
it is material to note, he is always rather the tempted than the
tempter), with an unvarnished truthfulness which to the pure-minded is
repugnant, and to the prurient indecent. Remembering that he too had
been young, and reproducing, it may be, his own experiences, he exhibits
his youth as he had found him--a "piebald miscellany,"--

  "Bursts of great heart and slips in sensual mire;"

and, to our modern ideas, when no one dares, as Thackeray complained,
"to depict to his utmost power a Man," the spectacle is discomforting.
Yet those who look upon human nature as keenly and unflinchingly as
Fielding did, knowing how weak and fallible it is,--how prone to fall
away by accident or passion,--can scarcely deny the truth of Tom Jones.
That such a person cannot properly serve as a hero now is rather a
question of our time than of Fielding's, and it may safely be set aside.
One objection which has been made, and made with reason, is that
Fielding, while taking care that Nemesis shall follow his hero's lapses,
has spoken of them with too much indulgence, or rather without
sufficient excuse. Coleridge, who was certainly not squeamish, seems to
have felt this when, in a MS. note [Footnote: These notes were
communicated by Mr. James Gillman to _The Literary Remains of Samuel
Taylor Coleridge_, published by H. N. Coleridge in 1836. The book in
which they were made, (it is the four volume edition of 1773, and has
Gillman's book-plate), is now in the British Museum. The above
transcript is from the MS.] in the well-known British Museum edition, he
says:--

"Even in this most questionable part of Tom Jones [i.e. the Lady
Bellaston episode, chap. ix. Book xv.], I cannot but think after
frequent reflection on it, that an additional paragraph, more fully &
forcibly unfolding Tom Jones's sense of self-degradation on the
discovery of the true character of the relation, in which he had stood
to Lady Bellaston--& his awakened feeling of the dignity and manliness
of Chastity--would have removed in great measure any just objection, at
all events relating to Fielding himself, by taking in the state of
manners in his time."

Another point suggested by these last lines may be touched _en passant_.
Lady Bellaston, as Fielding has carefully explained (chap. i. Book
xiv.), was not a typical, but an exceptional, member of society; and
although there were eighteenth-century precedents for such alliances
(e.g. Miss Edwards and Lord Anne Hamilton, Mrs. Upton and General
Braddock,) it is a question whether in a picture of average English life
it was necessary to deal with exceptions of this kind, or, at all
events, to exemplify them in the principal personage. But the discussion
of this subject would prove endless. Right or wrong, Fielding has
certainly suffered in popularity for his candour in this respect, since
one of the wisest and wittiest books ever written cannot, without
hesitation, be now placed in the hands of women or very young people.
Moreover, this same candour has undoubtedly attracted to its pages many,
neither young nor women, whom its wit finds unintelligent, and its
wisdom leaves unconcerned.

But what a brave wit it is, what a wisdom after all, that is contained
in this wonderful novel! Where shall we find its like for richness of
reflection--for inexhaustible good-humour--for large and liberal
humanity! Like Fontenelle, Fielding might fairly claim that he had never
cast the smallest ridicule upon the most infinitesimal of virtues; it is
against hypocrisy, affectation, insincerity of all kinds, that he wages
war. And what a keen and searching observation,--what a perpetual
faculty of surprise,--what an endless variety of method! Take the
chapter headed ironically _A Receipt to regain the lost Affections of a
Wife_, in which Captain John Blifil gives so striking an example of Mr.
Samuel Johnson's just published _Vanity of Human Wishes_, by dying
suddenly of apoplexy while he is considering what he will do with Mr.
Allworthy's property (when it reverts to him); or that admirable scene,
commended by Macaulay, of Partridge at the Playhouse, which is none the
worse because it has just a slight look of kinship with that other
famous visit which Sir Roger de Coverley paid to Philips's _Distrest
Mother_. Or take again, as utterly unlike either of these, that
burlesque Homeric battle in the churchyard, where the "sweetly-winding
Stour" stands for "reedy Simois," and the bumpkins round for Greeks and
Trojans! Or take yet once more, though it is woful work to offer bricks
from this edifice which _has_ already (in a sense) outlived the
Escorial, [Footnote: The Escorial, it will be remembered, was partially
burned in 1872.] the still more diverse passage which depicts the
changing conflict in Black George's mind as to whether he shall return
to Jones the sixteen guineas that he has found:--

"_Black George_ having received the Purse, set forward towards the
Alehouse; but in the Way a Thought occurred whether he should not detain
this Money likewise. His Conscience, however, immediately started at
this Suggestion, and began to upbraid him with Ingratitude to his
Benefactor. To this his Avarice answered, 'That his conscience should
have considered that Matter before, when he deprived poor _Jones_ of his
500l. That having quietly acquiesced in what was of so much greater
Importance, it was absurd, if not downright Hypocrisy, to affect any
Qualms at this Trifle.'--In return to which, Conscience, like a good
Lawyer, attempted to distinguish between an absolute Breach of Trust, as
here where the Goods were delivered, and a bare Concealment of what was
found, as in the former Case. Avarice presently treated this with
Ridicule, called it a Distinction without a Difference, and absolutely
insisted, that when once all Pretensions of Honour and Virtue were given
up in any one Instance, that there was no Precedent for resorting to
them upon a second Occasion. In short, poor Conscience had certainly
been defeated in the Argument, had not Fear stept in to her Assistance,
and very strenuously urged, that the real Distinction between the two
Actions, did not lie in the different degrees of Honour, but of Safety:
For that the secreting the 500l. was a Matter of very little Hazard;
whereas the detaining the sixteen Guineas was liable to the utmost
Danger of Discovery.

"By this friendly Aid of Fear, Conscience obtained a compleat Victory in
the Mind of _Black George_, and after making him a few Compliments on
his Honesty, forced him to deliver the Money to _Jones_."

When one remembers that this is but one of many such passages, and that
the book, notwithstanding the indulgence claimed by the author in the
Preface, and despite a certain hurry at the close, is singularly even in
its workmanship, it certainly increases our respect for the manly genius
of the writer, who, amid all the distractions of ill-health and poverty,
could find the courage to pursue and perfect such a conception. It is
true that both Cervantes and Bunyan wrote their immortal works in the
confinement of a prison. But they must at least have enjoyed the
seclusion so needful to literary labour; while _Tom Jones_ was written
here and there, at all times and in all places, with the dun at the door
and the wolf not very far from the gate. [Footnote: Salisbury, in the
neighbourhood of which _Tom Jones_ is laid, claims the originals of some
of the characters. Thwackum is said to have been Hele, a schoolmaster;
Square, one Chubb, a Deist; and Dowling the lawyer a person named
Stillingfleet.]

The little sentence quoted some pages back from Walpole's letters is
sufficient proof, if proof were needed, of its immediate success. Andrew
Millar was shrewd enough, despite his constitutional confusion, and he
is not likely to have given an additional L100 to the author of any book
without good reason. But the indications of that success are not very
plainly impressed upon the public prints. The _Gentleman's Magazine_ for
1749, which, as might be expected from Johnson's connection with it,
contains ample accounts of his own tragedy of _Irene_ and Richardson's
recently-published _Clarissa_, has no notice of _Tom Jones_, nor is
there even any advertisement of the second edition issued in the same
year. But, in the emblematic frontispiece, it appears under _Clarissa_
(and sharing with that work a possibly unintended proximity to a sprig
of laurel stuck in a bottle of Nantes), among a pile of the books of the
year; and in the "poetical essays" for August, one Thomas Cawthorn
breaks into rhymed panegyric. "Sick of her fools," sings this
enthusiastic but scarcely lucid admirer--

  "Sick of her fools, great _Nature_ broke the jest,
  And _Truth_ held out each character to test,
  When _Genius_ spoke: Let _Fielding_ take the pen!
  Life dropt her mask, and all mankind were men."

There were others, however, who would scarcely have echoed the laudatory
sentiments of Mr. Cawthorn. Among these was again the excellent
Richardson, who seems to have been wholly unpropitiated by the olive
branch held out to him in the _Jacobite's Journal_. His vexation at the
indignity put upon _Pamela_ by _Joseph Andrews_ was now complicated by a
twittering jealousy of the "spurious brat," as he obligingly called _Tom
Jones_, whose success had been so "unaccountable." In these
circumstances, some of the letters of his correspondents must have been
gall and wormwood to him. Lady Bradshaigh, for instance, under her _nom
de guerre_ of "Belfour," tells him that she is fatigued with the very
name of the book, having met several young ladies who were for ever
talking of their Tom Jones's, "for so they call their favourites," and
that the gentlemen, on their side, had their Sophias, one having gone so
far as to give that all-popular name to his "Dutch mastiff puppy." But
perhaps the best and freshest exhibition (for, as far as can be
ascertained, it has never hitherto been made public) of Richardson's
attitude to his rival is to be found in a little group of letters in the
Forster collection at South Kensington. The writers are Aaron Hill and
his daughters; but the letters do not seem to have been known to Mrs.
Barbauld, whose last communication from Hill is dated November 2, 1748.
Nor are they to be found in Hill's own Correspondence. The ladies, it
appears, had visited Richardson at Salisbury Court in 1741, and were
great admirers of _Pamela_, and the "divine _Clarissa_." Some months
after _Tom Jones_ was published, Richardson (not yet having brought
himself to read the book) had asked them to do so, and give him their
opinion as to its merits. Thereupon Minerva and Astraea, who despite
their names, and their description of themselves as "Girls of an
untittering Disposition," must have been very bright and lively young
persons, began seriously "to lay their two wise heads together" and
"hazard this Discovery of their Emptiness." Having "with much ado got
over some Reluctance, that was bred by a familiar coarseness in the
_Title_," they report "much (masqu'd) merit" in the "whole six volumes"
--"a double merit, both of Head, and _Heart_."

Had it been the latter only it would be more worthy of Mr. Richardson's
perusal; but, say these considerate pioneers, if he does spare it his
attention, he must only do so at his leisure, for the author "introduces
All his Sections (and too often interweaves the _serious_ Body of his
meanings), with long Runs of bantering Levity, which his [Fielding's]
Good sense may suffer by Effect of." "It is true (they continue), he
seems to wear this Lightness, as a grave Head sometime wears a
_Feather_: which tho' He and Fashion may consider as an ornament,
Reflection will condemn, as a Disguise, and _covering_." Then follows a
brief excursus, intended for their correspondent's special consolation,
upon the folly of treating grave things lightly; and with delightful
sententiousness the letter thus concludes:--

"Mean while, it is an honest pleasure, which we take in adding, that
(exclusive of one wild, detach'd, and independent Story of a _Man of the
Hill_, that neither brings on Anything, nor rose from Anything that went
before it) All the changefull windings of the Author's Fancy carry on a
course of regular Design; and end in an extremely moving Close, where
Lives that seem'd to wander and run different ways, meet, All, in an
instructive Center.

"The whole Piece consists of an inventive Race of Disapointments and
Recoveries. It excites Curiosity, and holds it watchful. It has just and
pointed Satire; but it is a partial Satire, and confin'd, too narrowly:
It sacrifices to Authority, and Interest. Its _Events_ reward Sincerity,
and punish and expose Hypocrisy; shew Pity and Benevolence in amiable
Lights, and Avarice and Brutality in very despicable ones. In every Part
It has Humanity for its Intention: In too many, it _seems_ wantoner than
It was meant to be: It has bold shocking Pictures; and (I fear)
[Footnote: The "pen-holder" is the fair Astraea.] not unresembling ones,
in high Life, and in low. And (to conclude this too adventurous Guess-
work, from a Pair of forward Baggages) woud, every where, (we think,)
_deserve_ to please,--if stript of what the Author thought himself most
sure to _please by_.

"And thus, Sir, we have told you our sincere opinion of _Tom Jones_....

"Your most profest Admirers and most humble Servants,

"Astraea and Minerva Hill.

"PLAISTOW the 27th of July 1749."

Richardson's reply to this ingenuous criticism is dated the 4th of
August. His requesting two young women to study and criticise a book
which he has heard strongly condemned as immoral,--his own obvious
familiarity with what he has not read but does not scruple to censure,--
his transparently jealous anticipation of its author's ability,--all
this forms a picture so characteristic alike of the man and the time
that no apology is needed for the following textual extract:--

"I must confess, that I have been prejudiced by the Opinion of Several
judicious Friends against the truly coarse-titled Tom Jones; and so have
been discouraged from reading it.--I was told, that it was a rambling
Collection of Waking Dreams, in which Probability was not observed: And
that it had a very bad Tendency. And I had Reason to think that the
Author intended for his Second View (His _first_, to fill his Pocket, by
accommodating it to the reigning Taste) in writing it, to whiten a
vicious Character, and to make Morality bend to his Practices. What
Reason had he to make his Tom illegitimate, in an Age where Keeping is
become a Fashion? Why did he make him a common--What shall I call it?
And a Kept Fellow, the Lowest of all Fellows, yet in Love with a Young
Creature who was traping [trapesing?] after him, a Fugitive from her
Father's House?--Why did he draw his Heroine so fond, so foolish, and so
insipid?--Indeed he has one Excuse--He knows not how to draw a delicate
Woman--He has not been accustomed to such Company,--And is too
prescribing, too impetuous, too immoral, I will venture to say, to take
any other Byass than that a perverse and crooked Nature has given him;
or Evil Habits, at least, have confirm'd in him. Do Men expect Grapes of
Thorns, or Figs of Thistles? But, perhaps, I think the worse of the
Piece because I know the Writer, and dislike his Principles both Public
and Private, tho' I wish well to the _Man_, and Love Four worthy Sisters
of his, with whom I am well acquainted. And indeed should admire him,
did he make the Use of his Talents which I wish him to make, For the
Vein of Humour, and Ridicule, which he is Master of, might, if properly
turned do great Service to ye Cause of Virtue.

"But no more of this Gentleman's Work, after I have said, That the
favourable Things, you say of the Piece, will tempt me, if I can find
Leisure, to give it a Perusal."

Notwithstanding this last sentence, Richardson more than once reverts to
_Tom Jones_ before he finishes his letter. Its effect upon Minerva and
Astraea is hest described in an extract from Aaron Hill's reply, dated
seven days later (August the 11th):--

"Unfortunate _Tom Jones_! how sadly has he mortify'd Two sawcy
Correspondents of your making! They are with me now: and bid me tell
you, You have spoil'd 'em Both, for Criticks.--Shall I add, a Secret
which they did not bid me tell you?--They, Both, fairly _cry'd_, that
You shou'd think it possible they you'd approve of Any thing, in Any
work, that had an _Evil Tendency_, in any Part or Purpose of it. They
maintain their Point so far, however, as to be convinc'd they say, that
_you_ will disapprove this over-rigid Judgment of those Friends, who
you'd not find a Thread of Moral Meaning in Tom Jones, quite independent
of the Levities they justly censure.--And, as soon as you have Time to
read him, for yourself, tis there, pert Sluts, they will be bold enough
to rest the Matter.--Mean while, they love and honour you and your
opinions."

To this the author of _Clarissa_ replied by writing a long epistle
deploring the pain he had given the "dear Ladies," and minutely
justifying his foregone conclusions from the expressions they had used.
He refers to Fielding again as "a very indelicate, a very impetuous, an
unyielding-spirited Man;" and he also trusts to be able to "bestow a
Reading" on _Tom Jones_; but by a letter from Lady Bradshaigh, printed
in Barbauld, and dated December 1749, it seems that even at that date he
had not, or pretended he had not, yet done so. In another of the
unpublished South Kensington letters, from a Mr. Solomon Lowe, occurs
the following:--"I do not doubt"--says the writer--"but all Europe will
ring of it [_Clarissa_]: when a Cracker, that was some thous'd hours a-
com-posing, [Footnote: _Vide Tom Jones_, Book xi. chap. i.] will no
longer be heard, or talkt-of." Richardson, with business-like precision,
has gravely docketed this in his own handwriting,--"Cracker, T. Jones."

It is unfortunate for Mr. Lowe's reputation as a prophet that, after
more than one hundred and thirty years, this ephemeral firework, as he
deemed it, should still be sparkling with undiminished brilliancy, and
to judge by recent editions, is selling as vigorously as ever. From the
days when Lady Mary wrote "_Ne plus ultra_" in her own copy, and La
Harpe called it _le premier roman du monde_, (a phrase which, by the
way, De Musset applies to _Clarissa_), it has come down to us with an
almost universal accompaniment of praise. Gibbon, Byron, Coleridge,
Scott, Dickens, Thackeray,--have all left their admiration on record,--
to say nothing of professional critics innumerable. As may be seen from
the British Museum Catalogue, it has been translated into French,
German, Polish, Dutch, and Spanish. Russia and Sweden have also their
versions. The first French translation, or rather abridgment, by M. de
La Place was prohibited in France (to Richardson's delight) by royal
decree, an act which affords another instance, in Scott's words, of that
"French delicacy, which, on so many occasions, has strained at a gnat,
and swallowed a camel" (e.g. the novels of M. Crebillon _fils_). La
Place's edition (1750) was gracefully illustrated with sixteen plates by
Hubert Bourguignon, called Gravelot, one of those eighteenth-century
illustrators whose designs at present are the rage in Paris. In England,
Fielding's best-known pictorial interpreters are Rowlandson and
Cruikshank, the latter being by far the more sympathetic. Stothard also
prepared some designs for Harrison's _Novelists Magazine_; but his
refined and effeminate pencil was scarcely strong enough for the task.
Hogarth alone could have been the ideal illustrator of Henry Fielding;
that is to say--if, in lieu of the rude designs he made for _Tristram
Shandy_, he could have been induced to undertake the work in the larger
fashion of the _Rake's Progress_, or _The Marriage a la Mode_.

As might perhaps be anticipated, _Tom Jones_ attracted the dramatist.
[Footnote: It may be added that it also attracted the plagiarist. As
_Pamela_ had its sequel in _Pamela's Conduct in High Life_, 1741, so
_Tom Jones_ was continued in _The History of Tom Jones the Foundling, in
his Married State_, a second edition of which was issued in 1750. The
Preface announces, needlessly enough, that "Henry Fielding, Esq., is not
the Author of this Book." It deserves no serious consideration.] In
1765, one J. H. Steffens made a comedy of it for the German boards; and
in 1785, a M. Desforges based upon it another, called _Tom Jones a
Londres_, which was acted at the _Theatre Francais_. It was also turned
into a comic opera by Joseph Reed in 1769, and played at Covent Garden.
But its most piquant transformation is the _Comedie lyrique_ of
Poinsinet, acted at Paris in 1765-6 to the lively music of Philidor. The
famous Caillot took the part of Squire Western, who, surrounded by
_piqueurs_, and girt with the conventional _cor de chasse_ of the Gallic
sportsman, sings the following _ariette_, diversified with true
Fontainebleau terms of venery:--

  "D'un Cerf, dix Cors, j'ai connaissance:
  On l'attaque au fort, on le lance;
    Tous sont prets:
    Piqueurs & Valets
  Suivent les pas de l'ami Jone (_sic_).
  J'entends crier: Volcelets, Volcelets.
    Aussitot j'ordonne
    Que la Meute donne.
    Tayaut, Tayaut, Tayaut.
  Mes chiens decouples l'environnent;
    Les trompes sonnent:
  'Courage, Amis: Tayaut, Tayaut.'
  Quelques chiens, que l'ardeur derange,
  Quittent la voye & prennent le change
    Jones les rassure d'un cri:
    Ourvari, ourvari.
    Accoute, accoute, accoute.
    Au retour nous en revoyons.
    Accoute, a Mirmiraut, courons
    Tout a Griffaut;
    Y apres: Tayaut, Tayaut.
    On reprend route,
    Voila le Cerf a l'eau.
    La trompe sonne,
    La Meute donne,
    L'echo resonne,
  Nous pressons les nouveaux relais:
    Volcelets, Volcelets.
    L'animal force succombe,
  Fait un effort, se releve, enfin tombe:
  Et nos chasseurs chantent tous a l'envi:
  'Amis, goutons les fruits de la victoire;
  'Amis, Amis, celebrons notre gloire.
    'Halali, Fanfare, Halali
      'Halali.'"

With this triumphant flourish of trumpets the present chapter may be
fittingly concluded. [Footnote: See Appendix No. II.: Fielding and Mrs.
Hussey.]



CHAPTER VI.

JUSTICE LIFE--AMELIA.


In one of Horace Walpole's letters to George Montagu, already quoted,
there is a description of Fielding's Bow Street establishment, which has
attracted more attention than it deserves. The letter is dated May the
18th, 1749, and the passage (in Cunningham's edition) runs as follows:--

"He [Rigby] and Peter Bathurst [Footnote: Probably a son of Peter
Bathurst (d. 1748), brother of Pope's friend, Allen, Lord Bathurst.
Rigby was the Richard Rigby whose despicable character is familiar in
Eighteenth-Century Memoirs. "He died (says Cunningham) involved in debt,
with his accounts as Paymaster of the Forces hopelessly unsettled."]
t'other night carried a servant of the latter's, who had attempted to
shoot him, before Fielding; who, to all his other vocations, has, by the
grace of Mr. Lyttelton, added that of Middlesex justice. He sent them
word he was at supper, that they must come next morning. They did not
understand that freedom, and ran up, where they found him banqueting
with a blind man, a whore, and three Irishmen, on some cold mutton and a
bone of ham, both in one dish, and the dirtiest cloth. He never stirred
nor asked them to sit. Rigby, who had seen him so often come to beg a
guinea of Sir C. Williams, and Bathurst, at whose father's he had lived
for victuals, understood that dignity as little, and pulled themselves
chairs; on which he civilised."

Scott calls this "a humiliating anecdote;" and both Mr. Lawrence and Mr.
Keightley have exhausted rhetoric in the effort to explain it away. As
told, it is certainly uncomplimentary; but considerable deductions must
be made, both for the attitude of the narrator and the occasion of the
narrative. Walpole's championship of his friends was notorious; and his
absolute injustice, when his partisan spirit was uppermost, is
everywhere patent to the readers of his Letters. In the present case he
was not of the encroaching party; and he speaks from hearsay solely. But
his friends had, in his opinion, been outraged by a man, who, according
to his ideas of fitness, should have come to them cap in hand; and as a
natural consequence, the story, no doubt exaggerated when it reached
him, loses nothing under his transforming and malicious pen. Stripped of
its decorative flippancy, however, there remains but little that can
really be regarded as "humiliating." Scott himself suggests, what is
most unquestionably the case, that the blind man was the novelist's
half-brother, afterwards Sir John Fielding; and it is extremely unlikely
that the lady so discourteously characterised could have been any other
than his wife, who, Lady Stuart tells us, "had few personal charms."
There remain the "three Irishmen," who may, or may not, have been
perfectly presentable members of society. At all events, their mere
nationality, so rapidly decided upon, cannot be regarded as a stigma.
That the company and entertainment were scarcely calculated to suit the
superfine standard of Mr. Bathurst and Mr. Rigby may perhaps be
conceded. Fielding was by no means a rich man, and in his chequered
career had possibly grown indifferent to minor decencies. Moreover, we
are told by Murphy that, as a Westminster justice, he "kept his table
open to those who had been his friends when young, and had impaired
their own fortunes." Thus, it must always have been a more or less
ragged regiment who met about that kindly Bow Street board; but that the
fact reflects upon either the host or guests cannot be admitted for a
moment. If the anecdote is discreditable to anyone it is to that facile
retailer of _ana_, and incorrigible society-gossip, Mr. Horace Walpole.

But while these unflattering tales were told of his private life,
Fielding was fast becoming eminent in his public capacity. On the 12th
of May 1749 he was unanimously chosen chairman of Quarter Sessions at
Hicks's Hall (as the Clerkenwell Sessions House was then called); and on
the 29th of June following he delivered a charge to the Westminster
Grand Jury which is usually printed with his works, and which is still
regarded by lawyers as a model exposition. It is at first a little
unexpected to read his impressive and earnest denunciations of
masquerades and theatres (in which latter, by the way, one Samuel Foote
had very recently been following the example of the author of
_Pasquin_); but Fielding the magistrate and Fielding the playwright were
two different persons; and a long interval of changeful experience lay
between them. In another part of his charge, which deals with the
offence of libelling, it is possible that his very vigorous appeal was
not the less forcible by reason of the personal attacks to which he had
referred in the Preface to _David Simple_, the _Jacobite's Journal_, and
elsewhere. His only other literary efforts during this year appear to
have been a little pamphlet entitled _A True State of the Case of
Bosavern Penlez_; and a formal congratulatory letter to Lyttelton upon
his second marriage, in which, while speaking gratefully of his own
obligations to his friend, he endeavours to enlist his sympathies for
Moore the fabulist who was also "about to marry." The pamphlet had
reference to an occurrence which took place in July. Three sailors of
the "Grafton" man-of-war had been robbed in a house of ill fame in the
Strand. Failing to obtain redress, they attacked the house with their
comrades, and wrecked it, causing a "dangerous riot," to which Fielding
makes incidental reference in one of his letters to the Duke of Bedford,
and which was witnessed by John Byrom, the poet and stenographer, in
whose _Remains_ it is described. Bosavern Penlez or Pen Lez, who had
joined the crowd, and in whose possession some of the stolen property
was found, was tried and hanged in September. His sentence, which was
considered extremely severe, excited much controversy, and the object of
Fielding's pamphlet was to vindicate the justice and necessity of his
conviction.

Towards the close of 1749 Fielding fell seriously ill with fever
aggravated by gout. It was indeed at one time reported that
mortification had supervened; but under the care of Dr. Thomson, that
dubious practitioner whose treatment of Winnington in 1746 had given
rise to so much paper war, he recovered; and during 1750 was actively
employed in his magisterial duties. At this period lawlessness and
violence appear to have prevailed to an unusual extent in the
metropolis, and the office of a Bow Street justice was no sinecure.
Reform of some kind was felt on all sides to be urgently required; and
Fielding threw his two years' experience and his deductions therefrom
into the form of a pamphlet entitled _An Enquiry into the Causes of the
late Increase of Robbers, etc., with some Proposals for remedying this
growing Evil_. It was dedicated to the then Lord High Chancellor, Philip
Yorke, Lord Hardwicke, by whom, as well as by more recent legal
authorities, it was highly appreciated. Like the _Charge to the Grand
Jury_, it is a grave argumentative document, dealing seriously with
luxury, drunkenness, gaming, and other prevalent vices. Once only, in an
ironical passage respecting beaus and fine ladies, does the author
remind us of the author of _Tom Jones_. As a rule, he is weighty,
practical, and learned in the law. Against the curse of Gin-drinking,
which, owing to the facilities for obtaining that liquor, had increased
to an alarming extent among the poorer classes, he is especially urgent
and energetic. He points out that it is not only making dreadful havoc
in the present, but that it is enfeebling the race of the future, and he
concludes--

"Some little Care on this Head is surely necessary: For tho' the
Encrease of Thieves, and the Destruction of Morality; though the Loss of
our Labourers, our Sailors, and our Soldiers, should not be sufficient
Reasons, there is one which seems to be unanswerable, and that is, the
Loss of our Gin-drinkers: Since, should the drinking this Poison be
continued in its present Height during the next twenty Years, there
will, by that Time, be very few of the common People left to drink it."

To the appeal thus made by Fielding in January 1751, Hogarth added his
pictorial protest in the following month by his awful plate of _Gin
Lane_, which, if not actually prompted by his friend's words, was
certainly inspired by the same crying evil. One good result of these
efforts was the "Bill for restricting the Sale of Spirituous Liquors,"
to which the royal assent was given in June, and Fielding's connection
with this enactment is practically acknowledged by Horace Walpole in his
_Memoires of the Last ten Years of the Reign of George II_. The law was
not wholly effectual, and was difficult to enforce; but it was not by
any means without its good effects. [Footnote: The Rev. R. Hurd,
afterwards Bishop of Worcester, an upright and scholarly, but formal and
censorious man, whom Johnson called a "word-picker," and franker
contemporaries "an old maid in breeches," has left a reference to
Fielding at this time which is not flattering. "I dined with him [Ralph
Allen] yesterday, where I met Mr. Fielding,--a poor emaciated, worn-out
rake, whose gout and infirmities have got the better even of his
buffoonery" (Letter to Balguy, dated "Inner Temple, 19th March, 1751.")
That Fielding had not long before been dangerously ill, and that he was
a martyr to gout, is fact: the rest is probably no more than the echo of
a foregone conclusion, based upon report, or dislike to his works. Hurd
praised Richardson and proscribed Sterne. He must have been wholly out
of sympathy with the author of _Tom Jones_.]

Between the publication of the _Enquiry_ and that of _Amelia_ there is
nothing of importance to chronicle except Fielding's connection with one
of the events of 1751, the discovery of the Glastonbury waters.
According to the account given in the _Gentleman's_ for July in that
year, a certain Matthew Chancellor had been cured of "an asthma and
phthisic" of thirty years' standing by drinking from a spring near Chain
Gate, Glastonbury, to which he had (so he alleged) been directed in a
dream. The spring forthwith became famous; and in May an entry in the
Historical Chronicle for Sunday, the 5th, records that above 10,000
persons had visited it, deserting Bristol, Bath, and other popular
resorts. Numerous pamphlets were published for and against the new
waters; and a letter in their favour, which appeared in the _London
Daily Advertiser_ for the 31st August, signed "Z. Z.," is "supposed to
be wrote" by "J--e F--g." Fielding was, as may be remembered, a
Somersetshire man, Sharpham Park, his birthplace, being about three
miles from Glastonbury; and he testifies to the "wonderful Effects of
this salubrious Spring" in words which show that he had himself
experienced them. "Having seen great Numbers of my Fellow Creatures
under two of the most miserable Diseases human Nature can labour under,
the Asthma and Evil, return from _Glastonbury_ blessed with the Return
of Health, and having myself been relieved from a Disorder which baffled
the most skilful Physicians," justice to mankind (he says) obliges him
to take notice of the subject. The letter is interesting, more as
showing that, at this time, Fielding's health was broken, than as
proving the efficacy of the cure; for, whatever temporary relief the
waters afforded, it is clear (as Mr. Lawrence pertinently remarks) that
he derived no permanent benefit from them. They must, however, have
continued to attract visitors, as a pump-room was opened in August 1753;
and, although they have now fallen into disuse, they were popular for
many years.

But a more important occurrence than the discovery of the Somersetshire
spring is a little announcement contained in Sylvanus Urban's list of
publications for December 1751, No. 17 of which is "_Amelia_, in 4
books, 12mo; by Henry Fielding, Esq." The publisher, of course, was
Andrew Millar; and the actual day of issue, as appears from the _General
Advertiser_, was December the 19th, although the title-page, by
anticipation, bore the date of 1752. There were two mottoes, one of
which was the appropriate--

  "_Felices ter & amplius
  Quos irrupta tenet Copula;_"

and the dedication, brief and simply expressed, was to Ralph Allen. As
before, the "artful aid" of advertisement was invoked to whet the public
appetite.

"To satisfy the earnest Demand of the Publick (says Millar), this Work
has been printed at four Presses; but the Proprietor notwithstanding
finds it impossible to get them (_sic_) bound in Time, without spoiling
the Beauty of the Impression, and therefore will sell them sew'd at
Half-a-Guinea."

This was open enough; but, according to Scott, Millar adopted a second
expedient to assist _Amelia_ with the booksellers.

"He had paid a thousand pounds for the copyright; and when he began to
suspect that the work would be judged inferior to its predecessor, he
employed the following stratagem to push it upon the trade. At a sale
made to the booksellers, previous to the publication, Millar offered his
friends his other publications on the usual terms of discount; but when
he came to _Amelia_, he laid it aside, as a work expected to be in such
demand, that he could not afford to deliver it to the trade in the usual
manner. The _ruse_ succeeded--the impression was anxiously bought up,
and the bookseller relieved from every apprehension of a slow sale."

There were several reasons why--superficially speaking--_Amelia_ should
be "judged inferior to its predecessor." That it succeeded _Tom Jones_
after an interval of little more than two years and eight months would
be an important element in the comparison, if it were known at all
definitely what period was occupied in writing _Tom Jones_. All that can
be affirmed is that Fielding must have been far more at leisure when he
composed the earlier work than he could possibly have been when filling
the office of a Bow Street magistrate. But, in reality, there is a much
better explanation of the superiority of _Tom Jones_ to _Amelia_ than
the merely empirical one of the time it took. _Tom Jones_, it has been
admirably said by a French critic, "_est la condensation et le resume de
toute une existence. C'est le resultat et la conclusion de plusieurs
annees de passions et de pensees, la formule derniere et complete de la
philosophie personnelle que l'on s'est faite sur tout ce que l'on a vu
et senti_." Such an experiment, argues Planche, is not twice repeated in
a lifetime: the soil which produced so rich a crop can but yield a
poorer aftermath. Behind _Tom Jones_ there was the author's ebullient
youth and manhood; behind _Amelia_ but a section of his graver middle-
age. There are other reasons for diversity in the manner of the book
itself. The absence of the initial chapters, which gave so much variety
to _Tom Jones_, tends to heighten the sense of impatience which, it must
be confessed, occasionally creeps over the reader of _Amelia_,
especially in those parts where, like Dickens at a later period,
Fielding delays the progress of his narrative for the discussion of
social problems and popular grievances. However laudable the desire
(expressed in the dedication) "to expose some of the most glaring Evils,
as well public as private, which at present infest this Country," the
result in _Amelia_, from an art point of view, is as unsatisfactory as
that of certain well-known pages of _Bleak House_ and _Little Dorrit_.
Again, there is a marked change in the attitude of the author,--a change
not wholly reconcilable with the brief period which separates the two
novels. However it may have chanced, whether from failing health or
otherwise, the Fielding of _Amelia_ is suddenly a far older man than the
Fielding of _Tom Jones_. The robust and irrepressible vitality, the
full-veined delight of living, the energy of observation and strength of
satire, which characterise the one give place in the other to a calmer
retrospection, a more compassionate humanity, a gentler and more
benignant criticism of life. That, as some have contended, _Amelia_
shows an intellectual falling-off cannot for a moment be admitted, least
of all upon the ground--as even so staunch an admirer as Mr. Keightley
has allowed himself to believe--that certain of its incidents are
obviously repeated from the _Modern Husband_ and others of the author's
plays. At this rate _Tom Jones_ might be judged inferior to _Joseph
Andrews_, because the Political Apothecary in the "Man of the Hill's"
story has his prototype in the _Coffee-House Politician_, whose original
is Addison's Upholsterer. The plain fact is, that Fielding recognised
the failure of his plays as literature; he regarded them as dead; and
freely transplanted what was good of his forgotten work into the work
which he hoped would live. In this, it may be, there was something of
indolence or haste; but assuredly there was no proof of declining
powers.

If, for the sake of comparison, _Tom Jones_ may be described as an
animated and happily-constructed comedy, with more than the usual
allowance of first-rate characters, _Amelia_ must be regarded as a one-
part piece, in which the rest of the _dramatis personae_ are wholly
subordinate to the central figure. Captain Booth, the two Colonels,
Atkinson and his wife, Miss Matthews, Dr. Harrison, Trent, the shadowy
and maleficent "My Lord," are all less active on their own account than
energised and set in motion by Amelia. Round her they revolve; from her
they obtain their impulse and their orbit. The best of the men, as
studies, are Dr. Harrison and Colonel Bath. The former, who is as
benevolent as Allworthy, is far more human, and it may be added, more
humorous in well-doing. He is an individual rather than an abstraction.
Bath, with his dignity and gun-cotton honour, is also admirable, but not
entirely free from the objection made to some of Dickens's creations,
that they are rather characteristics than characters. Captain William
Booth, beyond his truth to nature, manifests no qualities that can
compensate for his weakness, and the best that can be said of him is,
that without it, his wife would have had no opportunity for the display
of her magnanimity. There is also a certain want of consistency in his
presentment; and when, in the residence of Mr. Bondum the bailiff, he
suddenly develops an unexpected scholarship, it is impossible not to
suspect that Fielding was unwilling to lose the opportunity of
preserving some neglected scenes of the _Author's Farce_. Miss Matthews
is a new and remarkable study of the _femme entretenue_, to parallel
which, as in the case of Lady Bellaston, we must go to Balzac; Mrs.
James, again, is an excellent example of that vapid and colourless
nonentity, the "person of condition." Mrs. Bennet, although apparently
more contradictory and less intelligible, is nevertheless true to her
past history and present environments; while her husband, the sergeant,
with his concealed and reverential love for his beautiful foster-sister,
has had a long line of descendants in the modern novel. It is upon
Amelia, however, that the author has lavished all his pains, and there
is no more touching portrait in the whole of fiction than this heroic
and immortal one of feminine goodness and forbearance. It is needless to
repeat that it is painted from Fielding's first wife, or to insist that,
as Lady Mary was fully persuaded, "several of the incidents he mentions
are real matters of fact." That famous scene where Amelia is spreading,
for the recreant who is losing his money at the King's Arms, the
historic little supper of hashed mutton which she has cooked with her
own hands, and denying herself a glass of white wine to save the paltry
sum of sixpence, "while her Husband was paying a Debt of several Guineas
incurred by the Ace of Trumps being in the Hands of his Adversary"--a
scene which it is impossible to read aloud without a certain huskiness
in the throat,--the visits to the pawnbroker and the sponging-house,
the robbery by the little servant, the encounter at Vauxhall, and some
of the pretty vignettes of the children, are no doubt founded on
personal recollections. Whether the pursuit to which the heroine is
exposed had any foundation in reality it is impossible to say; and there
is a passage in Murphy's memoir which almost reads as if it had been
penned with the express purpose of anticipating any too harshly literal
identification of Booth with Fielding, since we are told of the latter
that "though disposed to gallantry by his strong animal spirits, and the
vivacity of his passions, he was remarkable for tenderness _and
constancy to his wife_ [the italics are ours], and the strongest
affection for his children." These, however, are questions beside the
matter, which is the conception of _Amelia_. That remains, and must
remain for ever, in the words of one of Fielding's greatest modern
successors, a figure

  "wrought with love....
  Nought modish in it, pure and noble lines
  Of generous womanhood that fits all time."

There are many women who forgive; but Amelia does more--she not only
forgives, but she forgets. The passage in which she exhibits to her
contrite husband the letter received long before from Miss Matthews is
one of the noblest in literature; and if it had been recorded that
Fielding--like Thackeray on a memorable occasion--had here slapped his
fist upon the table, and said "_That_ is a stroke of genius!" it would
scarcely have been a thing to be marvelled at. One final point in
connection with her may be noted, which has not always been borne in
mind by those who depict good women--much after Hogarth's fashion--
without a head. She is not by any means a simpleton, and it is
misleading to describe her as a tender, fluttering little creature, who,
because she can cook her husband's supper, and caresses him with the
obsolete name of Billy, must necessarily be contemptible. On the
contrary, she has plenty of ability and good sense, with a fund of
humour which enables her to enjoy slily and even gently satirise the
fine lady airs of Mrs. James. Nor is it necessary to contend that her
faculties are subordinated to her affections; but rather that conjugal
fidelity and Christian charity are inseparable alike from her character
and her creed.

As illustrating the tradition that Fielding depicted his first wife in
Sophia Western and in Amelia, it has been remarked that there is no
formal description of her personal appearance in his last novel, her
portrait having already been drawn at length in _Tom Jones_. But the
following depreciatory sketch by Mrs. James is worth quoting, not only
because it indirectly conveys the impression of a very handsome woman,
but because it is also an admirable specimen of Fielding's lighter
manner:--

"'In the first place,' cries Mrs. James, 'her eyes are too large; and
she hath a look with them that I don't know how to describe; but I know
I don't like it. Then her eyebrows are too large; therefore, indeed, she
doth all in her power to remedy this with her pincers; for if it was not
for those, her eyebrows would be preposterous.--Then her nose, as well
proportioned as it is, has a visible scar on one side. [Footnote: See
note on this subject in chapter iv., and Appendix No. III.]--Her neck
likewise is too protuberant for the genteel size, especially as she
laces herself; for no woman, in my opinion, can be genteel who is not
entirely flat before. And lastly, she is both too short, and too tall.--
Well, you may laugh, Mr. James, I know what I mean, though I cannot well
express it. I mean, that she is too tall for a pretty woman, and too
short for a fine woman.--There is such a thing as a kind of insipid
medium--a kind of something that is neither one thing or another. I know
not how to express it more clearly; but when I say such a one is a
pretty woman, a pretty thing, a pretty creature, you know very well I
mean a little woman; and when I say such a one is a very fine woman, a
very fine person of a woman, to be sure I must mean a tall woman. Now a
woman that is between both, is certainly neither the one nor the other."

The ingenious expedients of Andrew Millar, to which reference has been
made, appear to have so far succeeded that a new edition of _Amelia_ was
called for on the day of publication. Johnson, to whom we owe this
story, was thoroughly captivated with the book. Notwithstanding that on
another occasion he paradoxically asserted that the author was "a
blockhead"--"a barren rascal," he read it through without stopping, and
pronounced Mrs. Booth to be "the most pleasing heroine of all the
romances." Richardson, on the other hand, found "the characters and
situations so wretchedly low and dirty" that he could not get farther
than the first volume. With the professional reviewers, a certain
Criticulus in the _Gentleman's_ excepted, it seems to have fared but
ill; and although these adverse verdicts, if they exist, are now more or
less inaccessible, Fielding has apparently summarised most of them in a
mock-trial of _Amelia_ before the "_Court of_ Censorial Enquiry," the
proceedings of which are recorded in Nos. 7 and 8 of the _Covent-Garden
Journal_. The book is indicted upon the Statute of Dulness, and the
heroine is charged with being a "_low_ Character," a "_Milksop_," and a
"_Fool_;" with lack of spirit and fainting too frequently; with dressing
her children, cooking and other "servile Offices;" with being too
forgiving to her husband; and lastly, as may be expected, with the
inconsistency, already amply referred to, of being "a Beauty _without a
nose_." Dr. Harrison and Colonel Bath are arraigned much in the same
fashion. After some evidence against her has been tendered, and "a Great
Number of Beaus, Rakes, fine Ladies, and several formal Persons with
bushy Wigs, and Canes at their Noses," are preparing to supplement it, a
grave man steps forward, and, begging to be heard, delivers what must be
regarded as Fielding's final apology for his last novel:--

"If you, Mr. Censor, are yourself a Parent, you will view me with
Compassion when I declare I am the Father of this poor Girl the Prisoner
at the Bar; nay, when I go further and avow, that of all my Offspring
she is my favourite Child. I can truly say that I bestowed a more than
ordinary Pains in her Education; in which I will venture to affirm, I
followed the Rules of all those who are acknowledged to have writ best
on the Subject; and if her Conduct be fairly examined, she will be found
to deviate very little from the strictest Observation of all those
Rules; neither Homer nor Virgil pursued them with greater Care than
myself, and the candid and learned Reader will see that the latter was
the noble model, which I made use of on this Occasion.

"I do not think my Child is entirely free from Faults. I know nothing
human that is so; but surely she doth not deserve the Rancour with which
she hath been treated by the Public. However, it is not my Intention, at
present, to make any Defence; but shall submit to a Compromise, which
hath been always allowed in this Court in all Prosecutions for Dulness.
I do, therefore, solemnly declare to you, Mr. Censor, that I will
trouble the World no more with any Children of mine by the same Muse."

Whether sincere or not, this last statement appears to have afforded the
greatest gratification to Richardson. "Will I leave you to Captain
Booth?" he writes triumphantly to Mrs. Donnellan, in answer to a
question she had put to him. "Captain Booth, Madam, has done his own
business. Mr. Fielding has overwritten himself, or rather _under_-
written; and in his own journal seems ashamed of his last piece; and has
promised that the same Muse shall write no more for him. The piece, in
short, is as dead as if it had been published forty years ago, as to
sale." There is much to the same effect in the worthy little printer's
correspondence; but enough has been quoted to show how intolerable to
the super-sentimental creator of the high-souled and heroic _Clarissa_
was his rival's plainer and more practical picture of matronly virtue
and modesty. In cases of this kind, _parva seges satis est_, and Amelia
has long since outlived both rival malice and contemporary coldness. It
is a proof of her author's genius, that she is even more intelligible to
our age than she was to her own.

At the end of the second volume of the first edition of her history was
a notice announcing the immediate appearance of the above-mentioned
_Covent-Garden Journal_, a bi-weekly paper, in which Fielding, under the
style and title of Sir Alexander Drawcansir, assumed the office of
Censor of Great Britain. The first number of this new venture was issued
on January the 4th, 1752, and the price was threepence. In plan, and
general appearance, it resembled the _Jacobite's Journal_, consisting
mainly of an introductory Essay, paragraphs of current news, often
accompanied by pointed editorial comment, miscellaneous articles, and
advertisements. One of the features of the earlier numbers was a
burlesque, but not very successful, _Journal of the present Paper War_,
which speedily involved the author in actual hostilities with the
notorious quack and adventurer Dr. John Hill, who for some time had been
publishing certain impudent lucubrations in the _London Daily
Advertiser_ under the heading of _The Inspector_; and also with
Smollett, whom he (Fielding) had ridiculed in his second number, perhaps
on account of that little paragraph in the first edition of _Peregrine
Pickle_, to which reference was made in an earlier chapter. Smollett,
always irritable and combative, retorted by a needlessly coarse and
venomous pamphlet, in which, under the name of "Habbakkuk Hilding,
Justice, Dealer and Chapman," Fielding was attacked with indescribable
brutality. Another, and seemingly unprovoked, adversary whom the
_Journal of the War_ brought upon him was Bonnel Thornton, afterwards
joint-author with George Colman of the _Connoisseur_, who, in a
production styled _Have at you All; or, The Drury Lane Journal_,
lampooned Sir Alexander with remarkable rancour and assiduity. Mr.
Lawrence has treated these "quarrels of authors" at some length; and
they also have some record in the curious collections of the elder
Disraeli. As a general rule, Fielding was far less personal and much
more scrupulous in his choice of weapons than those who assailed him;
but the conflict was an undignified one, and, as Scott has justly said,
"neither party would obtain honour by an inquiry into the cause or
conduct of its hostilities."

In the enumeration of Fielding's works it is somewhat difficult (if due
proportion be observed) to assign any real importance to efforts like
the _Covent-Garden Journal_. Compared with his novels, they are
insignificant enough. But even the worst work of such a man is notable
in its way; and Fielding's contributions to the _Journal_ are by no
means to be despised. They are shrewd lay sermons, often exhibiting much
out-of-the-way erudition, and nearly always distinguished by some of his
personal qualities. In No. 33, on "Profanity," there is a character-
sketch which, for vigour and vitality, is worthy of his best days; and
there is also a very thoughtful paper on "Reading," containing a kindly
reference to "the ingenious Author of _Clarissa_," which should have
mollified that implacable moralist. In this essay it is curious to
notice that, while Fielding speaks with due admiration of Shakespeare
and Moliere, Lucian, Cervantes, and Swift, he condemns Rabelais and
Aristophanes, although in the invocation already quoted from _Tom
Jones_, he had included both these authors among the models he admired.
Another paper in the _Covent-Garden Journal_ is especially interesting
because it affords a clue to a project of Fielding's which unfortunately
remained a project. This was a Translation of the works of Lucian, to be
undertaken in conjunction with his old colleague, the Rev. William
Young. Proposals were advertised, and the enterprise was duly heralded
by a "puff preliminary," in which Fielding, while abstaining from
anything directly concerning his own abilities, observes, "I will only
venture to say, that no Man seems so likely to translate an Author well,
as he who hath formed his Stile upon that very Author"--a sentence
which, taken in connection with the references to Lucian in _Tom Thumb_,
the _Champion_ and elsewhere, must be accepted as distinctly
autobiographic. The last number of the Covent-Garden Journal (No. 72)
was issued in November 1752. By this time Sir Alexander seems to have
thoroughly wearied of his task. With more gravity than usual he takes
leave of letters, begging the Public that they will not henceforth
father on him the dulness and scurrility of his worthy contemporaries;
"since I solemnly declare that unless in revising my former Works, I
have at present no Intention to hold any further Correspondence with the
gayer Muses."

The labour of conducting the _Covent-Garden Journal_ must have been the
more severe in that, during the whole period of its existence, the
editor was vigorously carrying out his duties as a magistrate. The
prison and political scenes in _Amelia_, which contemporary critics
regarded as redundant, and which even to us are more curious than
essential, testify at once to his growing interest in reform, and his
keen appreciation of the defects which existed both in the law itself
and in the administration of the law; while the numerous cases heard
before him, and periodically reported in his paper by his clerk, afford
ample evidence of his judicial activity. How completely he regarded
himself (Bathurst and Rigby notwithstanding) as the servant of the
public, may be gathered from the following regularly repeated notice:--

"To the PUBLIC.

"All Persons who shall for the Future, suffer by Robbers, Burglars, &c.,
are desired immediately to bring, or send, the best Description they can
of such Robbers, &c., with the Time and Place, and Circumstances of the
Fact, to Henry Fielding, Esq.; at his House in Bow Street."

Another instance of his energy in his vocation is to be found in the
little collection of cases entitled _Examples of the Interposition of
Providence, in the Detection and Punishment of Murder_, published, with
Preface and Introduction, in April 1752, and prompted, as advertisement
announces, "by the many horrid Murders committed within this last Year."
It appeared, as a matter of fact, only a few days after the execution at
Oxford, for parricide, of the notorious Miss Mary Blandy, and might be
assumed to have a more or less timely intention; but the purity of
Fielding's purpose is placed beyond a doubt by the fact that he freely
distributed it in court to those whom it seemed calculated to profit.

The only other works of Fielding which precede the posthumously
published _Journal of a Voyage to Lisbon_ are the _Proposal for Making
an Effectual Provision for the Poor_, etc., a pamphlet dedicated to the
Right Honble. Henry Pelham, published in January 1753; and the _Clear
State of the Case of Elizabeth Canning_, published in March. The former,
which the hitherto unfriendly _Gentleman's_ patronisingly styles an
"excellent piece," conceived in a manner which gives "a high idea of his
[the author's] present temper, manners and ability," is an elaborate
project for the erection, _inter alia_, of a vast building, of which a
plan, "drawn by an Eminent Hand," was given, to be called the County-
house, capable of containing 5000 inmates, and including work-rooms,
prisons, an infirmary, and other features, the details of which are too
minute to be repeated in these pages, even if they had received any
attention from the Legislature, which they did not. The latter was
Fielding's contribution to the extraordinary judicial puzzle, which
agitated London in 1753-4. It is needless to do more than recall its
outline. On the 29th of January 1753, one Elizabeth Canning, a domestic
servant aged eighteen or thereabouts, and who had hitherto borne an
excellent character, returned to her mother, having been missing from
the house of her master, a carpenter in Aldermanbury, since the 1st of
the same month. She was half starved and half clad, and alleged that she
had been abducted, and confined during her absence in a house on the
Hertford Road, from which she had just escaped. This house she
afterwards identified as that of one Mother Wells, a person of very
indifferent reputation. An ill-favoured old gipsy woman named Mary
Squires was also declared by her to have been the main agent in ill-
using and detaining her. The gipsy, it is true, averred that at the time
of the occurrence she was a hundred and twenty miles away; but Canning
persisted in her statement. Among other people before whom she came was
Fielding, who examined her, as well as a young woman called Virtue Hall,
who appeared subsequently as one of Canning's witnesses. Fielding seems
to have been strongly impressed by her appearance and her story, and his
pamphlet (which was contradicted in every particular by his adversary,
John Hill) gives a curious and not very edifying picture of the
magisterial procedure of the time. In February, Wells and Squires were
tried; Squires was sentenced to death, and Wells to imprisonment and
burning in the hand. Then, by the exertions of the Lord Mayor, Sir Crisp
Gascoyne, who doubted the justice of the verdict, Squires was respited
and pardoned. Forthwith London was split up into Egyptian and Canningite
factions; a hailstorm of pamphlets set in; portraits and caricatures of
the principal personages were in all the print shops; and, to use
Churchill's words,

  "--_Betty Canning_ was at least,
  With _Gascoyne's_ help, a six months feast."

In April 1754, however, Fate so far prevailed against her that she
herself, in turn, was tried for perjury. Thirty-eight witnesses swore
that Squires had been in Dorsetshire; twenty-seven that she had been
seen in Middlesex. After some hesitation, quite of a piece with the rest
of the proceedings, the jury found Canning guilty; and she was
transported for seven years. At the end of her sentence she returned to
England to receive a legacy of L500, which had been left her by an
enthusiastic old lady of Newington-green. [Footnote: So says the _Annual
Register_ for 1761, p. 179. But according to later accounts (_Gent.
Mag._ xliii. 413), she never returned, dying in 1773 at Weathersfield in
Connecticut.] Her "case" is full of the most inexplicable
contradictions; and it occupies in the _State Trials_ some four hundred
and twenty closely-printed pages of the most curious and picturesque
eighteenth-century details. But how, from the 1st of January 1753 to the
29th of the same month, Elizabeth Canning really did manage to spend her
time is a secret that, to this day, remains undivulged.



CHAPTER VII.

THE JOURNAL OF A VOYAGE TO LISBON.


In March 1753, when Fielding published his pamphlet on Elizabeth
Canning, his life was plainly drawing to a close. His energies indeed
were unabated, as may be gathered from a brief record in the
_Gentleman's_ for that month, describing his judicial raid, at four in
the morning, upon a gaming-room, where he suspected certain highwaymen
to be assembled. But his body was enfeebled by disease, and he knew he
could not look for length of days. He had lived not long, but much; he
had seen in little space, as the motto to _Tom Jones_ announced, "the
manners of many men;" and now that, prematurely, the inevitable hour
approached, he called Cicero and Horace to his aid, and prepared to meet
his fate with philosophic fortitude. Between

  _"Quem fors dierum cunque dabit, lucro
  Appone,"_

and

  _"Grata superveniet, quae non sperabitur, hora,"_

he tells us in his too-little-consulted _Proposal for the Poor_, he had
schooled himself to regard events with equanimity, striving above all,
in what remained to him of life, to perform the duties of his office
efficiently, and solicitous only for those he must leave behind him.
Henceforward his literary efforts should be mainly philanthropic and
practical, not without the hope that, if successful, they might be the
means of securing some provision for his family. Of fiction he had taken
formal leave in the trial of _Amelia_; and of lighter writing generally
in the last paper of the _Covent-Garden Journal_. But, if we may trust
his Introduction, the amount of work he had done for his poor-law
project must have been enormous, for he had read and considered all the
laws upon the subject, as well as everything that had been written on it
since the days of Elizabeth, yet he speaks nevertheless as one over
whose head the sword had all the while been impending:--

"The Attempt, indeed, is such, that the Want of Success can scarce be
called a Disappointment, tho' I shall have lost much Time, and
misemployed much Pains; and what is above all, shall miss the Pleasure
of thinking that in the Decline of my Health and Life, I have conferred
a great and lasting Benefit on my Country."

In words still more resigned and dignified, he concludes the book:--

His enemies, he says, will no doubt "discover, that instead of intending
a Provision for the Poor, I have been carving out one for myself,
[Footnote: Presumably as Governor of the proposed County-house.] and
have very cunningly projected to build myself a fine House at the
Expence (_sic_) of the Public. This would be to act in direct Opposition
to the Advice of my above Master [i.e. Horace]; it would be indeed

  Struere domos immemor sepulchri.

Those who do not know me, may believe this; but those who do, will
hardly be so deceived by that Chearfulness which was always natural to
me; and which, I thank God, my Conscience doth not reprove me for, to
imagine that I am not sensible of my declining Constitution.... Ambition
or Avarice can no longer raise a Hope, or dictate any Scheme to me, who
have no further Design than to pass my short Remainder of Life in some
Degree of Ease, and barely to preserve my Family from being the Objects
of any such Laws as I have here proposed."

With the exception of the above, and kindred passages quoted from the
Prefaces to the _Miscellanies_ and the Plays, the preceding pages, as
the reader has no doubt observed, contain little of a purely
autobiographical character. Moreover, the anecdotes related of Fielding
by Murphy and others have not always been of such a nature as to inspire
implicit confidence in their accuracy, while of the very few letters
that have been referred to, none have any of those intimate and familiar
touches which reveal the individuality of the writer. But from the
middle of 1753 up to a short time before his death, Fielding has himself
related the story of his life, in one of the most unfeigned and touching
little tracts in our own or any other literature. The only thing which,
at the moment, suggests itself for comparison with the _Journal of a
Voyage to Lisbon_ is the letter and dedication which Fielding's
predecessor, Cervantes, prefixes to his last romance of _Persiles and
Sigismunda_. In each case the words are animated by the same
uncomplaining kindliness--the same gallant and indomitable spirit; in
each case the writer is a dying man. Cervantes survived the date of his
letter to the Conde de Lemos but three days; and the _Journal_, says
Fielding's editor (probably his brother John), was "finished almost at
the same period with life." It was written, from its author's account,
in those moments of the voyage when, his womankind being sea-sick, and
the crew wholly absorbed in working the ship, he was thrown upon his own
resources, and compelled to employ his pen to while away the time. The
Preface, and perhaps the Introduction, were added after his arrival at
Lisbon, in the brief period before his death. The former is a semi-
humorous apology for voyage-writing; the latter gives an account of the
circumstances which led to this, his last expedition in search of
health.

At the beginning of August 1753, Fielding tells us, having taken the
Duke of Portland's medicine [Footnote: A popular eighteenth-century
gout-powder, but as old as Galen. The receipt for it is given in the
_Gentleman's Magazine_, vol. xxiii., 579.] for near a year, "the effects
of which had been the carrying off the symptoms of a lingering imperfect
gout," Mr. Ranby, the King's Sergeant-Surgeon [Footnote: Mr. Ranby was
also the friend of Hogarth, who etched his house at Chiswick.] (to whom
complimentary reference had been made in the Man of the Hill's story in
_Tom Jones_), with other able physicians, advised him "to go immediately
to Bath." He accordingly engaged lodgings, and prepared to leave town
forthwith. While he was making ready for his departure, and was "almost
fatigued to death with several long examinations, relating to five
different murders, all committed within the space of a week, by
different gangs of street robbers," he received a message from the Duke
of Newcastle, afterwards Premier, through that Mr. Carrington whom
Walpole calls "the cleverest of all ministerial terriers," requesting
his attendance in Lincoln's-Inn Fields (Newcastle House). Being lame,
and greatly over-taxed, Fielding excused himself. But the Duke sent Mr.
Carrington again next day, and Fielding with great difficulty obeyed the
summons. After waiting some three hours in the antechamber (no unusual
feature, as Lord Chesterfield informs us, of the Newcastle audiences), a
gentleman was deputed to consult him as to the devising of a plan for
putting an immediate end to the murders and robberies which had become
so common. This, although the visit cost him "a severe cold," Fielding
at once undertook. A proposal was speedily drawn out and submitted to
the Privy Council. Its essential features were the employment of a known
informer, and the provision of funds for that purpose.

By the time this scheme was finally approved, Fielding's disorder had
"turned to a deep jaundice," in which case the Bath waters were
generally regarded as "almost infallible." But his eager desire to break
up "this gang of villains and cut-throats" delayed him in London; and a
day or two after he had received a portion of the stipulated grant,
(which portion, it seems, took several weeks in arriving), the whole
body were entirely dispersed,--"seven of them were in actual custody,
and the rest driven, some out of town, and others out of the kingdom."
In examining them, however, and in taking depositions, which often
occupied whole days and sometimes nights, although he had the
satisfaction of knowing that during the dark months of November and
December the metropolis enjoyed complete immunity from murder and
robbery, his own health was "reduced to the last extremity."

"Mine (he says) was now no longer what is called a Bath case," nor, if
it had been, could his strength have sustained the "intolerable fatigue"
of the journey thither. He accordingly gave up his Bath lodgings, which
he had hitherto retained, and went into the country "in a very weak and
deplorable condition." He was suffering from jaundice, dropsy, and
asthma, under which combination of diseases his body was "so entirely
emaciated, that it had lost all its muscular flesh." He had begun with
reason "to look on his case as desperate," and might fairly have
regarded himself as voluntarily sacrificed to the good of the public.
But he is far too honest to assign his action to philanthropy alone. His
chief object (he owns) had been, if possible, to secure some provision
for his family in the event of his death. Not being a "trading
justice,"--that is, a justice who took bribes from suitors, like Justice
Thrasher in _Amelia_, or Justice Squeez'um in the _Coffee House
Politician_,--his post at Bow Street had scarcely been a lucrative one.
"By composing, instead of inflaming, the quarrels of porters and beggars
(which I blush when I say hath not been universally practised) and by
refusing to take a shilling from a man who most undoubtedly would not
have had another left, I had reduced an income of about L500 a year of
the dirtiest money upon earth to little more than L300, a considerable
proportion of which remained with my clerk." Besides the residue of his
justice's fees, he had also, he informs us, a yearly pension from the
Government, "out of the public service-money," but the amount is not
stated. The rest of his means, as far as can be ascertained, were
derived from his literary labours. To a man of his lavish disposition,
and with the claims of a family upon him, this could scarcely have been
a competence; and if, as appears not very clearly from a note in the
Journal, he now resigned his office to his half-brother, who had long
been his assistant, his private affairs at the beginning of the winter
of 1753-54 must, as he says, have "had but a gloomy aspect." In the
event of his death his wife and children could have no hope except from
some acknowledgment by the Government of his past services.

Meanwhile his diseases were slowly gaining ground. The terrible winter
of 1753-54, which, from the weather record in the _Gentleman's_, seems,
with small intermission, to have been prolonged far into April, was
especially trying to asthmatic patients, and consequently wholly against
him. In February he returned to town, and put himself under the care of
the notorious Dr. Joshua Ward of Pall Mall, by whom he was treated and
tapped for dropsy. [Footnote: Ward appears in Hogarth's _Consultation of
Physicians_, 1736, and in Pope--"Ward try'd on Puppies, and the Poor,
his Drop." He was a quack, but must have possessed considerable ability.
Bolingbroke wished Pope to consult him in 1744; and he attended George
II. There is an account of him in Nichols's _Genuine Works of Hogarth_,
i. 89.] He was at his worst, he says, "on that memorable day when the
public lost Mr. Pelham (March 6th);" but from this time, he began, under
Ward's medicines, to acquire "some little degree of strength," although
his dropsy increased. With May came the long-delayed spring, and he
moved to Fordhook, [Footnote: It lay on the Uxbridge Road, a little
beyond Acton, and nearly opposite the subsequent site of the Ealing
Common Station of the Metropolitan District Railway. The spot is now
occupied by "commodious villas."] a "little house" belonging to him at
Ealing, the air of which place then enjoyed a considerable reputation,
being reckoned the best in Middlesex, "and far superior to that of
Kensington Gravel-Pits." Here a re-perusal of Bishop Berkeley's _Siris_,
which had been recalled to his memory by Mrs. Charlotte Lennox, "the
inimitable author of the _Female Quixote_," set him drinking tar-water
with apparent good effect, except as far as his chief ailment was
concerned. The applications of the trocar became more frequent: the
summer, if summer it could be called, was "mouldering away;" and winter,
with all its danger to an invalid, was drawing on apace. Nothing seemed
hopeful but removal to a warmer climate. Aix in Provence was at first
thought of, but the idea was abandoned on account of the difficulties of
the journey. Lisbon, where Doddridge had died three years before, was
then chosen; a passage in a vessel trading to the port was engaged for
the sick man, his wife, daughter, and two servants; and after some
delays they started. At this point the actual _Journal_ begins with a
well-remembered entry:--

"_Wednesday, June 26th_, 1754.--On this day, the most melancholy sun I
had ever beheld arose, and found me awake at my house at Fordhook. By
the light of this sun, I was, in my own opinion, last to behold and take
leave of some of those creatures on whom I doated with a mother-like
fondness, guided by nature and passion, and uncured and unhardened by
all the doctrine of that philosophical school where I had learnt to bear
pains and to despise death.

"In this situation, as I could not conquer nature, I submitted entirely
to her, and she made as great a fool of me as she had ever done of any
woman whatsoever: under pretence of giving me leave to enjoy, she drew
me to suffer the company of my little ones, during eight hours; and I
doubt not whether, in that time, I did not undergo more than in all my
distemper.

"At twelve precisely my coach was at the door, which was no sooner told
me than I kiss'd my children round, and went into it with some little
resolution. My wife, who behaved more like a heroine and philosopher,
tho' at the same time the tenderest mother in the world, and my eldest
daughter, followed me; some friends went with us, and others here took
their leave; and I heard my behaviour applauded, with many murmurs and
praises to which I well knew I had no title; as all other such
philosophers may, if they have any modesty, confess on the like
occasions."

Two hours later the party reached Rotherhithe. Here, with the kindly
assistance of his and Hogarth's friend, Mr. Saunders Welch, High
Constable of Holborn, the sick man, who, at this time, "had no use of
his limbs," was carried to a boat, and hoisted in a chair over the
ship's side. This latter journey, far more fatiguing to the sufferer
than the twelve miles ride which he had previously undergone, was not
rendered more easy to bear by the jests of the watermen and sailors, to
whom his ghastly, death-stricken countenance seemed matter for
merriment; and he was greatly rejoiced to find himself safely seated in
the cabin. The voyage, however, already more than once deferred, was not
yet to begin. Wednesday, being King's Proclamation Day, the vessel could
not be cleared at the Custom House; and on Thursday the skipper
announced that he should not set out until Saturday. As Fielding's
complaint was again becoming troublesome, and no surgeon was available
on board, he sent for his friend, the famous anatomist, Mr. Hunter, of
Covent Garden, [Footnote: This must have been William Hunter, for in
1754 his more distinguished brother John had not yet become celebrated.]
by whom he was tapped, to his own relief, and the admiration of the
simple sea-captain, who (he writes) was greatly impressed by "the heroic
constancy, with which I had borne an operation that is attended with
scarce any degree of pain." On Sunday the vessel dropped down to
Gravesend, where, on the next day, Mr. Welch, who until then had
attended them, took his leave; and, Fielding, relieved by the trocar of
any immediate apprehensions of discomfort, might, in spite of his
forlorn case, have been fairly at ease. He had a new concern, however,
in the state of Mrs. Fielding, who was in agony with toothache, which
successive operators failed to relieve; and there is an unconsciously
touching little picture of the sick man and his skipper, who was deaf,
sitting silently over "a small bowl of punch" in the narrow cabin, for
fear of waking the pain-worn sleeper in the adjoining state-room. Of his
second wife, as may be gathered from the opening words of the _Journal_,
Fielding always speaks with the warmest affection and gratitude.
Elsewhere, recording a storm off the Isle of Wight, he says, "My dear
wife and child must pardon me, if what I did not conceive to be any
great evil to myself, I was not much terrified with the thoughts of
happening to them: in truth, I have often thought they are both too
good, and too gentle, to be trusted to the power of any man." With what
a tenacity of courtesy he treated the whilom Mary Daniel may be gathered
from the following vignette of insolence in office, which can be taken
as a set-off to the malicious tattle of Walpole:--

"Soon after their departure [i.e. Mr. Welch and a companion], our cabin,
where my wife and I were sitting together, was visited by two ruffians,
whose appearance greatly corresponded with that of the sheriffs, or
rather the knight-marshal's bailiffs. One of these, especially, who
seemed to affect a more than ordinary degree of rudeness and insolence,
came in without any kind of ceremony, with a broad gold lace upon his
hat, which was cocked with much military fierceness on his head. An
inkhorn at his button-hole, and some papers in his hand, sufficiently
assured me what he was, and I asked him if he and his companions were
not custom-house officers; he answered with sufficient dignity that they
were, as an information which he seemed to consider would strike the
hearer with awe, and suppress all further inquiry; but on the contrary I
proceeded to ask of what rank he was in the Custom house, and receiving
an answer from his companion, as I remember, that the gentleman was a
riding surveyor; I replied, that he might be a riding surveyor, but
could be no gentleman, for that none who had any title to that
denomination would break into the presence of a lady, without any
apology, or even moving his hat. He then took his covering from his
head, and laid it on the table, saying, he asked pardon, and blamed the
mate, who should, he said, have informed him if any persons of
distinction were below. I told him he might guess from our appearance
(which, perhaps, was rather more than could be said with the strictest
adherence to truth) that he was before a gentleman and lady, which
should teach him to be very civil in his behaviour, tho' we should not
happen to be of the number whom the world calls people of fashion and
distinction. However, I said, that as he seemed sensible of his error,
and had asked pardon, the lady would permit him to put his hat on again,
if he chose it. This he refused with some degree of surliness, and
failed not to convince me that, if I should condescend to become more
gentle, he would soon grow more rude."

The date of this occurrence was July the 1st. On the evening of the same
day they weighed anchor and managed to reach the Nore. For more than a
week they were wind-bound in the Downs, but on the 11th they anchored
off Hyde, from which place, on the next morning, Fielding despatched the
following letter to his brother. Besides giving the names of the captain
and the ship, which are carefully suppressed in the _Journal_,
[Footnote: Probably this was intentional. Notwithstanding the statement
in the "Dedication to the Public" that the text is given "as it came
from the hands of the author," the Journal, in the first issue of 1755,
seems to have been considerably "edited." "Mrs. Francis" (the Ryde
landlady) is there called "Mrs. Humphrys," and the portrait of the
military coxcomb, together with some particulars of Fielding's visit to
the Duke of Newcastle, and other details, are wholly omitted.] it is
especially interesting as being the last letter written by Fielding of
which we have any knowledge:--

"On board the Queen of Portugal, Rich'd Veal at anchor on the
Mother Bank, off Ryde, to the Care of the Post Master of Portsmouth
--this is my Date and yr Direction.

"July 12 1754.

"Dear Jack, After receiving that agreeable Lre from Mess'rs Fielding and
Co., we weighed on monday morning and sailed from Deal to the Westward.
Four Days long but inconceivably pleasant Passage brought us yesterday
to an Anchor on the Mother Bank, on the Back of the Isle of Wight, where
we had last Night in Safety the Pleasure of hearing the Winds roar over
our Heads in as violent a Tempest as I have known, and where my only
Consideration were the Fears which must possess any Friend of ours, (if
there is happily any such) who really makes our Wellbeing the Object of
his Concern especially if such Friend should be totally inexperienced in
Sea Affairs. I therefore beg that on the Day you receive this Mrs.
Daniel [Footnote: It will be remembered that the maiden-name of
Fielding's second wife, as given in the Register of St. Bene't's, was
Mary Daniel. "Mrs. Daniel" was therefore, in all probability, Fielding's
mother-in-law; and it may reasonably be assumed that she had remained in
charge of the little family at Fordhook.] may know that we are just
risen from Breakfast in Health and Spirits this twelfth Instant at 9 in
the morning. Our Voyage hath proved fruitful in Adventures all which
being to be written in the Book, you must postpone yr. Curiosity--As the
Incidents which fall under yr Cognizance will possibly be consigned to
Oblivion, do give them to us as they pass. Tell yr Neighbour I am much
obliged to him for recommending me to the Care of a most able and
experienced Seaman to whom other Captains seem to pay such Deference
that they attend and watch his Motions, and think themselves only safe
when they act under his Direction and Example. Our Ship in Truth seems
to give Laws on the Water with as much Authority and Superiority as you
Dispense Laws to the Public and Examples to yr Brethren in Commission.
Please to direct yr Answer to me on Board as in the Date, if gone to be
returned, and then send it by the Post and Pacquet to Lisbon to

"Yr affect Brother

"H. FIELDING

"To John Fielding Esq. at his House in

"Bow Street Covt Garden London."

As the _Queen of Portugal_ did not leave Ryde until the 23d, it is
possible that Fielding received a reply. During the remainder of this
desultory voyage he continued to beguile his solitary hours--hours of
which we are left to imagine the physical torture and monotony, for he
says but little of himself--by jottings and notes of the, for the most
part, trivial accidents of his progress. That happy cheerfulness, of
which he spoke in the _Proposal for the Poor_, had not yet deserted him;
and there are moments when he seems rather on a pleasure-trip than a
forlorn pilgrimage in search of health. At Ryde, where, for change of
air, he went ashore, he chronicles, after many discomforts from the most
disobliging of landladies (let the name of Mrs. Francis go down to
posterity!), "the best, the pleasantest, and the merriest meal, [in a
barn] with more appetite, more real, solid luxury, and more festivity,
than was ever seen in an entertainment at White's." At Torbay, he
expatiates upon the merits and flavour of the John Dory, a specimen of
which "gloriously regaled" the party, and furnished him with a pretext
for a dissertation on the London Fish Supply. Another page he devotes to
commendation of the excellent _Vinum Pomonae_, or Southam cyder, supplied
by "Mr. Giles Leverance of Cheeshurst, near Dartmouth in Devon," of
which, for the sum of five pounds ten shillings, he extravagantly
purchases three hogsheads, one for himself, and the others as presents
for friends, among whom no doubt was kindly Mr. Welch. Here and there he
sketches, with but little abatement of his earlier gaiety and vigour,
the human nature around him. Of the objectionable Ryde landlady and her
husband there are portraits not much inferior to those of the Tow-wouses
in _Joseph Andrews_, while the military fop, who visits his uncle the
captain off Spithead, is drawn with all the insight which depicted the
vagaries of Ensign Northerton, whom indeed the real hero of the
_Journal_ not a little resembles. The best character sketch, however, in
the whole is that of Captain Richard Veal himself (one almost feels
inclined to wonder whether he was in any way related to the worthy lady
whose apparition visited Mrs. Bargrave at Canterbury!), but it is of
necessity somewhat dispersed. It has also an additional attraction,
because, if we remember rightly, it is Fielding's sole excursion into
the domain of Smollett. The rough old sea-dog of the Haddock and Vernon
period, who had been a privateer; and who still, as skipper of a
merchant-man, when he visits a friend or gallants the ladies, decorates
himself with a scarlet coat, cockade, and sword; who gives vent to a
kind of Irish howl when his favourite kitten is suffocated under a
feather bed; and falls abjectly on his knees when threatened with the
dreadful name of Law, is a character which, in its surly good-humour and
sensitive dignity, might easily, under more favourable circumstances,
have grown into an individuality, if not equal to that of Squire
Western, at least on a level with Partridge or Colonel Bath. There are
numbers of minute touches--as, for example, his mistaking "a lion" for
"Elias" when he reads prayers to the ship's company; and his quaint
asseverations when exercised by the inconstancy of the wind--which show
how closely Fielding studied his deaf companion. But it would occupy too
large a space to examine the _Journal_ more in detail. It is sufficient
to say that after some further delays from wind and tide, the travellers
sailed up the Tagus. Here, having undergone the usual quarantine and
custom-house obstruction, they landed, and Fielding's penultimate words
record a good supper at Lisbon, "for which we were as well charged, as
if the bill had been made on the Bath Road, between Newbury and London."
The book ends with a line from the poet whom, in the _Proposal for the
Poor_, he had called his master:--

  "--hic finis chartaeque viaeque."

Two months afterwards he died at Lisbon, on the 8th of October, in the
forty-eighth year of his age.

He was buried on the hillside in the centre of the beautiful English
cemetery, which faces the great Basilica of the Heart of Jesus,
otherwise known as the Church of the Estrella. Here, in a leafy spot
where the nightingales fill the still air with song, and watched by
those secular cypresses from which the place takes its Portuguese name
of _Os Cyprestes_, lies all that was mortal of him whom Scott called the
"Father of the English Novel." His first tomb, which Wraxall found in
1772, "nearly concealed by weeds and nettles," was erected by the
English factory, in consequence mainly--as it seems--of a proposal made
by an enthusiastic Chevalier de Meyrionnet, to provide one (with an
epitaph) at his own expense. That now existing was substituted in 1830,
by the exertions of the Rev. Christopher Neville, British Chaplain at
Lisbon. It is a heavy sarcophagus, resting upon a large base, and
surmounted by just such another urn and flame as that on Hogarth's Tomb
at Chiswick. On the front is a long Latin inscription; on the back the
better-known words:--

LUGET BRITANNIA GREMIO NON DARI FOVERE NATUM. [Footnote: The fifth word
is generally given as "datum." But the above version, which has been
verified at Lisbon, may be accepted as correct.]

It is to this last memorial that the late George Borrow referred in his
_Bible in Spain:_--

"Let travellers devote one entire morning to inspecting the Arcos and
the Mai das agoas, after which they may repair to the English church and
cemetery, Pere-la-chaise in miniature, where, if they be of England,
they may well be excused if they kiss the cold tomb, as I did, of the
author of "Amelia," the most singular genius which their island ever
produced, whose works it has long been the fashion to abuse in public
and to read in secret."

Borrow's book was first published in 1843. Of late years the tomb had
been somewhat neglected; but from a communication in the _Athenaeum_ of
May 1879, it appears that it had then been recently cleaned, and the
inscriptions restored, by order of the present chaplain, the Rev.
Godfrey Pope.

There is but one authentic portrait of Henry Fielding. This is the pen-
and-ink sketch drawn from memory by Hogarth, long after Fielding's
death, to serve as a frontispiece for Murphy's edition of his works. It
was engraved in _facsimile_ by James Basire, with such success that the
artist is said to have mistaken an impression of the plate (without its
emblematic border) for his own drawing. Hogarth's sketch is the sole
source of all the portraits, more or less "romanced," which are prefixed
to editions of Fielding; and also, there is good reason to suspect, of
the dubious little miniature, still in possession of his descendants,
which figures in Hutchins's _History of Dorset_ and elsewhere. More than
one account has been given of the way in which the drawing was produced.
The most effective, and, unfortunately, the most popular, version has,
of course, been selected by Murphy. In this he tells us that Hogarth,
being unable to recall his dead friend's features, had recourse to a
profile cut in paper by a lady, who possessed the happy talent which
Pope ascribes to Lady Burlington. Her name, which is given in Nichols,
was Margaret Collier, and she was possibly the identical Miss Collier
who figures in Richardson's _Correspondence_. Setting aside the fact
that, as Hogarth's eye-memory was marvellous, this story is highly
improbable, it was expressly contradicted by George Steevens in 1781,
and by John Ireland in 1798, both of whom, from their relations with
Hogarth's family, were likely to be credibly informed. Steevens, after
referring to Murphy's fable, says in the _Biographical Anecdotes of
William Hogarth_, "I am assured that our artist began and finished the
head in the presence of his wife and another lady. He had no assistance
but from his own memory, which, on such occasions, was remarkably
tenacious." Ireland, in his _Hogarth Illustrated_, gives us as the
simple fact the following:--"Hogarth being told, after his friend's
death, that a portrait was wanted as a frontispiece to his works,
sketched this from memory." According to the inscription on Basire's
plate, it represents Fielding at the age of forty-eight, or in the year
of his death. This, however, can only mean that it represents him as
Hogarth had last seen him. But long before he died, disease had greatly
altered his appearance; and he must have been little more than the
shadow of the handsome Harry Fielding, who wrote farces for Mrs. Clive,
and heard the chimes at midnight. As he himself says in the _Voyage to
Lisbon_, he had lost his teeth, and the consequent falling-in of the
lips is plainly perceptible in the profile. The shape of the Roman nose,
which Colonel James in _Amelia_ irreverently styled a "proboscis,"
would, however, remain unaltered, and it is still possible to divine a
curl, half humorous, half ironic, in the short upper lip. The eye,
apparently, was dark and deep-set. Oddly enough, the chin, to the length
of which he had himself referred in the _Champion_, does not appear
abnormal. [Footnote: In the bust of Fielding which Miss Margaret Thomas
has been commissioned by Mr. R. A. Kinglake to execute for the Somerset
Valhalla, the Shire-Hall at Taunton, these points have been carefully
considered; and the sculptor has succeeded in producing a work which,
while it suggests the mingling of humour and dignity that is Fielding's
chief characteristic, is also generally faithful to Hogarth's
indications. From these, indeed, it is impossible to deviate. Not only
is his portrait unique; but it was admitted to be like Fielding by
Fielding's friends. The bust was placed in the Shire Hall, 4th September
1883.]

Beyond the fact that he was above six feet in height, and, until the
gout had broken his constitution, unusually robust, Murphy adds nothing
further to our idea of his personal appearance.

That other picture of his character, traced and retraced (often with
much exaggeration of outline), is so familiar in English literature,
that it cannot now be materially altered or amended. Yet it is
impossible not to wish that it were derived from some less prejudiced or
more trustworthy witnesses than those who have spoken,--say, for
example, from Lyttelton or Allen. There are always signs that Walpole's
malice, and Smollett's animosity, and the rancour of Richardson, have
had too much to do with the representation; and even Murphy and Lady
Mary are scarcely persons whom one would select as ideal biographers.
The latter is probably right in comparing her cousin to Sir Richard
Steele. Both were generous, kindly, brave, and sensitive; both were
improvident; both loved women and little children; both sinned often,
and had their moments of sincere repentance; to both was given that
irrepressible hopefulness, and full delight of being which forgets to-
morrow in to-day. That Henry Fielding was wild and reckless in his youth
it would be idle to contest;--indeed it is an intelligible, if not a
necessary, consequence of his physique and his temperament. But it is
not fair to speak of him as if his youth lasted for ever. "Critics and
biographers," says Mr. Leslie Stephen, "have dwelt far too exclusively
upon the uglier side of his Bohemian life;" and Fielding himself, in the
_Jacobite's Journal_, complains sadly that his enemies have traced his
impeachment "even to his boyish Years." That he who was prodigal as a
lad was prodigal as a man may be conceded; that he who was sanguine at
twenty would be sanguine at forty (although this is less defensible) may
also be allowed. But, if we press for "better assurance than Bardolph,"
there is absolutely no good evidence that Fielding's career after his
marriage materially differed from that of other men struggling for a
livelihood, hampered with ill-health, and exposed to all the shifts and
humiliations of necessity. If any portrait of him is to be handed down
to posterity, let it be the last rather than the first;--not the
Fielding of the green-room and the tavern--of Covent Garden frolics and
"modern conversations;" but the energetic magistrate, the tender husband
and father, the kindly host of his poorer friends, the practical
philanthropist, the patient and magnanimous hero of the _Voyage to
Lisbon_. If these things be remembered, it will seem of minor importance
that to his dying day he never knew the value of money, or that he
forgot his troubles over a chicken and champagne. And even his
improvidence was not without its excusable side. Once--so runs the
legend--Andrew Millar made him an advance to meet the claims of an
importunate tax-gatherer. Carrying it home, he met a friend, in even
worse straits than his own; and the money changed hands. When the tax-
gatherer arrived there was nothing but the answer--"Friendship has
called for the money and had it; let the collector call again." Justice,
it is needless to say, was satisfied by a second advance from the
bookseller. But who shall condemn the man of whom such a story can be
told?

The literary work of Fielding is so inextricably interwoven with what is
known of his life that most of it has been examined in the course of the
foregoing narrative. What remains to be said is chiefly in summary of
what has been said already. As a dramatist he has no eminence; and
though his plays do not deserve the sweeping condemnation with which
Macaulay once spoke of them in the House of Commons, they are not likely
to attract any critics but those for whom the inferior efforts of a
great genius possess a morbid fascination. Some of them serve, in a
measure, to illustrate his career; others contain hints and situations
which he afterwards worked into his novels; but the only ones that
possess real stage qualities are those which he borrowed from Regnard
and Moliere. _Don Quixote in England_, _Pasquin_, the _Historical
Register_, can claim no present consideration commensurate with that
which they received as contemporary satires, and their interest is
mainly antiquarian; while _Tom Thumb_ and the _Covent-Garden Tragedy_,
the former of which would make the reputation of a smaller man, can
scarcely hope to be remembered beside _Amelia_ or _Jonathan Wild_. Nor
can it be admitted that, as a periodical writer, Fielding was at his
best. In spite of effective passages, his essays remain far below the
work of the great Augustans, and are not above the level of many of
their less illustrious imitators. That instinct of popular selection,
which retains a faint hold upon the _Rambler_, the _Adventurer_, the
_World_, and the _Connoisseur_, or at least consents to give them
honourable interment as "British Essayists" in a secluded corner of the
shelves, has made no pretence to any preservation, or even any
winnowing, of the _Champion_ and the _True Patriot_. Fielding's papers
are learned and ingenious; they are frequently humorous; they are often
earnest; but it must be a loiterer in literature who, in these days,
except for antiquarian or biographical purposes, can honestly find it
worth while to consult them. His pamphlets and projects are more
valuable, if only that they prove him to have looked curiously and
sagaciously at social and political problems, and to have striven, as
far as in him lay, to set the crooked straight. Their import, to-day, is
chiefly that of links in a chain--of contributions to a progressive
literature which has travelled into regions unforeseen by the author of
the _Proposal for the Poor_, and the _Inquiry into the Causes of the
late Increase of Robbers_. As such, they have their place in that
library of Political Economy of which Mr. McCulloch has catalogued the
riches. It is not, however, by his pamphlets, his essays, or his plays
that Fielding is really memorable; it is by his triad of novels, and the
surpassing study in irony of _Jonathan Wild_. In _Joseph Andrews_ we
have the first sprightly runnings of a genius that, after much
uncertainty, had at last found its fitting vein, but was yet doubtful
and undisciplined; in _Tom Jones_ the perfect plan has come, with the
perfected method and the assured expression. There is an inevitable loss
of that fine waywardness which is sometimes the result of untrained
effort, but there is the general gain of order, and the full production
which results of art. The highest point is reached in _Tom Jones_, which
is the earliest definite and authoritative manifestation of the modern
novel. Its relation to De Foe is that of the vertebrate to the
invertebrate: to Richardson, that of the real to the ideal--one might
almost add, the impossible. It can be compared to no contemporary
English work of its own kind; and if we seek for its parallel at the
time of publication we must go beyond literature to art--to the
masterpiece of that great pictorial satirist who was Fielding's friend.
In both Fielding and Hogarth there is the same constructive power, the
same rigid sequence of cause and effect, the same significance of
detail, the same side-light of allusion. Both have the same hatred of
affectation and hypocrisy--the same unerring insight into character.
Both are equally attracted by striking contrasts and comic situations;
in both there is the same declared morality of purpose, coupled with the
same sturdy virility of expression. One, it is true, leaned more
strongly to tragedy, the other to comedy. But if Fielding had painted
pictures, it would have been in the style of the _Marriage a la Mode_;
if Hogarth had written novels, they would have been in the style of _Tom
Jones_. In the gentler and more subdued _Amelia_, with its tender and
womanly central-figure, there is a certain change of plan, due to
altered conditions--it may be, to an altered philosophy of art. The
narrative is less brisk and animated; the character-painting less
broadly humorous; the philanthropic element more strongly developed. To
trace the influence of these three great works in succeeding writers
would hold us too long. It may, nevertheless, be safely asserted that
there are few English novels of manners, written since Fielding's day,
which do not descend from him as from their fount and source; and that
more than one of our modern masters betray unmistakable signs of a form
and fashion studied minutely from their frank and manly ancestor.



POSTSCRIPT.


A few particulars respecting Fielding's family and posthumous works can
scarcely be omitted from the present memoir. It has been stated that by
his first wife he had one daughter, the Harriet or Harriot who
accompanied him to Lisbon, and survived him, although Mr. Keightley
says, but without giving his authority, she did not survive him long. Of
his family by Mary Daniel, the eldest son, William, to whose birth
reference has already been made, was bred to the law, became a barrister
of the Middle Temple eminent as a special pleader, and ultimately a
Westminster magistrate. He died in October 1820, at the age of seventy-
three. He seems to have shared his father's conversational qualities,
[Footnote: _Vide_ Lockhart's _Life of Scott_, chap. 1.] and, like him,
to have been a strenuous advocate of the poor and unfortunate. Southey,
writing from Keswick in 1830 to Sir Egerton Brydges, speaks of a meeting
he had in St. James's Park, about 1817, with one of the novelist's sons.
"He was then," says Southey, "a fine old man, though visibly shaken by
time: he received me in a manner which had much of old courtesy about
it, and I looked upon him with great interest for his father's sake."
The date, and the fact that William Fielding had had a paralytic stroke,
make it almost certain that this was he; and a further reference by
Southey to his religious opinions is confirmed by the obituary notice in
the _Gentleman's_, which speaks of him as a worthy and pious man. The
names and baptisms of the remaining children, as supplied for these
pages by the late Colonel Chester, were Mary Amelia, baptized January 6,
1749; Sophia, January 21, 1750; Louisa, December 3, 1752; and Allen,
April 6, 1754, about a month before Fielding removed to Ealing. All
these baptisms took place at St. Paul's, Covent Garden, from the
registers of which these particulars were extracted. The eldest
daughter, Mary Amelia, does not appear to have long survived, for the
same registers record her burial on the 17th December 1749. Allen
Fielding became a clergyman, and died, according to Burke, in 1823,
being then vicar of St. Stephen's, Canterbury. He left a family of four
sons and three daughters. One of the sons, George, became rector of
North Ockendon, Essex, and married, in 1825, Mary Rebecca, daughter of
Ferdinand Hanbury-Williams, and grandniece of Fielding's friend and
school-fellow Sir Charles. This lady, who so curiously linked the
present and the past, died not long since at Hereford Square, Brompton,
in her eighty-fifth year. Mrs. Fielding herself (Mary Daniel) appears to
have attained a good old age. Her death took place at Canterbury on the
11th of March 1802, perhaps in the house of her son Allen, who is stated
by Nichols in his _Leicestershire_ to have been rector in 1803 of St.
Cosmus and Damian-in-the-Blean. After her husband's death, her children
were educated by their uncle John and Ralph Allen, the latter of whom--
says Murphy--made a very liberal annual donation for that purpose; and
(adds Chalmers in a note), when he died in 1764, bequeathed to the widow
and those of her family then living, the sum of L100 each.

Among Fielding's other connections it is only necessary to speak of his
sister Sarah, and his above-mentioned brother John. Sarah Fielding
continued to write; and in addition to _David Simple_, published the
_Governess_, 1749; a translation of Xenophon's _Memorabilia_; a dramatic
fable called the _Cry_, and some other forgotten books. During the
latter part of her life she lived at Bath, where she was highly popular,
both for her personal character and her accomplishments. She died in
1768; and her friend, Dr. John Hoadly, who wrote the verses to the
_Rake's Progress_, erected a monument to her memory in the Abbey Church.

  "Her unaffected Manners, candid Mind,
  Her Heart benevolent, and Soul resign'd;
  Were more her Praise than all she knew or thought
  Though Athens Wisdom to her Sex she taught,"--

says he; but in mere facts the inscription is, as he modestly styles it,
a "deficient Memorial," for she is described as having been born in 1714
instead of 1710, and as being the second daughter of General _Henry_
instead of General _Edmund_ Fielding. John Fielding, the novelist's
half-brother, as already stated, succeeded him at Bow Street, though the
post is sometimes claimed (on Boswell's authority) for Mr. Welch. The
mistake no doubt arose from the circumstance that they frequently worked
in concert. Previous to his appointment as a magistrate, John Fielding,
in addition to assisting his brother, seems to have been largely
concerned in the promotion of that curious enterprise, the "Universal-
Register-Office," so often advertised in the _Covent-Garden Journal_. It
appears to have been an Estate Office, Lost Property Office, Servants'
Registry, Curiosity Shop, and multifarious General Agency. As a
magistrate, in spite of his blindness, John Fielding was remarkably
energetic, and is reported to have known more than 3000 thieves by their
voices alone, and could recognise them when brought into Court. A
description of London and Westminster is often ascribed to him, but he
denied the authorship. He was knighted in 1761, and died at Brompton
Place in 1780. Lyttelton, who had become Sir George in 1751, was raised
to the peerage as Baron Lyttelton of Frankley three years after
Fielding's death. He died in 1773. In 1760-5 he published his _Dialogues
of the Dead_, profanely characterised by Mr. Walpole as "Dead
Dialogues." No. 28 of these is a colloquy between "Plutarch, Charon, and
a Modern Bookseller," and it contains the following reference to
Fielding:--"We have [says Mr. Bookseller] another writer of these
imaginary histories, one who has not long since descended to these
regions. His name is Fielding; and his works, as I have heard the best
judges say, have a true spirit of comedy, and an exact representation of
nature, with fine moral touches. He has not indeed given lessons of pure
and consummate virtue, but he has exposed vice and meanness with all the
powers of ridicule." It is perhaps excusable that Lawrence, like Roscoe
and others, should have attributed this to Lyttelton; but the preface
nevertheless assigns it, with two other dialogues, to a "different
hand." They were, in fact, the first essays in authorship of that
illustrious blue-stocking, Mrs. Elizabeth Montagu.

Fielding's only posthumous works are the _Journal of a Voyage to Lisbon_
and the comedy of _The Fathers; or, The Good-Natur'd Man_. The _Journal_
was published in February 1755, together with a fragment of a Comment on
Bolingbroke's _Essays_, which Mallet had issued in March of the previous
year. This fragment must therefore have been begun in the last months of
Fielding's life; and, according to Murphy, he made very careful
preparation for the work, as attested by long extracts from the Fathers
and the leading controversialists, which, after his death, were
preserved by his brother. Beyond a passage or two in Richardson's
_Correspondence_, and a sneering reference by Walpole to Fielding's
"account how his dropsy was treated and teased by an innkeeper's wife in
the Isle of Wight," there is nothing to show how the _Journal_ was
received, still less that it brought any substantial pecuniary relief to
"those innocents," to whom reference had been made in the "Dedication."
The play was not placed upon the stage until 1778. Its story, which is
related in the _Advertisement_, is curious. After it had been set aside
in 1742, [Footnote: _Vide_ chap. iv. p. 94.] it seems to have been
submitted to Sir Charles Hanbury Williams. Sir Charles was just starting
for Russia, as Envoy Extraordinary. Whether the MS. went with him or not
is unknown; but it was lost until 1775 or 1776, when it was recovered in
a tattered and forlorn condition by Mr. Johnes, M.P. for Cardigan, from
a person who entertained a very poor and even contemptuous opinion of
its merits. Mr. Johnes thought otherwise. He sent it to Garrick, who at
once recognised it as "Harry Fielding's Comedy." Revised and retouched
by the actor and Sheridan, it was produced at Drury Lane, as _The
Fathers_, with a Prologue and Epilogue by Garrick. For a few nights it
was received with interest, and even some flickering enthusiasm. It was
then withdrawn; and there is no likelihood that it will ever be revived.



APPENDIX No I.

FIELDING AND SARAH ANDREW.


By the courtesy of the editor of the _Athenaeum_, the following letter is
here reprinted from that paper for 2d June 1883:--

75 Eaton Rise, Ealing.

In 1855, when Mr. Frederick Lawrence published his _Life of Henry
Fielding_, he thus referred (ch. vii. p. 67) to an "early passage" in
the novelist's career: "On his [Fielding's] return from Leyden he
conceived a desperate attachment for his cousin, Miss Sarah Andrews
[_sic_]. That young lady's friends had, however, so little confidence in
her wild kinsman, that they took the precaution of removing her out of
his reach; not, it is said, until he had attempted an abduction or
elopement.... His cousin was afterwards married to a plain country
gentleman, and in that alliance found, perhaps, more solid happiness
than she would have experienced in an early and improvident marriage
with her gifted kinsman. Her image, however, was never effaced from his
recollection; and there is a charming picture (so tradition tells) of
her luxuriant beauty in the portrait of Sophia Western, in _Tom Jones_."
Mr. Lawrence gave no hint or sign of his authority for this unexpected
and hitherto unrecorded incident. But the review of his book in the
_Athenaeum_ for 10th November 1855 elicited the following notes on the
subject from Mr. George Roberts, some time mayor of Lyme, and author of
a brief history of that town. "Henry Fielding," wrote Mr. Roberts, "was
at Lyme Regis, Dorset, for the purpose of carrying off an heiress, Miss
Andrew, the daughter of Solomon Andrew, Esq., the last of a series of
merchants of that name at Lyme. The young lady was living with Mr.
Andrew Tucker, one of the corporation, who sent her away to Modbury, in
South Devon, where she married an ancestor of the present Rev. Mr.
Rhodes, an eloquent preacher of Bath, who possesses the Andrew property.
Mr. Rhodes's son married the young lady upon his return to Modbury from
Oxford. The circumstances about the attempts of Henry Fielding to carry
off the young lady, handed down in the ancient Tucker family, were
doubted by the late head of his family, Dr. Rhodes, of Shapwick, Uplyme,
etc. Since his decease I have found an entry in the old archives of Lyme
about the fears of Andrew Tucker, Esq., the guardian, as to his safety,
owing to the behaviour of Henry Fielding and his attendant, or man.
According to the tradition of the Tucker family, given in my _History of
Lyme_, Sophia Western was intended to pourtray Miss Andrew." To Mr.
Roberts's communication succeeded that of another correspondent--one "P.
S."--who gave some additional particulars: "There is now, at Bellair, in
the immediate neighbourhood of Exeter the portrait of 'Sophia Western'
[Miss Andrew]. Bellair belongs to the Rhodes family, and was the
residence of the late George Ambrose Rhodes, Fellow of Caius College,
and formerly Physician to the Devon and Exeter Hospital. He himself
directed my attention to this picture. In the board-room of the above
hospital there is also the three-quarter length portrait of Ralph Allen,
Esq., the 'Squire Allworthy' of the same novel." No further contribution
appears to have been made to the literature of the subject. The late Mr.
Keightley, in his articles on Lawrence's book in _Fraser's Magazine_ for
January and February 1858, did, as a matter of fact, refer to the story
and Mr. Roberts's confirmation of it; but beyond pointing out that Miss
Andrew could not have been the original of Sophia Western, who is
declared by Fielding himself (_Tom Jones_, bk. xiii. ch. i.) to have
been the portrait of his first wife, Charlotte Cradock, he added nothing
to the existing information.

When I began to prepare the sketch of Fielding recently included in Mr.
John Morley's series of "English Men of Letters," matters stood at this
point, and I had little hope that any supplementary details could be
obtained. I was, indeed, fortunate enough to discover that Burke's
_Landed Gentry_ for 1858 gave the year of Miss Andrew's marriage as
1726; and inquiries at Modbury, though they did not actually confirm
this, practically did so, by disclosing the fact that a child of Mr. and
Mrs. Ambrose Rhodes was baptized at that place in April 1727. It became
clear, therefore, that instead of being subsequent to Fielding's "return
from Leyden" in 1728, as Lawrence supposed, the date of the reported
attempt at elopement could not have been later than 1725 or the early
part of 1726--so far back, in fact, in Fielding's life that I confess to
having entertained a private doubt whether it ever occurred at all. That
doubt has now been completely removed by the appearance of some new and
wholly unlooked-for evidence.

After the publication in 1858 of his _Fraser_ papers, Mr. Keightley
seems to have continued his researches with the intention of writing a
final biography of Fielding. In this, which was to include a reprint of
the _Journal of a Voyage to Lisbon_ and a critical examination of
Fielding's works, he made considerable progress; and by the courtesy of
his nephew, Mr. Alfred C. Lyster, his MSS. have been placed at my
disposal. Much that relates to Fielding's life has manifestly the
disadvantage of having been written more than twenty years ago, and it
reproduces some aspects of Fielding which have now been abandoned; but
in the elucidation and expansion of the Sarah Andrew episode Mr.
Keightley leaves little to be desired. His first step, apparently, was
to communicate with Mr. Roberts, who furnished him (6th May 1859) with
the following transcript or summary of the original record in the
_Register Book_ of Lyme Regis:--

"John Bowdidge, Jun., was Mayor when Andrew Tucker, Gent., one of the
corporation, caused Henry Fielding, Gent., and his servant or companion,
Joseph Lewis--both now and for some time past residing in the borough--
to be bound over to keep the peace, as he was in fear of his life or
some bodily hurt to be done or to be procured to be done to him by H.
Fielding and his man. Mr. A. Tucker feared that the man would beat,
maim, or kill him. 14th November 1725."

We thus get the exact date of the occurrence, 14th November 1725 (_i._.
when Fielding was eighteen), the fact that he had been staying for some
time in Lyme at that date, and the name of his servant. In a further
letter of 14th May 1859, Mr. Roberts referred Mr. Keightley to Mr. James
Davidson, a Devon antiquary, in whose _History of Newenham Abbey_,
Longmans, 1843 (surely a most out-of-the-way source of information!), he
found the following, derived by the author from the Rhodes family (pp.
165, 166):

"The estate [of Shapwick, near Axminster] continued but a short time the
property of the noble family of Petre, being sold by William the fourth
baron, on the 10th of November 1670, to Solomon Andrew of Lyme Regis, a
gentleman, who possessed a considerable property obtained by his
ancestors and himself in mercantile affairs. From him it descended to
his only son, who died at the age of twenty-nine years, leaving two sons
and a daughter, the latter of whom, by the decease of her brothers,
became heiress to the estate. This young lady was placed under the
guardianship of Mr. Rhodes of Modbury, and her uncle, Mr. Tucker of
Lyme, in whose family she resided. At this time Henry Fielding, whose
very objectionable but once popular works have placed his name high on
the list of novel-writers, was an occasional visitor at the place, and
enraptured with the charms and the more solid attractions of Miss
Andrew, paid her the most assiduous attention. The views of her
guardians were, however, opposed to a connection with so dissipated,
though well-born and well-educated a youth, who is said to have in
consequence made a desperate attempt to carry the lady off by force on a
Sunday, when she was on her way to church. The residence of the heiress
was then removed to Modbury, and the disappointed admirer found
consolation in the society of a beauty at Salisbury whom he married."

There are some manifest misconceptions in this account, due, no doubt,
to Mr. Davidson's ignorance of the exact period of the occurrence as
established by the above record in the Lyme archives. In the first
place, it must have been four or five years at least before Fielding
consoled himself with Miss Charlotte Cradock, and nearly ten (according
to the received date) before he married her. Again, in saying that he
was "dissipated," Mr. Davidson must have been thinking of his
conventional after-character, for in 1725 he was but a boy fresh from
Eton, and could scarcely have established any reputation as a rake. Nor
is there anything in our whole knowledge of him to justify us in
supposing that he was at any time a mere mercenary fortune-hunter.
Finally, according to one of Mr. Roberts's letters to Mr. Keightley,
timorous Mr. Tucker of Lyme had a very different reason from his
personal shortcomings for objecting to Fielding as a suitor to his ward.
"The Tucker family," says Mr. Roberts, "by tradition consider themselves
tricked out of the heiress, Miss Andrew, by Mr. Rhodes of Modbury, Mr.
Andrew Tucker intending the lady for his own son." Nevertheless, these
reservations made, Mr. Davidson's version, although _ex parte_, supplies
colour and detail to the story. From a pedigree which he gives in his
book, it further appears that Mrs. Rhodes died on the 22d of August
1783, aged seventy-three. This would make her fifteen in 1725. There
remained Lawrence's enigmatical declaration that she was Fielding's
cousin. Briefly stated, the result of Mr. Keightley's inquiries in this
direction tends to show that Miss Andrew's mother was connected with the
family of Fielding's mother, the Goulds of Sharpham Park; and as Mr.
Lawrence does not seem to have been aware of the existence of Davidson's
book, or to have had any acquaintance with the traditions or archives of
Lyme, Mr. Keightley surmises, very plausibly, that his unvouched data
must have been derived, directly or indirectly, from the Rhodes family.

Mr. Keightley also ingeniously attempts to connect Fielding's subsequent
residence at Leyden (1726-28?) [Footnote: See Peacock's _Index to
English-speaking Students who have graduated at Leyden University_, 1883
(p. 35), where Fielding's name occurs under date of 16th March 1728, and
_Cornhill Magazine_ for November 1863--"A Scotchman in Holland."] with
this affair by assuming that he was despatched to the Dutch university,
instead of Oxford or Cambridge, in order to keep him out of harm's way.
This is, however, to travel somewhat from the realm of fact into that of
romance. At the same time, it must be admitted that the materials for
romance are tempting. A charming girl, who is also an heiress; a
pusillanimous guardian with ulterior views of his own; a handsome and
high-spirited young suitor; a faithful attendant ready to "beat, maim,
or kill" in his master's behalf; a frustrated elopement and a compulsory
visit to the mayor--all these, with the picturesque old town of Lyme
for a background, suggest a most appropriate first act to Harry
Fielding's biographical tragi-comedy. But to do such a theme justice we
must

  "call up him that left half-told"

the story of _Denis Duval_.



APPENDIX No. II.

FIELDING AND MRS. HUSSEY.


At pp. 124-5, vol. i., of J. T. Smith's _Nollekens and his Times_, 1828,
occurs the following note:--

"Henry Fielding was fond of colouring his pictures of life with the
glowing and variegated tints of Nature, by conversing with persons of
every situation and calling, as I have frequently been informed by one
of my [i.e. J. T. Smith's] great-aunts, the late Mrs. Hussey, who knew
him intimately. I have heard her say, that Mr. Fielding never suffered
his talent for sprightly conversation to mildew for a moment; and that
his manners were so gentlemanly, that even with the lower classes, with
which he frequently condescended particularly to chat, such as Sir Roger
de Coverley's old friends, the Vauxhall watermen, they seldom outstepped
the limits of propriety. My aunt, who lived to the age of 105, had been
blessed with four husbands, and her name had twice been changed to that
of Hussey: she was of a most delightful disposition, of a retentive
memory, highly entertaining, and liberally communicative; and to her I
have frequently been obliged for an interesting anecdote. She was, after
the death of her second husband, Mr. Hussey, a fashionable sacque and
mantua-maker, and lived in the Strand, a few doors west of the residence
of the celebrated Le Beck, a famous cook, who had a large portrait of
himself for the sign of his house, at the north-west corner of Half-moon
Street, since called Little Bedford Street. One day Mr. Fielding
observed to Mrs. Hussey, that he was then engaged in writing a novel,
which he thought would be his best production; and that he intended to
introduce in it the characters of all his friends. Mrs. Hussey, with a
smile, ventured to remark, that he must have many niches, and that
surely they must already be filled. 'I assure you, my dear madam,'
replied he, 'there shall be a bracket for a bust of you.' Some time
after this, he informed Mrs. Hussey that the work was in the press; but,
immediately recollecting that he had forgotten his promise to her, went
to the printer, and was time enough to insert, in vol. iii. p. 17 [bk.
x. ch. iv.], where he speaks of the shape of Sophia Western--'Such
charms are there in affability, and so sure is it to attract the praises
of all kinds of people.'--'It may, indeed, be compared to the celebrated
Mrs. Hussey.' To which observation he has given the following note: 'A
celebrated mantua-maker in the Strand, famous for setting off the shapes
of women.'"

There is no reason for supposing that this neglected anecdote should not
be in all respects authentic. In fact, upon the venerated principle that

    "there it stands unto this day
  To witness if I lie,"--

the existence of the passage and note in Tom Jones is practically
sufficient argument for its veracity. This being so, it surely deserves
some consideration for the light which it throws on Fielding's
character. Mrs. Hussey's testimony as to his dignified and gentlemanly
manners, which does not seem to be advanced to meet any particular
charge, may surely be set against any innuendoes of the Burney and
Walpole type as to his mean environment and coarse conversation. And the
suggestion that "the characters of all his friends"--by which must be
intended rather mention of them than portraits--are to be found in his
masterpiece, is fairly borne out by the most casual inspection of _Tom
Jones_, especially the first edition, where all the proper names are in
italics. In the dedication alone are references to the "princely
Benefactions" of John, Duke of Bedford, and to Lyttelton and Ralph
Allen, both of whom are also mentioned by name in bk. xiii. ch. i. The
names of Hogarth and Garrick also occur frequently. In bk. iv. ch. i. is
an anecdote of Wilks the player, who had been one of Fielding's earliest
patrons. The surgeon in the story of the "Man of the Hill" (bk. viii.
ch. xiii.) "whose Name began with an _R_," and who "was Sergeant-Surgeon
to the King," evidently stands for Hogarth's Chiswick neighbour, Mr.
Ranby, by whose advice Fielding was ordered to Bath in 1753. Again, he
knew, though he did not greatly admire, Warburton, to whose learning
there is a handsome compliment in bk. xiii. ch. i. In bk. xv. ch. iv. is
the name of another friend or acquaintance (also mentioned in the
_Journey from this World to the Next_), Hooke, of the _Roman History_,
who, like the author of _Tom Jones_, had drawn his pen for Sarah,
Duchess of Marlborough. Bk. xi. ch. iv. contains an anecdote, real or
imaginary, of Richard Nash, with whom Fielding must certainly have
become familiar in his visits to Bath; and it is probable that Square's
medical advisers (bk. xviii. ch. iv.), Dr. Harrington and Dr. Brewster,
both of whom subscribed to the _Miscellanies_ of 1743, were well-known
Bathonians. Mr. Willoughby, also a subscriber, was probably "Justice
Willoughby of Noyle" referred to in bk. viii. ch. xi. Whether the use of
Handel's name in bk. iv. ch. v. is of any significance there is no
evidence; but the description in bk. iv. ch. vi. of Conscience "sitting
on its Throne in the Mind, like the LORD HIGH CHANCELLOR of this Kingdom
in his Court," and fulfilling its functions "with a Knowledge which
nothing escapes, a Penetration which nothing can deceive, and an
Integrity which nothing can corrupt," is clearly an oblique panegyric of
Philip Yorke, Lord Hardwicke, to whom, two years later, Fielding
dedicated his _Enquiry into the late Increase of Robbers_, etc. Besides
these, there are references to Bishop Hoadly (bk. ii. ch. vii.), Mrs.
Whitefield, of the "Bell" at Gloucester, and Mr. Timothy Harris (bk.
viii. ch. viii), Mrs. Clive, and Mr. Miller of the _Gardener's
Dictionary_ (bk. ix. ch. i.); and closer examination would no doubt
reveal further allusions. Meanwhile the above will be sufficient to show
that the statement of the "celebrated mantua-maker in the Strand"
respecting Fielding's friends in _Tom Jones_ is not without foundation.



APPENDIX No. III.

AMELIA'S ACCIDENT.


In addition to the alterations mentioned at p. 109 _n_., Fielding
inserted the following paragraph in the _Covent-Garden Journal_, No. 3,
for 11th January 1752:--

"It is currently reported that a famous Surgeon, who absolutely cured
one Mrs. Amelia Booth, of a violent Hurt in her Nose, insomuch, that she
had scarce a Scar left on it, intends to bring Actions against several
ill-meaning and slanderous People, who have reported that the said Lady
had no Nose, merely because the Author of her History, in a Hurry,
forgot to inform his Readers of that Particular, and which, if those
Readers had any Nose themselves, except that which is mentioned in the
Motto of this Paper, they would have smelt out."

The motto is the passage from Martial (Ep. i. 4. 6) in which he speaks
of the _nasus rhinocerotis_.



APPENDIX No. IV.

FIELDINGIANA.


The three foregoing Appendices were added to the second edition of 1889.
In this Appendix, No. IV., I propose to bring together a few dispersed
fragments of information, which, either in the way of fresh particulars,
or in correction of hitherto-accepted statements made in the body of the
book, have come to light during the interval. Much that is absolutely
new cannot, at this date, be reasonably anticipated. But the unexpected
always happens; and the unexpected in the present instance has been
productive of two or three items which are not unworthy of brief record.

The first relates to that famous "eulogy of Gibbon" mentioned in the
second sentence of the book. The connexion of Fielding's family with the
Hapsburgs is now no longer asserted. In April 1894, the question was
exhaustively examined in the _Genealogist_ (New Series) by Mr. J. Horace
Round, who came to the conclusion that such a claim could not be
established; and that, consequently, any picturesque conjunction between
that "exquisite picture of human manners" (as Gibbon called _Tom Jones_)
[Footnote: _Autobiographies of Edward Gibbon_, 1896, p. 419.] and the
"Imperial Eagle of the house of Austria" must henceforth be abandoned.
Mr. Round has since reprinted his paper at pp. 216-49 of his _Studies in
Peerage and Family History_, 1901; and in a final paragraph he announces
that his arguments, at first hotly contested, have now been accepted by
Burke, from whose records the story has been withdrawn.

The next matter is the exact period of Fielding's residence at Leyden
(p. 8). This, although somewhat developed, long remained obscure. In
1883, in the absence of other data, I accepted, as my predecessors had
done, Murphy's statement that Fielding "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]." [Footnote: Fielding's
_Works_, 1762, i. 8. The italics are mine.] When the "Sarah Andrew"
episode was conclusively traced to November 1725 (Appendix I. p. 200),
it seemed only reasonable to suppose that it was succeeded by the Leyden
expatriation, especially as Fielding's first play was produced in
February 1728. Nor was this supposition seriously disturbed by the
appearance of further information. Among Mr. Keightley's MSS. I found
reference to a paper in the _Cornhill Magazine_ for November 1863,
entitled "A Scotchman in Holland" (I believe it to have been by James
Hannay). In this the writer stated that he had been allowed to inspect
the Album of the University of Leyden, and had there, under 1728, found
the entry, "Henricus Fielding, Anglus, Ann. 20. Stud. Lit." Further,
that Fielding was living at the Hotel of Antwerp. It will be noted that
this account was derived from the Album itself; and that Fielding is
styled "Stud. Lit." Twelve years after the _Cornhill_ article, the
University published their list of students from 1575 to 1875; and in
1883 Mr. Edward Peacock, F.S.A., compiled from it, for the "Index
Society," an _Index to English speaking Students who have graduated at
Leyden University_. At p. 35 of this appears "Fielding, Henricus,
_Anglus_, 16 Mart. 1728. [col.] 915." This, it will be observed, adds
the month and day, but reveals nothing as to the class of study. As I
have implied, neither of these entries was seriously inconsistent with
Murphy's statement, except as regards "studying the civilians." But in
1906, Mr. A. E. H. Swaen printed in the _Modern Language Review_
[Footnote: Vol. i, pp. 327-8 (July 1906, No. iv.)] what was apparently
the fullest version of the inscription. From col. 915 (the column given
by Mr. Peacock), he copied the following:--"Febr. 16 1728: Rectore
Johanne Wesselio, Henricus Fielding, Anglus. 20, L." Mr. Swaen held that
this meant that, on the date named, Fielding was _entered as litterarum
studiosus_ at Leyden. In this case, it would follow that his stay in
Holland must have been subsequent to February 16, 1728; and Mr. Swaen
went on to suggest that as 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," the barren interval or
part of it, may have been filled by residence at Leyden.

The fresh complications imported into the question by this new 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:--"le 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 the 22nd February 1729, as
"Henricus Fieldingh," when he was domiciled with one Jan Oson. He must,
consequently, have left Leyden before the 8th February 1730,--the 8th
February being the birthday of the University, after which all students
had 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 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 the 12th February 1728, [Footnote: Genest, iii. 209.] Fielding was
admitted a "Litt. Stud." at Leyden University on 16th March; was still
there in February 1729; and left before 8th February 1730. Murphy is
therefore in 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 proximate cause of his coming home was the failure of
remittances.

Another of the hitherto-unsolved difficulties in Fielding's life has
been the date of his first marriage (p. 38). Lawrence gave the year as
1735; and Keightley suggested the spring of that year. This, as Swift
would say, is near the mark, though confirmation has been slow in
coming. In a letter dated 18th June 1906, Mr. Thomas S. Bush announced
in the _Bath Chronicle_ that the desired information was to be found in
a register (not at Salisbury, where search had been fruitlessly made,
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 ye
28, 1734.--Henry Fielding, of ye Parish of St. James in Bath, Esq., and
Charlotte Cradock, of ye same Parish, spinster, were married by virtue
of a license from ye Court of Wells." All Fielding lovers owe a debt of
gratitude to Mr. Bush, whose researches also revealed the fact that
Sarah Fielding, the novelist's third sister, was buried, not in Bath
Abbey, where Dr. John Hoadly [Footnote: Bishop Hoadly is sometimes said
to have written her epitaph. In this case it must have been (like Dr.
Primrose's on his Deborah) anticipatory, for Dr. Benjamin Hoadly, Bishop
of Winchester, died in 1761.] raised a mural memorial to her, but "in yr
entrance of the chancel [of Charlcombe Church] close to yr Rector's
seat," 14th April 1768. These are not the only fresh traces of the
connexion of the Fieldings with the old "Queen of the West." In June
last a tablet to Fielding and his sister was placed on the wall of Yew
Cottage, now Widcombe Lodge, Church Street, Widcombe, where they once
lived.

Sarah Fielding figures frequently in Richardson's _Correspondence_; and
it is with Richardson as much as with Fielding that the next jotting is
concerned. Previously to 1900, although second-hand booksellers had, I
believe, occasionally attributed to Fielding the pamphlet known as _An
Apology for the Life of Mrs. Shamela Andrews_, April 1741, no one had
devoted much attention to that unworshipful performance. But when Miss
Clara Thomson began to prepare her excellent and careful life of
Richardson (1900), it became a part of her task to examine into this
question. She found, first, that Richardson had himself ascribed
_Shamela_ to Fielding in a letter to "Mrs. Belfour" (Lady Bradshaigh);
[Footnote: _Correspondence_, 1804, iv. p. 286.] and she was acute enough
to discover, in the pamphlet itself, which appeared some months before
_Joseph Andrews_, the suggestive, though not conclusive, fact that "Mr.
B." was provisionally transformed into "Mr. Booby." When, in 1902, I was
engaged upon my own Memoir of Richardson for the "Men of Letters"
series, I was naturally indisposed to connect this undoubtedly clever,
but also unquestionably gross production with Fielding, already
"unjustly censured," as he complained in the "Preface" to the
_Miscellanies_ of 1743, for much that he had never written (p. 72). But
I must honestly confess that for the present it has been my ill-fortune
to discover only corroborative evidence. To a document at South
Kensington, in which _Shamela_ is mentioned, I found that Richardson had
appended, in the tremulous script of his old age:--"Written by Mr. H.
Fielding"; and since the publication of my book on Richardson, Mr.
Frederick Macmillan has drawn my attention to the fact that a letter
written in July 1741, by Mr. T. Dampier, afterwards Sub-Master of Eton
and Dean of Durham, to one of the Windhams, contains the following:--
"The book that has made the greatest noise lately in the polite world is
_Pamela_, a romance in low life. It is thought to contain such excellent
precepts, that a learned divine at London [Footnote: This enables me to
correct an error at p. 74. As Miss Thomson points out (_Samuel
Richardson_, 1900, p. 31) it was Dr. Benjamin Slocock of St. Saviour's,
Southwark, and not Dr. Sherlock, who praised _Pamela_ from the pulpit.
The mistake seems to have originated with Jeffrey, and was freely
repeated.] recommended it very strongly from the pulpit.... The
dedication [of Conyers Middleton's _Life of Cicero_] to Lord Hervey has
been very justly and prettily ridiculed by Fielding in a dedication to a
pamphlet called _Shamela_ which he wrote to burlesque the fore-mentioned
romance." [Footnote: Hist. MSS. Commission, 12th Report, Appendix, Part
IX., p. 204.] This shows unmistakably that _Shamela_ was attributed to
Fielding by contemporary gossip. But then so was The _Causidicade_ (p.
112), and _The Apology for the Life of Mr. The' Cibber_, _Comedian_ (p.
72). I still cling to the hope that Fielding was _not_ the author of
_Shamela_. The matter is examined at some length at pp. 42-45 of the
"Men of Letters" Memoir of Richardson; and it is plain that, if Fielding
had wished to father it, he would have included it in the _Miscellanies_
of 1743.

The remaining points which call for notice are little more than
dispersed adversaria. To the _amende honorable_ which Fielding made to
Richardson in the _Jacobites Journal_ (pp. 113-14) should be added a
further passage from the later _Covent-Garden Journal_, No. 10--
_Pleasantry_ (as the ingenious Author of _Clarissa_ says of a Story)
"_should be made only the Vehicle of Instruction_." Among other places
connected with the composition of _Tom Jones_ (p. 118) may be mentioned
Widcombe House, Bath (then Mr. Philip Bennet's), a Palladian villa close
to the road from Widcombe Hill to Prior Park; and, if we are to believe
_Rambles round Edge Hills_, 1896, p. 17, Fielding actually read that
work in MS. to Lyttelton and Lord Chatham in the dining-room of Radway
Grange in Warwickshire (Mr. Miller's). It should also be added that the
agreement for _Tom Jones_ (p. 121), dated 5th March 1749, together with
Fielding's antecedent receipt for the money, dated 11th June 1748, of
which in 1883 I could obtain no tidings, are (or were lately) in the
Huth collection. But perhaps the most important item which has come to
light since 1883 is the Will discovered in the Prerogative Court of
Canterbury by Mr. George A. Aitken. It is undated, though it was
evidently executed at Ealing in the novelist's last days, and runs as
follows:--

"In the name of God Amen. I Henry Fielding of the Parish of Ealing in
the County of Middlesex do hereby give and bequeath unto Ralph Allen of
Prior Park in the County of Somerset Esq. and to his heirs executors
administrators and assigns for ever for the use of the said Ralph his
heirs, &c. all my estate real and personal and whatsoever and do appoint
him sole executor of this my last will Beseeching him that the whole
(except my share in the Register Office) may be sold and forthwith
converted into money and annuities purchased thereout for the lives of
my dear wife Mary and my daughters Harriet and Sophia and what
proportions my said executor shall please to reserve to my sons William
and Allen shall be paid them severally as they shall attain the age of
twenty and three. And as for my shares in the Register or Universal
Register Office I give ten thereof to my aforesaid wife seven to my
daughter Harriet and three to my daughter Sophia my wife to be put in
immediate possession of her shares and my daughters of theirs as they
shall severally arrive at the age of twenty one the immediate profits to
be then likewise paid to my two daughters by my executor who is desired
to retain the same in his hands until that time. Witness my hand Henry
Fielding. Signed and acknowledged as his last will and testament by the
within named testator in the presence of Margaret Collier, Richd. Boor,
Isabella Ash."

"On the 14th November 1754," comments Mr. Aitken, "administration (with
the will annexed) of the goods, &c., of Henry Fielding, at Lisbon,
deceased, was granted to John Fielding, Esq., uncle and guardian
lawfully assigned to Harriet Fielding, spinster, a minor, and Sophia
Fielding, an infant, for the use and benefit and of the minor and infant
until they were twenty one; Ralph Allen, Esq., having renounced as well
the execution of the will as administration of the goods, &c.; and Mary
Fielding, the relict, having also renounced administration of the goods
of the deceased." [Footnote: _Athenaeum_, February 1, 1890. A portrait of
Mary Fielding by Cotes, described by one who knew it as "a very fine
drawing of a very ugly woman," was sold not many years since at
Christie's.]

The Register Office, above mentioned, is that referred to at p. 194.
What was the amount of the property so disposed of is not known. But in
making inquiries in connexion with an edition of the _Journal of a
Voyage to Lisbon_ issued by the Chiswick Press in 1892, [Footnote: This
considerably elaborates the first note at p. 179.] I discovered that
Fielding died possessed of a considerable library (653 lots), which was
sold in February 1755, "for the Benefit of his Wife and Family," by
Samuel Baker of York Street, Covent Garden, realising L364:7:1, or about
L100 more than the public gave in 1785 for the books of Johnson. An
account of this collection, rich particularly in law, classics, poetry
and drama, is given in the third series of my _Eighteenth Century
Vignettes_, 1896, pp. 164-178.

A few words, in supplement to those in the "Postscript" (pp. 191-2), may
be devoted to Fielding's family. Concerning the daughter Harriet, or
Harriot, mentioned in the foregoing will, I am indebted to Colonel W. F.
Prideaux for pointing out to me that in Burke's _Landed Gentry_, 1875,
vol. ii. p. 938, it is stated that she afterwards became the second wife
of Colonel James Gabriel Montresor. As his first wife died in March
1761, when he was more than fifty-eight; and as he afterwards married
for the third time, a widow, Mrs. Kemp of Teynham, Kent, it is probable
that, as Keightley says, Harriet Montresor was not long-lived.
[Footnote: According to Thomas Whitehead's _Original Anecdotes of the
late Duke of Kingston and Miss Chudleigh_, 1792, p. 95 (for reference to
which I am also indebted to Col. Prideaux), Miss Fielding was, at the
date of her marriage, "in a deep decline,"--a circumstance which lends a
touch of chivalry to Col. Montresor's devotion. She is said by Whitehead
to have been of "a sweet temper, and great understanding."] Of the other
children spoken of at p. 192, Louisa died in May 1753, being buried from
a house in Hammersmith. And this brings me to a final question as to
Fielding's sisters. Richardson speaks in August 1749 of being "well
acquainted" with _four_ Miss Fieldings; and Murphy and Lawrence both
refer to a Catherine and an Ursula of whom Mr. Keightley could learn
nothing. With Colonel Prideaux's help, and the kind offices of Mr.
Samuel Martin of the Hammersmith Free Library, the matter has now been
set at rest. In 1887 the late Sir Leslie Stephen had suggested to me
that Catherine and Ursula were probably born at Sharpham Park. This must
have been the case, though Keightley had failed to establish it. At all
events Catherine and Ursula existed, for they both died in 1750. The
Hammersmith Registers at Fulham record the following burials:--1750
July 9th, Mrs. Catherine Feilding (_sic_).

1750 Nov. 12th, Mrs. Ursula Fielding.

1750[-1] Feby. 24th, Mrs. Beatrice Fielding.

1753 May 10th, Louisa, d. of Henry Fielding, Esq.

The first three, with Sarah, make up Richardson's "Four worthy Sisters"
(p. 140); and the final entry renders it probable that, in May 1753,
Fielding was staying in the house at Hammersmith then occupied by his
surviving sister, Sarah.

No well-authenticated likeness of Fielding has yet superseded Hogarth's
outline (pp. 184-5), nor, if Murphy's statement (_Works_, 1762, i. p.
47) that "no portrait of him had ever been made" previously, be
accurate, can any new likeness be looked for. Nevertheless, both at the
Guelph (1891) and Georgian (1906) exhibitions, the Hon. Gerald Ponsonby
exhibited a portrait of Fielding; and another is included in the picture
attributed to Hogarth (also shown at the latter exhibition, and lately
belonging to Sir Charles Tennant), of the "Green Room, Drury Lane."
There is also a bust (posthumous) by W. F. Woodington at Eton. And this
reminds me that no more fitting tail-piece to this Appendix can be
conceived than the compact and penetrating lines which the late James
Russell Lowell composed as an inscription for the bust of Henry Fielding
at Taunton:--

  "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."

A. D.

_March_ 1907.





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