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Title: English Eccentrics and Eccentricities
Author: Timbs, John
Language: English
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Copyright Status: Not copyrighted in the United States. If you live elsewhere check the laws of your country before downloading this ebook. See comments about copyright issues at end of book.

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Gentle Reader, a few words before we introduce you to our ECCENTRICS.
They may be odd company: yet how often do we find eccentricity in the
minds of persons of good understanding. Their sayings and doings, it
is true, may not rank as high among the delicacies of intellectual
epicures as the Strasburg pies among the dishes described in the
_Almanach des Gourmands_; but they possess attractions in proportion to
the degree in which "man favours wonders." Swift has remarked, that "a
little grain of the romance is no ill ingredient to preserve and exalt
the dignity of human nature, without which it is apt to degenerate
into everything that is sordid, vicious, and low." Into the latter
extremes Eccentricity is occasionally apt to run, somewhat like certain
fermenting liquors which cannot be checked in their acidifying courses.

Into such headlong excesses our Eccentrics rarely stray; and one of
our objects in sketching their ways, is to show that with oddity of
character may co-exist much goodness of heart; and your strange fellow,
though, according to the lexicographer, he be outlandish, odd, queer,
and eccentric, may possess claims to our notice which the man who is
ever studying the fitness of things would not so readily present.

Many books of character have been published which have recorded the
acts, sayings, and fortunes of Eccentrics. The instances in the present
Work are, for the most part, drawn _from our own time_, so as to
present points of novelty which could not so reasonably be expected in
portraits of older date. They are motley-minded and grotesque in many
instances; and from their rare accidents may be gathered many a lesson
of thrift, as well as many a scene of humour to laugh at; while some
realize the well-remembered couplet or the near alliance of wits to

A glance at the Table of Contents and the Index to this volume will, it
is hoped, convey a fair idea of the number and variety of characters
and incidents to be found in this gallery of ENGLISH ECCENTRICS.

It should be added, that in the preparation of this Work, the Author
has availed himself of the most trustworthy materials for the staple
of his narratives, which, in certain cases, he has preferred giving
_ipsissimis verbis_ of his authorities to "re-writing" them, as it is
termed; a process which rarely adds to the veracity of story-telling,
but, on the other hand, often gives a colour to the incidents which
the original narrator never intended to convey. The object has been to
render the book truthful as well as entertaining.





  _The Beckfords and Fonthill_                             1

  _Alderman Beckford's Monument Speech in Guildhall_      19

  _Beau Brummel_                                          22

  _Sir Lumley Skeffington, Bart_                          36

  _"Romeo" Coates_                                        41

  _Abraham Newland_                                       44

  _The Spendthrift Squire of Halston, John Mytton_        48

  _Lord Petersham_                                        55

  _The King and Queen of the Sandwich Islands_            57

  _Sir Edward Dering's Luckless Courtship_                59

  _Gretna-Green Marriages_                                63

  _The Agapemone, or Abode of Love_                       68

  _Singular Scotch Ladies_                                70

  _Mrs. Bond, of Hackney_                                 72

  _John Ward, the Hackney Miser_                          74

  "_Poor Man of Mutton_"                                  76

  _Lord Kenyon's Parsimony_                               77

  _Mary Moser, the Flower-Painter_                        78

  _The Eccentric Miss Banks_                              80

  _Thomas Cooke, the Miser of Pentonville_                82

  _Thomas Cooke, the Turkey Merchant_                     87

  _"Lady Lewson," of Clerkenwell_                         89

  _Profits of Dust-sifting and Dust-heaps_                92

  _Sir John Dinely, Bart._                                95

  _The Rothschilds_                                       96

  _A Legacy of Half-a-Million of Money_                   99

  _Eccentricities of the Earl of Bridgewater_            103

  _The Denisons, and the Conyngham Family_               105

  "_Dog Jennings_"                                       107

  _Baron Ward's Remarkable Career_                       109

  _A Costly House-Warming_                               112

  _Devonshire Eccentrics_                                113

  _Hannah Snell, the Female Soldier_                     116

  _Lady Archer_                                          122


  _Modern Alchemists_                                    124

  _Jack Adams, the Astrologer_                           130

  _The Woman-hating Cavendish_                           132

  _Modern Astrology.--"Witch Pickles"_                   136

  _Hannah Green; or, "Ling Bob"_                         139

  _Oddities of Lady Hester Stanhope_                     141

  _Hermits and Eremitical Life_                          145

  _The Recluses of Llangollen_                           155

  _Snuff-taking Legacies_                                158

  _Burial Bequests_                                      159

  _Burials on Box Hill and Leith Hill_                   163

  _Jeremy Bentham's Bequest of his Remains_              166

  _The Marquis of Anglesey's Leg_                        169

  _The Cottle Church_                                    171

  _Horace Walpole's Chattels saved by a Talisman_        174

  _Norwood Gipsies_                                      177

  "_Cunning Mary," of Clerkenwell_                       179

  "_Jerusalem Whalley_"                                  181

  _Father Mathew and the Temperance Movement_            182

  _Eccentric Preachers_                                  184

  _Irving a Millenarian_                                 187

  _A Trio of Fanatics_                                   189

  _The Spenceans_                                        197

  _Joanna Southcote, and the Coming of Shiloh_           198

  _The Founder of Mormonism_                             210

  _Huntington, the Preacher_                             219

  _Amen--Peter Isnell_                                   231

  _Strangely Eccentric, yet Sane_                        232

  _Strange Hallucination_                                236

  "_Corner Memory Thompson_"                             238

  _Mummy of a Manchester Lady_                           239

  _Hypochondriasis_                                      240


  "_The Wonder of all the Wonders that the World ever
  Wondered at_"                                          243

  "_The Princess Caraboo_"                               246

  _Fat Folks.--Lambert and Bright_                       249

  _A Cure for Corpulence_                                256

  _Epitaphs on Fat Folks_                                257

  _Count Boruwlaski, the Polish Dwarf_                   258

  _The Irish Giant_                                      270

  _Birth Extraordinary_                                  271

  _William Hutton's "Strong Woman_"                      274

  _Wildman and his Bees_                                 276

  _Lord Stowell's Love of Sight-seeing_                  277

  _John Day and Fairlop Fair_                            280

  _A Princely Hoax_                                      283

  _Sir John Waters's Escape_                             285

  _Colonel Mackinnon's Practical Joking_                 287

  _A Gourmand Physician_                                 288

  _Dick England, the Gambler_                            290

  _Brighton Races, Thirty Years since_                   292

  _Colonel Mellish_                                      294

  _Doncaster Eccentrics_                                 296

  "_Walking Stewart_"                                    300

  _Youthful Days of the Hon. Grantley Berkeley_          304

  _What became of the Seven Dials_                       310

  _An Old Bailey Character_                              312

  _Bone and Shell Exhibition_                            317

  "_Quid Rides?_"                                        318

  "_Bolton Trotters_"                                    319

  _Eccentric Lord Coleraine_                             321

  _Eccentric Travellers_                                 323

  _Elegy on a Geologist_                                 328


  _Gilray and his Caricatures_                           330

  _William Blake, Painter and Poet_                      339

  _Nollekens, the Sculptor_                              350


  _The Young Roscius_                                    363

  _Hardham's "No. 37_"                                   368

  _Rare Criticism_                                       370

  _The O. P. Riot_                                       371

  _Origin of "Paul Pry_"                                 372

  _Mrs. Garrick_                                         374

  _Mathews, a Spanish Ambassador_                        378

  _Grimaldi, the Clown_                                  382

  _Munden's Last Performance_                            387

  _Oddities of Dowton_                                   389

  _Liston in Tragedy_                                    391

  _Boyhood of Edmund Kean_                               398

  _A Mysterious Parcel_                                  400

  _Masquerade Incident_                                  402

  _Mr. T. P. Cooke in Melodrama and Pantomime_           404

  "_Romeo and Juliet" in America_                        407

  _The Mulberries, a Shakspearian Club_                  408

  _Colley Cibber's Daughter_                             410

  _An Eccentric Love-Passage_                            413

  _True to the Text_                                     415


  _Monk Lewis_                                           417

  _Porson's Eccentricities_                              425

  _Parriana: Oddities of Dr. Parr_                       435

  _Oddities of John Horne Tooke_                         444

  _Mr. Canning's Humour_                                 451

  _Peter Pindar.--Dr. Wolcot_                            460

  _The Author of "Dr. Syntax"_                           472

  _Mrs. Radcliffe and the Critics_                       475

  _Cool Sir James Mackintosh_                            478

  _Eccentricities of Cobbett_                            481

  _Heber, the Book-Collector_                            485

  _Sir John Soane Lampooned_                             488

  _Extraordinary Calculators_                            490

  _Charles Lamb's Cottage at Islington_                  494

  _Thomas Hood_                                          497

  _A Witty Archbishop_                                   504

  _Literary Madmen_                                      508

  _A Perpetual-Motion Seeker_                            513

  _The Romantic Duchess of Newcastle_                    516

  _Sources of Laughter_                                  520


  _Busby's Folly and Bull Feather Hall_                  525

  _Old Islington Taverns_                                526

  _The Oyster and Parched-Pea Club_                      529

  _A Manchester Punch-House_                             530

  "_The Blue Key_"                                       533

  _Brandy in Tea_                                        534

  "_The Wooden Spoon_"                                   535

  _A Tipsy Village_                                      535

  _What an Epicure Eats in his Life-Time_                536

  _Epitaph on Dr. William Maginn_                        538

  _Greenwich Dinners_                                    539

  _Lord Pembroke's Port Wine_                            540

  _A Tremendous Bowl of Punch_                           541


  _Long Sir Thomas Robinson_                             542

  _Lord Chesterfield's Will_                             542

  _An Odd Family_                                        543

  _An Eccentric Host_                                    544

  _Quackery Successful_                                  545

  _The Grateful Footpad_                                 546

  _A Notoriety of the Temple_                            546

  _A Ride in a Sedan_                                    548

  _Mr. John Scott (Lord Eldon) in Parliament_            549

  _A Chancery Jeu-d'Esprit_                              551

  _Hanging by Compact_                                   553

  _The Ambassador Floored_                               553

  "_The Dutch Mail_"                                     554

  _Bad Spelling_                                         556

  _A "Single Conspirator_"                               559

  _A Miscalculation_                                     560

  _An Indiscriminate Collector_                          561

  _The Bishops' Saturday Night_                          563

  "_Rather than Otherwise_"                              564

  _Classic Soup Distribution_                            565

  _Alphabet Single Rhymed_                               565

  _Non Sequitur and Therefore_                           566




  "Vathek" _Beckford. From a Medallion_                    1

  _John Farquhar surveying the Ruins of Fonthill_         21

  _Beau Brummel. From a Miniature_                        22

  _Lord Alvanley. A Pillar of White's_                    27

  _Beau Brummel in Retirement at Calais_                  35

  _Sir Lumley Skeffington in a_ "Jean de Brie"            36

  _Sir Lumley Skeffington, as dressed for the
    "Birthday Ball_"                                      40

  _Robert Coates, the Amateur of Fashion, as "Romeo_"     41

  _Squire Mytton of Halston on his Bear_                  48

  _Lord Petersham; a noble Aide-de-Camp_                  55

  _The Eccentric Miss Banks, an Old Maid on a Journey_    80

  _The First Rothschild--a well-known Character on
    'Change_                                              96

  _Hannah Snell, the Female Soldier_                     116

  _Lady Archer, Enamelling at her Toilet_                122

  _The Alchemist_                                        124

  _Jack Adams, the Astrologer_                           130

  _A Hermit of the Sixteenth Century_                    145

  _Lady Eleanor Butler and Miss Mary Ponsonby, the
    Recluses of Llangollen_                              156

  _Major Peter Labelliere, a Christian Patriot_          163

  _Margaret Finch, the Norwood Gipsy_                    177

  _Edward Irving, the Millenarian_                       184

  _Joanna Southcote_                                     198

  _Facsimile of Autograph with Seal of the Elect_        209

  _William Huntington, the Converted Coalheaver_         219

  _The pretended Princess Caraboo_                       246

  _Count Boruwlaski, the Polish Dwarf, in Disgrace
    with his Wife_                                       259

  _The Prince Regent, a Back View_                       284

  _Colonel Mellish and Buckle his Agent_                 294

  _Curtis, an Old-Bailey Character_                      312

  _Corder, the Murderer of Maria Martin_                 316

  _Lord Coleraine, keeping an Apple Stall_               321

  _Nollekens, the Sculptor. From J. T. Smith's Life_     350

  _Master Betty, the "Young Roscius", as "Norval_"       363

  _Mrs. Garrick in her Youth_                            374

  _Charles Mathews the Elder_                            378

  _Joe Grimaldi as Clown_                                382

  _Liston as "Paul Pry"_                                 391

  _Edmund Kean as "Richard III._"                        398

  _T. P. Cooke in "Black Eyed Susan"_                    404

  _Charlotte Charke, Colley Cibber's Daughter_           411

  _M. G. Lewis, Author of "the Monk_"                    417

  _Professor Porson_                                     425

  _Dr. Parr_                                             435

  _William Cobbett, Peter Porcupine and the_
    "Political Register"                                 481

  _Jedediah Buxton, the Calculator_                      490

  _Lamb's Cottage, Colebrook Row_                        495

  _Margaret Lucas, Duchess of Newcastle_                 516

  _Lord Eldon (John Scott)_                              549



[Illustration: "Vathek" Beckford.]

The Beckfords and Fonthill.

The histories of the Beckfords, father and son, present several points
of eccentricity, although in very different spheres. William Beckford,
the father, was famed for his great wealth, which chiefly consisted
of large estates in Jamaica; and the estate of Fonthill, near Hindon,
Wilts. He was Alderman of Billingsgate Ward, London, and a violent
political partisan with whom the great Lord Chatham maintained a
correspondence to keep alive his influence in the City. When Beckford
opposed Sir Francis Delaval to contest the borough of Shaftesbury, the
latter said--

     Art thou the man whom men famed Beckford call?

To which Beckford replied--

     Art thou the much more famous Delaval?=

Alderman Beckford died on the 21st of June, 1770, in his second
mayoralty, within a month after his famous exhibition at Court, when,
after presenting a City Address to George III., and having received
his Majesty's answer, he was said to have made the reply which may be
read on his monument in Guildhall, but which he never uttered. The day
before Beckford died, Chatham forced himself into the house in Soho
Square (now the House of Charity), and got away all the letters he had
written to the demagogue Alderman. His house at Fonthill, with pictures
and furniture to a great value, was burnt down in 1755. The Alderman
was then in London, and on being informed of the catastrophe, he took
out his pocket-book and began to write, and on being asked what he was
doing, he coolly replied, 'Only calculating the expense of rebuilding
it. Oh! I have an odd fifty thousand pounds in a drawer, I will build
it up again; it won't be above a thousand pounds each to my different
children.' The house was rebuilt.

The Alderman had several natural sons, to each of whom he left a
legacy of 5,000_l._; but the bulk of his property went to his son
by his wife, who was then a boy ten years old, and is said to have
thus come into a million of ready money, and a revenue exceeding
100,000_l._ Three years later, Lord Chatham, who was his godfather,
thus describes him to his own son William Pitt--"Little Beckford is
just as much compounded of the elements of air and fire as he was. A
due proportion of terrestrial solidity will I trust come and make him
perfect." The promise which his liveliness and precocity had given,
was fulfilled by a _jeu-d'esprit_, written by him in his seventeenth
year. This was a small work published in 1780, entitled _Biographical
Memoirs of Extraordinary Painters_, and originated as follows. The old
mansion at Fonthill contained a fine collection of paintings, which
the housekeeper was directed to show to applicants; but she often
told descriptions of the painters and the pictures, which were very
ludicrous. Young Beckford, therefore, to methodize and assist the
housekeeper's memory, wrote their lives, which she received from her
youthful master as matters-of-fact. Thus, after descanting on Gerard
Douw, she would add the particulars of that artist's patience and
industry in expending four or five hours in painting a broomstick.
There were other extravagancies which she believed; a few copies of the
book were printed to confirm her belief; hence the book is very rare.
Beckford, in after-life, spoke of it as his _Blunderbussiana_. It was,
in fact, a satire upon certain living artists, and the common slang of

Young Mr. Beckford had been educated at home: he was quick and lively,
and had literary tastes; he had a great passion for genealogy and
heraldry, and studied Oriental literature. He had visited Paris, and
mixed in the society of that capital, in 1778, when he met Voltaire,
who gave him his blessing. He had fine taste for music, and had been
taught to play the pianoforte by Mozart.

Mr. Beckford travelled and resided abroad until his twenty-second
year, when he wrote in French _Vathek_,[1] a work of startling beauty.
More than fifty years afterwards he told Mr. Cyrus Redding that he
wrote _Vathek_ at one sitting. "It took me," he said, "three days and
two nights of hard labour. I never took off my clothes the whole time.
This severe application made me very ill.... Old Fonthill had a very
ample loud echoing hall--one of the largest in the kingdom. Numerous
doors led from it into different parts of the house through dim,
winding passages. It was from that I introduced the Hall--the idea of
the Hall of Eblis being generated by my own. My imagination magnified
and coloured it with the Eastern character. All the females in _Vathek_
were portraits of those in the domestic establishment of old Fonthill,
their fancied good or ill qualities being exaggerated to suit my
purpose." An English translation of the work afterwards appeared, the
author of which Beckford said he never knew; he thought it tolerably
well done.

[1] _Vathek_ was dramatised by the Hon. Mrs. Norton some thirty
years since, and was offered to Mr. Bunn for Drury Lane Theatre,
but declined; the "exquisite beauties of Mrs. Norton's metrical
compositions being overloaded by a pressure of dialogue and a
redundancy of scenic effects, the fidelity and rapid succession
of which it would have puzzled any scene painter or mechanist to
follow."--_Bunn's Stage_, vol ii., p. 139.

At twenty-four, Mr. Beckford married the Lady Margaret Gordon, daughter
of Charles, fourth Earl of Aboyne, but the lady died in three years.
In 1784 he was returned to Parliament for Wells; in 1790 he sat for
Hindon; but in 1794 he accepted the Chiltern Hundreds, and again went
abroad. He now fixed himself in Portugal, where he purchased an estate
near Cintra, and built the sumptuous mansion, the decoration and
desolation of which some years afterwards Lord Byron described in the
first canto of his _Childe Harold_, in the stanza beginning--

    There thou too, Vathek! England's wealthiest son,
    Once form'd thy Paradise, as not aware
    When wanton Wealth her mightiest deeds hath done,
    Meek Peace voluptuous lures was ever wont to shun.
    Here didst thou dwell, here schemes of pleasure plan,
    Beneath yon mountain's ever beauteous brow:
    But now, as if a thing unblest by man,
    Thy fairy dwelling is as lone as thou!
    Here giant woods a passage scarce allow
    To halls deserted, portals gaping wide:
    Fresh lessons to the thinking bosom, how
    Vain are pleasaunces on earth supplied;
    Swept into wrecks anon by Time's ungentle tide!

Many years after, Mr. Beckford published his Travels, one volume of
which was _An Excursion to the Monasteries of Alcobaça and Batalha_. Of
the kitchen of the magnificent Alcobaça, he gives the following glowing
picture:--"Through the centre of the immense and groined hall, not less
than sixty feet in diameter, ran a brisk rivulet of the clearest water,
flowing through pierced wooden reservoirs, containing every sort and
size of the finest river-fish. On one side, loads of game and venison
were heaped up; on the other, vegetables and fruit in endless variety.
Beyond a long line of stoves extended a row of ovens, and close to them
hillocks of wheaten flour whiter than snow, rocks of sugar, jars of
the purest oil, and pastry in vast abundance, which a numerous tribe
of lay-brothers and their attendants were rolling out and puffing up
into a hundred different shapes, singing all the while as blithely as
larks in a cornfield!" The banquet is described as including "exquisite
sausages, potted lampreys, strange messes from the Brazils, and others
still more strange from China (_viz._ birds'-nests and sharks'-fins)
dressed after the latest mode of Macao, by a Chinese lay-brother.
Confectionery and fruits were out of the question here; they awaited
the party in an adjoining still more sumptuous and spacious saloon, to
which they retired from the effluvia of viands and sauces." On another
occasion, by aid of Mr. Beckford's cook, the party sat down to "one of
the most delicious banquets ever vouchased a mortal on this side of
Mahomet's paradise. The _macédoine_ was perfection, the ortolans and
quails lumps of celestial fatness, the _sautés_ and _bechamels_ beyond
praise; and a certain truffle-cream was so exquisite, that the Lord
Abbot piously gave thanks for it."

Mr. Beckford returned to England in 1795, and occupied himself with
the embellishment of his house at Fonthill. Meanwhile, he had studied
Ecclesiastical Architecture, which induced him to commence building
the third house at Fonthill, considering the second too near a piece
of water. In 1801, the superb furniture was sold by auction; when the
furniture of the Turkish room, which had cost 4,000_l._, realized only
740 guineas. Next year there was a sale in London of the proprietor's
pictures. In 1807 the mansion was mostly taken down, when the materials
were sold for 10,000_l._; one wing was left standing, which was
subsequently sold to Mr. Morrison, M.P., who added to it, and adapted
it for a country seat.

These proceedings were, however, only preliminary to the commencement
of a much more magnificent collection of books, pictures, curiosities,
rarities, bijouterie, and other products of art and ingenuity, to
be placed in the new "Fonthill Abbey," built in a showy monastic
style. Mr. Beckford shrouded his architectural proceedings in the
profoundest mystery: he was haughty and reserved; and because some of
his neighbours followed game into his grounds, he had a wall twelve
feet high and seven miles long built round his home estate, in order
to shut out the world. This was guarded by projecting railings on the
top, in the manner of _chevaux-de-frise_. Large and strong double gates
were provided in this wall, at the different roads of entrance, and at
these gates were stationed persons who had strict orders not to admit a

The building of the Abbey was a sort of romance. A vast number of
mechanics and labourers were employed to advance the works with
rapidity, and a new hamlet was built to accommodate the workmen. All
round was activity and energy, whilst the growing edifice, as the
scaffolding and walls were raised above the surrounding trees, excited
the curiosity of the passing tourist, as well as the villagers. It
appears that Mr. Beckford pursued the objects of his wishes, whatever
they were, not coolly and considerately like most other men, but with
all the enthusiasm of passion. No sooner did he decide upon any point
than he had it carried into immediate execution, whatever might be the
cost. After the building was commenced, he was so impatient to get
it furnished, that he kept regular relays of men at work night and
day, including Sundays, supplying them liberally with ale and spirits
while they were at work; and when anything was completed which gave
him particular pleasure, adding an extra 5_l._ or 10_l._ to be spent
in drink. The first tower, the height of which from the ground was 400
feet, was built of wood, in order to see its effect; this was then
taken down, and the same form put up in wood covered with cement. This
fell down, and the tower was built a third time on the same foundation
with brick and stone. The foundation of the tower was originally that
of a small summer-house, to which Mr. Beckford was making additions,
when the idea of the Abbey occurred to him; and this idea he was so
impatient to realize, that he would not wait to remove the summer-house
to make a proper foundation for the tower, but carried it up on
the walls already standing, and this with the worst description of
materials and workmanship, while it was mostly built by men in a state
of intoxication.

To raise the public surprise and afford new scope for speculation, a
novel scene was presented in the works in the winter of 1800, when in
November and December nearly 500 men were employed day and night to
expedite the works, by torch and lamp-light, in time for the reception
of Lord Nelson and Sir William and Lady Hamilton, who were entertained
here by Mr. Beckford with extraordinary magnificence, on December
20, 1800. On one occasion, while the tower was building, an elevated
part of it caught fire and was destroyed; the sight was sublime, and
was enjoyed by Mr. Beckford. This was soon rebuilt. At one period,
every cart and waggon in the district were pressed into the service;
at another, the works at St. George's Chapel, Windsor, were abandoned
that 400 men might be employed night and day on Fonthill Abbey. These
men relieved each other by regular watches, and during the longest and
darkest nights of winter it was a strange sight to see the tower rising
under their hands, the trowel and the torch being associated for that
purpose. This Mr. Beckford was fond of contemplating. He is represented
as surveying from an eminence the works thus expedited, the busy bevy
of the masons, the dancing lights and their strange effects upon the
wood and architecture below, and feasting his sense with this display
of almost superhuman exertion.

Upon one memorable occasion Mr. Beckford was willing to run the risk of
spoiling a good dinner, in order to show that nothing possible to man
was impossible to him. He had sworn by his beloved St. Anthony, that
he would have his Christmas dinner cooked in the new Abbey kitchen.
The time was short, the work was severe, for much remained to be done.
Still, Beckford had said it, and it must be done. So every exertion
that money could command was brought to bear. The apartment, indeed,
was finished by the Christmas morning, but the bricks had not time
to settle readily into their places, the beams were not thoroughly
secured, the mortar, which was to keep the walls together, had not
dried. However, Beckford had invoked the blessed St. Anthony, and he
would not depart from it. The fire was lit, the splendid repast was
cooked, the servants were carrying the dishes through the long passages
into the dining-room, when the kitchen itself fell in with a loud
crash; but it was not a misfortune of any consequence; no person was
injured, the master had kept his word, and he had money enough to build
another kitchen.

Mr. Loudon, in 1835, collected at Fonthill some curious evidence in
confirmation of his idea that Mr. Beckford's enjoyments consisted of
a succession of violent impulses. Thus, when he wished a new walk to
be cut in the woods, or work of any kind to be done, he used to say
nothing about it in the way of preparation, but merely give orders,
perhaps late in the afternoon, that it should be cleared out and in a
perfect state by the following morning at the time he came out to take
his ride, and the whole strength of the village was then put upon the
work, and employed during the night and next day, when Mr. Beckford
came to inspect what was done; if he was pleased with it he used to
give a 5_l._ or 10_l._ note to the men who had been employed, to drink,
besides, of course, paying their wages, which were always liberal. His
charities were performed in the same capricious manner. Suddenly he
would order a hundred pairs of blankets to be purchased and given away;
or all the firs to be cut out of an extensive plantation, and all the
poor who chose to take them away were permitted to do so, provided it
were done in one night. He was also known to suddenly order all the
waggons and carts that could be procured to be sent off for coal to be
distributed among the poor.

Mr. Beckford seldom rode out beyond his gates, but when he did he was
generally asked for charity by the poor people. Sometimes he used to
throw a one-pound note or a guinea to them; or he would turn round and
give the supplicants a severe horse-whipping. When the last was the
case, soon after he had ridden away, he generally sent back a guinea
or two to the persons whom he had whipped. In his mode of life at
Fonthill he had many singularities: though he never had any society,
yet his table was laid every day in the most splendid style. He was
known to give orders for a dinner for twelve persons and to sit down
alone to it, attended by twelve servants in full dress; yet he would
eat only of one dish, and send the rest away. There were no bells at
Fonthill, with the exception of one room, occupied occasionally by Mr.
Beckford's daughter, the Duchess of Hamilton. The servants used to
wait by turns in the ante-rooms to the apartments which Mr. Beckford
occupied; they were very small and low in the ceiling. He led almost
the life of a hermit within the walls of the Fonthill estate; here he
could luxuriate within his sumptuous home, or ride for miles on his
lawns, and through forest and mountain woods,--amid dressed parterres
of the pleasure-garden, or the wild scenery of nature. This garden, the
vast woods, and a wild lake, abounded with game, and the choristers
of the forest, which were not only left undisturbed by the gun, but
were fed and encouraged by the lord of the soil and his long retinue
of servants. A widower, and without any family at home, Mr. Beckford
resided at the Abbey for more than twenty years, ever active, and
constantly occupied in reading, music, and the converse of a choice
circle of friends, or in directing workmen in the erection of the
Abbey, which had been in progress since the year 1798.

About the year 1822 his restless spirit required a change; besides
which his fortunes received a shock from which they never recovered. He
now purchased two houses in Lansdown Crescent, Bath, with a large tract
of land adjoining, and removed thither. The property at Fonthill was
then placed at the disposal of Mr. Christie, who prepared a catalogue
for the sale of the estate, the Abbey, and its gorgeous contents. The
place was made an exhibition of in the summer of 1822: the price of
admission was one guinea for each person, and 7,200 tickets were sold:
thousands flocked to Fonthill; but at the close of the summer, instead
of a sale on the premises, the whole was bought in one lot by Mr.
Farquhar, it was understood, for the sum of 350,000_l._ Mr. Beckford's
outlay upon the property had been, according to his own account, about
273,000_l._, scattered over sixteen or eighteen years. The reason he
assigned for disposing of the property was the reduction of his income
by a decree of the Court of Chancery, which had deprived him of two
of his Jamaica estates. "You may imagine their importance," he added,
"when I tell you that there were 1,500 slaves upon them."

Mr. Farquhar, the purchaser of the property, was an old miser who had
amassed an immense fortune in India. By the advice of Mr. Phillips, the
auctioneer, of Bond Street, in the following year another exhibition
was made of Fonthill and its treasures, to which articles were added,
and the whole sold as genuine property; the tickets of admission were
half-a-guinea each, the price of the catalogues 12_s._, and the sale
lasted thirty-seven days.

In December, 1825, the tower at Fonthill, which had been hastily built
and not long finished, fell with a tremendous crash, destroying the
hall, the octagon, and other parts of the buildings. Mr. Farquhar,
with his nephew's family, had taken the precaution of removing to the
northern wing: the tower was above 260 feet high.

Mr. Loudon, when at Fonthill in 1835, collected some interesting
particulars of this catastrophe. He describes the manner in which
the tower fell as somewhat remarkable. It had given indications of
insecurity for some time; the warning was taken, and the more valuable
parts of the windows and other articles were removed.

Mr. Farquhar, however, who then resided in one angle of the building,
and who was in a very infirm state of health, could not be brought to
believe there was any danger. He was wheeled out in his chair on the
front lawn about half an hour before the tower fell; and though he had
seen the cracks and the deviation of the centre from the perpendicular,
he treated the idea of its coming down as ridiculous. He was carried
back to his room, and the tower fell almost immediately. From the
manner in which it fell, from the lightness of the materials of which
it was constructed, neither Mr. Farquhar, nor the servants who were
in the kitchen preparing dinner, knew that it had fallen, though the
immense collection of dust which rose into the atmosphere had assembled
almost all the inhabitants of the village, and had given the alarm
even as far as Wardour Castle. Only one man (who died in 1833) saw
the tower fall; it first sank perpendicularly and slowly, and then
burst and spread over the roofs of the adjoining wings on every side.
The cloud of dust was enormous, so as completely to darken the air
for a considerable distance around for several minutes. Such was the
concussion in the interior of the building, that one man was forced
along a passage as if he had been in an air-gun to the distance of
30 feet, among dust so thick as to be felt. Another person, on the
outside, was, in like manner, carried to some distance; fortunately,
no one was seriously injured. With all this, it is almost incredible
that neither Mr. Farquhar, nor the servants in the kitchen, should
have heard the tower fall, or known that it had fallen, till they saw
through the window the people of the village who had assembled to see
the ruins. Mr. Farquhar, it is said, could scarcely be convinced that
the tower was down, and when he was so he said he was glad of it, for
that now the house was not too large for him to live in. Mr. Beckford,
when told at Bath by his servant that the tower had fallen, merely
observed, that it had made an obeisance to Mr. Farquhar which it had
never done to him.

One of the last things which Mr. Beckford did, after having sold
Fonthill, and ordered horses to be put to his carriage to leave the
place for ever, was to mount his pony, ride round with his gardener,
to give directions for various alterations and improvements which he
wished to have executed. On returning to the house, his carriage being
ready, he stepped into it, and never afterwards visited Fonthill.
Though Mr. Beckford had spent immense sums of money there, it is
said, on good authority, 1,600,000_l._, it did not appear that he had
at all raised the character of the working classes: the effect was
directly the reverse; the men were sunk, past recovery, in habits of
drunkenness; and when Mr. Loudon visited Fonthill, there were only two
or three of the village labourers alive who had been employed in the
Abbey works.

We now follow Mr. Beckford to Bath, where he was storing his twin
houses with some of the choicest articles from his old libraries and
cabinets; was forming and creating new gardens, with hot-houses and
conservatories, on the steep and rocky slope of Lansdown. On its summit
he built a lofty tower, which commands a vast extent of prospect. A
street intervened between the two houses, but they were soon united by
a flying gallery. One of these houses was fitted up for Mr. Beckford's
residence, and here he lived luxuriously; the splendour and state of
Fonthill being followed here on a smaller scale. In his wine-cellars he
had a portion of the nineteen pipes of the fine Malmsey Madeira, which
his father, Alderman Beckford, had bought. The merchant who imported
them offered them to Queen Charlotte, who could only purchase one, as
the price was so great; the Fonthill Crœsus, however, purchased the
remainder of the cargo.

The new proprietor of Fonthill was a very different man from Mr.
Beckford. Born in Aberdeen, Mr. John Farquhar, like many of his
countrymen, started in early life to seek his fortune in India. The
interest of some relatives procured him a cadetship in the service
of the East India Company, on the Bombay establishment; there the
young Scotsman had the certainty of slowly but steadily rising in
position, and should health be left to him, of enjoying a reputable and
independent competency. He, however, received a dangerous wound in the
leg, which first caused a painful and constant lameness, and soon after
led to general derangement of his health, and even danger to life
itself. He now obtained leave to remove to Bengal, partly in hopes of a
more salubrious climate, but chiefly in search of that medical talent
which was likely to be most abundant at the chief seat of Government.
Settled in Bengal, he obtained the advice of the best physicians. He
also studied chemistry and medicine; and it was before long generally
said that the sickly cadet who was so attached to chemical experiments,
was well fitted to be sent into the interior of the country, where
was a large manufactory of gunpowder established by the Government,
but which was unsuccessful. The shrewd Scotsman took charge of the
mill, henceforth the powder was faultless; and shortly after Farquhar
became the sole contractor for the Government. The Governor-General,
Warren Hastings, reposed much confidence in Farquhar; and this, added
to his own indefatigable vigour of mind, soon laid the foundation of a
fortune, which was rapidly increased by his penurious habits.

It was the time when war and distresses in Europe kept the funds so
low, that fifty-five was a common price for the Three per cents.
Accordingly, as Farquhar's money accumulated, he sent large remittances
to his bankers, Messrs. Hoare, of Fleet Street, for investment in the
above tempting securities. When he had thus amassed half a million, he
determined to return to his native country, and he bade adieu to the
East where he had found the wealth he coveted. Landing at Gravesend,
he took his seat upon the outside of the coach, and in due time found
himself in London. Weather-beaten, and covered with dust, he made
his way to his bankers, and there, stepping up to one of the clerks,
expressed a wish to see Mr. Hoare himself. But his rough appearance
and common make of the clothes about his sunburnt limbs, suggested to
the clerk that he must be some unlucky petitioner for charity; and he
was left to wait in the cash-office until Mr. Hoare happened to pass
through. The latter was some time before he could understand who Mr.
Farquhar was. His Indian customer, indeed, he knew well by name, but
he had none of that hauteur which was then common with the successful
Anglo-Indians. At length, however, Mr. Hoare was satisfied as to the
identity of his wealthy visitor, who then asked him for 25_l._, and
saluting him, retired.

On first arriving in England, Mr. Farquhar took up his abode with a
relative of some rank, who mixed a good deal in London society, and who
proposed to introduce to his circle Mr. Farquhar, by giving a grand
ball in honour of his successful return from India. This relative had
tolerated Mr. Farquhar's fancies as regarded his every-day attire; but
his fashionable mind was horrified when the day of the coming ball was
only a week off, and there was, nevertheless, no sign of his intending
to provide himself with a new suit of clothes for the gay occasion. He
ventured accordingly to hint to him the propriety of doing so; when
Mr. Farquhar made a short reply, packed up his clothes, and in a few
minutes was driven from the door in a hackney-coach, not even taking
leave of his too-critical host.

He then settled in Upper Baker Street, where his windows were ever
remarkable for requiring a servant's care, and his whole house notable
for its dingy and dirty appearance; at which we cannot wonder when we
learn that his sole attendant was an old woman, and that from even
her intrusive care his own apartment was strictly kept free. Yet in
charitable deeds Mr. Farquhar was munificent to a princely extent, and
often, when he had left his comfortless home with a crust of bread
in his pocket to save the expenditure of a penny at an oyster shop,
it was to give away in the course of the day hundreds of pounds to
aid the distressed, and to cure and care for those who suffered from
biting poverty, hunger, and want. But in his personal expenditure he
was extremely parsimonious; and whilst he resided in Baker Street, he
expended on himself and his household but 200_l._ a year out of the
30,000_l._ or 40,000_l._ which his many sources of income must have
yielded him.[2]

[2] Mr. Farquhar died July 6, 1826, in York Place, Marylebone, aged 76
years; he was buried in St. John's Wood Chapel, where is a handsome
monument to his memory, with a medallion head of the deceased by P.
Row, sculptor.

Such was the man who succeeded the luxurious Beckford at Fonthill! He,
however, sold the property about 1825, and died in the following year.
The immense fortune he had struggled to make, and to increase which
he had lived a solitary and comfortless life, he made no disposal of
by will; the law distributed it among his next-of-kin, and those he
favoured and those he neglected inherited equal portions. Three nephews
and four nieces became entitled to 100,000_l._ each. Fonthill Abbey had
been taken down, merely enough of its ruins being left to show where it
had stood. Mr. Farquhar possessed Fonthill for so short a time, and it
was demolished so soon after he had parted with it, and so many years
before Mr. Beckford followed him to the grave, that the latter lived
to know that its last proprietor was comparatively forgotten, and the
strange glories of the fantastic pile will be connected by the public
voice with no name but that of its eccentric architect.

On settling at Bath, Mr. Beckford was frequently seen on horseback in
the streets with his groom, and appeared as the plain unostentatious
country gentleman: he was no longer the wealthy lord of Fonthill; still
his appearance always excited the gaze and speculation of idlers and
gossips. A dwarf, an Italian named Piero, was occasionally seen on
a pony with the groom, and strange conjectures were hazarded on the
history of this human phenomenon. The fact is, Mr. Beckford had taken
charge of him in Italy, when he was deserted by his parents and was
homeless and friendless; and he was brought to England by a humane
patron, who supported him through life.

In 1844, Mr. Cyrus Redding, when at Bath, had several interviews and
conversations with Mr. Beckford, whose mind was then vigorous: his
spirits were good, and he displayed his wonted activity of body nearly
to the last. In his seventy-sixth year he said that he had never felt
a moment's _ennui_ in his life. He was the most accomplished man of
his time: his reading was very extensive; he used to say that he could
easily read and understand an octavo volume during his breakfast.
Besides the classical languages of antiquity, he spoke four modern
European tongues, and wrote three of them with great elegance. He read
Russian and Arabic. We have said that he was taught music by Mozart, to
whom he was so much attached, that when the great composer settled in
Vienna, Mr. Beckford made a visit to that capital "that he might once
more see his old master."

Mr. Redding tells us that Mr. Beckford's custom, "in fine weather, was
to rise early, ride to the tower or about the grounds, walk back and
breakfast, and then read until a little before noon, generally making
pencil notes in the margin of every book, transact business with his
steward; afterwards, until two o'clock, continue to read and write, and
then ride out two or three hours." Mr. Beckford was never idle. When
planning or building, he passed the larger part of the day where the
work was proceeding. He sometimes expressed contempt by a sarcastic
sneer, peculiar to himself. Few could utter more cutting things
than the author of _Vathek_, the delivery with a caustic expression
of countenance that made them tell with double effect. Mr. Redding
once ventured to remark, "It must have cost you much pain to quit
Fonthill." "Not so much as you might think. I can bend to fortune. I
have philosophy enough not to cry like a child about a play-thing." Mr.
Britton, who had seen much of Mr. Beckford, tells us that the remarks
and opinions in the novels of _Cecil a Coxcomb_ and _Cecil a Peer_,
mostly written by Mrs. Gore when on a visit to Mr. Beckford at Bath,
afford the nearest approach he had seen in print to the language, the
ideas, the peculiar sentiments of the author of _Vathek_.

Mr. Beckford continued to reside in Bath (except his annual visits
to the metropolis, when he lived in Park Lane and in Gloucester
Place[3]) for about twenty years, and died there on May 2, 1844, in the
eighty-fourth year of his age. His intention was to make the ground
attached to the Lansdown tower the place of his sepulchre, and he had
prepared and placed on the spot a granite sarcophagus, inscribed with
a passage from _Vathek_; but the ecclesiastical authorities refused
to consecrate the ground, the body was embalmed and placed in the
sarcophagus in the cemetery of Lyncomb, to the south of Bath. It was
afterwards removed to Lansdown, when the ground was consecrated.

[3] Three other of Mr. Beckford's town houses were:--1. On the Terrace,
Piccadilly, part of the site of the newly-built mansion of Baron
Rothschild; 2. No. 1, Devonshire Place, New Road; and it is said,
though we do not vouch how correctly, 3. No. 27, Charles Street,
Mayfair, a very small house, looking over the garden of Chesterfield

The author of _Vathek_ was unquestionably a man of genius and rare
accomplishments. "But his abilities were overpowered and his character
tainted by the possession of wealth so enormous. At every stage his
money was like a millstone round his neck. He had taste and knowledge;
but the selfishness of wealth tempted him to let these gifts of the
mind run to seed in the gratification of extravagant freaks. He really
enjoyed travelling and scenery, but he felt it incumbent on him, as a
millionnaire, to take a French cook with him wherever he went;[4] and
he found that the Spanish grandees and ecclesiastical dignitaries who
welcomed him so cordially valued him as the man whose cook could make
such wonderful omelettes. From the day when Chatham's proxy stood
for him at the font till the day when he was laid in his pink granite
sarcophagus, he was the victim of riches. Had he had only 5,000_l._ a
year, and been sent to Eton, he might have been one of the foremost men
of his time, and have been as useful in his generation as, under his
unhappy circumstances, he was useless."[5] It may be added, that he was
worse: for he so threw about his money at Fonthill as to corrupt and
demoralise the simple country people.

[4] In conformity with an old English custom, Mr. Beckford invariably
travelled with his bed among his luggage.

[5] _Saturday Review._

Against this judgment must, however, be placed Mr. Beckford's own
declaration, that he never felt a single moment of _ennui_.

Mr. Beckford left two daughters, the eldest of whom, Susan Euphemia,
was married to the Marquis of Clydesdale in 1810, and became Duchess of
Hamilton. The tomb at Lansdown, with its polished granite, emblazoned
shields, and bronzed and gilt embellishments, was not long cared for;
since in 1850, it presented in its neglected state a lamentable object.
_Vathek_ will be remembered. Byron, a good judge of such a subject, has
pronounced that "for correctness of costume, beauty of description, and
power of imagination," it far surpasses all other European imitations
of the Eastern style of fiction.

Alderman Beckford's Monument Speech, in Guildhall.

The speech on the pedestal of Beckford's statue, and referred to at
p. 2 _ante_, is the one which the Alderman is said to have addressed
to his Majesty on the 23rd of May, 1770, with reference to the King's
reply to the Remonstrance address which Beckford had presented:--"That
he should have been wanting to the public as well as to himself if he
had not expressed his dissatisfaction at the late address." Horace
Walpole thus notes the affair: "The City carried a new remonstrance,
garnished with my lord's own ingredients, but much less hot than the
former. The country, however, was put to some confusion by my Lord
Mayor, who, contrary to all form and precedent, tacked a volunteer
speech to the 'Remonstrance.' It was wondrous loyal and respectful,
but, being an innovation, much discomposed the solemnity. It is always
usual to furnish a copy of what is said to the King, that he may be
prepared with his answer. In this case, he was reduced to tuck up his
train, jump from the throne, and take sanctuary in his closet, or
answer extempore, which is not part of the Royal trade; or sit silent,
and have nothing to reply. This last was the event, and a position
awkward enough in conscience."--_Walpole to Sir Horace Mann_, May 24,

Now, at the end of the Alderman's speech, in his copy of the City
addresses, Mr. Isaac Reed has inserted the following note:--"It is
a curious fact, but a true one, that Beckford did not utter one
syllable of this speech (on the monument). It was penned by John
Horne Tooke, and by his art put on the records of the City and on
Beckford's statue, as he told me, Mr. Braithwaite, Mr. Sayer, &c., at
the Athenæum Club.--Isaac Reed." There can be little doubt that the
worthy commentator and his friends were imposed upon. In the _Chatham
Correspondence_, volume iii., p. 460, a letter from Sheriff Townsend
to the Earl expressly states that with the exception of the words
"and necessary" being left out before the word "revolution," the Lord
Mayor's speech in the _Public Advertiser_ of the preceding day is
verbatim. (The one delivered to the King.)--_Wright_--_Note to Walpole._

Gifford says (_Ben Jonson_, VI. 481) that Beckford never uttered
before the King one syllable of the speech upon his monument; and
Gifford's statement is fully confirmed both by Isaac Reed (as above)
and by Maltby, the friend of Roger and Horne Tooke. Beckford _made_
a "remonstrance speech" to the King; but the speech on Beckford's
monument is the after speech written for Beckford by Horne Tooke.--_See
Mitford, Gray, and Mason's Correspondence_, pp. 438, 439.--_Cuningham's
Note to Walpole_, v. 239.

Such is the historic worth of this strange piece of monumental bombast,
upon which Pennant made this appropriate comment:--

    The things themselves are neither scarce nor rare,
    The wonder's how the devil they got there.

[Illustration: Mr. John Farquhar over the ruins of Fonthill.]

[Illustration: Beau Brummel. (_From a miniature._)]

Beau Brummel.

This celebrated leader of fashion in the times of the Regency--George
Bryan Brummel--was born June 7, 1778. His grandfather was a pastrycook
in Bury Street, St. James's, who, by letting off a large portion of his
house, became a moneyed man. While Brummel's father was yet a boy, Mr.
Jenkinson came to lodge there, and this led to the lad being employed
in a Government office, when his lodger and patron had attained to
eminence; he was subsequently private secretary to Lord Liverpool, and
at his death, left the Beau little less than 30,000_l._ Brummel was
sent to Eton, and thence to Oxford, and at sixteen he was gazetted to a
cornetcy in the 10th Hussars, at that time commanded by the Prince of
Wales, to whom he had been presented on the Terrace at Windsor, when
the Beau was a boy at Eton. He became an associate of the Prince, then
two-and-thirty, but who, according to Mr. Thomas Raikes, disdained
not to take lessons in dress from Brummel at his lodgings. Thither
would the future King of nations wend his way, where, absorbed in the
mysteries of the toilet, he would remain till so late an hour that he
sometimes sent his horses away, and insisted on Brummel giving him a
quiet dinner, which generally ended in a deep potation.

Brummel's assurance was one of his earliest characteristics. A great
law lord, who lived in Russell Square, one evening gave a ball, at
which J., one of the beauties of the time, was present. Numerous
were the applications made to dance with her; but being as proud as
she was beautiful, she refused them all, till the young Hussar made
his appearance; and he having proffered to hand her out, she at once
acquiesced, greatly to the wrath of the disappointed candidates. In
one of the pauses of the dance, he happened to find himself close to
an acquaintance, when he exclaimed, "Ha! you here? Do, my good fellow,
tell me who that ugly man is leaning against the chimney-piece." "Why,
surely you must know him," replied the other, "'tis the master of the
house." "No, indeed," said the Cornet, coolly; "how should I? I never
was invited."

Captain Jesse, the biographer of Brummel, has drawn his portrait at
about this time. "His face was rather long and complexion fair; his
whiskers inclined to sandy, and hair light brown. His features were
neither plain nor handsome; but his head was well shaped, the forehead
being unusually high; showing, according to phrenological development,
more of the mental than the animal passions--the bump of self-esteem
was very prominent. His countenance indicated that he possessed
considerable intelligence, and his mouth betrayed a strong disposition
to indulge in sarcastic humour: this was predominant in every feature,
the nose excepted, the natural regularity of which, though it had
been broken by a fall from his charger, preserved his features from
degenerating into comicality. His eyebrows were equally expressive with
his mouth; and while the latter was giving utterance to something very
good-humoured or polite, the former, and the eyes themselves, which
were grey and full of oddity, could assume an expression that made the
sincerity of his words very doubtful. His voice was very pleasing."

Brummel was one of the first who revived and improved the taste for
dress, and his great innovation was effected upon neckcloths; they were
then worn without stiffening of any kind, and bagged out in front,
rucking up to the chin in a roll: to remedy this obvious awkwardness
and inconvenience, he used to have his slightly starched; and a
reasoning mind must allow that there is not much to object to in this
reform. He did not, however, like the dandies, test their fitness
for use by trying if he could raise three parts of their length by
one corner without their bending; yet, it appears that if the cravat
was not properly tied at the first effort, or inspiring impulse, it
was always rejected. His valet was coming down stairs one day with a
quantity of tumbled neckcloths under his arm, and, being interrogated
on the subject, solemnly replied, "Oh, they are _our_ failures."
Practice like this, of course, made Brummel perfect; and his tie soon
became a model that was imitated but never equalled. The method by
which this most important result was attained, was thus told to Captain
Jesse:--"The collar, which was always fixed to his shirt, was so large
that, before being folded down, it completely hid his head and face;
and the white neckcloth was at least a foot in height. The first _coup
d'archet_ was made with the shirt-collar, which he folded down to its
proper size; and Brummel, then standing before the glass, with his chin
poked up to the ceiling, by the gentle and gradual declension of the
lower jaw, creased the cravat to reasonable dimensions, the form of
each succeeding crease being perfected with the shirt which he had just

"Brummel's morning dress was similar to that of every other gentleman.
Hessians and pantaloons, or top-boots and buckskins, with a blue coat
and a light or buff-coloured waistcoat, of course fitting to admiration
on the best figure in England. His dress of an evening was a blue
coat and white waistcoat, black pantaloons, which buttoned tight to
the ankle, striped stockings, and opera-hat; in fact he was always
carefully dressed, but never the slave of fashion.

"Brummel's tailors were Schweitzer and Davidson in Cork Street; Weston;
and a German of the name of Meyer, who lived in Conduit Street. The
trousers which opened at the bottom of the leg, and were closed by
buttons and loops, were invented either by Meyer or Brummel. The Beau,
at any rate, was the first who wore them, and they immediately became
quite the fashion and continued so for some years."

Brummel was addicted to practical jokes, one of which may be related.
The victim was an old French emigrant, whom he had met on a visit
to Woburn or Chatsworth, and into whose hair-pouch he managed to
introduce some finely-powdered sugar. Next morning the poor Marquis,
quite unconscious of his head being so well-sweetened, joined the
breakfast-table as usual; but scarcely had he made his bow and plunged
his knife into the Perigord pie before him, than the flies began to
desert the walls and windows to settle upon his head. The weather was
exceedingly hot; the flies of course numerous, and even the honeycomb
and marmalade upon the table seemed to have lost all attraction for
them. The Marquis relinquished his knife and fork to drive off the
enemy with his handkerchief. But scarcely had he attempted to renew
his acquaintance with the Perigord pie, than back the whole swarm
came, more teazingly than ever. Not a wing was missing. More of the
company who were not in the secret, could not help wondering at this
phenomenon, as the buzzing grew louder and louder every moment. Matters
grew still worse when the sugar, melting, poured down the Frenchman's
brow and face in thick streams; for his tormentors then changed their
ground of action, and having thus found a more vulnerable part, nearly
drove him mad with their stings. Unable to bear it any longer, he
clasped his head with both hands, and rushed out of the room in a cloud
of powder, followed by his persevering tormentors, and the laughter of
the company.

Brummel was the autocrat of the world in which he moved. It has been
said that Madame de Staël was in awe of him, and considered her having
failed to please him as her greatest misfortune; while the Prince of
Wales having neglected to call upon her, she placed only as a secondary
cause of lamentation. The great French authoress, however, was not
without reason in her regrets; to offend or not to please Brummel was
to lose caste in the fashionable world, to be exposed to the most
cutting sarcasm and the most poignant ridicule.

Captain Jesse thus tells the story of Brummel's _cutting_ quarrel with
the Prince of Wales. Lord Alvanley, Brummel, Henry Pierrepoint, and
Sir Harry Mildmay, gave at the Hanover Square Rooms a fête, which was
called the Dandies' Ball. Alvanley was a friend of the Duke of York;
Harry Mildmay, young, and had never been introduced to the Prince
Regent; Pierrepoint knew him slightly, and Brummel was at daggers
drawn with his Royal Highness. No invitation was, however, sent to the
Prince, but the ball excited much interest and expectation, and to the
surprise of the Amphitryons, a communication was received from his
Royal Highness intimating his wish to be present. Nothing, therefore,
was left but to send him an invitation, which was done in due form,
and in the name of the four spirited givers of the ball; the next
question was how were they to receive the guest, and which, after some
discussion, was arranged thus:--When the approach of the Prince was
announced, each of the four gentlemen took in due form a candle in
his hand. Pierrepoint, as knowing the Prince, stood nearest the door
with his wax-light; and Mildmay, as being young and void of offence,
opposite. Alvanley, with Brummel opposite, stood immediately behind the
other two. The Prince at length arrived, and, as was expected, spoke
civilly and with recognition to Pierrepoint, and then turned and spoke
a few words to Mildmay; advancing, he addressed several sentences to
Alvanley; and then turned towards Brummel, looked at him, but as if he
did not know who he was, or why he was there, and without bestowing on
him the slightest recognition. It was then, at the very instant he
passed on, that Brummel, seizing with infinite fun and readiness the
notion that they were unknown to each other, said aloud for the purpose
of being heard, "Alvanley, who's your fat friend?" Those who were in
front, and saw the Prince's face, say that he was cut to the quick by
the aptness of the remark.

[Illustration: Lord Alvanley. A pillar of White's.]

Mr. Grantley Berkeley (in his _Life and Recollections_) relates the
story less circumstantially:--"There is a well-known anecdote I am able
to correct, given to me by a medical friend of mine, who had it from
the late Henry Pierrepoint, brother to the late Lord Manners:--'We
of the Dandy Club issued invitations to a ball from which Brummel
had influence enough to get the Prince excluded. Some one told the
Prince this, upon which his Royal Highness wrote to say he intended
to have the pleasure of being at our ball. A number of us lined the
entrance-passage to receive the Prince, who, as he passed along, turned
from side to side to shake hands with each of us; but when he came to
Brummel, he passed him without the smallest notice, and turned to shake
hands with the man opposite to Brummel. As the Prince turned from that
man--I forget who it was--Brummel leaned forward across the passage,
and said, in a loud voice, 'Who is your fat friend?' We were all
dismayed; but in those days Brummel could do no wrong."

The following story was supplied to Captain Jesse by a correspondent.
The Beau, it appears, had a great _penchant_ for snuff-boxes:--"Brummel
had a collection chosen with singular sagacity and good taste; and one
of them had been seen and admired by the Prince, who said, 'Brummel,
this box must be mine: go to Gray's and order any box you like in lieu
of it.' Brummel begged that it might be one with his Royal Highness'
miniature; and the Prince, pleased and flattered at the suggestion,
gave his assent to the request. Accordingly, the box was ordered, and
Brummel took great pains with the pattern and form, as well as with the
miniature and diamonds round it. When some progress had been made, the
portrait was shown to the Prince; who was charmed with it, suggested
slight improvements and alterations, and took the liveliest interest
in the work as it proceeded. All in fact was on the point of being
concluded when the scene at Claremont took place; [where this writer
describes the quarrel as originating, through the Prince preventing
Brummel from joining a party, on the plea of Mrs. Fitzherbert disliking
him.] A day or two after this, Brummel thought he might as well go to
Gray's and inquire about the box; he did so, and was told that special
directions had been sent by the Prince of Wales that the box was not to
be delivered: it never was, nor was the one returned for which it was
to have been an equivalent. It was this, I believe, more than anything
besides, which induced Brummel to bear himself with such unbending
hostility towards the Prince of Wales. He felt that he had treated him
unworthily, and from this moment he indulged himself by saying the
bitterest things. When pressed by poverty, however, and, as I suppose,
broken in spirit, he at a later period recalled the Prince's attention
to the subject of the snuff-box. Colonel Cooke (who was at Eton called
'Cricketer Cooke,' afterwards known as 'Kangaroo Cooke'), when passing
through Calais, saw Brummel, who told him the story, and requested
that he would inform the Prince Regent that the promised box had never
been given, and that he was now constrained to recall the circumstance
to his recollection. The Regent's reply was: 'Well, Master Kang, as
for the box it is all nonsense; but I suppose the poor devil wants a
hundred guineas, and he shall have them;' and it was in this ungracious
manner that the money was sent, received, and acknowledged. I have
heard Brummel speak of the affair of the snuff-box, but I never heard
him say that he received the hundred guineas."

Brummel, late in life, stood to his Whig colours. His evening dress
consisted of a blue coat, with velvet collar and the consular button;
a buff waistcoat, black trousers and boots. His white neckcloth was
unexceptionable. The only articles of jewellery about him were a plain
ring and a massive chain of Venetian ducat-gold, which served as a
guard to his watch, and was evidently as much for use as ornament, only
two links of it were to be seen; those passed from the buttons of his
waistcoat to the pocket; the chain was peculiar, and was of the same
pattern as those suspended _in terrorem_ outside the principal entrance
to Newgate. The ring was dug out on the Field of the Cloth of Gold by a
labourer, who sold it to Brummel when he was at Calais. An opera-hat,
and gloves which were held in his hand, completed an attire that being
remarkably quiet, could never have attracted attention on any other
person. His _mise_ was peculiar only for its extreme neatness, and
wholly at variance with an opinion very prevalent among those who were
not personally acquainted with him, that he owed his reputation to his
tailor, or to an exaggerated style of dress.

Brummel, however, maintained his supremacy in the world of fashion for
years after the Prince had _cut_ him. "But though even royal disfavour
could not seriously lower him, he managed in the end to do that which
no one else could do, he ruined himself; the gaming table, in the
long run, deprived him of all his fortune. Then came bills to supply
the deficiencies of the hour, and with that the consummation which
they never fail to bring about when necessity has recourse to them. A
quarrel ensuing with the friends joined in one of these acceptances,
and who accused him of taking the lion's share, he was obliged to quit
England and take up his abode at Calais. It has been said, ludicrously
enough, that Brummel and Bonaparte fell together. The Moscow of the
former, according to his own account, was a crooked sixpence, to
the possession of which his good fortune was attached, but which he
unfortunately lost.

"But, if he had lost his magical sixpence, he had not yet exhausted all
his friends, from some of whom he was continually receiving even large
sums of money, so much in one instance as a thousand pounds. He was
thus enabled to furnish his lodgings according to his usual refined
habits, and living much retired, he set seriously to work in acquiring
the French language, and succeeded.

"His resources now decreased. Some friends were lost to him by death,
others, perhaps, grew weary of relieving him. A visit of George IV.
held out to him a momentary gleam of hope. But the king came to Calais,
and did not send for him, or in any way notice him. Still he was not
wholly bereft of friends, but continued from time to time to receive
remittances from England; and at length, by the intervention of the
Duke of Wellington with King William, Brummel was appointed English
Consul in the capital of Lower Normandy. By this time he was deeply
involved in debt, and when he had settled at Caen, the large deductions
made from his income to discharge the arrears of debt incurred at
Calais left him an insufficiency for a man of his habits. He became as
deeply involved at Caen as he had before been at Calais. Next, upon his
own showing of its uselessness, the consulate at Caen was abolished,
and he was left penniless. He obtained funds from England. But he had
more than one attack of paralysis. He was flung into prison at Caen
by his French creditors, and confined in a wretched, filthy den, with
felons for his companions. He was enabled by aid from England to leave
his prison, after more than two months' confinement. Sickness, loss
of memory, absolute imbecility, and finally, inability to distinguish
bread from meat, or wine from coffee, now came with their attendant
ills. His friends obtained him admission into the hospital of the _Bon
Sauveur_, and he was placed in a comfortable room, that had once been
occupied by the celebrated Bourrienne. Here he died on the evening of
the 30th of March, 1840."[6]

[6] Abridged from Sir Bernard Burke's _Family Romance_, vol. i.

The different stages of mental decay through which this unfortunate man
passed, before he became hopelessly imbecile, it is painful to read of.
One of his most singular eccentricities was, on certain nights some
strange fancy would seize him that it was necessary he should give a
party, and he accordingly invited many of the distinguished persons
with whom he had been intimate in former days, though some of them
were already dead. On these gala evenings he desired his attendant to
arrange his apartment, set out a whist table, and light the _bougies_
(he burnt only tallow at the time), and at eight o'clock this man,
to whom he had already given his instructions, opened wide the door
of his sitting-room, and announced the "Duchess of Devonshire." At
the sound of her grace's well-remembered name, the Beau, instantly
rising from his chair, would advance towards the door, and greet the
cold air from the staircase as if it had been the beautiful Georgiana
herself. If the dust of that fair creature could have stood reanimate
in all her loveliness before him, she would not have thought his bow
less graceful than it had been thirty-five years before; for, despite
poor Brummel's mean habiliments and uncleanly person, the supposed
visitor was received with all his former courtly ease of manner, and
the earnestness that the pleasure of such an honour might be supposed
to excite. "Ah! my dear Duchess," faltered the Beau, "how rejoiced am
I to see you; so very amiable of you at this short notice! Pray bury
yourself in this arm-chair: do you know it was a gift to me from the
Duchess of York, who was a very kind friend of mine; but, poor thing,
you know she is no more." Here the eyes of the old man would fill with
the tears of idiocy, and, sinking into the _fauteuil_ himself, he would
sit for some time looking vacantly at the fire, until Lord Alvanley,
Worcester, or any other old friend he chose to name, was announced,
when he again rose to receive them and went through a similar
pantomime. At ten his attendant announced the carriages, and this farce
was at an end.

Brummel's sayings are not brilliant in point. They doubtless owed their
success to the inimitable impudence with which they were uttered. We
have thrown together a few of his many repartees.

Dining at a gentleman's house in Hampshire, where the champagne was
very far from being good, he waited for a pause in the conversation,
and then condemned it by raising his glass, and saying loud enough to
be heard by every one at the table, "John, give me some more of that

"Brummel, you were not here yesterday," said one of his club friends;
"where did you dine?" "Dine! why with a person of the name of R----s. I
believe he wishes me to notice him, hence the dinner; but, to give him
his due, he desired that I would make up the party myself, so I asked
Alvanley, Mills, Pierrepoint, and a few others; and I assure you the
affair turned out quite unique; there was every delicacy in or out of
season; the sillery was perfect, and not a wish remained ungratified;
but, my dear fellow, conceive my astonishment when I tell you that Mr.
R----s had the assurance to sit down and dine with us."

An acquaintance having, in a morning call, bored him dreadfully
about some tour he made in the north of England, inquired with great
pertinacity of his impatient listener which of the lakes he preferred?
When Brummel, quite tired of the man's tedious raptures, turned his
head imploringly towards his valet, who was arranging something in the
room, and said, "Robinson?" "Sir." "Which of the lakes do I admire?"
"Windermere, sir," replied that distinguished individual. "Ah, yes;
Windermere," repeated Brummel; "so it is--Windermere."

Having been asked by a sympathising friend how he happened to get such
a severe cold, his reply was, "Why, do you know, I left my carriage
yesterday evening, on my way to town from the Pavilion, and the infidel
of a landlord put me into a room with a damp stranger."

On being asked by one of his acquaintance, during a very unseasonable
summer, if he had ever seen such an one, he replied, "Yes; last winter."

Having fancied himself invited to some one's country seat, and being
given to understand, after one night's lodging, that he was in error,
he told an unconscious friend in town, who asked him what sort of place
it was, "that it was an exceedingly good house for stopping one night

On the night that he quitted London, the Beau was seen as usual at
the opera, but he left early, and, without returning to his lodgings,
stepped into a chaise which had been procured for him by a noble
friend, and met his own carriage a short distance from town. Travelling
all night as fast as four post-horses and liberal donations could
enable him, the morning dawned on him at Dover, and immediately on his
arrival there he hired a small vessel, put his carriage on board, and
was landed in a few hours on the other side. By this time the West-end
had awoke and missed him, particularly his tradesmen.

It was while promenading one day on the pier, and not long before he
left Calais, that an old associate of his, who had just arrived by the
packet from England, met him unexpectedly in the street, and, cordially
shaking hands with him, said, "My dear Brummel, I am so glad to to
see you, for we had heard in England that you were dead; the report,
I assure you, was in very general circulation when I left." "Mere
stock-jobbing, my good fellow--mere stock-jobbing," was the Beau's

We have said that Brummel's grandfather was a pastrycook. His aunt is
said to have been the widow of a grandson of Brawn, the celebrated
cook who kept 'The Rummer,' in Queen Street, and who had himself kept
'The Rummer' public-house, at the Old Mews Gate, at Charing Cross.
Brummel spoke with a relish worthy a descendant of 'The Rummer,' of
the savoury pies of his aunt Brawn, who then resided at Kilburn. Henry
Carey, in the _Dissertation on Dumpling_, assumes Braun, or Braund, as
he calls him, to have been the direct descendant in the male line of
his imaginary Brawnd, knighted by King John for his unrivalled skill in
making dumplings, and who subsequently resided, as he tells us, "at the
ancient manor of Brands, _alias_ Braunds, near Kilburn, in Middlesex."
Curious the accident that found Brummel's "Aunt Brawn" a resident at
Kilburn, a century after the _Dissertation on Dumpling_ was written.

[Illustration: Beau Brummel at Calais.]

[Illustration: Sir Lumley Skeffington in a "Jean de Brie."]

Sir Lumley Skeffington, Bart.

This accomplished gentleman was the son of Sir William Skeffington, a
much respected Baronet of Bilsdon, in Leicestershire, where he enjoyed
considerable estates and great provincial esteem. He was born in 1778,
and was educated at Soho School, and at Newcome's, at Hackney. At
the latter he distinguished himself in the dramatic performances for
which the school was long celebrated. Dr. Benjamin Hoadley, author
of _The Suspicious Husband_, and his brother, Dr. John Hoadley, were
both educated here, and shone in their amateur performances; at the
representation of 1764, there were upwards of "one hundred gentlemen's
coaches." Young Skeffington excelled in Hamlet, as he afterwards shone
in "the glass of fashion." His hereditary prospects afforded him a
ready introduction to the fashionable world, and during upwards of
twenty years he was considered as a leader of _ton_, and one of the
most finished gentlemen in England. He was a person of considerable
taste in literature: he wrote _The Word of Honour_, a comedy, and the
dialogue and songs of a highly finished melodrama, founded on the
legend of _The Sleeping Beauty_. In 1818 he lost his father, who having
embarrassed his estates, his son, as an act of filial duty to rescue a
parent from distress, consented to the cutting off the entail, by which
he deprived himself of that substantial provision without which the
life of a gentleman is a life of misery.

Sir Lumley was the dandy of the olden time, and a kinder,
better-hearted man never existed. He was of the most polished manners;
nor had his long intercourse with fashionable society at all affected
that simplicity of character for which he was remarkable. He was a
true dandy, and much more than that, he was a perfect gentleman. In
1827, a contributor to the _New Monthly Magazine_ wrote: "I remember,
long, long since, entering Covent Garden Theatre, when I observed
a person holding the door to let me pass; deeming him to be one of
the box-keepers, I was about to nod my thanks, when I found, to my
surprise, that it was Skeffington who had thus good-naturedly honoured
a stranger by his attention. We with some difficulty obtained seats in
a box, and I was indebted to accident for one of the most agreeable
evenings I remember to have passed.

"I remember visiting the Opera when late dinners were the rage, and
the hour of refection was carried far into the night. I was again
placed near the fugleman of fashion, for to his movements were all eyes
directed, and his sanction determined the accuracy of all conduct. He
bowed from box to box, until recognizing one of his friends in the
lower tier, 'Temple,' he exclaimed, drawling out his weary words,
'at--what--hour--do--you--dine--to-day?' It had gone half-past eleven
when he spoke.

"I saw him once enter St. James's Church, having at the door taken
a ponderous red morocco prayer-book from his servant; but although
prominently placed in the centre aisle, the pew-opener never offered
him a seat; and stranger still, none of his many friends beckoned him
to a place. Others in his rank of life might have been disconcerted at
the position in which he was placed; but Skeffington was too much of
a gentleman to be in any way disturbed; so he seated himself upon the
bench between two aged female paupers, and most reverently did he go
through the service, sharing with the ladies his book, the print of
which was more favourable to their devotions than their own diminutive

Sir Lumley Skeffington continued to the last to take especial interest
in the theatre and its artists, notwithstanding his own reduced
fortunes. He was a worshipper of female beauty, his adoration being
poured forth in ardent verse. Thus, in the spring 1829, he inscribed to
Miss Foote the following ballad:

    When the frosts of the Winter in mildness were ending,
      To April I gave half the welcome of May;
    While the Spring, fresh in youth, came delightfully blending
      The buds that are sweet, and the songs that are gay.

    As the eyes fixed the heart on a vision so fair,
      Not doubting, but trusting what magic was there,
    Aloud I exclaim'd, with augmented desire,
      I thought 'twas the Spring, when in truth 'twas Maria!

    When the fading of stars in the region of splendour
      Announc'd that the morning was young in the east,
    On the upland I rov'd, admiration to render,
      Where freshness, and beauty, and lustre increas'd.

    Whilst the beams of the morning new pleasures bestow'd,
      While fondly I gaz'd, while with rapture I glow'd,
    In sweetness commanding, in elegance bright,
      Maria arose! a more beautiful light.

Again, on the termination of the engagement of Miss Foote, at Drury
Lane Theatre, in May, 1826, Sir Lumley addressed her in the following

    Maria departs! 'tis a sentence of dread;
    For the Graces turn pale, and the Fates droop their head!
    In mercy to breasts that tumultuously burn,
    Dwell no more on departure, but speak of return.
    Since she goes when the buds are just ready to burst,
    In expanding its leaves, let the willow be first.
    We here shall no longer find beauties in May;
    It cannot be Spring when Maria's away!
    If vernal at all, 'tis an April appears,
    For the blossom flies off in the midst of our tears.

Sir Lumley, through the ingratitude and treachery of

     Friends found in sunshine, to be lost in storm,

became involved in difficulties and endless litigation, and his latter
years were clouded with sorrow; still his buoyant spirits never
altogether left him, although "the observed of all observers" passed
his latter years in compulsory residence in a quarter of the great town
ignored by the Sybarites of St. James's.

When Madame Vestris established a theatre of her own, Sir Lumley thus
sang, in the columns of _The Times_:--

    Now Vestris, the tenth of the Muses,
      To Mirth rears a fanciful dome,
    We mark, while delight she infuses,
      The Graces find beauty at home.

    In her eye such vivacity glitters,
      To her voice such perfections belong,
    That care, and the life it embitters,
      Find balm in the sweets of her song.

    When monarchs o'er valleys are ranging,
      A court is transferr'd to the green;
    And flowers, transplanted, are changing
      Not fragrance, but merely the scene.

    'Tis circumstance dignifies places;
      A desert is charming with spring!
    And pleasure finds twenty new graces
      Wherever the Vestris may sing!

Sir Lumley, who had long been unheard of in fashionable circles, died
in London in 1850 or 1851.

[Illustration: Skiffy at the Birthday Ball.]

[Illustration: Robert Coates, the Amateur of Fashion, as Romeo.]

"Romeo" Coates.

This celebrated leader of fashion, who rejoiced in the sobriquets of
"Romeo" and "Diamond," obtained the former from his love of amateur
acting, and the latter from his great wealth obtained from the West
Indies. He was likewise noted by his splendid curricle, the body of
which was in the form of a cockleshell, bearing the cock-bird as his
crest; and the harness of the horses was mounted with metal figures of
the same bird, with which got associated the motto of "Whilst we live,
we'll crow."

By his amateur performances he shared with young Betty (Roscius)
the admiration of the town. A writer in the _New Monthly Magazine_,
1827, pleasantly describes one of these performances:--"Never shall I
forget his representation of Lothario (some sixty years since), at the
Haymarket Theatre, for his own pleasure, as he accurately termed it;
and certainly the then rising fame of Liston was greatly endangered by
his Barbadoes rival. Never had Garrick or Kemble in their best times so
largely excited the public attention and curiosity. The very remotest
nooks of the galleries were filled by fashion; while in a stage-box sat
the performer's notorious friend, the Baron Ferdinand Geramb.

"Coates's lean Quixotic form being duly clothed in velvets and in
silks, and his bonnet highly fraught with diamonds (whence his
appellation), his entrance on the stage was greeted by so general a
_crowing_ (in allusion to the large cocks, which as his crest adorned
his harness), that the angry and affronted Lothario drew his sword upon
the audience, and actually challenged the rude and boisterous tenants
of the galleries, _seriatim_ or _en masse_, to combat on the stage.
Solemn silence, as the consequence of mock fear, immediately succeeded.
The great actor, after the overture had ceased, amused himself for some
time with the Baron ere he condescended to indulge the wishes of an
anxiously expectant audience.

"At length he commenced: his appeals to the heart were made by the
application of the left hand so disproportionately lower down than
'the seat of life' has been supposed to be placed; his contracted
pronunciation of the word 'breach,' and other new readings and actings,
kept the house in a right joyous humour, until the climax of all mirth
was attained by the dying scene of

     that gallant, gay Lothario:

but who shall describe the grotesque agonies of the dark seducer, his
platted hair escaping from the comb that held it, and the dark crineous
cordage that flapped upon his shoulders in the convulsions of his dying
moments, and the cries of the people for medical aid to accomplish his
eternal exit? Then, when in his last throes his coronet fell, it was
miraculous to see the defunct arise, and after he had spread a nice
handkerchief on the stage, and there deposited his head-dress, free
from impurity, philosophically resume his dead condition; but it was
not yet over, for the exigent audience, not content 'that when the men
were dead, why there an end,' insisted on a repetition of the awful
scene, which the highly flattered corpse executed three several times,
to the gratification of the cruel and torment-loving assembly."

Coates was destined to be tantalized by the celebrated fête given
at Carlton House, in 1821, in honour of the Bourbons. Having no
opportunity of learning in the West Indies the propriety of being
presented at Court ere he could be upon a more intimate footing with
the Prince Regent, he was less astonished than delighted at the
reception of an invitation on that occasion to Carlton House. What
was the fame acquired by his cockleshell curricle; his theatrical
reputation; all the applause attending the perfection of histrionic
art; the flatteries of Billy Finch, a sort of kidnapper of juvenile
actors and actresses of the O.P. and P.S., in Russell Court; the
sanction of a Petersham; the intimacy of a Barry More; even the polite
endurance of a Skeffington to this! To be classed with the proud,
the noble, and the great! It seemed a natural query whether the
Bourbon's name were not a pretext for his own introduction to Royalty,
under circumstances of unprecedented splendour and magnificence. It
must have been so. What cogitations respecting dress, and air, and
port, and bearing! What torturing of the confounded lanky locks, to
make them but revolve ever so little! Then the rich cut velvet,--the
diamond buttons,--ay, every one was composed of brilliants. The night
arrived--but for Coates's mortification. Theodore Hook had contrived to
imitate one of the Chamberlain's tickets, and to produce a facsimile,
commanding the presence of Coates; he then put on a scarlet uniform,
and delivered the card himself. On the night of the fête, June 19th,
Hook stationed himself by the screen at Carlton House, and saw Romeo
arrive and enter the palace; he passed in without question, but the
forgery was detected by the Private Secretary, and Coates had to
retrace his steps to the street, and his carriage being driven off,
to get home to Craven Street in a hackney-coach. When the Prince was
informed of what had occurred, he signified his regret at the course
the Secretary had taken; he was sent by his Royal Highness to apologize
in person, and invite Coates to come and look at the state rooms; and
Romeo went.

Mr. Coates, who by his cockleshell curricle had acquired some of his
celebrity, lost his life by a vehicular accident: he died February 23,
1848, from being run over in one of the London streets. He was in his
seventy-sixth year.

Abraham Newland.

Abraham Newland, who was nearly sixty years in the service of the Bank
of England, and whose name became a synonym for a bank-note, was one of
a family of twenty-five children, and was born in Southwark in 1730.
At the age of eighteen he entered the Bank service as junior clerk. He
was very fond of music, which led him into much dissipation. Still,
he was very attentive to business, and in 1782 he was appointed chief
cashier, with a suite of rooms for residence in the Bank, and for
five-and-twenty years he never once slept out of the building. The
pleasantest version of his importance is contained in the famous song
in the _Whims of the Day_, published in 1800:--

    There ne'er was a name so handed by fame,
      Thro' air, thro' ocean, and thro' land,
    As one that is wrote upon every bank note,
      And you all must know Abraham Newland.
                Oh, Abraham Newland!
                Notified Abraham Newland!
    I have heard people say, sham Abraham you may,
      But you must not sham Abraham Newland.

    For fashion or arts, should you seek foreign parts,
      It matters not wherever you land,
    Jew, Christian, or Greek, the same language they speak
      That's the language of Abraham Newland!
                Oh, Abraham Newland!
                Wonderful Abraham Newland!
    Tho' with compliments cramm'd, you may die and be d--d,
      If you hav'n't an Abraham Newland.

    The world is inclin'd to think Justice is blind;
      Lawyers know very well they can view land;
    But, Lord, what of that, she'll blink like a bat
      At the sight of an Abraham Newland.
                Oh, Abraham Newland!
                Magical Abraham Newland!
    Tho' Justice, 'tis known, can see through a millstone,
      She can't see through Abraham Newland.

    Your patriots who bawl for the good of us all,
      Kind souls! here like mushrooms they strew land;
    Tho' loud as a drum, each proves orator mum,
      If attack'd by an Abraham Newland!
                Oh, Abraham Newland!
                Invincible Abraham Newland!
    No argument's found in the world half so sound
      As the logic of Abraham Newland!

    The French say they're coming, but sure they are mumming;
      I know what they want if they do land;
    We'll make their ears ring in defence of our king,
      Our country, and Abraham Newland.
                Oh, Abraham Newland!
                Darling Abraham Newland!
    No tricolour, elf, nor the devil himself
      Shall e'er rob us of Abraham Newland.

In 1807, he retired from the office of chief cashier, after declining
a pension. He had hitherto been accustomed, after the business at
the Bank in his department had closed, and he had dined moderately,
to order his carriage and drive to Highbury, where he drank tea at a
small cottage. Many who lived in that neighbourhood long recollected
Newland's daily walk--hail, rain, or sunshine--along Highbury Place. It
was said that he regretted his retirement from the Bank; but he used
to say that not for 20,000_l._ a year would he return. He then removed
to No. 38, Highbury Place. His health and strength declined, it is
said, through the distress of mind brought upon him by the forgeries of
Robert Aslett, a clerk in the Bank, whom Newland had treated as his own
son. It was well known that Abraham had accumulated a large fortune;
legacy-hunters came about him, and an acquaintance sent him a ham as a
present; but Newland despised the mercenary motive, and next time he
saw the donor he said, "I have received a ham from you; I thank you for
it," said he, but raising his finger in a significant manner, added, "I
tell you it won't do, it won't do."

Newland had no extravagant expectations that the world would be drowned
in sorrow when it should be his turn to leave it; and he wrote this
ludicrous epitaph on himself shortly before his death:--

    Beneath this stone old Abraham lies:
    Nobody laughs and nobody cries.
    Where he's gone, and how he fares,
    No one knows, and no one cares!

His physician, in one of his latest visits, found him reading the
newspaper, when the doctor expressing his surprise, Newland replied,
smiling, "I am only looking in the paper in order to see what I am
reading to the world I am going to." He died November 21, 1807, without
any apparent pain of body or anxiety of mind, and his remains were
deposited in the church of St. Saviour, Southwark.

Newland's property amounted to 200,000_l._, besides a thousand a year
landed estates. It must not be supposed that this was saved from his
salary. During the whole of his career, the loans for the war proved
very prolific. A certain amount of them was always reserved for the
cashier's office (one Parliamentary Report names 100,000_l._), and
as they generally came out at a premium, the profits were great. The
family of the Goldsmids, then the leaders of the Stock Exchange,
contracted for many of these loans, and to each of them he left 500_l._
to purchase a mourning ring. Newland's large funds, it is said, were
also occasionally lent to the Goldsmids to assist their various

[Illustration: Squire Mytton on his bear.]

The Spendthrift Squire of Halston, John Mytton.

The extravagant fellows of a family, says Sir Bernard Burke, Ulster,
have done more to overturn ancient houses than all the other causes
put together; and no case could be more in point to establish the
fact than the history of John Mytton, descended from the Myttons of
Halston, who represented, in the days of the Plantagenets, the borough
of Shrewsbury in Parliament, and filled the office of High Sheriff
of Shropshire at a very remote period. So far back as 1480, Thomas
Mytton, when holding that appointment, was the fortunate captor of
Stafford, Duke of Buckingham, whom he conducted to Salisbury for trial
and decapitation; and in requital Richard III. bestowed on "his trusty
and well-beloved squire, Thomas Mytton," the Duke's forfeited castle
and lordship of Cawes. Halston, to which the Myttons transferred their
seat from their more ancient residence of Cawes Castle and Habberley,
is called in ancient deeds "Holystone," and was in early times a
preceptory of Knights Templars. The Abbey, taken down about one hundred
and sixty years ago, was erected near where the present mansion stands.
In the good old times of Halston, before reckless waste had dismantled
its halls and levelled its ancestral woods, the oak was seen here in
its full majesty of form; and it is related that one particular tree,
coeval with many centuries of the family's greatness, was cut down by
the spendthrift squire in the year 1826, and contained ten tons of

In the great civil war, Mytton of Halston was one of the few Shropshire
gentlemen who joined the Parliamentary standard. From this gallant
and upright Parliamentarian, the fifth in descent was John Mytton,
the eccentric, wasteful, dissipated, open-hearted, open-handed Squire
of Halston, in whose day and by whose wanton extravagance and folly,
a time-honoured family and a noble estate, the inheritance of five
hundred years, was recklessly destroyed.

John Mytton was born September 30th, 1796. His father died when he
was only eighteen months old, so that his minority lasted almost
twenty years; and during its continuance a very large sum of money
was accumulated, which, added to a landed property of full 10,000_l._
a year, and a pedigree of even Salopian antiquity and distinction,
rendered the Squire of Halston one of the first commoners in England.
But a boyhood unrestrained by proper control, and an education utterly
neglected, led to a course of profligacy and eccentricity, amounting
almost to madness, that marred all these gifts of fortune. Young Mytton
commenced by being expelled from both Westminster and Harrow; and
though he was entered on the books of the two universities, he did not
matriculate at either; the only indication he ever gave of an intention
to do so was his ordering three pipes of port wine to be sent to him,
addressed "Cambridge." When a mere child, he had been allowed a pack of
harriers at Halston, and at the age of ten was a confirmed scapegrace.
At nineteen he entered the 7th Hussars, and immediately joined his
regiment, then with the army of occupation in France. Fighting was,
however, all over, and the young Cornet turned at once to racing and
gaming, in which he was a serious loser.

In 1818 he married the eldest daughter of Sir Thomas Tyrrwhitt Jones,
Bart., of Stanley Hall. By this lady, who died in 1820, he had an only
child, Harriet, married in 1841 to Clement, youngest brother of Lord
Hill. After his wife's decease, the wayward extravagance which marked
the career of John Mytton has probably no parallel. He would not suffer
any one to advise him. When heavy liabilities had been incurred, but
previously to the disposal of the first property he sold, his agent
assured Mr. Mytton that if he would content himself for the following
six years with an income of 6,000_l._, the fine old Shrewsbury
estate--the earliest patrimony of his ancestors--might be saved; when
besought to listen to this warning counsel, "No, no," replied Mytton;
"I would not give a straw for life if it was to be passed on 6,000_l._
a year." The result confirmed the agent's apprehensions: the first
acre alienated led to the gradual dismemberment of the whole estate;
and from this moment may be dated the ruin of the Myttons of Halston.
Such was the prodigality of this unfortunate man, that it was said,
"If Mytton had had an income of 200,000_l._, he would have been in
debt in five years." Most certain it is that, within the last fifteen
years of his life, he squandered full half-a-million sterling, and sold
timber--"the old oaks of Halston"--to the amount, it is stated, of

The late Mr. Apperley (Nimrod) wrote a kindly biography of Mytton,
illustrated with coloured plates of his strange adventures. One gives
a view of Halston, with its glorious plantations, and its noble sheet
of water, through which, as the shortest cut, its eccentric owner is
riding home. Another illustrates Mytton's "wild duck shooting." "He
would sometimes," says Nimrod, "strip to his shirt to follow wild-fowl
in hard weather, and once actually laid himself down on the snow to
await their arrival at dusk. On one occasion he out-heroded Herod,
for he followed some ducks _in puris naturalibus_, and escaped with
perfect impunity." The third plate commemorates a practical joke of
the frolic-loving squire. One evening the clergyman and doctor, who
had dined at Halston, left to return on horseback. Their host having
disguised himself in a countryman's frock and hat, succeeded, by riding
across the park, in confronting them, and then, in true highwayman
voice, he called out, "Stand and deliver!" and before a reply could
be given, fired off his pistol, which had of course only a blank
cartridge. The affrighted gentlemen, Mytton used to say, never rode
half so fast in their lives, as when, with him at their heels, they
fled that night to Oswestry.

Another of the plates exhibits Mr. Mytton in hunting dress, entering
his drawing-room full of company mounted on a bear: and another
exemplifies the old saying, "Light come, light go." Mytton, travelling
in his carriage, on a stormy night from Doncaster, fell asleep while
counting the money he had won; the windows were down, and a great many
of the bank-notes were blown away and lost. The reckless gambler used
often to tell the story as an amusing reminiscence.

Another plate represents Mytton with his shirt in flames. "Did you ever
hear," asks Nimrod, "of a man setting fire to his own shirt to frighten
away the hiccup? Such, however, was done, and in this manner:--'Oh,
this horrid hiccup!' said Mytton, as he stood undressed on the floor,
apparently in the act of getting into bed; 'but I'll frighten it away;'
so seizing a candle, he applied it to the tail of his shirt, and it
being a cotton one, he was instantly enveloped in flames." His life was
only saved by the active exertions of two persons who chanced to be in
the room.

Mytton married, secondly, Miss Giffard, of Chillington, a match of
such misery to the lady, that it ended in a separation. The crisis of
the spendthrift's fate was now impending. All the effects at Halston
were advertised for sale; and very shortly after Mr. Mytton fled to
the Continent to escape from his creditors. "On the 15th of November,
1831," says Nimrod, "during my residence in the town of Calais, I
was surprised by a violent knocking at my door, and so unlike what I
had ever heard before in that quiet town, that being at hand, I was
induced to open the door myself, when, to my no little astonishment,
there stood John Mytton. 'In the name of Heaven,' said I, 'what has
brought you to France?' 'Why,' he replied, '_just what brought yourself
to France_'--parodying the old song--'three couple of bailiffs were
hard at my brush.' But what did I see before me--the active, vigorous,
well-shapen John Mytton, whom I had left some years back in Shropshire?
Oh, no; compared with him, 'twas the reed shaken by the wind; there
stood before me a round-shouldered, decrepit, tottering, _old-young_
man, if I may be allowed such a term, and so bloated by drink! But
there was a worse sight than this--there was a mind as well as a body
in ruins; the one had partaken of the injury done to the other; and
it was at once apparent that the whole was a wreck. In fact, he was a
melancholy spectacle of fallen man."

It appeared that Mytton had been arrested for a paltry debt and thrown
into prison. "I once more," writes Nimrod, "was pained by seeing my
friend looking through the bars of a French prison-window. Here he was
suffered to remain for fourteen days; on the thirteenth day, I thought
it my duty to inform his mother of his situation, and in four days from
the date of my letter she was in Calais. After a time Mytton returned
to England, but only to a prison and a grave. The representative of
one of the most ancient families of his country, at one time M.P. for
Shrewsbury and High Sheriff for Shropshire and Merioneth, the inheritor
of Halston and Mowddwy and almost countless acres, the most popular
sportsman of England, died within the walls of the King's Bench Prison,
at the age of thirty-eight, deserted and neglected by all, save a few
faithful friends and a devoted mother, who stood by his death-bed to
the last."

The announcement of the sad event produced a profound impression in
Shropshire: the people within many miles were deeply affected; the
degradation of Mytton's later years, the faults and follies of his
wretched life, were all forgotten; the generosity, the tenderness of
heart, the manly tastes of poor John Mytton, his sporting popularity,
and his very mad follies, were recalled with affectionate sympathy. His
funeral will long be remembered--three thousand persons attended it,
and a detachment of the North Shropshire Cavalry (of which regiment
the deceased was Major) escorted his remains to the vault in the
chapel of Halston; several private carriages followed, and about one
hundred of the tenantry, tradesmen, and friends on horseback closed the
procession. The body was placed in the family vault, surrounded by the
coffins of twelve of his relatives.

The story of John Mytton is appalling. A family far more ancient
and apparently as vigorous as the grand old oaks that once were the
pride of Halston, was destroyed, after centuries of honourable and
historic eminence, by the mad follies of one man in the brief space
of eighteen years! The magnificent Lordship of Dinas Mowddwy, with it
32,000 acres--originally an appanage of the dynasty of Powis--inherited
through twelve generations from a coheiress of the Royal Lineage of
Powys Wenwynwyn, had been bartered, it is alleged, in adjustment of a
balance on turf and gambling transactions.[7]

[7] Abridged from Sir Bernard Burke's very interesting _Vicissitudes of
Families_. Second Series. 1860.

What a sad conclusion to the history of a very distinguished race,
memorable in the days of the Plantagenets, and renowned in the great
Civil War, is the following record, taken from _The Times_, 2nd April,
1834:--"On Monday, an inquest was held in the King's Bench Prison,
on the body of John Mytton, Esq., who died there on the preceding
Saturday. The deceased inherited considerable estates in the counties
of Salop and Merioneth, for both which he served the office of High
Sheriff, and some time represented the borough of Shrewsbury in
Parliament. His munificence and eccentric gaieties obtained him great
notoriety in the sporting and gay circles, both in England and on the
Continent. Two medical attendants stated that the immediate cause of
his death was disease of the brain (_delirium tremens_), brought on
by the excessive use of spirituous liquours. The deceased was in his
thirty-eighth year. Verdict--'Natural Death.'"

[Illustration: Noble Aide-de-Camp. Lord Petersham.]

Lord Petersham.

This eccentric nobleman, who was the eldest son of Charles, third Earl
of Harrington, was a leader of fashion some thirty years since; he was
tall and handsome; according to Captain Gronow, Lord Petersham very
much resembled the pictures of Henry IV. of France, and frequently
wore a dress not unlike that of the celebrated monarch. He was a great
patron of tailors, and a particular kind of greatcoat was called after
him a "Petersham." When young, he used to cut out his own clothes; he
made his own blacking, which, he said, would eventually supersede every
other. He was also a connoisseur in snuff, and one of his rooms was
fitted up with shelves and beautiful jars for various kinds of snuff,
with the names in gold. Here were also implements for moistening and
mixing snuffs, and Lord Petersham's mixture is to this day a popular
snuff. He possessed also a fine collection of snuff-boxes, and it was
said, a box for every day in the year. Captain Gronow saw him using
a beautiful Sèvres box, which, on being admired, he said was "a nice
summer box, but would not do for winter wear." He was equally choice
of his teas, and in the same room with the snuffs, upon shelves, were
placed tea-canisters, containing Congou, Pekoe, Souchong, Gunpowder,
Russian, and other fine kinds. Indeed, his father's mansion, Harrington
House, was long famous for its tea-drinking; the Earl and Countess and
family, and their visitors, were received upon these occasions in the
long gallery, and here the family of George III. enjoyed many a cup of
tea. It is told that when General Lincoln Stanhope returned from India
after several years' absence, his father welcomed him with "Hallo,
Linky, my dear boy! delighted to see you. _Have a cup of tea!_"

Lord Petersham's equipages were unique; the carriages and horses were
brown; the harness had furniture of antique design; and the servants
wore long brown coats reaching to their heels, and glazed hats with
large cockades. Lord Petersham was a liberal patron of the opera and
the theatres; and two years after he had succeeded his father in the
earldom (of Harrington), he married the beautiful Maria Foote, of
Covent Garden Theatre.

The King and Queen of the Sandwich Islands.

In the year 1824, their "savage Majesties" of the Sandwich Islands
visited England. They were seen by Miss Berry, who, in her entertaining
journal, has thus graphically described their visit:--

"At half-past ten o'clock, I went with the Prince and Princess
Lowenstein, their son, and my sister, to Mr. Canning's, the Secretary
of State, who received for the first time the King and Queen of the
Sandwich Islands. They arrived in the midst of a numerous assembly,
all of the best society, and all _en grande toilette_ for a large
assembly given at Northumberland House. Mr. Canning entered, giving
his hand to a large black woman more than six feet high, and broad in
proportion, muffled up in a striped gauze dress with short sleeves,
leaving uncovered enormous black arms, half covered again with white
gloves; an enormous gauze turban upon her head; black hair, not
curled, but very short; a small bag in her hand, and I do not know
what upon her neck, where there was no gauze. It was with difficulty
that the Minister and his company could preserve a proper gravity for
the occasion. The Queen was followed by a lady in waiting as tall as
herself, and with a gayer and more intelligent countenance. Then came
the King, accompanied by three of his subjects, all dressed, like him,
in European costume; and a fourth, whose office I did not know, but
he wore over his ordinary coat a scarlet and yellow feather cloak,
and a helmet covered with the same material on his head. The King was
shorter than his four courtiers, but they all looked very strong, and,
except the King, all taller than the majority of those who surrounded
them. The two ladies were seated before the fire in the gallery for
some time. Mrs. Canning was presented first to them, and then the Duke
and Duchess of Gloucester and the Prince Leopold. The Queen took the
Duchess of Gloucester by the arm and shook it. One should have pitied
them for the way in which all eyes were turned upon them, and for all
the observations they occasioned; but it seemed to me that their minds
are not sufficiently opened, and that they are not civilized enough
either to notice or to suffer from it. From the gallery, Mr. Canning,
still holding the Queen's hand, conducted them through the apartment
and under the verandah of the garden, where the band of the Guards
regiment, in their full uniform, was playing military airs. Her savage
Majesty appeared much more occupied by the red-plumed hats of the
musicians than by the music. She ought to have been pleased to see that
the officer's helmet of her Court surpassed them as to colour. From
there they were conducted into the dining-room, where there was a fine
collation. The two ladies were seated alone at a table placed across
the room, and ate some cake and drank wine. They appeared awkward in
all their movements, and particularly embarrassed in their walk; there
was nothing of the free step of the savage, being probably embarrassed
by the folds of the European dress."

The King and Queen and their suite were wantonly charged with gluttony
and drunkenness by persons who ought to have known better. "It is
true," observes Lord Byron, in his _Voyage to the Sandwich Islands_,
"that, unaccustomed to our habits, they little regarded regular hours
for meals, and that they liked to eat frequently, though not to excess.
Their greatest luxury was oysters, of which they were particularly
fond; and one day, some of the chiefs having been out to walk, and
seeing a grey mullet, instantly seized it and carried it home, to
the great delight of the whole party; who, on recognizing the native
fish of their own seas, could scarcely believe that it had not swum
hither on purpose for them, or been persuaded to wait till it was
cooked before they ate it." The best proof of their moderation is,
however, that the charge at Osborne's Hotel, in the Adelphi, during
their residence there, amounted to no greater an average than seventeen
shillings a head per day for their table: as they ate little or no
butcher's meat, but lived chiefly on fish, poultry, and fruit, by no
means the cheapest articles in London, their gluttony could not have
been great. So far from their always preferring the strongest liquors,
their favourite beverage was some cider, with which they had been
presented by Mr. Canning.

The popular comic song of _The King of the Cannibal Islands_ was
written _à propos_ to the above royal visit.

Sir Edward Dering's Luckless Courtship.

Sir Edward Dering, the founder of the Surrenden library, and a
distinguished member of Parliament in the troublous times of Charles
I., was born in the Tower of London in 1598, his father having been
deputy-lieutenant of that fortress. He studied at Magdalen College,
Cambridge, and was knighted by James I. in 1618. Sir Edward was
thrice married. The story of an unsuccessful courtship, after his
second widowhood, is as good as a play, and indeed more amusing than
many dramas of the period based upon a similar subject. The object
of this enterprise was a city dame, the widow of a well-connected
mercer, Richard Bennett by name. The widow Bennett, by the custom of
London and the will of her husband, was possessed of two-thirds of the
deceased's property, besides all her jewels and chains of pearl and
gold, her diamond and other rings, her husband's coach and the four
grey coach-mares and geldings, with all things thereunto belonging.
In addition to these substantial recommendations, she seems to have
had some personal charms of her own, and no other encumbrance than
one little boy. In those days it was not necessary to advertise for
a husband, and Mistress Bennett could not lack suitors. Three of
the most conspicuous were named Finch, Crow, and Raven, much to the
amusement of London society in those days. The first was Sir Heneage
Finch, Recorder of London, who had been Speaker of the House of Commons
in 1626, and owned a handsome house at Kensington, since converted into
a Royal Palace. The next was Sir Sackville Crow, who was Treasurer
of the Navy, of which office he was subsequently deprived, owing to
an unfortunate deficit of which he was unable to give a satisfactory
account. The third was one Raven, a physician. This fatuous individual,
not having found much success in the way of ordinary courtship, could
think of no better expedient to gain his ends than to present himself
in the widow's bedchamber after she had retired to rest, when, having
woke the lady, he proceeded to press his suit. The widow screamed
thieves and murder, the servants rushed in, and the doctor was secured
and handed over to the parish constable. On the next day he was brought
before Mr. Recorder, who found the proceeding to be "flat burglary,"
and committed his unlucky rival to gaol. When brought up for trial
he pleaded guilty to the "burglary," but under advice of the judge
withdrew the plea, and was ultimately found guilty of "ill-demeanour,"
and was condemned to fine and imprisonment.

It was on the morning after Dr. Raven's mad freak that Sir Edward
Dering presented himself as a suitor. How he commenced this important
enterprise, and how he sped, we learn from a minute journal which he
kept of his proceedings, and which he did not afterwards think it
necessary to burn. Here are a few entries. Thus begins the journal:--

 Nov. 20. Edmund, King. I adventured, was denied. Sent up a letter,
 which was returned, after she had read it.

This repulse rendered it necessary to resort to crooked means. Servants
are corruptible, and so we find--

 Nov. 21. I inveigled G. Newman with 20_s._

 Nov. 24. I did re-engage him, 20_s._ I did also oil the cash-keeper,

 Nov. 26. I gave Edmund Aspull [the cash-keeper] another 20_s._ I was
 there, but denied sight.

Unpromising this, but Sir Edward does not lose courage.

 Nov. 27. I sent a second letter, _which was kept_.

There is hope, then, but we must not relax. Same day.

 I set Sir John Skeffington upon Matthew Cradock.

Matthew Cradock is a cousin of the widow, and her trusty adviser. Same

 The cash-keeper supped with me.

 Nov. 28. I went to Mr. Cradock, but found him cold.

Sir John Skeffington could not have exerted himself much.

 Nov. 29. I was at the Old Jewry Church and saw her, both forenoon and

 Dec. 1. I sent a third letter, which was likewise kept.

The widow had a troublesome affair on her hands. It appears that one
Steward, under the abominable system of wardships which then prevailed,
had obtained a grant from the crown of the wardship of Mrs. Bennett's
little boy, then four years old. The widow was in treaty with Steward
to buy from him the wardship of her own child, which the rogue refused
to release for 1,500_l._, offered him in hard cash. Between this
affair, and Dr. Raven and other suitors, the widow had enough to think
of. Steward had also made matrimonial proposals, which Mrs. Bennett
deemed it not prudent to cut short at once, while the bargaining for
the wardship was going on. On the 5th December Sir Edward communicates
with one Loe, an influential person with the widow. Loe answers, "that
Steward was so testy that she durst not give admittance unto any, until
he and she were fully concluded for the wardship--that she had a good
opinion of me--that he (Loe) heard nobly of me--that he would inform
me when Steward was off--that he was engaged for another--that I need
not refrain from going to the church where she was, unless I thought
it to disparage myself." Acting on this advice, Sir Edward goes to St.
Olave's next Sunday, and on coming out of church George Newman whispers
in his ear, "Good news! Good news!" After dinner George calls on Sir
Edward, who had taken a lodging in the sight of the widow's house, and
tells him that she "liked well his carriage, and that if his land were
not settled on his eldest son there was good hope." The bearer of such
news certainly merits oiling, so, Sir Edward says, "I gave him twenty
shillings." That evening Sir Edward supped with his rival, Sir Heneage
Finch, who gave him to understand that he himself despaired of his own
suit, and was ready to vacate the field, and even promised to assist
the worthy knight.

The plot now thickens. Sir Edward, on New Year's Day, in a fit of
injured dignity, demanded back those letters that had "been kept;"
they were promptly returned; he afterwards repented him of this rash
proceeding; Izaak Walton, angler, biographer, and man-milliner, was
enlisted in the cause, and laboured strenuously, like an honest man and
an angler, therein; and the widow, Sir Edward, and the enthusiastic
Izaak, all had wonderful dreams, which came to nothing. On the 9th of
January Sir Edward notes, "George Newman says she hath two suits of
silver plate, one in the country and the other here, and that she hath
beds of 100_l._ the bed!" Such a prize deserves striving for, and an
attack is commenced in a new quarter. George Newman, with Susan, the
widow's nursemaid, and her little child, going into Finsbury Fields
to walk, are met by Taylor, Sir Edward's landlord. Taylor inveigles
the child to come with him; George Newman and Susan follow, not
unwillingly. Sir Edward says, "I entertained the child with cake, and
gave him an amber box, and to them, wine. Susan professed that she and
all the house prayed for me, and told me the child called me 'father.'
I gave her 5_s._, and entreated her to desire her mistress not to be
offended at this, which I was so glad of. She said she thought she
would not." The widow's cousin Cradock arrives in town. "Izaak Walton,"
says Sir Edward, "undertook him at his first coming, and did his part
well. Cradock said he would do his best, if I would be ruled by him,"
&c. Other suitors now intervene, and occasion much anxiety. They, too,
have their canvassers and agents, and the widow's residence becomes a
perfect focus of intrigue. The Dean of Canterbury, Dr. Isaac Bargrave,
Sir Edward's relative, is brought to bear, and he procures Dr. Featley,
a celebrated city divine, to call on the widow and use his influence.
The affair begins to assume public importance. The grave Sir Henry
Wotton, coming from Eton to pay his respects to his Majesty, meets Sir
Edward in the Privy Chamber, and, with a knowing look, wishes him "a
full sail," &c. Alas! all this labour and bribery was destined to come
to nothing. The comedy ended by the widow, who all along had kept her
own counsel, marrying the smooth-tongued Sir Heneage Finch, who had sat
quietly in the background, probably knowing his position to be assured.
Sir Edward was more successful in a subsequent matrimonial enterprise.
He found an excellent and amiable wife, and must, we should think, have
often laughed over his adventures with the widow.[8]

[8] This very amusing _précis_ is slightly abridged from the _Athenæum_

Gretna-Green Marriages.

In the summer of 1753, a young lady at Ranelagh Gardens, Chelsea,
became acquainted with a handsome young gentleman. They danced together
on another day; they met at the same place, and again danced. He
was a handsome young fellow, and the lady was beautiful and wealthy,
as well as high-born. She was sister to the two leading statesmen of
England--Mr. Pelham, the Prime Minister; and the Duke of Newcastle,
who had been Secretary of State. Her lover was a notorious highwayman,
Jack Freeland by name, with many other aliases. He, professing to be a
gentleman of fortune, proposed marriage, to which she assented. From
reasons suggested about family objections on both sides, they agreed to
repair to the Fleet prison to be wedded. At the foot of Fleet Street,
matrimonial visitors in that day entered the region of touters, who
accosted couples with such addresses as "Married, sir?" "Wish to be
married, ma'am?" And by rival touters who asserted, "His parson be no
good--only a cove what mends shoes; get married with mine: mine is
a regular hordained parson." Perhaps a third assertion, that "Them
fellows' parsons be no good; get married respectable; show you in no
time to a real Oxford and Cambridge professor." Following these persons
up narrow passages on Ludgate Hill, the couples were married for such
fees as private bargain regulated in dingy up-stairs rooms of taverns:
or going into the Fleet Prison, were united there by clerical prisoners
who found the place too lucrative and pleasant as a lodging to make
them anxious about paying their debts to get out. Those prisoners, like
some other of the "Fleet parsons"--indeed it was from the prison that
the term "Fleet marriages" arose--had also their touters stationed in
the adjoining streets to bring them customers. Miss Pelham and her
gallant highwayman were conducted to a Fleet parson. But a gentleman
happened to observe them who knew both. To save the lady he caused the
robber-bridegroom to be arrested, and carried the tidings to the Prime
Minister, her brother. The case led to much discussion. In the heat
of offended dignity, the Pelhams caused Lord Chancellor Hardwicke to
introduce a Bill for the better regulation and solemnizing of marriage.
It passed hastily through both houses of Parliament, and became law.
Except in the case of Jews and Quakers, it required all parties to be
married by a regularly ordained clergyman of the Church, and only after
a due proclamation of banns.

The Marriage Law of Scotland did not exact that there should be a
religious ceremony, nor even the presence of a clergyman, though the
religious habits of the people prefer both. To be valid, the Scottish
law required only that the marriage contract should be witnessed.
When the Fleet was shut against lovers in 1754, those impatient of
parental control, and possessed of means to defray travelling expenses,
repaired to Scotland. Edinburgh for a time supplied their wants: the
last, we believe, who carried on a regular traffic in runaway weddings
here was Joseph Robertson, who, several years ago, died miserably of
hunger in London. But it was on the line of the borders adjoining
England that those weddings abounded. At Lamberton Toll, the nearest
Scottish ground to Berwick, the business was for many years done at a
very low price. After the erection of the suspension-bridge, six miles
above Berwick, marriages were performed there. A "Sheen Brig" wedding
became a common occurrence both to Northumberland and Berwickshire
lovers. At Coldstream, also, those marriages were common. But it was
at Gretna-Green, and Sark Toll Bar, and Springfield, nine miles from
Carlisle, that the "high-fly" runaways from England tied their nuptial
knots in greatest number. All the space between Carlisle and the Border
was common land, until of late years, inhabited only by smugglers
and persons of unsettled life. The Scottish parish of Gretna, on the
north side of the Sark stream, which there divides the countries, had
a population of a like character. After the act of 1754 had shut the
Fleet parsons out of shop in London, one of them paid his debts in the
prison, and advertised his removal to Gretna. Thither he was followed
by adventurous couples who failed to obtain the consent of parents and
guardians to their union. At his death a native of the place, known
as "Scott o' the Brig" (Sark Bridge), took up the business. He was
succeeded by one Gordon, an old soldier; and Gordon by the notorious
Joseph Paisley. Paisley was succeeded by several rivals, of whom Elliot
and Laing were the principals. Mr. Linton, of Gretna Hall, became chief
priest after Laing's death, which occurred through cold taken in a
journey to Lancaster, in 1826, where he was required as a witness in
the prosecution of the Wakefields for the abduction of Miss Turner.

In 1841, the writer visited Gretna and Springfield to inspect the
registers, and found them a mass of loose papers. At that time the
larger part of the matrimonial trade was done--for couples arriving
on foot--by Mrs. Baillie and Miss Baillie, her daughter, who kept
Sark Bridge Toll; the post-chaise weddings going to Mr. Linton, of
Gretna Hall: his register, unlike the older ones, was a well-written
official-looking volume. Peter Elliot, formerly priest, was then an
old man. He had in his younger days been a postboy, but was reduced to
the office of "strapper" in a stable at Carlisle. Excess of whisky on
his part, and the more genteel competition of the occupier of Gretna
Hall, had driven him out of the marriage trade. But in his lifetime
he had been concerned in many races and chases over the nine miles
between Carlisle and Gretna, and would tell of the beautiful daughters
of England, whom, with whip and spur and shout, and wild halloo, he
had carried at the gallop across the border; the pursuing guardian, or
jilted lover, or angry father in sight behind, urging on post-boys who
also whipped and spurred and hallooed, but took care never to overtake
the fugitives until too late. Then there were tales of how time was too
short even for the brief ceremony, and how the officiating priest broke
off, exclaiming, "Ben the house, ben and into bed, into bed, my leddy!"
They were proud to boast of two Lord Chancellors having been married
there, one of whom, Erskine, arrived in the travelling costume of an
old lady.

About the year 1794 it was estimated that sixty couples were married
annually, they paying an average of 15 guineas each, yielding a revenue
of 945_l._ a year or thereabout. The form of certificate was in latter
times printed, the officiating priest not being always sufficiently
sober to write; nor when sober was he an adept in penmanship, as the
following from the pen of Joseph Paisley may show:--

"This is to sartify all persons that may be concernid that (A. B.) from
the parish of (C.) and in county of (D.) and (E. F.) from the parish
of (G.) and county of (H.), and both comes before me and declayred
themselves both to be single persons, and nowe mayried by the forme of
the Kirk of Scotland and agreeible to the Church of England, and givne
ondre my hand this 18th day of March, 1793."

Joseph Paisley, writer of this, was originally a weaver, at some
other time a tobacconist. He was the so-called "Blacksmith," though
there is no record that he, his predecessors, or successors were real
blacksmiths. He removed from Gretna to the village of Springfield,
half a mile distant, in 1791, and attended to his lucrative employment
till his death in 1814. He was tall in person, and in prime of life
well-proportioned; but before he died had grown enormously corpulent,
weighing upwards of 25 stone. By his natural enemies--the parish
clergymen--he was said to be grossly ignorant and coarse in his
manners, drinking a Scotch pint of whisky in various shapes of toddy
and raw drams in a day. On one occasion he and a companion, named Ned
the Turner, sat down on a Monday morning to an anker of strong cognac,
and before the evening of Saturday they kicked the empty cask out at
the door! He was also celebrated for his stentorian lungs and almost
incredible muscular strength. He could with one hand bend a strong
poker over his arm, and was frequently known to straighten an ordinary
horse-shoe with his hands. But he could not break asunder the bands of
matrimony which he so easily rivetted. Law stamped his handiwork with
the title of sanctity. The Gretna and Sark Toll marriages greatly
increased in number through the facilities of railway conveyance. The
fugitives, when obtaining a start by an express train, could not be
overtaken by another, while the ordinary third-class carried away so
many customers for cheap marriages from their English parish clergy,
that the Legislature was invoked, and enacted that on and after the
1st January, 1857, no marriage should be valid in Scotland unless
the parties had both resided in Scotland for the last six weeks next
preceding the wedding-day. In the evidence upon this Bill, one of the
_marriers_, Murray, of Gretna, admitted that he had married between
700 and 800 couples in a year; and as there were two or three other of
these marriers in good practice, the number of couples married at Sark
Toll Bar and at Gretna may be safely estimated at upwards of 1,000 in a

The alteration in the law was effected through the happy effort of
a magistrate of Cumberland, immediately and ably supported by the
magistrates of the county, who signed a petition committed to the
charge of Lord Brougham. His Lordship forthwith introduced a Bill,
after Easter, 1856, which Bill passed through Parliament without

[9] For the details of the measure, see "Irregular Marriages,"
_Knowledge for the Time_, 1864, pp. 120-123.

The Agapemone, or Abode of Love.

This strange place, Agapemone (Gr. αγαπη love, and μονη an abode), was the general residence of a peculiar sect of
religionists, established in 1845 at Charlinch, near Taunton, in
Somersetshire. They were originally a branch of the sect called
Lampeters, and their peculiar tenets are, that the day of grace and
prayer is passed, and the time of judgment arrived. They carry out
their belief by perpetual praises to God, but do not adopt the use of
prayer. The members enter into a community of property, and profess
to live in a state of constant joyousness and mutual love. In 1849 a
singular trial, connected with this institution, occupied the Court
of Exchequer for three days. It was an action brought by Miss Louisa
Nottidge, a maiden lady of large property, against her brother and
brother-in-law, for forcibly abducting her from the Agapemone, and
confining her in a lunatic asylum. It appeared that the plaintiff and
her three sisters, all ladies of considerable property, had become
converts to the opinions of this sect, and taken up their abode in the
Agapemone, where the sisters were married to three of the clerical
rulers of the establishment; but Miss Louisa Nottidge, who had remained
single, was forcibly taken away by the two defendants, and sent to a
lunatic asylum; for which alleged wrong she obtained 50_l._ damages;
thus showing that she was not insane, and that the law, as the Chief
Baron observed, tolerated every sect, however absurd, that did not
inflict a social wrong, or openly violate the laws of morality.

Since that period the sect has been sending its missionaries to
different parts of the country, in order to gain converts. On the 26th
of September, 1856, two of these missionaries called a meeting at
the Hanover Square Rooms, in London, when one of them addressed the
assembled visitors in an unintelligible jargon relative to the mission
of a certain "Brother Prince," the head of the Agapemone, who had, he
said, been made a "vessel of mercy" for the human race, and who was to
supersede the Gospel by some new religious dispensation which he had
been specially commissioned to teach. The other missionary then stated
that he would explain who Brother Prince was. He was by nature, he
said, a child of wrath, but by grace a vessel of mercy. The testimony
of Brother Prince was concerning what Jesus Christ had done by his own
person. Some eleven years ago, he said, the Holy Ghost fulfilled in
Brother Prince all that he came to be and to do. The speaker proceeded
to allude to a second spiritual manifestation which, he said, occurred
at the Agapemone about five years ago, in which case the phenomenon was
exhibited in the person of a woman--a prophetess--"not privately, but
in the presence of all." These sentiments were uttered in the midst of
general execration; and a resolution was unanimously passed, "That the
statements which had been made that evening were contrary to common
sense, degrading to humanity, and blasphemous towards God."--_English

Singular Scotch Ladies.

Lord Cockburn, in his _Memorials of his Time_, speaks of "a singular
race of Scotch old ladies," who were a delightful set; warm-hearted,
very resolute, indifferent about the modes and habits of the modern
world, and adhering to their own ways, who dressed, spoke, and did
exactly as they chose. Among these examples of perfect naturalness was
a Miss Menie Trotter, of whom Miss Grahame, in her _Mystifications_,
relates:--"She was penurious in small things, but her generosity could
rise to circumstances. Her dower was an annuity from the estate of
Mortonhall. She had contempt for securities, and would trust no bank
with her money, but kept all her bills and bank-notes in a green silk
bag that hung on her toilette-glass. On each side of the table stood
a large white bowl, one of which contained her silver, the other her
copper money, the latter always full to the brim, accessible to Peggy,
her handmaid, or any other servant in the house, for the idea of any
one stealing money never entered her brain. Indeed, she once sent a
present to her niece, Mrs. Cuninghame, of a fifty-pound note wrapped
up in a cabbage-leaf, and entrusted it to the care of a woman who
was going with a basket of butter to the Edinburgh market. My friend
Mrs. Cuninghame related to me this and the following histories of her
aunt:--One day, in the course of conversation, she said to her niece,
'Do you ken, Margaret, that Mrs. Thomas R---- is dead. I was gaun by
the door this morning, and thought I wad just look in and speer for
her. She was very near her end, but quite sensible, and expressed
her gratitude to God for what He had done for her and her fatherless
bairns. She said "she was leaving a large young family with very small
means, but she had that trust in _Him_ that they would not be forsaken,
and that He would provide for them." Now, Margaret, ye'll tell Peggy
to bring down the green silk bag that hangs on the corner of my
looking-glass, and ye'll tak' twa thousand pounds out o' it, and gi'e
it Walter Ferrier for behoof of thae orphan bairns; it will fit out
the laddies, and be something to the lassies. I want to make good the
words, "that God wad provide for them," for what else was I sent that
way this morning, but as a humble instrument in his hands?'"

Miss Trotter had a strong friendship for a certain Mrs. B----, who had
an only son, and he was looked on as a simpleton, but his relatives had
interest to get him a situation as clerk in a bank, where he contrived
to steal money to the extent of five hundred pounds. His peculations
were discovered, and in those days he would have been hanged, but Miss
Trotter hearing the report started instantly for Edinburgh, went to the
bank, and ascertained the truth. She at once laid down five hundred
pounds, telling them, "Ye maun not only stop proceedings, but ye maun
keep him in the bank in some capacity, however mean, till I find some
other employment for him." Then she fitted the lad out, and sent him to
London, where she had a friend to whom she wrote, offering another five
hundred pounds to any one who would procure him a situation abroad, in
which he might gain an honest living, and never be trusted with money.
After all this was settled, she went herself and communicated the facts
to his mother.

Mrs. Bond, of Hackney.

About the year 1771 there died one of the four children of Bond,
a jeweller, residing in an alley leading from Wellclose Square to
Ratcliffe Highway. She left property, to be divided between Mrs. S.
Bond, of Hackney, and a sister. The latter died in the year 1801, and
left her property, amounting to about 6,000_l._, to her surviving
sister, Sarah, who bought an annuity of 700_l._ By living in a most
parsimonious manner she contrived to scrape together about 13,000l.
three per cent., 1,000_l._ four percent., and 150_l._ per year Long

In 1821 Mrs. Bond, who was of most eccentric habits, died at her
residence, Cambridge Heath, Hackney, leaving, it was said, great
wealth, which was to be paid to King George the Fourth, _if no relative
could be found to claim it_. After her death, vestry and parish
clerks, beadles, sextons, country schoolmasters, and persons holding
any official situations about cathedral churches, &c.--in short,
innumerable persons who had leisure or opportunity for such inquiry,
set about searching for Mrs. Bond's pedigree; but all to no effect.
Some ludicrous incidents, however, occurred in the neighbourhood of
Mrs. Bond's residence, where persons arrived from various parts of the
country to claim a relationship. Among the number a man and his son
arrived from Sunderland, whence they had walked. He stated that his
name was Bond; he was sure the deceased was his sister, and he would
not quit London without the money. Upon investigation he could produce
no other authority than being of the same name, and was, therefore,
compelled to retrace his steps, almost penniless.

About a week afterwards, a decently-dressed elderly woman, named
Bond, made her appearance. She had just arrived outside the coach
from the environs of Carmarthen. Her story was that about fifty years
previously (1771), her sister left her and proceeded to London to
seek her fortune. They had never corresponded, but from the name and
description of the deceased, she had no doubt she was her sister, and
the money accordingly belonged to her. It had cost her nearly all the
money she could raise to come from Wales, fully satisfied of being
amply repaid for her trouble, but she met with the same fate as the
preceding applicant.

The next claimant was a sailor, who had just returned from the West
Indies, where he had been _moored_, he said, thirty-five years. He
had left in England two sisters named Bond: one was of very eccentric
manners, particularly for her love of money; the sailor declared that
he had frequently seen her make a meal off cat's meat. The above he
considered sufficient proof of his relationship. He insisted upon
entering a caveat against the claim of his Majesty, but acknowledging
that the King appeared to be the legal claimant, he swore he would go
and see his royal master, and ask him if he had any objection to share
the money with him!

It would be tedious to enumerate the persons who put in their claims
from various parts of the world; but the King's proctor stood first in
the Prerogative Court, and nothing had transpired to affect his right
in behalf of his Majesty.

The hut on Cambridge Heath wherein Mrs. Bond died was closed for some
time; at length it was announced to be let; but such was the anxiety
to get possession of it that the notice was removed. The number of
applications were, doubtless, made under the impression that hoards of
money were yet undiscovered in the hut.

The claimant most likely entitled to the property was a Mr. Bond, a
butcher, in Shoreditch, who traced out that he was second cousin to the
wealthy spinster, his grandfather having been the only brother of the
father of Mrs. Bond; and the only bar to his administering was that he
had not been able to ascertain the church where Mrs. Bond's father and
mother were married, a most essential point to prove the legitimacy
of Mrs. Sarah Bond. There were no fewer than eight caveats against the

John Ward, the Hackney Miser.

In Church Street, Hackney, one of the most interesting of our suburban
parishes for its antiquarian history, stands a mansion, which, though
plain in itself, has long been traditionally conspicuous, from the
infamous character of its founder. This was John Ward, a man who was
so notorious for his readiness to take advantage of the foibles, the
wants, and vices of his fellow-men, that it attracted the satirical
acrimony of Pope, who, in his epistle to Allen, Lord Bathurst, _On the
Use of Riches_, has placed him in a niche in the Temple of Obloquy, in
company with a trio, who seem fit to descend with him to posterity,
or rather to accompany him in the descent alluded to in the following

    Like doctors thus, when much dispute has pass'd,
    We find our tenets just the same at last;
    Both fairly owning riches, in effect,
    No grace of Heaven or token of the elect:
    Given to the fool, the mad, the vain, the evil,
    To Ward, to Waters, Chartres, and the Devil.

Of Ward's private history little is known. He is said to have been
early in life employed in a floorcloth manufactory. The exact period
when he built the house at Hackney is uncertain. He resided in it
in the year 1727, at which time he sat in Parliament for Melcombe
Regis. But having _made a mistake with respect to a name in a deed_
in which the interest of the Duchess of Buckingham was implicated, he
was prosecuted by her and convicted of forgery, was first expelled
the House of Commons, and then stood in the pillory, on the 17th of
March, 1727. As misfortune seldom comes alone, about this time Ward was
suspected of joining in a conveyance with Sir John Blunt to secrete
50,000_l._ of that director's estate forfeited to the South Sea Company
by Act of Parliament. The Company recovered the 50,000_l._ against
Ward, and by execution swept away the whole of the furniture and other
effects in the mansion at Hackney. These being insufficient to cover
even the costs, Ward sought to protect his other property, set up prior
conveyances of his real estate to his brother and son, and concealing
all his personal, which was computed to be 150,000_l._ Against these
paper fortifications, a bill in Chancery, ten times as voluminous, and
twenty times more zig-zag, was erected; a countermine of immense depth
was sprung, and however ably his works were defended, they were at
length carried. The conveyances were set aside, Ward was imprisoned,
and hazarded the forfeiture of his life by not giving in his effects
till the last day, which was that of his examination. During his
confinement his amusement was to give poison to dogs and cats, and see
them expire by slower or quicker torments!

In the _Post-boy_ newspaper of the period we find these records of
Ward's career:--In June, 1719, he recovered 300_l._ damages from one
Thomas Dyche, a schoolmaster of Bow, for printing and publishing a
libel upon Ward, reflecting upon the discharge of his trust about
repairing Dagenham Breach. In May, 1726, he fled to France or
Flanders. In June, 1731, he was indicted, with certain others, for
wounding several officers of the Commissioners of Bankruptcy; and in
September, 1732, he surrendered to the Commissioners, and was kept
under examination at Guildhall from three o'clock that afternoon till
three the next morning, when he was committed to the Fleet for further

To sum up the wealth of Ward at the several eras of his life: at
his standing in the pillory he was worth above 200,000_l._; at his
commitment to prison he was worth 150,000_l._, but became so far
diminished in his reputation as to be thought a worse man by fifty or
sixty thousand.

Among a variety of curious papers of Mr. Ward was found the following
extraordinary document, in his own handwriting, which may very
appropriately be called _The Miser's Prayer_:--

"O Lord, Thou knowest that I have nine estates in the City of London,
and likewise that I have lately purchased one estate in fee simple in
the county of Essex; I beseech Thee to preserve the two counties of
Middlesex and Essex from fire and earthquakes; and as I have a mortgage
in Hertfordshire, I beg of Thee likewise to have an eye of compassion
on that county; and for the rest of the counties Thou mayst deal with
them as Thou art pleased. O Lord, enable the Bank to answer their
bills, and make all my debtors good men. Give a prosperous voyage and
return to the 'Mermaid' sloop, because I have insured it; and as Thou
hast said the days of the wicked are but short, I trust in Thee that
Thou wilt not forget Thy promise, as I have purchased an estate in
reversion, which will be mine on the death of that profligate young
man, Sir J. L. Keep my friends from sinking, and preserve me from
thieves and housebreakers, and make all my servants so honest and
faithful that they may attend to my interests, and never cheat me out
of my property, night or day."

"Poor Man of Mutton."

This is a term applied to the remains of a shoulder of mutton, which,
after it has done its regular duty as a roast at dinner, makes its
appearance as a broiled bone at supper or upon the next day.

The late Earl of B., popularly known by the name of _Old Rag_, being
indisposed at an hotel in London, the landlord came to enumerate the
good things he had in his larder, hoping to prevail on his guest to
eat something. The Earl, at length, starting suddenly from his couch,
and throwing back a tartan nightgown, which had covered his singularly
grim and ghastly face, replied to his host's courtesy:--"Landlord,
I think I _could_ eat a morsel of _a poor man_." Boniface, surprised
alike at the extreme ugliness of Lord B.'s countenance and the nature
of the proposal, retreated from the room, and tumbled down-stairs
precipitately, having no doubt that this barbaric chief when at home
was in the habit of eating a joint of a tenant or vassal when his
appetite was dainty.--_Jamieson's Etymological Dictionary._

Lord Kenyon's Parsimony.

Lord Kenyon studied economy even in the hatchment put up over his house
in Lincoln's Inn Fields after his death. The motto was certainly found
to be "_Mors janua vita_"--this being at first supposed to be the
mistake of the painter. But when it was mentioned to Lord Ellenborough,
"Mistake!" exclaimed his lordship, "it is no mistake. The considerate
testator left particular directions in his will that the estate should
not be burdened with the expense of a _diphthong_!" Accordingly, he had
the glory of dying very rich. After the loss of his eldest son, he said
with great emotion to Mr. Justice Allan Park, who repeated the words
soon after to the narrator:--"How delighted George would be to take
his poor brother from the earth, and restore him to life, although he
receives 250,000_l._ by his decease!"

Lord Kenyon occupied a large, gloomy house in Lincoln's Inn Fields:
there is this traditional description of the mansion in his time--"All
the year through it is Lent in the kitchen and Passion-week in the
parlour." Some one having mentioned that, although the fire was very
dull in the kitchen-grate, the _spits_ were always bright,--"It is
quite irrelevant," said Jekyll, "to talk about the _spits_, for
_nothing_ 'turns' _upon them_." * * He was curiously economical about
the adornment of his head. It was observed for a number of years
before he died, that he had two hats and two wigs--of the hats and
the wigs one was dreadfully old and shabby, the other comparatively
spruce. He always carried into court with him the very old hat and the
comparatively spruce wig, or the very old wig and the comparatively
spruce hat. On the days of the very old hat and the comparatively
spruce wig, he shoved his hat under the bench and displayed his wig;
but on the days of the very old wig and the comparatively spruce hat,
he always continued covered. He might often be seen sitting with his
hat over his wig, but the Rule of Court by which he was governed on
this point is doubtful.

Mary Moser, the Flower-Painter.

Mary Moser was the only daughter of George Michael Moser, R.A.,
goldchaser and enameller, and the first Keeper of the Royal Academy of
Arts in London. His daughter was a very distinguished flower-painter,
and was the only lady besides Angelica Kauffman who was ever elected
an Academician: she became afterwards Mrs. Lloyd. Miss Moser, says
Smith, in his _Life of Nollekens_, was somewhat precise, but was at
times a most cheerful companion: he has printed three of her letters,
two to Mrs. Lloyd, the wife of the gentleman to whom she herself was
afterwards married; and the other to Fuseli, while in Rome, of whom she
was said to have been an admirer. In one to the former, alluding to
the absurd fashions of the beginning of the reign of George the Third,
she says:--"Come to London and admire our plumes; we sweep the skies!
a duchess wears six feathers, a lady four, and every milkmaid one at
each corner of her cap. Fashion is grown a monster: pray tell your
operator that your hair must measure three-quarters of a yard from the
extremity of one wing to the other." The second letter is chiefly on
Lord Chesterfield's Advice to his Son: she says to her friend, "If you
have read Lord Chesterfield's Letters, give me your opinion of them,
and what you think of his Lordship: for my part, I admire wit and adore
good manners, but at the same time I should detest Lord Chesterfield,
were he alive, young, and handsome, and my lover, if I supposed, as
I do now, his wit was the result of thought, and that he had been
practising the graces in the looking-glass." In her letter to Fuseli,
she gives this account of the Exhibition of the Royal Academy in the
year 1770:--"Reynolds was like himself in pictures which you have seen;
Gainsborough beyond himself in a portrait of a gentleman in a Vandyck
habit; and Zoffany superior to everybody in a portrait of Garrick in
the character of Abel Drugger, with two figures, Subtle and Face. Sir
Joshua agreed to give a hundred guineas for the picture; Lord Carlisle
had an hour after offered Reynolds twenty to part with it, which the
Knight generously refused, resigned his intended purchase to the Lord,
and the emolument to his brother artist. He is a gentleman! Angelica
made a very great addition to the show, and Mr. Hamilton's picture of
Briseis parting from Achilles was very much admired; the Briseis in
taste, _à l'antique_, elegant and simple. Cotes, Dance, Wilson, &c., as

Mary Moser decorated an entire room with flowers at Frogmore for Queen
Charlotte, for which she received 900_l._; the room was called Miss
Moser's room. After her marriage, she practised only as an amateur; she
died at an advanced age in 1819. When West was re-instated in the chair
of the Royal Academy, in 1803, there was one voice for Mrs. Lloyd,
and when Fuseli was taxed with having given it, he said, according to
Knowles, his biographer, "Well, suppose I did; she is eligible to the
office; and is not one old woman as good as another?" West and Fuseli
were ill-according spirits.

[Illustration: An Old Maid on a Journey. The Eccentric Miss Banks.]

The Eccentric Miss Banks.

Oddities of dress were half-a-century ago much oftener to be seen
than in the present day; or, rather, their singularities were more
grotesque than the peculiarities of the present day. John Thomas
Smith, writing in 1818, says--"It is scarcely possible for any person
possessing the smallest share of common observation to pass through
the streets in London without noticing what is generally denominated
_a character_, either in dress, walk, pursuits, or propensities." At
the head of his remarks on the eccentricity of some of their dresses
he places Miss Sophia Banks, Sarah, the sister of Sir Joseph, who
was looked after by the eye of astonishment wherever she went, and
in whatever situation she appeared. Her dress was that of the _Old
School_; her Barcelona quilted petticoat had a hole on either side for
the convenience of rummaging two immense pockets, stuffed with books
of all sizes. This petticoat was covered with a deep stomachered gown,
sometimes obscuring the pocket-holes, similar to many of the ladies
of Bunbury's time, which he has introduced into his prints. In this
dress she might frequently be seen walking, followed by a six-foot
servant with a cane almost as tall as himself. Miss Banks, for so that
lady was called for many years, was frequently heard to relate the
following curious anecdote of herself: after making repeated inquiries
of the wall-vendors of halfpenny ballads for a particular one which she
wanted, she was informed by the claret-faced woman who strung up her
stock by Middlesex Hospital gates, that if she went to a printer's in
Long Lane, Smithfield, probably he might supply her ladyship with what
her ladyship wanted. Away trudged Miss Banks through Smithfield: but
before she entered Mr. Thompson's shop, she desired her man to wait
for her at the corner, by the plum-pudding stall. "Yes, we have it,"
was the printer's answer to her interrogative. He then gave Miss Banks
what is called a book, consisting of many songs. Upon her expressing
her surprise when the man returned her eightpence from her shilling,
and the great quantity of songs he had given her, when she only
wanted one--"What, then!" observed the man, "are you not one of our
characters? I beg your pardon."

This lady and Lady Banks, out of compliment to Sir Joseph, who had
been deeply engaged in the production of wool, had their riding-habits
made of his produce, in which dresses the two ladies at one period on
all occasions appeared. Indeed, so delighted was Miss Banks with this
_overall_ covering, that she actually gave the habit-maker orders
for three at a time, and they were called _Hightum_, _Tightum_, and
_Scrub_. The first was her best, the second her second-best, and the
third her every-day one.

Once when Miss Banks and her sister-in-law visited a friend with whom
they were to stay several days, on the evening of their arrival they
sat down to dinner in their riding-habits. Their friend had a large
party after dinner to meet them, and they entered the drawing-room in
their riding-habits. On the following morning they again appeared in
their riding-habits; and so on, to the astonishment of every one, till
the conclusion of their visit.

Although Miss Banks paid great attention to many persons, there were
others to whom she was wanting in civility. A great genius, who had
arrived a quarter-of-an-hour before the time specified on the card
for dinner, was shown into the drawing-room, where Miss Banks was
putting away what are sometimes called _rattletraps_. When the visitor
observed, "It is a fine day, ma'am," she replied, "I know nothing at
all about it. You must speak to my brother upon that subject when you
are at dinner." Notwithstanding the very singular appearance of Miss
Banks, she was, when in the prime of life, a fashionable whip, and
drove four-in-hand. Miss Banks died in 1818.

Thomas Cooke, the Miser of Pentonville.

At No. 16, Winchester Place, now No. 64, Pentonville Road, lived, for a
period of fifteen years, Thomas Cooke, a notorious miser, who heaped up
wealth by the most ungenerous means and servility of behaviour:

    Gold banished honour from his mind,
    And only left the name behind.

He was born about 1725 or 1726, at Clewer, near Windsor, and was the
son of an itinerant fiddler. He was left to the care of a grandmother,
who resided at Swannington, near Norwich. He obtained employment in a
factory, where the leading trait of his character manifested itself.
His companions in labour clubbed a portion of their week's earnings to
form a mess. This Cooke declined, and determined to live more cheaply;
and when others went to dine, he went to the side of a neighbouring
brook, and made breakfast and dinner one meal, which consisted of
a halfpenny loaf, an apple, and a draught of water from the brook,
taken up on the brim of his cap. His economy so far seems to have been
judicious, as it enabled him to pay a boy who was an usher in the
village school to instruct him in the rudiments of education.

When he arrived at manhood, he obtained employment as porter to a
drysalter and paper-maker at Norwich; he was next made a journeyman,
with increased wages. He then, through his master, got an appointment
in the Excise, in a district near London; and his master also gave
him a letter of introduction to a sugar-baker in the metropolis.
After a tedious journey by waggon, he reached London, with only eight
shillings in his pocket. There was some delay and expense before he
could act as an exciseman, and his immediate necessities compelled him
to take the situation of porter to the sugar-baker. He then became a
journeyman, and by his parsimonious habits saved money enough to pay
the preliminary expenses, and was enabled to assume the office to which
he had so long aspired.

He was then appointed to inspect a paper-mill at Tottenham, where he
closely watched a new process in paper-making. During Cooke's official
visits to this mill the owner died, and his widow resolved to carry
on the business with the aid of a foreman. Cooke had noted here many
infractions of the law, which, designedly or otherwise, were daily
taking place; and having summed up the penalties incurred thereby,
which he set off against the value of the concern, he privately
informed the widow that he had complained of these malpractices, and
told her that if the fines were levied, they would amount to double
the value of the property she possessed, and reduce her to want and
imprisonment. This he followed up by an overture of marriage, and
assured the lady that he only knew of the frauds of her establishment.
The widow consented to become his wife when the appointed days of
mourning for her first husband had expired. To this Cooke agreed, but
lest she might prove fickle, he required of her a promise in writing.
On his marriage, Cooke became possessed of her property, which was
considerable, together with the lease of the mills at Tottenham.

He next purchased a large sugar-baker's business in Puddle Dock. His
parsimony now became extreme: he kept no table, but obtained the
greater part of his daily food by well-timed visits to persons of his
acquaintance. He had good conversational powers, and these he usually
turned to his profit. Sometimes, when walking the streets, he fell
down in a pretended fit, opposite to the house of one whose bounty
he sought. No humane person could well refuse admission to a man in
apparent distress and of respectable appearance, whose well-powdered
wig and long ruffles induced a belief that he was some decayed citizen
who had seen better days. For the assistance thus kindly given he
would express his gratitude in the most energetic manner. He would ask
for a glass of water, but if wine was offered, he said, "No, he never
drank anything but water;" but when pressed by his kind host, would
take it, and exclaim, "God bless my soul, sir, this is very excellent
wine! Pray, sir, who is your wine merchant? for indeed, to tell you the
truth, it was the difficulty of getting good wine that caused me to
leave it off entirely." Upon invitation, he would take another glass,
and thanking his host, depart. A few days after, he would call at the
house of his kind entertainer just at dinner-time, professedly to thank
him for having saved his life, and on being invited to dine would at
first demur, urging that "My gruel is waiting for me at home." On
sitting down to dinner he would take notice of the children; and after
great pretended kindness, would say to the mother, "God bless them,
pretty dears. Pray, madam, will you have the goodness to give me all
their names in writing?" Thus artfully did he contrive to make his
kind entertainers think that he designed to do some good thing for
their children; and they now sought the continuance of his friendship
by occasional presents of game or a dozen or two of the wine he had so
much approved.

Many persons were in this way made the victims of Cooke's sophistries.
By these gifts, his housekeeping expenses were reduced to fifteen-pence
a day, and it was sinful extravagance if they reached two shillings.
Such comestibles as he could not consume, he disposed of to the
dealers and others. He drank only water, but as for the "gormandizing,
gluttonous maids, they could not drink, not they, what he did; nothing
would serve them but table-beer." This he kept in his front parlour,
with a lock-tap to it, of which he held the key, and at meal-times he
drew exactly half-a-pint for each woman.

With all his rigid economy, Cook found, to his great grief, that by
his sugar-bakery he had lost 500_l._ in twelve months. To amend this
state of affairs, and to discover some of the secrets of the trade,
he invited several sugar-bakers to dine with him, and plying them
well with wine, wheedled out of the persons in business the coveted
information. His wife was alarmed at this seeming extravagance, but
he silenced her scruples by telling her he would "suck as much of the
brains" of some of the fools as would amply repay them.

Having retired from business, he resided for a time at the Angel Inn,
Islington, from whence he removed to Winchester Place. The plot of
garden-ground in the rear he sowed with cabbage-seed, and with his own
hands manured it. To obtain the manure, he would, on moonlight nights,
go out with a shovel and basket and take up the horse-dung which lay
in the City Road. This scheming obtained for him the name of "Cabbage

The only luxury he allowed his wife was a small quantity of table-beer;
and by his general mal-treatment he caused her so much grief that
she died of a broken heart. Soon after his wife's death, he paid his
addresses to several rich widows, but none would listen to his suit,
especially as he desired all their property should be made over to him.

Cooke was fond of horse-racing, and contrived to be present at Epsom
races at the expense of some of his acquaintances. He once had a horse;
but finding it too expensive to keep at livery, for this purpose he
converted the kitchen of his house into a stable, and he used to curry
and fodder the horse with his own hands.

During his fifteen years' residence in Winchester Place, he never once
painted the house inside or outside, nor would he allow the landlord
to paint it. He was then served with legal notice to quit; this he
disregarded. At last he so implored the landlord not to turn him into
the street, that he consented to allow him time to provide himself with
a house, and this in presence of an associate whom he brought purposely
in the room. The landlord then had him served with an ejectment; but
upon the case being brought to trial, Cooke brought forward in evidence
the witness to the promise of the landlord, who was accordingly
nonsuited. The landlord, however, brought another action, in which he
succeeded; and Cooke removed to No. 85, White Lion Street, Pentonville.

Sickness and old age now compelled Cooke to seek medical advice, when
he obtained, by some artifice, a patient's dispensary letter; but his
cheat was discovered. Cooke's principle was, "No cure, no pay;" and
when a physician, to whom he had been very troublesome, told him he
could do nothing more for him, he said, "Then give me back my money,
sir. Why did you rob me of my money, unless you meant to cure me?"
Yet Cooke was a professing Christian, and a regular attendant at the
ordinances of religion, and he seldom failed to receive the sacrament.
He died August 26th, 1811, at the age of eighty-six, and was buried on
the 30th at St. Mary's, Islington. Some of the mob threw cabbage-stalks
on his coffin as it was lowered into the grave.

The wealth that Cooke had amassed during his long life-time, by
meanness, artifice, and pretended poverty, amounted to the large sum
of 127,205_l._ in the Three per cent. Consols. During his lifetime his
charities were but few. But, as if to atone for a life of avarice, he
left by will the bulk of his riches to several charitable societies,
and a few trifling legacies to individuals.

Thomas Cooke, the Turkey Merchant.

This eccentric gentleman was resident at Constantinople as a merchant
at the time Charles XII. of Sweden was in Turkey, in 1714, and
contributed in a very munificent manner to the relief of the royal
prisoner. Mr. Cooke well knew the Divan wished to get rid of the king,
their prisoner, who always pleaded poverty and inability to pay his
debts; and they having lent him money, were afraid to lend him any
more. He, however, devised a scheme to assist him, and applied to the
Lord High Treasurer, who heard the proposal with great satisfaction,
but was surprised to be told, "Your excellency must find the money." To
this he answered, by a very natural question, "How will you ever pay
us?" Mr. Cooke replied, they were building a mosque, and would stand in
need of lead to cover it, which he would engage to supply. Next morning
the proposal was accepted, and the arrangements concluded.

Mr. Cooke then treated with the King of Sweden, and offered him a
certain sum of money upon condition of being repaid in copper, the
exportation of which from Sweden had been for some time prohibited,
at a stipulated price. The offer was accepted, and the money paid to
the king by the hands of La Mortraye, the well-known author of several
volumes of _Travels_; and Mr. Cooke received an order upon the states
of Sweden to be paid in copper, which he sold to a house in that
kingdom, at an advance of 12,000_l._ sterling upon the first cost,
besides the profit he obtained upon the sale of his lead. The money
lent was not sufficient for the king's liberation; he stayed in Turkey
till he had nothing left but a knife and fork. Upon hearing of the
king's situation, Mr. Cooke one day surprised him with a present of his
whole sideboard of plate; and for this conduct towards their sovereign
his name was idolized by the Swedes.

Mr. Cooke was for many years in the commission of the peace for the
county of Middlesex, and was three years governor of the Bank of
England. He was a man of singular character, very shrewd, but highly
esteemed, particularly for his unbounded munificence. Having made his
will, whereby he had bequeathed 1,000_l._ to the clerks of the Bank, he
resolved on being his own executor, and to give them the money in his
lifetime. Accordingly, in the month of February, preceding his death,
he sent a note of 1,000_l._ to the governor of the Bank, requesting
that it might be distributed among the clerks, in the proportion of one
guinea for every year that each person had been in their service, and
the remaining 3_l._ to the porters.

Mr. Cooke died at Stoke Newington, 12th of August, 1752, aged eighty.
By his own directions he was attended to the grave by twelve poor
housekeepers belonging to a box-club at Stoke Newington, of which he
had long been a generous and useful member. To each man he bequeathed
a guinea and a suit of clothes, and as much victuals and drink as he
chose; but if either of the legatees got fuddled he was to forfeit his
legacy, and was only to receive half-a-crown for his day's work. Mr.
Cooke's corpse was wrapped in a clean blanket, sewed up, and, being put
into a common coffin, was conveyed, with the above attendants, in three
coaches, to the grave close to a stile, near Sir John Morden's College,
on Blackheath, of which he was a trustee. The corpse was then taken out
of the coffin, which was left in the college for the first pensioner
it would fit, and buried in a winding-sheet upright in the ground,
according to the Eastern custom.

Cooke's widow maintained the same benevolent character with himself,
and died at Stoke Newington, January 15th, 1763. They had issue two
daughters, both of whom died before their father.

"Lady Lewson," of Clerkenwell.

In Cold Bath Square, for the space of ninety years, lived Mrs. Lewson,
commonly called "Lady Lewson," from her very eccentric manner of dress.
She was born in the year 1700, in the reign of William and Mary, in
Essex Street, Strand, of respectable parents named Vaughan; and she was
married at an early age to Mr. Lewson, a wealthy gentleman, then living
in Cold Bath Square, in the house wherein she subsequently continued to
reside. She became a widow at the age of twenty-six, having only one
daughter living at the time. She was left by her husband in affluent
circumstances; she preferred to continue single, and remained so,
although she had many suitors. When her daughter married, Mrs. Lewson
was left alone, and being of retired habits, she rarely went out, or
permitted the visits of any person. During the last thirty years of
her life, she kept only one servant, an old woman, who died after a
servitude of twenty years: she was succeeded by her grand-daughter, who
marrying, was replaced by an old man, who attended the different houses
in the Square to go of errands, clean shoes, &c. "Lady Lewson" took
this man into her house, and he acted as her steward, butler, cook,
and housemaid; and with the exception of two old lapdogs and a cat, was
her only companion.

The house in which she lived was large and elegantly furnished; the
beds were kept constantly made, although they had not been slept in
for about thirty years. Her apartment was only occasionally swept out,
and never washed; and the windows were so encrusted with dirt, that
they hardly admitted a ray of light. She used to tell her acquaintances
that if the rooms were washed, it might be the occasion of her catching
cold; and as to cleaning the windows, many accidents happened through
that ridiculous practice--the glass might be broken, the person who
cleaned them might be injured, and the expense would fall upon her.
There was a large garden in the rear of the house, which she kept in
good order; and here, when the weather was fine, she sometimes sat and
read, or chatted of times past with such of her acquaintances as she
could be persuaded to admit. She seldom visited, except at the house
of a grocer in Cold Bath Square, with whom she dealt. She had survived
many years every relative, and was thus left to indulge her odd tastes.

She was so partial to the fashions that prevailed in her youthful days,
that she never changed the manner of her dress from that worn in the
time of George I., being always decorated

     With ruffs, and cuffs, and fardingales.

She always wore powder, with a large _tache_, made of horsehair, upon
her head, over which the hair was turned, and she placed the cap, which
was tied under her chin, and three or four rows of curls hung down
her neck. She generally wore a silk dress, with a long train, a deep
flounce all round, and a very long waist; her gown was very tightly
laced up to her neck, round which was a ruff or frill; the sleeves came
down below the elbows, and to each of them four or five large cuffs
were attached; a large bonnet, quite flat, high-heeled shoes, a large
black silk cloak trimmed with lace, and a gold-headed cane, completed
her every-day costume for eighty years; in which dress she occasionally
walked round the Square. She never washed herself, because she thought
those persons who did so were always taking cold, or engendering some
dreadful disorder; her method was to besmear her face and neck all over
with hog's-lard, because that was soft and lubricating; and because she
wanted a little colour on her cheeks, she bedaubed them with rose-pink.
Her manner of living was very methodical: she would only drink tea out
of one cup, and always sat in her favourite chair. She enjoyed good
health, and entertained the greatest aversion to medicine. At the age
of eighty-three, she cut two new teeth, and she was never troubled with
tooth-ache. She lived in five reigns, and had the events of the year
1715 (the Scottish Rebellion) fresh in her recollection.

The sudden death of an old lady who was a neighbour made a deep
impression on Mrs. Lewson; believing her own time had come, she became
weak, took to her bed, refused medical aid, and on Tuesday, the 28th of
May, 1816, died at her house in Cold Bath Square, at the age of 116;
she was interred in Bunhill Fields burying-ground. "At her death,"
says Mr. Warner, in his MS. _Notes on Clerkenwell_, "I went over the
house, and was struck with astonishment at the number of bars, bolts,
&c., to the whole of the doors and windows; the ceilings of the upper
floor were completely lined with strong boards, braced together with
iron bars, to prevent any one getting into the house from the roof. The
ashes had not been removed for many years; they were neatly piled up,
as if formed into beds for some particular purpose, around the yard.
Her furniture, &c., were sold by auction, and persons were admitted to
view by producing a catalogue, which was sold at sixpence, and would
permit any number of persons at one time."[10]

[10] Pinks's _History of Clerkenwell_, 1865, p. 115.

Profits of Dust-sifting, and Dust-heaps.

Many years ago a _dust-sifter_, named Mary Collins, residing in Bell
Street, Lisson Grove, was robbed by a nurse, when her evidence before
the police magistrate was remarkable for the extraordinary disclosures
it incidentally afforded of the large profits obtained from the
apparently humble vocation of dust-sifting. The articles stolen were in
a pocket, and were thus described: one coral necklace, large beads; one
ditto, with pearl clasp; several handsome brooches; five gold seals;
some gold rings; several gold shirt-pins; a quantity of loose beads;
broken bits of gold and silver, &c. Mr. Rawlinson, the magistrate,
expressed his surprise at her having such a motley assortment of
valuables. Complainant: Your worship, we find them amongst the
dust.--Mr. Rawlinson: Indeed! what, all these articles?--Complainant:
Oh, your worship, that's nothing; we find many more things than them:
we find almost every small article that can be mentioned. We are
employed by the dust contractor, who allows us 8_d._ per load for
sifting, besides which we have all the spoons and other articles which
we may find amongst the dust.--Mr. Rawlinson: That is dustman's law,
I suppose: but pray how many silver spoons may you find in the course
of the year?--Complainant: It is impossible to say: sometimes more and
sometimes less.

Mr. Rawlinson declared that what she had just related was quite
novel to him. The urbane manner of the worthy magistrate won upon
the old lady and made her quite communicative. She had followed her
occupation eight years, and what with the "perquisites" (_id est_,
articles found), and the savings from "hard labour," she had realized
sufficient money to think about house-building, and had then a house
erecting which she expected would cost her at least 300_l._ She had
deposited 100_l._ in the hands of her employer, in part payment, and as
a proof that all was not vaunting, she produced her box, in which were
thirty-nine sovereigns, two five-pound bank-notes, and several guineas
and half-sovereigns.

Early in the present century, the spot of ground on which now stands
Argyle Street, Liverpool Street, Manchester Street, and the corner of
Gray's Inn Road, was covered with a mountain of filth and cinders, the
accumulation of many years, and which afforded food for hundreds of
pigs. The Russians bought the whole of the ash-heap, and shipped it to
Moscow, to be used in rebuilding that city after it had been burned
by the French. The Battle-bridge dustmen had a certain celebrity in
their day. The ground on which the dust-heap stood was sold in 1826
to the Pandemonium Company for fifteen thousand pounds; they walled
in the whole, and built a theatre, which now remains at the corner of
Liverpool Street. The Company's scheme was, however, abandoned, and
the ground was let on building leases. The heap is mentioned in the
burlesque song, _Adam Bell, the Literary Dustman:_[11]

    You recollect the cinder heap,
    Vot stood in Gray's Inn Lane, sirs?

[11] Pinks's _History of Clerkenwell_, p. 501.

When the street now called the Caledonian Road was in the fields,
there was at the Battle-bridge end of the road a large accumulation
of horse-bones, which were stored there by some horse-slaughterers.
And in 1833, Battle-bridge was described in the _New Monthly Magazine_
as "the grand centre of dustmen, scavengers, horse and dog dealers,
knackermen, brickmakers, and other low but necessary professionalists."
The dust-heap is described as "that sublime, sifted wonder of cockneys,
the cloud-kissing dust-heap which sold for twenty thousand pounds;" but
this is doubtful.

Mr. T. C. Noble has communicated to Pinks's _History of Clerkenwell_
the following particulars of the Dust and Cinder Heap, &c.--"The estate
at Battle-bridge comprised from seventeen to twenty acres. Of this
my grandfather took sixteen small dilapidated houses, and _the dust
and cinder heap_, which, it was said, had been _existing on the spot
since the Great Fire of London_. He gave about 500_l._ for the lot,
although the parties wanted 800_l._ Bricks were then very scarce, so
he very soon realized a good sum for the old buildings, while Russia,
hearing in some way of this enormous dust-heap, purchased it for
purposes in rebuilding Moscow. The site of the mountain of dust is now
covered by the houses of Derby Street, and I may add, the names of the
thoroughfares erected on this estate were derived from the popular
ministers of that day. The rental derived from the property by my
grandfather exceeded 1,000_l._ a year."

John Thomas Smith gives the following notes upon oddities of the above
class:--"Within my time many men have indulged most ridiculously in
their eccentricities. I have known one who had made a pretty large
fortune in business get up at four o'clock in the morning and walk the
streets to pick up horse-shoes which had been slipped in the course
of the night, with no other motive than to see how many he could
accumulate in the course of a year. I also remember a rich soap-boiler
who never missed an opportunity of pocketing nails, pieces of iron
hoops, and bits of leather in his daily walks; and these he would
spread upon a large walnut-tree three-flapped dining-table, with a
similar view to that of the horse-shoe collector. This wealthy citizen
would often put on a red woollen cap and a waggoner's frock, in order
to stoke his own furnace; after which he would dress, get into his
coach, and, attended by tall servants in bright blue liveries, drive to
his villa, where his hungry friends were waiting his arrival."

Sir John Dinely, Bart.

This eccentric baronet, of the family of the Dinelys, of Charlton,
descended by the female line from the Royal House of Plantagenet,
having dissipated the wreck of the family estates, obtained the
pension and situation of a poor knight of Windsor. His chief
occupation consisted in advertising for a wife, and nearly thirty
years were passed in assignations to meet the fair respondents to his
advertisements. His figure was truly grotesque: in wet weather he was
mounted on a high pair of pattens; he wore the coat of the Windsor
uniform, with a velvet embroidered waistcoat, satin breeches, silk
stockings, and a full-bottomed wig. In this finery he might be seen
strolling one day; and next out marketing, carrying a penny loaf, a
morsel of butter, a quartern of sugar, and a farthing candle. Twice
or thrice a year he came to London, and visited Vauxhall Gardens
and the theatres. His fortune, if he could recover it, he estimated
at 300,000_l._ He invited the widow as well as the blooming maiden
of sixteen, and addressed them in printed documents, bearing his
signature, in which he specified the sum the ladies must possess; he
expected less property with youth than age or widowhood; adding that
few ladies would be eligible that did not possess at least 10,000_l._ a
year, which, however, was nothing compared to the honour his high birth
and noble descent would confer; the incredulous he referred to Nash's
_Worcestershire_. He addressed his advertisements to "the angelic fair"
from his house in Windsor Castle (one of the poor knight's houses). He
cherished to the last the expectation of forming a connubial connection
with some lady of property, but, alas! he died a bachelor in 1808.[12]

[12] We know an instance of an old Baronet advertising twenty years for
a wife; at last he succeeded in marrying an out-and-out Xantippe.

[Illustration: A well-known character on 'Change. Rothschild.]

The Rothschilds.

In the _Memoirs of Sir Thomas Fowell Buxton_, edited by his son, we
find this amusing letter, dated 1834: "We yesterday dined at Ham House,
to meet the Rothschilds; and very amusing it was. He (Rothschild) told
us his life and adventures. He was the third son of the banker at
Frankfort. 'There was not,' he said, 'room enough for us all in that
city. I dealt in English goods. One great trader came there, who had
the market to himself; he was quite the great man, and did us a favour
if he sold us goods. Somehow I offended him, and he refused to show
me his patterns. This was on a Tuesday; I said to my father, "I will
go to England." I could speak nothing but German. On the Thursday I
started. The nearer I got to England, the cheaper goods were. As soon
as I got to Manchester, I laid out all my money, things were so cheap;
and I made good profit. I soon found that there were three profits--the
raw material, the dyeing, and the manufacturing. I said to the
manufacturer, "I will supply you with material and dye, and you supply
me with manufactured goods." So I got three profits instead of one,
and I could sell goods cheaper than anybody. In a short time I made my
20,000_l._ into 60,000_l._ My success all turned on one maxim. I said,
I can do what another man can, and so I am a match for the man with
the patterns, and for all the rest of them! Another advantage I had.
I was an off-hand man. I made a bargain at once. When I was settled
in London, the East India Company had 800,000 ounces of gold to sell.
I went to the sale, and bought it all. I knew the Duke of Wellington
must have it. I had bought a great many of his bills at a discount. The
Government sent for me, and said they must have it. When they had got
it, they did not know how to get it to Portugal. I undertook all that,
and I sent it through France; and that was the best business I ever

"Another maxim, on which he seemed to place great reliance, was, never
to have anything to do with an unlucky place or an unlucky man. 'I have
seen,' said he, 'many clever men, very clever men, who had not shoes
to their feet. I never act with them. Their advice sounds very well;
but fate is against them; they cannot get on themselves; and if they
cannot do good to themselves, how can they do good to me?' By aid of
these maxims he has acquired three millions of money. 'I hope,' said
----, 'that your children are not too fond of money and business, to
the exclusion of more important things. I am sure you would not wish
that.'--Rothschild: 'I am sure I should wish that. _I wish them to give
mind, and soul, and heart, and body, and everything to business; that
is the way to be happy_. It requires a great deal of boldness and a
great deal of caution to make a great fortune; and when you have got
it, it requires ten times as much wit to keep it. If I were to listen
to all the projects proposed to me, I should ruin myself very soon.
Stick to one business, young man,' said he to Edward; 'stick to your
brewery, and you may be the great brewer of London. Be a brewer, and a
banker, and a merchant, and a manufacturer, and you will soon be in the

"'One of my neighbours is a very ill-tempered man; he tries to vex me,
and has built a great place for swine close to my walk. So, when I go
out, I hear, first grunt, grunt, squeak, squeak; but this does me no
harm. I am always in good humour. Sometimes to amuse myself I give a
beggar a guinea. He thinks it is a mistake, and for fear I should find
it out, off he runs as hard as he can. I advise you to give a beggar a
guinea sometimes, it is very amusing.' The daughters are very pleasing.
The second son is a mighty hunter, and his father lets him buy any
horses he likes. He lately applied to the Emperor of Morocco for a
first-rate Arab horse. The Emperor sent him a magnificent one; but he
died as he landed in England. The poor youth said very feelingly, 'that
was the greatest misfortune he ever had suffered;' and I felt strong
sympathy with him. I forgot to say, that soon after Mr. Rothschild came
to England, Bonaparte invaded Germany. 'The Prince of Hesse Cassel,'
said Rothschild, 'gave my father his money; there was no time to be
lost; he sent it to me. I had 600,000_l._ arrive unexpectedly by the
post; and I put it to such good use, that the Prince made me a present
of all his wine and his linen.'"

A Legacy of Half a Million of Money.

On the 30th of August, 1852, there died at Chelsea John Camden Neild,
a wealthy gentleman, who had bequeathed an immense legacy to Queen
Victoria. His father was a native of Knutsford, in Cheshire; as a
goldsmith in London he made a large fortune. He was a truly benevolent
man, especially in his efforts for the improvement of prisons, and
originated the Society for the Relief of Persons imprisoned for Small
Debts. He married the daughter of John Camden, Esq., of Battersea, in
Surrey, a direct descendant of the great antiquary of the same name. He
died in 1814, and was buried at Chelsea.

John Camden Neild, the only surviving son of the above, was born in
1780; educated at Trinity College, Cambridge, studied at Lincoln's
Inn, and in 1808 was called to the bar. In 1814 he succeeded to the
whole of his father's property, estimated at 250,000_l._; but he made
a very different use of his wealth. Avarice was his ruling passion; he
became a confirmed miser, and for the last thirty years of his life
gave himself over to heaping up riches. He lived in a large but meanly
furnished house in Cheyne Walk, Chelsea; and he slept on a bare board,
and latterly on an old stump bedstead, on which he died. His favourite
companion was a large black cat, which was in his chamber when he
breathed his last.

He had considerable property at North Marston, in Buckinghamshire, and
here he often stayed for days together, besides his half-yearly visits
to receive rents. As lessee of the rectory, it was incumbent on him to
repair the chancel of the church; the leaded roof having become full
of fissures, he had them covered with strips of painted calico, saying
they would "last his time." During this odd repair, he sat all day on
the roof, to keep the workmen employed and even ate his dinner there,
which consisted of hard-boiled eggs, dry bread, and buttermilk.

His dress was an old-fashioned swallow-tailed coat, brown trousers,
short gaiters, and shoes which were generally patched and down at the
heels. His stockings and linen were generally full of holes; but when
he stayed a night at a tenant's, the mistress often mended them while
he was in bed. He was short and punchy in figure, scarcely above five
feet in height, with a large round and short neck. He always carried
an old green cotton umbrella, but never wore a great coat, which he
considered too extravagant for his slender means. He travelled outside
a coach, where his fellow-travellers took him for a decayed gentleman
in extreme poverty. Once, when visiting his Kentish property on a
bitterly cold day, the coach stopped at Farningham, where the other
passengers subscribed for a glass of brandy-and-water, which they sent
to the poor gentleman, in pity for their thinly-clad companion who
still sat on the coach-roof, while they were by the inn fireside.

He often took long journeys on foot, when he would avail himself of any
proffered "lift," and he was even known to sit on a load of coal, to
enable him to proceed a little further without expense; yet he would
give the driver a penny or two for the accommodation; for, miser as he
was, he never liked to receive anything without paying for it--however
small the scale; nor would he partake of any meal or refreshment when
asked by the clergymen of the parishes where his estates lay. Yet with
tenants of a lower grade he would share the coarse meals and lodging
of the family. At North Marston he used to reside with the tenant on
the rectory farm; while staying here, about 1828, he attempted to cut
his throat, but his life was saved chiefly by the prompt assistance of
the tenant's wife. This attempt was supposed to have been caused by a
sudden fall in the funds, in which he had just made a large investment.

Sometimes he would eat his dinner at a tenant's, where he would beg a
basin of milk, and buy three eggs for a penny, get them hard-boiled,
and eat two for his dinner, with another basin of milk; the third egg
he would save for next morning's breakfast. He used to examine minutely
the nature of his land, and keep an account of the number of trees on
his estates: he had been known to walk from twelve to fifteen miles to
count only a few trees.

Mr. Neild's general answer to all applications for charitable
contributions was a refusal; in some instances it was otherwise. He
once, but only once, gave a pound for the Sunday-school at North
Marston; he promised 300_l._ towards building an infirmary for
Buckinghamshire, but withheld it from an objection to the site.

Mr. Neild was not, as stated at the time of his death, "a frigid,
spiritless specimen of humanity," for he possessed considerable
knowledge in legal and general literature and the classics. Nor did
he entirely pass over merit. Finding the son of one of his tenants
to possess strong natural abilities, he paid wholly or in part the
expenses of his school and college education. This person is now a
distinguished scholar and a dignitary of the Church of England.

Mr. Neild was buried on the 16th of September, according to his
own desire, in the chancel of North Marston Church. His will then
necessarily came to light, and great was the sensation which it
occasioned. After bequeathing a few trifling legacies to different
persons, he left the whole of his vast property, estimated at
500,000_l._, to "Her Most Gracious Majesty Queen Victoria, begging
Her Majesty's most gracious acceptance of the same for her sole use
and benefit, and her heirs, &c." To each of his three executors he
bequeathed 100_l._ The will had excited such curiosity, that, though
his life had passed almost unnoticed, a large concourse of persons
assembled at Chelsea to witness the removal of his body, and the church
and churchyard at North Marston were crowded with wondering--not
lamenting--spectators. Among his tenants, workmen, and the poor of the
parish where he possessed so much property, not a tear was shed, not
a regret uttered, as his body was committed to its last resting-place.
The only remark heard was, "Poor creature! had he known so much would
have been spent on his funeral, he would have come down here to die to
save the expense!"

Two caveats were entered against his will, but were subsequently
withdrawn, and the Queen was left to take undisputed possession of
his property. Her Majesty immediately increased Mr. Neild's bequest
to his three executors to 1,000_l._ each; she provided for his old
housekeeper, to whom he had made no bequest, though she had lived with
him six-and-twenty years; and she secured an annuity to the woman who
had frustrated Mr. Neild's attempt at suicide.

Her Majesty, in 1855, had restored the chancel of North Marston Church,
and inserted an east window of beautifully stained glass, beneath which
is a reredos with this inscription: "This Reredos and the Stained Glass
Window were erected by Her Majesty Queen Victoria (D.G.B.R.F.D.), in
the eighteenth year of her reign, in memory of John Camden Neild, Esq.,
of this parish, who died August 30th, 1852, aged 72."[13]

[13] Condensed from _The Book of Days_, vol. ii. pp. 285-288.

This man of wealth must not be confounded with the Mr. Neeld who came
into possession of great wealth on the demise of his uncle, Philip
Rundell, the wealthy goldsmith of Ludgate Hill. He died in 1827, at the
age of eighty-one; and, according to the _Gentleman's Magazine_, "had
never married, and never kept an establishment, but lived much with one
niece at Brompton, and another, the wife of John Bannister, the eminent
comedian." The eldest son of the latter, on coming of age, was invited
to breakfast with Mr. Rundell, who placed in the young man's hands at
parting a sealed letter, which he was not to open till he reached home.
It was then found to contain a bequest of 10,000_l._, payable on the
death of the donor, and of his own marriage. This incident was related
to Mr. Britton by Mr. Bannister, who also indulged him by repeating
two songs which he had written and sung at Mr. Rundell's, on two
birthdays of the aged goldsmith. Bannister also inherited 5,000_l._ for
his own life, and then to devolve to his daughter; and his son had an
additional legacy from Mr. Rundell. Numerous other large sums of money
were bequeathed to other relatives, friends, and public foundations;
but the most important item in the will is the residuary clause,
whereby the testator "gives to his esteemed friend, Joseph Neeld, the
younger, all the rest of his real and mixed estate, which," says the
magazine, "it is computed will amount to not less than 890,000_l._ The
personal effects were sworn at upwards of 1,000,000_l._, the utmost
limit to which the scale of the probate duty extends."

Eccentricities of the Earl of Bridgewater.

Forty years since there lived in Paris the Rev. Francis Henry Egerton,
Earl of Bridgewater, of whom we find this probably overcharged but
curious account in a Parisian journal of the year 1826; than his
lordship no one has a higher claim to a distinguished place in the
history of human oddities:--"Those who have once seen--nay, those who
have never seen this meagre personage drag himself along, supported
by two huge lacqueys, with his sugar-loaf hat, slouched down over his
eyes, cannot fail to recognize him. An immense fortune enables him
to gratify the most extravagant caprices that ever passed through
the head of a rich Englishman. If he be lent a book, he carries his
politeness so far as to send it back, or rather have it conveyed home,
in a carriage. He gives orders that two of his most stately steeds
be caparisoned under one of his chariots, and the volume, reclining
at ease in _milord's_ landau, arrives, attended by four footmen in
costly livery, at the door of its astounded owner. His carriage is
frequently to be seen filled with his dogs. He bestows great care
on the feet of these dogs, and orders them boots, for which he pays
as dearly as for his own. Lord Bridgewater's custom is an excellent
one for the boot-maker; for, besides the four feet of each of his
dogs, the supply of his own two feet must give constant employment to
several operatives. He puts on a new pair of boots every day, carefully
preserving those he has once worn, and ranging them in order; he
commands that none shall touch them, but takes himself great pleasure
in observing how much of the year has each day passed, by the state of
his boots."

"Lord Egerton is a man of few acquaintance, and very few of his
countrymen have got as far as his dining-hall. His table, however,
is constantly set out with a dozen covers, and served by suitable
attendants. Who, then, are his privileged guests? No less than a dozen
of his favourite dogs, who daily partake of _milord's_ dinner, seated
very gravely in arm-chairs, each with a napkin round his neck, and a
servant behind to attend to his wants. These honourable quadrupeds, as
if grateful for such delicate attentions, comport themselves during
the time of repast with a decency and decorum which would do more
than honour to a party of gentlemen; but if, by any chance, one of
them should, without due consideration, obey the natural instinct of
his appetite, and transgress any of the rules of good manners, his
punishment is at hand. The day following the offence the dog dines,
and even dines well; but not at _milord's_ table; banished to the
ante-chamber, and dressed in livery, he eats in sorrow the bread of
shame, and picks the bone of mortification, while his place at table
remains vacant till his repentance has merited a generous pardon!"

This eccentric nobleman died in February, 1829, and by his will, dated
February 25th, 1825, bequeathed 8,000_l._ for the writing, printing,
and publishing of the well-known _Bridgewater Treatises_.

The Denisons, and the Conyngham Family.

The history of the Denison family, the last representative of which
died in 1849, leaving a fortune of more than two millions and a half,
affords a lesson which the mercantile world cannot study too curiously.
Somewhat more than one hundred and twenty years ago, the elder Denison
made his way on foot to London from Skipton-in-Craven, his native
place, with a few shillings in his pocket, and, being a parish-boy, not
knowing even how to read or write. Another account states that he was a
woollen-cloth-merchant at Leeds, and came to London in a waggon, being
attended on his departure by his friends, who took a solemn leave of
him, as the distance was then thought so great that they might never
see him again. He was recommended by a townswoman of his own (of the
name of Sykes, whom he afterwards married) to the house of Dillon and
Co., where she was herself a domestic servant; and for some time the
lad was employed to sweep the shop and go on errands. His zeal and
industry recommended him, however, to his employers, and having been
taught to read, he rose to a clerkship. After the death of his wife he
obtained an independence by marrying one Elizabeth Butler, daughter of
a rich hatter in Tooley Street, and set up in business for himself in
Princes Street, Lothbury, where by incessant attention to business and
strict parsimony, he managed to scrape together a considerable fortune.
He finally removed to St. Mary Axe, where he lived and died, after
having purchased the estates in Surrey and Yorkshire (of Lord King
and the Duke of Leeds), Denbies and Seamere; by joining the Heywoods,
eminent bankers of Liverpool, his wealth rapidly increased. The _Annual
Register_ of 1806, in recording these facts and his end, states that
through life Mr. Denison was a dissenter: he remained to the last an
illiterate man.

By his second wife he had one son and two daughters. The son, William
Joseph, a man of sound principle and excellent character, though
less penurious than his father, who, when he entertained a friend
at dinner in St. Mary Axe, used to walk to the butcher's and bring
home a rump-steak in a cabbage-leaf in his pocket, was remarkable for
his disinclination to detach even the smallest sum from his enormous
capital. Thus, when the nephew to whom he bequeathed 85,000_l._ per
annum, fell into railway difficulties (the speculation having been
undertaken with the sanction of his uncle), he permitted him, to avoid
legal proceedings, to withdraw to Boulogne-sur-Mer, and reside there a
twelvemonth with his young family, rather than pay for him the sum of

Mr. Denison, the father, died in 1806; his son, succeeding to the
banking business (the firm being now Denison, Heywood, and Kennard),
continued to accumulate; and at his death, in 1849, he left two
millions and a half of money. He had sat in Parliament for Surrey since
1818. He was a man of cultivated tastes, and possessed a knowledge of
art and elegant literature. He feared to be thought ostentatious, and
could with difficulty be prevailed on to have a lodge erected at the
entrance to a new road which he had just formed on his estate in Surrey.

Mr. Denison's two sisters were Elizabeth, married, in 1794, to Henry,
first Marquis Conyngham; and Maria, married, in 1793, to Sir Robert
Lawley, Bart., created, in 1831, Baron Wenlock. Up to the age of
twenty-seven, Miss Denison resided with her father in St. Mary Axe.
Here the rich and beautiful heiress was won and wedded in 1794 by
the Honourable Henry Burton, then a captain, twenty-eight years old,
and the eldest son of the fortunate Francis Pierpoint Burton, of
Buncraggy, who succeeded through his mother, after the death of her two
brothers, to the barony and estates of the old Conynghams, won at the
battle of the Boyne by Sir Albert Conyngham, Lieutenant-General of the
Ordnance of Ireland, and aggrandized by many forfeitures and marriages
subsequently. Captain Burton carried off his wife to Ireland, and only
revisited England in his forty-second year, to kiss hands, in 1808, on
his promotion to a major-generalship. On succeeding to his father's
title and estates, his lordship so improved their condition that he was
justly regarded as one of the benefactors of his country; and a visit
to his estate at Slane, on the banks of the Boyne, is recorded by Mr.
Parkinson in his _Experiences of Agriculture_ in the same terms as a
visit to Holkham would have been chronicled in the days of Mr. Coke.
The barony of Conyngham was increased to an earldom as a reward for the
spirited conduct of his lordship's father, which led to a reciprocity
of trade between Ireland and England. Upon the conclusion of the war
with France, when George IV. paid a visit to Ireland, he was hospitably
received and entertained at Slane Castle. Here, probably, commenced
that more intimate acquaintance between His Majesty and the Marquis
Conyngham and his family which induced the King, upon his return to
England, to invite the whole family to court, and, after they had
accepted the invitation, to retain them in his household. In 1816 his
lordship was created Viscount Slane (the restoration of an ancient
title forfeited in the Rebellion), Earl of Mountcharles, and Marquis
Conyngham; and in 1821 he was enrolled in the British Peerage as Baron
Minster, of Minster Abbey, in the county of Kent. The Marchioness was
left a widow in 1832, and survived until 1861, having attained the
venerable age of ninety-two, and lived to see both her sons peers of
the realm--the one in succession of his father; the second, Albert
Denison, as the heir to her own father's great fortune and estates,
with the title of Baron Londesborough.

"Dog Jennings."

This eccentric character, Henry Constantine Jennings, was born in
1731, and was the son of a gentleman possessed of a large estate at
Shiplake, in Oxfordshire. He was educated at Westminster School, and
at the age of seventeen years became an ensign in the 1st Regiment of
Foot Guards. He held the commission but a short time, and on resigning
it went to Italy in company with Lord Monthermer, son of the Duke of

While at Rome, young Jennings commenced his first collection of
articles of vertu, and ever after obtained the coarse and vulgar
_sobriquet_ of "Dog Jennings," in consequence of a circumstance which
he thus relates:--"I happened one day to be strolling along the streets
of Rome, and perceiving the shop of a statuary in an obscure street,
I entered it, and began to look around for any curious production of
art. I at length perceived something uncommon, at least; but, being
partly concealed behind a heap of rubbish, I could not contemplate it
with any degree of accuracy. After all impediments had been at length
removed, the marble statue I had been poking for was dragged into open
day; it proved to be a huge, but fine dog--and a fine dog it was, and a
lucky dog was I to discover and to purchase it. On turning it round, I
perceived it was without a tail--this gave me a hint. I also saw that
the limbs were finely proportioned; that the figure was noble; that the
sculpture, in short, was worthy of the best age of Athens; and that
it must be of the age of Alcibiades, whose favourite dog it certainly
was. I struck a bargain instantly on the spot for 400 scudi; and as the
muzzle alone was somewhat damaged, I paid the artist a trifle more for
repairing it. It was carefully packed, and being sent to England after
me, by the time it reached my house in Oxfordshire, it had just cost
me 80_l._ I wish all my other bargains had been like it, for it was
exceedingly admired, as I well knew it must be, by the connoisseurs, by
more than one of whom I was bid 1,000_l._ for my purchase. In truth, by
a person sent, I believe, from Blenheim, I was offered 1,400_l._ But I
would not part with my dog; I had bought it for myself, and I liked to
contemplate his fine proportions and admire him at my leisure, for he
was doubly dear to me, as being my own property and my own selection."

At the Literary Club, one evening, Jennings' dog was the topic of
discussion: "_F._ (_Lord Cipper O'Geary._) 'I have been looking at this
famous marble dog of Mr. Jennings', valued at 1,000 guineas, said to be
Alcibiades' dog.'--_Johnson_. 'His tail, then, must be docked. That was
the mark of Alcibiades' dog.'--_E._ (_Burke._) 'A thousand guineas! the
representation of no animal whatever is worth so much. At this rate, a
dead dog would, indeed, be better than a living lion.'--_J._ 'Sir, it
is not the worth of the thing, but of the skill in forming it, which
is so highly estimated. Everything that enlarges the sphere of human
powers, that shows man he can do what he thought he could not do, is

But Mr. Jennings, like many other collectors, owing to a reverse of
fortune, was compelled, in 1778, to break up his collection, which
being sold by auction, the dog of Alcibiades brought 1,000 guineas, and
became the property of Mr. Duncombe, M.P. It is now at Duncombe Park,
in Yorkshire, the seat of Lord Feversham.

It is painful to read that the latter days of Mr. Jennings were spent
in the King's Bench; and within the rules of that prison he died,
February 17th, 1819, at his lodgings in Belvedere Place, St. George's
Fields, in his eighty-eighth year.

Baron Ward's Remarkable Career.

Perhaps no man of modern times passed a more varied and romantic life
than the famed Yorkshire groom, statesman, and friend of sovereigns,
and who played so prominent a part at the Court of Parma; his career
strongly exemplifying the adage that truth is stranger than fiction.

Thomas Ward was born at York, on the 9th of October 1810, where he was
brought up in the stable, but was shrewd and intelligent far beyond
boys of his own station.

He left Yorkshire as a boy in the pay of Prince Lichtenstein, of
Hungary; and after a four years' successful career on the turf at
Vienna as a jockey, he became employed by the then reigning Duke of

He was at Lucca promoted from the stable to be a valet to his Royal
Highness, which service he performed up to 1846. About that period
he was appointed Master of the Horse to the Ducal Court, when he
made extraordinary changes in that department: the stable expenses
were reduced more than one-half. Yet the Duke's stud was the envy
and admiration of all Italy. Eventually, Ward became Minister of the
Household and Minister of Finance, and acquired a diplomatic dignity in
the disturbances which preceded the revolutionary year, 1848, when he
was despatched to Florence upon a confidential mission of the highest
importance. This had no less an object than the delivery, to the Grand
Duke, of his master's abdication of the Lucchese principality. At first
the Grand Duke hesitated at receiving, in a diplomatic capacity, one of
whom he had only heard in relation to the races of the Casino. But our
envoy had seen and provided for such an emergency. He produced from his
pocket a commission, making him Viceroy of the Duke's estates, which
was to be acted upon if the Grand Duke raised any obstacle, or even if
he refused to receive Ward as ambassador of the states of Parma, at the
capital of the Medicis; this, of course, ended all difficulties.

Ward held the above offices until the Duke's rule was violently
terminated by the great Revolution of 1848. With some difficulty he
escaped with his able and faithful minister, when they retired to an
estate near Dresden, called Weisstrop. At this period Ward became an
active agent of Austria, and as Austria triumphed, he recovered the
hereditary estates of Parma and Placentia; but the Duke, disgusted
by his experience, resigned in favour of his own son, with whom the
minister retained the same favour and exhibited the same talents that
first raised him to distinction, and made him more than a match for the
first of the Italian diplomatists. Upon one occasion he was despatched
to Vienna as an envoy from his little court, when he astonished
Schwartzenberg by the extent of his capacity. His acquaintance was
specially cultivated by the Russian Ambassador, Meyendorff, who appears
to have been very fond of Yorkshire hams. An English gentleman, supping
one night at the Russian Ambassador's, complimented him upon the
excellence of the ham. "There is a member of our diplomatic body here,"
replied Meyendorff, "who supplies us all with hams from Yorkshire, of
which county he is a native."

As prime minister, Ward negotiated the abdication of Charles II.,
and placed the youthful Charles III. on the throne, who, it will
be remembered, was assassinated before his own palace in 1854. It
should be observed that as soon as Charles III. came to the throne,
the then Baron Ward was sent to Germany by his patron as Minister
Plenipotentiary, to represent Parma at the Court of Vienna. This post
he held up to the time of his royal patron's tragical end.

When the Duchess-Regent assumed state authority, Ward retired from
public life, and took to agricultural pursuits in the Austrian
dominions. Without any educational foundation, he contrived to write
and speak German, French, and Italian, and conducted the affairs
of state with considerable cleverness, if not with remarkable
straightforwardness. But the moment he attempted to express himself in
English, his dialect was found to retain all the characteristics of his
want of education. Lord Palmerston once declared that Ward "was one of
the most remarkable men he had ever met with."

Throughout life, Ward was ever proud of his country, never for a
moment attempting to conceal his humble origin; and portraits of his
parents, in their homespun clothes, may be seen in the splendid saloon
of the Prime Minister of Parma.

Baron Ward was married to a humble person of Vienna, and at his death
he left four children. From the stable he rose to the highest offices
of a little kingdom, at a period of great European political interest,
and died in retirement, pursuing the rustic occupation of a farmer, but
carrying with him to the grave many curious state secrets.

The following is a partial list only of the honours to which Ward
attained:--Baron of the Duchy of Lucca, and of the Grand Duchy of
Tuscany; Knight of the First Class of the Order of St. Louis of Lucca;
Knight Grand Cross of the Order of St. Joseph of Tuscany; Knight
Senator Grand Cross of the Order of St. George Constantinano of Parma;
and Noble, with the title of Baron, in Tuscany; Honorary Councillor of
State to his Imperial Highness the Grand Duke of Tuscany; Minister and
Councillor of State to H.R.H. Charles Duke of Parma, &c.[14]

[14] _Family Romance._ By J. Bernard Burke. Vol. ii.

A Costly House-Warming.

Fifty years ago, there lived in Edward Street, Portman Square, one
Parmentier, confectioner to the Prince Regent. From his emporium,
and that of Romualdo, in Duke Street, the _routs_ given in the
neighbouring squares were sumptuously supplied. In this quarter lived
keepers of china and glass shops, who undertook, at a few hours'
notice, to supply all the movables and ornaments for large _routs_,
as chairs, tables, china and glass, knives and forks, extra plate,
looking-glasses, mirrors, girandoles, chandeliers, wax-lights,
candelabra-lamps, Aurelian shades, transparencies, vases, and other
decorative items for a complete suite of rooms; together with exotics
and green-house plants, and a corps of artists to chalk the floors.
It was by this almost magical aid that the Earl of Shrewsbury gave
his magnificent house-warming to the _haut ton_ at his new mansion
in Bryanstone Square, which was then in so unfinished a state that
the walls in many of the apartments were not even plastered. To the
astonishment and delight of the guests, the whole mansion was thrown
open, and every room was furnished and decorated in the most superb
style. The principal drawing-room, with its numerous lamps and large
looking-glasses, appeared one blaze of light; in contrast to which,
another room in sombre gloom, resembled an Arcadian grove of orange
and lemon trees and myrtles, part natural and part artificial. The
amusements consisted of a dramatic representation, a concert, a
dress-ball, a masquerade, and a sumptuous supper of three hundred
covers. These elegant festivities cost the Earl several thousand pounds.

In the same neighbourhood, at the corner of George Street, Mohammed, a
native of Asia, opened a house for giving dinners in the Hindustanee
style. All the dishes were dressed with currie-powder, rice, cayenne,
and the finest spices of Arabia. A room was set apart for smoking
from hookahs with Oriental herbs. The rooms were furnished with
chairs and sofas made of bamboo canes, and the walls were hung with
Chinese pictures and other Asiatic embellishments. Either Sidi
Mohammed's capital was not sufficient to stand the slow test of public
encouragement, or the scheme failed at once; for Sidi became bankrupt,
and the undertaking was relinquished.

Devonshire Eccentrics.

Some years since, there lived a gentleman in Tavistock, very charitably
disposed, who entertained an especial good will and kind feeling
towards old sailors. Any old sailor, by calling at his door, received
the donation of a shilling and a glass of grog. It was marvellous
to see what a number of veteran blue jackets paid him a visit in the
course of a year. At last, the servant who opened the door observed
that all these sons of the sea had a particular patch on one and the
same arm. She began, at length, to fancy that the old patch must be
some badge of honour in the service, yet she thought it a very odd
distinction in his Majesty's navy. The circumstance awakened her
suspicion. The next old blue jacket that appeared, decorated with the
order of the patch, was therefore watched and followed to his retreat.
He was observed to retire to the house of a certain old woman, and
in a little while he was seen to come forth again in his own natural
character, that of a street beggar, clothed in rags. The cheat was
apparent; and suffice it to say, that on further examination it
appeared that the old woman's house was one of friendly call to all the
vagabonds and sharpers who paced the country round; and that amongst
other masquerade attire for the callers, she kept by her a sailor's old
jacket and trousers for the purpose of playing off the imposition. No
doubt she was paid for the loan of the dress.

At Tavistock, also, there resided a strange character in humble life,
named Carter Foote. On returning from Oakhampton, he remounted his
horse, after having enjoyed himself at the public-house, and attempted
to pass the river below the bridge by fording it over. The day had
been stormy, and from the sudden swell of the river he found himself
in extreme danger. After endeavouring to struggle with the current
he leaped from his horse upon a large piece of the rock, and there
stood, calling aloud for help. Some person going by, ran and procured
a rope, which he endeavoured to throw towards the rock; but finding
it impossible to do so without further assistance, he begged two men
belonging to Oakhampton, who drew near the spot, to give him help,
and save the stranger, whose life was in so much peril. One of them,
however, very leisurely looked at the sufferer, and only saying, "'Tis
a Tav'stock man, let un go," walked off with his companion, and poor
Carter Foote was drowned.

Mrs. Bray relates the following of a Devonshire physician, happily
named Vial, who was a desperate lover of whist. One evening, in the
midst of a deal, the doctor fell off his chair in a fit. Consternation
seized on the company. Was he alive or dead? What was to be done? All
help was given; hartshorn was poured almost down his throat by one kind
female friend, whilst another feelingly singed the end of his nose with
burning feathers; all were in the breathless agony of suspense for his
safety. At length, he showed signs of life, and retaining the last fond
idea which had possessed him at the moment he fell into the fit, to the
joy of the whole company exclaimed, "What is trumps?"

Many years ago, there resided in Devonshire a certain old gentleman,
nicknamed Redpost Fynes, from his having painted all the gates of
his fields a bright vermilion. The squire was remarkable for never
having been able to learn to spell even the commonest word in his own
language; so that on the birth of his daughter, he wrote to a friend
that his wife was brought to bed of a fine _gull_. The word _usage_
he spelt without one letter belonging to it, and yet contrived to
produce something like the word, at least in sound, for he wrote it
thus, _yowzitch_. Near his house was a very old and grotesque tree, cut
and clipped in the form of a punchbowl; whilst a table and seats were
literally affixed within the green enclosure, to which was an ascent by
a little ladder, like the companion-ladder of a ship.

[Illustration: Hannah Snell.]

Hannah Snell, the Female Soldier.

This extraordinary woman was born in Fryer Street, Worcester, on the
23rd of April 1723. Her grandfather, embracing the military profession,
served under William III. and Queen Anne, and terminated his career at
the battle of Malplaquet, where he received a mortal wound. Snell's
father was a hosier and dyer.

In 1740, Hannah, having lost both parents, came to London, where she
for some time resided with one of her sisters, married to one Gray, a
carpenter, in Ship Street, Wapping. Here she became acquainted with a
Dutch seaman, named James Summs, to whom she was married early in 1743.
Her husband led a profligate life, squandered the little property which
his wife possessed, and having involved her deeply in debt, deserted
her, leaving her pregnant; in two months she was delivered of a girl,
who died at the age of seven months.

For some time she resided with her sister, but soon resolved to set
out in quest of the man, whom, notwithstanding his ill-usage, she
still continued to love. In order to carry out this strange resolve,
as she thought, more safely, she put on a suit of the clothes of her
brother-in-law, assumed his name, James Gray, and started on the 23rd
of November, 1745. Having travelled to Coventry, and being unable
to procure any intelligence of her husband, on the 27th of the same
month she enlisted into General Guise's regiment, and in the company
belonging to Captain Miller. She remained at Coventry about three
weeks. The north being then the seat of war, and her regiment being at
Carlisle, she left Coventry with seventeen other recruits, and joined
the regiment, after a march of three weeks, which she performed with
as much ease as any of her comrades. At Carlisle she was instructed in
the military exercise, which she was soon able to perform with skill
and dexterity. She had not been long in this place, when a man named
Davis applied to Hannah to assist him in an intrigue; she appeared
to acquiesce in his desire, but privately disclosed the whole matter
to the intended victim. By this conduct she gained the young woman's
confidence and esteem; they frequently met, which excited the jealousy
of Davis, and prompted revenge. He accordingly seized an opportunity of
charging his supposed rival before the commanding officer with neglect
of duty, and she was sentenced to receive six hundred lashes. Five
hundred were inflicted, but the remaining hundred were remitted through
the intercession of some of the officers.

Not long after this unhappy occurrence, a fresh recruit, a native
of Worcester, and a carpenter, who had lodged at the house of her
brother-in-law, joined the regiment, when Hannah becoming apprehensive
of the discovery of her sex resolved to desert. Her female friend
endeavoured to dissuade her from such a dangerous enterprise; but
finding her resolution fixed, she furnished her with money, and Hannah
commenced her journey on foot for Portsmouth. About a mile from
Carlisle, perceiving some men employed in picking peas, and their
clothes lying at some distance, she exchanged her regimental coat for
one of the old coats belonging to one of the men, and proceeded on her
journey. At Liverpool and Chester, Hannah contrived, by her attentions
to a landlady and a young mantua-maker, to obtain some money; but in an
intrigue with a widow at Winchester our gallant was less successful,
the widow rifling her pockets, and leaving her with but a few shillings
to finish her journey on foot. Arrived at Portsmouth, she soon enlisted
as a marine in Colonel Fraser's regiment which in three weeks was
drafted for the East Indies, and Hannah, among the rest, was ordered
to repair on board the _Swallow_ sloop, in Admiral Boscawen's fleet.
She soon distinguished herself on board by her dexterity in washing,
mending, and cooking for her messmates, and she thus became a great
favourite with the crew of the sloop. She was regarded as a boy, and in
case of an engagement her station was on the quarter-deck, to fight at
small arms, and she was one of the afterguard; she was also obliged to
keep watch every four hours night and day, and frequently to go aloft.
We read likewise of the _Swallow_ being in a violent tempest, and
almost reduced to a wreck: Hannah took her turn at the pump, which was
kept constantly going, and she declined no office, however dangerous,
but established her character for courage, skill, and intrepidity.

The ship then made the best of her way to the Cape of Good Hope, during
their voyage from which they were reduced to short allowance, and but
a pint of water a day. The admiral next bore away for Fort St. David,
on the coast of Coromandel, where the fleet soon afterwards arrived.
Hannah, with the rest of the marines, being disembarked, after a march
of three weeks, joined the English army encamped before Aria-Coupon,
which place was to have been stormed; but a shell having burst and
blown up their magazine, the besieged were obliged to abandon it. This
adventure gave Hannah fresh spirits, and her intrepid conduct acquired
the commendation of all the officers.

The army then proceeded to the attack of Pondicherry, and after lying
before that place eleven weeks, and suffering very great hardships,
they were obliged by the rainy season to abandon the siege. Hannah
was the first in the party of English foot who forded the river,
breast-high, under an incessant fire from a French battery. She was
likewise on the picket-guard, continued on that duty seven nights
successively, and laboured very hard about fourteen days at throwing up
the trenches. In one of the attacks, however, her career was well-nigh
terminated. She fired thirty-seven rounds during the engagement, and
received, according to her account, six shots in her right leg, five in
the left, and, what was still more painful, a dangerous wound in the
lower part of her body, which she feared might lead to the discovery
of her disguise to the surgeons. She, however, intrusted her secret
to a negress who attended her, and brought her lint and salve; after
most acute suffering she extracted the ball with her finger and thumb,
and made a perfect cure. Meanwhile the greater part of the fleet had
sailed. She was then sent on board the _Tartar_ pink, and continued
to do the duty of a sailor till the return of the fleet from Madras.
She was soon afterwards turned over to the _Eltham_ man-of-war, and
sailed with that ship to Bombay. Here the vessel, which had sprung a
leak on the passage, was heaved down for repair, which lasted five
weeks. The captain remained on shore, while Hannah, in common with the
rest of the crew, had her turn on the watch. On one of these occasions,
Mr. Allen, the lieutenant who commanded in the captain's absence,
desired her to sing a song, but she excused herself, saying she was
unwell; the officer, however, insisted that she should sing, which
she as resolutely refused to do. She soon had occasion to regret her
non-compliance, for being suspected of stealing a shirt belonging to
one of her comrades, though no proof could be adduced, the lieutenant
ordered her to be put in irons. After remaining there five days, she
was ordered to the gangway, and received twelve lashes, and she was
then sent to the topmast-head for four hours. The missing shirt was
afterwards found in the chest of the man who complained that he had
lost it.

About this time the sailors began to rally Hannah because she had no
beard, and they soon afterwards jocosely christened her Miss Molly
Gray; this alarmed her, lest some of the crew might suspect that she
was a female; but she took part in their scenes of dissipation with
such glee, that she was soon called Hearty Jemmy.

While the vessel remained at Lisbon, on her passage home, she met with
an English sailor who had been at Genoa in a Dutch vessel. She took the
opportunity of inquiring after her long-lost husband, and was informed
that he had been confined at Genoa for murdering a native gentleman of
that city, a person of some distinction; and that to expiate his crime,
he was put into a sack with a quantity of stones, and thus thrown into
the sea. Distressing as this information must have been, Hannah had
sufficient command over herself to conceal her emotions.

Leaving Lisbon, Hannah arrived safely at Spithead. At Portsmouth she
met her female friend, for whose sake she had been whipped at Carlisle.
This girl was still single, and would have married Hannah, had she
chosen to discover herself. She, however, proceeded to London, where
she was heartily received by her sister. She soon afterwards met with
some of her shipmates; and, after receiving her pay, she was about to
part with them, when she revealed her sex, and one of them immediately
offered to marry her, but she declined.

Hannah's strange career had now acquired her popularity, and as she
possessed a good voice, she obtained an engagement at the Royalty
Theatre, in Wellclose Square, where she appeared in the character of
Bill Bobstay, a sailor; she also represented Firelock, a military
character, and in a masterly and correct manner went through the manual
and platoon exercises. She, however, quitted the stage in a few months;
and as she preferred male attire, she resolved to continue to wear it
during the remainder of her life; she usually wore a laced hat and
cockade, and a sword and ruffles. There were good portraits of her
published in 1750.

Hannah now became an out-pensioner of Chelsea Hospital on account
of the wounds she received at the siege of Pondicherry, her pension
being 30_l._ She next took a public-house at Wapping; on one side of
the signboard was painted the figure of a jolly British tar, and on
the other the valiant marine; underneath was inscribed, "The Widow
in Masquerade, or the Female Warrior." She continued to keep this
house for many years; and afterwards married one Eyles, a carpenter,
at Newbury, in Berkshire. A lady of fortune, who admired Hannah's
heroism and eccentricity of conduct, took special notice of her, became
godmother to her son, and contributed towards his education. Mrs. Eyles
continued to receive her pension to the day of her death. She lived for
some time with her son in Church Street, Stoke Newington; but, about
three years before her death, she showed symptoms of insanity, and was
admitted as patient at Bethlem Hospital, Moorfields, where she died
February 8, 1792, aged sixty-nine years.

[Illustration: Lady Archer enamelling at her Toilet.]

Lady Archer.

This lady, formerly Miss West, lived to a good age--a proof that
cosmetics are not so fatal as some would have us suppose. Nature had
given her a fine aquiline nose, like the princesses of the House
of Austria, and she did not fail to give herself a complexion. She
resembled a fine old wainscoted painting, with the face and features
shining through a thick incrustation of copal varnish.

Her ladyship was for many years the wonder of the fashionable world,
envied by all the ladies of the Court of George the Third. She had a
well-appointed house in Portland Place. Her equipage was, with her, a
sort of scenery. She gloried in milk-white horses to her carriage, the
coachmen and footmen wore very showy liveries, and the carriage was
lined with silk of a tint to exhibit the complexion to advantage.

Alexander Stephens, amongst whose papers was found this account of
Lady Archer, tells us that he recollected to have seen Mrs. Robinson
(the _Perdita_ of the Prince of Wales's love) go far beyond all this
in the exuberance of her genius, in a yellow lining to her landau,
with a black footman, to contrast with her beautiful complexion and
fascinating figure, and thus render both more lovely. Lady Archer lived
at Barn Elms Terrace, and her house had the most elegant ornaments
and draperies to strike the senses, and yet powerfully address the
imagination. Her kitchen-garden and pleasure-ground, of five acres--the
Thames, flowing in front, as if a portion of the estate--the apartments
decorated in the Chinese style, and opening into hothouses stored
with fruits of the richest growth, and greenhouses with plants of
great rarity and beauty, and superb couches and draperies, effectively
placed, rendered her home a sort of elysium of luxury.

Barn Elms will be remembered as the scene of an older
eccentricity--Heydegger's instantaneous light reception of George II.,
a device worthy of the master of the revels.


[Illustration: The Alchemist.]

Modern Alchemists.

It may take some readers by surprise to learn that there have been true
believers in alchemy in our days. Dr. Price is commonly set down in
popular journals as _the last of the alchemists_. This is, however, a
mistake, as we shall proceed to show; before which, however, it will be
interesting to sketch the history of this reputed alchemist.

Towards the close of the last century, Dr. James Price, a medical
practitioner in the neighbourhood of Guildford, Surrey, acquired
some notoriety by an alleged discovery of methods of transmuting
mercury into gold or silver. He had been a student of Oriel College,
Oxford, where he obtained the degree of Bachelor of Physic. In 1782
he published an account of his experiments on mercury, silver, and
gold, performed at Guildford, in that year, before Lord King and
others, to whom he appealed as eye-witnesses of his wonder-working
power. It seems that mercury being put into a crucible, and heated in
the fire with other ingredients (which had been shown to contain no
gold), he added a red powder; the crucible was again heated, and being
suffered to cool, amongst its contents, on examination, was found a
globule of pure gold. By a similar process with a white powder, he
produced a globule of silver. The character of the witnesses of these
manifestations gave credit and celebrity for a time to Price, who was
honoured by the University with the degree of Doctor of Physic, and
he was also elected a Fellow of the Royal Society. Dr. Price had now
placed himself in a perilous position; for persons acquainted with the
history of alchemy must have conjectured how the gold and silver in his
experiments might have been procured with any transmutation of mercury
or any other substance. The Royal Society authoritatively required that
the pretensions of the new associate should be properly sifted, and
his claim as a discoverer be clearly established, or his character as
an impostor exposed. A repetition of the doctor's experiments before a
committee of the Royal Society was commanded on pain of expulsion; when
the unfortunate man, rather than submit to the ordeal, took a draught
of laurel-water, and died on July 31, 1783, in his twenty-fifth year.

At the beginning of the present century, some persons of eminence in
science thought favourably of alchemy. Professor Robinson, writing
to James Watt, February 11, 1800, says, "The analysis of alkalies
and alkaline earth will presently lead, I think, to a doctrine of _a
reciprocal convertibility of all things into all ... and I expect to
see alchemy revive_, and be as universally studied as ever."

Sir Walter Scott, in his well-known paper on Astrology and Alchemy, in
_The Quarterly Review_, tells us that about the year 1801, an adept
lived, or rather starved, in the metropolis, in the person of the
editor of an evening newspaper, who expected to compound the alkahat,
if he could only keep his materials digested in his lamp-furnace for
the space of seven years. Scott adds, in pleasant banter, "the lamp
burnt brightly during six years, eleven months, and some odd days, and
then unluckily it went out. Why it went out, the adept could never
guess; but he was certain that if the flame could only have burnt to
the end of the septenary cycle, the experiment must have succeeded."

The last true believer in alchemy was not Dr. Price, but Peter Woulfe,
the eminent chemist, and Fellow of the Royal Society, and who made
experiments to show the nature of mosaic gold. Mr. Brande says: "It
is to be regretted that no biographical memoir has been preserved
of Woulfe. I have picked up a few anecdotes respecting him from two
or three friends who were his acquaintance. He occupied chambers in
Barnard's Inn, Holborn (the older buildings), while residing in London,
and usually spent the summer in Paris. His rooms, which were extensive,
were so filled with furnaces and apparatus that it was difficult to
reach his fireside. A friend told me that he once put down his hat, and
never could find it again, such was the confusion of boxes, packages,
and parcels that lay about the chamber. His breakfast-hour was four in
the morning; a few of his select friends were occasionally invited to
this repast, to whom a secret signal was given by which they gained
entrance, knocking a certain number of times at the inner door of his
apartment. He had long vainly searched for the Elixir, and attributed
his repeated failures to the want of due preparation by pious and
charitable acts. I understand that some of his apparatus is still
extant, upon which are supplications for success and for the welfare
of the adepts. Whenever he wished to break an acquaintance, or felt
himself offended, he resented the supposed injury by sending a present
to the offender, and never seeing him afterwards. These presents were
sometimes of a curious description, and consisted usually of some
expensive chemical product or preparation. He had an heroic remedy for
illness; when he felt himself seriously indisposed, he took a place in
the Edinburgh mail, and having reached that city, immediately came back
in the returning coach to London."

A cold taken in one of these expeditions terminated in inflammation of
the lungs, of which Woulfe died in the year 1805. Of his last moments
we received the following account from his executor, then Treasurer of
Barnard's Inn. By Woulfe's desire, his laundress shut up his chambers,
and left him, but returned at midnight, when Woulfe was still alive.
Next morning, however, she _found him dead_! His countenance was calm
and serene, and apparently he had not moved from the position in his
chair in which she had last left him.

Twenty years after the death of Peter Woulfe, Sir Richard Phillips
visited "an alchemist" named Kellerman, at the village of Lilley,
between Luton and Hitchin. He was believed by some of his neighbours
to have discovered the Philosopher's Stone and the Universal Solvent.
His room was a realisation of the well-known picture of Tenier's
Alchemist. The floor was strewed with retorts, crucibles, alembics,
jars, and bottles of various shapes, intermingled with old books.
He gave Sir Richard a history of his studies, mentioned some men in
London who, he alleged, had assured him that they had made gold; that
having, in consequence, examined the works of the ancient alchemists,
and discovered the key which they had studiously concealed from the
multitude, he had pursued their system under the influence of new
lights; and, after suffering numerous disappointments, owing to the
ambiguity with which they described their processes, he had at length
happily succeeded; had made gold, and could make as much more as he
pleased, even to the extent of paying off the National Debt in the coin
of the realm!

Killerman then enlarged upon the merits of the ancient alchemists,
and on the blunders and assumptions of modern chemists. He quoted
Roger and Francis Bacon, Paracelsus, Boyle, Boerhaave, Woulfe, and
others to justify his pursuits. As to the term Philosopher's Stone, he
alleged that it was a mere figure to deceive the vulgar. He appeared
to give full credit to the silly story of Dee's finding the Elixir at
Glastonbury, by means of which, as he said, Kelly for a length of time
supported himself in princely splendour. Kellerman added, that he had
discovered the _blacker than black_ of Apollonius Tyanus: it was itself
"the powder of projection for producing gold."

It further appeared that Kellerman had lived in the premises at Lilley
for twenty-three years, during fourteen of which he had pursued his
alchemical studies with unremitting ardour, keeping eight assistants
for superintending his crucibles, two at a time, relieving each other
every six hours; that he had exposed some preparations to intense heat
for many months at a time; but that all except one crucible had burst,
and that, Kellerman said, contained the true "blacker than black."
One of his assistants, however, protested that no gold had ever been
found, and that no mercury had ever been fixed; for he was quite sure
Kellerman could not have concealed it from his assistants; while, on
the contrary, they witnessed his severe disappointment at the result of
his most elaborate experiments.

Of late years there have been some strange revivals of alchemical
pursuits. In 1850 there was printed in London a volume of considerable
extent, entitled, _A Suggestive Inquiry into the Hermetic Mystery_--the
work of a lady, by whom it has been suppressed; we have seen it
described as "a learned and valuable book."

By this circumstance we are reminded that some five-and-thirty years
since it came to our knowledge that a man of wealth and position in the
City of London, an _adept_ in alchemy, was held _in terrorem_ by an
unprincipled person, who extorted from him considerable sums of money
under threats of exposure, which would have affected his mercantile

Nevertheless, alchemy has, in the present day, its prophetic advocates,
who predict what may be considered a return to its strangest belief. A
Göttingen professor says, in the _Annales de Chimie_, No. 100, that in
the nineteenth century the transmutation of metals will be generally
known and practised. Every chemist and every artist will make gold;
kitchen utensils will be of silver and even gold, which will contribute
more than anything else to prolong life, poisoned at present by the
oxide of copper, lead, and iron which we daily swallow with our food.
More recently, MM. Dr. Henri Fabre and Franz have placed before the
French Academy their discovery of the means of transmuting silver,
copper, and quicksilver into gold.

[Illustration: Jack Adams, the Astrologer.

_Magnifico Smokentissimo Custardissimo Astrologissimo Cunningmanisso
Rabbinissimo Viro Jacko Adams de Clerkenwell Greeno hanc lovelissimam
Sui Picturam._

Hovbedeboody pinxit et scratchabat.]

Jack Adams, the Astrologer.

Among the celebrities of Clerkenwell Green was Jack Adams, whose
nativity was calculated by Partridge, who affirmed that he was born
on the 3rd of December, 1625, and that he was so great a _natural_, or
simpleton, as to be obliged to wear long coats, besides other marks of
stupidity; and that the parish not only maintained him, but allowed a
nurse to attend him to preserve him from harm. Allusion is made to him
in a satirical ballad of 1655:--

    Jack Adams, sure, was pamet (poet) by the vein.

And in the _Wits, or Sport upon Sport_, 1682, we read of his visit
to the Red Bull playhouse, where Simpleton, the smith, appearing on
the stage with a large piece of bread-and-butter, Jack Adams, knowing
him, cried out, "Cuz, Cuz, give me some," to the great pleasure of the
audience. Ward thus mentions his celebrity:--

    What mortal that has sense or thought
    Would strip Jack Adams of his coat;
    Or who would be by friends decoyed
    To wear a badge he would avoid?

Jack Adams was a conjurer and professor of the celestial sciences; he
was (says Granger's Supplement) "a blind buzzard, who pretended to have
the eyes of an eagle. He was chiefly employed in horary questions,
relative to love and marriage, and knew, upon proper occasions, how to
soothe and flatter the expectations of those who consulted him, as a
man might have much better fortune from him for five guineas than for
the same number of shillings. He affected a singular dress, and cast
horoscopes with great solemnity. When he failed in his predictions,
he declared that the stars did not absolutely force, but powerfully
incline, and threw the blame upon wayward and perverse fate. He assumed
the character of a learned and cunning man; but was no otherwise
cunning than as he knew how to overreach those credulous mortals who
were as willing to be cheated as he was to cheat them, and who relied
implicitly upon his art." Mr. Warner says: "A short time after we
removed into the house (No. 7, Clerkenwell Green), two young women
applied to have their fortunes told; upon being informed they were
under some mistake, one expressed great surprise, and stated that was
the place she always came to, and she thought some of Mr. Adams's
family always resided there. This was the first time I ever heard
anything of Jack Adams. Several similar applications were made by other
persons, and we afterwards learnt that it had been occupied by persons
of that profession for many years, and they generally went by the name
of Adams."[15]

[15] Pinks's _History of Clerkenwell_, 1865, p. 110.

In an old print we have Jack Adams in a fantastic dress, with a
tobacco-pipe in his girdle, standing at a table on which lies a
horn-book and _Poor Robin's Almanack_. On one shelf is a row of books,
and on another several boys' playthings, particularly tops, marbles,
and a small drum. Before him is a man genteelly dressed, presenting
five pieces; from his mouth proceeds a label, inscribed, "Is she a
princess?" This is meant for Carleton, who married the pretended German
princess. Behind him is a ragged, slatternly woman, who has also a
label in her mouth, with these words: "Sir, can you tell my fortune?"
In _Poor Robin's Almanack_ for 1785 are these lines:

    Now should I choose t'invoke a Muse--
      Muses are fickle madams;
    Else I could go my poem through
      Ere you could say _Jack Adams_.

In the City of London Library is an original print of Jack Adams, and a
copy by Caulfield.

The Woman-hating Cavendish.

Eccentricity in men of science is not rare. The Hon. Henry Cavendish,
who demonstrated, in 1781, the composition of water, was a remarkable
instance. He was an excellent mathematician, electrician, astronomer,
and geologist; and as alchemist shot far ahead of his contemporaries.
But he was a sort of methodical recluse, and an enormous fortune left
him by his uncle did little to change his habits. His shyness and
aversion to society bordered on disease. To be looked at or addressed
by a stranger seemed to give him positive pain, when he would dart
away as if hurt. At Sir Joseph Banks's _soirées_ he would stand for
a long time on the landing, afraid to face the company. At one of
these parties the titles and qualifications of Cavendish were formally
recited when he was introduced to an Austrian gentleman. The Austrian
became complimentary, saying his chief reason for coming to London
was to see and converse with Cavendish, one of the greatest ornaments
of the age, and one of the most illustrious philosophers that ever
existed. Cavendish answered not a word, but stood with his eyes cast
down, abashed, and in misery. At last, seeing an opening in the crowd,
he flew to the door, nor did he stop till he reached his carriage and
drove directly home. Any attempt to draw him into conversation was
almost certain to fail, and Dr. Wollaston's recipe for treating with
him usually answered best: "The way to talk to Cavendish is, never to
look at him, but to talk as if it were into a vacancy, and then it is
not unlikely you may set him going."

Among the anecdotes which floated about it is related that Cavendish,
the club Crœsus, attended the meetings of the Royal Society Club with
only money enough in his pocket to pay for his dinner; that he declined
taking tavern soup, picked his teeth with a fork, invariably hung his
hat upon the same peg, and always stuck his cane in his right boot.
More apocryphal is the anecdote that one evening Cavendish observed a
pretty girl looking out from an upper window on the opposite side of
the street, watching the philosophers at dinner. She attracted notice,
and one by one they got up, and mustered round the window to admire
the fair one. Cavendish, who thought they were looking at the moon,
bustled up to them in his odd way, and when he saw the real object of
attraction, turned away with intense disgust, and grunted out "Pshaw!"
the more amorous conduct of his brother philosophers having horrified
the woman-hating Cavendish.

If men were a trouble to him, women were an abhorrence. With his
housekeeper he generally communicated with notes deposited on the
hall-table. He would never see a female servant; and if an unlucky
maid showed herself she was instantly dismissed. To prevent inevitable
encounters he had a second staircase erected in his villa at Clapham.
In all his habits he was punctiliously regular, even to his hanging his
hat upon the same peg. From an unvarying walk he was, however, driven
by being gazed at. Two ladies led a gentleman on his track, in order
that he might obtain a sight of the philosopher. As he was getting over
a stile he saw, to his horror, that he was being watched, and he never
appeared in that path again. That he was not quite merciless to the sex
was proved by his saving a lady from the pursuit of a mad cow.

Cavendish's town house was near the British Museum, at the corner
of Gower Street and Montague Place. Few visitors were admitted, and
those who crossed the threshold reported that books and apparatus
were its chief furniture. He collected a large library of scientific
books, hired a house for its reception in Dean Street, Soho, and kept
a librarian. When he wanted one of his own books, he went there as
to a circulating library, and left a formal receipt for whatever he
took away. Nearly the whole of his villa at Clapham was occupied as
workshops; the upper rooms were an observatory, the drawing-room was
a laboratory. On the lawn was a wooden stage, from which access could
be had to a large tree, to the top of which Cavendish, in the course
of his astronomical and meteorological observations, and electrical
experiments, occasionally ascended. His apparatus was roughly
constructed, but was always exact and accurate.

His household was strangely managed. He received but little company,
and the few guests were treated on all occasions to the same fare--a
leg of mutton. One day, four scientific friends were to dine with him;
when his housekeeper asked him what was to be got for dinner, Cavendish
replied, "A leg of mutton."

"Sir," said she, "that will not be enough for five."

"Well, then, get two," was the reply.

Cavendish extended his eccentric reception to his own family. His
heir, Lord George Cavendish, visited him once a-year, and was allowed
an audience of but half-an-hour. His great income was allowed to
accumulate without attention. The bankers where he kept his account,
finding they had in hand a balance of 80,000_l._, apprised him of the
same. The messenger was announced, and Cavendish, in great agitation,
desired him to be sent up; and, as he entered the room, the ruffled
philosopher cried, "What do you come here for! what do you want with

"Sir, I thought it proper to wait upon you, as we have a very large
balance in hand of yours, and we wish your orders respecting it."

"If it is any trouble to you, I will take it out of your hands. Do not
come here to plague me!"

"Not the least trouble to us, sir, not the least; but we thought you
might like some of it to be invested."

"Well, well, what do you want to do?"

"Perhaps you would like 40,000_l._ invested."

"Do so, do so! and don't come here to trouble me, or I'll remove it,"
was the churlish finale of the interview.

Cavendish died in 1810, at the age of seventy-eight. He was then the
largest holder of Bank-stock in England. He owned 1,157,000_l._ in
different public funds; he had besides, freehold property of 8,000_l._
a-year, and a balance of 50,000_l._ at his bankers. He was long a
member of the Royal Society Club, and it was reported at his death
that he had left a thumping legacy to Lord Bessborough, in gratitude
for his Lordship's piquant conversation at the club meetings; but
no such reason can be found in the will lodged at Doctors' Commons.
Therein, Cavendish names three of his club-mates--namely, Alexander
Dalrymple to receive 5,000_l._, Dr. Hunter 5,000_l._, and Sir Charles
Blagden (coadjutor in the water question) 15,000_l._ After certain
other bequests, the will proceeds: "The remainder of the funds (nearly
100,000_l._) to be divided: one-sixth to the Earl of Bessborough,"
while Lord George Henry Cavendish had two-sixths instead of one. "It
is, therefore," says Admiral Smyth, in his _History of the Royal
Society Club_, "patent that the money thus passed over from uncle to
nephew was a mere consequence of relationship, and not at all owing to
any flowers or powers of conversation at the Royal Society Club."

Cavendish never changed the fashion or cut of his dress, so that his
appearance in 1810, in a costume of sixty years previously, was odd,
and drew upon him the notice which he so much disliked. His complexion
was fair, his temperament nervous, and his voice squeaking. The only
portrait that exists of him was sketched without his knowledge. Dr.
George Wilson, who has left a clever memoir of Cavendish, says:
"An intellectual head, thinking--a pair of wonderful acute eyes,
observing--a pair of very skilful hands, experimenting or recording,
are all that I realize in reading his memorials."

Modern Astrology.--"Witch Pickles."

It would be an acquisition to our knowledge if some one competent
to the task would collect materials for the history of the men who,
within the present century, have made a profession of _judicial
astrology_. Attention is occasionally drawn to the practices of
itinerant fortune-tellers, many of whom still procure a livelihood.
The astrologer, however, or, as he is denominated in some districts
of England--more particularly in Yorkshire--a "planet-ruler," and
sometimes "a wise man," is of a higher order. He does not itinerate,
is generally a man of some education, possessed of a good deal of
fragmentary knowledge and a smattering of science. He very often
conceals his real profession by practising as a "Water Doctor" or as a
"Bone-setter," and some possess a considerable amount of skill in the
treatment of ordinary diseases.

The more lucrative part of his business was that which they carried on
in a secret way. He was consulted in cases of difficulty by a class
of superstitious persons, and an implicit faith was placed in his
statements and predictions. The "wise man" was sought in all cases of
accident, disaster, or loss. He was consulted as to the probabilities
of the return and safety of the distant and the absent; of the chances
of the recovery of the sick, and of the destiny of some beloved friend
or relative. The consultation with such a man would often have a
sinister aim; to discover by the stars whether an obnoxious husband
would survive, or whether the affections of courted or inconstant lover
could be secured. Very often long-continued diseases and inveterate
maladies were ascribed to an "ill-wish;" and the planet-ruler was
sought to discover who was the ill-wisher, and what charm would
remove the spell. It is needless to say that the practices of these
astrologers were productive, in a large number of cases, of much
disturbance among neighbours and relatives, and great mischief to all
concerned, except the man who profited by the credulity of his dupes.

Some of these charlatans no doubt were believers in the imposture, but
the greater number were arrant cheats. In Leeds and its neighbourhood
there were, some five-and-thirty years ago, several "wise men." Among
the number was a man known by no other name than that of "Witch
Pickles." He was avowedly an Astrological Doctor, and _ruled the
planets_ for those who sought him for that purpose. He dwelt in a
retired house on the road from Leeds to York, about a mile from
the Shoulder of Mutton public-house, at the top of March Lane. His
celebrity extended for above fifty miles, and persons came from the
Yorkshire Wolds to consult him. The man and the house were held in awe
by boys and even older persons who had belief in his powers. Little was
known of his habits, and he had few visitors but those who sought his
professional assistance. He never committed anything to writing. He
was particular in inquiring into all the circumstances of any case on
which he was consulted before he pronounced. He then, as he termed it,
proceeded to _draw a figure_, in order to discover the conjunction of
the planets, and then entered upon the explanation of what the stars
predicted. Strange things were told of him, such as that he performed
incantations at midnight on certain days in the year when particular
planets were in the ascendant; and that on such occasions strange
sights and sounds would be seen and heard by persons passing the house.
These were the embellishments of vulgar rumour. The man was quiet and
inoffensive in his demeanour, and was fully sensible of the necessity
of a life of seclusion. He is believed to have practised a few tricks
to awe his visitors, such as lighting a candle or fire without
visible agency, and other tricks far more ingenious than the modern

"Witch Pickles" was only one among the number who derived a large
profit from this kind of occupation. He was one of the more respectable
of the class, as he never descended to the vile tricks of others of
the profession--tricks practised upon weak and credulous women and
girls--which will not bear description.[16]

[16] Abridged from _Notes and Queries_, 3rd Series, No. 25.

One of the most celebrated works on Astrology is that of Dr. Sibly,
twelfth edition, 1817, in two octavo volumes, containing more
than eleven hundred pages. The following will give an idea of the
pretensions of the book, which is a remarkable book, if it really went
through twelve editions. The owner of a privateer, which had not been
heard of, called to know her fate. Dr. Sibly gave judgment on a figure
"rectified to the precise time the question was propounded. The ship
itself appeared well formed and substantial, but not a swift sailer, as
is demonstrated by an earthy sign possessing the cusp of the ascendant,
and the situation of the Dragon's Head in five degrees of the same
sign." The ship itself was pronounced to have been captured.

"From the whole account it is clear that Dr. Sibly's system--how now
esteemed by astrologers the writer knows not--has but this alternative:
either one and the same figure will tell the fate of all the ships
which have not been heard of, including their sailing qualities, or
the stars will never send an owner to ask for news except just at
the moment when they are in a position to describe this particular

[17] _Notes and Queries_, 3rd Series, No. 34.

Hannah Green; or, "Ling Bob."

This noted sibyl lived in a cottage on the edge of the moor on the left
of the old road from Otley to Bradford, between Carlton and Yeadon,
and eight miles from Leeds. She was popularly known as "The Ling-bob
Witch," a name given her, it is supposed, from her living among the
ling-bobs, or heather-tubs. She was resorted to on account of her
supposed knowledge of future events; but, like the rest of her class,
her principal forte was fortune-telling, from which it is said she for
herself realized a handsome fortune.

Many strange tales have been told of her; such as her power of
transforming herself, after nightfall, into the shape of any she list;
and of her odd pranks in her nightly rambles, her favourite character
being that of the _hare_, in which personation she was unluckily shot
by an unsuspecting poacher, who was almost terrified out of his senses
by the awful screams which followed the sudden death of the Ling-bob

In the year 1785, D----, of Sheffield, being at Leeds, had the
curiosity to pay a visit to the noted Hannah Green. He first questioned
her respecting the future fortunes of a near relative of his, who was
then in circumstances of distress, and indeed in prison. She told him
immediately that his friend's trouble would continue _full three times
three years_, and he would then experience _a great deliverance_,
which, in fact, was on the point of being literally verified, for he
was then in the Court of King's Bench.

He then asked her if she possessed any foreknowledge of what was about
to come to pass on the great stage of the world; to which she replied
in the affirmative. She said, war would be _threatened once, but
would not happen_; but the second time it would blaze out in all its
horrors, and extend to all the neighbouring countries; and that the two
countries [these appear to be France and Poland], at a great distance
one from the other, would in consequence obtain their freedom, although
after hard struggles. After the year 1790, she observed, many great
persons, even kings and queens, would lose their lives, and that _not
by fair means_. In 1794, a great warrior of high blood is to fall in
the field of battle; and in 1795, a distant nation [thought to be negro
slaves], who have been dragged from their own country, will rise as one
man, and deliver themselves from their oppressors.

Hannah appears to have been one of a somewhat numerous class, many
of whom were resident in Yorkshire. Very few of them went beyond the
attempt to foretell the future events in the lives of individuals; they
did not work with such high ambition as drawing the horoscopes of
nations. Their predictions were always vague, and so framed as to cover
a number of the most probable events in the life of every individual.

Hannah really died on the 12th of May, 1810, after having practised
her art about forty years; and Ling-bob became a haunted and dreaded
place. The house remained some years untenanted and ruinous, but was
afterwards repaired and occupied. Her daughter and successor, Hannah
Spence, laid claim to the same prescience, but it need hardly be added,
without the same success.[18]

[18] See a pamphlet of 1794; _Notes and Queries_, 3rd Series, Nos. 20
and 21.

Oddities of Lady Hester Stanhope.

This eccentric lady, grand-daughter of the great Lord Chatham, held
implicit faith in the influence of the stars on the destiny of men, a
notion from which every crowned head in Europe is not, at this day,

Lady Hester brought her theories into a striking though rather
ridiculous system. She had a remarkable talent for divining characters
by the conformation of men. This every traveller could testify who had
visited her in Syria; for it was after she went to live in solitude
that her penetration became so extraordinary. It was founded both
on the features of the face and on the shape of the head, body, and
limbs. Some indications she went by were taken from a resemblance to
animals; and wherever such indications existed, she inferred that the
dispositions peculiar to those animals were to be found in the person.
But, independent of all this, her doctrine was that every creature is
governed by the star under whose influence it was born.

"Animal magnetism," said Lady Hester, "is nothing but the sympathy of
our stars. Those fools who go about magnetizing indifferently one
person and another, why do they sometimes succeed and sometimes fail?
Because if they meet with those of the same star with themselves, their
results will be satisfactory; but with opposite stars they can do

"What Lady Hester's _own star_ was," says her physician, "may be
gathered from what she said one day, when, having dwelt a long time on
this her favourite subject, she got up from the sofa, and approaching
the window, she called me. 'Look,' said she, 'at the pupil of my eyes;
there! my star is the sun--all sun--it is in my eyes: when the sun is
a person's star it attracts everything.' I looked, and I replied that
I saw a rim of yellow round the pupil. 'A rim!' cried she; 'it isn't a
rim--it's a sun; there's a disk, and from it go rays all around: 'tis
no more of a rim than you are. Nobody has got eyes like mine.'"

Lady Hester delighted in anecdotes that went to show how much and how
justly we may be biassed in our opinions by the shape of any particular
part of a person's body independent of the face. She used to tell a
story of ----, who fell in love with a lady on a glimpse of those
charms which gave such renown to the Onidian Venus. This lady, luckily
or unluckily, happened to tumble from her horse, and by that singular
accident fixed the gazer's affections irrevocably. Another gentleman,
whom she knew, saw a lady at Rome get out of a carriage, her head being
covered by an umbrella, which the servant held over her on account of
the rain; and seeing nothing but her foot and leg, swore he would marry
her--which he did.

Lady Hester delighted in prophecies some of which, with their
fulfilments and non-fulfilments, are very amusing. There is reason
to think, from what her ladyship let fall at different times, that
Brothers, the fortune-teller in England, and Metta, a village doctor on
Mount Lebanon, had considerable influence on her actions and, perhaps,
her destiny. When Brothers was taken up and thrown into prison (in Mr.
Pitt's time), he told those who arrested him to do the will of heaven,
but first to let him see Lady Hester Stanhope. This was repeated to her
ladyship, and curiosity induced her to comply with the man's request.
Brothers told her that "she would one day go to Jerusalem and lead back
the chosen people; that on her arrival in the Holy Land, mighty changes
would take place in the world, and that she would pass seven years in
the desert." Trivial circumstances will foster a foolish belief in a
mind disposed to encourage it. Mr. Frederick North, afterwards Lord
Guildford, in the course of his travels came to Brusa, where Lady
Hester had gone for the benefit of the hot baths. He, Mr. Fazakerley,
and Mr. Gally Knight would often banter her on her future greatness
among the Jews. "Well, madam, you must go to Jerusalem. Hester, Queen
of the Jews! Hester, Queen of the Jews!" was echoed from one to
another; and probably at last the coincidence of a name, a prophecy,
and the country towards which she found herself going, were thought,
even by herself, to be something extraordinary. Metta took up the book
of fate from that time and showed her the part she was to play in the
East. This man, Metta, for some years subsequent to 1815, was in her
service as a kind of steward. He was advanced in years, and, like the
rest of the Syrians, believed in astrology, spirits, and prophecy.
No doubt he perceived in Lady Hester Stanhope a tincture of the same
belief; and on some occasion in conversation he said he knew of a
book on prophecy which he thought had passages in it that related to
her. This book, he persuaded her, could only be had by a fortunate
conjunction connected with himself; and he said if she would only
lend him a good horse to take him to the place where it was, he would
procure her a sight of it, but she was never to ask where he fetched it
from. All this exactly suited Lady Hester's love of mystery. A horse
was granted to him; he went off and returned with a prophetic volume
which he said he could only keep a certain number of hours. It was
written in Arabic, and he was to read and explain the text. The part
which he propounded was, "That a European female would come and live on
Mount Lebanon at a certain epoch, would build a house there, and would
obtain power and influence greater than a sultan's; that a boy without
a father would join her; that the coming of the Mahedi would follow,
but be preceded by war, pestilence, famine, and other calamities; that
the Mahedi would ride a horse born saddled, and that a woman would come
from a far country to partake in the mission." There were many other
incidents besides which were told.

"The boy without a father" was thought by Lady Hester to be the Duke
of Reichstadt; but when he died, not at all discountenanced, she
fixed on some one else. Another portion of the prophecy was not so
disappointing, for in 1835 the Baroness de Feriat, an English lady
residing in the United States, wrote of her own accord, asking to
come and live with her, "When," remarks the discriminating doctor,
"the prophecy was fulfilled." For the fulfilment of the remainder of
the prophecy, Lady Hester was resolved at least not to be unprepared.
She kept with the greatest care two mares, called Laïla and Lulu;
the latter for Lady Hester herself, and the former, which was "born
saddled," or in other words of a peculiar hollow-backed breed, was for
the Murdah or Mahedi, the coming of whom she had brought herself to
expect, by the words of St. John, "There is one shall come after me who
is greater than I." These mares she cherished with care equal to that
paid by the ancient Egyptians to cats; and she would not allow them
to be seen by strangers, except by those whose _stars_ would not be
baneful to cattle.

[Illustration: A Hermit of the Sixteenth Century.]

Hermits and Eremitical Life.

Men have, in most times, withdrawn themselves from the world and taken
up their abode in caverns or ruins, or whatever shelter they could
find, and lived on herbs, roots, coarse bread and water. In many cases,
such persons have deemed these austerities as acceptable to God, and
this has become one of the rudest forms of monastic life. It is not
from this class of persons that we propose to introduce a few portraits
of hermit life, but rather to those whose peculiarities have taken a
more eccentric turn, almost in our own time.

The Hon. Charles Hamilton, in the reign of George II., proprietor
of Pain's Hill, near Cobham, Surrey, built a hermitage upon a steep
brow in the grounds of that beautiful seat. Of this hermitage Horace
Walpole remarks that it is a sort of ornament whose merit soonest
fades, it being almost comic to set aside a quarter of one's garden
to be melancholy in. There is an upper apartment supported in part
by contorted logs and roots of trees, which form the entrance to the
cell, but the unfurnished and neglected state of the whole proves the
justness of Walpole's observation. Mr. Hamilton advertised for a person
who was willing to become a hermit in that beautiful retreat of his.
The conditions were that he was to continue in the hermitage seven
years, where he should be provided with a Bible, optical glasses, a mat
for his bed, a hassock for his pillow, an hour-glass for his timepiece,
water for his beverage, food from the house, but never to exchange a
syllable with the servant. He was to wear a camlet robe, never to cut
his beard or nails, nor ever to stray beyond the limits of the grounds.
If he lived there, under all these restrictions, till the end of the
term, he was to receive seven hundred guineas. But on breach of any of
them, or if he quitted the place any time previous to that term, the
whole was to be forfeited. One person attempted it, but a three weeks'
trial cured him.

A Correspondent of _Notes and Queries_ describes a gentleman near
Preston, Lancashire, as more successful in the above eccentricity. He
advertised a reward of 50_l._ a year for life to any man who would
undertake to live seven years underground, without seeing anything
human; and to let his toe and finger nails grow, with his hair and
beard, during the whole time. Apartments were prepared underground,
very commodious, with a cold bath, a chamber organ, as many books
as the occupier pleased, and provisions served from his own table.
Whenever the recluse wanted any convenience he was to ring a bell,
and it was provided for him. Singular as this residence may appear,
an occupier offered himself, and actually stayed in it, observing the
required conditions, for four years.

In the year 1863 there was living in the village of Newton Burgoland,
near Ashby-de-la-Zouch, Leicestershire, a hermit whose real name was
scarcely known, though he had resided there nearly fifteen years. Yet
he was no recluse, no ascetic, but lived comfortably, and enjoyed his
dinner, his beer, and his pipe; and, according to his own definition,
he was entitled to be called a hermit. "True hermits," he said,
"throughout every age, have been the firm abettors of freedom." As
regarded his appearance, his fancies, and his habits, he was a hermit,
a _solitaire_ in the midst of human beings. He wore a long beard, and
had a very venerable appearance. He was very fantastic in his dress,
and had a multitude of suits. He had no less than twenty different
kinds of hats, each with its own name and form, with some emblem or
motto on it--sometimes both. Here are a few examples:--

  No.         Name.                       Motto or Emblem.

  1.   Odd Fellows             Without money, without friends, without

  5.   Bellows                 Blow the flames of freedom with God's
                                 word of truth.

  7.   Helmet                  Will fight for the birthright of
                                 conscience, love, life, property, and
                                 national independence.

  13.  Patent Teapot           To draw out the flavour of the tea
                                 best--Union and Goodwill.

  17.  Wash-basin of Reform    White-washed face and collyed heart.

  20.  Bee-hive                The toils of industry are sweet; a wise
                                 people live at peace.

The shapes of the hats and the devices on them were intended to
symbolize some important fact or sentiment.

He had twelve suits of clothes, each with a peculiar name, differing
from the others, and, like his hats, intended to be emblematical. One
dress, which he called "Odd Fellows," was of white cotton or linen.
It hung loosely over the body, except being bound round the waist
with a white girdle buckled in the front. Over his left breast was a
heart-shaped badge, bearing the words, "Liberty of Conscience," which
he called his "Order of the Star." The hat which he wore with the dress
was nearly white, and of common shape, but had on it four fanciful
devices, bound with black ribbon, and inscribed, severally, with these
words: "Bless, feed--good allowance--well clothed--all workingmen."

Another dress, which he called "Foresters," was a kind of frock-coat,
made of soft brown leather, slightly embroidered with braid. This coat
was closed down the front with white buttons, and bound round the waist
with a white girdle, fastened with a white buckle. The hat, slightly
resembling a turban, was divided into black and white stripes, running
round it.

Another dress, which he named "Military," had some resemblance to the
military costume at the beginning of the present century; the hat
was between the old-fashioned cocked-hat and that worn by military
commanders; but, instead of the military plume, it had two upright
peaks on the crown, not unlike the tips of a horse's ears. This hat,
which he asserted cost five pounds, he never wore but on important

A mania for _symbolization_ pervaded all his thoughts and doings. His
garden was a complete collection of emblems. The trees--the walks--the
squares--the beds--the flowers--the seats and arbours--were all
symbolically arranged. In the passage leading into the garden were
"the three seats of Self-Inquiry," each inscribed with one of these
questions: "Am I vile?" "Am I a Hypocrite?" "Am I a Christian?"
Among the emblems and mottoes which were marked by different coloured
pebbles or flowers were these:--"The vessels of the Tabernacle;" "The
Christian's Armour--olive-branch, baptismal-font, breastplate of
righteousness, shield of faith," &c. "Mount Pisgah;" a circle enclosing
the motto, "Eternal Love has wed my Soul;" "A Beehive;" "A Church;"
"Sacred Urn;" "Universal Grave;" "Bed of Diamonds;" "A Heart, enclosing
the Rose of Sharon." All the Implements used in Gardening: "The two
Hearts' Bowers;" "The Lovers' Prayer;" "Conjugal Bliss;" "The Hermit's
Coat-of-Arms;" "Gossips' Court," with motto, "Don't tell anybody!"
"The Kitchen-walk" contains representations of culinary utensils, with
mottoes. "Feast Square" contains, "Venison Pasty;" "Round of Beef,"
&c. "The Odd Fellows' Square," with "The Hen-pecked Husband put on
Water-gruel." "The Oratory," with various mottoes; "The Orchestry,"
mottoes, "God save our Noble Queen;" "Britons never shall be Slaves,"
&c. "The Sand-glass of Time;" "The Assembly-room;" "The Wedding-Walk;"
"The Holy Mount;" "Noah's Ark;" "Rainbow;" "Jacob's Ladder," &c. "The
Bank of Faith;" "The Saloon;" "The Enchanted Ground;" "The Exit"--all
with their respective emblems and mottoes. Besides these fantastical
devices, there are, or were, in his garden, representations of the
Inquisition and Purgatory; effigies of the Apostles; and mounds covered
with flowers, to represent the graves of the Reformers. In the midst
of the religious emblems stood a large tub, with a queer desk before
it, to represent a pulpit. His garden was visited by persons residing
in the neighbourhood, when he would clamber into his tub, and harangue
the people against all kinds of real or fancied religious and political
oppressions. He declaimed vociferously against the Pope as Antichrist
and the enemy of humanity; and when he fled from Rome in the guise of
a servant, our old hermit decked his head with laurels, and, thus
equipped, went to the Independent Chapel, declaring that "the reign of
the man of sin was over." He also raised a mock-gallows in his garden,
and suspended on it an effigy of the Pope, whimsically dressed, with
many books sticking out of his pockets, which, he said, contained
the doctrines of Popery. However, these preachings proved very
unprofitable; the hermit grew poor, and gladly accepted any assistance
which did not require him to relinquish his eccentric mode of living.
In his own words, his heart was in his garden. We abridge this account
from a contribution to the _Book of Days_.

It is curious to find many instances of what are termed "Ornamental
Hermits," set up by persons of fortune seeking to find men as eccentric
as themselves, to represent, as it were, the eremitical life in
hermitages provided for them upon their estates.

Archibald Hamilton, afterwards Duke of Hamilton (as his daughter, Lady
Dunmore, told Mr. Rogers, the poet), advertised for "a hermit," as an
ornament to his pleasure-grounds; and it was stipulated that the said
hermit should have his beard shaved but once a year, and that only

Gilbert White, in his poem, _The Invitation to Selborne_, has these

    Or where the Hermit hangs the straw-clad cell,
    Emerging gently from the leafy dell:
    By fancy plann'd, &c.

In a note, this hermitage is said to have been a grotesque building,
contrived by a young gentleman who used occasionally to appear in the
character of a hermit.

Some fancy of this kind at Lulworth Castle, in Dorsetshire, exaggerated
or highly coloured by O'Keefe, was supposed to afford him the title and
incident of his extravagant but laughable comedy of _The London Hermit;
or, Rambles in Dorsetshire_, first played in 1793.

In _Blackwood's Magazine_ for April, 1830, it is stated by Christopher
North, in the _Noctes Ambrosianæ_, that the then editor of another
magazine had been "for fourteen years hermit to Lord Hill's father,
and sat in a cave in that worthy baronet's grounds with an hour-glass
in his hand, and a beard belonging to an old goat, from sunrise to
sunset, with orders to accept no half-crowns from visitors, but to
behave like Giordano Bruno." In 1810, a correspondent of _Notes and
Queries_, visiting the grounds at Hawkstone, the seat of the Hills,
was shown the hermitage there, with a stuffed figure dressed like the
hermits of pictures, seen by a dim light; and the visitors were told
that it had been inhabited in the daytime by a poor man, to whom the
eccentric but truly benevolent Sir Richard Hill gave a maintenance on
that easy condition; but that the popular voice against such _slavery_
had induced the worthy baronet to withdraw the reality and substitute
the figure.

A person advertised to be engaged as _a hermit_, in the _Courier_,
January 11th, 1810: "A young man, who wishes to retire from the world
and live as a hermit, in some convenient spot in England, is willing
to engage with any nobleman or gentleman who may be desirous of having
one. Any letter directed to S. Lawrence (post paid), to be left at Mr.
Otton's, No. 6, Coleman's Lane, Plymouth, mentioning what gratuity will
be given, and all other particulars, will be duly attended."

In 1840, there died in the neighbourhood of Farnham, in Surrey, a
recluse or hermit, who had been originally a wealthy brewer, but
becoming bankrupt, wandered about the country, and having spent at an
inn what little money he had, took up his abode in the cavern popularly
known as "Mother Ludlam's Hole," in Moor Park. The "poor man" did not
long avail himself of this ready-made excavation, but chose his resting
place just above, in the sandstone rock, upon a spot where a fox had
been run to ground and dug out not long since. The hermit occasionally
walked out, but was little noticed, although, from the bareness of
the trees, his retreat was seen from a distance. He soon excavated
for himself twenty-five feet in the sandstone, and about five feet in
height, with a shaft to the summit of the hill, for the admission of
light and air. Here, in unbroken solitude, with fewer luxuries than
Parnell's hermit--

    His food the fruits, his drink the crystal well--

our Surrey hermit subsisted almost entirely upon _ferns_, which abound
in this neighbourhood. On January 11th, 1840, he was seen by two
labourers, who described him as not having "two pounds of flesh on
all his bones." He was carried to the nearest cottage, placed in a
warm bath, next wrapped in blankets, and conveyed to the poor-house of
Farnham, where he soon died; his last words being, "Do take me to the
cave again."

A few miles from Stevenage, and not more than thirty from the
metropolis, there was living, not many years since, in strange
seclusion, a man of high intellectual powers, in the prime of manhood,
and possessing ample means, yet wasting his days in eremitic misery. A
Correspondent of the _Wolverhampton Chronicle_ was invited to see this
extraordinary character, and here is the result of his visit:--

"I had pictured to my mind a venerable old man, with a beard as white
as snow, a massive girdle, and a profusion of books and hour-glass,
in a cell of picturesque beauty and neatness. Alas, how soon was I to
experience that imagination is one thing and reality another! I shall
not venture in future to speculate upon objects so unearthly. At the
termination of the road a mansion of no ordinary size met my view,
but better and happier times had reigned within; without, all was
desolation and ruin; time, that destroyer of all things, had done its
work here; every inlet was barricaded by the rude axe and hammer; its
portals no mortal had passed for eleven long years; the interior, which
was one rich in design and comfort, is now mouldering to decay; no
cheering voice is heard within its walls, only the noise of rats and
vermin. In tracing my steps to the scene of the hermit's cell, which is
situated at the back of the building, and looking through the wooden
bars of a window devoid of glass, I perceived a dismal, black, and
dirty cellar, with an earth floor; not one vestige of furniture, except
a wooden bench and a few bottles, with the remnants of a fire.

"With difficulty, by the faint rays of light admitted into this
loathsome den, I could trace a human form, clothed only in a horse
rug, leaving his arms, legs, and feet perfectly bare; his hair was
prodigiously long, and his beard tangled and matted. On my addressing
him he came forward with readiness. I found him a gentleman by
education and birth, and most courteous in his manner; he anxiously
inquired after several aristocratic families in Staffordshire and
adjoining counties. It is evident he had at one period mixed in the
first circles, but the secret of his desolate retirement is, and
probably ever will remain, a mystery to his neighbours and tenantry,
by whom he is supplied with food (chiefly bread and milk). Already
eleven weary winters has he passed in this dreary abode, his only bed
being two sheepskins, and his sole companions the rats, which may be
seen passing to and fro with all the ease of perfect safety. During
the whole of his seclusion he has strictly abstained from ablution,
consequently his countenance is perfectly black. How much it is to be
regretted that a man so gifted as this hermit is known to be should
spend his days in dirt and seclusion."

To another class belonged one Roger Crab, a gentleman of fortune, long
resident at Bethnal Green, and one of the eccentric characters of
the seventeenth century. All that is known of him is gathered from a
pamphlet, now very rare, written principally by himself, and entitled,
_The English Hermit, or Wonder of the Age_: by this it appears that he
had served seven years in the Parliamentary army, and had his skull
cloven in their service, for which he was so ill requited that he was
sentenced to death by the Lord Protector, and afterwards suffered two
years' imprisonment. When he obtained his release, he opened a shop at
Chesham, as a dealer in hats. He had not long been settled there before
he imbibed a notion that it was a sin against his body and soul to eat
any sort of fish, flesh, or living creature, or to drink wine, ale, or
beer. Thinking himself at the same time obliged to follow literally the
injunction given to the young man in the Gospel, he quitted business,
and disposing of his property, gave it among the poor, reserving to
himself only a small cottage at Ickenham, in Middlesex, where he
resided; he had a rood of land for a garden, on the produce of which
he subsisted at the expense of three farthings a week, his food being
bran, herbs, roots, dock-leaves, mallows, and grass; his drink water.

How such an extraordinary change of diet agreed with his constitution,
the following passage from his pamphlet will show:--"Instead of strong
drinks and wines I give the old man a drop of water; and instead of
roast mutton and rabbits, and other dainty dishes, I give him broth
thickened with bran, and pudding made with bran, and turnip-leaves
chopped together, and grass; at which the old man (meaning my body)
being moved, would know what he had done that I used him so hardly;
then I showed him his transgression: so the warre began; the law of the
old man in my fleshy members rebelled against the law of my mind, and
had a shrewed skirmish; but the mind being well enlightened, held it
so that the old man grew sick and weak with the flux, like to fall to
the dust; but the wonderful love of God, well-pleased with the battle,
raised him up again, and filled him with the voice of love, peace,
and content of mind, and is now become more humble; for he will eat
dock-leaves, mallows, or grasse."

Little is known of Crab's subsequent history, or whether he continued
his diet of herbs; but a passage in his epitaph seems to intimate
that he never resumed the use of animal food. It is not one of the
least extraordinary parts of his history, that he should so long
have subsisted on a diet which, by his own account, had reduced him
almost to a skeleton in 1655--being twenty-five years previous to his
death--in 1680: he is buried in Stepney churchyard.

The Recluses of Llangollen.

Many years ago, there lived together, in romantic seclusion, in the
Vale of Llangollen, in Denbighshire, two ladies, remarkable not only
for the singularity of their habits and dispositions, but as the
daughters of ancient and most distinguished families in the Irish

Lady Eleanor Butler was the youngest sister of John, sixteenth Earl
of Ormonde, and aunt of Walter, seventeenth Earl, who died in 1820.
Miss Mary Ponsonby was the daughter of Chambre Ponsonby, Esq., and
half-sister to Mrs. Lowther, of Bath.

These two ladies retired at an early age, about the year 1729, from
the society of the world to the Vale of Llangollen. Lady Butler had
already rejected several offers of marriage, and as her affection for
Miss Ponsonby was supposed to have formed the bar to any matrimonial
alliance, their friends, in the hope of breaking off so disadvantageous
a companionship, proceeded so far as to place the former in close
confinement. The youthful friends, however, found means to elope
together, but being speedily overtaken, were brought back to their
respective relations. Many attempts were renewed to entice Lady Butler
into wedlock; but on her solemnly and repeatedly declaring that nothing
should induce her to alter her purpose of perpetual maidenhood, her
friends desisted from further importuning her.

Not many months after this a second elopement was planned. Each lady
taking with her a small sum of money, and having confided the place of
their retreat to a confidential servant of the Ormonde family, who was
sworn to inviolable secrecy, they deputed her to announce their safety
at home, and to request that the trifling annuities allowed them might
not be discontinued. The message was received with kindness, and their
incomes were even considerably increased.

[Illustration: The Ladies of Llangollen.]

When Miss Seward visited the spot, our heroines had resided in their
romantic retirement about seventeen years; yet they were only known
to the neighbouring villagers as _the Ladies of the Vale_. The verses
which Miss Seward dedicated to the Recluses, and wherein she celebrated
"gay Eleanor's smile," and "Zara's look serene," conclude with this
morceau of sentimental affectation:--

    May one kind ice-bolt from the mortal stores
      Arrest each vital current as it flows,
    That no sad course of desolated hours
      Here vainly nurse their unsubsiding woes.
    While all who honour virtue gently mourn
    Llangollen's vanish'd pair, and wreathe their sacred urn.

But they did not vanish for many a long year: they neither married
nor died till they were grown too old for the world to care whether
they did either or both. On one occasion, indeed, a party of tourists,
male and female, unable to procure accommodation at the village inn,
requested and obtained admittance at "the cottage," when they proved
to be near relatives of Miss Ponsonby. No entreaties, however, could
allure their fair cousin from her seclusion.

Lady Eleanor is described as tall, of lively manners, and masculine.
She usually wore a riding-habit, and donned her hat with the air of a
finished sportsman. Her companion, on the contrary, was fair, pensive,
gentle, and effeminate. Their abode was a neat cottage, with about two
acres of pleasure-ground. Avoiding every appearance of dissipation
or gaiety, they led a life as retired as the situation. Two female
servants waited on them, and while Miss Ponsonby superintended the
house, my Lady amused herself with the garden. The name of the retreat
is Plas Newydd, about a quarter of a mile from Llangollen, hidden among
the trees on ascending the Vale behind the church. By some the ladies
are said not to have led here a life of absolute seclusion, but to have
visited their neighbours and received friends. The cottage was built
purposely for them. They died after a life full of good deeds, within
eighteen months of each other--Lady Eleanor, June 2nd, 1829, at the
patriarchal age of ninety; Miss Ponsonby, December 9th, 1830. Their
monument, in Llangollen churchyard, in which they were buried, has
three sides, each bearing a touching epitaph; the third to the memory
of Mary Carrol, a faithful Irish servant.

Snuff-taking Legacies.

On April 2nd, 1776, there died, at her house in Boyle Street,
Burlington Gardens, one Mrs. Margaret Thompson, whose will affords a
notable specimen of the ruling passion strong in death. The will is
as follows:--"In the name of God, Amen. I, Margaret Thompson, being
of sound mind, &c., do desire that when my soul is departed from this
wicked world, my body and effects may be disposed of in the manner
following: I desire that all my handkerchiefs that I may have unwashed
at the time of my decease, after they have been got together by my old
and trusty servant, Sarah Stuart, be put by her, and by her alone, at
the bottom of my coffin, which I desire may be made large enough for
that purpose, together with such a quantity of the best Scotch snuff
(in which she knoweth I always had the greatest delight) as will cover
my deceased body; and this I desire the more especially as it is usual
to put flowers into the coffins of departed friends, and nothing can
be so fragrant and refreshing to me as that precious powder. But I
strictly charge that no man be suffered to approach my body till the
coffin is closed, and it is necessary to carry me to my burial, which I
order in the manner following:--

"Six men to be my bearers, who are known to be the greatest
snuff-takers in the parish of St. James, Westminster; instead of
mourning, each to wear a snuff-coloured beaver hat, which I desire may
be bought for that purpose, and given to them. Six maidens of my old
acquaintance, _viz._ &c., to bear my pall, each to bear a proper hood,
and to carry a box filled with the best Scotch snuff to take for their
refreshment as they go along. Before my corpse, I desire the minister
may be invited to walk and to take a certain quantity of the said
snuff, not exceeding one pound, to whom also I bequeath five guineas
on condition of his so doing. And I also desire my old and faithful
servant, Sarah Stuart, to walk before the corpse, to distribute every
twenty yards a large handful of Scotch snuff to the ground and upon
the crowd who may possibly follow me to the burial-place; on which
condition I bequeath her 20_l._ And I also desire that at least two
bushels of the said snuff may be distributed at the door of my house in
Boyle Street."

She then particularizes her legacies; and over and above every legacy
she desires may be given one pound of good Scotch snuff, which she
calls the grand cordial of nature.

Burial Bequests.

In June, 1864, there died at Drogheda one Miss Hardman, at the
advanced age of ninety-two years. She was buried in the family vault
in Peter's Protestant Church. The funeral took place on the eighth
day of her decease. It is not usual in Ireland to allow so long an
interval to elapse between the time of a person's death and burial; in
this instance it was owing to the expressed wish of the deceased, and
this originated in a very curious piece of family and local history.
Everybody has heard of the lady who was buried, being supposed dead,
and who bearing with her to the tomb, on her finger, a ring of rare
price, this was the means of her being rescued from her charnel
prison-house. A butler in the family of the lady, having his cupidity
excited, entered the vault at midnight in order to possess himself of
the ring, and in removing it from the finger the lady was restored to
consciousness and made her way in her grave-clothes to her mansion. She
lived many years afterwards before she was finally consigned to the
vault. The heroine of the story was a member of the Hardman family--in
fact, the late Miss Hardman's mother--and the vault in Peter's Church
was the locality where the startling revival scene took place.

The story is commonly told in explanation of a monument in the Church
of St. Giles, Cripplegate, London, which is commemorative of Constance
Whitney, and represents a female rising from a coffin. "This," says
Mr. Godwin, in his popular history of the _Churches of London_, "has
been erroneously supposed to commemorate a lady, who, having been
buried in a trance, was restored to life through the cupidity of the
sexton, which induced him to dig up the body to obtain possession of
a ring." The female rising from the coffin is undoubtedly emblematic
of the Resurrection, and may have been repeated upon other monuments
elsewhere; but there is no such monument at Drogheda, which as above is
claimed as the actual locality.

On May 24th, 1837, there died at Primrose Cottage, High Wycombe, Bucks,
Mr. John Guy, aged sixty-four. His remains were interred in a brick
grave in Hughenden Churchyard: on a marble slab, on the lid of the
coffin, is inscribed:

    Here, without nail or shroud, doth lie,
    Or covered with a pall, John Guy,
          Born May 17th, 1773.
          Died, „  24th, 1837.

On his gravestone are the following lines:--

    In coffin made without a nail,
      Without a shroud his limbs to hide;
    For what can pomp or show avail,
      Or velvet pall to swell the pride?

Mr. Guy was possessed of considerable property, and was a native
of Gloucestershire. His grave and coffin were made under his
directions more than a twelvemonth previous to his death; he wrote
the inscriptions, he gave the orders for his funeral, and wrapped
in separate pieces of paper five shillings for each of the bearers.
The coffin was very neatly made, and looked more like a piece of
cabinet-work for a drawing-room than a receptacle for the dead.

Dr. Fidge, a physician of the old school, who in early days had
accompanied the Duke of Clarence (afterwards William IV.) when a
midshipman as medical attendant, possessed a favourite boat; upon his
retirement from Portsmouth Dockyard, where he held an appointment,
he had this boat converted into a coffin, with the sternpiece fixed
at its head. This coffin he kept under his bed for many years. The
circumstances of his death were very remarkable. Feeling his end
approaching, and desiring to add a codicil to his will, he sent for
his solicitor. On entering his chamber he found him suffering from
a paroxysm of pain, but which soon ceased; availing himself of the
temporary ease to ask him how he felt, he replied, smiling: "I feel
as easy as an old shoe," and looking towards the nurse in attendance,
said: "Just pull my legs straight, and place me as a dead man; it will
save you trouble shortly," words which he had scarcely uttered before
he calmly died.

Job Orton, of the Bell Inn, Kidderminster, had his tombstone, with an
epitaphic couplet, erected in the parish churchyard; and his coffin was
used by him for a wine-bin until required for another purpose.

Dr. John Gardner, "the worm doctor," originally of Long Acre, erected
his tomb and wrote the inscription thereon some years before his death.
Strangers reading the inscription naturally concluded he was like his
predecessor, "Egregious Moore," immortalized by Pope, "food for worms,"
whereas he was still following his profession, that of a worm-doctor,
in Norton Folgate, where he had a shop, in the window of which were
displayed numerous bottles containing specimens of tape and other
worms, with the names of the persons who had been tormented by them,
and the date of their ejection. Finding his practice declining from the
false impression conveyed by his epitaph, he dexterously caused the
word _intended_ to be interpolated, and the inscription for a long time
afterwards ran as follows:--

    Dr. John Gardner's last and best bedroom.

He was a stout, burly man, with a flaxen wig, and rode daily into
London on a large roan-coloured horse.

Not a few misers have carried their penury into the arrangements for
their interment. Edward Nokes, of Hornchurch, by his own direction,
was buried in this curious fashion:--A short time before his death,
which he hastened by the daily indulgence in nearly a quart of spirits,
he gave strict charge that his coffin should not have a nail in it,
which was actually adhered to, the lid being made fast with hinges of
cord, and minus a coffin-plate, for which the initials E. N. cut upon
the wood were substituted. His shroud was made of a pound of wool. The
coffin was covered with a sheet in place of a pall, and was carried by
six men, to each of whom he directed should be given half-a-crown. At
his particular desire, too, not one who followed him to the grave was
in mourning; but, on the contrary, each of the mourners appeared to
try whose dress should be the most striking. Even the undertaker was
dressed in a blue coat and scarlet waistcoat.

Another deplorable case might be cited, that of Thomas Pitt, of
Warwickshire. It is reported that some weeks prior to the sickness
which terminated his despicable career, he went to several undertakers
in quest of a cheap coffin. He had left behind him 3,475_l._ in the
public funds.

[Illustration: Major Peter Labelliere. From Kingsbury's print.]

Burials on Box Hill and Leith Hill.

As the railway traveller passes over Red Hill, on the London and
Brighton line, his attention can scarcely fail to be struck with two
prominent points in the charming landscape--Box Hill, covered with its
patronymic shrub; and Leith Hill, surmounted by a square tower. On each
of these elevations is buried an eccentric person: one with his head
downwards, and the other in the usual horizontal position; but the
fondness for exaggerating things already extraordinary, has led to the
common misstatement that one person is buried with his head downwards,
and the other standing upon his feet. Of the two interments, however,
the following are the true versions.

On the north-western brow of Box Hill, and nearly in a line with the
stream of the Mole, as it flows towards Burford Bridge, was interred,
some sixty-five years since, Major Peter Labelliere, an officer of
marines. During the latter years of his life he had resided at Dorking,
and, in accordance with his own desire, he was interred on this spot,
long denoted by a wooden stake or stump. This gentleman in early life
fell in love with a lady, who, although he was remarkably handsome in
person, rejected his addresses. This circumstance inflicted a deep
wound on his mind, which, at a later period, religion and politics
entirely unsettled. Yet his eccentricities were harmless, and himself
the only sufferer. At this time the Duke of Devonshire, who had been
formerly fond of the major's society, settled on him a pension of
100_l._ a year. Labelliere then lived at Chiswick, and there wrote
several tracts, both polemical and political, but the incoherency of
his arguments was demonstrative of mental incapacity. From Chiswick he
frequently walked to London, his pockets filled to overflowing with
newspapers and pamphlets, and on the road he delighted to harangue the
ragged boys who followed him. He next removed to Dorking, and there
resided in a mean cottage, called "The Hole in the Wall," on Butter
Hill. Among the anecdotes of his eccentricity it is related that, to a
gentleman with whom he was intimate he presented a packet, carefully
folded and sealed, with a particular injunction not to open it till
after his death. This request was strictly complied with, when it was
found to contain merely a blank memorandum-book.

Long prior to his decease he selected the point of Box-Hill we have
named, where, in compliance with his oft-expressed wish, he was
buried, without church rites, with his head _downwards_; in order,
he said, that as "the world was turned topsy-turvy, it was fit that
he should be so buried that he might be _right at last_."[19] He
died June 6th, 1800, and was interred on the 10th of the same month,
when great numbers of persons witnessed his funeral; and the slight
wooden bridge which then crossed the Mole having been removed by some
mischievous persons during the interment many had to wade through the
river on returning homewards. The Major earned not the uncommon reward
of eccentricity--his portrait being engraved--by H. Kingsbury. Under
Labelliere's name is inscribed in the print--

"A Christian patriot and Citizen of the World."

[19] Honest Jack Fuller, who is buried in a pyramidal mausoleum in
Brightling churchyard, in Sussex, gave as his reason for being thus
disposed of, his unwillingness to be eaten by his relations after this
fashion: "The worms would eat me, the ducks would eat the worms, and my
relations would eat the ducks."

The interment on Leith Hill is less characterised by oddity than that
of Major Labelliere on Box Hill. In a mansion on the south side of
Leith Hill lived Mr. Richard Hull, a gentleman of fortune, who, in
1766, with the permission of Sir John Evelyn, of Wotton, built a tower
on the summit of Leith Hill, from which the sea is visible, and it
became a landmark for mariners. It comprised two rooms, which were
handsomely furnished by the founder, for the accommodation of those
who resorted thither to enjoy the prospect. Over the entrance, on the
west side, was placed a stone with a Latin inscription, which may be
thus translated: "Traveller, this very conspicuous tower was erected by
Richard Hull, of Leith Hill Place, Esq., in the reign of George III.,
1766, that you might obtain an extensive prospect over a beautiful
country; not solely for his own pleasure, but for the accommodation of
his neighbours and all men."

Mr. Hull, was, by his own direction, interred within this tower,
and an epitaph inscribed on a marble slab let into the wall, on
the ground-floor, stated that he died January 18th, 1772, in his
eighty-third year. He was the oldest bencher of the Middle Temple, and
sat many years in the Parliament of Ireland. He lived, in his earlier
years, in intimacy with Pope, Trenchard, Bishop Berkeley, and other
distinguished men of the period; "and, to wear off the remainder of his
days, he purchased Leith Hill Place for a retirement, where he led the
life of a true Christian and rural philosopher; and, by his particular
desire, his remains were here deposited, in a private manner, under
this tower, which he had erected a few years before his death."

After the decease of the founder, the building was neglected, and
suffered to fall into decay; but about 1796, Mr. W. Philip Perrin, who
had purchased Mr. Hull's estate, had the tower thoroughly repaired,
heightened several feet, and surmounted by a coping and battlement, so
as to render it a more conspicuous sea-mark; but the lower part was
filled in with lime and rubbish, and the entrance walled up. Leith Hill
is the highest eminence in Surrey, its extreme point being 993 feet
above the sea-level. It commands a view 200 miles in circumference.
Dennis, the critic, described this prospect as superior to anything he
had ever seen in England or Italy, in its surpassing "rural charms,
pomp, and magnificence."

Jeremy Bentham's Bequest of his Remains.

Bentham's long life was incessantly and laboriously devoted to the
good of his species: in pursuance of which he ever felt that incessant
labour a happy task, that long life but too short for its benevolent
object. The preservation of his remains by his physician and friend,
to whose care they were confided, was in exact accordance with his
own desire. He had early in life determined to leave his body for
dissection. By a document dated as far back as 1769, he being then
only twenty two-years of age, bequeathed it for that purpose to his
friend, Dr. Fordyce. The document is in the following remarkable

"This my will and general request I make, not out of affectation of
singularity, but to the intent and with the desire that mankind may
reap some small benefit in and by my decease, having hitherto had small
opportunities to contribute thereto while living."

A memorandum affixed to this document shows that it had undergone
Bentham's revision two months before his death, and that this part of
it had been solemnly ratified and confirmed. The Anatomy Bill, passed
subsequently to his death, for which a foundation had been laid in _The
Use of the Dead to the Living_ (first published in the _Westminster
Review_, and afterwards reprinted, and a copy given to every member of
Parliament), had removed the main obstructions in the way of obtaining
anatomical knowledge; but the state of the law previous to the adoption
of the Anatomy Act was such as to foster the popular prejudices against
dissection, and the effort to remove these prejudices was well worthy
of a philanthropist. After all the lessons which science and humanity
might learn from the dissection of his body had been taught, Bentham
further directed that the skeleton should be put together and kept
entire; that the head and face should be preserved; that the whole
figure, arranged as naturally as possible, should be attired in the
clothes he ordinarily wore, seated in his own chair, and maintaining
the attitude and aspect most familiar to him.

Mr. Bentham was perfectly aware that difficulty and even obloquy
might attend a compliance with the directions he gave concerning the
disposal of his body. He therefore chose three friends, whose firmness
he believed to be equal to the task, and asked them if their affection
for him would enable them to brave such consequences. They engaged
to follow his directions to the letter, and they were faithful to
their pledge. The performance of the first part of this duty is thus
described by an eye-witness, W. J. Fox, in the _Monthly Repository_ for
July, 1832:--

"None who were present can ever forget that impressive scene. The
room (the lecture-room of the Webb Street School of Anatomy) is small
and circular, with no window but a central sky-light, and capable
of containing about three hundred persons. It was filled, with the
exception of a class of medical students and some eminent members of
that profession, by friends, disciples, and admirers of the deceased
philosopher, comprising many men celebrated for literary talent,
scientific research, and political activity. The corpse was on the
table in the middle of the room, directly under the light, clothed
in a night-dress, with only the head and hands exposed. There was no
rigidity in the features, but an expression of placid dignity and
benevolence. This was at times rendered almost vital by the reflection
of the lightning playing over them; for a storm arose just as the
lecturer commenced, and the profound silence in which he was listened
to was broken and only broken by loud peals of thunder, which continued
to roll at intervals throughout the delivery of his most appropriate
and often affecting address. With the feelings which touch the heart
in the contemplation of departed greatness, and in the presence of
death, there mingled a sense of the power which that lifeless body
seemed to be exercising in the conquest of prejudice for the public
good, thus co-operating with the triumphs of the spirit by which it
had been animated. It was a worthy close of the personal career of the
great philanthropist and philosopher. Never did corpse of hero on the
battle-field, 'with his martial cloak around him,' or funeral obsequies
chanted by stoled and mitred priests in Gothic aisles, excite such
emotions as the stern simplicity of that hour in which the principle of
utility triumphed over the imagination and the heart."

The skeleton of Bentham, dressed in the clothes which he usually wore,
and with a wax face, modelled by Dr. Talrych, enclosed in a mahogany
case, with folding-doors, may now be seen in the Anatomical Museum of
University College Hospital, Gower Street, London.

The Marquis of Anglesey's Leg.

Among the curiosities of Waterloo are the grave of the late Marquis
of Anglesey's leg, and the house in which it was cut off, and where
the boot belonging to it is preserved! The owner of the house to
whose share this relic has fallen finds it a most lucrative source of
revenue, and will, in spite of the absurdity of the thing, probably
bequeath it to his children as a valuable property. He has interred the
leg most decorously in the garden of the inn, within a coffin, under a
weeping willow, and has honoured it with a monument and the following

    Ci est enterrée la Jambe
    de l'illustre et vaillant Comte d'Uxbridge,
    Lieutenant-Général de S. M. Britannique,
    Commandant en chef la cavalrie Anglaise, Belge, et Hollandaise,
    blessé le 18 Juin, 1815,
    à la mémorable bataille de Waterloo;
    qui par son héroisme a concouru au triomphe de la cause
    du genre humain;
    Glorieusement décidée par l'éclatante victoire du dit jour.

Some wag scribbled this infamous couplet beneath the inscription:--

    Here lies the Marquis of Anglesey's limb,
    The devil will have the rest of him.

More apposite is the following epitaph, attributed to Mr. Canning,
on reading the description of the tomb erected to the memory of the
Marquis of Anglesey's leg:--

    Here rests,--and let no saucy knave
      Presume to sneer or laugh,
    To learn that mould'ring in this grave
      There lies--a British _calf_.

    For he who writes these lines is sure
      That those who read the whole,
    Will find that laugh was premature,
      For here, too, lies a _soul_.

    And here five little ones repose,
      Twin born with other five,
    Unheeded by their brother toes,
      Who all are now alive.

    A leg and foot, to speak more plain,
      Lie here of one commanding;
    Who, though he might his wits retain,
      Lost half his understanding.

    And when the guns, with thunder bright,
      Poured bullets thick as hail,
    Could only in this way be taught
      To give the foe _leg bail_.

    And now in England just as gay
      As in the battle brave,
    Goes to the rout, the ball, the play,
      With one leg in the grave.

    Fortune in vain has showed her spite,
      For he will soon be found,
    Should England's sons engage in fight,
      Resolved to stand his ground.

    But Fortune's pardon I must beg;
      She meant not to disarm:
    And when she lopped the hero's leg,
      She did not seek his h-arm.

    And but indulged a harmless whim,
      Since he could _walk_ with one:
    She saw two legs were lost on him,
      Who never meant to run.

When the Marquis of Anglesey was, for the second time, Lord Lieutenant
of Ireland, he became very unpopular through an unguarded speech; and
Mr. O'Connell, in one of his flowery addresses, quoted the lines:--

    God takes the good, too good on earth to stay;
    And leaves the bad, too bad to take away.

The great orator continued:--

    This couplet's truth in Paget's case we find;
    God took his leg, and left himself behind.

Of a ballad sung in the streets of Dublin, the chorus ran as follows:--

    He has one leg in Dublin, the other in Cork,
    And you know very well what I mean, O!

It was stated that he had an artificial leg in Cork.

The Cottle Church.

"For more than twenty years," says Mr. De Morgan in his "Budget of
Paradoxes"[20] in the _Athenæum_, 1865, "printed papers have been sent
about in the name of Elizabeth Cottle. It is not so remarkable that
such papers should be concocted, as that they should circulate for such
a length of time without attracting public attention. Eighty years
ago, Mrs. Cottle might have rivalled Lieutenant Brothers or Joanna
Southcote. Long hence, when the now current volumes of our journals are
well ransacked works of reference, those who look into them will be
glad to see this feature of our time: I therefore make a few extracts,
faithfully copied as to type. The Italic is from the new Testament; the
Roman is the requisite interpretation:--

 "Robert Cottle '_was numbered_ (5196) _with the transgressors_' at the
 back of the Church in Norwood Cemetery, May 12, 1858--Isa. liii. 12.
 The Rev. J. G. Collinson, Minister of St. James's Church, Clapham, the
 then district church, before All Saints was built, read the funeral
 service _over the Sepulchre wherein never before man was laid_.

 "_Hewn on the stone_, 'at the mouth of the sepulchre,' is his
 name--Robert Cottle, born at Bristol, June 2, 1774; died at Kirkstall
 Lodge, Clapham Park, May 6, 1858. _And that day_ (May 12, 1858)
 _was the preparation_ (day and year for 'the PREPARED place for
 you'--Cottleites--by the widowed mother of the Father's house, at
 Kirkstall Lodge--John xiv. 2, 3). _And the Sabbath_ (Christmas Day,
 December 25, 1859) _drew on_ (for the resurrection of the Christian
 body on 'the third [Protestant Sun]-day'--1 Cor. xv. 35). _Why seek
 ye the living_ (God of the New Jerusalem--Heb. xii. 22; Rev. iii.
 12) _among the dead_ (men): _he_ (the God of Jesus) _is not here_
 (in the grave), _but is risen_ (in the person of the Holy Ghost,
 from the supper, of 'the dead in the second death' of Paganism).
 _Remember how he spake unto you_ (in the Church of the Rev. George
 Clayton, April 14, 1839). _I will not drink henceforth_ (at this last
 Cottle supper) _of the fruit of this_ (Trinity) _vine, until that
 day_ (Christmas Day, 1859), _when I_ (Elizabeth Cottle) _drank it new
 with you_ (Cottleites) _in my Father's kingdom_--John xv. _If this_
 (Trinitarian) _cup may not pass away from me_ (Elizabeth Cottle,
 April 14, 1839), _except I drink it_ ('new with you Cottleites, in my
 Father's kingdom'), _thy will be done_--Matt. xxvi. 29, 42, 64. 'Our
 Father which art (God) in heaven, _hallowed be thy name, thy_ (Cottle)
 _kingdom come, thy will be done in earth, as it is_ (done) _in_ (the
 new) _Heaven_ (and new earth of the new name of Cottle--Rev. xxi. 1;
 iii. 12).

 "... (Queen Elizabeth, from A. D. 1558 to 1566). _And this_ WORD _yet
 once more_ (by a second Elizabeth)--the WORD of his oath, _signifieth_
 (at John Scott's baptism of the Holy Ghost) _the removing of those
 things_ (those Gods and those doctrines) _that are made_ (according
 the Creeds and Commandments of men) _that those things_ (in the moral
 law of God) _which cannot be shaken_ (as a rule of faith and practice)
 _may remain; wherefore we receiving_ (from Elizabeth) _a kingdom_ (of
 God) _which cannot be moved_ (by Satan) _let us have grace_ (in his
 grace of Canterbury) _whereby we may serve God acceptably_ (with the
 acceptable sacrifice of Elizabeth's body and blood of the communion of
 the Holy Ghost) _with reverence_ (for truth) _and godly fear_ (of the
 unpardonable sin of blasphemy against the Holy Ghost), _for our God_
 (the Holy Ghost) _is a consuming fire_ (to the nation that will not
 serve him in the Cottle Church). We cannot defend ourselves against
 the Almighty, and if He is our defence, no nation can invade us.

 "In verse 4 the Church of St. Peter is _in prison between four
 quaternions of Soldiers_--the Holy Alliance of 1815. Rev. vii. 1.
 Elizabeth, _the Angel of the Lord_ Jesus _appears_ to the Jewish and
 Christian body with _the vision_ of prophecy to the Rev. Geo. Clayton
 and his clerical brethren, April 8th, 1839. _Rhoda_ was the name of
 her maid at Putney Terrace who used _to open the door to her Peter_,
 the Rev. Robert Ashton, the Pastor of 'the little flock' 'of 120 names
 together, assembled in an upper (school) room' at Putney Chapel, to
 which little flock she gave the revelation (Acts i. 13, 15) _of Jesus
 the same_ King of the Jews _yesterday_ at the prayer meeting, December
 31, 1841, _and to-day_, January 1, 1842, _and for ever_. See book of
 Life, page 24. Matt. xviii. 19; xxi. 13-16. In verse 6 the Italian
 body of St. Peter _is sleeping_ 'in the second death' _between the
 two_ Imperial _soldiers_ of France and Austria. The Emperor of France
 from January 1 to July 11, 1859, causes the Italian _chains of St.
 Peter to fall off from his_ Imperial _hands_.

 "_I say unto thee_, Robert Ashton, _thou art Peter_, a stone, _and
 upon this rock_, of truth, _will I_ Elizabeth, the Angel of Jesus,
 _build my_ Cottle _Church, and the gates of hell_, the doors of St.
 Peter at Rome, shall not prevail against it--Matt. xvi. 18; Rev. iii.

[20] We hope to see these interesting accounts of real "curiosities of
literature" reprinted in a separate volume.

"This will be enough for the purpose. When anyone who pleases can
circulate new revelations of this kind, uninterrupted and unattended
to, new revelations will cease to be a good investment of eccentricity.
I take it for granted that the gentlemen whose names are mentioned have
nothing to do with the circulars or their doctrines. Any lady who may
happen to be entrusted with a revelation may nominate her own pastor,
or any other clergyman, one of her apostles; and it is difficult to say
to what court the nominees can appeal to get the commission abrogated.

"March 16, 1865. During the last two years the circulars have
continued. It is hinted that funds are low; and two gentlemen, who are
represented as gone 'to Bethelem asylum in despair,' say that Mrs.
Cottle will 'spend all that she hath, while Her Majesty's ministers are
flourishing on the wages of sin.' The following is perhaps one of the
most remarkable passages in the whole:--

 "_Extol and magnify Him_ (Jehovah, the everlasting God, see the
 Magnificat and Luke i. 45, 46-68-73-79), _that rideth_ (by rail
 and steam over land and sea, from his holy habitation at Kirkstall
 Lodge, Psa. lxxvii. 19, 20), _upon the_ (Cottle) _heavens as it were_
 (September 9, 1864, see pages 21, 170), _upon an_ (exercising, Psa.
 cxxxi. 1), _horse_-(chair, bought of Mr. John Ward, Leicester Square)."

Horace Walpole's Chattels saved by a Talisman.

In the spring of 1771, Walpole's house in Arlington Street was broken
open in the night, and his cabinets and trunks forced and plundered.
The Lord of Strawberry was at his villa when he received by a courier
the intelligence of the burglary. In an admirable letter to Sir Horace
Mann he thus narrates the sequel:--"I was a good quarter of an hour
before I recollected that it was very becoming to have philosophy
enough not to care about what one does care for; if you don't care
there's no philosophy in bearing it. I despatched my upper servant,
breakfasted, fed the bantams as usual, and made no more hurry to town
than Cincinnatus would if he had lost a basket of turnips. I left in my
drawers 270_l._ of bank-bills and three hundred guineas, not to mention
all my gold and silver coins, some inestimable miniatures, a little
plate, and a good deal of furniture, under no guard but that of two
maidens.... When I arrived, my surprise was by no means diminished. I
found in three different chambers three cabinets, a large chest, and
a glass case of china wide open, the locks not picked, but forced,
and the doors of them broken to pieces. You will wonder that this
should surprise me when I had been prepared for it. Oh! the miracle
was that I did not find, nor to this hour have found, the least thing
missing. In the cabinet of modern medals, there were, and so there are
still, a series of English coins, with downright John Trot guineas,
half-guineas, shillings, sixpences, and every kind of current money.
Not a single piece was removed. Just so in the Roman and Greek cabinet;
though in the latter were some drawers of papers, which they had
tumbled and scattered about the floor. A great exchequer chest, that
belonged to my father, was in the same room. Not being able to force
the lock, the philosophers (for thieves that steal nothing deserve the
title much more than Cincinnatus, or I) had wrenched a great flapper
of brass with such violence as to break it into seven pieces. The trunk
contained a new set of chairs of French tapestry, two screens, rolls
of prints, and a suit of silver stuff that I had made for the king's
wedding. All was turned topsy-turvy, and nothing stolen. The glass case
and cabinet of shells had been handled as roughly by these impotent
gallants. Another little table with drawers, in which, by the way, the
key was left, had been opened too, and a metal standish that they ought
to have taken for silver, and a silver hand-candlestick that stood upon
it, were untouched. Some plate in the pantry, and all my linen just
come from the wash had no more charms for them than gold or silver. In
short I could not help laughing, especially as the only two movables
neglected were another little table with drawers and the money, and a
writing box with the bank-notes, both in the same chamber where they
made the first havoc. In short, they had broken out a panel in the
door of the area, and unbarred and unbolted it, and gone out at the
street-door, which they left wide open at five o'clock in the morning.
A passenger had found it so, and alarmed the maids, one of whom ran
naked into the street, and by her cries waked my Lord Rommey, who lives
opposite. The poor creature was in fits for two days, but at first,
finding my coachmaker's apprentice in the street, had sent him to Mr.
Conway, who immediately despatched him to me before he knew how little
damage I had received, the whole of which consists in repairing the
doors and locks of my cabinets and coffers.

"All London is reasoning on this marvellous adventure, and not an
argument presents itself that some other does not contradict. I insist
that I have a talisman. You must know that last winter, being asked by
Lord Vere to assist in settling Lady Betty Germaine's auction I found
in an old catalogue of her collection this article, '_The Black Stone
into which Dr. Dee used to call his spirits_.' Dr. Dee, you must know,
was a great conjuror in the days of Queen Elizabeth and has written a
folio of the dialogues he held with his imps. I asked eagerly for this
stone; Lord Vere said he knew of no such thing, but if found, it should
certainly be at my service. Alas, the stone was gone! This winter I
was again employed by Lord Frederic Campbell, for I am an absolute
auctioneer, to do him the same service about his father's (the Duke of
Argyle's) collection. Among other odd things he produced a round piece
of shining black marble in a leathern case, as big as the crown of a
hat, and asked me what that possibly could be? I screamed out, 'Oh
Lord, I am the only man in England that can tell you! It is Dr. Dee's
Black Stone!' It certainly is; Lady Betty had formerly given away or
sold, time out of mind, for she was a thousand years old, that part of
the Peterborough collection which contained natural philosophy. So, or
since, the Black Stone had wandered into an auction, for the lotted
paper is still on it. The Duke of Argyle, who bought everything, bought
it. Lord Frederic gave it to me; and if it was not this magical stone,
which is only of high-polished coal, that preserved my chattels, in
truth I cannot guess what did."

At the Strawberry Hill sale, in 1842, this precious relic was sold
for 12_l._ 12_s._, and is now in the British Museum. It was described
in the catalogue as "a singularly interesting and curious relic of
the superstition of our ancestors--the celebrated _Speculum of Kennel
Coal_, highly polished, in a leathern case. It is remarkable for having
been used to deceive the mob, by the celebrated Dr. Dee, the conjuror,
in the reign of Queen Elizabeth," &c. When Dee fell into disrepute,
and his chemical apparatus and papers and other stock-in-trade were
destroyed by the mob, who made an attack upon his house, this Black
Stone was saved. It appears to be nothing more than a polished piece of
cannel coal; but this is what Butler means when he says:--

    Kelly did all his feats upon
    The devil's looking glass--a stone.

[Illustration: Margaret Finch, the Norwood Gipsy.]

Norwood Gipsies.

Two centures ago, Norwood, in Surrey, was celebrated as the haunt
of many of the gipsy-tribe, who in the summertime pitched their
blanket-tents beneath its shady trees. Thus we find Pepys recording
a visit to the place, under the date of August 11th, 1688:--"This
afternoon my wife, and Mercer, and Deb. went with Pelling to the
gipsies at Lambeth, and had their fortunes told; but what they did I
did not inquire." [Norwood is in the southern part of Lambeth parish.]

From their reputed knowledge of futurity, the Norwood gipsies were
often consulted by the young and credulous. This was particularly the
case some sixty or seventy years ago, when it was customary among the
working class and servants of London to walk to Norwood on the Sunday
afternoon to have their fortunes told, and also to take refreshment
at the Gipsy House, said to have been first licensed in the reign of
James the First. The house long bore on its sign-post a painting of the
deformed figure of Margaret Finch, the Queen of the gipsies.

The register of Beckenham, under the date of October 24th, 1740,
records the burial of Margaret Finch, who lived to the age of 109
years. After travelling over various parts of the kingdom (during the
greater part of a century), she settled at Norwood, whither her great
age and the fame of her fortune-telling attracted numerous visitors.
From a habit of sitting on the ground, with her chin resting on her
knees, the sinews became so contracted that she could not rise from
that posture. After her death they were obliged to enclose her body in
a deep square box. Her funeral was attended by two mourning-coaches, a
sermon was preached on the occasion, and a great concourse of people
attended the ceremony. There is an engraved portrait of this gipsy
queen, from a drawing made in 1739.

In the summer of 1815, the gipsies of Norwood were "apprehended as
vagrants, and sent in three coaches to prison," and this magisterial
interference, and the increase of houses and population, have long
since driven the gipsies from their haunts; but the association is
preserved in the Gipsy Hill station of the Crystal Palace Railway.

"Cunning Mary," of Clerkenwell.

Early in the seventeenth century, one Mary Woods, of Norwich, a
person who professed skill in palmistry, came to London in the way
of her vocation, and lodged at the house of one Crispe, a barber,
in Clerkenwell. Having received such a valuable inmate, the barber
soon afterwards removed "Cunning Mary" and her husband to the more
fashionable neighbourhood of the Strand, and there the barber became a
willing agent in procuring subjects or patients for his female lodger.
One branch of her business consisted in furnishing ladies who desired
to become mothers with charms and medicines which would assist them in
attaining their end. In the next house to Somerset Place dwelt a Mrs.
Isabel Peel, wife of a tradesman, who to her great grief was childless.
The barber, at his lodger's suggestion, whispered in her ear, that the
very skilful person who was an inmate of his house could provide her
with means to help forward her desires. An interview was arranged, and
by "fair speech and cozening skill" Mary Woods persuaded Mrs. Peel
of her power, but demanded no less a sum than twenty pounds for its
exercise. In cash, the amount was beyond the patient's means, but she
delivered to her adviser "two lawn and other wrotte (wrought) wares,"
and received in return a small portion of an infallible powder, which
the cunning woman sewed in a little piece of taffeta, and bade the
aspirant after maternity wear it round her neck.

The news that a woman of such marvellous skill had come to lodge in
Westminster soon spread. Anxious ladies in many of the neighbouring
mansions sent for her, and she specially got a footing in Salisbury
House. Mrs. Jane Sacheverell, who attended on Lady Cranborne, was one
of her victims. The Countess of Essex had several interviews with her
in the same friendly mansion, and gave her a diamond ring worth fifty
or sixty pounds, sent by her husband the Earl, out of France, with
directions to pawn it, in order to procure a portion of the infallible
powder, "which was very costly." The Countess also bestowed upon Mrs.
Woods "certain pieces of gold worth between thirty and forty pounds."
When the affair was called in question, Mrs. Woods asserted that the
Countess gave her these things to procure "a kind of poison that would
be in a man's body three or four days without swelling," and that this
poison was to be given to the Earl of Essex. But Mrs. Woods was an
infamous person, whose uncorroborated assertion was worth nothing, and
she had previously mentioned to Mrs. Peel that her employment by the
Countess had relation merely to the child-giving powder.

Mrs. Woods possessed other faculties besides those with reference to
which she was consulted by Mrs. Peel and Mrs. Sacheverell. She could
"help" ladies to husbands, and "cause and procure whom they desired to
have, to love them." On this branch of her business she was consulted
by Mrs. Cooke, Lady Walden's gentlewoman, who gave her twenty pounds
and more, in twenty-shilling pieces of gold; and, finally, also, by
Mrs. Clare, who is described as lying in the Court at Whitehall, and as
being a waiting gentlewoman in attendance upon the young Lady Windsor.
Mrs. Clare, like several other of the ladies named, had no ready money,
but the fees paid by her were very handsome. They comprised a standing
cup and cover of silver gilt, worth fourteen pounds; a petticoat of
velvet, layed with three silver laces, that cost forty pounds; and two
diamond rings, the one worth twenty pounds, and the other five pounds.

After the bubble had burst, and Cunning Mary absconded with her
plunder, Mrs. Peel says that she "ripped the taffeta to see what
powder it was, and found it but a little dust swept out of the flower

[21] S. P. Dom. James I., vol. lxxvii., quoted in Pinks's _History of
Clerkenwell_, Appendix.

Jerusalem Whalley.

Mr. Whalley was elected for Newcastle, 1785, before he was of age,
which was not unusual in Ireland, and sat for it to 1790, and for
Enniscorthy from 1797 to June, 1800. He acquired the sobriquet of
_Jerusalem Whalley_ in consequence of a bet, said to have been
20,000_l._, that he would walk (except where a sea-passage was
unavoidable) to Jerusalem and back within twelve months. He started
September 22, 1788, and returned June 1, 1789.

Lord Cloncurry describes Whalley as a perfect specimen of the Irish
gentleman of the olden time. Gallant, reckless, and profuse, he made no
account of money, limb, or life, when a feat was to be won, or a daring
deed to be attempted. He spent a fine fortune in pursuits not more
profitable than his expedition to play ball at Jerusalem; and rendered
himself a cripple for life by jumping from the drawing-room window
of Daly's club-house, in College Green, Dublin, on to the roof of a
hackney-coach which was passing.

The lawless behaviour of the yeomanry corps which he commanded obtained
for him another and less agreeable appellation, "Bever-chapel Whalley."
His residence in Stephen's Green was, in 1855, converted into a
nunnery. Sir Jonah Barrington states that 4,000_l._ was paid to Mr.
Whalley by Mr. Gould, M.P. for Kilbeggan.

Whalley, "Buck Whalley" as he was sometimes called, is stated to
have been the founder of the Hell-fire Club. Having a taste for the
fine arts, and means to gratify it, he accumulated a large number
of valuable paintings in his mansion at Stephen's Green, Dublin, of
which the following account has appeared in the _Dublin University
Magazine_:--"In the centre of the south side of St. Stephen's Green
stands a noble building, with a large stone lion reposing over the
entrance, and finding his legs and tail encroached on by grass and
weeds. This mansion belonged to the great Buck Whalley, and witnessed
many a noble feast and mad carouse during the viceroyalty of the Duke
of Buckingham. At last, when all the pleasures that could be procured
on Irish land were tried, and found to result in satiety and disgust,
and his tailor and wine-merchant began to disturb him, he sought new
excitement in his wager that he would have a game of ball against the
walls of Jerusalem; and he succeeded, as already stated. A bard, who
contributed to a collection of political squibs, entitled, _Both Sides
of the Gutter_, sang the going forth of the expedition: it is entitled,
_Whalley's Embarkation_, to the tune of 'Rutland Gigg.'"

Father Mathew and the Temperance Movement.

No great cause was ever inaugurated with more eccentric or more
genuine fervour than the advocacy of the Temperance principles by
Father Mathew, the Capuchin Friar. "Here goes in the name of God!"
said the Father, on the 10th of April, 1838, when he pledged his name
in the cause of Temperance, and, together with the Protestant priest,
Charles Duncombe, the Unitarian philanthropist, Richard Dowden, and
the stout Quaker, William Martin, publicly inaugurated a movement at
Cork, destined in a few years to count its converts by millions, and to
spread its influence as far as the English language was spoken. In this
good work, the habitually impulsive temperament of the Irish was acted
upon for the purest and most beneficial of purposes; and one element
of its success lay in the unselfishness of the Father, who was himself
a serious sufferer by the results of his philanthropic exertions. A
distillery in the south of Ireland, belonging to his family, and from
which he himself derived a large income, was shut up in consequence
of the disuse of whisky among the lower orders, occasioned by his
preaching. But his "Riverance" was most unscrupulously tyrannized over
by his servant John, a wizened old bachelor, with a red nose, privately
nourished by Bacchus; and he was only checked in his evil doings when
the Father, more exasperated than usual, exclaimed, "John, if you go on
in this way, I must certainly leave this house." On one occasion, there
was a frightful smack of whisky pervading the pure element which graced
the board, which he accounted for by saying he had placed the forbidden
liquid, with which he "cleaned his tins," in the jug by mistake.

The Temperance cause prospered, but Father Mathew, through his
eccentric love of giving, found it impossible to keep out of debt,
which ever kept him in thraldom. The hour of his deepest bitterness
was when, while publicly administering the pledge in Dublin, he was
arrested for the balance of an account due to a medal manufacturer; the
bailiff to whom the duty was entrusted kneeling down among the crowd,
asking his blessing, and then quietly showing him the writ.

This is one of the many anecdotes told by Mr. Maguire, in his admirable
Life of Father Mathew, who, we learn from the same authority, at a
large party attempted to make a convert of Lord Brougham, who resisted,
good-humouredly but resolutely, the efforts of his dangerous neighbour.
"I drink very little wine," said Lord Brougham; "only half-a-glass at
luncheon, and two half glasses at dinner; and though my medical adviser
told me I should increase the quantity, I refused to do so." "They are
wrong, my lord, for advising you to increase the quantity, and you are
wrong in taking the small quantity you do; but I have my hopes of you."
And so, after a pleasant resistance on the part of the learned lord,
Father Mathew invested his lordship with the silver medal and ribbon,
the insignia and collar of the Order of the Bath. "Then I will keep
it," said Lord Brougham, "and take it to the House, where I shall be
sure to meet the old Lord ---- the worse of liquor, and I will put it
on him." Lord Brougham was as good as his word; for, on meeting the
veteran peer, he said: "Lord ----, I have a present from Father Mathew
for you," and passed the ribbon quietly over his neck. "Then I'll tell
you what it is, Brougham, by ---- I will keep sober for this day," said
his lordship, who kept his word, to the great amusement of his friends.

[Illustration: Edward Irving.]

Eccentric Preachers.

Scores, nay, hundreds of volumes have been gathered upon the oddities
of character which mankind, in all ages, have presented to the
observant writer who loves to "shoot folly as it flies." Voltaire has
said, "Every country has its foolish notions.... Let us not laugh at
any people;" and it would be difficult to find any age which has not
its curiosities of character, to be laughed at and turned to still
better account; for, of whatever period we write, something may be done
in the way of ridicule towards turning the popular opinion. Diogenes
owes much of his celebrity to his contempt of comfort, by living in a
tub, and his oddity of manner. Orator Henley preached from his "gilt
tub" in Clare Market, and thus earned commemoration in the _Dunciad_:--

    Still break the benches, Henley, with thy strain,
    While Sherlock, Hare and Gibson preach in vain;
    O, worthy thou of Egypt's wise abodes,
    A decent priest, where monkeys were the gods!
    But Fate with butchers placed thy priestly stall,
    Meek modern faith to murder, hack, and haul.

Eccentricity has its badge and characteristics by which it gains
distinction and notoriety, and which in some cases serve as a lure to
real excellence. The preaching of Rowland Hill is allowed to have been
excellent; but his great popularity was won by his eccentric manner,
and the many piquant anecdotes and witticisms, and sallies of humour
unorthodox, with which, during his long ministry, he interlarded
his sermons. However, he thought the end justified the means; and
certain it is that it drew very large congregations. The personal
allusions to his wife, which Rowland Hill is related to have used in
the pulpit, were, however, fictitious, and at which Hill expressed
great indignation. "It is an abominable untruth," he would exclaim;
"derogatory to my character as a Christian and a gentleman. They would
make me out a bear."

The success of Edward Irving, the popular minister of the National
Scotch Church in London, was of a more mixed character. It is stated,
upon good authority, that he first chose the stage as a profession,
and acted in Ryder's company, in Kirkaldy, a few miles from Edinburgh,
about fifty-five years since. The obliquity of his vision, his dialect,
and peculiarly awkward gait and manner, created so much derision, that
he left the stage for the pulpit, after about three months' probation.

Irving's sermons were not liked at first; and it was not until he was
recognised by Dr. Chalmers that Irving became popular. But he was
turned out of his church, and treated as a madman, and he died an
outcast heretic. "There was no harm in the man," says a contemporary,
"and what errors he entertained, or extravagancies he allowed in
connection with supposed miraculous gifts, were certain in due time
to burn themselves out." It was not so much the error of his doctrine
as the peculiarity of his manner, the torrent of his eloquence, his
superlative want of tact, that provoked his enemies, and frightened
his friends. The strength of his faith was wonderful. Once, when
he was called to the bedside of a dying man late at night he went
immediately. Presently he returned, and beckoned one of his friends to
accompany him. The reason was, that he really believed in the efficacy
of prayer, and held to the promise--"If _two_ of you shall agree on
earth as touching anything that ye shall ask, it shall be done." It was
necessary, therefore, that two should go to the sick man. So, also,
he had a child that died in infancy, to whom he was in the habit of
addressing "words of godliness, to nourish the faith that was in him."
And Irving adds that the patient heed of the child was wonderful. He
really believed that the infant, by some incomprehensible process,
could guess what he was saying, and profit by it. His love for children
was very great; and he, a very popular man in London, might be seen,
day by day, marching along the streets of Pentonville of an afternoon,
his wife by his side, and his baby in his arms.

His sermons had a large sale, going through many editions. But Irving
complains that, in spite of these large sales, he could never get the
religious publishers to whom he had entrusted his book to give him
anything but a pitiful return. It is amusing to find him in one letter
complaining that there is neither grace nor honour in the religious
booksellers, and requesting his wife in negotiating the sale of his
next venture to "try Blackwood, or some of these worldlings," in the
evident expectation that "these worldlings" were a good deal more
liberal in their dealings, not to say honest, than those whom he
regarded as his peculiar friends.

Irving a Millenarian.

The Millenarians proudly claim the late Edward Irving as having been
one of the most earnest believers in the personal reign of Christ.
In his latter days he was a Millenarian in the strictest sense of
the word. From the year 1827 to 1830, the Millenarianism question
was brought under the notice of thousands of Christians, who, though
remarkable for their knowledge of Scripture on other points, had never
bestowed a single thought on the question of Christ's personal reign on
earth. The cause of this was the prominence given to it by the Rev. E.
Irving, then at the summit of his popularity. Solely with the generous
view of assisting a Spanish friend, he had, in the previous year,
studied the Spanish language, and had made such progress as to be able
to translate it into English. Just at this time appeared in Spanish,
_The Coming of the Messiah in Glory and Majesty_, with which Irving was
much struck, as powerfully expressing his own views on the Millenarian
question, that he at once set to work, and translated it into English.
Its author professed to have been a Jewish convert to Christianity,
and gave the name of Juan Josaphat Ben-Ezra on the title-page. He was,
however, a Spanish priest and a Jesuit. It is not known whether Mr.
Irving was aware of the fraud which had been thus practised upon the
readers of the book; he described it as "the chief work of a master's
hand," and "a masterpiece of reasoning," and "a gift which he had
revolved well how he might turn to profit."

Irving likewise established _The Morning Watch_ for the sole purpose
of advocating Millenarian views; but the extravagance of some of
the collateral notions which the preacher intermingled with simple
Millenarianism rather impeded than promoted the object in view.
The doctrine, too, of speaking with tongues, the assertion of the
peccability of Christ's humanity, the zealous advocacy of the opinion
that the power of working miracles was still vested in the Church,
and not the expectation only, but from time to time, the repeated
assertion, most emphatically, that _Christ would come immediately to
reign personally on the earth_--all these, and other sentiments no
less confidently advanced, and earnestly inculcated both from Irving's
pulpit and through the press, injured rather than benefited the cause
of Millenarianism among the more sober-minded men in the religious

Moreover, he retained these momentous errors till his dying hour,
and added one more to them. When his physicians and friends, seeing
him in the last stage of consumption, prepared him in the spirit of
affectionate faithfulness for the solemn event which was at hand, he
would not believe that he was dying, or ever would die, but that he
would be changed in the twinkling of an eye, and in a transformed body,
made unspeakably glorious, be caught up to heaven. The Millenarians
therefore do not strengthen their cause by quoting the name of Edward
Irving as an authority in favour of their views.

The intense enthusiasm with which Irving entered into the notion of
a personal reign of Christ on earth is well described in his Life by
Mrs. Oliphant. "The conception," she says, "of a second advent nearly
approaching was like the beginning of a new life. The thought of seeing
his Lord in the flesh, cast a certain ecstasy on the mind of Irving.
It quickened tenfold his already vivid apprehension of spiritual
things. The burden of his prophetic mystery, so often darkly pondered,
so often interpreted in a mistaken sense, seemed to him, in the light
of that expectation, to swell into divine choruses of preparation for
the splendid event which, with his bodily eyes, undimmed by death,
he hoped to behold." It is generally thought that the extravagancies
which, towards the close of his career, proceeded both from his lips
and his pen, were to be traced to a mind which, through its prophetic
studies, had _lost its balance_. Yet, to the last, he made many
proselytes to his Millenarian notions.

Irving originated the idea of Christ, with his saints, remaining
and reigning in the air after he has caught up his people to meet
him there, instead of reigning literally on the earth. Irving also
originated the doctrine of _secret rapture_, or the assumption that
Christ will come and take up his people who are alive with him into
the air when he raises the saints who are in their graves, and summons
them to meet him in aerial regions. So deeply did this notion take
possession of many of those who adopted Mr. Irving's Millenarian views,
in conjunction with this other idea--that _Christ's second coming might
be_ looked for at any hour--that they were as firmly persuaded they
would not see death, as they were of any truth in the Word of God.[22]

[22] See _The End of All Things_, by the author of _Our Heavenly Home_,

A Trio of Fanatics.

The names of Sharp, Bryan, and Brothers will not soon be forgotten
among the so-called prophets of the present century. The first of this
inspired trio was William Sharp, one of the greatest masters in the
English school of engraving; Bryan was what is termed an irregular
Quaker, who had engrafted sectarian doctrines on an original stock of
fervid religious feeling; and Richard Brothers, who styled himself the
"Nephew of God," predicted the destruction of all sovereigns, &c.

Sharp was, at one time, so infected with wild notions of political
liberty, and so free in his talk, that he was placed under arrest by
the Government and several times examined before the Privy Council,
for the purpose of ascertaining whether or not, in his speeches or
writings, he had committed himself far enough to be tried with Horne
Tooke for high treason; but Sharp, being a handsome-looking, jocular
man, and too cheerful for a conspirator, the Privy Council came to a
conclusion that the altar and the throne had not much to fear from
him. At one of the examinations, when Mr. Pitt and Mr. Dundas were
present, after he had been worried with questions, which, Sharp said,
had little or nothing to do with the business, he deliberately took out
of his pocket a prospectus for subscribing to his portrait of General
Kociusko, after West, which he was then engraving; and handing the
paper first to Pitt and Dundas, he requested them to put their names
down as subscribers, and then to give his prospectus to the other
members of the Council for their names. The singularity of the proposal
set them laughing, and he was soon afterwards liberated.

Sharp possessed a fraternal regard for Bryan, had him instructed in
copper-plate printing, supplied him with paper, &c., and enabled him
to commence business; but they soon quarrelled. A strong tide of
animal spirits, not unaccompanied by some intellectual pretensions and
shrewdness of insight, characterized the mind of Jacob Bryan; which,
when religion was launched on it, swelled to enthusiasm, tossed reason
to the skies, or whirled her in mystic eddies. Sharp found him one
morning groaning on the floor, between his two printing-presses, at his
office in Marylebone Street, complaining how much he was oppressed,
by bearing, after the pattern of the Saviour, part of the sins of the
people; and he soon after had a vision, commanding him to proceed
to Avignon on a Divine Mission. He accordingly set out immediately,
in full reliance on Divine Providence, leaving his wife to negotiate
the sale of his printing business: thus Sharp lost his printer, but
Bryan kept his faith. The issue of this mission was so ambiguous,
that it might be combined into an accomplishment of its supposed
object, according as an ardent or a cool imagination was employed on
the subject; but the missionary (Bryan) returned to England, and then
became a dyer, and so much altered, that a few years after he could
even pun upon the suffering and confession which St. Paul has expressed
in his text--"I die daily."

The Animal Magnetism of Mesmer and the mysteries of Emanuel Swedenborg
had, by some means or other, in Sharp's time, become mingled in the
imaginations of their respective or their mutual followers; and Bryan
and several others were supposed to be endowed, though not in the
same degree, with a sort of half-physical and half-miraculous power
of curing diseases, and imparting the thoughts or sympathies of
distant friends. De Loutherbourg, the painter (one of the disciples),
was believed by the sect to be a very Esculapius in this divine art;
but Bryan was held to be far less powerful, and was so by his own
confession. Sharp had also some inferior pretensions of the same kind,
which gradually died away.

But, behold! Richard Brothers arose! The Millennium was at hand! The
Jews were to be gathered together, and were to re-occupy Jerusalem;
and Sharp and Brothers were to march thither with their squadrons!
Due preparations were accordingly made, and boundless expectations
were raised by the distinguished artist. Upon a friend remonstrating
that none of their preparations appeared to be of a marine nature,
and inquiring how the chosen colony were to cross the seas, Sharp
answered, "Oh, you'll see; there'll be an earthquake, and a miraculous
transportation will take place." Nor can Sharp's faith or sincerity
on this point be in the least distrusted; for he actually engraved
two plates of the prophet Brothers, having calculated that one would
not print the great number of impressions that would be wanted when
the important event should arrive; and he added to each the following
inscription: "Fully believing this to be the man appointed by God, I
engrave his likeness: W. Sharp." The writing engraver, Smith, put the
comma after the word "appointed," and omitted it in the subsequent part
of the sentence. The mistake was not discovered until several were
worked off; the unrectified impressions are in great request. Whether
this be true, or only a hoax by Smith to put collectors on a false
scent, has not been ascertained; there is no such impression in the
British Museum. If the reader paused in the place where Sharp intended,
the sentence expressed, "Fully believing this to be the man appointed
by God,"--to do what? to head the Jews in their predestined march to
recover Jerusalem? or to die in a madhouse? one being expressed as much
as the other.

Brothers, however, in his prophecy, had mentioned _dates_, which were
stubborn things. Yet the failure of the accomplishment of this prophecy
may have helped to recommend "the Woman clothed with the Sun!" who now
arose, as might be thought somewhat _mal à propos_, in the West. Such
was Joanna Southcote. The Scriptures had said: "The sceptre shall not
depart from Israel, nor a lawgiver from between his feet, until Shiloh
come; and to him _shall the gathering of my people be_." When Brothers
was incarcerated in a madhouse in Clerkenwell, Johanna, then living
in service at Exeter, persuaded herself that she held converse with
the devil, and communion with the Holy Ghost, by whom she pretended to
be inspired. When the day of dread that was to leave London in ruins,
while it ushered forth Brothers and Sharp on their holy errand, passed
calmly over, the seers of coming events began to look out for new
ground, and to prevaricate most unblushingly. The _days_ of prophecy,
said Sharp, were sometimes weeks or months; nay, according to one text,
a thousand years were but as a single day, and one day was but as a
thousand years. But he finally clung to the deathbed prediction of
Jacob, supported as it was by the ocular demonstration of the coming
Shiloh. In vain Sir William Drummond explained that Shiloh was in
reality the ancient Asiatic name of a star in Scorpio; or that Joanna
herself sold for a trifle, or gave away in her loving kindness, the
impression of a trumpery seal, which at the Great Day was to constitute
the discriminating mark between the righteous and the ungodly. We shall
hear more of Sharp in association with Joanna Southcote, presently.

Sharp died poor; he earned much money, but his egregious credulity
accounts for its dispersion. He was an epicure in his living, he
grew corpulent, and had gout; he died of dropsy, at Chiswick, July
25th, 1824, and was interred in the churchyard of that hamlet, near
De Loutherbourg, for whom, at one period, he entertained much mystic

This great engraver, this William Sharp, was an enthusiast for human
freedom. He engraved, from a liking for the man, Northcote's portrait
of Sir Francis Burdett; and bestowed unusual care on an engraving
after Stothard's beautiful bistre-drawing of "Boadicea animating
the Britons." For many years preceding his death he was a wholesale
believer in Joanna Southcote; as we have already seen--and he had
implicit faith in mystical doctrines; of his portrait of Brothers,
Horne Tooke well observed, that, coupled with its extraordinary
inscription, it "exhibited one of the most eminent proofs of human
genius and human weakness ever contained on the same piece of paper."

Burnet, the engraver, used to relate that Sharp had an ingenious way
of carrying a proof print to a purchaser, in an umbrella contrived to
serve two additional duties--a print-case, and a walking-stick.

When John Martin exhibited his picture of Belshazzar's Feast, Sharp
called upon him at his house, introduced himself, praised his picture,
and asked permission to engrave it. "That I was flattered by a request
of the kind from so great an artist," says Martin, "you will readily
imagine; and I so expressed myself." Sharp felt pleased. "My belief,"
said Sharp, "is, that yours is a divine work--an emanation immediately
from the Almighty; and my belief further is, that while I am engaged on
so divine a work, I shall never die." When Martin told this story, he
added, with a smile, his eyes twinkling with mischief, "Poor Sharp! a
wild enthusiast, but--a masterly engraver."[23]

[23] "New Materials for Lives of English Engravers," by Peter
Cunningham. _Builder_, 1863.

Richard Brothers was born at Placentia, in Newfoundland, and had
served in the navy, but resigned his commission, because, to use his
own words, he "conceived the military life to be totally repugnant to
the duties of Christianity, and he could not conscientiously receive
the wages of plunder, bloodshed, and murder." This step reduced him to
great poverty, and he appears to have suffered much in consequence. His
mind was already shaken, and his privations and solitary reflections
seem at length to have entirely overthrown it. The first instance of
his madness appears to have been his belief that he could restore sight
to the blind. He next began to see visions and to prophesy, and soon
became persuaded that he was commissioned by Heaven to lead back the
Jews to Palestine. It was in the latter part of 1794 that he announced,
through the medium of the press, his high destiny. His rhapsody bore
the title of "A revealed Knowledge of the Prophecies and Times, Book
the First. Wrote under the direction of the Lord God, and published by
his sacred command; it being the first sign of warning for the benefit
of all nations. Containing, with other great and remarkable things,
not revealed to any other person on earth, the restoration of the
Hebrews to Jerusalem, by the year 1798: under their revealed prince and
prophet." A second part speedily followed, which purported to relate
"particularly to the present time, the present war, and the prophecy
now fulfilling: containing, with other great and remarkable things, not
revealed to any other person on earth, the sudden and perpetual fall of
the Turkish, German, and Russian Empires." Among many similar flights
in this second part, was one which described visions revealing to him
the intended destruction of London, and claimed for the prophet the
merit of having saved the city by his intercession with the Deity.[24]

[24] _Sketches of Imposture, Deception and Credulity._ Second Edition.

Brothers gained a great number of partisans, not only among uneducated
persons, but among men of talent. We have seen Sharp, the engraver, as
his devoted disciple. Among these followers was Mr. Halhed, who had
been a schoolfellow of Sheridan at Harrow; they also had a sort of
literary partnership, and they fell passionately in love with the same
woman, Miss Linley. Halhed was a profound scholar, a man of wit, and a
member of the House of Commons; he published pamphlets in advocacy of
the prophetic mission of Brothers, and even made a motion in the House
in favour of the prince of the Jews, as Brothers delegated himself.

Brothers took more of a political turn than his companions. He had
been a lieutenant in the navy, and during the years 1792-3-4, greatly
disturbed the minds of the credulous with his _prophecies_. We have
said that he styled himself the "Nephew of God," and predicted the
destruction of all sovereigns; he also foretold the downfall of the
naval power of Great Britain.

His writings, founded on erroneous explanations of the Scriptures,
at length made so much noise, that Government found it expedient
to interfere, and on the 14th of March, 1795, he was apprehended at
his lodgings, No. 58, in Paddington Street, under a warrant from the
Secretary of State. After a long examination before the Privy Council,
in which Brothers persisted in the divinity of his legation, he was
committed to the custody of a State messenger. On the 27th he was
declared a lunatic, by a jury appointed under a commission of lunacy,
assembled at the King's Arms, in Palace Yard, and was subsequently
removed to a private madhouse at Islington. While here, he continued
to see visions and to pour forth his rhapsodies in print. One of
these productions was a letter of two hundred pages, to "Miss Cott,
the recorded daughter of King David, and future Queen of the Hebrews,
with an Address to the Members of His Britannic Majesty's Council."
The lady to whom this letter was addressed had become an inmate of the
same asylum with Brothers, and he became so enamoured of her, that he
discovered her to be "the recorded daughter of both David and Solomon,"
and his spouse "by divine ordinance." Brothers was subsequently removed
to Bedlam; but in the year 1806 was discharged by the authority of
Lord Chancellor Erskine. He died in Upper Baker Street, on the 25th of
January, 1824. He was seen in the street a few days before his death,
walking with great difficulty, and apparently in the last stage of
consumption. It is recorded that the minister who attended Brothers
in his last moments died of a broken heart; and the medical man under
whose care he had been confined, committed suicide.

Brothers appears to have unwittingly suggested to Coleridge and Southey
the clever poem of the _Devil's Walk_, by the mad prophet asserting
that he had seen the devil walk leisurely into London one day!

The Spenceans.

Early in the present century there arose in the metropolis a
religio-political sect, which took its name from an itinerant
bookseller, named T. Spence, who formed a sort of Constitution on the
principle that "all human beings are equal by nature and before the
law, and have a continual and _inalienable property_ in the earth and
in its natural productions;" and consequently that "_every man, woman,
and child_, whether born in wedlock or not (for Nature and Justice
know nothing of illegitimacy), is entitled quarterly to an equal share
of the rents of the parish where they have settled." This he called
"the Constitution of _Spensonia_;" and the Abstract from which we have
quoted he called "A Receipt to make a _Millennium_, or Happy World."
By this reference and by some allusions to the Jewish economy, he also
gave his system a slight connection with religion--but it was very
slight; for he neither regarded the precepts of the moral law, nor the
doctrines of the Gospel. He admitted, however, of a Sabbath every fifth
day; but only as a day of rest and amusement--not for any purposes of
devotion. A scheme somewhat similar to the above was formed in the
time of the English Commonwealth, and it is probable Spence may have
borrowed his system partly from that source.

Spence was punished for his vagaries; for, in 1801, he was sentenced
to pay a fine of 50_l._ and to suffer twelve months' imprisonment for
publishing _Spence's Restorer of Society_, which was deemed a seditious
libel. Spence died in October, 1814.

[Illustration: Joanna Southcote.]

Joanna Southcote, and the Coming of Shiloh.

This "dropsical old woman," Joanna Southcote, was a native of Exeter,
and was born in April, 1750. She was employed chiefly in that city
as a domestic servant, and up to the age of forty or thereabout, she
seems to have aspired to no higher occupation. But having joined
the Methodists, and become acquainted with one Saunderson, who laid
claim to the spirit of prophecy, the notion of a like pretension
was gradually communicated to Joanna. She wrote prophecies, and
she dictated prophecies, sometimes in prose and sometimes in rhymed
doggerel; her influence extended, and the number of her followers
increased; she announced herself as the woman spoken of in the 12th
chapter of Revelation, and obtained considerable sums by the sale of
_seals_, which were to secure the salvation of those who purchased
them. Her confidence increased with her reputation, and she challenged
the bishop and clergy of Exeter to a public investigation of her
miraculous powers, but they treated her challenge with contemptuous
neglect, which she and her converts imputed to fear.

By degrees, Exeter became too narrow a stage for her performances, and
she came to London on the invitation and at the expense of Sharp, the
eminent engraver. She was very illiterate, but wrote numerous letters
and pamphlets, and her prophecies, nearly unintelligible as they were,
had a large sale. In the course of her Mission, as she called it,
promising a speedy approach of the Millennium, she employed a boy, who
pretended to see visions, and attempted, instead of writing, to adjust
them on the walls of her chapel, "the House of God," a large building
which adjoined the Elephant and Castle Inn, at Newington Butts. A
schism took place among her followers, one of whom, named Carpenter,
took possession of the place, and wrote against her; not denying her
Mission, but asserting that she had exceeded it.

It may, however, be interesting here to describe what may be termed
the _modus operandi_ of the delusion. Great pains were now taken to
ascertain the truth of her commission. "From the end of 1792," says
Mr. Sharp, who, we have already seen, was the most devout of her
believers, "to the end of 1794, her writings were sealed up with
great caution, and remained secure till they were conveyed by me to
High House, Paddington; and the box which contained them was opened
in the beginning of January, 1803. Her writings were examined during
seven days, and the result of this long scrutiny was the unanimous
decision of twenty-three persons _appointed by divine command_, as
well as of thirty-five others that were present, _that her calling
was of God_." They came to this conclusion from the fulfilment of the
prophecies contained in these writings, and to which she appealed with
confidence and triumph. It was a curious circumstance, however, that
her handwriting was illegible. Her remark on this occasion was, "This
must be, to fulfil the Bible. Every vision that John saw in Heaven must
take place on earth; and here is the sealed book, that no one can read!"

A protection was provided for all those who subscribed their names as
volunteers, for the destruction of Satan's kingdom. To every subscriber
a folded paper was delivered, endorsed with his name, and secured with
the impression of Joanna's seal in red wax; this powerful talisman
consisted of a circle enclosing the two letters J. C., with a star
above and below, and the following words, "The sealed of the Lord,
the Elect, Precious, Man's Redemption, to inherit the tree of life,
to be made heirs of God and joint-heirs of Jesus Christ." The whole
was authenticated by the signature of the prophetess in her illegible
characters, and the person thus provided was said to be _sealed_.
Conformably, however, to the 7th chapter of the Revelation, the number
of those highly protected persons was not to exceed 144,000.[25]

[25] _Sketches of Imposture, Deception, and Credulity_. Second Edition.

Early in her last year, she secluded herself from male society, and
fancied that she was with child--by the Holy Spirit!--that she was to
bring forth the Shiloh promised by Jacob Bryan, and which she pretended
was to be the second appearance of the Messiah! This child was to
be born before the end of harvest, on the 19th of October, 1814, at
midnight, as she was certain it was impossible for her to survive
undelivered till Christmas. The harvest, however, was ended, and
Christmas came, without the fulfilment of her predictions. Some months
previously, Joanna had declared her pretended situation, and invited
the opinion of the faculty. Several medical men admitted her pregnancy,
others doubted; and some, among whom was Dr. Sims, denied it. There
was, indeed, the external appearance of pregnancy; and, in consequence,
the enthusiasm of her followers, who are said to have amounted at that
time to no fewer than one hundred thousand, was greatly excited. An
expensive cradle was made, and considerable sums were contributed,
in order to have other things prepared in a style worthy of the
expected Shiloh. Among the costly presents made to her was a Bible
which cost 40_l._, and the superb cot or cradle 200_l._, besides a
richly-embroidered coverlid, &c.

It was now deemed necessary, to satisfy certain worldly doubts, that
medical men should be called in to give a professional opinion as
to the fact, from a consideration of all the symptoms, and without
reference to miraculous agency. One of these gentlemen, Mr. Mathias,
appearing incredulous of Joanna's pregnancy, was asked "if he would
believe when he saw the infant at the breast?" He protested against a
question so blasphemous; but his further attendance was dispensed with,
as she had been answered, "that he had drawn a wrong judgment of her
disorder." Mr. Mathias, too, let out some strange information, showing
that Joanna passed much of her time in bed, ate much and often, and
prayed never; but to keep up the delusion that she was with child, she,
like other ladies in that situation, had longings. On one occasion she
longed for asparagus, and ate one hundred and sixty heads, at no small
cost, before she allayed her liking.

Dr. Richard Reece[26] was now consulted by Joanna as to her pregnancy.
He was not a proselyte to her religious views, but is thought to have
been deceived by her symptoms, and declared to a deputation of her
followers his belief of her being pregnant by some means or other.
As her supposed time of deliverance approached, Joanna fell ill, and
began to doubt her inspiration, most probably by her fears awakening
her conscience; and as Dr. Reece continued in attendance, he witnessed
the following scene:--"Five or six of her friends, who were waiting
in an adjoining room, being admitted into her bedchamber, she desired
them," says Dr. Reece, "to be seated round her bed; when, spending
a few minutes in adjusting the bed-clothes with seeming attention,
and placing before her a white handkerchief, she addressed them in
the following words: 'My friends, some of you have known me nearly
twenty-five years, and all of you not less than twenty; when you have
heard me speak of my prophecies, you have sometimes heard me say that
I doubted my inspiration; but at the same time, you would never let me
despair. When I have been alone, it has often appeared delusion; but
when the communication was made to me, I did not in the least doubt.
Feeling, as I now do feel, that my dissolution is drawing near, and
that a day or two may terminate my life, it all appears delusion.' She
was by this exertion quite exhausted, and wept bitterly."

[26] Dr. Richard Reece was the son of a clergyman, and was articled
to a country surgeon. In 1800 he settled in practice in Henrietta
Street, Covent Garden, and published _The Medical and Chirurgical
Pharmacopœia_; and having received a degree of M.D. from a Scotch
university, he exercised the three professions of physician,
apothecary, and chemist. He likewise published several volumes upon
various medical subjects; and established himself in the western
wing of the Egyptian Hall Piccadilly. He assailed quackery with much
boldness; hence his mistake as to Joanna Southcote was made the most
of. He had also considerable practice, by which he gained money. He
published _A Plain Narrative of the Circumstances attending the last
Illness and Death of Joanna Southcote_.

"On reviving in a little time, she observed, that it was very
extraordinary, that after spending all her life in investigating the
Bible, it should please the Lord to inflict that heavy burden on her.
She concluded this discourse by requesting that everything on this
occasion might be conducted with decency. She then wept; and all her
followers present seemed deeply affected, and some of them shed tears.
'Mother,' said one (it is believed Mr. Howe), 'we will commit your
instructions to paper, and rest assured they shall be conscientiously
followed.' They were accordingly written down with much solemnity, and
signed by herself, with her hand placed on the Bible in the bed. This
being finished, Mr. Howe again observed to her, 'Mother, your feelings
are _human_; we know that you are a favourite woman of God, and that
you will produce the promised child; and whatever you may say to the
contrary will not diminish our faith.' This assurance revived her, and
the scene of crying was changed with her to laughter."

Mr. Howe was not the only one of her disciples whose sturdy belief was
not to be shaken by the most discouraging symptoms. Colonel Harwood,
a zealous believer, entreated Dr. Reece not to retract his opinion as
to her pregnancy, though the latter now saw the folly and absurdity of
it; and when the Colonel approached the bed on which Joanna was about
to expire, and she said to him, "What does the Lord mean by this? I am
certainly dying;" he replied, smiling, "No, no, you will not die; or if
you should, you will return again."

About ten weeks before Christmas she was confined to her bed, and took
very little sustenance, until pain and sickness greatly reduced her.
On the night of the 19th of October, a very large number of persons
assembled in the street where she lived--Manchester Street, Manchester
Square[27]--to hear the announcement of the looked-for advent; but
the hour of midnight passed over, and the crowd were only induced to
disperse by being informed that Joanna had fallen into a trance.

[27] One of Joanna's London residences was at No. 17, Weston Place,
opposite the Small Pox Hospital.

Mr. Want, a surgeon, had warned her of her approaching end; but she
insisted that all her sufferings were only preparatory to the birth
of the Shiloh. At last she admitted the possibility of a temporary
dissolution, and expressly ordered that means should be taken to
preserve warmth in her for four days, after which she was to revive
and be delivered. On December 27th, 1814, she actually died, in her
sixty-fifth year, she having previously declared that if she was
deceived, she was, at all events, misled by some spirit, either good
or evil. In four days after, she was opened in the presence of fifteen
medical men, when it was demonstrated that she was not pregnant, and
that her complaint arose from bile and flatulency, from indulgence and
want of exercise. In her last hour she was attended by Ann Underwood,
her secretary; Mr. Tozer, who was called her high priest; Colonel
Harwood, and some other persons of property; and so determined were
her followers to be deceived, that neither death nor dissection could
convince them of their error. The silencing of her preacher, Tozer,
and shutting up of the chapel which he had opened, had by no means
diminished the number of her believers.

While the surgeons were investigating the causes of her death, and
the mob were gathering without-doors, in anticipation of a riot or a
miracle, Sharp, the engraver, continued to maintain that she was not
dead, but entranced. And, at a subsequent period, when he was sitting
to Mr. Haydon for his portrait, he predicted to the painter, that
Joanna would reappear in the month of July 1822. "But suppose she
should not?" said Haydon. "I tell you she will," retorted Sharp; "but
if she would not, nothing should shake my faith in her Divine Mission."
And those who were near Sharp's person during his last illness, state
that in this belief he died. Even when she was really dead, the same
blind confidence remained. Mrs. Townley, with whom she had lived, said
cheerfully, "she would return to life, for it had been foretold twenty
years before."

Mr. Sharp also asserted that the soul of Joanna would return, it
having gone to heaven to legitimate the child which would be born.
Though symptoms of decomposition arose, Mr. Sharp still persisted in
keeping the body hot, according to the directions which she had given
on her death-bed, in the hope of a revival. Dr. Reece having remarked
that if the ceremony of her marriage continued two days longer, the
tenement would not be habitable on her return, "The greater will be
the miracle," said Mr. Sharp. Consent at last was given to inspect
the body, and all the disciples stood round, smoking tobacco. Their
disappointment was excessive at finding nothing to warrant the long
cherished opinion, but their faith remained immovable.

Her corpse was removed on the 31st of December to an undertaker's in
Oxford Street, where it remained till the interment. On the 2nd of
January, 1815, it was carried in a hearse, so remarkably plain, as to
have the appearance of one returning from rather than proceeding to
church; it was accompanied by one coach equally plain, in which were
three mourners. In this manner they proceeded to the new cemetery
adjoining St. John's Wood Chapel, with such secrecy, that there was
scarcely a person in the ground unconnected with it. A fourth person
arrived as the body was being borne to the grave; this was supposed to
be Tozer. The grave was taken, and notice given of the funeral, under
the name of Goddard. Neither the minister of St. John's, who read the
service, nor any of the subordinate persons belonging to the chapel,
were apprised of the real name about to be buried, till the funeral
reached the ground. The grave is on the west side, opposite No. 44 on
the wall, and twenty-six feet from it, where is a flat stone with this

                          "In memory of
                        JOANNA SOUTHCOTE,

    who departed this life December 27, 1814, aged 65 years.
             While through all thy wondrous days,
             Heaven and earth enraptur'd gazed,
             While vain Sages think they know
             Secrets Thou Alone canst show;
             Time alone will tell what hour
             Thou'lt appear to 'Greater' Power.


On a black marble tablet, let into the wall opposite to the above spot,
is the following inscription, in gilt letters:--

 "Behold the time shall come, that these Tokens which I have told Thee,
 shall come to pass, and the Bride shall Appear, and She coming forth,
 shall be seen, that now is withdrawn from the Earth."

     2nd of Esdras, chap. 7, verse 26.

 "For the Vision is yet for an appointed time, but at the end it shall
 speak, and Not Lie, though it tarry, Wait for it; Because it will
 surely come, it will not tarry."

     Habakkuk, chap. ii. ver. 3d.

 "And whosoever is delivered from the Foresaid evils, shall see My

     2nd of Esdras, chap. 7th, ver. 27th.

 (_See her writings._)

     This Tablet was Erected,
     By the sincere friends of the above,
     Anno Domini, 1828.

The number of Joanna's followers continued to be very great for many
years after her death: they believed that there would be a resurrection
of her body, and that she was still to be the mother of the promised

The Southcotonians also still met and committed various extravagancies.
In 1817 a part of the disciples, conceiving themselves directed by God
to proclaim the coming of the Shiloh on earth, for this purpose marched
in procession through Temple Bar, when the leader sounded a brazen
trumpet, and declared the coming of Shiloh, the Prince of Peace; while
his wife shouted, "Wo! wo! to the inhabitants of the earth, because of
the coming of Shiloh!" The crowd pelted the fanatics with mud, some
disturbance ensued, and some of the disciples were taken into custody,
and had to answer for their conduct before a magistrate. A considerable
number of the sect appear to have remained in Devonshire, Joanna's
native county.

The whole affair was one of the most monstrous delusions of our time.
"It is not long since," says Sir Benjamin Brodie, in his _Psychological
Inquiries_, 3rd edition, "no small number of persons, and not merely
those belonging to the uneducated classes, were led to believe that a
dropsical old woman was about to be the mother of the real Shiloh." The
writer, however, adds that Joanna was "not altogether an impostor, but
in part the victim of her own imagination."

A small square volume of Southcotonian hymns was published, entitled,
"Hymns or Spiritual Songs," composed from the prophetical writings of
Joanna Southcote, by P. Pullen, and published by her order. "And I saw
an angel," &c.--Rev. xx. 1, 2. The "Little Flock" are thus addressed
by their "Poet Laureat:"--"By permission of our 'spiritual mother,
Johanna Southcote,' I have composed the following hymns from her
prophetic writings; and should you feel that pleasure in singing them
to the honour and glory of God, for the establishment of _her blessed
kingdom_, and the destruction of Satan's power, as I have felt in the
perusal of her writings, I am fully persuaded that they will ultimately
tend to your everlasting happiness, and I hope and trust to the speedy
completion of what we ardently long and daily pray for, namely, 'HIS
KINGDOM _to come, that_ HIS _will may be done on earth as it is in
heaven, and that we may be delivered from evil_;' that that blessed
prayer may be soon, very soon fulfilled, is the earnest desire of your
fellow labourer, Philip Pullen. London, 16th September, 1807."

"The reader of these Hymns," says a Correspondent of _Notes and
Queries_, "will not feel the spiritual elevation spoken of by Mr.
Pullen, unless, perhaps, he has, like him, drunk at that fountain-head,
_i.e._ studied the 'prophetic writings:' the songs for the now
'scattered sheep' being rhapsodical to a degree, and intelligible only
to such an audience as that some of your sexagenarian readers may have
found assembled under the roof of the 'House of God.' The leading
titles to these Hymns are, 'True Explanations of the Bible,' 'Strange
Effects of Faith,' 'Words in Season,' 'Communications and Visions,' not
published, 'Cautions to the Sealed,' 'Answers to the Books of Garrett
and Brothers,' 'Rival Enthusiasts,' and such like. Pullen, their poet,
was formerly a schoolmaster, and afterwards an accountant in London,
and is called by Upcott, in his _Dictionary of Living Authors_, 1816,
an empiric.

"A couplet in the first hymn bears an asterisk, intimating that it is
published at the particular request of Johanna Southcote; it is short,
and will afford at once a specimen of the poetical _calibre_ of the
volume, and the pith of the 'Spiritual Mother's' views:--

    "_To_ FATHER, SON, _and_ HOLY GHOST,
      _One_ GOD _in power_ THREE,
    _Bring back the ancient world that's lost
      To all mankind--and me_."

Joanna Southcote published many pamphlets, and one of her disciples,
Elias Carpenter, issued several curious and mystical tracts. The lists
of these publications are too long to be quoted here. Probably the
most complete collection preserved of the extraordinary productions
by and relating to this wonderful imposture, was that made by Sir
Francis Freeling, together with cuttings from all the newspapers, and
bound in 7 vols. 8vo, 1803 to 1815. The titles of the principal tracts
fill a page of Thorpe's Catalogue, Part III., 1850. For another very
rare collection, in 6 vols., 8vo, see J. C. Hotten's Catalogue for
October 1858. Perhaps the most tangible explanation attempted of Joanna
Southcote's mission is that by Carpenter, in the _Missionary Magazine_,
1814. To Carpenter is attributed the following anonymous work, "The
Extraordinary Cure of a Piccadilly Patient, or Dr. Reece physicked by
Six Female Physicians, 1815."


     Leeds: August 20, 1809.

 Mr. Urban,--Herewith you receive the original seal with which that
 miserable enthusiast, Joanna Southcott, imposed on the husband of Mary
 Bateman, the wicked wretch who was lately tried and executed at this
 place, for the murder of a woman named Perigo. It was found in their
 cottage when she was taken into custody. The words are as follow:--

    John Bateman,
    Sealed of the Lord.

    The Elect precious; Man's Redemption;
    To inherit the tree of life; to be made
    Heirs of God and Joint Heirs with
    Jesus Christ.

    Joanna Southcott
    Feb. 12, 1806.

The Founder of Mormonism.

Joseph Smith, "the Prophet," has left to the world a short sketch
of himself and his system of Mormonism, which is one of the most
remarkable movements of modern times. He was born in the State of
Vermont, in 1805, and was brought up to husbandry. When about fourteen
years old he began to reflect upon the importance of being prepared
for a future state, and inquiring into the plan of salvation. He
tells us:--"I retired to a secret place in a grove, and began to call
upon the Lord. While fervently engaged in supplication, my mind was
taken away from the objects with which I was surrounded, and I was
enwrapt in a heavenly vision, and saw two glorious personages, who
exactly resembled each other in feature and likeness, surrounded with
a brilliant light which eclipsed the sun at noonday. They told me that
all the religious sects were believing in incorrect doctrines, and
that none of them was acknowledged of God as his Church and Kingdom.
And I was expressly commanded to _go not after them_, at the same time
receiving a promise that the fulness of the Gospel should at some
future time be made known to me."

This "fulness of the Gospel" was that revealed in _The Book of Mormon_,
of the discovery of which and its contents he says:--"On the evening
of the 21st of September, A.D. 1823, while I was praying unto God and
endeavouring to exercise faith in the precious promises of Scripture,
on a sudden, a light like that of day, only of a far purer and more
glorious appearance and brightness, burst into the room; indeed, the
first sight was as though the house was filled with consuming fire. The
appearance produced a shock that affected the whole body. In a moment,
a personage stood before me surrounded with a glory yet greater than
that with which I was already surrounded. The messenger proclaimed
himself to be an angel of God, sent to bring the joyful tidings,
that the covenant which God made with ancient Israel was at hand to
be fulfilled; that the preparatory work for the second coming of the
Messiah was speedily to commence; that the time was at hand for the
Gospel in all its fulness to be preached in power unto all nations,
that a people might be prepared for the Millenial reign.

"I was informed also concerning the aboriginal inhabitants of this
country (America), and shown who they were and from whence they
came; a brief sketch of their origin, progress, civilisation, laws,
governments, of their righteousness and iniquity, and the blessings of
God being finally withdrawn from them as a people, was made known unto
me. I was also told where there were deposited some plates, on which
was engraven an abridgment of the records of the ancient prophets that
had existed on this continent. The angel appeared to me three times the
same night, and unfolded the same things. After having received many
visits from the angels of God, unfolding the majesty and glory of the
events that should transpire in the last days, on the morning of the
22nd of September, 1827, the angel of the Lord delivered the records
into my hands.

"These records were engraven on plates which had the appearance of
gold; each plate was six inches wide and eight inches long, and not
quite so thick as common tin. They were filled with engravings in
Egyptian characters, and bound together in a volume, as the leaves of
a book, with three rings running throughout the whole: it was partly
sealed. With the records was found a curious instrument, which the
ancients called _Urim and Thummim_, which consisted of two transparent
stones set in the rim on a bow fastened to a breastplate. Through the
medium of the _Urim and Thummim_ I translated the record by the gift
and power of God.

"In this important and interesting book, the history of ancient America
is unfolded from its first settlement by a colony that came from the
Tower of Babel, at the confusion of languages, to the beginning of the
fifth century of the Christian era."

It should here be noticed that the Prophet's account of his early life,
before the appearance of the angel and the discovery of the plates, is
remarkably vague. He had been very rudely educated, and for some time
got a living by trying for mineral veins by a divining rod; and some
affirm that, like Sidrophel, he used "the devil's looking-glass--a
stone," and was consulted as to the discovery of hidden treasures,
whence he had come to be commonly known as the "money-digger;" and on
one occasion he had been, at the instigation of a disappointed client,
imprisoned as a vagabond. He is also stated to have carried off and
married a Miss Hales, during the interval between the first angelic
visitation and the discovery of the plates of Nephi.

As to the _Book of Mormon_ itself, the authorship has been claimed
for one Solomon Spalding, a Presbyterian preacher, who, having fallen
into poverty, composed a religious romance, entitled _The Manuscript
Found_, which professed to be a narrative of the migration of the
Lost Tribes of Israel from Jerusalem to America, and their subsequent
adventures on the continent. The work was written but Spalding could
not find anyone who would print it, and ten years after his death, the
manuscript was carried by his widow to New York, and was stolen by, or
somehow got into the hands of, Smith, or his early associate, Rigdon.
There is nothing in the book to contradict the supposition that it is
the work of Smith himself--for as to its being a divine revelation,
the most cursory examination of the book will convince an educated man
of the utter improbability of that, if its possibility were otherwise
conceivable. Be the author who he may, Smith having obtained the
book--whether from Solomon Spalding's travelling-chest, his own brain,
or the stone-box which the angel discovered to him--thought it behoved
him to make his treasure known. At first he told the members of his own
and his father's household, and they believed the truth of his mission
and the reality of the gift. But, he says: "As soon as the news of
this discovery was made known, false reports, misrepresentations, and
slander flew, as on the wings of the wind, in every direction. My house
was frequently beset by mobs and evil-designing persons; several times
I was shot at, and very narrowly escaped; and every device was made to
get the plates away from me, but the power and blessing of God attended
me, and several began to believe my testimony."

Among these was a farmer, Martin Harris, whom Smith persuaded to
convert his stock into money in order to assist in printing the book.
But Harris wished first to consult some scholar, and Smith entrusted
him with a copy of a portion of one of the golden plates to carry to
New York. Harris took the copy to Dr. Anthon, who was unable to make
out the characters, which he described to be "reformed Egyptian"--and
this is one of the proofs "cited by Mormonite teachers of the
authenticity of the book." But Dr. Anthon's account is very different:
he tells us that from the first he considered the work an imposture,
and his account of it is the only description which has been published,
and is as follows:--"The paper was a singular scrawl. It consisted of
all kinds of crooked characters disposed in columns, and had evidently
been prepared by some person who had before him at the time a book
containing various alphabets. Greek and Hebrew letters, crosses and
flourishes, Roman letters inverted or placed sidewise, were arranged in
perpendicular columns, and the whole ended in a rude delineation of a
circle divided into various compartments, decked with various strange
marks, and evidently copied after the Mexican calendar, given by
Humboldt, but copied in such a way as not to betray the source whence
it was derived."

No sooner was the discovery published than the faithful as well as
unbelievers flocked to obtain a sight of the marvellous plates, and the
prophet and his mother were driven to great shifts to conceal them.
At length it was revealed to Smith that the desired sight should be
vouchsafed to three witnesses, whose "testimony" is prefixed to every
printed copy of the _Book of Mormon_. These witnesses aver, in their
strange language, "that an angel of God came down from heaven, and he
brought and lay before our eyes, that we beheld and saw the plates, and
the engravings thereon." But a more specific testimony was given by
eight other witnesses, to whom Smith was permitted to show the plates.
Mrs. Smith says that these eight men went with Joseph into a secret
place, "where the family were in the habit of offering up their secret
devotions. They went to this place because it had been revealed to
Joseph that the plates would be carried by one of the ancient Nephites.
Here it was that these eight witnesses, whose names are recorded in
the _Book of Mormon_, looked upon and handled them." The witnesses
themselves say:--"We have seen and hefted, and know of a surety that
the said Smith has got the plates of which we have spoken." Of these
eight witnesses, three were members of Smith's own family. After these
witnesses had seen the plates, Mrs. Smith tells us, "the angel again
made his appearance to Joseph, at which time Joseph delivered up the
plates into the angel's hands;" and Joseph himself says:--"He (the
angel) has them in charge to this day;" thus disposing of any demand to
see the original plates. Smith carried on the process of _translating
the plates_ by retiring behind a screen, where he read the plates
though the "curious instrument called the Urim and Thummim," while a
scribe outside the screen wrote as he dictated.

_The Book of Mormon_ was published in 1830. In the previous year Smith
and his scribe had been baptized by an angel, and power given them to
baptize others.

Smith may now carry on the narrative. On April 6, 1830, "The Church of
Jesus Christ of Latter Day Saints" was first organized in Manchester,
Ontario county, State of New York. Some few were called and ordained
by the spirit of revelation and prophecy, and began to preach as the
Spirit gave them utterance, and though weak, yet they were strengthened
by the power of God; and many were brought to repentance, were immersed
in the water, and were filled with the Holy Ghost by the laying on of
hands. They saw visions and prophesied, devils were cast out, and the
sick healed by the laying-on of hands. From that time the work rolled
forth with astonishing rapidity, and churches were formed in the States
of New York, Pennsylvania, Ohio, Indiana, Illinois, and Missouri. In
the last named State, a considerable settlement was formed in Jackson
county. Great numbers joined the Church; "we made large purchases
of land, our farms teemed with plenty, and peace and happiness were
enjoyed in our domestic circle and throughout our neighbourhood; but,
as we could not associate with our neighbours--who were many of them of
the basest of men, and had fled from the face of civilized society to
the frontier country to escape the hands of justice--in their midnight
revels, their Sabbath-breaking, horse-racing, they commenced at first
to ridicule, then to persecute; and finally an organized mob assembled
and burnt our houses, tarred and feathered, and whipped many of our
brethren [Smith himself was tarred and feathered], and finally drove
them from their habitations; these, houseless and homeless, contrary
to law, justice, and humanity, had to wander on the bleak prairies
till the children left their blood on the prairie. This took place in
November, 1833." The Government, he says, "winked at these proceedings,
and the result was that a great many of them died; many children were
left orphans; wives, widows; and husbands, widowers. Our farms were
taken possession of by the mob, many thousands of cattle, sheep,
horses, and hogs were taken, and our household goods, store goods, and
printing-presses were broken, taken, or otherwise destroyed."

Driven from Jackson, the Mormonites settled in Clay county, and being
threatened with violence, removed to Caldwell and Davies counties.
Here their numbers rapidly increased; but troubles again came upon
them; their bank failed, and Smith was obliged to conceal himself;
and finally, by an "extraordinary order" of the Governor of Missouri,
in 1838, they were violently ejected from their homes, plundered of
their goods, and subjected, the women especially, to the most frightful

Being thus expelled from Missouri, they settled in Illinois, and in
1839, on the Mississippi, laid the foundation of their famous city,
Nauvoo, or _the Beautiful_, which was incorporated in 1840. Smith
dwells with great delight on this city, which he had seen rise up under
his presidency from a wild tract to be a place of "1,500 well-built
houses, and more than 15,000 inhabitants, all looking to him for
temporal as well as spiritual guidance." He describes as provided
for--"the University of Nauvoo, where all the arts and sciences will
grow with the growth and strengthen with the strength of this beloved
city of the Saints of the Last Days." But the grand feature of the
city was the Great Temple, which Smith thus sketches: "The Temple of
God, now in the course of erection, being already raised one story,
and which is 120 feet by 80 feet, of stone with polished pilasters,
of an entire new order of architecture, will be a splendid house for
the worship of God, as well as an unique wonder of the world, it being
built by the direct revelation of Jesus Christ for the salvation of the
living and the dead."

The progress of Nauvoo was even more rapid than that of any of the
preceding places. Dangers of various kinds beset Smith, but he escaped
from them all; and by a provision in the city charter, formed an
independent civic militia, of which he was lieutenant-general: and he
consolidated his spiritual government, and made careful provision for
an ample succession of hardy as well as zealous missionaries. But Smith
becoming embroiled with the civil authority of the State, got up a sort
of social scheme of his own, and was actually in 1844 nominated for
President. The storm now gathered around him; the "gentile" inhabitants
of Nauvoo, who had always been most troublesome, supported by some of
the dissatisfied among the saints, established an opposition newspaper,
which denounced the morals of the Prophet, as well as his system of
government; the city council condemned the newspaper to silence; and a
mob broke into the office and destroyed the presses. The proprietors
charged some of the Mormon leaders with inciting the mob to this act,
and they were arrested, but set at liberty. The injured parties now
carried their complaint to the Governor of Illinois, who had long
been waiting for a legal opportunity to crush the power of Smith; he
was arrested on a charge of treason and sedition, June 24th, 1844. He
put Nauvoo into a state of defence, and his militia was drawn out;
but to avoid bloodshed, on the approach of the State troops, Smith
surrendered, on a promise of safety till his legal trial; and he, with
others, was committed to Carthage jail. A guard, small in number,
and purposely chosen from among Smith's declared enemies, was set
over them; but on the 27th of June, a mob of about two hundred armed
ruffians broke into the jail, and firing at the door of the room, shot
Smith's brother Hyram dead at once. Joseph Smith attempted to escape
by the window, but was knocked down, carried out, and shot. His dying
exclamation is said to have been, "O Lord my God." His body was given
up to his friends, and buried with great solemnity.

Smith had estimated his followers at 150,000, from among almost every
civilized people on the face of the earth. He had become intoxicated
with power and prosperity, and was lustful and intemperate. In the
Mormon creed, polygamy is not referred to; though there is no doubt
that in the last year of Smith's life this was one of the charges
brought against the Mormonites. Still, the doctrine of a _plurality of
wives_ was never openly taught until after Smith's death, and if he
proclaimed it at all, he confined the revelation to the initiated. He
is said, however, to have sealed to himself "_plural wives_," as the
Mormons express it, about two years before his death; and the privilege
may have been accorded to some of the chief of his followers.

He was still regarded as the glorified prophet and martyr. In Nauvoo
the popular cry was for revenge, but this was changed to forbearance.
Brigham Young was elected as Smith's successor; and he removed his
people beyond the farthest settlements of his countrymen, convinced
that only in a country far distant from societies living under the
established forms, could the vision of the Prophet stand a chance
of realization. They were allowed by their enemies to finish their
beautiful temple; and this being accomplished in September, 1846, the
last band of the brethren departed from the land of their hopes to seek
a new land of promise.

They chose the site of their new city beyond the Great Salt Lake,
in the territory of Utah, to be their appointed Zion, principally
governed by the maxims of the Mormon leaders, and Brigham Young, the
Mormon prophet. We may here state briefly that the Mormons profess
to be a separate people, living under a patriarchal dispensation,
with prophets, elders, and apostles, who have the rule in temporal
as well as religious matters, their doctrines being embodied in the
_Book of Mormon_; that they look for a literal gathering of Israel in
this western land; and that here Christ will reign personally for a
millennium, when the earth will be restored to its paradisaical glory.

Nauvoo, after the departure of the Mormons, became the seat of a colony
of French communists, or Icarians, under the direction of M. Cabet, who
were, however, far from successful. The population has much dwindled.
The great Mormon temple of Nauvoo was, in October, 1848, set on fire by
an incendiary and destroyed.

[Illustration: William Huntington. The Coalheaver Preacher.]

Huntington, the Preacher.

William Huntington, who, by virtue of his preaching, came to ride in
his coach, and marry the titled widow of a Lord Mayor, was no ordinary
man. He was born in the year 1774, in the Weald of Kent, between
Goudhurst and Cranbrook, where his father was a day-labourer. The boy
worked in various ways, and having "a call," he became an Arminian
preacher, at the same time that at Thames Ditton he carried coals
on the river, at 10s. a week: hence he was generally known as the
_Coalheaver_. He preached inordinately long sermons, sometimes of two
hours' duration; his prayers were mostly made up of Scriptural phrases.

It suited the purpose of Huntington to represent himself as living
_under_ the special favour of Providence, because he intended to live
by it: that is, upon the credulity of those whom he could persuade to
believe him: and the history of his success, which he published under
the title of _God the Guardian of the Poor, and the Bank of Faith;
or, a Display of the Providences of God, which have at sundry times,
attended the Author_, is a production equally singular and curious.

One reason which he gives for writing this marvellous treatise is,
that we are often tempted to believe that God takes no notice of our
temporal concerns. "I found God's promises," he says, "to be the
Christian's bank note; and a living faith will always draw on the
divine banker, yea, and the spirit of prayer, and a deep sense of want,
will give an heir of promise a filial boldness at the inexhaustible
bank of heaven." Accordingly, for great things and for little he
drew boldly upon the bank. Thus, he was provided with game and fish.
One day, when he had nothing but bread in the house, he was moved by
the Spirit to take a by-path, where he had never gone before; but
the reason was, that a stoat was to kill a fine large rabbit, just
in time for him to secure the prey. When his wife was lying-in, and
there was no tea in the house, and they had neither money nor credit,
his wife bade the nurse set the kettle on in faith, and before it
boiled, a stranger brought a present of tea to the door. At another
time, a friend, without solicitation, gives him half-a-guinea when he
was penniless; and lest he should have any difficulty in obtaining
change for it, when he crossed Kingston bridge, he casts his eyes on
the ground, and finds a penny to pay the toll. He borrows a guinea,
which he is unable to pay at the time appointed, so he prays that God
would send him one from some quarter or another, and forthwith the
lender calls and desires him to consider it a free gift. He wants a
new parsonic livery: "wherefore," says he, "in humble prayer I told
my most blessed Lord and Master that my year was out, and my apparel
bad; that I had nowhere to go for these things but to him; and as he
had promised to give his servants food and raiment, I hoped he would
fulfil his promise to me, though one of the worst of them." So, having
settled it in his own mind that a certain person in London would act
as the intermediate agent in this providential transaction, he called
upon him, and, as he expected, the raggedness of his apparel led to a
conversation which ended in the offer of a new suit, and of a greatcoat
to boot.

He lived in this manner seven or eight years, not, indeed, taking no
thought for the morrow, but making no other provision for it than by
letting the specific object of his prayers and their general tendency
always be understood, where a word to the unwise was sufficient. Being
now in much request, and "having many doors open to him for preaching
the Gospel very wide apart," he began to want a horse, then to wish,
and lastly to pray, for one. "I used my prayers," he says, "as gunners
use their swivels, turning them every day, as various cases required;"
before the day was over he was presented with a horse, which had been
purchased for him by subscription. The horse was to be maintained
by his own means, but what of that? "I told God," says he, "that I
had more work for my faith now than heretofore; for the horse would
cost half as much to keep as my whole family. In answer to which this
Scripture came to my mind with power and comfort, 'Dwell in the land,
and do good, and verily thou shalt be fed.' This was a bank-note put
into the hand of my faith, which, when I got poor, I pleaded before
God, and he answered it; so that I lived and cleared my way just as
well when I had my horse to keep as I did before."

Huntington was no ordinary man. The remarkable circumstance which
occurred concerning a certain part of his dress has been told in
various books. The old song says--

    A light heart and a thin pair of breeches
    Go through the world, my brave boys;

but the latter qualification is better for going through the world on
foot than on horseback; so Uncle Toby found it, so did Huntington, who,
in this part of his history, must be his own historian: no language but
his own can do justice to such a story.

"Having now," says Huntington, "had my horse for some time, and riding
a great deal every week, I soon wore my breeches out, as they were
not fit to ride in. I hope the reader will excuse my mentioning the
word breeches, which I should have avoided, had not this passage of
Scripture obtruded into my mind, just as I had revolved in my own
thoughts not to mention this kind providence of God. 'And thou shalt
make them linen breeches to cover their nakedness; from the loins even
unto the thighs shall they reach. And they shall be upon Aaron and
upon his sons when they come into the tabernacle of the congregation,
or when they come near unto the altar to minister in the holy place;
that they bear not iniquity and die. It shall be a statute for ever
unto him and his seed after him.' Exod. xxviii. 42, 43. By which, and
three others, namely, Ezek. xliv. 18; Lev. vi. 10; and Lev. xiv. 4, I
saw that it was no crime to mention the word breeches, nor the way in
which God sent them to me; Aaron and his sons being clothed entirely by
Providence; and as God himself condescended to give orders what they
should be made of, and how they should be cut. And I believe the same
God, ordered mine, as I trust will appear in the following history.

"The Scripture tells us to call no man master; for one is our master,
even Christ. I therefore told my most bountiful and ever-adored Master
what I wanted; and he, who stripped Adam and Eve of their fig-leaved
aprons, and made coats of skin, and clothed them; and who clothes the
grass of the field, which to-day is and to-morrow is cast into the
oven, must clothe us, or we shall go naked; and so Israel found it,
when God took away his wool and his flax, which he gave to cover their
nakedness, and which they prepared for Baal: for which iniquity was
their skirts discovered and their heels made bare. Jer. xiii. 22.

"I often made very free in my prayers with my invaluable Master for
this favour; but he still kept me so amazingly poor that I could not
get them at any rate. At last I determined to go to a friend of mine
at Kingston, who is of that branch of business, to bespeak a pair; and
to get him to trust me until my Master sent me the money to pay him.
I was that day going to London, fully determined to bespeak them as I
rode through the town. However, when I passed the shop, I forgot it;
but when I came to London, I called on Mr. Croucher, a shoe-maker in
Shepherd's Market, who told me a parcel was left there for me, but what
it was he knew not. I opened it, and behold there was a pair of leather
breeches, with a note in them! the substance of which was, to the best
of my remembrance, as follows:--

"'Sir,--I have sent you a pair of breeches, and hope they will fit. I
beg your acceptance of them; and if they want any alteration, leave in
a note what the alteration is, and I will call in a few days and alter

     I. S.'

"I tried them on, and they fitted as well as if I had been measured
for them; at which I was amazed, having never been measured by any
leather breeches maker in London. I wrote an answer to the note to this

"'Sir,--I received your present and thank you for it. I was going to
order a pair of leather breeches to be made, because I did not know
till now that my Master had bespoke them of you. They fit very well,
which fully convinces me that the same God who moved thy heart to give,
guided thy hand to cut: because He perfectly knows my size, having
clothed me in a miraculous manner for near five years. When you are in
trouble, Sir, I hope you will tell my Master of this, and what you have
done for me, and He will repay you with honour.'

"This is as near as I am able to relate it, and I added:--

"'I cannot make out I. S. unless I put _I_ for Israelite indeed, and
_S_ for sincerity; because you did not sound a trumpet before you, as
the hypocrites do.'"

The plan of purveying for himself by prayer, with the help of hints
in proper place and season, answered so well, that Huntington soon
obtained, by the same means, a new bed, a rug, a pair of new blankets,
doe-skin gloves, and a horseman's coat; and as often as he wanted new
clothes, some chosen almoner of the Bank of Faith was found to supply
him. His wife was instructed to provide for her own wants by the same
easy and approved means. Gowns came as they were wanted, hampers of
bacon and cheese, now and then a large ham, and now and then a guinea,
all which things Huntington called precious answers to prayer.

Some awkward disclosures were now made, and he became weary of Thames
Ditton, and having a well-timed vision, he secretly wished that God
would remove him from that place; and as London was the place where he
might reasonably expect to work less and feed better, it was "suddenly
impressed on his mind to leave Thames Ditton, and take a house in the
great metropolis, where hearers were more numerous, and that this was
the meaning of the words spoken to him in the vision." It was likewise
suggested to his mind that the people had been permitted of late to
persecute him more than usual, that they might drive him to this
removal. "And I much question," says Huntington, "if ever God sends his
word there again, for I think they are left almost as inexcusable as
Chorazin and Capernaum!" The impression which he had now received was
acknowledged as a plain and evident _call_ by the good friends who
negotiated his bills upon the Bank of Faith, and accordingly to London
he and his family went.

His next draft upon the Bank was to a larger amount. During three
years he had secretly wished for a chapel of his own, because, as he
says, he was sick of the errors that were perpetually broached by some
or other in Margaret Street Chapel, where he then preached with Lady
Huntingdon's people. Much, however, as he desired this, he protests
that he could not ask God for such a favour, thinking it was not to
be brought about by one so very mean, low, and poor as himself. But
fortune favours the bold. One of his friends looked at a suitable piece
of ground, by particular impulse of Providence; and he took Huntington
to look at it also. Another friend, under a similar impulse, planned
a chapel one day while he was hearing Huntington preach a sermon; and
he offered to undertake the management of the building without fee
or reward. Thus encouraged, he took the ground and began to build
Providence Chapel, when he was 20_l._ in debt, and had no other funds
than the freewill offerings of his hearers, and the money which they
were willing to lend him upon his credit with the Bank of Faith.
The first offering amounted to no more than 11_l._, which were soon
expended on the foundations. He bespoke a load of timber, and going
to the right person for it, it was sent him with a bill and receipt
in full as a contribution towards the chapel. Another "good man" came
with tears in his eyes to bless Mr. Huntington for the good which he
had received under his sermons, and to request that he might paint the
pulpit, desk, &c., as a grateful acknowledgment. A bed-room was very
handsomely furnished for him that he might not be under the necessity
of walking home in the cold winter nights. A looking-glass for his
chapel study was presented by one person, a book-case by another,
chairs for the vestry, a pulpit cushion, a splendid Bible, a set of
china, and a well-stored tea-chest, were supplied in like manner:
money was liberally lent as well as given; the chapel "sprang up like
a mushroom;" and when it was finished, he says, "I was in arrears for
1,000_l._, so that I had plenty of work for faith, if I could get
plenty of faith to work; and while some deny a Providence, Providence
was the only supply I had."

His never-failing friends settled him in a country-house, stocked his
garden and his farm for him; and that he might travel conveniently
to and from his chapel, they presented him with a coach and pair of
horses, and subscribed to pay the taxes for both. To crown all, having
buried his wife, the gleaner, he preached himself into the good graces
of Lady Saunderson, the widow of the Lord Mayor, and married her.

His uniform prosperity received but one shock. The chapel in Titchfield
Street, which he had raised from the ground and carried up into the
air, when ground-room was wanting, was burnt down. This was thought by
some of Huntington's followers to be a judgment upon him for having
inclosed the free seats, and "laid out the whole chapel in boxes like
an opera house." But Huntington looked at this misfortune otherwise.
Writing to one of his friends, he says: "Such a stroke as this
twenty-seven years ago would have caused our hope to give up the ghost;
but being a little stronger in the Lord, faith has heavier burdens laid
on. The temple built by Solomon, and that built by Cyrus, were both
burnt. It will cause a little rejoicing among the Philistines, as has
been the case often: they once triumphed gloriously, when the ark of
God was taken, supposing that Dagon had overcome the God of Israel;
but their joy was short. This I know, that it shall work for our good,
but how I know not; if I did, I must walk by sight, and not by faith."
He then held out a sort of threat of removing into the country; but
his London followers were presently in motion, "some looking out for
a spot of ground, some bringing their offerings, others wishing the
glory of the latter house may exceed that of the former." "But," says
he, "it is to bear the same name: this I gave them to understand from
the pulpit, and assigned the following reasons for it:--that unless
God provided men to work, and money to pay them, and materials to
work with, no chapel could be erected; and, if he provided all these,
Providence must be its name." The chapel, accordingly, was built in
Gray's Inn Lane, and upon a larger scale than the last: taught by his
former experience, Huntington took care not to make himself responsible
for any of the expenses, and when it was finished, managed matters so
well with his obedient flock, that the chapel was made over to him as
his own, for he is said to have refused to preach in it on any other

[28] Selected and abridged from an excellent paper on Huntington's
Works and Life, attributed to Southey; _Quarterly Review_, No. 48.

The preacher had innumerable applicants for spiritual advice. To
one person who consults him, he says:--"You need not have made any
apology, as the troubled minds of sensible sinners are my peculiar
province. I am authorised and commissioned by the God of heaven to
transact business and negotiate affairs between the King of kings and
self-condemned rebels." One madman assures him that he was actually
electrified in body and soul by one of his books. This man saw a
brilliant star over the head of Huntington while he was preaching,
and Huntington publishes the letter and assures him that dreams (of
which he has communicated a curious story) are from the Spirit of God.
Sometimes he found that correspondents were troublesome, new-born
babes being never satisfied when they desire the sincere milk of the
word. A certain Mrs. Bull writes to him rather more frequently than is
agreeable. Huntington lets Mrs. Bull know that he does not like her
head-dress; he finds fault with her preposterous streamers, and her
first, second, and third tier of curls; but tells her that a little
more furnace-work will teach her to pull down those useless topsails.
This prediction was verified rather more literally than it was meant,
for the said Mrs. B., thinking it was not his business to interfere
with her head-dress, was about to resent it in a sharp letter; "but,"
says she, "happening to fall asleep by the fire, as I was reading the
Bible, the candle caught the lappet of my cap, and a good deal of my
hair, and I own it a great mercy that I was not consumed myself, and
you may be assured that you will see neither streamers, curls, nor
topsails again."

Mr. Bramah, the celebrated engineer, appears among Huntington's
controversial correspondents; and he tells him that he makes a good
patent lock, but cuts a poor figure with the keys of the kingdom of

Mr. Bensley, the printer, was one of his believers, which explains the
handsome appearance of Huntington's collected works, in twenty volumes,
octavo; his spiritual employer calls him dear brother in the Lord,
and dear Tom in the flesh. Trader in faith as he was, there were some
social qualities about him which won and secured the attachment of his
friends, even of those upon whom he drew most largely. He mentions
particularly Mr. and Mrs. Baker, of Oxford Street, who, having no
children of their own, kept caring and travailing many years for him;
and though "sorely tried by various losses in business, bankruptcies,
and bad debts, supplied him with money whenever he required it."
"While the chapel was building," he says, "when money was continually
demanded, if there was one shilling in the house, I was sure to have
it." This couple and another, with whom he was on terms of equal
intimacy, agreed, as they were bound together with their chosen pastor
for life and for eternity, not to be divided in death; and accordingly
they jointly purchased a piece of ground near Petersham, and erected a
substantial tomb there, wherein they might rest together in the dust.

Huntington died in 1813, at Tunbridge Wells; he was buried at Lewes, in
a piece of ground adjoining the chapel of one of his associates: it
was his desire that there should be no funeral sermon preached on the
occasion, and that nothing should be said over his grave. He indited
his own epitaph in these words:--

    Here lies the Coalheaver,
    Beloved of his God, but abhorred of men.
    The Omniscient Judge
    At the Grand Assize shall rectify and
    Confirm this to the
    Confusion of many thousands;
    For England and its Metropolis shall know,
    That there hath been a prophet
    Among them.

The sale of his effects by public auction took place soon after his
death, at his elegantly-furnished villa, Hermes Hill,[29] Pentonville,
and lasted four days. His friends and admirers, anxious to secure
some memorial of Huntington, paid most fabulous sums of money for
articles of no intrinsic value in the excess of their veneration. A
mahogany easy-chair, with hair seat and back cushion in canvas, on
brass-wheel castors, with two sets of flowered calico cases, sold
for 63_l._; an ordinary pair of spectacles sold for seven guineas;
a common silver snuff-box, five guineas; every article of plate at
from 23_s._ to 26_s._ per ounce; his library sold for 252_l._ 19_s._;
a handsome modern town coach for 49_l._ 7_s._ The aggregate of the
four days' sale was 1,800_l._ 11_s._ 2-1/2_d._ In a newspaper,
October, 1813, we read:--"At the sale of the effects of the Rev. Mr.
Huntington, at Pentonville, an old arm-chair, intrinsically worth fifty
shillings, actually sold for sixty guineas; and many other articles
fetched equally high prices, so anxious were his besotted admirers
to obtain some precious memorial of that artful fanatic." One of his
steady followers purchased a barrel of ale, which had been brewed for
Christmas, "because he would have something to remember him by."

[29] Huntington resided in the house built by the Swiss doctor De
Valangin, who had been a pupil of Boerhaave, and practised in Soho
Square. He removed thence to Cripplegate, and about 1772 he purchased
ground at Pentonville, and there built himself a villa, which he named,
from the discoverer of chemistry, Hermes Hill, then almost the only
house on or near the spot, except White Conduit House. One of his
medicines, _The Balsam of Life_, he presented to the Apothecaries'
Company. He had, by his first wife, a daughter, who, dying at nine
years of age, was buried in the garden at Hermes Hill, in a very costly

Huntington is described as having been, towards the close of his
career, a fat, burly man, with a red face, which rose just above the
pulpit cushion; and a thick, guttural, and rather indistinct voice. A
contemporary says:--"His pulpit prayers are remarkable for omitting
all for the King and his country. He excels in extempore eloquence.
Having formally announced his text, he lays his Bible at once aside,
and never refers to it again. He has every possible text and quotation
at his fingers' end. He proceeds directly to his object, and except
such incidental digressions as 'Take care of your pockets! Wake that
snoring sinner! Silence that noisy numskull! Turn out that drunken
dog!' he never deviates from his course. Nothing can exceed his
dictatorial dogmatism. Believe him, none but him--that's enough. When
he wishes to bind the faith of his congregation, he will say, over
and over, 'As sure as I am born, 'tis so;' or, 'I believe the plain
English of it to be this.' And then he will add, by way of clenching
his point, 'Now you can't help it,' or, 'It must be so, in spite of
you.' He does this with a most significant shake of the head, and with
a sort of Bedlam hauteur, with all the dignity of defiance. He will
then sometimes observe, softening his deportment, 'I don't know whether
I make you understand these things, but I understand them well.' He
rambles sadly and strays so completely from his text, that you often
lose sight of it. The divisions of his sermons are so numerous that one
of his discourses might be divided into three. Preaching is with him
talking; his discourses, story-telling. Action he has none, except that
of shifting his handkerchief from hand to hand and hugging his cushion.
Nature has bestowed on him a vigorous original mind, and he employs it
in everything. Survey him when you will, he seems to have rubbed off
none of his native rudeness or blackness. All his notions are his own,
as well as his mode of imparting them. Religion has not been discovered
by him through the telescopes of commentators."

Huntington's portrait is in the National Portrait Gallery, in
South Kensington. He "might pass, as far as appearances go, for a
convict, but he looks too conceited. The vitality and strength of his
constitution are fearful to behold, and it is certain that he looks
better fitted for coal-heaving than for religious oratory."--_History
of Clerkenwell_, 1865, pp. 529-531.


A Correspondent of the _Athenæum_, 1865, writes:--"While some
philosophers seek information in the Far West, and others in the
not-much-nearer East--one, perchance, reducing eccentric arrow heads to
a civilised alphabet; another metamorphosing emblematic pitch-forks,
tom-cats, &c., of 2,000 A.M. into sensation novels of the period;
a third studying the customs and annals of pre-historic America by
the aid of Aztec pots and pipkins--it has been the happy lot of the
undersigned, with no greater effort than a short railway journey and a
pleasant walk, to light upon a treasure of antiquity, which may not be
without interest to some of your readers. The internal evidence of the
following lines is sufficient to show what they purport to be--_viz._
the epitaph of an accomplished parish officer at Crayford, in Kent.
They run as follows:--

                   "Here lieth the body of
                       Peter Isnell
               (30 years Clerk of this Parish.)

 "He lived respected as a pious and mirthful man, and died on his way
 to church to assist at a wedding on the 31st day of March, 1811; aged
 seventy years.

 "The inhabitants of Crayford have raised this stone to his cheerful
 memory and as a tribute to his long and faithful services.

    "The Life of this _Clerk_ was just threescore and ten,
    Nearly half of which time he had sung out _Amen_;
    In his Youth, he was married, like other young men,
    But his wife died one day, so he chanted _Amen_.
    A second he took, she departed, what then?
    He married and buried a third with _Amen_.
    Thus his joys and his sorrows were _Trebled_, but then
    His voice was deep _Bass_ as he sung out _Amen_.
    On the _horn_ he could blow as well as most men,
    So his _horn_ was exalted in blowing _Amen_;
    But he lost all his _Wind_ after threescore and ten,
    And here with three Wives he waits till again
    The trumpet shall rouse him to sing out _Amen_."

Strangely Eccentric, yet Sane.

The study of psychology proves that hallucinations, or illusions, may
exist in man without the intellect being disordered. In some instances,
they can be produced, by effort of the will. Dr. Wigan, in his able
work, _Duality of the Mind_, relates:--"A painter who succeeded to a
large portion of the practice, and (as he thought) to more than all
the talent of Sir Joshua Reynolds, was so extensively employed, that
he informed me he had once painted (large and small) three hundred
portraits in one year. This would seem physically impossible, but
the secret of his rapidity and of his astonishing success was this:
He required but one sitting, and painted with miraculous facility. I
myself saw him execute a Kit-Kat portrait of a gentleman well known to
me in little more than eight hours; it was minutely finished, and a
most striking likeness. On asking him to explain it, he said, 'When a
sitter came, I looked at him attentively for half-an-hour, sketching
from time to time on the canvas. I wanted no more--I put away my
canvas, and took another sitter. When I wished to resume my first
portrait, _I took the man and sat him in the chair, where I saw him as
distinctly as if he had been before me in his own proper person_--I may
almost say more vividly. I looked from time to time at the imaginary
figure, then worked with my pencil, then referred to the countenance,
and so on, just as I should have done had the sitter been there. _When
I looked at the chair, I saw the man!_ This made me very popular; and,
as I always succeeded in the likeness, people were very glad to be
spared the tedious sittings of other painters. I gained a great deal of
money, and was very careful of it. Well for me and my children that it
was so. Gradually I began to lose the distinction between the imaginary
figure and the real person, and sometimes disputed with sitters that
they had been with me the day before. At last I was sure of it, and
then--and then--all is confusion. I suppose they took the alarm. I
recollect nothing more--I lost my senses--was thirty years in an
asylum. The whole period, except the last six months of my confinement,
is a dead blank in my memory, though sometimes, when people describe
their visits, I have a sort of imperfect remembrance of them; but I
must not dwell on these subjects.'"

It is an extraordinary fact that, when this gentleman resumed his
pencil, after a lapse of thirty years, he painted nearly as well as
when insanity compelled him to discontinue it. His imagination was
still exceedingly vivid, as was proved by a portrait, for he had only
two sittings of half-an-hour each; the latter solely for the dress and
for the _eyebrows_, which he could not fix in his memory.

It was found that the excitement threatened danger, and he was
persuaded to discontinue the exercise of his art. He lived but a short
time afterwards.

A hallucination, although recognized and appreciated as such by the
person who is the subject of it, may, by its vividness and long
continuance, produce so depressing an influence on the mind as to be
the cause of suicide. "I knew," says Wigan, "a very intelligent and
amiable man, who had the power of this placing before his own eyes
_himself_, and often laughed heartily at _his double_, who always
seemed to laugh in turn. This was long a subject of amusement and joke;
but the ultimate result was lamentable. He became gradually convinced
that he was haunted by himself, or (to violate grammar for the sake of
clearly expressing his idea) by his _self_. This other self would argue
with him pertinaciously, and, to his great mortification, sometimes
refute him, which, as he was very proud of his logical powers,
humiliated him exceedingly. He was eccentric, but was never placed in
confinement or subjected to the slightest restraint. At length, worn
out by the annoyance, he deliberately resolved not to enter on another
year of existence--paid all his debts--wrapped up in separate papers
the amount of the weekly demands--waited pistol in hand, the night of
the 31st of December, and as the clock struck twelve, fired it into his

We read in Dr. de Boismont's very able treatise on Hallucinations
(translated by Hulme):--"All mental labour, by over-exciting the brain,
is liable to give rise to hallucinations. We have known many persons,
and amongst others a medical man, who, when it was night, distinctly
heard voices calling to them; some would stop to reply, or would go to
the door, believing they heard the bell ring. This disposition seems
to us not uncommon in persons who are in the habit of talking aloud to

We find in Abercrombie's work the case of a gentleman "who has been
all his life affected by the appearance of spectral figures. To such
an extent does this peculiarity exist, that, if he meets a friend in
the street, he cannot at first satisfy himself whether he really sees
the individual or a spectral figure. By close attention he can remark a
difference between them, in the outline of the real figure being more
distinctly defined than that of the spectral; but in general he takes
means for correcting his visual impression by touching the figure, or
by listening to the sound of his footsteps. He has also the power of
calling up spectral figures at his will, by directing his attention
steadily to the conception of his own mind; and this may consist either
of a figure or a scene which he has seen, or it may be a composition
created by his imagination. But, though he has the faculty of producing
the illusion he has no power of vanishing it; and, when he has called
up any particular spectral figure or scene, he never can say how long
it may continue to haunt him. The gentleman is in the prime of life,
of sound mind, in good health, and engaged in business. Another of his
family has been affected in the same manner, though in a slight degree."

It would be easy to mention many examples of illustrious men who
have been subject to hallucinations, without their having in any way
influenced their conduct.

Thus, Malebranche declared he heard the voice of God distinctly within
him. Descartes, after long confinement, was followed by an invisible
person, calling upon him to pursue the search of truth.

Byron occasionally fancied he was visited by a spectre, which he
confesses was but the effect of an over-stimulated brain.

Dr. Johnson said that he distinctly heard his mother's voice call
"Samuel." This was at a time when she was residing a long way off.

Pope, who suffered much from intestinal disease, one day asked his
medical man what the arm was which seemed to come out of the wall.

Goethe positively asserts that he one day saw the exact counterpart of
himself coming towards him. The German psychologists give the name of
_Deuteroscopia_ to this species of illusion.

Strange Hallucination.

On the 25th of November, 1840, Mr. Pearce, the author of several
medical works, was tried at the Central Criminal Court for shooting
at his wife with intent to murder, and acquitted on the ground of
insanity. He entertained the peculiar notion that his wife wished to
destroy him, and that she had bribed persons to effect his death in
various ways, the principal of which was that his bed was constantly
damped or wetted. This idea seems to have haunted him continually. He
was shortly after his acquittal taken to Bethlem Hospital. For some
time he refused to leave the gallery in which his cell was situated,
and go into the airing-ground; in order, as it appeared, that he might
watch his cell door to prevent anything "villanous" being done.

In a letter addressed to the Governors of the Hospital, Pearce argued
the point in a very serious and connected manner. "If," said he, in
allusion to some of the witnesses, who at various times had stated they
felt his bedding and found it dry, "the simple act of placing one's
hand upon a damp bed, or even the immediate impression on a man's body
when he gets into it, was infallible, how could it occur so frequently
that travellers at times are crippled with rheumatism, or lose their
lives by remaining all night in damp bedding? If the thing was so
easily discoverable, no man of common understanding could be injured by
such a proceeding or accident at inns.

"Technically speaking, the matter of which I complain is not a
delusion; it is an allegation--a positive charge, susceptible of proof,
if proper evidence could be brought to bear upon the fact, not warped
or suborned by the man or men in whose power I hourly am. It would be a
sad delusion for me to declare my bed was composed of straw instead of
flocks, or that I was a prophet, or the Pope, or Sir Astley Cooper. I
grant I have no such crotchets. My mind is perfectly sound, calm, and
reflective; and I implore you to consider well the distinction between
the things which cannot in nature physically be and the things which
can physically be. It is a vital one in my sad case.

"It may be told you, I have charged persons elsewhere with this
atrocity of damping my bed. I have done so. At the private madhouse,
near Uxbridge, whence I was brought here, my bed was kept almost wet
for three months, and I only saved my life by sleeping on a large
trunk, with my daily articles of dress to cover me. Some portion of
this time, the cold was eight and ten degrees below freezing-point."

He then solicited that a lock might be put upon his cell-door to
protect him from this annoyance; and concluded his letter with this
appeal: "I beseech you to commiserate my hard lot. I have some little
claim to the title of a gentleman, and have been estimated by persons
of some consideration in society; I am now, by a wretched chain of
circumstances, in a great prison hospital, dragged from my children
and my home, and the comforts of social life, and doomed to herd with
desperadoes against the State, the destitute, and the mad."

Mr. Pearce was afterwards introduced, and answered the questions put
to him in a very collected manner. He then stated that since his
marriage-trip to Boulogne, he had been subjected to the greatest abuse
from his present wife, and on one occasion, had been struck by her,
and insulted by the vilest epithets. He complained that when first
brought to Bethlem Hospital, he had been "chummed" with Oxford, and
objected, but had been compelled to associate with that ruffian. He
had taught Oxford the French language, and tried to improve his mind.
Oxford had conveyed to him matter of importance relative to the great
crime of which he had been guilty, and which he (Mr. Pearce) thought
of sufficient importance to be communicated to the Secretary of State,
and had accordingly written a letter in Latin, detailing the several
circumstances. It had, however been taken from him, and he did not
know whether it had ever been sent to Downing Street. He wished to show
how Oxford boasted of having cajoled Sir A. Morrison and Dr. Monro into
a belief that he was insane, and how he sent for such books as _Jack
the Giant-Killer_ in order to make the jury let him off on the ground
of insanity. This was what he (Mr. Pearce) wished to tell the Secretary
of State, and now the letter was used against him.

After some further remarks, Mr. Pearce was questioned by the jury, and
persisted in the statement that his bed was damped, that deleterious
drugs were applied to his clothes, and that a conspiracy existed
against him. He produced from under his clothes a small packet, which
he said contained portions of the shirt of which mention had been made,
and a snuff-box, in which he stated he had kept parts of the shirt, and
which he "demanded" to have submitted to the test of Professor Faraday
or some other eminent chemist. He announced himself to be grand-nephew
of Zachariah Pearce, Bishop of Rochester, and translator of Longinus,
and prayed, in conclusion, the jury to relieve him from the situation
in which he was placed.

The jury returned a verdict to the effect "that Mr. Pearce was of
unsound mind, and that he had been so from the 16th of October, 1840."

"Corner Memory Thompson."

In February, 1843, there died, at the age of 86, this remarkable
person, whose eccentric success had become matter of public interest.
John Thompson was a native of St. Giles's, where his father was a
greengrocer; the boy on carrying a salad to the house of an undertaker
in the neighbourhood, attracted attention by his ready and active
manner, and the undertaker took him as errand-boy; then he became
assistant, and next married his master's daughter, and thus obtained
property. This was his _start_ in life, and enabled him to commence
business as an auctioneer and brewer's valuer, by which he amassed
considerable wealth. As he advanced in life, he sought retirement, and
on a spot just below Hampstead Church, built for himself, without plan
or order, "Frognal Priory," an assemblage of grotesque structures, but
without any right of road to it, which he had to purchase at a great
price. Thence, Thompson often went to town in his chariot, to collect
curiosities for his house; and he might be seen pottering about among
the curiosity-shops: as Horace Walpole cheapened Dicky Bateman's chairs
at half-a-crown apiece for Strawberry Hill, so John Thompson collected
his "items of taste and _vertu_" for Frognal Priory, and these, for
a time, he would show to any person who rang at his gate. He was
designated "Corner Memory," for his having, for a bet, drawn a plan of
St. Giles's parish from memory, at three sittings, specifying every
coach-turning, stable-yard, and public pump, and likewise the _corner
shop_ of every street. He possessed a most mechanical memory; for he
would, by reading a newspaper over-night, repeat the whole of it next
morning. He gained some notoriety by presenting to the Queen a carved
bedstead, reputed once to have belonged to Cardinal Wolsey; with this
he sent some other old furniture to Windsor Castle.

Mummy of a Manchester Lady.

About the middle of the last century there died near Manchester a
maiden lady, a Miss Bexwick or Beswick, who had a great horror of being
_buried alive_. To avoid this, she devised an estate to her medical
adviser, the late Mr. Charles White and his two children, _viz._ Miss
Rosa White and her sister, and his nephew, Captain White, _on condition
that the doctor paid her a morning visit for twelve months after
her decease_. In order to do this, it was requisite to embalm her,
which he did; she was then placed in the attic of the old mansion in
which she died, and in which the doctor took up his residence. Upon
his leaving it, she was removed to the house erected by him in King
Street, Manchester, and which stood on the ground now occupied by the
Town Hall. At the death of Mr. White, the doctor, she was sent to the
Lying-in Hospital, where she remained until she was removed to her
present resting-place, the Manchester Museum of Natural History, where
the mummy is suspended in a case with a glass-door.

Mr. de Quincey, when a boy at Manchester School, at the beginning
of the century, became acquainted with the mummy, and in one of
his works mentions it being taken from the case, and the body of a
notorious highwayman being substituted; but this is an embellishment or
exaggeration of the already extraordinary story.


In the year 1827 there was living at Taunton a person who had often
kept at home for several weeks under the idea of danger in going
abroad. Sometimes he imagined that he was a cat, and seated himself on
his hind-quarters; at other times he would fancy himself a teapot, and
stand with one arm a-kimbo like the handle, and the other stretched out
like the spout. At last he conceived himself to have died, and would
not move or be moved till the coffin came. His wife, in serious alarm,
sent for a surgeon, who addressed him with the usual salutation, "How
do you do this morning?" "Do!" replied he in a low voice, "a pretty
question to a dead man!" "Dead, sir; what do you mean?" "Yes; I died
last Wednesday; the coffin will be here presently, and I shall be
buried to-morrow." The surgeon, a man of sense and skill, immediately
felt the patient's pulse, and shaking his head, said, "I find it is
indeed too true; you are certainly defunct; the blood is in a state of
stagnation, putrefaction is about to take place, and the sooner you
are buried the better." The coffin arrived, he was carefully placed in
it, and carried towards the church. The surgeon had previously given
instructions to several neighbours how to proceed. The procession had
scarcely moved a dozen yards, when a person stopped to inquire who
they were carrying to the grave: "Mr. ----, our late worthy overseer."
"What! is the old rogue gone at last? a good release, for a greater
villain never lived." The imaginary deceased no sooner heard this
attack on his character, than he jumped up, and in a threatening
posture said, "You lying scoundrel, if I were not dead I'd make you
suffer for what you say; but as it is, I am forced to submit." He then
quietly laid down again; but ere they had proceeded half-way to church,
another party stopped the procession with the same inquiry, and added
invective and abuse. This was more than the supposed corpse could bear;
and jumping from the coffin, was in the act of following his defamers,
when the whole party burst into an immoderate fit of laughter. The
public exposure awakened him to a sense of his folly; he fought against
the weakness, and in the end conquered it.

Here is an instance of a cure for hypochondriasis in Switzerland:--A
wealthy and hypochondriacal farmer, who believed himself to be
possessed by seven devils, applied to the Swiss doctor, Michael
Schuppach, to rout the demoniac occupants of his distressed mind.
"Friend," said Schuppach gravely, "you believe there are but seven
devils in you; in reality there are eight, and the eighth is the
captain of the band." To expel the eight unclean spirits the physician
had recourse to an electrical apparatus, with which contrivance the
farmer was of course utterly ignorant. For eight successive days the
patient visited the doctor and underwent an electrical shock. At each
of the first seven shocks the operator said, "There goes one of your
devils." On the eighth day Schuppach said, "Now, we must relieve you
of the chief of the evil spirits--it'll be a tough job!" As these
words were uttered, a violent shock sent the patient fairly to the
floor. "And now," cried the benevolent impostor, "you are free of your
devils--that last stroke was a settler!" The cure was complete.



"The Wonder of all the Wonders that the World ever Wondered at."

Under the title of "_Horæ Subsecivæ_," in the _Dublin University
Review_, in 1833, vol. i., p. 482, by the late Dr. West, of Dublin,
appeared the following amusing trifle:--

"Among Swift's works, we find a _jeu d'esprit_, entitled 'The Wonder
of all the Wonders that the World ever Wondered at,' and purporting
to be an advertisement of a conjurer. There is an amusing one of
the same kind by a very humorous German writer, George Christopher
Lichtenberg, which, as his works are not much known here, is perhaps
worth translating. The occasion on which it was written was the
following. In the year 1777, a celebrated conjurer of those days
arrived at Göttingen. Lichtenberg, for some reason or other, did not
wish him to exhibit there; and, accordingly, before the other had time
even to announce his arrival, he wrote this advertisement, in his name,
and had it printed and posted over the town. The whole was the work
of one night. The result was, that the real Simon Pure decamped next
morning without beat of drum, and never appeared in Göttingen again.
Lichtenberg had spent some time in England, and understood the language
perfectly, so that he may have seen Swift's paper. Still, even granting
that he took the hint from him, it must be allowed he has improved on
it not a little, and displayed not only more delicacy, which, indeed,
was easy enough, but more wit also.


"'The admirers of supernatural Physics are hereby informed that the
far-famed magician, Philadelphus Philadelphia (the same that is
mentioned by Cardanus, in his book _De Naturâ Supernaturali_, where he
is styled "The envied of Heaven and Hell"), arrived here a few days ago
by the mail, although it would have been just as easy for him to come
through the air, seeing that he is the person who, in the year 1482,
in the public market at Venice, threw a ball of cord into the clouds,
and climbed upon it into the air till he got out of sight. On the 9th
of January, of the present year, he will commence at the Merchants'
Hall, publico-privately, to exhibit his one-dollar tricks, and continue
weekly to improve them, till he comes to his five-hundred-guinea
tricks; amongst which last are some which, without boasting, excel the
wonderful itself, nay are, as one may say, absolutely impossible.

"'He has had the honour of performing with the greatest possible
approbation before all the potentates, high and low, of the four
quarters of the world; and even in the fifth, a few weeks ago, before
her Majesty Queen Oberea, at Otaheite.

"'He is to be seen every day, except on Mondays and Thursdays, when
he is employed in clearing the heads of the honourable members of
the Congress of his countrymen at Philadelphia; and at all hours,
except from eleven to twelve in the forenoon, when he is engaged at
Constantinople; and from twelve to one, when he is at his dinner.

"'The following are some of his common one-dollar tricks; and they are
selected, not as being the best of them, but as they can be described
in the fewest words:--

"'1. Without leaving the room, he takes the weathercock off St. James's
Church, and sets it on St. John's, and _vice versâ_. After a few
minutes he puts them back again in their proper places. N.B. All this
without a magnet, by mere sleight of hand.

"'2. He takes two ladies, and sets them on their heads on a table, with
their legs up; he then gives them a blow, and they immediately begin
to spin like tops with incredible velocity, without breach either of
their head-dress by the pressure, or of decorum by the falling of their
petticoats, to the very great satisfaction of all present.

"'3. He takes three ounces of the best arsenic, boils it in a gallon of
milk, and gives it to the ladies to drink. As soon as they begin to get
sick, he gives them two or three spoonfuls of melted lead, and they go
away in high spirits.

"'4. He takes a hatchet, and knocks a gentleman on the head with it,
so that he falls dead on the floor. When there, he gives a second
blow, whereupon the gentleman immediately gets up as well as ever, and
generally asks what music that was.

"'5. He draws three or four ladies' teeth, makes the company shake them
well together in a bag, and then puts them into a little cannon, which
he fires at the aforesaid ladies' heads, and they find their teeth
white and sound in their places again.

"'6. A metaphysical trick, otherwise commonly called παν,
_metaphysica_, whereby he shows that a thing can actually be and not be
at the same time. It requires great preparation and cost, and is shown
so low as a dollar, solely in honour of the University.

"'7. He takes all the watches, rings, and other ornaments of the
company, and even money if they wish, and gives every one a receipt for
his property. He then puts them all in a trunk, and brings them off to
Cassel. In a week after, each person tears his receipt, and that moment
finds whatever he gave in his hands again. He has made a great deal of
money by this trick.

"'N.B. During this week, he performs in the top room at the Merchants'
Hall; but after that, up in the air over the pump in the market-place;
for whoever does not pay, will not see.'"

[Illustration: The Princess Caraboo. From a sketch by Bird, R.A.]

"The Princess Caraboo."

Early in the year 1865 there died at Bristol a female of considerable
personal attractions, whose early history was amusing enough, yet
took a strong hold upon credulous persons half-a-century since. She
pretended to be a native of Javasu, in the Indian Ocean, and to
have been carried off by pirates, by whom she had been sold to the
captain of a brig. Her first appearance was in the spring of 1817, at
Almondsbury, in Gloucestershire. Having been ill-used when on board the
ship, she had jumped overboard, she said, swam on shore, and wandered
about six weeks before she came to Almondsbury. She appears next to
have found her way to Bath, and there to have created a sensation in
the literary and fashionable circles of Bath and other places, which
lasted till it was discovered that the whole affair was a romance,
cleverly sustained and acted out by a young and prepossessing girl, who
sought to maintain the imposition by the invention of hieroglyphics and
characters to represent her native language.

In 1817, there was published at Bristol a narrative of this singular
imposition, "practised upon the benevolence of a lady residing in the
Vicinity of Bristol by a young woman of the name of Mary Willcocks,
_alias_ Baker, _alias_ Bakerstendht, _alias_ Caraboo, Princess of
Javasu;" for which work Bird, the Royal Academician, drew two portraits.

It was ascertained that she was a native of Witheridge, in Devonshire,
where her father was a cobbler. She appears to have taken flight to
America, and in 1824 she returned to England, and hired apartments
in New Bond Street, where she exhibited herself to the public at the
charge of one shilling; but she did not attract any great attention.

On being deposed from the honours which had been awarded to her, "the
Princess" retired into comparatively humble life, and married. There
was a kind of grim humour in the occupation which she subsequently
followed, that of an importer of leeches: but she conducted her
operations with much judgment and ability, and carried on her trade
with credit to herself and satisfaction to her customers. The quondam
"Princess" died, leaving a daughter, who, like her mother, is described
as very beautiful.

There is, it should be added, a very strange story of the Princess
having got an introduction to Napoleon Bonaparte at St. Helena, of
which affair the following account appeared in _Felix Farley's Bristol
Journal_, September 13th, 1817:--

"A letter from Sir Hudson Lowe, lately received from St. Helena, forms
at present the leading topic of conversation in the higher circles. It
states that on the day preceding the date of the last dispatches, a
large ship was discovered in the offing. The wind was strong from the
S.S.E. After several hours' tacking, with apparent intention to reach
the island, the vessel was observed to bear away for the N.W., and in
the course of an hour the boat was seen entering the harbour. It was
rowed by a single person. Sir Hudson went alone to the beach, and to
his astonishment saw a female of interesting appearance drop the oars
and spring to land. She stated that she had sailed from Bristol, under
the care of some missionary ladies, in a vessel called the _Robert and
Anne_, Captain Robinson, destined for Philadelphia; that the vessel
being driven out of its course by a tempest, which continued for
several successive days, the crew at length perceived land, which the
captain recognised to be St. Helena: that she immediately conceived
an ardent desire of seeing the man with whose future fortunes she
was persuaded her own were mysteriously connected; and her breast
swelled with the prospect of contemplating face to face an impostor
not equalled on earth since the days of Mohammed; but a change of wind
to the S.S.E. nearly overset her hopes. Finding the captain resolved
to proceed according to his original destination, she watched her
opportunity, and springing with a large clasp-knife into a small boat
which was slung at the stern, she cut the ropes, dropt safely into the
ocean, and rowed away. The wind was too strong from the land to allow
of the vessel being brought about to thwart her object. Sir Hudson
introduced her to Bonaparte under the name of Caraboo! She described
herself as Princess of Javasu, and related a tale of extraordinary
interest, which seemed in a high degree to delight the captive chief.
He embraced her with every demonstration of enthusiastic rapture, and
besought Sir Hudson that she might be allowed an apartment in his
house, declaring that she alone was an adequate solace in his captivity.

"Sir Hudson subjoins: 'The familiar acquaintance with the Malay tongue
possessed by this most extraordinary personage (and there are many on
the island who understand that language), together with the knowledge
she displays of the Indian and Chinese politics, and the eagerness with
which she speaks of these subjects, appear to convince every one that
she is no impostor. Her manner is noble and fascinating in a wonderful

"A private letter adds the following testimony to the above statement,
'Since the arrival of this lady, her manners, and I may say the
countenance and figure of Bonaparte appear to be wholly altered. From
being reserved and dejected, he has become gay and communicative. No
more complaints are heard about inconveniences at Longwood. He has
intimated to Sir Hudson his determination to apply to the Pope for
a dispensation to dissolve his marriage with Maria Louisa, and to
sanction his indissoluble union with the enchanting Caraboo.'"

However, corroboration of this strange story is wanting.

Fat Folks.--Lambert and Bright.

About the centre of the new burial-ground of St. Martin's Stamford
Baron, is a black slate inscribed with gilt letters to the memory of
that immense mass of mortality, Daniel Lambert, the most popularly
known of "Fat Folks."

    "Altus in animo, in Corpore Maximus.
    In remembrance of that prodigy in nature,
    Daniel Lambert, a native of Leicester,
    Who was possessed of an exalted and convivial mind;
    and, in personal greatness had no competitor.
    He measured 3 ft. 1 in. round the leg;
    and weighed 52 st. 11 lbs.!
    He departed this life on the 21st June, 1809,
    aged 39 years.
    As a testimony of respect, this
    Stone is erected by his friends in Leicester."

Daniel Lambert was born on the 13th of March, 1770, at Leicester. His
parents were not persons of remarkable dimensions: but he had an uncle
and aunt on the father's side who were both very heavy.

At the age of 19, young Lambert began to imagine that he should be
a heavy man. He possessed extraordinary muscular power, and at the
above age could lift great weights, and carry five-hundred weight with
ease. He succeeded his father in the office of keeper of the prison
at Leicester, within a year after which his bulk began rapidly to
increase, owing to his confinement and sedentary life. Though he never
possessed any extraordinary agility, he was able to kick to the height
of seven feet, standing on one leg.

About the year 1793, when Lambert weighed 32 stone, he walked from
Woolwich to London, with much less apparent fatigue than several
middle-sized men who were his companions. Upon this Mr. Wadd remarks:
"It is clear, therefore, that he was a strong, active man, and
continued so after the disease had made great progress; and I think it
may fairly be inferred that he would not have fallen a sacrifice so
early in life, if he had possessed fortitude enough to meet the evil,
and to have opposed it with determined perseverance."

Lambert was very expert in swimming, and taught hundreds of the young
people of Leicester. His power of floating, owing to his uncommon
bulk, was so great that he could swim with two men of ordinary size
upon his back. He proved a humane keeper of the prison, and upon his
retirement from the office, the magistrates settled upon him an annuity
of 50_l._ for life, without any solicitation.

He now lived a life of leisure at Leicester, but his uncommon
corpulence brought him many visitors; and he at length found that
he must either submit to be a close prisoner in his own house, or
endure the inconveniences without receiving any of the profits of
an exhibition. He then determined to visit London; and as it was
impossible to procure a carriage large enough to admit him, he had a
vehicle built to convey him to the metropolis, where he arrived in the
spring of 1806, and fixed his abode in Piccadilly. Here he was visited
by much company. Among them was the celebrated Polish dwarf, Count
Boruwlaski, who had before seen Lambert at Birmingham; the little man
exclaimed that he had seen the face twenty years ago, but it was not
surely the same body. In the course of conversation, Lambert asked
what quantity of cloth the Count required for a coat, and how many he
thought his would make him. "Not many," answered Boruwlaski; "I take
good large piece of cloth myself--almost tree-quarters of a yard." At
this rate, one of Lambert's sleeves would have abundantly sufficed for
the purpose. The Count felt one of Mr. Lambert's legs, "Ah, mine Got!"
he exclaimed, "pure flesh and blood; I feel de warm. No deception, I
am pleased, for I did hear it was deception." Mr. Lambert asked if the
Count's lady was alive; to which he replied, "No, she is dead, and I am
not very sorry, for when I affront her, she put me on the mantel-shelf
for punishment."[30]

[30] See portrait of Boruwlaski, page 259.

In September, 1806, Lambert returned to Leicester, but repeated his
visit in the following year, and fixed his abode in Leicester Square.
Here, for the first time, he felt inconvenienced by the atmosphere
of the metropolis; accordingly, by the advice of Dr. Heaviside, his
physician, Lambert returned to his native place. He then made a tour
through the principal cities and towns of England, and proved as
attractive in the provinces as he had formerly been in the metropolis.
He now enjoyed excellent health, and felt perfectly at ease, either
while sitting up or lying in bed. His diet was plain, and the
quantity moderate. For many years he never drank anything stronger
than water. He slept well, but scarcely so much as other persons, and
his respiration was as free as any moderately-sized individual. His
countenance was manly and intelligent; he possessed great information,
much ready politeness, and conversed with ease and facility. He had a
powerful and melodious tenor voice, and his articulation was perfectly
clear and unembarrassed.

Lambert had, however, for some time shown dropsical symptoms. In June
1809, he was weighed at Huntingdon, and by the Caledonian balance was
found to be 52 stone 11 lb. (14 lb. to the stone), 10st. 4lb. heavier
than Bright, the miller of Malden. His measure round the body was three
yards four inches, and one yard one inch round the leg.

A few days after this measurement, on June 20th, he arrived from
Huntingdon, at the Wagon and Horses Inn, St. Martin's, Stamford, where
preparations were made to receive company the next day, and during
Stamford races. He was announced for exhibition; he gave his orders
cheerfully, without any presentiment that they were to be his last:
he was then in bed, only fatigued from his journey, but anxious to be
able to see company early in the morning. Before nine o'clock however,
the day following, he was a corpse! He died in his apartment on the
ground-floor of the inn, for he had long been incapable of walking

His interment was an arduous labour. His coffin measured six feet
four inches long, four feet four inches wide, and two feet four inches
deep, and contained one hundred and twelve superficial feet of elm. It
was built upon two axletrees and four wheels; the room-door and wall
of the room in which he lay were taken down to allow of his exit, and
thus his remains were drawn to the place of interment at St. Martin's,
Stamford. His grave was dug with a gradual slope for several yards; and
upwards of twenty men were employed for nearly half-an-hour in getting
the massive corpse into its resting-place: the immense substance of the
legs made the coffin, of necessity, at most a square case. The funeral
was attended by thousands of persons from Stamford and the country many
miles round.

At the Wagon and Horses Inn were preserved two suits of Lambert's
clothes: seven ordinarily-sized men were repeatedly enclosed within his
waistcoat, without breaking a stitch or straining a button; each suit
of clothes cost 20_l._ His name was remembered for a time as a tavern
sign: one on the north side of Ludgate Street remained till within a
few years.

The great weight of Edward Bright, the miller of Malden, has been
incidentally mentioned. He died on November 10th, 1750, at the age of
30. He was an active man till within a year or two of his death; when
his corpulency so overpowered his strength, that his life was a burthen
to him; yet, as we have seen, he was ten stone four pounds lighter than
Lambert. Mr. Wadd says it is supposed that Bright's weight at his death
was forty-four stone, or 616 pounds.

Horace Walpole relates the following story of Bright's weight backed
against that of the Duke of Cumberland:--"There has been a droll cause
in Westminster Hall: a man laid another a wager that he produced a
person who should weigh as much again as the Duke. When they had
betted, they recollected not knowing how to desire the Duke to step
into the scale. They agreed to establish his weight at twenty stone,
which, however, is supposed to be two more than he weighs. One
Bright was then produced, who is since dead, and who actually weighed
forty-two stone and a half. As soon as he was dead, the person who had
lost objected that he had been weighed in his clothes, and though it
was impossible to suppose that his clothes could weigh above two stone,
they went to law. There were the Duke's twenty stone bawled over a
thousand times,--but the righteous law decided against the man who had

Bright, when twelve years old, weighed one hundred and forty-four
pounds; and there was another boy in Malden at the same time, fourteen
years of age, who weighed as much.

There was, however, an Essex man, who not only attained a great weight,
but lived to a great age, which is remarkable among persons of this
class. This was James Mansfield, a butcher, who died at the village of
Debden, on November 9th, 1862, in his 82nd year. Though not above the
ordinary height, he measured nine feet round and weighed thirty-three
stone. When sitting in his chair, made especially for his use, his
abdomen covered his knees and hung down almost to the ground. When he
lay down, it was necessary to pack his head to prevent suffocation: he
could only lie upon one side. He was exhibited, in 1851, in Leicester
Square, as "the greatest man in the world." In a suit of his clothes
four ordinarily-sized men might be comfortably buttoned up. Mansfield,
just before his death, was a hale old man, of good constitution, and a
sanguine and happy temperament.

Corpulency naturally subjects its bearers to some of

                "The thousand natural shocks
     That flesh is heir to."

Among these inconveniences is the absolute prohibition from
horsemanship, and the difficulty of transportation from place to place,
which may be illustrated by the following anecdotes, related by Mr.
Wadd, in _Brande's Journal_, 1828:--

Mr. B.----, of Bath, a remarkably large, corpulent, and powerful man,
wanting to go by the mail, tried for a place a short time before it
started. Being told it was full, he still determined to get admission,
and opening the door, which no one near him ventured to oppose, he got
in. When the other passengers came, the ostler reported that there was
a gentleman in the coach; he was requested to come out, but having
drawn up the blind, he remained quiet. Hearing, however, a consultation
on the means of making him alight, and a proposal to "pull him out,"
he let down the blind, and laying his enormous hand on the edge of
the door, he asked, who would dare to pull him out, drew up the blind
again, and waiting some time, fell asleep. About one in the morning he
awoke, and calling out to know whereabout he was on the journey, he
perceived, what was the fact, that to end the altercation with him, the
horses had been put to another coach, and that he had spent the night
at the inn-door at Bath, where he had taken possession of the carriage.

A similar occurrence took place at Huddersfield. A gentleman went to a
proprietor of one of the coaches to take a place for Manchester, but
owing to the enormous size of his person he was refused, unless he
would consent to be taken as lumber, at 9_d._ per stone, hinting at the
same time the advantage of being split in two. The gentleman was not to
be disheartened by this disappointment, but adopted the plan of sending
the ostler of one of the inns to take a place for him, which he did,
and in the morning wisely took the precaution by fixing himself in the
coach, with the assistance of the bystanders, from whence he was not
to be removed easily. There placed, he was taken to his destination.
The consequence was, on his return he was necessitated to adopt a
similar process, to the no small disappointment of the proprietors,
who were compelled to convey three gentlemen who had previously taken
their places in a chaise, as there was no room beside this importunate
passenger, who weighed about thirty-six stone.

A Cure for Corpulence.

In 1863, a philanthropist laid before the public the narrative of a man
who was tremendously fat, who tried hard for years to thin himself, and
who at last succeeded. Mr. Banting, the gentleman who had the courage
and good feeling to write and publish this narrative, not long before,
measured 5ft. 5in., and weighed about 14-1/4 stone. He owns that he had
a great deal to bear from his unfortunate make. In the first place,
the little boys in the streets laughed at him; in the next place, he
could not tie his own shoes; and, lastly, he had, it appears, to come
down-stairs backwards. But he was a man who struggled gallantly, and
whatever he was recommended to do, he honestly tried to carry out. He
drank mineral waters, and consulted physicians, and took sweet counsel
with innumerable friends, but all was in vain. He lived upon sixpence
a-day, and earned it, so that the favourite recipe of Abernethy failed
in his case. He went into all sorts of vapour baths and shampooing
baths. He took no less than ninety Turkish baths, but nothing did
him any good; he was still as fat as ever. A kind friend recommended
increased bodily exertion every morning, and nothing seemed more likely
to be effectual than rowing. So this stout warrior with fat got daily
into a good, safe, heavy boat, and rowed a couple of hours. But he was
only pouring water into the bucket of the Danaides. What he gained in
one way he lost in another. His muscular vigour increased; but then,
with this there came a prodigious appetite which he felt compelled
to indulge, and consequently he got fatter than he had been. At last
he hit upon the right adviser, who told him what to do, and whose
advice was so successful that Mr. Banting could soon walk down-stairs
forwards, put his old clothes quite over the suit that now fitted him,
and, far from being made the victim of unkind or ill-judged chaff, was
universally congratulated on his pleasant and becoming appearance. The
machinery by which this change was effected was of a very simple kind.
He was told to leave off eating anything but meat. It appears that
none of his numerous friendly advisers, and none of the physicians he
consulted, penetrated so far into the secresy of his domestic habits
as to have discovered that twice a day he used formerly to indulge in
bowls of bread and milk. The Solomon who saved him cut off this great
feeder of fat, and since then Mr. Banting has been a thinner and a
happier man.--_Abridged from the Saturday Review._

Epitaphs on Fat Folks.

In the year 1755, died the great tallow-chandler whose life and death
are thus laconically recorded on his tombstone:--

    Here lies in earth an honest fellow,
    Who died by fat, and lived by tallow.

Another corpulent person is thus lamented:--

    Here lies the body of Thomas Dollman,
    A vastly _fat_, though not a very tall man;
    Full twenty stone he weighed, yet I am told,
    His captain thought him worth his weight in gold:
    Grim Death, who ne'er to nobody shows favour,
    Hurried him off for all his good behaviour;
    Regardless of his weight, he bundled him away,
    'Fore any one "Jack Robinson" could say.

A moral lesson is given in the following:--

    But why he grew so fat i' th' waist,
      Now mark ye the true reason,
    When other people used to fast,
      He feasted in that season.
    So now, alas! hath cruel Death
    Laid him in his sepulchre.

           *       *       *       *       *

    Therefore, good people, here 'tis seen,
      You plainly may see here,
    That fat men sooner die than lean,
      Witness Fat Johnny Holder.

The son of a Dean, a man of very spare habit, expressing to the son of
a Bishop his astonishment at the great difference of the size of their
fathers, the Bishop being very fat, he explained the reason in the
following extempore parody of the old song:--

    There's a difference between
      A Bishop and a Dean,
    And I'll tell you the reason why:
      A Dean cannot dish up
      A dinner like a Bishop,
    To feed such a fat son as I.

Count Boruwlaski, the Polish Dwarf.

One of the best attested cases of dwarfish existence on record is
that of Joseph Boruwlaski, the Polish dwarf, who was the delight
of our grandfathers, and who, after the age of _seventy_, suddenly
found himself able with his hand to raise the latch of a door which
up to that period he had always raised with a stick. How many inches
he grew is not recorded, but the fact of his growth is sufficiently
astonishing, and is only paradoxical so long as we continue to hold
the general opinion that "men do not grow after reaching maturity,"
whereas, in strict language, we must admit that they _grow_ as long as
they live, but do not normally surpass the standard of maturity; growth
continues, but only to supply the waste, not enough, as in childhood,
to supply the waste and furnish _surplus_ for the increase.

Count Joseph Boruwlaski is, in many respects, the most interesting
dwarf of whom we have accurate records, and he has written his own
memoir to complete our interest. He has given us his height at various
epochs as follows:--

                                        Ft.     In.
  At one year old he measured           0       11
  At three     „        „               1        2
  At six       „        „               1        5
  At ten       „        „               1        9
  At fifteen years old he measured      2        1
  At twenty         „        „          2        4
  At twenty-five    „        „          2       11
  At thirty         „        „          3        3

[Illustration: Count Boruwlaski in disgrace with his wife.]

Here he stopped until he was seventy. He was born at Chaliez, in
Russian Poland, November, 1739, of noble parents, who were richer in
pedigree than in land or money. They were both well formed, healthy,
and of the ordinary size; yet of their six children, three were
dwarfs; and, to add to the singularity, the dwarfs _alternated_ with
well-formed children. Joseph was 8 inches in length when born, yet
perfectly well-formed, and he sucked with infantine success, walking
and talking at about the usual age.

On reaching his ninth year, he lost his father, who left a widow and
six children very ill-provided for. Luckily, a friend of the widow,
a Madame de Caorliz, adopted Joseph, and with her the boy spent four
happy years. His benefactress then married, and this event produced
a change in his fortunes. A dwarf so remarkable was naturally enough
an envied possession; and the Countess Humieska, a very great person
indeed, felt the desire natural in so great a person, to have this
among her curiosities. Domiciled with the great Countess, Joseph began
to taste the splendours and luxuries of courts. They travelled through
Poland, Germany, and France, and everywhere he was the lion of the
hour. At Vienna he was presented to Maria Theresa, who, pleased with
his courtly compliments, kissed him, and complimented the Countess on
her travelling companion. On another occasion, Joseph, in the lap of
the Empress, who had sixteen children of her own, and doted on them,
was looking at the hand in which his own was clasped, and which flashed
light from a ring bearing her cipher in brilliants. She asked him if
he was pleased with the ring; he told her it was the _hand_ he looked
at, and at the same time raised it to his lips. The flattered Empress
insisted on giving him the ring; but alas! it was too large, whereupon
she called to a young lady of about six years old, and taking from her
a fine diamond ring, placed it on Joseph's finger: this young lady was
Marie Antoinette.

From Vienna the travellers proceeded to Munich, and thence, after
countless fêtes, they went to Luneville, the court of Stanislas
Leckzinski, titular King of Poland. Here Joseph met the dwarf Bébé,
of whom Boruwlaski gives this account:--"With this prince (Stanislas)
lived the famous Bébé, till then considered the most extraordinary
dwarf that was ever seen; and who was, indeed, perfectly well
proportioned, and with a pleasant physiognomy, but who (I am sorry to
say it, for the honour of us dwarfs) had all the defects in his mind
and way of thinking which are commonly attributed to us. He was at that
time about thirty,[31] and his height two feet eight inches; and when
measured, it appeared that I was much shorter, being no more than two
feet four inches. At our first interview he showed much fondness for
me; but, on perceiving that I preferred the company and conversation
of sensible people, and above all, when he perceived that the King
took pleasure in my society, he conceived the most violent jealousy
and hatred of me; so that I escaped his fury only by a miracle. One
day, we were both in the apartment of his Majesty, who caressed me, and
asked me several questions, testifying his pleasure and approbation of
my replies in the most affectionate manner. Then addressing Bébé, he
said: 'You see, Bébé, what a difference there is between him and you.
He is amiable, cheerful, entertaining, and instructed, whereas you
are but a little machine.' At these words I saw fury sparkle in his
eyes; he answered nothing, but his countenance and blush proved how
violently he was agitated. A moment after, the King having gone into
his cabinet, Bébé availed himself of the opportunity to execute his
revengeful projects; and slyly approaching, seized me by the waist,
and endeavoured to push me on to the fire. Luckily, I laid hold with
both hands of the iron prop which sustained the tongs and poker, and
thus prevented his wicked intentions. The noise I made in defending
myself brought back the king to my assistance. He afterwards called
the servants, and ordered Bébé corporal punishment. In vain did I

[31] Joseph is in error here; Bébé was two years his junior, but
precocity of development made him appear to be thirty, though really
only about seventeen.

On quitting the court of Stanislas, Boruwlaski visited that of
Versailles, where the Queen, the Duke of Orleans, and other
distinguished personages, made as much of him as vanity could desire.
The Count Orginski, finding he had a taste for music, provided him
a master for the guitar. At the table of this nobleman, he one day
allowed himself to be concealed in a large vase, which was placed amid
the dishes, and to which the attention of the guests was directed, till
their curiosity was fairly roused, expecting some rarity surpassing
all the delicacies of the already sumptuous banquet; and then Joseph
suddenly stood up, amid shouts of laughter.

From Paris he went to Holland, and thence back to Poland. His reception
in Warsaw was enthusiastic; and as travel and reading had given polish
to his manners and culture to his intellect, his society became sought
after for something more than mere curiosity. He now attended the
theatre, and became fascinated with the actresses. His first love was
a French actress, who, amused and flattered, pretended to return his
passion, and for a time he was in a delirium of happiness; but an
unlucky discovery of her having talked about his passion with mockery,
cruelly dispelled his brief dream. To be in love with an actress, and
to find that she has been laughing at the passion she has inspired,
and only feigning to return it for some object of her own, is what
many young men have had to experience; but perhaps in none could the
mortification of self-love have been so cruel as in the little dwarf,
who knew the ridicule which must necessarily attend his presumption
in claiming the privilege of a man. But the heart having once known
the bitter-sweet of love, will not long be kept from it; and Joseph
soon fixed his affections on Isolina, a _protégée_ of the Countess
Humieska, who, living under the same roof with him, was much astonished
to observe that he allowed every _other_ lady to take him on her lap
and caress him; she accused him of not liking her, because to her
only he was reserved and shy. Now, he had not forgotten the ridicule
of the French actress: for a whole twelvemonth he continued loving
in silence, in doubt, and in trouble. His health suffered; at last,
passion triumphed over his fears; he declared his love, which the lady
treated as the love of a child. "Really," said she, "you are a child,
and I cannot help laughing at your extravagance." He tried to convince
her that he was no child, and would not be loved like a child; when she
burst out laughing, told him he knew not what he said, and left the

This was a ludicrous situation, but with a tragic aspect; a young and
lively woman receiving a passionate declaration from a being not taller
than a child three or four years old, may be excused if her sense
of the ludicrous prevented her understanding the seriousness of the
passion she inspired. Joseph was hurt, but not altogether dissatisfied.
The secret no longer pressed its uneasy burden on his mind. She knew
of his love; she could now interpret his reserve--his melancholy--his
silent adoration. In time she might be touched. For the first few
days, indeed, there seemed little hope of such an issue. She bantered
him incessantly, and the more he tried to speak to her as a man, the
more she persisted in treating him like a child. The effect of this
was a serious illness; for two months he was in danger. He recovered,
and she, from that time, gave up the dangerous game; and they were
eventually married.

We must now accompany Boruwlaski to England, where he was received by
the Duke and Duchess of Devonshire, and was presented to the King and
Queen, and patronized by the Prince of Wales and the nobility.

Among the remarkable persons whom the Count met was O'Brien, the Irish
giant. "Our surprise," says Boruwlaski, "was mutual--the giant remained
a moment speechless with astonishment, and then stooping half-way, he
presented his hand, which could easily have contained a dozen of mine,
and made me a very pretty compliment." When they stood beside each
other, the giant's knee was nearly on a level with the dwarf's head.
They both resided together some time at an inn at Epping, where they
often walked out together, greatly to the amusement of the townsfolk.

Mathews, the comedian, was a friend and admirer of Boruwlaski, and
contrived to get an interview arranged with George IV. for the
presentation of a copy of the Count's _Memoirs_, published in 1788.
Mathews and his little charge were ushered into the presence of the
sovereign: the King rose and met Boruwlaski, raised him up in his
arms, in a kind embrace, saying, "My dear old friend, how delighted I
am to see you!" and then placed the little man upon a sofa. But the
Count's loyalty not being so satisfied, he descended with the agility
of a schoolboy, and threw himself at his master's feet, who, however,
would not suffer him to remain in that position for a minute, but
raised him again upon the sofa. In the course of the conversation, the
Count, addressing the King in French, was told that his English was
so good it was quite unnecessary to speak in any other language; for
his Majesty, with his usual tact, easily discerned that he should be a
loser in resigning the Count's prettily-broken English, which (as he
always thought in his native language, and literally translated its
idioms) was the most amusing imaginable, and totally distinct from the
imperfect English of other foreigners.... The King, in the course of
conversation, said, "But, Count, you were married when I first knew
you: I hope madame is still alive, and as well as yourself." "Ah, no!
Majesty; Isolina die thirty year! _Fine_ woman! _sweet_, _beauty_ body!
You have no _idea_, Majesty." "I am sorry to hear of her death; such
a charming person must have been a great loss to you, Count." "Dat is
very true, Majesty; _indid, indid_, it was great sorrow for me!" His
Majesty then inquired how old the Count was, and on being told, with
a start of surprise observed, "Count, you are the finest man of your
age I ever saw. I wish you could return the compliment." To which
Boruwlaski, not to be outdone in courtesy, ludicrously replied, "Oh!
Majesty, _fine_ body! _indid, indid_; _beauty_ body!"

The King, on accepting the book which the Count wished to present,
turned to the Marchioness of Conyngham, and took from her a little
case containing a beautiful miniature watch and seals, attached to a
superb chain, the watch exquisitely ornamented with jewels. This the
King begged the Count to accept, saying, as he held the _Memoirs_ in
the other hand, "My dear friend, I shall read and preserve this as long
as I live, for your sake; and in return I request you will wear this
for mine." His Majesty said to Mathews, in the absence of the Count,
"If I had a dozen sons, I could not point out to them a more perfect
model of good breeding and elegance than the Count; he is really a most
accomplished and charming person."

It appears that, by the kindness of friends, Boruwlaski had purchased
an annuity, which secured him independence for the remainder of his
life. Out of this transaction arose a laughable incident. One day he
called at the insurance office with Mr. Mathews, and on being asked how
he was, he replied, with the vivacity of eighteen, "Oh, _never_ better!
_quite_ vel!" and he ran out of the office from the gaze of the aged
insurer, scarcely able to restrain his merriment till he got out of
hearing. He then told Mr. Mathews, during his convulsions of laughter,
that the person they had just seen was the granter of his annuity. "Ha!
ha! ha! O Mattew, I cannot help! Oh _poor devil_, poor _hold_ body! It
_maks me laffing_, poor _hold hanimal_! Oh he say prayer for me die,
often when he _slip_! Oh you may _de_pend--ha! ha! ha! but Boruwlaski
_never_ die! He _calcoolated dat_ dwarf not live it long, _et_ I live
it forty year to _plag_ him. Oh he is in a _hobbel debblishly_! I
_tellee dat_! He fifty year _yonger den_ Boruwlaski; _mintime_ he dead
as soon as me. Oh yes, you may be sure _dat_--_dat_ is my _oppinnon_.
Boruwlaski never die," playfully nodding his little head, "you may
_de_pend." Mr. Mathews asked him if the old man had any family (feeling
some compassion for his hard case), to which the Count cried out, "Oh
he have it _shildren_ twenty, like a pig, poor _devel_! _mintime_ he
_riche_ body! Oh he have it _goold et wast_ many bank _nott_. _Bote_
he have it _greet prepencity_ to keep him fast hold, poor idi_ot_! _It
macks me laffing!_"--(See the _Memoirs of Charles Mathews_, by Mrs.

To these characteristics we are enabled to add that of an English
letter, written by the Count in his _eighty-ninth_ year, the
handwriting of which is singularly firm and steady, resembling that of
a school boy of about fourteen. We shall copy it _literatim_ from the
autograph letter in the possession of Lord Houghton. It is addressed
to Miss Emma George, at Miss Bird's, Pitt street, Edinburgh, and runs

"Dear Emma.--I am a fraid you will think me negligent in not answering
your kind Letter which I received both. which made me delay write
soonere I was en a visite at Newcastle, and I remain rathere to lon.
and with the acceident happing when I burn your Lette in which been
your derection, when I do so after reading, for alwais afraid of aney
mischiefe at homes, what you know my situation, in which I remain to
this day. and increas dayli more and more unhappy. I have maney things
to tell you and you wish to know about me, but I cannot trust to a
Lettere to disclos, and gave you picture of my precise state of my Life
with extended Field, to make description of my trouble but only I may
say truly. That I find myselfe without friend in a Stranger Country.
Yet from the aspect of flattering appearance. I thought aftere a very
fatiging journey in the begonning of my Life, that no kind of vexation
would distourb my present state of happiness at Durham. Upon which my
mind being grounded, in expectation of all feliesity. But here what to
say of my sorrow with astonishment, when I found overeeting, when I
behod now nothing but betterness of heart, and so heavy a Cloud over my
existance in misery. So I have not on friend, but I have wakeful body
who watch all my motion. So I have my share to be partner with you and
support on othere, when we are left to ourself in a Pilgrimage in which
we are engaged so severely. To be sure I feel the disappointments of
my situation. Yet I have experience that I cannot help thinking that it
was well that Providence had blessed me, to alowd me kindly as litll as
it is: Yet to accomodated Dear Emma according to fortune which God gave
me, which Dear Emma will receive next month your 5_l._ I beg Dear Emma
make your selfe happy and not uneasy if some time I delay in answering
your Lettere. Notwithstanding you most know me now to trust me and
have Confidence in me that I ame not Changable nature, but remain, and
believe me, your sincer affectiont, Joseph Boruwlaski.

  "_Durham 17 March 1828._"

       *       *       *       *       *

This singular being lived to the extraordinary age of ninety-eight;
a great age for an ordinary man, and quite without example in the
history of dwarfs. He died at Bank's Cottage, near Durham, on the 5th
of September, 1837, and his remains were placed near those of Stephen
Kemble, in the Nine Altars of Durham Cathedral. It is stated in the
_Gentleman's Magazine_ (October, 1837), that the cottage was the gift
of some of the prebendaries of Durham, who also allowed him a handsome
income. They may have given him the cottage, but the income came,
as Boruwlaski himself informs us, from the Misses Metcalfe. In the
parish church of St. Mary-the-Less is a mural tablet of white stone,
with an inscription erected in memory of the Count, who long resided
in the city, and has, indeed, given his name to a bend in the river,
known as "Count's Corner."--(Walker's _Brief Sketch of Durham_, 4th
edition, 1865.) If the reader attentively considers the story we have
narrated, he will perceive that the Count, although an anomaly in
respect of size, was in all other respects a perfectly formed man,
and is distinguished from most other dwarfs by longevity, paternity,
and intelligence. The anomaly, therefore, could not have been deeply
seated. He was a perfect copy of nature's finest work in duodecimo.
A full-length portrait of him may be seen in the Hunterian Museum,
life-size, leaning against a chair.

It may be interesting to narrate a few more examples of dwarf life,
from accredited sources.

M. St. Hilaire relates from the _Philosophical Transactions_, 1751-2,
the case of a dwarf named Hopkins, who, at fifteen years of age, stood
only 2 ft. 7 in., and weighed between 12 and 13 lbs. He had all the
signs of old age. He was bent, deformed, and troubled with a dry cough.
His hearing and sight were bad; his teeth almost all decayed. He was
very thin, and so weak as scarcely to be able to stand. Till the age
of seven he had been gay, healthy, and active; nor at that age did he
show any indications of stopped growth. He was well formed, and weighed
nineteen pounds, _i.e._ six pounds more than he weighed at fifteen.
From that period his health declined, and his body wasted. He came
from healthy parents of ordinary stature, and was the second of six
children, another of whom also was a dwarf.

Dantlow, the Russian dwarf, was only thirty inches high; he was without
arms, and had only four toes on each foot. With his feet he made
pen-and-ink sketches rivalling etchings; and knitted stockings with
needles made of wood. He fed himself with his left foot; learned with
great facility, and was eager to learn.

M. Virey describes a German girl, exhibited in Paris in 1816. She was
of parents above the average height, who had previously produced a male
dwarf. At eight years old she weighed no more than an ordinary infant;
her height was eighteen inches. In temper she was gay, restless, and
excitable. Her pulse normally was at ninety-four.

M. Virey also relates the following example; Thérèse Souvray, was
destined to become the bride of Bébé, to whom she was solemnly
affianced in the year 1761; but death snatched the bridegroom from her,
and as the _fiancée_ of this celebrated man, she was exhibited in Paris
during the year 1821. She was then seventy-three years of age; gay,
healthy, lively, and danced with her sister, two years her senior, and
measuring only three feet and a half, French measure.

In 1865, there died in Paris the dwarf Richebourg, who was an
historical personage. Richebourg, who was only 60 centimètres high, was
in his sixteenth year placed in the household of the Duchess of Orleans
(the mother of King Louis-Philippe). He was often made useful for the
transmission of dispatches. He was dressed up as a baby, and important
State papers placed in his clothes, and thus he was able to effect a
communication between Paris and the _émigrés_, which could hardly have
taken place by any other means. The most suspicious of _sans culottes_
never took it into his head to stop a nurse with a baby in her arms.
For the last thirty years he lived in Paris in one of the houses in the
remotest part of the Faubourg St. Germain. He had a morbid dread of
appearing in public, and it is recorded that during this long period
he never put his foot outside the house. He received from the Orleans
family a pension of 3,000 francs per annum. He had attained the ripe
age of ninety-two.

A writer in _Fraser's Magazine_, August, 1856, from the above and
other examples of dwarfs quoted by him, sets down these few general
conclusions upon the question of their organization:--"In doing so,"
he remarks, "it will be well to bear in mind that the very fact of
dwarfs being _anomalies_, renders any generalization respecting them
subject to many qualifications in each particular instance. Thus,
although it is true, as a general fact, that they are short-lived and
unintelligent, we see examples of more than ordinary intelligence in
Boruwlaski and his brother, and Jeffrey Hudson, and of longevity in
them. One may assert, indeed, that longevity and intelligence are
intimately allied in the dwarf organization; for, whenever the anomaly
of growth is not profound enough to affect the health, it is presumably
too superficial to affect the intelligence; and, _vice versâ_, when
we see a being passing rapidly from childhood to old age, we may be
certain that the organization is too aberrant from the normal type to
permit the free development of intelligence. Another general fact about
dwarfs, and one to which we know of no exception, is that they are very
excitable, and consequently, irascible; when in good health, lively,
restless, and turbulent. This, indeed, is a characteristic of men and
animals of the small type."

The Irish Giant.

This extraordinary person, whose height was eight feet seven-and-a-half
inches, was born at Kinsale, in Ireland. His real name was Patrick
Cotter. He was of obscure parentage, and originally laboured as a
bricklayer. His uncommon size rendered him a mark for the cunning of a
showman, who, for the payment of 50_l._ per annum, had the privilege
of exhibiting Cotter for three years in England. Not contented with
his bargain, the huckster underlet to another speculator the liberty
of showing him; and poor Cotter, through resisting this nefarious
transaction, was saddled with a fictitious debt, and thrown into a
spunging-house in Bristol. In this situation he was visited by a
gentleman of the city, who, compassionating his distress, and having
reason to think that he was unjustly detained, generously became
his bail, and investigated the affair; and not only obtained Cotter
his liberty, but freed him from all kind of obligation to serve his
taskmaster any longer. He was then but eighteen years old. He retained,
to his last breath, a due sense of the good offices of the Bristol
stranger, conferred upon him when he was sorely in need; and the giant
did not forget his benefactor in his will.

It happened to be September when Cotter was liberated; and by the
further assistance of his benefactor, he was enabled to exhibit himself
in the St. James's fair at Bristol; and in three days he found himself
possessed of thirty pounds, English money. He now commenced a regular
exhibition of his person, which he continued until within two years
of his death, when having realized sufficient money to enable him to
keep a carriage, and live in good style, he declined to exhibit any
more, which was always irksome to his feelings. He was unoffending and
amiable in his manners; was possessed of good sense, and his mind was
not uncultivated; he long kept a journal of his life, which a whim
of the moment induced him to commit to the flames. He died in his
forty-sixth year, September 8th, 1806, at the Hotwells, Bristol. He was
buried in the Roman Catholic chapel, Trenchard Street, at six o'clock
in the morning, this early hour being fixed on to prevent as much as
possible the assemblage of a crowd; but it is stated that at least
2,000 persons were present. The coffin, of lead, measured nine feet two
inches in the clear, and the wooden case four inches more; it was three
feet across the shoulders. No hearse could be procured long enough to
contain the coffin, the projecting end of which was draped with black
cloth. Fourteen men bore it from the hearse to the grave, into which
it was let down with pulleys. To prevent any attempt to disturb his
remains, of which Cotter had, when living, the greatest horror, the
grave was made twelve feet deep, in a solid rock. A plaster cast of his
right hand may be seen at the College of Surgeons, Lincoln's Inn Fields.

Birth Extraordinary.

On Sunday, the 23rd of October, 1836, occurred an event interesting
to physiologists. The wife of a dwarf, Don Santiago de los Santos
(herself a dwarf), was delivered of a well-formed male infant, at their
residence, No. 167, High Holborn, near Museum Street. The accoucheurs
were Mr. Bowden, of Sloane Street, Chelsea, who had before attended
Donna Santiago on a similar occasion; and Dr. Davis of Savile Row. Both
gentlemen had for some time been very assiduous in their attentions to
the little lady; but the infant, though it came into the world alive,
did not survive above half-an-hour. Its length was thirteen and a half
inches: its weight one pound four ounces and a half (avoirdupois); it
was in every respect well-formed; and the likeness of the face to that
of its father was very striking. It was carried in a coffin to St.
George's Church, Bloomsbury; but being there refused sepulture, it was
taken home, preserved in spirits, and subsequently exhibited. Dr. Davis
was anxious to have it submitted to dissection, and to lecture upon
it in the theatre of University College; this, however, was objected
to by the Lilliputian parents, who appeared poignantly to feel the

Don Santiago, who was only twenty-five inches high, was at this time
in his fiftieth year. He was a native of the Spanish settlement of
Manilla, in one of the forests of which he was exposed and deserted,
on account of his diminutive size. He was, however, miraculously
saved by the Viceroy, who was hunting in that quarter, and humanely
ordered him to be taken care of, and nursed with the same tenderness
as his own children, with whom the little creature was brought up and
educated, until he had attained the age of _manhood_. His birth dated
from the period of his exposure, which was in 1786. His parents, it was
ascertained, were farmers; and were with their other children (sons,
daughters), of robust frame, and rather above the usual height.

When the Don was twenty years of age, his humane protector died; and
attachment to the place of his birth prevented his accompanying his
foster brother and sisters to Old Spain. This wilfulness cost him
dearly; neglected by his parents and family, he suffered hardships and
privations of the most afflicting nature. At length he found his way to
Madras, and was, in the year 1830, brought to England by the captain of
a trading vessel. During the voyage he was washed overboard by a heavy
sea; but hencoops and spars being thrown out, and other assistance
afforded, his life was saved.

On his arrival in northern latitudes, he suffered severely from cold,
and even when accustomed to the climate, he could not swallow cold
water. Still, he never went near a fire, although he felt sensibly
if his room was not kept warm. He was stoutly built, and generally
in cheerful spirits and good health. His complexion was of a slight
copper colour, and the expression of his countenance was pleasing and
intelligent. His habits were temperate, and he seldom drank anything
but warm water; but on birthdays and other anniversaries, he indulged
in a few glasses of wine. He was fond of music and dancing, and gallant
to the ladies; but his ruling passion appeared to be a fondness for
jewellery and silver-plate, to which ornaments he had been accustomed
in the house and at the table of the Viceroy of Manilla. His mind
appeared to be deeply impressed with the tenets of the Roman Catholic
church, in which his foster-father took care to have him instructed.
He read his prayer-book and psalter morning and evening, very devoutly
crossing himself, and performing his genuflexions and the other
ceremonies inculcated by the teachers of that faith. Once or twice a
month, he went to the Spanish Ambassador's chapel, where, secluded
from observation, he worshipped with the sincerity and devotion of a
good Catholic. Besides his native tongue, he spoke an Indian _patois_,
conversed freely in Portuguese, and in English indifferently well.

He became acquainted with his little wife in Birmingham, of which town
she was a native. Her name was Ann Hopkins; her height was thirty-eight
inches, or thirteen inches taller than her dwarf spouse. She was
thirty-one years of age, and was a pretty little creature possessing
much symmetry and grace. Her father stood six feet one inch and a half
out of his shoes; her mother was of middle size, and her brothers and
sisters, nine in number, were all tall and robust. The little Don and
Donna lived together very affectionately, their attachment having been
mutual and at first sight; their only difference of opinion being, that
she being of the Protestant faith, they did not worship together. They
were married on the 6th of July, 1834, in the Roman Catholic chapel at
Birmingham; and two days after, at St. Martin's church, in the same
town, by the Rev. Mr. Foy; the high bailiff giving away the bride. The
crowd of spectators was so great that the assistance of the police was
necessary to secure the ingress and egress of the little couple into
and out of the church. Much uneasiness was caused to the bridegroom by
the refusal of one clergyman to ratify his marriage in the Protestant
church, on the supposition that it was contrary to the canon law; but
this difficulty was ultimately arranged.--_Abridged from the Morning

William Hutton's "Strong Woman."

William Hutton, the Birmingham manufacturer, was accustomed to take a
month's tour every summer, and to note down his observations on places
and people. Some of the results appeared in distinct books, some in
his autobiography, and some in the _Gentleman's Magazine_, towards the
close of the last century and the beginning of the present. One year
he would be accompanied by his father, a tough old man, who was not
frightened at a twenty-mile walk; another year he would go alone; while
on one occasion his daughter went with him, she riding on horseback,
and he trudging on foot by her side. Various parts of England and Wales
were thus visited, at a time when tourists' facilities were slender
indeed. It appears from his lists of distances that he could "do"
fifteen or twenty miles a day for weeks together; although his mode of
examining places led to a much slower rate of progress.

One of the odd characters which Hutton met with at Matlock, in
Derbyshire, in July 1801, is worth describing in his own words. After
noticing the rocks and caves at that town, he said, "The greatest
wonder I saw was Miss Phœbe Bown, in person five feet six, about
thirty, well-proportioned, round-faced and ruddy; a dark penetrating
eye, which, the moment it fixes upon your face, stamps your character,
and that with precision. Her step (pardon the Irishism) is more manly
than a man's, and can easily cover forty miles a day. Her common dress
is a man's hat, coat with a spencer about it, and men's shoes; I
believe she is a stranger to breeches. She can lift one hundred-weight
with each hand, and carry fourteen score. Can sew, knit, cook, and
spin, but hates them all, and every accompaniment to the female
character, except that of modesty. A gentleman at the New Bath recently
treated her so rudely, that 'she had a good mind to have knocked him
down.' She positively assured me she did not know what fear is. She
never gives an affront, but will offer to fight anyone who gives her
one. If she has not fought, perhaps it is owing to the insulter being
a coward, for none else would _give_ an affront [to a woman]. She has
strong sense, an excellent judgment, says smart things, and supports
an easy freedom in all companies. Her voice is more than masculine,
it is deep toned; the wind in her face, she can send it a mile; has
no beard; accepts any kind of manual labour, as holding the plough,
driving the team, thatching the ricks, &c. But her chief avocation is
breaking in horses, at a guinea a week! always rides without a saddle;
and is supposed the best judge of a horse, cow, &c., in the country;
and is frequently requested to purchase for others at the neighbouring
fairs. She is fond of Milton, Pope, Shakespeare, also of music; is
self-taught; performs on several instruments, as the flute, violin,
harpsichord, and supports the bass-viol in Matlock church. She is an
excellent markswoman, and, like her brother-sportsmen, carries her gun
upon her shoulder. She eats no beef or pork, and but little mutton:
her chief food is milk, and also her drink--discarding wine, ale, and
spirits."--_From the Book of Days._

Wildman and His Bees.

In Winchester Place, now Pentonville Road, near to the south-east
corner of Penton Street, stood "Prospect House," so called from the
fine view which it commanded over London and the circumjacent country.
In the British Museum is a fine pen-and-ink drawing of a view of London
from Pentonville, by Antonio Canaletti; and we find "Prospect House"
in the rate-books in 1669; there were bowling-greens attached to it
"for gentleman bowlers." Subsequently the house was named from its
proprietor, and became popularly known as Dobney's, or D'Aubigny's.
Mrs. Dobney, who kept the house for many years, died in 1760, at the
age of eighty-six. It then passed to a new proprietor, a Mr. Johnson,
who built on the bowling-green, which was near the corner of Penton
Street, an amphitheatre for equestrian performances, _al fresco_, and
engaged one Price, who had been starring at the Three Hats, a rival
house close by, to exhibit his original feats of horsemanship. In 1769,
the house was the scene of Philip Jonas's exhibition of "dexterity of
hands;" and about this time was shown here the skeleton of a whale
sixty feet long. In 1770, the house was taken for a boarding school,
but was soon closed. It was then re-opened as the Jubilee Tea Gardens
(from the Jubilee got up at Stratford-upon-Avon, by Garrick, in honour
of Shakespeare); the interiors of the boxes were painted with scenes
from some of his plays.

In 1772, the celebrated Daniel Wildman exhibited here his bees every
evening (wet evenings excepted). He made several new and amazing
experiments; he rode standing upright, one foot on the saddle, and the
other on the horse's neck, with a curious _mask of bees_ on his head
and face. He also rode standing upright on the saddle with the bridle
in his mouth, and by firing a pistol, made one part of the bees march
over a table, and the other part swarm in the air and return to their
proper hive again. Wildman's performances of the "Bees on Horseback"
were also thus described:--

    He with uncommon art and matchless skill
    Commands those insects, who obey his will;
    With bees others cruel means employ,
    They take their honey and the bees destroy;
    Wildman humanely, with ingenious ease,
    He takes the honey, but preserves the bees.

Wildman also sold bees from one stock in "the common or newly-invented
hives." He published a "Guide for Bee Management" at his Bee and
Honey Warehouse, No. 326, Holborn. In 1774, the gardens were much
neglected, the walks not being kept in order, nor the hedges properly
cut; but there were several good apartments in the house, besides
handsome tea-rooms; but the ground was cleared about 1790, and the
present handsome dwelling-houses in Winchester Place were built upon
part of the site. The gardens, though much shorn of their beauty and
attractiveness, continued in existence until the year 1810, when they
disappeared; and the only memorial that remains on the site of this
once famed place of amusement, is a mean court in Penton Street, known
as Dobney's Court. Mr. Upcott, of the London Institution, had in his
collection a drawing of Prospect House, taken about 1780.--_Pinks'
History of Clerkenwell._

Lord Stowell's love of Sight-seeing.

Lord Stowell loved manly sports, and was not above being pleased
with the most rude and simple diversions. He gloried in Punch and
Judy--their fun stirred his mirth without, as in Goldsmith's case,
provoking spleen. He made a boast on one occasion that there was not a
puppet-show in London he had not visited, and when turned fourscore,
was caught watching one at a distance with children of less growth in
high glee. He has been known to make a party with Windham to visit
Cribb's, and to have attended the Fives Court as a favourite resort.
"There were curious characters," he observed, "to be seen at these
places." He was the most indefatigable sight-seer in London. Whatever
show could be visited for a shilling, or less, was visited by Lord
Stowell. In the western end of London there was a room generally let
for exhibitions. At the entrance, as it is said, Lord Stowell presented
himself, eager to see "the green monster serpent," which had lately
issued cards of invitation to the public. As he was pulling out his
purse to pay for his admission, a sharp but honest north-country lad,
whose business it was to take the money, recognised him as an old
customer, and knowing his name, thus addressed him: "We can't take
your shilling, my lord; 'tis the old serpent which you have seen twice
before in other colours; but ye shall go in and see her." He entered,
saved his money, and enjoyed his third visit to the painted beauty.
This love of seeing sights was, on another occasion, productive of the
following whimsical incident. Some thirty years ago, an animal, called
a "Bonassus," was exhibited in the Strand. On Lord Stowell's paying
it a second visit, the keeper very courteously told his lordship that
he was welcome to come, gratuitously, as often as he pleased. Within
a day or two after this, however, there appeared, under the bills of
the exhibition, in conspicuous characters, "Under the patronage of
the Right Hon. Lord Stowell;" an announcement of which the noble and
learned lord's friends availed themselves, by passing many a joke upon
him; all of which he took with the greatest good humour.

Lord Stowell was a great eater, and, says Mr. Surtees, "the feats
which he performed with the knife and fork were eclipsed by those
which he would afterwards display with the bottle." His habits were
slovenly and unclean. "The hand that could pen the neatest of periods
was itself often dirty and unwashed; and the mouth which could utter
eloquence so graceful, or such playful wit, fed voraciously, and
selected the most greasy food." Then again, he was an unquestionable
miser. He kept a very mean establishment. Fond as he was of his wine,
he would drink less at his own than at other tables. "He could drink
any _given_ quantity," as was wittily observed by his brother, Lord
Eldon, but was abstemious where he had to pay. The most painful fact
that remains to be recorded respecting him is, that when his only son
William had formed an attachment that was unexceptionable, he, though
it may be said he rolled in riches, would not make him a sufficient
allowance to enable him to marry. It has been stated that his son died
from the effects of intemperate habits; and it must be added, that but
for this disappointment the young man might have lived. In despair he
plunged into excesses. His father just survived him, and his great
wealth was gathered up by collaterals. Perhaps his fondness of poking
about London, visiting cheap shows, was connected more with his avarice
than with his curiosity. After his elevation to the peerage, he was
actually seen coming out of a penny show in London--cheap excitement!
Like Lord Eldon, though a great friend of the church, he never attended
public worship. What had been said of his brother might have been
said of him, that he was more properly a buttress of the church than
a pillar, for he was never seen inside it. At the same time, there is
no reason to doubt that he was a good Christian; probably, like many
other University men, he had a surfeit of chapels when at college, and
shuddered at the thought of again entering one. With all his failings,
and notwithstanding his avarice, which increased with his years, Lord
Stowell must be regarded as having been, after a peculiar sort, a
kindly, amiable man.

John Day and Fairlop Fair.

In the Forest of Hainault, in Essex, about a mile from Barking side,
stood the famous Fairlop Oak, which the tradition of the country traces
half-way up the Christian era. This forest possesses more beautiful
scenery than, perhaps, any other forest in England. Fifty years since
the oak was still a noble tree. About a yard from the ground, where
its bole was thirty-six feet in circumference, it spread into eleven
vast arms, yet not in the manner of an oak, but rather in that of a
beech, its shade overspreading an area of 300 feet in circuit. Around
this fine old tree, eighty years since, archery meetings were held by
the gentry of the district, with picnics in tents, bands of music,
&c.; and then, to protect the old oak, it was enclosed with a spiked
paling, inscribed as follows: "All good foresters are requested not
to hurt this old tree, as a plaister has been put to its wounds."
The extremities of its branches had been sawn off, and Forsyth's
composition applied to them, to preserve them from decay.

But the tree has a more popular history. Upon a small estate, near
the oak, in the last century, there dwelt one John Day, a well-to-do
block and pump maker, of Wapping, who used to repair annually, on the
first Friday in July, to the forest, and there meet a party of his
neighbours, and dine under the shade of the famous oak, on _beans
and bacon_. In the course of a few years, Day's rural feast induced
other parties to follow his homely example, and suttling booths were
erected for their accommodation. In addition to the entertainment given
to his friends, Mr. Day never failed, on the day of the feast, to
provide several sacks of beans, with a proportionate quantity of bacon,
which he distributed from the trunk of the tree to the persons there
assembled. About the year 1723, the scene on the first Friday in July
exhibited the appearance of a _regular fair_, such as John Gay, in one
of his _Pastorals_, almost contemporaneously describes in these lines:--

    Pedlars' stalls with glitt'ring toys are laid,
    The various fairings of the country maid:
    Long silken laces hang upon the twine,
    And rows of pins and amber bracelets shine.
    Here the tight lass, knives, combs, and scissors spies,
    And looks on thimbles with desiring eyes.
    The mountebank now treads the stage, and sells
    His pills, his balsams, and his ague spells.
    Now o'er and o'er the nimble tumbler springs,
    And on the rope the vent'rous maiden swings;
    Jack-Pudding, in his parti-coloured jacket,
    Tosses the glove and jokes at every packet;
    Here raree-shows are seen, and Punch's feats,
    And pockets picked in crowds, and various cheats.

For several years before the death of the generous founder of this
fair and public bean-feast, the pump and block makers of Wapping went
annually to the fair in the forest, seated in a boat of one entire
piece of fir, covered with an awning, mounted on a coach-carriage,
and drawn by six horses; attended with flags and streamers, a band of
music, and a great number of persons on foot and horseback. The number
of carriages was then increased to three, two of them being rigged as
ships. At six o'clock precisely they all paraded round the oak, singing
a glee composed for the occasion; after which the holiday-keepers
returned to town.

A few years before Mr. Day's death, the Fairlop Oak lost a large limb,
out of which he had a coffin made for his own interment. He died on the
19th of October, 1767, at the age of eighty-four. His remains, pursuant
to his own request, were conveyed to Barking by water, attended by
six journeymen pump and block makers, to each of whom he bequeathed a
new leather apron and a guinea. There is a memorial of him in Barking

The fair long survived the patriarchal pump-maker, good John Day,
as did also the oak. It was enclosed, as we have stated, at the
commencement of the present century. But, notwithstanding the appeal to
the "good foresters," and the respect due to the veteran of the forest,
the rabble broke down the palings and lit their fires within the trunk
in the cavities formed by the roots, and several of the limbs were
broken off. The space within the trunk may be estimated by the evidence
of a resident in the neighbourhood. "When a boy," he writes, "I have
driven in a hot day from out of the hollow three or four horses, and
sometimes four or five cows." But the tree received the greatest
injury on the 25th of June, 1805, when a party of sixty persons, who
came from London to play at cricket, &c., kindled a fire, which, after
they had left, spread very considerably, and caught the tree. It was
not discovered for two hours, and though a number of persons brought
water to extinguish it, yet the main branch on the south side and part
of the trunk were consumed. Fifteen years later, the high winds of
February 1820, brought the massive trunk and limbs to the turf which
the tree had for so many ages overshadowed with its verdant foliage.
Its wood was very much prized; a pulpit was made of it for Wanstead
Church; the rest of the timber of the Fairlop Oak was purchased by Mr.
Seabrook, the builder, who formed with it the very handsome pulpit and
reading-desk for the church of St. Pancras, in the New Road, then in
course of erection.

The fair was still continued, though the loss of the oak and the
assemblage of booths and shows, and theatrical exhibitions, which
bordered the area in the forest, destroyed the simplicity that was
originally intended to be preserved by the founder. As the fair was
held on Friday, it became a great point to extend it to Sunday, when
shoals of visitors came; and, though the shows were interdicted,
the refreshment resorts grew to such licence as it became necessary
to curb. Of the fair of 1843, we have a special remembrance. The
block-makers, sail-makers, and mast-makers, as usual, came to "gay
Fairlop," in their amphibious frigates, gaily decorated and mounted
on carriages, each drawn by six horses; and the wives of the men in
their holiday gear followed in open landaus. But the Essex magistrates
had now by notice restricted the fair to _one day_. The booths and
shows were less numerous than on former occasions, but the gipsies were
in great numbers; the knights of the pea and thimble were vigilantly
routed by the police. The Lea Bridge and Ilford roads were crowded
with horses and vehicles; and many persons went by railway to Ilford,
and thence to the forest. But there came a heavy July rain to spoil
the sport, and the fair grew flat. The booths and shows could not be
removed till Monday, but nothing was allowed to be sold after Friday,
and the exhibitions were closed. Nevertheless, the Sunday visitors came
in thousands.

By these curtailments, Fairlop Fair was gradually brought to an end,
though not until it had existed for a century and a quarter.

A Princely Hoax.

In the autumn of 1785, when the Prince of Wales was at Brighton, he was
much in the company of Mr. and Mrs. Lawrell; of whom and the Prince,
Lady Llanover, in her _Memoirs of Mrs. Delany_, relates the following
piquant story, which she received from a gentleman, as well as from
Miss Burney, who had it from Lady Rothes, Sir Lucas Pepys' wife.[32]
It happened one afternoon that Mrs. Lawrell alone was of a party with
the Prince of Wales, Lady Beauchamp, and some other fine people. Mrs.
Lawrell, like a good wife, about nine o'clock, said she must go home
to her husband. The Prince said, he and the party would come and sup
with them; the lady received the gracious intimation with all the
respect that became her, and hastened home to acquaint her husband and
make preparation. Whether Mr. Lawrell was more or less sensible of
the honour that was designed him than his wife, I don't know, but he
said he should not come if he could help it, and if he did come, he
should have nothing to eat. It was in vain Mrs. Lawrell remonstrated;
he continued inflexible, and she had nothing for it but to put him to
bed, and write a note to Lady Beauchamp, informing her Mr. Lawrell was
taken suddenly ill, and begging she would entertain the Prince in her
stead. Between one and two o'clock in the morning, when the company
were pretty merry, the Prince, whether he guessed at the reason or was
concerned for the indisposition of his friend, said it was a pity poor
Lawrell should die for want of help, and they immediately set about
writing notes to all the physicians, surgeons, and apothecaries they
could think of in the place, informing them as from Mr. L. that he
was taken suddenly ill, and begged their immediate assistance; these
notes very soon set the medical body in motion towards Mr. L.'s doors;
a few of the _most alert apothecaries_ came first, but they were got
rid of by the servants, who assured them it was a mistake, that their
master and mistress were well and asleep, and that they did not care
to wake them. Soon after came Sir Lucas Pepys, who declaring that
"_nobody would presume to impose upon a person of his character_,"
insisted on seeing Mr. L., and was pressing by the maid towards his
bedchamber; she was then forced to waken her mistress, and Mr. L. being
very drowsy and disinclined to rise, his lady was obliged to appear
in great deshabille, and with the _utmost difficulty_, persuaded Sir
Lucas he _was_ imposed upon, and prevailed with him to retire. During
their dispute the staircase _was filled_ with the rest of the faculty
arriving in shoals.

[32] Sir Lucas Pepys was physician in ordinary to the King, and
seven years President of the College of Physicians. He had a seat at
Mickleham, in Surrey. One day, at Dorking, he inquired at a druggist's
what all his varieties of drugs were for. "To prepare prescriptions,"
was the reply. "Why," said Sir Lucas, "I never used but three or four
articles in all my practice."

[Illustration: The Prince Regent.]

Sir John Waters's Escape.

This distinguished man, in the Peninsular War, was the most admirable
spy ever attached to an army. He would assume the character of
Spaniards of every degree and station, so as to deceive the most acute.
He gave the most reliable and valuable information to Lord Wellington,
and on one occasion he was entrusted by his Lordship with a very
particular mission, which he undertook effectually to perform, and to
return on a particular day with the information required. Just after
leaving the camp, however, he was taken prisoner, before he had time
to exchange his uniform: a troop of dragoons intercepted him, and
carried him off; and the commanding officers desired two soldiers to
keep a strict watch over him and carry him to head-quarters. He was, of
course, disarmed, and being placed on a horse, was galloped off by his
guards. He slept one night in the kitchen of a small inn; conversation
flowed on very glibly, and as he appeared a stupid Englishman, who
could not understand a word of French or of Spanish, he was allowed
to listen, and thus obtained precisely the intelligence he was in
search of. The following morning, being again mounted, he overheard a
conversation between his guards, who deliberately agreed to rob him,
and shoot him at a mill where they were to stop, and to report to their
officer that they had been compelled to fire at him in consequence of
his attempt to escape.

Shortly before their arrival at the mill, the dragoons took from their
prisoner his watch and his purse, lest they might meet with some one
who would insist on having a portion of the spoil. On reaching the
mill, they dismounted, and to give appearance of truth to their story,
they went into the house, leaving their prisoner outside, in the hope
that he would make some attempt to escape. In an instant, Waters threw
his cloak upon a neighbouring olive-bush, and mounted his cocked hat on
the top. Some empty flour sacks lay upon the ground, and a horse laden
with well-filled flour-sacks stood at the door. Sir John contrived to
enter one of the empty sacks, and throw himself across the horse. When
the soldiers came out of the house, they fired their carbines at the
supposed prisoner, and galloped off.

A short time after, the miller came out, and mounted his steed. Waters
contrived to rid himself of the encumbrance of the sack, and sat up
behind the man, who, suddenly turning round, saw a ghost, as he
believed, for the flour that still remained in the sack had whitened
his fellow-traveller and given him a ghostly appearance. A push sent
the frightened miller to the ground, when away rode Waters with his
sacks of flour, which at length bursting, made a ludicrous spectacle of
man and horse.

On reaching the English camp, where Lord Wellington was anxiously
deploring his fate, a sudden shout from the soldiers made his lordship
turn round, when a figure resembling the statue in _Don Juan_, galloped
up to him. Wellington, affectionately shaking him by the hand, said,
"Waters, you never yet deceived me; and though you have come in a most
questionable shape, I must congratulate you and myself." This is one of
the many capital stories in Captain Gronow's First Series of Anecdotes.

Colonel Mackinnon's Practical Joking.

Colonel Mackinnon, commonly called "Dan," was famous for practical
jokes. Before landing at St. Andero's, with some other officers who had
been on leave in England, he agreed to personate the Duke of York, and
make the Spaniards believe that his Royal Highness was amongst them.
On nearing the shore, a Royal standard was hoisted at the masthead,
and Mackinnon disembarked, wearing the star of his shako on his left
breast, and accompanied by his friends, who agreed to play the part of
_aides-de-camp_ to royalty. The Spanish authorities were soon informed
of the arrival of the Royal Commander-in-Chief of the British army; so
they received Mackinnon with the usual pomp and circumstance. The Mayor
of the place, in honour of the arrival, gave a grand banquet, which
terminated with the appearance of a huge bowl of punch, whereupon Dan,
thinking that the joke had gone far enough, suddenly dived his head
into the china bowl, and threw his heels into the air. The surprise
and indignation of the solemn Spaniards was such that they made a
most intemperate report of the hoax that had been played on them to
Lord Wellington. Dan, however, was ultimately forgiven, after a severe

Another of his freaks was the following:--Lord Wellington was
curious about visiting a convent near Lisbon, and the Abbess made no
difficulty. Mackinnon, hearing this, contrived to get clandestinely
within the walls, and it was generally supposed it was neither his
first nor his second visit. When Lord Wellington arrived, Dan Mackinnon
was to be seen among the nuns, draped in their sacred costume, with his
head and whiskers shaved, and as he possessed good features, he was
declared to be one of the best-looking among those chaste dames. This
adventure is supposed to have been known to Lord Byron, and to have
suggested a similar episode in _Don Juan_, the scene being laid in the
East.--_Captain Gronow._

A Gourmand Physician.

Dr. George Fordyce, the anatomist and chemical lecturer, was accustomed
to dine every day, for more than twenty years, at Dolly's chop-house,
in Queen's Head Passage, Paternoster Row. His researches in comparative
anatomy had led him to conclude that man, through custom, eats oftener
than nature requires, one meal a day being sufficient for that noble
animal, the lion. He made the experiment on himself at his favourite
dining-house, and, finding it successful, he continued the following
regimen for the above term of years.

At four o'clock, his accustomed dinner hour, he entered Dolly's
chop-house, and took his seat at a table always reserved for him,
on which were instantly placed a silver tankard full of strong ale,
a bottle of port-wine, and a measure containing a quarter of a pint
of brandy. The moment the waiter announced him, the cook put a
pound-and-a-half of rump-steak on the gridiron; and on the table some
delicate trifle, as a _bonne bouche_, to serve until the steak was
ready. This delicacy was sometimes half a broiled chicken, sometimes a
plate of fish; when he had eaten this, he took a glass of his brandy,
and then proceeded to devour his steak. We say devour, because he
always ate as rapidly as if eating for a wager. When he had finished
his meat, he took the remainder of his brandy, having, during his
dinner, drunk the tankard of ale, and afterwards the bottle of port.

The Doctor then adjourned to the Chapter Coffee-house, in Paternoster
Row, and stayed while he sipped a glass of brandy and water. It was
then his habit to take another at the London Coffee-house, and a third
at the Oxford, after which he returned to his house in Essex Street, to
give his lecture on chemistry. He made no other meal till his return
next day, at four o'clock, to Dolly's.

Dr. Fordyce's intemperate habits sometimes placed his reputation, as
well as the lives of his patients, in jeopardy. One evening he was
called away from a drinking-bout, to see a lady of title, who was
supposed to have been taken suddenly ill. Arrived at the apartment of
his patient, the Doctor seated himself by her side, and having listened
to the recital of a train of symptoms, which appeared rather anomalous,
he next proceeded to examine the state of her pulse. He tried to reckon
the number of its beats; the more he endeavoured to do this, the more
his brain whirled, and the less was his self-control. Conscious of the
cause of his difficulty and in a moment of irritation, he inadvertently
blurted out, "Drunk, by Jove!" The lady heard the remark, but remained
silent; and the Doctor having prescribed a mild remedy, one which he
invariably took on such occasions, he shortly afterwards departed.

At an early hour next morning he was roused by a somewhat imperative
message from his patient of the previous evening, to attend her
immediately; and he at once concluded that the object of this summons
was either to inveigh against him for the state in which he had
visited her on the former occasion, or perhaps for having administered
too potent a medicine. Ill at ease from these reflections, he entered
the lady's room, fully prepared for a severe reprimand. The patient,
however, began by thanking him for his immediate attention, and then
proceeded to say how much she had been struck by his discernment on the
previous evening; confessed that she was occasionally addicted to the
error which he had detected; and concluded by saying that her object
in sending for him so early was to obtain a promise that he would hold
inviolably secret the condition in which he found her. "You may depend
upon me, madam," replied Dr. Fordyce, with a countenance which had not
altered since the commencement of the patient's story; "I shall be
silent as the grave."

This story has also been told of Abernethy; but to Dr. Fordyce belongs
the paternity.

Dick England, the Gambler.

Towards the close of the last century among the most noted gamblers
and blacklegs in the metropolis was Dick England, one of whose haunts
was the Golden Cross, Charing Cross, where he was accustomed to look
out for raw Irishmen coming to town by the coaches, whom he almost
invariably plucked. His success soon enabled him to keep an elegant
house in St. Alban's Street, where he engaged masters to teach him
accomplishments to fit him for polite life. In 1779 and 1783, he kept
a good table, sported his _vis-à-vis_, and was remarkably choice in
the hackneys he rode, giving eighty or ninety guineas for a horse, a
sum nearly equal to two hundred guineas in the present day. Another
of his haunts was Munday's Coffee-house in Maiden Lane, where he
generally presided at a _table d'hôte_, and by his finesse and
agreeable conversation won him many friends. Being at times the hero of
his own story, he unguardedly exposed some of his own characteristic
traits, which his self-possession generally enabled him to conceal. His
conduct among men of family was, however, generally guarded; and he was
resolute in enforcing payment of the sums he won.

One evening he met a young tradesman at a house in Leicester Fields to
have an hour's play, for which he gave a banker's draft, but requested
to have his revenge in a few more throws, when he soon regained what
he had lost and as much in addition. It now being past three in the
morning, England proposed that they should retire; but the tradesman,
suspecting himself tricked, refused payment of what he had lost.
England then tripped up his heels, rolled him in the carpet, took
a case-knife from the sideboard, flourished it over the young man,
and at last cut off his long hair close to the scalp. Dreading worse
treatment, he gave a cheque for the amount and wished England good

England fought a duel at Cranford Bridge in 1784, with Mr. Le Roule, a
brewer, from Kingston: from him England had won a large sum, for which
a bond had been given, and which, not being paid, led to the duel, in
which Le Roule was killed. England fled to Paris and was outlawed;
it is reported that early in the Revolution he furnished some useful
intelligence to our army in the campaign in Flanders, for which he was
remunerated by the British Cabinet. While in France he was several
times imprisoned, and once ordered to the guillotine, but pardoned
through the exertion and influence of one of the Convention, who also
procured for him a passport for home. After an absence of twelve years,
he was tried for the duel, found guilty of manslaughter, fined one
shilling, and sentenced to one year's imprisonment. Subsequent to his
release he passed the remainder of his life at his house in Leicester
Square, where he lived to the age of eighty. His end was an awful one:
on being called to dinner, he was found lying dead on his sofa.

Brighton Races, Thirty Years Since.

Brighton Races, like most other Brighton amusements, took their rise
from the patronage of George IV. Those of Lewes were of earlier origin
and greater pretension, until the Prince began to run his horses and
lose his money on the Brighton course, which then attracted some of the
best horses and some of the most celebrated sportsmen in the kingdom.
Of the races at this period the following sketch is given by Mr. Thomas
Raikes, in his _Diary_:--

"1836.--Last week died Lord George Germaine, brother to the Duke of
Dorset; they were both in their youth great friends to the late King,
when Prince of Wales, fond of the turf, and, with the late Delme
Radcliffe, the three best gentlemen riders at the once-famed Bibury
Races, which are now replaced by those at Heaton Park. They were all
three little men, light weights, and, when dressed in their jackets
and caps, would rival Buckle and Chiffney. In those days, the Prince
made Brighton and Lewes Races the gayest scene of the year in England.
The Pavilion was full of guests; the Steine was crowded with all
the rank and fashion from London during that week; the best horses
were brought from Newmarket and the North, to run at these races,
on which immense sums were depending; and the course was graced by
the handsomest equipages. The 'legs' and betters, who had arrived in
shoals, used all to assemble on the Steine at an early hour to commence
their operations on the first day, and the buzz was tremendous, till
Lord Foley and Mellish, the two great confederates of that day, would
approach the ring, and then a sudden silence ensued; to await the
opening of their betting-books. They would come on perhaps smiling, but
mysterious, without making any demonstration; at last, Mr. Jerry Cloves
would say, 'Come, Mr. Mellish, will you light the candle, and set us
a-going?' Then, if the master of Buckle would say, 'I'll take three to
one about Sir Solomon,' the whole pack opened, and the air resounded
with every shade of odds and betting. About half-an-hour before the
signal of departure for the hill, the Prince himself would make his
appearance in the crowd--I think I see him now, in a green jacket, a
white hat, and tight nankeen pantaloons, and shoes, distinguished by
his high-bred manner and handsome person; he was generally accompanied
by the late Duke of Bedford, Lord Jersey, Charles Wyndham, Shelley,
Brummel, M. Day, Churchill, and, oh! extraordinary anomaly, the little
old Jew Travis, who, like the dwarf of old, followed in the train of
royalty. The Downs were covered with every species of conveyance,
and the Prince's German wagon (so were barouches called when first
introduced at that time) and six bay horses, the coachman on the
box being replaced by Sir John Lade, issued out of the gates of the
Pavilion, and, gliding up the green ascent, was stationed close to the
great stand, where it remained the centre of attraction for the day. At
dinner-time the Pavilion was resplendent with lights, and a sumptuous
banquet was served to a large party; while those who were not included
in that invitation found a dinner with every luxury at the Club-house
on the Steine, kept by Ragget during the season, for the different
members of White's and Brookes's who chose to frequent it, and where
the cards and dice from St. James's Street were not forgotten. Where
are the actors in all those gay scenes now?"

The period to which this lively sketch refers was from 1800 to 1820.
Soon after this, George the Fourth began to live a more secluded life,
and though his horses ran at Brighton Races, the King never made his
appearance there, and the _meet_ began to decline.

[Illustration: A Hero of the Turf and his Agent.

Colonel Mellish and Buckle the Jockey.]

Colonel Mellish.

The star of the race-course of modern times was the late Colonel
Mellish, certainly the cleverest man of his day, as regards the
science and practice of the turf. No one could match (_i.e._, make
matches) with him, nor could anyone excel him in handicapping horses
in a race. But, indeed, _nihil erat quod non tetigit non ornavit_. He
beat Lord Frederick Bentinck in a foot-race over Newmarket Heath. He
was a clever painter, a fine horseman, a brave soldier, a scientific
farmer, and an exquisite coachman. But--as his friends said of him--not
content with being the _second-best_ man of his day, he would be the
_first_, which was fatal to his fortune and his fame. It, however,
delighted us to see him in public, in the meridian of his almost
unequalled popularity, and the impression he made upon us remains. We
remember even the style of his dress, peculiar for its lightness of
hue--his neat white hat, white trousers, white silk stockings, ay,
and we may add, his white but handsome face. There was nothing black
about him but his hair and his mustachios, which he wore by virtue of
his commission, and which to _him_ were an ornament. The like of his
style of coming on the race-course at Newmarket was never witnessed
there before him nor since. He drove his barouche himself, drawn by
four beautiful _white_ horses, with two outriders on matches to them,
ridden in harness bridles. In his rear was a saddle-horse groom,
leading a thorough-bred hack, and at the rubbing-post on the heath was
another groom--all in crimson liveries--waiting with a second hack.
But we marvel when we think of his establishment. We remember him with
thirty-eight race-horses in training, seventeen coach-horses, twelve
hunters in Leicestershire, four chargers at Brighton, and not a few
hacks! But the worst is yet to come. By his racing speculations he was
a gainer, his judgment pulling him through; but when we heard that he
would play to the extent of 40,000_l._ at a sitting--yes, _he once
staked that sum on a throw_--we were not surprised that the domain of
Blythe passed into other hands; and that the once accomplished owner of
it became the tenant of a premature grave. "The bowl of pleasure," says
Johnson, "is poisoned by reflection on the cost," and here it was drunk
to the dregs. Colonel Mellish ended his days, not in poverty, for he
acquired a competency with his lady, but in a small house within sight
of the mansion that had been the pride of his ancestors and himself.
As, however, the wind is tempered to the shorn lamb, Colonel Mellish
was not without consolation. He never wronged anyone but himself; and,
as an owner of race-horses, and a bettor, his character was without

Doncaster Eccentrics.

Among the visitors to Doncaster race-course are many of the lower
grade, some of whom have contrived to get hanged. Such was the case
some half-century since with Daniel Dawson, who employed himself, or
was employed by others, in poisoning with arsenic the drinking-water
of horses whose success in the future race was not desirable to Daniel
or his patrons. Several steeds perished in this way at the hands of
Daniel, in the north as well as at Newmarket. Ultimately a case from
the latter locality was proved against him, through the treachery of
a confederate, and Daniel suffered for it at Cambridge. Had he been a
martyr in a good cause, he could not have died with more becomingness.
Daniel complained of no one, did not even reproach himself; and
expressed his satisfactory conviction that he "should certainly
ascend to Heaven from the drop." Brutal as his offence was, it seems
ill-measured justice that takes a man's life for that of a beast.

Dawson is beyond our own recollection; but we can remember a more
singular and a much more honest fellow, whose appearance on the
Doncaster course was as confidently looked for, and as ardently
desired, as that of any of the Lords Lieutenant of the various Ridings.
We allude to the once famous Jemmy Hirst, the Rawcliffe tanner, whose
last of about fifty visits to the "Sillinger" and "Coop" contests was
made when he was hard upon ninety years of age. When Jemmy retired
from the tanning business with means to set up as a gentleman, the
first object he purchased was not a carriage, but a coffin, depositing
therein some of the means whereby he kept himself alive, namely, his
provisions. The walls of the room in which this lugubrious sideboard
was erected were hung round with all sorts of rusty agricultural
implements. This lord of a strange household retained a valet and a
female "general servant." His stud consisted of mules, dogs, and a
bull; mounted on which he is said to have hunted with the Badsworth
hounds. His most familiar friends were a tame fox and otter. He
certainly rode the bull when he went out shooting, and was then
accompanied by pigs as pointers. In fair-time Hirst used to take
this bull and a couple of its fellows to be baited, sitting proudly
by himself while his valet went about collecting the "coppers." His
waistcoat was a glossy garment made of the neck feathers of the drake,
from the pocket of which he would issue his own bank-notes, bearing
responsibilities of payment to the amount of "_Five half-pence_."

His carriage was a sort of palanquin, carried aloft by high wheels,
and its peculiarity was that there was not a nail about it. This
vehicle was really better known at Doncaster than the stately carriage
of Lord Fitzwilliam himself. It was the boast of the proud and dirty
gentleman who sat enthroned there, that he had never paid and never
would pay any sort of tax to the King; and how he managed to shoot, as
he did, without paying a licence, was best known to himself. He was
the most popular man on the course, and, unlike very many who began
rich and ended poor, Jemmy increased in wealth year by year. He was
wont to contrast himself with "the Prince's friend," Col. Mellish,
who inherited an immense property, won two Legers in two consecutive
years, 1804-5, and finally died almost a pauper. Jemmy had undoubtedly,
in his view of things, done better than Col. Mellish; but the tanner,
through life, never thought of the welfare but of one human being--that
of James Hirst. He was as selfish as the butcher-churchwarden of
Doncaster, who ruined the grand old tower of the church by placing a
hideous clock face in it, which was so constructed that no one could
see the time by it except from the butcher's own door!

We should hardly render Hirst justice, however, if we omitted to state
how such a great man departed from this earth. The folding-doors of
his old coffin were closed upon him. Eight buxom widows carried his
corpse for a _honorarium_ of half-a-crown each. Jemmy had expressed a
desire to have eight old maids to undertake this service, bequeathing
half-a-guinea to each as hire. But the ladies in question were not
forthcoming. So the widows were engaged in their place; but why the fee
was lowered we cannot tell, unless it was to pay for the bagpipe and
fiddle which headed the procession. All the country round flocked in to
do Jemmy honour or to enjoy the holiday; and for many a year afterwards
might the sorrowing comment be heard on Doncaster Course,--"Nay, lad!
t'Coop-day seems nought-loike wi'out Jemmy!" and the mourners took out
his "Fihawpence notes," and compared their own touching respective
memories of the departed glory of Doncaster.

At the close of Jemmy's career the wonderfully dressed "swell mob" was
busiest if not brightest. The latter was only short-lived. A party of
them really dazzled common folk by the splendour of their turn-out,
both as regarded themselves and their equipage. People took them for
foreign princes, or native nobility returned from foreign climes, and
not yet familiarly known to the public. The impression did not last
long. The well-dressed, finely-curled, highly scented, richly-jewelled
strangers, sauntering among the better known aristocracy, commenced
a series of predatory operations which speedily brought them within
the fastness of the town gaol. No one who saw them there a day or two
later, after seeing them on the course, will ever forget the sight and
the strange contrast. Stripped of their finery, closely cropped, and
clad in coarse flannel dresses, they might be seen seated at a board,
with a hot lump of stony-looking rice before them for a dinner.

Altogether, there was occasionally a very mixed society on and about
the course: among the so-to-speak professional _habitués_, men who
made a business of the pursuit there--who were actors rather than
spectators, and all of whom have disappeared without leaving a
successor in his peculiar line,--we may mention the old Duke of Leeds,
redolent of port; the white-faced Duke of Cleveland, "the Jesuit of the
Ring;" P. W. Ridsale, ex-footman, then millionaire, finally pauper;
blacksmith Richardson, who, shaking his head at "Leeds," would remark
of himself, that sobriety alone had saved him from being hanged; Mr.
Beardsworth, who had been originally a hackney-coachman, then sporting
his crimson liveries; Mr. Crook, who commenced life with a fish-basket;
and the well-known son of the ostler at the Black Swan, in York,
wearing diamond rings and pins, betting his thousands, and looking as
cool the while, as if he not only largely used the waters of Pactolus,
but owned half the gold-dust on its banks.

The two extremes of the official men as regarded rank, were, perhaps,
Lord George Bentinck and Mr. Gully, the ex-pugilist. The former
introduced, at Doncaster, the signal-flag to regulate the "starts,"
and he founded the Bentinck Fund (with the money subscribed for
a testimonial to himself), for the relief of decayed jockeys and
trainers. The two men were equals in one respect, the coolness with
which they either won or lost. They who remember the year when Petre's
Matilda beat Gully's Mameluke, and who witnessed the event and its
results, speak yet with a sort of pride of Gully's conduct. He had lost
immensely; but he was the first man who appeared in the betting-rooms
to pay anyone who had a bet registered against him; and he was the last
man to leave, not retiring till he was satisfied that there did not
remain a single claimant. He paid away a grand total on that occasion
which properly invested, would have set all the poor in Doncaster at
ease for ever.--_Abridged from the Athenæum_, No. 1715.

"Walking Stewart."

Early in the year 1821, London lost one of its famous eccentrics, who
rejoiced in the above distinction, which, it must be admitted, he had
fairly earned. He was one of the lions of the great town, and his
ubiquitous nature was thus ingeniously sketched:--

"Who that ever weathered his way over Westminster Bridge has not seen
_Walking Stewart_ (his invariable cognomen) sitting in the recess on
the brow of the bridge, spencered up to his throat and down to his hips
with a sort of garment, planned, it would seem, to stand _powder_, as
became the habit of a military man; his dingy, dusty inexpressibles
(truly inexpressibles), his boots travel-stained, black up to his
knees--and yet not black neither--but arrant walkers, both of them, or
their complexions belied them; his aged, but strongly-marked, manly,
air-ripened face, steady as truth; and his large, irregular, dusty hat,
that seemed to be of one mind with the boots? We say, who does not
thus remember _Walking Stewart_, sitting, and leaning on his stick, as
though he had never walked in his life, but had taken his seat on the
bridge at his birth, and had grown old in his sedentary habit? To be
sure, this view of him is rather negatived by as strong a remembrance
of him in the same spencer and accompaniments of hair-powder and dust,
resting on a bench in the Park, with as perfectly an eternal air: nor
will the memory let him keep a quiet, constant seat here for ever;
recalling him, as she is wont, in his shuffling, slow perambulation
of the Strand, or Charing Cross, or Cockspur Street. Where really was
he? You saw him on Westminster Bridge, acting his own monument. You
went into the Park--he was there! fixed as the gentleman at Charing
Cross. You met him, however, at Charing Cross, creeping on like the
hour-hand upon a dial, getting rid of his rounds and his time at once!
Indeed, his ubiquity appeared enormous, and yet not so enormous
as the profundity of his sitting habits. He was a profound sitter.
Could the Pythagorean system be entertained, what other would now be
tenanted by _Walking Stewart_? Truly, he seemed always going, like a
lot at an auction, and yet always at a stand, like a hackney-coach!
Oh, what a walk was his to christen a man by! A slow, lazy, scraping,
creeping, gazing pace--a shuffle--a walk in its dotage--a walk at a
stand-still--yet was he a pleasant man to meet. We remember his face
distinctly, and allowing a little for its northern hardness, it was
certainly as wise, as kindly, and as handsome a face as ever crowned
the shoulders of a soldier, a scholar and a gentleman.

"Well! Walking Stewart is dead! He will no more be seen niched in
Westminster Bridge, or keeping his terms as one of the benchers of St.
James's Park, or painting the pavement with moving but uplifted feet.
In vain we looked for him 'at the hour when he was wont to walk.' The
niche in the bridge is empty of its amiable statue, and as he is gone
from this spot he has gone from all, for he was ever all in all! Three
persons seemed departed in him. In him there seems to have been a
triple death!"

We are tempted "to consecrate a passage" to him, as John Buncle
expresses it, from a tiny pamphlet entitled "The Life and Adventures
of the celebrated Walking Stewart, including his travels in the East
Indies, Turkey, Germany, and America," and the author, "a relative,"
has contrived to out-do his subject _in getting over the ground_, for
he manages to close his work at the end of the sixteenth page.

John Stewart, or Walking Stewart, was born of two Scotch parents, in
1749, in London, and was in due time sent to Harrow, and thence to the
Charter House, where he established himself as a dunce--no bad promise
in a boy, we think. He left school and was sent to India, where his
character and energies unfolded themselves, as his biographer tells
us, for his mind was unshackled by education.

He resolved to amass 3,000_l._, and then to return to England. No bad
resolve. To attain this, he quitted the Company's Service and entered
that of Hyder Ally. He now turned soldier, and became a general.
Hyder's generals were easily made and unmade. Stewart behaved well
and bravely, and paid his regiment without drawbacks, which made him
popular. Becoming wounded somehow, and having no great faith in Hyder's
surgeons, he begged leave to join the English for medical advice. Hyder
gave a Polonius kind of admission, quietly determining to cut the
traveller and his journey as short as possible, for his own sake and
that of the invalid. Stewart sniffed the intention of Ally, and taking
an early opportunity of cutting his company before they could cut him,
he popped into a river, literally swam for his life, reached the bank,
ran before his hunters like an antelope, and arrived safely at the
European forts. He got in breathless, and lived. How he was cured of
his wounds is thus told by Colonel Wilks in his _Sketches of the South
of India_:--

"An English gentleman commanded one of the corps, and was most severely
wounded after a desperate resistance; others in the same unhappy
situation met with friends, or persons of the same caste, to procure
for them the rude aid offered by Indian surgery; the Englishman was
destitute of this poor advantage; his wounds were washed with simple
warm water, by an attendant boy, three or four times-a-day; and, under
this novel system of surgery, they recovered with a rapidity not
exceeded under the best hospital treatment."

A writer in the _Quarterly Review_, 1817, appends to the above
quotation the following:--"This English gentleman is the person
distinguished by the name of _Walking Stewart_, who, after the lapse
of half a century, is still alive, and still, we believe, _walking_
daily, in the neighbourhood of the Haymarket and Charing Cross."

Hitherto, Stewart had saved little money. He now entered the Nabob of
Arcot's service, and became prime minister, the memoir does not say how.

At length he took leave of India, and travelled over Persia and Turkey
_on foot_, in search of a name, it should seem, or, as he was wont
to say, "in search of the Polarity, and Moral Truth." After many
adventures he arrived in England: he brought home money, and commenced
his London life in an Armenian dress, to attract attention.

He next visited America, and on his return, "made the tour of Scotland,
Germany, Italy, and France, _on foot_, and ultimately settled in
Paris," where he made friends. He intended to live there; but after
investing his money in French property, he smelt the sulphur cloud of
the Revolution, and retreated as fast as possible, losing considerable
property in his flight. He returned to London, and suddenly and
unexpectedly received 10,000_l._ from the India Company, on the
liquidation of the debts of the Nabob of Arcot. He bought annuities,
and fattened his yearly income. The relative says:--"One of his
annuities was purchased from the County Fire Office at a rate which,
in the end, was proved to have been paid three, and nearly four times
over. The calculation of the assurers was here completely at fault:
every quarter brought Mr. Stewart regularly to the cashier, whom he
accosted with, 'Well, man alive! I am come for my money!'"--which
Stewart enjoyed as a joke.

Mr. Stewart now lived in better style, gave dinners and musical
parties. Every evening a _conversazione_ was given at his house,
enlivened by music; on Sundays he gave select dinner parties, followed
by a philosophical discourse, and a performance of sacred music,
chiefly selected from the works of Handel, and concluding with the
"Dead March in Saul," which was always received by the company as a
signal for their departure.

Stewart was attached to King George IV., and lived peaceably until the
arrival of Queen Caroline, when her deputations and political movements
alarmed the great pedestrian, and awakened his walking propensities,
and his friends had great difficulty to prevent him from going to

Stewart's health declined in 1821; he went to Margate, returned, became
worse, and on Ash Wednesday he died.

To all entreaties from friends that he would write his travels, he
replied, No; that his were travels of the mind. He, however, wrote
essays, and gave lectures on the philosophy of the mind. It is very odd
that men will _not_ tell what they know, and _will_ attempt to talk of
what they do _not_ know.

Youthful Days of the Hon. Grantley Berkeley.[33]

At Cranford, Mr. Grantley Berkeley had the first enjoyments of a boy
let loose into the country with a brother for a companion. "All day,"
he says, "we were together fishing, shooting, setting traps for vermin,
rat hunting,--in short, seeking sport wherever it was attainable."
This, as he suggests, was not exactly the orthodox way of bringing up
a boy as he should go; but he is certain that it laid the foundation
of his after success as a sportsman. Among other incidents of these
days, he broke his collarbone and dislocated his shoulder; and, among
other exercises popular in his time, he became familiar with Cribb,
Figg, and other heroes of the then "ring," and derived from them as
much pugilistic science as they could impart to a young, active, and
enthusiastic pupil. At Cranford, moreover, he enjoyed a little private
bull-baiting, but that was confessedly more on the account of his
brother Augustus, or his brother Augustus's dog, than himself. "Bull,"
which was the name of the latter, was an eager and extempore performer
in this department of the writer's education. At length "Bull" and
Augustus left Grantley, who tells us:--

"As we proceeded along the high road, nearing the spot of our
separation, we were overtaken by a respectable tradesman, as he
appeared, driving his wife towards the neighbouring town in a buggy.
It was Augustus's last chance of inducting us into a row, and not to
be lost; so he made some most insulting remark upon these unoffending
passengers, which so provoked the female, that she unfortunately took
up the _casus belli_, and, with other abuse, called her assailant a
'barber's clerk.' He replied, 'I know I am a barber, and I have shaved
you.' When the man heard this wordy war he joined in it. On this my
brother told him, that 'if it was not for his woman he would pull him
out of his rattletrap and tread on him.' Here was a circumstance that
caused my boyish mind considerable speculation. Hard names and some
swearing seemed not much to insult the man in the buggy; but on hearing
the female at his side called his 'woman,' his wrath knew no bounds.
With the exclamation, 'My woman, you rascal! she is my wife!' he set
to work lashing my brother with his gig whip, commencing a sort of
artillery duel at long practice, not in accordance with the cavalry arm
of my brother, nor with his way of fighting. A charge upon the buggy
was therefore made by him, keeping his right side open for mischief;
and in the obscure darkness I could hear the crown of the hat of the
driver get ten blows for one, for his long weapon was useless at close
quarters. The female, wife or woman, whichever she was, very quickly
saw that the combat was all one way, for with a very much damaged crown
her king crouched down on the cushion at her side; so that she awakened
up the heath with shrieks of 'Murder!' 'Be off, as hard as you can
split,' was then the order to us from the offender. We obeyed, as we
heard the heels of his horse speed on far in advance of the buggy."

[33] From _The Times_ Review of his _Life_, 1865.

To give Mr. Grantley Berkeley fair credit, he condemns the recklessness
of such robust adventures, but he pleads that such was the practice in
the days when he was raised; and to his own advantage, as he admits, he
was summarily recalled to a more quiet regimen by the sudden appearance
of a tutor who required from him other exercises. Nevertheless, his
stories of little private fights with the sons of the Vicar of Berkeley
and one of the keepers, which are very amusing, show that in stable
and backyards he enjoyed consolations, though he declares that this
was done chiefly for the amusement of his brother Henry, who used to
invite him to the stable with the gloves to fight one of the boys above
mentioned, when the battle always ended by his knocking the head of his
opponent into the manger. He says,

"I remember that for months during these, to my brother, amusing
combats my lips were sometimes so cut against my teeth that I could
not eat any salad with vinegar, the acid occasioned so much smarting.
I could lick my antagonist as far as the fight with the gloves was
permitted to go, but in a few days at the word of command the lad was
ready for another licking, so that week after week I had no peace,
and had to lick him again; nor had I resolution enough to withstand
the taunts of being vanquished, if I refused to set to, although my
superior proficiency had been a hundred times asserted. All things
must have an end: every day strengthened my tall and growing limbs,
and every day my power over my antagonist increased, when, for some
ill conduct, he lost his service and these, to him, not very agreeable
encounters. My brother then for a time lost his amusement; 'Othello's
occupation' was gone, for nothing came into service at Cranford that
approached the age of a boy. A new footman was, however, inducted, a
grown man and not a little one, but a cross-grown lout of a fellow;
and, mere boy as I was, we were ordered to the stable, in front of my
brother's usual throne, the corn-bin, and there desired to do battle.
By this time I had got into such habits of pugnacious obedience that if
a bear had been introduced, and I had been told that the beast was to
vanquish me, I should at once have boxed with him. The combat I am now
alluding to was not unlike one of a boy and bear. I stepped back, put
in, and then gave way successfully, for a short time; but at last the
man met me with a half-round blow, and hit me clean down on the rough
stones of the stable. Henry did not seem to care much; but Moreton, who
was present, spoke out loudly against the shame of putting such a boy
to fight with a grown man, and I believe, feeling slightly annoyed at
the way he had overmatched me, our elder brother stopped any further
assault on my part, and suggested that Peter should put the gloves on
with his own servant, a well-built, active little fellow, whom he had
daily thrashed into one of the most expert boxers of his size. Peter,
all agreeable, set to with Shadrach, when the former caught such a
right-hander in the face as sent him as if he had been shot upon the
stable stones. He rose crying, and deprived of all wish for another
blow--my fall very sufficiently avenged. I have often wondered why
I was not cowed by all this brutality, or why I ever took to those
more gentle accomplishments in life that used to get me the name of
'dandy' among some of my rougher compeers. However, time wore on; I
fought through the stable-boys and men-servants, and had sense enough
not to acquire any rudeness of manner, nor dislike to more refined

The author then gives some anecdotes of the persons who visited the
Cranford-bridge Inn at this time, most of them for shooting or hunting;
and such is the penalty which one gentleman still alive must pay for
his presence on one of these occasions that Mr. Berkeley stigmatizes
him as a most dangerous companion to shoot with, as he was nearly
peppering his (Mr. B.'s) legs and those of the Duke of York. Liston
and Dowton, the comedians, used also to come to the Cranford-bridge
Inn, and Mr. Berkeley tells a characteristic story of the latter.
The astonishment of John Varley, the artist, who taught his sisters
drawing, at a man on horseback clearing a fence in his presence,
is depicted with a dash of humour, and it is evident from what Mr.
Berkeley says of Varley in other respects that he must have been well
acquainted with his various eccentricities.

Again we come upon some of his hunting experiences in the neighbourhood
of Cranford, such as those shared with Lord Alvanley, who in answer
to the question, "What sport?" at White's, replied, "Oh, the melon
and asparagus beds were devilish heavy--up to our hocks in glass all
day; and all Berkeley wanted was a landing-net to get his deer out of
the water." It was with G. B. also that the late Sir George Wombwell,
having missed his second horse, spoke to one of the surly cultivators
of that stiff vale thus:--"I say farmer, ---- it, have you seen my
fellow?" The man, with his hands in his breeches' pockets, eyed his
questioner in silence for a minute and then exclaimed, "No, upon my
soul I never did!" Hunting about Harrow became very expensive from
the damage it did to the farmers in that district, and the claims for
compensation which it entailed upon Mr. Berkeley and his friends. The
result of this, he says, at once became evident; a mine of wealth would
soon have been insufficient to cover the cost of a single run over the
Harrow vale, and "reluctantly I saw that if I intended to keep hounds I
must go farther from the metropolis, and seek a wilder scene in which
to hunt a fox instead of a stag, and thus take a higher degree in the
art of hunting." Accordingly, negotiations were entered into for his
becoming the master of hounds to the Oakley Club in Bedfordshire for
1,000_l._ a-year, the club taking all the cost of the earth-stopping
upon themselves and other incidental expenses. The depreciation of
West India property which occurred about this time, and the larger
expenses contingent on taking a country in which to hunt a fox four
days a week, made him resolve to give up his seasons in London and
settle down quietly to a country life, thus avoiding every unnecessary
expenditure. His arrangements, in spite of opposition from some members
of the club, appear to have been satisfactory and eventually popular,
until the sport of his last season was positively brilliant, when in
Yardley Chase alone he found seventeen foxes, and killed fourteen of
them with a run.

What Became of the Seven Dials

Whoever is familiar with the history of St. Giles's will recollect
that Seven Dials is an open area so called because there was formerly
a column in the centre, on the summit of which were (_traditionally_)
seven sun-dials, with a dial facing each of the seven streets which
radiate from thence. They are thus described in Gay's _Trivia_:--

    "Where famed St. Giles's ancient limits spread,
    An in-rail'd column rears its lofty head;
    Here to seven streets seven dials count their day,
    And from each other catch the circling ray;
    Here oft the peasant, with inquiring face,
    Bewilder'd trudges on from place to place;
    He dwells on every sign with stupid gaze--
    Enters the narrow alley's doubtful maze--
    Tries every winding court and street in vain,
    And doubles o'er his weary steps again."

This column was removed in July, 1773, on the supposition that a
considerable sum of money was lodged at the base; but the search was

Several years ago, Mr. Albert Smith, who lived at Chertsey, discovered
in his neighbourhood part of the Seven Dials--the column doing duty as
a monument to a Royal Duchess--when he described the circumstance in
a pleasant paper, entitled "Some News of a famous Old Fellow," in his
_Town and Country Magazine_. The communication is as follows:--

"Let us now quit the noisome mazes of St. Giles's and go out and away
into the pure and leafy country. Seventeen or eighteen miles from town,
in the county of Surrey, is the little village of Weybridge. Formerly
a couple of hours and more were passed pleasantly enough upon a coach
through Kingston, the Moulseys, and Walton, to arrive there, over a
sunny, blowy common of pink heath and golden furze, within earshot,
when the wind was favourable, of the old monastery bell, ringing out
the curfew from Chertsey church. Now the South-Western Railway trains
tear and racket down in forty-five minutes, but do not interfere with
the rural prospects, for their path lies in such a deep cutting, that
the very steam does not intrude upon the landscape.

"One of the 'lions' to be seen at Weybridge is Oatlands, with its
large artificial grotto and bath-room, which is said--but we cannot
comprehend the statement--to have cost the Duke of Newcastle, who
had it built, 40,000_l._ The late Duchess of York died at Oatlands,
and lies in a small vault under Weybridge Church, wherein there is
a monument, by Chantrey, to her memory. She was an excellent lady,
well-loved by all the country people about her, and when she died they
were anxious to put up some sort of tribute to her memory. But the
village was not able to offer a large sum of money for this purpose.
The good folks did their best, but the amount was still very humble,
and so they were obliged to dispense with the services of any eminent
architect, and build up only such a monument as their means could
compass. Somebody told them that there was a column to be sold cheap
in a stone mason's yard, which might answer their purpose. It was
accordingly purchased; a coronet was placed upon its summit; and the
memorial was set up on Weybridge Green, in front of the Ship Inn, at
the junction of the roads leading to Oatlands, to Shepperton Locks, and
to Chertsey. This column turned out to be the original one from Seven

"The stone on which the 'dials' were engraved or fixed, was sold with
it. The poet Gay, however, was wrong when he spoke of its seven faces.
It is hexagonal in its shape; this is accounted for by the fact that
two of the streets opened into one angle. It was not wanted to assist
in forming the monument, but was turned into a stepping-stone, near
the adjoining inn, to assist the infirm in mounting their horses, and
there it now lies, having sunk by degrees into the earth; but its
original form can still be easily surmised. It may be about three feet
in diameter.

"The column itself is about thirty feet high, and two feet in diameter,
displaying no great architectural taste. It is surmounted by a coronet,
and the base is enclosed by a light iron railing. An appropriate
inscription on one side of the base, indicates its erection in the year
1822; on the others, are some lines to the memory of the Duchess.

"Relics undergo strange transpositions. The Obelisk from the mystic
solitudes of the Nile to the centre of the Place de la Concorde in
bustling Paris--the monuments of Nineveh to the regions of Great
Russell Street--the frescoes from the long, dark, and silent Pompeii
to the bright and noisy Naples--all these are odd changes. But in
proportion to their importance, not much behind them is that of the
old column from the crowded, dismal regions of St. Giles to the sunny
tranquil Green of Weybridge."

[Illustration: Curtis the Biographer of Corder. An Old Bailey

An Old Bailey Character.

Some thirty years ago there appeared in the second series of the _Great
Metropolis_[34] a sketch of one Mr. Curtis, an eccentric person who
was to be seen in the New Court in the Old Bailey, as constantly as
the Judge himself. He (Curtis) was known to everybody in and about
the place. For nearly a quarter of a century he had been in constant
attendance at the Old Bailey from the opening to the close of each
session, never being absent with the exception of two occasions,
when attending the county assizes. He wrote short-hand, and was so
passionately fond of reporting that he had taken down for his own
special amusement every case verbatim which came before the New Court;
and such was his horror of the Old Court, that you might as soon expect
to hear the Bishop of London in a Dissenters' chapel as to find Mr.
Curtis in the Old Court. He was notable for early rising: four o'clock
in the morning he considered a late hour. It was an event in his
life to lie in bed till five. By seven he had completed his morning
journeys, which usually embraced a distance--for he was particularly
fond of going over the same ground twice if not thrice in a morning--of
from six to eight miles. Among the places visited, Farringdon Market,
Covent Garden Market, Hungerford Market, and Billingsgate were never
under any circumstances omitted. His own notion was that he had walked
as much within thirty years before seven in the morning as would have
made the circuit of the globe three or four times. He was, perhaps, the
most inveterate pedestrian known; locomotion seemed to be a necessity
of his nature. There was only one exception to this rule--that was,
when he was taking down the trials at the Old Bailey. He considered it
as the greatest favour that could be conferred on him to be asked to
walk ten or twelve miles by an acquaintance. He was very partial to wet
weather, and as fond of a rainy day as if he were a duck. He was never
so comfortable as when thoroughly drenched. Thunder and lightning threw
him into ecstasies; he was known to have luxuriated for some hours on
Dover cliff in one of the most violent thunderstorms ever remembered
in this country. He once walked from the City to Croydon Fair and back
again on three consecutive days of the Fair; making with his locomotive
achievements in Croydon a distance of nearly fifty miles a-day; and
this without any other motive than that of gratifying his pedestrian
propensities. He had a horror of coaches, cabs, omnibuses, and all
sorts of vehicles; and he was not known to have been ever seen in one.
Judging from his partiality to heavy showers of rain, he seemed to be
to a certain extent an amphibious being; and he often declared, with
infinite glee, that he was once thrown into a pond without suffering
any inconvenience. The benefits of air and exercise were manifest
in his cheerful disposition and healthy-looking, though somewhat
weather-beaten countenance: he seemed the happiest little thick-built
man alive.

[34] The popular work of Mr. James Grant.

He not only rose very early, but was also late in going to bed. On an
average, he had not for twenty years slept above four hours in the
twenty-four. He was often weeks without going to bed at all, and it
sufficed him to have two or three hours' doze in his arm-chair, and
with his clothes on. In the year 1834, he performed an unusual feat in
this way: he sat up one hundred consecutive nights and days, without
stretching himself on a bed, or putting himself into an horizontal
position, even for a moment. For one century of consecutive nights, as
Curtis phrased it, he neither put off his clothes to lie down in bed,
nor anywhere else, for a second; all the sleep he had during the time
was an occasional doze in his arm-chair.

Curtis's taste for witnessing executions, and for the society of
persons sentenced to death, was remarkable. He had been present at
every execution in the metropolis and its neighbourhood for the
last quarter of a century. He actually walked before breakfast to
Chelmsford, which is twenty-nine miles from London, to be present at
the execution of Captain Moir. For many years he had not only heard
the condemned sermons preached in Newgate, but spent many hours in the
gloomy cells with the persons who had been executed in London during
that period. He passed much time with Fauntleroy, and was with him a
considerable part of the day previous to his execution. With Corder,
too, of Red Barn notoriety, he contracted a friendship: immediately on
the discovery of the murder of Maria Martin, he hastened to the scene,
and remained there till Corder's execution. He afterwards wrote the
_Memoirs of Corder_, which were published by Alderman Kelly, Lord
Mayor, in 1837-8: the work had portraits of Corder and Maria Martin,
and of Curtis, and nothing pleased him better than to be called the
biographer of Corder.

By some unaccountable fatality, Curtis, where he was unknown, often had
the mortification of being mistaken under very awkward circumstances
for other persons. At Dover he was once locked up all night on
suspicion of being a spy. When he went to Chelmsford to be present
at Captain Moir's execution, he engaged a bed at the Three Cups inn;
on returning thither in the evening the servants rushed out of his
sight, or stared suspiciously at him, he knew not why, till at length
the landlady, keeping some yards distant from him, said in tremulous
accents, "We cannot give you a bed here; when I promised you one, I did
not know the house was full." "Ma'am," replied Curtis, indignantly,
"I have taken my bed, and I insist on having it." "I am very sorry
for it, but you cannot sleep here to-night," was the reply. "I _will_
sleep here to-night; I've engaged my bed, and refuse me at your peril,"
reiterated Curtis. The landlady then offered him the price of a bed
in another place, to which Curtis replied, resenting the affront,
"No, ma'am; I insist upon my rights as a _public_ man; I have a duty
to perform to-morrow." "It's all true. He says he's a public man, and
that he has a duty to perform," were words which every person in the
room exchanged in suppressed whispers with each other. The waiter now
stepped up to Mr. Curtis, and taking him aside, said--"The reason why
Mistress will not give you a bed is because you're the executioner."
Curtis was astounded, but in a few moments laughed heartily at the
mistake. "I'll soon convince you of your error, ma'am," said Curtis,
walking out of the house. He returned in a few minutes with a gentleman
of the place, who having testified to his identity being different from
that supposed, the landlady apologized for the mistake, and, as some
reparation, gave him the best bed in the inn.


However, a still more awkward mistake occurred. After passing night
after night with Corder in prison, Curtis accompanied him to his trial,
and stood up close behind him at the bar. An artist had been sent from
Ipswich to sketch a portrait of Corder for one of the newspapers of
that town; but the sketcher mistook Curtis for Corder, and in the next
number of the journal Mr. Curtis figured at full length as the murderer
of Maria Martin! He bore the mistake with good humour, and regarded
this as one of the most amusing incidents of his life.

Amidst these harmless eccentricities, Mr. Curtis effected much good
amongst prisoners under sentence of death. "I speak within bounds,"
says the author of the _Great Metropolis_, "when I mention that he
has from first to last spent more than a hundred nights with unhappy
prisoners under sentence of death, conversing with them with all
seriousness and with much intelligence on the great concerns of that
eternal world on whose brink they were standing. I saw a long and
sensible letter which the unhappy man named Pegsworth, who was executed
in March, 1837, for the crime of murder, addressed a few days before
his death to Mr. Curtis, and in which he most heartily thanked Mr. C.
for all the religious instructions and admonitions he had given him;
adding, that he believed he had derived great spiritual benefit from

Bone and Shell Exhibition.

It is curious to note with what odd results of patient labour our
forefathers were amused to the top of their bent. They were Curiosities
in the strictest sense of the term; but as to the information conveyed
by their exhibition, it was generally a _lucus à non lucendo_.

In Suffolk Street, Cockspur Street, an ingenious Mrs. Dards got up a
display of this kind, consisting of an immense collection of artificial
flowers, made entirely by herself with fish-bones, the incessant labour
of many years, of which she said to Mr. J. T. Smith:--"No one can
imagine the trouble I had in collecting the bones for that bunch of
lilies of the valley. Each cup consists of the bones which contain the
brains of the turbot; and from the difficulty of matching the sizes,
I never should have completed my task had it not been for the kindness
of the proprietors of the London, Freemasons', and Crown and Anchor
taverns, who desired their waiters to save the fish-bones for me."

This ingenious person distributed a card embellished with flowers
and insects, upon which was engraven an advertisement, stating the
exhibition to be the labour of thirty years, and to contain "a great
variety of beautiful objects equal to nature." Likewise enabled to
gratify them.

    "With bones, scales, and eyes, from the prawn to the porpoise,
    Fruit, flies, birds, and flowers, oh, strange metamorphose!"

"Quid Rides?"

"People," says Mr. De Morgan, "are apt to believe that a smart saying
or a ready retort are not a real occurrence; it was made up: it is too
good to be true, &c." Perhaps there is no story which would be held
more intrinsically deniable than that of the tobacconist who adopted
_Quid rides?_ for his motto on his carriage.

A friend, whose years, it will be seen, are many, has given me the
following note:--

"Jacob Brandon was a tobacco-broker in the last century, a remarkable
man in his way, supposed to be rich, a good companion, and extravagant
in his expenses. Before the year 1800, I saw a chariot in Cheapside
with a coat-of-arms, or rather a shield bearing a hand (sample) of
tobacco and a motto, _Quid rides?_ It was an old carriage, and at the
time belonged to a job-master, so the driver told a person who was
curious to know what the arms meant. It was this man's curiosity that
caused my noticing the arms. Mentioning the circumstance in my father's
presence, he said it was Brandon's old carriage. He had become gouty,
and could not walk; he bought the carriage, had it newly painted, and
was asked for his arms. This required consideration. Some thought
Brandon was a Jew, or of Jewish extraction. Be this as it may, he
loved a joke, and cared little for armorial bearings. He was telling
a party in Lloyd's Coffee-house about his new carriage, and that he
had determined to have a symbol of his profession on it, but that
he wanted a motto. A well-known member of Lloyd's, a wit, and, as I
afterwards found out, a curious reader, suggested _Quid rides?_ which
was forthwith adopted. This was Harry Calendon. I knew him well; he
died within the present century. I have found that some of his witty
stories about living persons were taken from old books. My father knew
Brandon well, and employed him. Now, as to _Quid rides?_ being proposed
by some Irish wit as a motto for Lundy Foot, of Dublin, famous for a
particular snuff, I have heard something of the history and habits of
Lundy Foot; he had no carriage with arms on it. His snuff is still sold
with its distinguishing wrapper and stamp, but no _Quid rides?_--which
would certainly have been perpetuated if it had ever been adopted by
the manufacturer of the snuff."

"Bolton Trotters."

This was the cognomen given to the muslin-weavers of Bolton in the days
of their prosperity. The trade was that of a gentleman. They brought
home their work in top-boots and ruffled shirts, carried a cane, and
in some instances took a coach. Many weavers at that time used to walk
about the street with a five-pound Bank of England note spread out
under their hatbands; they would smoke none but long "churchwarden"
pipes, and objected to the intrusion of any other handicraftsmen into
the particular rooms in the public-houses which they frequented.

The "Bolton Trotters" were much addicted to practical joking, of
which Mr. French, in his _Life of Samuel Crompton_, narrates this
story:--"One of the craft visiting Bolton on a market-day, having
delivered his work at the manufacturing warehouse, and obtained
materials for his succeeding work, placed them carefully in one end
of his blue linen wallet, and filled the other end with articles of
clothing and provisions, upon which he had expended his recently
received wages. He had, however, reserved a portion for his accustomed
potation upon such occasions; and that he might enjoy this solace of
his labour in comfort and safety, he left his wallet at the warehouse
before visiting his favourite tavern. The good ale did its office, and
when elevated to just the proper pitch for _trotting_, he met a brother
of the loom, who, like himself, had transacted his day's business,
and was now ready to trudge home with his wallet on his shoulder. The
two weavers mingled with a little crowd gathered together to hear the
strains of the Bolton volunteer band performing near the Swan Hotel.
He who had left his wallet at the warehouse was not, however, too much
engrossed by the martial music to neglect the tempting opportunity
to trot his quondam friend, with whom he stood shoulder to shoulder,
though each looked in a different direction. Provided with a needle
and stout thread, and being the shorter man of the two, he had no
difficulty in sewing the edge of his neighbour's well-filled wallet to
the lapel of his own velveteen jacket, and then, during a momentary
movement in the crowd, adroitly hitched it from his neighbour's to
his own shoulder. An immediate and clamorous charge of robbery was
made, and met by an indignant denial from the trotter, who coolly
remonstrated with the loser on his culpable want of ordinary care,
pointing out, at the same time, at the means he had taken to secure his
own wallet, which no one, he said, could steal from him. This evidence
was unanswerable, particularly as it was supported by many of the
bystanders who had seen the whole transaction, and joined heartily in
the laugh at the weaver who had been so effectually _trotted_ for their
amusement. A reconciliation was effected through the ordinary means on
these occasions, of an adjournment to the alehouse."

[Illustration: Lord Coleraine keeping an Apple-Stall.

John Thomas Smith sketching the Scene.]

Eccentric Lord Coleraine.

J. T. Smith, in his _Life of Nollekens_, has left these sensible
remarks upon a class of persons whose lives present many instances
of right feeling and upright conduct, although mixed up with less
estimable qualities. "I believe," says Mr. Smith, "every age produces
at least one eccentric in every city, town, and village. Be this as it
may, go where you will, you will find some half-witted fellow, under
the nickname either of Dolly, Silly Billy, or Foolish Sam, who is
generally the butt and sport of his neighbours, and from whom, simple
as he may sometimes be, a sensible answer is expected to an unthinking
question: like the common children, who will, to our annoyance, inquire
of our neighbour's parrot what it is o'clock. In some such light
Nollekens was often held by his brother artists; and I once heard
Fuseli cry out, when on the opposite side of the street: 'Nollekens,
Nollekens, why do you walk in the sun? If you have no love for your few
brains, you should not melt your coat buttons!'"[35]

[35] Fuseli had one day sharply criticised the work of a brother
R.A., whom he sought to alleviate by remarking that the conceited
scene-painter, Mr. Capon, to whom Sheridan had given the nickname of
"Pompous Billy," had piled up his lumps of rock as regularly on the
side scene, as a baker would his quartern-loaves upon the shelves
behind his counter to _cool_.

The eccentric character is, likewise, sure to be found in London,
where there are several curious varieties of this class of persons to
be met with. In our walks, perchance, we may meet a man who always
casts his eye towards the ground, as if he were ashamed of looking any
one in the face; and who pretends, when accosted, to be near-sighted,
so that he does not know even the friend that had served him. This
short-sightedness is very common. Indeed, he draws his hat across his
forehead to act as an eye-shade, so that his sallow visage cannot
be immediately recognised, which makes him look as if he had done
something wrong; whilst his coat is according to the true Addison cut,
with square pockets large enough to carry the folio _Ship of Fools_.
No man was more gazed at than Lord Coleraine, who lived near the New
Queen's Head and Artichoke, in Marylebone Fields, and who never met
Nollekens without saluting him. "Well, Nollekens, my old boy, how goes
it? You never sent me the bust of the Prince." To which Nollekens
replied: "You know you said you would call for it one of these
days, and give me the money, and take it away in a hackney-coach."
"I remember," says J. T. Smith, "seeing his lordship, after he had
purchased a book entitled the _American Buccaneers_, sit down close
to the shop from which he had bought it, in the open street, in St.
Giles's, to read it. I also once heard Lord Coleraine, as I was passing
the wall at the end of the Portland Road, where an old apple-woman,
with whom his lordship held frequent conversations, was packing up her
fruit, ask her the following question: 'What are you about, mother?'
'Why, my lord, I am going home to my tea; if your lordship wants any
information I shall come again presently.' 'Oh! don't balk trade. Leave
your things on the table as they are: I will mind your shop till you
come back;' so saying, he seated himself in the old woman's wooden
chair, in which he had often sat before whilst chatting with her.
Being determined to witness the result, after strolling about till the
return of the old lady, I heard his lordship declare the amount of his
receipts by saying: 'Well, mother, I have taken threepence-halfpenny
for you. Did your daughter Nancy drink tea with you?'"

Eccentric Travellers.

Curious stories are told of tourists being so fascinated by certain
incidents in their travels as to be diverted from their purposes by
finding themselves so comfortable as to wish to proceed no further--a
lesson of content which is rarely lost on sensible persons.

It is told of an English gentleman, who started on a tour in 1815, the
year of the battle of Waterloo, that he landed at Ostend, with the
design of pushing on to Brussels, and took his place in the canal-boat
that plied between Brussels and Ghent. The traveller went abroad,
not merely to see foreign lands, but with the hope of meeting with
illustrious personages and distinguished characters. Finding, however,
that on board the _trekschuit_ he not only fell in with many persons
worth meeting, but had the opportunity of sitting down with them at the
_table-d'hôte_, he thought he could not do better, and went backwards
and forwards, never getting farther than Ghent.

Mr. Thackeray, in his _Vanity Fair_, gives this somewhat different
version of the story:--"The famous regiment ... was drafted in
canal-boats to Bruges, thence to march to Brussels. Jos. accompanied
the ladies in the public boats; the which all old travellers in
Flanders must remember for the luxury and accommodation they afforded.
So prodigiously good was the eating and drinking on board these
sluggish but most comfortable vessels, that there are legends extant of
an English traveller, who, coming to Belgium for a week, and travelling
in one of these boats, was so delighted with the fare there, that he
went backwards and forwards from Ghent to Bruges perpetually, until the
railroads were introduced, when he drowned himself on the last trip of
the passage-boat." Possibly the catastrophe is an embellishment.

To these ana, Mr. Sala has added the story of the Englishman, who is
_said_ to have made a bet that Van Amburgh, the lion-tamer, would be
eaten by his voracious pupils within a given time; and who followed him
about the continents of Europe and America in the hope of seeing him at
last devoured, and so winning his stakes. Eugène Sue introduces this
mythical Englishman among the _dramatis personæ_ of the _Wandering Jew_.

The Russians, also, have a story of an eccentric traveller--of course,
an Englishman--who posted overland, and in the depth of winter, to
St. Petersburgh, merely to see the famous wrought-iron gates of the
Summer Garden. He is said to have died of grief at finding the gates
superior to those at the entrance to his own park at home. Add to this
the lying traveller, who boasted that he had been everywhere, and who,
being asked how he liked Persia, replied that he scarcely knew, as _he
had only stayed there a day_. Note, likewise, among eccentricities, the
nobleman of whom it was inquired, at dinner, what he thought of Athens
during an Oriental tour. He turned to his body-servant, waiting behind
his chair, and said, "_John, what did I think of Athens?_"

In May, 1865, died Charles Waterton, "the gentle and gifted squire" of
Walton Hall, in Yorkshire, in his eighty-second year. Of this gentleman
one of the most eccentric incidents in modern travel is related to
have occurred in his wanderings in South America. His attendant Indian
had made an instrument to take a cayman, or alligator, of Guiana,
on the banks of the Essequibo river. It was very simple; there were
four pieces of tough, hard wood, a foot long, and about as thick as
your little finger; they were tied round the ends of a rope in such a
manner that if you conceive the rope to be an arrow, these four sticks
would form the arrow's head; or that one end of the four united sticks
answered to the point of the arrow's head, while the other end of the
sticks expanded at equal distances round the rope. Now, it is evident
that if the cayman swallowed this, the other end of the rope (which was
thirty yards long) being fastened to a tree, the more he pulled the
faster the barbs would stick into his stomach. The hook was well baited
with flesh, and entrails twisted round the rope for about a foot above
it. Into the steep sand-banks of the river the Indian pricked a stick,
and at its extremity was fixed the machine which hung suspended about a
foot from the water. Mr. Waterton and his companions then went back to
their hammocks for the night.

Next morning was found a cayman ten feet and a half long, fast to
the end of the rope. The next point was to get him out of the water
without injuring his scales. After revolving many projects, Mr.
Waterton had his canoe brought round; he then took out the mast, eight
feet long, and as thick as his wrist, and wrapped the sail round the
end of it; he then sunk down on one knee, about four yards from the
water's edge, backed by his seven attendants, and pulled the cayman to
the surface; he plunged furiously, and immediately went below again
on their slackening the rope; they pulled again, and out he came. "By
the time," says Mr. Waterton, "the cayman was within ten yards of me,
I saw he was in a state of fear and perturbation; I instantly dropped
the mast, sprung up, and jumped on his back, turning half round as I
vaulted, so that I gained my seat with my face in a right position. I
immediately seized his fore-legs, and, by main force, twisted them on
his back; thus they served me for a bridle." He now plunged furiously,
and lashed the sand with his tail. The people stoutly dragged him and
the traveller about forty yards on the sand. After repeated attempts to
regain his liberty, the cayman gave in, exhausted. Mr. Waterton then
tied up his jaws, and secured his fore-feet in the position he had
held them; there was still another struggle; while some of the people
pressed upon his head and shoulders, Mr. Waterton threw himself upon
his tail, keeping it down to the ground; and having conveyed the cayman
away, his throat was cut, and dissection commenced.

This account of "catching a crocodile" was at first regarded as a
"downright falsehood." Pliny, in his _Natural History_, however,
describes a race of men who swam after the crocodile of the Nile, "and
mounted on his back, like horsemen, as he opens his jaws to bite, with
his head turned up, they thrust a club in his mouth, and holding the
ends of it, one in the right hand and the other in the left, they bring
him to shore, as if captive with bridles." In a rare book of plates
of field sports one represents, probably from this account of Pliny,
some men riding on crocodiles, and bringing them to land by means of a
pole across their mouths, whilst others are killing them with large
clubs. Beneath is inscribed in Latin: "Tentyra, an island of the Nile,
in Egypt, is inhabited by an intrepid people, who climb the crocodile's
back, and, bridling his mouth with a staff, force him out of the river,
and slay him."

Dr. Pococke describes a method of taking the crocodile in Egypt still
more like that of South America. He says: "They make some animal cry
at a distance from the river, and when the crocodile comes out, they
thrust a spear into his body, to which a rope is tied; they let him go
into the water to spend himself, and afterwards, drawing him out, run a
pole into his mouth, and, jumping on his back, tie his jaws together."
To return to the Squire of Walton Hall.

Waterton is thus characterised by a personal friend:--He was one of
those men whose life, reaching back and retaining many characteristics
of the past, contrasted the present sameness with a manner of life much
more varied, but now almost forgotten. Rising always at three in the
morning, he gave an hour, as he said, "to the health and preservation
of the soul," and was then ready for the occupations and pursuits of
the day. His conversation and manners had that charm which comes of
ancestry, of ancient riches, and a polished education enlivened by a
sparkling wit.

In attachment to his religion he was as zealous as his great ancestor,
Sir Thomas More, whose clock, from the house at Chelsea, still tells
the hours at Walton Hall. His undoubting faith, and the consolations it
afforded him, might, indeed, be envied by some of those who worship at
other altars.

His hospitality was kind and generous: a stewed carp from the lake
carried you back to the good old times, and furnished a dish not soon
to be forgotten.

To those who knew him well there was something remarkably genial in
the society of the good old squire, and his manner of receiving and
bidding them adieu will be long remembered by his friends.

Mr. Thackeray, in _The Newcomes_, relates of Mr. Waterton this
interesting trait:--"A friend who belongs to the old religion took me,
last week, into a church where the Virgin lately appeared in person
to a Jewish gentleman, flashed down upon him from heaven in light and
splendour celestial, and, of course, straightway converted him. My
friend bade me look at the picture, and kneeling down beside me, I
know, prayed with all his honest heart that the truth might shine down
upon me too; but I saw no glimpse of heaven at all, I saw but a poor
picture, an altar with blinking candles, a church hung with tawdry
strips of red and white calico. The good, kind W. went away, humbly
saying, 'That such might have happened again if Heaven so willed it.' I
could not but feel a kindness and admiration for the good man. I know
that his works are made to square with his faith, that he dines on a
crust, lives as chastely as a hermit, and gives his all to the poor."

Elegy on a Geologist.

Archbishop Whately, one day, with genial humour, wrote a supposed
"Elegy on Dr. Buckland," of which the following is a portion:--

    "Where shall we our great Professor inter,
      That in peace may rest his bones?
    If we hew him a rocky sepulchre
      He'll rise and brake the stones,
    And examine each stratum that lies around,
    For he's quite in his element underground.

    If with mattock and spade his body we lay
      In the common alluvial soil,
    He'll start up and snatch these tools away
      Of his own geological toil;
    In a stratum so young the Professor disdains
    That embedded should lie his organic remains.

    Then exposed to the drip of some case-hardening spring
      His carcase let stalactite cover,
    And to Oxford the petrified sage let us bring
      When he is encrusted all over;
    There, 'mid mammoths and crocodiles, high on a shelf,
    Let him stand as a monument raised to himself."



Gilray and his Caricatures

The name of James Gilray stands pre-eminent in the annals of graphic
satire. In his hands, caricature became an art, and one that exercised
no unimportant influence on the kingdom of Great Britain. Previous to
this time, there is little challenging admiration in his department of
art. The satire for the most part was brutal where it had point, and
clumsy even in invention and execution.

Hogarth, Gay, Fielding, Pope, Swift, and Arbuthnot all aided the
progress of satire. France was satirized by Hogarth as a lean
personage, all frill and wristbands, with no shirt, dieting constantly
on frogs, and wearing wooden shoes. If to this we add Goldsmith's
hatred of the French, because they were slaves and wore wooden shoes,
we have the amount of the materials lying ready for the caricaturists'
use. The hatred towards our Scotch brethren, so strongly manifested
under the Bute administration, supplied the caricaturists with
hackneyed and profitless jokes. The satirical points of the wits
and humorists we have just named, and a few obscure caricaturists,
were selected, arranged, and adapted by the genius of Gilray to
illustrate, by the etching-needle, a series of political events, as
important as those of any country of modern times; and in Gilray's
works is preserved a pictorial record of the History of England during
the greater part of the reign of George III. An artist to excel in
caricature must possess abilities of a superior order, not only as a
designer and an etcher, but must have a deep knowledge of life, and
be conversant with the progress of public business; he must be a good
and a ready reasoner upon nearly all questions; his love of truth and
justice should enable him to detect the fallacies of argument, and
the injustice consequent upon false or injudicious public acts. A
keen sense of the ridiculous should direct his pencil; and then, by
a few touches, the true caricaturist, in the most striking manner,
mercilessly exposes the follies and the consequences of such acts. In
Gilray, of all men before him, was found the union of these requisites.

Of Gilray's early life little is known: it is supposed that he was born
at Chelsea, in 1757. Mr. Smith, late of Lisle Street, the well-known
connoisseur in prints, himself a collector of Gilray's works, states
that Gilray was first placed with Ashby, the writing-engraver, who
resided at the bottom of Holborn Hill, and afterwards was either a
pupil or an assistant with the celebrated Francis Bartolozzi, which
is doubtless founded on truth; as the mastery of the etching-needle,
occasional use of the graver, the mysteries of biting, re-biting,
and other practical points of engraving so completely possessed by
Gilray, could hardly have been attained elsewhere than in the studio
of an experienced engraver. An active imagination, an acute sense of
the ridiculous points of character, or of personal appearance, and a
facility of drawing and etching, would in most cases disqualify any
student for the quiet and laborious profession of a line-engraver. That
Gilray should have abandoned the higher branches of engraving cannot
excite either wonder or regret, as, in all probability, the rank of a
merely tolerable line-engraver was exchanged for the highest position
that can be awarded to the caricaturist; whose works, eagerly expected
by the sovereign down to the poorest labourer, invigorated the national
feeling against a powerful enemy, hourly watching an opportunity to
light up rebellion in the kingdom, with a determination to invade and
subjugate Old England.

Gilray made his first appearance as a caricaturist about 1782. Before
his time, it was usual for these satires to be published anonymously;
and it is very likely that Gilray might have thus published a few
caricatures before he openly set up as a caricaturist by profession,
and boldly put his name to his productions. The dispute between the
two admirals, Keppel and Sir Hugh Palliser, caused a great public
sensation. Keppel was tried by a court martial, and acquitted; and
Palliser retired from the service. The caricaturist took up the needles
and etched a naval pair of breeches and legs, writing underneath,
"Who's in Fault? Nobody?" but a head appears over the waistband--and
that is Sir Hugh Palliser's; _he_ was the _nobody_ in fault. A
comparison of this print with others of Gilray's will convince anyone
acquainted with the details of etching that it is Gilray's. It bears
the date of 1779. His first acknowledged production is dated 1782.
Having opened his battery of fun, he kept up a continued fire upon
his political victims until 1811, when an aberration of mind rendered
powerless the mighty hand which had "done the state some service."
Gilray was fortunate in meeting with Miss Humphrey, the printseller,
in St. James's Street; for, in his insane periods, she proved a most
kind and attached friend. He lived in her house, and mainly supported
her trade by the sale of his caricatures. It is said that both parties
had once resolved on matrimony, and were actually walking to church
to become man and wife; when, in the course of the walk, they both
reflected upon the approaching state of bondage, and mutually agreeing
not to sacrifice their liberty by so rash an act as marriage, walked
home again!

In the house of Miss Humphrey, Gilray found ample employment, an
excellent spot for marking down his game; here he heard all the news
and gossip of the day over a friendly table. Her shop being No. 29, St.
James's Street (and afterwards in the occupation of a printseller),
was of all others the best situated for Gilray's purpose, as his
victims were unconsciously walking daily to and fro before the shop.
Behind the window was Gilray, pencil in hand, taking off the heads
of the ministers and of the opposition. In this way he became so
familiarised with their features, that he could drolly exaggerate,
almost out of all humanity, the nose and lank figure of "Billy Pitt,
the heaven-born minister," and yet preserve so much likeness, that the
portrait was immediately recognised. Loutherburg, the eminent artist
and scene-painter, went to Valenciennes, after the seige in 1793, to
sketch the military works. He was accompanied by Gilray, who sketched
the officers. On their return, they were introduced to the king.
George III. did not comprehend the slight sketches made by Gilray;
and, remarking that he did not understand "the caricatures," sadly
offended Gilray, who had intended them as veritable portraits, and
had not the least idea of being "funny." Disappointed with the royal
criticism, he went home, and the next day caricatured his Majesty,
examining a miniature of Oliver Cromwell, by means of _candle-ends_ and
_save-alls_. He showed it to his friends, and said: "I wonder whether
the _royal_ connoisseur will _understand this_?"

The severity and fearful amount of ridicule at Gilray's command,
exposed him to threats of personal chastisement, and sometimes to
the probability of a prosecution. Fox was more than once disposed to
prosecute the artist, or the publishers--and not without reason; for in
some of his portraits he was the incarnation of diabolical sensuality.
Burke always figured as a half-starved Jesuit; and Sheridan, himself
a satirist, could scarcely stand the attacks of the caricaturist on
his red nose and portly person. However, they wisely foresaw that a
prosecution would be an excellent advertisement for the offensive
prints; so the senators sat down, and gratified themselves with
enjoying a hearty laugh at each other. George III. was more than once
severely attacked by Gilray; but he bore it with great good humour.

The facile invention, extraordinary humour, and rapid execution of
Gilray's works were marvellous. Some of his subjects are full of
figures, carefully drawn, although exaggerated. A complete collection
of his works amounts to no less than fifteen hundred! An over-taxed
imagination, constantly on the rack, watching opportunities, and the
rapidity with which the design, the etching, finishing, printing, and
publishing of the prints required to be executed, told fearfully upon
his mind. His mental powers failed, and the mirth-inspiring son of
genius became dead to the world. Some lucid intervals occurred, in one
of which he etched the well-known plate of the "Barber's Shop," after
Bunbury. Poor Gilray was deprived of his reason in the year 1811, from
which time, until his death in 1815, he was the wretched occupant of a
garret in Miss Humphrey's house. Here, at the barred windows, he was
sometimes seen by that esteemed artist, Kenny Meadows, who contemplated
the mad artist with horror. Miss Humphrey entirely supported Gilray
until death claimed what disease had left of the great satirist. He
threw himself out of an up-stairs window, and died of the injuries
he received, on the 1st of June, 1815. He was buried at St. James's
Church, Piccadilly, where a tablet is erected to his memory.

From Mr. Wright's curious and interesting _England under the House
of Hanover_, illustrated by caricatures and satires, we gather that
the favourite subjects to the artists of fun were the sans-culotte
extravagancies of the French Revolutionists; and at home the coalition
of North and Fox, the fiscal devices of Minister Pitt, the impeachment
of Warren Hastings, and the "Alarmists." It was the popular belief
that Hastings had bribed the Court of St. James's with presents of
diamonds of large size, and in great profusion, to shelter his Indian
delinquencies. Caricatures on this subject were to be seen in every
print shop. In one of these Hastings is represented as wheeling away
in a barrow the King, with his crown and sceptre, observing, "What
a man buys he may sell!" and in another, the King is represented on
his knees, with his mouth wide open. A common representation of the
King and the Queen was as "Farmer George and his wife;" his Majesty's
familiarity of manner, general somnolency, Weymouth displays, and his
prying into cottage domesticities--to wit, the memory of the seamless
apple-dumpling,--afforded unfailing hits for Peter Pindar, Sayer, and
Gilray. The dissipation of the Prince of Wales suggested his portrayal
as "The Prodigal Son," the Prince's Feathers in the mire, and the
inscription on his garter reduced to the word "honi." In one print a
Brighton party is represented, "The Jovial Crew, or Merry Beggars:"
among the Prince's guests are Mrs. Fitzherbert, Fox, Sheridan, Lord
North, and Captain Morris--"Jolly companions every one."

A scarce print of Gilray's commemorates a grand installation of knights
at Westminster Abbey, May 19th, 1788, and is called "The Installation
Supper," given at the Pantheon, in Oxford Road. It portrays the chief
notorieties of the day, in separate groups, simulating over the bottle
an obliviousness of political jealousies: Pitt and Fox hobnobbing
behind the gruff Chancellor Thurlow; Lord Shelburn is shaking hands
jesuitically with Lord Sydney; Lord Derby is hand-in-glove with Lady
Mount Edgecumbe, an antiquated _blue_, who still dreams of conquest;
the Prince is besieged by Lady Archer (of gambling notoriety) on one
side, and Lady Cecilia Johnson on the other: while Mr. Fitzherbert is
in amiable confab with the ex-patriot, Johnny Wilkes:--

        "Johnny Wilkes, Johnny Wilkes,
        Thou greatest of bilks,
    How changed are the notes you now sing;
        Your famed Forty-five
        Is Prerogative,
    And your blasphemy, 'God save the King.'"

Edmund Burke always appears with long-pointed nose and spectacles. In
one large print by Gilray, he is discharging a blunderbuss at Hastings,
who is defending himself with the "shield of honour." The thin, meagre
figure of Pitt, "with his d--d iron face," was fruitful for jest as
that of his fat, slovenly opponent, Fox. An equivocal phrase of the
Prime Minister gave rise to Gilray's caricature of "The Bottomless
Pitt;" or it may have been the financial profundity of the Minister, or
the wit of his celebrated housekeeper niece:--

    "William Pitt, 'tis known by many people,
    Was thin as a lath, and tall as a steeple;
    And so spare his behind, he was called (with some wit),
    By famed Lady Hester, 'the bottomless pit.'"

Gilray, often as he struck at a minister or satirized a courtier, he
yet more often returned to the battle which he loved to wage--that
against Bonaparte. With him the Corsican was a murderer, a fanatic,
a tyrant; an invader with death's head and dripping sword; a ghoul
who loved to feast on human flesh; an incarnate fiend, a demon.
Single-handed, Gilray fed and nursed the flame of hatred which burnt so
steadily and so long in these islands against that potentate, whether
as general, first consul, or emperor. Napoleon himself perceived
it, and complained of it. His empress and generals came in for a
share of Gilray's pictorial wrath. Ministers, who at the time of the
trial of Peltier were not unwilling to conciliate the master of a
hundred legions, in vain attempted to stop Gilray. The shop-windows
still displayed the bright colours of the newest print, wherein, as
incendiary or demon, the chief person was still Napoleon Bonaparte.
If, according to the _dictum_ of the latter, one newspaper editor were
worse than five _corps d'armée_ acting against him, surely Gilray, with
his enormous effect on the British mind, then hardly swayed or taught
by leading articles, was worse than five editors. And if we of the
volunteer corps wish to realise the intense hatred, the indignation,
the burning passion with which most of our fathers regarded the first
Napoleon, we have only to turn over some old caricatures. How the old
times rise before us, summoned by the tricksy Ariel of art, as we look
over them.--_See a clever paper in the London Review._

One of Gilray's late prints was Dr. Burgess, of Mortimer Street, "from
Warwick Lane." The doctor was one of the last men who wore a cocked
hat and deep ruffles. What rendered his appearance more remarkable, he
walked on tiptoe.

The commercial history of the caricatures is curious. At the period of
the artist's death, the copper-plates from which they were struck were
estimated to be worth 7,000_l._ Upon the demise of the printseller, his
widow pledged the plates for 1,000_l._; but in the process of time, a
better tone of political feeling having supervened, and likewise an
improved public taste as regards art, this property, upon being put
to sale by auction, was bought in for 500_l._ Subsequently the widow
offered them to Mr. Henry Bohn, the eminent publisher, for that sum;
but the process of change adverted to still continuing, the offer
was declined. Upon her death her executors, unable to sell them as
engravings, sold them as old copper for as many pence as they were
originally worth pounds, and Mr. Bohn became the purchaser.

The early political caricatures of Gilray were generally directed
against the Government party. These he was hired to sketch, and
generally at a small price, according to the will of his employers.
He used to smoke his pipe with his early employers, and exert his
faculties more to win a bowl of punch than to gain ten pounds. For
years he occasionally smoked his pipe at the Bell, the Coal Hole, or
the Coach and Horses; and although the _convives_ whom he met at such
dingy rendezvous knew that he was Gilray who fabricated those comical
prints, yet he never sought to act the coxcomb, nor become the king of
the company. In truth, with his neighbouring shopkeepers and master
manufacturers, he passed for no greater wit than his associates.
Rowlandson, his ingenious compeer, and he sometimes met. They would,
perhaps, exchange half-a-dozen questions and answers upon the affairs
of etching, copper, and nitric acid, swear that the world was one _vast
masquerade_, and then enter into the common chat of the room, light
their cigars, drink their punch, and sometimes early, sometimes late,
shake hands at the door and depart, one for the Adelphi, the other to
St. James's Street, each to his bachelor's bed.

The facility with which Gilray composed his subjects, and the rapidity
with which he etched them, astonished those who were eye-witnesses of
his powers. Many years ago, he had an apartment in a court in Holborn.
A commercial agent for a printseller had received a commission to get a
satirical design etched by Gilray, but he had repeatedly called in his
absence. He lived at the west end of the town, and on his way to the
city waited on him again, when he happened to be at home.

"You have lost a good job and a useful patron, Gilray," said he; "but
you are always out."

"How? What--what is your object?" said the artist.

"I want this subject drawn and etched," said the agent; "but now it is
too late."

"When is it wanted?"

"Why, to-morrow."

"It shall be done."

"Impossible, Gilray!"

"Where are you going?"

"Onward to the Bank."

"When do you return?"

"At four o'clock." It was now eleven.

"I'll bet you a bowl of punch it shall be completed, etched and bitten
in, and a proof before that time."


The plate was finished; it contained many figures; the parties were
mutually delighted, and the affair ended with a tipsy bout, at the
Gray's Inn Coffee-house, at the employer's expense.

It was not likely that such an original would be content to sit, year
after year, over a sheet of copper, perpetuating the renown of others,
whilst possessed of a restless and ardent mind, intent on exploring
unknown regions of taste, he could open a way through the intricacies
of art, and by a short but eccentric cut reach the Temple of Fame. He
set to work, and succeeded to the astonishment of the goddess, who, one
day, beheld this new votary unceremoniously resting upon the steps of
her altar.[36]

[36] See an able paper in _Fraser's Magazine_, No. 133.

William Blake, Painter and Poet.

The life of this extraordinary man of genius has been written by Mr.
Alexander Gilchrist, with much feeling, judgment, and good taste.
Wordsworth was more interested with what he terms Blake's "madness"
than with the sanity of Lord Byron and Walter Scott. Fuseli and Flaxman
predicted a day when the drawings of Blake should be as much sought
after and treasured by artists as those of Michael Angelo. Hayley
admired and befriended Blake. He was a true poet, though, as Gilchrist
says, "he neither wrote nor drew for the many, hardly for workyday men
at all; rather for children and angels--himself a divine child, whose
play-things were sun, moon, and stars, the heavens, and the earth."

Blake was born in 1757, at No. 28, Broad Street, Carnaby Market, where
his father carried on the business of a hosier. When a boy he began to
dream. When eight or ten years of age, he brought home from Peckham
Rye a tale of a tree filled with angels, for doing which his father
threatened to thrash him.

In 1767 he was sent to the drawing-school of Mr. Pars, in the Strand,
and taught to copy plaster casts after the antique, while his father
made a collection of prints for him to study. He had already, too,
begun to write poetry. At the age of fourteen he was placed with James
Basire, the engraver. His father intended to apprentice him to Ryland,
a more famous engraver than Basire. The boy Blake, however, raised an
unexpected scruple. "The sequel," says Mr. Gilchrist, "shows it to
have been a singular instance, if not of absolute prophetic gift or
second sight, at all events of natural intuition into character and
power of forecasting the future, from such as is often the endowment of
temperament like his. In after-life this involuntary faculty of reading
hidden writing continued to be a characteristic. 'Father,' said the
strange boy, after the two had left Ryland's studio, 'I do not like
the man's face; _it looks as if he lived to be hanged!_' Appearances
were at this time utterly against the probability of such an event."
But, twelve years after this interview, the unfortunate Ryland got into
embarrassment, committed a forgery on the East India Company, and the
prophecy was fulfilled.

By 1773 Blake had begun to draw his own dreams, such as one of Joseph
of Arimathea, described by him as "one of the Gothic artists who
built the cathedrals in what we call the Dark Ages, wandering about
in sheepskins and goatskins." In 1783 Blake published, by the help of
friends, a small volume of _Poetical Sketches_, of which here is a

    "Memory, hither come,
      And tune your merry notes;
    And, while upon the wind
      Your music floats,
    I'll pore upon the stream
    Where sighing lovers dream,
    And fish for fancies as they pass
    Within the watery glass.

    "I'll drink of the clear stream,
      And hear the linnet's song;
    And there I'll lie and dream
      The day along:
    And, when night comes, I'll go
    To places fit for woe;
    Walking along the darkened valley
    With silent Melancholy."

We pass over Blake's progress in his art, but may remark, from his
biographer, that although he drew the Antique with great care, he
thus early conceived a distaste for the study as pursued in Academies
of Art. "Already 'life,'" says Mr. Gilchrist, "in so factitious,
monotonous an aspect of it as that presented by a model artificially
_posed_ to enact an artificial part--to maintain in painful rigidity
some fleeting gesture of spontaneous Nature's--became, as it continued,
'hateful,' looking to him, laden with thick-coming fancies, 'more like
death' than life; nay (singular to say), 'smelling of mortality'--to
an imaginative mind! 'Practice and opportunity,' he used afterwards to
declare, 'very soon teach the language of art;' as much, that is, as
Blake ever acquired, not a despicable if imperfect quantum. 'Its spirit
and poetry, centred in the imagination alone, never can be taught; and
these make the artist:' a truism, the fervid poet already began to hold
too exclusively in view. Even at their best--as the vision-seer and
instinctive Platonist tells us in one of the very last years of his
life (_MS. notes to Wordsworth_)--mere 'Natural objects _always did and
do_ weaken, deaden, and obliterate imagination in me!'"

Blake wrote many songs, to which he also composed tunes, sometimes
singularly beautiful; these he would occasionally sing to his friends.
His later verse, which he attached to his plates, was very enigmatical.
Though he did not for forty years attend any place of divine worship,
yet he was not a Freethinker nor irreligious, as has been scandalously
represented. The Bible was everything with him. How he reverenced the
Almighty, the following conclusion of his address to the Deity will

    "For a tear is an intellectual thing;
    And a sigh is the sword of an Angel King;
    And the bitter groan of a martyr's woe
    Is an arrow from the Almighty's bow."

And in his _Address to the Christians_:--

    "I give you the end of a golden string,
      Only wind it into a ball,
    It will lead you in at Heaven's gate,
      Built in Jerusalem's wall."

Blake was a diligent and enthusiastic student. The day he devoted to
the graver and the night to poetry; he was utterly indifferent to the
goods of this life, and used to say: "My business is not to gather
gold, but to make glorious shapes expressing god-like sentiments."

When Blake was twenty-six years of age, he married Catherine Boutcher,
who lived near his father's house, and was noticed by Blake for the
whiteness of her hands, the brightness of her eyes, and a slim and
handsome shape, corresponding with his own notions of sylphs and
naiads. His marriage proved a mutually happy one. She had not learned
to write, but Blake instructed his "beloved," as he most frequently
called her, and allowed her till the last moments of his practice to
take off his proof impressions and print his works, which she did
most carefully, and ever delighted in the task; nay, she became a
draughtswoman. And as a convincing proof that she and her husband were
born for each other's comfort, she not only cheerfully entered into
his views, but, what is curious, possessed a similar power of imbibing
ideas, and produced drawings equally original, and in some respects,
interesting. She almost rivalled him in all things, save in the power
of seeing visions of any individual living or dead, whenever he chose
to see them. Yet, she joined him in other extravagances. The painter
and Mrs. Blake one day received a guest in their arbour in a state of
nakedness, to whom they calmly declared that they were Adam and Eve!

In his thirtieth year, Blake annotated the Aphorisms of Lavater, and
illustrated his own poems, _The Songs of Innocence and of Experience_.
These, with the illustrations to _Blair's Grave_, to the _Book of Job_,
and the plate of the _Canterbury Pilgrimage_--are the works of Blake
by which he is best known. He was his own printer and publisher. His
deceased brother and pupil, Robert Blake, disclosed to him in a dream
by what manner of process his purpose could be brought to pass and the
last half-crown he possessed was spent by Mrs. Blake to procure the
materials. Their manner of manipulation was revealed to him by "Joseph,
the sacred carpenter."

One of the most touching and popular of _The Songs of Innocence_ was
"The Chimney Sweeper:"

    "When my mother died I was very young
    And my father sold me while yet my tongue
    Could scarcely cry--weep! weep! weep!
    So your chimneys I clean and in soot I sleep.

    "There's little Tom Dacre, who cried when his head
    That curl'd like a lamb's back, was shaved; so I said,
    Hush, Tom, never mind it, for when your head's bare,
    You know that the soot cannot spoil your white hair.

    "And so he was quiet--and on that very night,
    As Tommy was sleeping, he had such a sight;
    There thousands of sweepers, Dick, Joe, Ned, and Jack,
    Were all of them locked up in coffins of black;

    "And by came an Angel, who had a bright key,
    He opened the coffins and set them all free;
    Then down a green vale, leaping, laughing they run,
    And wash in a river, and shine like the sun.

    "Then, naked and white, all their bags left behind,
    They rise up on pure clouds and sport in the wind:
    And the Angel told Tom, if he'd be a good boy,
    He'd have God for his father and never want joy.

    "And so Tommy awoke and we rose in the dark,
    And got with our bags and our brushes to work;
    Though the morning was cold, he was happy and warm,
    So, if all do their duty, they need not fear harm."

In 1800, the Blakes were invited by Hayley to visit him at Felpham,
in Sussex, under the idea of providing the artist with occupation and
emolument. Upon this occasion Blake wrote thus to Flaxman:--

"Dear Sculptor of Eternity,--We are safe arrived at our cottage, which
is more beautiful than I thought it, and more convenient. It is a
perfect model for cottages, and I think for palaces of magnificence,
only enlarging--not altering its proportions, and adding ornaments
and not principles. Nothing can be more grand than its simplicity and
usefulness. Simple without intricacy, it seems to be the spontaneous
expression of humanity congenial to the wants of men. No other formed
house can ever please me so well, nor shall I ever be persuaded, I
believe, that it can be improved either in beauty or use. Mr. Hayley
received us with his usual brotherly affection. I have begun to work.
Felpham is a sweet place for study, because it is more spiritual than
London. Heaven opens here on all sides her golden gates; her windows
are not obstructed by vapours; voices of celestial inhabitants are more
distinctly heard, and their forms more distinctly seen; and my cottage
is also a shadow of their houses. My wife and sister are both well,
courting Neptune for an embrace.

       *       *       *       *       *

"And now begins a new life, because another covering of earth is shaken
off. I am more famed in Heaven for my works than I could well conceive.
In my brain are studies and chambers filled with books and pictures of
old, which I wrote and painted in ages of eternity before my mortal
life; and those works are the delight and study of archangels. Why then
should I be anxious about riches or the fame of mortality? The Lord our
Father will do for us and with us according to his Divine will, for
our good. You, O dear Flaxman! are a sublime archangel--my friend and
companion from eternity. In the Divine bosom is our dwelling-place. I
look back into the regions of reminiscence, and behold our ancient
days before this earth appeared in its vegetated mortality to my
mortal vegetated eyes. I see our houses of eternity which can never
be separated, though our mortal vehicles should stand at the remotest
corners of heaven from each other. Farewell my best friend! Remember me
and my wife in love and friendship to our dear Mrs. Flaxman, whom we
ardently desire to entertain beneath our thatched roof of rusted gold.
And believe me for ever to remain your grateful and affectionate

                                                   "WILLIAM BLAKE."

This association at Felpham lasted four years, when the Blakes left by
mutual consent. Yet the painter wrote upon his host these sarcastic

    "_To Hayley._

    "Thy friendship oft has made my heart to ache:
    Do be my enemy, for friendship's sake!"

    "_On H. [Hayley], the Pickthank._

    "I write the rascal thanks; till he and I
    With thanks and compliments are quite drawn dry."

He had already written:--

    "My title as a genius thus is proved,--
    Not praised by Hayley, nor by Flaxman loved."

About this time, Blake's mind was confirmed in that extraordinary state
which many suppose to have been a species of chronic insanity. He was
so exclusively occupied with his own ideas, that he at last persuaded
himself that his imaginations were spiritual realities. He thought that
he conversed with the spirits of the long-departed great--of Homer,
Moses, Pindar, Virgil, Dante, Milton, and many others. Some of these
spirits sat to him for their portraits.

Dr. de Boismont, among his _Hallucinations involving Insanity_, thus
describes him as a lunatic, of the name of Blake, who was called the
Seer. There was nothing of the impostor about him; he seemed to be
thoroughly in earnest.

"This man constituted himself the painter of spirits. On the table
before him were pencils and brushes ready for his use, that he might
depict the countenances and attitudes of his heroes, whom he said
he did not summon before him, but who came of their own accord, and
entreated him to take their portraits. Visitors might examine large
volumes filled with these drawings: amongst others were the portraits
of the devil and his mother. When I entered his cell," says the author
of this notice, "he was drawing the likeness of a girl whose spectre he
pretended had appeared to him."

"Edward III. was one of his most constant visitors, and in
acknowledgment of the monarch's condescension, Blake had drawn his
portrait in oils in three sittings. I put such questions as were likely
to have embarrassed him; but he answered them in the most unaffected
manner, and without any hesitation.

"'Do these persons have themselves announced, or do they send in their
cards?'--'No; but I recognise them when they appear. I did not expect
to see Marc Antony last night, but I knew the Roman the moment he set
foot in my house.'--'At what hour do these illustrious dead visit
you?'--'At one o'clock: sometimes their visits are long, sometimes
short. The day before yesterday I saw the unfortunate Job, but he would
not stay more than two minutes; I had hardly time to make a sketch
of him, which I afterwards engraved----but silence! Here is Richard
III.!'--'Where do you see him?'--'Opposite to you, on the other side of
the table: it is his first visit.'--'How do you know his name?'--'My
spirit recognizes him, but I cannot tell you how.'--'What is he
like?'--'Stern, but handsome: at present I only see his profile; now I
have the three-quarter face; ah! now he turns to me, he is terrible to
behold.'--'Could you ask him any questions?'--'Certainly. What would
you like me to ask him?'--'If he pretends to justify the murders he
committed during his life?'--'Your question is already known to him. We
converse mind to mind by intuition and by magnetism. We have no need
of words.'--'What is his Majesty's reply?'--'This; only it is somewhat
longer than he gave it to me, for you would not understand the language
of spirits. He says what you call murder and carnage is all nothing;
that in slaughtering fifteen or twenty thousand men you do no wrong;
for what is immortal of them is not only preserved, but passes into
a better world, and the man who reproaches his assassin is guilty of
ingratitude, for it is by his means he enters into a happier and more
perfect state of existence. But do not interrupt me; he is now in a
very good position, and if you say anything more, he will go.'"

"Visions, such as are said to arise in the sight of those who indulge
in opium," says Allan Cunningham, "were frequently present to Blake;
nevertheless, he sometimes desired to see a spirit in vain. 'For many
years,' said he, 'I longed to see Satan--I never could believe that
he was the vulgar fiend which our legends represent him--I imagined
him a classic spirit, such as he appeared to him of Uz, with some
of his original splendour about him. At last I saw him. I was going
upstairs in the dark, when suddenly a light came streaming amongst
my feet; I turned round and there he was looking fiercely at me
through the iron grating of my staircase window. I called for my
things--Katherine thought the fit of song was on me, and brought me
pen and ink--I said hush!--never mind--this will do--as he appeared so
I drew him--there he is.' Upon this Blake took out a piece of paper
with a grated window sketched on it, while through the bars glared the
most frightful phantom that ever man imagined. Its eyes were large
and like live coals--its teeth as long as those of a harrow, and the
claws seemed such as might appear in the distempered dream of a clerk
in the Heralds' office. 'It is the Gothic fiend of our legends,' said
Blake--'the true devil--all else are apocryphal.'

"These stories are scarcely credible, yet there can be no doubt of
their accuracy. Another friend, on whose veracity I have the fullest
dependence, called one evening on Blake, and found him sitting with a
pencil and a panel, drawing a portrait with all the seeming anxiety of
a man who is conscious that he has got a fastidious sitter; he looked
and drew, and drew and looked, yet no living soul was visible. 'Disturb
me not,' said he, in a whisper, 'I have one sitting to me.' 'Sitting
to you!' exclaimed his astonished visitor; 'where is he, and what is
he?--I see no one.' 'But I see him, Sir,' answered Blake, haughtily;
'there he is, his name is Lot--you may read of him in the Scripture.
_He_ is sitting for his portrait.'"

Blake's last residence was No. 3, Fountain Court, Strand; he had two
rooms on the first floor, that in front, with the windows looking into
the court, had its walls hung with frescoes, temperas, and drawings
of Blake's, and was used as a reception-room. The back room was the
sleeping and living-room, kitchen, and studio; in one corner was the
bed, in another the fire, at which Mrs. Blake cooked. By the window
stood the table serving for meals, and by the window the table at which
Blake always sat (facing the light), designing or engraving. "There
was," says Mr. Gilchrist, "an air of poverty as of an artizan's room;
but everything was clean and neat; nothing sordid. Blake himself, with
his serene, cheerful, dignified presence and manner, made all seem
natural and of course. Conversing with him, you saw or felt nothing
of his poverty, though he took no pains to conceal it: if he had,
you would have been effectually reminded of it. But, in these latter
years he, for the most part, lived on good though simple fare. His
wife was an excellent cook--a talent which helped to fill out Blake's
waistcoat a little as he grew old. She could even prepare a made dish
when need be. As there was no servant, he fetched the porter for
dinner himself, from the house at the corner of the Strand. Once, pot
of porter in hand, he espied coming along a dignitary of Art--that
highly respectable man, William Collins, R.A., whom he had met in
society a few evenings before. The Academician was about to shake
hands, but seeing the porter, drew up and did not know him. Blake
would tell the story very quietly, and without sarcasm. Another time,
Fuseli came in, and found Blake with a little cold mutton before him
for dinner, who, far from being disconcerted, asked his friend to join
him. 'Ah! by G--!' exclaimed Fuseli, 'this is the reason you can do
as you like. _Now I can't do this._' His habits were very temperate.
Frugal and abstemious on principle, and for pecuniary reasons, he
was sometimes rather imprudent, and would take anything that came
in his way. A nobleman once sent him some oil of walnuts he had had
expressed purposely for an artistic experiment. Blake tasted it, and
went on tasting, till he had drunk the whole. When his lordship called
to ask how the experiment had prospered, the artist had to confess
what had become of the ingredients. It was ever after a standing joke
against him. In his dress, there was a similar triumph of the man
over his poverty, to that which struck one in his rooms. In-doors, he
was careful, for economy's sake, but not slovenly: his clothes were
threadbare, and his grey trousers had worn black and shiny in front,
like a mechanic's. Out of doors he was more particular, so that his
dress did not in the streets of London challenge attention either way.
He wore black knee-breeches and buckles, black worsted stockings,
shoes which tied, and a broad-brimmed hat. It was something like an
old-fashioned tradesman's dress. But the general impression he made on
you was that of a gentleman in a way of his own."

Blake died August 12th, 1827: he composed and uttered songs to his
Maker so sweetly to the ear of his Katherine, that when she stood
to hear him, he, looking upon her most affectionately, said: "My
beloved, they are not mine--no--they are not mine." He expired in his
sixty-ninth year, in the back room at Fountain Court, and was buried
in Bunhill Fields on the 17th of August, at the distance of about
twenty-five feet from the north wall, numbered 80.

[Illustration: Joseph Nollekens. From the _Life and Times_ by J. T.

Nollekens, the Sculptor.

Avarice would appear to have run in the blood of the Nollekens family.
"Old Nollekens," the father of Joseph, was "a miserably avaricious
man," and when, in the Rebellion of 1745, his house was attacked by the
mob, who thought themselves sure of finding money, the old man became
so terrified that he lingered in a state of alarm until his death.

Little Joey was described by Mrs. Scheemakers, the sculptor's wife,
as "so honest that she could always trust him to stone the raisins."
His love of modelling was his greatest pleasure, though he had an idle
propensity for bell-tolling; and whenever his master missed him, and
the dead-bell of St. James's church was tolling, he knew perfectly well
what Joey was at.

As Nollekens grew up, not unmindful of his art, he rose early
and practised carefully, and being a true son of his father, was
passionately fond of money. He was much employed as a shrewd collector
of antique fragments, some of which he bought on his own account; and
after he had dexterously restored them with heads and limbs, he stained
them with tobacco-water, and sold them for enormous sums.

When he returned from Rome, he succeeded as a smuggler of silk
stockings, gloves, and lace; all his plaster busts being hollow, he
stuffed them full of the above articles, and then spread an outside
coating of plaster at the back across the shoulders of each, so that
the busts appeared like solid casts. Pointing to the cast of Sterne,
Nollekens observed to Lord Mansfield: "There, do you know that bust,
my Lord, held my lace ruffles that I went to Court in when I came from

His mode of living when at Rome was most filthy: he had an old woman
who was so good a cook, that she would often give him a dish for
dinner which cost him no more than threepence. "Nearly opposite to my
lodgings," he said, "there lived a pork-butcher who sold for twopence
a plateful of cuttings--bits of skin, gristle, and fat, and my old
lady dished them up with a little pepper and salt; and with a slice of
bread, and sometimes a bit of vegetable, I made a very nice dinner."
Whenever good dinners were mentioned after that, he was sure to say,
"Ay, I never tasted a better dish than my Roman cuttings."

Nollekens married the daughter of Mr. Justice Welch. She was as
parsimonious as her husband. Of a poor old woman, whom she allowed to
sit at the corner of her house, she would contrive to get four apples,
instead of three, to make a dumpling, saying, "for there's my husband,
myself, and two servants, and we must have one a-piece." When she went
to Oxford Market to beat the rounds, in order to discover the cheapest
shops, she would walk round several times to give her dog Cerberus an
opportunity of picking up scraps.

Nollekens's bust of Dr. Johnson is a wonderfully fine one, and very
like, but the sort of _hair_ is objectionable, having been modelled
from the flowing locks of a sturdy Irish beggar, who, after he had sat
an hour, refused to take a shilling, stating that he could have made
more by begging.

Most of Nollekens's sitters were much amused with his oddities. He once
requested a lady who squinted dreadfully to "look a little the other
way, for then," said he, "I shall get rid of the shyness in the cast of
your eye;" and to another lady of the highest rank, who had forgotten
her position, and was looking down upon him, he cried, "Don't look so
_scorny_; you'll spoil my busto; and you're a very fine woman; I think
it will be one of my best bustos."

A lady in weeds for her dear husband, drooping low like the willow,
visited the sculptor, and assured him she did not care what money was
expended on the monument to the memory of her beloved: "Do what you
please, but do it directly," were her orders. Nollekens set to work
at once, and in a short time finished the model, strongly suspecting
she might, like some others he had been employed by, change her mind.
The lady, in about three months, made her second appearance, in which
more courage is generally assumed, and was accosted by him, before she
alighted, with "Poor soul! I thought you'd come;" but her inclination
was changed, and she said, "How do you do, Nollekens; well, you have
not commenced the model?"--"Yes, but I have though," was the reply.
_The Lady_--"Have you, indeed? These, my good friend, I own," throwing
herself into a chair, "are early days; but since I saw you, an old
Roman acquaintance of yours has made me an offer, and I don't know
how he would like to see in our church a monument of such expense to
my late husband; indeed, perhaps, after all, upon second thoughts, it
would be considered quite enough if we got our mason to put up a mural
inscription, and that, you know, he can cut very neatly."--"My charge,"
interrupted the artist, "for my model will be one hundred guineas;"
which she declared to be enormous. However, she would pay it, and "have
done with him."

Nollekens's housekeeping was a model of parsimony. Coals he so rigidly
economized that they were always sent early before the men came to work
that he might have leisure-time for counting the sacks and disposing
of the large coals to be locked up for parlour use. Candles were never
lighted at the commencement of evening, and whenever they heard a knock
at the door, they would wait until they heard a second rap, lest the
first should have been a runaway, and their candle wasted. Mr. and Mrs.
Nollekens used a flat candlestick, when there was anything to be done;
and J. T. Smith, his biographer, was assured that a pair of moulds, by
being well nursed, and put out when company went away, once lasted them
a whole year.

Before he was married, Nollekens kept but one servant who always
applied to him for money to purchase every article _fresh_, as it was
wanted for the next meal; and by that mode of living, he considered, as
he kept his servant upon board-wages, he was not so much exposed to her
pilfering inclinations, particularly as she was entrusted with no more
money than would enable her to purchase just enough for his own eating;
and he generally contrived to get through the small quantity he allowed
himself. He was very cunning in hinting at little presents, and
frequently complained of a sore throat to those who made black currant

Sometimes, in the evening, to take a little fresh air, and to avoid
interlopers, Mr. and Mrs. N. would, after putting a little tea and
sugar, a French roll, or a couple of rusks into their pockets, stray
to Madam Caria's, a Frenchwoman, who lived near the end of Marylebone
Lane, and who accommodated persons with tea equipage and hot water at
a penny a head. Mrs. Nollekens made it a rule to allow one servant--as
they kept two--to go out on the alternate Sunday; for it was Mr.
Nollekens's opinion that if they were never permitted to visit the
Jew's Harp, Queen's Head and Artichoke, or Chalk Farm, they never would
wash _theirselves_.

One day, when some friends were expected to dine with Mr. Nollekens,
poor Bronze (the servant), labouring under a severe sore throat,
stretching her flannelled neck up to her mistress, hoarsely announced
"_all the Hawkinses_" to be in the dining-parlour! Mrs. Nollekens, in
a half-stifled whisper, cried, "Nolly, it is truly vexatious that we
are always served so when we dress a joint. You won't be so silly as
to ask them to dinner?" _Nollekens_--"I ask them! Let 'em get their
meals at home; I'll not encourage the sort of thing; or, if they
please, they can go to Mathias's; they'll find the cold leg of lamb
we left yesterday." _Mrs. Nollekens_--"No wonder, I am sure, they
are considered so disagreeable by Captain Grose, Hampstead Steevens,
Murphy, Nicolls, and Boswell." At this moment who should come in but
Mr. John Taylor, who looked around, and wondered what all the fuss
could be about. "Why don't you go to your dinner, my good friend?" said
he; "I am sure it must be ready, for I smell the gravy." Nollekens,
to whom he had spoken, desired him to keep his nonsense to himself. A
dispute then arose, which lasted so long, that perhaps the Hawkinses
overheard it, for they had silently let themselves out without even
ringing the bell.

Smith, the grocer, of Margaret Street, was frequently heard to declare
that whenever Mrs. Nollekens purchased tea and sugar at his father's
shop, she always requested, just as she was quitting the counter, to
have either a clove or a bit of cinnamon to take some unpleasant taste
out of her mouth; but she never was seen to apply it to the part so
affected; so that, with Nollekens's nutmegs, which he pocketed from
the table at the Academy dinners, they contrived to fill the family
spice-box, without any expense whatever.

For many years Nollekens made one at the table of the Royal Academy
Club; and so strongly was he bent upon saving all he could privately
conceal, that he did not mind paying two guineas a year for his
admission ticket, in order to indulge himself with a few nutmegs,
which he contrived to pocket privately: for as red-wine negus was the
principal beverage, nutmegs were used. Now it generally happened, if
another bowl was wanted, that the nutmegs were missing, Nollekens,
who had frequently been seen to pocket them, was one day requested by
Rossi, the sculptor to see if they had not fallen under the table;
upon which Nollekens actually went crawling beneath, upon his hands
and knees, pretending to look for them, though at the very time they
were in his waistcoat-pocket. He was so old a stager at this monopoly
of nutmegs, that he would sometimes engage the maker of the negus in
conversation, looking at him full in the face, whilst he slyly and
unobserved, as he thought, conveyed away the spice; like the fellow who
is stealing the bank-note from the blind man in the admirable print of
the Royal Cockpit, by Hogarth.

Mrs. Nollekens would never think of indulging in such expensive
articles as spick and span new shoes, but purchased them second-hand,
as her friends, by their maids, _pumped_ out of Bronze, who also let
out that her muffs and parasols were obtained in the same way. The
sculptor's wife would also often plume herself with borrowed feathers
a shawl or a muff of a friend she never refused when returning home,
observing, that she was quite sure that they would keep her warm; never
caring how they suffered from the rain, so that her neighbours saw her
apparelled in what they had never before seen her wear.

Mrs. Nollekens's notions of charity were of the same second-hand
description. One severe winter morning, two miserable men, almost dying
for want of nourishment, implored her aid; but the only heart which
sympathized in their afflictions was that of Betty, in the kitchen,
who silently crept upstairs, and cheerfully gave them her mite. Mrs.
Nollekens, who had witnessed this delicate rebuke from the parlour
window, hastily opened the parlour door and vociferated, "Betty, Betty!
there is a bone below, with little or no meat on it, give it the poor
creatures!" upon which the one who had hitherto spoken, steadfastly
looking in the face of his pale partner in distress, repeated, "Bill,
we are to have a bone with little or no meat on it!" When they were
gone, the liberal-hearted Betty was seriously rated by her mistress,
who was quite certain she would come to want.

Mr. Nollekens, having entered his barber's shop, and his turn arrived,
placed one of Mrs. Nollekens's curling papers, which he had untwisted
for the purpose, upon his right shoulder, upon which the barber wiped
his razor. Nollekens cried out, "Shave close, Hancock, for I was
obliged to come twice last week, you used so blunt a razor."--"Lord
sir!" answered the poor barber, "you don't care how I wear my razors
out by sharpening them."

The old miser, who had been under his hands for upwards of twenty
years, was so correct an observer of its application, that he generally
pronounced at the last flourish, "That will do;" and before the shaver
could take off the cloth, he dexterously drew down the paper, folded
it up and carried it home in his hand, for the purpose of using it the
next morning when he washed himself.

Nollekens used to sing a droll song, of which the following is a

      "So a rat by degrees
      Fed a kitten with cheese,
    Till kitten grew up to a cat;
      When the cheese was all spent,
      Nature follow'd its bent,
    And puss quickly ate up the rat."

One day, Northcote, the Academician, had just reached his door in
Argyle Street when Nollekens, who was looking up at the house, said to
him, "Why, don't you have your house painted, Northcote? Why, it's as
dirty as Jem Barry's was in Castle Street." Now, Nollekens had no right
to exult over his brother artist in this way, for he had given his own
door a coat of paint, and his front passage a whitewash, _only the day
before_, and they had been for years in the most filthy state possible.

Mr. Smith received from Miss Welch the following specimens of
Nollekens's way of spelling words in 1780:--"Yousual, scenceble,
obligine, modle, ivery, gentilman, promist, sarvices, desier, Inglish,
perscription, hardently, jenerly, moust, devower, jellis, retier,
sarved, themselfs, could _for_ cold, clargeman, facis, cupple, foure,
sun _for_ son, boath sexis, daly, horsis, ladie, cheif, talkin, tould,
shee, sarch, paing, ould mades, racis, yoummer in his face, palas, oke,
lemman, are-bolloon, sammon, chimisters _for_ chymists, yoke _for_
yolk, grownd," &c.

After Mrs. Nollekens's death, as if he had been too long henpecked,
Mr. Nollekens soon sported two mould candles instead of one; took wine
oftener, sat up later, lay in bed longer, and would, though he made
no change in his coarse manner of feeding, frequently ask his morning
visitor to dine with him. Yet his viands were dirtily cooked with
half-melted butter, mountains-high of flour, and his habits of eating
were filthy. He frequently gave tea and other entertainments to some
one of his old models, who generally left his house a bank-note or
two richer than when they arrived. Indeed, so stupidly childish was he
at times, that one of his Venuses, who had grown old in her practices
coaxed him out of ten pounds to enable her to make him a plum-pudding.

Mr. Smith declares, that in some respects, aged as he was, he attempted
to practise the usual method of renovation of some of that species of
widowers who have not the least inclination to follow their wives too
hastily. Mrs. Nollekens had left him with his handsome maid, who had
become possessed of her mistress' wardrobe, which she quickly cut up
to her advantage. Her common name of Mary soon received the adjunct of
Pretty from her kind master himself. As it soon appeared, however, that
Pretty Mary, who had an eye to her master's disengaged hand, took upon
herself mightily, and used her master rather roughly, she was one day,
very properly, though unceremoniously, put out of the house, before her
schemes were brought to perfection.

Nollekens took snuff; he certainly kept a box, but then it was very
often in his other coat-pocket, an apology frequently made when he
partook of that refreshment at the expense of another.

"You must sometimes be much annoyed," observed a lady to Mr. Nollekens,
"by the ridiculous remarks made by your sitters and their flattering
friends, after you have produced a good likeness."--"No, ma'am, I never
allow anybody to fret me. I tell 'em all, 'If you don't like it, don't
take it.'" This may be done by an artist who is "tiled in;" but the
dependent man is sometimes known to submit to observations as the witty
Northcote has stated, even from "nursery-maids, both wet and dry."

At the commencement of the French Revolution, when such numbers
of priests threw themselves upon the hospitality of this country,
Nollekens was highly indignant at the great quantity of bread they
consumed. "Why, do you know now," said he, "there's one of 'em living
next door to me, that eats two whole quarterns a-day to his own share!
and I am sure the fellow's body could not be bigger, if he was to eat
up his blanket."

Mr. Browne, one of Nollekens's old friends, after having received
repeated invitations to "step in and take pot-luck with him," one day
took him at his word. The sculptor apologized for his entertainment,
by saying that as it was Friday, Mrs. Nollekens had proposed to take
fish with him, so that they had bought _a few sprats_, of which he was
wiping some in a dish, whilst she was turning others on the gridiron.

When Mr. Jackson was once making a drawing of a monument at the
Sculptor's house, Nollekens came into the room and said, "I'm afraid
you're cold here." "I am, indeed," said Jackson. "Ay," answered the
Sculptor, "I don't wonder at it: why, do you know, there has not been a
fire in this room for these forty years."

Miss Gerrard, daughter of the auctioneer, frequently called to know how
Nollekens did; and once the Sculptor prevailed upon her to dine. "Well,
then," said he to his pupil, Joseph Bonomi, "go and order a mackerel;
stay, one won't be enough, you had better get two, and you shall dine
with us."

A candle with Nollekens was a serious article of consumption: indeed,
so much so, that he would frequently put it out, and merely to save
an inch or two, sit entirely in the dark, and at times, too, when he
was not in the least inclined to sleep. If Bronze ventured into the
yard with a light, he always scolded her for so shamefully flaring
the candle. One evening, his man, who then slept in the house, came
home rather late, but quite sober enough to attempt to go upstairs
unheard without his shoes, but as he was passing Nollekens's door, the
immensely increased shape of the keyhole shone upon the side of the
room so brilliantly that Nollekens cried out, "Who's there?"--"It's
only me," answered the man; "I am going to bed."--"Going to bed,
you extravagant rascal!--why don't you go to bed in the dark, you
scoundrel."--"It's my own candle," replied the man. "Your own candle!
well then, mind you don't set fire to yourself."

Nollekens frequently spoke of a man that he met in the fields, who
would now and then, with all the gravity of an apothecary, inquire
after the state of his bowels. At last the sculptor found out that he
wanted to borrow money of him.

Whenever Mr. and Mrs. Nollekens had a present of a leveret, which they
always called a hare, they contrived, by splitting it, to make it last
for two dinners for four persons; the one half was roasted, and the
other jugged.

It was highly amusing to witness the great variety of trifling presents
and frivolous messages which Nollekens received late in life. One
person was particularly desirous to be informed where he liked his
cheese-cakes purchased; another, who ventured to buy stale tarts from
a shop in his neighbourhood, sent his livery servant in the evening to
inquire whether his cook had made them to his taste; whilst a third
continued constantly to ply him with the very best pigtail tobacco,
which he had most carefully cut into very small pieces for him. A
fourth truly kind friend, who was not inclined to spend money upon
such speculations himself, endeavoured once more to persuade Nollekens
to take a cockney ride in a hackney-coach to Kensington, to view
the pretty almond-tree in perfect blossom, and to accept of a few
gooseberries to carry home with him to make a tartlet for himself.
A fifth sent him jellies, or sometimes a chicken with gravy ready
made, in a silver butter-boat; and a sixth regularly presented him
with a change of large showy plants, to stand on the mahogany table,
especially in his latter years, when he was a valetudinarian, that he
might see them from his bed; yet the scent mattered not, a carrion
flower or a marigold being equally refreshing to him as jessamine or

One rainy morning, Nollekens, after confession, invited his holy father
to stay till the weather cleared up. The wet, however, continued
till dinner was ready; and Nollekens felt obliged to ask the priest
to partake of a bird, one of the four of a present from the Duke of
Newcastle. Down they sat: the reverend man helped his host to a wing,
and then carved for himself, assuring Nollekens that he never indulged
in much food, though he soon picked the rest of the bones. "I have no
pudding," said Nollekens, "but won't you have a glass of wine? Oh!
you've got some ale." However, Bronze brought in a bottle of wine; and
on the remove, Nollekens, after taking a glass, went, as usual, to
sleep. The priest, after enjoying himself, was desired by Nollekens,
while removing the handkerchief from his head, to take another glass.
"Tank you, Sare, I have a finish de bottel."--"The devil you have!"
muttered Nollekens. "Now, sare," continued his reverence, "ass de rain
be ovare, I will take my leaf."--"Well, do so," said Nollekens, who
was not only determined to let him go without his coffee, but gave
strict orders to Bronze not to let the old rascal in again. "Why, do
you know," continued he, "that he ate up all that large bird, for he
only gave me one wing; and he swallowed all the ale; and out of a whole
bottle of wine, I had only one glass."

A broad-necked gooseberry-bottle, leather-bunged, containing coffee,
which had been purchased and ground full forty years, was brought out
when he intended to give a particular friend a treat; but it was so
dried to the sides of the bottle, that it was with difficulty he could
scrape together enough for the purpose; and even when it was made,
time had so altered its properties, from the top having been but half
closed, that it was impossible to tell what it had originally been. He
used to say, however, of this turbid mixture, "Some people fine their
coffee with sole-skin, but for my part, I think this is clear enough
for anybody."

Nollekens's wardrobe was but a sorry stock. He had but one nightcap,
two shirts, and three pairs of stockings; two coats, one pair of
small-clothes, and two waistcoats. His shoes had been repeatedly mended
and nailed; they were two odd ones, and the best of his last two
pairs. When Mary Holt, his housekeeper, came, she declared that she
would not live with him unless he had a new coat and waistcoat. Poor
Bronze, who had to support herself upon what were called board-wages,
had hardly a change, and looked like the wife of a chimney-sweeper.
As for table-linen, two breakfast napkins and a large old table-cloth
was the whole of the stock. Bronze declared that she had never seen a
jack-towel in the house, and she always washed without soap.

The wardrobe, as proved in Nollekens's will, consisted of his
court-coat, in which he was married: his hat, sword, and bag; two
shirts, two pairs of worsted stockings, one table-cloth, three
sheets, and two pillow-cases; but all these, with _other rags_, only
produced one pound five shillings for the person to whom they were

[37] These characteristics have been selected and abridged from Mr. J.
T. Smith's _Nollekens and his Times_, one of the best books of anecdote
ever published.

Mr. Nollekens died April 23rd, 1823. His long-drawn-out will and its
fourteen codicils afford strange instances of human weakness in many
a phase. In some measure to redeem his memory from obloquy, we had
rather record a few instances of his generosity, than add more of his
parsimony. In his last illness, he asked his housekeeper:--"Is there
anybody that I know that wants a little money to do 'em good?"--"Yes,
sir, there is Mrs. ----." _Nollekens_:--"Well, in the morning, I'll
send her ten pounds."--"That's a good old boy," said she, patting
him on the back; "you'll eat a better dinner for it to-morrow, and
enjoy it." And he was never known to forget his promises. With all
his propensity for saving, he used to make his household domestics a
present of a little sum of money on his birthday; and latterly, upon
this occasion, he became even more generous, by bestowing on them, to
their great astonishment, ten and twenty pounds each.

[Illustration: Master Betty as Norval. The Young Douglas.]


The Young Roscius.

Early in the present century, there appeared upon our stage a
boy-actor, whose performances excited the special wonder of all
play-goers. William Henry West Betty, the boy in question, was born
near Shrewsbury, in 1791. When almost a child, he evinced a taste for
dramatic recitations, which was encouraged by a strong and retentive
memory. Having been taken to see Mrs. Siddons act, he was so powerfully
affected, that he told his father "he should certainly die if he was
not made a player." He gradually got himself introduced to managers
and actors; and at eleven years of age, he learned by heart the parts
of Rolla, Young Norval, Osman, and other popular characters. On the
16th of August, 1803, when under twelve years of age, he made his first
public appearance at Belfast, in the character of Osman; and went
through the ordeal without mistake or embarrassment. Soon afterwards
he undertook the characters of Young Norval and Romeo. His fame having
rapidly spread through Ireland, he soon received an offer from the
manager of the Dublin theatre. His success there was prodigious, and
the manager endeavoured, but in vain, to secure his services for three
years. He next played nine nights at the small theatre at Cork, whose
receipts, averaging only ten pounds on ordinary nights, amounted to a
hundred on each of Master Betty's performance.

In May, 1804, the canny manager of the Glasgow theatre invited the
youthful genius to Scotland. When, a little after, Betty went to the
sister-city of Edinburgh, one newspaper announced that he "set the town
of Edinburgh in a flame." Mr. Home went to see the character of Young
Norval in his own play of _Douglas_ enacted by the prodigy, and is said
to have declared: "This is the first time I ever saw the part played
according to my ideas of the character. He is a wonderful being!" The
manager of the Birmingham theatre then sent an invitation, and was
rewarded with a succession of thirteen closely-packed audiences. Here
the _Rosciomania_, as Lord Byron afterwards called it, appears to
have broken out very violently: it affected not only the inhabitants
of that town, but all the iron and coal workers of the district
between Birmingham and Wolverhampton. In the _Penny Magazine_, in a
paper descriptive of the South Staffordshire district and its people,
it is said:--"One man, more curious or more idle than his fellows,
determined to leave his work, and see the prodigy with his own eyes.
Having so resolved, he proceeded, although in the middle of the
week, to put on a clean shirt and a clean face, and would even have
anticipated the Saturday's shaving. The unwonted hue of the shirt and
face were portents not to be disregarded, and he had no sooner taken
the road to Birmingham, than he was met by an astonished brother, whose
amazement, when at last it found vent in words, produced the following
dialogue: 'Oi say, sirree, where be'est thee gwain?'--'Oi 'm agwain to
Brummajum.'--'What be'est thee agwain there for?'--'Oi 'm agwain to see
the Young Rocus.'--'What?'--'Oi tell thee oi 'm agwain to see the Young
Rocus.'--'Is it aloive?'" The "Young Rocus," who was certainly "aloive"
to a very practical end, then went to Sheffield, and next to Liverpool.

On Saturday, the 1st of December, 1804, young Betty made his first
appearance in London, at Covent Garden Theatre. The crowd began to
assemble at one o'clock, filling the Piazza on one side of the house,
and Bow Street on the other. The utmost danger was apprehended,
because those who had ascertained that it was quite impossible for
them to _get in_, by the dreadful pressure behind them, could not get
back. At length they themselves called for the soldiers who had been
stationed outside; they soon cleared the fronts of the entrances, and
then posting themselves properly, lined the passages, permitting any
one to return, but none to enter. Although no places were unlet in the
boxes, gentlemen paid box-prices, to have a chance of jumping over the
boxes into the pit; and then others who could not find room for a leap
of this sort, fought for standing-places with those who had taken the
boxes days or weeks before.

The play was Dr. Brown's _Barbarossa_, a good imitation of the
_Mérope_ of Voltaire, in which Garrick had formerly acted Achmet, or
Selim, now given to Master Betty. An occasional address was intended,
and Mr. Charles Kemble attempted to speak it, but in vain. The play
proceeded through the first act, but in dumb show. At length Barbarossa
ordered Achmet to be brought before him; attention held the audience
mute; not even a whisper could be heard, till Selim appeared. By the
thunder of applause which ensued, he was not much moved; he bowed very
respectfully, but with amazing self-possession, and in a few moments
turned to his work with the intelligence of a veteran, and the youthful
passion that alone could have accomplished a task so arduous. As a
slave, he wore white pantaloons, a close and rather short russet jacket
trimmed with sables, and a turban.

"What first struck me," says Mr. Boaden, a trustworthy critic, "was
that his voice had considerable power, and a depth of tone beyond his
apparent age; at the same time it appeared heavy and unvaried. His
great fault grew from want of careful tuition in the outset. In the
provincial way, he dismissed the aspirate; and in closing syllables,
ending in _m_ or _n_, he converted the vowel _i_ frequently into _e_,
and sometimes more barbarously still into _u_. Whether he obtained
this from careless speakers in Ireland or England, I cannot be sure;
but this inaccuracy I remember to have sometimes heard even from Miss
O'Neil. He was sometimes too rapid to be distinct, and at others too
noisy for anything but rant. I found no peculiarities that denoted
minute and happy studies. He spoke the speeches as I had always heard
them spoken, and was therefore, only wrong where he laid vehement
emphasis. The wonder was how any boy, who had just completed his
_thirteenth year_, could catch passion, meaning, cadence, action,
expression, and the discipline of the stage, in ten very different
and arduous characters, so as to give the kind of pleasure in them
that needed no indulgence, and which, from that very circumstance,
heightened satisfaction into enthusiasm. Such were his performances
of Tancred, Romeo, Frederick, Octavian, Hamlet, Osman, Achmet, Young
Norval, &c."

An arrangement was made that young Betty's talents should be made
available for both Covent Garden and Drury Lane theatres, at which he
played on alternate nights. Covent Garden was not quite so large as the
Drury Lane of that date; at the latter, twenty-eight nights of Betty's
first town season, brought 17,210_l._ 11_s._; nightly average, 614_l._
13_s._ 3_d._ For his services, Roscius received 2,782_l._ 10_s._, being
three nights at fifty guineas, and twenty-five nights at 100 guineas;
besides four free benefits, which with the presents, were worth 1,000
guineas each. It is supposed that the receipts at Covent Garden were
nearly as much as at Drury Lane; and that thus 30,000_l._ was earned by
the boy-actor for the managers in fifty-six performances.

In the meantime, all the favouritism, and more than the innocence of
former patronesses was lavished upon him. He might have chosen among
our titled dames the carriage he would honour with his person. He was
presented to the King, and noticed by the rest of the Royal family and
the nobility, as a prodigy. Prose and poetry celebrated his praise.
Even the University of Cambridge was so carried away by the tide of
the moment as to make the subject of Sir William Brown's prize medal,
"_Quid noster Roscius eget?_" Opie painted him on the Grampian Hills,
as the shepherd Norval; Northcote exhibited him in a Vandyke costume,
retiring from the altar of Shakespeare, as having borne thence, not
stolen, "Jove's authentic fire." Heath engraved the latter picture.
"Amidst all this adulation, all this desperate folly," says Boaden, "be
it one consolation to his mature self, that he never lost the genuine
modesty of his carriage, and that his temper at least was as steady as
his diligence."

Fortunately for young Betty, his friends took care of his large
earnings for him, and made a provision for his future support. He soon
retired from the stage, and then became a person of no particular note
in the world, displaying no more genius or talent than the average of
those about him. When he became a man, he appeared on the stage again,
but _utterly failed_. We can add our own testimony that the good people
of Shrewsbury were ever proud of the precocious boy-actor.

Hardham's "No 37."

This renowned snuff was first made by John Hardham, of Fleet Street,
whose history is certainly worth reading. He was born in the good city
of Chichester, in the year 1712, and bred up to the occupation of a
working lapidary, or diamond-cutter; but he afterwards found his way
to the metropolis, and sought confidential or domestic employment,
and was in the establishment of Viscount Townshend, some time Lord
Lieutenant of Ireland, who ever entertained for him great regard.
Hardham, early in his career of London life, acquired a fondness for
the stage; and thus early wrote a comedy, called _The Fortune Tellers_,
which, although not intended for representation, nevertheless was
printed. This, probably, led to his subsequent introduction to David
Garrick, with whom he became connected at Drury Lane Theatre, in the
responsible post of his principal, "numberer"--that is, discharging
a duty in the house of counting the audience assembled, as a check
upon the check-takers and receivers of money at the doors. In this
duty he became so expert, that Garrick was heard to say, Hardham, by a
comparative glance round the theatre, could inform his master of the
receipts to a nicety, and he was never found incorrect in his report.

Hardham established himself at the Red Lion, in Fleet Street, now
No. 106, where he flourished, by a course of patient industry, and
intelligent application to the business of tobacconist and snuff-maker.
Although in this new vocation he had fewer opportunities of intimately
identifying himself with the stage, he nevertheless remained as ardent
an admirer of it as ever. This he exemplified by associating around
him in Fleet Street, among whom were many literary personages, the
dramatists and wits of the theatre, and his friend David Garrick
did not here desert him. So much, in fact, did the dramatic element
prevail at the Red Lion in Fleet Street, under his fostering care,
that novices for the stage, almost invariably sought his advice, and,
indeed, his tuition. His little back-parlour, characteristically
enough, was hung around with portraits of eminent performers, to whose
styles of dramatic action and manner he would frequently refer in the
course of his instructions. Such recreations, however, did not for a
moment induce Hardham to relax his best energies in the conduct of the
snuff-business, which was daily enlarging the sphere of its operations,
and also its renown; which latter was much raised by the successful
completion of his experiments in the compounding of the renowned snuff,
"No. 37," which was speedily launched upon the tide of public opinion;
a tide which "led on to fortune."

Hardham died in the house wherein he had earned his name for business
success, for good fellowship, and for "melting charity," in Fleet
Street, in the parish of St. Bride, on the 29th of September, 1772,
in his sixty-first year. His wife had preceded him by some years, and
leaving no child, in his last will, he says, "In all my former wills,
I gave my estate to my brother-in-law, Thomas Ludgater, but as he is
now growing old (about seventy-four), and as he has no child, and a
plenty of fortune, I thought it best to leave it as I have done, for
now it will be a benefit to the said city of Chichester for ever." This
fortune he left to the easing of the poor rates of his native city,
that is, the interest thereof for ever, amounting, after realizing
his estate, to the very considerable sum of 22,289_l._ 15_s._ 9_d._,
which was placed by his direction in the Three Per Cents., "feeling
confident that stock," as he quaintly expresses it, "will never
be lower than three per cent., as it now is." In the collecting of
the outstanding debts to his estate, there is also this emphatic
injunction, to "oppress not the poor." Legacies to several of his
Chichester friends show that Hardham kept up in life an active sympathy
with his native place, which was to be so largely benefited on his
death. One bequest there is, too, of ten guineas, "to his friend David
Garrick, Esq., the famous actor," who survived him seven years; and
there is besides recorded, as sufficiently indicative of the simplicity
of his character, a sum of "ten pounds for his funeral expenses, for
none but vain fools spend more," which injunction we doubt not, was
religiously observed, when he was buried in the centre aisle of St.
Bride's church.--_Abridged from a contribution to the City Press._

Rare Criticism.

Mrs. Siddons is known to have described to Campbell the scene of her
probation on the Edinburgh boards with no small humour: the grave
attention of the Scotsmen, and their canny reservation of praise till
sure it is deserved, she said, had well nigh worn out her patience.
She had been used to speak to animated clay, but she now felt as if
she had been speaking to stone. Successive flashes of her elocution
that had always been sure to electrify the south, fell in vain on those
northern flints. At last she said that she coiled up her powers to the
most emphatic possible utterance of one passage, having previously
vowed in her heart that if _this_ could not touch the Scotch, she would
never again cross the Tweed. When it was finished, she paused, and
looked to the audience. The deep silence was broken only by a single
voice, exclaiming, "_That's no bad!_" This ludicrous parsimony of
praise convulsed the Edinburgh audience with laughter. But the laugh
was followed by such thunders of applause, that amidst her stunned and
nervous agitation, she was not without fears of the galleries coming

Another instance of encouraging criticism occurs in _The Memoirs of
Charles Mathews_. Early in 1794, he played Richmond to his friend
Lichfield's Richard III.; and both being good fencers, they fought
the fight at the end with uncommon vigour, and prolonged it to an
unreasonable length. After the performances, the two stars lighted each
other to their inn, in hope of liberal applause from their landlord,
whom they had gratified with a ticket. But though thus treated, and
invited to take a pipe and a glass with the two performers after
supper, he was provokingly silent on the great subject; till at
length, finding every circuitous approach ineffectual, they attacked
him with the direct question, "Pray tell us really what you thought
of our acting." This question was not to be evaded: the landlord
looked perplexed, his eyes still fixed on the ground; he took at
length the tube slowly from his mouth, raised his glass, and drank off
the remainder of his brandy-and-water, went to the fire-place, and
deliberately knocked out the ashes from his pipe; then, looking at
the expectants for a minute, exclaimed in a deep though hasty tone of
voice, "Darned good fight!"--and left the room.

The O. P. Riot.

The history in little of this theatrical tumult is as follows:--The
newly-built Covent Garden Theatre opened on the 18th September,
1809, when a cry of "Old Prices" (afterwards diminished to O. P.)
burst out from every part of the house. This continued and increased
in violence till the 23rd, when rattles, drums, whistles, and
cat-calls having completely drowned the voices of the actors, Mr.
Kemble, the stage-manager, came forward and said that a committee of
gentlemen had undertaken to examine the finances of the concern, and
that until they were prepared with their report the theatre would
continue closed. "Name them!" was shouted from all sides. The names
were declared, _viz._ Sir Charles Price, the Solicitor-General, the
Recorder of London, the Governor of the Bank, and Mr. Angerstein.
"All shareholders!" bawled a wag from the gallery. In a few days the
theatre re-opened; the public paid no attention to the report of the
referees, and the tumult was renewed for several weeks with even
increased violence. The proprietors now sent in hired bruisers, to
_mill_ the refractory into subjection. This irritated most of their
former friends, and, amongst the rest, the annotator, who accordingly
wrote the song of "Heigh-ho, says Kemble," which was caught up by the
ballad-singers, and sung under Mr. Kemble's house-windows in Great
Russell Street. A dinner was given at the Crown and Anchor Tavern, in
the Strand, to celebrate the victory obtained by W. Clifford in his
action against Brandon the box-keeper, for assaulting him for wearing
the letters O. P. in his hat. At this dinner Mr. Kemble attended,
and matters were compromised by allowing the advanced price (seven
shillings) to the boxes. A former riot of a similar sort occurred at
the same theatre (in the year 1792), when the price to the boxes was
raised from five shillings to six. That tumult, however, only lasted
three nights.[38]

[38] Note to _Rejected Addresses_. Edition 1861.

Origin of "Paul Pry."[39]

Mr. Poole, the author of this very successful comedy, tells us that
the idea of the character of Paul Pry was suggested by the following
anecdote, related to him many years before he wrote the piece by a
beloved friend.

[39] See _Liston_, page 391.

An idle old lady, living in a narrow street, had passed so much of her
time in watching the affairs of her neighbours, that she at length
acquired the power of distinguishing the sound of every knocker within
hearing. It happened that she fell ill, and was for several days
confined to her bed. Unable to observe in person what was going on
without, she stationed her maid at the window as a substitute for the
performance of that duty. But Betty soon grew weary of the occupation;
she became careless in her reports--impertinent and tetchy when
reprimanded for her negligence.

"Betty, what _are_ you thinking about? Don't you hear a double knock at
No. 9? Who is it?"

"The first-floor lodger, ma'am."

"Betty! Betty! I declare I must give you warning. Why don't you tell me
what that knock is at No. 54?"

"Why, Lord! ma'am, it is only the baker with pies."

"_Pies_, Betty! what _can_ they want with pies at 54?--they had pies

"Of this very point," says Mr. Poole, "I have availed myself. Let
me add, that _Paul Pry_ was never intended as the representative of
any one individual, but a class. Like the melancholy of Jaques, he
is 'compounded of many simples,' and I could mention five or six who
were unconscious contributors to the character. Though it should have
been so often, but erroneously, supposed to have been drawn after some
particular person, is, perhaps, complimentary to the general truth of
the delineation.

"With respect to the play generally, I may say that it is original: it
is original in structure, plot, character, and dialogue--such as they
are--the only imitation I am aware of is to be found in part of the
business in which Mrs. Subtle is engaged; whilst writing those scenes
I had strongly in my recollection _Le Vieux Célibataire_. But even
the title I have adopted is considerably altered and modified by the
necessity of adapting it to the exigencies of a different plot."

[Illustration: Mrs. Garrick. From a portrait taken in her youth.]

Mrs. Garrick.

In the autumn of 1822, we well remember the appearance in the
print-shops of a small whole-length etching of Mrs. Garrick, who had
died three or four days previously, having outlived her celebrated
husband three-and-forty years.

John Thomas Smith notes: "1822. In October this year the venerable
Mrs. Garrick departed this life when seated in her armchair, in the
front drawing-room of her house in the Adelphi Terrace." [The first
floor of which is now occupied by the Literary Fund Society.] "She had
ordered her maid-servants to place two or three gowns upon chairs to
determine in which she would appear at Drury Lane Theatre that evening,
it being a private view of Mr. Elliston's improvements for the season.
Perhaps no lady in public and private life held a more unexceptionable
character. She was visited by persons of the first rank; even our late
Queen Charlotte, who had honoured her with a visit at Hampton, found
her peeling onions for pickling. The gracious queen commanded a knife
to be brought, saying 'I will peel some onions too.' The late King
George IV. and King William IV., as well as other branches of the Royal
Family, frequently honoured her with visits."

In the year previous to her death, Mrs. Garrick went to the British
Museum to inspect the collection of the portraits of Garrick which Dr.
Burney had made. She was delighted with these portraits, many of which
were totally unknown to her. Her observations on some of them were
very interesting, particularly that by Dance, as Richard III. Of that
painter she stated that, in the course of his painting the picture, Mr.
Garrick had agreed to give him two hundred guineas for it. One day,
at Mr. Garrick's dining table, where Dance had always been a welcome
guest, he observed that Sir Watkin Williams Wynne, who had seen the
picture, spontaneously offered him two hundred guineas for it. "Did you
tell him it was for me?" questioned Garrick. "No, I did not."--"Then
you mean to let him have it?" Garrick rejoined. "Yes, I believe I
shall," replied the painter. "However," added Mrs. Garrick, "my husband
was very good: he bought me a handsome looking-glass, which cost him
more than the agreed price of the picture; and that was put up in the
place where Dance's picture was to have hung."

"Mrs. Garrick, being about to quit her seat, said she would be glad to
see me at Hampton. 'Madame,' said Mr. Smith, 'you are very good, but
you would oblige me exceedingly by honouring me with your signature on
this day.' 'What do you ask me for? I have not taken a pen in my hands
for many months. Stay, let me compose myself; don't hurry me, and I
will see what I can do. Would you like it written with my spectacles
on, or without?' Preferring the latter, she wrote, 'E. M. Garrick,' but
not without some exertion.

"'I suppose now, sir, you wish to know my age. I was born at Vienna,
the 29th of February, 1724, though my coachman insists upon it that I
am above a hundred. I was married at the parish of St. Giles at eight
o'clock in the morning, and immediately afterwards in the chapel of the
Portuguese Ambassador, in South Audley Street.'"

A day or two after Mrs. Garrick's death, Mr. Smith went to the Adelphi,
to know if a day had been fixed for the funeral. "No," replied George
Harris, one of Mrs. Garrick's confidential servants, "but I will let
you know when it is to take place. Would you like to see her? She is
in her coffin."--"Yes I should." Upon entering the back room on the
first floor, in which Mrs. Garrick died, Mr. Smith found the deceased's
two female servants standing by her remains. He made a drawing of
her, and intended to have etched it. "Pray, do tell me," said Smith
to one of the maids, "why is the coffin covered with sheets?"--"They
are their wedding sheets, in which both Mr. and Mrs. Garrick wished
to have died." Mr. Smith was told that one of these attentive women
had incurred her mistress's displeasure by kindly pouring out a cup of
tea, and handing it to her in her chair: "Put it down, you hussy: do
you think I cannot help myself." She took it herself, and a short time
after she had put it to her lips, she died.

This lady continued her practice of swearing now and then, particularly
when anyone attempted to impose upon her. A stonemason brought in his
bill, with an overcharge of sixpence more than the sum agreed upon; on
which occasion he endeavoured to appease her rage by thus addressing
her: "My dear Madam, do consider--" "My dear Madam! what do you mean,
you d--d fellow? Get out of the house immediately. My dear Madam,

On the day of the funeral Smith went with Miss Macaulay, the
authoress, to see the venerable lady interred; but when they arrived
at Westminster Abbey, they were refused admittance by a person who
said: "If it be your wish to see the waxwork, you must come when the
funeral's over, and you will then be admitted into Poet's Corner, by a
man who is stationed at the door to receive your money."

"Curse the waxwork!" said Smith, "this lady and I came to see Mrs.
Garrick's remains placed in the grave."--"Ah, well, you can't come in;
the Dean won't allow it."--"As soon as the ceremony was over," says
Smith, "we were admitted for sixpence at the Poet's Corner, and there
we saw the earth that surrounded the grave, and no more, as we refused
to pay the demands of the showmen of the Abbey."

Horace Walpole, though he wrote a bitter letter upon Garrick's funeral,
and some strange opinions of his acting, left some good-humoured
remarks upon Mrs. Garrick: he writes to Miss Hannah More: "Mrs. Garrick
I have scarcely seen this whole summer. She is a liberal Pomona to me,
I will not say an Eve, for though she reaches fruit to me, she will
never let me in, as if I were a boy, and would rob her orchard."

[Illustration: Charles Mathews the Elder.]

Mathews, a Spanish Ambassador.

Mathews once personated a Spanish Ambassador; a frolic enacted by him
at an inn at Dartford. An account of the freak was written by Tom
Hill, who took part in the scene, acting as Mathews's interpreter. He
called it his "Recollections of his Excellency the Spanish Ambassador's
visit to Captain Selby, on board the _Prince Regent_ one of his
Majesty's frigates stationed at the Nore, by the Interpreter."

The party hired a private coach, of large capacity, and extremely
showy, to convey them to Gravesend as the _suite_ of Mathews, who
personated an ambassador from Madrid to the English Government, and
four smart lads, who were entrusted with the secret by the payment
of a liberal fee. The drivers proved faithful to their promise. When
they arrived at the posting-house at Dartford, one of the drivers
dismounted, and communicated to the inn-keeper the character of the
nobleman (Mathews) inside the coach, and that his mission to London
had been attended with the happiest result. The report spread through
Dartford like wildfire, and in about ten minutes the carriage (having
by previous arrangement been detained) was surrounded by at least
two hundred people, all with cheers and gratulations, anxious to
gain a view of the important personage, who, decked out with nearly
twenty different stage jewels, representing sham orders, bowed with
obsequious dignity to the assembled multitude. It was settled that
the party should dine and sleep at the Falcon Tavern, Gravesend,
where a sumptuous dinner was provided for his Excellency and _suite_.
Previously, however, to dinner-time, and to heighten the joke, they
promenaded the town and its environs, followed by a large assemblage
of men, women, and children at a respectful distance, all of whom
preserved the greatest decorum. The interpreter (Mr. Hill) seemed to
communicate and explain to the Ambassador whatever was of interest in
their perambulation. On their return to the inn, the crowd gradually
dispersed. The dinner was served in a sumptuous style, and two or three
additional waiters, dressed in their holiday clothes, were hired for
the occasion.

The ambassador, by medium of his interpreter, asked for two soups, and
a portion of four different dishes of fish with oil, vinegar, mustard,
pepper, salt, and sugar, in the same plate, which, _apparently_ to the
eyes of the waiters, and to their utter astonishment and surprise, he
eagerly devoured. The waiters had been cautioned by one of the _suite_
not to notice the manner in which his Excellency ate his dinner, lest
it should offend him; and their occasional absence from the room gave
Mathews or his companion an opportunity of depositing the incongruous
medley in the ashes under the grate--a large fire having been provided.
The ambassador continued to mingle the remaining viands, during dinner,
in a similar heterogeneous way. The chamber in which his Excellency
slept was brilliantly illuminated with wax-candles, and in one corner
of the room a table was fitted up, under the direction of one of the
party, to represent an oratory, with such appropriate apparatus as
could best be procured. A private sailing-barge was moored at the
stairs by the fountain early the next morning, to convey the ambassador
and his attendants to the _Prince Regent_ at the Nore. The people again
assembled in vast multitudes to witness the embarkation. Carpets were
placed on the stairs at the water's edge, for the state and comfort of
his Excellency; who, the instant he entered the barge, turned round and
bade a grateful farewell to the multitude, at the same time placing his
hand upon his bosom, and taking off his huge cocked hat. The captain
of the barge, a supremely illiterate, good-humoured cockney, was
introduced most ceremoniously to the ambassador, and purposely placed
on his right hand. It is impossible to describe the variety of absurd
and extravagant stratagems practised on the credulity of the captain by
Mathews, and with consummate success, until the barge arrived in sight
of the King's frigate, which by a previous understanding, recognized
the ambassador by signals. The officers were all dressed in full
uniform, and prepared to receive him. When on board, the whole party
threw off their disguises, and were entertained by Captain Selby with a
splendid dinner, to which the lieutenants of the ship were invited.

After the banquet, Mathews, in his own character, kept the company in
high spirits by his incomparable mimic powers for more than ten hours,
incorporating with admirable effect the entire narrative of the journey
to Gravesend, and his, "acts and deeds" at the Falcon. Towards the
close of the feast, and about half-an-hour before the party took their
departure, in order to give the commander and his officers "a touch
of his quality," Mathews assumed his ambassadorial attire, and the
captain of the barge, still in ignorance of the joke, was introduced
into the cabin, between whom and his Excellency an indescribable scene
of rich burlesque was enacted. The party left the ship for Gravesend
at four o'clock in the morning--Mathews, in his "habit as he lived,"
with the addition of a pair of spectacles, which he had a peculiar way
of wearing to conceal his identity, even from the most acute observer.
Mathews again resumed his station by the side of the captain, as a
person who had left the frigate for a temporary purpose. The simple
captain recounted to Mathews all that the Spanish ambassador had
enacted, both in his transit from Gravesend to the Nore, and whilst he
(the captain) was permitted to join the festive board in the cabin,
with singular fidelity, and to the great amusement of the original
party, who, during the whole of this ambassadorial excursion, never
lost their gravity, except when they were left to themselves. They
landed at Gravesend, and from thence departed to London, luxuriating
upon the hoax.

[Illustration: Grimaldi as Clown. After De Wilde.]

Grimaldi, the Clown.

Joseph Grimaldi had for his paternal grandfather a dancer, so vigorous
as to rejoice in the appellation of "Iron Legs." His son, the father of
_our_ Grimaldi, was a native of Genoa, and in 1760 came to England as
dentist to Queen Charlotte. He soon, however, resigned this situation,
commenced dancing and fencing-master, and was appointed ballet-master
of Drury Lane Theatre and Sadler's Wells with the post of primo
buffo. He was an honest and charitable man, and was never known to be
inebriated, though he was very eccentric. He had a vague and profound
dread of the fourteenth day of the month: at its approach he was always
nervous, disquieted, and anxious; directly it had passed he was another
man again, and invariably exclaimed, in his broken English, "Ah! now
I am safe for anoder month." It is remarkable that he actually died
on the fourteenth day of March; and that he was born, christened, and
married on the fourteenth of the month. This was the same man who, in
the time of Lord George Gordon's Riots, when people for the purpose of
protecting their houses from the fury of the mob, inscribed upon their
doors the words "No Popery," actually with the view of keeping in the
right with all parties, and preventing the possibility of offending
any by his form of worship, wrote up "No Religion at all," which
announcement appeared in large characters in front of his house in
Little Russell Street: the protective idea was perfectly successful.

Joseph Grimaldi, our "Joe," was born out of wedlock on the 18th of
December, 1778, in Stanhope Street, Clare Market; his mother being
Rebecca Brooker, who had been from her infancy a dancer at Drury Lane,
and subsequently at Sadler's Wells played old women. Joe's eccentric
father was then more than seventy years old; and twenty-five months
afterwards was born another son, Joseph's only brother.

_Our_ Joe Grimaldi, at the age of one year and eleven months, was
brought out by his father, on the boards of Old Drury, as "the little
clown," in the pantomime of _Robinson Crusoe_, at a salary of 15_s._
per week. In 1781 he first appeared at Sadler's Wells, in the arduous
character of a monkey: here he remained (one season only excepted)
until the termination of his professional career, forty-nine years
afterwards, when in his farewell address, at Sadler's Wells, he
said:--"At a very early age, before that of three years, I was
introduced to the public by my father, at this theatre." This is not
very clear, since it would seem to contradict the statement of his
having appeared at Drury Lane. During the first piece in which little
Joe played at Sadler's Wells, he had nearly lost his life: in one of
the scenes, the clown, his father, was swinging him as a monkey, round
and round by a chain, which broke, and he was hurled a considerable
distance into the pit, fortunately into the very arms of an old
gentleman who was sitting gazing at the stage with intense interest.

At this time, "the little clown's" full-dress was embroidered coat and
breeches, silk stockings, paste buckles, and cocked-hat; and a guinea
in his pocket, which he one day gave to a distressed woman, for which
act his father gave him a caning (though not till five months after),
which he remembered as long as he lived. Old Grimaldi died in 1788,
leaving 1,500_l._, but the executor becoming bankrupt, the two sons
lost the whole of their fortune. Joe stuck to the stage, and at Drury
Lane Mr. Sheridan raised his salary, unasked, to 1_l._ a-week. His
leisure was now passed in breeding pigeons and collecting insects; of
the latter he had a cabinet of 4,000 specimens. He now removed with his
mother to Pentonville, where the house is to this day pointed out in
Penton Place. About this time, early one morning, Joe found near the
Tower of London a purse of gold coin and a bundle of Bank-notes, which,
on his way home, he sat down to count upon the spot where now stands
the Eagle Tavern, in the City Road. There were 380 guineas and 200_l._
in notes, making in the whole 599_l._ Grimaldi repeatedly advertised
in the daily newspapers the finding of the money, but he never heard
a syllable regarding the treasure he had so singularly acquired. His
maternal grandfather, it appears, once left a purse of gold, nearly
400_l._, upon a post near the Royal Exchange, and found it there
untouched after the lapse of nearly an hour.

Joe Grimaldi appeared, as usual, at Sadler's Wells in 1788, but at this
time his salary of fifteen shillings a-week was reduced to three, on
which pittance he remained for three years, making himself generally
useful: in 1794, he had grown so popular at Sadler's Wells, that his
salary had risen from three shillings to four pounds. In 1800, Joe
married Miss Maria Hughes, eldest daughter of a proprietor and the
resident manager of Sadler's Wells: she died in the same year, and
was interred in the grave-yard of St. James's, Clerkenwell, where the
following was inscribed on a tablet at her request:--

    "Earth walks on earth like glittering gold;
    Earth says to earth we are but mould;
    Earth builds on earth castles and towers;
    Earth says to earth all shall be ours."

On Monday, March 17th, 1828, Grimaldi took his farewell benefit at
Sadler's Wells, when he delivered an address, and the whole concluded
"with a brilliant display of fireworks, expressive of Grimaldi's
thanks." He, however, played a short time in 1832, and then quitted
the Wells finally. After this premature retirement from the stage,
poor Joe lived at No. 33, Southampton Street, Pentonville, in a house
which was furnished for him by his friends. At this time he frequented
the coffee-room of the Marquis of Cornwallis tavern, the proprietor of
which, considering his infirmity, or the loss of the use of his lower
extremity, used to fetch him on his back, and take him home in the same
manner. On May 31st, 1837, he was thus brought to the coffee-room and
seemed quite exhilarated, his conversation, and humour, and anecdotes
smacking of the vivacity of former years. He was carried home as usual;
he retired to rest, and next morning was found dead in his bed. On June
5th, he was buried in the ground of St. James's Chapel, Pentonville,
next to the grave of his friend, Charles Dibdin: his grave-stone states
his age at fifty-eight years.

Thomas Hood wrote this touching "Ode to Joseph Grimaldi, senior," upon
his retirement:--

    "Joseph! they say thou'st left the stage
      To toddle down the hill of life,
    And taste the flannell'd ease of age
      Apart from pantomimic strife.
    'Retir'd' (for Young would call it so)--
    'The world shut out'--in Pleasant Row.

    "And hast thou really washt at last,
      From each white cheek the red half-moon?
    And all thy public clownship cast,
      To play the private pantaloon?
    All youth--all ages--yet to be,
    Shall have a heavy miss of thee.

    "Thou didst not preach to make us wise--
      Thou hadst no finger in our schooling--
    Thou didst not lure us to the skies;
      Thy simple, simple trade was--Fooling!
    And yet, Heav'n knows! we could--we can
    Much 'better spare a better man!'

           *       *       *       *       *

    "But Joseph--everybody's Joe--
      Is gone; and grieve I will and must!
    As Hamlet did for Yorick, so
      Will I for thee (though not yet dust):
    And talk as he did when he missed
    The kissing crust, that he had kiss'd!

    "Ah, where is now thy rolling head!
      Thy winking, reeling, _drunken_ eyes,
    (As old Catullus would have said),
      Thy oven-mouth, that swallow'd pies--
    Enormous hunger--monstrous drowth!
    Thy pockets greedy as thy mouth!

    "Ah! where thy ears so often cuff'd!
      Thy funny, flapping, filching hands!
    Thy partridge body always stuff'd
      With waifs and strays and contrabands!
    Thy foot, like Berkeley's Foote--for why?
    'Twas often made to wipe an eye.

    "Ah, where thy legs--that witty pair?
      For 'great wits jump'--and so did they!
    Lord! how they leap'd in lamp-light air!
      Caper'd and bounced, and strode away.
    That years should tame the legs, alack!
    I've seen spring through an almanack!

           *       *       *       *       *

    "For who, like thee, could ever stride
      Some dozen paces to the mile!
    The motley, medley coach provide;
      Or, like Joe Frankenstein, compile
    The _vegetable man_ complete!
    A proper Covent Garden feat.

    "Oh, who, like thee, could ever drink,
      Or eat, swill, swallow--bolt, and choke!
    Nod, weep, and hiccup--sneeze, and wink!
      Thy very yawn was quite a joke!
    Though Joseph junior acts not ill,
    'There's no Fool like the old Fool' still!

    "Joseph, farewell! dear, funny Joe!
      We met with mirth--we part in pain!
    For many a long, long year must go
      Ere fun can see thy like again;
    For Nature does not keep great stores
    Of perfect clowns--that are not _boors_!"

Munden's Last Performance.

In the year 1824, one of Charles Lamb's last ties to the theatre, as a
scene of present enjoyment, was severed. Munden, the rich peculiarities
of whose acting he has embalmed in one of the choicest _Essays of
Elia_, quitted the stage in the mellowness of his powers. His relish
for Munden's acting was almost a new sense: he did not compare him with
the old comedians, as having common qualities with them, but regarded
them as altogether of a different and original style. On the last night
of his appearance, Lamb was very desirous to attend, but every place in
the boxes had long been secured; and Charles was not strong enough to
stand the tremendous rush, by enduring which, alone, he could hope to
obtain a place in the pit; when Munden's gratitude for his exquisite
praise anticipated his wish, by providing for him and Miss Lamb places
in a corner of the orchestra, close to the stage. The play of the
_Poor Gentleman_, in which Munden performed Sir Robert Bramble, had
concluded and the audience were impatiently waiting for the farce, in
which the great comedian was to delight them for the last time, when
Lamb might be seen in a very novel position. In his hand, directly
beneath the line of stage-lights glistened a huge pewter-pot, which he
was draining; while the broad face of old Munden was seen thrust out
from the door by which the musicians enter, watching the close of the
draught, when he might receive and hide the portentous beaker from the
gaze of the admiring neighbours. Some unknown benefactor had sent four
pots of stout to keep up the veteran's heart during his last trial;
and not able to drink them all, he bethought him of Lamb, and without
considering the wonder which would be excited in the brilliant crowd
who surrounded him, conveyed himself the cordial chalice to Lamb's
parched lips. At the end of the same farce, Munden found himself unable
to deliver from memory a short and elegant address which one of his
sons had written for him; but provided against accidents, took it from
his pocket, wiped his eyes, put on his spectacles, read it, and made
his last bow. This was, perhaps, the last night when Lamb took a hearty
interest in the present business scene.[40]

[40] Talfourd's _Letters of Charles Lamb_.

Munden appears to have first imbibed a taste for the stage in his
admiration of the genius of Garrick. He had seen more of Garrick's
acting than any of his contemporaries in 1820, Quick and Bannister
excepted. Munden's style of acting was exuberant with humour. His
face was all changeful nature: his eye glistened and rolled, and lit
up alternately every corner of his laughing face: "then the eternal
tortuosities of his nose, and the alarming descent of his chin,
contrasted, as it eternally was, with the portentous rise of his

Oddities of Dowton.

William Dowton took his farewell benefit at the Opera House, on June
8th, 1840; he was then in his seventy-ninth year--the only actor,
except Macklin, who continued to wear his harness to such an advanced
period. For nearly half a century he had enjoyed a first-class
reputation, but it was found that, when extreme old age came upon him,
he had saved no money. With the amount produced by the above benefit
was purchased for him an annuity for a given number of years, on which
he subsisted in ease and comfort; but, to the surprise of every one,
by dint of regular habits and an iron constitution, he outlived the
calculated time, and there was danger that he might be reduced to
penury. He died in 1849.

Dowton, in 1836, visited the United States; but he was far too advanced
in life to attract attention or draw money. He came back almost as
poor as he went, but with a change in his political opinions. He
entered the land of freedom a furious republican--he returned from it
an ultra-Tory. He was constitutionally discontented, captious, and
fretful; but, at the same time, warm-hearted and generous. His oddities
were very amusing to those who were intimate with him. He would sit
for hours in his dressing-room arranging and contemplating his wigs,
those important accessories to his stage make-up. One of his peculiar
mannerisms was never to play a part without turning his wig. When
he acted Dr. Pangloss, a bet was made that there he would find his
favourite manœuvre impracticable. He managed it, nevertheless. When
Kenrick, the faithful old Irish servant, comes in exultingly, in the
last scene, to announce the long-lost Henry Moreland, he was instructed
to run against Dr. Pangloss, who thus obtained the desired opportunity
of disarranging his head-gear.

Dowton undervalued Edmund Kean, whose merit he never could be induced
to acknowledge. When the vase was presented to that great actor, he
refused to subscribe, saying, "You may cup Mr. Kean, if you please, but
you sha'n't bleed me." He said, too, the cup should be given to Joe
Munden for his performance of Marall. Amongst other eccentricities,
Dowton fancied (a delusion common to comedians) that he could play
tragedy, and never rested until he obtained an opportunity of showing
the town that Edmund Kean knew nothing of Shylock. But the experiment
was, as might have been expected, a total failure. The great point of
novelty consisted in having a number of Jews in court, to represent
his friends and partisans, during the trial scene; and in their arms
he fainted, when told he was, per force, to become a Christian. The
audience laughed outright, as a commentary on the actor's conception.
Once he exhibited, privately, to Mr. J. W. Cole, the last scene of Sir
Giles Overreach, according to his idea of the author's meaning, and a
very mirthful tragedy it proved. He had a strange inverted idea that
Massinger intended Sir Giles for a comic character. He also fancied
that he could play Lord Ogleby, when nature, with her own hand, had
daguerreotyped him for Mr. Sterling. Such are the vagaries of genius,
which are equally mournful and unaccountable.

[Illustration: Liston as "Paul Pry."]

Liston in Tragedy.

Play-goers of the present century narrate the early seriousness of
Liston, the comedian, and his subsequent turn for tragedy; which may
have suggested the apocryphal biography of the actor stated to be by
Charles Lamb,[41] whence the following is abridged:--

Liston was lineally descended from Johan de L'Estonne, who came over
with the Norman William, and had lands awarded him at Lupton Magna, in
Kent. The more immediate ancestors of Mr. Liston were Puritans, and his
father, Habakkuk, was an Anabaptist minister. At the age of nine, young
Liston was placed under the tuition of the Rev. Mr. Goodenough, whose
decease was attended with these awful circumstances. It seems that the
old gentleman and his pupil had been walking out together, in a fine
sunset, to the distance of three-quarters of a mile west of Lupton,
when a sudden curiosity took Mr. Goodenough to look down upon a chasm,
where a mining shaft had been lately sunk, but soon after abandoned.
The old clergyman, leaning over, either with incaution or sudden
giddiness (probably a mixture of both), instantly lost his footing,
and, to use Mr. Liston's phrase, disappeared, and was doubtless broken
into a thousand pieces. The sound of his head &c., dashing successively
upon the projecting masses of the chasm had such an effect upon the
youth Liston, that a serious sickness ensued, and even for many years
after his recovery, he was not once seen so much as to smile.

[41] This paper appeared in the "London Magazine," January, 1825, _not_
1824, as stated at page 121.

The joint death of both his parents, which happened not many months
after this disastrous accident, and were probably (one or both of them)
accelerated by it, threw our youth upon the protection of his maternal
great-aunt, Mrs. Sittingbourn, whom he loved almost to reverence. To
the influence of her early counsels and manners he always attributed
the firmness with which, in maturer years, thrown upon a way of
life commonly not the best adapted to gravity and self-retirement,
he was able to maintain a serious character, untinctured with the
levities incident to his profession. Ann Sittingbourn (her portrait
was painted by Hudson) was stately, stiff, and tall, with a cast of
features strikingly resembling those of Liston. Her estate in Kent
was spacious and well-wooded; and here, in the venerable solitudes
of Charnwood, amid thick shades of the oak and beech (the last his
favourite tree), Liston cultivated those contemplative habits which
never entirely deserted him in after-years. Here he was commonly in
summer months to be met, book in hand--not a play book--meditating.
Boyle's _Reflections_ was at one time his darling volume; this, in
its turn, was superseded by Young's _Night Thoughts_, which continued
its hold upon him throughout life. He carried it always about him;
and it was no uncommon thing for him to be seen, in the refreshing
intervals of his occupation, leaning against a side-scene, in a sort
of Herbert-of-Cherbury posture, turning over a pocket edition of his
favourite author.

The premature death of Mrs. Sittingbourn, occasioned by incautiously
burning a pot of charcoal in her sleeping-chamber, left Liston, in
his nineteenth year, nearly without resources. That the stage at all
should have presented itself as an eligible scope for his talents, and
in particular, that he should have chosen a line so foreign to what
appears to have been his turn of mind, admits of explanation.

At Charnwood, then, we behold him thoughtful, grave, ascetic. From his
cradle averse to flesh-meats and strong drink; abstemious even beyond
the genius of the place; and almost in spite of the remonstrances
of his great-aunt, who, though strict, was not rigid, water was his
habitual drink, and his food little beyond the mast and beech-nuts
of his favourite groves. It is a medical fact, that this kind of
diet, however favourable to the contemplative powers of the primitive
hermits, &c., is but ill adapted to the less robust minds and bodies of
a later generation. Hypochondria almost constantly ensues, and young
Liston was subject to sights and had visions. Those arid beech-nuts,
distilled by a complexion naturally adust, mounted into a brain,
already prepared to kindle by long seclusion and the fervour of strict
Calvinistic notions. In the glooms of Charnwood he was assailed by
illusions, similar in kind to those which are related of the famous
Anthony of Padua. Wild antic faces would ever and anon protrude
themselves upon his _sensorium_. Whether he shut his eyes or kept them
open, the same illusion operated. The darker and more profound were his
cogitations, the droller and more whimsical became the apparitions.
They buzzed about him, thick as flies, flapping at him, floating at
him, hooting in his ear; yet with such comic appendages, that what at
first was his bane, became at length his solace; and he desired no
better society than that of his merry phantasmata. We shall presently
find in what way this remarkable phenomenon influenced his future

On the death of Mrs. Sittingbourn, Liston was received into the family
of Mr. Willoughby, an eminent Turkey merchant, in Birchin Lane. He
was treated more like a son than a clerk, though he was nominally but
the latter. Different avocations, change of scene, with alternation
of business and recreation, appear to have weaned him in a short time
from the hypochondriacal affections which had beset him at Charnwood.
Within the next three years we find him making more than one voyage to
the Levant, as chief factor for Mr. Willoughby at the Porte: he used
to relate pleasant passages of his having been taken up on a suspicion
of a design of penetrating the seraglio, &c.; but some of these are
whimsical, and others of a romantic nature.

We will now bring him over the seas again, and suppose him in the
counting-house in Birchin Lane, his factorage satisfactory, and all
going on so smoothly that we may expect to find Mr. Liston at last
an opulent merchant upon 'Change. But see the turns of destiny. Upon
a summer's excursion into Norfolk, in the year 1801, the accidental
sight of pretty Sally Parker, as she was then called (then in the
Norwich company), diverted his inclinations at once from commerce,
and he became stage-struck. Happily for the lovers of mirth was it
that he took this turn. Shortly after, he made his _début_ on the
Norwich boards, in his twenty-second year. Having a natural bent to
tragedy, he chose the part of Pyrrhus in the _Distressed Mother_, to
Sally Parker's Hermione. We find him afterwards as George Barnwell,
Altamont, Chamont, &c.; but, as if nature had destined him to the sock,
an unavoidable infirmity absolutely incapacitated him for tragedy.
His person at this latter period was graceful and even commanding,
his countenance set to gravity; he had the power of arresting the
attention of an audience at first sight almost beyond any other tragic
actor. But he could not hold it. To understand this obstacle, we must
go back a few years to those appalling reveries at Charnwood. Those
illusions, which had vanished before the dissipation of a less recluse
life and more free society, now in his solitary tragic studies, and
amid the intense call upon feeling incident to tragic acting, came
back upon him with tenfold vividness. In the midst of some most
pathetic passages--the parting of Jaffier with his dying friend,
for instance--he would suddenly be surprised with a fit of violent
horse-laughter. While the spectators were all sobbing before him with
emotion, suddenly one of those grotesque faces would peep out upon
him, and he could not resist the impulse. A timely excuse once or
twice served his purpose, but no audience could be expected to bear
repeatedly this violation of the continuity of feeling. He describes
them (the illusions) as so many demons haunting him, and paralyzing
every effort: it is said that he could not recite the famous soliloquy
in _Hamlet_, even in private, without immoderate fits of laughter.
However, what he had not force of reason sufficient to overcome, he
had good sense enough to turn into emolument, and determined to make a
commodity of his distemper. He prudently exchanged the buskin for the
sock, and the illusions instantly ceased, or, if they occurred for a
short season, by this very co-operation added a zest to his comic vein;
some of his most catching faces being (as he expressed it), little more
than transcripts and copies of those extraordinary phantasmata.

We have now drawn Liston to the period when he was about to make his
first appearance in the metropolis, as it is narrated in a clever
paper in the _London Magazine_ January, 1824. This is not referred
to in the sketch of Liston's career, written a few days after his
death, March 22nd, 1846, by his son-in-law, George Herbert Rodwell,
the musical composer, and published in the _Illustrated London News_,
March 28th. There we are told that Liston was born in 1776; that
his father lived in Norris Street, Haymarket, and that young John
was educated at Dr. Barrow's Soho School, and subsequently became
second master in Archbishop Tenison's school. Rodwell relates that
early in his theatrical life, Liston went, for cheapness, by sea to
Newcastle-upon-Tyne, and was beaten about by adverse winds for a
fortnight; provisions ran so short that Liston was reduced to his
last inch of dry cheese. At Newcastle, through the above delay, he
was roughly received by Stephen Kemble, the manager, sitting in awful
state in the centre of the stage, directing a rehearsal. Kemble eyed
him several times before he spoke; at last he growled out, "Well, young
man, you are come." Mr. Liston bowed. "Then now you may go back again!
You have broken your engagement by being too late."--"It's very easy to
_say_ go back," replied Liston, with one of his peculiar looks, "but
here I am, and here I must stay, for I have not a farthing left in the
world." Kemble relented, and Liston remained at Newcastle until he came
to London for good.

The first _comic_ part he performed was Diggory, in _She Stoops to
Conquer_. He took a great fancy to the character, and kept secret his
intentions as to the manner he meant to play it in, and the style
of dress he should wear. When he came on, so original was his whole
conception of the thing, that not an actor on the stage could speak
for laughing. When he came off, Mr. Kemble said:--"Young man, it
strikes me you have mistaken your _forte_: there's something comic
about you."--"I've not mistaken my _forte_," replied Liston, "but you
never before allowed me to try; I don't think myself I was made for
the heavy Barons!" He first appeared in London, as Sheepface, in the
_Village Lawyer_, June 10th, 1805. "That Mr. Liston did really imagine
he could be a tragic actor," says Rodwell, "is partly borne out by his
actually having attempted Octavian, in the _Mountaineers_, May 17th,

When Liston first appeared on the stage is not accurately known. The
following early note from a manager of the time is undated:--"Sir, your
not favouring Me with an answ^r Relative to the I-dea of the Cast, I,
at random (tho' very ill), Scratch'd Out, Makes it Necessary for Me to
have your Opinion, in Order to Prevent Aney Mistake.--I am, Sir, with
every Good Wish, yours, &c.,"

                                                  "TATE WILKINSON."

When Liston first came to London, he generally wore a pea-green coat,
and was everywhere accompanied by an ugly little pug-dog. This pug-dog,
like his master, soon made himself a favourite, go where he would, and
seemed exceedingly proud that he could make almost as many laugh as
could his master. The pug-dog acted as Mr. Liston's _avant-courier_,
always trotting on before, to announce his friend and master. The
frequenters of the Orange Coffee-house, Cockspur Street, where Liston
resided, used to say, laughing, "Oh, Liston will be here in a moment,
for here is his beautiful pug."

Latterly he went little into society. His attention to his religious
duties was always marked by devout sincerity; his knowledge of the
Scriptures was very extensive.

[Illustration: Edmund Kean as Richard the Third.]

Boyhood of Edmund Kean.

Many years ago, there appeared in the _New Monthly Magazine_ the
following account of Kean's early days:--"I saw young Edmund Carey
(Kean) first in April, 1796. I am particularly positive both to month
and year, because I met Mrs. Carey and the boys (_Darnley_ was the
other reputed son by another father; this actor was for many years at
Astley's Amphitheatre, and is now living) on the morning of the day
on which Ireland's pretended Shakesperian drama was performed. Edmund
was always little, slight, but not young-looking; I should say he was
then _ten years of age_! The following September he played Tom Thumb at
Bartholomew Fair at a public-house; his mother played Queen Dollalolla;
he had a good voice, and was a pretty boy, but unquestionably more
like a _Jew_ than a Christian _child_. Old Richardson, the showman,
engaged him then and subsequently, and is living to vouch for the
fact, as far as eyesight goes, that in 1796, Kean looked more like a
child of _ten_ or _twelve_ than of _six_ years. This of course puts
an end to the _possibility_ of his having been born in the year 1790.
I cannot vouch as to the truth of the oft-repeated story of the dance
of devils in _Macbeth_, and his rejoinder to John Kemble, who found
fault with him, that 'he (Kean) had never appeared in tragedy before;'
but if it did occur, it must have been in 1794; for Garrick's Drury
was pulled down to be rebuilt in 1791, and the new theatre commenced
dramatic performances with _Macbeth_. Many novelties of arrangement
were attempted, the dance in question among the rest. Charles Kemble
made his first appearance as Malcolm that very night, and the audience
laughed very heartily when he exclaimed, '_Oh! by whom?_' on hearing
the account of his father's murder. Charles Kemble was then said to be
eighteen; I think he was more. If Kean was one of the dancing devils,
he could have been only _three years and five months old_; that is,
taking his own account of being born in November, 1790.

"Kean broke his leg when a boy, riding an act of horsemanship at
Bartholomew Fair; and he was often, towards the years 1802, 3, 4,
and 5, about different parts of the country, spouting, riding, or
rope-dancing. The last time I saw him, previous to his 'great hit,' was
at Sadler's Wells; he was in front to see Belzoni (afterwards known
as the great traveller), who gave a pantomimic performance (such as
Ducrow since attempted) illustrative of the passions of Lebrun; Belzoni
was superior to anything I ever beheld, and I am not solitary in that
opinion. Ella, the harlequin, and Belzoni were together at the old
Royalty Theatre; and Belzoni's brother was also there. The great and
enterprising traveller was retained as a _posturer_ at 2_l._ per week!"

About 1800, at the Rolls Rooms, Chancery Lane, young Kean, then
described as "the infant prodigy, Master Carey," gave readings, and
read the whole of Shakspeare's _Merchant of Venice_. All who knew
Kean intimately as a boy, declared that he was then a splendid actor,
and that many of his effects, at the age of fourteen, were quite as
startling as any of his more mature performances. Byron, who was then
much in theatrical society, says, "Kean began by acting Richard the
Third, when quite a boy, and gave all the promise of what he afterwards

A Mysterious Parcel.

Mr. Bunn, when Lessee of Drury Lane Theatre, experienced the following
odd circumstance, which he describes, as curious as any that has
been or can be recited:--On reaching the theatre on Tuesday evening,
March 12th, 1839, he found on his desk a very small brown paper
parcel, addressed "To A. Bunn, Esq.," looking very dirty, and very
suspicious, and weighing wherewithal sufficiently heavy as to increase
such suspicion. The town had at that moment been partly astonished
and partly amused by "Madame Vestris's Infernal Machine," and the
narrow escape the person had who first opened it. Having no desire
for any similar experiment, Mr. Bunn hesitated in unfolding this
mysterious packet, more particularly when his messenger described the
dingy-looking fellow that left it at the stage-door, with an injunction
that it was "to be delivered into Mr. Bunn's own hands." However,
overcoming any apprehensions of gunpowder, and setting whatever of the
combustible it might contain to the amount of a mere squib, he sent
for his under-treasurer, and in his presence opened some half-dozen
pieces of paper, each tightly bound by some half-dozen pieces of
string, and inside the last he found:--

  32 Sovereigns         £32  0  0
  10 Half-sovereigns      5  0  0
  13 Half-crowns          1 12  6
  27 Shillings            1  7  0
  1 Sixpence              0  0  6
                        £40  0  0

"I began to think," says Bunn, "that this was the contribution of some
eccentric supporter of Drury Lane, anxious to reward its manager's
exertions, yet, with a rooted modesty, anxious to conceal his name;
but such an occurrence was so totally without precedent, that I gave
up that conjecture in utter hopelessness. Then I bethought me of more
than one performer who had literally robbed me to such an extent; and
pondered over the probability of this being a return thereof, arising
out of a touch of conscience; but as what little consciences most of
them _have_ got are very seldom touched, I abandoned that surmise with
even a greater degree of despair than I first of all entertained it.
_By_ whom was it sent, or _for_ whom was it sent, I am totally unable
to tell; it was added to the general receipt of the exchequer, for
the benefit of all those having any claim on it, though the chances
are it was forwarded for my own individual advantage. The donor is
hereby thanked, be he or she whoever he or she may; and I can only say,
if many more had made their appearance, the disasters of Drury Lane
Theatre would have been obviated or provided against. Now, is not a
manager's life an odd life, and are not the people he has to deal with
a very odd set of people? and if he should do odd things, can no excuse
be found for him by your pickers and stealers, and evil speakers, and
liars, and slanderers? I can only say, if there is none, there should

Among the droll stories told by Mr. Bunn, in his caustic book, _The
Stage_, is this:--In 1824, when the question of erecting a monument to
Shakespeare, in his native town, was agitated by Mr. Mathews and Mr.
Bunn, the King (George IV.) took a lively interest in the matter, and,
considering that the leading people of both the patent theatres should
be consulted, directed Sir Charles Long, Sir George Beaumont, and Sir
Francis Freeling to ascertain Mr. Elliston's sentiments on the subject.
As soon as these distinguished individuals (who had come direct from,
and were going direct back to the Palace) had delivered themselves
of their mission, Elliston replied, "Very well, gentlemen, leave the
papers with me, and _I will talk over the business with_ HIS MAJESTY."

Masquerade Incident.

When the Rev. Mr. Venables was at St. Petersburg, in 1834, he received
the following narrative of a strange and startling incident at a
masquerade in the above capital:--At Christmas, 1834, a ball was given
at a house at St. Petersburg, and candles were placed in the windows of
the house, as a well-understood signal that masks might enter without
special invitation. Several masks arrived in the course of the evening,
stayed but a short time, as is usual, and departed.

At length a party entered dressed as Chinese, and bearing on a
palanquin a person whom they called their chief, saying that it was
his fête-day. They set him down very respectfully in the middle of
the room, and commenced dancing what they called their national dance
around him. When this was concluded, they separated and mingled with
the general company, speaking French fluently (the universal language
at a Russian masquerade), and making themselves extremely agreeable.
After awhile they began gradually to disappear unnoticed, slipping out
of the room one or two at a time. At last they were all gone, but their
chief still remained sitting motionless in dignified silence in his
palanquin in the middle of the room. The ball began to thin, and the
attention of those who remained was wholly drawn to the silent figure
of the Chinese mask.

The master of the house at length went up to him, and told him that
his companions were all gone; politely begging him at the same time to
take off his mask, that he and his guests might know to whom they were
indebted for all the pleasure which the exhibition had afforded them.
The Chinaman, however, gave no reply by word or sign, and a feeling of
uneasy curiosity gradually drew around him by the guests who remained
in the ball-room. He still took no notice of all that was passing
around him, and the master of the house at length, with his own hand,
took off the mask, and discovered to the horrified by-standers the face
of a corpse.

The police were immediately sent for, and on a surgical examination
of the body, it appeared to be that of a man who had been strangled a
few hours before. Nothing could be discovered, either at the time or
afterwards, which could lead to the identifying of the dead man, or to
the discovery of the actors in this extraordinary scene, and no clue
has ever been obtained. It was found on inquiry that they arrived at
the house where they deposited the dead body in a handsome equipage
with masked servants.

This horrible story was stated to Mr. Venables, by General Bontourlin,
to be a well-known and undoubted fact. The body was never identified,
but was supposed to be that of the victim of a murder arising out of a
gambling transaction. The acuteness of the police would seem to have
been at fault; or, more probably, the proper use of the proper amount
of roubles suppressed inconvenient discoveries.

[Illustration: T. P. Cooke in "Black-Eyed Susan."]

Mr. T. P. Cooke in Melodrama and Pantomime.

During the Christmas of 1810 or 1811, Mr. T. P. Cooke was a member of
the Theatre Royal, Dublin, which could boast of a company including
the names of Miss O'Neil, afterwards Lady Beecher, then in her teens;
Miss Walstein, Messrs. Conway, Farren, and others of histrionic fame.
Sir Walter Scott's _Lady of the Lake_ had been published on the 10th
of May, 1810, and the critics of the day had pronounced it to be "the
most interesting, romantic, picturesque, and graceful" of the author's
poems. Managers were anxious to produce a version of the _Lady of
the Lake_ upon the stage, and no one was more prompt in bringing one
forward than the lessee of the Theatre Royal, Dublin. The cast was
powerful. Misses O'Neil and Walstein were the representatives of the
chieftain's daughter, Ellen Douglas, and the crazed and captive lowland
maid, Blanche of Devon; Malcolm Græme was well acted; Conway looked
the Knight of Snowdon, James Fitzjames, to the life; and T. P. Cooke
appeared to the greatest advantage as Roderick Vick Alpine Roderick
Dhu. Nothing could exceed the beauty of the scenery; and the drama
created a furore among the warm-hearted Emeralders. As the manager
acted upon the principle of not "keeping more cats than could kill
mice," the services of some of his dramatic performers were pressed
into afterpieces; and, as the pantomime of _Harlequin and Mother
Goose_ had made a great sensation in London, it was brought out in
the capital of the sister isle--T. P. Cooke doffing his picturesque
Highland costume for that of Squire Bugle, afterwards Clown. No one
that had seen the noble bearing of Vick Alpine in the mountain pass,

    "These are Clan-Alpine's warriors true;
    And, Saxon, I am Roderick Dhu,"

would have recognized the same being when equipped in the loose
hunting-dress of the Squire or the grotesque garb of the Clown. The
pantomime went off well, and, although T. P. Cooke wanted the fun of
Grimaldi, he, by the aid of youth and great agility, bustled through
the part most satisfactorily.

At the termination of the performance, which had been honoured by the
presence of the Lord-Lieutenant, Charles, fourth Duke of Richmond,
the Duchess, and her then young and numerous family, the Duke was
persuaded by two of his sons, Lords William and Frederick--then
Westminster boys--to go behind the scenes to look at the wonderful
goose. The manager, wax-candles in hand, after the most approved
manner of receiving illustrious guests, conducted the Duke, his two
sons, and a young daughter to the stage and green-room, and the
pantomimic tricks were duly displayed by the attentive property-man,
who explained to the young noblemen the mysteries of the world behind
the curtain: how the transformation-scene was managed; how the
sprites descended and ascended through the "traps;" how the nimble
Harlequin, the active Clown, and the "slippered Pantaloon" were
caught in blankets after their wonderful leaps through clock-dials,
shop-windows, picture-frames, and looking-glasses; how the smallest
of boys was introduced into a sham goose's skin; how a few daubs of
paint, some gold and silver leaf, and green tinsel, produced the
splendid fairy scene; how some spangles sewn on a coarse parti-coloured
suit made Harlequin appear glittering like gold; how a white calico
garb, with a few quaint red and blue devices, some chalk and red
paint, could change the "human face divine" to that of a mask. After
inspecting everything worthy of note behind the scenes, the Duke and
his family proceeded to their carriage, when, at the entrance to the
green-room, they met the Clown, who had remained behind to arrange some
stage-business with the Harlequin. "I forget his name," said the Duke,
who, although he patronized the drama, did not take especial interest
in the performance. "Cooke," responded the manager. "I congratulate
you, Mr. Cooke," said his Grace. "I've seen Grimaldi in the part, and
am delighted with your performance." Cooke bowed his acknowledgments.
"Pray," continued the Lord-Lieutenant, "is Mr. T. P. Cooke, who looked
so well and acted Roderick Vick Alpine with such spirit, any relation
of yours?"--"A very near one," responded the actor. "He stands before
you; for, Saxon, I am Roderick Dhu!" The Duke smiled, shook hands with
him, declaring he had never witnessed such a wonderful metamorphose.

"Romeo and Juliet" in America.

Miss Fanny Kemble, in her clever record of her experiences in the
United States, relates the following, which occurred in one of her
provincial engagements. The play was _Romeo and Juliet_. "My Romeo,"
says Miss Kemble, "had gotten on a pair of trunk-breeches, which
looked as if he had borrowed them of some worthy Dutchman a hundred
years ago. Had he worn them in New York, I could have understood it
as a compliment to the ancestry of that good city; but here to adopt
such a costume in _Romeo_ was perfectly unaccountable. They were of a
most unhappy choice of colour, too--dull, heavy-looking blue cloth,
and offensive crimson satin, all bepuckered, and beplaited, and
bepuffed, till the young man looked like a magical figure growing out
of a monstrous, strange-coloured melon, beneath which descended his
unfortunate legs, thrust into a pair of red slippers, for all the world
like Grimaldi's legs en costume for _Clown_. The play went off pretty
smoothly, except that they broke one man's collar-bone and nearly
dislocated a woman's shoulder, by flinging the scenery about. My bed
was not made in time, and when the scene drew, half-a-dozen carpenters,
in patched trousers and tattered shirt-sleeves, were discovered
smoothing down my pillows and adjusting my draperies. The last scene is
too good not to be given verbatim:--

     "_Romeo._ Rise, rise, my Juliet,
     And from this cave of death, this house of horror,
     Quick let me snatch thee to thy Romeo's arms."

Here he pounced upon me, plucked me up in his arms like an
uncomfortable bundle, and staggered down the stage with me.

     "_Juliet_ (_aside_). Oh! you've got me up horribly! That'll never do.
     Do let me down, pray let me down.

     _Romeo._ There, breathe a vital spirit on thy lips,
     And call thee back, my soul, to life and love.

     _Juliet_ (_aside_). Pray put me down; you'll certainly throw me down,
     if you don't set me on the ground directly."

In the midst of "Cruel, cursed fate," his dagger fell out of his dress;
I, embracing him tenderly, crammed it back again, because I knew I
should want it again in the end.

     "_Romeo._ Tear not our heart-strings thus!
     They crack! they break! Juliet! Juliet!


     _Juliet_ (to _Corpse_). Am I smothering you?

     _Corpse_ (to _Juliet_). Not at all. Could you be so kind, do you
     think, as to put my wig on again for me? It has fallen off.

     _Juliet_ (to _Corpse_). I'm afraid I can't; but I'll throw my muslin
     veil over it. You've broken the phial, haven't you?

     [CORPSE _nodded_.]

     _Juliet_ (to _Corpse_). Where's your dagger?

     _Corpse_ (to _Juliet_). 'Pon my soul, I don't know."

The Mulberries, a Shakspearian Club.

At the thirty-fourth Anniversary of the Shakspeare Club, at
Stratford-on-Avon, on April 23rd, 1858, the President, Mr. Buckstone,
of the Haymarket Theatre, related, with much humour, the following
interesting account of the above Shakspearian Club:--

"On emerging from boyhood, and while yet a young actor, I was one of
the first members of a Shakspearian club, called _The Mulberries_.
It was not then a very prominent one, as its meetings were held at a
certain house of entertainment in Vinegar Yard, Drury Lane. The club
assembled there once a week; they dined together on Shakespeare's
birthday; and in the mulberry season there was another dinner and a
mulberry feast, at which the chairman sat enthroned under a canopy
of mulberry branches, with the fruit on them; Shakspearian songs
were sung; members read original papers or poems relating only to
Shakspeare; and as many artists belonged to this club, they exhibited
sketches of some event connected with our poet's life; and some had
the honour of submitting a paper to be read, called 'Shakespeare's
Drinking-bout,' an imaginary story, illustrating the traditionary
event, when the chivalry of Stratford went forth to carouse with

    "Piping Pebworth, dancing Marston,
    Haunted Hilborough, hungry Grafton,
    Dudging Exhall, papist Wicksford,
    Beggarly Broom, and drunken Bidford."

All these papers and pictures were collected together in a book, called
_Mulberry Leaves_; and you will believe me, that in spite of our lowly
place of meeting, the club was not intellectually insignificant, when
amongst its members, then in their youth, were Douglas Jerrold, Laman
Blanchard, the Landseers (Charles and Thomas), Frank Stone, Cattermole,
Robert Keeley, Kenny Meadows, and subsequently, though at another
and more important place of meeting, Macready, Talfourd (the judge),
Charles Dickens, John Forster, and many other celebrities. You will
very naturally wish to know what became of this club. Death thinned the
number of its members; important pursuits in life took some one way
and some another; and, after twenty years of much enjoyment, the club
ceased to exist, and the _Mulberry Leaves_ disappeared, no one ever
knew whither.

From Mr. Blanchard Jerrold's Life of his Father we learn that William
Elton, the Shakspearian actor, was a member of the Mulberries, as were
also William Godwin, and Edward Chatfield the artist. The contributions
fell into Mr. Elton's hands, and are now in the possession of his
family. The _leaves_ were to have been published; but the club dead,
it was nobody's business to see them through the press, and to this
hour they remain in manuscript. Of the club itself it is said:
"Respectability killed it. Sumptuous quarters were sought; Shakspeare
was to be admired in a most elegant manner--to be edited specially
for the club by the author of _The Book of Etiquette_. But the new
atmosphere had not the vigour of the old, and so, after a long
struggle, all the Mulberries fell from the old tree, and now it is a
green memory only to a few old members. Douglas Jerrold always turned
fondly to these Shakspearian days, and he loved to sing the old song
he wrote for the Mulberries, in that soft, sweet voice which all his
friends remember:

    "And thus our moral food
      Doth Shakspeare leaven still,
    Enriching all the good.
      And less'ning all the ill;--
    Thus, by his bounty, shed
      Like balm from angel's wing,
    Though winter scathe our head,
      Our spirits dance with spring."

Colley Cibber's Daughter.

This unfortunate person was the youngest child of Colley Cibber, and
married a singer named Charke: there seems to have been a touch of
insanity, certainly there was no power of self-control, in this poor
woman. From her childhood she had been wild, wayward, and rebellious;
self-taught, as a boy might be, and with nothing feminine in her
character or pursuits. With self-assertion, too, she was weak enough
to be won by a knave with a sweet voice, whose cruel treatment drove
his intractable wife to the stage, where she failed to profit by her
fine opportunities. Mrs. Charke loved to play male characters; and of
the many, that of Plume was her favourite. At the Haymarket Theatre, in
1745, she played Captain Macheath, and other masculine parts, before
she attempted to pass herself off upon the world, or hide herself from
it, as a man.

Dr. Doran, in his amusing book, _Their Majesties' Servants_, writing
of the year 1757, that of Colley Cibber's death says: "While the body
of the poet Laureate was being carried to Westminster Abbey, there was
up away in a hut in then desolate Clerkenwell, and starving, Colley's
only daughter, Charlotte Charke. Seven-and-twenty years before, she
had just come upon the stage, after a stormy girlhood; and she had a
mania for appearing in male characters on, and in male attire off, the
stage. By some terrible offence she forfeited the recognition of her
father, who was otherwise of a benevolent disposition; and friendless,
she fought a series of battles with the world, and came off in all
more and more damaged. She starved with strollers, failed as a grocer
in Long Acre, became bankrupt as a puppet-show proprietor in James
Street, Haymarket; re-married, became a widow a second time, was
plunged into deeper ruin, thrown into prison for debt, and released
only by the subscriptions of the lowest, but not least charitable,
sisterhood of Drury Lane. Assuming male attire, she hung about the
theatres for casual hire, went on tramp with itinerants, hungered
daily, and was weekly cheated, but yet kept up such an appearance that
an heiress fell in love with her, who was reduced to despair when
Charlotte Charke revealed her story and abandoned the place. Her next
post was that of a valet to an Irish Lord; forfeiting which she and
her child became sausage-makers, but could not obtain a living; and
then Charlotte Charke cried, 'Coming, coming, sir,' as a waiter at
the King's Head Tavern, Marylebone. Thence she was drawn by an offer
to make her manager of a company of strolling players, with whom she
enjoyed more appetite than means to appease it. She endured sharp
distress again and again; but was relieved by an uncle, who furnished
her with funds, with which she opened a tavern in Drury Lane, where,
after a brief career of success, she again became bankrupt. To the
regular stage she once more returned, under her brother, Theophilus, at
the Haymarket: but the Lord Chamberlain closed the house, and Charlotte
Charke took to working the wires of Russell's famous puppets in the
Great Room, still existing in Brewer Street. There was a gleam of good
fortune for her, but it soon faded away; and then for nine wretched
years this clever but most wretched of women struggled frantically
for bare existence, amongst the most wretched of strollers, with whom
she endured unmitigated misery. And yet, Cibber's erring and hapless
daughter contrived to reach London, where, in 1755, she published her
remarkable autobiography, the details of which make the heart ache, in
spite of the small sympathy of the reader for this half-mad creature.
On the profits of this book, she was enabled to open, as _landlord_,
a tavern at Islington; but of course, ruin ensued; and in a hut, amid
the cinder-heaps and worse refuse, in the desolate fields, she found a
refuge, and even wrote a novel on a pair of bellows in her lap, by way
of desk. Here she lived with a squalid hand-maiden, a cat, dog, magpie,
and monkey. Humbled, disconsolate, abandoned, she readily accepted from
a publisher who visited her 10_l._ for her manuscript. This was at the
close of the year 1755, and I do not meet with her again till 1759, two
years after her father's death, when she played Marplot in _The Busy
Body_, for her own benefit at the Haymarket, with this advertisement:
'As I am entirely dependent on chance for a subsistence, and desirous
of getting into business, I humbly hope the town will favour me on the
occasion, which, added to the rest of their indulgences, will be ever
gratefully acknowledged by their truly obliged and obedient servant,
Charlotte Charke.' She died on the 6th of April, 1760."

[Illustration: Charlotte Charke. After Boitard.]

She "is said to have once given imitations of her father on the stage;
to have presented a pistol at, and robbed him on the highway, and to
have smeared his face with a pair of soles out of her own basket."

An Eccentric Love-Passage.

Captain Gronow relates that Mr. Bradshaw, M.P. for Canterbury, "fell
in love" with Maria Tree: hearing that the lady had taken a place in
the Birmingham mail, he booked the rest for himself in the name of
Tomkins, and resolved to make the most of the opportunity afforded
him. Unfortunately, his luggage and Miss Tree went by one mail, while
Mr. Bradshaw through a mistake travelled by another. On arriving at
Birmingham early in the morning, he left the coach and stepped into
the hotel, determined to remain there, and go to the theatre on the
following evening. He went to bed and slept late the following day;
and on waking he remembered that his trunk with all his money had
gone on to Manchester, and that he was without the means of paying
his way. Seeing the Bank of Birmingham opposite the hotel, he went
over and explained his position to one of the partners, giving his own
banker's address in London, and showing letters addressed to him as Mr.
Bradshaw. Upon this he was told that with such credentials he might
have a loan; and the banker said he would write the necessary letter
and cheque, and send the money over to him at the hotel. Mr. Bradshaw,
pleased with this kind attention, sat himself down comfortably to
breakfast in the coffee-room. According to promise, the cashier made
his appearance at the hotel, and asked the waiter for Mr. Bradshaw.
"No such gentleman here," was the reply.--"Oh, yes, he came by the
London mail."--"No, sir; no one came but Mr. Tomkins, who was booked as
inside passenger to Manchester." The cashier was dissatisfied; but the
waiter added, "Sir, you can look through the window of the coffee-room
door, and see the gentleman yourself." On doing so he beheld the Mr.
Tomkins, _alias_ Mr. Bradshaw, and immediately returned to the Bank,
telling what he himself had heard and seen. The banker went over to the
hotel, had a consultation with the landlord, and it was determined that
a watch should be placed upon the suspicious person who had two names
and no luggage, and who was booked to Manchester but had stopped at
Birmingham. The landlord summoned boots--a little lame fellow of most
ludicrous appearance--and pointing to the gentleman in the coffee-room,
told him his duty for the day was to follow him wherever he went,
and never to lose sight of him; but above all to take care that he
did not get away. Boots nodded assent, and immediately mounted guard.
Mr. Bradshaw having taken his breakfast and read the papers, looked
at his watch and sallied forth to see something of the goodly town of
Birmingham. He was much surprised at observing a little odd-looking
man surveying him most attentively, and watching his every movement;
stopping whenever he stopped, and evidently taking a deep interest in
all he did. At last, observing that he was the object of this incessant
_espionnage_, and finding that he had a shilling left in his pocket, he
hailed one of the coaches that ran short distances in those days when
omnibuses were not. This, however, did not suit little Boots, who went
up to him and insisted that he must not leave the town. Mr. Bradshaw's
indignation was naturally excessive, and he immediately returned to the
hotel, where he found a constable ready to take him before the mayor
as an impostor and swindler. He was compelled to appear before his
worship and had the mortification of being told that unless he could
give some explanation he must be content with a night's lodging in a
house of detention. Mr. Bradshaw had no alternative but to send to the
fair charmer of his heart to identify him; which she most readily did
as soon as rehearsal was over. Explanations were then entered into; but
he was forced to give the reason of his being in Birmingham, which of
course made a due impression on the lady's heart, and led to that happy
result of their interviews--a marriage which resulted in the enjoyment
of mutual happiness for many years.

True to the Text.

A curious instance of this occurred many years ago, at the termination
of the tragedy of _Richard the Third_. Mr. Elliston was enacting
the part of _Richmond_; and having, during the evening, disobeyed
the injunction which the King of Denmark lays down to the Queen,
"Gertrude, do not drink," he accosted Mr. Powell, who was personating
_Lord Stanley_ (for the safety of whose son _Richmond_ is naturally
anxious), THUS, on his entry, after the issue of the battle:--

Elliston (as _Richmond_). Your son, George Stanley, is he dead?

Powell (as _Lord Stanley_). He is, my Lord, and _safe in Leicester

Elliston (as _Richmond_). I mean--ah!--is he missing?

Powell (as _Lord Stanley_). He is, my Lord, and _safe in Leicester

And it is but justice to the memory of this punctilious veteran, to say
that he would have made the same reply to any question which could, at
that particular moment, have been put to him.



[Illustration: Monk Lewis.]

Monk Lewis

"Hail! wonder-working Lewis."

This early lover of rhymes and numbers, and "flashes of merriment
that were wont to set the table on a roar," was, in his boyhood, more
remarkable for his love of theatrical exhibitions than for his love
of learning. He read books on Witchcraft when a child, and published
his marvellous story of the _Monk_ when in his twenty-second year;
it contains his best poetry as well as prose. In the midst of this
celebrity, being one autumn on his way to a fashionable watering-place,
he stayed a night in a country-town and witnessed a performance by a
company of strolling players. Among them was a young actress, whose
benefit was on the _tapis_, and who, hearing of the arrival of a person
so talked of as Monk Lewis, waited upon him at the inn to request
the very trifling favour of an original piece from his pen. The lady
pleaded in terms that urged the spirit of benevolence to advocate her
cause in a heart never closed to such an appeal. Lewis had by him at
that time an unpublished trifle, called _The Hindoo Bride_, in which a
widow was immolated on the funeral pile of her husband. The subject was
one well suited to attract a country audience, and he determined thus
to appropriate the drama. The delighted suppliant departed all joy and
gratitude at being requested to call for the manuscript the next day.
Lewis, however, soon discovered that he had been reckoning without his
host, for, on searching his travelling-desk, which contained many of
his papers, the _Bride_ was nowhere to be found, having, in fact, been
left behind in town. Exceedingly annoyed by this circumstance, which
there was no time to remedy, the dramatist took a pondering stroll in
the rural environs, when a sudden shower compelled him to take refuge
in a huckster's shop, where he overheard, in the adjoining apartment,
two voices in earnest conversation, and in one of them recognized that
of his theatrical petitioner of the morning, apparently replying to
the feeble tones of age and infirmity. "There now, mother, always that
old story--when I've brought such good news, too--after I've had the
face to call on Mr. Monk Lewis, and found him so different to what I
expected; so good-humoured, so affable, and willing to assist me. I
did not say a word about you, mother; for though in some respects it
might have done good, I thought it would seem like a begging affair, so
I merely represented my late ill-success, and he promised to give me an
original drama which he had with him for my benefit. I hope he did not
think me too bold." "I hope not, Jane," replied the feeble voice; "only
don't do these things again without consulting me; for you don't know
the world, and it may be thought----" The sun then just gave a broad
hint that the shower had ceased, and the sympathizing author returned
to his inn, and having penned the following letter, ordered post-horses
and despatched a porter to the young actress with this epistle:--

"Madame,--I am truly sorry to acquaint you that my Hindoo Bride has
behaved most improperly--in fact, whether the lady has eloped or
not, it seems she does not choose to make her appearance either for
_your benefit_ or mine; and to say the truth, I don't at this moment
know where to find her. I take the liberty to jest upon the subject,
because I really do not think you will have any cause to regret her
non-appearance; having had an opportunity of witnessing your very
admirable performance of a far superior character, in a style true to
nature, and which reflects upon you the highest credit. I allude to a
most interesting scene in which you lately sustained the character of
'The Daughter.' Brides of all denominations but too often prove their
empire delusive; but the character _you_ have chosen will improve
upon every representation, both in the estimation of the public
and the satisfaction of your own excellent heart. For the infinite
gratification I have received, I must long consider myself in your
debt. Trusting you will permit the enclosed (fifty pounds) in some
measure to discharge the same, I remain, Madame (with sentiments of
respect and admiration), your sincere well-wisher,"

                                                  "M. G. LEWIS."

Lewis, it should be explained, was well supplied with money, his
father holding a lucrative post in the War Office, and being owner
of extensive West Indian possessions. In 1798, Scott (afterwards Sir
Walter) met young Lewis in Edinburgh, and so humble were then his own
aspirations, and so brilliant the reputation of _The Monk_, that he
declared, thirty years afterwards, he never felt so elated as when
Lewis asked him to dine with him at his hotel. Lewis schooled the
great poet on his incorrect rhyme, and proved himself, as Scott says,
"a martinet in the accuracy of rhymes and numbers." Sir Walter has
recorded that Lewis was fonder of great people than he ought to have
been, either as a man of talent or a man of fashion. "He had always,"
he says, "dukes or duchesses in his mouth, and was pathetically fond of
any one who had a title; you would have sworn he had been a _parvenu_
of yesterday; yet he had lived all his life in good society." And Scott
regarded Lewis with no small affection.

Of this weakness, Lord Byron relates an amusing instance: "Lewis,
at Oatlands, was observed one morning to have his eyes red and his
air sentimental; being asked why, he replied, that when people said
anything kind to him, it affected him deeply, 'and just now, the
Duchess (of York) has said something so kind to me, that--' here tears
began to flow. 'Never mind, Lewis,' said Colonel Armstrong to him,
'never mind--don't cry--_she could not mean it_!'"

Lewis was of extremely diminutive stature. "I remember a picture of
him," says Scott, "by Saunders, being handed round at Dalkeith House.
The artist had ingeniously flung a dark folding mantle around his
form, under which was half hid a dagger, a dark-lantern, or some such
cut-throat appurtenance. With all this the features were preserved
and ennobled. It passed from hand to hand into that of Henry, Duke
of Buccleuch, who, hearing the general voice affirm that it was very
like, said aloud, 'Like Mat. Lewis! why, that picture's like _a man_!'
He looked, and lo! Mat. Lewis was at his elbow. This boyishness went
through life with him. He was a child, and a spoiled child--but a child
of high imagination, and he wasted himself on ghost-stories and German
romances. He had the finest ear for the rhythm of verse I ever met
with--finer than Byron's."

The death of Lewis's father made the poet a man of independent fortune.
He succeeded to considerable plantations in the West Indies, besides a
large sum of money; and in order to ascertain personally the condition
of the slaves on his estate, he sailed for the West Indies in 1815. Of
this voyage he wrote a narrative, which was published many years after,
under the title of the _Journal of a West India Proprietor_. The manner
in which the negroes received him on his arrival amongst them, he thus
describes:--"As soon as the carriage entered my gates, the uproar and
confusion which ensued sets all description at defiance; the works were
instantly all abandoned, everything that had life came flocking to the
house from all quarters, and not only the men, and the women, and the
children, but 'by a bland assimilation,' the hogs, and the dogs, and
the geese, and the fowls, and the turkeys, all came hurrying along by
instinct, to see what could possibly be the matter, and seemed to be
afraid of arriving too late. Whether the pleasure of the negroes was
sincere may be doubted, but certainly it was the loudest that I ever
witnessed. They all talked together, sang, danced, shouted, and in the
violence of their gesticulations, tumbled over each other and rolled
about on the ground. Twenty voices at once inquired after uncles and
aunts, and grandfathers and great-grandmothers of mine, who had been
buried long before I was in existence, and whom, I verily believe, most
of them knew only by tradition. One woman held up her little naked
black child to me, grinning from ear to ear: 'Look, massa! look here!
him nice lily neger for massa!' Another complained--'So long since come
see we, massa; good massa come at last.' As for the old people, they
were all in one and the same story; now they had lived once to see
massa, they were ready for dying to-morrow--'them no care.'

"The shouts, the gaiety, the wild laughter, their strange and sudden
bursts of singing and dancing, and several old women wrapped up
in large cloaks, their heads bound round with different-coloured
handkerchiefs, leaning on a staff, and standing motionless in the
middle of the hubbub, with their eyes fixed upon the portico which I
occupied, formed an exact counterpart of the festivity of the witches
in Macbeth. Nothing could be more odd or more novel than the whole
scene; yet there was something in it truly affecting."

In his Journal, Lewis tells us the following odd shark story:--"While
lying in Black River Harbour, Jamaica, two sharks were frequently seen
playing about the ship. At length, the female was killed, and the
desolation of the male was excessive. What he did without her remains
a secret, but what he did with her was clear enough; for scarce was
the breath out of his Eurydice's body, when he stuck his teeth in her,
and began to eat her up with all possible expedition. Even the sailors
felt their sensibility excited by so peculiar a mark of posthumous
attachment; and to enable him to perform this melancholy duty more
easily, they offered to be his carvers, lowered their boat, and
proceeded to chop his better half in pieces with their hatchets; while
the widower opened his jaws as wide as possible, and gulped down pounds
upon pounds of the dear departed, as fast as they were thrown to him,
with the greatest delight, and all the avidity imaginable. I make no
doubt that all the time he was eating, he was thoroughly persuaded that
every morsel that went into his stomach would make its way to his heart
directly! 'She was perfectly consistent,' he said to himself; 'she
was excellent through life, and really she's extremely good now she's
dead!' And then,

              "'Unable to conceal his pain,
    He sigh'd and swallow'd, and sigh'd and swallow'd,
      And sigh'd and swallow'd again.'

"I doubt whether the annals of Hymen can produce a similar instance of
post-obitual affection. Nor do I recollect any fact at all resembling
it, except, perhaps, a circumstance which is recorded respecting
Cambletes, king of Lydia, a monarch equally remarkable for his voracity
and uxoriousness, and who ate up his queen without being conscious of

Lewis, in reading _Don Quixote_, was greatly pleased with this instance
of the hero's politeness. The Princess Micomicona having fallen into a
most egregious blunder, he never so much as hints a suspicion of her
not having acted precisely as she had stated, but only begs to know her
reason for taking a step so extraordinary. "But pray, madam," says he,
"why did your ladyship land at Ossima, seeing that it is not a seaport

One of Lewis's great hits was the ballad of _Crazy Jane_, which was
found in the handwriting of the author among his papers. The ballad
was wedded to music by several composers; but the original and most
popular melody was by Miss Abrams, who sung it herself at fashionable
parties. After the usual complimentary tributes from barrel-organs, and
wandering damsels of every degree of vocal ability, it crowned not only
the author's brow with laurels, but also that of many a youthful beauty
in the shape of a _Crazy Jane hat_.

_The Castle Spectre_ was Lewis's greatest dramatic success. Its
terrors were not confined to Drury Lane Theatre, but, as the following
anecdote shows, on one occasion they even extended considerably beyond
it. Mrs. Powell, who played Evelina, having become, from the number
of representations, heartily tired and wearied with the character,
one evening, on returning from the theatre, walked listlessly into a
drawing room, and throwing herself into a seat, exclaimed, "Oh! this
ghost! this ghost! Heavens! how this ghost torments me!"

"Ma'am!" uttered a tremulous voice from the other side of the table.

Mrs. Powell looked up hastily. "Sir!" she reiterated in nearly the same
tone, as she encountered the pale countenance of a very sober-looking
gentleman opposite.

"What? What was it you said madam?"

"Really, sir," replied the astonished actress, "I have not the pleasure
of--Why, good heavens, what have they been about in the room?"

"Madam," continued the gentleman, "the room is mine, and I will thank
you to explain--"

"Yours!" screamed Mrs. Powell; "surely, sir, this is Number 1?"

"No, indeed, madam," he replied; "this is Number 2; and really, your
language is so very extraordinary, that--"

Mrs. Powell, amidst her confusion, could scarcely refrain from
laughter. "Ten thousand pardons!" she said, "the coachman must have
mistaken the house. I am Mrs. Powell, of Drury Lane, and have just come
from performing the _Castle Spectre_. Fatigue and absence of mind have
made me an unconscious intruder. I lodge next door, and I hope you will
excuse the unintentional alarm I have occasioned you."

It is almost needless to add, that the gentleman was much relieved
by this rational explanation, and participated in the mirth of his
nocturnal visitor, as he politely escorted her to the street door.
"Good night," said the still laughing actress; "and I hope, sir, in
future, I shall pay more attention to _Number One_!"

[Illustration: Professor Porson.]

Porson's Eccentricities.

The humour of Professor Porson lay in parodies, imitations, and hoaxes,
ready wit and repartee; in his oddities of dress and demeanour; and
his disregard for certain decencies of society is very deplorable,
though at the same time mirthful in its very extravagances. Porson
left Cambridge to become the scholar about town; to quench his thirst
for Florentine MSS. in the tankards of the "Cider Cellar;" and to
exchange the respectability and stateliness of the Trinity common
room for the savage liberty of Temple chambers. He had for some time
become notorious at Cambridge. His passion for smoking, which was then
going out among the younger generation, his large and indiscriminate
potations, and his occasional use of the poker with a very refractory
controversialist, had caused his company to be shunned by all except
the few to whom his wit and scholarship were irresistible. When the
evening began to grow late, the Fellows of Trinity used to walk out of
the common room, and leave Porson to himself, who was sometimes found
smoking by the servants next morning, without having apparently moved
from the spot where he had been left over-night.

Porson's imitations of Horace, which appeared in the _Morning
Chronicle_, have really no merit at all, nor have any of the hundred
and one epigrams which he is said to have written in one night upon the
drunkenness of Mr. Pitt. But two other papers, one called _The Swinish
Multitude_, and the other _The Saltbox_, display certainly both wit and
humour. One is a satire upon the famous expression of Burke, in his
_Letters on a Regicide Peace_; the other, a parody of the Oxford style
of examination in Logic and Metaphysics.

Of the hundred and one epigrams, the story goes--that when Pitt and
Dundas appeared before the House, Pitt tried to speak, but showing
himself unable, was kindly pulled down into his seat by those about
him; Dundas who was equally unfitted for eloquence, had sense enough to
sit silent. Perry, of the _Morning Chronicle_, witnessed the scene, and
on his return from the House, gave a description of it to Porson, who,
being vastly amused, called for pen and ink, and musing over his pipe
and tankard, produced the one hundred and one pieces of verse before
the day dawned. The point of most of them lies in puns. The first
epigram is:

    "That _Ça Ira_ in England will prevail,
      All sober men deny with heart and hand;
    To talk of _going_ sure's a pretty tale,
      When e'en our rulers can't as much as stand."

The following are better:--

    "Your gentle brains with full libations drench,
    You've then Pitt's title to the Treasury Bench.
    Your foe in war to overrate
    A maxim is of ancient date;
    Then sure 'twas right, in time of trouble,
    That our good rulers should see double.
    The mob are beasts! exclaims the King of Daggers;
    What creature's he that's troubled with the staggers?"

    "When Billy found he scarce could stand,
    'Help! help!' he cried, and stretched his hand
                To faithful Harry calling,
    Quoth Hal, 'My friend, I'm sorry for't;
    'Tis not my practice to support
                A minister that's falling.'"

    "'Who's up?' inquired Burke of a friend at the door;
    'Oh! no one,' says Paddy, 'though Pitt's on the floor.'"

Porson was not imposed upon for a moment by the Ireland forgeries
of Shakspeare, and when asked to set his name to a declaration of
belief in their genuineness, replied, with a smile, that he was "slow
to subscribe articles of faith." Scholars, however, owe a debt of
gratitude to Ireland, of which, perhaps, they are seldom conscious;
for it was the alleged discovery of Shakspearian plays that drew from
Porson one of the cleverest specimens of his peculiar powers that
remain to us. We mean the translation of "Three Children sliding on
the Ice," which he sent to the _Morning Chronicle_, as a fragment of
Sophocles, recently discovered by a friend of his at the bottom of an
old trunk.

Porson had high animal spirits; and he is said once, for a wager,
to have carried a young lady round the room in his teeth. His
conversation, however, after a certain period of the evening, was not
always fit for ladies. Rogers once took him to a party, where several
women of fashion were present, who were anxious to hear him talk. The
Professor, who hated being made a lion, selected for his theme the
soup of Vauxhall, and at last, we are told, talked so oddly, that all
the women retreated except the famous Lady Crewe, who was not to be
frightened by any man. "After this," says Rogers, "I brought him home
as far as Piccadilly, where I am sorry to say I left him sick in the
middle of the street."

At those houses where Porson was on intimate terms, it was understood
that he was always to go away at eleven. Porson accepted the
arrangement in perfect good faith, and invariably required that it
should be carried out to the letter; for, "though he never attempted
to exceed the hour limited, he would never stir before," and he warmly
resented any attempt to make him. At one house only was his time
extended to twelve; this was Bennet Langton's. There were, of course,
houses in which the Professor, so to speak, took the bit between his
teeth, and did exactly as he pleased. Horne Tooke's was one of these,
as the following story illustrates. Tooke once asked Porson to dine
with him in Richmond Buildings; and, as he knew that the Professor
_had not been in bed for the three preceding nights_, he expected to
get rid of him at an early hour. He, however, kept Tooke up the whole
night; and, in the morning, the latter, in perfect despair, said, "Mr.
Porson, I am engaged to meet a friend at breakfast at a coffee-house in
Leicester Square." "Oh," replied Porson, "I will go with you;" and he
accordingly did so. Soon after they had reached the coffee-house, Tooke
contrived to slip out, and running home, ordered his servant not to let
Mr. Porson in even if he should attempt to batter down the door. "A
man," observed Tooke, "who could sit up four nights successively, could
sit up forty."

As soon as Porson had been "turned out of doors like a dog," which was
his favourite expression when he received the slightest hint to move,
even if it was one o'clock in the morning, he used generally to adjourn
to the Cider Cellar, where he was completely king of his company.
"Dick," said one of these companions, "can beat us all; he can drink
all night, and spout all day." From the Cider Cellar he got home as he
could to Essex Court, where he had chambers over the late Mr. Baron
Gurney, whose slumbers were a good deal disturbed by the habits of
his learned neighbour. On one occasion he was awakened by a tremendous
thump upon the floor overhead. Porson, it turned out, had come home
drunk, and had tumbled down in his room, and put out his candle; for
Gurney soon after heard him fumbling at the staircase lamp, and cursing
the nature of things, which made him see two flames instead of one.

The most remarkable feature in Porson's love of liquor was, that he
could drink anything. Port wine, indeed, was his favourite beverage.
But, in default of this, he would take whatever he could lay his
hands on. He was known to swallow a bottle of spirits of wine, an
embrocation, and when nothing better was forthcoming, he would even
drench himself with water. He would sometimes take part in a contest of
drinking; and once, having threatened after dinner to "kick and cuff"
his host, Horne Tooke, the latter proposed to settle the affair by
drinking, the weapons to be quarts of brandy. When the second bottle
was half finished, Porson fell under the table. The conqueror drank
another glass to the speedy recovery of his antagonist, and having
given instructions to his servants to take great care of the Professor,
walked upstairs to tea, as if nothing had occurred. Tooke, however,
feared Porson in conversation, because he would often remain silent
for a long time, and then "pounce upon him with his terrible memory."
In 1798, Parr writes to Dr. Burney, who had recommended that Porson's
opinion should be taken on some classical question, "Porson shall do
it, and he will do it. I know his terms when he bargains with me: two
bottles instead of one, six pipes instead of two, Burgundy instead of
claret, liberty to sit till five in the morning instead of sneaking
into bed at one; these are his terms."

Porson was very odd in his eating. At breakfast, he frequently ate
bread and cheese: and he then took his porter as copiously as Johnson
took his tea. At Eton, he once kept Mrs. Goodall at the breakfast-table
during the whole of Sunday morning; and when Dr. Goodall returned
from church, he found the sixth pot of porter being just carried into
his house. In his eating, Porson was very easily satisfied. "He went
once," says Mr. Watson, "to the Bodleian to collate a manuscript, and,
as the work would occupy him several days, Routh, the president of
Magdalen, who was leaving home for the long vacation, said to him at
his departure, 'Make my house your home, Mr. Porson, during my absence,
for my servants have orders to be quite at your command, and to procure
you whatever you please.' When he returned, he asked for the account
of what the Professor had had during his stay. The servant brought the
bill, and the Doctor, glancing at it, observed a fowl entered in it
every day. 'What,' said he, 'did you provide for Mr. Porson no better
than this, but oblige him to dine every day on fowl?' 'No, sir,'
replied the servant; 'but we asked the gentleman the first day what he
would have for dinner, and as he did not seem to know very well what to
order, we suggested a fowl. When we went to him about dinner any day
afterwards, he always said, "The same as yesterday:" and this was the
only answer we could get from him.'"

Sometimes, in a fit of abstraction, he would go without a dinner. One
day, when Rogers asked him to stay and dine, he replied, "Thank you,
no; I dined yesterday."

Porson used to relate, with much glee, his school anecdotes, the
tricks he used to play upon his master and schoolfellows, and the
little dramatic pieces which he wrote for private representation.
In describing his narrow means, he used to say, "I was almost then
destitute in the wide world, with less than 40_l._ a year for my
support, and without a profession; for I could never bring myself to
subscribe Articles of Faith. I used often to lie awake for a whole
night, and wish for a large pearl." He seemed to delight in company of
low grade. At Cambridge, after sitting five hours, and drinking two
bottles of sherry, he began to clip the king's English, to cry like a
child at the close of his periods; and, in other respects, to show
marks of extreme debility. At length, he rose from his chair, staggered
to the door, and made his way downstairs without taking the slightest
notice of his companion. Subsequently he went out upon a search for the
Greek Professor, whom he discovered near the outskirts of Cambridge,
leaning upon the arm of a dirty bargeman, and amusing him by the most
humorous and laughable anecdotes.

However, Porson could place a strong restraint upon himself when
necessary. When he went to stay with his sisters, in the year 1804, it
is said that he only took two glasses of wine a day for eleven weeks.

Porson was a man of ready wit and repartee. When asked by a Scotch
stranger at the Gray's Inn Coffee-house if Bentley were not a
Scotchman, he replied, "No, sir, Bentley was a Greek scholar." He said
Bishop Pearson would have been a first-rate critic if he hadn't muddled
his brains with divinity. Dr. Parr once asked him, in his pompous
manner, before a large company, what he thought about the introduction
of moral and physical evil into the world. "Why, Doctor," said Porson,
"I think we should have done very well without them."

On his academic visits to the Continent, Porson wrote:--

    "I went to Frankfort, and got drunk
    With that most learn'd Professor Brunck:
    I went to Worts, and got more drunken,
    With that more learn'd Professor Runcken."

Porson said one night, when he was very drunk, to Dodd, who was
pressing him hard in argument, "Jemmy Dodd, I always despised you when
sober, and I'll be d----d if I'll argue with you now that I am drunk."

Porson, in a social party, offered to make a rhyme on anything, when
some one suggested one of the Latin gerunds, and he immediately

    "When Dido found Æneas would not come,
    She mourned in silence, and was _Di-do-dum_."

A gentleman said to the great "Grecian," with whom he had been
disputing--"Dr. Porson, my opinion of you is most contemptible." "Sir,"
returned the Doctor, "I never knew an opinion of yours that was not

Gillies, the historian of Greece, and Porson used now and then to meet.
The consequence was certain to be a literary contest. Porson was much
the deeper scholar of the two. Gillies was one day speaking to him of
the Greek tragedies, and of Pindar's odes. "_We know nothing_," said
Gillies, emphatically, "of the Greek metres." Porson answered, "If,
Doctor, you will put your observation in the _singular_ number, I
believe it will be very accurate."

Porson being once at a dinner-party where the conversation turned upon
Captain Cook, and his celebrated voyages round the world, an ignorant
person, in order to contribute his mite towards the social intercourse,
asked him, "Pray, was Cook killed on his first voyage?" "I believe he
was," answered Porson, "though he did not mind it much, but immediately
entered on a second."

Porson said of a prospect shown to him, that it put him in mind of a
fellowship--a long, dreary walk, with a church at the end of it. He
used to say of Wakefield and Hermann, two critics, who had attacked
him, but whose scholarship he held in great contempt, that "whatever he
wrote in future should be written in such a manner that they should not
reach it with their paws, though they stood on their hind-legs to get
at it."

It has been well said that all opportunities of earning honourably
pudding and praise availed Porson nothing. "Two Mordecais sat at his
gate--thirst and procrastination."

Irony was Porson's chief weapon, though he could be sarcastic enough
when he chose; as when he said of Tomline, Bishop of Lincoln, to whom a
rich man, who had only seen him once, had left a large legacy, "If he
had seen him twice he would have got nothing."

Nor was he more eulogistic of Bishop Porteus, whom he used to call
Bishop _Proteus_, from his having changed his opinions from liberal to

Porson made several visits to the British Museum to read and consider
the Rosetta stone, whence he got from the officials the _sobriquet_ of
Judge Blackstone.

It is sufficiently notorious that Porson was not remarkably attentive
to the decoration of his person: indeed, he was at times disagreeably
negligent. On one occasion he went to visit a learned friend,
afterwards a judge, where a gentleman who did not know Porson, was
waiting in anxious and impatient expectation of the barber. On Porson's
entering the library, where the gentleman was sitting, he started up
and hastily said to him, "Are you the barber?" "No, sir," replied
Porson; "but I am a cunning shaver, much at your service."

Porson, when a young man, was eminently handsome, and nearly six feet
in height; but he cultivated these natural gifts very little, and was
seldom dressed to advantage. William Bankes once invited Porson to dine
with him at an hotel at the west-end of the town; but the dinner passed
away without the guest making his appearance. Afterwards, on Bankes's
asking him why he had not kept his engagement Porson replied (without
entering into further particulars), that he "had come;" and Bankes
could only conjecture that the waiters, seeing Porson's shabby dress,
and not knowing who he was, had offered him some insult, which made him
indignantly return home.

Late in life, Porson seems to have become a sad spectacle. "I saw him
once at the London Institution," says a writer in the _New Monthly
Magazine_, "with a large patch of coarse brown paper on his nose, the
skirts of his rusty black coat hung with cobwebs, and talking in a
tone of suavity approaching to condescension to one of the managers."
His face was described by an old acquaintance, who met him in 1807,
as "fiery and volcanic; his nose, on which he had a perpetual
efflorescence, was covered with black patches; his clothes were shabby,
his linen dirty."

Porson had a great contempt for physic and physicians, yet, curiously
enough, many of his most intimate friends were physicians. In a letter
written in 1802 to Dr. Davy, he says: "I have been at Death's door, but
by a due neglect of the faculty, and plentiful use of my old remedy
(powder of post), I am pretty well recovered."

In the good old days of coach travelling, an inside was occupied by
Porson, a young Oxonian, and two ladies. The Oxonian, fresh from
college, was amusing the ladies with a variety of talk, and amongst
other things, with a quotation from Sophocles. A Greek quotation, and
in a coach too, roused the slumbering Professor; and thereupon, waking
from a kind of dog sleep, in a snug corner of the vehicle; shaking
his ears, and rubbing his eyes, "I think young gentleman," said he,
"you favoured us just now with a quotation from Sophocles; I do not
happen to recollect it there." "Oh, sir," replied the Oxonian, "the
quotation is word for word as I have repeated it, and in Sophocles too;
but I suspect, sir, it is some time since you were at college." The
Professor applying his hand to his great-coat, and taking out a small
pocket edition of Sophocles, quietly asked him if he could be kind
enough to show him the passage in question, in that little book. After
rummaging the pages for some time, he replied, "Upon second thoughts,
I now recollect that the passage is in Euripides." "Then perhaps,
sir," said the Professor, putting his hand again into his pocket, and
handing him a similar edition of Euripides, "you will be so good as
to find it for me, in that little book." The young Oxonian returned
again to his task, but with no better success, muttering however
to himself, "Curse me if ever I quote Greek again in a coach." The
tittering of the ladies informed him that he was got into a hobble. At
last, "Bless me, sir," said he, "how dull I am: I recollect now--yes,
yes, I perfectly remember that the passage is in Æschylus." When our
astonished freshman vociferated, "Stop the coach--halloah, coachman,
let me out, I say, instantly--let me out! there's a fellow here has got
the Bodleian library in his pocket; let me out, I say--let me out; he
must be Porson or the devil!"

He sometimes put the Greek folio of Galen, the physician, under his
pillow at night; not, as he used to observe, because he expected
medicinal virtue from it, but because his asthma required that his head
should be kept high.

[Illustration: Dr. Parr.]

Parriana: Oddities of Dr. Parr.

In his boyhood, Parr is described, by his sister as studious after his
kind, delighting in "Mother Goose and the Seven Champions," and not
partaking much in the sports usual at such an age. He had had a very
early inclination for the Church, and the elements of that taste for
ecclesiastical pomp which distinguished him in after-life, appeared
when he was not more than nine or ten years old. He would put on one
of his father's shirts for a surplice; he would then read the Church
Service to his sister and cousins, after they had been duly summoned
by a bell tied to the banisters; preach them a sermon, which his
congregation was apt to think, in those days, somewhat of the longest;
and, even in spite of his father's remonstrances, would bury a bird or
a kitten (Parr had always a great fondness for animals) with the rites
of Christian burial.

Samuel was his mother's darling; she indulged all his whims, consulted
his appetite, provided hot suppers for him almost from his cradle. He
was her only son, and was at this time very fair and well-favoured.
Providence, however, seeing that at all events vanity was to be a large
ingredient in Parr's composition, sent him, in its mercy, a fit of
smallpox; and with the same intent, perhaps, deprived him of a parent
who was killing her son's character by kindness. Parr never was a boy,
says one of his friends and schoolfellows. When he was about nine years
old, he was seen sitting on the churchyard-gate at Harrow, whilst
his schoolfellows were all at play. "Sam, why don't you play with
the others?" cried one. "Do not you know, sir," said Parr, with vast
solemnity, "that I am to be a parson?" And Parr himself used to tell
of Sir William Jones, another of his schoolfellows, that, as they were
one day walking together near Harrow, Jones suddenly stopped short, and
looking hard at him, cried out, "Parr, if you should have the good luck
to live forty years, you may stand a chance of overtaking your face."
Between Dr. Bennet, Parr, and Jones, the closest intimacy was formed:
the three challenged one another to trials of skill in the imitation
of popular authors--they wrote and acted a play together--they got up
mock councils, and harangues, and combats, after the manner of the
classical heroes of antiquity, and under their names--till, at the age
of fourteen, Parr being now at the head of the school, was removed
from it, and placed in the shop of his father, who was a surgeon and
apothecary. The Doctor must have found, in the course of his practice,
that there are some pills which will not go down--and this was one.
Parr began to criticize the Latin of his father's prescriptions,
instead of "making the mixture." Accordingly, having tried in vain to
reconcile himself to the "uttering of mortal drugs" for three years,
he was sent to Cambridge, and admitted of Emmanuel College, where Dr.
Farmer was tutor. Of this proficient in black-letter we are told by
Archdeacon Butler, that Farmer was a man of such singular indolence as
to neglect sending in the young men's accounts, and is supposed to have
burnt large sums of money by putting into the fire unopened letters,
which contained remittances.

In 1791, when in his twenty-fifth year, Parr became a candidate for
the head-mastership of Harrow, though he was beaten by Dr. B. Heath.
A rebellion ensued among the boys, many of whom took Parr's part; and
he threw up his situation of assistant, and withdrew to Stanmore.
Here he was followed by forty of the young rebels, and with this
stock-in-trade he proceeded to set up a school on his own account. This
is thought to have been the crisis of Parr's life. The die had turned
against him, and the disappointment, with its immediate consequences,
gave a complexion to his future fortunes, character, and comfort. He
had already mounted a full-bottomed wig when he stood for Harrow,
anxious as it should seem to give his face a still further chance of
keeping its start. He now began to ride on a black saddle, and bore
in his hand a long wand with an ivory head, like a crosier, in high
prelatical pomp. His neighbours, who wondered what it could all mean,
had scarcely time to identify him with his pontificals before they saw
him stalking along the street in a dirty striped dressing-gown. A wife
was all that was now wanted to complete the establishment at Stanmore,
and accordingly, Miss Jane Marsingale, a lady of an ancient Yorkshire
family was provided for him; Parr, like Hooker, appearing to have
courted by proxy, and with about the same success. Thus Stanmore was
set agoing as the rival of Harrow. These were fearful odds, and it came
to pass that, in spite of "Attic Symposia," and grooves of Academus,
and the enacting of a Greek play, and the perpetual recitation of the
fragment in praise of Harmodius and Aristogeiton, the establishment at
Stanmore declined; and at the end of five years, Parr was not sorry to
accept the mentorship of an endowed school at Colchester.

Parr was evidently fond of living in troubled waters: accordingly, on
his removal to Colchester, he got into a quarrel with the trustees
of the school on the subject of a lease; and he printed a pamphlet
about it, which was so violent that he never published it, probably
influenced by his prospect of succeeding to Norwich School. This
occasioned Dr. Foster to remark, "That Norwich might be touched by
a fellow-feeling for Colchester; and the crape-makers of the one
place sympathize with the bag-makers of the other." The pamphlet was
withheld, and Parr was elected to the school at Norwich. The preferment
which he gained was the living of Asterby, which he exchanged for the
perpetual curacy of Hatton, in Warwickshire. Neither was of much value.
Lord Dartmouth, whose sons had been under Parr's care, endeavoured to
procure something for him from Lord Thurlow, but the Chancellor is
reported to have said "No," with an oath. The great and good Bishop
Lowth, however, at the request of the same nobleman, gave Parr a
prebend in St. Paul's, which, though a trifle at the time, eventually
became, at the expiration of leases, a source of affluence to Parr in
his old age. How far he was from such a condition at this period of
his life, is seen by an incident related by Mr. Field. The Doctor
was one day in that gentleman's library, when his eye was caught by
the title of Stephens's Greek Thesaurus. Suddenly turning about, he
said to Field, vehemently, "Ah! my friend, my friend, may you never be
forced, as I was at Norwich, to sell that work, to me so precious, from
absolute and urgent necessity."

Dr. Parr and Dr. Johnson once had a sort of stand-up fight at argument.
After the interview was over, Johnson said, "I do not know when I have
had an occasion of such free controversy. It is remarkable how much
of a man's life may pass without meeting with any instance of this
kind of open discussion." Here is Dr. Parr's account of the meeting:
"I remember the interview well. I gave him no quarter. The subject of
our dispute was the liberty of the press. Dr. Johnson was very great;
whilst he was arguing, I observed that he stamped. Upon this I stamped.
Dr. Johnson said, 'Why did you stamp, Dr. Parr?' I replied, 'Sir,
because _you_ stamped; and I was resolved not to give you the advantage
of a _stamp_ in the argument.'" It is impossible to do justice to this
description of the scene. The vehemence, the characteristic pomposity
with which it was accompanied, may easily be imagined by those who knew
him, but cannot be adequately represented to those who did not.

In the party was Dr. ----, an Arian minister, and Mr. ----, a Socinian
minister. One of the party seeing Parr was on friendly terms with the
above gentlemen, said, "I suppose, sir, although they are heretics,
you think it is possible they may be saved?" "Yes, sir," said he,
adding with affected vehemence, "but they must be _scorched_ first."
Parr talked of economy; he thought that a man's happiness was secure,
in proportion to the small number of his wants, and said that all his
lifetime it had been his object to prevent the multiplication of them
in himself. Some one said to him, "Then, sir, your secret of happiness
is to _cut down_ your wants." _Parr._ "No, sir, _my_ secret is, _not to
let them grow_."

The doctor used, on a Sunday evening, after church, to sit on the green
at Hatton, with his pipe and his jug, and witness the exertions of his
parishioners in the truly English game of cricket, making only one
proviso, that none should join the party who had not previously been to
church. It is needless to say his presence was an effectual check on
all disorderly conduct. The skittle-grounds were deserted, and a better
conducted parish was rarely seen than the worthy Doctor's.

Dr. Parr was one of the enthusiastic admirers of Shakspeare, who fell
upon their knees before Ireland's MSS., and by their idolatry inspired
hundreds of others. Still, Parr attempts to explain this in a note
to the catalogue of his library at Hatton, as follows:--"Ireland's
(Samuel) Great and Impudent Forgery, called 'Miscellaneous Papers and
Legal Instruments, under the hand and seal of William Shakspeare,'
folio, 1796. I am almost ashamed to insert this worthless and
infamously trickish book. It is said to include the tragedy of _King
Lear_, and a fragment of _Hamlet_. Ireland told a lie when he imputed
to me the words which _Joseph Warton_ used, the very morning I called
on Ireland, and was inclined to admit the possibility of genuineness
in his papers. In my subsequent conversation I told him my change of
opinion. But I thought it not worth while to dispute in print with a
detected impostor.--S. P."

Parr, it will be recollected, was an everlasting smoker--he smoked
morning, noon, and night. Once at a Visitation dinner in Colchester,
he had the impudence to call for his pipe; but Dr. Hamilton, the
archdeacon, told him there were other rooms in the house where he might
enjoy himself without annoying others. Of a piece with this was his
behaviour at a literary club in Colchester. Knowing the temper of the
man, a pipe and bottle (contrary to the law of the club) were placed
on the table, and he did ample justice to both; for he smoked and
drank the whole night, and talked so incessantly that Dr. Foster, the
president, sat silent, like one who had lost the use of his tongue.

In July, 1818, Dr. Parr dined at Emmanuel (Cambridge), and met Dr.
Butler, of Shrewsbury, afterwards Bishop of Lichfield. Dudley North
seemed to be very popular in his college, for they drank his health
after dinner. Parr spoke of him in very high terms. The principal
objections to the society of "the learned pig" were that he had a more
than Mahommedan fondness for tobacco, and the smoking of a pipe was
with him, as with the followers of the Prophet, a certain passport
to friendship. The chief objects of his detestation seemed to be a
Christchurch man, a Johnian, a Welshman, and the Regent, all of whom
suffered in turn under the lash of his invective. Harrow and Trinity
were the idols of his adoration. Butler appeared to be much more of
a civilized being than the Grecian Goliah. Parr took his breakfast
in the room of Charles Brinsley Sheridan. The breakfast was given on
Sunday. Parr never showed the slightest disposition to attend the
morning service, but when breakfast was over, said, "Charles, Charles,
where are the pipes?" and they had to be sent for from a neighbouring
public-house. And the room was uninhabitable for three hours after
Parr's _déjeûner_ fumigations.

Dr. Parr almost always spent his evenings in the company of his
family and his visitors, or in that of some neighbouring friends. At
such times his dress was in complete contrast with the costume of
the morning; for he appeared in a well-powdered wig, and always wore
his band and cassock. On extraordinary occasions he was arrayed in a
full-dress suit of black velvet, of the cut of the old times, when his
appearance was imposing and dignified.

Speaking of the honour once conferred upon him, of being invited to
dinner at Carlton House, Parr mentions, with evident satisfaction,
the kind condescension of the Prince of Wales, who was pleased to
insist upon his taking his pipe as usual after dinner. Of the Duke of
Sussex, at whose table Parr was not unfrequently a guest, he used to
tell that his Royal Highness not only allowed him to smoke, but smoked
with him. He often represented it as an instance of the homage which
rank and beauty delight to pay to talents and learning, that ladies of
the highest station condescended to the office of lighting his pipe.
He appeared to no advantage, however, in his custom of demanding the
service of holding the lighted paper to his pipe from the youngest
female who happened to be present; and who was often, by the freedom
of his remarks, or by the gaze of the company, painfully disconcerted.
This troublesome ceremony, in his later years, he wisely discarded.

The reader will probably recollect, in the well-known story, his reply
to the lady who refused to allow Parr the indulgence of his pipe. In
vain he pleaded that such indulgence had always been kindly granted
in the mansions of the nobility, and even in the presence and in the
palace of his sovereign. "Madam," said Parr to the lady, who still
remained inexorable, "you must give me leave to tell you, you are
the greatest--" whilst she, fearful of what might follow, earnestly
interposed, and begged that he would express no rudeness. "Madam,"
resumed Dr. Parr, speaking aloud, and looking stern, "you are the
greatest tobacco-stopper in England." This sally produced a loud
laugh; but Parr found himself obliged to retire, in order to enjoy the
pleasures of his pipe.

Dr. Parr was accustomed to amuse himself in the evening with cards, and
whist was his favourite game. He would only play for a nominal stake;
but, upon one occasion, he was persuaded to play with Bishop Watson for
a shilling, which he won. Pushing it carefully to the bottom of his
pocket, and placing his hand upon it, with a kind of mock solemnity,
"There, my Lord Bishop," said Parr, "this is a trick of the devil;
but I'll match him. So now, if you please, we will play for a penny;"
and this was ever after the amount of his stake. He was not, on that
account, at all the less ardent in the prosecution, or the less joyous
in the success of the rubber. He had a high opinion of his own skill
in the game, and could not very patiently tolerate the want of it in
his partner. Being engaged with a party, in which he was unequally
matched, he was asked by a lady how the fortune of the game turned;
when he replied, "Pretty well, madam, considering that I have three

Even ladies were not spared who incurred Parr's displeasure by their
pertinacity. To one who had held out in argument against him, not very
powerfully, and rather too perseveringly, and who had closed the debate
by saying, "Well, Dr. Parr, I still maintain my opinion;" he replied,
"Madam, you may, if you please, _retain_ your opinion, but you cannot
_maintain_ it."

The close of Parr's life grew brighter: the increased value of his
stall at St. Paul's set him abundantly at his ease; he could even
indulge his love of pomp, and he encumbered himself with a coach and

Parr's hand was ever open as day. Poverty had vexed, but had never
contracted his spirit; money he despised, except as it gave him
power--power to ride in his state-coach, to throw wide his doors
to hospitality, to load his table with plate and his shelves with
learning; power to adorn his church with chandeliers and painted
windows; to make glad the cottages of his poor; to grant a loan to a
tottering farmer; to rescue from want a forlorn patriot or a thriftless
scholar. Whether misfortune, or mismanagement, or folly, or vice, had
brought its victim low, his want was a passport to Parr's pity, and
the dew of his bounty fell alike upon the bad and the good, upon the
just and the unjust. It is told of Boerhaave that, whenever he saw
a criminal led out to execution, he would say, "May not this man be
better than I? If otherwise, the praise is due, not to me, but the
grace of God." Parr used to quote this saying with applause. Such, we
doubt not, would have been his own feelings on such an occasion.

The Doctor was fond of good living, but was not a _gourmet_. "There
are," he says, "certainly one or two luxuries to which I am addicted:
the first is a shoulder of mutton, not under-roasted, and richly
incrusted with flour and salt; the second is a plain suet-pudding;
the third is a plain family plum-pudding; and the fourth, a kind of
high-festival dish, consists of hot boiled lobsters, with a profusion
of shrimp-sauce."

Parr preached the Spital sermon, at Christ Church, on the invitation of
the Lord Mayor, Harvey Combe, and as they were coming out of the church
together, "Well," said Parr, "how did you like the sermon?" "Why,
Doctor," replied his lordship, "there were four things in it that I did
not like to hear." "State them." "Why, to speak frankly, then, they
were the quarters of the church-clock, which struck four times before
you had finished." But his Spital sermon, in 1799, occupied nearly
three hours in its delivery.

Oddities of John Horne Tooke.

The life of this strange person may almost be said to have been
commenced with a joke. He was the son of a _poulterer_, named
John Horne, in Newport Street, Westminster; or, as he told his
schoolfellows, his father was "a _turkey_ merchant." He was educated
for the Church, according to his father's wish, and took orders for the

What Tooke thought of the former profession may be seen in a letter
of his to Wilkes, whose acquaintance he made in Paris in 1765, and to
whom he thus wrote:--"You are now entering into correspondence with a
parson, and I am greatly apprehensive lest that title should disgust;
but give me leave to assure you, I am not ordained a hypocrite. It is
true I have suffered the infectious hand of a bishop to be waved over
me, whose imposition, like the sop given to Judas, is only a signal
for the devil to enter. I hope I have escaped the contagion; and, if I
have not, if you should at any time discover the black spot under the
tongue, pray kindly assist me to conquer the prejudices of education
and profession."

Tooke was, upon one occasion, memorably outwitted by Wilkes, who was
then sheriff of London and Middlesex. Tooke had challenged Wilkes,
who sent him the following cutting reply:--"Sir, I do not think it my
business to cut the throat of every desperado that may be tired of his
life; but as I am at present High Sheriff of the City of London, it may
happen that I shall shortly have an opportunity of attending you in my
official capacity, in which case I will answer for it that _you shall
have no ground_ to complain of my endeavours to serve you." We agree
with Mr. Colton, in his _Lacon_, that the above retort is a masterpiece
of its kind.

The violence of Tooke's political predilections, perhaps, was
heightened by an accidental circumstance in his early life. His father,
the poulterer, had for his neighbour, Frederick, Prince of Wales, at
Leicester House, who most unceremoniously had cut through the wall of
Horne's garden a doorway, as an outlet towards Newport Market, for
the convenience of the Prince's domestics. But the poulterer and his
son resisted the encroachment, and triumphed over the heir-apparent
to the English crown, and had the obnoxious doorway removed, and the
wall reinstated. This victory, it is reasonable to suppose, fanned the
political aspirations of Horne Tooke.

For many years Tooke was the terror of judges, ministers of state,
and all constituted authorities. When put on trial for his life (for
treason), "so far from being moved by his dangerous position, he was
never in more buoyant spirits. His wit and humour had often before been
exhibited in Courts of Justice; but never had they been so brilliant as
on this occasion. Erskine had been at his request assigned to him as
counsel; but he himself undertook some of the most important duties of
his advocate, cross-examining the witnesses for the Crown, objecting
to evidence, and even arguing points of law. If his life had really
been in jeopardy, such a course would have been perilous and rash in
the highest degree; but nobody in court, except, perhaps, the Attorney
and Solicitor-General, thought there was the slightest chance of an
adverse verdict. The prisoner led off the proceedings by a series of
preliminary jokes, which were highly successful. When placed in the
dock, he cast a glance up at the ventilators of the hall, shivered,
and expressed a wish that their lordships would be so good as to get
the business over quickly as he was afraid of catching cold. When
arraigned, and asked by the officer of the court in the usual form,
how he would be tried? he answered, 'I _would_ be tried by God and my
country--but----' and looked sarcastically round the court. Presently
he made an application to be allowed a seat by his counsel; and entered
upon an amusing altercation with the judge, as to whether his request
should be granted as an indulgence or as a right. The result was that
he consented to take his place by the side of Erskine as a matter of
favour. In the midst of the merriment occasioned by these sallies, the
Solicitor-General opened the case for the Crown."[42]

[42] Massey's _History of England_.

His change of name to John Horne Tooke is thus explained. At the time
when he was rising into celebrity, the estate of Purley, near Godstone,
in Surrey, belonged to Mr. William Tooke, one of the four friends who
joined in supplying him with an income, while, after resigning the
vicarage of New Brentford, he studied for the law. One of Tooke's
richer neighbours, having failed in wresting from him his manorial
rights by a lawsuit, had applied to parliament and nearly succeeded in
effecting his purpose by means of an inclosure bill, which would have
greatly depreciated the Purley estate. Tooke despondingly confided
his apprehensions to Horne, who resolved at once to avert the blow,
which he did in a bold and very singular manner. The third reading of
the bill was to take place the next day, and Horne immediately wrote
a violent libel on the Speaker of the House of Commons in reference
to it, and obtained its insertion in the _Public Advertiser_. As
might be expected, the first parliamentary proceeding next day was
the appearance of the adventurous libeller in the custody of the
Serjeant-at-Arms. When called upon for his defence, he delivered a most
remarkable speech, in which he pointed out the injustice of the bill
in question with so much success, that not only was it reconsidered,
and the clauses which affected his friend's property expunged, but
resolutions were passed by the House to prevent the possibility in
future of such bills being smuggled through parliament without due
investigation. In gratitude for this important service, Mr. Tooke,
who had no family, made Horne his heir; on his death in 1803, the
latter became proprietor of Purley, and, as one of the conditions of
inheritance, added the name of Tooke to his own, and from this time was
known as John Horne Tooke. His celebrated _Diversions of Purley_ was
named in compliment to the residence of the author's friend.

Mr. Tooke's Sunday dinners at his villa on Wimbledon Common were very
festive gatherings. So early as eleven in the morning, some of the
guests might be descried crossing the green in a diagonal direction;
while others took a more circuitous route along the great road, with
a view of calling at the mansion formerly occupied by the Duke of
Newcastle while Prime Minister, but then the residence of Sir Francis
Burdett. For many years a coach-and-four, with Mr. Bosville and two or
three friends, punctually arrived within a few minutes of two o'clock.
At four, the dinner was usually served in the parlour looking on the
Common; and the servant having announced the dinner, the company passed
through the hall, the chairs of which were crowded with great-coats,
hats, &c., and took their seats without any ceremony, each usually
placing himself in his proper situation. During dinner, the host's
colloquial powers were called forth into action: indeed, although
he possessed an excellent appetite, and partook freely of almost
everything before him, yet he found ample time for his gibes and jokes,
which seemed to act as so many corroborants, at once strengthening and
improving the appetites of his guests.

Here, at times, were to be seen men of rank and mechanics, sitting in
social converse; persons of ample fortune, and those completely ruined
by the prosecutions of the Attorney-General. On one side was to be
seen, perhaps, the learned Professor of an University, replete with
Greek and Latin, and panting to display his learned lore, indignant
at being obliged to chatter with his neighbour, a member of the
Common Council, about city politics. Next to these would sit a man
of letters and a banker, between whom it was difficult to settle the
agio of conversation, the one being full of the present state of the
money-market, the other bursting to display his knowledge of all books,
except those of account alone!

Tooke took delight in praising his daughters, which he sometimes did
by those equivocatory falsehoods which were one of his principal
pleasures. Of the eldest he said, "All the beer brewed in this house
is that young lady's brewing." It would have been equally true to say,
all the hogs killed in this house were of that young lady's killing;
for they brewed no beer. When a member of the Constitutional Society,
he would frequently utter sentences, the first part of which would have
subjected him to death by the law, but for the salvo that followed;
and the more violent they were, thus contrasted and equivocatory, the
greater was his triumph.

When Tooke was justifying to the Commissioners his return of income
under 60_l._ a-year, one of those gentlemen, dissatisfied with the
explanation, hastily said, "Mr. Tooke, I do not understand you."
"Very possibly," replied the sarcastic citizen; "but as you have not
_half_ the _understanding_ of other men, you should have _double_ the

Horne Tooke told Mr. Rogers that in his early days a friend gave him a
letter of introduction to D'Alembert, at Paris. Dressed _à-la-mode_, he
presented the letter, and was very courteously received by D'Alembert,
who talked to him about operas, comedies, suppers, &c. Tooke had
expected conversation on very different topics, and was greatly
disappointed. When he took leave, he was followed by a gentleman in
a plain suit, who had been in the room during his interview with
D'Alembert, and who had perceived his chagrin. "D'Alembert," said the
gentleman, "supposed from your gay apparel that you were merely a
_petit maître_." The gentleman was David Hume. On his next visit to
D'Alembert, Tooke's dress was altogether different, and so was the

Tooke's literal kind of wit--set off, as tradition recounts, by a
courteous manner and by imperturbable coolness--is not ill shown in
the following:--"'Power,' said Lord ---- to Tooke, 'should follow
property.' 'Very well,' he replied, 'then we will take the property
from you, and the power shall follow it....'" "'Now, young man,
as you are settled in town,' said my uncle, 'I would advise you to
take a wife.' 'With all my heart, sir; whose wife shall I take?'"
It is a trait of manners that the "Rev. Mr. Horne" must have been a
young clergyman at the time of this conversation; he did not, as is
well known, take the name of Tooke till a later period. We have a
trace, too, of his philological acuteness in Mr. Rogers's _Memorandum
Book_:--"An illiterate people are most tenacious of their language.
In traffic, the seller learns that of the buyer before the buyer
learns his. A bull in the field, when brought to town and cut up in
the market, becomes bœuf, beef; a calf, veal; a sheep, mouton; a
pig, pork;--because there the Norman purchased, and the seller soon
learnt _his_ terms; while the peasantry retained their own." It is not
surprising that a sharp logical wit should be an acute interpreter of

In the year 1811, a most flagrant depredation was committed in Mr.
Tooke's house at Wimbledon, by a collector of taxes, who daringly
carried away a silver tea and sugar-caddy, the value of which
amounted in weight in silver to at least twenty times more than the
sum demanded, for a tax which Tooke declared he would never pay.
Instructions were given to an attorney for replevying the goods; but
the tax-collector, by the advice of a friend, returned the tea-caddy,
and the man declaring he had a large family, Tooke treated him very
kindly, and the matter was allowed to drop.

Mr. Tooke's health had been a long time before his decease in a
declining state; but his humour and eccentricity remained in full force
to the last; and even in the gripe of death his serenity never forsook
him. While he was speechless and considered insensible, Sir Francis
Burdett, who was present with a few more friends, prepared a cordial
for him, which the medical attendants declared to be of no avail, but
which the baronet persisted in offering, and raising up the patient
for that purpose, when Mr. Tooke perceiving who offered the draught,
drank it off with a smile, and in a few minutes expired, on March 18th,
1812, at his house at Wimbledon. He was put into a strong elm shell.
The coffin was made from the heart of a solid oak, cut down for the
purpose. It measured six feet one inch in length; in breadth at the
shoulders, two feet two inches; depth at the head, two feet six inches;
and the depth at the feet, two feet four inches. This great depth of
coffin was necessary in consequence of the contraction of the body of
the deceased.

A tomb had long been prepared for Mr. Tooke in his garden at Wimbledon,
in which it was his desire to have been buried; but this, after his
decease, being opposed by his daughters and an aunt of theirs, his
remains were conveyed in a hearse and six to Ealing, in Middlesex;
attended by three mourning-coaches, containing Sir Francis Burdett and
several other political and literary friends. His remains were interred
according to the rites and ceremonies of the Church of England,
otherwise, it was his desire that no funeral service should be read
over his body, but that six poor men should have a guinea each to bear
him to the vault in his garden. He rests in a vault, inclosed with iron
railings, and bearing this inscription:--"John Horne Tooke, late of
Wimbledon, author of the _Diversions of Purley_, was born June, 1736,
and died March 18th, 1812, contented and grateful."

Mr. Canning's Humour.

It has been sagaciously remarked in a paper in the _National Review_,
No. 18, that "if Mr. Canning had not been a busy politician, he
would probably have attained eminence as a writer. There must be
extraordinary vitality in jokes and parodies, which after sixty or
seventy years are almost as amusing as if their objects had not long
since become obsolete." We propose to string together a few of these
pleasantries, collected from the above and other authentic sources.

It is related that Mr. Canning's aunt on the anniversary of her
birthday made presents to each of her relations: to Mr. Canning she
once gave a piece of fustian, which produced from him the following
stanzas, found in MS., a line wanting:--

    "Whilst all on this auspicious day,
    Well pleas'd their gratulations pay,
    And sweetly smile, and softly say
        A thousand pretty speeches;
    My Muse her grateful tribute wings,
    Nor scorn the lay her duty brings,
    Tho' humble be the theme she sings--
        A pair of shooting breeches.

    "Soon shall the tailor's subtle art
    Have fashion'd them in every part,
    And made them snug, and neat, and smart,
        With twenty thousand stitches;
    Then mark the moral of my song,
    Oh! may our lives but prove as strong,
    And wear as well, and last as long,
        As these, my shooting breeches.

    "And when to ease the load of strife
    Of public and of private life,
    My fate shall bless me with a wife,
        I seek not rank or riches;
    But worth like thine, serene and gay,

           *       *       *       *       *

    And form'd like thine, to give away
        Not wear herself the breeches."

Among Canning's playful rhymes will be remembered, in _The Microcosm_,
Nos. 1, 11, and 12, those commencing,--

    "The Queen of Hearts,
    She made some tarts," &c.

The continuation, which is less known, apparently contains some
political allusions:--

    "Ye Queen of Spades
      Herself degrades
    By dancing on the green;
      Ye Knave stood by
      In extacy,
    Enamoured of ye Queen.
      Ye King so brave
      Says to the Knave,
    'I disapprove this dance;
      You make more work
      Than Mister Burke
    Does with ye Queen of France.'"

The following is written as a variation:

    "Ye Queen of Spades
      She beat ye maids
    For their immodesty;
      Ye Knave of Spades
      He kissed those maids,
    Which made the Queen to cry.
      Ye King then curst
      That Knave who durst
    Make Royalty shed tears;
      'Vile Knave,' says he,
      ''Tis my decree
    That you lose both your ears.'

    "Ye Diamond Queen
      Was one day seen
    So drunk she could not stand;
      Ye Diamond Knave
      He blushed, and gave
    Ye Queen a reprimand.
      Ye King, distrest
      That his dearest
    Should do so vile a thing,
      Says, 'By my wig
      She's like ye pig
    Of David, ye good king.'

    "Ye Queen of Clubs
      Made syllabubs;
    Ye Knave came like Big Ben,
      He snatched the cup
      And drank it up--
    His toast was, 'Rights of men.'
      With hands and eyes
      That marked surprise
    Ye King laments his fate:
      'Alas!' says he,
      'I plainly see
    Ye Knave's a Democrate.'"

Mr. Canning used habitually to designate the selfish and officious Duke
of Buckingham as the "Ph.D.," an abbreviation which was understood to
mean "the fat Duke." That bulky potentate had cautioned him on the eve
of his expected voyage to India, against the frigate in which he was
to sail, on the ground that she was too low in the water. "I am much
obliged to you," he replies to Lord Morley, "for your report of the
Duke of Buckingham's caution respecting the _Jupiter_. Could you have
the experiments made _without_ the Duke of Buckingham on board? as that
_might_ make a difference."

In a letter to Lord Granville, at a time when Prince Metternich
was expected in Paris, he says, "You ask me what you shall say to
Metternich. In the first place, you shall hear what I think of him;
that he is the greatest r---- and l---- on the Continent, perhaps in
the civilized world!"

Almost all the brilliant exceptions to the average trash of the
_Anti-Jacobin_ appear to belong to Canning; though, if the authority of
the most recent editor may be trusted, the best stanza of the best poem
was added to the original manuscript by Pitt.

    "Sun, moon, and thou, vile world, adieu!
      Which kings and priests are plotting in;
    Here doomed to starve on water gru-
      el, I no more shall see the U-
        niversity of Gottingen."

Canning's _Friend of Humanity and the Knife-grinder_ is well remembered
as witty ridicule of the youthful Jacobin effusions of Southey, in
which it was sedulously inculcated that there was a natural and eternal
warfare between the poor and the rich; the Sapphic lines of Southey
affording a tempting subject for ludicrous parody:--

                     "_Friend of Humanity._
    "Needy Knife-grinder? whither art thou going?
    Rough is your road--your wheel is out of order.
    Bleak blows the blast--your hat has got a hole in't!
                        So have your breeches!

    "Weary Knife-grinder! little think the proud ones,
    Who in their coaches roll along the turnpike-
    Road, what hard work 'tis crying all day, 'Knives and
                        Scissors to grind O!'

    "Tell me, Knife-grinder, how came you to grind knives?
    Did some rich man tyrannically use you?
    Was it the squire, or parson of the parish,
                        Or the attorney?

    "Was it the squire, for killing of his game, or
    Covetous parson, for his tithes distraining?
    Or roguish lawyer, made you lose your little
                        All in a lawsuit?

    "(Have you not read the _Rights of Man_, by Tom Paine?)
    Drops of compassion tremble on my eyelids,
    Ready to fall, as soon as you have told
                        Your pitiful story.

    "Story! God bless you! I have none to tell, sir.
    Only last night, a-drinking at the Chequers,
    This poor old hat and breeches, as you see, were
                        Torn in a scuffle.

    "Constables came up for to take me into
    Custody; they took me before the justice;
    Justice Oldmixon put me in the parish
                        Stocks for a vagrant.

    "I should be glad to drink your honour's health in
    A pot of beer, if you will give me sixpence;
    But for my part I never love to meddle
                        With politics, sir.

                      "_Friend of Humanity._
    "I give thee sixpence! I will see thee d----d first--
    Wretch, whom no sense of wrongs can rouse to vengeance--
    Sordid, unfeeling reprobate; degraded,
                        Spiritless outcast!

     [_Kicks the Knife-grinder, overturns his wheel, and exit in a
     transport of Republican enthusiasm and universal philanthropy._]

Again, the atrocious exaltation of the contemporary poet in the murder
of Jean Bon St. André is still delightfully contagious:--

    "'Twould have moved a Christian's bowels
      To hear the doubts he stated;
    But the Moors they did as they were bid,
      And strangled him while he prated."

The exquisite polish of the _Loves of the Triangles_ is enjoyed, while
Darwin's grave absurdities are only remembered in Miss Edgeworth's
admiring quotations, or by Lord Brougham's fidelity to the literary
prepossessions of his youth. It is remarkable that an author who in
literature can only be considered as an amateur, should have possessed
that rare accomplishment of style which is the first condition of
durable reputation. The humour of Canning's more ephemeral lampoons, as
they exist in oral tradition, seems to have been not less admirable.
When Mr. Whitbread said, or was supposed to say, in the House of
Commons, that a certain day was memorable to him as the anniversary
both of the establishment of his brewery and of the death of his
father, the metrical version of his speech placed his sentiments in a
more permanent form:--

    "This day I will hail with a smile and a sigh,
    For his beer with an _e_, and his bier with an _i_."

Some of the diplomatic documents which have been published tend to
justify the common opinion that Mr. Canning was liable to be misled by
his facility of composition and his love of epigram. On one occasion,
he wrote to Lord Granville, that he had forgotten to answer "the
impudent request of the Pope," for protection to his subjects against
the Algerine corsairs. He replies, with more point than relevancy,
"Why does not the Pope prohibit the African Slave Trade? It is carried
on wholly by Roman Catholic powers, and by those among them who
acknowledge most subserviently the power and authority of the court
of Rome.... Tell my friend Macchi, that so long as any power whom the
Pope can control, and does not, sends a slave-ship to Southern Africa,
I have not the audacity to propose to Northern Africans to abstain
from cruising for Roman domestics--indeed, I think them justified in
doing so." In a private conversation or a friendly letter, the fallacy
of the _tu quoque_ would have been forgotten in the appropriateness of
the repartee; but in a question of serious business, the argument was
absurd, and a diplomatic communication ought never to be insulting.
There might be little practical danger in affronting the Pope; but Mr.
Canning himself would have admitted, on reflection, that his witticism
could by no possibility conduce to the suppression of the Slave Trade.

Here is a more playful instance of humorous correspondence. When
Mr. Canning was forming his ministry, he offered Lord Lyndhurst the
Chancellorship, though he had recently attacked the new Premier in a
speech which was said to be borrowed from a hostile pamphlet, written
by Dr. Philpotts, Bishop of Exeter. Canning offered Lord Lyndhurst
the seals in a letter expressive of his goodwill, "_pace Philpotti_;"
and the answer of acceptance was signed, "Yours ever, except for
twenty-four hours."

Mr. Canning had a faithful college servant, who became much attached to
him. Francis, for such was his name, was always distinguished by his
blunt honesty and his familiarity with his master. During his master's
early political career, Francis continued to live with him. Mr.
Canning, whose love of fun was innate, used sometimes to play off his
servant's bluntness upon his right honourable friends. One of these,
whose honours did not sit very easily upon him, had forgotten Francis,
though often indebted to his kind offices at Oxford. Francis complained
to Mr. Canning that Mr. W. did not speak to him. "Pooh!" said Mr.
Canning, "it is all your fault; you should speak first: he thinks you
proud. He dines here to-day--go up to him in the drawing-room, and
congratulate him upon the post he has just got." Francis was obedient.
Surrounded by a splendid ministerial circle, Francis advanced to the
distinguished statesman, with "How d'ye do, Mr. W. I hope you're very
well--I wish you joy of your luck, and hope your place will turn out
a good thing." The roar of course was universal. The same Francis
afterwards obtained a comfortable berth in the Customs, through his
kind master's interest. He was a stanch Tory. During Queen Caroline's
trial, he met Mr. Canning in the street. "Well Francis, how are you?"
said the statesman, who had just resigned his office, holding out his
hand. "It is not well, Mr. Canning," replied Francis, refusing the
pledge of friendship--"It is not well, Mr. Canning, that you should say
anything in favour of that ----." "But, Francis, political differences
should not separate old friends--give me your hand." The sturdy
politician at length consented to honour the ex-minister with a shake
of forgiveness. It is said that Mr. Canning did not forget him when he
returned to power.

Canning and Lord Eldon were, in many respects, "wide as the Poles
asunder," although they were in the same administration. Mr. Stapleton,
in his _George Canning and his Times_, publishes a curious letter
written in 1826 to Lord Eldon, who exhibited his unconcealed dislike
to his brilliant and liberal colleague by steadily refusing to place
any part of his vast patronage at his disposal. Complying with the
importunity of Mr. Martin, of Galway, Mr. Canning formally transmitted
a letter of application, reminding the Chancellor at the same time
that in twenty-five years he had made four requests for appointments;
"with one of which your lordship had the goodness to comply." The
letter was placed in the private secretary (Mr. Stapleton's) hands,
with directions to copy it and forward it immediately; but knowing the
state of parties in the cabinet, and seeing that the letter had been
written under the influence of irritation, Mr. Stapleton undertook
the responsibility of keeping it back. A few hours afterwards, Mr.
Stapleton said to Mr. Canning, "I have not sent your letter to old
Eldon." "Not sent it," he angrily inquired; "and pray why not?" Mr.
Stapleton replied, "Because I am sure that you ought to read it over
again before you send it." "What do you mean?" Mr. Canning sharply
replied. "Go and get it." Mr. Stapleton did as he was bid; Mr.
Canning read it over, and then a smile of good-humour came over his
countenance. "Well," he said, "you are a good boy. You are quite right;
don't send it. I will write another."

When his obstinate old enemy stood beside him at the Duke of York's
funeral, in St. George's Chapel, Mr. Canning became uneasy at seeing
the old man standing on the cold, bare pavement. Perhaps he was more
uneasy because he knew he was unfriendly; so to prevent the cold damp
of the stones from striking though his shoes, he made him lay down his
cocked hat, and stand upon it; and when at last he got weary of so
much standing, he put him in a niche of carved wood-work, where he was
just able to stand upon wood. Unfortunately, although the tough old
Chancellor was saved by his constitution and his hat, Mr. Canning's
health received, through the exposure to cold, a shock from which he
never recovered. A few days afterwards he paid a last visit to Lord
Liverpool, at Bath, and on the plea of entertaining Mr. Stapleton, as a
young man, with the stories of their early years, they went on amusing
each other by recounting all sorts of fun and adventure, which were
evidently quite as entertaining to the old as to the young. The picture
of the two time-worn ministers laughing over the scenes of their youth
must have been a treat.

Sydney Smith ludicrously compared Canning in office to a fly in
amber:--"Nobody cares about the fly; the only question is--How the
devil did it get there? Nor do I attack him," continues Sydney, "from
the love of glory, but from the love of utility, as a burgomaster hunts
a rat in a Dutch dyke, for fear it should flood a province. When he is
jocular, he is strong; when he is serious, he is like Samson in a wig.
Call him a legislator, a reasoner, and the conductor of the affairs of
a great nation, and it seems to me as absurd as if a butterfly were to
teach bees to make honey. That he is an extraordinary writer of small
poetry, and a diner-out of the highest metre, I do most readily admit.
After George Selwyn, and perhaps Tickell, there has been no such man
for the last half-century." Lord Brougham, however, asserts that Mr.
Canning was not, by choice a diner-out.

Canning said of Grattan's eloquence that, for the last two years, his
public exhibitions were a complete failure, and that you saw all the
mechanism of his oratory without its life. It was like lifting the flap
of a barrel-organ, and seeing the wheels; you saw the skeleton of his
sentences without the flesh on them; and were induced to think that
what you had considered flashes, were merely primings kept ready for
the occasion.

Lord Byron, in his _Age of Bronze_, thus characterises Canning:--

    "Something may remain, perchance, to chime
    With reason; and, what's stranger still, with rhyme.
    Even this thy genius, Canning! may permit,
    Who, bred a statesman, still was born a wit,
    And never, even in that dull house could tame
    To unleavened prose thine own poetic flame.
    Our last, our best, our only orator,
    Even I can praise thee--Tories do no more.
    Nay, not so much; they hate thee, man, because
    Thy spirit less upholds them than it awes!"

Peter Pindar.--Dr. Wolcot.

This sarcastic versifier was a native of Devonshire, born about the
year 1738. His father was a substantial yeoman, and sent him to
Kingsbridge Free School; and after his father's death, young Wolcot
was removed to the Grammar School at Bodmin. He is described as a
clumsy, but arch-looking boy. He, at this early period, showed a degree
of quickness in repartee and sarcastic jokes, which was the first
dawning of that satiric humour which he afterwards displayed. He was
not remarkable at school for anything so much as negligence of his
dress and person. He described himself in after-life as having been a
dull scholar, but as having showed even at that early age a turn for

On leaving school, he was removed to Fowey, in Cornwall, to the house
of an uncle, who was a medical practitioner, whose apprentice he became
for seven years. He completed his medical education in London, and
applied himself with sufficient diligence to obtain a knowledge of
his future profession; but he much annoyed his uncle and two aunts by
cultivating his talents for versifying and painting. Some of his chalk
drawings have been preserved, and are remarkable for their peculiarity.
When seen near the eye, they seem to be composed only of random
scratches and masses of black chalk, of different densities and depths,
with here and there a streak and blot of white, and others of red.
There does not appear to be any defined objects, such as a tree, house,
figure, &c.; but when viewed as a whole, at a distance hanging on the
wall of the room, each of them appears to be a landscape representing
morning and evening, in which the dark and light of the sky, and the
foreground, hills, trees, towers, &c., could be made out by the fancy,
in the smallest space of time allowed for the imagination to come into
play; and then the effect is surprisingly good. Wolcot became fond of
art, eminently critical and learned in its elements, sketched many
favourite places in Devonshire and Cornwall, and dabbled occasionally
in oils.

He settled in London, obtained a Scotch diploma of M.D., and began
to practise as a physician. In 1767, Sir William Trelawney was
appointed Governor of Jamaica, and Wolcot, who had some connection
with the family, accompanied him to that island as his physician, and
he was appointed Physician-General. The Governor's regard for his
lively medical friend was so great, that he intended to procure his
appointment as Governor of the Mosquito territory; but the retirement
from office of his best friend, Lord Shelburne, prevented its

Wolcot's practice in Jamaica was not extensive; the whites were not
numerous, and the coloured could not pay. Governor Trelawney, however,
thinking he could promote Wolcot's interest more effectually by his
patronage in the Church, having then a valuable living in his gift
likely to become vacant by the severe illness of the incumbent, he
recommended his client to return to England, enter holy orders, and
return and take possession. Although the Governor had no very sublime
ideas of priesthood, it was the only way he had of serving the wit.
"Away, then," he said, "to England, get yourself japanned. But
remember not to return with the hypocritical solemnity of a priest.
I have just bestowed a good living on a parson, who believes not all
he preaches, and what he really believes he is afraid to preach. You
may very conscientiously declare," said the _conscientious_ Governor
to his admiring pupil, "that you have an internal call, as the same
expression will equally suit a hungry stomach and the soul." Having
accomplished this praiseworthy object, the rev. (M.D.) doctor returned
to his patron for induction; but "between the cup and the lip there
is many a slip," for the ailing incumbent, whose _living_ the doctor
sought, became convalescent, proved a very incumbrance in his path, and
the japanned _medico_ was fain to take up with the living of Vere, a
congregation exclusively of blacks, which he handed over to a curate,
his real employment being master of ceremonies to the Governor. On his
death, Wolcot returned to England with Lady Trelawney; and to carry on
the metaphor, the black lobster was boiled, and came out in scarlet and
gold.--(_Notes and Queries_, 2nd Series, vol. vii. pp. 381-383.)

The next twelve years of Wolcot's life were spent in attempting to
establish himself as a physician in Cornwall, in which he failed,
apparently on account of his invincible propensity to live as a
practical humorist, and satirize his neighbours. He humorously tells
us that the clinking of the bell-metal pestle and mortar seemed to
him to say, "Kill 'em again, kill 'em again," and so frightened him
from the profession. During his residence at Truro, some songs of
his composition were set to music by Mr. W. Jackson, of Exeter, and
first introduced him to general notice. In 1778, he published his
first composition in that peculiar style which not long after obtained
for him such a high and continued popularity--_The Epistle to the
Reviewers_. At Truro, Wolcot discovered the genius of the self-taught
artist, Opie, and with him came to London in 1780, they agreeing to
share the joint profits of their adventure for one year. They did so
for that term, when Opie told Wolcot he might return to the country,
as he could now do for himself. Wolcot appears not to have contributed
anything to the joint profits. There was now a split between the poet
and the brushman. Opie would not, for he could not, praise Wolcot's
sketches and paintings. "I tell ee, ye can't paint," said the blunt
and honest Opie; "stick to the pen." This advice was too much for "the
distant relation of the Poet of Thebes" to receive from "a painting
ape," and the feud was never healed. The Doctor scarified and lanced,
but Opie, in a more quiet way, was quite a match for the satirist, who,
as he said:--

    "Sons of the brush, I'm here again,
    At times a _Pindar_, a _Fontaine_,
    Casting poetic pearl (I fear) to swine."

Wolcot was the friend and pupil of Wilson, our great landscape painter,
whose style he used to imitate not unsuccessfully. In his addenda to
Pilkington's _Dictionary of Painters_, he pays due honour to the memory
of his old friend, Wilson.

Wolcot now betook himself to his pen for support. His satirical and
artistic tastes suggested his first publication, "_Lyric Odes to the
Royal Academicians for 1782_, by Peter Pindar Esq., a distant relation
of the Poet of Thebes, and Laureate to the Royal Academy," which took
the town by surprise, by the reckless daring of their personalities and
quaintness of style. Thus he flayed the R.A.'s--from West to Dance, and
from Chambers to Wyatt--not forgetting their Royal patron, King George
III. In Ode III. of the second series, entitled _More Odes to the Royal
Academicians_, after complaining that Gainsborough had kicked Dame
Nature out of doors, he turns from the picture he censures to another,
and exclaims:--

    "Speak, Muse, who form'd that matchless head?
    The Cornish boy,[43] in tin-mines bred;
    Whose native genius, like his diamonds, shone
    In secret, till chance brought him to the sun.[44]
    'Tis Jackson's portrait--put the laurel on it,
    Whilst to that tuneful swan I pour a sonnet."

[43] Opie.

[44] Peter here meant himself, which is in part true.

Peter then drops the lash, resumes his neglected lyre, and pours out
a sonnet to "Jackson of Exeter," worthy of the twain--the "enchanting
harmonist and the lyric bard."

Peter's poems were very dear to the purchaser, being printed in thin
quarto pamphlets, at 2_s._ 6_d._ each, and very little letter-press for
the money. After the Royal Academicians, Peter attacked King George
III. In 1785, Wolcot produced no less than twenty-three odes. In 1786,
he published the _Lousiad, a Heroic Comic Poem_, founded on the fact
that an obnoxious insect (either of the garden or the body) had been
discovered on the King's plate of some green peas, which produced
a solemn decree that all the servants in the Royal kitchen were to
have their heads shaved. In the hands of an unscrupulous satirist,
like Wolcot, this ridiculous incident was a stinging theme. He also
mercilessly quizzed Boswell, the biographer of Johnson. Sir Joseph
Banks was another subject of his satire:--

    "A President, on butterflies profound,
      Of whom all insect-mongers sing the praises,
    Went on a day to catch the game profound,
      On violets, dunghills, violet-tops, and daisies," &c.

From 1778 to 1808, above sixty of these political pamphlets were issued
by Wolcot. So formidable was he considered, that the Ministry, as he
alleged, endeavoured to bribe him to silence; he also boasted that his
writings had been translated into six different languages. His ease and
felicity, both of expression and illustration, are remarkable. In the
following terse and lively lines, we have a good caricature sketch of
Dr. Johnson's style.

    "I own I like not Johnson's turgid style,
    That gives an inch the importance of a mile;
    Casts of manure a wagon-load around,
    To raise a simple daisy from the ground.
    Uplifts the club of Hercules--for what?
    To crush a butterfly or brain a gnat!
    Creates a whirlwind from the earth, to draw
    A goose's feather, or exalt a straw!
    Sets wheels on wheels in motion--such a clatter,
    To force up one poor nipperkin of water!
    Bids ocean labour with tremendous roar,
    To heave a cockle-shell upon the shore;
    Alike in every theme his pompous art,
    Heaven's awful thunder or a rumbling cart."

Sometimes Peter himself got castigated for his satire on the sovereign.
Here is an amusing instance. Those who recollect the figure of the
satirist in his robust upright state, and the diminutive appearance of
Mr. Nollekens, the sculptor, can readily picture to themselves their
extreme contrast, when the former accosted the latter one evening at
his gate in Tichfield Street, nearly in the following manner:--"Why,
Nollekens, you never speak to me now; pray what is the reason?"
_Nollekens._--"Why you have published such lies of the King, and had
the impudence to send them to me; but Mrs. Nollekens burnt them, and
I desire you'll send no more. The royal family are very good to me,
and are great friends to all artists, and I don't like to hear anybody
say anything against them." Upon which the Doctor put his cane upon
the sculptor's shoulders, and exclaimed, "Well said, little Nolly; I
like the man who sticks to his friends; you shall make a bust of me
for that!" "I'll see you d--d first," answered Nollekens; "and I can
tell you this besides--no man in the Royal Academy but Opie would have
painted your picture; and you richly deserved the broken head you got
from Gifford in Wright's shop. Mr. Cook, of Bedford Square, showed me
his handkerchief dipped in your blood; and so now you know my mind.
Come in, Cerberus, come in." His dog then followed him in, and he left
the Doctor at the gate, which he barred up for the night.

A severer castigation he received from a brother author. It appears
that William Gifford had wielded his galled pen against the morals
and poetry of Wolcot. It was so stringent and caustic that the Doctor
sought his lampooner in the shop of Mr. Wright, a political publisher
in Piccadilly, opposite Old Bond Street. Thither Peter repaired with
a stout cudgel in hand, determined to inflict a summary and severe
chastisement on his literary opponent. Gifford was a small and weak
person; Wolcot was large and strengthened by passion; but he was a
coward, and after a short personal struggle, was turned into the street
by two or three persons then in the shop. Gifford afterwards wrote
and printed _An Epistle to Peter Pindar_, in which he dealt out a
most virulent tirade against the Doctor, who replied in _A Cut at the
Cobbler_. Gifford had been apprenticed to a shoemaker.

As each published his own story of the transaction, the one in his
own name, the other by his aide-de-camp, Mr. Wright, it may not be
unamusing to recapitulate the different statements of the transaction:--

_Peter Pindar._--"Determined to punish a R---- that dared to propagate
a report the most atrocious, the most opprobrious, and the most
unfounded, I repaired to Mr. Wright's shop in Piccadilly to _catch
him_, as I understood that he paid frequent visits to his worthy friend
and publisher. On opening the shop-door I saw several people, and among
the rest, as I thought, Gyffard. I immediately asked him if his name
was Gyffard? Upon his reply in the affirmative, without any further
ceremony, I began to cane him. Wright and his customers and his shopmen
immediately surrounded me, and wrested the cane from my hand. I then
had recourse to the fist, and really was doing ample and easy justice
to my cause, when I found my hands all on a sudden confined behind
me, particularly by a tall Frenchman. Upon this Gyffard had time to
run round, and with his own stick, a large one too, struck me several
blows on the head. I was then hustled out of the shop, and the door was
locked against me. I entreated them to let me in, but in vain. Upon the
tall Frenchman's coming out of the shop, I told him that he was one of
the fellows that held my hands. I have been informed that his name was
Peltier. Gyffard has given out as a matter of triumph that he possesses
my cane, and that he means to preserve it as a trophy. Let me recommend
an inscription for it:--'The cane of Justice, with which I, William
Gyffard, late cobbler of Ashburton, have been soundly drubbed for my
infamy.'--I am, Sir, &c., J. WOLCOT."

_Mr. Wright._--"Whoever is acquainted with the miscreant calling
himself 'Peter Pindar,' needs not be informed, that his disregard and
hatred of truth are habitual. He will not, therefore, be surprised to
learn that the account this Peter has published in a morning paper is a
shameless tissue of falsehoods from beginning to end.

"I was not in the shop when it happened; but I am _authorized_, by
the only two witnesses of it, to lay before the public the following

"Mr. Giffard was sitting by the window with a newspaper in his hand,
when Peter Pindar came into the shop, and saying, 'Is not your name
Giffard?' without waiting for an answer, raised a stick he had brought
for the purpose, and levelled a blow at his head with all his force.
Mr. Giffard fortunately caught the stick in his left hand, and quitting
his chair, wrested it instantly from the cowardly assassin, and gave
him two severe blows with it; one of which made a dreadful impression
on Peter's skull. Mr. Giffard had raised the stick to strike him a
third time, but seeing one of the gentlemen present about to collar the
wretch, he desisted, and coolly said, 'Turn him out of the shop.' This
was _literally and truly all_ that passed.

"After Peter was turned into the street, the spectacle of his bleeding
head attracted a mob of hackney-coachmen, watermen, paviours, &c., to
whom he told his lamentable case, and then, with a troop of boys at
his heels, proceeded to a surgeon's in St. James's Street, to have his
wounds examined, after which he slunk home.--J. WRIGHT."

Peter used to boast that he was the only author that ever outwitted
or took in a publisher. His works were very popular, and produced the
writer a large annual income. Walker, his publisher, in Paternoster
Row, was disposed to purchase the copyrights, and print a collected
edition. He first made the author a handsome offer in cash, and then an
annuity. The poet drove a hard bargain for the latter, and said that
"as he was very old and in a dangerous state of health, with a d--d
asthma and stone in the bladder, he could not last long." The publisher
offered 200_l._ a year; the Doctor required 400_l._ and every time the
Doctor visited the Row, he coughed violently, breathed apparently in
much pain, and acted the incurable invalid in danger so effectively
that the publisher at last agreed to pay him 250_l._ annually for
life. A collected edition of his works was printed in 1812, but it is
defective, for they were so numerous that the author could not retain
them all in his memory. An imperfect list in the _Annual Biography_ for
1819 enumerates no less than sixty-four works. One of the portraits
of the Doctor was published as a separate print, which did not sell
to any extent; but its publisher derived a great profit by taking out
the name of Peter Pindar and substituting that of "Renwick Williams
the Monster," who was infamous for stabbing women in the street. This
incident was told to Mr. Britton by Wolcot himself.

There is a fashion in the burlesque poetry of every age that is
palatable to the public of that age only. The subjects of Wolcot's
verses were ephemeral, and are now mostly forgotten. But his
popularity was not entirely earned by his audacious personalities.
His versification is nervous, his language racy and idiomatic, his
wit often genuine; and through all his puns and quaintnesses there
runs a strain of strong manly sense. Wolcot was equal to Churchill as
a satirist, as ready and versatile in his powers, and possessed of
a quick sense of the ludicrous, as well as a rich vein of fancy and
humour. Some of his songs and effusions are tender and pleasing. Burns
greatly admired his ballad of "Lord Gregory," and wrote another on the
same subject. After all his biting satires on George III. and Pitt,
he accepted a pension from the administration of which Pitt was the
head--not to laud it, but to vituperate its opponents. He had a shrewd
intellect, and his literary compositions have the finish of an artist;
but he was utterly selfish, and was a self-indulgent voluptuary.

Peter lived to the age of eighty-one, much to the annoyance of his
publisher, Walker. His last abode was in a small house in Montgomery's
nursery-gardens, which occupied the site of the north side of Euston
Square. Here he dwelt in a secluded, cheerless manner, the victim of
an asthma, very deaf, and almost entirely blind, with only a female
servant to attend him. His mind, however, retained its full power. He
lived only for himself; declined dinner invitations, "to avoid the
danger of loading his stomach with more than Nature required;" lay in
bed the greater part of his time, because "it would be folly in him
to be groping around his drawing-room," and because, "when up and in
motion he was obliged to carry a load of eleven or twelve stone, while
here he had only a few ounces of blanket to support." When out of bed,
he amused himself with his violin, or examining, as well as his sight
permitted, his crayons and pictures. He showed no aversion to "receive
notoriety-hunters," who came to see and hear "Peter Pindar," but
evinced no desire for society.

John Britton, who lived in Burton Street, often went to see Peter on a
Saturday afternoon, and there met Mr. John Taylor, editor of the _Sun_
newspaper. This gentleman was an inveterate and reckless punster, and
often teased Peter by some pointless puns. At one of these visits, on
taking leave, Taylor exclaimed, pointing to Peter's head and rusty wig,
"Adieu! I leave thee without hope, for I see _Old Scratch_ has thee
in his claws." Peter died in the above house, January 14th, 1810, and
was buried in the churchyard of St. Paul, Covent Garden, close to the
grave of Butler. He left a considerable property to his relations. In
early life he lived in the same parish, at No. 13, Tavistock Row; and
in the garret of this house he wrote many of his invectives against
George III. and the Royal Academicians. In 1807, he lodged in the first
floor of a house in Pratt Place, Camden Town, rented by a Mr. and Mrs.
Knight. The husband was a sea-faring man, seldom at home; and the
Doctor, who was not over-scrupulous, is said to have seduced the wife's
affections. Knight brought an action against the Doctor, but the jury
very properly acquitted him of the charge.--_See Cunningham's London_,
p. 409.

Peter was not emulous to shine as a wit in his colloquial intercourse,
either with strangers or his most intimate associates. Indeed, his
usual manner exhibited so little of that character which strangers had
imagined of the writer of his lively satires, that they were commonly
disappointed. The wife of a player, at whose house Wolcot often passed
an evening, used to say that "his wit seems to lie in the bowl of a
teaspoon." Angelo, in his _Reminiscences_, tells us that he could not
guess the riddle, until one evening he observed that each time Peter
replenished his glass goblet with brandy-and-water, in breaking the
sugar, the corners of his lips were curled into a satisfactory smile,
and he began some quaint story, as if, indeed, the new libation begot
a new thought. To prove the truth of the discovery, one night, after
supper, at his own home in Bolton Row, Angelo made the experiment.
One of the party being in the secret, and fond of practical joking,
came provided with some small square pieces of alabaster. Peter's
glass waning fast, the joker contrived to slip the alabaster into a
sugar-basin provided for the purpose; when the Doctor, reaching the hot
water, and pouring in the brandy, the sugar-tongs were handed to him,
and then the advanced basin of alabaster. "Thank you, my boy," said
Peter, putting in five or six pieces, and taking his teaspoon, began
stirring as he commenced his story. Unsuspicious of the trick, Peter
proceeded, "Well, sirs,--and so the old parish priest. What I tell you
(then his spoon was at work) happened when I was in that infernally hot
place, Jamaica (then another stir). Sir, he was the fattest man on the
island (then he pressed the alabaster); yes, d----, sir, and when the
thermometer, at ninety-five, was dissolving every other man, this old
slouching, drawling son of the church got fatter and fatter, until,
sir--(curse the sugar! some devil-black enchanter has bewitched it.)
By ----, sir, this sugar is part and parcel of that old pot-bellied
parson--it will never melt;" and he threw the contents of the tumbler
under the grate. The whole party burst into laughter, and the joke cut
short the story. The mock sugar was slipped out of the way, and the
Doctor, taking another glass, never suspected the frolic.

Peter, on seeing West's picture of Satan in the Exhibition, broke out
in the following couplet:--

    "Is this the mighty potentate of evil?
    'Tis damn'd enough, indeed, but not the Devil."

The Author of "Dr. Syntax."

Dr. Syntax's _Tour in Search of the Picturesque_ was a large prize
in the lottery of publication and was also a novelty in origin and
writing. It was written to a set of designs instead of the designs
being made to illustrate the poet: in other words, the artist preceded
the author by making a series of drawings, in which he exhibited his
hero in a succession of places, and in various associations, calculated
to exemplify his hobby-horsical search for the picturesque. Some of
these drawings, made by Rowlandson, than whom no artist ever expressed
so much with so little effort, were shown at a dinner-party at John
Bannister's, in Gower Street, when it was agreed that they should
be recommended to Ackermann, in the Strand, for publication. That
gentleman readily purchased, and handed them, two or three at a time,
to William Combe, who was then confined in the King's Bench Prison
for debt. He fitted the drawings with rhymes, and they were first
published in the _Poetical Magazine_, where they became so popular that
they extended to three tours in as many volumes, and passed through
several editions. The work reminds one of _Drunken Barnaby's Journal_
by its humour: it has been called "rhyming, rambling, rickety, and
ridiculous," but by a very inexperienced critic. The illustrations
were, doubtless, the attraction, which was so great, that the demand
kept pace with the supply. Hence _Syntax_ was succeeded by the _Dance
of Life_, the _Dance of Death_, _Johnny Quægenus_, and _Tom Raw the
Griffin_, all of the same class and character, and ultimately extending
to 295 prints, with versified letter-press "by Dr. Syntax." Of late
years these works have been republished at reduced prices.

Combe, the author of these strange works was of good family connection,
had been educated at Eton and Oxford, and very early came into
possession of a large fortune, in ready money. He started in the world
by taking a large mansion at the west end of London, furnished it
superbly hired servants, and bought carriages, and assembled around
him a set of sycophants and parasites, who made short work of it, for
from the commencement to the drop-scene of the farce did not exceed one
year. The consequence was disgraceful ruin, and Combe fled from his
creditors and from society. We next hear of him as a common soldier,
and recognized at a public-house with a volume of Greek poetry in his
hand. He was relieved; but he still lived a reckless life, by turns
in the King's Bench Prison and the Rules, the limits of which do not
appear to have been to him much punishment. Horace Smith, who knew
Combe, refers to the strange adventures and the freaks of fortune of
which he had been a participator and a victim: "a ready writer of
all-work for the booksellers, he passed all the latter portion of his
time within _the Rules_, to which suburban retreat the present writer
was occasionally invited, and never left without admiring his various
acquirements, and the philosophical equanimity with which he endured
his reverses." Mr. Smith further states, that if there was a lack of
matter occasionally to fill up the columns of their paper, "Combe would
sit down in the publisher's back-room and extemporize a letter from
Sterne at Coxwould, a forgery so well executed that it never excited
suspicion." Mr. Robert Cole, the antiquary, had among his autographs a
list of the literary works and letters of Combe.

Combe was principally employed by Ackermann, who, for several years,
paid him at least 400_l._ a-year. On the first lithograph stone which
Mr. Ackermann printed, when he had prepared everything for working,
Combe wrote:--

    "I have been told of one
      Who, being asked for bread,
      In its stead
    Return'd a stone.

    "But here we manage better.
      The stone we ask
      To do its task,
    And it returns in every letter."

     "WILLIAM COMBE, _Jan. 23, 1817_."

Combe was often a guest at Ackermann's table; he proved a friend to
him during his last illness, and contributed to the expenses of his
funeral, tomb, &c. Subsequent to his death, in 1823, a small volume was
published, entitled _Letters to Marianne_, said to have been written
by him after the age of seventy, to a young girl. We remember to have
visited him in the Rules, near New Bethlem Hospital, when we learnt
that he had written a memoir of his chequered life. Campbell, in his
_Life of Mrs. Siddons_, states that Combe lived nearly twenty years in
the King's Bench, and never quitted that prison; which is not correct.
Combe had nearly been Mrs. Siddons's reading preceptor.

Rowlandson, who designed the Syntax illustrations, was as improvident
as Combe: he had a legacy of 7,000_l._, and other property, bequeathed
to him by an aunt: this he dissipated in the gaming-houses of Paris
and London, where he alternately won and lost without emotion several
thousand pounds. When penniless, he would return to his professional
duties, sit down coolly to make a series of new designs, and exclaim
stoically, "I've played the fool, but (holding up his pencils) here is
my resource." To Rowlandson, as well as Combe, Ackermann proved a warm
and generous patron and employer.

Dr. Doran, in his piquant Notes to the _Last Journals of Horace
Walpole_, tells us that "Combe burst on the world as a wonderfully
well-dressed _beau_, and was received with _éclat_ for the sake of his
wealth, talents, grace, and personal beauty. He was popularly called
'Count Combe,' till his extravagance had dissipated a noble fortune;
and then, addressing himself to literature, the Count was forgotten in
the Author. In the _Gentleman's Magazine_ for May, 1862, there is a
list of his works, originally furnished by his own hand. Not one was
published with his name, and they amount in number to sixty-eight.
Combe was a teetotaller in the days when drunkenness was in fashion,
and was remarkable for disinterestedness and industry. He was the
friend of Hannah More, whom he loved to make weep by improvised
romances, in which he could 'pile up the agony' with wonderful effect.
Religious faith and hope enabled William Combe to triumph over the
sufferings of his latter years. His second wife, the sister of the
gentle and gifted Mrs. Cosway, survived him."

Horace Walpole, 1779, speaking of the poem, _The World as it
Goes_, describes it as "by that infamous Combe, the author of the
_Diabolical_. It has many easy poetic lines, imitates Churchill, and
is fully as incoherent and absurd in its plan as the worst of the

Again, in 1778, Walpole describes "Combe" as "a most infamous rascal,
who had married a cast mistress of Lord Beauchamp, and wrote many
satiric poems not quite despicable for the poetry, but brutally
virulent against that Lord, and others, particularly Lord Irnham." But,
as Dr. Doran aptly observes, "Walpole however fond of satire, hated
satirists, particularly when they were fearless and outspoken, like

Mrs. Radcliffe and the Critics.

It is singular that although Mrs. Radcliffe's beautiful descriptions
of foreign scenery, composed solely from the materials afforded by
travellers, collected and embodied by her own genius, were marked in
a particular degree with the characteristics of fancy portraits, yet
many of her contemporaries conceived them to be exact descriptions of
scenes which she had visited in person. One report transmitted to the
public by the _Edinburgh Review_, stated that Mr. and Mrs. Radcliffe
had visited Italy; that Mr. Radcliffe had been attached to one of the
British embassies in that country; and that it was here his gifted
consort imbibed the taste for picturesque scenery, and for mouldering
ruins, and for the obscure and gloomy anecdotes which tradition
relates of their former inhabitants. This is so far a mistake, as
Mrs. Radcliffe never was in Italy; but it has been mentioned, in
explanation, that she probably availed herself of the acquaintance
she formed in 1793 with the magnificent scenery on the banks of the
Rhine, and the frowning remains of feudal castles with which it
abounds. The inaccuracy of the reviewer is of no great consequence;
but a more absurd report found its way into print, namely, that Mrs.
Radcliffe, having visited the fine old Gothic mansion of Haddon House,
had insisted upon remaining a night there, in the course of which she
had been inspired with all that enthusiasm for Gothic residences,
hidden passages, and mouldering walls, which marks her writings. Mrs.
Radcliffe, we are assured, never saw Haddon House; and although it
was a place excellently worth her attention, and could hardly have
been seen by her without suggesting some of those ideas in which her
imagination naturally revelled, yet we should suppose the mechanical
aid to invention--the recipe for fine writing--the sleeping in a
dismantled and unfurnished old house, was likely to be rewarded with
nothing but a cold, and was an affectation of enthusiasm to which Mrs.
Radcliffe would have disdained to have recourse.

These are the opinions of Sir Walter Scott; appended to them are these
somewhat depreciatory remarks made by Dunlop, in his _History of

"In the writings of Mrs. Radcliffe there is a considerable degree
of uniformity and mannerism, which is perhaps the case with all the
productions of a strong and original genius. Her heroines too nearly
resemble each other, or rather they possess hardly any shade of
difference. They have all blue eyes and auburn hair--the form of each
of them has 'the airy lightness of a nymph'--they are all fond of
watching the setting sun, and catching the purple tints of evening,
and the vivid glow or fading splendour of the western horizon.
Unfortunately they are all likewise early risers. I say unfortunately,
for in every exigency Mrs. Radcliffe's heroines are provided with
a pencil and paper, and the sun is never allowed to rise nor set
in peace. Like Tilburina in the play, they are 'inconsolable to the
minuet in Ariadne,' and in the most distressing circumstances find
time to compose sonnets to sunrise, the bat, a sea-nymph, a lily, or a

The tenor of Mrs. Radcliffe's private life seems to have been
peculiarly calm and sequestered. She probably declined the sort of
personal notoriety which, in London society, usually attaches to
persons of literary merit; and, perhaps, no author whose works were so
universally read and admired was so little personally known even to
the most active of that class of people of distinction, who rest their
peculiar pretensions to fashion upon the selection of literary society.
Her estate was certainly not the less gracious; and it did not disturb
Mrs. Radcliffe's domestic comforts, although many of her admirers
believed, and some are not yet undeceived, that, in consequence of
brooding over the terrors which she depicted, her reason had at length
been overturned, and that the author of _The Mysteries of Udolpho_ only
existed as the melancholy inmate of a private madhouse. This report was
so generally spread, and so confidently repeated in print, as well as
in conversation, that the writer believed it for several years, until,
greatly to his satisfaction, he learned, from good authority, that
there neither was, nor ever had been, the most distant foundation for
this unpleasing rumour.

A false report of another kind gave Mrs. Radcliffe much concern. In
Miss Seward's _Correspondence_, among the literary gossip of the day,
it is roundly stated that the _Plays upon the Passions_ were Mrs.
Radcliffe's, and that she owned them. Mrs. Radcliffe was much hurt at
being reported capable of borrowing from the fame of a gifted sister;
and Miss Seward would, no doubt, have suffered equally, had she been
aware of the pain she inflicted by giving currency to a rumour so
totally unfounded. The truth is, that residing at a distance from the
metropolis, and living upon literary intelligence as her daily food,
Miss Seward was sometimes imposed upon by those friendly caterers, who
were more anxious to supply her with the newest intelligence, than
solicitous about its accuracy.

Mrs. Radcliffe died at her residence in Stafford Row, Pimlico, on
the 7th of February, 1823; and her remains rest in the vault of the
Chapel-of-ease to St. George's parish, in the Bayswater Road, facing
Hyde Park.

Cool Sir James Mackintosh.

Mackintosh, a name dear to letters and philosophy, was no lawyer in
the narrow-minded sense of the word, and when appointed judge at
Bombay, was lamentably thrown away upon such society as he met there.
Accustomed to lead in the conversations of the conversation-men of
the metropolis--such as Sharp, Rogers, Dumont--he found himself
transplanted among those who afforded a sad and bitter contrast. It was
like Goëthe's oak-plant, with its giant fibres, compressed within the
dimensions of a flower-pot. On the third day after his arrival, most
forcibly was he reminded of the contrast, when one of the members of
the Council, the conversation turning upon quadrupeds, turned to him
and inquired what was a quadruped. It was the same sagacious Solomon
who asked him for the loan of some book, in which he could find a good
account of Julius Cæsar. Mackintosh jocosely took down a volume of Lord
Clarendon's _History of the Rebellion_, in which mention is made of a
Sir Julius Cæsar, Master of the Rolls in the time of Charles the First.
The wiseacre actually took the book home with him, and after some
days brought it back to Sir James, remarking that he was disappointed
on finding that the book referred to Julius Cæsar only as a lawyer,
without the slightest mention of his military exploits.

Sir James was subject to certain Parson Adams-like habits of
forgetfulness of common things and lesser proprieties; and this brought
down upon him no slight share of taunt and ridicule. It happened, on
his arrival at Bombay, that there was no house ready for his reception,
and it would be a fortnight before a residence in the fort could be
prepared for him. Mr. Jonathan Duncan, the Governor of the Presidency,
therefore, with great kindness, offered him his garden-house, called
_Sans Pareil_, for the temporary accommodation of Sir James and
his family. But months and months elapsed, till a twelvemonth had
actually revolved; Mackintosh and his wife, during all this time,
found themselves so comfortable in their quarters, that they forgot
completely the limited tenure on which they held them, appearing by a
singular illusion, not to have the slightest suspicion of Mr. Duncan's
proprietorship, notwithstanding some pretty intelligible hints on the
subject from that gentleman, but communicated with his usual delicacy
and politeness. At last, politeness and delicacy were out of the
question, and the poor Governor was driven to the necessity of taking
forcible possession of his own property. This was partly indolence,
partly absence of mind in Sir James. He was constitutionally averse to
every sort of exertion, and especially that of quitting any place where
he found himself comfortable.

Before he went out to India, he made a trip into Scotland with his
lady; and having taken up his abode for the night at an inn in
Perthshire, not far from the beautiful park of Lord Melville (then Mr.
Dundas) sent a request to Lady Jane Dundas (Mr. Dundas being absent)
for permission to see the house and grounds, which was most civilly
granted. Mr. Dundas being expected in the evening, her ladyship
politely pressed them to stay for dinner, and to pass the night, their
accommodation at the inn, not being of the best description. Mr. Dundas
returned the same day, and though their politics were as adverse as
possible, was so charmed with the variety of Mackintosh's conversation,
that he requested his guests to prolong their visit for two or three
days. So liberal, however, was the interpretation they put upon the
invitation, that the two or three days were protracted into as many
months, during which, every species of hint was most ineffectually
given, till their hosts told them, with many polite apologies, that
they expected visitors and a numerous retinue, and could no longer
accommodate Mr. and Mrs. Mackintosh.

During Sir James Mackintosh's Recordership of Bombay, a singular
incident occurred. Two Dutchmen having sued for debt two English
officers, Lieutenants Macguire and Cauty, these officers resolved to
waylay and assault them. This was rather a resolve made in a drunken
excitement than a deliberate purpose. Fortunately, the Dutchmen
pursued a different route from that which they had intended, and
they prosecuted the two officers for the offence of lying-in-wait
with intent to murder. They were found guilty, and brought up for
judgment. Previous to his pronouncing judgment, however, Sir James
received an intimation that the prisoners had conceived the project
of shooting him as he sat on the bench, and that one of them had for
that purpose a loaded pistol in his writing-desk. It is remarkable
that the intimation did not induce him to take some precautions to
prevent its execution--at any rate, not to expose himself needlessly
to assassination. On the contrary, the circumstances only suggested
the following remarks:--"I have been credibly informed that you
entertained the desperate project of destroying your own lives at that
bar, after having previously destroyed the judge who now addresses
you. If that murderous project had been executed, I should have been
the first British judge who ever stained with his blood the seat of
justice. But I can never die better than in the discharge of my duty."
All this eloquence might have been spared. Macguire submitted to the
judge's inspection of his writing-desk, and showed him that, though it
contained two pistols, neither of them was charged. It is supposed to
have been a hoax--a highly mischievous one, indeed--but the statement
was _primâ facie_ so improbable, that it was absurd to give it the
slightest credit.

[Illustration: "Peter Porcupine." W. Cobbett.]

Eccentricities of Cobbett.

Cobbett began his career a political writer of ultra-Conservative
stamp. He first became known to the public as "Peter Porcupine,"
under which name he fiercely attacked the democratic writers and
speakers of France and America. He was then resident in America,
and encountered one or two trials at law for alleged libels, in his
defence of monarchical and aristocratic institutions. The _Porcupine
Papers_ attracted much notice in England, were quoted and lauded by the
government organs--quoted in both Houses of Parliament, and eulogized
in the pulpit. The writer was considered one of the most powerful
supports of the principles of the British constitution. This series of
papers was republished in England, in twelve volumes octavo, under the
patronage of the Prince Regent, to whom, it is believed, the work was

On his return from America, Cobbett began a daily paper called the
_Porcupine_. This was soon discontinued, and he began the _Register_.
Both these papers were strongly in favour of the government; and the
_Register_ ran through several volumes before a change took place in
the political opinions of the editor--a change hastened, if not caused,
by an affront offered him by William Pitt. Windham was a great admirer
of Cobbett, and after reading one of his Porcupine papers, declared
that the author was "worthy of a statue in gold." Pitt had refused to
meet the author of the _Register_ at Windham's table; and this Cobbett
resented, and never forgave. Very soon after this, a marked change took
place in his politics; henceforth he was more consistent, and the last
_Register_ which came from his pen, very shortly before his death,
breathed the same spirit which he had shown years before as one of the
leaders of the democratic party.

One of Cobbett's oddities was the wood-cut of a gridiron which for many
years headed the _Political Register_, as an emblem of the martyrdom
which he avowed he was prepared to undergo, upon certain conditions.
The gridiron will be recollected as one of the emblems of St. Lawrence,
and we see it as the large gilt vane of one of the City churches
dedicated to the saint.

As he was broiled on a gridiron for refusing to give up the treasures
of the church committed to his care, so Cobbett vowed that he would
consent to be broiled upon certain terms, in his _Register_, dated
Long Island, on the 24th of September, 1819, wherein he wrote the
well-known prophecy on Peel's Cash Payments Bill of that year as
follows:--"I, William Cobbett, assert that to carry their bill into
effect is impossible; and I say that if this bill be carried into full
effect, I will give Castlereagh leave to lay me on a gridiron, and
broil me alive, while Sidmouth may stir the coals, and Canning stand by
and laugh at my groans."

On the hoisting of the gridiron _on the Register_, he wrote
and published the fulfilment of his prophecy in the following
statement:--"Peel's bill, together with the laws about small notes,
which last were in force when Peel's bill was passed; these laws all
taken together, if they had gone into effect, would have put an end
to all small notes on the first day of May, 1823; but to precede this
blowing-up of the whole of the funding system, an act was passed, in
the month of July, 1822, to prevent these laws, and especially that
part of Peel's bill which put an end to small Bank of England notes,
from going into full effect; thus the system received a respite; but
thus did the parliament fulfil the above prophecy of September, 1819."

A large sign-gridiron was actually made for Mr. Cobbett. It was of
dimensions sufficient for him to have lain thereon (he was six feet
high); the implement was gilt, and we remember to have seen it in his
office-window, in Fleet Street; but it was never hoisted outside the
office. It was long to be seen on the gable-end of a building next Mr.
Cobbett's house at Kensington.

Cobbett possessed extraordinary native vigour of mind; but every
portion of his history is marked by strange blunders. Shakspeare, the
British Museum, antiquities, posterity, America, France, Germany,
are, one and all, either wholly indifferent to him, or objects of
his bitter contempt. He absurdly condemned the British Museum as "a
bundle of dead insects;" abused drinking "the immortal memory" as a
contradiction of terms; and stigmatized "consuming the midnight oil"
as cant and humbug. His political nicknames were very ludicrous: as
big O for O'Connell; Prosperity Robinson for a flaming Chancellor of
the Exchequer; and shoy-hoy for all degrees of quacks and pretenders.
Still, his own gridiron was a monstrous piece of quackery, as audacious
as any charlatan ever set up.

When he had a subject that suited him, he is said to have handled it
not as an accomplished writer, but "with the perfect and inimitable art
with which a dog picks a bone." Still, his own work would not bear this
sort of handling--witness the biting critique upon his English grammar,
which provoked the remark that he would undertake to write a Chinese

In country or in town, at Barn Elms, in Bolt Court or at Kensington,
Cobbett wrote his _Registers_ early in the morning: these, it must
be admitted, had force enough; for he said truly, "Though I never
attempt to put forth that sort of stuff which the intense people on
the other side of the Channel call _eloquence_, I bring out strings of
very interesting facts; I use pretty powerful arguments; and I hammer
them down so closely upon the mind, that they seldom fail to produce a
lasting impression." This he owed, doubtless, to his industry, early
rising, and methodical habits.

Cobbett affected to despise all acquirements which he had not. In his
_English Grammar_ he selects examples of bad English from the writings
of Dr. Johnson and Dr. Watts, and is very contemptuous on "what are
called the learned languages;" but he would not have entered upon Latin
or Greek.

It seemed to be Cobbett's aim to keep himself fresh in the public eye
by some means of advertisement or other; a few were very reprehensible,
but none more than his disinterring the bones of Thomas Paine, buried
in a field on his own estate near New Rochelle, and bringing these
bones to England, where, Cobbett calculated, pieces of them would be
worn as memorials of the gross scoffer. Cobbett, however, never more
widely mistook English feeling: instead of arousing, as he expected,
the enthusiasm of the republican party in this country, he only drew
upon himself universal contempt.

Heber, the Book-Collector.

There have been many instances of the indulgence of book collecting to
the extent which is termed book-madness; but none more remarkable than
that of Mr. Richard Heber, half-brother to the celebrated Bishop of
Calcutta of the same name. Mr. Heber inherited property which permitted
him to spend immense sums in the purchase of books; and he received an
education which enabled him to appreciate the books when purchased. He
was not therefore, strictly speaking, a _bibliomaniac_, and nothing
more, though his exertions in _collecting_ amounted to eccentricities.
He would make excursions from the family seats in Yorkshire and
Shropshire to London, to attend book sales; and when the termination
of the war in 1815 opened the Continent to English travellers, Heber
visited France, Belgium and the Netherlands, and made large purchases
of books in each country. He cared for nothing but books. He kept up a
correspondence with all the great dealers in old books throughout the
kingdom. On hearing of a curious book, he was known to have put himself
into a mail-coach, and travelled three or four hundred miles to obtain
it, fearful to entrust his commission to any agent. He was known to say
seriously to his friends, on their remarking on his many duplicates,
"Why, you see, sir, no man can do comfortably without _three_ copies
of a work. One he must have for a _show_ copy, and he will, probably,
keep it at his country-house. Another he will require for his use and
reference; and, unless he is inclined to part with this, which is very
inconvenient, or risk the injury of his best copy, he must needs have a
third at the service of his friends."

Mr. Hill Burton, in his _Book-hunter_, relates the following incident
of Heber's experience in the rarity-market. A celebrated dealer in old
books was passing a chandler's shop, where he was stopped by a few
filthy old volumes in the window. One of them he found to be a volume
of old English poetry, which he--a practised hand in that line--saw was
utterly unknown as existing, though not unrecorded. Three and sixpence
was asked; he stood out for a half-a-crown, on first principles, but,
not succeeding, he paid the larger sum, and walked away, book in
pocket, to a sale, where the first person he saw was Heber. Him the
triumphant bookseller drew into a corner, with "Why do you come to
auctions to look for scarce books, when you can pick up such things as
this in a chandler's shop for three and sixpence?" "Bless me, ----,
where did you get this?" "That's tellings! I may get more there."
"----, I must have this." "Not a penny under thirty guineas!" A cheque
was drawn, and a profit of 17,900 per cent. cleared by the man who had
his eyes about him, in whose estimation such a sum was paltry compared
with the triumph over Heber.

Mr. Heber's taste strengthened as he grew older. Not only was his
collection of old English literature unprecedented, but he brought
together a larger number of fine copies of Latin, Greek, French,
Spanish, Italian, and Portuguese books than had ever been possessed
by a private individual. His house at Hodnet, in Shropshire, was
nearly all library. His house in Pimlico (where he died in 1833) was
filled with books from top to bottom: every chair, table, and passage
containing "piles of erudition." A house in York Street, Westminster,
was similarly filled. He had immense collections of books in houses
rented merely to contain them, at Oxford, Paris, Antwerp, Brussels,
and Ghent. When he died, curiosity was naturally excited to know what
provision he had made in reference to his immense store of books;
but when his will was discovered, after a long and almost hopeless
search among bills, notes, memoranda, and letters, it was found, to the
astonishment of every one on reading it, that the library _was not even
mentioned_! It seemed as if Heber cared nothing what should become of
the books, or who should possess them, after his decease; and as he was
never married, or influenced greatly by domestic ties, his library was
considered by the executors of his will as merely so much "property,"
to be converted into cash by the aid of the auctioneer. What was the
number of books possessed by him or the amount of money paid for them,
appears to have been left in much doubt. Some estimated the library at
150,000 volumes, formed at a cost of 100,000_l._; others reckoned it at
500,000 volumes, at an aggregate value of 250,000_l._ The truth was,
his executors did not know in how many foreign towns his collections
of books were placed. Thus it could not accurately be ascertained what
portion of the whole was sold by auction in London in 1834-6; but
the mere catalogue of that portion fills considerably more than two
thousand printed octavo pages. The sales were conducted by Mr. Evans,
Messrs. Sotheby, and other book-auctioneers, and occupied two hundred
and two days, extending through a period of upwards of two years from
April 10, 1834, to July 9, 1836. One copy of the catalogue has been
preserved, with marginal manuscript notes, relating to almost every
lot; and from this a summary of very curious information is deducible.
It appears that, whatever may have been the number of volumes sold by
auction, or otherwise got rid of abroad, those sold at this series of
auctions in London were 117,613 in number, grouped into 52,672 lots.
As regards the ratio borne by the prices obtained, to those which Mr.
Heber had paid for the books in question, the account as rendered
showed that the auctioneer's hammer brought 56,775_l._ for that which
had cost 77,150_l._ It would appear, therefore, that the losses
accruing to Mr. Heber's estate through his passion for book-collecting,
amounted to upwards of 20,000_l._, and this irrespective of the fate
of the continental libraries.

Sir John Soane Lampooned.

Sir John Soane, who bequeathed to the country his Museum in Lincoln's
Inn Fields, which cost him upwards of 50,000_l._, was the son of a
bricklayer, and was born at Reading in 1753; he was errand-boy to
Dance, the architect, and subsequently his pupil. He rose to great
eminence, grew rich and liberal; he gave for Belzoni's elaborate
sarcophagus in the Soane Museum, 2,000 guineas; paid large sums for art
rarities; subscribed 1,000_l._ for the Duke of York's monument, was
contended with his knighthood, and declined to receive a baronetcy.
Yet he was a man of overweening vanity, and was much courted by
legacy-hunters; whilst his alienation from his son assisted in raising
up many enemies, in addition to those which Soane's remarkable success
brought against him. From the latter section may have proceeded the
following curious and popular squib of the day, said to have been found
under the plates at one of the artistic or academic dinners. It is


    "Glory to thee, great Artist! soul of taste!
    For mending pigsties where a plank's misplaced:
    Whose towering genius plans from deep research
    Houses and temples fit for Master Birch
    To grace his shop on that important day,
    When huge twelfth-cakes are raised in bright array.
    Each pastry pillar shows thy vast design--
    Hail! then, to thee, and all great works of thine.
    Come, let me place thee, in the foremost rank,
    With him whose dullness discomposed the bank;
               [_A line illegible._]
    Thy style shall finish what his style begun.
    Thrice happy Wren! he did not live to see
    The dome that's built and beautified by thee.
    Oh! had he lived to see thy blessed work,
    To see plaster scored like loins of pork;
    To see the orders in confusion move:
    Scrolls fixed below, and pedestals above:
    To see defiance hurled at Rome and Greece,
    Old Wren had never left the world in peace.
    Look where I will, above, below, is shown
    A pure disordered order of thine own;
    Where lines and circles curiously unite,
    A base, confounded, compound Composite:
    A thing from which, in truth it may be said,
    Each lab'ring mason turns abash'd his head;
    Which Holland reprobates, and Dance derides,
    Whilst tasteful Wyatt holds his aching sides.
    Here crawl, ye spiders! here, exempt from cares,
    Spin your fine webs above the bulls and bears!
    Secure from harm enjoy the charnell'd niche:
    No maids molest you, for no brooms can reach;
    In silence build from models of your own,
    But never imitate the works of Soane!"

Soane is described by his biographer as "one of the vainest and most
self-sufficient of men, who courted praise and adulation from every
person and source, but dreaded, and was even maddened by, anything like
impartial and discriminating criticism." But he grew so disgusted with
his flatterers, that a short time before his death he shut himself up
in a house at Richmond, to get out of the way of their attentions.

[Illustration: Jedediah Buxton. Ætat. 49.

_Numeros memini._ VIRGIL.]

Extraordinary Calculators.

On the 3rd of July, 1839, some of the eminent members of the Academy
of Sciences at Paris, including MM. Arago, Lacroix, Libri, and Sturm,
met to examine a remarkable boy whose powers of mental calculation were
deemed quite inexplicable. This boy, named Vito Mangiamele, a Sicilian,
was the son of a shepherd, and was about eleven years old. The
examiners asked him several questions which they knew, under ordinary
circumstances, to be tedious of solution--such as, the cube root of
3,796,416, and the 10th root of 282,475,249; the first of these he
answered in half-a-minute, the second in three minutes. One question
was of the following complicated character--"What number has the
following proportions, that if its cube is added to 5 times its square,
and then 42 times the number, and the number 42 be subtracted from the
result, the remainder is equal to 0 or zero." M. Arago repeated this
question a second time, but while he was finishing the last word, the
boy replied--"The number is 5!"

In the same year, Master Bassle, who was only thirteen years of age,
went through an extraordinary mnemonic performance at Willis's Rooms,
London. Five large sheets of paper, closely printed with tables of
dates, specific gravities, velocities, planetary distances, &c., were
distributed among the visitors, and every one was allowed to ask Master
Bassle a question relating to these tables, to which was received a
correct answer. He would also name the day of the week on which any day
of the month had fallen in any particular year. He could repeat long
series of numbers backwards and forwards, and point out the place of
any number in the series; and to prove that his powers were not merely
confined to the rows of numbers in the printed tables, he allowed the
whole company to form a long series, by contributing each two or three
digits in the order in which they sat; and then, after studying this
series for a few minutes, he committed it to memory, and repeated it
entire, both backwards and forwards, from the beginning to the end.
These performances are believed to have been not the result of any
natural mnemonic power, but of a method to be acquired by any person in
the course of twelve lessons.

Zerah Colburn, who excited much interest in London in 1812, was a
native of Vermont, in the United States. At six years old, he suddenly
showed extraordinary powers of mental calculation. By processes which
seemed to be almost unconscious to himself, and were wholly so to
others, he answered arithmetical questions of considerable difficulty.
When eight years old, he was brought to London, where he astonished
many learned auditors and spectators by giving correct solutions to
such problems as the following: raise 8 up to the 16th power; give
the square root of 106,929; give the cube root of 268,336,125; how
many seconds are there in 48 years? The answers were always given in
very few minutes--sometimes in a few seconds. He was ignorant of the
ordinary rules of arithmetic, and did not know how or why particular
modes of process came into his mind. On one occasion, the Duke of
Gloucester asked him to multiply 21,734 by 543. Something in the boy's
manner induced the Duke to ask how he did it, from which it appeared
that the boy arrived at the result by multiplying 65,202 by 181,
an equivalent process; but why he made this change in the factors,
neither he nor any one else could tell. Zerah Colburn was unlike other
boys also in this, that he had more than the usual number of toes and
fingers; a peculiarity observable also in his father and in some of his

An exceptional instance is presented in the case of Mr. Bidder, of
this faculty being cultivated to a highly useful purpose. George
Parker Bidder, when six years old, used to amuse himself by counting
up to 100, then to 1,000, then to 1,000,000: by degrees he accustomed
himself to contemplate the relations of high numbers, and used to
build up peas, marbles, and shot, into squares, cubes, and other
regular figures. He invented processes of his own, distinct from those
given in books on arithmetic, and could solve all the usual questions
mentally more rapidly than other boys with the aid of pen and paper.
When he became eminent as a civil engineer, he was wont to embarrass
and baffle the parliamentary counsel on contested railway bills, by
confuting their statements of figures almost before the words were out
of their mouths. In 1856, he gave to the Institution of Civil Engineers
an interesting account of this singular arithmetical faculty--so far,
at least, as to show that _memory_ has less to do with it than is
generally supposed; the processes are actually worked out _seriatim_,
but with a rapidity almost inconceivable.

The most famous calculator in the last century was Jedediah Buxton,
who, in 1754, resided for several weeks at St. John's Gate, Smithfield.
This man, though he was the son of a schoolmaster, and the grandson
of the vicar of his native parish, Elmeton, in Derbyshire, had never
learned to write, but he could conduct the most intricate calculations
by his memory alone; and such was his power of abstraction that
no noise could disturb him. One who had heard of his astonishing
ability as a calculator, proposed to him for solution the following
question:--In a body whose three sides measure 23,145,789 yards,
5,642,732 yards, and 54,965 yards, how many cubical eighths-of-an-inch
are there? This obtuse reckoning he made in a comparatively short time,
although pursuing the while, with many others, his labours in the
fields. He could walk over a plot of land and estimate its contents
with as much accuracy as if it had been measured by the chain. His
knowledge was, however, limited to figures. In 1754, Buxton walked to
London, with the express intention of obtaining a sight of the King
and Queen, for beyond figures, royalty formed the only subject of his
curiosity. In this intention he was disappointed: he was, however,
introduced to the Royal Society, whom he called the "volk of the Siety
Court." They tested his powers, and dismissed him with a handsome

He was next taken by his hospitable entertainer at St. John's Gate, to
see Garrick in the character of Richard III. at Drury Lane Theatre,
when undazzled by the splendour of the stage appointments, and unmoved
by the eloquent passion of the actor, the simple rustic employed
himself in reckoning the number of words he heard, and the sum total
of the steps made by the dancers; and after the performance of a fine
piece of music, he declared that the innumerable sounds had perplexed

To these feats may be added the following:--Buxton multiplied a
sum of thirty-nine places of figures into itself and even conversed
whilst performing it. His memory was so great, that he could leave
off and resume the operation at the distant period of a week, or even
several months. He said that he was _drunk_ once with reckoning by
memory from May 17 until June 16, and then recovered after sleeping
soundly for seven hours. The question which occupied him so intensely
was the reduction of a cube of upwards of 200,000,000 of miles into
barleycorns, and then into hairs'-breaths of an inch in length. He
kept an account of all the beer which he had drunk for forty years,
which was equal to five thousand one hundred and sixteen pints: of
these two thousand one hundred and thirty-two were drunk at the Duke of
Kingston's and only ten at his own house.

There was a portrait of Buxton at Rufford Abbey, Nottinghamshire. A
print of him was engraved in the _Gentleman's Magazine_, June, 1754,
with this subscription: "Jedediah Buxton. Ætat. 49.--Numeros memini.
_Virgil._" He was married and had several children, and died at the age
of 70, in the year 1777.

Charles Lamb's Cottage at Islington.

In a very pleasant paper on "Ideal Houses," in No. 4 of the _Cornhill
Magazine_, we find this clever sketch of a few of the amiable
eccentricities of our famous Essayist, Charles Lamb:--

"I believe," says the contributor, "more in the influence of dwellings
upon human character than in the influence of authority on matters
of opinion. The man may seek the house, or the house may form the
man; but in either case the result is the same. A few yards of earth,
even on this side of the grave, will make all the difference between
life and death. If our dear old friend, Charles Lamb, was now alive
(and we must all wish he was, if only that he might see how every
day is bringing him nearer the crown that belongs only to the Prince
of British Essayists), there would be something singularly jarring
to the human nerves in finding him at Dalston, but not so jarring in
finding him a little farther off at Hackney. He would still have drawn
nourishment in the Temple and in Covent Garden; but he must surely have
perished if transplanted to New Tyburnia. I cannot imagine him living
at Pentonville (I cannot, in my uninquiring ignorance, imagine who
Penton was, that he should name a _ville_?), but I can see a certain
appropriate oddity in his cottage at Colebrook Row, Islington.

[Illustration: Colebrook Cottage.]

"In the first place, we may agree that this London suburb is very odd,
without going into the vexed question of whether it was very 'merry.'
In the second place, this same Colebrook Row was built a few years
before our dear old friend was born--I believe, in 1770. In the third
place, it was called a 'Row,' though 'Lane' or 'Walk' would have been
as old and as good; but 'Terrace' or 'Crescent' would have rendered
it unbearable. The New River flowed calmly past the cottage walls--as
poor George Dyer found to his cost--bringing with it fair memories of
Isaak Walton and the last two centuries. The house itself had also
certain peculiarities to recommend it. The door was so constructed
that it opened into the chief sitting-room; and this, though promising
much annoyance, was really a source of fun and enjoyment to our
dear old friend. He was never so delighted as when he stood on the
hearth-rug receiving many congenial visitors as they came to him on
the muddiest-boot and the wettest-of-umbrella days. His immediate
neighbourhood was also peculiar.

"It was there that weary wanderers came to seek the waters of oblivion.
Suicide could pitch upon no spot so favourable for its sacrifice as the
gateway leading into the river inclosure before Charles Lamb's cottage.
Waterloo Bridge had not long been built, and was not then a fashionable
theatre for self-destruction. The drags were always kept ready in
Colebrook Row, at a small tavern a few doors from the cottage. The
landlord's ear, according to his own account, had become so sensitive
by repeated practice, that when aroused at night by a heavy splash in
the water, he could tell by the sound whether it was an accident or a
wilful plunge. He never believed that poor George Dyer tumbled in from
carelessness, though it was no business of his to express an opinion
on the matter. After the eighth suicide within a short period, Charles
Lamb began to grow restless.

"'Mary,' he said to his sister, 'I think it's high time we left this
place;' and so they went to Edmonton."

Thomas Hood.

This remarkable man of genius whose wit and humour entitle him to
high rank in English literature, was born in 1798, in the Poultry,
London, where his father was, for many years, acting partner in the
firm of Vernor, Hood, and Sharpe, extensive booksellers and publishers.
"There was a dash of ink in my blood," he writes: "my father wrote
two novels, and my brother was decidedly of a literary turn, to the
great disquietude, for a time, of an anxious parent." Thomas Hood was
sent to a school in Tokenhouse Yard, in the City, as a day-boarder.
The two maiden sisters, who kept the school, and with whom Hood took
his dinner, had the odd name of Hogsflesh, and they had a sensitive
brother, who was always addressed as "Mr. H.," and who subsequently
became the prototype of Charles Lamb's unsuccessful farce, called "Mr.

In 1812, Hood was sent to a day-school, his account of which is as
follows:--"In a house formerly a suburban seat of the unfortunate Earl
of Essex, over a grocer's shop, up two pair of stairs, there was a very
select day-school, kept by a decayed Dominie, as he would have been
called in his native land. In his better days, when my brother was his
pupil, he had been master of one of those wholesale concerns in which
so many ignorant men have made fortunes, by favour of high terms, low
ushers, gullible parents, and victimized little boys. Small as was our
college, its principal maintained his state, and walked gowned and
covered. His cap was of faded velvet, of black, or blue, or purple,
or sad-green, or, as it seemed, of altogether, with a sad _nuance_ of
brown; his robe of crimson damask lined with the national tartan. A
quaint, carved, high-backed elbowed article, looking like an _émigré_
from a set that had been at home in an aristocratical drawing-room
under the _ancien régime_, was his professional chair, which, with his
desk, was appropriately elevated on a dais some inches above the common
floor. From this moral and material eminence he cast a vigilant yet
kindly eye over some dozen of youngsters: for adversity, sharpened by
habits of authority, had not soured him, or mingled a single tinge of
bile with the peculiar red-streak complexion so common to the wealthier
natives of the north...." "In a few months, my education progressed
infinitely farther than it had done in as many years under the listless
superintendence of B.A. and LL.D. and assistants. I picked up _some_
Latin, was a tolerable grammarian, and so good a French scholar, that I
earned a few guineas--my first literary fee--by revising a new edition
of _Paul et Virginie_ for the press. Moreover, as an accountant, I
could work a _summum bonum_, that is, a good sum."

Young Hood finished his education at Wanostrocht's Academy at
Camberwell; and removed thence to a merchant's counting-house in the
City, where he realized his own inimitable sketch of the boy "Just set
up in Business:"--

    "Time was I sat upon a lofty stool,
    At lofty desk, and with a clerkly pen
    Began each morning at the stroke of ten
    To write in Bell and Co.'s commercial school,
    In Warnford Court, a shady nook and cool,
    The favourite retreat of merchant men;
    Yet would my quill turn vagrant even then,
    And take stray dips in the Castalian pool.
    Now double entry--now a flowery trope--
    Mingling poetic honey with trade wax:
    Blogg, Brothers--Milton--Grote and Prescott--Pope--
    Bristles and Hogg--Glyn, Mills, and Halifax--
    Rogers and Towgood--Hemp--the Bard of Hope--
    Barilla--Byron--Tallow--Burns, and Flax."

In 1824, Hood, after having contributed to some periodicals at Dundee
in 1821, obtained the situation of sub-editor of the _London Magazine_.
"My vanity," says he, "did not rashly plunge me into authorship, but
no sooner was there a legitimate opening than I jumped at it, _à la_
Grimaldi, head foremost, and was speedily behind the scenes."

Mr. Hood's first work was anonymous--his _Odes and Addresses to Great
People_--a little, thin, mean-looking foolscap sub-octavo of poems
with nothing but wit and humour (could it want more?) to recommend it.
Coleridge was delighted with the work, and taxed Charles Lamb by letter
with the authorship.

His next work was _A Plea for the Midsummer Fairies_, a serious poem
of infinite beauty, full of fine passages and of promise; it obtained
praise from the critics, but little favour from the public; and Hood's
experience of the unpleasant truth that

    "Those who live to please must please to live,"

induced him to have recourse again to his lively vein. He published a
second and third series of _Whims and Oddities_, and in 1829 commenced
the _Comic Annual_, and it was continued nine years. It proved very
profitable; it was a small, widely-printed volume, with rough woodcuts
drawn by Hood, who had been some time on probation with Sands and Le
Keux, the engravers. Several thousand copies were sold annually, as
the publishers' ledgers show. Then came out the comic poem of _The
Epping Hunt_, which, Hood tells us, "was penned by an underling at the
Wells, a person more accustomed to riding than writing," as shown in
this epistle:--"Sir,--Abouut the Hunt. In anser to your Innqueries,
their as been a great falling off latterally, so much so this year
that there was nobody allmost. We did a mear nothing provisionally,
hardly a Bottle extra, which is as proof in Pint. In short our Hunt
may be sad to be in the last Stag of a Decline. Bartholomew Rutt."
Next appeared _The Dream of Eugene Aram_, with this note: "The late
Admiral Burney went to school at an establishment where the unhappy
Eugene Aram was usher subsequent to his crime. The Admiral stated that
Aram was generally liked by the boys; and that he used to discourse to
them about _murder_ in somewhat of the spirit which is attributed to
him in this poem." The poem is exquisitely written throughout, and is
sometimes little less than sublime.

In the spring of 1831, Hood became the occupier of Lake House, near
Wanstead; and while residing here, he wrote his novel of _Tylney Hall_,
in which the characters are exuberant with wit and humour, but the plot
is defective. Hood next published _Hood's Own; or, Laughter from Year
to Year_, a volume of comic lucubrations, reprinted, "with an infusion
of New Blood for General Circulation." He next went to the Continent
for the benefit of his health. When in Belgium, he published his _Up
the Rhine_, constructed on the groundwork of _Humphrey Clinker_. The
work consists of a series of imaginary letters from a hypochondriacal
old bachelor, his widowed sister, his nephew, and a servant-maid, who
form the imaginary travelling party. Each individual writes to a friend
in England, and describes the scenes, manners, and circumstances, in
a manner suitable to the assumed character. The nephew's remarks seem
to embody the opinions and observations of Hood himself. The book is
illustrated with whimsical cuts in Hood's rough but effective style,
and abounds in good sense as well as humour. Here is a specimen:--

"An English lady resident at Coblentz, one day wishing to order of
her German servant (who did not understand English) a boiled fowl for
dinner, Grettel was summoned, and that experiment began. It was one
of the lady's fancies, that the less her words resembled her native
tongue, the more they must be like German. So her first attempt was
to tell the maid that she wanted a cheeking, or keeking. The maid
opened her eyes and mouth, and shook her head. 'It's to cook,' said
the mistress, 'to cook, to put in an iron thing, in a pit--pat--pot.'
'Ish understand risht,' said the maid, in her Coblentz patois. 'It's a
thing to eat,' said her mistress, for dinner--for deener--with sauce,
soace--sowose.' No answer. 'What on earth am I to do?' exclaimed
the lady, in despair, but still made another attempt. 'It's a little
creature--a bird--a bard--a beard--a hen--a hone--a fowl--a fool;
it's all covered with feathers--fathers--feeders!' 'Ha, ha,' cried
the delighted German, at last getting hold of a catchword, 'Ja, ja!
fedders--ja woh!' and away went Grettel, and in half-an-hour returned
triumphantly, with a bundle of stationers' quills."

Hood afterwards became editor of the _New Monthly Magazine_, from which
he retired in 1843. In the course of this year, public feeling had been
much excited by cases of distress and destitution, which came before
the London police-magistrates, arising from the excessively low rate of
wages paid by dealers in ready-made linen to their workwomen. Taking
advantage of a market overstocked with labourers, these tradesmen got
their work done for a rate of payment so small that fourteen or fifteen
hours' labour were frequently required in order to obtain sixpence!
Hood's sympathy was excited, and "The Song of the Shirt" was the
result--"a burst of poetry and indignant passion by which he produced
tears almost as irrepressibly as in other cases he produced laughter."
"The Song of the Shirt" was sent to a comic periodical, but was refused
insertion; it has, however, been sung through the whole length and
breadth of the three kingdoms.

Our author's last periodical was _Hood's Magazine_, which he continued
to supply with the best of its contributions till within a month before
his death. It contained a novel, which was interrupted by his last
illness and death; the last chapters were, in fact, written by him
when he was propped up by pillows in bed. He had the consolation, a
short time before his death, of having a Government pension of 100_l._
a-year, which was offered him by Sir Robert Peel, in the following
noble and touching letter, Sir Robert knowing of his illness, but not
of his imminent danger--"I am more than repaid," writes Peel, "by the
personal satisfaction which I have had in doing that for which you
return me warm and characteristic acknowledgments. You perhaps think
that you are known to one with such multifarious occupations as myself
merely by general reputation as an author; but I assure you that there
can be little which you have written and acknowledged which I have not
read, and that there are few who can appreciate and admire more than
myself the good sense and good feeling which have taught you to infuse
so much fun and merriment into writings correcting folly and exposing
absurdities, and yet never trespassing beyond those limits within which
wit and facetiousness are not very often confined. You may write on
with the consciousness of independence as free and unfettered as if
no communication had ever passed between us. I am not conferring a
private obligation upon you, but am fulfilling the intentions of the
Legislature, which has placed at the disposal of the Crown a certain
sum (miserable, indeed, in amount) to be applied to the recognition of
public claims on the bounty of the Crown. If you will review the names
of those whose claims have been admitted on account of their literary
or scientific eminence, you will find an ample confirmation of the
truth of my statement. One return, indeed, I shall ask you--that you
will give me the opportunity of making your personal acquaintance."

To this statement in the _Cornhill Magazine_ are appended the following
reflections:--"O sad, marvellous picture of courage, of honesty, of
patient endurance, of duty struggling against pain! How noble Peel's
figure is standing by that sick-bed, how generous his words, how
dignified and sincere his compassion! And the poor dying man, with a
heart full of natural gratitude towards his noble benefactor, must turn
to him and say--'If it be well to be remembered by a Minister, it is
better still not to be forgotten by him in a 'hurly Burleigh!' Can you
laugh? Is not the joke horribly pathetic from the poor dying lips? As
dying Robin Hood must fire a last shot with his bow--as one reads of
Catholics on their death-bed putting on a Capuchin dress to go out of
the world--here is poor Hood at his last hour putting on his ghastly
motley, and uttering one joke more. He dies, however, in dearest love
and peace with his children, wife, friends: to the former especially
his whole life had been devoted, and every day showed his fidelity,
simplicity, and affection. In going through the record of his most
pure, modest, honourable life, and living along with him, you come to
trust him thoroughly, and feel that here is a most loyal, affectionate,
and upright soul, with whom you have been brought into communion. Can
we say as much of all lives of all men of letters? Here is one at least
without guile, without pretension, without scheming, of pure life, to
his family and little modest circle of friends tenderly devoted."

After a lethargy, which continued four days, Hood died May 3rd, 1845.
He was buried in Kensal Green Cemetery, where a poetical monument has
been erected to his memory. He left a son, who inherits much of his
father's genius.

"Hood," says one of his biographers, "was undoubtedly a man of genius.
His mind was stored with a vast collection of materials drawn from a
great variety of sources, but especially his own observations; and he
possessed the power of working up those materials into combinations
of wit and humour and pathos of the most original and varied kinds.
He has wit of the highest quality, as original and as abundant as
Butler's or Cowley's, drawn from as extensive an observation of nature
and life, if not from so wide a reach of learning, and combined with
a richness of humour of which Butler had little and Cowley none. His
humour is frequently as extravagantly broad as that of Rabelais, but
he has sometimes the delicate touches of that of Addison. As a punster
he stands alone. His puns do not consist merely of double meanings
of words--a low kind of punning, of which minds of a low order are
capable, and with which his imitators have deluged English comedy and
comic literature--but of double meanings of words combined with double
meanings of sense in such a manner as to produce the most extraordinary
effects of surprise and admiration. His power of exciting laughter is
wonderful, his drollery indescribable, inimitable. His pathetic power
is not equal to his comic, but it is very great. The moral tendency
of Hood's works is excellent. In the indulgence of his spirit of fun,
he is anything but strait-laced as regards the introduction of images
and phrases which a fastidious person might call vulgar or coarse; but
an indecent description or even allusion will not easily be found. He
is liberal-minded, a warm eulogist as well as a glowing depicter of
the good feelings of our nature and the generous actions which those
feelings prompt, and he is an unsparing satirist of vice, pretension,
and cant in all their forms.

"Hood, in his person, was thin, pale, and delicate; in his temper
he was kind and cheerful; he seems to have imbibed the social and
benevolent feeling of his friend Lamb, and he was no less than Lamb
a favourite among his friends. His long-continued sufferings only
stimulated him to amuse himself and others by the exercise of his
extraordinary imagination; and when at last he could no longer bear up
under his bodily pains, his complaint was simple, but it indicated a
terrible degree of suffering--'I cannot die, I cannot die.'"

A Witty Archbishop.

An industrious student, a deep thinker, an acute reasoner, a learned
mind, a correct and at times elegant writer--these are titles of
honour which the mere out-side-world, travelling in its flying
railway-carriage, will gladly award to the late Archbishop of Dublin
(Dr. Whately). Not so familiar are certain minor and more curious
gifts, which he kept by him for his own and his friends' entertainment,
which broke out at times on more public occasions. He delighted in the
oddities of thought, in queer quaint distinctions; and if an object
had by any possibility some strange distorted side or corner, or even
point, which was undermost, he would gladly stoop down his mind to get
that precise view of it, nay, would draw it in that odd light for the
amusement of the company.

Thus he struck Guizot, who described him as "startling and ingenious,
strangely absent, familiar, confused, eccentric, amiable, and engaging,
no matter what unpoliteness he might commit, or what propriety he
might forget." In short, a mind with a little of the Sydney Smith's
leaven, whose brilliancy lay in precisely these odd analogies. It was
his recreation to take up some intellectual hobby, and make a toy of
it. Just as, years ago, he was said to have taken up that strange
instrument the boomerang, and was to be seen on the sands casting it
from him, and watching it return. It was said, too, that at the dull
intervals of a visitation, when ecclesiastical business languished, he
would cut out little miniature boomerangs of card, and amuse himself by
illustrating the principle of the larger toy by shooting them from his

The even, and sometimes drowsy, current of Dublin society was almost
always enlivened by some little witty boomerang of his, fluttering
from mouth to mouth, and from club to club. The Archbishop's last was
eagerly looked for. Some were indifferent, some were trifling; but it
was conceded that all had an odd extravagance, which marked them as
original, quaint, queer. In this respect he was the Sydney Smith of the
Irish capital, with this difference--that Sydney Smith's king announced
that he would never make the lively Canon of St. Paul's a Bishop.

Homœopathy was a medical paradox, and was therefore welcome. Yet in
this he travelled out of the realms of mere fanciful speculation, and
clung to it with a stern and consistent earnestness faithfully adhered
to through his last illness. Mesmerism, too, he delighted to play with.
He had, in fact, innumerable _dadas_, as the French call them, or
hobby-horses, upon which he was continually astride.

This led him into a pleasant affection of being able to discourse _de
omnibus rebus_, &c., and the more recondite or less known the subject,
the more eager was he to speak. It has been supposed that the figure
of the "Dean," in Mr. Lever's pleasant novel of _Roland Cashel_, was
sketched from him. Indeed, there can be no question but that it is an
unacknowledged portrait.

"What is the difference," he asked of a young clergyman he was
examining, "between a form and a ceremony? The meaning seems nearly
the same; yet there is a very nice distinction." Various answers were
given. "Well," he said, "it lies in this: you sit upon a form, but you
stand upon ceremony."

"Morrow's Library" is the Mudie of Dublin; and the Rev. Mr. Day, a
popular preacher. "How inconsistent," said the archbishop, "is the
piety of certain ladies here. They go _to Day for a sermon_, and _to
Morrow_ for a novel!"

At a dinner-party he called out suddenly to the host, "Mr. ----!" There
was silence. "Mr. ----, what is the proper female companion of this
John Dory?" After the usual number of guesses an answer came, "Anne
Chovy." [This has been attributed to Quin, the actor and epicure.]

_Another Riddle._--"The laziest letter in the alphabet? The _letther_
G!" (lethargy).

_The Wicklow Line._--The most unmusical in the world--having a
Dun-Drum, Still-Organ, and a Bray for stations.

_Doctor Gregg._--The new bishop and he at dinner. Archbishop: "Come,
though you _are_ John Cork, you musn't stop the bottle here." The
answer was not inapt: "I see your lordship is determined to draw me

On Dr. K----x's promotion to the bishopric of Down, an appointment in
some quarters unpopular: "The Irish government will not be able to
stand many more such Knocks Down as this!"

The merits of the same bishop being canvassed before him, and it being
mentioned that he had compiled a most useful Ecclesiastical Directory,
with the Values of Livings, &c., "If that be so," said the archbishop,
"I hope the next time the claims of our friend Thom will not be
overlooked." (Thom, the author of the well known _Almanack_.)

A clergyman, who had to preach before him, begged to be let off,
saying, "I hope your grace will excuse my preaching next Sunday."
"Certainly," said the other indulgently. Sunday came, and the
archbishop said to him, "Well! Mr. ----, what became of you! we
expected you to preach to-day." "Oh, your grace said you would excuse
my preaching to-day." "Exactly; but I did not say I would excuse you
_from_ preaching."

At a lord lieutenant's banquet a grace was given of unusual length.
"My lord," said the archbishop, "did you ever hear the story of Lord
Mulgrave's chaplain?" "No," said the lord lieutenant. "A young chaplain
had preached a sermon of great length. 'Sir,' said Lord Mulgrave,
bowing to him, 'there were some things in your sermon of to-day I never
heard before.' 'Oh, my lord,' said the flattered chaplain, 'it is a
common text, and I could not have hoped to have said anything new on
the subject.' '_I heard the clock strike twice_,' said Lord Mulgrave."

At some religious ceremony at which he was to officiate in the country,
a young curate who attended him grew very nervous as to their being
late. "My good young friend," said the archbishop, "I can only say to
you what the criminal going to be hanged said to those around, who
were hurrying him, 'Let us take our time, they can't begin without
us.'"--(_Yorick Junior._--_Notes and Queries. Third Series._)

The following charade, said to be one of the last by Dr. Whatley, has
puzzled many wise heads:--

    "Man cannot live without my _first_,
      By day and night it's used;
    My _second_ is by all accursed,
      By day and night abused.
    My _whole_ is never seen by day,
      And never used by night;
    Is dear to friends when far away,
      But hated when in sight."

A Correspondent of _Notes and Queries_ suggests the following

    "_Ignis_, or fire, all men will own
      Essential to the life of man;
    _Fatuus_, a fool, has been, 'tis known,
      Cursed and abused since time began.
    Some _Ignis Fatuus_, Will-o'-wisp.
      Not seen by day, nor used by night,
    Men love, and for their phantom list,
      When 'tis unseen, but hate its sight."

                     Literary Madmen.

    "Great wits are sure to madness near allied,
    And their partitions do their bounds divide."--DRYDEN.

This bold assertion has long since been pronounced incorrect.
Nevertheless, the barrier between genius and madness has not been
traced. Eccentricity is often mistaken for craziness; and the entire
subject is beset with nice points and shades of controversy. In 1860
appeared Octave Delepierre's _Histoire Littéraire des Fous_, upon the
soundness of which critics are divided in opinion. The following sketch
of its contents, however, shows the work to be full of interest.

A history of literary madmen is yet to be written--whether it be a
history of authors who have gone mad, or of persons who, being mad,
have turned authors. It is singular to notice what relief madmen find
in literary composition; so much so, that it has been employed as a
method of cure in more than one of our lunatic asylums. At the Crichton
Royal Institution, Dumfriesshire, a little journal, entitled the _New
Moon_, was published every month, the contents being contributed, set
up, and printed by the inmates in their lucid moments. Occasionally
there was a little incoherence--a little roughness; but, as a
whole, the _New Moon_ would bear comparison with many other amateur
periodicals. Here are two stanzas written by a man tortured by long
sleeplessness, whom private misfortunes had driven mad:--

    "Go! sleep, my heart, in peace,
    Bid fear and sorrow cease:
    He who of worlds takes care,
    One heart in mind doth bear.

    "Go! sleep, my heart, in peace,
    If death should thee release,
    And this night hence thee take,
    Thou yonder wilt awake."

Theology has sent more people mad than any other pursuit--a truth of
which M. Delepierre's _Histoire Littéraire des Fous_ furnishes some
interesting illustrations.

The writer has, however, occasionally mistaken eccentricity for
craziness. Simon Stylites on his pillar and St. Anthony in his cave
were crazed; but we do not think that Baxter's _Hooks and Eyes for
Believers' Breeches_ is an indication of insanity any more than
such works as _La Seringue Spirituelle pour les Ames constipées en
Dévotion_, or _La Tabatière Spirituelle pour faire éternuer les Ames
dévotes_. Very probably, if we could refer to these works, we should
find that the title had little or nothing in common with the contents,
but as a mere trick to catch purchasers. Few people would charge
Latimer with being mad because he preached a "Sermon on a Pack of
Cards." Nor do we think any conclusion can be drawn unfavourable to
the Jesuit missionary Paoletti from the mere fact of his writing a
treatise to prove that the American aborigines were eternally damned
without hope of redemption, because they were the offspring of the
Devil and one of Noah's daughters. His mind had not lost its balance
to such a degree as that of old Portel, who persuaded himself that the
soul of John the Baptist had passed into his body; or of Miranda, a
living man, who fancies himself the forty-ninth incarnation of Adam
through Romulus and Mohamed; while Queen Victoria is the seventieth
embodiment of the soul of Eve, by way of Miriam and the Virgin Mary!
Geoffrey Vallée was another monomaniac of this class, who began by
having a shirt for every day in the year, which he used to send into
Flanders to be washed at a certain spring, and ended by being burnt at
the stake as an atheist for a silly book he wrote. Our own John Mason,
who proclaimed Christ's coming, and declared Water Stratford, near
Buckingham, to be the seat of his throne, has had many imitators at
home and abroad.

Endeavours to interpret prophecy and explain the Apocalypse have
turned many a brain, even in our own days. One Francis Potter wrote
a book with the following title:--"An Interpretation of the number
666, wherein it is shown that this number is an exquisite and perfect
character, truly, exactly, and essentially describing that state
of government to which all other notes of Antichrist do agree." A
Frenchman, Soubira, ran mad on the same subject about the same period.
In 1828 he published a pamphlet with this meagre title--"666." Here is
a sample:--

  Les banquiers de la France       666
  Des organistes de la Foi         666
  Et des concerts de la cadence    666
  Vont accomplir la loi            666
  Et conterminer l'alliance        666

Joseph O'Donnelly fancied he had discovered the primitive language,
and printed some specimens of it at Brussels in 1854.

The literary madman is often harmless enough, and his condition being
not rarely the result of an overtasked brain, in his lucid moments he
is his former self. If in his mad moments Lee called upon Jupiter to
rise and snuff the moon; it was in his calmer hours that he replied
to the sneers of a silly poet--"It is very difficult to write like a
madman, but very easy to write like a fool." Christopher Smart was
another poetical lunatic, whose best pieces were composed while he was
under restraint. These are not, however, very remarkable, their chief
merit consisting in their history. Like the Koran, they were committed
to writing under circumstances of great difficulty; the whitened walls
of his cell were his paper, and his pen the end of a piece of wood
burnt in the fire. Thomas Lloyd belonged to this class, but few of his
fragments have been preserved. Milman, of Pennsylvania, lost his bride
by lightning on their wedding-day: his reason never recovered the shock.

Luke Clennel, the engraver, forgot his art during his long state of
unreason, but would compose very passable verses; while John Clare,
whose poetry brought him into note, and led to his ruin, scarcely
wrote at all during his mad moods. Thomas Bishop took to the drama,
and his _Koranzzo's Feast, or the Unfair Marriage_, a tragedy founded
on facts 2,366 years ago, is a serious performance, amply illustrated.
Among the characters are four queens, three savages, and five ghosts,
not including the ghost of a clock, intended as part of the stage
furniture. The most singular of this class of one-sided writers is M.
G. Desjardins, who, we believe, is still alive. It is impossible to
imagine a head more completely turned than his.

Another writer of this eccentric class is Paulin Gagne, author of
_L'Unitéide, ou la Femme-Messie_, a poem in twelve cantos. The
thirty-eighth act of the eighth canto passes in a potato-field, and
the scene is opened by _Pataticulture_ in a speech of this fashion:--

    "Peuples et Rois, je suis la Pataticulture,
    Fille de la nature et du siècle en friture;
    J'ai toujours adoré ce fruit délicieux
    Que, dit-on, pour extra, mangeaient jadis les Dieux."

He winds up by declaring that

    "Dans la pomme de terre est le salut de tous."

In the following act, _Carroticulture_ is introduced with a new version
of the Marseillaise:--

    "Allons, enfans de la Cacrotte."

Science and Philosophy have had their victims; and those, though we
must except Newton, so long reckoned among those whose brain had given
way under intense thought, we must include Kant, his disciple Wirgman,
and others of less note. William Martin, whose two brothers made
themselves famous in very different lines--one by setting fire to York
Minster, the other by his paintings--was as mad as could be desired,
both in science and poetry. Here is a sample combined:--

    "The creation of the world,
    Likewise Adam and Eve, we know,
    Made by the Great God, from
    Whom all blessings flow."

The famous Walking Stewart went crazy on "the polarization of moral
truth." At the dinner-table he spoilt the digestion of his guests by
turning the conversation to his one beloved subject, and he was as
fatal as the Ancient Mariner to any man who might chance to address him
a civil word in public places or conveyances.

A deplorable instance of this class is afforded by Wirgman, the
Kantesian, just named, who, after making a fortune as a goldsmith and
silversmith, in St. James's Street, Westminster, squandered it all as
_a regenerating philosopher_. He printed several works, and had paper
made specially for one, the same sheet being of several different
colours; and as he changed the work many times while it was printing,
the expense was enormous: one book of four hundred pages cost 2,276_l._
He published a grammar of the five senses, which was a sort of system
of metaphysics for the use of children; and he maintained that when it
was universally adopted in schools, peace and harmony would be restored
to the earth, and virtue would everywhere replace crime. He complained
much that people would not listen to him, and that although he had
devoted nearly half a century, he had asked in vain to be appointed
Professor in some University or College--so little does the world
appreciate those who labour unto death in its service. Nevertheless,
exclaimed Wirgman, after another useless application, "while life
remains, I will not cease to communicate this blessing to the rising

A Perpetual-Motion Seeker.

The celebrated French physician, Pinel, relates the case of a
watchmaker who was infatuated with the chimera of Perpetual Motion, and
to effect this discovery, he set to work with indefatigable ardour.
From unremitting attention to the object of his enthusiasm, coinciding
with the influence of revolutionary disturbances, his imagination was
greatly heated, his sleep was interrupted, and at length a complete
derangement took place. His case was marked by a most whimsical
illusion of the imagination: he fancied that he had lost his head upon
the scaffold; that it had been thrown promiscuously among the heads
of many other victims; that the judges having repented of their cruel
sentence, had ordered their heads to be restored to their respective
owners, and placed upon their respective shoulders; but that, in
consequence of an unhappy mistake, the gentleman who had the management
of that business, had placed upon his shoulders the head of one of
his unhappy companions. The idea of this whimsical change of his head
occupied his thoughts night and day, which determined his friends to
send him to an asylum. Nothing could exceed the extravagance of his
heated brain: he sung, he cried, or danced incessantly; and as there
appeared no propensity to commit acts of violence or disturbance, he
was allowed to go about the hospital without control, in order to
expend, by evaporation, the effervescence of his spirits. "Look at
these teeth!" he cried; "mine were exceedingly handsome; these are
rotten and decayed. My mouth was sound and healthy; this is foul and
diseased. What difference between this hair and that of my own head!"

The idea of perpetual motion frequently recurred to him in the midst
of his wanderings; and he chalked on all the doors or windows as he
passed the various designs by which his wondrous piece of mechanism was
to be constructed. The method best calculated to cure so whimsical an
illusion appeared to be that of encouraging his prosecution of it to
satiety. His friends were accordingly requested to send him his tools,
with materials to work upon, and other requisites, such as plates of
copper and steel, and watch-wheels. His zeal was now redoubled; his
whole attention was rivetted upon his favourite pursuit: he forgot
his meals, and after about a month's labour our artist began to think
he had followed a false route. He broke into a thousand fragments the
piece of machinery which he had fabricated with so much toil, and
thought, and labour; he then entered upon a new plan, and laboured for
another fortnight. The various parts being completed, he brought them
together; he fancied that he saw a perfect harmony amongst them. The
whole was now finally adjusted--his anxiety was indescribable--_motion
succeeded_; it continued for some time, and he supposed it capable of
continuing for ever. He was elevated to the highest pitch of ecstasy
and triumph, and ran like lightning into the interior of the hospital,
crying out, like another Archimedes, "At length I have solved this
famous problem, which has puzzled so many men celebrated for their
wisdom and talents!" Grievous to add, he was checked in the midst of
his triumph. The wheels stopped! the _perpetual motion_ ceased! His
intoxication of joy was succeeded by disappointment and confusion;
though to avoid a humiliating and mortifying confession, he declared
that he could easily remove the impediment: but, tired of such
experimental employment, he determined for the future to devote his
attention solely to his business.

There still remained another imaginary impression to be
counteracted--that of the exchange of his head, which unceasingly
occurred to him. A keen and unanswerable stroke of pleasantry seemed
best adapted to correct this fantastic whim. Another convalescent, of
a gay and facetious turn, instructed beforehand, adroitly turned the
conversation to the subject of the famous miracle of St. Denis, in
which it will be recollected that the holy man, after decapitation,
walked away with his head under his arm, which he kissed and condoled
with for its misfortune. Our mechanician strongly maintained the
possibility of the fact, and sought to confirm it by an appeal to his
own case. The other set up a laugh, and replied with a tone of the
keenest ridicule, "Madman as thou art, how could St. Denis kiss his own
head? Was it with his heels?" This equally unexpected and unanswerable
retort forcibly struck the maniac. He retired confused amidst the
laughter which was provoked at his expense, and never afterwards
mentioned the _exchange of his head_.

[Illustration: The Duchess of Newcastle. From the portrait prefixed to
her poems.

     "Her beauty's found beyond the skill
     Of the best paynter to embrace."

The Romantic Duchess of Newcastle.

More than two centuries ago, when Clerkenwell was a sort of
court-quarter of the town, its most distinguished residents were
William Cavendish, Duke of Newcastle, and his wife, Margaret Lucas,
both of whom are remembered by their literary eccentricities. The
Duke, who was a devoted royalist, after his defeat at Marston Moor,
retired with his wife to the Continent; and with many privations,
owing to pecuniary embarrassments, suffered an exile of eighteen
years, chiefly in Antwerp, in a house which belonged to the widow of
Rubens. Such was their extremity that they were both forced at one
time to pawn their clothes to purchase a dinner. The Duke beguiled his
time by writing an eccentric book on horsemanship. During his absence
Cromwell's parliament levied upon his estate nearly three-quarters
of a million of money. Upon the Restoration, he returned to England,
and was created Duke of Newcastle; he then retired to his mansion in
Clerkenwell; he died there in 1676, aged eighty-four.

The duchess was a pedantic and voluminous writer, her collected works
filling ten printed folios, for she wrote prose and verse in all
their varieties. "The whole story," writes Pepys, "of this lady is a
romance and all she does is romantic. April 26th, 1667.--Met my Lady
Newcastle, with her coach and footman all in velvet, herself, whom I
never saw before, as I have heard her often described, for all the town
talk is now-a-days of her extravagances, with her velvet cap, her hair
about her ears, many black patches because of pimples about her mouth,
naked-necked without anything about it, and a black _just-au-corps_.
May 1st 1667.--She was in a black coach, adorned with silver instead
of gold, and snow-white curtains, and everything black and white.
Stayed at home reading the ridiculous history of my Lord Newcastle,
wrote by his wife, which shows her to be a mad, conceited, ridiculous
woman, and he an asse to suffer her to write what she writes to him
and of him." On the 10th of April, 1667, Charles and his Queen came to
Clerkenwell, on a visit to the duchess. On the 18th John Evelyn went
to make court to the noble pair, who received him with great kindness.
Another time he dined at Newcastle House, and was privileged to sit
discoursing with her grace in her bedchamber after dinner. She thus
describes to a friend her literary employments:--"You will find my
works like infinite nature, that hath neither beginning nor end, and
as confused as the chaos, wherein is neither method nor order, but all
mixed together, without separation, like light and darkness." "But what
gives one," says Walpole, "the best idea of her passion for scribbling,
was her seldom revising the copies of her works, lest it should disturb
her following conceptions. Her servant John was ordered to lie on a
truckle-bed in a closet within her grace's bedchamber; and whenever,
at any time, she gave the summons, by calling out 'John,' I conceive
poor John was to get up, and commit to writing the offspring of his
mistress' thoughts. Her grace's folios were usually enriched with gold,
and had her coat-of-arms upon them. Hence, Pope, in the _Dunciad_, Book

    "Stamp'd with arms, Newcastle shines complete."

In her _Poems and Fancies_, 1653, the copy now in the British Museum,
on the margin of one page is the following note in the Duchess' own
handwriting:--"Reader, let me intreat you to consider only the fancyes
in this my book of poems, and not the language of the numbers, nor
rimes, nor fals printing, for if you doe, you will be my condeming
judg, which will grive me much." Of this book she says:--

    "When I did write this book I took great paines,
    For I did walk, and thinke, and break my braines;
    My thoughts run out of breath, then down would lye,
    And panting with short wind like those that dye;
    When time had given ease, and lent them strength,
    Then up would get and run another length;
    Sometimes I kept my thought with strict dyet,
    And made them fast with ease, rest, and quiet,
    That they might run with swifter speed,
    And by this course new fancies they could breed;
    But I doe feare they are no so good to please,
    But now they're out my braine is more at ease."

At page 228 occurs this strange fancy:--

    "Life scums the cream of beauty with Time's spoon,
    And draws the claret wine of blushes soon."

Again, she tells us that--

    "The brain is like an oven, hot and dry,
    Which bakes all sorts of fancies, low and high;
    The thoughts are wood, which motion sets on fire;
    The tongue a peele, which draws forth the desire;
    But thinking much, the brain too hot will grow,
    And burns it up; if cold, the thoughts are dough."

To a volume of the Duchess' plays is prefixed a portrait of her Grace,
and this couplet under it:--

    "Her beauty's found beyond the skill
    Of the best paynter to embrace."

There is a story current that the Duke being once, when in a peevish
humour, complimented by a friend on the great wisdom of his wife, made
answer, "Sir, a very wise woman is a very foolish thing."

Another eccentric inhabitant of Newcastle House was Elizabeth, Duchess
of Albemarle, and afterwards of Montague. She was married in 1669 to
Christopher Monck, second Duke of Albemarle, then a youth of sixteen,
whom her inordinate pride drove to the bottle and other dissipation.
After his death, in 1688, at Jamaica, the Duchess, whose vast estate
so inflated her vanity as to produce mental aberration, resolved never
again to give her hand to any but a sovereign prince. She had many
suitors; but true to her resolution, she rejected them all, until
Ralph Montague, third Lord and first Duke of that name, achieved the
conquest by courting her as _Emperor of China_: and the anecdote has
been dramatized by Colley Cibber, in his comedy of _The Double Gallant,
or Sick Lady's Cure_. Lord Montague married the lady as "Emperor," but
afterwards played the truant, and kept her in such strict confinement
that her relations compelled him to produce her in open court, to prove
that she was alive. Richard Lord Ross, one of her rejected suitors,
addressed to Lord Montague these lines on his match:--

    "Insulting rival, never boast
      Thy conquest lately won:
    No wonder that her heart was lost,--
      Her senses first were gone.

    "From one that's under Bedlam's laws
      What glory can be had?
    For love of thee was not the cause:
      It proves that she was mad."

The Duchess survived her second husband nearly thirty years, and at
last "died of mere old age," at Newcastle House, August 28th, 1738,
aged ninety-six years. Until her decease, she is said to have been
constantly served on the knee as a sovereign; besides keeping her word,
that she would not stoop to marry anyone but the Emperor of China.

Sources of Laughter.

In a clever paper in the _Saturday Review_ (Oct. 7th, 1865), we find
these amusing anecdotical instances of the sources means _movere

"A sustained, deliberate pride would have rather prevented than
encouraged that fit of laughter which has preserved to posterity the
name of a certain Marquis of Blandford. He, being noted for laughing
upon small provocation, was once convulsed for half-an-hour together on
seeing somebody fillip a crumb into a blind fiddler's face, the fits
returning whenever the "ludicrous idea" recurred to him. An habitual
sense of superiority would have prevented this sudden glory at sight of
a beggar's helplessness under insult.

"There are personalities which lie so hid under a disguise that they
are not readily known for such. The humorist and the cynic have
each a knack of investing with human weaknesses things, animate and
inanimate, in which plainer minds can see no analogy to human nature.
We have known a man of quaint fancies laugh till the tears ran down
at seeing a rat peep out of a hole. He caught a touch of humanity in
the brute's perplexed air; he guessed at something behind the scenes
impervious to our grosser vision. A bird, frumpish and disquieted on
a rainy day, suggests to such a man some social image of discontent
that makes capital fun for him. He can improve these lower creatures
into caricatures of his friends, or of mankind at large. Mr. Formby
owned himself unable to help "laughing out loud" in the presence of
Egyptian antiquities, with the Memnon at their head; he laughed at
an ancient civilization, at the men of the past personified by their
works. Saturnine tempers can only laugh at imminent danger or positive
calamity; mortal terror is the most ludicrous of all ideas to them.
Mr. Trollope represents Lord de Courcy, who had not laughed for many
a day, exploding at the notion of his neighbour earl having been all
but tossed by a bull: and the joke would have been better still if the
bull had had his will. This tendency is frequently to be seen with a
defective sympathy, and we believe the things that make men laugh are
an excellent clue at once to intellect and temper. Many a man does not
betray the tiger that lurks within him till he laughs. There are times
when the body craves for laughter as it does for food. This is the
laughter which, on some occasion or other, has betrayed us all into
a scandalous, unseasonable, remorseful gaiety. After long abstinence
from cheerful thought, there are few occasions so sad and solemn as to
render this inopportune revolt impossible, unless where grief absorbs
the whole soul, and lowers the system to a uniformity of sadness. In
fact, as no solemnity can be safe from incongruities, such occasions
are not seldom the especial scene of these exposures--of explosions of
a wild, perverse hilarity taking the culprit at unawares; and this even
while he is aghast at his flagrant insensibility to the demand of the

"This is the laughter often ascribed to Satanic influence. The nerves
cannot forego the wonted stimulus, and are malignantly on the watch, as
it were, to betray the higher faculties into this unseemly indulgence.
Thus John and Charles Wesley, in the early days of their public career,
set forth one particular day to sing hymns together in the fields; but,
on uplifting the first stave, one of them was suddenly struck with a
sense of something ludicrous in their errand, the other caught the
infection, and both fell into convulsions of laughter, renewed on every
attempt to carry out their first design, till they were fain to give
up and own themselves for that time conquered by the Devil. There is a
story of Dr. Johnson much to the same purpose. Naturally melancholy,
he was yet a great laugher, and thus was an especial victim to the
possession we speak of, for no one laughs in depression who has not
learnt to laugh in mirth. He was dining with his friend Chambers in the
Temple, and at first betrayed so much physical suffering and mental
dejection that his companion could not help boring him with remedies.
By degrees he rallied, and with the rally came the need of a general
reaction. At this point Chambers happened to say that a common friend
had been with him that morning making his will. Johnson--or rather his
nervous system--seized upon this as the required subject. He raised a
ludicrous picture of the "testator" going about boasting of the fact
of his will-making to anybody that would listen, down to the innkeeper
on the road. Roaring with laughter, he trusted that Chambers had had
the conscience not to describe the testator as of sound mind, hoped
there was a legacy to himself, and concluded with saying that he would
have the will set to verse and a ballad made out of it. Mr. Chambers,
not at all relishing this pleasantry, got rid of his guest as soon as
he could. But not so did Johnson get rid of his merriment; he rolled
in convulsions till he got out of Temple Gate, and then, supporting
himself against a post, sent forth peals so loud as, in the silence
of the night, to be heard from Temple Bar to Fleet Ditch. We hear of
stomach coughs; this was a stomach, or ganglionic, laugh.

"The mistimed laughter of children has often some such source as this,
though the sprite that possesses them has rarely the gnomelike essence.
A healthy boy, after a certain length of constraint, is sometimes as
little responsible for his laughter as the hypochondriac. Mrs. Beecher
Stowe, in describing, and even defending, a Puritanical strictness of
Sabbath observance, recalls the long family expositions and sermons
which alternated in her youth with prolix Meeting services, at all of
which the younger members of the household were required to assist
in profound stillness of attention. On one of these occasions, on a
hot summer afternoon, a heedless grasshopper of enormous dimensions
leapt on the sleeve of one of the boys. The tempting diversion was
not to be resisted; he slyly secured the animal, and imprisoned a
hind leg between his firmly compressed lips. One by one, the youthful
congregation became alive to the awkward contortions and futile
struggles of the long-legged captive; they knew that to laugh was to be
flogged, but after so many sermons the need was imperative, and they
laughed, and were flogged accordingly. Different from all these types
is the grand frank laugh that finds its place in history and biography,
and belongs to master minds. Political and party feeling may raise,
in stirring times, any amount of animosity, even in good-natured men;
but once bring about a laugh between them, and an answering chord is
struck, a tie is established not easily broken. Something of the old
rancour is gone for ever. There is a story of Canning and Brougham,
after hating and spiting one another through a session, finding
themselves suddenly face to face in some remote district in Cumberland,
with only a turn-pike gate between them. The situation roused their
magnanimity; simultaneously they broke into laughter, and passed each
on his separate way, better friends from that time forth.

"No honest laugher knows anything about his own laugh, which is
fortunate, as it is apt to be the most grotesque part of a man,
especially if he is anything of an original. Character, humour, oddity,
all expatiate in it, and the features and voice have to accommodate
themselves to the occasion as they can. There is Prince Hal's laugh,
"till his face is like a wet cloak ill laid up;" there is the laugh we
see in Dutch pictures, where every wrinkle of the old face seems to
be in motion; there is the convulsive laugh, in which arms and legs
join; there is the whinny, the ventral laugh, Dr. Johnson's laugh like
a rhinoceros, Dominie Sampson's laugh lapsing without any immediate
stage into dead gravity, and the ideal social laugh--the delighted and
delighting chuckle which ushers in a joke, and the cordial triumphant
laugh which sounds its praises. We say nothing of all the laughs--and
how many there are!--which have no mirth in them; nor of the "ha
ha!" of melodrama, and the ringing laugh of the novel, as being each
unfamiliar to our waking ears. Whatever the laugh, if it be genuine and
comes from decent people, it is as attractive as the Piper of Hamelin.
It is impossible not to want to know what a hearty laugh is about. Some
of the sparkle of life is near, and we long to share it. The gift of
laughter is one of the compensating powers of the world. A nation that
laughs is so far prosperous. It may not have material wealth, but it
has the poetry of prosperity. When Lady Duff Gordon laments that she
never hears a hearty laugh in Egypt, and when Mr. Palgrave, on the
contrary, makes the Arabs proper a laughing people, we place Arabia,
for this reason, higher among the countries than its old neighbour. And
it is the same with homes. Wherever there is pleasant laughter, there
inestimable memories are being stored up, and such free play given to
nerve and brain, that whatever thought and power the family circle is
capable of will have a fair chance of due expansion."


Busby's Folly and Bull Feather Hall.

At Busby's Folly, a bowling-green and house of public entertainment,
upon the site of the Belvidere Tavern, Pentonville, there met on the
2nd of May, 1644, a fraternity of Odd Fellows, members of the Society
of Bull Feathers Hall, who claimed, among other things, the toll of
all the gravel carried up Highgate Hill. A rare tract, entitled, _Bull
Feather Hall, or the Antiquity of Horns amply shown_, 1664, relates
the manner of going from Busby's Folly to Highgate:--"On Monday, being
the 2nd of May, some part of the fraternity met at Busby's Folly, in
Islington, where, after they had set all things in order, they thus
marched out, _ordine quisque suo_:--First, a set of trumpets, then the
controller, or captain of the pioneers, with thirty or forty following
him with pickaxes and spades to level the hill, and baskets withal to
carry gravel. After them another set of trumpeters, and also four that
did wind the horn; after them, the standard, _alias_ an exceeding large
pair of horns fixed on a pole, which three men carried, with pennants
on each tip, the Master of the Ceremonies attending it, with other
officers. Men followed the flag, with the arms of the society, with
horned beasts drawn thereon, and this motto:--

    'To have, and not to use the same,
    Is not their glory, but their shame.'

"After this came the mace-bearer, then the herauld-at-arms, with
the arms of the society. The coat I cannot rightly blazon, but I
remember the supporters were on one side, a woman with a whip in
her hand, besides that of her tongue, with a menacing look, and
underneath the motto, _Ut volo, sic jubeo_; on the other side, a man
in a woeful plight, and underneath him, _Patientia patimur_." In this
order they marched, attended by multitudes of people. This club, as
the tract informs us, used to meet in Chequer Yard, in Whitechapel,
their president being arrayed in a crimson satin gown and a furred
cap, surmounted by a pair of antlers; and on a cushion lay a cornuted
sceptre and crown; the brethren drank out of horn cups, and were sworn
on admission, upon a blank horn-book. They met twice a-week, "to solace
themselves with harmless merriment and promote good fellowship among
their neighbours."

Busby's Folly was afterwards called "Penny's Folly." Here Zucker, a
high German, who had performed before their Majesties and the Royal
Family, exhibited his Learned Little Horse from Cowland, who was
to be seen looking out of the windows up two pair of stairs every
evening before the performance began. Curious deceptions, "Comus's
philosophical performances," and the musical glasses, were also
exhibited here.

Old Islington Taverns.

Less than half a century ago, the Old Red Lion Tavern, in St. John
Street Road, the existence of which dates as far back as 1415, stood
almost alone: it is shown in the centre distance of Hogarth's picture
of _Evening_. Several eminent persons frequented this house: among
others, Thomson, the author of _The Seasons_, Dr. Johnson, and Oliver
Goldsmith. In a room here Thomas Paine wrote his infamous book, _The
Rights of Man_, which Burke and Bishop Watson demolished. The parlour
is hung with choice impressions of Hogarth's plates. The house has been
almost entirely rebuilt.

Opposite the Red Lion, and surrounded by pens for holding cattle on
their way to Smithfield, was an old building, called "Goose Farm:"
it was let in suites of rooms; here lived Cawse, the painter; and in
another suite, the mother and sister of Charles and Thomas Dibdin: the
mother, a short and squab figure, came on among villagers and mobs
at Sadler's Wells Theatre; but, failing to get engaged, she died in
Clerkenwell Poorhouse. Vincent de Cleve, nicknamed Polly de Cleve,
for his prying qualities, who was treasurer of Sadler's Wells for
many years, occupied the second-floor rooms above the Dibdins. "Goose
Yard," on the west of the road, serves to determine the site of the old

The public-house facing the iron gates leading to Sadler's Wells
Theatre, with the sign of "The Clown," in honour of Grimaldi, who
frequented the house, was, in his day, known as the King of Prussia,
prior to which its sign had been that of the Queen of Hungary. It is
to this tavern, or rather to an old one, upon the same site, that
Goldsmith alludes in his _Essay on the Versitility of Popular Favour_.
"An alehouse-keeper," says he, "near Islington, who had long lived at
the sign of the French King, upon the commencement of the late war
with France, pulled down his own sign, and put up that of the Queen
of Hungary. Under the influence of her red race and golden sceptre,
he continued to sell ale till she was no longer the favourite of his
customers; he changed her, therefore, some time ago for the King of
Prussia, which may probably change in turn for the man that shall be
set up for vulgar admiration." The oldest sign by which this house has
been distinguished was that of the Turk's Head.

At the Golden Ball, near Sadler's Wells, were sold by auction, in 1732,
"The valuable curiosities, living creatures, &c., collected by the
ingenious Mons. Boyle, of Islington;" including "a most strange living
creature bearing a near resemblance of the human shape; he can utter
some few sentences and give pertinant answers to many questions. There
is likewise an Oriental oystershell of a prodigious weight and size,
it measures from one extreme part to the other above three feet two
inches over. The other curiosity is called the Philosopher's Stone,
and is about the size of a pullet's egg, the colour of it is blue,
and more beautiful than that of the ultramarine, which together with
being finely polished is a most delightful entertainment to the eye.
This unparalleled curiosity was clandestinely stolen out of the late
Great Mogul's closet; this irreparable loss had so great an effect upon
him that in a few months after he pined himself to death: there is a
peculiar virtue in this precious stone, that principally relates to the
fair sex, and will effectually signify, in the variation of its colour,
by touching it, whether any of them have lost their virginity."

Of the Rising Sun, in the Islington Road, in _Mist's Journal_, February
9th, 1726, we read that for the ensuing Shrove Tuesday "will be a fine
hog, barbyqu'd--_i.e._ roasted whole, with spice, and basted with
Madeira wine, at the house where the ox was roasted whole at Christmas

In the Islington Road, too, near to Sadler's Wells, was Stokes's
Amphitheatre, a low place, though resorted to by the nobility and
gentry. It was devoted to bull and bear-baiting, dog-fighting, boxing,
and sword-fighting; and in these terrible encounters, with naked
swords, not blunted, women engaged each other to "a trial of skill;"
they fought _à la mode_, in close fighting jackets, short petticoats,
Holland drawers, white thread stockings and pumps; the stakes were
from 10_l._ to 20_l._ Then we read of a day's diversion--a mad bull,
dressed up with fireworks, to be baited; cudgel-playing for a silver
cup, wrestling for a pair of leather breeches, &c.; a noble, large, and
savage, incomparable Russian bear, baited to death by dogs; a bull,
illuminated with fireworks turned loose; eating one hundred farthing
pies, and drinking half a gallon of October beer, in less than eight
minutes, &c.[45]

[45] Selected and abridged from Pinks's _History of Clerkenwell_, 1865.

The Oyster and Parched-Pea Club.

The ancient town of "Proud Preston," in Lancashire, from the year 1771
to 1841, a period of seventy years, boasted its "Oyster and Parched-Pea
Club." It was at first limited to a dozen of the leading inhabitants,
all of the same political party, and who now and then drank a Jacobite
toast with a bumper. Its President was styled the Speaker. Among its
staff of officers was one named _Oystericus_, whose duty it was to
order and look after the oysters, which then came "by fleet" from
London. There were also a Secretary, an Auditor, a Deputy Auditor, and
a Poet Laureate or Rhymesmith, as he was generally termed; also the
Cellarius, who had to provide port of the first quality; the Chaplain;
the Surgeon-General, the Master of the Rolls (to look to the provision
of bread-and-butter); the _Swig_-Master, whose title expresses his
duty; Clerk of the Peas; a Minstrel, a Master of the Jewels, a
Physician-in-Ordinary, &c. Among the Rules and Articles of the Club,
were, "That _a barrel of oysters_ be provided every Monday night during
the winter season, at the equal expense of the members; to be opened
exactly at half-past seven o'clock." "Every member on having a son
born, shall pay a gallon--for a daughter half-a-gallon--of port, to his
brethren of the club, within a month of the birth of such child, at any
public-house he shall choose." Amongst the archives of the club is the
following curious entry, which is _not_ in a lady's hand:--

"The ladies of the Toughey [? Toffy] Club were rather disappointed at
not receiving, by the hands of the respectable messenger, dispatched by
the still more respectable members of the Oyster Club, a few oysters.
They are just sitting down, after the fatigues of the evening, and take
the liberty of reminding the worthy members of the Oyster Club, that
oysters were _not made for man alone_. The ladies have sent to the
venerable president a small quantity of sweets [? pieces of Everton
toffy] to be distributed, as he in his wisdom, shall think fit."

In 1795 the club was threatened with a difficulty, owing, as stated by
"Mr. Oystericus," to the day of the wagon--laden with oysters--leaving
London, having changed. Sometimes, owing to a long frost, or other
accident, no oysters arrived, and then the club must have solaced
itself with "parched peas" and "particular port." Amongst the regalia
of the club was a silver snuff-box, in the lid of which was set a
piece of oak, part of the quarter-deck of Nelson's ship _Victory_. The
Rhymesmith's effusions were laughable, as:--

    "A something monastic appears among oysters,
    For gregarious they live, yet they sleep in their cloisters;
    'Tis observed, too, that oysters, when placed in their barrel,
    Will never presume with their stations to quarrel.
    From this let us learn what an oyster can tell us,
    And we all shall be better and happier fellows.
    Acquiesce in your stations, wherever you've got 'em;
    Be not proud at the top, nor repine at the bottom;
    But happiest they in the middle who live,
    And have something to lend, and to spend, and to give."

    "The bard would fain exchange, alack!
      For precious gold, his crown of laurel;
    His sackbut for a butt of sack;
      His vocal skill for oyster barrel!"

These lines are from an Ode in 1806:--

    "Nelson has made the seas our own,
    Then gulp your well-fed oysters down,
    And give the French the _shell_."

A Manchester Punch-House.

About the middle of the last century, a man named John Shaw, who
had served in the army as a dragoon, having lost his wife and four
or five children, solaced himself by opening a public-house in the
Old Shambles, Manchester, in conducting which he was supported by a
sturdy woman-servant, "Molly." John Shaw, having been much abroad,
had acquired a knack of brewing punch, then a favourite beverage; and
from this attraction, his house soon began to be frequented by the
principal merchants and manufacturers of the town, and to be known
as "John Shaw's Punch-house;" sign it had none. As Dr. Aikin says in
1795 that Shaw had then kept the house more than fifty years, we have
here an institution dating prior to the memorable '45. Having made a
comfortable competence, John Shaw, who was a lover of early hours,
and, probably from his military training, a martinet in discipline,
instituted the singular rule of closing his house to customers at eight
o'clock in the evening. As soon as the clock struck the hour, John
walked into the one public room of the house, and in a loud voice and
imperative tone, proclaimed "Eight o'clock, gentlemen; eight o'clock."
After this no entreaties for more liquor, however urgent or suppliant,
could prevail over the inexorable landlord. If the announcement of the
hour did not at once produce the desired effect, John had two modes of
summary ejectment. He would call to Molly to bring his horsewhip, and
crack it in the ears and near the persons of his guests; and should
this fail, Molly was ordered to bring her pail, with which she speedily
flooded the floor, and drove the guests out wet-shod. Tradition says
that the punch brewed by John Shaw was something very delicious. In
mixing it, he used a long-shanked silver table-spoon, like a modern
gravy-spoon, which, for convenience, he carried in a side pocket,
like that in which a carpenter carries his two-foot rule. Punch was
usually served in small bowls (that is, less than the "crown bowls"
of later days) of two sizes and prices; a shilling bowl being termed
"a P of punch"--"a Q of punch" denoting a sixpenny bowl. The origin
of these slang names is unknown. Can it have any reference to the old
saying--"Mind your P's and Q's?" If a gentleman came alone and found
none to join him, he called for "a Q." If two or more joined, they
called for "a P;" but seldom more was spent than about sixpence per
head. Though eccentric and austere, John won the respect and esteem of
his customers, by his strict integrity and steadfast adherence to his

For his excellent regulation as to the hour of closing, he is said
to have frequently received the thanks of the ladies of Manchester,
whose male friends were thus induced to return home early and sober.
At length this nightly meeting of friends and acquaintances at John
Shaw's grew into an organised club of a convivial character, bearing
his name. Its objects were not political; yet, John and his guests
being all of the same political party, there was sufficient unanimity
among them to preserve harmony and concord. John's roof sheltered none
but stout, thorough-going Tories of the old school, genuine "Church and
King" men; nay, even "rank Jacobites." If, perchance, from ignorance of
the character of the house, any unhappy Whig, any unfortunate partisan
of the house of Hanover, any known member of a dissenting conventicle,
strayed into John Shaw's, he found himself in a worse condition than
that of a solitary wasp in a beehive.

The war played the mischief with John's inimitable brew: limes became
scarce; lemons were substituted; at length of these too, and of the
old pine-apple rum of Jamaica, the supplies were so frequently cut
off by French privateers, that a few years before John Shaw's death,
the innovation of "grog" in place of punch struck a heavy blow at the
old man's heart. Even autocrats must die, and at length, on the 26th
January, 1796, John Shaw was gathered to his fathers, at the ripe old
age of eighty-three, having ruled his house upwards of fifty-eight
years; namely, from the year 1738. But though John Shaw ceased to rule,
the club still lived and flourished. His successor in the house carried
on the same "early-closing movement," with the aid of the same old
servant Molly. At length the house was pulled down, and the club was
very migratory for some years. It finally settled down in 1852, in the
"Spread Eagle" Hotel, Corporation Street, where it still prospers and

In 1834, John Shaw's absorbed into its venerable bosom another club of
similar character, entitled "The Sociable Club." The society possesses
among its relics oil-paintings of John Shaw and his maid Molly, and
of several presidents of past years. A few years ago, a singular old
china punchbowl, which had been the property of John Shaw himself, was
restored to the club as its rightful property by the descendant of a
trustee. It is a barrel-shaped vessel, suspended on a stillage, with
a metal tap at one end, whence to draw the liquor, which it received
through a large opening or bung-hole. Besides assembling every evening,
winter and summer, between five and eight o'clock, a few of the members
dine together every Saturday at 2 P.M.; and they have still an annual
dinner, when old friends and members drink old wine, toast old toasts,
tell old stories, or "fight their battles o'er again." Such is John
Shaw's club--nearly a century and a quarter old.--_Abridged from the
Book of Days._

"The Blue Key."

Some fifty years since, there was at Bolton a little club of
manufacturers, all of them old men, who met regularly in the forenoon
at the "Millstone Inn," to drink their single glass of ale and compare
notes on the news of the day. They established this curious custom
among themselves. There was no great number of clerks and assistants
in those days, and when a manufacturer left his counting-room, or
warehouse, he locked the door and carried off the key, generally a
pretty large one. Now, this Millstone Club preferred in cold weather
to have their ale _with the chill off_. To effect this, each member
put the bow of his warehouse-key into the fire, and when sufficiently
warm, plunged it into his glass of ale. A long continuance of this
custom caused the handle of each key to acquire a dark blue colour,
and this "blue key" became a kind of emblem or talisman of the club
friends.--_French's Life of Samuel Crompton._

Brandy in Tea.

Miss Berry relates, among her earliest Brighton reminiscences, the
following odd story of old Lady Clermont, who was a frequent guest
at the Pavilion. "Her physician had recommended a moderate use of
stimulants to supply that energy which was deficient in her system, and
brandy had been suggested in a prescribed quantity, to be mixed with
her tea. I remember well having my curiosity excited by this, to me,
novel form of taking medicine, and holding on by the back of a chair to
watch the _modus operandi_. Very much to my astonishment, the patient
held a liqueur bottle over a cup of tea and began to pour out its
contents, with a peculiar purblind look, upon the back of a teaspoon.
Presently she seemed suddenly to become aware of what she was about,
turned up the spoon the right way, and carefully measured and added the
quantity to which she had been restricted. The tea so strongly "laced"
she then drank with great apparent gusto. Of course it was no longer
"the cup that cheers but not inebriates;" but what seemed inexplicable
to my ingenuous mind was the unvarying recurrence of the same mistake
of presenting the back of the spoon instead of the front. I was aware
that it did not arise from defect of sight. Lady Clermont could see
almost as distinctly as myself. Nevertheless, the cordial was permitted
to accumulate in the tea till the old lady chose to adopt a better
measurer, and then she most conscientiously took care not to exceed the
number of teaspoonfuls the obliging doctor had prescribed. I was not
then aware that this was a case in which the remedy was the reverse of
worse than the disease. Lady Clermont liked brandy as a medicine, and
made this bungle in measuring it by way of innocent device for securing
a much larger dose than she had been ordered. The gravity with which
she noticed her apparent mistake, without attempting to correct it, and
her little exclamation of surprise, so invariably uttered, amused me
so much that when she quitted the Pavilion, the best part of my day's
entertainment seemed to have departed with her."

"The Wooden Spoon."

The ludicrous sobriquet of the Ministerial Wooden Spoon originated as
follows:--Towards the close of each Session of Parliament, a list of
the votes of those Members of the Government who are in the House of
Commons is produced at the Fish Dinner then given; and he who is lowest
on the list is probably regarded by his Cambridge friends, at least, as
the _wooden spoon_. During the administration of Sir Robert Peel, on
one of these anniversaries, when the ministerial party was starting for
Greenwich, one of them, in passing through Hungerford Market, bought a
child's penny mug and a wooden spoon. After dinner, when the list of
votes was read out, the penny mug, on which was painted "James," or
"For a good boy," was presented, with all due solemnity, to Sir James
Graham, and the wooden spoon to Sir William Follet. This is thought to
be the origin of the above strange custom.

A Tipsy Village.

Livingston, in a recent journey in Africa, fell in with the Manganja
savages, as low as any he had ever met with, except Bushmen; yet they
cultivate large tracts of land for grain, which they convert into
_beer_! It is not very intoxicating, but when they consume large
quantities, they do become a little elevated. When a family brews, a
large number of friends and neighbours are invited to drink, and bring
their hoes with them; and they let off the excitement by hoeing their
friend's field. At other times they consume large quantities of beer,
like regular topers, at home. Dr. Livingston _in one village found all
the people tipsy together_: the men tried to induce the women to run
away for shame, but the ladies, too, were "a little overcome," and
laughed at the idea of their running. The village-doctor, however,
arranged matters by bringing a large pot of the liquid, with the
intention of reducing the travellers to the general level.

       *       *       *       *       *

Odd things have been said of Gin. Burke, in one of his _spirituel_
flights, exclaimed, "Let the thunders of the pulpit descend upon
drunkenness, I for one stand up for gin." This is a sort of paraphrase
on Pope's couplet:

    "This calls the church to deprecate our sin,
    And hurls the thunder of our laws on gin."

What an Epicure Eats in his Life-Time.

In a life of sixty-five years' duration, with a moderate daily
allowance of mutton, for instance, an epicure will have consumed a
flock of 350 sheep; and altogether for dinner alone, adding to his
mutton a reasonable allowance of potatoes and other vegetables, with a
pint of wine daily for thirty years of this period, above thirty tons
of solids and liquids must have passed through his stomach. Soyer, in
his practical work, _The Modern Housewife_, says:--

Take seventy years of the life of an epicure, beyond which age of that
class of _bon vivants_ arrive, and even above eighty, still in the full
enjoyment of degustation, &c. (for example, Talleyrand, Cambacères,
Lord Sefton, &c.); if the first of the said epicures, when entering on
the tenth spring of his extraordinary career, had been placed on an
eminence--say the top of Primrose Hill--and had had exhibited before
his infantine eyes the enormous quantity of food his then insignificant
person would destroy before he attained his seventy-first year--first,
he would believe it must be a delusion: then, secondly, he would
inquire where the money could come from to purchase so much luxurious

 Imagine on the top of the above-mentioned hill, a rushlight of a
 boy just entering his tenth year, surrounded with the _recherché_
 provision and delicacies claimed by his rank and wealth, taking merely
 the consumption of his daily meals. By close calculating, he would
 be surrounded and gazed at by the following number of quadrupeds,
 birds, fishes, &c.:--By no less than 30 oxen, 200 sheep, 100 calves,
 200 lambs, 50 pigs; in poultry, 1,200 fowls, 300 turkeys, 150 geese,
 400 ducklings, 263 pigeons, 1,400 partridges, pheasants, and grouse;
 600 woodcocks and snipes; 600 wild ducks, widgeon, and teal; 450
 plovers, ruffes, and reeves; 800 quails, ortolans, and dotterels,
 and a few guillemots, and other foreign birds; also, 500 hares and
 rabbits, 40 deer, 120 guinea fowl, 10 peacocks, and 360 wild fowl.
 In the way of fish, 120 turbot, 140 salmon, 120 cod, 260 trout, 400
 mackerel, 300 whitings, 800 soles and slips, and 400 flounders; 400
 red mullet, 200 eels, 150 haddocks, 400 herrings, 5,000 smelts, and
 some 100,000 of those delicious silvery whitebait, besides a few
 hundred species of fresh-water fishes. In shell-fish, 20 turtles,
 30,000 oysters, 1,500 lobsters or crabs, 300,000 prawns, shrimps,
 sardines, and anchovies. In the way of fruit, about 500lb. of grapes,
 360lb. of pine-apples, 600 peaches, 1,400 apricots, 240 melons, and
 some 100,000 plums, greengages, apples, pears, and some millions
 of cherries, strawberries, raspberries, currants, mulberries, and
 an abundance of other small fruit, _viz._ walnuts, chestnuts, dry
 figs, and plums. In vegetables of all kinds, 5,475lb. weight; about
 2,434-3/4lb. of butter, 684lb. of cheese, 21,000 eggs, 100 ditto of
 plovers. Of bread, 4-1/2 tons, half-a-ton of salt and pepper, near
 2-1/8 tons of sugar; and if he had happened to be a bibacious boy, he
 could have formed a fortification or moat round the said hill with the
 liquids he would have to partake of to facilitate the digestion of the
 above-named provisions, which would amount to no less than 11,673-3/4
 gallons which may be taken as below:--49 hogsheads of wine, 1,368-3/4
 gallons of beer, 584 gallons of spirits, 342 ditto of liqueur, 2,394
 ditto of coffee, cocoa, tea, &c., 304 gallons of milk, 2,736 gallons
 of water--all of which would actually protect him and his anticipated
 property from any young thief or fellow-schoolboy. This calculation
 has for its basis the medium scale of the regular meals of the day,
 which, in sixty years, amounts to no less than 33-3/4 tons weight of
 meat, farinaceous food, and vegetables, &c.; out of which the above
 are in detail the probable delicacies that would be selected by an
 epicure through life.

Epitaph on Dr. William Maginn.

Dr. Maginn, it is to be regretted, died at an early age, of
consumption. The following epitaph, written for him by his friend, John
G. Lockhart, conveys a tolerably correct idea of his habits:--

                           WALTON-ON-THAMES, AUGUST, 1842.

    Here, early to bed, lies kind William Maginn,
    Who, with genius, wit, learning, life's trophies to win,
    Had neither great lord nor rich cit of his kin,
    Nor discretion to set himself up as to tin;
    So, his portion soon spent, like the poor heir of Lynn--
    He turned author ere yet there was beard on his chin,
    And, whoever was out, or whoever was in,
    For your Tories his fine Irish brains he would spin;
    Who received prose and rhyme with a promising grin--
    "Go a-head, you queer fish, and more power to your fin,"
    But to save from starvation stirred never a pin.
    Light for long was his heart, though his breeches were thin,
    Else his acting for certain was equal to Quin;
    But at last he was beat, and sought help of the bin
    (All the same to the doctor, from claret to gin),
    Which led swiftly to jail, and consumption therein.
    It was much, when the bones rattled loose in the skin,
    He got leave to die here, out of Babylon's din.
    Barring drink and the girls, I ne'er heard a sin:
    Many worse, better few, than bright, broken Maginn.

It is not generally known that Dr. Maginn wrote for Knight and Lacey,
the publishers, in Paternoster Row, a novel embodying the strange story
of the Polstead murder, in 1828, under the title of the _Red Barn_.
The work was published anonymously, in numbers, and by its sale the
publishers cleared many hundreds of pounds. Dr. Maginn's learned and
witty essays, in verse and prose, scattered over our monthly magazines
during nearly a quarter of a century, merit collective republication.

Talking of odd epitaphs, that upon Beazeley, the architect and
dramatist, was written, or rather spoken, by Theodore Hook, as

    "Here lies Sam Beazeley,
    Who lived hard and died easily."

Greenwich Dinners.

The Hon. Grantley Berkeley, in his _Life and Recollections_, relates
some amusing anecdotes of these pleasant gatherings:--

"On two occasions," he says, "I remember that the late Lord Rokeby
went to Greenwich behind a pair of posters, and that in coming back
the postboy, excessively drunk, upset him on the road. He was much too
good-natured to insist on the man's discharge, and, perhaps because
he liked a glass of wine himself, he was inclined to forgive a lad
overcome by porter; so the carriage was righted and no notice taken of
the matter. It so happened that some time after, Lord Rokeby had again
to go to Greenwich, and when his carriage and pair of posters came to
the door, he saw in the saddle the same postboy who had brought him to

"'Oh, you're there, are you?' he said, in that dear, good-natured
way he had of speaking. 'Now mind, my good fellow, you had your
jollification last time; it's my turn now, so I shall get drunk, and
you must keep sober.'

"The postboy touched his hat in acquiescence with this reasonable
proposition; he brought back my friend in safety, at all events, and, I
dare say, in a very happy state of mind."

The writer also remembers a dinner at the Ship, where there were a
good many ladies, and when D'Orsay was of the party, during which his
attention was directed to a centre pane of glass in the bay window
over the Thames, where some one had written in large letters with a
diamond, D'Orsay's name in improper conjunction with a celebrated
German _danseuse_ then fulfilling an engagement at the Opera. With
characteristic readiness and _sang-froid_, he took an orange from a
dish near him, and making some trifling remark on the excellence of
the fruit, tossed it up once or twice, catching it in his hand again.
Presently, as if by accident, he gave it a wider cant, and sent it
through the window, knocking the offensive words out of sight into the

Lord Pembroke's Port Wine.

Lord Palmerston (who, when in office, was accustomed to employ his
pleasantries as _paratonnerres_ for troublesome visitors), one day
related the following anecdote to a deputation of gentlemen who waited
upon him to urge the reduction of the Wine-duties. Referring to the
question of adulterations, "I remember," said his lordship, "my
grandfather, Lord Pembroke, when he placed wine before his guests,
said--'There, gentlemen, is my champagne, my claret, &c. I am no great
judge, and I give you this on the authority of my wine-merchant; but
I can answer for my port, for I made it myself.' I still have his
receipt, which I look on as a curiosity; but I confess I have never
ventured to try it."

The following is Lord Pembroke's veritable receipt:--Eight gallons
of genuine port wine, forty gallons of cider, brandy to fill the
hogsheads. Elder-tops will give it the roughness, and cochineal
whatever strength of colouring you please. The quantity made should not
be less than a hogshead: it should be kept fully two years in wood, and
as long in bottle before it is used.

A tremendous Bowl of Punch.

We find the following recorded upon the sober authority of the veteran
_Gentleman's Magazine_:--

On the 25th of October, 1694, a bowl of punch was made at the
Right Hon. Edward Russell's house, when he was Captain-General
Commander-in-Chief of his Majesty's forces in the Mediterranean Sea.
It was made in a fountain in a garden in the middle of four walks, all
covered overhead with orange and lemon-trees; and in every walk was a
table, the whole length of it covered with cold collations, &c. In the
said fountain were the following ingredients, namely:--

     4 hogsheads brandy.
     25,000 lemons.
     20 gallons lime-juice.
     1,300 weight of fine white Lisbon sugar.
     5lbs. grated nutmegs.
     300 toasted biscuits.
     One pipe of dry mountain Malaga.

Over the fountain was a large canopy to keep off the rain, and there
was built on purpose a little boat, wherein was a boy belonging to
the fleet, who rowed round the fountain and filled the cups for the
company; and, in all probability, more than 6,000 men drank thereof.



Long Sir Thomas Robinson.

There were two Sir Thomas Robinsons alive at the same time. The one
above mentioned was called _Long_ as a distinguishing characteristic.
Some one told Lord Chesterfield that _Long_ Sir Thomas Robinson was
very ill. "I am sorry to hear it."--"He is dying by inches."--"Then it
will be some time before he dies," was the answer.

One of Sir Thomas Robinson's freaks was to go to Paris in his hunting
suit, wearing a postilion's cap, a tight green jacket, and buckskin
breeches. In this strange dress he joined a large company at dinner;
when a French abbé, unable to restrain his curiosity, burst out with,
"Excuse me, sir, are you the famous Robinson Crusoe so remarkable in

Lord Chesterfield's Will.

The will of the celebrated Lord Chesterfield contains this
prelude:--"Satiated with the pompous follies of this life, of which
I have had an uncommon share, I would have no posthumous ones
displayed at my funeral, and therefore desire to be buried in the next
burying-place to the place where I shall die, and limit the whole
expense of my funeral to 100_l._" Shortly after comes the following
clause:--"The several devises and bequests hereinbefore and hereinafter
given by me to and in favour of my said godson, Philip Stanhope, shall
be subject to the condition and restriction hereinafter mentioned--that
is to say, that in case my said godson, Philip Stanhope, shall at any
time hereafter keep or be concerned in the keeping of any race-horse
or race-horses, or pack or packs of hounds, or reside one night at
Newmarket, that infamous seminary of iniquity and ill-manners, during
the course of the races there, or shall resort to the said races, or
shall lose in any one day at any game or bet whatsoever the sum of
500_l._, then, and in any of the cases aforesaid, it is my express will
that he, my said godson, shall forfeit and pay out of my estate the sum
of 5,000_l._ to and for the use of the Dean and Chapter of Westminster,
for every such offence or misdemeanour as is above specified, to be
recovered by action for debt in any of his Majesty's courts of record
at Westminster." The will entails a similar penalty on the letting of
Chesterfield House. The late Lord Chesterfield, who was son of the man
on whom these liabilities were imposed, certainly let Chesterfield
House; and had, we will venture to say, passed some nights at the
"infamous seminary of iniquity and ill-manners." His ancestor vested
the infliction of the penalty in the reverend hands of the Dean and
Chapter, to mark, by a sort of Parthian dart, his sense of the grasping
spirit he considered they had evinced in their dealings with him
respecting the land on which his house was built, and to show what a
rigid enaction of the penalty imposed he anticipated from such sharp

An Odd Family.

In the reign of William III., there resided at Ipswich a family which,
from the number of peculiarities belonging to it, was distinguished
by the name of the "Odd Family." Every event remarkably good or bad
happened to this family on an odd day of the month, and every member
had something odd in his or her person, manner, or behaviour. The
very letters in their Christian names always happened to be an odd
number: the husband's name was Peter, and the wife's name Raboh: they
had seven children, all boys, _viz._ Solomon, Roger, James, Matthew,
Jonas, David, and Ezekiel: the husband had but one leg, his wife but
one arm: Solomon was born blind of one eye, and Roger lost his sight
by accident; James had his left ear bit off by a boy in a quarrel, and
Matthew was born with only three fingers on his right hand; Jonas had
a stump foot, and David was hump-backed. All these, except the latter,
were remarkably short, while Ezekiel was six feet one inch high at
the age of nineteen; the stump-footed Jonas and the hump-backed David
got wives of fortune, but no girls in the borough would listen to the
addresses of their brothers. The husband's hair was as black as jet,
and the wife's remarkably white; yet every one of the children's hair
was red. The husband was killed by accidently falling into a deep pit
in the year 1701; and his wife refusing all kinds of sustenance, died
five days after him, and they were buried in one grave. In the year
1703, Ezekiel enlisted as a grenadier; and although he was afterwards
wounded in twenty-three places, he recovered. Roger, James, Matthew,
Jonas, and David, it appears by the church registers, died in different
places, and were buried on the same day, in the year 1713; and Solomon
and Ezekiel were drowned together in crossing the Thames in the year
1723. Such a collection of odd circumstances never occurred before in
one family.--_Clarke's Account of Ipswich._

An Eccentric Host.

Lady Blessington used to describe Lord Abercorn's conduct at the Priory
at Stanmore as very strange. She said it was the most singular place
on earth. The moment any persons became celebrated they were invited.
He had a great delight in seeing handsome women. Everybody handsome he
made Lady Abercorn invite; and all the guests shot, hunted, rode, or
did what they liked, provided they never spoke to Lord Abercorn except
at table. If they met him they were to take no notice. At this time,
_Thaddeus of Warsaw_ was making a noise. "Gad!" said Lord Abercorn, "we
must have these Porters. Write, my dear Lady Abercorn." She wrote. An
answer came from Jane Porter, that they could not afford the expense
of travelling. A cheque was sent. They arrived. Lord Abercorn peeped
at them as they came through the hall, and running by the private
staircase to Lady Abercorn, exclaimed, "Witches! my lady. I must be
off," and immediately started post, and remained away till they were

Quackery Successful.

Sir Edward Halse, who was physician to King George III., driving one
day through the Strand, was stopped by the mob listening to the oratory
of Dr. Rock, the famous quack, who, observing Sir Edward look out at
the chariot-window, instantly took a number of boxes and phials, gave
them to the physician's footman, saying, "Give my compliments to Sir
Edward--tell him these are all I have with me, but I will send him
ten dozen more to-morrow." Sir Edward, astonished at the message and
effrontery of the man, actually took the boxes and phials into the
carriage; on which the mob, with one consent, cried out, "See, see, all
the doctors, even the King's, buy their medicines of him!" In their
young days, these gentlemen had been fellow-students; but Rock, not
succeeding in regular practice, had metamorphosed himself into a quack.
In the afternoon, he waited on Sir Edward, to beg his pardon for having
played him such a trick; to which Sir Edward replied, "My old friend,
how can a man of your understanding condescend to harangue the populace
with such nonsense as you talked to day? Why, none but fools listen
to you."--"Ah! my good friend, that is the very thing. Do you give me
the _fools_ for my patients, and you shall have my free leave to keep
the people of sense for your own." Sir Edward Halse used to divert his
friends with this story, adding, "I never felt so like a fool in my
life as when I received the bottles and boxes from Rock."

The Grateful Footpad.

It is related of Jerry Abershawe, the notorious footpad, that on a dark
and stormy night in November, after having stopped every passenger
on the Wandsworth road, being suddenly taken ill, he stopped at his
old haunt, the Bald-faced Stag public-house, when his comrades sent
to Kingston for medical assistance, and Dr. William Roots, then a
very young man, attended. Having bled him, and given the necessary
advice, the doctor was about to return home, when his patient, with
much earnestness, said, "You had better, sir, have some one to go back
with you, as it is a very dark and lonesome journey." This, however,
the doctor declined, observing that he had "not the least fear, even
should he meet with Abershawe himself," little thinking to whom he was
making this reply. It is said that the footpad frequently alluded to
this scene, with much comic humour. His real name was Louis Jeremiah
Avershawe. He was tried at Croydon for the murder of David Price, a
Union Hall officer, whom he had killed with a pistol-shot, and at the
same time wounded a second officer with another pistol. In this case
the indictment was invalidated by some flaw; but having been tried and
convicted, for feloniously shooting at one Barnaby Turner, he was hung
in chains, on Wimbledon Common, in August, 1795.

A Notoriety of the Temple.

Through reverses at law, how many persons has melancholy marked for
her own. Miss Flight, the little lady who was always hovering about
the courts, and behaving eccentrically, was one of this class, known
to Dickens's readers. Doubtless, she was considered a mere pen-and-ink
sketch from fancy, but she was a fact, every inch of her. She would,
we know, stop the most learned judges that sit on the bench when in
full swing of their awful judgment. She would rise and shake her lean
weird fist at the embodiment of wisdom in horse-hair, and exclaim, "Oh,
you vile man! oh, you wicked man! Give me my property! I will issue a
_mandamus_, and have your _habeas corpus_!" And having continued in
a like fashion for a minute or two, she would bind up her papers in
"red tape"--at least, tape that had once been red, and had followed
her dirty fortunes for years--and either subside into the seat granted
her beside the barristers or depart triumphant from court. No usher
had dared exclaim "Silence!" or send forth the hush of the cackling
animal peculiar to that official. No barrister had nudged her under
the fourth rib, as he might have done another, and would have done
had she been fairer. And the learned Judge, sitting patiently till
the end, with a mild perspiration only rising on the tip of the nose
to show that he was in any way put out, would then, as if nothing had
occurred, resume the thread of his learned judgment, to be appealed
against, perhaps, soon after. What the mystery is between Miss Flight
and the Bar no one can tell. She may have been the embodiment of a
peculiar wrong, and have appeared in the eyes of the bewigged as a sort
of ghost threatening the evil doers with the shades. Perhaps she was
pensioned merely out of some stray idea of benevolence. We scarcely
thought of that in connection with the object of our comment, and yet
to a certain extent it may be true, as she received from the right
learned Middle Temple a sum of shillings per week, which she added to
a sum of shillings received from the right learned Inner Temple, and
so she supported life. But why the learned of the law gave something
for nothing, and were afraid of and respectful to the little woman,
let no man enquire. The little woman's soul has, however, flitted,
and we can say that, after all, the few young lawyers who know nought
of her history will send after her whither she has gone a word of
regret.--_Court Journal._

A Ride in a Sedan.

From a house in Henrietta Street, Covent Garden, the beautiful
Georgiana, Duchess of Devonshire, and the other fair and high-born
women who canvassed for Charles James Fox, used to watch the humours
of the Westminster election. Pitt writes to Wilberforce on the 8th
of April, 1784, "Westminster goes on well, in spite of the Duchess
of Devonshire, and the other women of the people; but when the poll
will close is uncertain." Hannah More, as appears from the date of her
letters, resided at one period in Henrietta Street, and in one of them
we find an amusing account of an adventure which she met with during
the Westminster election. To one of her sisters she writes:--"I had
like to have got into a fine scrape the other night. I was going to
pass the other evening at Mrs. Coles's, in Lincoln's Inn Fields. I went
in a chair. They carried me through Covent Garden. A number of people,
as I went along, desired the man not to go through the garden, as there
were an hundred armed men, who suspected every chairman belonged to
Brookes's, and would fall upon us. In spite of my entreaties the men
would have persisted, but a stranger, out of humanity, made them set me
down, and the shrieks of the wounded, for there was a terrible battle,
intimidated the chairmen, who were at last prevailed upon to carry me
another way. A vast number of people followed me, crying out, 'It is
Mrs. Fox: none but Mr. Fox's wife would dare to come into Covent Garden
in a chair; she is going to canvass in the dark!' Though not a little
frightened, I laughed heartily at this, but shall stir out no more in a
chair for some time."

[Illustration: Lord Eldon. "Old Bags" after H. B.]

Mr. John Scott (Lord Eldon) in Parliament.

Mr. Scott broke ground in Parliament in opposition to the famous East
India Bill, and began with his favourite topic, the honesty of his
own intentions, and the purity of his own conscience. He spoke in
respectful terms of Lord North, and more highly still of Mr. Fox; but
even to Mr. Fox it was not fitting that so vast an influence should be
entrusted. As Brutus said of Cæsar--

                      "---- he would be crown'd!
    How that might change his nature,--there's the question."

It was an aggravation of the affliction he felt, that the cause of it
should originate with one to whom the nation had so long looked up;
a wound from him was doubly painful. Like Joab, he gave the shake of
friendship, but the other hand held a dagger, with which he despatched
the constitution. Here Mr. Scott, after an apology for alluding to
sacred writ, read from the book of Revelation some verses which he
regarded as typical of the intended innovations in the affairs of the
English East India Company:--"'And I stood upon the sand of the sea,
and saw a beast rise up out of the sea, having seven heads and ten
horns, and upon his horns ten crowns. And they worshipped the dragon
which gave power unto the beast; and they worshipped the beast, saying,
Who is like unto the beast? who is able to make war with him? And there
was given unto him a mouth speaking great things; and power was given
unto him to continue forty and two months.' Here," says Mr. Scott, "I
believe there is a mistake of six months--the proposed duration of the
bill being four years, or forty-eight months. 'And he caused all, both
small and great, rich and poor, free and bond, to receive a mark in
their right hand, or in their foreheads.'--Here places, pensions, and
peerages are clearly marked out.--'And he cried mightily with a strong
voice, saying, Babylon the Great'--plainly the East India Company--'is
fallen, is fallen, and is become the habitation of devils, and the hold
of every foul spirit, and the cage of every unclean and hateful bird.'"

He read a passage from Thucydides to prove that men are more irritated
by injustice than by violence, and described the country crying out for
a respite, like Desdemona--

    "Kill me to-morrow--let me live to-night--
    But half-an-hour!"

This strange jumble was well quizzed by Sheridan, and Mr. Scott appears
to have found out that rhetorical embellishment was not his line; for
his subsequent speeches are less ornate.

In the squibs of the period, their obscurity forms the point of the
jokes levelled at him. Thus, among the pretended translations of Lord
Belgrave's famous Greek quotation, the following couplet was attributed
to him:--

    "With metaphysic art his speech he plann'd,
    And said--what nobody could understand."

A Chancery Jeu-d'Esprit.

Sir John Leach was a famous leader in Chancery in his day; afterwards
Vice-Chancellor, and finally Master of the Rolls.

     "Nor did he change, but kept in lofty place"

the character assigned to him by Sir George Rose in a _jeu-d'esprit_,
the point of which has suffered a little in the hands of Lord Eldon's
biographers, Mr. Twiss and Lord Campbell. The true text, we know from
the highest authority, ran thus:--

      "Mr. Leech
      Made a speech,
    Angry, neat, and wrong;
      Mr. Hart,
      On the other part,
    Was right, and dull, and long.
      Mr. Parker
      Made the case darker,
    Which was dark enough without;
      Mr. Cooke
      Cited a book,
    And the Chancellor said, 'I doubt.'"

Mr. Twiss good-naturedly suggests that "Parker" was taken merely for
the rhyme; but we are assured that this was not so, and that the verses
represent the actual order and _identities_ of the argument. By the
favour of the accomplished author we are enabled to lay before our
readers his own history of this production. "In my earliest years at
the Bar, sitting idle and listless rather than listening, on the back
benches of the court, Vesey, junior, the reporter, put his notebook
into my hand, saying, 'Rose, I am obliged to go away. If anything
occurs, take a note for me.' When he returned, I gave him back his
notebook, and in it the fair report, in effect, of what had taken place
in his absence; and of course thought no more about it. My short report
was so far _en règle_, that it came out in _numbers_, though certainly
_lege solutis_. It was about four or five years afterwards--when
I was beginning to get into business--that I had a motion to make
before the Chancellor. Taking up the paper (the _Morning Chronicle_),
at breakfast, I there, to my surprise and alarm, saw my unfortunate
report. 'Here's a pretty business!' said I; 'pretty chance have I,
having thus made myself known to the Court as satirizing both Bench and
Bar.' Well, as Twiss truly narrates, I made my motion. The Chancellor
told me to 'take nothing' by it, and added, 'and, Mr. Rose, in this
case, the Chancellor does not doubt.' But Twiss has not told the whole
story. The anecdote, as he left it, conveys the notion of a taunting
displeased retaliation, and reminds one of the Scotch judge, who, after
pronouncing sentence of death upon a former companion whom he had found
it difficult to beat at chess, is alleged to have added, 'And now,
Donald, my man, I've checkmated you for ance!'

"If Twiss had applied to me (I wish he had, for Lord Eldon's sake), I
might have told him what Lord Eldon, in his usual consideration for
young beginners, further did. Thinking that I might be (as I in truth
was) rather disconcerted at so unexpected a contretemps, he sent me
down a note to the effect that, so far from being offended, he had
been much pleased with a playfulness attributed to me, and hoped,
now that business was approaching me, I should still find leisure
for some relaxation; and he was afterwards invariably courteous and
kind; nay, not only promised me a silk gown, but actually--_credite
Posteri_--invited me to dinner. I have never known how that scrap
(which, like a Chancery suite which it reports, promises to be
_sine-final_) found its way into print."--_Note, in the Quarterly

Hanging by Compact.

In 1827, there was recorded in the _London Magazine_ the following
strange instance of

     "The wearied and most loathed worldly life."

Some few years ago, two fellows were observed by a patrol sitting by a
lamp-post in the New Road; and on closely watching them, he discovered
that one was _tying up_ the other (who offered no resistance) by the
neck. The patrol interfered, to prevent such a strange kind of murder,
when he was assailed by both, and pretty considerably beaten for his
good offices. The watchmen, however, poured in, and the parties were
secured. On examination next morning, it appeared that the men had been
gambling; that one had lost all his money to the other, and had at last
proposed to stake his clothes. The winner demurred: observing, that he
could not strip his adversary naked, in the event of his losing. "Oh,"
replied the other, "do not give yourself any uneasiness about that. If
I lose, I shall be unable to live, and you shall hang me, and take my
clothes after I am dead; as I shall then, you know, have no occasion
for them." The proposed arrangement was assented to; and the fellow
having lost, was quietly submitting to the terms of the treaty, when
he was intercepted by the patrol, whose impertinent interference he so
angrily resented.

The Ambassador Floored.

Coleridge, in his _Table Talk_, truly says, "What dull coxcombs your
diplomatists at home generally are. I remember dining at Mr. Frere's
once in company with Canning, and a few other interesting men. Just
before dinner, Lord ---- called on Frere, and asked him to dinner.
From the moment of his entry, he began to talk to the whole party, and
in French, all of us being genuine English; and I was told his French
was execrable. He had followed the Russian army into France and had
seen a good deal of the great men concerned in the war. Of none of
those things did he say a word; but went on, sometimes in English,
and sometimes in French, gabbling about cookery, dress, and the like.
At last he paused for a little, and I said a few words, remarking how
a great image may be reduced to the ridiculous and contemptible by
bringing the constituent parts into prominent detail, and mentioned the
grandeur of the Deluge, and the preservation of life in Genesis and
the _Paradise Lost_, and the ludicrous effect produced by Drayton's
description in his _Noah's Flood_:--

    "'And now the beasts are walking from the wood,
    As well of ravine as that chew the cud,
    The king of beasts his fury doth suppress,
    And to the Ark leads down the lioness;
    The bull for his beloved mate doth low,
    And to the Ark brings on the fair-eyed cow.'

"Hereupon, Lord ---- resumed, and spoke in raptures of a picture
which he had lately seen of Noah's Ark, and said the animals were all
marching two and two, the little ones first, and that the elephants
came last in great majesty, and filled up the foreground. 'Ah! no
doubt, my Lord,' said Canning; 'your elephants, wise fellows! stayed
behind to pack up their trunks!' This floored the ambassador for

"The Dutch Mail."

When, in 1827, Sir Richard Phillips published his _Personal Tour
through the Midland Counties_, he related the following amusing

"When I was in Nottingham, I fell in with a plain elderly man, an
ancient reader of the _Leicester Herald_, a paper which I published
for some years in the halcyon days of my youth. Its reputation secured
to me many a hearty shake by the hand, accompanied by the watery eye
of warm feeling as I passed through the Midland counties. I abandoned
it in 1795, for the _Monthly Magazine_ and exchanged Leicester for
London. This ancient reader, hearing I was in Nottingham, came to
me with a certain paper in his hand, to call me to account for the
wearisome hours which an article in it had cost him and his friends. I
looked at it and saw it headed 'Dutch Mail,' and it professed to be a
column of _original Dutch_, which this honest man had been labouring to
translate, for he said he had not met with any other specimen of Dutch.
The sight of it brought the following circumstance to my recollection:--

"On the evening before one of our publications, my men and a boy were
frolicking in the printing-office, and they overturned two or three
columns of the paper _in type_. The chief point was to get ready in
some way for the Nottingham and Derby coaches, which at four in the
morning required 400 or 500 papers. After every exertion we were short
nearly a column, but there stood in the galleys a tempting column of
_pie_. Now, unlettered readers, mark--_pie_ is a jumble of odd letters,
gathered from the floor, &c., of a printing-office, and set on end, in
any manner, to be distributed at leisure in their proper places. Some
letters are topsy-turvy, often ten or twelve consonants come together,
and then as many vowels, with as whimsical a juxtaposition of stops. It
suddenly bethought me that this might be thought 'Dutch,' and, after
writing as a head, 'Dutch Mail,' I subjoined a statement that, 'just as
our paper was going to press, the Dutch Mail had arrived, but as we had
not time to make a translation, we had inserted its intelligence in the
original.' I then overcame the scruples of my overseer, and the _pie_
was made up to the extent wanted, and off it went as _original Dutch_,
into Derbyshire and _Nottinghamshire_! In a few hours other matter,
in plain English, supplied its place for our local publication. Of
course all the linguists, schoolmasters, high-bred village politicians,
and correspondents of the _Ladies' Diary_, set their wits to work to
translate my Dutch, and I once had a collection of letters containing
speculations on the subject, or demanding a literal translation of
that which appeared to be so intricate. How the Dutch could read it
was incomprehensible! My Nottingham _quidnunc_ at times had, for above
four-and-thirty years, bestowed on it his anxious attention. I told him
the story, and he left me, vowing, that as I had deceived him, he would
never believe any newspaper again."

Bad Spelling.[46]

There is a story of a man who borrowed a volume of _Chaucer_ from
Charles Lamb, and scandalized the gentle Elia in returning it by the
confidential remark, "I say, Charley, these old fellows spelt very
badly." We do not know what this precision would have said of the lords
and ladies of Morayshire 150 years ago, for, with few exceptions,
they spelt abominably. Even Henrietta, Duchess of Gordon, daughter
of the celebrated Earl of Peterborough, who writes most sensibly and
affectionately to her "deare freind, Mistress Elizabeth Dunbar," is not
immaculate in this respect. She talks of a "gownd," is "asured there
will be an opportunity," and speaks of "sum wise and nesessary end."
But it is a shame of us even to appear to disparage this excellent lady
for what was then such a usual infirmity. Her letters are, perhaps,
the most worth reading of any in Captain Dunbar's collection, and her
literary criticisms on the books she wishes her "deare freind" to read
are especially interesting. The gentlemen were, perhaps, still more
careless than the ladies in their spelling. Here are a couple of
notes, the latter of which is enough to make a modern salmon-fisher's
mouth water:--

                                           "Cloavs, Jnr 29, 1703.

 "Affectionat Brother,--Cloavs and I shall met you the morou in the
 Spinle moore, betwixt 8 and nine in the morning, where ye canot miss
 good sporte twixt that and the sea. ffaile not to bring ane bottle of
 brandie along, ffor I asheure you ye will lose the wadger. In the mean
 time, we drink your health, and am your affectionat brother,"

                                                     "R. DUNBAR."

 "To the Laird off Thunderton--Heast, heast."

                                     "Innes, June 25, 5 at night.

 "Sir,--You will not (I hope) be displeased when I tell you that Wat.
 Stronoch, this forenoon, killed _eighteen hundred Salmon and Grilses_.
 But it is my misfortune that the boat is not returned yet from
 Inverness, and I want salt. Therefore by all the tyes of friendship
 send me on your own horses eight barrels of salt or more. When my boat
 returns, none, particularly Coxton, shall want what I have. This in
 great heast from, dear Archie, yours,"

                                                  "HARRIE INNES."

 "I know not but they may kill as many before 2 in the morning, for
 till then I have the Raick, and to-morrow the Pott. These twenty years
 past such a run was not as has been these two past days in so short a
 time, therefore heast, heast; spare not horse hyre. I would have sent
 my own horses, but they are all in the hill for peatts. Adieu, dear

[46] From the _Times'_ review of Captain Dunbar's _Letters_, 1865.

Our ancestors seem to have regarded spelling much as we regard the
knowledge of French. It was disgraceful not to have a smattering of it,
but exceptional to have mastered it thoroughly. When we compare the
above notes, which would not confer much credit on a modern national
schoolboy, with a letter written by Duncan Forbes in 1745, we find
ourselves in quite a different atmosphere. The Lord President is
terribly angry with the Elgin justices for winking at smugglers; but he
writes like a scholar and a man of business. While on the subject of
spelling, we must select from Captain Dunbar's collection two choice
specimens of cacography, a "chereot," and "jelorfis." The reader
will probably guess that the former stands for chariot, as cheroots
were then unknown, but we defy him to unravel the latter without the
context. "Jelorfis" is the phonetic utterance of an unlucky wight
who had got into prison for giving a chop to another man's nose,
and stands in his vocabulary for "jailer's fees." There are several
characteristic letters from the celebrated Lord Lovat, in which his
Scottish pawkiness and French courtliness, no unusual mixture early in
the eighteenth century, are clearly displayed. This singular personage,
who may be described as Nature's outline sketch of a character which
she afterwards elaborated in the Bishop of Autun, but who, unlike
Talleyrand, had the misfortune to die in his stocking-feet, wrote his
letters on gilt-edged paper, enclosed in envelopes, and in these honied
words addresses the Dunbar of that day:--

"I am exceeding glad to know that you and your lady are well, and
having inquired at the bearer if you had children, he tells me that
you have a son, which gives me great pleasure, and I wish you and your
lady much joy of him, and that you may have many more, for they will be
the nearest relatives I have of any Dunbars in the world, except your
father's children; and my relation to you is not at a distance, as you
are pleased to call it, it is very near, and I have not such a near
relation betwixt Spey and Ness; and you may assure yourself that I will
always behave to you and yours as a relation ought to do; and I beg
leave to assure you and your lady of my most affectionate regards, and
my Lady Lovat's, and my young ones, your little cousins."

Lord Lovat wrote this letter when he was past seventy. Four years
later, Dr. Carlyle, of Inveresk, then a mere youth, met him at Luckie
Vint's tavern. He describes him as a tall, stately man, with a very
flat nose, who, after imbibing a goodly quantity of claret, stood
up to dance with Miss Kate Vint, the landlady's niece. Five years
later still, his head fell on the scaffold at Tower Hill.[47] Here
we may pause to observe a curious instance of traditionary linkage.
Dr. Carlyle died within the first decade of this century, so that
many persons still living may have conversed with one who had been in
company with a man born early in the reign of