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Title: Chats on Autographs
Author: Broadley, Alexander Meyrick
Language: English
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Copyright Status: Not copyrighted in the United States. If you live elsewhere check the laws of your country before downloading this ebook. See comments about copyright issues at end of book.

*** Start of this Doctrine Publishing Corporation Digital Book "Chats on Autographs" ***

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  _With Coloured Frontispieces and many Illustrations._
  _Large Crown 8vo, cloth._




    By E. L. LOWES.


    By E. L. LOWES.

    By J. F. BLACKER.

    By J. J. FOSTER.

  (Companion Volume to "Chats on English China.")

    By A. M. BROADLEY.

       *       *       *       *       *



       *       *       *       *       *




                         ETC., ETC.


    "An Autograph Collection may be made an admirable adjunct to
    the study of History and Biography."

        L. J. CIST
    [Preface to Tefft Catalogue, 1866]


       *       *       *       *       *


                  SIR ISAMBARD OWEN,

                D.C.L., M.D., F.R.C.P.

                     BY THE AUTHOR.

_THE KNAPP, BRADPOLE, May 6, 1910._

[_All rights reserved._]

       *       *       *       *       *


    "Life is a leaf of paper white
    Whereon each one of us may write
    His word or two--then comes the night."


Mr. T. Fisher Unwin has asked me to "chat" on autographs and autograph
collecting. Fifteen years ago the late Dr. George Birkbeck Hill
"talked" on the same subject in compliance with a similar request.
Still more recently Mr. Adrian H. Joline, of New York, has given the
world his "meditations" on a pursuit which another American unkindly
describes as "that dreadful fever," but which Mr. Joline, as well
as the present writer, regards in the light of "the most gentle of
emotions." Mr. Joline expressed, on the first page of his interesting
book, a profound conviction that nobody could by any possibility be
persuaded to read it unless already interested in the topic with
which it so effectively deals. One of the principal objects of the
_causeries_ I have undertaken to write is to reach, if possible, a
public to which the peculiar fascination and indescribable excitement
of the autograph cult are still unknown, and to demonstrate (to a
certain extent from my own personal experience), the practical utility,
as well as the possibilities of material profit, inherent in this
particular form of literary treasure-trove. For the benefit of the
uninitiated (and in this case the uninitiated are in a vast majority)
it is necessary at the onset to differentiate between the "Autograph
Fiend" (the phrase is, I believe, American in its origin), who pesters,
often with unpardonable persistence, well-known personages for their
signatures in albums or on photographs, and the discriminating
collector who accumulates for the benefit of posterity either important
documents or the letters of famous men. "Nothing," writes Horace
Walpole, "gives us so just an idea of an age as genuine letters, nay
history waits for its last seal from them."

Adopting the words of one of the most gifted letter-writers who ever
lived as a text, let me clearly define an autograph for the purposes of
these pages to be:--

_A letter or document written or signed by any given person._

An autograph collector, as I understand the term, is one who acquires
and arranges documents of the sort now described. A collector of
autograph signatures has nothing in common with the scientific
autograph collector. Those who deliberately cut signatures from
important letters are in reality the worst enemies both of the
autograph collector and the historian. Vandalism of this kind (often
committed in happy unconsciousness of the consequences) brings with it
its own punishment, for detached signatures are almost worthless. Many
years ago a dealer was offered sixteen genuine signatures of Samuel
Pepys, their owner naïvely remarking that "he had cut them from the
letters _to save trouble_." As a matter of fact he had in the course of
a few seconds depreciated the value of his property to the extent of
at least £150. The letters (if intact) would have fetched from £15 to
£20 each! "Album Specimens"--the results of the misplaced energy of the
"autograph hunter," are of very little value as compared with holograph
letters, and collections of this kind, although often elaborately
bound up and provided with a lock and key, generally prove a woeful
disappointment to the representatives of those who bestowed so much
time and trouble on their formation. Collections of "franks," or the
signatures in virtue of which Peers and Members of the House of Commons
prior to 1840 could transmit letters through the post free of charge,
must not be classed with those of "clipped" or isolated signatures.
"Frank Collections" were often very interesting, and in the early years
of the nineteenth century many well-known people devoted much time and
trouble to their completion. The subject will be further alluded to in
my text.

Although a personal element must of necessity pervade to some extent,
at least, my chats on autographs, it is obvious that the subject is one
which necessitates the greatest discretion. I shall carefully refrain
from using any letter which has ever been addressed to me personally,
although I have ventured to reproduce the signature of H.R.H. Ismail
Pacha, one of the most remarkable men of his time, and that of Arabi
Pacha, for whom I acted as counsel before the court-martial held at
Cairo on December 2, 1882. Between 1884 and 1889 I was in constant
correspondence with the late ex-Khedive Ismail, and from 1883 down
to the present day I have frequently exchanged letters with my once
celebrated Egyptian client, who returned from exile some five years
ago to spend the rest of his life in Cairo. Nor shall I, with one or
two exceptions, give _in extenso_ the letters of any living person,
or letters which can possibly give pain or concern to others. Those
who carefully study, as I do, the catalogues issued from time to time
by dealers in autographs, both in this country and abroad, must often
be astonished at the rapidity with which the letters of Royal and
other illustrious personages "come into the market." At the death of a
well-known authoress a few years ago the whole of the letters addressed
to her were sold _en bloc_. I was not surprised to learn that the
appearance of these "specimens" was the cause of much consternation and
many heart-burnings.


(The latter in both Arabic and English.)]

The present age is essentially one of "collecting," and I hope to
convince those who are interested in collecting generally, but have
not yet included autographs in their sphere of operations, that a
great opportunity awaits them, and that no form of collecting, either
from a literary or antiquarian point of view, possesses greater charm
or greater possibilities. In his recent works on the private life
of Napoleon, M. Frédéric Masson has shown the inestimable value of
autograph letters to the historian, and it is from unpublished and
hitherto unknown MSS. in public and private collections that Dr. J.
Holland Rose has obtained much of the new information which will give
exceptional value to his forthcoming "Life of Pitt." If there is,
as Mr. Adrian Joline points out, an abundance of "gentle emotion"
to be found in the cult of the autograph, there is also no lack of
pleasurable excitement. If autograph frauds, forgeries, and fakes are
abundant, autograph "finds" are equally so. There is an indescribable
pleasure in the detection of the former, and an amount of enjoyable
excitement connected with the latter, which none but the keen collector
can entirely realise. Having convinced the antiquarian of the quite
exceptional value of the autograph as a collecting subject, I shall
hope to show my readers how they may most rapidly and most economically
obtain that special knowledge necessary to become an expert. The
autograph market, as at present constituted, is a very small one, but
it is growing rapidly, and there is at this moment no better investment
than the highest class of historical and literary autographs, provided
one exercises proper discretion in purchasing and is content to wait
for opportunities which often occur. The truth of my assertion as to
the possibilities of profit in autograph collecting was never more
clearly demonstrated than at the sale, in December, 1909, of the
library of Mr. Louis J. Haber, of New York City, which was conducted
by the Anderson Auction Company. Two days were exclusively devoted
to autographs, and Mr. Haber has subsequently communicated to me a
complete list of the prices at which he bought and sold the literary
_rariora_ now dispersed. The sensation of the sale was the selling of a
letter of John Keats for £500. For this letter (an exceptionally fine
and interesting one) Mr. Haber originally paid £25. Nevertheless, as
I shall have occasion to point out, the English collector might have
picked up some bargains at the Haber sale. An autograph poem by Edmund
Burke, written in 1749, was sold for £4 8s., and I envy the purchaser
of the characteristic letter of Lord Chesterfield, knocked down to
some fortunate bidder for £3 8s. I do not hesitate to say that the
Burke poem and the Chesterfield letter would have fetched double the
prices realised at Sotheby's. A letter of Mrs. Piozzi's (not improved
by inlaying) fetched £8 12s. Mr. Haber gave £2 8s. for it, and I have
bought a dozen equally good Piozzi letters at considerably less than

The _bonne camaraderie_ which exists amongst autograph collectors is
exemplified by the ready assistance rendered me in the preparation
of my "chats." Dr. H. T. Scott, who has devoted the greater part of
his life to the practical study of the subject, has given me many
valuable hints; Mr. Telamon Cuyler, the future historian of Georgia,
has rendered me important help in the matter of American autographs
and autograph collecting; Mr. Charles De F. Burns, of New York, has
given me (through Mr. Cuyler) most interesting data concerning the
development of a fondness for autographs in the United States; while
Dr. Thos. Addis Emmet has sent me the catalogue of his unrivalled
collection of American MSS. now in the Lenox Library, New York. I
tender my best thanks for the aid in various directions which I
have received from Mr. Bernard Quaritch; Mr. Turner, President of
the Anderson Auction Company, New York; Mr. Goodspeed, of Boston;
Monsieur Noël Charavay, of Paris; Messrs. Maggs, Mr. J. H. Stonehouse,
of Messrs. Sotheran, and Mr. W. V. Daniell; while Professor M.
Gerothwohl, Litt.D., of the University of Bristol, has kindly
translated the important letter of the Empress Catharine of Russia,
and one or two other difficult examples of eighteenth-century French.
My acknowledgments are also due to Mr. John Lane and Messrs. Harper
Brothers, who have kindly allowed me to use certain illustrations,
originally given in my books published by them; as well as to the
proprietors of _The Country Home_ for allowing me to reproduce some of
the autographs which first appeared in connection with the articles I
have had the honour to contribute to that journal.

If I succeed in awakening an extended and more intelligent interest
in autographs and autograph collecting, I shall have done something
in my generation to help future historians, whose task must, of
necessity, become increasingly difficult as time goes on. When I
"commenced" collecting on my own account, to borrow an old-world,
eighteenth-century phrase, I was literally groping in the dark, and
necessity compelled me to buy my experience. I do not think I purchased
it dearly. M. Noël Charavay thinks all good judges of autographs are
near-sighted, and possibly this helped me in the early stages of my
collecting career to distinguish the genuine article from a forged
imitation. By attending to the hints which I shall give in the proper
place the young collector will soon be able to recognise the original
from the counterfeit. As the values of autographs increase (as they are
sure to do) the temptation to forgery becomes greater, and consequently
the application of the maxim _caveat emptor_ more urgent. Respectable
autograph dealers guarantee the letters they sell, but even experts
are occasionally mistaken. Quite recently I lighted on a letter of
Archbishop Fénelon in America, and thought I had secured a bargain.
The source from which it came was unimpeachable, but M. Noël Charavay
immediately confirmed my opinion that it was a lithographic forgery.
There is, at any rate, one privilege that the autograph collector alone
enjoys. It is difficult to say that any particular piece of china,
medal, coin, print, or postage stamp is unique. There is always the
danger of a duplicate turning up. With autograph letters, on the other
hand, each specimen may fairly be described as "absolutely unique."
I have only once met with an exception to this rule. Some twenty
days before his death Charles Dickens wrote a letter in duplicate to
Buckstone the actor. To avoid the possibility of its miscarrying one
was addressed to the theatre, and the other to Sydenham. I have the
former and should much like to know what has become of the other, but
even in this case the letters are not precisely identical.

So vast is the range of autographs (taking the subject as a whole
and the term in its broadest sense) that the collector of the rising
generation will do well to limit his sphere of operations to one
particular subject or locality. It is only by doing this he can hope to
arrive at anything like finality, or to make his acquisitions really
useful from an historical point of view. Let him make the worthies
of his own county, or birthplace, or calling the objective of his
researches, and he will soon feel encouraged to go further afield. As
long ago as 1855 a writer in the _Athenæum_ remarked that "the story of
what history owes to the autograph collector would make a pretty book."
The present and future possibilities of autograph collecting as the
handmaiden of history-making cannot be more forcibly illustrated than
by the perusal of the marvellous catalogue issued by Messrs. Pearson,
of Pall Mall Place, while these pages were going through the press.
Here we have a collection of autographs by English sovereigns valued at
£1,600, one of musical composers priced at £2,500, and another of 105
letters by great artists, beginning with Antonio del Pollajuolo (born
in 1426) and ending with Corot, who died in 1875, for which £3,500,
or an average price of £35 each is asked. Modern historians will
possibly be more interested in the portfolios of _unpublished_ letters
by Marlborough, Burke, and Pitt, of which the House of Pearson is at
present the custodian. Without reference to them it will be impossible
to say that the last word has been said about these three great men,
who played in turn so important a part in our national annals. Their
ultimate owner may have the opportunity of assisting the historian in
the manner I have ventured to indicate.



PREFACE                                                                7



ON AUTOGRAPH COLLECTING GENERALLY                                     27

    Autograph collecting in relation to kindred hobbies--The
    genesis of the autograph--Examples of the _alba amicorum_ of
    the sixteenth and seventeenth centuries--The conscript fathers
    of autograph collecting--Franks and their votaries--Album
    specimens and their value--The autograph-hunter and his
    unconscious victims--Anecdotes of some recent autograph "draws."



    Useful books on autographs--Collections of autograph
    facsimiles--The autograph markets of London and
    Paris--Variations in price--Autograph catalogues and
    dealers--The treatment and classification of autographs.


THE _CAVEAT EMPTOR_ OF AUTOGRAPH COLLECTING                           71

    Forgeries and fakes--Cases of mistaken identity--Some famous
    autograph frauds--Practical methods of detection.


SOME FAMOUS AUTOGRAPH "FINDS"                                         93

    Personal reminiscences and experiences.


  AND PRINCES                                                        113

    Some unpublished specimens of the handwriting of Royal
    Personages present and past.



    Unpublished letters of the two Pitts, Lord Chesterfield, and
    Lord Stanhope.



    From the days of Shakespeare and Spenser to those of Thackeray,
    Dickens, Tennyson, and Meredith--The value of literary
    autographs and MSS.


NAVAL AND MILITARY AUTOGRAPHS                                        235

    Unpublished letters of celebrated sailors and soldiers.


AUTOGRAPHS OF MUSIC, THE DRAMA, AND ART                              255

    Illustrated letters.


AUTOGRAPH COLLECTING IN FRANCE                                       289

    Autograph letters of Napoleon--His associates and
    contemporaries--Other French autographs.



    The great collectors and collections of the United States--The
    autograph sale-rooms of New York, Boston, and Philadelphia.



    William Upcott and his contemporaries--Sale prices 1810-1910.

INDEX                                                                378


  A.L.S. of William Wilson, an Actor of the "Fortune" Theatre, to
      Edward Alleyn, of Dulwich, 1620                     _Frontispiece_


  Signatures of the Egyptian Clients of the Author, 1882-1888,
      H.R.H. the Khedive Ismail; H.R.H. Prince Ibrahim Hilmy, his
      Son, and Arabi Pacha                                            11

  Last page of A.L.S. of Elizabeth Chudleigh, Duchess of Kingston,
      at St. Petersburg, to Miss Chudleigh, at Bath                   29

  Warrant signed by Warren Hastings, Philip Francis, Edward
      Wheeler, and Eyre Coote, May 31, 1780                           30

  A.L.S. obtained from Cardinal Newman by an Autograph-hunter,
      September 4, 1870                                               43

  Two pages of A.L.S. of Sir John Tenniel, of _Punch_, obtained by
      an Autograph-hunter, October 13, 1903                           45

  From the Prelude of "Gerontius," MS. Bars signed by Sir Edward
      Elgar, September, 1900                                          49

  Facsimile of the Historic Letter from George Crabbe to Edmund
      Burke                                                           63

  The Autograph of Ludwig van Beethoven                               64

  First page of A.L.S. of Dr. Johnson to Sir Joshua Reynolds on the
      subject of Crabbe's Poems, 1783                                 74

  Lines of Thomas Chatterton on Horace Walpole, which cost Sir
      George White, of Bristol, £34                                   74

  A Specimen of Ireland's Shakespearean Forgeries attested by
      himself                                                         77

  William Ireland's Attestation of his Forgeries of Shakespeare's
      Signature                                                       79

  Forged Letter of W. M. Thackeray, in which his later Handwriting
      is imitated                                                     83

  Two pages of a Letter by Lord Brougham to E. Arago, offering to
      become a Naturalised Frenchman and a Candidate for the French
      Chambers                                                        99

  Specimen page of the Dumouriez MS. discovered by the Writer        102

  Original Dispatch of Lord Cawdor to Duke of Portland describing
      the Landing and Surrender of the French at Fishguard,
      February, 1797                                                 103

  MS. Verses on Trafalgar in the Handwriting of Charles Dibdin,
      1805                                                           107

  Bulletin issued a week after the birth of King Edward VII. and
      signed by the Medical Men in attendance, November 16, 1841     114

  Order to the Duke of Beaufort to destroy Keynsham Bridge, near
      Bristol, on the approach of Monmouth, signed by King James
      II., June 21, 1685                                             115

  A.L.S. of the Electress Sophia of Hanover to the Duke of Leeds,
      October 19, 1710                                               116

  A.L.S. of King George III. on the Subject of the Defence of
      England in the early stages of the Great Terror of 1796-1805   119

  Commission signed by Oliver Cromwell, October 20, 1651             121

  Signature of Lord Protector Richard Cromwell to a Commission,
      January, 1658                                                  122

  Fourteen lines in the Writing of Napoleon on Military Order, with
      his Signature, July 3, 1803                                    123

  Autograph of Henry VII., King of England (1456-1509)               127

  A.L.S. of King William III. from Camp before Namur, July 13, 1795

  Last page of A.L.S. of Empress Catherine of Russia to Mrs. de
      Bielke, of Hamburg, July 28, 1767                              128

  One of the earliest Signatures of Louis XIV. (aged six)            135

  Interesting A.L.S. of Louis XVI. to the Chemist Lavoisier on the
      subject of the Discovery of Inflammable Gas, Versailles,
      March 15, 1789                                                 136

  A.L.S. of King George III. to Sir Samuel Hood (afterwards Lord
      Hood), June 13, 1779                                           137

  A.L.S. of King George III. written four days before the Battle of
      Trafalgar                                                      141

  A.L.S. of Queen Alexandra to Mrs. Gladstone, December 7, 1888      145

  Queen Victoria's Order on a Letter of Sir Henry Ponsonby, April
      26, 1894                                                       146

  One of the last Letters written by Queen Victoria, addressed to
      General Sir George White, of Ladysmith                         147

  Autograph Telegram from the late Prince Albert Victor of Wales to
      his Grandmother, Queen Victoria                                149

  Holograph Telegram of the Duke of Connaught to Queen Victoria,
      St. Petersburg, May 26, 1896                                   150

  One page of A.L.S. of Queen Victoria to her elder Daughter, aged
      six, October 21, 1846                                          153

  First page of A.L.S. of the Duchess of Kent to her Grandson, King
      Edward VII., aged eight, August 26, 1849                       154

  First page of A.L.S. of Queen Adelaide to her Great-niece, the
      late Empress Frederick of Germany, circa 1848                  157

  Page of Register containing the Signatures of Contracting Parties
      and Witnesses at the Marriage of King Edward VII. and Queen
      Alexandra, 1863                                                158

  Page from the MS. Remark-book of Prince William Henry (afterwards
      King William IV.), in which he begins to describe New York,
      January, 1781                                                  159

  Page of Exercise Book of King George IV. at the age of twelve      159

  Drawing by Charlotte, Empress of Mexico, dated Lacken, 1850        160

  A sheet from the Copy-book of the Emperor Alexander II. of
      Russia when a boy                                              160

  A.L.S. of Queen Charlotte to Mr. Penn, of Portland, November 19,
      1813                                                           163

  First page of A.L.S. by Albert, Prince Consort, to General Peel,
      1858                                                           165

  Exercise of the late King Edward VII. when ten years old,
      December 17, 1851                                              166

  Exercise of the late Duke of Coburg (Prince Alfred) at the age of
      eight                                                          166

  One page of A.L.S. of King George V., when Duke of York to the
      late Duchess Dowager of Manchester, February 22, 1886          167

  One page of A.L.S. of Queen Mary, while Duchess of York, to a
      friend, May 24, 1900                                           168

  First page of A.L.S. of the Empress Frederick of Germany to Mr.
      Prothero, February 22, 1889                                    168

  Last page of unpublished Holograph Poem in Handwriting of William
      Pitt, May, 1771                                                177

  Last Whip issued by William Pitt and signed by him, December 31,
      1805                                                           178

  Signature of Sir Isaac Heard, Garter, on Card of Admission to the
      Funeral of William Pitt, 1806                                  178

  A.L.S. of Earl of Chesterfield, October 8, 1771, describing the
      Inaugural Ball at the new Bath Assembly Rooms                  183

  One page of A.L.S. from Mr. W. E. Gladstone at Balmoral to
      Cardinal Manning, n.d.                                         188

  One Page of A.L.S. of Mr. Disraeli (afterwards Lord Beaconsfield)
      on Church matters, n.d.                                        191

  The Signature of Shakespeare on the last page of his Will          196

  Deed containing the Signature of Francis Bacon, Lord Verulam, and
      nearly all the Members of his Family, temp. James I.           199

  A.L.S. of John Evelyn to Samuel Pepys, Deptford, September 25,
      1790                                                           200

  Early Signature of John Milton on Documents now in possession of
      Mr. Quaritch                                                   203

  Page of Dr. Johnson's Diary recording his impressions of
      Stonehenge, &c., 1783                                          207

  The two last pages of the MS. Journal of Mrs. Thrale's Tour in
      Wales, July-September, 1774, describing the Dinner at Burke's  208

  Holograph lines by Goethe on Blücher, circa 1812-13                213

  A.L.S. of John Keats (three pages) to J. H. Reynolds, February
      28, 1820                                                       214

  Letter of Lord Tennyson to Mr. Moxon                               217

  A.L.S. of Lord Byron to Mr. Perry, March 1, 1812                   217

  Illustrated Letter of W. M. Thackeray from Glasgow                 218

  Lines from the "Iliad." Specimen of the MS. of the late Mr.
      George Meredith                                                219

  A.L.S. of W. M. Thackeray to Count d'Orsay on fly-leaf of
      circular announcing the Publication of a Picture, n.d.         221

  Early A.L.S. of W. M. Thackeray to Mr. Macrone, Publisher,
      discovered by Mr. George Gregory, of Bath                      222

  First page of one of Charles Dickens's last Letters, May 15, 1870  225

  A.L.S. of Honourable Mrs. Norton containing an invitation to meet
      Charles Dickens, the author of "Pickwick," at dinner           226

  Early Letter of Charles Dickens to Mr. Macrone (1836) from
      Furnival's Inn                                                 227

  A.L.S. of "Perdita" (Mary Robinson) to George, Prince of Wales,
      January 19, 1785                                               228

  Holograph Order of Admission of Thomas Carlyle to his Rectorial
      Address at Edinburgh University, dated March 23, 1866          230

  A.L.S. of John Wesley, June 14, 1788                               232

  A.L.S. of Duke of Montrose to the King                             239

  Part of A.L.S. of Earl Howe to Earl Spencer after his great
      Victory of June 1, 1794                                        239

  Official MS. Account of Expenses incurred at Funeral of Queen
      Anne                                                           240

  One page of A.L.S. of General Byng, October 27, 1727               242

  Signature of Admiral Byng on his Will a few days before his
      death, March, 1757                                             242

  A.L.S. of Lord Nelson to Earl Spencer, written with his right
      hand, _Theseus_, May 28, 1798                                  245

  A.L.S. of Nelson to Lady Hamilton about his wife, written with
      his left hand, January 24, 1801                                245

  First page of A.L.S. of Lady Nelson to her Husband, December 10,
      1799                                                           246

  Naval Commission signed by Lord Nelson, April 25, 1781             246

  A.L.S. of Sir Thomas Hardy about Lord Nelson's Beer, Torbay,
      February 20, 1801                                              251

  Letter of Duke of Wellington to Mr. Algernon Greville, October
      24, 1841, speaking of the necessity of his being present at
      the Birth of King Edward VII.                                  251

  Envelope directed by Duke of Wellington to Lady Sidmouth
      enclosing lock of Napoleon's hair, 1821                        252

  A.L.S. of the Abbé Liszt to Secretary of Princess of Wales (Queen
      Alexandra), April 16, 1886                                     258

  A.L.S. of Joseph Haydn, the Composer, June 5, 1803                 260

  Signature of the nonagenarian Mrs. Garrick a few days before her
      death                                                          263

  A genuine short Note signed by Edmund Kean, afterwards imitated

  A.L.S. of R. B. Sheridan asking for time to pay a draft            265

  A.L.S. of Charles Mathews, the Actor, proposing his son for
      election to Garrick Club, n.d.                                 266

  Last page of A.L.S. of Mrs. Siddons to Mrs. Piozzi after the Fire
      at Covent Garden Theatre                                       268

  Letter of the Chevalier d'Éon to Colonel Monson, Bath, January 7,
      1796                                                           271

  Account for Supper given by the Chevalier d'Éon to Prince Henry
      of Prussia, August 15, 1784                                    271

  One of the last Letters ever written by Grimaldi, the great
      Clown, December 20, 1829                                       272

  A.L.S. of William Hogarth to his Wife, January 6, 1749             273

  Last page of an A.L.S. by the painter George Romney                274

  A.L.S. of Sir Joshua Reynolds to George Crabbe, March 4, 1783      275

  A.L.S. of George Morland                                           275

  Two pages of Illustrated Letter from the Honble. Mrs. Norton to a
      Sister, July, 1854                                             276

  Portion of Illustrated Letter by John Leech                        279

  Page of Illustrated A.L.S. from Mr. Wheeler to Sir F. Burnand      280

  Illustrated A.L.S. of Fred Barnard relating to the plates of
      "Dombey and Son," n.d.                                         281

  Portrait of Charles Peace, the murderer, on A.L.S. of Sir Frank
      Lockwood, who defended him, written in 1888                    282

  A.L.S. of George Cruickshank, September, 1836, about Dickens's
      first call on him                                              283

  Postcard of James Whistler from Lion Hotel, Lyme Regis,
      circa 1888                                                     284

  First page of A.L.S. of the Painter Meissonier, July 25, 1861      284

  Portraits of Sir R. Reid (now Lord Loreburn) and the late Sir
      Frank Lockwood on an Illustrated Letter written by the latter
      during the Parnell Commission                                  285

  Two pages of Illustrated Letter by Hablot K. Browne                286

  Two pages of a Letter from Richard Cobden in "The Forties"         287

  Early Signature of Napoleon I. as "Buonaparte" on Military
      Document, dated February 1, 1796                               297

  First page of A.L.S. of Admiral Villeneuve announcing to
      the French Minister of Marine the Disaster of the Nile,
      September, 1798                                                297

  Signature of Empress Marie Louise as Regent, July, 1813            298

  A.L.S. of Joseph Bonaparte, afterwards King of Spain, January,
      1806                                                           299

  A.L.S. of Talleyrand in Paris to Napoleon I. at Bayonne
      congratulating him on the Birth of Napoleon III., at which he
      had been present, April, 1808                                  301

  Letter signed by the Empress Josephine, 3 ventose an x [February
      22, 1802]                                                      302

  A.L.S. of Marshal Ney, Paris, December 23, 1813                    304

  Exercise of the King of Rome, Duke de Reichstadt, circa 1827       305

  Portion of Essay on Gunnery written by the late Prince Imperial
      of France while a Cadet at the Woolwich Military Academy       307

  Page of A.L.S. of Napoleon III. to Dr. O'Meara, March 9, 1836      308

  Sketch by the late Prince Imperial, circa 1866                     308

  A.L.S. of Admiral Brueys, the French Admiral Commanding-in-Chief,
      who was killed at Trafalgar, dated May 25, 1797                310

  Two Signatures of Marie Antoinette on a Warrant, October, 1783     312

  A.L.S. of Napoleon III. to Lord Alfred Paget from Wilhelmshohe,
      October 29, 1870                                               313

  First page of Letter in English from Voltaire to Earl of
      Chesterfield, Ferney, August 5, 1761                           314

  The Signature and Writing of Button Gwinnett, the rarest
      Autograph of the "Signers"                                     326

  The last page of the Letter of Thomas Lynch, jun., one of the
      American "Signers," which fetched 7,000 dollars                328

  The last page of George Washington's splendid A.L.S., now
      published through the kindness of Mr. T. C. S. Cuyler          333

  A.L.S. of Benjamin Franklin to George Washington, March 2, 1778    334

  Early writing of the late King Edward VII., circa 1850             344








    =Autograph collecting in relation to kindred hobbies--The
    genesis of the autograph--Examples of the _alba amicorum_ of
    the sixteenth and seventeenth centuries--The conscript fathers
    of autograph collecting--Franks and their votaries--Album
    specimens and their value--The autograph-hunter and his
    unconscious victims--Anecdotes of some recent autograph

    There can be no doubt that the handwriting of a man is related
    to his thought and character, and that we may therefore
    gain a certain impression of his ordinary mode of life and

My friend Judge Philbrick, for some time President of the Royal
Philatelic Society of London, tells me that the stamps known to
collectors as the Post Office Mauritius "fetch anything." In his
opinion a pair of fine examples of the 1d. red and 2d. blue would
easily make £2,500. He believes the King, when Prince of Wales, gave
£1,500 for a single specimen. A set of the rarest issues of Sandwich
Island stamps would be worth from £1,500 to £2,000, and there are
at least twenty or thirty varieties which sell at something between
£50 and £100. As a matter of fact, I believe the single "Mauritius
Post Office" referred to exchanged hands in January 1904, at no less
a figure than £1,950, and that at a moment when much excitement was
caused in autographic circles by the appearance at Sotheby's of
thirty-three pages of the MS. of "Paradise Lost," once the property
of Jacob Tonson the publisher. The ultimate fate of this precious
MS. will be referred to in connection with the subject of Milton's
autographs, but it may be noted that in the same month a series of
seven superb folio holograph letters of Napoleon, written during his
first campaign in Italy, when his handwriting was still legible and his
signature not the perplexing variation of scratches and blots of later
days, was knocked down at the comparatively modest figure of £350, or
less than one-fifth of the sum paid for the "Mauritius Post Office"!
Before me lie several of the priced catalogues of the Sotheby autograph
auctions of six years ago. Very few of the totals realised at these
sales approached the price paid for this single stamp. At one of them
Nelson's original letter-book of 1796-97, including the original drafts
of 67 letters (many of them of first-rate importance) failed to fetch
more than £190, while a two days' sale (that of December 5 and 6, 1904)
brought only an aggregate sum of £1,009 16s., notwithstanding the fact
that the 416 lots disposed of comprised a splendid series of Johnson
and Thrale letters, a series of S. T. Coleridge MSS., and fine examples
of letters by Pope, Richardson, Marvell, Burke, Boswell, Goldsmith,
Garrick, Nelson, and Lady Hamilton, together with historical documents
signed by Queen Elizabeth, the two Charleses, Oliver Cromwell, and
Queen Anne. The items thus disposed of would in themselves have made a
fine collection if acquired by any one owner, for they represent the
most interesting phases of our national annals, and they might have
been acquired _en bloc_ for £940, less than half the cost of that one
most expensive stamp. Far be it from me to disparage a sister "hobby."
All I seek to prove is that autograph collection has moderation in
price to recommend it, as well as that inherent interest which Mr.
Joline alludes to as "the gentlest of emotions."

In theory, at any rate, the lover of autographs can claim for his
favourite pursuit an antiquity of origin which no print collector or
philatelist, however enthusiastic, can possibly pretend to. In some
shape or another MSS. were highly prized by the ancient Egyptians as
well as the Greeks and Romans. The word "autograph" first occurs in the
writings of Suetonius. We learn on good authority that Ptolemy stole
the archives of the Athenians and replaced the originals with cunningly
devised copies; Pliny and Cicero were both collectors after the manner
of the time in which they lived; Nero recorded his impressions in
pocket-books, and manuscripts of untold importance are supposed to
lie buried in the lava-covered dwellings of Herculaneum. The Chinese,
too, at a very remote period of their national existence were wont to
decorate their temples with the writing or the sign-manuals of their
defunct rulers. The Emperors Justinian and Theodoric are both reputed
to have affixed their signatures by the aid of a perforated tin plate;
and the mystery which attaches itself to the Epistles of Phalaris
still awaits some definite solution. These, and a dozen other similar
topics, may concern the history of writing in the abstract, but they
are strange to the question of the genesis of the modern autograph
in the sense already sufficiently defined and as considered from the
collector's point of view.

By the irony of fate the origin of autograph collecting, as we now
understand it, is clearly traced to the _alba amicorum_ of the latter
part of the sixteenth and the first decades of the seventeenth century.
Men and women of light and leading were accustomed to carry about
oblong volumes of vellum, on which their friends and acquaintances were
requested to write some motto or phrase under his or her signature.
Several interesting examples of these _alba_ are to be seen amongst the
Sloane MSS. in the British Museum. The earliest of them (No. 851) bears
the date 1579. It commences with the motto and signature of the Duc
d'Alençon, the suitor of our Virgin Queen. He has attempted a sketch,
something like a fire, under which are the words "Fovet et disqutit
Francoys," and below, "Me servir quy mestre Farnagues."

No. 3,416 is bound in green velvet with the arms of the writers
beautifully emblazoned on each page. On one of these the Duke of Holst,
brother-in-law of James I., has written:--

    Par mer et par terre
    Wiwe la Guerre.

It was in the _album amicorum_ of Christopher Arnold, Professor of
History at Nuremberg, that the author of "Paradise Lost" wrote

        In weakness I am made perfect.

    To that most learned man, and my courteous friend, Christopher
    Arnold, have I given this, in token of his virtue, as well as
    of my good will towards him.

        JOHN MILTON.

    _London, A.D. 1651, Nov. 19._

To the album of Charles de Bousy (No. 3,415) Edward Sackville,
afterwards Earl of Dorset, has contributed a motto neatly written in
six languages. Late in the nineteenth century these ancient _alba_ had
their counterpart in the books of questions which, for a brief period,
found favour in the eyes of the British hostess with a literary turn
of mind. A page thus filled up by the late Duke of Coburg (Prince
Alfred of England) is in my collection. In it the writer with perfect
frankness discloses his ideas of happiness and misery, his favourite
poets, painters, and composers, his pet aversions and the characters
in history he most dislikes. The sheet of this modern _album amicorum_
fetched one sovereign in the open market, and in many ways the views
of the Duke are as interesting as those of the princes and poets who
yielded to the entreaties of Charles de Bousy and Christopher Arnold.

In these early _alba_ the interest of the handwriting formed the
predominant attraction, but with the succeeding generations of
collectors who gathered together stores of priceless MSS. the point
of interest was almost entirely historical. It was reserved for the
nineteenth century connoisseur to combine the interest which is purely
historical with that which centres in the writer and the writing of
any given letter or document. The value of the services rendered to
the cause of history by men like Sir Robert Bruce Cotton (1571-1631),
John Evelyn (1620-1706), Robert Harley, 1st Earl of Oxford (1661-1724),
Edward Harley, 2nd Earl of Oxford (1689-1741), and Sir Hans Sloane
(1660-1753) cannot possibly be over-estimated.

Robert Harley purchased the papers accumulated by Fox, Stow, and
D'Ewes, and the Harleian and Sloane MSS. form to-day a most important
portion of the national collection in the British Museum. Thomas Hearne
(1678-1735) laboured industriously at Oxford on the same lines as
Robert Harley and Hans Sloane. He is said to have made each important
discovery of autographic treasure-trove the subject of a devout

Good work was done about the same time by Ralph Thoresby (1658-1725)
and Peter Le Neve (1661-1729). Manuscripts entered largely into the
"Museum of Rarities" formed by the first named, and the MSS. of the
latter are now in the Bodleian Library and the Heralds' College. A
little later came James West (1704-1772). Between 1741 and 1762 he held
the office of Joint-secretary to the Treasury, and from 1746 till his
death he was Recorder of Poole. Among other curiosities he got together
a large number of valuable MSS. Born four years before West, James
Bindley lived till 1818, thus becoming a contemporary of Upcott, Dawson
Turner, and other early nineteenth-century collectors who prepared the
way for the great work since accomplished by Mr. Alfred Morrison and

It now becomes necessary to say something of the "frank," which for
more than an entire century exercised the minds of men and women in
every condition of life to an extent it is now almost impossible
to understand. The interest in the "frank" was philatelic as well
as autographic, but no "frank" ever attained the high position now
held by a Post Office Mauritius or early Sandwich stamp. The story
of the "frank" is briefly thus: The right to send letters free of
charge was claimed by Members of Parliament as far back as the reign
of James I. It was fully discussed in the Commons immediately after
the Restoration, and the claim was affirmed, although the Speaker,
Sir Harbottle Grimston, refused to put a motion which he stigmatised
as "a poor mendicant proviso unworthy of the honour of the House."
The Lords rejected the Bill, because apparently the privilege was not
to be extended to them, but it was eventually conceded to members of
both Houses. The grossest abuses were soon committed. Under the cover
of the "frank" fifteen couple of hounds were sent to the King of the
Romans; "two maid-servants going out as laundresses" were forwarded
to "My Lord Ambassador Methuen," two bales of stockings found their
way, "post free," to our representative at the Court of Portugal. The
"frank" was continually used for the transit of live deer, turkeys, and
haunches of venison. In Queen Anne's time its operation was limited to
packets weighing two ounces or less, and in the fourth year of George
III. it was enacted that the "franking" Peer or M.P. should write the
whole address and date on each letter. In 1795 the maximum weight
of a "franked" letter was reduced to one ounce, and in 1840, on the
institution of Sir Rowland Hill's penny postage system, the privilege
(except in one or two special cases) was entirely abolished. Mr.
Bailie, of Ringdufferin, Killyleagh, Co. Down, was one of the last of
the frank-collecting enthusiasts. About twenty years ago he thus wrote
to the _Archivist_:--

"Although no further limitation or alteration was made between 1795 and
1840, great abuses still existed. Members supplied larger packets of
franks to friends and adherents; some sold their privilege for large
sums to banking and business firms; they also accepted _douceurs_ for
allowing letters to be directed to them, although intended for other
persons, and servants' wages were frequently paid by franks, which were
subsequently sold by them to tradesmen and others. It was computed
that a banking house, having one of the firm an M.P., effected thereby
a saving of £700 a year. In one week of November, 1836, about 94,700
franks passed through the London post alone, and in 1837 there were
7,400,000 franked letters posted. From 1818 to 1837 it was estimated
that £1,400,000 had been lost to the Post Office through the franking
system." The privilege was abolished on July 10, 1840, the only
exception made being in favour of the late Queen's own letters and a
few Government Departments.

The Inspectors of Franks in London, Dublin, and Edinburgh were highly
paid and important officials. Mr. William Tayleure, of Adelaide Street,
West Strand, headed a long list of dealers in "franks." "Frank"
auctions, prior to 1840, were as common as stamp auctions are to-day,
and amongst the best known "frank" collectors were Lady Chatham (the
daughter-in-law of the "Great Commoner"), Lord William FitzRoy and Mr.
Blott, Inspector of Franks at the G.P.O. Mr. Bailie eventually became
possessor of the Chatham and FitzRoy collections. He could boast of
possessing the "frank" of every Peer since the Union, with the single
exception of F. A. Hervey, Earl of Bristol and Bishop of Derry.

For three generations at least one of the principal objects in life
seems to have been the gratuitous acquisition of "franks." When James
Beattie visited the Thrales of Streatham, his supreme delight lay
in having secured six "franks" and the promise of a further supply;
millionaires excused their epistolary silence on the plea of the
difficulty to "get" a "frank," and even late in the "eighteen-thirties"
Benjamin Disraeli wrote to his sister that he was sure that the
sight of an unprivileged (_i.e._, unfranked) letter on the Bradenham
breakfast-table would cause the death of his venerable father.

The witty letters of Joseph Jekyll abound in amusing allusions
to "franks." One day he writes, "Don't go into histericks at a
Radical frank of Burdett's"; on another occasion, "I have bribed the
Attorney-General for this frank," and again, "I postponed payment till
the immaculate electors of Stockbridge had agreed to save _ninepence_
out of your pin-money." Writing to Lady Blessington the Nestor of
_beaux esprits_ says: "I trust this will reach you if the Post Office
can decipher my friend Wetherell's hieroglyphical frank, but Tories
always make a bad hand of it."

Collections of "franks" like those of Mr. Bailie must still have some
value. It is now difficult to obtain isolated examples, and to my mind
they are infinitely more interesting, from every point of view, than
detached signatures of individuals, however celebrated, and the great
majority of "album specimens."

An "album specimen" is a letter or signature obtained in answer to a
request for an autograph. If the demand is made point-blank, the reply
is rarely of any real value.

There are, of course, many exceptions to the rule. I have already
alluded to the page of the "Confessions" Book filled up by the late
Duke of Coburg. Bismarck is said to have been requested to add
something on the page of an autograph album which already contained
the autographs of Guizot and Thiers. The former had written, "I have
learned in my long life two rules of prudence. The first is to forgive
much; the second, never to forget." Thiers had placed below this the
sentence, "A little forgetting would not detract from the sincerity
of the forgiveness." Bismarck continued, "As for me, I have learnt to
forget much, and to be asked to be forgiven much." I should not be
surprised if the page of that album with the conjunction of these three
great names yielded a record price.

It is the persistent seeker for "album specimens" who is known in
America as the "Autograph Fiend," and on this side as the "Autograph
Hunter." Possibly in the United States this type of collector is more
aggressive than his English _confrère_. Longfellow was an early victim
of the "A. F." In his diary he plaintively mentions the necessity of
complying with thirty or forty requests of this kind. On January 9,
1857, matters reached a climax. On that day he made the following
entry in his journal: "To-day I wrote, sealed, and dictated seventy
autographs." Other celebrities were less complacent than the persecuted
poet. "George Eliot" generally instructed Mr. Lewes to write a
point-blank refusal, and an Archbishop of York intended to follow her
example, but unintentionally delighted his tormentor with the signed
reply, "Sir, I never give my autograph, and never will." Frowde was in
the habit of replying after this fashion:--

    DEAR SIR,--Mr. Weller's friend (or perhaps Mr. Weller himself)
    would say that "autographs is vanity!"--but since you wish for
    mine, I subscribe myself,

        Faithfully yours,
            J. A. FROWDE.

Mr. Joline shows little mercy to such applicants.
Lord Rosebery replies to a similar application:--

    Lord Rosebery presents his compliments to Miss C., and would
    rather not make her collection and himself ridiculous by
    sending _it_ the autograph of so insignificant a person.

An exceptionally considerate type of autograph-hunter succeeded in
extracting the following charming note from the late R. L. Stevenson:--


    You have sent me a slip to write on; you have sent me an
    addressed envelope; you have sent it me stamped; many have done
    as much before. You have spelled my name right, and some have
    done that. In one point you stand alone: you have sent me the
    stamps for my post office, not the stamps for yours. What is
    asked with so much consideration I take a pleasure to grant.
    Here, since you value it, and have been at the pains to earn it
    by such unusual attentions--here is the signature,


    For the one civil autograph collector, Charles R.

Poe, like Longfellow, was merciful to his autograph-seeking
correspondents, and their name was legion. In his opinion, "The
feeling which prompts to the collection of autographs is a natural and
rational one." Thackeray and Dickens were equally considerate in the
matter of these autograph petitions. More years ago than I care to
recollect a young cousin of mine wrote to the former, and received,
almost by return of post, a signed and dated card with a clever little
sketch of a young lady inspecting an album. At the present moment this
particular "specimen" is worth at least £10.

The most successful type of "Autograph Fiend" is the man who is able,
on some clever pretence, to extract a letter of real interest and
importance from his unconscious victim. Since I began to collect I
have carefully watched the operation of these pious frauds, and am
often astonished at the ease with which political, literary, and
artistic celebrities fall into an all too transparent trap. Portrait
painters are ready to send estimates to persons they never heard of;
grave theologians are led by impostors into discussions on abstruse
questions of faith and belief; astute statesmen like Mr. Chamberlain
are induced to enlarge on burning problems of the hour; and venerable
artists like Sir John Tenniel are apparently ready to furnish two
pages of reminiscences for the mere asking. In the "eighteen-fifties"
a swindler named Ludovic Picard acquired a really valuable series of
autographs by writing to men like Béranger, Heine, Montalembert, and
Lacordaire letters in which he posed as one of "the odious race of
the unappreciated who meditated suicide, and sought in his hour of
sore distress for valuable counsel and advice." Lacordaire sent him
ten closely-written pages of earnest appeal, and Charles Dickens,
who happened to be at Boulogne, fell an easy victim to the wiles
of "Miserrimus," who was finally unmasked by Jules Sandeau while
carousing with a party of boon companions at a tavern. Dickens wrote as

    Voici encore de bons remèdes contre votre affliction! Surtout,
    on doit se souvenir constamment de la bonté du grand Dieu,
    des beautés de la nature, et de si touchantes félicités et
    misères de ces pauvres voisins dans cette vie de vicissitudes.
    Voici encore une manière de s'élever le cœur et l'âme, depuis
    les ténèbres de la terre jusqu'à la clarté du ciel. Courage,
    courage! C'est le voyageur faible qui succombe et qui meurt.
    C'est le brave homme qui persévère, et qui poursuit son
    voyage jusqu'à la fin. Votre cas a été le cas d'une immense
    foule d'hommes, dont les cœurs courageux ont été victorieux,
    triomphants, heureux.


A query sent to Sir John Tenniel on the subject of the private
theatricals at Charles Dickens's elicited this interesting letter:--

        _October 13, 1903._

    DEAR SIR,--With many apologies for the delay, absolutely
    unavoidable, I have much pleasure in offering you such
    information as the only surviving representative of the "Guild
    of Literature and Art" and a memory of over fifty years may be
    able to supply in answering your polite letter of the 8th inst.
    received on Saturday.

    The first performance of "Not so Bad as we Seem," at Devonshire
    House, in the presence of the Queen, the Prince Consort, and
    the Court, most certainly took place on the _16th_ of May,
    1851, just five months after I had joined the _Punch_ staff.

    But there was also a _second_ grand performance of the
    play on the _27th_, to which the friends of the actors and
    distinguished people were invited by special invitation of the

    Happily, after an almost hopeless search, I have found the bill
    of the play (which please to return when done with) of that
    performance, which is identical with the first except that the
    farce of "Mr. Nightingale's Diary," by Dickens and Mark Lemon,
    was _not_ produced for the delectation of "Royalty"! Bill will
    also give you the names of the _dramatis personæ_, and you
    will see that the names of Maclise and Leech are not included
    in the list.

    The last-named characters, some with only a line, some with
    none, were alluded to, and cheerfully, except by certain
    literary celebrities, and for myself "Hodge" was quite a good
    little part.

    In the following year, however, owing to Forster's illness, the
    part of "Hardman" (a most important one) was at once assigned
    to me, and it is to that which Dickens alludes in his letter to
    Forster from Sunderland, August 29, 1852. I can hardly suppose
    that this letter can be of the least use to you, but

        I am,
            Faithfully yours,
                JOHN TENNIEL.


Within a month this letter figured in an autograph catalogue at the
modest price of 12s.

A candid friend writes to the Earl of Rosebery that he is sorely
troubled in conscience as to some difficulty which has arisen in
connection with the Premier's patronage of the race-course. He obtains
a reply, seemingly after some demur:--

        _October 13, 1895._

    MY DEAR ----, I did not the least in the world mean to imply
    the slightest shadow of blame to you for asking the question,
    which I do not doubt many other people are also asking. But
    for all that I am not able to answer it, and therefore you are
    unfettered in your treatment of it. It is strange, as regards
    my own position towards the Sporting League, Liberal candidates
    are abused on the ground that Liberals are opposed to sport,
    and then, on the other hand, the Nonconformist Conscience fires
    a broadside into him for what is thought to be too much allied
    to sport.

        Yours very truly,

Lord Rosebery's views on the elasticity of the Nonconformist conscience
were sold for a crown, and the same price was asked and obtained for a
letter most ingeniously obtained from Mr. Chamberlain in the very early
days of Tariff Reform Agitation:--

        _September 18, 1903._

    DEAR SIR,--My correspondence is so enormous that I am compelled
    to dictate my letters even to my most intimate friends and
    relations, and the uncharitable suggestion that I am too proud
    to reply to workmen in my own handwriting is quite uncalled for.

    I greatly appreciated your friendly letter and the compliment
    which you and your wife propose to pay me and which I readily
    accept. Tell me when the baby is to be baptized and exactly
    what you mean to call him, and I will see if I can find some
    little memento which may remind him in after years of his

    Meanwhile I am glad to know that the tariff question is being
    discussed in your workshop. The time will come before long when
    all the working men will see how seriously their employment is
    threatened, and how necessary it is for them that the Colonial
    Markets should be kept open. The future of our trade depends on
    our relations with our kinsfolk across the seas, and if we do
    not seize the opportunity offered to us by them of increasing
    our trade with them we may not have another chance, but when
    we desire it may find that they have ceased to be willing. The
    Big Loaf cry is a sheer imposture. Nothing that I have proposed
    would increase the cost of living to any working man, and on
    the other hand it would give him the certainty of better trade
    and more employment. Wages, which depend upon employment, would
    tend to rise, and labour would gain all round.

    We have had wonderfully good trade during the last two years,
    but there are signs approaching at present, and if they are
    fulfilled and every trade in London suffers from the free
    import of the surplus of foreign countries, the most bigoted
    Free Trader will regret that he was not wise in time and
    content to make preparation against the evil day.

        Truly yours,

The "Autograph Fiend" in this case certainly deserves his name. He not
only succeeds in obtaining an interesting letter, signed and carefully
corrected by an ex-Cabinet Minister, which he is able to convert into
five shillings, but he receives with it a promise that the writer will
become the godfather of his real or supposed child!

Mr. Ruskin's total lack of sympathy with the autograph-hunter
was notorious. He was also known to entertain a strong antipathy
to a certain conventicle. The following response to a demand for
subscription elicited a very characteristic reply, which was promptly
converted into ten pounds. In the presence of such recent examples of
successful autograph "draws" as these, there is no need to repeat the
old story of the Duke of Wellington's reply to a fictitious demand for
the payment of a washer-woman's bill said to be due from Lord Douro.

Mr. John Ruskin to a correspondent:--

    I am scornfully amused at your appeal to me, of all people in
    the world, the precisely less likely to give you a farthing. My
    first word to all men and boys who care to hear me is, Don't
    get into debt. Starve and go to heaven--but don't borrow. Try
    first begging--I don't mind, if it's really needful, stealing.
    But don't buy things you can't pay for. And of all manner of
    debtors, pious people building churches they can't pay for, are
    the most detestable nonsense to me. Can't you preach and pray
    behind the hedges--or in a sand-pit--or a coal-hole first? And
    of all manner of churches thus idiotically built, iron churches
    are the damnablest to me. And of all sects of believers in
    ruling spirit--Hindoos, Turks, Feather Idolaters, and any
    Mumbo-jumbo, Log and Fire Worshippers, your modern English
    Evangelical sect is the most absurd, and entirely objectionable
    and unendurable to me. All which they might very easily have
    found out from my books--any other sort of sect would--before
    bothering me to write to them. Ever, nevertheless, and in all
    this saying, your faithful servant,

        JOHN RUSKIN.


Autograph-hunting on the basis now exposed is only pursued in the hope
of gain from the sale of the letter thus obtained. To attempt to form a
collection in such a manner might lead to very unpleasant consequences.
The only innocent form of autograph-hunting is that so frequently
witnessed at concerts and musical festivals, and the albums thus
filled are ultimately sold for a price which would sadly disappoint
the original owner. In the next chapter I shall endeavour to give the
beginner in autograph collecting such information as will enable him
not only to purchase genuine letters at the lowest possible price, but
to arrange and classify them when so arranged to the greatest possible
advantage. My firm conviction that at the present moment the judicious
buying of autographs is one of the best possible investments, does not
lessen the pleasure which we feel in examining those still-speaking
relics of the past which enable us to say with Thomas Moore--

    Thus shall memory often in dreams sublime
      Catch a glimpse of the days that are over;
    Thus sighing look through the waves of time
      For the long faded glories they cover.





    =Useful books on autographs--Collections of autograph
    facsimiles--The autograph markets of London and
    Paris--Variations in price--Autograph catalogues and
    dealers--The treatment and classification of autographs=

    Letters are appendices to History--the best instructors in
    History and the best histories in themselves.--LORD BACON.

    Scripta ferunt annos.--OVID.

The modern autograph collector has certain advantages over his
predecessors of the eighteenth and early nineteenth centuries which
will compensate him in some measure for the difficulty of procuring
choice specimens at the prices which ruled twenty and even ten years
ago. Foremost amongst these advantages is facility of access to such
autographic treasure-houses as the British Museum, the Record Office,
and the National Library at Paris. It was as recently as the late
"eighteen-fifties" that the priceless archives of the old India Office
were ruthlessly sacrificed by the lineal successors of "John Company."
Amongst other valuable MSS. the archives of the Indian Navy went _en
bloc_ to the paper-mills. A single letter, blown accidentally from
one of the carts used by the contractors who carried out this work of
desolation, turned out to have been written in the reign of James I.
by the Duke of Buckingham, and brought £5 to its finder. To-day it is
probably worth at least five times as much again. The Record Office, in
which such State documents and official correspondence as have survived
the ignorance, carelessness, or iconoclasm of the past, now find a
home, is, comparatively speaking, a modern institution. Notwithstanding
the havoc wrought by the _sans-culottes_ of the Terror and the
Communists of forty years ago, the National Library in Paris is to-day
the home of one of the most interesting collections of autographs in
the whole world, including, it is said, something like ten thousand
letters and documents written or signed by Napoleon. It is probably the
result of the social upheavals of the past, and the wholesale dispersal
of the contents of public and private muniment rooms towards the close
of the eighteenth century, that autograph "finds" are more frequently
made in Paris than anywhere else. It was there that I acquired the
marriage settlement of Pamela FitzGerald,[1] executed at Tournay on
December 26, 1792, and a sixteenth-century deed in which mention is
made of a Royal Commission for the further exploration of Canada--_La
Canadie_. Both of these documents cost less than 10s., and one of them,
presented by me through Mr. Ross Robertson to the Public Library at
Toronto, has now been framed, and is shown to visitors as a curiosity
of the greatest interest and rarity. These great public institutions
carry on in the twentieth century the good work commenced long ago by
men like Evelyn, the Harleys, and Sloane.

The first thing I should advise an intending collector to do is
to procure the "Guide to the MSS., Autographs, &c., exhibited in
the Department of MSS. and in the Grenville Library of the British
Museum."[2] This useful little volume contains no less than thirty
plates of various descriptions, ranging from the articles of the
Magna Charta and a page from the Anglo-Saxon Chronicle to Nelson's
last letter to Lady Hamilton, and examples of the handwriting of
Marlborough, Wellington, Washington, Chatham, and Keats. At the end
is a list of the different series of autograph facsimiles issued at
intervals since 1895, and sold at a very moderate price. Next to
the careful study of original MSS., nothing is so important to the
collector as the careful and constant examination of well-executed
facsimiles like those obtainable at the British Museum, where, at the
cost of 7s. 6d., you can get thirty plates. The first in order contains
facsimiles of autograph letters by Queen Catharine of Aragon, 1513;
Archbishop Cranmer, 1537; Bishop Hugh Latimer (marginal notes by Henry
VIII.), about 1538; Edward VI., 1551; Mary, Queen of Scots, 1571;
English Commanders against the Spanish Armada, 1588; Queen Elizabeth,
1603; Charles I., 1642; Oliver Cromwell, 1649; Charles II., 1660;
James, Duke of Monmouth, 1685; William III., 1689; James Stuart, the
Pretender, 1703; John Churchill, Duke of Marlborough, 1706; William
Pitt, Earl of Chatham, 1759; George III., 1760; George Washington,
1793; Horatio, Viscount Nelson, and Emma, Lady Hamilton, 1805; Arthur
Wellesley, Duke of Wellington, 1815; General Charles George Gordon,
1884; Queen Victoria, 1885; John Dryden, 1682; Joseph Addison, 1714; S.
T. Coleridge, 1815; William Wordsworth, 1834; John Keats, 1820; Charles
Dickens, 1870; W. M. Thackeray, 1851; Thomas Carlyle, 1832; and Robert
Browning, 1868.

Numerous collections of facsimiles have been published in England,
France, and Germany, and the prudent collector must secure one or
more of these invaluable aids to the identification of MSS. Most
of the best catalogues issued, both in London and Paris, contain
several facsimiles, but that does not lessen the utility of books
like "Autographs of Royal, Noble, Learned, and Remarkable Personages
conspicuous in English History from the Reign of Richard II. to that of
Charles II., with some illustrious Foreigners; containing many passages
from important letters" (engraved under the direction of Charles
John Smith and John Gough Nichols: London, 1829, 1 vol. 4to); or "A
Collection of One Hundred Characteristic and Interesting Autograph
Letters written by Royal and Distinguished Persons of Great Britain
from the XV. to the XVIII. Century, copied in perfect facsimile from
the originals by Joseph Nethercliff" (London, 1849). Several useful
facsimiles are to be found in "A Guide to the Collector of Historical
Documents, Literary MSS., and Autograph Letters," by the Rev. Dr.
Scott and Mr. Samuel Davey, published in 1891. Dr. H. T. Scott is also
responsible for a handy little volume, entitled "Autograph Collecting,
a Practical Manual for Amateurs and Historical Students," brought out
three years later than the larger volume by Mr. Upcott Gill.

It must be confessed, however, that our French neighbours are far
ahead of us in the matter of facsimiles, as well as in other details
connected with autograph collecting. With us the subject is only now
beginning to receive the treatment it merits. In the opinion of our
neighbours the cult of the autograph has for some generations held
rank as a science. I cannot too strongly impress upon beginners the
expediency of carefully watching the Paris autograph market, and
giving special attention to the catalogues issued monthly by M. Noël
Charavay, of 3, Rue Furstenberg, and Madame Veuve Gabriel Charavay, of
153, Faubourg St. Honoré. At the Fraser Sale (April, 1901) I purchased
three huge volumes forming an extra-illustrated copy of a portion of
the famous "Letters of Madame de Sévigné," compiled quite a century
ago at the cost of several hundred pounds, and finally acquired by
Miss Eliza Gulston. In it, in addition to an enormous number of prints
and portraits, were several genuine autograph letters, supplemented
by a large number of facsimiles. Under the genuine letters the maker
of the book wrote their source and history; he divided the facsimiles
into "tracings," "imitations by hand," and so forth. A copy of the
"Isographie des Hommes Célèbres," in two 4to volumes, is now worth
between £3 and £4, and the late Mr. Étienne Charavay prepared two
supplements to it which are also extremely valuable. Between March,
1888, and December, 1894, the late Mr. Davey published a quarterly
journal--the _Archivist_--which bid fair to become as indispensable
to the English collector as the _Amateur d'Autographes_, founded in
the early "eighteen-forties" and now admirably edited by M. Noël
Charavay, is to his French colleague. Every true lover of autographs
must deplore its untimely end, and the young collector is indeed
fortunate if he can obtain a set of it. In it Dr. Scott, who was from
the first its principal contributor, places quite a mine of information
at the disposal of his readers. I regard the two bound volumes of
the _Archivist_ in my possession as one of the most useful books of
reference obtainable in the matter of autographs. In the forty odd
volumes of the _Amateur d'Autographes_[3] the student will discover a
liberal education, as far as his special subject is concerned, ready at
hand. The Charavay Sale-catalogues are of great value in the matter of
arrangement and description, as well as for the facsimiles they give in
abundance. One of the finest is that of the Alfred Bovet Collection,
dispersed during the spring and early summer of 1884. It was prepared
by M. Étienne Charavay, and fills over 800 4to pages plentifully
illustrated with sketches and numerous facsimiles. A very useful book
for beginners who read French is "Les Autographes en France et le goût
des Autographes en France et à l'étranger" (Paris, 1865), by M. de
Lescure. It contains a useful list of the numerous books on autographs
published up to that date, together with the various collections of
facsimiles, many of which can now be picked up on the bookstalls by
the side of the Seine or the adjoining streets for a few francs. As
far back as 1820 the Maison Delpech commenced the publication of their
various "Iconographies," of which the "Isographie des Hommes Célèbres"
was the natural successor. There are one or two German books of
facsimiles, like the "Album von Autographen" (Leipzig, 1849) and the
"Sammlung histor: berühmter Autographen" (Stuttgart, 1846-47). There
is also a collection of five hundred facsimiles, published in 1846 by
F. Bogaerts. I do not, of course, pretend to provide my readers with
a complete autographic bibliography, but amongst the works I have
mentioned he will find all that is necessary to set about collecting in
earnest, and without fear of making many initial blunders.

Having handled and carefully examined a number of genuine autographs
and having, by the study of facsimiles, familiarised himself with the
handwriting of many famous men and women, the collector in embryo may
begin to buy, but it must be a case of _festina lente_. How cautiously
he should proceed he will realise when, in the next chapter, I come to
consider the critical question of autograph frauds and forgeries. All
respectable autograph dealers are ready to guarantee any specimen they
offer for sale, and to take it back if found to be "doubtful." It is
from the careful reading of the catalogues[4] issued from time to time
by dealers like Mr. Bernard Quaritch, of Grafton Street, Dr. Scott,
of 69, Mill Lane, West Hampstead, Mr. W. V. Daniell, of 53, Mortimer
Street, Messrs. Sotheran, of 37, Piccadilly, Messrs. Maggs, of 109,
Strand, Messrs. Ellis, of 29, New Bond Street, and Messrs. Pearson, of
Pall Mall Court, that one obtains an insight into the current value
of autographs of every description. Mr. Frank Sabin, of 172, New Bond
Street, does not, as a rule, issue catalogues, but he possesses one of
the most valuable stocks of autographs in existence. His Thackeray,
Civil War, and Nelson collections are alone worth many thousands of
pounds. While this volume was going through the press Mr. Sabin paid
the record sum of £8,650 for a collection of seventeenth-century MSS.
relating to America belonging to Mr. R. W. Blathwayt. In the provinces
autograph catalogues are published now and then by Mr. W. Brown, of
Edinburgh, and Messrs. Simmons & Waters, of Leamington Spa. All these
gentlemen will readily send their catalogues on application. I have
already mentioned the two excellent catalogues issued monthly in
Paris. That of M. Noël Charavay, entitled _Bulletin d'Autographs_,
has appeared ever since 1847. The _Revue des Autographs_ of Madame
Veuve Gabriel Charavay dates from 1866. It is only right to say that
autograph collecting is pursued so keenly just now in France, that
unless they can arrange to obtain advance copies of these catalogues,
the best items in them will probably be sold before their order
arrives. Catalogues are sometimes published by Herr Émile Hirsch, of
6, Carl Strasse, Munich. The American dealers will be spoken of in the
chapter devoted to the subject of autograph collecting in the United

English autographs of exceptional interest are often obtained abroad
at far lower prices than in London, and that fact makes it very
necessary to look carefully through the foreign catalogues. The same
remark doubtless applies to French and German autographs in England. I
obtained in Germany a fine autograph letter of Charles I. for £10. It
would have fetched three times that amount in a London auction-room.
The same remark applies to a fine letter of the Young Pretender, which
came from Paris and was priced only at 55 francs. On the other hand
I obtained in London for 15s. each letters of Madame de Geoffrin and
Madame du Deffand, which would have cost twice or thrice as much in
Paris. In one of the latest French catalogues which reached me, an
English letter was priced at 20 francs. In an English catalogue, a
less lengthy letter by the same writer was offered for sale at £5. For
12 francs I once succeeded in purchasing in Paris a letter of Lord
Shelbourne, covering ten pages and throwing quite new light on the
relations between the French and English Courts at a certain epoch.
The prices for fine autographs in London are far higher than in Paris
and Germany. A Paris dealer could hardly realise the possibility
of a Keats letter fetching £500 (12,500 francs), as at the Louis J.
Haber sale. It was thought quite wonderful when a phenomenally early
letter of Napoleon--I believe the earliest known--was sold for 5,000
francs. This figure is, I believe, the highest ever given in Paris for
a single letter. In any case this unique relic of the young Napoleon
only fetched about one-tenth of the price obtained for the Post Office
Mauritius stamp which caused so much excitement in the philatelic world
six years since.


(See also p. 210.)]

In the case of MSS. of every description it is necessary to read them
carefully. It is only by so doing that you can hope to ascertain
anything like the real value. This remark applies particularly
to holograph letters. The cataloguer often omits the name of the
person to whom it is addressed, or some sentence or allusion which
adds materially to its value. Thus a letter of Franklin addressed
to Washington, or letters by any of the French marshals written to
Napoleon, would be far more valuable than ordinary letters of any
of these personages. A letter signed by the Russian Emperor Paul
would not be intrinsically valuable. But one addressed to Nelson was
lately priced at £14. The time at which a letter is written is often
an important factor in determining its price. An ordinary letter of
Wellington, who wrote at least a hundred thousand letters during his
public career, can be bought for 3s. 6d. A note written on the evening
of June 18, 1815, not long since realised £105. Then again, letters
acquire additional value when forming part of a series. I purchased
a letter of Sir Joshua Reynolds to the poet Crabbe, mentioning a
communication he was sending him for Dr. Johnson. Years after
I secured the precious enclosure. The two together are obviously
worth more than when taken singly. I possess the splendid letter of
George Crabbe, appealing for help to Burke, which once belonged to
Sir Theodore Martin. I failed to secure Burke's reply, which went,
I believe, to the British Museum. I gave a few francs in Paris for
a letter of Anne Darner's asking Madame de Staël to meet her at
Miss Berry's (the friend and literary executrix of Walpole). Quite
accidentally, in turning over a pile of autographs in London, I came
across the reply, and a very characteristic one it was. At the present
moment both letters face the account of the reunion in question in my
extra-illustrated copy of "The Journals and Correspondence of Miss


(See p. 257.)]

Dr. Scott hopes I will impress upon my readers the necessity of mending
autographs as little as possible. To clip or trim them is rank heresy,
and gives them at once the appearance of counterfeits. Autographs
must be treated with the greatest tenderness. You can best strengthen
decaying paper by the careful application of diluted solution of
gelatine. There are several methods of rendering faded writing again
legible. According to one authority the most effective agent is very
finely powdered chlorate of potash added to a decoction of galls,
_dabbed_, not rubbed, over the MS. When dry, the surface should be
sponged with lime-water. Another expert advises that the paper should
be moistened, and a brush passed over the faded portion wetted with a
solution of sulphide of ammonia, an infusion of galls, or a solution
of ferrocyanide of potassium slightly acidulated with hydrochloric
acid.[5] Personally I have found the "A.P." brand of transparent
adhesive tape invaluable both in mending and hinging autographs,
but worthless imitations must be avoided. It can be bought of all
stationers, and with it I always use Higgins's Photographic Paste.
This may possibly be a little extravagant, and an expert gives me the
following recipe for a useful paste in connection with autographs:--

"Take a tablespoonful of Glenfield's Patent Starch and mix with a
little cold water in an ordinary jam-pot, then fill with boiling water.
When cool it will be ready for use."

The classification of autographs has given rise to endless discussion.
On this subject I am at issue with Mr. Joline. Personally, I regard
extra-illustration as the most effective and interesting plan of
arranging and preserving autographs. Mr. Joline, on the other hand,
"meditates" upon extra-illustration as only an incident or contingent
possibility in autograph collection. I hope to deal with (to me) the
most fascinating subject of Extra-Illustration or Grangerising in a
separate volume. In an article in _The Country Home_ I have given
examples of the effective use of autographs in extra-illustration,[6]
and I can conceive no form of "the gentle emotion" more enjoyable
than that which one experiences when one sees an appropriate
autograph placed in apposition to a fine portrait facing some text
which they combine strikingly and felicitously to illustrate. In my
"Chesterfield's Letters" I have a letter in English from the Sage of
Ferney to the Hermit of Blackheath, together with a portrait of the
same date, opposite Chesterfield's account of his meeting with and
friendship for Voltaire. In an "extended" Clarke and McArthur's "Life
of Nelson," in immediate contiguity to the account of one of his most
daring adventures, and the honours it brought him, may be seen Nelson's
original letter of thanks to George III. (as touching an epistle as he
ever penned), together with a contemporary portrait in water-colours.
There is no better way of preserving autographs than to house them
between the leaves of well-bound and carefully tended volumes. There
is no worse method than to frame them as a picture, and expose them
to the fading influence of a strong light. I have seen autographs
actually gummed to a glass before being framed! If an accident occurs
the autograph generally shares the fate of the glass. For the orderly
keeping of the autographs and MSS. which I have not utilised in the
forty or fifty books I have extra-illustrated since 1900, I employ a
deep folio-sized receptacle known as a Stone's "filing" cabinet, with
alphabetical divisions.[7] It enables me to find any given paper at a
moment's notice.

I have made the necessities of extra-illustration the mainspring, as
it were, of my autograph collecting. If the young autograph collector
has no specific object of this kind in view (and in the course of ten
years' hard work in the vineyard of grangerising there are few kinds
of autographs I have not required) I should strongly recommend him to
begin with some specific line, be it soldiers or sailors, painters or
poets, actors and actresses, men of letters, worthies of a particular
city, county, or college, and so forth. If this course is adopted an
interesting collection can be formed without incurring enormous cost,
and the value of good autographs is sure to rise. It is given to few
men in a generation, or even in a century, to form collections of a
cosmopolitan and all-embracing character like that made by the late
Mr. Alfred Morrison between the years 1865 and 1882, the catalogue of
which, prepared with the utmost care by M. A. W. Thibaudeau, fills
six folio and seven imperial octavo volumes, and costs £60. French
collectors pay great attention to classification, and each letter is
generally placed in a _chemise_ or cover bearing some heraldic or
other appropriate device. In the case of a small collection like that
which Sir George White, Bart., has acquired, of letters and documents
relating solely to Bristol, an alphabetical arrangement is preferable.
If, however, one gathers autographs of all conceivable kinds, and "of
all nations and languages," subdivisions become absolutely essential
if you want to find any particular specimen without difficulty. I have
already referred to the Alfred Bovet Catalogue, prepared on scientific
lines by M. Étienne Charavay. In this collection the many thousand
items of which it consisted were divided into--(1) Heads of Government;
(2) Statesmen and Political Personages; (3) The French Revolution; (4)
Warriors; (5) Men of Science and Explorers; (6) Actors and Actresses;
(7) Writers; (8) Painters, Sculptors, Engravers, and Architects; (9)
Huguenots; and (10) Women. There was a further subdivision according
to nationalities, and these were finally arranged chronologically.
The preface to the Bovet Catalogue, admirably written by M. Étienne
Charavay, has been published separately under the attractive title of
"The Science of Autographs." It deserves to be translated and published
in English, for no more thoughtful essay on the value of historical
letters and the cult of the autograph has ever appeared. It is now time
to consider the application of the legal maxim of _caveat emptor_ to
the acquisition of MSS. of every description. The presence of a forgery
will often discredit an otherwise interesting and valuable collection.
Not long ago I was shown an album of autographs which represented
the gleanings of two or three generations of a highly respectable
county family. The moment I opened it I recognised my old friend the
Byron-Galignani facsimile, which is offered to dealers as a rare
specimen at least once a week. The owner, who had paid several pounds
for it, declared he could vouch for its genuineness beyond the shadow
of a doubt! He never quite forgave my taking down the Paris edition of
Byron's poems to convince him of his error.


[1] It was fortunately catalogued under the name of "Genlis, Félicité
Ducrest, Comtesse de," and so escaped attention. The principal
witnesses are Philippe Égalité, Duc d'Orléans, and General Valence.
The bride is described as "Citizen Anne Caroline Stéphanie Sims, aged
19, living in Paris, known in France by the name of Pamela, a native
of Fago in Newfoundland and daughter of William Brixeij (_sic_) and
Mary Sims." The bridegroom is said to be "Edward FitzGerald, aged 29,
generally living in Dublin, Ireland, a native of Whitehall, London,
and the son of James FitzGerald de Leinster and Dame Amélie Lennox de
Leinster." The Duke of Orléans figures in the deed only as Citizen
Louis Philippe Égalité.

[2] Published by order of the Trustees in 1906; price 6d.

[3] Issued every month at a yearly subscription of 10 francs. The
office is at 3, Rue de Furstenberg, Paris. Amongst M. Charavay's
collaborators are M. Anatole France, of the French Academy, and M.
George Cain, of the Musée Carnavalet. Each number contains one or more
facsimiles and a list of sale prices.

[4] The publisher of Autograph Catalogues invariably adopts the
following convenient abbreviations: A. L. S. (autograph letter signed),
A. L. (autograph letter unsigned), A. N. S. (autograph note signed), D.
S. (document signed). In France L. A. S. indicates an autograph letter
signed and P. S. (_pièce signée_) a signed document.

[5] Dr. Scott says: "Various suggestions have been offered for the
restoration of vanished writing and of ink which has faded, such as a
solution of sulphide of ammonium washed over the writing, previously
moistened with water or a decoction of nut-galls, but great care must
be exercised so as not to injure valuable documents. Indeed, I cannot
too often repeat the warning that the less autographs are manipulated
or altered from their original state the better. The way in which so
many fine old letters have had their margins trimmed to remove the
ragged edges years ago is a dreadful eye-sore to the collector, who,
of course, likes to see the sheets of paper of the proper orthodox
size, with large spaces around the writing. Damping the ink should, if
possible, be carefully avoided, for there is something precious and
inimitable in the fine, indescribable tint which age alone gives to

[6] See _The Country Home_, vol. iv., February, 1910, pp. 254-58.

[7] Many varieties of these cabinets are obtainable at the
establishment of Terry & Co., Ltd., wholesale stationers, Hatton Garden.







    =Forgeries and fakes--Cases of mistaken identity--Some famous
    autograph frauds--Practical methods of detection=

    The success of an imposture depends chiefly upon the
    receptive disposition of those who are selected as its
    victims.--_Introduction to_ "Ireland's Confessions."

    Oui, il y a de faux autographes, comme il y a de faux antiques.
    Mais est-ce-qu'on devra supprimer le musée des antiques
    parce qu'on a découvert de faux bronzes.--ÉTIENNE CHARAVAY,
    "L'Affaire Vrain-Lucas."

I must resist a strong temptation to enlarge on such interesting
topics as W. H. Ireland's wholesale manufacture of Shakespearean MSS.;
Thomas Chatterton's ingenious fabrication of Rowley's poems, and James
Macpherson's alleged translations from Ossian. The main object of
Ireland and Chatterton was obviously to deceive the world of letters
rather than the then little-known autograph collector with whose
interests I am solely concerned. By the irony of fate, however, there
are at the present moment very few rarer or more costly autographs
than that of Thomas Chatterton, who might very well have lived for a
twelvemonth on the price paid by Sir George White for four or five
lines of his handwriting scrawled on the back of a letter. Chatterton
died by his own hand, with starvation staring him in the face, but
Ireland lived to make money by the "Confessions"[8] of his misdoings,
and more than thirty years ago £50 was paid for the scathing letter
addressed to Macpherson by Samuel Johnson. The forger of autograph
letters for the purpose of entrapping the over-trustful or ignorant
collector is the product of the nineteenth century, although some of
the French imitations may possibly be a little older. The modern forger
obtains important aid from photography, but by way of compensation
the enlargement of any given specimen by the same means is invaluable
for the purposes of detection. The earliest imitations of autograph
letters I have ever seen are of French origin, and are contained in
the extra-illustrated copy of Madame de Sévigné's Letters already
alluded to. They are frankly labelled as "tracings," "engravings,"
"lithographs," and so forth, and many of them seem to have been
executed on old paper in order to simulate more completely the


(By permission of the owners, Messrs. Sotheran.)]

The inexperienced collector must, in the first instance, beware
of facsimiles of letters which have been published _bonâ fide_ as
illustrations of works of biography, and, having been extracted from
them, are offered for sale (sometimes innocently) as genuine specimens.
The most familiar instance of this is a letter of Byron's addressed
to "Mr. Galignani, at 18, Rue Vivienne, Paris." A facsimile of
this, with address, &c., was prefixed to an edition of Byron's poems
published in Paris. Not long ago I saw this lithographed facsimile
figuring as genuine in a valuable collection of holograph letters, the
rest of which were above suspicion.

This letter commences with the words:--

"Sir,--In various numbers of your journal I have seen mentioned a
work entitled 'The Vampire' with the addition of my name as that
of the author. I am not the author, and never heard of the work in
question until now," and ends with the sentence, "You will oblige me
by complying with my request of contradiction. I assure you that I
know nothing of the work or works in question, and have the honour to
be (as the correspondents to magazines say), 'your constant reader'
and very obedient servant, Byron." To this is added the date, "Venice,
April 27th, 1819." There is a well-known facsimile of a letter of Lord
Nelson which occasionally does duty as an original. Some years ago I
saw it in a catalogue priced at several pounds! It is inserted after
the preface in T. O. Churchill's "Life of Nelson," published in 1808,
and the paper is therefore not unlike that of the period at which the
letter is supposed to have been written, and bears on the back the
address, "To Thomas Lloyd, Esq., No. 15, Mary's Buildings, St. Martin's
Lane, London." The original would be worth quite ten guineas. Buyers of
Nelson letters should remember that this dangerous facsimile begins as
follows: "Bath, January 29th, 1798. My dear Lloyd,--There is nothing
you can desire me to do that I shall not have the greatest pleasure in
complying with, for I am sure you can never possess a thought that is
not strictly honourable. I was much flattered by the Marquis's[9] kind
notice of me, and I beg you will make my respects acceptable to him.
Tell him that I possess his place in Mr. Palmer's Box, but his Lordship
did not tell me all its charms, that generally some of the handsomest
Ladys at Bath are partakers in the Box, and was I a bachelor I would
not answer for being tempted, but as I am possessed of everything that
is valuable in a wife I have no occasion to think beyond a pretty
face"--and so forth.


If either of these facsimiles had been touched with the end of a sable
brush moistened with muriatic acid and water the print would remain
unaffected. In a genuine letter the writing if so touched would grow
faint or disappear. The same test may be applied to photographs or
imitations in sepia. I once purchased a quaint note written by Edmund
Kean, of which a reproduction is now given. Nearly a year later I saw
an autograph, identical in every particular, offered for sale. I sent
for it, and on applying the dilution of muriatic acid test found it to
be a copy in sepia of the note already in my possession. The owner of
the genuine note had sent it to two or three applicants for inspection.
It had been traced over and then worked up in sepia. I once discovered
a letter of William Pitt the Elder to be a forgery by the mere accident
of the sun falling on it, and showing a narrow rim round each letter.
In this case the basis was a photograph, touched up with black paint.

The autograph collector soon becomes accustomed to the appearance of
genuine letters, for the creases and stains of time cannot be perfectly
imitated any more than the old-world appearance of seventeenth- and
eighteenth-century ink. Watermarks are a good, but not an infallible,
test of genuineness. The thick, gilt-edged letter paper of quarto
size used by our ancestors cannot be satisfactorily counterfeited,
and the inexperienced buyer should eschew documents of all sorts
written on morsels of paper of irregular size, which may have been
torn from books, and lack the usual tests of authenticity. Collectors
of autographs should bear in mind the facts that "franks" ceased to
be used after the introduction of the penny postage in 1840; that
envelopes were first used about ten years earlier, and that the letters
denoting the various London postal districts did not form part of the
postmark till some time after the invention of the adhesive stamp. A
forged letter of Thackeray was detected by the appearance of the letter
W. after London in the counterfeit postmark quite ten years before it
could have legitimately done so. If hot water is applied to a genuine
watermark, it becomes clearer and stronger; if to a fabricated one
it disappears. The autograph collector should carefully study a book
which has quite recently been published on the subject of forgery and
fabricated documents.[10] One chapter is devoted to the subject of
forged literary autographs, but those who desire to acquire an expert
knowledge of this important question should master the whole of its
contents, and this is no difficult task, for the volume only contains
seventy-seven pages. In proportion to the constant rise in the value
of autographs the temptation to forgery increases, and the gradual
absorption of genuine specimens is sure to bring into existence a
number of shams. As the authors very rightly point out, "It is not
surprising the profitable and growing autograph market should have
attracted the fraudulent, for the prizes when won are generally of
a substantial character, and amply repay the misapplied effort and
ingenuity demanded. The success which has attended too many of these
frauds may be largely accounted for by the fact that in many cases the
enthusiasm of the collector has outrun his caution."

The letters of Washington, Franklin, Burns, Nelson, Byron, Keats,
Shelley, and Scott were the first to attract the attention of the
autograph forger in England. Thackeray and Dickens have been recently
the object of his unwelcome attentions. Most of the Thackeray
forgeries, like the example reproduced, are the work of one man, who
uses an ordinary pen and has a fondness for half-sheets of paper.
His feeble attempts to imitate Thackeray's wit and style are alone
sufficient to excite suspicion. If the counterfeit is carefully
compared with a genuine specimen like the one given, deception will be
impossible. I possess a small collection of forged autograph letters to
use for detective purposes, and as a warning to others. There are five
of these "duffer" Thackerays amongst them. The forger apparently finds
the upright hand Thackeray adopted later in life more to his taste than
the less angular calligraphy of his youth. A few years ago the London
autograph market was inundated with forged letters of Thackeray and
Dickens. At present they are kept out of the light of day, and sold to
the unwary in all sorts of out-of-the-way places, often in shops at the
sea-side. The Dickens forgeries are generally betrayed by the printed
address at the top of the letter being lithographed and not embossed.
The gentleman to whom Dickens is said to have addressed his last
letter is supposed to have had a certain number of facsimiles made for
distribution amongst his friends. These are now used occasionally like
the Galignani-Byron or the Churchill-Nelson. It is here a clear case of
_caveat emptor_.


Very often a letter is offered for sale which is in no sense of the
word a forgery, but which was never written by the person the buyer
supposes. In nine cases out of ten the seller is as ignorant of the
true state of the case as the buyer. I allude to letters written by
persons bearing the same name, but whose autographs possess a very
different value. In addition to the kings and queens whose names are
identical, we have two Oliver Cromwells, two Horace Walpoles, two
Sarah Siddonses, two Charles Dickenses, and many other "doubles." I
have within the last few months seen a letter of the less-known Horace
Walpole catalogued as one of the owner of Strawberry Hill, and a letter
of Sarah Siddons the younger, whose usual signature is "S. M. Siddons,"
described as a "long and pleasing" specimen in the handwriting of
her mother. In these cases there is no sort of resemblance in the
calligraphy of the two persons. The error arises solely from the
similarity of the name, and a lack of care or knowledge on the part of
the cataloguer. As a matter of fact, the letter of Sarah Martha Siddons
is an exceedingly interesting one, and was written about two years
before her death under the tragic circumstances graphically described
by Mr. Knapp in his "Artist's Love Story." I never saw any other
letter of Sarah M. Siddons, and I give it _in extenso_ to show how
careful one should be in studying an autograph before purchasing it. It
should be remembered that "Sally" Siddons promised her younger sister
Maria, who died in 1798 at Bristol Hot Wells "all for the love" of the
handsome painter, that under no circumstances would she ever marry him.
The letter gives a striking picture of the Kemble-Siddons "circle" at
Bath in the first year of the nineteenth century.

_Miss Sarah M. Siddons at Bath to Miss Patty Wilkinson,[11] Blake
Street, York._

        _BATH, July 19, 1801._

    Indeed my dear Patty I am extremely concerned to hear of your
    mother's serious illness which you may believe is not a little
    augmented by the necessity I cannot but feel there is, for your
    staying with her if she does not soon get the better of this
    alarming attack, but you know my dear I am by nature (_and
    heartily do I thank nature for it_) dispos'd to see the fairest
    side of things, and I am flattering myself with the hopes that
    your next letter will bring me good tidings, and that I shall
    see my dear Patty arrive with my Mother[12] at Bath in less now
    than a fortnight. Heaven be prais'd, _if I should but be well_
    to receive you both, it will be one of the happiest days of my
    life. Did I tell you how sociable we all were while my uncle
    and Mrs. Kemble[13] were in Bath? dining every day together,
    either at our own or the Twiss's house. I never saw my Uncle so
    cheerful and like other people, and she was quite agreeable and
    did not overwhelm us with Lords, Ladies, Balls and Suppers.
    Mrs. Twiss[14] too is become quite kind, nay _affectionate_
    to me _since I got well_, but _one smile, one tender word, or
    attention_ has more effect on me when I am ill and miserable
    than all the kindness and attention I can meet with, when I am
    well, and able (at least in some degree) to return pleasure
    for pleasure. I have heard Betty Sharp sing several times, and
    think she is very much improved in manner and I hope her voice
    will improve in power, at present it is often too weak to have
    much effect in a large room, crowded with people. She is good
    humour'd and unaffected as far as I have seen her, and her
    person as I told you before improv'd most astonishingly. While
    my uncle and Mrs. Kemble were here, we spent an evening at Mrs.
    Palmer's[15] which was rather dull, and one at Miss Lee's[16]
    which was a little better. I am sure they both would have been
    very tiresome to me if it had not been for _my own people_.
    Pray remember me very kindly to poor Mrs. Wilkinson, who is I
    hope recovering every day--and to your friend Miss Brook. I
    should like to see Cora in all her glory. I present by you a
    salute to her Ladyship's divine parts. George[17] will still
    be with us when you come. Cecy[18] will be gone to school and
    it is almost time she should, for she is got so riotous nobody
    can manage her when I am not in the way, for Patty is too good
    natured ... and tho' she continually threatens to tell me, she
    never does and Cecilia knows she never will. Adieu my dear
    girl. I shall hear from you surely in a day or two, till when,
    I am impatiently

        Your ever sincere and affectionate
            S. M. SIDDONS.

Of the forged letters in my private "pillory" that of Keats is by
far the most cleverly executed. The facsimiles of Byron and Nelson
were never intended to be used for the purposes of deception. The
Keats and Thackeray counterfeits, on the other hand, are the work of a
professional fabricator of spurious autographs. In the Keats letters
(dated Wentworth Place, Hampstead, December 8, 1818) the postmarks, the
creases, the faded colour of the paper, and the seal with the clasped
hands and motto are all carefully imitated, but it would not for a
moment deceive an experienced hand. Collectors should carefully examine
all Keats letters offered for sale--particularly those addressed
to "My dear Woodhouse." The same remark applies to correspondence
by Burns, Scott, Shelley, and Byron, for those much-prized and
eagerly-sought-after letters have been each in turn the subject of
ingenious and carefully prepared forgeries. The Byron forger (who
claimed relationship with the poet) escaped the punishment he richly
merited, but the wholesale manufacturer of Burns and Scott MSS. was
sent to jail for a twelvemonth.

The most extraordinary case in the annals of autograph forgery
occurred in France--the country _par excellence_ of cunningly devised
facsimiles--on the eve of the Franco-Prussian War. It is known as the
_Affaire Vrain-Lucas_, and an excellent account of it was published
at the time by M. Étienne Charavay.[19] Vrain-Lucas was a needy
adventurer; Michel Chasles was a scientist of European reputation.
Incredible as it may appear, Vrain-Lucas, in the course of a few years,
induced one Chasles to purchase from him at the aggregate price of
about £6,000 no less than 27,000 autographs, nearly the whole of which
were forgeries of the most audacious description. Vrain-Lucas bestowed
on his counterfeits little of the care and attention to detail which
characterises some of the Keats, Byron, Shelley, and Scott forgeries.
Beginning with a supposed correspondence between the youthful Newton
and Pascal, which Sir David Brewster proved conclusively to be
impossible, he proceeded to fabricate letters of Rabelais, Montesquieu,
and La Bruyère. Before he had finished M. Chasles became the possessor
of letters _in French_ and written on _paper made in France_ of Julius
Cæsar, Cleopatra, Mary Magdalene, and even of Lazarus, after his
resurrection. On February 16, 1870, Vrain-Lucas was brought before a
Paris Criminal Court (_Tribunal Correctionnel_). Amongst the forged
MSS. produced on behalf of the prosecution were 5 letters of Abélard,
5 from Alcibiades to Pericles, 181 of Alcuin, 1 of Attila to a Gallic
general, 6 of Alexander the Great to Aristotle, to say nothing of
examples of the private correspondence of Herod, Pompey, Charles
Martel, Judas Iscariot, Mary Magdalene, Sapho, Pontius Pilate, and Joan
of Arc. Another long alphabetical list of these fictitious _rariora_
began with Agnès Sorel, Anacreon, and the Emperor Adrian, and ended
with St. Theresa, Tiberius, Turenne, and Voltaire.

Here is a delicious example of this farrago of transparent fraud.

_Letter of Queen Cleopatra to Julius Cæsar._

    Cléopatre royne à son très amé Jules César, Empereur.

    Mon très amé, nostre fils Césarion va bien. J'espère que
    bientôt il sera en estat de supporter le voyage d'icy à
    Marseilles, où j'ai besoin de le faire instruire tant à cause
    de bon air qu'on y respire et des belles choses qu'on y
    enseigne. Je vous prins donc me dire combien de temps encore
    resterez dans ces contrées, car j'y veux conduire moy même
    nostre fils et vous prier par icelle occasion. C'est vous dire
    mon très amé le contentement que je ressens lorsque je me
    trouve près de vous, et ce attendant, je prins les dieux avoir
    vous en consideration. Le xi Mars l'an de Rome VCCIX.(!)

And next came a safe-conduct pass written by Vercingetorix in favour
of "the young Trogus Pompeus on a secret mission to Julius Cæsar"!
Vrain-Lucas was promptly sentenced to two years' imprisonment for
fraud, together with a fine of 500 francs and the costs of the trial.
The only excuse for M. Michel Chasles, mathematician of renown and
Member of the Academy of Sciences, is to be found in his numerous
preoccupations and advanced age. He was seventy-six in 1870.

In England the _Affaire Vrain-Lucas_ has to some extent its counterpart
in the literary forgery carried out with consummate skill by Dr.
Constantine Simonides, who managed to deceive that too ardent
collector, Sir Thomas Phillipps, with such tempting rarities from a
monastery on Mount Athos as part of the original Gospel of St. Matthew,
the Proverbs of Pythagoras, or a copy of Homer written on serpent's
skin. But enough has been said of these literary frauds.

There is, however, one more class of forged autographs. I refer to
letters fabricated in order to injure another, or in furtherance of
some political object. The Parnell letters, forged twenty years ago
by Richard Pigott, belonged to this class, but they raised many of the
questions which belong to forgeries of autographs. I was lately shown a
forged letter of Napoleon III., supposed to have been written in 1848,
which had evidently been fabricated many years later, possibly in 1865,
in order to discredit him when the Second Empire began to lose its
popularity. According to the document he had ordered the assassination
of some associate suspected of treason. Not only was the imitation
of the calligraphy of Napoleon III. faulty in many respects, but the
signature, "Napoleon Bonaparte," at once betrayed the falsity of the
document. It was, curiously enough, enclosed in an official envelope of
Prince Jérôme Bonaparte's addressed to Jules Favre!

The best-known dealers in autographs always guarantee what they
sell, and will readily take back any doubtful specimen. In the early
stage of autograph collecting it is a manifest advantage to confine
one's transactions to men of this class. Whenever the origin of an
autograph is suspicious or mysterious, it is always safest to obtain
expert opinion. As M. Charavay points out in dealing with the _Affaire
Vrain-Lucas_, the question of the source from which an article comes
is often of capital importance. Never omit to read carefully any given
letter, and consider it from an historical point of view, as well as
a mere specimen of handwriting. If M. Michel Chasles had done this he
would have saved his 140,000 francs. If the first Newton letter he
purchased had been submitted to the historical test, he would have
discovered that at the time the philosopher was supposed to discuss
problems of the greatest abstruseness he was only three years old. It
was on this deal that Vrain-Lucas built up his mountain of successful
fraud. Bear in mind all that has been said of watermarks, postmarks,
the shape and quality of paper, &c. Avoid notes written on scraps of
paper and ragged half-sheets. If you suspect a letter to be a facsimile
of some sort, touch the writing gently with diluted muriatic acid.
Forgeries effected by the use of water-colour paint yield at once to
the application of hot water. As yet the application of the useful
maxim of _caveat emptor_ is only necessary in the case of comparatively
rare autographs. Letters of no great intrinsic value have as yet not
proved remunerative to the forger, but it by no means follows that this
will always remain so.


[8] Editions of Ireland's "Confessions" appeared both in England and
America. My own copy is entitled "The Confessions of William Henry
Ireland. A New Edition with an introduction by Richard Grant White"
(New York, 1874).

[9] Marquis of Lansdowne.

[10] "The Detection of Forgery." A Practical Handbook, by Douglas
Blackburn and Captain Waithman Caddell (London, 1909).

[11] The daughter of Tate Wilkinson, of York, the "Wandering Patentee."
Miss Patty Wilkinson eventually became the companion of Mrs. Siddons,
and lived with her till her death.

[12] Mr. Siddons was now a resident at Bath, and his wife frequently
joined him there whenever her professional duties allowed of her doing

[13] J. P. Kemble was playing at the Orchard Street Theatre in the
early summer of 1801.

[14] A married sister of Mrs. Siddons, who also resided in Bath. The
mother of Horace Twiss.

[15] The wife of the Lessee of the Bath Theatre and Director of Posts.

[16] The well-known Sisters Lee kept a school in Bath.

[17] George Siddons subsequently received an Indian cadetship from the
Prince Regent, and survived his mother.

[18] Cecilia Siddons--Mrs. Siddons' youngest daughter. Mrs. Piozzi was
her godmother. Lawrence's crayon drawing of Cecilia Siddons is now in
possession of Lady Seymour, 31, Eccleston Street. Cecilia Siddons also
survived her mother.

[19] "Faux Autographes. Affaire Vrain-Lucas. Étude Critique sur la
Collection Vendue à Mons. Michel Chasles et Observations sur les moyens
de reconnaître les Faux Autographes," par Étienne Charavay. (Paris:
Librairie Jacques Charavay Aîné, 1870.)





    =Personal reminiscences and experiences=

    No pursuit is more exciting than that of Autographs.--_The
    Archivist_, 1888.

If autograph collecting is, as Mr. Joline defines it, "one of the
gentlest of emotions," it certainly gives its votaries occasional
moments of harmless excitement. Many of my readers will doubtless
remember the faded handwriting on the battledores of our childhood,
which, it may be presumed, represented the periodical clearings-out
of lawyers' offices; but it requires a considerable stretch of the
imagination to credit the presence of a portion of one of the copies of
the Magna Charta on a drum-head, although the anecdote finds its place
in all autograph handbooks. Ample evidence, however, exists of the
strong natural affinity which once existed between ancient documents
and the callings of the grocer and the fishmonger, but the use for old
paper in this connection has almost entirely gone out of fashion, and
the greater part of the discarded MSS. go straight to the pulp-mills
for the purposes of reconversion. I will not attempt to disguise my
envy of the pleasurable sensations Dr. Raffles must have experienced
when he picked up the original account of the expenses incurred at
the execution of Mary Queen of Scots, duly attested by Burleigh, for
eighteenpence at a book-stall on Holborn Hill. Almost equally lucky
was the discoverer, on a printing-house file at Wrexham, of the MS.
of Bishop Heber's famous missionary hymn, which not very long ago
fetched forty guineas at Sotheby's; and still more so the traveller who
reclaimed the whole of the forty years' correspondence between James
Boswell and the Rev. W. J. Temple from the proprietor of a Boulogne

As the value of autographs becomes more and more widely known, and the
search for them becomes keener, chances of important "finds" become
rarer, but the possibilities of this kind of treasure-trove are by no
means exhausted. English MSS. of great interest and value continually
come to light abroad. Letters of the early Reformers often turn up in
Holland. Hooper, Bishop of Gloucester, sent the whole of his MSS. to
his friend Bullinger, and as yet only a single letter of Tyndall has
ever come to light. Others, in all human probability, are hidden away
in the _bahuts_ and presses of the Low Countries, where letters of the
Duke of Marlborough are not unfrequently offered for sale. Fine Stuart
autographs constantly turn up both in Germany and Rome. It was in the
Eternal City that the priceless MSS. of Cardinal York were offered for
sale at the modest price of £20. The English collector _cannot too
carefully examine the catalogues regularly issued by foreign dealers_.
I have already alluded to my discovery of the marriage settlement of
Pamela FitzGerald and the sixteenth-century deed relating to a French
commission for the colonisation of Canada. It was in a Paris price-list
that I came across the following extraordinary letter of Sir Humphry
Davy on the subject of his quarrel with George Stephenson:--

_Sir Humphry Davy to John Buddle, Esq., Wallsend, Newcastle._

        _LONDON, February 8, 1817._

    DEAR SIR,--Newman appears dilatory and has not yet made the
    apparatus to my mind; but I hope soon to send it you and to
    give you your _new right_. I hope no one will try expts with
    platinum in explosive atmospheres till my paper is published
    for if _fine wire_ is used and suffered to _hang out_ of
    the lamp so as to ignite to whiteness in the _external_ air
    explosion will follow; but by the most simple precaution
    security is absolute. Stevenson's Pamphlet has proved to the
    satisfaction of every person who has looked at it in London,
    that he _endeavoured_ to steal from what he had heard of my
    researches, safety tubes and apertures: no one could have
    established his piracy so effectively as himself.

    It is stated in one of these malignant advertisements which are
    below my contempt that I was in the coal district in the end of
    September 1815. Whereas I left it two days after I saw you at
    Wallsend which I think was the 23rd or 24th of August and went
    to Bishop Auckland where I stayed only three days and I spent
    the greater part of the month of September with Lord Harewood
    and was in London working in my Laboratory early in October
    and had discovered several apertures and tubes in the middle
    of last month whilst Mr. Stevenson's absurd idea of _admitting
    Hydrogen_ in undetached portions by a slider was fermenting in
    his mind. I certainly never thought of employing _capilliary_
    [_sic_] tubes. My tubes were merely _safe_ tubes for I knew
    perfectly well and have proved by expts that no lamp could be
    fed on air through real capilliary tubes. To make a lamp that
    will burn on three capilliary tubes is as impossible as to make
    it burn in a closed decanter. Stevenson's capilliary tubes are
    evidently stolen from what Mr. Hodgson communicated early in
    November of my small safe tubes and made capilliary to suit
    Mr. Brandlings marvellous discovery that wire gauze is the
    extremity of capilliary tubes.

        I am my dear Sir,
            Very sincerely yours,
                H. DAVY.

    A specimen of an advertisement suited to Mr. W. Brandling.

    _Aladdin_ should sign his name _Assassin_ for he endeavours
    to stab in the dark. An assassin is a proper associate for a
    private purloiner. One may attempt to murder while the other
    carries off the plunder. Mr. W. J. Brandling must be ashamed of
    such friends as Aladdin and Fair play, at least he cannot wish
    to be seen in public with them even though he should love them
    as dearly as _himself_.


    One suited to Stevenson.

    Mr. George Stevenson has changed his note from capilliary tubes
    to small tubes. No one can doubt that he pilfered these from
    Mr. Hodgson's communication of Sir H. Davy's discoveries. His
    original principle to admit Hydrogen in small detached portions
    (detached by a slider) is now kept out of sight. A man who in
    the face of the whole world and in open day light steals the
    _safety trimmer_ and a safe _top_ in Killingworth Colliery and
    in the dark may endeavour to steal safety apertures and tubes.
    But does he now know what is a safe aperture? Let those people
    who use his lamp, his capilliary tube lamp, look to themselves.


    It is fit that great ingratitude and little malevolence should
    be united in the same cause, fortunately in this case they are
    associated with great ignorance.

From the same source came the correspondence between Lord Brougham and
his friend Arago, in the course of which the ex-Chancellor of Great
Britain proposed to abandon his own nationality, and, if elected, take
his seat in the French Assembly.


There is scarcely a country house or muniment-room in England which may
not afford a happy hunting-ground to the collector. It is only quite
lately missing originals of the Paston Letters (lost ever since 1789)
were recovered in the library of the descendants of Pitt's friend and
literary executor, Bishop Pretyman-Tomline. Although Moore, Murray,
and Hobhouse burned one copy of Byron's MS. autobiography in 1824, a
duplicate is supposed to be in existence, but its present whereabouts
is unknown. In a quiet corner of the Harcourt Library at Nuneham,
Whitelock's MS. was found quite unexpectedly, and Burckhardt's journal
of the Euphrates Expedition of 1811, and the MSS. of William Oldys are
still missing. A bundle of genuine Keats letters was disinterred at
Melbourne, and the letters of the Rev. George Crabbe to Miss Elizabeth
Charter, now in my possession, sojourned for many years in the

Within the last half-century letters of Addison, Prior, and Mordaunt
Earl of Peterborough, and other MSS. of great value, were saved from
imminent destruction in a manor house, near Llangollen.

It was only seventy years ago that a dealer in Hungerford Market, named
Jay, purchased at £7 a ton a large accumulation of "waste-paper" from
the Somerset House authorities. By the merest accident it transpired
that amongst the MSS. thus unceremoniously treated were Exchequer
Office Accounts of the reign of Henry VII., Secret Service Accounts
signed by Eleanor Gwynne, and Wardrobe Accounts of Queen Elizabeth.
Several bundles of parchments were sold by Jay to a Fleet Street
confectioner, and turned into jelly, before any suspicion arose as to
their possible value or importance. It was seventeen years later than
this, in 1857, that three hundred tons of papers, including the records
of the Indian Navy, went from the old India House to the paper-mill.
Comparatively few of the Jay MSS. were recovered, for three tons of
paper which remained untouched were accidentally burned.

There is no more picturesque incident in the annals of literary
discovery than Sir H. Maxwell Lyle's account of his "find" in a loft at
Belvoir, the clue to which was afforded by a faded label on a rusty
key. "The disturbance of the surface," we are told, "caused a horrible
stench, and it soon became evident that the loft had been tenanted
by rats, who had done lasting damage to valuable MSS. by gnawing and
staining them. Some documents had been reduced to powder, others had
lost their dates or their signatures. The entire centre of a long
letter in the hand of Robert Dudley, Earl of Leicester, had entirely
disappeared. Those that remained were of a very varied character. A
deed of the time of Henry II. was found among some granary accounts of
the eighteenth century, and gossiping letters of the Court of Elizabeth
among modern vouchers. Letters to Henry Vernon of Haddon from the Duke
of Clarence, the Earl of Warwick, and Kings Edward IV., Richard III.,
and Henry VII., written on paper and folded very small, lay hidden
between large leases engrossed on thick parchment."


By permission of Mr. John Lane.]

The loft at Belvoir is certainly not the only place in the United
Kingdom where autographic treasure-trove lies hid, and no opportunity
should be missed of turning over collections of MSS., when the
occasion presents itself. Some five years ago an entry in one of
the catalogues of Mr. B. Dobell, of 77, Charing Cross Road, led me
to become the possessor of the holograph project for the Defence of
England drawn up in 1803-5 by General Dumouriez, on behalf of the last
Pitt Administration. The MS. covers nearly four hundred pages, and is
carefully bound in white vellum. Every page of it is in Dumouriez's
handwriting. From first to last the work done by Dumouriez cost the
Government quite £20,000. Only fragments of the scheme exist in the
archives of the War Office. This book contains the project in its
entirety. It cost me twenty-seven shillings, and formed the basis of
a book written in collaboration with Dr. Holland Rose.[20] I have
certainly been fortunate in acquiring a great many unknown documents
relating to Napoleon and the Napoleonic wars. While rummaging amongst
the miscellaneous papers in the possession of Mr. George Mackey, the
well-known Birmingham antiquary, I lighted on the whole correspondence
between Lord Cawdor and the Duke of Portland relating to the landing
in February, 1797, of the French "Black Legion" under Tate at
Fishguard, then an almost entirely unknown Welsh fishing village,
and now transformed by the Great Western Railway into an important
port-of-call. By the kind permission of Mr. J. C. Inglis, General
Manager of the G.W.R., a reproduction is now given of the important
Cawdor letter first published in the Company's travel-books, "The
Country of Castles." The unexpected recovery of these MSS. enabled me
to give an exhaustive account of the romantic occurrence with which
they deal in "Napoleon and the Invasion of England."[21]


(By permission of the G.W.R.)]

But these were not the only discoveries I made in Mr. Mackey's
autographic store. I came upon a number of the original drafts of
unpublished patriotic songs by Charles Dibdin, including three in
honour of Trafalgar, of which the following is a specimen:--

    When Nelson fell the voice of Fame
      With mingled joy and pain
    Lamented that no other name
      So glorious could remain.

    And worthily is Nelson loved;
      Yet, ere a short month's dawn,
    Fresh glory Britain's sons have proved,
      Led on by gallant Strachan.

    Pellew and Smith and Collingwood, fellows
      Fine sailors yet exist;
    But to name sailors good
      I would take the Navy List.

    Great Nelson's brothers called,
      And who though for ever gone,
    His spirit . . . . . . .
      And such a tar is Strachan.

    Then, Britons, be not out of heart,
      Likewise of hopes bereft,
    In twain did the sheet-anchor part,
      Yet is the best "bower"[22] left.

    Still Nelson's name inspires renown,
      And though for ever gone,
    His spirit shall in smiles look down
      And point to gallant Strachan.

    Great Nelson with his parting breath
      Their character has drawn,
    He called them brothers, and his death
      They'll emulate like Strachan.

For some unaccountable reason the commonplace book of the unofficial
laureate of the Navy had drifted to Birmingham. It was found by me
in the same bin of literary odds and ends as the Cawdor dispatches,
which obviously ought to have been in the Home Office or the Record
Office. At the same time and place I lighted on the letters of Colonel
Digby, the "Mr. Fairly," of Fanny Burney's Journal, to the beautiful
sisters Margaret and Isabella Gunning, the first of whom he afterwards
married, thereby (if the Court gossip of the day may be trusted) sorely
disappointing the literary Assistant-Keeper of the Royal Robes.

DIBDIN, 1805.]

It was from Mr. Dobell that I obtained another of the MSS. in my
collection which I specially prize--I allude to the holograph copy of
Mrs. Robinson's "Memoirs," written nearly entirely on the covering
sheets of old letters upon which one reads the signatures of such
important and fashionable personages as the Duke of Clarence, Duchesses
of Ancaster and Dorset, the Earl of Jersey, the Marquis of Lothian,
the Duke of Grafton, and so forth. It is also curious to trace the
frequent flittings of the unfortunate "Perdita," the early love of
the Prince described in bitter irony as "the first gentleman in
Europe." From Berkeley Square she moves to Clarges Street, and thence
in rapid succession to Piccadilly, Curzon Street, St. James's Place,
Hill Street, Stanhope Street, and South Audley Street. Now she is at
the Ship Inn at Brighton; now at the Hôtel de Russie and the Hôtel
de Chartres at Paris; now at No. 10, North Parade, Bath. One or two
letters seem to have been addressed to Englefield Cottage, where she
died. On an ivy-grown tomb in Old Windsor churchyard one can still
decipher Samuel Pratt's lines beginning:--

    Of Beauty's Isle her daughters must declare
    She who sleeps here was fairest of the fair.

From this MS. the "Story of Perdita and Florizel" may some day be
re-written or re-edited.

By the kindness of Dr. Scott I added to my collection a genuine letter
of great Shakespearean interest, for it is addressed to Edward Alleyn,
the Founder of Dulwich College, by William Wilson, one of the actors in
Shakespeare's troop at the Fortune Theatre. It runs as follows:--

To my most dear and especial good friend Mr. Edward Alleyn at Dulwich.

    Right worshipful, my humble duty remembered hoping in the
    Almighty that your health and prosperity, which on my knees I
    beseech Him long to continue, for the many favours which I have
    from time to time received. My poor ability is not in the least
    degree able to give you satisfaction unless as I and mine have
    been bound to you for your many kindnesses so will we during
    life pray for your prosperity. I confess I have found you my
    chiefest friend in the midst of my extremities which makes me
    loth to press or request your favour any further, yet for that
    I am to be married on Sunday next and your kindness may be a
    great help and furtherance unto me towards the raising of my
    poor and deserted estate I am enforced once again to entreat
    your worship's furtherance in a charitable request which is
    that I may have your worship's letter to Mr. Dowton and Mr.
    Edward Juby to be a means that the company of players of the
    Fortune [may] either offer at my wedding at St. Saviour's
    Church or of their own good nature bestow something upon me
    on that day and as ever I and mine will not only rest bounden
    unto yourself but continually pray for your worship's health
    with increase of all happiness long to continue. I hope of your
    worship's favour herein. I humbly take my leave. Resting your
    Worship's during life to be commanded


From the registers of St. Saviour's, Southwark, it is clear that
Wilson's marriage took place there on _Sunday_, November 2, 1617, about
eighteen months after Shakespeare's death. Dowton, like Farren, is an
hereditary theatrical name, and the Wilson letter reveals another
actor Dowton, probably an ancestor of the Dowtons of a later time. Dr.
Wallace, the erudite discoverer of the new Shakespeare document at the
Record Office, writes me that he considers the letter of William Wilson
an excellent specimen of the epistolary style of Shakespeare's time,
and of singular interest to Shakespearean students.

Some of my most interesting "finds" are now placed in my Napoleonic
collection, which I have almost doubled in extent since the publication
of "Collectanea Napoleonica."[23] For £5 I obtained, some five years
ago at Sotheby's, the letter of 24 4to pages in which Sir Stamford
Raffles describes his visit to St. Helena and his interview with
Napoleon. As I received a very substantial sum for permission to
reproduce a portion of it in a daily paper, this interesting and
valuable MS. cost me nothing. At the Bunbury sale a great many letters
of historical importance fetched a comparatively low price. It was
at this sale that Mr. Frank Sabin bought the second and more lengthy
letter from George Crabbe to Edmund Burke now in my possession. It was
at the Bunbury "dispersal" that the late Mr. Frederick Barker bought
for me the extraordinary official letter and holograph proclamation
to the Vendéans penned by Louis Larochejaquelein on June 2, 1815, an
hour or two before his death. These documents would certainly have
fetched five times the price I paid for them in Paris, where I had to
pay £10 for a letter of his more famous brother Henry, killed in 1794.
I also purchased at the Bunbury sale two long letters of C. J. Fox
to his uncle, General Fox, and a confidential letter of Earl Bathurst
giving Bunbury his opinion of Gourgaud, and enclosing four sheets of
a private letter from Sir Hudson Lowe. The companionship of autographs
is curious. In a letter of the Marquis Montchenu, the garrulous French
Commissioner at St. Helena, I found an autograph of Sir Hudson Lowe,
written in 1780 at the London Inn, Exeter, when he was a boy-ensign
in the Devon Militia! It was Montchenu who caused a sensation at the
Courts of the Allied Powers by declaring that Lowe was about to make
Napoleon the godfather of his son, who in 1857 was one of the garrison
in the Lucknow Residence. In June, 1906, M. Noël Charavay bought for
me at the Dablin sale a number of Napoleonic _rariora_, amongst them
the Longwood Household Expenses Book kept by Pierron, the _maître
d'hôtel_, between March, 1818, and April 30, 1821. The entries are
always countersigned by Montholon, and in many cases are controlled by
Napoleon, who frequently made calculations as to the relative value
of pounds and shillings in francs. All these papers will, doubtless,
be useful to some one who desires to say the last word on the Last
Phase, and I am very grateful to Mr. Frank Sabin, who procured for me
the original copy of the elaborately-bound "Last Reign of Napoleon,"
which Mr. J. C. Hobhouse, afterwards Lord Broughton, sent out to Sir
Hudson Lowe for presentation to Napoleon, but which was never given to
him. On the flyleaf the author copied out a suggestive quotation from
Tacitus. The romance of these volumes belongs rather to the subject
of extra-illustration, which I hope to deal with in a future work.
I have already pointed out the utility of this interesting pursuit
for the proper preservation of valuable autographs. In America, where
so many collectors believe that "the political is ephemeral and the
literary eternal," thousands of autographs are inserted in as many
books, to which the special charm and value of "association" is thus
given. I need not say that I have placed a characteristic John Cam
Hobhouse letter in the second volume of this unique copy of "The Last
Reign of Napoleon." Some two years since I obtained through Messrs.
Maggs, of 109, Strand, two very interesting MSS. connected with the
Irish Rebellion of 1798. One of these is the Camolin Cavalry Detail
Book, May 25-October 8, 1798, and the other is made up of a collection
of the letters written between 1796 and 1815 by Arthur, Earl of Mount
Norris, a Royalist leader. With the new light obtained from them and
the MS. journal of a lady who was an eye-witness of the occurrences
she describes, Mr. H. F. B. Wheeler and the writer have endeavoured to
again deal with the story of the "War in Wexford." I have by no means
completed my list of "finds." I trust, however, I have said enough
to illustrate the utility of autograph-hunting and the pleasurable
excitement derivable from the unexpected running to earth of some
long-since forgotten letter or document which is not only of money
value, but can help to throw new light either on the life of the
writer, or the far-off times in which it was written.


[20] "Dumouriez and the Defence of England against Napoleon" (London,
1909. _Vide_ Preface, pp. xi-xiii).

[21] See "Napoleon and the Invasion of England," by H. Wheeler and A.
M. Broadley, vol. i. chapter ii. "A Three Days' War. The Invasion of
England by Hoche's Black Brigade, February 22, 23, and 24, 1797," pp.

[22] _I.e._, strongest anchor.

[23] "Collectanea Napoleonica." A Catalogue of the Collection of
Autographs, &c., &c., relating to Napoleon I. formed by A. M. Broadley,
compiled by W. V. Daniell, with a preface by A. M. Broadley (London,




II., JUNE 21, 1685.]

LEEDS, OCTOBER 19, 1710.]



    =Some unpublished specimens of the handwriting of Royal
    Personages present and past=

    The very dust of whose writings is gold.


The autographs of Royalty have, for more than a century, formed a
favourite subject for collection, not only in the United Kingdom,
but on the Continent and in the United States, where I am told the
finest examples of this fascinating branch of the autograph cult
(Mr. Adrian Joline calls it frankly a hobby) are to be found. Royal
letters and signatures figure conspicuously and plentifully in all
books of facsimiles, but the young collector would do well to study
carefully two volumes devoted exclusively to this particular branch
of calligraphy.[24] Examples of Royal handwriting abound in both the
Record Office and the British Museum, although a good many were either
turned into jelly, burned, or otherwise wasted in consequence of
such regrettable transactions as the "waste-paper" deals between the
officials of Somerset House and Mr. Jay, and those of the new India
Office and the pulping-mills.[25] It is clear that Royal autographs may
be looked for in all sorts of out-of-the-way and unexpected places.
Henry VIII.'s love-letters to Anne Boleyn are said to be hidden away in
the Vatican, and Sir H. Maxwell Lyte found the sign manuals of monarchs
amongst the débris of the Belvoir hay-loft.

In no class of autographs is the rise of prices and increase of value
so remarkable as in those now under discussion. I cannot precisely
ascertain the present worth of the signature of Richard II., with whom
the English series is supposed to commence, but M. Noël Charavay tells
me that a document signed by John II., the first of the French Royal
signers, would fetch £10. Before me lie some interesting details as
to the value of Royal autographs in 1827, and a group of catalogues,
containing a good many desirable items of this kind, issued in London
between 1875 and 1885.

It will be instructive to note the prices which choice specimens
fetched at these comparatively recent periods. In _The Archivist_ of
December, 1889, we are informed that according to the price-currents
of 1827 the autographs of "Elizabeth the adored of her people" are
worth £2 2s., while Charles I., "worshipped as a martyr," commands the
same price. Charles II., with his Queen, Catharine of Braganza, thrown
in, fetches no more than £1 5s. James II. is worth £3 8s., owing to a
limited supply. William III. yields less than half that figure, but a
whole letter of Queen Mary was knocked down for £3 10s.


(By permission of Mr. John Lane.)]

The expert of this excellent journal continues: "George I., 'a heavy,
dull German gentleman,' is reckoned worth only £1 1s., and George II.,
I am ashamed to say it, only 14s. Our beloved monarch George III.,
being well remembered, rises to £3 10s. George IV., the most complete
gentleman of his age,[26] rises above all his Royal predecessors
and reaches £4 14s. 6d.; it is also curious to see how so great a
king and so fine a gentleman wrote when he was a boy and to possess
a leaf of his copybook. Here I fain would conclude this estimate of
British rulers, but truth compels me to add that Oliver Cromwell is
deemed worth £5 15s. 6d. French kings are sadly degraded. Five _Grands
Monarques_, among whom are Francis I. and Louis XIV., are estimated at
the average price of 4s. 1½d. each; Henry IV. advanced to 14s., but
Napoleon, in the very teeth of French legitimacy, reaches 20s. higher.
A French Queen, Anne of Austria, is worth 7s., while Josephine, the
shadow of a French empress, is worth more than five times this sum.
A great and wise Emperor of Russia, and the brave King of Prussia,
require the aid of a French prince, an English princess, and seven
English peers to push them up to 16s." These were indeed halcyon days
for the collectors, but at that period they were few and far between.
Mr. William Upcott, the _doyen_ of modern autograph collectors, reigned
almost supreme at "Autograph Cottage," Islington, his only possible
competitors being Mr. Young and Mr. John Dillon.


(In the collection of Sir George White, Bart., of Bristol.)]


In the mid "eighteen-seventies" Mr. John Waller, the conscript father
of London autograph-dealers, was about to move from 58, Fleet Street to
Harley House, Artesian Road, Westbourne Grove. A little later the late
Mr. Frederick Barker began to issue catalogues of autograph letters and
historical documents from Rowan Road, Brook Green. He became the
agent of Mr. William Evarts Benjamin, now the _doyen_ of the autograph
merchants in New York, then residing at 744, Broadway. In Mr. Waller's
first catalogues I find the following "Royalties": Charles II. Royal
Sign Manual, 7s. 6d.; letter from Charles II. of Spain to William III.,
4s. 6d.; George Sign Manual when blind, 7s. 6d.; George I. Sign Manual,
1 p. folio, 12s. 6d.; Henry II. of France, fine D.S. with State seal,
12s. 6d.; King of Siam, 7s. 6d.; Papal Bull of Urban VIII., 30s.;
Warrant of Privy Council of Edward VI. with numerous rare signatures,
25s.; Duke of Sussex, interesting letter on the trial of Queen
Caroline, 4s. 6d.; Queen Victoria, two Royal Sign Manuals at 10s. each;
Henry VIII. Royal Sign Manual on "vellum, document of great beauty,"
48s.; Henry VII. Royal Sign Manual on "document of greatest interest,"
70s.; Frederick Prince of Wales, L.S., 10s.; Charles I. when Prince
of Wales, D.S., 34s.; Louis XVI. and Marie Antoinette--signatures on
two "important documents," 24s. the pair; Napoleon I. L.S. 2 pp. 4to
to Prince of Neuchatel, Valladolid, January 11, 1809, 25s.; Papal Bull
Alexander III., 1181, 47s. 6d.; Mary II. Royal Sign Manual, 30s.;
Original Orders for Arrest of Louis Napoleon (Napoleon III.), June
13, 1848, 52s. 6d.; Napoleon II. (King of Rome), 4 pp. of an original
historical essay, 48s.; Royal Sign Manual of Philip and Mary, ten
guineas; A.L.S. of Charles II., 1½ pp., Whitehall, September 26, 1660,
_à sa chère sœur_, 73s. 6d. I will not pursue this list further. The
reader can judge of the relative value of Royal autographs in 1827 and


In the price of the autographs of sovereigns of minor importance there
has been no striking rise since 1880. Indeed, I note that on December
17th, 1909, letters and documents signed by Ferdinand, Grand Duke of
Tuscany, Louis XVIII. of France, Mathias de Medicis, also of Tuscany,
and Rudolph II., Emperor of Germany, were knocked down in one lot at
Sotheby's for five shillings. But letters of the Tudor and Stuart
sovereigns are fetching as many pounds in 1910 as they did shillings
eighty years ago. A pardon granted by James II. to Edward Strode, of
Downside, "on account of his entertaining the Duke of Monmouth for one
night immediately after his defeat at Sedgemoor," sold on December 17,
1909, for £57. Mr. Waller in 1876 would assuredly have catalogued it at
57s. or less. Four years ago I purchased for Sir George White, Bart.,
of Bristol, an order, signed by the same sovereign, enjoining the
Duke of Beaufort to burn Keynsham Bridge on the approach of Monmouth
and his followers, at the modest price of 42s. Amongst other letters
or documents belonging to this category figuring in the last sale of
1909 may be mentioned a letter signed by Cromwell addressed to the
Genevan Senate on the recent Protestant massacres in the Alps (July
28, 1655), for which Mr. Sabin gave £31, and two A.L.S.--one of George
IV. and one of William IV., which went to Mr. W. V. Daniell for 12s.
To what indignation would this startling fall in value have moved the
righteous soul of the chronicler of the sale-prices of 1827! MSS. of
"The First Gentleman in Europe" rank no longer amongst the high-priced
autographs, but I shall have more to say of them presently. Experience
has taught me to look in Munich and Paris for bargains in the matter
of seventeenth-century Stuart letters. At Munich I quite lately came
across a fine A.L.S. of Charles I. for £10, and a delightful L.S. of
his eldest son while in exile to the Elector Palatine, with seals and
silken cords intact, for 50s. Good William III. letters now average
£10, but I obtained the following characteristic letter written from
the Camp before Namur for less than half that sum:--

        _AU CAMP DEVAND NAMUR, 13 de juillet, 1695._
            _A neuf heures du soir._

    J'ay receu ce matin vostre lettre de hier du matin a neuf
    eures, j'ay donne les ordres pour faire marcher demain a la
    pointe du jour le Brigadier St. Paul avec cinq batt; selon la
    route que Dopp vous envoyerez pour les Dragons je vous en ay
    ecrit hier et attendres vostre reponse. Si vous trouves que
    vous n'avez pas besoin de ces batt: vous les pouvez faire halte
    en chemain et me les renvoyer. Jusque a present je n'ay point
    de nouvelle que Precontal a marche vers le Haynaut aussi tot
    que je le sauroi je vous en advertires, ce qui se passeray Dopp
    vous le mendra je suis tres touche du malheur du povre fagel
    qui nous faira grand faute je ne scai ... s'il en ecchapera, je
    suis toujours a vous.

        WILLIAM R.

[Illustration: AUTOGRAPH OF HENRY VII., KING OF ENGLAND (1456-1509).

(In the collection of Messrs. Maggs.)]

Letters of the Electress Sophia of Hanover very rarely turn up, and
I consider the following quaint epistle addressed to that astute
"trimmer," the Duke of Leeds, when she was over eighty, a great bargain
at 30s.:--

        _HANOVER le 19 Decbre 1710._

    _A Monsieur le Duc de Leeds._

    MONSIEUR,--Longtems que j'ay le bien de vous connoitre come
    il y a par la reputation que vous vous estes acquise dans le
    monde, vous devez estre assuré my Lord que les marques de votre
    amitié m'ont este fort agreable et que i'ay este bien aise que
    vous serés Contant de l'acceuil que j'ais fait au my Lords vos
    petits fils lesquels par leur propre merite s'attirent l'estime
    de tous ceux qui les voie, et dont vous devez estre fort
    content. Je les chargeres fort à leur retour de vous assurer du
    cas que je faits de votre amitié et de la reconnaissance avec
    la qu'elle je suis Monsieur

        Votre tres affectione
            a vous servir
                SOPHIE ELECTRICE.

    Je me souviens fort bien du tems que vous faites le mariage du
    Roy Guillaume et des bons bons sentiment que vous tenies en

13, 1795.]


Letters of Frederick the Great, be they holograph or merely signed,
are cheaper in England than on the Continent. Even the L.S. are often
witty, and I have met with many good specimens at from 10s. to 15s. One
of the greatest treasures in my collection is a superb letter of the
Empress Catharine II. of Russia, dated July 28, 1767, and addressed to
Madame de Bielke, of Hamburg, who gave it to a Foreign Office official,
Sir Charles Flint, from whose descendant it passed into my possession.
It was submitted by M. Noël Charavay[27] to M. Rambaud, ex-Minister of
Public Instruction, Professor at the Sorbonne, who discovered it to
be one of an important series, of which sixteen are published in the
"Collection de la Société impériale d'histoire de Russie." Sir Charles
Flint was an early collector of autographs, and his duties as a King's
Messenger gave him excellent opportunities of picking up treasures
like this. I think it best to give the letter in the original French,
instead of following the modernised version adopted in Paris:--


        _le 28 Juillet 1767_.

    MADAME,--Je suis de retour de mon grand voyage depuis six
    semaine, et pendant ce tems a peine aije trouvé le moment
    pour vous repondre, quoique tout les jours je me disois demain
    j'ecrirés et lorsque demain venoit j'avois autant de tracas,
    que la veille, et au sortir de la j'etois si fatigué que je
    pouvoit dire com̄e le Philosophe marié, A force de penser je
    n'ai plus d'idée; en attendant j'ai a repondre a cinq de vos
    lettre dans lequelles je trouve repandu un sentimens universel
    de votre part de m'obliger; je vous en ai bien de l'obligation
    madame, et j'y reconnois parfaitement ce caractere aimable qui
    vous a toujours distingué. En revange des nouvelles de l'Europe
    dont vous me faite part quelque fois je vous en conterés
    d'Asie, j'ai fait 1300 Werstes sur le Volga j'ai descendu
    dans les endroits les plus remarquables, j'ai trouvé les deux
    bords du Volga d'une beauté au dessus presque de l'expression,
    peuplés et cultivés tres honetement, mais l'endroit qui a
    le plus attiré mon attention est sans contredit la ville de
    Casan; au premier coup d'œil l'on voit que s'est la capitale
    d'un grand Royaume; j'y ai trouvé des habitans de huit nations
    aussi differentes par leur habillement que par leurs mœurs,
    Religions, languages, et idées, cette Ville est tres opulente
    et s'est la premiere des nôtres qui a recon̄u que les
    batimens de bois sont moins bons que ceux de pierres, qui peut,
    en fait a present de cette derniere espeçe, et ceux qui n'ont
    pas euë cette facultés ont euë le malheur de perdre les leurs
    il y a deux ans par un incendie, j'ai trouvé la moitié de la
    ville brulée mais en verité l'on ne s'en aperçevoit pas, tant
    cette ville est grande, je fais rebatir la moitié brulés en
    pierre et probablement ce sera un quartier très hon̄ete, la
    Ville m'a don̄é une mascarade un souper un feu d'artifiçe et
    une fete publique pour le peuple ou chaque nation dansoit a sa
    façon devant la maison, au j'étois; il y avoit une affluance de
    Noblesse d'allentour qui fit qu'il y eut jusqu'a quatre cent
    masque de cet état des deux sexe. J'ai trouvé outre cela de
    tres belle fabrique et des marchandise de touttes espece. On
    avait élevé un arc de triomphe pour mon entrée com̄e je n'en
    ai vuë encore, de pareil a aucune solemnellité. Enfin après
    sept jours j'ai quité a regret cette ville qui n'a d'autre
    defaut que d'être situé a 800 Werste de celleçi et en Asie, en
    revange le sol est excellent, les asperges sauvage les serises
    les abricots sauvages et les roses y vien̄ent com̄e les
    broussailles dans les autres pays, on chauffe les fourneaux
    avec du chene et des tilleuls faute d'autre bois. Nous y avons
    trouvé une chaleur excessive a la fin de may et l'hiver y dure
    moins qu'ici, j'ai été de la jusqu'au confins du Royaume de
    Casan et ou celui d'Astracan com̄ençe, j'y ai trouvé les
    ruine d'une ville que Tamerlan avoit batis pour son petit fils
    il y a encore en entier deux minarets fort haut de pierre de
    taille la mosquée et six Voûtes de maison la terre est noire
    com̄e du charbon et quand on ensemence l'on na pas besoin
    de labourer l'on passe lentement pardessus la semence avec
    l'instrument dont on se sert partout a cet usage et dont j'ai
    oublié le nom. Ensuite je suis revenue ici et j'ai fait 800
    werste en six jours, en tres bon̄e santé, je souhaite Madame
    que la votre soi de meme et que vous soyés bien assuré de mon
    estime et amitié.


    La plupart de neuf deputés choisis pour travailler a notre
    nouveaue Code étant arrivé, l'on com̄ençera après demain avec
    beaucoup d'appareil ce grand et memorable ouvrage.

For the following translation I am indebted to Professor Maurice A.
Gerothwohl, Litt.D., of the University of Bristol:--


        _July 28, 1767._

    MADAM,--It is now six weeks since I returned from my long
    journey, and during this time I have been scarcely able to find
    a moment in which to reply to you, although I said to myself
    daily, "I will write to-morrow"; but, when the morrow came, I
    experienced the same trouble as on the previous day, and in the
    end I was so tired that I might well have exclaimed with "The
    Married Philosopher,"[28] "I have thought so much that I have
    no thoughts left." Meanwhile I have to answer five letters of
    your own, all of which breathe a general desire on your part
    to be of some service to me. I am, indeed, obliged to you for
    this, Madam, wherein I readily discern that lovable disposition
    which has ever been one of your distinguishing traits.

    In return for the European news which you communicate to me
    from time to time, here is news from Asia. I did 1,300 versts
    on the Volga, landing at the most notable spots. I found both
    banks of the Volga beautiful almost beyond expression, and
    withal fairly populated and cultivated. But the spot which
    attracted most attention on my part is unquestionably the City
    of Kazan.[29] You recognise at first sight that you are here
    in the capital of a great kingdom. I found there members of
    eight nationalities, all equally distinct in dress, customs,
    religion, language, and modes of thought. The city is very
    prosperous, and the first of our towns to recognise that wooden
    are inferior to stone buildings. All who can afford it, now
    build houses of the latter type, and those who were precluded
    from doing so had the misfortune of seeing their homes wrecked
    in a conflagration which occurred some two years since. But
    as a matter of fact, we never noticed this, as the city is so
    vast. I am having the ruined half of the city rebuilt in stone,
    and it will probably present a very respectable appearance.
    The city authorities entertained me to a masque, a supper,
    fireworks, while for the people there was held a public
    festival, at which each nation danced in its own peculiar style
    in front of the house in which I was staying. There was a
    great influx of the nobility of the neighbourhood, so that the
    masks of both sexes belonging to this order numbered no fewer
    than four hundred. Apart from all this, I came across fine
    factories, and goods of all descriptions. For my entry, they
    had erected a triumphal arch such as I had never yet beheld at
    any solemnity. Finally, when seven days had elapsed, I left
    with some diffidence this town whose only fault is that it is
    situated in Asia, and distant from here by some 800 versts.
    On the other hand, its soil is most fruitful, wild asparagus,
    cherries, apricots, and roses growing there like brushwood in
    other lands. They heat their ovens with oak and lime-tree,
    there being no other wood available. We found it excessively
    hot there at the end of May, and their winter is shorter than
    our own. Thence I proceeded to the limits of the Kingdom
    of Kazan, and the starting point of the boundaries of the
    Astrakhan Kingdom. And here I came across the ruins of a town
    built by Tamerlane for his grandson, of which all that survives
    in its entirety are a couple of minarets built of freestone, a
    mosque, and six vaulted chambers. The soil there is as black as
    coal, and when you sow there is no need to till; you need only
    pass lightly over the seeds with an instrument used everywhere
    for that purpose, the name of which I have forgotten. Following
    upon that, I returned here, covering 800 versts in six days,
    and feeling none the worse for it. I only hope that your health
    is equally satisfactory, and that you entertain no doubts as to
    my regard and friendship for you.


    The majority of the nine deputies who have been appointed
    to work at our new Code having now arrived, we shall embark
    to-morrow upon that great and epoch-making task with due

What a contrast does the vigorous letter of Catharine "Slay-Czar,"
as Horace Walpole was pleased to call her, present to the following
letter of Louis XVI., written to Lavoisier, the Physicist, while the
premonitory grumblings of the coming storm were still audible!

        _VERSAILLES le 15 Mars 1789._

    Votre derniere experience, Monsieur, fixe encore toutte mon
    admiration. Cette découverte prouve que vous avez aggrandi
    la sphère des connoissances utiles. Vos expériences sur le
    gaz inflammable prouvent combien vous vous occupiez de cette
    science admirable qui, tous les jours, fait de nouveaux
    progrès. La Reine et quelques personnes que je desire rendre
    témoins de votre découverte, se réuniront dans mon cabinet,
    demain a sept heures du soir. Vous me ferez plaisir de m'i
    apporter le _traitté des gaz inflammables_. Vous connoissez,
    Monsieur, toutte mon amitié pour vous.



        _VERSAILLES 15 March 1789._

    SIR,--My admiration is still wholly riveted upon your latest
    experiment. This discovery proves that you have enlarged the
    sphere of useful knowledge. Your experiments on inflammable gas
    prove to what extent you have cultivated that admirable science
    which is daily making further strides. The Queen and a few
    persons to whom I am anxious to show your discovery will meet
    in my study to-morrow evening, at seven. I shall be pleased if
    you will bring with you the _Treatise on inflammable Gas_. You
    are not unaware, sir, of the very great friendship which I bear


The old Princess Amelia, Aunt to George III., the legends of whose
snuff-taking and card-playing still linger at Gunnersbury and in
Cavendish Square, was a wit in her way. Horace Walpole yawned
incontinently at one of her whist parties, and made amends in verse.
This is what she wrote him in return:--

_Princess Amelia to Horace Walpole._

        _17 of June._

    I wish I had a name that could answer your proud verses. Your
    yawning yesterday opend your vein for pleasing me and I return
    you my thanks my good Mr. Walpole and remain,

        Sincerely your friend,

At the back, in the handwriting of Walpole, "From Her Royal Highness
Princess Amelia June 17 1786."



Few Royal letters interest me more than those of George III., upon
whose worth of character, in my opinion, they throw a strong light.
Five years ago they were comparatively rare, although Farmer George
was his own Secretary, and appears to have been at his desk at all
hours of the day and night from 1760 until his Jubilee in 1809, when
blindness fell upon him, and his signature became an undecipherable
scrawl. His writing was peculiarly neat and legible. Only when under
the influence of illness or strong emotion did he omit to add the hour
and minutes to the day of the week and month. Here is an early letter
written to the future Lord Hood, when the future King William IV. went
to sea as a boy of twelve.[30]

_George III. to Sir Samuel Hood,_

        _June 13th, 1779._

    SIR SAMUEL HOOD,--This will be delivered to you by Major
    General de Budé, whom I have directed to stay a few days at
    Portsmouth that he may be able to bring me some accounts how
    far the Midshipman takes to his situation, besides I think it
    may be of use to Rear Admiral Digby to be thoroughly apprised
    with many particulars concerning my Boy that will enable him
    to fix the better his mode of treating him. If the fleet sails
    in the course of the Week I hope you will find some means of
    letting him attend it to St. Hellens; as it will be a very
    additional pleasure if he can bring me the news that this noble
    Fleet is under way.

        GEORGE R.


Nine years later he goes to Cheltenham with the threatenings of his
first attack of mental affliction upon him. He writes thus banteringly
to his daughter the Princess Sophia, who lived down to our own time,
and whom my mother remembered seeing in a sedan chair in Bond Street:--

        _CHELTENHAM Aug 4 1788_

    MY DEAREST SOPHIA,--The account this day of Mary is so charming
    that it has quite put me into spirits, and prepared me for
    going tomorrow after dinner to Worcester where I shall remain
    till Friday evening that I may attend the three Mornings at the
    Cathedral the Musick of my admiration Handel.

    Yesterday evening Lady Reed with all her curtsies left this
    place, but not without inviting _your Gentleman_ to come as a
    _connoisseur_ to assist her Mackaws, Parrots and Paroqueets.
    Tell Gooly that she is not forgot for Sestini's songs are
    play'd in honour of her on the walks and _dear Mr. Hunt_
    enquir'd very kindly of the Colonel after her, I ever remain

        My dearest Sophia
            Your most affectionate Father,
                GEORGE R.

    PS.--It is not right to tell stories out of school or I could
    mention that the _Gentleman_ is the admiration of all the
    Ladies and that on the Walks he is ever talking to some Lady or
    other not known by those who have been here some time, indeed,
    I believe the knowledge of his coming has brought them from all
    parts of the Island.

Lady Reed was one of those persons who followed the Court everywhere--a
peculiarity not wholly extinct. There is a curious caricature of
her making her bow to Royalty on the Weymouth Esplanade, surrounded
by a bevy of spaniels, the companions of the "Mackaws, Parrots and
Paroqueets" mentioned by the King, who evidently understood her. In the
late autumn the King's affliction declared itself, but in the following
April he became convalescent, and the following is one of the first
letters he wrote on his recovery:--

_George III to Lord Sydney._

    Though heartily tired of receiving addresses, as I am on
    Saturday to receive through the hands of the Lord Mayor of
    London and the Sheriffs one from the livery of London, I do
    not object to the Laity of the Protestant Dissenters sending
    a Deputation with an Address on the same day. Lord Sydney may
    therefore authorize Mr. Nepean to give a favourable answer to
    the Application of Mr. Boyle French.

        G. R.
                _April 11, 1789._

Here is a letter of seven years later, when the strained relations of
the "First Gentleman in Europe" and his wife, the Princess Caroline,
became a public scandal:--

_George III. to Caroline, Princess of Wales._

        _WINDSOR, 28 Juin 1796_

    MADAME MA FILLE,--J'ai reçu hier votre lettre au sujet du bruit
    repandu dans le public de Votre repugnance a vous preter à une
    parfaite reconcilliation avec Mon Fils le Prince de Galles je
    ne disconvient pas (_sic_) que cette opinion commence à prendre
    racine, et qu'il n'y a qu'une manière de la détruire c'est que
    Mon Fils ayant consenti que la Comtesse de Jersey doit suivant
    votre desire quitter Votre Service et ne pas être admise à
    Votre Societé privée. Vous devez témoigner votre desir qu'il
    revient chez lui, et pour rendre la reconcilliation complette
    on doit des deux cote's abstenir de reproches, et ne faire des
    confidences à d'autres sur ce sujet. Une conduite si propre
    certainement remettra cette Union entre mon Fils et Vous qui
    est un des evenemens que j'ai le plus à louer.

    Mon fils le Duc de York Vous remettra cette lettre et Vous
    assurera de plus de l'amitié sincere avec la quelle je suis

        Madame Ma Belle Fille
            Votre très affectueux Beau Pere
                GEORGE R.

The finest letters of George III. from a moral and patriotic point of
view are unquestionably those written during the "Great Terror," when
for nearly ten years the practical realisation of Napoleon's threatened
invasion of our shores was expected at any moment. Some years ago, at
the cost of £5, I obtained the following letter addressed by the King
to Lord Mulgrave just four days before Trafalgar:--

        _KEW, October 17 1805_

    The information received by the mail just arrived is so
    important that Lord Mulgrave has judged very properly in
    instantly communicating it, though at an irregular hour. The
    violence of Bonaparte is highly advantageous to the good cause,
    and probably has affected a decision in the line to be pursued
    by the King of Prussia that will be more efficacious than
    the interview with the Emperor of Russia would have produced
    without it.

        GEORGE R.


Shortly after the death of the late Duke of Cambridge a vast number of
George III.'s letters suddenly flooded the market. The average price
fell from £5 and more to £2 and less. Every autograph dealer in London
had a stock, so there could be no "corner" in "Georges." I contrived to
get thirty or forty--mostly written from Weymouth. It seems that during
the great crisis King George wrote almost daily to "Dear Frederic"
(his son the Duke of York, Commander-in-Chief), and many of these
letters are of the greatest interest. For 10s. I picked up the King's
holograph draft of a plan for mobilising an army of defence between
Dorchester and Weymouth.[31] Between 1789 and 1805 George III. paid
fourteen visits to Weymouth. Many momentous acts of State were carried
out at the Royal Lodge, now transformed, with hardly any structural
change, into the Gloucester Hotel. If it had not been for the death
of the Duke of Gloucester, the King would have received the news of
Trafalgar in the same place where he had talked a few weeks previously
with "Nelson's Hardy." Some day these letters will help materially the
telling of the story of the "Court by the Sea." I thank Thackeray for
the lines which made George III., when old, blind, and forsaken, say:--

    "My brain perhaps might be a feeble part,
    But yet I think I had an English heart
    When all the Kings were prostrate; I alone
    Stood face to face against Napoleon,
    Nor even could the ruthless Frenchman forge
    A fetter for old England and old George."

The letters of the Princess of Wales (1796-1819), the Queen Caroline
of 1820-21, are not very valuable, but they are curious.[32] They
are now quite as valuable as those of her worthless husband and his
successor, of whom I possess several interesting examples, beginning
in the days when he was sailing with Digby and earning the sobriquet
of "Jolly Young Tarry-breeks." At the sale of the library of the
Princess Edward of Saxe-Weimar (June 21, 1904) I purchased three
volumes, bound in green calf, full of Prince William's early notes and
exercises. One of these is docketed by the youthful sailor "Remarks
on Countries, Harbours, Towns, etc. on board the _Prince George_,
Feb 8 1780 William Henry." Some day my friends in the United States
will read a description of New York from the pen of a future King of
England, written a century and a quarter ago, and the romantic story
connected with it. Here is a letter he wrote home to his tutor, Dr.
Majendie, from Sandy Hook. It speaks volumes, at any rate, for his good

    DEAR SIR,--I send you enclosed a key of a table of mine that
    stands in the long room next to my bed-chamber in London. I
    shall beg as a favour you would send me to the West Indies
    everything in those drawers and a box with colours and pencils
    as Captain Knight is so good as to teach me to draw.

    I understand that the convoy does not sail till late, therefore
    you will go in the Packet, I suppose: In this case I must
    heartily wish you a quick passage, a sight of your family in
    London, to whom I beg you will make my best wishes, thank your
    Brother in my name for having collected the Poets for me.

    The little I have seen of Captain Napier I like very well;
    I hope he does the same of me; in the letters you allowed
    me the pleasure to write pray give me such advice as you
    think necessary I shall hope to receive it from nobody, but
    particularly from you I have so long lived with.

        I am, Dear Sir,
            Your most affectionate and sincere friend,
                WILLIAM HENRY.

There is nothing more astonishing than the manner in which the
letters of the late Queen Victoria have got into the autograph market
on either side of the Atlantic. Mr. Joline gives a very startling
instance of this, and I believe all her late Majesty's correspondence
with Mr. Gladstone went to America, and that for a very inadequate
consideration. The examples I give of the writing of living members
of the Royal Family are only fragments reproduced as specimens of
calligraphy. I can never quite understand how the Royal letters came
to figure in dealers' catalogues, notwithstanding in many cases
the confidential nature of their contents. In his "Collections and
Recollections" (1898) Mr. George W. E. Russell gives the following
autograph anecdote:--

"Like many other little boys, Prince Alexander of Battenberg ran
short of pocket-money and wrote an ingenious letter to his august
Grandmother, Queen Victoria, asking for some slight pecuniary
assistance. He received in return a just rebuke, telling him that
little boys should keep within their limits and that he must wait till
his allowance next became due. Shortly afterwards the undefeated little
Prince resumed the correspondence in something like the following form:
'My dear Grandmama, I am sure you will be glad to know that I need not
trouble you for any money just now, for I sold your last letter to
another boy here for thirty shillings.'"


PONSONBY, APRIL 26, 1894.]

Within the last few years the death of two or three trusted couriers
and upper servants accounts for the sale of a great many papers of this
kind, including whole bundles of telegrams in the handwriting of their
employers. From a similar source came one of the last letters Queen
Victoria ever penned, and a very touching relic it is, showing the
care for others and deep womanly sympathy which characterised the whole
of her life. I have since learned that it is customary to retranscribe
the originals of telegrams penned by illustrious personages. If this is
so the practice is most reprehensible. The telegrams from H.R.H. the
Duke of Connaught to the late Queen Victoria have nothing in them of a
confidential character. The first telegram is reproduced by permission
of the Editor of _The Country Home_; the second runs as follows:--

_The Duke of Connaught at Moscow to Queen Victoria, Balmoral._

        _MOSCOW, May 31 1896_

    QUEEN, Balmoral, England,--Very deplorable accident occurred at
    beginning of yesterday's fête hours before arrival of Emperor
    many peasants crushed to death Accident due over eagerness and
    entirely fault of people themselves 700,000 people on ground.
    Very sad.




The autograph of the late Prince Albert Victor will some day become
exceedingly rare and costly. The only example I have of his writing
is the telegram he sent to his grandmother, Queen Victoria, at
Darmstadt, from that _caravanserai_ of kings, the Hôtel Bristol, in
the Place Vendôme, Paris. It is not often that Royalty honours one of
those irritating social tortures entitled "An Album of Confessions to
Record Thoughts and Feelings." The late Duke of Coburg (Prince Alfred
of England) fell a victim to the possessor of one thirty-seven years
ago, and the results figured at the modest price of £1 in a London


    1. Your favourite virtue--Self-denial.

    2. Your favourite qualities in man--Decision and hardihood.

    3. Your favourite qualities in woman--Dress and paint.

    4. Your favourite occupation--Hunting and riding.

    5. Your chief characteristic--Good nature.

    6. Your idea of happiness--A good wife.

    7. Your idea of misery--A mother-in-law.

    8. Your favourite colour and flower--White, and lilies of the

    9. If not yourself who would you be?--Some one else.

    10. Where would you like to live?--In Rome or Vienna.

    11. Your favourite prose authors--White-Melville and Lever.

    12. Your favourite poets--Moore and Walter Scott.

    13. Your favourite painters and composers--Raphael and

    14. Your favourite heroes in real life--Bayard and Leonidas.

    15. Your favourite heroines in real life--Joan of Arc and

    16. Your favourite heroes in fiction--"The Claimant" and Lord

    17. Your favourite heroines in fiction--Mother Gamp and Mrs.

    18. Your favourite food and drink--A mutton chop and a glass of

    19. Your favourite names--Cerise, Blanche, Georgiana.

    20. Your pet aversion--Flattery.

    21. What characters in history do you most dislike?--Gessler
    and Gambetta.

    22. What is your present state of mind?--Doubtful.

    23. For what fault have you most toleration?--Vanity.

    24. Your favourite motto--"Honi soit qui mal y pense."


    _ROME, February 16, 1873._



(By permission of Harper Brothers.)]

Some years ago, when I first took up autograph collecting as a serious
occupation, I bought from Mr. James Tregaskis, of the "Caxton Head,"
a copy-book of George, Prince of Wales, filled up when he was in his
thirteenth year. Few boys of that age could, in this twentieth century,
emulate the copper-plate of the then industrious Heir Apparent. With
the copybooks went his first cap and frock, both edged with the
daintiest Valenciennes lace. The genuineness of these relics of Royalty
was attested by the Dowager Countess of Effingham, Lady-in-Waiting
to Queen Charlotte, and their subsequent possessor, Mr. F. Madan,
of the Bodleian Library. A little later I purchased the Prince's
"exercise-book" of three years later, which begins with an "Extract
of the First Oration of Cicero against Catiline, spoken before their
Majesties in the Picture Gallery at Windsor, August 12, 1778." At the
same time I acquired the Duke of York's "Translations from Terence." On
the first page, the student of fifteen writes: "Frederick. This volume
begun January 9th, 1778. _Dimidium facti, qui bene cœpit, habet._" It
is sad to think they were within measurable distance of the "Perdita"
entanglement of 1780-81. I was already in a position to satisfy the
curiosity of the expert of 1827 as to a page of the copy-book, "of the
best king that ever lived," but some time later I became the owner
of a whole collection of Royal letters relating to the early married
life of Queen Victoria and the Prince Consort, and the up-bringing of
their elder children. There was nothing of a confidential nature in
these MSS. Everything tended to demonstrate the beauty and simplicity
of the home-life of the Sovereign at Windsor and Buckingham Palace
in the now far away "eighteen-forties," and the care bestowed on the
up-bringing of his late Majesty King Edward VII. These documents formed
the nucleus of a book, and by the permission of Messrs. Harper &
Brothers several of them are now reproduced. The _édition de luxe_
of this book[33] has been extra-illustrated by two ladies in New York.
I have also treated a copy very elaborately in this way, and I venture
to think it will make history some day. Many of the "unconsidered
trifles" it contains are not likely to be soon met with again, and
the _ensemble_ reconstitutes the Court atmosphere of 1840-45. In the
opening chapters of the "Boyhood of a Great King," I have given a brief
account of the upbringing of five generations of the British Royal
Family. Since then I have come across an interesting bundle of papers
once in possession of the Earl of Holdernesse, for some years governor
of the children of George III. In 1776 the King writes thus to Lord

    LORD HOLDERNESSE,--The opinion I have of your being the
    most fit Person in all respects to have the direction of
    the education of my Sons, which I should imagine the many
    interesting Conversations I have had with you this winter
    must have thoroughly convinced you, must have prepared you to
    expect that the contents of your letter would occasion equal
    sorrow and surprise. If you are determined in the plan you now
    propose, I have no consolation but in the knowledge of the
    rectitude of my intention fully to have supported you and that
    your retreat is not in the least owing to any step taken by me.

        GEORGE R.
            _QUEEN'S HOUSE May 22 1776_


(By permission of Harper Brothers.)]

Three years previously the Earl, during a period of temporary absence,
had received a good many letters from his pupils, in which good
feeling seemingly vies with excellence of calligraphy. Here are some

_The Duke of York, aged ten, to his tutor, the Earl of Holdernesse._

        _KEW October 25 1773_

    MY LORD,--I am glad to here (_sic_) that you are (_sic_) arived
    safe at last, and I hope that you will finish your business so
    as to return to us by the sixth. The King and Queen were so
    good as to send for us on Monday evening quite unexpectedly.
    I hope your Lordship will be as good as to continue your good
    wishes to me, and I will try to deserve them. We have not had
    another letter from Mr. Smelt since you have been gone. The
    Bishop[34] and Mr. Jackson[35] send their compliments to your

        My dear Lord, I am always your's

_Prince William (afterwards Duke of Clarence and King William IV.),
aged eight, to the Earl of Holdernesse [1773]._

    MY LORD,--J'ai eté bien aise d'apprendre que vous avez eu un
    bon passage et j'espere que tout le reste de votre voyage sera
    aussi heureux. Nous avons eu un beau feu d'artifice au lieu
    de bal a la naissance de La Reyne. Je presente mes amitiés à
    My Lady et a vous My Lord bien des voeux pour votre santé. Je
    suis impatient de vous revoir et bien sincerement votre tres
    affectionné ami


_Prince Edward (afterwards Duke of Kent), aged six, to the Earl of

    MY LORD,--Comme j'ai surement autant d'amitié pour vous que mon
    frère je pense tout ce qu'il vous a ecrit et je n'y ajoute ceci
    que pour vous assurer moi meme que je suis aussi veritablement
    que lui votre tres affectionné ami



(By permission of Harper Brothers.)]


JANUARY, 1781.]




In the following year the Prince of Wales, aged twelve, thus addresses
his absent tutor:--

        _KEW, July 22 1774._

    MY DEAR LORD,--I am glad to hear you are so much better, for
    when you come back again into England I hope your health will
    be then so strong that you may be then of more use to us
    than you would have been otherwise. There is a man come from
    Otaheite with Cap^{n} Furneaux. He is about five foot 10 high
    almost quite black, his nose is flat like that of the Negroes,
    his lips are purple. He came to the King and Queen in the
    habit of his Country which is made of the Cloth of which your
    Lordship has seen some. In my next letter to you I will give
    you a fuller description of him. I beg your Lordship will be so
    good as to give my best wishes to my Lady Holdernesse and my
    Lady Carmarthen and my compliments to my Lord Carmarthen

        My dear Lord,
            I am your Faithful Friend
                GEORGE P.

The following letter of the Duke of Sussex, aged fourteen, and already
at the University of Göttingen, came from the same source:--

    DEAR DUNBAR,--I make a thousand excuses for not having wrote
    to you, but my time is so taken up that it is out of my power.
    I long very much to see you again. We pass our time very
    agreeably here as there are many pretty and agreeable Girls
    ... and you know the Company of Ladies is very agreeable. I
    hope you spend your time with pleasure. Pray write to me where
    you are and your Employment at present. I can't stay longer to
    write. Adieu!

        Your's ever

    Göttingen, _Jan. 15 1787_

The Princess Charlotte, for some years heiress to the British Crown,
was apparently as diligent as her uncles and aunts of the previous
generation. The following letter was sold at Sotheby's for a few
shillings. It is difficult to imagine the Queen Caroline of the
pro-Georgian caricaturist playing blindman's buff with her little
daughter! Possibly it afforded her one of the few happy hours of her
_vie orageuse_:--

_The Princess Charlotte, aged 8 years and 6 months, to her Aunt the
Electress Charlotte of Würtemberg._

    MY DEAR AUNT,--I am very happy to find by Lady Kingston that
    you are so good to love me so much and I assure you I love you
    very dearly for I know a great deal about you from Lady Elgin,
    who wishes me to resemble you in everything. I am very anxious
    to write better that I may let you know how I go on in my
    learning. I am very busy and I try to be very good. I hope to
    go to Windsor soon and see my Dear Grandpapa and Grandmama. I
    love very much to go there and play with my aunts. Mama comes
    very often to see me and then we play at merry games--Colin

    I am much obliged to you for sending me so many pretty things
    and wish you and the Elector[36] were here and would bring my
    cousin Princess Theresa with you.

        Adieu my dear Aunt and Believe me
            Your ever Affectionate and Dutiful Niece

    PS.--My duty to the Elector

    Shrewsbury Lodge _August 17 1804_

NOVEMBER 19, 1813.]

The daughters of George III. and Queen Charlotte were all excellent
letter writers, but their ordinary letters fetch absurdly low prices,
although many of them are historically important. Queen Adelaide, the
consort of William IV., was fond of writing texts on cards edged with
filigree to be sold for philanthropic purposes. Her autographs are,
in consequence, exceedingly common. The copy-book, page, and drawing
of the still-living Empress Charlotte of Mexico have a melancholy
interest. Her autograph and that of her ill-fated husband sell well
abroad. The late Comte de Chambord and the late Comte de Paris wrote
better hands as boys than the King of Rome or the Prince Imperial, of
whose autographs I shall speak in connection with Napoleonic MSS. The
rough sketch of soldiers drawn by the Prince Imperial and the artillery
essay written by him at the Royal Military College, Woolwich, certainly
form interesting items in that portion of my autograph collection which
I label the Copy-books of Kings.

While the present volume was going through the press a most important
sale of Royal autographs took place at Sotheby's. At the sale of May
4, 1910, no less a sum than £5,446 6s. was realised for 195 lots.
Amongst the letters of Royal personages then dispersed, an A.L.S. of
Mary Queen of Scots, dated Chatsworth, June 13, 1570, and addressed
to her brother-in-law, Charles IX. of France, fetched £715; a D.S. of
Edward VI., £370; an A.L.S. of Queen Mary I., £205; an A.L.S. of Queen
Elizabeth, £160; 7 A.L.S. of Catherine de Medicis, £145; a L.S. of
Henry VII., £24; a L.S. of Henry VIII., £25; three A.L.S. of Charles
I., £55, £49, and £39 respectively, and three A.L.S. of Charles II.,
£25, £23 10s., and £22 respectively. The account of the expenses
incurred at the "Meeting of the Field of the Cloth of Gold," signed by
Francis I., was sold for £130.

The following examples of the handwriting of the late Prince Consort,
the late King Edward VII., the late Duke of Coburg, King George V.,
Queen Mary, and the late Empress Frederick of Germany may prove
interesting to my readers, as well as useful to collectors:--


OLD, DECEMBER 17, 1851.

(By permission of Harper Brothers.)]


(By permission of Harper Brothers.)]


TO A FRIEND, MAY 24, 1900.]



[24] "The Handwriting of the Kings and Queens of England," by W.
J. Hardy (The Religious Tract Society, London, 1893). "Manuel de
Diplomatique," by A. Giry (Paris, 1894). The latter is a veritable
mine of wealth, and its 1,000 pages abound in all sorts of useful
information concerning Royal and official documents. It may almost be
described as a key to the archives of Europe.

[25] See _ante_, p. 100.

[26] George IV. was alive in 1827.

[27] "L'Amateur d'Autographes," August, 1905, pp. 191-93.

[28] Comedy by Destouches. "The Married Philosopher" was played at the
Comédie Française in 1727.

[29] A Russian city on the left bank of the Kasanka, 460 miles east
of Moscow. Its university and library were already famous at the time
of the Empress's visit. It is fortified by a stone wall six miles in

[30] See _post_, p. 143.

[31] This is published in "Dumouriez and the Defence of England against
Napoleon." Others appear in "Napoleon and the Invasion of England"
(1907), and the "War in Wexford" (1910).

[32] Several letters of Queen Caroline in my possession are published
in Mr. Frederic Chapman's "A Queen of Indiscretions" (London, 1907).
In my copy of this interesting book I have inserted a furious exchange
of letters between Prince Leopold (Leopold I. of Belgium) and Lady
Anne Hamilton as to a supposed slight offered by the former to Queen
Caroline in June, 1820.

[33] "The Boyhood of a Great King," by A. M. Broadley. Harper &
Brothers, London and New York, 1906. _Édition de luxe_, 4to size with
additional plates, limited to 125 copies.

[34] Dr. Hurd, afterwards Bishop of Worcester.

[35] Dr. Cyril Jackson, afterwards Dean of Christchurch.

[36] In May, 1797, the Princess Royal of England married Frederick,
Prince of Würtemberg, born in 1754. Later in the year he succeeded to
the dukedom on the death of his father. In April, 1803, a decree of
Napoleon raised him to the rank of Elector. Hence the title given to
her aunt by the young Princess. The Elector subsequently became King of
Würtemberg in virtue of the Treaty of Presbourg (January 7, 1806).





    =Unpublished letters of the two Pitts, Lord Chesterfield, and
    Lord Stanhope=

    "As keys do open chests
    So letters open breasts."

        JAMES HOWELL (1595-1666).

"Letters of affairs from such as manage them, or are privy to them,"
writes Lord Bacon, "are, of all others, the best instructors for
history, and to a diligent reader, the best histories in themselves."
Hence the peculiar and exceptional value of the autographs of
Statecraft and Diplomacy as important sources of reliable information
in dealing with the annals of any given period of national life.
Writers like Frederic Masson have discovered that the faded and
forgotten correspondence of men and women of fashion constitute a
veritable treasury of knowledge concerning the manners and customs of
our ancestors during the past three centuries. Almost all the American
autographs of great value[37] may be classed in this category. It is
obvious that some writers, like Lord Chesterfield, united in their
persons the attributes of statesmen, diplomatists, and men of fashion.

Eighty years ago it is evident the money value of the letters of
celebrated statesmen in no way corresponded with their worth as
potential aids to history-making. The chronicler of 1827 already
alluded to makes no secret of the fact. "Hands which the reins of
empire might have swayed," he frankly confesses, "are hands of very
inferior value on paper. Sir Francis Walsingham, the able and upright
secretary of Queen Elizabeth, must have five other celebrated persons
added to mount up to 9s. The price of the great Sir Robert Walpole,
who discovered the price of more than half the House of Commons, and
made the whole of the Government run smoothly, is 18s. Mr. Pitt, the
Pilot that weathered the storm, and Mr. Perceval, who fell by the ball
of an assassin, join hands to reach 13s.; and Lord Castlereagh, who
once towered high above the heads of the people, now needs the help
of Lord Grenville, and a Lord Chief Justice, to lift him up to a like
sum. The average value of a common Lord Chancellor is about 2s. 6d.
Lenthall, the Speaker of the House of Commons in the Long Parliament,
and Thurloe, the Secretary of Oliver Cromwell, are valued together at
52s. 6d."

I am hardly disposed to altogether credit this statement, as large
sums, comparatively speaking, were paid even then for documents
signed by Thomas More, the Earl of Pembroke (Shakespeare's friend),
and Francis Bacon, who, according to the writer, would be pitilessly
relegated to the half-crown class. In Frederic Barker's catalogue
for 1887 I find a Privy Council letter, signed by Bacon and several
others, priced at £7 7s., and Mr. Waller, ten years before, offers a
2 p. A.L.S. of the younger Pitt for 18s. It was nevertheless a letter
of considerable historical value. In this kind of autographs important
finds may often be made by buying letters written by little known
personages to eminent politicians. In a recent sale at Sotheby's a
dozen letters addressed to William Windham went for 1s. the lot. It is
quite possible they may enshrine some unknown State secret. I lately
saw at the shop of Messrs. Ellis, in New Bond Street, a deed signed
not only by Bacon but his wife, and nearly the whole of his relatives
and connections. It is in an excellent state of preservation, and was
priced at £30.

At the present moment, when the sixth generation of our Royal Family
is represented in the Senior Service, two letters of the elder Pitt,
the Great Commoner, arranging for the entry into the Navy of the first
Prince of the House of Brunswick to join it, cannot but be interesting.
These letters were addressed in 1759 to Lord Holdernesse, and concern
the Duke of York, a younger brother of King George III.[38]

_William Pitt (afterwards Earl of Chatham) to Lord Holdernesse._

        _past 5 o'clock_

    DEAR LORD,--I have the very great satisfaction to acquaint
    your Lordship that the King has been graciously pleased to
    approve that Prince Edward should go on board the fleet and
    enter into the Department of the Navy. His Majesty, at the same
    time signifyd his Intentions to the Duke of Newcastle not to
    allot any appointments to the Prince on this account. Proper
    representations, however will be made for an allowance for
    Table at least, which it is hoped will not be without effect.

    I am doubly happy, my Dear Lord, at the favourable and speedy
    determination of this very important arrangement, and cannot do
    sufficient Justice to the Instant and efficacious attentions
    paid to the Intentions of Leicester House, which I had the
    great honour to be commanded to make known.

        I am ever
            My dear Lord's
                most affectionate Friend
                    and humble servant
                        W. PITT

    The King reviews the Cavalry Monday next.

_William Pitt (afterwards Earl of Chatham)._

        _Monday_ ½ past 4

    MY DEAR LORD,--I am able to put your mind entirely at ease as
    to some doubts which seemed to have arisen, by acquainting
    your Lordship that in consequence of the signification of the
    King's pleasure by me, the Lords of the Admiralty have ordered
    Captain Howe _to enter Prince Edward in the Ship's books, as a
    volunteer for wages and victuals, and his Retinue as part of
    the allowed complement of the Ship_. This is the Form and puts
    everything out of doubt. The King is pressing for the Departure
    of the Expedition, and has named General Bligh to command the
    Forces. Lord Ligonier is gone to the General to acquaint him
    of the King's pleasure. I conceive Howe will sail by Thursday
    at latest if the weather permits. Preparations having been
    ordered to be made for the Reception of Prince Edward on
    Board of Captain Howe's own ship, Mr. Cleveland informs me
    that _everything_ will be provided for His Royal Highness's
    accomodation if Bligh accepts (for such is the style of our
    army) and the King should approve the Draught of Instructions
    to be laid before His Majesty tomorrow, nothing but a wind will
    be wanting.

    Prince Ferdinand recommends the continuation of attack on their
    coasts as _la guerre la plus sensible à la France de l'attaquer
    dans ses Foyers_. And yet this great Prince is certainly a
    Stranger to the Common Council, Beckford and _the Buchaneers_.
    Olmutz may draw into some length; 10,000 men in the Place and
    old General Marshall defending it with great vigour. I could
    not possibly see General Elliot this morning, being obliged to
    go to Kensington, and I am this evening to be at a meeting by
    seven. I am,

        Ever my dear Lord's
            Most Affectionate Friend
                W. PITT.

Seven years later, on the afternoon of February 22, 1766, the Premier,
after a tempestuous debate, concluded a letter to his wife in the
country thus:--

    Love to the sweet babes, _patriotic_ or not, tho' I hope
    impetuous William is not behind in feelings of that kind. Send
    the saddle horses if you please, so as to be in town early
    tomorrow morning. I propose and hope to execute my journey to
    Hayes by 11. Your ever loving husband

        W. PITT.

The patriotism of William Pitt the younger, born in the very year
Prince Edward joined Captain Howe's ship as a "volunteer for wages
and victuals," was soon to blossom forth not only in an infantile
drama,[39] but in a poem hitherto unpublished, which I had the good
fortune to obtain through Mr. F. Sabin. It was the joint work of
"impetuous William" and his sister in the spring of 1777, and is in the
handwriting of the former:--


    Ye sacred Imps of thund'ring Jove descend.
    Immortal Nine, to me propitious, bend
    Inclining downward from Parnassus' brow;
    To me, young Bard, some heav'nly fire allow.
    From Agannippe's murmur strait repair,
    Assist my Labours and attend my Pray'r.
    Inspire my Verse. Of Poetry it sings.
    Thro' _Her_, the Deeds of Heroes and of Kings,
    Renownd in Arms, with Fame immortal stand;
    By _Her_, no less, are spread thro' ev'ry Land
    Those Patriot names, who in their Country's cause
    Triumphant fall, for Liberty and Laws.
    Exalted high, the Spartan Hero stands,
    Encircled with his far-renowned Bands,
    Who e'er devoted for their Country die;
    Thro' _Her_ their Fame ascends the starry Sky.
    _She_ too perpetuates each horrid Deed,
    When Laws are trampled, when their Guardians bleed.
    Then shall the Muse, to Infamy prolong
    Example dread, and theme of trajick Song,
    Nor less immortal than the Chiefs resound
    The Poets' names, who spread their deeds around.
    Homer shall flourish first in rolls of Fame;
    And still shall live the Roman Virgil's name.
    With living bays is Lofty Pindar crowned,
    In distant ages Horace stands renowned.
    These Bards, and more, fair Greece and Rome may boast
    And some may flourish on this British coast.
    Witness the man, on whom the Muse did smile,
    Who sung our parents' Fall, and Satan's Guile.
    A second Homer, favour'd by the Nine,
    Sweet Spenser, Johnson, Shakespear the Divine,
    And He, fair Virtue's Bard, who rapt doth sing
    The praise of Freedom, and Laconia's King.
    But high o'er Chiefs and Bards supremely great
    Shall Publius shine, the Guardian of our State.
    Him shall th' immortal Nine themselves record
    With deathless Fame, his gen'rous toil reward.
    Shall tune the Harp to loftier sounding lays
    And thro' the world shall spread his ceaseless praise.
    Their hands alone can match the heav'nly String
    And with due fire his wond'rous glories sing.

        HARRIETT PITT, May 1771, 13 years old.
        WILLIAM PITT, 12 years old.


DECEMBER 31, 1805.]


Here is a letter written by him thirty-three years later, after his
return to office on the resignation of Addington. It shows conclusively
that his share in helping the Fatherland to weather the storm was
physical as well as moral:--

_William Pitt in Downing Street to Lieut.-Colonel Dillon of Walmer._

        _DOWNING STREET, September 1, 1804._

    MY DEAR SIR,--As the Harvest is now nearly over, I imagine
    this would be a very fitting time for proposing to assemble
    your Battalion on permanent duty; and there seems chance
    enough of the occasion arriving for actual Service, to make it
    desirable that there should be as little delay as possible.
    Lord Carrington has gone to Deal Castle to-day, and if you can
    contrive to see him tomorrow, or next day, I shall be glad if
    you will settle with him the necessary arrangements. I think
    the time should not be less than Three weeks, and in that case,
    an extra allowance will be made of a guinea pr Man, which
    added to the usual pay will amount to 2s pr day for the whole
    period. This will enable us to give the men full compensation
    for at least six or seven hours a day, on an average; and
    will therefore allow of three or four long Field Days in each
    week, and only short drills in the remaining days; and such
    arrangement would, I think, answer every purpose. I should hope
    you might fix the commencement of permanent duty for Monday
    fortnight, very soon after which day I hope to come to Walmer
    to make some stay. I shall be at Dover on Tuesday next for a
    day, but have some business which will carry me from thence
    along the Coast, and probably back to town before I reach

        Believe me, my dear Sir, yours very sincerely,
            W. PITT.

In June, 1909, an extraordinary series of letters by Pitt, Burke, and
others was offered for sale. They were manifestly of supreme importance
to the history of England during one of her most terrible political
crises. I am glad to say certain steps were taken which led to the
issue of the following notice:--

       _June 9th and 10th._

       *       *       *       *       *

        _Lots 519 to 550._

       *       *       *       *       *

          Messrs. SOTHEBY, WILKINSON & HODGE
    having Sold these Lots privately, by direction
    of the Executors, they will not be included in
             the Sale on June 10th.[40]

The patriotism of Pitt certainly finds no echo in the following
extraordinary letter of his opponent, Lord Stanhope, which I purchased
in Paris for 15 francs:--

  _The Earl of Stanhope to M. Palloy, Entrepreneur de la demolition
    de la Bastille, Grenadier Volontier de la 1^{ere} Division de
    l'Armée Parisienne, Rue du Fossé St. Bernard, Paris_:--

            near SEVENOAKS KENT
                _Aout 25 1790_

    MONSIEUR,--Je vous rend bien des Graces pour votre lettre
    obligéante du 7^{e} courant. On vous a mal informé quand on
    vous a dit que nous avions à notre fête à Londres un Chapiteau
    d'une des Colonnes de la Bastille; ce n'était point partie
    d'une colonne; mais seulement une vraie pierre de la Bastille,
    comme nous nous sommes assurés. Je ne profiterez [_sic_] donc,
    par de votre trés obligéante offre, mais je ne vous en suis par
    moins obligé. Je me rejouis, chaque jour de la demolition de la
    Bastille et de la Liberté des Français

            Je suis, Monsieur,
        Votre très humble et obeissant serviteur

    à M Palloy

A year or so ago I was lucky enough to secure the official dispatch-box
bearing the Royal cipher and his initials, which Pitt left behind him
at Bath, when returning to Putney a few days before his death. In it
is his last Whip, signed on December 31, 1805. On January 21st he was
dying, and on the 23rd he died. This melancholy document now lies
within the forgotten dispatch-box!

Chesterfield--the "great" Earl of Chesterfield--died when the younger
Pitt was fourteen years old. It is more correct to describe him as a
contemporary of his father, the Great Commoner. He was, as an amusing
and able letter-writer, superior to both, but he loved society and
they did not. In the recent Haber Sale at New York (December 10,
1909) a very fine Chesterfield letter only fetched £3 8s. It is thus

    2 pp. 4to, London, June 14, 1746. (Endorsed on the back "_To
    Thos. Prior_.") With portrait.

        Thomas Prior was the Irish philanthropist, with whom Earl
        Chesterfield became acquainted while Viceroy of Ireland.

        A remarkable letter proposing schemes for manufactures in
        Ireland. He first suggests glass manufacture, and next
        writing and printing paper, and states that the specimens
        shown him of Irish manufacture impressed him greatly, and
        only "_industry is wanting_"; another suggestion is the
        manufacture of starch, and he writes that he has been shown
        a method of making it from potatoes easily and cheaply,
        and while the law in England prevents it being made from
        anything else than flour in that country, that law might
        not apply in Ireland, and proceeds: "_These are the Jobbs
        that I wish the People in Ireland would attend with as much
        Industry and Care as they do Jobbs of a very different
        Nature._" Many other reflections show sound common sense.

Two years ago I gave £4 each for five unknown and unpublished letters,
written between 1762 and 1771 by Chesterfield to his relative, Mr.
Welbore Ellis Agar ("Gatty"). The specimen I now give of them is
interesting, as it concerns Bath, a city which I regard as the great
source and centre of the lighter and more gossipy letters of the
eighteenth century:--

        _BATH, October ye 8th 1771._

    DEAR GATTY,--When we parted we agreed to correspond by way of
    letter, but we did not as I remember stipulate which should
    make the first advance, but as I always sacrificed my Dignity
    to my pleasure, I here make the first step though Cozen and
    Counsillor to the _King_ and your Unkle, which is a kind of
    Deputy Parent. Admire my condescension. To begin, then, with
    an account of my Caducity. I made my journey to this place in
    two days, which I did not think I could have done, much tired
    with it but alive. Since I came I have seen no mortal till last
    night, when I went to the Ball with which the new rooms were
    opened and when I was there I knew not one creature except
    Lord and Lady Vere. The _new rooms_ are really Magnificent
    finely finished and furnished, the Dancing-room, which the Lady
    Thanet used to call the Posture-room, particularly spacious
    and adorned. A large and fine play room, and a convenient Tea
    room well contrived, either to drink or part with that liquor.
    So much for this and more I cannot tell you, for as for the
    people who are not yet many, they are absolute strangers to me,
    and I to them. In my review of the fair sex last night I did
    not see one tolerably handsome, so that I am in no danger
    of falling in love this season, and indeed my heart and mind
    are so engrossed by Mr. Agar's fair cousin _Mrs. Mathews_,
    that I have no room left for a second choice. I hope that at
    her return to England, he will do me what good offices he can
    with her; my way is to end my letters abruptly, and without a
    well-turned period.

        So God bless you

[Illustration: A.L.S. OF EARL OF CHESTERFIELD, OCTOBER 8, 1771,

The Mrs. Mathews alluded to in the letter was probably the wife of
Captain Mathews, who afterwards fought a duel with Richard Brinsley

Here is another Chesterfield letter from a different source:--

_Earl of Chesterfield to Mrs. Montague, May 14, 1771._

    Lord Chesterfield presents his respects to Mrs. Montague and
    desires her to accept of the enclosed trifle for her poor
    women; his charity purse is at present as light as hers can
    possibly be, not from being as formerly his Play-purse too
    but from the various applications of wretched objects which
    humanity cannot withstand.

Of the early nineteenth-century statesmen letter-writers Brougham
was one of the most prolific, but I have already spoken of a curious
"find" of somewhat sensational Brougham correspondence in Paris.[41]
His ordinary letters only fetch from 3s. to 5s. Far more costly are the
letters of Curran, Grattan, and O'Connell. Here is a typical letter of
the "Liberator," written from Bath:--

_Daniel O'Connell to Mr. W. H. Curran._

        _BATH, October 14, 1817._

    MY DEAR CURRAN,--I have wept over your letter. Oh God your
    Father never offended me,--we once differed on the subject of
    the details of our Petition, but if my information on facts
    respecting that detail was not superior to his, I feel my
    inferiority in every other respect too sensibly to dare to
    differ with him. As Brutus was called the last of the Romans
    so Ireland will weep over him as the last survivor of those
    great spirits who _almost_ burst the iron Bondage of Britain
    and would have made her free but that the ancient curse has
    still bound her and she lingers _yet_ in slavery. How naturally
    does the thought fly from his bed of sickness to the sorrows of
    Ireland. The Boldest, best, most eloquent, most enthusiastic,
    and perhaps more than the most persevering of her Patriots, he
    was. Alas he leaves none like or second to him. You will my
    friend think I declaim while I only run rapidly through the
    thoughts that his illness crowds upon me. You do well, quite
    well. It will, in every respect, console you to recollect that
    you have done your _duty_. I rejoice with all the joy of my
    heart can mingle with his state that you have this precious
    opportunity of doing that duty cordially and well. If your
    letter afforded me hope that I could see your Father, so as
    to be able to converse with him, I would answer your letter
    in person, as it is I wait only your reply to go to you. It
    would suit most convenient not to leave this before Saturday,
    but your reply will command me. The Funeral must be Public.
    I will of course attend it. We will arouse everything Irish
    in London and pay a tribute to _his_ memory unequalled by
    any which London has witnessed. Tell Phillips I only wait a
    _reply_ to join you both. Do you think of conveying his remains
    to Ireland? this if practicable would be best. Write, or get
    Phillips to write, as soon as you receive this. You perceive
    that I write in the extreme of haste, but I am for ten thousand
    reasons convinced that you should listen to no suggestion of
    a private funeral. You would repent it only once, that is all
    your life. Would to God I could offer you consolation.

    Believe me, my dear friend, to be most faithfully yours,


Mr. Gladstone was, like Wellington and Brougham, a writer of
innumerable letters. There was a demand for them once, but at the
present moment, by the irony of fate, an average Gladstone letter
fetches less than one of his wife. Special circumstances, however,
may give them special value. This is exemplified in the case of the
Gladstone-Manning correspondence written from Balmoral, which I found
at Brighton. The introduction of the economical and space-saving
postcard spoiled Gladstone as a letter-writer in his old age. Here is a
typical letter of his, relating to the present of a bust of O'Connell
and interesting at the present political juncture:--

_Mr. Gladstone to Mrs. O'Connell._

        _10 DOWNING STREET January 28. 1882._

    MY DEAR MADAM,--I accept with many thanks the Bust you have
    been so kind to send me. It is a most interesting memorial
    of early days, and of a man of powerful mind and will, and
    profound attachment to his Country; whose name can never be
    forgotten there.

    In my early years of Parliamentary life, casual circumstances
    brought me into slight personal relations with Mr. O'Connel,
    and I have ever retained the lively recollection of his
    courtesy and kindness.

    I remain, my dear Madam, your very faithful and obedient,

        W. E. GLADSTONE.

    I must not omit to thank you for the kind terms in which you
    speak of my efforts on behalf of Ireland, and I cling in that
    confidence to the hope that a happy future is yet in store for


Four years ago I saw ten letters of the late Lord Beaconsfield
catalogued at £70. Personally I regard him as almost the last of
the now extinct race of letter-writers, for the epistolary art has
succumbed beyond hope of recovery to the combined influences of the
telegraph, the telephone, the type-writer and the halfpenny newspaper.
A "newspaper" letter, as Mrs. Montagu, Lord Lyttelton, and Lord Bath
used to call them, would be as ridiculous as a conversation on _les
belles lettres_. How Lord Beaconsfield's life is ever to be written
with any hope of completeness, I cannot imagine. _Hundreds_ of his
letters have been sold since his death, and a specimen of average
interest can now be obtained for 20s. or less. I have gradually
acquired thirty or forty and am certain that sooner or later a rise in
price is inevitable. People will soon discover that in the fragmentary
and wholly unsatisfactory published collections of Beaconsfield's
letters _the originals have been ruthlessly mangled or transformed_.
I shall only include two examples in this book, beginning with a very
early one from the inevitable Bath:--

_Benjamin Disraeli to his Sister._

(Franked by E. Lytton Bulwer.)

        _BATH, Thursday [Jany 24 1833]_

    MY DEAREST,--You ought to have rec^{d} my letter on Sunday and
    I should have answered your's immediately, but it is almost
    impossible to get a frank out of Bulwer and I thought my father
    w^{d} go quite mad if he received an unprivileged letter under
    present circumstances. We quit this place tomorrow and sh^{d}
    have done so to-day, but dine with a Mr. Murray here. I like
    Bath very much. At a public ball I met the Horfords, Hawksleys
    etc. Bulwer and myself went in very late and got quite mobbed.

    I have nearly finished Iskander, a very pretty thing indeed,
    and have printed the 1st Vol of Alroy.

    I have answered the agric. affair which was forwarded to me
    from London.

    Directly I am in town I will write about the bills.

    The Horfords (father and brother here) asked us to dine, but
    were engaged.

    Met the Bayntums, but not Clementina. Rather think I may to day.

        yrs ever
            B. D.

    Let me have a letter in Duke S^{t}. Bulwer is getting on
    immensely and I sh^{d} not be surprised if we shortly see him
    in a _most eminent_ position, but this not to be spoken of. Met

Omitting many letters of piquant interest I come to one written in the
autumn of 1851, in which the rising statesman deals somewhat severely
with his old friend, _The Times_. It runs as follows:--

        _HUGHENDEN, Sept 19 1851_

    MY DEAR SA,--Your mischance was very vexatious, but I was glad
    to hear that you had arrived all safe in such kind quarters.

    I see Jem on Tuesday, who passed a longish morning here.

    At Monday I was at Aylesbury where I was obliged to dine with
    the old society--Lowndes, Stone, Howard Wyse, Bernard, Hale,
    Isham, and Young of Quainton and 3 clergymen supported me,
    and Lowndes of Chesham in the chair. I made a good speech
    on a difficult subject, and the meeting seemed in heart.
    I saw to-day in _The Times_ two columns of incoherent and
    contradictory nonsense w^{h} made me blush, tho' I ought to be
    hardened by this time on such subjects. I have seen no other
    papers. They can't be worse, and perhaps may in some degree
    neutralise the nonsense of _The Times_. I am only afraid the
    world will think it all Delphi and diplomatic, and that the
    wordy obscurity was intentional, whereas I flattered myself I
    was as terse and simple as suited a farmer's table.

    I am rather improving and getting on a little.

    I hope you will enjoy yourself very much.

    We went over to Cliefden the other day--there is one bed of
    flowers, called the scarlet ribbon--4,000 geraniums--the
    Duchess's[42] own design, very new and wonderful, winding over
    a lawn like a sea-serpent, but the plantation in sad order. The
    gardener has £10 per week to pay everything in his department,
    as the Duchess will not spend more on a place which yields
    nothing. My kind remembrances to Mrs. Peacock.

        Affec^{ly} yrs.


I venture to think that in the near future the letters of Benjamin
Disraeli, Earl of Beaconsfield, will be found as essential to the
annals of the Victorian era, as those of Pitt, Windham, and Burke are
to those of the reign of George III.


[37] See _post_, Chapter XI.

[38] See _ante_, p. 156.

[39] Copious extracts from the future Prime Minister's juvenile
dramatic production will be given in Dr. J. Holland Rose's forthcoming
"Life of Pitt."

[40] A large number of unpublished letters of William Pitt and his
contemporaries will also appear in Dr. Holland Rose's forthcoming "Life
of Pitt."

[41] See _ante_, pp. 98-99.

[42] The late Duchess of Cleveland, one of Queen Victoria's bridesmaids.





    =From the days of Shakespeare and Spenser to those of
    Thackeray, Dickens, Tennyson, and Meredith--The value of
    literary autographs and MSS.=

    In a man's letters, you know, Madame, his soul lies naked--his
    letters are only the mirror of his heart.--DR. JOHNSON to MRS.

    Political interest is ephemeral, but literary interest is
    eternal.--ADRIAN H. JOLINE, "Meditations of an Autograph

By a felicitous coincidence two literary autographs of more than
ordinary interest have come to light at the moment I was preparing
to write the present chapter. The first is the discovery in the
Record Office by Dr. Wallace of the signed deposition of Shakespeare
in an early seventeenth-century lawsuit, under the circumstances
picturesquely set forth in the issue of _Harper's Monthly Magazine_
for March, 1910. Without conceding to Dr. Wallace's "find" the supreme
importance claimed for it by this able and patient examiner of ancient
MSS., there can be no doubt that it deals a fatal and final blow to the
Baconian theory. On the very day I read Dr. Wallace's article, Mr. J.
H. Stonehouse[43] showed me several fictitious Shakespeare signatures
fabricated by W. H. Ireland nearly forty years after the appearance of
"Vortigern," for the avowed purpose of demonstrating his ability to
imitate them. I cannot help thinking that Dr. Wallace's article lends
increased interest to the letter of the Shakespearean actor, Dowton,
which has already been alluded to in these pages.[44] In the elaborate
essay in which the fifth Shakespeare signature has been enshrined will
be found reproductions of the other four.[45]


Mr. Adrian Joline's theory as to the "eternity of interest" in literary
autographs receives support from the exceptionally high prices they
have commanded from the early days of the collection of MSS., when the
signatures of kings and statesmen were almost at a discount. "I shall
now," writes the chronicler of autograph prices in 1827, "set poetry,
philosophy, history, and works of imagination against sceptres, swords,
robes, and big-wigs.... Addison is worth £2 15s., Pope £3 5s., and
Swift £3. Thomson has sold for £5 10s. and Burns for £3 10s. Churchill,
the abuser of his compatriots, is valued at £1 18s. In philosophy Dr.
Franklin reaches £1 17s.; in history, Hume is valued at £1 18s. and
Gibbon at only 8s. The sturdy moralist Johnson ranks at £1 16s., the
graceful trifler Sterne at £2 2s., Smollett at £2 10s., and Richardson
at £1. Scott only yields 8s." In the half-century which intervened
between 1827 and 1877 the prices of literary autographs had risen by
leaps and bounds. In his catalogue of 1876 Mr. Waller asked £8 10s.
for a short Latin essay of Thomas Gray, while Longfellow is priced
at £1 18s., George Borrow at £3 3s., and Wordsworth at £1 1s. A fine
letter of Schiller's is priced at £2 5s. In the next catalogue (1878)
I find the following: Gibbon (a fine A.L.S.) £4 4s.; Voltaire (a 2
pp. A.L.S.) £3 15s.; Rousseau, a series of letters, including one
of the philosopher, £3 10s.; five verses by Scott, £4 4s.; William
Cowper, A.L.S., £3 7s. 6d.; Gray, a bundle of printed matter including
one hundred lines of MS., £6 6s. In the late Mr. Frederick Barker's
catalogues of the same period we have Edmund Burke (A.L.S.), £3 3s.;
Thomas Hood (A.L.S.), £2 2s.; Voltaire (A.L.S.), £4 4s.; Horace Walpole
(A.L.S.), £3 5s.; and a love-letter from John Keats to Fanny Brawne,

In cataloguing the last-named item Mr. Barker says "that one of these
celebrated letters realised by auction a short time since no less
than £47." He also prices two A.L.S. of Robert Burns at £35 and £32
respectively. It will be remembered that in 1827 the price for a Burns
letter was £3 10s. only. For a letter of Schiller (4 pp., 8vo, 1801)
Mr. Barker asks £7 7s. In several catalogues of this period I find
Keats letters averaging £20 to £30. The interesting catalogue issued by
Mr. Barker in 1891 is remarkable for its wealth of literary _rariora_.
Autograph letters are priced in it as follows: Schiller, £10 10s.;
Burns, £25; Wordsworth, £3 3s.; Thackeray, £25. The last-named letter
is worth describing. It was addressed to Miss Holmes, with a postscript
on the inside of the envelope, and on the third sheet a clever sketch
of Thackeray and Bulwer Lytton standing behind a lady seated at a
piano. The letter itself runs thus:--

    There is a comfortable Hotel in this street, kept by a
    respectable family man, the charges are Beds gratis,
    Breakfasts, thank you, dinner and tea, ditto, servants
    included in these charges. Get a cab from the station, and
    come straightway to No. 13. I dine out with the Dean of St.
    Paul's (you have heard of a large meeting house we have between
    Ludgate Hill and Cheapside, with a round roof?). Some night we
    will have a select T party, but _not_ whilst you are staying
    here. When you are in your lodgings. Why I will ask Sir Edward
    George Earle Lytton, Bulwer Lytton himself. Bulwer's boots are
    very fine in the accompanying masterly design (refer to the
    sketch), remark the traces of emotion on the cheeks of the
    other author (the notorious W. M. T.), I have caricatured Dr.
    Newman (with an immense nose) and the Cardinal too, you ought
    to know that.

This letter would be now worth quite £50, and some of the fine
illustrated Thackeray letters now in possession of Mr. Frank Sabin
would probably be cheap at £100 each. Mr. Sabin's collection of the
Thackerayana is probably unrivalled both as regards the United Kingdom
and America.[46]

In Mr. Barker's 1891 catalogue there are four letters of Shelley,
priced at £18 18s., £19 19s., £10 10s., and £9 9s. respectively. There
is also a Schiller at £25, and an Alexander Pope covering one page 8vo
only at £8. Darwin is already at £1 10s., Disraeli at 18s., and the
Dickens letters average about £2. A letter of Dr. Priestley, worth
perhaps 5s. in 1827, is now offered at £2 2s.


(In the collection of Messrs. Ellis.)]

I am permitted by Mr. F. Sabin to reproduce a very early literary
letter addressed in 1690 by John Evelyn to Samuel Pepys. It must not be
forgotten that Evelyn was one of the earliest collectors of MSS.

        DEPFD, 25--7:--90.

    'Tis now (methinks) so very long since I saw or heard from my
    Ex^{t} Friend: that I cannot but enquire after his Health: If he
    aske what I am doing all this while? _Sarcinam compono_, I am
    making up my fardle, that I may march the freer: for the meane

    Do you expect a more proper Conjuncture than this approaching
    Session, to do yourself Right--by publishing that which all
    good men (who love and honour you) cannot but rejoice to see?
    you owe it to God, to your Country & to yr Selfe, and therefore
    I hope you seriously think of & resolve upon it.

    I am just now making a step to Wotton to Visite my good Brother
    there, Importunately desiring to see me: himselfe succumbing
    apace to Age and its Accidents: I think not of staying above a
    week or ten daies, & within a little after my returne be almost
    ready to remove our small family neerer you for the winter, In
    which I promise myselfe the Hapynesse of a Conversation the
    most Gratefull to

        Your Most Humble
            Faithfull Servant
                J EVELYN

    I rent this page from the other before I was aware, and now tis
    to full to begin againe for good man̄ers.

    Give my most Humble Service to Dr. Gule.

SEPTEMBER 25, 1700.

(In the collection of Mr. Frank Sabin.)]

Milton, to a certain extent, was a contemporary of both Pepys and
Evelyn, but he had been dead sixteen years at the date of the letter
now quoted. The value of Milton's autographs is fully discussed by
Dr. Scott in the pages of _The Archivist_.[47] When the subject first
attracted my attention early in 1904 much excitement was caused by
the appearance in Sotheby's Salerooms of what was alleged to be 32 pp.
of the MS. of "Paradise Lost." The value of the document was warmly
discussed at the time and sensational bidding was anticipated. It
was bought in, but I believe it was ultimately sold to an American
collector for £5,000 or thereabouts. Mr. Quaritch now possesses a
very fine Milton deed, which is priced at £420, and is dated November
27, 1623. It is signed by John Milton, as one of the witnesses to the
Marriage Covenant between Edward Phillips of London and Anne, daughter
of John Milton, Citizen and Scrivener of London.


Letters of Dryden and Cowley have fetched very high prices,[48] and the
autograph of Edmund Waller is also rare, but Alexander Pope's letters
are abundant, although they are much less valuable than those of Swift.
A good letter of Pope can be obtained for from £7 to £10. The late Mr.
Frederick Barker told me he was once asked as an autographic expert
to advise a well-known nobleman, Lord H., who said he had a bundle of
letters written by _one of the Popes_ in his possession and desired
to ascertain their value, but as they were merely signed "A Pope" he
did not know which of the Holy Fathers was responsible for them! Mr.
Barker of course identified the "bard of Twickenham" as their author.
They were bound up under his supervision, and fetched over £200, but
still the owner was not quite satisfied! Of the four Pope letters in my
collection, only one has ever been published, and that but partially.
It is of such manifest historical interest that I do not apologise
for reproducing it in its entirety:--

_Alexander Pope at Twickenham to Ralph Allen, Esq., Widcombe, Bath._

        (_November 2. 1738._)

    DEAR SIR,--I trouble you with my answers to the Inclosed wch
    I beg you to give to Mr Lyttelton as I wd do him all ye Good
    I can, wh the Virtues I know him possest of, deserve; and
    therefore I wd Present him with so Honest a Man as you, and
    you with so Honest a man as he: The Matter concerning Urns I
    wd gladly leave in yr Care, and I desire four small ones with
    their Pedestals, may be made, and two of a size larger. I'l
    send those sizes to you and I send a Draft of ye two sorts,
    4 of one and 2 of ye other. I am going to insert in the body
    of my Works, my two last Poems in Quarto. I always Profit
    myself of ye opinion of ye publick to correct myself on such
    occasions. And sometimes the Merits of particular Men, whose
    names I have made free with for examples either of Good or of
    Bad, determine me to alteration. I have found the Virtue in you
    more than I certainly knew before till I had made experiment
    of it, I mean Humility! I must therefore in justice to my own
    conscience of it bear testimony to it and change the epithet I
    first gave you of _Low-born_, to _Humble_. I shall take care
    to do you the justice to tell everybody this change was not
    made at yours, or at any friends request for you: but my own
    knowledge (of) you merited it. I receive daily fresh proofs of
    your kind remembrance of me. The Bristol waters, the Guinea
    Hens, the Oyl and Wine (two Scripture benedictions) all came
    safe except ye wine, wch was turned on one side, and spilt at
    ye Corks. However tis no loss to _me_ for that sort I dare not
    drink on acct of ye Bile, but my friends may and that is the
    same thing as if I did. Adieu! Is Mr Hook with you? I wish I
    were, for a month at least; for less I wd not come. Pray advise
    him not to be so modest. I hope he sees Mr. Lyttelton. I must
    expect your good offices with Mrs. Allen, so let her know I
    honour a good woman much but a good Wife more.

        I am ever, yours faithfully,
            A. POPE

    Twitnam. _Nov 2 (1738)._

My other three Pope letters are unknown. They are addressed to Mr.
Bethel on Tower Hill, London, Mr. Charles Ford in Park Place, and
Mr. Jonathan Richardson, of Queen Square, London. The last-named was
catalogued last year as written to _Samuel_ Richardson. I gave £5 for
it. Mr. Barker valued it at £8 in 1891. It provides an antidote to the
unkind things Pope wrote about "Sulphureous" Bath on other occasions:--

        _BATH. November 14. 1742._

    DE SIR,--The whole purpose of this is only to tell you that
    the length of my stay at this distance from you, has not made
    me unmindful of you; and that I think you have regard enough
    for me to be pleased to hear, I have been, and am, better than
    usual. In about a fortnight or three weeks I hope to find you
    as little altered as possible at yr age, as when I left you, as
    I am at mine. God send you all Ease, philosophical and physical.

        I am your sincerely-affectionate friend and servant,
            A. POPE

    My services to yr Son.

The letters of Horace Walpole, who generally wrote for posterity, are
valuable,[49] but by no means as costly as those of Thomas Gray. Mr.
Quaritch lately showed a group of holograph letters, illustrating the
"quadruple alliance" of Gray, Walpole, West, and Ashton, which began
at Eton. It included two fairly long letters of Gray and Walpole. I
consider the collection very cheap at £55. Here is a characteristic
unpublished note written by Horace Walpole to Hannah More, while the
latter was staying with the Garricks in the Adelphi:--

_Horace Walpole to Hannah More._

        _March 11._

    I heard at Mrs. Ord's last night that you are not well. I
    wou'd fain flatter myself that you had only a pain in your
    apprehension of the coaches full of mob that were crowding the
    streets, but as I do not take for granted whatever will excuse
    me from caring, as people that are indifferent readily do, I
    beg to hear from yourself how you are. I do not mean from your
    own hand, but lips--send me an exact message, and if it is a
    good one it will give real pleasure to yours most sincerely,

        H. WALPOLE.

    PS.--Mrs. Prospero, who is my Miranda, was there last night
    with a true blue embroidered favour, that cast a ten times more
    important colour on her accents and made her as potent in her
    own eyes as Sycorax.

        To Miss More at the Adelphi.


The value of Johnson's letters has varied very little during the
past quarter of a century, an A.L.S. of exceptional interest often
bringing £40 or £50. Possibly his historic letters to Macpherson
and Chesterfield or his ultimatum to Mrs. Thrale would now fetch
considerably more. In the Haber Sale at New York a 2 pp. 4to A.L.S.
dated April 13, 1779, to Cadell brought £17. I possess several Johnson
letters, many of them unpublished and written during the last year of
his life. The following A.L.S. to Mr. Ryland was seemingly unknown to
Dr. Birkbeck Hill:--

_To Mr. Ryland, Merchant in London._

    DEAR SIR,--I have slackened in my diligence of correspondence,
    certainly not by ingratitude or less delight to hear from my
    friends, and as little would I have it imputed to idleness,
    or amusement of any other kind. The truth is that I care not
    much to think on my own state. I have for some time past grown
    worse, the water makes slow advances, and my breath though
    not so much obstructed as in some former periods of my disorder
    is very short. I am not however heartless. The water has, since
    its first great effusion, invaded me thrice, and thrice has
    retreated. Accept my sincere thanks for your care in laying
    down the stone[50] w^{h} you and young Mr. Ryland have done. I
    doubt not of finding [it] well done, if ever I can make my mind
    firm enough to visit it. I am now contriving to return, and
    hope to be yet no disgrace to our monthly meeting[51] when I
    shall be with you, as my resolution is not very steady and as
    chance must have some part in the opportunity, I cannot tell.
    Do not omit to write, for your letters are a great part of my

            I am,
                Dear Sir
        Your most humble servant
                    SAM JOHNSON

    Pray write.

                Lichfield, _Oct. 30, 1784_.


Six months before his death he writes thus to Mr. Nicoll on the subject
of Cook's voyages:--

        To Mr. Nicoll,
                In the Strand, London.

    You were pleased to promise me that when the great Voyage
    should be published, you would send it to me. I am now at
    Pembroke College, Oxford, and if you can conveniently enclose
    it in a parcel, or send it any other way, I shall think the
    perusal of it a great favour.

            I am,
        Your most humble servant
                    SAM JOHNSON
                        _June 8 1784_

Curiously enough, one of the last subjects upon which Johnson
concentrated his waning energies in 1783-84 was that of the
possibilities of the balloon, which he persistently called "ballon."[52]

       *       *       *       *       *

For some years I have been an assiduous collector of the letters and
MSS. of George Crabbe. I now possess his two historic letters to
Edmund Burke. It was in the earliest of these (once the property of
Sir Theodore Martin) that he made his despairing appeal for pecuniary
aid to save him from suicide or starvation. Fifty-one years later,
George Crabbe, Rector of Trowbridge, lay a-dying. He receives in his
sick-chamber the following letter from John Forster:--

_John Forster to George Crabbe._

[Letter franked by Edward Lytton Bulwer.]

        4 BURTON ST.
                _Jany 20 '32_

    REVD. SIR,--I beg, very respectfully to submit to your
    inspection the enclosed paper.[53] May I venture to
    hope that your sympathy with the cause of the world of
    letters--independently of considerations unfortunately still
    more urgent, will induce you to lend the favour of your
    distinguished name to a project now become necessary to rescue
    Mr. Leigh Hunt from a hard crisis in his fortune

        With the greatest respect,
                I am, Sir,
            Your very ob^{dt}. servant
                    JOHN FORSTER.

After Crabbe's death the following almost illegible draft of a reply
was found amongst his papers:--

    It w^{d} ill become me who have been so greatly [much] indebted
    to the kindness of my Friends, that [I should refuse to do what
    I could] disregard [not respond to] the application you are
    so good as to make on behalf of Mr. Leigh Hunt. My influence
    I fear is small [living] residing as, I do, where little
    except Cloth is made, little except Newspapers read. This is,
    however, not without exceptions. [It is] I consider it as doing
    myself Honour to join [however feebly] my [name with those
    endeavouring] attempt to serve [a distinguished member of] a
    man for whose welfare [those] such distinguished persons are
    interested [whose names are connected] to the [printed copy]
    paper [of the paper] printed [destined] for general Circulation

        I am Sir ----

History had repeated itself, only the rôles were reversed. In 1832 the
benefactor was Crabbe, and the distressed man of letters Hunt!

I have elected to speak of Burke amongst the writers, although
he can claim a high place amongst the statesmen. His letters are
always valuable, although the price fetched for two exceptionally
fine specimens at the Haber Sale (New York, December 10, 1909) was
disappointing. A long letter, written in his twentieth year, brought
only £4 8s.; a splendid letter from Bath a short time before his death
was sold for £6 8s. The following letter from Edmund Burke to Mrs.
Montagu (one of many I have the good fortune to possess) has a distinct
vein of American interest:--

            _MAY 4 1776, Friday._

    DEAR MADAM,--I was in hopes, that I might have sent you,
    together with my acknowledgement for your kindness, the only
    reward you desire for acts of friendship, an account of the
    full effect of them. Mrs. James's letter was undoubtedly
    what it ought to be on application from you. We have nothing
    to complain of Mrs. J. in point of civility but there is no
    further result of your indisposition. As yet indeed we do not
    despair. But to give the application its full effect on him, if
    in answer to Mrs. J. you keep the matter in some degree alive,
    I do not question but that it will succeed at last. Almost all
    the others are secure.

    I cannot at all express how much obliged I am for the extremely
    friendly manner in which you take up my friends Mr. Burke's
    case. He is himself as sensible, as he is worthy of your
    goodness. It is something to be distinguished by the regards of
    those who regard but few. But to have a distinguished part in
    the mind where all have their places is much more flattering.

    We have now almost finished our tedious Sessions; and I hope
    to make you my acknowledgement when you return, somewhat
    more at leisure. The news from America is not very pleasing.
    Indeed I know of no News but that of Peace which can be so,
    to any well-disposed mind. General Howe has been driven from
    Boston, partly by scarcity, partly by a sharp Cannonade and
    Bombardment. He therefore made his disposition so well that
    they had not induced his return soon enough to give him any
    disturbance. He has collected everything with him and he has
    retired to the only place we have now on that extensive coast,
    Halifax, where, I doubt, for some little time at least he will
    not be much better commanded in point of provision though he
    will be practically out of reach of an enemy. Mrs. Burke joins
    me with all the rest of the family in faithful pledge to you,
    in the best compliments to yourself and to your most agreeable
    Miss Gregory.

        I am, with the most sincere regard and highest esteem
                Dear Madam,
                    Your sincere friend
            and very obliged and humble servant,
                        EDM. BURKE.

Passing to the nineteenth century, which was to witness the eclipse of
the art of letter-writing as well as the disappearance of the frank,
we come to the age of Keats, Shelley, Byron and Lamb. It was at
the beginning of this eventful epoch that Goethe wrote the lines to
Blücher, which form one of the shortest autographs I possess, but not
the least curious or valuable:--

    In Harren
    und Krieg
    in Sturz
    und Sieg
    bewust und gros
    So riss er uns
    Von Feinden los


My friend, Mr. G. L. de St. M. Watson, gives me a forcible metrical

    In warring or tarrying,
    In victory or woe,
    He towers; and through him
    We're freed from the foe.

FEBRUARY 28, 1820.]

Goethe was an enthusiastic collector of MSS. as well as a poet. Of the
autograph cult he wrote:--

    As I personally possess a considerable collection of autographs
    and often take occasion to examine and reflect upon them,
    it seems to me that every one who directs his thoughts to
    this subject may succeed in taking several steps in the
    right direction, which may lead to his own improvement and
    satisfaction, if not to the instruction of others.

The value of Keats, Shelley, Byron and Scott letters I have already
spoken of. In the Haber Sale a Keats letter brought £500! Letters of
Charles Lamb range from £4 to £10 or more in price. I purchased the
following note to Hone for £2 2s. and believe I secured a bargain:--

_To Mr. Hone._

        45 LUDGATE HILL

    DEAR SIR,--I was not very well or in spirits when your pleasing
    note reached me or should have noticed sooner. Our Hebrew
    Brethren seem to appreciate the good news of this life in more
    liberal latitude than we to judge from frequent graces. One
    I think you must have omitted "After concluding a bargain."
    Their distinction of "fruits growing upon trees" and "upon the
    ground" I can understand. A sow makes quite a different grunt
    _her grace_ from eating chestnuts and pignuts. The last is a
    little above Ela with this and wishing grace be with you,

            C. LAMB
                _9 Nov. 1821._


[Illustration: A.L.S. OF LORD BYRON TO MR. PERRY, MARCH 1, 1812.]

Of the literary autograph letters and MSS. of the Victorian era the
highest prices are obtained for those of Alfred Tennyson and George
Meredith. In a catalogue lately issued by Messrs. Sotheran[54]
the author's copy of Tennyson's "Ode on the Death of the Duke of
Wellington," with thirty lines of MS. additions and a large number of
alterations and corrections, is priced at £120. The MS. draft of his
famous dedication to Queen Victoria published in 1853, and consisting
of eight four-line verses, is considered a little more valuable. An
ordinary 8vo letter of one page frequently fetches as much as £2 or
£3. George Meredith's MSS. have been lately sold for several hundred
pounds, and an ordinary letter would be cheap at anything between £2
and £3. Through the kindness of my friend Mr. Clement Shorter I am able
to give a specimen of Meredith's handwriting.


(In the collection of Mr. Frank Sabin.)]


(By kind permission of Mr. Clement K. Shorter.)]

W. M. Thackeray and Charles Dickens were both voluminous
letter-writers. The letters of the former now command higher prices
than those of any Victorian writer. He also frequently illustrated his
witty notes with amusing sketches in pen and ink and other oddities.
One of these (from the splendid collection of Mr. Sabin) forms one of
the illustrations of this volume. Into another he introduces a typical
Scotch "sandwich-man" carrying on his back the advertisement of the
Thackeray Lectures at Merchants' Hall, Glasgow. From my own collection
I give a very interesting example of Thackeray's wit, in the shape of
a letter addressed to Count d'Orsay, on the subject of the proposed
publication of a sacred picture by the famous dandy. On the back of the
circular announcing its appearance he wrote:--

    MY DEAR COUNT,--This note has just come to hand, and you see I
    take the freedom with you of speaking the truth. I dont like
    this announcement at all. Our Saviour and the Count d'Orsay
    ought not to appear in those big letters. It somehow looks
    as if you and our Lord were on a par, and put forth as equal
    attractions by the publisher. Dont mind my saying this, for
    I'm sure this sort of announcement (merely on account of the
    unfortunate typography) is likely to shock many honest folks.

        Yours always faithfully
            W M THACKERAY.

In the earlier part of his career, Thackeray wrote a running hand very
different to the upright calligraphy of his later life.


Early Dickens letters of any length are eagerly sought for, and sell
for nearly three times as much as those written between 1850 and his
death. I am able to give illustrations of some exceptionally early
Thackeray and Dickens letters, which came into the possession of Mr.
George Gregory, of Bath, through whose hands the Autograph Album of the
first Mrs. Sheridan recently passed. The earliest Dickens letter, of
the fifteen autographs in my collection, was written when he was in his
twenty-ninth year. It is interesting as containing a frank exposition
of his political creed:--

_Charles Dickens at Broadstairs to Frederick Dickens, Commissariat,
Treasury, Whitehall._

        _Sunday September Twelfth 1841._

    MY DEAR FRED,--The wording of the Minute is certainly
    discouraging. If I saw any way of helping you by coming up
    to town, I would do so, immediately. But I cannot possibly
    apply to the Tories for _anything_. I daresay they would
    be glad enough if I would, but I cannot with any regard to
    honor, consistency, or truth, ask any favour of people whom
    politically, I despise and abhor. It would tie my hands, seal
    my lips, rob my pen of its honesty, and bind me neck and heels
    in discreditable fetters.

    _Is_ Archer in Town? If so, have you spoken to him? If not,
    when is he coming? You should speak to him certainly. I have
    told you before, that I am much afraid you have not treated him
    with that show of respect, which he has a right to claim. Why
    in the name of God should he have a personal dislike to you,
    but for some such reason as this?

    If you think, and I see no objection to your asking Mr. Archer
    the question, that without doing anything improper, you might
    memorialise the Treasury, I will draw a memorial for you.
    If you have reason to think this would be unofficial and
    ill-advised, I know of nothing better than waiting and hoping.

    I should be as sorry as you, if you were to lose this step. Let
    me hear from you by return

        Affectionately always
            C. D.


(First style of handwriting in 1836.)]

The touching letter recording his feelings at the death of his
little daughter is, I think, a human document of more than ordinary

_Charles Dickens to Thomas Mitton._

            _Nineteenth April 1851_

    MY DEAR MITTON,--I have been in trouble, or I should have
    written to you sooner. My wife has been, and is, far from well.
    Frederick caused me much vexation and expense. My poor father's
    death caused me much distress--and more expense--but of that,
    in such a case I say nothing. I came to London last Monday to
    preside at a public dinner--played with little Dora my youngest
    child before I went--and was told, when I left the chair, that
    she had died in a moment. I am quite myself again, but I have
    undergone a great deal.

    I send you all the papers I have relating to Thompson's affair.
    I am in town again now and shall be at home on Monday, Tuesday,
    Friday and Saturday mornings. I am not going back to Malvern,
    but have let this house until September, and taken the Fort at

        Y^{rs} faithfully
            C. D.

15, 1870.]

Here is one of the last letters he ever wrote, to which I have
already alluded as a rare specimen of a valuable autograph written in

_Charles Dickens to J. B. Buckstone._

                _SUNDAY Fifteenth May 1870._
                    5 HYDE PARK PLACE W.

    MY DEAR BUCKSTONE,--I send a duplicate of this note to your
    private address at Sydenham in case it should miss you at the

    For a few years past, I have been liable, at wholly uncertain
    and incalculable times, to a severe attack of Neuralgia in
    the foot, about once in the course of the year. It began
    in an injury to the finer muscles or nerves, occasioned by
    over-walking in deep snow. When it comes on, I cannot stand
    and can bear no covering whatever on the sensitive place. One
    of these seizures is upon me now. Until it leaves me I could no
    more walk into St. James's Hall than I could fly in.

    I hope you will present my duty to the Prince, and assure
    His Royal Highness that nothing short of my being (most
    unfortunately) disabled for the moment, would have prevented my
    attending as a Trustee of the Fund, at the dinner, and warmly
    express my poor sense of the great and inestimable service his
    Royal Highness renders to a most deserving Institution by so
    very kindly commending it to the public.

        Faithfully your's always




(Now in the collection of Mr. Peter Keary.)]

WALES, JANUARY 19, 1785.]

Carlyle's letters vary in price from £2 2s. to £5 5s. or more. The
following note explains how the specimen of his calligraphy I reproduce
was obtained for an autograph hunter by his nephew in 1877:--

            _7th December 1877_

    MY DEAR SIR,--I was much pleased to have your's of the 4th
    inst. I enclose card of admission to the Install^{n} at
    Edinburgh which I cribbed from the Gov^{r's} Sunday coat long
    after its date, and which to tell the truth I did not intend to
    part with; but I think it so thoroughly what your friend would
    like that I have resolved to send it.

    All Uncle Tom's late letters _to his relatives_ are written on
    scraps of paper that might be at hand when he finished work for
    the day and signed 'T. C.' only--all full signatures in letters
    in my possession have long ago been clipped off....

        Always faithfully your's
            JAMES CARLYLE.

The letters of Whistler have quadrupled in value since his death.
I possess several of them, but only give as an illustration of his
handwriting a post-card from Lyme Regis bearing by way of signature
the once familiar butterfly. "Mark Twain" was also a very amusing
letter-writer. The following postscript is characteristic of his

    Since penning the foregoing the "Atlantic" has come to hand
    with that most thoroughly and entirely satisfactory notice of
    "Roughing it," and I am as uplifted and reassured by it as a
    mother who has given birth to a white baby when she was awfully
    afraid it was going to be a mulatto. I have been afraid and
    shaky all along, but now unless the N. of "Tribune" gives the
    book a black eye, I am all right.

    With many thanks


George Augustus Sala and Edmund Yates were friends and contemporaries
of Charles Dickens, and survived him. They are both entitled to a
place amongst the last of the Victorian letter-writers. The minute
handwriting of Sala was even more distinct than that of Thackeray. Here
is a typical Sala letter:--

            _Thursday November Twenty Seventh 1884._

    DEAR LADY WOLSELEY,--My wife who during my absence is my
    Postmistress General, Chancellor of the Exchequer, Secretary of
    State for Home and Foreign Affairs and Chief Commissioner of
    Works all rolled into one, has forwarded me your note, and has
    scribbled on the margin "with two lovely photographs." I hasten
    to thank you for the graceful and thoughtful kindness which
    has prompted your welcome gift. I am proud to believe that you
    _know_ how much I admire and esteem your illustrious husband;
    how eagerly I have followed the course of his splendid and
    well-deserved fortunes, and how highly I value the friendship
    with which during so many years he has honoured me. It is
    really to me a pleasure to have grown old when I remember that
    amongst my most prized relics at home are a visiting card
    inscribed "_Major_ Wolseley, for Mr. Sala, St. Lawrence Hall,
    Montreal 1863"; the walking stick which _Sir Garnet_ Wolseley
    brought me home from South Africa; the letter which _Lord_
    Wolseley wrote me from the Kremlin, Moscow on Coronation Day
    1883, to which I am now able to add "two lovely photographs"
    and your kind note. Were I going alone on my long and arduous
    journey, my abiding hope would be, of course, to come home
    safe and sound to my wife. Happily we are not to be separated
    (although the friendly but cynical solicitor, who made my will
    just before I left town was good enough to remark _you must add
    a codicil in case you are both drowned_); so we shall both,
    during our wanderings be able to nourish the pleasant hope that
    we shall be permitted on our return to pay our homage to the
    _Earl_ and _Countess_ Wolseley. I have, dear Madam, in my time,
    prophesied a great deal more in print about your Lord than you
    are aware of, and I am confident that my latest prediction
    will come true--_and more than true_. Meanwhile, I am,

        Your Ladyship's faithful and obliged servant

[Illustration: A.L.S. OF JOHN WESLEY, JUNE 14, 1788.]

Some hundreds of Edmund Yates's letters are in my possession, and I
have utilised them to extra-illustrate his "Recollections" which I have
extended to seventeen volumes. In the last edition of his entertaining
book he alludes to the pleasure a letter from Mr. Charles Kent, the
friend of Dickens, gave him in "troublous times." More than twenty
years after I gladly gave 5s. for the original in the auction room:--

        To Charles Kent Esq

            1 Campden Grove, Kensington, W

    Ah! my dear old friend, how good and thoughtful of you and what
    a perfectly acceptable gift!

                          'though fallen on evil days
        on evil days though fallen and evil tongues'

                (vide to-day's _Times_)

    I am receiving such evidences of love and sympathy from my
    friends, and such kindness from officials here, that I am
    fairly broken down by them.

        God bless you
            EDMUND YATES

    _HOLLOWAY, Jany 17 '85_


[43] Manager of Messrs. Sotheran's, 37, Piccadilly.

[44] See _ante_, Chapter IV., p. 109.

[45] See my own article in _The Outlook_, March, 1910.

[46] See _post_, p. 220.

[47] March, June, September, and December, 1892.

[48] From £30 upwards.

[49] From £3 to £10.

[50] Anna Williams's Memorial.

[51] Mr. Ryland was associated with Johnson in the formation of the
last Club which owed its existence to Johnson's initiative and support.

[52] See _Outlook_, March 5, 1910. Article on Johnson and balloons.

[53] Appeal for subscription for the relief of Leigh Hunt (1784-1859).
It reached Trowbridge January 23rd. On February 3rd Crabbe died.

[54] 37, Piccadilly, W.




    =Naval and military autographs=

    Good ink, like good wine, is none the worse for age.


There are some autograph collectors who limit their sphere of
operations to the writings of great sailors and soldiers. The subject
has already been touched on incidentally under the head of Royal
Autographs, for James II. and William IV. were for a time Lord High
Admirals of England, while other sovereigns met the enemy on the field
of battle.[55] If Wellington can claim distinction as our greatest
soldier, he ranks also amongst our most prolific letter-writers. The
same may be said of Nelson with almost equal truth. Of Wellington's
innumerable letters, a great many are supposed to have been written by
his Secretary, Colonel Gurwood, and Nelson's amanuensis is also said
to have successfully imitated the handwriting of his chief. There are
numerous facsimiles of the letters of both Nelson and Wellington,
and the axiom _caveat emptor_ cannot be too frequently remembered when
a suspicious specimen is offered for sale. In 1827 we are informed that
"English Generals and Admirals vary greatly in value," and they do
still. We are told, moreover, that at this epoch "the Royalist Prince
Rupert is worth £1 9s., while the Parliamentary General, Fairfax, with
four Peers for his supporters, is worth only 10s. The naval hero, Lord
Nelson, commands £2 15s., while four other gallant admirals sink to 7s.
3d. each. Washington ranks with Cromwell at £5 15s. 6d., and leaves
all other competitors behind." To-day a letter of Thomas Fairfax would
bring anything from £7 to £20 or more, and a good D.S. at least £4 or
£5. His autographs are always much in request. Washington letters have
realised as much as £100 and more, and so have Cromwell's.


(In the collection of Mr. F. Sabin.)]


In 1876-77-78 Mr. Waller was selling letters of Hood and Rodney at
prices varying from 4s. 6d. to 7s. and "Wellingtons" at an average
of 5s., but asked 12s. 6d. for a good letter of Villeneuve, who was
defeated and taken prisoner at Trafalgar. In the same catalogue I
find an A.L.S. of Wellington for 3s. 6d., and "fine specimens" of
Turenne Mordaunt, Earl of Peterborough (Commander-in-Chief of the
Forces in Spain _temp._ Queen Anne), priced respectively at £2 10s.
Five years ago, however, a short letter written by the Iron Duke on
the evening after Waterloo realised £105 at Sotheby's, and, as I have
already stated, Wellington paid £60 for two similar letters during
his lifetime--and committed them to the flames. At this time I see
three interesting letters of Marlborough and three of his wife, with
one document signed by the latter, were sold in a lot for £10 10s.
Very good letters of Marlborough may even now be bought in Germany
and Belgium for £3 or £4. In the "eighteen-seventies" very little
Nelson MS. seems to have been in the market, but Mr. Frederick
Barker offered a long A.L.S. of Lady Nelson (May 2, 1805) for 6s.,
and "directions for approaching Cadiz, 1 p. folio, wholly in Nelson's
handwriting," for £3 5s. He priced two good A.L.S. of 1794 and 1795 at
£5 5s. and £4 4s. In 1887 I met with a letter of General Gordon, quoted
as "very rare," for £2 2s. In the same catalogue is a fine letter of
Prince Rupert for £3 3s. I frankly envy the purchaser for 9s. 6d. of a
letter written by Marshal Ney, from Montreuil, Boulogne, in 1804, when
the terror of French invasion was at its height.


At the present moment there is little demand for the letters of the
less known sailors and soldiers of the latter part of the seventeenth
and first half of the eighteenth centuries, like Shovel, Wager, and
Rooke, and I have seen a letter of Vernon, whose coat of grogram gave
rise to the familiar word which still denotes the dilution of spirits
with water, sold for 5s.! There is, however, one naval autograph
of this period which now commands high prices. I allude to letters
and other MSS. of the ill-fated John Byng, judicially murdered on
March 14, 1757, "_pour encourager les autres_," as Voltaire says in
"Candide," or in other words, to save the face of an inefficient and
discredited Ministry. I gave £3 in 1907 for an A.L.S. of his which
thirty years ago was sold by Mr. Waller for 12s. 6d., but I regard as
a veritable autographic treasure the original of his will, which bears
his signature in three places, and was executed only forty-eight hours
before his tragic death. The _sang-froid_ displayed in its elaboration
shows the courage and deliberation of the unlucky admiral when face to
face with the "Grim Sergeant."

[Illustration: ONE PAGE OF A.L.S. OF GENERAL BYNG, OCTOBER 27, 1727.]


Only twelve months divide the death of Byng from the birth of Nelson,
whose autographs are even more costly than those of the Elizabethan
heroes of 1588. They now hold, as I shall presently show, the record
as regards both price and interest. I have already alluded to the
perils and pitfalls of Nelson forgeries. The collector must, of course,
bear in mind the striking differences in the calligraphy of the great
Admiral before and after the loss of his right arm in July, 1797. The
earliest example I possess of Nelson's handwriting is a commission,
signed on April 5, 1781, by him as well as by Lord Lisbourne, Bamber
Gascoyne, and J. Greville. Nelson was then twenty-three. He was
thirty-nine when he penned with his _right hand_ the following historic
letter to Earl Spencer:--

_Lord Nelson to Earl Spencer._

        _THESEUS, May 28 1797._

    MY LORD,--On my arrival from the Mediterranean two days past I
    received from Sir John Jervis your Lordship's Letter of April
    3 together with a Gold Medal which the King has been pleased
    to order to be struck in Commemoration of the Victory obtained
    by His Fleet on the fourteenth of February last and which His
    Majesty has been graciously pleased to direct me the honor of

    May I presume to say that when I observe the Medal that it must
    be a strong inducement for the continuance of my exertion for
    His Majesty and for my Country and my Country's Service and it
    shall be my pride to preserve it unsullied to posterity.

    Your Lordship having from the moment of your coming to the
    Admiralty represented my services in the most favourable point
    of view to the King, allow me once more to return you my thanks
    together with those for the very handsome and flattering manner
    in which your Lordship have executed the King's Commands.

        I have the Honor to be my Lord,
            Your most obedient servant,
                HORATIO NELSON.



Two months later occurred the accident which deprived Nelson of
his right hand. The Bath facsimile[56] is a good specimen of his
writing with his left hand in the last years of the eighteenth
century. In reading any life of Nelson one cannot help being struck
with the tenderness of the letters he addressed to his wife up to
their abrupt separation. At the end of 1799, while he was still in
the Mediterranean, she wrote him the following letter, now in my

        ST JAMES'S ST
            _Dec 10 1797_

    MY DEAR HUSBAND,--I have seen a letter from Lady Berry
    to Mr. Davison. She tells him of Sir Edward's letter, dated
    Foudroyant, Minorca, Oct^{r} 18^{th}, and mentions you were
    quite well which I hope is true. I dined a few days back at Mr
    Nepean's. He told me you were at Gibralter (_sic_). I thanked
    him for his intelligence. Would have given something to have
    asked a question, but that could not be done--therefore I still
    flatter myself as you are half way we may stand some chance of
    seeing you. Capt^{n} Foley has this instant left me. From what
    Capt^{n} Hood said I was in great hopes Capt^{n} F had very lately
    seen you. He is full of the Earl's commanding the Channel
    Fleet. Lord Bridport has sailed again. Our good father received
    yesterday [a letter] from your B^{r}. William teazing him about
    no dignitaries (_sic_) for the Nelson family. I must write
    to the Rector and beg him not to be so tiresome, for truly
    I am nursing and doing everything I can to make your father
    comfortable and then he is quite upset by one of these epistles
    Mr W. N. [William Nesbit] requested me to give Mr Windham a
    _gentle hint_. Sir Peter and Lady Parker called yesterday. We
    have agreed to go and see the famous French milliner. Lady P
    declares they will put me in a sack and send me to Bonaparte.
    Her spirits are good indeed. She sends Sir Peter to the
    Admiralty to hear when you are expected home. I don't know what
    she is _not_ to do--Dance and grow young. We dined yesterday
    (Susanna I mean) with the Hamiltons. I wish I could say Mrs
    Hamilton is the least modernized of all the antique figures.
    She certainly (is) the most. Mr Morton pais (_sic_) great
    attention. Bob Jones tells me Forbes has got Mr M to sign some
    papers for him. I long to hear what you have done for Captain
    Hardy. _His_ character is excellent indeed.

    Our father has received direction how to proceed in sending
    to the stage coach for Horace Susanna Bolton is to go to buy
    Maps in St Paul's Churchyard to amuse his children. Our good
    father's love to you and Blessing. God Bless and Protect my
    Dearest Husband

        Believe me your affec. Wife
            FRANCES H NELSON

DECEMBER 10, 1799.]


The tone of Lady Nelson's letter to her husband presents a striking
contrast to that in which, little more than a year later, he speaks of
her in a letter to Lady Hamilton, for which I paid a very large sum
early in 1905. As might be expected, the demand for Nelson autographs
became more urgent as the centenary of Trafalgar approached, but,
on the whole, the rise of price was not quite as marked as might be
expected, although one particular letter to Lady Hamilton, apparently
little more striking than the one now given, was sold for £1,050. The
great Nelson sensation (as far as the autograph market is concerned)
came off some five months later, viz., on March 14, 1906, when the
unique Nelson document described as follows was disposed of at


      "VICTORY," OFF CADIZ, 9 OCT. 1805, 8 pp. 4to.

    Thinking it almost impossible to bring a fleet of 40 sail
    of the line into a line of Battle, in variable winds, thick
    weather, and other circumstances which must occur, without
    such a loss of time, that the opportunity would probably be
    lost.... I have therefore made up my mind to keep the fleet
    in that position of sailing (with the exception of the first
    and second in command) that the order of sailing is to be the
    order of battle; placing the fleet in two lines of 16 ships
    each, with an advanced squadron of eight of the fastest sailing
    two-decked ships [which] will always make if wanted a line of
    24 sail, on whichever line the Commander-in-Chief may direct,

It was bought by Mr. Frank Sabin for £3,600. A newspaper controversy
at once arose on the subject of the transaction. Public attention was
forcibly directed to the supreme importance of the document, and an
effort was made to secure it for the nation, Mr. Sabin most generously
offering to sell it to the authorities at cost price. The movement to
acquire it fell through, owing to the impossibility of obtaining a
grant-in-aid. Quite unexpectedly the late Mr. B. M. Woollan offered to
buy it for the nation, but stipulated that during his life-time the
MS. "should remain in his possession and be accessible to the public
in the Town Hall at Tunbridge Wells." This was agreed to, Mr. Sabin
maintaining his proposal to sell at cost price. The Trafalgar order
was framed in oak taken from the _Victory_ under the direction of a
British Museum expert, and after remaining for some time at Tunbridge
Wells, has found (since Mr. Woollan's death) a final resting-place in
the National Collection. On March 14, 1906, Messrs. Maggs paid £170
for one of the official copies of the "General Memorandum," viz., that
addressed to William Lechmere, Captain of the _Thunderer_. It filled
5 pp. It was marked "secret," and contained a note to the effect that
"the Captain should return the Secret Memorandum to the _Victory_ when
the _Thunderer_ quits the fleet for England." The original has been,
or will shortly be, facsimiled by the British Museum MS. Department.
Collectors will then be able to procure copies of it at an almost
nominal price. During the weeks which followed March 14, 1906, the
"Memorandum" became the subject of a dozen romantic legends. Several
years ago I purchased the signature of Nelson appended to the last
few lines of another of these "official copies" for one sovereign.
It was formally attested by the widow of the Captain to whom it was
originally sent. I possess a 3 pp. A.L.S. written by Lord Nelson to
Lord Collingwood on board H.M.S. _Victory_, on October 10, 1805--eleven
days before Trafalgar. It cost £20. Some time since, the album of
the Honourable Charles Greville, the first lover of Emma Hart (Lady
Hamilton) was broken up. Amongst the documents I purchased from it was
a MS. account of Nelson's household expenses while residing in Bond
Street, with Mr. Greville, from April 7 to 18, 1803.

The letters of "Nelson's Hardy"[57] fetch from £1 to £2 each. They
lack style, but are characterised by the breezy heartiness which was
typical of the man whom Nelson loved and trusted. The discovery of many
hundreds of Hardy's letters to his Dorset relatives in 1905 enabled me,
writing in collaboration with my friend the Rev. R. G. Bartelot, to
supply to some extent a long-felt want in naval history. Here are two
Hardy letters which came to light subsequent to our examination of the
great mass of his correspondence:--

_Captain T. M. Hardy, at Plymouth, to his brother-in-law, Mr. Manfield,
at Dorchester._

            _Feby 8 1801_

    DEAR MANFIELD,--We are in Hourly expectation of the St George,
    where the Admiral is to hoist his flag. The moment she arrives
    myself and all the officers go with him. We shall sail as soon
    as possible for Portsmouth, and from thence to the North Sea.
    After we have done _the business_ there, which we expect to
    do in about two months, the Flag is again to be hoisted in
    San Josef. The Squadron under Sir Henry Harvey arrived the
    day before yesterday and sailed the same evening to detach a
    squadron after the ships that left Brest about a fortnight
    ago. Lawrence arrived yesterday with Roberts. He is a fine
    lad and will do, but he is very young. Admiral [Lord Nelson]
    tells me he saw you. You landed and of course you made your
    _grand salam_ to him. I suppose a number of _wonderful_ stories
    has been told of San Josef in and about Dorchester. Our Beer
    is reduced to six bottles and on a moderate calculation that
    cannot last more than three days. Therefore you will add to the
    many obligations I am under to you if you will order our friend
    Oakley to send as soon as possible six or eight dozen more
    directed to Lord Nelson, St George, Spithead, by any vessel
    that sails from Weymouth. With duty to all friends, I remain,
    dear Manfield

        Your's sincerely
            T. M. HARDY

_Captain T. M. Hardy, Torbay, to Mr. Manfield, Dorchester._

    DEAR MANFIELD,--I have only time to say that we are now getting
    under weigh for Spithead, and shall probably pass Abbotsbury
    Ferry during the night. Do write to me at Spithead and tell me
    if the Beer is sent as the Ad^{ml} _longs_ for it every day at

        Your's in great haste
            T. M. HARDY



Letters of Rodney and Howe now fetch from £1 to £2 each; those of
St. Vincent, Collingwood, and the Hoods somewhat less.


Letters of most of the Nelson captains can still be bought at very
moderate prices, but if addressed to Nelson the value would be at once

The finest collection of letters by Fairfax and other soldiers of the
Civil War, both Royalist and Parliamentarian, I know of, is in the
possession of Mr. F. Sabin, by whose permission I reproduce the letter
of Montrose to the King, which is priced at £60:--

Superscription, "for the King's Maiesty," and endorsement, "LORD OF
MONTROSE, 3d February."


    Haveing never receaved any of yr Mas Commands, since I had
    the honor to attend you, bot on letter from france only, and
    knoweing what strange newses yr Ma may daly heare, I heave
    directed thes that your Ma may know (notwithstanding all
    opposition and encouragements) I am hopefull, to be once againe
    in the termes to doe your service    I will not trouble yr
    Ma with particulars bot leave them unto Mr Elliott, who will
    informe yr Ma att greatter lenth    I am

        Yr Mas Subject and Servant

I have already alluded to the varying prices of Wellington's letters,
which depend entirely on the time at which they were written. If dated
June 17, 18, 19 or 20, 1815, they might be worth anything from £50
upwards; letters from the Peninsula on military topics bring from £2
to £5, but I only gave 30s. for the note and envelope franked and
addressed to Lady Sidmouth, covering a lock of Napoleon's hair--the
latter being included in the price! In my opinion there could not
possibly be a more interesting souvenir of the victor of Waterloo. The
letters of Sir Hudson Lowe are sold from £1 to £3, those of Marshal
Blücher fetching about the same price.

Few of the letters of living warriors fetch high prices. The amusing
and satirical letters of Frederick Burnaby are worth from 4s. to 10s.,
but I refrain from publishing those in my collection. Letters of
Earl Roberts and Viscount Wolseley average from 3s. to 5s., but Lord
Kitchener writes little and declines persistently to be "drawn." I once
saw a letter of his priced at £2 12s. 6d., but that was when the Boer
War was at its height.


[55] See _ante_, p. 126.

[56] _Vide_ Chapter III., p. 78.

[57] See further "The Three Dorset Captains" and "Nelson's Hardy," by
A. M. Broadley and R. G. Bartelot (London: John Murray, 1906 and 1909).





    =Illustrated letters=

                                  We pry
    In the dark archives and tenacious scrolls
    Of written thought.--HARTLEY COLERIDGE.

On December 17, 1907, four-and-twenty letters of Ludwig van Beethoven
were sold at Sotheby's for £660, notwithstanding the fact that the
autographs of musicians, artists, and actors, are not even mentioned by
the chronicler of prices in 1827! For the solitary letter of Beethoven
in my collection I paid M. Noël Charavay £10, and it was at the same
outlay I acquired in England an interesting letter of Joseph Haydn's.
In extra-illustrating the "History of the Festivals of the Three
Choirs," of which my ancestor, William Hayes, Mus. Doc. (1707-1777),
was one of the founders and subsequently a conductor, I acquired
considerable experience in the market prices of all sorts of musical


In this particular class of autographs "album specimens" have often
considerable value, for musicians have always been the target of the
autograph-hunter, especially so of those of the fair sex.[58] It is
no uncommon sight after a "star" concert to see the tired-out central
attraction in a state of autograph siege, either for inscriptions in
albums or signatures to photographs. The plaintive autograph letter of
Franz Liszt tells the tale of the request made on behalf of the owner
of a Royal Album to the exigencies of which he gracefully surrendered.
A few bars of music written and signed by Handel would now be worth
quite £20 or £25; and some day the musical autographs of Edward Elgar
will fetch very high prices. William and Philip Hayes rank in the first
class of English composers of Church music, although the father was
overshadowed by his loyal friendship for Handel, and the latter by
his admiration for Haydn. I have acquired (with one or two trifling
exceptions) the MSS. of their compositions, several of which have never
been published. Like most musicians, the Hayeses were humourists. They
wrote anthems and chants, but they won fame in their generation by
catches, canons, glees, madrigals, and fugitive pieces of all sorts.
The tuneful airs of Philip Hayes [1738-1797] re-echoed amidst the
glades of Blenheim, and were often heard at Ranelagh, Vauxhall, and
"Marybone."[59] Musical autographs have risen considerably in price
during the past thirty years, as shown at the comparatively recent
Taphouse Sale. A very fine letter of Chopin's was offered for sale at
250 francs last year by Madame Veuve Gabriel Charavay. Letters of
Mendelssohn and Wagner are in great request. The former vary in price
from £3 to £10. Although Richard Wagner was a prolific letter-writer,
any letter of his is worth £5 or thereabouts, and many have sold
at from £20 to £50. I have never seen an A.L.S. of Handel's in the
sale-rooms. A good one will probably fetch £50. A fragment of one of
his compositions, once in the possession of William Hayes, lately
realised £100. Much of his music seems to have been written out by

[Illustration: A.L.S. OF JOSEPH HAYDN, THE COMPOSER, JUNE 5, 1803.]

In 1876 Mr. Waller offered a letter of Beethoven's for sale at £3 10s.;
one by Dr. Blow for £1 and 2 pp. of one of William Boyce's compositions
for 7s. 6d.! The latter would certainly fetch 40s. to-day, but thirty
years ago autographs of Catalani, Bishop, Cooke, Holmes, Hummel,
Michael Kelly, Lablache, Loder, Meyerbeer, Offenbach, Louisa Pyne,
Rossini, Rudersdorff, Tamburini, and Samuel Wesley averaged about 3s.!
I lately gave £3 3s. for the signed MS. of Wesley's "Ode on the Death
of Boyce," the bicentenary of whose birth occurs this year (1910), in
which also the centenary of the birth of Wesley's musical son, Samuel
Sebastian Wesley, might appropriately be celebrated at Gloucester.
Amongst Mr. Frank Sabin's autographic _rariora_ is the MS. of the
original score of Thomas Moore's "Last Rose of Summer." There is a
great demand in America just now for Moore MSS. of this sort, although
ordinary letters rarely fetch high prices. Charles Burney's letters (of
which I have many) are to my mind always interesting, although they
only bring from 15s. to 30s. in the sale-rooms.

For some collectors the Drama offers a peculiar fascination. I have
already described the letter of William Wilson of the "Fortune"
Theatre, with whom Shakespeare possibly played.[60] The great dramatist
himself, from the autograph point of view, has been alluded to. In
turning over the catalogues of 1876-86 one is struck with the high
prices of letters of David Garrick and Sarah Siddons. Garrick rarely
wrote a dull letter. When Paul Sandby asked for a box he replied--

    I will maintain Good Master Sandby
    And with my blood, the Fact will stand by,
    The trifle ask'd is no great favour,
    And you and your's are wellcome ever

        D GARRICK

Here are some examples of Garrick's letters to Mrs. Montagu not
generally known:--

_Mr. Garrick to Mrs. Montagu._


    DEAR MADAM,--I take up ye first piece of paper to answer
    your note. I feel for you and for poor amiable Miss Gregory
    from my heart of hearts! These exquisite feelings are too
    often tortured not to wish them changed for the less sensible
    dispositions and were mortal matters balanc'd and calmly
    considered it would be a question whether Mrs. Montagu is more
    to be envied than a late female cousin of mine who being told
    of a favourite Brother's death said she foresaw it long ago
    for he would not leave drinking Punch and then she bespoke her
    mourning. I shall take care that you have your refusal of a box
    next Friday if I am able to perform. If you should be engaged
    pray let it revert to me. I must desire you not to say a word
    to anybody of my intentions....

    Mrs. Garrick and I shall do ourselves the honour of attending
    you on Sunday.

        Most faithful ever and ever Yours,
            D. GARRICK.

_David Garrick to Mrs. Montagu._

    MY DEAR MADAM,--We are unfortunately engaged on Sunday next but
    if we are able to quit our Company, may we be permitted to pay
    our respects to you? If you should be engaged we will wait upon
    you ye first opportunity. I have made bold to answer for you a
    subscription to Mr. Capel's School of Shakespeare. I will tell
    you more of this when I have the honour and pleasure of seeing

        I am most devotedly yours,
            D. GARRICK.


I have in my collection a Drury Lane box-ticket dated and signed by
Mrs. Garrick a few days before her death. In the last decade of the
nineteenth century the late Mr. Thomas Knox Holmes told me he had
danced with Mrs. Garrick in her drawing-room at the Adelphi when she
was past ninety. She was actually engaged in inspecting her dress
for the theatre when Death once more "eclipsed the gaiety" of the
brilliant little côterie in which Garrick's widow moved.

The letters of Sarah Siddons fetched quite as much or even more in
the "eighteen-seventies" than they do now. As a matter of fact, the
charming letter to Mrs. Piozzi, now reproduced, exchanged hands in 1876
at £2 2s. more than I gave for it in 1910.




_Mrs. Siddons to Mrs. Piozzi, Westbourne Farm, Paddington,
January 29, 1809._

    MY DEAR FRIEND,--I am merely anxious to know how you and
    Mr. Piozzi are, and the distance between me and your fair
    daughters, are now so great that I get no accounts of you.
    You know of old, my distaste of writing, and I know full well
    my inability of amusing you, so that my letter has nothing to
    recommend it, except the true love of the writer, which knows
    no change. Often, very often, do I think of you, and most
    sincerely do I lament your suffering, but there is nowhere but
    heaven I believe that is exempt from affliction; but dear Soul
    let me hear from you. You have heard of the fire in which I
    lost every stage ornament so many years collecting, and at so
    great expense of time and money. All my Jewels, all my lace,
    and in short nothing left. The Duke of Northumberland has given
    my Brother Ten thousand pounds! and the manner of bestowing
    this noble gift was so great as anything I have ever heard or
    read of,

        "The lucky have whole years and those they choose
        Th' unlucky have but hours and those they lose"

    but poor fellow he is I fear in a wretched state of health,
    yet he looked the other night in Macbeth as beautiful as ever;
    he is never now without his cough, which they say is gouty
    (certainly the disorder is flying about him) and if it would
    come to a good fit that he woud be well. It seems a strange
    thing to say that a man recovers his health by the loss of his
    limbs. So thinks poor Mr. Piozzi I suppose, poor dear Soul, how
    he has suffered from it! and _you_! You will perhaps scarcely
    believe how often and how tenderly I think of you, and how
    deeply I regret the distance between us, but it is nevertheless
    true. Pray dear Soul let me hear from you very soon and tell
    me truly how your health and spirits hold out the incessant
    claims upon them. I have got Cecilia home from school, she is
    very well at present, but to keep her well she must have sea
    bathing in the summer. Is there any place of that sort near
    Brynn Bella? if so, I shoud hope I might be able to see you
    sometimes. I have got a genteel well principled young woman as
    a Governess for her, and my family which would consist of seven
    or eight persons would perhaps be too large to be accommodated
    very near you. Oh that you were again at Streatham! Remember
    me very kindly to dear Mr Piozzi. God bless and support you my
    very dear friend. I am unalterably

        Your affte
            S. SIDDONS[61]

    I lost in the fire a Toilette of the poor Queen of France, a
    piece of beautiful point Lace an ell wide and five yards long
    which having belonged to so interesting a person of course I
    regret more than all other things. It could not have cost at
    first less than a thousand pounds. I us'd to wear it _only_ in
    the trial scene of Hermione in the Winters Tale, it covered me
    all over from head to foot. I suppose my losses could not be
    repaired for Twelve hundred pounds, but God be praised that the
    fire did not break out while the people were in the house!!!


Fine letters from Mrs. Siddons fetch from £10 to £20. A specimen may
be obtained for £5 or even less, for I note an invitation "to dine at
pretty Westbourne" has just been sold (February 28, 1910) for £2 14s.
The letters of the brother of the great actress, J. P. Kemble, sell at
from £1 to £3 each. He evidently (according to one of the specimens in
my collection) moved in very high circles. This letter is addressed
to Sir Thomas Lawrence, whose fatal relations with the Siddons family
circle have already been alluded to:--

    MY DEAR LAWRENCE,--I am this moment come from Carlton House. I
    did not myself see the Prince of Wales; but His Royal Highness
    desired Mr. McMahon to tell me how highly pleased he is with
    the Drawing; but would submit to your consideration whether
    or not the forehead is a little too round and in obedience to
    His Royal Highness I do submit it to your consideration. The
    Prince, my dear Lawrence, is charmed with the Portrait. Mr.
    Smirke writes to-night to the Engraver at Birmingham

            J. P. KEMBLE

    Friday, _October 28, 1808_.

The most curious letters of that mysterious personage the Chevalier
d'Éon in my collection relate to two public exhibitions of his skill
as a fencer, given in Bath during the year 1796. While staying in his
native Tonnerre the _ex-chargé d'affaires_ gave a supper in honour of
Prince Henry of Prussia. In a bundle of his MSS. I bought in France I
found the bill for the historic feast. It was not expensive, and must
surely have been enjoyed _tête-à-tête_.

The letters of artists do not as a rule command large prices, but there
are many exceptions. I have never seen a letter from Sir A. Vandyke
or Sir P. Lely, but Mr. W. V. Daniell prices the following letter of
William Hogarth to his wife in Dorset at £35:--

        _LONDON, June 6 1749_

    DEAR JENNY,--I write to you now, not because I think you may
    expect it only, but because I find a pleasure in it, which is
    more than I can say of writing to any body else, and I insist
    on it you don't take it for a mere complement; your last letter
    pleased more than I'll say, but this I will own if the postman
    should knock at the door in a week's time after the receipt of
    this, I shall think there is more musick in't than the beat of
    a kettle drum, and if the words to the tune are made by you
    (to carry on metafor) and brings news of your all coming soon
    to Town, I shall think the words much better than the musick,
    but don't hasten out of a scene of pleasure to make me one.
    You'll find by the enclosed that I shall be glad to be a small
    contributer to it. I don't know whether or no you know that
    Garrick was going to be married to the Violetta when you went
    away. I supt with him last night and had a deal of talk about
    her. I can't write any more than what this side will contain;
    you know I won't turn over a new leaf I am so obstinate, but
    then I am no less obstinate in loving you

        Your affectionate Husband,
            WM. HOGARTH.

JANUARY 7, 1796.]


Letters of Sir Joshua Reynolds, George Romney, and George Morland
always fetch from £3 to £10 or more. I gave £7 7s. for the letter of
Reynolds to Crabbe, covering Dr. Johnson's criticism of the poem
submitted to him. The examples of Romney and Morland I possess are
placed behind the frontispieces of standard works on their Art. The
letter of poor Morland is melancholy reading, and suggestive of the
squalor in which he moved and died:--

_George Morland to Mr. Graham._

    DEAR GRAHAM,--I am worse than ever. Had an opium pill to take
    last night, and as I thought two must do me more good than one,
    I took them both. I expected it was _up_.

    However I am not quite so bad, but I will use my best endeavour
    to get on for you this week the whole of which I must keep

            Good bie,
                G. MORLAND.

    _On other side_--
        John Graham Esqre
            30 Red Lion Square London
    _Postmark--May 6 1801_





[Illustration: A.L.S. OF GEORGE MORLAND.]


In May, 1810, George Cruikshank, born in 1792, was in the thick of the
fight which the caricaturists waged against Napoleon. It was seventy
years later than the date of Morland's grotesque scrawl that there
appeared in _The Times_ (December 30, 1871) a letter from "Glorious
George" claiming to be the originator of the idea of "Oliver Twist." On
the following day Charles Manby, a mutual friend of the writer and the
artist, thus writes to the latter:--

            _December 30 1871_

    MY DEAR OLD FRIEND,--I see with pleasure that, as I expected
    you have in the "Times" of this day vindicated your claim to
    originating the story of "Oliver Twist," which I have a notion
    you told me of a long time ago. I am persuaded that Dickens
    himself, would, with his inherent love of truth, have confirmed
    your statement, and it is a pity that his historian should
    have written vehemently on the subject. Be prepared with your
    Sketches, etc. to maintain the position which will be hotly
    contested, although in reality there is so much positive merit
    in all that Dickens originated and did, that there is not
    any necessity for laying claim to the works of others,--his
    collaborateurs. I should much like someday to see the sketches
    in question--that is if there is not any indiscretion in the
    request. I will ask you to allow me to call upon you and look
    over them.

    With every good wish for the New Year believe me

        Your's very sincerely
            CHARLES MANBY

    Lt Col: Cruikshank.

On January 2, 1872, Cruikshank replies as follows:--

        263 HAMPSTEAD ROAD N W

    MY DEAR OLD FRIEND,--It is so long since I illustrated "Oliver
    Twist," that I do not at present know where the original
    sketches are, but will look over the bundles of papers for them
    and when found will let you know, and shall be highly pleased
    if you will visit my studio and take a peep at them, although
    some are so rough that they are hardly worth looking at,
    having been done in such haste. The sketches that Dr. Sheldon
    Mackenzie alludes to of "The Life of a London Thief" were made
    about 50 years back, when Charles Dickens was a little boy, and
    it is a chance if I ever see these sketches again, but I have a
    list of the subjects which I will show you.

    Wishing you and your's a happy New Year and many of them,

        I am, Dear Friend, Your's truly

    Charles Manby Esqre CE etc.



I often wonder that some zealous collector does not confine his
attention solely to letters illustrated by the writers. I have already
mentioned the achievements in this connection of Thackeray[62] and
Sir Frank Lockwood. I have come across illustrated letters in the
correspondence of Sir Joshua Reynolds and Mrs. Piozzi; Mrs. Norton
embellished her letters with admirable sketches of a humorous
character, and so did John Leech, Hablot K. Browne, Frederick Barnard,
and, of course, George Cruikshank. In my three grangerised volumes
relating to the history of _Punch_ are letters illustrated by Sir
Francis Burnand (who delighted his friends with this kind of _jeu
d'esprit_ before he left Cambridge), Mr. G. A. Sala, Mr. Linley
Sambourne, Mr. H. Furniss, Mr. Phil May, and Mr. E. T. Reed. One of the
most curious illustrated letters in my possession is a rough sketch of
a projected bath at Windsor, made by King George III. for the benefit
of Wyatt, the architect. Napoleon often added sketch-plans of battles
and movements of troops to his letters, and Louis Philippe was fond of
making quaint drawings, which are sometimes to be found even on the
official documents which passed through his hands. It was from a rough
sketch in a letter of Mr. Cobden, now in possession of Mr. T. Fisher
Unwin, that we find the genesis of the idea of the "big" and "little
loaf," which has achieved something very like political immortality.




CIRCA 1888.]





(By courtesy of Mr. William Darby, Edgbaston.)]


[58] A fan covered with the drawings, signatures, and handwriting of
modern artists and musicians was sold at Sotheby's on May 4, 1910, for

[59] A great deal of interesting information on this head will be found
in Dr. Mee's "History of the Oldest Music Room in Europe," which will
shortly be published by Mr. John Lane.

[60] See _ante_, Chapter IV., p. 109, and Chapter VII., p. 196.

[61] For another exceptionally fine letter of Mrs. Siddons to Mrs.
Piozzi see "Dr. Johnson and Mrs. Thrale," Chapter III., p. 148.

[62] See _ante_, p. 198.





    =Autograph letters of Napoleon--His associates and
    contemporaries--Other French autographs=

    "I cannot write well because my mind is engaged on two
    subjects at once; one, my ideas; the other, my handwriting.
    The ideas go on fastest, and then goodbye to the letters and
    the lines! I can only dictate now. It is very convenient to
    dictate. It is just as if one were holding a conversation"
    (Napoleon).--GOURGAUD, p. 261.

The subjects of autograph collecting and autograph dealing in France,
as well as the wealth of French literature dealing with the whole
subject, and the abundance of collections of facsimiles, have already
been incidentally alluded to. The business now carried on by M. Noël
Charavay was founded in 1843 by his father, M. Jacques Charavay, who
died in 1867. He was succeeded by his son, Stephen Charavay, who
lived till 1899. At his funeral an eloquent address was delivered
by M. Anatole France. Five years before the autograph business had
been made over by M. Stephen Charavay to his brother, Noël Charavay,
who now carries it on. In 1865 M. Gabriel Charavay, the brother
of Jacques Charavay, acquired the goodwill and connection of M.
Laverdet, one of the earliest dealers in autographs. His son and
successor, Eugène, died young in 1892, and the head of the house is
now the widow of Gabriel Charavay. Monthly catalogues are issued by
both firms under the respective titles of _Bulletin d'Autographes_
and _Revue des Autographes_. The first publication is now (1910) in
its 63rd, the other in its 45th year. Autograph collectors would do
well to study both, as English letters are frequently offered for sale
in them, and the price of Napoleonic MSS. and similar _rariora_ is,
as a rule, much less in England than in France. I strongly recommend
beginners in autograph collecting to carefully read the introduction
to the fine Bovet catalogue, afterwards published as a pamphlet by M.
Stephen Charavay. The four volumes, entitled "L'Isographie des Hommes
Célèbres," are of inestimable use in acquiring familiarity with the
handwriting of celebrated French men and women. M. Jacques Charavay
and his sons are responsible as "experts" (and in France autograph
"experts" have an official character) for the compilation of nearly the
whole of the elaborate catalogues of autograph sales which have taken
place in Paris since 1843. The solitary exception to this assertion is
the sale of the MSS. of Madame Récamier. It was Jacques Charavay and
his two successors who presided over the dispersals of the autograph
collections formed in succession by Brunet, Yémeniz, Fillon, Bovet,
Piot, Champfleury, Pichon, and Dablin.[63] A list of these catalogues
down to 1902 was prepared by M. Edmund Brébion and published. It is
already out of print.

Of Napoleon I. as a scribe my friend Dr. J. Holland Rose writes me as

    Napoleon was the greatest letter-writer of all time. The number
    of letters written or dictated by him up to the end of the
    Waterloo Campaign is 22,061; many more belong to the subsequent
    period, and some 2,000 or 3,000 letters have been found since
    the publication of the "Correspondance de Napoléon," published
    by order of Napoleon III.

    On very many occasions he wrote or dictated thirty or forty
    letters and dispatches in one day. A well-known example of
    his epistolary activity is that recorded by a Saxon Colonel,
    von Odleben, who describes him while staying at Düben shortly
    before the Battle of Leipsic, October, 1813. In those anxious
    days Napoleon kept his secretaries on the watch day and
    night, and is known to have sent off six important letters
    in the small hours of October 12th, shortly before he set
    out for Leipsic. In later days he wrote comparatively few of
    his letters himself, simply because his writing was almost

    His early letters to Josephine were of course in his own
    handwriting; they are remarkable, among the love-letters of
    great men, for their passionate ardour: which, however, soon
    cooled under the frivolities and neglect of his Consort.

    Some of his letters never have been deciphered. The present
    writer has in his possession an excellent photograph of a long
    Napoleon letter which is a rough draft of a proclamation to his
    army after the great victory at Rivoli in January, 1797. It has
    been much erased and altered. The skill of experts at Paris and
    London has failed to decipher the contents of three-fourths
    of this scrawl, yet the original was sold recently for a very
    large sum of money.

I have already mentioned[64] the seven Napoleon letters sold in London
in 1904 for £350. In the following year I was much interested in three
letters which M. Noël Charavay offered for sale at the modest price
of £100, throwing light on certain negotiations between Bonaparte and
the Bourbons, which supplement a curt letter of the former in the
Morrison Collection declining to entertain certain proposals. The three
letters sold in 1905 are in the easily recognisable handwriting of
Louis XVIII. (known in 1801, when they were written, as the Comte de
Lille), and in them he puts before the Abbé de Montesquieu, who was
acting as a go-between in the matter, the reasons which should induce
the First Consul to facilitate the return of the descendant of St.
Louis to the throne of his forefathers. In the first of the series
(dated Warsaw, March 22, 1801) Louis congratulates himself on the
idea which has prompted him to take the initiative in the matter. He
writes as follows: "Buonaparte is to-day the greatest of our country's
soldiers. He will be her saviour. As the Father of the French it is for
me to make the first advance.... I charge you to communicate to him the
following arguments: the restoration of the Monarchy is necessary; the
existence of the Republic has only proved its impossibility; the only
Republicans in France are abstract reasoners, faddists, &c." In a last
and final memorandum he says: "When I appeal to Buonaparte, do I do so
merely to march over the bodies of the dead? If glory has chosen him to
restore the Monarchy, let glory be the witness of my engagements." At
the same time he energetically denies the allegation that he has ever
encouraged or approved any project for the assassination of the First

In February of the present year I saw in London a superb Napoleonic
letter of great historic importance, and authenticated by a declaration
made by the Duke of Wellington. This letter once belonged to an
English Prime Minister. It was written on May 1, 1803, when the
delusive Treaty (or Truce) of Amiens was about to be torn up. A part
of the letter has appeared, but I now give it _in extenso_ with a

        ST. CLOUD 4½.

    Je recois votre lettre, qui m'a été remise à la Malmaison, je
    désire que la conference ne se tourne pas en parlage--mettez
    vous y froid, altier et même un peu fier.

    Si la notte (_sic_) contient le mot ultimatum fait lui sentir
    que ce mot renferme celui de guerre, que cette manière de
    negocier est d'un superieur à un inferieur, si la notte ne
    contient pas ce mot, fait qu'il le mette, en lui observant
    qu'il faut enfin savoir à qui nous en tenir, que nous sommes
    las de etat d'anxieté--que jamais en n'obtiendra de nous,
    ce que l'on a obtenu des dernières années des Bourbons, que
    nous ne sommes plus ce peuple que recevoit un commissaire à
    Dunkerque, que l'ultimatum remis, tout deviendra rompu.

    Effrayez le sur les suites de cette remise S'il est
    inébranlable, accompagnez le dans votre salon sur le point de
    vous quitter, dit lui "mais le Cap, et l'ile de Gorée, sont ils
    evacués" radoucissez un peu la fin de la Conférence, et invitez
    le à revenir avant d'écrire à sa Cour, enfin que vous puisiez
    lui dire l'impression qu'elle a fait sur moi, qu'elle pouvoit
    être diminuée, par l'assurance de l'evacuation de Cap et de
    l'ile de Gorée.



        ST. CLOUD 4½

    I am in receipt of your letter which was given me at Malmaison.
    I desire that the conference should not end in idle words. Be
    cold in your demeanour--haughty and if need be proud. If the
    note contains the word ultimatum, let him feel that this word
    means war, and that this manner of negotiating is that of a
    superior to an inferior; if the note does not contain this word
    see that he uses it saying that we must really know where
    we are, that we are weary of this state of tension and that
    they will never obtain from us, what they obtained in the last
    years of the Bourbons, that we are no longer the people to
    receive a Commissioner at Dunkirk and that the ultimatum once
    delivered everything will be broken off. Frighten him as to the
    consequence of this act on his part, if he is unwavering take
    him to your drawing-room and as he is on the point of leaving
    say to him "But the Cape and the Isle of Gorée, are they
    evacuated?" Then towards the end of the interview tone down
    matters a little, and suggest his coming back before writing to
    his Court, so that you may be able to tell him the impression
    which the conference has made upon me, and that it could be
    softened by the assurance of the evacuation of these places.


This letter was purchased by the Earl of Crawford and Balcarres, whose
attention I called to its great interest. Lord Crawford probably
possesses one of the finest sets of Revolutionary and Napoleonic MSS.
in the hands of any private collector. He is at the present moment
engaged in cataloguing them.

       *       *       *       *       *



Of the various autographs of Napoleon in my own collection, the
earliest (now reproduced) is dated February 1, 1796. Napoleon then
signed himself "Buonaparte." He was then Commander-in-Chief of the Army
of the Interior. The last I possess consist of a note in pencil written
at St. Helena and the various hieroglyphics with which he controlled
the entries in Pierron's journal of household disbursements. All the
autographs of the Bonaparte family fetch high prices, especially
letters of Madame Mère (Napoleon's mother), Josephine and Marie Louise
(his wives), and the sisters Eliza, Pauline, and Caroline. Letters of
his father are now extremely difficult to obtain, although ten years
ago they fetched only from £1 to £2. Letters of Talleyrand are
not rare, but the one I now place before my readers possesses both
exceptional interest and value.

_Talleyrand to Napoleon I._

    SIRE,--La naissance d'un prince dans la famille de votre
    majesté est un évenement heureux pour tous ses sujets. Je
    dois en sentir davantage l'importance moi que le sentiment,
    le respect, et la reconnaissance attachent d'une maniere plus
    particulaire à votre majesté. Je la supplie d'agréer avec
    bonté l'expression de ma joie et les veux ardents que je forme
    à chaque moment de ma vie pour la prosperité de son auguste
    famille, elle ne peut être trop nombreuse pour la tranquillité
    et le bonheur du monde.

    Je supplie votre majesté de recevoir avec bonté l'assurance du
    profond respect avec lequel je suis

        de votre majesté impériale et royale
            les très humble, très obeissant et très
                fidèle serviteur et sujet
                        _Prince de Bénévento_


    SIRE,--The birth of a prince in your Majesty's family is a
    happy event for all your subjects. I feel the importance of it
    more particularly on account of the sentiment, the respect and
    the gratitude which bind me to your Majesty. I entreat you to
    accept with favour my congratulations, as well as my ardent
    wishes, formed every moment of my life for the prosperity of
    your august family, which cannot be sufficiently numerous for
    the peace and prosperity of the world.

    I entreat your Majesty to graciously accept the assurance of
    profound esteem with which I subscribe myself,

        Your Imperial and Royal Majesty's
            faithful servant and subject
                    _Prince de Benevento_.


JANUARY, 1806.]

In this letter, dated April 20, 1808, Talleyrand conveys to the
Emperor, then at Bayonne, his congratulations on the birth of the
future Emperor, Napoleon III., at which he was present, and it must
have been written the very day when that event took place. In his "Life
of Napoleon III.," at page 10, the late Mr. Archibald Forbes writes
thus: "It was on the afternoon of April 20, 1808, in her _hôtel_ in
the Rue Cérutti, now the banking-house of the Rothschilds in the Rue
Lafitte, that Queen Hortense gave birth to her third son, the future
Napoleon III. The Empress was then at Bordeaux and the Emperor at
Bayonne. Talleyrand, with other high officers, had been commanded by
Napoleon to be present at the impending accouchement of Queen Hortense.
She thus notes regarding him: 'The visit of M. de Talleyrand aggravated
my nervous state. He constantly wore powder, the scent of which was so
strong that when he approached me I was nearly suffocated.' Talleyrand
looked down solemnly on the new-born infant; some thirty years later,
in Lady Tankerville's drawing-room in London, he did not choose to
recognise the son of Hortense. The heir of the Empire was then an
exile, and Talleyrand was serving a new master."


(FEBRUARY 22, 1802).]

I possess letters and documents signed by Napoleon in Egypt
(1798-99), at Rambouillet (1807), at Bayonne (1808), and on a pardon
(1812). Possibly the finest is on a letter written in 1805 from the
camp at Boulogne. I paid £5 for this; it is worth at least five times
as much now. Letters of most of Napoleon's Marshals vary in value from
10s. to 20s. The rarest are those of Desaix (killed at Marengo) and
Poniatowski (drowned in the Elster in 1813). They are worth from £3
to £5. An autograph letter of the Duc d'Enghien would probably bring
its owner £20. I gave £5 for a good L.S. Letters of Murat are worth
from 15s. to 20s. I bought the letter written to Napoleon by him for
12s. 6d. in England. Letters of Eliza Bonaparte and Marshal Masséna
are now somewhat hard to procure, as those of the former are purchased
by an historian, while the present holder of the title of the Prince
d'Essling is credited with being a liberal buyer of the MSS. of his
gallant ancestor.

[Illustration: A.L.S. OF MARSHAL NEY, PARIS, DECEMBER 23, 1813.]


As regards the Roi de Rome (Napoleon II.), I have already referred to
his exercise-books. If he had lived he would have had a rival in the
Comte de Chambord, of whose early compositions I now give an example.
His handwriting was excellent. Few boys at eight write anything like as

_Exercise of Count de Chambord, 1820-83._

    François Premier après avoir vaillamment combattu sous les
    murs de Pavie, fut fait prisonnier par les Espagnols. Ce roy
    chevalier annonça son malheur à sa mère par ces mots écrits sur
    le champ de bataille 'Tout est perdu fors l'honneur.' Il fut
    conduit en Espagne et mené à Madrid où il fut gardé dans un
    château. Charlequint l'y laissa long temps sans l'aller voir.

        St. Cloud _le 18 Juillet 1828_.

Nearly half a century later the writer preferred to lose his chances
of a throne rather than renounce the white flag of his ancestors. If
I mistake not he used the very words of Francis I. recorded on the
copy-book page now in my possession!


Ordinary letters of Napoleon III. and the Empress Eugénie are priced
at figures varying from £l to £5. Like Napoleon I., the heir to the
Napoleonic traditions was an industrious letter-writer. I possess many
examples of his letters, ranging from 1830 to 1870. Here is one written
during his detention in Germany:--

        _WILHELMSHOE le 29 Oct. 1870_

    MON CHER LORD ALFRED,--Je suis bien touché de votre bon
    souvenir; les sentiments qui renferme la lettre que vous avez
    bien voulu m'adresser m'ont fait grand plaisir et je vous
    remercie des nouvelles que vous me donnez de l'Imperatrice et
    de mon fils.

    C'est une vrai consolation pour moi dans mon malheur que de
    recevoir des preuves de sympathie comme les votres, et je
    vous prie de dire à Lady Paget combien je suis sensible à son
    souvenir. Je vous prie aussi de vouloir bien vous charger de la
    lettre ci-jointe pour Sir John Burgoyne. Il m'a écrit une
    lettre très aimable, mais on m'a pas donné une adresse, et je
    perir à le remercier.

    Recevez, mon cher Lord Alfred l'assurance de mes sentiments




Autograph letters of the Prince Imperial fetch very high prices
indeed--anything from £5 upwards. The fine essay written by him at the
Royal Military College, Woolwich, is worth quite twice that sum.

Letters of the Empress Eugénie are now generally priced higher than
those of her husband, and I have known as much as £10 asked for one.
Her Majesty is, or was, a zealous collector of autographs. Twenty years
ago she was credited with possessing several letters of Catherine of
Aragon, and a letter from Henry VII. to King and Queen Ferdinand and
Isabella, of the highest historical importance.

Fine letters of Louis XVIII., Charles X., and Louis Philippe can be
obtained for a pound or less, and the correspondence of the statesmen
who served under them is even cheaper. I gave 20 francs for a very
confidential letter written to the last-named monarch by Count Molé
(1781-1853) in July, 1835. It begins thus:--

    SIRE,--His Majesty will probably recollect that by means of
    a little monthly arrangement I have very nearly silenced the
    grape-shot of the _Morning Chronicle_, obtaining occasionally
    even favourable mention. I have undertaken now and then to
    obtain news paragraphs from London. Here is the first. It is
    curious, very curious indeed. I believe in the truth of its
    contents. I have opened up relations with _The Times_.

At this point he suddenly drops the subject, and enlarges on certain
gossip from the German Courts and the lack of intelligence shown by
the War Minister, General Bernard.


The official letters of the Revolutionary and Napoleonic periods are
often distinguished by engraved vignettes of great artistic beauty.
The designs of the earlier ones are often classical. The letters of
naval officers are often headed by a medallion on which a Roman galley
figures conspicuously. It was by carefully studying the sale catalogues
that I obtained the letter of Talleyrand to Napoleon at an outlay of
27 francs. For 52 francs I purchased in the open market one of the
earliest official letters of Villeneuve to the Minister of Marine at
Paris, after the battle of the Nile.

Some of the autographs of the Revolution fetch very high prices.
Letters of Mirabeau are comparatively cheap, but those of the
Robespierres and Anacharsis Cloots command almost as much as those
of Montesquieu. Letters of Madame Roland and Marat are also much in
request. Autographs of Charlotte Corday are probably more valuable than
those of Marie Antoinette.

OCTOBER, 1783.]


In the early part of the nineteenth century MSS. of every description
were sold at prices which now seem incredible. Miss Berry tells us that
the "Deffand collection of letters and documents consisting of 1 folio
of _œuvres de_ Boufflers; 1 do. of letters from different persons; 2
do. of letters from Voltaire to Madame de Deffand; 1 do. Journal of
do.; 1 do. _divers ouvrages_ of do.; 5 large bundles of manuscript
papers; 1 packet containing several hundred letters from Voltaire,
Rousseau, Delille, Montesquieu, de Staël, Walpole, Henault, and 7
_large packets_ containing 800 letters from Madame de Deffand to Horace
Walpole were sold in one lot to Dyce Sombre for £157." Lucky Nabob!
I may say without indiscretion that the single letter from Napoleon
to Talleyrand mentioned at the opening of this chapter obtained a
better price. Letters of Voltaire are worth from £1 to £5 each. I gave
10 francs for the apothecary's account for the embalming of his
body prior to its inhumation in the Pantheon. The following letter in
English from Voltaire to Lord Chesterfield--certainly a rarity--cost me
£3 3s.:--

_Voltaire to the Earl of Chesterfield._

            _5 August 1761._

    MY LORD,--give me leave to apply from the foot of the Alps to
    the english nobleman whose wit is the most adapted to the taste
    of every nation. j have in my old age a sort of conformity
    with you. tis not in point of wit, but in point of ears, mine
    are much hard too. the consolation of deaf people is to read,
    and sometimes to scribble. j have as a scribbler, made a prety
    curious commentary on many tragedies of corneille. t'is my duty
    since the gran daughter of corneille is in my house.

    if there was a gran daughter of Shakespear j would subscribe
    for her. j hope those who take ponticheré will take
    subscriptions too. the work is prodigeously cheap and no money
    is to be given but at the reception of the book

    _nurse_ receives the names of the subscribers. y^{r} name will be
    the most honourable and the dearest to me.

    I wish y^{r} lordship long life, good eyes and good stomak.

    my lord _souvenez vous de votre ancien serviteur Voltaire qui
    vous est attaché comme s'il était a londres_.

       *       *       *       *       *

The original spelling of the letter has been preserved.


It is needless to discuss the value of such priceless treasures as the
autographs of Rabelais and Molière, the subjects of so much discussion
and (if truth be told) so much deception. Like the signatures of
Shakespeare, they may be described as the Koh-i-noors of calligraphy.
They do not come within the domain of practical autograph collecting.


[63] It was at this sale I acquired the "House-expenses book" of
Napoleon at St. Helena and the correspondence of Poniatowski.

[64] See _ante_, Chapter I., p. 32.

[65] See "Life of Napoleon," by J. Holland Rose, Litt.D., vol. i. p.





    =The great collectors and collections of the United States--The
    autograph sale-rooms of New York, Boston, and Philadelphia=

    "How very inconsiderate some of our great people have been in
    the matter of epistolary correspondence! If Thomas Lynch, jun.,
    and Button Gwinnett, and John Morton had only understood the
    feelings of a collector, they would surely have favoured their
    friends more frequently with an A.L.S. or even an A.N.S. When
    they were signing the Declaration on that warm July afternoon,
    and committing themselves to the famous fallacy that 'all men
    are created equal,' they might have foreseen the day when every
    American collector would begin his colligendering career by
    gathering 'signers.'"--ADRIAN H. JOLINE.

If the conscript fathers of autograph collecting can be fairly claimed
by the country of their birth, the majority of their most ardent and
enthusiastic successors are to be found to-day on the other side of
the Atlantic. It is in New York, Boston, Baltimore, Philadelphia, San
Francisco, St. Louis, Savannah, and elsewhere that one must now look
for many of the choicest and most priceless literary MSS. in existence,
and it is obvious that the New World has in a measure become the
guardian of many of the traditions and treasures of the Old. Before
me lie the calendar of the Emmet collection of papers relating to
American history, presented some ten years ago to the New York Public
Library, which fills no less than 563 closely printed pages; next to
it is the catalogue, in three parts, of the Louis J. Haber collection,
sold in December, 1909, by the Anderson Auction Company of New York,
the successors of the historic firm of Bangs; the monograph, "Privately
Illustrated Books," by Daniel M. Tredwell, of New York--the largest and
most carefully written book on the subject yet produced in America (475
pages, handsomely printed in De Vinne's best style), the exhaustive
catalogue of that treasure-house of Southern history, beneath the
laurel and jasmines of historic "Wormsloe," Georgia, recently sent me
by Wimberley J. De Renne; the already often-referred-to "Meditations"
of Mr. Adrian H. Joline; the standard American book, "Autographic
Collections of the Signers of the Declaration of Independence and the
Constitution," by the late Lyman C. Draper, LL.D., the interesting
MSS. so carefully arranged by Chas. De F. Burns, of New York, whose
knowledge of early American collecting is very great; and, last but
not least, a pile of valuable notes and statistics from the pen of my
excellent friend Mr. Telamon Cuyler, without whose aid the present
chapter could never have been written. My initial difficulty is a
plethora of interesting information. I must not even attempt to
summarise the autographic trophies to be found in such famous libraries
as those of Mr. Pierpont Morgan, Dr. Thomas Addis Emmet (at the present
moment the Nestor of the world's great collectors of MSS.), Mr. W. J.
De Renne of Wormsloe, or Mr. W. H. Bexby of St. Louis.

Dr. Emmet, now the most vigorous octogenarian in New York, and divided
only by a single generation from the Irish patriot of 1804 (his uncle),
forms a living link between the days of Israel K. Tefft of Savannah,
the pioneer of American autograph collecting, whose library was sold
half a century ago in Philadelphia, and men like Mr. Louis J. Haber,
Mr. Bexby, and Mr. Telamon Cuyler himself; for is not my enthusiastic
_confrère_ himself the proud possessor of a holograph document
containing seven times the name of Button Gwinnett? To nine-tenths of
my lay readers the mention of B. Gwinnett, who was killed in a duel
in May, 1777, and T. Lynch, drowned at sea in the same fateful year,
will probably have no particular signification. Let me tell them that
if they could discover a fine autograph letter, duly signed, of either
of these signers of the Declaration of American Independence, they may
consider themselves provided for for life, and far richer than the
owners of red and blue "Post Office Mauritius," "Hawaian blues," or
other priceless _rariora_ dear to the votaries of philately!

The great majority of American autograph collectors apparently utilise
their letters and documents for the purposes of extra-illustration, or
the creation of "association-books."[66] Although the arrangement of
autographs on these lines does not receive the whole-hearted sanction
of Mr. Joline, Dr. Emmet has successfully demonstrated the supreme
importance of this source of illustration to the "grangeriser," and
it is constantly practised by both Mr. Cuyler and myself. In this
connection I do not, of course, allude to the MSS. of famous authors,
which should obviously be kept apart, and bound by experts like Mr.
Cedric Chivers, in such a way as not to interfere with their original
condition or appearance, but to isolated letters or documents. I fail
to imagine anything more interesting or attractive than a copy of
Clarendon's "History," illustrated not only by portraits and views, but
by MSS. like those in the possession of Mr. Sabin, or those I shall
describe when giving some account of the sales of the last decade.[67]
Then, and then only, do you seem to actually live again in the
veritable atmosphere of the seventeenth and eighteenth centuries.

The American collector generally begins his career, both as an
autograph collector and extra-illustrator, by dealing with such
works as Sanderson's "Lives of the Signers of the Declaration of
Independence" and Lossing's "Field-book of the Revolution" (1776-1783).
The Emmet Collection in the New York Public Library,[68] which numbers
10,800 documents, is classified under such heads as the Albany Congress
of 1754, the Stamp-Act Congress of 1765, the Continental Congress of
1774, the members of the Continental Congress, 1774-1789, Presidents
of Congress, Presidents of the United States, the Signers of the
Declaration of Independence, and so forth.

The cult of the Signers is one of the most distinctive features of
American autograph collecting.[69] The late Dr. Raffles, of Liverpool,
is credited with having got together a complete series, and I have
heard the subject attracted the sympathetic interest of Queen Victoria.
While the Rev. Dr. Wm. B. Sprague (born at Andover, Conn., U.S.A.) was
the first man to form the first unbroken set of the immortal fifty-six
"Signers," Dr. Raffles' set was the second to be completed. This fact
is shown in a letter of June, 1835, by Benjamin B. Thatcher (born at
Warren, Me., 1809; died Boston, Mass., 1840), the earliest writer on
American autograph collections. Some of the signatures of the "Signers"
are common enough, but those of Button Gwinnett and Lynch, both of
which I am able, thanks to the kindness of Mr. Cuyler, to illustrate,
are of quite phenomenal rarity. Gwinnett and Lynch both died tragically
"before their time," and this may possibly account for the scarceness
of their handwriting. Some collectors spend their lives in the
perpetual quest of these unfindable autographs.

Mr. Cuyler has sent me several anecdotes on the subject of these
Gwinnett and Lynch signatures. He informs me that the earliest American
collector, Israel K. Tefft, was called from Savannah to the estate of
a gentleman resident near that city. Having to wait, he wandered on
the lawn, under the cypress and the jasmine, and, perceiving a scrap
of paper blowing about, he carelessly picked it up. To his joyous
astonishment he found that it was a draft on the Treasury of Georgia,
dated 1777, ordering certain payments, and signed by Button Gwinnett!
Though Mr. Tefft was the first autograph collector in America, and had
begun operations as early as 1815-20, in Savannah, he had, until that
tour, never even seen the signature of Button Gwinnett--other than
that appearing upon facsimiles of the Declaration of Independence.
After transacting his business, he exhibited his find to his client,
and said that he would gladly take the paper in place of money for his
services. The gentleman generously presented him with the paper and
also paid him. (This signature of B. G. is now preserved in the "Set of
Signers" in the State Library at Albany, New York, U.S.A.)

Mr. Cuyler has ascertained that there are only twenty-two known
signatures of Button Gwinnett extant. These include his holograph will,
drawn up a few hours before his fatal duel with Gen. McIntosh (May,
1777), which is now in the collection of Mr. J. Pierpont Morgan, of New
York. No A.L.S. of Gwinnett is known. The State of Georgia, in which he
was Master of Pilotage, Justice of the Peace, Member of the Provincial
Assembly, Member of Council of Safety, and Governor, possesses not a
line of his writing. One L.S. is in the _private_ collection of Thos.
Addis Emmet, M.D., of New York.

I have previously alluded to the holograph document, with his name
repeated seven times, in possession of Mr. Cuyler. The A.L.S. of
Thomas Lynch, jun., "Signer for South Carolina" (now published),
came from the Washington correspondence.[70] It was ultimately sold
for £1,400 (_i.e._, £370 more than the record Nelson letter), and is
the only one in existence. It now figures in Dr. Emmet's best set of
"Signers" in the New York Public Library. In this set fifty-five out
of the fifty-six signers of the American Magna Charta are represented
by signed holograph letters. Dr. Emmet regards the acquisition of a
letter signed by Gwinnett as the crowning triumph of his sixty years'
work in the fields of autograph collecting. If a holograph letter of
Gwinnett could be discovered, _and such a letter may very likely exist
in England_, it would probably fetch £5,000.

Gwinnett was an Englishman, a descendant of Admiral Sir Thomas Button
(who entered our navy in 1589, explored Hudson's Bay, and died in
1634), migrated early in life to Charleston, South Carolina, finally
settling in Georgia, where he accumulated wealth. After his tragic
death, his widow and only child, a daughter, returned to England. The
daughter married but died childless.

In the list of American collectors Dr. Sprague comes next to Mr. Tefft.
George Washington at his death left his correspondence neatly arranged
and filed. His widow, however, burned the whole of the letters she had
ever received from the first President of the United States! This is
almost the greatest known destruction of valuable autograph matter.
From his first love-letter, penned in Virginia, to the young Widow
Custis, his correspondence during the fatal Braddock campaign, his
homely domestic instructions to the _châtelaine_ of Mount Vernon, to
his war letters, in which he opened his heart and there recorded the
true history of the American War, she had preserved all, which now
went into the fire and £100,000 on to-day's valuation, and priceless
American historical data, went up in smoke!


By the unwise permission of the Washington family, Dr. Sprague
was permitted to abstract "as many letters as he liked" from the
wonderfully accurate letter-files of George Washington, preserved at
his home, "Mount Vernon," in Virginia. Dr. S. there got some of his
best papers, being only requested to "leave copies of all letters he
took"! Among the papers he thus acquired was the A.L.S. of Thomas
Lynch, jun., "Signer" for South Carolina.

The following is the text of this wonderful autograph, a portion of
which is reproduced in facsimile:--

    SIR,--'Though the acquaintance I have with your Excellency be
    but slight, I am induced to hope that you will readily excuse
    the trouble I am going to give you, when you shall become
    acquainted with the merits of the Gentleman, in whose favour
    that trouble is given.

    Coll: Pinckney, the Bearer of this Letter, now Commands the
    first Regiment raised in this State for the Continental
    Service. At the commencement of the present War, he entered
    into the Service with the rank of Captain, and has since, to
    the satisfaction of every real friend of American liberty in
    this State, been advanced by various promotions to that of
    Coll. His family being as respectable as any amongst us, and
    his fortune abundantly competent, nothing but a passion for
    glory and a zeal for the cause of his Country, could have led
    him into this measure. I shall say nothing of his Abilities,
    convinced as I am that your Excellency's penetration and the
    frequent opportunities he cannot fail to have, will soon
    discover them, but as to Principles, I will be bold to say,
    that no Man living has a higher Spirit, a nicer sense of
    Honour, or a more incorruptable Heart, than he has. Such a man
    cannot but be highly acceptable to one in your Excellency's
    situation, & I will willingly engage my life that the friend
    I now venture to recommend to your favour is such an one--I
    fervently pray God to watch over your Excelly's life, & to make
    you as happy and successful as you are good and brave. I have
    the honour to be with the most sincere regard and most profound
    esteem, your Excellency's

            most obedient hu^{ble} ser^{vt}
                THOMAS LYNCH

    Charles Town,
        _July 5 1777_
    His Excellency General Washington.[71]


Letters of George Washington often find their way into the English
sale-rooms. During the first decade of the present century they
have varied in price from £6 to £60. Mr. Cuyler enables me to give
my readers not only one of the finest letters of Washington's in
existence, but one hitherto unpublished. I need not point out either
its characteristic style or historic value, but will only observe
that Lund Washington, his cousin and manager of his Virginia estates,
possessed his confidence before any other person, excepting perhaps
Mrs. Washington.

        _CAMP AT CAMBRIDGE Augt 20th 1775_

    DEAR LUND,--Your Letter by Captn Prince came to my hands last
    night--I was glad to learn by it that all are well.--the acct
    given of the behaviour of the Scotchmen at Port Tobacco &
    Piscataway surpriz'd & vexed me--Why did they Imbark in the
    Cause?--What do they say for themselves?--What does other
    say of them?--are they admitted into company?--or kicked out
    of it?--What does their Countrymen urge in justification of
    them?--they are fertile in invention, and will offer excuses
    where excuses can be made. I cannot say but I am curious to
    learn the reasons why men, who had subscribed, and bound
    themselves to each other, and their Country, to stand forth in
    defence of it, should lay down their Arms the first moment they
    were called upon.

    Although I never hear of the Mill under the direction of
    Simpson, without a degree of warmth & vexation at his extreame
    stupidity, yet, if you can spare money from other purposes, I
    could wish to have it sent to him, that it may, if possible, be
    set a going before the works get ruined & spoilt, & my whole
    Money perhaps totally lost.--If I am really to loose Barran's
    debt to me, it will be a pretty severe stroke upon the back of
    Adams, & the expense I am led into by that confounded fellow
    Simpson, and necessarily so--in seating my Lands under the
    management of Cleveland.--

    Spinning should go forward with all possible dispatch, as we
    shall have nothing else to depend upon if these disputes
    continue another year.--I can hardly think that Lord Dunmore
    can act so low, and unmanly a part, as think of seizing Mrs.
    Washington by way of revenge upon me; howevr as I suppose she
    is, before this time gone over to Mr Calverts, & will soon
    after retug, go down to New Kent, she will be out of his reach
    for 2 or 3 months to come, in which time matters may, and
    probably will, take such a turn as to render her removal either
    absolutely necessary, or quite useless.--I am nevertheless
    exceedingly thankful to the Gentlemen of Alexandria for their
    friendly attention to this point and desire you will if there
    is any sort of reason to suspect a thing of this kind provide
    a Kitchen for her in Alexandria, or some other place of safety
    elsewhere for her and my Papers.

    The People of this Government have obtained a character which
    they by no means deserved--their officers generally speaking
    are the most indyferent kind of People I ever saw.--I have
    already broke one Col. and five Captains for Cowardice, and
    for drawing more Pay and Provisions than they had men in their
    Companies there is two more Cols now under arrest, and to be
    tried for the same offences--in short they are by no means
    such Troops, in any respect as you are led to believe of
    them from the accts which are published, but I need not make
    myself Enemies among them, by this declaration although it is
    consistant with truth.--I daresay the men would fight very
    well (if properly officered) although they are an exceeding
    dirty & hasty people.--had they been properly conducted at
    Bunkers Hill (on the 17th of June) or those that were there
    properly supported, the Regulars would have met with a shameful
    defeat, & a much more considerable loss than they did, which
    is now known to be exactly 1057 killed & wounded--it was for
    their behaviour on that occasion that the above officers were
    broke, for I never spared one that was accused of Cowardice but
    brot'em to immediate Tryal.

    Our Lines of Defence are now compleated, as near so at least as
    can be--we men wish them to come out as soon as they please,
    but they (that is the enemy) discover no Inclination to quit
    their own Works of Defence, & as it is almost impossible for
    us to get to them, we do nothing but watch each others motions
    all day at the distance of about a mile, every now and then
    picking off a stragler when we can catch them without their
    Intrenchments, in return they often attempt to Cannonad our
    Lines to no other purpose than the waste of a considerable
    quantity of powder to themselves which we should be very glad
    to get.--

    What does Doctr Craik say to the behaviour of his Countrymen, &
    Townspeople? Remember me kindly to him & tell him that I should
    be very glad to see him here if there was any thing worth his
    acceptance, but the Massachusets People suffer nothing to go by
    them that they can lay hands upon.--

    I wish the money could be had from Hill & the Bills of
    Exchange (except Col Fairfax's, which ought to be sent to him
    immediately) turned into Cash, you might then, I should think,
    be able to furnish Simpson with about £300, but you are to
    recollect that I have got Cleveland & the hired People with him
    to pay also.--I would not have you buy a single bushel of wheat
    till you can see with some kind of certainty what Market the
    Flour is to go to--& if you cannot find sufficient employment
    in repairing the Mill works, and other things of this kind for
    Mr. Robets and Thomas Alferd, they must be closely employed
    in making Cask or working at the Carpenters or other business
    otherwise they must be discharged for it is not reasonable,
    as all Mill business will probably be at an end for a while,
    that I am to pay them £100 a year to be Idle.--I should think
    Roberts himself must see, & be sensible of the reasonableness
    of this request, as I believe few Millers will find employment
    if our Ports are shut up, & the wheat kept in the straw, or
    otherwise for greater security.

    I will write to Mr. Milnor to forward you a good Country
    Boulting Cloth for Simpson which endeavour to have contrived
    to him by the first safe conveyance.--I wish you would quicken
    Lasphire & Sears about the Dining Room Chimney Piece (to be
    executed as mentioned in one of my last letters) as I could
    wish to have that end of the house compleatly finished before
    I return.--I wish you had done the end of the New Kitchen next
    the garden as also the old Kitchen with Rusticated Board,
    however as it is not I would have the corners done so in the
    manner of our New Church (those two especially which Fronts
    the Quarter.--What have you done with the Well? Is that walled
    up?--have you any accts of the Painter? how does he behave at

    I much approve of your sowing wheat in clean ground, although
    you should be late in doing it, and if for no other purpose
    than a tryal.--It is a growing I find, as well as a new
    practice, that of Overseers keeping Horses, & for what purpose,
    unless it be to make fat Horses at my expense, I know not as it
    is no saving of my own Horses. I do not like the custom, & wish
    you would break it, but do as you will, as I cannot pretend to
    interfere at this distance.

    Remember me kindly to all the neighbours who enquire after

        yr affecte friend and servt
            G. WASHINGTON

Letters of Franklin are less valuable than those of Washington. The
letter reproduced was purchased by me in Paris for £10. It of course
derives additional value from being addressed to Washington. The seal
is intact.

        _PASSY, NEAR PARIS, March 2. 1778._

    DEAR SIR,--M. de Fontevieux, who hopes to have the honour of
    delivering this into your hands, is a young Gentleman of a
    considerable Family, and of excellent character, who goes over
    with Views of improving himself in the military Art under your
    Auspices. He is willing to serve as Volunteer, in any Capacity
    for which your Excell^{y} shall find him qualified. He is warmly
    recommended to me by Persons of great Distinction here, who
    are zealous Friends to the American Cause. And I beg leave to
    recommend him earnestly to your Excellency's Protection, being
    confident that he will endeavour to merit it. With the greatest
    Esteem & Respect I have the Honour to be,

            Your Excellency's
        most obedient and most humble Servant
                B. FRANKLIN

    To his Excellency George Washington Esq^{re} General &
    Commander in chief of the American Armies, Philadelphia.


2, 1778.]

The names of Lyman Draper, G. W. Childs Kennedy, Proctor, Fogg,
Dreer, C. C. Jones, jun., W. J. De Renne, and Elliot Danforth,
are, like those of Emmet, J. Pierpont Morgan, and Joline, familiar to
all American autograph collectors. I find in _The Archivist_ (1894)
many interesting details of the wonderful collection of Mr. George
Washington Childs, publisher and proprietor of the _Philadelphia
Ledger_. Mr. Childs acquired amongst other _rariora_, the MSS. of
Byron's "Bride of Abydos," Thackeray's "Lecture on the Four Georges,"
and Scott's "Chronicles of Canongate." He possessed a MS. parody by
Byron on Wordsworth's "Peter Bell," which began with the somewhat
prosaic lines:--

    There's something in a flying horse
    And something in a huge balloon.

Byron wrote:--

    There's something in a stupid ass,
    And something in a heavy dunce;
    But never since I went to school
    I heard or saw so d----d a fool
    As William Wordsworth is for once.

Amongst the autographs greatly sought after in America is that of the
ill-fated Major André. One of the gems of Mr. Childs's collection is
described as a holograph poem by the unlucky soldier, entitled the "Cow
Chase," and dated July 21, 1780. Its closing stanza runs:--

    And now I've closed my epic strain
      I tremble as I show it,
    Lest this same warrior-drover Wayne
      Should ever catch the poet.

André was soon after captured and executed. To the concluding verse
some unkind and unknown hand has added the lines--

    And when the epic strain was sung
    The poet by the neck was hung,
    And to his cost he finds too late
    The "dung born tribe" decides his fate.[72]

Mr. Cuyler sends me some interesting information on the subject of
André from the collector's point of view. It appears that André was
twice captured during the American War. Upon the first occasion he
was hastily searched, and though he lost his watch, arms, sword, and
purse, he managed to save the framed miniature of his beloved Honora
Sneyd by concealing it in his mouth! The occasion of his second capture
was on that fatal ride along the east bank of the Hudson River,
after his interview with Benedict Arnold. At this time the whole of
André's papers, both official and personal, were in New York. Upon the
evacuation of New York, 1783, some one took his papers to Halifax, Nova
Scotia. Seventy-five years later a friend of Dr. Emmet called on a
gentleman resident there. Receiving no response to his ring, he walked
through the house, and as he entered the kitchen he found his friend
kicking the last of a heap of musty, faded papers into the fire, on an
open hearth. Leaping over several great oaken chests, the visitor saved
seven or eight documents, several already scorched, from the flames.
The gentleman of Halifax explained that he needed the chests, which his
grandfather had deposited in their garret, and so burned the papers.
Those saved were autograph documents of André--and the New Yorker gave
them to Dr. Emmet, in whose collection they now are. André's writings
in America are exceedingly scarce.

André was an artist, and executed several drawings of his friends,
among whom were portraits of Abraham Cuyler and his wife, which are now
preserved in that family. This man was the last Royal Mayor of Albany,
New York, and the father of General Sir Cornelius Cuyler, whose sons
fought in the Guards defending Hougomont at Waterloo.

As in France and England, there has been much wanton destruction
of MSS. in the United States, on which subjects Mr. Joline speaks
feelingly. Mr. T. Cuyler tells me that after the crushing defeat of
the Federals by the Confederate Army at Bull Run (First Manassas),
Virginia, in 1861, the former fled in wildest disorder to Washington
City, where they rallied. The consequent confusion, the urgent demands
for food and lodgings for a large force of men, caused improvised
bakeries to be established in the lower story of the National Capitol.
A lady, in passing through a corridor, observed an officer urging
his men to roll away into an adjacent marsh great barrels, dusty and
stained with age, out of which protruded ancient papers. She paused,
and thinking of Dr. Emmet's collection, she begged leave to fill her
pockets with documents. Those which she so saved were found to be
priceless--being correspondence of 1776-1783, and among her finds was a
long letter from Benjamin Franklin, dated at Passy, France, during the
American Revolutionary War. Later inquiries disclosed the fact that,
after the British victory at Bladensburg, Maryland, the secretaries
of the Federal Government had hastily packed these archives in
barrels and carried them to safety before the British forces had
taken Washington City, in the "War of 1812." Upon their return, these
precious papers had been left in the Capitol until ruthlessly tossed
out in 1861.

One of the most striking features in American autograph collecting,
important and extensive as it is to-day, is the smallness of its
beginnings. Tefft, the originator of the autograph cult, who commenced
operations by securing a few signatures in the year of Waterloo, was
only a bank-cashier; Dr. Sprague was a clerical tutor in the Washington
family, and pure accident put unique opportunities in his way;
Ferdinand J. Dreer was a merchant who took up the hobby when his health
gave way, and lived to complete a collection second only in importance
to that formed by Dr. Emmet. It was Dreer who, at the expense of £200,
recovered Washington's last letter, after it had remained for nearly
a century in Sweden. Charles C. Jones, jun., of Augusta, Georgia, was
the first to set the fashion of looking for letters connected with the
Civil War of 1861-65. The era of autograph sales began in 1810, at
Charleston, South Carolina, by the dispersal of the collection of MSS.
formed by a French Consul, but the first autograph sale catalogue is
nearly a quarter of a century later, and includes the papers of Aaron
Burr, at one time Vice-President of the United States. It was not,
however, till the "eighteen-fifties" that dealing in autographs came to
rank as a business.

As regards the prospects of this popular pursuit in the United States,
Mr. Telamon Cuyler writes as follows:--

    "The future of American autograph collecting seems to be
    directed to the illustration of the beginnings of our
    industrial and financial life rather than to the forming
    or attempting to form what would only result in being very
    inferior sets of 'Signers,' generals, governors, &c. The
    beginnings of newspaper life, of iron manufacturing, of cotton
    milling, of cotton culture, of the steamboat business, of
    maritime life along the Atlantic seaboard, and such efforts
    with special attention to great inventions, such as the
    telephone, telegraph, typewriter, electric light, automobile,
    flying machines, and many hundreds of smaller discoveries.
    The gathering of documents connected with the foundations of
    great industries, such as the steel business, is now being
    carried forward by collectors of great wealth who have drawn
    their immense fortunes from the source which they endeavour
    to retrace to its petty beginning. You can readily understand
    how perfectly natural such a form of collecting appears when
    you view it in the light of our national development and our
    national character. I myself have taken up certain lines of
    collecting in this field and which I find of the greatest

Mr. C. E. Goodspeed, of 5A, Park Street, Boston, who, like Mr. Benjamin
of New York, issues frequently very useful sale catalogues of autograph
letters, also writes me:--

    "I think the most interesting autograph which I have ever had
    was a one-page quarto letter from Martha Washington to Mrs.
    John Adams, the wife of the second President of the U.S., in
    answer to Mrs. Adams' letter of condolence on the death of her
    husband (President Washington). That letter sold for $300.00,
    but would bring perhaps twice that to-day. The most interesting
    historical document, perhaps, which I have had was a letter
    from Governor Hutchinson to the Committee of the town of Boston
    in answer to the demand of the Committee for the removal of
    the troops. This was written the day after the famous Boston
    Massacre of March 5, 1770. I have had a great many Washington
    letters, but never any of great historical importance. An
    interesting note might be made of those aggravating incidents
    where autographs are brought in by parties who wish to find
    their value, but who would not sell them. Amongst items of this
    class I may mention, having been brought in quite recently,
    Benjamin Franklin's famous epitaph for his own tombstone,
    written in his own autograph; it is found in all the "Lives
    of Franklin"; an autograph album containing about a dozen
    letters from Byron to Lady Blessington; a letter from Byron to
    his wife, written after their separation, but never sent, as
    Lady Blessington advised against it and retained the letter;
    also in the same album three or four letters from Dickens to
    Lady Blessington; two charming Thackeray letters followed with
    pretty pen-and-ink sketches; an autograph poem of Thackeray's;
    two autograph poems, each of Elizabeth Barrett and Robert
    Browning; and poems of Landor, and others! Was not that a nice
    little collection, and was it not an aggravation not to be able
    to even make an offer on it?"

The President of the Anderson Auction Company (12, East 46th Street,
New York) has most obligingly sent me a priced catalogue of the Haber
Sale, already more than once mentioned in these pages.

Mr. L. J. Haber has also given me the price at which the letters sold
were originally acquired. If the reader bears in mind that five dollars
represent a pound he will easily be able to judge not only the prices
which now rule in the autograph market of New York, but the rise in
them which has taken place in the past ten or twenty years. No list of
this kind has ever before appeared:--


                                     Cost.    Sale Price.
 Lot No.                               $           $
     9   Aldrich                     7.50         32.00
    90   Presidents                415.00        930.00
   312   Browning (E. B.)           27.50        100.00
   315      "       "               20.00         37.00
   326   Bryant (W. C.)              9.00         13.00
   355   Burroughs (John)            7.50         46.00
   409   Mark Twain                 15.00        150.00
   410     "    "                    5.00        100.00
   422   Coleridge                  12.00         29.00
   431   Cooper                     13.00         85.00
   478   De Quincey                 10.00         34.00
   486   Dickens                    12.50         53.00
   553   Emerson                    18.00        115.00
   768   Hardy (T.)                  5.00         36.00
   774   Harris (Joel C.)           10.00         53.00
   775   Harte (Bret)               24.00        161.00
   784   Hawthorne[73]              16.00         75.00
   825   Holmes                     28.00        195.00
   881   Irving                    120.00        445.00
   929   Keats                     125.00      2,500.00

The above-mentioned autographs were either included in books or bound
up separately. The following apparently were detached letters:--


                                     Cost.    Sale Price.
 Lot No.                               $           $
     1   Addison                    20.00         42.00
    30   Jane Austen                20.00         60.00
    42   Beecher (H. W.)             2.00         21.00
    45   Blackmore                   2.50          8.50
    47   Blake (Wm.)                15.00         55.00
    44      "   "                    1.00          8.50
    51   John Bright                 1.00          7.25
    52   Brontë (C.)                15.00         25.00
    46   John Brown                 20.00         46.00
    60   Browning (E. B.)           20.00         35.00
    76   Burns                      70.00        165.00
    81   Byron                      40.00         85.00
    84   Carlyle                    10.00         21.00
    91   Chesterfield               12.00         17.00
   114   Darwin                      4.00         12.00
   118   Dickens                    18.00         35.00
   127   Doyle (Richard)            10.00         21.00
   144   Franklin                   30.00         86.00
   151   Gladstone                   1.50          5.00
   165   Hardy (Thomas)              1.50          9.75
   170   Hawthorne                  20.00         45.00
   208   Johnson (Samuel)           35.00         85.00
   216   Kipling (R.)                4.00         17.00
   229   Lewes                       2.50         14.00
   242   Macpherson (James)          2.50          9.50
   246   Marryat (Capt.)             3.00          9.00
   251   Meredith (Geo.)             5.00         15.50
   262   Morris (Wm.)                9.00         21.00
   274   Paine (Thos.)              10.00         25.00
   288   Piozzi (Mme.)              12.00         43.00
   290   Poe (E. A.)                28.00         96.00
   292   Pope (A.)                  40.00        145.00
   293   Porter (Jane)               2.00         10.00
   304   Reade (Chas.)               1.00          6.00
   309   Richardson (Samuel)        15.00         29.00
   315   Rossetti (D. G.)            4.00         16.50
   325   Shelley                    60.00        105.00
   326     "                         7.50         80.00
   347   Stevenson (R. L.)          12.00         51.00
   353   Swinburne (A.)              3.00         15.00
   358   Tennyson (A.)               9.00         31.00
   358   Thackeray (W. M.)           8.00         60.00
   371   Walpole (H.)               10.00         24.00
   377   Wesley (J.)                 8.00         20.00

The majority of the Haber MSS. are of British origin. It gives me
little opportunity of saying anything about the varying prices of the
A.L.S. of American Presidents, or of the rise in value of the letters
of Abraham Lincoln and Ulysses Grant. I note, however, that a letter
of E. A. Poe has more than trebled in value since Mr. Haber acquired
it. Letters of Longfellow are still in demand, but those of O. W.
Holmes are somewhat at a discount and were not largely represented in
the Haber Sale, at which a fine specimen of Benjamin Jowett went for
4s. A 4-pp. letter of Mr. Thomas Hardy was sold for £1 19s., but a 1-p.
8vo of Rudyard Kipling brought £3 8s.! A verse by Mr. Andrew Lang, to
which his signature was appended, went for £1 4s. It was entitled "The
Optimism of an Undertaker," and ran:--

    Ah, why drag on unhappy days
    (This rede the undertaker says),
      Misguided race of men!
    Who handsomely interred might be
    By Mr. Silas Mould (that's me)
      For only three pound ten.

Twelve lines by Alexander Pope excited keen competition, and were sold
eventually for £29. It is evident that, in spite of the set back of
two years ago which brought a good many autographs back to England,
the American market is still higher than any other, and there is
every chance of its continuing so. On April 25, 1910, Mr. Frank Sabin
paid £8,650 at Sotheby's for the voluminous correspondence, chiefly
addressed to W. Blathwayt, Secretary of State and Commissioner for
Trade and Plantations, relative to the American Colonies, during the
last quarter of the seventeenth century. William Blathwayt (1649-1717)
served his political apprenticeship under Sir W. Temple, subsequently
filling the posts of Secretary at War (1683), Secretary of State to
William III. during the campaign in Flanders, Commissioner for Trade
and Plantations and Clerk of the Privy Council. Some years ago a parcel
of Blathwayt's own letters, which I used in extra-illustrating the
"Account of William III.'s Achievements at the Siege of Namur," cost
me 20s. Another interesting lot at the sale of April 25th consisted
of thirteen MS. and thirty-five early printed maps. This went to Mr.
Quaritch for £690--a price solely attributable to its unique American


(By permission of Messrs. Harper Bros.)]


[66] See my article in _The Country Home_, March, 1910.

[67] See _post_, Chapter XII.

[68] Since 1896 Dr. T. A. Emmet has formed a second collection of
little less importance than the one now alluded to.

[69] Mr. T. Cuyler hopes some day to publish a "Visitation of the
Signers" which will comprise a complete transcript of all the principal
letters and documents collected under this head. The value and interest
of such a work will be of manifold importance. He has already made a

[70] See _post_, p. 328.

[71] The original is now in the Emmet Collection, New York Public

[72] André's journals are now in the magnificent collection of Mr.
Bexby, of St. Louis.

[73] Cost is for letter only; sale price includes book.





    =William Upcott and his contemporaries--Sale prices 1810-1910=

    Letters are the soul of trade.--JAMES HOWELL (1595-1666).

William Upcott, the conscript father of modern autograph-collecting,
was born in 1770, and lived until 1845. He was the natural son of the
painter Ozias Humphry, the maiden-name of whose mother he assumed. His
own mother was Dolly Wickens, the daughter of an Oxford tradesman. From
his father he inherited a taste for antiques of every description, as
well as a valuable collection of miniatures, pictures, and engravings.
The life-story of Upcott is told with unusual detail in the "Dictionary
of National Biography."[74] While acting as an assistant to the
well-known booksellers, Evans of Pall Mall and Wright of Piccadilly,
he attracted the attention of Dean Ireland and other _literati_. He
was appointed Assistant-Secretary to Porson at the London Institution
in 1806, and on his death continued to occupy the same post under
Maltby. Mr. H. R. Tedder tells us that "every inch of the walls in
his rooms, whether at the London Institution or in his subsequent
residence, was covered with paintings, drawings, and prints, most
of them by Gainsborough or Humphry, while all the drawers, shelves,
boxes, and cupboards were crammed with his [autograph] collections."
Upcott spent the evening of his useful life at 102, Upper Street,
Islington, naming his house "Autograph Cottage." In 1836 he published
privately a catalogue of his MSS. One of his greatest finds (and they
may be counted by scores) was the discovery of the MS. of Chatterton's
"Amphitryon" (now in the British Museum) in a cheesemonger's shop.
He never married. There is a capital portrait of Upcott engraved in
March, 1818, by T. Bragg, after a drawing by W. Behnes. My copy of it
is inscribed in minute but peculiarly clear handwriting, "Presented to
his much esteemed Friend and fellow-traveller Mrs. Robert Nasmyth of
Edinburgh. William Upcott," London Institution, August 26, 1833. By his
side is a cabinet of medals; in his hands a volume of "Topography," and
on the table a deed on which one at once recognises the sign-manual of
Queen Elizabeth.

It is impossible to over-estimate the value of the work done by Upcott
in providing sources of reliable information for future generations of
historians. In my own collection is the following interesting letter of
this collector, written nine years before his death:--

            _Sep 19 1836_

    DEAR SIR,--When you favoured me with a visit to take a hasty
    glance at my collection of autographs I was much pleased to
    find that you were gratified by the inspection. I expressed a
    wish, which I still entertain, that this collection--a labour
    of more than 25 years--should be placed in the hands of those
    who could appreciate its value either in a Public Library, or
    with a private individual of acknowledged taste.

    At present, it remains in the same state as when you saw it,
    nor am I desirous to accede to its removal from my shelves
    until you shall again repeat your visit, agreeably to your

    When may I expect that gratification? Should you deem the mass,
    as particularized in my printed catalogue, too voluminous to
    purchase, what say you with possession of the 13 volumes in
    folio _not_ noticed in my catalogue containing 2078 Autographs
    including Letters and illustrated with 1000 portraits with
    Short Biographical notices, subjoined, written by myself and
    bound by Herring in morocco with leather joints. Their contents
    comprise Sovereigns, Statesmen, Divines, Lawyers, Noble and
    Military Officers, Medical men, Authors, Men of Science,
    Artists, Actors, Musicians, Foreigners and celebrated Women
    with property; printed Title pages and Indexes.

    All the Autographs are mounted on tinted drawing paper and
    those who have examined the drawings pronounce them to be
    altogether unique. The collecting and writing of the Memoirs
    cost me 3 years' labour. When my friend Dawson Turner inspected
    them in 1830 he furnished me with his opinion of its merits of
    which the following is a copy:--

        MY DEAR UPCOTT,--You asked me as to the value of the 13
        volumes of Autographs and I should be glad that, if you are
        disposed to sell them, I might be allowed to place a price
        upon them for I have often examined them as you know very
        carefully, and now think that nobody is much better able
        than myself to esteem property of this description. Pass on
        a few short years and these volumes will be one of the best
        Biographical Records in existence.

        Considered in the four-fold character which they derive
        from the interest of the individuals they contain, the
        beauty of the portraits the care you have taken in
        illustrating the history of the parties and the exquisite
        beauty and taste with which they are put together:--I
        certainly know no series of the kind equally desirable, and
        I regard the whole as unquestionably unique. Such is my
        idea of their merit, and their price I should say should be
        _at least seven hundred pounds_.

    I am a single man, without a relation possessing a
    corresponding feeling with myself. My earnest desire therefore
    is to see all my articles of vertu as well as Pictures,
    Drawings, Autographs, and curiously Illustrated Books, pass
    from me to other hands who can appreciate their works,
    _without_ the notoriety of a public sale. My friend Turner's
    valuation of the 13 volumes just alluded to has, I find, been
    backed by the opinion of other collectors, yet if you should
    entertain the idea of possessing them _I will part with them
    for 500 Guineas_.

    An early answer, stating when I shall be likely to see you will
    be esteemed a favour, as my intention is to go to Paris for a
    short time about the end of the month.

        Believe me to remain, dear Sir,
            Your ever faithful servant,
                WILLIAM UPCOTT.

    P.S.--Did you mention to your friend my small collection of
    Original Pictures? You kindly told me you would favour me with
    his company. My best compliments were on Mr. Lomax and Mr.
    Bentley, your travelling companions.

It was to his brother autograph collector, Mr. Dawson Turner, of
Yarmouth, that Upcott dedicated in 1818 his standard work on the
literature of English topography. Mr. Greaves, of Isham Hall,
Manchester, apparently missed the chance of a lifetime. He might have
acquired for £500 what would be now worth £15,000 or even £20,000.

In 1846 Upcott's _rariora_ were sold by Sotheby at Evans's
auction-rooms, 106, New Bond Street, and realised £4,125 17s. 6d., and
that at a time when the science of autographs was in its infancy. In
the "Dictionary of National Biography" reference is made to the large
paper copy of the Upcott catalogue now in the British Museum as once
belonging to Dawson Turner. Numerous purchases were made for the
national collection, which now form the series known as additional
MSS. 15841 to 15957. Amongst these 116 volumes are the papers of John
Nicholas, the papers of Brown and Evelyn, Burton's diary, Curtius's
letters, the Dayrolles correspondence, the letters addressed to Sir
Christopher Hatton, Shenstone's poem, the "Snuff-Box," and many other
items of extraordinary interest, including Prior's papers while in
Paris, and the papers of the French Army in Italy.

The following are fair examples of the prices realised at this
memorable sale of January 22-24, 1846:--

  LOT 43. _Dayrolles Correspondence._--1,368 Letters and
        Documents and Diplomas (A.L.S. fr. Harley, Boyle, Bothmer,
        St. John, Addison, Craggs, Stone, Holdernesse, George II.,
        Newcastle, Chesterfield, Pelham, &c.)

                                                              £110 0 0

  LOT 67. _Autographs of Kings of France_ on Vellum.--Original
        Documents from Philip V., 1319, to Napoleon, 2 vols.

                                                               £7 10 0

  LOT 140. _Navy._--535 Letters and Documents from Papers of
        Adm. _Norris_ w. Portraits (_e.g._, Blake, Monk, Pr.
        Rupert, Pepys, Byng, Rooke, Oxford, Lestock, Wager, Anson,
        Sandwich, Warren, _Nelson_, Keith, Cornwallis, Popham, S.
        Smith, St. Vincent, &c.)

                                                               £10 0 0

  LOT 166. _Sidney Correspondence._--66 Letters addressed to Sir
        Ph. Sidney and his family (_e.g._, Leycester, Danby,
        Thanet, Ormond, Sir J. Temple, Robert Sidney, father of
        Algernon, &c.)

                                                                £5 7 6

  LOT 199. _Voltaire_--MS. copy of _La Pucelle d'Orleans_ w.
        marginal notes by V., 1755

                                                                £2 3 0

  LOT 211. _Napoleon_, as First Consul; _Do._ as Emperor from
        Wilna and from Moscow, 1812; Portion of Las Cases' Life of
        Napoleon corrected by N. at St. Helena; Marie Louise as
        Regent, and various papers

                                                               £16 0 0

  LOT 228. Letter of _Washington_, 1790. Letters and signatures
        of Adams, Madison, Monroe, Jefferson, Von Buren, &c.

                                                               £3 10 0

  LOT 421. 383 Letters of _literary_ men of XVI., XVII. and
        XVIIIth centuries, most addressed to John Evelyn, w. 62
        Portraits (Addison, Attenbury, T. Browne, Boyle, Congreve,
        Marvel, _Pope_, Prynne, Newton, Flamstead, Pepys, Orrery,
        Waller, Vanbrugh, Sloane, &c.)

                                                               £80 0 0

  LOT 422. 752 Letters of _literary_ men of XVIII. and XIXth
        Centuries, w. 181 Portraits (Boswell, Blair, Beattie,
        Gifford, Herschel, Horne, Hoole, Percy, Wilkes, Young, &c.)

                                                               £33 0 0

  LOT 423. 1,279 Letters of _literary_ men XVIII. and XIXth
        centuries, w. 109 Portraits (Astle, _Byron_, Cary, Ducarel,
        _Gibbon_, T. Paine, Pownall, _Scott_, White, &c.)

                                                               £42 0 0

  LOT 424. 1,768 Letters of _literary_ men XVIII. and XIXth
        centuries, w. 29 Portraits (Chalmers, Dibdin, _Foscolo_,
        Hazlitt, Lort, _Malthus_, Pinkerton, Steevens, _Whalley_,
        Dr. Parr, &c.)

                                                               £16 0 0

The examination of this truly marvellous catalogue not only shows the
extent of Mr. Graves's loss, but that the increase of prices between
1827 and 1846 had been infinitesimal. The earliest indications of a
noteworthy upward movement are discernible at the Donnadieu Sale of
1851, and still more markedly so at the dispersal of the collections
of Mr. Young and Mr. Dillon in 1869. It was reserved for the present
year of grace to see a Keats letter sell for £500, and one of Charlotte
Brontë for £50. My friend Dr. Scott is quite in despair over the prices
of February 28, 1910, and regards the figure at which the Brontë
autograph sold as "positively wicked"!

One of the most industrious (but not always discriminating) collectors
who followed was Sir Thomas Phillipps, of Cheltenham (1792-1872), who
not unfrequently acquired the whole contents of a dealer's catalogue
_en bloc_. Sales from the _Bibliotheca Phillippica_ have taken place
at intervals since 1892, and the store is not yet exhausted.[75] I
am personally grateful to this voracious accumulator of autographic
treasure, as I picked up at one of the sales seven volumes of
eighteenth-century water-colour sketches of Dorset buildings and
scenery for--_five shillings!_

In 1832 he wrote the following letter (now in my possession) to the
late Sir Henry Ellis:--

        _February 16 1832_

    DEAR SIR,--You expressed a wish that I would consent to part
    with my Library of MSS to the British Museum. It cannot be
    expected that I should make a gift of them after the enormous
    sum I have paid for them, but I am willing to cede them, if
    the nation will pay my debts, which I now owe. The number of
    MSS I consider to be above 8000 Vols, containing probably
    20,000 articles.

        Believe me to be yrs truly
            THOS PHILLIPPS

    PS.--I must observe that the money thus paid, will not be lost
    to the nation, while the manuscripts will be gained.

The priceless Morrison Collection has already been mentioned. Its
dispersal would certainly occasion a dislocation in autograph prices
throughout the world.

Since 1900 I have carefully noted the prices realised at all the
principal sales in London, and more recently in New York, and although
there has been a steady rise in prices for high-class autographs, not a
single sale has ever occurred at which some bargain or other might not
have been picked up.

The existing firm of Sotheby, Wilkinson, & Hodge, of 13, Wellington
Street, Strand (the premises, by a strange coincidence, once occupied
by the elder Ireland), was really founded as far back as 1696, when
Messrs. Cooper & Milling first began to dispose of MSS.--generally
in the evening. The business passed successively through the hands
of Messrs. Ballard, Paterson, & Baker. In 1744 Samuel Baker moved to
auction-rooms over "Exeter 'Change" in the Strand. At the death of Mr.
Baker he was succeeded by Mr. John Sotheby, when the firm became Leigh
& Sotheby. From 145, Strand, they removed to the premises in Wellington
Street, long familiar to buyers of MSS.

At the "Sotheby" sale of November 1, 1901, I note the following

                                                 £ s. d.
Queen Henrietta Maria, D.S.                      5 12 6
Queen Victoria, A.L.S., to Lady Dover            5 10 0
    (Now in my collection.)
Sir Walter Scott, A.L.S., 2 pp.                  3 10 0
Edmund Burke, A.L.S., 2 pp.                      2 10 0
Several A.L.S. of Thos. Campbell, averaged       0 10 0
Several A.L.S. of Wm. Cowper, averaged           3  0 0
Several A.L.S. of Edwin Landseer, averaged       0  8 0
Several A.L.S. of Thomas Moore, averaged         0 11 0
A fine A.L.S. of William Pitt the elder          4 15 0
A whole series of A.L.S. of the Duke    }         From
    of Wellington to Lord Beresford     }        7  0 0
    (over 50), nearly all written during}          to
    the Peninsular War                  }        0  7 0

At the sale of Colonel John Moore's autographs at "Sotheby's" (November
29-30, 1901), I note a magnificent series of Civil War MSS. Amongst the
letters sold were the following:--

                                                £  s. d.
A.L.S. John Bradshaw                     (1644) 24 10 0
  "    Sir Wm. Brereton                  (1643)  8  0 0
  "    Lord Byron                        (1652)  7  5 0
D.S.O. Cromwell                          (1649)  8  0 0
  "       "                              (1649) 12  0 0
  "       "                              (1651) 10 12 6
A.L.S. William, Earl of Derby
    (with other papers)                  (1672) 10 10 0
D.S. Thomas, Lord Fairfax                (1643)  9 10 0
L.S.    "         "                      (1649) 13  0 0
A.L.S. Colonel John Hewson               (1648)  8 15 0
D.S. William Lenthall                    (1645)  5  0 0
A.L.S. Sir Edward Massey                 (1660)  2 10 0
D.S. Colonel John Moore                  (1645)  7  0 0
A.L.S.  "     "     "                    (1647) 11  0 0
  "     "     "     "                    (1646) 11 15 0
  "     "     "     "                    (1650)  8  5 0
A.L.S. Algernon Percy, Duke of
    Northumberland                       (1645) 19 15 0
A.L.S. Sir Christopher Wren              (1693) 49  0 0

The two days' sale of 318 lots realised £956 13s.

In the five-days' sale at "Sotheby's," which commenced on December 2,
1901, books and autographs were mixed. The total reached £6,216 11s.
6d. Amongst the autographs figured:--

MS. of Isaac Watts's Address to the
    Church of Christ assembled                  £  s. d.
    in Mark Lane                         (1702)  7  0 0
A.L.S. Isaac Watts                       (1735)  4  0 0
A.L.S. Thomas Gray                       (1758) 15 10 0
A.L.S. Thomas King, actor, to
    Garrick                              (n.d.)  6 15 0
Holograph Prayer by Samuel
    Johnson, Jan. 1                      (1784) 13  0 0
A.L.S. Charles Lamb                      (n.d.)  6  0 0
A.L.S. Lord Tennyson, 2 pp., 8vo                 7  5 0
"Gathered Leaves," collected by
    Edmund Yates, including
    about 100 A.L.S., including
    two from Dickens and one
    from Thackeray                              49  0 0

(At the sale of Mr. Yates's Library in 1895 "Gathered Leaves" had
fetched £65.)

There was a two-days' sale on December 9 and 10, 1901, devoted solely
to autographs, in which 478 lots brought £473 12s.

                                                 £ s. d.
A.L.S. Allan Ramsay, 1 p.                (1732)  7  5 0
A.L.S. Sir Walter Scott, 3 pp.           (1811)  9 15 0
A.L.S. Lord Tennyson, 1 p.               (1854)  3 17 6
A.L.S. Earl of Chesterfield, 2 pp.       (1762)  7 10 0
A.L.S. Thomas Doggett, 2 pp.             (1714)  5  2 6
A.L.S. Edward Gibbon, 4 pp.              (1789) 13  5 0
D.S.   Robespierre (M.)                  (1793)  4 15 0

Fifteen A.L.S. of Charles Dickens ranged in price from £6 to 10s.

Of the autograph sales at "Sotheby's" in 1902 the most interesting took
place on December 11, 12, and 13. The 865 lots sold realised a total of
£1,373 4s. 6d.

Amongst the MSS. sold may be noted:--

                                                 £ s. d.
A.L.S. Thomas Chippendale                (1813)  5  5 0
A.L.S. Garrick to Hannah More            (1777)  5  5 0
A.L.S. Mendelssohn, 3 pp.                (1841)  6  5 0
A.L.S. W. M. Thackeray, 2 pp.            (1849) 12  0 0
A.L.S. Samuel Foote, 4 pp.                n.d.   8  0 0
A.L.S. David Garrick                     (1759)  5  5 0
A.L.S. Samuel Johnson, 2 pp.             (1771) 11 15 0
A.L.S. Bishop Percy to S. Johnson        (1783) 10  0 0
  (The value of this letter was evidently
  determined by the person to whom it
  was addressed.)
A.L.S. Verdi                             (1863)  5  2 6
A.L.S. Sir T. Fairfax to Duke of
    Buckingham                           (1663) 21 10 0
A.L.S. Hugh Peters, Regicide             (1652) 11  0 0
A.L.S. George Eliot, 5 pp.               (1859) 22  0 0
  "          "                           (1859)  9  0 0
  "          "                           (1863)  7 10 0
A.L.S. Samuel Richardson                 (1746)  4 18 0
D.S. William Penn                        (1682)  5 17 6
A.L.S. Sarah Siddons                     (n.d.) 10  0 0
A.L.S. Sir W. Scott                      (1814) 12 15 0
23 A.L.S. Thomas Campbell                       14  0 0

There were several autograph sales at "Sotheby's" in 1903. The late Mr.
Frederick Barker was good enough to price for me the catalogue of the
sale of June 23rd-24th. On the first day five long letters of Samuel
Richardson to the Rev. Mr. Lobb (1743-56) averaged about £12 12s. A
conveyance signed by Guido Fawkes (reputed to have been picked up for
10s.) fetched £101, and a 6½-pp. letter of Nelson to Sir Alexander
Ball was sold for £30 10s. Throughout this sale prices ruled very
high--quite a short note of Thackeray's realising £7 5s. A fine series
of letters by Earl St. Vincent averaged about £2, but one of these
(dated January 17, 1801), in which he wrote: "Nelson was very low when
he came here, the day before yesterday, appeared and acted as if he
had done me an injury, and felt apprehensive that I was acquainted
with it. Poor man! he is devoured with vanity, weakness and folly,
was strung with ribbons, medals, &c., and yet pretended he wished to
avoid the honours and ceremonies he everywhere met with on the road,"
brought no less than £9 5s. A number of letters by Edward Fitzgerald,
the translator of Omar Khayyám, addressed to Joseph Fletcher ("Posh"),
averaged about 30s., and several letters of Charles Dickens £2 2s. each.

The two-days' sale of June 8th and 9th in this year brought no less
than £1,963 9s. 6d. for only 618 lots.

Amongst the autographs disposed of at this sale were:--

                                                 £ s. d.
A.L.S. Robert Browning, 2 pp.            (1880)  3 18 0
A.L. Lindley Murray                      (1821)  7  0 0
A.L.S. John Boydell                      (1804)  5  5 0
12 D.S. Colley Cibber (bearing
    also the signatures of Wilks
    and Booth)                                  18  0 0
MS. Richard Cumberland, relating
    to altercation between Dr.
    Johnson and the Dean of Derry                9  0 0
A.L.S. William Herbert, Earl of
    Pembroke                             (1619) 24  0 0
A.L.S. Thomas King to David
    Garrick                                     12 10 0
A.L.S. Richard Porson                    (1807)  5 10 0
A.L.S. William Smith, actor              (n.d.)  5  5 0
A.L.S. Lord Byron                        (1811) 12 15 0
A.L.S. Sir W. Scott to Southey                  12 10 0
MS. Charles Lamb. Lines "The
    First Leaf in Spring"                       11  5 0
A.L.S. Shenstone                         (1750)  7  0 0
A.L.S. John Keats--28 in number              1,070  0 0
    (purchased by Mr. Quaritch).
Several letters by De Quincey and
    Carlyle averaged                             3  0 0

Another autograph sale was held at "Sotheby's" on July 23, 1903, and
the following days, when some fine letters by Oliver Cromwell, Burns,
Dickens, and "George Eliot," were sold at good prices. The last sale of
this season took place in Wellington Street on the 19th of November and
two following days. The 738 lots in this sale brought a total of £971
12s. 6d.

Amongst the autographs sold were:--

                                                 £ s. d.
A.L.S. Lord Byron                        (1819) 10  0 0
D.S. Sir Francis Drake                   (1593) 18 10 0
D.S. Sir R. Hawkins                      (1615)  5  5 0
A.L.S. Elizabeth Browning                (1844)  3 10 0
A.L.S. William Penn                      (1684) 34  0 0
Twenty letters of Charles Dickens
    averaging only                               1  0 0
A.L.S. Colley Cibber                     (1742)  5  0 0
A.L.S. Samuel Johnson                            6 15 0
A.L.S. Walter Scott to Thomas
    Moore (enclosing Notes on
    Byron)                               (1829) 37 10 0
A.L.S. Marat                                    13  0 0
A.L.S. Andrew Marvel                            11  0 0

The first autograph sale of 1904 in Wellington Street lasted two days
only (13th and 14th of May), but it included No. 218, the A.L.S. of
Nelson to Lady Hamilton (September 25, 1805), 4 pp. 4to, which realised
£1,030, possibly still the record price for a single letter. Other
letters of Nelson at this sale fetched £16, £13 (two), £6 15s., and £4
15s. A letter of Lady Mary Wortley Montagu, beginning with the emphatic
words, "Ay, ay, as you say my dear, men are vile inconstant toads,"
was sold for 15s. only. A great many letters of great interest were
included in this catalogue. Amongst them may be noted A.L.S. Beethoven,
£30; A.L.S. Sir Stamford Raffles, nearly 25 pp. 4to, described as
"giving a most lively and interesting description of the interior
description of St. Helena with _Napoleon Buonaparte_, and Napoleon's
answers to certain charges commonly brought against him, etc., _marked
'private,' probably unpublished. Off St. Helena, May 20, 1816._" This
is now in my collection.

It was at this sale that a letter of the Duke of Wellington fetched the
record price (as far as his autographs are concerned) of £101. It was
thus described:--


    Poor Canning had my small dispatch box in our battle yesterday
    and when he was killed it was lost. I shall be very much
    obliged to you if you will send me another of the same size
    as the last with the same lock and key and leather cover,
    &c., as soon as possible. Let it have in it a small silver or
    thick glass inkstand with one of Braham's patent penholders
    and one of his pens. What do you think of the total defeat of
    Buonaparte BY THE BRITISH ARMY? Never was there in the annals
    of the world so desperate or so hard fought an action or such
    a defeat. It was really the battle of the Giants. My heart is
    broken by the terrible loss I have sustained of my old friends
    and companions and my poor soldiers. I shall not be satisfied
    with the battle however glorious if it does not of itself put
    an end to Buonaparte.

    This letter was written at 4 o'clock in the morning after the

The letter before it (126) realised only 8s., and two letters sold
together (128) after it, only 9s., although both were excellent
specimens of Wellington's style.

There was another autograph sale at "Sotheby's" on July 18th and 19th.
In this sale the following prices were obtained:--

                                                 £ s. d.
Queen Elizabeth. Letter with
  sign-manual                                   10  0 0
Henry VIII. Letter with sign-manual              8 10 0
A.L.S. John Keats, 3 pp.                 (1818) 35 10 0
A.L.S. Matthew Prior                     (1704) 10  5 0
Francis Bacon, note of 10 lines,
  signed                                        30  0 0
One hundred A.L.S. of Dorothy
  Wordsworth                                    26  0 0

By way of contrast the following letter of the late Sir H. M. Stanley,
addressed to the Secretary of the Temple Club, realised only _one

    I can assure you it is none the less welcome, on the contrary
    when my eyes glance over the list of illustrious men composing
    the Honorary Committee I am lost in admiration of the brilliant
    prize I have so unexpectedly received. Where Froude and
    Dickens, Dixon, Taylor, and Hood tread I am only too conscious
    that very much greater men than myself ought to be proud to

The following A.L.S. of Lady Hamilton's was sold for £12 15s.:--

        CLARGES ST., _May 8_, to:

    MY DEAREST TYSON,--The long absence of our dearest Nelson makes
    me apply to you. First I must tell you that what money I had in
    my banker's hands, I have laid out at Merton, and Lord Nelson
    thanked me in his last letter and said he would settle with me
    with thanks when he came home. Could you then my dearest Tyson
    either on my account or Lord Nelson's lend me a hundred and
    fifty pounds.

I lately saw, in possession of Mr. Sabin, Nelson's private banker's
pass-book during the last eighteen months of his life. With two
exceptions every cheque he had drawn was in favour of his "dearest

A one day's sale of 213 lots at "Sotheby's" on December 1, 1904,
brought £582 17s. An account verified by Henry VII. with his royal
initials realised £10, and a document with sign-manual of Henry VIII.,
£7 5s. A Privy Council letter from Whitehall (April 27, 1640) was sold
for £8 15s. A series of official papers signed by Bonaparte averaged
£3, but a certificate of service signed by Captain James Napoleon sold
for more than twice as much. One of the features of this sale was quite
a number of letters by Governors, Deputy-Governors, and Judges in
Australia. Many of these fetched £10 each. A letter of Colonel William
Paterson to Sir Joseph Banks (1805) went as high as £13 10s., and one
of David Collins, founder and first Governor of the Van Diemen's Land
Settlement, yielded the same price.

This was followed by the sale of December 5th and 6th, in which 4,116
lots brought £1,009 16s. Nelson's letter-book (1796-97) was sold for

A series of six holograph letters from Dr. Samuel Johnson to his friend
Sir Robert Chambers, afterwards a judge in Bengal, all said to be
unpublished, and extending from October 22, 1762, to April 19, 1783,
realised £125; the original galley and second proof sheets of "The
Impregnable Rock of Holy Scripture," with numerous corrections and
alterations in the handwriting of Mr. Gladstone, £10 10s.; an autograph
letter of John Keats, June, 1819, to Miss Jeffrey, in which he says,
"You will judge of my 1819 temper when I tell you that the thing I have
most enjoyed this year has been writing an 'Ode to Indolence,'" 4 pp.
4to, £35 (Quaritch); and the autograph manuscript of W. Morris's "A
King's Lesson, an Old Story Retold," on six leaves of paper, £27 10s.

The second day's sale included a remarkable series of autograph letters
addressed to Mrs. Thrale and inherited by a descendant. Sixteen of the
letters were written by Dr. Samuel Johnson, chiefly to Mrs. Thrale;
two were from Boswell to the same, and there were others from Mrs.
Siddons, Garrick, Goldsmith, Burke, and various other celebrities of
the day. The Johnson letters for the most part possessed but little
literary interest, but in the longest one in the series, written
by Boswell and dated from Banff, August 25, 1773, he refers to his
journey in Scotland, and says concerning their arrival at St Andrews:
"The professors who happened to be resident in the vacation made
a public dinner and treated us very kindly and respectfully. They
showed us their colleges, in one of which there is a library that for
luminousness and elegance may vie with the new edifice at Streatham.
But learning seems not to prosper among them; one of their colleges has
been lately alienated, and one of their churches lately deserted." The
Johnson letters date from July 19, 1755, to April 15, 1784, and the
entire series was sold _en bloc_ for £300.[76] The sale also included
an interesting series of five autograph letters from S. T. Coleridge to
Thomas Poole, 1797-98, giving a history of his life, and covering 17
pages folio and quarto, which fetched £14 10s., and an autograph letter
from Charles Lamb to J. H. Green, August 26, 1834, which sold for £6
2s. 6d.

Allusion has been made elsewhere to the excitement caused at the
beginning of 1905 by the sale of January 25th, at which the 33 4to
pages, described as belonging to the original MS. of "Paradise Lost,"
were bought in, the reserve price of £5,000 not having been reached.[77]

From the 2nd to the 4th of March following there was a three-days'
autograph sale in Wellington Street, in which 905 lots brought £1,834
9s. 6d. A series of letters by General Gordon averaged £1 each; the
Dickens letters disposed of sold better than in 1903 or 1904, realising
from £2 to £6, and 52 letters of Gilbert White brought £150. Some
splendid musical and dramatic letters collected by the late Mr. Julian
Marshall realised high prices, showing a marked advance in this kind of

                                                £ s. d.
Dr. Arne A.L.S.                          (n.d.) 7  0 0
Brahms A.L.S.                                   4 16 0
Donizetti MS.                                   5  5 0
Handel Autograph on MS.                        10  0 0
Haydn A.L.S.                                   10 10 0
Paganini A.L.S.                                 6  0 0
Schumann A.L.S.                                 7  5 0
Scarlati MS. signed                            14  5 0
Schubert MS. signed                            12 15 0

The one-day sale of April 13, 1905, was almost entirely devoted to
Civil War and Royal autographs, 205 lots (in striking contrast to the
Upcott Sale) making a total of £2,009--or nearly £10 each lot! Some of
the rarest items fetched the following prices:--

                                                £ s. d.
Henry Jermyn A.L.S.           (Feb. 22, 1649)  41  0 0
Charles II. L.S.               (May 10, 1649)  15 10 0
James Graham, Duke of
  Montrose, A.L.S.            (Sept. 4, 1649)  48  0 0
William, Prince of
  Orange, A.L.S.               (Nov. 4, 1649)  27  0 0
Abraham Cowley A.L.S.          (Jan. 8, 1650)  31  0 0
Queen Henrietta Maria
  A.L.S.                       (Jan. 8, 1650)  31  0 0
Queen Henrietta Maria
  A.L.S. (addressed to
  Charles II.)                (Jan. 25, 1650) 151  0 0
Queen Henrietta Maria
  (addressed to Charles
  II.)                         (May 20, 1650)  51  0 0

The late Mr. Frederick Barker showed me the whole of this collection
bound up in a shabby looking volume, with small rope and thick glue!
The separating them without injury was a matter of the greatest
difficulty, and the necessary operation was performed at Oxford.

This was the centenary year of Trafalgar, and its influence was soon
felt in the autograph market. The one-day sale at "Sotheby's" on May
17th offered abundant attractions to Nelson buyers; but the 226 lots
only fetched £397 10s. The Nelson items were somewhat over-catalogued,
and the results were probably disappointing. The highest price paid for
a Nelson letter was £25. Some went as low as £3 3s. Nelson's captains
fared badly. Letters of Berry, Bickerton, Brereton, and so forth went
for two or three shillings each, and Ganteaume, Decrès, and Gravina
were equally unfortunate. An order signed by Hardy, informing Admiral
Berkeley that three men had been lashed with the "cat-o'-nine-tails,"
was disposed of for 7s.

Far more important, however, was the sale of the previous week (May
11th, 12th, and 13th), which included the Bunbury MSS. In this sale 842
lots fetched £2,108. The Bunbury correspondence was quite as important
to the story of the days of George III. as the documents sold during
the previous month were to that of the Civil War. The dispersal of both
collections must ever be a matter of regret. I do not think the Bunbury
letters would have been sold at all in 1910.

Before the Bunbury portion of the sale was reached a series of
twenty-four letters addressed by Mrs. Siddons to Mrs. Pennington,
chiefly relating to the troubles occasioned by Thomas Lawrence's
courtship of her daughters,[78] was disposed of. They belonged to
Mr. Oswald G. Knapp and realised £100. As no letter of Sarah M.
Siddons was included in the lot, I do not regret having acquired the
letter catalogued in error as that of her mother. The letters of Mrs.
Piozzi to Dr. Whalley (twenty-five in all) published in the Rev. Hill
Wickham's book on his ancestor[79] were sold for £16. Mrs. Wickham
parted with them for £6, and got little more fifty years ago for Dr.
Whalley's correspondence with Mrs. Siddons. Two letters of Burns
brought £25 and £14 10s. respectively, and the buyer of the letters
written by Sir Thomas Noël Hill, K.C.B., during the campaign in the
Peninsula and in Flanders, possibly got a bargain. One Nelson letter
only was sold on May 11th. It was addressed to Lady Hamilton from the
_Victory_, on May 4, 1805, and realised £71. In my opinion it was far
finer than that for which £1,030 was paid. It ran thus:--

    Your poor dear Nelson is my dearest beloved Emma very very
    unwell, after a two years hard fag it has been mortifying
    the not being able to get at the Enemy, as yet I can get no
    information about them, at Lisbon this day week they knew
    nothing about them but it is now generally believed that they
    are gone to the West Indies. My movements must be guided by the
    best Judgment I am able to form. John Bull may be angry, but
    he never had any officer, who has served him more faithfully,
    but Providence I rely will yet crown my never failing exertions
    with success, and that it has only been a hard trial of my
    fortitude in bearing up against untoward events. You my own
    Emma are my first and last thoughts and to the last moment of
    my breath, they will be occupied in leaving you independent of
    the world, and all I long in the world that you will be a kind
    and affectionate _Father_ to my _dear_ [a word obliterated]
    DAUGHTER HORATIA, but my Emma your Nelson is not the nearer
    being lost to you for taking care of you in case of events
    which are only known when they are to happen and an all wise
    Providence, and I hope for many years of comfort with you,
    only think of all you wish me to say and you may be assured it
    exceeds if possible your wishes. May God protect you and MY
    DEAR HORATIA, prays ever your most faithful and affectionate


The Bunbury MSS. were included in the lots from 607 to 842. Considering
their great historical importance the total price paid for them--£896
19s.--can hardly be considered adequate. The Crabbe A.L.S. to Burke (6
pp. 4to), for which I subsequently gave £20, went for £14. Some very
important letters of General Dumouriez were sold for £6 10s. and £6
5s., and C. J. Fox's confidential letters to his brother, General Fox,
averaged less than £3.

Some important A.L.S. and L.S. of Frederick the Great brought from £6
to £20, and a letter from Oliver Goldsmith to Mrs. Bunbury, partly
in verse and extremely witty, was cheap at £82, although it made a
record as far as Goldsmith's letter is concerned. Another Goldsmith
letter to H. W. Bunbury about his "last literary effort" ("She Stoops
to Conquer"), fetched only £50. The letters of the third Lord Holland
(1773-1840) went for a song, although every page of them would
materially help the historian. The finest letter of Sir Hudson Lowe was
sold for £15, and three letters from Pope to Lord Strafford realised
£29 10s., £12, and £8 15s. respectively. Ten letters of Matthew Prior
in one lot were disposed of at £140. The letters of Charles, Duke
of Richmond (1735-1806), to Lady Louisa Conolly almost failed to
find buyers, although in reality they were little less historically
important than those of Lord Holland. It must not be forgotten that the
MSS. of Sir Thomas Hanmer were sold with those of the Hanbury family.
An A.L.S. of Sir Richard Steele to Sir T. Hanmer fetched £25 10s.,
and one of Swift £18 10s. I am quite unable to understand why a letter
of Benjamin West should have brought £24 10s., while a long political
letter of the Duke of Wellington to Colonel Bunbury sold for only £6.
In these two last lots there were the makings of two books, but Mr.
Quaritch obtained the whole of the MSS. relating to the affairs of the
Mediterranean, 1806-14, for £35, and those connected with the War in
Germany and in Belgium, 1813-15, for £5 more.

The next sale devoted solely to autographs took place at "Sotheby's"
on July 8, 1905. It was essentially a Trafalgar commemoration, and 215
lots made a total of £1,034 14s.

In this sale a very curious letter of General Dumouriez to "My good and
glorious Nelson," written in English, was purchased for the British
Museum by Mr. Quaritch at the low price of £3 7s. 6d.[80] I must
content myself with giving the price of the principal Nelson letters
now sold.

                                                £ s. d.
A.L.S. of Lord Nelson         (April 1, 1798)  11  0 0
  "        "     "            (October, 1798)  17  0 0
  "        "     "            (July 14, 1799)   8  0 0
  "        "     "            (July 19, 1799)   7  7 0
  "        "     "          (August 29, 1799)  13 10 0
  "        "     "       (September 13, 1799)   9  0 0
  "        "     "       (September 17, 1799)   8 10 0
  "        "     "         (October 11, 1799)   9  0 0
  "        "     "         (October 26, 1799)  12  0 0
  "        "     "        (November 12, 1799)   9  0 0
(All these letters are addressed to Sir James St.
Clair Erskine.)

                                                £ s. d.
A.L.S. of Lord Nelson     (February 14, 1801)   9  0 0
  "       "      "       (September 23, 1801)  15 10 0
  "       "      "             (May 18, 1803)  26  0 0
  "       "      "                     (n.d.)  27  0 0
(These letters are addressed to Lady Hamilton.)

A.L.S. of Lord Nelson to Sir A. J. Ball (November
    7, 1803)                                   50  0 0

The official dispatch announcing the Battle of Trafalgar and the death
of Nelson, from Lord Collingwood to the "Rt. Honble. Lord Robert
Fitzgerald, Minister Plenipotentiary, Ambassador at Lisbon," dated
October 24, 1805, was purchased by Mr. Sabin for £95. Five letters from
Lady Hamilton to Mr. George Rose, Mr. C. F. Greville, and Lord Stowell,
were sold for £12, £13 10s., and £27 respectively. Just at the end of
this sale two letters of Shelley realised £38 and £20 respectively.

There was another three-days' autograph sale at "Sotheby's" on the
24th, 25th, and 26th of July of this year. The 1,087 lots included in
it brought a sum total of £1,578 8s.

In the autumn of 1906 Mr. Frederick Barker, who was held in high esteem
as an autograph expert, died, and three sales were devoted to the
dispersal of his MSS., but these sales call for no note. In fact, they
were felt to be disappointing. Most of Mr. Barker's best "finds" had
been parted with during his lifetime. The first of the Barker sales
commenced on December 18, 1905. Almost simultaneously the Irving relics
were dispersed at "Christie's." Amongst them were a few autographs.
The death of the famous actor caused a sudden rise in the price of
his letters, but it has since subsided. On the night before his tragic
death Irving had signed a few portrait postcards for my friend Mr.
Peter Keary, who has very kindly given me one of them.

The three days of the Barker Sale, with 910 lots, only brought £916
12s. 6d. It should be noted that the price of Nelson autographs since
the centenary year of his death has been well maintained, and the
writer is well aware that some of the very best of his letters have
still to come into the market. Possibly they never will.

The sales of the following year opened with the dispersal of Mr.
Barker's Royal autographs on January 22nd. On February 19th, 279 lots
belonging to him and relating to Napoleon fetched only £147 5s. 6d.
There was another autograph sale at "Sotheby's" on February 26, 1906,
when 327 lots yielded £779 18s. Nelsonians were still very much to the

An important bundle of Temple-Greville-Lyttelton-Pitt MSS. was sold for
£10 15s. I also notice the following interesting items:--

                                                £ s. d.
2 A.L.S. of Benjamin Disraeli about his
  duel with O'Connell                          10 12 6
26 other A.L.S. of Disraeli averaging           1 10 0
Naval document signed by Lord Nelson,
  dated _Victory_, April 29, 1805, showing
  disposition of ships and the historic
  signal. (The date given in the catalogue
  is manifestly absurd)                        70  0 0
Lord Nelson A.L.S. to Lady Hamilton
  (September 24, 1801)                          7 10 0
MSS. relating to Keats                         70  0 0
Lord Nelson A.L.S. to Horatia, dr. of Lady
  Hamilton. "My dear Horatia, I send
  you a watch which I give you permission
  to wear on Sundays and on very
  particular days, when you are dressed
  and have behaved exceedingly well
  and obedient. I have kissed it and
  send it with the affectionate blessing
  of your Nelson and Bronté" [_Victory_,
  January 20, 1804]                            51  0 0
Lord Nelson A.L.S. to Lady Hamilton
  [_Victory_, June 16, 1805]                   24  0 0

On the last day of a mixed book and autograph sale, March 27-31, 1906,
Ben Jonson's Bible with the words _Benedica Dominum in omni tempore
Semper laus eius in ore meo_ (Psa. xxxii.), fetched £320. A 2 pp. folio
A.L.S. of General Washington (July 20, 1788) was sold for £26 10s., and
a number of documents signed by Napoleon averaged about £3. One page of
holograph notes in pencil, made at St. Helena by Napoleon, and relating
to "Montholon's Mémoires," fetched £16 5s. and another £10. A series of
documents and letters signed by Napoleon III. averaged from 1s. to 2s.!
The autograph section of this sale, including only 123 lots, realised
£981 13s.

The autograph sale of May 19th, at "Sotheby's," was distinguished by
a wealth of English Royal autographs and a small series of letters by
Lady Hamilton:--

                                                £ s. d.
Charles II. short A.L.S. in French
  (April 11, 1670)                             25 10 0
Richard Plantagenet, Regent of France.
  Signature "R. York" to State paper           85  0 0
Edward VI., sign-manual to superb document
  dated April 1, 1547                         450  0 0
Disraeli, B., A.L.S. to the Duke of Wellington,
  "Will you accept a mouthful of
  Caviare? It comes direct from Astrachan.
  I tasted it, but it seemed selfish
  to eat it alone--it shall be shared with
  a friend. But who has a friend? I
  think I have and so send it to you"           2  2 0

In this sale 332 lots brought a total of £1,235.

The sale of July 9-10, 1906, attracted a crowd of Wesley autograph
buyers. The 296 lots sold realised a total of £1,069 17s. 6d. The seven
unpublished letters of Wesley fetched from £2 to £9 5s.--averaging
over £4. Oliver Goldsmith's desk-chair figured between some copies
of letters by Frederick the Great and the probate of a Wesley will.
It went for £39. Another sale on December 1st, comprising 242 lots,
brought a total of £725 14s. In this sale some letters of the actress
"Kitty Clive" were sold at £17 and £3 3s. respectively. The latter had
been mutilated.

The autograph season of 1907 began with a two-days' sale at
"Sotheby's"--January 21st-22nd. The 743 lots disposed of realised a
total of £1,210 14s. 6d. Another series of eleven Disraeli letters was
sold at good prices, ranging from £9 12s. 6d. ("Heard Macaulay's best
speech ... but between ourselves I could floor them all. This _entress
nous_ (_sic_). I was never more confident of anything than that I
could carry everything before me in that house. The Time will come,"
January 7, 1833) to £2 12s. In this sale Messrs. Maggs acquired a
series of twenty-five letters of Johnson to Mrs. Piozzi for £240. Mrs.
Mainwaring, of Brynbella, gave £94 for five volumes of "Piozziana,"
presented by the writer, H. L. Piozzi, in 1810, to her adopted nephew
and heir, John Piozzi Salusbury. At the sale of June 3-4, 1907, Messrs.
Sotheby disposed of 459 lots for £1,101 19s. A series of letters about
Keats, addressed to John Taylor the publisher, was sold for £44; a
notable advance was made in the price of Thackeray letters; Disraeli
letters showed a distinct fall, one selling for only 16s., and a very
fine letter of Samuel Pepys, covering four folio pages, went to Mr.
Sabin for £22. The 315 lots sold on November 8th realised £1,095.
For thirty-six letters addressed to Lady Blessington, by Thackeray,
Dickens, and others, Mr. Sabin gave £315. A single letter of Shelley's
brought £46, and six letters of Byron to Trelawny £70. A letter of
Charles I. to the Elector Palatine went to the late Mr. W. Brown for

On March 10-11, 1908, a two-days' autograph sale of 557 lots realised a
total of £1,191. A number of Nelson documents, the property of the late
Viscount Bridport, Duke of Bronté, were sold for £125.

Six days in June were taken up by the sale of autographs. On June
1, 254 lots realised £260. At this sale I secured for 5s. two most
interesting letters of Captain Wright, whose death in the Temple
(October, 1805) brought so much obloquy on Napoleon.

Messrs. Sotheby devoted no less than four days (June 15th-18th) to the
dispersal of another section of the Phillipps Library. The 855 lots
brought £3,796 19s. The sale was devoid of any sensational Incidents.

On July 3rd, 252 lots were sold in Wellington Street for £415 18s.
Sixteen important letters of Mr. Gladstone sold for £4 10s., and I
secured several very interesting Disraeli letters at prices varying
from 15s. to 21s. At this sale Disraeli letters went as low as 2s.,
3s., 5s., and 7s. A fine series of Thomas Carlyle letters varied in
price from £2 2s. to £8 15s. The Sir Arthur Vicars' sale of heraldic
and genealogical MSS. (July 27th-28th) excited some interest. The 671
lots brought a total of £1,571 10s. The sale of November 16-17, 1908,
was of more than ordinary interest, and the 334 lots of which it was
made up realised £1,007 9s. Amongst the interesting MSS. disposed of

                                                £ s. d.
Robert Burns, 34 lines of verse                25 10 0
Queen Henrietta Maria, A.L.S.          (n.d.)  20  0 0
Keats, original assignment of poems            50  0 0
Cotton Mather A.L.S., October 10, 1720         38  0 0
Schiller A.L.S., January 27, 1791              10 10 0
Swift A.L.S. (short), June 1, 1737             14 15 0

The season of 1909 opened with the Stoddart Sale of historical MSS.
(February 22nd-23rd). In this sale 404 lots brought £510 6s. The fine
A.L.S. of Mrs. Siddons, now in my collection, fetched £12 5s., or £2
less than it did thirty years ago. The price of Nelson letters was
well maintained, a small collection of them, with portraits and sundry
relics, fetching £145. A letter to Lady Hamilton, dated March 23,
1801, although covering only half a page, went for £31. On March 1st
(a one-day's sale) 201 lots brought £798 2s. 6d. A short letter of
Keats sold for £25 10s., two A.L.S. of James Wolfe for £35 10s., and
a fine holograph letter of Raphael Sanzio d'Urbino for £41. A series
of MSS. relating to the American War of Independence (including four
letters and documents signed by Washington) was purchased by Messrs.
Maggs for £40. I have already alluded to the sale of June 9th-10th,
from which the Windham correspondence was withdrawn. The remaining 524
lots realised no less than £2,145 10s. 6d. A series of twenty-four
Nelson letters and other MSS. relating to him was purchased by Mr.
Sabin for £121, a very low price considering that fourteen letters of
Lady Hamilton went with the others, as well as Nelson's original will
and seven codicils, _from which eight signatures had been removed!_
Mr. Quaritch, at this sale, gave £275 for the correspondence of John
Robinson, Secretary of the Treasury, 1770 to 1782, which included 194
letters from George III. These MSS. have an important bearing on both
American and British history, and ought to have been acquired by the
nation along with the Windham papers. A one-day's sale on July 22nd,
consisting of only 269 lots, realised £1,113 14s. 6d., and another on
December 17th, composed of 269 lots, brought a total of £1,318 6s. A
rise in price at both these sales was very marked. In the first a song
of Burns (2 pp.) fetched £57, and two unpublished letters of Lord Byron
£17 10s. and £28 respectively. £20 was paid for some notes of Goethe in
pencil, and £40 for a 2 pp. 8vo letter of Shelley. It was in the latter
that the twenty-four letters of Beethoven were sold for £660. On the
same day Mr. Cromwell gave £31 for an exceedingly interesting letter
addressed to the Genevan Senate, signed by Oliver Cromwell.

On the 28th of January of the present year (1910) 264 lots realised
£742 13s. 6d. It was on this occasion that £50 was given for an 8½
pp. 8vo letter of Charlotte Brontë. It is doubtless a high price, but
only just before Mr. Sabin paid £17 10s. for a letter of Mr. R. Waldo
Emerson to Thomas Carlyle (October 7, 1835), and Mr. Quaritch gave
£56 for a 2 pp. 4to letter of George Washington to S. Powell (May
25, 1786). Within a few days no less than £81 was expended on a blue
Hawaian postage-stamp, in Leicester Square. About a quarter of that sum
gave Mr. Sabin, on February 28th, a long holograph poem of Frederick
the Great addressed to Algarotti, beginning with the lines:--

    My trembling timid pen
    Presents its first attempt
    To the rigid public censor,
    To assure it against attacks
    May Minerva guide it.

The cost of the Hawaian "specimen" would have sufficed to buy both the
poem of the Prussian King and Charlotte Brontë's touching confession
that the "only glimpses of society she ever had were obtained in her
vocation of governess," and her earnest appeal to the necessity of a


[74] Vol. LVIII. pp. 36-7.

[75] A further Phillipps sale took place at "Sotheby's," June 6-9, 1910.

[76] A number of these letters, including that of Oliver Goldsmith, are
now in my collection, and were utilised in writing "Dr. Johnson and
Mrs. Thrale," 1909.

[77] See _ante_, Chapter I., p. 32.

[78] See _ante_, Chapter III., pp. 85-6.

[79] See "Dr. Johnson and Mrs. Thrale," p. 59.

[80] See "Dumouriez and the Defence of England against Napoleon," by J.
Holland Rose and A. M. Broadley, p. 208.


Addison, Joseph, 56, 341

Adelaide, Queen, 163-4

Agar, Welbore Ellis, 182

Albert, Prince, facsimile of letter of, 165

Aldrich, 340

d'Alençon, Duc, 34

Alexander of Battenberg, anecdote of, 144

Algarotti, letter to, 377

Alleyn, Edward, letter to, 109

_Amateur d'Autographes_, 58

Amelia, Princess, 134

American catalogues and books on autographs, 320, 322

American MSS., destruction of, 337;
  prices, 341-2;
  Civil War documents, 375

André, Major, 335-7

Arabi Pacha, 9, 11

Arago, E., 98-9

_Archivist, The_, 58

Arne, Dr., 365

Arnold, Christopher, 34-5

Austen, Jane, 341

Autographs, antiquity of collecting, 33-4;
  tricks of collectors, 42-9;
  hints to collectors, 53-9;
  dealers, 60-1;
  care and restoration of, 65-6;
  royal, 118;
  statesmen's, 172;
  literary, 196-8;
  naval and military, 238-41, 254;
  music, drama, and art, 259-81;
  collecting in America, 237-40

Bacon, Lord, quoted, 171, 361

Bailie, Mr., 37-9

Ball, Nelson's letters to Sir A. J., 370

Ball, Sir Alex., letter from Nelson to, 358

Banks, Sir Joseph, 362

Barker, Frederick, 110, 120, 197, 202, 357, 365, 370-1

Barnard, Fred, illustration by, 281

Bathurst, Earl, 111

Beaconsfield, Lord, 39, 187, 189-92, 371, 373-5

Beattie, James, 39

Beecher, H. W., 341

Beethoven, L. van, 257, 360

Belvoir, discovery of letters at, 100-1

Benjamin, William Evarts, 124

Berry, Miss, 65, 311

Bindley, James, 36

Bismarck, Prince, 40

Blackburn, Douglas, work by, 81

Blackmore, 341

Blake, William, 341

Blathwayt, R. W., 60

Blathwayt, William, 343

Blessington, Lady, 374

Blott, Mr., 38

Blücher, Marshal, 254

Bodleian Library, the, 36

Books on Autographs, 56-9, 69

Boswell's correspondence, discovery of, 96;
  letter to Mrs. Thrale, 363

Bousy, Charles de, 35

Bovet, Alfred, collection of, 58-9, 69, 292

Boydell, John, 358

"Boyhood of a Great King, the," 154-5

Bradshaw, John, 355

Brahms, 365

Brandling, W., letter of, 98

Brébion, Edmund, 293

Brereton, Sir William, 355

Brewster, Sir David, 88

Bright, John, 341

Brontë, Charlotte, 353, 376, 341

Brougham, Lord, 98-9, 185

Broughton, Lord, 111

Brown, John, 341

Browne, Hablot K., illustration of, 286

Browning, E. B., 340-1

Browning, Robert, 56, 358-9

Brueys, Admiral, facsimile of letter of, 310

Bryant, W. C., 340

Buckingham, Duke of, letter of, 54;
  letter to, 357

_Bulletin d'Autographs_, 57, 60, 292

Bunbury sale of MSS., 110-11, 366, 368-9

Burckhardt's Journal, 100

Burke, Edmund, sale of poem by, 12;
  letter to from Crabbe, 65;
  letter to Mrs. Montagu, 211-12;
  value of autograph of, 355, 363, 368

Burns, Charles de F., 13

Burns, Robert, 341, 359, 367, 375-6

Burr, Aaron, 338

Burroughs, John, 341

Byng, Admiral John, 241-2

Byron, Lord, 69, 76, 78, 99, 341, 355, 359, 376

Caddell, Captain W., work by, 81

Cain, George, 58

Camolin Cavalry Detail Book, the, 112

Campbell, Thomas, 355, 357

"Canadie, La," 54-5

Carlyle, James, 229-30

Carlyle, Thomas, 56, 229, 341, 359, 375-6

Caroline, Queen, 139-43

Catharine of Aragon, 56

Catharine II. of Russia, 129-33

Cawdor, Lord, 105

Chamberlain, Joseph, 47

Chambers, Sir Robert, 363

Chambord, Comte de, 164, 306

Chapman, Frederic, work by, 142

Charavay, Étienne, works by, 58-9, 69, 87, 90

Charavay, Mme. Veuve G., 57, 60-1

Charavay, Noël, 13-14, 57-8, 60-1, 118, 129, 257

Charavay, the house of, 291-2

Charles Edward Stuart, 61

Charles I., 61

Charles II., 56, 365, 372

Charlotte, Queen, 162-3

Chasles, Michel, 88-9

Chatham, Lady, 38

Chesterfield, Lord, 12, 181-5, 341, 356

"Chesterfield's Letters," 67

Child, Mr., 335

Chippendale, Thomas, 357

Churchill, John, 56

Cibber, Colley, 358-9

Cleopatra, copy of forged letter from, 89

Clive, Kitty, 373

Cobden, Richard, illustrated letter of, 281;
  facsimile of letter of, 287-8

Coburg, Duke of, 35, 40, 148-9, 166

Coleridge, S. T., 56, 341, 364

_Collectanea Napoleonica_, 110

Collingwood, Lord, 370

Collins, David, 362

Connaught, Duke of, 148

Conolly, Lady Louisa, letters from Duke of Richmond to, 368

Cooper, 341

Corot, 15

Cowley, Abraham, 365

Cowper, William, 355

Crabbe, George, 65, 100, 110, 210-11, 368

Cranmer, Archbishop, 56

Crawford, Earl of, 296

Cromwell, Oliver, 56, 120, 125, 355, 359, 376

Cruikshank, George, 277-8

Cumberland, Richard, 358

Cuyler, T. C. S., 13, 320-4, 329, 336-7, 339

Damer, Arne, 65

Darwin, Charles, 342

Davey, Samuel, 57-8

Davy, Sir Humphry, 97

Dayrolles Correspondence, 351

Deffand, Mme. du, 61

De Quincey, 341, 359

Derby, Earl of, 355

Desaix, Marshal, 303

Dibdin, Charles, discovery of songs by, 105-7

Dickens, Charles, 15, 42, 44, 56;
  forgeries, 82, 84;
  letters of, 220-6, 356;
  value of autograph of, 356, 359, 364, 374, 341-2

Digby, Colonel, 107-8

Dillon, John, 120, 353

"Diplomatique, Manuel de," 117

Disraeli, _see_ Beaconsfield

Doggett, Thomas, 356

Donizetti, 365

Donnadieu Sale, the, 353

Doyle, Richard, 342

Drake, Sir Francis, 359

Dreer, Ferdinand J., 338

Dryden, John, 56

_Dumouriez and the Defence of England against Napoleon_, 105, 369

Dumouriez, General, MS. by, 101, 102, 105, 368-9

Edward VI., 56, 372

Edward VII., facsimile of bulletin of birth of, 116;
  facsimile of the early writing of, 344

Elgar, Sir Edward, facsimile of bars of a song by, 49

Elizabeth, Queen, 56, 361

"Elliot, George," 40, 357, 359

Ellis, Sir Henry, 353

Emerson, R. Waldo, 341, 376

Emmet, Dr. T. A., 13, 321-2, 324, 327, 336-7

Erskine, Nelson's letters to Sir J. St. C., 369

Evelyn, John, 201, 352

Extra-illustrating, 66-8

Facsimiles, how to obtain, 55-6

Fairfax, Lord, 355

Fairfax, Sir Thomas, 357

Fawkes, Guido, 357

Fénelon, Archbishop, 14

Fishguard Invasion, correspondence regarding the, 105

FitzGerald, Edward, 358

FitzGerald, Lord Robert, 370

FitzGerald, Pamela, 54

FitzRoy, Lord William, 38

Fletcher, Joseph, letter to, 358

Flint, Sir Charles, 129

Foote, Samuel, 357

Forbes, Archibald, 303

Forgeries, 75-91;
  how to detect, 80-2, 90-1

Forster, John, 210

Fox, C. J., 111, 368

France, Anatole, 58

France, autographs of Kings of, 351

"Frank," the, 36-9

Franklin, Benjamin, letter of, 332;
  facsimile of letter of, 334;
  value of autograph of, 342

Frederick, Duke of York, 156

Frederick, Empress (of Germany), 168

Frederick the Great, 368, 373, 377

French autographs, 292-3

Frowde, J. A., 41

Garrick, David, 262-3, 357-8, 363

Garrick, Mrs., 263

Gascoyne, Bamber, 243

"Gatty," _see_ Agar

Geoffrin, Mme. de, 61

George III., 56, 119, 137-42, 155, 278, 376

George IV., 161

George V., facsimile of letter of, 167

Gerothwohl, Prof., 13, 131

Gibbon, Edward, 356

Giry, A., work of, 117

Gladstone, W. E., 187-8, 342, 363, 374

Goethe, W. von, 213-4, 216, 376

Goldsmith, Oliver, 363, 368, 373

Goodspeed, C. E., 339

Gordon, General, 56, 364

Grangerising, _see_ Extra-illustrating

Gray, Thomas, 356

Greaves, Mr., 350

Green, J. H., 364

Grenville Library, 55

Greville, C. F., 370

Greville, J., 243

Greville, Hon. Charles, 249

Grimston, Sir Harbottle, 37

Guizot, F. P. G., 40

Gulston, Miss E., 57

Gurwood, Colonel, 237

Gwinnett, Button, 321, 323-5;
  facsimile of writing and signature of, 326

Haber, Louis J., sale of library of, 12-3, 211, 216, 320;
  catalogue of, 340-2

Hamilton, Lady, 56, 360, 362, 367, 370, 375-6

Handel, 365

_Handwriting of Kings and Queens of England, The_, 117

Hanmer, MSS. of Sir Thos., 368-9

Hardy, Captain T. M., 249-50

Hardy, T., 341-2

Hardy, W. J., work by, 117

Harley, _see_ Oxford, Earl of

Harris, J. C., 341

Harte, Bret, 341

Hawaian postage stamp, 377

Hawkins, Sir R., 359

Hawthorne, N., 341-2

Haydn, Joseph, 257, 260, 365

Hayes, William, 257

Hearne, Thomas, 36

Heber's hymn, discovery of Bishop, 96

Henrietta Maria, Queen, 355, 365, 375

Henry VII., 362

Henry VIII., 56, 118, 361-2

Heralds' College, 36

Hewson, Colonel John, 355

Hill, Sir Thomas Noël, 367

_History of the Festivals of the Three Choirs_, 257

Hobhouse, _see_ Broughton

Hogarth, William, 270, 273

Holdernesse, Earl of, 155-61, 173

Holland, Lord, 368

Holmes, 341

Holmes, Thomas Knox, 263

Holst, Duke of, 34

Hood, Lord, letter of George III. to, 137-8

Hooper, correspondence of Bishop, 96

Hortense, Queen, 303

Ibrahim, Hilmy, Prince, 11

"Iconographies," the, 59

Illustrated letters, 278

Ireland, finds relating to rebellion in, 112

Ireland, W. H., forgeries of, 75-6, 196;
  facsimile of, 77

Irving, Sir Henry, 341, 370-1

Ismail Pacha, 9, 11

_L'Isographie des Hommes Célèbres_, 58, 292

James II., 125

James Stewart, 56

Jay MSS., the, 100

Jeffrey, Miss, letter from Keats to, 363

Jekyll, Joseph, 39

Jermyn, Henry, 365

John II. of France, 118

_Johnson, Dr., and Mrs. Thrale_, 364, 367

Johnson, Samuel, 76, 206-10, 342, 356-7, 359, 363-4, 373

Joline, Adrian, quoted, 10, 33, 41, 66, 117, 144, 196, 337

Jones, Charles C., Jr., 338

Jonson, Ben, 372

Joseph Bonaparte (King of Spain), facsimile letter of, 299

Kean, Edmund, 80, 264

Keary, Mr. Peter, 371

Keats, John, sale of letter of, 12, 62;
  facsimile of, 56;
  forgery, 87;
  discovery of letters of, 100;
  letter of, 215;
  value of autograph of, 341, 353, 359, 361, 363, 371, 374, 375

Kemble, J. P., 269

Kent, Duke of, 156

King, Thomas, 356, 358

Kipling, Rudyard, 342

Knapp, O. G., collection of, 366

Lacordaire, 42

Lamb, Charles, 216, 356, 359, 364

Landseer, Edwin, 355

Lang, Andrew, signed poem by, 343

Lansdowne, Marquis of, 80

Larochejaquelein, Louis, 110

Latimer, Bishop, 56

Lavoisier, 133-4

Lawrence, Thomas, 366

Lechmere, Captain William, 248-9

Le Neve, Peter, 36

Lenthall, William, 355

Lescure, M. de, 59

Lewes, 342

Lisbourne, Lord, 243

Liszt, facsimile of letter of the Abbé, 258

Literary Letters, value of, 352

Lloyd, Thomas, 78, 80

Lobb, Rev. Mr., 357

Lockwood, Sir F., 278;
  illustrations by, 282, 285

Longfellow, H. W., 40

Longwood Household, expenses book, 111, 292

Louis XVI., 133-4

Louis XVIII., 294

Louis Philippe, 278

Lowe, Sir Hudson, 111, 254, 368

Lynch, T., 321, 323-5, 327;
  facsimile of letter of, 328

Lyte, Sir H. Maxwell, 100-1

Mackey, George, discoveries amongst the MSS. of, 105

Macpherson, James, forgeries of, 75-6, 87, 342

Madan, F., 152

Mainwaring, Mrs., collection of, 373

Majendie, Dr., letter to from Prince William (William IV.), 143

Manby, Charles, 277

Marat, J. P., 359

Marie Antoinette, facsimile of letter of, 312

Marlborough, Duke of, correspondence of, 96

Marryat, Captain, 342

Marshall, collection of Mr. Julian, 364

Martin, Sir Theodore, 65, 210

Marvel, Andrew, 359

Mary, Queen, facsimile of letter of, 168

Mary, Queen of Scots, 56

Massey, Sir Edward, 355

Masson, Frédéric, 10

Mather, Cotton, 375

Mathews, Charles, facsimile of letter of, 266

Mauritius Post Office, stamps of, 31-2

Mee, Dr., work of, 259

Mendelssohn, F., 357

Meredith, George, 217, 342

Milton, John, 32, 35, 201-3, 364

Molé, Count, 309

Monmouth, Duke of, 56

Montagu, Lady Mary Wortley, 360

Montchenu, Marquis, 111

Montesquieu, Abbé de, 294

Montrose, Duke of, 365

Montrose, Lord, 253

Moore, Colonel John, 355

Moore, Thomas, 355, 359

More, Hannah, letter of Walpole to, 206;
  value of letter of Garrick to, 357

Morland, George, 274

Morris, W., autograph MS. of, 342, 363

Morrison, Alfred, collection of, 36, 68, 294, 354

Mount Norris, Earl of, 112

Mulgrave, Lord, letter to, from George III., 140

Murray, Lindley, 358

Napoleon I., 32, 62, 105;
  facsimile of letter of, 123;
  illustrated letter of, 278;
  as letter-writer, 293-6;
  value of letter of, 352, 362, 372

"Napoleon and the Invasion of England," 105

"Napoleon, Last Reign of," 111

Napoleon II., facsimile of letter of, 305-9

Napoleon, Captain James, 362

Napoleonic Correspondence, 110-11

Napoleon III., forged letter of, 90;
  birth of, 303

Nelson, Lady, 244-7

"Nelson, Life of," Clarke and McArthur's, 67;
  Churchill's, 78

Nelson, Lord, 32, 56, 78-80, 237, 243-9, 358, 360, 363, 366-72, 374-6

"Nelson's Hardy," 249

Nethercliff, Joseph, work by, 57

Newman, Cardinal, facsimile of autograph of, 43

Ney, Marshal, facsimile of letter of, 304

Nichols, John Gough, work by, 56

Norris, Admiral, 351

Northumberland, Duke of, 355

Norton, Hon. Mrs., 226

O'Connell, Daniel, 185-6

Oldys, William, 100

Oxford, Robert Harley, Earl of, 36

Paganini, 365

Paine, Thomas, 342

Palloy, M., 180-1

"Paradise Lost," 32, 364

Paris, Comte de, 164

Parnell Letters, forged, 90

Paston Letters, the, 99

Paterson, Colonel William, 362

Paul, Emperor of Russia, 62

Pembroke, Earl of, 358

Penn, William, 357, 359

Pennington, Mrs., letter from Mrs. Siddons to, 366

Pepys, Samuel, 374

Percy, Bishop, 357

Peters, Hugh, 357

Philbrick, Judge, K.C., 31

Phillipps, Sir Thomas, 89, 353-4

Picard, Ludovic, 42

Pigott, Richard, 90

Piozzi, Mrs., 13, 342, 363, 367

"Piozziana," 373

Pitt, William (the elder), 56, 80, 173-5, 355

Pitt, William (the younger), 175, 179-80

Poe, E. A., 41-2, 342

Pollapiolo, Antonio del, 15

Poniatowski, Marshal, 292, 303

Poole, Thomas, letter to, 364

Pope, Alexander, 202-5, 342, 368

Porson, Richard, 359

Porter, Jane, 342

Portland, Duke of, 105

Powell, S., letter to, 377

Pretyman, Bishop Tomline, 99

Prior, Thomas, 181, 361, 368

Privy Council Letter, value of, 362

Raffles, Dr., 96, 323

Raffles, Sir Stamford, visit of to St. Helena, 110;
  value of autograph of, 360

Rambaud, M., 129

Ramsay, Allan, 356

Reade, Charles, 342

Reed, Lady, 138-9

_Revue des Autographs_, 57, 60-1, 292

Reynolds, Sir Joshua, 64

Richard Plantagenet, 372

Richardson, Samuel, 342, 357

Richmond, Duke of, 368

Robertson, Ross, 55

Robespierre, 356

Robinson, John, 376

Robinson, Memoirs of Mrs., 108

Romney, George, facsimile of letter of, 274

Rose, George, 370

Rose, Dr. Holland, 10, 105, 175, 180, 293, 295

Rosebery, Lord, 41, 46

Rossetti, D. G., 342

Royal autographs, value of, 118-25;
  sale of, 164

Ruskin, John, 48

Russell, G. W. E., work by, 144

St. Vincent, Earl, 358

Sala, George Augustus, 231-3

Sandby, Paul, 262

Sandeau, Jules, 42-3

Sandwich Islands stamp, 32

Scarlati, 365

Schiller, F. von, 375

Schubert, 365

Schumann, 365

Scott, Dr. H. T., 13, 57-8, 60, 65-6, 109, 201, 353

Scott, Sir Walter, 335-7, 359

_Sévigné, Letters of Mme. de_, 57, 76

Shakespearean forgeries, 75-9;
  Wilson's letter, 109-10;
  documents, 195-6

Shelbourne, Lord, 61

Shelley, P. B., 342, 370, 376

Shenstone, William, 359

Sheridan, R. B., facsimile of letter of, 265

Siddons, Sarah Martha, 84-6, 264-9, 357, 363, 366, 375

Sidney, Sir P., 351

_Signers of the Declaration of Independence, Lives of the_, 322

Simonides, Dr. Constantine, 89

Sims, _see_ FitzGerald

Sloane MSS., 34

Smith, Charles John, work by, 56

Smith, William, 359

Sophia of Hanover, 126

Sotheby's, the firm of, 354-5;
  notable sales at, 355-65, 369-70, 372-4

Southey, William, letter to, 359

Sprague, Rev. Dr. W. B., 323, 325, 338

Staël, Mme. de, 65

Stanhope, Lord, 180-1

Stanley, Sir H. M., 361

State Papers, 376

Steele, Sir Richard, 368-9

Stevenson, George, 98

Stevenson, R. L., 41, 342

Stoddart Sale of MSS., 375

Stowell, Lord, 370

Strafford, Lord, 368

Strode, William, 125

Sussex, Duke of, 161

Swift, 375

Swinburne, Algernon, 342

Sydney, Lord, 139

Talleyrand, C. M. de, 300-3, 311

Tayleure, William, 38

Taylor, letter to John, 374

Tedder, H. R., quoted, 348

Tefft, Israel K., 321, 323, 338

Temple, Rev. W. J., 96

Tenniel, Sir John, 44-5

Tennyson, Alfred, 216-17, 342, 356

Thackeray, W. M., 42, 56;
  forgeries, 81-3;
  letter of, 198, 217-20;
  value of autograph of, 342, 356-8, 374

Thatcher, Benjamin B., 323

Thibaudeau, M. A. W., 68

Thiers, 40

Thoresby, Ralph, 36

Thrale, Mrs., _see_ Piozzi

_Three Dorset Captains, The_, 249

Tonson, Jacob, 32

Turner, Dawson, 350

Twain, Mark, 229, 341

Tyndall, correspondence of, 96

Upcott, William, 120, 347-50;
  sale of collection of, 351-3

d'Urbino, R. S., 375

Value of autographs:
  Royal, 118-25;
  diplomatic, 172;
  literary, 196-8;
  naval and military, 23-8, 41, 254;
  musicians', 259;
  dramatic personages, 263-4, 269;
  artists', 270;
  French, 303-11;
  American, 342-3;
  variations in, 356-77

Verdi, G., 357

Vicars, Sir Arthur, 375

Victoria, Empress of Germany, 168

Victoria, Queen, 56, 144-7, 355

Villeneuve, Admiral, 311

Voltaire, 311, 315, 355

Vrain-Lucas, 87-9, 90-1

Wallace, Dr., 110, 195

Waller, John, 120, 124-5, 238

Walpole, Horace, quoted, 8, 133-4, 205-6, 342

Washington, George, 56, 325, 329-32;
  value of autographs of, 352;
  facsimile of letter of, 333;
  portfolio of, 372;
  documents signed by, 375;
  letter of, 377

Watson, G. L. de St. M., 214

Watts, Isaac, 356

Wellington, Duke of, 56, 64, 237, 253-5, 360-1, 369, 373

Wesley, John, facsimile of letter of, 232;
  value of autograph of, 373, 342

West, Sir Benjamin, 369

West, James, 36

_Wexford, the War in_, 112

Whalley, Dr., 367

Wheeler, H. F. B., works by, 105, 112

Whistler, J. Arch., 229

White, Sir George, collection of, 68, 76, 125

White, Gilbert, 364

Whitelock's MS., discovery of, 99

Wilkinson, Miss Patty, 85

William III., 56, 126

William IV., 143, 156

William of Orange, 365

Wilson, William, 109

Wolfe, James, 375

Woollan, B. M., 248

Wordsworth, Dorothy, 56, 361

Wren, Sir Christopher, 355

Wright, Captain, 374

Yates, Edmund, 233, 356

York, Cardinal, MSS. of, 96

Young, Mr., 120, 353

       *       *       *       *       *


       *       *       *       *       *

Transcriber's note--The following corrections have been made to this text:

Page 81: "nowledge" to "knowledge"--an expert knowledge of

Page 111: "Gourgarid" to "Gourgaud"--opinion of Gourgaud

Page 129: "Bielka" to "Bielke"--Madame de Bielke

Page 220: "colletion" to "collection"--from the splendid collection

Page 374: "Thackerary" to "Thackeray"--Thackeray, Dickens, and others

Page 378: "von" to "van"--Beethoven, L. van,

Page 379: "Etienne" to "Étienne"--Charavay, Étienne, works by

Page 381: "Iconographics" to "Iconographies"--"Iconographies," the,

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