LORD  BYRON  and  his  TIMES
Documents Biography Criticism

The Autobiography of William Jerdan
Vol. II. Appendices

Vol. I. Front Matter
Ch. 1: Introductory
Ch. 2: Childhood
Ch. 3: Boyhood
Ch. 4: London
Ch. 5: Companions
Ch. 6: The Cypher
Ch. 7: Edinburgh
Ch. 8: Edinburgh
Ch. 9: Excursion
Ch. 10: Naval Services
Ch. 11: Periodical Press
Ch. 12: Periodical Press
Ch. 13: Past Times
Ch. 14: Past Times
Ch. 15: Literary
Ch. 16: War & Jubilees
Ch. 17: The Criminal
Ch. 18: Mr. Perceval
Ch. 19: Poets
Ch. 20: The Sun
Ch. 21: Sun Anecdotes
Ch. 22: Paris in 1814
Ch. 23: Paris in 1814
Ch. 24: Byron
Vol. I. Appendices
Scott Anecdote
Burns Anecdote
Life of Thomson
John Stuart Jerdan
Scottish Lawyers
Sleepless Woman
Canning Anecdote
Southey in The Sun
Hood’s Lamia
Murder of Perceval
Vol. II. Front Matter
Ch. 1: Literary
Ch. 2: Mr. Canning
Ch. 3: The Sun
Ch. 4: Amusements
Ch. 5: Misfortune
Ch. 6: Shreds & Patches
Ch. 7: A Character
Ch. 8: Varieties
Ch. 9: Ingratitude
Ch. 10: Robert Burns
Ch. 11: Canning
Ch. 12: Litigation
Ch. 13: The Sun
Ch. 14: Literary Gazette
Ch. 15: Literary Gazette
Ch. 16: John Trotter
Ch. 17: Contributors
Ch. 18: Poets
Ch 19: Peter Pindar
Ch 20: Lord Munster
Ch 21: My Writings
‣ Vol. II. Appendices
The Satirist.
Authors and Artists.
The Treasury
Morning Chronicle
Chevalier Taylor
Foreign Journals
Vol. III. Front Matter
Ch. 1: Literary Pursuits
Ch. 2: Literary Labour
Ch. 3: Poetry
Ch. 4: Coleridge
Ch 5: Criticisms
Ch. 6: Wm Gifford
Ch. 7: W. H. Pyne
Ch. 8: Bernard Barton
Ch. 9: Insanity
Ch. 10: The R.S.L.
Ch. 11: The R.S.L.
Ch. 12: L.E.L.
Ch. 13: L.E.L.
Ch. 14: The Past
Ch. 15: Literati
Ch. 16: A. Conway
Ch. 17: Wellesleys
Ch. 18: Literary Gazette
Ch. 19: James Perry
Ch. 20: Personal Affairs
Vol. III. Appendices
Literary Poverty
Ismael Fitzadam
Mr. Tompkisson
Mrs. Hemans
A New Review
Debrett’s Peerage
Procter’s Poems
Poems by Others
Poems by Jerdan
Vol. IV. Front Matter
Ch. 1: Critical Glances
Ch. 2: Personal Notes
Ch. 3: Fresh Start
Ch. 4: Thomas Hunt
Ch. 5: On Life
Ch. 6: Periodical Press
Ch. 7: Quarterly Review
Ch. 8: My Own Life
Ch. 9: Mr. Canning
Ch. 10: Anecdotes
Ch. 11: Bulwer-Lytton
Ch. 12: G. P. R. James
Ch. 13: Finance
Ch. 14: Private Life
Ch. 15: Learned Societies
Ch. 16: British Association
Ch. 17: Literary Characters
Ch. 18: Literary List
Ch. 19: Club Law
Ch. 20: Conclusion
Vol. IV. Appendix
Gerald Griffin
W. H. Ainsworth
James Weddell
The Last Bottle
N. T. Carrington
The Literary Fund
Letter from L.E.L.
Geographical Society
Baby, a Memoir
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A, p. 33.

From observations on my former volume from several quarters, my worthy publishers have given me to understand, that Appendices are by some readers considered to be mere appendages of little consequence to a work, and which may be as conveniently dispensed with as published. It happens, however, that these additions on my part, are as intrinsically a portion of my biography as the narrative from which they are detached; and that the sole reason for so detaching them, is to preserve the best order I can with so many miscellaneous materials without the interruption of co-lateral affairs which form compact little episodes by themselves. As Samson’s strength lay in his locks, O’Connell’s in his tail, and every lady’s epistolary correspondence in her postscripts, so would I wish the public to believe that my weakness will not be found diffused in this division of my labour. “The Satirist, or Monthly Meteor,”* represents a very essential section of my literary career. It was commenced by Mr. George Manners on the 1st of October, 1807, and by its talent and virulence very speedily attracted general notice, warm partisanship, and bitter hate. The first coloured caricature represented Lord Grenville, Lord Temple, Lord Moira, Lord Erskine, Sheridan, John Kemble, Windham, Whitbread, Burdett, Horne Tooke, and other public characters, political, dramatic, and literary; and over them the tall figure of the Satirist brandishing

* Not to be confounded with the “Satirist” newspaper, of much later date.

a whip. This took; and the publication went prosperously on, lashing without mercy the Whig, “all the talents” statesmen, the authors of books obnoxious to the critics, and the players who, through any cause, incurred their displeasure. Their boundless personality and unrestrained abuse of those whom they chose to treat as delinquents in politics, morals, taste, or conduct, made a violent sensation; and the abilities displayed by the editor and his coadjutors, (evincing education, style, force, wit, and humour,) sent the bruit of their biting and clever censures through the land. One novel feature especially told well. It was entitled “Comparative Criticism,” and consisted in placing in close juxta-position the opinion of other periodicals on new publications and plays, &c., in which the contradictions were often most direct and whimsically ludicrous. The licentiousness which frequently disfigured the design, would not be endured now; but five-and-forty years have done much towards refining the public taste, and what passed as (perhaps) slightly indecorous in those days would be scouted as intolerable indecency in our times. It is greatly to the benefit of the people that it is so; for coarse and immodest language cannot be used without polluting the sense and poisoning the mind. Undeterred by any scruples upon the grounds I have stated, and caught by the striking talent of the work, I offered a contribution which was accepted; and I joined the ranks in January, 1808, with a political drama, entitled “
Vox et Præterea Nihil, or Parliamentary Debates in Rhyme,” directed with all my powers of comic ridicule against the Opposition leaders and their chief adherents. I must say, however, that whilst I blamed what was intemperate and personally injurious in the “Satirist,” I was thoroughly convinced that it effected great public good in all the departments it handled; and that though I wrote with the rest, from entertaining similar opinions, I was not one of those who forgot that “want of decency is want of sense.” I took up the “Comparative Criticism” sport, and contributed to it with much gusto; for it was altogether truly entertaining from the palpable differences in facts as well as opinions. But for the trouble of comparing so many organs, it would be a capital hit in any journal to revive the contrast, and show how very little the judgment of readers ought to depend on the dicta of newspapers
and magazines. I copy a few fragments in proof, and the entire sentences would occupy too much space.

“These discourses may be regarded as of general utility.”—Monthly Review.

“In a sound, forcible, argumentative, and scriptural manner. The style is manly and perspicuous.”—Eclectic Review.

“The ludicrous matter here collected in this trumped-up story. How long will the understanding of the common people be inposed upon by such rhapsodies?”—Critical Review. Another—

“Is detailed with equal perspicuity and force.”—British Critic.

“Is not very intelligible.”—Monthly Review. Again,

“This work (Loudon on Country Residences) displays throughout a vigorous and original mind.”—Anti-Jacobin Review.

“A scientific man, who discovers considerable experience in his profession, and good sense,” &c.—Eclectic Review.

“We perceive more charlatanry than is compatible with genuine science.”—Monthly Review.

Many such conflicting oracles from the monthly publications, and many more from the newspaper press (which last was my suggestion) were so splendidly absurd, that it was impossible not to have a hearty laugh at them; and the exposure seemed to have some influence in causing the production of more guarded, if not just and honest, critiques. I am tempted to add a few notices of the sort from about forty on Scott’sMarmion.”

“There is a good deal of spirit and a good deal of nature intermingled in the introductions to the cantos.”—Edinburgh Review.

“To show what poverty of idea prevails through these introductory chapters, we will quote some few lines from these spiritless effusions.”—Critical Review.

“The introduction to Canto Second contains a piece of ineffable nonsense.”—Universal Magazine.

“In the second epistle the prospect is admirably delineated— the ramble finer than anything of the kind that we have hitherto met in Mr. Scott himself.”—Eclectic Review.

Fitz-Eustace’s Song “is strikingly conceived.”—Beau
Monde. “Has a natural and enduring charm, and is sweetly wild.”—
Eclectic Review. “Is but a stiff and rather childish imitation of the truly pathetic simplicity of Burns.”—Monthly Review. “A remarkably silly song.”—Universal Magazine. “Exceedingly dull.”—Monthly Review. “Never dull.”—Eclectic Review.

Of the newspaper contradictions the following is a specimen:—

“A new comedy, in three acts, from the pen of Mr. Skeffington, called ‘Lose no Time,’ was performed for the first time, last night, with universal and deserved applause. We have no room for particulars; and must therefore content ourselves with observing generally, that it is at once interesting, sprightly, and well-arranged; and promises to become a general favourite.”—Morning Post.

“A new drama, called ‘Lose no Time,’ which report ascribes to the pen of Mr. Skeffington, was last night performed to a half-filled pit, and a ‘beggarly account of empty boxes.’ To such vulgar trash we have seldom been compelled to listen. Two officers, of family and distinction, for the sake of anticipating each other in the possession of a lady, have recourse to a series of mean deceptions, for one-half of which they ought to be horse-whipped from all society above the rank of pugilists and pick-pockets. We shall not bestow further notice on this contemptible production; which, however, was given out for repetition.”—Times.

“A new comedy, in three acts, entitled ‘Lose no Time,’ was performed last night, for the first time, and received with unmixed applause. It is from the pen of Mr. Skeffington. We are prevented, by want of room, from entering into the detail of the piece; nor is it necessary, for it is rather a series of lively scenes than a regular drama.”—Morning Chronicle.

“The Epilogue, containing many good points relative to the title of the comedy was admirably delivered by Mrs. Edwin.”—Morning Herald.

Mrs. Edwin spoke the Epilogue; a common-place about Buonaparte’s running away, and being pursued by the Cossacks, was not at all relished by the audience. It was, in truth, rather out of time, as well as out of place.”—Morning Chronicle.

“The Epilogue, written by Mr. G. L. Peacock, the author of
Palmira,’ &c. abounds with excellent points, and was admirably delivered by Mrs. Edwin. The piece went off with eclat, and was announced for repetition amidst shouts of applause.”—British Press.

These are but brief and imperfect specimens of what an industrious and clever penny-a-liner might now imitate with profit to himself, and amusement and advantage to the community. Verb. Sap., or ponder on the following note:—

“Dear Sir,—

“My only reason for omitting your poetical article in our last number, was that it came too late, and I fear the subject is now too stale. The newspaper Com. cut was inserted, and I wish you to continue the article; but I think it would have more effect if you arrange the extracts, so that those which contradict each other should be together.

“I beg leave to suggest that you have it in your power to furnish us monthly with an article, which, I think, would produce a considerable effect, under the title of ‘Newspaper inconsistencies and falsehoods.’ We very frequently read in one paper that a person is dying, in another of the same day, that he is giving splendid dinners. That the Duke of Anything was at one place, and then at another, &c., &c., &c., &c.; which your judgment would enable you to contrast in a whimsical and entertaining manner. If you can let me have an article of this description by Sunday, twelve o’clock, it shall be inserted in our next number.

“I am, Sir, yours truly,

“G. R.”

Occupied with my newspaper engagements I was a very rare contributor to the “Satirist” for several years. It was during that time in continual hot-water in consequence of its insolent tone and bitter personalities. Law-suits, challenges, assaults, and affrays, marked its monthly course; and but for Mr. Manners’s masculine form and great physical strength, he would have had even more encounters and failed to get so victoriously out of them. Unappalled by such dangers, and determined not to provoke them by indecency or scurrility, I was induced to purchase the copyright of the publication, and the house in
which it was published, 267, Strand, both together. Of my tenantry, I have given the history elsewhere; and have now only to relate my adventures and endeavour to preserve some of my productions from and after the 1st of July, 1812, when my editing began. I announced that though satire would still, in conformity with its title, be the prevailing feature of the work, I had opened it more freely to communications (not satirical) of merit, and trusted to make it “a repository of general information and a permanent fund of rational amusement.” I further stated my sentiments as regarded the publication. “Satire is a potent instrument, and, as it is employed, adorns with honour or confounds with shame the author who dares to use it. Well-directed, impartially administered, and dispassionately applied to the correction of crimes that ‘flaunt in the broad face of day,’ no one can doubt the usefulness of its tendency, or deny it the praise of being the most efficient friend to virtue. On the other hand, if calculated only to gratify envy, to satiate private malignity, to disseminate slander, and poison the confidence of social intercourse, there is not a curse within the wrath of heaven more afflicting, nor a wretch upon earth more detestable than the man who can address it to purposes so base. With these feelings, the readers of the New Series need be under no apprehension of ever meeting in our page with matter to shock decency, to outrage society, to disturb the peace of families, or sport with individual happiness. While we shall attempt to follow the better part of the example of our predecessors, in baring imposture, however curiously concealed; in scourging infamy, however highly elevated; in holding religious hypocrisy and wickedness up to detestation; and political tergiversation up to scorn; we shall maintain that respect for the opinion of the wise and good, we shall maintain that respect for the approbation of our own hearts, so to conduct ourselves that we may ever exclaim with the poet—
“‘Curst be the verse, how smooth so e’er it flow,
That tends to make one virtuous man our foe.’”

August, 1812, thus gave evidence to intentions which ought not to be confounded with the traditionary character of the “Satirist,” which I must acknowledge was of a prurient and
frequently offensive description; and had I then, whilst greatly admiring much that was piquant and just, entertained the same strong objections to much of the contents of the ten volumes which preceded my undertaking as I do now, I should, assuredly, never have become the pseudo-
Juvenal of the age.

“Oh! let me fly to some deserted coast,
Some dreary region of eternal frost;
Far from the cant of hypocrites precise,
Far from the sermonising slaves of vice,
Who seem all virtue in the streets of Rome,
And swell the bacchanalian roar at home.”

In this spirit I carried on the publication, and introduced a new feature, entitled “The Moon,” for the reception of lighter literature; and which grew into popularity for its anecdotes, epigrams, and other small-ware moon-rakings. My third volume, commencing July, 1813, exulted in success, though the satire of its two precursors had been confined to public life, public men, and public matters.

When I was transplanted into the “Sun” I found the “Satirist” too much for me; and to confess the truth, its literary merits did not suffice to gratify the public appetite so much as when it was seasoned with the spices I had repudiated. It was therefore discontinued, and in its stead another attempt made under the title of “The Tripod;” but the “Tripod” had soon hardly a leg to stand upon, and so was kicked over. From my four volumes of “Satirist,” I may hereafter make a selection of my own writings, and some contributions from other hands, with notes upon their authors; but the quantity is too great for the space I could allow here, and I have only to express my hope that the following specimens may not be thought too much.

What is love? a morning vapour,
Flying from the beams of day;
What is love? a midnight taper,
Dying with the hours away.
’Tis the sigh, the infant utters,
’Ere it knows the use of breath;
’Tis the moth, that gaily flutters
Round the flame that dooms its death.
’Tis the glow-worm’s witching glory,
Luring travelers in the mire;
’Tis the gossip’s goblin story,
Told around a winter fire.
’Tis the dream that haunts our pillows;
’Tis a castle in the air;
’Tis the tears of weeping willows,
Tears that really never were.
’Tis, oh! ’tis, the rose, in fancy,
In reality, the thorn;
And I’ve heard a married man say,
’Tis the Devil! by his horn!

My dearest Sister! now you rove
Through every field and every grove
To cull the fragrant flow’rs,
Which Nature, with unsparing pains,
O’er all her spacious domains
In vast profusion pours.
I see thy feet attracted stray
To where the violet scents the way,
Low blooming in the shade:
Now where the speckled hawthorn blows;
Now where the beauties of the rose
Are to the sun display’d.
Now exultation lifts thee high,
And pleasure brightens up thine eye;
Thy nosegay is complete—
So various too! it needs must please—
Here daisies, cowslips, and heartsease,
With broom and bluebells meet.
Yet, ah! my lovely girl, beware!
All is not good that looks so fair,
And dangers lurk around—
The glowing rose you so admire
Is guarded by the scythelike brier,
Th’ invader’s hand to wound.
The May is not in triumph borne,
Without encountering the thorn
Attendant on its bloom:
And oft beneath the nettle’s sting,
Protected, scented violets spring,
And all the gale perfume.
And, oh! my love! your views extend,
Instruction with amusement blend,
And wisely learn betimes;
E’en like the chase you now pursue
Your pilgrimage through life to view,
Where virtues mix with crimes.
The graced outside, the manners bland,
The look sincere, and proffer’d hand,
May hide a callous heart,
Which feels not for another’s pain;—
Which envy, hate, and malice stain;
All baseness, fraud, and art.
Nay! hid beneath Love’s warmest smile,
Lurk falsehood, perfidy, and guile,
The female heart t’ensnare;
And, under friendship’s sacred guise,
Too oft, alas! foul treachery lies,
Deceit, and selfish care.
And still the more of life you know,
Experience more and more will show
Your yet unconscious youth:
Survey the real scene, you’ll find
This hasty picture of mankind
Falls sadly short of truth.
Yet suffer not scowling mistrust
To make thee to the world unjust,
And think the whole one blot:
For some there are—alas! how few!
With souls to every virtue true—
Heav’n cast with theirs thy lot!

* Written when removed in bad health to my native air, 1802. (See Vol I.)

Letter from the Lord Chamberlain to the Satirist.
“Lord Chamberlain’s Office, Palace Yard,
Dear Sir,—

“In consequence of the death of Mr. Pye, the lucrative, honourable, and important office of Poet Laureat having become vacant, very numerous applications for the reversion have been made to me by sundry noble, celebrated, and estimable persons. Many of these applicants have presented me with specimens of their poetical talents, in order to enable me to appreciate their fitness for office; but, as I am not only little versed in measured compositions, but am, moreover, extremely puzzled to make out intelligibly the plain prose meaning of not a few of these productions, I have deemed it expedient to send them to you as One skilled in criticism, and, from practice in dissecting authors, enabled to develop things incomprehensible to other men; and to beg you will favour me with your opinion thereon, with your speediest convenience, for the writers have already become extremely clamorous and impatient for a decision each in his own favour.

“In the hope of an early answer, to release me from the life of persecution I now lead, and the hourly dread of being torn to pieces by infuriated bards, as a certain bard, I believe Orpheus, was of old,*

“I remain, dear Satirist, yours, &c,

In consequence of the request contained in this polite epistle, which his lordship dispatched to US by a special messenger, we have taken infinite pains carefully and impartially to scan and

* The Lord C. is a little out in his Heathen Mythology, but it ill becomes a Christian noble to be more accurate in those things than in his Scriptural knowledge.—Ed.

peruse the mass of poems which accompanied it, and which were, for greater security and conveniency, conveyed to our office in two of the royal waggon-train-covered waggons, attended by a suitable escort. From these loads we selected, by a species of sortes invented for the occasion, one thousand applications. These were again reduced to one hundred by another ordeal; and, lastly having undergone the severest criticism, we chose twelve of the best, which we returned to his lordship, advising him, as they were all of equal merit, to have the business of the Laureat hereafter done by a committee of twelve, in such manner as we also pointed out. His lordship we understand thinks highly of our suggestions, and letters have been written to
Mr. Bankes, Mr. Martin, and other reformists of our petty economy, in order to ascertain if such appointment may not occasion great clamour, from the creation of so many new officers. Should any objection be made, the idea will be dropped, rather than be persevered in to cause contention (such is the placable spirit of ministers, who, instead of treating such carping little creatures with contempt, too often yield to these political coxcombs), though, as only the same salary and perquisites are to be allotted to the committee of twelve as to one individual, it is hoped no objection will be urged against a plan which promises so much variety, novelty, and national renown. From these and others, with the approbation of their several authors, we have made a few selections, and, with some extracts from the letters enclosing them, we now hasten to submit to the admiration of the world.

Note from Mr. Wilberforce, enclosing a Specimen of
Hannah More’s
“Kensington Gore, 14th August.

Mr. Wilberforce humbly begs to earnestly recommend the enclosed to the notice of the Lord Chamberlain. Though it hath not been usual in times past to nominate and appoint females to the office of Laureat, yet he trusts that, with the glory of God, and the religious instruction of this degenerate age
in the contemplation of his Majesty’s confidential advisers, an exception may be made in favour of one so pre-eminently saintly, and so admirably calculated, by her writings of birthday odes and moral reflections on the new year’s-day, to promote the sacred cause of Christianity. Surely as there was one she Pope, there may be allowed to be one she Laureat: if which should be the event of this application, it is hoped the usual formalities and ceremonies, as enacted by the Cardinals on the initiation of a Pope, will not be insisted upon, though
Hannah is willing to undergo much in the service of the Lord.”

From Mrs. More’s production we select only two verses: it is rather too much in the Methodist hymn style for an ode.

“While worldlings sing
Earth’s joys, oh king!
I’ll heavenly anthems raise;
‘No Pagan nine,
But hymns divine,
Inspiring George’s praise.
“Oh! Lord of hosts!
Protect our coasts,
From war’s terrific burst;
And Boney’s sway,
Now and for ay,
Be evermore accurst.”

Of a very opposite tendency and character is the following:—

“Melina Place, half-past Two o’clock,
“Saturday morning.
My Lord Chamberlain,—

“You and I have had a —— deal of troublesome correspondence; I trust the present will be more pleasant to us both. It ought to be so, considering the auspices under which it commences, for, by Jove, I have been enjoying my bottle since five o’clock with a few friends, and, having tired myself and them with damning the critics, for whose malevolence I do not care a single curse (save when they attack my moral character, b——t them), I sit down in desperate good humour and high spirits to write to your lordship.


“As Pye has been dished up for the worms—
“And there he doth lie,
To make a dirt pie.’
what say you, my lord, to put me into his living place? I can sing more like a lark than any Pye that ever chattered. I will undertake to keep the court in good humour. Give me the money, and you shall have odes galore. But to show you that I do not want to bargain about the Sack, like a pig in a poke, to—a specimen—

“‘Is’t wine you give the bard t’inspire?
By heaven it sets my soul on fire!
And for the tun,
I’ll write and pun,
Till Maids of Honour cry,
O G—d! I’m like to die;
How different from Pye!
Give over punning, George—with laughing I’ll expire.
“Then give a butt of sack, I’ll say,
And on the sackbutt I will play:
But sack the cash likewise.
Penn’d in his Bench,* here let me pen.
Odes to the very best of men,
And laud him to the skies.
“Through life Pre had a hellish prance,
A kind of damn’d bad Morris-dance
’Tis time now for repose.
Then give me, king, thy wine to drink,
And lend me paper, pens, and ink,
I’ll write, till all my senses sink,
Thy praise, and —— our foes.
George Colman.”
My Lord,—

“Having many hours of idleness on my hands, and being an adept at versification, it would not be unacceptable to me

* Melina Place was in the rules of the King’s Bench, and George resided at No. 7, a considerable time. Delpini, the famous clown, escaped a like fate by writing to the Prince of Wales, “By de * * * *, if your Royal Highness not help me, I shall go live in your Papa’s Bench.” But the Prince succoured him!

to try the experiment of writing the Laureat Odes, in order to ascertain if that new pursuit would kill the ennui by which I am devoured. Being in politics between a Whig and a Jacobin, the subject of our Sovereign’s praise will have so much of the Romaunt in my eyes, as sufficiently to resemble the species of composition in which I am most successful. My desires, my Lord, do not point at the perquisites or emoluments of the office. Wine I now loath—money I detest—praise is irksome to me—and the world only one dull round of apathy and misanthropy. It is for variety I undertake the task, and, if possible, to amuse the forlorn.


We have only room for very limited extracts from this candidate’s probationary ode.

“Three hosts combine to offer sacrifice;
Three tongues prefer strange orisons on high;
Three splendid standards charm the pale blue skies;
The shouts are France, Spain, Albion, victory!
The ‘foe’ presumptuous, and the brave ‘Ally,’
‘That fights’ for liberty, nor fights in vain,
‘Are met; and low on earth the spoilers lie,
To feed the crow on ‘Salamanca’s’ plain,
And fertilise the field they idly hoped to gain.’”
——“he, whose nod,
‘Has tumbled’ feeble monarchs ‘from their sway,’
Abhorr’d of men, and surely cursed of God;
Is forced now his murd’rous arm to stay:
Soon have his myrmidons been swept away.”
“Borders of the Lakes,
“11th August.
My Lord,—

“I have just received tiding of the demise of the lamented Mr. Pye. Grief for the loss suffered by the nation in so inestimable a genius will scarcely permit my sensibility to turn connectedly to worldly concerns; but, simple as I am, if it should please your good lordship to nominate me to the vacant Laurel, in good sooth I will address me to the office with my
dearest ability; and for office I trust your lordship will acknowledge my perfect aptitude.

“I am, my Lord,
“With the utmost gratitude, respect, and admiration,
“Your Lordship’s
“Most obedient, devoted,
“And very humble servant,

Here follows a specimen of this gentleman’s writing—

“Great ‘Lawgiver! yet thou dost wear
The godhead’s most benignant grace,
Nor know we anything so fair
As is the smile’ on George’s face.
“‘Flowers laugh before’ him ‘on their beds,
And fragrance in’ his ‘footing treads;’
He does ‘preserve the stars from wrong,
And the most ancient Heav’ns, through’ him, ‘are fresh and strong.’”*
“We poets in our youth begin in gladness,
But thereof comes in the end despondency and madness.Ӡ
Sack and a salary are‡ ‘there,
Few visions have I seen more fair;
Nor many prospects of delight
More pleasing than that simple sight.’
‘My heart leaps up when I behold’§
An office rear’d on high:
‘So was it when my life began;
So is it now I am a man;
So be it when I shall grow old,
Or let me die!
The child is father of the man;
And I could wish my days to be
Bound each to each by’ Sack and Salary!

* Ode to Duty.

Resolution and Independence.

‡ “Look, five blue eggs are gleaming there.” See Verses on a Sparrow’s Nest. § Wordsworth’s Poems, p. 44.


Who comes next?

My Lord,—

“Having been honoured with the patronage of his Royal Highness our most gracious Prince Regent, H.R.H. A.B.C.D. E.F.G.H. and all the most illustrious of our nobility, I presume to solicit your attention to my claim to the vacant seat of the Laureat. Odes, my Lord, are nothing to my Muse. I will do wonders.

“‘When energising objects men pursue,
What are the prodigies they cannot do?’
(Ohe! jam satis!)

“N.B. My son, G. F. B., Esquire, is willing either to write in conjunction with me, or, if more agreeable, recite my odes to the court.—L. B.”

“12th August.
My Lord,—

“As I never can resign the pleasures of hope, though there may be many more excellent candidates than myself; many whose political opinions are more German to the nature of the office, or whose minds are better attuned to the celebration of royal praises; I cannot resist the impulse I feel to offer myself as a candidate for the bays. I will not debase myself by submitting any specimen of what my Muse is capable of. Such petty-fogging meanness is neither consistent with the national pride, nor the personal consciousness, of

My Lord,—

“The office of Poet Laureat being vacant, unmoved by any sinister motives, and actuated only by the pure love of fame, I will, if thought worthy of the appointment, undertake to fulfil its duties, by giving a New-year Ode in the style of a fairy tale, and, duly mingling seriousness with lightness, a Birth-day Ode from the Bible. Should this candid offer merit your lordship’s approbation, you may command, as your future Laureate,

“Daughters of Britain; praise our noble Prince!
‘Break into song! with harp and tabret lift
Your voices up, and weave with joy the dance;
And to your twinkling footsteps, toss aloft
Your arms.
Shout ye! And ye! make answer.’ Grah’m ‘has slain
His thousands;’ Well’sley ‘his tens of thousands slain.
Sing a new song.’”
Tunc ad libitum.
“King David, in his sark,
He danced in front of the ark,
His religious freedom to show;
No gloomy bigot was he,
The slave of intolerancy:
He caper’d in ecstasy,
And flung his limbs to and fro;
Tol de rol.
“Ah would that our Prince like him
Were full of frolic and whim,
In like manner to dance the Hays; *
O’er Protestant scruples skip,
Give Constitution the slip,
And tip us the Catholic trip,
As jig-led in ancient days.
Tol de rol.”

“The Lakes, 25th August.
My Lord,—

“Earnestly devoted to the Muses, and to every kind of literature, may I presume to offer myself to your lordship’s notice, as one who would be extremely glad to see what can be done after Pye. My Lord, I will not vaunt myself, but refer you to my works, of which I have produced very many, more perhaps than your lordship has had time to read; but I may, without vanity, venture to assure your lordship, that no Epic Poet has ever yet exceeded

“Your humble servant,

* No allusion to the Secretary of the Catholic Board.

“Oh King or Prince!
Charm’d be thy life
From the weapons of strife,
From stone and from wood,
From fire and from flood,
From the serpent’s tooth,
And the beasts of blood;’
From the curse of Kehama,
And ev’ry other curse or dam-a.
May sickness ne’er harm thee,
And constant health charm thee,
May the lands that are thine,
Fruit never deny thee,
And water still bear thee
Where all thy foes fly thee.
‘And the winds shall not touch thee,
When they pass by thee;
And the dews shall not wet thee,
When they’ only ‘fall nigh thee.—
“Then what a happy prince you’ll be
With a Poet Laureat such as me;
When duly here, to George the Regent’s praise,
My prince, as with an angel’s voice of song,
Pour my melodious lays
Upon the gales of even,
And sounding strenuous like a gong,
I lift his fame to th’ north-west gate of heaven,
Such harmony to all my notes is given.”

“Selkirkshire, 10th Aug.
My Lord,—

“My Minstrelsy is so renowned, that I may scantly doubt of success in this contest. In truth, I begin to be afeard that the booksellers will soon think meet to retrench in the purchase of my ballads; and only, as I am anxious to have a horse in the stable, do I submit my claims to your judgment, as a candidate for a hundred pounds sterling per annum, and a butt of good sack, as in older times, on condition of furnishing a certain quantum of rhyme, at which your lordship may have heard I possess great alacrity. The verity is, I can put one
hundred rhymes together in a day with great ease and facility; so that if we can complete this bargain, there is no peril of having sufficiency of verses for the price from

“Yours truly,

This author having enclosed a description of a court-day, of about 900 lines, we can only find room for a small but eminently poetical, picturesque, vigorous, and precise part thereof, describing the Beef-Eaters, &c.

“Ten men in arms came at their backs,
With halbert, bill, and battle-axe:
Then twenty yeomen, two and two,
In hosen white and jerkins new,
With auncient javelins in their hands,
Obey’d their captain’s loud commands.
“’Tis meet that I should tell you now,
How fairly arm’d, and order’d how,
The Soldier of the Guard,
With musquet, pike, and morion,
Stood sentry as the crowd throng’d on
Through Carlton House’s yard:
Fifers and trumpeters were there;
The gunner held his linstock yare,
For welcome-shot prepared.
“The Guards their morrice pikes advanced,
The trumpets flourish’d brave;
The cannons from the ramparts glanced,
And thund’ring welcome gave.
“Two pursuivants, whom tabards deck,
With silver scutcheon round their neck,
Stood on the steps of stone,
By which you reach the outer gate;
And there with equal pomp and state,
They tell you to walk on:
For which their kindness to requite,
Some ready cash (at Court rare!) Wight,
May tip them half-a-crown.”

Enough! surely this is sublime—at any rate it is circumstantial!!!

* He is the man after all.

My Lord,—

“Though my humble pretensions as a poet may not entitle me to enter the lists with the bards of high fame, who will doubtless be competitors for the bays, yet, my Lord, there is one secret point which I trust will have considerable weight in inducing his Majesty’s ministers to look with a favourable eye upon me, and mayhap tempt them to promote my passage to the object of my great ambition. The point to which I allude is this; I have decidedly more Borough interest than any poet who may address your lordship on this subject, all of which I am willing to devote to the service of ministers, on condition of their appointing me successor to Mr. Pye,

“Their humble servant,
“Lo! where the Prince, with glories cover’d o’er,
From wild Miami’s and from Ebro’s shore;
Thence the proud strain of victory resounds,
And triumph’s shouts fill Britain’s ample hounds;
Whose heroes wield their dreaded arms in war,
And drive th’ invaders from their prey afar,
Reluctant flying from their hoarded spoils,
While freedom springs from free-horn Britons’ toils”

Lord Nugent’s compliments to Lord Hertford, would be extremely happy to be crowned with the Laurel. As he is the only one of his family blessed with poetical talents, he conceives that his stake in the Muse’s hedge ought to be planted near those of his relations in the political. Portugal speaks his celebrity, (did Lord H . . . . ever read it, or hear of it?) and if his physiognomy should not be thought indicative of genius, he begs only to refer, for its contradiction, to that poem, which he trusts, it will be acknowledged, gives the lie to his face . . . . . Sunday noon.


“N.B. Lord N. is just going to be married, and sings thus blithely:

* * * * * * *
* * * * * * *
* * * * * * *
* * * * * * *
* * * * * * *

[We have avoided extracting the accompanying poem: it is such infernal trash. We observe, moreover, that it is disloyal, being written at the expense of the country—on some of the late Lord Temple’s stationery.]

We have no room, at present, for the other candidates though it is a cruel injustice (of which we are sincerely sensible) to withhold from the public the specimens of their productions, of which we are in possession, especially as we were desirous to refute, by their promulgation, an injurious opinion, which has acquired but too much weight with the unthinking multitude, that these authors had already written more than was worth reading. The names of some of them will prove how keen our regret must be in being deterred from rescuing them from this barbarous and unjust insinuation. We have a few strophes and antistrophes from Memory Rogers; from the twin Smiths, who have offered to belaureat the task in the dual number, according to the Athenian fashion; from Coleridge, who says he would be glad to turn his hand to anything which would leave him no cause for Remorse; from John Taylor (not the Water Poet), who has backed his pretensions from his connexion with that loyal paper the “Sun,” and, having defended ministers, right or wrong, for the last thousand years: from, and with him, the Chief of Chiefs, we will close our catalogue, William Henry Fitzgerald. Having, by a fine stratagem, disclaimed the appointment in the newspapers, he, next day, wrote to all the ministers and high officers of state separatim, to inform them of his modesty The hint was palpable, but it would not do; for Lord Hertford enclosed his application to us with the others. These were the last lines:

“Blest year!
George rules sublime: while tyrants domineer,
’Tis his to far and wide merge his mild sway;
Thames, Shannon, Tweed,
His bounties feed,
While Lawrence, Ganges, and Sen’gal, his lovely rule obey.
Hail happy day that gave him birth,
Day most auspicious for earth:
How many nations joy in thy return,
And gladdening myriads with ardour burn,
As my poor verse shall show.
Yankies no longer jaw!
No longer Spain cries Ah!
Sicilia’s blest with British law,
And Portugalia free—enjoys her O—
[Cætera desunt.

Poetry may be said to delight in fiction: creation, as the word implies, is its chief object. Soaring on the wings of fancy and imagination, new worlds and new beings present themselves to the poet’s phrensied view. To the realities he adds all the possibilities of existence, and, unsatisfied pedestribus historiis, with plain narrations, in which only human actors and human exploits are exhibited, he enriches his scene and interests the reader by the introduction of preternatural beings. Homer could not sing the contentions between the Grecian and Dardan hosts, at the siege of Troy, without elevating his subject by associating divinities with heroes, and forcing the gods themselves to bear a part in the mighty conflict. He employed the popular superstitions of his age to impart a grandeur and solemnity to his theme, selecting from the mythology which then prevailed the machinery of his immortal Iliad.

The divinities of Greece having been transported to, and worshipped at, Rome, the Latin epic poets were forced to adopt the machinery, as well as to follow the plans, of Homer—they had little left except to be servile copyists of this great original: but when the Muses began to be courted by our northern ancestors, poetry was obliged to have recourse for its machinery to new superstitions, and to substitute Gothic demons for
Grecian deities: Odin and Thor superseded Jupiter and Mars. In this we are of opinion poetry sustained no loss. Nothing is perhaps more truly adapted to its genius than the Gothic fictions and manners. The military institutions and customs of chivalry, united with the gloomy theology and fables of the north, which included a system of magic, enchantment, and prodigy, opened a spacious field to the epic adventurer. The old romances, though they wanted powers to cultivate it to perfection, serve to demonstrate to the discerning critic its extensive capabilities.
Ariosto, Tasso, and our Spenser have employed them to singular advantage; and had Homer flourished in the Gothic age, the supposition is not extravagant, that he might have produced a work superior to the Iliad itself, as he would certainly have found more unlimited scope for his genius. In the refined gallantry and military fanaticism of this period there was more of the tender as well as of the terrific, and more to engage the softer affections of the heart as well as to harrow up the soul, than the civil and religious state of ancient Greece presented to his observation, or to his fancy.

We have been led to make this observation, not from what is found in the work before us, but from the circumstance of no effort having been made to enrich its pages from these sources. Its claim to public approbation rests not on the exploits of the heroes of antiquity; it is derived from the exertions of those who have figured in modern times. Saying this, however, we do not wish to be understood to assert that its pages are occupied with the frivolous occurrences of modern life, or with the insipid anecdotes of fashionable folly, which have of late swelled almost every new publication. If, however, it has not those deeds of “high emprize,” of which the lovers of romance are so much enamoured, sung in never-dying strains, and if it cannot boast of that fashionable chit-chat which is so ardently admired by the readers of modern novels, on the other hand it avoids that disgusting bombast which frequently attends an attempt to celebrate the former, and that atrocious slander which is too generally the characteristic of the latter. If it is to be censured as wanting that animating fire and fascinating vivacity usually sought for in works of that description to which we have alluded, it possesses nothing that can be regarded as insulting
to common sense, nothing to put female delicacy out of countenance.

This work is understood to be compiled by Mr. Hoffman, a gentleman well known in the literary world, and who has been for some time regarded, if not as a rising, at least as a stationary genius. The present is, certainly, not his greatest work; but we are happy to say, that comparing it with his former productions of the same cast, we cannot discover that there is any falling off.

While we bear testimony to the merits of this work, as in no way offending against the purest morality, we cannot but admit that there are parts which, in our opinion, would admit of considerable improvement. It, however, affords us no small satisfaction to find that one work, at least, has been produced in the present day, in which, besides being recommended by the circumstance of its being not only free from nonsense and immorality, but wholly exempt from those errors of style which too frequently disfigure works of merit, from the beginning to the end we have not been able to discover one fault in grammar, or even in punctuation. Its pages are not sullied by one improper, nor even by one inelegant, expression. We cannot say that it is recommended to us by all the fire of Walter Scott; but if it has not the beauties of his style, it is happily free from its defects, and much as we may regret the want of its harmony, we are in a very considerable degree consoled by the absence of its affectation.

We cannot conclude without observing, that this work is in an eminent degree entitled to the praise of consistency, and this of itself is no common merit. No statements are made at the end, which are at variance with anything contained in the early part of the book. Nothing is advanced to influence the thoughtless, or to mislead the ignorant. In no part are we disgusted with an assumption of importance, or of superior information, which is not warranted by facts. It is never attempted to baffle the understanding by an affectation of mystery. We are never perplexed by a series of asterisks, dashes, or initial and final letters, significantly marked in italics. Its contents are in no part unintelligible or even doubtful; but the work is in every part fair, clear, and perfectly plain. With such claims to
approbation, possessing merits so great, and with no faults but of omission, this production, though not all that could be wished, is still of considerable value; and we have no hesitation in recommending it as more harmless than most.modern works of fiction, and as a performance which, if it does not enrapture, does not offend; if it does not convulse with laughter, does not disgust with ribaldry; and if it does not please with novelty of thought, does not excite distaste from impotent attempts at dazzling conceits. Its errors are few, trivial, and unimportant; its beauties, numerous as its leaves, apparent, and perfectly original. The uniformity of its style is unbroken by plagiarism or quotation, and what some hypercritics might challenge as sameness or insipidity is amply compensated by its purity, entire connection, fidelity to its subject, adherence to truth, clearness of conception, and delicacy of execution. These praises are not undeserved; these plaudits not exaggerated; for, reader, the object of this critique is—A blank book.”

Indeed such charms as yours, sweet May,
Might well excuse a slip or two;
But gossip flowers begin to say
Things one could scarcely think of you!
The lily, like some virgin pure,
Astonish’d, leans upon the sedge;
The pretty primrose sits demure,
Shock’d, at the bottom of the hedge.
Nor flowers alone report the tales,
Such gossips might be deem’d untrue;
But meads and groves, banks, sireams, and gales,
Conspire to whisper shame on you.
“And what, then?” Dare you ask it, May,
While all the vales declare it true?
What! answer your own question, pray?—
What pass’d between young Spring and you?
In vain you thought the dark would hide;
The morning peep’d across the night,
And caught you more than side by side,
And blush’d more crimson at the sight.
In vain you thought the grove conceal’d:—
The west wind crept among the trees,
And all the secret soon reveal’d,
In whispers to each passing breeze.
In vain you thought all nature slept,
A secret eye observed your bliss;
Awake on purpose Silence kept,
And softly counted every kiss.
The merry birds the whole affair
Had learnt before the sun rose long;
And through the carol-shaken air
They tuned it in each amorous song.
In vain would you deny, fair May;
The ground itself a witness proves;
The grass is greener where you lay,
And new-blown flowers betray your loves.
Well may the zephyrs whisper sighs,
When things like this are brought to fame;
Well may the morning’s colour rise,
And all the roses blush with shame.
Well may the flowers so gossip it,
Well be surprised the lily pure,
Well may the pretty primrose sit
So sweetly pensive and demure.
Nor is this all, O, wayward May!
When such examples once you lend,
Who knows what hearts are led astray,
Or where love’s mischief finds an end?
Our chastest maids th’ infection feel;
The fluttering growing passion swells;
Nor can the downcast eye conceal
What the quick throbbing bosom tells.

As simplicity is the order of the day, we are sure the following Song, to the fashionable tune of “Geordy Kinlock,” must please our fair readers. The subject is as old as the moon!

‘Says Eve unto Adam, to Adam, to Adam,
Says Eve unto Adam, Come sit down by me;
Says Eve unto Adam, to Adam, to Adam,
Says Eve unto Adam, Come sit down by me;
Come sit you down, and rest awhile,
It will the tedious hours beguile;
I likewise beg you’ll stay to tea—
I’m afraid though, says Adam, you’ve no bohea!
“So down then sat Adam, sat Adam, sat Adam,
So down then sat Adam to gossip with Eve;
The maid she was happy, was happy, was happy,
The maid she was happy, as you may believe:
They pass’d that night, and many more,
As never couple did before!
A happier pair could not have been found
If you’d traversed the garden of Eden round!
“But slily came Satan, came Satan, came Satan,
But slily came Satan, and whisper’d the dame,
‘If you don’t eat the apple, the apple, the apple,
If you don’t eat the apple you’re vastly to blame.
’Twill make you wise without dispute,
Then why not taste such charming fruit?’
Poor Eve bought wisdom much too dear,
Or perhaps there had none of us now been here!!”

B, p. 42.

I had purposed in this Appendix to have gone more into the details of authorship, and demonstrated beyond controversy, from the multitude of the unsuccessful and unfortunate, and the paucity in numbers of those who have reached any moderate degree of opulence, the truth of the positions I have laid down in regard to literary pursuits. But the task has grown too large for the summary view I intended for it; and in order to do it justice, I must defer making up my materials to a future and more convenient opportunity. In the mean time, I may refer my readers, for a taste, to “Disraeli’s Calamities of Authors,” and assure them of a list from me not less disastrous and miserable. Such scenes of destitution as I have witnessed, and thank God! often been enabled to alleviate; would force the most buoyant proclaimer of the literary man’s millenium to confess that there was more universal failure in their objects, and frustration of their hopes, and also a lower depth of woe into
which they were often precipitated, than could be predicated of any other educated and intelligent class. How does the pride of genius aggravate the suffering! That pride, like ivy, climbs the highest, and luxuriates the most, where the ruin is the greatest, where the stateliest fabric is mouldering most rapidly and surely into decay, where the noble mind is overthrown and all is wreck:—

“Why to this stormy world, from their long rest,
Are these recall’d, to be again displeased,
Where, during Nature’s reign, we are opprest,
Till we by Death’s high privilege are eased.
“As rivers to their ruin hasty be,
So life (still earnest, loud, and swift) runs post
To the vast gulf of death, as they to sea,
And. vainly travels to be quickly lost.”—Davenant.

I abstain, then, for the present, from going into this sad and painful inquiry; but cannot help suggesting only one argument more, to show the disparity of the rewards which attend the productions of authors and artists; assuredly not begrudging but heartily wishing increase to the latter. But let us quietly set down, in two lines, ten of the one class opposite to ten of the other, and ask the public judgment on the comparison:—


The first column of high intellectual names, which will live for ever in the annals of literature, for the delight they have afforded to mankind, might sum up all their pecuniary gains through the whole of their lives and labours at a very few thousands, probably not more altogether than Turner amassed; and if you add the sums, very justly and meritoriously earned by the other nine, you will hardly come to the conclusion that the Poet
and the Painter are equally well off in the distribution of remuneration for their labours. I contend, therefore, that higher intellect being requisite in the one case than in the other—not that the artist is too liberally encouraged, but that the author is ill requited and wronged.

I have not mentioned such names as those of Burns, Hogg, and a long catalogue of others whose lives have been spent in acquiring lasting fame in the turmoil of lasting struggle for bare existence; and only add, for the present, the case of Mr. Horne, the author of an Epic, which could not command a great sale at the price of one farthing, and whom one of my critics has set forth to show that infinitely higher genius than mine has been far less rewarded—which may be true enough—but surely it makes for my argument (and not the reverse) that literary merit is rather an unproductive freehold.

“Australian ship Kent, Plymouth Sound, June 9, 1852.


“Various statements having been made in certain quarters of the press concerning my departure for Australia, may I request you will do me the kindness to insert these few words. Considering the great appreciation I received on the publication of my earliest works from some of the noblest intellects of the time, and that during a long period I have experienced the same from nearly all the foremost men in literature, in science, and in art, it would be equally absurd and ungrateful in me to complain of neglect. But while I repudiate all personal complaints at those circumstances which from times immemorial (and memorial) have been the common inheritance of all poets who had a lofty aim and no adventitious aids, I may be permitted simply to record the fact of twenty years of public indifference. This has continued nearly unbroken, so far as my substantive works are concerned, in the face of more elaborate philosophical analysis and criticism, and far higher eulogies, than any poet could reasonably expect during his life. With this record I take my leave.


“Let me add, however, that I bear with me a profound emotion towards those, whether strangers or friends (and they are not a few), by whom my writings have been received in the spirit in which they were composed.

“I am, Sir, your obedient servant,


C, p. 64.

As few of my readers can have any notion of what this entertainment consisted, besides being half stolen as the book lay on the table, whilst waiting, perhaps, some tedious time till the Secretary got to be disengaged, I may describe this Treasury official minute book. It was, and I daresay is, a goodly volume, more in width than length, and every page ruled with perpendicular columns, in which vacant places the names, and sometimes brief descriptions of the parties recommended, and the names of their recommenders, were severally entered, in line, and on the last column notes or remarks upon either or all these component elements. These were sometimes so curt and facetious, that it is probable no administration ever left their book for the perusal of their successors. “What, again!” “Would he have the whole patronage of the office?” “Too bad!” “Could such absurdity be imagined!” And occasionally observations still less complimentary, and hints as to the nature of the replies to be given, were scattered through these pages. It was also curious to see who were the seekers of these favours, and their revelations of political influences so unexpected, that they could hardly expect belief, and would not have been believed if stated anywhere else. The political secretaries of the Treasury, above all the rest of the government, must be the depositories of extraordinary secrets.

D, p. 65.

In truth the “Morning Chronicle” was at this bitter opposition time very unscrupulous about its statements; and particularly so under the head of “Foreign Correspondence,” which provoked from me the following squib:—

Most newspapers, now,
Find it hard, anyhow,
Their columns to fill with good stuff,
When no Foreign mails come,
But the “Chronicle’s” hum,
And that is aye foreign enough—
Quite Foreign.
No matter, beside,
Or for wind, or for tide,
For disasters by sea or by land.
Its correct foreign mail
Never happens to fail,
Of finding its way to the Strand—
Full of Foreign.
Nor mistakes on the road
(So uncertain abroad),
Its arrivals retard or advance,
Than if Ghent were in Kent,
Milan news Mile-end sent,
And Paris adorned Petty-France!
All Foreign.
“Anton Di Ravenna,”
“Giusippe Di Sienna,”
With “Drechster of Nurnberg” have shone*
And “Gottlieb Treumun”
Is by no one out-done,
In fibbing away for the Chron-
icle Foreign.
Paris lies, without name;
And Milan lies the same;
And Vienna lies signed by no hand—
An Italian”—“A Pole;’
All fill up the roll,
And “Cracovius”* crowns the bright band—
So Foreign.
The public to tickle,
These cram the Chron-icle
With wonders so wondrously true,
That our Ministers must
Very soon bite the dust,
And the Talents their courses renew—
Though Foreign.
To which happy end
These epistles ail tend;
Nor is’t strange they concur in this tone;
For all Foreigners say,
Had these worthies the sway,
Every country would thrive but their own

E., p. 71.

The Chevalier John Taylor, or “John de Taylor, Ophthalmiater, Pont., Imp. and Royal,” or more at length, “Pontiff, Imper. and Royal,” meaning pontifical, imperial and royal, in the years 1761-2, published one of the most amusing and ludicrous books in the English language. Of his inordinate vanity, charlatanry, and impudence, it is impossible to form an idea without reading this unique work. It relates his wonderful cures of exalted personages, and nearly all the crowned heads in Europe; his unexampled travels over the world with his equipages and attendants; and his extraordinary personal adventures, including those with princesses and ladies of the highest rank in every country, and of all ages, who sought and courted him in disguise. His marvellous wit, his irresistible powers “as master of the art of pleasing,” and his consequent successes, cast the stories of

* “All these are signatures of Foreign correspondents in the ‘Chronicle’ within the last three weeks. What a pity it has no British letter-writers to counteract their poisons.”

Ferdinand Mendez Pinto completely into the shade, and leave the Chevalier de Taylor alone in his glory, superior to Paracelsus, Katterfelto, and the whole succession of quacks since the world was created.

It would require a large space to exhibit even faintly the magnificence and potency of this marvellous man, to whom, if his birth-place, Norwich, has not erected a splendid public monument of everlasting brass, it must be owing to a condition of desperate blindness of which the skill of no opthalmiater could effect a cure.* The title-page will say a little for the author:


Pontifical—Imperial and Royal—The Kings of Poland, Denmark, Sweden, the Electors of the Holy Empire—The Princes of Saxe Gotha, Mecklenberg, Anspach, Brunswick, Parma, Modena, Zerbst, Lorraine, Saxony, Hesse Cassel, Holstein, Salzbourg, Baviere, Liege, Bareith, Georgia, &c., Pr. in Opt. C. of Rom. M.D.—C.D.—Author of 45 Works in different Languages: the Produce for upwards of thirty Years, of the greatest Practice in the Cure of distempered Eyes, of any in the Age we live—Who has been in every Court, Kingdom, Province, State, City, and Town of the least Consideration in all Europe, without exception.


This Work contains all most worthy the Attention of a Traveller—also a Dissertation on the Art of Pleasing, with

* Himself alone could describe the important event:—“I shall only say on that head, that in Norwich I first beheld the light. That it was in that happy city I first began to breathe. It was there that I first became acquainted with the glories of the sun. A city memorable for many great events in our English annals; and it is possible that its having been the place of my birth, may not one day be judged unworthy the notice of

the most interesting Observations on the Force of Prejudice; numberless Adventures, as well amongst Nuns and Friars, as with Persons in high Life; with a Description of a great Variety of the most admirable Relations, which, though told in his well known peculiar Manner, each one is strictly true, and within the Chevalier’s own Observations and Knowledge.—Interspersed with the Sentiments of Crowned Heads, &c, in Favour of his Enterprises: and an Address to the public, showing that his Profession is distinct and independent of every other Part of Physic.


Qui visum vitam dat.

Going thus about giving light and life to all comers, it is annoying to think, that whilst so admired and courted by great ladies, et cetera, there were some plague-spots on the continent where the Chevalier was not welcomed. Thus he informs us—

“I must not here omit one of the most extraordinary adventures of my life, which happened in another of the most considerable courts in Europe, which has done me as much honour, with regard to my capacity, if not more, in the opinion of the great, than any other. I arrived in this court, furnished with every recommendation from many of the highest personages, proper to procure me an audience of the sovereign, and the protection of the courtiers. Notice being given of my arrival, and all my letters presented by a proper officer, the sovereign seemed so pleased and desirous (as he was most graciously pleased to say), of seeing a man who had made himself so singularly remarkable, as well by his reception in every court, as from his success with

posterity. Whether I err or not, in having this said, will he best known to those who shall have read the story of my life. For the present I shall repeat that it was in this famous city that my mother became first acquainted with my existence; it was there she first heard the news of the birth of her first dear son.”!!

so many great princes, and other great personages, by acts of his profession, that the hoar was next day fixed for honouring me with an audience, being that evening invited to supper at the marshal’s table as usual; in the palace there happened a trifling dispute between myself and a celebrated wit, then a favourite at court; the latter, to whom at that time I was a stranger, was so angry at my being flattered to have gained the superiority in the argument, that, in revenge, he so artfully prejudiced, the same night, the sovereign against me, that, when I was next morning prepared to throw myself at his feet, not thinking any more of the idle babble the night preceding, always supposing that all conversations round the table, amongst men of honour, are never suffered to transpire—an officer came to my apartments, and told me, that the sovereign would grant me no audience, but required that I might continue my road. My readers may suppose how greatly I was astonished at this information, on remembering that I never was in any court furnished with such powerful recommendations as to this, nor ever saw a fairer prospect of meeting with all the attention that I could possibly hope for; and above all, not knowing the cause of this disgrace; finding that I had no other remedy but to obey, I immediately ordered my equipage, which being then at the crisis of my grandeur, having with me no less than two coaches and six, above ten servants in livery, besides gentlemen, my companions, in my own pay—I parted instantly for the capital, and being charged with letters for the commander, I waited on him, without discovering the least uneasiness, or saying ought of my adventure with the master. Being detained at his table, and assured of his desire to serve me from the recommendation I brought him, dinner was scarcely over before he received a messenger, by the best authority, which was in substance, that that celebrated Englishman, who that day arrived at the capital, must continue his road; the commander addressing himself to me, said, sir, this must mean you; on this I most respectfully answered, that I knew it did, and told him all that had happened; upon which his excellency immediately asked me, what was my answer? Obey, sir, said I, without doubt; but as there is no time limited, to-morrow will do as well as to-day. This was to me most afflicting news, because here were my
head-quarters, where I had caused to be assembled, by public notice, persons who wanted my aid, many from the neighbouring countries, and some from distant nations: having several years observed, in foreign countries, to fix, as I passed, a certain place, to get together all persons complaining of distempered eyes, that I might give them better attendance, and thence be enabled to obtain the desired success. Knowing the commander to be my friend, I continued three days longer, imagining that this threatening storm might blow over, at least that I might know in what I had erred, and thence be enabled to seek a proper remedy; in the mean time I continued to enrol all my blind subjects, which were in a greater number in proportion, and of greater quality, than I had ever met with in any time of my life; but knowing myself not to be secure in my situation, I did not venture to do any operation; but told these my people, of whatsoever rank, that I was busy in preparing necessaries for their cure. The fourth morning after my arrival, the commander received another message from superior authority, with positive orders for my departure early the next morning. My time thus being limited, and my danger not small, my invention was on the rack to know what I could do to save my glory, and to secure myself from the loss that must necessarily ensue from my departure; the injury that would be done to so many people, and amongst them many of the great, that came from all parts for my aid, could not but to them be very considerable, and to me immense; for I must lose not only the profits arising from the cure of these people, but the reputation that I should have possibly acquired in consequence. Besides, my misfortune would not end here, for my leaving a country so suddenly, and from a cause unknown, could not fail of exposing me to censure amongst the people in many other nations, where this account of my quick departure should be reported, as being myself the most public man under the sun, being personally known not only in every town in Europe, but in every part of the globe. Reflecting thus on my dreadful situation, and believing myself within a few hours of certain ruin, a happy thought preserved my glory, enabled me to quit the country with the highest honour, secured me the good opinion of the public, added to my fortune, and lastly, gave peace to my mind; and here follows a most faithful
relation. Examining my book where the names of the persons of every rank who demanded my relief were entered, and fixing on eight or ten of the principal, I ordered my equipage to the door, put a few bandages, and some instruments in my pocket, took with me my chief assistant servant, and set forward to visit these great personages; on my arrival at each one, I said, that I was come with all necessaries to make the operation for their cure, and laboured to appear quite easy in my mind: at which they all seemed pleased, discovering their impatience for my assistance. When having seated them with great ceremony, I touched their eyes with an instrument, without giving the least pain, and called it my operation; this done, I applied proper bandages, and rolled up their eyes one after another, as fast as I could continue my visits, with three or four yards of ribbon; after having gone through this ceremony with all, I spoke to each one to the following effect:—‘Now, your excellency, my operation is done, and I make no doubt but that you will be perfectly restored: there remains only my attendance, without which your excellency may have a fever. Your eyes may swell; they may be inflamed, and you may lose your sight—if not your life.’ And in this manner I addressed every one, after the business was over, that I styled for my then present purpose an operation: their excellencies, one and all, in their different houses, discovered, as we may suppose, the greatest surprise at this relation of mine; and asked me, in the utmost confusion, what I meant. I told each one, that I had orders by authority to depart the next morning, that I am going to such a court, and that if they wished to avoid all these evils, they must prepare their equipages to follow me; that I would not speak of these things before the operation, dreading to create in them such fears, as might have made my operation unsuccessful; and to sum up all, they were under an absolute necessity of going with me, or employ all their interest to keep me with them for their sight, and perhaps their lives, as I had said, depended on my presence, and there were no other remedies since the operations were done. The business of each one was immediately to put all means at work to procure my stay, which they all did, but, as I expected, in vain. That evening I sent a proper notice to all, to be ready the next morning, repeating
their danger by my absence. The time arrived for my departure, when I set out with my own equipage, which I have already said, was the most brilliant I ever kept; I was followed by a train of coaches, and other machines, all filled with persons complaining with disordered eyes, and continued my road, with all my followers, till I arrived at the first town belonging to the neighbouring sovereign: there I fixed my quarters, and resolved to stay not only till I did my duty to these great people, but for all who should follow me from the capital. The news of my success with those who followed me, together with the singular manner I parted, was soon the subject of conversation in many provinces, and in some of the neighbouring kingdoms; so that in less than a month, the town was so excessively filled on my account, that it was difficult at any price to get a lodging. The consequences of my project were—my glory was not only secured, but greatly augmented, by returning these great personages to the capital recovered; my reputation was so much increased, that I was attended by crowds for a long time, in every country through which I travelled, and my reward greatly exceeded what I had ever met with in so short a time.”

Of the rapidity of his course the following minutes inform us:—

“I set out from my native country, and began my travels, in the year 1727.

“In this month I went to Paris, and after a few months being there, I went through all France, every town of any consideration, without exception; and thence through all Holland, and every town, without exception; and all this with such amazing rapidity, that I was returned to London in November, 1735.”

“After being a little time in Madrid, I went with the greatest rapidity through all the kingdom of Spain, and after going many thousand miles post, from town to town, I returned to Madrid in September, 1738.

“I continued at Madrid till the war was proclaimed, 1739.

“I departed immediately upon the declaration of the war, for Lisbon, where I arrived in September, the same year; and after about a month, began my tour through all Portugal, and the kingdom of Algarvy, and this with such astonishing speed, that
I had finished the whole, and returned to Lisbon before the middle of September, 1740.”

Denmark, Sweden, and everywhere else were overrun with like celerity: the author says—

“I left Stockholm, after being honoured, as in the preceding court, in February, 1752, and in a few months, with the greatest rapidity, passed through every town in that kingdom: about the middle of November in the same year, I received an invitation to go to Russia, and was resolved to make the whole journey by land; and with this view I returned to Copenhagen and Hamburgh, and went thence through all Germany to Breslaw, through Silesia, thence through all the principal towns, and the palatines, and in all Poland to Warsaw the capital, thence to Mittaw in Courland, thence to Riga and Peterburgh, and thence to Muscow; and all this amazing journey I travelled night and day, seldom in bed, gave myself little or no rest on the road, and was but a few weeks on this extraordinary expedition; being but a short time at Peterburgh, on my passage, travelling from the frontiers in a trenneau, on account of the snows.

“I continued in the court of Muscow from the latter end of January, 1753, to the middle of November in the same year, when I began my march in a trenneau, through various parts of that vast empire.

“In the month of March, 1754, I left this cold country, this northern part of Europe, returned by the same road I entered Russia, and passed with the utmost rapidity through all Germany and Bohemia, to the southern parts of Europe; namely Italy, and stopt scarce a day on the road, till I reached Venice, where I arrived about the middle of August, in the same year, and continued there till the beginning of November, in the same year.

“Then I began the tour through all Italy, and first to Rome, where I arrived the latter end of the same month. In January, 1755, I received from his holiness, the senate, and the colleges of the learned, the many remarkable dignities, of which the particulars will be found in the following work; left Rome in the beginning of February, in the same year, and proceeded to Naples.


“In a few weeks, after having received the usual marks of benevolence and favour from that court, and from the nobility, I began my tour through every town of consideration in that kingdom. In the beginning of May I returned to Naples, thence to Rome, and met on the road, the 15th of that month, in the night, a most dreadful accident, by being robbed at once of a large fortune; of the particulars hereafter. From Rome I proceeded to Parma, Modena, and through every state and town of the least consideration in all Italy, without exception; and returned to Venice the beginning of December, 1756.”

“Let all judge (he concludes) whether ever man’s travels by land equalled mine.” For languages he was Polyglot, and wrote and spoke them all. But I cannot expect my readers to feel the same interest in adventures a century old, which I hope they will do in mine, and therefore I shall merely make room for as much of the Chevalier as may serve to amuse a few minutes of idle time:—

“I was invited in form to dine one day with the ladies of the palace. Dinner being over, one of the gentlemen of the bedchamber, then at table, seemingly inclined to communicate to me an affair that was not proper the company should be acquainted with; the substance of this pretended secret was, that he had a poor girl, a relation of his, who waited on a lady not far from that palace, who laboured under such a weakness of sight, that, without my compassionate aid, she would soon be unfit for service, requiring that I would be so good as to permit him to send for her at that time, as my occupation was such, that it was often not easy to get access to me. I told his Excellency, as my readers may suppose, that I should be extremely happy to have it in my power to oblige him, and requested that he would instantly send for this young woman; his relation and I would retire from the company into some room his Excellency should appoint, and give her my best advice.”

She is sent for, and—

“In a few minutes his Excellency pulled me by the coat, and said to me, in one sentence, Dear Chevalier, retire quick, and
send that girl away. I instantly obeyed, and thought myself unnoticed; and being conducted into the room where the supposed maid-servant was waiting for me; no sooner was I entered, but the door was shut upon me; there did I find, as I believed, a charming lovely innocent, tender and deserving girl, with her eyes directed to the earth, her dress becoming her character, and with looks filled with every appearance of a respectful modesty; being seated by her, I addressed her to this effect, ‘His Excellency, to whom I find you are a relation, desired me to give you my opinion about some complaint in your sight; pity it is, added I, that aught should disturb the peace of so amiable an infant; happy indeed should I be to be found the instrument of the well-being of so desirable a person.’ The pretty maiden smiling at this discourse, suddenly interrupted me, and said,—‘If you please, sir, first to be informed of my complaints, and then ’twill be the time to propose the means of relief.’ A reply so proper, delivered with delicacy, and in a tone that discovered at least the well-bred maid, I fixed my eyes upon her with such attention, that betrayed how much I wished to have it in my power to deserve her care; that instant I heard the company excessive merry in the other room; but heaven knows! I knew not the real cause. I judged that they were diverting themselves at their own wit, and that I was entirely forgotten, at least I wished that this might be the case, being myself extremely happy in the presence of this new acquaintance. I proceeded then to tell my pretty maid, that if the discovery of her charms should augment my imagination, my own eyes might at length call out for aid; for I found my sight defective by numberless little clouds that moved before them, and never did this happen to me till I beheld her beauties; be not, said I, surprised that I tell you, all with me is not right; for when the whole man is out of order from a cause like this, no wonder if eyes, the windows of the soul, should share a part of the confusion. ‘Sir,’ says this charming girl, interrupting me again, ‘I came not prepared to hear such soft, such tender insinuations; you talked,’ said she, ‘about procuring me peace with regard to my eyes; how comes it, that you make so quick a transition from the business of the eye to that of the heart?’ ‘because,’ said I, ‘thou excellent charmer, when I came here I thought not of you, for you I knew not;
your eyes alone were the objects of my attention; but when I beheld your frame, gazed on your beauties, was a hearer of your pretty sayings, I thought not of a part, but the whole; all your graces joined their forces, and together deprived me of all power of reflecting on the motive that brought me to you.’ No sooner had I expressed this last phrase, but the company in the next room made some acclamations of joy, from a cause to which I yet continued to be a stranger. I therefore went on with my discourse to the lovely maiden, by telling her, how unable I was to fix my attention on her eyes alone, till I could recover myself from my surprise. That instant interrupting me, she says, ‘that word surprise from you, sir, a stranger, carries with it indeed from me something surprising. I repeat, sir,’ she said, ‘once more, what is it that my figure has done to make this change from the purport of your visit? I expected, by the honour of your presence, that you would speak to me about my eyes, and not tell me a tale that becomes a lover, troubled from the force of female charms.’ Addressing herself thus to me in a style like this, betrayed a judgment vastly superior to what could possibly be expected from a servant maid; on this I resolved to change my address, and played with words for two hours longer, in terms that became me only to observe in the presence of ladies of the first rank. Having in this style so well scattered all her reasoning, that I left her seemingly without power to oppose me, and flattered myself to have made a conquest, because she gave her consent to go with me that night to the masquerade, and afterwards to permit me, at my own table, to tell her the rest of my story; this no sooner agreed on both sides, but that instant all the company, with whom I was at table, poured in upon us, and amongst them his Excellency, my darling maid’s relation, who in seeming anger said to me, ‘how is it, sir, that you, who are so well known to excel in your knowledge of polite behaviour, could shut yourself for three hours together with a trifling girl, and leave the first ladies of the palace by themselves; you certainly must have forgot, that the assembly of to-day was chiefly on your account; that the ladies of the court honoured me with their presence, that they might themselves be witnesses of what I have so often told them in favour of your happy talents.’ I need not say how much I was shocked at this so unexpected a
visit, and the more so, as I feared the chief cause of his Excellency’s anger was, that some busy person had overheard me talking with so much tenderness to his relation. This lovely and amiable maid having received a blow from this her pretended kinsman, was commanded with seeming authority to go instantly home to her mistress.”

And who should this turn out to be but the reigning Princess, into whose presence he was soon after summoned! and—

“The instant she saw me in this her state, she cried out, ‘Come forward, dear Englishman! come forward, thou charmer of my heart,—come forward, I’ll keep my word; we will sup together; we will go this night together to the masquerade.’ Let all judge what a dreadful situation I was in at hearing these sentences; but being a little removed from my surprise, took courage, I advanced, threw myself at her highness’s foot, and to this effect most humbly offered an apology for my conduct. ‘Before I rise from the earth, let me beg that your highness would be pleased to permit me to show my right of pardon. The pain I suffered, when I addressed your highness in the character of the innocent maiden you can be no stranger to; for you yourself was witness, I saw in that lovely maiden all power to please, and to inspire in the heart of man every mark of tenderness and affection; your highness cannot but know, that I have lost that maid, that sweet, that lovely maid; lost her for ever; for never shall my eyes behold her more; I therefore most humbly claim your most gracious pity; for if ever cause was worthy of it, ’tis certainly that of mine.’”

Need I add he was pardoned and feted?

“I must not here omit to relate, that it is extremely dangerous, in some nations where I have been, not to obey invitations of tenderness from the fair of high rank, and strong passions; because, if their affections are great, they often turn to the other extreme. I am persuaded, there is not a man living better acquainted with these truths than myself, having had all the advantages of dress, good company, and favours received from the great, proper to obtain this knowledge; but, for want of room, I shall only give the following remarkable relation.


“I was once invited to dine at the table with the husband and his lady, where the custom is, that the wife is seldom or ever visible to any stranger, unless with two sets of people; those of palaces, which are above observing the idle custom of the vulgar; and the very lowest of the latter, who pay no regard to things of this kind, unless compelled by corporal punishment. Being thus favoured, and well knowing the laws of hospitality, I observed, during the time we were at table, by the lady’s conversation, that she would not be very sorry to see me without her husband; however, I knew too well my situation, to discover, by any word or act of mine, that I understood her meaning. The same evening a woman brought me a letter from that lady, wherein she expressed herself in terms filled with anger and surprise, at my not taking a proper notice of the regard she showed me at table, concluding with words to this effect:—If you are a gentleman, and would avoid the resentment of a lady highly offended, I charge you, on your life, not to fail to meet me, at the time and place herein appointed. Should you refuse to obey my orders, remember the consequence, adding, you know my husband, be on your guard!

“In another Court,” proceeds our veritable lady-killer, “not less considerable, having restored the sight of a widow lady, who was near arrived to her 90th year of age, of a noble birth, and of a large fortune, and who, being informed of my preparing to leave that country, and fearing in my absence to lose that blessing I had restored her, sent for me into her own apartment, and after sending away her servants, and commanding me to shut the door, that we might be alone together, she seated in her great chair, with her back to the light; after raising with her aged hands the shade that hung before her eyes, to prevent too strong a light, looked full upon me, and spoke to me to this effect: ‘I am told, Sir,’ says she, ‘that you intend to leave us to-morrow; I acknowledge that I am to you indebted for now beholding the glories of heaven; methinks I would be glad to preserve the blessing you have procured for me, for the few days I have here to live; I believe you are a good man, I am convinced you are a great man, and I have been told by many that you are of an extraordinary genius; tell me then, with freedom, how I must act to keep you near me, for when
you are gone, I shall live in perpetual fear of falling into that dark state in which you found me; I shall thence he deprived of all peace, and the rest of my life will pass away in grief and sorrow. I have no relations,’ added this good lady, ‘I have been long a widow; those who expect my possessions when I am in my grave, are no kindred of mine; think a little, then, and let me know whether it is not possible to contrive some way to keep you near me.’ To which I most respectfully answered: ‘Lady, I am extremely happy in having been the instrument of the good you thus acknowledge to have received from my hands; give over these fears of the loss of the sight I have restored for you; I have no doubt but it will continue during your life. For me, madam, such is my hard fate, that I am obliged at present to be in constant motion from one country to another: to-morrow I must part, my affairs oblige me to it, and as I am going to another part of Europe, I cannot more hope to be honoured with your presence.’ No sooner this said, but this good lady told me, with some warmth, ‘I find, young man, you do not understand me. I know the world will laugh at me; let them laugh, my motive is just. It is to enable me to be more worthy of heaven, by admiring, by my eyes, the great works of the Lord, and to judge that way, as I ought, of the greatness of his power; gratitude can be no fault. To the Lord I would be grateful, because it is by my sight that his marvellous wonders are told to my mind. To you I would be grateful, because it is by your hands that I am freed from that dark cloud which hindered me from beholding by my eye the glories of the day.’ To this pretty devout reasoning I replied, not being willing to seem to understand her: ‘If, lady, I rightly conceive what you have done me the honour to communicate to me, you are desirous that I should find out some way to engage me to be near you; and as you have no relations who have any other right to your possessions than what they may obtain by your own good will, in your judgment I am not unworthy to be trusted with the government of your fortune.’ On this, she suddenly interrupted me, and discovering some marks of displeasure, raised her voice, and said, ‘Lack-a-day, man, you do not understand me; I thought, to a man of your penetration, I had said enough to be understood;’ adding, (Do you know my chaplain? Do you under-
stand me now? I tell you again, that as I regard you as the best friend I have on earth, because you have procured to me a blessing that I esteem beyond life; how can I do too much to engage you to stay with me, and to secure me, by your presence, what I so much value. I say, I know the world will laugh at me. Let them laugh, it hurts not me, my design is just, and my mind from thence will be in peace.’ Finding that there was no possibility of pretending any longer a doubt of her meaning, without discovering a want of judgment, I immediately made an answer to this effect: ‘I am at length sensible, madam, of the honour you intend me, yet fear if I am raised to the happiness you are pleased to give me hopes of, I may deprive those of their right who are now waiting your fall. You say, lady, none have right but such as you shall hereafter approve of, and you seem to insinuate that I am the man you have chosen from all the world; and as a proof that these are your thoughts, you offer to give me your heart, as well as your possessions; I know no language capable of expressing the sense I have of my obligations to you; but permit me, lady, to tell you, that this condescension of your’s might expose me to much censure, the meddling world will say that I took some advantage of your goodness, and persuaded you into marriage by some unfair dealings; and it is possible that even you, notwithstanding all your excellent reasoning in favour of your motive, may be accused of some temporal expectation, namely, that you even loved me; that you wished me in your arms, and that gratitude was not your only motive.’ On saying this, I was instantly interrupted by the lady, who replied, seemingly in much confusion, ‘My dear worthy creature, your scruples are all idle; let the world call this resolution of mine love to heaven, or love to you, or love to both, to me all is indifferent; it is enough for me, that my heart is at ease, and without you, in this life, there is no comfort for me.’ On this I was silenced, and, with a bow becoming a respectful admirer, I most humbly took my leave, and instantly promised all obedience to my loving dear’s commands; after assuring her that I would wait not only on the parson, but also on her lawyer, to settle all preliminaries; and that I made no doubt, after telling the case to both, with that delicacy and judgment I flattered myself to be very capable of, and not omit to dispose properly
a little money to secure their interest in a cause so just, that the chaplain would say no more on this business, than what became him in his office, in reading the holy ceremony, and granting his good wishes to us and our posterity; and that the lawyer would thence be prevailed on to agree that our cause was right, and as we were his clients, as such he would defend us. All these things resolved, I retired home to reflect on how I was to act in so important an undertaking; I did not forget that I had left my intended bride in the most impatient situation, her heart rejoiced from the prospect of possessing a young lover, her brain disturbed through fear of some interruption to her approaching happiness; my mind also was busy on reflecting that I was going to act a curious part, and what would require all my abilities to perform with applause; for I was to be the preserver of this endearing, this amiable lady’s sight, the guardian of her honour, the partner of her bed, and, lastly, the faithful friend of her bosom. When my mind was thus employed, I was told that dinner was served, and that the table waited my presence. I was not so far lost in thought but I could remember that I might reassume these reflections after dinner with better prospect of success; because all wise men agree that, the body being at that time more at ease, the mind is the better enabled to think on the affairs of tenderness. From this thought I instantly resolved to think no more of love till dinner was over, when on retiring into my room, and finding my material self at ease, my spiritual self returned again to business, when on a sudden—oh, dreadful change! that troublesome companion called conscience, violently forced into my thoughts, a visitor that has been the ruin of the fortunes of tens of thousands. Numberless were thence my apprehensions, and finding with all my wisdom, I could not drive this vision from my brain, I had no way to ease my disquiet, but by telling my tale to one, whose interest was chiefly to recommend rather the bosom of Abraham to this lady than my own, ’twas agreed between us, what methods were necessary to prevent my enamoured good old lady’s mistaking another man for me, who might possibly be less delicate than myself, and give up all for such a prize; the consequence was, that my intended bride hearing of this discovery, changed, as usual in these cases, from extreme love to that of anger; and in a few weeks after, in the
crisis of her passion, she took leave of this troublesome world; whilst I was wandering to another part of the globe, often thinking of my misfortune, by neglecting so happy an opportunity to make me independent; and had no other consolation but from remembering, that my only reason for the neglect of so great a lady’s love was, that I had then living a lady who claimed me as her right; a reason, however trifling in the opinion of others, proved the undoubted cause of this great loss.—Should I repent, ’tis certain some would blame me—should I not repent, all must agree, that this deed of mine was well worthy of applause.”

It were exuberant to tell how “a lady of quality, having received impressions of tenderness in favour of the author, came disguised in an equipage to his lodgings, and whisked him off to the country.” How “the author was stopped on the road by a young princess, disguised like the daughter of a merchant,” with the consequences. How he undertook and succeeded in causing a “great princess to smile a few moments before departing this life,” and after receiving extreme unction. How many nuns he intrigued with, and how “no man living could be so well acquainted with the lives of nuns as himself.” How he demonstrates, contrary to the Turks, that women have souls. How he shows a certain way of making a conquest of the fair, though immensely rich, and the admirer only merit (like his own) to recommend him. How it is easier to conquer women of genius than those of weaker capacities. How “English women, from the extraordinary goodness of their hearts, more easily become a conquest than in any nation under the sun.” How he had “the gift or virtue of reading the heart by the eye of the fair;” and how he considered it would be dangerous to communicate this secret to women so as to enable them to read the hearts of men. How he celebrates the powers of dress and beauty, with some most grotesque and unquotable examples. How it is “highly criminal” in the marriage state to have no children, and how he may be consulted for a recipe to overcome the evil. How lovesickness can be infallibly cured by applying blisters on the calves of the legs. And these are but inklings of this strange performance, from which we copy in conclusion, as novel
a view of our first parents and the paradise, as ever was penned:—

“Fearing that what I have said of the natural tendency of the fair to good, may by some be called in doubt, before I proceed, I must beg leave to give the most powerful testimony of this truth, that can possibly enter the imagination of man, I mean the conduct of our first mother. When that excellent lady was with her lord, her heart filled with innocence, her mind with joy, when all with her was peace and comfort, may it not be presumed that she addressed this happy, this blessed man, one morning, in that first garden of the world, to this, or the like effect:—Thou soul’s treasure, thou dearest object of my wishes, thou darling, thou idol of my heart; permit me, my love, permit me, I pray thee, whilst thou art busy in obeying the commands of our master, that I take a little walk in this beauteous garden, to admire the works of heaven; lest, by being always near thee, the tenderness I know thou hast for me, should call thine attention from that labour thou art commanded to pursue; be assured, says this beauteous, this innocent, this adorable lady, this absence will deprive me of the greatest of all human enjoyments; for no happiness for me like thy dear presence; but certain it is, that it becomes me better to lose the joy of gazing upon thee, than that thou should’st neglect the duty of the day; to which her dear, happy, loving lord replied, thou engaging softness—thou charming partner of my life—half of myself—my very self; for indeed without thee I am not myself; how can I support one moment thy absence from me, thou art given me to alleviate the pains of life, to partake with me in all; and, believe me, so dearly do I love thee, that methinks all with me is well when thou art by; I dare not, my life, I dare not, my soul’s delight, my sweet companion, my better half, I dare not venture thee in this garden alone; remember that I am thy guardian angel, formed to protect thy virtues, and secure thee from all harm; who knows but by being alone in this garden, something may disturb thy peace, and rob me of thy love; to which this first and most amiable of her sex, answered, my heart’s dear, my life, my husband, thou forgettest that in this garden there is none of thy likeness, and what should please my
eye unless it is thy resemblance; in this last sentence all objection ceased; her lord, and her lover, was here convinced, that he should err, did he any longer oppose a desire in itself so innocent, and from a motive so well worthy of praise; both instantly agreed in opinion; they fixed their eyes on each other, with all the appearances of the most languishing lovers, with broken sighs, with every mark of tenderness and affection; they slowly turned their heads away and parted: the sovereign lord of their wishes remained at his work, and his dearest and best beloved lady wandered in the garden, always remembering the blessing she had left behind in her husband, and that every beauty she there discovered, served only to show his greatness, as being at the head of all, and consequently more worthy her love. At length, when filled with these pretty thoughts, a little living figure met her in her way, and addressed her in the voice of her lord, in words to this effect; dear, beauteous, lovely lady, stop for a moment and hear me speak; the delicate fair one, filled with amazement, fixed her eyes upon it, and seemed for a time to be lost in thought; but recovering by degrees her surprise, with all gentleness, with all becoming meekness and regard, demanded of this wretched figure, how earnest thou by this wondrous power of speech? to which this enemy of heaven, too well known in history to require my saying more, told a tale in a style filled with so much eloquence, and with such appearances of truth, that it could not fail of commanding all her attention. ‘Shall I,’ says she, in her own heart, ‘lose an opportunity so essential to the well-being of my dearest lord. My lord,’ said she again,—‘myself I mean, for we are but one in thought, in wish, in every desire; therefore, my lord is myself, and I he; will not then this other half, this other self, blame me; should I neglect this blest occasion; should I return into his adored presence without this knowledge, he may indeed be angry, and how shall I hereafter hope for peace, when I reflect, that I have lost what I never may find again; that I have lost the means of knowing this great secret, which by knowing, and by giving to this dear partner of my life, adding this knowledge to his charming figure, he will then remain the lord of all. For me,’ says she, ‘to live conscious through my own fault, that there is a being wiser than my lord, and I know not where,
the very thought carries horror! No, this must never be, I should indeed be unworthy so amiable a lover, so excellent a husband, did I charge my soul with so much guilt.’ Thus we clearly perceive, that it was not from any wild curiosity, as many amongst the unthinking have believed, but a resolution taken after the justest reasoning that ever entered the imagination of her sex. If then this beauteous, this delightful lady erred by acquiring this knowledge, she erred not from her own judgment, as I have said above, but by following the counsel of others; and her abundant love and duty to her lord and husband; and however lamentable her possession of this knowledge may have proved to her successors, she in all was innocent, and stands in all excused. If then, in our first mother, such virtues are so evident, where lives that wretch who dares presume to doubt of the continuance of them in all the female world.”

Page 158.

As my last flash in the “Sun,” February 28th, about two months before I retired from it, when the country was torn to pieces by treasons and trials, I take leave to re-discharge my “Highlander’s Pistol,” and am vain to have another report with it, in the following flattering imprimatur of a distinguished friend and poet:—

“Dear J.,

“I have just received your ‘Pistol’ poem. I think it exceedingly interesting. The description of the carved work, and the brown spots on the barrel, struck me peculiarly. I am glad to tell you you are a poet; and now is the time for works like this.”

A Fable: For The Present Time.
“It wants a new stock, a new lock, and a new barrel, like the Highlandman’s Pistol.”—Old Scottish Saying.
Breathes not in all Earth’s social bound,
A Being in whose breast are found
More deeply rooted, cherished more
Within the warm heart’s inmost core.
Those kind affections, Nature’s balm,
Which human suffering soothe and calm,
And harmonise the social plan,
Than Scotia’s genuine Highlandman.
Hence flows his clanship’s firm alliance,
In life a charm, to death defiance;
Hence, with resistless ardour, spring
His love of Country, love of King;
His family attachment strong;
His raptures at the Bardic song;
His local likings; friendships free;
And all his pride of ancestry,
Which estimates at price untold
What was his Sires’ in days of old,
Stamping that trifle, e’er so light,
A sacred relic in his sight.
Among such things most precious held,
In Donald’s house (benorth Dunkeld),
A Pistol, ancient as his race,
Had long maintained a foremost place.
Massy and gorgeous, common eyes
Might well the antique bauble prize
Even for itself, so rich, and rare,
And old, as if since Pistols were!
And dear to memory, its Lord,
What they admired, almost adored:—
On Flodden to his sire ’twas true,
True to himself on Waterloo
And many a bloody fray between,
Stuck in his father’s belts had been;
In foray fierce, in conflict rude,
In single broil, in quenchless feud,
Since first with harrow, spear, and shield,
It rung a wonder in the field,
Till now, with bayonet and gun,
Rocket and bomb, its work was done
At need it ne’er was known to fail,
And linked its fame to many a tale.
Bright was its barrel, Damask blade
Ne’er glanced more keen on foe dismay’d,
When faints the soul, the eye grows dim,
And terror shakes the warrior’s limb,
And from the faulchion waving high
He shrinks aghast, and turns to fly.
And here and there a spot was seen,
Marring the splendour of its sheen,
Though not its glory; for were these
Nor rust of time, nor stain of peace,
But symbols high of deeds of might,
When all so hotly raged the fight,
That space was none to wipe and dry
The sprinkled blood of enemy
Which plashed its lustre: and Renown
Dwelt in these lasting specks of brown.
Old fashioned looked the lock, and worn,
And plain, as if were held in scorn
Device, or ornament, or art,
Or show on this important part.
But nice it was the touch to feel,
With ample force dash’d stone on steel,
The spark eliciting, till sped,
It flash’d within its fiery bed.
The Stock—’twas here the workman tried
His skill, and every grace applied.
The wood was native heart of oak,
Hard, heavy, never to be broke;
To admiration carved, and wrought
With ore from furthest Afric brought;
Rich, noble shapes assumed the gold,
Not flimsy forms of modern mould—
The whole was exquisite, although
So stout, at pinch ’twould fell a foe.
Such was the weapon prized so long
Beyond my humble power of song;
The thing of all things valued most,
In war a friend, in peace a boast;
Of Donald and his house the pride—
But—man’s affairs obey a tide,
Which onward sweeps at Fortune’s beck,
Or refluent strews the shores with wreck,—
Rests at the height or ebb—no never—
But prosp’rous flows, or shallows, ever.
By wicked Counsellors beset,
The fatal turn now Donald met;
To them he bent in evil hour,
Doubted, but yet confess’d their power,
Thought they were false, but yet believed,
Listened, confided—was deceived!
They taught him, fickle and unwise,
His glorious pistol to despise—
Said that the barrel, rusty grown,
No more with former lustre shone—
It should be brighten’d up again
Till not a speck might there remain:—
Said that the lock was old and coarse,
Did not go free, and wanted force;
Was clogg’d and damaged everywhere,
And must receive complete repair:—
Said that the stock was barbarous taste,
The massive ornaments all waste,
Like sinecures, girding about
What was too cumbrous far without.
Away, they cried, this ne’er will do,
This must be altogether new!
Stock, Lock, and Barrel, changed they wanted;
And sad the day their suit was granted.
The polish’d barrel show’d no more
The honour’d battle rust of yore,
And strength was sacrificed to clear
Those harmless marks to valour dear.
The ancient lock was filed away,
More weak from mending than decay,
And if no hold, and looseness, be
To traverse freely, then ’twas free,
And oh! that stock of ages past,
That massy, matchless work—at last
’Twas lost; the carved and native oak,
Regardless thrown ’mid flame and smoke,
But urged the crucible the more,
Swift to devour the fusing ore;
And in its stead produced, we greet
A form called simple, light and neat.
The work was perfect; Donald sigh’d—
“It is not like the old,” he cried—
“It may be wondrously improved,
But ’tis not what my fathers loved—
Their safety ’mid a host of foes,
Their trophy after battle’s close.
It can no more adorn my hall!
Should aught the hour of strife recal
Its powers unknown!” Alas! too late
Arrived sage doubt and self debate.
Even now the foe in fury came,
Around him rapine, havock, flame,
Nor sex nor age is spared. To arms!
The war-shout Donald’s heart-blood warms,
He rushes forth—ah! ’tis for life,
For country, altar, children, wife,
For all that man esteems of worth
In this world’s scene; he rushes forth!
What groans the ear distracted pierce?
The conflict rages, bloody, fierce,—
The crisis comes; prove weapon true,
For death or vict’ry rests on you,
’Tis the last effort, save him Heav’n!
He fires—it bursts,—in pieces riven!
Scatheless the enemy at whom
’Twas levell’d on this day of doom;
And wounded mortally, he died
Who on that faithless arm relied.
Self-vanquish’d, Folly’s Victim fell,
He whom no human force could quell;
His children’s gore reddens the plains,
His country clanks its foreign chains,
His land is desolate, his place
Is empty as the viewless space.
Thus Heaven deserts those who refuse
Its mercies, and its gifts abuse.
In Britain’s Isle, so matchless fair,
Of Innovation’s wiles beware.
Your glorious Constitution rears
Its fabric through a thousand years,
Impregnable to every storm,
Immortal, if insane Reform,
Vision’d Perfection, and wild Change,
Within are ne’er allow’d to range.
Then doubt Improvement’s specious cry,
And prize substantial blessings high;
Warn’d by our tale, not told in vain,
Believe not every spot a stain,
Nor every ancient form misspent,
Nor useless each rich ornament.
Experience proves, at endless length,
These may be glory, wisdom, strength;
And Fable only strives to show,
Aptly, that from rash counsels flow,
Guilt, Madness, Ruin, Slavery, Woe!!

Page 161.

I copy a letter from Admiral Johnstone Hope, with whom I co-operated some time in promoting the Edinburgh memorial to Lord Melville:—

“Shackell, Moffat, August 22nd, 1814.


“Your letter to me at Leith was sent to me here. I take the earliest opportunity to thank you for your offer to expedite my views respecting the erecting a monument to the late Lord Melville. It had been long in contemplation with myself and some other sea officers here, and we took our resolution to try its success upon the paying off the fleet, in hopes that the Navy alone might furnish the funds to make one of a suitable grandeur to be placed on the top of Arthur’s Seat, a hill in the middle of the county his Lordship so long represented, and which is seen from more than half the counties of Scotland, and a considerable way into the sea also, and a leading feature to ships entering the Frith of Edinburgh. How far these expectations may be realised as yet we have not had time to ascertain, as a great part of the fleet is still in commission; but I believe a very favourable disposition has been shown as far as it has gone; and I have certainly done all in my power to forward its publicity.

“The Captains of my squadron here have subscribed from five to three guineas a-piece, Lieutenants one, and several others a week’s pay; in short, as it is a matter entirely voluntary, I do
not wish to appear to fix any sort of modus, and I hope this will make it appear a spontaneous offering of regard, in a greater degree than by fixing a stipulated sum for every rank.

“If I should, however, not be able to raise funds enough in this way, I shall certainly have recourse to a more extended subscription, rather than give up the idea of placing it on Arthur’s Seat; and it will most certainly be a gratifying thing to my feelings, were you to be instrumental, through your paper, in forwarding this object, which I believe your former letter has already done to a certain degree, as several officers spoke to me, who had read it, and highly approved of the suggestions it contained.

“I am, Sir,
“Your most obedient and
“Very humble Servant,

“Eartham, Petworth, January 10th, 1815.


“I return you the foolish and illiberal paragraph enclosed in your letter of yesterday.

“It is scarcely deserving of any other notice than that which has already been bestowed upon it in the ‘Sun’ of yesterday; unless you should think it worth while to remark, that his accounts from Lisbon are much of the same stamp with those which announce the speedy return of the Duncan. I am satisfied that there are no accounts of Mr. C.’s reception at the Court of the Regency, or of his demeanour and proceedings in his public capacity at Lisbon; and if the M. C. should be challenged to produce any such account, or to refer to it in the possession of any other person, he will not be able to meet the challenge.

“I have only received two lines from Mr. Canning since his arrival; merely to announce that he had been confined by an attack of the gout from the time of his having landed, and that he must, for that reason, postpone writing more at length till a future opportunity.


“I shall be glad to see you whenever you may wish it, on my return to town.

“I remain, Sir,
“Your most obedient
“Humble servant,

“Eartham, January 23rd, 1815.


“When your letter of the 20th reached this place, I was absent from home.

“I read with much pleasure your article respecting the Liverpool proceedings, in the ‘Sun’ of Saturday. The conduct of the Opposition at that place, and of the ‘Morning Chronicle,’ co-operating with them, towards Mr. Gladstone, has been most shameful.

“If he had kept Lord Liverpool’s communication to himself, they would have made this reserve on a matter which interested the public, the ground of charge against him; when he communicated the substance of it not only to his political friends, but liberally to a few of the other party, some of their connections immediately set to work to misrepresent the object of the communication, and to make it the pretext for a coarse personal attack on Mr. Gladstone.

“I have letters from Mr. Canning of the 31st of December. He was recovered from his attack of the gout, and had been introduced to deliver his credentials. He mentions nothing of a public nature. I am sorry to collect from other sources that he will find it very difficult to maintain a proper state of Representation within the limits of his allowance. Next to Madrid, Lisbon is the Court of Europe where Representation is of the most consequence; and the Ambassadors of Spain and France will be enabled to outdo our Representative in this particular. This, however, is a subject which I do not wish to have noticed, at least for the present.

“I remain, Sir,
“Your most obedient
“Humble servant,

“Liverpool, January 23rd, 1815


“Permit me to express to you my acknowledgments for repelling so ably the gross and malignant attacks which the Editors of the ‘Morning Chronicle’ and ‘Globe’ have directed at me. I do not know what can be said more on this subject, where the honest conclusions are so obvious; those who will shut and keep their eyes shut, will not and cannot see: to convert them is hopeless, but truth must ultimately prevail.

“The Editor of the ‘Liverpool Courier’ assures me that his paper of next Wednesday (which I will take care to forward to you) will contain a faithful report of what was stated by me at the public meeting here, on Tuesday last; when you receive it, you will judge what part, on the whole, it may be advisable to give to the public through the medium of wide circulation, which your paper affords. When I addressed my letter to the Editors of both, my great and leading object was to prevent my Lord Liverpool’s letter being made the subject of that gross misrepresentation which was so evidently the object of the party; I thought little of myself. In this it appears I failed; and thence the cup of malevolence has been emptied, propped up by every species of falsehood and misconstruction. Our Town Hall may contain, when crowded, one thousand people; five thousand were assembled on that day to fill it, but the Opposition, ever active and industrious, had at an early hour blockaded the doors, and, with few exceptions, filled the room. I was determined to be there, and, with much difficulty, got in. I wish I could have united my voice to others on the subject of the Mayor’s impartiality, but I am sorry to say that it was marked by the most improper leaning to the party; indeed, the results, as described by themselves, afford ample evidence of this fact; those who are acquainted with the local circumstances, and traits of character and conduct here, perfectly understand this. A counterrepresentation, signed, in a few hours, by above sixty of the most respectable inhabitants here (and the most wealthy), recommending that no steps should be taken to embarrass the Legislature, in a choice of difficulties, was presented to him, but it
was of no avail; and I have no hesitation in stating it as my opinion, to you, that here, as at Bristol, this is the sense of the respectable part of the community. Though unsupported in public, and unconnected with the Government, I have not hesitated to state my opinions fully and fairly to the world, and I do trust that the Government will not be induced by clamour to shrink from their duty on this very important occasion. With gratitude and respect, believe me to be, Sir,

“Your most obedient Servant,

“Clifton, August 26th, 1815.

Dear Jerdan,

“I have been travelling from Cheltenham to various places, and that must be my apology for not having answered your kind and obliging letter of the 19th inst.

“I like the specimen from Paris so well, that I long to see more of these letters. The pamphlet is indeed able. You did right to get these communications under my cover.

“I am much better for my quiet, and trip to Cheltenham and to this place. I pursue the route of Hereford, Worcester, and Birmingham here, and hope speedily to take you by the hand.

“Your threatened ‘public assault’ upon me will not, I am sure, make me too prominent nor too kind. I have a plain honesty, but few pretensions beyond those of wishing to act honestly and uprightly.

“Ever yours truly,

“General Post Office, May 22nd, 1816.

Dear Jerdan,

“I have had a long interview, and in result I have only to communicate that Mr. A. promises to have some discussion with Lord Liverpool upon the subject as soon as possible.


“I have fully discharged my duty in the case, and do not feel that any interference of mine can accelerate or influence the decision, be it what it may.

“Believe me, always
“Yours, with sincere regard,

“2, Fludyer Street, February 27th, 1817.

Dear Sir,

“In consequence of an intimation of yours on a late occasion, of a wish to have been apprised of the probability of Mr. C.’s speaking at considerable length upon a subject of general interest, I am enabled to apprise you of such probability tomorrow night, on the third reading of the Sedition Bills. The time will depend much, of course, upon the turn of the debate, but it will doubtless be towards the conclusion.

“I regret exceedingly that his excellent speech on Tuesday night (in the debate on the Lords of the Admiralty) was so imperfectly given in all the papers. Indeed, few speeches had ever so little justice done to them. With reference to the influence of the Crown, he took a masterly view of the difference between the theoretical and the practical constitution of the Government, and boldly maintained—what many feel, but few in the House dare to avow (or are competent to make such avowal without imminent danger, on so delicate a subject)—that the existence of the influence of the Crown in the House of Commons is indispensable to the preservation of the spirit of the Constitution.

“I write these few words to leave, if I should not be fortunate enough to find you within when I call.

“I am, dear Sir,
“Yours sincerely,

Page 174.

As a proof of the exertions made by a young periodical to merit public approbation, and be able to say, in the language of the poet,
“’Tis not in mortals to command success,
But we’ll do more, Sempronius, we’ll deserve it.”
I append a list of the foreign publications through which we (staff and all) industriously waded, so as to furnish a better-culled and far more ample mass of continental intelligence, than had ever been dreamed of before (or probably since) for English readers.

The list of journals subscribed for and ordered for the “Literary Gazette:”—


1. The Morgenblatt (morning paper). A literary paper, published almost daily, in half a sheet 4to. This paper had three supplements. 1. Relative to the fine arts; 2. Literature generally, reviews of new works; 3. Literary advertisements.

2. The Gazette for the Polite World (Elegante Welt). Five times a-week, half-sheet, 4to; containing tales, anecdotes, and correspondence relative to literature, the arts, the drama, &c. Almost all our articles relative to the literature of the north and of Greece, numerous anecdotes, &c. were derived from this journal.


1. Journal des Savans, monthly.

2. Bibliothèque Universelle (Genève). Consisting of two divisions, one literature, the other arts and sciences. The former contained copious extracts from new books, mostly voyages and travels, novels, history, &c. It was from this that the “Literary Gazette” had many valuable articles.

The Bibliotheca Italiana came pretty regularly for some time, but fell much into arrear.


The Austrian journals of literature published quarterly, and resembling our quarterly journals; and also the following were ransacked for intelligence:—

Hamburgh Correspondent. Frankfort Journal (French.)
Hamburgh Borsen Hall (hist). Austrian Observer.
Hamburgh Originalien (liter.). Correspondent of Nuremberg.
Bremen Gazette. Universal Gazette of Augsburg.
Frankfort Gazette (German).
Journal de la Belgique. Journal de Gand.
Journal de Bruxelles. Courrier du Pays Bas.
Amsterdam. Hague.
Moniteur. Gazette de France.
Journal des Débats. Journal de Paris.
Gazette of Madrid. The Universal.
The Impartial. The Spectator.
The Diary of the Government.

These journals were mostly political, but they all of them at times contained useful articles relative to literature, the arts and sciences, new discoveries, &c.


Fifteen years ago, when le Vicomte F. de Persigny, then aide-de-camp of Prince Charles Louis Napoleon,* now the President of the French Republic, published his account of the Strasburgh “Journée” of the 30th October, 1836, following another pamphlet printed by Poussielque, containing his biography as a preparative for that dash, I was attracted to the subject, and spoke of the hero of these brochures as a “scion of the Napoleon family, who was a marked man, and one likely to figure on the scene hereafter!” In 1830 he had taken part in the insurrectionary movement in Italy, whence he narrowly escaped, whilst his elder brother, the Duke of Reichstadt, died at Forli; and being ordered to quit France by King Philippe, he came to this country for a short period. In 1831 he went to Switzerland, where he was courted by the discontented Poles to put himself at the head of that nation in arms against Russia, which he prudentially declined. He then appeared to be entirely devoted to literary pursuits, and published his “Considérations Politiques et Militaires sur la Suisses;” and his “Manuel

* His baptismal name, but, when his uncle passed the Act of the Senate in the year XII. and he hecame the Representative of the Buonaparte dynasty, changed to Napoleon Louis. It was from this date that the imperial dignity was limited to the issue of Joseph, King of Spain, and Louis, King of Holland; excluding the descendants of Lucien and Jerome.

d’Artillerie;” but his eye was upon France, and the possibility of raising an insurrection, all the while.

The failure at Strasburgh, and his being conveyed under escort to America, were the result; from which latter country he returned once more to England. His disguises, and assumption of false names, and narrow escapes, are perfectly romantic; and I had communicated to me a Letter addressed by him to his mother, in which he recites his misfortunes in endeavouring “faire envisager” the Napoléonnienne cause as the only national cause in France,—as the only cause of civilisation in Europe. It was then he proclaimed his desire to found a union and amalgamation of all parties, on the imperial basis, and establish the true interests of France, as the most preponderating constitutional government on the Continent.

At the present time, when every matter relating to this exalted personage possesses a high degree of public interest, I have thought it might be acceptable to print the annexed letter, so characteristic of the politico-literary and flattering tactics the Prince was then pursuing.

“August 24th.

Dear Sir,

“The article which out of kindness you have promised to insert in your valuable periodical relative to the P[rince] N[apoleon] B[uonaparte], will undoubtedly be repeated by the press throughout France. Some degree more of sympathy in its contents may have a great influence on the political horizon of the avenir!

“I beg leave to forward you a late article of the English press, which may perhaps give you some further hint. I can positively vouch for its correctness, having the honour of being acquainted with the high Whig personage, who let himself out
so d—— explicitly upon the subject. I enclose, moreover, a small pamphlet, just arrived from Paris. You may cast an eye upon it, if you like. I am perfectly confident that the Prince’s literary reputation cannot be better advocated, than by a person who, like yourself, feels the energy of noble sentiments, and knows how to communicate to others the irresistible talisman of the power of knowledge.

“I hope I shall, in a short time, have the pleasure of introducing you to that most excellent young Prince, whose delight is to become acquainted with persons as much recommended by their scientific attainments, as by the perseverant liberality of their sentiments.

“I have the honour to be, sir,
“Your most obedient servant,

* * * * *

“P.S. I beg you to accept the enclosed engraving as a souvenir* It is one of the first copies.”

* Portrait of the Prince.