LORD  BYRON  and  his  TIMES
Documents Biography Criticism

The Autobiography of William Jerdan
Ch. 18: Literary Gazette

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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Will the friend pass my dwelling, and forget
The welcomes there,—the hours when we have met
In grief or glee?
All the sweet counsel, the communion high,
The kindly words of trust in days gone by,
Poured full and free.—Hemans.

During the few years through which the pages of this volume have pursued my labyrinthine wanderings, zigzagging as objects attracted my steps, and carried me through the maze (for to such a travel a straight road is an impossibility, and unity of action incompatible with sequent unity of date), I resided partly in a small cottage, at the end of the Row called Michael’s Grove, Brompton, enfilading Brompton Crescent; and, latterly, in Grove House, a roomy handsome mansion on the high road, Brompton. Biography, especially if various as mine, cannot be constructed with the consistency of an invented plot. My web is not woven of a fancy-pattern with the main design running from end to end, and the accessory sprigs and embroideries in apple-pie order; but more like that spun by the Mœonian Arachne, where there is indeed a centre, but from which the threads diverge in every
fashion, now apparently tied together in mathematical-looking angles and circles, now flowing freely in wider weft, now throwing out long filaments, whither, and for what purpose, it is not easy to tell, yet altogether displaying an irregular regularity which is pleasant to look upon, when once leisurely examined and properly understood!

The “Gazette” had continued to prosper and the world to mend accordingly; but never enough, at once, to enable me to slip my neck out of the collar, and, as I have owned the soft impeachment, when the sun shone brightest, I was not of a disposition to look far a-head for a rainy day. I had not the wit of the Devonshire lass, when pressed with love and kindness, to say, “nay; once bit, twice shy;” but on the contrary, I was just as ready to be bit as ever, and so have continued, simpleton enough, with all my worldly wisdom, to the present day, when it requires very little dexterity to take me in. Incredulus odi. Yet far be it from me to subscribe to an opinion that conscience slept, or the feeling of responsibility was ever deadened. What error there was, in the midst of difficulties that left it hard to choose which to meet first, arose from the very weakness and credulity to which I have confessed, and which led me to believe in the efficacy of honourable intentions and demonstrated acts to the utmost of capacity. Law was then, and it may be now, more invincible than the Lernæan Hydra, so that, even if I had been a Hercules, I could never have vanquished it. True it is that I cut off head after head, but still the two for one sprung up to replace them, and with the immortal head in the middle (Chancery Suit!) carried on the war to my great loss and sorrow. It is a curious fact, that efforts to get out of debt often increase the evil. All parties may be willing to wait, but if a beginning is made with one or more, the rest become
outrageous and cry, “Why not me?” This has been the wreck of many a good man, and decidedly of those most anxious to do justice; and so convinced am I of the fact, that I would lay it down as the safest rule for an individual who considers only himself, not to pay at all, rather than to pay partially—until he can pay all together. But this can only be a rule for such as consider conscience to be too valuable for common use, and therefore hoard it up, like other precious things, to be used only on very particular occasions.

With me, who had somehow weathered the most pelting storms, it was as with the Icelander who, in the Trembling Bridge, as the Rainbow is poetically styled in that cold northern region, sees the cessation of tempest, and the promise of a calmer and warmer sky. Such, indeed, is the quivering Arch of all human existence; the Arch which spans our earth and heaven! Though formed of tears, it is so bright that Hope, vain Hope, lives joyously gazing upon it, and fancying that the future will all glow under a sheen so brilliant, but so cold!

I have, perhaps, boasted of the peculiar advantages attached to my literary situation, which, I believe, brought me acquainted with more, and a greater variety of, persons, than any other individual in London society. It was almost ludicrous to think of the crowd from high to low; and an afternoon walk with me in a leading street, was a prodigious treat to friends from the country—for I seemed to be saluted and stopped by one out of every four of the passengers. This was the result of my walk in life, and connexion with the press, which addressed itself to so many classes. Thus ministers, nobility, legislators, knew me from political circumstances, and others from my intercourse with the learned, the scientific, with all public institutions
and associations, with artists, actors, authors, merchants, lawyers, printers, publishers, travellers, tradesmen, inventors, schemers, charlatans, impostors, and extraordinary people of every description. And it is this which gives so much trouble to the task of rendering even a very imperfect account of the living panorama of contemporaries now before my pen, and of what it may be worth while to record of the retrospect and of them.

Among those by whom my earlier labours with the “Literary Gazette” were most beneficially befriended and effectively aided, I have already mentioned Dr. Croly, a writer whose ardour and eloquence in the pulpit are of that powerful order which is the most convincing in regard to the great truths of Religion, and the most persuasive to lead mankind into her holy paths,
To allure to brighter worlds, and lead the way;
but whose pen, ever engaged, and over so long a space, in the same cause, and in the cause of morality and social improvement, has had a far greater influence on the age, spread as its unwearied and impressive efforts have been over the universal field of literature. As a Churchman, no doubt Dr. Croly would prefer to rest his reputation on his important theological works, and now, perhaps, when the fire is tempered by the lapse of years, would set less store on his poetic fame; but I, speaking on the part of the periodical press, am free to state my opinion that his addresses to the public intelligence through that never-silent and ever-acting organ have contributed as largely to the general weal, and would (if its extent could be known*) be

* Extensive as are his publications on Divinity, History, Poetry, Romance, and the Drama, &c, they would bear no proportion to the vast extent of his anonymous critical, political, moral, useful, and miscellaneous writings.

as lasting a monument to his memory as the most valued of his sacred works and admired of his poetical productions. Of the latter, a great number of the minor pieces, which have since been published in a collected form by the author, appeared in the “Literary Gazette,” and there yet remain many beautiful compositions, to which I trust to have a future opportunity for paying due attention by restoring them to the enjoyment of the “lovers of sweet verse,” and such as ought to have a local habitation instead of a scattered existence. Meanwhile I cannot debar myself or my readers of a slight taste from among the first brief snatches.

“White bud! that in meek beauty so dost lean
Thy cloister’d cheek, as pale as moonlight snow;
Thou seem’st, beneath thy huge high leaf of green,
An Eremite beneath his mountain brow.
“White bud! thou art emblem of a lovelier thing—
The broken spirit, that its anguish bears
To silent shades, and there sits offering
To Heaven the holy fragrance of its tears.”*

At present, I regret that some charmingly descriptive lines on a picture of Aladdin, by Stewardson, are too long for quotation;† but I must look to brevity and variety, and here

* Since printing these eight pious and touching lines, I have discovered that they were reprinted.

† The beautiful verses upon the same artist’s fine poetical composition of the Indian Serpent-charmer, are familiar to the public, from being quoted in many volumes of selected “Beauties,” and other collections of poetry. Our native school suffered a marked loss, when a severe illness (known by the name of “the painters’ fever,” and brought on by the poisonous presence of white lead in their pigments) caused Mr. Stewardson to abandon his profession, when he had attained a style which would have done honour to Romney, under whom, I believe, he studied; or to the foremost in that high and little cultivated class of English Art, to which he turned “to air his genius” from eminent and lucrative portraiture.

is a playful and happy
bit of imitation of “Don Juan” which answers my purpose:
“And then to wander by the setting sun
Just sinking on his golden bed, the sea—
That bed where many a mortal sleeper’s gone;
Some in their sorrow, some, too, in their glee,
For drunk or sober manners will drown,
When the wave o’er them makes a passage free.
Where they go—after they have touch’d the bottom,
I tell not,—Ask the fishes who have got ’em.
“O then to wander while the vapours sweep
In blue and crimson foldings on the wave,
Making a sheet of lustre of the deep,
And turning every rock, and weed, and cave,
Brown promontory, frightful granite steep
That shades the under-billow like a grave,
A thing of beauty; gem-like every speck
Hid by a pearl, like Lady J—’s neck.
“O then to wander—if you have had your tea,
For that’s a thing I never go without,
Let gentle woman long for eau-de-vie
I sip—not claret, for I dread the gout—
Nor heady port, nor cloying ratifia!”....
For a spirited specimen I copy—

“Is it but the hollow wind
Through the dreary sea-beach sounding—
Is it but the hunted hind
Through the leafy desert bounding?
’Tis the tread of Grecian men,
Rushing through the twilight pale;
’Tis the echo of the glen,
To their trumpet’s brazen wail.
“What has lit that sanguine star,
Sitting on the mountain’s brow?
’Tis the fiery sign of war
To the warrior tribes below.
Where was born the sudden flash,
Darting upwards from the shore?
Answer—Sword and target’s clash!
Answer—Freedom’s hallow’d roar!
“Onward comes the mighty column,
Winding by the silver sea;
To its chaunt, severe and solemn,
Athen’s hymn of liberty!
Now they climb the Spartan mountain,
Now they sweep the Arcadian vale,
Now beside the Argive fountain,
Glitters in the morn their mail!
“Like a storm the march advances,
With a deep and gathering sound;
Now above the throng of lances,
See the ancient flags unbound.
Bearing each a glorious name,
Each a summons to the soul,
Each a guiding lightning flame,—
Soon the thunderbolt shall roll!
“Not a spot that host is treading
But has been a hero’s grave;
But has seen a tyrant bleeding,
But has seen a ransom’d slave!
Moslem, fly! thy hour is come,
For the sword shall smite the chain,
In that shout has peal’d thy doom,
Greece shall be herself again!”

As Cleopatra’s Needle is still an object of interest, and the question of its being brought to England, in spite of Captain Smyth’s irresistible argument and other potent national reasons, remains undecided, I will hope that the jeu d’esprit at the expense of the City, but quite as pertinent to higher authorities, may have some effect in closing the affair as it. concludes these examples of diversified talent.

Fogram, Botheram, Gotham, and a full Meeting.
Fog.—(Laying down a newspaper),
The City should be told of it—They say,
That Cleopatra’s Needle’s to be stuck
In front of Carlton House!
Got.—They’ll make the square a pincushion!—
Bot.—No! worse—a needle-case!
Has my Lord Sidmouth sent no letter yet
To my Lord Mayor? It should be pasted up.
Fog.—’Tis said the Deptford Sheer-hulk has been cleared
Of all its vagabonds, to bring it here.
Bot.—This beats Whitechapel hollow.
What’s its weight?
Fog.—About three hundred tons.—
Bot.—All solid steel?
Fog.—No, stone, with scratches on’t; and here they say
They’re making five-mile telescopes to read them!
Bot.—Zounds, what a strapping hand she must have had!
Who was the sempstress?
Fog.—Sir, a giantess.
About ten thousand yards—without her shoes!
Her thimble has been guess’d, though rotten now,
To fill the place they call the Lake of Mœris,
By Alexandria!—Nay, the noseless things,
They set upon their tails in Russell-street,
Were Cleopatra’s pebbles, taws, and dolls!
Bot.—Why, what a monstrous thread she must have used!
Fog.—The Chronicle here says—a patent twist
Of elephants’ legs, and dromedaries’ spines,
And buffaloes’ horns!
Got.—What was her favourite work?
Fog. (rising majestically).—Sir, she sewed Pyramids!
[All lift their hands and eyes in silence; and the Council adjourns.]

Of a countryman and early friend of Dr. Croly’s, who has also distinguished himself in literature, and was a contemporary whom I often met where similar pursuits led us, I have few memorials; but I select one, as telling on the great question my little book has raised, and which I hope will lead to a more distinct recognition of the claims of literary men to public consideration—an object which it has been the unrelaxing business of my life to accomplish, while with a brotherly feeling I pointed out how much the most gifted and deserving were exposed to evils incident to, if not inseparable from, their mental constitution and pursuits, and which gave them a yet stronger claim to be up-raised and cherished.


Mr. Charles Phillips, now a Commissioner of the Insolvent Court, commenced his career, like myself, as a newspaper reporter. His first publication was a novel with his portrait prefixed, and dedicated to a French refugee lady of title, who, I remember, probably inspired the muse of the young Irishman through the medium of a handsome and accomplished daughter. That he always took a warm interest in literary matters (besides his authorship), and, on the Bench, has ever shown a generous and liberal feeling towards the too numerous class of unfortunate literary men who have come before him, is very honourable to his character. In 1816 he published “The Garland for the Grave of Sheridan” (pp. 15*). The annexed note of a distant date is worth my preserving for the sake of the concluding sentiment:—

Dear Sir,

“I leave you the article on Campbell; where decyphered you will find it very well written indeed—the author has too much genius to be rich. Yours very truly,


“My address is 4, Brownlow-street, Gray’s-inn.”

Mr. J. R. Planché, so celebrated and popular as a dramatist, the author of more than a hundred successful pieces, and also well read, especially in heraldic and costume archaeology,

* Ex. gr.
In life neglected, let him sleep in death,
Nor feign the mockery of woe for him;
Genius shall weave her amaranthine wreath,
And airy seraphs chaunt his requiem.
* * * * * *
In happier times, if e’er a better fate
Should raise thy country to her ancient state;
When with a throbbing heart she shall survey
The friends and glories of her wintry day;
Genius shall proudly point her patriot’s tomb,
And in their blended tears thy laurels bloom.

and who was for many years one of my valued contributors, made his debut as a youthful author in 1813, with a small volume of poetry, which I believe he might have printed with his own hands, being then learning the art of a compositor. It would be curious to trace how many individuals, bred as printers, have risen to distinction in the arts, sciences, and literature; they would form a brilliant phalanx, and a work devoted to their biographies, well executed, would be very interesting. Mr. Planché’s first venture consisted of only forty-eight pages—dedicated with filial affection to his father, and entitled “
Stanzas composed on the late glorious Victory obtained over the French on the Peninsula, by the allied forces under the command of the Most Noble Arthur Marquis and Earl of Wellington;” and with the martial Epigraph
“Sound the trumpet, beat the drum,
Tremble France! We come! we come!”
Smith’s Odes.

The first stanza will show that, like all beginners to lisp in numbers, my friend’s composition was not quite so perfect as Minerva when she leapt out of Jupiter’s brain. Here it is:—

Muse, wake the lyre!
“Whether on high Parnassus’ top reclined,
Inactively it lies;
Softly re-echoing the murmuring wind,
That wanton sporting through the cordage [chords] flies;
Or wandering through Heliconian bowers,
’Midst purling streams, and incense-breathing flowers;
If happily thou attun’st each golden string,
Pouring sweet strains of harmony along;
Whilst borne recumbent on soft Zephyr’s wing,
Admiring Sylphs hang list’ning to thy song;
Tune! Tune it higher!

The writer’s contributions to the “Gazette” were numerous, and displayed his various talent to my delight and
profit for many years. In the like manner was I indebted to
Mr. Charles Dance, making the popular dramatic Dioscuri, but, as his favours touch on a later date, I shall only notice my obligations to him here. Well, my next ally was also a worthy connected with the drama.

Tom Dibdin wrote occasionally in the “Gazette,” and one of his merriest squibs was a burlesque of the sentimental (called by their adverse critics, the “Cockney School,”) tone of writing in the “Examiner,” then in full play under the brothers John and Leigh Hunt. A few lines will indicate its humour:—

The Writer of this article, no other,
Had, by some sort of accident, a Mother;
She was a woman, and ’tis ten to one,
The Writer of this Paper was, her Son.

John and his mother stroll in tender mood, linked hand in hand, along Blackfriars Bridge Road; and

While walking, squeezing, sentimentalising,
They met (which in that road is not surprising)
A sturdy beggar of terrific mien,
Be-patch’d, where any patch of clothes was seen,
With grey, blue, yellow, scarlet, white, and green,
And where no patches were, the vagrant’s hide
Exhibited all colours else beside.
“Give me,” quoth she. The Writer’s Mother cried,
“I’ve nought to give; have you no business, say?”
“What business is that of yours, ma’am, pray?”
“Can you make nought?”—“No, madam, nor I shan’t!”
“And can’t you mend?” “No,” cried the Mend., “I can’t!”

The result is, that the writer’s mother turns up the gateway of a stable-yard with the plain-spoken beggar, and

Her flannel petticoat,
Somehow detaching from her taper middle,
She did contrive to drop,
Bidding the beggar stop,
And as she let the votive drap’ry fall,
Cried, while not crying, “Take my little all!”

The moral is a catch of rheumatism, in consequence of stripping behind a stable door,
And give their clothes
To no one knows
Who folks may be they never saw before!

The lines written in the church-yard of Richmond, Yorkshire, by Herbert Knowles, the brother of Mr. Knowles, the Queen’s Counsel, appeared in the “Literary Gazette,” in 1818, and were followed by several other pieces, also preserved after the writer’s premature death, at the age of nineteen, on the 17th of September in that year. This pathetic poem was the composition of a school-boy at the common grammar-school of Carlisle, and has been reprinted in so many collections that I will not quote even a line of it. In the following year three of his poems were inserted; the first a glowing apology, of the Abelard and Heloise class, for loving not wisely but too well—speaks of the other part of the world—
Where but England owns a soul of fire;
and asks,
Has she alone, proud mistress of the main,
Imbibed its coldness in her sicklier train—
Has she alone, whom works of art gave birth,
The richest, blackest empire of the earth—
Snuff’d all its smoky particles from thence,
To choke the finer avenues of sense?

The second piece was the first of his known compositions, and, though marked by the faults of youth and inexperience, has some truly astonishing thoughts and lines on the inconstancy of woman, as exemplified in the unfortunate attachment of a friend.


The third and last is merely a moral verse in answer to an inquiry how a person had slept?

’Tis not, O bed, thy downy throne
The troubled mind composes—
’Tis Vice that makes the bed of thorns,
And Virtue* that of Roses.

Mrs. Rolls, who published several volumes of pretty poetry† during the following years, began in the “Literary Gazette,” in 1817, and continued to be a constant correspondent for a number of years.

Mrs. Hofland, already well known as a popular author, also contributed poetical compositions, but chiefly upon personal, local, and temporary subjects.

In the narrative portion of my work I have mentioned the contributions of other fair and gifted poetesses, many of them well worthy of a less ephemeral sphere, and more distinct appropriation to their writers. But I fear the hope of such a just decree is vain. Among the number, connected by friendship and family ties, were three daughters of my friend, Mr. Begbie, Anne, Margaret Helen, and Fanny, all of whom displayed fine tastes and feelings; and the same may be recorded of two Misses Croly, the sisters of Dr. Croly, whose poetry helped greatly to establish the repute of the paper in its earlier years, when poetry was not a drug but a public pleasure!

Lady Blessington tried her “prentice hand” in the “Gazette,” in 1822, early in which year the sketches

* Depending so much as I do upon the spirit and exertions of my publisher, I think I must say ditto to the poet in regard to this somniferous opinion. Vide title-page.—W. J.

† Author of “Sacred Sketches“ and other poems, “Legends of the North,” &c.,&c.

called “
The Auction,” “The Tomb,” appeared in its columns; and from the encouragement which greeted them the warm-hearted author was induced to bring them out with others in a small volume, entitled “The Magic Lantern,” (Longmans,) followed by “Sketches and Fragments,” and devote the profits to a sad case of literary distress: for distress or friendship never sought her aid in vain!

Mrs. Dr. Hughes, the intimate of Southey, Scott, and all the eminent—herself worthy of their esteem—was also a prized contributor of interesting communications, and her residence, in Amen Corner, a delightful resort for persons distinguished in the literary circles.

In the male line, besides those I have already enumerated, my volunteer corps was very efficient, and did great service in every department to which their welcome co-operation extended. Mr. Thomas Greenwood enriched my page with valuable papers on German literature, music, and musical tuition in England, and the corn laws in political economy. Mr. Muloch, with a genius for every passing theme, failed me not with his “notions” as they crossed the scene. Translations of the patriotic and stirring “Lyrics of Körner,” by Cyrus Redding, made the German author better known to the English public; and to the same able journalist and writer I owed a continuation of popular and acceptable articles.

Mr. J. P. Davis, an artist, whose paintings at this period attracted much admiration, was as skilful with his pen as his pencil, and some graceful compositions of his adorned the “Gazette.” He is still “honoured in the land,” but I cannot tell how it is that he has not pursued his profession to higher fame than he has achieved.

Thomas Gent, the author of several volumes, and pieces of poetry, such as “Monody on Sheridan,” “Lines on the
Death of the Princess Charlotte,” tried his first flights with me. Mrs. Gent was also the author of some popular little works on education and morals. “Endless Amusements” was one of the most successful; and poor Gent, in lamenting her premature loss, almost forced me to laugh in the midst of sincere grief, by assuring me, “O, my good friend, you knew her value, but you did not know how truly excellent she was. She wrote a ‘Sequel to Endless Amusements’ just before she died.”

Eugenius Roche, the most amiable of men, and author and editor of numerous publications, much liked in their day—I do not include Rejected Dramas, which were disowned by readers as by managers—was one of my sincerely esteemed companions; and James Roche, the learned antiquary of Cork, one of my excellent correspondents.

Dr. Haslam was a great gun for several years. Himself an original, and with a tinge of that eccentricity which seems frequently to have accrued from scientific devotedness to the medical treatment of insanity, and mingling much with insane patients;* he was an astute and yet lively writer, with a vein of good-humoured satire, which tickled everybody and hurt nobody. A series of clever papers, called “The Barleycorn Club,” were from, and principally by, him; and merited the character I have just expressed. But I remember this period more by a ludicrous disgrace into which he plunged me by a facetious review of Dr. Kitchiner’sArt of Invigorating and Prolonging Life;” of whose dicta respecting food, clothes, air, exercise, wine,

* I have rejoicingly written this in the past tense, because I have witnessed, since the feeling and humane system has been introduced, and I trust generally adopted, the aberrations of the afflicted have not the same tendency to affect the minds of those who are charged with the most trying and interesting of all human trusts, the care of them, and the device of means to restore them to their sorrowing friends.

sleep, &c., he certainly made a very amusing mélange. I was (in September) enjoying the delight of Tabley House and renovating field sports, when this occurred, and could thus, after a time of dreadful wrath, fortunately prove an alibi, which pretty well restored me to the whimsical Doctor’s good graces, as some entertaining matters will hereafter show. In the first burst of his passion however, the Doctor hurried to consult his dearest friend, Haslam, on the subject. He took the “
Gazette” with him, and read to the “astonished” writer, paragraph by paragraph of the offensive article. He put to him, earnestly, such passages as he deemed too bad to be endured—in all which Haslam entirely concurred—and he came to the conclusion that he thought he ought to call me out, which the said Haslam expressed his opinion must be the only step he could or ought to take.

I was, as stated, luckily out of town; and I firmly believe my mischievous critic was distressed that he had to wait a fortnight before he could fire his second shot under the head of “Unpalatable Recollections,” which incensed the Cook’s Oracle to the utmost height of red culinary heat. Unable, in honour, to give up the writer, I had to bear the brunt of the fiercest resentment, and it was only by the interference of mutual friends that I was again admitted into Kitchiner’s chosen circle, from which it was a real vexation to be banished. For his symposia deserve a chapter to themselves; and I am onward bound. Haslam himself was very droll and entertaining in society; he had one literary patient to whom he was much attached—a Mr. R——; but the best jest with regard to whom was that during the half of the twelvemonths he was usually out of restraint, he was absolutely employed to read the manuscripts and pronounce his judgment on the expediency or
inexpediency of publishing productions submitted by numerous writers to one of the most extensive houses in the trade!

Mr. Bolton Corney supplied a series of interesting papers of original voyages—the prototype of the publications of the Hackluyt Society. The Old Sailor contributed his very popular “Naval Sketches of Greenwich Hospital,” which, when collected, ran through several editions.

Mr. Brockedon and the “Gazette” laboured zealously and effectively for the establishment of the English College of Art in Rome; and the same parties put down the forgeries of Shakspere Portraits, whether on bellows or moth-eaten boards—several by old Zinke, and translated from antique female as well as male portraits, and called by him “Memorandums of Shakspere.”

Mr. A. A. Watts’s series of critiques on the “Plagiarisms of Byron,” was loudly impugned by his lordship’s devoted admirers, and not a little abuse was showered upon the writer and me. I have noticed in my time that abuse is always easy—refutation occasionally difficult; and with that remark will dismiss the subject, at any rate for the present.

Among my useful endeavours at this period was, I believe, the first appeal of the press to recommend the introduction of public Baths into London—a seed which, like not a few others sown in the same field, has, in the quarter of a century, grown to be a goodly tree and bearing good fruits; and among my pleasant endeavours was, in conjunction with a few friends, including Braham and Sinclair, Mudford, Gaspey, Kitchiner, and others, that crowned with such harmonious success, the founding of the now famed Melodists’ Club. It originated in an after-dinner conversation, at which I recollect a dispute between the two charming vocalists I have named, where the natural
compass of each ceased and the falsetto began; it was a delicious contest, and as it procured us song after song for the point to be determined, it may be credited that the audience-jury could not be very readily made to see the exact division!

But I am afraid if I were to go on with my illustrations as I ought to do, the list would almost stretch to the crack o’ doom; but as a view of the literature of the time, if I cannot, here and now, describe at length, I must name some of the kind and liberal associates who helped so much to pitchfork the “Gazette” into a high and influential rank as an organ of science, arts, and literature. What a remarkable medley it will appear to the younger readers of this day:—Belzoni, Faraday, and Oerstedt; Galt, Lockhart, Poole; Bowles, Pennie, Wiffen; Griffin, Bowring, Roby; Social Day Peter Coxe (one of the earliest of poetical volumes magnificently illustrated by the Fine Arts); J. C. Loudon, a salaried contributor; and Kenney the dramatist, whose death was as if contrived for the fall of the curtain, and of whom, poor fellow, it was ludicrously observed, from his rickety walk and habit of taking hold of his shirt-collar with a hand on each side, that he was last seen helping himself over a gutter. His literary career was all over gutters, and through the usual mud and slush of its miry obstacles.

Bernard Barton (a great deal), Hamilton Reynolds (not enough for his humour and talent), and jocular and antiquarian Thoms, now the able Editor of the popular “Notes and Queries.” I query, if I applied to him, that he could tell me who was the author of some funny things he wrote, and I fathered. Nares, Campbell, Miss Mitford; Porden, Prior, Ker Porter; John Stuart, Dr. Roget, Prof. Wallace; Paul Sandby, R. Dagley, Haydon; Clift, Bullock, T. Hunt,
author of “
Tudor Architecture;” Mill (Crusades), Fallofield (critic), Allan Cunningham; Capt. Smyth, F. Mills, T. Hood. Sir R. Westmacott, Yeates (Sanscrit), W. H. Watts; Holmes, J. Graham, H. Neele (poets), and a host of other pleasing writers; S. Buckingham, Bucke, Billington (music); Dr. A. T. Thomson (regularly), T. Parris (the painter of the Colosseum), Wheatstone; C. Croker, W. H. Harrison, Stebbing.

Among these names are some that will not be forgotten—some that ought to be more remembered than they are even in our go-ahead times—some that will revive in after years—and some that I hope I shall be forgiven for hoisting up, perhaps, a little above their deserts; but all prominent and active in the many different ways which rendered their assistance of much popular importance to a journal like the “Literary Gazette.”