LORD  BYRON  and  his  TIMES
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The Autobiography of William Jerdan
Ch. 19: Club Law

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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Oh! that man might know
The end of this day’s business, ere it come,
But it sufficeth that the day will end,
And then the end is known.
* * *
Come what come may,
Time and the hour ride through the roughest day.

So much of literature and literary plots and literary plagues: there must be some relaxation, and during all the years of my pilgrimage I acknowledge to have received continual and intense pleasures from the enjoyments of little clubs or unions of congenial friends, meeting at stated times either in good hotels or at their own residences. I could fancy myself now restored to the elder dates of these “feasts of reason and flows of soul;” which, when well assorted, are susceptible of high delight in the communion of social sentiment, the interchange of instructive intelligence and ideas, the freedom of thought, and even the gaiety and hilarity which attend the unbending of the busy or abstracted being in those rosy hours. Of one
limited party of this kind, which met monthly at the Freemasons’ Tavern, and lasted long, I bear a lively remembrance. We called ourselves the Anonomi, and were so pleased with the company of each other, that we would admit no visitors to interrupt or divert the usual current of conversation, which we found so entertaining and instructive.
Mr. Robert Clarke, already mentioned in these memoirs, was an excellent chairman, and under his wise and temperate sceptre, sat his well-mixed subjects; F. Fladgate, also already mentioned; Vice-chancellor Stuart; Mr. Stewardson, artist; Mr. Cosmo Orme, publisher; Mr. Turner, secretary to the Horticultural Society; Mr. Thomas Clarke, solicitor; Mr. W. H. Watts, reporter; Mr. Simon Gray, an odd character, clerk in the War Office, and author of several pamphlets on “Finance;” Mr. Mudford, editor of the “Courier;” (for a while Curwood, barrister, and Charles Knight, bookseller;) and lastly, W. Jerdan, croupier. From these various sources there never lacked a good supply of intelligence, which it was useful to receive and delectable to comment upon. As I have praised literary associations and discussions for youth, I would as warmly recommend, both for recreation, the acquisition of knowledge, and the culture of salutary affections, such associations as I have indicated for riper years.*

Another society, held together by social entertainments, included James Stuart, of the “Courier,” who died Inspector of Factories; MacCulloch, of the State Paper office, and eminent Author; Sam Anderson, of facetious memory; Seaton and Annondale, surgeons, and other worthies, well calculated to give a zest to such friendly intercourse. Out

* “What, do you philosophers eat dainty food?” said a pert Marquis to Des Cartes. “Do you think,” replied the philosopher, “that God made all the good things for fools?”

of the Royal Society of Literature was created a circle with
Burgess, Bishop of Salisbury; Gray, Bishop of Bristol; the Right Hon. C. Yorke, Archdeacon Nares, and other learned men; out of my political relations another circle, with the Foreign ambassadors, English ministers, and officials of public note; out of my peculiar pursuits a third wide circle, or rather series of circles, consisting of distinguished authors, artists, scientific celebrities, actors, and gentlemen connected with the press; out of concerns with publishers and booksellers, a large visiting community; out of sheer good-fellowship, other numerous social bands, as, for example, the “Juveniles,”* in which the majority of the members were nearly or quite my own age, and which very lively society was only partially broken up some twelve-months ago by some of the young dogs getting married, and so being domesticated, and (as usual in such cases) estranged from their bachelor friends and habits; and the Britton Club, happily still flourishing in exuberant vigour, under the patronage of an upright Judge, and (since the loss of the late J. C. Humphery, Q.C., and the retirement of Mr. S. Gibbons into Devon, and Mr. Thomas Cubitt into Surrey) still boasting of the companionship of the respected author and antiquary whose name it bears, of Alderman William Cubitt and his worthy co-sheriff, Mr. Charles Hill, of Mr. Grissell, the present High Sheriff of Surrey, and owning the classic mansion, Norbury Park, of Mr. Nathaniel Gould, an eminent merchant, of Mr. William Tooke, well-known to the literary and benevolent world, of Mr. Peter Cunningham, a rising writer, and Mr. George Godwin, also rising in his profession as an

* Only one member was under fifty, and it was generally imputed by the orderly and consistent adherents left, that the matrimonial unions, which had so disastrous an effect in dissolving their jocund body, were absolutely prompted by, and the result of, the extraordinary sense of juvenility which their refreshing meetings produced.—W. J.

architect, and editor of the popular periodical, “
The Builder.” Nay, into the very heart of the City itself, in giving my best support to its charitable and patriotic institutions, I had so extended my agreeable relations, and attained so much favour, that I have been in the good usage of shaking hands, on meeting, with all the Lord Mayors, Aldermen, and other magnates, and of imbibing, even to the present hour, as fair a share of their turtle and other good things as falls to the lot of any outsider of Temple Bar; which I therefore hope may long stand open, to mark the boundary of an ancient and impregnable corporation, whose walls are note so terribly battered at, and still leave it the munificent giver of fétes and feasts, in secula seculorum.

But, in truth, my acquaintance with the population of London was (owing to my position and diversified engagements) of really ludicrous universality, and embraced all the classes of men I have mentioned, and with whom I mixed in every possible or imaginable way. Frequenting public meetings of every kind, theatres, exhibitions, learned societies, lectures, conversazioni, et cætera, et cætera, filled up a measure of crowded personal intercourse, such as, I am sure, was never approached by any other individual. I rejoice to add, at the close of my prolonged career, that enow still remains for every distinction, gratification, and happiness, which my utmost desire could covet.

I must, however, revert to more important matters, and speak of an epoch on the turn of which the tides of my future life greatly depended for their ebb or flow. At the period of the general election in 1831, I stood so well in the opinion of government that, chiefly through the friendly offices of Lord Ripon, it did me the honour to select me as a candidate for the representation of Weymouth, respecting which borough there had arisen a disagreement
Mr. Fowell Buxton. I was, of course, only too glad to aspire to such elevation, and forthwith set to work to do all I could for myself in aid of the ministerial patronage. I enjoyed at the time a large and not overpoweringly encumbered income, and, at fifty years of age, was neither deficient in mental nor bodily vigour, to fight for and sustain the victory. I consequently embarked heart and soul in the cause (a Mr. Clayton East retiring); and thus it “progressed!” I had some real property, but subject to family arrangements, and, at any rate, not enough for a qualification. But my good and most worthy friend and neighbour, Dr. Anderson, of Brompton, came forward to my aid, and I had assigned to me several houses in Alexander Square, and some lands and tenements on the river, near Richmond. I had also a chaise and posters at the Fulham-bridge livery-stables, to be always ready for a start; and I never left home without leaving a carte of my whereabouts, so that I could be found at a moment’s notice in the event of a sudden message from the Treasury represented by Mr. Edward Ellice, at whose abode in Richmond Gardens, Pall Mall, I was a daily attendant. During the month of May, through the medium of private friends, I was put into communication with Sir — Johnstone, one of the representatives of Weymouth (1832), and Major Weyland, and other parties possessed of leading influence in the place; and the result was on the whole so encouraging to my prospects, that it was resolved I should proceed thither and commence a canvass. On the eve of taking this step, I addressed a letter to Mr. Barnes, the then editor of the “Times,” with whom I was on a very friendly footing, stating what my intentions were, and soliciting such assistance as he could conscientiously extend to my undertaking. But, alas! my confidence was sadly abused. Whether it
was owing to the fierce heat of the Reform question, in which the paper took so strenuous an interest, or some other over-riding reason, I never could ascertain; but the next morning after receiving the information from my letter, there appeared one of the stinging leaders of the “Times,” in which any pretensions of merely “literary men” to he returned to the new Parliament were deprecated in the strongest terms, and ministers were menaced with popular odium, if they dared to countenance such preposterous doings. I was hoist with my own petard. Like poor betrayed Samson, my secret was ploughed out through the means of my own heifer. On calling as usual, I found Mr. Ellice with a long face, and, to cut the story short, he did not at this stormy and trying era, relish a quarrel with the “Times.” A peace was patched up with Mr. Buxton, my post-chaise was counter-ordered, and after lots of conferences and conversations, I ceased to be even a still-born candidate for the borough of Weymouth! Barnes and I met afterwards, without alluding to the sore subject; but his able and honourable colleague,
James Murray, wrote me a long letter, expressive of great regret for what had been done.

One whimsical circumstance followed this transaction. Tumbling over papers, some ten years after, I fell upon a bundle, on examining which I found that I was still legal proprietor of certain houses in Alexander Square, and an estate and tenements on the Thames. Neither Mr. Gray, the mutual friend and drawer of the deeds, nor the doctor, nor I had ever thought of cancelling these documents; and in the events of a few deaths in twenty or thirty years, there might have arisen, out of ignorance, a doubt as to the ownership of these very pretty properties. We had a hearty laugh at their obsequies by fire, and I rejoice to say that their rightful lord, at the great age of ninety-two, still
lives to enjoy them in excellent health and perfect possession of his mental faculties.

But in gravely reflecting on such chances as these, and, indeed, in estimating the) probabilities from many contingencies which generally occur in every active life, and on the turn of the scale, in which prosperity or adversity, high advancement or low depression, may be weighed for all the future; it is curious to observe how much depends on accident and how little on ourselves. Thus, at one time, my brother Colonel Jerdan ranked among the foremost and most promising officers in the Indian service. He died on his passage home. His noble career was cut short, or else, where would he have been within a few years in the army, where he had laid the foundations of so much honour and military reputation. He never reached the home that longed for him with a yearning not to be described, but yet not commensurate with his deservings as a son and a brother. If he had, with the affection and means to enhance the actual powers of my situation, who can tell how different my fate would have been. How a lift could have defied injury and commanded fortune, and how circumstances would have been avoided which unfortunately led to very ruinous consequences. On the “turn,” both in his case and my own, there was the fair prospect of raising the name and family to consideration and rank: he would have been a General, and I might have been a Legislator with all avenues open to our ambition; but alas, it was not so ordered in the inscrutable decrees of Providence: he moulders in a distant tomb, and I am a baffled struggler in the sore battle of literary life.

The heaviest of the blows that struck me down was given within three years of the time of my parliamentary hopes, and must be touched on (however guardedly) in this personal
history. Two young gentlemen, the sons of a wealthy father, who, after many years spent in India, settled in London to enjoy the fortune he had honourably acquired, were the cause. He lived in a handsome square and in a style suitable to his fortune. His sons consequently entered the world under the most favourable auspices. They were both gifted with almost brilliant talents, possessed of very gentlemanly and insinuating manners, and emulous of literary fame. It need hardly be told that their reception was as flattering as could be bestowed, and that they speedily became the cherished comrades and guests of many persons of similar rank and kindred pursuits. With me they established a most intimate friendship, and I witnessed rejoicingly their mounting, gaily and gallantly, step by step, up the mountain to an eminence of literary repute and adequate reward. Alas, the foundations were hollow, and after filling a prominent station for years, establishing and embarking in undertakings of considerable value and successful results, being the recipients of sincere attachments and substantial regards, and in every possible point of view enjoying all they could expect or wish for, the whole superstructure fell miserably to the ground, and the sunny times were lost in painful darkness. It will not do to dwell on the theme. Among the enterprizes produced during their connection with literary concerns, I had entered into several with ardour, but more as a friend than a coadjutor. I was, however, so far committed, and an admirer of cleverness and abilities they displayed. With one I was induced, for certain reasons, to negociate a contract for his relieving me of a portion of my labours in the “
Gazette,” and my partners were brought into treaty about the arrangements, which embraced the transfer of considerable sums of money. It was whilst engaged in this important business that the other brother entered into a copartnery with one of a
reputedly very rich Jewish family in the city, and the alliance was painted in such glowing colours to me that, in an evil hour, I put my name on several large bills, to enable him to show something against the leviathan fortune in the administration of which he was about to participate as a broker. To be short, the “Gazette” negociation was never completed, the brokers soon failed, and I was sued for between three and four thousand pounds for indorsements or acceptances. It is not in my nature to press hard upon the fallen, but the ruin which these unfortunates brought on themselves, their family, myself, and others, assuredly may point a moral. My nearest connection of the two was spirited, engaging, and liberal, altogether a person happily formed to be welcomed wherever he went with a cordial and kindly feeling, and this he met with everywhere. Neither was he vicious nor of an evil disposition. What, then, caused his downfal! Vanity! Vanity alone led to boasts and falsehoods—some quite innocuous—till the habit grew to be so confirmed as to merge into an utter disregard of truth. I am really inclined to believe into an utter unconsciousness of the difference between that virtue and lying. The consequence was worthy of the father of lies. The bankers who held my bills, among other securities for advances, when informed of the real state of the case, and my liabilities being entirely without a farthing of value received by me in any shape, very humanely offered to give them up on an acknowledgment to that effect from the principal. With elated mind I wrote to him to send this statement, which he could have done, on a page of note paper; but he had told so many and such enormous falsehoods on depositing the bills, that he could not muster resolution to write himself what he was, and fled to the continent, leaving me to bide the brunt of my unpardonable imprudence.


And my punishment was severe. My establishment was broken up. The contents of Grove House sold by auction, and the produce less than I had paid Mr. Wilberforce for the fixtures alone, so that I had nearly another thousand pounds to add to my losses, besides being obliged myself to take up my residence in the Westminster-bridge Road, in a locality with which I was acquainted, from having visited George Colman a few doors off, years before.

By every possible sacrifice I so far surmounted this crash, as to settle all just, and some unjust, debts; but the act loaded me with incumbrances; and I had the uphill work to achieve with gradually diminishing means. The circulation of the “Literary Gazette” was considerably affected by the “Athenæum” lowering its charge to half the price, and following up that sagacious measure by the most diligent adoption of all business resources, so essential to successful publishing. There was no longer any laughing at the fainting competition, and my witty correspondents’ squibs on the subject became rather less amusing.*

People, especially people engaged in the publishing trade, instead of putting more energy into a drooping concern, are apt to get languid and tired of it, and therefore leave it to its own destiny. It so happened with the “Gazette.” The sustaining punctuality of my partners, Messrs. Longman & Co.,

* Here is, nevertheless, a couple of samples to divert my readers from these uncomfortable statements, and at which the parties may now laugh in their turn. One writes—

Mr. Buckingham’s paper, notwithstanding Colburn’s puffs, is sad stuff—heavy as unleavened bread, it cannot rise.”

And another sends in the annexed impromptu!

Mr. Dilke, Mr. Dilke,
Tho’ the Novice you bilke,
Be not hasty to sing the Te Deum,
No reader will quit
A print that has wit,
For your prosy and dull Athenæum.

indeed, suffered no change; but they became more indifferent to the task of forwarding its interests. Our publisher, too, had grown older, and got more to do than he could deftly manage; and though he got through the work somehow or other, it was after a fashion of his own, hieroglyphic and perfectly unintelligible to any other living being, and thus neglect and irregularity crept into every department. Ultimately, while I was losing more and more from week to week, one of my employés, at a guinea a-week wages, contrived, as I am informed, to save enough to purchase houses!!

For a few years it was like the children’s play at hide and seek, only it never was hot but ever colder and colder, till at last, with the aid of my family connections, I purchased their third shares of the “Gazette” from Messrs. Longman & Colburn; and set out again, sanguine, hopeful, uncontradicted, and uncontrolled, on my own capital. For a good season the efforts were crowned with a degree of success; but still there was not much to boast of. The counting by thousands, which had been reduced to hundreds, did not rise to thousands again. We went on, however, respectably, if not so very profitably, and I believe I may say that the journal did not fall off much, if at all, from the character which had raised it so high in public estimation.

Thus matters proceeded, in a sort of even course, till changes in the publishing office and printing, occasioned by death and retirement, rendered new arrangements necessary. I was by this means most unfortunately betrayed, yet by the best intentions of one of my best and dearest friends, into contracts with parties, who proved every way unworthy of trust. An aim to attain an ulterior object, and supplant me in my copyright property, was from the beginning cunningly and systematically pursued. Neither subterfuges nor
falsehoods were spared, and in the meanwhile needful engagements were unperformed and violated. More dependent than ever on the fidelity and regularity of others, the mismanagement and endless failures which were engrafted on this state of things, contributed rapidly to my being sunk into “the lower still.” My habitual dislike to examine into business affairs, which I generally succeeded in confusing instead of comprehending, was converted into perfect antipathy. I had been so long used to rely on those with whom it was “all right,” when they were right, that it unfitted me the more to be a match for the intrigue and plotting to which I was now exposed; and the consequence was a final contest, from which the much-damaged “
Gazette” was rescued, but I fell a victim to as gross malignity as ever was foully resorted to in revenge for disappointed roguery.*

In consequence of such untoward circumstances, the “Gazette,” in spite of all my continued exertions, dwindled, became small by degrees and beautifully less. Still it was an object of ambition in another quarter, and by a succession of acts, which I will not describe, I was finally and foully done, not only out of the property, but out of the editing and income attached to it by a regular written agreement.

I am obliged, in an account of my life, to state these facts, which I have done as cursorily as I could, and without comment. What I might consider dishonour or swindling could have little interest for readers, and long-winded tales of wrongs seldom awaken even as much attention as the

* An envenomed injury was done me, not as a gentleman, a man of honour, but as a trader, under which denomination, it seemed I barely fell according to the rigid legal rule; and the sternest Procrustean measure was meted out to me because I had not kept account books—every account in which I was ever concerned (and voluminous enough they were) having been kept in the large and unproducible folios of the largest publishing houses in London, and in the hieroglyphic jottings of a publisher, mixed up with all his other extensive business, over which I had no control.

accounts of sufferings consequent thereon excite sympathy. The least said is the soonest mended; and a time may come for more circumstantial revelations touching such as—
Full of fraudful arts,
The well-invented tale for truth imparts.

Not three years ago, I was thus thrown out of harness, and with the Moor could exclaim, “Othello’s occupation’s gone!” And it was a very poor case to he in, after all the busy turmoil I had gone through for nearly half a century. I was too old to expect to be softly treated, as a shorn lamb, and my quiver was stuffed with anxieties and cares. From my pen I could now only derive a precarious revenue (to use a grand name for a wee matter); but some employments have turned up, and I have wrought at them manfully as long as they continued. Others, I trust, will happen to provide for the remainder of my numbered days, and then let
Faith build my bridge across the gulf of death
To break the shock blind Nature cannot shun,
And land me safely on the farther shore.

Till about six weeks ago, I superintended a newly started weekly journal, which rose to a wide circulation, at fourpence; but it requires so very large a sale, little short of 20,000, to make a publication of this class, and at this price, profitable, that though we got above 10,000, it did not pay, and the experiment was tried of raising the price to sixpence. It fell more than half, and has since passed into new hands, Pharaohs who knew nothing of Joseph, and so I once more became a free man. If, after such vicissitudes, I appeal to the book-buying world to take my Life, and they respond to the appeal as they ought, it is evident that Virtue will not suffer, and that I may take a new lease, and continue to live all the better.


When the “Hic jacet” arrives, and a Marble bust by my young friend and feeling sculptor (I mean full of feeling as well as genius for his art), Joseph Durham, is put up by subscription, with a suitable panegyric upon the grateful Clay below, I hope that some weeping eyes may read the lines, and some fond and faithful regrets embalm the memory of the sleeper, who can never wake more to participate in a sorrow and bestow a solace, listen to distress and bring it relief, serve a friend and forgive a foe, perform his duties as perfectly as his human frailty allowed, never wilfully do injury to man, woman, or child, and love his neighbours—of one sex as himself, and of the other better.

But, my readers, you are tired with hearing, and I am sick of saying so much about myself; but it is autobiography, and my misfortune now is, that I have not time and space to draw the conclusions from the premises, which would be so instructive. But I throw myself on your mercy, and flee from self to better subjects. In recent times I have enjoyed the same good fortune which attended my earlier literary course, and lived on intimate terms with the popular writers of the day. With Dickens I can claim long friendly relations, and with Thackeray hardly less amicable intercourse. In the first morning beam of public delight upon the former, I felt the full glow, and looked with prophetic gladness to the bright day which I was sure must follow so auspicious a dawning. When Sam Weller appeared on the canvass, I was so charmed with the creation that I could not resist the impulse to write to the author, express my admiration, and counsel him to develop the novel character largely—to the utmost. My urgency was taken in good part, and we improved our alliance so genially, that when “Pickwick” was triumphantly finished, and a “semi-business, Pickwickian sort of dinner” ensued, I was invited
to be of the party, with the compliment from the author, “I depend upon you above everybody. Faithfully yours, always, Charles Dickens.” I cannot describe my gratification. The party was delightful, with
Mr. Sergeant Talfourd as V.P., and there the pleasant and uncommon fact was stated (all the individuals being present, and toasted), that there never had been a line of written agreement, but that author, printer, artist, and publisher had all proceeded on simply verbal assurances, and that there never had arisen a word to interrupt or prevent the complete satisfaction of everyone. On a later occasion of the same kind, at the Albion, I was flattered by the nomination to occupy the post of honour at the bottom of the table, and am happy to remember that I acquitted myself so creditably of its onerous duties, as to receive the approbation of the giver of the feast, his better half,* and the oi polloi unanimously. One other example of the happiness which has fallen to my lot, in reward for my devotedness to the cause of literature and literary men, and I bid a fare-thee-well (which I trust will never meet a cross) to Dickens and his genius. On an entertainment given to its friends, on the “Literary Gazette” attaining its majority (twenty-five years, à la periodical chronology), I received this answer to the invitation of my celebrated compatriot:—

“Doughty Street, Friday Morning.
My dear Jerdan,

“I was going into Yorkshire on Monday morning, but having fortunately been able to take a place for Tuesday, can accept your kind invitation.

* I slily introduced in something I had to say, a hint ahout a portrait of her husband which I knew she longed to possess; and the hint was taken in the right quarter, and the painting presented to her.—W. J.


“Be assured that among all the congratulations which will be offered to you on the delightful occasion of our meeting, there will be none more cordial and warm-hearted than mine. By the time we dine together again, to celebrate the fiftieth birthday of your healthy offspring, I shall study to find appropriate language to clothe them in; till then, however, I fear they must remain locked up in my breast—where they will, at any rate, keep warmer than on the lips of, my dear Jerdan,

“Yours most faithfully,
W. Jerdan, Esq.

Of the other luminary I have named, I have not so much to say, in consequence of such litera scripta of his as have escaped my confusion and destruction of MSS. being, I see from a few strays, marked “private;” and therefore I shall content myself with a pretension, which I hope he will not repudiate, of being one among the first of his familiar friends, and the greatest admirers of his talents; which, after a hard and persevering fight, have asserted for themselves the rank and popularity I always anticipated, if the obstacles in the way were overcome.

The name of Dickens connects my thoughts with a numerous array of individuals with whom I have tasted many unalloyed pleasures, and for whom I entertain, severally, sentiments of warm esteem. Among these (but also for themselves) I may cite Macready and M’Clise, and Mr. John Forster among the foremost, I have not, or have only slightly mentioned, in my preceding pages. The last of the three, I take the most interest in venturing to introduce among these personal sketches, on account of the friendly part he has taken in the testimonial to my honour, particu-
larised a little further on. I fear I superabound with proofs of one of my pet opinions, that good turns are not only repaid by the internal satisfaction they afford, but are almost always essentially rewarded by good and serviceable offices. That I have not been unobservant of Mr. Forster’s literary achievements, nor failed to do them justice, the “
Literary Gazette” sufficiently proves; and my cosmopolitan love of literature has, in his instance, been particularly gratified by seeing success attend on merit. And yet the more, if private feelings accord with public duties. How intimately these have agreed and contributed to our union the annexed notes will show:—

My dear Jerdan,

“It is proposed to dine Dickens at the Trafalgar, Greenwich, on Wednesday, 19th June, at 6 for half-past 6, on occasion of his leaving us for Italy. Lord Normanby will take the chair.

“You know the pleasure it will give Dickens to see you among his entertainers, and that you will be able to join us, I sincerely hope.

“Ever and always truly yours,
“58, Lincoln’s Inn Fields,
“Saturday Morning.
“My dear Jerdan,

“I am just starting in much haste for Eton College, but I cannot deny myself the pleasure of acknowledging, in this hurried but most cordial line, your great kindness in the ‘L. G.’ this morning. I am very deeply sensible of it, believe me. It only adds another to the many
pleasant associations I have with you (some of them not less cherished because now something touched with pain) that you have so generously assisted me in my first appearance in a character I once thought very grand, and am taught by you to think still not very contemptible, as the ‘author of a book.’

“Again, let me sincerely thank you, and beg you to believe me, dear Jerdan,

“Very cordially yours,
W. Jerdan, Esq.”

Having alluded to the testimonial, to promote the most advantageous disposition of which Mr. Forster, as one of the delegated committee, took so friendly and influential a part, I will conclude this penultimate chapter of my biography (leaving of necessity a mass of its later materials unused for the present) with an account of its origin, progress, and halt.

When it was known that my connection with the press had been violently and disgracefully terminated, two suggestions arose, and were enforced from so many quarters, that I may say they were generally entertained with good feeling among my friends, and approbation throughout the country, acquainted with my literary life. One was that I had merited, and ought to receive, a pension; and the other that a subscription should be set on foot for a public testimonial to me on the same grounds.

In pursuance of the first object, the annexed memorial was presented in July, 1850, to Lord John Russell, then Prime Minister, and as it is not consistent with the etiquette of high judicial functions for a judge to sign such applications, my friend the Lord Chief Baron wrote a
private letter to his lordship on the subject, which the noble Premier acknowledged in a letter, regretting the scanty fund left at his disposal for 1850; and afterwards (through his secretary) answered
Mr. Tufnell, who had interested himself warmly in promoting the claim, in the following note:—

Dear Mr. Tufnell,

“I have mentioned your wishes in behalf of Mr. Jerdan to Lord John, and he has desired me to say that the pension fund for the present year is all but exhausted; but that he will consider his claims with those of others at the commencement of the next year. He can, however, make no promise that it will be in his power to comply with your recommendation.”


“We, the undersigned, having witnessed the literary labours of Mr. Jerdan, and deeming them well entitled to the favourable consideration of Lord John Russell, as highly beneficial to the cause of literature, in token of our approbation of his meritorious efforts during a long series of years, subscribe our names to this memorial, accompanying the statement of his writings and publications.

Signed—Colborne, Londesborough, Willoughby de Eresby, Brougham, Henry Hallam, John P. Boileau, C. Winton.;” with the following voluntary addition by the bishop, in his own hand. “With special reference to the conduct of the ‘Literary Gazette,’ as regards its moral tendencies during a long course of years.”

The Earl of Clarendon, the Marquis of Normanby, and other individuals of high station, whose praise (like that of Shakspeare’s Sir Hubert Stanley) “is praise indeed!”
also endeavoured to interest the Minister in my behalf, and wrote to me, particularly Lord Clarendon, in a style so grateful to my heart and flattering to my self-love, that I shall never cease to estimate their kindness to my dying breath.

But the Lord of the National Purse and author of “Don Carlos,” a tragedy, would not be persuaded that his old critic had done enough to deserve a dispensation of his favourable notice; and during the succession of the Derby administration, I had succeeded to literary occupation, and did not think it worth while to have the application renewed. On the Earl of Aberdeen coming into power, a very early opportunity was taken by that noble lord and elegant scholar, in the handsomest manner, to recognise the validity of the good opinions put forward on my behalf. A pension of one hundred guineas was conferred upon me; and the small fund on which it was charged was at the period so exhausted that I believe the Prime Minister had not as much more to draw upon.

Previous to this, however, the idea of a testimonial had been espoused by a distinguished phalanx of friends, as the following brilliant list will testify:—

The Right Hon. Lord Brougham. Francis Bennoch, Esq.
The Lord Chief Baron. B. Bond Cabbell, Esq., M.P.
Lord Warren De Tabley. Joseph Cauvin, Esq.
H. Tuffnell, M.P. Robert Chambers, Esq., Edinburgh.
Lord Lindsay. James Colquhoun, Esq., Minister
Vice Chancellor Sir John Stuart.     Hanseatic Towns.
Hon. Francis Scott, M.P. Patrick Colquhoun, Esq., D.C.L.
Sir E. L. Bulwer-Lytton, Bart. Walter Coulson, Esq.
Sir R. I. Murchison, F.R.S. Rev. George Croly, D.D.
Sir Peter Laurie, Kt., Alderman. George Cruikshank, Esq.
Sir Charles Barry, R.A. Peter Cunningham, Esq., F.S.A.
W. Francis Ainsworth, Esq. Rev. John Davis.
Joseph Arden, Esq., F.S.A., Treas-   J. C. Denham, Esq.
    urer. Charles Dickens, Esq.
John Barrow, Esq., F.R.S., F.S.A. Henry Drummond, Esq., M.P.
Wm. Beattie, M.D. Joseph Durham, Esq.
Robert Bell, Esq. Professor Edward Forbes, F.R.S.
Alfred Forrester, Esq. W. Mackinnon, Esq. M.P.
John Forster, Esq. D. Maclise, Esq. R.A.
Geo. Godwin, Esq. F.R.S., F.S.A. R. Monckton Milnes, Esq. M.P.
Thomas Grissell, F.S.A., Esq. W. C. Macready, Esq.
Wm. Grove, Esq., V.P. F.R.S. Francis Mills, Esq.
S. Carter Hall, Esq., F.S.A. F. G. Moon, Esq. Alderman
Henry Hallam, Esq., F.R.S., F.S.A.,   James Prior, Esq., M.D.
    &c., &c. B. W. Procter, Esq.
J. O. Halliwell, Esq., F.R.S., F.S.A.   Frederick Salmon, Esq.
Charles Hill, Esq. J. Shillinglaw, Esq. Hon. Sec.
Leigh Hunt, Esq. C. Roach Smith, Esq., F.S.A.
Thomas Hunt, Esq. Clarkson Stanfield, Esq., R.A.
Douglas Jerrold, Esq. Charles Swain, Esq.
J. H. Jesse, Esq. Lieut.-Col. Sykes, F.R.S., &c.
John Laurie, Esq. Admiral Smyth, R.N., F.R.S.
P. Northall Laurie, Esq.     V.P.S.A.
John Gibson Lockhart, Esq. J. G. Teed, Esq., Q.C.
Samuel Lover, Esq. W. M. Thackeray, Esq.
The Chevalier Isidore de Lowen- Thomas Wright, Esq., M.A., F.S.A.
    stern.     Hon. Sec.
Dr. Charles Mackay.  

In April, 1851, the “Globe” newspaper correctly quoted the circular upon which this committee was summoned to act, and it met accordingly, on the stated grounds,

“‘That the literary labours of such a man are well deserving of a special mark of public estimation;’ and that it had been ‘resolved to open a subscription for the expression of this opinion by all friends of Literature, Arts, and Sciences, who may have appreciated the devotedness of the Editor of the “Literary Gazette” and the influence of his writings during this long period’ (thirty-four years); and farther, ‘To acknowledge his services in a gratifying and suitable manner by presenting him with a lasting token of the esteem in which he is held by the literary world.’”

And to this the editor of the journal liberally added:—

“This task, so honourable to all concerned, has been undertaken by a committee of nearly seventy noblemen and gentlemen, representing every high order and class of intellectual society, and especially by Mr. Jerdan’s distinguished literary contemporaries, who thus unanimously unite in
recommending his services in the Press to the notice of the country which has profited by them. In few words we may assert that the example of the ‘
Literary Gazette’ opened the way to, and effected a complete revolution in, periodical publications. Previous to its appearance, literature, the fine arts, and the sciences, were very rarely mentioned in the journals; but now they have not only separate organs, but form prominent parts and portions of every periodical throughout the British Empire. Need we stop to observe the consequences of this system on their diffusion, encouragement, and improvement.”

It would be an encroachment on my part to trouble the reader with an account of the committee meetings and proceedings which ensued. After the first, at which nearly twenty members were present, the attendance was but scanty, and indeed uncalled for, as the management of the design had been devolved on a sub-committee of five, a number much more eligible for business than any more numerous and fluctuating body. But alas, there is always a but, a difference of opinion unfortunately sprung up as to the best appropriation of the subscription fund, which crippled it, notwithstanding the zealous personal exertion of the sub-committee, and a too rigid economy in advertising it, had, as I have thought and ventured to represent, a still more obstructive effect. In fact, the list of subscribers has never yet been published, and volunteer offers of co-operation from various populous towns and the provinces have not been accepted and acted upon. It is now, however, my own grateful duty to seize this appropriate opportunity for acknowledging the generous support the proposal has received. The annexed is the list as far as I am able to give it, and I shall be happy to supply any omissions and make any corrections that may be requisite.

Royal Society of Literature,
No. 4, St. Martin’s-place.

As a public acknowledgment of Mr. Jerdan’s services to Literature, Science, the fine and useful arts, and benevolent institutions of his country, animating to many, and instructive to all, during a long period of years, and especially since the commencement of the “ Literary Gazette” in 1817 to the close of last year.

The Lord Chief Baron   £26  5s Robert Chambers, Esq.   £3  3s
Lady Pollock    5  5 J. O. Halliwell, Esq.    2  2
Lord Willoughby de Eresby  50  0   Thomas Hunt, Esq.    10  0
Lord Warren de Tabley    20  0 E. Foss, Esq.    3  0
Lord Londesborough    10  10 Francis Mills, Esq.    5  0
Messrs. Longmans 50  0 Henry Foss, Esq.    3  0
S. Carter Hall, Esq.    25  0 James S. Willes, Esq.    5  5
John Murray, Esq.    25  0 T. Stewardson, Esq.    5  0
Sir E. Bulwer Lytton, Bart.  20  0 Capt. Sir J. C. Ross, R.N.    5  0
John Dickinson, Esq.    21  0 Lady Ross    5  0
Lord Colborne     10  10 Rev. J. M. Traherne    5  0
James Colquhoun, Esq. 5  0 J. C. Denham, Esq.    3  3
Sir R. J. Murchison, Bart.  10  10 J. Prior, Esq., M.D. 5  5
Sir Peter Laurie    10  10 George Godwin, Esq.    2  2
Northall Laurie, Esq.    5  5 Daniel Ball, Esq.    2  2
W. Cubitt, Esq., M.P.    5  5 Robert Gray, Esq.    2  2
Charles Hill, Esq.    5  5 Dr. Mackay    2  2
Henry Hallam, Esq.    10  0 Geo. Cruikshank, Esq. 2  0
John Laurie, Esq.    5  5 D. Roberts, Esq., R.A.    5  5
Robert Ferguson, Esq.    5  0 Dr. P. Colquhoun    3  3
Dr. Beattie    5  5 J. E. Sanderson, Esq.    5  0
Wm. Thackeray, Esq. 3  0 J. W. Butterworth, Esq.    2  2

* At a Meeting of the Council of the Royal Society of Literature the apartments of the Society were handsomely granted for the accommodation of the Testimonial Committee Meetings; and Mr. Nathaniel Hill, its very meritorious housekeeper and collector, gave his useful services not only to the meeting, but to considerable correspondence, and to the authorised reception of subscriptions, as at the several bankers who liberally opened their books for that purpose, viz.: Sir Claude Scott and Co.; Coutts and Co.; Barnard, Dimsdale, and Co.; Masterman and Co.; and Prescott, Grote, and Co.

B. B. Cabbell, Esq. MP.   £10  0s   — Holt, Esq.   £2  2s
Walter Coulson, Esq.    5  5 John Braham, Esq.    2  0
T. Elde Darby, Esq.    2  2 Thomas Tooke, Esq.    2  2
Joseph Durham, Esq.    3  3 A Friend to Literature, per
John Barrow, Esq.    10  0 F. Bennoch, Esq.    5  5
Dr. Croly    2  0 Messrs. Blackwood    20  0
Cap. J. Mangles, R.N.    5  0 Sir T. D. Acland, M.P.    10  10
R. Oakley, Esq.    1  1 Bolton Corney, Esq.    2  2
George Grote, Esq.    5  0 Sir Charles Barry, R.A.    5  5
William Tooke, Esq.    10  0 W. R. Grove, Esq.    5  5
Mrs. Bray    5  0 D. Maclise, R.A.    3  3
Fr. Hodgson, Esq.    5  0 Thomas Gaspey, Esq.    2  2
Lord Lindsay    5  5 W. A. Mackinnon, Esq.
B. W. Procter, Esq.    5  0     M.P.    5  5
W. F. Ainsworth, Esq.    3  0 “Invitation to Malvern,” A
T. Wright, Esq. M.A.    3  0     Poem by Dr. Prior, pub-
P. Cunningham, Esq.    3  0     lished for the benefit of
Thomas Grissell, Esq.    10  0     the Fund    17  6
Joseph Arden, Esq.    5  0 Farther Sale    7  9
John Forster, Esq.    5  0 Sir T. N. Talfourd, J.C.P.    10  0
R. M. Milnes, Esq., M.P.    5  5 C. Stanfield, Esq. R.A.    5  5
J. R. Taylor, Esq.    1  1 Prof. M. Faraday    2  2
A. B. Richards, Esq.    1  1 Sir Gardner Wilkinson    4  0
Joseph Cauvin, Esq.    5  5 Henry Drummond, Esq.,
Dr. J. Conolly    10  10     M.P.    10  0
Frederick Salmon, Esq.    10  10 J. H. Jesse, Esq.    3  0
Francis Bennoch, Esq.    10  10 Miss How 1  0
Mrs. Bennoch    3  3 W. A. Scripps, Esq.    5  0
C. Roach Smith, Esq.    2  0 Decimus Burton, Esq.    2  2
J. Shillinglaw, Esq.    2  0 J. G. Lockhart, Esq.    5  5
Mrs. Taylor    1  1 C. P. Roney, Esq.    5  5
Ld. Bp. of Winchester    10  10 G. R. Corner, Esq.    5  5
D. Nicholl, Esq.    5  5 C. Barber, Esq., by same    1  1
Beriah Botfield, Esq.    5  0 W. R. White, Esq. 1  1
W. H. Fox Talbot, Esq.    5  0 Henry Ottley, Esq.    1  1
G. H. Virtue, Esq.    1  1 The Earl of Clarendon    10  10
Thomas Cubbitt, Esq.    5  5 Mr. Alderman Moon    10  0
R. Stephenson, Esq., M.P.    4  0 Dr. Bemays    1  1
Col. J. Owen, C.B.    1  1 Henry Vaughan, Esq. 5  5
W. Martin Leake, Esq.    10  0 Vice-Chancellor Sir John
Sir J. E. Tennent, M.P.    5  5     Stuart    20  0
Hudson Gurney, Esq.    25  0 C. M. Willich, Esq.    2  2
J. Charles Swain, Esq.    3  3 John Kenyon, Esq.    5  5
M. A. Lower, Esq., Lewes    2  2 Listor Parker, Esq.    1  1
Herbert Ingram, Esq.    5  0 Cosmo Orme, Esq.    10  10
Dr. Daubeny, Oxford    3  0 Wm. Read, Esq.    2  2
Charles Dickens, Esq.    10  10 C. A. Smith, Esq.    1  1
W. V. Fox, Esq. 1  1 Sir John Boileau, Bart.    5  0
John Hogg, Esq., F.R.S.    2  0 Sir J. E. Tennent    5  5
Rt. Hon. H. Tuffnell   £5  0s Sir J. C. Pasley   £1  0s
A. J. Valpey, Esq.    5  0 Per Dr. Beattie 0  5
C. E., by Sir J. C. Ross    1  0 Lt.-Col. Sykes    5  0
J. F. Hollings, Esq.    2  2   

Well may I be proud and grateful for such a testimonial, and I beg only to add my sincere thanks to the committee and sub-committee who gave so much of their time and countenance to promote and accomplish the end in view.

It might be deemed an involuntary compliment to the honour and independence of the “Gazette,” that this tributary testimonial to its services to literature has not been signed by a number of publishers; but I am forced by truth to say that their public abstinence is of a different colour from their private assurances. I have quires of letters asking favours, and piles of letters returning thanks for them when they could be granted, from nearly every member of “the Trade;” but Messrs. Longman and Co., and John Murray, in London, and Blackwood and Robert Chambers, in Edinburgh, are the only exceptions to the rule of economic oblivion. I confess that I looked for many a token, and that the slightest would have been the most agreeable to me; but I reconcile myself to the condition of the world by re-perusing a few of the olden epistles, expressive of such everlasting gratitude. They are very edifying, and would make an amusing olio for publication.