LORD  BYRON  and  his  TIMES
Documents Biography Criticism

The Autobiography of William Jerdan
Gerald Griffin

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. 24.

The following correspondence and extracts will, I trust, possess some interest for literary readers.

“London, Nov. 10, 1824.

“My dear William,—Since my last I have visited Mr. J—— several times. The last time he wished me to dine with him, which I happened not to be able to do, and was very sorry for it, for his acquaintance is to me a matter of great importance, not only from the engine he wields—and a formidable one it is, being the most widely circulated journal in Europe—but also because he is acquainted with all the principal literary characters of the day, and a very pleasant kind of man. He was talking of Maginn, who writes a good deal for Blackwood, and spoke in high terms of his talents; nevertheless, though he is his friend, he confessed he did not think him a very considerate critic, and thought there was something unfeeling in his persecution of Barry Cornwall, who by the way is an acquaintance of my Spanish friend’s. You may have seen those letters to Bryan Proctor in “Blackwood’s Magazine.” Barry Cornwall is, he says, one of the mildest, modestest young fellows he ever saw, and does anything but assume. Maginn, however, imagines that those he attacks, think as little of the affair as himself, which is by no means the case. The other day he attacked Campbell’s
Ritter Bann*’ most happily, and at the same time cuttingly, and afterwards wanted J—— to get up a dinner and bring Campbell and him together. J—— begged leave to decline. He is a singular-looking being, Dr. Maginn. A young man about twenty-six years of age, with grey hair, and one of the most talented eyes, when he lets it speak out, I ever beheld. Banim, who is his bosom crony, says he considers him one of the most extraordinary men he ever knew. He attacked Banim too before they were acquainted, but that’s all forgot long since. Hazlitt praised Banim in the ‘London Magazine’ and of course rendered it imperative on Blackwood to abuse him. Have you seen Campbell’s late poems, any of them? I have been told that the volume of his, which is coming out shortly, ‘Theodric,’ &c, is very poor indeed—lamentably so. Campbell is the most finical exact kind of fellow in the whole world. As an instance, I have heard that he was asked to write a little poem some time since for the occasion of Burns’s monument, which was then in agitation, and in which my informant took great interest. Campbell consented, but directed that proofs should be sent to him to the country, and before the poem appeared, had actually sent five or six messengers back and forward to and from town with revisions of commas and semicolons!!! There is a young writer here, Miss Landon, the author of the ‘Improvisatrice,’ a poem which has made some noise lately, who has been brought out by J——, and to be sure he does praise her. She sent some pieces to the ‘Literary Gazette’ a few years since, and through that journal (without intending any insinuations as to desert) has made herself popular enough to run through a few editions. J—— has asked me to meet Alaric Watts† at his house, when the latter comes to town, which he intends shortly. Watts is a very sweet writer in his own way, and rather a favourite. I have got a few days since a note from my friend Banim to know what has become of me? and he adds as a spur that Dr. Maginn has just been with him, and said that Mr. J—— expressed himself highly pleased with the series I am at present furnishing him. I dined the other day—at least about a month since—with him

* “The Writer Tam” was the name of this burlesque.—W. J.

Watts was also so offended with some of Maginn’s devilries, that in one of his letters to me he denounces him, in his wrath, as a blackguard.—W. J.

and a friend of his, an artist of the name of
Foster (to whom, if you recollect, Madame de Genlis dedicated one of her works, and expresses her gratitude for his assistance in some of her literary labours). He is one of the most delightful facetious fellows I ever saw.

“My dear William, ever affectionately yours,

* * * * *

In this instance he (Foster) was the chief cause of Gerald’s deliverance from his embarrassments, though the latter did not know at the time the full extent to which he was indebted to him. Immediately after the visit alluded to, he went straight to Dr. Maginn and described what he saw. Dr. Maginn with extreme good nature immediately communicated with the editor of the “Literary Gazette,” and this led to the engagement which Gerald alludes to above, and to the series of papers he there speaks of * * * * *. I brought him a number of the “Literary Gazette” one day, which contained a review of the work (Holland-tide), in which it is said, some of the shorter tales were contributed by a friend, some of the offered contributions were rejected by Griffin on the ground that they would be thought to resemble in their manner the writings of Mr. Crofton Croker, that I thought would give him very high satisfaction, as its praise was almost unbounded. I was surprised, however, to find that it produced quite the contrary effect, and threw him into a state of agitation that I little anticipated, one expression in it appearing to neutralise all its approbation. Indeed I had no conception before of the degree to which an author could be affected by so simple a thing, as a review of his work in a periodical, and that review a favourable one. He seemed to read it with much gratification, until he came to a part where the reviewer spoke of the shorter tales, and giving them also a considerable degree of praise said, that “Little Jack Edywas almost Crofton Crokerish! The moment Gerald came to this passage, I never saw anything like the state it put him into. It was not rage so much his countenance expressed, as an appearance of the most violent agony. He crumpled the paper in his hand, raised it high above his head, stamped violently, and almost dashed it to the earth in the excess of his feeling. “Oh!” he said, “Oh!” with a
prolonged, and deep, and painful emphasis on the word, “This is just what I feared. I told —— these tales were like Crofton Croker’s.” I was perfectly astonished and said, Why what signifies it?” “Oh?” said he again, “you don’t know the effect of these things.” “Only think” he repeated with the utmost vehemence, “Only think of being compared with Crofton Croker.”*