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The Autobiography of William Jerdan
The Literary Fund

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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F. page 44.

I had purposed, notwithstanding what I have elsewhere said about the Literary Fund, to have entered into some farther details of my connexion with it, and my strenuous exertions for a number of years to augment its resources and extend its benefits; but on arriving at this point of my undertaking, I find that it may not (at the present) be. I must content myself with the briefest possible notice of a few, as I think, curious or interesting particulars, which belong to byegone times. On my joining the supporters of the “Charity,” the late Mr. James Christie, was first my leader, and then my warmest coadjutor in every effort suggested for its benefit. We recruited stewards, we solicited and obtained subscriptions, and we suggested plans of improvements together. Two-and-thirty years ago we endeavoured to accomplish for the anniversary, a recitation by Macready of a poem by Hookham Frere (then in Malta); and about the same time I joined the club, so advantageously presided over by Sir B. House, with the soul of humanity incarnated in the massive frame of the Rev. Dr. Yates, the treasurer, and his constant V. P.* I was also elected on the general committee. Of Fitzgerald’s annual recitations, however well meant, Mr. Christie was no admirer; and I remember his endeavours

* My practice in transferring to the fund any monies mistakenly forwarded to the Gazette as a remuneration for supposed favours, helped somewhat to gratify the longings of the worthy treasurer.

occasionally to wedge in substitutes, but the force of custom prevailed, and Fitz., in spite of
Canning’sPoeta nascitur non,” held the laureateship, often to our great amusement, for a series of years. Some touching lines by Mr. Snow, were once admitted; and the amiable secretary showed that his feeling and eloquence were equal to his delicacy and diligence in the good cause.

On the election of a successor to the office, a very eligible candidate, in the person of Mr. T. K. Hervey, had thoughts of standing; but the previous canvas, on behalf of a gentleman who has since raised himself to merited public distinction, and whose pretensions I cordially supported, had confirmed the general opinion in favour of his fitting qualifications, and secured his being chosen; and consequently no contest ensued. He was elected accordingly, and filled, while he occupied it, the station much to his own honour and the advantage of the fund—need I name Mr. (now Sir) C. P. Roney. I fancy the greatest shock he received in the discharge of his duties was when I cut Soane’s portrait into ribbands, and carried the slip of canvas with the eyes on it to show him at the Opera, where I knew he was; and which drove him in dismay from a ballet that no young Irishman could dream of leaving except under very violent pressure indeed. I was menaced with heaven knows what vengeance for committing this atrocious (and I confess half-crazy) deed, but the impulse was defensible, and the annexed squib, at the time, set it in its true light.

“The feud between Sir John Soane and the Literary Fund has at length ‘in hollow murmurs died away;’ the talented but too zealous perpetrator of the mutilation has been gently rebuked, and there the matter ends—unless, indeed, the suggestion given below be acted upon, which we scarcely anticipate:—

(Dr. T. loquitur.)

Ochone! Ochone!
For the portrait of Soane!
Jerdan! you ought to have let it alone,
Don’t you see that instead of “removing the bone
Of contention,” the apple of discord you’ve thrown?
One general moan,
Like a tragedy groan,
Bursts forth when the picturecide deed became known.
When the story got blown,
From the Thames to the Rhone,
Folks were calling for ether and Eau de Cologne,
All shocked at the want of discretion you’ve shown.
If your heart’s not a stone,
You will forthwith atone,
The best way to do that is to ask Mr. Rone
y to sew up the slits; the Committee you’ll own,
When it’s once stitched together, must see that it’s Soane.*

Of other zealous co-adjutors I shall merely mention Mr. Gent, in conjunction with whom at one anniversary, we brought a larger sum of subscription into the treasury, than all the other members and stewards put together (1823). But my annual efforts were (as I have stated) incessant and very productive. Another name I ought to record with eulogy, is that of Mr. William Tooke, still an ardent friend to the Institution; and another, Mr. John Britton, who has retired from his active and beneficial labours—so effective for many years—in the cause. Sir Henry Ellis, and Mr. B. Cabbell, were also prominent and important contributors in the benevolent design; and one of my later acts in the concern was to form the third party with them, as a deputation to the Duke of Somerset to obtain his Grace’s assent to accept the Presidency of the Fund. Later still I performed a similar duty in the application to the Marquis of Lansdowne, now so auspiciously at its head.

I continue to take a sincere interest in its good management and faithful administration; and am therefore glad to learn that a proposition is on foot to give up its present unnecessarily expensive house establishment, and obtain more appropriate and less costly accommodations in a more convenient locality. Of old, economy at home, and liberality to the unfortunate, were the rigid principles upon which the Literary Fund was established and governed.

Qu. Sewn?—Print. Dev.