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The Autobiography of William Jerdan
A. C. C. of the India House, to William Jerdan, [May 1828]

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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Produced by CATH

Sir,—Few occurrences in the literary world are, I think, calculated to produce greater pleasure than the establishment of the Asiatic Translation Fund, which has just taken place. As a whole its regulations are excellent, but there is one to which I wish to call attention by the medium of your paper, which has, I know, been pretty generally disapproved of. This is the proposal to publish certain translations in the French language. Far be it from me to depreciate that language or to undervalue its excellences, which all must acknowledge to be great: but still at a time, when our own tongue is advancing into popularity on the continent, and when it is in fact commencing a struggle for supremacy with the French, it must be owned to be unwise to play into the enemy’s hands in this manner. Nothing more contributed to the universal spread of our antagonist’s arms than the universal spread of her language, and nothing has more contributed to the universal spread of her language than the custom prevalent amongst too many of our authors of taking for granted an acquaintance with that language, and thus, in a manner, enforcing the acquisition of it. Let us hope that this want of generalship will soon be amended, that our future fashionable novels will not like Almacks be written half in one
language and half in another, and our future Oriental scholars will not like ‘
Sir William Jones, translate into French or English as indifferently,’ to quote the deemster’s oath in the Isle of Man, ‘as the herring’s backbone doth lie in the body of the fish.’

“Having thus given vent to my patriotic feelings on this subject, you will allow me to inquire in what manner the Fund means to proceed with such translations from the Sanscrit, as are executed by foreign writers. It is to be hoped that the English translation of these will be superintended by some one acquainted with the original (the foreign translator if possible), or otherwise it is to be feared that much of the spirit of the Sanscrit will be suffered to evaporate in this complicated process. I am glad to observe that such numbers of learned foreigners have come forward on this occasion.

“This Society has certainly filled up one great hiatus in the list of the English literary associations; but there is another almost equally important to supply, which no steps appear to be taking. I allude to the want of a Geographical Society—a want which is the more singular, as our nation has always been, and still is, the very foremost in promoting geographical discoveries. The establishment of a society would of course do little if anything towards the augmentation of our spirit of enterprise, because it is already at the greatest height it can be supposed possible to attain to, but still it would furnish a point of union to travellers and scientific men, and a depository for geographical information, which it is shameful that we should want. I am convinced that if such an association were now to be formed it would in a few years become even more eminent and more eminently useful than the famous society of Paris. A library would soon be formed, for it cannot be conceived that the travellers who have shown themselves so eager to present their works to our continental rivals would be backward in paying the same compliment to us. Few things could be conceived more interesting than an evening party (what our neighbours would call a soirée) at the rooms of the Society, after the return of some distinguished traveller, his drawings, maps, curiosities, &c. lying on the tables, and himself in the centre of a circle of busy inquirers, anxious ever to catch a glance at the celebrated man.


“With the earnest wish that these hurried remarks and suggestions may, by their insertion in your journal, attract the attention of some one of influence in these matters,

“I remain, sir, yours, &c.

“A. C. C.
“May 19th, 1828.

“P.S. I am irresistibly induced to make this rambling letter yet more rambling by inquiring whether Sir Walter Scott is yet in town, and what is his residence. I would keep watch at his door for four and twenty hours, were it only to catch a momentary glimpse of the wizard of the North. Please to answer this in your next.”