LORD  BYRON  and  his  TIMES
Documents Biography Criticism

The Autobiography of William Jerdan
Ch. 10: The R.S.L.

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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Now rising from the dusk-subjected Earth,
Forth walks Civilisation, to illume
“With learning’s light divine the Gothic gloom,
Awaking man as ’twere to second birth;
Greens barren valley,—blossoms desert plain,—
Towers city flourishing,—smiles hamlet home,—
Track venturous navies the engirding main,—
O’er willing lands Religion’s banners roam,—
Dawns mental day—and Freedom’s sacred pile
Is reared, by proud resolve, in Albion’s favoured isle.—Moir.

My preceding chapter has conducted me to two subjects on which I must enlarge to a considerable extent: the one is the advent of L. E. L. to the “Gazette” and the poetical world in which her extraordinary productions created so intense a sensation, and the other the origin and institution of the Royal Society of Literature. I shall, in the first place, address myself to the latter, and present a history, before I quit the scene, which no other individual can give, and yet which ought to be given of a Royal and National Establishment for the promotion of sound literature.

I have truly, and I trust not boastfully, stated that it belonged to my character to enter energetically and continue to act zealously in any cause in which I embarked; and I
may affirm that the time and painstaking I devoted to the formation and progress of this Society afforded a convincing proof of that assertion.

The first public announcement of the design was made in the “Literary Gazette;” and an outline of the prospectus which had been submitted to his Majesty, agreeably to his own spontaneous suggestion, was accompanied by such reasoning in its support as its present importance and a consideration of its future influence seemed to the writer to demand, as a manly, wise, and noble plan, of which the monarch was the personal as well as royal founder and patron, and Dr. Burgess, the learned and most estimable Bishop of St. Davids, the immediate agent and head.

The association, which was originally declared to be “for the encouragement of indigent merit and the promotion of general literature,” was immediately assailed by the opposition periodicals of the day, and the “Morning Chronicle” described it as an “extra-loyal” invention for the benefit of persons in “high places,” to meet which it was intimated that a rival liberal establishment ought to be set up and sustained by parties as capable of writing able essays, &c., as those who might belong to the primary body. As this jealous idea was never carried into effect (and the first part of the plan was never acted upon), I may dismiss it, and proceed with my history.

As people collect with more of curiosity for the sight of digging the foundations of a building than for the superstructure after it appears above ground, I shall bestow a few pages upon the earliest movements of this Royal Society. My first intimation about it I received from my friend, Mr. James Christie, a warm colleague with me in the conduct of the Literary Fund, and not only an accomplished virtuoso especially in ancient art, but also a ripe
Greek scholar, who wrote me: “The institution is a favourite plan of
his Majesty, who has engaged the Bishop of St. Davids to form it and to enrol the first members. His Majesty contributes 1000l. a year, and others of the royal family subscribe smaller sums.” I particularly request attention to this passage, because an erroneous rumour obtained circulation and some belief with well-informed individuals even to this day, that his Majesty had signified his intention to grant only 1000l. altogether, which the Bishop mistook for that amount per annum, and so placed the King in a dilemma, from the horn of which he could not extricate himself in a princely manner without acceding to the episcopal misunderstanding. This jocular anecdote, however, is the sole misunderstanding in the transaction, for his Majesty (as will immediately appear) not only meant a thousand guineas annually, but added a hundred guineas more for two medals to be awarded every year for distinguished literary merits. Mr. Christie goes on to inform me: “The Ministers give their aid, and a great part of the clergy of the Establishment and members of both Universities concur with it. The Society is, I understand, professedly formed on the plan of the ‘Académie des Inscriptions et Belles Lettres’ of Louis XIV.; for it had been observed that we have a Royal Society for General Science, another for the Encouragement of the Fine Arts, and one for National Antiquities, but none for General Literature.

“The accompanying paper of subjects proposed for prizes was given me in confidence, but I don’t scruple to transfer it to you. * * * *

“The institution, it is hoped, will tend to raise the tone of general literature, and I even anticipate some good result from it, that will be felt by the Literary Fund Society to which we belong.


“Your favourable report of the Royal Literary Society will, I know, be very gratifying to some gentlemen of rank and worth, who are much interested for its establishment and consequence; and I trust you will have pleasure in speaking favourably of it.”

It was upon this hint I spake; for it was indeed a very great pleasure to take the initiative in such a munificent design; a design, like many others, springing from the best and noblest impulses of a truly generous soul, though obscured by sensuous indulgences, for which even stern morality and justice must confess there were redeeming excuses in the whole of his career, from childhood and education, and the manners of the times, and the pamperings of exalted station, and the adulation of party, till he arrived at the throne and unlimited power. I knew several instances in which the first feeling of George the Fourth led to most gracious acts; and I have reason to believe that during his latter years, especially, many more were intercepted and turned to corrupt and selfish uses by the favourites and sycophants who batten round a court. In one instance my own humble agency was employed to administer a liberal relief to a distinguished artist, and the amount having been lost by the villany of a banker, his Majesty, on reading the statement in the “Gazette,” immediately remitted the donation a second time.

On the publication of my remarks, I had the honour of a letter from the Bishop of St. Davids, approving cordially of my views, and inviting the writer to “continue his observations, which may materially promote the success of the design. The King (he adds) has made the institution so entirely his own, by his generous adoption of it, and by the warmth and interest with which he entered into the whole of the plan, that the Bishop requests the editor not
to notice this communication.” Bis lordship pointed out two errata in the programme, which were consequently corrected.

As marking progress by the growth of my personal and literary connection with the formation of this royal institute, I am compelled to copy several of the immediately ensuing correspondence:—

“Durham, Feb. 10, 1821.

“I thank you for your very obliging, and, to me, most interesting letter. I rejoice to find a person so able to appreciate, and so zealously prepared to co-operate with the projected institution of the Royal Society of Literature. Some unavoidable business at Abergnelly, which I could not postpone, and the necessity of taking immediate possession of a new stall in the church of Durham, which the Bishop had given me, obliged me to leave London at a time when I should otherwise have been most anxious to stay there for the purpose of promoting the advancement of our new institution. It was therefore with great pleasure that I read your account of the institution in the ‘Literary Gazette.’ It has kept the subject alive; it has put it on its right footing, and must have excited very widely those higher feelings in its favour which are calculated to render the institution, what it was wished to be, honourable to the King, and creditable to the country, and capable of becoming a great instrument of national good.

“I hope to be in London on the 24th of this month, and should be very glad to have the pleasure of talking over the whole plan of the institution with you, very soon after I am in town.

“I shall be detained here till the 21st (among other
engagements) by printing a small pamphlet, of which the inclosed pages are the commencement.

“I am, Sir,
“Your obedient servant,

“P.S. In order to bring the objects of the Society into as comprehensive and tangible a view as possible, I always state its two main objects to be,—to reward literary merit, and to excite literary talent.”

The first committee meeting which I attended was at Messrs. Hatchards’, on the 12th of April, previous to which there had been six meetings, in the following order:—

Nov. 30, 1820, at which were present the Bishop of St. Davids, the Chancellor of the Exchequer, Vansittart, Mr. Villiers, and Prince Hoare. His lordship stated, and a minute was made of the communication, that the design had originated in a conversation which he had in October with an eminent person in the household (I think he informed me afterwards, Sir B. Bloomfield), which being reported to his Majesty, he expressed his approbation of it, and signified a desire that an outline should be submitted to him. On the 2nd of November, the Bishop, by command, attended his Majesty at Carlton House, and was entrusted with full liberty to arrange the plan of the proposed society. His lordship, in proof of this authority, and as a ground and warrant for proceeding, presented two letters from Sir B. Bloomfield, the first in October, and before the royal audience, in which he was informed that the outline had been submitted to the King, and to assure his lordship of his Majesty’s eagerness to promote the object
connected with such an institution. The second letter appointed the audience, at which this gratifying view was fully confirmed, his Majesty having entered warmly, and “with the interest of a most devoted friend to literature, into the design.” [I would remind readers of the condition of the country for a long period up to this time: riots and disturbances, and affairs of threatening political aspect, kept the public in a ferment, and distracted the government. Rejoiced must the monarch have been to divert his anxieties by turning to an object he could pursue with pleasure and satisfaction; planting a scheme for the encouragement of learning and promotion of social improvement, on a soil, even then, so torn up and wasted by unhappy struggles.]

December 4, 1821. The committee met again, with the addition of Sir Alexander Johnstone, and Mr. John Mortlock, a personal friend of the Bishop’s, and a gentleman of high respectability in trade, one of a class which I only wish was more numerous in London, to which they do honour by uniting with the most able and assiduous habits of business, a lone of literature, and thorough enjoyment of the charm its cultivation affords. This conjunction of the mercantile and the intellectual forms an English character of a very superior nature; and it has been my good fortune to meet with striking examples of it. With progress in education, and refinement of manners, I am inclined to expect that this minority will be largely augmented, and the community, in consequence, astonishingly benefited.

At this second meeting the issue of notices for prizes to be given by the society was discussed; and three were agreed upon, though not ultimately carried into effect. The first was a hundred guineas by the King for the best essay upon the genius of Homer; the second of fifty guineas,
by the society, for the best poem on Dartmoor; and the third, of twenty-five guineas, for the best paper on the history of Greece. The first and third dropped out of operation, and only the second was brought to bear, as I shall relate in its due place.

Prospectuses and subscription lists were ordered to be sent out, and an adjournment to the first Thursday in February was agreed to. It was however

March 1st before there was another meeting, and on that day and the 8th nothing of consequence was transacted, though six candidates for the Dartmoor prize sent in their productions, and a seventh afterwards arrived, but too late to meet the conditions for the competition.

March 15. The Duke of York became a subscriber, and a month later the Duke of Clarence. The rest of the royal family joined afterwards.

April 5. Archdeacon Prosser and Mr. Baber were added to the committee, and there were several meetings held in the rooms of the latter at the British Museum; and a few in the apartments of the Literary Fund in Lincoln’s Inn Fields, till a convenient accommodation was rented in Parliament-street, near the “whereabouts” of Lords and Commons.

April 12. Mr. Lewis Way and I took our seats; on the 19th, Archdeacon Nares and the Rev. Dr. Gray; on the 10th of May, the Bishop of Gloucester; on the 17th, Mr. Westley Hall Dare, and B. Bunbury, and Dr. Croly; the future accessions in the course of a few months, being the Bishops of Carlisle, Chester, Bangor, and Lincoln, and several noble and literary men, but none to take a regular and active share in the business, which indeed fell into the hands of not more than half-a-dozen indefatigable individuals.

The first public step worth recording was the adjudication
of the prize of fifty guineas for the best poem on Dartmoor. The arbiters appointed were seven, five to be a quorum, and the duty was assigned to the
Bishop, Archdeacon Prosser, Dr. Gray, Mr. Hoare, Mr. Baber, Dr. Croly, and Archdeacon Nares, for whom I was substituted, in consequence of his being obliged to leave town.

The verdict, given on the 6th of June, was unanimous. The key-paper was opened, and the charming poetess of many a future year found to be the successful author.

From this period there were continual meetings of the provisional committee, and it must be acknowledged that their task was not only onerous, but exceedingly troublesome. The preparation and correction of the prospectus for publication occupied us something after the fashion in which Penelope’s web occupied her, till I really thought there would be no end to our Odyssey! Owing to the irregular attendance of the members, what was agreed to at one meeting was traversed at the next, and what was done after, probably, a careful examination of all circumstances to be put forth and the language in which to express them, was undone by alterations proposed by some one or other who had not taken part in these proceedings, and who “respectfully, &c.” took the liberty to suggest such and such improvements. The good bishop was very accessible to all, and everybody seemed inclined to yield to everybody, till the business was so overlaid and perplexed, that even the foundations were threatened with reconstruction, and preliminary steps appeared to be interminable. I have before me the printed circulars considered and reconsidered and revised, taken home and corrected on the 9th and 12th of April, so covered and blotted with changes and memoranda, as to be hardly intelligible. Here the objects of the society were varied; there the
means were proposed to be differently applied; and anon the constitution was remodelled. I remember one day when
Dr. Majendie, infected by a hostile outside influence, gave his opinion that the medals, without the large pecuniary endowment, would be sufficient to effect the avowed purposes of the society, one of which was to counteract the poisons of the profane and demoralising press, then so widely and dangerously propagated; and I quietly asked him, if he thought hanging a penny piece over London bridge would stop the tide? the notion tickled his fancy, and he and I were such fast friends from that time, that on a Welsh tour, I had the gratification to be discovered, and taken to spend a pleasant day with him at the palace at Bangor.

At the last-mentioned meeting, the parties present were the Bishop of St. Davids; Dr. Prosser, Archdeacon of Durham; the Rev. Lewis Way, Prince Hoare, Rev. Mr. Baber, and myself; and, to judge by our chips, we must have done yeoman’s work. But it was all to little purpose. At the next assemblage, as usual, three or four strangers to our labour attended, and mutilated and reversed enough of the arrangement to require it to be begun all over again, almost de novo. Two notes from the Bishop, May 8th and 9th, will indicate the minutiæ of details to which the workers were obliged to give their time:—

“11, Orchard-street, May 8, 1821.
Dear Sir,

“I like all your corrections but one—formation— which you propose instead of origin. Its formation has had some aid from one of his Majesty’s Ministers; its origin had no connection whatever with the Ministry.

“I have not Mr. Croly’s address; I must therefore
request you to give my thanks to him for his obliging present of the second part of ‘
Paris in 1815,’ and especially for the ten admirable pages which are prefixed to it.

“I am, dear Sir,
“Yours faithfully,
“11, Orchard-street, May 9, 1821.
Dear Sir,

“I have inclosed a revised paper. I have retained proposal in line 5, as a less strong term than design. As a matter of conversation, it was a mere proposal to institute a society. In line 3, I have retained by, because, if I mistake not, Louis XIV. was at the whole expense of the institution.

“Yours faithfully,

I may here repeat that the principal and more efficient individuals who took an active share in these inchoate measures, besides those I have more pointedly named, were the Chancellor of the Exchequer, afterwards Lord Bexley; Dr. Law, Bishop of Chester; Dr. Sumner, now Bishop of Winchester; the Right Hon. J. C. Villiers, afterwards Earl of Clarendon; Archdeacon Nares; Dr. Gray, afterwards Bishop of Bristol; Dr. Croly; and but seldom my friend Mr. Hall Dare. By the month of May we met at Messrs. Hatchards’, in Piccadilly, and flattered ourselves on having overcome our difficulties, and sufficiently matured the plan for publicity. But a perfectly new obstacle was unexpectedly interposed from another quarter. It was notified to the Committee at one of its sittings (I think by Dr. Majendie), that his Majesty had been advised with on the
subject, and that
Lord Sidmouth had intimated the royal wish that the plan should proceed no farther. Immediately previous to this startling annunciation, I had received the annexed letter and inclosure from the President:—

“Wednesday, May 2.
Dear Sir,

“The interest you take in our new society induces me to send you a copy of the last letter which I received from Sir B. Bloomfield subsequently to the two letters of which Mr. Yeates read copies yesterday. The inclosed letter was in answer to one which conveyed to him our latest printed paper previous to the 25th of December, and the proposal for augmenting the number of associates from ten to twelve.

“Yours faithfully,
“The Pavilion, Dec. 25th, 1820.
My Lord,

“I did not fail to make the King acquainted with your Lordship’s last communication; and I am commanded to assure your lordship of his Majesty’s full participation in your Lordship’s anxiety for the success of this infant undertaking.

“With great respect,
“I have the honour to be,
“My Lord,
“Your Lordship’s obliged and
“Very humble servant,
“32, Park-street, Feb. 26, 1821.

“The Bishop of St. Davids will be glad to see Mr. Jerdan, if it should not be inconvenient to him, to-morrow morning any time before twelve o’clock.”

Though staggered by the message (if I may so call it) from Lord Sidmouth, Secretary for the Home Department, it was not easy to reconcile such a rebuff with the communications already quoted; but, as I have hinted, the President had not confidence enough in himself, and though firmly determined to walk in the right, straightforward path, he was too susceptible of opposition, and allowed this new obstacle almost to paralyse his enterprise. The wavering thus induced checked all useful advance. There was consultation after consultation, and a continual occurrence of that which, both before and after, was a heavy drag upon the proceedings. It was perhaps characteristic of the class of persons of whom the committee was chiefly composed; but so it was, that it was hardly ever possible to procure A. B. to go directly to C. D., or E. F. to G. H. (however intimate, or allied by private or public ties); and we literally realised the apparent ridicule of asking Tom to tell Jack to inquire of Bill if the master’s bell had rung. Suppose it was wished to consult Lord Grenville or Lord Lansdowne, might it not be presumed that some one or other among the parties named might have felt at liberty to accept the honorary mission; but no such thing! It was, I will speak to So-and-So, or go to such a one, and I dare say he will be able to find an opportunity to broach the subject to his Lordship. This is no caricature: it substantially took place amongst us above a hundred times.


But even matters so managed must come to a conclusion. Upon some inquiry it was ascertained that Sir Walter Scott—on what invitation was unknown—had communicated to Lord Sidmouth his opinion at length, upon the establishment of the society, and given his reasons for thinking all such institutions injurious, rather than beneficial, to the interests they espoused. This letter his lordship had—not officially but confidentially—shown to his royal master; and it was upon this condition of things that the President and Committee had been affrighted from their proper functions. I do not desire to make my doings of consequence, but I saw this matter in a very strong light, and felt more than regret that all the time and pains I had bestowed on the design should be wasted. I accordingly sought an interview with the bishop, and urgently represented to him that I thought he would be acting disrespectfully to his Majesty, by abandoning a commission given vivâ voce into his charge, upon the credibility of any counter-order or change of sentiment, no matter how high the quarter from which it came. His Lordship was pleased to agree with me, and said he would seize the opportunity of the next levee to ascertain the King’s wishes. But an earlier opportunity accidentally offered itself, and, by the application of more facile means, the true state of affairs was promptly and decisively settled. The King had gone to Brighton, where Prince Hoare, who was one of the most zealous and effective members of the Committee from the first, had an abode and considerable property, on which he was resident at the time. I wrote to him a circumstantial account of all I have just related, and begged of him, if the relaxation of the Sovereign from the toils of the capital admitted of it, to endeavour to make out how we really stood. The process turned out to be very easy. Mr. Hoare was well acquainted with the royal
Mr. Carr (soon after a bishop), and took occasion to explain all the particulars to him. They were also stated to the Marchioness of Conyngham, lady of the chamberlain, and an inmate of the Pavilion; and within a few hours the whole subject was discussed, over wine and walnuts, perhaps, in an evening’s conversation. The result was, that Sir Walter Scott’s objections had made no impression on the King’s mind, who astutely enough remarked that he knew Scott very well, and that where he did not lead he was not much inclined to co-operate, and far less to follow; and therefore he trusted the worthy bishop would bring his work to a consummation.

In justice to my immortal countryman, I should confess that in his objections he only echoed the opinions of other very eminent men. In my endeavour to recruit the ranks in the month of June, I was disappointed in Sir F. Freeling, though for private reasons he assigned; and from Mr. Canning I received the following very interesting negative:—

“Gloucester Lodge, June 24, 1821.
Dear Sir,

“I am sorry that you should have had the trouble of calling here to no purpose. But you will not be surprised that, on my return with my family, after a pretty long absence, I should have a good, deal upon my hands of private affairs, to fill the interval which public matters leave me.

“As soon as I am a little more settled I shall be most happy to have the pleasure of seeing you. Meantime I have read the paper which you have been so good as to send for my perusal.

“I had already become acquainted with the plan through the medium of your “Gazette;” and I am afraid I shall
incur your displeasure (at least in your editorial capacity) when I add that I had early determined not to have anything to do with it.

“My reasons are partly general, partly personal.

“1st, I am really of opinion, with Dr. Johnson, that the multitudinous personage, called the Public, is, after all, the best patron of literature and learned men.

“2nd, A much older authority, Horace, has described the general character of poets (in which other authors may perhaps be comprehended) in a way which would make it unadvisable for any individual, who is already in hot water enough, as a politician, to prepare another warm bath for himself, as arbiter of literary pretensions and literary rivalries.

“It is obviously much easier to avoid belonging to the institution, than, belonging to it, to decline executing its functions; and therefore I should wish very much to avoid it.

“Do not betray either my apprehensions or my heresy (if you think it such); and believe me, dear sir, very truly,

“Your obedient and faithful servant,

In order to finish what relates to Sir Walter Scott, in connection with the society, I may mention that, some years after, I consulted with my colleagues in the council, and, finding a perfect agreement among them on the propriety of conferring one of the golden medals of the year on that illustrious ornament of our country’s literature, took the liberty to sound Mr. Lockhart on the proposal, and was answered:—

“Wimbledon, March 6, 1827.
My dear Sir,

Mrs. Lockhart desires to return many thanks for your elegant present of L. E. L.’s Poems.

“I cannot think it right to communicate to Sir W. Scott anything of your proposition, but shall simply content myself with expressing my belief that he would feel highly gratified with such a mark of approbation from such a body as the R. S. L.

“Yours sincerely,

The medal was consequently voted to, and cordially accepted by, Sir Walter Scott; the other being conferred on Southey. But to return to my narrative. With the renewed impulse the Provisional Council (authorised in May to act till the society should consist of two hundred members, when a regular or permanent Council should be elected) proceeded with the necessary arrangements diligently and successfully.