LORD  BYRON  and  his  TIMES
Documents Biography Criticism

Passages of a Working Life during Half a Century
Chapter IX

Contents Vol. I
Prelude 1
Prelude 2
Chapter I
Chapter II
Chapter III
Chapter IV
Chapter V
Chapter VI
Chapter VII
Chapter VIII
‣ Chapter IX
Chapter X
Contents Vol. II
Chapter I
Chapter II
Chapter III
Chapter IV
Chapter V
Chapter VI
Chapter VII
Chapter VIII
Chapter IX
Chapter X
Chapter XI
Chapter XII
Chapter XIII
Chapter XIV
Chapter XV
Note to Chapter XV
Contents Vol. III
Chapter I
Chapter II
Chapter III
Chapter IV
Chapter V
Chapter VI
Chapter VII
Chapter VIII
Note to Chapter VIII
Chapter IX
Note to Chapter IX
Chapter X
Chapter XI
Chapter XII
Chapter XIII
Note to Chapter XIII
Chapter XIV
Index of Persons
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THE title of our projected work had not been decided when contributions reached me, sufficient in number and quality to indicate that my Cambridge friends were thoroughly in earnest. The “English Magazine” was rather a favourite name with us. I scarcely recollect how “Knight’s Quarterly Magazine” was adopted; but there appears to have been no doubt upon the point when Mr. Praed sent me his opening article, called “Castle Vernon.” A very singular paper it was, quite removed from the ordinary tone of what Leigh Hunt has somewhere designated as the most amiable but least interesting part of a book. The only prospectus which I issued was an extract from this eccentric Introduction:

“To the Lady Mary Vernon, the Mistress of all Harmony, the Queen of all Wits, the Brightest of all Belles, we, the undersigned, send greeting:

“We, the undersigned, are a knot of young men, of various forms and features—of more various talents and inclinations; agreeing in nothing, save in two essential points—a warm liking for one another, and a very profound devotion for your Ladyship.

“Some of us have no occupation.

“Some of us have no money.


“Some of us are desperately in love.

“Some of us are desperately in debt.

“Many of us are very clever, and wish to convince the Public of the fact.

“Several of us have never written a line.

“Several of us have written a great many, and wish to write more.

“For all these reasons, we intend to write a Book.

“We will not compile a lumbering quarto of Travels, to be bound in Russia, and skimmed in the Quarterly, and bought by the country book-clubs;—nor a biting Political Pamphlet, to be praised by everybody on one side, and abused by everybody on the other, and read by nobody at all;—nor a Philosophical Essay, to be marvelled at by the few, and shuddered at by the many, and prosecuted by His Majesty’s Attorney-General;—nor a little Epic Poem in twenty-four books, to be loved by the milliners, and lauded in the ‘Literary Gazette,’and burnt by your Ladyship.

“But a Book of some sort we are resolved to write. We will go forth to the world once a quarter, in high spirits and handsome type, and a modest dress of drab, with verse and prose, criticism and witticism, fond love and loud laughter; everything that is light and warm, and fantastic, and beautiful, shall be the offering we will bear; while we will leave the Nation to the care of the Parliament, and the Church to the Bishop of Peterborough. And to this end we will give up to colder lips and duller souls their gross and terrestrial food; we will not interfere with the saddle or the sirloin, the brandy-bottle or the punch-bowl;—our food shall be of the spicy curry and the glistening champagne; our inspiration shall be the thanks
of pleasant voices, and the smiles of sparkling eyes. We grasp at no renown—we pray for no immortality; but we trust, that in the voyage it shall be our destiny to run, we shall waken many glowing feelings, and revive many agreeable recollections; we shall make many jokes and many friends; we shall enliven ourselves and the public together; and when we meet around some merry hearth to discuss the past and the future, our projects, and our success, we shall give a zest to our bottle and our debate by drinking a health to all who read us, and three healths to all who praise.”

Twenty-five signatures followed this address to 4t the idol before whom they were to prostrate their hearts and their papers.” Some eight or ten of these moms de guerre clung to the real men during their connexion with the Magazine. Take as the more distinguished examples:—

Peregrine Courtenay   Winthrop Mackworth Praed.
Vyvyan Joyeuse   ,, ,,
Gerard Montgomery   John Moultrie.
Davenant Cecil   Derwent Coleridge.
Tristram Merton   Thomas Babington Macaulay.
Edward Haselfoot   William Sidney Walker.
Hamilton Murray   Henry Malden.
Joseph Haller   Henry Nelson Coleridge.

Peregrine Courtenay was the signature of Praed in “The Etonian.” Vyvyan Joyeuse was the one he adopted for his gay and laughing moods in the “Quarterly Magazine.” The name was in accordance with the description of him who bore it, when he was called up to explain to Lady Mary and her coterie the meaning of the address which had been presented to her: “(You shall call nobody but me.’
cried a shrill voice; ‘you shall call nobody but me, Vyvyan Joyeuse!’ And immediately a whimsical apparition leaped with an opera step into the front of the battalia; a tall thin youth, with long sallow features; thick brown hair curled attentively, and small gray eyes. He threw a quick shifting glance upon his auditors, and then, dangling the ribbon of his glass with both hands, stood prepared for his interrogator.”
Christopher North introduced Vyvyan Joyeuse into his “Noctes,” when he described the Magazine as “a gentlemanly Miscellany, got together by a clan of young scholars, who look upon the world with a cheerful eye, and all its on-goings with a spirit of hopeful kindness.” There is another portrait drawn by Praed, in which, as in many sketches approaching to caricature—such as those of H. B. forty years ago—we may trace the best likenesses of eminent men who lived on into another generation:

“‘Tristram Merton, come into court.’ There came up a short manly figure, marvellously upright, with a bad neckcloth, and one hand in his waistcoat-pocket. Of regular beauty he had little to boast; but in faces where there is an expression of great power, or of great good humour, or of both, you do not regret its absence.

“‘They were glorious days,’ he said, with a bend, and a look of chivalrous gallantry to the circle around him, ‘they were glorious days for old Athens when all she held of witty and of wise, of brave and of beautiful, was collected in the drawing-room of Aspasia. In those, the brightest and the noblest times of Greece, there was no feeling so strong as the devotion of youth, no talisman of such virtue as the smile of beauty. Aspasia was the arbitress of peace
and war, the queen of arts and arms, the Pallas of the spear and the pen: we have looked back to those golden hours with transport and with longing. Here our classical dreams shall in some sort wear a dress of reality. He who has not the piety of a
Socrates, may at least fall down before as lovely a divinity; he who has not the power of a Pericles may at least kneel before as beautiful an Aspasia.’

“His tone had just so much earnest that what he said was felt as a compliment, and just so much banter that it was felt to be nothing more. As he concluded he dropped on one knee, and paused.

“‘Tristram,’ said the Attorney-General, (we really are sorry to cramp a culprit in his line of defence; but the time of the court must not be taken up. If you can speak ten words to the purpose ——’

“‘Prythee, Frederic,’ retorted the other, I leave me to manage my own course. I have an arduous journey to run; and, in such a circle, like the poor prince in the Arabian Tales, I must be frozen into stone before I can finish my task without turning to the right or the left.’

“‘For the love you bear us, a truce to your similes: they shall be felony without benefit of clergy; and silence for an hour shall be the penalty.’

“‘A penalty for similes! horrible! Paul of Russia prohibited round hats, and Chihu of China denounced white teeth; but this is atrocious!’

“‘I beseech you, Tristram, if you can for a moment forget your omniscience, let us ——‘

“‘I will endeavour. It is related of Zoroaster, that ——’”

Others of the “knot of young men—of various forms and features, of more various
habits and inclinations,” were called before “the Mistress of all Harmony.” There was Cecil, of whose character no idea could be conveyed in the compass of a few lines, “except that which will be naturally associated with a highly-flushed cheek, and a magnificent forehead, and thick black hair.” There were others whose names figured in the address who were not called at all.
Mr. Peregrine Courtenay “having said a few words in kind remembrance of his quondam passages with Mr. C. Knight,” it was resolved that “the most entertaining publication of the day be immediately set on foot, under the title of ‘Knight’s Quarterly Magazine.’” But there was no chance of coming to a conclusion upon the question, “who was to edite the work?” The publisher drifted into the editorship, much against his will; but if his anomalous power had its pains, it had also its pleasures.

There is perhaps no happiness of the editorial life equal to that of first reading the manuscript of a contributor in which original genius is so manifest that none but a blockhead would venture upon an alteration. I have, however, seen a little of such blockheads in my day—real live editors, obtuse and prosaic as the mysterious Mr. Perkins of the Shakspere folio. Very early amongst the contributions came “La Belle Tryamour,” which Mr. Moultrie described as “the threatened Beppo,” which, if I thought it too long, or had better matter to supply its place, I was to pack off without ceremony. I did not avail myself of the permission. One contribution of no common order was at least secured. In a week or two followed a prose contribution. Those who do not possess, or cannot obtain—even at such cost as that of works figuring in old catalogues
as rare—the “
Quarterly Magazine,” which the intelligent public of forty years ago did not exactly appreciate, may find the noble “Fragments of a Roman Tale” preserved from oblivion in the “Miscellaneous Writings of Lord Macaulay.” They may also find there an article on “The Royal Society of Literature.” If they should not care to trace how the scheme of patronage for the incubation of great authors was mauled by one who was to take the foremost rank amongst those who have but one patron, the public, he may be struck with the apologue that clenches the argument. “About four hundred years after the deluge, when King Gomer Chephoraod reigned in Babylon,—and was so popular that the clay of all the plains round the Euphrates could scarcely furnish brick-kilns enough for his eulogists, at a time when all authors inscribed their compositions on massive bricks—this beneficent Prince was petitioned that he should take order that his people should only drink good wine. A decree was passed that great rewards should be bestowed upon the man who should make ten measures of the best wine. The examiners, assembled to judge the wine, decided that all sent in was little better than poison. There had been a singularly good season, but the only bad wine was that tasted by the judges. Who can explain this? said the King. An old philosopher then came forward, and spoke thus:

“‘Gomer Chephoraod, live for ever! Marvel not at that which has happened. It was no miracle, but a natural event. How could it be otherwise? It is true that much good wine has been made this year; but who would send it in for thy rewards? Thou knowest Ascobaruch, who hath the great vineyards
in the north, and Cohahiroth, who sendeth wine every year from the south over the Persian Gulf. Their wines are so delicious that ten measures thereof are sold for an hundred talents of silver. Thinkest thou that they will exchange them for thy slaves and thine asses? What would thy prize profit any who have vineyards in rich soils?’

“‘Who, then,’ said one of the judges, ‘are the wretches who sent us this poison?’

“‘Blame them not,’ said the sage, ‘seeing that you have been the authors of the evil. They are men whose lands are poor, and have never yielded them any returns equal to the prizes which the King proposed. Wherefore, knowing that the lords of the fruitful vineyards would not enter into competition with them, they planted vines, some on rocks, and some in light sandy soil, and some in deep clay. Hence their wines are bad. For no culture or reward will make barren land bear good vines. Know, therefore, assuredly, that your prizes have increased the quantity of bad but not of good wine.’

“There was a long silence. At length the King spoke. ‘Give him the purple robe and the chain of gold. Throw the wine into the Euphrates; and proclaim the Royal Society of Wines is dissolved.’”

There was another prose article by Mr. Macaulay in the first number of the Magazine which has not been reprinted. The evil which was there combated with unusual energy was remedied when the young writer, who had been bred up in the doctrines of the school of Wilberforce to which his father belonged, had become a legislator. It was before the days of his political responsibility that he thus introduced the article on “West Indian Slavery”:—“We espouse
no party. Zadig himself did not listen to the memorable controversy about
Zoroaster and his griffins with more composure and impartiality than we hope to display on most of the subjects which interest politicians. We are neutrals.” To write against Slavery seemed likely to have interested “the Clapham sect” in the “Quarterly Magazine”—perhaps to have induced them to tolerate even its occasional levity. Painful must have been the struggle when Macaulay felt himself compelled to secede after the publication of the first number. But how honourable to his memory is the letter which he addressed to me, and which this conviction would alone induce me to publish:—

“Rothley Temple, Leicestershire,
June 20, 1823.

“My dear Sir,—As I fear that it will be impossible for me to contribute to your Magazine for the future, I think it due to you and to myself to acquaint you, without reserve, of the circumstances which have influenced me.

“You are probably aware that there are among my family connections several persons of rigidly religious sentiments. My father, in particular, is, I believe, generally known to entertain in their utmost extent what are denominated evangelical opinions. Several articles in our first number, one or two of my own in particular, appeared to give him great uneasiness. I need not say that I do not in the slightest degree partake of his scruples. Nor have I at all dissembled the complete discrepancy which exists between his opinions and mine. At the same time, gratitude, duty, and prudence, alike compel me to respect prejudices which I do not in the slightest degree share.
And, for the present, I must desist from taking any part in the ‘
Quarterly Magazine.’

“The sacrifice gives me considerable pain. The Magazine formed a connecting tie between me and some very dear friends, from whom I am now separated, probably for a very long time; and I should feel still more concerned if I could imagine that any inconvenience could result from my conduct.

“I shall probably be in London in about a month. I will then explain my motives to you more fully. In the meantime, I can only say that all that has passed between us increases my regrets for the termination of our connection, and my wishes that it may be renewed under more favourable circumstances.

“Let me beg that you will communicate what I have said to nobody excepting Coleridge, Moultrie, Praed, and Malden; and to them under the injunction of secrecy.

“Believe me, my dear Sir, yours sincerely,
T. B. Macaulay.”

Derwent Coleridge, who has been addressed by his bosom friend as
“A poet’s child, thyself a poet born,”
contributed “
Beauty, a Lyrical Poem.” Henry Nelson Coleridge sent a paper full of deep thought eloquently expressed, “Scibile,”—a paper which De Quincey, writing to me some months after its publication, regarded as truly admirable. Henry Malden furnished a graceful Italian tale, “Agostino della Monterosa,” in which the romantic superstitions of the Middle Ages are reproduced with the complete-
ness of a full knowledge. He describes an enthusiast whose mind was subdued by the arts of a false friend to believe in “the secrets of the Rosy Cross, and of those spirits of the elements who pervade all that we hear and see and touch, although we hear them not, and see them not, and feel them not,”—(a nobler form of credulity, it seems to me, than a belief in spirits whose presence is indicated by rapping and table-lifting)—to believe in tales of unhappy spirits lingering over graves and charnel-houses, of unquiet tenants of the tomb; of mighty magicians. “He pored over ancient chronicles, and read of the black Boy who was the attendant of
Julius Cæsar, and who, though he lived many years, grew never the older;—of the strange knight, who came, sore spent with travel, on a huge-boned mulberry-coloured horse, to the court of Charlemagne; and no one knew his name or lineage, or whence he came, yet he was ever with the Emperor, who did nothing that he did without his counsel, save when he went down to the great battle of Roncesvalles; and the strange knight went into the battle, and came not out of it, yet was not his body found among the slaughtered Paladins;—and of the deaf and dumb dwarf with the yellow beard, who had the secret ear of the Soldan Saladin, and went with him wherever he went, save into the holy city of Jerusalem. On tales as wild as these he suffered his mind to dwell with a blind and visionary faith, and he was filled with a vague and anxious longing for such supernatural converse.” The power displayed in this tale might almost lead one to lament that such qualities of genius should have merged into a life of unambitious usefulness, did we not know that in such a life—that of the trainer
of the young to sound learning, that of a teacher commanding obedience through love—the truest happiness and honour are to be found.

The smaller poetical contributions of the Magazine were to be grouped in a concluding paper, entitled, “What you will.” In the first number we have some exquisite Sonnets by Moultrie, which have been reprinted in his collected Poems. We have one of Praed’s charming Enigmas. We have, what no one would expect to find, amatory verses by Tristram Merton, who might perhaps have rivalled “Tom Moore,” had he not been born for higher things. It is almost needless to say that there is no reprint in “Lord Macaulay’s Miscellaneous Works” of the ballad of which we give two stanzas:—
“Oh Rosamond! how sweet it were, on some fine summer dawn,
With thee to wander, hand in hand, upon the dewy lawn,
When flowers and heaps of new-mown grass perfume the morning breeze,
And round the straw-built hive resounds the murmur of the bees;
To see the distant mountain-tops empurpled by the ray,
And look along the spreading vale to the ocean far away;
O’er russet heaths, and glancing rills, and massy forests green,
And curling smoke of cottages, and dark grey spires between.
“And oh! how passing sweet it were, through the long sunny day,
To gaze upon thy lovely face, to gaze myself away,
While thou beneath a mountain-ash, upon a mossy seat,
Shouldst sing a low wild song to me, reclining at thy feet!
And oh! to see thee, income mood of playful toil, entwine
Round the green trellice of our bower the rose and eglantine,
Still laying on my soul and sense a new and mystic charm
At every turn of thy fairy shape and of thy snowy arm!”

The secession of Macaulay was felt by all of us as an almost irreparable loss. There was one of our band whose energies were ever called forth with new
vigour under pressure and difficulty.
Praed had that confidence in his own powers which is at the root of all greatness, and which is far removed from the vanity of mediocrity. Amidst the disappointments which had arisen, he wrote to me to entreat that I would not think of postponing the appearance of the second number. “For myself, I will give night and day to the Magazine, rather than see it so assassinated.” He amply redeemed his pledge. He produced for that number more than a fourth of the whole—the first canto of his Poem “The Troubadour,” and five prose articles. My other Cambridge allies seconded his endeavours. But I had also looked around me amongst my own old familiar friends. Such a friend was Matthew Hill. We had often planned literary enterprises in concert, in the days when the young barrister was struggling, as most lawyers have to struggle, when the collar presses hard upon the weak but willing horse if he be permitted to work, and when hope deferred presses still harder when no profitable work falls in his way. Of those times my friend had vivid recollections, and he gave utterance to them in “My Maiden Brief”—that paper to which an eminent judge alluded from the bench, and nodded kindly to the stuff gown in the back rows. Hill contributed also a very striking picture of the Staffordshire Collieries—of that dreary country through which I walked some thirty years afterwards with Charles Dickens, and saw whence he had derived one of the most telling scenes of the wanderings of “Little Nell.” But Mr. Hill’s vocation was to describe the people of this region. He thus concludes his paper:—“I wished to preserve some sketch, while the original is yet in existence, of a
race which refinement, that fell destroyer of character, has hitherto spared. Soon will these be tales of other times. The primitive simplicity even of the collieries is threatened. Already have the eyes of
Bell and Lancaster searched out this spot of innocent seclusion; and the voice of education will ere long be heard above the wild untutored sounds which have so long charmed the ears of the traveller.” I am not sure that “the voice of education” is yet very powerful in the land where the dwellers had “no similarity either in speech or features with the peasantry of the neighbouring districts.” If my friend could spare a day or two from other departments of “Social Science,” it might be worth while for him to go over the ground once more, to compare 1823 with 1863.

In this second number of the Magazine I wrote a paper, upon which I may not improperly say a little, as it in some measure related real incidents of my Working Life. “An unpublished Episode of Vathek” is reprinted in my volumes of “Once upon a Time.” Mr. Rutter, an enterprising bookseller of Shaftesbury, had proposed to me to publish a splendidly illustrated work, which he was preparing, on Fonthill, soon after the period when the wondrous building, of which every one had some marvel to relate but which no one had ever seen, was thrown open to those who chose to travel over Salisbury Plain, and pay a guinea for the long-coveted sight. Bekfudi, says my tale, the superb merchant, had gone on for many moons building and embellishing his mosque, and living in a round of selfish enjoyment. But gradually Bekfudi found there was a limit to his extravagance. Bekfudi was in debt.
“He resolved to invite all Samarah to see his mosque, and purchase his curiosities. For three moons all Samarah went mad. Away ran the idle and the busy to scramble up Bekfudi’s tower,—to wander about his long galleries upon carpets from Cairo,—to touch his gold censers, or to pore upon his curious pictures. As to his books, Bekfudi carefully locked them up. He was a great commentator, and his relish for theological speculations led him to fear that his performances might introduce him to too close an acquaintance with the mufti and the cadi.” I was amongst the curious, and had an agreeable holiday. But some months later I went to Fonthill to assist the worthy quaker bookseller of Shaftesbury in getting up his quarto. Fonthill had then passed into the possession of
Mr. Farquhar, in the negotiation for which purchase Mr. Phillips, the famous auctioneer of Bond Street, was the agent. He stipulated for the purchase of Fonthill and everything which it contained: “‘I will purchase thy lands and thy mosques, and thy silken draperies, and thy woven carpets, and thy golden vessels, and thy jewels, and thy books, and thy pictures, and all that thy palace contains; and here, without, I have twenty dromedaries laden with four hundred thousand sequins, which shall be thine.’ Bekfudi was in a rage, but the eloquence of the dromedaries prevailed; and that night the little Jew locked up the mosque with the airs of a master.” At this juncture I went to Fonthill. Artists were there making drawings. Journalists were there writing elaborate paragraphs, with a slight tendency to puff. My friend Stedman Whitwell was with me, and we rambled freely over the American gardens, and partook of the choice
fruit of the hothouses, and had a sumptuous table every day. To me the ostensible lord of the place, the clever auctioneer, was particularly civil. The first night I was led by him through a long corridor apart from the saloons and galleries of this architectural marvel, and was installed in a chamber of state, where the hangings of the bed were of velvet, and the chairs were of ebony reputed to have belonged to
Wolsey. I sat in a reverie, moralizing upon the probable dispersion of these splendid things, when I heard a whirr—my wax candle was suddenly extinguished—the bat that had dwelt in the gorgeous draperies was hovering about me. I was glad to creep into the downy bed. But I could not sleep. “Why rather, sleep, liest thou in smoky cribs?” There were others to whom sleep was that night more difficult to be secured than to myself. Two or three adventurous artists—I think George Cattermole was of the number—elected to lodge in the dormitories of the great tower, some hundred and fifty feet above the floor from which it sprang. The wind rose; the storm grew louder and louder; the frail structure rocked, as Gulliver’s cage rocked in the eagle’s beak. The terrified guests rushed down the broad stairs, and sat drearily in the dark saloon till the daybreak gave them assurance of safety. But I am rambling from my Episode of Vathek. “Within a week the superb merchant began to indulge a wish for the possession of some of his former most splendid baubles; he bethought him that his free habit of expressing his thoughts in the broad margins of his beautiful manuscripts might one day cause some awkward inquiries.” I was taken by my host to the Library. “You are free,” he said, “to make any
transcript you please of marginal notes on these books. I have sent an invitation to
Hazlitt to come also; but I hear that he has not got beyond Winterslow Hut.” Something was whispered about a new book, to be called “Fly Leaves from Fonthill.” My curiosity was roused, though I shrank from making profit by book or article out of my notes. In truth, as far as I could trace, there was little in these volumes to alarm their annotator or interest the public. I need not have tested my conscience. When the Library had been glanced at by profane eyes the object was accomplished. “The articles,” says the Episode, “were selected, but the little Jew had yet to name the price. Bekfudi raved and tore his hair when a fourth of his four hundred thousand sequins were demanded for what had cost even him not a tenth of the sum.”

The second number of the Magazine was getting into shape in the middle of the September of 1823, although its publication was a month behind its due time. With me this was a pleasant autumn. Mr. Moultrie had come to reside at Eton. We had friendly walks together. He was writing the second Canto of “La Belle Tryamour,” and as we sat on the lawn of a little village inn he was rapidly jotting down his verses. In a piece of nonsense which I also wrote as we laughed and lounged, I said, “I have seen, as I watched Gerard’s impassioned countenance, the infancy of a thought struggling into energy in its perilous contest with the fetters of a rhyme, and at last triumph in the maturity of a stanza.” Mr. Derwent Coleridge came to visit Mr. Moultrie. He was also to write for the forthcoming number. I dare say he forgave me when I ventured to say that
before he went to work “
Davenant had first to be delivered of a theory on the supernatural creations of Shakspere, and this carried us to Racine and Voltaire, Aristotle and Confucius; a slight dissertation on the merits of the Italian Platonists led us to Germany; and we ended, as the candles were brought, with Kant and Jacob Behmen.”

In that autumn of 1823, looking back through four decades, I see a youth of twenty-two, and a man ten years his senior—one who had given “hostages to fortune”—anxiously engaged in discussing all the circumstances which had led to a challenge to fight a duel, in which the younger was to be one of the principals. My wife and I were at breakfast, when Mr. Praed came in, looking pale and anxious. He begged me to walk out with him. It was nearly the end of the term, and most of his intimates had left Cambridge. He had come to town by the early coach, having arranged for a hostile meeting, in London, with a gentleman with whom he had quarrelled the night before. The subject of difference had been the date of the battle of Bunker’s Hill. The heat of argument had been so great, that the three unforgiveable words which, spoken in Parliament, always sent honourable members to their hats, had been uttered by him. We went from house to house, and from chamber to chamber, to find a friend. No one was to be found. No one could be found. Would I be his friend? I at once consented, for I was determined that, if possible, there should be no duel. The place of rendezvous was the Swan with two Necks in Lad Lane. After a little suspense, a young man came in, who was deputed by his brother, the challenger, to make
the needful arrangements with Mr. Praed’s friend. He and I retired. My course was clear. I was instructed not to tender an apology, but the way, I saw, was open for a compromise. Rustication, expulsion, all the possible dangers of a meeting, were nothing to the horrors of a younger brother standing by to see his elder brother shot at; or to imagine the possibility of both of them appearing in the dock of the Old Bailey on their trial as murderers. I conquered at last. We signed a paper that was satisfactory, and it was sent under cover to
Mr. Macaulay. Mr. Praed returned to Cambridge by the afternoon coach. A few hours after Mr. William Henry Ord, then a Fellow Commoner of Trinity, arrived at my house in great agitation. He was soon made happy. He had come up to London in all haste with the Tutor of Trinity, Mr. Whewell. To Dick’s Coffee House we immediately went, to relieve the apprehensions of this eminent scholar and man of science, then rising into general reputation. We spent a happy evening together, and nothing more was heard of the matter. Mr. Hill, in a very admirable paper “On Duelling,” in our first number, had said—“In the present state of society, the total abolition of duels cannot, as experience abundantly shows, be effected.” God be praised, the “state of society” has so changed, that the change has carried with it not a few great moral as well as political reforms. The Duel has become as much a thing of the past as the Wager of Battle.