LORD  BYRON  and  his  TIMES
Documents Biography Criticism

Fifty Years’ Recollections, Literary and Personal

Vol. I Contents
Chapter I.
Chapter II.
Chapter III.
Chapter IV.
Chapter V.
Chapter VI.
Chapter VII.
Chapter VIII.
Chapter IX.
Chapter X.
Vol. II Contents
Chapter I.
Chapter II.
Chapter III.
Chapter IV.
Chapter V.
Chapter VI.
‣ Chapter VII.
Chapter VIII.
Vol. III Contents
Chapter I.
Chapter II.
Chapter III.
Chapter IV.
Chapter V.
Chapter VI.
Chapter VII.
Chapter VIII.
Chapter IX.
Chapter X.
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Those graceful little publications called the “Annuals,” made their appearance between 1820 and 1830. The first called “The Forget me Not,” was published, I think, by Ackerman in the Strand. The “Friendship’s Offering,” was edited by Thomas Pringle, of whom I have already spoken in connection with “Blackwood’s Magazine,” and his own publications at the Cape of Good Hope. There were many contributors who sent their articles gratis. I was continually besieged for contributions, and gave something, always anonymously, except in the case of the very beautiful annual published by Alaric Watts, called the “Literary Souvenir,” the best of all beyond comparison. The later volumes of his annual were changed into choice specimens of art, and of the most pleasing character as to the literature. We cannot help regretting to find such works cease to go on for want of taste in that part of the public, which leads a sort of parasitic life in novelty. Some of these annuals were, as far as literature was concerned, it is too true, made, like Peter Pindar’s razors, to sell. Showy engravings, and verses by people of fashion; no matter who, if their names
would draw attention to the advertisements. These were among the earlier workings of that system of publication, which was subsequently carried so far as to afford no other pretence for reading them, while at the same time, they tended to depreciate literature still further. “Annuals” for the rising generation followed, called “Juvenile Annuals,” of these the best were edited by
Mr. Thomas Roscoe and Mrs. Watts—the former, another son of the venerable historian, still alive, and equally participating in the literature of the period. The “Literary Souvenir” merged into the “Gallery of Art,” which ranged still higher in merit, both in the literary and artistic portions. In fact, the graver could hardly have been made to exceed in beauty the specimens which Mrs.’Watts exhibited.

The alterations in female dress are not much more fluctuating than those of the public have become in reading, well bearing out Winckelman’s observation of the worthlessness of taste among the northern nations. The merit of a book is judged too much on the plan adopted by one of the Dublin dealers in the ware, as related to me by a lady. He took the manuscript, balanced it on the palm of his hand, as if trying the merit by the weight of the packet, he paused, balanced it again, and declared himself satisfied with the work.

“But how, madam, about the name of the author—anonymous you say? Suppose we give it as by the Honourable Mrs. T——, who you know is just departed this life? We might set it going as the Duchess of York’s? I must have something to draw the public attention to it. Something catching in the
advertisement. This cannot be a matter of any moment to you, as you do not desire to appear at all. The statement will be contradicted by friends, no doubt, but then the object is to fix attention upon it. In that case, madam, I shall be able to afford to give you two dozen printed copies for yourself.”

Of what worth after all is the toil over the midnight lamp, the sincere investigation of truth, the coruscations of genius, or the most laborious efforts to improve our fellow-creatures by wearying acquirements. If the labours of right-minded literary men were confined to a scanty pecuniary recompense alone, if there were not, no matter for the insubstantiality, something attractive and but too fascinating in the pursuit, they would be of all men most miserable. The employment of the mind upon elevated subjects, imparts to it something of their nature. When Johnson and Savage walked all night round St. James’ Square for want of a lodging, they did not converse about their pressing state of deprivation, but occupied the time which others would have spent in lamentation, perhaps in despair, with examining the acts of their rulers; and with topics, the realities of which belonged to the fortunate and rich, the legislature or the prime minister of the nation, to those, in short, who, in their lofty position were, perhaps, less elevated in mind than the two midnight pedestrians.

This can only apply to educated writers whose lives have been habituated to converse with the truly great of all ages, and whose associations have become imbued with the spirit that is least of the earth earthy. There are writers whose ideas do not rise much beyond the shop-boards they describe. But even here there must be a
conscious superiority to the worthlessness painted—some real mastership even in the lower grade of the profession. How then must this feeling tell in those who, from their earlier years, attached to the productions of the great spirits of the past and present, are ruled by them in their modes of thinking, and are neither understood by “the general,” nor capable of receiving pleasure from sources which impart content to the masses either as to matters of opinion, or the great ends of existence. It unfortunately happens, too, that the literary man cannot shift his position. He is unable to haggle about farthings, to tell falsehoods about his wares in hunting fortune, or to take the pound of flesh nearest the heart from him that has nothing else to give. The midnight lamp, therefore, must continue to burn and waste. Like the traveller in Paraguay, for him there is no returning. Common place life is for ever excluded, since we cannot forget at will. The apple of Eve has been eaten, the charm is upon the lapsed, the irrevocable decree must be fulfilled to live under martyrdom, and die that the empire of mind may survive in the world, only to extend further by continuing to make more martyrs.

Notoriety is a different thing from the fame that springs from honest authorship—but enough. In labouring for the magazine, the correspondence was extensive and various; even the great fanciful apostle of bumps and protuberances must needs correspond. How fertile is Germany in that species of nonsense which attracts the ignorant from ignorance, and the money-lover with the hope of dupes. Nor has the German school the merit of novelty, almost all the more
recent hoaxes from that country are old things vamped up. There is a rare book, the “
Admiranda Pedis” of de Cortis, a sort of foot “phrenology” which it is wonderful has not yet been revived to match Messrs. Gall and Co., at the upper extremity of the body. A brother of Sir John Moore, killed at Corunna, sent a review of Spurzheim’s phrenological work. This set Gall upon his gall. I translate from the unpublished letter, till now, of this most renowned of all skull conners:—

“All who allow themselves to make similar observations on my discoveries, are either in complete ignorance of the study de la morale, or have not given themselves the trouble to read my works. In the first volume I have answered all the objections which treated of morality and religion. When the organs are considered, for example, that of carnivorous instinct, it is necessary to send my censurers to my treatises on the different tendencies and diverse families of men and animals; if the editor finds that man is degraded by being placed in the carnivorous class of animals, it is needful in order that he should belong to the farinaceous class, that he should renounce mutton, beef, veal, fowl and the like. If further, he is displeased to be denominated an animal of any kind, he must prove that he came into the world in a different way from the animals he eats, and digests, and sleeps in a different mode from them. The editor having a knowledge only of the work of M. Spurzheim, has, in consequence, a very defective knowledge of the matter. M. Spurzheim was well versed in organology, but in his lectures and works he had the great fault of being too concise, and consequently not being satisfactory to the
reader when it was not difficult to be so. I think I have done much better, and in founding a new doctrine, opposed so much to the old principles, I have preferred being longer, in order to place myself within reach of readers little acquainted with the study of nature. Thus, Sir, I give to the editor and his readers. Tolle! lege! Read and study my works, compare together the facts I have quoted, examine and verify them, and I promise I shall be no way discovered in fault. For the rest, there is one English work, in which the most peremptory replies will also be found to all the objections of the adversaries of organology. See the works of
Mr. Combe of Edinburgh, and the “Transactions of the Phrenological Society.”

M. Spurzheim did not join himself as an associate in my labours till 1805, at the moment I commenced my travels. Then all my physiological discoveries were completed. He had the merit of contributing to perfect the analogical discoveries. In the first volume of my great work, it may be seen to what point he had perfected the physiology of the brain. He complicated too much by his metaphysical inclinations, to work the divisions and subdivisions. Always travelling, by his journeys and conversation he powerfully contributed to propagate the doctrine.”

So much for F. J. Gall, and his bumps. Doctors differ. I cannot but recal my friend Wilson’s phrenological turnip, the skull of Professor Tornipson, the Swede, a cast of which he sent to the Edinburgh Phrenological Society, which is said to have held a special meeting over the bumps of the vegetable: that is, if the Professor of Moral Philosophy is to be credited.


The following extract will show what sort of intelligence we used to get from Ireland, and that it was not the mere tittle-tattle of Dublin.

“Dear Redding,

Croker dined at the Castle yesterday, and amused Lord Wellesley by abusing the Irish government for some neglect in the post-office department, upon which before all the company at dinner, Croker got as nate a little dressing as his best friend could well desire. The Lord Lieutenant told him, ‘that he doubted not on his return to his party and his seat in Parliament he would report matters with his wonted fidelity. That he, Lord Wellesley, was the Irish government—that government the object of his dictation and abuse—and personally answerable for all its faults. It was right that he, Mr. Croker, should know, though he might not have heard of it, that it had engaged the attention of the government.’

“I hope this will make you laugh as it did me. The news, too, flew about the drawing-room like wild-fire. A large party was assembled, and everybody rejoiced with exceeding great joy, from which I conclude that the party in question is not popular.”

Going to make an enquiry at the Admiralty one day, I met a gallant officer bustling out from the secretary’s room, where that gentleman was alone.

“Where are you bustling in such a hurry?”

“To the club to read the paper. I have just been with the Admiralty—treated rather off-hand.”

“I saw the First Lord at Whitehall just now—their lordships are not sitting,” I observed.


“But they are though. I had a trivial request to make, and a shuffling answer.”

“What, from the Board? They are not sitting this morning,” I repeated.

“Yes, they are. Croker is sitting, First Lord, Board and all. He cut me off short.”

It reminded me of Handel answering for six dinners in one; and when the servant told him the company was not yet come, he replied:

“I am de company—bring up de dinner.”

We did not rely on newspaper reports in the “New Monthly” for intelligence, and had not the publisher been fearful of everything but novels and fashion’s alliances, we might have increased our number greatly by more boldness. There was a large circulation in Ireland, and it might have been doubled. As it was a second impression was several times called for after five thousand had gone off at the price of three shillings and sixpence. I gained nothing by a laborious correspondence, which ought not to have been on my shoulders to such an extent; but success brightens hope, and I foolishly imagined chance might be my friend. At this time I received the contributors in the proportion of five to one to those whom Campbell personally knew, or even saw. I had evening conversaziones, which receptions kept our friends together.

Among writers for the magazine, Hazlitt was one of distinguished utility. His pen always supplied matter for reflection. He was paradoxical at times, but ever ingenious and sometimes profound. We had no more than a general acquaintance. He was a pallid complexioned man, with features by no means striking nor
uncommon. They indicated no want of thoughtful expression, nor of energy. His hair was dark, his eyes speaking, and his forehead good. His person was insignificant, almost vulgar, and under the middle stature. His manner plain, and sometimes even gauche. His temper was wayward. He was apt to be severe in observations, which, not always without good ground, had as often not that excuse. Sometimes he was irritable and violent. The acuteness and reflection in his papers, read now and compared with modern magazine articles, on critical subjects more especially, prove a sad falling off—his articles are like gold weighed against tinsel. A metaphysician of no mean skill—none understood mankind better. Though sometimes prejudiced, in general, he was fair and clear-sighted. All who rate above the standard of commonplace literature, will peruse him in the closet with delight. The educated whose education consists only in reading, and writing, who must only be amused, may not honour his works. On his dispute with
Northcote, I have stated the facts elsewhere.* I used to visit Northcote before I went abroad, and often sat in Argyle Street talking to him about the West country, while he was painting. He was a vain man, of a contracted mind, an excellent small story-teller, not over good-natured. He owed to the assistance of others all the attempts he made in literature, and to no one was he so deeply in debt as to Hazlitt. His offence with that writer was pretended. When he died he left him a hundred pounds as a memento of their intimacy, rather an odd mode of exhi-

* “New Monthly,” vol. lxxxi—“Memoirs of Campbell.”

biting indignation. The artist was a moral coward; he shuffled because he feared to be honest.

The German literature of Mr. Taylor of the Temple, led us to have recourse to him in any pressure upon a subject, with which he had a thorough acquaintance. The author of “Gilbert Earle,” Barry Boyle St. Leger, a Rugbeian, the son of the Hon. Mrs. St. Leger, a favourite of the Guildford family, had been sent out to India at seventeen years of age. He came home disgusted, and entered himself of the Middle Temple. He was an exceedingly pleasant writer, cut off by death at the early age of thirty. Sir Charles Morgan, as well as his lady, were early contributors. Sir Charles was an excellent writer, but somewhat too solid and philosophical for the taste of the many. “Fit audience though few,” is all that writers of the better order can venture to anticipate. Always sound in principle, I felt a strong attachment to one who was a gentleman in manners, and possessed of acquirements of no common order. His ideas were liberal, and that amenity so remarkable in his profession beyond any other, seemed with him to arise more from nature than education. The necessity of considering humanity in a point of view different from other men, and a more intimate acquaintance with the physical tenure of our frail being, may perhaps render the profession more philosophical, more generous, and more affable in manners, than in professions, ruled by theological dogmas, or the arid rules of legal practice. We corresponded for many years, and were intimate to the time of his decease. I never found an individual of kinder feelings, more undeviating honour, or better information. Fortunate
in his union with one of the most accomplished authoresses of her day, and a true lover of her country, his loss must have been a deprivation most severely felt by that true-hearted lady. I am not ashamed to confess that I have not passed through the street where he lived since his death, out of a vain desire, never perhaps realized, to weaken reflection by avoiding the scene that would recal the past too freshly—it is a weakness, and it may be so, but that reflection cannot alter the feeling.

When I look back and number those literary friends I have lost, I recal the apprehension of the ultimus suorum moriatur. Poor kind Banim, the Irish novelist, Shiel’s friend, used to visit me. He was an excellent, simple-hearted creature, I had not seen him for some time, and discovered he was married. I met him by accident.

“How is it I have not seen you of late, Banim,” I enquired.

“To tell you the truth, I have got married since I saw you.”

“And what of that—married and can’t come,” I suppose, “grown too anxious?”

“O, not at all; I have married a Catholic.”


“I have married a Catholic, and I thought that, here in London, you might not like one of my wife’s religion?”

“You must be odd fish in Ireland, with your Orangemen and Papists. Seriously, my good friend, you must have come from the wilds of Connaught, indeed, to think we trouble ourselves here about the political and
religious profession of faith of our friends in private life. If you have not liberty, in this respect. in Ireland, you will find it in London. People are always glad if their friends are of their own creed out of the five hundred creeds in the market; but no one here, I hope, has such a distaste for his friend’s faith as to abandon his society on that account, Protestant or Catholic, Whig or Tory. Nobody will trouble you upon that point here, and if they do, tell them you belong to the faith that handed down Christianity for fifteen hundred years to the time of our
fat Harry’s tender mercies.”

It was strange, and gave me an odd idea of the curse inflicted upon a country where such notions prevail. Banim soon saw how he erred in mistaking England for his native land. He suffered greatly from indisposition. I had written him at Sevenoaks to ask for some verses at the request of a friend who applied to me on the subject. Banim died in Ireland, I believe not a great while afterwards.

“My dear Sir,

“I have the pleasure to enclose some verses of mine as tolerable, I hope, as you expected, for the consideration of your friend, the editor of the “O——.” They were, at least, as sincerely felt as conceived. Last summer, after going down to Hastings, Mrs. Banim and I took a walk along the path at the bottom of East Hill, and passing the little churchyard, which you may recollect, we caught a glance of the headstone of the daughter of an old friend, who had just died in the town, whom we knew a few months before, young, beautiful, good. After the first feeling came the remark
and question—‘Yes, here lies poor Bessy—before her time! Yet, what has she lost?’ and the answer that was suggested forms my verses. Thus rather than make you pay postage for an absolutely blank sheet, you are treated to this little true story, by—

“My dear Sir,
“Most truly yours,
John Banim.”
“October 6.”

I engaged to meet in May Fair, the same month, an old friend whom I had visited some time before near Amiens. When I arrived, I was ushered into a room where there was one individual, a perfect stranger about the middling height. As soon as my host came in, he introduced me to John Dunn Hunter, whose curious history has been published by himself. His story was that he had been carried off by Indians in a foray upon an American village, when the inhabitants were massacred, and he was taken away and adopted by an Indian mother, to whom he became strongly attached. Consequently, he had been bred up among the Indians, and my friend, who had been among the Indians himself, did not doubt the truth of his statements. He insisted that habitual actions, and movements of his limbs by Hunter, when unobserved, convinced him that he was no impostor as some of the people in the United States insinuated he was. The Indians used such motions. Hunter was a plain man with a touch of a foreign accent in speaking. His book had been written for him at his dictation; he could not have composed it himself. I asked him as he had seen both London
and Paris, which he preferred, the European or Indian mode of life. He replied that the Indian only wanted two things to be happy, to know how to till land, and to be convinced of the advantage, but even that he would give up, for the second and main advantage of civilized man was his personal security. The Indians were obliged to be ever on the watch, for they were never secure from hostile attack. He spoke of his love for his Indian mother in the strongest terms: of the delightful freedom felt in the woods, and the delicious sensations of a wild free life, particularly on rising at day-dawn.

He returned to America, determined to instruct his own tribe of Indians in rural economy, in short to teach them to plant, sow, and reap. He was shot soon after he arrived there, in a skirmish with a stranger tribe. He had known Jefferson, the President of America, and several of the chiefs of other Indian tribes, besides that to which he belonged. He told me they had no image worship, but prayed to the Great Spirit, as the other tribes did bordering upon his own. He did not seem to know anything about such beings as superstition conjures up among civilized nations, in the way of ghosts or supernatural appearances. Here, a wild man of the woods as he might be called, shamed us.

While thus alluding to supernatural appearances, I was myself puzzled sorely by a very singular incident connected with those unaccountables. I had called on a lady, about noon, in the height of summer, in one of the streets north of Oxford Street.

I had not been in the house a moment before I saw that something unusual had occurred. Presently the mistress came in, and said they had been alarmed by a
strange circumstance an hour or two before. A female servant had taken down her mistress’s breakfast. The girl was approaching thirty years of age, and apparently of a temperament not likely to be easily alarmed; no fellow servant was in the kitchen at the time. She went to the chimney place for some water, and fancying she heard a noise, and turning her head, looking over her shoulder, she saw a young man, who lived not far off, and who some time before had paid his addresses to her; but had been repulsed, for she did not like him. Startled, she fell on the floor senseless, where she was found, and afterwards related the foregoing circumstance.

Something prompted her mistress to send and ask if the man was at home. He might have got in by stealth. How were they struck to find he had died that morning, and it was supposed about the same time the girl had seen him. I questioned all the parties, but found no discrepancy in their statements. The death of the young man was confirmed. The girl repeated that she had never encouraged his addresses, because she felt she could never attach herself to him.

I placed this incident to the same account as another I will relate, equally unaccountable as far as human testimony goes. They make just the two out of a dozen, not more, to which, alone, I am unable to find any solution. Captain W—— a gentleman I have long known, of unimpeachable honour, now living, after having served throughout the whole of the Peninsular war, was ordered from Spain to Nova Scotia, when peace was proclaimed in Europe, we being at war with the Americans. He was lounging in the mess-room of the barracks with another officer, I think in Halifax. It was noon-day,
and the sun shone brightly. Presently an officer in uniform walked in at a door in the further part of the room, looked at them and passed out again.

“There is your brother,” said Captain W—— to his companion, who recognized him also. Supposing the brother really had arrived in the port, and would return, they stood looking out for him to enter again, but he never came. A mail or two afterwards, from Europe, brought an account of his death. It was still more singular that the intruder had upon his head a new regulation hat or cap, of which no pattern had yet reached America, and that both observers remarked the fact. When Admiral Coates saw his wife in India twice, and coming home found her dead, it was no doubt the effect of imagination. How many husbands dream of dead wives and vice versa, and find the contrary—but these cases are not noted. In the case of Captain W——, it was and is to me a great puzzle.

What incidents are the above for a new Johnson to lecture upon in favour of ghosts, and a new Boswell to record. After all, it is mortifying for the supporters of common supernatural hallucinations, to be thrown so much out of this traditionary belief by the congregation of people in large cities, and the modern paucity of such incidents. The hunt after money affords no leisure for the fanciful to weave moon-shine, and the ignorant to take off their wares. Cases like the present are, perhaps, exceptions.

I have often been at lonely hours in remote situations, at the witching time of silence and darkness, when I have felt a great desire to see something supernatural—some agent of an invisible world to establish my cre-
dence in such unnecessary visitations, if they really have an existence. This is said by no means in the feeling of mockery, or belief in the possibility or impossibility of such appearances, but solely in the desire to satisfy myself of the reality of what has been so long disputed. Instances, at present, are rarely recorded to what they used to be, except in deep mountain vales, remote country districts, and among the rustics, or in the collieries—in fact among the more ignorant part of the population. The question of witches and warlocks seems to be running the contrary way of the stream of late. The instances I have given will, I feel, but increase the difficulty of the final settlement of the question.

I write on desultorily, leaving it to chance for memory to recal events which may not always fall under the exact order of dates. I am obliged to write at times, when I cannot make references.

Being at Brighton, Van Heeren’s work on the great nations of antiquity was put into my hands, and I felt highly flattered in his allusion to some remarks of mine on his works. I was well acquainted with certain localities which Heeren had never seen. I allude to his remarks on the Voyage of Hamilcar beyond the pillars of Hercules. I had made a critical notice regarding it, which he had seen. The spot referred to was the Cassiterides. His disquisition convinced me that, on matters of topography, nothing short of an actual survey, in future, will answer to secure accuracy. Whitaker wrote a most voluminous work to prove the track of Hannibal over the Alps, a vicinity he had never visited. Half knowledge in such cases, is but castle-building in print.

William Wallace, an old acquaintance, and one of a
familiar literary circle died in the prime of life. He belonged to the Temple, and wrote “
The Memoirs of the Life and Times of George IV.” He was of Trinity College, Dublin, and an excellent companion, and kind friend, but I fear he lived a little too fast. Shiel and Wyse, among his countrymen, used to speak of him in high terms. We met often in a pleasant family, none of the members of which, except the parents, were above twenty-five years old, and yet only one of the whole number now survives. Our evenings were passed with music, and the most delightful conversation, in which all, but particularly the ladies excelled. Wallace was the most even tempered of the whole party. I believe he never made an enemy. It was Wallace, I may forget and am only mistaken if it were not he, who said Coleridge was original in ‘Christabelle,’ whatever opinions might be held upon his merits. C—— a friend of mine replied, that his phrase of “to whit to whoo,” was borrowed, nonsense as it was. I am certain he would not borrow these words if he borrowed any others. Why then turn to the second book of old Quarles’ emblems, you will find the words “To wit—to woe!” Coleridge would defend his plagiarism, on the basis that the loan of a sound, except among musical composers, was never before assailed as unjustifiable in an author, and the main question would be whether alliteration might not come under the same censure.

I met for the last time, at Brighton, in an invalid carriage, old Mike Kelly. He was recovering from a fit of the gout. A dissipated man, few of his contemporaries in past times were free of the charge. He had delighted me with those airs and songs of which he was
the composer, generally introduced in some theatrical performance. These used to have a run through the whole length of the country, when music was not as it is now, devoid of air and sentiment. Mike was not a man of mind, it is hardly to be expected otherwise where the brains are in the ears. We have no such snatches of songs now, under the present vicious school, which extinguishes every thing originally connected with the science, all that is intellectual; and replaces it by complicated sounds of difficult execution. Kelly was a good after dinner man. He told many stories of the characters of his time, and of the “Prince, God bless him!” to use his own words in relation to
George IV. All the boon companions of the prince were friends of Kelly’s. After the “true prince,” Sheridan was Kelly’s hero. The veteran composer spoke of one tainted in appearance from such a connection during his life’s prime. He looked flaccid from past indulgences. The best of those high or low, who had come within the influence of the same circle exhibited similar resemblances to half worn rakes.

“Here I am nearly done up, one hand useless with this cursed gout: what are you doing here—you are no invalid?”


“Do then come and idle over a chop with me. I have an old woman who looks after me now—once it might have been a young one.”

“Who was the father of your gout, Kelly?—the rummer that you can hardly now lift to your lips, and villanous company.”


“But I can lift the rummer still, I have only one hand that wont work—come to me to-day—say you will.”

Mike Kelly felt solitary, and no doubt wanted company. I was a complete idler, one of those who in such places, if it rains flatten their noses against the window glass; if it is dry blister the feet in driving away time over the shingle. I went to his lodgings. His repast consisted of excellent fish, and mutton chops nicely cooked. Mike was gloomy as gouty people are, until they have swallowed a little wine to brace up the animal machine. He then began to talk, in his wild way, upsteaming with loyalty. I do not know why, but I liked to hear tales about the prince and his companions. So many of the latter were men of mark, whose good sayings, went out into the world often as of royal begetting. Kelly had preserved the old habit of swearing, which polite manners have banished from good society of late years, except in the case of the great Duke who kept up the custom to the last. I told Mike I had been looking at Mrs. Crouch’s urn in the church-yard, the same which he had placed over her remains.

“She was a sweet creature, my dear friend.”

Not exactly platonic on the part of Mike. I had just read his memoirs. They recalled his old music shop, and some of his airs—the “Woodpecker” for example.

“I was near the prime then—did you read about Sheridan—how drunk he got upon my wine—a little stock I had above my music place. I lent him my bedroom to be near the prince, with whom he was going
the next day to Windsor. He could not get up, and left the prince to go down alone. His royal highness, ‘God bless him,’ sent over twice for him.”

“I did read the passage—it was characteristic.”

“But you could not read what that rascal Hook omitted. Why, I don’t know. The infernal bookseller employed him to put my memoirs through the press, and he omitted things he had no right to leave out—touched his friends, I suppose.”

“What did he omit?”

Kelly then told me, in substance, how Taylor, who had the Opera House, involved in debt, lived in Cadogan Place. Bailiffs watched his residence day and night. It was of importance that he should not be arrested, and that he should get out of his residence. Kelly found that Taylor’s next door neighbour was in difficulties, about paying some thirty pounds for taxes. Kelly called upon him, and told him that if he would suffer him, Kelly, to work a small hole through his attic party wall, he would give him the thirty pounds, and pay all damage. It was agreed upon. Mike got Taylor that way through the wall into the next house, and walked him clean off.

“I owed Taylor several good turns,” said Mike, “and I could not do more than repay them. What interest Hook had in omitting the story, I don’t know; unless he feared it might give the bailiffs a hint, that might some day cross his own escape under the like circumstances.”

Kelly never returned to town, but went from Brighton to Margate, or some other place on the coast, where he died. It is singular that the more noted men of those
times, even those of no higher mark than Kelly, had something to show in the way of compensation for their excesses. They had wit in their dissipation, were multiform in their acquirements, and generous in the midst of their extravagancies. Perhaps it was that the spirit of traffic did not then so much gall the kibe of the noble, and that the love of gain had not expatiated so largely against good fellowship as now.

I was much amused by the result of the publication of an article of my own called the “Fever Ship,” in the “London Weekly Review.” It was wholly the result of fancy, descriptive of the attack of yellow fever upon a vessel at sea, told after the simple manner of De Foe. A messenger was sent from Lloyd’s to the office of the paper to request the name of the vessel, the underwriters there, as they might do, taking fiction for fact. I thought it a high compliment to the authorship.

Colton, the author of ‘Lacon,’ become vicar of Kew and Petersham, one of the most charming clerical posts about London, had taken comfortable apartments at Kew. In time, he began to consider them too costly for his miserly expenditure. It was expensive to keep up proper appearances in his parish. He could live in London unobserved, for a sixth of the expense, and he acted accordingly, transporting his gun and fishing-rod, and half a dozen books, De Foe’sHistory of the Devil” among them, to a two pair of stairs lodging overlooking the burying ground of St. Anne’s, Soho. I had once visited him at Kew on a Sunday, in time for the morning service. The congregation was not large. The Duke and Duchess of Cumberland were present. The sermon was above the average in matter, and
correctly delivered, with a slight touch of mannerism. We were leaving the church when a servant of the Duke of Cumberland came up and said his Royal Highness wished to see him. I walked on. I saw the Duke and Duchess cross the green to Kew—where was the parson? Presently he returned at a quick rate. “What did the Duke want of you?”

“Nothing of moment—an invitation to dine with him at Kew on Wednesday.”

“How uncanonical you are—you went into the pulpit in grey trousers, I wonder if the duke remarked it. You will have a rebuke from the bishop. Half a man’s importance in courtly eyes centres on costume.”

“I don’t care—the duke might have seen it—he might tell me of it. What then—I should reply, your Royal Highness will have the goodness to remember that the efficacy of the sermon of a Christian clergyman does not depend on the colour of his breeches.”

“You had a long confab?”

“No, two or three minutes, I staid to get some segars from under the pulpit, I keep them there because the temperature is excellent, not too damp nor too dry.”

We went to his lodgings, commanding a pleasant view—the Thames not far away. We dined and spent a pleasant evening. He was full of literary conversation, and now and then when he made a sly hit at a writer, or a divine, or at some hacknied opinion, that peculiar cunning twinkle which showed itself at the corners of his eyes on such occasions, as much as to say “is not that a home thrust?” exhibited itself frequently. He got upon the translation of the bible, and upon its numerous
errors, and how people took their religious opinions from it, and had no concern about the correctness of the text. I mentioned that
Dr. Parr had taken upon himself to correct the errors he knew, when performing the service.

“Did he?” said Colton, “I like that. There is the pretended Septuagint said to have been found in an old cask in the year 217. There is no such version extant. The Septuagint, which contained only the Jewish books of the law, was destroyed in the Alexandrian library a.d. 47. What a miraculous affair Justin Martyr made of it. I fear the fathers were sad story-tellers. We know the east now, its customs, and much more of its language than was known in the time of James I.”

“Then why not have a new translation?”

“That cannot be, the present translation is the best that can be made. It is time honoured.”

“But if it be radically defective?”

“It must not be changed—parliament has declared it the right thing—James I. has affixed the sign manual to its excellence, as he did to his treatise on witchcraft. It is declared authentic, and parliament is before all the arguments of the learned, even before truth itself.”

“But that time is gone by, nobody thinks of feeding devils, or giving bread and cheese to spectres, for which parliament sanctioned the cremation of helpless old women as a remedy.”

“No matter, it is royally, parliamentarily, and time consecrated, what would you have more?”

“But the very English is obsolete.”

“So much the better, from its being less common
and more striking, standing aloof from the language in other works.”

“But where nonsense is made of the original or the text falsified?”

“No matter, it is as it should be, right orthodox by act of parliament, as it stands.”

“But evident clerical errors?”

“They must stand—we must not endanger our orthodoxy by dallying too intimately with self-evident truths,” said Colton, with another of his arch looks.

“The present version tells us that Solomon’s little temple—little in comparison with St. Peter’s at Rome, or our St. Paul’s, cost a sum of money equal to a thousand millions sterling, out of the treasury of an empire not more than twice the size of Yorkshire.”

“But if we are so told in the present version, whether in the original or not, we are bound to believe it by act of parliament.”

“No, no; Josephus, who would no doubt be inclined to exaggerate, tells us the temple cost just fifty millions of our money, that is a pretty large sum for a state like Judea.”

“No matter, my dear fellow, we of the cloth get our incomes under the present version, that will do. Joking apart, several learned divines are of your opinion—have you seen Bellamy’s attempt at a translation?”

“I have not.”

“I will introduce you to him. He says that no translation has been ever made directly from the Hebrew, and insists that with due care and attention it may be done. Our bible is from the latin you know, into which language it was said to have been translated
St. Jerome a.d. 405, and we adopted it from the Roman Catholic Church. If we wanted to know a German work we should not translate it from the German into the French, and from the French into the English. The very change of idiom would render it unfaithful. Bellamy says that if a Hebrew word, in nine instances out of ten, is used with a fixed meaning, that meaning should be adopted in the tenth instance. By this principle, the error of giving a word half a dozen different significations is avoided, and the most probable sense obtained.”

When Colton took a lodging in town he introduced me to Bellamy, in Princes Street. His sitting-room was carpetless, a common deal table stood in the centre, and a broken phial placed in a tea saucer served for an inkstand, surrounded with letter covers and paper scraps. Four common chairs, one or two ricketty, a side table holding a few books, half a quire of foolscap paper, and some discarded pens on one side of the room, composed nearly all the furniture, fishing-rods and gun excepted. Here he indited ‘Lacon.’ His copy was written on scraps of paper, blank sides of letters, and but rarely on bran new paper. It is untrue that his rooms were as bad as some penny a line scribbler made out, in a newspaper sketch of him. They were always clean. Much of his domicile was the second to his college rooms. He dined at an eating-house, and sometimes cooked a chop for himself, from inveterate bachelor habits. He placed excellent wine on the table, though he had not then opened a wine cellar which he did afterwards in the name of another person, under a methodist chapel in Dean Street, Soho, where I once
found him among casks and sawdust. Descending the steps, he called out, “come down, facilis descensus Averni!” There I tasted some of his choice growths. He was a temperate man in wine, but very choice.

“You have methodism, heterodoxy over your head, Colton, I wonder your wine does not turn sour, belonging as it does to a son of the church.”

“Wine is reconciling, Redding, there is no fear of the two doxies disagreeing in the cellar. The pulpit is the place for pulling caps.”

This wine dealing fit did not last long—he was soon tired of it. There was much of the spoiled child in his composition, going from thing to thing and unsettled. After I had heard Bellamy, I confess I was much pleased with his theory, patronized by George IV. and all the royal family, seven bishops and a number of the clergy and private individuals. Newcombe, Lowth, Symonds, Kennicot, and a host of authorities were brought in proof of the better understanding, both of the Hebrew and Greek text since 1600. The opposition to it was this, that if, as Lowth said, the present version be “ambiguous and incorrect, even in matters of the highest importance,” it is better to leave it so—in other words, that the truth is of no moment compared to the trouble of investigating it. This laisser faire system neither of us agreed in. My judgment was worth nothing, except that in sacred things, more especially, to obtain the naked truth I conceived was especially demanded as an imperative duty. Bellamy was enthusiastic and laborious in his design, Colton was more pleased to perplex Bellamy with his subtleties, than to approve or censure. He agreed that the present version was bad, but
he feared for the success of a new one if justified by reason and duty. I confess that of Bellamy’s qualification for the task, I know nothing. I thought him a zealous man, and introduced him to
Campbell, who had a fit of Hebrew study upon him at the time. The poet thought Bellamy had not read largely upon the subject Gesenius and Michælis were the watchwords, hut the Hebrew was soon dropped, as well as the acquaintance.

One of Colton’s ready comments discomposed Bellamy, and marked that shrewdness which he often exhibited. Bellamy said that in the account of the speaking of Balaam’s ass, the Hebrew would allow the words “as if,”—“as if the ass had spoken.”

“But,” said Colton, “the ass did speak. Read 2 St. Peter, c. 2., v. 16. ‘The dumb ass speaking with a man’s voice forbade the madness of the prophet.’”

This was the parson’s shrewd way, and he enjoyed it. I came to Bellamy’s assistance by remarking that the quotation as thus used, might be only illustrative, and have no relation to the exact state of the fact pro or con.

Colton’s first publication after the “Sampford ghost pamphlet” was the poem of “Hypocrisy,” before alluded to, it had for a motto the lines from Butler:
Hypocrisy’s the universal calling
The only saint’s bell that rings all in.

He also published some remarks on Don Juan in his unnatural character of a censor morum. A short poem on the conflagration of Moscow, and a clever latin
version of
Gray’s elegy in Ovidian verse. His “Lacon” was the last of his works. He may have borrowed much, but he was a close observer of mankind. When he disappeared, a number of falsehoods were related about him. He had been seen with Weare and was murdered, this was one statement. Nothing could be more false, he was no associate of low characters, of the ignorant or vulgar. He would steal into a house where there were public tables and play, where he probably knew no one, as he played against the tables from pure avarice. His gambling here was in Spanish bonds, by which he thought he had ruined himself when he had not, and in the alarm, embarked for America. He returned to France. Then he came over to England, and appeared for a moment at Kew, to prevent the lapsing of the living from his college, which soon after appointed his successor. He went again to France. I heard nothing of him from the time he disappeared until I happened to be visiting at Amiens, and thought I would run over to Paris for a day or two. I had taken my place to return, and was crossing the Palais Royal to make up my portmanteau and start, when I heard my name called out from under the trees near the central fountain. It was Colton, much changed, none of his former clerical neatness of garb about him. His scanty beard was of several days’ growth, and his sallow face deeply furrowed. He looked careworn, told me he had a fine collection of pictures—would I go and see them? I stated that I was just quitting Paris, and saw him no more. He afterwards went on a visit to Fontainebleau, and there it was found necessary he should submit to a painful operation. I have no doubt he reasoned upon
the endurance of the pain of the operation, or the shorter pain of an exit from life, and that he deliberately chose the alternative, and shot himself. His age he always carefully concealed, but he must have been far advanced in life. What a singular being of inconsistency is man! Colton who dreaded to cross a churchyard alone at night, and believed in hobgoblins, when wounded fearfully by the discharge of his gun, fearing he should bleed to death, laid himself on his back upon the ground, and compressed with his unwounded hand, for an hour or more, the artery that led to the wound till assistance came. He who feared spectres, had physical courage enough deliberately to destroy himself, rather than endure the pain of a surgeon’s knife. To discover his sentiments on religion was impossible. I believe he felt himself that his opinions were at continual war with the character he had assumed.

Colton went into the pulpit on one occasion without his sermon. He promptly took a random text, and preached a better extempore ‘sermon than any he ever wrote. He had, at times, certain convictions of what was right, and he would declare his determination to act upon them, but he persevered only for a brief period. How one who knew his inconsistencies so well, could think they were concealed from others is singular. I once told him of it, and he replied,

“O, you know they say we are only finger posts.”

Materialism is a cold doctrine, and unreasonable. If pushed, the reply is “there may be a supreme first cause or there may not. We contend that man, body and soul, is a nonentity when life is extinct.” But the
chances being at least equal, and reason being in favour of a future life, it is the most erroneous of conclusions to take that which is least rational and cheering, most adverse to natural laws, and altogether in opposition to virtuous aspirations and hopes. As nothing has been given to us in vain, and nothing in the world around us exists without an obvious end. Thus we have a being to which no other purpose can be affixed than to impress the mind with the idea of a future existence.

Mr. Disraeli published “Vivian Grey” about this time. The characters were supposed to be drawn from real life. At least, it was clearly implied, that though the author did not intend to depict Lord A. or Lady B., yet he drew his outlines from those seen in the fashionable circles. There could be no question that pretensions to virtue and character never more falsely or more successfully lacquered fashion than at that moment. There was room and verge enough for the author’s fancy to work and find doubles in real life, but then why pretend otherwise? But “Vivian Grey” did not appear alone.

Authors and publishers were, in those days, much more a unity than they are now. It was at the time Mr. Disraeli incog. was publishing a periodical paper called the “Star Chamber,” of which the public took little notice, that the two first volumes of “Vivian Grey” made their appearance. The “Star Chamber” was personal. I have heard that the author suppressed it, but not till it had attacked most of the literary men of the day. I forgot all else about its contents. Mr. Disraeli reviewed and extolled his own book in its columns. Calling one day upon Colburn, who published “Vivian Grey,” he said, to me:


“I have a capital book out, ‘Vivian Grey,’ the authorship is a great secret—a man of high fashion—very high—keeps the first society. I can assure you it is a most piquant and spirited work, quite sparkling.”

Colburn always regarded, in publishing, the fashionable taste, no matter how absurd, for the fashionable .was a buying taste, and no Lintot looks farther. I remarked that the characters were not drawn from life, for I had already run my eyes over the work. “Two or three characters might,” I said, “be from the life, but they were exaggerated, or almost wholly imaginary.” This Colburn did not like, but remarked that people of fashion might read, and would understand them for realities. Three or four days after this, walking down Oxford Street, I saw one of Colburn’s establishment come out of the shop of Marsh, Disraeli’s publisher of the “Star Chamber.” He had a number of pamphlets under his arm. “What have you there?” The pamphlets were in yellow covers, about twenty pages of matter. The word “key” was signified by a wood-cut of a key, and below the cut were the words “to Vivian Grey! being a complete exposition of the royal, noble, and fashionable characters who figure in this most extraordinary work.” There was a second wood-cut of a curtain, partly drawn aside, displaying in the perspective a drawing-room filled with company attitudinizing. “Oh,” said I, “why did not Mr. Colburn publish this as well as the book itself?”

“That would not answer,” was the reply.

I did not on the instant remember that Marsh was the publisher of Mr. Disraeli’sStar Chamber.” I took away one of the pamphlets, and found it filled with
extracts from “
Vivian Grey,” and remarks, some of feigned censure, to give critical verisimilitude, others were puffs of the work, highly laudatory. At the end of the key there was a clue to living personages, whose names were affixed to the real and imaginary characters in the work, all extracted from Mr. Disraeli’s “Star Chamber,” which affected great mystery as to the authorship, the aim of which was obvious. “We know,” so it ran, “who the author of ‘Vivian Grey’ really is.” Then in the before mentioned paper followed the names of living characters. Mr. Foaming Fudge, Mr. B——m; Lord Alhambra, Lord P——;Colonel Dalmington, Colonel L——n. All this was intermingled with a little critical censure here and there, and above all surpassing wonderment at the noise the extraordinary work was making in the world. Such were some of the artifices made use of to get the book into notoriety, and they were successful. That one not many years beyond nonage, should as an author have recourse to artifices so much beneath a man of genius, and that ingenuousness by which as a young writer he might be supposed to be influenced, when I knew who the author was, stamped his character on my mind. I thought it unfortunate that so much talent should be misdirected, and that it should be foreign to the high-mindedness which in those days, in semblance at least, was shown among literary men. From that day, my protraiture of Mr. Disraeli was formed, conjoined with his “cleverness”—that is the exact word. His want of elevated feeling, with the spectacle of his unfixed conduct since, have made him a continual example of unscrupulousness in his progress. This was con-
firmed by great absurdities amid the talent exhibited in his subsequent productions, as well as those of his earlier years. Perhaps, we are all we shall be by nature at two or three and twenty years of age.

The key thus concocted, informed the world that “‘Vivian Grey’ was not only personal and satirical, it was also inventive and poetical, and the darts of its malice being sharpened by these qualities, and which is more important, winged by fashion, carry farther and pierce deeper, than they would without the buoyancy of these adjuncts.” Again we were informed that “in the midst of its diabolical spleen, gleams of goodness, and high-mindedness and love of virtue, ever and anon break forth, like the calm but momentary visitations of the moon through the rifts of black clouds in a gusty night.” This is not Colburn’s, thought I, it is the author’s own. Here is a conspiracy—a harmless one it is true, save to the fashionables of the Bull family.

The same day Campbell and myself met, and I told the key story. The poet said, “I have a present of a copy from Colburn, arrived just before I came out. He lauds it as a wonderful work, and says you have got a review of it.” I replied in the negative, the truth being, that it had been sent but I had not been at home. On returning, I found it with the following note:

“I have just sent Mr. C. the vols. of ‘Vivian Grey,’ which, if he reads, I am certain he will agree with the reviewer. I have almost accidentally got this review from a high quarter, where I hope to get others
hereafter. I was compelled to undertake for its insertion without being mangled, or should not have got it at all, therefore I hope it will be received well, and not be thought too long—I would make room under such circumstances for double the quantity, but the extracts are very short. Should Mr. Campbell make any allusion to personality and the key, &c., do pray tell him the key is a mere joke, and the characters are genuine.”

This was all fudge, of course—the art of wheedling an editor. That art never before went further than on some of these occasions in publishing. It was not a worthy system, and showed the small chance a work of high merit had, relying alone upon intrinsic worth. I record it as a picture of the time.

Colburn could not, from his nature, leave well alone. If he found a periodical work answer, he had an idea it might be made better by alterations not the most judicious. Works of no merit, too, were thrust upon an editor, who became painfully situated. Without regard to merit or demerit the proprietor deemed his right paramount, ignorant of his own real interest. The manuscripts of authors are continually submitted to persons who are no judges, sometimes even personally prejudiced against them, or else having opinions or prejudices opposed to their own, tempting an adverse judgment. The author thus, of a different opinion, a dispute ensues. I have known an eminent house place a MS. in the hands of one of their friends, of whom they had a high idea, in order to ascertain its merit. He was a
controversialist, and his report was decidedly adverse. The author published elsewhere, and his book went through two or three editions.

Let the hazard of such an incident be marked after the time and toil of composition consumed on the part of the author. The artist places his picture before the public free of all cost, but that of his own labour and time. The author only begins where the other ends. His works may thus be placed before a blockhead. Then come stationer, printer, binder, advertiser, and bookseller, who get their profit out of his skull, having to pay them all except the publisher, before he can tell whether his work has any claim to public notice. Hence, the difficulties of writers may be judged.

To return to “Vivian Grey.” I cannot conjecture for what purpose it becomes a habit with some persons to abuse the aristocracy by wholesale. There are in its ranks enough of the proud, debased, and profligate, with perhaps more of a tendency that way than exists where the means and temptation to it are not so convenient and soliciting. But there are no more, proportionably, of this debased class found in the higher ranks than in the lower, and more in proportion are guided by a feeling of honour. Much of the taint of manner imbibed from the accident of birth there may be. This continued objurgation is singular coming from the middle ranks, and deriving sustenance where the indiscriminating fawning obsequiousness which marks these ranks in their conduct to the aristocracy, is so notorious. Some writers belonging by title, if not by birth, to the “order,” join in the same species of vituperation.
This, no doubt, has been agreeable to those who bow to nothing, but the influence of wealth in the social body, forming the worst and basest of all aristocracies. I always thought the just balance between the social bodies should be supported. My years had not been passed in utter ignorance of the modes of life in any rank in the community, and, when
Lord Brougham followed Mr. Disraeli in such attacks, though there was no side play with Lord Brougham, all was open and indiscriminate, I took up the subject. Looking over the catalogue in the British Museum Library, I met with my letter, “Peter Wilkins to Isaac Tomkins,” which I had nearly forgotten, published in 1839. It recalled that of his lordship’s censures. His attack on the younger ladies of the aristocracy, because some mothers sacrifice their spoiled daughters for money in marriage, denominating them ignorant, proud, money-hunters, and extravagant, was ungenerous and unjust. Where are there more greedy-managing mothers than those in the middle ranks? Where is there more ignorance in young females educated for show than there? Delightful, amiable, excellent women exist in the aristocracy, and among the younger many generous and most disinterested. In modern novels, the larger number of sympathising buyers were taught otherwise. This vituperation became common, while any worthless demirep, whom an imbecile man of title might raise by marriage after being the mistress of half a dozen men, is extolled by sycophants, who cannot away with the doings of the female aristocracy, that keep aloof from such grossness. Denounce this inconsis-
tency, and they will tell you they do not believe that is true with which those who have moved in better circles of society, were long acquainted. Mr. Disraeli must look back at the slanders of his friends of the “order,” with feelings somewhat awkward.

It was in 1829 that I foresaw it would soon be impossible I could proceed much longer in my existing position. A bundle of manuscript would come to me. “Is there nothing here that can be turned to account for the Magazine?” The object was the making an additional profit from such works, by giving portions of them in the periodical. I remonstrated, but it was Campbell’s place to act. A word from me would set him in a fury with Colburn, and I had, therefore, to fight this kind of battle alone, for Campbell’s editorship was negative, or little more at that time. It happened that I received a note from a most able writer, Mr. Warren of the Temple, the year before I quitted the magazine. He wrote me to offer the “Diary of a Physician,” for our pages. I received it, saw its merits, and sent it off to the printer, sealed and directed as usual. Not having a messenger going to the city, I sent it from my house, as I had sent articles often before, that Colburn’s porter might take it with him when he next took anything to the city. It will scarcely be credited, but it is a fact, that the packet was opened, Mr. Warren’s paper canvassed among Colburn’s employés, represented to him as not worth sixpence, and returned to Mr. Warren, without my knowledge, until the number for the month appeared, when I imagined, till I enquired about it, that the paper had
not come to me in proof, from there being much matter in the printer’s hand. This specimen of interference was decisive. The intercepted paper came out afterwards in “
Blackwood,” and it was followed by others equally good. Colburn then apologised, and said how sorry he was for it. His regret was the greater, that “Blackwood” should have had it in his pages. Why thus act with duties that for nine or ten years before had been so satisfactorily conducted? I am happy at the opportunity of making this statement, for I was falsely charged with the retention of the papers by some malicious persons, when the fact got abroad. I have Mr. Warren’s notes to myself still in my possession.

When I told Campbell what had occurred, and that it was useless to continue to suffer a similar inroad on our duties, he wrote a letter to Colburn just as the impulsive character of the man dictated. Had I not kept it back, we should have all separated that moment. I told the poet what I had done, and wherefore. He agreed to remonstrate in milder terms, quitted London for the continent soon after, leaving the work, as usual on my hands, and forgetting all about an affair that pressed so heavily upon our own connection. That was just his way. I did not cease to profit by it so far as to see that I must look out for an early separation from the concern. I discovered that my anxiety and zeal, which it is true I ought to have known, had never been appreciated, and to regret that my friendship for Campbell had made the tie still stronger to the work. Things happened precisely as I had foreseen.


I found time to put together for a very worthy man, Captain Andrews, some crude notes of “Travels in South America,” in two volumes. They were among the first works that appeared developing that region. They were published by Murray, who had just travelled out of his way to establish a morning newspaper, one of the most rapid modes of losing a fortune that can be adopted.

Captain Dundas Cochrane, the Siberian traveller, who spoke of the luxury of sleeping upon snow, and eating, with a relish, a square inch of salt fish frozen, had been introduced to me soon after his return. He was small in person, spare, with nothing imposing in his appearance. He had walked from Lisbon through Europe to St. Petersburgh, and from thence to Siberia and Kamschatka. At the latter place he picked up a Kamschatkan wife, an agreeable fresh-coloured young lady. He complained of Dr. Lyal, and his statements regarding St. Petersburgh and Russia generally. I knew Lyal as a general acquaintance, a man of little mark. He died English resident at Madagascar, while Cochrane fell a victim to the pestilential climate of the Caraccas, where he went on some mining speculation. He left a good fortune to his widow, incited by which a subsequent suitor was successful in obtaining possession of both.

They looked contemptibly upon me, Redding,” said he, “in that ‘Quarterly Review,’ because among my travelling hardships, I said I found frozen salt fish a luxury. I did; it furnished me many a meal. It was ‘ungenteel’ I admit, to live in such a mean way, and
not partake of roast beef in the Siberian desert. They do not sneer at the Polar expeditions. It would be ‘ungenteel’ to confess that the poor fellows there eat a part of their dead comrade to sustain life. The ‘Quarterly’ kept that a profound secret; but it was a well known fact at the Admiralty.”

I edited, or rather re-wrote from rough notes, a novel in three volumes, called “Pandurang Hari.” The notes showed their author to be well versed in Indian manners and customs, into which the work afforded a great insight. He had lived long in India; but the subject, instructive and interesting, did not engage the attention of the public so much as it deserved.

Stewart Rose, M. Depping, Simond de Sismondi, Sotheby, and others who had aided us, had been succeeded by new and inferior names. Horace Smith was seduced to leave the-work for novel writing. Dr. Maculloch was, in general, too scientific for us. Magazine readers are not always deep thinkers, we had few of the last. M. Beyle, Leigh Hunt, Mr. Turner of the Foreign Office, Mrs. Shelley, Himalaya Frazer, Brown of Florence, Wrangham, and Dodd of the Temple, had been of our number. Mr. Englebach, sen. of the Audit Office, wrote our articles on Music, which were of high merit. Lord Dillon, though fluent in conversation, was ponderous as a writer. We had a correspondent who puzzled us as to identity, signed W. E. His correspondence always went to the Borough. We had, at one time, an idea that this writer was Mr. Penn of Stoke. After my notes upon the united labours of Campbell and myself appeared, written twenty years afterwards,
I received a letter signed W. E. which cleared up the mystery.

“They were written by me, when a lady, for the sake of a little money to spend in books, and they were paid for more handsomely in cash and commendation than they deserved.

“August 10, 1847.”

Whoever the lady is or was, for she still preserved her incog., there could be no question about her talents as a magazine writer.

The ignorance and prejudices of some people are very unbearable to editors at times. I had copied much of the discoveries of Professor Buckland into the “Varieties” of the publication, and we got letters remonstrating. The evidence of the senses, and plain reason, must go for nothing. We were told we were “propagating irreligion,” and nobody knows what besides. “We have sufficient blasphemous and open denials of revelation, without sly and artful undermining in the shape of magazine usage. Your correspondent may make his assertion that it is probable the world existed many years without any inhabitants, &c., and may bottom his probabilities on the discoveries of philosophers and geologists, but he should know that other and good probabilities account for the fossil remains and gigantic creatures in the bowels of the earth, without contradicting the express testimony of Scripture.” We were charged with lying against inspired history. Such let-
ters troubled
Campbell, when they happened to come to him directly. We took no notice of them, on the old ground that it was an utter waste of time—“à laver la tête d’un âne on y perd sa lessive.”

I called in Upper Seymour Street one day, and found Mrs. Campbell alone. Asking her if there was any thing new, she said—

“No. Harry Brougham has just been here.”

“And what did he say?”

“O, he was ‘himself as usual.”

How often I think of the character in that one word—there was the past, present, and future man to the life—from supporting West Indian slavery, and then opposing it, to his returning from the Whigs, under whom he got his popularity, to his first loves—it was all in that little word.

One morning, Campbell came to breakfast, and hurried me to go with him to a City meeting respecting a London University. He had previously broached the subject in a printed letter, and still earlier had often spoken of it to myself. The scheme was to be openly proposed for the first time. He would take no excuse. I hated, as he well knew, all public meetings. I had no money to give, and if I employed my pen in any public cause I thought beneficial, it was the utmost I could do. We reached the London Tavern, and found it crowded with company of both sexes, that had evidently come to hear the speeches. Sir James Mackintosh, Lord J. Russell, and others—among them Campbell, too excited to be efficient—addressed the auditory. Just as the meeting was on the point of breaking up, Brougham made his appearance as a lion
of the hour. Unexpected detentions show business, and Mr. Brougham began by pleading them in excuse for his late attendance. The subject was popular, and the topic agreeable to himself. The Seals had not yet made him a new man. He dilated upon the singular circumstance that his friend Campbell and himself should have hit upon the same idea at precisely the same time (I remember I thought so too), and he made one of his able addresses in favour of the measure.

As the poet and myself were returning, I asked if Brougham had ever alluded to the subject in any conversation prior to his announcing the subject publicly. He replied in the negative. “He will play first fiddle then on your project—he will not be organ blower.”

“You are in error,” replied Campbell.

I was not in error, for Brougham threw it in as a make-weight in the balance of his popularity. I have often thought that with all his fame, Lord Brougham never started an original thing, nor evolved a new idea during his public career. Many of the ideas of others he worked out, some most useful and creditable, and met the just meet of praise for his success; we are deeply indebted to him. But he was never scrupulous in the appropriation of other people’s goods, sometimes without the generosity of an acknowledgment in the way of recompense. He would fain eat his cake and have it too. The ideas of Campbell at once run on the machinery of the internal work, in place of that of pecuniary means to erect a proper edifice. Brougham rationally considered what should be done first—he
must be the first man in Rome, and he turned instanter to plan a mode of getting funds. Campbell scarcely got credit for originating th’e design. He fell back, and soon withdrew himself from connexion with the working out of the scheme. Ten years afterwards when Mr. then Lord Brougham held the seals, when at the apex of his ambition, and popularity was not sought nor injury arose from the avowal, Lord Brougham affirmed that which Mr. Brougham did not before avow, that the credit of the scheme belonged to Campbell. Justice is easy when it requires no sacrifice. Campbell went off to Prussia to mature a plan for the government of the university, and the mode of teaching, leaving as usual, the editorship on my hands.

There were a number of ladies of talent, single and married, who engaged in authorship at this time, all now deceased. Some looked for fame, others for profit. A few fair wits indeed, never contemplated an immortality beyond a London season, and were seen no more, their works going with them into “the tomb of all the Capulets” when parliament was up. We do not hear of such female coteries in these more degenerate days. The ladies with a sprinkling of titles, some married and others blues unsullied by contact with “male creatures,” met at each other’s residences, about once a week to interchange ideas. Sometimes incipient literati or a sprinkling of gentlemen who were supposed to be able to communicate intelligence about the merits of a novel in the press, and sometimes, but not often, a west end publisher, who drank his wine out of skulls, was admitted, on the score of his information regarding
“new books and works in the press.” At such meetings some well known maiden lady led the van. One of the authoresses of “
Dame Rebecca Berry,” a novel in which Sir Phillip Sidney I believe melodiously sung “Black eyed Susan” to the court of Queen Elizabeth, rivalling the painter who made the magi present the model of a Dutch seventy-four to the infant of Bethlehem had much influence in the conclave.

These conversational displays of ladies, emulated the “ungentle craft” of critics, and bore hard upon callow diatribists fresh from the boarding-school, who had begun by composing verses. Tea, coffee, and bon-bons lay on the table for the company. As these conversaziones went round, and some of the ultramarines had small incomes, it was whispered that all were to satisfy their appetite before they came. This considerateness was praiseworthy where it was understood—“but how where not?” as Sidney Smith phrased it. On one occasion, a lady whose confectionary provision was moderate in quantity, having already gone round at three previous meetings, and still too from delicacy, exhibited nearly their original quota, was fallen upon by a young guardsman who had just quitted his mamma’s more ample provision of sweetmeats. What such a youth did at such a place at all who can tell! He sat down and deliberately, one by one, cleared all the delicacies only made to be seen.

Every fresh injection of a macaroon or ratifia into his young sparrow-like swallow, going to the hearts of those of the company who were in the secret. The hostess looked and looked, but did not weep, like Rachael. So difficult is it for honourable economy to be “at home,”
and raw youth to understand bonbons are not always made to be eaten.

In those days, Lady Caroline Lamb, Lady Charlotte Bury, and others, whose love of love, or of fashionable literature or both was overwhelming, used to link noble and plebeian together. Then came morning calls, the worst things possible for economical single ladies, had not ‘morning’ meant between three and four in the afternoon. One day Lady C—— called on Miss B——, who some years ago ceased to be of the living. She had with her one of those little dogs for which I never could conceive the use until this incident occurred. Lady C—— and the hostess were sitting side by side on the sofa, deeply immersed in the merits of the last new novel, when the little poodle cur, solus, thought idleness the bore of his life at such a moment, and proceeded to extract from beneath the sofa an old slipper, a pair of stockings, a couple of pocket handkerchiefs and so on, to the inexpressible misery of the owner, whose heels were continually exerting themselves au derrière, as if Lady C—— were unconscious of their efforts, in endeavouring to push back some article of female habiliment intended for the bag of the washerwoman. Nothing could avail, the room was strewed with the spoils when Lady C—— rose to depart. O for the feeling of that moment as her ladyship walked over the stairs—no matter now—death has alike extinguished the mortification of the one, and the polished regret of the other. Poor B——, I was sorry for her, and yet the trouble of throwing her things into an adjoining bed-room would not have been more than that of making the sofa their covering.


Then, too, existed Miss Lydia White whom Sidney Smith delighted to honour, who used to invite people to see her die. I met a lady one morning at her own door stepping into her carriage.

“I am sorry I am going out when you have called, but come with me. I am going to see Lydia White, she is really dying.”

“I Pray you excuse me—it can’t be true—it is only two years since she began to die.”

“It is true now—you had better come once more.”

“Do excuse me, I have gone a dozen times to Park Street and been disappointed. I cannot afford to lose so much time on a mortuary uncertainty.” She died, after keeping her friends so long in expectation, that they began to think on her part death would be a hoax until they had themselves departed.

Miss Benger, a truly estimable and amiable lady, had published several successful works. I had many conversations with her, in which she showed goodness of heart, tinctured with that peculiarity of manner which attaches to the state of single blessedness. She was visited by many fashionable people. Nothing since has matched the social gossipping of that era.

The work entitled, “a Diary of the Times of George IV.” when published, I did not believe genuine. I thought it a tissue of forgeries on account of the inconsistency of the dates, but I could not abuse it as I wished to do. Colburn told me it was genuine, but his assurance was that of its authoress only. It was very like some of the French concoctions. Foscolo, at an early period of our acquaintance, wished to introduce
me to
Lady Charlotte. I was afterwards glad I missed such an introduction; the lady was from home. I should have felt pain to identify such a work with any lady of rank, particularly one who had the reputation of being neither the more ordinary nor least agreeable of her sex and order.

Greece was the point on which public attention was fixed. I corresponded with Count Porro of Milan, then in that country, a high-minded nobleman whom Francis of Austria had pursued with all a despot’s vengeance. He himself had no literary pretensions. He happened to be at his chateau on the lake of Como when the order came to arrest him. He got timely notice and escaped across the lake. I believe his being concerned in establishing Lancastrian schools was the principal charge against him. After a residence of a year or two in England he determined to go to Greece. His last letter was dated from the renowned Salamis, the only one I have preserved.

“My dear Redding,

“I thank you for your remembrance and your kind letter. I assure you that if I did not write directly after, it was for the want of a sure occasion (conveyance), and because at the end of last year and beginning of the present I had important commissions at Athens.

“I felt the greatest pleasure in seeing our old friend Colonel Pisa. He is now commanding a body of Philhelenists, that acted extremely well in the battles of the 18 and 20 of August. He is greatly prized here. Where is General Pépé? How is our friend
Campbell? Pray remember me to him most kindly. I send you a letter for Mr. L——. When shall we see each other again—I long for it. There is still hopes for Greece. If the Turks had acted in strength this year, no doubt Greece would have been lost, but except the fall of Missolonghi they have done nothing. They sent two fleets, one to
Ibrahim Pacha in Navarino and Modon, the other with the Capitan Bassa, against Samos. The first fleet got the plague on board and never moved, the second is beaten by the Greeks. We now get many supplies from France, Switzerland, and the Netherlands, and are expecting Cochrane every moment. He is at Messina with a large frigate of seventy-four guns, built in America, two steam vessels, and two brigs. His conduct will secure all the islands from Milo to Samos, and perhaps he will be able to take some others. After that Ibrahim Bassa will never obtain more troops or provisions from Alexandria. We fought two battles a few days ago, and in a short time we shall try to beat Reschid Pacha who besieges Athens. Adieu, remember me kindly to Mr. and Mrs. L——, I will write to Sir C——.

“Believe me always your true friend,

There are few recollections more grateful to me than those I recall of Count Porro, whose cruel separation from his family for years, for no offence, was a bitter trial. It is honourable to many of our people of rank who had been hospitably received at the Casa Porro before the proscription of this excellent nobleman, that it was not forgotten here. It must be mentioned, too,
to the honour of
Prince Metternich, that as soon as the Emperor Francis was dead, he restored Porro to his fine property in Lombardy. He enjoyed this property for several years after his return. He is now no more, having contributed his quota to human improvement. He thus had a right to peace after his sufferings. It is clear that his persecution and that of Pellico, his son’s tutor, originated in the malignant mind of the Emperor Francis alone. The Colonel Pisa mentioned by Porro, was of Italian parentage, served under Napoleon in the Italian army, and fought against the brutal Cardinal Ruffo, in 1799. He was made a prisoner by that sanguinary ecclesiastic, and would have perished on the scaffold, but was preserved by the interference of some of the Neapolitan royalists, from being the nephew of the too celebrated Vanni. After being imprisoned he was banished to France, and then served as a Captain of dragoons in Spain, where he was wounded, but decorated with the order of the Two Sicilies. He afterwards fought at Lutzen and Leipsic, and became a major. He was aid-de-camp to General Pépé, in his resistance to the Austrians at Naples. He escaped from thence as a Spanish soldier, came to England, was appointed to the Greek service, rose rapidly there, and was made governor of Attica, in which post he died. He was one of the most interesting men I ever knew.

Spain, too, exiled her best men, many of whom I knew. General Alava was among these, and Telesforo Trueba y Cosio, as merry a fellow as Cervantes could have painted. I was introduced to him on his arrival, and him to Galiano, Arguelles, Cayetano Valdez, and others
of his countrymen. Trueba’s mother was an Englishwoman, and he himself spoke and wrote English well. He composed a play which was successful, called “The Exquisites.” He also wrote several novels, out of the first and one of the best he was cheated by the bookseller, who took care to fail at the moment of the publication. He had contrived to secure some part of his property beyond the reach of the Spanish sovereign,
Ferdinand VII., whom we restored to Spain and the Holy Virgin, and who proved so ungrateful to us. Trueba used to retire to Richmond for a few weeks, and there write a novel which brought a fair return. I found him there one day in a room looking into a garden, at a table covered with books and half finished manuscripts, the odour of the flowers without wafted into the apartment rendering it a delicious retreat. He stole away to town to see Lord Holland, the first person he knew in London, and had not else been tempted to leave his work for six weeks, it was all work or all play with him. He took his exercise on the hill, and described his heroines from the pretty faces he saw there, where sometimes he got a little conversation. When his work was finished he went to town, read the proofs for the press, and remained idle until a working fit come again. He was a good-natured man, somewhat of a beau. Frazer’s Magazine had at one time caricatures of living characters, principally of literary men, and one of them was my Spanish friend, looking at the rings on his fingers while dancing. We are apt to attribute a gravity to the Spaniards which by no means attaches to their general character. The women appear much graver than the
men. The first with whom I had any acquaintance was a Basque, in the South of France. She was a fine stout, tall, athletic woman, as different from a dark-eyed Andalusian as possible, while I have been acquainted with others as fair as English women or those of Picardy. I believe the women of Spain differ from each other in appearance more than the men.

“I perceive,” said Trueba, “that real heroes or heroines are not to the English taste, a man simply virtuous or vicious does not suit in a novel, whether he be of high or low rank. You must give something striking, no matter how vile the character, and as to plot you have still less trouble. I do not mind the critics because yours are guided by the interest of the bookseller in newspapers, there his advertisements react. I always begin the first and second volumes tolerably well. The first is partly read by the critic, and the second serves for extracts to show that the critic has read into it. As for the ‘Edinburgh’ and ‘Quarterly’ they do not meddle with small writers like myself.”

I told him he had got a tolerably correct view of things after so short a residence in London. He insisted that on the continent they were much more conscientious in their criticism than they were in England, which I believe to be true. Literary men form there more a class of themselves, and stand more by the principles of their profession. I have thought a new leaf should be turned over in this respect. Trueba returned to Madrid and became secretary to the Cortes under Espartero’s ministry, took a journey to Paris on business, and died there in the prime of life. There was always
a sale for new works at that time. The professors of that craft, which
Quevedo tells us is damned for the sins of others, were always ready enough to subject themselves to the responsibility. At a later period it is probable that the sins “of others” need not be placed in the balance, their own account would be sufficient. By this demand for novels, several of the exiles of that time were enabled to profit; and for some of them destitute of funds this was fortunate. The list of those thus banished by the efforts of England or her allies, to restore the whole system of government in the different European states, comprized individuals of the greatest merit and most distinguished talent in their respective countries. It was late in the day before our rulers would see that the old system of things had for ever departed, to which these individuals had been sacrificed.