LORD  BYRON  and  his  TIMES
Documents Biography Criticism

The Autobiography of William Jerdan
Ch. 4: Coleridge

Vol. I. Front Matter
Ch. 1: Introductory
Ch. 2: Childhood
Ch. 3: Boyhood
Ch. 4: London
Ch. 5: Companions
Ch. 6: The Cypher
Ch. 7: Edinburgh
Ch. 8: Edinburgh
Ch. 9: Excursion
Ch. 10: Naval Services
Ch. 11: Periodical Press
Ch. 12: Periodical Press
Ch. 13: Past Times
Ch. 14: Past Times
Ch. 15: Literary
Ch. 16: War & Jubilees
Ch. 17: The Criminal
Ch. 18: Mr. Perceval
Ch. 19: Poets
Ch. 20: The Sun
Ch. 21: Sun Anecdotes
Ch. 22: Paris in 1814
Ch. 23: Paris in 1814
Ch. 24: Byron
Vol. I. Appendices
Scott Anecdote
Burns Anecdote
Life of Thomson
John Stuart Jerdan
Scottish Lawyers
Sleepless Woman
Canning Anecdote
Southey in The Sun
Hood’s Lamia
Murder of Perceval
Vol. II. Front Matter
Ch. 1: Literary
Ch. 2: Mr. Canning
Ch. 3: The Sun
Ch. 4: Amusements
Ch. 5: Misfortune
Ch. 6: Shreds & Patches
Ch. 7: A Character
Ch. 8: Varieties
Ch. 9: Ingratitude
Ch. 10: Robert Burns
Ch. 11: Canning
Ch. 12: Litigation
Ch. 13: The Sun
Ch. 14: Literary Gazette
Ch. 15: Literary Gazette
Ch. 16: John Trotter
Ch. 17: Contributors
Ch. 18: Poets
Ch 19: Peter Pindar
Ch 20: Lord Munster
Ch 21: My Writings
Vol. II. Appendices
The Satirist.
Authors and Artists.
The Treasury
Morning Chronicle
Chevalier Taylor
Foreign Journals
Vol. III. Front Matter
Ch. 1: Literary Pursuits
Ch. 2: Literary Labour
Ch. 3: Poetry
‣ Ch. 4: Coleridge
Ch 5: Criticisms
Ch. 6: Wm Gifford
Ch. 7: W. H. Pyne
Ch. 8: Bernard Barton
Ch. 9: Insanity
Ch. 10: The R.S.L.
Ch. 11: The R.S.L.
Ch. 12: L.E.L.
Ch. 13: L.E.L.
Ch. 14: The Past
Ch. 15: Literati
Ch. 16: A. Conway
Ch. 17: Wellesleys
Ch. 18: Literary Gazette
Ch. 19: James Perry
Ch. 20: Personal Affairs
Vol. III. Appendices
Literary Poverty
Ismael Fitzadam
Mr. Tompkisson
Mrs. Hemans
A New Review
Debrett’s Peerage
Procter’s Poems
Poems by Others
Poems by Jerdan
Vol. IV. Front Matter
Ch. 1: Critical Glances
Ch. 2: Personal Notes
Ch. 3: Fresh Start
Ch. 4: Thomas Hunt
Ch. 5: On Life
Ch. 6: Periodical Press
Ch. 7: Quarterly Review
Ch. 8: My Own Life
Ch. 9: Mr. Canning
Ch. 10: Anecdotes
Ch. 11: Bulwer-Lytton
Ch. 12: G. P. R. James
Ch. 13: Finance
Ch. 14: Private Life
Ch. 15: Learned Societies
Ch. 16: British Association
Ch. 17: Literary Characters
Ch. 18: Literary List
Ch. 19: Club Law
Ch. 20: Conclusion
Vol. IV. Appendix
Gerald Griffin
W. H. Ainsworth
James Weddell
The Last Bottle
N. T. Carrington
The Literary Fund
Letter from L.E.L.
Geographical Society
Baby, a Memoir
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By numbers here from shame or censure free,
All crimes are safe hut hated poverty.
This, only this, the rigid law pursues,
This, only this, provokes the snarling muse—
This mournful truth is everywhere confess’d,
Slow rises worth by poverty depress’d:
But here more slow where all are slaves to gold,
Where looks are merchandise, and smiles are sold.

About this time I became acquainted with Mr. Coleridge, who was then residing with his stanch friend, Mr. Gillman, at Highgate; and on many occasions enjoyed the pleasure of his social conversation, I was going to say, but it must be called what it was, most eloquent outpourings, de totidem rebus et quibusdem aliis. I am not aware that I am yet overtaken by the foible of garrulous old age; but in my earlier years and prime I know I was accounted an excellent conversationalist, chiefly because I was an excellent listener, and also for a certain knack I had of drawing out the lions of the company. Thus by exposing, or rather immolating myself, by provoking Hook, I could always pitch him into the right key; and with Coleridge, by throwing in some
extraneous vagary, I rarely failed to divert him into other topics from any dissertation which was becoming too far prolonged or too metaphysical. Coleridge gave lectures full of glowing ideas and glorious imagery; but they did not contribute much of the aurum palpabile; and yet he was wonderfully enthusiastic about them. A gentleman who had heard him “discourse” a number of years before, repeated a passage which had made a strong impression, and dwelt upon his memory; and Coleridge’s delight was measureless. His countenance gleamed with ecstacy, and his large grey eye filled with tears of exultation. It was curious to witness the extraordinary effect of so trifling an incident; but I have heard him relate the anecdote and repeat the passage many times as the highest compliment ever paid to him.*

At this time I also formed my earliest intimacy with the Rev. T. Frognall Dibdin, with whom I had a great deal of after literary intercourse, though he called me a “Dandy Reviewer” for what I wrote on his “Bibliomaniacal Tour.” At first it was at the height of the Bibliomaniac time; but for many years there was much of agreeable and instructive matter to be found in communion with devotees to the famous Roxburghe Club.† and I reaped great benefit from their society. For amid the stores of ancient literature,

* See note, Appendix B.

† “Among other efforts to improve the “Gazette,” I endeavoured to obtain the Roxburghe Reprints for analysis and description, but the plan was not thoroughly effected. There was rather an inclination in favour of it among the members, and Mr. Freeling wrote to me about taking great care of the books, adding:—“I could not contribute beyond general co-operation. Mr. Markland, of the Temple, is one of the most erudite of our members, and a most excellent man; if we could obtain but a small portion of his attention to your object, it would be invaluable.” Mr. Markland, to whom this just tribute is paid, is still honourably zealous and distinguished in the cause of literature, and national education and improvement.

mixed with a considerable portion of rubbish, and covered in by heaps of nonsense, which posterior science and intelligence have dissipated into thin air, there are nevertheless treasures of mind and gems of genius well worthy of extraction, and which all the boast of later illumination cannot surpass. Insulated, these recoveries from the past are of infinite interest; but considered consecutively, tracing from causes to effects in every branch of human knowledge, they are of inestimable value to the lover and searcher after truth. With such gravities in view, I certainly could never feel Dibdinian transports when I might rescue from oblivion a performance like that preserved by Regnault above three hundred years ago, ex. gr.

Dauid was enamoured of Dersa
bee. In the bathe whan he her se.
Dauid, his lust to optayn,
Made Vrye to be slayn.
Dauid by Nathan beynge re
p[re]ued. Peccaui sayd sore greued.
Dauid promised to Bersa
bee. Solomon to be Kyng of

Every “rage” has its day. People do not fall into raptures with such things now, and can hardly credit the passion for old books, which, truly, burnt so fiercely that it could not be otherwise than soon extinguished, or, at least, so far moderated as to subside into a rational and useful pursuit. Several of the associations since framed on nearly similar principles have reprinted very curious works at large individual expense; and it may also be observed that whatever of public interest can be ascribed to such bodies as the Surtees, Camden, Shakspere, Percy, Hackluyt, &c., are to
be traced to this first example. Breaking the ice is a great matter, and without claiming more for the “
Literary Gazette” than I am justly entitled to attribute to its friends and contributors at all times from this, its very commencement, I may say that it broke the ice in many an important quarter, and let in fresh streams of science, arts, and literature to the national pastures. Already had it broached the subject of cruelty to animals, and advocated the measures which have since been adopted and are now humanely acted upon. In its infancy, after denouncing the sin of permitting cruelty to insects in children, and other practices which were the initiatives to barbarity and the inductions to ruthless crime, I recorded the bequest of 600l. by a Worcestershire gentleman, M. T. Ingram, of Tickwell (be his name honoured), who had followed the course recommended just a year before by the “Literary Gazette,” and provided that an annual sermon should be preached by a clergyman in Birmingham to encourage and enforce humane treatment towards all dumb creatures. The passage which suggested this ran as follows:—“If people do these things in ignorance, it is quite time they should be set right. The relative duty we owe to God’s creatures might well become a part of education; and it would greatly credit the humanity of any individual who would bequeath a sum for an annual sermon, or sermons, on the subject of the duty of mercy, and the sin of cruelty to animals.” Often in future years was the same text dilated upon, and not without grateful fruits; and I refer to the operation of such efforts of the periodical press, not only with some selfsatisfaction, but as a suggestion to the entire body of journalism, with all its powers for good or evil, how much even the humblest may effect towards the welfare of mankind by striking and harping upon the true chords of
Christian and moral obligation, which almost invariably excite the desired and desirable responses in strange quarters and virtuous bosoms previously unknown and undreamed of. If, on similar grounds and for similar reasons, I may hereafter assume a credit to the “Gazette” for taking a lead in various propositions and plans for progressive improvement, I trust it will not be ascribed to vanity; but, if it is, I can only assert that it is the vanity of truth and indubitably due to the publication; and further, that it can do no harm by showing what may be done by every Paper, of any influence, which endeavours faithfully to fulfil its proper mission.

And this statement brings me to another point, which I touch upon with diffidence; because I am afraid it may seem like setting up my own work and period as superior to others and the present time by comparison, whereas I mean to observe upon it, solely, as a general issue. The fact is, that I do not think the literary division of the press has advanced, as most other intellectual pursuits have done since those days. It does not appear to me that so much pains is bestowed; but rather, that a sort of habitual off-handedness, or carelessness, has crept in, and tries to stand for honest labour; and that, indeed, it passes, like base coin, in many directions for that sterling! In the class to which the “Gazette” led the way, there is probably on the whole more of influence, but there is neither the same concentration nor interest. Too much competition crowds and confuses the multitude of readers, and the old imperfections remain; for the necessity for haste and rapidity must always be disadvantageous; and, when coupled with the want of essential qualities and skilful combinations, can only give shams to the public, instead of productions at all worthy of favourable notice even within the temporary sphere of
their ephemeral existence. The exceptions are not very numerous; but there are talents and ability displayed in them, and occasionally in their less popular contemporaries, which might fear no juxta-position with the most celebrated of our classic Essayists, from
Addison to Johnson. It is the “whole” that is unsatisfactory: furnishing so many mouthfuls and so few bellyfuls—the latter being the exceptions.

At page 236 of my preceding volume, I enumerated a batch of poets who liberally contributed their delightful effusions to enrich my columns, and most of them first “imped their wings” in the little weekly temple which they (writers and columns) supported. Among these was Ismael Fitzadam, in whose fate I afterwards took a very deep interest. His introduction to me was anonymous, as will be seen from the following note:—


“Philo-Nauticus* presents his compliments to the Editor of the ‘Literary Gazette,’ and begs leave to ask whether his last letter, stating that Fitzadam was on his way to London, and expressing a wish to introduce him, has been duly received. Fitzadam has since arrived; but, as the usual courtesy of acknowledgment to correspondents has not appeared, P. N. is naturally led to infer, either that his letter has been mislaid, or that he has perhaps carried his officiousness on behalf of depressed genius to the point of intrusion, in which latter case, however mortifying at this moment, a due sense of delicacy would compel him to spare the editor further trouble. If, however, P. N. only deceives

* Afterwards made himself known as Mr. H. Nugent Bell, whose celebrated research into the Huntingdon Peerage, made him as high an authority in genealogical cases as Sir Harris Nicolas was as his successor in practice.

himself, be will be glad to have the honour of an interview at the Editor’s convenience.”

Soon after was published “The Harp of the Desert,” a fine and spirited poem, descriptive of the battle of Algiers, of which I quote here but a dozen lines in proof of its beauty and power. The terrible bombardment ensues, and

Zis to his banks in terror clings,
And Zilif of the seventy springs,
While the roused lion, basking nigh,
Lists—snuffs the peal,—and roars reply.

This is splendid imagery, and what follows is eloquent and grand.

To eastward, far along the wave,
The wild-fig green upon her grave,
Perchance, old Carthage at the sound,
Started from sleep of years profound—
Rest, dust of greatness! Ages gone,
Beneath thy narrow, nameless stone!
From brand of foemen rest thou free,—
Fallen, fallen, is Scipio’s Rome like thee!

Twelve lines, combining Scott and Byron more remarkably together, and yet breathing so much of the author’s originality, could not be quoted in the English language; but I must bring this notice to a close, and relate the brief and hapless “glory” which is the fate of too many a bard, and speedily illumined the tomb of poor Fitzadam.

I exerted myself a good deal to accomplish something that would be beneficial to the sailor poet, not inferior to the Falconer of Shipwreck fame, but without success. I had not sufficient interest at the Admiralty now, being only literary and not political, and with the patrons of literature,
Dr. Johnson absurdly called them,* I could effect no arrangement of even hopeful promise.

Time wore slowly yet rapidly on, and was marked in its progress by the following letter:—

“10, Royal Terrace, Adelphi, Strand,
21st Nov., 1820.
Mr Dear Sir,

“Addressing you at last in propriâ persona on a subject, to which I have so often before called your attention, under the nom de guerre, or rather de mer, of Philo-Nauticus, I really do not well know what terms of apology to use in reference to my multiplied trespasses, or of acknowledgment, when I consider the truly liberal feeling evinced by you on the occasion. But would I not wrong that generous feeling by attempting excuses for making you a party to an act of humanity towards unfriended talent, or even thanking you for your ready co-operation? And is it not better at once to turn over to you the original cause of all, Fitzadam himself, who, Bellerophon-like perhaps, is the bearer of this. On him, therefore, let fall your ‘horrible pleasure.’ I have delayed for several days past in the hope of finding a leisure hour to accompany him; but my avocations and studies are so pressing on the one hand, and my impatience that he should be known to you so great on the other, that I have adopted the plan of writing with him

* The doctor’s compliment must have been paid either in one of his dogmatic moods, or from a desire to conciliate the good offices of the trade for the future. It could not be from feelings of gratitude for the patronage bestowed by the booksellers upon himself: for the publishers, at that time, were nearly all vulgar turn-pennies, ignorant of the nature of the goods in which they dealt, and not half so skilful in their way as butchers, who are knowing patrons of sheep and oxen, or poulterers, who are the patrons of turkeys, geese, and fowls—educated at cattle shows, and by their own gustativeness! A much superior order now prevails; though difficult enough to deal with.

for the present. I will, however, have the pleasure of seeing you shortly on the subject, as well as on that of
my own book, of which I am preparing a second edition, with additional embellishments, and which perhaps you may deem not unworthy of a brief notice in due time. Mr. Fitzadam is apprised of the circumstance of our correspondence, and of your liberal exertions on his behalf, and to him I must refer you for any desired information. I am satisfied you will advise him (novice as he is in these matters) as to the best means of profiting by his published as well as his forthcoming poems. I am afraid this ill-chosen publisher (Whitmore) has been infected with his own indifference.

Perhaps in other and more active hands we might help him to fight his ‘battle over again,’ in a new edition, and this recommending him to the notice of the Admiralty and the public at large, succeed in rescuing him from that state of precarious dependence, so galling to the spirit, and so fatal to the efforts of genius.

“I remain, my dear Sir,
“Your obliged and faithful servant,
W. Jerdan, Esq.

I need scarcely state that my personal intercourse with the author intensely deepened the concern I felt for his future welfare. I redoubled my efforts, and at last procured the publication by Mr. Warren of his “Lays on Land” in the season of 1821. In a characteristic preface—at first playful, but soon lapsing into the language of the heart, he speaks of his venture—“His present course is far from being one of choice. In an assemblage of unconnected, occasional trifles, composed and brought together as these now offered to the public have been—the writer’s acquaint-
ance with social life very limited, and his topics, therefore, arising almost solely from personal feeling and accidental impulse,—there would be a monotony and a meagreness abundantly sufficient to correct an author’s prepossessions and hopes, if he had allowed himself to form any. Of this he could not easily be unconscious; and much more willingly would he have postponed the experiment, and continued, on his natural element, to drudge on in a service, to which he was attached from principle, and on the altar of whose latest triumph [‘
The Battle of Algiers’] he had laid an exulting and honest, but rude and unacknowledged offering [‘The Harp of the Desert’]. But he was literally driven on shore, and that too very much in the circumstances of a man shipwrecked on an unknown island—
Quench’d in a boggy syrtus, neither sea
Nor good dry land, nigh founder’d on he fares.—Milton.”

He goes on to confess, that, casting about for some provisional expedient, he seeks by this work to “contrive some sort of temporary bower under which he might haply find shelter and repose till Providence would enable him to improve his precarious condition by further discovery and acquaintance with the natives of this, to him, new world.” Oh, frail and breaking reed—none but a poet could lie blind to the dark and not distant horizon.

Mr. Warren was at that time inclined to be enterprising in publishing, and did more justice to the volume than was done by the obscure publisher of its precursor. And the poems were worthy of a better fate; the sailor sung the “Soldier’s Grave.”
Spared mid much storm, where few are spared,
Nor scathless yet when all was dared,
What battle left, the soldier bore
Homeward, and hail’d his native shore,
Hail’d it and wept—but could no more—
Type of his own doom, and apparently anticipated; for in sadness he wails—
Another day is gone, the sun’s i’ the sea—
Seal’d with the stern, irrevocable past,
One life-sand more is down—and so till the last
Melts in the mass of round eternity.
Oh, life! Thy thriftless suns pass over me,
As o’er the herbless and unwater’d waste,
Smote with eternal barrenness and blast—
The malediction of the Scripture tree
Is on me—or if such mass make sign
Of summer, ’tis as some forgotten grave
Which brings forth nought of blade or blossom, save
Rank, bitter weeds—would even such grave were mine!
For this slow rotting of the spirit here
Makes death itself a thing most wish’d and dear.
This sonnet has more of the outpouring of a broken spirit, than the finer polish of poetry; and the
Lays, in regard to that quality, are much superior, but still all more distinguished by the matter than the manner. The mourning for others, or even for past sufferings in oneself, may (without imputing a decline of genuine sympathies) be elaborated with all the art, and touched with the tenderest strokes of composition; but the grief which preys upon the withering soul, without a ray of hope to soften the past or gild the future, is hardly susceptible of poetic refinement, though awfully “suggestive” of poetic murmurings in the unstudied, deep, low tones of nature.

Almost exactly two years after this last literary effort, in the sweet summer radiance and floral beauty of June (1823), John Macken, for such was his name, the eldest son of Mr. Macken, of Brookeborough, slept the sleep of “round eternity” in his native Ireland, whither he had retired from London with his crushed aspirations. The “Erne Packet,” or “Enniskillen Chronicle,” of which he was the joint editor and originator, communicated the news of his
death; and I had to experience the sad reflection that my humble exertions to extricate him from the gripe of misfortune had been partly defeated by his honest pride and sense of independence even in the midst of the severest distress. Many of his contributions were in friendly gratitude contributed to the “
Gazette;” and to the Irish paper during the brief period he lent all the wealth of his genius in prose and verse. Ill health, the consequence of disappointment in the service he loved, and in his literary career, interfered with larger, and, perhaps, more remunerative undertakings; for which his classical attainments and social qualities might well have fitted him—for the sailor bard* to the ingenuousness of his profession and disposition, added the pleasing manners of a gentleman and the intelligence of a cultivated mind. He was the imaginary being he sung in the “Mariner” (see “Literary Gazette,” No. 190), and in the “Harp of the Desert:—
A pilgrim of the harp was he,
With half a heart for chivalry;
The lone, the marvellous, the wild,
Had charm’d his spirit, man and child;
* * * *
His was indeed such wayward doom
As seldom ’gainst man’s sin is hurl’d:
His horoscope was dash’d with gloom,
His cloud came with him to the world,
And clipp’d him round, and weigh’d him down,
A deep, revokeless, malison.

L. E. L.” embalmed his memory in a touching monody. After lauding the heroic—

* I had supposed him a native of Leith, but was mistaken; and from recent inquiries, which Mr. John Barrow, of the Admiralty, has had the kindness to make for me, I believe that he served literally as a common sailor at the battle of Algiers.

Then paused I o’er some sad wild notes,
Sweet as the spring-birds’ lay withal,
Telling of hopes and feelings past,
Like stars that darken’d in their fall!

* * * * *
Pour forth thy fervid soul in song—
There are some who may praise thy lays;
But of all earth’s dim vanities,
The very earthliest is praise.

* * * * *
And he; what was his fate, the bard,
He of the Desert harp, whose song
Flow’d freely, wildly as the wind
That bore him and his harp along?
That fate which waits the gifted one,
To pine, each finer impulse check’d;
At length to sink, and die beneath
The shade and silence of neglect.
And this the polish’d age that springs
The Phoenix from dark years gone by,
That blames and mourns the past, yet leaves
Her warrior and her bard to die.
To die in poverty and pride,
The light of hope and genius past,
Each feeling wrung, until the heart
Could bear no more, and broke at last.
Thus withering amid the wreck
Of sweet hopes, high imaginings,
What can she minstrel do, but die,
Cursing [quære, blessing] his too-beloved strings!
The infatuation and the dream is o’er, and this my tribute may be the last that is paid to the memory of one who deserved a happier destiny and a brighter fame.*

Carrington, of Dartmoor fame, was another of my esteemed contributors at this period, and of him too I

* In the Appendix C, will be found some further illustration of Fitzadam and his premature and hapless fate.

have only a tale of enduring suffering and unrepining patience to tell.

These were poets in a high sense of the name, and to me they were but types of their order—uncherished, unfortunate; I was witness to their sad destinies, to their neglect and their sinking—I lamented them as a brother would a brother’s loss, and yet I am reproached for maintaining my firm opinion that the genius and literature of England do not hold their due place in the national system.

My old and still living friend, Mr. Thomas Gaspey, who commenced his literary career about 1809 as a fellow reporter with me and Mr. Henry Watts on the “Morning Post,” and was now connected with the “Courier,” also adorned my pages with some of both his touching and genre compositions in which he was so ready and felicitous: as I believe he is to the present day. Lines of his to a child, so early as 1817 (“Literary Gazette,” p. 104), afford a pleasing idea of his fancy in domestic description and moral lesson; but I was now more intent upon negotiating the publication of his novel of “Calthorpe” with Mr. Murray, and procuring Mr. Gifford’s opinion of its merits.

Has any body, who reads this, ever had any experience of what it is to treat with a publisher for the publication of a new work by a little known author? If they do, they may skip a page or two; if they do not, they may go with me in the present case,—one of my thousand and one tales of oral uncertainties, delays, and disappointments. On my return from the coast, a note from Mr. Gaspey says—

“ * * Have you heard from Gifford or Murray? Nearly eight months have passed since the novel was sent, and I think you will agree with me that they use me very ill, if they are not now prepared to give their answer. May I
request you, (with the least possible delay consistent with your own convenience), to insist on their coming to a decision or returning the work. Should a few weeks be suffered to pass away, I shall again be told that the season is too far advanced.”

I pressed, of course, for I was already aware what authors endure under doubtful circumstances and hopes and fears, though nothing like what I have since known; and my success may be gathered from the next epistle of my anxious friend:—

“I enclose a note for the purpose of being shown (if you think fit) to Murray. Let me press on you the expediency of insisting on a termination being put to the painful uncertainty of which I (and you, from sympathy,) have long had to complain.”

From the next it would seem that all my urging was vain and of non-effect, for Mr. Gaspey writes me—

“I have waited with anxious impatience for the intelligence which you promised to bring me. It grieves me to claim your interference in my affairs, as I know your time must be pretty well occupied with your own, but as I am placed in my present awkward situation by your friendly attempt to serve me, and cannot act for myself, I know you will excuse it. M. and G., I think, ought now to be told (if they continue to trifle) that they treat the author with cruelty, and his friend’s recommendation of him with contempt, and I really feel that this is what we ought to submit to no longer. I am sick of the delay, and am the more annoyed by it as I am wearied to death by the importunities of the poor old gentleman who has an interest
in the work, and who, I believe, suspects that I do not trouble myself about the matter. Put an end, I pray you, in some way to this state of things.”

I fortunately got the manuscript back! And this is a sample of the book-trade, almost so common as to make all other courses, except immediate rejection, merely exceptions to the rule. In the ensuing year, Messrs. Longman &, Co. were induced to run the risk of “Calthorpe,” which turned out a moderately successful work, the successor of the “Mystery,” and the precursor of the “Lollards,” the “Witchfinder,” and others from the same pen, which all met with a fair share of popularity, but no large share of profit to the writer’s purse.

But why expect that? As it was in elder days, was then, is now, and probably ever will be, ex necessitate rei. The manuscript of “Robinson Crusoe” was bandied through the whole trade, and no one would print it; till at last a bookseller, not remarkable for his discernment, but rather noted for a speculative turn, bought the work for a trifle, and made a thousand guineas by it. How many thousands have been gained by it since? Burns’Justice,” was disposed of by its author for a very small sum, and Buchan’sDomestic Medicine,” was sold on like terms. Immense incomes have been realised by the publishers on both. “The Vicar of Wakefield,” that delicious novel, brought its author a few pounds; Miss Burney’sEvelina” obtained five guineas; the first is a fertile source of revenue to this day; the last cleared a very large amount within a few years. Dr. Johnson’sRasselas” was sadly, though not so much disproportioned; but he fixed the price of his “Lives of the Poets” at the proud sum of two hundred guineas, and in the course of twenty-five years the publisher
made five thousand by it. “
Thinks I to Myself,” was rejected by all the booksellers in town; and Dickens’sPickwick” had great difficulty in obtaining a publisher.

Nathless, the pleasure of being baffled and tossed to and fro must, somehow or other, enhance the enjoyment of literary pursuits. For the same ardour continues, the same perseverance prevails, and the same hope never dies—till the death of the aspirant, when hope and he are buried in one grave.

A being lost alike by pain or joy!
A fly can kill it, or a worm destroy!
Inspired by labour, and by ease [not its own] undone,
Commenced in tears and ended in a groan.—Broome.