LORD  BYRON  and  his  TIMES
Documents Biography Criticism

The Autobiography of William Jerdan
Procter’s Poems

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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H. page 232.


“The following is a free translation from the French, a little imperfect I must confess; for a waggish friend of mine maltreated the commencement of it (as far as the chasm) after I had parted with the original composition, and I was consequently obliged to patch his alterations and the remaining fragment together as well as I could.

“The writing came into my hands in the following manner:—As I was taking my chop in Sweetings-alley the other day, I observed that my next neighbour was in some distress, and that it appeared to arise from a pamphlet which he held in his hand. The person was about four feet and-a-half high, had a foreign aspect, and wore a small hat, almost receding to a point at the top, and which seemed altogether supported by the profusion of black, shaggy hair that adorned his head, and the whiskers that adorned his sallow cheeks. After having made a temperate meal off a kidney and a pint of beer (which circumstance I should have attributed to poverty had I not perceived a multitude of gold and silver rings on all his fingers), he wiped his eyes and addressed me. He said that he had the honour of being a Frenchman—that he had experienced the most profound and invincible attachment to Mademoiselle Bias for some years—that he was overwhelmed with sorrow at reading the statements made in M. Waters’ Pamphlet—that although he was penetrated with respect for M. Waters (who, as the head of an establishment wherein ‘artists’ from Italy and France were exclusively employed, must be a gentleman of the first taste), yet he must, it was with regret, but he must, as a native of the Great Nation, do something to wipe off the stigma that would attach to it, if the statements contained in the Pamphlet remained uncontradicted. Those statements he must at present presume arose from mistake, especially those which referred to Mademoiselle
Fanny Bias. He showed, and, indeed, lent me a letter that he had written to her in an idle hour. I turned the commencement of it into rhyme: it has suffered a little, as I stated before.

“I am, Sir,
“Your most obedient servant,

“X. X. X.”
Fanny Bias as Flora—dear creature! you’d swear,
When her delicate feet in the dance twinkle round,
That her steps are of light, and her home is the air,
And she only par complaisance touches the ground.”—
Oh! Med’moiselle Fanny!—Ah, ah! is it so?
Faith, and “His to some tune” you’d be turning your toe—
Methinks you have left your ethereal tent,
Where you dwelt like a nymph—nay, I’m forced to lament
That—Miss Bias—(though still may be lofty her bound)
No longer, “par complaisance, touches the ground;”
But, that when her bright presence she deigns to unfold
To us mortals—we mortals must pay her “in gold.”
But I jest
Oh! my Fanny—and was it for thee,
(The queen of the dance and the Flora of show)
To be like the D——s, or the craving Miss G.
Or that great, bouncing dancing-girl, Madame Le Gros.
Let V—— (who sings like a lord) still disclaim
All “haggling” forsooth, ’cause ’twill sully his fame—
Let the “Buffo, B. C.” in his impudence ask
Fourteen covers” to fatten him fit for his task—
Let the Milanese Miss, and the Lady at Turin
Provoke one, with eight stipulations alluring—
The other with five—but such five—by my life!
It tempts one to wish for Miss T. for a wife.
Away with these o’er-reaching wretches, but you
To mix with the paltry, exorbitant crew!!
I feel “au desespoir:” you were all my delight,
I loved you—I thought you a daughter of light—
Oh! come forward, my love, and the slander deny,
Or begone, like an angel, at once to the sky;
And if you ne’er drop from your dwelling again,
I shall know it was envy that drove you from men.
Till I hear from you, Fanny, I’ll never believe
That I could be cosened, or you could deceive—
Let me hear! and ’till then you shall live in my heart
As tho’, like my destiny, never to part.
If you’re silent I’ll think that you’ve wander’d above,
And there, too, shall wander Pontarlier’s love.
My good wishes shall follow you, darling afar,
And should in the heaven, some beautiful star
Ever flash its pale lustre alone upon me,*
I shall know ’tis the home, sweet, allotted to thee.
Signed, “Louis, Cæsar, Jean, Hector, Pythagore de Pontarlier.”


“I send you some lines on a subject which, after Dryden’s ‘sounding line,’ it may perhaps be deemed presumption to touch. It is, generally speaking, but an indifferent production, which requires explanatory notes. I will hazard one, however, for the benefit of the ‘country gentlemen’ who read your paper, and beg them to observe that by the ‘Master Spirits’ of the time, I mean to allude to the following poets. I will name them in the Order in which they occur in the poem, viz., Byron, Moore, Campbell, Wordsworth, Southey, Coleridge, Scott, and the author of the poem entitled ‘Paris in 1815’ * * * *

Look down, look down, Cecilia!
Where’er thou dwellest—haply seated high
On some bright planet, or erratic star,
(That casts its light irregular)
Sending to darken’d globes unwonted day,
And touching distant spheres with harmony—
Oh, fair and sweet Cecilia!
Now, from thine orb where music takes its birth
And all concenter’d is the world of sound,
Albeit at times there streams around
Soft notes, or bursts of mirth,
(Gladdening the melancholy minds of earth)
Look down and bless this day!

* This assertion may be hazarded with some degree of safety. X. X. X.

Not, as in old times, would I celebrate
Thy powers upon the heart by sound alone;
But class thee with the Muse who lived of yore
(Oh! who could then thy power disown!)
Upon that far and sacred shore,
Where still Parnassus shrouds
His white head in Olympian clouds,
Soaring sublime, and holier from his lonely state.
Greece! Land of my idolatry!
Not all deserted are thy slopes of green;
Altho’ the dull Turk passes by,
Mocking thy beauties with his heavy eye;
And tho’ the Greek no more be seen
Before thy marble altars kneeling,
Where once Apollo from his shrine
Spoke those oracles divine,
Joy, grief, success, or death, to man revealing;
Yet one high Pilgrim on thy green hath trod,
The native of a distant land,
Feeling and breathing all the god—
Within the pure Castalian stream
Fearless he dipp’d his hand,
And carried to a grateful lip,
The water bards alone may sip,
And madden not:—and then Parnassus thee,
And thee soft flowing Castaly,
(Worth both to deck his theme)
And many a long forgotten name
Defrauded of its fame.
He gather’d as he roam’d along,
And weaved the whole within his lofty song.
That song shall live for ever—Oh! and thou,
Cecilia, when thou strik’st the string
May haply deign to sing,
Blending Athenian fame with Harold’s woe;
Thus shall sweet Poesy (a nymph divine)
Mix her wild numbers with thy strain,
And from her prolific brain
Shall pour those high impassion’d words of fire,
Subduing thee to aid her mighty line,
And join thy witching skill to soften or inspire.
Hark! on the wings a note hath gone,
As sad as youthful mother ever sung,
When she in grief hath hung
Over her child, abandon’d and alone—
And now the tones increase
Like Eastern music floating on the air;
And sounds of death seem jarring there,
Wails and low choking tones—then all is peace:
And oh! the mingling of those chords between—
Words such as poets chant are given,
Embodying thoughts that spring like name to heaven.
Still is the bard unseen—
Yet fancy decks him out with laurels green
And Grecian garments as of old;
For lost Leander’s fate he told,
And all his song was of that land,
Sunk beneath a Moslem hand;
Its sea of blue that softly smiles
Clasping the Ægæan’s countless isles;
Its pillars—tombs—its temples—towers,
And oh! its once resistless powers
Fall’n, fall’n, and in decay;
And all its spirit pass’d away.
But now comes one whose blither measure
Tells of love and pleasure,
Crown’d with a rich fantastic wreath,
Whence Asian odours breathe:
Like Anacreon’s self advancing,
See he flings his eyes around,
Bacchantes to his music dancing
By the airy numbers bound.
Now o’er the angry waters of the West
A soft voice, peaceful as the halcyon dove,
Breathes a strain of love;
And as it sounds, the charm’d waves sink to rest:
Beautiful Gertrude! hath thy poet died?
He who from Susquehanna’s side
Drew the sweet tale which all the world admire—
Ah! where is now his buried lyre?
Why is the voice that told of hope to men
Silent? or hath it lost its fire?
Cecilia! bid him touch his lyre again.
There like a hermit, in his mountain home,
One philosophic bard is kneeling—
Along the glittering heaven his glances roam,
And o’er the forest depths and grassy vales
To Skiddaw’s mighty race allied,
(Around whose head the screaming eagle sails,
And builds his lair within their hearts in pride,)
And with the slopes that grace Helvellyn’s side
In deep and speechless feeling
He seems to commune, there, as if alone.
His spirit from that lonely place had caught
The truths which Nature has so long and vainly taught.
And him beside is Roderick’s poet seen
Crown’d with laureate branches green:
And he a wondrous man, who gave away
His prime of life to metaphysic lore,
And the fair promise of his younger day
Abandon’d—for his song is heard no more—
And silent too one poet passes by,
The “bard of ladye love and chivalry,”
The golden violet twines his brow,
But his Northern harp is muffled now;
And if across the wires by chance be flings
His hand—his hand is cold, or mute the strings.
But who is he on whose dark front sublime
Genius hath stamp’d her characters of fire?
Oh! with a mighty hand he sweeps the lyre,
And as the numbers rise on high,
Hark! from a neighbouring clime,
As if to drown his harmony,
Crouching rebellion sends an angry cry—
The strain is changed—and grief usurps the song
Where triumph and prophetic sounds before
Were heard—and anguish deep and suffer’d long
By her who on a foreign shore
Did cast her sorrows in a nation’s arms,
That hushed her dark alarms,
And with a soft and pitying eye
Looked down on her adversity.
Her grief was told in many a lofty line:
But, “Paris,” wherefore stays thy poet now?
Half of the tale remains, and on his brow
The single laurel waits its partner wreath divine.
* * * * * *
Oh! ye master spirits of my time,
Forgive, forgive, that I have dared to talk
Of ye, and in your temple walk,
And trifle with your names or themes sublime.
I am a wanderer on the sacred hill,
And round the humbler slopes at times do stray,
And listen to—Oh! far away—
The music of your own Castalian rill.
If that I counsel yet to speak again,
And yield yourselves to that so holy rage
That doth the poet’s soul engage,
’Tis that ye may not pass those hours in vain
From whence (else haply doomed to harm)
Ye can draw such a charm.
Oh! never let those thoughts and pictured things
(Whether of grief or mirth),
And those remote, mysterious ponderings
Die shapeless at their very hour of birth:
It is the penalty of mighty minds,
(And well may it be borne for fame)
That future ages always have a claim
Upon the poet’s and the patriot’s soul;
And this they whisper on the passing winds
That voiceless by the dull, and poor in spirit roll.
Have I forgot thee, then, sweet maid,
Whom minstrels court and covet for their own?
Thee, to whose slightest tone
My heart its secret vows hath purely paid.
As to thine image on its starry throne—
Like the divinest gifts of poesy,
Are thine—and oh! thy small and fainting notes
(Whether by nightingales, on summer eves
Utter’d from amongst the leaves,
Or from the young larks’ shrill yet silver throats,)
Have powers as great—and as resistless ties
As deeper harmonies—
Throughout the realm one magic sway prevails,
And equal is thy low or loftiest sound.
Whenever it assails,
Obedient to its touch the fine-strung nerves resound.
Farewell! thou sweet Cecilia! yet I may,
On some far-future day,
Again implore thy soft, thy witching aid
(If of the poet’s idlesse then afraid),
And ask thee once again
To leave celestial joys awhile,
And shame the indolence of gifted men
With thy inspiring voice and half reproving smile.

Thou shalt stand
A Deity, sweet woman, and be worshipped!— Ford.
Gone from her cheek is the summer bloom,
And her breath has lost all its faint perfume,
And the gloss hath dropp’d from her golden hair,
And her forehead is pale tho’ no longer fair.
And the spirit that sate on her soft blue eye
Is struck with cold mortality;
And the smile that play’d on her lip hath fled
And every grace hath now left the dead.
Like slaves they obeyed her in height of power
But left her all in her wintry hour:
And the crowds that swore for her love to die,
Shrank from the tones of her last sad sigh:
And this is man’s fidelity.
’Tis woman alone with firmer heart
Can see all those idols of life depart,
And love the more; and soothe and bless
Man in his utter wretchedness.
The western skies are no longer gay,
For the sun of the summer has died away,
Yet left no gloom:
For ere the spirit of heaven went,
He tuned night’s shadowy instrument,
And hung on every leaf perfume.
To each sweet breeze that haunts the world,
And sleeps by day on the rose-leaf curled,
A warmth he gave:
He has left a life in these marble halls
And beauty on yon white waterfalls,
And still at his bidding these dark pines wave.
Rich is the sun with his golden hair,
And his eye is too bright for man to bear:
And when he shrouds
His brow in vapour, and all the west
Strews gold (as ’twould welcome a kingly guest),
He looks like a god on his throne of clouds.
Yet I know an eye as bright as his,
And a smile more soft, and lips of bliss,
Oh! lovelier far:
And an arm as white as the milk-white dove,
And a bosom all warm and rich with love,
And a heart, as the hearts of angels are!
She listens now to my wild guitar,
And she hides her behind yon lattice bar;
(A girl’s delight.)
Yet she never will let me linger long,
But comes and rewards my twilight song,
And treats her love with—a kiss by night
Listen! from the forest boughs
The voice, like angel of the spring,
Utters his sweet vows
To the proud rose blossoming.
And now beneath thy lattice, dear,
I am like the bird complaining,
Thou above (I fear),
Like the rose disdaining.
From her chamber in the skies
Shouts the lark at break of morning,
And when daylight flies,
Comes the raven’s warning.
This of gloom and that of mirth,
In their curious numbers tell,
But thoughts of sweeter birth
Teacheth the nightingale.
Oh! thou delightful soul of poetry!
That ever mortals should contemptuous glance
On thy divinest dreamings. What a trance
Had they who wrote high books of chivalry,
And those pure tales Italian! Some did lie
Half slumbering on the “shores of old romance,”
And saw by the moonlight tiny spirits dance—
Some held strange converse with the talking winds,
Or shouted to the foaming cataracts,
And hence drew thoughts that shall not pass away.
And some there were who (these were mighty minds)
Gave a bright perpetuity to facts,
Which else had perished. From such labours they
Found joy and yielded it—and so may I.
Quick, quick—the uncorked Bacchus gushes!
See how the crimson devil rushes
Through the narrow neck to life!
See! what blushing bubbling strife
Springs from years of cellar’d quiet—
Come, let’s vanquish this red riot:
Let’s drink down the fragrant fever.
This is no soda—weak deceiver,
Sparkling round a tasteless rim:
’Tis rich madness to the brim.
It is wit—’tis wealth—’tis wine—
Champaign liquor—strength divine—
Incense that might kiss the sky—
Rare and ravishing poetry.
Look, sirs, ’twill obscure the moon,
And make the stars sing out of tune.
Drink, oh! rare Olympian stuff;
When shall we ever have enough?
Drink! huzza! the room is turning
Round, and the cat’s green eyes are burning;
And our fat friend there, the vicar,
Languisheth for some more liquor.
Quick, let’s have one more large flask,
Strong as Sampson, boy—we’ll mask
Grief, and Care’s harsh wrinkles, quite
Smooth with this brave red and white.
Now, what’s this? ’Tis Burgundy!
Jove, I know its amorous eye,
Its slender neck, its graceful shape—
Quick, uncork the bottled grape!
Quicker, lest my thirst decay;
Give the imperial creature way.
Ha! this kiss to ease my pain—
This, to cool my fiery brain—
This, because my friends are kind—
This, for that my foes are blind;
May they choke on water diet.
As for me—but let’s be quiet—
Let us leave Champaign to boys,
And drink this calm, which never cloys.
Look! what unpretending liquor;
This will never make us bicker
Like its hot unruly brother,
This—’tis gone—bring out another!
It is yet an age to dawn,
(An hour) our wit is scarcely born.
Bring a dozen. So, what’s this?
Port? No matter; shall we miss
Such a bottle black and bright?
See! ’tis like the flooding night
When the starry darkness glistens,
And the perfumed ether listens
To the mad-brained lover’s wooings,
Heedless of our sober doings.
So have I said—so have I sung
When youth upon my temples hung,
And twenty summers crisped my hair;
But now the shrivell’d bigot, Care,
Hath tied the licence of my tongue,
And turned my locks all silver white;
And that bright hag, the sleepless night,
Hath witch’d my heart, and iced my powers
Thro’ her pale enchanted hours;
My friends are gone, my hopes are fled,
And all my dreaming days are dead!

I am a member of a society consisting of certain distinguished persons, whose manners or merits have raised them above the level of the world. Upon this Society some busy people, who would fain be considered the wits of the day, have thought proper to inflict the absurd title of ‘Dandies.’ This folly gives us but little concern, and we have pretty distinctly traced it to a certain short-sighted elderly gentleman, who was some time since blackballed on an application to be admitted a member of our club. If we are wrong in this idea, we are at least secure in (then) attributing this silly appellation to the envy of some obscure scribbler—possibly some ragged fellow who has been cut by ‘one of us,’ and who has satisfied at once his hunger and his malice by levelling bad jokes at his betters.

You seem, Sir, to have more good nature than many of your contemporary editors, and appear to me to be not altogether unworthy of being admitted into our mysteries. For the gratification of yourself and your readers, you shall know something about us. Our Sect or Society is unquestionably the first and most select in the empire of taste. It is an ‘imperium in imperio,’ as the poet says. Our form of government is an absolute (but not hereditary) monarchy, and our laws are framed as far as possible, according to the strictest letter of courtesy. We number in our list the witty and the most illustrious; no person whose claims to distinction have not been confirmed by the jealous admiration or envious notice of the ‘crowd’ can be admitted a member of the ‘Gentleman’s Club,’ and even then not till he has undergone a certain probation, and cleansing himself from the sins of vulgar heresies.

No oaths are permitted by the laws, though some few excla-
mations, as ‘By Gad,’ ‘Pon hanneur,’ &c, are tolerated in emergencies.

No member is allowed to incur the risk of being stifled by the air east of Temple Bar without special consent (unless he be obliged to go to the Bank for money), and the privilege of being choked, or distended at a city banquet, can only be acquired by ballot. This point, however, is sometimes ceded to the intelligent and illustrious, our society not being destitute of the spirit of discovery, and being really anxious to ascertain all the real gradations between themselves and absolutely savage nature. No person wearing shoes in the morning or boots in the evening can be admitted a member of the Society. The same penalty attaches to those who presume to stare at pretty women without the aid of an eye-glass. Every member, on being admitted into the Society, must forswear the use of some liquid called ‘porter,’ and must abjure also a certain herbaceous plant or grass of disagreeable odour, entitled (I believe) ‘cappage’ or ‘cabbage.’ (This plant, I think, B. once said had been adopted by the State in a season of scarcity, and was afterwards prescribed, as aliment, for tailors.) No person who has smoked tobacco, or drank punch since he came to years of discretion, can possibly be admitted without the most thorough purgation. Bruisers are not admitted, nor coachmen, whether professors or amateurs, though some of the former are retained on the ‘establishment,’ at a liberal salary, to avenge any insult offered to the Society.

Puns and jokes of all sorts are prohibited. In short, there are fifty other regulations equally conducive to mirth and good humour.

Ours is an elective monarchy, and though, as I have said, we number amongst us the most illustrious persons of the time, our choice is never determined without the most severe scrutiny into the habits and character of the candidate. There is now, unhappily, an interregnum with us for poor B., who was elected unanimously and with the expression of a feeling almost to acclamation. The recollection makes me shudder even now he has retired without giving up the sceptre of command. We had hoped to have offered it to a certain distinguished individual who has been labouring with indifferent success for some years to eclipse the rest of mankind in dress. B. however objected
to transfer the sceptre to that gentleman’s hands. It was found necessary, therefore, to resort to a general meeting, in order (by repeating old laws and framing new ones) to relieve us at once from the tenacity of B. I attended the meeting, and the following memoranda (copied from the Secretary’s book) may serve to give you an idea of the manner in which we conduct business.

N.B. It is to be observed that the secretary is not a member. It was intended originally that none but members should be present at our discussions, and that the office of Secretary should be ‘endured in rotation.’ This plan, however, (owing to the indifferent writing of some members, and the bad spelling of others,) was found inconvenient.


“Memoranda made at a general meeting of the ‘Gentleman’s Club,’ held at the Thatched House Tavern on the 9th day of June, 1816.

“The secretary read the requisition for a meeting in order to appoint a president, and in order that the applications of various persons for admission into the Society be taken into consideration.

“The Hon. Mr. S. then rose, and moved that the Society was in want of a head. This was agreed to after an observation by Lord P.—that he ‘really never could see the use of a head.’

“Lieutenant ——, of the ‘Gards,’ moved, rather abruptly, that the weather was insupportable, and that the Society should adjourn to a more convenient season.

“The Duke of —— objected to the disordered state of the Society, &c., and assured the meeting that he thought it much better to exist in hot weather than in hot water (applause).

“A new Member, in a pink waistcoat, suggested, in a low conciliating tone, that any gentleman whose stays should be found oppressive might be at liberty to retire, paying his fine.—Agreed to nem. con.

“The Hon. Mr. S. then moved that the meeting do resolve that the law respecting president be repealed, and forthwith proceed to elect a head!

“The Marquis T. said the title, head, was too extensive; it
comprehended more than suited the views of the Society, and moved by way of amendment that the title ‘Grand Master’ be adopted by the Society.—Agreed to after some discussion.

“The following noblemen and gentlemen were then successively put in nomination for the office of Grand Master of the Society:—

“The Duke of ——.

“Murmurs—a general expression of discontent—no ballot took place. Lord P. (curling his mustachios) swore that was rather too good.

“The Earl of Drum.

“Silence. A member observed at last that the Earl had once been caged all night for breaking lamps!—Lieutenant really could not see the objection (a smile). The Earl was blackballed.

“Lord Viscount ——.

“A general laugh. One member said that his lordship’s spelling was not such as would become a ‘Grand Master.’—Lieutenant ——, in some warmth, protested against such remarks. He considered that the Viscount could spell as well as himself (viz., the Lieutenant); at any rate he knew that his lordship could always spell for himself.—Mr. S. observed that ‘his lordship was in the habit of drinking porter’ at Newmarket, and he played at twopenny whist and brag with the blacklegs.—General symptoms of disgust.—Blackballed.

“Lord George ——.

“A Member said that Lord George was a common author.—Mr. S. admitted that Lord George had been guilty of writing a book; but he contended that as it never sold, no objection could be maintained on that score. One member asserted that the book contained jokes. This was repelled, and the book was referred to for a joke, without success.—Mr. S. said there did not appear to be a ‘mens vivida’ (or disposition to wit) in Lord George, and as he could find nothing particularly ludicrous, excepting only an ‘invocation (by Lord George) to genius,’ he must be acquitted.—Only one blackball.

“Mr. R—.

“The Secretary was desired to request Mr. B. to awake and retire. This was effected with some difficulty, and he was put
in nomination.—A young member, in light blue cossacks, said it would be an eternal disgrace to the Society if it were to nominate a tradesman.—Mr. S. objected to this (good-naturedly), and said that the man was a merchant, and that as he had been admitted a member, he doubted whether Sir ——’s objection would lay.— A member, in a straw-coloured cravat, said that R. was not-awriously in the daily habit of eating ‘cappage.’—A general shrugging of shoulders. (The Secretary here asked whether he should not write ‘cabbage.’ The reply was that it was immaterial.) All the balls were black.

“Here the door-keeper came in, and said that Mr. R. had requested him to ‘go for a pot of porter.’ All the members astonished; one enquired what was the nature of porter? to which his neighbour answered, that he believed it was a medicine used as a palliative or soporific. Mr. S., however, defined it to be ‘an intoxicating beverage, like port, much drank by the lower orders.’ The door-keeper was ordered to retire, and a vote of expulsion passed against Mr. R.

“Mr. S. now said that as several of the honourable members were asleep, he should move to adjourn the meeting sine die.

“Agreed to nem. con.

“Signed, C. H——.

“This is a faithful transcript of the minute-book.

“I had intended to have sent you some characters of our most celebrated members, but I am tired of writing. Perhaps I may resume my pen on some future day.

“I have the honour to be, Sir,
“Yours, &c.