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The Autobiography of William Jerdan
James Thomson to William Cranstoun, [September 1725]

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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“‘Dear Sir,

“‘I would chide you for the slackness of your correspondence; but having blamed you wrongeously last time, I shall say nothing ’till I hear from you, which I hope will be soon.

“‘Ther’s a little business I would communicate to you, befor I come to the more entertaining part of our correspondence.

“‘I’m going (hard task!) to complain, and beg your assistance. When I came up here I brought very little along w’ me; expecting some more, upon the selling of Widehope, which was to have been sold that day my mother was buried, now ’tis unsold yet, but will be disposed of, as soon as it can be conve-
niently done: tho’ indeed ’tis perplex’d w’ some difficulties. I was a long time here living att my own charges, and you know how expensive that is; this together with my furnishing of myself wt cloaths, linnens, one thing and another to fitt me for any business of this nature here, necessarly oblig’d me to contract some debt, being a stranger here, ’tis a wonder how I got any credit, but, I can’t expect ’twill be long sustained; unless I immediately clear it. even now I believe it is at a crisis. My friends have no money to send me, till the land is sold: and my creditors will not wait till then. You know what the consequence would be. Now the assistance I would beg of you, and which I know if in your power you won’t refuse me, is, a letter of credit on some merchant, banker, or such like person in London, for the matter of twelve pounds, ’till I get the money upon the selling of the land which I’m, att last, certain off, if you could either give me it yourself, or procure it; tho’ you don’t owe it to my merit, yet, you owe it to your own nature, which I know so well as to say no more on the subject; only allow me to add, that when I first fell upon such a project (the only thing I have for it in present circumstances) knowing the selfish inhumane temper of the generality of the world; you were the first person that offer’d to my thoughts, as one, to whom I had the confidence to make such an address.

“‘Now I imagine you seized wt a fine, romantic kind of melancholy, on the fading of the year, now I figure you wandering, philosophical, and pensive, amidst the brown, wither’d groves: while the leaves rustle under your feet, the sun gives a farewell parting gleam, and the birds
‘Stir the faint note and but attempt to sing;’
then again when the heavns wear a more gloomy aspect; the winds whistle, and the waters spout, I see you in the well-known cleugh beneath the solemn arch of tall thick embowring trees, listning to the amusing lull of the many steep, moss-grown cascades, while deep, divine contemplation, the genius of the place, prompts each swelling awful thought. I’m sure you would not resign your part in that scene att an easy rate, none
e’er enjoy’d to the height you do, and you’re worthy of it. ther I walk in spirit, and disport in its beloved gloom. This country I am in is not very entertaining, no variety but that of woods, and them we have in abundance, but where is the living stream? the airy mountain? and the hanging rock? with twenty other things that elegantly please the lover of nature? Nature delights me in every form, I am just now painting her in her most lugubrious dress; for my own amusement, describing winter, as it presents itself after my first proposal of the subject,
‘I sing of winter & his gelid reign
Nor let a rhyming insect of the spring
Deem it a barren theme, to me ’tis fall
Of manly charms; to me who court the shade,
Whom the gay seasons suit not, and who shun
The glare of summer. Welcome! kindred glooms!
Drear awfull, wintry horrors, welcome all &c.’
After this introduction, I say, which insists for a few lines further I prosecute the purport of the following ones
‘Nor can I O departing summer! choose
But consecrate one pitying line to you;
Sing your last tempr’d days, and sunny calms,
That cheer the spirits and serene the soul.’
Then terrible floods, and high winds that usually happen about this time of the year, and have already happen’d here (I wish you have not felt them too dreadfully) the first produced the enclosed lines; the last are not completed.
Mr. Rickleton’s poem on Winter, which I still have, first put the design into my head, in it are some masterly strokes that awaken’d me. being only a present amusement, ’tis ten to one but I drop it whene’er another fancy comes cross.

“‘I believe it had been much more for your entertainment, if in this letter I had cited other people instead of myself: but I must refer that ’till another time. If you have not seen it already, I have just now in my hands an original of Sr Alexander Brands (the craz’d scots knight wt the woful countenance) you would relish. I belive it might make mis John catch hold of his knees, which I take in him to be a degree of mirth, only inferiour, to falling back again with an elastic spring ’tis very
. . . . . * printed in the evening Post: so perhaps you have seen these panegyrics of our declining bard; one on the Princesses birth day, the other on his Majesty’s in † . . . . . cantos; they’re written in the spirit of a complicated craziness.

“I was in London lately a night; and in the old play house saw a comedy acted, called, Love makes a man, or the Fops Fortune, where I beheld Miller and Cibber, shine to my infinite entertainment. in and about London this month of Sept. near a hundred people have dy’d by accident and suicide, there was one blacksmith tyr’d of the hammer, who hang’d himself and left written behind him this concise epitaph
‘I. Joe Pope
liv’d w’out hope
And dy’d by a rope’
or else some epigrammatic muse has bely’d him.

[The following is written upon the margin:—]

“‘Mr. Muir has ample fund for politicks, in the present posture of affairs, as you’ll find by the public news. I should be glad to know that great minister’s frame just now. keep it to yourself. You may whisper it too in Mess John’s ear.—far otherwise is his lately mysterious Br Mt. Tait employed.—Started a superannuated fortune and just now upon the full scent.—’tis comical enough to see him from amongst the rubbish of his controversial divinity and politics furbishing up his antient rusty gallantry

“‘Yours sincerely J. T.

“‘Remember me to all friends. Mr. Rickle, Mis John, Br John, &c.