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Henrg W. Sage 


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Cornell University Library 
PR 5453.S8Z5 

James and Horace Smith ...A family narra 

3 1924 013 552 306 

Cornell University 

The original of tliis book is in 
tine Cornell University Library. 

There are no known copyright restrictions in 
the United States on the use of the text. 92401 3552306 

James and Horace Smith 

— ■■ 

' _* ^ ^-^ 

' ■ : **■„ - ' 1 

The Father of James and Horace Smith. 



Horace Smith 


H jfamils IFlarratfve 







All rights reserved. 

EiCHABD Clay & Sons, Limited, 
London & Bungay. 


Very many Smithian " footprints on the sands of 
time " are somewhat faint, but those of James and 
Horace Smith have left a deep and lasting impres- 
sion. The brothers' chief work, Rejected Addresses, 
is, in its way, a classic, declared by so high an 
authority as Lord Jeffrey to indicate a talent to 
which he " did not know where to look for a 

Why, it may be asked, has not a systematic Life 
of James and Horace Smith been published before 
this ? The reason is not far to seek : until now, the 
necessary material has not been available. 

Horace penned a brief memoir of James, as preface 
to a collection of the latter's Comic Miscellanies, pub- 
lished in 1840; and after Horace's death in 1849, 
suggestions were made that a biography of the 
two eminent brothers should be written. But for 
various reasons the family discouraged the idea ; and 


without their co-operation, it could not have been 
accomplished, as the private journals, containing all- 
important data, would have been inaccessible. 

Lapse of time, fortunately, has removed these 
objections ; and through the kindness of a relative 
of the Smith family — Harry Magnus, Esq., of Stone- 
bridge Park, London — these journals have been 
placed at my disposal, and are here made use of 
in the writers' own words, and, as far as possible 

Arthur H. Beavan. 





Introduction — Robert Smith, the father of James and 
Horace — His birth and parentage — Early recollections — 
Education — First poetical effort — Meets "Perdita" — 
Journeys to London — Is articled to an Attorney — Ex- 
periences in London — Sets out for the Continent . . 1 



Eobert Smith in Paris — Goes to Compifegne — Sees 
Louis XV. and Madame du Barry — Sees Louis XV. at 
supper — Follows the Royal Stag-hunt at Compifegne — 
Meets the Corsican General, Paoli — Is admitted as an 
Attorney — His courtship and marriage — Resides at Fen 
Court — Birth of James Smith — Helps Mr. Hanway to 
promote philanthropic institutions, and appeals to David 
Garrick for a Benefit— Attends opening of Free Masons' 
Hall — Removes from Fen Court to Frederick's Place, 
Old Jewry 13 



Birth of Horace Smith— The year 1780— The Lord 
George Gordon Riots — Robert Smith's personal experi- 



ence of them — He is appointed Assistant-Solicitor to 
the Board of Ordnance — Removes to Old Jewry — Visits 
the "West Indies — Is elected Fellow of the Society of 
Antiquaries 28 



Association of James and Horace Smith with the City — 
Their childhood — James and Horace at Chigwell School 36 



Sundays at Chigwell — Play days and recreation at 
Chigwell — James at New College, Hackney — At Alfred 
House Academy, Camberwell^Attends book-keeping 
classes — Horace leaves Chigwell, and goes to Alfred 
House 46 


The eve of the French Revolution — Robert Smith 
again in Paris — Sees Louis XVI. and Marie Antoinette 
at Versailles — The French Drama — The political agita- 
tion in Paris — Robert Smith's providential escape from 
the mob — James Smith in France— His narrow escape 
from death at Dover 53 



James is articled to his father — Goes to Scotland — 
Goes to the Isle of Wight — Robert Smith and Sir Joseph 
Banks — James visits Dartmouth, the Isle of Thanet, and 
"Leasowes" in Shropshire — Goes to various places on 
Ordnance Board business — Robert Smith elected Fellow 
of the Royal Society — Horace becomes clerk in a City 
counting-house— James admitted as an Attorney — The 



National Thanksgiving at St. Paul's — Patriotism in the 
City — Kobert Smith becomes a member of the Society 
of Arts — His experiences in Ireland .... 64 



Earliest literary works of James and Horace Smith — 
No. 36 Basinghall Street — City Halls and State Lotteries 
— James dines with the Hon. Spencer Perceval — Family 
visit to Windsor — Illness and death of Mrs. Kobert Smith 78 



Robert Smith's second marriage — He visits Cambridge, 
and there sees Henry Kirke White — Horace Smith be- 
comes a merchant — The City in the first decade of the 
century — Horace Smith's firm reconstituted — James ap- 
pointed joint-assistant to the Ordnance Board Solicitor 
— Robert Smith removes to Austin Friars — Horace 
Smith becomes a member of the Stock Exchange . . 86 



Horace Smith's burlesque, The Highgate Tuwnel, is 
produced at the Lyceum Theatre — James and Horace 
Smith's connection with the drama — Destruction of 
Drury Lane Theatre by fire — Plans for the rebuilding — 
The new theatre 93 



Competition for Address to be spoken at opening of 
new Drury Lane Theatre — Some of the Addresses — The 



re-opening of Drury Lane Theatre — How Rejected 
Add/resses came to be written — Its publication . . 104 



Rejected Addresses and the Eeviewers — The effect of 
its success upon the careers of James and Horace Smith 
— Their social and literary circle — Horace Smith resides 
at Kuightsbridge — His friend WUliam Heseltine — 
Horace Smith and the Stock Exchange . . . .117 



Horace Smith's letters to his sister Clara — His second 
marriage — Removes from Knightsbridge to Fulham — • 
Entertains the poet Keats — Horace Smith's account of 
his introduction to Shelley and Keats . . . .129 


The Board of Ordnance, its officers and functions — ■ 
The "Assistant to the Solicitor" and his duties — Emolu- 
ments of the office — An Ordnance Parliamentary "pre- 
serve " — Retirement of Robert Smith from business, and 
from the post of "Assistant to the Solicitor" — James 
Smith appointed " Assistant to the Solicitor " . . 140 



Horace Smith and Shelley (continued) — Horace Smith's 
connection with the Scott-Christie duel — Mr. Andrew 
Lang's remarks thereon — The death of Keats — Horace 
Smith retires from business, and decides to visit Shelley 
in Italy — Letter to his sister Clara — Is detained at Paris 
by ill-health of his wife — Letters to Cyrus Redding . 149 





Horace Smith receives the news of Shelley's death — 
His personal recollections of Shelley, and his estimate of 
the poet's character . 167 



The decUning years of Robert Smith — His verse-work 
— Family marriages — Death of his second wife — His last 
illness and death 178 


James and Horace Smith as Wits and Humorists . 186 


Horace Smith's recollections of Sir Walter Scott, 
Southey, and Thomas Hill of Sydenham . . . 199 


Horace Smith's recollections of Charles Mathews and 
Theodore Hook 214 


The personal appearance of James Smith — His habits 
— His social circle — His clubs — His love of London — 
Ee visits Chigwell school — His last illness and death . 233 

The later literary works of James and Horace Smith . 249 





Brighton in the "twenties," "thirties," and "forties" 
— Horace Smith at Brighton 267 


The declining years of Horace Smith's life — His last 
illness and death — His personal appearance, tastes, 
opinions, character, and disposition — The end . . 291 

INDEX 307 


HORACE SMITH . . ... FrmiUpiece 

JVom Original Miniature. 

HORACE SMITH . . . To face page 23 

From a SUlwuette. 

COMPANY, 1798 .... 115 

Frmn a Portrait in Stationers' Hall. 

JAMES SMITH, iETAT 62 • • ^ . . . 233 

From, the Portrait by Ztmsdale. 


From the Poi-trait iy MasqueHer. 

Contributed by the Baroness Bubdett-Codito. 




Introduction — Robert Smith, the father of James and 
Horace — His birth and parentage — Early recollections — 
Education — First poetical effort — Meets " Perdita " — Journeys 
to London— Is articled to an Attorney — Experiences in 
London— Sets out for the Continent. 

Haed by the Wandle, in the ancient suburb to 
which the stream has given its name, is All Saints, 
Wandsworth, an unlovely church of some antiquity, 
whose flint walls have for many years been hidden 
beneath a casing of Georgian brickwork. It stands 
in a small disused churchyard, where, amongst some 
scores of tombs scattered about in various stages of 
decay, may be seen a plain headstone, bearing with- 
out text or comment this simple inscription : — 

In JSitnnrp of 







Not one person in a thousand, perhaps, would 
take the trouble to bestow a second thought upon 
the owner of so common-place a name ; but the 
Eobert Smith whose body lies there was no ordinary 
person, and he was, moreover, the father of the 
authors of Rejected Addresses. His experiences, too, 
were exceptional. He had gazed upon the features of 
Louis the Well-Beloved, and of his mistress, Madame 
du Barry ; he had been a witness of the Lord George 
Gordon riots ; he had seen Louis XVI. and Marie 
Antoinette at Versailles, and had escaped by a mere 
chance the first outburst of mob-violence that 
presaged the Reign of Terror. 

This plain Robert Smith— a boy of thirteen when 
George II. died — lived throughout the reigns of 
George III. and George IV., intelligently observing 
all the changes of that stirring period, and died just 
after the passing of the Reform Bill. 

Luckily for the biographer, Robert Smith had, 
from early boyhood, been in the habit of noting 
down, and afterwards elaborating, his impressions of 
passing events ; and as time went on, this custom 
led him to keep a systematic diary of family affairs, 
etc., preserved in two stout closely-written volumes. 

I was born [he begins] on the 22nd of November, 
1747, O.S., at the dwelling-house belonging to 
the Custom-House in Castle Street, Bridgwater,^ 
and, when between two and three years of age, 

1 Eobert Smith's father was at one time Mayor of Bridg- 
water, and held the post of Deputy Collector of Customs at 
that port. 


was placed at a day-school in the town kept by 
an old woman of the name of Keene, of whose 
person, I have still (1818) a clear recollection. 
There I remained until the latter end of the year 
1751, when I was removed to a writing-school kept 
by Mr. David Webber. 

An event of a public nature took place in the 
year 1752, which was spoken of by everybody, but 
understood by few. I mean the alteration of the 
style by Act of Parliament. I was told, among 
other surprising changes, that I should keep my 
birthday, not on the anniversary of the day on which 
it really happened, but on the 4th of December. This 
puzzled me, as it did others to whom the Julian 
and Gregorian calendars were alike unknown. 

In the summer of 1754, when I was but seven 
years old, my father indulged me in a jaunt of 
pleasure to Bath and Bristol, under the charge of 
my Uncle George. I was mounted on a long- tailed 
pony, dressed in a new scarlet coat, boots, and a 
flowing wig. The riding on horse-back so long a 
journey, and for the first time, I found fatiguing, but 
the wonders of Bath and a day or two's rest restored 
me. At Bristol we were met by father and mother, who 
had gone thither on horseback, she riding behind my 
father, seated on a blue cloth pillow, and dressed in 
a "Joseph," or brown serge riding-dress, with buttons 
down to the skirts. We all returned to Bridgwater, 
when I recounted my adventures with no little pride 
and satisfaction. 

During the same year, the town was a continual 
scene of riot and disorder, on account of the General 
Election for members of Parliament. The candidates 
were John, Earl of Egmont (in Ireland), afterwards 
created Baron Lovel and Holland (in England), 
Robert Balch, Esq., of Stowey in Somersetshire, and 
Bubb Doddington, Esq. (afterwards created Lord 


Melcombe-Regis). The two former were elected, 
and, as usual on such occasions, were "chaired" 
through the town on men's shoulders, amidst the 
clamours of the high and low rabble, the ringing of 
bells, the firing of " chambers," and the rude sneers 
of the unsuccessful party. 

Two circumstances took place in 1755 which 
made an impression upon my memory — the breaking 
out of the war with France, and the accounts received 
of a dreadful earthquake at Lisbon, which happened 
on the 1st of November ; and the year 1760 pre- 
sented an event of a public nature that made a 
strong impression upon my mind at the time, viz. 
the death of his Majesty, George II. It happened on 
the 25th of October ; the account of it was received 
at Bridgwater on the following day. 

Throughout these early years of his life, Robert 
Smith was receiving a good and sensible education. 
He was thoroughly well grounded in writing, book- 
keeping, etc., and the object of his ambition was 
reached when an opportunity arose for acquiring a 
knowledge of the classics, by no means easy of attain- 
ment in those days at a place like Bridgwater. 

The scene now changed [he says]. Holmes' 
Latin Grammar was put in my hands; and the 
difficulties which first present themselves to a 
learner being over, I got through my lessons with 
tolerable credit. If a knowledge of the Latin tongue 
be a necessary part of education for boys, what harm 
can it do to girls ? So my father reasoned ; and he 
accordingly placed my eldest sister, Molly, at the same 
school. She went through her exercises regularly 
with the boys, and had advanced as far as Ovid's 
epistles, when my father removed her from the school. 


Besides Latin and Italian, the boy studied French, 
in which language he afterwards became proficient ; 
so that he was well qualified for the start in life 
which presently offered itself in the office of a Mr. 
John Popham, a London attorney practising in the 
Court of Common Pleas, who owned a set of 
chambers on the ground floor of No. 5, New Inn, of 
which society he was an " Antient," and with whom 
it was arranged that Robert should be articled 
on his arrival in the metropolis. 

Robert Smith evinced considerable powers of 
Composition at an early age ; and it is interesting to 
record the first literary effort of him from whom 
James and Horace Smith — the subjects of this 
biography — inherited the talent of comic versification. 
He describes it as " a loose imitation of some French 
verses that he had stumbled upon," in which the 
leading idea is sustained with humorous effect. 


As on tTie margin of the flood, 
Absorb'd in grief, young Colin stood, 

His hapless fate bewailing, 
Rous'd by despair the shepherd swore . 
Love's torments he'd no more endure, 

So rashly plunged ... a pail in. 

Now, fierce with rage, he maddening flew. 
And from its sheath a hanger drew. 
Still o'er destruction brooding ; 


Before Dorinda's face, the swain, 
At one despairing stroke, in twain 

Down cleft, ah me ! ... a pudding. 

" The conflict's o'er — no more I'll flinch. 
But in the poison'd bowl will quench 
A flame than death more cruel," 
He said — then seizing on the bowl, 
To Heav'n commends his parting soul. 

And drank large draughts ... of gruel. 

With hitter pangs his heart opprest. 
Love's tumult boiling in his breast. 

No mortal could abide it ; 
Eager he seeks the halter's aid 
Thick round his neck in order laid, 

He tied, and then . . . untied it. 

Now mopish grown, in pensive mood. 
Beside his bed the shepherd stood. 

And sigh'd and wept profoundly ; 
A smothering death he now prefers, 
So clos'd his eyes, and said his prayers, 

Then on his bed . . . slept soundly. 


At length the nymph, to ease his pain, 
Took pity on the amorous swain. 

Her cruelty relented ; 
In mutual love their willing hands 
They joined in Hymen's silken bands. 

And lived till both . . . repented. 

Shortly before his first journey to London, Robert 
and an old school-fellow, John Chubb, seem to have 


taken sundry excursions together, one being to 
Bristol, where they met the historic " Perdita," then 
an innocent little girl of four years, as unconscious 
of Florizel, the faithless, as he of his future in- 
namorata. Writing of this many years afterwards, 
Robert Smith says : — 

We spent a few days with Captain Derby and 
his wife, who was a distant relation of the Chubb 
family. Amongst their children was a most in- 
teresting little girl, who, when grown up, married 
clandestinely at the age of sixteen, and by degrees 
fell off in her reputation. She became afterwards a 
"favourite" of the Prince of Wales, and, having 
made her debdt on the stage in the character of 
" Perdita," she was well known to the public by that 
name. Her person and her manners were pleasing 
in the highest degree ; she lived much among persons 
of rank and fashion, and her literary talents were 
not despicable. For several years before her death 
she lost the use of her lower extremities, so as to 
be utterly unable to stand. 

The morning of Tuesday, the 7th of May, l765,broke 
cold and cheerless over the town of- Bath, hardly the 
kind of day one would have chosen for a long journey ; 
but Robert Smith, a tall and sturdy youth of eighteen, 
who had secured a seat the previous day after a 
pleasant ride from Bridgwater, was one whom mere 
physical discomfort would hardly deter from setting 
forth for London, where he hoped to play no unim- 
portant part* As, however, the cumbersome machine 
cautiously manoeuvred out of the White Lion Inn 
yard at seven o'clock, few hearts were heavier than 


his, for he was very fond of his home, and keenly felt 
the parting from his people. 

Travelling in those days, was no light thing — un- 
comfortable at its best, and often full of adventures 
not infrequently dangerous. It was always expensive, 
the fare from Bath to London during the summer 
being twenty-eight shillings, with only fourteen 
pounds weight of personal luggage allowed, anything 
extra being charged at the rate of three-halfpence 
per pound. Then there were the tips to the coach- 
man and guard, and the charges at the various inns 
were based upon a scale of great liberality towards 
the landlord. 

After leaving Bath, the coach made its way 
to Trowbridge, whence it leisurely rolled along 
to Devizes. At this point the serious part of the 
journey began, as the route lay through the most 
exposed district of Wiltshire, where the wind blew 
with frightful violence, not to speak of its being all 
" collar-work " for the horses. 

To beguile the time, the coachman recounted, with 
ample detail, how, two months before, there had been 
a most remarkable fall of snow in this part of 
England — ^^vhich, indeed, had been general through- 
out the country — when many lives were lost from 
exposure, and numerous accidents occurred, the most 
extraordinary of which was one that happened near 
Newcastle, where, in the gloom of that storm, two 
men riding at full gallop in opposite directions met 
each other with such force that both horses instantly 
died, and the lives of their riders were despaired of. 


But no snow fell on Robert Smith's journey ; and, 
after much laborious struggling over the rugged, hilly 
road, the travellers reached the inn at Shepherd 
Shore. Here they rested and had tea. 

Invigorated and warmed, horses and men jogged 
along to Beckhampton Inn, and thence pasb the 
famous Silbury Mound, where British warriors once 
gathered together in battle-array to celebrate King 
Arthur's second and last great battle of Badon Hill. 

On and on, to the George at West Overton, the 
Swan at Clatford, and — in the failing light — to the 
Castle at Marlborough ; and after skirting Savernake 
Forest for three miles, a welcome twinkling of lights 
at Hungerford announced that bed and supper 
awaited them at the Black Bear, sixty odd miles from 
London. At daybreak the coach was oif again. 

The roads were now better, as was also the pace, 
and there was nothing of interest to note, except that 
at all the imis at Newbury, at the Angel, at Wool- 
hampton, and at Reading, the meat-hooks that 
generally bore a variety of tempting joints sustained 
nothing but mutton. After passing through Houns- 
low, the coachman, who had been repeatedly asked 
for a solution of the mystery, at last admitted that 
throughout Wilts and Berks, in consequence of the 
past severe weather, there had been great losses 
amongst the flocks of sheep, and consequently there 
was a perfect glut of mutton that had not " inter- 
viewed the butcher in a constitutional manner," 
though otherwise perfectly sound. Cart-loads had 
been brought into the nearest towns, and all the 


inns along the road had very little else in their 

At the Belle Sauvage on Ludgate Hill, where he 
arrived late on the second day of his journey, Robert 
Smith tarried not, but at once set out, following a 
porter who carried his trunk, to Milk Street in the 
City, where he was to lodge with his uncle Thomas, 
a wholesale linen-draper. 

The following morning, as the youth started west- 
ward to present himself to Mr. Popham, it was upon 
the London of Dr. Johnson, Boswell, Sir Joshua 
Reynolds, and Garrick that he gazed ; a London of 
picturesque gabled houses flung down apparently at 
random, with side streets so narrow and tortuous that 
it was hardly possible to walk or ride in safety, and 
whose principal thoroughfares, such as the Strand, 
were so dirty that every morning the apprentices 
might be seen washing away from the shop-fronts 
the accumulated filth of the previous day; where 
pedestrians in long blue coats like dressing-gowns, 
brown stockings, and red or brown frizzled periwigs, 
braved all the splashings from passing traffic, as they 
walked on the narrow trottuir of a roadway consisting 
of rough stones, which rolled and rubbed one against 
the other on a foundation of nothing but old mud. 

Robert Smith was articled for five years to Mr. 
Popham, by which articles it was agreed that his 
father should pay down a premium of one hundred 
guineas, and provide for his son board and lodgings, 
and " apparel suitable for a clerk," during the period ; 
while Mr. Popham undertook to teach him the law, 


and so long as he abode with him, and was in his 
actual service, to pay him each term one guinea as 
"termage," or term fee. His line of life was now 
considered settled. His office hours were from 9 a.m. 
to 9 p.m. during the term time, with an allowance 
of two hours for dinner; and day after day he 
valiantly trudged from Milk Street, having besides 
much walking to the law offices, the courts, etc. He 
lived frugally, knowing how necessary it was to save 
his father's purse ; and so well did he manage that, 
from the time of his leaving his father's house until 
the expiration of his articles, his expenses were not 
more than £55 per annum, and this at a time when 
living was comparatively dear. 

The neighbourhood soon became quite familiar to 
the young clerk — his own Inn of Court, with its 
dingy brick building, high-pitched roof, and clustered 
chimney-pots, its little hall inside the grass enclosure 
facing his office, and the archway leading into Wych 
Street, St. Clement's Church a stone's-throw off, and 
beyond it. Butcher Row, a decaying remnant of 
Elizabethan London, whose wood and plaster eaves 
overhung the street, noted for its shambles and 

In one of the last-named Robert Smith used 
occasionally to see the famous Dr. Johnson, whose 
acquaintance he subsequently made. ' Johnson knew 
the Row well, and rather surprised Boswell, who one 
day was dining at the Clifton, by coming in and 
taking his seat like any ordinary mortal intent upon 


As years went by Smith became entrusted with 
more and more of the important business of the 
office. Diligent as he was, he found time for 
occasional relaxation. He says : — 

Now and then, though sparingly, I went to the 
theatre, Vauxhall, etc., and I was often entertained, 
not to say instructed, at the debating society called 
the " Robin Hood," in Butcher Row, Temple Bar. I 
attended also at convenient opportunities anatomical 
lectures, dissections at the hospitals, Martin's lectures 
on experimental philosophy, and at other places, 
where I thought a little useful knowledge might be 
gleaned. At the " Robin Hood," I have seen some of 
the first characters in point of rank and science ; but 
the greater part consisted of those who appeared to 
be attracted by no higher motive than curiosity. 
The price of admittance was sixpence; for which sum 
each person had a right to join in the debates and to 
a sup at the porter-pot when handed about. The 
chairman had standing before him a " five-minute " 
glass, which, when the sand was run out, he turned 
as a signal for the speaker to draw his arguments to 
a conclusion. Upon the whole, the business of the 
evening was conducted with great regularity ; and 
at the breaking up of the assembly, the chairman, 
with some of the members of the Society, retired to 
another room to sup. 

In the long vacation of 1769, Robert Smith, instead 
of paying his customary visit to Bridgwater, decided 
to travel on the continent, then a somewhat formid- 
able undertaking. On the 3rd of August he left 
London with his friend, Mr. Atkinson, embarked the 
same evening from Brighton, and arrived at Dieppe 
about 11 a.m. on the 5th. 



Robert Smith, in Paris — Goes to Compifegne — Sees Louis 
XV. and Mdme. du Barry — Sees Louis XV. at supper — Follows 
the Royal Stag-Hunt at Compifegne — Meets the Corsican 
General, Paoli — Is admitted as an Attorney — His courtship 
and marriage — Resides at Fen Court — Birth of James Smith 
— Helps Mr. Hanway to promote philanthropic institutions, 
and appeals to David Garrick for a Benefit — Attends opening 
of Free Masons' Hall— Removes from Fen Court to Frederick's 
Place, Old Jewry. 

At Dieppe the two friends engaged a herline to 
take them to Rouen, and set out the following 
morning, not a little entertained by their mode of 

The traces of the horses [says Robert Smith] 
were of ropes, and the postilion's boots of immense 
size and thickness bound round with iron hoops, 
into which he thrust his legs without taking off his 
shoes. The use of these enormous boots was, how- 
ever, explained to us. Most of the travelling 
carriages in France, we were informed, are of two 
wheels only, drawn by three horses abreast. On the 
small near horse, or bidet, the postilion rides; and 
next to the lidet is the limmonier, or thill-horse 



(shaft-horse), which supports the whole weight of the 
carriage. The unyielding boots, therefore, are meant 
to protect the postilion's legs from harm, in case of 
the hidet falling, as the carriage could make no 
impression upon such boots. 

From Rouen they travelled in a chaise d quatre 
personnes to Paris, where they put up at the Hotel de 
Casignan, Rue Quinquempoix, in the quarter of St. 
Denis, when the first thing Robert did was to 
"bespeak a suit of clothes proper to appear in at 
public places where dress might be required." " T 
accordingly," he narrates, " ordered a maroon-col- 
oured silk (soie de la Heine), a sword, and a hair-bag, 
as did Mr. Atkinson one of black silk, and each his 
chapeaio de hras." 

Meanwhile, the two lost no time in exploring the 
capital of France, visiting the markets, the Palais 
Royal, the Palais de Tuileries, the quays, the streets 
and boulevards, purchasing on their way back to 
their hotel two knives for their personal use, for they 
had been told that the couvert for each person con- 
sisted only of a " large four-pronged silver fork, a silver 
spoon, a clean napkin, a china plate, and a water- 
bottle and tumbler," that " every one carried his own 
knife in his pocket, the same knife serving all pur- 
poses of cutting the meat, the fork conveying it to 
the mouth." 

One evening they went to La Comedie Franqaise 
on the south side of the Seine. The piece performed 
was Ze Fire de I'Orphelin. 


The house [says Robert Smith] not unlike Foote's 
little theatre in the Haymarket, lamps placed along 
the front of the stage, no seats in the pit, over which 
were two chandeliers suspended, and, these being the 
only lights, the whole had but a sombre appearance. 
The favourite actor was MolM, but his action was 
too violent in parts which did not appear to me to 
require it. Here, as at the Opera in the Tuileries, 
the prompter's head is seen rising up through a 
small opening in the front of the stage. 

Their attire being now en r&gle, the friends set out 
for Compiegne, where the King was at the time, 
taking with them introductions to certain persons of 
influence at the Court. 

Passing through St. Denis, Ecouen, and Lusarche, 
we arrived at Chantilly at about seven o'clock in the 
evening. At this place the Prince of Conde has a 
superb chateau, which we visited immediately after 
our arrival. It is surrounded by a moat full of 
water, in which were some of the largest carp I ever 
saw, and so tame that after throwing to them a 
few bits of bread, they came and nibbled the bread 
from our hands. Near the village are the Prince's 
stables, a large uniformly-constructed building, in 
which we saw a great number of fine English 
hunters; it is formed to contain two hundred and 
forty horses. As we walked through the park, we 
were astonished at the great number of partridges 
that were running about almost as tame as chickens. 
I had observed, indeed, in the country we passed 
through, partridges, pheasants, and hares in great 
plenty; but this is not to be wondered at when we 
consider the severity of the game-laws in France ; 
offenders are sent to the army, or even to the 


galleys, with very little ceremony. Not far from 
the stables, between there and the village, is La 
Meute, a superb dog-kennel of three hundred 
hounds. Once a year, we were informed, the Prince 
treats his tenants, their families, and labourers, with 
a great fiU in the park. Among the diversions is 
that of " shooting an arrow " for a silver bowl and a 
silver plate given by the Prince. He himself shoots 
the first arrow, taking care always to miss the mark. 
The feU lasts three days, during which time dancing- 
parties exercise themselves on the lawn, where tents 
are erected, as well as in the wood ; refreshments are 
given out unsparingly, and there are billiards, etc. 
etc. It is by these acts of condescension and kind- 
ness that princes and all others may recommend 
themselves to their dependants and secure their 

The next morning, the Court being then at Com- 
piegne, we dressed ourselves in our silk suits, and 
about noon repaired to the ch§,teau. We readily 
gained admittance, and waited with others for nearly 
half-an-hour in the King's ante-chamber, when the 
King entered it on his way to the chapel. I had 
stationed myself so close to the door, that the King 
in passing made a short pause and looked steadfastly 
at me as if trying to recollect my person. The King 
is in stature rather above the middle height, stoops 
a little at the shoulders, and his knees turn out a 
little. His complexion is rather dark, his hair and 
eyebrows nearly black, his nose somewhat aquiline, 
and his look altogether majestic, though not the 
least severity or haughtiness in his countenance. 
Shortly after the King, his sisters, the mesdames of 
France, passed also through the ante-chamber on 
their way to the chapel, whither we ourselves then 
went.- The chapel is plain and neat, the music soft 
and solemn. A little before the service was ended. 


we returned to the ante-chamber, and then again 
had a distinct view of the King and his sisters on 
their way back. We had afterwards another view 
of him in the court of the palace as he entered his 
carriage to go a-hunting, a diversion of which the 
king is said to be passionately fond. 

At supper that evening they had, among other 
things, a dish of fricasseed frogs. 

It stood near me [relates Robert Smith]; I tasted 
and liked it very much. My fellow-traveller tasted 
too, and thought them larks. The English are 
strongly prejudiced against frogs as a dish, but the 
food is delicate, and much prized when the prejudice 
is overcome. The skin is taken off, and the hind- 
quarters only are dressed, and when properly cooked 
with artichoke bottoms, truffles, morels, etc., form a 
repast of which no Englishman need be ashamed or 
afraid. What is there in the feeding of frogs more 
revolting than in that of eels and other pond fish, 
ducks, hogs, etc. ? Yet all these an Englishman 
eats without scruple or inquiry. 

In the following description given by Robert 
Smith of Louis XV. and his court, it will be observed 
that he was not at all impressed by the beauty of 
Madame du Barry. Voltaire remarked of her like- 
ness that " the original was intended for the gods." 
Smith writes : — 

On the morning of the 27th of August, which was 
Sunday, we paid another visit to the ch§,teau. We 
then again saw the King, the Princess, the King's 
suite, etc., on their way to and from the chapel, as 
well as in it. Among the great folks were the 


Duchess de Choisie, embonpoint and handsome, the 
Duchess de Chartres, young and pretty. We had 
a good view also of Madame de Barre, the King's 
favourite. She is not a beauty, but has an agreeable 
form and cheerful countenance. That it is the road 
to preferment in France is well known, and this 
lady, we observed, had great attention paid to her. 
We were afterwards permitted to enter, with 
others, an apartment in which the King's grandson 
(the future Louis XVI.), the Comte de Provence, 
and the Comte d'Artois (afterwards Charles X.), 
were dining. The former completed his fifteenth 
year on the 23rd of the present month. He is tall 
for his years, rather reserved in manner, and of a 
sallowish complexion. The Comte de Provence has 
a quick eye, but appears also rather reserved. The 
Comte d'Artois is handsome, lively, and laughing. 
From this apartment we went to another, in which 
the Mesdames of France were then at dinner; and 
here we had a more distinct view of each than 
before. The eldest, Madame Adelaide, has a genteel 
figure ; the second, Madame Victoire, is a complete 
brunette, embonpoint, and of rather a masculine ap- 
pearance ; the two others, Madame Louison and 
Madame Sophie, having nothing particular in face or 
figure. Two of them wore their hair in coloured 
silk bags, in shape like those of men in full dress, 
and they were all highly rouged. 

In the afternoon we took a regular survey of all 
the apartments, and upon our going into the gardens, 
we saw from the terrace the King and his suite 
returning fi:om his chasse d'oiseaux, followed by an 
immense concourse of people. The day was Sunday, 
but Sundays in France have their diversions as well 
as their rehgious ceremonies. We were told that 
the King had, on that afternoon, shot with his own 
hands no less than thirty-seven brace of partridges. 


But this is not so surprising when we consider the 
very great plenty of birds, and the method of a 
chasse de fusile Boy ale. The King has his chasseurs 
close to him, and the instant he discharges his piece 
he gives it to one of them, another at the moment 
clapping a loaded one into his hands, by which he 
has frequently an opportunity of shooting twice, if 
not three times, at the same bird or covey. 

This being the day on which the King and Royal 
Family usually go in procession to the Carmelites, we 
went thither, but were disappointed in our expecta- 
tions of seeing the ceremony ; it did no't take place, 
the King being too much fatigued to attend. In 
the evening, however, we again saw the King and the 
Mesdames at supper, on which occasion all persons 
decently dressed are admitted into the apartment. 
Before the King sat down, he took from his pocket 
two rolls of bread, which he laid on the table before 
him. These, we were informed, had been taken by 
the King from two baskets of bread, baked by dif- 
ferent bakers, a practice which had its origin prob- 
ably from an apprehension of poison. The King ate 
heartily, takiag somethiag from a number of dishes. 
When he had occasion to drink, he said " d boire," 
when two of his attendants in full dress, with bags 
and swords, advanced to the table (which was of 
semi-circular form), making their obeisances. One 
of them carried in his hands a gold or silver-gilt 
salver, on which were two bottles and two goblets of 
the same metal as the salver. Having poured into 
one of the goblets some wine from one of the bottles, 
and water from the other, the other attendant drank 
it. The two bottles and the other goblet were then 
presented to the King, who poured from the bottles 
and drank, when the attendants immediately retir- 
ing backwards with similar obeisances, left the room. 
This ceremony was performed three times during the 


supper. What a farce ! As soon as the dessert was 
finished, the King and his sisters rose from the table 
and retired to his private apartments, as we did to 
our auberge. 

August 28<A. — On this day was to be a Royal 
stag-hunt, and we repaired to the rendezvous in a 
carriage, where the King and his suite shortly after- 
wards arrived. Matters had been so arranged by 
M. Beauvais, that upon our alighting from the 
carriage we found a couple of English hunters ready 
for us, most gaily tricked out with crimson and gilt 
bridles and stirrups. Upon alighting from their 
carriages, the King and his suite mounted their 
horses and proceeded towards a neighbouring wood 
in which was the stag. Among others in the King's 
train was the Field-Marshal, Duke of Richelieu, a 
little merry-looking old man, mounted on a French 
lidet, and attended by a running footman dressed 
in a blue satin fancy dress with ornamental cap, 
holding in his hand a silver staff with a large knob 
at the top. As from curiosity we mixed among the 
King's attendants, one of them politely asked what 
answer he should return to his Majesty should he 
make inquiry concerning us, which he usually did 
upon perceiving strangers. I told him that we were 
English individuals who had visited France on a 
journey of pleasure, and had taken the liberty to 
attend, that we might have the honour of seeing 
the King, and the ceremonies of a Royal hunt. 
The King, it seems, is passionately fond of all field 
sports. He conversed freely with those about him, 
and especially with Madame de Barr^, who rode 
by his side attired in a man's hunting-habit.^ 

1 This was a favourite dress of hers, usually ornamented 
with large revers, or facings, trimmed with Honiton lace, 
which showed off to perfection her bare and faultless neck 


He hummed and whistled several hunting tunes, 
amongst them the pretty old French ditty Jmn de 
Nivelle a trois manteaii^, Trois palefrois, et trois 
chateaux, listening occasionally to the horns of the 
chasseurs in the wood, and the " opening " of the 
hounds. From there he directed his course, but 
■without attempting to keep in with them. After 
four or five hours' chase in this fashion, in which he 
had occasionally a distant view of the stag, the 
animal took to bay, and was shot to prevent his 
worrying the hounds. Here all remained uiitil the 
King and his attendants rode up to the spot, when 
the principal chasseur cut off one of the stag's fore- 
feet, and on his knees presented it to the King. 
His Majesty handed it over to one of the attendants 
that it might be preserved among his other trophies 
of the chase. All the horses and dogs were English. 
We then dismounted, and returned in our carriage 
to Compiegne, where we again slept. 

The friends journeyed home by way of Antwerp, 
the Hague, and Helvoetsluys, and at the Hague 
had the good fortune to meet the celebrated Corsican 
patriot and chief, Paoli (mentioned in Boswell's Life 
of Johnson), who had just escaped from that island, 
and was proceeding to England by the same packet 
in company with a young Hanoverian baron. Paoli, 
it appears, entertained a dismal anticipation that 
he would be very ill on the passage to Harwich. 
Says Robert Smith : — 

Upon our getting on board the packet, Paoli 
immediately went below deck and lay down to avoid 
sickness, but his forebodings were soon realized. I 
went down occasionally to inquire after him, and 


found him quite disheartened. He often exclaimed, 
half in jest and half in earnest, that he was sure the 
voyage would kill him, that he should never live to 
see England. The young Hanoverian continued on 
deck, eating his cold tongue and bread, drinking 
bottled beer, and capering about, highly rejoiced at 
the thought of soon seeing England. Indeed, as 
soon as the packet had hoisted her sails and put to 
sea, he said to me with an air of seeming triumph, 
" Now we are upon English ground ! " I did not 
understand him at first, and answered, " Oh, no ! you 
must expect some rough weather before you reach 
England; perhaps you will be ill too, as well as -the 
general." He immediately replied, with another 
caper, " I beg your pardon, we are now upon the 
High Sea ; that is English ground." 

His articles of clerkship having expired, Robert 
Smith was admitted on the 23rd of June, 1770, as 
an attorney in the Court of Common Pleas ; and he 
subsequently became a solicitor both of the High 
Court of Chancery and of the Court of King's 
Bench, where the celebrated and accomplished Lord 
Mansfield ^ presided. 

And now the most important event in Robert 
Smith's life was approaching. The story is best told 
in his own words : — 

During the summer, I attended the Hampstead 
Assembly, and on the first night danced with Miss 

1 Described by Pope as — 

" Noble and young, who strikes the heart 
With every sprightly, every decent part ; 
Equal, the injur'd to defend, 
To charm the Mistress, or to fix the Friend." 

The Mother of James and Horace Smith. 


Bogle, daughter of James Bogle French, Esq., a 
-merchant in Swithin's Lane. My partner pleased 
me. I was struck with her person and manner of 
behaviour, and was anxious to know who and what 
she was. The result of my inquiry was satisfactory, 
and I now began to entertain feelings to which be- 
fore I was a stranger. On the following ball-night 
I again danced with her as a partner, slept at a 
friend's house at Hampstead, and in the morning 
waited upon my partner to inquire after her health. 
I was received with great good-humour both by 
herself and her mother. These circumstances en- 
couraged me, and I danced with her again on the 
following ball-night. The business was now done 
so far as respected my OAvn intentions, and on the 
following morning I waited upon the father in 
Swithin's Lane, to whom I opened myself fully. He 
received me with great civility, made the neces- 
sary inquiries into my education, family, and pros- 
pects, and after a pretty long conversation desired 
me to call on him again on that day week. I was 
punctual to the appointment, when Mr. French told 
me that he had informed himself concerning me, 
communicated my wishes to his wife and daughter, 
and that I was at liberty to visit in the family. 
From this time my visits were constant, and in a 
month or two our union was considered as fixed. 

I now looked out for a home, and at length 
succeeded in engaging one. No. 1, Fen Court, Fen- 
church Street. The house being furnished, and all 
previous matters arranged, I was married on the 
11th of February, 1773, at the Parish Church of 
St. Swithin's, London-Stone. I had now connected 
myself with a family who were dissenters from the 
Established Church, of which Church I considered 
myself a member, it being that in which I was 
brought up from my infancy ; but, to say the truth. 


religion, or rather, the difference between one form 
of Christian worship and another, was a subject that 
had never engaged my thoughts deeply ; and upon 
now considering it, I found no difficulty in conform- 
ing to the mode of a worship adopted by my wife's 

A daughter, Maria, was born in December of the 
same year; and in 1775 is recorded the birth at 
Fen Court of James, his eldest son — one of the 
future authors of Rejected Addresses : — 

On the 10th of February, my dear wife presented 
me with a son. He was baptized by the name of 
James, in Fen Court, by Mr. Spilsbury on the 9th 
of March; but his baptism was not registered at 
Dr. Williams' Library until the 11th of December 
following. No. 885.1 

In July [continues the journal] meetings were 
held by a few individuals, of whose number I was 
one, for establishing an " Inoculating Dispensary " 
for the poor. The plan being finally arranged, 
officers were appointed, and a house was taken in 
Old Street, opposite St. Luke's Hospital. I acted 
as their secretary. It went on tolerably well at 
first, but prejudices and jealousies prevailing too 
strongly against it, the scheme was abandoned al- 
together in 1777, and I sat down with the loss of a 
few pounds. 

1 In the "advertisement" to the 22nd edition of Rejected 
Addresses (John Murray, 1851), it is stated incorrectly that 
both James and Horace Smith were horn at No. 36, Basins- 
hall Street. Eobert Smith's family did not remove there 
until 1790, when James was fifteen, and Horace eleven years 
of age. 


It will be seen that Eobert Smith was consider- 
ably in advance of his time in his efforts to apply- 
practically the principles of Jenner; and, no 
doubt, it was the death of King Louis XV. from 
smallpox that confirmed him in his resolution to 
do all in his power to mitigate the ravages of the 
horrible disease in his own country. This, however, 
was not his first philanthropic work. A charitable 
institution had been established by the name of the 
Misericordia Hospital, in Ayliffe Street, Goodman's 
Fields, for the exclusive reception of contagious 
diseases of a particular kind. The celebrated philan- 
thropist, Jonas Hanway, best known, perhaps, as 
having been the first individual who had the temerity 
to use an umbrella in the streets of London, was 
the chief promoter of the design, and Eobert Smith 
was the secretary. The latter says : — 

In order to help the finances of the hospital, it was 
thought desirable to obtain a benefit-night for it, if 
possible, at one of the London theatres, and I was 
desired to make the necessary application to Mr. 
Garrick, one of the proprietors, and sole manager of 
the Drury Lane House. I did so by letter, and 
received the following answer : — 

Addphi, Dec. 12, 1775. 


The Theatre Royal in Drury Lane gives 
two Charity Benefits a year to the Hospitals, and 
they take their Turn in succession — there are two 
fix'd for this, and two for the next, and how they 
go on afterwards I cannot say, not having the Book 
with me ! — if the Committee would be pleas'd to 


know the future arrangements of the Benefits, if 
they will send their secretary, he shall see what 
we have done, what we shall, and what we can do. — 
I came from Hampton yesterday, or you should have 
had an answer before. 

I am. Sir, 

Your most obedt Servant, 
D. Gaeeick. 
Mr. Robert Smith, 

Fen Court, Fenchurch Street. 

The following year, Eobert Smith was present 
when the great actor retired from the boards. He 

says : — 

On the 10th of June Mr. Garrick took his leave 
of the stage, performing the part of Don Felix in 
the Wonder. After the performance, he addressed 
the audience in a composition of his own. The 
house was so crowded in all parts, that I had great 
difficulty in squeezing myself into a back row of the 
front boxes. I never saw plaudits so loudly, liberally, 
and deservedly bestowed as on that occasion. 

Next year he "assisted" at the function of a 
different kind : — 

On the 23rd of May, Free Masons' Hall in Great 
Queen Street, Lincoln's Inn Fields, was dedicated 
with great solemnity. My friend Poole and myself, 
we being both of the craft, attended in our appropri- 
ate dresses. Strangers were admitted into the 
gallery, and among them a number of ladies. 

By the end of 1778, another son, Leonard, and 
another daughter, Sophia, had been born to him, 


and, his business also increasing, he removed at 
Michaelmas, 1779, from Fen Court to Frederick's 
Place, Old Jewry, where he had taken a twenty-one 
years' lease of a roomy house that had been recently 
erected on the site of the old Excise Office. 



Birth of Horace Smitli— The year 1780— The Lord George 
Gordon Riots — Robert Smith's personal experience of them — 
He is appointed Assistant-Solicitor to the Board of Ordnance 
— Removes to Old Jewry — Visits the West Indies — Is elected 
Fellow of the Society of Antiquaries. 

On Friday, the 31st of December, 1779, as the 
old year lay a-dying, Horace Smith was ushered 
into the world. Though always called Horace, he 
was baptized Horatio, on the 18th of February, 1780, 
by the Rev. Mr. Spilsbury, minister of the dissenting 
congregation at Salter's Hall ; and his baptism, like 
that of his brother James, was registered at Dr. 
Williams' Library, in accordance with the wishes of 
his mother's family, who, as we have seen, were 

The first year of Horace Smith's life was one of 
stirring historical events. The War of Independence 
still raged in America, there being ranged against 
Great Britain, in addition to her rebellious colonies, 
both France and Spain, while the armed neutrality 
of Prussia, Russia, Sweden, and Norway, was prac- 
tically equivalent to open hostility. In far-off Asia, 


Warren Hastings was a powerful administrator, 
fighting against tremendous odds. At home, the 
year was remarkable for the Lord George Gordon 
Riots, and the utter failure of the constituted 
authorities to adequately deal with the disturbance. 

James Smith always maintained that he had wit- 
nessed the rioting, and humorously posed as an 
authority on the subject; but cross-examination 
seldom failed to elicit the fact that, as soon as the 
first mutterings of the storm reached the city, his 
nurse, who, in order to see what was going on, had 
taken him with her into Cheapside, was terrified 
almost out of her wits by some of the mob insisting 
upon knowing where her blue cockade was, and so 
beat a retreat into the haven of Frederick's Place, 
breathless and exhausted with running all the way 
from St. Paul's Churchyard. 

However, his father has left us a vivid description 
of his own experience of the riots, which culmin- 
ated on Wednesday, June the 7th, when the mob 
attempted to take the Bank of England by storm. 

The month of June [says Robert Smith] was 
distinguished by one of the most atrocious riots 
that has disgraced the capital for many years. A 
Bill was then before Parliament for the repeal, or 
modification, of some of the statutes against 
Catholics. This measure met with opposition from 
some of the members, and by many without doors ; 
among others was Lord George Gordon, a half- 
cracked brother of the Duke of Gordon, who was 
himself a member, and a furious bigoted " Pro- 
testant." The cry of "No Popery" was spread 


pretty generally, and all true Protestants were in- 
vited by public hand-bills to assemble on the 2nd of 
the month, in St. George's Fields, for the purpose of 
accompanying their leader to the House of Commons 
with their Petition. A numerous mob assembled, 
with each a blue ribbon in his hat, and being then 
arranged in a sort of military array, they were after- 
wards marched through the City and along the 
Strand, to the House of Commons. I happened to 
be coming out of Somerset House as they passed it ; 
and as the day was hot, and a vulgar, furious zeal 
marked upon their countenances, I concluded that 
they would not separate without mischief 

This proved to be the case. I followed them, 
and witnessed the commencement of the horrid out- 
rages that were committed both on persons and 
property. The mob stopped the carriages of the 
members of both Houses, bawling out " No Popery," 
and chalking these words on the carriages. Such of 
the members as did not readily return the cry, were 
grossly insulted, some dragged from their carriages, 
and others forced to take shelter in the neighbour- 
ing houses. After a while, the Horse Guards made 
their appearance, and rode through the mob, who 
opened right and left to let them pass, and immedi- 
ately closed, shouting and hissing, the soldiers 
flourishing their swords in a menacing attitude, but 
as they did not otherwise use them, the mob became 
more insolent, and pelted them with stones and 
pieces of faggot which they had taken from a neigh- 
bouring baker's. 

All was now uproar and confusion, and after a 
while detachments of the mob paraded off to different 
parts of the town, to execute, as it afterwards 
appeared, their vengeance upon the places of worship 
and houses of the Catholics. I thought it now high 
time to make my retreat, and returned to the city 


through St. George's Fields, and over Blackfriar's 
Bridge. In my way back I found that the mob 
had set fire to Newgate, and were liberating the 
prisoners. These scenes of lawless uproar continued 
both by day and by night for above a week, during 
which time the most savage excesses were com- 
mitted, the civil power hardly daring to show itself, 
from a consciousness of its inability to stem the 

Large bodies of troops having at length arrived 
in London by forced marches, martial law was pro- 
claimed. Houses and shops were kept shut, the 
military were posted in churches, upon the Royal 
Exchange, in Guildhall yard, and other places. 
Regular encampments were also formed in St. 
James's Park, the gardens of the British Museum, 
etc. etc. The mob were still daring, committing 
their ravages in all directions; but at length the 
soldiery were compelled to act, and many lives were 
sacrificed ! 

Robert Smith used to relate how curiously silent 
Cheapside became as the light began to fail on 
Wednesday, the 7th of June, when the rioters were 
expected. Every preparation had been made for 
them. Warehouses, offices, and shops were close- 
barred ; the usually busy thoroughfare was deserted, 
and, firmly attached to the stout posts thait edged 
the pavement, great hempen cables had been fixed 
across the street by the deft hands of sailors, who 
had brought them up in lighters from Deptford. 
The same precautions had been observed on the 
other side of the Bank, in Comhill. Each soldier 
had thirty-six rounds of ammunition served out to 


him ; and at about sunset the attack began. As 
the mob, disconcerted by the barriers in Cheapside, 
halted in their impetuous course, and broke up into 
small detachments, struggling along the pavement 
in their attempt to reach the Poultry, the military 
began to fire. At the first discharge some score 
of people fell, and were hastily dragged into St. 
Mildred's Church. Unfortunately, many innocent 
people suffered from the indiscriminate firing in 
different parts of the city, as it was very difficult 
to distinguish between the ' rioters and peaceable 
citizens. Robert Smith himself had a narrow escape 
from being killed : — 

I had [he says] the curiosity to walk out from 
Frederick's Place, and to stand at the south-west 
comer of the Old Jewry, from whence I could observe 
all that passed. Shortly afterwards, four or five 
drunken fellows with blue cockades in their hats 
came reeling down Cheapside, bawling out " No 
Popery." As they approached, the eyes of the 
volunteers were intent upon them, and the com- 
manding officer called out " Attention ! " All was 
silent, and the drunken fellows, without offering any 
violence, were about to pass the corps, by walking 
on the foot pavement, as if to make towards the 
Compter, when the officer told them to " fall back " ; 
and at the same time a few muskets were pointed 
towards them to prevent their passing. They re- 
treated a few paces to the spot where I stood, and 
there made a halt, muttering curses at the soldiery, 
when all of a sudden two or three muskets were 
discharged at them. One of the balls lodged in the 
door-post of the house against which I stood, not 


half-a-dozen inches from my right shoulder ; another 
passed between my legs, and shattered the brickwork 
against the calves of my legs. 

I lost no time in making good my retreat down 
the Old Jewry; and the rioters taking the same 
direction, the soldiers discharged their pieces plenti- 
fully without distinguishing the guilty from the 
innocent. The balls whistled along by me before I 
could turn into Frederick's Place, but I providenti- 
ally escaped ; the rioters, too, were all untouched ; 
but a poor fellow who had just come out of Schu- 
maker and Hayman's counting-house with a bill his 
master had sent him for, was shot through the heart. 
He fell, gave a convulsive kick or two, and died. 
Another in crossing the Old Jewry from Dove Court 
with a plate of oysters in his hand was shot through 
the wrist. The consternation was so g;reat and 
general throughout the metropolis, that many of the 
families removed themselves out of the town, as if 
to avoid an enemy or the plague. I took mine for 
a few days to Layton, where they remained until all 
was quiet. The damage done to property of all 
descriptions, houses, furniture, and goods, was to an 
immense amount, and actions were brought by the 
sufferers, upon the Eiot Act (1 Geo. c 1), for a 
recovery of their " losses." As attorney to the Hand 
in Hand Fire Office, which had paid large sums 
upon their policies, I brought several actions in the 
names of the assured, and obtained verdicts in all. 

Robert Smith often narrated how, on the morning 
after the attack on the Bank, he visited Lord Mans- 
field's house in Bloomsbury Square, and saw the 
<Ubris of the unique library and costly furniture 
smouldering in the road ; and how, returning to the 
City by way of Holbom Hill, he stood aghast before 


the burnt-out distillery, and the awful spectacle of 
poor wretches lying about, literally roasted to death 
in the blazing rum and gin. 

In the year 1782 an important change took place 
in Robert Smith's fortunes. He says: — 

Upon the Duke of Richmond's coming into office 
as Master-General of the Ordnance, he appointed 
Mr. Serjeant Adair "Solicitor" to the Ordnance. 
Such was the language of the appointment ; but the 
duties of the situation are exercised by a practising 
solicitor, called in office language the " assistant to 
the solicitor." Mr. Serjeant Adair recommended me 
as his " assistant " ; and this situation I have enjoyed 
from that time to the present (1818). 

Three years later, Smith received a tempting offer 
from his father-in-law to proceed to the West Indies 
on important business. 

My wife's father [he explains], Mr. Bogle French, 
having large balances due to him from some of his 
correspondents in the West India Islands, but more 
particularly in Granada, he thought it an object that 
I should go thither accompanied by his son, in order 
to adjust the accounts, and make arrangements for 
remittance. For my own trouble and absence from 
my business at home, he offered to pay me £1500, 
exclusive of all expenses. [He was ultimately paid 
£2000.] Knowing the importance of the business 
to himself and his family, I readily accepted the 

Meanwhile, both he and his wife thought that the 
keeping up of the house in Frederick's Place during 
his absence would be an urmecessary expense ; and 


as the lady preferred to reside altogether at Hollo- 
way, where he had taken a small country-house 
three years before, Smith determined to part with 
his lease. But he could not do this without proper 
offices for his business, which was to be conducted 
during his absence by his managing-clerk. He 
therefore engaged with his brother-in-law, Mr. 
Norris, for the building behind his house. No. 21, in 
the Old Jewry. The lease of the Frederick's Place 
house he sold for £100. 

He set sail from Deal for the West Indies on 
November the 7th, 1785, and, having successfully 
accomplished his mission there, returned home, 
reaching Holloway on July the 1st, 1786. The 
foUowiug year he was elected a Fellow of the 
Society of Antiquaries of London ; and, having paid 
his admission fee, and the usual composition in lieu 
of annual payment, he was, on May the 3rd, admitted 
a Fellow for life. 



Association of James and Horace Smith with the City — 
Their childhood — James and Horace at Chigwell School. 

James and Horace Smith were not only dty-born, 
but city-bred ; James residiag there fifty-eight year's, 
and Horace thirty-five, until they came to know 
every nook and corner of its intricate courts and 
alleys, and all worth remembering of its ancient 

Fen Court — where James first saw the light — is 
still a delightfully shady nook wherein to stray from 
Fenchurch Street on some broiling July day. It 
retains a fragment of an old churchyard, where 
sundry trees contrive to keep up appearances, and 
don each spring a new suit of tender green. In 
the last century, this scrap of graveyard was hemmed 
in by narrow red-brick tenements, where merchants 
and lawyers lived, and carried on business, and 
were as contented as are their modem descend- 
ants in palatial offices and homes in Kent or 

As soon as he was able to walk, young James 


used to go with his nurse or his mother to all kinds 
of delightful places close by. There were constant 
visits to Leadenhall Market, a never-faihng source 
of interest, where the little boy revelled in the 
sight of live poultry, rabbits, guinea-pigs, and other 
"small deer" beloved of children. The Tower of 
London and its menagerie, easily reached down 
Mincing Lane, was a treat sparingly bestowed and 
rapturously enjoyed. There was the Monument, 
across Eastcheap, to be stared up at with wonder 
and amazement. London Bridge, with its four great 
wheels for raising water, was easily accessible, and 
often in the summer James was taken for a stroll 
through the sheds and pent-houses that then repre- 
sented Billingsgate, to bhe river front, or, better still, 
on the Custom House terrace, where he could watch 
for hours the noiseless floating trafiic. Every day, 
almost, there was something new to look at, and at 
every hour of the day there was bustle and excitement 
in the crowded thoroughfares of the dear old city. 

Frederick's Place — where Horace was born — Old 
Jewry, Basinghall Street, and Austin Friars were 
not one bit less interesting than Fen Court, and in 
each of these localities the brothers lived, as from 
time to time their father shifted his place of abode. 
Thus while poor, friendless Charles Lamb — born the 
same year as James Smith — was prowling about the 
streets, " shivering at cold windows of print-shops to 
extract a little amusement," James and Horace were 
joyously exploring the City, until there was hardly 
an old mansion or hall that they did not know. 


By the time James was ten years old, an extensile 
family of brothers and sisters had sprung up around 
him. Leonard was nine years of age, Horace six 5 
and there were four sisters, Maria, Sophia, Louisa, 
and Adelaide. Subsequently, another sister was 
born, completing Kobert Smith's family of three sons 
and five daughters. 

Everything was in favour of the boys starting in 
life with an exceptionally good education, which 
began, as it should, at home. All the time that 
could be spared from the multifarious duties of 
her household, Mrs. Smith devoted to grounding 
her children thoroughly in the elements of know- 
ledge ; and her sweet, patient disposition, and un- 
affected but practical piety, effected more by force 
of example than all the precepts of divines and 
pedants, in developing their naturally amiable and 
attractive character. 

From their father the boys derived invaluable 
aid. Tired though he might be after close applica- 
tion to his office-work, Robert Smith was ever ready 
to devote himself to the lads, teaching them the 
rudiments of the classics, French, and even Italian, 
patiently solving the difficulties in the iron rules of 
grammar, helping them with gentle hands along the 
stony paths of the three " R's," so that when they 
went to school, the usual drudgery stage that dis- 
gusts all clever boys was quickly surmounted, and 
they were able to apply unhampered intelligence to 
the task on hand, and master it with ease. 

Their father, who from youth up had been in the 


habit of composing what h6 called " little poetical 
effusions," encouraged his children to do the same ; 
and both James and Horace soon evinced a special 
aptitude for rhyming, and such a decided love of 
punning, as would have been thought remarkable by 
any family not so accustomed to it. 

A particularly sociable man was Robert Smith, 
and his society was much courted by a large circle 
of acquaintances, who thoroughly appreciated his 
wit and conversational powers, which seemed to be 
rendered more striking because of his singularly 
handsome face and figure. Besides being a shrewd 
and close observer of nature, he had made quite a 
study of mankind, and possessed a deep penetration 
into character. In this respect, too, his sons were 
like him, for as mere boys they noted the peculiari- 
ties and eccentricities of others, reproducing their 
idios3mcrasies in neat little verses, all of which have, 
unluckily, perished. 

Several of their father's friends were poetically 
inclined, and amongst them was Mr. John Chubb, an 
old Bridgwater playmate, who, during his periodical 
visits to London, used to stay at the Smiths'. John 
Chubb possessed also a taste for painting and draw- 
ing, which latter art he cultivated with some success 
as a caricaturist ; and nothing more delighted the 
boys — especially Horace — than to watch him sketch 
a group of well-known people in all sorts of grotesque 
attitudes. Sometimes there came to dine with their 
father various members of literary and scientific 
societies, and after dinner the boys would creep in 


to the dining-room, and eagerly listen to the grave 
dissertations, treasuring up all they could understand 
for further investigation. 

James Smith used to say that the crowning 
episode in his early years was when, but eight years 
old, he was taken by his father to Bolt Court and 
presented to Dr. Johnson, then near his end. The 
old sage received him very kindly, and told him to 
be " a good boy, and always obey his father and 
mother." Another " great event " of his childhood 
happened one Sunday. As he and his father were 
leaving Highgate Church, they were met by Lord 
Chief Justice Mansfield, who, after a somewhat 
lengthy conversation with Eobert Smith, turned to 
young James, and patting him on the head, inquired 
if he too intended to be a lawyer, a pleasant smile 
playing about his firm but kindly mouth. James 
was too confused to reply ; and this, he afterwards 
explained to his mother, was because he was won- 
dering all the time whether, in order to be a judge, 
one was obliged to have a big high nose and piercing 
eyes, in which case he had no chance of becoming 

Every year the young Smiths were taken into 
the country for change of air. Those were not the 
days when indulgent parents, aided and abetted by 
the family doctor, took their boys and girls to the 
seaside, the Continent, or across the Atlantic, on 
every possible excuse. Our Georgian forefathers 
considered country air and country diet all-sufficient 
for themselves ; and if forced to think of sea-air for 


their little ones, as a rule found it at Gravesend. 
London, beyond the belt of market-gardens and 
orchards that encircled it, was surrounded by per- 
fectly rural places — ^villages as quiet and pleasant as 
many that are now found five miles from a railway 
station in Dorsetshire. 

Essex was the favourite resort of the London 
citizen. It was handy, notoriously healthy, and 
cheap ; and for Robert Smith it had other attractions, 
as many of his friends lived there. Thus in the 
spring of the year 1775, the family went into 
furnished lodgings at Layton, The next summer 
they went to Salter's Buildings near Epping Forest, 
and the following year a small house with a good 
garden was taken on lease at Layton for the term of 
fourteen years, at the rental of £21 per annum. 
For the greater convenience in going to and from 
London, and in order to give his wife and young 
ones an "airing'' occasionally, Robert Smith pur- 
chased a horse and a "whiskey," a kind of light 

A twenty-guinea rental does not seem much, but 
the cheapest bargain Robert Smith ever made in 
this line — and he seems to have had a craze for tak- 
ing leases and disposing of them — was at Upper 
HoUoway, then exceedingly rural, where he got a 
house at the foot of Highgate Hill, with orchard, 
kitchen-garden, bam, stable, and paddock, for 
twenty-five guineas per annum, including taxes of 
every kind ! 

The day arrived when it became necessary to 


select a school for the boys. A kind of family 
council was held, and, by the advice of his Essex 
acquaintances, Chigwell School was decided upon. 
Thither James and Leonard were sent the following 
term, January 1785 ; Horace following, at the rather 
tender age of eight, two years later, there to " learn 
Latin and Greek, etc." 

School-life was then an altogether different affair 
from what it is now. Parents and boys were more 
easily satisfied, less fastidious about board and 
lodging. Pocket-money was sparingly bestowed, the 
quarterly tip of an ordinary present-day Eton lad 
probably exceeding the receipts of the eighteenth- 
century boy's entire school-days. 

The staple dietary was : for breakfast, bread and 
cheese, skimmed milk or porridge ; for dinner, plain 
roast and boiled meat ; and for supper, bread and 
cheese again, with very small beer to wash it 
down. How would our jeunesse dori like it ! 
Yet most of our greatest statesmen, divines, and 
warriors had to put up with this when they were 

The Smiths roughed it with the rest. Their 
sleeping apartment was decidedly exiguous, neither 
more nor less than what we should call a large 
cupboard, with a narrow slit for a window. Still, 
it had the recommendation of being warm and com- 
fortable in the winter. 

An early school anecdote of himself is related 
by Horace Smith in a letter to his friend, Charles 
Mathews. Being asked by Mr. Biirford, Head 


Master, the Latin for the word "cowardice," and 
having forgotten it, he replied that the Romans 
" had none." Luckily for Horace, Burford choose to 
regard this as a Ion-mot, and he was complimented 
instead of being awarded the usual penalty for not 
knowing his lesson. 

Burford was a man of considerable ability, a 
scholar, dignified in manner, and with a kindly and 
indulgent disposition ; a man to be both respected 
and beloved, and well-deserving the epithet " hon- 
oured " bestowed upon him by his favourite pupil, 
James Smith. In many things he was in advance 
of his time. 

By the ordinance of Archbishop Harsnett, the 
pious founder, the only Latin and Greek grammars 
to be used were " Lilly's " and " Cleonard's " ; and 
for " phrase and style " only Tully and Terence were 
to be studied ; the Greek and Latin poets might be 
read, but " no novelties nor conceited modern 
writers " ! These restrictions, however, did not pre- 
clude Burford from giving the brothers Smith a 
thoroughly good classical education. Unlike most 
of the boys, they were naturally inclined to be studi- 
ous, though James was full of animal spirits and fond 
of practical jokes, for the consequences of which he 
would have suffered, had he not won the heart of 
Burford by his cleverness and talent, which always 
placed him at the top of his class. 

He was a capital mimic; and one day, having 
managed to obtain a cast-off wig of Burford's, he 
ascended the sacred desk, over which was a sound- 


ing-board, and, changing the expression of his face 
with wonderful facility, so exactly imitated his tone 
and manner that the whole school was in fits of 
laughter. Burford was at that moment just about 
to enter, but paused outside the door, enjoying the 
fun, imagining that the writing-master, Vickary, 
was being " taken off." He was quickly undeceived, 
and, hastily entering the room, sternly reprimanded 
Smith, who was told to report himself in the study 
after school-hours. But on James promising not to 
do the like again, he was let off with nothing worse 
than a good " wigging." 

This Vickary, who married into the Burford 
family, was an exceedingly strict teacher, and, like 
Dickens's " Mr. Creakle," only too delighted to have 
any excuse for rapping the knuckles of some unfor- 
tunate boy who was awkward in handling his pen. 
James Smith held him in such awe that, years 
afterwards, in his poem on Chigwell Revisited, he 
thus recalls him : — 

Seek we the cliurchyard, there the yew 
Shades many a swain whom once I knew, 

Now namelef^s and forgotten ; 
Here towers Sir Edward's marble bier, 
Here lies stern Vickary, and here 

My father's friend, Tom Cotton. 

James Smith had a very retentive memory for 
localities, and in the same poem describes the exact 
position of the ink-bespattered desk where he was 
initiated into the mysteries of Cornelius Nepos, and 
of another where he 


fagged hard at Plutarch, 
Pound Ovid's mighty pleasant ways, 
While Plato's metaphysic maze 
Appeared like Piuto — too dark ! 

Nothing was forgotten. He remembered where 
a certain usher used to sit, and where his school 
chums — and they were many — had their appointed 
places, and how one in particular, a boy of chilly 
temperament and tallowy complexion, always man- 
aged to secure the best place near the open hearth : 

Here Usher Ireland sat, and there 
Stood Bolton, Cowel, Parker, Ware, 

Medley, the pert and witty, 
And here — crack station near the fire — ■ 
Sat Roberts, whose Haymarket sire 

Sold oil and spermaceti. 


Sundays at Chigwell — Playdays and recreation at Chigwell 
—James at New College, Hackney — At Alfred House Academy, 
Camberwell — Attends book-keeping classes — Horace leaves 
Chigwell, and goes to Alfred House. 

On Sundays and Saints'-days, the boys were for- 
mally marshalled into the school-rooms, whence they 
proceeded in orderly procession, service-books in 
hand, to morning-prayers at Chigwell Church, where 
good old Archbishop Harsnett sleeps his last sleep 
in front of the altar. It was strictly enjoined that 
during Divine service they should kneel at the proper 
time, "and bow at the name of Jesus," and that those 
who were able to do so should take notes of the 
sermon, and submit them to the master the following 
morning. This was a great trial to the Smiths, as 
James, with his keen sense of humour, could hardly 
refrain from expounding his notes facetiously ; and 
Horace found it difficult to avoid imparting to the 
preacher's exordium a romantic and picturesque tone 
unwarranted by the solemnity of the subject. 

The boys had not far to walk to church. The 
quaint little building was almost next door, ap- 


preached by an avenue of yew-trees, which met over- 
head, and were so closely interlaced as to form a 
living awning of sombre green. 

At the west end, opposite the porch, was a small 

gallery, set apart for the Harsnett boys, and faced by 

another gallery. A certain village beauty used to 

walk across the meadows every Sunday to attend the 

services at Chigwell, in preference to those of her own 

district, no doubt for good and sufficient reasons. 

She was dressed very much as we are accustomed to 

picture the charming Dolly Varden — short frock with 

tight sleeves, open in front, and drawn through the 

pocket-holes, long mittens and long white apron, 

black stockings and the neatest of high-heeled shoes 

with stout buckles. Unlike Dolly Varden, however, 

her headgear was a charming white bonnet, which 

suited her dark complexion to a nicety. Until she 

arrived at church, the elder boys concentrated their 

attention upon the door by which she would enter, 

and afterwards upon herself, while she affected utter 

indifference to the Harsnett gallery admiration. 

This bewitching lass appears to have made a deep 
impression on James Smith, although it is not on 
record that he ever so much as spoke to her ; but 
recalling his school days, and his Sunday in particular, 
he writes : — 

Yon pew, the gallery below, 

Held Nancy, pride of Chigwell Row, 

Who set all hearts a-dancing : 
In bonnet white, divine brunette, 
O'er Burnet's field, I see thee yet 
To Sunday church advancing.' 

1 Chigwell Beviaited. 


Whenever he could get time from his studies, 
Horace, though in a desultory and sedate fashion, 
used to join the other boys in games and rambles ; 
but James, a great lover of books, would stroll away 
alone, mount some old tree, comfortably settle himself 
between the forked branches, and there revel in any 
old volume he could procure. 

Chigwell consisted of but a few houses, including 
the old King's Head, immortalized by Charles 
Dickens in Barnaby Budge. Next to it was a forge 
round which the boys loved to hover ; and there was 
but one general shop, where sweet-stuff could be 
obtained. Chigwell was, however, the proud possessor 
of some parish stocks, though they never seem to have 
been used, for James observes : — 

I dive not in parochial law, 
Yet this I know — I never saw 
Two legs protruded through 'em.i 

Adjoining the church lived the village doctor : — 

One Denham, Galen's son, who dealt 
In squills and cream of tartar.^ 

Up the road were some miniature almshouses, 
where dwelt an old pensioner, " wry-mouthed Martin 
Hadly," who used to excite the boys' sense of the 
ridiculous by his queer gesticulations when he talked. 
Outdoor games were not elaborated in those days, 
but swimming, nolens volens, they all had to learn in 
a rough and ready fashion, having to jump into a 
deep hole formed by the river Eoding,and take their 
chance of sinking or swimming : — 

1 Chigwell Bevisited, 


Seek we tlie river's grassy verge, 
Where all were destined to immerge, 
Or willing or abhorrent.' 

Upon leaving Chigwell in 1789, James Smith was 
sent to the Nonconformist New College at Hackney, 
chiefly in deference to the religious principles of his 
mother, and also because, being a Presbyterian, he 
was excluded from our universities. 

One of the most brilliant of the Presbyterian 
ministers of that day was the Rev. Dr. Abraham 
Rees, best known, perhaps, as the compiler of the 
Encyclopedia which bears his name. Rees was for 
some years tutor in an academy at Hoxton, and on 
its dissolution in 1785 he became associated with an 
institution that had been founded for the purpose of 
providing a liberal education for dissenting youths, 
and especially for the training of ministers. The 
trustees of the institution had purchased a roomy 
mansion and grounds at Hackney, known as Homerton 
Hall, or Bond Hopkin's house, and adding two wings', 
opened the establishment in 1786 as New College, 
Hackney. Dr. Rees, who occupied the Hebrew 
and Mathematical chair, was one of the principals, 
together with Dr. Richard Price and the Rev. Thomas 
Belsham — all of them eminent for learning and 

The records of New College are scanty, and have 
not been preserved with much exactitude ; but in an 
old minute-book there is an entry of a meeting of the 
committee on the 23rd of July, 1789, Dr. Rees being 

' Chigwell Revisited. 


present, when it was " resolved that Mr. James Smith 
of the Old Jewry be admitted as student on his own 
foundation at the College, Hackney, at the commence- 
ment of next session ; " and thither he accordingly 
went on the 21st of the following September. 

In the one year that James Smith remained at 
New College, young though he was, he derived con- 
siderable advantage from the intellectual vigour and 
clear insight into nearly every subject that char- 
acterized " Encyclopedia Eees.'' His religion was 
broadened, his latent powers were encouraged into 
development, and he began to learn the great 
lesson of self-reliance and independent thought. 
Had he remained for the whole term, who knows but 
what he might have evinced a desire to enter the 
ministry ; in which case we should perhaps have had 
a second Rowland Hill in the pulpit. 

From New College James went to Alfred House 
Academy, Camberwell. The proprietor of this school, 
a Mr. Wanostrocht, had been strongly recommended 
to Robert Smith by his friends in Paris. French was 
the current language of the school, and Italian, 
German, and Spanish were taught, together with 
drawing, fencing, dancing, and music, in addition to 
the usual course of Latin, Greek, writing, arithmetic, 
and book-keeping. 

Nicholas Wanostrocht seems to have been a kind 
of prototype of Mr. Barlow in Sandford aiid Merton. 
His prospectus holds out a delightful prospect to the 
Sandford and Merton type of boy, and must have been 
immensely appreciated by the lads in general. 


According to the custom of every academy, there 
are two half-holidays a week, viz. Wednesdays and 
Saturdays. On these occasions, the master himself 
always accompanies the young gentlemen, sometimes 
in the fields ; and by pointing out to them the most 
useful productions of nature, endeavours to lead their 
young minds into a habit of observation and atten- 
tion. In every little country excursion, a variety of 
objects, both in the vegetable and animal kingdoms, 
present themselves, and furnish numberless subjects 
for conversation, and it is the master's employment 
so to direct his inquiries as to excite the curiosity 
and improve the understanding of his pupils. 

The house, large and airy, was pleasantly situated 
between Camden Row and Havill's Fields, where the 
Camberwell House Asylum now stands. The situa- 
tion was dry and healthy, and the neighbourhood 
noted for its sylvan beauty. On half-holidays the 
boys were often taken to the Grove, when moral 
lessons were inculcated on the identical spot where 
George Barnwell, the London apprentice, led away 
by the wiles of a designing and abandoned woman, 
murdered his rich old uncle, for which crime he reaped 
his reward at Tyburn. 

Amongst James Smith's contributions to Rejected 
Addresses is a ludicrous parody of the story of George 
Barnwell, in which the writer's school-days evidently 
rose up before him, as he penned the stanza 
beginning : — 

A pistol he got from his love — 
'Twas loaded with powder and bullet ; 

He trudged oflf to Camberwell Grove, 
But wanted the courage to pull it. 


Both Nicholas Wanostrocht and his school have 
long since vanished ; but cricketers will recall a work, 
at one time very popular, that owes its origin to 
Wanostrocht's son, who wrote under the pseudonym 
of " N. Felix." It is called Felix on the Bat, and is 
an able treatise on the national game. 

James remained at Alfred House for about a year 
and a half; after which, being still rather deficient in 
writing and book-keeping, he went with his brother 
Leonard to a commercial academy, kept by a Mr. 
Eaton in Tower Street, where, they daily attended 
the classes, having their meals at home in Basinghall 
Street, whither Robert Smith had removed from the 
Old Jewry. 

At the same time (midsummer 1791), Horace left 
Chigwell School, and went' to Alfred Housfe, where 
he stayed for nearly four years, going through the 
same course of studies as James. 


The eve of the French Kevolution— Robert Smith again in 
Paris — Sees Louis XVI. and Marie Antoinette at Versailles — 
The French Drama — The political agitation in Paris — Robert 
Smith's providential escape from the mob — James Smith in 
France — His narrow escape from death at Dover. 

We must now go back to Robert Smitb, who had 
returned from the West Indies, and in the summer 
of 1788 went again to Paris, — this time on important 
legal business, — where he was the subject of some 
remarkable experiences. The period was that of 
which Hallam writes : — 

" An event was now impending which was to shake 
Europe to its foundations. To all outward appear- 
ance France was in a most prosperous condition. 
She was at peace with all Europe ; she had achieved a 
triumph over England, her ancient rival, by helping 
to emancipate her rebellious colonies ; yet she was 
herself on the brink of a terrible convulsion." 

Of the preliminary upheavings of this political 
and social earthquake, Robert Smith was an eye- 

We put up [he says] at the Hotel d'York, Rue 
Jacob, Fauxbourg St. Germain, kept by one Guillan- 
deau, whose wife was an Englishwoman. A voiture 



being thought necessary for us during our stay in 
Paris, or at least convenient, I had desired Monsieur 
Guillandeau to order one, and this morning a notary 
waited upon us with a hail de carrosse for my signa- 
ture. An English coachman would have been 
contented with less ceremony ; but here, every in- 
strument to be valid must be entered into devant 

August 9, 1788. — Understanding that the am- 
bassadors lately arrived from Tippoo Saib were to be 
presented in great state to the King and Queen 
(Louis XVI. and Marie Antoinette) at Versailles 
to-morrow, we had desired Monsieur P^regaux to 
procure us tickets, and this day he sent us two for 
our admission into the grands appartements. In the 
evening we went to La ComMie Francaise, the per- 
formances Les femmes savantes of Moliere, and 
L'jElcole des Maris. 

August 15. — Having procured a. permission tor our 
witure to Versailles, and ordered an additional pair 
of horses with a postilion, we set out this morning 
between 7 and 8 o'clock in our dress-suits for Ver- 
sailles, where we arrived between 9 and 10, and 
were set down near the gates of the ch§,teau or 
palace. We went immediately to the chateau, 
presented our billets, and were admitted. 

After ascending Ze Gravid Escali^re, we went 
through a suite of rooms, all crowded with well- 
dressed persons, who, like ourselves, had been 
admitted by hillets to the ante-chambers, but were 
not permitted to enter the presence-chamber. We 
advanced, however, by degrees to the door of La 
Grande GaUrie, where the Swiss Guards stood to pre- 
vent the entrance of those who had not been before 
presented to their Majesties, or who did not come 
properly introduced. For some time we stood here 
with others, but at length, by dint of importunity, and 


telling the guards that it would be a great dis^ 
appointment to us as strangers to return without 
seeing the ceremony, we were slyly smuggled in, 
and got at last to the further end next to the 
Queen's apartment. Here we took our station in 
the midst of persons of both sexes attired in the 
most superb court-dress. 

After waiting about two hours, the double-door 
of the Queen's apartment was thrown open, and she 
came out, attended' by her suite of ladies, some of 
whom held up her train. They passed close to me, 
her Majesty walking most gracefully and majestic- 
ally through the gallery to the apartment that leads 
to the chapel, whither she was going. Very shortly 
afterwards, the three Indian ambassadors with their 
suite, all full dressed in the costume of their country, 
and preceded by a dozen officers of the French 
court, entered the gallery from the Queen's apart- 
ment, and advanced towards the chapel also, as I 

In about three-quarters of an hour, the Queen 
returned in the same dignified manner, and was 
immediately followed by the ambassadors. They all 
remained for some time in the Great Gallery, where 
I had full opportunity of examining their persons. 
The Queen is tall, fair, of regular features, with a 
most pleasing smile on her countenance, and moves 
with great elegance and dignity. She was habited 
in white silk, embroidered with silver and flowers in 
the most sumptuous manner, and yet every part of 
her dress seemed to set easy. I never saw finer 
men than the three ambassadors ; one of them was 
above six feet high, and well-formed. They were all 
easy in their behaviour, and every attention was paid 
to them by the company. Among the persons present 
was the Count d'Estaing, a character well known to 
the English during the late war both in the East 


and West Indies. I never before witnessed so 
splendid a scene. We remained in the gallery until 
about three o'clock, when the Queen retired to her 
apartment, and the company withdrew shortly after- 
wards. The King did not make his appearance, 
from what cause I know not. 

The ambassadors dined this day at the Prime 
Minister's, and carriages were ranged along the side 
of the chateau in readiness to convey them about 
the park and gardens. As we were waiting with 
many others to see them, the Comte d'Artois drove 
up to the palace, and alighted. In a few minutes 
the King's carriage also drove up, when lie alighted, 
passed close to us, and ascended a small staircase 
that leads up to the chapel. His Majesty appeared 
in high spirits, talking familiarly to the gentlemen 
who attended him. He is rather inclined to 
corpulency, has a ruddy complexion, and draws his 
eyelids together as if short-sighted. He was dressed 
in scarlet, richly embroidered with gold. 

Having gratified our curiosity with a sight of the 
King, and the day being pretty far spent, we re- 
turned in our voiture to Paris. In the afternoon of 
the following day we went to Les VariiUs Amtcsantes 
in the Palais Royal. The entertainment was Z'An- 
glois a Paris, and La Tiviide. The latter was a new 
piece, and was so well received by the audience, that 
the instant the curtain dropped there was a 
universal cry throughout the house of Z'Auteur, 
L'Auteitr ! The poor devil of an author then made 
his appearance, conducted on the stage by one of 
the performers. The clapping recommenced, the 
author made a most profound reverence to the 
house, and seemed as if about to return his thanks 
for the favourable reception of his piece, but his 
feelings overpowered him. He clasped his hands 
together, then opening them, raised his arms above 


his head, and ran off the stage without saying a 
word. , 

A few evenings afterwards we went to see Les 
Petits Comddiens de Monseigneur S.A.S., Le Comte 
de Beaujolais. The performance was Alexis and 
Colin, preceded by a light fetite pi&ce, and followed 
by Za Belle Usclave, a musical entertainment. Almost 
all the performers were young persons from ]5 to 
20, or 22 years of age, and their manner of acting 
was new. They come on the stage properly habited 
for their parts, which they appear to perform, moving 
their lips, adapting their countenances and their 
motions as the play required ; yet not one of them 
uttered a syllable. The -whole of the speaking part 
was performed by persons behind the scenes, as was 
the singing. The deception was so great that it was 
some time before I discovered it. I am told that 
the managers of this theatre have no royal license 
for acting plays, so that they have hit upon this 
expedient to elude the law. 

For the last day or two, an Arr^t du conseil d'etat 
du Roi, dated the 8th of the present month, has 
been in circulation, and has been freely commented 
upon at the coffee-houses. By this ArrSt (or decree) 
his Majesty signifies his intention to convene Les 
Etats Gdniraux on the 1st of May next, in order to 
deliberate on the great and weighty affairs of the 
nation; and in the meantime, his Majesty in part 
suspends the execution of the late Arret, which 
abolished the Parliament, and established La cour 
Pldniaire. This ArrSt, so congenial, I understand, 
to the wishes of the kingdom, cannot fail of giving 
universal satisfaction. 

August IS.^Another Arret has just come out, 
dated the 16th of the present month, by which 
payment of the public debts is in part postponed, 
and put upon a new footing until the assembling of 


the Mats Gindraux in May next. A certain class of 
creditors are to receive entire payment in Billets du 
Tr4sor Royal; others are to receive part in these 
bills, and part in money ; and debts under 500 livres, 
as well as the payment of the army and navy, are to 
be paid wholly in money. As in the present situ- 
ation of the kingdom, and of public credit, the King 
cannot torrow, the only alternative which is left to 
him is, not to pay. 

The affairs of France, as far as I can judge, seem 
drawing to a crisis. No confidence in the present 
minister (Archbishop Lomenie de Brienne), public 
credit gone, the administration of justice suspended, 
and, notwithstanding all this, expensive public 
buildings are going forwards, and Les Spectacles and all 
other places of public entertainment are crowded to 
excess. Who shall pretend to say that France is not 
a happy nation in spite of the difficulties that 
threaten her ! 

August 27, — We drove this forenoon to Choisy le 
Boi, and dined at Saint Nicolas {au hard de I'eau), 
and had at our dinner an excellent matelotte, a dish 
of stewed eels and gudgeon. This dish alone is a 
" turtle-feast " to the cockneys of Paris, and I give 
them credit for their taste. 

Upon our return to Paris, we strolled to Notre 
Dame, and on our way back to the hotel we saw an 
immense multitude of people upon the Pont Neuf 
and in the Place Bauphini. In the latter place (at 
the top of which stands Le Palais des Marchands) 
were illuminations, fireworks, and other demonstra- 
tions of joy, on account of the Archbishop's dismissal 
from office. 

August 29. — We drove to St. Denis, dined at Le 
Pavilion Boyal, and then returned to Paris. In the 
evening we took several turns upon the terrace of 
the Tuilleries gardens, and on our return to the hotel 


we crossed Pont Royal. We again observed the 
illuminations in Place Dauphin^ and about the Pont 
Muf, and heard the fireworks. The noise and 
shouting were louder than before. Surely Necker's 
friends (who is appointed the new Minister) must 
have a hand in the furious exultation. 

August 30. — Lucky was it for us that we returned 
from the Tuilleries across Pont Royal. The noise 
which we heard proceeded from the most dreadful 
outrages on the Pont Neuf, Place Bawphini, Place de 
la Grive, etc. It seems that on the preceding even- 
ing, a party of the Gud-a-pied (city watch), com- 
manded by Monsieur Le Chevalier du Bois, had 
been under the necessity of using force to disperse 
the mob, who had been guilty of great irregularities 
in and about Pont Neuf.- The mob resisted, and in 
the scuffle one of the Ghiet with the butt-end of his 
musket knocked out the brains of a young lad about 
seven or eight years old. This so enraged the popu- 
lace, that last night they attacked the different Corps 
de Gardes (guard-houses), pulled them to the ground, 
burnt the materials, and routed the Guets completely. 
Every carriage that passed the Pont Neuf was stopped, 
and the passengers and coachmen were made to pull 
off their hats to the statue of Henry 'IV., and to 
bawl out, " Vivent le roi et Monsieur Necker." At 
length they laid about them with swords and 
bludgeons, slashing and bruising all without dis- 
tinction who attempted to pass the bridge. Mon- 
sieur le Comte de Nesle, who was returning from 
Versailles in his voiture, was stopped on the Pont 
Neuf, the glasses of his carriage were broken to 
pieces, and he himself was so much cut and bruised, 
that he is confined to his bed, and, as I understand, 
is dangerously ill. In the Place de Grtoe the Guet 
fired upon the mob, who, being possessed of firearms, 
returned the fire, and fifty or sixty persons were 


dangerously wounded, five were killed on the 

Notwithstanding this disturbed state of things, 
we returned to those places to view the ravages that 
had been committed. In the Place de GHoe we 
saw against several of the houses marks of the musket 
balls, the Corps de Gardes were everywhere in ruins, 
not a Guet was to be seen ; and the mob have now 
their own way. 

Undeterred by the risk he had run in August, 
Robert Smith again went to Paris in December of 
the same year, to complete the troublesome piece of 
legal business he had in hand, taking with him 
his son James — a great treat for the thirteen-year- 
old boy. Robert Smith writes : — 

Decemler 23, 1788. — At Chantilly, whilst our 
breakfast was getting ready, we all strolled down to 
the chateau and gardens of the Prince de Conde. 
The moat round the chateau was frozen over, and 
several persons were amusing themselves in skating, 
etc. Among them was the young Due d'Enghein 
(son of the Due de Bourbon, and grandson of the 
Prince de Cond^), who, with a person whom we 
understood to be his tutor, was entertaining himself 
in a curious manner. They had each a small 
iraineau, or sledge, just large enough to receive one 
person, with short wooden spikes pointed with iron 
in their hands. Each traineau had in it a low seat, 
was turned up before and shod with iron. Each 
withdrew his sledge a short distance from the other, 
and then, with the assistance of their pointed spikes, 
advanced towards each other with all the rapidity 
in their power, just like -two rams iighting. The 
violence with which the prows of the two traineaux 


met each other was sure to throw out one or other 
of the combatants, to the great entertainment of 
themselves and of the spectators. I could not help 
observing, however, that the tutor was displaced 
much oftener than the young duke; perhaps the 
etiquette required that he should be. 

Arrived at Paris, the Smiths put up at their old 
hotel, the York, and in the evening young James 
made his first acquaintance with a French Variety 
Theatre in the Palais Royal. His father took him 
to Astley's, where they were entertained with feats 
of English horsemanship, some of which " made 
the French spectators stare with astonishment." 
They went everywhere, and appear to have seen 
every phase of Parisian life, even going to several 
of the guinguettes in the Faubourg Montmartre, 
where they saw the lower orders of people in high 
glee, eating, drinking, dancing, and waltzing, of 
which latter amusement Robert Smith evidently 
did not approve, for he remarks, " This species of 
dance I understand to be German, but to me it 
appears wanton and indecent ! " 

At last the wished-for day arrived, when the 
business that had detained Robert Smith three 
weeks, " doing little more than kicking up his heels," 
was completed, and he was free to return home. 

Being anxious to be gone [he says] I set off with 
my son in a cabriolet, but owing to the rugged- 
ness of the roads and the darkness of the evening, 
we proceeded no further than St. Denis. We left 
there at six o'clock this morning (January 16). We 


breakfasted at Chantilly, dined in our cabriolet on 
a cold langue de hmuf de Flandres, which I had laid 
in at Paris, and at half-past eight o'clock in the 
evening had reached Amiens. Continuing to Mon- 
treuil, we left that place early in the morning. Upon 
our arrival at Calais (January 18), I found that the 
wind had been so boisterous, none of the boats could 
venture out, so that all my hurry in getting away 
from Paris, and on the road, is likely to prove of 
little avail, the wind still continuing to blow strong. 
January 23. — The wind still blows strong, but 
Captain Oakley of the Royal Charlotte, with whom 
I had agreed to sail when the weather should 
moderate, telling us that he might now venture out, 
we went on board, and soon afterwards sailed with a 
rough sea and a high wind. After beating up some 
time to the westward, the captain stretched across 
the channel, but before our arrival off Dover we 
perceived the flag on the pier-head was taken down, 
as a signal that there was not water sufficient over 
the bar. Captain Oakley paused for a few minutes, 
then whispering something to the man at the helm, 
he told us that he must either make the attempt to 
get in, or return to mid-channel, and there lie-to 
until the morning tide. He dashed therefore for 
the mouth of the harbour, notwithstanding the 
waving of hats on the pier for him to keep out. He 
persisted, and just as we got upon the bar, the 
vessel struck, and immediately laid down on her 
beam-ends. The mainyard almost instantly came 
upon deck, giving me a smart blow on the shoulder 
in its fall, but I held fast to the pump, and saved 
myself from being carried overboard with the boat. 
My son James had fortunately slipped into the 
cabin, and by that means escaped the danger. The 
sailors on the pier, perceiving the mischief, bawled 
out to the captain with their speaking-trumpets to 


" keep all taut," meaning not to let go a single sail, 
lest the ship should he struck backwards and for- 
wards by the waves and dashed to pieces against the 
pier. A boat made the attempt to toss a rope to 
us, but the sea washed so powerfully into the mouth 
of the harbour that she could not get near enough. 
The bustle on the shore, and the confusion on board, 
were not a little alarming. However, after a few 
seas had broken over us, a most tremendous one 
came, took the ship's bottom as she lay on her side, 
and canted her over the bar into deeper water, when 
she righted, and was moored in the harbour as fast 
as possible. We all scrambled on shore, taking with 
us our luggage, without the ceremony of its being 
taken to the Custom House. The danger was 
certainly great, and our escape ought to call forth 
all our gratitude ! 

Having taken a hearty dinner, I set off with my 
son in a chaise and four horses for Canterbury, and 
from thence we went on to Sittingbourne, where we 
supped and slept. We proceeded in the same manner 
next morning, breakfasted at Eochester, changed 
horses at Dartford, and arrived safely at London. 
Froifii thence, after a short stay, I went to my family 
at Holloway. 



James is articled to his father — Goes to Scotland — Goes to 
the Isle of Wight — Eohert Smith and Sir Joseph Banks — 
James visits Dartmouth, the Isle of Thanet, and " Leasowes " 
in Shropshire— Goes to various places on Ordnance Board 
business — Robert Smith elected Fellow of the Royal Society 
— Horace becomes clerk in a City counting-house — James 
admitted as an Attorney — The National Thanksgiving at 
St. Paul's — Patriotism in the City — Robert Smith becomes 
a member of the Society of Arts — His experiences in Ireland. 

Robert Smith was keenly in favour of boys see- 
ing, as soon as possible, all of the world that they 
could, regarding it as a most important part of 
their education that they should learn from personal 
observation what kind of a country they lived in. 
He therefore never lost an opportunity of taking 
them on his journeys. As to James, who was 
destined for the law, it was deemed essential that 
he should go with his father on his professional 
tours, especially on those of Ordnance Board 
business, in order to familiarize him with the dock- 
yards and forts under its control. 



Consequently we find that in their holidays, or 
■whenever leave of absence could be obtained, the 
boys paid visits to various parts of the kingdom ; 
the deliberate mode of travelling then in vogue 
affording them capital opportunity for their favour- 
ite study of humanity. Their experiences and 
adventures proved of the greatest use to them, for 
their memories were wonderfully retentive ; nothing, 
however trivial, escaped their keen powers of 
observation; and, of course, every humorous in- 
cident was treasured up as a jewel of great price. 
By the time they had arrived at manhood, the two 
young Smiths were looked upon as experienced 
travellers, and probably knew Great Britain better 
than we, at the close of the nineteenth century, 
who, in our rush of travelling from London to distant 
centres, ignore the interestiag districts that lie 

On March the 9th, 1791, James, at the age of 
seventeen, was articled to his father for five years 
as attorney's clerk. 

In August of the same year, James went on a 
tour to the North with his father, his grandfather 
French, and his sister Sophia, a man-servant ac- 
companying them. The party set out on Sunday 
in their " glass^coach and four," and with the usual 
changing of horses, breakfasting, dining, and supping 
on the road, arrived at Carlisle in five days, by way 
of Greta Bridge — the destined scene of Sir Walter 
Scott's Boheby — which Robert Smith describes as 
" a romantic little spot." 


On Sunday morning, the 12th of August, they 
entered Scotland at the river Sark, the incident 
being thus recorded in the Journal : — 

A little beyond the river is Gretna Green, a place 
well-known to many a young couple, some of whom, 
no doubt, have heartily repented of their folly. Upon 
our entering the village, our post-boys, out of mere 
fun, began smacking their whips, and driving at a 
furious rate. From a house on the left hand, we 
perceived a man come hastily to the door and stare 
at us ; but the drivers went on, shaking their heads 
at him and laughing. This man, they told us, was 
the famous blacksmith, Joseph Paisley. 

Two days later the party arrived at Glasgow, 
putting up at the Tontine. 

Citizens of Glasgow, and others who are acquainted 
with its wonderful progress, and with the marvellous 
transformation of the river Clyde, will be amused 
at Robert Smith's account : — 

Over the river [he says] are thrown two stone 
bridges, the " Old Bridge " and the " New Bridge." 
Just above the Old Bridge is a meadow of good 
size, called the " Green," which belongs to the town, 
and is rented by one Smith, at £120 per annum. 
Upon it is erected a large building or wash-house, 
fitted up with a number of coppers, and provided 
with tubs. A number of women we saw at the 
tubs, busily employed, and many hundreds were 
scattered about on the banks of the river, washing 
their linen and spreading it out on the Green to dry. 
Smith furnishes tubs and coal; the women, soap 
and starch ; and from each washerwoman in . the 


" House " he receives sixpence per day for the hot 
water, and threepence more for the tub ! 

The travellers reached Edinburgh from Glasgow in 
about seven hours, and drove to Walker's Hotel in 
Princes' Street in the new town. 

Like any tourist of to-day, they " did " all the 
sights: the Eegister Office, the Castle, Holyrood, 
the old town, St. Giles's Church (four places of 
worship under one roof), etc. etc. Robert Smith 
naively remarks : — 

Edinburgh has many religious establishments, of 
which the supreme is' the " General Assembly of the 
Church of Scotland." It meets annually in the 
month of May, in an aisle of St. Giles's Church, 
which is fitted up for the purpose. The " Throne " 
on such occasions is filled by a " commissioner " from 
the Crown ; but he neither debates nor votes. Re 
calls them together, and dissolves them in the name 
of the " King " ; but they call and dissolve themselves 
in the name of the Lord Jesus Christ. 

The return home, by way of Berwick, Newcastle, 
Carlisle, Doncaster, Grantham, and Barnet, occupied 
ten days, and " all arrived in safety at London after 
a journey of more than 800 miles." 

In January 1793 Robert Smith went to Liverpool. 
He appears not to have formed a very favourable 
opinion of the future industry of Lancashire. He 
writes : — 

On this occasion I saw the whole process of 
cotton manufacture. The machinery is curious, and 


the whole acted upon by the power of a steam- 
engine. The throwing together, however, of so 
many men, women, and children of both sexes, from 
what little I saw, and by the information I received, 
is highly injurious both to their health and their 
morals ! 

The following July the three boys set out on a 
"jaunt of pleasure'' with their father to Portsmouth 
and the Isle of Wight. 

From Cowes in a post-chaise and a whiskey, we 
drove to Newport, and viewed the interior of Caris- 
brook Castle. Upon our return to the outer gate 
of the castle, the person who had conducted us 
through the apartments, turned to me and asked 
whether I had ever seen him before ? I answered, 
" Not that I recollected." — " Sir," said he, " you have 
seen, I dare say, Mr. West's famous print of the 
death of General Wolfe?" — "Yes, everybody has 
seen that." — "Do you recollect the figure of the 
Grenadier serjeant who is running up to the General 
with his hat off, to bring the account of the French 
having run?"— "Yes, I do."— " Sir, I am that 
Serjeant. I sat to Mr. West for the likeness, which 
was then thought a good one. But I am grown old 
now, sir; I don't wonder at your not recollecting 

In August James went on a little tour to Graves- 
end, Tilbury Fort, Upnor Castle, etc., and viewed 
the Ordnance Board lands, picking up much valu- 
able information respecting his future official duties. 

In the year 1794 there is a curious entry in 
Robert Smith's journal. It appears that a friend 
had given him a small Chinese book, of whose con- 


tents both were utterly ignorant, so it was sent to 
Sir Joseph Banks with a letter desiring his accept- 
ance of the volume. The following was received in 
reply :— 

Sir Joseph Banks presents his compliments to 
Mr. Smith, and returns him many thanks for the 
present of a Chinese book, which he will carefully 
deposit in his library, in hopes at Some future time 
he may meet with a Chinese man who will inform 
him of the nature of the contents, of which he 
confesses himself just as ignorant as Mr. Smith. 

Soho Square, Jan. 25th, 1794. 

In September James accompanied his father to 
Dartmouth on important Ordnance business, when 
the land required for the erection of forts on Berry 
Head, near Brixham, was arranged to be purchased 
by the Government. 

It is worthy of remark, that although Robert 
Smith travelled about so much, he was never 
attacked by highwaymen, probably owing to his 
great personal strength and activity, which had 
become known, and also to the fact that he always 
carried firearms, and was ready to use them. 

Not long after the West of England trip, James 
and his father went to Ramsgate and Margate in 
search of lodgings for the family, when they man- 
aged to see a good deal of the Isle of Thanet, and 
in Margate Churchyard were struck with the 
quaintness of an epitaph, the subject of which was 
a girl-child, aged four years and six months : — 


" With flowing sail and easy gale 

Kidd brought her to the pier ; 
Though safe in port, her time was short, 

T' enjoy the pleasures here. 
Seager, 'tis true, restored her to 

Her former health and charms, 
But Christ did say, 'Come, haste away,' 

And clasp'd her in His arms.'' 

They ascertained that the said Kidd was master of 
one of the Margate hoys, and Seager an apothecary 
of the town, but could not so easily discover what 
the " pleasures " of Margate could have been to a 
mere infant ! 

Robert Smith was always keen on epitaphs, and 
particularly partial to one he had seen in the church- 
yard of Frampton on Severn, relating to a humble 
imitator of Henry VIII. It ran thus : — 



He was lay clerk of this church 

for upwards of 59 years. 
Died, Febni<iry ISiTi, 1788. Aet. 84. 

' ' This short inscription let it bear, 
The Clerk, etc., lies quiet here." 

James's next journey was a delightful onej made 
in company with his father to " Leasowes " in 
Shropshire, immortalized as the residence of the 
poet Shenstone — author of The Schoolmistress, etc. — - 
whom Horace Walpole used to call the " water-gruel 
bard," and of Hugh Miller, the prince of landscape 


gardeners. " Leasowes " had been sold for £17,000 
by its owner, Captain J. Halliday, RN., and the 
Smiths had to give formal possession to the 

On their way back to London they passed through 
Oxford, when James took the opportunity of going 
through the colleges ; and when, a year later, busi- 
ness calliag them to Landguard Fort, Harwich, and 
Ipswich, they explored the rival University town of 
Cambridge — James regretted that he had not been 
" baptized a Churchman ! " 

We next find James at Lewes, at the trial and 
conviction of certain artillery-men who had been 
embezzling Ordnance stores ; then followed his first 
visit to Brighton, a place of which both he and 
Horace were destined to see much in after years. 

On the 24th of November, 1796, Robert Smith 
was elected a Fellow of the Royal Society, Sir Joseph 
Banks being the president ; and on the 8th of 
December he was admitted as a Fellow for life, his 
certificate being immediately preceded by that of 
Samuel Rogers, who had been elected a week earlier. 

The same year Horace left Alfred House Academy, 
and became a clerk in the counting-house of Mr. 
Robert Kingston, a merchant, of 39 Coleman Street. 
Owing to Robert Smith's gveat influence as a 
solicitor to the Hand-in-Hand Insurance Company, 
and his connection with the African Company, which 
ensured his nomination being accepted, no premium 
was paid ; but, on the other hand, Horace received 
no salary. 


On the 9th of March, 1797, James's articles expired; 
but it was not until February 1798 that he was 
admitted as an Attorney of the Court of King's 

The year closed by the Smiths being spectators of 
a " very solemn and impressive scene." 

Their Majesties [writes Robert Smith], with the 
whole of the Family and a numerous suite of the 
nobility and gentry, followed by an immense popu- 
lace, attended a National Thanksgiving at St. Paul's, 
on account of the three great victories that were 
obtained over the enemy by the British fleet. These 
were, by Lord Howe .over the French, on June the 
1st, 1794 ; by Sir John Jarvis over the Spaniards, 
on February the 14th last ; and by Admiral Duncan 
over the Dutch, on the 11th of October last. The 
sight was truly grand. All the shops were shut in 
the line of procession, the front windows of most of 
the houses taken out, and the rooms fitted up with 
seats for company. We stationed ourselves in the 
crowd at the comer of the Old Bailey, and had a 
very fair view of the procession as it passed. 

England, threatened by an invasion, was then in 
the midst of her tremendous struggle with Bona- 
parte, fighting the French by sea and land ; and the 
City, as ever, was not behindhand in patriotism. 
Says Robert Smith : — 

February,^ 1798.— On the 9th of this month, a 
public meeting of the bankers, merchants, and trades- 
men of London, was held by advertisement at the 
Royal Exchange. The object of the meeting was to 
raise by voluntary contribution a sum of money for 
the public service, and many resolutions were entered 

DUBLIN IN 1801 73 

into, calculated to inspire confidence and ardour in 
the public cause. The Exchange was crowded in 
every part. 

May 1st. — On this day, ward-meetings assembled, 
and other meetings were held of the inhabitants of 
London for forming an " Armed Association," which 
the threatening aspect of the French had rendered 
a prudent measure. 

November 21st. — On this day I was admitted a 
member of the Society of Arts, Manufactures, and 
Commerce in the Adelphi. I paid my annual sub- 
scription of two guineas, and have continued to do 
so to the present time (1818). 

In the first year of the nineteenth century James 
Smith had attained his twenty-fifth year, and was 
considered sufiiciently experienced to be left in 
charge of the ofifice while his father went to Dublin 
on one of the most interesting of his numerous 
journeys. Eobert Smith writes : — 

The commercial house in London, of French and 
Burrowes, having become contractors for the Irish 
2^ million loan of this year, it was thought advis- 
able to concert a plan of executing it, so as to 
render the stock marketable in both countries. I 
prepared the draft of a Trust deed for carrying it 
into effect, and, the deed being settled by counsel, 
Mr. Burrowes wished me to accompany him to 
Dublin. I consented, and we left London together 
in the mail-coach on the 16th of June, Mr. Burrowes 
taking with him in the inside of the coach a leather 
trunk well secured, in which were guineas and bank- 
notes to the amount of £70,000 ! This sum was 
intended to make good the first deposit upon the 


At 10 p.m. on the 19tli we embarked for Holy- 
head on board the Leicester packet, with a fresh breeze 
at S.W., and squally appearance of the sky. The 
breeze had increased, and at about three o'clock in 
morning the wind chopped to the west, which 
obliged the packet to work her way close-hauled. 
After about twelve hours' tossing and tacking, we 
arrived at the "Hill of Houth." Standing on 
towards the point of land on the left, the Wick- 
low mountains rising in the background, we worked 
our way into the Bay of Dublin. Here the prospect 
is delightful. Crossing the bar, we entered the 
Liffey, and at the " Pigeon House Dock " we took 
the Post-Office wherry to the Watch House on 
Rogerson's Quay, whence we proceeded in a hackney 
coach to Kearns's hotel in Kildare Street. After 
breakfast, we strolled out to see the " lions," Trinity 
College, the Four Courts, Merrion Square, and St. 
Stephen's Greens, etc., etc. A meeting was held in 
connection with the Irish Loan, and a plan was 
finally adopted calculated to make it a success. 

When the meeting broke up, Mr. Burrowes and 
myself went to dine with his brother, and in the 
evening we all went to the Theatre Royal in Crow 
Street. The play was Cumberland's comedy of The 
Wheel of Fortune, in which John Kemble (who is 
over here for a time) performed the part of " Pen- 
ruddock." The entertainment was, "No song, no 
supper." The theatre itself is neat and commo- 
dious, the approach to it by no means convenient 
or agreeable. 

Next day we went to view the interiors of the 
Houses of Lords and Commons, just by Trinity 
College. The walls of the House of Lords are hung 
with tapestry, on which are represented the Battle 
of the Boyne and the Siege of Londonderry, two 
well-known events in Irish history; the chair of 


state is covered with crimson velvet ; the woodwork 
of burnished gold, and over it is a handsome canopy ; 
the woolsack, the table, and the seats are all 
covered with scarlet cloth, and disposed in much the 
same manner as those in the House of Lords at 
Westminster. The whole produces a very pleasing 
effect. In the same building is the House of 
Commons, which is of a circular form ; the seats for 
the members are circular stools or chairs, the bottoms 
covered with black leather, the backs of solid mahog- 
any. Facing the Speaker's chair in the body of the 
House are two boxes, one for the Serjeant-at-Arms, 
the other for the Chaplain of the House ; a large 
gilt chandelier of wood hangs from the centre of the 
dome, and round the House is a circular gallery for 

At three o'clock Mr. Nevill and Mr. Koper, a 
barrister, did me the favour to call at our hotel, in 
order to introduce me into the Gallery of the House 
of Commons. I remained in the gallery until the 
House broke up at a quarter before six o'clock. 
There happened to be no interesting debate, the 
time of the House being chiefly occupied in Com- 
mittee upon matters of revenue. 

A day or two afterwards I had an opportunity of 
seeing the House of Lords during a sitting. Their 
Lordships had under consideration a Bill for making 
compensation to corporations, and to individuals who 
would lose their situations, or sustain a loss, by the 
approaching Union. 

Lord Famham spoke violently against the Bill, 
animadverting upon the preamble, the clauses, the 
conduct of the House in passing it through its 
different stages in the manner in which it had to be 
done, not forgetting that of the Commons. He was 
called to order two or three times by the Lord 
Chancellor, but soon relapsing into the same strain, 


the Marquis of Drogheda (who is -well-disposed to 
Government and the Union) rose to speak to 
" order," and in a dry, arch manner, said he thought 
it would very much " shorten the debate " if the 
House were cleared of strangers. He moved it, and 
we were all obliged to depart. His meaning was, that 
Lord Farnham, in the violent language he was using, 
addressed himself more to the strangers below the 
Bar, and through them to the newspapers, than to 
their Lordships. 

In the evening Mr. Burrowes and myself dined 
by invitation with the directors of the two Assur- 
ance Companies of Dublin at Atwell's Tavern. 
The conversation after dinner turned principally 
upon the new loan, the trade of Ireland, the advan- 
tages and disadvantages to Ireland, particularly to 
Dublin, of the approaching union of the two 
countries. The topics were well handled, but I could 
clearly perceive great difference of sentiment among 
the directors touching the latter. Dublin, they said, 
would suffer immense loss by the removal of the 
Parliament ; which would be felt in a particular 
manner by the proprietors of houses and lodgings, 
by tradesmen of all descriptions, by the theatres and 
other places of public resort, by the professors of the 
law, and by the numerous dependents upon all these. 
A certain description of persons, it was admitted, 
would receive compensation, but it was fifty chances 
to one whether any of them would deem the com- 
pensation adequate. There appeared to be much 
good sense in the remarks, but they are unavailing ; 
the measure, I believe, is already determined upon. 

January 25th. — In my rambles this morning I 
walked to the Four Courts. Mr. Justice Finucane 
was then sitting at Nisi Prius in the Court of 
Common Pleas. The forms of proceeding are much 
the same as in England, except that, after the sum- 


ming up by the Judge, a copy of the issue is handed 
up to the jury, who confer together; and when 
agreed on their verdict, the foreman writes it on the 
paper, subscribes his name, and returns it to the 
officer, who files the written verdict as his voucher. 
There is no witness-box, but the witness sits on a 
chair that is placed on the table of the Court. I 
stayed here for nearly a couple of hours, and was 
particularly entertained in hearing Mr. Curran, the 
facetious Irish barrister. It was some squabble about 
a duel, or rather, a challenge ; and it was to the 
interest of his client that he should turn the whole 
into ridicule, which he did most completely. " My 
Lords, the Judges laugh, and you're dismissed." 

By the bye, the style of pleading at the Irish Bar 
is different from what it is with us. The counsel 
indulge more in digression, in oratorical flourishes, 
and give a greater rein to the fancy. An English 
barrister sticks more to his instructions, to the 
matter of fact, and to the law. 

The object of our journey being now completed, 
we left Dublin about midnight on the 27th of June, 
and arrived safely at the General Post-Office in 
Lombard Street at five o'clock on the morning of 
the 1st of July. 



Earliest literary works of James and Horace Smith — No. 
36 Basinghall Street — City Halls and State Lotteries — 
James dines with the Hon. Spencer Perceval — Family visit to 
Windsor — Illness and death of Mrs. Robert Smith. 

About the period 1799 — 1800, just as he was 
Qoming of age, Horace Smith made his first essay in 
literature. It was not for want of example and 
encouragement that he had not begun still earlier, 
for his father spent most of his spare moments in 
literary work of one kind or another, constantly 
contributing papers on weighty subjects to the 
Gentleman's Magazine and the European Magazine, 
and to the learned societies of which he was a 
member; and sometimes indulging in lighter 
articles, one of which, burlesquing the etymology 
of the word " danger," as given by J. P. Andrews in 
his anecdotes, appeared in the European Magazine. 

Horace, uncertain how his first novel (for such it 
was), entitled, A Family Story, would be received 
by his father, who considered that kind of writing 

frivolous and inconsistent with his son's position as 



clerk in a city counting-house, brought it out under 
the convenient name of " Mr. Smith." ^ It dealt with 
the felicities of domestic life in a highly moral and 
improving manner, after the fashion of the day. 
It must have had a succ^ d'estime ; for, the follow- 
ing year, the same publishers issued " Mr. Smith's " 
second novel, The R^onaway, or the Seat of 
Benevolence, in four volumes, the scene of which 
entertaining production — a " novel with a purpose " 
— is laid at Cliffdown Lodge on the banks of the Avon 
in Gloucestershire, where the owner, Mr. Somers, 
a rich recluse, receives the penniless and ragged 
Theodore, a perfect stranger to him, and is so touched 
by his artless story of distress, and of his willingness 
to work as a clerk, or " even as a gardener," that he 
instantly closes with the offer of his services in the 
latter capacity, as follows : — 

" It fortunately happens at this time I am making 
some improvements in my pleasure-garden; if you 
will assist me in the design by giving your opinion 
and instruction, I shall consider it a favour; in 
return for which, my house, table, and purse are at 
your service." .... Theodore was grateful, and 
was preparing to thank him, but Somers insisted 
that the obligation was on his side, and therefore 
requested he would say no more on the subject 
He next furnished him with a change of linen and 
various other articles he had immediate occasion 
for, and then threw down his purse on the table, 
desiring he would supply himself with sufficient to 
procure other necessaries. 

1 Published by Crosby and Letterman of Stationer's Court, 
in three small volumes, at the price of half-a-guinea. 


"Mr. Smith's" style was much appreciated in 
certain circles, and The Bunaway was quickly 
followed (in 1801) hy Trevanion, or Matrhnonial 
Errors (published by Earle and Hermit, 47 
Albemarle Street), prefaced by these lines : 

'Tis an important point to know, 
There's no perfection here below ; 
Man's an odd compound after all, 
And ever has been since the Fall ! 

Trevanion is, perhaps, even more stilted than 
The Runaway. It treats of secret marriages 
generally, and the mischief arising therefrom, and, 
in a kind of epilogue, propounds some exceedingly 
virtuous sentiments. This work was followed in 1807 
by Horatio, or Memoirs of the Davenport Family. 

James, while quite a youngster, started his literary 
career by sending to the Gentleman's Magazine a 
series of characteristic letters, detailing the most 
extraordinary discoveries in natural history and 
antiquity. They were pure hoaxes, and the 
brothers, with all but irrepressible feelings of mirth, 
used to watch their unsuspecting father as he 
gravely read the pages of " Mr. Sylvanus Urban's " 
ultra-respectable periodical, in which their contribu- 
tions appeared anonymously. 

Together with Horace, James contributed in 1802 
to the Pic Nic and Cabinet Weeldy, an ephemeral 
publication started by Colonel Henry Greville, of 
whom Lord Byron wrote : — 

" Or hail at once the patron and the pile 
Of vice and folly, Greville and Argyle." 


In 1809 James was a contributor to The London 
Review, which proved a failure, and was soon dis- 
continued. -With Horace, he wrote several of the 
prefaces to Bell's British Theatre, published 
under the sanction of Mr. Richard Cumberland, the 
well-known dramatic author. From 1807 to 1810 
James was a constant writer for the Monthly 
Mirror, the property of the eccentric Mr. Thomas 
Hill of Sydenham. It was in this periodical that 
the poetical imitations called Sorace in London — 
subsequently published in the first edition of 
Rejected Addresses — first appeared. 

It will be seen that the brothers were accustomed 
to the wielding of the pen, and, in foct, were ex- 
perienced writers, when (in 1812) their literary 
masterpiece was conceived and brought forth. 

In the year 1800 the Smith family were living at 
36 Basinghall Street, whither they had removed from 
Old Jewry in 1790. The house was old-fashioned 
and roomy, of red-brick, and hidden away behind 
one of the ugly warehouses abounding in that 
narrow and tortuous thoroughfare, which connected 
Cateaton Street with London Wall. It had a long 
garden at the back, reaching almost to Coleman 
Street, where, in the heart of the city, all kinds of 
hardy shrubs flourished, and well-known herbaceous 
favourites appeared in the narrow borders, with each 
changing season. 

This garden adjoined that of the old Girdler's 
Hall, famous for a venerable mulberry-tree, said to 
have escaped the devouring flames of the Great Fire 


of London, which, raging all around, destroyed the 
parish-church of St. Michael's just across the street. 
There was much in the locality to feed the imagin- 
ations of such lovers of the past as James and 
Horace Smith. Improvements had not yet begun. 
London — at any rate the City — was to a great 
extent "old and picturesque London" still. The 
age of ugliness had not arrived, and designs for the 
dismal " bald street " yet slumbered in the brain of 
Nash, the architect, and his Royal patron. Quaint 
little casements, framed by projecting eaves and 
peaked gables, gazed into the street below with a 
look of hospitable invitation. 

Close by the church in Basinghall Street was 
Coopers' Hall, whose members made casks for the 
packing of dry goods, and of goods the reverse of 
"dry." For some years the State lotteries were 
held here, the tickets being arranged at Somerset 
House, and afterwards conveyed to Coopers' Hall on 
sledges, escorted by a detachment of Life Guards ; 
the drawings (which James and Horace used 
frequently to witness) being conducted by boys from 
Christ's Hospital. 

Whatever may be said against the morality of the 
State lotteries, the temptation to an impecunious 
Government to raise money by this means was too 
great to be resisted, and all classes were bitten by 
the insane hope of making a fortune by the turn of 
a lucky number. 

Even such a high-minded man as the Right 
Honourable William Windham was not above trjring 


his luck, and seems to have regarded it as a perfectly 
legitimate investment. 

Robert Smith occasionally ventured his money, 
and, when verging upon his eightieth year, took a 
chance in the last public lottery in England, which 
he thus briefly records : — 

October 17, 1826. — I went to London in the 
stage. The drawing- of the State lottery closing 
to-morrow, I was disposed to try my luck, and pur- 
chased a ticket. It came up a blank. 

James was now his father's partner in all but name, 
and industriously attended to his legal duties. 
Leonard, to whom it is not necessary to refer at 
length in this narrative, was completing his seven 
years' clerkship at Downs, Thornton, and Free, the 
Bankers, in Bartholomew Lane. Horace, as we have 
seen, was a clerk in a Coleman Street counting- 
house, literally round the corner, just at the back of 
his house in Basinghall Street, where he joined the 
family at meal-times. 

James went a good deal into society even at this 
period; and on January 2nd, 1801, we find him 
dining at Bellsise House, Hampstead, with the Hon. 
Spencer Perceval and Mrs. Perceval, a daughter of 
Sir Thomas Wilson of Charlton.^ 

In the summer of 1803 James and Horace went 

1 On March 11 of the following year, James Smith's sister, 
Sophia, was married at the church of St. Michael's, Bassishaw, 
to Mr. Thomas Cadell, only son of Mr. Alderman Oadell, the 
well-known publisher in the Strand. 


with their father and mother to the Eoyal Borough, 
when they had the gratification of having a good 
look at ELing George and the Koyal Family. Says 
the Journal : — 

On the 19th of July, Mrs. Smith and myself and 
our young folks took a little excursion to Windsor. 
We dined, supped, and slept at the Windmill Inn, 
at Salt Hill, and the following day (Sunday) drove 
in a glass coach to Windsor that we might see the 
Eoyal Family. We had the first view of them on 
their going to Chapel, and afterwards during the 
service. We dined at the inn at Windsor, and in 
the evening walked to the Terrace. Upon the King, 
Queen, and Family entering the Terrace from the 
Queen's Palace, we all ranged ourselves against the 
wall of the castle, myself and my sons with our 
hats off. The King and Queen on passing looked 
at us, paused for a moment, and smiled as if pleased 
at the sight. 

King George and his consort, at sight of the 
Smiths and their eight children, were probably 
reminded only too forcibly of their own extensive 

This, unhappily, was the last excursion which 
Mrs. Robert Smith was permitted to take with the 
whole of her family. Up to this period her children 
had been spared that saddest of all experiences — 
personal bereavement ; but they were soon to realize 
it in its acutest form. For some time Mrs. Robert 
Smith's health had been declining, owing to con- 
stitutional weakness of the heart, which increased as 
she grew older, and suddenly developed alarming 


symptoms in the form of most distressing spasms. 
After a temporary recovery, the doctors advised her 
removal to Worthing, a place she much liked. 

She returned to Basinghall Street on the 24th of 
the month in better spirits, and improved in her 
general appearance ; but her husband's heart was 
" full of anxiety and forebodings," alas! only too well- 
founded, for one Saturday — the 3rd of November — 
she died suddenly, from the eifects of sudden excite- 
ment caused by unexpected noise and fear of fire. 



Robert Smitli's second marriage — He visits Cambridge, and 
there sees Henry Kirke White — Horace Smith becomes a 
merchant — The City in the first decade of the century — Horace 
Smith's firm reconstituted — James appointed joint-assistant to 
the Ordnance Board Solicitor — Robert Smith removes to 
Austin Friars — Horace Smith becomes a member of the Stock 

Mrs. Robert Smith's death left a dismal void in 
the family life at 36 Basinghall Street. 

Though many years elapsed before James and 
Horace set up establishments of their own, their lives 
gradually became more and more independent and 
self-contained, until with the second marriage of 
their father an entirely new order of things prevailed. 
For, in spite of the loving attention of sons and 
daughters, Robert Smith, now verging on sixty, 
sorely felt his loneliness. Essentially a domestic 
man, he shrank from the idea of having to face old 
age without the companionship and comfort of a 
wife, and his thoughts turned involuntarily to his 
old friend Poole's widow, then about fifty-six. 

I had been intimately acquainted with Mrs. Poole 


[he says] for more than thirty years ; and to her, after 
much consideration on the fitness of the measure, I 
made an offer of my hand. After a while the offer 
was accepted, and matters were arranged for our 
future union. On Friday, the I7th of January, 
1806, the marriage took place at the chapel in 
Queen Square, Bath. 

The couple went to reside at Woodford, in Essex 
— the late Mr. Poole's residence — the house in 
Basinghall Street being still maintained as a town- 
house. Before settling down they made several 
excursions into the country, and amongst other 
places went to Cambridge, where they saw the poet, 
Kirke White, shortly before his death. 

Early in August [says Robert Smith] I set out in 
our coach with Mrs. Smith and my two daughters 
on a little excursion to Cambridge. We slept the 
first night at Hockerill, called on the following day 
at Little Shelford, and dined, supped, and slept at 
Cambridge. The next day was spent in viewing the 
several colleges, the Senate House, the Library, etc. 
Coming out of the gardens of one of the colleges, 
St. John's, we met Kirke White,^ a young student, 
of whom the Rev. Thomas Thomason spoke highly 
for his piety, talents, and general good conduct. He 
is a young man, about one-and-twenty, of good 
appearance, but of consumptive habit. 

The same year (1806) Horace Smith left the 
counting-house of Mr. Robert Kingston, the mer- 

1 Henry Kirke White died (from overwork) at St. Jolin's 
College, Cambridge, Oct. 19, 1806, aged twenty-one years and 
seven months. 


chant in Coleman Street, where he had been a pro- 
bationer for ten years, and, with his father's aid, 
went into partnership with a Mr. Chesmer, under 
the title of " Smith & Chesmer," Merchants and In- 
surance Brokers, 3 Copthall Chambers. His brother 
Leonard, the following year, became a partner in the 
firm of " Bogle, French, Borrowes, and Canning," 
West-India merchants, reconstituted under the 
name of " Bogle, French, Warren, and Smith." 

The times were hardly propitious for entering 
into mercantile partnership, and yet, if the risk were 
great, the gains were proportionally large; and in 
those stirring days, before the invention of the tele- 
graph had brought all the world to the same dead 
level, and reduced profit to a mere fraction, indi- 
viduals with cool heads, possessed of exceptional 
means of information, were almost certain of acquir- 
ing fortunes. Business was a fascinating and excit- 
ing pursuit, when at any moment intelligence might 
arrive of engagements won or lost by the British. 
Although the year 1805 had seen Napoleon's gigantic 
efforts on land everywhere crowned with success, 
it had been immortalized by Nelson's victory 
at Trafalgar; and consols, though they had once 
touched 58f , had been remarkably even throughout 
the year. 

In the spring of 1806, the great Pitt, worn out 
with cares and anxieties, died at the age of forty-six. 
Lord Grenville and all the " Talents " succeeded, and 
made themselves specially unpopular in mercantile 
circles by the imposition of a property-tax of ten 


per cent. The celebrated Berlin Decrees, intended 
to cripple, if not to destory, British commerce, were 
promulgated by Napoleon, and added still more to 
the intense uneasiness and anxiety that prevailed in 
the City. Distrust abounded ; yet the most extra- 
ordinary frauds were concocted, and successfiiUj' 
carried out. 

In those days business was transacted with de- 
liberation and dignity ; not in the " life or death " 
manner of the present day. As regards costume, it 
was the era of top-boots and knee-breeches : and 
we can picture the future author of Rejected, Ad- 
dresses standing in front of the bow-windows of 
old Lloyd's coSee-house in Lombard Street, or on the 
flagstones of the Koyal Exchange, clad in snuff- 
coloured coat, grey trousers, yellow-topped bluchers, 
and low hat, or in black coat, white cravat, and 
gaiters, according to the season, bargaining in the 
market for West Indian produce. 

Horace Smith exhibited in business a shrewdness 
and clearness of judgment for which his literary 
friends in after life never could give him credit. 
They quite overlooked the nature of his early 
training, and his constant association with a father 
who possessed business qualifications of a high order. 
Moreover, as has been observed, the possession of 
exceptional information was in those days more im- 
portant even than now. Robert Smith's position 
in the Ordnance Office enabled him to receive the 
earliest and most accurate intimation of the move- 
ments of the British forces, upon whom all eyes 


were fixed ; and the purport of many an important 
Government dispatch from the seat of war, privately 
reaching his ears some time before it was generally 
known in the City, was communicated by him to 

Horace Smith's firm prospered, inspiring so much 
confidence that three years after its formation 
Mr. John Down, a son of Robert Smith's banker 
(of the firm of Down, Thornton, Free, and Cornwall), 
joined the concern, and put into it the sum of 
£10,000, after which it was designated " Smith, 
Chesmer, and Down." Horace now began to make 
money ; and a pleasant side-light is thrown upon his 
disposition by a fact which his father records with 
great satisfaction. He says : — 

On this day (October' I7th) my son Horace, in 
consideration of the heavy payments which I have 
made for himself and his brothers, very kindly pre- 
sented me with £500. I received it as a token of 
affection from a dutiful son, and shall retain the 
remembrance of it as long as I live. 

James Smith pursiied his calling with no less 
diligence than his brother, making himself more and 
more indispensable in his father's office, and quali- 
fying for the important post of Joint-Assistant to 
the Solicitor of the Ordnance. He met with all 
kinds of curious experience, both in the ordinary 
course of business as a solicitor, and in that of 
the Government Department with which he was 

In the year 1812, memorable for the dastardly 


assassination of Mr. Perceval, the Chancellor of the 
Exchequer, by Bellingham in the lobby of the 
House of Commons, Robert Smith, who for some 
time had been endeavouring to get his son James 
appointed as his joint-assistant — with a view, no 
doubt, to his eventually succeeding him — renewed 
his application as soon as the Earl of Mulgrave 
became Master-General of the Ordnance, in place of 
the Earl of Chatham. His request was granted, and 
the following letters were received from the Board's 
secretary : — 

The Master-General and Board, having been 
pleased to acquiesce in the request you have pre- 
ferred, that the name of your son, Mr. James Smith, 
may be added to your own in the appointment of 
" Assistant to the Ordnance Solicitor," I am directed 
to state the same for your information, and that you 
and your son will accordingly be termed " Joint- 
Assistants to the Solicitor." 

Having returned his thanks to the Master-General, 
Eobert Smith received the following reply : — 

SiE, — The result of the inquiries which I made 
in consequence of your application, has rendered it 
highly satisfactory to comply with your request for 
the appointment of your son as assistant to the 
Ordnance Solicibor. 
I am, sir, 

You most obedient humble servant, 
Robert Smith, Esq. 

Finding that his means would not admit of his 
keeping up both the large expensive house in 


Basinghall Street and the one at Woodford, and 
also that his wife preferred to live in the country, 
Robert Smith determined to make new arrange- 
ments. The lease of the Basinghall Street premises 
was therefore disposed of; rooms were taken at No. 
18 Austin Friars, and thither the office papers were 
removed, and the business thenceforth carried on ; 
while he and his wife, with his unmarried daughters, 
went to live at Woodford. 

Horace Smith, who had severed his connection 
with the mercantile firm in which he was a partner, 
about this period became a member of the Stock 
Exchange, his place of business being in Shorter's 
Court, Throgmorton Street ; and he and his brothers 
lived together in rooms attached to the office in 
Austin Friars. 


Horace Smith's Burlesque, The Sighgate Tunnel, is pro- 
duced at tlie Lyceum Theatre — James and Horace Smith's 
connection with the drama — Destruction of Drury Lane 
Theatre by fire — Plans for the re-building — The new theatre. 

In the year 1810, a private Act of Parliament was 
applied for, empowering a Company ^ to carry out a 
laudable scheme, whose object Was to divert the 
traffic entirely from the difficult and often dangerous 
ascent of Highgate Hill, by the creation of a new 
and easily accessible route. 

It was proposed to effect this, object by the 
construction of a tunnel of considerable length ; 
but Mr. John Rennie, the famous engineer, having 
pointed out the great inconvenience of this, a shorter 
one with open approaches was agreed upon. The 
Act, in spite of the decided unpopularity of the 
project, was passed, and the work began. 

In this age of steel and iron, the idea of a petty 
little culvert, 211 yards in length, being regarded as 
a wonderful piece of engineering, seems incredible. 

1 This Company eventually built the well-known Highgate 
Archway, now in course of re-construction by the London 
County Council. 



But the good folk of 1810, innocent of modern 
modes of steam and electricity, thought a good deal 
of it, and watched its progress with deep interest. 

Early on the morning of April 15th, 1812, when 
the work was about half finished, and luckily before 
any of the workmen had arrived, a tremendous slip 
occurred, the whole of the excavation collapsed, and 
the tunnel was filled up with earth. 

This accident caused an immense sensation in 
London, where the idea had from the first been 
regarded as chimerical and ridiculous ; so much so 
that the wits had at once produced a satirical pro- 
spectus for getting rid of the difficult ascent by the 
summary process of removing the hill itself 

" It is intended," they said, " by means of a mechani- 
cal slide, to remove the whole of the hill into the vale 
behind Caen Wood, where the seven ponds now are, 
thereby forming a junction with Hampstead, and 
inviting the approach of the two hamlets in a more 
sociable manner. On the spot where Highgate now 
stands, it is intended to form a large lake of salt 
water of two miles over or thereabouts, beginning at 
the north end of Kentish Town, and reaching to the 
spot where the White Lion at Finchley now stands." 

The prospectus went on to say, that the said lake 
was to be supplied with sea-water from the Essex 
coast by means of pipes, and to be stocked with all 
kinds of sea-fish except sharks, " there being plenty 
of these to be had in the neighbourhood." Further, 
it was intended, it said, to erect a large building in 
the centre of the wood on the north side of the lake, 


whicli building was to be used for insane surveyors 
and attorneys who had lately infested the neighbour- 
hood of Highgate, to the annoyance of the ordinary 

Horace Smith seized the opportunity, and under 
the pseudonym of '' Momus Medlar, Esq.," produced 
a burlesque operatic tragedy in two acts, called 
The Highgate Tunnel, or, the Secret Arch, which 
was accepted by John Miller, the dramatic publisher 
of 25 Bow Street, was produced at the Lyceum 
Theatre on Thursday, the 2nd of July, 1812, and had 
what was then considered " quite a onm " of twenty- 
four nights. 

Robert Smith, to whom the secret of the author's 
real name had been confided, was proud enough of 
his son's success, though tradition and professional 
etiquette forbade him openly to approve. The 
following bald entry appears in his Journal : — 

October, 1812. — A few months ago, my son Horace 
wrote a little after-piece for the stage, called The 
Highgate Tunnel, which was brought out at the 
Lyceum Theatre in the Strand, and had a run. 

There was, of course, after the fashion of the day, 
a Prelude to this production, termed An Ode to 
Fortune, when Momus Medlar, Esq., one of the 
characters, and "Author of the New Tragedy," 
invokes the fickle Goddess : — 

Kick down (and welcome) Highgate Arch, 

But be content with one ill. 
When from the Gallery Kuin nods, 
Oh ! whisper silence to the gods, 

And spare the Muses' Tunnel ! 


The gods were pleased, and the critics favourable. 
Even the leading journal, the Times (July 4, 1812), 
condescended to bestow upon the piece the following 
remarks : — 

It is a burlesque, and a not unamusing one, on 
some of the late Covent Garden melodramas. The 
JSecret Mine is treated with ridicule, if not very 
dexterous, at least very allowable ; and by the help 
of some popular melodies, the piece proceeds to its 
conclusion without any violent offence to criticism. 
Ridicule has been long since disallowed as the test 
of truth, and it must not rise into a test of dramatic 
merit ; but whatever makes some of the later pro- 
ductions of the melodrame manufacture hide their 
diminished heads renders a general service to public 
taste. The plot of the present piece is founded on 
the terrors of the Highgate publicans of losing 
their trade by the change of the road. The princi- 
pal sufferer has " a daughter fair," who has won the 
heart of a youthful miner. He is promised her 
hand on betraying the key-stone of the arch. The 
publicans project a general attack ; they are dis- 
comfited; they attack again on horseback; the 
battle is joined with fierceness, till, like Virgil's bees, 
exigui pulveris jactu, the battle is stilled by a cloud 
of dust from above, — the arch gives way, — and the 
combatants all fall instantly dead. This is sustained 
with some lively dialogue, and some parodies of 
favourite passages. The music is tolerably well 
selected ; and the piece, without admitting of much 
praise from the nature of the thing, is sufficiently 
well-conceived for its object. 

One of the parodies here referred to was recited 
by Jerry Grout, described in the play-bill as " an 


honourable bricklayer, lover, and tunnelleer," who 
soliloquizes thus : — 

'Tis all the same — 
All the "World's a stable, 
And all the men and women ride on horses ; 
Youth has its field-horse ; age its chamber-horse ; 
And one man in his time mounts many hobbies. 
To travel many stages. — First, the rocking-horse, 
See-saw succeeding to the nurse's arms : — 
And then the braying donkey with his driver, 
Mounted by Margate Miss in shining spencer. 
Trotting to Dandelion.^ Then the hack 
By priggish cockney guided, prime, bang up, 
Whose threaten'd lash is all my eye, like that. 
Beneath his Mistress's eyebrow : — Then the palfrey 
Bearing an Actress feather'd like shuttlecock. 
Seeking the bubble reputation 
Even in the Secret Mine. — Last scene of all. 
That ends this jockey, groomish history, 
Is second childishness, and neighing Actors, 
Whose dull horse-play can raise a dull horse-laugh, 
Sans wit, sans speech, sans taste, sans everything. — 
And now, my Mum, what say'st thou to a glass 1 

The musical portion of the burlesque included 
another amusing parody set to Dr. Ame's noble air, 
" The soldier, tir'd of War's alarms." It was sung by 
Tom Trowel, " a vocal labourer," to the words — 

The bricklayer, tir'd of bearing hods, 

Deserts his gang, exhausted nods. 
And snores both loud and clear ; 

But if the penny trumpet sound. 

He jumps, transported, from the ground. 
And claims his pot of beer. 

From early youth Horace, like his brother James, 
was an intense admirer of the drama, particularly 
of the plays of Kichard Cumberland. These had 

^ A place of amusement near Margate. 


fallen out of fashion ; and in the year 1805, while 
Horace was still in a city counting-house, his con- 
viction that this neglect was utterly unwarranted 
became so strong, that he wrote a poem deploring 
the lamentable absence of taste on the part of the 
theatre-going public in preferring the dramatic 
works of other writers to those of Cumberland. 

This effusion fell into Cumberland's hands, and 
he was so pleased that he quickly made the 
author's acquaintance, and introduced him into his 
own literary circle, and, to Horace's great delight, 
to most of the notable actors of the day. 

Thus James and Horace Smith soon came to 
know everybody in any way connected with the 
stage, and amongst them Miller, the dramatic 
publisher of Bow Street, and Charles William 
Ward, both of whom were destined to influence very 
considerably the lives of the brothers. 

Ward was of good family and well-connected, and 
had married Jane Linley, a younger sister of 
Brinsley Sheridan's first wife. He possessed a ver- 
satile talent, social tact, and easy manners, and had, 
besides, considerable judgment in business matters, 
so that he was well fitted for the responsible position 
of secretary to the Theatre Royal, Drury Lane. 

Ward was of a convivial disposition, as were most 
of the popular men of his day, and an excellent 
judge of port, the frequent imbibing of which 
generous liquor had set its sign and seal on 
his nose. Hence the sobriquet of " Portsoken ^ 
^ One of the City wards. 


Ward," privately bestowed upon him by Horace 

It was really the Smiths' acquaintance with Ward 
that led to their writing Bejected Addresses. But 
here it is necessary that I should diverge slightly 
from the chronological order which I have endea- 
voured to maintain in this family narrative. 

On the 20th of September, 1808, a great sensation 
was created in London by the total destruction of 
Covent Garden Theatre, attended by sad loss of 

The recollection of thife catastrophe was fresh in 
people's memories, when the town was startled 
(January 1809) by the intelligence that the entire 
east wing of St. James's Palace, including their 
Majesties' private apartments, and those of the 
Duke of Cambridge, had been burnt down, and the 
rest of the Palace saved only with great difficulty. 

An epidemic of terrible fires seemed to have set 
in. At the Theatre Royal, Drury Lane, the Cir- 
cassian Bride was running; and on the 24th of 
February, 1809, — the first Friday in Lent, — the 
theatre, according to custom throughout that season 
of mortification and fasting, was closed until the 
following day, and left in charge of the usual watch- 
men and caretakers. About eleven o'clock that 
night, a gentleman named Kent, residing in Tavistock 
Street, Covent Garden, happened to be passing, and 
noticed a strong light in one of the second-floor 
windows of the theatre facing Little Russell Street. 
He watched it for a few minutes, and deciding that 


it betokened nothing more unusual than -workmen 
busy upon an urgent piece of repairs or alterations, 
passed on. 

In twenty minutes, however, the light had in- 
creased, and tongues of fire began to make their 
appearance at the wiadow. Alarm was given, and 
messengers were dispatched in every direction for 
the fire-engines. At that time there was no Fire 
Brigade, but each of the Insurance Companies (and 
there were sixteen) maintained a number of engines, 
with a staff of firemen in distinctive costume. 

The engines were only manuals, and incapable of 
forcing the water to any great distance or in any- 
thing like an adequate quantity for a large fire. 
By the time the " Hand-in-Hand," quickly followed 
by the " Phcenix " and the " Sun," had reached the 
spot, the entire upper portion of the great edifice 
was in a blaze, at an elevation that would have 
severely taxed the powers of even a modern "steamer." 

As it was, the manuals confined their attention to 
the surrounding houses, and, the supply of water 
being plentiful, managed to keep them from catching 
alight. The sight was splendid ; an unbroken mass 
of flame enwrapped the whole building from Brydges ^ 
(now Catherine Street) Street to Drury Lane, a 
distance of one hundred and fifty yards. By mid- 
night the roof had fallen in, and with it the gigantic 
wooden figure of Apollo that had stood on the 
summit; and soon afterwards, a portion of the 

^ Catherine Street formerly ended at Exeter Street, whence 
to Little Russell Street it was called Brydges Street. 


outer walls in Eussell Street and Vinegar Yard fell 
down, completely blocking up the passage. 

By three o'clock the flames had nearly subsided, 
and at five o'clock a.m. all was over, and nothing 
but the mere shell remained of the structure that 
eighteen years before had been re-built by Holland, 
when Garrick's Drury Lane — styled by Mrs. Siddons, 
from the magnitude of its dimensions, the " Wilder- 
ness " — was pulled down. 

An enormous crowd, kept well in check by a strong 
detachment from the Horse Guards and Foot Guards, 
and estimated to number at least a hundred thousand 
souls, quickly assembled, as, from the central position 
of the fire, the iieflection of the flames was visible 
for miles. ^ 

Far and wide 
Across red Thames's gleaming tide, 
To distant fields the blaze was borne. 
And daisy white and hoary thorn 
In borrow'd lustre seem'd to shame 
The rose or red sweet Wil-li-am. 
To those who on the hills around 
Behold the flames from Drury's mound, 

As from a lofty altar rise, 
It seem'd that nations did conspire 
To offer to the god of fire 

Some vast stupendous sacrifice ! ^ 

In all directions the tops of the houses were 
covered with people, and from those that commanded 

^ Now that a large open space has been created by the 
pulling down of part of Catherine Street near Eussell Court, 
a fine view can be obtained of Drury Lane Theatre, and it is 
easy to realize what a commanding site the great building 

2 Rejected Addresses. 


a view of the river it was possible to distinguish 
every person crossing Westminster and Blackfriars' 
Bridges, so bright was the light that played upon 
the water. And so great was the heat given out by 
the conflagration that it was distinctly felt across 
Covent Garden Market, at the portico of St. Paul's 

A considerable time elapsed before arrangements 
could be made for the re-erection of the theatre. 
There were many questions to decide, and money 
was slow to come in. But by July of 1811, the 
Committee — appointed under the Act of Parliament, 
which authorized the formation of a Joint-Stock 
Company for the re-building by shares of £100 
each — met under the presidency of Mr. Samuel 
Whitbread, M.P., the celebrated brewer, and were 
able to report that subscriptions were flowing in 

Various designs for the new building were con- 
sidered, and, finally, Mr. Benjamin Wyatt was 
appointed architect ; and his plan, accompanied by 
a lucid explanatory tract, was freely circulated in 
the papers, and on the whole approved of by the 

A certain kind of provision was made against 
possible future conflagrations, by means of an aque- 
duct, of considerable depth, ingeniously designed by 
Colonel Congreve, to furnish the house with an ample 
supply of water, should accident occur from fire. It 
was to be effected by an engine that would play from 
the stage into every box in the house ! This - is 


referred to by Horace Smith in the Rejected 
Addresses : — 

Again should it burst in a blaze, 

In vain would they ply Congreve's plug, 

For nought could extinguish the rays 
From the glance of divine Lady Mugg. 



Competition for Address to be spoken at opening of new 
Drury Lane Theatre — Some of the Addresses — The re-opening 
of Drury Lane Theatre — How Bejeeted Addresses came to be 
written — Its publication. 

It was arranged by the Committee that the opening 
night of the new theatre should be on the 10th of 
October, 1812 ; and on the 12th of August preceding, 
there appeared the following announcement in the 
leading daily paper : — 


" The Committee are desirous of promoting a free 
and fair competition for an Address to be spoken 
upon thfe opening of the Theatre, which will take 
place on the 10th of October next. They have, there- 
fore, thought fit to announce to the public, that 
they will be glad to receive any such compositions, 
addressed to their Secretary, at the Treasury Office 
in Drury Lane, on or before the 10th of September, 
sealed up, with a distinguishing word, number, or 
motto on the cover, corresponding with the inscrip- 
tion on a separate sealed paper, containing the name 


of the author, which will not be opened unless con- 
taining the name of the successful candidate." 

The brothers Smith had previously been made 
aware by their friend, Mr. Ward, that such a competi- 
tion would be promoted, and Horace, taking advan- 
tage of this information, prepared a genuine address, 
which was sent up with the others, and shared the 
same fate of rejection. It was incorporated in his 
volume of Rejected Addresses as " An Address without 
a Phoenix," and concludes thus : — 

Oil ! may we still, to sense and nature true. 

Delight the many, nor offend the few. 

Though varying tastes our changeful Drama claim, 

Still be its moral tendency the same — 

To win by precept, by example warn, 

To brand the front of Vice with pointed scorn, 

And Virtue's smiling brows with votive wreaths adorn. 

As many as one hundred and twelve Addresses were 
sent in to the Committee, who heroically sat and 
patiently listened while each one in turn was recited 
before them. Some were brief, others of inordinate 
length ; in fifteen, the poet " flashes his maiden 
sword." In general they bore a close resemblance to 
each other; thirty contained complimentary allusions 
to Wellington, and to Whitbread, the brewer ; and in 
no fewer than sixty-nine, the fabled Phoenix was 
invoked. Even Whitbread, who himself sent in an 
Address, had a Phoenix, but, according to Sheridan, 
he made more of the bird than his rivals had done, 
entering into particulars, and describing its wings, 
beak, tail, etc. ; in short, it was " a poulterer's descrip- 
tion of a Phoenix." 


Some few of the Addresses were manifestly not 
seriously meant to be spoken ; and the professionals 
in the poetical world studiously abstained from 

Bravely the Committee struggled through their 
thankless task. One Address, abounding in pathos, 
from the pen of the well-known W. T. Fitzgerald, 
of whom Lord Byron wrote — 

" Shall hoarse Fitzgerald bawl 
His creaking couplets in a tavern hall — " 

tried their "staying" powers very severely. Six 
hours were spent in discussing the merits of this 
lengthy and elaborate elegiac, until at last it was 
decided, nem. con., that, as it was confessedly by far the 
longest, it should be referred to the prompter to 
report, whether, with that superior merit, it naight 
not, in his opinion, prove also the fittest, as giving the 
scene-shifters more time to arrange matters before 
the rising of the curtain. 

Eventually the Committee, sadly puzzled what to 
do, since none came up to their expectations, decided 
to reject them all, and in their dilemma applied to 
Lord Byron, who acceded to their request, and 
provided them with an Address which was duly 
recited at the re-opening. 

All London was astir, and, as the hour of opening 
approached, the streets leading to Drury Lane were 
crowded with sight-seers, patiently waiting in the 
pouring rain, up to their knees in mud. Soldiers 
guarded the entrances to the theatre, and admitted 


the company so gradually that there was no crushing 
or confusion. 

The house was rapidly filled with an enthusiastic, 
well-behaved audience, who considerately abstained 
from hanging their shawls and coats over the front of 
the boxes, thus leaving the splendid decorations open 
to the sight of all. 

When the curtain drew up at half-past six o'clock, 
the entire company came forward and sang " God 
Save the King " and " Rule, Britannia," received with 
the loudest applause.^ Then came Lord Bjron's 
Address, spoken by Elliston dressed as Hamlet. It 
began thus — 

" In one dread night, our city saw and sighed, 
Bowed to the dust, the Drama's tower of pride, 
In one short hour heheld the blazing fane, 
Apollo sink, and Shakspeare cease to reign," 

and finished — after more than sixty lines — with the 
following — 

" The curtain rises — may our stage unfold 
Scenes not unworthy Drury's days of old ! 
Britons our judges. Nature for our guide, 
StUl may we please, long, long — may you preside." 

A touching incident occurred before the perform- 
ance began. As Mrs. Garrick entered the box 
specially reserved for her, the audience rose, and 
welcomed her with three such hearty cheers, in 
memory of her incomparable husband, that the poor 
old lady, deeply moved by this exhibition of popular 
affection, shed tears. 

^ The leader of the hand was Sir George Smart. 


The play ^ then proceeded, followed by the farce, 
The Devil to Pay. The audience was full of good- 
humour, and " all went merry as a marriage-bell." 

Finally, it was said that the sum taken that night 
at the doors amounted to £859. 

So passed the memorable performance, at which 
(it need hardly be said) James and Horace Smith 
were present, the former relating to his friends his 
personal recollection of the opening of the former 
Drury Lane Theatre, when, between the play and the 
farce, an epilogue, written by George Colman, had 
been " excellently spoken " by Miss Farren. 

Of course a good deal of discontent was felt among 
the one hundred and twelve " rejected," from the fact 
of BjTon not having competed ; but only one of the 
number tried publicly to air his grievance, This was 
a certain Dr. Busby, who, soon after the re-opening, 
created considerable disturbance by addressing the 
audience from one of the boxes, and, after much 
interruption and confusion, prevailed upon the good- 
natured audience to allow him to recite his own 
rejected Address from the stage. His voice, however, 
was so weak as to be almost inaudible ; the public 
had given him a chance, and he had failed. Dr. 
Busby, politely handed from the stage by the stage- 
manager, bowed respectfully to the audience, and 

1 Hamlet — EUiston in the title role, Mrs. Mountain as 
Ophelia, and Mr. Pope as the Ghost. 

2 In the British Museum, on the title-page of a book contain- 
ing some " (xenuinie Rejected Addresses," the Library authori- 


On the 21st of August— just six weeks before 
the re-opening— James Smith was dining with the 
general secretary, C. W. Ward, at the Piarra 
Coffee House, Covent Garden. Ward had been 
telling Smith of the large number of Addresses 
that within a fortnight after the issue of the ad- 
vertisement had come to hand, and of hLs opinion 
that the bulk of them would turn out to be inferior 
and absurd compositions; whereupon, James im- 
provised some verses that sent Ward, who had by 
this time consumed the greater part of a magnum of 
fine old port, into fits of laughter. Suddenly he ex- 
claimed, " But what about all the rejected ones, my 

boy ! Won't there be a d d row when the award 

is given ! They'll be wanting the rejected Addresses 
published, just to show the public what they were 
like. Now, I have an idea ; why shouldn't you try 
and make fun of them all, and write your idea of the 
rejected ones ! " — " Well, I don't know," said James, 
" perhaps I may try ; " and nothing more was said 
upon the subject. But the hint thrown out was not 
forgotten; James repeated it to Horace, who caught 
at the idea, and together they concocted a plan of 

It was, of course, impossible for them to know for 
a certainty who had or who had not sent in Addresses, 
or who were likely to do so ; but from some casual 

ties have thotiglit it prudent to append a pencilled note, to 
the effect that they were not written by James and Horace 


remarks made by Ward, they were almost sure that 
William Thomas Fitzgerald would be in the list, and 
also Dr. Thomas Busby, Mus. Doc, notorious for his 
classical translation of Lucretius ; but whether the 
great lights in the literary firmament would show 
on this occasion was a matter of surmise. Another 
and grave difficulty stood in the way, which Horace 
shall explain in his own words. 

No sooner was the idea of our work conceived 
[says he] than it was about to be abandoned in embryo, 
from the apprehension that we had no time to mature 
and bring it forth, as it was indispensable that it 
should be written, printed, and published by the 
opening of Drury Lane Theatre, which would only 
allow us an interval of six weeks, and we had both of 
us other avocations that precluded us from the full 
command of even that limited period. Encouraged, 
however, by the conviction that the thought was a 
good one, and by the hope of making a lucky hit, we 
set to work, con amore, our very hurry not improbably 
enabling us to strike out at a heat what we might 
have .failed to produce so well, had we possessed time 
enough to hammer it into more careful and elaborate 

Our first difficulty, that of selection, was by no 
means a light one. . . . We had to confine ourselves 
to writers whose style and habit of thought, being 
more marked and peculiar, was more capable of 
exaggeration and distraction. To avoid politics and 
personality, to imitate the turn of mind as well as the 
phraseology of our originals, and at all events to raise 
a harmless laugh, were our main objects ; in the 
attainment of which united aims we were sometimes 
hurried into extravagalice, by attaching much more 
importance to the last than to the first. 


The Rejected Addresses consist of twenty-one 
effusions in prose and verse, supposed to have been 
sent in to the Committee and rejected as un- 
suitable ; they are also supposed to have fallen into 
the hands of the authors, and to have been published 
by them as fair samples of the state of poetry in 
Great Britain. In reality, they are clever imitations 
of well-known poets and writers ; but, strictly speak- 
ing, they are not so much parodies as distinct literary 
compositions. " A Tale of Drury Lane " so exactly 
imitated Sir Walter Scott that the " Wizard of the 
North " was himself deceived, and said to James 
Smith, " I certainly must have written this myself, 
although I forget upon what occasion." Well might 
he have thought so. Compare the genuine coin with 
the counterfeit — 


Canto v, Stanza xx. 

At nigit, in secret, there they came, 
The Palmer and the holy Dame. 
The moon among the clouds rose high, 
And all the city hum was by. 
Upon the street, where late before 
Did din of war and warrior roar. 

You might have heard a pebble fall, 
A beetle hum, a cricket sing. 
An owlet flap his boding wing 

On Giles's steeple tall. 

Canto vi, Stanza xi. 

That night, upon the rocks and bay. 
The midnight moonbeam slumbering lay, 
And pour'd its silver light, and pure. 
Through loop-hole, and through embrazure. 
Upon Tantallon tower and hall ; 


But chief where arched windows wide 
Illuminate the chapel's pride, 
The sober glances fall. 


"A Tale op Dbuet Lane," by Hoeace Smith. 

On fair Augusta's ' towers and trees 

Flitted the silent midnight breeze. 

Curling the foliage as it pass'd. 

Which from the moon-tipp'd plumage cast 

A spangled light, like dancing spray, 

Then re-assumed its still array ; 

When, as night's lamp unclouded hung. 

And down its full effulgence flung, 

It shed such soft and balmy power 

That cot and castle, hall and bower. 

And spire and dome and turret height. 

Appeared to slumber in the light. 

From Henry's chapel, Rufus' hall. 

To Savoy, Temple, and St. Paul ; 

From Knightsbridge, Pancras, Camden Town, 

To Redrifl'e,^ Shadwell, Horsleydown, 

No voice was heard, no eye unclosed, 

But all in deepest sleep reposed. 

No wonder that an old matter-of-fact Leicestershire 
clergyman, after reading the Rejected Addresses, 
remarked, " I do not see why they should have been 
rejected. I think some of them very good ! " 

Perhaps the very best of all is the parody of 
Southey's Curse of Kehama : — 


Midnight, and yet no eye 
Through all the Imperial city closed in sleep ! 
Behold her streets ablaze 

1 One of the old names for London. ^ Rotherhithe. 


Witi light, that seems to kindle the red sky, 
Her myriads swarming thro' the crowded ways. 
Master and slave, old age and infancy, 
All, all abroad to gaze : 
House-top and balcony 
Clustered with women, who throw back their veils, 

With unimpeded and insatiate sight 
To view the funeral pomp which passes by. 

As if the mournful rite 
Were but to them a scene of joyaunce and delight. 


"The Rebuilding," by James Smith. 

Midnight, yet not a nose 
Prom Tower Hill to Piccadilly snored ! 

Midnight, yet not a nose 
From India drew the essence of repose ! 
See with what crimson fury, 
By Indra fann'd, the god of &e ascends the walls of Drury ! 
Tops of houses, blue with lead 
Bend beneath the landlord's tread. 
Master and 'prentice, serving-man and lord, 
Nailor and tailor 
Grazier and brazier, 
Through streets and alleys pour'd — 
All, all abroad to gaze. 
And wonder at the blaze. 
Thick calf, fat foot, and slim knee 
Mounted on roof and chimney ,i 
The mighty roast, the mighty stew 
To see ; 
As if the dismal view 
Were but to them a Brentford jubilee. 

A general favourite in the Rejected Addresses 
is " The Theatre," by James Smith, — in the opinion 
of the Edinhurgh Beview the best piece of the 
collection. It begins : — 

' This couplet was introduced in answer to one who alleged 
that the English language contained no rhyme to " chimney." 



'Tis sweet to view, from half-past five to six, 
Our long wax-candles, witli short cotton wicks, 
Touch'd by the lamplighter's Promethean art, 
Start into light, and make the lighter start ; 
To see red Phoebus through the gallery-pane 
Tinge with his beam the beams of Dryry Lane ; 
While gradual parties iill our widen'd pit, 
And gape, and gaze, and wonder, ere they sit. 

" The Theatre " is more than a masterly imitation 
of George Crabbe. One can picture the interior of 
Drury Lane and the expectant audience, and can 
watch with deepest interest the successful efforts of 
Pat Jennings, the red-haired youth, who, to recover 
his hat, let down a " motley cable " composed of 
borrowed handkerchiefs — 

Starr'd, striped, and spotted, yellow, red, and blue, 
Old calico, torn silk, and muslin new, 

and thus 

Eegain'd the felt, and felt what he regain'd ; 
While to the applauding galleries grateful Pat 
Made a low bow, and touch'd the ransom'd hat. 

The " Hampshire Farmer's Address," a parody of 
William Cobbett, also by James Smith, is considered 
by many excellent judges to be among the very best 
of the imitations. 

On the completion of Bejecttd Addresses, the 
authors sent their MS. to some of the leading pub- 
lishers, but in every case it was perused and " returned 
with thanks." The Smiths did not care to pay for 
its publication out of their own pocket, for, as Horace 
says, " We had no objection to raise a laugh at the 
expense of others, but to do it at our own cost, uncertain 



as we were to what extent we might be involved, had 
never entered our contemplation." 

Amongst others, they had communicated with Mr. 
John Murray, but before sending him the MS. had 
inquired if he would entertain the idea of publishing 
it, in which case he might have the copyright for the 
modest sum of £20. Mr. Murray refused the offer, 
and subsequently stated that he did so because he 
had taken it for granted that, as Mr. Cadell was 
related to the Smiths, they had previously offered 
the MS. to him, and that he had declined it. 

The feeling of clanship is rarely so strong south of 
the Tweed as to lead people to be particularly anxious 
to do business with relations or connections, as such ; 
and Cadell was the last man in the world to be in- 
fluenced by these considerations. This the Smiths 
well knew ; but there was also another reason for 
their not offering the work to him. On the death 
of Alderman Cadell in 1802, the business, which had 
fallen into a state of comparative decrepitude, required 
that the closest economy should be practised, and that 
for many years no financial risks, however small, 
should be run. This had become a fixed principle of 
the firm, and Cadell — an excellent " man of affairs " 
— was well known among authors as " close," and 
little disposed to deal on the basis of cash down if 
he could avoid it.^ 

1 As Thomas Cadell's grandson, the author may be allowed 
to make the above statement with some authority. Thomas 
Cadell, by dint of steady application, and ably assisted by his 
partner, Wm. Daviea, and a particularly capable chief clerk, 


However, as Mr. Murray had blindly rejected their 
Rejected Addresses, the question was, what were 
they to do ? At this point their good angel, C. W. 
Ward, reminded Horace that John Miller, the 
dramatic publisher of Bow Street, having already 
fathered the Highgate Tunnel, would be the most 
likely person to apply to. 

No sooner had this gentleman looked over our 
manuscript [says Horace] than he immediately offered 
to take upon himself all the risk of publication, and 
to give us half the profit, should there he any — a 
liberal proposition with which we gladly closed. 

The success of the book was immediate and re- 
markable ; and as new editions were called for in 
quick succession, the lucky authors were by and by 
able to dispose of their half copyright to Mr. Miller 
for £1000. 

In Robert Smith's Journal we find this terse 
entry : — 

October 11th, 1812. — My two sons, James and 
Horace, jointly composed a little jeu d' esprit of a 
satirical nature, called Re/jected Addresses, or the New 
Theatrum Poetarum. It hit the fancy of the public, 
and went through several editions in a short time. 

ramed Mutlow, slowly but surely restored the firm's prosperity, 
and died in 1836, leaving a handsome fortune to his family. 


Bejeeted Addresses and the Reviewers — The effect of its suc- 
cess upon the careers of James and Horace Smith — Their 
social and literary circle — Horace Smith resides at Knights- 
bridge — His friend William Heseltine — Horace Smith and the 
Stock Exchange. 

Rejected Addresses was published on the day Drury 
Lane Theatre was re-opened. 

Lord Byron, alluding to the success of Ghilde 
Harold, says, " I awoke, and found myself famous " 
(which Horace Smith tells us was thus parodied by 
a witty, runaway wife—" I awoke," said she, " and 
found myself infamous ! "). 

The authors of Rejected Addresses had reason to be 
quite as exultant as Byron. Within a week, reviews 
and newspapers of all shades and complexions were 
praising their production, and speculating- on the 
identity of the authors ; and the moment this was 
revealed, their acquaintance was eagerly courted by 
the notabilities of the day. Amongst many others, 
the Dowager Countess of Cork — the first lady of 
rank who threw open her house to literature, and 
made intellectual distinction a recognized passport 


to society — was anxious to have them at her 

Many of the writers who were parodied hastened 
to bear testimony to the accuracy of the imitations, 
and joined heartily in the laugh. On the whole, the 
only discontented persons were the poets who were 
left out. Campbell ventured a remonstrance, and 
was told that it was as impossible to parody the 
finished elegance of his poetry as the handsome 
features of his face. " That's all very well," he 
replied, " but I should have liked to have been 
among them for all that.'' 

The Press was all but unanimous in praising the 
work. The Edinburgh Review for November 1812 
devoted to it no fewer than eighteen pages, and the 
Quarterly gave five pages to a most favourable notice 
of the little volume ; while, across the Atlantic, the 
Analectic Magazine (1813), published in Philadelphia, 
allotted ten of its pages to the work. It long con- 
tinued a favourite in the United States, where three 
editions — 1844, 1859, and 1871 — were published. 

How many copies of Rejected Addresses were sold 
on its first appearance it is difiicult to conjecture; 
but the book ultimately ran into more than thirty 
editions. Mr. Murray had to wait seven years before 
he could secure the copyright for £131, and 
thousands of the little volume must have been since 
disposed of by the noted firm in Albemarle Street. 
By the time the third edition was exhausted the 
brothers Smith had realized from Rejected Addresses 
the sum of £1000. 


In the prime of life, — thirty-seven and thirty-three 
years of age respectively, — of eminently gentlemanly 
manners and bearing, and of remarkably handsome 
personal appearance, highly educated, and possessed 
of an inexhaustible fund of literary knowledge, 
James and Horace Smith were exactly fitted to 
shine in the presence of the highest and most 

Mr. S. C. Hall, in his Book of Memories, writing 
of James and Horace Smith, says he thinks it 
" surprising that a stockbroker and a solicitor should 
have become poetical and literary ; " an observation 
resembling that of the Times reviewer of In 
Memoriam, who seemed to think it an absurdity 
that Tennyson should have wasted his poetic senti- 
ment over the death of Arthur Henry Hallam, "a 
mere barrister at the Chancery Bar ! " Neither 
romance nor emotion, forsooth, may dwell in the tents 
of a professional man, nor in the fastnesses of the 
money-grubbing city and the Stock Exchange. If, 
as the Rev. F. W. Robertson indignantly says, " the 
Chancery Bar, or any other accident of a man's 
environment, destroys the real poetry of life, then 
the human soul has no worth but that which comes 
from its trappings — an idea which I reckon about 
the most decisive proof of a vulgar soul which can be 

The Smiths had now the entree into West-End 
salons, inaccessible to all but the most distinguished 
men and women of the period ; and amongst their 
many friends were Lady Salisbury, Lady Jersey, 


and Lady Albina Buckinghamshire, at one time 
prominent members of the " Pic Nic Club." ^ The 
brothers were admitted into the sacred circle of 
Almacks' by the high-priestesses who ruled over the 
establishment. The Earl of Mulgrave was their 
close and faithful friend; also Lord Abinger, Lord 
Denman, Lord Hartington, Lady Blessington, Count 
d'Orsay, Mrs. Verschoyle, John Wilson Croker of 
Moulsey, The Countess Guiccioli, Sir E. L. Bulwer, 
Lord Hertford, General Phipps, Lord Essex, Miss 
Burdett Coutts, Mrs. Lane Fox, and a host of others. 
They came into close contact with the galaxy of 
famous poets and authors that bedecked the literary 
firmament — Byron, Campbell, Coleridge, Hood (born 
in the Poultry, not far from their own home in Old 
Jewry), Keats, Thomas Moore, Samuel Rogers, 
Shelley, Sir Walter Scott, Southey, Wordsworth, 
Jane Austen, Harrison Ainsworth, the Rev. Thomas 
Barham, Mrs. Barbauld, William Cobbett, George 
Crabbe, Miss Edgeworth, De Quincey, William 
Hazlitt, Leigh Hunt, Theodore Hook (a friend of 
James Smith in his youthful days), Jesse (the writer 
on Natural History), Charles Lamb, W. S. Landor, 
Captain Marryat, the Rev. T. R. Malthus, Lady 
Morgan, Miss Jane Porter, Sydney Smith, John 
Home Tooke, Sharon Turner. Of artists they knew 
Benjamin West (President of the Royal Academy), 
Henry Fuseli, Turner, vStothard, Sir Thomas 
Laurence, Robert Smirke, Sir Francis Chantry (then 
a rising sculptor), Flaxman (in his zenith), and 
1 Vide Chapter VIII. 


Westmacott (who had been made an A.R.A. some 
years before the appearance of Bejected Addresses). 

As to actors, the Smiths lived in a fortunate 
-period of the Drama. They had seen Kemble, 
Munden, Bannister, Dowton, Elliston, Listen, Mrs. 
Siddons, Fawcett, Johnston, Miss Farren, Charles 
Young, and Edmund Kean, and, later on, his talented 
son Charles. They had heard Mrs. Billington, Mdlle. 
Mara, Incledon, and Braham sing the sweet music 
of Arnold, Callcott, Shield, Stevens, and Clementi. 

With many of the above the Smiths had for years 
been intimately associated, but their circle of 
dramatic acquaintances kept extending. Their 
heads were not in the least turned by their notoriety. 
In their daily vocations they "kept the noiseless 
tenor of their way ; " James in his father's office, 
Horace on the Stock Exchange, making money in a 
very prosaic fashion. 

James Smith used to illustrate the limited and 
ephemeral nature of fame by an incident that 
happened to himself in a Brighton coach. One of 
the passengers, an old lady, struck with his extra- 
ordinary familiarity with things and people, suddenly 
exclaimed — " And pray, sir, — you who seem to 
know everybody — pray, may I ask who you are ? " — 
" James Smith, ma'am." This reply evidently con- 
veying nothing to her mind, a fellow-passenger 
added, " One of the authors of Bejected Addresses." 
The old lady stared at them by turns, and quietly 
said, " I never heard of the gentleman or the book 


James Smith was content to rest himself upon 
the reputation secured by his share in the production 
of Bejected Addresses, and laid down a maxim, to 
which he adhered, if not to the exact letter, at all 
events in spirit, that, when a man had once made a 
good hit, he should not attempt another. 

Horace, on the other hand, fired by greater 
ambition, and being, perhaps, of a more active men- 
tal temperament, decided to embark in a literary 
career — a decision which he successfully carried out 
some years later, when he had obtained an independ- 
ency, and leisure. 

As was not unnatural, the brothers were immensely 
popular with women. To the blandishments of the 
fair sex individually James always seemed to exhibit 
a stoical indifference ; yet Horace tells a wicked 
story of his brother, who, being made free of the 
green-room in a certain theatre, was thus addressed 
one night by an actress of note — " Mr. Smith, you are 
constantly here, but you do not appear to attach 
yourself to any of our ladies." " Oh, Madam," was 
the reply, " that proves my discretion ; you little 
know what is going on in private between me and 
some of you." 

With Horace it was different. He was thoroughly 
domesticated, and, longing for the felicity of a home 
of his own, had in 1810 contracted a matrimonial 
alliance, which, unfortunately, failed to obtain the 
approbation of his father. There thus arose between 
them a coolness which it took years to remove. 
Horace became the tenant of a modest dwelling, No. 


3 Knightsbridge Terrace, in the Kensington Eoad, 
on a site locally known as " the island," and opposite 
the present Wellington Court ; but the old buildings 
have long ago disappeared, and have been replaced 
by little shops. Knightsbridge was then but a 
hamlet, and quite rural. The " Green " was unbuilt 
over, and Tattersall's was still in Grosvenor Place. 
Nursery grounds and market-gardens occupied the 
site of Belgravia, and Lowndes Square was a kind of 
Vauxhall Gardens. 

No. 3 Knightsbridge Terrace was convenient for 
a city man, as he could go to and from business in 
any of the stages. At a pinch, he could take a 
hackney-coach to the Bank for 4s. 6A, or drive him- 
self in a whiskey, which it was Horace Smith's custom 
to do. It was quiet enough, but from the front 
windows there was always something to be seen, as 
the main road was crowded with traffic throughout 
the day and far into the small hours of the morning. 
Four-horse coaches were seldom out of sight, lum- 
bering wagons crawled along incessantly to the 
pleasant music of horse-bells, and every now and again 
post-chaises, glass-coaches, and at intervals the 
equipages of Royalty, dashed past along this, the 
approach to the famous Bath road. 

The children bom to Horace from this union were 
Eliza (Tizey) and Horatio Shakespeare ; the former 
still living at Brighton, and known far and wide as 
"Miss 'Horace Smith," a truly grand old lady in 
mental powers and intelligence, whose memory is 
prodigious, and whose conversation, though increasing 


infirmities forbid its continuance for long at a 
time, still flashes with wit and humour like that 
of her father. Horatio Shakespeare died when 
a school-boy at Boulogne-sur-Mer. He was a 
sprightly lad, full of oddity and fun ; and when, 
some little time before his death, his intellect sud- 
denly became somewhat dulled, the French tutors 
attributed the fact to stupidity, not suspecting that 
a growing disease — water on the brain — was the 
cause of the poor boy's inability to learn. 

Among Horace Smith's many friends on the Stock 
Exchange was William Heseltine, whose office in 
Throgmorton Street adjoined his own, and whose 
private residence was Turret House, Lambeth. 

It would very much surprise us now-a-days, if we 
learned that any of the gentlemen clad in irreproach- 
able frock-coats and hats always glossy and new, 
who every day in the week may be seen issuing from 
their comfortable offices in Austin Friars, Draper's 
Gardens, Throgmorton Avenue, or Copthall Court, 
and wending their way to the " House," were living 
" over the water " at Lambeth, But in Horace 
Smith's time there were no Pullman-car trains to 
convey successful dealers in stocks and shares, when 
their arduous toil was over, to luxurious homes any- 
where within a radius of sixty miles from town ; and 
they thought themselves fortunate indeed if they 
could secure the lease of one of the fine mansions in 
Bloomsbury, which was still a fashionable quarter of 

Turret House, in the South Lambeth Road, how- 


ever, was one that the noblest of families might have 
been proud to dwell in. Standing in its own 
beautiful grounds of some four acres in extent, the 
picturesque old mansion, rich in association of the 
Tudor and early Stuart epochs, was celebrated as 
the home of Sir John Tradescant, and of his son and 
grandson, who were successively gardeners to Queen 
Elizabeth, James I., and Charles I., and to whom 
posterity is indebted for the introduction of the 
study of botany as a science into this country. 

The wonderful collection of curiosities and rarities 
gathered together by this enterprising Dutch family 
from every part of the then known world, passed 
into the keeping of their personal friend, the famous 
Elias Ashmole, and was by him presented to the 
University of Oxford, where it constituted the 
Ashmolean Museum. 

The first mulberry-tree planted in England grew 
in the garden of Turret House, where also the rarest 
of plants had been introduced by the Tradescants 
after their numerous and extensive travels. No 
home, in fact, could have been better suited to feed 
the romantic instincts of Horace Smith ; and in 
Bramlletye ffouse, the most popular of his romances, 
he makes special reference to the ancient mansion 
he knew so well. 

It has been said that every man has an alter ego. 
If so, William Heseltine certainly occupied that 
position in relation to Horace Smith. In Stock 
Exchange transactions, though no formal partnership 
existed between them, the one was Jidus Achates to 


the other. William Heseltine was a man of large 
experience and great shrewdness, and under his 
fostering wing Horace Smith, never too proud to 
learn from others, made but few mistakes in his 

Horace Smith happened to become a stockbroker 
at a period (1812) when everybody possessed of a 
certain amount of shrewdness had a good chance of 
making money ; but he had the immense advantage 
— call it good luck — of being well-advised, and of pos- 
sessing the rare qualification of readiness to act upon 
advice when offered disinterestedly. He had, besides, 
a large and influential connection of relatives and 
friends, who, when stock had to be transferred, invest- 
ments made or re-made, brought their transactions 
to him. Thus he soon came to possess the more 
legitimate, if less remunerative, conventional business 
of a stockbroker. Eminently a prudent man, he 
was not given to extremes in his speculations ; and 
he could usually learn, either from his father or his 
brother James, through the Ordnance Office, the 
truth of the innumerable rumours constantly dis- 
turbing the Stock markets. 

Horace Smith had the good fortune to be amongst 
those who were " on the right side " and early buyers 
of " Omnium," when the period of uncertainty that 
succeeded the escape of Napoleon from Elba ter- 
minated on receipt of the news of Waterloo in this 

Miss Frances Williams Wynn relates in her Diaries 
how a spy from the house of Rothschild, who had 


for many days been on the watch at Ghent, where 
Louis XVIII. and his little court resided while the 
fate of his dynasty was in the balance, observed on 
the morning of Monday, the 19th of June, that 
the Royal party, breakfasting in an apartment whose 
French windows were wide open, suddenly com- 
menced to embrace one another with every sign of 
rejoicing. This was quite enough to apprise him 
that unusually good news had arrived from the field 
of battle, so without waiting an instant he started 
off for London, arriving there shortly before the 
official and accredited messenger. 

This may, or may not, account for Rothschild's 
early information ; the probability points rather to 
the employment of carrier pigeons, which would have 
reached the office much quicker than an employ^. 
Anyhow, he had the news first ; and his recognized 
agents on the Stock Exchange instantly began the 
old game by professing to sell " Omnium," while he 
was in reality secretly buying largely through other 
brokers. The device succeeded for a short time, 
but many of the more wary speculators were not 
thus to be deceived. Heseltine quickly conjectured 
that something serious was in the wind, and that 
probably a grand success had been scored by the 
allies. He communicated his theory to Horace 
Smith, who was only too ready to believe that the 
" Corsican tyrant " had met with a decisive reverse. 
Horace slipped away to Austin Friars, and was 
privately told by James that, so far as information 
had reached their Department, he had good reason 


for conjecturing that victory was on the side of 

Both Heseltine and Horace Smith were purchasers 
of Omnium, and when, on the 21st, it rose to 6 per 
cent, premium, their prudence was rewarded, and a 
good many thousand pounds went into their pockets. 

Spanish, for some reason or other, always a 
fascinating security to dabble in during those piping 
days of rash speculation, was never approved of by 
Horace Smith; and in his Midsummer Medley for 
1830 he thus condemns these risky securities — 

Others, the dupea of Ferdinand, 
By royal roguery trepann'd, 

Find all their treasure vanish, 
Leaving a -warning to the rash, 
That the best way to keep their cash 

Is not to touch the Spanish. 

In William Heseltine, Smith found not only a 
firm business friend but a kindred spirit. Heseltine 
was imaginative and of a literary and antiquarian 
turn of mind ; and Smith's visits to the old Turret 
House, continued until long after he had left the 
Stock Exchange, no doubt helped to foster his love 
of the Carolian period of history. 

Heseltine, a kind and most unostentatious man, 
was, like Smith, an author, and subsequently pro- 
duced The Last of the Plantagenets, an historical 
narrative dedicated to the Earl of Winchelsea and 
Nottingham. Amongst his other works were Some 
Beflections at the Grave, written after having been 
present at the interment (August 8th, 1836) of the 
famous N. M. Rothschild. 


Horace Smith's letters to his sister Clara — His second mar- 
riage — Bemoves from Knightsbridge to Fulham — Entertains 
the poet Keats — Horace Smith's accouat of his introduction to 
Shelley and Keats. 

From Ryde, Isle of Wight, where he had taken 
a house, Horace Smith dates the following letter to 
his youngest and favourite sister Clara, a very 
attractive girl, who in 1813 had married Mr. 
Dodson, " second Assistant-Collector Inwards " at the 
Custom-House, and to whose grandson, Mr. Harry 
Magnus, the journals of Robert Smith have de- 

July 22, 1817. 

Bating the intense and bitter cold, I had a 
pleasant ride yesterday outside the coach, reaching 
Portsmouth about half-past seven, but as old Neptune 
look'd rather scrowling and sulky I did not cross till 
this morning, when a stiff breeze (which owes me 
thirty shillings for spoiling my hat with the spray) 
conveyed me hither in an hour and a half 

I found my vermin quite well, and Eliza mani- 

^ Vide Preface. 

129 K 


festly improved, as her bones no longer rattle as she 
walks, nor does her back look so much like a rabbit 
before it is smothered in oaions. 

Eyde stands where it did, and as I have gathered 
no scandal, I have of course nothing interesting to 
send you. 

Walking by myself in the fields this beautiful 
evening, I bethought myself of your brats, when 
my reflections involuntarily arranged themselves (as 
the novels have it) with the annexed sonnet, which 
I venture to send, because I'm sure the subject will 
bribe the judge to give a verdict of acquittal. 

Your affectionate brother, 

Horace Smith. 


Thou laugliing Julia and Selina grave, 
Of azure eye and stout athletic limb, 

Ye whom one birth to our embraces gave. 

Not like the race of Twins deformed and slim, 
But rather those Latona bore to him 

Who wields the thunder — may ye live to brave 
The storms of fate, and in the sparkling brim 

Of joy's full cup, your lips for ever lave. 

may the morning of each life be bright 

As parents' wishes in their fondest flight. 
And may its evening be as calm a scene 

As that which smiles around me while I write, 
"Where Ocean by a cloudless sky made green 
Awaits the night unruffled and serene ! 

If Jupiter was not the father of Latona's twins 
it is not my fault, for it rhymes ; but you had better 
look, as I have no means of reference here, and cut 
the lines according to pattern ; only let Dodson get 
the best god he can to be compared to himself. 
Were it my case, I should select Vulcan, for all the 
world knows he was a Smith. 


Eyde, Isle of Wight, 
TtiMrsday, the somethingth of August, 1817. 

Dear Claea, 

We seem to have commenced a regular 
Sewardian correspondence with an interchange of 
sonnets and poetical pretties, which it now comes 
to my turn to contribute, and which I should have 
done sooner, but that I have been running up to 
London for some days, leaving Parnassus for the 
Stock Exchange, and only returned here on Wednes- 
day night. Many thanks for your verses, which I 
perused with very great pleasure, and, as in duty 
bound, return you a sonnet, inscribed among others, 
though of course, inferior scribblings in the porch of 
Binstead Church. ... As a punishment for my sins, 
I came off by the Cowes packet at seven o'clock with- 
out hreahfast, and it soon fell so dead a calm that 
the captain proposed taking to the boat, into which 
accordingly about twenty were stowed, but as Mr. 
Parker, who accompanied me, and who is a sea-faring 
man, thought her over-laden and unsafe, and refused 
to go on board, we remained with four others on 
board the packet. Not a drop, not a crumb, not 
a boat left, not a breath of wind, the tide left us long 
before we got to Caldishot [Calshot] Castle, and in 
this plight, like a log on the water, and no boat to be 
hailed to our assistance, we remained till half -past two, 
when a wherry from Cowes came to deliver us from 
thraldom at an expense of twelve shillings. . . . 

In the last week the arrivals have been numerous, 
and all the large houses are now occupied. Croker 
and his family are in George Street. I met him on 
the pier last night and had a chat with him, and 
was introduced to his wife. Mr. Cooper, the brewer, 
has drowned himself in one of his own vats, and a 
gig last Tuesday bolted over the cliff close to Shank- 
lin Chine, owing to the horse taking fright, but the 


lady and gentleman were at the time walking up the 
hill ; so nobody was killed but horse and gig. This 
is all our news. 

Yours affectionately, 
H. Smith. 


Farewell, sweet Binstead, take a fond farewell 
From one unused to sight of Woods and Seas, 

Amid the strife of Cities doomed to dwell, 
Yet roused to extacy by scenes like these : — • 
Who could for ever sit beneath thy trees 

Inhaling fragrance from the flowery dell ; 
Or, listening to the murmur of the breeze. 

Gaze with delight on Ocean's awful swell. 

Once more adieu ! nor deem that I profane 
Thy sacred Porch, for while the Sabbath strain 

May fail to turn the Sinner from his ways, 
There are impressions none can feel in vain, 
These are the wonders which perforce must raise 
The soul to God in silent faith and praise. 

Anna Seward. 

In his matrimonial affairs Horace Smith seems 
to have been fated not to please his father. It is an 
acknowledged axiom that people seldom practise 
what they preach ; and Horace Smith, who at the 
age of twenty-two had written a novel to illustrate 
the evils of clandestine marriages,^ was no exception 
to this rule, for in the year 1818 he contracted a 
second alliance, the circumstances of which did not 
tend to heal the breach between him and his father, 
who thus enters the fact in his journal : — 

^ Trevomion, or Matrimonial Errors (1801). 

" ELYSIUM " 133 

March 11 th.- — My son Horace was married this 
day (unknown to me at the time) to Miss Ford, a 
young lady originally from Devonshire. The first 
intimation given me of this marriage was by a letter 
from Horace dated from Cheltenham, for which 
place the young married couple set out immediately 
after the ceremony. I sincerely hope that the con- 
nection will prove a source of happiness to both ! 
Horace has good understanding, and many amiable 
qualities: all of which, I have no doubt, he will con- 
tinue to make a proper use. My two other sons 
still remain bachelors ! I am sorry for it. 

Miss Ford was a real west country beauty, with 
dark hair and eyes and lovely complexion, and her 
children inherited no small share of her personal 
attractions. Her three sisters were equally famed 
for their beauty, and one of them became the mother 
of the well-known E. M. Ward, K.A. 

On this his second marriage, Horace Smith re- 
moved from Knightsbridge, and went still further 
away from town — to Elysium Row, Fulham, where 
he lived until the year 1821. 

Pleasure -seeking denizens of Belgravia, driving 
vid the King's road, Chelsea, towards Barn Elms 
or Ranelagh, to be present at a polo-match or other 
fashionable gathering, after passing Parson's Green 
along what is called the New King's Road, will 
notice an unpretending one-storied house with stone 
eagles guarding the entrance-gates, upon which are 
inscribed the words '' Draycott Lodge.'' Here lives 
one of England's greatest painters, Mr. Holman 
Hunt. The ugly arches of the District Railway to 


Putney cut diagonally through the western boundary 
of his grounds, and also through what was once a 
garden of some one and a half acres belonging to a 
comfortable three-storied tenement at the comer of 
an isolated terrace of about a dozen old-fashioned 
houses which constitute Elysium Row, Fulham, and 
date back to the year 1738. This corner house was 
Horace Smith's home from 1818 to 1821 ; and 
though now there seems little justification for its 
alluring title of " Elysium," in the " twenties " and 
" thirties " the Row was most prettily located with 
gardens, nursery grounds, and orchards in every 
direction, while for absolute retirement it might 
have been miles away in the country. 

To this little retreat, with its pleasant old-fashioned 
garden, Horace Smith used to invite his intimate 
friends to " come down and rusticate ; " and his eldest 
daughter remembers that, when she was a child, she 
was solemnly led into the garden by her father one 
lovely afternoon in July to take a peep at a fragile- 
looking and rather ill-dressed gentleman sitting 
"immantled in ambrosial dark," beneath a wide- 
spreading ilex. " Do you see that man ? " said her 
father; "that's a poet." It was poor Keats, then 
fast nearing his end, whom Smith had enticed from 
Wentworth Place, Hampstead, to dine and spend a 
long day with him. 

Dinner — at which James and Leonard Smith, 
Thomas Hill, " the literary city drysalter," ^ and one 
or two other kindred spirits, were also guests — was 
1 See Chapter VIII. 


served earlier than usual to lengthen the exquisite 
evening, and everything that could be thought of 
to tempt the poet's feeble appetite was there. As 
the Rev. Thomas Barham relates in Ingoldsby 
Legends : — 

— in due time a banquet was placed on the board 
In the very best style, which implies in a word 
All the dainties the season (and King) could afford. 
Fricandeau, fricassees. Ducks and green peas, 
Cotelottes k I'Indienne, and chops a la Soubise. 

Then the wines — round the circle how swiftly they went ! 

Canary, Sack, Malaga, Malvoisie, Tent ; 

Old Hock from the fihine, wine remarkably fine, 

Of the Champagne vintage, of seven ninety-nine ; 

Five cen'tries in bottle had made it divine ! 

Hill, as a special favour, had been allowed to send 
over from his well-filled cellars at Sydenham a dozen 
of Keats' favourite beverage, some quite undeniable 
Chateau Margeaux ; and it was unanimously voted 
that the company should drink their wine in the 
open air. 

In the course of a letter quoted in the Life and 
Letters of John Keats, by Lord Houghton, the poet 
says : — 

I dined with Haydon the Sunday after you left, 
and had a very pleasant day. I dined too (for I 
have been out much lately) with Horace Smith, and 
met his two brothers,' with Hill and Kingston, and 
one Du Bois. They only served to convince me 
how superior humour is to wit in respect to enjoy- 
ment. These men say things which make one start 
without making one feel; they all know fashion- 


ables; they have all a mannerism in their very 
eating and drinking, in their mere handling of a 
decanter. They talked of Kean and his low com- 
pany. " Would I were with that company instead 
of yours," said I to myself ! I know such like ac- 
quaintance will never do for me, and yet I am going 
to Reynolds' on Wednesday. 

The Smiths had made both Shelley's and Keats' 
acquaintance at Leigh Hunt's house at Hampstead. 

In the year 1816 [says Horace Smith] at the house 
of our mutual friend, Leigh Hunt, then residing at 
Hampstead, I made my first personal acquaintance 
with this remarkable man [Shelley]. Punishments 
disproportionately severe always excite sympathy for 
their victim, rather than condemnation of his offenca 
In the midst of all the reckless enthusiasm that 
prompted Shelley, like a moral Quixote, to run atilt 
at whatever he considered an abuse, I felt convinced 
that his aims were pure and lofty, that he was solely 
animated by an impassioned philanthropy in the 
prosecution of which he was ready to sacrifice his 
life ; and such being his motives, I thought it most 
cruel and unjust that he should be proscribed as a 
reprobate, and be made the butt of the most malig- 
nant invectives. Having long compassionated him 
as a grievously over-punished man, and having re- 
cently read his poems with a profound admiration 
of his genius, I had looked forward to our first meet- 
ing with no common interest. He was not in the 
cottage when I arrived, but I was introduced to 
another young poet of no common talent — Keats, 
who was destined, alas ! ere many years had flown, 
to meet the same premature death, and to lie in the 
same cemetery with Shelley beneath the ruined walls 
of Rome. Keats has been described by Coleridge 


in his Table Talk as a "loose, slack, not well- 
dressed youth," and to an observant eye his looks 
and his attenuated frame already foreshadowed the 
consumption that had marked him for its prey. 

In a short time Shelley was announced, and I 
beheld a fair, freckled, blue-eyed, light-haired, deli- 
cate-looking person, whose countenance was serious 
and thoughtful; whose stature would have been 
rather tall had he carried himself upright ; whose 
earnest voice, though never loud, was somewhat un- 
musical. Manifest as it was that his pre-occupied 
mind had no thought to spare for the modish ad- 
justment of his fashionably-made clothes, it was 
impossible to doubt, even for a nioment, that you 
were gazing upon a gentleman; a first impression 
which subsequent observation never failed to con- 
firm, even in the most exalted acceptation of the 
term, as indicating one that is gentle, generous, 
accomplished, brave, "Never did a more finished 
gentleman than Shelley step across a drawing-room," 
was the remark of Lord Byron ; and Captain Med win, 
writing after several years' acquaintance with Shelley, 
and an extensive intercourse with the polite world, 
thus expresses a similar opinion : — " I can afSrm that 
Shelley was almost the only example I have yet 
found that was never wanting, even to the most 
minute particular, in the infinite and various ob- 
servances of pure, entire, and perfect gentility." 

Two or three more friends presently arriving, the 
discourse, under the inspiration of our facetious host, 
assumed a playful and bantering character, which 
Shelley by his smiles appeared to enjoy, but in which 
he took no part ; and I then surmised, as I found after- 
wards, that it might be said of him, as of Demosthenes, 
Non displicuisse illi jocos sed non contigisse. Young 
as he was, a mind so deeply impressed with the 
sense of his own wrongs, and sobered by his solemn 


vow to redress, if possible, the wrongs of his fellow- 
creatures, was naturally more disposed to seriousness 
than to levity. The weather being fine, the whole 
party sallied forth to stroll upon the Heath, where I 
attached myself to Shelley, and gradually drawing 
him apart, enjoyed with him a long and uninter- 
rupted conversation. ' Well may I say enjoyed, for 
to talk with a man of extensive reading and un- 
doubted genius, who felt such a devout reverence 
for what he believed to be the truth, and was so 
fearless in its assertion that he laid his whole many- 
thoughted miad bare before you, was indeed a treat 
to one whose chief social intercourse had been with 
minds all stamped in the same established educa- 
tional mould, or conforming to it with that plastic 
conventional hypocrisy which the worldly-wise find 
so exceedingly convenient. My companion, who, 
as he became interested in his subjects, talked much 
and eagerly, seemed to me a psychological curiosity, 
infinitely more curious than Coleridge's Kubla Khan, 
to which strange vision he made reference. His 
priucipal discourse, however, was of Plato, for whose 
character, writings, and philosophy he expressed an 
unbounded admiration, dwelling much on the similar- 
ity of portions of his doctrines to those of the New 
Testament, and on the singular accordance between 
the scriptural narrative of the birth of Christ and the 
miraculous nativity attributed to Plato, 420 years 
before our era. On my confession that I could not 
manage so subtle a thinker in the original Greek, 
but that I possessed Dacier's translation, Shelley 
replied, " Then you have seen him by moonlight, 
instead of in the sunshine ; the closeness of his logic 
and the splendour of his diction cannot be transferred 
into another language." 

The friendship between Shelley and Horace Smith 


was very sincere. " For the author of Rejected 
Addresses" says Lady Shelley, " Shelley had the most 
affectionate regard, a regard fully deserved by that 
excellent and warmed-hearted wit." This feeling 
was thoroughly reciprocated, and when Shelley left 
England in 1818, never to return, he, with the 
utmost confidence in Smith's integrity and discretion, 
placed his pecuniary affairs in his hands. 

But before dealing with this interesting period of 
Horace Smith's life, it is necessary to revert to his 
brother James. 


The Board of Ordnance, its officers and functions — The 
" Assistant to the Solicitor " and his duties — Emoluments of 
the office — On Ordnance Parliamentary " preserve " — Retire- 
ment of Robert Smith from business, and from the post of 
"Assistant to the Solicitor" — James Smith appointed "As- 
sistant to the Solicitor." 

The important State Department with which 
James Smith and his father were intimately associ- 
ated for periods of twenty-seven and thirty-seven 
years respectively, deserves more than a passing 

As its title implies, the special function of the 
Ordnance has always been the construction, pro- 
vision, and charge of every kind of projectile imple- 
ment of war. The splendidly equipped workshops 
of Woolwich, Enfield, Birmingham, and Waltham 
Abbey, attest the modern development of a system 
that has lasted since artillery and small arms came 
into use ; but in the Smiths' time the Board looked 
after other important matters, now in the province 
of the Royal Engineers ; viz. the acquisition of lands, 
and the construction of forts, for the defence of the 
nation during times of war. 


The original "Instructions" for the government 
of the Office of Ordnance were entered in an old 
folio book of Charles II. 's time, and kept in the 
Ordnance Office. Robert Smith had a copy of this 
book made for his own private use, soon after he 
became " Assistant to the Solicitor " of the Ordnance ; 
and it was from this source, not accessible to any 
outsider, that he was able to give the following 
account of the Board and of his own official duties, 
which I believe will be new to most of my readers. 

The Office of Ordnance [he says] is governed by 
a Master-General and a Board under him, all separ- 
ately appointed by Letters Patent, to hold during 
pleasure. The Board consists of five "Principal 
Officers" — the Lieutenant-General, the Surveyor- 
General, the Clerk of the Ordnance, the Store- 
Keeper, and the Clerk of the Deliveries, any three 
of whom form a " Board." The Master-General and 
Lieutenant-General are each by virtue of his office 
in two capacities — the one military, the other 

In their military capacity, the Master-General is 
Commander-in-Chief; and the Lieutenant-General 
second in command over the artillery and engineers. 

In his civil capacity the Master-General is en- 
trusted with the entire management and control 
over the whole Ordnance Departn\ent. He can do 
alone any act, which can otherwise, if he does not 
interpose, be done by the Board. The Board make 
contracts and agreements for the purchase of stores 
and performance of services, and direct the issue of 
money and stores. They also order, sign, execute, 
transact, and perform every other matter incident 
to the office of the Ordnance. 


What these " matters " were may be learnt from 
Eobert Smith's account. 

The solicitor to the Ordnance [he says] receives 
his appointment from the Master-General by warrant, 
and is borne upon the " Establishment " at a salary 
of £300 per annum. Properly speaking, he is the 
" Counsel " of the Ordnance, and is always a 
Barrister-at-Law, and although in official proceed- 
ings he is styled the " Solicitor," the duties of that 
situation are executed by a practising solicitor, called 
in office language the " Assistant to the Solicitor." 
He also is appointed by the Master-General, though 
not by warrant, but by a minute of the Board. He 
is not upon the " Establishment," neither does he 
receive a salary, and he is removable at the pleasure 
of the Master-General or the Board. His duties 
are various. He prepares all contracts, agreements, 
and other instruments that are directed by the 
Master-General or the Board. He solicits all Acts 
of Parliament for the purchase or exchange of lands 
for the use of the Ordnance, and for making com- 
pensation to the proprietors and occupiers of the 
lands taken, and then makes out and transmits to 
the Surveyor-General's office, the several bills for 
the sums awarded to each proprietor. He likewise 
conducts all prosecutions of whatever kind, and 
brings and defends all such actions and suits as are 
previously directed by the Master-General or Board, 
conferring with the " Solicitor " on all necessary 
occasions. He makes written reports to the Master- 
General and Board upon a variety of subjects, such 
as the Crown's title to houses and lands placed 
under the charge of the Ordnance ; the boundaries 
of such lands, and all trespasses and encroachments 
made upon any of them ; the liability of Ordnance 
lands and buildings to the payment of tithes, taxes, 


etc. ; the liability of the several officers of the 
Ordnance who occupy such lands to the payment of 
personal taxes, etc. ; the liability of Ordnance 
wagons and carriages to the payment of turnpike 
and other tolls ; as also the artillery horses whether 
attached or not attached to guns and carriages ; or 
whether proceeding under march routes, or other- 
wise ; questions arising out of the Mutiny, or other 
Act of Parliament, relative to fraud, embezzlement, 
the enlistment, desertion, pay, subsistence, etc., of 
the privates of the artillery, etc. etc. 

To enable himself to perform these and the other 
duties attached to his situation, he must be pos- 
sessed of a tolerable law library, particularly of the 
statutes at large. He keeps plans or copies of plans 
whenever he is able of the Ordnance lands and 
fortifications throughout the kingdom and abroad. 
He keeps abstracts of or references to the several 
Acts of Parliament, and deeds under which the 
lands are purchased. He makes a digest of the 
whole, and of the laws relative to Ordnance matters 
for his own particular use. By means of this digest, 
and of an alphabetical list of former references and 
reports, arranged according to place and subject- 
matter, he furnishes himself with ready information 
upon the several points that are brought under 
his notice. For his attendance on the Master- 
General and Board as the " Solicitor " at the office 
at Westminster and at the Tower, he is allowed the 
yearly sum of £100, which he charges in his half- 
yearly bills. For preparing deeds and contracts, 
conducting prosecutions and actions, and transacting 
all other law business, he charges in the ordinary 
manner of solicitors, and for travelling he is allowed 
Is. 3d. per mile for chaise hire, and £1 Is. Od. per 
day during his attendance from London when ordered 
by the Master-Gen,eral or Board. 


These charges, "in the ordinary manner of 
solicitors," during the course of Robert Smith's 
tenancy of his office came to a notable sum. In 
his journal he says : " As a matter of private curiosity, 
I have given the annual amount of my Ordnance 
bills from the time I first entered upon my office 
in 17821 down to the end of the present year, 
1818." "The profits," he naively adds, "have not 
been inconsiderable." 

For the thirty-seven years the total was £62,000, 
and from 1805 to 1818 — the war years — the bills 
averaged £3,400 per annum. 

Not long after James Smith had been admitted 
as an attorney, he was made acquainted by personal 
experience with the system of" close boroughs " that 
prevailed before the Reform Bill of 1832. Queen- 
borough was considered a strict Government " pre- 
serve," and its representatives were usually recom- 
mended to the voters by the Ordnance and Admiralty 
Department turn and turn about. On the occasion 
referred to, it was the turn of Robert Smith's office 
to recommend a candidate, and as the Duke of 
Richmond, the then Master-General, desired Mr. 
Rogers, the Secretary to the Board, to get in, that 
gentleman offered himself, and Robert Smith was 
requested to be on the spot, to give his professional 
advice should it be deemed necessary. 

Accordingly, he proceeded to Sheerness with his 
son James, and put himself in contact with the 
Ordnance officers there, who were thoroughly ac- 
1 See Chapter III. 


quainted with the political ground. The whole 
affair was delightfully simple, as no other candidate 
dreamed of offering himself; and Mr. Secretary 
Rogers was without opposition elected as the repre- 
sentative of the free and enlightened burgesses of 

The termination of war after the battle of 
Waterloo brought about an important change in 
Robert Smith's affairs, and hastened his determina- 
tion to retire altogether from business. 

The late peace [he says], though a blessing in 
itself, must produce a great diminution of my 
Ordnance and other business, which has occasioned 
me to think of quitting business entirely in favour 
of my son James. This I shall probably do at the 
end of the present year [1818] should both our lives 
be spared. When the measure shall be finally 
determined on, James must endeavour to prevail 
on the Master-General, Lord Mulgrave (who has for 
some time honoured him with his particular notice) 
to consent to my son being sole assistant to the 
Ordnance Solicitor.^ This will fix him in the 
situation. . . . My intention with respect to my son 
James cannot be accomplished for the present. On 
account of declining years and health, the Earl of 
Mulgrave signified his wish to resign his office of 
Master-General of the Ordnance. This he shortly 
afterwards did ; and in December, Field-Marshal 
the Duke of Wellington was gazetted in his room. 

But though all application on the subject of 
changing must be postponed until the new Master- 
General shall have completed his office arrangements 
(whatever they may be), the other part of our 

1 See Chapter IX. 



design, that of my relinquishing business,^ has been 
arranged between me and my son — my son, however, 
to receive the whole profits. 

On this day, therefore, December 31st, 1818, my 
son provided himself with a new set of books ; and 
my name was withdrawn from the ofiSce doors. 

In the course of the following year, the Duke of 
Wellington having done me the honour to ask my 
opinion upon some point of law that was connected 
with his official character of Master-General, I con- 
ceived this a favourable opportunity to make known 
to his Grace my wishes concerning my son. 

To these applications I received a favourable 
answer ; that from the Duke's private secretary was 
as follows : — 

Office of Ordnance, 
July 20th, 1819. 


I am directed by the Master-General to 
acknowledge the receipt of your letter of the 11th 
instant, and to acquaint you that his Grace has 
given orders that the name of your son may be 
allowed to stand singly, as Assistant to the Ordnance 
Solicitor, agreeably with your request. 
I am. Sir, 

Your most obedient. 
Humble servant, 
F. B. Heevey. 
Robert Smith, Esq., 
18 Austin Fria/rs. 

Thus my wishes in this respect are now accom- 
phshed, and I rejoice at it. The situation of 
" Assistant to the Solicitor " of so distinguished a 
public Board as that of the Ordnance, besides being 

^ Eobert Smith was then seventy-one years of age. 


'honourable to a professional man, is the source of 
emolument, especially in time of war, as the amounts 
of my bills for a number of years will show. But it 
is one that requires attention, and in that attention 
I hope my son will not be wanting. 

James Smith did not belie the confidence reposed 
in him by his father. His literary work was never 
allowed to interfere with his official duties. Until 
almost the day of his death, in 1839, as grave as a 
judge, and looking as if a joke or witty saying were 
an impossible perpetration on his part, he sat in his 
office at No. 18 Austin Friars, and subsequently at 
27 Craven Street, Strand, surrounded by tin boxes, 
heavy volumes of statutes, and all the dusty " pro- 
perties " of a solicitor's office, as if sticking to business 
were the one and only aim of life. 

His situation as Assistant to the Solicitor, in 
course of time, became a purely nominal one. Long 
years of peace followed his appointment. 

" No war or battle's sound 
Was heard the world around." 

Martello Towers began to fall into a state of di- 
lapidation; luxuriant growths of herbage sprang 
up on ramparts that once echoed with the tread of 
watchful sentinels ; the few pieces of artillery that 
were suffered to remain slowly rusted and sank to 
the ground from their rotting carriages; lambs 
gambolled at the muzzles of the harmless cannon ; 
and all along our coasts Landseer's Peace became 
a living reality. From Tilbury to distant Berry 


Head, and yet more remote Pendennis Castle, the 
sites of our national defences became peaceful 
pastures for cattle or the resort of picnickers. 

Yet James Smith remained at his post in a State 
Department which was once essential to the safety 
of the nation, but whose raison d'Stre had dis- 


Horace Smith and Shelley (continued) — Horace Smith's con- 
nection with the Scott-Christie duel — Mr. Andrew Lang's 
remarks thereon — The death of Keats — Horace Smith retires 
from business, and decides to visit Shelley in Italy — Letter to 
his sister Clara — Is detained at Paris by ill-health of his wife 
— Letters to Cyrus Eedding. 

HoEACE Smith, at the opening of the year 1818, 
met Shelley for the last time, when the poet was in 
London making arrangements for his departure from 
England — a step determined upon, partly for the 
purpose of finding a milder climate in the south of 
Europe, and also because of his dread that Lord 
Chancellor Eldon might give effect to some hints he 
had thrown out in Court respecting the custody of 
Shelley's infant son by his second wife. 

Under a Chancery decree, Shelley had already 
been bereft of the offspring of his earlier marriage, 
and had been compelled to set aside £200 for their 
maintenance out of the £1000 per annum allowed 
him by his father. Sir Timothy Shelley. This in- 
come was regularly paid until March 1821, when, to 
the astonishment of Horace Smith — his financial 


agent at that period — it was abruptly stopped. 
Horace at once wrote to his friend in Italy as 
follows : — 

March 28fh, 1821. 

My deae Shelley, 

I called to-day at Brookes and Co. for 
your money as usual, and was not a little surprised 
to be told that they had received notice not to 
advance anything more on yoit,r account, as the payment 
to them would in future be discontinued; but they 
could give me no information why the alteration 
had occurred, or whether you were apprised of it. 
Perhaps you have been, though you could hardly 
have failed to mention it to me. But I will call 
again, and endeavour to get some solution of the 
apparent mystery. Meantime, if you are in any 
straits you had better draw on me at the Stock 
Exchange for what you want. I would remit you, 
but that, knowing that you are not over regular in 
matters of business, you may, perhaps, have made 
new arrangements for your money, and, through 
inadvertency, omitted to apprise me. . . .^ 

Burning with indignation at what he conceived 
to be a conspiracy against poor Shelley, Horace 
Smith, restraining himself with great effort, wrote, 
amongst many other letters, a very temperate one 
to Sir Timothy (whom he felt sure had no participa- 
tion in the plot), asking for an explanation ; and, 
receiving a courteous reply, wrote to his friend : — 

London, April 19t?i, 1821. 

Dear Shelley, 

I wrote you on the I7th inst., with a 
budget of letters relative to this lawsuit; and 
1 Shelley Memorials, by Lady Shelley. 


annexed I hand you a copy of Sir Timothy's reply, 
received yesterday. I am most glad that I -wrote 
to him, for it turns out that my conjecture that he 
was unacquainted with the affair is correct, and that 
the law proceedings were literally cooked up by the 
lawyers. It appears a most scandalous liberty in 
Mr. Whitton, not only to make your father a party 
without his privity, but actually to stop your money 
on his own authority. I have this day written a 
few lines to Sir Timothy, stating that I had seen a 
letter at Wright's from Whitton, certainly implying 
that he had communicated with Sir T., and I leave 
the lawyer to get out of this dilemma as well as he 
can. Of Whitton I know nothing ; but I seem to 
dislike him by instinct. Having written you so 
many letters lately, I have nothing further to say, 
than to repeat the pleasant assurance that I shall 
this summer or autumn take you by the hand, when 
we can talk over all these matters. 

I am, my dear Shelley, 
Ever yours, 

HoEATio Smith. 

If the Fates had permitted the " taking in hand," 
the man of business might have succeeded in keep- 
ing the poet's money matters in order, and have 
saved him much worry and petty annoyance. Horace 
Smith always did what he could to help Shelley in 
the way of temporary advances and loans, which 
substantial proof of friendship was fully appreciated. 

" It's odd," Shelley once remarked, " that the only 
truly generous person I ever knew who had money 
to be generous with, should be a stockbroker." And 
when Horace Smith sent him a copy of his book, 
entitled Amarynthus the Nym.pholet,a Pastoral Drama, 


With other Poems, Shelley exclaimed, " And he writes 
poetry too; he writes poetry and pastoral dramas, 
and yet knows how to make money, and does make 
it, and is still generous." 

In his letter to Shelley of March the 28th, 1821, 
Horace Smith thus refers to the Scott duel : — 

Poor Scott ! what a melancholy termination ! and 
how perfectly unnecessary! Christie and the two 
seconds will surrender and take their trial at the 
Old Bailey Session next month. We are raising a 
subscription for Scott's family. 

John Scott was the editor of the London Magazine, 
and in the November number of 1820 there appeared 
a long article written by himself, bringing forward 
serious charges agaiast the managers of Blackwood's 
Magazine,^ and this was followed up in the December 
number by a more vigorous onslaught, entitled The 
Mohawk Magazine. Naturally, the result was retali- 
ation on the part of Blackwood's, which took the 
form of anonymous attacks on Scott, who, by guess- 
work only, attributed their authorship to John 
Gibson Lockhart. A bitter controversy ensued, and 
finally merged into an acrimonious dispute between 
Scott and Lockhart's friend, Mr. Christie. Scott 
challenged Christie, and a duel by moonlight was 
fought on Friday night, February the 16th, 1821, at 
Chalk Farm, when, after an interchange of shots 
without effect, there was a second encounter, and 

1 Dubbed by Sir Walter Scott, « The Motber of Miscbief." 


poor Scott received a wound to which he succumbed 
in a few days. 

Scott had asked Horace Smith to act as his 
second, in case a personal encounter with Lockhart 
or Christie should take place. So one night, he 
called upon him at No. 1 Elysium Eow, Fulham, to 
discuss the subject. Horace Smith did his best to 
dissuade his bellicose friend from resorting to physi- 
cal force, and made him plainly understand that 
under no circumstances would he be a party to a 
duel. His views on duelling are here set forth in 
his own words : — 

A duellist is a moral coward, seeking to hide the 
pusillanimity of his mind by affecting a corporeal 
courage. Instead of discharging a pistol, the resort 
of bullies and bravoes, the really brave soul will dare 
to discharge its duty to God and man by refusing 
to break the laws of both. He is the true hero 
who can exclaim in the sublime language of 
Voltaire, Je, crains Dieu, cher Ahner, et je n'ai d' autre 

Scott could not have applied to a more unsuitable 
man than Horace Smith, as the latter was quite un- 
acquainted with the rules and nice points of etiquette 
connected with duelling, and at no stage of the 
squabble did he give Scott any warrant for stating 
that he had consented to act as his second. He 
published in 1821 an explanation of his own parts 
in this sad transaction, and in 1847 he referred to it 
in his Becollections of John Scott. 

Mr. Andrew Lang, .the Universal Provider of the 


literary world, seeking, like the busy bee, to gather 
honey from every opening flower, must needs alight 
on the grave of Horace Smith. To quit metaphor, 
Mr. Lang, in several bewildering passages in his 
Life and Letters of John Gibson Lockhart,^ referring to 
these explanations of Horace Smith, goes out of his 
way to accuse him of a gross misstatement of facts, 
because he — Mr. Lang — imagines he has discovered 
some inconsistencies in Smith's statements, one of 
which was made six-and-twenty years after the 
other ! 

Keats once wrote : — " The Scotch cannot manage 
themselves at all ; they want imagination, and that is 
why they are so fond of Hogg, who has so little of it." 

Mr. Andrew Lang is gifted with the supposed 
missing faculty in an unusual degree; but, in his 
arraignment of Horace Smith, it has led him 
astray. Surely the eulogy of a Lockhart does not 
necessitate the calumniation of a most honourable 
man, who has been dead for the last fifty years ! 
Such conduct is hardly worthy of one who hails 
from the " Borders," where of old " life was held of 
light account, but honour was highly reckoned." 

On the night of February the 23rd, 1821, Keats 
died of consumption at Rome, where he had been 
tenderly nursed by Mr. Severn, the artist. The news 
was published in London on the 25th of March; and 
it is supposed that Shelley first heard of it by a 
letter from Horace Smith, which, dating from Fulham, 
March 28th, 1821, contains the following: — 
1 1896-97. 

"ADONAIS"' 155 

You never Said anything of Keats, who I see (in 
The JSxaminer, March 25th) died at Konje under 
lamentable circumstances. 

But as Shelley at the time of Keats's death was 
living at Pisa, barely two hundred miles distant 
from Rome, it seems incredible that he should obtain 
his first intelligence of the sad event from England. 
Shelley's letter to Severn, dated November the 29th, 
1821, proves nothing either one way or the other. 

Shelley sent a copy of Adonais to Horace Smith, 
who, in acknowledging it, says : — 

He (Mr. Gisborne) handed me also your poem on 
Keats's death, which I like, with, the exception of the 
Cenci, better than anything you have written, finding 
in it a great deal of fancy, feeling, and beautiful 
language, with none of the metaphysical abstraction 
which is so apt to puzzle the uninitiated in your 
productions. It reminded me of Lyeidas, more from 
the similarity of the subject than anything in the 
mode of treatment. 

Shelley made a point of sending a copy of each of 
his works to Horace Smith as they came out. He 
writes from Leghorn to Mr. Oilier, his publisher — 
" Whenever I publish, send copies of my books to 
the following people for me — Mr. Hunt, Mr. Godwin, 
Mr. Hogg, Mr. Peacock, Mr. Keats, Mr. Thomas 
Moore, Mr. Horace Smith, and Lord Byron" (at 
Murray's) ; and again, from Pisa, he writes to him — 
" Allow me particularly to request you to send copies 
of whatever I publish to Horace Smith." 

In a letter, September 4th, 1820, Horace Smith 


expresses to Shelley his opinion of two of his 
works : — 

I got from Oilier last week a copy of the Prome- 
theus Unbound, which is a most original, grand, and 
occasionally sublime work, evincing, in my opinion, 
a higher order of talent than any of your previous 
productions ; and yet, contrary to your own estima- 
tion, I must say I prefer the Genci, because it con- 
tains a deep and sustained human interest, of which 
we feel a want in the other. Prometheus himself 
certainly touches us nearly ; but we see very little 
of him after his liberation ; and, though I have no 
doubt it will be more admired than anything you 
have written, I question whether it will be so much 
read as the Genci. . . . 

On the 6th of April, 1821, a daughter was bom 
to Horace Smith at Fulham. She was christened 
Rosalind, after the heroine of Shelley's beautiful 
poem Bosalind and Helen, which had been begun at 
Marlow, and completed at the baths of Lucca at the 
special request of Mrs. Shelley. The next day 
Horace Smith wrote to Shelley at Pisa : — 

As affairs (political) seem all settling in Italy, I 
resume my intention of taking you by the hand. 
My wife has-a daughter, and is doing perfectly well. 
I expect we shall be ready to start in July or 
August. Will that be too hot, and would you 
preferably recommend October ? 

Horace Smith's ambition was to make literature 
a profession, and about this time he, with wonderful 
self-restraint, carried into effect a resolution he had 


made to retire from the Stock Exchange, however 
great the temptation to the contrary might be, as 
soon as he had amassed a fortune sufficient to ensure 
him a modest independency. On the very day that 
he considered this aspiration was reached, he sent in 
his resignation to the committee without a moment's 
hesitation. His retirement turned out to be a lucky 
thing, for in the panic period of 1825-1826, when 
no fewer than 770 banks stopped payment, the fruit 
of all his labours might, like that of thousands, have 
been swept away.. 

Before settling down, however, he determined to 
visit Italy. We read in his father's journal : — 

June, 12iA, 1821. — My son Horace has been for 
some time desirous of visiting Florence for a couple 
of years, and on this day, he, his wife, three children,^ 
and a female servant, came to town preparatory to 
their setting out for Dover. His reasons for the 
measure are, economy, pleasure, and the acquisition 
of French and Italian literature. I wish he may 
not be disappointed in any of these views; but I 
cannot say that I like the scheme. 

Arrived at Paris, Horace wrote the following letter 
to his sister Clara : — 

36 ChoMtereine, Chaussee d'Antin, Paris, 
July 22nd, 1821. 

My dear Claba, 

I should have written to you sooner, but 
that I doubted whether they would forward letters 
to you at the Isle of Wight, where I suppose you 

^ Eliza, Horatio, and Rosalind. 


are enjojdng walks and woods and solitude, while I 
am rambling amid the bustle of the crowded Boule- 
vards, or the classical retreats of the Champs Elysees. 
I am delighted with Paris, and have hardly been a 
day without encountering some English acquaint- 
ance. On board the packet, I heard a gentleman 
laying down the law somewhat authoritatively, and 
informing us that, owing to the high wind when he 
last crossed, he lost a gnat (no great loss thought I), 
and in talking of the inns at Boulogne, he depreci- 
ated all the understandings of the place, by main- 
taining stoutly that there was not a nous in the 
town. This proved to be Adelaide's ^ quondam 
neighbour, Mr. Prestwidge, with whom I renewed 
my acquaintance, and from whom we experienced 
the greatest civility, both on board the packet and 
in Paris, where he was suf5ficiently at home to be 
enabled to show us some of the lions. 

We stayed at Calais two or three days to recruit, 
and posted hither, sleeping at Abbeville and Beau- 
vais, passing through dull, desolate, moated, and 
drawbridged towns, all obviously built before the 
Flood ; and a flat, treeless, hedgeless, uninteresting 
country, with here and there a shabby, wild, grass- 
grown ch§,teau, looking very prison-like or mad- 
housey, and now and then a scarecrow straggling 
village, or cluster of mud-hovels, till we got into an 
apple country, where there were plenty of trees, but 
not a single apple, the crop having utterly failed. 
Little variations occurred in these features till we 
got to the very barriers of Paris, when all at once 
we seemed to have leapt forward about a thousand 
years, the houses presenting modern classical eleva- 
tions, all built of white stone, extremely lofty, 
magnificent, and impressive, the streets wide and 
handsome, gay carriages flitting about, and a smart, 
1 His sister. 


numerous, and noisy population succeeding to the 
stagnation of life through which we had passed. 
We went to the H&tel Maurice, an immense place 
(140 bedrooms), so full of English that we could 
only get accommodated by putting up a temporary 
bed for Horace. Next day we put the children to 
school with a friend of Sophia's settled here, and 
most happy we were to get rid of Horace, who kept 
us in perpetual fear of his being lost or run over, or 
both, as he was perfectly wild with the novelty of 
the scene. 

Opposite to the back of our hotel is the Tuilleries 
and Louvre, with all its far-famed contents — the 
gardens with their Frenchified but very grand 
succession of statues, ponds, shady walks, gates and 
arches leading to the Bois de Boulogne and the 
Champs Elysees, where you may fancy yourself in 
Abyssinia — and on the other side of our street we 
walked to the Palais Royal, with its noble square 
surrounded with innumerable shops, and refreshed 
with trees and a handsome jet d'eau in the centre. 
To see all this within five minutes' walk of our 
residence, in the midst of Paris, certaialy struck us 
all of a heap. But what pleases me most is the 
abundance of gardens and flowers, all as green and 
fresh as a pickled herring; artificial flowers inside 
the house, and real ones outside, seems to be a 
passion with the French, and I like them for it. 

We went one day to dine at Grignon's, a famous 
restaurateur, but Sophia could not be reconciled to 
the dishes or the publicity, and we sat down once or 
twice at the table d'hdte at Maurice's, generally from 
thirty to forty, and all English; but the place was 
so expensive and noisy that we have moved into 
these lodgings, small but comfortable, for which 
we pay 200 f. a month, and where, to the amaze- 
ment of those who know it, we have determined on 


dining at home occasionally, which to a Parisian 
seems perfectly ridiculous. We have bought a 
batterie de cuisine for three or four francs, and enjoyed 
to-day some stewed veal and peas, au naturel, as the 
Frenchman says with a sneer when you decline 
kickshaws ; and for wine, I am quite content with 
the lowest price, which is 15 sous or 7^d. per bottle. 
I like all their wines except champagne. 

We spent a most delightful morning at the 
Cimetidre of Pere la Chaise (whither I must go 
again), and the sight of which, with its exquisitely 
tasteful and picturesque tombs, embowered in trees, 
shrubs, and flowers, with their simple and feeling 
inscriptions, was quite sufficient in my mind to dis- 
prove the assertion that the French are deficient in 
sentiment and affection. They come constantly to 
hang garlands and crosses on the tombs of their 
relations, and to refresh the flowers with which they 
are planted, for which purpose water-pots are left in 
many of the enclosures ; — not a flower was picked — 
not a stone scribbled — not a figure defaced, and 
inside most of the railings are chairs for the friends 
to come occasionally and weep in, an office in which 
we saw more than one engaged, and the day after 
our visit a man blew out his brains on the tomb of 
his wife ! There may be some parade in all this, but 
I am convinced there is a good deal of feeling, and 
I am glad I came here, were it only on account of 
Pere la Chaise. 

About five minutes' walk from our present 
lodgings are Tivoli Gardens, where we have been 
roaming, and of which some parts are perfectly 
secluded and rural. I think I shall subscribe for the 
morning walks. W^e have warm baths in the build- 
ing for fifteen-pence, and are near all the gaiety if 
we like, but have yet been to no theatre. Once we 
have walked through the Louvre, and to-morrow we 


are going to the Luxembourg. ... I shall stay- 
here two months longer, and shall write to you again. 
Your affectionate brother, 

H. Smith. 

Horace Smith's plans, however, received an un- 
welcome upheaval. He had intended joining Shelley 
in Italy, and had, in fact, sent on all his heavy 
luggage to Leghorn by sea; but the weather in 
Paris became intensely hot, and his wife, who was 
singularly intolerant of warm weather, became so ill 
that she could not travel further. It was a great 
disappointment to Horace Smith, who wrote to his 
friend as follows : — 

Paris, August 30th, 1821. 

My dear Shelley, 

The disappointment and vexation by the 
sudden overthrow of all my long-cherished plans is 
not less painful to me than the cause of it is distress- 
ing. I have also to regret the trouble I have 
imnecessarily given you, and the disappointment 
(for I have vanity enough to believe you will think 
it such) to which I have exposed you. 

In the midst of these more serious annoyances, I 
have hardly time to attend to the petty incon- 
veniences to which we must be subjected by wintering 
here without any of our clothes, books, or comforts, 
all of which have been shipped to Leghorn. I 
think of taking a house at Versailles, but at present 
I am quite unsettled in everything. When I have 
arranged my plans I shall write to you again, till 
wlfen, and ahvays, 

I am, my dear Shelley, 
Your very sincere and disappointed friend, 

HoEATio Smith. 


Eventually, Horace Smith took an appartement m. 
the Hotel des Reservoirs, Versailles, which he 
furnished, and from which he dates some very 
interesting letters to his friend, Cyrus Redding.^ 

15 Rue des Reservoirs, 
Versailles, 1821. 

Dear Sir, 

I have been a good deal occupied in 
changing and furnishing my lodgings, and have had 
but little time for writing, and I have no access to 
books, as mine have not yet been returned from 
Italy, but they are on the route, and I hope to keep 
you supplied with admissible matter. Your account 
of the sale is gratifying, and I should think must be 
satisfactory to Mr. Colburn, even should it not 
advance further, though his heavy expenses must 
demand a wide circulation. 

That you should not receive much novelty is 
natural enough, for who the deuce can hit upon 
anything new, when half the world are racking 
their brains to do the same ? The magazine certainly 
improves, and as far as I can judge from those who 
see it here and at Galignani's, gives great satisfaction. 

I had heard of poor Leigh Hunt's adventure. I 
hope to heaven he will get out to Italy somehow, 
for this is the very crisis of his fate, not only as it 
may remove him from all the devilry with which he 
has been so long beleaguered, but that it may place 
him within the powerful influence of Lord Byron. 
His non-arrival has occasioned a whole chapter of 
embarrassments at Pisa, where his lordship has 

1 Cyrus Eedding's Fifty Years' Eecollectiops. Prom 1§21 
to 1830 Redding was the working editor of the New Monthly 
Magazine, of which Campbell, the poet, was the nominal 
chiet He was also the author of several woiks. 


appropriated a ^art of his palace for his reception, 
and has matured the other plans for which he was 
wanted. What these are I do not exactly know, but 
Shelley is only interested as an occasional contributor, 
and none of the party will dream of heretical, still 
less of atheistical theories, in a periodical publication 
which would be inevitably suppressed. Though 
Shelley is my most particular friend, I regret the 
imprudence of his early publications on more points 
than one, but as I laiow him to possess the most 
exalted virtues, and find in others who promulgate 
the most startling theories most amiable traits, I 
learn to be liberal towards abstract speculations, 
which, not exercising any baneful- influence on their 
authors' lives, are still less likely to corrupt others. 
Truth is great, and will prevail — that is my motto, 
and I would, therefore, leave everything unshackled 
— what is true will stand, and what is false ought to 
fall, whatever be the consequences. Ought we not 
to feel ashamed that Lucretius could publish his 
book in the teeth of an established religion, while 
martyrs are groaning in perpetual imprisonment for 
expressing a conscientious dissent from Christianity ? 

Human punishments and rewards will generally 
be found sufiicient for human control, so far as it 
can really be controlled. Jack Ketch is the most 
effectual devil, and the gallows the most practical 
hell ; the theoretical ones, which could not deter from 
crime, are seldom much thought of by the rogue, 
until these most tangible ones are about to punish 

John Hunt is a fine-spirited fellow, and I beg to 
be kindly remembered to him. 

I am delighted with France, particularly Versailles, 
and do not think of an immediate return. There is 
very good English society here. 

I never look at the magazine without wondering 


how you get through the labour, which I fear is tpo 
heavy to allow you any trip to this side, where I 
should be most happy to see you. I have taken 
apartments and furnished them myself, which I find 
a much cheaper plan. 

I am always, Dear Sir, 

Yours very faithfully, 
Horatio Smith. 

15 JJue des Reservoirs, 
Versailles, 1822. 

Many thanks, my dear Sir, for your acceptable 
letter of the 21st July, handed to me by Mr. Crowe, 
who passed a day with me, very agreeably on my 
part, and to whom I should have been happy to show 
further civilities, but that the shortness of his stay 
prevented it. He seems a very intelligent, unassum- 
ing man, and I should much like to join him in his 
excursion, as I still hope to visit the classic regions 
if I can get my wife's health re-established. 

I understand the paragraph to which you allude 
in Blackwood is an ill-natured one towards me, and 
it does not contain an atom of truth, as I knew 
nothing of the projected work at Pisa, and certainly 
shall not contribute a line, even were I requested, 
which I have never been, so that if you have an 
opportunity of contradicting the assertion, I will 
thank you to do so. Even Shelley, the only one of 
the party with whom I am in communication, has 
no share in the domiciliation of Hunt, nor has he 
pledged himself to any literary participation in the 
plans, whatever they may be. From him I have 
lately heard of Hunt's arrival at Genoa on his way 
to Leghorn, Lord Byron's present residence, where 
he is amusing himself with a beautiful yacht, which 
he has just had built at Genoa. 

Two more cantos of Don Juan are finished, at 


which I for one feel little pleasure, for I hate all 
productions, whatever be their talent, which present 
disheartening and degrading views of human nature. 
This is, in my opinion, worse than impiety, though 
it is the latter imputation which will destroy its 
popularity in England, almost the only country 
existing in Europe where bigotry retains its omnipo- 
tence. You did well, however, to strike out anything 
in any contribution calculated to give offence, even 
to particular professions, for what Johnson said of 
the drama is applicable to magazines: — "Those 
who live to please, must please to live." 

I suppose a similar feeling suppressed my final 
journal of a tourist, where my summary of the 
French national character is probably deemed too 
favourable, though I do think the English might be 
benefited by hearing something about the virtues 
of their neighbours, instead of having their blind 
hostility aggravated by lying diatribes. A man of 
four or five hundred a year keeps a cabriolet and 
horse which would be hooted and pelted in England, 
but they answer his purpose, convey him to his 
friends, and give him air, pleasure, and variety. All 
these an Englishman foregoes if he cannot do it in 
style, and mount a lacky behind in a blue jacket 
with gold lace. Pride, filthy pride! — pride is the 
besetting sin of England, and, like most other sins, 
brings its own punishment, by converting existence 
iuto a struggle, and environing it with gloom and 

I am exactly of your feeling — I can live comfortably 
under an arbitrary foreign government, while I was 
perpetually annoyed at home by the tyranny and 
mismanagement of men whose talents were despicable. 
I felt as if I was constantly kicked by jackasses — 
here I do not trouble my head about the French, 
and only endeavour to forget the English ministers. 


Your information about a paper will be most 
valuable if we get permission to establish one, of 
which I have no expectation. We have a Paris 
English magazine, to which Galignani has started 
an opposition. I occasionally give it a lift with my 
pen, but neither of the works answer, nor do I much 
expect they will. Adieu. 

My dear Sir, 

Yours very faithfully, 
Horatio Smith. 


Horace Smith receives the news of Shelley's death — His 
personal recollections of Shelley, and his estimate of the poet's 

It was when residing at Versailles that the intel- 
ligence of Shelley's death reached Horace Smith. 
It was a terrible blow to him, and for years after- 
wards he could hardly speak of it without emotion. 
I think I cannot do better than devote this chapter 
to Horace Smith's recollections of his poet-friend.'- 

The fatal catastrophe [he says] was made known 
to me by the following letter from a mutual friend^ 
then residing in Italy : — 

'Fisa, July Z5th, 1822. 
' I trust that the first news of the dreadful calamity 
which has befallen us here will have been broken to 
you by report, otherwise I shall come upon you with 
a most painful abruptness ; but Shelley, my divine- 
minded friend — the friend of the universe — he has 
perished at sea ! He was in a boat with his friend 
Captain Williams, going from Leghorn to Lerici, 

1 A Greybea/rd's Gossip about his Literary Acquaintances. 

2 Leigh Hunt. 



when a storm arose, and it is supposed the boat 
must have foundered. . . . God bless him ! I can- 
not help thinking of him as if he were still alive, so 
unearthly he always appeared to me, and so seraph- 
ical a thing of the elements ; and this is what all his 
friends say. But what we all feel your own heart 
will tell you. . . . Our dear friend was passionately 
fond of the sea, and has been heard to say he should 
like it to be his death-bed.' 

And in a subsequent letter from Albaro, near 
Genoa, the same party wrote to me : — 

' I am sure you will think the maxim of " Better 
late than never " a very good one, when you see the 
enclosed lock of hair. You will know whose it is. 
I cannot bear yet to put his name down upon paper 
more than I can help ; and this is my best excuse for 
not having written sooner. With regard to himself, 
who left me so far behind in this as well as in other 
qualities, I am confident he must have written to you 
on the subject to which you refer. I have a strong 
recollection that he mentioned it to me. I know 
that you were one of the last persons he spoke of, and 
in a way full of kindness and acknowledgment.' 

Though I had occasional interviews with Shelley 
after this commencement of our acquaintance,^ his 
wandering life prevented my seeing much of him 
until the year 1817, when I gladly accepted an 
invitation to pass a few days with him at Marlow in 
Buckinghamshire, where he was settled. 

Since his first arrival in London, his circumstances 
had materially altered. He was now united to his 
second wife, whose talents justified her illustrious 
descent as the daughter of Godwin and Mary Wol- 
stencroft, while her virtues and her amiability, bless- 
1 At Leigh Hunt's house. 


ing their union with a domestic happiness which 
suffered no intermission up to the moment of her 
husband's death, infused a reconciling sweetness into 
the grievously bitter cup of his life. At one time 
he had been reduced to such extremity of destitution 
as to be in danger of actual starvation ; but by con- 
senting to cut off a portion of the entail on the 
estate to which he was entitled, he secured to him- 
self an income of a thousand a-year, which would 
have been more than competent had his all-loving 
heart and ever-open hand allowed him to limit his 
charities. Denying himself all luxuries, and scarcely 
ever tasting any other food than bread, vegetables, 
and water, this good Samaritan wandered to the 
various prisons for debtors, and to t,he obscure 
haunts of poverty, to seek deserving objects for the 
exercise of his unwearied and lavish charity. 

In Misery's darkest caverns known, 

His ready help was ever nigh., 
Where helpless anguish pour'd the groan, 

And lonely want retired to die. 

Captain Medwin has related an affecting instance 
of his youthful generosity, in pawning his beautiful 
solar microscope to raise five pounds for the relief of 
a poor old man ; but the time had now arrived when, 
for the purposes of his unbounded benevolence, the 
strictest economizing of his liberal income proved 
insuflficient, and he had recourse to the ruinous 
expedient of raising money upon post obits, I can 
speak with certainty to his havmg bestowed up- 
wards of five thousand pounds on eminent and 
deserving men of letters, gracing his munificence by 
the delicacy and tact with which he conferred it, 
And this large sum was exclusive of innumerable 
smaller donations to less distinguished writers, and 
of his regular alms to miscellaneous claimants and 


established pensioners. He loved to recount the 
rich legacies bequeathed to Cicero and to Pliny the 
younger, by strangers whom their writings had 
delighted or instructed, as evidencing a prevailing 
literary taste among the ancients much more liberal 
than our own ; but, he added, that as no one could 
be sure of surviving the parties whom he wished to 
benefit, and still less certain that the latter could 
afford to wait, it was much better that such intentions 
should be carried into immediate execution. "Solas 
quas dederis semper hahebis opes," what you have given 
away is the only wealth you will always keep, seemed 
to be the motto of his life. No wonder that among 
such a nation of Mammonites as the English, a man 
so utterly self-denjdng and unworldly should be 
viewed as a sort of lusus naturce. No wonder that 
rich curmudgeons maligned him, for there was a daily 
beauty in his life that made theirs ugly. No 
wonder that the writer of this record, educated in 
the sordid school of mercantile life, could hardly 
trust the evidence of his senses when he saw this 
extraordinary being living like the austerest anchor- 
ite, denying himself all the luxuries appropriate to 
his birth and station, that he might appropriate his 
savings to the relief of his fellow-creatures ; and 
silently showing, for he never made a proclamation 
of his bounties, that, despising riches on his own 
account, he only valued them so far as they enabled 
him to minister to the. rehef of others. 

For several years Shelley had scrupulously re- 
frained from the use of animal food, not upon the 
Pjrthagorean or ^rahminical doctrine that such a 
diet necessitates a wanton, and, therefore, a cruel 
destruction of God's creatures, but from an impres- 
sion that to kill the native " burghers of the wood," 
or tenants of the flood and sky, that we may chew 
their flesh and drink their blood, tends to fiercen 


and animalize both the slaughterer and devourer. 
This morbid sensibility, and the mistaken conclusion 
to which it led, did not permanently condemn him 
to an ascetical Lent ; but he was ever jealous of his 
body, ever anxious to preserve the supremacy of his 
mind, ever solicitous to keep the temple pure and 
holy and undefiled by any taint of grossness that 
might debase the soul enshrined within it. Zeal- 
ously devout and loyal was the worship that he 
tendered to the majesty of intellect. 

Though the least effeminate of men, so far as per- 
sonal and moral courage were concerned, the mind 
of Shelley was essentially feminine, some would say 
fastidious, in its delicacy ; an innate purity which 
not even the' licence of college habits and society 
could corrupt. A fellow-collegian thus writes of 
him : — " Shelley was actually offended, and, indeed, 
more indignant than would appear to be consistent 
with the singular mildness of his nature, at a coarse 
and awkward jest, especially if it were immodest or 
uncleanly; in the -latter case, his anger was un- 
bounded, and his uneasiness pre-eminent." 

During one of our rambles in the noble woods near 
Marlow, we encountered two boys driving a squirrel 
from bough to bough by pelting it with stones. My 
companion, who was remarkably fond of children 
(guess how his affectionate heart must have been lace- 
rated by the forcible abstraction of his own), and who 
could not bear to see any sentient creature ill-used, 
reasoned so mildly with the urchins on their cruelty, 
that they threw down their missiles and slunk away. 
On my expressing a hope that they would not soon 
forget a lesson so lovingly given, he shook his head, 
observing that before they got home, they would 
probably encounter some of those who ought to set 
them a better example, amusing themselves by 
what are unfeelingly termed the S2)0ris of the field, 


and he congratulated himself that he had never 
been one of those amateur butchers — had never 
found a pleasure in wantonly slaying any of his 
animal brethren. The phrase sounded strange to 
me, but I found that he had previously adopted it 
in that fine invocation commencing his poem of 
Alastl^r, which shows how completely he fraternized 
with universal nature : — 

Earth, ocean, air, beloved brotherhood ! 

If our great mother have imbued my soul 

With aught of natural piety to feel 

Your love, and recompense the boon with mine : — 

If dewy morn, and odorous noon and even, 

With sunset and its gorgeous ministers, 

And solemn midnight's tingling silentness ; — 

If Spring's voluptuous pantings when she breathes 

Her first svpeet kisses, have been dear to me ; 

If no bright bird, insect, or gentle beast 

I consciously have injured, but stUl loved 

And cherished these my kindred ; — then forgive 

This boast, beloved brethren, and withdraw 

No portion of your favour now. 

Never, never shall I forget my last wandering 
with the poet, as we stretched far away from the 
haunts of men, beneath the high over-arching 
boughs, which, forming around us a Gothic temple, 
with interminable cloisters, still opening as we 
advanced, seemed to inspire him with the love and 
the worship of nature, and to suggest a fuller dis- 
closure of his religious views than he had hitherto 
imparted to me. Becoming gradually excited as he 
gave way to his sentiments, his eyes kindled, he 
strode forward more rapidly, swinging his arms to 
and fro, and spoke with a vehemence and a rapidity 
■\ivhich rendered it difficult to collect his opinions on 
particular points, though I have a clear recollection 
of their general tendency. However absurd and 
untenable may be the theory of atheism, he held it 


to be preferable to that nominal theism, which in 
fact is real demonism, being a deification of man's 
worst passions, and the transfer to an imagined 
fiend of that worship which belongs to an all-loving 
God. He quoted Plutarch's averment, that even 
atheism is more reverent than superstition, inas- 
much as it was better to deny the existence of 
Saturn as king of heaven, than to admit that fact, 
maintaining at the same time that he was such a 
monster of unnatural cruelty as to devour his own 
children as soon as they were born ; and in confirma-- 
tion of the same view he quoted a passage from 
Lord Bacon, asserting the superiority of reason and 
natural religion. Any attempt at an impersonation 
of the Deity, or any conception of Him otherwise 
than as the pervading spirit of the whole illimitable 
universe, he held to be presumptuous ; for the finite 
cannot grasp the iufinite. Perhaps he might have 
objected to Coleridge's grand definition of the 
Creator, as a circle whose centre is nowhere, and 
whose circumference is everywhere. Without assert- 
ing the absolute perfectibility of human nature, he 
had a confident belief in its almost limitless improv- 
ability ; especially as he was persuaded that evil, an 
accident, and not an inherent part of our system, 
might be so materially diminished as to give an 
incalculable increase to the sum of human happiness. 
All the present evils of mankind he attributed to 
those erroneous views of religion in which had 
originated the countless wars, the national hatreds, 
the innumerable public and private miseries that 
make history a revolting record of suffering and 
crime. Every national creed and form of worship 
since the world began had successively died away 
and been superseded ; experience of the past justi- 
fies the same anticipation for the future ; the feuds 
and schisms and separations in our own established 


faith are the reiits and cracks that predict the ap- 
proaching downfall of the temple. Now, if mankind, 
abandoning all those evanescent symptoms, could 
be brought universally to adopt that religion of 
Nature which, finding its heavenly revelation in 
man's own heart, teaches him that the best way to 
testify his love of the Creator is to love all that he 
has created ; that religion, whose three-leaved Bible 
is the earth, and sea, and sky- — eternal and immut- 
able Scriptures, written by God himself, which all 
may read and none can interpolate, there would be a 
total cessation of the odium theologicum which has 
been such a firebrand to the world ; the human race, 
unchecked in its progress of improvement, would be 
gradually uplifted into a higher state, and all created 
beings, living together in harmony as one family, 
would worship their common Father in the un- 
divided faith of brotherly love and the gratitude of 
peaceful happiness. 

Utopian dreams, perchance, visionary yearnings, 
too great and glorious ever to receive their consum- 
mation upon earth ; but who shall describe the 
profound emotion with which I listened to them ? 
As we wandered alone through the vast natural 
cathedral of the woods, our feet falling inaudibly 
upon the turf, so that all around was hushed, as if 
the earth itself were listening to the rapt en- 
thusiastic voice, while through the leafy openings 
overhead the blue sky seemed to smile benignly 
down upon him, who can wonder, although I was 
so many years older, that a solemn reverence began 
to mingle with my admiration of the singular 
youth by my side ? When I gazed upon his beam- 
ing countenance, and saw his fragile frame excited 
by his theme until his bosom appeared to be " heav- 
ing beneath incumbent deity " ; when I recalled his 
exquisite genius, his intellectual illumination, his 


exuberant philanthropy, his total renunciation of 
self, the courage and grandeur of his soul, combined 
with a feminine delicacy and purity, and an almost 
angelic amenity and sweetness, I could almost fancy 
that I had been listening to a spirit from some 
higher sphere, who had descended upon earth to 
inculcate a self-realizing confidence in the lofty 
destinies of mankind, and to teach us how we might 
accelerate the advent of a new golden age, when all 
the different creeds and systems of the world would 
be amalgamated into one — and liberated man would 
bow before the throne of his own aweless soul, or of 
the power unknown. 

During the poet's residence in Italy, I corre- 
sponded with him regularly on the subject of his 
poems, generally to make the same unfavourable 
report as to their sale, and often to receive the same 
reply, that since he found the public refused to 
sympathize with his effusions, he should cease to 
emit them ; but the injustice of the outer world had 
turned his thoughts inwards ; he found in the muse 
both a recipient for his blighted affections, and a 
vent for his aspiring hopes ; and he wrote on, in 
spite of neglect, and in defiance of abuse. Remem- 
bering his school-boy's vow, he determined to fulfil 
his mission. I had frankly confessed my opinion 
that his writings, too subtle and mystical, and even 
too imaginative for the public taste, would have a 
better chance of success if they exhibited a greater 
variety of human character, and a more intelligible 
object. Mrs. Shelley says : — " More popular poets 
clothe the ideal with familiar and sensible imagery. 
Shelley loved to idealize the real, to gift the 
mechanism of the material universe with a soul and 
a voice, and to bestow such also on the most delicate 
and abstract emotions and thoughts of the mind." 
When this is extended to a long and not very intel- 


lible allegory, the writer must content himself with 
an " audience fit, though few." Confessing his pre- 
ference of idealism to reality, Shelley says in one of 
his letters, " The Epipsychidion is a mystery : as to 
real flesh and blood, you know that I do not deal in 
those articles ; you might as well go to a gin-shop 
for a leg of mutton as expect anything human or 
earthly from me." 

The " Oldipus Tyrannus; or Swellfoot the Tyrant," 
was transmitted to me in manuscript, with a request 
that I would get it anonymously published. Though 
I thought it unworthy of Shelley's genius, which 
was little adapted to satire, and still less to political 
pleasantry, I complied with his request, little sus- 
pecting the dilemma in which it would involve me. 
Scarcely had it appeared in the bookseller's window, 
when a burly alderman called upon me on the part 
of "The Society for the Suppression of Vice," to 
demand the name of the author, in order that he 
might be prosecuted for a seditious and disloyal libel. 
On my denying its liability to this accusation, and 
refusing to disclose the writer's name, I was angrily 
apprised, that unless I consented to give up the 
whole impression to the Society, an action would 
instantly be commenced against the publisher, who 
stood by the side of the alderman in deep tribula- 
tion of spirit. To save an innocent man from fine 
and imprisonment, and the chance of ultimate ruin, 
I submitted to this insolent dictation of the Society, 
and made holocaust of " Swellfoot the Tyrant " at 
the Inquisition Oflfice, in Bridge Street, Blackfriars. 

Much as Shelley was maligned by strangers, none 
of those who knew him personally had ever spoken 
of him except in terms of unbounded admiration and 
affection. Perhaps no one formed a juster estimate 
of his character, and no one was more competent to 
judge, than Lord Byron, who thus describes him : — 


"He was the most gentle, most amiable, and least 
worldly-minded person I ever met ; full of delicacy, 
disinterested beyond all other men, and possessing a 
degree of genius, joined to simplicity, as rare as it is 
admirable. He had formed to himself a heau ideal 
of all that is fine, high-minded, and noble ; and he 
acted up to this ideal, even to the very letter. He 
had a most brilliant imagiaation, but a total want of 
worldly wisdom." 


The declining years of Robert Smith — His verse-work — 
Family marriages — Death of his second wife — His last illness 
and death. 

In his declining years Robert Smith lived a quiet 
and useful life, devoting himself to his children and 
grand-children, and unostentatiously associating 
himself with every good work that came to hand. 
He observes : — 

A retired village life as mine will henceforth be, 
can afford but little occasion for remark of any kind. 
If I cannqt attain to Otium cum dignitate, I must 
endeavour at all events to escape its opposite ex- 
treme. Tedium vitce. 

After living at Champion Hill, Camberwell, and 
Leyton in Essex, he finally settled down for the 
remainder of his days at St. Anne's Hill, Wandsworth. 

Beneath his grave and business-like demeanour 
lay a fund of quiet wit and humour, which, whenever 
an opportunity offered, found vent in versification. 
Thus, when his wife's young niece, who was very 
musical, was staying with them, he scribbled her the 
following lines : — 



Praise, undeserved, the poet says, 

Is satire in disguise ; 
But commendation that is just 

No poet will despise. 

Thus, " Laura, you are much improv'd 
In manners and in learning ; " 

Now, you will readily admit 
That uncles are discerning. 

Turn to your music-book, you'll find 
Rules and instructions plenty, 

Selected for the pupil's use, 
By Paddon and dementi. 

Give to these rules a wider field, 
A metaphoric meaning. 

So as to make them rules of life, 
Weeding as well as gleaning. 

That every thought, and word, and deed, 

May properly avail. 
Order it rightly, then sum up 

In "Diatonic scale." 


Neither too J nor yet too b 

True to your " Time," your /^ your ^ 

In " Basso" or " Soprano." 



Though you have • ;•, " fret," and tr. 

With I upright, don't r^ 
And, should you take a crabbed f^ 

" Finale," no S. 

Whene'er you feel " con furia " rise, 
Restrain it from -=:^;:;^ 

This do in " amorosa " style, 
Dolce "~~r==-. 

So manage " Cadence," " Air," and " Grace " 

(You play in " Minor " key) 
As that the " Dominant " ^ produce 

A " Perfect-Harmony." 


'Twixt Chittagong ^ and Bedford Square ^ 
How vast the difference found ! 

There, all is dismal, dreary waste, 
Here, highly oultur'd ground. 

In 1821, his eldest grand-daughter, Maria 
(familiarly called Mira), had married the Kev. J. 
Charming Abdy, curate of St. George the Martyr, 
Southwark, whose father, the Eev. W. J. Abdy, 
rector of St. John's, Horsleydown, died in 1823. The 
living being vested inthe Crown, his son applied to 
the Lord Chancellor for it. He succeeded in his 
application contrary to all expectation, clerical 
etiquette being rather against the bestowal of a 

' Her governess. 
^ Her birthplace. ^ Her boarding-school. 


living upon the son of a late incumbent. Abdy's 
most formidable rival was a certain Dr. Sampson, to 
whom Kobert Smith, triumphing in his son-in-law's 
victory, addressed the following stanza : — 

Sampson, thy hopes upon St. John's, 
An Abdy raised, and can extinguish ; 

ratlier3 had merit, so have sons, 
And there are patrons who distinguish 

Whatever emanates from Eldon ' 

Must of necessity be well done. 

Maria Abdy later in life contributed to the New 
Monthly and Metropolitan Magazines and several of 
the fashionable annuals many poems of considerable 
merit, which were collected and printed for private 
circulation. After presenting one of these volumes 
to Horace Smith's friend, Mrs. S. C. Hall, she 
received the following letter of acknowledgment : — • 

My dear Madam, 

A thousand thanks for the charming gift 
you sent me. I have read the poems with great 
pleasure ; some few ars old friends. It was most 
kind of you to remember me in this way. 

I know you are very busy, for I often see your 
name, and you must permit me to add, never with- 
out pleasure and advantage. 

I am glad you like my young friend Toulmin. 
She is a very charming and valuable person, and not 
at all tinted with that awful bluism which disfigures 
so many literary ladies. 

I think a cousin of yours is one of Mr. Hall's dear 
friends, Mr. E. M. Ward ; what a noble artist and 
estimable man he is. 

i.The Lord Chancellor. 


I see Horace Smith's name very frequently in 
print, but of late I have not had time to read much 
— to my sorrow. 

I assure you I sympathize very affectionately 
with you in your sorrow/ for I know what your 
sensitive nature must endure. 

Very faithfully, 
Your obliged, 

Anna Maeia Hall. 

The Rectory, Old Brompton, 
18th March, 1826. 

Mira Abdy had been married nearly nine years 
before she was blessed with any offspring. At last 
a boy was born ; and when Robert wrote to Mira's 
mother (his daughter) congratulating her upon 
having become a grandmother, he enclosed these 
lines : — 

Nonumque ^reniahir in Annum, 

So Mira fancies that "prematitr" 
Applies alike to Art and Nature, 

At least, that it admits a " may be " ; 
She therefore waits " nine years " the time, 
Then stereotypes her prose and rhyme, 

And publishes a little baby ! 


what a theme for spleen and wonder ! 
" Who ever heard of such a blunder ] 

'Tis all a hoax — a iib — no better." 
Nay, ladies, nay, all general rules 
Have their exceptions, in the schools, 

And Mira seems to be " confined " by letter. 

^ Her husband's death. 


What comforts new, what honours too 
To Father, Mother ! Me, and you ! 

Mira is well ! the child alive ! 
To all of us the scene is new, 
'" Great grand-dad," I, at eighty-two, 

You, " Grand-mamma " at fifty -Ave. 

To guard, however, against jeers, 

As to mere words — or meaning, 
Tell Mira, that nine months (not yea/rs) 

Are quite enough for weaning. 
And here I close my scrawl, God bless 
Mamma and babe ! Adieu. 

The marriages of his other grand-daughters came 
later on. In 1826 Elizabeth Cadell was married 
to Mr. William Oliver, a solicitor of No. 2 Tudor 
Street, New Bridge Street, Blackfriars, who attained 
considerable eminence in his profession, and lived for 
many years at Wimbledon. 

On the 16th September, 1828, Eosa,^ another 
Cadell grand-daughter, was united to Mr. Burgess, 
at that time a clerk in the Victualling Office, and 
the following year her sister Sophia married Mr. 
Henry Leman. 

The last family wedding Robert Smith attended 
was that of Joanna Cadell.^ 

June Uh, 1831. — On this day [he says] my grand- 
daughter, Joanna Cadell, was married at St. Pancras 

1 After the death of Mr. Burgess, she married the Hon. E. 
Edwardes, uncle of the late Lord Kensington. 
^ The author's mother. 


Church to Mr. Henry Beavan, an attorney in Sack- 
ville Street, Piccadilly. My daughter and myself 
went into a glass coach to the d6jeuner, given on this 
occasion by Mr. Cadell. 

Up to the age of 77, Kobert Smith had been 
troubled with very few ailments, except an occasional 
severe cold, the result of constant exposure in 
travelling. Then, almost without any warning, and 
while his wife was confined to her room by a bad 
attack of pleurisy, he was seized with a fit of 
apoplexy. He was nfiver again the hearty, robust 
old gentleman that he had been ; and the gout 
inherited from his mother began to show itself in a 
peculiar form of cutaneous affliction, most tedious 
and tormentiag, his eyesight began to fail, and his 
strength visibly declined. His intellectual faculties 
were as bright as ever, and when the weather 
permitted he always drove out in his carriage 
to see his daughters, the eldest of whom, Maria, 
came to keep house for him just before his wife's 
death in 1828, which, after several years of illness, 
happened as suddenly as that of his first wife in 

Eobert Smith was now more and more dependent 
upon his children and grand-children, who were 
devoted to him. 

Weak as he was physically, his mind was 
wonderfully alert, and being asked by his graad^" 
daughter, Eliza Smith, to compose somjgthing for 
her album, he wrote as follows : — 


Oil, what is Cupid, with his bow and darts, 

Compar'd to Phillis, and her strange demands ! 
The little archer only aims at hearts, 

She takes our hearts — then asks us for our hands. 
But wUl no Damon check the wild career, 

And strive, at least, to shorten the research ? 
Now dare to turn the tables on the fair. 

By asking her to sign his " album " in the Church 1 

At last the smnmons came. His daughter, con- 
tinuing the family journal, writes : — 

September 2*Ith. — On this day my father 
breathed his last ! He had fallen into a kind of 
stupor attended by difficulty of breathing. He died 
quite easily, without pain or struggle. 

Thus passed out of the world, at the age of eighty- 
five, one of the most upright, kind, unselfish, and 
excellent of men. 

With characteristic unostentation, he left instruc- 
tions that he might be buried " with as little cere- 
mony and in as simple a manner as possible," in All 
Saints Churchyard, Wandsworth. 


James and Horace Smith as Wits and Humorists. 

Horace Smith, writing of his brother James, 

says : — 

He was one of the most agreeable companions 
imaginable, and it was difficult to pass an evening 
in his company without feeling in better humour 
with the world ; such was the influence of his in- 
exhaustible fund of amusement and information, his 
lightness, liveliness and good sense. He was not 
very witty or brilliant, nor even very ready at 
repartee. Indeed, I am pretty sure that most of 
the best thiags recorded of him were impromptus faits 
a loisir ; but no man ever excelled him in starting 
pleasant topics of conversation, and sustaining it; 
nor was it well possible for a party of moderate 
dimensions, when he was of it, to be dull. The 
droll anecdote, the apt illustration, the shrewd re- 
mark — a trait of humour from Fielding, a scrap of 
song from the Beggars' Opera, a knock-down retort 
of Johnson's, a couplet from Pope or Dryden — all 
seemed to come as they were wanted, and, as he was 
always just as ready to listen as to talk, acted each 
in turn as a sort of challenge to the company to 
bring forth their budgets, and contribute towards 
the feast. 



He was rather fond of a joke at the expense of 
his own branch of the legal profession, and always 
gave a peculiar emphasis to any line in his songs 
that referred to an attorney, as for instance : — 

Mr. Barker's as mute as a fish in the sea, 

Mr. Miles never moves on a journey, 
Mr. Gotobed sits up till half after three, 

Mr. Makepiece was bred an attorneys 
Mr. Gardener can't tell a flower from a root, 

Mr. Wilde with timidity draws back, 
Mr. Ryder performs all his journeys on foot, 

Mr. Foote, all his journeys on horseback. 

Yet James Smith had the greatest respect for his 
profession and instinctive reverence for legal digni- 
taries. An invitation to dine with a judge afforded 
him more gratification than would a command to 
banquet with Royalty itself. 

In his day [continues Horace Smith] it was cus- 
tomary on emergencies for the judges to swear 
affidavits at their dwelling-houses. James was de- 
sired by his father to attend a judge's chambers for 
that purpose, but being engaged to dine in Russell 
Square, at the next house to Sir George Holroyd's, 
one of the judges of the Court of King's Bench, he 
thought he might as well save himself the disagree- 
able necessity of leaving the party at eight o'clock, 
by dispatching his business at once ; so a few 
minutes before six, he boldly knocked at the judge's, 
and requested to speak to him on particular business. 
The judge was at dinner, but came down without 
delay, swore the affidavit, and then gravely asked 
what was the pressing necessity that iaduced James 
Smith to disturb him at that hour. As Smith told 
the story, he raked his invention for a plausible 


excuse, but finding none fit for the purpose, he 
blurted out the truth — " The fact is, my lord, I am 
engaged to dine at the next house — and — and — " — 
" And, sir, you thought you might as well save your 
own dinner by spoiling mine ? " — " Exactly so, my 
lord, but — " — " Sir, I wish you a good evening." 

Though he brazened the matter out, he said he 
never was more frightened in his life. 

The following well-known anecdote of James Smith 
is thus related in full by his brother Horace : — 

The many bodily infirmities of Charles Mathews, 
and more especially the sad accident that lamed him 
for life, had tended to irritate a temper which his 
extreme sensitiveness sometimes rendered touchy, 
though his nature was always kind and genial. 
Among his little prandial peculiarities was a ve- 
hement objection to mock-turtle soup, on account 
of some unwholesome ingredient with which, as he 
asserted, it was usually thickened. Once I met him 
at a party where several servants in succession having 
offered him a plate of his "pet abhorrence," he at 
length lost patience, uttered an angry, " No, I tell 
you ! " and petulantly tossing up his elbow at the 
same time, upset a portion of the rejected compound 
upon his sleeve. Next day, I again encountered him 
at dinner, when he related what had occurred, ex- 
claiming, " I am delighted beyond measure that my 
coat is spoiled ; I have locked it up ; I wouldn't have 
it cleaned for twenty pounds ; call to-morrow, and I'll 
show you the sleeve ; it stands of itself, stiff as the 
arm of a statue. You wouldn't believe me when I 
told you on good authority, that the lawyers sold all 
their parchments to the pastry-cooks to make some 
villainous stuif called glaize or gelatine, or in plain 


English, glue, out of which they manufacture jelly, 
or sell it to our poisoning cooks, who put it into their 
mock-turtle to make the gruel thick and slab." 

" I have heard of a man eating his own words," said 
James Smith, "but if your statement be true, a 
man may have unconsciously eaten his own acts and 

" He may, he may ! " cried Mathews. " Egad, 
my friend, I thank you for the hint, it explains all 
about my confounded indigestion. Doubtless I 
have some other naan's will, which renders it so in- 
subordinate to my own will ; I myself love roast pork 
and plum-pudding, but this alien will, transferred 
from some lawyer's office to my intestines, will not 
allow me to digest them. You have heard of the 
fellow with a bad asthma who exclaimed, ' If once I 
can get this troublesome breath out of my body, I'll 
take good care it shall never get in again,' and I may 
well say the same of this parchment usurper who 
has taken possession of my stomach. How he got 
there is the wonder, for years have elapsed since I 
swallowed glue — I mean jelly or mock-turtle." 

But for felicitous impromptu, the anecdote of 
James Smith told by the Rev. Julian Young, son of 
the famous actor, Charles Mayne Young, possibly 
bears the palm. Mr. Young says : — 

When Jesse was preparing for the press his 
Gleanings in Natural History, James Smith one 
day unexpectedly burst in upon him. The moment 
he saw him, he said, "My dear Smith, you have 
come in the very nick of time, as my good genius, to 
extricate me from a difficulty. You must know that 
to each of my chapters I have put an appropriate 
heading. I mean by that, that each chapter has 


prefixed to it a quotation from some well-known 
author suited to the subject treated of, with one 
exception. I have been cudgeling my brains for a 
motto for my chapter on Grows and Books, and cannot 
think of one. Can you ? " — " Certainly," said he, 
with promptitude, "here is one from Shakespeare 
for you ! ' The cause (caws), my soul, the cause 

The following is one of James Smith's humorous 
compositions : — 

At a certain election dinner at Cambridge, the 
Mayor sat at one end of the table and Sir Peter 
Pawsey, a gentleman of good estate in Lincolnshire, 
at the other. Sir Peter's son, a raw, long-legged lad 
from Harrow, was also at table. After dinner, the 
general buzz that frequently occurs in a mixed party 
was succeeded by a momentary silence. " Here is 
one of those awkward pauses that one sometimes 
meets with at table," observed the Mayor to a doctor 
of civil law on his right. The conversation went on, 
and in about ten minutes another cessation of talk 
suddenly took place. " Here is another of those 
awkward pauses at table," repeated the mayor to the 
doctor. " Not half so awkward as a Cambridge 
mayor," bellowed Sir Peter Pawsey, casting a furious 
glance at the astonished chief magistrate. The fact 
was, the baronet had pocketed the first supposed 
personal affront, which he had taken to himself; but 
the second, glancing as it seemed to do, upon his 
darling and only son, was too much for his temper's 

James Smith was in the habit of sending Lady 
Blessington occasional epigrams, complimentary 
scraps of verse, or punning notes, like this : — 


The newspapers tell us that your new carriage is 
very highly varnished. This, I presume, means 
your wheeled carriage. The merit of your personal 
carriage has always been, to my mind, its absence 
from all varnish. The question requires that a jury 
should be impannelled. 

The following is an epigram by James Smith upon 
a village physician and a vicar who often walked 
arm in arm together — 

D.D. AND M.D. 

How D.D. swaggers, M.D. rolls ! 

I dub them both a brace of noddies ; 
Old D.D. has the cure of sonls. 

And M.D. has the cure of bodies. 

Between them both, what treatment rare 

Our souls and bodies must endure ! 
One has the cure without the care, 

And one the care without the cure. 

James Smith was great at " taking off" the foibles 
of the Cockneys of his day, his descriptions being 
most faithful. Mrs. Dohhs at Home, which appeared 
in the New Monthly Magazivie, is perhaps the least 
known of these. It is rather a long poem, but the 
opening lines are worth repeating : — 

What I shall the Morning Post proclaim 
For every rich or high-born dame 
From Portman Square to Cleveland Bow, 
Each item no one cares to know ; 
Print her minutest whereabouts, 
Describe her concerts, balls, and routs. 
Enumerate the lamps and lustres. 
Show where the roses hung in clusters. 
Tell how the floor was chalked, reveal 
The partners in. the first quadrille — 


How long they danced, till, sharp as hunters, 

They sat down to the feast — from Gunter's ; 

How much a quart was paid for peas, 

How much for pines and strawberries, 

Taking especial care to fix 

The hour of parting — half-past six? 

And should no bard make proclamation 

Of routs enjoyed in humbler station ? 

Rise, honest Muse, in Hackney roam, 

And sing of " Mrs. llobbs at Home." 

He who knows Hackney, needs must know 

That spot enchanting — Prospect Row, 

So called because the view it shows 

Of Shoreditch Road, and when there blows 

No dust the folks may one and all get 

A peep — almost to Norton Folgate. 

Here Mrs. Dobbs at number three 

Invited all her friends to tea. 

Concerning aldermen and city magnates generally, 
James was always good-humouredly sarcastic ; as for 
instance : — 


Who has e'er been at Clapham must needs know the pond 

That belongs to Sir Bamaby Sturch ; 
'Tis well stock'd with fish ; and the knight's rather fond 

Of bobbing for tench or for perch. 

When he draws up his line to decide if all's right, 

Moist drops o'er his pantaloons dribble ; 
Though seldom, if ever, beguiled by a bite. 

He now and then boasts of a nibble. 

Vulgar mud, very like vulgar men, will encroach 

Uncheck'd by the spade and the rake ; 
In process of time it enveloped the roach 

In Sir Bamaby's Lilliput lake. 

Five workmen, well arm'd, and denuded of shoes. 

Now fearlessly delved in the flood. 
To steal unawares on the Empress of Oaze, 

And cast off the insolent mud. 


The innocent natives were borne from the bog, 

Eel, minnow, and toad felt the shovel, 
And lizard-like eft lay with fugitive frog 

In a clay-built extempore hovel. 

The men worked away with their hands and their feet, 

And delvfed in a regular ring ; 
When lo ! as their task work was all but complete. 

They wakened a mineral spring. 

" We've found a Chalybeate, sir,'' cried the men ; 

" We halt till we know what your wish is." — 
" Keep it safe," quoth the knight, " till you've finished, and 
then — 

Throw it back with the rest of the fishes." 

These are necessarily but samples of the poetic 
humour of James Smith. Of his racy conversation 
and hons mots, alas ! mere scraps remain on record. 

My political opinions [he once said] are those of 
the lady who sits next to me, and, as the fair sex are 
generally " perplexed like monarchs with the fear of 
change," I constantly find myself -conservative. 

" Mr. Smith, you look like a Conservative," said a 
young man across the table, thinking to pay him a 
compliment. " Certainly, sir," was the prompt reply; 
" my crutches remind me that I am no member of the 
movement party.'' 

We are enjoined upon grave authority [he once 
wrote] to put off the old man. I should be happy 
to do so if I could. At present I am flying in the 
face of scripture, and putting it on. 

Alluding to the obelisk newly erected at the 
entrance of the Victoria Park in honour of Queen 
Victoria, he said : — 


The people of Bath surpass the Athenian sage. 
He merely chewed the pebbles, but, according to the 
Morning Herald, at Bath the Victoria Column is in 
everybody's mouth ! 

When one of James Smith's friends remarked that, 
since he had obtained a pension, he had ceased to 
write, James Smith replied — " I see you are a pen- 

He used to relate with great glee a story illustrat- 
ing the general conviction that he disliked rurality. 
He was sitting in the library at a country house, 
when a gentleman proposed a quiet stroll into the 
pleasure-grounds. " Stroll ! why, don't you see my 
gouty shoe ? " — " Yes, I see that plain enough, and 
I wish I'd brought one too, but they're all out 
now."— " "Well, and what then ?"—" What then? 
Why, my dear fellow, you don't mean to say that 
you have really got the gout ? I thought you had 
only put on that shoe to get off being shown over 
the improvements." 

Horace Smith's humour was of a different order 
from his brother's. Shelley said of him : — 

Wit and sense. 
Virtue and liuman knowledge, all that might 
Make this dull world a husiness of delight 
Are all combined in Horace Smith. 

His definition of wit is that it "consists in dis- 
covering likenesses, judgment in detecting differ- 
ences. Wit is like a ghost, much more often talked 
about than seen. To be genuine it should have 


a basis of truth and applicability, otherwise it 
degenerates into mere flippancy." 

Here is an instance of his humour in verse : — 


A Frenchman seeing, as he walk'd, 

A friend on t'other side the street, 
Cried " Hem ! " exactly as there stalk'd 

An Englishman along the road ; 
One of those Johnny Raws we meet 

In every seaport from abroad, 
Prepared to take and give offence. 

Partly, perhaps, because they speak 
About as much of French as Greek, 

And partly from the want of sense. 
The Briton thought this exclamation 
Meant some reflection on his nation, 
So bustling to the Frenchman's side, 
" Mounseer Jack Frog," he fiercely cried, 
" Pourquoi vous dire ' Hem ! ' quand moi passe 1 " 
Eyeing the querist with his glass. 
The Gaul replied — " Monsieur God-dem, 
Pourquoi vous passe quand moi dire ' Hem ' V 

The poet Keats greatly appreciated Horace Smith's 
wit, and in a letter to his brother and sister, 
remarks : — 

Horace Smith said to one who asked him if he 
knew Hook, ' Oh, yes, Hook and I are very intimate.' 
There's a page of wit for you to put John Bunyan's 
emblems out of countenance. 

In a letter to Cyrus Redding, Horace Smith says: — 

You came down (to Brighton) last month to take 
a shower-bath or two ; if you want warm baths, now 
is your time ; and you will have nothing to pay, as 
the air will confer them gratuitously. 


Should any of the articles I gave you for the 
Magazine prove objectionable, you can return them 
when any parcel is coining from Burlington Street. 
They are mere hors-d'osuvres, as the French cartes 
say, and do not deserve to be treated with any 

Here are a few amusing passages from Horace's 
writings : — 

At some private theatricals given at Hatfield 

House, old General G was pressed by a lady to 

say whom he liked best of the actors. Notwith- 
standing his usual bluntness, he evaded the question 
for some time, but being importuned for an answer, 
he at length growled — " Well, madam, if you will 
have a reply, I liked the prompter the best, because 
I heard the most of him, and saw the least of him ! " 

He describes an alderman (for he did not admire 
the city fathers) as " a ventri -potential citizen, into 
whose mediterranean mouth good things are per- 
petually flowing, although none come out. His 
shoulders, like some of the civic streets, are widened 
at the expense of the corporation." 

A saw he describes as " a sort of dumb alderman, 
which gets through a great deal by the activity of 
its teeth. N.B. A bona-fide alderman is not one of 
the ' wise saws ' mentioned by Shakespeare, at least 
in ' modern instances.' " 

Once, when at Harrogate, observing some pilasters 
surmounted with the Cornua Ammonis, Horace ven- 
tured to ask the builder to what order they belonged. 


" Why, sir," replied the man, putting his hand to his 
head, " the horns are a little order of my own." 

Horace was rather severe upon barristers as a 
class, but qualified his strictures by remarking : — 

All briefless barristers will please to consider 
themselves excepted from the previous censure, for I 
should be really sorry to speak ill of any mai; 
without a cause. 

With hoTis vivants he had little sympathy : — 

An epicure [he says] has no sinecure; he is unmade, 
and eventually dished by made dishes. Champagne 
falsifies its name when once it begins to affect his 
system; his stomach is so deranged in its punctuation, 
that his colon makes a point of coming to a full stop ; 
keeping it up late ends in his being laid down early; 
and the hon-vivant who has always been hunting 
pleasure, finds at last that he has only been whipping 
and spurring, that he might be the sooner iii at his 
own death ! 

Writing of epitaphs, he says : — 

Sir Christopher Wren's inscription in St. Paul's 
Cathedral, "Si monumentum requiris eircumspice," 
would be equally applicable to a physician buried 
in a churchyard, both being interred in the midst of 
their own works. 

Alluding to the depreciation of house property, 
Horace observes : — 

What is the value of houses ? It is notorious that 
they are everywhere falling, especially the very old 
ones ; rents threaten to be all pepper-corns ; house- 
owners will not get salt to their porridge, even if 


they distrain upon their tenants, and make quarter- 
day a day without quarter. 

The word "sack" is found in all languages — 
which a profound antiquary has explained by sug- 
gesting that it was necessary to have that primitive 
word, in order that every man, when he took his 
departure from the tower of Babel, might ask for his 
own bag. 

Friendship, Horace Smith considered, cannot long 
exist among the vicious — 

For we soon [he says] find ill company to be 
like a dog, which dirts those the most whom 
it loves the best. After Lady E. L. and her female 
companion had defied public opinion for some time, 
her ladyship was obliged to say, " Well, now, my dear 
friend, we must part for ever; for you have no 
character left, and I have not enough for two." 

An umbrella is an article which, by the morality 
of society, you may steal from friend or foe, and 
which, for the same reason, you should not lend to 

The world is a great inn kept in a perpetual 
bustle of arrivals and departures — by the going 
away of those who have just paid their bills (the 
debt of nature), and the coming of those who will 
soon have a similar account to settle. 


Horace Smith's recollections of Sir Walter Scott, Southey, 
and Thomas Hill of Sydenham. 

As I have before remarked, the Smiths — more 
especially Horace — could number amongst their 
acquaintances nearly all the celebrated men of 
their day ; but space does not admit of more than 
a reference to a few of these. 

In company with his friend, Mr. Barron Field of 
the Temple, who subsequently became Judge of the 
Supreme Court of New South Wales, Horace Smith 
journeyed to Edinburgh, where he had the honour 
of being introduced to Sir Walter Scott, an event 
of which he gives the following account : ^ — 

On the 7th of July, 1827, having left Speir's Hotel 
in Edinburgh at an early hour, I proceeded to the 
Court-house, in which a few persons were already 
assembled, awaiting the arrival of the judges. At 
one extremity of a railed enclosure, below the 
elevated platform appropriated to their lordships, 
sat Sir Walter Scott in readiness for his official 
duties as clerk of the court, but snatching his 
leisure moments as was his wont, and busily engaged 
in writing, apparently undisturbed by the buzziug 
in the court, also the trampling feet of constant 

1 A Oreybeard's Gossip about his Literary Acquaintances. 


new-comers. The thoughts which another man 
would have wasted by gazing vacantly around him, 
or by "bald, disjointed chat," he was probably at 
that moment embalming by committing to paper 
some portion of his immortal works. Let me 
frankly confess that his first appearance disappointed 
me. His heavy figure, his stooping attitude, the 
lowering grey brow, and unanimated features, gave 
him, as I thought, a nearer resemblance to a plod- 
ding farmer than to the weird magician and poet 
whose every look should convey the impression that 
he was "of imagination all compact." Quickly, 
however, were his lineaments revivified and altered 
when, upon glancing at a letter of introduction, 
which my companion had placed before him, he 
hastened up to the rail to welcome me. His grey 
eyes twinkled beneath his uplifted brows, his mouth 
became wreathed with smiles, and his countenance 
assumed a benignant radiance as he held out his 
hand to me, exclaiming, " Ha ! my brother scribbler ! 
I am right glad to see you." Not easily, "while 
memory holds her seat," will that condescending 
phrase and most cordial reception be blotted from 
my mind. On learning that I should be compelled 
to quit Edinburgh in two days, my fellow-traveller, 
Mr. Barron Field, having business at the Lancaster 
Assizes, he kindly invited us to dine with him, 
either on that day or the next, for both of which, 
however, we were unfortunately pre-engaged. 
Though the parties who had thus bespoken us were 
barrister friends, from whose society I anticipated 
no small pleasure, most willingly would I have 
forfeited it, had I foreseen the great delight and 
honour in which I might have participated. 
" Positively, I must see something of you before you 
leave 'Auld Reekie,'" kindly resumed Sir Walter. 
"Suppose, you come and breakfast with me to- 


morrow, suffering me to escape when I must make 
my appearance in court." To this proposition we 
gave an eager assent, and I need scarcely add that 
on the following morning we presented ourselves at 
his door, within a minute of the time specified. 

Our host was dressed, and ready to receive us; 
his daughter. Miss Scott, presently made her ap- 
pearance, shortly followed by her brother, Mr. 
Charles Scott. During our short meal, I can recall 
one remark of Sir Walter, which, trivial as it was, 
may be deemed characteristic of his jealousy in the 
minutest things that touched the good reputation of 
Scotland, I happened to observe that 1 had never 
before tasted bannocks, when he entreated me, and 
earnestly repeated the request, not to judge of them 
by the specimen before me, as they were badly 
made, and not well-baked. Our conversation chiefly 
turned upon Edinburgh, of which city, so grand and 
picturesque from its locality, so striking from the 
contrast of its old and new towns, I expressed an 
unbounded admiration. Our host, however, assured 
me that the Highland scenery would have been 
found more romantic and imposing, and expressed 
his wonder, considering the quickness, facility, and 
economy with which it might now ^ be explored, that 
I should lose so favourable an opportunity of pro- 
ceeding further north, even if I did not pay my 
respect to the Hebrides. 

A few months before my visit to Scotland, I had 
dedicated a little book ^ to Sir Walter, forwarding to 
him a copy in which I had endeavoured to express 
my great and sincere reverence for his character. . . . 
From the breakfast-party I have been describing, 
my friend and myself were reluctantly tearing our- 
selves away, that our host might not be too late for 
the court, and already we had reached the hall, 
1 1827. 2 Beuben Apsley. 


when Sir Walter, detaining me by the button, drew 
me a little on one side, as he said with a mystifying 
smile and tone : — 

"Did it ever happen to you, when you were a 
good little boy at school, that your mother sent you 
a parcel in the centre of which she had deposited 
your favourite sweetmeat, whereof you had no sooner 
caught a glimpse than you put it aside that you 
might wait for a half-holiday, and carry it with you 
to some snug comer where you could enjoy it 
without fear of interruption ? " 

" Such a thing may have occurred," said I, much 
marvelling whither this strange inquiry was to lead. 

" Well," resumed my colloquist, " I have received 

lately a literary dainty, bearing the name of 

(here he mentioned the title of the work I had sent 
him). Now, I cannot peruse it comfortably in 
Edinburgh, with the daily claims of the Court of 
Sessions, and a variety of other interruptions ; but 
when I get back to Abbotsford, won't I sit down in 
my own snug study, and devour it at my leisure." 

Sir Walter's time, I well knew, was infinitely too 
precious to be wasted in the perusal of any produc- 
tion from my pen ; but the kindness of his speech, 
and the playful honhommie of his manner, were not 
the less manifest, and not the less gratefully felt. 
He had politely invited me to visit him at Abbots- 
ford when he should return to it, and though I could 
not avail myself of his courtesy, I determined to 
make acquaintance with the mansion which, solidly 
as he had constructed it, was destined to be the 
least enduring of his works. After another hasty 
ramble, therefore, over the most picturesque city in 
Europe, I bade it a reluctant adieu, and started for 
Abbotsford, fraught with abundant recollections and 
pleasant anticipations, most of which bore reference 
to Sir Walter Scott. 


Not over pleasant, however, did I find the approach 
to his mansion, for the river had been swollen by 
heavy rains, the waters threatened to enter our 
post-chaise, and the rocky ground sorely tried its 
springs. Probably the old abbots never ventured 
across the ford, to which they have bequeathed their 
name, in a close carriage. The surrounding locali- 
ties presented but small attraction, for, though the 
far-extending scenery was enlivened by the river, 
and its prevailing bareness was relieved by wide 
plantations over the demesne, the latter were too 
young at that period to assume any more dignified 
appearance than that of underwood. By this time ^ 
they have, probably, grown out of their sylvan 

The building constituted a museum of relics so 
rich in historical associations, many of them bearing 
such immediate reference to some of his novels, that 
almost every stone might Uterally be said to " prate 
of his whereabout." 

Small as was the armoury in the hall, it excelled 
many a larger collection in curiosities, most of the 
weapons having an historical or personal interest 
attached to them. Some of these were donations 
from individuals, but when Sir Walter became a 
purchaser of such rarities, he must have laboured 
under the disadvantage of raising the market price 
against himself The gun of an obscure marauder 
could be of little value to any one ; but when it was 
known to have belonged to Rob Roy, the hero of a 
popular novel, and was to be sold to the author of 
the work, it acquired an adventitious enhancement, 
which must have rendered its purchase much more 
expensive. In the library I noticed a splendidly 
bound set of our national chronicles presented by 
George IV., one of the very few instances ever 
1 1848. 


evinced by that monarch of a taste for books, or of 
any attention to an author. In one of his poems, 
Sir Walter cautions the reader that 

" He who would see Melrose aright 
Must view it by the pale moonlight ; 

but as I had been told that he himself had never 
taken his own advice, I proceeded to visit the abbey 
in the daytime, and in my next morning's drive 
over a dreary moor of forty miles to Otterburn, had 
abundant time to reflect upon all that I had seen 
and heard in the modern Athens, and in the residence 
of our age's most illustrious writer. 

¥^ Tf! tIc fl|t ^ 

At Keswick, we visited the poet Southey. Not 
without emotion did I push back the swing-gate, 
giving access to the large rambling garden in which 
his house was situated; not without a reverent 
curiosity did I gaze upon the books of which his 
collection was so large that they overflowed their 
appropriate receptacles, and thickly lined the sides of 
the stairs up which we ascended. 

# * ti il: * 

In a handsome apartment, forming both a library 
and sitting-room, we found the laureate, surrounded 
by a portion of his charming family. Of trivial 
events I never retain the specific date, but the 
honour of an introduction to so distinguished a 
writer will excuse my recording that it occurred on 
the first day of July. I have not forgotten his tell- 
ing me that I had chosen too early a period for 
visiting the Lakes, as the weather was seldom 
propitious at that season; and fully did the skies 
confirm his assertions, for it rained almost incessantly 
during the whole of my stay at Keswick. No clouds 
or mists, however, intercepted my sight of the 


laureate, and nothing could be more cordial than 
the reception I experienced. His quick eye and 
sharp intelligent features might have enabled him 
to pass for a younger man than he really was, had 
not his partially grizzled hair betrayed the touches 
of age. His limbs, too, seemed to share the activity 
of his mind, for in the course of our conversation, 
requiring reference to some particular book, he ran 
with agility up the rail-steps which he had rapidly 
pushed before him for the purpose, and instantly 
pounced upon it. One of his daughters assured me 
that he knew the exact position of every volume in 
his library, extensive as it was. That he possessed 
few, if any, which he had not consulted, is evident 
from the multifarious reading displayed in The 
Doctor, the volumes of which are but so many 
common -place books of uncommon reading. 

We passed the evening at his house, the conversa- 
tion generally taking a literary turn; though I cannot 
recall its particular subjects, I remember to have 
brought away with me an impression — perhaps an 
erroneous, perhaps a presumptuous one — that he 
betrayed occasionally more party spirit than was 
quite becoming. If I had not been too diffident in 
such a presence to disclose my own opinions, he 
might, perhaps, have reciprocated the thought. Old 
age has taught me to abjure all dogmatism; to 
distrust my own sentiments, to respect those of 
others wherever they are sincerely entertained. That 
so good, so kind-hearted a man as Southey should 
write with so much acrimony, not to say bitterness, 
whenever he became subject to a political or religious 
bias, has excited surprise in many persons who did 
not reflect that his residence in a remote country 
town, surrounded by a little coterie of admirers, 
whose ready assent confirmed him in all his preju- 
dices and bigoted notions, must have had a perpetual 


tendency to arrest his mind and to prevent its 
moving forward with the general march of intellect 
and liberality. 

As a public writer, for such might he be deemed 
from his intimate connection with, the Quarterly 
Eemew, he should have resided in the metropolis. 
I have already noticed the injurious effect of a long 
expatriation upon manners; and though Southey 
never left England, his self-banishment from Lon- 
don imparted a degree of rigid austerity to his 
mind, and literally accounted for its want of urbanity. 
Wordsworth, all whose sympathies are with nature, 
rather than with towered cities and the busy hands 
of men, is in his proper element among lakes and 
mountains ; but a critic and a writer, whose business 
it is " to catch the manners living as they rise," 
should always reside in a capital city. 

Southey made another and a still more unfortunate 
mistake when he appropriated to himself the device 
of in labore quies — when he maintained and acted 
upon the theory, that change of mental labour is 
equivalent to rest, and if he alternated between 
history, poetry, and criticism, he would not require 
any relaxation or repose. For any man this would 
have been a perilous error, but for one whose se- 
questered life, however charming might have been 
his domestic circle, admitted little other social 
enjoyment and allowed hardly any varieties of 
amusement, a long course of such monotonous labour 
could not fail to grow doubly hazardous. But a few 
more years had been thus passed when the whole 
sympathizing world had occasion to deplore the truly 
melancholy results produced by this unmitigated 
over-exertion of the intellectual faculties, when, to 
use the words of his widow, the fiat had gone forth, 
and " all was in the dust ! " 

In 1828, long before this calamity, I forwarded him 


a little work,^ of which he immediately acknowledged 
the reception in a truly gratifying letter. Most 
justifiably might I present a copy of it to the reader 
upon the sole ground that every unpublished writing 
from such a pen must be acceptable; but I will 
frankly confess that I have j,n additional motive, and 
that lauda7'i a laudato viro is an honour which I 
cannot consent to forego, when I have such an 
excusable opportunity for claiming it : — 

Keswick, Nov. 6, 1828. 

Dear Sir, 

The book, which your obliging letter of the 
28th last announced, arrived yesterday afternoon, 
and, having this morning finished the perusal, I can 
thank you for it more satisfactorily than if the 
gratification were still an expected one. You have 
completely obviated every objection that could be 
made on the choice of scriptural scenes and manners, 
and you must have taken great pains as well as 
great pleasure in making yourself so well acquainted 
with both. In power of design and execution this 
book has often reminded me of Martin's pictures, 
who has succeeded in more daring attempts than 
ever artist before him dreamt of I very much 
admire the whole management of the love-story. 

The only fault which I have felt was a want of 
repose. How it could have been introduced I know 
not, but it would have been a relief There is a 
perpetual excitement of scenery and circumstances 
even when the story is at rest, and the effect of this 
upon me has been something like that of the first 
day in London after two or three years at Keswick. 
Young readers will not feel this, and as we advance 
in life, we learn to like repose even in our pleasures. 

Do me the favour to accept a copy of my Collo- 

' Zillah, a Tale of the Holy City. 


quies when they shall be published (as I expect) in 
January. Though they contain some things which 
possibly may not accord with your opinions, there is, 
I think, much more with which you will find yourself 
in agreement, and the prints and descriptive portions 
may remind you of a place which I am glad to 
remember that you have visited. 

My wife and daughters thank you for what will 
be their week's evening pleasure. So does my pupil 
and play-fellow, Cuthbert, who, I am glad to say, 
feeds upon books as voraciously as I did at his age. 
Believe me, my dear sir, 

Yours, with sincere respect, 

Robert Southey. 

One of the most amusing and hospitable of the 
Smiths' friends was Thomas Hill — the proprietor of 
the Monthly Mirror, to which, from 1807 to 1810, 
James was a constant contributor — " at whose 
hospitable board at Sydenham," says Horace Smith, 
" my brother and myself were frequent guests ; 
generally encountering some of the popular wits, 
literati, and artists, and never quitting his cottage 
without the pleasant recollection of a cordial 
welcome, and much convivial enjoyment, among 
companions equally distinguished for their solid 
attainments and their social vivacity." 

Cyrus Redding writes that — 

Thomas Hill was a character long known wherever 
a quorum of literary men chanced to meet, that 
is if he could get admission into it. He had 
no literary tastes or acquirements. His manners 
were those of his business, a city drysalter. But 
what mattered all this if he himself thought it 


was otherwise, and in consequence of that idea, 
and having been once the proprietor of a little 
theatrical periodical, he took a fancy to those in 
the " literary line," as he would have phrased it. 
He imagined himself a Thames Street Maecenas. 
To assume this character, he invited a number of 
literary men to his villa at Sydenham. Of the 
number were the two brothers Smith, Barnes, after- 
wards of the Times, George Colman, Mathews, 
Campbell, Hook, and others, who did not object to a 
jaunt of eight miles for a merry meeting. 

He gave plain dinners and good wine, in exchange 
for which his guests used to play upon his idea of 
being a literary patron, to his infinite gratification. 
They often sat late, and got back to town at the 
dawn of morning, on their way giving improvisations, 
and reciting, literally, " rhymes on the road." Camp- 
bell, who lived at Sydenham, nearer the summit of 
the hill than the drysalter, used to accompany those 
townward bound, and take leave of them at a par- 
ticular spot, flinging up his hat and wig in the air, 
when they parted, he to his two-o'clock bed, and the 
rest of the party, or a portion of them, to business 
rather than the blankets when they arrived home. 

Horace Smith has left the following account of his 
Sydenham friend : — 

In addition to Hill's besetting sin of imagining all 
his own geese, and all the geese of all his friends, to 
be swans, he was an inexhaustible quidnunc and 
gossip, delighting more especially to startle his 
hearers by the marvellous nature of his intelligence, 
not troubling his head about its veracity, for he was 
a great economist of truth, and striving to bear 
down and crush every doubt by ever-increasing 
vehemence of manner and extravagance of assertion. 


If you strained at a gnat he would instantly give 
you a camel to swallow ; if you boggled at an im- 
probability he would endeavour to force an impossi- 
bility down your throat, rising with the conscious 
necessity for exertion, for he was wonderfully demon- 
strative, until his veins swelled, his grey eyes goggled, 
his husky voice became inarticulate, his hands were 
stretched out with widely disparted fingers, and the 
first joint of each thumb was actually drawn back- 
wards in the muscular tension occasioned by his 
excitement. Embody this description in the figure 
of a fat, florid, round little man, like a retired 
elderly Cupid, and you will see Hill maintaining a 
hyperbole, not to say a catachresis, with as much 
convulsive energy as if he believed it ! And yet it 
is difficult to suppose that, deceived by his own 
excitement, and mistaking assertion for conviction, 
he did not sometimes succeed in imposing upon 
himself, however he might fail with his hearers; 
otherwise he would hardly wind up, as I have more 
than once heard him, by exclaiming — 

" Sir, I affirm it with all the solemnity of a death- 
bed utterance, of a sacramental oath." 

Blinded by agitation and vehemence he could no 
longer see the truth, and went on asseverating until 
he fancied that he believed what he was saying. 
This, however, was in the more rampant stage of the 
disorder; there was a previous one, in which he 
would look you sternly in the face, and in a tone 
that was meant to be conclusive, and to inflict a 
death-blow upon all incredulity, would emphatically 
ejaculate, " Sir, I happen to hnov) it ! " 

If this failed, if his hearer still looked sceptical, 
he would immediately play at double or quits with 
his first assertion, adding a hundred per cent, to it, 
and making the same addition to the positiveness 
with which he supported it, until he gradually 


reached the rabid state, in which he would not 
condescend to affirm anything short of an impossi- 
bility, or to pledge anything short of his existence 
to its literal veracity. 

His large literary parties were always given at his 
Sydenham Tusculum, which, though clos6 to the 
roadside, and making no pretensions to be " a cot- 
tage of gentility," was roomy and comfortable enough 
within, spite of its low-pitched thick-beamed 
ceilings, and the varieties of level with which the 
builder had pleasantly diversified his floors. The 
garden at the back, much more useful than orna- 
mental, afforded an agreeable ambulatory for his 
guests, when they did not fall into the pond in their 
anxiety to gather currants — an accident not always 
escaped. Pleasant and never-to-be-forgotten were 
the many days that I passed beneath that hospitable 
roof, with associates whose varied talents and in- 
variable hilarity might have justified us in despising 
the triteness of the quotation, when we compared 
our convivial symposia with the nodes cosnceque 

On those summer afternoons, we mounted the 
little grassy ascent that overlooked the road, and 
joyfully hailed each new guest as he arrived, well 
aware that he brought with him an accession of 
merriment for the jovial dinner, and fresh facetious- 
ness for the wit-winged night ! Let it not be thought 
that I exaggerate the quality of the boon com- 
panions whom our Amphitryon delighted to assemble. 
If we had no philosophers who could make the 
world wiser, we had many a wit and wag who well 
knew how to make it merrier. Among those most 
frequently encountered at the jollifications were 
Campbell, the poet, then occupying a cottage in the 


village, and by no means the least hilarious of the 
party ; Mathews, and sometimes his friend and his 
brother comedian, Listen ; Theodore Hook ; Edward 
Dubois, at that time editor and main support of the 
Monthly Mirror ; Leigh Hunt and his brother John ; 
John Taylor, the editor of the Sun newspaper; 
Horace Twiss ; ^ Barron Field ; John Barnes, who 
subsequently became editor for many years of the 
Times newspaper ; and some few others. 

Hill never married, and finally took chambers in 
James' Street, Adelphi, wherein he resided till his 

At last [continues Horace Smith] the pale sum- 
moner, who knocks alike at the door of the cottage 
and the palace (the Latin original is too hackneyed 
for quotation) found his way to the book-groaning 
third floor in the Adelphi, and it was announced 
that poor Tom Hill was dead ! The statement was 
not universally believed, for he had lived so long 
that many thought it had become, like his inquisitive- 
ness, a habit which he could not shake off. For the 
last half-century at least, his real age had been a 
mystery and a subject of incessant discussion among 
his friends, none of whom could coax or cajole him 
out of the smallest admission that might throw 
light upon the subject. . . . My brother James once 
said to him, " The fact is, Hill, that the register of 
your birth was destroyed in the great fire of London, 
and you take advantage of that accident to conceal 
your real age." 

But Hook went much further by suggesting that 

^ A nephew of Mrs. Siddons, and one of the executors of 
her will. He was an eminent lawyer and politician, and was 
Vice-Chancellor of the Duchy of Lancaster. He wrote the 
Life of Lord Mdon. 


he might originally have been one of the little Hills 
recorded as skipping in the Psalms. No counter- 
statement that might at least reduce him to the level 
of Jenkins or old Parr, was ever made by the ruddy 
patriarch. Perhaps he did not know his real age — 
at all events, he never told it ; nor could others supply 
the information which he himself would not or could 
not furnish ; for the Maecenas of Queenhithe not 
being atavis editefegibus',\ilie his namesake of Rome, 
there were no known relations, dead or living, who 
could throw any light upon this chronological 
mystery. It has been stated, on what authority I 
know not, that he was only eighty-three when he 


Horace Smith's Recollections of Charles Mathews and 
Theodore Hook. 

Between Mr. and Mrs. Charles Mathews and the 
Smiths a cordial and lasting friendship existed, 
accentuated in the case of James by most pleasant 
business relations. 

Shortly before Mathews left England for America, 
Horace wrote to him, expressing himself strongly 
against the contemplated trip : — 

Brighton, 1822. 

Dear Mathews, 

You have no occasion for your friendly fear 
that I must have been " first knocked down, and then 
up by a bus or a cab," since I neither called a second 
time at Ivy Cottage, nor availed myself of the box 
you were so kind as to reserve for us. In fact, I 
knew nothing of the latter friendly arrangement, as 
I was compelled to leave London on Friday, and did 
not receive your letter, which was sent after me, 
until yesterday. Best thanks, nevertheless, for your 
kind intentions ; and you may well suppose that I 
would gladly have seen you "At Home," both 
theatrically and domestically, if I could. The mis- 
translation you mention is absurd enough ; but one 
might easily find twenty worse cases m our highways 


and bjnvays ; for the common people have a strange 
propensity to adapt foreign words to their own 
familiar notions, particularly in the signs of shops 
and public-houses. L' Aiguille et Fit (the needle and 
thread) after being corrupted, perhaps in France, 
into L'Aigle et Fits, has been faithfully imported by 
our haberdashers as the Fagle and Child. Every 
one knows the perversion of Boulogne mouth ; and 
the arms of one of the city companies suspended 
from an inn at Hounslow with the motto of " God 
encompasses us " procured for the house the name 
of the Goat and Compasses, — a singular conjunc- 
tion, which is now actually figured on the signboard 
in Heu of the original arms. I have told you (have 
I not ?) of Mrs. Lennox's strange blunder in trans- 
lating from the French an account of the siege of 
Namur, which is equalled, if not surpassed, by one 
of those hacks employed by Cave to do into English 
Du Halde's Description of China, most Hibemically 
fixing an important occurrence to the twenty-first 
day of the new moon, having confounded the French 
words neuve and neuviime. 

I should not, perhaps, intrude the opinion, but 
since you ask me how I like your friend — as a 
companion, I must fi-ankly answer, not over much. 
He is ready and fluent, but it seemed to me to be 
a quickness of words rather than ideas. Whatever 
subject was started, he appeared to think it neces- 
sary to be always eloquent, in which, as well as iu 
some other respects, he reminded me of " that great 
man, Mr. Prig, the auctioneer, whose manner was so 
invariably fine that he had as much to say upon a 
ribbon as upon a Eaphael." 

Your receiving the thanks and applauses of 

for not knowing what you ought to have known 
touching his benefit, reminds me of an exploit of 
my own, when I was a boy at school, and was asked 


the Latin for the word "cowardice." Having for* 
gotten it, I ventured to say that the Romans had 
none ; which was fortunately deemed a hon mot, and 
I got praises and a laugh for not knowing my lesson. 
So you really have serious thoughts of crossing the 
Atlantic, and picking Brother Jonathan's pocket 
of his dollars after you have thrown him into fits of 
laughter, and you speak of the project as calmly as 
if you were about to fly from a country where you 
had been unhappy and unsuccessful, and from people 
who did not appreciate you as you deserve. Why, 
you Mammonite, what is to become of us in your 
absence ? You will be making a fortune at our 
expense, not that of the Yankees; and as to any 
pleasure in the trip, lay not that flattering unction 
to your soul. The voyage, like all other voyages, 
must be a monotonous, objectless, odpupationless, 
idealess nuisance ; and how limited must be the 
pleasure of land travelling, even in the finest country 
in the world, where there are no human, or at least 
no civilized associations — nothing to connect the 
past with the present ! . What are rocks, forests, 
after your first stare of admiration, where there are 
no ruins, no local traditions, no historical records to 
lift them out of their materiality, by associating 
them with the great names and great achievements 
of past ages? You remember what Johnson says 
about the plains of Marathon and the ruins of lona. 
You may get stimulants to patriotism and piety in 
many other places than these [of the Old World] ; 
but what elevating recollections can you conjure up 
in a new country ? Johnson has given his opinion 
on this very subject (and I say ditto to the Doctor) — 
for when some one asked, " Is not America worth 
seeing ? " he replied, " Yes, sir, but not worth going 
to see ! " That you will make it worth your while 
financially, I don't doubt — that it will answer your 


expectations in any other respect, I do doubt ; that 
you would do mach better to remain quietly where 
you are, I am quite sure. My wish may be father 
to the thought, but that does not invalidate it. I 
and mine to thee and thine. 

Ever yours, 
Horatio Smith. 

P.S. — I saw our witty friend, Dubois ^ in London, 
who told me an anecdote in which you figured. 

W (so said the wag) pressed you to act for his 

benefit in the afterpiece at Covent Garden, which 
you said you would willingly have done, but that 
you were engaged that night to perform in the after- 
piece at the English Opera- House, and could not 
cut yourself in half. " I don't know that," replied 

W , " for I have often seen you act in two pieces." 

Is this true ? or is it one of Dubois' own children ? ^ 

When Mrs. Charles Mathews was collecting 
material for her husband's Memoirs, she applied to 
James and Horace Smith for any letters of his that 
they might have preserved. The result was very 
disappointing. James wrote back : — 

27, Craven Street, 1837. 

My dear Mrs. Mathews, 

I have looked among my letters for any 
papers I might have retained of your departed and 
lamented husband. I have only been able to find 
one, which he sent me from America. I forward it 
with this. 

I have forborne to intrude upon you with con- 
dolences on account of your bereavement, looking as 

1 At one time editor of the Monthly Mirror; author of 
My Pocket-Booh, etc. 

2 Memoirs of Chmies Mathews, by Mrs. Mathews. 


I do upon such tributes as useless. You must 
permit me, however, upon this occasion, to dilate a 
little upon the subject. 

Charles Mathews was one of my first theatrical 
acquaintances, and (without disparagement to his 
brethren of the sock and buskin), I will add, one of 
my most valued friends. He was really what the 
poet (perhaps a little too warmly) denominates " the 
noblest work of God " — an honest man. "Whatever 
character he might be called upon to assume on the 
stage, he never lost sight of his own. This circum- 
stance was properly appreciated by the world. He 
moved in the best circles of society, and was valued 
not less for the originality of his talents than for the 
excellence of his moral character. His public ad- 
mirers and his private friends are equal sufferers 
from his premature departure. 

Believe me to remain. 

Yours with great esteem, 

James Smith. 

With Horace Mrs. Mathews was even less suc- 
cessful, but his reply gives a capital risumi of 
Mathews' excellent qualities. He wrote : — 

Brighton, October 2, 1837. 

Dear Mrs. Mathews, 

I am both sorry and ashamed to confess that 
of the many letters received at various times from 
the friend whose loss I shall never cease to deplore, 
I do not retain a single line in my possession. 

I am sorry, because it prevents my complying 
with your request ; and ashamed, because my con- 
science now reproaches me with not having attached 
sufiScient importance to his ever pleasant communi- 
cations. It is some consolation to know that I have 
not served him worse than others, the fact being. 


that I have always been glad to get rid of letters 
as fast as I could. While unanswered, I contemplate 
them as accusing angels; I hate them afterwards 
for the compunctuous visitings they awakened before 
I could summon resolution to reply to them ; and 
with this feeling veiled under an afifected dislike to 
the accumulation of papers, I commit them to the 
flames as soon as I can. For my offence in this 
instance I ought to stand in the pillory with the 
never-sufBciently-to-be-anathematized cook, who 
lighted her kitchen fire for several months with 
unique old plays taken from a trunk in her master's 

" Alas ! poor Yorick ! . . . a fellow of infinite jest, 
of most excellent fancy. Where be your gambols 
now ? Your songs ? your flashes of merriment that 
were wont to set the table in a roar?" By how 
many thousands has this hackneyed quotation been 
uttered with reference to Mathews ; but, alas ! how 
few can feel it so deeply, so poignantly, so irrecover- 
ably, as those who were of his own immediate circle, 
and could therefore appreciate the charm of his 
society, whether in his moods of inexhaustible 
sprightliness, or when the rich stores of his pene- 
trating mind were suffered to flow forth in rational 
and instructive conversation never long unembel- 
lished with some amusing anecdote. 

Not only do I find it impossible even now to 
reconcile myself to his loss ; but at times, strange as 
it may sound, I can hardly believe in its reality. 
He was not of an age to justify any anticipation of 
such an event ; he seemed so well in health and so 
full of glorious glee when I last saw him ; it is so 
difficult to imagine that he who was all vitality, 
who was, as it were, the very life of life, should be 
snatched from the convivial circle and consigned to 
the cold dumb grave, that one may well be pardoned 


for striving, even against conviction, to avoid the 
pang of so heart-withering a thought ! and when 
it forces itself upon one's belief, it brings with it 
the aggravating reflection that the loss is utterly- 
irreparable. ■ There was but one Charles Mathews 
in the world — there never can be such another! 
Mimics, buffoons, jesters, wags, and even admirable 
comedians, we shall never want ; but what are the 
best of them compared to Atm? Hyperion to a 
Satyr ! He was the only original imitator I have 
ever encountered, for while others satisfied them- 
selves with endeavouring to embody their originals, 
he made it a study to mentalize them. I am obliged 
to coin a word, but my meaning is, that while he 
surpassed all competitors in the mere mimicry of 
externals, he was unique in the subtlety, acuteness, 
and truth with which he could copy the mind of 
his prototype ; extemporizing his moods of thought 
with all those finer shadings of the head and heart 
that constitute the niceties of individual character. 
As this intellectual portraiture demands a much 
higher order of talent than corporeal mimicry, so it 
is enjoyed with a much more exquisite zest by those 
who can appreciate its difficulty. Others might 
produce the image, and elaborate a faithful likeness, 
but Mathews alone held the Promethean torch that 
could vivify and animate it. You and I know full 
well that in this manner his own suggestions, crea- 
tions, and mental mockeries, were the very soul of 
his entertainments at the Strand Theatre, although 
they were written and methodized by others. For 
this the public gave him little credit, any more than 
for the extraordinary powers of memory evinced 
in these unrivalled performances, with their numer- 
ous songs, and the ad libitum patter between 'the 
verses, very often varied with each encoi'e. I re- 
member his telling me that in a single week at 


Edinburgh he had given as many, I think, as four 
different "At Homes," and all without book, note, 
or memorandum, — an effort of memory which I 
apprehend to be totally without parallel. 

A propos to his performances in "Auld Eeekie," 
which I visited some years ago, I recollect Sir Walter 
Scott mentioned them to me in terms of the highest 
admiration, adding expressions of sincere respect and 
friendship for the individual apart from all public 
and professional claims. Perhaps, there has never 
been a comedian who, while he lived in the full 
roar of popularity on the stage, was so universally 
and so thoroughly respected in private life, as Mr. 
Mathews. This it is that has made his loss so 
deeply and so widely felt. What numerous friends 
he possessed in England, Scotland, Ireland, America, 
to say nothing of the community at large, and how 
truly we may affirm that in his instance, even more 
extensively than ia that of Garrick, his death " has 
dimiuished the public stock of harmless pleasure, 
and eclipsed the gaiety of nations ! " 

Tragedians, it has been observed, are generally 
sprightly and jocose, while comedians and profes- 
sional jesters not unfrequently sink into dejection 
or even confirmed hypochondria — a tendency which 
may easily be explained upon the principle of action 
and reaction, for the efforts of both classes are very 
exhausting, and they can only unbend by taking 
an opposite direction to that which has fatigued 
them. We may sit in one posture, until, like the 
tailor in the pit of Dubliu theatre, we are glad to 
stand up to rest ourselves. Our minds like our 
bodies seek relief in contraries — a fact which is 
exemplified in nations as well as individuals. The 
habitually vivacious French find relaxation in cold, 
stern, unimpassioned classical tragedies; the taci- 
turn melancholy Englishman is solaced by fun, farce. 


and foolery. I don't think Charles Mathews ex- 
hibited in any marked degree this professional bent 
of mind ; but when severed from home and his usual 
resources, he certainly did seem to require pretty 
constant excitement to keep him from stagnating, 
as he called it, though I myself liked his quiet moods 
not less than his joyous and hilarious triumphs. It 
was only the difference between still and sparkling 
champagne. Some like the effervescence more than 
the flavour of the wine, others the reverse; and 
Mathews, in his various moods, could charm and 
gratify every taste. But if I run on with the list 
of his various and high qualifications, I shall never 
have done ; and I must, therefore, devote the slip of 
paper that remains to the assurance that I am, with 
sincere regard, dear Mrs. Mathews, 

Yours faithfully, 
Horatio Smith.^ 

Horace Smith, contrasting the wit and humour of 
his friend Theodore Hook with that of Charles 
Mathews, says : ^ — 

Far different was the effect produced by the un- 
varied and irrepressible ebullience of Theodore 
Hook's vivacity, which was a manifest exuberance 
from the conjunction of rampant animal spirits, a 
superabundance of corporeal vitality, a vivid sense 
of the ludicrous, a consciousness of his own un- 
paralleled readiness, and a self-possession, not to say 
an effrontery, that nothing could daunt. Indulging 
his natural frolicsomeness rather to amuse himself 
than others, he was not fastidious about the quality 
of his audience, whom he would startle by some out- 
rageous horseplay, or practical joke, if he found 

1 Memoirs of Chwdes Mathews. 

' A Greybeard! s Gossip about his Literary Acquaintances. 


them too stupid for puns, jests, and songs. Thus 
you were always sure of him ; he required no pre- 
paration, no excitement, he was never out of sorts, 
never out of spirits, never unprepared for a sally, 
however hazardous. 


The century must have been young when I first 
met him at the house of the late Nat Middleton 
the banker, then living in Charles Street, St. James's 
Square. A large dinner-party was assembled, and 
before the ladies had withdrawn, the improvisatore 
was requested to favour the company with a song ; 
his compliance was immediate and unembarrassed, 
as if it were an affair of no difficulty ; and the verses, 
turning chiefly upon the names of the guests, only 
once varied by an allusion to some occurrence of 
the moment, were so pointed and sparkling, that I 
hesitated not to express my total disbelief in the 
possibility of their being extemporaneous, an opinion 
which some " good-natured friend " repeated to the 
singer. " Oh, the unbelieving dog ! " exclaimed the 
vocalist. " Tell him if I am called upon again, he 
himself shall dictate the subject and the tune, which 
of course involves the metre ; but it must be some 
common popular air." All this took place, and the 
second song proving still more brilliant than the 
first, I made a very humble palinode for my mistrust, 
and expressed the astonishment and delight with 
which his truly wonderful performance had electrified 
me. Not without difficulty, however, had I been 
enabled to believe my own ears, and several days 
elapsed before I had completely recovered from my 
bewilderment, for, as an occasional rhymester, I could 
well appreciate the difficulty of the achievement. 

Some months after this encounter, while on my 
way to call upon a friend in Bedford Square, I was 
overtaken by so sudden a storm of thunder, lightning, 


and rain, that I took shelter in the doorway of a 
house in Charlotte Street, where I had hardly- 
ensconced myself, when a figure ran helter-skelter 
to my side, seeking, as I imagined, the same protec- 
tion as myself. It proved, however, to be Theodore 
Hook, who, after expressing his pleasure at our un- 
expected meeting, told me that the house was his 
father's, and, opening the door with a latch-key, asked 
me to put into the paternal port until the storm 
was over; an invitation which I readily accepted, 
and was ushered into a small back drawing-room, his 
own peculiar sanctum, which an associate of his 
thus describes: — "The tables, chairs, mantelpiece, 
piano, were all covered with a litter of letters, MS. 
music, French plays, notes, tickets, rhyming diction- 
aries; and not a seat to be had." Such was his 
plight at the time of my induction, with the addition 
of a half-finished bottle of wine, of which, after 
offering me a glass, he tossed off a large bumper, so 
early were sown the seeds of that propensity which, 
gained upon him so lamentably in after-life ! The 
day was sultry, the windows had been left open, so 
had the piano, at which Hook seated himself, and 
looking up at the sky, while he accompanied himself 
on the instrument, he sang in rhyme an extempor- 
aneous defiance of the still raging storm, in terms so 
daring and unmeasured, that while I was surprised 
by his cleverness I was infinitely astounded by his 
outrageous audacity. We all know that a thunder- 
storm, the merely fortuitous strife of the elements, 
is produced by the collision of air-driven clouds ; 
but the certain destructiveness and uncertain direc- 
tion of the death-fraught electric spark, and the 
lingering delusion, not unassociated, perhaps, with 
our boyish recollections of the Jupiter Tonans, that 
these terrific fulrainations are the voice of an 
offended deity, are calculated to awaken a feeling of 


vague solemnity, even in the minds of the most 
reckless. Not such, however, was its effect upon 
Hook, who, as the storm died away, a result which 
he attributed to his own menaces, began to imitate 
the retiring thunder on his instrument. 

" Are you not afraid of the fate of Salmoneus ? " I 

" No, but the storm is afraid of me," he replied ; 
and at the same time throwing down one of his 
gloves as a gauntlet, he sang a challenge to the 
clouds, inviting them to return and renew the con- 
test, if they were not satisfied with the defeat they 
had already sustained. 

Let not any one accuse him of intentional pro- 
faneness; it was the mere outburst of boisterous 
temerity, proceeding from intoxication of animal 
spirits, and a desire to astonish his auditor, in which 
latter object he certainly succeeded. 

Retaining his seat at the piano, after the con- 
clusion of his strange escapade, he asked me whether 
he should give me an extempore opera scene with 
imitations of the principal performers, or a Sadler's 
Wells burletta, such as was then currently per- 
formed in that suburban theatre. The latter won 
my preference, and most complete, as well as enter- 
taining, was the performance. The morning, song 
of Patty the dairymaid, as she sallied forth to milk 
her cows, the meeting, and the duet with her rustic 
lover, Hodge ; the scolding of the cross old mother 
at her staying away so long from the cottage ; her 
vindication by the good-tempered father — all given, 
music as well as words, in an unpremeditated trio ; 
the advent of the squire — his jovial hunting-song — 
his dishonourable proposals to Patty, and their 
indignant rejection — his quarrel with Hodge, who 
upbraids him with his base attempt— his ignomini- 
ous retreat, and the marriage of the happy pair, 



announced by a merry peal from the village bells, 
were all presented with such a perfect imitation of 
the Sadler's Wells libretto, as well as of the cha- 
racters introduced, that his promptitude and versa- 
tility filled me with an indescribable amazement. 

A rollicking buffoonery, and puns, and jests, and 
extemporaneous songs, and practical jokes of the 
most matchless impudence, were Hook's predominant 
characteristics ; but he occasionally indulged a quiet 
drollery, not less laughable than his witty flashes. 
I once met him at a dinner-party, where his spirit 
seemed to be rebuked by the presence of two solemn- 
looking elderly noblemen, until, the subject having 
turned upon Shakespeare, one of the company ob- 
served that the only individual of all his acquaint- 
ance who thought that illustrious poet over-rated, 
was Perry, of the Morning Chronicle. 

" This excites no surprise in me," said Hook, very 
gravely. "You must recollect that the bard has 
gone out of his way and substituted one beverage 
for another, for the express purpose of passing him 
by, and showing him a slight." 

" Beverage ! Slight ! What can you mean ? " 
demanded two or three voices. 

" Why, in that well-known line — ' To suckle fools 
and chronicle small beer' — is it not manifest that 
he ought to have written — Chronicle Perry ? " 

Sheer as was its absurdity, the address of the 
remark, and the dry seriousness with which it was 
propounded, shook the commoners with laughter, 
and even elicited a smile from the peers. 

Often have I sat upon tenter-hooks for fear of the 
consequences, while Hook has been playing off his 
pranks with an impertinence that could hardly fail 
to be detected and resented; and more than once 
have I known him to be indebted to his legs for his 
escape. When suppihg with him one night at the 


Hummums, he made such a point-blank attack by 
mimicry and every species of annoyance upon a 
corpulent respectable-looking country gentleman 
sitting in the same box, that at length he turned 
fiercely round upon his tormentor, exclaiming — 

" What the devil do you mean by this impertin- 
™„„ . 

" My dear sir," replied Theodore, blandly, " my 
meaning can be explained to your entire satisfaction 
if you will allow me to say one word to you at the 
door of the coffee-room." 

"Well, sir, well," growled the stranger, "I do 
expect entire satisfaction, and am ready to hear 
what you have got to say." 

With which words he stalked to the door, which 
he had no sooner reached, than Hook resumed — 

" You are to understand, sir, that I have laid a 
wager with my friend that I can run to the pit- 
entrance of Drury Lane Theatre faster than you 
can. Mind, we are to start when I clap my hands ; " 
which signal he instantly gave, and took to his heels 
with a speed that soon carried him out of sight of 
his fat and fumiag victim. 

By the same safe but not very dignified expedient, 
did he extricate himself from a still more perilous 
dilemma at Sydenham. One Sunday afternoon, a 
party of us were strolling through the village just 
as the inhabitants were returning from church, when 
Hook, having suddenly turned-down his shirt-collar, 
pushed back his curly hair, and assumed a puritanical 
look, jumped into an empty cart by the roadside, and 
began to hold forth in the whining tones of a field 
preacher. Gathering ourselves in front to listen to 
him, we formed the nucleus of a congregation, 
which presently included a score or two of open- 
mouthed labourers and country crones. So enthusi- 
astic and so devout were the sham preacher's manner 


and matter, that he commanded the deep attention 
of his audience, until, with a startling change of 
voice and look, he poured forth a volley of loud and 
ahusive vulgarities, jumped from the cart, and ran 
across the fields, pursued by a couple of incensed 
rustics, who soon, however, abandoned a chase 
which they found to be hopeless. That we might 
not be suspected of any participation in this gross 
and inexcusable outrage, of which, indeed, all of us 
were really innocent, and many of us completely 
ashamed, we joined in the fierce indignation of the 
bystanders, fully assenting to their prediction that 
the perpetrator would inevitably come to be hanged 
in this world, and be provided with particularly 
warm quarters in the next. . . . An absence of 
several years from England, and my Subsequent 
residence in a provincial town, so completely separ- 
ated me from Hook, that though I often heard of 
his " sayings and doings," I only caught infrequent 
personal glimpses of him. Rumour had apprised 
me that he had been living too fast in a financial 
sense ; and his bloated, unhealthy appearance gave 
me painful assurance at every fresh interview that 
the remark was equally applicable to his social 
habits. The last time I had the pleasure of dining 
in his company was in the year 1840, at the London 
residence of the late Lady Stepney. At this period 
his customary beverage was brandy and champagne 
in equal portions with an infusion of some stimulat- 
ing powder, which he generally carried about with 
him. Appetite for food seemed to have nearly 
failed him, but he sought compensation in cham- 
pagne, and I could perceive little or no diminution 
of his customary vivacity and his witty sallies. 
Willingly taking his place at the piano in the 
drawing-room, he commenced, " by particular desire 
of several persons of distinction," with the favourite 


mock cathedral chant of "The Little Birds dosing;" 
after which he was prevailed upon to treat us with 
an extempore song, which proved as prompt, spark- 
ling, and felicitous, as the best effusion of his best 
days. In the midst of it. Sir David Wilkie stole 
into the room, making his salutations in a whisper, 
lest he should disturb the singer, who was so far 
from being disconcerted that he immediately intro- 
duced him to the company as 

" His worthy friend, douce Davy Wilkie, 
Who needn't speak so soft and silky,'' 

since his entrance, instead of interrupting him, had 
supplied him with another verse. A minute or two 
afterwards, a particle of candlewick fell upon the 

arm of Miss B , an incident which the vocalist 

instantly seized, by addressing the lady, and de- 
claring that it excited no surprise in him whatever — 

" Since he knew very well, by his former remarks, 
That wherever she went she attracted the sparks." 

In this impromptu style, his tumbler being duly 
replenished, he continued to delight and astonish 
his auditors, until, at the warning of the tell-tale 
clock, striking the little hours, they tore themselves 
reluctantly away. 

Poor, dear, fascinating, mirth-dispensing, body 
and mind-afflicted Theodore Hook! From such 
scenes, from courtly bowers, and festive halls, and 
lordly saloons, where flattery, homage, worship, a 
living apotheosis, were lavished upon him by starred 
and gartered grandees, jewelled peeresses, bright- 
eyed belles, and the dite of the heaic-monde, the 
miserable merry-andrew dragged himself to his un- 
blessed home, utterly exhausted both in frame and 
mind, to bewail, in bitter compunction, his ruined 


prospects, his ever-increasing embarrassments, his 
waning health, his wasted life, and the felt approaches 
of that death which would leave his creditors un- 
paid, his children and their mother utterly destitute ! 
The firework had been played off; it had flashed 
and sparkled, and scattered light and cheerfulness 
around, delighting all by its ever-changing and ever- 
charming forms and hues; and nothing now was 
left but the darkened, unsightly frame-work of the 
wheel, worn, wasted, and shattered by its own 
brilliant gyrations under an artificial and self-con- 
suming impulse. A few weeks before the dinner- 
party at which I had seen him lionizing in all his 
glory, and apparently sharing the happiness that he 
conferred, he had made the following entry in his 
diary — 

" January 1st, 1840. — To-day another year opens 
upon me with a vast load of debt and many 
incumbrances. I am suffering under constant 
anxiety and depression of spirits, which nobody who 
sees me in society dreams of; but why should I 
suffer my own private worries to annoy my friends ? " 

He died the next year, and was buried in Fulham 
churchyard ; but few mourners, and none of any rank 
or fame, following him to the grave. Not they! 
More deeply would they have regretted the loss of 
a favourite living dog than of their dead lion ! The 
popular player, mountebank, and buffoon had taken 
his benefit in the way of invitations, banquets, jollifi- 
cations, metropolitan revels, and the run olF rural 
castles, when a man of genius and pleasantry was 
wanted to enliven the dulness of the guests; and 
the sacrificers had now nothing further to do with 
or for their victim. No, nor for his victims! the 
produce of his books and other effects, about £2500, 
having been surrendered to the Crown as the 
privileged creditor, and his children and their mother 


being thus left penniless, a subscription was opened 
for their assistance, to which the King of Hanover 
generously transmitted £500, probably in grateful 
remembrance of the able assistance he had received 
from Hook's pen, when a malignant and groundless 
outcry was raised on account of the suicide of Sellis, 
His Majesty's German servant. Some of the friends 
of the deceased in middle life came forward with 
liberal donations; but few, very few, of those who 
had either profited as politicians by Theodore Hook's 
zeal and ability, or courted him ia their lofty circles 
for the fascination of his wit, were found to show 
any feeling for his unfortunate offspring. 

The practical jokes of Theodore Hook, especially 
in the early portion of his career, were sometimes 
senseless; and in these "questionable freaks," as 
he dubs them, Horace Smith confessed that he 
occasionally participated. 

There is a local tradition amongst the oldest in- 
habitants of Fulham, that Hook, who was in the 
habit of driving about that remote suburb in a 
curricle, one evening drew up at the door of the 
Golden Lion, a tavern dating back to the time of 
Henry VII., and engaged " mine host " in earnest 
" horsey " controversy. Presently, leaving his com- 
panion to continue the discussion, in which the 
landlord, who prided himself upon his knowledge of 
horseflesh, had become intensely interested, he 
entered the house, and, knowing his way about, 
contrived, unperceived, to enter the cellars, where 
he deliberately turned on the taps and removed the 
spigots from the casks not in use, until the entire 


stock of ale and porter was flowing away in streams. 
The astonishment and indignation of the owner, 
who, after seeing Hook drive away, found his cellar 
flooded with malt-liquor, may be imagined ; and a 
pretty stiff bill for damages reminded Hook that 
"pranks" were sometimes rather costly forms of 



The personal appearance of Jameg Smitli — His habits — His 
social circle — His clubs — His love of London — Revisits Chig- 
well school — His last illness and death. 

The personal appearance of James Smith was 
decidedly striking. In his prime — when Rejected 
Addresses was published (1812) — he was considered 
to he one of the handsomest men about town. Tall, 
straight-limbed, and well-proportioned, blue-eyed, 
and fresh complexioned, his hair growing well back 
from a noble and intellectual forehead, the manly 
beauty of his person was evident, even in the unlovely 
dress of that period, with its heavily-lapelled, deep- 
cuffed coats, tight-fitting pantaloons, and stiff cravats 
that perpetually seemed to threaten apoplexy or 
strangulation. His manner was that of a polished 
well-bred gentleman, combined with a singular 
fascination of address. No one could better appre- 
ciate courtesy in others than he who possessed it in a 
marked degree. Later in life, depressed and enfeebled 
by ill-health, his natural animation somewhat failed 
him ; but no amount of suffering could extinguish the 
cheerfulness of his countenance when in congenial 
society, or dim the merry twinkle in his eyes that 


from long usage had contracted an habitual look of 
drollery, ever ready, at the prompting of anything, 
animate or inanimate, to find articulate utterance in 
some witty saying. Even his painful malady he 
made the subject of a now well-known epigram — 

The French have taste in all they do, 

While we are left without ; 
Nature to them has given go'O.t, 

To us has given gout. 

He was a confirmed bachelor. His father used 
often to expostulate with him, instancing his own 
happy experience of matrimony — but in vain. After 
one of these attempts to shake his son's resolution, 
the good old gentleman made the following entry in 
his Journal : — 

September 4, 1829. — I went with my daughter 
Maria in a fly to call upon my son James, in Austin 
Friars. The gout has made ravages upon his health 
and personal comfort, but his spirits, I understand, 
have not much fallen off. I wish that he had taken 
to himself a prudent wife with good connections and 
a sufficiency of fortune to comfort him iu his declining 
years ! This wish I have often expressed to himself 
and to his brother Leonard, who also has preferred a 
bachelor's life to that of a married man.^ 

James Smith's celibacy [says Horace] proceeded 
rather from too discursive than too limited an admir- 
ation of the sex. To the latest hour of his life, he 
exhibited a marked preference for the young, the 

1 Leonard subsequently married a Miss Lane, a West Indian 
cousin, and died suddenly, January 14th, 1837, leaving no 


intelligent, and the musical ; and never concealed his 
dislike of a dinner-party composed exclusively of 
males. It will be seen that even in the many hours 
of solitude and sickness that threw a shade over the 
closing scenes of his life, he does not appear even to 
have regretted his bachelorship. 

Many were the jokes he made against his unmarried 
state, one of which he wrote in his niece's album — 

Should I seek Hymen's tie, 
As a poet I die — 

Ye Benedicts, monrn my distresses ! 
For what little fame 
Is annexed to my name 

Is derived from Bejeated Addresses. 

■ His habits were most methodical and regular ; but, 
the day's labours over, he was ready for any gaiety 
and recreation. He almost lived in the theatres, and 
the passion that survived all others was his devotion 
to the drama. Having excellent judgment, he was 
often consalted by actors upon matters of their own 
art ; and so infallible was his memory that they 
frequently applied to him for the dates of half- 
forgotten plays they themselves had figured in. 

Being pre-eminently sociable he was a great diner- 
out, and, although never a ion vivant} possessed a 
keen appreciation of the niceties of gastronomy, and 
was a good judge of wine. So wide was his circle of 
acquaintances that no dinner-party of any importance 
was considered complete without his lively presence 
and amusing conversation. 

1 Though he was not fastidious, he had a particular aversion 
to certain popular dishes, such as venison pasty, rabbit pie, 
calves' head and bacon, tripe, mutton broth, and mackerel. 


His favourite salon was that of Lady Blessington, 
the beautiful, accomplished, but wayward leader of 
fashion, at Seamore Place, Curzon Street, and at Gore 
House, Kensington, where he met all the celebrities 
of the day — Thomas Moore, Walter Savage Landor, 
Sir Edward Bulwer Ljrtton, Samuel Lover, Benjamin 
D'Israeli, etc., etc. At these assemblies, crippled as 
he was, and forced to wheel himself about in a kind 
of invalid chair, he had always something pleasant 
and witty to say to everybody, his best Ions mots and 
brightest smiles being reserved for his fascinating 

Perhaps, his most intimate friend was Count 
D'Orsay, who, he always declared, was unrivalled in 
his combination of good sense and gaiety. On one 
occasion, James Smith met the Countess Guiccioli at 
Gore House, and after dinner they became very 
confidential, exchanging reminiscences of Lord Byron, 
Shelley, and Leigh Hunt, whom she had met in Italy, 
and for the remainder of the evening they enjoyed an 
uninterrupted tSte-d,-tite. Shortly afterwards, on 
setting down James Smith at his house in Craven 
Street, D'Orsay remarked, " What was all that 
Madame Guiccioli was saying to you just now ?" 

" She was telling me her apartments are in the Rue 
de Rivoli, and that if I visited the French capital she 
hoped I would not forget her address," replied James. 

" What ! It took all that time to say that ! Ah ! 
Smeeth, you old humbug ! that won't do." 

James Smith thus describes a dinner at the future 
Lord Lytton's : — 


Saturday, December 23, 1838. — I dined with E. 
L. Bulwer, at his new residence in Charles Street, 
Berkeley Square, a splendidly and classically-fitted up 
mansion. One of the drawing-rooms is a fac-simile 
of a chamber which our host visited at Pompeii, — 
vases, candelabra, chairs, tables to correspond. He 
lighted a perfumed pastille modelled from Mount 
Vesuvius. As soon as the cone of the mountain 
began to blaze, I fancied myself an inhabitant of the 
devoted city ; and, as Pliny the Elder, thus addressed 
Bulwer, my supposed nephew — 

"Our fate is accomplished, nephew. Hand me 
yonder volume ; I shall die as a student in my 
vocation. Do you then hasten to take refuge on 
board the fleet at Misenum. Yonder cloud of hot 
ashes chides thy longer delay. Feel no alarm for 
me. I shall live in story. The author of Pelham 
will rescue my name from oblivion." Pliny the 
younger made me a low bow. 

Occasionally James Smith joined the family dinner 
parties of his friend and medical attendant, Dr. Paris,i 
of Dover Street, Piccadilly, whose eldest son, Mr. 
Tom Paris, recalls the fact that in his mother's 
drawing-room, James Smith used to sing The Last 
Shilling and other humorous songs; " we children," 
he says, " standing round and in a measure held in 
check by his commanding presence, and his odd way 
of changing from a laugh to a grave expression with 

' Dr. Paris was a physician of considerable eminence, famous 
for the extent and accuracy of his chemical knowledge, and for 
his popular lectures on Materia Medica. In 1844 he became 
President of the Royal College of Physicians, and was annually 
re-elected until his death in 1856. 


a solemn stare at the young faces still laughing. I 
can see him now in my mind's eye." 

James Smith wrote • the following lines to his 
favourite physician on his birthday: — 

Namesake of Helen's favourite boy, 

Who shunn'd tlie martial fray, 
May all your days be days of joy, 

Like this, your natal day. 
My votive glass, not pledged by stealth, 

I fill at Bacchus' shrine ; 
And thus, convivial, drink your health, 

"Whose skill establish'd mine. 

To Mr. Tom Paris he sent the following epi- 
gram — 

"On Tom's First Tail Coat 

At the loss of your jacket, Tom, cease to repine, 

Let some younger Harrow boy nab it. 
Your form you have alter'd, and I have changed mine. 

We both are the creatures of habit." 

At Ivy Cottage, Fulham, James Smith was the 
ever welcome guest of Charles Mathews ; and he 
was frequently to be seen at the hospitable board of 
Mr. Francis Fladgate, a solicitor, of Essex Street, 
Strand. Fladgate, who was a fellow-member of the 
Garrick Club, and had pronounced dramatic tastes, 
lived in an unpretending but very comfortable house 
in Brompton, not far from Thurloe Square, where he 
gave the most delightfully informal little dinners, at 
which were present such men as Planche, Harrison 
Ainsworth, the Kembles, Count D'Orsay, and the Rev. 
R. H. Barham, of Ingoldsb-y LegeTids fame, whose 


daughter,! froica quite an early age, generally went 
with her father when he dined out, and has a de- 
lightful recollection of the bright conversation and 
gaiety that characterized these gatherings. 

Fladgate was a most interesting man, his memory 
well stored with anecdotes of the older Kean, Kemble, 
and other great lights of the stage ; and as recently 
as 1888, when Henry Irving produced Macbeth at 
the Lyceum, Fladgate gave his friends at the Garrick 
a most vivid delineation of how the part had been 
acted by the old school, and forcibly described John 
Kemble's method of representing the " Stranger." 

W. Jerdan says that Fladgate was one of the 
Sydney Smith species of wits (who are rare), and 
was so prolific in piquant sayings that, if all were 
remembered, they might fill a volume. When Ellis- 
ton was in treaty to become the lessee of Drury Lane 
Theatre, he gave way to more than his usual excite- 
ments, and, consulting his legal adviser at all hours 
in no very proper state, was thus addressed by Flad- 
gate — " Hang it, sir, there is no getting through any 
business with you, who come to me fresh drunk 
every night and stale drunk every morning." 

As might be expected from his habits and disposi- 
tion, James Smith was what Dr. Johnson said of 
Boswell — a " very clubbable man,'' and belonged to no 
less than three clubs, something to be rather proud of 
in the first forty years of the present century. In the 
year 1800 there existed only about half-a-dozen of 

' Lady E.>A. Bond, widow of the late Principal Librarian of 
the British Museum. 


these convenient resorts, and at the time of James 
Smith's death (1839), there were but twenty-one, 
with which contrast the number contained in the 
most recent list of principal London clubs. First of 
his clubs in importance was the Athenaeum. He was 
one of the original members whose names appear in 
the private printed list, dated 22nd June, 1824, other 
members in that year being — The Earl of Aberdeen, 
Lord Abinger, Lord Blessington, Sir Francis Burdett, 
Thomas Campbell (the poet), Sir Astley Cooper, the 
Et. Hon. John Wilson Croker, Isaac DTsraeli, Henry 
Hallam (the historian). Sir Henry Holland, Charles 
Kemble, Samuel Rogers (the poet), Horace Twiss, 
J. M. Turner, R.A., the Duke of Wellington, Sir A. 
Westmacott, E.A., Sir David Wilkie, K.A., Roger 
Wilbraham, Rev. Thos. Malthus, Dr. Magee, Bishop 
of DubHn, the Earl of Mansfield, Charles Mathews, 
Thomas Moore (the poet), William Mulready, R.A., 
Viscount Palmerston, Sir Thomas Lawrence, P.R.A., 
C. R. Leslie, R.A., and H.M. Leopold, King of the 

In August and September of 1831 private meetings 
were held at Drury Lane Theatre, and subsequently 
at No. 3, Charles Street, to consider the founding of 
a new club, to be called after the immortal Garrick, 
" for the purpose of bringing together the patrons of 
the drama and its professors, and also for offering 
literary men a rendezvous." The prime movers in 
the matter were Sir Andrew Barnard the banker, 
Francis Mills, Esq., Samuel J. Arnold, Esq., Samuel 
Beazley, Esq., Lord Kinnaird, the Earl of Mulgrave, 


and Sir George Warrender, Bart. The first general 
meeting was held at Charles Street, when it was 
decided that the number of members should be 
limited to three hundred, the first hundred to consist 
of the founders and their friends ; the second hundred, 
of those who might be introduced and guaranteed by 
three members ; and the third hundred to be balloted 
for in the usual way. 

James Smith was among the fortunate second 
hundred, and his name was enrolled October 1st, 1831. 

Probatt's private hotel. No. 29, King Street, Covent 
Garden^ — long since demolished — was taken on lease, 
and with a few alterations, made sufiSciently commo- 
dious. It was open for members on the 5th of 
February, 1832, and on the 13th an inaugural 
dinner was given, when one hundred and eight mem- 
bers and friends were present and H.R.H. the Duke 
of Sussex occupied the chair. A charmingly appro- 
priate song, written by the Rev. R. H. Barham,^ 
was admirably sung by Braham. 

The following is an extract from the list of the 
principal members of the Garrick in 1835 : — 

The Marquess of Anglesea,K.G.,the Earl of Chester- 
field, the Duke of Devonshire, K.G., the Earl of Mul- 
grave (President), the Hon. Fulke Greville, Lord 
Arthur Hill, Captain Gronow, M.P., the Rev. R. H. 
Barham, Thomas Forbes Bentley, John Murray, 
Samuel Rogers, Sir John Soane, James Sheridan 

1 From King Street, the Club removed to its present house in 
Garriek Street. 
^ Not, as W. Jerdan relates, by James Smith. 



Knowles, Kichard Brinsley Sheridan, William Jerdan, 
F.S.A., Nathaniel and Anthony Rothschild, P. N. 
Talfourd (barrister), Francis Fladgate (solicitor), 
W. M. Thackeray, J. R. Planch^, Theodore Hook, 
Clarkson Stansfield, Charles John Kean, Charles 
Kemble, William Macready, Charles Mathews, 
Charles Mayne Young, John Braham, Captain 
Marryat, etc., etc. 

Of such talented and respectable " good fellows " 
was the club composed; yet Fraser's Magazine for 
November 1834^ scurrilously attacked James Smith, 
and the members of the club generally, in language 
which I reproduce only to show to what depths a 
leading periodical could descend in those days : — 

There sits James Smith with his feet pressing a 
soft cushion, his elbows dropped by the arms of an 
easy chair, his hand resting on a crutch, his hair 
departed from his head, his nose tinged with the 
colours of the dawn, and his whole man in a state of 
that repose which indicates that he has had much 
work in his way while sojourning in this world, and 
that, like Falstaff, he is taking his ease in his own 
inn, the Garrick — a club of gentlemen which in a 
great measure would answer the description given by 
that worthy knight of his companions in arms, as 
being principally composed of " gentlemen of com- 
panies, slaves as ragged as Lazarus — discarded, un- 
just serving-men, younger sons of younger brothers, 
revolted tapsters and ostlers trade-fallen." Among 
them sits James Smith, regaling them with jokes, 
which, if they are not quite so good as Falstaff's, have 
at least the merit of being as old. . . . But let him 
have his praise. His single talent was a good talent, 

1 Gallery of Literary Character, No. 54. 


and there is no reason why he should wrap it up in a 
napkin. We have already alluded to the universal 
diffusion of his name among us English folk, and its 
trite and ordinary sound in our ears. It is, perhaps, 
more congruous on that account with the station 
which he has chosen to hold in our literature. His 
place there is of the Smiths, Smithish. In his own 
magazine essays, it is a favourite pastime to represent 
Mr. Deputy Higgs of Norton Folgate apeing the 
great, and very much disparaged for the parody. To 
Scott, to Southey, to Wordsworth, to Byron, Smith 
is what this Norton Folgatian is to the gentlemen of 
White's. He is, therefore, well named ; and let him 
not repine at his " compellation," as in former days, 
when, walking in Oxford Street with Wilson Croker, 
he observed over a shop door, "Mortimer Percy, 
tailor." " Is it not too hard," said James, then fresh 
from all the honours of the Rejected Addresses about 
him, "that two such grand and aristocratic names 
should be the lot of a tailor, while two wits and 
gentlemen are moving about the street, afHicted with 
the names of Croker and Smith ? " 

" No — the name is right — ; 
And may the Garrick hail with lonrl acclaims, 
Tor many a year, the gouty jokes of James." 

Among the relics and mementoes preserved at the 
Garrick is a crutch-cane, presented to the club 
by E. G. Clarke, Esq., in 1855, once the property of 
gout-afflicted James Smith, to whom it had been left 
by General Phipps, a member of Lord Mulgrave's 
family, who had purchased it at Venice. 

But James Smith's favourite as well as earliest 
club, was the Union in Trafalgar Square, to which he 
was elected on the 11th of February,1823,his proposer 


and seconder being General Phipps and Mr. Pascoe 
Grenfell, M.P. This club was founded in 1821, for 
politicians of whatever party, mercantile and profes- 
sional nien,together with what James Smith described 
as " gentlemen at large." The army and navy ele- 
ment was then more pronounced in the club than it is 
at present, and there were more peers of the realm. 
Amongst James Smith's contemporaries were Lord 
Athlone, Viscount Gage, Viscount Torrington.the Earl 
of Buckinghamshire, the Hon. F. Bertie, the Rt. Hon. 
W. Huskisson, Sir J. M. Doyle, Sir Henry Rycroft, 
Sir T. Hislop, Sir E. Antrobus, Sir J. Fellows, etc., 

In his latter years, when infirmities were upon 
him, James Smith found the Union most convenient, 
it being only a couple of hundred yards or so from 
Craven Street, a distance that he could just manage 
to compass by means of his crutch-sticks. He used 
to go there at about three o'clock in the afternoon, 
and at six o'clock, when the drawing-room became 
deserted, he adjourned to the dining-room, where he 
usually dined off haunch of mutton or lamb chops, 
when in season, restricting himself to a single half- 
pint of sherry. Then he would convey himself to the 
cozy library on the first floor, and read until nine, 
call for a cup of coffee and a biscuit, continue reading 
until eleven, and home to bed. 

Craven Street, Strand, is one of those old-fashioned 
thoroughfares peculiar to the locality, which lead to 
the river. No. 27, where James Smith lived in the 
evening of his life, is a three-storeyed house, near the 


bottom of the street, on the left-hand side from the 
Strand. It has a curious miniature bow-window on 
the drawing-room floor, and appears to be unaltered. 
This modest establishment was carefully presided 
over by a housekeeper, of whom he wrote : — 

May, 1838. — Mrs. Glover reminded me on Tuesday, 
that on that day she had just been twenty- four years 
ia my service. What a lapse of time ! How different 
was I then from that which I am now ! then a rollick- 
ing, lively, fresh-coloured man of the town, running 
from dinner to rout, and from tavern to opera ; and 
now quiet and contented, with all my social eggs in 
one basket. May the basket never break ! 

Although a confirmed metropolitan in his tastes, 
with little or no liking for " grinding the gravel," as 
he used to call an excursion out of his beloved London, 
he went for many successive summers to Mulgrave 
Castle in Yorkshire, on long visits to Earl Mulgrave 
(the present Marquis of Normanby's grandfather). 
Nearer home, he frequently stayed at Sheen, near 
Guildford, at his friend's the Rev. Torre Holme, to 
whom he bequeathed his well-known portrait by 
Lonsdale, of Berners Street. 

For Chigwell, the scene of his school-days, he 
retained a great affection, and after a lapse of fifty 
years revisited it, jealously noting every change that 
had taken place. He writes — 

Strange that a village should survive, 
For ten years multiplied by five, 
The same ia size and figure. 


Knowing; nor plenty nor distress — 

If foiled by fortune, wliy no less ? 

If favonred, why no bigger 1 1 

Time had not effaced the image of Nancy, the 
pride of Chigwell Row, who so distracted the elder 
Chigwellians in church, for Smith took the trouble to 
seek her out. He writes : — 

I pass the Vicar's white abode 

And pondering gain the upward road, 

By busy thoughts o'erladen, 
To where ' the pride of Chigwell Row ' 
She lives — a handsome widow now, 

As erst a lovely maiden ! ' 

Could James Smith resume this life and look in at 
his old school, he would find there a " Smith " 
dormitory, so called in honour of the authors of 
Bejected Addresses, and on each side of the library fire- 
place he would come face to face with presentments 
of himself and his brother Horace. In the Chigwell 
Kalendar, he would, amongst many important 
entries, come across the dates of his birth and 
death, also those of his brother. In short, he would 
find that it is the tradition of the school to be " very 
proud " of having had a share in the education of the 
Smiths, par nobile fratrum. 

James Smith's patience in suffering was remark- 
able. He bore his ever-increasing attacks of gout 
with great fortitude, seldom alluding to his malady, 
and checking all reference to it on the part of others. 
In the presence of visitors he tried to throw off even 

' Chigwell Revisited. ' Ibid. 


the appearance of invalidism. When he required 
medical advice, he used to dispatch the following 
characteristic bulletin to Dr. Paris. 

27, Craven Street. 
Feverish! please call upon, 

Yours truly, 

James Smith. 

He would not permit even his nearest relations to 
nurse him. The faithful Mrs. Glover was the only- 
person from whom he would accept assistance. 

In the early part of 1839 he was seized with acute 
influenza, which, combined with a very bad attack of 
gout, so completely upset him that his life was 
almost despaired of He recovered, however, for the 
time, and joined his brother Horace at Tunbridge 
Wells, where, though quite crippled, he seemed to 
rally in an extraordinary manner, regaining all the 
buoyancy of his youth, singing, jesting, and laughing 
with his nieces from morning to night. 

Alas ! the candle was only flickering in its socket 
prior to extinction. With the last days of the year, 
though his pain was much lessened, he knew that he 
was approaching his end, which he regarded with 
philosophic resignation. As Christmas Day drew 
near, he rallied for a short period, and thought him- 
self justified in accepting an invitation to dine with 
Dr. Paris on that festive occasion ; but in the mean- 
time, his malady assumed a fatal form, locating in 
the vital organs, and at two o'clock on the morning 
of December 24th he quietly passed away in the 
sixty-fifth year of his age. 


At his own request, he was buried with the utmost 
privacy in the vaults of St. Martin's Church. No 
commemoration tablet marks the house where he 
died, nor does " storied urn or animated bust " any- 
where recall his name. But he is not forgotten ; and 
if it be a merit to have added to the world's store of 
wit, and to have contributed to the innocent happiness 
of hundreds, James Smith lived to some purpose, and 
we should "keep his memory green." 


The later literary works of James and Horace Smith. 

Appaeently contented with the success of his 
contributions to the Rejected Addresses, and wanting 
all motive for serious effort, James Smith henceforth 
produced only what may be regarded as fugitive 

He contributed to the New Monthly Magazine from 
its commencement in 1821 ; and he composed mis- 
cellaneous sketches, etc., in prose and verse, which, 
after his death, were brought together and published 
by his brother. He also wrote the text for Charles 
Mathews' entertainments, the most important of 
which were The Trip to France and The Country 
Cousin. For these he received the handsome sum 
of £1000. They were written in the years 1820 — 
1822 ; but long before, as Mrs. Mathews relates in 
her Memoirs of Mr. Charles Mathews, James Smith 
had been the collaborator of that gifted comedian. 
Says Mrs. Mathews : — 

In the course of this winter, 1808, Mr. Mathews 
conceived the idea of performing An Entertainment ; 
yet, doubting the possibility of one pair of lungs 


being able to furnish strength sufficient for three 
consecutive hours' exertion, " the occasional assist- 
ance of Mrs. Mathews in the vocal department " was 
called in as a make-weight, and as the entertain- 
ment was only intended to be represented in York- 
shire, where I had been always received with 
partiality, such an auxiliary was not altogether 
insignificant to the end desired. 

Our friend, Mr. James Smith, kindly undertook 
to write some songs suitable to Mr. Mathews' 
peculiar powers ; and to link together certain de- 
scriptions which he had heard him give, of eccentric 
characters, manners, and ventriloquy. So excellent 
was the whole, that it proved brilliantly successful ; 
and this first effort of actor and author, after ten 
years became the foundation of that extraordinary 
series of Ai Homes upon which my husband's 
great professional reputation was perfected. Among 
the songs. The Mail Coach and Bartholomew Fair, 
which Mr. Mathews afterwards sung till all playgoers 
were familiar with them, were the most popular; 
and though introduced so long ago, and on every 
possible occasion, they were as Ml of point and 
attraction in the year 1818, as if then heard for the 
first time. . . . How deeply my husband considered 
himself to be indebted to Mr. Smith for connecting 
and applying in so masterly a manner the matter 
which was before him, and for the humorous songs, 
written so admirably to display the original powers 
of the singer, may be imagined. The Mail Coach 
and Bartholomew Fair were the first of their class, 
and might be said, like the two bags of gold, to be 
the fruitful parents of many more, well known to 
the public as belonging peculiarly to Mr. Mathews. 

For this invaluable service Mr. Smith declined 
anything like payment, and would at length only 
allow my husband to present him with some trivial 


remembrance. Mr. Smith's acknowledgment o£ this 
trifle offers so agreeable an evidence of his liberal 
feelings, and his friendship for my husband, that I 
cannot resist inserting it here. 

" Sasinghall Street, 

July 8, 1808. 
Many thanks, my dear sir, for your present. Your 
kindness has caused you to overrate my poor abilities; 
though you do no more than justice to the alacrity 
with which I endeavoured to serve one for whose 
private worth and professional talents I entertain so 
high an esteem. I barely supplied the outline; 
your initiative skill supplied the colouring and 

Had I leisure for the undertaking, I certainly 
should endeavour to exhibit your powers in a more 
dramatic form, and transplant my weak pen from 
the lecture-room to the stage ; but other avocations 
prevent such an attempt. 

It is rather a novel case, that the ' pursuit of the 
law ' should save a man from damnation. 

With best compliments to Mrs. Mathews, believe 

Dear sir, very truly yours, 
James Smith. 
To Charles Mathews, Esq.'' 

Quite different was it with Horace Smith, who, 
although he postponed all serious effort until he 
retired from business, could not keep his pen quite 
idle. The hankering after dramatic fame ever 
strong within him, he wrote, in 1813, a five-act 
comedy entitled First Impressions, or Trade in the 
West; also a farce called The Absent Apothecary, 
the fate of which production, he says, effectually 


cured him of his aspiration to become a play- 

The authorship of the former had been carefully 
kept from all but his friend, Mr. Barron Field, at 
whose chambers he had agreed to dine on the night 
of its first representation. Mr. Langsdorff, an attacM 
of the Bavarian embassy, was present, but he did not 
divine the reason for drinking success " to the new 
play." After dinner the three went together to 
Drury Lane Theatre, and took their places in the 

All went smoothly [says Horace Smith] until the 
delivery of a claptrap speech by one of the actors, to 
the effect that money raised in England for a single 
charity, often exceeded the revenues of a whole 
German principality. " Vot is dat ? " whispered 
Langsdorff to the author ; " does he loff at de Jair- 
mans ? den, I shall damn his May." Whereupon, in 
spite of Field's protestations, he set up a low hiss, 
which presently awakened sympathetic though not 
very alarming echoes in various parts of the house. 
Every playgoer knows that a sound of this sort, like 
a snowball, gathers as it rolls, and that even an 
individual goose seldom fails to obtain sympathizing 
responses from his own flock. At first no particular 
effect was produced, but the unpacified German, con- 
tinuing to renew the experiment, succeeded at length 
in establishing a decided opposition. 

The unfortunate author, sitting upon thorns, but 
endeavouring to look particularly comfortable, when 
the fate of the comedy seemed doubtful, sought to 
avoid suspicion by venturing now and then on a 


gentle sibillation, delivered sotto voce, more in sorrow 
than in anger, and with the natural tenderness of a 
father correcting his own child. But, as the clamour 
became louder, and the failure of the play appeared 
more certain, his anxiety to escape detection was 
pushed to such nervous excess that he even com- 
menced a vociferous cry of " Off! Off ! " Presently, 
however, a change came over the spirit of the house ; 
two or three scenes in succession had won manifest 
favour, and when the author, still more excited by 
some fresh but very partial signs of disapprobation, 
would have renewed the cry which Langsdorff was 
ever ready to commence, it was put down by still 
louder and more clamorous exclamations of " Silence ! 
turn them out ! turn them, out ! " Peremptory as was 
the mandate, the playwright gratefully obeyed it, 
and even his German neighbour was compelled to 
hold his tongue ; the piece was given out for repeti- 
tion without a dissentient voice. It was acted 
twenty nights successively, and though possessing 
but little merit, it could claim the distinction of 
being the first instance (since the days of the 
Countess of Macclesfield and Savage) where the 
condemnation of the offspring has been eagerly 
sought by its own parent. 

But Horace Smith was not cured of his craving 
for fame as a playwriter, until the following episode 
occurred. He was about to bring out a farce, the 
great success of which was so confidently predicted 
by the performers during the rehearsals, and more 
especially by his friend Tom Dibdin, himself an 


experienced dramatist, that the author, in an un- 
lucky hour, consented to the insertion of a notice in 
the Morning Chronicle, assigning to him the author- 
ship of the forthcoming piece, entitled The Absent 

Horace Smith, however, had his own misgivings 
on the subject. Writing to his friend Horace Twiss, 
he says : — 

Deae Twiss, 

Black Fate hangs o'er me, and the avenging 
gods. Will you witness my damnation to-morrow 
night, which they desire me to expect ? 

I wish you would go, you are a good laugher, 
though I do not promise that you ought to laugh. 

Yours truly, 

H. Smith. 
Tuesday night. 

That he might witness his anticipated triumph in 
comfort without being seen, Mr. Raymond gave him 
admission to his own private box • at Drury Lane, 
which adjoined the corner of the two-shilling gallery, 
where the playwright took his seat. From the com- 
mencement there was a furious contest between the 
supporters and the assailants of the new piece ; and 
during a lull in the uproar. Smith heard a savage- 
looking fellow in the gallery close to his elbow, 
exclaim to a friend of the same stamp, " I say, Jack, 
if I could get hold of the precious ass that wrote 
the rubbish, I'm blessed if I wouldn't take and 
chuck him right over." Not having the least wish 
to be thrown overboard by the gallery gods, the 


author quietly left the box and stole down-stairs, 
believing that, if discovered, he would be torn in 
pieces by the dissentients, so furious had they 

On reaching the outside of the theatre, and 
finding himself shrouded in friendly darkness, he 
felt as if he had just saved his life, and was hasten- 
ing away, when an irresistible desire to learn the 
fate of his bantling drew his step backwards to the 
stage-door. Nobody being there, he crept in, un- 
observed, and stealing to the rear of the building 
where a solitary lamp just served to make the 
darkness visible, stationed himself beneath it, 
listening to the loud conflict that agitated the 
invisible audience. While thus occupied, two scene- 
shifters approached his retreat, and recognizing him, 
for they had frequently seen him at the rehearsals, 
one said to the other in a pitying and patronizing 
tone, "Tell you what, mate; I shouldn't mind 
betting a pot of porter that this here farce looks up 
a'ter all." 

Far from being consoled by the opinion of these 
discriminating critics, the author felt so humiliated 
by their commiseration that he again left the 
theatre, and betook himself to the coffee-room of 
the Hummums, where his brother had appointed to 
meet him and communicate the final decision of the 
audience. Soon did the herald appear, but with a 
sinister and flushed expression. The farce had been 
most unequivocally condemned ! 

Next morning, as he was threading his way 


through unfrequented streets for fear of encountering 
any of his acquaintances, his eye glanced upon a 
play-bill before which he stood transfixed, for it 
announced a second performance of The Absent 
Apothecary. There it was in huge red letters, 
which appeared to grow in size as he rubbed his 
eyes and looked again and again. Then he ran to 
Golden Square, where lived the stage-manager, 
whom he luckily found at home. 

" Surely, sir, this must be some dreadful mistake," 
was his ejaculation as soon as he recovered breath 
enough for speech. 

" No, indeed, my friend, no mistake whatever ; all 
right, all right." 

" All right ! I thought my unfortunate farce was 
unequivocally condemned last night ? " 

"So it was. "With all my experience, I have 
seldom seen a hostile opinion so very decidedly and 
generally expressed." 

"In the name of heaven, then, why have you 
announced it for repetition ? " 

" On that very account ; for the public will be so 
very indignant at seeing it brought forward again, 
that they will come by hundreds to confirm their 
sentence — there will be a famous uproar as soon as 
it begins — I shall then go forward as manager, and 
pledge myself to its withdrawal, and by this means, 
you see, we shall be sure of a bumper." 

" And so for your bumper house, for which I don't 
get a farthing, I am to undergo a second martyr- 


The manager gave a shrug of the shoulders, not 
less significant than Lord Burleigh's celebrated 
shake of the head. 

Horace Smith took his departure, vowing that he 
would never again attempt to write for the stage ; 
and he kept his word. 

In 1825, when Horace Smith returned from 
Versailles, some of his miscellaneous pieces were 
collected, and, under the title of Gaieties and 
Gravities, were published by Henry Colburn. 

After a brief sojourn in London he went to 
Tunbridge Wells, where he lived for three years at 
Mount Edgcombe Cottage, and wrote Brambletye 
House, published by Henry Colburn in 1826. In 
this historical novel, he availed himself of romantic 
incidents connected with the Cromwellian and 
Restoration period of English history , and largely 
helped in developing a taste for that particular style 
in tales of adventure. 

It is of course a truism that Sir Walter Scott had 
previously, in 1822, introduced it in Feveril of the 
Peak, and when Horace Smith forwarded to Scott a 
copy of Brambletye House he modestly admitted that 
his intention in writing that book was to follow in 
the footsteps of the Master of romance. 

Brighton, 5, Hanover Orescent, 
July 4, 1826. 


As I never proposed any other object to 
myself, in my novel of Brambletye House, than to 
produce a humble imitation of that style which you 



have so successfully introduced into the department 
of literature, I was so far gratified by the sale of the 
first two editions, as it proved that I had made some 
little approach towards my model. The call for a 
third I believe to be mainly attributable to the 
generous notice which you condescended to take of 
me in the Preface to Woodstock, for which I should 
sooner have taken the liberty to address you with 
my thanks, but that I waited to request your accept- 
ance of a copy. Eequesting you to do me the favour 
of now accepting it, I have the honour to be, with 
the most unfeigned admiration of your talents, 
Your obliged and obedient humble servant, 

Horatio Smith. 

Scott, on the other hand, in the Preface to which 
Horace Smith alludes, gracefully states that Bram^ 
Metye House might, to a certain extent, claim priority 
over his own work : — 

"Hawks," we say in Scotland, " ought not to pick out 
hawk's eyes," or live upon each other's quarry ; and, 
therefore, if I had known that, in its date and in its 
characters, this tale was likely to interfere with that 
recently published by a distinguished contemporary, 
I should unquestionably have left Doctor Roche- 
clifife's manuscript in peace' for the present season. 
But before I was aware of this circumstance, this 
little book was half through the press ; and I had 
only the alternative of avoiding any intentional 
imitation by delaying a perusal of the contemporary 
work in question. 

Some accidental collision there must be, when 
works of a similar character are finished on the same 
general system of historical manners, and the same 


historical personages are introduced. Of course, if 
such have occurred, I shall be probably the sufferer. 
But ray intentions have been at least innocent, since 
I look on it as one of the advantages attending the 
conclusion of Woodstock, that the finishing of my 
own task will permit me to have the pleasure of 
reading Brambletye House, from which I have hitherto 
conscientiously abstained. 

Sir Walter kept his word to the letter; in his 
Diary we read : — 

'25, Pall Mall, Oct. 17, 1826. 
I read with interest during my journey. Sir John 
CMverton and Brambletye Hoiose. . . . They are 
both clever books ; — one in imitation of the days of 
chivalry — the other (by Horace Smith, one of the 
authors of Rejected Addresses) dated in the time of 
the Civil Wars, and introducing historical characters. 

Later, in the same Diary, Sir Walter Scott admits, 
with amusing naivete, his own undetected sins as 
regards cribbing, while condemning its undisguised 
practice by others. 

October, 1826. 
Another thing in my favour is that my contem- 
poraries steal too openly. Mr. Smith has inserted 
in Brambletye House whole pages from De Foe's Fire 
and Plague of London. Steal ! foh ! a fico for the 
phrase — Convey, the wise it call ! When I convey 
an incident or so, I am at as much pains to avoid 
detection as if the offence could be indicted at the 
Old Bailey.i 

1 Lockhart's Memoirs of the Life of Sir W. Scott, 1837. 


In his excursions about Tunbridge Wells, Horace 
Smith came across a ruined mansion in Ashdown 
Forest, Sussex, that had been dismantled by Crom- 
well's troops. Years afterwards it had been set fire 
to by a half-crazy woman ; and as there happened to 
be an unsuspected store of gunpowder in the cellars, 
the house was blown up. Horace Smith took this 
spot as the scene of his book, to which it gave the 
title, and introduced the incident of the explosion. 
The romanticism inseparable from the Elizabethan 
and Carolian age always had a peculiar fascination 
for him ; and his friend, Cyrus Redding, was right in 
regarding a visit they paid together to Penshurst as 
the determining cause of Horace Smith's adoption 
of this interesting style. 

Brambletye House long retained its popularity, and 

has frequently been republished. Apropos of this 

novel, Horace Smith, writing to Mr. S. C. Hall in 

reference to a MS. he had sent to the Hew Monthly 

Magazine, says: — 

October 17, 1831. 
10, Hanover Crescent. 

I am sorry you should deem the smallest apology 
necessary for returning my MS., a duty which 
every editor must occasionally exercise towards all 
his contributors. From my domestic habits and 
love of occupation I am always scribbling, often 
without due consideration of what I am writing, and 
I only wonder that so many of my frivolities have 
found their way into print. With this feeling, I am 
always grateful towards those who save me from 
committing myself, and acquiesce very willingly in 
their decisions. In proof of this, I will mention a 


fact of which I am rather proud. Mr. Colbum had 
agreed to give me £500 for the first novel I wrote, 
and had announced its appearance, when, a mutual 
friend who looked over the MS. having expressed 
an unfavourable opinion of it, I threw it in the fire, 
and wrote BramMetye House instead. Let me not 
omit to mention, to the credit of Mr. G, that, upon 
the unexpected success of that work, he subsequently 
presented me with an additional £100. 

Yours very truly, 

Horatio Smith. 

Robert Smith criticized Brambletye Souse in his 
Journal as follows : — 

(1829) I have omitted to notice ia its proper 
place that early in the present year my son Horace 
published a little work in three duodecimo volumes, 
called Brambletye Souse, or Cavaliers and Boundheads. 
It has hit the public taste, and has had a great run. 

For my own part, I do not much relish these 
" historical novels," in which truths are so much mixed 
up with fiction as to confound the unsuspecting 
reader. Besides, Horace has too often erred in 
giving to some of his characters the vulgar habit of 
swearing, etc., a fault which will not fail to give 
offence to serious characters, without having in it 
anything to please the light and thoughtless. I 
have hinted to him my opinion upon this defect; 
though I do not perceive that any of his critical 
reviewers have noticed it. 

Stimulated by the success of Brambletye So^ise, 
its author produced in the same year The Tor Sill, 
also published by Henry Colbum. This deals with 
the Reformation period, and the scene is laid in the 


neighbourhood of Glastonbury Abbey. Although 
interesting, it bears traces of hasty writing, and 
deserves the verdict pronounced by its author's 
father: — 

Towards the present month (October), my son 
Horace published another book in three volumes 
duodecimo, called The Tor Hill. In my opinion, it 
comes out too soon after Bramhletye House. Authors 
should take sufficient time for digesting their plans 
and correcting errors. In this respect Horace has 
forgotten the advice of his Latin namesake, 
Nonwmqm prematur in annum. He has not taken 
as many months. 

There was no second edition of The Tor Hill, but 
it was translated into French by Defauconpret of 

Beuhen Apsley, an historical novel of the time of 
James II., followed in 1827 ; and in the course of 
the next year came Zillah, a Tale of the Holy City. 
They were both brought out by Colburn, and of the 
latter work there were two editions and a French 

Horace Smith, in a letter to Cyrus Redding, says 
(in the postscript) : — 

Will you tell Colburn, when you see him, that 
Zillah is the most appropriate name he could choose 
for my novel ? I find that lady was the mother of 
Tubal Cain, the first of the Smiths, and, of course, 
the founder of my family. Perhaps the circumstance 
was in his eye when he pitched upon Zillah. 

Zillah is an admirable presentation of the momen- 
tous incidents that occurred at Jerusalem during 

" ZILLAH " 263 

the three years preceding the capture of the Holy 
City by Herod (about 37 B.C.). 

It was violently attacked in the Quarterly Maga- 
zine, and its detractors maintained that it was but 
an imitation of Croly's Salathiel. This assertion 
was ridiculous, as the two books were writtert 
simultaneously ; but as Salathiel appeared first, the 
publication of ZiJ^ah was deferred, Horace Smith 
remarking in his advertisement — 

Considering that the scene is often identical, and 
the area nearly so, there are perhaps not so many 
coincidences between the two novels as might have 
been expected; and though the author of the present 
work, willing to avoid any immediate comparison, 
still less any appearance of competition, with the 
powerful writer of Salathiel, postponed its publica- 
tion, he has not thought it necessary to make any 
alteration in its pages beyond a few trifling omissions. 

After Zillah came The New Forest (1829), a work 
dedicated to William Heseltine of Turret House, 
Lambeth; to the following year (1830) belongs 
Walter Colyton, a tale of the Eevolution of 1688, 
the scene being laid near Bridgwater in Somerset. 
To 1830 belongs also The Midsummer Medley (a 
series of comic tales), and Festivals, Games, and 
Amusements, Ancient and Modern, which went 
through two editions in England, and one in New 
York. In 1832 appeared Tales of the Early Ages, 
and, in 1835, Gale Middleton. The Tin Trum;pet, 
published under a pseudonym in 1836, was repro- 
duced in 1869 by Bradbury, Evans, and Co., with 


the author's real name attached by permission of 
the family. This, an amusing and well-thought-out 
medley, alphabetically arranged, is one of his best 

In 1838 came Jane Lomax, a tale of modem times, 
based upon the commission of a fraud, on which 
James Smith makes the following criticism : — 

But there is another legal objection. Lomax^ was, if 
I remember right, appointed executor under the will. 
He must in that capacity have possessed the probate, 
and could not make a copy. Again I have my 
doubts whether Lomax's crime was capital. It did 
not consist in forging the testator's handwriting, but 
in putting before him a false or substituted will for 
his signature ; a fraud punishable, perhaps, with 
transportation ; but not a forgery. The interest, at 
the close, would have been much better worked-up 
by a trial at law, or an indictment at the Old Bailey 
— Lomax in the dock, trembling as the proofs 
accumulated, and urged to " flare up " by his indig- 
nant helpmate. The will might have been set 
aside, and the man from abroad might have married 
the virtuous daughter. The wind-up with two old 
maids is an anti-climax. 

People who write works of fiction are not bound 
to know the law, but in forming their catastrophes 
they should apply to those who do. I could have 
helped my brother to as pretty a law scene as you 
shall see on a summer's day. 

In 1840 Horace Smith edited Oliver Cromwell, an 
historical novel, wherein the Lord Protector's por- 
trait is drawn, to use the words of the preface, by 

1 The perpetrator of the fraud. 


"a friendly hand." His interest in Cromwell had 
been greatly increased by the fact of his having 
handled and examined the Protector's skull, in the 
possession of a medical man whom he knew, who 
was not only quite satisfied as to its identity, but 
believed — and persuaded Horace Smith to believe — 
that it had been blown down from the porch of 
Westminster Hall, and picked up by the sentry, 
who disposed of it to the Russell family. 

In 1841 Horace Smith wrote The Moneyed Man, 
or. The Lesson of a Life, which went through two 
editions ; and in 1842 he edited Masaniello, an 
Historical Romance. In 1843 he produced Adam 
Brown, the Merchant, and in 1844 Arthur Arundel, 
a Tale of the English Revolution. In the latter year 
appeared Imitations of Celebrated Authors, Charles 
Lamb, etc., two of the pieces in the book being by 
Horace Smith. In 1845 he penned his last work. 
Love and Mesmerism; and in 1846 his Poetical 
Works, collected for the first time, were published 
in two volumes.^ 

Although best known as a writer of prose fiction, 
Horace Smith established a reputation as an able, 
graceful, and above all, a natural poet. His verse is 
remarkable for variety in style and subject, and, as 
one might expect, is tinctured by a tendency to the 
humorous. He excelled in the class of versification 
midway between the serious and the comic, of which 

1 Amarynth/M the Nympholet, a Pastoral Drama, with other 
Poem, (1821), has been mentioned in the notice of Shelley, 
Chap. XV. 


his Address to a Mummy in JBelzoni's Exhibition is a 
good example. 

One of the stanzas runs thus : — 

Perchance that very hand now pinioned flat, 
Has hob-a-nobbed with Pharaoh, glass to glass ; 

Or dropp'd a half-penny in Homer's hat ; 
Or Qoif'd thine own to let Queen Dido pass ; 

Or held, by Solomon's own invitation, 

A torch at the great temple's dedication. 

His life-long friendship with Campbell aroused 
his deepest feelings on the occasion of the poet's 
funeral in Poet's Corner, Westminster Abbey, 
when the pall was held by six noblemen, and noted 
men of every shade of varjdng opinions stood round 
the grave. 

Thus sings Horace Smith of Campbell's burial : — 

Around his grave in radiant brotherhood, 

As if to form a halo o'er his head, 
Not few of England's master-spirits stood, 
Bards, artists, sages, reverently led 
To waive each separating plea 
Of sect, clime, party, and degree, 
All honouring him on whom Nature all honours 

Altogether, in prose and verse, Horace Smith 
published more than fifty volumes. 



Brighton in the "twenties," "thirties," and "forties" — 
Horace Smith at Brighton. 

Most of Horace Smith's novels were written at 
Brighton, where, after leaving Tunbridge Wells in 
1826, he resided until his death. 

He could hardly have made a better selection 
than Brighton, for, until the railway from London 
began to bring down visitors by thousands and tens 
of thousands, it was a delightfully quiet place, yet 
justly boasting of society as bright and interesting 
as any to be found throughout the kingdom. In the 
season (summer) there was a fair amount of gaiety : 
public balls and assemblies; breakfast, tea, and 
card-parties ; performances at the theatre ; bands of 
music on the Steine ; everywhere liveliness suffi- 
cient to compensate for the comparative dulness of 
the town during the rest of the year. 

The city man of to-day, comfortably breakfasting 
in the Pullman car, as the train conveys him from 
Brighton to the scene of his work at the rate of 
some five-and-forty miles an hour, finds it hard to 



realize that, not so very long ago, such a thing was 
an unheard-of possibility. A couple of hours at 
the outside now takes him from his sea-side home 
to his city office, and ten shillings covers the cost 
of a first-class return ticket. 

In 1827 private travelling was a luxury, and 
when old Robert Smith drove his wife down from 
Wandsworth to Brighton to see his son Horace, the 
expenses on the road there and back amounted to 
not less than £20 10s. 8d.} and, as they slept at 
Crawley, the journey occupied about twenty-four 
hours each way. Few persons could afford either 
this expenditure or this delay. The coach was much 
quicker, but slow enough from our point of view; 
and even the Government contract speed with John 
Palmer in 1836 for the mails was but six miles 
an hour, subsequently increased to ten and a half. 
Nevertheless, during the " twenties," " thirties,'' and 
"forties," there were many admirably appointed, 
well-horsed, and well-driven private coaches that 
did the distance from Brighton to the Metropolis in 
five or six hours along good roads, and, so far as it 
was possible, the service was perfect. It must have 
been well patronized, as sixteen coaches ran daily 
throughout the year, and it is recorded with pride 
that, on one day in October 1833, nearly five hundred 
visitors arrived by these popular conveyances. 

The average fare, fifteen shillings (inside passen- 
gers), seems low, but to this were added numerous 

1 The charge of an uncomfortable post-chaise was about 
two shillings per mile with many extras. 


tips, the cost of hackney-coaches to and from the 
point of arrival and departure, and last, but not least, 
the expense of eating and drinking — a necessity, 
as the start was usually at seven or eight o'clock in 
the morning. Good opportunity was afforded for re- 
freshment at " The Cock," Sutton, Croydon, Reigate, 
Crawley, and Hand-Cross, when excellent ginger- 
bread, and Hollands that had not always been inter- 
viewed by the Excise, could be had. At Staplefield 
Common — a few miles nearer Brighton — a grand 
halt as a rule was called for a more substantial 
repast, which generally took the form of rabbit- 
pudding. Mrs. Glasse (1765) does not give any 
recipe for this famous local delicacy, although she 
mentions various strange meat puddings, one being 
composed of salt-pork, and another of a mixture of 
sheep's liver chopped up fine with suet, sweet herbs, 
nutmeg, pepper, and anchovy.^ 

Soon after he went to Brighton, Horace Smith be- 
came the tenant of No. 10, Hanover Crescent, a group 
of two-storeyed houses, facing the Level, and close to 
where the road to Lewes begins. The crescent stood 
in what was in those days the most northerly 
suburb of the town, and was almost rural. To the 
east and north were the open downs, unbuilt upon, 
and the walk to the sea-front by way of the Level 

1 I am able to give, for tlie benefit of my lady-readers, the 
following recipe for mutton-pudding: — Use the short bones 
from the neck, or what is commonly called the skirting. Add 
mushrooms, when in season, a sweet crust, and boil in basin. 
Sometimes a rabbit is put with the mutton. 


and the North Steine might, without much exag- 
geration, have been described as " countrified." 

At that time there existed no sea-wall. Marine 
Parade, Junction Parade, Madeira Road, or King's 
Eoad in the well-kept form we know. There were 
no tastefully-laid-out gardens or marine lawns ; the 
Pavilion was a royal residence, and the grounds were 
strictly private and inaccessible ; therefore, the Chain 
Pier was the favourite place for promenaders. 

Arundel Terrace, Kemp Town, was the ultima 
thule of Brighton in the east. To the west, the old 
battery, with its flagstaff, cannons, and pyramids of 
shot, was a conspicuous object, and always attracted 
the young folks. About half-a-mile beyond, Bruns- 
wick Square, or, at the furthest, Adelaide Crescent 
and Palmyra Square, marked the western boundary 
of Brighton proper. From the fields to the north of 
the Square might be seen, a mile or so off, the out- 
lying village of Hove, the intervening space dotted 
with farms and a few houses. Neither Cliftonville 
nor Prestonville had been thought of by the most 
speculative of builders. St. Peter's Church on the 
Level was approaching completion and consecration. 
The Royal York was the fashionable hotel ; the 
Albion had not long been opened; the Old Ship, 
and the New Ship adjoining, were flourishing con^ 
cerns ; but the famous old Castle Tavern had been 
pulled down a few years before. Huge caravan- 
saries, such as the Metropole and the Grand, were 

The population of Brighton was about 40,000, and 


its vast extension, especially towards the setting sun, 
was a thing of the future ; yet who shall say that 
some prophet, regarded by his friends as a harmless 
lunatic, did not foresee with the eye of faith the 
" Queen of English watering-places " spread out 
beyond even its present limits, embracing Portslade, 
Southwick, and intervening open spaces, until the 
river Adur at New Shoreham alone checked the 
advance of brick and mortar ? 

In those pre-railway days (i. e. ante 1841), when 
everybody knew everybody, there were many in- 
teresting and original characters to be found at 
Brighton. First in importance, perhaps, was the 
Master of the Ceremonies, who, for the modest 
salary of £1000 a-year, presided at all the fashion- 
able balls given at the Old Ship. Lieut.-Colonel 
John Eld had been appointed, in 1828, to this 
responsible post, and held it until his death in 1855, 
when the office of M.C. was abolished. He used to 
keep a book at the Libraries (as did also Dickens's 
immortal Angelo Cyrus Bantam, Esq., M.C. of Bath), 
in which the residents and visitors, who aspired to 
be fashionable, were supposed to enter their names. 
In the case of strangers, a formal introduction to 
the M.C. gave them an eiiMe to all entertainments 
over which he held sway. But customs were already 
quickly changing. Lady patronesses with " vouchers " 
supplanted this method of introduction ; and, by the 
time the railway appeared, Colonel Eld's duties had 
become nominal. He was a singular man, and as 
he walked down the parade in his characteristic 


dress, of which a well-starched neck-cloth was a 
prominent feature, he looked, as he probably felt 
himself to be, "master," not only of the "cere- 
monies," but, potentially, of all Brighton. 

Though not a resident. Sir St. Vincent Cotton, 
the prince of amateur whips, was as well known as 
anybody. He was a Cambridgeshire baronet, and a 
descendant of Cotton, the collector of MSS. He 
lost two fortunes at the gambling-table, inherited a 
third, and settled down at Madingley Hall, near 
Cambridge. His coach, the " Age," its horses and 
its fittings, were unique ; even the horse-cloths were 
edged with broad silver lace ! 

One of the hdbituis of Bedford's Club House on 
the South Parade on the Steine, carried on by a 
Mr. Wiick, formerly in the establishment of the 
Prince Regent, was General Sir William Keir Grant, 
an old traveller and thorough man of the world, who 
had lost his right arm in a duel. He was overflowing 
with curious anecdotes and traveller's tales. Once 
he called upon a newly-married couple on their 
return from their honeymoon trip to Italy, and 
asked the fair but inexperienced bride how she liked 
Venice. " I was very much delighted," she replied, 
" but, to be sure, we timed our arrival most unluckily, 
for, only fancy, the place was flooded all the week 
we were there, and we had to go about in a 
boat ! " 

Of Brighton clergymen (barring the Eev. F. W. 
Robertson), the two Andersons, James and Robert, 
were perhaps the most notable. Robert Anderson 


was of a very shy, retiring disposition, and his staid, 
still demeanour did little to betray the strong under- 
current of humour in his character. He loved to 
relate the following anecdote. It appears he had 
occasion to superintend the outside repairs of his 
chapel, when, amongst other improvements, a coat- 
ing of mastic had been applied with good effect. 
One of his churchwardens, a highly respectable but 
rather illiterate individual, was much struck by the 
improved appearance of the frontage, and in a most 
impressive and eulogistic manner, thus expressed 
himself: — " I'll tell you what, Mr. Anderson, now that 
you have finished masticating your chapel, I shall 
follow your example, and masticate my house ! " 

Local journalism was well represented by Mr. 
William Fleet, for whom Horace Smith always had 
a sincere regard. Mr. Fleet was the proprietor and 
editor of the Brighton Herald, founded in 1806 as 
the advocate of rational liberal principles. In its 
youth it was distinguished as the paper par excel- 
lence for its quickness in making known to the pub- 
lic some of the most important events in European 
history. The Herald was the first to proclaim the 
escape of Napoleon from Elba. The news of the 
French Revolution of 1830 was received by the 
Herald in advance of all other journals ; and " slips " 
were forwarded from its office to the London Times 
the same night. Eighteen years later, the earliest 
announcement of Louis Philippe's arrival at New- 
haven as a fugitive, was made by this well-informed 


As regards professional men, Brighton was always 
well supplied, and in 1849 there must have been 
quite seventy-five physicians, etc., in practice, many 
of them eminently skilful. 

Of solicitors there were not many, Brighton being 
a non-litigious town. 

Art was represented by Sir Martin A. Shee, who, 
in 1850, was President of the Royal Academy. 

In characters in the humbler walks of life Brighton 
was rich, and to Horace Smith they formed a con- 
stant and amusing study. 

Male "bathers" and female "dippers" — successors 
of the Smoaker brothers, Mrs. Cobby, and Martha 
Gunn, queen of the bathing-machines — still existed, 
and did a roaring trade in the season. The bathing- 
women, in quaint costume, continued the practice of 
presenting their cards to visitors arriving by coach 
at Castle Square. 

Mr. Matthews, the pier-master, was a well-known 
figure ; and everybody who used the Pier made the 
acquaintance of the B^attys, pire, mdre, etfille (originals 
of the type that Dickens sketched), who were in 
rough weather frequently washed out of their rooms 
at the toll-house, always to return, however, with 
renewed energy to minister to the wants of their 
patrons and Mends. 

Then there was "Jonathan," the celebrated 
billiard-player, who used to exhibit his skill in one 
of the streets leading from the Marine Parade to 
James Street, where, too, could generally be seen 
a curious well-dressed little man, who went by the 


soubriquet of ''Badger" — why, no one seemed to 

In a small cottage standing on a common, midway 
between Kemp Town and Eastern Terrace, dwelt a 
singular character named Murray, who, because of 
his reticence concerning his early career, was as- 
sumed to have been a smuggler. He did a splendid 
business in the sale of agate, pebbles, and all those 
curios with which a visitor returning from the sea- 
side deemed it the correct thing to load himself 

Everybody in Brighton knew Sake Deen Mahomed, 
a native of the East, who introduced into the town 
the art of shampooing. His private baths were 
largely patronized, and his fame was enshrined in 
verse by James Smith, and in prose by Horace. 
The former, in an Ode to Mahomet, the Brighton 
Shampooer, thus addresses him : — 

thou dark sage, whose vapour bath 
Makes muscular as his of Gath 

Limbs erst relax'd and limber ; 
Whose herbs, like those of Jason's mate, 
The wither'd leg of seventy-eight — 

Convert to stout hnee timber, 

Sprung, doubtless from Abdallah's son, 
Thy miracles thy sire's outrun, 

TThy cures his deaths outnumber ; 
His coffin soars 'twixt heav'n and earth, 
But thou, within that narrow berth, 

Immortal, ne'er shall slumber.^ 

Lastly, among other "originals" at Brighton, I 
will single out a vendor of brandy-balls, who, clad in 
spotless white, and wearing a kind of fez which 
1 He lived to be a centenarian. 


enhanced his Jewish appearance, with a long curl of 
black hair plastered down on each side of his face, 
used to perambulate the quieter squares and terraces 
every evening at dusk, singing in a melodious voice 
of the mysterious confection, which, it may be pre- 
sumed, was of home manufacture. He was a con- 
stant source of wonderment, especially to young 

As early as 1830, the bourgeois element had begun 
to show itself amongst the visitors to Brighton. 
Horace Smith, describing the visit of a certain Clio 
Grub, puif provider for Warner's blacking, tells us 

To Brighton he went and secured a retreat 
In the pebble-built house of a narrow back street, 
With a staring bow-window to let him explore 
What was passing in either bow- window next door. 

And he represents the civic visitant to Brighton as 
singing — 

On the Downs you are like an old jacket 

Hung up in the sunshine to dry ; 
In the town you are all in a racket, 

With donkey-cart, whiskey, and fly. 
We have seen the Chain-Pier, Devil's Dyke, 

The Chalybeate Spring, Rottingdean, 
And the Royal Pagoda, how like 

Those bedaub'd on a tea-board or screen ! 

But it is James Smith who has left us the best 
description of a London tradesman's experience in a 
Brighton lodging-house of that period. It is contained 
in a letter supposed to be written by the " cit.'s " 
daughter, Louisa Thompson, to a friend in London: — 


We have got a nice lodging ia North Street, com- 
manding a romantic view of all the passengers inside 
and out, as they alight from the New York Safety- 
Coach. All the beauty and fashion of Brighton pass 
our door. Munden ^ went by yesterday leaning on his 
stick, and Incledon ^ this morning. The latter talks 
of leaving us, because Mr. Munn, of the Golden Cross 
Inn here, would not let him amuse the Royal Catch 
and Glee Club, by singing all the parts in Glorious 
Apollo. Mr. Munn offered him either treble, second, 
or bass, but the veteran determined to have all or 
none. If we do not return with a stock of health, 
which, properly invested, shall last us for life, it will 
be no fault of papa's. Before it is well daylight, he 
thumps at our chamber-doors with his stick, and 
calls out, " Come girls, come girls, nobody lies a-bed 
at the sea-side." No sooner are we down than he 
walks us off up the East Cliff as hard as we can 
trot, and ia the course of our walk is sure to en- 
counter three or four fat, red-faced men of his 
acquaintance (all papa's acquaintance are fat and 
red-faced); and when the elderly worthies have 
arrived opposite the Snake Houses, they stand 
open-mouthed to catch the sea-air, for all the world 
as if they were singing Come if you dare to those 
horrid Roman Catholics, the French, on the opposite 
coast, at a place they call Dip, because people go 
there to bathe. . . . Papa asked young Withers to 
dine with us to-day. He drove up in such a dash- 
ing fly ! The dinner was very bad ; a sprawling bit 
of bacon upon a tumbled bed of greens ; two gigantic 
antediluvian fowls, bedaubed with parsley and butter, 
a brace of soles that perished from original inability 
to flounder into the ark, and the fossil remains of a 
dead sirloin of beef. I had no appetite, and had 

1 The actor. ^ The well-known singer. 


just impressed our visitor with a notice of the deli- 
cacy of my stomach, when Mrs. Anderson bawled out 
from the bottom of the table, " Sir, you should have 
seen her at luncheon peg away at the prawns ! " 

Horace Smith seldom let slip an opportunity to 
recommend to his friends the watering-place he 
found so congenial. 

Writing to Charles Mathews in 1828 from Han- 
over Crescent, he says : — 

Don't pretend to be indifferent to excitement, you 
know you cannot live without it. Almost all pro- 
fessors (like the house-painters and chimney- 
sweepers) have their own peculiar diseases, the his- 
trionic malady being an insatiable craving for 
stimulants of some sort, and the most successful 
performers being generally the most subject to the 
complaint. I have elsewhere said : — 

That if one tolerable page appears 

In Folly's volume, 'tis tlie actor's leaf. 
Who dries his own by drawing; others' tears, 
And raising present mirth makes glad his future years. 

But this must have been said for the sake of the 
rhyme, for my reason knew well enough that, even 
if it were true as to tragedians (which I doubt), the 
comic actor generally saddens himself by enlivening 
others, a fact which has been abundantly confirmed 
from the day of the celebrated Italian JBuffone down 
to our own. This may seem rather hard, as he 
reverses the fate of many a poet, who dies to live, 
while the performer — 

His life a flash, his memory a dream, 
Oblivious, downward drops in Lethe's stream, 


as soon as ever the breath is out of his body. You 
must recollect, amico mio, that he has his apotheosis 
while he is living, and a glorious one it is. Take, 
for instance, " Mathews' at Home " ; his theatre 
crowded to the ceiling, himself the focus of thou- 
sands of riveted eyes, and holding such an absolute 
power of fascination over the passions of his audi- 
ence that at a single bidding they shall either melt 
into tears or burst into roars of irrepressible laughter, 
while the whole building seems to vibrate with their 
tumultuous applause. Is not this an apotheosis ? 
and is there any mortal society, or resource, that 
will not appear stale, flat, and unprofitable, after 
such a deification ? This is the feeling, coupled 
with the lassitude occasioned by over-exertion, both 
mental and bodily, that creates the craving for 
stimulants, which the sufferers have too often sought 
in the bottle, the dice-box, or in reckless dissipation. 
How natural, I had almost said how venial, is the 
mistake, and yet how little indulgence does the 
public evince even for errors of its own creation. 
We are like weak mothers, who spoil their children 
and then whip them for being spoilt. ... It is the 
want of this hobby that makes you so fidgety and 
nervous when you are absent from home; and 
Brighton only finds more favour in your eyes than 
other places, because it is more gay and stimulant, 
and offers more numerous substitutes for the museum. 
How often have I heard you exclaim, "There is 
nothing out of London like Brighton in the season. 
The whole town is a fair. If I lean out of my 
window at the Old Ship, I nod or chat to every fifth 
man that passes. If I mount my little white nag, 
and ride from Kemp Town to Brunswick Terrace, 
I am sure of half-a-dozen invitations to dinner. 
This I call enjoying life. ..." 


Writing to Mathews in the same year, Horace 
Smith says : — 

Our fiery friend, " the Copper Captain," saw 
you last Wednesday, told you he was coming to 
Brighton, and yet you neither charged him with 
message or missive for me. How is this ? Are you 
in a pet with my last letter ? with my last letter 
wherein I took you sharply to task for asserting that 
you did not require excitement more than other 
men? Luckily, you were never sulky — to little 
fumes and peevish outbreaks you will hardly deny 
your liability ; but as these never last longer than 
" one with moderate haste may count a hundred," 
do let me hear from you soon, " if thou lovest me, 

To put you in good humour again, I must tell you 
that Mahommed yesterday pointed out to a friend of 
mine a suspended crutch, which he averred to have 
been yours, and that he had enabled you to throw it 
away by shampooing you ! There ! if this assertion 
of your restored equigravity does not restore your 
equanimity, nothing will ! So don't get into a 
passion, or you never will get out. 

The following is a letter, on the subject of his 
novel, Walter Golyton, to his old friend, Thomas Hill 
(see Chapter XIX.) : — 

Brighton, 19i/i March, 1830. 

My dear Hill, 

I have not had any further proof to send up 
till to-day, or I should have sooner written to thank 
you for your negotiation with Mr. Bentley, whose 
letter enclosing a note at four months date, came to 
hand only this morning. Of course I closed with 


them, but I certainly thought they ought not to 
have grudged me a trifling addition, hearing as I 
did, and from no doubtful authority either, that they 
gave others £500 a, volume. However, I am satis- 
fied, and if the work succeeds tolerably, I suppose 
they will do something better for me next time. 
With renewed thanks for your kindness, I am, 
My dear Hill, 

Yours very truly, 

Thomas Hill, Esq., 
1, James Street, Adelphi. 

A few days afterwards, he writes to Mrs. Heseltine^ 
in quite a different vein : — 

Brighton, 10, Homover Orescent, 
22nd March, 1830, 

My dear Mrs. Heseltine, 

Pray don't let my young folks interfere with 
any of your arrangements, but as all times will be 
equally convenient for my father to receive them, I 
beg you will send them away whenever it suits you. 

In return for inflicting two brats upon you, I have 
two favours to request — unzzard: — To prevent Eliza's 
head from entirely reposing on her knees, I am pro- 
vided with a sharp pitchfork, which every now and 
then I dig in pretty deep under her chin, and to 
compel her to practice her shakes of a morning, to 
which she has an utter repugnance, I am obliged to 
stand over her with a cudgel and occasionally fell 
her to the earth. If you will perform for me these 
truly parental offices, I can only say that I shall be 
most happy to return them fourfold upon Amy 
whenever she comes to see us. Sending an agoniz- 
ing pinch to all the children, Mrs. Cole, and Miss 

1 Bodleian Library MSS. « Chapter XII. 


Heseltine, and begging you to accept the same for 
yourself, I am, 

Dear Mrs. Heseltine, 

Yours very truly, 

Horatio Smith. 

To Mr. S. C. Hall, he writes:— 

Brighton, 10, Hanover Crescent, 
'ind December, 1835. 

My dear Sie, 

Altho' my temporary absence from home may 
in some degree plead my excuse, yet I take shame 
to myself for not having sooner thanked you and 
Mrs. Hall for the Amulet^ and its companion, a 
;present which was the more acceptable both to me 
and Rosalind because we had somehow fancied that 
you had talk'd of discontinuing the Works. Both 
are very delightful books, and I sincerely hope that 
this year's sale may answer your expectations, and 
ensure their continuance. 

Mrs. Abdy's copy was immediately forwarded to 
her. Altho' I trust that Mrs. Hall will never again 
have the plea of Rheumatism for visiting Brighton, 
I shall be delighted to find that some other motive 
may bring you both back to us, and I can answer 
that my petticoat inmates will be not less gratified 
than myself. 

At this season we could make up some pleasant 
parties, but at all times you and Mrs. Hall will be 
most welcome to me and mine. 

Yours very truly, 

Horatio Smith. 

P.S. — If you can put your hand on a long-winded 

^ A kind of Christmas annual, beautifully illustrated, issued 
from 1826 to 1836. 


poem I sent some months ago for the iV. M. Mag., 
entitled The Jews at Babylon, please return or de- 
stroy it. It is about to appear in another form.^ 

In Brighton, as in all watering-places, the tide of 
fashion set in westward, and, about the year 1840, 
Horace Smith's " feminine surroundings " induced 
him to remove from Hanover Crescent to Cavendish 
Place — now the centre of the four-mile sea^front, the 
glory of Brighton and Hove. 

Their house. No. 12, is to be found a little way up 
on the right-hand side, as you approach it from the 
King's Road. There is a fine view of the sea from 
its crescent-shaped windows; and, with its old- 
fashioned casement, it looks as it may have done any 
time during the last three-quarters of a century. 

Here the Smiths loved to entertain their friends, 
and delighted in planning amusements for them — a 
ride on the Downs, an excursion to Devil's Dyke, 
Eottingdean, or to the castle at Bramber, to Old 
Shoreham with its fine Norman church, and to quiet 
little Lancing beyond. 

Their Sunday afternoon receptions, when the 
representatives of art, letters, and science fore- 
gathered, were "the most rooted institutions in 
Brighton after the Chain Pier" — 

When each by tura was guide to each, 
And Fancy light from Fan'cy caught — 
And Thought leapt out to wed with Thought 

Ere Thought could wed itself with Speech. 

1 Bodleian Library MSS. 


So notoriously hospitable were the Smiths that 
not only the celebrated men and women of the day 
resident in Brighton — and there were many-;— but 
all visitors of note found their way to the table of 
Horace Smith. 

Amongst his congenial fellow-townsmen were 
Captain James Morier, traveller and novelist, the 
author of Sajji Bala of Ispahan, etc. ; Dr. Mantell, 
the geologist; Mr. Moses Ricardo, scientist and 
working-man's friend; Mr. and Mrs. Montefiore; 
Charles Young, the actor (who had retired to 
Brighton) ; Captain and Mrs. Heaviside, well-known 
in fashionable circles, and residing in Brunswick 
Square; the Bounds, of Brunswick Terrace; J. J. 
Masquerier, the painter oi La Belle Alliance, which, 
together with las portraits of Miss O'Niel and Miss 
Mellon, are in the collection of the Baroness Burdett- 

Amongst the Brighton visitors who were made 
free of No. 12 were Samuel Rogers ; Sydney Smith ; 
Dr. Lardner, an eminent scientific- man, and editor 
of the Encydoprndia which bears his name ; Charles 
Kean, the actor, between whom and Horace Smith 
there existed much sympathy and warmest friend- 
ship ; Copley Fielding, the water-colour painter of 
landscapes ; Julian Fane, poet and diplomatist (then 
quite a young man) ; H. T. Buckle, the historian 
of civilization; Macaulay; Professor Owen; Jesse; 
Harrison Ainsworth ; Dickens, and Thackeray. 

Of the last named, Rosalind Smith used to relate 
how one day he popped in, and flinging himself 


down on a couch with an expression of great despair, 
implored the " girls " to tell him a " nursery tale," 
" anything however trivial," to divert his mind and 
help to remove his anxiety, for he had (as was cus- 
tomary with him when in Brighton) put off his 
monthly contribution to a certain periodical, until 
but a couple of days were left for the work. Rosa- 
lind says that their nonsense comforted him, that 
he went away from Cavendish Place " like a giant 
refreshed with new wine," and accomplished his task 
easily, though nobody had a sight of him in the 

As to the origin of Fendennis, Herman Merivale 
tells the following story : — " Such a Brightonian as 
Thackeray was led naturally to his frequenting their 
rooms (the Smiths'). It was to them that he con- 
fided how he was bound to produce the opening 
chapters of Pendennis within a few days, and had no 
plot and no idea wherewith to start one. Shade of 
TroUope, how shocking ! So then and there, they 
told him a true -anecdote of Brighton life. 'That 
will do,' said he, and went home and began the 
novel which, afterwards, in defiance of all the laws of 
self-respecting composition, developed into a work 
which has its merits still. In return for the favour, 
he christened his heroine Lawra, after a younger 

"It may be imagined with what interest the story 
was followed. . . . When first he visited the ladies 
after it was finished, the original Laura received him 
indignantly. 'I'll never speak to you again, Mr. 


Thackeray; you knew I always meant to many 
Warrington.' In the same spirit, spoke Lady 
Rockminster, when she accepted the young couple — 
' It is all very well, but I should have preferred 
"Bluebeard"' (her name for Warrington), which 
proves to my mind that ladies do not always know 
what is good for them. 

" Worth recording, too, is the story of Thackeray 
going to see the Miss Smiths when he was about to 
give his George the Fourth lecture in the town, and 
expressing his relief that it was not to be in the 
Pavilion as at first proposed — ' I didn't like,' he 
said, ' the idea of abusing a man in his own house.' " ^ 

Of Charles Kean's father a characteristic story 
was related to Horace Smith by a tradesman whose 
memory went back to the days when travellers in 
china and glass used to come with samples all the 
way to Kent and Sussex from Staffordshire, in their 
" carriage and pair." One of these commercials, he 
said, happening to meet Edmund Kean at Maid- 
stone, challenged him to drink as much brandy-and- 
water hot as he could himself The traveller, 
seasoned vessel though he was, succumbed to the 
twenty-sixth tumbler, but Kean just managed the 
twenty-seventh, and won the wager ! 

Horace Smith had always been a great admirer of 
the celebrated actress. Miss Mellon, and when he 
met her as the Duchess of St. Albans at Brighton 
after a lapse of many years, he penned some stanzas 
to her, beginning : — 

' Life of W. M. Thackeray, by Merivale and Marzials. 


Lady ! that sweet and cordial voice, 

Unalter'd since I heard it last, 
Hath made my weaken'd heart rejoice 

With recollections of the past. 

Her rare qualifications were summed up thus : — 

The lively wit without alloy, 

The mind acute, the spirit's flow — 
The kindly heart that welcomes joy. 

Yet melts at every tale of woe. 
These honours which thou ne'er can'st waive. 

These that no monarch could decree, 
Prove that 'twas Nature's self who gave 

Thy Patent of Nobility. 

Every winter at the beginning of the season, the 
Duchess came to St. Albans House, Brighton, to the 
joy of all, for she was the most liberal patroness of 
the tradespeople, the benefactress of the poor, and 
the disburser of unbounded hospitality to the upper 
classes. She used to hold what she called omnium 
gatherums, at each one of which, it is said, the oil 
and candle bill usually amounted to £20 — a large 
sum in those days. 

She was a woman (in appearance fat and some- 
what red-faced) whom exaltation in rank could not 
spoil or wean from simplicity of habits. 

After one of her gorgeous festivities, whereat all 
the delicacies of the season were profusely provided, 
when the guests had left, she turned to her sole 
remaining companion, and said, "Now I'm going 
to enjoy myself," and sat down in an unceremo- 
nious manner to a cold chicken and a bottle of 

Later on, the Smiths were fortunate in their 


friendship with the Duchess's heiress, Miss Burdett- 
Coutts (now the Baroness), who, when at Brighton, 
always calls upon Horace Smith's eldest and only 
surviving daughter, to talk over the memories of 
the past. The Smiths were her frequent guests in 
London, and Masquerier's excellent portrait of 
Horace Smith (which forms one of the illustrations 
of this volume) hangs upon the walls of Holly Lodge, 

The Rev. F. W. Eobertson, the great preacher of 
Trinity Chapel, I mention last of all, because he 
did not arrive at Brighton till 1847, not long before 
Horace Smith died, whom he had consequently few 
opportunities of meeting. His first sermon there 
was a memorable one ; his text : " The Jews require 
a sign, and the Greeks seek after wisdom, but we 
preach Christ crucified," etc. As the Rev. Stopford 
Brooke says — " It at once awoke criticism and in- 
terest. As his peculiar views developed themselves, 
many of the old congregation left the church. Their 
places were rapidly filled up. Thoughtful and eager- 
minded men came in by degrees from all parts of 
Brighton, attracted not only by his earnest eloquence, 
but by his original thought and clever reasoning." 

Amongst these was Horace Smith, who was in 
fullest touch with the broad and enlightened views 
on religion and politics that characterized the fam- 
ous preacher, and, had he lived but a few years 
longer, he might have been the means of helping to 
stem the torrent of cruel and unjust sectarian perse- 
cution that awaited Robertson. 


The man who in the past had stood by the side of 
the greatly misunderstood Shelley would most surely 
have undertaken the same noble office for the 
maligned incumbent of Trinity Chapel. 

For some time before this period, Brighton society 
had become exceedingly gay, and at all brilliant 
functions, public and private, the daughters of 
Horace Smith were conspicuous — Eliza, the eldest, 
notoriously witty and amusing ; Rosalind, the beau- 
tiful, overburdened with eligible offers of marriage, 
though djTiig unmarried in 1893; and Laura, the 
youngest, who married Mr. John Eound, of West 
Bergholt, Essex, and died in 1864. 

One of the most striking of the gay assemblies at 
that time, was a fancy dress ball, at which Dr. 
Lardner appeared as a courtier, and the lovely Mrs. 
Heaviside as a dame de cour of the Louis XVI. 
period, both attracting much attention. Unfor- 
tunately, the charms of his fair partner in the dance 
proved too much for the philosophy of the learned 
professor, and he fled with her vid London to 
Paris, whither they were followed by the outraged 
husband. A sound horse-whipping of the culprit 
and a duel (without serious result) are said to have 
followed, with ultimately a divorce in the House of 

This regrettable affair to a certain extent broke 
up the pleasant "inner circle" which had led the 
fashion in Brighton, and of which the Horace 
Smiths were such prominent members. 

I must not close this sketch of Brighton and its 


association with Horace Smith, without expressing 
my indebtedness to Mr. Charles Fleet, Mr. D. 
Burchell Friend, Mr. John Haines, and other towns- 
men, for many valuable facts relating to the past 
history of the flourishing and ever popular water- 
ing-place in which they reside. 



The declining years of Horace Smith's life — His last illness 
and death. — His personal appearance, tastes, opinions, character 
and disposition — The end. 

At the close of the year 1840, Cyrus Redding, 
resuming his correspondence with Horace Smith 
after a lapse of many years, noticed that his hand- 
writing " varied considerably frorii the very neat 
text it had before displayed," which he regarded as 
an evidence of failing health. 

The following year, Horace Smith had a severe 
attack of laryngitis, and on his recovery wrote the 
following letter to one of his sisters : — 

Brighton, lOth October, 1841. 

My deak Adelaide, 

I know that Maria is rather prone to make 
mountains of molehills, and, lest you should suppose 
that I was going to give you all the slip, I think it 
right to let you know that I am proceeding very 
favourably, that I am again downstairs, and mean to 
be better than ever in a very few days. It was an 
attack of acute inflammation in the Larynx, owing 
to a cold, and came on so suddenly in the night, as 
to be very alarming from its appearance, and feeling 
of suffocation ; but we soon got a medicine man who 


bled me till I fainted, and when I recover'd I had 
recover 'd my voice, and breathed with perfect ease ! 
Unluckily a bad cough supervened which threw me 
back, but that yielded to active remedies and further 
reduction ; and here I am nearly as well as ever, 
though not looking quite so rosy in the gills. 

My imprisonment comes at an unlucky moment, 
the place being full of friends whose society I was 
anxious to enjoy, particularly that of Sir Charles and 
Lady Morgan, and Lady Stepney. Old Lady 
Holland, who has got Byham House just opposite, 
and who always had a romantic attachment to me 
(! ! !), keeps us supplied with game and all sorts of 
goody-goodies, but I cannot now partake in them or 
join her parties, which I regret, as the last I joined 
was a very delightful one. All the world has been 
here ; but the railroad is getting so completely out 
of vogue, that I suspect we shall soon lose many of 
our visitants. 

All unite in kindest regards to yourself and Gom,^ 

Dear Adelaide, 

Yours affectionately, 

HoEATio Smith. 

From this time, his inclination, as well as his 
capacity, for literary labour sensibly declined. It 
was the evening of his life, and thenceforth he did 
little beyond writing a couple of novels, editing a 
romance, gathering together scattered poetical works, 
and contributing some entertaining biographical 
narratives to the New Monthly Magazine. But his 
life was never an idle one ; it was one scene of active 
benevolence and thoughtfulness for the pleasure and 
' Her husband, Mr. Gompertz. 


happiness of others. The Mechanics' Institution, 
the Literary Society, the Mantellian Institution, and 
Phillips' School of Science, never lacked his help 
in any possible way towards their advancement. 
His services were always at the disposal of the 
charities; and when the Savings' Bank became 
seriously involved, he put forth his energies during 
the investigation that followed, to such an extent 
as to still further impair his health. 

He used to take his family up to London for the 
early season, when they generally occupied a fur- 
nished house. No. 16, Cumberland Street, Regent's 
Park. His daughters indulged in a perpetual round 
of gaiety. They met all the celebrities of the day, 
and were rather awed once, so they declared, at 
finding themselves in the presence of no fewer than 
" five real live editors " ! 

Visits to town were varied by trips to Harrogate, 
Bath, Tunbridge Wells, and Cheltenham. , From the 
latter place, Horace Smith sent his niece, Maria 
Abdy, the following Address to the Queen, which 
had excessively tickled his fancy. It was got up by 
some few deaf and dumb young men (residents of 
Cheltenham) after the attempt upon Her Majesty's 
life by Edward Oxford — 

Cheltenham, 15t/i June, 1840. 

Our dear Victoria, 

We hope you will not be angry with us 
for sending you a letter. We think you were very 
frightened. All the deaf and dumb are very very 
displeased with the Edward Oxford. We love you 


very much because you are a fine young Lady 
Sovereign. We were very much happy on your 
birthday. A gentleman gave us some cakes, ginger 
pop, oranges, lemonade, and nice things. We drank 
your Majesty's very good health. We cannot drink 
beer, ale, wine, brandy, gin, rum, porter, etc., etc., 
two of us are teetotallers. We think you like Prince 
Albert very much. He is a very handsome young 
gentleman. We all love him too much. He came 
from Germany. He wears very nice mustachios. 
He is an officer soldier. We saw his picture in the 
booksellers' windows. We are very thankful to God 
because he did not let the wicked villain kill you. 
The English ladies and gentlemen are all rejoice 
about it. We all love the Queen and the Lords and 
fine gentlemen M.P.'s. We pray for you every 
Sunday at church. We hope you will be very 
religious young lady, and say your prayers every 
morning and night, and read the Bible, and go to 
heaven when you die. 

Your very loyal deaf and dumb. 

To the same niece he wrote a letter in which he 
expresses his inability to perpetrate any more 
rhymes : — 

Brighton, 12 Gavendish Place, 
7th March, 1846. 

Many thanks, my dear Mira, for your very accept- 
able Volume, from the perusal of which I anticipate 
great pleasure, especially as a great proportion of 
the poems will be new to me. You seem to write 
with greater fluency and facility than ever, and must 
find it a very charming resource, to say nothing of 
the position which it gives you among the honoured 
Lady writers of England. At my age I can hardly 
expect the Muse to smile upon my advances, and iny 


only inspiration in the composition of the Murderer's 
Confession was the struggle with such an unmanage- 
able metre. 

At present I feel as if I should never perpetrate 
any more rhymes, but I am collecting all my former 
offences in two little volumes, which I will send you 
when the procrastinating Mr. Colburn thinks fit to 
bring them out. 

I don't see GhdUver, but shall certainly extend his 
travels to Brighton, that I may read the pieces you 

Mrs. Bib's Baby, in Punch, is very inferior to Mrs. 
Caudle, and cannot go on, I should think, much 
longer. We became very intimate with Ainsworth 
and his family, who passed the winter here, and gave 
a great many very gay parties. 

Of Shirley Brooks I know nothing. Like that of 
Mademoiselle Mars, his name may be a nam de guerre. 
Mrs. Alaric Attila ! I never ! but I believe it's perfectly 
correct that when a person once ask'd her husband 
" What's your name ? " Echo answered — ' Watts ! ' 

Please tell Mamma that Beavan lately sent me 
for perusal the Draught of a 50-folio document, to 
be signed on distributing my father's money! 
Heaven knows when the original will be completed ! 
I never pretend to understand Law proceedings. 
Your affectionate Uncle, 
Horatio Smith. 

In a letter to his sister Clara, he confesses that 
old age is creeping upon him : — 

Brighton, 12 Cavendish Place, 
23rd Jidy, 1846. 

Many thanks, my dear Clara, for your kind invita- 
tion, of which I would gladly avail myself, but that 
I really feel much too rheumatical and too sciatical 


to sleep out at this season of the year. In the 
spring I shall again he running up to London, and 
if you will then give me leave, I shall have much 
pleasure in taking a dinner and a bed at your house. 
Entre nous, I am feeling very old, and I am afraid of 
giving any excuse to the ailments that assailed me 
last winter. 

When you see me, you will hardly know me, so 
very venerable have I become. My saucy girls (I 
am dreadfully chicken-pecked) say that if I did but 
look a few years younger I should look exactly like 
my father ! Then my beak has assumed the colour 
of Aurora's fingers, and I am often overheard sorrow- 
fully exclaiming — 

Alas ! — ^how luckless la my lot ! 
My nose is red — ray books are not ! 

Notwithstanding all which calamitous circumstances, 
I am, with the united loves of my darling wife and 
my dad-flouting daughters. 

My dear Clara, 

Afifectionately yours, 
Horatio Smith. 

The year 1849 opened with severe weather, and 

much sickness was prevalent ; but Horace Smith 

wrote in excellent spirits to his sister Adelaide, the 

letter being almost the last she ever received from 

him: — 

Brighton, 12 Cavendish Place, 
7th January, 1849. 

My dear Adelaide, 

I confess myself to be a most unnatural 
brother in having suffer'd the new year to become 
a week old without having written to wish you and 
Ephraim many happy returns : but I know you are 


both benevolent mortals, and will forgive a transgres- 
sion for which so quick an apology is offer'd. There ! 
isn't that prettily said, and won't you kiss and make 
it up? 'Tho' I haven't written to you, however, 
we often hear of you from various quarters, and I 
have been glad to learn that in a season of unusual 
sickness, you have both escaped without any very 
serious visitation. Long may we continue to receive 
equally favourable statements ! 

Poiir nous autres, as the French say (why can't 
the fools speak English, like men ?) we are as well 
as old age and sharp weather will allow. My wife, 
God bless her ! wears exceedingly well — never very 
strong, but always bustling, cheerful, and affectionate, 
nor have I any caiise of complaint, considering that 
I have now entered my seventieth year ! Occasional 
menaces of Gout, but no actual visit — little bilious 
attacks, and bothering cramps at night, form the 
whole summary of my ailments, slight enough when 
I add that in general I sleep like a top, and that my 
spirits have no defect but that of being rather boyish 
for my advanced years. 

My girls have not been very robust latterly, but 
they are seldom so well at this season of frequent 
Balls and late hours. People really seem to seek 
them out from all quarters, and invite them to every 
gay party. The Duke of Devonshire has just arrived, 
but there are so many nois now in Brighton that we 
snobs can hardly expect to be invited this year to 
his Balls. We have got acquainted with the 
Moores, and with Lady Harriet thro' a Mr. Cole, 
who is, I believe, one of your neighbours. The 
Abdys have gone home. Maria is rather better 
than usual, but looking like the grandmother of 
Methuselah ! 

Adieu, beauty ! not only as ivas but as is, for hand- 
some is as handsome does. Accept for yourself and 


Ephraim our united and most cordial love, and 
believe me ever 

Your affectionate brother, 
Horatio Smith. 

Unfortunately the " menaces of gout " were much 
more serious than he thought. Later iu the year, 
the family took a house at Tunbridge Wells, No. 6 
Oalverley Park, very charming, and in a most 
Sequestered and beautiful part of the town, with 
private grounds and prettily laid-out gardens, where, 
so far as surroundings were concerned, peace and 
tranquillity reigned. But they had not long been 
there when alarming symptoms began to be ap- 
parent in Horace Smith's health. The inherited 
gout, hitherto dormant in his system, developed itself 
in the form of serious heart-troubles. His sufferings 
became very acute, but he met his approaching 
end with great resignation and serenity, even on his 
death-bed seeking to comfort his agonized wife and 
family. On the 12th of July, 1849, in the seventieth 
year of his age, Horace Smith passed into the unseen 
world, all that was mortal of him being laid to rest 
in the churchyard of Holy Trinity Church. " He 
died, as he had lived, loving and beloved, full of 
trust, joy, and hope." 

In personal appearance, Horace Smith closely 
resembled his brother James, at any rate in early 
years, and in the beautiful drawing by Harlow (which 
forms the frontispiece to Mr. Murray's 1833 edition 
of Rejected Addresses) it is difiScult to distinguish the 
one from the other. 


Horace Smith had a particularly finely-formed 
head, likened by one of his friends to that of Socrates. 
He was tall and handsome, with a manly figure in- 
clining to the robust. He had blue eyes, and regular 
features usually in repose, but moved to animation 
when anything amusing or good was said ; his dis- 
cernment of humour, though more latent than that 
of James, was none the less keen. Frankness was 
stamped upon his countenance, and his general bear- 
ing was cordial, displaying much gentleness, but 
without the slightest trace of effeminacy or weakness. 

As might be expected from the influences brought 
to bear upon him in childhood,^ as well as from the 
mature conviction of his manhood, he was no friend 
either to Episcopalianism or to Sacerdotalism. He 
described bishops as " Protestant cardinals," and the 
system which they represent, as "a plethora of 
dignities and wealth, combined with an atrophy of 
merits and followers, which could never be symp- 
toms of longevity in any Church, however firmly 
it may seem to be established." Consistently, there- 
fore, he disapproved of the alliance of Church with 
State, which he designated an " unscriptural union." 
Of the Romish priesthood, he had but a poor opinion ; 
and on the subject of their celibacy he felt strongly, 
defining it as " a vow by which the priesthood in 
some countries swear to content themselves with the 
wives of other people ! " On the other hand, he had 
a great horror of Protestant fanaticism — "the 
daughter of ignorance and the mother of infidelity " 

1 See Chapter IV. 


— especially in the matter of strict Sabbath observ- 
ance. Missions he did not approve of at all, as he 
considered that the missionary should begin by 
improving the temporal condition of the heathen, 
and that it was worse than useless to start by teach- 
ing the five points of Calvinism to barbarians un- 
able to count their five fingers. Uniformity in 
rehgion he judged to be unobtainable. With intoler- 
ance he had no patience whatever, always quoting 
Pope's well-known lines — 

" For modes of faith, let zealous bigots figlit ; 
His can't be wrong whose life is in the right." 

He advocated the total abolition of compulsory 
confessions of creed or faith, and the Test Acts he 
utterly condemned. The Reformation, he said, was 
not a struggle for religious freedom, but for Protest- 
ant intolerance instead of Catholic intolerance, and 
the struggle of modern Christians should be for 
emancipation from all intolerance. 

" The right of examining what we ought to believe 
is' the foundation of Protestantism, and to deny it is 
to revert to the Popish claim of infallibility." 

In short, Horace Smith's religious views were the 
broadest — of the Maurice and Kingsley type ; and 
he firmly believed that there was a Providence ever 
watching over the destiny of mankind, but not a 
particular Providence for fanatics. 

Death he beautifully defined as "the sleeping 
partner of Life, a change of existence." "Why" 
[said he] "should a long be less pleasant than a 


short sleep? Post-natal cannot differ from ante- 
natal unconsciousness; we were dead before we 
lived. Ceasing to exist is only returning to our 
former state, speaking always in reference to this 

In politics he was what we should call a Liberal- 
Conservative ; though in his day he would more 
likely have been dubbed a Kadical — even a Revolu- 
tionist, by most of the old high and dry Tory party. 
He was an intense admirer of Lord Brougham, and 
an out-and-out Reformer. He advocated the ballot, 
and delivered a speech at Brighton in favour of it. 
James Smith did not at all approve of this, and 
wrote to a friend, saying that Horace " had better 
abstain from politics altogether. It is his business 
as an author to please all parties." Horace believed 
in the elevation of the workiag-classes, and the aboli- 
tion of the newspaper tax. He condemned the Poor. 
Laws, and designated the Game Laws barbarous 
enactments. He disapproved of the privileges of 
either Peers or M.P.'s. He considered Public 
Opinion irresistible, and had firm faith in a, popular 
government, which he compared to a pyramid, the 
firmest and most enduring of all forms. 

His opinions on most subjects were marked by 
enlightenment. On the matter of education he held 
rather peculiar views ; to him it appeared a game of 
cross-purposes, in which useless classics were taught 
at great expense in our public schools, and rapidly 
forgotten in after life. Of collegiate training he had 
a poor opinion ; " the whole system," he said, " is a 


specimen of the moral, as some of their structures 
are of the architectural, Gothic." 

He had no respect for ancestry, "a pedigree 
being," he declared, " generally the boast of those 
who had nothing else to vaunt;'' thus he dis- 
approved of primogeniture as being equally opposed 
to nature, reason, morality, and sound policy. 

With that particular cant of art which substitutes 
a blind reverence for the painter — provided he be 
dead — for a judicious admiration of his paintings, he 
had no sympathy. 

English law was to him merely hocus-pocus and 
chicanery ; and lawyers, he said, " generally knew too 
much of law to have a very clear perception of 

War and military glory he held to be, the former 
an act of national madness, an irrational act confined 
to rational beings ; and the latter, the sharing with 
plague, pestilence, and famine, the honour of destroy- 
ing one's own species. 

He had the greatest abhorrence of the grosser 
excesses of life, gluttony, drunkenness, swearing, etc. 
As a philosopher he was supremely optimistic. 
Human happiness, he thought, must be constantly 
augmenting; and the habit of exaggerating the 
misery of mankind was in his eyes a species of 
impiety, as being an oblique reflection on the 
benevolence of the Deity, while despondency was 
sheer ingratitude to Heaven. 

Contentment was to him the best opulence ; and 
of money, although more indispensable now than in 


the days of the Greek philosophers, he used to say 
that " a wise man would have it in his head rather 
than his heart," hut that poverty to the generous- 
minded, desirous of relieving the wants of others, 
was the greatest of evils. 

On the subject of his own profession, he was full 
of good sense. "Literary fame," he explained, was 
" being partially known to-day, and universally for- 
gotten to-morrow. It was more easily caught than 
kept. If you do nothing, you are forgotten ; and if 
you write, and fail, your former success is thrown in 
your teeth. He who has a reputation to maintain 
has a wild beast in his house, which he must con- 
stantly feed, or it will feed upon him." 

Some of Horace Smith's aversions were very dis- 
tiQctive. For instance, he greatly disliked the 
practice of smoking and snuff-taking. To all forms 
of fishing and angling he had the keenest antipathy, 
going so far as to call an angler " a fish butcher, a 
piscatorial assassin.'' Clubs he disliked, as being 
founded upon selfishness and the cause of much 
unhappiness between married people. All who wore 
eye-glasses, except for the purpose of improving 
their sight, he called coxcombs. Country cousins 
he looked upon as periodical bores, who, "because 
they happened to have some of your own blood in 
their veins, think that they may inflict the whole of 
their bodies upon you during their stay in town." 
Although he lived for years by the sea, he could 
never be brought to admire it, though he gave it 
his profound respect. He said he did not care to 


dwell upon the subject, even with his pen. He was 
particularly fond of rational conversation, though he 
detested mere argument on any topic. He main- 
tained that Englishwomen were, in general, much 
better conversationalists than Englishmen were. 

In his habits he was regularity personified. 
Punctually as the clock struck ten at night, unless 
visitors were present, he would retire, no matter 
what he was at the moment engaged upon. Day 
after day at Brighton he used, at a certain hour, to 
walk from- his residence to Tupper's and Lucombe's 
Libraries, on the Old Steine ; and afterwards, if the 
weather suited, would take a constitutional on the 
Grand Parade or the Chain Pier. In fact, he was 
decidedly methodical in all his actions. 

In his dress he was particularly neat. He had no 
petty vices. In eating and drinking he was strictly 
moderate; in the former, his tastes rather tended 
towards the refinement of the French cuisine than 
to the prevailing solid diet of Englishmen. 

He had a curious weakness for destroying all 
letters, however important ; he looked upon them, 
when unanswered, as accusing angels, and he hated 
them, when replied to, as reminding him of his short- 
comings. He loved trees, flowers, and gardens ; the 
songs of birds delighted him. Music to him was a 
Divine voice. Drawing he thought, with Goethe, 
was one of the most moral of all accomplishments. 

For all animals, particularly for cats, he had the 
greatest tenderness and sympathy. His love of 
children was most marked ; he always went out of 


his way to amuse and entertain them, and they were 
quite fascinated by his really wonderful power of 
story-telling and mimicry. No wonder, therefore, 
that his popularity with all young people was 

Mrs. E. M. Ward, the well-known artist, retains 
an affectionate remembrance of this characteristic, 
and the delight that was caused in their home when 
" Uncle Horace " was expected. His arrival was the 
signal for a merry-makiag. Taking the children 
on his knees, he regaled them with fairy tales in 
extempore verse. 

As Mr. S. C. Hall has said : — " Horace Smith was 
emphatically a good man; of large sympathy and 
charity, generous in giving even beyond his means, 
eminent for rectitude in all the affairs and relations 
of Ufe, and I never heard him utter an injurious 
word of any one of his contemporaries, though our 
usual talk concerned them." 

Horace Smith was, indeed, eminently lovable. 
Few could appreciate this somewhat rare quality 
better than Thackeray, who thus sums up the 
character of his friend : — " That good, serene old man, 
who went out of the world in charity with all in it, 
and having shown through his life, as far as I know 
it, quite a delightful love of God's works and 
creatures — a true, loyal, Christian man." 


Abdy, Maria, 180-182, 293-295 
AbserU Apothecary, The, 252, 254- 

Adam Brown, 265 
Alfred House Academy, 50-52 
Anderson, the Rev. James, 272- 


the Rev. Robert, 272-273 

Arthur Aruruiel, 265 
Athenffium Club, 240 

"Badger," of Brighton, 275 
Banks, Sir Joseph, 68, 69, 71 
Barham, the Rev. R. H., 238, 239 
Bartholomew Fair, 250 
Beavan, Henry, 184, 295 
Blessington, Lady, 120, 236 
Bond, Lady E. A., 239 
Bramblelye House, 257-262 
Brighton, 267-290 
Brighton Herald, The, 273 
Burdett-Coutts, the Baroness, 288 
Burford, Peter Thomas, 42-44 
Burgess, Hugh, 183 
Busby, Dr. Thomas, 108, 110 
Byron, Lord, 106, 107, 117, 176, 

Cadell, Alderman, 83, 115 

Elizabeth, 183 

Joanna, 183 

Rosa, 183 

, Sophia, 183 

Thomas, 83, 115, 116, 184 

Campbell, Thomas, 118, 266 
Chigwell School, 42-47 

Chigwell Village, 48, 245, 246 
Christie, Mr., 152, 153 
City Halls, 81, 82 
City, the (1800 to 1810), 88, 89 
Cobby, Mrs., 274 
Cotton, Sir St. Tincent, 272 
Oovmtry Co%tsin, The, 249 
CoTent Garden Theatre, Destruc- 
tion of, 99 
Cumberland, Richard, 97, 98 
Curran, 77 

Dodson, Clara, 129-132, 157-160, 

295, 296 
D'Orsay, Count, 120, 236 
Drury Lane Theatre, Addresses for 

re-opening of, 104-106 ; some 

of the, 105-108 

Destruction of, 99-102 

New, the, 102-103 

Re-building, Plans for, 102 

Re-opening of, 106-108 

Du Barry, Mdme., 17, 18, 20 

Eld, Lieut.-Col., 271, 272 
Elliston, Mr., 107 

Family Story, A, 78, 79 
Festivals, Games, and Amiise- 

ments, 264 
Field, Barron, 199, 252 
First Impressions, 252, 253 
Fleet, Charles, 290 

"William, 273 

Fraser's Magazine, 242, 243 
Friend, D. Burchell, 290 



Fladgate, Francis 238 239 
Ford, Miss, 133 

Gaieties and Gravities, 257 
Gale, Middleton, 264 
GaiTick Club, the, 240-244 

David, 25, 26 ; Mrs., 107 

George III., 72, 84 

Gompertz, Adelaide, 291, 292, 

Gordon Riots, Lord George, 29-33 
Gunn, Martha, 274 

Haines, John, 290 

Hall, S. C, 119, 260, 261, 282, 

283, 285, 305 ; Mrs., 181, 182 
Harsnett, Archbishop, 43, 46 
Heariside, Mrs., 284, 289 
Heseltine,WiUiam,124-128; Mrs., 

281, 282 
Highgate Tunnel, the, 93-95 

The, or Secret Arch, 95-97 

Hill, Thomas, 134, 135, 208-213, 

280, 281 
Hook, Theodore, 120, 222-232 
Hunt, Holman, 133, 134 
Hunt, Leigh, 167 

Imitations of Celebrated Authors, 

Introduction, 1, 2 

Jane Lomax, 264, 265 
Jesse, Edward, 189, 190 
Johnson, Dr., 40 
"Jonathan," Brighton, 274 

Kean, Charles, 121, 284 

Edmund, 121, 286 

Keats, John, 134-137, 154, 155 
Keir Grant, Sir William, 272 
Kemble, John, 74 

Lang, Andrew, 153, 154 
Lardner, Dr., 284, 289 
Leman, Henry, 183 
Lotteries, State, 82, 83 
Louis XV., 16-21 
XVI., 54, 56 

Love and Mesmerism, 265 
Lytton, Lord, 120, 236, 237 

Magnus, Harry, 129 
Mail Goaeh, The, 250 
Marie Antoinette, 54-56 
Masaniello, 265 
Mansfield, Lord, 40 
Mathews, Charles, 188, 189, 214- 
222, 238, 249-251, 278-280 

Mrs., 217-222 

Matthews, Mr., 274 
Midsummer Medley, The, 264 
MUler, John, 95, 98, 116 
Moneyed Man, The, 265 
Mulgrave, Earl of, 91, 145, 245 
Murray (Brighton), 275 
Mr. John, 115, 116, 118 

"Nancy'- of Chigwell, 47, 246 
New College, Hackney, 49, 50 
New Forest, The, 263 

Oliver Cromwell, 265 
Oliver, William, 183 
Ordnance, Board of, 140-148 

Parliamentary Election and, 

144, 145 

PaoU, "General," 21, 22 
Paris, 13-15, 53-60, 157-161 

Dr., 237, 238, 247 

Tom, 237, 238 

Patriotism in City, 72, 73 
Perceval, the Hon. Spencer, 83, 

90, 91 
"Perdita" Robinson, 7 
Poetical Works, 265 

Ratty Family, the, 274 
Redding, Cyrus, 162-166, 260, 

262, 263, 291 
Rejected Addresses, the Real, 104- 

Rejected Addresses, The, Murray, 

Mr. John, and, 115, 116, 118 

Publication of, 114, 115, 116 

Reviews of, 117, 118 

Some of, 111-114 



Rejected Addresses, written, How 
they came to be, 109, 110 

Rennie, John, 93 

Reuben Apsley, 262 

Robertson, the Rev. F. W., 272, 
273, 288, 289 

Round, John, 289 

B/wiw/way, The, 79, 80 

St. Albans, Duchess of, 286-288 
St. James' Palace, fire at, 99 
Sake Been Mahomed, 275, 280 
Scott, John, 152, 153 
Sir "Walter, 111, 112, 199- 

204, 257-260 
Shee, Sir Martin A., 274 
Shelley, Percy Bysshe, 136-152, 

154-156, 161, 167-177 
Shenstone, the Poet, 70, 71 
Smith, Clara, 129 
Smith, Eliza (Tizey), 123, 124, 

157, 289 
Smith, Hoiaae, AbsetitApotheca/ry, 

The, 252, 254-257 

Adam Brown, 265 

Alfred House Academy, at, 


Ambition, his Literary, 122 

Anecdotes of his brother 

James, his, 187-189 

Arthur Arundel, 265 

Aversions of, 303, 304 

Birth of, 28 

BramUetye House, 257-262 

Brighton, at, 269, 278-286, 

288-290, 292, 293; friends, 

his, 283, 284 
Campbell, Thomas, his verses 

on, 266 
Character and disposition of, 

39, 89, 119, 122, 126, 139, 151, 

156, 157, 284, 288, 289, 293, 
299, 300-305 

Chigwell School, at, 42-48, 52 

Childhood of, 38-41 

Childi-en of, 123, 124, 156, 

157, 284-286, 289 

City counting-house. Clerk 

in, 71 ; early associations with 

the, 36, 37 ; merchant in the, 
87-90 ; retires from business in, 
156, 157 ; stockbroker in the, 
92, 124-128 
Smith, Horace, Death of, 298 

Drama, his connection with 

the, 97-99 

Education of, 42-48, 52 

Family Story, A, 78, 79 

Festivals, Games and Amuse- 
ments, 264 

Field, Barron, and, 199, 252 

First Impressions, 252, 253 

Fulham, at Elysiiuu Row, 

133, 134 

Gaieties and Gravities, 257 

Gale Middleton, 264 

Hall, S. C, and, 119, 282, 

283, 285, 305 

Heseltine, Mrs., and, 281, 

282 ; William, and, 124-128 

Highgate Twn/nel, or Secret 

Areh, The, 95-97 

Hill, Thomas, and, 134, 135, 

280, 281 ; his personal recollec- 
tions of, 208-213 

■ Hook, Theodore, his personal 

recollections of, 222-232 

Humour in prose and verse, 

his, 194-198, 266, 276 

lUness, his last, 298 

Imitations of Celebrated 

Authors, 265 

Jam£ Lomax, 264, 265 

Eean, Charles, and, 121, 284 

Keats, entertains, 134-136 

Knightsbridge, at, 122, 123 

Lang, Andrew, and, 153, 154 

Letters to Abdy, Maria, 294, 

295; to Dodson, Clara, 129- 
132, 157-160, 295, 296 ; to 
Gompertz, Adelaide, 291, 292, 
296-298; to Hall,' S. C, 
260, 261, 282, 283 ; to Hesel- 
tine, Mrs., 281, 282 ; to Hill, 
Thomas, 280, 281 ; to Mathews, 
Charles, 214-217, 278-280 ; to 
Mathews, Charles, Mrs., 217- 
222 ; to Redding, Cyrus, 162- 



166 ; to Shelley, 150-152, 155, 
156, 161 ; Twiss, Horace, 254 
Smith, Horace, Literary, dramatic 
and social circle, his, 119-121, 
283, 284 ; works, his earliest, 
78-80 ; his later, 251-266 

London and elsewhere, trips 

to, 293 

Love and Mesmerism, 265 

Marriage, his, 122 ; his 

second, 132, 133 

Masaniello, 265 

Mathews, Charles, and, 214, 

216, 217, 278-280 ; his personal 
recollections of, 214, 222 ; Mrs., 
and, 217-222 

Midsummer Medley, The, 264 

Moneyed Man, The, 265 

New Forest, The, 263 

Oliver Cromwell, 265 

Opinionson Socialand Politi- 
cal subjects, etc., his, 300-303 

Paris, at, 157-161 

Personal appearance of, 298, 


Poetical Works, 265 

Popularity with the gentler 

sex, his, 122 

Rejected Addresses, and, 99, 

103, 105, 109-112, 114-118, 122 

Reuben Apsley, 262 

Runaway, The, 79, 80 

St. Albans, Duchess of, and, 


■ ■ Lines on the, 287 

Scott, John, Duel, and, 152- 


Sir "Walter, his personal 

recollections of, 199-204 

Shelley, Percy Bysshe, and, 

136-139, 149-152, 154-156, 161, 
167, 168 ; his personal recollec- 
tions of, 167-177 
Southey, Kobert, his per- 
sonal recollections of, 204-208 

Stock-Exchange, and, 124- 


Tales of the Early Ages, 


Smith, Horace, Thackeray, W. M., 

and, 284-286 
Tin Trumpet, The, 264 

Tor mil. The, 262 

Trevanion, 80 

Tunbridge Wells, at, 257, 

260, 298 

Twiss, Horace, and, 254 

Versailles, at, 162-167 

Walter Colyton, 263 

Zillah, 262, 263 

Smith, Horatio Shakespeare, 123 

124, 157 
Smith, James, Alfred House 

Academy, at, 50-52 

Ambition, his want of, 122 

Articled to his father, 65 

Athenaeum Club, elected 

member of the, 240 

Attorney, admitted as an, 72 

Barham, the Eev. E. H., and, 

238, 239 

— Bartholomew Fair, 250 

— Birth of, 24 

— Blessington, Lady, and, 120, 

— Bons-niots, etc., his, 193, 194 
-~- Book-keeping classes, at- 
tends, 52 

— Burford, Peter Thomas, and, 
43, 44 

— Character and disposition of, 
39, 43, 44, 46, 48, 147, 186- 
188, 233-237, 246-248 

— Chigwell, Revisits, 245, 246 
School, at, 42-48 

— Childhood of, 38-41 

— City, his early association 
with the, 36, 37 

— Club-life, his, 239-245 

— Country Cousin, The, 249 

— Craven St., Strand, at, 27, 
245, 247, 248 

— Dartmouth, at, 69 

— Death, his narrow escape 
from, 62, 63 

— Death of, 247, 248 

— D'Orsay, Count, and, 120, 



Smith, James, Drama, his connec- 
tion with the, 97-99 

Education of, 42-52 

Fame, literary, his illustra- 
tion of the ephemeral nature of, 

Fladgate, Francis, and, 238, 


France, in, 60, 61 

Fraser's Magazine, and, 242, 

Garrick Club, elected mem- 
ber of, 241 

Gravesend, etc., at, 68 

Habits, his daily, 235 

Housekeeper, his, 245, 247 

Humorous compositions by, 

190, 191, 276-278 

Illness, his last, 247, 248 

Isle of Thanet, in the, 69, 


Wight, in the, 68 

JanR Lomax, his criticism of, 

264, 265 

Jesse, Edward, and, 189, 190 

Johnson, Dr., and, 40 

" Leasowes," at, 70, 71 

Legal profession, his respect 

for the, 187, 188 

Letter to Mrs. Mathews, his, 

217, 218 

Lewes, at, 71 

Literary and dramatic circle, 

his, 120, 121 

Works, his earliest, 80, 

81 ; his later (other than Be- 
jected Addresses), 249, 250 

London, his love of, 245 

Lytton, Lord, and, 120, 236, 


Mml Coach, The, 250 

— — Mathews, Oiarles, and, 188, 
189, 238 ; Mrs., and, 217, 218 
Mansfield, Lord Chief Jus- 
tice, and, 40 

Matrimony, his indifference 

to, 122, 234, 235 

Mulgrave, Earl of, and, 91, 

145, 246 

Smith, James, "Nancy" of Chig- 

weU, and, 47, 246 
New CoUege, Hackney, at, 

49, 50 
Ordnance Board Solicitor, 

appointed joint-assistant to, 90, 

91 ; sole assistant to, 145-148 

Oxford, at, 71 

Paris, Dr., and, 237, 238, 

247 ; his letter to, 247 

Tom, and, 237, 238 

Perceval, Hon. Spencer, dines 

with, 83 
Personal appearance of, 233, 

Popularity with the gentler 

sex, has, 122 
Rejected Addresses, and, 99, 

109-118, 121, 122 

Scotland, in, 65-67 

Social circle, his, 119-121, 


Trip to France, A, 249 

Union Club, elected member 

of the, 244 
Versification, his, 44, 45, 

47-49, 51, 187, 191-193, 238, 

Smith, Laura, 285, 286, 289 
Smith, Leonard, 26, 42, 52, 234 
Smith, Maria, 24 
Smith, Robert, attorney, admitted 

as an, 22 

Articled to an, 10, 11 

■ ■ Austin Friars, at, 92 

Banks, Sir Joseph, and, 68, 


Basinghall St., at, 36, 81 

Birth and parentage of, 2 

Board of Ordnance, his ap- 
pointment to, 34 ; retirement 

from, 145, 146 
BrwmMetye House, and, 261, 


Brighton, at, 268 

Cambridge, at, 87 

Chantilly, at, 15 

Compifegne, at, 16-21 

Dartmouth, at, 69 



Smith, Robert, Death, his narrow 

escapes from, 32, 33, 62, 63 

Death of, 185 

Declining years of, 178, 180- 

Du Barry, Madame, sees, 17, 

18, 20 

Education of, 3-5 

Fen Court, at, 23 

Frederick's Place, Old Jewry, 

at, 27 

Freemason's Hall, at, 26 

Garrick, David, and, 25, 26 

Attends last appearance 

of, 26 

Gordon Riots, and the, 29-34 

Gravesend, etc. , at, 68 

Han way, Mr., and, 25 

Ireland, in, 73-77 

Isle of Thanet, in, 69, 70 

Wight, in, 68 

London, early life in, 11, 12 

First journey to, 7, 10 

Louis XV., sees, 16-21 

XVI. and Marie Antoin- 
ette, sees, 54-56 

"Leasowes," at, 70, 71 

Lewes, at, 71 

Liverpool, at, 67, 68 

Marriage, his, 22-24 

His second, 86, 87 

Mulgrave, Earl of, and, 91 

Old Jewry, at, 35 

Oxford, at, 71 

Paoli, General, meets, 21, 22 

Paris, at, 14, 15, 53-61 

Patriotism, and, 72, 73 

"Perdita" Robinson, meets, 

— - Philanthropy, his, 24, 25 
— ■ — Recollections, his early, 3, 

Residences after retirement, 

his, 178 
Royal Society, elected Fellow 

of the, 71 

Smith, Robert, St. Paul's, atj 72 

Scotland, in, 65-67 

Society of Antiquaries, elect- 
ed Fellow of, 35 

Arts, elected Felldw of, 


State Lotteries, and, 83 

T<yr Hill, The, and, 2^2 

Versification, his, 5, 6, 179- 

183, 185 

West Indies, goes to, 34, 35 

Wife, death of his, 84, 85 

second, 184 

Mrs., 22-24, 84, 85 

Mrs. (the second), 86, 87, 184 

Smith, Rosalind, 156, 284, 289 

Smith, Sophia, 26, 83 

Smoaker, The Bros., 274 

Southey, Robert,112,113,204-208 

Tales of the Early Ages, 264 
Thackeray, W. M., 284-286, 305 
Tm Trumpet, The, 264 
Tor Bill, The, 262 
Trevanion, 80, 132 
Trip to Paris, The, 249 
Twiss, Horace, 254 

Union Club, The, 244, 245 

Versailles, Horace Smith at, 162- 

Victoria, Queen, curious address 

to, 293, 294 

Walter Colyton, 263, 280, 281 
Ward, Charles WiUiam, 98, 99, 
105, 109, 110, 116 

E. M., R.A., 133, 181 

Mrs., 305 

Wellington, Duke of, 145, 146 
White, Henry Kirke, 87 

Young, the Rev. Julian, 189, 190 

Zillah, 262, 263 

Richard Clay & Sons, Limited, London d: Bungay.