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Full text of "The life and remains of Douglas Jerrold"



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TO D. W. J. 

When I behol4 the false and flatter' d state 

Which all ambition points at, and survey 

The huiTied pageants of the passing day, 

Where all press on to share a fleeting fate, 

Methinks the living triumphs that await 

On hours like thine, might tempt the proud to stay. 

For on a green and all unworldly way. 

Thy hand hath twined the chaplet of the great, 

And the first warmth and fragrance of its fame. 

Are stealing on thy soul. The time shall be 

When men may find a music in thy name, 

To rouse deep fancies and opinions free ; 

Affections fervid as the sun's bright flame. 

And sympathies unfathom'd as the sea. 

Laman Blamchakd (1824). 



Now Ready. 



THE THIRD EDITION OF 
SPECIMENS OF DOUGLAS JERROLD'S WIT, 

ARRANGED BY HIS SON, BLANCHARD JERROLD. 

In one handso?ne Volume. Price 75 cents. 

TiCKNOR AND FlELDS. 



THE 



LIFE AND REMAINS 

OF 

DOUGLAS JE^RROLD 

BY HIS SON 

BLANCHARD JERROLD. 




• JBOSTON: 

TIC J^ 1:^"&^W-A -N r> FIELDS 



M DCCC LIX. 






AUTIIOU'S EDITION. 



RIVERSIDE, CAMBRIDGE: 

STEIlEOrVPED AND PRINTED BY 

II IIOlKiHTON AND COMPANY. 



gtiitati0iu 



I LAY THIS RECORD 

OF A LIFE SHE SHARED AND SWEETENED, 

WITH ALL DUTIFUL AFFECTION, 

AT 

MY MOTHER'S FEET. 



PREFACE. 



I HAVE fulfilled, to the best of my poor ability, 
a very difficult and a very solemn task. Mr. Car- 
lyle has said that a well-written life is almost as 
rare as a well-spent one. My endeavour has been 
to set forth two rarities : I fear I have failed in the 
production of the well-written life ; but it will be 
sufficient reward to me for the anxiety I have suf- 
fered in this performance of a filial duty, if I have 
proved that my father's life was a well-spent one. 

It is possible that the world may declare that I 
have, in the following pages, set an unjustly high 
value upon my father's works; and that I have 
claimed for the memory of the man more rever- 
ence than it deserves. 

The chief writings of Douglas Jerrold have 
been now for many years before the public ; and 
the high favour which they have commanded is 
the safeguard of that place in contemporary liter- 
ature, which the grateful affection of a son would 
have assigned them, under any circumstances. 

When speaking of the man — of the husband 



X PREFACE. 

and parent — some authority is due to me. I who 
saw my father — the fine subject of this poor pic- 
ture (which I set before the reader with a grave 
sense of short-comings in the execution thereof) — 
daily en robe de chambre ; when the house-doors 
were closed upon the world — when the fear of 
critics was not — and when the natural tempera- 
ment had its free play — I who have most solid 
reason to be grateful for many sunny years passed 
under the wise and tender guidance of Douglas 
Jerrold at home, do venture to speak somewhat 
authoritatively to all who have slandered him, 
calling him cynic, and begetter of feuds and ill- 
blood between poor and rich. 

I might have filled chapters answering trite 
slanders — slanders in religious papers that doubted 
insolently his Christianity — slanders penned by 
penurious scribes, with a wondrously liberal dis- 
regard of truth — slanders carted in long articles 
numbered 1, 2, and 3, and sent to an American 
paper by a man who declared that he was a friend 
of the illustrious deceased, and had therefore a few 
mud pellets ready, at a goodly sum per pellet, to 
throw upon his grave. I have put all this dirty 
pillory-crowd aside. I have written, upon my 
father's own desk, the truth, so far as I know it, 
about him, at home and abroad. I have sup- 
pressed nothing for the indulgence of family van- 
ity ; and beg the public acceptance of this biog- 
raphy in the faith that it is an honest, if a weak 
work. 



PREFACE. xi 

One gentleman has, however, written to The 
Press, an American paper, slanders of my father, 
so elaborate and wicked, that I feel bound to as- 
sure any readers who may have read them, that 
the writer was not in the list of Douglas Jer- 
rold's friends, in the first place ; and, in the second 
place, that his statements are fabrications ; and his 
estimates of the writer's private character, impure 
speculations not based upon personal knowledge. 
Even facts which the writer might have caught 
correctly, with a little trouble, are misstated. 
Thus my father is said to have written Black 
Eyed Susan "before he was twenty-one" — the 
fact being that the dramatist was in his twenty- 
sixth year when he produced this drama. Then 
the American public is informed that Douglas 
Jerrold was " down " upon Mr. Charles Kean, 
in Lloyd's Weekly Neiospaper, till his death, be- 
cause he conceived that Mr. Kean had purposely 
contrived the failure of the Heart of Gold. The 
fact is that, after this piece was produced, my 
father never wrote a line about Mr. Kean or his 
management, in the said newspaper. Douglas 
JeiTold, writes the scribe in question, " was easily 
offended, and never forgave." How many men 
are alive to contradict this, most energetically! 
But the sting of the series to which I am refer- 
ring, is meant to lie in the assertion that " Jerrold 
only urrote ; he never did any thing for the people." 
Let me give the maligner's own words : — 

" He (Douglas Jerrold) used to say that for the 



xii PREFACE. 

first twenty-five years of his life he was perpetu- 
ally struggling with poverty, and that therefore he 
felt for the poor. Almost at a bound, so sudden 
was the accession of literary reputation and gain, 
he rose from <£800 to X3000 a year. Out of the 
smaller income he could not indulge in charity ; 
out of the larger he did not. . . . How his 
large income slipped through his fingers we shall 
not too curiously inquire. His family benefited 
very slightly by it. Jerrold was a man who made 
a point of being extremely and constantly liberal 
— to himself^ The facts given in the following 
pages, and the many witnesses of my father's 
most prodigal charity, will suffice, I trust, to cast 
back this charge in the writer's teeth. Perhaps, 
however, to show how calmly this " friend " gives 
assumptions for truths, it would have sufficed to 
state that he alleges, as evidence of my father's 
" unpopularity," that " year after year, until the 
month before his death, he was regularly black- 
balled at the Reform Club." My father was pro- 
posed for election at this club once, and once only 
and was elected. 

During the preparation of this difficult work, I 
have been indebted for suggestions, correspond- 
ence, and anecdotes, to many of my father's old 
friends. Mr. Charles Dickens and Mr. John Fors- 
ter have kindly afforded me the opportunity of re- 
ferring to my father's letters addressed to them 
respectively ; Mr. Hepworth Dixon has given me 
some valuable memoranda; and Mr. Wilkinson 



PREFACE. Xiii 

has enlightened me on my father's early days at 
Cranbrook and Sheerness, aided by the clear 
memory of Mr. James Russell. Mr. Peter Cun- 
ningham, Mr. Horace Mayhew, Mr. Kenny Mead- 
ows, Mr. Shirley Brooks, are names of my father's 
friends, who have been of service to me. But I 
can recall, happily, many old, familiar faces, that 
have been grouped about me, bringing anecdotes, 
facetiae, &c. to my work. To one and all of 
these I beg here to tender my heartiest thanks. 

If the world will still obstinately hold that my 
father's was of those natures which are outwardly 
" cold, cutting, and sharp," they will, I trust, be- 
lieve that it was also of those which " in their 
common inner world," throb and labour warmly 
and tenderly — natures which Jean Paul likens 
happily to " lofty palm-trees, armed with long 
thorns against all that lies below," but filled on 
their summits " with precious palm wine of the 
most vigorous friendship." 



CONTENTS. 



CHAPTER I. 

PAGE 
INFANCY 1 



CHAPTER II. 
ON BOARD SHIP 25 

CHAPTER III. 
ARRIVAL IN LONDON 43 

CHAPTER IV. 
EARLY FRIENDSHIPS AND MARRIAGE ... 59 

CHAPTER V. 

THE DOMESTIC DRAMA 80 

CHAPTER VI. 

THE DOMESTIC DRAMA CONCLUDED. . . . 100 

CHAPTER VII. 
EARLY CONTRIBUTIONS TO PERIODICALS . . .127 

CHAPTER Vm. 
COMEDIES — LEATE-TAKING OF THE STAGE . . 162 

CHAPTER IX. 
PUNCH 202 



XVI CONTENTS. 



PAGE 

CHAPTER X. 
MAGAZINES AND NEWSPAPERS 238 



CHAPTER XI. 
DOUGLAS JERROLD IN PUBLIC 256 

CHAPTER XII. 

DOUGLAS JERROLD AT HOME 271 

CHAPTER Xni. 
OUT OF TOWN 314 

CHAPTER XIV. 
CLUBS 330 

CHAPTER XV. 
THE 8th of JUNE, 1857 347 

REMAINS 368 

APPENDIX 405 



LIFE OF DOUGLAS JERROLD. 



CHAPTER I. 



INFANCY. 



In the year 1789 the Dover company of players were 
halted at Eastbourne, the chief actors of the little band 
being located at the Lamb Inn. On a certain evening in 
this year a star arrived, and inquired for the manager, 
Mr. Richland. "A very shrewd-looking and rather hand- 
some lad of about fourteen " met the star, and conducted 
him into the managerial presence. This lad was the son 
of Mr. Samuel Jerrold. Mr. Jerrold was an important 
member of the company ; and seemed to derive much of 
his popularity from the possession of a pair of Garrick's 
shoes, which he wore whenever he appeared on the stage. 
" I still see the delight," writes Mr. Dibdin, the star in 
question, in his autobiography, " with which his eyes 
sparkled when he exhibited these relics of the mighty 
Roscius to me for the first time, and his stare of admira- 
tion on learning that the * new gentleman ' was really and 
truly no more nor less than a genuine godson of the im- 
mortal G. ! " 

More than half a century after the poor stroller, 
1 



2 LIFE OF DOUGLAS JEKROLD. 

Samuel Jerrold, had displayed his precious shoes to the 
bumpkins about Eastbourne, his son, Douglas, accompa- 
nied by his family, went to this quiet place to enjoy a 
summer's holiday. Here a poor stroller waited upon the 
son, and asked him to give his patronage to the little thea- 
tre. Douglas Jerrold's " bespeak " was put forth in this 
same Eastbourne, in 1851 ; and the patron went to the 
barn with his family, and was posted in the seat of hon- 
our ; — the honour being marked by a little red cloth 
thrown over the front bench. Rafters, dark and ghostly, 
overhead ; rows of greasy benches behind ; and a woeful 
stage, with dips for foot-lights, were not encouraging hints 
as to the nature of the entertainment. Presently a boy in 
a smock frock snuffed the dips ; and then the Love Chase 
was played. The manager's family took nearly all the 
parts ; even the poor old chief of the troupe, blind and 
worn, was led on to sing " Come and take tea in the 
arbour." In 1851, the patron of the evening must have 
thought, " Matters theatrical here are rude enough. 
What must the theatre have been in which Dibdin, and 
my father, and Wilkinson, performed hereabouts some 
sixty years ago ! " 

We pass back from 1851 to 1780. 

Mr. Samuel Jerrold was, according to Dibdin, not only 
the envied proprietor of Garrick's shoes — he was printer 
to the theatrical corps. In this capacity he asked the new 
star how he would have his name printed in the playbills. 

" Sir," replied the facetious Dibdin, " my name is 
Norval. 

" True," responded Mr. Jerrold, " upon the Grampian 
Hills ; but your real name ? " 

The proprietor of Garrick's shoes was not, as may be 
inferred from this retort, always " melancholy," as Dib- 



INFANCY. 3 

din has described him. His son Robert was even en- 
ergetic and enterprising, for he was ready to take a 
midnight walk with Dibdin from Eastbourne to Brighton, 
in those days when the roads w^ere infested with high- 
waymen, and when the coast was in the possession of 
smugglers. The object of Dibdin's journey with his 
young friend Robert Jerrold, was to see Reynolds's trag- 
edy of Werter ; and, perhaps, to embrace Mrs. Dibdin, 
who happened to be at Brighton at the time. 

The travellers left Eastbourne on their tramp of eigh- 
teen miles as the clock struck midnight. The moon 
cheered them with her " tender light," and they had 
already fortified themselves with a substantial supper at 
" The Lamb." They reached Seaford in safety, and 
without having had an adventure by the way. But at 
this point of their journey the moon disappeared, leaving 
them to grope along a barely distinguishable road, over a 
dreary, cliff-bordered down. The comforts of the Lamb 
Inn probably rose to the minds of the pedestrians. They 
had yet far to go, through that black night, under the 
ebon shadows of tremendous cliffs, through deep and 
ghastly crevices. Suddenly the scene was brilliantly illu- 
minated. They knew the meaning of the circle of signal 
lights that flashed along the seaboard. Smugglers were 
abroad. Like Nelson, they had accepted the dark night 
as a point in their favour. Dibdin and Robert Jerrold 
had now reached the end of a " gloomy defile," and, as 
they followed the winding of the road towards the sea, 
they were suddenly stopped by a procession of about one 
hundred smugglers, leading about two hundred horses 
laden with casks. The men were armed to the teeth, 
ready to save their booty with their lives. Still they 
were jolly fellows it would seem, and at once insisted 



4 LIFE OF DOUGLAS JEREOLD. 

upon refreshing the travellers with a little " godsend " — 
the name they gave to some very excellent brandy. 
More — they insisted upon giving Dibdin a ride between 
two tubs upon a tall black mare, and upon setting " little 
Bob Jerrold " astride a cask of contraband, on the back 
of a Shetland pony. 

In short, smugglers were never jollier nor bolder on 
the boards of the Adelphi, than were these sturdy trans- 
gressors of the law on the southern coast. 

Dibdin and his companion reached Brighton in safety, 
and returned presently to their professional duties at 
Eastbourne. 

Robert Jerrold and Charles Jerrold were the issue of 
Mr. Samuel Jerrold's marriage witly Miss Simpson, an 
actress in one of the companies to which, during his 
changeful youth, Mr. Samuel Jerrold belonged. The 
elder son, Robert, when he reached manhood, adopted his 
father's profession, and became a member of the Nor- 
wich company, acting under the name of Fitzgerald. 
Subsequently he was lessee of the York circuit, bought 
the Sheerness theatre of his father in June, 1813, and 
died suddenly, on his way from Sheffield to Leeds in May, 
1818. Charles became a warrant officer in his Majesty's 
navy, and died about 1846. 

Mr. Samuel Jerrold undoubtedly passed many years of 
his life in the provincial towns of the south of England, 
gaining his livelihood as an actor. The son of Mr. Jer- 
rold, of Hackney, (who was a large dealer in horses at a 
time when horses were eagerly sought, in consequence of 
the long-continued wars,) and the descendant of yet richer 
forefathers, the poor stroller must have remembered 
somewhat bitterly the fact, to which he often referred, 
namely, that he had played in a barn upon the estate that 



INFANCY. 5 

was rightfully his own. More of his family he never 
communicated to his children ; nor has the humble chron- 
icler of these facts been at much pains to elaborate an 
ancestral tree. 

At the close of the last century, and in the early ;^ears 
of the present, the strolling actor was still, in the eyes of 
society, a protected vagabond. Since that 10th of May, 
1574, on which the influence of the Earl of Leicester 
obtained for his servants, James Burbadge, John Parkyn, 
John Lanham, William Johnson, and Robert Wilson, a 
license, under the privy seal, " to exercise the faculty of 
playing throughout the realm of England," * until far 
into this present century, actors had made little progress 
in the esteem of society. With the exception of the for- 
tunate men and women who trod the boards of the patent 
houses, they were still vagabonds, as in the early Eliza- 
bethan days, when they were glad to shelter themselves as 
servants of powerful nobles ; when the Earl of Warwick, 
Lord Clinton, Sir Robert Lane, and other notable men 
had each their retinue of theatrical servants ; and when 
these servants were forbidden to act publicly on Thursdays, 
because their entertainments might harm the interest of 
the more dignified folk who speculated in the attractions 
of bear-baiting. 

And so near that little pleasant Kentish market-town, 
Cranbrook, Mi*. Robert Jerrold, manager, who set his 
actors to work about 1806 in a large barn at Wilsby, was, 
no doubt, glad to find himself under the protecting wing 
of Sir Walter and Lady Jane James, the great people of 
Angley. The stage must have been rude enough ; the 
dresses wei e possibly coarse and dingy ; yet under this 
barn thatch more than one actor, destined to be presently 

* The Prolegomena to Reed's edition of Steevens's " Shakspeare." 



6 LIFE OF DOUGLAS JERROLD. 

famous in London, strutted his hour for the amusement 
of Kentish ploughboys. 

The manager had had his misfortunes and his fortunes. 
He had lost his first wife, and years afterwards (about 
1793' or 1794), had married at Wirksworth, in Derby- 
shire, Miss Reid, a young lady of great energy and abihty. 
The husband was older than his own mother-in-law ; and 
gossips in the theatre had much to say about this junction 
of May with December. Still the match was a happy 
one, and brought prosperity to the management ; for Mrs. 
Samuel Jerrold could rule a theatre as cleverly and more 
vigorously than her elderly lord. A young family came 
— first two daughters ; then, while Mrs. Jerrold was in 
London, on the 3d of January, 1803, a fine boy, who was 
christened Douglas Wilham, and carried in swaddling 
clothes to Cranbrook by his grandmother. Douglas was 
his grandmother's maiden name. 

The sheep-bells that made the softly-rounded hills 
about Cranbrook ever musical, and the rude theatre in 
the suburbs of the little town, were little Douglas's 
earliest recollections. In 1806, when the subject of this 
memoir was in his third year, he was a strong, rosy, 
white-haired boy, as Mr. Wilkinson (afterwards the cele- 
brated Jeffrey Muffincap), who had just arrived at the 
little theatre to tempt fortune upon its humble boards, is 
still ahve to testify. That intense love of nature — that 
thirst which the grown man felt for the freshness of the 
breeze — and that glow of heart with which he met the 
sunshine in after-hfe, appear to have first moved his soul 
as an infant. The memory of the sheep-bell, I have said, 
was his earliest impression ; for the sweetness of the rich 
pasturages and the leafy lanes, the swelling distances of 
grove, and hill, and valley, were all summed up, in his 



INFANCY. 7 

memory, in this pastoral music. Led by his grand- 
mother, with whom he chiefly lived, for careful walks 
along the cleaner paths, he gathered the abundant wild 
flowers of Kentish hedges, and trotted early home to bed, 
that the old lady might be at her humble post of money- 
taker at the Wilsby theatre. 

And when he becomes a man, with a pen in his hand, 
and strong, clear, and intense thoughts in his brain, he 
remembered this little thatched Wilsby theatre, and spoke 
in behalf of the strolling player. " He is," said the 
strolling player's son, " the merry preacher of the 
noblest, grandest lessons of human thought. He is the 
poet's pilgrim, and in the forlornest by-ways and abodes 
of men calls forth new sympathies — sheds upon the cold 
dull trade of real life, an hour of poetic glory, ' making a 
sunshine in a shady place.' He informs human clay 
with thoughts and throbbings that refine it, and for this 
he was for centuries ' a rogue and vagabond ; ' and is 
even now a long, long day's march from the vantage- 
ground of respectability." 

And so Master Douglas Jerrold passed into his fourth 
year. On the 27th day of January, 1807, Mr. Samuel 
Jerrold became the lessee of the Sheerness theatre, and 
early in this year his family followed him to his new field 
of exertion. 

Sheerness at the present time is, perhaps, the dullest 
English seaport town a wanderer from London can visit. 
The approach from Chatham, down the Medway, be- 
tween the wooden walls of England, making a glorious 
thoroughfare — past the dismantled ships that once bore 
hardy EngHshmen to the Arctic regions — past the black 
and terrible floating batteries, and the poor old hull of the 
Chesapeake reduced to a receiving-ship — to the broad 



8 LIFE OF DOUGLAS JERKOLD. 

water, where frigates sit immovable upon the dancing sea 
— where hvely boats dart hither and thither to the cheery 
notes of brawny tars, while the gold-laced caps of the 
officers in the stern-sheets gleam, as the little barks rise 
and fall, with a white crest of foam ever upon their 
gallant shoulder — here with a fresh breeze rushing past 
his face, and planted upon the deck of a little steamer 
that runs audaciously under the stern or bows of the war 
monsters around her, and impudently tries to puff her 
smoke into the state-cabin windows, to prove that she is 
not so little after all — here, I say, the smoke-dried 
Londoner may spend a pleasant, invigorating hour. But 
let him once touch the creaking timbers of old Sheerness 
pier, and he is disenchanted. He may lean upon the 
railings for a few minutes, and watch sailors lolling and 
peaceably smoking in their rocking boats — he may note 
the admiral's little black steamer standing out to sea ; or 
he may catch glimpses of great hulls laid up high and dry 
in the dockyard, and suffering the blows of a thousand 
hammers, amid feathers of steam darting from the black 
holes, where fires glow like angry eyes, and where, he is 
told, Nasmyth's hammer now breaks an iron beam, and 
now, delicately as a lady — to show how gentle it can be 
— cracks a nut ! But when he has resolutely passed the 
dingy toll-house at the land extremity of the pier, and 
has turned to the left, and into High Street, he will pos- 
sibly quicken his footsteps, with the innocent idea that 
he is passing rapidly out of the dirt, and away from the 
little squalid shops of Blue Town, into the more aristo- 
cratic Mile Town. A quarter of an hour devoted to this 
manly pedestrianism will convince him that Blue Town 
is, on the whole, quite as cheerful a place as Mile Town ; 
for, grant that the High Street, Blue Town, do consist 



INFANCY. 9 

of a high black dockyard wall on the left, and rows of 
rasping pilot coats, arrays of 'bacco boxes, tarpaulin, con- 
sumptive apples strangely laid out near red herrings that 
are yellow, and dingy beershops, ornamented with gin 
bottles with fly-blown labels, on the right — can Mile 
Town, with its long streets of little one-storied wooden 
houses, make any solid claim to grandeur ? It includes 
Portland Place it is true ; but then its Portland Place is 
hardly one hundred yards in length ; and its industry is 
almost confined to the operations of an energetic dealer in 
weathercocks and figure-heads. Enterprise is not wild in 
Blue Town, it is true again, since the librarian surren- 
dered a current number of " Household Words " to me 
only after a weighty discussion, in which he informed me 
that he " never bought more numbers than he had orders 
for." Sheerness does not even boast a published guide. 
One was issued years ago, but it has long since been 
suflTered to run out of print. For amusements Sheerness 
possesses a Cooperative Hall, mostly frequented by 
clergymen of a highly orthodox jocosity. No telegraphic 
wires connect this ancient town with London. It has 
consented to avail itself of the advantages of gas ; but 
then it will not allow its gasometer to compete with the 
moon, and so, on moonlight nights, it dispenses with the 
services of its lamplighter. But then Sheerness has no 
pretension whatever. There are no gaudy hnendrapers' 
windows, no dapper tailors, no tempting hosiers within it. 
Its people dress as they please, and appear to have but 
the smallest regard for the opinions of their neighbours. 
The sailors lounging about the streets, with their broad 
fingers dipped into their dog's-eared pockets, appear to 
have given their rough, and honest, and careless spirit to 
the place. 



10 LIFE OF DOUGLAS JERROLD. 

It is strange, seeing how cheerful Sheerness people 
are, and how content they live in narrow, dirty streets, 
that they have not been impelled by the gallant fellows 
who lie in the great ships yonder, to arrange some hearty 
amusements for visitors. But the fact is, that the sailors 
repair to sad beershops, while the serious attend those 
sleepy, soulless lectures, of which the soiled syllabus may 
be seen in the bakers' windows. There is no theatre in 
Sheerness ; and more, I could not find a single inhabitant 
who wished to see a theatre there. I was shown a 
timber-yard, at the corner of Victory Street, which was 
the site of the last stage ; and I knew that the theatrical 
establishment of which Mr. Samuel Jerrold became 
lessee in 1807, had long since been taken down ; and 
that its site had been inclosed within the great black wall 
in High Street, Blue Town. 

Sheerness in 1807, however, although not measuring 
half the circumference it now boasts, was livelier than it 
is now ; or the manager, although paying to Mr. Jacob 
Johnson, of London, only £50 per annum for the theatre 
in High Street, Blue Town, would have fared badly. A 
formidable foe was on the opposite shore, England looked 
more than ever to her wooden walls, and had just added 
ten thousand men to her naval service. The Blue 
Town, Sheerness, was crammed with sailors and their 
officers. The spirit of recent great achievements ani- 
mated them ; and to Mr. Jerrold's little wooden theatre 
in High Street, flocked officers and men in sufficient 
crowds to make the manager's speculation for many years 
highly lucrative. The audience was not, as may be 
readily imagined, a very quiet one. Still, Hamlet, and 
Richard the Third, and Macbeth drew houses ; but pieces 
having some reference to nautical life ; and farces, broad 



INFANCY. 11 

rather than elegant, interspersed with old comic songs, 
were the chief elements of the usual entertainment. Now 
the port-admiral, and now the governor, gave the manager 
a " bespeak," to help him through the dull season. 

Jogrum Brown, one -of the old door-keepers of the 
little theatre, still lives ; and in his ripe old age, pursues 
the very serious duties of sexton to his neighbours of 
Blue Town. He is a hale old man, with a head stored to 
the skull with curious bits of local history. I had a long 
conversation with him, as we rambled together lately, 
along the shore, within sight of the dockyard : " To him," 
he said, " times were changed indeed." He remembered 
the day Parker was hanged — well. History told us 
many lies on the subject. Parker was hanged on board 
of The Sandwich, 90-gun ship. They brought him from 
Greenhithe, and he was hanged. 

" He ought to remember all about the theatre, for he 
was door-keeper there for years. He worked in the 
dockyard in the daytime, and was in Mr. Samuel 
Jerrold's service in the evening. Webb, the Irish come- 
dian, was the star for a long time. Mr. Samuel Jerrold 
played, too sometimes. He remembered him well in 
Richmond, and in the Ghost in Hamlet. He was not 
particular what he played. He couldn't say how big the 
theatre was, but he did remember well that on the night 
when the Russian admiral was at Sheerness, and gave a 
' bespeak,' there was £42 18s. in the house. This was 
the largest sum they ever took in a night. The prices^ 
were three shillings to the boxes, two shillings to the pit, 
^ and one shilling to the gallery." 

"In that time," continued the old sexton, in reply to 
my allusion to the want of water-works in Sheerness, " it 
was much scarcer. Water cost fourpence for two pails ; 



12 LIFE OF DOUGLAS JERROLD. 

now you can have the same quantity for one penny. Ay, 
you could get, in those days, plenty of hollands in the is- 
land, but very little water. There was smuggling going 
forward everywhere. Why, the smugglers stowed the 
spirits in any corner. He remembered that there was a 
kind of ditch that ran behind the theatre. Well, some- 
body once told him that he was certain that a lot of 
money must be dropped, from time to time, through the 
floor of the boxes ; so he and the carpenter determined 
one day, when nobody was by, to take the floor of the 
boxes up. They did take it up, and crept under, when 
they found, not money, but near upon eighty casks 
of hollands. It appeared that smugglers had been in 
the habit of traveUing along the ditch, and depositing 
their contraband in this convenient spot under the thea- 
tre. Of course he gave a hint, and the casks were re- 
moved. 

"Ay, many strange things happened to him while he 
was door-keeper. He remembered Lord Cochrane well. 
He used to be often at the theatre when he was at Sheer- 
ness, in The Pallas, and his lordship would always insist 
upon paying double." 

The little white-haired boy who ran about the theatre 
then, looking up with awe at the naval hero, was destined, 
many years afterwards, to take up that hero's cudgels. 
[Appendix L] And very handsomely did the hero ac- 
knowledge the service, as the following letter sufficiently 
witnesses : — 

"8, Chesterfield Street, 

lOih May, 1847. 
" Sir, 

" Your generous and very powerful advocacy of my claim to 
the investigation of my case has contributed to promote that act of 
justice, and produced a decision of the Cabinet Council, after due 



INFANCY. 13 

deliberation, to recommend to her Majesty my immediate restoration 
to the Order of the Bath, in which recommendation her Majesty has 
been graciously pleased to acquiesce. 

" I would personally have waited on you, confidentially to commu- 
nicate this (not yet promulgated) decree; but as there is so little 
chance of finding you, and I am pressingly occupied, I shall postpone 
thq,t pleasure and duty. 

" I am. Sir, 
" Your obliged and obedient servant, 

" DUNDONALD. 

" Douglas Jerrold, Esq." 

This letter was always treasured by the recipient of it as 
a very handsome acknowledgment of a small service. 

Jogrum Brown remembered, too, when Oxberry was 
playing at Sheerness. Two gentlemen arrived from Lon- 
don, engaged him, took him off in a post-chaise directly 
after the performance was over, and Oxberry played in 
London the very next night. 

" Mr. Samuel Jerrold and his wife were very much 
liked. She was the more active manager, and was very 
kind. Once there was a landslip near Sheerness* that 
carried a house and garden into the sea. Mrs. Jerrold 
was very good to the poor sufferers, and gave a benefit 
for them, which realized £37." 

The old door-keeper, now sexton, and known to his 
fellow-townsmen as Jogrum Brown, had many more 
stories to tell. His friend Patrick and Mrs. Patrick — 
both hale, happy old people, under whose honest eyes I 
have promised that this page shall fall — also remembered 
the mutiny at the Nore. Mrs. Patrick recalled the thea- 
tre to mind as the scene of her husband's early atten- 
tions. 

Patrick has spent the lusty days of his life as a ship- 
wright, and is now living in a snug house in Victory 
Street, Mile Town, on his superannuation allowance. He 



14 LIFE OF DOUGLAS JERROLD. 

remembers well the performance of the Stranger, and 
that " little Douglas," a handsome, rosy boy, appeared as 
one of the children in it. Jogrum Brown did not remem- 
ber that the manager's son often appeared, but he did re- 
member that he never seemed " to take to it." 

The truth is that Douglas Jerrold appeared on the 
paternal stage in several pieces when a child was needed. 
Edmund Kean, for instance, carried him on in Rolla. 
But not within the wooden walls of this little theatre were 
the boy's thoughts. He had no inclination towards the 
foot-lights ; and never cared, in after-life, for the drama — 
seen from behind the scenes. 

Mrs. Reid, the kind old soul under whose tender care 
my father's earliest years were passed, was not inclined 
to see him running wild about the theatre. She made it 
her special business to bring him up. No speck was ever 
seen upon his collar, no button was ever wanting upon 
that skeleton suit which was in vogue in those days, but 
which has been since ceded to our dapper pages as their 
exclusive fashion. Mr. Wilkinson, who remained a mem- 
ber of the Sheerness company till 1809, having joined it 
at Sheerness at Christmas, 1807 — some months, probably, 
after the close of the Cranbrook campaign — was engaged 
early in 1809, Avhen my father was six years of age, to 
teach him reading and writing. He combined the duties 
of tutor with those of actor till the close of that year's 
season, when he left Sheerness for Scotland. 

At this time " little Douglas " showed a remarkable 
love of reading; and years afterwards, when the good 
old lady was blind and bedridden, she would tell stories 
of how she used to lock up " the dear child " in his own 
room, with his books, before she went to take the money 
at the theatre. And " the dear child 



INFANCY. 15 

hood's estate — hazy acreage very often ! — would tell his 
stories of the bright summer evenings when he was 
locked up like a pet bird, and when he looked down into 
the streets to watch his free playmates pass, chirruping, 
to and fro, to their games. He loved his books undoubt- 
edly, but the key was turned in the lock, and his spirit 
chafed to know it. 

From his little prison in the High Street he might, 
however, watch the fleet at anchor off the town. And in 
those days, when the men about the thoughtful boy were 
all naval heroes — when the glories of the British tar were 
the unfailing theme upon his father's stage — the great 
ships lay there, to him, floating fairy palaces. Already 
his half-brother was a sailor, and his grandmother had 
relatives in the service of his Majesty. The stories that 
were told to him by his garrulous grandmother, were of 
Prince William, the royal sailor ; of Nelson, and CoUing- 
wood. The passionate reader of the " Death of Abel " 
(the copy over which his young eyes wandered, is before 
me) and of " Roderick Random," at an age when most 
boys devote their free energy to the niceties of " knuck- 
ling down," or to the mysteries of rounders ; he turned 
from the dwarfed pictures of life, as presented on the 
stage, to the great, real drama afar off, of which he caught 
the faint, but thrilling echoes. In his walks with his 
grandmother (who insisted that he should wear pattens in 
dry as in wet weather) neighbours would stop to watch 
the little fellow read the names over the shops, or the 
bills in the shop windows. Both Mr. and Mrs. Patrick, 
who knew Mr. Samuel Jerrold and his family only by 
seeing them in the streets or at the theatre, have yet a 
very vivid recollection of my father when a boy, and of 
his constant walks with his good grandmother. They 



16 LIFE OF DOUGLAS JERROLD. 

remember, too, that he had a passion for the sea ; and 
Jogrum Brown declares that his master's boy, Douglas, 
was a stout, well-made, white-haired, and rosy-cheeked 
child, graver than other children, and somewhat unu- 
sually ready " to show fight." 

After Mr. Wilkinson left Sheerness for Scotland, the 
little reader of " The Death of Abel " was sent to Mr. 
Herbert's school. This school was the best then in 
Sheerness, and included about one hundred scholars. 
The old schoolmaster still lives, and remembers his pupil. 
Master Douglas Jerrold, as a boy to whom, he believed, 
he never had to say an angry word, and who was partic- 
ularly studious. " Little Douglas " remained at this 
school during four or five years, and when he left Mr. 
Herbert " he was," according to his schoolmaster's report, 
"in the third or fourth rule of arithmetic." I have a 
Christmas piece before me, signed Douglas William 
Jerrold, the 25th of December, 1812, and written in a 
fine small hand — strong, flowing. Undoubtedly it is a 
school-boy's best writing, performed at a very slow pace, 
under the scrutinizing eye of Mr. Herbert, who was 
anxious to send home his pupil showing the most en- 
couraging progress. Still, it is so far beyond the cramped, 
dull, copy-book hand written usually by children at this 
age, that it is, to me at any rate, strong evidence of the 
writer's precocious power. It is an affecting sheet to 
look upon, with its rude painted pictures of brightest blue 
and most flaming red and yellow — to remember the dear 
young hands that traced these fading letters ; and the 
hands, also dear, that, down to this hour, through sad and 
tumultuous scenes, have kept it safe, to lay it under my 
unworthy eyes, and bid me tell its simple story to the 
world — to the world that will gravely, coldly, cast, into its 
icy scales, this record of a dear life ! 



INFANCY. 17 

Mr. Herbert's school was, to use the words of Mr. 
Jogrum Brown — possibly not an infallible authority on 
educational systems — a very different affair from schools 
in the present day. " No algebra, nor that sort of thing." 
Mr. Herbert undertook to teach, undoubtedly, only the 
common rudiments. His scholars left him, able to read, 
write, and manage arithmetic for their own worldly ad- 
vantage, as some of his boys, now thriving in Sheerness, 
can testify. " He taught us to turn noughts into nines," 
said one of his grateful pupils to me — a kind of com- 
mercial education that would hardly satisfy the greedy 
maw of the present time. To turn a nought into a thou- 
sand by a flourish of the pen, is the trick which our 
youth is learning, if not in commercial seminaries, at 
least in city counting-houses. 

" Meek quietness without offence, 
Content in homespun kirtle," 

is by no means the spirit which we now infuse into our 
children. 

But it is clear that from Mr. Herbert my father 
turned, directed by the strong fire within him, and gazed 
wistfully, passionately, at the noble frigates that ploughed 
the waves under his window, and sank below the horizon 
on their way to victory. It is certain that the sea, and 
the glories of the sea, first evoked a passionate longing in 
his young heart ; that, sitting prisoned on summer even- 
ings, in his bedroom, his blue eyes wandered from the 
well-thumbed " Death of Abel " to search over the 
water ; and that great visions of Nelsons afloat under 
victorious bunting, of flying Frenchmen, and gallant 
boarding-parties, of prizes in tow, and the grateful cheers 
from English shores, glowed in his heart. That ardent 



18 LIFE OF DOUGLAS JEREOLD. 

temper, that white-hot energy, which pulsed through him 
in after-life, and made his utterances all vehement, 
whether right or wrong, showed in the boy whose daily 
walks were in the midst of gallant sailors scarred by war 
— come home to be glorified by their countrymen. 

From his mother, who was of Scotch descent on the 
maternal side, undoubtedly, he derived that feverish 
energy which made him dash at every object he sought ; 
as, from his father, a weak, pensive, thoughtful old man, 
he borrowed that tender, poetic under-current that flowed 
through every thought he set upon paper for the world's 
judgment. But chiefly to my grandmother, I have 
always heard, and have always, from my own observa- 
tion, thought, he owed the marked elements of his char- 
acter, — and the strong constitution and the peculiar cast 
of countenance that .were his. His face, as a child, must 
have been remarkable, since its features live still, and 
vividly, in the minds of old people who knew him simply 
as a young fellow-townsman. The testimony of Mr. and 
Mrs. Patrick, and of old talkative Jogrum Brown, points 
to a very handsome, white-haired, rosy-cheeked boy. A 
boy with eager, flashing eyes he must have been. 
Energy, fire in every muscle of the strongly-marked 
countenance ; the thin lips curled down with a wicked 
humour ; the eyes, sharp as lightning, were fixed upon 
you, and looked through you ; — this in after-life. But 
the boy, prisoned in High Street, Sheerness, who dwelt 
mournfully upon the " Death of Abel," and could enjoy 
" Roderick Random ; " who had already looked across 
the waters, to scent the thrilling atmosphere of victorious 
War ; who chafed like a young lion eager to subdue, and 
was valiantly resolute to bear his little part in the fight 
against the French — the French, under whose sunny 



INFANCY. 19 

skies the grown man was destined to pass some of the 
happier years of his life — this restless, eager boy, to 
whom the paternal stage was an arena all too mean for 
his aspiring soul, must have borne, even upon his white 
head ten summers, old, vivid signs of the great and daunt- 
less heart that was within him. Boys, and the games of 
boys, were not for him. "The only athletic sport I ever 
mastered," he said, long years afterwards, " was back- 
gammon." He is reported to have been at hostilities 
with the boys of Mile Town, as^^one of the leaders of the 
Blue Town juveniles ; and to have acted so vigorously, 
and with an earnestness so downright in the actions 
which ensued, that serious interference on the part of 
civil heroes of a larger growth became necessary. 
Whether the young warriors — 

" their feats to crown, 

Storm' d some ruin'd pigsty for a town," 

is not on record. The little armies consisted mainly of 
the sturdy offspring of a maritime population, reinforced 
by the progeny born of maritime store-dealers, vendors 
of Jack's 'bacco boxes, artful appropriators of Jack's 
prize-money; for Sheerness in those days was not the 
favourite watering-place of the Virtues, when these 
Excellencies were tired of the smoke of London. The 
Blue Town was, if a jolly, also a very loose place. Jack 
ashore, with. the glow of victory upon him, and with 
much spare cash burning in his pocket, was not the man 
to refine the spot of earth which he made the scene of his 
landing ; therefore the sharks that are always ready to 
pounce upon a blue jacket, shoaled, during the war, at 
the mouth of the Medway. Many very bad men here 
filched the prizes from the guileless heroes who had won 



20 LIFE OF DOUGLAS JEEROLD. 

them with their sweat and blood; and went away to 
enjoy the sunset of their life upon snug properties, while 
their victims limped to Greenwich Hospital. 

So that " young Douglas " saw, not only the pleasant, 
the heroic side of sea life. — Jack ashore, reeling along 
squalid alleys, his stalwart arms encircling one of those 
terrible women seen only in seaport towns (strong jowl, 
eyes hideously merry, dress loose, dirty, and glaring) ; 
Jack in some tavern brawl, prodigal of oaths, and eager 
for a fight ; Jack striped by the " cat ; " Jack swinging 
from the yard-arm — all these scenes of a great living 
drama passed under the eager eyes, into the fiery brain, 
and smote upon the heart of the future author of " Black- 
Eyed Susan." Yet with these brawny, uncouth heroes 
of the salt sea, who had ever an oath for the French upon 
their lips, whose magic word was Nelson, despite their 
coarseness and brutality, the boy's brave heart went. 
Went, ay, resolutely, as to its proper air — to its obvious 
and its glorious destiny. The boy forgot the hour when 
Edmund Kean bore him to the foot-lights in Rolla ; he 
turned from the faint odour of the theatrical oil, to drink 
deep of that bitter hate with which Englishmen then 
honoured their " gallant allies " of to-day. To thrash 
the French w^as the aspiration of a large proportion of 
English youngsters in those times. The memory of 
Napoleon's threatened invasion — the great army of Bou- 
logne (now made for ever memorable by a statue of the 
great general erected upon the site of his head-quarters, 
by an English undertaker, a local Crossbones) — the 
stories of which Napoleon was the presiding demon, 
stirred the young blood of England ; and far and wide 
went forth the defiant assertion that one Anglo-Saxon 
could thrash three Gauls. Superb was Jack's contempt 



INFANCY. 21 

for 3Iounseer afloat — infinite his delight when he saw his 
vivacious natural enemy caricatured upon the stage. In 
this delight, and in this contempt, eager " young Douglas " 
shared largely. For him the sea, and the sea only, was 
the worthy sphere of an Englishman. In after-life he 
never spoke of Nelson without a thrill of excitement; 
never sniffed the salt again without casting back his flow- 
ing hair in the breeze, and looking eagerly and with huge 
content around him. 

His good grandmother must have watched the growth 
of this impulsive, vehement nature with alarm ; for she — 
good soul ! — would have cast away her life as a waif to 
shield him from the least harm. He was, as she would 
have expressed it herself in her old-fashioned way, " the 
apple of her eye." Never, in wet or dry weather, did 
her young charge tread the uneven stones of High Street, 
llor walk along the shore, without pattens upon his feet. 
Contentedly enough, the dear boy fairly under lock and 
key, did the old lady take her station in the theatre lobby, 
and talk, perhaps, with Jogrum Brown or Charlsworth — 
the joint attendants upon visitors — remembering that, for 
that night at any rate, " little Douglas " was safe. 

But she might have been certain that her young grand- 
son would not long bear this affectionate restraint. The 
hour must come when he would refuse to be locked up in 
his room, or hold the apron-strings of his good grand- 
mother. The time was coming when his dream of the 
sea would be a stern reality. Yet even then would the 
good soul watch over him, and write to his captain, im- 
ploring him to be kind to " little Douglas," and be sure 
he wore his pattens upon the wet decks. From the fights 
of Blue Town he was about to turn, after a brief hour 
under schoolmaster Glass, of Southend, — whei'e Mr. Sam- 



22 LIFE OF DOUGLAS JERROLD. 

iiel Jerrold had also a theatre — to the reality of war 
upon the deck of a gun-brig — in a time, too, when the 
sailors of the old school ruled the waves ; when a young- 
ster was buffeted about a ship with more determined 
brutality than any men now venture to exhibit to a dog. 
He was about to leave the dirty old town and its honest, 
hearty townsfolk, little expecting that they would remem- 
ber his white hair and rosy cheeks ; and that there would 
be a good couple in Victory Street, after his death, able 
to paint his boyish figure, and declare that "Douglass 
Jerrold was the only good thing that ever came out of 
Sheerness." The brave boy bore away with him from 
the old town, however, many memories destined to do 
him good service in the future. 

The accuracy of his memory is strongly exemplified, 
for instance, in the following account of Kean at Sheer- 
ness, which he gave Mr. Procter for his life of the great 
actor : — 

"• Mr. Kean joined the Sheerness company on Easter- 
Monday, 1804. He was then still in boy's costume. He 
opened in George Barnwell, and harlequin in a panto- 
mime. His salary was fifteen shillings per week. He 
then went under the name of Carey. He continued to 
play the whole round of tragedy, comedy, opera, farce, 
interlude, and pantomime until the close of the season. 
His comedy was very successful. In Wattey Cockney 
and Risk, and in the song of ' Unfortunate Miss Bailey,' 
he made a great impression upon the tasteful critics of 
Sheerness. On leaving the placa he went to Ireland, 
and from Ireland to Mr. Baker's company at Rochester. 
It was about this time (as I have heard my father say, 
who had it from Kean himself), that Mr. Kean, being 
without money to pay the toil of a ferry, tied his ward- 



INFANCY. 23 

robe in his pocket-handkerchief, and swam the river. In 
1807 Mr. Kean again appeared at Sheerness ; salary, 
one guinea per week. He opened in Alexander the Great. 
An officer in one of the stage-boxes annoyed him by fre- 
quently exclaiming ' Alexander the Little I ' At length, 
making use of his (even then) impressive and peculiar 
powers, Mr. Kean folded his arms, and approached 
the intruder, who again sneeringly repeated ' Alex- 
ander the Little ! ' and with a vehemence of manner and 
a glaring look that appalled the offender, retorted, ' Yes, 
with a GREAT SOUL !' In the farce of the Toung Hussar, 
which followed, one of the actresses fainted, in conse- 
quence of the powerful acting of Mr. Kean. He con- 
tinued at that time, and even in such a place, to increase 
in favour, and was very generally followed, when, at the 
commencement of 1808, in consequence of some mis- 
understanding with one of the townspeople, he was com- 
pelled to seek the protection of a magistrate from a 
pressgang employed to take him. Having played four 
nights, the extent of time guaranteed by the magistrate 
(Mr. Shrove, of Queenborough), Mr. Kean made his 
escape, with some difficulty, on board the Chatham boat, 
having lain perdu in various places, until a nocturnal 
hour of sailing. The models of the tricks for the panto- 
mime of Mother Goose, as played at Sheerness, were 
made by Mr. Kean out of matches, pins, and paper. He 
also furnished a programme of business and notes, show- 
ing how many of the difficulties might be avoided for so 
small an establishment as that of Sheerness. In allusion 
to the trick of ' the odd fish,' in particular, he writes, ' If 
you do not think it worth while to go to the expense of a 
dress, if the harlequin be clever he may jump into the 
sea, and restore the egg.' " 



24 LIFE OF DOUGLAS JEREOLD. 

We now turn seaward, whither poor Mrs. Reid's 
anxious eyes are directed in the wake of her little 
favourite, who is on his way, this 2 2d of December, 1813, 
to the guard-ship Namur, lying at the mouth of the river 
— a first-class volunteer in his Majesty's service, and not 
a little proud of his uniform. 



ON BOAED SHIP. 25 



CHAPTER 11. 



ON BOARD SHIP. 



Life on board a man-of-war in 1813 — even on board 
a guard-ship at the Nore — was no hohday work. I have 
often heard my father dwell upon the great emotion with 
which he first ascended the gangway to the deck of one 
of his Majesty's ships. 

The great floating mass had the pomp and power of a 
kingdom about it — a kingdom in which he, a child eleven 
years of age, was to play a part not quite obscure. The 
good Captain Austen received him kindly, and petted 
him throughout the year and one hundred and twenty- 
three days which he passed under his command. Still, 
life at the Nore was not the naval career to which Cap- 
tain Austen's midshipman aspired. He liked well 
enough to pass hours in the captain's cabin, to read Buf- 
fon through and through, and to get up theatricals, aided 
by the pictorial genius of foremast-man Clarkson Stan- 
field, afloat in the same ship. He was near home, too, 
and this had its charm. He was permitted also to keep 
pigeons ; and he loved to see his flight of birds swooping 
round the fleet. The sounds of war afar off, however, 
smote incessantly upon his ear, and made him eager for 
active service. The life on board The Namur was dull ; 
the position of a midshipman in her not a very hopeful 
2 



26 LIFE OF DOUGLAS JERKOLD. 

one — as in the fortunes of Jack Runnymede,* first-class 
volunteer Douglas William Jerrold, promoted long after- 
wards to pen, ink, and paper, ventured to set forth. To 
this picture of a guard-ship, when Runnymede, caught by 
a pressgang, was put on board, must be added the figure 
of the faithful limner, as he walked the deck with his 
dirk at his side, and clad in that remarkable compromise 
between«a gentleman and a footboy, which in those days 
distinguished the midshipmen in his Majesty's service 
from their betters and inferiors. 

" Jack and his companions were placed on board the 
guard-ship at the great Nore, to be distributed to various 
ships as hands might be required. ' Thank God ! ' said 
Jack to himself, as he stepped aboard and saw several 
ofiicers ; ' thank God, here are gentlemen ! They must 
admit the flagrancy of the case. Yes, in another hour I 
shall be ashore.' Jack stood eyeing the officers, making 
himself an election of one for the depository of his secret, 
when he found himself violently pushed, and heard a 
voice braying in his ears, ' Tower tender-men all aft ! ' 
and Jack, turning with indignant looks to make an indig- 
nant speech to the boatswain's mate, was fortunately 
hurried on among the crowd of his fellow-voyagers. The 
list was read, John Runnymede answered to his name, 
and with his fellows was dismissed. 

" ' Why don't you take the bounty ? ' asked a sailor, 
whom, from his superior appearance, together with a 
heavy switch, formed of three pieces of plaited ebony, 
adorned with a silver top and ferule, under his arm, Jack 
considered to be a person in authority, the ebony being, 
no doubt, the insignia of office. ' You may as well have 
the bounty.' 

* See " Men of Character," (collected edition.) 



ON BOARD SHIP. 27 

" ' You are very good, sir, indeed, replied Jack to the 
boatswain, for it was that intelHgent discipHnarian, open- 
ing his eyes at the elaborate politeness of the pressed 

man ; ' you are very good, sir ; but I have other 

views.' The boatswain was puzzled; he knew not 
whether to laugh or swear. He scratched his cheek in 
doubt, and Jack, with the greatest civility, again ad- 
dressed him : ' I beg your pardon, sir ; but I do assure 
you I should accept it as a lasting favour at your hands, 
if you would have the kindness to inform me when I can 
see the captain of this vessel.' 

" ' There was something in the politeness of Runny- 
mede that quite disarmed the boatswain ; he felt himself 
quite overlaid by the fine manners of the ragged pressed 
man. Jack paused, and smiled in the boatswain's broad 
blank face for a reply ; he then repeated, ' The captain 
of this vessel ? ' (the vessel being a seventy-four). 

" ' The captain ? Why, you see, he's gone to dine with 
the admiral. I'm sorry we can't man a boat for you,' 
said the satirical functionary. 

" ' Don't mention it,' observed Runnymede, joining his 
hands, and making his lowest bow. 

" ' Perhaps the first lieutenant wall do ? ' suggested the 
boatswain ; ' he's next in command.' 

" ' You're very good — very kind indeed !' exclaimed 
Runnymede, suddenly seizing the hand of the boatswain, 
who, quite unused to such a mode of thanksgiving from 
such a person, instantly raised his ebony wand to ac- 
knowledge it. He was in a moment disarmed by the 
vivacity of Runnymede. ' The first lieutenant — where 
can I find him ? ' 

" ' Just now he's at school in the gun-room,' answered 
the boatswain. 



28 LIFE OF DOUGLAS JEEROLD. 

" ' What! have you a school aboard ? ' asked Riinnymede. 

" * And ninepins, and cricket, and every thing you like. 
Here, Splinters, show this gentleman to the gunroom; 
he wants the first lieutenant.' 

" ' Splinters, looking at the boatswain, knew there was 
some game to be played to the cost of the pressed man ; 
and, therefore, with great alacrity conducted Runnymede 
to the door of the gun-room. "What was his astonish- 
ment to hear the ' evening hymn ' chanted by boys' 
voices, the school closing every night with that solemnity ! 
Kunnymede edged himself into the school-room, and saw 
standing on each side a desk some half-dozen little mid- 
shipmen, looking — Mr. Dickson, the first lieutenant, being 
present — very serious ; and at another desk boys of the 
second and third class, with the children of the warrant- 
officers and sailors of the ship. Mr. Dickson very fre- 
quently attended the performance of the evening hymn ; 
the master of the ship, a choleric Prussian, whose berth 
was on the starboard side of the gunroom, as frequently 
mounting to the deck until the hymn was ended. On 
the present occasion, however, Mr. Dickson had another 
duty to fulfil ; for, in addition to his official labours, he 
had taken upon himself the task of watching over the 
morals and punishing the transgressions, of all the chil- 
dren in the ship, who, although no more than seven or 
eight years old, were, in common with adults, submitted 
to the visitation of the cat. 

" The evening hymn concluded, the punishment was 
about to commence ; the culprit was led in ; he was, in 
the present instance, a pale, thin, little boy, perhaps seven 
years old. He shivered beneath the strong eye of Mr. 
Dickson, who stood with his old bare cocked hat hugged 
under his arm, his withered features set with determi- 



ON BOARD SHIP. 29 

nation, his shoulders slightly bent — the very personifica- 
tion of stern duty in repose. The child begged for 
mercy, but Mr. Dickson nodded to the boatswain's mate ; 
the boy was tied up, and the first lieutenant proceeded to 
dilate upon the enormity of the culprit's offence : he had 
dared to spin his peg-top on the after-deck, and had more 
than once been detected trying experiments on the tem- 
per of the he-goat, that animal, we presume, for his 
great services to his Majesty's fleet, being an object of 
particular interest to Mr. Dickson. ' Now, little boy,' 
said the first lieutenant, and he seemed overflowing with 
kindness towards the offender, ' you will be flogged for 
these offences ; you know, little boy, that peg-tops are 
not allowed in the ship." — ' I didn't ; indeed, sir, I didn't,' 
cried the child — " and you know, little boy, that the goat 
is not to have his beard pulled. Hem ! hem ! Boat- 
swain's mate,' and Mr. Dickson, eyeing the cat, spoke 
quite like a father, ' one tail, boatswain's mate ; ' and 
with one cord selected from the nine, the child was taught 
to eschew peg-tops as long as he was afloat, and to have, 
on all and every occasion, a particular respect for the he- 
goats of his Majesty's fleet. 

" Jack Runnymede was so confounded by the ceremony, 
so astonished at the importance which Mr. Dickson threw 
around the peccadilloes of the boy, and, more than all, so 
disheartened by the appearance of the officer himself, that 
he did not venture to accost him, but resolved to keep 
his complaint for the ear of the captain alone. ' What — 
what kind of a gentleman is Mr. Dickson ? ' Runymede, 
purely out of curiosity, ventured to inquire of a sailor 
who had, as Jack thought, a communicative countenance. 
' What sort ? Why he messes by himself, and sells his 
rum ' answered the sailor." 



30 LIFE OF DOUGLAS JERROLD. 

So much for education on board the guard-ship. For 
the schoohnaster let us take the following portrait painted 
by one of the sailors : " He come down here among a 
batch of marines, a volunteer. "Well, they drills him for 
a marine, and gives him brown bess, and mounts him on 
the gangway. One day captain, coming up the side, sees 
Nankin's hands, for that's his name. ' Dickson,' says the 
captain, ' that marine's either a scholard or a pickpocket.' 
You know, he might ha' been both, but the captain wasn't 
to know that — ' either a scholard or a pickpocket,' says 
the captain, ' he's got such smooth hands.' Well, they 
wanted somebody to learn the ship's boys, and they tries 
Nankin, and finds he can read and write, and sum, and so 
they promotes him to the gunroom, and bit by bit he 
casts his red and pipe-clay, and has the blessed impudence 
to let his hair grow." 

We now pass to the midshipmen of the guard-ship. 

" Young midshipmen, like young dogs, verysoon dis- 
cover the antipathies of those it is their destiny to live 
with ; but, unlike the more useful animal, the young mid- 
shipman does not avoid the prejudices of the party, but 
takes every opportunity of revenging himself upon them. 
Such was the state of things between the juvenile mid- 
shipmen of the guard-ship — for, of course, we do not in- 
clude the midshipmen of forty and fifty — and Mr. Mac 
Acid, the gunner ; for he was not, as Jack had hastily 
concluded, a divine. Thus, it gave a particular edge to 
the pleasure of flirting with the carpenter's black-eyed 
daughter, that the time and place for such relaxation was 
' evening, the fore cockpit,' close to Mac Acid's berth. 
There had been many skirmishes between the gunner 
and the boys ; but the midshipmen generally made a safe 
retreat, the candle of the gunner being extinguished by 



ON BOARD SHIP. 31 

the enemy, and sometimes carried off. On the present 
evening Mr. Mac Acid, like a thrifty officer, sat con- 
ning his volume (for it was not the Bible, but his book 
of stores) with his door ajar and a heavy cane at his 
side, prepared at all points for the enemy. When his 
stick smote the neck of Runnymede how, for a brief 
moment, did the old man rejoice ! To kill a spider, a 
rat, a polecat, a snake, great as may be the satisfaction 
to those who loathe such things, was as nothing to the 
delight that Mac Acid would have felt at the destruction 
of a young midshipman. We verily believe that the 
ecstasy of the sport would have carried the old man 
off. 

" ' Is there no way, Mr. Mac Acid,' asked the good- 
natured captain of the gunner, ' is there no way of re- 
conciling you to the young gentlemen? Can't you by 
any means be brought to stomach a midshipman ? ' 

" ' I think, sir,' replied the venerable Mr. Mac Acid, 
shaking his white head, ' I think I could like one in — 
a pie.' " 

In the further experiences of Jack E-unnymede, are 
lively descriptions of drawing buckets of water from the 
hold ; of the arrival of the cutter with a large black bull 
painted in her mainsail, conveying beef by the half carcass 
for the use of the crew ; of how men were drafted to a gun- 
brig, raw, ragged fellows, many from the jails of London. 
This description is drawn direct from the memory of the 
writer, even to the arrival of the commanding officer of. 
the gun-brig ; for, on reference to the records of the navy, 
I ffiid that on the 24th of April, 1815, Mr. Douglas Wil- 
liam Jerrold, volunteer first class, was transferred, with 
forty-six men, to his Majesty's brig Ernest, " in Heu of 
the same number drafted to the guard-ship." 



32 LIFE OF DOUGLAS JERROLD. 

The monotony of the proceedings on board The Namur 
was now to be exchanged for active service at sea. The 
times were big with events. The great story of modem 
Europe — the rise and fall of Napoleon I. — was working 
to its climax. The guns were nearly loaded for Water- 
loo, and the little-gun-brig Ernest, William Hutchinson, 
lieutenant-commanding, was ordered to take its share in 
the preparation of Bonaparte's final catastrophe. She 
was to convoy transports, carrying troops and military 
stores, to Ostend. Vividly was the excitement of this 
time impressed upon the midshipman's memory. Still 
his anxious grandmother, from the shore, sent to him as 
often as an opportunity offered, begging that he would 
be careful of his health. For he had the troubles of a 
younker. His hammock was stolen, and he slept during 
six weeks upon the floor ; he got into disgrace with his 
captain for being too lenient to his men ; and on one oc- 
casion was refused leave to go ashore, when the ship 
put into harbour after a short cruise. But he kept the 
enthusiasm of his childhood in his heart. His was a 
sailorly nature. Hearty, flashing to the smallest spark of 
excitement; courageous to rashness ; vehement in thought 
and expression — how could a boy, made up of turbulent 
elements like these, fail to be stirred when, from the deck 
of a gun-brig, he saw the transports he was helping to 
protect from the enemy, ploughing the chopping sea from 
the little Nore to the shores of Belgium ? It was only five 
days before the great battle which gave peace to Europe, 
and a rock to the hero of Austerlitz, that The Ernest 
entered Ostend harbour with her transports — three of 
which, by the way, most ungraciously ran foul of the little 
brig, carrying away her flying jib-boom. 

This duty performed, however. The Ernest stood home- 



ON BOARD SHIP. 33 

ward, and on the 13 th of June was at the little Nore. 
Here she remained only two days ; for, by reference to 
her log (a most meagre record, by the way, devoted 
mainly to a chronicle of when rum casks were tapped 
and beef was taken on board), we find that on the 15th 
she stood eastward, and carried away her maintop-gallant 
in a strong breeze. On the 20th she was off Texel, — that 
land of shepherds, and where the gulls love to deposit 
their eofffs — and on the 22d she had reached that remark- 
able little rock in the North Sea which we took from the 
Danes in 1807 — Heligoland. Nor did the restless little 
ship pause long here. She doubtless took in some of the 
haddock and lobsters for which the surrounding sea is re- 
markable, saluted the batteries on the cliff, and then went 
cruising again, having on the 22d seen "a strange sail." 
The weather presently became heavy, and The Ernest 
took advantage of her proximity to the good harbour of 
Cuxhaven to anchor there on the 29th of June. It was 
here or at Heligoland, I suspect, that the midshipman of 
the brig, in whom we are interested, fell into sad disgrace. 
He had gone ashore with Captain Hutchinson, and was 
left in command of the gig. While the commander was 
absent two of the men in the midshipman's charge, re- 
quested permission to make some trifling purchase. The 
good-natured officer assented, adding, — 

" By the way, you may as well buy me some apples 
and a few pears." 

"All right, sir," said the men ; and they departed. 

The captain presently returned, and still the seamen 
were away on their errand. They were searched for, but 
they could not be found. They had deserted. Any naval 
reader, whose eye may wander over this page, will readily 
imagine the disgrace into which Midshipman Douglas 

2* 



34 LIFE OF DOUGLAS JERROLD. 

Jerrold fell with his captain. Upon the young delinquent 
the event made a lasting impression, and years afterwards 
he talked about it with that curious excitement which lit 
up his face when he spoke of any thing he had felt. He 
remembered even the features of the two deserters ; as 
he had, most unexpectedly, an opportunity of proving. 

The midshipman had long put his dirk aside, and 
washed the salt from his brave face. He had become a 
fighter with a keener weapon than his dirk had ever 
proved, when, one day strolling eastward, possibly from 
the office of his own newspaper to the printing premises 
of Messrs. Bradbury and Evans, in Whitefriars, he was 
suddenly struck with the form and face of a baker, who, 
with his load of bread at his back, was examining some 
object in the window of the surgical-instrument maker, 
who puzzles so many inquisitive passers-by, near the en- 
trance to King's College. There was no mistake. Even 
the flour dredge could not hide the fact. The ex-mid- 
shipman walked nimbly to the baker's side, and, rapping 
him sharply upon the back, said, — 

" I say, my friend, don't you think you've been rather 
a long time about that fruit ? " 

The deserter's jaw fell. Thirty years had not calmed 
the unquiet suggestions of his conscience. He remem- 
bered the fruit and the little middy, for he said, — 

" Lor ! is that you, sir ? " 

The midshipman went on his way laughing. 

On the 28th of June The Ernest was working out of 
the Elbe, and on the 30th she was back at Texel. Here 
one of those incidents of life in the royal navy occurred, 
which made my father's heart sick whenever he recalled 
them to his memory. On the 30th of June, Michael Ryan 
was punished with six lashes, for theft. Any readers 



ON BOAED SHIP. 35 

who may have been constant subscribers to the periodicals 
in which the name of Douglas Jerrold has figured, will 
remember the vehemence with which he wrote always of 
the "cat." This vehemence appeared to convulse him 
when he spoke of the bloody backs that he had seen, 
while a midshipman. It was a subject to which he re- 
turned again and again. When, in the summer of 1846, 
a soldier was flogged to death, his indignation burst forth 
in words of fire. The debate in the House of Commons 
which the death in question provoked, roused him to this 
expression of savage irony. " The British oak," he said, 
"which, on the authority of the song, supplies his heart 
to every British sailor, flourishes the more, like the Brit- 
ish walnut, the more it is thrashed. This opinion is re- 
commended to us by legislative wisdom — wisdom clubbed 
to both by sailors and landsmen in the House of Com- 
mons ; for a great part of Monday evening (July 20th, 
1846) was devoted to the praises of the cat-o'-nine-tails. 
The eulogies were so glowing, so ingenious — the natural 
and the social benefits of knotted cord administered by 
the boatswain's mate till the flesh blackens and the blood 
gushes, so deep and manifold that, after the eloquence, 
the fancy, bestowed upon the scourge, we do not despair 
to hear sweet things said of the rack ; to have the thumb- 
screw bepraised as ' most musical, most melancholy,' and 
the much-abused and much-misunderstood steel boot rec- 
ommended to the use of families. To read the debate, 
is to glow with admiration at the stoic wisdom of officers 
and gentlemen who, with unscathed backs, bear witness 
to the efficacy of the lash. According to them grace and 
goodness are twined with every layer of the scourge. To 
flog is to elevate. The reprobate, 'seized ' to the gang- 
way, becomes, with every burning, flaying stripe, ' a wiser 



36 LIFE OF DOUGLAS JEEROLD. 

and a better man.' He does not feel himself, with every 
lash, a more debased and wretched being. No, the ' of- 
fending Adam ' is whipped out of him, and, like a martyr 
with maimed and lacerated body, he is sublimated by 

agony Nought so purifying as the scourge. The 

moral iniquity of the hap-hazard sailor sloughs with his 
cat-torn flesh. His wilfulness, by degrees, runs off with 
his blood, and, after a twelvemonth's purification, chas- 
tened by a few dozens, more or less, he comes from the 
doctor's hands, scarred, it may be, in the flesh, but mor- 
ally whole and regenerate. Considering this solemn pur- 
pose of the cat-o' -nine-tails, we think the health-dealing 
instrument ought to undergo some sort of consecration. 
.... It ought to be blessed by the ship's chaplain, in 
the like way that bishops sanctify mihtary colours. So 
lovely an instrument cannot be made too much of." * 

We have here the effect of the punishment of Michael 
Ryan on the Elbe on the 30th of June, 1815. The pale 
fair middy, who shuddered as the cat tore the poor man's 
flesh, bore away the brutal scene, to cast its blood and 
shame, long afterwards, at the statesmen who would per- 
petuate the savage custom of whipping men in a country, 
where the undue flogging of animals is punishable by law. 
" The good old days of good six dozens " were those 
when Douglas Jerrold was afloat in the North Sea. 

We left The Ernest at Texel. We find her next, on 
the 8th of July, 1815, in Yarmouth Roads. Hence she 
proceeded to the Downs, there to perform her last duty — 
one that lingered long in the memory of Midshipman Jer- 

* The French abolished flogging in their army and navy in 1797 ; 
yet, as Thomas Moore reminded the British advocates of the " cat," 
Napoleon contrived to maintain sufficient discipline in his armies to 
conquer the greater part of Europe. 



ON BOAED SHIP. 37 

rold. I find, according to the brig's log, that on the 10th 
of July, Captain Hutchinson received on board in the 
Downs, for conveyance to Sheerness, one ensign, forty- 
seven invalided soldiers, two women, and two children. 
These composed, undoubtedly, the ghastly cargo of 
wounded from Waterloo, whose raw stumps and festering 
wounds, went far to give my father that lively sense of 
the horror of war, which abided with him throughout his 
life. He often described the disgust with which he be- 
held the poor invalids binding their sores upon the deck 
— the groans and the curses that fell upon his ear. Here 
was the effect of war, without its excitement or its glory 
— war behind the scenes ! Europe was wildly rejoicing 
over the field from which these maimed men had escaped. 
The stench of the battle-field was drowned by the incense 
of victory, save only to those men who, like the sensitive 
little midshipman of H.M.S. brig Ernest, had the blood 
pushed under their nose. And to the end^ the middy 
remembered the stench, and could hardly bring himself 
to sniff" the incense. 

The wounded were duly delivered at Sheerness. The 
activity of the brisk little Ernest was at an end. Europe 
was preparing for a long peace. Henceforth, according 
to the Emperor Alexander, the political relations of the 
powers of Europe were to be founded on the Gospel of 
peace and love — a foundation, by the way, which his 
successor was the first to disturb. The allies were in 
Paris, laying the foundation of many a Parisian shop- 
keeper's fortune. Europe was to be one vast household 
of Christian brothers. In this household, in this brother- 
hood, there was no kind of use for a brisk little gun-brig. 
Came the order from the Admiralty to land marines and 
discharge them to barracks, and to pay off the ship's 



38 LIFE OF DOUGLAS JEREOLD. 

company. Accordingly, on the 21st of October, 1815, 
about noon, Douglas William Jerrold, volunteer first 
class, stepped ashore, and turned his back for ever on the 
service. 

But he never, I insist, ceased to be, at heart — a sailor. 
He loved the sea — was proud of British oak. Its dash- 
ing, careless, hearty phases were suited to his nature. 
He often said that had the war lasted, and had his 
strength held out, he would have been somebody in his 
Majesty's service. And you could not please him more 
thoroughly at the seaside, than by proposing a day in a 
cutter. His eye would light up, and he would hasten to 
the shore to talk the matter over with the sailors, himself. 
They drove a good bargain with him, for he could never 
haggle over shillings, and they liked his frank, familiar 
manner. It was delightful to see his little figure planted 
in the stern-sheets, his face radiant, his hair flowing in 
the wind ; mouth and nostrils drawing in, with huge con- 
tent, the saline breeze. The energy with which his glass 
was raised when a sail appeared ; the delight he express- 
ed when the sailors confirmed his description of the craft ; 
the keen attention he gave to any stories of wrecks or 
storms told by the crew — all these signs of enjoyment 
recalled the midshipman. Nor had he forgetton how to 
manage a boat. On a certain occasion he was sailing in 
a frail cutter, from Sark to Guernsey, when the wind 
freshened, and the sea became lively, and the boat was 
in dangerous currents. The men were not sufiicient for 
the occasion. The boat shipped water ; my mother and 
Mrs. Henry Mayhew, who were of the party, clung to 
their male companions in terror. The midshipman of The 
Ernest saw that the boat was being mismanaged, and that 
at any moment she might be swamped. He calmly 



ON BOARD SHIP. 39 

seized the helm, bawled out his orders, stood up in the 
stern-sheets firm as any old helmsman, his little figure 
looking wondrously feeble and fragile amid the boiling 
waters, and in a few minutes the craft bounded over the 
waves, behaving herself with all the propriety of the 
best-regulated ship. 

Yet he spoke with horror of the hardships of a sailor's 
life. That a boy should "• rough it " was an idea he fre- 
quently and earnestly put forth. He believed that this 
roughing process gave manliness to a boy's nature— that 
it steeled him to fight the world. Yet he saw in the life 
of a " middy " something too rough to be good — some- 
thing that might make a very brutal man. His admira- 
tion for the midshipman who had fought his way to 
command, and had kept the gold of his original nature in 
him — who had developed into a bluff, daring man, with 
that wondrous touch of feminine tenderness which belongs 
to sailors of the better class — his admiration for this 
triumph of nature over adverse conditions, was boundless. 
Of Nelson he would talk by the hour, and some of his 
more passionate articles were written to scathe the 
government that left Horatia — Nelson's legacy to his 
country — in want. It was difiicult to persuade him, 
nevertheless, that a man did wisely in sending his son 
to sea. A friend called on him one day to introduce a 
youth, who, smitten with a love for the salt, was about to 
abandon a position he held in a silk manufacturer's estab- 
lishment, for the cockpit. 

" Humph ! " said the ex-midshipman of The Ernest ; 
" so you're going to sea. To what department of in- 
dustry, may I inquire, do you now give your exertions ? " 

" Silk," briefly responded the youth. 

" Well, go to sea, and it will be worsted." 



40 LIFE OF DOUGLAS JERROLD. 

With something of this kind he met all who sought his 
advice on the advantages and disadvantages of a sailor's 
life. Yet meet him by accident at Greenwich, and you 
would find him laughing in the midst of the pensioners, 
and distributing money among them, with a true sailor's 
carelessness. On one occasion he made himself known 
to the old war's men as a midshipman of The Namur, and 
inquired eagerly on all sides for men who had served in 
his ship. Having collected half a dozen, he sallied forth 
from the hospital, at their head and led them to a neigh- 
bouring tavern, where he proceeded to regale them. The 
report of certain good fortune which had befallen these 
Namur men, soon spread through the hospital, and by 
degrees, formidable bodies of pensioners discovered that 
they also had been on board the guard-ship. The tavern 
was besieged, and the crowd became so great and noisy, 
that the midshipman and his friends were compelled to 
beat a precipitate retreat, laughing heartily at the ad- 
venture ; — the midshipman leading the laugh as he had 
led the men. 

Let us return awhile to the fair boy, bronzed somewhat 
by two years' service, who stepped on shore on the 21st 
of October, 1815, at Sheerness, and was received once 
more into the arms of his grandmother. He found his 
prospect gloomy enough. Theatricals had fared ill with 
his father. The old gentleman had been tempted to take 
the Southend theatre as a summer establishment — he had 
been tempted to rebuild the old Sheerness stage — the 
peace had come, and had depopulated the seaport town. 
Already, in June, 1813, he had assigned his lease of the 
Sheerness theatre to his son Robert ; but in 1815, borne 
down by losses incurred at Southend, and by the unjust 
dealings of the men to whom he intrusted the rebuilding 



ON BOARD SHIP. 41 

of the Sheerness theatre, he was compelled to relinquish 
management altogether. The bill of sale of the theatre 
that calls upon bidders to assemble at the White Horse, 
High Street, Sheerness, lies before me. It is a melan- 
choly sheet, giving me the starting-point into that gloomy 
period of the family history, when my father, with his 
sister and brother, for the first time saw their home 
broken up. The blow was precipitated by the resolve 
made by government, to claim the land upon which the 
old Sheerness theatre stood, it is true ; but time would 
have very rapidly consummated the ruin of the establish- 
ment, had government not claimed the site of the old 
stage. 

Mr. Samuel Jerrold was already an. old man, but his 
wife was still in the full vigour of womanhood. She had, 
moreover, as I have already written, a vigorous mind 
and an energy of character which strongly reminded all 
who met her, of her son Douglas. The ordinary rules 
of action in cases of difficulty, like that through which 
my grandfather was now passing, were reversed in this 
instance. The husband remained, for the moment, at 
Sheerness with his children, while the brave young wife 
went forth to London, accompanied by her younger son 
Henry, to see what might be done there. Douglas and 
his sister spent a gloomy autumn with their father and 
good Mrs. Reid at Sheerness, waiting a summons to try 
their fortune in London. This summons came late in 
December, 1815. The family left Sheerness at the close 
of the year, never to return to it. 

Yet, ere we part from the good old seaport, let us take 
a kind farewell of the simple friends who remember the 
little midshipman standing on the deck of the Chatham 
boat, bound for London, to spend many dark and many 



42 LIFE OF DOUGLAS JERROLD. 

bright years there ; with a stout heart for the gloom, be 
it observed, and a grateful look for the shine. Let us 
press the hand of good old Patrick, who still stoutly 
clings to his belief that Douglas JeiTold was born at 
Sheerness, and to his dictum that Douglas Jerrold was 
the only good thing that ever came out of weather-beaten 
Blue-Town ! 



ABKIVAL IN LONDON. 43 



CHAPTER III. 



ARRIVAL IN LONDON. 



About seven o'clock in the morning, on the first day 
of the year 1816, the Chatham boat arrived in London. 
A sharp, damp, and foggy dawn very appropriately, 
ushered in, to Mr. Samuel Jerrold, the three or four sad 
years he was destined to spend within the sound of Bow 
bell. His son Douglas, whose coat had been stolen from 
the cabin, and who, therefore, trudged, for the first time, 
along London streets hardly prepared for the fog or the 
cold, probably felt neither the sharpness of the wind nor 
the suffocating tendency of the fog. The scene was new 
to him, and all that is new is welcome to the young. 
Holding his sister by the hand, he walked the streets for 
some minutes on his own responsibility, while his father 
stepped aside to comfort himself with a draught of purl. 
The young middy might well try thus early, even for a 
few minutes, the effect of walking alone in London ! 

A house in Broad Court, Bow Street, received the 
family — a humble lodging enough ; but the general 
peace, and the confiscation of the land upon which the 
theatre stood, had ruined them utterly. Fortune, food, 
had to be sought. Let me not lightly pass over this time. 
It is the key to the after-character of him whose life I 
have to set before the reader. This Broad Court, with 



44 LIFE OF DOUGLAS JERROLD. 

its dingy houses ; its troops of noisy, ragged boys ; its 
brawls and cries ; was my father's first impression of the 
great city. Here, too, for the first time, he came to hob- 
and-nob with the stern realities of the world. As yet he 
had passed a youth not remarkable for its vicissitudes, 
and he had been two years in his Majesty's navy ; in the 
position, and wdth the prospects, of a gentleman. 

When a home is broken up it is the position of the 
children that oppresses your heart. You see their neat 
clothes give way to something coarse and wretched — 
they tease ■with questions that cut to the soul. They want 
to have a child's party when there is not a crust for them. 
They ask for playthings when the cupboard is empty. 
Yet, in the ncAV and humbler house, you will find them 
happily, because insensibly, adapting themselves to a 
poorer station. They will occasionally wonder why they 
have few treats now, and why the little companions of 
their prosperity never come. Knowing nothing of that 
dogged sternness with which the world follows success — 
not seeing that father and mother are of less account to 
their neighbours than they were when the board was 
bright with plentiful cheer — they still wonder that the 
old playmates avoid them. Till the truth flashes sud- 
denly upon them — whereupon they cease to be children. 

Broad Court was not then, I will fondly hope, so dreary 
a place to the children of Mr. Samuel Jerrold as it must 
have been to their parents. Indeed, I have proof that 
the young midshipman, still sporting his naval uniform, 
looked manfully about him at once, and was eager to 
see the wonders of the great city. He had only just 
entered upon his fourteenth year ; yet had he begun to 
burn with a desire to do something — to be somebody. 
He appears to have moved about freely, as one preparing 



ARRIVAL IN LONDON. 45 

to hold his own place shortly. Naturally, his curiosity 
was first directed to the London theatres ; of the glories 
of which he had heard from the London actors, who had, 
from time to time, joined his father's Sheerness company. 
I have traced him to the Adelphi, or Scot's, as it was 
then called, only a few days after his arrival in town. 
On this occasion he was the victim of a clever thief. 

A very authoritative person stopped the midshipman 
as he walked up the passage from the street to the boxes, 
saying,— 

" Pay here, sir ! " 

The unsuspecting midshipman, anxious to reach a view 
of the stage, paid his money, and went rapidly forward. 
Presently a head protruded from a pigeon-hole, and again 
a voice said, — 

" Pay here, sir ! " 

The midshipman stopped, and told the face framed in 
the pigeon-hole, that he had already paid. At this mo- 
ment a gentleman came up. The midshipman's state- 
ment proved that the first man who had demanded 
payment, was a very expert swindler. The boy had no 
more money, and he was about to turn in bitter disap- 
pointment away, when the gentleman, who had heard 
his story, took him by the hand, paid for him, and con- 
ducted him to the boxes. That was a kind gentleman, be 
it remembered ; and on many evenings, when the con- 
versation has wandered back so far as 1816, have 
unknown friends wished him God-speed on his way 
through life. 

From theatricals at Sheerness, it would appear, Mrs. 
Samuel Jerrold made her way presently, to theatrical 
employment in London. Her husband, an old man now, 
had done all the work he was destined to do. Garrick's 



46 LIFE OF DOUGLAS JERROLD. 

shoes were worn threadbare ; the old actor's useful habit 
of playing any thing on the shortest possible notice, was 
broken. Henceforth he was to be chiefly with his little 
son Douglas. They would read together, and presently 
little Douglas would be something more than an amuse- 
ment to the old man. 

Mr. Wilkinson returned to London, to join Mr. 
Arnold's company in his new theatre, soon after the 
arrival of the Jerrold family in London. He at once 
renewed the old intercourse with his former manager. 
" I cannot," Mr. Wilkinson tells me, " I cannot forget 
how glad he (Douglas) was to see me, and how sanguine 
he was of my success, saying, (it is now as fresh in my 
memory as at the time he uttered it,) ' Oh, Mr. Wilkin- 
son ! you are sure to succeed, and I'll write a piece for 
you.' I gave him credit for his warm and kind feeling," 
Mr. Wilkinson adds, " but doubted his capacity to fulfil 
his promise." 

Yet the boy spoke earnestly. He felt that there was 
the strength in him to produce. He was measuring him- 
self by others ; and possibly — it is the custom of youth — 
was dwarfing the capacities of the successful men about 
him as much as he over-estimated his own power. In 
after-years he could hardly suppress his disgust for the 
assumptions of young men or boys. " It appears to be a 
habit," he would say, "among young fellows, to think 
they're frogs before they're tadpoles." For his keen eye 
saw the fall that was coming to every man who started in 
life with the idea that, at one spring, he would carry the 
world with him. I am certain that this bi+ter feeling on 
this subject was the fruit of long sorrow. For many 
years his passionate soul suffered agony, as day by day 
opportunities flew by — as time after time, utterings were 



ARRIVAL IN LONDON. 47 

cast into print, and left unnoticed. The deep religion 
that, to him, lay in the true outpouring of every human 
soul, kept a burning desire in his heart, making him 
irascible, fierce ; because the expression of this religion 
was, for the moment, denied him. Yet he had the 
sailor's manful bearing too — the sailor's hearty spirit — in 
him. If he had left the sea, and the dangers of the sea, 
he could still find pleasure in banding together the boys 
of his neighbourhood, and leading them to a fierce con- 
flict against a rival band in Broad Court ; and he always 
liked to see something of the combative spirit in boys. I 
can remember that, when I was a child about seven years 
old, he knelt one day upon the lawn behind his house in 
Thistle Grove, Chelsea, and, calling me to him, gave me 
a lesson in sparring. I was, of course, afraid to strike 
out ; but he repeatedly shouted to me to hit hard, and to 
aim at his head. Years afterwards he would relate, with 
obvious glee, how certain of his boys, with their school- 
fellows, had repeatedly thrashed a whole village of 
French urchins. The pugnacious element was peculiar 
to him decidedly. It is clear, unmistakable in all his 
writings — it gave a zest to his conversation. It extended 
to physical prowess ; for he, borne down by rheumatism, 
was heard, in a moment of anger, to threaten the eviction 
of a gentleman, standing six feet, by the window. He 
would wander in after-life through the most lonely places 
at any hour of the night, calm as in his own study. I 
call to mind an occasion on which, when walking home 
with him, a gardener, a square, strong man, hustled me 
as he passed. The fatlier turned upon him, and bade 
him " take care of the child." The man replied with a 
gross impertinence. In a minute the father's hat and 
stick were in my trembling hands, and a hard blow would 



48 LIFE OF DOUGLAS JEEROLD. 

have been dealt in a minute had not the burly workman, 
cowed by the fierceness of his little opponent, slunk 
away. This spirit, irrepressible in the man, must have 
been very fierce in the boy ; when the blood was hot. It 
must have made him eager to enter the lists — to be inde- 
pendent. The poverty of his parents at this time was a 
new stimulus to him, and when he was apprenticed to 
Mr. Sidney, a printer in Northumberland Street, Strand, 
he went to his work with hearty good-will. The naval 
uniform was thrown away, the dirk was given to good 
Mrs. Reid to be treasured by her, and the dress suited to 
the new position, was put on eagerly. 

There was something congenial to the young appren- 
tice in the business of printer. It brought him, in some 
degree, into connection with books. It would be his 
duty, at any rate, to set up the thoughts, the teachings of 
others ; and, biding his time, and reading hard, to put the 
stick aside some day, and take up his pen. This was his 
burning hope when he went every morning at daylight to 
Mr. Sidney's printing offices ; and, as books fell in his 
way, the hope became a passion. I have heard him de- 
scribe his work at this period of his life, with honest 
pride. He would tell me how he had risen with the first 
peep of day to study his Latin grammar alone, before 
going to work ; how he had fallen upon Shakspeare, and 
had devoured every line of the great master; and how, 
with his old father, who was a thoughtful, if a weak 
man, he had sat in the intervals of his labour, to read a 
novel of Sir Walter Scott's, obtained, by pinching, from a 
library. He used to relate a story, with great delight, of 
a certain day on which he was useful in several capaci- 
ties to his father. The two were alone in London, Mrs. 
Jerrold and her daughter being in the country, possibly 



ARRIVi\L IN LONDON. 49 

fulfilling some provincial engagement. The young ap- 
prentice brought home, joyfully enough, his first earnings. 
Very dreary was his home, with his poor weak father sit- 
ting in the chimney corner ; but there was a fire in the 
boy that would light up that home ; at any rate they 
would be cheerful for one day. The apprentice, with the 
first solid fruits of industry in his pocket, sallied forth to 
buy the dinner. The ingredients of a beefsteak pie were 
quickly got together, and the purchaser returned to be 
rewarded with the proud look of his father. To earn the 
pie was one thing, but who could make it ? Young Doug- 
las would try his hand at a crust ! Merrily the manu- 
facture went forward ; the pie was made. Then the little 
busy fellow saw that he must carry it to the bakehouse. 
Willingly went he forth; for, with the balance of his 
money, it had been agreed that he should hire the last of 
Sir Walter's volumes, and return to read it to his father 
while the dinner was in the oven. The memory of this 
day always remained vivid to him. There was an odd 
kind of humour about it that tickled him. It so thor- 
oughly illustrated his notions on independence, that he 
could not forbear from dwelling again and again on it 
among his friends. " Yes, sir," he would say, emphati- 
cally, " I earned the pie, I made the pie, I took it to the 
bakehouse, I fetched it home ; and my father said, ' Really 
the boy made the crust remarkably well.' " 

At this time Walter Scott was still a great mystery. 
The state of the literary world was exciting enough. 
Leigh Hunt was editing the " Examiner," and, in spite of 
his two years imprisonment, was still a liberal to the 
back-bone. For Shelley was with him, talking wild rad- 
icalism at Hampstead, or discussing the destinies, as the 
two friends rode into town in the sta^e. Godwin's '• Po- 



50 LIFE OF DOUGLAS JERROLD. 

litical Justice " swayed the minds of the poets in spite of 
Malthus ; and their hearts burned fiercely. Ah-eady 
Charles Lamb was a middle-aged man. Wordsworth 
and Coleridge were at work, and Byron was quarrelling 
with his wife, and staving off duns. Cobbett was firing 
the breasts of the people, and announcing the meeting of 
the lleformed Parhament in 1818. Hectic Keats was 
looking suspiciously at the editor of the " Examiner ; " 
and his friend, the rich poet. Godwin was in distress, 
and Lord Byron wished to relieve him out of the pro- 
ceeds of the " Siege of Corinth " and " Parisina." 

The first faint movements of a strong Reform party 
were visible. The working classes were angry. There 
was machine breaking, and there were violent clubs. The 
old Tories were fading from the foreground, to make 
way for ministers better adapted to control the passions, 
and understand the just demands, of the people. There 
was a political fever abroad, and the young took it easily. 
Many boys were now observing the strife, who were 
destined to take an important part in the victory. The 
first years of the peace, with the liberal enthusiasm there- 
of, and the great men who then boldly spoke, tinged, for 
the public good, the minds of a hundred youths, who 
have since fought well in behalf of the people. And 
these years were remembered vividly by the young prin- 
ter, who, although obscure enough at the time, watched 
the conflict of opinion ; caught the generous flame that 
followed stormy Byron to his exile ; and put his trust in 
the growth of that manful public expression which Hunt, 
and Cobbett, and Hone, and others, were intrepidly rear- 
ing against the Tory stronghold. In the quiet town of 
Norwich, a young girl, destined presently to teach the 
people political truths in simple stories, was still growing 



ARRIVAL IN LONDON. 51 

for her work. Macaulay was at Cambridge, girding 
himself for the second Craven scholarship. Hood was 
meditating his quaint and pathetic utterings. Carljle 
was already scowling at the century. The " fat Adonis " 
was the target of every malignant tongue. 

Never has the country been in greater peril than she 
was in those days, when there were men of lofty genius 
ranged against the court and the aristocracy ; and when 
the court, by its excesses, justified the most democratic 
tirades. Never were reformers nursed in a fiercer con- 
flict of opinion. 

We have arrived at days of calm discussion. We live 
in a time when parties are divided by lines so fine, that 
the delicate insight of a Gladstone is necessary to trace 
them. One faction slopes into another, as foreground 
melts into distance, in a flat landscape. But in the days 
of the Regency ; when the Princess Charlotte died ; when 
Lord Sidmouth waged his war against political writers ; 
when Cobbett ran away because, as an editor, he was 
liable to " imprisonment without a hearing ; " and when 
quaint, fearless little Hone rummaged his tattered papers 
before the Lord Chief Justice, and successfully defied the 
Tory malignity of ministers — in these days of scurrilous 
and indecent pamphleteering, when the bold utterances 
of the people were beginning to startle the aristocracy 
and the throne. It was natural that a young printer, who 
had already seen something of life ; whose temperament 
was combative, and whose sympathies were for the weak 
and the oppressed, should throw himself fiercely Into the 
strife. 

That in his fourteenth year my father had already de- 
termined to Avrite — that the fever of literary production 
already possessed him — is proved, not by his bold speech 



52 LIFE OF DOUGLAS JEEEOLD. 

to Mr. Wilkinson, " I'll write a piece for you," but by the 
fact that, when the popular representative of Jeffrey Muf- 
fin cap returned from the provinces in 1817, the boy's 
promise had not been forgotten. The piece was not writ- 
ten, it is true, till the following year ; but in the mean- 
time the bold little printer had thrown off various scraps 
of thought, as we shall presently see. He had been try- 
ing the wings of his Pegasus. As he began to cast 
together bits of verse, and to ponder long works, he still 
read eagerly, in the intervals of labour. The circum- 
stances of his parents became easier in 1817 than they 
had been since the family departure from Sheerness ; and 
his opportunities for study were consequently improved. 
Still Shakspeare was his chief delight. Every page of 
the bard of Avon was fairly mastered. The boy's soul 
was full of the magic music, and it remained full to the 
end. He was often heard to say that, when he was a 
very young man, nobody could quote a line of Shakspeare 
to him to which he could not instantly add the next line. 
" Young men now-a-days," he would often repeat, " read 
neither their Bible nor their ' Shakspeare ' enough." 

Edmund Kean was^ at Drury Lane, John Kemble was 
at Covent Garden, and Mathews was drawing crowds to 
the English Opera House. The former remembered the 
Sheerness manager's son, gave him orders, and was in 
other ways kind to him. Mr. James Russell remembers 
Samuel Jerrold's fair-haired boy about this time, and 
retains a vivid recollection of his wild enthusiasm. Mr. 
Russell had been in one of Mr. Samuel Jerrold's troupes, 
as an actor. Together they had passed through hard 
times. They had played together in a barn at Dorking, 
and in a carpenter's shop at Harrow. When, the busi- 
ness having been bad, the hapless manager had been 



AERIVAL IN LONDON. p3 

compelled to leave his watch and pink satin suit behind 
him in pawn, the troupe still held together; for the 
unfortunate theatrical speculator was a man most scrupu- 
lous in the fulfilment of his engagements. " Samuel 
Jerrold was," says Mr. Russell, " the only really honest 
manager I ever knew." Therefore, when almost friend- 
less, and with broken fortunes, he appeared in London, 
the grateful actor came to the side of his old manager. 
Together, they went to see John Kemble at Covent 
Garden, where the former enthusiastic wearer of Gar- 
rick's shoes declared that John was " as good as Garrick 
in Hamlet." The old gentleman's son, Douglas, was 
destined to receive presently from a Kemble (Charles) a 
return compliment. " The Buhhles of the Day" said 
Charles Kemble, " has enough wit for three comedies." 

But to Edmund Kean did " young Douglas " give all 
his enthusiasm. He kept in his soul always, a happy 
remembrance of the actor who, according to him, ap- 
proached nearer to Shakspeare's Hamlet than any player 
he ever saw. Wherever Edmund Kean, appeared, there 
his devoted young admirer endeavoured to be, his eager 
blue eyes drinking in the genius of his model. It was 
then, while his enthusiasm was at its height, that he first 
put pen to paper. For twelve hours daily he was in Mr. 
Sidney's printing office ; but this long service was broken 
by hours for rest and food, and in these intervals reading 
and writing could be done. Both were accomplished. 
Sonnets, short papers, verses on the usual young boys' 
subjects, began to ooze from him. Now he would take a 
scrap of verse to his kind friend, Mr. Russell, and tremb- 
lingly ask his advice ; and now he would gird himself up 
for a long work, bearing still in mind, and tenaciously 
clinging to it, his promise to write a piece for Mr. Wilkin- 



54 LIFE OF DOUGLAS JERROLD. 

son. His spare short figure, covered by a green frock 
coat, might have been seen hastening any evening from 
Northumberland Street, Strand, to the paternal roof 
The head was burning to be at its proper work. Rest- 
less ever, seeking to stride with a seven-league boot over 
the thorny way that lies between obscurity and fame, 
there remained little or none of the pleasures of youth to 
this warrior spirit. He had clenched those little fists, 
and made a deep and solemn covenant with himself He 
had something fierce to say to the selfish great, to the 
unchristian arrogant. The compositor's stick was by no 
means the weapon with which he proposed to belabour 
the foes of the people. As he sat in the pit of the great 
theatres, listening to the splendid elocution of Kean, or 
as he laughed at the wondrous drolleries of Mathews, 
certainly the passion to be something grew within these 
dazzling walls. Nor was he long in making the endeavour 
to be interpreted upon the stage. Let us hearken to his 
faithful friend and adviser, Mr. Wilkinson: "In 1818 
(his fifteenth year), I presume, he wrote his first piece. 
It was sent in to Mr. Arnold, of the English Opera 
House, and it remained in the theatre for two years. It 
was probably never read. After some difiiculty he got it 
back. In the year 1821 Mr. Egerton, of Co vent Garden 
Theatre, becoming manager of Sadler's Wells Theatre, 
and I having a short time to spare between the closing 
of the Adelphi and the opening of the Lyceum, he wished 
me to engage with him for a few weeks, which I did, but 
on condition of his purchasing the farce which had been 
returned from the English Opera House, and producing 
it on the first night of my engagement, giving me the 
character intended for me. The original title of this 
piece was The Duellists : — a weak title, I thought, for 



AEKIVAL IN LONDON. 55 

Sadler's Wells ; so I rechristened it, calling it 3fore 

Frightened than Hurt. It was performed, for the first 

time, on Monday, the 30th (tf April, 1821, in its author's 

eighteenth year."* It was received, according to the 

playbills, with rapturous applause. " It was," continues 

Mr. Wilkinson, " highly successful, and however meanly 

the author may have thought of it in after days, it had 

merit enough to be translated and acted on the French 

stage ; and, oddly enough, some years after it had been 

produced in France, Mr. Kenney being in Paris, saw it 

played there, and, not knowing its history, thought it 

worth his while to retranslate it ; and he actually brought 

it out at Madame Vestris's Olympic Theatre under the 

name of Fighting by Proxy, Mr. Liston sustaining the 

character originally performed by me." 

This first experience of the stage was encouraging — 

this first contact with the translator at once flattering and 

galling ; but the farce written by the boy of fifteen 

sparkled with bright retorts, and the plot was one full of 

comic action. Popeseye, the son of a butcher, aspires to 

the hand of a Miss Easy, who is in love with another 

suitor, and despises the young native of Newgate Market. 

She resolves with her sister, who is also courted by a 

vulgar lover, and loves another, to draw Popeseye into a 

duel with the second obnoxious suitor, a bullying coward, 

and the meeting of the two cowards gives the chief point 

* The young and unknown author — become a celebrity — did not 
forget his early benefactor. Writing, many years after the appearance 
oi More Frightened than Hurt to Mr. John Forster, the author said: 
" I have twice called in Lincoln's-Inn-Fields in the hope of consulting 
you upon a little matter with reference to a most worthy and most ill- 
used man, — poor Wilkinson, the actor, an excellent creature. Dickens 
has veiy cordially given his name as committee man (there will be no 
trouble) for patronage of a benefit — a farewell of the stage — for poor 
old Muffinccqj. I want your name too, &c." 



56 LIFE OF DOUGLAS JERROLD. 

to the farce. Poyeseye became a favourite part ; it gave 
good play to low comedians. The bully butcher, cowed 
by real danger, yet insensible to pain, bringing the slang 
of the shambles into juxtaposition with the refinement of 
a drawing-room, made up a character to which Mr. 
Wilkinson, a delineator of cowardice as complete as 
Keeley, gave all the delicate touches with the most 
unctuous humour. When he said, " It's very hard I 
can't have a wife without fighting, but I suppose I must 
not expect the one without the other ; " and again, when 
the bully Hector calls him a " calf-killing rascal," and 
he quietly replies, " Then don't put yourself in my 
hands," the points were given with masterly neatness. 
And the actor was undoubtedly proud to see his young 
protege successful with a piece written at the ripe age 
of fifteen. 

But there was a long gap between the time when More 
Frightened than Hurt was written and the day of its first 
appearance at Sadler's Wells ; thei"e were those . long 
weary months when it lay in Mr. Arnold's cupboard. No 
summer time this to the young printer who had burned 
with enthusiasm ; — whose cheeks had been flushed with 
hope as he wrote it. Yet, the more the world set its ghastly 
teeth at him, the firmer were his little fists clenched. Ay, 
he would work his way into the sunlight ; and his kind 
friend, Mr. Russell, gave him promise of the coming 
shine. " Russell," said Douglas Jerrold, the successful 
author, " Russell was the only man, when I was a poor 
boy, who gave me hope." The elegant critic, the friend - 
of Walter Scott, had the sagacity to see the briUiant 
promise that lay in the fervent mind, and the daring cour- 
age, of the printer's little apprentice. He noticed his 
craving for the Enghsh classics, and patted the boy on the 



ARRIVAL IN LONDON. 57 

back, as he appealed to him for counsel. He could see 
how the young aspirant was catching the spirit of journal- 
ism, and how he was tending swiftly to his true vocation. 
Mr. Sidney, with whom he worked, was the proprietor 
of " Pierce Egan's Life in London," which subsequently 
merged into " Bell's Life," and, as I have already writ- 
ten in this printer's office my father first came in direct 
contact with journalism ; but he never contributed, or, so 
far as I know, sought to contribute, to Mr. Sidney's peri- 
odical. He w^as only sixteen years of age when, his mas- 
ter becoming bankrupt, he was transferred to the printing 
offices of Mr. Bigg, in Lombard Street. 

It has been said widely that Douglas Jerrold's first 
printed words appeared in the " Sunday Monitor," then 
edited and printed by his employer of Lombard Street ; 
but this is not the fact. The author of More Frightened 
than Hurt, following the almost invariable tendency of 
young men with something to say, first tempted the judg- 
ment of the public by bits of fugitive verse ; and this in 
"Arliss's Magazine," a periodical long since forgotten. 
From the moment when he came in contact with jour- 
nals, he began to cast off sonnets, epigrams, and short 
quaint papers. It is true that the young compositor, hav- 
ing an order to see Der Freischutz, went to the theatre, 
and became so possessed with the harmony of the work 
that he wrote a critical paper on it, and dropped the com- 
position into Mr. Bigg's letter-box. 

He passed an anxious night, we may be certain, when 
this adventurous step had been taken. And that was a 
bright morrow when the editor handed him his own article 
to compose, together with an address to the anonymous 
correspondent, asking for further contributions. His way 
from the case to the writer's desk was bridged, though 
3* 



58 LIFE OF DOUGLAS JERROLD. 

years might pass before he should be able finally to pass 
from the mechanical drudgery to the intellectual pursuit. 
It is true, I repeat, that my father's first article in the 
<' Monitor " was a criticism on Der Freischutz, but it is 
not true that this article was his first appearance in print. 
With his vehement nature, his capacity for study be- 
fore sunrise on winter mornings, his daring nature, and 
his haste to be at war with the wrong he saw about him ; 
he was not likely to leave the sixpenny magazines with- 
out some of his " early mutterings." His sisters remem- 
ber the boisterous delight with which he would occasion- 
ally bound into the house, with a little publication in his 
hand, shouting, " It's in, it's in ! " Yes, his words were 
laid before the public in the imposing dignity of type. 
The honour warmed the boy's heart, as it has warmed the 
heart of many boys before and since. 



EAELY FRIENDSHIPS AND MARRIAGE. 59 



CHAPTER IV. 

EARLY FRIENDSHIPS AND MARRIAGE. 

The Liberal had failed ; and Byron at Genoa, in 1823, 
was restless, his eager eyes turned towards Greece — to 
the regions about the " blue Olympus." He would do 
something yet, " the times and fortune permitting." He 
did not now think that literature was his vocation. No, 
the field of battle was his natural ground ; and thither, 
in the sacred name of liberty, would he make his way, 
even from the side of Madame Guiccioli. In May he is 
already writing to the London Greek Committee that " a 
park of field artillery, light, and fit for mountain service ; 
secondly, gunpowder ; thirdly, hospital or medical stores " 
are necessary. He is burning to be in action, to wear 
his new helmet, and ride in the front of battle. 

And to London came the echoes of his valiant words — 
the reports of his courageous purpose. It is a drizzling, 
cold, and wretched day in the great Babylon. Lumber- 
ing hackney coaches and cabs of quaint appearance, 
rumble along Holborn. Men and women are hurrying, 
murmuring, like bees, to and fro ; and under a certain 
doorway stand two young men, protected from the 
weather. One is a darkhaired young man, with most 
sparkling eyes, a broad white brow, and colour as de- 
licate as any girl's. He is taller than his companion, 



60 LIFE OF DOUGLAS JEEROLD. 

who has light, flowing hair, a marked aquiline nose, fiery- 
eyes thatched with massive eyebrows — a mouth that most 
expressively shapes itself in aid of the meanings ex- 
pressed by the voice. The companions are two young 
and dear friends. They met lately by accident, and now 
are never apart, except to work or sleep. The same 
fever burns in these two remarkable young heads. Ex- 
amine each, and you shall, although no magician, read 
much of the future story of both in their open, glowing 
faces — the nervous, finely-strung sensibilities of the dark 
and flushed youth, that shall win him hundreds of tender 
friends, yet bring to him sorrows thick almost as joys ; 
the fiery fervour and daring strength of the lesser man, 
with his leonine head, presaging a savage hand-to-hand 
fight, and the grasp of the enemy's flag in the end. 

Laman Blanchard and Douglas Jerrold met by ac- 
cident before either friend had reached his majority. The 
latter was pushing his way, by slow degrees, into the 
tramway of the current journalism ; the former was writ- 
ing graceful poesy, to be presently gathered into a volume 
of " Lyric OtFerings," and published by Harrison Ains- 
worth. Yet their common subject just now, as they 
stood under the gateway protected from the rain, was of l 
Byron and liberty. The noble was their idol of the hour. 
He was a bard, and he was the champion of liberty. 
Why should they not follow him — join him in Greece ? 
The two friends were roused to frenzy with the idea, and 
the fair, blue-eyed one, suddenly seeing the ludicrous 
position of two Greek crusaders sneaking out of a shower 
of rain, dashed into the wet, saying, " Come, Sam, if 
we're going to Greece we mustn't be afraid of a shower 
of rain." 

But the rain poured down, and the pair got valorously 



EARLY FRIENDSHIPS AND MARRIAGE. 61 

wet to the skin. " I fear," said Douglas Jerrold, years 
afterwards, recalling the incident, " I fear the rain washed 
all the Greece out of us." When Byron died Douglas 
JeiTold wrote in a volume of his poems : — 

" God, wanting fire to give a million birth, 
Took Byron's soul to animate their earth." 

The rain had not even then washed all the Greek 
romance out of one, at least, of the enthusiasts. 

It is likely that more sentimental reasons might be put 
on record to explain the defection of the two friends from 
the popular cause of Greek freedom. They were both in 
love. Day after day the author of More Frightened than 
Hurt, having completed his duties with Mr. Bigg, would 
make his way to the house of his betrothed, bearing a 
scrap of criticism or a contribution to the " Belle Assem- 
blee," or his last article on the " Minor-ies," * published 
in the "Mirror of the Stage," a bi-monthly issue, put 
forth by the well-known John Duncombe, proprietor of 
the " New Acting Drama." Then the pair of lovers 
would devote Sundays to suburban walks. Be very cer- 
tain that they were happy, with the lofty thoughts that 
made a perpetual holiday in the hearts of the gallants. 
The shallowness of the purse was compensated in the 
shape of burning sonnets and most pathetic serenades. 
Very few were the men, of even minor mark, the two 
bold boys knew yet. Their prospects were not brilliant 
as the world would have estimated them ; but, as they 
read the future, it brightened and gave them heart. The 
author of the "Minor-ies" had, however, already pro- 
duced four pieces, for which the munificent Mr. Egerton, 

* These articles were critical descriptions of the popular actors of 
the minor theatres— Vale, Buckingham, Elliott, for instance. 



G2 LIFE OF DOUGLAS JEEEOLD. 

of Sadler's Wells, had given him £20 ; * and this dram- 
atic start had probably brought him into connection 
with the theatrical publisher, John Buncombe, for whom 
he wrote dramatic descriptions in the intervals allowed 
for recreation or rest, by Mr. Bigg. A very humble 
opening to the press was this. His success as a critic on 
the Monitor, indeed, gave him little more than the hope 
that, in the future, he might make a stand of some 
account in London journalism. 

But at this present period of my father's story I am 
anxious to dwell on that romantic friendship which re- 
mained a bright thing to him, to his latest hour. For 
Laman Blanchard he felt a most tender devotion, that 
was certain, long after his friend was dead, to bubble up 
many times in the running out of every year. He never 
spoke of this great friendship that his voice did not falter. 
They quarrelled, and were reconciled, with the vehemence 
and the enthusiasm of lovers. Each was so profoundly 
known to the other, that they found it impossible to let 
their early friendship dwindle to that cool regard, which 
men generally extend, in later life, to their " circle of 
acquaintance." A letter from Laman Blanchard, undated, 
but which must have been written about the year 1826, 
lies before me. It invites *' Dear Doug " to a party at 
Richmond : — 

" I need not say," (writes Blanchard,) "at least, I think not, how 
much of the pleasure and profit of the ramble will depend upon your 
joining it. Wednesday is selected as your convenient day, and I hope 
you will make some little exertion to join us, if it were only to afford 
me an opportunity of renewing, or rather of terminating, our conver- 
sation of Sunday night, and to convince you how little excuse you 

* 1. More Frightened than ffurt. 2. The Smoked Miser. 3. The 
Witch of Dernclmgh (a version of Guy Mannering). 4. Christian and 
his Comrades. 



EARLY FRIENDSHIPS AND MARRIAGE. 63 

have for misinterpreting my conduct, when you, of all persons in the 
world, are the very one that should most clearly understand it. Such 
as my nature is, it is not too much to say that it has been almost 
moulded by you; and certainly, of late years, nothing has been ad- 
mitted into it that has not received your stamp and sanction. It has 
been, and is, my pride to think and act with you on all important 
subjects ; and for lesser matters, as they are the mere dirt that adheres 
to the scales of opinion, let them not turn the balance against me, jaor 
prevent me from retaining that fair and even place in your thoughts 
which it is one of the best consolations of my life to believe that you 
have assigned me, 

" If you can, independent of any occasional fit of perverse temper, 
conceive seriously that I do not give you credit for the many, or I 
should say the numberless, marks of sympathy and kindness towards 
me during our intercourse ; or if you think I can share my mind with 
others as I have done with you, let me refer you to a passage in 
' Childe Harold ' commencing, — 

' Oh! known the earliest and esteem'd the mosV 

" If you should wonder why I have taken the pains to write all this 
dry detail of feelings which we mutually recognized and appreciated 
long ago, it is because the conversation that occasions it has made a 
deeper impression than you are aware of, perhaps than you intended, 
and more particularly as the feeling has displayed itself in two or 
three less important quarters at the same time. What is only teasing 
in indifferent persons, is something approaching to torture when con- 
veyed by the hand which has been so long held out in faithful and 
undoubting friendship, and which has never allowed the pressure of 
worldly calamity to weaken its grasp. 

" I shall be glad to hear from you to-night by some means. Can 
you call? It will be necessary to start at nine for half-past on 
Wednesday. 

" Believe me ever, dear Jerrold, 

" Yours most sincerely, 

" S. L. Blanchard." 



There is a wondrous tenderness of feeling — to me, at 
least — in this letter. It is written by a bruised spirit 
that could be so easily bruised. All that womanly quality 
which gave so great a charm to the society as well as to 



64 LIFE OF DOUGLAS JERROLD. 

the writings of Laman Blancliard, may be found here in 
a warm, yet perfectly dignified, appeal to his dearest 
friend. The disagreement was, it will have been seen, a 
very trifling one, since, the friends were to meet and row 
to Richmond on the Wednesday following the commission 
of this letter to paper; but over the tender chords of 
Blanchard's heart not even the least ruffling movement 
could pass, — of pain or of pleasure — without waking 
there, most thrilling music, mournful or gay. In his own 
words, however, we shall discover the best key to his 
nature. 

I find, treasured fondly among my father's few letters, 
two more from his early friend. That dated April 5th, 
1842, still makes reference to disagreements, to be 
covered nobly by the everlasting friendship that could 
not be successfully assaulted. Blanchard writes : — 

" My dearest Friend, 

* * * " My soul acquits me of having done any wrong to 
the sacred feeling that holds us together ; but I must convince you 
of this guiltlessness by something more impressive than a few words, 
and I will. Thei-e has never been any real reason for the cessation of 
intercourse between us, any more than for the cessation of the im- 
perishable soul of friendship that makes us one; and intercourse 
only lessened and dropped on my side because there were jarrings 
when we met in company, and a constraint when we were alone. 
And I could easier bear our non-meeting than appear to trifle with 
what was most solemn, or affect an indifference which (whatever may 
be the case with any such passion as envy, hatred, or jealousy) is, and 
ever must be, impossible. I could not go on meeting you as I might 
any one else, Avith an uneasy consciousness under the easy manner, 
and the anticipation of reproaches, to which all reply must come in 
the shape of recrimination. 

" But I am now doing what I said was unnecessai-y. Tnist me, I 
rejoice most deeply, unfeignedly, and with my whole heart, in our 
meeting on Saturday, and I shall date as from a new day. More you 
cannot be to me than you have been for twenty years ; but as the 
miser who puts his gold out to use is richer than he who locks the 



EARLY FRIENDSHIPS AND MARRIAGE. C'O 

same up in his strong box, so I, having the same friend as of old, shall 
be richer by turning that invaluable, that inexpressible blessing to 
its true account. God bless you and yours always, prays 

" Your most affectionate friend, 

" Laman Blanchard." 

The quarrel, even in this instance, was quickly healed, 
and the old, warm friendship resumed, as we may fairly 
gather from the following lively letter, written only six 
weeks after the above. I should premise that Douglas 
Jerrold and family were in Boulogne, whither Blanchard 
was most warmly and repeatedly invited. Blanchard 
thus makes reply : — 

» *' Union Place, 

May 2%ih, 1842. 
" My dear Jerrold, 

" My wife was witness to a vow, now three weeks old, that I 
couldn't and wouldn't reply to your note until she had made up her 
mind, yea or nay, upon the proposal it contained ; but as, with a con- 
sistency marvellous in women, she continues to the close of the month 
in the same way of speech, saying, 'Ah ! it's all very nice talking,' 
and ' It's easy enough for you,' and ' Nothing I should like so much, 
but ' — and ' Suppose Edmund were to get down to the ditch ' — and 
' What do you think? that Miss Mary had the pork butcher down in 
t'lo kitchen last night ' — and five thousand other objections rung upon 
such changes as the house on fire, the necessary new bonnetings, the 
inevitable sea-sickness, and the perils of the ocean — to say nothing of 
a reserved force brought up when all other objections are routed, in 
the shape of a presentiment that something will happen — God knows 
what, but something — directly her back is turned upon old England 
(what can she mean?) — all this, I say, induces me to break my vow, 
and communicate the indecision and perplexity that beset us daily. 
I had forgotten, however, the most solid of the difficulties that stand 
between us and you — the others are, indeed, but spongy, and might 
easily be squeezed dry; but here is a bit of rock ahead in the ' warn- 
ing ' of a servant in whom we have trust. She is going away — away 
to be married, as most of our maids do. This is about the sixth in 
four years. Better, you will say, than going away not married, but 
really in the present case a bore, especially if the other (as is probable) 
follows her. We should be left with two strangers; and my wife's 



66 LIFE OF DOUGLAS JERROLD. 

natural droad, almost a superstitious one, of leaving home — of losing 
sight of her childrou — of crossing the water more especially — would 
be increased to an unsoothable height. At present, however, it is only 
certain that one goes, and so wo must wait the issue of another fort- 
night, and then abandon fnially all the exquisite pleasure of procras- 
tination — and decide. Never surely did God sanctify the earth with 
lovelier weather than now. Even Lambeth is a heaven below in such 
a blessed time as this. But still there is a whisper going on in the 
paradise all about me to ' be oil',' telling me that no opportunity can 
be fairer, and that no welcome can bo half so strong. But to Boulogne 
without /tt'r would never do, the hope having been so fondly raised ; 
so if you see one you see both. At the worst, as she says, it is some- 
thing to have been so warmly wished for, and to have such a letter 
backing the verbal wish. For myself I am urgently moved towards 
Gloucestei-, where I have an acquaintance (' which is very well hoff' ) 
i-elying on an old promise ; but it must be older yet ere it be fulfilled. 
And Hastings also calls upon me from the sea, saying, ' You said 
you'd come in May; ' but Hastings is as impotent as Gloucester. Bel- 
fast, moreover, pleads winningly, and still in vain. This to let you 
know that I am cared for in other quarters, and that I prize your sum- 
mons before all others, however pleasant and friendly. * * * 
T send you a little song written since I saw you, and rather relished I 
find. I have about half a volume of siich matters scattered here and 
there. 

TRUTH AND RUINIOUR. 
As Truth once paused on her pilgrim way 
To rest by a hedge-side thorny and sere, 
Few travellers there she chai-m'd to stay. 
Though hers were the tidings that all should hear. 
She whispering sung, and her deep rich voice 
Yet richer, deeper, each moment grew; 
And still though it bade the crowd rejoice. 
Her strain but a scanty audience drew. 

But Rumour close by, as she pluck' d a reed 
From a babbling brook, detain'd the throng; 
With a hundi-ed tongues that never agreed. 
She gave to the winds a mocking song. 
The ci-owd with delight its echoes caught, 
And closer around her yet they drew; 
So wondrous and wild the lore she taught, 
They listen' d, entranced, the long day through. 



EARLY FRIENDSHIPS AND MARRIAGE. 67 

The sun went down : when he rose again, 
And sleep had becalm' d each listener's mind, 
The voice of Rumour had rung in vain, 
No echo had left a charm behind. 
But Truth's j;ure note, ever whispering clear, 
Wand'ring in air, fresh sweetness caught; 
Then all unnoticed it touch' d the ear, 
And fill'd with music the cells of thought. 

" Ever yours affectionately, 

" Laman Blanchard." * 



We return to the year 1823, and to the time when, 
unknown to the world, but eager to be noticed in the lists, 
the two friends trudged about London every evening, con- 
cocting plans, to be set aside with each morrow's sunrise. 
Yet work was done, and that lustily, by " dear Doug." 
The early summer found audiences laughing at Sadler's 
Wells over the Smoked Miser, or applauding the hits 
that, even then, the young author had learned to deal at 
hard masters and the ravenous lawyers. Screw calls to 
his clerk, " Here ! Goliah Spiderlimb ! Goliah ! Where's 
the lazy rascal that I keep ? Why, you scoundrel, don't 
I keep you ? " To which Spiderlimb replies, " I can't 
persuade my stomach that you do, sir." And then Spi- 
derlimb, malicious with his hunger, showing his master's 

* At this moment Douglas Jerrold was writing Gertrude's Cher- 
ries. I find the following in Scene II. The reference is to the 
English habit of cutting names, «&c., with diamonds upon window- 
panes : — 

" Wil. Humph ! one man goes to foolscap, another to a pane of 
glass; they may be. very different people, but, well considei-ed, I doubt 
if the motive hasn't the same source. 

" Vin. At least the same effect ; for, as my friend Laman Blanchard 
sings, — 

" ' 'Tis oft the poet's curse, 

To mar his little light with verse.' " 



68 LIFE OF DOUGLAS JERROLD. 

friend out, says, " Don't be afraid ; you'll not run against 
the pantry." Spiderlimb is even a facetious starveling, 
and describes himself as " the outline of a bone." 

The managers of the minor theatres were beginning 
to turn their eyes towards the impulsive dramatic author 
who was bravely at his war with the world, and yet 
who held aloof from the pleasures of his age that were 
within his reach. 

For, although able to do something more than support 
himself .now, with his work on the " Monitor," in the double 
capacity of compositor and writer, his occasional pittances 
for pieces, and his contributions to the " Mirror of the 
Stage," he remained at home with his family. His father 
was dead. The poor old man had passed away either 
the day before or the day after the death of George III., 
leaving his family, happily, in comfortable circumstances. 
Once, in his sixteenth year, Douglas left his home, with 
the idea that the freedom of an isolated life would give 
him a happy sense of independence ; but he soon returned 
to his mother and sisters, and never left them again till 
he had furnished a nest of his own, and taken unto 
himself the mate the beloved of his boyhood. With his 
sternly studious habits at this time of his life, the quiet 
of a home was welcome. There were temptations to 
shut the book, and enjoy the charms of interchanging 
rapid thoughts with others, abroad. Here, in his own 
little room, with his Shakspeare, his Latin books, and his 
French grammars, he could, without chance of disturb- 
ance, buckle to his appointed triumph over the adverse 
fate that had clouded his early boyhood. He could 
snatch here greedily, the lessons that are thrust upon boys 
born to happier chances. Winter sunrise still found the 
young student, with benumbed fingers, lighting his own 



EARLY FEIEND SHIPS AND MARRIAGE. 69 

fire and trimming his own lamp. " No man," said he, 
long afterwards, " has ever achieved greatness who did 
not rise at six during some years of his life." Plays 
were written — trifles as he rightly estimated them after- 
wards — in the long evenings of the days of hard work. 
He saw them successful and himself unregarded, and 
paid not so much as the theatre's master carpenter. Still 
the world, harsh and cold as it was to him who had no 
patron, and would, in the worst passage of his war, have 
scorned the patron who had dangled the patron's living 
before him — the world should not master and subdue 
him. He had not many friends in London even now ; 
yet the few he had were destined to be with him almost 
to the end of his chapter. 

It was on a certain day while the snow was on the 
ground, in the youth of the year 1824, that he was stand- 
ing with Laman Blanchard in Mr. Duncombe's shop, chat- 
ting. An artist, employed by the publisher, stepped in 
with a portrait of Charles Young, in Kiyig John under 
his arm for The Stage. The publisher introduced Mr. 
Kenny Meadows to the two friends. This was the 
merest accident, of course ; yet how full of coming happy 
hours for the three ! Rapidly, as is always the case 
among men touched by a common fire, the friendship 
grew. Was it ever ripe, or was it always ripening? 
Certainly it never passed its perfect ripeness to show its 
decay. Cornelius Webbe, afterwards known as a grace- 
ful lively magazine writer; Mr. Buckstone, the now 
well-known low comedian ; Mr. Ogden, a man utterly 
unknown to fame, yet, in a circle able to appreciate him, 
esteemed as a devout Shakspearian and a sound original 
thinker, drew about the trio, with Elton, the actor, to 
enjoy many years of graceful friendship. They were 



70 LIFE OF DOUGLAS JERROLD. 

separated often in the hurry of the world. " Wc touc.i 
and go, and sip the foam of many lives ; " * but there 
was a potent link here among these early friend'=! that, 
even after long wanderings, drew them by a strong grav- 
itation towards each other. The autumn brought change, 
however, to the friend Douglas Jerrold. Daring in all 
things, confident in his own white-hot energy, he tempted 
fortune yet again, and consummated the love of his boy- 
hood in marriage. 

Laman Blanchard, already married, turned to his 
friend, and offered him the tattered paper that lies be- 
fore me, with the following lines, now pale with age, 
upon it : — 

"And thou art wed ! God knows how well 
I wish thee — what I may not tell, 
Thongh all may wish, and waft thee, too, 
As much, deal' rhyme, as thou canst do. 
But trust me, none a purer blessing 
Shall breathe xipon the mystic hour, 
AVhen, pledged in fond and full caressing, 
You drain the cuj) for sweet or sour. 
Sweet, sweet the dregless draught must prove — 
The wine of life distill'd from love; 
A shower of summer dews for thee 
In passion — pearls from heaven's sea; 
God's own delicious vital rain, 
Lika-one small fount o'er many a plain; 
The finger's cooling touch, which erst 
The rich man ask'd for his tongue of thirst; 
Bright drops like those o'er Rhodian forms, 
When brain-born Pallas rose,, descending 
Like molten stars in golden storms, 
Young hearts and their idols immortally blending. 

*' Thy name shall crown the register 
Of those that bless and blindly err; 

* Emerson. 



f:ARLY FRIENDSHIPS AND MARRIAGE. 71 

That follow a promiscuous gleam, 

The poet-ljrain's romantic dream, 

And grasp yet miss the glittering bubble, 

While hope endears the specious trouble; 

Who brave the winds when others droop. 

And fall at once, but cannot stoop ; 

Who own no years, all worn and wounded, 

But crack like glass, and so are dead. 

And better thus than, bronzed in brow, 

To stand amidst this pictured show. 

And watch the flight, or plume the feather. 

Of some young nursling of v/arm weather. 

Clipp'd be thy wing! thine eye, and will. 

And progress, are an eagle's still. 

For whether with song thou tend'st thy flock. 

Or sling'st smooth pebbles as the giant, 

Though deeply thou endur'st the shock. 

Nor words nor wounds shall find thee pliant. 

Alas ! in youth, that best of time, 

What do we see but pain and crime ? 

Whether the early storm is riotous, 

Or drifting breezes merely sigh at us. 

Or if we stand (impatient trial!) 

To watch the sun along life's dial, 

What do we see, or you or 1, 

But tears and mean hypocrisy ? 

' Now shame upon that weeping line ! 
Is this a time to vent my whine. 
When my light pen should skim the paper, ] 
Unwilder'd by such fretful vapour? ' ^ 

I meant my feathery words should play 
Like birds around your smiling way; 
And still they sing, sincere and loud, 
Although their hues are steep'd in cloud; 
While, like Columbus, you explore 
The fissures of your new-found shore. 
May it, my friend, be hallow'd ground, 
Where all shall flourish, nought decay- 
Where life may be but beam and sound, 
Till it shall pass away; 
An isle that lifts its rainbow breast 
From out its bed of crvstal sea. 



72 LIFE OF DOUGLAS JERROLD. 

Whereon, as soon as foot can rest, 
Thou clasp' st an Immalee. 
Methinks thy timid, trusting Mary- 
Would well beseem this land of fairy. 
Such time would soon restore the tint, 
Half lost in sorrow's withering print, 
Which strew'd the cheek with pensive shade 
Where sunshine should have always stay'd. 
And thou, although thou dream' st it not, 
Art fitted for such warless lot ; 
O'er all that such a realm can bring 
To rule, the young congenial king ; 
O'er subject fruits, and spice-fraught pinions. 
And flowers that blush from Venus' vein. 
And songs that float from love-dominions. 
And sighs that never spi-ung from pain. 

" Now falls in love my foolish thought, 
Pygmalion-like, with that it wrought. 
Perchance my fancy's fond expansion 
Hath shaped its own heart-vision'd mansion; 
And, though I wish but sound and sorrow, 
I would I might be wed to-morrow. 
Since the mad fates have added yours 
' To matrimony's list of cures ' — 
The records of the true belief, 
Where men ' turn over a new leaf,' 
A book of bliss without njlnis, 
For such, mysterious wedlock, thine is. 
And who, in sooth, would still be waiting 
^ At libraries call'd 'circulating,' 

To tumble o'er the well-thumb'd pages, 
When some M. S.* like thine engages 
The souls of bards, the thoughts of sages. 
The truth of life, the dream of ages? 
And yet, had all seen nature's college. 
And shunn'd, like thee, this stall of knowledge, 
Many smart volumes ('twixt ourselves) 
Would moulder on the public shelves, 

* You will, perhaps, be able, from these initials, to illustrate the 
text with a name (Mary Swann) which you will readily pardon me 
for omitting. 



EARLY FRIENDSHIPS AND MARRIAGE. 73 

Or lie, as ne'er such books of old did, 
In sheets, uncover'd and unfolded. 

" A bard, for whom the thinking eye 
Fills with the heart's philosophy, 
With whom high fancies, feelings mingle, 
Says, ' Nothing in the world is single.' 
And he is right ; even mine is not. 

Dear J , a solitary lot. 

But this, perchance, I owe to thee, 
Confirmer of my early vision " 

The lines here break off. Their playful tenderness 
suggests at once the writer of the letter addressed years 
afterwards to Boulogne. I found the yellow paper upon 
which they are written in a secret drawer, in my father's 
library. He had always treasured this relic, not so much, 
it may be perceived, for its literary value, as for the noble 
heart he could always see at work behind it. The play- 
ful allusion to M. S. (the initials of Mrs. Douglas Jerrold's 
maiden and Christian name) is very happy. Miss Mary 
Swann was the daughter of Thomas Swann, Esq., of 
Wetherby, Yorkshire, a gentleman who held an appoint- 
ment in the Post-Office. 

Happy in friendship as in love, there were yet influ- 
ences at work to sour the heart of a man of my father's 
most ardent temperament. His glance was so keen, his 
sympathies were so warm, that when he looked abroad 
upon the battle of life, and marked its wide diversities of 
fortune, its hypocrisies, and vanities — its prizes in the 
hands of the low foreheads, and its crown of thorns about 
the high foreheads — when, in his own case, he saw how 
poor was the reward of money or of honour vouchsafed 
to the original thinker — he turned into his little home in 
Holborn, where he and his bride lived with his mother, 
sister, and good old Mrs. Reid, with a scornful word upon 

4 



74 LIFE OF DOUGLAS JERROLD. 

his lip. I insist upon this early feeling, and I endeavour 
to explain it, because it is the basis of my father's mind. 

To strike at the high oppressing the low — at the golden 
calf with its cloven hoof upon " the learned pate " — at 
laws tempered for the rich and sharpened for the lowly — 
at the wretched social shams comprehended in gig-keeping 
— this was his mission. To this end should be devoted 
all the fancy — all the trenchant wit — all the play of 
humour — all the tender poetry he could call his own. In 
drama — in theatrical notices — in introductions to burlettas 
— in farce and comedy — in fairy realms, over the beer of 
the " Gratis," or in the " Story of a Feather "—in the 
vulgar Goldthumb, or in that learned sham. Professor 
Truffles — or, again, in Retired from Business, where 
" pig iron " is shown scornfully turning up its nose "' at 
tenpenny nails " — he would speak for the misrepresented. 
Nor, as the author in later day acknowledged, much as 
he hated the ignorance that had called him a bitter man, 
was he in the habit of attacking his enemies with sugar. 

" In New Street, Covent Garden," he wrote, prefacing 
Bubbles of the Day, " there is, or was, a tradesman of 
great practical benevolence. It was the happiness of his 
temperament to recommend to the palates of babes and 
sucklings the homeliest, nay, the foulest shapes, by the 
lusciousness of their material. The man made semblance 
of all things in sugar. Fieschi's head, bruised and bleed- 
ing from " his own petard," frowned like a demon from 
the shop-window ; still the demon was — in sugar. The 
abomination, though appalling to the eye, would yet melt 
sweetly in the mouth. The thing was called a murderer ; 
yet taste it, and 'twas pure saccharine. 

" The author of Bubbles of the Day confesses to the 
charge that in some places has been preferred agA,inst 



EARLY FRIENDSHIPS AND MARRIAGE. 75 

nearly every character in his comedy. He has taken for 
his theme the absurdities and meannesses of fools and 
knaves ; and he has not — at least, he trusts he has not — 
exhibited the offenders — in sugar." 

This defiance of the critics was made in the bitterness 
of his knowledge that the world had all along been taught 
by shallow men to regard him as a cynic — he, who had 
to the last, a heart, below the rugged surface of him, as 
tender as a woman's. Mr. Hannay, in an eloquent 
article that appeared in the " Atlantic Monthly " for 
November, 1857, touches upon this popular mistake, and 
corrects it. He writes : — 

" Inveterately satirical as Jerrold is, he is even ' spoonily ' tender 
at the same time, and it lay deep in his character ; for this wit and 
bon vivant, the merriest and wittiest man of the company, would cry 
like a child as the night drew on and the talk grew serious. No theory 
could be more false than that he was a cold-blooded satirist — sharp as 
steel is sharp from being hard. The basis of his nature was sensitive- 
ness and impulsiveness. His wit is not of the head only, but of the 
heart — often sentimental, and constantly yhwayw?; that is, dependent 
on a quality which imperatively requires a sympathetic nature to give 
it full play. Take those Punch papers which soon helped to make 
Punch famous, and Jerrold himself better known. Take the ' Story 
of a Feather ' as a good expression of his more earnest and tender 
mood. How delicately all the part about the poor acti'ess is worked 
up ! How moral, how stoical the feeling that pervades it ! The bit- 
terness is healthy — healthy as bark. We cannot always be 

' Seeing only what is fair. 
Sipping only what is sweet,' 

in the presence of such phenomena as are to be seen in London along- 
side of our civilization. If any feeling of Jerrold's was intense it was 
his feeling of sympathy with the poor. I shall not soon forget the 
energy and tenderness with which he would quote these lines of his 
favourite Hood: — 

' Poor Peggy sells flowers from street to street, 
And— think of that, ye who find life sweet!— 
She hates the smell of roses.' 



76 LIFE OF DOUGLAS JERROLD. 

He was, therefore, to be pardoned when he looked with extreme sus- 
picion and severity on the failings of the rich. They, at least, he 
knew were free from those terrible temptations which beset the un- 
fortunate. They could protect themselves. They needed . to be 
reminded of their duties. Such was his view, though I don't think he 
ever carried it so far as he was accused of doing. Nay, I think he 
sometimes had to prick up his zeal before assuming the JtageUum. 
For a successful, brilliant man like himself, full of humour and wit, 
eminently convivial and sensitive to pleasure, the temptation rather 
was to adopt the easy philosophy that every thing was all right, that 
the rich were wise to enjoy themselves with as little trovible as pos- 
sible, and that the poor (good fellows, no doubt,) must help them- 
selves on according as they got a chance. It was to Douglas's credit . 
that he always felt the want of a deeper and holier theory, and that, 
with all his gayety, he felt it incumbent on him to use his pen as an 
implement of what he thought reform. Indeed, it was a well-known 
characteristic of his that he disliked being talked of as 'a Avit.' He 
thought (with justice) that he had something better in him than most 
wits, and he sacredly cherished high aspirations. To him buffoonery 
was pollution. He attached to salt something of the sacredness which 
it bears in the East. He was fuller of repartee than any man in Eng- 
land, and yet was about the last man that would have condescended 
to be what is called a ' diner-out.' It is a fact which illustrates his 
mind, his character, and biography." 

This is just criticism, the fruit of personal knowledge ; 
but the mistake that the world made, and that many of 
his friends made, arose naturally. It was difficult to 
understand the volcanic throes of that impulsive nature — 
a nature that could feel nothing coldly, circumspectly. 
My father might have pushed more rapidly forward to 
comfort in his early days had he possessed a more pliant 
nature ; but his road was straight ahead. You might 
cast barricades in his way, and slyly invite him to walk 
round the obstruction, and so, but only for a moment, 
turn from his appointed way ; but no, you could not make 
him step a foot aside. There were barricades before 
him, bristling far above his head. Still, he kept his eye 
firmly upon them — cast back the tumbled masses of his 



EAELY FRIENDSHIPS AND MARRIAGE. 77 

hair ; dashed forward — and presently the little figure, 
with dilated eye and distecided nostril, and scorn trem- 
bling in the downcast corners of the mouth, was on the 
barricades' topmost point. Timid friends looked on at 
the struggle, and offered tender counsel. " God send 
you more successful days," wrote tender Laman Blan- 
chard to him in 1842 ; " for, apart from other considera- 
tions, there is something in success that is necessary to 
the softening and sweetening of the best disposed natures ; 
and nothing but that, I do believe, will so quickly con- 
vince you of the needless asperity of many of your opin- 
ions, and of the pain done to the world when you tell it 
you despise it." 

But he was not to be turned aside. Even his earliest 
and dearest friend could not understand him — could not 
see that his fierce utterances came from the depth of his 
most passionate sympathy. Success came, but it in no 
way dulled the fire of his ardour. The " high " and rich 
sought his society ; but still a story of wrong done, of 
authority tyrannically used, smote upon his soul, as now 
they smite, where he stands, his bride by his side, a 
desperate warrior, resolved to make his whole life a pro- 
test against the wrongs done by man to man. 

He shall never be understood, save by a few very near 
friends, while he lives. As he himself wrote, when dedi- 
cating his " Cakes and Ale " to Thomas Hood, it shall 
be " necessary " for him " still to do one thing ere the 
wide circle and the profound depth of his genius shall be 
to the full acknowledged ; that one thing is, to die." 

Yet out come the tender touches of his nature, even in 
these early days of savage fighting with the world. Here 
are some fragments from the " Belle Assemblee " of 
1824 :— 



78 LIFE OF DOUGLAS .TERROLD, 



THE TEAR OF FOND AFFECTION. 

The kiss-inviting lip that wooes 

The thrilling soft impression; 
The glowing blush that would refuse, 

But sweetly speaks confession; 
Ah ! still more dear, more sweet than this 

(And what alone's perfection), 
The damask cheek, or stolen kiss — 

The tear of fond affection. 

It glisten' d in her bright blue eye — 

Pure gem of magic worth — 
Engender'd by young Pity's sigh, 

And truth, too, gave it birth; 
And as it trembled in its cell, 

I gazed, of voice bereft, 
Then snatch'd the jewel ere it fell, 

And bless' d her for the theft. 

D. W. J., May, 1824. 

BEAUTY. 

The painted fly, in colours gay, 

By summer zephyrs toss'd. 
The being of a sunny day. 

The victim of a frost : 

So beauty shines a fleeting hour, 

But quick the moment flies; 
Like painted worm in summer's bower, 

It dies — ah ! soon it dies. 

D. W. J., May, 1824. 

LOVE'S BONDAGE. 

I dreamt that young Cupid to Flora's path stray' d. 

And cull'd every beauty that deck'd her domain; 
But no flower by lightning or canker betray' d, 

Or heartsease decaying, he wore in the chain. 
The garland completed, around us he flew — 

The cable of joy caught our hearts in the toil. 
He shed o'er the blossoms refreshing bright dew — 

Their tendrils entwining struck into the soil. 



EARLY FRIENDSHIPS AND MARRIAGE. 79 

Methouglit I saw Time — on his lips sat a smile, 

And joy lit his face as he sharpen'd his blade; 
But Cupid, still watchful, stispecting the wile, 

His cruel intention for ever delay'd. 
The god in a rage seized the impious steel, 

And breathed o'er its surface a clothing of rust, 
Crying, " Ne'er shall this garland your keenness reveal, 

But ever unite till ye touch them to dust." 

D. W. J., i)/07/, 1824. 

I print these verses as evidence of that softer and more 
tender spirit which, I insist, was the motive power of 
even the fiercest invective and sarcasm to which the 
name of Douglas Jerrold is attached. 



80 LIFE OF DOUGLAS JEKROLD. 



CHAPTER V. 



THE DOMESTIC DRAMA. 



The year 1825 found Mr. Wilkinson's protege of 1821 
engaged at a salary of a few pounds weekly to write 
pieces, dramas, farces, and dramatic squibs for Mr. 
Davidge, late harlequin, and then manager, of the Co- 
burg Theatre. Mr. Davidge was a hard — a ruthless — 
task-master. No smile rewarded the author's successes, 
and no mercy was shown to the failures. And children 
were coming to the dramatist ; already one had been 
born, and the grist must pour into the mill. Literature 
had been adopted as a crutch that, we are told, should be 
accepted only as a staff. There are people living who 
remember the brave dramatist trudging Surreywards, 
" Little Shakspeare in a Camlet Cloak," as he was called, 
from his ambitious fervour and his habit of wearing a 
cloak. As he speeds onward, he is not thinking so much 
of his iron-fisted manager as of the patent houses — 
of Drury Lane and Covent Garden, where, it is his firm 
belief, nay, his solemn determination, he shall see him- 
self some day. Still his evenings are given to his dra- 
matic writing, for his days are devoted to other work — to 
the " Weekly Times," and to stray contributions to the 
minor periodicals of the day — now signed D. W, J., and 
now "Henry Brownrigg." It is marvellous the work 



THE DOMESTIC DRAMA. 81 

that is done daily, and the lightness of heart that is left 
for friends, even after a galling interview with Davidge. 

Till June, 1829, shall come, and bring him fortune, or 
rather the promise of fortune, four years must be got 
through. He has become, in conjunction with Dr. Cruci-- 
fix, the part proprietor of a Sunday newspaper — fruit all 
of that article on Der Freischutz dropped into Mr. Bigg's 
editor's box ; so that there is no lack of work. His friend, 
Laman Blanchard, is also pushing forward to his goal. 
And here it may be well to speak of the most unhappy 
mistake made by all men who have dwelt upon the life 
of Laman Blanchard. 

It has been said by Sir Edward Lytton, as by lesser 
commentators, that Mr. Blanchard passed a life of intense 
anxiety — of war with the world, that only very slowly con- 
sented to exchange the fruits of his graceful genius, for 
its solid comforts. No statement could be farther from 
the truth. After a very short struggle in London, it was 
Mr. Blanchard's good fortune to have one or two power- 
ful friends who were inclined to give a hearing to his 
tender and eloquent voice. He was for some time Resi- 
dent Secretary to the Zoological Society in Bruton Street, 
an, institution founded chiefly through the exertions of his 
brother-in-law, N. Vigors, M. P. for Carlow ; and hence 
he went direct from good appointment to good appoint- 
ment, to the end of his days. He edited, among other 
papers, " The Courier," " The True Sun," and " The 
Court Journal." He was sub-editor of " The Examiner " 
when he died, and he long enjoyed the ripe fruits of a 
large popularity as a most gracefully humorous magazine 
writer. If he had a disappointment it must have been the 
neglect with which the world received the poetic gum that 
oozed from him — a neglect that has yet to be made good. 

4* 



82 LIFE OF DOUGLAS JEEROLD. 

And none of the many friends whom Blanchard left 
behind him, were more anxious to set his memory right 
in the esteem of the public, than the companion of his 
boyhood, Douglas Jerrold. If the bitter grief the survivor 
suiFered when, on that mournful day in the spring of 
1845, he was bluntly told that the friend was no more, 
could be conveyed to the reader, it might suddenly con- 
vince him, once and for ever, that the author of Bubbles 
of the Day was a most tender-hearted man. I remember 
the morning well. I remember finding my father in a 
room, alone, at the " Punch " office. His face was white 
as any paper, and his voice had lost all its clear, sharp 
ring. 

" You have heard, I suppose ? " he said to me pres- 
ently. 

I nodded an assent. But though he twitched his 
mouth manfully, tried to look out of the window, and had 
resolved to bear the blow stoically, the effort was too 
much for him. He sank upon his chair, and, motioning 
me f]-om the room, wept, as children weep. 

At his friend's grave his grief was so completely 
beyond control that he was carried from the ground ; and 
for months afterwards, alone in his study, this sarcastic, 
" bitter " writer — this " cynic," who saw nothing good 
nor true in the world — was heard by his frightened wife, 
calling aloud in a voice nearly choked by tears, upon his 
lost companion to come to him. " I've called him. No, 
no ; he can't come, my boy," he said wildly to a friend, 
who happened to drop in on one of these sad evenings. 

But twenty years lie thickly studded, I insist, with 
pleasures, between Laman Blanchard and his grave. He 
has yet thousands of kind things to say — thousands of 
quaint thoughts to set upon paper — before the curtain of 



THE DOMESTIC DRAMA. 83 

death shall fall between him and the world. And, amid 
the rows of faces that shall appear at this Coburg Theatre, 
to welcome the pieces of " Little Shakspeare in a Camlet 
Cloak," shall be Laman's bright one very often. At 
Sadler's Wells — even at Vauxhall — shall this radiant 
face be seen on its most friendly mission. The Living 
Skeleton ; The Statue Lover ; Wives by Advertisement ; 
Fifteen Tears of a Drunkard's Life; Ambrose Gwinett, 
or a Seaside Story ; Law and Lions ; Sally in our Alley ; 
John Overy ; Mammon ; The Chieftain's Oath ; London 
Characters ; The Flying Dutchman ; Martha Willis, are 
among the productions written by Douglas Jerrold, that 
this bright face shall encourage within the space of three 
or four years. Some of these pieces shall be greatly suc- 
cessful, bringing gold to the managers ; but to the author 
little profit and little reputation. For the arena of his 
successes is an unlawful, an unfashionable one. The 
fight between the patent houses and the minor theatres 
has yet to be fought. 

The pieces of which I have given the titles were, it 
will be seen, curiously varied in subject. The ChieftaiiUs 
Oath, for instance, produced at Sadler's Wells, was "a 
grand aquatic spectacle " in two acts (dramatized from 
Ossian's poems), in which Mr. Keeley played Rundy 
Ramble. 

Fifteen Years of a Drunlcard^s Life was written, with 
excellent purpose, for a popular audience; the moral 
being shown, of course, in the destitution and disgrace 
which intemperance induces. Here are tender touches 
that will recall to any reader who may be tempted to the 
printed copy of the piece, the author of The Prisoner of 
War. Vernon, the drunkard, calls for brandy and water 
made according to the true Shakspearian precept. He ex- 



84 LIFE OF DOUGLAS JERROLD. 

plains, " As for the brandy, nothing extenuate ; and the 
water, put nought in, in malice." And when Vernon's 
wife reproaches him with the ruin of their estate, and 
asks him whether she has not seen his ancestral halls 
fade away like a vain pageant of ice, the reckless tippler 
makes answer, " Granted that you have ; you have still 
the satisfaction of your sex — to talk of it.'* There is 
strong serious interest in the piece throughout. It was, 
perhaps, the earliest of that long series of "domestic 
dramas " which Douglas Jerrold gave to the English 
stage, producing a new and original class of dramatic 
entertainment, that brought home the interest put upon 
the scene, to the hearts of the people. Of domestic 
drama he was wont to say, " A poor thing — but mine 
own." 

In Ambrose Gwinett the domestic dramatist ap- 
proached the seashore, turning his sailor life, for the 
moment, to some small account. We have a pressgang 
painted from the life at Sheerness ; where the men 
took off actors or members of the theatre band, be- 
cause The Resolution, seventy-four guns, was off the 
dockyard, and had a stage on board. 

Sally in our Alley is a drama in two acts, in which 
the claims of the poor and friendless are set forth yet 
again. Here, too, we have Captain Harpoon, and that 
lively fisherman schoolmaster, Isaac Perch. The great 
passion of Perch's life has cost him something. Judge 
him. " Three years since a rich great uncle of mine, a 
true civic cit, fell ill ; but whether his disease was turtle 
or turkey fever, I cared not to inquire. I was at the 
time in Hampshire, trout-fishing ; and, at the very mo- 
ment I was about to hook the king of the stream, up 
came a messenger from ray uncle. ' I come,' said I ; 



THE DOMESTIC DRAMA. 85 

' but first let me catch this trout.' The devil was in the 
fish that day — it was full fifteen minutes ere I hooked 
my prize. Meanwhile the messenger had the start ; he 
returned before me — my uncle scratched me from his 
will, and I lost 

'■'■Flags. A fortune. 

^^Isaac, But I caught a trout." 

Further on we come up with Claws, a lawyer, who 
is pleasantly described as " a legal cuttle-fish, troubling 
clear waters with pounce and ink " — the " disease of the 
village." 

" There's an odd story about you," pursues malicious 
Isaac Perch ; " it is that, according to Pythagoras, you 
were bred in the land of Brobdignag — ay, that you were a 
worm there — and that one of the giants, having used you 
for bait to catch sharks, you slipped from the hook, were 
taken aboard ship, brought to this village, and, entering 
on your second state, became a pettifogging lawyer." 

Then follows a scene in which Claws threatens Isaac 
with the penalties of the law, because his pupils have 
been stealing feathers from fowls and peacocks, " to 
construct, or make, or cause to be constructed or made 
therewith, sundry things called by anglers artificial flies," 
for their master. 

Law and Lions still sparkles with quaint ejDigram 
and points of wit. The quarrel of Mr. and Mrs. Mam- 
moth is a good occasion. Mr. Mammoth has a poetic 
lodger, who wins his heart by addressing monodies and 
odes to his animals and- insects, Mr. Mammoth being an 
enthusiastic naturalist. Mrs. Mammoth fixes her eyes 
upon the lodger's unpaid bills ; she is a most doggedly 
practical reasoner. "Ask him for his bill," insists the 
lady. " He has settled," the husband replies. " How ? 



86 LIFE OF DOUGLAS JERROLD. 

when ? " " Why," continues the naturalist, " he has given 
me draughts from the Pierian spring — a monody on the 
death of my piebald cockchafer — a welcome to a newly- 
caught mermaid — a congratulatory ode on the birth of 
my three guinea-pigs — and, the best bit yet, he has 
thrown in your epitaph as a makeweight." 

Presently exasperated, Mammoth declares that " the 
wives of geniuses live only in the kitchen of imagina- 
tion." Mrs. Mammoth will hereupon leave him for ever ; 
he is to consider her henceforth as dead. "A leaf from 
the ' Pleasures of Hope,' " chirps the provoking natur- 
ahst. Mr. Epic, the lodger, has promised Mammoth an 
appointment as keeper in a menagerie, provided always 
that he will not, with his new dignity, cast off his old 
friends. Mammoth is elated with the happy time com- 
ing. He will " muse upon slumbering elephants and 
humorous hyenas," and " print his reflections." To prove 
his urbanity he will allow Epic to come, and bring all 
the authors with him, " at feeding time." The interview 
closes thus : — 

" Epic. Though this miUtary dress (he is going to a masquerade) 
will not be so novel to me as you may imagine. A sad dog, I ran 
away from the study of the law, threw down an attorney's inkstand, 
and took up a carbine. 

31am. And it's difficult to say which of the two may do the most 
mischief. 

£pic. Then gaming threw me from my military steed. 

3Iam. {aside). Knocked from his horse by a billiard ball — not an 
uncommon occurrence in the army. 

£pic. And falling into the quagmire of poverty 

Mam. You were in the fittest situation to turn author. 

Epic. But I know my old father will one day forgive me, and then 
adieu to scribbling. A pen is very well for an amateur author, who 
has nought to do but spoil gilt-edge paper, and make the nonsense- 
tracing engine a toothpick ; but when povei^ty transforms it into a 
fork, it is being fed with u'on, indeed. 



THE DOMESTIC DEAMA. 87 

Mam. But some men continue to tip it with brass. 

Ej)ic. Which the vulgar take for gold ; and he of base metal, and 
he of the pure, are in the end the same. — Enough of this ; you will 
get me the dress ? 

Mam. I will ; and you'll not forget me ? 

Einc. Forget you ! I am now going to my friend among the drom- 
edaries and buffaloes, and there it will be impossible to forget you. 

[Exeunt severally.''^ 

The London Qliaracters proved the versatility of the 
young author's genius. They were presented to the 
public at the Coburg Theatre on the 21st of November, 
1825, and were thus pointedly introduced : — 

" For the First Time, a Comic Sketch, {written hy the Author of 

the " Living Skeleton,^ ) in one Act, to be called 

LONDON CHARACTEES; 

*»' Puff! Puff!! Puff!!! 

'Puffin thy teeth.'— Shakspeare. 
" Some explanation may be required fi'om the writer to preface this 
(apparently) hardy undertaking, and he enters on it with all the 
alacrity which the consciousness of good intentions is so well calcu- 
lated to inspire. It is a common fault that, in our anxiety to render 
homage to the memory of men bygone, we treat somewhat too cav- 
alierly the illustrious living, who stiU pay rent and taxes ; it is as 
though individuals were not to be esteemed until they had given 
employment to an undertaker. Now, the present object of the writer 
is, to awaken the public to a proper knowledge of the talents scat- 
tered through the town, to pull its million buttons, and tweak its 
thousand noses, until the said lethargic public shall open its two 
thousand eyes, (that is, allowing a p^ir for every person,) and become 
fully assured of the gi-eatness it has snored over. To this end, and 
without any fear or trembling, the writer creates the important letters 
that form the mystic name of Francis Moore, physician, almanac- 
maker, the awful wizard that warns the ungrateful world of the season 
for umbrellas and worsted hose; he apostrophizes those venerable 
sages Day and Martin, who, like the wise men of yore, write their im- 
mortality on imperishable leather. Burgess, who, with Jonah, has 
found a lasting fame in the bowels of a fish ; Mr. Money, of Fleet 
Street, who, like Captain Parry, roves from ' pole to pole ' for mutual 
benefit; Charles irri^ii, of the Opera Colonnade, who makes us forget 
our troubles at the cheapest rate ; Roivland, who drops the compassion- 



88 LIFE OF DOUGLAS JERROLD. 

ating ' dye ' on the afflictions of red hair, and puts whiskers into half 
mourning; Atkinson, who trains English beauty as the Greenlanders 
feed their children, upon bear's grease ; Henry Hunt, Esq., the reformer 
of vitiated tastes for Turkey coffee ; Charles Wright, whose spirits, 

like that of the Spanish goblin, dwell in a bottle; Doctor but no, 

some kind of excellence must, like the poet's flower, (and, indeed, 
like much genius of the present day,) ' blush unseen.' Airs. Johnson, 
whose Soothing Syrup speedily fills our mouths with bones, that we 
may better tear flesh, shall she be forgotten ? Gratitude forbid ! Why 
are the achievements of the foregoing persons left unsung? Do they 
not contribute more to huinan comfort than all the feats of conquerors 
and kings ? The philosopher, who said the sun was red-hot metal, was 
a fool to Dr. Moore, who has thoroughly solved the doubts of man- 
kind, showing that the moon is not gi-een cheese, but, in fact, a moon. 
The brilliancy of Day and Martin, Wai-ren and Larnder, will remain 
as long as Homer's. The Elements of Euclid are not so relishing to a 
fried sole as Burgess'^s Essence of Anchovies. The labours of Money 
are greater than those of Hercules, for the ancient did at length slay 
the hydra; but the bear of Mr. Money has been killed a thousand 
times, and stripped of its wealth of fat, and yet survives. Charles 
Wright makes us abhor 'the creed of IVIahomet; and many a Cherokee 
chief, who has scalped his neighbour, has been immortalized in pan- 
tomime ; while Rowland and Atkinson, who have fresh haired many a 
naked pate, have remained in obscurity. The epicure, who fed off 
peacocks' brains, (it is lucky he did not choose men's; at least, it 
would be, were he now living in some countries,) is less valuable than 
Henry Hunt, who makes us full as grateful with a little corn well 
singed. What Avas Semiramis, who struck off heads, to the present 
Mrs. Johnson, who softens our infant mouths? Are the ancients to 
be for ever apostrophized, and the great living to be unhonoured and 
unsung ? No ; the writer, fired with honourable zeal, has plucked a 
quill fi'om the largest goose in Lincolnshire, has spread open a fool's- 
cap sheet, has soused into the ink bottle his newly-made pen, and 
thus registers— THE SPIRITS OF THE AGE." 

But the sailor had brought something from ihQ deck of 
The Namur that should stand him in good stead shortly. 
He would pass not long hence from under the thumb of 
managers — a position to be presently avenged, moreover, 
in Bajazet Gag ; or, The Manager in Search of a Star. 
His writings in the weekly papers, in Mr. Wakley's 



THE DOMESTIC DRAMA. 89 

Ballot, &c., were beginning to bear him goodly fruit. His 
way was clearing to the higher places — to the "New 
Monthly" and to " Blackwood." Already he had housed 
his family in a cottage near Regent's Park — already he 
began to feel his feet upon something like solid vantage 
ground, although the " Sunday Monitor " had led him into 
grave difficulties through the treachery of others. The 
world was beginning to spell his name, with difficulty and 
carelessly yet ; but the syllables would flow easily from 
the public lip, not long hence. He had weighty dreams 
— was possessed with great ideas, to be ripened when the 
sun should shine a little. 

In a most fortunate hour he quarrelled finally with 
Mr. Davidge — with Davidge, who, could he have seen 
the story of that little manuscript under the author's arm, 
would have fallen upon his knees, and prayed for it at 
any price. But manager and author parted in anger, 
and away went the latter direct to Mr. Elliston's room at 
the Surrey Theatre. This manager's fortunes were at 
a low ebb, and he was not ready to adventure much ; but 
a bargain was struck ; an engagement as dramatic writer 
to the establishment, at £5 per week, was concluded ; 
and the author deposited upon the manager's table, by 
way of beginning, the " nautical and domestic " drama 
of Black-Eyed Susan ; or, AH in the Downs. 

This renowned piece, brought from the deck of The 
Ernest gun-brig, with the sea breeze in it, and all the 
rough, hearty manliness to be found on his Majesty's 
ships in those days, was first produced on Whit-Mon- 
day, June 8, 1829, in the author's twenty-sixth year. 
The noisy holiday-makers of the Borough and of the 
London Road were the first critics of a piece destined 
to be played in every quarter of the world, and to bring 



90 LIFK OF DOUULAS JKKROLD. 

back ibi'tune lo i^raoeless jMr. Ellistou. Mr. T. P. Cooke, 
who had not phiyed at the Surrey Theatre for ten yeju's, 
made his reappearance as WiUiam, and was the Long 
Tom Collhi of the after-piece, 21ie Pilot. It is reported 
that " the audience were hot and noisy ahnost throughout 
the evening. JNow and then, in a lull, the seeds of wit, 
intrusted by the author to the gardener (Mr. Buck- 
stone), were loudly appreciated ; but the early scenes of 
Susan's ' heart-rending woe ' could not appease the clam- 
our. By and by came the clever denouement when, just 
previously to the execution, the captain enters with a 
document proving William lo have been discharged 
wIkmi he commit tod the offence. The attentive few 
applauded so loudly as to silence the noisy audience. 
They listened, and caught up the capitally-managed in- 
cident. The etlect was startling and electrical. The 
whole audience leaped with joy, and rushed into fran- 
tic enthusiasm. Such was the commencement of the 
career of a drama which, in theatrical phrase, has 
brought more money to manager and actor than any 
piece of its class ; but to its author a sort of sic vos non 
rohis result." 

But the piece was not greatly successful from the first 
night. Its popularity grew by degrees to the prodigious 
height it reached. By degrees people began to tiock to 
Mr. EUiston's deserted theatre. The pit and gallery tilled, 
and then the boxes presently showed, every night, packed 
seats of goodly company. There were points to touch 
all ; the poor, in the sorrow suftered by Susan, dunned 
by the hard landlord, Doggrass, and in the error against 
authority of William, who struck his commander to shield 
his wife from wrong ; the respectable and the representa- 
tives of authority, in the frank forgiveness and noble 



THE DOMESTIC DRAMA. 91 

alacrity to save the sailor on the part of the offended 
officer. More — there was, in 1829, an enthusiastic love 
for the navy, which is in no way represented to us in that 
sentimental regard with which we look upon this noble 
service of ours now-a-days. The spirit of Nelson was 
yet abroad. His name thrilled the national heart. "All 
London," wrote Mr. Hepworth Dixon, in his tender fare- 
well to my father, printed in " The Athenaeum," " all Lon- 
don went over the water, and Cooke became a personage 
in society, as Garrick had been in the days of Goodman's 
Fields. Coveut Garden borrowed the play, and engaged 
the actor for an afterpiece. A hackney cab carried the 
triumphant William, in his blue jacket and white trou- 
sers, from the Obelisk to Bow Street ; and Mayfair maid- 
ens wept over the stirring situations, and laughed over the 
searching dialogue, which had moved, an hour before, the 
tears and merriment of the Borough. On the three 
hundredth night of representation, the walls of the theatre 
were illuminated, and vast multitudes filled the thorougli- 
fares. When subsequently reproduced at Drury Lane, it 
kept off ruin for a time even from that magnificent mis- 
fortune. Actors and managers throughout the country 
reaped a golden harvest. Testimonials were got up for 
Elliston and for Cooke on the glory of its success, but 
Jerrold's share of tlie gain was slight — about £70 of the 
many thousands which it realized for the management. 
With unapproachable meanness Elliston abstained from 
presenting the youthful writer with the value of a tooth- 
pick ; and Elliston's biographer, with a kindred sense of 
poetic justice, while chanting the praises of Elliston for 
producing Black-Eyed Susan, forgets to say who \vrote 
the play ! When the drama had run three hundred nights, 
Elliston said to Jerrold, with amusing coolness, " My dear 



92 LIFE OF DOUGLAS JEEROLD. 

boy, why don't you get your friends to present you with a 
bit of plate ? " 

The success of Black-Eyed Susan, although it directly 
brought but poor pecuniary profit to the author, could not 
fail to be of great service to him. Of Douglas Jerrold's 
popularity as a dramatist, neither manager nor actor 
could rob him. He now set to work more resolutely than 
ever. Before the close of the year, he had written the 
Flying Dutchman, John Overy, and Vidocq. He next 
took an ambitious theme — Thomas a Becket. But he was 
still on the Surrey side of London — still in unlicensed 
theatres. He saw his way to the patent houses, however, 
opening fair before him, and he was not the man to be 
discouraged now. The ingratitude of his rapacious man- 
agers he paid back in epigrams that stuck to them. Four 
hundred times had his piece been played at different 
theatres during the year of its birth, and he had received 
about the sum Mr. Cooke obtained for acting "William six 
nights at Covent Garden ! Here was a contrast to sour 
any man, more especially a man who depended wholly 
upon his brain for his bread. Empty compliments were 
showered upon him, but they found him still looking 
steadfastly, in his own way, at the injustice of his position, 
and resolved to right himself. 

" You'll be the Surrey Shakspeare," said a friend to 
him on the success of Thomas a Becket. 

" The sorry Shakspeare, you mean," was the quick 
retort. 

Of Davidge, who had ground him to the utmost, he 
could never speak patiently. And he twisted his anger 
into biting sayings that left no mere flesh wounds. " May 
he," said the ill-used author, " live to keep his carriage, 
and yet not be able to ride in it ! " — a wish, spoken in 



THE DOMESTIC DRAMA. 93 

anger, that was curiously enough fulfilled to the letter. 
Davidge died early one evening, and the scorn of his 
meanness was still strong in the writer's soul. " Humph ! " 
he said, " I didn't think he'd die before the half-price had 
come in." But here and there sweet consolations came 
to him — sweet, as he would have said himself, as new- 
mown hay. He received these with a gratitude almost 
childish. A favour conferred upon him made the be- 
stower sacred for ever in his esteem. And when he 
measured his own chivalrous regard for the lightest 
service, with the ingratitude he daily experienced on the 
partof many men whom he himself had served, he would 
say, when told that somebody had spoken something 
against him, " Ah ! I suppose I have done him a good 
turn." One writer I can recall, but will not name, to 
whom he had given almost his first appearance in print, 
was among the most persevering and unscrupulous of his 
enemies afterwards. Some friend — as friends will — men- 
tioned the ingratitude. " Never mind," Douglas Jerrold 
retorted ; " the boy is sick to windward. It '11 all fly back 
in his face." 

But let us turn to one of his more gratifying expe- 
riences. On the success of Black-Eyed Susan and Thomas 
a Bechet, Miss Mitford wrote from her retirement this 
kind letter to the author, with whose Christian name she 
was not yet familiar : — 

" December 14, 1829. 
" Three-Mile Ceoss, kear Reading. 

" Saturday evening. 
" My dear Sir, 

" I have just received from Mr. Willey your very kind and grat- 
ifying note. The plays which you have been so good as to send me 
are not yet arrived; but, fearing from Mr. Willey' s letter that it may 



94 LIFE OF DOUGLAS JERROLD. 

be some days befoi-e I receive them, I do not delay writing to acknowl- 
edge your polite attention. I have as yet read neither of them, but I 
hnoio them, and shall be greatly delighted by the merits which I shall 
find in both — in the first, by that ti-uth of the touch which has com- 
manded a popularity quite unrivalled in our day; in the second, by 
the higher and prouder qualities of the tragic poet. The subject of 
Thomas a Becket interests me particularly, as I had at one time a 
design to write a tragedy called Henry the Second, in which his saint- 
ship would have played a principal part. My scheme was full of 
license and anachronism, embracing the apocryphal story of Rosamond 
and Eleanor, the rebellious sons — not the hackneyed John and Rich- 
ard, but the best and worst of the four — Hemy and Geoffrey, linking 
the scenes together as best I might, and ending with the really drama- 
tic catastrophe of Prince Henry. I do not at all know how the public 
Avould have tolerated a play so full of faults, and it is well replaced 
by your more classical and regular drama. I was greatly interested 
by the account of the enthusiastic reception given by the audiences 
of Blach-Eyed Susan to a successor rather above their sphere. It was 
hearty, genial English — much like the cheering which an election mob 
might have bestowed on some speech of Pitt, or Burke, or Sheridan, 
which they were sure was fine, although they hardly understood it. 

" If I had a single copy of ' Rienzi ' at hand this should not go 
unaccompanied. I have written to ask Mr. Willey to procui-e me 
some, and I hope soon to have the pleasm*e of requesting your accept- 
ance of one. In the mean time I pray you to pardon this interlined 
and blotted note, so very untidy and unladvlike, but which I never 
can help, and to excuse the wafei-, and the absence of the Christian 
name 

" Very sincerely yours, 

" M. R. MiTFORD. 

" To — JerroU,Esq., 

" 4, Augustus Square, Regenfs Parh.'' 



The success of Blach-Eyed Susan suggested to the dram- 
atist a drama to be founded on the Mutiny at the Nore. 
It is a stirring story of sailor hfe. We may see in this, 
the observation of the little boy who, from his grand- 
mother's window in the Blue Town, looked over the danc- 
ing waters at the Medway's mouth. This second naval 



THE DOMESTIC DRAMA. 95 

piece must have had no small success, since it was played 
at the Pavilion, the Coburg, and the Queen's Theatres in 
1830. But the author's way lies to higher ground now. 
He is about to command his terms, and to give parts to 
better actors. He is dreaming of a national drama, and 
of a proud place in it, naturally, for himself. George 
Colman received £1000 for John Bull ; Morton pocketed 
a sum of equal amount for Town and Country ; Mrs. 
Inchbald was paid £800 for Wives as They Are ; but 
then this was in play-going days. Well, why should the 
theatres be deserted ? Very noble academies for the 
people might they be made. And it was the dream of 
the author of Black-Eyed Susan — a dream from which 
he awoke somewhat late in life — that in his day the 
national drama might once more be made worthy of the 
nation. On this head — one to which he again and again 
returned, savage to see how little progress the drama 
made — as well as on the shameful monopolies enjoyed by 
the patent theatres, he wrote to Mr. T. J. Serle in a 
dedicatory letter accompanying the comedy entitled The 
Schoolfellows : — 

" My dear Serle, 

" Would the accomijauying little comedy were more worthy of 
your acceptance ! It was my wish to make it so ; but the evil crisis 
upon which Ave have fallen, rendering the exei-cise of our art almost 
hopeless — the system which has flung the dramatic muse under horses' 
hoofs, turning every well-considered and elaborate attempt at stage 
literature to the confusion of its projectors — compelled me, in the 
present instance, to forego my first plan of five acts, and to adopt 
that of two. In shortening my labour I, no doubt, lessened my dis- 
appointment. This may, in some measure, account for, if it do not 
wholly excuse, a want of minute development of character, a hurry 
of incidents, and a suddenness of catastrophe. The subject, to be 
duly illustrated, required no less than five acts ; but five acts in these 
davs ! 



96 LIFE OF DOUGLAS JERROLD. 

" In inscribing to you Jlie ScTioolfelloics, you will not, I am convinced, 
give the drama a less cordial welcome because refused by the profes- 
sionally retained reader (Mr. Reynolds) — the one reader appointed to 
the tioo theatres, Drury Lane and Covent Garden. That gentleman 
was, doubtless, correct in his opinion that, for the two patent stages, 
the piece was altogether ineffective. But tell me, in passing such 
sentence, did not the one janitor to the twin temples of fiime, somehow 
question their right to a privilege which the legislatui*e makes almost 
wholly its own? However, such was the answer; and though, in our 
boyhood, we may have enjoyed a scene in which Grimaldi fulfilled at 
the same moment the office of porter to two mansions, yet, with the 
present exclusive market, a negative from the one porter at Drury 
Lane and Covent Garden, though the said porter has himself been 
half a century a comic writer, is certainly not one of his best jokes. 
Nay, there are better even in Laugh Wlien You Can. 

" The Schoolfelloifs was not, we have it on authority, calculated to 
attract sufficient money to either of the two large houses. I now con- 
scientiously believe it. Subseqiaent events have confirmed me in the 
melancholy conviction that a writer who, unassisted by a troop of 
horse, an earthquake, a conflagration, or a cataract, trusts merely to 
the conduct of his fable, his words, and his characters must fail, at 
least in the treasury sense, at either Drury Lane or Covent Garden. 
This is one of the sternest truths that men admit, for it is a truth of 
the pocket. When the prices at the patent houses are nearly double 
those of what are called the minor theatres, who, unless it be to see 
some extraordinary raree-show, wide away from the real purpose of 
the drama, will pay the heavier charge? 

"At the time I write. The Schoolfellows has been acted twenty-seven 
times, and is still announced for further repetition. ' Yes,' it may be 
answered, 'but acted at a minor theatre, where the audience is less 
cultivated, and, consequently, less critical — where, with an undistin- 
guishing appetite, they may thankfully devour the refuse of Covent 
Garden.' Though little disposed to make the Court Guide the only 
test of judgment, 1 might have crowded into the page a long list of lords 
and ladies of every degree of nobility, who — for their names have 
gemmed the paragraphs of newspapers — have assisted, to use a French 
phi-ase, at the unlawful representation of The Schoolfellows at an un- 
licensed theatre. This is no extravagance ; the tyro in heraldry might 
gain most discursive knowledge from the coach panels that are nightly 
wedged in Tottenham Street. 

" This point brings me to the question on which you, my dear Serle, 
have long laboured, distinguishing yourself no less by a singleness of 
purpose in the advocacy of common sense, and of the rights of every 



THE DOMESTIC DRAMA. 97 

man whose hard destiny it is to live by the sweat of his pen^ than by 
fervid eloquence and the soundest judgment. Surely, excluded by a 
system (for I make no charge against individuals; I believe they are 
fully aware of the hopelessness of the present state of things) from 
what the legislature, in its former wisdom, intended to be the highest 
reward of the dramatist, when told that the only prizes to be won at 
the two theatres are, as in some of the olden games, to be carried away 
upon horseback — when the only Pegasus of the patent theatres is to 
be found in the mews of Mr. Ducrow — it is not too much to ask from 
the government an assured retreat, where the wi-iter and the actor 
may pursue their calling, safe from ' the armed heels' of bays and 
piebalds. It is no answer for our opponents to tell us there are, for the 
exercise of the art of the dramatist and the player, the minor theatres. 
Those establishments, with only two exceptions, are at the mercy of 
the common informer every night. Though the patricians of the land, 
by their patronage, countenance the illegality, their licenses are for- 
feited. Thus they are insecure in their tenure, and even when licensed 
by the lord chamberlain are trammelled by absurd fallacies, though, 
in sorrow I say it, there is no public functionary whose orders are so 
constantly evaded as are the mandates of the royal key-bearer. His 
lordship says there shall be six songs in each act of every burletta, 
and the due number are constantly sent to the deputy licenser (nay, I 
know a recent instance in which the verses were selected from the 
works of the deputy himself), who pockets the fee with a full convic- 
tion that, in five out of six instances, not one of the songs will be 
retained, but were merely sent to cheat the unsuspecting chamberlain ! 

" In the appeal which must again be made to the legislature, we 
have surely a claim to the advocacy of those noblemen who visit minor 
theatres. Surely they will not refuse their voices when they have 
before given their names. They can hardly take boxes at a play- 
house, and then, by their vote, declare it, if not mischievous, un- 
necessary. 

" In the hope that the question of the existence of a national drama 
will meet with that speedy consideration which it now so strongly 
demands, and in the conviction that with its purity and elevation 
your efforts must meet with a pi-oportionate reward, believe me, dear 
Serle, 

" Your sincere friend, 

" Douglas Jerrold. 

*' Little Chelsea^ March 20, 1835." 

The bitter allusions to animals in the patent theatres — 

5 



98 LIFE OF DOUGLAS JERROLD. 

to the advent of Ducrow vice Shakspeare — came from the 
playwright's heart ; and he treasured, as an iUustration 
of the state of the stage in his time, as well as illustrative 
of the old manager of Astley's, the following remarkable 
letter addressed to "Mr. Bunn, or Mr. Russell, or Mr. 
Peake — immediate." 

" Royal Amphitheatre, 

" October 23, 1838. 
" My dear Sir, 

" I suppose Mr. Bunn, nor any of the antliorities, will be at the 
theatre till late to-day, as there is nobody called till twelve or one, 
which is not a fit call for such requisites required for to-night's per- 
formance, as it is not the performers, but the scenery, gas, arrange- 
ment of the animals' cages, and such scandalous inattention to the 
above matters that caused the disapprobation of the audience at all 
times at such disgraceful bungling. I must request for my own repu- 
tation, as well as that of the theatre, that those departments may be 
called and looked to, viz: the Cataract Scene set immediately, to 
have it simplified, to be enabled to have it set and worked. The wood 
decorations on the top of the lions' cages requires cutting away, and 
merely sufficient to hide fights. It is a disgrace to Drury Lane, after 
the first act receiving three roiinds of applause, at the drop descend- 
ing and being the heaviest; that the second part should be spoilt by 
bungling in placing the cages, &c. which I informed them in the first 
instance would be the case. The Fire Scene was scandalously at- 
tended to, lit with pitch torches, and smothered the audience with 
all kinds of nuisances of lime and smoke. As the piece is short, I 
suggest that it be put in three acts ; the second act finishing with the 
Fii-e Scene, and thus allowing the time for setting cages in third act. 
The dresses were not fit for Richardson's; and, if I had not had some 
few of my own to furnish the piece, it would have been obliged to 
have been stopped ; and, as you have no act-drop, and the audience 
not knowing when the performances are over, it will be necessary to 
state in the bills that the Avhole of the entertainments of Monday and 
the new spectacle having concluded before eleven, it has been found 
essential, to facilitate the extensive aiTangements, to present it in 
three acts, or divisions, thus each bearing distinctive points of attrac- 
tion. I shall expect the contents of this attended to, as I will not be 
liable for the neglect and fault of others. I will thank you to call 



THE DOMESTIC DRAMA. 99 

some one to attend to the alteration and setting of the scenery of second 
act, as great alterations must take place, as well as that of the band. 
If Mr. Bunn should not be there, desire the carpenters to set the 
Cataract Scene directly, and make the front flats work. I shall bo 
there at twelve to give any instructions necessary. 

" Yours truly, with respect, 

" DUCHOW. 

" Mr. S. Russell, (f c. 

" N.B. — The gentlemen who play the Arabs in the second act are 
to be informed that their faces must be coloured to-night to a certain 
degree." 

The manager of the beasts was evidently a much more 
important person, in those days, at Drury Lane, than the 
manager of the actors. 

Let me close this chapter with one of those hits which 
the author of Black-Eyed Susan often aimed at managers 
wlio degraded, in his eyes the national drama. When 
Black-Eyed Susan was in rehearsal at the Surrey Theatre, 
an important person — in his own estimation — strutted 
upon the stage, and, speaking of Elliston, the baccha- 
nalian manager, exclaimed in an angry voice, — 

" How is this? I can see a duke or a prime minister 
any time in the morning, but I can never see Mr. Ellis- 
ton." 

" There's one comfort," my father replied, " if Elliston 
is invisible in the morning, he'll do the handsome thing 
any afternoon by seeing you twice, for at that time of day 
he invariably sees double." 



100 LIFE OF DOUGLAS JERROLD. 



CHAPTER VI. 

THE DOMESTIC DRAMA CONCLUDED. 

The humorous story of " The Manager's Pig," origi- 
nally published by Douglas Jerrold as magazine papers, is 
founded on fact, the manager being Davidge, who deter- 
mined, " in a golden moment, upon the introduction of a 
pig in a drama to be expressly written for the animal's 
capacities. In the slang of the craft, the pig was to be 
measured for his part." The " household author " of the 
time was summoned, and requested to write a part for the 
porker. After many ineffectual expostulations on the 
part of the writer, the pig's drama was written. The pig 
commanded a run of forty nights, and then it was sug- 
gested to the manager that he should eat him. Tears fell 
fast from the managerial eyes at the bare idea. Eat his 
benefactor ! Impossible ! A few weeks had rolled on, 
when the household author was summoned once more 
into the managerial presence. The manager was at 
dinner — pickled pork the dish. The author started. 

" What ! not the pig ? Why, you said that nothing on 
earth would tempt you to eat that pig." 

"No more it could, sir," cried the assured manager. 
" No, sir, no more it could — unless salted ! " 

Here follows the moral. " How often is it with men's 
principles as with the manager's pig — things inviolable, 
immutable — unless salted ! " 



THE DOMESTIC DRAMA CONCLUDED. 101 

But Douglas Jerrold had done with Messrs. Davidge 
and Elliston in 1830. The shower of gold, provoked by 
Black-Eyed Susan, had fallen into the pocket of Mr. T. P. 
Cooke, and into the treasuries of Elliston and others ; but 
the laurels, lightly as the wearer estimated them, were his. 

In " Punch's Complete Letter- Writer " the actor, apply- 
ing to a manager for an engagement, writes : " My sai- 
lors, too, have been accounted remarkably good, especially 
at the seaports. I have played William in the Surrey 
trash of Black-Eyed Susan, in a way to make T. P. 
Cooke shake in his shoebuckles." As something in no 
way to be proud of at any rate — as something upon 
which he did not wish to have his name chiefly based — did 
my father regard this, the great dramatic success — so far 
as profit and popularity are represented by the number 
of times the curtain has risen upon it — of this century, in 
England. He was now on the right side of the bridges — 
in the neighbourhood sacred to classic names. Drury 
Lane was quite ready to receive him. Would he begin 
by translating and adapting a piece from the French ? 
Peake (a most genial gentleman, for whom Douglas Jer- 
rold had always a warm regard), and Mr. Planche, were 
both borrowing from the French stage. The pecuniary 
offer was tempting, or rather would have been tempting 
to any less fiery or rigidly honourable man than the 
author of Black-Eyed Susan. To him it was an insult, 
and he turned on his heel contemptuously. He translate 
from the French ! from the French whom he had not yet 
learned to regard even calmly ! He, who had been nursed 
on board his Majesty's ships in that violent hatred of 
" Mounseer " which possessed the navy when Napoleon 
was in Paris ! Why, his last service was to bring Eng- 
lishmen, hacked by French steel, to the comforts of a 



102 LIFE OF DOUGLAS JEREOLD. 

hospital at home. No, he said to Drury Lane's manager ; 
" I will come into this theatre as an original dramatist, or 
not at all." 

He never learned to talk with common patience of the 
translator's office ; and he regarded the adaptor as some- 
body who managed to cozen a reputation for originality 
from the foreigner. Discussing one day with Mr. Planche 
this vexed question, this gentleman insisted upon claim- 
ing some of his characters as strictly original creations. 

" Do you remember my baroness in Ask no Questions?" 
said Mr. Planche. 

" Yes. Indeed, I don't think I ever saw a piece of 
yours without being struck by your barrenness," was the 
retort. 

This closed the discussion with a hearty laugh. 

With the first fruits of fame from the Surrey side of 
the water came friends — friends, too, of importance. It 
is impossible, however, for a writer to be always in and 
about theatres, in the offices of newspapers, writing dram- 
atic criticisms in three or four newspapers, without by 
degrees becoming associated with the more prominent 
litterateurs of the time. But a critic and successful play- 
wright who, in addition to his power over brother authors 
and actors, could bring to any social board in this great 
metropolis, a wondrous fund of wit, a hearty nature, and 
a happy song, had an assured place in many notable 
gatherings of men. But of this presently. It is my 
purpose to devote a separate chapter to those social clubs 
with which the name of Douglas Jerrold is associated. 
Let us follow the triumphant dramatist to the Adelphi 
Theatre. Here, on the 16th of December, 1830, was 
produced T7ie Devil 's Ducat ; or, The Gift of Mammon : 
a Romantic Drama in Two Acts. 



THE DOMESTIC DEAMA CONCLUDED. 103 

In the "acting edition," published by John Cumber- 
land, we find even " D. G.," the great writer of dramatic 
prefaces, launching forth at the translators and adaptors. 
He writes: ''Of all rogues the dramatic depredator is 
the least scrupulous and abashed. See where he steals ! 
steals in his different capacities of translator, adaptor, and 
poacher. A merchant, who trades beyond his capital, 
must, of necessity, borrow from somebody ; and an author, 
whose dramatic lumber exceeds the natural product of his 
brains, must draw pretty freely upon those of others. To 
hold up for public sport the mere hite-fiiers of the theatri- 
cal world, would produce more entertainments than all 
their pieces put together. Men of straw, who never 
raised a laugh but on borrowed jokes, would then be good 
for hundreds of broad grins. Had the ' Dunciad ' never 
been written, how dull had been the scribblers of that 
day ! Tom Osborne would have been tolerated only from 
having received the singular honour of a blow from the 
literary Hercules, Dr. Johnson ; and the caitiff Curl, ' so 
famed for turbulence and horns,' from the classical dis- 
tinction of having been tossed in a blanket by the West- 
minster scholars. . . . Mr. Jerrold does not borrow from 
the French ; neither does he poach in the unfrequented 
fields of the drama, and realize the fable of the ass in the 
lion's skin. A hint from an old ballad or book is suffi- 
cient ; he is content with an apple, without stripping the 
whole tree. . . . This Ducat ' smells woundily of brim- 
stone.' The idea is taken from a goblin story related in 
' Le Clerk's Dictionary.' " The story is one of a famous 
magician and his " flying pistole " — a convenient coin that 
returned <o his purse whenever he spent it. 

The plot of the piece is the story of two brothers, 
Astolfo and Leandro, who, having been deprived of their 



104 LIFE OF DOUGLAS .lERROLD. 

estate, are thrown upon tlie world. Astoltb bears his 
loss surhly. Leandro is a philosopher, and is slill con- 
tent. In his prosperity Astolib had been the accepted 
suitor of Sabiua, the daughter of Signor Botta, a rich 
miser. To Astoltb, poor, the father is false, but the lady 
remains true. To sharpen his misfortune, Nibbio, the 
despoiler of his fortune, becomes his rival, and Sabina is 
about to be sacrificed to the avaricious dotard. In his 
despair Astolfo strolls to the Lal:e of 'Tartarus, where, 
being sleepy, he reposes on its banks. Suddenly the 
halls of Mammon appear, with all their golden appurte- 
nances, and goblins (damned) descend and chant an in- 
cantation. These * come like shadows, so depart ; ' and 
Astolfo, after rising from his sleep, finds himself in an 
open country near Naples. He is not long without 
a companion — 'to whisper solitude is sweet' — for, the 
earth opening a few paces before him, Mammon emerges 
from the chasm, his countenance cai'eworn and cadaver- 
ous, his garments torn, and his purse as long as his beard. 
Astolfo recoils with horror. A sudden change takes 
places in the Fiend : his rags and mask disappear, and 
bis form becomes invested with a gorgeous and glittering 
garment of gold ; a crown caps his head, and a sceptre 
starts into his hand. He offers Astolfo unbounded wealth 
if he will become his worshipper. The tempter prevails. 
Astolfo is presented with the enchanted ducat, and soon 
has proof of its magic qualities in a payment he makes 
to Signor Nibbio for the ransom of his mistress, Sabina. 
Though counted two thousand times into the box of 
Nibbio, the ducat returns to Astolfo's hand. Astolfo is 
accused of sorcery — the marriage rites are suspended — 
the priest crosses the charmed coin — it flies in pieces — 
the bridegroom is about to be seized as a wizard, but is 



THE DOMESTIC DRAMA CONCLUDED. 105 

rescued by his old tempter, the Fiend. The ducat is 
subsequently secured, and stamped by the council with a 
flaming brand ; though not without some difficulty is it 
held with a pair of tongs. No sooner is the ceremony 
over than the ducat rises to the sky, to shine, round and 
clear, as a harvest moon. 

Astolfo escapes, accompanied by his mistress. He 
offers the ducat to a mariner to convey him over sea, 
who, recognizing the flaming brand, rejects it with horror. 
Astolfo hungers, and again tenders the accursed ducat — 
it is of no avail. In the end Astolfo dies, and is borne 
down to the infernal regions by the great Mammon. 

We have here the story of The DeviVs Ducat. The 
drama is written with all the stately measure of blank 
verse ; it is written ambitiously too. I venture to offer 
the reader a few passages from this — the production, he 
should remember, of a young author in his twenty-seventh 
year. It is not the result of long and solitary reflection. 
It is an effort thrown off in the midst of daily writing for 
the press — in the hurry which always tells against the 
author who is writing — not only to utter his inmost 
thoughts, but also to provide for the material necessities 
of the passing hour. 

In the dialogues between Astolfo and Leandro we shall 
find the gatherings of that bitter fruit which hard experi- 
ence brings, in abundant crops, to sensitive men. 

Leandro calls contentment "the poor man's bank." 
But Astolfo says of gold, — 

" Look abroad — 
Doth it not give honour to the worthless, 
Strength to the weak, beauty to wither' d age, 
And wisdom to the fool ? As the world runs, 
A devil with a purse, wins more regard 
Than angels empty-handed." 
6* 



106 LIFE OF DOUGLAS JERROLD. 

Again : — 

"Proclaim tlie wealthy kiiave, cut-tliroat, and cheat: 
Still crowds, as deaf as adders, crawl and bow 
To him. Denoimce him poor; as though the plague 
Were at his bones, he stands alone." 

Grillo, the notary's servant, says, " Ha ! when rich 
rogues are merry, honest folk may go into mourning." 
Astolfo waking from a vision of wealth : — 

" These these, are mine ! all mine ! 
Ha! I am mock' d! I wake to agony. 
The sweets of slumber, the beggar's solace, 
Are denied me ! Oh, gold, gold ! I would seek 
The centre, so that I might welcome thee ! 
If there be fiends who Avait on mis'ry's wish. 
The ready ministers of reckless men. 
Giving for future hopes a present good, 
Show'ring on desp'rate creatures wealth and state, 
I call upon ye, come ! behold a man 
Who dares be villain, but dares not be poor! " 

Manmion speaks : — 

" Religion's in the heart, not in the knee ! 

I am earth's harlequin; 
I build up palaces, put slaves on thrones. 
Erase the spots from treason's stained coat. 
Manacle warm youth to shivering age, 
Rechristen fools most wise and learned men. 
And triimpet villains honest." 

The ducat is crossed, and no one will have it. Astolfo 
and Sabina are alone — deserted. 

^^ Astolfo. Have I not said enough ? 
Seest not that all despise and turn from me ? 

Sabina. Yes; and therefore must not I. 

Astolfo. Away ! I cannot love thee now. 
Another hath my heart. 



THE DOMESTIC DRAMA CONCLUDED. 107 

Sabina. It cannot be ! Her name ? 

Astolfo. Avarice ! 

That mole-eyed, earless hag, who rules the souls 
Of sturdy knaves and impotent old age ; 
Whose yellow cheek outglows the blush of youth ; 
Whose tinkling voice out-choirs the angels ! 

Sabina. Thou dost mistake thy noble nature : 
Thou canst not be so changed. 

Astolfo. Thou dost not comprehend her miracles. 
'Tis avarice who casts a blight and shade 
Upon the world — who steeps the heart in gall, 
Though lips be ripe with smiles. 'Tis avarice 
Who doth debase, degrade, the soul of man, 
Casting him down to lick the dust before 
His fellow dust. 'Tis avarice 
Whose bony fingers rend apart the ties 
Of holy nature ; who sets on brothers 
As we goad on dogs ; who turns the weapon 
Of an impious child against the sacred bosom 
Of a father." 

Astolfo reproaches Mammon with treachery : — 

" Astolfo. Pleasures ! 

Thy gifts are false as are thy words. Pleasures ! 
Mammon. Thou hadst — all have — the means of purer 

joys. 

Astolfo. Whence ? 

Mammon. Whence ? 

E'en here, beneath our feet, a captive lies. 
With threescore years upon his whiten'd head; 
Half his life he hath worn a tyrant's chain ; 
He hath tamed and made companions of the mouse 
And spider, lavishing on noisome things 
Affections meant for men. To his ears nought 
Is stranger than his own voice. His jailer. 
In sullen dumbness, leaves his daily crust. 
He hath worn a couch in the sharp pavement 
With his bones. Yet hath this wretched being 
Something in his soul which robs his dungeon 
Of its terrors ; which hangs its reeking walls 
With budding flowers ; spreads out a bed of moss ; 
Brings, with his sleep, an angel to his side, 



108 LIFK OK DOIJdI.AS .fKliUOr/D. 

Giving him p;limy)HOs of f ho fnr-ofT heaven. 
Wiionco \h t\\\H f)ovverV 'Tis in the captive's hcirt. 
Tlio tyrant fcstorH in liis hcd of state — 
His virtuous victim sweetly slumhors 
On a (lung(H)n's fh'nl." 

The succcsH llmt allciidcd llio j)eiform!mcc of 77ie 
DeviVs Ducat at llic, Adcdphi Tliciitre, ushorcd tlui author 
triiirn])lia?illy iiilo Drmy Lane, hi tlic following year. 

On the 8(h of DeccndHjr, 18-'V1, his Mnjesly's servants 
presented, lor Ihc, (irst linu>., 77/« Jinde of Ludgate ; a 
Condc Drama in Two Arts, hi/ Doiujlas Jerrold. It was 
not j)rodne(!d without dillicuhics. An actor, who had 
grown powerful as a star, and who showcul it by unfriend- 
liness to the new author, threw u[) iils part at the last 
monienl. Shekel, originally giv(;n to Mr. Farrcn, was 
assumed suddenly, and with maikcd success, by Mr. 
James llussell. Mr. Wallack w;is a dasiiing, graceful 
Charles II.; Mr. 1 htrlcy pl.-iycd l)()(«sldn ; Mr. Cooper 
blust(U-ed as (yaplain Mouth ; Miss l*iiillij)S was the 
Brid(i Melissa; and Mi-s. Orger played Ruth Corbel. 
The plot discovers Andi-ciw Shekel, the rich money- 
lenih'r of Ludgate, on th(5 eve of marriage with Melissa, 
the daught<M' of a deceased friend, and })ar(isan of the 
I*rot<'ctor Cromwell. \\\\\ between May and December 
th(^r(! is little sympathy. IMelissa, has already given her 
]u;art to Mr. Maphiton, a young rei)ublican, who has 
fouglit. against the king. Their trysting-place is the t:x- 
tei'ior of Shekel's house in Ludgate. Melissa, the day 
before her marriage, has been discovered, by Ruth Cor- 
bet, old Shekel's domestic, wee[)iug over the picture of a 
gallant. The Abigail steals the portrait. The money- 
kinder slyly enters, and is told that the handsome original 
is Ruth's lover. The deceit is carried on in the pres- 
ence of Melissa, juid produces a lit of jealousy — mistress 



THE DOMESTIC DRAMA CONCLUDED. 109 

and maid become rival queens, and the former resolves 
to make Mr. Mapleton smart for his inconstancy. 

In the house of Must, a vintner, King Charles, Sedley, 
and Captain Mouth are carousing ; the King lias assumed 
the character of Vincent Ilokenbrock, the son of a Dutch 
burgomaster, who has come to open an account for wine ; 
but his real mission is to scrape acquaintance with the 
vintner's fair wife. The captain is a Bobadil, and had 
been entertainijig the vintner with some bombastical 
stories of being one of the party in the Royal Oak, and 
of having cudgelled the Defender of the Faith, which 
Master Must, little knowing the quality of his guest, 
repeats, as a good joke, to the no small amusement of the 
King and confusion of the Alsatian bully. Doeskin, 
Shekel's serving-man, enters with Must's silver tankard ; 
he is on his way to Dr. Blacktype, the notary, to com- 
plete arrangements for the marriage between the money- 
lender and Melissa. A hoax is arranged. His Majesty 
agrees to repair to the house of Shekel, disguised as the 
representative of Dr. Blacktype, who is made to fall sick ; 
and Sedley is to take a part in the masquerade. 

True to his appointment, Mapleton approaches the 
door of Shekel's house, and unexpectedly encounters his 
old rival. Shekel instantly discovers the likeness be- 
tween the stranger and the miniature, and that he has 
stumbled on Ruth's lover. Shekel gi\es him the maiden 
heartily ; opens his door, desires him to walk in, and, in 
case the lady should prove coy, to extort a capitulation. 

The lovers quarrel ; the King and Sedley enter dis- 
guised as notary and clerk ; Shekel insists on the im- 
mediate marriage of Mapleton and Ruth, and a mock 
contract takes place between the parties. The adven- 
tures that follow must be sought for in the drama ; but 



110 LIFE OF DOUGLAS JERROLD. 

the end is that Mapleton is pardoned and married to 
Melissa. 

Let us take some bits from the dialogue. 

Doeskin, of Ifust, the vintner: " He, too, lias brought home a young 
wife; and what follows? Why, his house swarms like a camp, and 
smells like a perfumer's. Half the court are there. You might, any 
hour in the day, pick a new ministry from his back parlour." 
. King Charles of Captain Mouth : " That fellow looks as warlike, yet 
withal's as harmless as an unloaded field-piece." 

Captain Mouth declares that " the whole map of the 
world is marked in scars " upon his body. Whereto 
Doeskin replies, — 

"Any one may see that. Only to begin; there's Vesuvius in your 
throat, and the wine countries in your nose. As for your eyes, they 
are England and France, for they stare butt at one another." 

Shekel orders music for his wedding : — 

" Go to Sackbutt's, in Harp Alley, and tell him to bring his band. 
Stay, I'll have a double number. Now listen : six fiddles, four flutes, 
two bassoons, one clarionet, and three hautboys. Do you mark? 

" Doeskin. Yes ; fiddles, flutes, bassoons, clarionet, and hautboys. 
Any horns ? 

''Shekel No, no. 

" Doeskin (aside). He doesn't encourage superfluities ! " 

Melissa bids her maid, Ruth, still pass as Mapleton's 

wife. 

''Euth. Pass ! Really, this pretence is very tantalizing to one who 
wishes for plain dealing." 

" Can you so love an outcast and a beggar ? " Maple- 
ton asks Melissa. 

Melissa. " Yes ; for, nobly suffered, injuries undeserved do sit as 



When Mapleton's suspicion, finding Charles in Melis- 



THE DOMESTIC DRAMA CONCLUDED. Ill 

sa's room, is cleared up, and Melissa throws herself into 
her lover's arms, Charles speaks : — 

"Now, sir, are you satisfied ? Doth not such fond breath disperse 
your foolish doubts? Ay, hug her close, for, by my faith. King 
Charles, with all his stars, could not hang so rich a jewel at your 
neck." 

Euth rushes in: " Oh, madam ! oh, sir ! oh, doctor! . . . There's 
nothing but men outside." 

Charles. " Then there's the greater hope for the women." 

Captain Mouth comes blustering in to seize Mapleton. 
Charles speaks : — 

"And here he stalks, as though Colossus had quitted Rhodes to head 
a company." 

Charles, disguised, is seized by Mouth. Mouth swears 
that he will not be bribed — that his " loyalty is clear as 
crystal." 

Charles (aside). " Is it soV I'll try my diamonds on it." 

The success of The Bride of Ludgate was complete. 
It is clear that it satisfied the management, and that 
the author was requested to write again. In the midst 
of other schemes which were now crowding upon him ; 
in the midst of studies and of reading, never for a day 
put aside. The Rent Day., founded upon Sir David 
Wilkie's two celebrated pictures, was written. It is a 
piece that belongs essentially to the " domestic drama." 
The interest is fireside interest throughout. The story 
of a farmer's misfortune, simply told, took the town by 
storm, and has held the stage to this hour ; for there is 
strong human emotion in the scenes, and emotion of that 
universal kind which the untaught pauper understands as 
well as the most cultivated gentleman. The characters 
are taken from what is called " humble life," and the 



112 LIFE OF DOUGLAS JERROLD. 

audience is asked to show some interest in a sad but 
simple farm- yard story. There are bright things said ; 
for, with the author, bright things must be said. They 
sparkle at the tip of the pen, and he cannot but write 
them down. Suggest to him that some of tliese points 
should be omitted, and he assents at once. He does not 
value them highly. I am reminded that in " one of his 
plays an old sailor, trying to snatch a kiss from a pretty 
girl — as old sailors will — received a box on the ear. 
' There,' exclaimed Blue-jacket, 'like my luck ; always 
wrecked on the coral reefs.' " The manager, when the 
play was read in the green-room, could not see the fun, 
and the author struck it out. 

The dramatist had to encountei*, however, in addition 
to the trials that proceed from the dulness of managers 
and the vanity of actors, the stupidity of the lord cham- 
berlain's deputy. These stupidities were of a remark- 
able kind in the time of George Colman. Now-a-days 
the stage censor, although a gentleman well versed in 
our dramatic literature, an accomplished critic, and a 
man who appears to have an affection for the drama, 
cannot be said to make any omissions in the pieces sub- 
mitted to him, that are not almost childishly unimportant. 
The reigning house would, I conceive, incur no risk, nor 
suffer any slight, if a punning allusion to a Prince of 
Wales * were allowed in a burlesque ; the truth being 
that the audience, consisting of all classes of society, is 
the best, the soundest censor, and that no chamberlain's 
deputy is wanted. As a sample, however, of the censor's 
duties, I hereby present to the reader a copy of Mr. 



* An allusion lately erased, by order of the loi-d chamberLain, from 
a burlesque. 



THE DOMESTIC DRAMA CONCLUDED. 113 

George Colman's (late censor) reflections on the dang(;r- 
ous passages in The Rent Day : — 

" 23(Z January, 1832. 

" Please to omit the following underlined words in the repre.s(?nta- 
tion of the drama called 

THE RENT DAY. 
Act I. 

Scene I. ' The blessed little babes, God bless'em! ' 

Scene III. ' Heaven be kind to us, for I've almost lost all other 
hope.' 

Ditto. '•Damn him.'' 

Scene IV. ^Damn business.^ No, don't damn business. I'm very 
drunk, but I can't da7n7i business — if s profane.'' 

Ditto. 'Isn't that an angel? ^ '/ canH tell; I've 7iot been used to 
such company. ' 

Scene V. ' Oh, Martin, husband, /or the love of Heaven ! ' 

Ditto. * Heaven help us, heaven help us ! 

Act II. 

Scene III. ^Heaven forgive you, can you speak it?' 'I leave you, 
and may Heaven 'pardon and protect you ! ' 

Scene last. ' Farmer, neighbours, Heaven bless you — let the land- 
lord take all the rest.' 

Ditto. ' They have now the money, and Heaven prosper it with 
them. " G. Colman. 

•' To the Manager, Theatre Royal, Brury Lane.'' 

The sensitiveness of Mr. George Colman on the use 
of the word " heaven," is wondrously amusing, especially 
when it may be safely asserted that ninety-nine in every 
hundred pieces put upon the stage, in his time, included 
these objectionable syllables. The word was not used, 
perhaps, so often as it might have been had Mr. Colman 
not been lord chamberlain's deputy ; just as, when the 
lord chamberlain ruled that there should be six songs 
(neither more nor less, in any burletta), the managers 
sent in the first six songs that came to hand (on one 



114 LIFE OF DOUGLAS JERROLD. 

occasion three or four were by the censor himself,) but 
seldom thought of having them sung upon the stage. 

The Rent Day Avas in active preparation in the first 
days of January, 1832. Rehearsals were going forward 
on the dingy stage ; and behind, there was an artist at 
work for his old shipmate. That Namur man, who was 
so useful in the officers' theatricals, has turned his nau- 
tical life to account also. Clarkson Stanfield and Doug- 
las Jerrold, who parted last on board the Nore guard- 
ship, shake hands at one of these dingy rehearsals — 
shake hands to become fast friends, as they shall still, in 
their respective paths, push forward to their ultimate 
place in the art and literature of their common country. 
Some years hence they shall be sauntering in Richmond 
Park, eagerly drinking in a little fresh air, after sooty 
days spent in London. There shall be other friends with 
them. Matters theatrical shall bubble up in the careless 
ebb and flow of the conversation ; and suddenly the 
Namur middy — still the middy, though silver is stealing 
along his hair — shall cry : — 

" Let's have a play, Stanfield, like we had on board 
the Namur." 

Hence those many merry evenings passed among 
cordial friends ; those hearty laughs over gross stage 
blunders ; those genial suppers after rehearsals ; those 
curious evenings spent upon the stage of Miss Kelly's 
little theatre, w^hen the little figure of the Namur mid- 
shipman might be dimly seen in the centre of the 
dark pit, all alone ; but the presence of which was most 
authoritatively proved, very often, when a clear voice 
chirped to the bungling actors some pungent witticism, 
or queer turn of thought, provoking, " What, are you 
ihere^ Jerrold ! " as a good-natured reply from the vie- 



THE DOMESTIC DRAMA CONCLUDED. 115 

tim. Days, these, long since past! Master Stephen 
is no more. The hearty laugh that was not the least 
cheerful part of that supper which wound up, under the 
most genial presidency of the illustrious Talfourd, the 
first performance of Every Man in his Humour by the 
great amateurs who have since earned splendid his- 
trionic laurels — the hearty laugh of that evening, I re- 
peat, has died away, and will be heard no more. But 
they were golden hours that were ushered in during that 
ramble in Richmond Park, by the two shipmates. 

The Rent Day was a great success, and brought good 
fortune to the management. Its author now felt that 
his footing was firm in the principal theatre of England. 
He was in his twenty-ninth year ; and, looking back upon 
the sands that had already run from his life's hour-glass, 
he might reasonably sit, content, in his little study in 
Seymour Terrace, Chelsea. He had worked his hard 
way in these few years, from the compositor's desk to the 
position of a most successful dramatist ; nor had he made 
his mark in the drama alone, as I shall presently endeav- 
our to show. Among his friends now, were men as 
eminent as William Godwin — the great author who lived 
long, as Hazlitt expressed it, " in the serene twilight of 
a doubtful immortality " — the author of " Caleb Wil- 
liams " and of " Political Justice." Shelley's Political 
Bible was no longer talked about — no longer noticed. 
Even in 1825, according to Hazlitt, Godwin was thought 
of " like any eminent writer of a hundred and fifty years 
ago." Yet he was still a thinking, breathing man ; tak- 
ing some interest, at any rate, in the world ; watching, 
somewhat anxiously, as became him, the progress of his 
son. But the cholera carried off his only hope in that 
fatal year when it counted so many victims. It was after 



116 LIFE OF DOUGLAS JERROLD. 

this event that the poor old father turned to the author 
of The Rent Day, and asked his help, in these friendly 
words, to have the dead son's drama produced : — 

"■No. 13, New Palace Yard, 
'■'■Baiurday, June 1. 
" My dear Sir, 

" I was in great hope, after having broken the ice in Gower 
Place, that we should be favoured with a visit from you without 
ceremony. 

" You have, doubtless, heard of the revolution (whether to call it. 
for good or for ill I scarcely know) which has taken place in my for- 
tune, and has brought me to this spot. At any rate, we are consider- 
ably nearer to each other. 

" I am sure you have not forgotten what passed between us respect- 
ing my poor son's drama of The Sleeping Philosopher. You conceived 
you had provided a reception for it at the Olympic next season, and 
were so good as to offer to make a certain alteration in it. 

" I and his mother are both anxious about its fate, and to see some- 
thing done respecting it. Could you spare an idle hour to consult on 
the subject? And for that purpose would you have the goodness 
early to take a chop with us here ? Say Tuesday next, if convenient 
to you, at four o'clock. Meanwhile believe me, dear Sir, 
" Very sincerely yours, 

" William Godwin." 



I remember vividly accompanying my father to the 
dark rooms in the New Palace Yard, where I saw an 
old vivacious lady and an old gentleman. My father 
was most anxious that I should remember them ; and I 
do remember well that he appeared to bear a strong 
regard for them, and to talk of them more warmly than 
he spoke of ordinary men and women. One anecdote 
conne^ited with them he used to relate again and again 
with great unction. I should first observe that my father 
was a remarkably skilled whistler — a skill which he 
would practise frequently. He had always some ballad 



THE DOMESTIC DRAMA CONCLUDED. 117 

fresh in his memory ; and you might know when he was 
stirring on summer mornings, by hearing his dressing- 
room window drawn sharply up (he did every thing 
sharply), and a tender, small voice now pour forth, evi- 
dently in the fulness of enjoyment, — 

" Sweet is the ship that under sail 
Spreads her white bosom to the gale; " 

and now break into a note as clear as a lark's ; luxuriate 
in rapid twists and turns of melody ; then suddenly stop, 
as the door was cast open, to cry aloud, " Now boys, boys ! 
not up yet ? " Well, one morning he called on the God- 
wins, and was kept for some minutes waiting in their 
drawing-room. It was irresistible — he could never think 
of these things. Whistle in a lady's drawing-room ! The 
languid eyes of Belgravia turn upward. Still he did 
whistle — not only pianissimo but fortissimo, with varia- 
tions enough to satisfy the most ambitious of thrushes. 
Suddenly good little Mrs. Godwin gently opened the 
door, paused still — not seen by the performer — to catch 
the dying notes of the air, and then, coming up to her 
visitor, startled him with the request, made in all serious- 
ness, " You couldn't whistle that again, could you ? " 

The successes of Drury Lane in 1831-2 were rapidly 
followed up. It is unnecessary for me, in this place, to 
offer the reader the stories of pieces so well known as 
Nell Givynne, produced at Covent Garden Theatre in 
January, 1833 — in which Mr. Keeley, as Orange Moll, 
and Miss Taylor (now Mrs. Walter Lacy), as the hero- 
ine, made great hits ; as The Housekeeper, first produced 
at the Haymarket, also in 1833 ; as The Wedding Gown, 
produced on the 2d of January, 1834, and in the follow- 
ing month represented before his Majesty by special 



118 LIFE OF DOUGLAS JEKEOLD. 

desire; as Beau Nash^^ also produced in 1834, at the 
Haymarket, on the 16th of July. These pieces, save the 

* Mr. John Forster, the English essayist, wrote the following crit- 
icism of Beau Nash in the " New Monthly Magazine " for August, 
1834, the kindness of which touched the perplexed dramatist 
deeply: — 

" The days of Beau Nash have been revived at this pleasant little 
theatre. Gentlemen with toupees and powder, and coats stuck out 
with buckram, and legs with stockings above the knees; ladies with 
hoops and ' slippered stilts,' and heads built up with enormous piles 
of hair and ribbon; swindlers who are gentlemen, and gentlemen 
who are swindlers, compounding with a quiet and liberal ease all 
pedantic distinctions of metim and tuum ; with the immortal Nash 
himself presiding over all, the decus et solamen of the pump-room, the 
watchful lyux of the gammg-table, the darling of fashionable and 
conventional absurdity, yet withal no unkindly pattern of our better 
human species. For this we are obliged to Mr. Jerrold. We differ 
very widely from the writers who have blamed him for selecting such 
a subject in the first place; in the next for treating it unsqueamishly 
(in other words, for ransacking and exposing its foibles, its weak- 
nesses, and its follies); and, in the last, for an entire and most un- 
charitable absence of a few ' startling situations,' that might have 
made all these odds more even. Such objections maybe fairly termed 
high praise. Surely, if any object could propose itself to a writer of 
Mr. Jerrold' s peculiar faculty of observation and wit, worthy of all 
success and of all the rewards, present and futiire, that should attend 
it, here it is. He strives to fix, in permanent colours, some of the 
fleeting bygone follies of mankind. Long ago, from the groves and 
glories of Bath, its assembly, its pump-room, and its wells, a ' parting 
genius was with sighing sent,' which now the dramatist restores to us 
in his habit as he lived, with his tawdry dress and his white hat, put- 
ting him on the real scene, with the real associates of his life around 
him, fearing not to make them occixpy what is now rare and dangerous 
ground (for the stage, now-a-days, must reduce every thing either to 
strict morality or to 'open manslaughter and bold bawdry') — that 
neutral ground of character which stands between vice and virtue, 
which is, in fact, indiff'erent to neither, the ' happy breathing-place 
from the burden of a perpetual moral questioning,' and scorning to 
mar the triith of his picture by any merely trading convulsions or 
startling situations. This it is, as Mr. Jerrold delicately, but proudly 
intimates in his preface to the published drama, to write a ' comedy of 



THE DOMESTIC DRAMA CONCLUDED. 119 

last, were rapidly written, and were all very successful. 
1835, however, was the most remarkable dramatic year 

manners.' ' The writer can truly affirm,' Mr. Jerrold continues, ' that 
much less labour of thought, much less vain research, than was 
exercised to give a dramatic existence to Beau Nash sufficed to pro- 
duce any two of the most successful dramas named in the preceding 
title-page.' We do not doubt it. 

'■' The principal hints, however, of the drama (historical) have been 
derived from a ' Life of Richard Nash, Esq.,' now extant, and written 
in such choice English, as to have the honour of being attributed to 
Goldsmith. The eccentricities which figure throughout the memoir 
are woven with great skill and acuteness into the conduct of the 
comedy. Nash is equally familiar with lords and pickpockets; is a 
desperate slave to gaming, yet the active preseiwer of many of its 
victims ; encourages play as a useful vice, while he makes charity a 
fashionable virtue ; strips sword-wearers and apron- wearers of their 
swords and api'ons ; and condescends to write for the puppets of the 
celebrated Mr. Powell a satire against the slatternly boot-wearers of 
Bath, wherein Punch, ' having thrown his wife out of window, goeth 
tranquilly to bed in his boots.' This Mr. Powell, whose peculiarities 
ai-e pleasantly hit off by Mr. Jerrold in a sketch of his chief assistant, 
Thespis Claptrap, is he of the ' Tatler ' and ' Spectator,' whose ' skill 
in motions ' has been immortalized by the genius of Sir Richard 
Steele. Who can ever forget the exquisite letter of the under-sexton 
of the parish of St. Paul's, Covent Garden, complaining of his con- 
gregation taking the warning of his bell, morning and evening, to go 
to a puppet show set forth by ' one Powell,' under the Piazzas ? by 
which he had not only lost his two customers, whom he used to place 
for sixpence apiece over against Mrs. Rachael Eyebright, but Mrs. 
Rachael herself had gone thither also. * I have placed my son at the 
Piazzas,' says the despairing sexton, ' to acquaint the ladies that the 
bell rings for church, and that it stands on the other side of the 
Garden; but they only laugh at the child. As things now are, Mr. 
Powell has a full congregation, while we have a very thin house.' 
This rage for puppets is pleasantly transferred to Bath. It adds to 
the characteristic picture of life and manners on the scene. Another 
purely historical pei'sonage in the comedy is the famous reclaimed 
rogue. Jack Baxter. Speaking of the two, Nash and Jack, the lauded 
potentate and the laudatory pickpocket, Mr. Jerrold remarks, that 
' two or three stern thinkers, who have objected to the want of a 
moi'al tendency in the comedy, may say of the king and the sharper, 



120 LIFE OF DOUGLAS JEEROLD. 

in the life of Douglas Jerrold. For the 17th of February 
is the date of the production of The Hazard of the Die, 
in two acts, at Drury Lane ; The Schoolfellows, at the 

Arcades ambo ! All the author has to reply to this, is, he dispiites not 
such classification.' Why should he ! 

" This brings us to what we commenced with. He has done right 
and boldly in leaving these charactei's as they were. He has effected 
the purpose of perpetuating manners and society in a certain con- 
ventional aspect, and the picture will live. It is not his fault if some 
of his personages are mere puppets — moral or immoral as the strings 
are pulled. Such is artificial society ever. We leave the moral 
Quixotes to fight against them as they may ; or we leave them, ' in 
their anxiety that their morality should not take cold, to wrap it up 
in a great blanket surtout of precaution against the breeze and sun- 
shine.' 

" Meanwhile we beg of our wiser readers to enjoy with us the 
'breeze and sunshine ' of Mr. Jerrold's dialogue in this little theatre. 
It is sharp as well as smiling, full of wit and spriglitliness. Of one 
thing, however, we would remind Mr. Jerrold — that in a comedy of 
manners it is of infinitely greater importance to sustain constantly 
before us the given picture of life and character, than to expose in 
good set satire its eiTors or false pretensions. We must make a charge 
here, too, against our accomplished author, which we have elsewhere 
made more than once. He is too fond of repartee. He can bear to 
be told this, for he shares the fault in veiy illustrious company. Con- 
greve always made wit too much the business, instead of the orna- 
ment of his comedies. In Mr. Jerrold's dialogue passages are every 
now and then peeping otit, which seem to have been prepared, ' cut 
and dry,' for the scene. The speaker has evidently brought them 
with him; he has not caught them on the scene by the help of some 
light of dialogue or suggestion of present circumstances. We beg of 
Mr. Jerrold to consider this more curioixsh'- in his next production, 
and we beg of him to lose no time in favouring us again. We ought 
to say one word of the acting. It is good, thoiigh not of the highest 
order. Mr. Farren has set up too high a standard in many of his own 
achievements, to leave us always satisfied with what he does; but he 
is great in Nash — now and then. Mr. Brindal plays Lavender Tom in 
a way that is quite worthy of that delicate and admirable sketch, and 
more we cannot say. Buckstone and Webster are also good, and 
Mrs. Nisbett looks charmingly with her hoop and powder, and black 
sparkling eyes." 



THE DOMESTIC DRAMA CONCLUDED. 121 

Queen's Theatre ; and The Man^s an Ass, at the Olympic, 
under Madame Vestris's management. More — on the 
following night, at Drury Lane, Black-Eyed Susan was 
the afterpiece to the new drama. At Drury Lane a 
complete triumph was achieved, aided by the acting of 
Wallack and Webster. TJie Schoolfellows had a long 
run at the Queen's, supported by Elton and Mrs. Nisbett ; 
but the Olympic piece failed, although Liston and Frank 
Matthews supported it. It appears that there was "a 
ticklish turn " — possibly some distasteful allusion in it — 
which displeased the audience, and moved them to con- 
demn it. But the papers praised it, and regretted the 
accident that deprived the stage of " some good material." 
This fruitful dramatic year was closed by the appearance 
of Doves in a Cage, at the Adelphi, on the 21st of 
December. The variety of subject in these pieces — the 
produce of a single year, written in long evenings after 
days given to magazines and papers — will strike any 
reader who shall read them, bearing in mind the time 
and circumstance of their birth. Here are touches of 
infinite tenderness, and there again a whole bouquet of 
intellectual fireworks. Take this portrait of a runaway 
school-girl from The Schoolfellows. "Talk of Venus 
rising from the sea ! Were I to paint a Venus she 
should be escaping from a cottage window, with a face 
now white, now red, as the roses nodding about it ; an 
eye like her own star ; lips sweetening the jasmine, as it 
clings to hold them ; a face and form in which harmoni- 
ous thoughts seem as vital breath ! Nothing but should 
speak ; her little hand should tell a love-tale ; nay, her 
very foot, planted on the ladder, should utter eloquence 
enough to stop a hermit at his beads, and make him 
watchman whilst the lady fled." 



122 LIFE OF DOUGLAS JERROLD. 

Beau Nash described : " He is in Bath the despot 
of the mode, the Nero of the realm of skirts, the Ti- 
berius of a silk stocking. 'Tis said his father was a 
blower of glass, and they who best know Nash see in 
the son confirmation of the legend. 'Tis certain our 
monarch started in life in a red coat ; changed it for a 
Templar's suit of black ; played and elbowed his way 
up the backstairs of fashion ; came to our city ; cham- 
pioned the virtue of the wells against the malice of a 
physician ; drove the doctor from his post ; founded the 
pump-room and assembly-house ; mounted the throne of 
etiquette ; put on her crown of peacock plumes ; and 
here he sits, Ei chard Nash, by the grace of impudence, 
king of Bath ! " 

The rapid and remarkable dramatic successes of this 
year turned the thoughts of their author — and very nat- 
urally — most passionately towards the stage. In 1836 
he was tempted into the joint management of the Strand 
Theatre with his brother-in-law, Mr. W. J. Hammond. 
The speculation prospered little while the partnership 
lasted. Mr. W. J. Hammond spoke an address, evidently 
written by his seceding partner, in which he said, " We 
began with a tragic drama. The Painter of Ghent ; but, 
as the aspect of the boxes and pit was much more tragic 
than we could wish, we in sailors' phrase ' let go the 
painter.' We tried something like a ballet, which, after 
a few nights, (but purely out of mercy to the reputation 
of Taglioni and Perrot,) we withdrew. We found that 
our legs were not very good, and so we resolved to pro- 
duce comedy of words and character ; in other phrase, 
mistrusting our legs, we resolved henceforth to stand only 
upon our — head." The dramatist wrote, under the old 
nom de plume of Henry Brownrigg, many short pieces 



THE DOMESTIC DRAMA CONCLUDED. 123 

for his little stage within a few months, viz: — Tlie Bill- 
Sticker ; Hercules King of Clubs; The Perils of Pippins ; 
or, An Old House in the City ; and lastly, the one-act 
tragedy entitled The Painter of Ghent. In this tragedy 
the author appeared on the stage, acting Roderick. His 
success was not marked ; and after playing during a 
fortnight, he most wisely abandoned an idea, very hastily 
taken, of realizing upon the stage some of his own crea- 
tions. His subsequent successes as an amateur, prove 
that he had a fine — indeed, an exquisite — sense of the 
more delicate touches by which character is perfectly 
rendered on the mimic scene. As Master Stephen, in 
Emery Man in his Humour^ he contrasted in no sense 
unfavourably, even with the masterly Bobadil presented 
by Mr. Charles Dickens. But to his free spirit, his stu- 
dious habit, the claims upon an actor were repulsive — so 
repulsive that in after-life he always avoided any men- 
tion of this his folly, as he would call it, of 1836. Ed- 
mund Kean was as fitted for a soldier in a New South 
Wales regiment, (his ambition for a moment,) as Douglas 
Jerrold was for a life upon the boards. Indeed, as I 
have remarked in the opening pages of this volume, my 
father disliked the theatre behind the scenes, and seldom 
went there save to witness a rehearsal. He would gen- 
erally attend on the first night of the performance of his 
piece ; but he seldom saw the same piece twice. His 
idea, as realized, generally disgusted him. He saw it 
with all the delicate touches rubbed away — a shadoAV, or 
a vulgar caricature. His quarrels with actors were in- 
cessant, because they Avould take their idea and not his 
idea of a part. He alloM^ed largely, however, for the 
intoxication of applause, brought home hot and hot to the 
actor's ears. He saw that the stage, to the man who trod 



124 LIFE OF DOUGLAS JERROLD. 

it daily, must be a forcing pit for his vanity. " How, in- 
deed, is it possible he should escape the sweet malady ? " 
he wrote in the " Story of a Feather." " You take a man 
of average clay ; you breathe in him a divine afflatus ; 
you fill him with the words of a poet, a wit, a humorist ; 
he is, even when he knows it not, raised, sublimated by the 
foreign nature within him. Garrick enters as Macbeth. 
What a storm of shouts ! what odoriferous breath in 
' bravos,' seething and melting the actor's heart ! Is it 
possible that this man, so fondled, so shouted to, so dan- 
dled by the world, can at bedtime take off the whole of 
Macbeth with his stockings ? He is always something 
more than David Garrick, householder in the Adelphi. 
He continually carries about him pieces of greatness not 
his own ; his moral self is encased in a harlequin's jacket 
— the patches from Parnassus. The being of the actor 
is multiplied ; it is cast, for a time, in a hundred different 
moulds. Hence what a puzzle and a difficulty for David 
to pick David, and nothing more than David, from the 
many runnings ! And then an actor, by his position, takes 
his draughts of glory so hot and so spiced — (see, there 
are hundreds of hands holding to him smoking goblets !) 
— that he must, much of his time, live, in a sweet intox- 
ication, which, forsooth, hard-thinking people call conceit. 
To other folks reputation comes with a more gentle, more 
divine approach. You, sir, have carved a Venus, whose 
marble mouth would smile paralysis from Nestor ; you 
have painted a picture, and, with Promethean trick, have 
fixed a fire from heaven on the canvas ; you have penned 
a book, and made tens of thousands of brains musical with 
divinest humanity — kings have no such music from cym- 
bals, sackbut, and psaltery, and to each of you reputation 
comes silently, like a fairy, through your study keyhole ; 



THE DOMESTIC DRAMA CONCLUDED. 125 

you quaff renown refined, cold-drawn — cold as castor-oil; 
and, sir, if you be a true philosopher, you will swallow it 
as a thing no less medicinal." 

The stage, then, was rapidly abandoned, and back 
went the author to his study, never more to leave it. 
He was so disgusted with his brief experience as actor 
and manager, that he could never afterwards bear the 
least allusion to it. Indeed, it was matter of serious 
debate with him whether he would again commit his 
thoughts to the interpretation of actors — whether hence- 
forth he should not confine himself to the care of the 
printer exclusively. He turned resolutely, this is certain, 
at this time, to writing not meant for the stage ; and I 
part at this point from his dramatic successes, to dwell 
upon the activity he exhibited in his mid-career in other 
branches of literature. 

His introduction to Nell Gwynne, however, should have 
place in this chapter. He writes, in explanation of his 
theme : — 

" Whilst we may safely reject as iinfounded gossip many of the 
stories associated with the name of Nell Gwynne, we cannot refuse 
belief to the various proofs of kind-heartedness, liberality, and — taking 
into consideration her subsequent power to do harm — absolute good- 
ness, of a woman mingling, if we may believe a passage in Pepys, 
from her earliest years in the most depraved scenes of a most dissolute 
age. The life of Nell Gwynne, from the time of her connection with 
Charles 11. to that of her death, proved that error had been forced 
upon her by circumstances, rather than indulged by choice. It was 
under this impression that the present little comedy was undertaken. 
Under this conviction an attempt has been made to show some glimpses 
of the ' silver lining' of a character, to whose influence over an un- 
principled voluptuary we owe a national asylum for veteran soldiers ; 
and whose brightness shines with the most amiable lustre in many 
actions of her life, and in the last disposal of her worldly effects. 

" Nell Gwynne first attended the theatre as an oi'ange-girl. Whether 
she assumed the calling in order to attract the notice of Betterton, 
who, it is said, on having heard her recite and sing, discouraged her 



126 LIFE OF DOUGLAS JEEROLD. 

hopes of theatrical eminence ; or whether her love of the stage grew 
from her original trade of playhouse fruit-girl, has not yet been clearly 
shown. Indeed, nothing certain can be gathered of her parentage or 
place of birth. Even her name has lately been disputed. That from 
' the pit she mounted to the stage ' is, however, on the poetic testimony 
of Rochester, indisputable : — 

* The orange-basket her fair arm did suit, 
Laden with pippins and Hesperian fruit ; 
This first step raised, to the wond'ring pit she sold 
The lovely fruit, smiling with streaks of gold. 
Fate now for her did its whole force engage, 
And from the pit she mounted to the stage ; 
There in full lustre did her glories shine, 
And, long eclipsed, spread forth their light divine ; 
There Hart and Rowley's soul she did ensnare, 
And made a king a rival to a player.' 

" She spoke a new prologue to Beaumont and Fletcher's Knight of 
the Burning Pestle ; she afterwards plaj^ed Queen Almahide in Dry- 
den's Conquest of Granada^ besides speaking the prologue ' in a broad- 
brimmed hat and waist belt.' The history of this hat is given by old 
Downes, the prompter, in his valuable Roscius Anglicanus, a chance 
perusal of which first suggested the idea of this drama. 

"All the characters in the comedy, with but two exceptions, and 
allowing the story that the first love of Nell was really an old lawyer, 
figured in the time of Chaiies II. For the introduction of Orange Moll 
(so mimitably acted by Mr. Keeley) the author pleads the authority 
of Pepys, who, in the following passage, proves the existence and 
notoriety of some such personage : ' It was observable how a gentle- 
man of good habit sitting just before us, eating of some fruit in the 
midst of the play, did drop down as dead, being choked; but with 
much art Orange Mai did thrust her finger down his throat, and 
brought him to life again.' In another place Pepys speaks of Sir W. 
Penn and himself having a long talk with ' Orange Mai.' A di-amatic 
liberty has been taken with the lady's name, Moll being thought more 
euphonic than ' Mai ' or ' Matilda.' The incident of a king supping 
at a tavern with Nell, and finding himself without money to defray the 
bill, is variously related in the Chroniques Scandaleuses of his ' merry ' 
selfish days." 

This explanation was dated from Little Chelsea. 



EAKLY CONTRIBUTIONS TO PERIODICALS. 127 



CHAPTER VII. 

EARLY CONTRIBUTIONS TO PERIODICALS. 

Douglas Jerrold had sympathies in no degree con- 
nected with the theatre. Indeed, his most passionate love 
was wide away from the foothghts, especially from the 
footlights that shone upon lions in Drury Lane — upon 
pig-dramas over the water. The most diligent reader of 
Shakspeare, of Beaumont and Fletcher, of Ben Jonson, 
and Farquhar, of Marlowe — his mind full of the glorious 
time for the stage when David Garrick was at Drury 
Lane, and Kitty Clive's clear laugh rang through the 
house ; when " fair Abington, with her sweet, liquid voice 
and dovelike looks ; and charming Mrs. Barry ; and 
kind, womanly Pritchard " were there — could not but 
curl his lip as he saw Ducrow drill his Majesty's servants. 
In his dramas he had endeavoured often to set before the 
world the heroism of the poor — to show that, as he ex- 
pressed it, " there is goodness, like wild honey, hived in 
strange nooks and corners of the earth" — a sentiment, 
by the way, which Mr. Henry Mayhew adopted upon the 
title-page of his " London Labour and the London Poor." 
He sought, also, other media than the boards, by which 
he might express his strong sympathies to the world. 
And they were opened to him, as to all young men, very 



128 LIFE OF DOUGLAS JERROLD. 

carefully, very slowly. Chiefly, for many years — cer- 
tainly until 1830 — his contributions to the periodicals of 
the time were confined to those of minor importance. 
No brilliant staff had literature been to him up to this 
time. It required still long, long days and nights of soli- 
tary thinking and working; of incessant reading and 
incessant study — mornings given to Italian — and even 
some few leisure hours to German, that Jean Paul might 
be read in his native language — to make way still against 
the adverse circumstances of boyhood. But in 1831 
came better fortune and a wider publicity. My father 
was already a writer in the " Monthly Magazine." In No- 
vember of this year he figured as a contributor of Brev- 
ities, of which the reader may judge for himself: — 

" Fortune is painted blind, that she may not blush to behold the fools 
who belong to her. 

" Fine ladies, who use excess of perfumes, must think men like seals 
— most assailable at the nose. 

" Some men get on in the world on the same principle that a sweep 
passes uninterruptedly through a crowd. 

" People who affect a shortness of sight must think it the height of 
good fortune to be born blind. 

" He who loses, in the search of fame, that dignity which should 
adorn human nature, is like the victim opera-singer who has exchanged 
manhood for sound. 

" Lounging, unemployed people may be called of the tribe of Joshua, 
for with them the sun stands still. 

" Fanatics think men like bulls — they must be baited to madness 
ere they are in &, fit condition to die. 

" There is an ancient saying, ' Truth lies in a well.' May not the 
modern adage run, ' The most certain charity is at a pump ' ? 

*' Some connoisseurs would give a hundred pounds for the painted 
head of a beggar, that would threaten the living mendicant with the 
stocks. 

" If you boast of a contempt for the world, avoid getting into debt. 
It is giving to gnats the fangs of vipers. 

" The heart of the great man, surrounded by poverty and trauH 
melled by dependence, is like an egg in a nest built among briers. It 



EARLY CONTRIBUTIONS TO' PERIODICALS. 129 

must either curdle into bitterness, or, if it take life and mount, struggle 
through thorns for the ascent. 

" Fame is represented bearing a trumpet. Would not the picture 
be truer were she to hold a handful of dust ? 

" Fishermen, in order to handle eels securely, first cover them with 
dirt. In like manner does detraction strive to grasp excellence. 

" The friendship of some men is quite Briarean — they have a hun- 
dred hands. 

" The easy and temperate man is not he who is most valued by the 
world; the virtue of his abstemiousness makes him an object of indif- 
ference. One of the gravest charges against the ass is — he can live 
on thistles. 

" The wounds of the dead are the fuiTows in which living heroes 
grow their laurels. 

" Were we determined resolutely to avoid vices, the world would 
foist them on us — as thieves put off their plunder on the guiltless. 

" When we look at the hide of a tiger in a furrier's shop, exposed to 
the gaze of everj^ malapert, and then think of the ferocity of the living 
beast in his native jungle, we see a beadle before a magistrate — a 
magistrate before a minister. There is the ski7i of office — the sleekness 
without its claws. 

" With some people political vacillation heightens a man's celebrity 
—just as the galleries applaud when an actor enters in a new dress. 

" If we judge from history, of what is the book of glory composed? 
Are not its leaves dead men's skin — its letters stamped in human 
blood — its golden clasps the piUage of nations ? It is illuminated with 
tears and broken hearts." 

Mr. Wakley established the " Ballot " newspaper, and 
gave the sub-editorship thereof, with the reviews and dra- 
matic criticisms, to the young playwright. For the dramat- 
ist was enthusiastically on the Liberal side. Back to the 
early days when, with Laman Blanchard, he was ready 
to embark as a volunteer under Lord Byron, he could 
look, and see that he had, so far as he had been able, 
spoken ever vehemently for the people, and for the 
people's rights, at a time when the Liberal cause was the 
low, and vulgai', and unpopular cause ; when the flunkey 
Gifford hurled his poor thunder at Keats, because Keats 
had been praised in the liberal " Examiner ; " and when 



130 LIFE OF DOUGLAS JERROLD. 

writers with any power were sorely tempted to take the 
more hicrative side of Toryism. The " Quarterly" editor 
might '' fly-blow an author's style," as Hazlitt felicitously 
expressed it ; but there were men abroad then who would 
not have been moved one inch from their settled purpose, 
had the lord chamberlain offered them Gifford's court 
livery, and ten times Gifford's wage. It is fortunate for 
the country that it was so. Tiiese men were bound to 
Reform — to a large and sweeping measure that should 
purge the House of Commons of its rottenness, and re- 
fleet, with a nearer approach to truth, the wants and 
wishes of his Majesty's subjects. The time for wholesale 
press prosecutions — for protecting the obesity of royalty 
from observation by the threat of Newgate — was passing 
away. Even Cobbett's violent tirades could not provoke 
a jury to convict. 

"With the advent of William lY. to the throne came 
new and bright hopes to the Liberal party. Nor in 
England alone did Liberty wear, in these days, her holi- 
day colours. Leopold entered Brussels, sworn to defend 
the freedom of his little kingdom ; and here was estab- 
lished a new constitutional monarchy, based on principles 
as liberal as those which then governed the councils of 
France. But there were dark clouds in the East. The 
Russians fell upon W^arsaw, and we looked on with a base 
calmness. General Torrijos' expedition to Spain was 
fruitless, save in the blood of the noble fellows who joined 
it; and Sterhng, who watched the scheme with strained 
eyes from England, on that 4th of December, 1831, saw 
a cloud come upon him that never after had a silver lin- 
ing for his unhappy sight. 

But in England, under Grey and Russell, the battle of 
Reform speeds hopefully. Anarchy, ruin, toppled thrones, 



EARLY CONTRIBUTIONS TO PERIODICALS. 131 

and triumphant rabbles make up the ghastly visions with 
Avliich the supporters of Lord Wharnchffe and his party 
endeavour to frighten timid people. But the Reform 
must come, clearly enough — must, as the tide must rise 
and ebb daily at London Bridge. 

It was in the very heat of this struggle, while riots 
were the answers of the great towns to the obstinacy of 
the House of Lords, that Douglas Jerrold's name ap- 
peared among the contributors to the Liberal " Ballot." 
His contributions w^ere confined chiefly to reviews of 
books, and to criticisms on the theatres ; but here and 
there his passionate political creed burst out in words of 
fire. He wrote also a violent political pamphlet that was 
suppressed, and of which I have not been able to obtain 
a copy. He must speak in this time of battle, and that 
fiercely. 

Not only in the " Ballot " did he find vent for his opin- 
ions. A vehicle that for the moment seemed suited to 
his genius, to some extent, suddenly presented itself to 
him. On the 14th of January, 1832, " Punch in London," 
price one penny, was started ; and in the first number may 
be most legibly traced the pen that afterwards indited, in 
the great Punch of the present time, " The Q. Letters " 
and the " Story of a Feather." 

" Has any one seen more of the world than Punch ? " 
asks the " Punch in London" of 1832, in his address to his 
readers. " Has any one mixed in better society, or had 
more admirers ? Is it not upon record that my trumpet, 
sounded in the streets of Rotterdam, was a signal for the 
great Bayle to leave his labours, and to come and smooth 
the wrinkles of study with laughter at my merriment ? " 
Then again : — 

" Is it not evident that Punch possesses, above all personages, the 



132 LIFE OF DOUGLAS JEEROLD. 

amplest means of becoming * the best public instructor V ' Think of 
his ability, his universality ! The Gascon boasted that in his castle 
there were so many generals' batons that they were used for common 
firewood. Now, I may say truly, and without boasting, I have suffi- 
ciency of unpublished royal correspondence to paper the walls of one 
half the dwelling-houses of this metropolis. This, on a moment's con- 
sideration, will not be marvelled at. It is evident that nearly every 
monarch has large dealings with " Pw/it7i." I shall, in a future number, 
publish some letters of my brother Miguel — they are written in the 
prepared skins of Liberals with their own blood (Mig. has always a 
fresh supply), and will be found of the deepest interest. Besides 
these, I have some curious papers relative to the Polish campaign, 
as I, Punchy under the name of Glory, (with what fine names I have 
tricked mankind to be sure ! ) led on the Russians to cut the first 
throat they could reach. It was Punch who, a few days since, joined 
with Nicholas in the Te Deum celebrated at St. Petersburg in favour 
of murder! " 

Then Punch wanders off to the impending creation of 
peers, and waggishly suggests a few to the government. 
Mr. Ducrow should be raised to the dignity of Baron 
Mazeppa ; the Rev. Edward Irving should be a baron, 
inasmuch as he might address the Woolsack in the 
Unknown Tongue, and thereby bother the reporters. 
This would be an indirect triumph over the Press. 
Messrs. Day and Martin might figure as the Princes of 
Light and Darkness ; Mr. Grimaldi as the P^arl of 
Tippetywitchett. 

Then follows a facetious paper on "Arm-chairs and 
Thrones," provoked by M. Montalivet's recent assertion, 
in the French Chamber, that a republican Civil List was 
no more to be desired than republican institutions. He 
reprobated, moreover, those republican ideas which would 
convert " the king into a president, the throne into a mere 
arm-chair ! " Punch settles upon M. Montalivet's words 
greedily : — 

" A throne changed into an arm-chair! Why, no one, save a Hamp- 



EARLY CONTRIBUTIONS TO PERIODICALS. 133 

den or a harlequin, would think of such a trick. Besides, if a throne 
were once turned into a chair — if transformation were once begun, who 
could answer where it would end? If the merely ornamental were 
once changed into the useful ; if a throne were turned into a chair, it 
might terminate in some domestic article that even Mr. Shandy would 
want courage to publish ; and as for a ' king ' with a ' republican ' 
Civil List, why, it would be like Punch in the drab coat and broad 
brim of a Quaker ! Great civil lists bring great respect ! 

" Once upon a time the Wokypoky Indians worshipped the Blue 
Monkey. Now, the said Blue Monkey had bands of gold about his 
head, a pearl as big as a swan's egg in each ear, and a diamond, that 
if sold, would have kept the Indians and their families for half a cen- 
tury, dangling from his royal nose— great was the adoration paid to 
the Blue Monkey. Now, it came to pass that some thieves (repub- 
licans) despoiled the Blue Monkej'- of his gold, his pearls, and his 
diamond, leaving the said Monkey in all his wooden poverty and naked- 
ness. What followed? Why, not a single Indian bent his knee to the 
god — the gems were stolen, and with them the sacred odour of the 
idol ; — therefore every ' dai-k skin ' raised his tomahawk, and, splitting 
the Blue Monkey into logs, the Indians made a fire of them, and cooked 
goats' flesh by their flames, and baked in their embers yams and 
bread ! 

" In this little story we are taught that pearls and diamonds are 
indispensable to the sovereignty of Blue ]\Tonkeys, and that a thump- 
ing Civil List is a part and parcel of a ' Citizen King! ' " 

This Punch hit hard, it must be confessed, at peers and 
royal dukes, and shabby managers. The " Court Circular " 
was parodied — the Duke of Cumberland was quizzed. 
Thus we learn that " the Duke of Cumberland rode out 
in the morning on a bay horse with four black legs and a 
switch tail ; " and that the " Prince George of Cumber- 
land played at marbles yesterday morning. The firm 
and decided way in which his Royal Highness JcnucJdes 
down is the subject of great admiration throughout the 
palace." 

Again : " It was the subject of great conversation at 
the palace, that on Tuesday evening her Majesty took no 
sugar with her tea." Again : " On Thursday her Royal 



134 LIFE OF DOUGLAS JERROLD. 

Highness the Princess Victoria walked in the park. Her 
Royal Highness used both feet." 

But " Punch in London " lived only a few weeks ; and I 
have not traced my father's hand in it beyond the second 
number. Other and more congenial work awaited him. 
The " Ballot " was merged into the " Examiner," and with 
it went Douglas Jerrold, for a short time, to sub-edit under 
Mr. Albany Fonblanque. But as he progressed he threw 
out rapid, brilliant, poetic papers here and there, almost 
careless of their whereabouts. The " Athenaeum " also wel- 
comed him to its office as a brilliant original essayist about 
this time. He was at length fairly acknowledged, if not 
yet by the great English public, at least by many men in 
the literary world, who had the power to be of service to 
him. For he was known personally far and wide. His 
sharp sayings, carelessly cast at high and low, began to 
circulate about London. Hundreds of men, who had 
never read a line that he had written, knew his name as 
connected with some flash of wit, some happy epithet, 
some biting jest. Of a large circle of very happy friends 
he was the soul and centre. They had been together for 
years, and were mostly working their w^ay prosperously. 
Together the cares of life were often exchanged, on bright 
days, for rowing parties to Richmond, or walks to High- 
gate or Hampstead. One of these water parties had 
nearly proved fatal to my father. 

Off the Sw^an at Battersea some mismanagement of the 
boat occurred, during which my father fell backwards 
into the water. He was taken into the boat with much 
difficulty, conveyed ashore, and put to bed in the Swan 
Inn, where he was left. On the following day he joined 
his friends to laugh over the accident. He repeated a 
conversation he had had with the Swan chambermaid : — 



EARLY CONTRIBUTIONS TO PERIODICALS. 135 

Jerrold. " I suppose these accidents happen frequently 
off here." 

Servant. " yes, sir, frequently ; but it's not the 
season yet." 

Jerrold (surveying himself). "Ah ! I suppose it's all 
owing to a backward spring ! " 

Servant (sharply). " That's it, sir." 

Still his most active time as a journalist had not come 
yet. The periodicals by which his name was to become 
a household word, were not created. Snugly housed, 
however, and with his books about him, and friends to be 
merry with, he could afford to wait — he who was hardly 
in his thirtieth year ! With here a short paper, and there 
a poem ; with dramas incessantly appearing, he could 
bridge over the time that yet lay before him and the just 
recognition which he had determined to snatch from the 
world. For he always felt that he had snatched his repu- 
tation from the public. He always bore about him the 
firm belief that he had been fighting throughout his life 
under the most galling disadvantages of fortune, and that 
with his own vehement soul — his iron courage — he had 
cut his way to success. Once fairly recognized, and he 
put aside the honours of the victory with most unaffected 
simplicity. Mr. Hannay, whom I have already quoted 
from the " Atlantic Monthly," said justly : " His fight for 
fame was long and hard; and his life was interrupted, 
like that of other men, by sickness and pain. In the 
stoop in his gait, in the lines in his face, you saw the man 
who had reached his Ithaca by no mere yachting over 
summer seas. And hence, no doubt, the utter absence in 
him of all that conventionalism which marks the man of 
quiet experience and habitual conformity to the world. 
In the streets a stranger would have known Jerrold to be 



136 LIFE OF DOUGLAS JERROLD. 

a remarkable man ; you would have gone away speculat- 
ing on him. In talk he was still Jerrold ; not Douglas 
Jerrold, Esq., a successful gentleman, whose heart and 
soul you were expected to know nothing about, and with 
whom you were to eat your dinner peaceably, like any 
common man. No ; he was at all times Douglas the pecu- 
liar and unique — with his history in his face, and his genius 
on his tongue — nay, and after a little, with his heart on 
his sleeve. This made him piquant ; and the same char- 
acter makes his writings piquant. Hence, too, he is often 
quaint — a word which describes what no other word does, 
always conveying a sense of originality, and of what, 
when we wish to be condemnatory, we call egotism, but 

which, when it belongs to genius, is delightful He 

united remarkably simplicity of character with brilliancy 
of talk. For instance, with all his success, he never 
sought higher society than that which he found himself 
gradually and by a natural momentum borne into, as he 
advanced. He never suppressed a flash of indignant 
sarcasm for fear of startlinsj the ' genteel ' classes and 
Mrs. Grundy. He never aped aristocracy in his house- 
hold. He would go to a tavern for his oysters and a 
glass of punch, as simply as they did in Ben Jonson's 
days ; and I have heard of his doing so from a sensation 
of boredom at a very great house indeed — a house for the 
sake of an admission to which half Bayswater would sell 
their grandmothers ' bones to a surgeon. This kind of 
thing stamped him, in our polite days, as one of the old 
school, and was exceedingly refreshing to observe in an 
age when the anxious endeavour of the English middle 
classes is to hide their plebeian origin under a mockery 
of patrician elegance. He had none of the airs of success 
or reputation — none of the affectations, either personal or 



EAKLY CONTRIBUTIONS TO PERIODICALS. 137 

social, which are rife everywhere. He was manly and 
natural — free and ofF-handed to the verge of eccentricit}'. 
Independence and marked character seemed to breathe 
from the little, rather bowed figure, crowned with a lion- 
like head and falling hght hair — to glow in the keen, 
eager, blue eyes glancing on either side as he walked 
along. Nothing could be less commonplace, nothing less 
conventional, than his appearance in a room or in the 
streets." 

This is a true picture, most tenderly drawn. 

In the years 1831-2, however, with which we are deal- 
ing, Douglas Jerrold had neither fame, nor access to the 
houses of the " higher " classes. He moved simply and 
contentedly in the midst of men who were pursuing the 
same noble calling as that to which he was heart and soul 
devoted ; he wrote where he could find room, and still, 
with a giant's strength, held on to the goal he had ap- 
pointed to reach. To speak that which was within him 
he must have better platforms than he had yet trodden — 
and better platforms he would have. Not by supplications 
offered to weighty pubhshers ; not by attendance danced 
at editors' doorways, but by a noble means — that of being 
heard and appreciated in high places from the platform 
where he stood. His platform just now was the " Monthly 
Magazine." Here he wrote " The Tutor Fiend and his 
Three Pupils" (September, 1831). This is the story of 
three sons, whose father wants them to get on. And the 
upshot: " These are the deaths of the three pupils of Rapax. 
One was gibbeted — the other murdered by his fellow — 
the third fractured his own skull against the barrier of his 
weaUh. They all got on in the world." Other articles 
published about this time in the Monthly Magazine were : 
"Pope Gregory and the Pear Tree " (October, 1831); 



138 LIFE OF DOUGLAS JERROLD. 

" Pigs — addressed to tliose about to leave Business " 
(April, 1832) ; « The Little Great, and the Great Little," 
apropos of the industrious fleas, in which men are whim- 
sically mistaken for fleas, and fleas for men (May, 1832) ; 
" The Rights of Dramatists " (May, 1832) ; " Swamp 
Hall" (September, 1832), &c. But ever, as he moved a 
yard ahead, he was drawn back a foot. Friends worked 
upon the tender heart that was behind that stern voice, 
those cutting words — worked upon it to prey, and largely, 
upon his narrow means. 

In those days, had he, so courageous in his own fight 
with the world, possessed the bravery to steel his heart 
once or twice, and hiss a decided NO, he had been a hap- 
pier man during many years of his life. But it is his 
faith to believe to the last, in friends. Once or twice he 
says "^es " — writes all that that "yes " implies ; his friends 
have his bond — and he some years of hard struggling be- 
fore him. The youth that was passed in cutting through 
misfortune by the strength of his own unaided genius, has 
given way to a manhood fettered for some years by the 
treachery or the misfortune of friends. Still, in the depths 
of his trouble, he has a pleasant, cheering word for any man 
who may pass his ever open door. Still, let a dear friend 
ask his aid to-morrow, and his hand shall be open, and 
welcome. It is his religion, and he cannot wander from 
it. He may say a savage, a galling thing to that friend 
to-day ; but h# will be closer than anybody else at his 
elbow to-morrow, should the friend need assistance. The 
difficulties cast upon him by his good nature, by his chiv- 
alrous sense of friendship, however, bear down heavily 
upon him in his little house in Thistle Grove, Chelsea. 
It is deep winter. The wind shrieks down the grove, and 
the snow lies thick, muffling every foot upon the doorstep. 



EARLY CONTRIBUTIONS TO PERIODICALS. 139 

It is not an inviting night to go forth — rather one to 
gather about the fire, and talk of the coming spring. But 
forth must go the brave man, witli his wife and daughter, 
for a time, to Paris. And as he leaves his home, he has 
a warm shake of the hand — ay, for the friend whose 
delinquency sends him forth. The present writer has a 
vivid recollection of that night, as of the dreary days of 
loneliness in the house that followed it. 

As bitter was the time (1835) to the dear ones in 
Paris. It was a terrible winter, and the comforts of an 
English home could not be had. Day after day was that 
curious knowledge sought which comes only by degrees, 
viz : how to keep up a wood fire. Still, half benumbed, 
the writer was soon at his books and pen again. Here 
Doves in a Gage and The Schoolfelloivs were written ; 
and hence were sent many contributions — hght, philo- 
sophic tapestry work, full of quaint colour ; slight stories ; 
even poems (the " Rocking-Horse," for instance — ^the 
idea taken from his little girl, who so called the Pegasus 
at the entrance to the Tuileries G-ardens). Many of the 
papers now well known under the collective title of 
" Cakes and Ale," owe their origin to the solitude of that 
bleak winter in Paris. Here, too, communications with 
Blackwood's Magazine were opened. Early in the year, 
unknown personally to the editor, and with many misgiv- 
ings on the success of the application, Douglas Jerrold 
forwarded " Silas Fleshpots, a Respectable Man," to Edin- 
burgh. Blackivood's Magazine for April, 1835, contained 
the paper. The success was rapidly followed up ; for the 
number for May included " Michael Lynx, the Man who 
knew Himself;" that for June "An Old House in the 
City ; " and that for October, " Matthew Clear." " Bar- 
naby Palms," " Job Pippins," a?id " Isaac Cheek," ap- 



140 LIFE OF DOUGL'AS JERROLD. 

peared in Blackwood in the course of 1836. The reader 
will recognize, in some of these titles, heads of chapters 
in " Men of Character." 

Tlie solitude of Paris was not, however, complete ; for 
Mr. Thackeray, Mr. Henry Mayhew, and Barnett, the 
composer of the '' Mountain Sylph," were there, and con- 
tributed, as it may be supposed, very largely to the com- 
fort of this short exile. 

I have picked from the " Belle Assembl^e," as an in- 
stance of the many forgotten papers belonging to Douglas 
Jerrold that lie scattered over the less known periodicals 
of his early time, the following short and quaint paper: — 

THE CASTLE BUILDERS OF PADUA. 

By the Author of '^Black-Ei/ed Susan,'" " The Bride of Ludgnte,^^ (fc. 

Giulio and Ippolito were sons of a fai*mer living near Padna. The 
old man was of a quiet and placable tempei*, rai-ely suftering any mis- 
chance to ruflle him, but, in the firm and placid hope of the future, 
tranquillizing himself under the evil of the present. If blight came 
upon his corn one year, he would say 'twere a rare thing to have 
blights in two successive seasons; and so he would hope that the next 
harvest, in its abundance, might more than compensate for the scai'- 
city of the last. Thus lie lived from boyhood to age, and retained in 
the features of the old man a something of the lightness and vivacity 
of youth. His sons, however, bore no resemblance to their father. 
Instead of labouring on the farm they wasted their time in idly wish- 
ing that fortune had made them, in lieu of healthy, honest sons of a 
farmer, the children of some rich magnifico, that so they might have 
passed their days in all the sports of the times, in jousting, hunting, 
and in studying the fashions of brave apparel. They were of a 
humour at once impetuous and sulky, and would either idly mope 
about the fi\rm, or violently abuse and ill-treat whomsoever accident 
might throw in their way. The old man was inly grieved at the 
wilfulness and disobedience of his sons, but, with his usual disposi- 
tion, hoped that time might remedy the evil; and so, but rarely re- 
proving them, they were left sole masters of their hoixrs and actions. 

One night, after supper, the brothers walked into the garden to give 



EARLY CONTRIBUTIONS TO PERIODICALS. 141 

loose to their idle fancies, always yearning after matters visionary and 
improbable. It was a glorious night, the moon was at the full, and 
myriads of stars glowed in the deep blue firmament. The air stiiTed 
among the trees and flowers, wafting abroad their sweetness ; the dew 
glittered on the leaves, and a deep-voiced nightingale, perched in a 
citron-tree, poured forth a torrent of song upon the air. It was an 
hour for good thoughts and holy aspirations. Giulio threw himself 
upon a bank, and, after gazing with intentness at the sky, exclaimed, — 

" Would that I had fields ample as the heaven above us ! " 

"I would," rejoined Ippolito, "I had as many sheep as there are 
stars." 

"And what," asked Giulio, with a sarcastic smile, " would your 
wisdom do with them? " 

" MaiTy," replied Ippolito, " I would pasture them in your sage- 
ship's fields." 

"What!" exclaimed Giulio, suddenly raising himself upon his 
elbow, and looking with an eye of fire upon his brother, " whether I 
would or not? " 

" Truly, ay," said Ippolito, with a stubborn significance of manner. 

" Have a care," cried Giulio, " have a care, Ippolito; do not thwart 
me. Am I not your elder brother? " 

" Yes; and marry, what of that? Though you came first into the 
world, I trow you left some manhood for him who followed after." 

" You do not mean to insist that, despite my will, despite the deter- 
mination of your elder brother, you will pasture your sheep in my 
grounds? " 

" In truth, but I do." 

"And that," rejoined Giulio, his cheek flushing, and his lip tremu- 
lous, " and that without fee or recompense? " 

"Assuredly." 

Giulio leaped to his feet, and, dashing his clenched hand against a 
tree, with a face full of passion, and in a voice made terrible by rage, 
he screamed, rather than said, " By the blessed Virgin, but you do 
not!" 

"And V)y St. Ursula and her eleven thousand virgins, I protest I 
will." This was uttered by Ippolito in a tone of banter and bravado, 
that for a moment made the excited frame of Giulio quiver from head 
to foot. He gazed at the features of Ippolito, all drawn into a sneer, 
and for a moment gnashed his teeth. He v/as hastily approaching the 
scoffer, when, by an apparently strong effort, he ai-rested himself, and, 
turning upon his heel, struck hastily down another path, where he 
might be seen pacing with short quick steps, whilst Ippolito, leaning 
against a tree, carelessly sang a few lines of a serenata. This indif- 



142 LIFE OF DOUGLAS JERROLD. 

ference was too much for Giiilio; he stopped short, turned, and then 
rapidly came up to Ippolito, and, with a manner of attempted tran- 
quillity, said, " Ippolito, I do not Avish to quarrel with you; I am your 
elder brother; then give up the point." 

" Not I," replied Ippolito, with the same immovable smile. 

" What, then, you are determined that your sheep shall, in very 
despite of me, pasture in my fields ? " 

" They shall." 

" Villain ! " raved Giulio, and ere the word was well uttered he had 
dashed his clenched hand in his bi'other's face. Ippolito sprang like a 
wild beast at Giulio, and for some moments they stood with a hand at 
each other's throat, and their eyes, in the words of the Psalmist, Vv'ere 
"whetted" on one another. They stood but to gain breath, then 
grappled closer. Ippolito threw his brother to the earth, huddling his 
knees upon him ; furious blows were exchanged, but scarce a sound 
was uttered, save at intervals a blasphemous oath or a half-strangled 
groan. Giulio was completely overpowered by the superior strength 
and cooler temper of his bi'other; but, lying prostrate and conquered, 
his hands pinioned to his breast, and Ippolito glaring at hiiu with 
malicious triumph, he cursed and spat at him. Ippolito removed his 
hand from his brother's throat, and ere his pulse could beat, Giulio's 
poniard was in his brother's heart. He gave a loud shriek, and fell a 
streaming corpse upon his murderer. The father, roused by the 
sound, came hurrying to the garden; Giulio, leaping from under the 
dead body, rushed by the old man, who was all too speedily bending 
over his murdered child. From that hour hope and tranquillity foi-- 
sook the father ; he became a brain-sick, querulous creature, and in a 
few months died almost an idiot. Giulio joined a party of robbers, 
and, after a brief but dark career of crime, was shot by the sbirri. 

Ye who would build castles in the air — who would slay your hours 
with foolish and unprofitable longings — ponder on the visionary fields, 
the ideal sheep of Giulio and Ippolito. 

The quaint moral here picturesquely conveyed will 
remind readers who are familiar with the collected writ- 
ings of Douglas Jerrold, of his later short philosophic 
stories. 

The magazine which now began to receive papers by 
Douglas Jerrold and by Henry Brownrigg, his occasional 
nom de plume, was the Neiu Monthly. He also wrote, 
from time to time, for the Freemason's Quarterly Review, 



EAELY CONTRIBUTIONS TO FERIODICALS. 143 

and for the Annuals. " The Children in the Tower," a 
poem ; " The Siege," a short tragic story, most powerfully 
and pathetically told ; " The Actress at the Duke's," &c. 
were among my father's contributions to the Forget-Me- 
Not. In the Freemason's Quarterly appeared "The 
Tapestry Weaver of Beauvais," (July, 1834) ; " Solo- 
mon's Ape, by Brother Douglas Jen-old " (December, 
1834); "The Lamp-Post; a Household Anecdote" 
(March, 1835) ; " Shakspeare at Charlcote Park" (De- 
cember, 1835) ; " The Old Boatman " (September, 
1836); "The Peacock; a Household Incident" (June, 
1837) ; " The Emperor and the Locusts " (December, 
1837) ; "The Major in the Black Hole" (June, 1838), 
&c. The New MonfJily received " The Lord of Peiresc " 
(October, 1837) ; " Recollections of Guy Fawkes " (Oc- 
tober, 1837) ; " Midnight at Madame T's" (1837) ; "The 
Genteel Pigeons" (March, 1838); "Papers of a Gen- 
tleman-at-Arms " (1838); "Romance of a Keyhole" 
(April, 1838) ; " My Husband's Winnings ; a House- 
hold Incident" (June, 1838); "The Lesson of Life" 
(July, August, September, October, &c. 1838) ; " The 
Rocking-Horse " (October, 1838) ; " Some Account of a 
Stage Devil" (October, 1838) ; "Baron Von Boots; a 
Tale of Blood" (November, 1838) ; "The True History 
of a Great Pacificator" (January, 1839) ; "The Mana- 
ger's Pig" (March, 1839) ; "The. Mayor of Hole-Cum- 
Corner" (April, 1839) ; Shakspeare's Crab Tree" (May, 
1839) ; " The Metaphysician and the Maid " (May, 
1839), &c. 

These are stories chiefly, with silken threads of philos- 
ophy worked gracefully through them. It would be in- 
correct, perhaps, to call them political tales ; yet they 
often bear a clear relation to social politics. As an 



144 LIFE OF DOl/GLAS JERROLD. 

example let me direct the reader's attention to this con- 
ference between the Paris hangman and priest, whose 
business it was to give the condemned a final benediction. 
The passage occurs in " The Lesson of Life." 

'"Thou hast called death a punishment, most holy ftither; let us 
debate that simple point; ' and Jacques sidled still closer to his rever- 
end guest. 

" The declining sun shone through the casement, and, falling upon 
the heads of the executioner and the monk, bent as they were towards 
each other, presented a sti-ange and striking contrast of character, as 
developed in their features. The monk's face was long and sallow, 
marked with deep lines about the mouth, which seemed restless with 
ill-concealed passions; his eye was black, full, and heavy — a joyless, 
unreposing eye. The countenance of Jacques Tenebrse was round and 
somewhat jovial; a love of mirth appeared to twinkle in his look, and 
his lips seemed made for laughter; his black hair and beard were 
sprinkled with white ; and his complexion was a clear, deep brown, 
flushed in the cheek with wholesome red. The sun, shining upon 
these heads, brought out their opposite characters in the strongest 
relief to each other. A stranger, looking at them from a distance, 
would have thought the hangman some humble, yet wealthy, good- 
tempered citizen of Paris, consulting with his household adviser on a 
daughter's poi'tion, a son's patrimony, or some other domestic arrange- 
ment. Very different Avas the subject which at that hour supplied 
the discoiu'se of Jacques Tenebrre, the hangman of Paris, and Father 
George, the austere Capuchin. 

" ' Thou dost call death a punishment,' repeated the executioner. 
* I live by it, and should, therefore, with the wisdom of this world ' 

" ' The wisdom of this world is arrant folly,' interrupted the Capu- 
chin. 

" ' I am of thy ghostly opinion,' observed Jacques Tenebrse, * as to a 
good deal of it. Yet, death being made a punishment, makes my pro- 
fession; and my profession — I speak this to thee in pi'ivate and as a 
friend — my profession is little less than an arrant folly, a mistake, a 
miserable blunder.' 

" ' The saints protect me ! What meanest thou by such wild dis- 
course ? ' inquired Father George. 

" ' Hear me out ; listen to the hangman ! ' cried Jacques Tenebrge. 
' There is another world, eh, good Father George? ' 

" The Capuchin moved suddenly from the side of the querist, and 
Burveyed him with a look of horror. 



EARLY CONTRIBUTIONS TO PERIODICALS. 145 

" ' Nay, nay, answer me,' said Jacques, ' but for the form of argu- 
ment. 'Twas for that I put the question.' 

" ' 'Tis scarcely hiwful even so to put it,' said the monk. ' However, 
let it be granted there is another world.' 

" 'And all men must die ? ' asked Jacques Tenebree. ' Eh, is it not 
so? ' 

" ' We come into the world doomed to the penalty,' replied the 
Capuchin. ' Death is the common lot of all.' 

" ' Of the good, and the wise, and the unwise, eh, father?' cried 
Jacques. 

""Tis very certain,' answered the monk. 

" ' If such, then, be the case,' said Tenebrse, * if no vii"tue, no 
goodness, no wisdom, no strength can escape death — if death be made, 
as you say, the penalty of the good, why should it be thought the 
punishment of the wicked? Why should that be thought the only 
doom for the blackest guilt which, it may be at the very same hour, 
the brightest virtue is condemned to suffer? Answer me that,' cried 
the hangman. 

""Tis a point above thy apprehension, Jacques Tenebrae,' replied 
Father George, apparently desirous of changing the discourse. ' Let 
it rest, Jacques, for abler wits than thine.' 

" ' You would not kill a culprit's soul, Father George ? ' asked 
Jacques, heedless of the wishes of the Capuchin. 

" ' What horror dost thou talk ! ' exclaimed the monk. 

" ' But for argument,' said the unmoved Jacques. ' Nay, I am sure 
thou wouldst not. I have heard thee talk such consolation to a culprit 
that, at the time, I have thought it a, blessed thing to die. Well, he 
died, and the laws, as the cant runs, were avenged. The repentant 
thief, the penitent blood-shedder was dismissed from the further rule 
of man. Perhaps, the very day he was punished, a hundred pious, 
worthy souls were called from the world. He was discharged from 

the earth, and But thoii knowest what thou hast twenty times 

promised such misdoei-s, when I — I should have done my office on 
them.' 

" ' Thou art ignorant,' Jacques Tenebra?, ' basely ignorant. Thou 
art so familiarized with death, it has lost its terrors to thee,' said the 
Capuchin, who again strove to shift the discourse. 

" ' Of that anon, Father George. As for death on the "scaffold, 'tis 
nothing; but I have seen the death of a good man in his Christian bed,' 
said Jacques, ' and that was awful.' 

" ' Thou dost own as much ? ' observed Father George ; ' thou dost 
confess it ? ' 



146 LIFE OF DOUGLAS JERROLD. 

" 'Awful, yet cheering; and 'twas whilst I beheld it that the thought 

came to me of my own worthlessness " 

■ " 'As a sinner? ' interrupted the Capuchin. 

" 'And hangman,' cried Jacques. ' I thought it took from the holi- 
ness — the beauty, if I may say it— rof the good man's fivte — the com- 
mon fate, as you rightly call it, father — to give death to the villain — to 
make it the last punishment, by casting him at one fling from the same 
world with the pious, worthy creature who died yesterday. Now the 
law would not, could not if it would, kill the soul, and — but thou 
knowest what passes between thy brotherhood and the condemned, 
thou knowest what thou dost promise to the penitent culprit — and, 
therefoi*e, to kill a man for his crimes would be a fitting, a reasonable 
custom if this world were all — if there Avere nought beyond. Then see 
you. Father George, thou wouldst hasten the evil-doer into nothing- 
ness ; now dost thou speed him into felicity. Eh V Am I not right — is 
it not so, holy father ? ' 

" 'And such is thy thought, thy true thought? " inquired the Capu- 
chin. 

" ' I thank my stars it is, else I had not held my trade so long.' 

" ' Punishment ! Bah ! I call myself the rogues' chamberlain, tak- 
ing them from a wicked Avorld, and putting them quietly to rest. 
When he who signs the warrant for their exit — and, thinking closely 
what we all are, 'tis bold writing i' faith — must some day die too — 
when the ermine tippet must, at some time, lie down Avith the hempen 
string — it is, methinks, a humorous Avay of punishment, this same 
hanging.' " 

For speculations — for teachings of this kind — these 
stories were all written. Now the lessons, and bright 
sayings, and flashing contrasts, were cast upon a serious 
story of old Paris ; and now they were tacked to the 
honeymoon of the " Genteel Pigeons." 

The Capuchin describes the hangman's daughter as " a 
flower springing from a rock of flint." 

The creduhty of Perditus Mutton, "who bought a 
caul:" "Now, be it known that Perditus Mutton had 
long thought to become a voyager. He had read the 
marvels of Mandeville and Purchas — of Hakluyt and 
Coryate ; and he had no wife to hold him in her white 



EARLY CONTEIBUTIONS TO PERIODICALS. 147 

arms — no children to tug at his coat-skirts — no fireside 
gods to fix him at his hearth. He would, therefore, cross 
the perilous sea ; he would, with his proper ears, listen to 
the singing of the mermaids ; and, sauntering on Asiatic 
plains, with his own eyes, behold the grazing unicorns. 
. . . Perditus had sworn fealty to the happy man who 
had heard the sirens sing ; who had beheld armies of pig- 
mies mounted on cranes ; who had known the ostrich to 
hatch her eggs by the heat of her eyes ; who had seen a 
king starved to death by a basilisk ; a porcupine transfix 
a roaring lion by a quill shot dexterously through and 
through its heart. He would have travelled round the 
globe to kiss the feet of the good Bishop Pontoppidan, 
the worthy ecclesiastic, who, musing on the coast of Nor- 
way, did behold a merman rise from the sea, who sang 
two hours ' and more.' " 

The whimsical legend of " Hole-Cum-Corner " illus- 
trates the falsity of living for appearances. *' How often" 
— this is offered by way of moral — " does it happen that 
a man learns that he had a good name when he ceases to 
possess it! If a man would know what his friends thought 
of him, let it be given out that he is dead, or has unfor- 
tunately picked a pocket. Their mute opinion finds a 
tongue." The miseries of the mayor, who convicts a 
rustic for the crime of stealing a gander, on appearances, 
the said gander being found just after the convicted cul- 
prit has been whipped, are given in most humorous forms. 
The devil tempts the mayor to buy a cloak of " Seeming." 
" Seeming ! " echoes the mayor. " Seeming ! " the fiend 
retorts. "A superfine cloak, trimmed with ermine that 
shall never speck ; guarded with gold that shall not tar- 
nish — a thing of such fine, yet tough web, that you shall 
go in it through all the thorny places of the world, yet 



148 LIFE OF DOUGLAS JERROLD. 

shall it not tear — shall it not fray — a beautiful, yea, a 
magnificent cloak!" But the mayor is adamant, although 
the rustic whom he wrongly convicted has devoted him 
" to that arch-demon, Appearance." All appearance turns 
against the mayor henceforth. Sagacious dog that he is, 
and so hospitable — " hardly would he have closed his 
door against a mad dog " — he endeavours to right himself 
with the good citizens by giving a splendid dinner to a 
Spanish prince, and parading his royal visitor through 
Hole-Cum-Corner. "A most gratifying surprise awaited 
the royal guest, for he was presented, not only with the 
freedom of the town, in a handsome pearl box, but with a 
document that enabled him to set up as doUs'-eyes maker 
in any part of England ; " Hole-Cum-Corner, it should 
be remarked, being the seat of the dolls'-eyes trade. 

Then we have " The Romance of a Keyhole," wherein 
Mr. Jeremy Dunbrown figures as a Bacchanalian Jacobite 
brazier, falhng into misfortune through his inability to 
find the keyhole of his own doorway. Jeremy gives up 
the search and falls upon his doorstep, wath the assertion 
that " some damned thief has stolen the keyhole ! " 

" Dunbrown was a bachelor," we are told; "hence it was his pecu- 
liar boast at the club that he kept nobody waiting for him save the 
fleas." Thus in his vinous moments was he guarded homeward: 
" We have infeiTcd that Jeremy wound not his way down Bishopsgate 
alone. No; great is the beneficence of Bacchus, Avho numbers in 
his train thousands of little lackeys, to sober eyes invisible, whose 
duty it is to lead tlie votaries of their purple master safely home. 
The water drinkers could not see the jolly little satyr, with its small 
kid hoofs, clattering along the stones of Bishopsgate, keeping Jeremy 
Dunbrown from posts and gutters — now steadying his right leg, now 
the left— now flinging a vine or hop plant over liim, pulling him back 
lest he fall upon his nose — Jeremy all the Avhile smiling, and uttering 
half words from the corner of his mouth, in acknowledgment of the 
benevolence. These Bacchanal fairies, thousands though there be — 
for, were there not, how would frail mortals find the door? — are not 



EARLY CONTEIBUTIONS TO PERIODICALS. 149 

distinguishable by the profane sober; nor are the j to be seen by the 
Email drinker — hj the petty rascal who simpers over a gill, and thinks 
himself Silenus. No, no; a man must labour in many vintages to be 
worthy of such a body-guard. Now, we can assxxre the Avorld that 
Jeremy Dunbrown Avas that man. ... He liked Peggy, but he 
adored his glass : one might be a passing preference, the other was a 
fixed principle." 

Nature, we are told, does not write truth always in 
men's faces : " We know the common story runs that 
nature has peculiar visages for poets, philosophers, states- 
men, warriors, and so forth ; we do not beheve it. We 
have seen a slackwire dancer with the face of a great 
pious bard ; a usurer with the legendary features of a 
Socrates ; a passer of bad money very like a -Chancellor 
of the Exchequer ; and a carcass butcher at Whitechapel 
so resembling Napoleon, that Prince Talleyrand, suddenly 
beholding him, burst into tears at the similitude." 

A sermon on a hat : " ' The hat, my boy,' Samp- 
son once replied to some familiarity passed upon his 
beaver, ' the hat, whatever it may be, is in itself nothing 
— makes nothing, goes for nothing; but, be sure of it, 
every thing in life depends upon the cock of the hat.' 
Such was Piebald's philosophy, a school which we incline 
to believe contains many disciples. For how many men 
— we put it to your own experience, reader — have made 
their way through the thronging crowds that beset fortune, 
not by the innate worth and excellence of their hats, but 
simply, as Sampson Piebald has it, by the ' cock of their 
hats?' The cock 'sail." 

Here is Peggy : " The face of Peggy Mavis had 
been pronounced by a city painter of her days insipid. 
The beauty was too regular, the eye too quiet. Very 
different had Guido Blot judged of the maiden had he 
seen her as, placing the candle (considering that we write 



150 LIFE OF DOUGLAS JERROLD. 

a romance, we ought, perhaps, to say taper) upon the 
table, she held forth her pretty hand — a hand worthy to 
give away her heart — towards Valentine. Her face was 
pale as that of the holiest nun ; her bright gray eye made 
brighter with tears; her soft, pulpy underlip a little 
parted from its fellow ; her brown, silken hair flung off 
her beating temples, waving down her neck, and her bo- 
som panting like a caught dove, beneath her bodice." 

The story of " Mr. Peppercorn ' at Home ' " describes 
a miser. The rookery — to which his houses are reduced 
by the villainy of a lawyer — inhabited by a gang of vaga- 
bonds, is the chief feature of the paper. Mr. Peppercorn, 
arrived in London, determines to sleep in one of his own 
empty houses rather than spend a shilling for his bed. 
And so he falls into the midst of the gang that has in- 
fested his dilapidated property. 

Here is a whimsical contrast between the mean vaga- 
bondage of our own times and the picturesque footpads 
and swindlers of George II.'s days : — 

" Seventy, sixty years ago there were professed vagabonds — exqui- 
site rascals — with whom Agamemnon might have drunk purl and 
shared an onion. Again, the painful fact must have forced its way to 
every reflecting man — how miserably have we fallen in the articles of 
footpads and highwaymen! though it is some consolation that in 
swindlers we have advanced a little. But only glance at the Old Bailey 
records of our times. Can any thing be more mean, more squalid ? 
There are now no great men on the road. To be sure science now 
offers obstructions, it being more diflScult to stop a passenger on a rail- 
way than on Hounslow. Still, our thieves have much degenerated; 
whilst, sixty years ago, men made their bow at Tybum, whom, as 
Englishmen, we ought ever to be proud of. Turn where we will, we 
see the evil of respectability; we hate the very word as Falstaff 
hated ' lime.' It has carried its whitewash into every corner of the 
land ; it has made weak and insipid the ' wine of life.' Look at our 
players. Are they the men they were? In these times an actor is 
waited upon by, say two, or three, or four bailiffs ; well, for the sake 
of his respectability, he quietly gets bail, the world losing a lively en- 



EAKLY CONTRIBUTIONS TO PERIODICALS. 151 

joynieut of the circumstance. Now, when Weston or Shuter — we 
forget which — fell into the hands of the sheriff, the captive, seated in 
the front row of the gallery, loudly proclaimed his difficulty to the 
audience, at the same time requesting tender treatment of the catch- 
poles, they having permitted him to come and see the play. When 

shall we hear of L , or even M doing as much ? No ; there is 

now nothing pictiiresque in life. We have caught the wild Indian, 
deprived him of his beads, his feathers, and his cloak of skins ; we 
have piit him into a Quaker's suit without buttons; and, behold, the 
once mighty chief Great Sword is fallen into Mr. Respectable Man ! 
We have now no character at all ; it may seem a paradox, but our re- 
spectability has destroyed it. Down a steep incline are we spinning 
from the good old times. 

" Every generation of men — it is the comfoi'table creed of many ex- 
cellent moralists — improves in wickedness on its predecessor. At 
what point of degradation the • sins of Adam are to stop remains a 
curious matter of uncertainty. As a philosopher has given in his firm 
conviction that man originally emerged from the innocency of an 
oyster, possible he is destined to proceed thi'ough innumerable changes 
until all the human race shall emerge into boa-constrictors." 

The story of " The Preacher Parrot " is that of a bird 
which, having been long in an auctioneer's office, has 
learned the slang of the hammer. To a girl ogling for 
lovers it cries, " Who bids ? " While a dying miser clings 
to life, it croaks, " Going — going at sixty-five." The first 
possessor of the parrot is a member of parliament, whose 
patriotism will not permit him to take place. " No 
Udders ! " shrieks the bird. The member is a strict 
utilitarian. " With a severe disregard of the ornaments 
and what are called refinements of life, he would have 
looked on the statue of the Medicean Venus, and asked, 
Cui hono ? Or, in his downright nervous English, 
'What's the use of it?' He would have resigned the 
Elgin marbles to the hammers of MacAdam, and covered 
a polling-booth with the canvases of Raphael. In a word, 
he was a mushroom patriot, a thing produced by the cor- 
ruption of the times." 



152 LIFE OF DOUGLAS JERROLD. 

We pass by many of the stories that, about this mid- 
period of his career, Douglas Jerrold scattered over the 
London periodicals. Tlie simple catalogue of titles would 
fill many pages of this volume. He went himself over 
the ground, and severely pruned the wild luxuriance of 
his intellectual productions of this time. The eight 
volumes which, towards the close of his life, he arranged 
as the best results of his literary activity, undoubtedly 
include his most perfect works ; but here and there he 
has necessarily, from want of room, passed over many 
papers which were worth preservation. Let me cite a 
short sketch entitled " Some Account of the Last Para- 
chute," as an example. {See Appendices.) 

In the year 1838 a selection from the contributions to 
" Blackwood " and the " New Monthly Magazines," was 
made and issued in three volumes, under the title of 
" Men of Character," * and the illustrations were by Mr. 
W. M. Thackeray, now the renowned novelist. The 
" Men " were preceded by a quaint preface. 

" John British, in the bigness of his heart, sat with his doors open 
to all comers, though we will not deny that the welcome bestowed 
upon his guests, depended not always so much upon their deserving 
merits, as upon their readiness to flatter their host in any of the thou- 
sand whims to which, since truth should bo said, John was given. 
Hence a bold, empty-headed talker would sometimes be placed on the 
right hand of John— "would be helped to the choicest morsels, and 
would drink from out the golden goblet of the host — whilst the meek, 
wise man might be suffered to stare hungi-ily from a corner, or at best 
pick bits and scraps off a wooden trencher. With all this, John was 
a generous fellow ; for no sooner was he convinced of the true value of 
his guest than he would hasten to make profuse amends for past 
neglect, setting the worthy in the seat of honour, and doing him all 

*"Menof Character" were translated into the Russian language 
during the first year of the late war, and published in the Contem- 
porary, a Russian review. 



EARLY CONTRIBUTIONS TO PERIODICALS. 153 

graceful reverence. In his time John had assuredly made grievous 
blunders : now twitting him as a zany or a lunatic, who, in after-years, 
was John's best councillor — his blithe companion; now stopping his 
ears at what, in his rash ignorance, he called a silly goose, that in later 
days became to John the sweetest nightingale. 

" John has blundered it is true. It is as true that he has rewarded 
those he has wronged; and if — for it has happened — the injured have 
been far removed from the want of cakes and ale, has not John put 
his hand into his pocket, and with a conciliatory, penitent air prom- 
ised a tombstone ? To our matter : — 

" Once upon a time two or three fellows — ' Men of Character,' as 
they afterwards dubbed themselves — ventui'ed into the presence of 
John British. Of the merits of these worthies it is not for us to 
speak, being, unhappily, related to them. That their reception was 
very far beyond their deserts, or that their effrontery is of the choicest 
order, may be gathered from this circumstance; they now bring new 
comers — other ' men,' never before presented to the house of John, 
and pray of him to listen to the histories of the strangers, and at his 
own ' sweet will ' to bid them pack, or to entertain them. 

" Masters PipriNS, Cheek, Clear, and Palms, most humbly beg 
places for their anxious worships, Buff, Runnymede, Quattrino, 
Applejohn, and Trumps. D. J. 

" Haver stoch Hill^ January, 1838." 

Yet, in the midst of all this activity — in magazines, in 
newspapers, and on the stage — he found time to give his 
help with his pen to any good cause. On the 29th of 
May, 1835, a performance was given at the English Opera 
House in aid of the Asylum for Aged Freemasons ; and 
on this occasion an address, " written for the occasion by 
Brother Douglas Jerrold," was delivered by Brother John 
Wilson. It ran thus : — 

In types we speak ; by tokens, secret ways, 
We teach the wisdom of primeval days. 
To-night, 'tis true, no myst'ry we rehearse, 
Yet — ^hear a parable in homeliest verse. 

A noble ship lay found'ring in the main. 
The halpless victim of the hun-icane ; 
Her crew — her passengers — with savage strife, 
Crowd in the boat that bears them on to life ; 
7* 



154 LIFE OF DOUGLAS JERROLD. 

They see the shore — again they press the strand-" 
A happy spot — a sunny, fei-tile land ! 

But say — have all escaped the 'whelming wave? 
Is no one left within a briny grave ? 

Some few old men, too weak to creep on deck, 

Lie in the ocean, coffin' d in the wreck. 

They had no child to pluck them from the tide, 

And so unaided, unremember'd, died. 

But orphan babes are rescued from the sea 

By the strong arm of human sympathy ; 

For in their looks — their heart-compelling tears — 

There speaks an eloquence denied to years. 

The shipwreck' d men, inhabiting an isle 

Lovely and bright with bounteous Nature's smile, 

And richly teeming with her fairest things, 

Ripe, luscious fruits, and medicinal springs, 

Must yet provide against the changing day. 

The night's dank dew, the mountain's scorching ray; 

For Nature giving, still of men demands 

The cheerful industry of willing hands. 

But some there are among our shipwreck'd crowd 

Spent of their strength — by age, by sickness bow'd; 

Forlorn old men in childhood's second birth, 

Poor, broken images of Adam's earth ! 

Of what avails the riches 'bout them thrown, 

If wanting means to make one gift their own? 

To him what yields the juicy fruit sublime, 

Who sees the tree, but needs the strength to climb ? 

To him what health can healing waters bring 

Who palsied lies, and cannot reach the spring ? 

Must they then starve with plenty in their eye ? 

Near health's own fountains must they groan and die? 

Whilst in that isle each beast may find a den. 

Shall no roof house our desolate men ? 

There shall ! 

( To Audience.) 

I see the builders throng around. 
With line and rule prepared to mark the ground ; 



EARLY CONTRIBUTIONS TO PERIODICALS. 155 

Nor lack these gentlest wishes — hands most ftur, 
To join the master in his fervent prayer; 
But with instinctive goodness crowd to-night, 
Smiling approval of our solemn rite, 
The noblest daughters of this favour'd isle: — 
And virtue labours, cheer' d by beauty's smile. 
The stone is laid — the temple is begun — 
Help ! and its walls will glitter in the sun. 
There, 'neath its roof, will charity assuage 
The clinging ills of poor depending age ; 
There, 'neath acacia boughs, will old men walk, 
And, calmly, waiting death, with angels talk. 

A year rolled round, and again the aged Freemasons 
claimed the help of their brother's pen. A lyric offering 
was the result. It was entitled 

THE GRAY HEAD. 

Come, raise we a temple of purpose divine ; 

Let cedars be chosen, the granite be laid; 
Though we carve not the cherubim's face on the shrine, 

Be sure highest spirits will lend us their aid. 
We ask not to burnish our temple with gold, 

We ask not rich hangings, blue, purple, or red; 
We seek but to build up a house for the old, 

A refuge, a home, for the helpless Gray Head. 

'Tis little to clamber life's wearisome steep, 

When youth holds the staff, and our sandals are new ; 
Let hurricanes ravage, we tranquilly sleep. 

Though rock be our couch, and our canopy yew. 
We've hope when we climb with the bright early day — 

The hill yet before us, we heed not our bed ; 
But when we creep down with the sun-setting ray, 

The earth coldly pillows the helpless Gray Head. 

This mountain of life hath its vines and its streams, 

The beautiful olive, milk, honey, and corn ; 
And some journey o'er it in happiest dreams, 

And feed at all seasons from Plenty's full horn. 
And some, crawling downwards, not once on the wny 

Have tasted the banquet by competence spread ; 



156 LIFE OF DOUGLAS JERROLD. 

And bent on their staff, in mute eloquence pray, 
" A shelter, support, for the helpless Gray Head." 

Then build we a temple for age-stricken grief, 

And think, as we bid the bright edifice rise, 
We give to poor pilgrims a passing relief. 

Who, summon'd, shall tell the good deed in the skies. 
Then build we the temple, and pour we the wheat; 

For feeding the wretched, with manna we're fed : 
What oil is so fragrant, what honey so sweet. 

As that we bestow on the helpless Gray Head? 

The health of " Brother Jerrold, whose zeal and tal- 
ents have been equally serviceable to the cause, was pro- 
posed. Briefly, but energetically, the author expressed 
his thanks." 

Nor were these two offerings the only helps given to 
the asylum by Brother Douglas ; for in 1839 we find 
him at the festival table, bearing some graceful fancies 
with him under the branches of 

THE PALM-TREE. 

Four years are past — four trying, anxious years, 
Since nerved by hopes, yet not untouch'd by fears. 
We sought and found a seed of richest worth, 
And, trustful, laid the treasure in the earth ; 
A sort of Canaan's fruitfulness— for, lo! 
E'en as we look'd, the quicken'd germ did grow; 
And, all rejoicing, hail'd the baby plant, 
The future Palm— whence, haply. Aged Want 
Should gather food, and bless' d asylum find 
From summer's sun and winter's killing wind; 
The old man's latter days all tranquil made 
Beneath the spreading bounty of its shade. 

As o'er the infant tree time silent flew. 
His noiseless pinions dropping blessed dew, 
Wax'd strong the Palm, unsmit by scath or blight, 
A thing of goodly promise, worth, and might. 



EARLY CONTRIBUTIONS TO PERIODICALS. 157 

That, tended still by Charity's soft care, 
Gave forth its blossoms to the sweeten'd air; 
And now, behold — with deep thanksgivings see — 
Consummate first-fruit beautifies the tree ! 

What though but scant the produce now appears, 
Yet, pilgrims fainting with the load of years. 
Shall taste its goodness on the weary way 
That lies before them to the realms of day. 
Though few the dates the Palm-Tree yet may bear, 
That few the old, the hapless old, shall share. 

The trav'ller tells that, sanctified by time, 
A mighty Palm lifts up its head sublime ; 
With shade protects, sustains with daily food, 
Whole tribes of men, who boast no other good; 
Still daily nurtured by its fruitful power, 
As bees get honey from the wayside flower. 

In time our Palm may grant as great a meed 
To needy man, in man's worst time of need; 
Its boughs so fruitful, and its shade so wide, 
'Twill give him bread, and give a home beside. 

In ancient days they pour' da flood of wine 
Around the trees they nurtured as divine. 
Soliciting the gods, with earnest suit. 
To spread the branch and multiply the fruit. 

So, but with nobler, wiser, jnster aim. 
Make we libations in a holier name. 
Pour we the wine of charity around, 
And let it bless and fertilize the gi'ound ; 
S© that our sapling tree may spread and rise, 
And bear a produce grateful to the skies ; 
So that beneath its fruitful, ample dome. 
The old may eat then- bread, and find a home. 

In the year 1839 Douglas Jerrold published anony- 
mously a little pungent squib entitled, " The Handbook 
of Swindling, by Barabbas Whitefeather," which has long 
been out of print; and in 1840 he first appeared in the 



158 LIFE OF DOUGLAS JERROLD. 

character of editor, having the direction of that famous 
series of sketches illustrated by Kenny Meadows, and 
to which Thackeray, R. H. Home, Laman Blanchard, 
Peake, and others contributed, which collectively bore 
the title of " Heads of the People." The editor was a 
voluminous contributor. Many of his contributions sub- 
sequently appeared in the collected edition of his works, 
under the title of " Sketches of the English." * 

These " Sketches " have been too often printed and 
reissued to require any explanatory extract or description 
in this place. But the prefaces to the original volumes 
of " The Heads of the People " may be noticed ; for the 
writer thereof enjoyed a reputation as a preface writer. 
He could always weave some graceful fancy, twist some 
moral, out of a story from old Sir Thomas Brown, or 
Buffon, or the " Almanach des Gourmands," or Charle- 
voix's " Experiences among the North American In- 
dians." Now Plutarch's hedgehog gives felicitous illustra- 
tion ; and now " philosophic Bayle " is shown, his cloak 
wrapped around him, watching the vagaries of Punch. 
The preface is somehow removed from the dull, measured 
statement of intentions ; the pretentious humility with 
which the ordinary writer avows infinite shortcomings ; 
and the whining appeal to the mercy of critics. 

The editor thus introduced the first volume of " The 
Heads of the People" (which suggested Les Frayigais 
Peints par Eux-Memes, by the way) to the English 
reader : — 

* The Pew-Opener; The Young Lord; The Undertaker; The 
Postman ; The Ballad-Singer; The Hangman; The Linen-Draper's 
Assistant; The Debtor and Creditor; The "Lion" of a Party; The 
Cockney; The Money-Lender; The Diner-Out; The Pawnbroker; 
and The Printer's Devil. 



EARLY CONTRIBUTIONS TO Pf:RIODICALS. 159 

" English faces and records of English character make up the pres- 
ent volume. Leaving the artists and the writers to exhibit and indi- 
cate their own individual purpose, we would fain dwell awhile in the 
consideration of the general value and utility of a work the aim of 
which is to preserve the impress of the present age; to record its 
virtues, its follies, its moral contradictions, and its crying wrongs. 
From such a work it is obvious that the student of human nature may 
derive the best of lore; the mere idling reader becomes at once amused 
and instructed ; whilst even to the social antiquarian, who regards the 
feelings and habits of men more as a thing of time, a barren matter of 
anno doml/ii, than as the throbbiugs of the human heart and the index 
of the national mind, the volume abounds with facts of the greatest 
and most enduring interest. 

" It was no little satisfaction to the projectors of ' Heads of the 
People ' to find the public somewhat startled by the first appearance 
of the work ; somewhat astonished at the gravity of its tone, the moral 
seriousness of its purpose. Many took up the first number only to 
laugh ; and, we are proud to say, read on to think. A host of readers 
were disappointed; they pixrchased, as they thought, a piece of plea- 
santry, to be idly glanced at, and then flung aside. They found it 
otherwise. They believed that they were only called to see and hear 
the grinning face and vacant nonsense of a glib story-teller, and they 
discovered in their new acquaintance a depth and delicacy of sym- 
pathy, a knowledge of human life, and a wise gladness, a philosophic 
merriment, and honest sarcasm, that made them take him to their 
home as a fast friend. Nor was it in England only that the purpose of 
the work was thus happily acknowledged. It has not only been trans- 
lated into French, bu.t has formed the model of a national work for 
the essayists and wits of Paris. The 'Heads of the People,' of the 
numerous family of John Bull, are to be seen gazing from the windows 
of French shopkeepers at our ' natural enemies ' — a circumstance not 
likely to aggravate the antipathy which, according to the profitable 
creed of bygone statemongers, nature had, for some mysterious pur- 
pose, implanted in the breasts of the Briton and the Gaul. 

" The work will be pursued in the same straightforward, uncom- 
promising, and, it is hoped, humanizing spirit, that characterizes the 
present volume. John BuU has too long rested in the comfortable 
self-complacency that he, above all other persons of the earth, en- 
shrines in his own mind all the wisdom and the magnanimity vouch- 
safed to mortal man ; that in his customs he is the most knowing, the 
least artificial, the most cordial, and the most exemplary of persons ; 
and that, in all the decencies of life, he, and he alone, knows and does 
that which is 

' Wisest, discreetest, virtuousest, best ; ' 



160 LIFE OF DOUGLAS JERROLD. 

that he has no prejudices — none; or, if indeed he have any, they 
exist and have been nurtured so very near his virtues that, if he can- 
not detect the slightest difference between them, it is not lilvely that 
any vagabond foreigner can malie so ti-emendous a discovery. And 
thus John boasts, and in no monosyllabic phrase, of his great integrity, 
of his unbending spirit to the merely external advantages of worldly 
follies; he looks to the man, and not the man's pocket! He — he pays 
court to no man; no, he cries out in the market-place that ' honesty 
is the best policy,' grasps his cudgel, looks loftily about him, swelling 
with the magnificence of the apophthegm, and strides away to his 
beef and ale with an almost overwhelming sense of all his many 
virtues. 

" Now, let the truth be told. John likes a bit of petty larceny as 
well as anybody in the world. He likes it, however, with this differ- 
ence — the iniquity must be made legal. Only solemnize a wrong by 
an act of parliament, and John Bull will stickle lustily for the abuse; 
will trade upon it, will turn the market penny with it, cocker it, 
fondle it, love it, say pretty words to it; yea, hug it to his bosom, and 
cry out ' rape and robbery ' if sought to be deprived of it. 

" Next, John has no slavish regard for wealth — to be sure not ; and 
yet, though his back is as broad as a table, it is as lithe as a cane ; and 
he will pucker his big cheeks into a reverential grin, and stoop and 
kiss the very hoofs of the golden calf wherever it shall be set up before 
him. John will do this, and blush not ; and, having done' it, he will 
straighten himself, wipe his lips with his cufF of broadcloth, look 
magnanimous, and ' damn the fellow that regards money.' 

"And then for titles. Does John value titles? Hear the con- 
temptuous roar with which, in the parlour of the King's Head, he 
talks of them. ' What's a title? ' he will ask; 'it's the man, eh?' 
And next week Lord Bubblebrain puts up for the county, and, con- 
descending to ask John Bull for his vote, John stands almost awe- 
struck at his porch, smooths his hair, smiles, smirks, bows, and feels 
that there is a sort of white magic in the looks and words of a lord. 
He stammers out a promise of a plumper, bows his lordship to the 
gate, and then declares to his neighbours that 'it wasn't for the title 
he gave his vote — he should hope not; he wouldn't sell his country in 
that way. But Lord Bubblebrain is a gentleman, and knows what's 
right for the people.' And then John's wife remarks how affable his 
lordship was to the children, and especially to the sick baby, which 
John receives as a matter of course, shortly observing that ' no 
gentleman could do less; not that he gave his vote for any such 
doings.' 

"And has John no virtues? A thousand! so many that he can 



EARLY CONTRIBUTIONS TO PERIODICALS. 161 

aiford to be told of his weaknesses, his folly; yea, of the wrongs he 
does, the wi-ongs he suffers. 

" The ridiculous part of John's character is his love of an absurdity, 
an injustice — it may be an acute inconvenience — from its very anti- 
quity. ' Why, what's the matter?' we asked last week of an old 
acquaintance, limping and pushing himself along not unlike a kan- 
garoo with the rheumatism; 'what's the matter?' 'Matter! Corns, 
corns.' 'And why don't you have 'em cut?' 'Cut!' cried our 
friend, with a look of surprise and inquiry. ' Cut ! why, it is now 
fifteen years that I have had these corns.' There spoke John Bull: 
though he shall be almost at a standstill, lame with corns, yet what 
a roaring does he make if you attempt to cut them ! And why ? He 
has had them so many years. A wen upon his neck, if a wen of 
fifty years' growth, though it bent him double, would ' be to him as a 
daughter.' 

" John Bull has a numerous family, all more or less distinguished 
by the virtues, the humours, the follies, and the ckoll and melancholy 
contradictions of their papa. We have given some fifty of his chil- 
dren ; we shall present the world with at least half a hundred more. 

'^London, October, 1840." 



162 LIFE OF DOUGLAS JERROLD. 



CHAPTER VIIT. 

COMEDIES — LEAVE-TAKING OF THE STAGE. 

Long before the year 1842 Douglas Jerrold had 
established himself in the patent houses as a most suc- 
cessful and original dramatist. The Bride of Ludgate, 
The Hazard of the Die, and The Rent Day had been 
played at Drury Lane ; Nell Gwynne and The White 
Milliner had appeared at Covent Garden ; The House- 
keeper, The Mother, Beau Nash, &c. had been presented 
to the public at the Haymarket ; and at the Adelphi 
The Devil's Ducat, Doves in a Cage, &c. had been acted 
with success. The author, cheered by these dramatic 
laurels, and emboldened by other literary triumphs, had 
determined to set his strength before his fellow-country- 
men in a jfive-act comedy. He could now risk the danger 
that lies in such a work. He had his appointed place 
in the literature of his time. He had held the attention 
of the town by his "Men of Character," as they appeared 
originally in " Blackwood " and the " New Monthly," 
and by the humorous bits of philosophy just collected 
under the quaint title of " Cakes and Ale." More — he 
was known as a keen and erudite dramatic critic, who 
had contributed some remarkable studies of dramatic 
performances to the "Morning Herald" and other pa- 
pers. He had written also in the " Herald " some 



COMEDIES— LEAVE-TAKING OF THE STAGE. 1G3 

strong leaders on capital punishments and clerical delin- 
quencies. 

" Punch," too — still a baby periodical, and very rickety 
— was growing, and was about to pass into the vigorous 
hands of Messrs. Bradbury and Evans. A bright star 
guided the indefatigable author now. He had met a 
reverse at Covent Garden in 1841, which, on this 25th 
of February, 1842, he was about to redeem. The fail- 
ure of The WJiite Milliner was forgotten in the great 
literary success of The Buhhles of the Day. Yet the 
author could not part from the former production with- 
out explaining its origin and its failure. Writing in 
February, 1841, he says : — 

"To the north of Durham Place (Strand), fronting the street, 
stood the New Exchange, or England's Burse; ' built,' says Pennant, 
' under the auspices of James I. in 1608, oxit of the rubbish of the 
old stables of Dui-ham House. It was built somewhat on the model 
of the Royal Exchange, with cellars beneath, a walk above, and rows 
of shops over that, filled chiefly with milliners, sempstresses, and the 
like.' Walpole relates that a female, suspected to be the widow of 
the Duke of Tyrconnel, supported herself, till she was known and 
otherwise provided for, by the little trade of this place, and had del- 
icacy enough not to wish to be detected. She sat in a white mask 
and a white dress, and was known by the name of The White Widcno. 
It is this incident that suggested the composition of the little comedy 
here presented to the reader. 

" In our day, the dramatist who keeps aloof from a small faction, 
which almost avowedly adopts for its motto the dogma of Moli^re, — 

' Nul n'aura de I'espi-it, 
Hors nous et nos amis,'' — 

may look for the most unrelenting opposition from two or three 
stalwart critics, or rather literary vassals. Fortunately, however, 
the despicable partisanship of these people is now too well known 
to be hurtful. Whether they chronicle their injustice in bold false- 
hood, or with an affectation of candour, examine a drama to find in 
it nothing but what is contemptible, the disinterested motive is 



164 LIFE OF DOUGLAS JERROLD. 

equally manifest. However, the abuse of these folks, like certain 
poisons long exposed to light, does not destroy — it only nauseates." — 

» D. J." 

There are scenes in The White Milliner that deserve 
to live ; many that are worthy of the author of BubUcs 
of the Day and Time Works Wonders. Of the rapid dia- 
logue here are a few samples. Sneezum describes to 
Albina, the White Milliner, how he courted the widow 
Mellowpear : — 



You see, when Mrs. Mellowpear was young she married 
an old man. He's dead, and now 

Albina. Revenge is sweet. She'd marry you V 

Sneezum. I fear her revenge lies that way. 

Albina. Has your courtship been long afoot ? 

Sneezum. To own the truth, it began over the late Mr. Mellowpear' s 
medicine. 

Albina. A timely beginning, and no less strange. How ? 

Sneezum. I've been many trades. My last service was with a 
doctor. I brought the physic that old Mellowpear died upon. 

Albina. And so, whilst the poor man was going to the churchyard, 
you were preparing his widow once more for the church ? 

Sneezum. Twice a day I came to this house as double comforter ; 
I brought bottles to the dying and hope to the sorrowful. I knew my 
master's practice, and courted according to the colour of the physic. 

Albina. In truth, a curious test. 

Sneezum. Not at all ; he was an upright man, and treated all his 
patients just alike. Thus I grew warm with the brown, and warmer 
with the orange colour ; but when it came to the pale pink — pop, I 
declared myself." 

Sneezum meets Justice Twilight. 

'■'• Twilight. Tell me truly. As a magistrate, I've seen your face 
before V 

Sneezum^ Truly, as a magistrate, you have. 

Twilight. On what business V 

Sneezum. Since I've had four meals a day I've quite forgot. No; 
I recollect this — we met once, and after a short ceremony I retired 



COMEDIES— LEAVE-TAKING OF THE STAGE. 165 

from the world for two months. It's odd, yoiir woi'ship, but as I 
look in your face I begin to smell oakum. 

Tioilight. Ha! I remember; a Bridewell bird ; caged by the law as 
a rogue and vagabond. 

Sneezum. A foolish law to make so vile a jumble ; for how many 
fine rogues are there who are fine because they are not vagabonds ? 
and how many vagabonds who live and die vagabonds, because, in- 
deed, they will not consent to be rogues ? 

Twilight. I recollect; I sent you to jail for larceny — for some 
misappropriation of other people's goods. 

Sneezum. 1 was found guilty of taking another man's doorstep for 
my pillow, and burning starlight for rushlight. That's over; now 
I'm respectable; can, if I will, snore to the best tallow, and when 1 
wake can lie till breakfast's brought me, staring at the story of Cock 
Robin worked in the bed-curtains. Even wedded love before a door- 
step." 

The stoiy halts here, it will be seen, to put an abuse — 
a world's harshness — the sin of poverty — in striking and 
humorous phrases before the audience. 

Toadying Justice Twilight describes Minister Ortolan : 
"A nobleman whose statesmanship, great as it may be, 
isn't fit to hold a rushlight to his morality." 

The equivoque between Lord and Lady Ortolan, at 
the end of the second act, is the dramatic climax of this 
little comedy. The author ^vas bitterly disappointed 
that its pointed and tender dialogue, and its brisk action, 
failed to achieve success ; more — as may be gathered 
from his own words — that personal enmity, carried dis- 
honestly into pubhc criticism, sought to put it aside as a 
thing in all respects worthless. But his was not a 
nature to be easily turned from a resolution. " Firm 
resolve" took the van with him throughout his life. 

It was natural in him, after the failure of The WJiite 
Milliner, to write The bubbles of the Day — the piece 
which, according to Charles Kemble, had wit enough for 
three comedies. On all sides, men who admired the 



166 LIFE OF DOUGLAS JERROLD. 

dialogue, declared the lack of interest, of plot, of action, 
marred this work. Charges of bitterness were again 
turned against the author, who replied that, having taken 
for his theme the absurdities and meannesses of fools and 
knaves, he trusted he had not exhibited the offenders in 
sugar; after the fashion of a certain confectioner, who 
offered his customers the head of Fieschi in " pure 
saccharine." Lord Skindeep, a man who would have 
been capital in a pantomime, but was carried into 
parliament to represent Muflfborough, and is covertly 
" skewered " in the weekly papers by his radical butler, 
(who writes under the nom de plume of " Brutus the 
Elder,") is delicately contrasted with Mr. Chatham 
Brown, a member of the House of Commons, also for 
MufFborough, son of Mr. Brown, who wishes his son to 
be a somebody, and declares that there is but one path 
to substantial greatness — the path of statesmanship. 
" For, though you set out in a threadbare coat and a hole 
in either shoe, if you walk with a cautious eye to the 
sides, you'll one day find yourself in velvet and gold, 
with music in your name and money in your pocket." 
Brown would die happy could he see his son Chatham 
" reeled out into five columns." City shams are repre- 
sented by Sir Phenix Clearcake, who is getting up a 
bazaar, the proceeds of which are to be devoted to a 
national purpose, namely, to paint St. Paul's ! Captain 
Smoke represents speculation. He is promoting a com- 
pany to take Mount Vesuvius on lease for the manu- 
facture of lucifer matches ; and a cemetery company, in 
which a family vault is given as a bonus to the chair- 
man. Melon, the barrister, in the hands of the money- 
lender. Malmsey Shark, still raises money, saying, " In 
this world purses are the arteries of life ; as they are 



COMEDIES— LEAVE-TAKING OF THE STAGE. 167 

full or empty we are men or carcasses." But the play 
winds about Skindeep, the greatly professing philanthro- 
pist and lover of his species, who cants and practises no 
social virtues, no chivalry to weak or poor. Respect- 
ability preaching meannesses and heartless doings, op- 
pressing the lowly, and ducking the pate to the golden 
fool — here is the theme. " Hear the last paragraph ! 
{Reads.) ' When the race of Skindeeps shall practise all 
they talk, then will they become a social treasure, the 
very jewels of their kind. But when their goodness 
is a sound, and their benevolence mere breath, what 
are they but — but " {Forces the paper upon Skin- 
deep). 

Skindeep. " Hem ! {Reads.) ' Bubbles of a Day ? ' " 
This comedy had a great literary success. It was well 
played. Mr. Farren was Lord Skindeep — the cold, the 
dignified, the artificial man, wearing philanthropy osten- 
tatiously, as he wore his coronet — fashionably, as he wore 
his coat. Charles Mathews, as the speculator. Captain 
Smoke, was a most refined, and dashing, and voluble 
adventurer, with the grace and heartiness to make his 
swindling almost agreeable. Pamela Spreadweasel ! 
Well, she was interpreted by charming Mrs. Nisbett. 
And on all sides the sparkle, the profound wit, of the 
comedy, were largely allowed. It was a coronet of 
brilliants to the author, and the glitter dazzled beholders ; 
but the emotion in the piece was not sufficient for a 
general audience. Fame came to cheer the dramatist, 
but there was not a long run to satisfy the managers. 

At the theatre oj)posite — at Drury Lane, then wisely 
and in a most dignified spirit administered by Mr. 
Macready — a shorter piece had been produced with 
marked success. Only a few nights before BuhhUs of the 



168 LIFE OF DOUGLAS JERROLD. 

Day appeared at Coven t Garden, namely, on the 8th of 
February, 1842, The Prisoner of War was played at the 
great rival establishment. This piece, like Bubbles of the 
Day, was the fruit of a residence in Boulogne, where the 
author had taken a cottage in 1840 — the very cottage in 
which Mrs. Jordan died. Here, in perfect quiet, with 
his children at school about him, Douglas Jerrold spent 
two very happy summers. He who had begun life on 
board a man of war, imbibing a fierce hatred of Mourtseer 
— he who had borne wounded countrymen from Waterloo 
— now retired from the fierce life, the maddening stir, of 
London, to a French port. Here days were passed 
working upon a comedy, based on the Englishmen's war 
prison of Verdun — passed amid French fishermen. The 
life was easy, fresh. The stiff dressing, the conventional 
laces, of the West End could be cast away, the straw 
hat could be always worn, and the sea could be seen 
stretching along a winding seaboard to Cape Grinez. 
More — the fringe of snow parting the ocean from the 
sky was Dover. Shakspeare's cliff was within telescope 
reach ! 

The dramatist loved this bit of sea ; and when the 
public applause of the Anglo-French alliance was at its 
loudest, declared that " still the best thing he knew be- 
tween France and England was the Channel." 

The Prisoner of War is in two acts ; the scene Ver- 
dun ; the date 1803. It is a stor}^ of a plot to escape 
from prison. The comedy is a most delicate contrast be- 
tween the English bluff prisoners, with their English 
prejudices ; and vain Frenchmen, with their ignorance 
of every thing beyond their own frontier. Pallmall, a 
sleek citizen caught on the wing by Bonaparte, as played 
by Mr. Keeley, was accepted at the best character of the 



COMEDIES— LEAVE-TAKING OF THE STAGE. ,169 

piece. His enthusiasm, as well as that of Pollj Pall- 
mall, in the vindication of England's reputation against 
the aspersions of foreigners, carries him to wonderfully 
humorous lengths. Babette, a French girl, declares that 
" Monsieur Pallmall, who was born and bred in London, 
says he never saw a fog till he came to France." Pall- 
mall makes bold to assert before dazzled Frenchmen that 
we haven't the word " tax " in the English language. 
" There are two or three duties, to be sure," adds the 
boastful Briton ; " but then, with us, duties are pleas- 
ures." The French are incredulous, and seek to know 
how the English government is kept up. " Like an hour- 
glass," responds Pallmall valiantly ; " when one side's 
quite run out we turn up the other, and go on again." 
Then the loves of Polly Pallmall and Tom Heyday, the 
midshipman, come upon the scene. Polly's rich cockney- 
isms told wonderfully upon an English audience, espe- 
cially from the unctuous lips of Mrs. Keeley. Polly has 
the most elevated notions of an English midshipman's 
importance. "What's the pay of a midshipman?" she 
asks. Midshipman Heyday answers, " The pay, Polly, 
is not enormous, but the perquisites are extraordinary. 
Yes, we're always getting something that we don't care 
about." Now Polly dotes upon the sea — " from the 
beach." Her brother dwells upon the imprudence of a 
marriage with a midshipman, and asks her how she will 
live should a cannon ball carry off her husband. Polly 
haughtily answers, " I shall not trouble you, sir. As a 
midshipman's widow I shall live upon my pension." 
Then blunt Lieutenant Firebrace stands in contrast to 
Cockney Pallmall, a most refreshing bit of humanity that 
has been kept sweet by the salt. Firebrace bids Pall- 
mall cease his boasting about England. " Where nature 

8 



170 LIFE OF DOUGLAS JERROLD. 

has done so well, there's little need of paint or patches." 
Polly, who is standing by, is enraptured with this senti- 
ment, and exclaims, " Why couldn't I think of it when 
Ma-amselle La Nymphe wanted me to wear rouge?' ' 

The hearty life of sailors courses through all the scenes 
of this little comedy ; you see the middy with a pen in 
his hand. The eyes of a pretty girl are killing — so kill- 
ing, " small arms in the tops are as nothing to 'em." 
Firebrace suddenly learns that his wife, Clarina, with her 
old father. Captain Channel of The Tem^raire, is a pris- 
oner in Verdun. " But, Basil," says Midshipman Hey- 
day, " why you're as white as a purser's clerk at the 
first broadside." 

" Many a time," says Firebrace to Clarina, " have 
you walked the middle watch with me. When the sky 
was pitch, the wind a gale, and the sea mountains, then 
have you paced the deck with me — then have I felt you 
nestling at my arm — then have I looked into your loving 
eyes, and my heart has melted at your gentle voice." 

Captain Channel is a sailor of the old school. Hearing 
that the ship in which Firebrace was captured had run 
aground, he exclaims, " Aground ! What a beautiful 
world this would be if it was all salt water ! " 

And there is a serenade, sung by Clarina, at the end 
of the first act, full of tender grace : — 

" The dove's in the bough, and the lark's in the corn, 
And folded to rest are the lilies of morn ; 
In balm falls the dew, and the moon's tender light 
Robes upland and valley — good night, love, good night ! 

" Thy heart may it waken to peace like the dove ; 
Like the lark may it offer its gladness above : 
And lilies, that open their treasures of white, 
Eesemble thy fortune— good night, love, good night! " 



COMEDIES— LEAVE-TAKING OF THE STAGE. 171 

Beaver, in love with Clarina, is tied to a game of 
chess with her father, Captain Channel. The anguish 
of Beaver, who knows that Firebrace and Clarina are 
together, and the coolness of the old captain, contrast 
forcibly and dramatically. " How exquisitely Clarina 
sang to-night ! " observes poor Beaver. " Why, the 
wench can twitter — but that's not chess," stolidly replies 
the captain. 

The captain reproves his daughter for reading trashy 
novels. " When I Avas young," he tells her, " girls used 
to read ' Pilgrim's Progress,' Jeremy Taylor, and such 
books of innocence ; now young ladies know the ways of 
Newgate as well as the turnkeys. Then books gave 
girls hearty, healthy food ; now, silly things, like larks 
in cages, they live upon hempseed." 

The success of The Prisoner of War encouraged its 
author to tempt fortune with a second two-act comedy, 
having French life, and contrast between Englishmen 
and Frenchmen, for its basis. Still in the quiet retreat 
of the Boulogne cottage the author set to work. His 
subject was a happy one — the field of Waterloo, with its 
bazaars of manufactured glories — its stars streaked and 
rusted to counterfeit blood — its half-sabres expressly 
made to cheat the buyer into the belief that the other 
halves lie buried in dead soldiers' bodies. Thither is an 
English undertaker conducted, who, in his laudable desire 
to spend his honeymoon in the churchyards of the con- 
tinent, holds that the field of Wellington's victory should 
not be omitted. The huckstering between Crossbones and 
Blague, the French guide and vendor of manufactured 
relics, is the main point of humour in Gertrudes Cherries ; 
or Waterloo in 1835. Crossbones, however, is disap- 
pointed. He thought he might find some new ideas on 



172 LIFE OF DOUGLAS JEEROLD. 

the field of glory, and he asks dolefully where the tomb- 
stones are. He buys, however, " a dozen beautiful bul- 
lets, and the hooks and eyes of a drummer's jacket." 
Blague laughs, tells Crossbones to beware of cheats, and 
presently offers him a genuine relic — a toothpick, cut 
from the tree under which the duke stood during the 
battle. Crossbones buys, also, a bootjack cut from the 
same tree ; a pack of cards with a bullet-hole through 
them ; and gives five shillings more for the bullet that 
whizzed through the pack. At last Blague asks Cross- 
bones to take off his hat and go upon his knees while he 
exhibits the cribbage-board of " de grand Napoleon." 
The cribbage-board is bought for three guineas, and 
away goes Blague triumphantly. Crossbones is delighted, 
having cheapened it from five pounds to two. But pres- 
ently Blague returns, and, holding up the cribbage-pegs, 
demands two sovereigns more. After a time the under- 
taker pays. Blague throws in a little moral : "And now, 
Monsieur, I will give you a petite histoire, a leetel story. 
De whole world is nothing but a large — large — large 
board of cribbage ; and de only ting dat show de wise 
man from de fool is, never — never for un petit moment, 
a leetel moment — never to forget his pegs." 

The story of Willoughby, who believes he has lost a 
scapegrace son on the field, and who finds him wedded 
to a peasant wife, and the father of fair Gertrude, the 
cherry vendor, gives the serious interest of the piece. 
In Halcyon, the old discarded lover of Willoughby's 
ward, and who has made a pedestrian tour to conquer 
disappointed love, there is a character full of hearty 
English stuff. He finds his old mistress travelling with 
her guardian at Waterloo. Here he meets his old 
friends. He declares that his trip has done him good, 



COMEDIES— LEAVE-TAKING OF THE STAGE. 173 

and that in half an hour he starts for Italy. " Happy ! " 
he cries. " Look at me ! Knapsack, two shirts, four 
stockings, needle and thread, paper of buttons, meer- 
schaum pipe, light heart, and German tinder. I've all 
the beauties of this beautiful world before me, and no 
iron creditor, with face keen as a carving-knife, to cut 
my throat for sixpence. . . . And now, if I cared for 
money, I'd turn postman to the habitable globe, and have 
my afternoons for cricketing." Of course Halcyon drops 
his knapsack, and buys a wedding-ring ; and Gertrude 
weds her cousin, who takes her cherries " blushing on 
the tree." 

Three very busy years elapsed after the production 
of Gertrude's Cherries at Covent Garden Theatre in 
September, 1842, before Douglas Jerrold made another 
appearance upon the stage. He had been all this time 
engaged upon various literary tasks. " Punch," however, 
had absorbed the greater part of his time. He had 
written the " Q. Papers " and other series in it. Every 
week had he contributed short essays and pungent satires 
to its popular pages. He had started the " Illuminated 
Magazine," and in it had written the " Chronicles of 
Clovernook" and other contributions. In these three 
busy years, however, he had " picked up " one or two 
remarkable dramatic characters. This reference to char- 
acter " prospecting " recalls to my mind a certain day 
when my father met Mr. Alfred Bunn in Jermyn Street 

" What ! " said Mr. Bunn, " I suppose you're strolUng 
about, picking up character." 

" Well, not exactly," was the reply, " though there's 
plenty lost here, I'm told." 

He returned to the stage in April, 1845, his characters 
woven into a five-act comedy, which he called Time 



174 LIFE OF DOUGLAS JERROLD. 

Works Wonders. This comedy is very generally allowed 
to be his dramatic masterpiece, having all the brilliancy 
of the Bubbles of the Day, with that in which the Bubbles 
were said to be deficient, namely, strong interest, action, 
plot. It has been said of Time Works Wonders that it 
" blazes with epigrams like Vauxhall with lamps." 

Time Works Wonders was first played at the Hay- 
market Theatre on the 26th of April, 1845. It met 
with a most enthusiastic reception from an audience that 
included nearly all the literary men then in London. It 
ran — filling the theatre and bringing fortune to the man- 
ager — about ninety nights. Mr. Farren, Mr. Charles 
Mathews, Mr. Strickland, Mr. Buckstone, Mr. Tilbury, 
Miss Fortescue, Madame Vestris, Mrs. Glover, and Mrs. 
Humby, were included in the cast. 

The first title given to this comedy was School- Girl 
Love. The story is that of a baronet's nephew, who 
falls in love with a school-girl, one Florentine, a baker's 
daughter, and is parted from her by the pride of his 
uncle. But presently the proud uncle meets Florentine 
— falls in love with her himself, not knowing that she is 
the baker's daughter. The end is the generous self- 
sacrifice of the baronet, and his consent to his son's mar- 
riage. Miss Tucker, Florentine's schoolmistress ; Pro- 
fessor Truffles, who carries the solar system in a deal 
box ; and the old trunkmaker, Goldthumb, are the three 
strongly marked characters of the comedy. Both the 
Professor and the schoolmistress were drawn, almost 
photograped, from life ; and on the occasion of their first 
appearance were at once recognized as the bits of re- 
freshing life in the piece. Mr. Strickland, as the Pro- 
fessor, was inimitably pompous ; and Mrs. Humby gave 
her points, sharply and neatly, as only she could give 



COMEDIES— LEAVE-TAKING OF THE STAGE. 175 

them. Miss Fortescue, engaged at the Haymarket spe- 
cially to play in this piece, justified the choice of the 
author by the most tender, the most pathetic, and then 
the most joyous, acting. 

The first act, in which the elopement from school takes 
place, was hailed as a piece of perfect dramatic construc- 
tion. It is full of points, too, that on the first night 
brought down rapturous applause. The dialogue between 
Professor Trufiies and Felix Goldthumb, with which the 
comedy opens, at once held the attention of the audience. 
While the Professor and his young friend are dining, a 
postchaise drives into the court-yard, containing Floren- 
tine and her schoolfellow Bessy — the former eloj^ing from 
school with the baronet's nephew, Clarence Norman. 
Felix recognizes both the Oxford man and the baker's 
daughter. 

" It seems," says Felix, " but a few weeks since she 
was a wild thing, running about in a pinafore, and eating 
bread and butter." Responds the Professor, " Yes ; and 
you'll think the innocent creatures will go on eating it for 
years to come, when somebody whispers 'bride-cake,' 
and down drops the bread and butter." A burst of ap- 
plause followed this point. Then Clarence enters, wran- 
gling with the postboy — the postboy who, seeing the 
business on which he is bound, doesn't know whether, " as 
father of a family, he oughtn't to take out the linchpins." 
Then the arrival of Miss Tucker, who cages her runaway 
birds by the help of Olive and old Goldthumb, brought 
the curtain down upon the first act, with a loud clapping 
of hands, and most genuine bravos ! There are the eggs 
and bacon provided for the Professor, served to the 
school-girls, then left by them on the appearance of Miss 
Tucker and her companions, and finally eaten by the 



176 LIFE OF DOUGLAS JERROLD. 

schoolmistress and old trunkmaker Goldthumb, giving 
pleasant by-play to the landlord, and truth to the scene. 
Goldthumb describes his boy to Miss Tucker : — Not a 
bit of use in the shop, but a wonderful lad. He hasn't 
been home these four days; but he's an extraordinary 
boy." " A genius — a genius, no doubt," Miss Tucker 
interposes. " Quite — quite a genius," the trunkmaker 
replies. " How he'll ever get his bread and pay his way, 
heaven knows." At the end of the act Truffles returns, 
prepared to enjoy his eggs an'd bacon — having first seen 
that his old flame, Miss Tucker, had departed — but finds 
the dainty already demolished. " Your bacon was eaten 
by another," says Jugby, the landlord. " Eaten our 
bacon ! " exclaims the Professor. " May he live on 
periwinkles ! " 

The second act opens upon the mansion of Sir Gilbert 
Norman. Bantam, a loose sporting character, played by 
Mr. Buckstone, is ringing at the bell to see young Nor- 
man about some fighting-cocks. The servant tells Ban- 
tam that Sir Gilbert is not at home. Bantam responds, 
" I say, I've heard people say truth lives in a well ; if so, 
I'd advise you to take an early dip in the bucket." 
Then follows an account of how Sir Gilbert has sent his 
nephew abroad to cure him of his attachment to the 
baker's daughter; and how the baker's daughter, her 
father being dead, left Oxford. " There's all sorts of 
stories about," Bantam wisely adds ; " but, as we know 
nothing certain of her, it's only nat'ral to think the 
worst." 

Truffles and Bantam meet. Truffles pretends to forget 
Bantam, and with a flourish of a scented pocket-handker- 
chief is about to exit, when Bantam makes the following 
profound reflection : " This is what the world calls 



COMEDIES— LEAVE-TAKING OF THE STAGE. 177 

principle ! 'Owed me half a crown for seven years, and 
wears lavender water ! " Truffles inquires about Miss 
Tucker, and learns that the elopement ruined her school. 
Bantam, in return, asks the Professor to give him a char- 
acter for the place of valet in old Goldthumb's estabHsh- 
ment. " What ! " exclaims Truffles, " pass you off for 
my servant ! Consider the risk." " Don't we share it," 
asks cool Bantam, " when I pass you off for my master ? " 
Next Florentine appears, on a sketching expedition, ac- 
companied by Miss Tucker, who is now her companion, 
boring the poor girl on every conceivable occasion with 
her plaintive gratitude. Miss Tucker lectures Floren- 
tine : ' Allow me to observe — though, as Tm a depend- 
ent, I know I have no right to speak — that your frequent 
allusions to nature are not decorous. With young women 
of my time nature was the last thing thought of. I know 
Tm only a dependent, and people who live in other 

people's houses should have no tongues, no eyes, no " 

Poor Florentine's warm heart is hurt and stung by this 
miserable fretfulness, and she speaks boldly : " I cannot 
bear this ; I will not bear it. You hurt me, wound me 
deeply. If it irk you to dwell beneath the same roof; if 
it constrain you in the least — though why it should I 
know not — choose your own abode ; share my little for- 
tune how and where you will. But I cannot have my 
friendship taken as alms — my love thus ever chilled with 
the cold sense of obligation. You have at length forced 
me to speak. It is unkind of you — indelicate." Miss 
Tucker is highly incensed. " Indelicate ! Such a word 
to me — to me, who have kept parlour boarders ? I know 
I'm only an interloper ; but can gratitude be indelicate ? " 
Florentine's wisdom comes from her heart. " It may be 
mean," she says. " True gratitude, in the very fulness 

8* 



178 LIFE OF DOUGLAS JERROLD. 

of its soul, knows not the limits of its debt ; but when it 
weighs each little gift, books down each passing courtesy, 
it ceases to be gratitude, and sinks to calculation. Why, 
I hope I am grateful for the flowers at my feet ; but I 
were most unworthy of their sweetness could I coldly sit 
me down to count them." But Miss Tucker is incurable. 
She owns she has the best bedroom, but she is persuaded 
that Florentine's will be the warmer one in the winter ; 
she has the best seat at the fireplace, but then it is not 
her own fireplace ; she knows it was kind of Florentine 
to give her a new gown, though, if she (Miss Tucker) 
had gone to the mercer's with her own money, ' tis the 
very last colour she should have thought of Next Miss 
Tucker congratulates her pupil upon having picked the 
baronet's nephew from her heart, like a crooked letter 
from a sampler. " Sure 'tAyas an easy task," says gentle 
Florentine, " for five long years ; and there's not a day I 
haven't worked at it." Sir Gilbert meets Florentine 
sketching ; a thunderstorm* comes on ; she accepts, with 
Miss Tucker, the shelter of his roof ; he falls in love, and 
then Clarence suddenly turns up in England. Stung by 
his long silence, Florentine has accepted Sir Gilbert, who 
has offered her marriage, careless of her origin. Comes 
the retribution. Clarence returns to find his uncle in his 
place. Sir Gilbert has told Florentine that Clarence 
weds another. The baronet does not know that she is 
the baker's daughter, however ; — the heroine of his neph- 
ew's escapade in Miss Tucker's academy. Sir Gilbert 
tells his nephew he is himself about to naarry a girl of 
whose parentage he is ignorant ; but, says the impassioned 
Sir Gilbert, " If, like the fighting men of Cadmus, she 
was sprung from dragons' teeth, I'd marry her." Then 
does Clarence ask an account of his uncle. '* And now, 



COMEDIES— LEAVE-TAKING OF THE STAGE. 179 

Sir Gilbert Norman ! . . . Look on me, a disappointed, 
blighted man ; look, and hear me. Then ask your own 
soul is this wise, just ? . . . In the deep feeling of my 
fervent youth I gave my heart to one whose worth — I 
can avouch it — was rich as that fair lady's, soon to bless 
you. My love for her possessed me like my blood. 
With iron hand you plucked me from her; bade me 
know my station — know the world. You said you'd 
teach me both. With stony face and icy sentences you 
schooled me. My station, you told me, was removed 
from the broad, vulgar way of human dealing. I might 
observe the stir and impulse of the common million, but 
never mingle with or feel it. And then the world ! My 
appointed world numbered some thousands or so — no 
more ; exalted beings, fashioned, stamped, and sent es- 
pecially by heaven to make this inner paradise ; all men 
without, mere tf-ibutary creatures, things of unmixed 
dust. Was not this the creed you taught me ? . . . 
And I was converted, or deemed so, from the ignorance 
that blessed me ; and so I soon forgot the humble maid 
that loved me, and dead in heart, yet varnished with out- 
side courtesy, became the pulseless thing you wished 
me . . . What lesson next, sir, shall I con to please 
you ? " Sir Gilbert answers, " This lesson — marry her ! " 
There is a struggle with the old baronet when he dis- 
covers that his own Florentine is his nephew's baker's 
daughter ; but he is magnanimous in the end, and gives 
her up. Then the Professor and Miss Tucker resolve 
upon marriage ; as upon, scholastically, having girls 
and boys. 

In Mr. Dickens, Douglas Jerrold found a warm and 
critical admirer. Writing to his fiiend in 1845, and of 
Time Works Wonders, Mr. Dickens said : " I am greatly 



180 LIFE OF DOUGLAS JERROLD. 

Struck by the whole idea of the piece. The elopement in 
the beginning, and the consequences that flow from it, and 
their delicate and masterly exposition, are of the freshest, 
truest, and most vigorous kind ; the characters, especially 
the governess, among the best I know ; and the wit and 
the wisdom of it are never asunder. I could almost find 
it in my heart to sit down and write you a long letter on 
the subject of this play ; but I won't. I will only thank 
you for it heartily, and add that I agree with you in 
thinking it incomparably the best of your dramatic writ- 
ings." 

Five years passed, after the appearance of Time Works 
Wonders, before Douglas Jerrold again appeared to the 
public as a dramatist. Other occupations, at once more 
profitable and more congenial in the then state of theatri- 
cal matters, occupied the interval. He had removed from 
his cottage in Park Village East, Regent's Park, in 1845, 
to West Lodge, Putney Lower Common, where he was 
destined to spend the next nine years ; and these, perhaps, 
the most prosperous, the sunniest, of his life. But his 
home at Putney forms the subject of a separate chapter. 
I hold here to an exposition of his further connection with 
the stage, and to his ultimate abandonment of it. In the 
very year in which Time Works Wonders appeared my 
father started his " Shilling Magazine ; " in the following 
year he became editor and chief proprietor of " Douglas 
Jerrold's Weekly Newspaper ; " in 1848 he was in Paris, 
watching the progress of the revolution for his journal. 
His contributions to Punch through these years were 
copious and most popular. " JSIrs. Caudle's Curtain Lec- 
tures," " The Story of a Feather," and " Puncli's Letters 
to his Son," had appeared. Hard work was done, it will 
be seen, even in the midst of a large and splendid (intel- 
lectually) circle of friends. 



COMEDIES— LEAVE-TAKING OF THE STAGE 181 

In 1850 he was tempted once again behind the foot- 
lights. He came with The Catspaw, a comedy in five 
acts. The characters in this piece were Dr. Petgoose, the 
quack, played by Mr. J. Wallack ; poor Mr. Snowball, 
the victim, the Catspaw, interpreted by Mr. Keeley ; 
Mrs. Peachdown, the smooth, the smiling, most velvety 
widow, with the finest claws, played by Miss Reynolds. 
This piece was accepted by the literary world as a bril- 
liant, ill set. There was, it was said, no pleasant interest 
in the piece. Mr. Webster, who impersonated a swindler 
in three disguises, was excellent. Mr. Wallack was an 
imposing quack ; but the [)lay did not run like Time 
Works Wonders. It wanted the charming love-story of 
this comedy. Every character in The Catspaw repels. 
In Time Works Wonders Florentine and Clarence, and 
Bessy and Felix attract, and their fortunes touch. the 
heart of the audience. Dr. Petgoose is the originator of 
the Paradise Pill — a pill, he declares, he might have stood 
upon, like Mercury on the globe — " a pill that, at the pres- 
ent moment, is daily bread to thousands." He is also the 
author of an indignant book entitled " Pearls to Pigs." 
And, referring constantly to these splendid claims upon 
the gratitude of mankind, he orders Snowball to yield him 
unquestioned obedience. " I know your system," the 
doctor says to his patient. " Really to enjoy the bless- 
ings of life, you should have no more emotion than an 
oyster." Snowball's lawyer tells him — ostensibly in Mrs. 
Peachdown's interest — that he may test the sincerity of 
her lover, Burgonet ; that the will which leaves money 
to Mrs. Peachdown, and in which he. Snowball, conceives 
he is wronged, can be settled in two ways — by Chancery 
or marriage. Snowball asks the doctor's advice. Pet- 
goose rather leans to matrimony, on the principle that 



182 LIFE OF DOUGLAS JEKROLD. 

while there's life there's hope. " True," responds Snow- 
ball. " In all the wedding-cake, hope is the sweetest of 
the plums." But he has a very limited admiration of 
wedlock, and seeks a compromise. He suggests that the 
wddow should be thrown — gently, tenderly — into Chan- 
cery ; and that then, if he finds the suit going against him, 
he can but marry her after all. The suit is to be no 
more vindictive than a game at chess. " With this ad- 
vantage," responds Audley ; " when you find you're los- 
ing, you can make it all right by playing a bishop." And 
so Mrs. Peachdown, it is arranged, is to be the " Sleeping 
Beauty " of the Court of Chancery. Coolcard also prac- 
tises upon Snowball's belief in a second will, and the fluc- 
tuations of the Chancery suit, throughout the piece. The 
minor characters are a lawyer's clerk and his sweetheart. 
Even Rosemary the maid has a suitor. " You a lover ! " 
says Cassandra. " Why not ? " retorts pert Rosemary. 
" Thank goodness ! love's like the flies, and, drawing-room 
or garret, goes all over a house." Appleface, the drum- 
mer, is Rosemary's lover, with an eye, it must be con- 
fessed, to the dishes and decanters. His story is soon 
told. He was a lawyer's clerk ; but, having made a joke 
one day, his master turned him off, saying " law was too 
big a thing ; no man with any other stuff in his head'had 
room for it." So Appleface left the law, enlisted, and 
became a drummer. " 'Twas only," he tells Cassandra, 
" a move from one parchment to t'other ; and which of 
the two makes the most row in this world nobody can 
tell." Mrs. Peachdown is smitten with the middle ages 
— wants to see John Bull grow little into John Calf ; yet 
Burgonet, while he looks upon the passion as vast folly, 
loves to hear her talk about it. He says that " she's as 
high above the world, ay, as a skylark, when it sings the 



COMEDIES— LEAVE-TAKING OF THE STAGE. 183 

loudest." Her extinct old virtues are " «ome of 'em like 
extinct volcanoes, with a strong memory of fire and brim- 
stone. Wlij, with her the world as it is, is a second-hand 
world — a world all the worse for wear. The sun itself 
isn't the same sun that illuminated the darling middle 
ages, but a twinkling end of sun — the sun upon a save- 
all. And the moon — the moon that shone on Coeur-de- 
Lion's battle-axe — ha ! that was a moon. Now our moon 
at the brightest, what is it ? A dim, dull, counterfeit moon 
a^ pewter shilling." Mrs. Peachdown languishes for the 
good old times — would run away with Captain Burgonet 
to-morrow, if he would carry her off in a bridal suit of 
chain armour. But alas for Mrs. P. ! " we live in two- 
penny times, when chivalry goes to church in the family 
coach, and the god of marriage bargains for his wedding 
breakfast." Coolcard explains his villainies : " Honest 
bread is very well — it's the butter that makes the temp- 
tation." 

This piece, I repeat, did not take the town like Time 
Works Wo7iders. Still* it had some success ; indeed, suc- 
cess enough to encourage the author to proceed at once 
with another comedy, and to believe in the possibility of 
finding a stage for another piece without having recourse 
to threats of " your stage or my journal." I should ex- 
plain that about this time appeared the "Autobiography 
of Mr. Leigh Hunt." Douglas Jerrold had always spoken 
enthusiastically of the old editor of " The Examiner ; " he 
had even received a letter of thanks from him, not long 
before the time to which I am now referring, for a notice 
of the "Jar of Honey from Mount Hybla" — a most 
charming, sunny book, to be read under shady trees in 
autumn afternoons. He had seen Mr. Hunt with unaf- 
fected pleasure at West Lodge, and had passed the wine 



184 LIFE OF DOUGLAS JEEROLD. 

to him under the famous mulberry tree on the lawn. He 
could call to mind no slight, no wrong he had done the 
veteran Liberal knight; he could summon up, on the con- 
trary, only the compliments he had heartily paid him. He 
had reason to believe that. Mr. Hunt and he were friends. 
Lying amongst his papers was a graceful note from the 
old " Examiner " editor beginning " Jerroldo mio ! " 

The "Autobiography" appeared. It shocked my father, 
even before he Qame to the passage in which Mr. Hunt 
did him the honour to throw some little spiteful darts at 
him. To see all the glorious outspeaking of the Regency 
withdrawn ; to see the noble soul that burned in the 
young man quenched, ignored, in the evening of life ; to 
look in this evening upon a dull, flat waste, was sad, dis- 
piriting work for men who at sunrise had feasted upon the 
great glories of the earth. But when Mr. Hunt pointed 
his cold finger to Douglas Jerrold, the dramatist took a 
pen, and wrote these words: — 

" There are two passages in the 'Autobiography of Mr. Leigh Hunt ' 
that in my opinion, singularly lack that toleration and charity which so 
very aboundingly distinguish that gentleman's last published account 
between the world and himself. Mr. Hunt, it appears, has failed to 
obtain a stage for certain dramas which he has written. Managers 
reject them because, according to the implied reasons of Mr. Hunt, he 
is not a journalist — is not ' one of the leaders in Punch.'' Permit me to 
give Mr. Hunt's words. 

" 'A manager confessed the other day that he would never bring out 
a new piece, if he could help it, as long as he could make money by 
an old one. He laughed at every idea of a management but a com- 
mercial one, and held at nought the public wish for novelty, provided 
he could get as many persons to come to his theatre as would fill it. 
Being asked why he brought out any new pieces, when such were his 
opinions, he complained that people connected with the press forced 
the compositions of themselves and their friends upon him; and, 
being asked what he meant by forced, he replied that the press 
would make a dead set' at his theatre if he acted otherwise, and so 



COMEDIES-LEAVE-TAKING OF THE STAGE. 185 

" Then follows the subjoined note in the index: — 

" ' Owing to an accident of haste at the moment of going to press, 
the following remark was omitted after the words so ruin Mm : — I know 
not, it is true, how far a manager might not rather have invited than 
feared a dramatist of so long a standing and of such great popularity 
as Douglas Jerrold; but it is to be doubted whether even Douglas Jer- 
rold, Avith all his popularity, and all his wit to boot, would have found 
the doors of a theatre opened to him with so much facility, had he not 
been a journalist and one of the leaders in " Punch." ' 

" Within the last five years I have written two comedies, both pro- 
duced by Mr. Webster — as Mr. Hunt would imply— in timid deference 
to the journalist and one of the leaders in " Punch ; '"' Mr. Hunt, more- 
over, assuming that the dramatist, as one of the aforesaid leaders, 
would have used his pen as a poisoned quill against the interests of 
the denying manager. I will not trust myself with a full expression 
of the scoi'n that arises within me at this surprising assumption on the 
part of Mr. Leigh Hunt, who, it is clear to me, with all his old before- 
the-cui*tain experience, knows little of the working of a theatre ; other- 
wise he would readily allow that the treasurer is the really potent 
critic; — the night's and week's returns at the doors, not the morning 
or weekly article, the allowed theatrical voucher to the value of the 
dramatist. Yet in the opinion of Mr. Hunt, it is the despotism of the 
play- writer, when connected with a journal, that forces on a manager 
the acceptance of a comedy; moreover, condemning him to act the 
unprofitable production some ninety successive nights ; the audience, 
it would seem, bowing to the tyrannous infliction of the play in defer- 
ence to the journalist, one of the leaders in " Punch." 

" Before I was out of my teens it was my misfortune to be com- 
pelled to write for the minor theatres, at a time when even large 
success at these despised places — degraded by a monopoly that has 
ceased to exist — was most injurious to the endeavours of the young 
dramatist desirous of obtaining an original hearing at the patent 
houses, which, at the time, and in the treasury stress, were making 
free use of the very ' minor ' drama of the unacknowledged aspirant. 
1 have served full three apprenticeships to the English drama, and, 
though even its best rewards haply fall very short of the profits of a 
master cotton-spinner, they have never, in my case, I can assure Mr. 
Hunt, been levied on the fears of a manager, with a threat of ' Your 
stage or my journal." 

" With every wish to maintain an esteem for Mr. Hunt as a writer — 
an esteem that dates from my earliest boyhood — I must protest against 
his painstaking use of my dramatic success — such as it has been — as 
an illustration of the mjustice set down to Mr. Hunt's old brotherhood 



186 LIFE OF DOUGLAS JERROLD. 

of journalists, namely, that tliey would make ' a dead set ' against 
any manager wlio should refuse to risk his treasury on their stage ex- 
periments. An odd compliment this, at parting, from the first editor 
of " The Examiner " to the journalists of 1850. It is a pity that, in 
the summing up of his literary life — a life that has been valuable to 
letters and to liberty — Mr. Hunt should have sought the cause of his 
own stage disappointments in the fancied stage tyranny and mean- 
ness of others. Pity that his ink, so very sweet in every other page 
of his 'Autobiography,' should suddenly curdle in the page dramatic. 
''July Ath, 1850." 

This letter appeared in " The Athenaeum." With bitter 
disappointment, the writer took books that had lain (pre- 
cious volumes !) upon his shelves for twenty years, and 
cast them away. He could no longer believe in them. 
One of the idols of his youth had been smitten in the face ; 
the majesty of its countenance had been blurred, be- 
grimed ; and he would henceforth rather hold it in his 
memory, as in his early time he saw it, than dwell upon 
its present graceless lines. Leigh Hunt was dead to 
Douglas Jerrold,wlio had loved him, and had been proud 
to press his hand. He had written from Sark to Mr. 
John Forster only in 1847: "I received a letter from 
Hunt. Should you meet on Saturday — indeed, I will 
make it a case that you do ; and about six will — here in 
Sark — take wine with both of you. Tell him this, and 
believe me ever yours, Douglas Jerrold." 

In May, 1851, Retired from Business, a comedy in 
three acts, appeared at the Haymarket Theatre. The 
dramatist had here touched upon new ground for his 
satire. In the village of Pumpkinfield various thriving 
retired trades are located, with some old sailors, of course, 
to give wholesome salt to the village life. For the war 
of the wholesales against the retails — " the pale spectrum" 
of the till set between the counting-house and the shop — 
want some wholesome human life at hand to make the 



COMEDIES— LEAVE-TAKING OF THE STAGE. 187 

wretched vanities of successful trade bearable. Lieuten- 
ant Tackle, as he was excellently played for a few nights 
by Mr. J. Wallack, was the light and warmth of the 
atmosphere — the antidote to the poisonous tongues of 
the village — the goodly plant in so much social rotten- 
ness. The Pennyweights represent the retired retails. 
Mrs. Pennyweight is the leader of the vulgarities of her 
class — the stickler for conspicuous coats-of-arras — the lady 
with a solemn horror of the shop whence her husband's 
fortune has been obtained ; while her husband, a simple 
tradesman, continually lapses to his old ways, and re- 
minds Mrs. P., in the midst of her ostentatious finery, 
that his motto has always been " conscious virtue and 
cold mutton." Pennyweight is disgusted to learn that 
his spouse has hired a footman. " We must do it, 
dearest," says Mrs. P. " In Pumpkinfield you're out 
of life if you're out of livery." Pennyweight, to keep 
himself humble, will treasure the card he used when he 
first went into business : '■^Zachary Pennyweight, Camo- 
mile Street, Greeiigrocer. Carpets Beat, and Dinners 
punctually attended" Now Puffins, " tha great Russia 
merchant as was," calls on the Fitzpennyweights (Mrs. 
P. has added a Fitz to her name) ; whereupon the ex- 
grSengrocer tries to give his trade card to the visitor, but 
is prevented by Mrs. Fitz. Puffins explains that the 
billocracy cannot mix with the tillocracy. Fitzpenny- 
weight catches the Russia merchant's idea : " Raw wool 
doesn't speak to halfpenny ball of worsted, tallow in the 
cask looks down upon sixes to the pound, and pig-iron 
turns up its nose at tenpenny nails." But love laughs at 
billocracy and tillocracy. Kitty Pennyweight and Paul 
Puffin come together ; the tenpenny nail, melted in Cu- 
pid's fire, mixes with the pig-iron. Creepmouse, too, a 



188 LIFE OF DOUGLAS JKRROLD. 

retired army tailor, is liorriiied to learn that his nephew 
has slipped into love — " love in the mud " — well, he 
must blurt out the horrid truth — with a governess ! 

The seeond act, where Gunn and Tackle gossip, and 
Amy appears, is a refreshing contrast to Act I., where 
the Pennyweights and Puilins ligure. Tackle is a true 
sailor. " Self-respect ! " he cries, " why, it's the ballast 
of the ship. Without it, let the craft be what she will, 
she's but a tine sea-coilin at the best." Gunn describes 
his dead brother-in-law, whose orphan Amy is : " Joe, 
there never was a finer fellow than Charley Brand. 
Nature made him on a field-day." Tackle calls an aver- 
age crop in his garden "enough for the birds, enough for 
the boys, and enough for the master." Amy, to Tackle's 
enthusiastic heart, is " a lord high admiral of a woman ! " 

Gunn s[>eaks the moral of the comedy. " Life has its 
duties ever ; none wiser, better, than a manly disregard 
of false distinctions, made by ignorance, maintained by 
weakness. Resting from the activities of life, we have 
yet our daily task — the interchange of simple thoughts 
and gentle doings. When, following those already passed, 
we rest beneath the shadow of yon distant spire, then, 
and only then, may it be said of us, ' Retired from 
Business.' " * 

Vexatious conduct on the part of actors turned the 
author of this comedy once more, in no good humour, 
from the stage. Again and again had he declared that 
he had done with the drama. Looking around, where 
could an artist's eye see a decently organized company ? 
I am writing too near the years to which I refer to speak 
plain words — to give plain facts. It is my hope that, 
from Chapter I. to the Finis of this book, there will not 
be one word to wound a livino: creature. From the truth 



COMEDIES— LEAVE-TAKING OF THE STAGE. 189 

I need not wander ; but I may put some truths aside as 
not yet to be told. I hold back, with a jealous hand, 
much that would be welcome food to the simply curious, 
because there are men living whose written words are 
sacred till they or theirs shall claim them. I may simply 
say that, in bitter disappointment, Douglas Jerrold again 
turned from the stage — cast burning sarcasms at the star 
system, that degraded dramatic literature ; for he had 
hoped here to make a solid hold upon the people. 

" There is hardly a sadder feeling," he wrote, " than 
that which arises from a contrast of our early ennobling 
aspirations, our proud vauntings of invulnerability, and 
our trumpet-tongued defiance of all threats and blandish- 
ments to win us from the one great purpose of our soul, 
with our final miserable realities, our low confessions of 
weakness, our small-voiced defence of the fear or the wile 
that has tempted us from the highway which we thought 
would lead to all things. How few are there who, start- 
ing in youth animated by great motives, do not at thirty 
seem to have suffered a ' second fall ! ' What angel- 
purposes did they woo, and what hag-realities have they 
married ! What E-achels have they thought to serve for, 
and what Leahs has the morning dawned upon ! " 

I might fill pages with anecdotes illustrative of the dis- 
appointment my father felt when he saw companies 
broken up, and theatres filled with so many dummies to 
so many stars. His vexation broke out in sharp points 
that are remembered still in theatrical circles. Here are 
one or two : When Morris had the Hayraarket Theatre, 
the dramatist, on a certain occasion, had reason to find 
fault with the strength, or rather the want of strength, of 
the company. Morris expostulated, and said, " Why, 
there's V ; he was bred on these boards ! " Re'ply. 



190 LIFE OF DOUGLAS JERROLD. 

" He looks as though he'd been cut out of them." " Do 
you know," said a friend to my father, " that Jones has 
left the stage, and turned wine-merchant ? " Reply. " O 
yes ; and I'm told that his "wine off the stage is better 
than his whine on it." When Macbeth was played, many 
years ago, at the Coburg Theatre, a certain actor was 
cast, to his great disgust, for Macduff. He told his bitter 
disappointment to the author of Black-Eyed Susan, who 
thus consoled him : ^' Never mind, my good fellow ; there's 
one advantage in playing Macduff — it keeps you out of 
Banquo." 

The translator also was often assailed. Douglas Jer- 
rold was always nervous during the first representation 
of his pieces. On one of these first nights a very success- 
ful transplanter from the French rallied the nervous 
dramatist. " I," said the soothing gentleman, " I never 
feel nervous on the first night of my pieces." Reply, 
" Ah ! my boy, you are always certain of success. Your 
pieces have always been tried before." 

Two years passed away — active years, in which his 
completest work (A Man Made of Money) was written, 
and in the course of which he undertook the conduct of 
that newspaper which was destined, under his editorship, 
to grow into a political power ; before he turned again to 
the stage. He was still a weekly contributor to Punch, 
and every day had its hours devoted to writing that might 
not be put off. Still, in 1853, he was tempted back to 
the theatre, and, on the 21st of January in this year, St. 
Cupid ; or, Dorothy's Fortune, a comedy in three acts, 
was originally acted -before her Majesty at Windsor 
Castle — a performance, it is right to add, which the 
author was not invited to attend. But English authors 
have not yet, it would appear, proved themselves worthy 



COMEDIES— LEAVE-TAKING OF THE STAGE. 191 

of an obscure corner, on any occasion, in any anteroom, 
of Buckingham Palace or Windsor. 

The scenes of this comedy are London and Kensing- 
ton — the date is 1715. The story is a homely one — of a 
noble gentleman who visits a school, disguised as a tutor, 
to see the schoolmaster's daughter, and remains to wed. 
Sir Valentine May, the hero of this escapade, is the 
secretary to Mr. Under-Secretary Zero. The time, it 
will be remembered, is when London was alarmed about 
the Pretender. And as Sir Valentine looks over the 
morning letters he wisely says, " Well, that government 
is still the safest that makes treason laughable." He is 
rebuked by the under-secretary, who sniffs treason in a 
doll-maker's invoice, and powder in an order for Scotch 
snuff. Valentine cannot follow his uncle, but observes 
that " daylight's wasted upon a man who can see so much 
better in the dark." One of the letters secretly opened is 
to Dorothy Budd, the schoolmaster's daughter, describing 
the promises of a fortune-teller (Queen Bee, originally 
played by Mr. Wright). Valentine's curiosity is aroused, 
and he resolves upon the frolic that ends in marriage. 
" Dorothy — the Lilacs ! " Valentine muses ; " and now 
are there half a dozen faces nodding at me like roses 
from a bush ; and which — which is Dorothy's ? Blue 
eyes, with love's simplicity ; or subtle, tantalizing hazel ? 
A cheek like a carnation, or face of peach-like brown ? 
Tut! some buxom wench agog for blind-man's-buff or 
hunt-the-slipper. Dorothy — the Lilacs! The syllables 
sound like a story. And her letter ! Why do I remem- 
ber it ? I, with no more memory than a fly ; and yet 
my brain, like so much blotting-paper, has drunk up 
every word — every word. Dorothy — the Lilacs! 1*11 
see this linnet in her bush ! " 



192 LIFE OF DOUGLAS JERROLD. 

Dorothy is the homeliest even of linnets. " Let me," 
she says, '' but twitter round my nest of clay, and sing 
who will in a cage of gold." 

Queen Bee tells her that, when she was made a 
woman, a mermaid was spoiled. Dorothy denies to Val- 
entine that she has a lover. But he says, " Oh, truth 
will out. Let the tongue deny it, and how prettily it 
flies to the cheek ! Happy lover, to live a moment 
there in such a blush ! " 

There were disappointments too — theatrical disappoint- 
ments — connected with this piece, upon which it is 
needless to dwell. One more comedy, and the stage 
and the dramatist would part company forever. It was 
already written. The idea was a pet one, or it is more 
than probable that St. Cupid would have been Douglas 
Jerrold's last comedy given to the stage. For he was 
now thoroughly wearied of things theatrical. Inces- 
santly he spoke and wrote of the national drama — of 
what it might be, and the poor thing it had become. 
That which should be the great living expounder of our 
English life had become a flat and wearisome reflection 
of the French stage, with here and there burlesques of 
the dramatic glories of the times gone by. The drama- 
tist had given way to the upholsterer and the translator. 
The author of Blach-Eyed Susan had been nearly 
tempted to write another nautical piece ; but the tempta- 
tion had been put aside, and on the 9 th of October, 
1854, A Heart of Gold, a drama in three acts, was per- 
formed for the first time, at the Princess's Theatre. It 
was to be its author's last piece ; yet it was produced 
under many disadvantages — the fruit of misunderstand- 
ings with the manager — misunderstandings on which I 
am not anxious to dwell. Time will do it justice ; to 



COMEDIES— LEAVE-TAKING OF THE STAGE. 193 

time it is left fearlessly by me, however critics of the 
passing hour may deal with it. 

The scenes of this drama are London and the country 
— the date is 1750. The opening act is at the Bear Inn 
on old London Bridge, where the landlady. Widow Pea- 
cock, and Michaelmas are squabbling over bad money, 
which the latter has taken in the course of the day's 
business. Michaelmas, it is at once clear, is in love 
with Molly Dindle ; the widow, it is equally clear, is 
not ; for she says the girl " would break the Bank of 
England if she put her hand upon it," and that she 
goes about the house "like a gale of wind." Michael- 
mas was picked up in the company of a silver spoon 
" cut with a roaring dragon ; " and he carries it about 
with him in the hopeful belief that it belongs " to some 
family six-dozen in noble life," and that some day he 
will go back to where he was born. Maude, farmer 
Nutbrown's daughter, has been brought up to London. 
Master Dymond is sick in love with her, but she loves 
Pierce Thanet. Dymond has a strong man's agony 
when he sees his love is slighted. In the opening of the 
piece all meet by chance at the Bear Inn. Maude has 
been out sight-seeing. She has been to the top of St. 
Paul's. 

" Oh, it was such a dream by daylight," she says, " such a di-eam; 
and yet so true ! All was so little, and I was still the same ! All the 
streets were millions of dolls' houses ; and along the streets little 
specks moving — moving, sometimes in twos and threes, and then 
altogether in one long, black, gliding thread. And then the cattle 
and the horses ! I felt that I could take up the biggest of them, like 
shrewmice, in my fingers — look at 'em, and set 'em down again. And 
then the smoke ! The beautiful smoke ! Oh, in millions of silver feath- 
ers it came from the chimneys up and up, and then somehow joined 
in one large shining sheet, and went floating, floating over houses and 
church steeples, with hundreds of golden weathercocks glittering, 



194 LIFE OF DOUGLAS JERROLD. 

glittering through ! And then the river and the ships ! Tlie twisting 
water shining like glass ! And the poles of the ships as close, and 
straight, and sharp as rushes in a pond ! And then, far oft", the hills, 
the dear green hills ; with such a stir below, and they so beautiful 
and still, as though they never heard, and never cared for the noise 
of London — a noise that, when we listened, hummed from below — 
hummed for all the world like a hundred bumblebees, all making 
honey, and all upon one bush! " 

And then, as Maude talks to Michaelmas and the 
widow, we see a bit of the author's own sadness drop. 
Maude declares that she must see " Mr. Garrick and the 
waxwork." But she is told that she cannot see all — ■ 
that she must choose. "Well," replies Maude, with 
womanly logic, " I should like to see Mr. Garrick ; but 
I ivill see the waxwork." 

The sad story of strong Dymond's unrequited love 
makes the thrilling interest of the piece. Dying, as he 
believes, he gives his thousand guineas to Pierce, the 
son of his early friend, not knowing Pierce is his rival. 
He bids him hold the gold " with a ferret's tooth." He 
bids him cherish this thought : " He who has guineas 
for his subjects is the king of men ! " Dymond recovers, 
and asks back his gold, seeing Pierce about to wed 
Maude ; but Pierce has learned Dymond's lesson, and 
demurs, showing the ferret's tooth. Maude, however, 
marries not the man who holds Dymond's gold. Pierce, 
after a fierce conflict with himself (knowing that Nut- 
brown will not give Maude to a beggar), casts back the 
gold, when Maude, indignant with him, has almost prom- 
ised to be Dymond's wife. The end — Maude's mar- 
riage with Pierce. And heart-broken, Dymond says, 
" Bless you both ! And Pierce, in sooth you'll wed to 
wealth — the brightest, most enduring wealth ; a wealth 
still purified the more 'tis tested — the wealth that makes 



COMEDIES— LEAVE-TAKING OF THE STAGE. 195 

the only treasure of the married home — A Heart of 
Gold." 

THE END. 

The end ! Not another line did Douorlas Jerrold 2;ive 
to the stage. 

In this chapter I have endeavoured, by slight de- 
scriptions of plots, and by culled morsels of dialogue, to 
afford the reader a faint notion of what may be found in 
the comedies that bear my father's name. These dis- 
jecta membra can give but a very faint idea of the com- 
plete works ; yet it appeared to me that, in an endeavour 
to present to the world some account of the author's in- 
tellectual life, such an attempt as that I have embodied 
in this chapter, should be made. 

No sooner had A Heart of Gold appeared, than the 
author, in " Lloyd's Newspaper," put forth his explanation 
of its lame production, and in a few sad words took his 
leave of the stage. He wrote : — 

" For obvious reasons A Heart of Gold is not a subject for criticism 
in this journal. A few facts, however, may be given by the author 
in this his farewell to all dramatic doings. The piece was written 
some four years since at the solicitation of Mr. Charles Kean, and 
duly paid for. The hero and heroine were to be acted by him- 
self and Mrs. Charles Kean. They Avere, in fact, written to be so 
acted. 

*' Subsequently, however, Mr. Kean's tragic claims were questioned 
in a wicked publication called ''Punch," and the actor himself graphi- 
cally rendered in certain of his many moods of dramatic inspiration. 
Whereupon Mr. Charles Kean broke his compact with the author of 
A Heart of Gold; he would not play his hero, but find a substitute. 
A new cast of characters was proposed, against which the author 
gave his written protest. But Mr. Charles Kean had, in 1850, bought 
the drama; and therefore, in his own mercantile way, conceived that 
in 1854 he had a right to do what he liked with his own black-and- 
white ' nigger.' The author thought differently, and stood to his pro- 
test; despite of which, however, on the close of last season, Mr. 



196 LIFE OF DOUGLAS JERROLD. 

Charles Kean's solicitor intormoil the author's solicitor (there is 
parchment on Parnassus!) that ,1 Htort of (ioM \von\d be produced 
at the conimeucenient of the present season. To this no answer -was 
made. The author had once protesteil, and that he thought sufticicnt 
to Mr. Kean and to himself. Nevertheless, the piece was put into 
rehearsal; and yet th^ author had no notice of the fact. Perhaps 
]Mr. Kean thought the author might spontaneously send his solicitor 
to superintend the rehearsals, who, with Mr. Kean's solicitor, Avould 
settle writs of error as to readings, misconceptions, and so forth. 
Had the author done so, even under such professional revision, there 
had doubtless been fewer misdemeanors against nature, good taste, 
and propriety. 

" Yet it is under such wilful injuries committed by a management 
that a drama is, nevertheless, to be buoyant ! It is through such a fog 
of players' brain that the intention of the author is to shine clearly 
forth. "With a certain graceful exception, there never was so much 
bad acting as in A Heart of Gold. Nevertheless, according to the 
various printed reports, the piece asserted its vitality, though drugged 
and stabbed, and hit about the head*, as only some players can hit a 
play, hard and remorselessly. 

" In a Avord, against the author's protest of misrepresentation was 
his play flung, huddled, \ipon the stage, without a single stage revision 
allowed on his part. Solicitors have been alluded to; but it should be 
stated, legal interference was first employed by the author for his self- 
secui'ity. He would have no written or personal communication with 
an individual who had violated the confidence of honourable minds by 
printing, ' for private circulation only,' private letters; letters that — 
had the writer's consent been, as is \isual in such cases, demanded — 
might, for him, have been posted in market-places. It was in conse- 
quence of this meaimess that the author, in subsequent correspond- 
ence, employed a solicitor. For, in the wn-iter's mind, it requires a 
very nice casuistry to discover the difference between picking the 
confidence of a private letter and picking a lock. To be sure, there 
is this ditleronce in the penalties — in one case we employ a policeman, 
in the other contempt." 

This farewell was written in most natural bitterness of 
feeling, and it is only because I know it to be just that I 
print it. 

One piece, and one only, by Douglas Jerrold, remains 
to this hour, for lack of a sufficient company, unacted. 



COMEDIES— LEAVE-TAKING OF THE STAGE. ] 97 

It i.s a play in five acts, and is entitled The Spendthrift 
It was written chiefly in the Ilarnpstead Fields, while the 
author lived at Kentish Town, the principal part being 
intended for Mr. Macready. Some day, not very far 
hence, I trust I shall see my way to its fair representa- 
tion on the stage. 

Discouraged though he had been, even through his 
successes on the stage, Douglas Jerrold bore from it the 
grateful remembrance of many friends who had been his 
constant and his eloquent supporters. Of none amid 
these did he think with a warmer gratitude than of Mr. 
John Forster, the English essayist, and so long the liter- 
ary and dramatic critic of " The Examiner." So far back 
as 1833, as we have seen, Mr. Forster wrote encouraging 
and graceful criticisms on Douglas Jerrold's dramatic 
genius. A letter acknowledging the criticism on The 
Housekeeper, which had been produced at the Haymarket 
on the 7th of July, 1833, and dated three days later, lies 
before me. It is addressed from 6 Seymour Terrace, 
Little Chelsea : — 

*' My dear Forster," writes the dramatist, " you must allow me the 
pleasure of a cordial acknowledgment of your kindness. Though I 
feel you have, on the present as on a former occasion, thrown what 
are the best points into the strongest relief, by softening down the 
worst, it Avould be a poor affectation in me to question such partiality, 
as, indeed, its very existence is a matter of, I hope, something better 
on my part than mere self-complacency. We can none, or at most 
very few, escape the influence of personal acquaintance. It is, then, 
a subject of honest pleasure to the obliged when such knowledge, on 
some minds, is the liberal interpreter of good intention, and the chari- 
table apologist of all deficiencies. 

" Yours, my dear Forster, very truly, 

" Douglas Jeeeold." 

In another letter we light upon some of the difficulties 
and annoyances that beset him throughout his dramatic 



198 LIFE OF DOUGLAS JERKOLD. 

career. Writing — still to Mr. Forster — from Thistle 
Grove, Little Chelsea, on the 26th of August, 1834, he 
says, " I am at law with Morris, having proceeded as far 
as possible until November. He refuses to pay me 
another shilling in addition to the £50. We must fight 
for it, and so ' God defend the Hght.' ... It will 
much oblige me, and serve a true fellow (one of the right 
kind ") — probably a playful allusion to his nom de ■plume^ 
Henry Brownrigg — " if the enclosed be inserted. I have 
written it in a feigned hand, as I contemplate sending 
some articles to the N. M. M. (" New Monthly Maga- 
zine ") from myself. Morris coolly informed me that he 
should never play the Beau again." Morris, it would 
appear, had not disappointed the anticipations of the 
author ; for I find, in a letter addressed to Mr. Forster 
more than a fortnight before that from which I have just 
made an extract, the following allusions to Beau Nash : — 

" I am deeply indebted to you for the long, elaborate, and analytical 
essay in the N. M. M. At this time it may be of peculiar service to 
me, for I have every reason to believe that it is the intention of Mr. 
Morris to play me false. Last night (August 7th) the comedy was 
acted for the tenth time, and placed between two such cold slices of 
bread and butter as The Padlock and The Green-Eyed Monster'. Never- 
theless the house was full — the boxes crowded; and, if there be truth 
in actors, the piece went off better than ever. Yet, in despite of its 
increasing effect, I find by the bills of to-day that it is not to be re- 
peated until Wednesday. Unfortunately, I have no written agreement 
with Morris, who was to pay me on the success of the piece, which 
success he now broadly insinuates is not evident, and, at the same 
time, does all that in him lies to prevent. These are your Christian 
managers ! However, I wrote to thank you, and not to inflict upon 
you a volume of the grief of 

" Yours most truly, 

" Douglas Jerrold. 

" I have so frequently written to you, appointing a day for you to 
come and see me, that I now leave the day to your own choice. Name 



COMEDIES— LEAVE-TAKING OF THE STAGE. 199 

a day next week; give me forty-eight hours' notice; and bring with 
you any such five feet two of natural dissipation and educated infamy 
as Sam, the Joshua of " The Tnie Sun." * 

On the production of The Catspaw at the Hayraarket 
in May, 1850, the author again turned to thank his good 
fi-iend : — 

" My dear Forster, 

" The success of this play has, on several accounts, been a matter 
of much anxiety to me. I must very heartily thank you for the mode 
in which you have expressed your opinions. Opinions themselves are 
no more to be thanked than the colour of a man's eyes — they are in- 
dependent of him. But the careful and elaborate way in which you 
have enjoyed, as I must think, the setting forth of whatever may be 
in the drama, is as gratifying as valuable to 

" Yours truly, 

" D. Jereold. 
" Do you hold for Lilies? " f 

Writing still to Mr. Forster in 1856, and still acknowl- 
edging a kindness, Douglas Jerrold says, "And you 
leave it (" The Examiner ") I hear ? I hope for better 
ease, though I shall have one friend in print (I hadn't 
many) the less. God bless you ! " 

These letters express a warmth of gratitude, a lively 
sense of obligation, for which people who knew Douglas 
Jerrold only as a writer, w^ere disinclined to give him 
credit. But any thing connected with dramatic literature 
touched his emotions sharply. Hot scorn or most rap- 
turous dehght rose in that electric nature on the instant. 
He used to hold that there was something sacred in the 
drama properly considered; and when, in 1843, Mr. 
Webster offered a prize of £500 for the best five-act 

* This allusion points to Laman Blanchard, who was then editing 
"The True Sun." 
t The late Lord Nugent's seat. 



200 LIFE OF DOUGLAS JERROLD. 

comedy, he discussed the project amongst his friends, and 
rallied them all as competitors — among them Mr. Charlea 
Dickens, to whom he wrote : — 

" Of course you have flung ' Chuzzlewit ' to the winds, and are 
hard at work upon a comedy. Somebody— I forget his name — told, 
me that you were seen at the Haymarltet door, with a wet newspaper 
in your hand, knocking frantically for Webster. Five hundred pounds 
for the best English comedy ! As I think of the sum, I look loftily 
around this apartment of full twelve by thirteen — glance with poetic 
frenzy on a lark's turf that does duty for a lawn — take a vigorous in- 
spiration of the ' double Bromptons ' that, are nodding defyingly at 
me through the diamond panes — and think the cottage, land, pigsty, 
all are mine, evoked from an ink-bottle, and labelled ' freehold,' by 
the call of Webster! The only thing I am puzzled for is a name for 
the property — a name that shall embalm the cause of its purchase. 
On due reflection, I don't think Humbug Hall a bad one. 

" If a man wanted further temptation to write the ' best ' comedy, 
it would be found in the composition of the court that shall decide 
upon its merits. Among the judges shall be authors and actors, male 
and female, with dramatic critics. I am already favoured with the 
names of some of these, which, as you will persist, you may be in- 
terested in the knowledge of." (Here follows a whimsical list of 
names.) . . . " Mind, you must send in your play by Michaelmas 
— it is thought Michaelmas day itself will be selected by many of the 
competitors; for, as there will be about five hundred (at least) come- 
dies, and as the committee cannot read above two at a sitting, how — 
unless, indeed, they raffle for choice — can they select the true thing — 
the phoenix from the geese — by Jan. 1st, 1844? You must make 
haste, so don't go out o' nights." 

I turn from this bantering to the serious paper in which 
Douglas Jerrold set forth the " Rights of Dramatists," 
thinking it fit that, though twenty-six years have elapsed 
since these opinions were ^originally published in the 
"Monthly Magazine," they should be here again set 
forth, as expressing the author's serious ideas on the 
dignity of the English stage, and of its claims upon the 
country. Subsequent legislation has done away wdth the 



COMEDIES— LEAVE-TAKING OF THE STAGE. 201 

evils to which the writer points ; but the value of the 
paper is, not in the present use of the opinions set forth, 
but in the illustrations they afford of the quality of mind 
— the deep earnestness — of the writer. (^See Appendix 

III.) 

The downright earnest with which my father spoke or 
wrote the drama, may be traced in his rebuke to Mr. 
Leigh Hunt, as well as in the " Rights of Dramatists." 
It could not be his belief that the simple offer of £500 for 
a prize comedy could awake the drama from its profound 
slumber. Public taste must be gradually educated to 
enjoy pure and high comedy, as the palate must be 
taught to enjoy ohves or truflEles. The drama was a pas- 
sionate love with the subject of this memoir — a love that 
abided with him, and brought him more bitter than sweet 
fruit. He would have made his idol a radiant, informing 
goddess ; but it was his misfortune to see her in French 
rags and vulgar tinsel to the end. 



9* 



202 LIFE OF DOUGLAS JERROLD. 



CHAPTER IX. 



PUNCH. 



Douglas Jerrold was in Boulogne, writing for the 
stage and for the magazines, when, on the 17th of July, 
1841, some literary friends of his, including Mr. Henry 
Mayhew, Mr. Mark Lemon, Mr. E. Landells, Mr. Stir- 
ling Coyne, Henry Grattan, and others, started a period- 
ical entitled Punchy or the London Charivari. This 
periodical, projected by Mr. Henry Mayhew, (who had 
already had large experiences in conjunction with his old 
Westminster schoolfellow, Gilbert a Beckett in comic 
periodical literature,) was a joint speculation of authors, 
artists, and engravers. A letter was despatched across 
the water to Douglas Jerrold, begging the Boulogne 
hermit to join the list of contributors. No article reached, 
however, in time for number one; but in number two 
appears Douglas Jerrold's first contribution to a periodi- 
cal in which he was destined to write his most popular 
works. (Appendix IV.) The celebrated bedchamber 
plot is the main topic dealt with in this, the paper in 
which Punch's political creed is set forth. The drawing 
opposite the cut represents Peel as Hercules, tearing 
Lord John Russell (Theseus) from his treasury-bench 
rock. " What subtle, sinister advice," says Punch, in 
his political creed, " may, by a crafty disposition of royal 



PUNCH. 203 

pins, be given on the royal pincushion ! "What minister 
shall answer for the sound repose of Royalty if he be not 
permitted to make Royalty's bed ? How shall he answer 
for the comely appearance of Royalty if he do not, by 
his own delegated hands, lace Royalty's stays ? " Then, 
in the journal, there are hits at Sibthorp, Mr. Henry 
Moreton Dyer, Sir Peter Laurie, Lord Melbourne, and 
others. Among the " recent arrivals " we find that of 
Lord John Russell — " at a conviction that the Whigs are 
not so popular as they were ; " and in the news we are 
told that the anticipated eruption of Mount Vesuvius is 
said to have been prevented by throwing a box of Hollo- 
way's ointment into the crater. There are the famous 
little black figures dancing about the text of our old 
friend's early numbers. It is impossible for the man 
who wishes to look back through the years he has lived, 
and to have the incidents of each year brought back in a 
startling and vivid form to his mind, to take up a more 
suo;o;estive aide-7nemoire than our friend of Fleet Street. 
He began in Fleet Street seventeen years ago, and there 
shines his raspberry nose to this hour, as painted by 
Kenny Meadows. Men destined to become fast friends, 
and to have meetings merrily wise, every week through 
long years, are bearing down rapidly to his board. Strong 
men shall presently take hold of his baton, and lay about 
them with prodigious effect. You shall learn that states- 
men have felt the blows ; that Louis Philippe, across the 
water, has winced. The rich and abundant poetic fancy 
of Kenny Meadows ; the Hogarthian humour and the 
keen observation of Leech ; the classic humour of Rich- 
ard Doyle, shall give light to these famous pages. Thack- 
eray is on his way to Fleet Street with " Brown's Letters 
to his Nephews," with " Jeames," and with his " Snobs ; " 



204 LIFE OF DOUGLAS JERROLD. 

Henry Mayhew is busy with quaint subjects for the ar- 
tists ; Horace Mayhew has his "Model Men and Women " 
in his desk ; Percival Leigh chuckles over " Pips his 
Diary ; " Shirley Brooks hands " Miss Violet " to the 
office ; and great store of graceful verse conies with Tom 
Taylor. Even Tennyson shall write some stinging satire 
here, and Tom Hood make thousands weep. Very early 
Maginn joined, and early died. Punch put aside his 
mirth when his first friend passed away, to hang his 
" humble immortelle above the grave of genius." 

The success of Punch was not great before it pas- 
sed into the hands of its present proprietors, Messrs. 
Bradbury and Evans, But we stand too 'near the ac- 
tors to criticize their story of success. I pass it by, to be 
treated in years to come, by an abler pen. The ma- 
terials lie thick about, and to the patient are worth the 
gathering, that they may be laid up till time shall have 
ripened them for use. How Punch won the popular- 
ity he has long enjoyed, and who made the greater 
part of this success, are questions that are not for the 
present hour, and certainly not for the pen that traces 
these lines. But it may be said that Punch achieved 
much of the political power he has held so long, by the 
aid of those strong, masculine, and at the same time fanci- 
ful, articles signed " Q.," written by Douglas Jerrold ; the 
first of which appeared on the 13th of September, 1841, 
about two months after Punch was born. In the first of 
these political papers, which is entitled " Peel Regu- 
larly Called In," we trace the passionate reader of BufFon 
and of other naturalists. " That naturalist," * writes Q., 
" speaks of a turtle that continued to live after its brain 
was taken from its skull, and the cavity stuffed with cot- 
* Le Vaillant. 



PUNCH. 205 

ton. Is not England, with spinning-jenny Peel at the 
head of its affairs, in this precise predicament ? Eng- 
land may live, but inactive, torpid, unfitted for all health- 
ful exertion ; deprived of its grandest functions, para- 
lyzed in its noblest strength. We have a Tory cabinet, 
but where is the brain of statesmanship?" And again : 
" Now, however, there are no Tories. O no ! Sir Ro- 
bert Peel is a Conversative, Lyndhurst is a Conservative, 
all are Conservative. Toryism has sloughed its old skin, 
and rejoices in a new coat of many colours ; but the 
sting remains, the venom is the same ; the reptile that 
would have struck to the heart the freedom of Europe, 
elaborates the selfsame poison, is endowed with the same 
subtilty, the same grovelling, tortuous action. It still 
creeps upon its belly, and wriggles to its purpose. When 
adders shall become eels, then will we believe that Con- 
servatives cannot be Tories." 

Then Peel's Tamworth speech, in which he described 
the expulsion of imbecile Charles X. from France as the 
triumph of might over right, and his subsequent endea- 
vour to wriggle into public favour by applying " arith- 
metic to war," and suggesting reductions of nations' 
armaments, are laid bare with a keen knife. "It is 
sweet to prevent war ; and, oh ! far sweeter still, to keep 
out the Whigs ! " Then Wellington is scourged for say- 
ing, in a time of famine, that England was the only 
country in which " the poor man, if only sober and in- 
dustrious, was quite certain of acquiring a competency." 
Says Q., " If rags and starvation put up their prayer to 
the present ministry, what must be the answer delivered 
by the Duke of Wellington ? ' Ye are drunken and 
lazy!'" If this be the duke's belief, then he is told 
" he knows no more of England than the Icelander in 



2()r) MFK OF DOIUU.AS .IKRKOLD. 

his sleilgo." It' this (lii'tiini bo a i>:irty cry, then does it 
discover a want of principle. Q. pushes his grace to a 
corner. " We wil! Hail hin\ to it (the dictum), as we 
would nail a weasel (o a barn-door." " Gentlemen 
Tories," Q. concludes, " shutUe the cards as y®u will, the 
Duke of AVellington either lacks principle or brains." 

There is scorching sarcasm in Q.'s second letter. Dr. 
Chalmers has refused to attend the synod of clergymen, 
gathered together to consider the relative value of the 
big and little loaf, believing that the road for tlie indef- 
inite advancement of the working classes " to a far bet- 
ter remuneration, and, of course, a far more liberal main- 
tenance, in return for their toils, than they have ever yet 
enjoyed," is "a universal Christian education." Then 
turn missionaries among them, says Q. ; and, following 
out the idea, the writer declares, " To this end the bench 
of bishops meet at Lambeth ; and, discovering that 
locusts and wild honey — the Baptist's diet — may be pur- 
chased for something less than ten thousand a year, and, 
after a minute investigation of the Testament, failing to 
discover the name of St. Peter's coachmaker, or of St. 
Paul's footman, his valet, or his cook, take counsel one 
with another, and resolve to forego at least nine-tenths 
of their yearly incomings." 

And then, in pious pilgrimage, the bishops proceed to 
teach Christianity to her Majesty's ministers. Lord 
Stanley begs that, when he prays for power to forgive 
all his enemies, he may be permitted to except from that 
prayer Daniel O'Connell. The bishop, however, is in- 
exorable. Then we have a picture of pure Christianity 
in London, for one day : — 

" Oh, reader ! picture to yourself London — for one 
day only — operated upon by the purest Christianity ! 



PUNCH. 207 

Consider the mundane interests of this trenaendous me- 
tropolis, directed by apostolic principles ! Imagine the 
hypocrisy of respectability — the conventional lie — the 
allowed ceremonial deceit — the tricks of trade — the ten 
thousand scoundrel subterfuges by which the lowest 
dealers of this world purchase bank-stock and rear their 
own pineapples — the common, innocent iniquities (inno- 
cent from their very antiquity, having been bequeathed 
from sire to son), which men perpetrate six working 
days in the week, and after, lacker up their faces with 
a look of sleek humihty, for the Sunday pew ! Con- 
sider all this locust swarm of knaveries annihilated by 
the purifying spirit of Christianity, and then look upon 
the London breathing and living, for one day only, by 
the sweet sustaining truth of the Gospel ! Had one page 
ten thousand times its amplitude, it would not contain the 
briefest register of the changes of that day ! . . . Let 
us descend to the smallest matters of social life. ' Will 
this gingham wash ? ' asks Betty, the housemaid, of 
Twill, the linendraper. Twill is a Christian, and there- 
fore replies, ' It is a very poor article, and will not wash.' 
No, no," Q. concludes ; " we are with Dr. Chalmers for 
Christianity, but not Christianity of one sideP 

When Mr. Fielden's motion, that such was the distress 
through the country, no supply of money should be voted 
till some means had been devised to remedy the calam- 
ity, was negatived by one hundred and forty-nine to 
forty-one votes in the House of Commons, a Tory print 
declared that there was a smile on the face of every well- 
dressed gentleman, and of every well-to-do artisan, who 
wended their way along the streets of this vast metrop- 
olis. Q. waxed very wroth indeed. Toryism cared 
only for the well-dressed and the well-to-do. " Nature," 



208 LIFE OF DOUGLAS JERROLD. 

wrote Q., " abhors a vacuum ; therefore has nought to 
do with empty bellies. Happy are the men whose fate, 
or better philosophy, has kept them from the turnips and 
the heather — fortunate mortals, who, banned from the 
murder of partridges and grouse, have for the last few 
days been dwellers in merry London ! What exulting 
faces ! What crowds of well-dressed, well-fed Malvolios . 
* smiling ' at one another, though not cross-gartered ! To 
a man prone to ponder on that many-leaved, that scrib- 
bled, blurred, and blotted volume, the human face — that 
mysterious tome, printed with care, with cunning, and 
remorse — that thing of lies, and miseries, and hypocritic 
gladness — that volume, stained with tears, and scribbled 
over and over with daily wants, and daily sufferings, and 
daily meannesses; — to such a reader, who, from the 
hieroglyphic lines of feigned content, can translate the 
haggard spirit and the pining heart — to such a man, too 
often depressed and sickened by the contemplation of the 
carnivorous faces thronging the streets of London — faces 
that look as if they deemed the stream of all human 
happiness flowed only from the Mint — to such a man 
how great the satisfaction, how surpassing the enjoyment 
of these ' last few days ! ' As with the Thane of Cawdor, 
every man's face has been a book ; but, also ! luckier 
than Macbeth, that book has been — Joe Miller! . . . 
Clap your hands to your pulpy sides, O well-dressed, 
well-to-do London, and, disdaining the pettiness of a 
simper, laugh an ogre's laugh at the rags of Manchester 
— grin like a tickled Polyphemus at the hunger of 
Bolton ! " 

Lord Brougham called the attention of the House to 
the fact, that " a man had been confined for ten weeks, 
having been fined a shilhng and fourteen shillings costs, 



PUNCH. 209 

which he did not pay, because he was absent one Sunday 
from church ! " The man had violated a dormant, his 
lordship wished he could say of it " an obsolete law." 

" Who can doubt," Q. exclaims, " that from the moment 
John Jones (the reader may christen the offender as he 
pleases) was discharged, he became a pious, church-going 
Christian ? . . . We have a great admiration of English 
law; yet, in the present instance, we think she shares 
very unjustly with Mother Church. For instance. Church 
in her meekness says to John Jones, ' You come not to my 
house on Sunday : pay a shilling.' John Jones refuses. 
* What ! ' exclaims Law, ' refuse the modest request of 
my pious sister ? Refuse to give her a little shilling ? 
Give me fourteen.' Hence in this Christian country, law 
is of fourteen times the consequence of religion. Ap- 
plauding as we do the efforts of the magistrates, quoted 
by Lord Brougham, in the cause of Christianity, we yet 
conscientiously think their system capable of improve- 
ment. When the rustic police shall be properly estab- 
lished, we think they should be empowered to seize upon 
all suspected non-church goers every Saturday night, 
keeping them in the station-houses until Sunday morning, 
and then marching them, securely handcuffed, up the 
middle aisle of the parish church. 'Twould be a touch- 
ing sight for Mr. Plumptre and such hard-sweating devo- 
tees. For the benefit of old offenders we would also 
counsel a little wholesome private whipping in the vestry." 

The masons who were building the new Houses of 
Parliament struck. Q. suggested that, as the recess had 
come, and members would have nothing to do, they should, 
like beavers, build their own houses. " The tiny insect, 
the ant — that living, silent monitor to unregarding men — 
doth it not make its own galleries — build, with toilsome 



210 LIFE OF DOUGLAS JERROLD. 

art, its own abiding-place ? Does not the mole scratch its 
own chamber — the carrion kite build its own nest ? Shall 
cuckoos and members of parliament alone be lodged at 
others' pains ? " Then follow suggestions how various 
members might be employed. "Might not Disraeli be 
turned into a very jaunty carpenter, and be set to the 
hght interior work of both the houses? His logic, it is 
confessed, will support nothing ; but we think he would 
be a very smart hand at a hat-peg." Sir James Graham 
would do the dovetailing. Q. confesses to a difficulty in 
finding among the members of the sitting parliament, a 
sufficient number of stone-squarers, knowing that there 
are so few among them who can look upon more than 
one side. 

A small anti-corn-law meeting is held. Protectionist 
reporters describe one speaker as a fustian-coated biped — 
the lady present as wearing " a shocking bad black and 
white straw bonnet." Q. touches upon " Politics of the 
Outward Man." " Plato, doubtless, thought that he had 
imagined a magnificent theory when he averred that every 
man had within him a spark of the divine flame. But, 
silly Plato ! he never considered how easily this spark 
might be blown out. At this moment how many English- 
men are walking about the land utterly extinguished! 
Had men been made on the principle of the safety -lamp, 
they might have defied the foul breath of the world's 
opinion ; but, alas ! what a tender, thin-skinned, shiver- 
ing thing is man ! His covering — the livery of original 
sin, bought with the pilfered apples — is worn into a hole ; 
and opinion, that sour-breathed hag, claps her blue lips to 
the broken web, gives a puff", and out goes man's immortal 
spark ! From this moment the creature is but a carcass ; 
he can eat and drink (when lucky enough to b^able to try 



PUNCH. 211 

the experiment), talk, walk, and no more ; yes, we for- 
got, he can work ; he still keeps precedence of the ape in 
the scale of creation, for he can work for those who, 
thickly clothed and buttoned to the throat, have no rent 
in their purple, no stitch dropped in their superfine, to ex- 
pose their precious souls to an annihilating gust, and who, 
therefore, keep their immortal sparks like tapers in bur- 
glars' dark lanterns, whereby to rob and spoil with greater 
certainty." 

Sir Peter Laurie has committed a starving tailor to the 
treadmill for a month, as a rogue and vagabond, for hav- 
ing attempted to commit suicide. Sir Peter announces his 
intention of looking very narrowly into these cases for the 
future. Q. having no more thought of dedicating a whole 
page of Punch to one Sir Peter Laurie "than the 
zoological Mr. Cross would think of devoting an acre of 
his gardens to one ass, simply because it happened to be 
the largest known specimen of the species," still ventures 
to contrast life, as seen by the sleek alderman, with life as 
regarded by " the f imine-stricken multitudes of Bolton." 
" Let Comfort," Q. concludes, " paint a portrait of life, 
and now Penury take the pencil. ' Pooh, pooh ! ' cry the 
sage Lauries of the world, looking at the two pictures ; 
'that scoundrel Penury has drawn an infamous libel. 
That life ! with that withered face, sunken eye, and shriv- 
elled lip ; and what is worse, with a suicidal scar in its 
throat ! That life ! The painter Penury is committed for 
a month as a rogue and vagabond. We shall look very 
narrowly into these cases.' We agree with the profound 
Sir Peter Laurie that it is a most wicked, a most foolish 
act of the poor man, to end his misery by suicide. But 
we think there is a better remedy for such desperation 
than the treadmill. The surest way for the rich and 



212 LIFE OF DOUGLAS JERROLD. 

powerful of the world to make the poor man more care- 
ful of his life is to render it of greater value to him." 

Louis Philippe, with Queen Christina, the mover of 
the famous revolution in Spain, against her own children, 
is contrasted with the authors of the Quenisset conspiracy 
in France. Louis Philippe is the Jemmy Twitcher of 
the French. His double, the carpenter Just of the French 
conspiracy, is left for the guillotine when caught, while 
his Majesty, and her ex-Majesty of Spain, remain in 
safety. Just leaves his dupe to be decapitated, and sneaks 
away; their Majesties leave Don Leon, and the other 
brave men they incited to revolt, to the executioner. Q. 
says, " It is to make the blood boil in our veins, to read 
the account of the execution of such men as Leon, Ora, 
and Boria, the foolish martyrs to a wicked cause. Never 
was a great social wrong dignified by higher courage. 
Our admiration of the boldness with which these men 
have faced their fate, is mingled with the deepest regret 
that the prime conspirators are safe in Paris ; that one 
sits in derision of justice on fellow-criminals — on men 
whose crime may have some slight extenuation from 
ignorance, want, or fancied cause of revenge ; that the 
other, with the surpassing meekness of Christianity, goes 
to mass in her carriage, distributes her alms to the poor, 
and, with her soul dyed with the blood of the young, the 
chivalrous and the brave, makes mouths at heaven in very 
mockery of prayer. We once were sufficiently credulous 
to believe in the honesty of Louis Philippe ; we sympa- 
thized with him as a bold, able, high-principled man, fight- 
ing the fight of good government against a faction of 
smoke-headed fools and scoundrel desperadoes. He has 
outlived our good opinion — the good opinion of the world. 
He is, after all, a lump of crowned vulgarity. Pity it is 



PUNCH. 213 

that men, the trusting and the brave, are made the pup- 
pets, the martyrs, of such regahty ! " 

" Half the day at least," says the editor of The 
Athenceum (December, 1841), " we are in fancy at the 
palace, taking our turn of loyal watch by the cradle of the 
heir-apparent ; the rest at our own firesides, in that mood 
of cheerful thankfulness which makes fun and frolic wel- 
come." About the same time Weeks, a Greenwich 
pensioner, was " fobbed out of £120,000 " for having 
boasted, among other things, that he had had children by 
Queen Elizabeth — that he intended to marry Queeu 
Victoria — and that, in fact, " not George the Third but 
Weeks the First was the father of Queen Charlotte's oflf- 
spring." " Now," asks Q., " what is all this but loyalty 
in excess f Is it not precisely the same feeling that takes 
the editor of The Athenceum half of every day from 
his family, spell-binding him at the cradle of the Duke 
of Cornwall ? Cannot our readers just as easily believe 
the pensioner as the editor ? We can. ... A writer 
in The Almanach des Gourmands says, in praise of a 
certain viand, ' this is a dish to be eaten on your knees.' 
There are writers who, with goose-quill in hand, never 
approach royalty but they — write upon their knees ! " 

In the first number of The London Charivari's sec- 
ond volume is " The Vision of Punch " by Q., wherein 
Eighteen-Hundred-and-Forty-One joins his elders in the 
Hall of Departed Years. " And every year sat beneath 
his number burning above him, from the year 1 to the 
year 1841. And almost every year had a different gar- 
ment from his fellow. The Year One, and many of his 
immediate neighbours, wore skins of beasts, and were 
painted as Punch had seen the pictures of the ancient 
Britons ; whilst succeeding years sported the Norman 



214 LIFE OF DOUGLAS JEKEOLD. 

shirt, and others the flowing robes of the Plantagenets, 
and some sat demure and close-cropped, with the faces 
of Puritans ; and to these succeeded years in short velvet 
cloaks, and Spanish hats and plumes ; and to them, years 
(the first was the Year Sixteen- Hundred-and-Eighty- 
eight) in square-tailed coats ; and then following years 
smiled from under three-cornered hats and periwigs ; and 
there were other years in blue coats and buckskin 
breeches. Indeed, among all the eighteen hundred and 
forty-one assembled, there were no two years that wore 
precisely the same outward covering. The last comer 
(for brevity we'll call him Forty-one) entered in a Peter- 
sham coat and railway drill trousers. As he took his 
seat, he was received w^ith clamorous applause." Then 
the years fall to gossiping with the new comer, .Waterloa ^ 
Eighteen-fifteen asks how his old friend Wellington does? 
" He's as droll as ever in the House of Lords," replied 
Forty-one. "• A few weeks ago he said poverty, drunken- 
ness, and idleness were one and the same thing, and 
stoutly denied the existence of any want in the country, 
as he had himself counted five-and-twenty turkeys at his 
own poulterer's." Then Forty-one relates how O'Con- 
nell has lost himself in a lord mayor's pair of breeches — 
how, by way of war, a few teapots had been broken in 
China. At last, wearied with the many questions of the 
elders. Forty-one, having quaffed from a skull of metheg- 
lin — offered by Death, " Time's true Ganymede " — said, 
" I have seen misery increase with every hour ; I have 
heard the wailing voices of tens of thousands of the poor 
crying for bread ; and I have heard purse-proud monopo- 
lists exclaim, with a voice of thunder, ' Give them a 
stone ! ' As for politics I have left the world in a very 
pretty clench. The Whigs, failing to sympathize with 



PUNCH. 215 

the people, lost them. As for the Conservatives they are 
pledged to ^remedy all a^pproved abuses,^ the question 
being, What will they admit to he an abuse ? Will they 
call a rat-hole a rat-hole ? or will they, as they have ever 
done, swear the hole to be a useful, healthful ventilator ? " 
Then Forty-one declares that a popular power is rising 
that must be paramount. " Though a Hercules be at the 
breast, the time will come when he'll wield a club." 

" Man versus Machine " is a paper in which a petition 
in favour of a Ten Hours' Act, presented to Sir Robert 
Peel, is discussed. Sir Robert replied that " female and 
youthful labour is preferred, because of its greater cheap- 
7iess'' " Hist ! A word," cries Q., " to the perpetuation 
of a system that deprives the poor man of a virtuous wife, 
and the poor infant of a tender mother — she is cheaper 
than the masculine animal. . . . The steam-engine, 
despite of themselves, must and will carry statesmen back 
to first principles. As it is, machinery is a fiend to the 
poor ; the time will come when it will be as a beneficent 
angel." 

The Marquis de Boissy, in the French Chamber of 
Peers, in 1842, said, " The worst enemies of government 
are persons without property;" whereupon Q. writes 
a paper on " The Traitor ' Nothing.' " " Agreed," says 
Q. " This Nothing is the poor man's fiend — the devil 
that haunts him. In the morning he rises with Nothing 
at his fireside — if, indeed, he have not slept with Noth- 
ing, in the winter air. He looks in his cupboard : 
Nothing grins at him from the empty shelves — Nothing 
frowns from the dark, cold fireplace. . . . There are 
ten thousand unknown victims — creatures born to Noth- 
ing, tended by Nothing, taught by Nothing, gaining 
Nothing, hoping Nothing. From their first ^ulp of vital 



216 LIFE OF DOUGLAS JEREOLD. 

air to their death-rattles, Nothing has been with them — 
Nothing comforted their mother in her hour of anguish — • 
Nothing gave to their babyhood the abandonment and 
frank happiness of infancy — Nothing, a stony-hearted 
tyrant, has awakened in their bosoms the dignity and 
supremacy of man — Nothing has been their shadow, their 
fate, their destiny. . . . Thus considered, what a terri- 
ble meaning has this said Nothing ! What a monster it 
is ! What blood and tears make up its name ! What 
groans and heart-breaks are in its voice ! And, alas ! 
we fear it is too true — Nothing is an enemy of the 
government ! And Nothing — let the government be sure 
of it — has a hundred thousand emissaries." * 

The Duke of Wellington gave to the 72d Highlanders 
colours " consecrated," in the words of his grace, " by 
one of the highest dignitaries of the church." "The 
Quakers," writes Q — " a rich body too — will pay well 
for any wondrous piece of writing that may disabuse their 
meek and intelligent sect of an old, ingrained prejudice, 
that denounces war as bloodshed, and conquest as plun- 
der. More — we have no doubt that, as amends for their 
long errors of ignorance, they will raise among themselves 
an efficient corps for active service. Yes, we shall have 
the Volunteer Broadbrims and the Rifle Drabs. The 
stain and taint of blood being taken from the colours of 
war — the foul and reeking coat of Mars having been sub- 
jected to the great episcopal reviver — homicide becomes 
an agreeable kind of Whole Duty of Man, and pillage a 
sacred and most direct way of enriching one's self. We 
must, however, have the form of consecration published, 
otherwise men will uncharitably accuse the sublime prel- 

* In 1848 Nothing — not a Reform banquet — destroyed the govern- 
ment of the Marquis de Boissy's royal master. 



PUNCH. 217 

ate of selfish ends, as wishing to retain a monopoly of 
the process. We have, however, no objection to its being 
secured to him by patent, if he will fix upon a permission 
to use the same at a moderate price, to be brought within 
the means of even a Welsh curate." 

" Why not consecrate the kilts ? " asks Q. 

The Duke of Wellington, as he rode to the House, 
touched his hat to the groans of a crowd, " as if receiv- 
ing the most complimentary applause." Q. contrasts the 
duke riding over the bloody field of Waterloo in deep 
despondency, with the coldness with which he might ride 
in England amid the famished. " How many more than 
fifty thousand Englishmen are, at this moment, dying the 
slow and torturing death of want ! Paisley and Bolton 
can outnumber the horrors of Waterloo; and yet it is 
evident, from the political arrival of the duke in the 
House of Lords — evident from his heroism so recently 
exhibited near St. Margaret's — that his grace could * very 
deliberately walk his horse' through the grass-grown 
streets of the manufacturing town, and ' touch his hat ' to 
the groans of its famine-stricken denizens." 

The County Courts' Bill is before parliament. The 
subject of law abuses is a fruitful one. Q. declares that 
John Bull "may defy the bowstring; but can he laugh 
at that more fatal ligament — red tape ? He may snap his 
fingers at the knout; but can he smile at that Beelzebub's 
blister — parchment? .... Turkey has her eunuchs, 
Russia her Cossacks, and England her attorneys ! There 
is for the sins, or rather the supposed sins of men, the 
bowstring, the spear, and the writ ! " Well, of course 
Wellington will resist Reform now, as he resisted the 
abolition of arrest for debt on mesne process. " We once 
more may hear Achilles pleading for the innocent civilian, 

10 



218 LIFE OF DOUGLAS JEREOLD. 

attorney Polyphemus ! " Lawyers are, of course, against ' 
cheap justice. " It is because lawyers are not wedded to 
justice that, like other profligates with their nominal 
wives, they would have her dress finely." 

Sir Robert Peel carries an Income Tax of sevenpence 
in the pound. Q. thanks him, in the name of suffering 
thousands, and is not ashamed to own that Sir Robert has 
disappointed him, and that most agreeably. There should 
have been a Property Tax in aid of the distress of suffer- 
ing thousands ; but then, asks Q., " Can any one not 
worthy of a cell in Bedlam hope a Property Tax from 
the wisdom and self-devotion of the House of Commons ? 
When ' dealers in marine stores ' shall seek out the inno- 
cents despoiled, and render back to them the goods they 
have lost, then will the heart of St. Stephen turn to flesh 
in his bosom, and, unbuttoning his pocket, will he pay a 
Property Tax !" A cry is raised against the inquisitorial 
nature of the Income Tax." Q. writes : The Income Tax 
is inquisitorial ! In consequence of its operation every man 
must inevitably have some knowledge of the true means of 
his neighbour. Why, if society were regulated by just 
principles ; if honesty, and nought but honesty, traded in 
the market, bartered in the warehouse, and sold behind the 
counter, a man would no more seek to mask his means 
from the world than he now seeks to mask his face. . . . 
Hypocrisy is the tutelar spirit of society — the foundations 
of all cities are lies." Mr. Charles Buller thought the 
principle of indirect taxation better. Q. likens this un- 
conscious levying of taxes to the activity of the vampire- 
bat — he is the tax-gatherer on these occasions. " For we 
are told that the creature, in the silence of night, fixes 
itself upon the toes of the sleeper, and drinks and drinks 
its greedy draughts of blood, and while it drinks, benevo- 



PUNCH. 219 

lently fans its victim with its wings ; and so the sleeper, 
i. e., the tax-payer, sleeps on until the vampire is gorged ; 
and then the creature goes away, leaving the man in per- 
fect ignorance of the amount of income he has, in his 
slumber, subscribed. Now this is the sort of tax-gatherer 
proposed by Mr. Charles Buller. Dr. Peel, however, 
says, ' No ; I want so many ounces of blood from every 
man, according to his capabilities of losing the same. I 
will take them, weigh them fairly ; so hold out your arm, 
and — where's the basin ? ' " 

A murder is committed, and the murderer becomes 
famous. Q. discourses of Blood. " ' The murderer 
takes coffee ! ' On the instant a hundred goose-quills reg- 
ister the fact. The assassin eats one, two, three slices 
of bread and butter ; and one, two, three slices are faith- 
fully registered by the historians of blood. The mur- 
derer smiles, and the ever-watchful public instructor 
makes inventory of the homicidal dimple. The man- 
queller ' talks unconcernedly,' and the light chit-chat of 
the ensanguined wretch is served up for families at Sun- 
day tables. The miscreant sleeps ; but is he left in 
solitude ? O no ! for the Press, a harridan gossip, sits at 
the pallet of the man of blood, and counts his throes, his 
groans ;- marks his convulsed limbs, and the sweat of 
agony upon his Cain-branded brow, and straightway 
vends her babble to all buyers. ... To take human life 
is terrible ; but is there no guilt in moral murder ? Is 
there no crime in systematically killing the finest sensi- 
bilities of our iiature, by daily and hourly fiimiharizing 
them with the aiocrities of monsters ? Look at the placards 
exhibited throughout London for these past three weeks ! 
"We read nothing but ' Blood ! ' The very walls cry, 
' Blood ! ' " 



220 LIFE OF DOUGLAS JERROLD. 

Quoth Hume, in the House of Commons, " the time 
was come for doing away with some of the gold lace " — 
at court ! Q. enlarges on this point. " Nations, like indi- 
viduals, have their times for cup-and-ball, jack-in-the-box, 
and ring-taw. The office of Court Fool was at one time 
a post essential to the privilege, if not to the dignity, of 
royalty. The office was abolished by no statute, but fell 
into contempt, and was finally set aside by the advancing 
spirit of society. For ourselves we have held, it may be, 
peculiar and false notions respecting these Court Zanies. 
We have looked upon them as great social reformers — as 
a kind of working curates to the high-priest, Humanity. 
When no man's tongue dared to speak the indignation of 
his heart ; at a time when the bitterest social wrong was 
to be endured in silence ; when man was the flushed, un- 
checked oppressor of man, the Court Fool gave utterance 
to the groan, winging the suffering with a jest that, hke 
the feather to the arrow, sent the truth still further home. 
Who shall say how much violence and wrong the Court 
Fool may not have stayed when, in the hours of vacancy 
or mirth, he may have put truth into the guise of folly, 
and, with the quaint courage of an allowed zany, have 
touched with pity and remorse, the bosom of a tyrant ? 
Even despotism, in its innermost heart, loves truth ; and 
though truth was not to be allowed in its solemn voice and 
simple garb, it might be jingled with the bells of a merry- 
andrew — permitted in the livery of a jester. As men 
began to beard despotism the Court Fool fell into neglect, 
and when Truth might speak her own language, her 
liveried tall^er gave up the ghost. Mr. Hume doubtless 
sees, in the gold-trapped lackeys of the state, expensive 
court fools without their wit. They are costly without 
being amusing — the remnants of a bygone time — the big 



PUNCH. 221 

glittering babies ' suckled in a creed outworn.' ' There- 
fore the time is come for doing away some of the gold 
lace.^ " 

Yet how — not only at court, but through the country — • 
we hustle and fight for a bit of " gold lace ! " "And, as 
society is at present, is not every man judged by the 
quantity of his ' gold lace ? ' Is not, therefore, ' gold lace ' 
the subject of the morning and evening hymn with all 
men ? Do we ask of a man, ' Has he talent, virtue, patri- 
otism, benevolence? Is he the pattern of a husband, 
parent, and citizen ? ' O no ! we ask nothing of this — he 
may have all this — he may be all this — we do not ques- 
tion it ; but — and here we draw ourselves up, and put the 
interrogation with an awfulness of manner, in proper 
keeping with the solemnity of the query — but we ask, 
^ Has the man gold lace ? ' Happy will be the land when, 
duly conscious of what constitutes true greatness, it shall 
exclaim, in the (improved) words of Joseph Hume, 
' Therefore the tivne is come for doing away all of the 
gold lace I ' " 

Minutes of evidence before a select committee of the 
House of Commons, on the subject of members' accommo- 
dation, were published in 1842. A library and a smok- 
ing room are among the conveniences recommended. Q. 
suggests that bath-rooms, sulphur, strigils, (" there are 
drawings of the last in Sir W. Gell's Pompeiana,^^) 
scissors, bath-men, &c., should be added to insure parlia- 
mentary cleanliness. Instead of going to the expense of 
a smoking-room, why should not members be permitted 
to smoke in their places? "The smoke curling from 
meerschaum and cigar would, in so many cases, exqui- 
sitely illustrate the patriotism, wisdom, and utility of the 
smokers. We trust that Mr. Hume will get up an amend- 



222 LIFE OF DOUGLAS JERK OLD. 

moiit, to the effect that there be no smoking-room, but 
thnt a small grant be voted for the sup}>ly of six hundred 
and fifty-eight japanned spittoons." Then why is there 
no proposition for a biUiard-room ? " Tliis is a grievous 
omission ; the more so as the object of many members' 
seeking the House of Commons is solely to learn how to 
— pocket." Cards, dice, and dominoes, also, should have 
been admitted. Q. is convinced that the omission has 
only to be pointed out to be remedied. For then '' how 
many railway and company bills, at present prosily dis- 
cussed in committee, might be arranged in a comfortable 
round game of spendat I oji / . . . Instead of settling every 
question by the tedious operation of dividing the House, 
why not cut for it ? " 

Captain Alexander Byrie, of the Acadia, in latitude 
46°, longitude -1:7°, saw an iceberg, from four hundred to 
five hundred feet high, bearing so strong a resemblance to 
St. Paul's, that it was at once christened after that cele- 
brated cathedral. Q. tinds something more tlian curious 
in this ice-formed cathedral. He has little doubt that it 
is intended as a significant warning to certain dignitaries 
of the church — to certain bodies of protesting Christians. 
" For our part, iceberg as it is, we think it should be im- 
mediately dignified by deans, prebends, canons, choir, and 
all the other ecclesiastical ornaments to be found in the 
stone St. Paul's. We should mightily like to have the 
appointment of the whole body. We think we could lay 
our iinger upon a bishop, whose hot political zeal would 
be reduced to a very healthful temperature, if submitted 
lo an ice pulpit. Then his discourses would have the 
refreshing coolness of his own port. Most of us know 
what hot bishop is ; therefore, for a trial, we should 
mightily like to taste the bishop we could name — well 



PUNCH. 223 

iced. We know not whether Sir Christopher Wren's 8t. 
Paul's could spare a i'aw of its body for its glacial coun- 
terpart ; but we have no doubt tliat Sydney Smith can 
immediately resolve that question. We think there are 
many attaclied to the stone edifice \(try much too warm 
for zealous churchmen — they would cool down admirably, 
pi-eferred to an icel)erg. As for the congregation we 
could ship off" thousands who, with lips of Cijristian love, 
have hearts of snowballs — zealous church-goers, who 
come and go, frozen in their orthodoxy, whose constitu- 
tional piety never rises to blood heat. There is, however, 
one appointment that we insist upon having in our own 
gift — it is that of beadle, which, in the handsomest way, 
we shall bestow on Mr. Plumptre, whose recent efforts in 
})ar]iament to stop by statute, the chir[)ing of sparrows on 
Sundays, demands the gi-ateful acknowledgments of the 
whole Christian world. Neither, should Sir Andrew 
Agnew apply for the place, do we think we could find it 
in our hearts to refuse him, the appointment of pew- 
opener. We have not entered upon this subject in a 
tiioughtless vein. We are aware that the frequent cry of, 
' The Church is in danger ! ' may be repeated on board 
the iceberg St. Paul's, the more especially should it float 
into a warm latitude. We have heard of the dissolution 
of abbeys ; but what a dissolution would there be of the 
cathedral, as, piece by piece, it melted into the relentless 
waters ! We have, however, provided for the dignitaries 
and the congregation ; nay, the Ijeadle and the pew- 
opener shall partake of our benevolence ; for, in the true 
spirit of philanthropy, we propose to present one and all 
with — a cork jacket ! " 

In the middle of 1842, still continuing the " Q. Pa- 
pers," of which I have offered the reader some random 



224 LIFE OF DOUGLAS JERROLD. 

samples — still, in quaint story or happy metaphor, deal- 
ing with the social and political questions of the day, 
Douglas Jerrold began "Punch's Letters to his Son." 
But these " Q. Papers " were " the first essays which at- 
tracted attention in Punch. " A basis of philosophical 
observation tinged with tenderness," writes Mr. Hannay, 
" and a dry, ironical humour — all, like the Scottish lion in 
heraldry, ' within a double tressure-fleury and counter- 
fleury ' of wit and fancy — such is a Jerroldian paper of 
the best class in Punch. It stands out by itself from 
all the others — the sharp, critical knowingness, sparkling 
with puns, of a Beckett — the inimitable, wise, easy, play- 
ful, worldly, social sketch of Thackeray. In imagery he 
had no rivals there ; for his mind had a very marked 
tendency to the ornamental and illustrative — even to the 
grotesque. In satire, again, he had fewer competitors 
than in humour ; sarcasms lurk under his similes, like 
wasps in fruit or flowers. I will just quote one specimen 
fix)m a casual article of his, because it happens to occur 
to my memory, and because it illustrates his manner. 
The Chronicle had been attacking some artists in whom 
he took an interest. In replying, he set out by telling 
how, in some vine countries, they repress the too luxuri- 
ant growths by sending in asses to crop the shoots. Then 
he remarked gravely that young artists required pruning, 
and added, ' How thankful we ought all to be that the 
Chronicle keeps a donkey ! ' In sterner moods he was 
grander. Of a Jew nfoney-lender he said that ' he might 
die like Judas, but that he had no bowels to gush out ; ' 
also, that 'he (the money-lender) would have sold our 
Saviour for more money.^ An imaginative colour distin- 
guished his best satire, and it had the deadly and wild 
glitter of war-rockets. This was the most original quality. 



PUNCH. 225 

too, of his satire, and just the quality which is least com- 
mon in our present satirical literature. He had read the 
old writers — Browne, Donne, Fuller, and Cowley — and 
was tinged Math that richer and quainter vein which so 
emphatically distinguishes them from the prosaic wits of 
our day. His weapons reminded you of Damascus rather 
than Birmingham." 

Most various are the subjects carved in Punch by 
this keen weapon. " The Debate on the Drama ; " " The 
Eyes of Europe and the Eyes of the World ; " "A Voice 
from the G-rave'," none other than that of the late Mar- 
quis of Hertford speaking to the character, according to 
Mr. Thesiger, of Nicholas Suisse, his late lordship's valet; 
" Our Wants," a quaint paper on the " Wanted " ad- 
vertisement column of the Times; "The Luxury of 
Assault;" " Goose versus Eagle," a whimsical article on 
the Ashburton treaty ; " Peace with the Pig- Tails ; " 
" The ' Sabre ' and the ' Cross ; ' " « Peel's ' Velveteens ; ' " 
" The ' Milk ' of Poor-Law ' Kindness ; '" « Philanthropy 
and Fiddling ; " « The Pope's Medal ; " '' The Pearls of 
Parliament; " " Great Meeting of the Bishops ; " " The 
Pig-skin Solomon ; " " Needles and Coronets ; " " Great 
Meeting of the Duchesses ; " " Wanted — some Bishops ! " 
"A Royal Wife of— £3,000 ! " cfec. Then there were the 
"Jenkins Papers," in which the patrician idolatry of the 
Morning Post was whipped severely ; the " Pecksnif- 
fery Papers ; " squibs of all kinds by the dozen ; with 
bushels of jokes, sharp as crackers* on the passing follies 
of the hour. All these, however, were the lighter, the 
less important contributions made to Punch by Douglas 
Jerrold. He gave the journal its political backbone in 
the " Q. Papers," undoubtedly ; but he gave it more. He 
contributed chapters as tender as the " Story of a Fea- 

10* 



226 LIFE OF DOUGLAS JERROLD. 

ther " and " Our Honeymoon ; " as dramatic and popular 
(though he was weary of their popularity, and disliked to 
be known chiefly as their author) as "Mrs. Caudle's 
Curtain Lectures ; " * as sharply satirical and profoundly 
witty as " Punch's Letters to his Son," and " Punch's 
Complete Letter Writer." Other series — as " Mrs. Bib's 
Baby," " The Female Robinson Crusoe " — of less success 
than the preceding, were his ; but " Our Honeymoon " 
may be said to be the last series of mark that Douglas 
Jerrold contributed to his favourite periodical. All were 
introduced in queer arabesque prefaces, and in some 
(" Punch's Letters," for instance) come refutations or ex- 
planations of charges of bitterness. " It may be charged 
against these ' Letters,' " says their author, " that they are 
not written in milk upon rose leaves. The charge is un- 
deniably true. The Letter Writer, with all decent 
meekness, pleads guilty to it. A porcupine — even an 
infant porcupine, with its quills in the down — is not a 
lamb, a snow-white lamb, cropping trefoil and wild thyme, 
and now and then taking a jocund gambol, no doubt to 
promote its digestion. But for this do we blame the por- 
cupine ? Do we call it a monster, simply because its quills 
are not wool ? No, it was created a porcupine, and the 
point to be considered is this — is it a porcupine, a porcu- 
pine of average merits, or in all things a most exemplary 
porcupine ? " Then the porcupine as a dish is contrasted 
with lamb, and the experience of M. Charlevoix in North 
America is laid under contribution, to prove that the prickly 
hog eats well. " Now," adds the author, " it is wished that 
these ' Letters ' should be treated by the reader as North 
American Indians are wont to treat early porcupines. 

* These " Lectures " have been translated into almost all the con- 
tinental languages. I have a Dutch edition before me. 



PUNCH. 227 

They may bear about them the rudiments of quills ; but 
let him try what is under them, strip off their outward 
clothing, and then, literally hoping the best, let him fall 
to, even as he would make essay on the flesh and bones 
of a flayed young porcupine." 

" Punch's Letters " (they are dedicated to the Lord 
Chamberlain) preach worldly wisdom, in parables, stories, 
and by examples. The very dedication is a story of 
how a certain pearl, destined to repose upon the palpi- 
tating bosom of an Eastern queen, fell into the wash of 
a pig! But Punch — representing the author — in the 
introduction confesses that his " Letters to his Son " are 
written in lemon-juice. The son is dead. " Yes, mutton 
was his fate," says the parental Punch ; and, turning to 
the letter by the father, we find a few words from the 
dear child. ''''Condemned Cell, Newgate. Honoured Par- 
ent, — I have, to the best of my abilities, followed the 
advice sent to me from time to time in your ' Letters.' 
You will, therefore, as the Ordinary says, not be sur- 
prised to find I write from this place. It is a case of 
mutton, and I am to be hanged on Monday. Your Son, 
Punch the Younger. P. S. — You will find that, in spite 
of my misfortunes, I have the credit of my family still 
at heart. I shall, therefore, be hanged as John Jones ! " 
" My heroic boy kept his word," Punch pere adds, " and 
until this very hour his mother is ignorant of his fate, 
believing him to be at this moment ambassador at the 
court of ." 

" Punch's Complete Letter Writer " is dedicated to 
-, Secretary to the Home Department. "A mere 



high title," says Punch " at the head of a dedication is 
a piece of pompous lumber. In the shallowness of our 
judgment, we bestow a humiliating pity on the forlorn 



228 LIFE OF DOUGLAS JEREOLD. 

savage who lays his offering of fruits and flowers before 
his wooden idol with a formidable name — an idol cer- 
tainly with gold rings in its nose and ears, and perhaps 
an uncut diamond in its forehead ; but, nevertheless, an 
insensible block. The fruits shrivel and rot — the flowers 
die a death of profitless sweetness ; for the idol has no 
gustatory sense, no expanding nostril. I say, we j^ity 
the poor darkened fool who may have risked his limbs 
for cocoa-nuts, who may have tempted the whole family 
of mortal snakes, groping his way through woods, scramb- 
ling up ravines to gather flowers, and only to lay the hard 
winnings of his toil before a stock, a stone, that cannot 
even so much as wink a thankfulness for such desperate 
duty done. And what shall we say of the author who, 
choosing a patron merely for his titles — for the gold 
rings in his nose and ears, and certainly not for the dia- 
mond in his head — lays before him a book for which 
the poor creature has not the slightest relish ? He is 
incapable of tasting its deliciousness. Its most sapid mor- 
sels lie in his mouth like bran. He chews and chews a 
prime cut — yea, the very pope's eye of philosophy — as it 
were chopped hay. I bestow ink upon no such man. 
And thou, sagacious, and therefore pacific goose, still enjoy 
thy common right ; still with snaky neck search the short 
grass ; still, with fixed and meditating look, eye men 
askance — disturb thee not ; I rifle not thy wing of its 
gray wealth to nib a pen for such a patron." 

But Punch dedicated his "Complete Letter Writer" 
to the Home Secretary on grounds then indisputable, 
namely, because this minister had the whole run of the 
Post Office, and must therefore " possess a most refined, 
most exquisite taste, for the graces of epistolary com- 
position." 



PUNCH. 229 

Among these letters is one from a lady inquiring about 
the character of a servant, and one from a servant in- 
quiring about the character of a mistress — sharp satires 
'on these social relations. The servant writes to a late 
fellow-servant living next door to her prospective mis- 
tress, to know whether Mrs. Squaw nags, and how she 
allows her servants to dress. " Mind," says Bridget 
Duster, " I don't insist on ringlets in the house, but 
when I go out I'm my own mistress. I've given up 
two places for my bird-of-paradise feather — it looks quite 
alive in my white chip ! — and would give up twenty." 
Then Bridget must know what is Mrs. Squaw's character 
for crockery. Bridget, who is courted by a Life Guards- 
man, " quite a building of a man " — grows pathetic over 
Mrs. Squaw's objection to followers. " No followers, in- 
deed ! " says Bridget. " No ; they think that the cat and 
the kettle, and the kitchen clock, are company enough 
for a poor servant. They never think of us in the long 
winter nights when they are playing at cards, or chatting 
with folks who've dropped in ; they never think of us, 
all alone as we are, without a soul to speak to ! No, we 
must have no followers, though perhaps the parlour's 
ringing again with laughter ; and our only chance of 
opening our lips is the chance of being sent out to get 
oysters for the company." The purpose here is clear, as 
it is clear, through its veil of playful fancy, or behind 
the barb of a sharp sarcasm, throughout the " Letter 
Writer ; " and the war is, as ever, in behalf of the weak. 

In the " Story of a Feather " the single purpose of 
Douglas Jerrold's writings — that which you shall find 
giving a colour and a solidity to his lightest effusions, 
namely, the subduing the falsities and the wrongs that he 
saw about him — flows quietly through the serious as well 



230 LIFE OF DOUGLAS JEREOLD. 

as the livelier parts of the book. " The Story " is ac- 
cepted as " a good expression of his more earnest and 
tender mood." I am reminded, by a friendly critic, of 
the delicacy with which all the part about the poor ac- 
tress is worked up. " How moral, how stoical, the feeling 
that pervades it ! The bitterness is healthy — healthy as 
bark." The success of this story has been greater than 
that of any other written by Douglas Jerrold, the reason 
being that there is strong dramatic interest woven about 
a happy idea. The natural way in which the feather 
travels, now to the cot of the Prince of Wales, and liow, 
draggled, to the theatre ; how it is taken to a tavern, and 
left in a hackney coach ; how it finds its way to Newgate ; 
and the stories that naturally turn up here and there, as 
that of the Countess of Blushrose and her babe (a true 
incident, by the way) ; the abundant fancies, and the 
poetic felicities of description which this short story in- 
cludes, have been kindly dwelt upon by all critics who 
have carefully read it. Mr. Dickens wrote, when the 
story appeared as a book, " I am truly proud of your 
remembrance, and have put the ' Story of a Feather ' on 
a shelf (not an obscure one) where some other feathers 
are, which it shall help to show mankind which way the 
wind blows, long after we know where the wind comes 
from. I am quite delighted to find that you have touched 
the latter part again, and touched it with such a delicate 
and tender hand. It is a wise and beautiful book. I am 
sure I may venture to say so to you, for nobody consulted 
it more regularly and earnestly than I did, as it came out 
in Punchy 

A critic of some weight, dealing recently with the col- 
lected edition of Douglas Jerrold's Avritings, turned from 
the lighter sketches by the author, to the " Story of a 



PUNCH. 231 

Feather." " But the ' Story of a Feather,' " he wrote, 
" perhaps, is the most affecting, humanly ; and produces 
this powerful effect from the relentless way in which the 
terrible sketching is faithfully done, the strokes of the 
pencil falling like strokes of a whip. There is no slur- 
ring over, no ^ idealizing ' (which so often comes to mere 
falsity) in the descriptions there. Gauntwolf, for instance, 
will remain a permanent image to us for ever ; there is 
right earnestness in the way in which he is depicted ; he 
seems sent flying into the realms of art by a kick from 
the artist. The predominant characteristic of this story 
is power, and the moral character of it, earnestness ; it is 
painted with intensity, for it has feeling in every para- 
graph. No i wit ' could have written it, any more than 
he could have written the funeral service." 

This same critic remarks in another place, " It appears 
to me diving very adroitly into the well of Truth. Espec- 
ially you may observe how his [ Jerrold's] mind, ' getting 
under weigh ' — be it in story, moralizing, picturesque de- 
scribing, mere playfulness, or satirical irony — accumulates 
all its resources, and conducts the journey with pomp and 
plentifulness. All sorts of ornament, and illustrations, 
and allurements are heaped together — flowers, perfumes, 
precious stones, fresh green leaves, images in ebony, 
ivory, and the precious metals. For if impulsive warmth 
be the central fact, lavish and brilliant expression is the 
secondary one." 

" Mrs. Caudle's Curtain Lectures " were welcomed by 
laughing thousands. They appealed to English domes- 
ticity. They were drolleries to be enjoyed over tea and 
toast — (some of them written to dictation on a bed of 
sickness, racked by rheumatism) — as understandable in 
the kitchen as in the drawing-room — by the mechanic's 



232 I.IKK OV 1H>IHU-AS .IKKKOLO. 

wito. as by luM- i;r;u'i\ sluinlxM'iujj; uiulrr ihc shadow of Iut 
duonl ot>nMuM. IIusIkuuIs pokoil iho points at Ihcir \viv(»s, 
and wiv(>s road and laniilunl, vowinii; that IMrs. Candle 

was vtM-y like JMrs. . 1m cm y niarriod lady Ihroiigh- 

ont (lu\<(^ ploasani roahns saw ;i likonoss horo ; bnt to 
wouc was tho pa^(^ a lookinji'-o-lass. A vast soorot (his 
lor a }H)[>nlar snbjoot! CIkh^so yon, ironndons author, 
biting- dnbionsly (lio t'oathor ot" yiMir pon — ohtn^so yon a 
IhtMno ihat sliall nMloct your roador's iVitMul, and not your 
roador. Tho " Snob PaptM-s " l\avt^ never been read by 
a snob, but have been liladly devoured by thousands of 
snobs' iViends. JMrs. Candle was the n(>\t-doiM- neigh- 
bour of every niarrieil woman in Kuiiland. Perusing- tlie 
last leetnre, fair reailers llashed the lightning of their 
wieked eyes to play Jaek-t>'-lantern in the eonnnbial 
ehaniber o\' next dooi', tluM-e to lind the true origit\al — 
there to east light n{H>n the model ot' wieked, provoking 
J//'. Puiic/i. '* It has hap|HMied to the writer," says tho 
]>en-and-ink parent ot' Mrs, C, "that two. ov three, or 
tiMU or twenty genthMvomen ha\i> askinl him, and asked 
in various notes of wonder, pity, and reproof, ' W/taf 
could hair made ifou think of ^frs. Ctntdle? I/oir could 
such a thiiuj hare entered aui/ man's mind'i' There are 
snbjeets that seem like rain-drops to fall upon a man's 
head, the heatl itself having nothing \o do with the matter. 
The result ot" no train of thought, tlu>re is the pieture, (ho 
statue, the book, wat'ied like (he smallest seed into the 
brain, (o I'eed upon (he soil, sueh as it may be. and grow 
(here. And this was, no doubt, (he aeeiden(al eause of 
(he literary sowing and expansion — unl'olding like a night 
tlower — o'i INIks. C.vrnM.. r>ut let a jury of gentle- 
women deeide. It was a thiek, blaek, win(ery atUM-noon, 
when the wri(er stopped in the front of the playground 



HUNCH. 233 

of a suburban .school. Tlic ground Bwarrncd with })oy.s 
lull oi' the Saturday's holiday. Tlie eartli scorned rcjolcd 
with the oldest lead, and the wind came sharp as Shy- 
lo(;k's kni/e from the Minories. liut those liMj)py l)oy3 
Jan and Jum|)ed, and ho{)ped and shoutcid, and — uncon- 
scious men in miniature ! — in th(;ii- own woi-hl of frolic, 
had no thought of the i'ull-length men they would some 
day bec(^me — drawn out into grave citizenship — formal, 
respectable, responsible. To them the sky was of any or 
all colours ; and for that keen east wind — if it was called 
the cast wind — cutting the shoulder-blades of old, old 
men of foi'ty, they, in their immortality of boyhood, had 
tli(; jed<ler faces and the nimbler blood for it. And the 
writer, looking dreamily into that playground, still mused 
on tin; robust jollity of those little fellows, to whom the 
tax-gath(^i-(;r was as yet a rarer animal than bal>y hif>po- 
potamus. Heroic boylu^od, so ignorant of Uk^ ful,u)-(; in 
the knowing enjoyment of the jn-esent ! And the wi'iter, 
still dreaming and nujsing, and still following no distinct 
line of thought, there struck upon him, like notes of sud- 
den household music, these words — Curtain Leotuuks. 
One moment there was no living object save those racing, 
shouting boys ; and the next, as thougli a white dove had 
alighted on the pen-hand of the writer, there was — Mrs. 
Caudle. Ladies of the jury, are there not then some 
subjects of letters that mysteriously assert an effect, with- 
out any discoverable cause? Otherwise, wh(;refore should 
the thought of Curtain Lectures grow fj-oin a school- 
gi'ound ? wh(;r(;f(jre, ijrnong a crowd of holiday school- 
boys, should appear Mrs. Caudle ? For the Lectures 
themselves, it is feared they must be giv(;n up as a farci- 
(^al desecration of a solemn time-honoured privihige; it 
may be, exercised once in a lifetime, and that once having 



234 LIFE OF DOUGLAS JERROLD. 

the effect of a hundred repetitions, as Job lectured his i 

wife. And Job's wife, a certain Mohammedan writer 
delivers, having committed a fault in her love to her 
husband, he swore that on his recovery he would deal 
her a hundred stripes. Job got well, and his heart was 
touched and taught by her tenderness ; to keep his vow, 
and still to chastise his helpmate, he smote her once with 
a palm-branch having a hundred leaves." 

Introducing Mr. Caudle, the patient listener, the writer 
touches upon wedding rings. " Manifold are the uses 
of rings. Even swine are tamed by them ; you will see 
a vagrant, hilarious, devastating porker — a full-blooded 
fellow that would bleed into many, many fathoms of 
blackpudding — you will see him, escaped from his proper 
home, straying in a neighbour's garden. How he tram- 
ples upon the heartsease; how, with quivering snout, he 
roots up lilies — odoriferous bulbs ! Here he gives a 
reckless snatch at thyme and marjoram, and there he 
munches violets and gillyflowers. At length the ma- 
rauder is detected, seized by his owner and driven, 
beaten, home. To make the porker less dangerous it is 
determined that he shall be ringed. The sentence is 
pronounced — execution ordered. Listen to his screams ! 

' Would you not think the knife was in his throat ? 
And yet they're only boring through his nose ! 

Hence, for all future time, the porker behaves himself 
with a sort of forced propriety ; for in either nostril he 
carries a ring. It is, for the greatness of humanity, a 
saddening thought, that sometimes men must be treated 
no better than pigs." Job suffered the lectures of his 
wife during thirty years, and then used his time, after 
Mrs. C.'s lamented death, to set them down. 

These " Lectures," I make bold to affirm, are known 



PUNCH. 235 

to all the readers these pages are likely to attract ; from 
the lecture on Caudle's loan of five pounds to a friend, 
to that which describes the fact that 3frs. Caudle has 
taken Cold and gives the Tragedy of Thin Shoes. Mrs. 
Caudle dies ; and Pimch, inditing a postscript to the 
" Lectures," declares that if he have supplied a solitary 
text to meet any of the manifold wrongs with which 
woman, in her household life, is continually pressed "by 
her tyrannic taskmaster, man," he feels that he has only 
paid back " one grain, hardly one, of that mountain of 
more than gold" it is his felicity to ow^e her. Very 
happy, too, are the concluding words, in which Mr. Punch 
sets himself right with the sex. He says, " During the 
progress of these ' Lectures ' it has very often pained us, 
and that excessively, to hear from unthinking, inexperi- 
enced men — bachelors, of course — that very woman, no 
matter how divinely composed, has, in her ichor-flowing 
veins, one drop, ' no bigger than a wren's eye,' of Caudle; 
that Eve herself may now and then have been guilty of 
a lecture, murmuring it balmily amongst the rose leaves. 
It may be so ; still, be it our pride never to believe it. 
Never ! " 

" Mr. Caudle's Breakfast Talk," which appeared sub- 
sequently in one of " Punch's Almanacs," attracted very 
little attention. Job was flat after his wife. The author, 
it has been said in print, took the popularity of " The 
Caudle Lectures " somewhat " sulkily," as he took his 
fame as the author of Black-Eyed Susan, for the simple 
and obvious reason that he knew he had written far bet- 
ter things than these ; and that, consequently, his reputa- 
tion was not fairly based. He w^ould have been known 
as the author of " Clovernook," Bubbles of the Day, Time 
Works Wonders^ the " Man Made of Money," and the 



236 LIFE OF DOUGLAS JERROLD. 

" Story of a Feather." But he was delighted — as de- 
lighted as the proprietors — to see the circulation of 
Punch grow even under the nightcap of Mrs. Caudle. 
He went, radiant, to the weekly Punch dinners ; and was 
merry there in the midst of the men he had met, for 
years, over that kindly, social board. 

Amid all these series, he still cast his keen weapons 
about him, in paragraphs, in lines, in two or three words. 
Up and down the broken lively columns of Punch, 
through thirty-four solid volumes, you may trace jokes 
and sarcasms hurled at social grievances ; quaint allego- 
ries — now the " Boa and the Blanket," turning to proper 
ridicule Mr. Warren's " Lily and the Rose," and now 
the Burns Festival, in its shortcomings. Presently come 
trooping from his pen " Twelve Fireside Saints " to sit 
about men's Christmas hearths, in 1857. They are holy 
little presences these, with each her special shining virtue 
to be imitated. Any home shall be the better for look- 
ing at — for studying them. They were the author's last 
marked success in Punch — that is, the last things of his 
which the public seized upon, and welcomed, acknowledg- 
ing their author. 

Only ten days before his death Douglas Jerrold wrote 
for Punch. The Punch boy was announced at Kilburn 
Priory on Friday, the 29th of May, 1857, as he had 
been announced in the old contributor's study, every 
week, for the last seventeen years. There sits the author 
at his desk. A goodly bunch of flowers — culled this 
morning by his daughter Mary, and, to him, taking a 
special sweetness from this fact — lies in a green goblet 
before him. A pile of gaudy books for review are piled 
up at his side ; his paper basket is brimmed ; and upon 
his desk lie two or three little slips of blue paper with 



PUNCH. . 237 

writing upon them that is smaller than the smallest 
type. 

The face is a little pale, and very white the hair looks 
to-day. 

The few blue slips are neatly folded in an envelope ; 
the " Punch boy " is told that he may go when he has 
dined ; and the author puts down his favourite gold pen, 
having marked subjects he will treat in coming weeks. 

Men are painting the iron steps that lead from the 
study window to the garden. He, for whose use these 
steps are designed — who promises himself the pleasure 
of walking down them into some shady place in the 
garden, in full summer — complains of the paint. He 
never could stand the paint. He has had the painter's 
cholera. Alas ! it is not the paint this time ! 



238 LIFE QF DOUGLAS JEEROLD. 



CHAPTER X. 

MAGAZINES AND NEWSPAPERS. 

The " Story of a Feather," the " Q." articles, &c., 
which in the year 1843 were appearing in Punch, did 
not — even in addition to the demands of theatrical man- 
agers — wholly engross the industry of Douglas Jerrold. 
Returned from Boulogne at the end of 1841, he had 
established himself in a very pretty cottage in Park Vil- 
lage East, Regent's Park, where he had a study that was 
bowered by trees, away from the main road. Hither, to 
his busy hive, in the spring of 1843, came some gentle- 
men, proposing to him to enter upon a new field of action. 
He was as ready as ever. Friends would be about him ; 
there were ideas to be gathered and worked out together, 
and happy meetings over the work, in the prospect. The 
notion was, The Illuminated Magazine ; proprietor, Mr. 
Herbert Ingram, of The Illustrated London News. It 
was soon before the world — Douglas Jerrold, editor. 

In this magazine an endeavour was made to combine 
the attractions of good authors and good artists. Two old, 
very old, friends figure in the list. Comes genial Laman 
Blanchard with " Nell Gwynne's Looking-glass ; " and 
happy, conversational Meadows (to be understood yet), 
with the pencil that shall draw presently the glowing 
" Gratis " and the rotund Hermit of Bellyfulle. Peake 



MAGAZINES AND NEWSPAPERS. 239 

is here too. And come trooping after him, writers whom 
the kind-hearted editor knows, and whom he cannot re- 
fuse. He will chafe and fume as he reads their proofs — 
but que voulez-vous f Is there not something holj in the 
brotherhood of letters ? and is it not a vital, cupboard 
matter that these things shall appear ? Oh ! for that no 
that should have been said long ago — that should have 
been nailed as the best shield in flaming letters over the 
study door. The man within — whom the world calls 
stern and bitter — needs this word, more than any man I 
have known, above his door. The want of it shall be 
felt by him and his — has been felt — and bitterly. The 
men who shall owe him a kindness — to be paid in roses 
cast upon his grave — are gathering thickly about him. 
Some, the kindness accorded, to turn their back, with 
tongue in cheek. But what of that? Let them pass. 
The faith in good burns still, and you shall never quench 
it. The last thing that frail hand lying upon that green 
desk shall write, will be a good done to a fellow-man, 
which that fellow-man shall walk away with and forget, 
as though he had been carelessly sauntering down a lane, 
and had lopped a primrose from its stem ! 

But our business is with the new magazine. It ap- 
peared regularly through many months ; and it will be 
remembered, many years after it failed, as the vehicle 
that gave birth to the " Chronicles of Clovernook," with 
Kenny Meadows' masterly illustrations of them ; and to 
essays by the editor like " The Two Windows " (of a 
workhouse), "The Old Man at the Gate," "The Order 
of Poverty," " The Folly of the Sword," &c. &c. 

I have spoken of the good nature that was warmed to 
enthusiasm — almost blind enthusiasm — when any one 
near or dear, or both, was concerned. I, a boy about 



240 LIFE OF DOUGLAS JERROLD. 

fourteen years of age at the time when the early numbers 
of The Illuminated Magazine appeared — I hoped to be an 
artist ; and with enthusiastic fondness, my father occasion- 
ally dropped into my room to admire my studies from 
nature. We went together one day, in 1843, while he 
had a cottage a few miles from Heme Bay, across 
country, in lovely weather (and nowhere is lovely 
weather lovelier than over a Kentish landscape), through 
the village of Heme. We crossed the pretty churchyard, 
and went strolling up the rise in the rich park behind it. 
As we approached the summit of the gentle hill, amid 
splendid umbrageous trees, we saw in the distance, a long, 
low building, with two narrow windows in it. It was the 
workhouse. There might have been a splendid view 
from it. But blank walls were there, for paupers were 
within. My father could hardly contain his indignation. 
He wrote the essay on the morrow entitled " The Two 
Windows," and bade me illustrate it. The wood-block 
came from London. I did my best, and it is in the 
magazine, the unworthy heading to the essay. But he 
thought well of it, and I was proud indeed. This by way 
of illustration of his irrepressible leaning to all whom he 
loved, in any efforts of theirs. 

The " Chronicles of Clovernook," " Chronicles of 
Goosequill " — a fragmentary record of a region no less 
real than the earth that is trod upon, "because only 
visited on wings " — are the papers which will, I take it, 
preserve The Illuminated Magazine from oblivion. 

Thesg " Chronicles " the author always put forth as 
the outspeaking of his real nature — of the poetry, the 
earnest love of the lovely — that was within him. The 
" Man Made of Money " may be more perfect as a work 
of art ; but in the " Chronicles " lies the soul of the 



MAGAZINES AND NEWSPAPERS. 241 

writer, and all persons who knew him recognize this fact 
at once. That keen sense of the beauty of nature — the 
eye that loved to turn from the work-day world, and feed 
upon hedge-rows, and woody glades, and blue, fading dis- 
tance — the spirit that rollicked in free, unconventional 
life, and bore the chains of city rules chafing and ill at 
ease — that love of the country, which was a true part of 
a thorough sailor nature — are here expressed — tinged 
with a devout religion, in no way shackled by formula, as 
the mummy is swathed in bandages. As I have else- 
where shown, the author pointed to a passage in " Clover- 
nook," when talking with a friend, as that which expressed 
him better than any other passage of his many writings. 
Clovernook is a fairy land, with this difference from com- 
mon fairy land — that it has root in the soil under our 
feet. It shows man, with plenty about him, the laws 
which govern plenty set aside. It shows men living in 
the warm arms of nature — nor chaffering, nor deepening 
nails in one another's throat. The Gratis is an inn where 
many would gladly tarry. About Clovernook are mossy 
fields — none softer nor more grateful to the foot of man. 
The Hermit — " Well," says Mr. Dickens, writing to the 
author, " a thousand thanks " for him. " He took my 
fancy mightily when I first saw him in The Illuminated ; 
and I have stowed him away in the left-hand breast- 
pocket of my travelling coat, that we may hold pleasant 
converse together on the Rhine. You see what confi- 
dence I have in him." 

The Illuminated Magazine lasted some two years, and 
then died. The editor, busy still with many projects, 
had removed from the Regent's Park to West Lodge, 
Putney Lower Common. In January, 1845, undaunted 
by a past failure, he started Douglas Jerrold's Shilling 
11 



242 LIFE OF DOUGLAS JERROLD. 

Magazine with IMessrs. Bradbury and Evans. The year 
1845 was, perhaps, the most active twelvemonth Douglas 
Jerrold passed. In this year he wrote copiously in 
Punch ; in his own magazine " St. Giles and St. 
James's," and the " Hedgehog I.etters ; " in the Daily 
News, just started, leaders ; for the stage, I'ime Worlcs 
Wonders ; and it was in this year that he was first called 
personally before the public. The call was to Birming- 
ham ; but of this presently. 

The Shilling 3Iagazine achieved a great success, for 
the editor had become undoubtedly a powerful speaker on 
the Radical side, in the state. Ilis story of " St. Giles 
and St. James's " was extremely popular. Its subject is 
told in its title ; its treatment they can understand who 
know any thing of Douglas Jerrold's writings. It was 
said again, of course, that it was the object of the Avriter 
to set class against class — the easy taunt made by the 
flourishing against all w'ho preach the cause of the suffer- 
ing poor. When the story, revised, was presented to the 
public in a complete form, the author protested against 
the charge of " a cleaving desire to despoil the high for 
the protit of the low ; " of " a besetting tendency to reverse 
as a sort of moral Robin Hood, stripping the rich of their 
virtues that only the veriest poor might strut in the 
plunder." From this verdict the author appeals, " some- 
what confidently," to readers who may give his book '• a 
dispassionate perusal." Yet here is the author's intention 
set forth in his own words : " It has been my endeavour 
to show, in the person of St. Giles, the victim of an igno- 
rant disregard of the social claims of the poor upon the 
rich ; of the governed million upon the governing few ; to 
present — I am well aware how imperfectly — but with no 
wilful exaggeration of the portraiture — the picture of the 



MAGAZINES AND NEWSPAPERS. 243 

infant pauper reared in brutish ignorance, a human waif 
of dirt and darkness. Since the original appearance of 
this story, the reahty of this picture, in all its vital and 
appalling horror, has forced itself upon the legislature, 
has engaged its anxious thoughts, and will ultimately 
triumph in its humanizing sympathies. I will only add 
that, upon an after-revision of this story, I cannot think 
myself open to the charge of bedizening St. Giles at the 
cost of St. James ; or of making Hog Lane the treasury 
of all the virtues, to the moral sacking of Mayfair. . . . 
In conclusion, I submit this volume to the generous inter- 
pretation of the reader. Some of it has been called 
' bitter ; ' indeed ' Ijitter ' has, I think, a little too often 
been the ready word when certain critics have conde- 
scended to bend their eyes upon my page ; so ready that, 
were my ink redolent of myrrh and frankincense, I well 
know the sort of ready-made criticism that would cry, with 
a denouncing shiver, *Aloes, aloes ! ' " 

Yet the purpose, the strong purpose, was not to be 
given up. The magazine had been started by its enthu- 
siastic editor to make its voice heard, not in boudoirs, but 
in the high places, where action for the good of the people 
might be the result. It may be said that the machinery 
brought to bear upon so ambitious an o2)eration was weak 
and poor ; but it was all that could be done by the ear- 
nest man who put it forth, and it did its good, we may rest 
assured, for at one time some nine thousand persons 
bought the result every month. 

"It is intended," said the editor, "that this work shall be mainly 
devoted to a consideration of the social wants and rightful claims of 
the People — that it shall appeal to the hearts of the masses of Eng- 
land. 

" With no expectation or wish to conflict with, or supplant any- 
present publication, it is believed that a work popularly addressed to 



244 LIFE OF DOUGLAS JERROLD. 

the sympathies and common sense of the kingdom, must make for 
itself a large and hitherto unoccupied sphere of instruction, amuse- 
ment, and utility. 

" It is our belief that the present epoch is pregnant Avith more 
human interest than any previous era ; as it is also our faith that the 
present social contest, if canned out on all sides with ' conscience and 
tender heart,' must end in a more equitable allotment of the good 
provided for all men. To aid, however humbly, in the righteous and 
bloodless struggle, is a truer, a more grateful glory, than any glory 
blatant in gazettes. And an aroused spirit begins to feel this. Awak- 
ing from a long vain dream, that showed the many created only to 
minister to the few, the said spirit believes — or says it believes — in the 
universality of the human heart. Hence it vindicates a common right 
to happiness ; hence, in its new tenderness, it even ' babbles o' green 
fields ' for the health and healthful thoughts of the people. So much 
the better. 

" With politics, as party politics, we meddle not. The day is hap- 
pily gone by when parties, like foul-mouthed vixens, assailed each 
other with unseemly epithets, that mutual abuse might hide mutual 
corruption and infirmity. We shall deal with politics only in their 
social relation, as operating for the good or evil of the community. 
Whig and Tory, Conservative and Radical, will be no more to us than 
the names of extinct genera. 

"It will be our chief object to make every essay — however brief, 
and however light and familiar its treatment — breathe with a pur- 
pose. £xperience assures us that, especially at the present day, it is 
hy a defined jmrpose alone, whether significant in twenty pages or in 
twenty lines, that the sympathies of the world are to be engaged, and 
its support insured. 

" Whilst dealing with the highest social claims of our countrymen, 
•we shall not exclude from our pages either sketch of character, tale, 
history, or romance. Far otherwise. It will be our earnest desire to 
avail ourselves of all and every variety of litei-ature, if illustrating and 
wol'king out some toliolesome pHnciple. Mere stories, made, like Twelfth- 
night heroes, of mere sugar, we shall certainly eschew. 

" Neither would we have the ' light reader ' take alarm at our graver 
subjects. They, too, it is hoped, may be discussed with no very violent 
call upon his wakefulness. It is not necessary that such themes, like 
bullets, should be cast iri lead to do the surest service. 

" Such was the pith of the prospectus that, six months ago, an- 
nounced the publication of the present work. We then spoke, cer- 
tainly, in the fulness of hope. We have now to acknowledge the 
success that has firmlv established the ' Shilling Magazine ' as a 



i 



MAGAZINES AND NEWSPAPERS. 245 

public organ. It has made a sphere for itself. We nevertheless hope, 
with each succeeding volume to develop nfore strength, more various 
power, so that the book may be rendered more worthy of the sym- 
pathy and encouragement that, from the first number, so cordially 
welcomed it." 

Few volumes appeared, however, and another and a 
more important organ was suddenly opened to Douglas 
Jerrold. 

He gives his reasons for the new venture in a letter to 
Mr. Forster. He writes : " When last we met I had 
given up a project entertained by me for some week or 
two previous, and believed that I could eke out time to 
meet your wishes. Such project is again renewed (it is 
that of a Sunday newspaper), and therefore, with what I 
am already engaged in, will fully employ me. I am in- 
duced to this venture, first, by the belief that I can carry 
it out with at least fair success ; and, secondly, that it 
affords to me the opportunity of asserting my own mind 
(such as it is), without the bitter annoyance (for I have 
recently felt it) of having the endeavours of some years 
negatived, * humanized ' away by contradiction, and what 
appears to me, gross inconsistency." He must have 
written also to Mr. Dickens on the subject, for, in a letter 
dated Geneva, October 24, 1846, Mr. Dickens writes : 
" I feel all you say upon the subject of the literary man 
in his old age, and know the incalculable benefits of such 
a resource. You can hardly fail to reahze an independent 
property from such success, and I congratulate you upon 
it with all my heart and soul. Two numbers of ' The 
Barber's Chair ' have reached me. It is a capital idea, 
and capable of the best and readiest adaptation to things 
as they arise," &c. 

Douglas JerroMs Weekly Newspaper appeared in the 



246 LIFE OF DOUGLAS JEEKOLD. 

summer of 1846. It was, for some time, a great success. 
The editor had undoubtedly become a literary power in the 
state, and the large masses of the people were on his side, 
and welcomed the elegance, the wit, and the fancy in 
which he knew, and knew alone in his time, how to clothe 
Radicalism. " The Barber's Chair," for instance, was a 
dialogue carried on among a barber and his customers on 
the affairs of the week — carried on with all the sparkle 
and tenderness of the author of Bubbles of the Day and 
Time Works Wo7iders. The leaders were strong outspeak- 
ings on the Liberal side — against all aristocratic preten- 
sion, against hanging, against flogging, against the Hugh 
M'Neales, and others. The hammer came with a heavy 
thump, for the smith was in downright earnest. " The 
Radical literature of England," one of his critics has 
justly remarked, " with few exceptions, was of a prosaic 
character. The most famous school of Radicalism is 
utilitarian and systematic. Douglas was, emphatically, 
neither. He was impulsive, epigrammatic, sentimental. 
He dashed gayly against an institution, like a picador at a 
bull. He never sat down, like the regular workers of his 
party, to calculate the expenses of monarchy or the extrav- 
agance of the civil list. He had no notion of any sort 
of ^ economy.' I don't know that he had ever taken up 
political science seriously, or that he had any preference 
for one form of government over another. I repeat, his 
Radicalism was that of a humorist. He despised big- 
wigs and pomp of all sorts, and above all, humbug and 
formalism. But his Radicalism was important as a sign 
that our institutions are ceasing to be picturesque; of 
which, if you consider his nature, you will see that his 
Radicalism was a sign. And he did service to his cause. 
Not an abuse, whether from the corruption of something 



MAGAZINES AND NEWSPAPERS. 247 

old, or the injustice of something new, but Douglas was 
out against it with his sling. He threw his thought into 
some epigram which stuck. . . . Recommending Austra- 
lia, he wrote, ' Earth is so kindly there that, tickle her 
with a hoe, and she laughs with a harvest.' This is in 
his best manner, and would be hard to match anywhere 
for grace and neatness. Here was a man to serve his 
cause, for he embodied its truths in forms of beauty. His 
use to his party could not be measured like that of com- 
moner men, because of the rarity and attractive nature 
of the gifts which he brought to its service. They had a 
kind of incalculable value, like that of a fine day, or of 
•starlight." 

More may be said : it is this — that Douglas Jerrold 
was enthusiastic on the popular side, as Shelley was. He 
never cared to dabble in statistics proving the exact sum 
given away in sinecures — to weigh to a scruple the in- 
fluence of the House of Lords in the House of Commons. 
He took broad, patent facts, great indisputable wrongs, 
and drove sharp epigrams into the heart of them, or 
entangled them in the mazes of some bright fancies, or 
heightened their hideousness to the dull public eye by 
dexterous and picturesque contrasts. This was the work 
accomplished in Douglas Jerrold's Weekly Newspaper 
while Douglas Jerrold was its editor. But after a time 
the newspaper began to droop. Let us not inquire too 
narrowly how it fell. Whether again, men, ill adapted 
to the work, were fastened upon it by the good-natured 
editor, and bore it doAvn ; whether the editor himself, sud- 
denly seized with a desire to be at rest somewhere on the 
sea-shore, and drawn irresistibly to Guernsey, to the sick 
bed of a beloved daughter, neglected it. But here is the 
fact. About six months after the paper was started, and 



248 LIFE OF DOUGLAS JERROLD. 

after it had achieved a most remunerative sale, it began 
to break down. Undoubtedly its editor was away ; un- 
dou|)tedly his pen was not often to be traced in its pages, 
and the newsboys began to poke their knowing heads 
between the damp sheets, to see whether there was a 
" Barber's Chair " that week before they gave their 
orders. This was sad, for the journal might have been 
a permanent property. Returned to town, to find the 
paper fallen ; — now hardly profitable ; Douglas Jerrold 
soon wearied of it. He could not help it. His nature 
was mercurial. Let him once look upon a thing as a 
failure, and it was all over with him. He must mount 
with the rocket, and shine in the high heavens — not fall 
with the stick. 

In 1848, however, urged hotly by friends, yet himself 
not too well disposed to the expedition, he started, ac- 
companied by Mr. George Hodder in the capacity of 
secretary, for Paris, there to tread the hot ground of 
the recent revolution, and give his vivid emotions back 
to the English public. But he was moody when he ar- 
rived. He was stirred mightily, it is true, by the noble 
position of De Lamartine, and was introduced to him ; 
but he could not see his way clear — his heart was not 
in the work. He wandered about, saw Louis Philippe's 
portrait turned to the wall at Versailles, wrote one paper 
of impressions, and then prepared to return to London. 
He had gone armed with a bundle of letters of introduc- 
tion. " There," said he, as he arranged his desk, giving 
a packet to Mr. Hodder, " burn that — they're my letters 
of introduction." And home he went. The paper fell 
rapidly afterwards, and at last its editor was saddled 
with a heavy debt, which was never paid till his death, 
and was then discharged by a life policy. 



MAGAZINES AND NEWSPAPERS. 249 

His name was withdrawn from the ghost of the journal, 
and it became the Weekly News, and was subsequently 
merged (if any thing remained to be merged) in the 
Weekly Chronicle. " The Hermit of Pali-Mall " and other 
series were begun in this journal while it remained in 
the hands of its original editor ; but none were carried 
beyond two or three weeks. There was a cloud over the 
thing, and the editor shivered under it, and could not 
warm to his usual heat. 

The magazine was continued, however, while the jour- 
nal was in existence ; but it was dying, like the news- 
paper. " Twiddlethumb Town," a remarkable beginning 
of a remarkable idea, was published in it, in its expiring 
moments, and gave perhaps, a short galvanic movement 
to it ; but the seeds of death were in it, and it was soon 
put aside. 

Then appeared the first number, in 1851, of "A Man 
Made of Money," the only story ever published, origi- 
nally, in a separate form, by Douglas Jerrold. Speaking 
of this romance, the critic, whom I have already quoted, 
says : — 

" It bids fair, I think, to be read longer than any of 
his works. It is one of those fictions in which, as in 
' Zanoni,' ' Peter Schlemil,' and others, the supernatural 
appears as an element, and yet is made to conform itself 
in action to real and every-day life, in such a way that 
the understanding is not shocked j because it reassures 
itself, by referring the supernatural to the regions of al- 
legory. Shall we call this a kind of bastard allegory ? 
Jericho, when he first appears, is a common man of the 
common world. He is a money-making, grasping man, 
yet with a bitter savour of satire about him which raises 
him out of the common place. Presently it turns out 
11* 



250 LIFE OF DOUGLAS JERROLD. 

that, by putting his hand to his heart, he can draw away 
bank-notes — only that it is his life he is drawing away. 
The conception is fine and imaginative, and ought to 
rank with the best of those philosophic stories so fashion- 
able in the last century. Its working out, in the every- 
day parts, is brilliant and pungent ; and much ingenuity 
is shown in connecting the tragic and mysterious element 
in Jericho's life with the ordinary, vain, worldly exist- 
ence of his wife and daughters. It is startling to find 
ourselves in the regions of the impossible just as we are 
beginning to know the persons of the fable. But the 
mind reassures itself. This Jericho, with his mysterious 
fate — is not he, in this twilight of fiction, shadowing to 
us the real destiny of real money-grubbers, whom we 
may see any day about our doors ? Has not the money 
become the very life of many such ? And, so feeling, the 
reader goes pleasantly on, just excited a little, and raised 
out of the ordinary temperature in which fiction is read, 
by the mystic atmosphere through which he sees things, 
and ends acknowledging that, with much pleasure, he has 
also gathered a good moral. For his mere amusement 
the best fireworks have been cracking round him on his 
journey. In short, I esteem this Jerrold's best book — 
the one which contains most of his mind. ... 'A Man 
Made of Money ' is the completest of his books as a 
creation, and the most characteristic in point of style — is 
based on a principle which predominated in his mind — 
is the most original in imaginativeness, and the best sus- 
tained in point and neatness, of the works he has left." 

It was also the last. As a specimen of the picture- 
painting may we give the reader the deck of an emigrant 
ship ? Still, it will be seen, the middy of Sheerness turns 
seaward. His last words in his last book are, " " ' Bout 



MAGAZINES AND NEWSPAPERS. 251 

ship ! ' cries the captain. The yards swing round — the 
canvas swells as with the breath of good spirits. May 
such await the trusting and courageous hearts our vessel 
carries — await on them and all, who, seeking a new home, 
sail the mighty deep ! " 

But here is the ship's deck in dock : — 

" Some dozen folks Avith gay, dull, earnest, careless, hopeful, wearied 
looks, spy about the ship, their future abiding-place upon the deep, 
for many a day. Some dozen, with different feelings, shown in dif- 
ferent emotions, enter cabins, dip below, emerge on deck, and weave 
their way among packages and casks, merchandise and food, lying in 
labyrinth about. The ship is in most seemly confusion. The lands- 
man thinks it impossible she can be all taut upon the wave in a week. 
Her yards are all so up and down, and her rigging in such a tangle, 
such disorder, like a wench's locks after a mad game at romps. 
Nevertheless, Captain Goodbody's word is as true as oak. On the 
appointed day, the skies permitting, the frigate-bviilt Halcyon, with 
her white wings spread, will drop down the Thames — down to the 
illimitable sea. 

" She carries a glorious freightage to the Antipodes— English hearts 
and English sinews — hope and strength to conquer and control the 
waste, turning it to usefulness and beauty. She carries in her the 
seed of English cities, with English laws to crown them free. She 
cari'ies with her the strong, deep, earnest music of the English tongue 
— a music soon to be universal as the winds of heaven. What should 
fancy do in a London dock? All is so hard, material, positive. Yet 
there, amid the tangled ropes, fancy will behold — clustered like birds 
— poets and philosophers, history men and story men, annalists and 
legalists, English all, bound for the other side of the world, to rejoice 
it with their voices. Put fancy to the task, and fancy will detect Mil- 
ton in the shrouds, and Shakspeare, looking sweetly, seriously, down, 
pedestalled upon yon main-block. Spenser, like one of his own fairies, 
swings on a brace; and Bacon, as if in philosophic chair, sits soberly 
upon a yard. Poetic heads of every generation, from the half-cowled 
brow of Chaucer to the periwigged pate of Dryden, from bonneted 
Pope to nightcapped Cowper— fancy sees them all — all; ay, from the 
long-dead day of Edward to the living hour of Victoria; sees them all 
'gathei-ed aloft, and with fine ear lists the rustling of their bays." 

Remains to be chronicled the last literary undextaking 



252 LIFE OF DOUGLAS JEREOLD. 

to which Douglas Jerrold's name is attached. In the 
spring of 1852 he became editor of Mr. Lloyd's Weekly 
Newspaper. Critics were busy with the prudence of the 
step ; but the new editor had made up his mind, this 
time, to speak to tens of thousands of readers, and that 
fervently and constantly. He saw in this engagement, 
which yielded him £1000 per annum, without risk of any 
kind, the ease that would enable him, with his Punch 
engagement, to afford himself the leisure which he had 
fairly won. The acres of paper he had covered — the 
dramas he had thrown out by the dozen — the fair suc- 
cesses he had achieved — and the position of honour in 
which he now found himself in intellectual society, all 
tended to make him less prodigal of his ink. He had 
much to say, however, to the people. Shams were still 
abroad to be battered and annihilated ; there were op- 
pressions still to beat down in behalf of the public ; the 
gibbet still reared its sable head amid mobs of yelling 
savages before Newgate ; the people over the water were 
under the iron thumb of the despot of the 2d of Decem- 
ber ; and in the highways of England were still pluralists 
and hoarding bishops. From his stern independence no 
minister could wring the shadow of a promise. He was 
said to be blind to his own interests ; but he was true to 
his own noble, passionate heart. I find, neatly pasted in 
his scrap-book, and signed " N. W.," the following 

"LINES ON LINES. 

" Curved is the line of Beauty, 
Straight is the line of Duty; 
Walk by the last, and thou wilt see 
The other ever follow thee." 

These words vibrated harmoniously within him. When 



MAGAZINES AND NEWSPAPEES. 253 

he obtained from Lord John Russell a post for his son in 
the Treasury, he felt somewhat uneasy under the obli- 
gation. It chafed his spirit to think that, in any thing he 
might have to write on the future political conduct of the 
noble member for London, he might feel his pen embar- 
rassed by this favour. But Lord John, it is right here to 
record the fact, was the only statesman in whom he 
thoroughly believed ; and in whose conscientiousness, 
much as he disliked some of his lordship's political atti- 
tudes, he put faith. 

Lloyd's Newspajper^ under Douglas Jerrold's editorship, 
rose by thousands weekly. He was proud of the rise, 
and would talk happily of it over his study fire on Sun- 
days — days on which I always made a point of dining 
with him — on which, indeed, he was grieved if all his 
children within reach, were not about him. Friends said 
that he would soon grow tired of the paper. But he held 
to it — even when ill — manfully. Now and then his per- 
tinacious enemy, rheumatism, would be too much for him, 
and work was impossible. In the beginning of 1854, for 
instance, a severe attack in the eyes, during the violence 
of which he could hardly distinguish the window from the 
wall, prostrated him utterly. Then he left his weekly 
tasks to the humble writer of these pages — pleased and 
comforted, it is a happiness to remember, that in his own 
son he could find an interpreter. Then occasionally the 
passion for travel, of which I have yet to speak in a sub- 
sequent chapter, would seize upon him, and he would be 
off, leaving me a few lines, a few hints, and the editor- 
ship ! But these rare occasions were separated by long 
months of constant and enthusiastic work. His leaders 
were unhke those of any other journal. If another paper 
went gravely to work, to prove how Mr. Cochrane and 



254 LIFE OF DOUGLAS JEREOLD. 

his soup kitchens were not to be regarded altogether with 
reverence, the editor of Lloyd's threw out some humorous 
suggestion. Mr. Cochrane had become a verbose bore. 
Douglas Jerrold suggested that he should return to his 
soup kettle ; and, added the adviser, " when he is fairly 
in it, may some discreet friend kindly put the lid on." 
For dabblers — with a strong dash of the mountebank, 
even when there was a basis of real good nature — of the 
Cochrane stamp, made Douglas Jerrold very angry. 
Any thing that looked like an endeavour to turn philan- 
thropy into political capital, jarred in his soul. But when 
the stamp of patriotism looked genuine he was enthusi- 
astic at once. Perhaps he was easily deceived. He 
could not go about the world probing the moral truth of 
men ; he took such truth, in most instances, for granted. 
But just as you could not persuade him that a Kossuth, 
under any circumstances, could be a false man, so you 
could never prove to him that there was good in a Louis 
Napoleon. Indeed, he would not listen to your argu- 
ments ; his indignation boiled over at once, and he would 
point vehemently to the damning spots, nor could you 
make his jSnger move from them. 

Political truth was a passion with him. I remember a 
heated discussion that took place, the subject being the 
length to which a man might justly go in defence of his 
opinions. My father grew very excited in the course of 
the discussion — vowed that a man should sacrifice every 
thing for his opinions. Suddenly, his eyes flashing, he 
pointed to me, and said, '' Why, if that dear boy and I 
were on opposite sides in a revohition, do you think he 
would not be justified in striking me down if he could, 
and I in striking at him ? " 

I was against the proposition, deferentially observing 



MAGAZINES AND NEWSPAPERS. 255 

that I, taking part in a revolution, might be on the wrong 
side, even while it was my firm conviction that I was on 
the right side. To strike a father was, beyond all doubt, 
wrong and wicked ; whereas opinions were not infallible 
moral laws. To honour a father is undoubtedly a solemn 
duty — a duty beyond every political opinion whatsoever. 

Well, in the third week in May, 1857, Douglas Jer- 
rold was still at his post — editor of Lloyd's Newspaper — 
speaking to 182,000 subscribers. His notes for the ensu- 
ing week, written in his neat hand upon a transparent 
plate, are here sad relics to us, who knew and loved him. 

And in parting from this division of my imperfect re- 
cord, and the more important division, to treat of Douglas 
Jerrold the man, let me add that in the last undertakinjr 
in which he was engaged, he found unmixed pleasure. 
He spoke of Mr. Lloyd, on his death-bed, with the utmost 
tenderness, and begged to be most heartily remembered 
to him. I carried my dying father's words to the ears 
for which they were intended, and I now set them down 
in the last page of my father's literary life, for they com- 
mand a place here, being part of the man from whom 
they came. 



256 LIFE OF DOUGLAS JERROLD. 



CHAPTER XL 

DOUGLAS JERROLD IN PUBLIC. 

It was often a regret with the subject of this life, 
that while young he had not been called to the bar. But 
he would have made no figure in court. His physique 
would have betrayed him ; the drudgery would have 
repelled him ; and his nervousness in public would 
have been against him. His life was marred by the 
incessant wear of a painful disease. He often wrote 
while the movement of his pen was fierce pain to him. 
He dictated humorous articles while writhing in agony ; 
he worked at his webs of quaint ideas when, in a dark 
room, he passed six weeks waiting for his sight. But 
though the spirit would have been strong to battle against 
these ills, he could not have commanded the body. He 
wrote for Punch, at the Malvern water-cure, whither he 
had been carried, motionless with rheumatism. He pen- 
ned "A Day at the Reculvers," and some of the " Clover- 
nook Chronicles," while his old enemy gnawed at his 
bones, and just before he was carried in an arm-chair on 
board the Heme Bay boat, bound tor London. His 
spirit seemed to shine the clearer through the ills of his 
flesh. But an active life would have overtaxed his 
feeble body ; an over-sensitive nature would have kept 
him in the background in a court of law. No ; he fill- 



DOUGLAS JERROLD IN PUBLIC. 257 

filled the mission for which he was ordained by nature, 
and laid his noble head upon his pillow, the work at an 
end, tranquil in conscience — after a hard fight of forty 
years out of fifty-four — as a child. He a barrister ! Why, 
even latterly the thought of making a public speech 
unnerved him. " Is your modesty really a confirmed 
habit," Mr. Dickens wrote to him in 1844, "or could you 
prevail upon yourself, if you are moderately well, to let 
me call you up for a word or two at the Sanatorium 
Dinner ? There are some men (excellent men), con- 
nected with that institution, who would take the very 
strongest interest in your doing so ; and do advise me, 
one of these odd days, that if I can do it well and un- 
affectedly, I may." 

Nervously enough, in the following year, Douglas 
Jerrold accepted a public invitation to Birmingham, to 
preside at the annual Conversazione of the Polytechnic 
Institution, in that city. Mr. Dickens had presided on 
the previous occasion. It was on the 7th of May, 1845 
— ('45, as I have already said, was the most active year 
of the author's life) — that he took the chair. But just 
as he was moving towards the hall, the " operatives in 
the fancy trade " in the town stopped him, and, drawing 
out an illuminated address, prepared in Mr. Gillott's 
establishment, read it to him, presenting to him, at the 
same time, a gold ring with an onyx shield. The re- 
cipient, so deeply touched by any mark of kindness — he 
who could fight against neglect or wrongful censure with 
keener weapons and a stouter heart than most men — he, 
whose mind was armed cap-d-pie against any enemy, felt 
his lance tremble in his hand, and his heart move and 
swell to his throat, as the head of the deputation said : — 



258 LIFE OF DOUGLAS JEREOLD. 

" Dear Sir, 

" Representing as we do the operatives engaged in the Bir- 
mingham fancy trades, we take the opportunity of your visit to 
Birmingham to express to you our admiration of your character 
and writings, embodying as they do sentiments of justice, exposure 
of tyranny, and defence of that class to which we ourselves belong ; 
expressed, too, in that extraordinary style of satire, pathos, and truth, 
to which no other writer has ever yet approached. We beg to 
offer, as a mark of our esteem, a humble tribute to your worth, the 
intrinsic value of which, though small, we have no doubt will be 
accepted with the same feelings that it is offered; namely, those of 
kindness and affection, proving that the working men can feel kind 
and grateful to the kind and talented advocate of their often miser- 
able position ; and, owing to the progi-ess of education thereby, giving 
to them the means of reading works like your own, they are enabled 
to appreciate the kindness of one that has so long and so ably con- 
tended for their welfare. 

" That you may long enjoy health, happiness, and prosperity, is 
the prayer of ourselves and those we represent. 

■ »S. F. NiCKLIN. 

" Joseph Stinton. 
" James Woolley. 
" Charles Palmer. 
" Birmingham, May 7, 1845." 

This was the first public honour Douglas Jerrold had 
received ; and he was overwhelmed by it. A worldly 
man would have taken it with a proper, regulated, con- 
ventional warmth ; but he bore his heart upon his sleeve, 
and there it was. His mouth worked convulsively ; but 
suddenly a few fiery words came, and you could almost 
see the heart upon the lip. He told them (the deputa- 
tion) this was the first public tribute he had received ; 
and so highly was it prized by him, that however For- 
tune — " the blind goddess " — might smile upon him in 
after-time, the present made to him by the people of 
Birmingham would be more dearly valued than any other 
he might receive. He then entered the hall, nervous, 
overpowered. " In Douglas Jerrold," says the report of 



DOUGLAS JERROLD IN PUBLIC. 259 

that evening, " there is the plain simplicity of a child, 
with all the mental reserve of careful thought. As he 
rose to speak he was timid and overpowered ; not from 
any feeling of vainglory — for he seems far above any 
such feeling — but from the force of an overwhelming 
sense of a burst of public kindness and heartfelt apprecia- 
tion of his good deeds — his talented and benevolent 
actions — ^for which, on his first public appearance before 
such a company, he was not at all prepared." Sentences 
and epithets are confused here, perhaps ; but you see the 
meaning struggling through the tangled words. Then 
rising — his heart beating quick — amid fhe dense throng 
of people, his first public words trembled from his lips. 
He said : — 

" Ladies and gentlemen, — Already embarrassed by the novelty of 
my position — for I am miskilled in the routine of public meetings — the 
welcome which you have just awarded me renders me even less capa- 
ble of the duty which your partial kindness has put upon me. But I 
know — I feel that I am among friends — (hear, hear, and cheers) — and, 
so knowing, I am assured in the faith of your indulgence. Ladies and 
gentlemen, when I look throughout this hall, thronged as it is by the 
most valuable class of the community, I cannot but think that the 
great, the exalted cause which we meet here to celebrate this evening, 
is strongly beating at the hearts of the men and women of Birming- 
ham. (Hear, hear.) Happily the prejudice is gone by, with a deal 
of the lumber of those ' good old times ' which certain moral anti- 
quaries affect to deplore (the why I know not, except, indeed, it is 
because they are old, just as other antiquaries affect to fall into rap- 
tures with the rust of the thumbscrew or the steel boot, although it 
strikes me they would be very loath to live, even for a minute, under 
the activity of either) — the prejudice is happily gone by which made it 
necessary to advocate the lasefulness of institutions for the education 
of the masses. (Cheers.) Ladies and gentlemen, this is my first 
essay in public, and I feel so overcome, not only with your welcome 
here now, but with the welcome I have previously received, that I 
really feel quite unnerved and unable to proceed. I am sorry, most 
sorry, that it should have ftiUen to your lot to have experienced the 
first of my deficiencies ; but so it is : I cannot help it. So far as I 



260 LIFE OF DOUGLAS JERROLD. 

have gone I thank you for listening to me ; but I assure you at the 
present time I am quite unable to proceed any further." (Mr. Jerrold 
sat down amidst loud cheers.) 

Overpowered, he could say no more. The mayor rose, 
and alluded to him as " the literary advocate of the op- 
pressed," and the " scourger of the oppressor," amid loud 
cheers. A reverend gentleman pointed to him as one 
who had known how to mix wisdom with pleasure — 
reason with mirth — whose excellent lessons lost none of 
their force because his readers smiled while they learned. 
Then said a speaker, " Time Works Wonders." (Loud 
applause.) Then again, " Here is a maker of books, who, 
from his quiet closet, has spoken to the multitudes — has 
been understood and appreciated by them — and is now 
receiving at their hands that hearty welcome, that loud 
acclamation, which is due to his presence and his la- 
bours." Then again — a crowning embarrassment — Mr. 
Richard Spooner, M.P., turned to the trembling chair- 
man, saying, " And now, sir, let me address a few words 
to you : be of good cheer and speak — there are no Mrs. 
Caudles in Birmingham." (Loud laughter and cheers.) 
No; the crowning difficulty was heaped upon the un- 
happy chairman's head when the Rev. George Dawson 
bade him try to speak again, and give the meeting, at 
once, a new number of Punch ! 

Then the chairman rose excitedly, and ended the 
matter (it was too much for him), saying: — 

" Ladies and gentlemen, — If before I suddenly felt myself unable to 
give expression to my thoughts, how can I now be expected to remedy 
that defect, absolutely oppressed as I am by a sense of the unworthi- 
ness of the encomiums which have been heaped upon me ? I cannot 
— I will not attempt to do it. But here standing, with all my defi- 
ciencies upon my head, I feel most strongly that the time will come — 
shall come (hear, hear), if I know any thing of myself— when I will 



DOUGLAS JERROLD IN PUBLIC. 261 

prove myself more worthy of the tolerance I have received at your 
hands. (Loud cheers.) Some mention has been made of a certain 
periodical with which I am unworthily connected (cheers), and it is 
really out of justice to others that I ought for some moments to con- 
sider that topic. It is the good fortune of every one — good fortune I 
will not say — it is, however, the fortune of every one connected with 
that periodical to receive, at times, a great deal more praise than what 
is justly his due. I am in that predicament this evening. I could 
wish that two or three of my coadjutors were here (cheers), that the 
praise which is so liberally bestowed on that work might be shared 
among them. Mrs. Caudle! (Loud cheers.) Your honourable mem- 
ber has said he does not believe there is a Mrs. Caudle in all Birming- 
ham. (Laughter.) I will even venture to go further than he: I do 
not think there is a Mrs. Caudle in the whole world. I really think 
the whole matter is a fiction — a wicked fiction, intended merely to 
throw into finer contrast the trustingness, the beauty, the confidence, 
and the taciturnity of the sex. (Applause.) Ladies and gentlemen, I 
most respectfully thank you again for the tolerance with which you 
have borne me. I can only again repeat the conviction, that the time 
will come when I shall be more able to give expression to my grati- 
tude — to my sense of your kindness — than I feel myself now enabled 
to do." (Great applause.) 



The chairman returned, mortified, to London. 

In the following year Manchester claimed him for a 
president; and here he gathered courage, and made a 
highly successful speech. But the effort was great ; the 
nervousness remained with him. From his visit to Man- 
chester sprang his idea — developed in his own journal 
by Mr. Angus B. Reach — of the Whittington Club. 
Earnest young men took up the idea, and on the 29th of 
February, 1847, a soiree, to celebrate the opening of the 
club, was held. 

This was an institution of Douglas Jerrold's own creat- 
ing ; he felt strongly in its favour. Called to the chair 
before a dense audience of friends, he nerved himself to 
utter that which was within him. This, and another 
speech to be presently referred to, are the only speeches 



262 LIFE OF DOUGLAS JERROLD. 

of any length ever made by my father before an English 
public. To the friends of the Whittington Club he 
said : — 

" Ladies and gentlemen, — The post of danger, it has been said, is the 
post of honour. I was never more alive to the truth of the saying 
than at the present moment. For whilst, from a consciousness of in- 
ability duly to perform the duty to which you have called me, I feel 
my danger, I must, nevertheless, acknowledge the honour even of the 
post itself. But it is the spirit of hope that has called us together on 
the present most interesting occasion, and in that spirit 1 will endeav- 
our to perform the task, not rendered particularly facile to me by 
frequent pi'actice. It is my duty, then, as briefly as I may, to dwell 
upon the purpose that brings us together this evening, and, as simply 
as lies within my power, to explain the various objects of our young 
institution — the infant Whittington. And even now it must be con- 
sidered a most promising child — a child that hos already got upon its 
feet; and though not yet eight months old — not eight months, ladies — 
is even now insisting on running alone. But, gentlemen, while you 
rejoice at the energy of this very forward child, I beseech you to have 
a proper humility, as becomes our sex in all such cases, and take none 
of the credit to yourselves. Indeed, no man can have the face to do 
so, looking at the fair faces before him ; for therein he cannot but ac- 
knowledge the countenance that has made the institution what it 
really is. The growing spirit of our day is the associative spirit. 
Men have gradually recognized the great social truth, vital in the old 
fable of the bundle of sticks ; and have begun to make out of what 
would otherwise be individual Aveakness, combined strength ; and so 
small sticks, binding themselves together, obtain at once the strength 
of clubs. Now, we propose, nay, we have carried out such a combina- 
tion, with this happy difference — that whereas such clubs have hith- 
erto been composed of sticks of husbands and single sticks alone — we, 
for the first time, intend to grace them with those human flowers that 
give to human life its best woi'th and sweetness. I think I recollect 
an old copy-book text that says, ' Imitate your betters.' Now, I have 
a dark suspicion that, though this word ' betters ' was in that text of 
early morality or copy-book text, it nevertheless signified richer. 
Well, in this — by no means obsolete — sense, Ave have, by the formation 
of the Whittington Club, only imitated our betters. We have paid 
them the respectful homage of following their example. The gold 
sticks and silver sticks, and chamberlain's rods, and black rods of 
high society, have bound themseh^es together for mutual advantage 



DOUGLAS JEREOLD IN PUBLIC. 263 

and mutual enjoj^meut; and why not the humble wands of life? If 
we have clubs composed, I may say, of canes with gold heads — or, if 
not always with gold heads, at least with plenty of gold about them — 
if we have clubs of nobles, wherefore not clubs of clerks ? For my 
own part, there are lions and tigers, even in the highest heraldry 
for which I have certainly not more respect than for the cat, the 
legendary cat, of Richard Whittingtou. Nevertheless, the proposed 
institution of our club has, in two or three quarters, been criticized as 
an impertinence — as almost a revolutionary movement, disrespectful 
to the vested interests of worshipful society. It has really been in- 
ferred that the social advantages contemplated by our institution 
would be vulgarized by being made cheap. These pensive prophets 
seem to consider the refinements of life to be like the diamond — rarity 
making their only worth; and with these people, multiply the dia- 
monds, ten thousandfold ; and for such reason, with them, they would 
no longer be considered fit even for a gentleman. These folks have 
only sympathies with the past. They love to contemplate the world 
with their heads over their shoulders, turned as far backward as ana- 
tomy will permit to them that surpassing luxury. Nevertheless, there 
is a tenderness at times, in the regret of these folks, for vested interests 
— a tenderness that maizes it touching. Tell them, for instance, that 
this City of London is about to be veined with the electric telegraph; 
that wires vibrating with the pulse of human thought are about to be 
made messengers 'twixt man and man, and these people, ' beating 
their pensive bosoms,' will say, ' Yes, it's all very well — with these 
whispering wires — this electric telegraph; but if wires are to run 
upon messages, what — what's to become of the vested interests of the 
ticket porters ? ' Why, with these people the rising sun itself should 
be to them no other than a young fiery revolutionist, for he comes 
upon the world trampling over the vested interests — that is, the dark- 
ness — of the last night. However, to briefly scan the various purposes 
of our institution, we intend to establish two club-houses — two to 
begin with — whose members may obtain meals and refreshments at 
the lowest remunerating prices. Well, surely men threaten no danger 
to the state by dining. On the contrary, the greater danger some- 
times is when men can get no dinner. In the most troublous times, 
knives are never to be made so harmless as when coupled with forks. 
Hence I do not see why the mutton chop of a duke at the Western 
Athenceum might not be imagined to hold a very affable colloquy with 
the chop of a clerk, cooked at the Whittington. We next propose to 
have a library and reading-room. We intend to place the spirits of 
the wise upon our shelves — and when did evil ever come of Avisdom? 
It is true our books may not be as richly burnished as the books of 



264 LIFE OF DOUGLAS JERROLD. 

■western clubs — our libraiy may not have the same delicious odour of 
Russian leather — in a word, our books may not have as good coats on 
their backs; but it will be our own faults if they have not the same 
ennobling spirit in their utterauce. It is also proposed to give lectures 
iu the various branches of literature, science, and art. Well, I believe 
I am not called upon to say any thing in defence of this intention. 
There was a time, indeed, when lectures addressed to the popular 
mind were condemned as only ministering to popular dissatisfaction. 
The lecturer was looked upon as a meek Guy Fawkes dressed for an 
evening part; and his lectures, like Acre's letter, were pronounced 
' to smell woundily of giuipowder.' This is past. Literature, science, 
and art are now open sources ; the padlocks are taken from the Avells 
— come and drink ! 

'' Languages, mathematics, music, painting, will be taught iu classes 
— in classes that I hope will, like the gourd, come up in their fulness 
in a night. Occasional entertainments, combining the attraction of 
music and conversation, will be given — such attractions being en- 
hanced by the presence of ladies. And here I approach what I con- 
sider to be the most admirable, as it is the most novel, feature of the 
institution — the admission of females to all its i^rivileges. I think the 
Whittington Club will enjoy the rare distinction of being the only club 
in London popular among its fair inhabitants. I know that this rule — 
the admission of ladies — has been made the subject of somewhat 
melancholy mirth. The female names already numbered best rebuke 
the scoflers; for have we not Mary Howitt — a name musical to the 
world's ear — a name fraught with memoi'ies of the gentlest and ten- 
derest emotions of the human heart, voiced by the sAveetest verse? 
Have we not, too, Mary Cowden Clarke, whose wonderful book, ' The 
Concordance to Shakspeare,' is a votive lamp lighted at the shrine of 
the poet — a lamp that will burn as long as Shakspeai-e's name is wor- 
shipped by the nations ? But 1 feel it would be more than discourtesy 
to such names, further to notice the wit made easy of those who 
sneer at the principle which admits ladies as members of the Whit- 
tington Club. ' To employes and employed alike,' says the prospectus, 
* the Whittington Club appeals with confidence for support.' Cer- 
tainly to employers the institution offers the exercise of a great social 
duty, namely, to assist in a work that shall still tend to dignify the 
employed with a sense of self-respect — at all times the sui'est guaran- 
tee of honest performance 'twixt man and man. Nevertheless, whilst 
all such aid on the part of the richer members of the community 
must be cordially acknowledged by the less rich, the institution must 
depend, for a flourishing vitality, upon the energy of the employed 
themselves. Without that the institution cannot permanently sue- 



DOUGLAS JERKOLD IN PUBLIC. 265 

ceed; and, further, it will not deserve success. Yes, I am sure you 
feel this truth — a truth that, it is manifest, has been widely acknowl- 
edged, from the fact that, at the present moment, the Whittington 
Club numbers upwai'ds of a thousand names, and the list is daily, 
hourly, lengthening. May the spirit of Whittington wait on the good 
work! Yet, of Whittington, our patron — as I think we may venture to 
call him— how little do we truly know, and yet how much in that 
little ! We see him, the child hero of our infancj^, on Highgate stone — 
the orphan buffeted by the cnielty of the world — cruelty that is ever 
three parts ignorance — homeless, friendless, hopeless. He is then, in 
his little self, one of the saddest sights of earth — an orphan only looked 
upon by misery ! And the legend tells us — and I am sure that there 
are none of us here v.'ho, if we could, would disbelieve it — the legend 
tells us that suddenly Bow bells rang out from London — from London, 
that stony-hearted mistress, that with threats and stripes, had sent the 
little wanderer forth. And voices floating from the far-off steeple — 
floating over field and meadow — sang to the little outcast boy a song 
of hope. Childish fancy dreamt the Avords, but hope supplied the 
music, ' Turn again, Whittington, thrice Lord Mayor of London ! ' 
And the little hero rose and retraced his steps, with new strength and 
hope, mysterious, in his little breast — returned to the city — drudged 
and drudged — and we know the golden end. In due time Bow bells 
were truest prophets. Such is the legend that delights us in childhood ; 
but as we grow to maturity we see in the story something more than 
a tale. Yes, we recognize, in the career of Richard Whittington, that 
Saxon energy which has made the City of London what it is ; we see 
and feel in it that commercial glory that wins the noblest conquests for 
the family of man; for the victories are bloodless. And therefore am 
1 tnily glad that our club caiTies the name — that when the idea of this 
institution rose in my mind, rose instantly with it — the name of Whit- 
tington. And I cannot think it otherwise than a good omen that one of 
our houses already taken — the house in Gresham Street — is a part of 
the estate of the little Highgate day-di-eamer. Yes, we are, so to 
speak, tenants of Richard Whittington. And, in conclusion, let us 
hope that as, in the olden time, voices from Bow steeple called a hope- 
less wanderer to a long career of usefulness and fame, so may voices 
from this present meeting find their way to the hearts of many thous- 
ands of our mercantile and commercial brethren, crying to them, ' Join 
us — join us, Whittingtons ! ' " 

Passing over minor occasions when a few words were 
said in public, I come to the last subject on which 

12 



266 LIFE OF DOUGLAS JEREOLD. 

Douglas Jerrold seriously addressed himself to an English 
audience. 

I have already inferred that Louis Kossuth was a great 
hero in Circus Road, St. John's Wood. A peculiar link 
of sympathy held the devout student of Shakspeare to 
the ex-governor of Hungary. Kossuth, by the magic page 
of the bard of Avon, learned his remarkable mastery of 
the English language. On the 17 th of November, the 
idea having just struck him, Douglas Jerrold wrote to the 
editor of the Daily Neivs the following letter : — 

" Sir, 

" It is written in the brief history made known to us of Kos- 
suth, that in an Austrian prison he was taught English by the words 
of the teacher Slial?;speare. An Englishman's blood glows with the 
thought that, from the quiver of the immortal Saxon, Kossuth has 
furnished himself with those arrowy words that kindle as they fly — 
words that are weapons, as Austria will know. Would it not be a 
graceful tribute to the genius of the man who has stirred our nation's 
heart to present to him a copy of Shakspeare ? To do this I Avould 
propose a penny subscription. The large amount of money obtained 
by these means, the cost of the work itself being small, might be ex- 
pended on the binding of the volumes, and on a casket to contain 
them. There are hundreds of thousands of Englishmen who woi^ld 
rejoice thus to endeavour to manifest their gratitude to Kossuth, for 
the glorious words he has uttered among us — words that have been as 
pulses to the nation, &c. 

" Douglas Jerrold." 

This idea was caught up at once, and the author of it 
went enthusiastically through all the trouble of collecting 
the people's pence. Months were spent, but the money 
came in. And the volumes were bought, and sent to be 
bound. Then for the casket, for there was yet money to 
spare. Another idea ! It should be a model of Shak- 
speare's house in inlaid woods, all beautifully worked. 
The casket was accordingly made, and a meeting was 



DOUGLAS JERHOLD IN PUBLIC. 267 

called for the 8th of May, 1853, to present the gift of the 
nation to Kossuth. 

I remember well the proud evening on which my 
father, having a small party about him, bore the beautiful 
model with the richly-bound books, into his study, and 
showed it to his friends. Again and again he opened it ; 
again and again dwelt upon the enthusiasm with which 
the pence had been subscribed. But on the public even- 
ing, at the London Tavern, when one of the largest meet- 
ings ever gathered within even that spacious establishment, 
filled every cranny of the great hall, and when good- 
natured, well-intentioned Lord Dudley Stuart had spoken, 
I remember very vividly my father's excited manner 
when he was perched upon a chair, amid a storm of ap- 
plause, his hair flowing wildly about him, his eyes start- 
ing, and his arms moving spasmodically. He bowed and 
bowed, almost entreatingly, as though he begged the 
audience not to overwhelm his powers as they had been 
overwhelmed seven years before in Birmingham. By 
slow degrees the applause, taking now and then a new 
vigour as it subsided, died away. And it was then that, 
gathering all his strength — this time determined not to be 
beaten by physical nervousness — in a sharp, clear voice 
the gatherer of the nation's pence to Kossuth, gave the 
following account of his stewardship : — 

" Most unaffectedly do 1 wish," said the speaker, " that the duty 
imposed by the noble chairman on my feeble and unpractised powers 
had been laid upon any other individual more equal — he could not be 
less — to the due fulfilment of this difficult, but withal most grate- 
ful task. Sir (turning to Kossuth), when it became known to Eng- 
lishmen, already stirred, animated by your consummate mastery of 
their noble language — when it became known to them that you had 
obtained that ' sovereign sway and masterdom ' of English speech 
from long study of the page of Shakspeare — when it was known that 
your captivity had been lightened by the lesson you have since so 



268 LIFE OF DOUGLAS JERROLD. 

nobly set yourself, by the achievement of the lesson you have since 
so often, so faithfully, and so triumphantly repeated to admiring 
thousands — when this was known, your words, most potent in them- 
selves, had to Englishmen a deeper meaning and a sweeter music ; 
for they could not but hear, in the utterance of the pupil, an echo of 
his teacher — of the world's teacher — their ov^n Shakspeare. It was 
then proposed to pay to you a tribute at once thankful and sympa- 
thetic. It was then proposed to offer for your acceptance a copy of 
the works of Shakspeare; and this is the result — a copy of the works 
of Shakspeai-e, enclosed in a case modelled after the house in which 
Shakspeare first saw the light. The case bears this inscription: — 
' Purchased with 9,215 pence, subscribed by Englishmen and women, 
as a tribute to Louis Kossuth, who achieved his noble mastery of the 
English language, to be exercised in the noblest cause, from the page 
of Shakspeare.' Sir, it is my faith that Shakspeare himself, whose 
written sympa;thies, like the horizon, circle the earth — it is my faith 
that Shakspeare himself may happily smile a benign, approving smile 
upon this small tribute, alike honourable to the many who give, as to 
the one who receives the gift. For, in the poet's own words, — 

' Never any thing can be amiss 
When humbleness and duty tender it.' 

And these pennies — subscribed by men and women of almost all con- 
ditions, these pennies are so many acknowledgments of your wonder- 
ous eloquence — are so many tributes to the genius that, seeking our 
language at the ' pure well of English undefiled,' has enabled you to 
pour it forth in a continuous stream of freshness and of beauty. There 
is not a penny of the thousands embodied here that is not the pulse 
of an English heart, sympathetically throbbing to your powers of 
English utterance. Very curious would it be to consider the social 
history, the household history, of many of these pennies; for among 
them are offerings of men of the highest genius, as of men whose hu- 
man story is the story of daily labour — whose social dignity is the 
dignity of daily work. Represented by a hundred and twenty pennies, 
are here a hundred and twenty pilots, sailors, and fishermen of Holy 
Island. And it is to men such as these that your name has been mu- 
sical at the fireside — has come a word of strength and strange delight 
over the English sea. Sir, it would be a long, and, with my doing, an 
especially tedious endeavour, to attempt even partially to individu- 
alize the penny tributes of which this testimonial is the product. But 
hei-e it is, an enduring sympathetic record of your glorious task. 
Sympathetic, I say, for dull and sluggish must the imagination be that 
cannot, in some sort, follow you in the Shakspearian self-schooling of 



DOUGLAS JERROLD IN PUBLIC. 269 

your captivity — that cannot rejoice with you, the rejoicing scholar, as 
from the thick and cumbrous shroud of foreign words come forth a 
spiritual beauty, an immortal loveliness, to be thenceforth a part of 
your spiritual nature. It is, I say, impossible not to be glad with you, 
the Shakspearian pupil, as one by one you made not the acquaint- 
ance, but the life-long friendship, of the men and women of our im- 
mortal Shakspeare. It is impossible not to feel the triumph with you 
as all his mighty creations ceased to be golden shadows, half-guessed 
mysteries, standing revealed as great proportions, solemn truths. It 
is impossible, when at length the whole grandeur of our poet, like an 
eastern sunrise, broke upon you, not to sympathize with the flush, the 
thrill of triumph that possessed you — having mastered Shakspeare. It 
may be a rapture almost as full, almost as deep, almost as penetrating 
as that you felt when first you beat the Austrians. It is impossible 
not to sympathize with you in your hours of pupilage when you stu- 
died the language of our poet ; it is equally impossible for free English- 
men not to admire and thank you for the glorious use you have made 
of a glorious weapon. Sir, on the part of thousands I herewith pres- 
ent to you this testimonial, in tribute of their admiration, their sym- 
pathies, their best wishes. And, sir, hoping, believing, knowing that 
the day Avill come when you shall again sit at your own fireside in 
your own liberated Hungary, we further hope that sometimes turning 
the leaves of these word-wealthy volumes, you will think of English- 
men as of a people who had for you and for your cause the warmest 
admii-ation and deepest sympathy; and, animated by these feelings, 
resented with scorn, almost tmutterable, the dastard attempts to 
slander and defame you. The day will come— for it is to doubt the 
solemn pui-poses and divine end of human nature to doubt it — the day 
will come when the darkness that now benights the greater part of 
continental Europe will be rolled away, dispersed by the light of 
liberty, like some suffocating fog. The day will come when in France 
men shall reinherit the right of speech. The day will come Vv^hen in 
Austria men shall take some other lesson from their rulers but the 
stick ; and the day will come when in Italy the temporal power of the 
pope — that red plague upon the brightest spot of God's earth — will 
have passed away like a spent pestilence. That day must and will 
come. Meanwhile, sir, we wish you all compatible happiness, all 
tranquillity, all peaceful enjoyment of the sacred rights of private life 
in England — in this England that still denounces the political dicta- 
tion of a foreign tyrant, as heretofore she has denounced and defied 
his armed aggressions; for to submit to the one is to invite the other." 

Then the casket was presented to Kossuth. Kossuth 



270 LIFE OF DOUGLAS JERROLD. 

accepted it in a long and wondrous speech, and the cheers 
of the people travelled the length of Bishopsgate Street 
as he bore the magic volumes away with him. 

To him, a great occasion had called Douglas Jerrold 
from his study. He returned to it, never wishing to ap- 
pear again upon the platform. In this year, indeed, he 
had been invited to stand for Finsbury ; but he said that 
the activity, the slavery of a member's duties, were in- 
compatible with his own, and he would not be dazzled 
by the honour. No ; amid friends he could talk and 
make whimsical, telling speeches enough, but not under 
the reporters' eyes. Mr. Dickens urged him, in 1856, to 
take the chair at the General Theatrical Fund Dinner, 
but he declined ; the disturbance of mind which these 
public displays cost him made them repulsive to him. 
No ; he would remain among his friends, and write, when 
he had any thing to say to the world. 



DOUGLAS JERROLD AT HOME. 271 



CHAPTER XII. 

DOUGLAS JERROLD AT HOME. 

" Let me see a man at home," says the philosopher 
who wishes to know his subject a fond. Unquestion- 
ably, men may be studied advantageously in their dress- 
ing-gowns and slippers. When the cloak, fashioned to 
give a decent exterior to the world, is cast aside — 
when a man acts forgetful of his looking-glass and his 
critic — this is the time, if you want to know something 
of the heart behind its mask of daily public professions, 
when you must approach, and watch, and take notes. 

I have endeavoured already, to set before the reader a 
methodical and candid report of the intellectual activity 
of Douglas Jerrold, from the time of his birth to the day 
when he put aside the pen for ever. I have shown the 
writer as he expressed himself to the world ; but I hold 
that the world has a right to learn something more about 
one to whom a great reputation was accorded, and whose 
words are likely to live long in the minds of his fellow- 
countrymen. It is useful to know whether the greatly 
professing man before the world — the knight of the keen 
and well-poised lance, who tilted at the social meannesses 
and political dishonesty of his hour — retired from the 
fight to rest himself — was still the simple champion, reg- 
ulating his own little petty suburban dominion, on the 



272 LIFE OF DOUGLAS JERROLD. 

high principles which he laid down for the acceptance 
of his erring fellow-countrymen. Be certain, if the pub- 
lic purist present a picture of laxity at his own fireside, 
his genius is not of the riglit ring after all. Look to him 
narrowly, and be cautious how you range yourself under 
his colours. Good precept and evil practice have been 
found in the preacher often, it is true, but not in the true, 
bold, and speculative reformer. The writer who should 
speak strongly against the habit we have, of putting upon 
our servants the badge of servitude, and at home should 
be served with a man in gorgeous livery, would deserve 
that his countrymen should suspect the sincerity of his 
opinions on all questions. No man has ever lived up to 
his aspirations ; no writer has passed the life he has 
painted to himself as the pure and good life. For a man 
writes his aspirations, and lives in the midst of tempta- 
tions and obstixcles that blur and thwart them. But the 
world, when a great man dies, has a right to inquire 
w^hether he endeavoured constantly to shape his course 
somewhat in the direction to which he would have led 
the footsteps of his readers. The world is justified in know- 
ing whether the opinions a writer set forth in print were 
his intimate convictions, or were arranged, in independ- 
ence of conviction, to suit the passing taste of the market. 
For there is more value in the lightest paragraph of a 
sincere man, than in long pages, traced, as calico patterns 
are traced, to suit the whim of the Hindoo or the negro. 

Now, it has been said of Douglas Jerrold, by all his 
friends who have written about him, that he was a man 
who wore his heart upon his sleeve. In no way, whether 
in company or alone, could you detect the great man, who 
made you conscious that you were in the presence of a 
gentleman whose name was a " household word." But 



DOUGLAS JERROLD AT HOME. 273 

when he was alone with his wife and children — when even 
the intimate friend was gone, and the world had no word 
to say to him or of him — what was he ? Let the reader 
watch him through the day. 

It is a bright morning, about eight o'clock, at West 
Lodge, Putney Lower Common. The windows at the 
side of the old house, buried in trees, afford glimpses of a 
broad common, tufted with purple heather and yellow 
gorse. Gypsies are encamped where the blue smoke curls 
amid the elms. A window-sash is shot sharply up. A 
clear, small voice is heard singing within. And now a 
long roulade, whistled softly, floats out. A little, spare 
figure, with a stoop, habited in a short shooting-jacket, 
the throat quite open, without collar or kerchief, and 
crowned with a straw hat, pushes through the gate of the 
cottage, and goes, with short, quick steps, assisted by a 
stout stick ; over the common. A little black and tan 
terrier follows, and rolls over the grass at intervals, as a 
response to a cheery word from its master. The gypsy 
encampment is reached. The gypsies know their friend, 
and a chat arid a laugh ensue. Then a deep gulp of the 
sweet morning air, a dozen branches puhed to the nose 
here and there in the garden, the children kissed, and 
breakfast, and the morning papers. 

The breakfast is a jug of cold new milk; some toast, 
bacon, water-cresses. Perhaps a few strawberries have 
been found in the garden. A long examination of the 
papers — here and there a bit of news energetically read 
aloud, then cut, and put between clippers. Then silently, 
suddenly into the study. 

This study is a very snug room. All about it are books. 
Crowning the shelves are Milton and Shakspeare. A 
bit of Shakspeare's mulberry-tree lies upon the mantel- 

12* 



274 LIFE OF DOUGLAS JERROLD. 

piece. Above the sofa are " The Rent Day " and " Dis- 
training for Rent," Wilkie's two pictures, in the corner of 
which is Wilkie's kind inscription to the author of the 
drama, called The Rent Day. Under the two prints 
laughs Sir Joshua's sly Puck, perched upon a pulpy 
mushroom. Turner's " Heidelberg " is here too, and the 
engraver thereof will drop in presently — he lives close at 
hand — to see his friend Douglas Jerrold. Ariadne and 
Dorothea decorate the chimney-piece. The furniture is 
simple, solid oak. The desk has not a speck upon it. 
The marble shell, upon which the inkstand rests, has no 
litter in it. Various notes lie in a row, between clips, on 
the table. The paper basket stands near the arm-chair, 
prepared for answered letters and rejected contributions. 
The little dog follows his master into his study, and lies 
at his feet. 

Work begins. If it be a comedy, the author will now 
and then walk rapidly up and down the room, talking 
wildly to himself; if it be Punch copy, you shall hear him 
laugh presently as he hits upon a droll bit. Suddenly the 
pen will be put down, and through a little conservatory, 
without seeing anybody, the author will pass out into the 
garden, where he will talk to the gardener, or watch, 
chuckling the while, the careful steps of the little terrier 
amid the gooseberry bushes ; or pluck a hawthorn leaf, 
and go nibbling it, and thinking, down the side-walks. 

In again, and vehemently to work. The thought has 
come ; and, in letters smaller than the type in which they 
shall presently be set, it is unrolled along the little blue 
slips of paper. A simple crust of bread and a glass of 
wine, are brought in by a dear female hand ; but no word 
is spoken, and the hand and dear heart disappear. The 
work goes rapidly forward, and halts at last suddenly. 



DOUGLAS JERROLD AT HOME. 275 

The pen is dashed aside ; a few letters, seldom more than 
three lines in each, are written, and dispatched to the 
post; and then again into the garden. The fowls and 
pigeons are noticed ; a visit is paid to the horse and cow ; 
then another long turn round the lawn ; at last a seat, 
with a quaint old volume, in the tent, under the umbra- 
geous raulbeny-tree. 

Friends drop in, and join Jerrold in his tent. Who 
will stop to dinner ? Only cottage fare ; but there is a 
hearty welcome. Conversation about the book in hand. 
Perhaps it is old Rabelais, or Jeremy Taylor ; not im- 
probably Jean Paul's " Flower Fruit and Thorn Pieces," 
or his " Levana ; " or, again, one of old Sir Thomas 
Browne's volumes. In any there is ample matter for 
animated gossip. At a hint the host is up, and on his way 
to discover to his visitor, the beauties and conveniences 
of his cottage. The mulberry-tree especially always 
comes in for a glowing account of its rich fruitfulness ; 
and the asparagus-bed owes a heavy debt of gratitude to 
its master. The guest may be a phlegmatic person, and 
may wearily follow his excited host, as he wanders enthu- 
siastically from one advantageous point to another ; but 
the host is in downright earnest about his fruit-trees, as he 
is about every thing else. He laughingly insists that his 
cabbages cost him at least a shilling apiece ; and that cent, 
per cent, is the loss on his fowls' eggs. Still he relishes 
the cabbages and the eggs, and the first spring dish of as- 
paragus from his own garden marks a red-letter day to 
him. Perhaps he will be carried away by his enthusiasm 
as the sun goes down, and will be seen still in his straw 
hat, watering the geraniums, or clearing the flies from the 
roses. Dinner, if there be no visitors, will be at four. 
In the summer, a cold quarter of lamb and salad, and a 



276 LIFE OF DOUGLAS JERROLD. 

raspberry tart, with a little French wine in the tent ; and 
a cigar. Then a short nap — forty winks — upon the great 
sofa in the study ; and another long stroll over the lawn, 
while the young members play bowls, and the tea is pre- 
pared in the tent. Over the tea-table, jokes of all kinds, 
as at dinner. No friend who may happen to drop in now, 
will make any difference in the circle. Perhaps the fun 
may be extended to a game of some kind, on the lawn. 
Basting the bear was, one evening, the rule, on which 
occasion grave editors and contributors " basted " one an- 
other with knotted pocket-handkerchiefs, to their hearts ' 
content. The crowning effort of this memorable evening 
was a general attempt to go heels over head upon hay- 
cocks in the orchard — a feat which vanquished the skill 
of the laughing host, and left a very stout and very respon- 
sible editor, I remember, upon his head, without power to 
retrieve his natural position. Again : after a dinner-party 
under canvas, the hearty host, with his guests, including 
Mr. Charles Dickens, Mr. Maclise, Mr. Macready, and 
Mr. John Forster, indulged in a most active game of leap- 
frog, the backs being requested to turn in any obtrusive 
" twopenny " with the real zest of fourteen ! Never were 
boys more completely possessed by the spirit of the game 
in a seminary playground ; and foremost among the play- 
ers and laughers was the little figure of Douglas Jerrold, 
his hair flowing wildly, and his face radiant with pleasure. 
He could never dance a step, nor master a single figure of a 
quadrille ; still, let there be dancing carried on in a hearty 
spirit, and you would presently find him borne away by 
the gayety of the scene, endeavouring to persuade a lady 
to try a step with him, and to prevent his " turning up in 
wrong places." Having fairly bewildered his partner, 
and vanquished all her efforts to keep him in his proper 



DOUGLAS JERROLD AT HOME. 277 

position, he would at last take her back to her seat, con- 
vulsed with laughter over his own awkwardness. In 
any active grace he was singularly deficient. He could 
never draw a straight line, )^or play any game that re- 
quired manual skill; nor carve the plainest joint, nor 
ride a horse, nor draw a cork. He dashed gallantly at 
each accomplishment, but gave it up after a vehement 
but futile effort. 

lie was the most helpless among men. He never 
brushed his hat ; nevei* opened a drawer to find a collar ; 
never knew where he had put his stick. Every thing 
must be to his hand. His toilet was performed usually 
with his back to the glass. It mattered not to him that 
his kerchief was awry. " Plain linen and country wash- 
ing " he used to cite as containing all a man need care for, 
in the matter of dress. He was, however, passionately 
fond of any kind of new preparation for shaving — of any 
newly-invented strop or razor. He had these things in 
immense quantities, and seldom tried each more than once. 
If a thing did not succeed in the first trial it was cast 
aside for ever. Patent corkscrews, coffee-pots, match- 
boxes, knives, and lamps delighted him. If he saw some- 
thing new he must have it instantly. Struck by a waist- 
coat in a shop-window, he must go in, try it on, and if it 
fit him, wear it on the spot, sending home that in which 
he left his house. One day he returned home with an 
instrument shaped like a horseshoe, within the magic 
circle of which were hooks to take stones from the equine 
hoof, little saw^s, a gimlet, a corkscrew, a boothook, &c. 
And he carried this curious instrument about with him 
for some time, highly pleased with the skill the workman 
had exhibited in cramming so many utensils in so confined 
a space. His evenings at home, when not devoted to 



278 LIFE OF DOUGLAS JERROLD. 

writing (and in the later years of his life he seldom wrote 
after dinner), were spent usually alone in his study, with 
some favourite author ; or throwing off rapid letters of 
invitation, acknowledgments of invitations, or suggestions 
of service to friends, of which I venture to offer the 
reader a few examples : — 

"My dear Dickens, 

" . . . . When, lolien we can count upon a dry afternoon, won't 
you, and the Hidalgo, and Mac — , and the ladies come down here to 
a cut of country lamb and a game at bowls ? Our turf is coming up 
so velvety, I intend to have a waistcoat sliced from it, trimmed with 
daisies." 

" We must have another quiet day here between the 17th and 
play. I find, on return, the garden out very nice indeed; and I wish 
you could only see (and eat) the dish of strawberries just brought in 
for breakfast by my girl Polly — ' all,' as she says, ' big and square as 
pincushions.' " 

" My dear Dickens, 

" My wife has brought two little hats for two little girls at 
Broadstairs (we came home last night), and I am very much afraid 
that nobody can bring them to said Broadstairs so carefully as the 
elegant penman who now addresses you. Thei'efore, I wonder if some 
time next week — two or three days ere you return — I present myself 
with a modestly small portmanteau, I shall be asked to sit down. At 
all events, I have a good half mind to try. If the Dickens' Head be as 
full as the Dickens' heart, there is, nevertheless, an imi — if ' memoiy 
holds her seat in this distracted globe.' I hope you are all well, and 
brown as satyrs." 

To Mr. John Forster, on the morrow of Shakspeare's 
birthday : " I hope you ate your mulberry yesterday with 
reverential pleasure." To the same : " I came from 
Chatsworth this morning, and it may surprise you (it does 
me) to know that I have committed bloodshed on the 
moors ! The grouse will long remember — Yours ever." 

" My dear Dickens, 

" .... I have received a letter from W (he is in the 



DOUGLAS JERROLD AT HOME. 279 

Charter-House — so is M ). 'Tis an admirable establisliment. 

Rooms, excellent fare, and £30 a year. Would P (I know he's 

an impracticable man) turn up his nose at thisV It could, I hear, be 
easily obtained for him Ijy making his case known to Prince Albert, 
and getting promise of next presentation. Vacancies occur once or 
twice, or more, in the year. This, with the. additional annuity that 
would come to him from the playing, would put him belly high in 
clover. Will you think of it? " 

Sometimes, but rarely, he would indulge in a long gos- 
sip upon paper. For him, the following was a huge 
epistolary effort : — 

" My dear Dickens, 

" Let me break this long silence with heartiest congratulation. 
Your book has spoken like a trumpet to the nation, and it is to me a 
pleasure to believe that you have faith in the sincerity of my gladness 
at your triumph. You have rallied your old thousands again ; and, 
•what is most delightful, you have rebuked and for ever ' put down' 
the small things, half knave, half fool, that love to make the failure 
they ' feed on.' They are under your boot — tread 'em to paste. 

"And how is it that your cordial letter, inviting me to your cordial 
home, has been so long unanswered ? Partly from hope, partly from 
something like shame. Let me write you a brief penitential history. 
When you left England I had been stirred to this newspaper.* ('Tis 
forwarded to you, and, I hope, arrives.) Nevertheless, the project was 
scarcely formed, and I had not the least idea of producing it befoi-e 
October — perhaps not unttl Christmas. This would have allowed me 
to take my sunny holiday at Lausanne. Circumstances, however, too 
numerous for this handbill, compelled me to precipitate the specula- 
tion or to abandon it. I printed in July, yet still believed I should be 
able to intrust it to sufficient hands, long enough to enable me to spend 
a fortnight with you. And from week to week I hoped this — with 
fainter hopes, but still hopes. At last I found it impossible, though 
compelled, by something very like congestion of the brain, to abscond 
for ten days' health and idleness. And I went to Jersey, when, by 
heavens ! my heart was at Lausanne. But w^hy not then answer this 
letter? The question I put to myself— God knows how many times — 
when your missive, every other day, in my desk, smote raj ungrateful 
hand like a thistle. And so time went on, and ' Dombey ' comes out, 

* Douglas JerroWs Weekly Neios2)aper. 



280 LIFE OF DOUGLAS JERROLD. 

and now, to be sure, I write. Had * Dombey ' fallen apoplectic from 

the steam-press of Messi's. B and E , of course your letter 

would still have remained unanswered. But, with all England shout- 
ing ' Viva Dickens,' it is a part of my gallant nature to squeak through 
my quill ' brayvo ' too. 

" This newspaper, with other allotments, is hard work ; but it is 
indejjendence. And it was the hope of it that stirred me to the doing. 
I have a feeling of dread — a something almost insane in its abhorrence 
of the condition of the old, worn-out literary man ; the squeezed orange 
{lemons in. my case, sing some sweet critics); the spent bullet; the 
useless lumber of the world, flung upon literary funds while alive, 
with the hat to be sent round for his coffin and his widow. And there- 
fore I set up this newspaper, which — I am sure of it — you will be glad 
to learn, is a large success. Its first number went off 18,000 ; it is now 
9,000 (at the original outlay of about £1,500), and is within a fraction 
three fourths my own. It was started at the dullest of dull times, but 
every week it is steadily advancing. I hope to make it an engine of 
some good. And so much for my apology — which, if you resist, why, 

I hope Mi's. Dickens and Miss H (it's so long ago — is she still 

Miss?) will take up and plead for me. . . . 

" You have heard, I suppose, that Thackeray is big with twenty 
parts, and, unless he is wrong in his time, expects the first instalment 
at Christmas. Punch, I believe, holds its course . . . Nevertheless, 
I do not very cordially agree with its new spirit. I am convinced 
that the world will get tired (at least I hope so) of this eternal guffaw 
at all things. After all, life has something serious in it. It cannot be 
all a comic history of humanity. Some men Avould, I believe, write 
the Comic Sermon on the Mount. Think of a Comic History of 
England; the drollery of Alfred; the fun of Sir Thomas More in the 
Tower; the farce of his daughter begging the dead head, and clasp- 
ing it in her coffin, on her bosom. Surely the world will be sick of 
this blasphemy. . . . When, moreover, the change comes, unless 
Punch goes a little back to his occasional gravities, he'll be sure to 
suffer. . . . 

" And you are going to Paris ? I'm told Paris in the spring is very 
delectable. Not very bad sometimes at Christmas. Do you know 
any body likely to ask me to take some houilU there ? In all serious- 
ness, give my hearty remembrances to your wife and sister. I hope 
that health and happiness are showered on them, on you, and all. 
And believe me, my dear Dickens, 

" Yours ever truly and sincerely, 

" Douglas Jkkkold." 



DOUGLAS JERROLD AT HOME. 281 

Sometimes, tired of reading and letter-writing, he 
would join the family circle for half an hour before going 
to bed, and joke over the supper-table, listening to stories 
about the dog or parrot ; or his door would be heard on 
the move, and his step on the stairs, on his way to bed, 
perhaps at ten o'clock. Occasionally he enjoyed a game 
at whist or drafts, in the winter ; but his rule was a soli- 
tary evening in his study, with his books. 

He had always some curious household story to tell — 
what some servant or one of his grandchildren had said, 
or how some ludicrous contretemps had happened. He 
delighted in these little social touches. 

Thus, with tears in his eyes, he used to tell a story of 
his son Thomas, who, when the family were living in 
Boulogne, was a boy about nine years old. He had a 
rabbit, of which his father, as usual with all animals, had 
taken great notice. One morning, however, the boy 
burst bravely into his father's bedroom, holding the rabbit 
by the hind-quarters. " Here he is, papa," the boy 
shouted, " as dead as mutton ! " 

The animal fell heavily, deadly, on the ground. The 
sound smote upon the boy's heart, and, giving up his 
feigned indifference, he burst into tears, and blurted out 
amidst his sobs, " It had the snuffles when I bought it ! " 
This bit of nature was never forgotten by " stern " 
Douglas Jerrold. 

Another favourite story was of the footboy, who ac- 
companied ray father on his trip to Derbyshire. At the 
inn at Matlock " master " was praising a glass of port, 
when the boy chimed in, glad to hear the hotel praised : — 

" Please, sir, I think they makes their own port. / 
hnow they brews." 

His veterinary surgeon at Putney — a great character 



282 LIFE OF DOUGLAS JERROLD. 

— was a favourite subject. His bill, especially, was pre- 
served as a most laughable curiosity, one of the items 
being put thus (referring to a sick horse) : — 

" His nose was -warm, his ears was cold, and every thing j ^q ec, qa » 
gave signs of approaching desolation J[ 

Any thing that occurred in Douglas Jerrold's house 
that had a humorous touch in it, was given forth always 
as heartily and unreservedly as he would have told it to 
an absent child. He would never be a conventional host. 
You must sit at his table as though it were your own. 
He would ask you to condemn the wine or meats if he 
thought either bad, appealing to you as a periectly free 
critic. Reserve, secretiveness, he could in no sense 
understand. Praise or blame must come in a free cur- 
rent from him. Just as he could amuse himself talking 
and joking freely Avith a child, he must be with every 
person who approached him. If he Avere angry, you 
were quite certain about it. The anger came forth in 
red-hot Avords, the meaning of Avhich never admitted two 
interpretations. Pleased, he talked his inmost thoughts 
to you, and Avas astonished and disgusted Avhenever he 
learned that only half a truth or reason had been giA'cn 
to him. He alAA^ays had, I repeat, some odd, humorous 
idea or story about his house — something about one of 
the inmates or their domestic pets. Thus, his daughter 
Mary's passionate love of birds and dogs AA^as twisted 
daily into ncAV and odd touches of humour. He Avrites 
from Boulogne in July, 185G : " I am sorry to hear of 
the death of the squirrel, and have dropped one tear. As 
1 had no personal acquaintance of ce petit monsieur, I 
do not think that more can be expected of me. Give 
Jane my condolence — to her it is, no doubt, a real trouble. 



DOUGLAS JERROLD AT HOME. 283 

I am afraid, my dear Polly, you will be very dull, unless 
Mouse (the terrier) becomes more conversational. The 
wealher here would do credit to Manchester in October — 
dark and drizzling." Writing from Brighton within two 
months of his death, he ended with, " Love to all (Mouse 
included)." He used also to talk about a favourite cat, 
that would sit all day upon his table while he was writ- 
ing, and watch slyly, purring, the movements of his pen. 
On Sunday afternoons he would take up his stick, after a 
morning spent alone, with his papers and his Bible (of 
which he was to the last a most diligent reader, calling it 
his church), and walk over to the Regent's Park Zoolog- 
ical Gardens. Here, watching the animals, and chat- 
ting with friends, he would spend two or three hours of 
exquisite pleasure. The growth of the hippopotamus, 
the death of the chimpanzee, the pretty gazelles, and the 
humours of the monkeys, interested him greatly. And 
he had always something brisk and sprightly to say as he 
stood surveying the cages. The mandril suddenly turned 
his back, revealing the rich colours of his hind-quarters. 
" That young gentleman," said Douglas Jerrold, " must 
have been sitting upon a rainbow." With his rich stores 
of natural history he could thoroughly enjoy these re- 
markable gardens. 

Sometimes he would take one of his grandchildren 
with him, and find amusement and suggestions in its 
rapid prattle. And he would return home to dinner 
stored with the rich fruit of a child's ignorance, or the 
quaint wildness of its free speculations. Or he would 
come laugliing into his study, after half an hour in the 
garden with a little prattling child, to tell how it had 
asked him to fetch its wheelbarrow, freely as it would 
have asked any little playmate j or how one rosy little 



284 LIFE OF DOUGLAS JERROLD. 

fellow had stood before liim, and, staring at his bushy 
eyebrows, exclaimed, " I say, grandpapa, you wear your 
moustaches on your eyebrows ! " No child ever left him 
without fruit or a book in its hand ; and of babies he 
always wrote with almost a woman's tenderness. Young 
St. Giles is introduced in swaddling clothes — " a lovely 
human bud — a sweet, unsullied sojourner of earth, cradled 
on the knees of misery and vice." In its baby rags it is 
thus pathetically presented, in an imploring attitude, to 
the world : — 

" The child is still before us. May we not see about it, contending 
for it, the principles of good and evil — a contest between the angels 
and the fiends ? Come hither, statesman ; you who live within a party 
circle; you who nightly fight some miserable fight — continually strive 
in some selfish struggle for power and place, considering men only as 
tools, the merest instruments of your aggrandizement ; come here, in 
the wintery street, and look upon God's image in its babyhood! Con- 
sider this little man. Are not creatures such as these the noblest, 
grandest things of earth? Have they not solemn natures? Are they 
not subtly touched for the highest purposes of human life ? Come 
they not into this world to grace and dignify it? There is no spot, no 
coarser stuff in the pauper flesh before you, that indicates a lower 
nature. There is no felon mark upon it, no natural formation indicat- 
ing the thief in its baby fingers— no inevitable blasphemy upon its 
lips. It lies before you, a fair unsullied thing, fresh from the hand of 
God. Will you, without an effort, let the great fiend stamp his fiery 
brand upon it? Shall it, even in its sleeping innocence, be made a 
trading thing by misery and vice — a creature borne from street to 
street, a piece of living merchandise for mingled beggary and crime? 
Say — what, with its awakening soul, shall it learn? What lessons 
whereby to pass through life, making an item in the social sum ? 
Why, cunning will be its wisdom; hypocrisy its truth; theft its 
natural law of self-preservation. . . . There is not a babe lying ;n 
the public street on its mother's lap— the unconscious mendicant to 
ripen into the criminal — that is not a reproach to the state — a scandal 
and a lying shame upon men who study all politics, save the politics 
of the human heart." 

And here is the Prince of Wales in 1762 in his cradle, 



DOUGLAS jp:rrold at home. 285 

over which tlio feather that told its tender story in Punchy 
is dandled, the chief of the three plumes. 

"The Prince of Wales, a six- weeks' youngling, sleeps; and cere- 
mony, with stinted breath, waits at the cradle. How glorious the 
young one's destinies ! How moulded and marked, expressly fash- 
ioned for the high delights of earth, the chosen one of millions, for 
millions' homage ! The terrible beauty of a crown shall clasp those 
baby temples; that rose-bud mouth shall speak the iron law; that 
little pulpy hand shall hold the sceptre and the ball. But now, asleep 
in the sweet mystery of babyhood, the little brain already busy with 
the things that meet us at the vestibule of life (for even then we are 
not alone, but surely have about us the hum and echo of the coming 
world), but now thus, and now upon a giddying throne! What 
grandeur, what intensity of bliss, what an almighty heritage to be 
born to! to be sent upon this earth, accompanied by invisible angels, 
to take possession of it! The baby king cooes in his sleep, while a 
thousand spirits meet upon the palace floor, sport in the palace air, 
hover about the cradle, and, with looks divine and loving as those that 
watched the bulrush ark, tossed on the wave of Egypt, gaze upon 
the bright new comer— on him that shall be the Lord's anointed. . . . 
Poor little child! hapless ci-eature! most unfortunate in the fortune 
of a prince ! Are such, indeed, the influences about your cradle ? 
Will such, in very truth, be your teaching? Will you, indeed, be 
taught as one of earth — a thing of common wants and common affec- 
tions V Will you be schooled in the open pages of humanity, or taught 
by rote the common cant of princes ? Will you not, with the first 
dim glimmerings of human pride, see yourself a thing aloof from all; 
a piece of costly selfishness; an idol formed only for the knees of men; 
a superhuman creature, yea, a wingless deity ? Will not this be the 
teaching of the court— this the lesson that shall prate pure nature 
from your heart, and place therein a swelling arrogance, divorcing 
you from all, and worshipping self in its most tyrannous desires, in 
its deepest abominations ? Will you remain among the brotherhood 
of men, or will you be set apai't only to snuff their incense and to 
hear their prayers ? Splendid solitude of state ! most desolate privi- 
lege of princes ! " 

These extracts about babies, taken at random from the 
writings of Douglas Jerrold, might be multipHed greatly. 
Indeed, he began a series in Punch on "Mrs. Bibs's 



286 LIFE OF DOUGLAS JERKOLD. 

Baby," and wandered gracefully about the cradle, as he 
loved to wander, dropping a touch of poetic gum upon 
the paper, caught from the coral lips or the honeyed 
breath of sleeping infancy. He could spend an hour in 
his study, with a rosy little boy between his knees, play- 
ing with his watch seals, and listening to baby-questions, 
or telling nursery gossip. He hated a knowing child ; 
what he loved was the fresh nature in childhood. A 
prodigy was his abhorrence. 

Douglas Jerrold at home, might generally be found on 
Sundays surrounded, not by the big-wigs who would 
have been glad to find themselves in his society — not 
by old, serious professors of all branches of learning — 
certainly not — but by young men yet unknown to fame. 
He loved the buoyancy, heartiness, and the boldness of 
youth. It was his glory to have about him some six or 
seven youngsters, hardly reached their majority, with 
whom he could talk pleasantly, and to whom he poured 
out his jokes, gi-ateful for the heartiness of the reception 
they got from warm blood. It was the main thing about 
his individuality that he was himself always young. "A 
man is as old as he feels," he insisted continually ; and 
then casting back the solid flakes of his silvered hair, he 
would laugh and vow that few men of five-and-twenty 
were younger than he. His words, when he spoke seri- 
ously among his young guests, generally conveyed some 
generous advice, or some offer of service. 

Many men date their literary advancement from the 
study of Douglas Jerrold. He would write a letter or 
toss a check off with the most sailor-like carelessness, 
turning the conversation rapidly off from any thing like 
business, to some literary anecdote or some book worth 
reading. Then he would pleasantly wander back to 



DOUGLAS JERROLD AT HOME. 287 

his Sheerness days, and to the valiant struggle he had 
had with the world. But once launched into this sub- 
ject, and it engrossed him for the rest of the sitting. He 
would recall the hour when, a friendless boy in London 
streets, he had stamped his foot angrily upon the pave- 
ment, and vowed that he would be somebody. He would 
quote with delight, and submit it to his young hearers, 
the valiant Brougham, who, when he mounted the coach 
in Edinburgh on his first trip to London, exclaimed, 
" Here goes for lord chancellor ! " Then he would say, 
'• Plain living and high thinking, my boys — that's the 
maxim." Then he would remember that he had not a 
name to which he could point as that of a powerful friend 
who had helped him when he was young, and help was 
wanted ; and he would impress upon young i||fen entering 
life with better fortune, the necessity of hard reading and 
modest bearing. One young friend, whom he regarded 
wath great admiration, confessed to him that he had had 
the hardihood to attack him in a comic publication, before 
they were acquainted. This friend was Mr. James Han- 
nay, the author of " Singleton Fontenoy," a writer also 
sprung from the salt. They were together, two ex-mid- 
shipmen, at Southend, when the young one made this 
confession to his companion. " Never mind, my boy," 
was the reply ; " every young man has spilt ink that had 
better been left in the horn." 

But we are round the study fire, where beech w^ood 
crackles, giving a rich odour, and the heat radiates pleas- 
antly from a stove of the latest construction. The host 
is proud to display the capacity of the invention, and 
points heartily also to the crackling wood, as a happy 
mixture with sea-coal. Mouse, the terrier, creeps to her 
master's feet, and is instantly raised to the arm-chair, to 



288 LIFE OF DOUGLAS JEREOLD. 

form the subject of some odd anecdote. Mouse will 
surlily leave the company, and look doggedly out of 
window, if her master pets the cat, or even a chubby 
little grandson. You may call her while the cat or child 
is being fondled ; but she will not turn her head for a 
moment. But let one of the fxmily fall ill, and Mouse 
will He at the foot of the bed day and night, and be rest- 
less if turned thence for a few minutes. The company 
are asked to admire Mouse's eyes, and to say whether she 
does not beg " like a prince of the blood ! " Other do- 
mestic talk bubbles lightly up. It is, perhaps, a story of 
a boy who was promoted by the kind-hearted host from 
the low degree of mudlark on the banks of the Thames 
(having promised to be all that a page should be), to the 
comforts o^» well- warmed and well-filled kitchen, with 
light duties to perform. This boy was petted and spoiled. 
He tired of the restraint of regular employment. His 
whims were laughable. Let one suffice. He was sickly 
one day, and at once commanded the sympathy of his 
mistress. He was attended, and fed with dainties. The 
young rogue saw his power; and, being passionately fond 
of muffins, thought that the opportunity had come for in- 
dulging himself Whereupon, at breakfast-time, he was 
about to toast some, when the indignant cook took the 
luxury from him. He instantly sent an appeal up to his 
mistress's bedroom by the maid, praying that he might 
have buttered muffins for his breakfast, as he felt that 
nothing else would do him good. 

Such gossip would lead, perhaps, to stories of impos- 
tors, of whom the host had been the victim. There was 
the fellow found in an epileptic fit in Highgate Lane, to 
whom five shillings had been given, and who was dis- 
covered a fortnight afterwards going through the same 



DOUGLAS JERROLD AT HOME. 289 

performance in Judd Street, New Koad ; there was the 
accomplished gentleman who talked many languages, and 
who had been compelled to pawn his regimentals, and 
who, having fortified his statement with a masterly array 
of corroborative facts, and shown how he should be ruined 
if he did not redeem his epaulettes, had cozened two 
guineas from his credulous listener, but appeared on the 
morrow, under the auspices of a sharp victim, at a police 
court ; there was the gentleman who had died, and whose 
wife wrote for money to bury him, the dead gentleman 
very actively watching the return post, that he might 
enjoy the money forwarded for his own funeral ! 

But these sharpers were not the only " friends " who 
practised upon the warm heart of Douglas Jerrold. 
Let any man in difficulties find Douglas Jerrold at home 
and alone, and he had all he wanted, and more, very 
often, than it was prudent in the giver to cast from his 
slender store. There was a fatality about these helps 
given to friends. They were nearly always repaid in 
ingratitude or in indiflference ; hardly once did the gold 
sent forth find its way back to its owner. Large sums, 
the payment of which was spread over long years, and 
the last of which was paid not long before the liberal 
writer's death, were thus sent forth, in honest hope to 
help fellow-men, by the man whom the world obstinately 
regarded as a most spiteful cynic. 

And to the friends whom he had known in youth was 
he especially kind. For some he obtained, through the 
late Duke of Devonshire and the present Earl of Car- 
lisle, presentations to the Charter-House ; for the widow 
of another, admission to the Blue-coat School. When 
any of these little triumphs had been obtained through 
the exercise of his influence, he was proud indeed. He 

13 



290 LIFE OF DOUGLAS JERROLD. 

would help the new brothers to furnish the Charter- 
House quarters, and call them out frequently to his sim- 
ple table — as simple for a lord, as for the humblest con- 
vive. It was for this same simplicity in Thomas Hood 
that he always cherished a great regard for this most 
tenderly humorous poet. The following letter was a 
cherished one, and deserves a place here : — 

" 17, Elm-Tree Road, 
" St. John's Wood, 
'' Friday {1U2). 
" Dear Jerrold, 

*' Many thanks for your ' Cakes and Ale,' and for the last espe- 
cially, as I am forbidden to take it in a potable shape. Even Bass's, 
which might be a Bass relief, is denied to me. The more kind of you 
to be my friend and pitcher. 

" The inscription was au unexpected and really a great pleasure ; 
for I attach a peculiar value to the regard and good opinion of literary 
men. The truth is, I love authorship, as Lord Byron loved England 
— ' with all its faults,' and in spite of its calamities. I am proud of 
my profession, and very much inclined to ' stand by my order.' 
It was this feeling, and no undue estimate of the value of my own 
fugitive works, that induced me to engage in the copyright question. 
Moreover, I have always denied that authors were an irritable genus, 
except that their tempers have peculiar trials, and the exhibitions are 
public instead of private. Neither do I allow the especial hatred, 
envy, malice, and all uncharitableness so generally ascribed to us ; 
and here comes your inscription in proof of my opinion. For my own 
part, I only regret that fortune has not favoured me as I could have 
wished, to enable me to see more of my literary brethren around my 
table. Nevertheless, as you are not altogether Home's Douglas, I 
hope you will some day find your way here. Allow me to thank you 
also for the Bubbles, and to congratulate you on your double success 
on the stage, being, I trust, pay and play — ^not the turf alternative. I 
am, dear Jerrold, 

" Yours very truly, 

" Thos. Hood." 

The quiet life of Hood, his violent hatred of cant, his 
tender sympathies with the poor and lowly, could not but 



DOUGLAS JERROLD AT HOME. 291 

endear him to the author of " Cakes and Ale." The 
" writer whose various pen touched ahke the springs of 
laughter and the source of tears " was the man whose 
memory was always green in the heart of Douglas Jer- 
rold. And his name bubbled up frequently over the 
study fire, and his verse was cited ; and his noble 
« Bridge of Sighs." and " Song of the Shirt " were held 
up as literary glories of his time. For there were no 
half friendships, no half confidences before the crackling 
beech wood. A nettle was most emphatically a nettle, 
there. And all enthusiastic, downright workers of the 
time were there unhesitatingly applauded. Kossuth was 
a noble fellow ; Mazzini a patriot ; Louis Blanc a man 
to take heartily by the hand. With all, the enthusiastic 
host had spoken and corresponded. The handwriting of 
all three lies before me, acknowledging or asking support 
and sympathy. " I know that you would not fail me, if 
everybody did," writes Joseph Mazzini. And again: 
" But I know more ; and it is that, whenever you do 
sympathize, you are ready to act, to embody your feel- 
ings in good, visible, tangible symbol ; and this is not the 
general rule." Walter Savage Landor joins his acknowl- 
edgments to those of the patriot, and makes a suggestion 
to " dear Douglas Jerrold." " I am very delighted to 
receive even a few lines from you. Be sure it will 
gratify me to be one of the committee " (for the Kossuth 
Testimonial). " I enclose a paragraph from the Here- 
ford Times. It contains a most interesting tale about 
the family of Kossuth. You possess the power of drama- 
tizing it. Electrify the world by giving it this stroke of 
your genius." 

The suggestion, given in the wild excitement of the 
moment, never bore fruit. It is possibly well that it 



292 LIFE OF DOUGLAS JERROLD. 

remains a simple suggestion, speaking chiefly for the 
honest enthusiasm of the writer ; and it may be pleasant 
to him to learn that it was found with the very few 
letters kept by the dramatist, a precious relic to the end. 
Louis Blanc has " many hearty thanks " to offer for 
"kind remarks" on his answer to Ledru Rollin's mani- 
festo. 

Among the many men who came to the snug study 
was Thorn, the weaver-poet of Inverary — a broad, 
brawny Scot, whose condition, rather than his genius, 
made him welcome. The kind heart of the host, al- 
though it was sorely tried by many impostures, still 
attracted to the last all men who wanted to say some- 
thing to the world, and had not the opportunity — all men 
who, having said something or done something, were 
victims, or conceived that they were victims, of the 
world's ingratitude. Poles, Hungarians, Frenchmen, 
found their way to Putney and to St. John's Wood — now 
asking to be relieved, now imploring introductions that 
should give them work. They always had a kind re- 
ception, and help as far as it could be afforded. Many 
strange impostors came too ; and these were met, when 
their trick was discovered, with an outburst of passionate 
reproach. The confiding man can make no terms with 
deceit. And when I remember the number of occasions 
on which the subject of this book was deceived — the fast 
friends who sought his help, and then avoided him — I 
cannot but wonder as I call to mind the freshness of his 
generosity even a week before his death. The last 
time he signed his check-book was to oblige a friend ; 
the last letter he received was one in which the repay- 
ment of a loan was deferred. Now, he heard of a friend 
who had lost a wife, and was in difficulties. Instantly a 



DOUGLAS JERROLD AT HOME. 293 

check was drawn, and a tender letter was written. One 
of these letters lies before me. The friend to whom it is 
addressed is reminded that "sorrow is the penalty we 
pay for life." From all sides, for all kinds of services, 
came letters of thanks. Sheridan Knowles says (Febru- 
ary, 1851), " Your letter made me very happy ; and, 
again thanking you for it, I am most faithfully, and with 
prayerful wishes for your happiness here and hereafter, 
your affectionate friend." W. H. Russell, the Pen of 
the War, as late as April, 1857, writes : "Thus see how 
one good turn entails a demand for another. But your 
kindness to me has been boundless, and believe me that 
I am sincerely yours always." "Jerroldo mio," writes 
Leigh Hunt, " a thousand thanks for the ' Blue Jar.' I 
guess it to be yours, by the old cedar woods," &c. He 
was ever, in truth, on the watch to do a service. Every 
dependent loved him ; every old man in his neighbour- 
hood who sought his help, had it. Opposite his window 
at Putney was a green lane, where an old man stood to 
open the gate. The man was the weekly recipient of 
Douglas Jerrold's bounty, and was playfully called his 
Putney Pensioner. He might have suggested to his 
benefactor the paper entitled " The Old Man at the 
Gate," which was published in The Illuminated Mag- 
azine. 

My father could not see a yard of turf taken from the 
poor without a protest. In 1849 people in the neigh- 
bourhood began to cut the turf from Putney Lower 
Common, whereupon the tenant of West Lodge wrote to 
the Earl Spenser, lord of the manor : — 

"My Lord, 

" I cannot believe that you are aware of the extent to which 
Putney Lower Common (upon which it is my misfortune to be a 



294 LIFE OF DOUGLAS JERKOLD. 

resident) is denuded of its turf. I have now no cattle of any ordex- to 
be defrauded of common right. But there are many poor whose cows 
and geese are sorely nipped of what has been deemed their privilege 
of grass — none of the most luxurious at the best — by the system of 
spoliation carried on in your lordship's manor, and under your declared 
authority. At this moment a long stretch of common lies before my 
window, so much swamp. The turf has been coined into a few shil- 
lings, to the suffering, very patiently boi'ne, of the cows aforesaid: 
and the philosophical endui-ance of the geese alone resisted. But I 
am sure your lordship has only to be made acquainted with wrongs of 
the useful and the innocent — wrongs inflicted under the avowed sanc- 
tion of abused nobility — to stay the injustice. 

" I have the honour to remain, &c., 

"Douglas Jekrold." 



Douglas Jerrold at home must be thoroughly set before 
the reader before he can comprehend the author of " The 
Man Made of Money," " Clovernook," and Time Works 
Wonders. All who met him insisted upon his great social 
human qualities. The author of " Tangled Talk " wrote 
lately : " Mr. Hepworth Dixon said, in the Athenceum, 
that if every one who had received a kindness from the 
hand of Douglas Jerrold flung a flower on his grave, the 
spot would be marked by a mountain of roses. Within 
these three years I have been once or twice his debtor 
for kind and encouraging words, and I would willingly 
throw my little flower. On the very few occasions upon 
which I saw him personally — not more than twice or 
thrice, and under his own roof — I found him the most 
genial, sincere, and fatherly of men ; perfectly simple, a 
man who looked straight at you, and spoke without ar- 
riere pensee — without any of that double consciousness 
which makes the talk of some men of talent disagreeable 
— and most thoroughly human. That 'abounding hu- 
manity,' which I once said elsewhere is the distinguishing 
characteristic of Mr. Jerrold's writing, shone out conspic- 



DOUGLAS JERROLD AT HOME. 295 

uously in all his behaviour. It was never necessary, as it 
is in conversing with too many, to say, by implication, 
'Never mind the book, and, the reputation, and the wit, 
and the wits, and what I am thinking of you — am I not a 
man and a brother ? ' Mr. Jerrold recognized the manhood 
and the brotherhood so fully at starting, that there was 
nothing to be said about it; and your intercourse with 
« him went smoothly upon its true basis — the natural ' pro- 
clivity ' of one human creature for another. The last 
time I saw him he spoke of Mr. Wilkie Collins among 
the living, and Mr. Laman Blanchard among the dead, 
with particular cordiality. I then knew little of the per- 
sonnel of literature, and missed, I doubt not, the full sig- 
nificance of what he said about others of whom he spoke 
in kind terms. 

" Mr. Jerrold had a peculiar fondness for children. On 
the same evening I heard him speak, with positive tears 
of gratification in his eyes, of a sketch of Mr. Leech, in 
which some gutter-bred little ones were represented doing 
the honours of a mock party among each other. No man 
that ever wrote has said so much about ' babies.' In the 
middle of a political leader you would find such an allu- 
sion as, ' sweeter than the sweetest baby.' And his writ- 
ings are full of a gracious domestic purity, quite distinct 
from the claptrap of the playright or the novelist. The 
poetry that was in Mr. Jerrold has, I suspect, been much 
underrated by the general public. And I will conclude 
these unworthy words (I would willingly have deferred 
fiinging my little flower till in a freer writing mood than 
at present, but it is better done at once) by quoting a 
very fine passage from his ' Chronicles of Clovernook,' 
which, he told me — as, indeed, any one might guess — 
contained more of his true self, as he would like to be 



296 LIFE OF DOUGLAS JERROLD. 

known and remembered, than any other of his writ- 
ings :— 

" At this time the declining sun flamed goldenly in the west. It 
was a glorious hour. The air fell upon the heart like balm ; the sky, 
gold and vermilion-flecked, hung, a celestial tent, above mortal man; 
and the fancy-quickened ear heard sweet, low music from the heart 
of earth, i-ejoicing in that time of gladness. 

" ' Did ever God walk the earth in finer weather? ' said the Hermit. 
' And how gloriously the earth manifests the grandeur of the Presence ! 
How its blood dances and glows in the Splendour ! It courses the 
trunks of trees, and is red and golden in their blossoms. It sparkles 
in the myriad flowers, consuming itself in sweetness. Every little 
earth-blossom is as an altar, burning incense. The heart of man, 
creative in its overflowing happiness, finds or makes a fellowship in 
all things. The birds have passing kindred with his winged thoughts. 
He hears a stranger, sweeter triumph in the skyey rapture of the lark ; 
and the cuckoo — constant egotist! — speaks to him from the deep, dis- 
tant wood, with a strange, swooning sound. All things living are a 
part of him. In all he sees and hears a new and deep significance. In 
that green pyramid, row above row, what a host of flowers ! How 
beautiful and how rejoicing! What a sullen, soulless thing, the Great 
Pyramid, to that blossoming chestnut ! How difi"erent the Avork and 
workmen!. A torrid monument of human wrong, haunted by flights 
of ghosts that not ten thousand thousand years can lay — a pulsely car- 
cass built of sweat and blood to garner rottenness. And that Pyra- 
mid of leaves grew in its strength, like silent goodness, heaven bless- 
ing it ; and every year it smiles, and every year it talks to fading gen- 
erations. What a congregation of spirits — spirits of the season! — it 
gathered, circle above circle, in its blossoms ; and verily they speak 
to man with blither voice than all the tongues of Egypt. And, at this 
delicious season, man listens and makes answer to them — alike to 
them and all; to the topmost blossom of the mighty tree as to the 
gfeensward daisy, constant flower, with innocent and open look still 
frankly staring at the midday sun." 

"'Evenings such as this,' continued the Hermit, after a pause, 
' seem to me the very holiday time of death ; an hour in which the 
slayer, throned in glory, smiles benevolently down on man. Here, on 
earth, he gets hard names among us for the unseemliness of his looks, 
and the cruelty of his doings; but, in an hour like this, death seems 
to me loving and radiant — a great bounty, spreading an immortal feast, 
and showing the glad dwelling-place he leads men to. 

" It would be great happiness could we always think so. For, so 



DOUGLAS JERROLD AT HOME. 297 ^ 

considered, deatli is indeed a solemn beneficence — a smiling liberator, 
turning a dungeon door upon immortal day. But when death, with 
slow and torturing device, hovers about his groaning prey; when, like 
a despot cunning in his malice, he makes disease and madness his 

dallying serfs ' 

'"Merciful God!' cried the Hermit, 'spare me that final terror! 
Let me not be whipped and scourged by long, long suffering to death 
— be dragged, a shrieking victim, downward to the grave; but let my 
last hour be solemn, tranquil, that so, with open, unblenched eyes, I 
may look at coming death, and feel upon my cheek his kiss of peace.' 

" I think this passage will even add a zest to your en- 
joyment of the sunny July weather in which you will 
read it," adds the kindly writer of " Tangled Talk." 

These pastoral passages were written during a joyous, 
splendid summer passed in a beautiful cottage not far 
from Heme village. The rich, fat landscapes of Kent 
delighted the author of "Clovernook" as he wandered 
about the shady lanes in his little pony phaeton, and gos- 
siped with the stalwart Kentish men. li'or, let him turn 
up in a village alehouse to quench a summer thirst, and 
he must talk with the men he may find there, just as in a 
garden he must meddle with the flowers. 

That gracefully tender recording tomb of roses, sug- 
gested by Mr. Hepworth Dixon, appeared to strike all 
Douglas Jerrold's friends as the thing to have said. It 
even travelled to Australia, and found a heart to receive 
it. Writing in the Melbourne Note-Book of September, 
1857, Mr. R. H. Home, the author of " Orion," says :— 

" There is a claim which Douglas Jerrold has upon my memory. 
It is one of a personal nature, and is now mentioned for the first time. 
Even in private, whenever I alluded to the circumstance, he seemed . 
to have forgotten all about it. Some friendly hand in England, after 
tracing a few outlines of his life, which I have seen extracted in one 
of the Melbourne papers, concludes in touching words to this effect — 
that, if every one who had experienced an act of kindness from Jerrold 
13* 



298 LIFE OF DOUGLAS JEREOLD. 

were to throw a flower upon his grave, there would speedily arise a 
monument of beauty to embalm his memory. A votive offering of 
this kind have 1 now to send. 

" I was, for a number of years, a director of the Mines Royal . . . 
Company, in London, and at a certain time the governor and some 
of the directors (all rich men excepting one), thought it judicious 
to cease paying any dividends during the ensuing twelve months. 
I certainly considered it, though by no means necessary, the most 
prudent course, and voted with those who proposed the measure, 
which was carried. At once, therefore, I saw myself without any 
fixed income during the coming year. I had never regarded literature 
in the light of a profession, but only as a pleasant addition. In this 
emergency I sent a few lines to JeiTold, telling him how the case 
stood, and proposing to write a novel for his magazine, to be completed 
within the twelve months. By the next post he wrote me: ' Dear H., 
come and take a chop with me, and let's talk it over.' I went, described 
the subject, the characters by which it was to be worked out, and the 
principles to be developed (he asked me to do this); sketched a sort 
of rough outline of my design, and was about to give the final result, 
when he suddenly anticipated me and shouted it aloud. It was the 
novel of ' The Dreamer and the Worker,' subsequently republished 
by Colburn. The publication of this, by monthly chapters, in Jerrold's 
Magazine, was the means of giving me peace of mind for a twelve- 
month. Those who have ever known what it was to expect a twelve- 
month of struggle and doubts, perhaps disappointments, and probably 
a thousand ' vexations of spirit ' in dismal highways of the battle of 
life, and who have suddenly seen all this transformed into a sunny 
course for the fair exercise of the energies opened out before them, 
can best appreciate the kind and degree of such a service rendered at 
once, and in so frank and off hand a manner. 

" The grateful memory of that year's peace of mind is the flower I 
now send half across the globe, to be aff'ectionately laid upon the 
grave of Douglas Jerrold. Hail! and farewell! 

" ' Vale, vale! nos te ordine quo natura permittet sequemur.' 

" Richard H. Horne." 



And the offering is here most gratefully laid up. 

Peeping still behind the walls of Douglas Jerrold's 
home, he may be found keeping up most affectionate 
greetings with his friends. He who was so ready to 
tender thanks for the smallest service, was happy^ — 



DOUGLAS JEEEOLD AT HOME. 299 

thrice happy — when he, in his turn, had pleased a 
friend. 

From Cremona Mr. Dickens wrote in 1844 : — 

" It was very hearty and good of you, Jerrold, to make that afiec- 
tionate mention of the ' Carol ' in Punch; and, I assure you, it was 
not lost upon the distant object of your manly regard, but touched 
him as you wished and meant it should. I wish Ave had not lost so 
much time in improving our personal knowledge of each other. But 
I have so steadily read you, and so selfishly gratified myself in always 
expressing the admiration with which your gallant truths inspired 
me, that I must not call it lost time either." 

Two years later the friends are still exchanging 
friendly words. Mr. Dickens writes this time from 
Geneva : — 

" My dear Jerrold, 

" This day week I finished my little Christmas book (writing to- 
wards the close the exact words of a passage in your affectionate 
letter, received this morning ; to wit, ' After all, life has something 
serious in it'), and ran over here for a week's rest. I cannot tell you 
how miich true gratification I have had in your most hearty letter. 
F. told me that the same spirit breathed through a notice of ' Dom- 
bey ' in your paper; and I have been saying since to K, and G., that 
there is no such good way of testing the worth of a literary friendship 
as by comparing its influence on one's mind with any that litei'ary 
animosity can produce. Mr. W. will throw me into a violent fit of 
anger for the moment, it is true ; but his acts and deeds pass into the 
death of all bad things next day, and rot out of my memory; Avhereas 
a generous sympathy, like yours, is ever present to me, ever fresh and 
new to me — always stimulating, cheerful, and delightful. The pain 
of unjust malice is lost in an hour. The pleasure of a genei'ous 
friendship is the steadiest joy in the world. What a glorious and 
comfortable thing that is to think of! 

" No, I donH get the paper * regularly. To the best of my recol- 
lection 1 have not had more than three numbers — certainly not more 
than four. But I knew how busy you must be, and had no expecta- 
tion of hearing from you until 1 wrote from Paris (as I intended 
doing), and implored you to come and make merry with us there. I 

Douglas Jerrold' s Weekly Newspaper. 



300 LIFE OF DOUGLAS JERROLD. 

am truly pleased to receive your good account of that enterprise. I 
feel all you say upon the subject of the literary man in his old age, 
and know the incalculable benefit of such a resource. . . . Anent 

the ' Comic ' and similar comicalities I feel exactly as you do. 

Their effect upon me is very disagreeable. Such joking is like the 
sorrow of an undertaker's mute, reversed, and is applied to serious 
things with the like propriety and force. . . . 

" Paris is good both in the spring and in the winter. So come, first 
at Chi-istmas, and let us have a few jolly holidays together at what 
Mr. Rowland, of Hatton Garden, calls ' that festive season of the yeai-,' 
when the human hair is peculiarly liable to come oixt of curl, unless, 
&c. I hope to reach there, bag and baggage, by the twentieth of next 
month. As soon as I am lodged I will write to you.' Do arrange to 
run over at Christmas time, and let us be as English and as merry as 
we can. It's nothing of a journey, and you shall write ' o' mornings,' 
as they say in modern Elizabethan, as much as you like. . . . 

" The newspapers seem to know as much about Switzerland as 
about the Esquimaux country. I should like to show you the people 
as they are here, or in the Canton de Vaud — their wonderful educa- 
tion, splendid schools, comfortable homes, great intelligence, and 
noble independence of character. It is the fashion among the English 
to decry them, because they ai'e not servile. I can only say that, if 
the first quarter of a century of the best general education would rear 
such a peasantry in Devonshire as exists about here, or about Lau- 
sanne ('bating their disposition towards drunkenness), it would do 
what I can hardly hope in my most sanguine moods we may effect in 
four times that period. The revolution here just now (which has my 
cordial sympathy) was conducted with the most gallant, true, and 
Christian spirit — the conquering party moderate in the first trans- 
ports of triumph, and forgiving. I swear to you that some of the 
appeals to the citizens of both parties, posted by the new government 
(the people's) on the walls, and sticking there now, almost drew the 
tears into my eyes as I read them; they are so truly generous, and so 
exalted in their tone — so far above the miserable strife of politics, and 
so devoted to the general happiness and M^elfare. . . . 

" I have had great success agahi in magnetism. E., who has been 
with us for a week or so, holds my magnetic powers in great vene- 
ration, and I really think they are, by some conjunction of chances, 
strong. Let them, or something else, hold you to me by the heart. 
Ever, my dear Jerrold, 

" Afiectionately your friend, 

"C. D.'» 



DOUGLAS JERKOLD AT HOME. 301 

Grateful, indeed, were these words to the earnest soul 
they sought. From Cremona, on the 16th of November, 
1844, Mr. Dickens again " greeted " his friend lovingly, 
and signed himself "always your friend and admirer." 
From Paris, in 1847, still Mr. Dickens sends over hearty 
words of friendship and most pleasant gossip. One letter, 
dated the 14tli of February, includes an anecdote that, 
through this letter, reached every paper in Europe. I 
give it in Mr. Dickens's words : — 

" I am somehow reminded of a good story I heard the other night 
from a man who was a witness of it, and an actor in it. At a certain 
German town last autumn there was a tremendous y«?'ore about Jenny 
Lind, who, after driving the whole place mad, left it, on her travels, 
early one morning. The moment her carriage was outside the gates a 
party of rampant students, who had escorted it, rushed back to the 
inn, demanded to be shown to her bedroom, swept like a whirlwind 
up stairs into the room indicated to them, tore up the sheets, and 
wore them in strips as decorations. An hour or two afterwards a bald 
old gentleman of amiable appearance, an Englishman, who was stay- 
ing in the hotel, came to breakfast at the table d'hote, and was observed 
to be much disturbed in his mind, and to show great terror whenever 
a student came near him. At last he said in a low voice, to some 
people who were near him at the table, ' You are English gentlemen, 
I observe. Most extraordinary people these Germans ! Students, as a 
body, raving mad, gentlemen! ' ' no! ' said somebody else; ' excit- 
able, but very good fellows, and very sensible.' ' By God, sir ! ' re- 
turned the old gentleman, still more disturbed; 'then there's some- 
thing political in it, and I am a marked man. I went out for a little 
walk this morning after shaving, and while I was gone ' — he fell into 
a terrible perspiration as he told it — ' they burst into my bedroom, 
tore up my sheets, and are now patrolling the town in all directions 
with bits of 'em in their button-holes ! ' I needn't wind up by adding 
that they had gone to the wrong chamber." 

And then the correspondence between the two friends 
would take a serious turn, the subject becoming no less 
solemn than the punishment of death. "In a letter I 
have received from G. this morning," Mr. Dickens writes 



302 LIFE OF DOUGLAS JERROLD. 

from Devonshire Terrace, on the 17th of November, 1849, * 

" he quotes a recent letter from you, in which you clepre 
cate the ' mystery ' of private hanging. 

" Will you consider what punishment there is, except 
death, to which 'mystery' does not attach? Will you I 

consider whether all the improvements in prisons and 
punishments that have been made within the last twenty 
years have, or have not, been all productive of 'mys- 
tery ? ' I can remember very well when the silent sys- 
tem was objected to as mysterious, and opposed to the 
genius of English society. Yet there is no question that 
it has been a great benefit. The prison vans are myste- 
rious vehicles ; but surely they are better than the old 
system of marching prisoners through the streets chained 
to a long chain, like the galley-slaves in Don Quixote. 
Is there no mystery about transportation, and our manner 
of sending men away to Norfolk Island, or elsewhere ? 
None in abandoning the use of a man's name, and know- 
ing him only by a number ? Is not the whole improved 
and altered system, from the beginning to end, a mys- 
tery ? I wish I could induce you to feel justified in leav- 
ing that word to the platform people, on the strength of 
your knowledge of what crime was, and of what its pun- 
ishments were, in the days when there was no mystery 
connected with these things, and all was as open as 
Bridewell when Ned Ward went to see the women 
whipped." 

To which Douglas Jerrold made reply from Putney 
on the 20th of November : — 

" My dear Dickens, 

" ... It seems to me that what you argue with reference 
to the treatment of the convict criminal hardly applies to the pro- 
posed privacy of hanging him. The ' mystery ' which, in our better 
discipline, surrounds the living, is eventually for his benefit. If his 



DOUGLAS JERROLD AT HOME. 303 

name merge in a number, it is that he may have a chance of obtaining 
baclc the name cleansed somewhat. 

" If it be proved — and can there be a doubt of such proof? — that 
public execution fails to have a salutary influence on society, then the 
last argument for the punishment of death is, in my opinion, utterly 
destroyed. Private hanging, with the mob, would become an abstract 
idea. 

" But what I sincerely lament iu your letter of yesterday, is that, in 
its advocacy of private executions, it implies their continued necessity. 
The sturdy anti-abolitionist may count upon it as upon his side. I 
am grieved that the weight of your name, and the influence of your 
reputation, should be claimed by such a party. 

" Grant private hanging, and you perpetuate the punishment; and 
the mischief wrested from your letter is this: it may induce some — 
not many, I hope — willing, even in despair, to give up the punishment 
of death, now to contend for its continuance when inflicted in secrecy. 
. . . As to the folly and wickedness of the infliction of death as a 
punishment, possibly I may consider them from a too transcendental 
point. I believe, notwithstanding, that society will rise to it. In the 
mean time my Tom Thumb voice must be raised against any compro- 
mise that, in the sincerity of my opinion, shall tend to continue the 
hangman among us, whether in the Old Bailey street, or in the prison 
press-yard. 

" Sorry am I, my dear Dickens, to differ from any opinion of yours 
— most sorry upon an opinion so grave ; but both of us are only the 
instruments of our convictions." 

Letters of invitation, too, came by scores to Douglas 
Jerrold at home. Now from Lord Melbourne, asking him 
to meet " the Gordons," Lord Morpeth, and others ; now 
from Dr. Mackay, to meet Jules Janin ; now from his old 
friend Thomas Landseer, " to take a chop at six ; " now 
from Sir Joseph Paxton, to pass a quiet Sunday ; now 
from Lord Nugent, to enjoy a few days at Lilies ; now 
from Sir E. Bulwer Lytton, to pass some social hours at 
Knebworth ; and now from poor Mr. Samuel Phillips, to 
have a chat at Hastings. The last letter from this early 
friend, dated from Brighton, is a very sad one ; and I 
find it inclosed with the note, written only two days later, 



304 LIFE OF DOUGLAS JERROLD. 

from a mutual friend, announcing Mr. Phillips's death. 
Mr. Phillips's letter is dated October 12th, 1854. He 
writes : — 

" My dear Jerrold, 

" Thanks for the little book '' {The Heart of Gold I infer), "which 
has been sent on to me to this place. I shall read the play to-morrow. 
I can no longer see one; and I lose nothing in this instance if your ac- 
count of R be correct, as I believe it is. We are here until the 

12th of December, when we go to town, where I have purchased a 
house as a permanent residence, close to Melbourne Terrace, and not 
far from you. So I hope we may oftener meet. Will you run down 
to Brighton for a couple of days during our stay ? Do. We can give 
you bed and board and a hearty welcome, as you know. I should 
like to have a long chat with you over the fire ; for it is an age smce 
we met. Come to us if you can, and fix your own time. 

" Ever yours, 

" Sam Phillips." 

To meet oftener ! To have a chat over the fire ! To 
be installed in a permanent residence ! All is written in a 
clear, steady hand. And in two days Samuel Phillips 
was dead ! The shock was a severe one to his friend. I 
was by when my father received the letter announcing 
the catastrophe. He could hardly express his emotion. 
He was about to pass his morning in his study at work ; 
but in a few minutes his stick was in his hand, and he 
was sharply walking along the gravel path to the gate. 
He must be out — alone. He could not sit with the 
tumult that was in him. 

And now another letter comes from W. H. Pussell, the 
Pen of the War. " You are indeed a leal and kind good 
friend to me, my dear Douglas Jerrold." And Douglas 
Jerrold was the friend of the great " Pen," and admired 
him profoundly. 

These warm friends were wanted to strengthen Doug- 
las Jerrold's heart against the world that still perversely 



DOUGLAS JERROLD AT HOME. 305 

would misunderstand him. And he took them enthusias- 
tically to his heart, and bade them be about him always. 
Sunday was a day, with him, sacred to hospitality. On 
that day there was a knife and fork for any friend who 
might choose to use them. " Cottage fare," he would say 
again and again, as he received the droppers-in. And 
then an afternoon in the garden if possible, when he 
would wander past the flower-beds, rather proud of the 
botanical knowledge which he had been storing all his life, 
and delighted when he saw that a friend took particular 
interest in any alteration, or was very happy in a shady, 
rustic retreat. He could hardly exist in a house that had 
no garden. He could not understand men who set down 
their household gods in the smoke and noise of London. 
To Lady Morgan, who said that she should like to call 
upon him, but that he must have so many visitors, his 
house out of town must be like an hotel, he answered 
" Your ladyship will be always welcome to the Jerrold 
Arms." 

When he suddenly returned from Boulogne, even in 
the bitter December of 1843, he must take a cottage in 
the Vale of Health, Hampstead ; whence, on the 1st of 
January, 1843, he wrote to his friend Mr. Forster : — 

"A liappy new year to you ! I have at last a tranquil moment, 
which I employ in jotting a few words to you. I should have called 
upon you when I came to see Alexander " (for rheumatism in the eyes, 
that had almost cost him his sight), " but was summoned back to 
Boulogne, where I found my dear niece — a lovable, affectionate crea- 
ture, little less to me than a daughter — in her coffin at my house. 
She had died of typhus at school — died in her fourteenth year. I 
found my wife almost frantic with what she felt to be a terrible respon- 
sibility; for we had brought the child only the last April from her 
heart-broken mother, to Boulogne. I assure you I have been so har- 
assed by bodily and mental annoyance, I might say torture, that I 
have scarcely any notion of how the time has passed since I last saw 
you. We are, however, now settling down into something like tran- 



306 LIFE OF DOUGLAS JERROLD. 

quility. I am myself much better, with the healthful use of my sight. 
I have taken a house near Regent's Park (Park Village), and hope to 
be in it in a few days, with all my family. . . . Possibly we may 
meet at Talfourd's on Thursday." 

Now and then foreign celebrities appeared at his gate ; 
but, unless he knew something of them beyond their book, 
he received them shyly. He had a horror of those con- 
cocters of travel books, who make their way behind the 
scenes of known men's homes, and then note how many 
times their distinguished host was helped to peas, and how 
many flounces his wife had to her skirt. I will not rank 
Ludwig Kalisch in this list, for he appeared to wish to see 
the author whom he admired, and to exchange thoughts 
with him. However, he described an interview with 
Douglas Jerrold at home, which appeared in the Cologne 
Gazette^ August 12th, 1855. The description is worth 
translating, as affording very true glimpses of its subject's 
literary appreciations. 

" Douglas Jerrold," writes Ludwig Kalisch, " is little known in Ger- 
many, and little read and little appreciated in England. Yet he is a 
considerable writer. One of his books, which chanced to fall into my 
hands, impressed me greatly in his favour. I found in this book 
— 'A Man Made of Money' — much wit, very many fresh thoughts, 
and real humour. It led me to read many more of Jerrold's works, in 
which I almost always detected an originality of investigation and a 
connection of expression rarely met with in modern English authors. 
I stated this to Thackeray, who fully concurred with me. I then ex- 
pressed to him my desire to make the acquaintance of Jerrold. Thack- 
eray said he would gladly ask him to dinner, and afford me thus the 
best opportunity of originating a friendship, as at table he was most 
confidential, most talkative, most witty; 'but,' he added, 'Jerrold 
was not always to be covmted upon.' I should, therefore, do best in 
going to him with a line of introduction. I accepted this proposition. 

" Douglas Jerrold then lived at Putney, a village on the right bank 
of the Thames, to the westward of London. You go by steamer to 
the village, &c. . . . Douglas Jerrold, who loves solitude, did not, 
however, live in the village itself, but at a little distance from it. His 
house was situated on a charming plain, upon which broad-headed 



DOUGLAS JEEROLD AT HOME. 307 

cattle were comfortably grazing. A small wood, about a hundred 
paces from the house, fringed the plain most charmingly ; and in front 
of the wood lay gypsy families, picturesquely grouped around their 
carts, which constituted their homes, and contained all their posses- 
sions. Mr. Jerrold's house itself stood in a small, but carefull}^ kept 
garden. 

" Having delivered Thackeray's note, I was shown into a very 
cheerful room, to wait the host's arrival. He came in a few minutes. 
Never did I see a handsomer head on an uglier body. Douglas Jerrold 
is small, with stooping shoulders ; but the head placed upon those 
shoulders is truly magnificent. He has the head of a Jupiter on the 
body of a Thersites. A high, broad, cheerfu.1, arched forehead; a very 
fine mouth ; a well-shaped nose ; clear, heaven-blue eyes ; make the 
face of Jerrold one of the handsomest. 

" He conducted me to his library, and in' a few minutes we were 
deep in conversation, to which Thackeray's ' Lectures on the English 
Humorists of the Eighteenth Century ' gave rise. I observed that 
those humorists, of whom the English are so proud, were now rarely 
or never read by Englishmen; and that the present youth of England 
hardly knew the names of ' Tristram Shandy,' ' Tom Jones,' ' Hum- 
phrey Clinker,' and ' Peregrine Pickle.' 

" ' For that,' said Jerrold, ' there are good reasons. Those humor- 
ists were as nude as the times in which they lived. Their ideas were 
clothed in tatters ; their phrases went about on stiltg, with beauty 
spots upon rouged cheeks : or they were rough and vulgar, like those 
shadowy creatures who nightly prowl about the darker streets of Lon- 
don. Our literature takes its tone, more than foreigners imagine, 
from the court. Our present court is a pattern of quiet, modest, home 
life, where good manners reign in conjunction with the strictest cere- 
mony. The romance writer, in some measure a literary currency, 
must, therefore, be particularly guarded. The novel that cannot now 
be read aloud by the cheerful winter hearth in the family circle, be- 
fore the youth of both sexes, can no longer expect to hold an educated 
public' 

" ' It is a pity,' said I, ' that in England, Prudery, sitting in judg- 
ment, should so often drive out wholesome human understanding. 1 
am, however, no great admirer of the humorists, now the subjects of 
Thackeray's lectures. Swift, properly, is a humorist, as great as he 
is unedifying as a satirist; his worldly estimate is comfortless. To 
him mankind is an unimprovable robber-band. For him there are 
too few gallows on the earth, and he seems to rail constantly at Jus- 
tice for allowing so many mortals to go unhanged. Smollet is rough, 
and the much-prized Sterne a great hypocrite, who calculated the 



308 LIFE OF DOUGLAS JERROLD. 

exact effect of every sentence. His tears, shed over a dead ass, may 
move the public ; but his artistically pi'epai'ed sentimentality, specu- 
lating so cunningly on public sj'mpathy, touches not me. Fielding is 
by far a greater humorist, but he is too broad. The flow of his prose 
has too many inequalities. But there is one among your humorists 
of the last century whom any literature might envy you ; I mean the 
good, ingenuous, childlike Oliver Goldsmith, of whom Johnson truly 
said, Adornavit quod ieiiyit. Where is the literature that includes a 
book as admirable as The Eistory of Dr. Primrose ? It is the most 
charming and delightful village history that was ever poetized. Here 
is true poesy ! Here is true humour ! And, in its naiTOw compass, it 
is one of the most successful of manner-pictures.' 

" Scarce had I finished, when Jerrold, taking a book from the table, 
exclaimed, Avith animation, ' That outweighs them all! How I regret 
my inability to read it ii» the original ! ' 

" It was a recently published English translation of Jean Paul's 
* Flower, Fruit, and Thorn Pieces.' Jean Paul now became the sub- 
ject of conversation. Jerrold was astonished when I told him that this 
author Avas little read amongst us. He could not understand it, and 
remarked several times that SiebenJcds contained more thoughts than 
the collected works of very many English novelists. . . . 

" We now came to speak of one of Jen-old's smaller works, which, 
even in Germany, has got pretty well known, but which hajs obtained 
an extraordinary degree of celebrity in England, viz : * Mi*s. Caudle's 
Curtiiin Lectures.' •' 

The German visitor, it will have been remarked by 
the reader, left little time for his host to speak, and was 
not embarrassed in desciibing the appearance of his 
sitter ; but the result has a friendly meaning in it, and 
we are not to go about the world all our lives through, 
questioning the taste when we should be satisfied with 
the motive. 

Of the many home incidents which Douglas Jerrold 
used in his writings, the story of a peacock and peahen 
which were given to him by a friend connected with the 
Surrey Zoological Gardens is, perhaps, the most humor- 
ous. I remember the birds well upon the lawn in Thistle 
Grove, Chelsea ; how the male bird spread out tlie glories 



DOUGLAS JERROLD AT HOME. 309 

of his tail before the breakfast-room window ; and how he 
dragged his tumbled splendour, on wet days, under the 
tea-tree that grew against the stables. But he was a 
noisy bird, and he was continually wandering into fields 
and neighbours' gardens, and was brought back by boys 
or men, who asked heavy gratuities for the capture. A 
friend had long admired the birds, and at last it was 
resolved that this friend should be presented with them. 
He said his grounds would be greatly enlivened by the 
peacock. 

Not many weeks, however, after the birds had been 
sent to their new home, a member of Douglas Jerrold's 
family happened to call at a poulterer's shop near the 
residence of the peacock's new master. The conversa- 
tion turned to the peacock. Possibly the customer 
inquired whether the poulterer had heard any com- 
plaints of the bird in the neighbourhood. The poulterer 
smiled; he had dealt with peacock and peahen long 
since; they had reached his shop almost direct from 
Thistle Grove, and had been exchanged by their new 
master, for fowls and ducks, for the table. It was this 
peacock, however, that furnished the material for the fol- 
lowing incident, as related by Douglas Jerrold in the 
FreemasorC s Quarterly Review in 1837: — 

" The goddess Fortune, playing at blind-man's-buff, had, in a spor- 
tive mood, thrown her wanton arms about Abel Staflf. She had sud- 
denly given him a happy competence— a comfortable wife. He who 
had lived upon the voice and finger of others was now himself a mas- 
ter. He was the loi-d of a house which, in the words of the Prince of 
Auctioneers, ' advanced a peculiar claim to the epithet of snugness ' — 
one of those suburban cottages with which giant London, ' like a swart 
Indian with his belt of beads,' stands girted. Abel ivanted nothing — 
nothing, when, in an evil hour, the Prince of Darkness, pointiag to 
him the fatal glory in the yarti of a de&ler, cried} 'Ab'el, Abel, buy a 
peacock!' 



310 LIFE OF DOUGLAS JEEKOLD. 

*' It was about eight in the morning, and our hero sat at his break- 
fast. A neighbour dashed into the parlour, and, holding in his hand 
something for the inspection of Abel, asked, ' Pray, sir, do you think 
this is to be borne ? ' 

"Abel, tucking his crossed arms under the tails of his coat, looked, 
acutely as a gypsy, into the hand of the querist, and saw there an in- 
animate chicken of about a week old, with a hole in its head. 

" ' I ask you, sir, if you think anybody can continue to endure 
this?' 

" ' Not more than once,' said Abel, looking at the mortal hole in the 
head of the murdered. 

" ' That peacock of yours, Mr. Staff ' But the gentleman with 

the chicken could say no more, his sentence being cut short by the 
discordant scream of the creature on the lawn. (Had the radiant tail 
of the bird been used to wing a bundle of arrows at the head and 
heart of Abel, his sorrows had been less. The peacock of Abel Staff 
proved to him a raven, nay, a very harpy.) 

" ' That peacock of yours, Mr. Staff,' again cried the neighbour, and 
again the bird screamed, as if conscious of the notice. 

" ' I am very sorry,' said Abel, looking at the dead bird for the third 
time, ' very sorry. How many are killed, sir ? ' 

" ' Eight, sir, eight ; and every one with a hole in its head, pecked 
by that infernal peacock, and every hole in the same place.' 

" ' Curious,' said Staff, evidently struck by the sagacity of the 
destroyer. * I declare, just like a Christian.' 

" ' Mr. Staflf,' said his wife, ' that bird will be the ruin of you.' 

" ' Pretty creature ! ' cried Abel ; and he turned to look at his 
future ruin, at that instant spreading his tail to its full extent. Yes, 
at that moment the ruin of Abel was displayed before him to its ut- 
most verge, and yet he smiled and said, ' Pretty creature! ' 

" ' Eight, sir — the whole eight. ' And the owner of the dead re- 
turned to his loss. 

"' Well, Sally, you know Newgate Market? Here's a guinea; wUl 
you oblige me — how old were the chickens, sir? One month; very 
good — will you oblige me by ordering to the house of Mr. Calf eight 
chickens not less than six weeks ? ' Saying which, Abel pulled 
himself up, buttoning his breeches pocket with the air of a con- 
queror. 

'' ' Eight chickens — what, mere chickens ? ' exclaimed Mr. Calf. 

'"You'd never have the conscience to expect turkeys? And 
Lucy, my dear, I know you like broth — send next door for the 
other seven.' And Abel turned again to his ruin. 

" ' Mr. Staff,' cried Mr. Calf, and his strips of whiskers stood on 



DOUGLAS JERROLD AT HOME. 311 

end, and his face grew more fire}' ; ' Mr. Staff,' and he laid two fin- 
gers on the cold breast of the bird, ' do you know where these chick- 
ens came from V ' 

" ' Eggs,' said Abel, and his eyes stared coldly as beads. 

" ' Eggs, sir ! ' exclaimed Calf, as if repelling so low and common 
an origin; 'eggs!' and, as he reiterated the syllable, a cock in the 
next ground crowed very shrilly. ' Do you know what cock that is, 
sir V ' 

" ' I'm not much of a judge,' replied Abel ; * but isn't it real dung- 
hill?' % 

'"Dunghill, sir! It came from the East Indies — from the East 
Indies, sir! ' 

" ' Well, I suppose there's dunghills all over the world. It isn't 
game, is it ? ' 

" ' The real jungle cock, six* — not another in Europe. Was given to 
me by the secretary of the Rajah of Singapore.' 

" ' Umph ! a long voyage for poultry,' remarked Abel. ' However, 
Sally, mind you get the best in the market.' And again the peacock 
screamed, as if anticipating new victims. 

" ' Hear me, Mr. Staff". I am very sorry that, as a neighbour, this 
should have happened ; but, if money can at all compensate for the 
loss of my birds ' 

" ' Haven't I given this woman a guinea to replace themV ' asked 
Abel, pointing to his servant, who unclosed her hand to exhibit the 
coin to Calf. 

" ' A guinea ! I estimate my loss at five-and-twenty pounds — I 
might say guineas at least,' said Mr. Calf. 

" ' W^hat ! for chickens ? ' asked Mrs. Staff". 

"' Chickens, ma'am! This is a breed that lays ' 

" ' Golden eggs, I should think,' dryly observed Abel ; and again he 
turned to look at his strutting peacock. 

" ' But no matter, Mr. Staff"; fortunately there is law. This is a 
matter that shall go before the judges — yes, before the tribunals of 
our country: it shall be seen whether there is any liberty of the sub- 
ject.' Saying which Mr. Calf sought his house, bearing with him 
his dead. 

" ' Now, who could think that people would be such fools as to 
make pets of chickens ? or, indeed, to have any such whims with any 
such sort of creatures? Look, Lucy, look' — and Abel brought his 
wife by the wrist, nearer to the object — ' look at that pretty dear 
spreading its tail! Was there ever any thing so handsome? ' 

" ' Oh, Abel ! depend upon it, that peacock will be the ruin of you,' 
said Mrs. Staff". 



312 LIFE OF DOUGLAS JERROLD. 

" * Pretty creature ! ' said Abel. 

" ' ]\Irs. Thrush, ma'am, if you please, from the next house,' said 
the servant. 

" ' Pray let her -walk iu,' said the gladdened IMrs. Staff. ' Oh, Abel ! 
she is such a nice body — we shall be sucli good friends. My dear 
Mrs. Thrush, how d'ye do? I declare you don't look well.' 

" ' Oh, Mrs. Staff"! how do you expect people can look well who 
can get no sleep ? ' 

" ' That brute Thrush,' said Mrs. Staff, aside to her husband, ' never 
•comes home till four in the morning.' 

" ' Too bad,' said Staff, ' too bad,' with the austei-e gravity of a 
regular and early man. 

" ' I haven't had a wink since four — that nasty bird,' said Mrs. 
Thrush. 

" ' Quite a nuisance,' said Abel. ' I heard it myself.' 

" ' And it isn't enough to be woi-ried with it in bed, but when Rosa's 
music master comes to give her a lesson you can't tell one from the 
other — the bird or the child. Do — pray do, Mr. Staff — wring its 
neck.' 

"Tm sure I Avould with all my heart,' said Abel; but there's 
mischief done already; only eight chickens have been killed since 
yesterday.' 

" ' Chickens I What ! were we to be screamed out of our houses ? 
How many filthy peacocks are we to have ? ' 

"'Peacocks!' cried Abel; 'you don't mean — no, surely you don't 
mean my peacock ? ' 

" ' What should I mean, Mr. Staff" ? "What do you imagine has 
kept me awake these three nights? ' 

" ' That jungle cock — the East Indian poultry of Mr. Calf I ' ex- 
claimed Abel. 

"'No, sir, no; nothing but your screeching, screaming peacock: 
and I've only called in to say that, unless you wring the bird's neck, 
I'll make Mr. Thrush indict you for a nuisance.' Saying which the 
sleepless neighbour swam from the room. 

" ' I told you, Abel, that bird would be your ruin,' said Mrs. Staff". 
" But Abel was again at the window — again the peacock displayed 
its tail— and again its master cried, ' Pretty creature ! ' 

" It mattered not to Abel that the peacock plunged him into law, 
and made him an outcast from his neighbours ; though suffering in 
pocket, and wounded in spirit by the silence of his former acquaint- 
ance, he would stand and watch his plague, and, as it screamed and 
showed its tail, cry, ' Pretty creature ! ' 

" How many a man, rich in all the gifts of life, with nought to 



DOUGLAS JHRROLD AT HOME. 313 

wish for, will in some Avay or the other, to his own discomfort, and 
the discomfort of his friends, persist in having his — peacock! 

" D. J." 

Let me close this attempt to present my father to the 
reader en robe de chamhre, with an anecdote. While 
living at Putney he ordered a brougham — plain and quiet 
— to be built for him. He went one morning to the 
coach-builder's shop to see the new carriage. Its sur- 
face was without a speck. " Ah ! " said the customer, 
as he turned to the back of the vehicle, "its polish is 
perfect now ; but the urchins will soon cover it with 
scratches." 

" But, sir, I can put a few spikes here, that will keep 
any urchins off," the coach-maker answered. 

" By no means, man," was the sharp, severe reply. 
" And know that, to me, a thousand scratches on my 
carriage would be more welcome than one on the hand 
of a footsore lad, to whom a stolen lift might be a god- 
send." " I always loved Jerrold after this," adds the 
gentleman to whom I am indebted for this incident. 



14 



314 LIFE OF DOUGLAS JERROLD. 



CHAPTER XIII. 



OUT OF TOWN. 



There was hardly a spot of the earth which Douglas 
Jerrold, at some time of his life, had not longed to visit. 
He never travelled far in reality, but with every spring his 
imagination took wing, and bore him half over Europe. 
Now he was going on a cruise to Portugal ; and now, 
among the vines, he was to pass a few happy weeks in 
the Italian palazzo of Charles Dickens ; and now he was 
to sail about the Mediterranean with Lord Nugent. He 
even projected a visit to Constantinople ; but, giving it 
suddenly up, he turned sardonically to his wife, and said, 
" Well, my dear, if it can't be Constantinople, what do 
you say to Highgate ? " And forthwith he sallied out on 
a walk through the fields that lie between Hampstead 
and Highgate Hill — now talking to the children picking 
the buttercups, and now picking one himself, and dis- 
secting it. " If they cost a shilling a root how beautiful 
they'd be," he would say, and cast the stem away. One 
dog, at least, would be at his heels. 

He had passed far on his pilgrimage, however, before 
he was able to see any of the places of which he had 
dreamed. He spent a few weeks with his brother-in-law 
at Doncaster about 1833-34,* and paid a flying visit to 

* Here, he wrote to Mr. Forster, he intended to write " such a 
comedy! " 



OUT OF TOWN. 315 

tlie Rhine, a few years later, with his friend Mr. Gould, 
a farceur as celebrated in his day as Vivier in the pres- 
ent. This was his first trip; and he had wonderful sto- 
ries of the jokes played by his companion, on the way. 

He had already, as I have shown, been forced to Paris 
for a month or two ; but there he had been shut up by 
the cold, and work had pressed heavily upon him ; whereas 
his notions of being out of town were based on a perfect 
emancipation from the daily duties of his most arduous 
profession. He accomplished a short trip to Boulogne 
(to fetch myself and brother from school) in the summer 
of 1839, in the company of Mr. Kenny Meadows and 
the late Mr. Orrin Smith. I remember his arrival well 
— how he took us from our school, and sallied forth into 
the country with us, on a donkey expedition — he, not the 
oldest boy present. Every thing was delightful. He 
chatted gaily with the paysanne of a roadside auberge on 
the Calais road, and joked upon her sour cider. He lis- 
tened laughingly to our stories of school-fights, and to our 
disdain for the juvenile specimens of our lively neigh- 
bours. My brother described a hurt one of the boys had 
received. My father asked anxiously about it ; where- 
upon my brother, to turn off the paternal sympathy, and 
prove in a word that the matter was not worth a mo- 
ment's thought, added sharply, " Oh ! it's only a French 
boy, papa ! " Then a burst of laughter. 

We crossed back from Boulogne to Rye by steamer, 
and so to Hastings and London by coach. How the 
laughter of the happy party echoed along the road — free, 
joyous spirits, for the time independent of the world's 
cares, and drinking in the rich air of the fields : — the cool 
breeze of the sea ! I hold a vivid remembrance of that 
happy day outside the London stage. 



316 LIFE OF DOUGLAS JERROLD. 

Again, in 1841, Douglas Jerrold turned happily from 
London to his favourite seaport, Boulogne. He had 
turned his back upon the great city for some months, full 
of great projects, to be achieved in a quiet lane opening 
to the sweet Yallee du Denacre. Ay, poor Mrs. Jordan's 
old cottage is to let. The trees are green and shady 
about it ; from the windows of the little room that 
shall be the study, and where the Prisoner of War shall 
flow from the brain of the new tenant to the point of his 
pen, a pretty terraced garden may be seen. Opposite 
lies, basking in the sun, a snug farmer's wealth of pigs 
and cows, and geese and turkeys. A three minutes' 
walk hence into the corn-fields, and you may look over 
the tumbling waves of that precious channel, " the best 
thing," as the new tenant of Mrs. Jordan's old house 
says, " between England and France," not excepting the 
aUiance. Here shall many happy months be passed, with 
friends who shall drop across the salt sea to visit the 
lively hermit ; and go gypsying with him ; and spend 
happy afternoons with him, in the leafy, terraced garden, 
over syllabub, for which the sweet-breathed cows oppo- 
site are ever ready to provide the new and foaming milk. 
Many were the happy mornings, when you might have 
seen some half dozen donkeys buried under sheepskin sad- 
dles, bobbing their patient noses between the green rail- 
ings of Mrs. Jordan's old house. Within, the bustle and 
talk were wild. Hampers were being packed ; the strict- 
est injunctions were being given to the young gentlemen 
of the party, to respect all and every description of pie- 
crust, till the party should meet at Souverain Moulin ; 
the salad mixture was being guarded as something sacred 
in a picnic, and bottles could not have been more care- 
fully clothed, had they been babies. 



OUT OF TOWN. 317 

Then the merry party bound forth ! Hampers, and 
baskets, and bags are tied to the sheepskin saddles ; ladies 
are adjusted upon the asses, and off for the day. The pa- 
tient animals, under the fire of incessant jocosities from 
the gentlemen behind, amble along the narrow paths, and 
now perplex fair riders by walking through rapid streams; 
and now, arrived at their destination, trot into mine host's 
kitchen at Souverain Moulin, calmly as they would pass 
into a field. Merrily the hours dance along — a laugh 
will answer even if the salad mixture have been spilt. 
And the cool evening will find the same party trotting 
homewards. Days like these ; then snug dinners at 
home (there is always a well-loved flesh melon cooling 
inside one of those garden-terraces) ; evenings at the 
pier-head, watching the London boat's black hull and 
twinkling cabin-lights fade under the western clouds ; 
mornings of constant, cool-headed work ; before dinner, 
strolls through the crowds of chattering market people — 
and all this in country guise (here is one of the charms 
of it) — these are the features of two happy summers. To 
be darkened at last, unhappily. 

The happy dramatist sauntered one evening to the 
pier-head, with a book in his pocket. It was autumn, 
and the wind had a touch of ice in it. Still, he sat down 
and read. He read long enough, too, to feel a chill. 
He walked rapidly home, and in a few days the old 
enemy, rheumatism, attacked his eyes ; the shutters of his 
room were closed (he had moved to Capecure lately), 
and he lay upon his back, most sorely oppressed. And 
a French doctor came to him, and treated him as a horse 
might be treated. He was blistered, and again blistered. 
He shrieked if the light of the smallest candle reached 
him ; yet he could, if the chord were touched, say a sharp 



318 LIFE OF DOUGLAS JERROLD. 

thing. This French doctor had just been operating upon 
the patient. The patient had winced a little, and the 
operator had said, " Tut ! tut ! It's nothing — nothing at 
all ! " 

Presently some hot water was brought in. The doctor 
put his fingers in it, and sharply withdrew them, with an 
oath. The patient, who was now lying, faint, upon the 
sofa, said, " Tut ! tut ! It's nothing — nothing at all ! " 

This illness lasted for five weeks, and at length the 
patient's eyes got better. At this moment he wrote, but 
in sad spirits, to Mr. Forster. It was now November, 
1842. He wrote :— 

" In dread of a relapse, I have resolved to avail myself of the first 
fair day (for here the weather continues very bad), and start for Eng- 
land. I have tried for several mornings to work, but cannot. After 
half an hour's application, or less, reading or writing, thick spots 
obscure my sight, and then come all sorts of horrid apprehensions. 
Yet I strive to think it is nothing but weakness, which rest, and rest 
only, will remedy. On this, however, I come (and have resolved to 
settle in England) for advice. I now despair being able to complete 
' Rabelais,' for, though I might still eke out sight enough for it witliout 
any permanent evil, yet the nervous irritability which besets me, 
weakens every mental faculty. You will, I hope, believe me truly 
distressed at the inconvenience I shall draw upon you, which, at no 
small risk, I would, if possible, prevent. If, however, I am to work 
again, ' Rabelais ' shall be the first thmg I complete. I shall see you 
in a few days. 

" Yours ever most truly (and sadly), 

" D. Jerrold." 

The allusion to Rabelais needs explanation. Douglas 
Jerrold was a most diligent, a most enthusiastic student 
of the great Frenchman. Mr. Forster reminds me that 
my father never tired of talking over Rabelais with him, 
through all the years of their intimacy. " And," Mr. 
Forster adds, "I never, in my experience, found an un- 
derstanding of, and liking for, Rabelais other than the 



OUT OF TOWN. 319 

sure test of a well-read man. Your father had read and 
studied a great deal more than those who most intimately 
knew him would always have been prepared to give him 
credit for." Mr. Forster was, at the time now referred 
to, the editor of the Foreign Quarterly Review, and 
wished his friend to write an article on their favourite, for 
the review — a wish that was never fulfilled. 

At the end of 1842 Douglas Jerrold, as I have noticed 
in the preceding chapter, returned to London — weak 
from illness— in low spirits ; for he had just buried a 
niece who, as he said, was almost a daughter to him. 
But the spring burst in 1843 only to make him turn from 
his cottage in Park Village, Regent's Park, towards the 
country. Some friends lived near Heme Bay. He had 
heard that the place was quiet — the country about, rich 
Kentish landscape. This was enough. He eagerly sped 
thither, taking a beautiful cottage about two miles from 
the Bay — a cottage buried in ivy, and encompassed by 
glowing parterres. A pony and chaise for the green 
lanes — for he could not walk far — and here was enough 
to enjoy the summer. Let us include some magnificent 
strawberry beds on a farmer's grounds opposite ; and 
Henry Mayhew, deep in a great dictionary at a farm- 
house near at hand, whence he strode across fields, as the 
sun touched the western horizon, pipe in mouth, to talk 
of books and men ; and a visit now and then from Lon- 
don ; — and the picture is complete. It dwells in my 
memory — as a very sunny picture too. Our happy ex- 
cursions to Grove Ferry ; our jaunt to Canterbury ; that 
wondrous evening of games in a near village, the prizes 
given by Douglas Jerrold and friends, including jumping 
in sacks, &c. ; — all make up an unclouded, hearty sum- 
mer. Closed, alas ! like the last, in sickness. 



320 LIFE OF DOUGLAS JERROLD. 

Mr. Dickens was, it would appear, among the friends 
whom Douglas Jerrold endeavoured to tempt to his cot- 
tage. Here is some gossip he sent to his friend from his 
Kentish snuggery : — 

"My dear Dickens, 

'' I write from a little cabin, built up of ivy and woodbine, and 
almost within sound of the sea. Here I have brought my wife and 
daughter, and have already the assurance that country air, and sounds, 
and sights will soon recover them. * 

" I have little more than a nodding acquaintaince with Maclise, and 
therefore send the inclosed to him through you. I cut it out of the 
Times last summer in France, with the intention of forwarding it. 
Since then it has been mislaid, and has only turned up to-day with 
other papers. It appears to me to contain an admirable subject for a 
painter ; and for whom so specially as Maclise ? What an annoyance, 
too, it is to know that good subjects, like the hidden hoards of the 
buried, are lying about, if we only knew where to light upon them. 
This, to be sure, is only annoying to those who want subjects or 
money ; and then, again, of these Maclise is not. Nevertheless, upon 
the fine worldly principle of leaving £10 legacies to Croesus, I send 
the inclosed to Mr. M. I am about to take advantage of the leisure 
of country life, and the inspiration of a glorious garden, to finish a 
comedy begun last summer, and to which rheumatism wrote, ' To be 
continued,' when rheumatism, like a despotic editor, should think fit. 
By the way, did they forward to you this month's Illuminated 3Iafja- 
zine f I desired them to do so. As for ' illuminations,' you have, of 
course, seen the dying lamps on a royal birthday night, with the R 
burned down to a P, and the W's very dingy W's indeed, even for the 
time of the morning. The ' illuminations ' in my magazine were very 
like these. No enthusiastic lamplighter was ever more deceived by 
cotton wicks and train oil, than I by the printer. However, I hope in 
another month we shall be able to burn gas.'' 

Mr. Dickens replies : — 

"Heme Bay. Hum! I suppose it's no worse than any other 
place in this weather; but it is watery, rather, isn't it? In my mind's 
eye, I have the sea in a perpetual state of smallpox, and the chalk 
running downhill like town milk. But I know the comfort of getting 
to work 'in a fresh place,' and proposing pious projects to one's self, 
and having the more substantial advantage of going to bed early, and 



OUT OF TOWN. 321 

getting up ditto, and walking about alone. If there were a fine day, 
I should like to deprive you of the last-named happiness, and to take 
a good long stroll." 

But the fine day never came, and the dull one did. 
Rheumatism racked the body of the host who had been 
the life, and soul, and sunshine of the Heme Bay cot- 
tage ; and we bore him away to his London home, carry- 
ing him to the carriage and to the boat, in our arms. 

Malvern — the hills and exercise — cured for a time, the 
rheumatism. The bent, immovable figure that left us, to 
submit to the water cure, came back happily into Park 
Village with a light, easy step, and was most joyously 
received. Spring burst again: 1844. " Come," wrote 
Mr. Dickens, temptingly, "come and see me in Italy, 
Let us smoke a pipe among the vines. I have taken a 
little house surrounded by them, and no man in the world 
should be more welcome to it than you." It was a happy 
dream to the recipient of these words, even to think in 
sleep, that he might reach Italy. How he pondered — 
fought with himself, tried with all his might to see his 
way clear ; but no, the daily chains lay hard and cold — 
it could not be, now, at any rate. Then again from Cre- 
mona (November, 1844) the same tempter writes : — 

" You rather entertained the notion once, of coming to see me at 
Genoa. I shall return straight on the 9th of December, limiting ray 
stay in town to one week. Now, couldn't you come back with me? 
The journey that way is very cheap, costing little more than £12, and 
I am sure the gratification to you would be high. I am lodged in quite 
a wonderful place, and would put you in a painted room as big as a 
church, and much more comfortable. There are pens and ink upon 
the premises; orange-trees, gardens, battledores and shuttlecocks, 
rousing wood fires for evenings, and a welcome worth having. . . . 

" Come ! Letter from a gentleman in Italy to Bradbury and Evans 
in London. Letter from a gentleman in a countiy gone to sleep, to a 
gentleman in a country that would go to sleep too, and never wake 
14* 



322 LIFE OF DOUGLAS JERROLD. 

again, if some people had their way. You can work in Genoa — the 
house is used to it; it is exactly a week's post. Have that portman- 
teau looked to, and when we meet say ' I am coming ! ' " 

Very galling was this letter to the expected guest, I 
know — a song of freedom to a bird in a cage. It might 
not be. Once, just so far as Ostend, could the midship- 
man, who had helped to land armed men there in 1815, 
go, to meet his illustrious friend on his return, and have 
a few days' stroll about Belgium. He, too, who dreamed 
of Italy, and all that belonged to Italy ! It was a hard 
fate to have longings so intense, and fetters so heavy ! 

In 1846, again, Mr. Dickens is off to Switzerland, and 
still would tempt his friend in his wake. " I wish," he 
writes, " you would seriously consider the expediency 
and feasibility of coming to Lausanne in the summer or 
early autumn. I must be at work myself during a cer- 
tain part of every day almost, and you could do twice as 
much there as here. It is a wonderful place to see ; and 
what sort of welcome you would find I will say nothing 
about, for I have vanity enough to believe that you 
would be willing to feel yourself as much at home in my 
household as in any man's." Could any thing be more 
provokingly tempting to a man tired of London, and 
panting ever for new air — with longing eyes, seeking for 
new scenes ? But it might not be. A solemn promise 
had indeed been given ; but iron difficulties barred the 
way. Mr. Dickens, meantime, has arrived at Lausanne, 
and writes that he will be ready for his guest in June. 
" We are established here," he says, " in a perfect doll's 
house, which could be put bodily into the hall of our 
Italian palazzo. But it is in the most lovely and de- 
licious situation imaginable, and there is a spare bedroom 
wherein we could make you as comfortable as need be. 



OUT OF TOWN. 323 

Bowers of roses for cigar-smoking, arbours for cool punch- 
drinking, mountain and Tyrolean countries close at hand, 
piled-up Alps before the windows, &c., &c., &c." Then 
follow business-like directions for the journey. 

These reached Douglas Jerrold at West Lodge, Put- 
ney, whither he had removed ; and once more sorely 
tempted him. He was busy with his paper, and with 
his magazine, and he felt that these could not be aban- 
doned even for a few weeks. Well, could he reach 
Paris for Christmas, asked kind Mr. Dickens, and spend 
that merry time with his friend ? " Paris," writes Mr. 
Dickens, " is good both in the spring and the winter ; so 
come, first at Christmas, and let us have a few jolly holi- 
days together, at what Mr. Rowland, of Hatton Garden, 
calls ' that festive season of the year,' when the human 
hair is peculiarly liable to come out of curl, unless, &c. 
. . . It's nothing of a journey, and you shall write 
' o' mornings,' as they say in modern Elizabethan, as much 
as you like." But all was of no avail. Panch, The 
Shilling Magazine, Douglas Jerrold' s Weekly Newspaper, 
held the overtaxed author fast to London. Early in 
1847, however, he thought he saw his way clear to Paris, 
where his friend was still established. " We are delighted 
at your intention of coming," writes Mr. Dickens, giving 
the most minute details of the manner in which the jour- 
ney was to be performed ; but even this journey was 
never accomplished. Only once, I repeat, after all these 
promises and invitations, and that for two or three days, 
did Douglas Jerrold escape from the cares of London 
literary life, to meet Mr. Dickens at Ostend, on the re- 
turn of this gentleman from Italy. But I remember that 
my father enjoyed the few days heartily, and that he 
returned one night, bringing with him, not his personal 



324 LIFE OF DOUGLAS JERROLD. 

luggage (that was to follow), but ;i large packing-case. 
He came eagerly into the house, and bade me open the 
case. He stood over me, his eyes Ibllowing those of my 
mother and sister. He was as excited as a child that 
has bought a present for its mother with its pocket 
money. Presently the case was opened, and he lifted 
out a beautiful workbox of sandal wood, decorated with 
fine original paintings — a most exquisite piece of art and 
workmanship. He placed it before my mother, with an 
intensity of delight that I shall never forget. He looked 
from one to the other, inviting our enthusiasm. He could 
never understand regulated admiration. He felt how his 
heart and soul had been in the business when he had 
bought this present — how he had jealously watched it 
across the water — how he had left his luggage behind, 
that he might bear it with him to his home ; and I fear 
that he was disappointed with the quantum of admiration 
it elicited. 

In the autumn of 1847 he was in Guernsey, at the 
sick bed of his daughter, Mrs. Henry Mayhew. Away 
from London, even under the most pleasant circum- 
stances, he was not disposed to sit before his desk. New 
scenes created a tumult in him. He must be out and 
seeing all that was going on, So in Guernsey he could 
write little. He must wander about the island, and, when 
his daughter's health had improved, must tempt the salt 
sea again, as in the second chapter of this book I have 
related. Sark, wliither he directed a cutter in the com- 
pany of his son-in-law, enraptured him with its wild soli- 
tudes. He laughingly talked of buying the island with a 
few friends, and retiring thither away from the world. 
" I am here," he wrote to Mr. Forster on the 9th of 
August, '" in tliis most wild, most solitary, and most beau- 



OUT OF TOWN. 325 

tiful place. No dress — no fashion — no respectability — 
nothing hut beauty and grandeur, with the sea rolling 
and roaring, at times, 'tween me and Fleet Street, as 
though I should never walk there again." It was nearly 
so. Had not the traveller been an old midshipman, that 
sea, beating round the rocky coast of desolate Sark, 
would have claimed him and his. 

Returning to London, he was recognized in the rail- 
way carriage by a gentleman who wished — seeing the 
enthusiasm with which my father pointed to the beauties 
of the landscape — to ingratiate himself by the assumption 
of an equal enthusiasm. But the counterfeit was plain 
and revolting. " I take a book," said the stranger, " re- 
tire into some unfrequented field, lie down, gaze on God's 
heaven, then study. If there are animals in the field so 
much the better ; the cow approaches, and looks down 
at me, and I look up at her." 

'^' With a filial smile ? " asked the stranger's annoyed 
listener. 

Returned to London from the Channel Islands, Doug- 
las Jerrold remained at home for many months, always 
full of projects for travel, but never realizing them. He 
went for a few days to the Lakes of Ki Harney with his 
friend Mr. Charles Knight, and paid a flying visit to Miss 
Martineau at Windermere (a letter from the hostess lies 
before me, asking her visitor to pass that way again) ; 
but he carried out none of his planned journeys to the 
south of France, Italy, or Germany. In 1849, however, 
he returned to his favourite old place, Boulogne, intend- 
ing to write The Catspuw there. But he got into lodg- 
ings where the ground floor gave lessons on the violin ; 
and his work was thrown up. He looked upon the time 
spent here as so many days wasted. He chafed under 



326 LIFE OF DOUGLAS JERROLD. 

the fiddle infliction, but was not altogether displeased 
secretly, to see a good excuse for donning his straw hat 
early in the morning, and seeking the fresh air. 

The following summer was spent in a beautiful cottage 
perched upon a rock, about a mile from Hastings. Fair- 
light Glen lay below, and the sea was before the sloping 
garden. From the drawing-room windows you could see 
Beechey Head. The delighted tenant would tell any 
visitor who opened the gate, that he could walk from his 
door out upon the beach in his slippers. More — before 
breakfast, on fine days, he could go among the solitary 
rocks yonder, and have a morning bath. Then Winch- 
elsea and Rye were not far off — odd, dead places to take 
a mug of ale in, after a good ride through leafy lanes. 

The summer heat of 1851 found Douglas Jerrold and 
family at Eastbourne, where, as related in the opening 
chapter of this book, the author gave a strolling troupe a 
bespeak — here, where more than half a century ago fiis 
father had trod the boards ! 

It was not till the year 1854, however, although doz- 
ens of projects had been framed and broken in the mean- 
time, that my father, whose thirst for travel was inces- 
sant, and who felt, with a keenness that was almost pain- 
ful, the pleasure of witnessing new scenes, and studying 
fresh manners — that he who could never walk into a 
pretty spot of earth without w^ildly throwing back his 
hair, sniffing the scent of the flowers, and exclaiming 
that there he should like to live and die — at last found 
himself really and truly, in his fifty-secoijd year, en route 
for Switzerland. Nor in 1854 would he have accom- 
plished the journey, I verily believe, had he not had a 
travelling companion as firm of purpose as Mr. Hepworth 
Dixon. Together, with their respective wives, they set 



OUT OF TOWN. 327 

forth to see Switzerland, and return by the Rhine. They 
had marked Italy on their programme ; but, on going to 
the Austrian Consul in London for the visa of my 
father's passport, this functionary had remarked that he 
had orders not to admit Mr. Douglas Jerrold within the 
Austrian territory. 

" That shows your weakness, not my strength," said 
the applicant to the consul. " I wish you good morn- 
ing." 

So Italy was given up ; but remained — free Switzer- 
land. And thither, in the highest spirits, journeyed the 
little party, resolved to see the sunny side only of any 
fruit of travel that might lie in their road. My father 
wrote here and there by the way, — but short letters 
only. 

On August 26th he wrote to me from Geneva: 
" Dear William, — We arrived here last night. A most 
delightful run through Burgundy, and by the Rhone, to 
Aix-les-Bains, Savoy — wondrously beautiful. . . . Love 
to all." Mr. Hepworth Dixon sent letters to his eldest 
son, of which my father was often the subject. Thus 
from Fontainbleau : — " Godpapa has a great love foi 
trees, and woods, and gardens ; indeed, we can't tell if 
he loves even books better than flowers, of which he 
knows all the names, English and Latin, and all the 
verses that have ever been written about them." From 
Aix, in Savoy: "'Any thing to declare?' asks a pomp- 
ous gentleman, all button and tobacco. ' Yes,' says God- 
papa, who will have his bit of fun, *a live elephant — 
take care ! ' " (See Appendix VI.) 

He returned in a few weeks full of health and spirits 
— full, too, of the beauties he had seen. He would 
absolutely pass a winter in the south, now he had tasted 



328 LIFE OF DOUGLAS JERROLD. 

of its sweetness. As for 1855, that year should shine 
upon him in Rome, He actually reached Paris in this 
year, tempted, perhaps, by the Universal Exhibition ; and 
he went suddenly onfe morning on the appearance of Mr. 
Dixon, who was ready for the south, to the various em- 
bassies, to have his passport vised for the states through 
which he had suddenly resolved to pass. It was a 
beautiful day, and he was flushed with the bright pros- 
pect of gazing on the Mediterranean before he died. He 
had telegraphed for his wife and daughter to come to 
Paris and bid him good-by — he would not go without. 
We all went to bed that night very early, for there re- 
mained much to be done on the morrow, in the evening 
of which the two travellers were to proceed on their jour- 
ney. But the sunrise brought wet weather, and the wet 
weather a change in the temperament of Douglas Jer- 
rold. He could not help it — weather had an irrepres- 
sible effect upon him. No, he would not go to Rome ; 
he would return to Boulogne. In vain it was repre- 
sented to him that so good an opportunity might not 
occur again ; the rain poured down, and he turned the 
horses' heads towards the Northern Railway Terminus. 

He was in Boulogne again. And hither was he des- 
tined to come during the next two summers. One or 
two more picnics in the pretty valley near at hand ; a 
few more rubbers at whist with M. Bonnefoy; a few 
more quiet, peaceful months of early rising, and early 
sleep, and cheerful gossip upon the port ; badinage with 
the market-women ; some dear old friends again to taste 
Virginie's excellent cuisine ; and then, after a Beckett's 
death in the autumn of 1856, home; — for now there is 
the atmosphere of a charnel-house about the place to 
sensitive Douglas Jerrold. He would never tarry in 



OUT OF TOWN. 329 

Boulogne again. Not there should his future summers 
be passed, he wrote to Mr. Forster. Not there, in 
truth. 

Dreams of sunny Rome — pictures of happy Nice and 
its orange-trees — hopes that still the streets of Florence 
may be trod — longings to stand upon English oak danc- 
ing upon the Mediterranean — all fade as the Folkestone 
boat, this heavy autumn afternoon in 1856, bears the sad 
author to his English home. He shall cross that channel 
no more. 



330 LIFE OF DOUGLAS JERROLD. 



CHAPTER XIV. 



CLUBS. 



The neighbourhood of Covent Garden has been, and 
is, sacred to clubs — from the " Finish," frequented by- 
George IV., down to the pleasant social meetings still 
held within its cheerful precincts. It has been made a 
place of pleasant memories by Wycherley, who dwelt in 
Bow Street, hard by ; by Sheridan ; by vocal Captain 
Morris. Here have more hearty intellectual- nights been 
spent than in any other part of London. Names of 
happy memory throng upon you as you walk about the 
byways of the old market. Under the Piazzas you may 
almost hope to hear the echoes of hearty laughter. Most 
pleasant, most intellectual and refined converse, and wise 
merriment, keep the old spot cheerful now-a-days. 

It was near here that, about thirty-four years ago, 
some young men met, the spirit that brought them to- 
gether being Shakspeare ! Very young, not rich, work- 
ing with patient earnestness towards a future of which 
they had great dreams. They had a simple room in an 
humble tavern (the Wrekinj, where they talked and 
read. Shakspeare was the common idol ; and it was a 
regulation of this club that some paper, or poem, or con- 
ceit, bearing upon Shakspeare, should be contributed by 
each member. A fair-haired, boyish-looking young man 
was introduced to the company about the end of 1824. 



CLUBS. 331 

He was soon joined by an intimate friend of his. The 
pair were Douglas Jerrold and Laman Blanchard. They 
had their enthusiasm for the great bard, and they could 
make their offering. Douglas Jerrold had even a name 
for the club. It should be called The Mulberries. 
Agreed ! The book of contributions to be written by 
members should be called Mulberry Leaves. Agreed 
again ! In the list of ayes were the names of William 
Godwin ; Kenny Meadows, the future illustrator of Shak- 
speare ; William H. Elton, the Shakspearian actor ; and 
Edward Chatfield, the artist. Mr. Meadows is one of 
the few men who live to tell of the merry evenings the 
Mulberries passed. And there are no public notices of 
its gatherings before the world save that penned by 
Douglas Jerrold when Elton was drowned. Then the 
surviving member, publishing two poems — " Mulberry 
Leaves " left by the unfortunate actor — took occasion to 
say of the club : — 

" The lines were among the contributions of a society — the Mul- 
berry Club — formed many years since, drawn into a circle by the 
name of Shakspeare. Of that society William Elton was an hon- 
oured and honouring member. Noble men had already dropped from 
that circle. The frank, cordial-hearted William Godwin, with an 
unfolded genius worthy of his name, was smitten by the cholera. 
ED\yARD Chatfield, on the threshold of a painter's fame, withered 
slowly into death 

" The society in which these poems were produced is now dissolved. 
In its early strength it numbered some who, whatever may have been, 
or may yet be, their success in life, cannot look back to that society 
of kindred thoughts and sympathizing hopes without a sweetened 
memoi-y — without the touches of an old affection. My early bo}-- 
friend, Laman Blanchard, and Kenny Meadows, a dear friend too, 
whose names have become musical in the world's ear, were of that 
society — of that knot of wise and jocund men, then unknown, but 
gaily struggling. 

" I have given a place in these pages" ( The Illuminated Magazine) 
" to the following poems, not, it will be believed, in a huckstering 



332 LIFE OF DOUGLAS JERROLD. 

spirit, to call morbid curiosity to the verses of a drowned actor, but as 
illustrative of the graceful intelligence of the mind of one, for whose 
fate the world has shown so just a sympathy. Poor Elton ! He was 
one of the men whose walk in life is nearly always in the shade. Few 
and flickering were the beams upon his path. The accident that led 
to the closing of his life was only of the same sad colour as his life 
itself. He was to have embarked in a vessel bound direct for London. 
She had sailed only half an hour before, and he stepped aboard that 
death-ship, the Pegasus. If however, the worldly successes of Elton 
"were not equal to his deserts, he had a refined taste and a true love of 
literature — qualities that ' make a sunshine in a shady place,' dimin- 
ishing the gloom of fortune. As an actor, Elton had not sufficient 
physical power to give force and dignity to his just conceptions. In 
his private character — and I write from a long knowledge of the dead 
— he was a man of warm affections and high principle, taking the 
buffets of life with a resignation, a philosophy, that, to the outdoor 
world, showed nothing of the fireside wounds bleeding within." 

The Mulberry Club lived many years, and gathered a 
valuable crop of leaves — contributions from its members. 
These contributions were kept in a book, and it was ar- 
ranged that the last member who attended should have it. 
It fell into Mr. Elton's hands, and is now in the possession 
of his family — a relic that may be precious presently. 
The leaves were to have been published; but the club 
dead, it was nobody's business to see them through the 
press, and to this hour they remain chiefly in- manuscript. 
The club did not die easily, however. It was changed 
and grafted before it gave up the ghost. In times nearer 
the present, when it was called the Shakspeare Club, 
Charles Dickens, Mr. Justice Talfourd, Daniel Maclise, 
Mr. Macready, Frank Stone, &c., belonged to it. Re- 
spectability killed it. Sumptuous quarters were sought ; 
Shakspeare was to be admired in a most elegant manner 
— to be edited specially for the club by the author of the 
Book of Etiquette. But the new atmosphere had not the 
vigour of the old, and so, after a long struggle, all the 



CLUBS. 333 

Mulberries fell from the old tree, and now it is a green 
memory only to a few old members. 

Douglas Jerrold always turned fondly to these Shak- 
ppearian days, and he loved to sing the old song he wrote 
for the Mulberries, in that soft, sweet voice, which all his 
friends remember. This song was called " Shakspeare's 
Crab-Tree," and these were the words : — 

" To Shakspeare's mighty line 

Let's drink with heart and soul ; 
'Twill give a zest divine, 

Though humble be the bowl. 
Then drink while I essay, 

In slipshod, careless rhyme, 
A legendary lay 

Of Willy's golden time. 

" One balmy summer's night, 

As Stratford yeomen tell, 
One Will, the royst'ring wight, 

Beneath a crab-tree fell ; 
And, sunk in deep repose, 

The tipsy time beguiled. 
Till Dan Apollo rose 

Upon his greatest child. 

" Since then all people vow'd 

The tree had wond'rous power: 
With sense, with speech endow'd, 

'Twould prattle by the hour; 
Though scatter'd far about. 

Its remnants still would blab : 
Mind, ere this fact you doubt, — 

It was a female crab. 

" ' I felt,' thus spoke the tree, 
* As down the poet lay, 
A touch, a thrill, a glee, 

Ne'er felt before that day. 
Along my verdant blood 

A quick'ning sense did shoot, 



334 LIFE OF DOUGLAS JERROLD. 

Expanding every bud, 
And rip'ning all my fruit. 

" ' What sounds did move the air, 

Around me and above! 
The yell of mad despair, 

The burning sigh of love ! 
Ambition, guilt-possess'd, 

Suspicion on the rack, 
The ringing laugh and jest, 

Begot by sherris-sack ! 

" ' Since then, my branches full 

Of Shakspeare's vital heat, 
My fruit, once crude and dull, 

Became as honey ^weet; 
And when, o'er plain and hill, 

Each trefe was leafless seen, 
My boughs did flourish still 

In everlasting green.' 

"And thus our moral food 

Doth Shakspeare leaven still, 
Enriching all the good. 

And less'ning all the ill ; — 
Thus, by his bounty, shed 

Like balm from angel's Aving, 
Though winter scathe our head, 

Our spirits dance with spring." 

" Shakspeare at Bankside " * was also the fruit of the 
Mulberry Club meetings. Herein a vision of Shak- 
speare's creations is told in few words. Scene — before 
the Rose playhouse : — 

" First passes one bearing in his hand a skull; wisdom is in his eyes, 
music on his tongue — the soul of contemplation in the flesh of an 
Apollo — the greatest wonder and the deepest truth — the type of great 
thoughts and sickly fancies — the arm of clay wrestling with, and hold- 
ing down, the angel. He looks at the skull as though death had 
written on it the history of man. In the distance one white arm is 

* See " Cakes and Ale." 



CLUBS. . 335 

seen above the tide, clutching at the branches of a Avillow ' growing 
askant a brook.' 

"Now there are sweet, fitful noises in the air: a shaggy monster, 
his lips glued to a bottle, his eyes scarlet with wine — wine throbbing 
in the very soles of his feet — heaves and rolls alongj mocked at by a 
sparkling creature couched in a cowslip's bell. 

"And now a maiden and a youth, an eternity of love in their pas- 
sionate looks, with death as a hooded priest, joining their hands. A 
gay gallant follows them, led on by Queen Mab, twisting and sporting 
as a porker's tail. 

" The horns sound — all, all is sylvan! Philosophy, in hunter's suit, 
stretched beneath an oak, moralizes on a wounded deer, festering, 
neglected, and alone; and now the bells of folly jingle in the breeze, 
and the suit of motley glances among the greenwood. 

" The earth is blasted — the air seems full of spells — the shadows of 
the fates darken the march of the conqueror — the hero is stabbed with 
air-drawn steel. 

" The waves roar like lions round the cliff— the winds ai-e up and 
howling; yet there is a voice louder than theirs — a voice made high 
and piercing by intensest agony. The singer comes, his white head 
' crowned with rank fumitor ' — madness, tended by truth, speaking 
through folly. 

" The Adriatic basks in the sun — there is a street in Venice — ' a 
merry bai-gain ' is struck — the Jew slinks like a baulked tiger from 
the court. 

" Enter a pair of legs marvellously cross-gartered. 

" And, hark! to a sound of piping, comes one with an ass's head 
wreathed with musk roses, and a spirit playing around it like a 
wildfire. 

" A handkerchief, with ' magic in the web,' comes, like a trail of 
light, and disappears. 

" A leek — a leek of immortal green — shoots up. 

" Behold ! like to the San Trinidad, swims in a buck-basket, la- 
belled ' To Datchet Meads.' 

" There gleam two roses, red and white — a Roman cloak stabbed 
through and through — a lantern of the watch of Messina ! 

" A thousand images of power and beauty pass along. 

" The glorious pageant is over." 

Then there is anothe*- paper by the enthusiastic mem- 
ber of the Mulberry Chib, entitled " Shakspeare in China" 
— a paper for which a passage from Godwin's " Essay on 



330 LIFE OF DOUGLAS JERROLD. 

Sepulchres " * furnishes the motive. The passage runs 
as follows : " I cannot tell that the wisest mandarin now 
living in China is not indebted for part of his energy and 
sagacity to Shakspeare and Milton, even though it should 
happen that he never heard of their names." 

Men who have been pleased, wearing very starched 
neck-cloths themselves, to fall foul of gentlemen given to a 
Byronic looseness of collar, may be fairly asked whether 
social evenings spent by young literary men, and even 
by their elders, say under the creaking sign of an old- 
fashioned tavern, are so very wickedly spent after all. 
Something of that merry wisdom described in the " Chron- 
icles of Clovernook," some touches of the humanities prac- 
tised at the Gratis, belong to the literary clubs whereof 
I speak. In the Rationals, for instance, a club not so 
highly touched as the Mulberries, still including many 
intellectual men, there was a jocund spirit which the 
Quaker might not understand, but which had nothing 
coarse or vicious in it nevertheless. 

But with clubs of more recent date — with the Museum 
Club, with the Hooks and Eyes, and lastly, with Our 
Club — Douirlas Jerrold's name is most intimately asso- 
ciated. It may be justly said that he was the life and 
soul of these three gatherings of men. His arrival was 
a happy moment for members already present. His com- 
panv was sought with wondrous eagerness whenever a 
dinner or social evening was contemplated ; for, as a club 
associate said of him, ''' he sparkled whenever you touched 
him, like the sea at night." That " true benevolence of 
wit," as he himself described it in Bubbles of the Day, 
" to shine but never scorch," was the ruling spirit of club 
conversation. Professor Masson, who was a club compan- 
* " Cakes and Ale." 



CLUBS. 337 

ion, wrote of him : " There was, perhaps, no conversa- 
tion in which Mr. Jerrold tooK a part that did not elicit 
from him half a dozen good things. To recollect such 
good things is proverbially difficult ; and hence many of 
Jerrold's died within the week, or never got beyond three 
miles from Covent Garden. Some, however, lived, and 
got into circulation — a little the worse for wear — in the 
provinces ; and not a few have been exported. One joke 
of his was found lately beating about the coasts of Swe- 
den, seeking in vain for a competent Swedish translator; 
and the other day a tourist from London, seeing two 
brawny North Britons laughing together immoderately 
on a rock near Cape Wrath, with a heavy sea dashing at 
their feet, discovered that the cause of their mirth was a 
joke of Mr. Jerrold's, which they had intercepted on its 
way to the Shetlands." Another club friend of Douglas 
Jerrold's, writing about him in the Quarterly Revieiv, said, 
" In the bright sallies of conversational wit he has no 
surviving equal." Mrs. Cowden Clarke dedicated her 
noble " Concordance to Shakspeare " to " Douglas Jer- 
rold, the greatest wit of the present age, this book, by 
the greatest wit of any age, is dedicated by a woman of 
a certain age, and no wit at alL" 

" His place among the wits of our time is clear enough," 
wrote Mr. Hepworth Dixon, who also knew him in the 
intimacy of the Museum and other clubs. " He had less 
frolic than Theodore Hook, less elaborate humour than 
Sydney Smith, less quibble and quaintness than Thomas 
Hood ; but he surpassed all these in intellectual flash and 
strength. His wit was all steel points, and his talk was 
hke squadrons of lancers in evolution. Not one pun, we 
have heard, is to be found in his writings. His wit stood 
nearer to poetic fancy than to broad humour." 

15 



338 LIFE OF DOUGLAS JERROLD. 

He was thus greatly acceptable in all social literary 
clubs. In the Museum Club, for instance (an attempt 
made in 1 8,47 to establish a properly modest and real lit- 
erary club), he was unquestionably the member ; for he 
was the most clubbable of men. He cared little about 
pretentious luxuries; hated liveried servants ; liked sim- 
ple, solid furniture, and plain, clean service, and wisely 
cheerful men — men, for instance, with whom he could 
talk and banter in conversations such as that which, by 
the happy industry of a pencil and a note-book that 
chanced to be present on a certain evening, 1 am enabled 
to present to the reader. It is simply, as the reporter 
saith, — 

» A FRAGMENT OF TABLE TALK. 

By a disciple of Captain Cattle^ who made a note on't. 

A charming night at the Museum Club — every body there. 
C. said he was writing about Shakspeare. 

Now, Jerrold ranks Shakspeare with the angels, if not above them; 
and G., paraphrasing Pope's line on Bacon, says, " Shakspeare has 
"written the best and the worst stuff that was ever penned;" where- 
upon F. says, " But then comes the question, What did Shakspeare 
write? Not all that is printed under his name." 

G. Ah! I don't refer to the doubtful plays; I take the best: Hamlet, 

Othello 

Jerrold. Well, then, choose your example. 

G. There, this is in bad taste — where Othello is about to murder 
Desdemona. He bends over her, and says she is a rose, and he'll 

smell her on the tree 

C. Stop ! Here is the passage : — 

" Put out the light; and then Put out the light? 

If I quench thee, thou flaming minister! 

I can again thy former light restore, 

Should I repent me; but once put out thy light. 

Thou cunning'st pattern of excelling nature, 

I know not where is that Promethean heat 

That can thy light relume. When I have pluck'd the rose 



CLUBS. 339 

I cannot give it vital groAvth again: 
It needs must wither. I'll smell it on the tree." 
G. Exactly, that's what I object to: the confusion of image is only- 
surpassed by the want of taste. 

Jerrold. My God ! You don't call it bad taste to compare a woman's 
beauty to a rose ? 

G. Ha ! he says she is a rose — and he'll smell her — and on the tree. 
It is the license of wanton and- false imagery common to the early 
Italian poets. 

//. Your illustration is not happy. I need not tell you that Shak- 
speare's characters are national as well as individual — true to the race 
as well as to the unit. Othello is a Moor, not only in face, but in 
imagination — in his modes of expression as in his range of ideas. His 
passions, bright, vivid, and desponding — are all Oriental,' and his caste 
of thought is that of the far east. Confusion of images ! His fancies 
are many, but not confused. Your Oriental always gives you his image 
naked.' Othello's language has all the tenderness, the fire, the sen- 
suousness, the multiplicity, the exaggeration, of the eastern poets. 
But truly this exuberance is its charm. This Moor lives in Venice, 
among a money-making people. His words are addressed to northern 
ears ; yet how gorgeous are his hopes, his illustrations ! 
" my soul's joy ! 
If after every tempest come such calms, 
l\Iay the winds blow till they have waken'd death ! 
And let the labouring bark climb hills of seas 
Olympian high, and duck again as low 
As hell's from heaven! " 
"What gr^nd, what impossible hyperbole! Compare these with the 
exclamations of Lear : — 

" Blow, winds, and crack your cheeks ! rage, blow ! 
Ye cataracts and hurricanes, spout 
Till you have drench'd our steeples, drown'd the cocks! 
You sulphurous and thought-executing fires, 
Vaunt-couriers of oak-cleaving thunberbolts, 
Singe my white head ! " 
Talk of the Caucasian races — here you have them living, speaking, 
acting. Othello merely meeting his wife after a gale ; yet how sub- 
lime his exaggeration. Lear is "reft of all;" yet his imagination 
never dreams of the winds blowing till they waken death — only, in- 
deed, till they crack their cheeks. In the Koran you find the same 
profusion of images, the same exaggeration, the same defiance of 
logic. 



3-40 LIFE OF DOUGLAS JERROLD. 

Wordsworth was mentioned. JeiTold spoke of him in the warmest 
terms ; indeed, ho ranks the man of Rydal ^lonnt next to Shakspearo 
and IMilton. *' No writer," he said, "has done me more good, ex- 
cepting always Shakspeare. When I was a L\d I adored B,\Ton — 
every lad does. Of conrse I langhed at Wordsworth and the Lakers, 
and, of course, Avithout knowing them. But one day I heard a line 
quoted : — 

' She was known to every star in heaven, 
And every wind that blew.' 

These lines sent me to Wordsworth, and, I assure you, it was like a 
new sense. For years I read him eagerly, and found consolation — the 
true test of genius — in his verse. In all my troubles his words have 
been the best medicine to my mind." 

G. Some of his things are good; but he will only live in extracts. 

H. I am of your opinion. I have not read him through ; I cannot. 
But his " Tintern Abbey," his " YaiTOw Revisited," and some of his 
short poems, are above praise. Mr objection to him, as to Southey, 
is political. I detest his principles, and therefore have to strive to like 
his poetry. 

Jerrold. Never mind his principles. Wordsworth, the man, may 
have been a snob and a scoundrel. Dear Hood once asked me to meet 
him, and I would not. I hated the man ; but then the poet had given 
me grand ideas, and I am grateful. Separate the writer from the 
writing. 

H. I cannot do that. I cannot think of the artist and the art— the 
creators and the creations — as things of no relation. In an early 
number of the Spectator, Addison described his staft'— and he was 
right. People do like to know if their teachers are black 'or white. 
The reader likes to give and take ; you ask his confidence, and he 
naturally inquires into your character. 

Jerrold. You are quite wrong. A truth is a truth— a fine thought 
is a fine thought. What matters it who is the mouthpiece ? When 
Coleridge saj-s, — 

" Old winter slept upon the snowy earth, 
And on his smiling face a dream of spring"— 

what do I care for his being a sot and a t^n-ant? 

D. I do care. To me a Gospel delivered by a demon is no Gospel : 
the orator is a part of the oration. Surely the founts of true inspira- 
tion must be true : fresh water cannot run from foul springs. I refuse 
to accept an oracle from a charlatan. . . . 

Jerrold. I agree it would be better for the poet to be a good man, 



CLUBS. 341 

but his poem would be the same. Tl]e inductive method is not false 
because Bacon took bribes and fawned on a tyrant. The theory of 
gravitation would be true if it had been discovered by Greenacre. 
Siddons was a great actress, irrespectively of her being a good mother 
and a faithful wife. The world has no concern with an artist's pri- 
vate character. Are the cartoons less divine because Kaphael lived 
with a mistress? Art is art, and truth is truth, whatever may have 
been their agents. 

A jest ended the talk. Somebody mentioned the Jews in connection 
with Rachel, and Jen-old exclaimed, as somebody once said in the 
House, " We owe much to the Jews." 

//, told a story. There was a meeting in the City to receive a 
report from the missionaries sent to discover the lost tribes of Israel. 

Lord was asked to take the chair. " I take," he replied, " a 

great interest in your researches, gentlemen. The fact is, I have 
borrowed money from all the Jews now known, and if you can find a 
new set I shall feel very much obliged." 

Then, possibly, members dropped in, and sharp shots 
were exchanged. Let me string a few together that were 
actually fired within the precincts of the Museum Club — 
fired carelessly, and forgotten. 

A friend — let us say Barlow — was describing to my 
father the story of his courtship and marriage — how his 
wife had been brought up in a convent, and was on the 
point of taking the veil when his presence burst upon her 
enraptured sight. My father listened to the end of the 
story, and by way of comment said, " Ah ! she evidently 
thought Barlow better than nun." 

Then a dinner is discussed. Douglas Jerrold listens 
quietly, possibly tired of dinners and declining pressing 
invitations to be present. In a few minutes he will chime 
in, " If an earthquake were to engulf England to-morrow, 
the English would manage to meet and dine somewhere 
among the rubbish, just to celebrate the event." 

A friend drops in, and walks across the smoking-room 
to Doudas Jerrold's chair. The friend wants to enhst 



342 LIFE OF DOUGLAS JERROLD. 

Mr. Jerrold's sympathies -in behalf of a mutual acquaint- 
ance who is in want of a round sum of money. . But this 
mutual friend has already sent his hat about among his 

literary brethren on more than one occasion. Mr. 's 

hat was becoming an institution, and friends were grieved 
at the indelicacy of the proceeding. On the occasion to 
which I now refer, the bearer of the hat was received by 
my father with evident dissatisfaction. ".Well," said 

Douglas Jerrold, " how much does want this time ?" 

" Why, just a four and two noughts w\\\, I think, put him 
straight," the bearer of the hat replied. Jerrold. " Well, 
put me down for one of the noughts." 

An old gentleman, whom I will call Prosy Very, was 
in the habit of meeting my father, and pouring long point- 
less stories into his impatient ears. On one occasion 
Prosy related a long limp account of a stupid practical 
joke, concluding with the information that the effect of 
the joke was so potent, "he really thought he should 
have died with laughter." Jerrold. " I wish to heaven 
you had." 

The Chain of Events, playing at the Lyceum Theatre, 
is mentioned. "Plumph!" says Douglas Jerrold, "I'm 
afraid the manager will find it a door-chain strong enough 
to keep everybody out of his house." 

Then some somewhat lack-a-daisical young members 
drop in. They opine that the club is not sufficiently 
west ; they hint at something near Pall Mall, and a little 
more style. Douglas Jerrold rebukes them. " No, no, 
gentlemen ; not near Pall Mall ; we might catch coro- 
nets." 

Another of these young gentlemen, who has recently 
emerged from the humblest fortune and position, and, 
exulting in the social consideration of his new elevation, 



CLUBS. 343 

puts aside his antecedents. Having met Douglas Jerrold 
in the morning while on horseback, he ostentatiously 
says to him, "Well, you see I'm all right at last!" 
" Yes," is the reply, " I see you now ride upon your cat's- 
meat." The conversation turns upon the fostidious- 
ness of the times. " Why," says a member, " they'll 
soon say marriage is improper." " No, no," replies 
Douglas Jerrold, " they'll always consider marriage good 
breeding." 

A stormy discussion ensues, during which a gentleman 
rises to settle the matter in dispute. Waving his hands 
majestically over the excited disputants, he begins : 
" Gentlemen, all I want is common sense " " Ex- 
actly," Douglas Jerrold interrupts ; " that is precisely 
what you do want." The discussion is lost in a burst of 
laughter. 

The talk lightly passes to the writings of a certain 
Scot. A member holds that the Scot's name should be 
handed down to a grateful posterity. D. J. : "I quite 
agree with you that he should have an itch in the Temple 
of Fame." 

Brown drops in. Brown is said by all his friends to 
be the toady of Jones. The appearance of Jones in a 
room is the proof that Brown is in the passage. When 
Jones has the influenza. Brown dutifully catches a cold 
in the head. D. J. to Brown : " Have you heard the 
rumour that's flying about town ? " " No." " Well, they 
say Jones pays the dog-tax for you." 

Douglas Jerrold is seriously disappointed with a certain 
book written by one of his friends, and has expressed his 
disappointment. 

Friend. " I hear you said was the worst book I 

ever wrote." 



344 LIFE OF DOUGLAS JERROLD. 

Jerrold. " No, I didn't. I said it was the worst book 
anybody ever wrote." 

A supper of sheep's heads is proposed, and presently 
served. One gentleman present is particularly enthusias- 
tic on the excellence of the dish, and, as he throws down 
his knife and fork, exclaims, "Well, sheep's heads for 
ever, say I ! " 

Jerrold. " There's egotism ! " 

In rapid retort of this description I believe my father 
was held, even by his enemies, to be without a rival. I 
have endeavoured to arrange some of the more remark- 
able of his sallies and witticisms in a separate volume ; 
but, looking over the volume, and remembering the many 
occasions on which dozens of " good things " were thrown 
off, I am disheartened in my endeavour to convey to the 
reader a sense of the power the speaker had in this 
direction. I have elsewhere dwelt upon his appearances 
in public, and on his strong distaste for public speak- 
ing ; but I can call to mind many times when, as chair- 
man of small social gatherings, he threw out grace- 
ful images, happy turns of thought, and sparkling mots 
that kept his audience enchanted with him throughout 
the evening. 

A dinner was given to Mr. Leigh Hunt at the Museum 
Club. The task of proposing the guest devolved upon 
Douglas Jerrold. He spoke fervently, and wound up by 
saying of the veteran essayist, poet, and Liberal politician, 
that " even in his hottest warfare his natural sense of 
beauty and gentleness was so great that, like David of 
old, he armed his sling with shining pebbles of the brook, 
and never pelted even his fiercest enemy with mud." To 
which Mr. Hunt replied that, " if his friend Jerrold had 
the sting of the bee, he had also his honey." 



CLUBS. 345 

The Museum Club did not catcli coronets, but discord- 
ant elements found their way into its snug rooms, and the 
gallant company were ousted. Then succeeded the Hooks 
and Eyes ; then Our Club, a social weekly gathering, 
which Douglas Jerrold attended only three weeks before 
his death. Hence some of his best sayings went forth to 
the world. Here, when some member, hearing an air 
mentioned, exclaimed, " That always carries me away 
when I hear it." "Can nobody whistle it?" asked Doug- 
las Jerrold. 

My father ordered a bottle of old port. "Not elder 
port," he said. 

Asking about the talent of a young painter, his com- 
panion declared that the youth was mediocre. " Oh ! " 
was the reply ; " the very worst ochre an artist can set to 
work with." 

Somebody talked with him about JMr. Robson's wonder- 
ful " get up " as Jem Baggs in the Wandering Minstrel. 
Presently this wonderful actor was introduced. " I hear 
your rags were wonderful," said the dramatist. " Why 
not, for your benefit, advertise that you will play the part 
with real vermin ? " 

Walking to the club with a friend from the theatre, 
some intoxicated young gentlemen reeled up to the 
dramatist and said, " Can you tell us the way to the 
Judge and Jury ? " " Keep on as you are, young gentle- 
men," was the reply ; " you're sure to overtake them." 

The laughing hours when these poor gatherings fell 
from the well-loaded branch, are remembered still in the 
rooms of Onr Club, and the hearty laugh still echoes 
there, and will, it is my pride to believe, always live in 
the memory of tliat genial and refined circle. 

My father took tli^ chair at one of the anniversary 

15* 



346 LIFE OF DOUGLAS JERROLD. 

dinners of the Eclectic Club — a debating society consist- 
ing of young barristers, authors, and artists. The piece 
de resistance had been a saddle of mutton. After dinner 
the chairman rose and said : " Well, gentlemen, I trust 
that the noble saddle we have eaten has grown a wool- 
sack for one among you." 



THE STH OF JUNE, 1857. 347 



CHAPTER XV. 

THE 8X11 OF JUNE, 1857. 

We touch the end ! We advance valiantly, cheerfully, 
through the days, building up rich palaces of hope in the 
future — with most daring sight looking down a lengthy 
vista of years to come (and on each year hang golden 
purposes, and pleasures : — clustering grapes, upon our tree 
of life), when suddenly the ice of death floats over our 
summer sea, and we are gone — mute and cold, and so 
much food for worms. 

When, in the golden autumn of the year 1856, Douglas 
Jerrold removed his books and household gods from the 
Circus Road, St. John's Wood, to Kilburn Priory, having 
bought the lease of his new house — when he stood there 
in his new study, projecting improvements, and, as he said, 
" weeding " his library — then, when he insisted that every 
fresh visitor should go over the house and garden, remark- 
ing especially the noble bed of rhododendrons, in the 
centre of the lawn, that the coming summer sun was to 
make a glory to the enthusiastic tenant's eyes, as he sat 
at his desk — in this hopeful time it would have been diffi- 
cult to recognize, in the warm and generous life of the 
hopeful householder, a touch, a hint, of the approaching 
8th of June, 1857. Every morning found him in the 
garden, taking a turn before breakfast, watching the leaves 



348 LIFE OF DOUGLAS JERROLD. 

drop — victims of the frost. Every morning — when again 
the spring had unbound from the earth, winter's icy girdle 
— discovered him, true to his long passionate love of 
nature, welcoming the first snowdrops, and peering into 
the bursting buds of the rose trees. There was one tree 
especially that attracted his notice. It appeared weak 
and sickly; and, sorely tried as he had been with the 
rheumatism during the past twenty years, he went, awk- 
wardly enough, to work to prop it up. And he would, of 
evenings, suddenly issue from his study, and, fetching a 
can of water, refresh his favourite tree with a welcome 
shower. If in the morning he saw a green bud peeping 
upon it, he would give the news at the breakfast table. 
But the trees were not alone his care. He would peer 
into the aviary, and inquire about the progress of the 
young milk-white pigeons he had received from Chats- 
worth. Vic, the tawny bull terrier — savage to strangers, 
but to him gentle as a kitten — must be patted upon the 
back. Here, there is a daily bit of comedy. For Mouse, 
who is following closely at her master's heels, amuses him 
by turning sulkily away as he pats Vic ; or Mouse barks 
at the ferocious Vic — Vic not condescending to take the 
least notice of the angry little pet. Then there is a gul- 
lyhole in the gravel walk, down which it is the laughable 
custom of Mouse to stare for the hour together; her 
master, with his glasses on his nose, watching her from 
time to time from his study window, and laughing like a 
child, and speculating on the reason which has attracted 
the little terrier to this hole. 

Winter evenings are given to friends, or to an occa- 
sional game at whist. Over the sparkling fire dreams of 
the coming summer find a welcome j)lace. Every plan is 
eagerly caught up. Now it is Portugal, now Rome, now 



THE 8TH OF JUNE, 1857. 349 

Nice. It has been so always, and is so still. "Next 
winter shall be spent in the sunny south," says the laugh- 
ing host. Next winter ! 

On New Year's eve, 1856, a party of very intimate 
friends assembled about Douglas Jerrold's study fire, to 
see the old year out and the new year in. Throughout 
the evening the host was the merriest of the party, and 
even tried to dance. His words sparkled from him, and 
kept us all very happy. The last minutes of the old year, 
however, found the jocund host, with his friends gathered 
about him, at a large circular supper table, in his study. 
With his watch in his hand, he rose very serious ; sharply 
touched now. There was not a bit of gayety in that pale 
face, set in the wild, white mane of hair. But you might 
see a deep emotion, if you knew the speaker, in the 
twitching of the mouth, and in the eyes that seemed to 
swell in their endeavour to drink in the sympathy of all 
around. Very few words were said, but there was a 
peculiar solemnity in them that hushed the guests, as a 
master hushes a school. The hope was tiiat 1858, at that 
board, if they were all spared, should have his birth cele- 
brated. If they were all spared ! If thoughts of death 
crept -icily into the marrow of any there, not to the 
speaker — that cup brimmed with warm life — did death 
point. 

Dr. Wigan, in his book on the " Duality of the Mind," 
gives the following remarkable anecdote of my father's 
energetic will dominating a feeble body : — 

" That mysterious and incomprehensible thing, the will, 
has, we know", an important influence on the whole animal 
economy, and many instances have come before us where 
it has staved off insanity ; others where it has aided in 
restoring; health. I will cite a case which is well known 



350 LIFE OF DOUGLAS JEEROLD. 

to me, and which exemplifies this action, although uncon- 
nected with insanity. A celebrated man of literature, 
dependent for his income on the labours of his pen — feed- 
ing his family, as he jocularly calls it, out of an inkstand 
— was in the advanced stage of a severe illness. After 
many hesitations, he ventured to ask his medical attend- 
ant if there remained any hope. The doctor evaded the 
embarrassing question as long as possible, but at last 
was compelled sorrowfully to acknowledge that there was 
none. 

" ' What ! ' said the patient, ' die, and leave my wife and 
five helpless children ! By , I won't die ! ' 

" If there be oaths which the recording angel is ashamed 
to write down, this was one of them ! The patient got 
better from that hour." 

But did he feel secret, faint warnings of the coming 8th 
of June ? It is impossible now to answer. It is true that 
now and then he talked of death ; that, in an illness he 
had had the winter before, he had wept to think that he 
should have to leave the dear ones about him ; but his 
mercurial temperament bounded so rapidly from sadness to 
high spirits — he so greatly enjoyed the first days when he 
could leave his room, and he saw the creeping plants 
begin to poke the pale green of their spring leaves into 
his window once more — that he turned ever again with a 
bounding spirit to the world, and was deep in its woes 
and joys, its struggles and its victories — a most human, 
impressionable soul, still eager to do battle as before, and 
to leave this world, if possible, and according to his hum- 
ble means, somewhat better than he had found it. 

He turned gayly, and for the last time, to his old favour- 
ite haunt, Boulogne, in the summer of 1856; and he 
roamed about its bright streets, talked as of old with the 



THE 8TH OF JUNE, 1857. 351 

merry poissardes, went laughing through the fruit-market 
around St. Nicolas, or sauntered in the dusty lanes of the 
Wimereux Camp, with his old friend, M. Bonnefoy, at 
his elbow generally, at whom he would thrust laughingly 
some playful anti- Galilean arrows. He was as ready as 
ever for a picnic on donkeys through the Vallee du Den- 
acre, or to listen in the Cafe Vermond to the vivacious 
conversation of the camp officers. He could gossip, as I 
have related, with his loquacious old cook Virginie by the 
hour ; entering with her into the trials she had undergone 
with her parrot, which she had brought from Algeria, 
and which, when her old master, a Bonapartist, wanted 
to teach it to cry Vive VEmpereur! replied invariably 
Cochon ! 

This was all very merry; but a cloud came at last. 
His friend Gilbert a Beckett, whom we had met in the 
Kue de I'Ecu, after his return from Paris, only three or 
four days before, died in the Rue Neuve Chauss^e. 
Douglas Jerrold's mirth was at once at an end. He wrote 
to Mr. Forster, describing the event: — 

"A little more than a fortnight since I never saw a Beckett look 
stronger, more hearty. He left, in that terribly hot week, for Paris ; 
and there, I fear, the mischief was done. When he returned he com- 
plained of violent headache ; and this was, doubtless, increased by his 
anxiety for his boy, then stricken with putrid sore throat. I called 
and found that a Beckett had been ordered a blister to his neck — 
determination of blood. The misery of the poor wife and mother 
between two deathbeds is not to be described. . . . Nothing could ex- 
ceed the tenderness and care of the eldest son — ' c'est un ange,'^ said 
the people at the boarding-house. 

" We had accounts three or four times a day ; and, strange as it may 
seem, I felt reassured for a Beckett, when the boy died. He never 
knew of his boy's death. Indeed, it was only at rare intervals, and 
for a brief time, that he had any consciousness. On Friday I had lost 
all hope ; and on Saturday, six p.m., all was over. For myself, from 
what I have gathered from the doctors, I do not believe that his death 



852 LIFE OF DOUGLAS JERROLD. 

was produced by any local causes: it was the murderous heat of 
Paris, with the anxiety for his boy. Never was a family so united, so 
suddenly and so wholly made desolate. Competence, position, mutual 
affection, 'all that makes the happier man,' and all now between four 
boards ! We leave next week (there is a charnel taint upon this place, 
and I never tarry here again), abridging our intended stay by a fort- 
night. My wife, though made nervous and much agitated by this 
horror, is, on the whole, much better." 

There is a gloom in this letter that remained with 
the writer long after it was written ; and had he lived 
many years afterwards, he would never have set foot in 
the Rue de I'Ecu again. 

He wrote a tender farewell to his friend — he penned 
that friend's epitaph ; and then he turned to that now 
home, where he promised himself some years of quiet 
comfort, in the midst of his books and flowers. 

The spring of 1857, I repeat, found Douglas Jerrold 
as cheerful, as watchful of his garden, as full of projected 
travel, as he had ever been. He was out much among 
his friends, at Our Club, at the Punch dinners, once or 
twice at the Reform (where he had been recently 
elected), and in his desk he had the plans of two or 
three books that he intended to write at his leisure. 
Assured of the success of the journal which he had 
now edited during five years, beyond pecuniary anxieties, 
and most popular in the midst of a large and continually 
increasing circle of friends, he had never, perhaps, seen 
the life before him with a sunnier foreground or dis- 
tance. How busy, too, as the spring was ripening into 
summer, was he at home ! He had occasional twinges 
of pain— -he knew his heart was affected (his assurance 
'policies told him that), but he felt no serious warnings. 
The clematis he planted that spring at his garden door, 
would, it was his belief, give an olive shade yet over his 



THE 8TH OF JUNE, 1857. 353 

gray head, and drop its sweet blossoms at his feet, in 
autumns some way off. I call him to mind as I saw him 
for the last time, upon his lawn. He was contemplating 
the effect of some light iron steps that workmen were 
adjusting, to lead from his study window direct upon the 
sward. These steps were necessary to his comfort. He 
must have a direct way to a solitary ramble from his desk. 

Time was wearing towards the end of May then. On 
the last Sunday in the month, Douglas Jerrold was to be 
one of Mr. W. H. Russell's dinner party at Greenwich. 
He was ailing the day before. The men had been paint- 
ing the iron steps at his study window, and he attributed 
his indisposition to the smell ; for paint always affected 
him acutely. In Thistle Grove, Chelsea, when his house 
was being partly redecorated, he was seized with the 
painter's cholera. Indeed, his sense of smell was extra- 
ordinarily developed. On entering the hall of his house, 
he would sniff and say, " There are apples somewhere in 
the place ; let them be taken away." Paint, therefore, 
to this keen olfactory sense, would be strongly offensive. 

Mr. Dickens met him, on the morning of the Green- 
wich dinner, at the Gallery of Illustration, in Regent's 
Street. They had been advising their friend Mr. Rus- 
sell in the condensation of his Lectures on the War in 
the Crimea ; and they had engaged with him to go over 
the last of the series, at the Gallery, at one o'clock that 
day. "Arriving some minutes before the time," Mr. 
Dickens tells me, " I found your father sitting alone in 
the hall. 

" ' There must be some mistake,' he said. No one else 
was there ; the place was locked up ; he had tried all 
the doors ; and he had been w^aiting a quarter of an hour 
by himself. 



354 LIFE OF DOUGLAS JERROLD. 

" I sat down by him in a niche on the staircase, and 
he told me that he had been very unwell for three or 
four days. A window in his study had been newly 
painted, and the smell of the paint (he thought it must 
be that) had filled him with nausea and turned him 
sick, and he felt weak and giddy, through not having 
been able to retain any food. He was a little subdued 
at first, and out of spirits ; but we sat there half an 
hour talking, and when we came out together he was 
quite himself. 

" In the shadow I had not observed him closely ; but 
when we got into the sunshine of the streets I saw that 
he looked ill. We were both engaged to dine with Mr. 
Russell at Greenwich, and I thought him so ill then that 
I advised him not to go, but to let me take him, or send 
him, home in a cab. He complained, however, of hav- 
ing turned so weak (we had now strolled as far as Leices- 
ter Square) that he was fearful he might faint in the 
cab, unless I could get him some restorative, and unless 
he could ' keep it down.' I deliberated for a moment 
whether to turn back to the Athenasum, Avhere I could 
have got a little brandy for him, or to take him on to 
Covent Garden for the purpose. Meanw^hile he stood 
leaning against the rails of the inclosure, looking, for the 
moment, very ill indeed. Finally, we walked on to 
Covent Garden, and before we had gone fifty yards he 
was very much better. On our way Mr. Russell joined 
us. He was then better still, and walked between us 
unassisted. I got him a hard biscuit, and a little weak, 
cold brandy and water, and begged him by all means to 
try to eat. He broke up and ate the greater part of the 
biscuit, and was much refreshed and comforted by the 
brandy. He said that he felt the sickness was overcome 



THE 8TPI OF JUNE, 1857. 355 

at last, and that he was quite a new man. It would do 
him good to have a few quiet hours in the air, and he 
would go with us to Greenwich. 1 still tried to dissuade 
him ; but he was by this time bent upon it ; his nat- 
ural colour had returned, and he was very hopeful and 
confident. 

" We strolled through the Temple on our way to a 
boat ; and I have a lively recollection of him, stamping 
about Elm-Tree Court (with his hat in one hand, and 
the other pushing his hair back), laughing in his heartiest 
manner at a ridiculous remembrance we had in common, 
which I had presented in gome exaggerated light to 
divert him. We found our boat, and went down the 
river, and looked at the Leviathan which was building; 
and talked all the way. 

" It was a bright day, and as soon as we reached 
Greenwich we got an open carriage, and went out for 
a drive about Shooter's Hill. In the carriage Mr. Rus- 
sell read us his lecture, and we discussed it with great 
interest. We planned out the ground of Inkermann on 
the heath, and your father was very earnest indeed. The 
subject held us so that we were graver than usual ; but 
he broke out, at intervals, in the same hilarious way as 
in the Temple, and he over and over again said to me, 
with great satisfaction, how happy he was that he had 
' quite got over that paint.' 

" The dinner-party Avas a large one, and I did not sit 
near him at table. But he and I had arranged, before 
we went in to dinner, that he was to eat only of some 
simple dish that we agreed upon, and was only to drink 
sherry and water. We broke up very early, and before 
I went away with Mr. Leech, who was to take me to 
London, I went round to Jerrold, and put my hand upon 



356 LIFE OF DOUGLAS JERROLD. 

his shoulder, asking him how he was. He turned round 
to show me the glass beside him, with a little wine and 
water in it. 

" ' I have kept to the prescription ; it has answered as 
well as this morning's, my dear old boy. I have quite 
got over the paint, and I am perfectly well.' 

" He was really elated by the relief of having recov- 
ered, and was as quietly happy as I ever saw him. We 
exchanged ' God bless you ! ' and shook hands. 

" I went down to Gad's Hill next morning, M^here he 
was to write to me after a little while, appointing his own 
time for coming to see me there. A week afterwards, 
another passenger in the railway carriage in which I was 
on my way to London Bridge, opened his morning paper, 
and said, * Douglas Jerrold is dead ! ' " 

This last meeting with my father naturally sent his 
friend's thoughts back to the time when they first met. 
Mr. Dickens's first impressions of his friend so strengthen 
that estimate of Douglas Jerrold's character which I have 
endeavoured to set before the reader, that I cannot for- 
bear from inserting them here. 

" Few of his friends," Mr. Dickens writes, " I think, 
can have had more favourable opportunities of knowing 
him in his gentlest and most affectionate aspect than I 
have had. He was one of the gentlest and most affec- 
tionate of men. I remember very well that when I first 
saw him, in about the year 1835, when I went into his 
sick room in Thistle Grove, Brompton, and found him 
propped up in a great chair, bright-eyed, and quick, and 
eager in spirit, but very lame in body, he gave me an im- 
pression of tenderness. It never became dissociated from 
him. There was nothing cynical or sour in his heart, as 
I knew it. In the company of children and young peo- 



THE 8TH OF JUNE, 1857. 357 

pie he was particularly happy, and showed to extraordi- 
nary advantage. He never was so gay, so sweet-tem- 
pered, so pleasing, and so pleased as then. Among my 
own children I have observed this many and many a time. 
When they and I came home from Italy, in 1845, your 
father went to Brussels to meet us, in company with our 
friends, Mr. Forster and Mr. Maclise. We all travelled 
together about Belgium for a little while, and all came 
home together. He was the delight of the children all 
the time, and they were his delight. He was in his most 
brilliant spirits, and I doubt if he were ever more humor- 
ous in his life. But the most enduring impression that 
he left upon us, who are grown up — and we have all 
often spoken of it since — was, that Jerrold, in his amiable 
capacity of being easily pleased, in his freshness, in his 
good nature, in his cordiality, and in the unrestrained 
openness of his heart, had quite captivated us. 

" Of his generosity I had a proof within these two or 
three years, which it saddens me to think of now. There 
had been an estrangement between us — not on any per- 
sonal subject, and not involving an angry word — and a 
good many months had passed without my even seeing 
him in the street, when it fell out that we dined each with 
his own separate party, in the Stranger's Room of a 
club. Our chairs were almost back to back, and I took 
mine after he w^as seated and at dinner. I said not a 
word (I am sorry to remember), and did not look that 
way. Before we had sat so long, he openly wheeled his 
chair round, stretched out both his hands in a most en- 
gaging manner, and said aloud, with a bright and loving 
face that I can see as I write to you, ' For God's sake 
let us be friends again ! A life's not long enough for 
this.'" 



S58 LIFE OF DOUGLAS JEREOLD. 

I am grateful to Mr. Dickens for this frank and tender 
revelation. It is a powerful answer to the writer's who 
have perseveringlj endeavoured to present the subject of 
this memoir to the world as a bitter cynic. Let me 
now turn back to that Sunday of sad memories at Gieen- 
wich. 

" It was on Sunday week," Mr. Russell wrote to me 
from Liverpool on the 9th of June, 1857, "he came into 
town (London) early, to hear me rehearse my lecture 
with Dickens ; and when I saw him, he complained of 
being affected in throat, stomach, and head, by paint ; and 
said he could not join my party at Greenwich (May 
31st). But it struck Mr. Dickens and myself that it 
would do him good to come out with us. We went down 
in the boat to Greenwich, then drove into the country, 
and returned to dinner, at which he was very cheerful, 
though he ate and drank very little. He left about 
eleven, and went to town with Dr. Quain, in his carriage, 
to whom he complained again of the })aint. He was 
cheerful as was his wont, and he left Dr. Quain in good 
spirits, with the exception of the complaint I have men- 
tioned." And not one of the least consoling hours in that 
bitter month of June at Kilburn Priory, was that in which 
I read the warm words that welled from Russell's heart 
over his lost friend. "With all the affection of his na- 
ture," said the great Pen of the War, " he, in his new- 
sprung friendship for myself, bound me to him, and this 
by eternal ties. I cannot ask to join in your sorrows, 
but believe me that my own are acute. But what are 
my losses — though a friend, such as one may live ages lor 
in vain, is gone from me — to those of the family to whicli 
I offer my deepest sympathies and condolence? My 
dear, good, kind friend, I can scarce credit it." Mr. Han- 



TITR 8TII OF JTJNE, 1857. 359 

nay relates, too, liow he luul met my f'atlier in May : " In 
the eveniii^j^ of tlie 20lli of* May I met him, as I fVe- 
qiietitly diil on Satiirdny (;veriin;^s, and on no eveninf^ do 
I remeinljer liim more lively and brilliant. NcxL Satur- 
day, I l)elieve, he was at the same kindly board (Our 
Chib), but some ae(tident kept me away. I never saw 
him again. . . . He was getting up in years, but still 
there seemed many to be hoped for him yet. Thougli 
not so active in schemes as formerly, he still talked of 
wr)rks to be done, and at Our Club, and such-like friendly 
little associations, the wit was all himself, and came to 
our stated meetings as punctually as a star to its place in 
the sky. He had suffered severely from illness, espe- 
cially from rheumatism, at various periods of life, and he 
had lived freely and joyously, as was natural to a man 
of his peculiar gifts. l>ut death / We never thought of 
the bi'illianl, radiant Douglas in connection with the black 
riv(5r. He would have sunk Charon's boat with a shower 
of epigrams, one would have fancied, if the old f<*llow, 
with his squalid l)(;ard, had dared to ask /am into the 
stern-sheets." 

On the morning of the 1st of June he was in bed. 
Vomiting and violent pains in the stomach were the chief 
symptoms, and he was much depressed. Still, not the 
most despondent of his family, at that time, believed that 
there was any danger. Undoubtedly the heart was 
affected, but not to the extent that would give friends any 
aj)prehension of a near catastrophe. On the following 
day he was not worse — a little weaker, perhaps; but 
when I went to his bedside he had all the day's newspa- 
pers about him, and had nuvrked out subjects for the 
week's ])apci-. He had even cut paragraphs neatly, as 
usual, and [jut them, in an orderly manner, in clips. The 



360 LIFE OF DOUGLAS JERROLD. 

heading of a leading article was written, too, in a firm 
hand. To oblige a friend, he had just written a check — 
his last ! He talked cheerfully of the topics of the hour 
— gave me subjects to treat for him, as he felt he should 
not be equal to his editorial task that week. But he 
should be all right next week, he said. 

On the Thursday I was sitting at his desk, making a 
poor substitute for him, when, to my great astonishment, 
he appeared at the door. He was bent — weak ; his face 
was very white. But he had suddenly got out of bed, 
and dressed himself, determined to lie upon his study sofa, 
within sight of the garden. "Isha'n't disturb you, my 
boy," he said faintly, as he cast himself upon the couch. 
His breath came, I could hear, with difficulty. He did 
disturb me. I could only look at him as he lay, with his 
white hair streaming upon the pillow, and his thin hand 
upon the head of little Mouse, who had followed him 
from his bedroom, and was lying by his side. 

I finished my task presently, and he asked me for the 
heads of the subjects I had treated. And then he started 
from the sofa, came to the desk, took his chair, and would 
himself put the copy in an envelop, and direct it to the 
printer. The effort with which this was done was pain- 
ful to witness ; and my mother, who had now entered the 
room, looked at me with an expression of imploring 
inquiry. He even wrote a short note ; and . then he was 
coaxed into the drawing-room, as a cooler place than his 
own study. Some hours afterwards, lying quietly there, 
he seemed much better. He spoke hopefully — so hope- 
fully, indeed — of his recovery, and of his ability to write 
his leaders the next week, and he appeared so cheerful, 
that I presently left him, to return to my own home. 

On the following morning I was summoned early to 



THE 8TH OF JUNE, 1857. 361 

his bedside. He was clearly worse than on the previous 
day. He had said that he felt his time was come — had 
said it calmly, and almost cheerfully. Mr. Augustus 
Mayhew was with me when we entered his room. He 
was cheered, and talked even rapidly to us ; and again 
said that he felt better. There was a hectic flush upon 
his cheek, and he breathed with difficulty. The doctor 
still believed that there was no danger ; that is, that 
chances were greatly in favour of a recovery. But, from 
time to time, the sufferer appeared excessively weak ; the 
breath was still bad, and, alone, he was depressed, and 
shed tears, continually asking whether we were all in the 
house. All were there, and he appeared content. So 
matters wore on till Saturday — the pain in the stomach, 
the short-breathing, lasting. Then the weakness in- 
creased, and no nourishment was taken. More advice 
was called in. " Very ill," said the doctors ; " but there 
is hope." To the patient, however, there was clearly 
none. " I'm going from you," he said, in a calm voice ; 
and he reproved sobs, adding, " It must be so with us 
all." And then, with tears in his eyes, he would kiss 
both mother and children, and hold them convulsively to 
his bosom. 

" Be quiet, be good, my dear," he would say, reproving 
gently, any burst of grief. His bedside was never with- 
out a child to watch it. How eagerly, too — I shall never 
forget them — his eyes wandered from one dear face to 
the other, as though he were counting them ! Then, 
gently as a child, he would take the medicine or the re- 
freshment offiired him, and his lips left the spoon or glass 
only to say " Thank you." 

On the Sunday morning, after a night of anxious 
watching, during which he had hardly slept five minutes, 

16 



862 LIFE OF DOUGLAS JERROLD. 

to believe that lie might recover, was to hope against 
hope. He would not hear of the possibility. But still 
the doctors — in kindness, chiefly — put some hopeful cour- 
age in the children and mother about the bed. It was a 
lovely June morning, and the breeze played through the 
open window upon the couch. Still the suffer(gr called 
for air. His breathing was shorter and more painful. 
He kept his eyes fixed upon the trees and sky he could 
see, and talked about the beauty of the day. He com- 
plained again and again of the heat, but the doctors had 
prescribed warmth. Perspiration was to be kept up, and 
there was no more painful duty to perform, b}^ the chil- 
dren at the bedside, than to resist his imploring look 
when the clothes he kept casting from his cliest, were 
gently put back. He ate a little jelly — but very little. 
Still he talked at intervals, when his ditTicult breathing 
would permit it, of things about him — of death too — with 
a cheerful calmness. His }'oungest child, Thomas, never 
left his bedside, and moved him about, overwhelmed with 
grief, with the tenderness of a woman. 

Towards evening, while the ftimily were downstairs, a 
movement was heard in the bedroom, and a minute after- 
wards my brother bounded down and burst upon us. His 
face was convulsed, and he could not speak. But he 
beckoned us to follow him, and rushed back to the bed- 
room. 

The sufferer was seated in an arm-chair before the 
open window, and the setting sun threw a strong, warm 
glare over the room. The sufferer's breath came and 
went rapidly ; his face was bloodless ; and his white hair 
hung wildly, nobly, about it. He was calm, and kissed 
all tenderly. Little Mouse came with the rest, and sat 
before him. His eye fell upon the little creature, and he 



THE 8TH OF JUNE, 1857. 363 

called her faintly. Then his eyes wandered hungrily 
from one well-loved face to the other, and then again to 
the window, where the trees were golden with the sunset. 
In a sad, lingering voice he said, " The sun is setting." 

Then he spoke, as his short breath would permit him, 
of friends not about him. " Tell the dear boys," he said, 
referring to his Punch associates, " that if I've ever 
wounded any of them, I've always loved them." Horace 
Mayhew, who was near, gently said to him, referring to 
an estrangement that had existed between him and a 

relative, "You are friends with H ?" "Yes, yes. 

God bless him ! " 

^ Then he talked of his worldly goods. The effort, 
however, was great ; and, as he finished, all about him 
thought that he had spoken his last word. The doctor 
arrived at this moment, and, having administered some 
stimulants to the patient, asked him how he felt. He 
answered faintly, " As one who is waiting — and waited 
for." 

When the doctor presently suggested that he must not 
despond — that he might be well again — those blue eyes 
seemed to borrow a last flash, and to express almost 
scorn. He saw the falsity spoken in kindness, and re- 
pelled it, for he had no fear of death. Then a faintness 
came upon him again, and he gasped for air, motioning all 
from the window. " Let me pass — let me pass ! " he 
almost whispered. 

But not yet. He was carried to bed — the sun went 
down. Dr. Wright had determined to remain with his 
patient throughout the night. He was easier — but sink- 
ing now — beyond all doubt. You could hardly beUeve 
it, in the night, when his calm voice sounded again to 
speak of friends, to remember everybody, and to send 



364 LIFE OF DOUGLAS JERROLD. 

kind messages to all. One child was away — in America ; 
and he sent him his blessing. Then in the depth of the 
night, during the intervals of applying bags of hot salt to 
his feet, he even talked of his newspaper, and bade me 
endeavour to carry on his name in it. Then he would 
lie back and murmur prayers ; and then, as the kind 
physician hung over the bed, he would cry again and 
again, " Dear doctor ! dear doctor ! but it's no use." And 
then he would ask the hour — for he had a belief that he 
should die at midnight. Midnight came, however, and 
the gray dawn crept coldly into the sick room, and still 
the sufferer lay begging for fresh air. 

We f;ast the window open, but this was not enough; 
we seized every fan that could be found, and waved them 
before him. " Why tease a dying wretch ? " he said 
presently to the doctor, who was insisting upon giving him 
medicine. Then when the breath got worse, and it 
appeared that in the next minute he must be suffocated, 
he cried, " Christ ! Christ ! " 

The sun mounted the heavens slowly upon some most 
unhappy people that day. Wife and daughters had 
passed the night, sitting, sobbing in the dressing-room, 
the open door of which led to the sufferer's bed. He 
could not bear their tears ; but at frequent intervals 
a-k(;d for one, then the other, and clasped them to his 
heart. In the morning his sister arrived from the 
country. He kissed her — then looked over her shoulder. 
He could hardly speak above a whi.-;per now ; but he 
was seeking the second sister, to whom he had always 
been tenderly attached. She was not there. With a son 
on either side of him, with the kind doctor still leaning 
over him, he seemed at perfect peace — resigned. Still 
we waved the fans about him, giving him air ; and still; 
at intervals, he talked faintly, but most collectedly. 



THE 8TH OF JUNE, 1857. 365 

The dawn grew into a lovely summer morning. At 
ten o'clock the patient was cupped. He could hardly 
move in the bed, and said again, '* Why torture a dying 
ci*eature, doctor ? " But the cupping took no effect, and 
the doctor went away to return in a few hours. We were 
left alone with a dying father. Friends were hushed in 
the rooms downstairs, listening for a faint word of hope. 
Daughters, sister, wife, were sobbing in the dressing- 
room. For a moment, to fetch something for the patient, 
my brother left me alone in the room. My arm was 
about the dear sufferer, propping his pillow as he moved 
restlessly. He looked with a terribly eager look at me, 
then at the opposite side of the bed, for the moment with- 
out the face of the dear boy who had watched there night 
and day. His mouth moved, and I could read the deep 
emotion that possessed him. He said again and again, 
" Yes, yes," still looking at me, and then at the opposite 
side of the bed. I bent down to listen, but he said no 
more. Then, as I raised a spoon filled with iced water 
to his lips, his eyes for the first time wandered. My 
brother returned, and held him with me. We saw a 
dreadful change. We called to the dear ones in the next 
room, and in wild agony they gathered about the bed. 
For a moment again his eyes regained their light ; he 
saw all about his death-bed ; his head leaned against my 
breast ; he looked up, and said, as one hand fell in mine, 
and my brother took the other, " This is as it should be." 

In a monient, without a struggle, peacefully as a child 
falls asleep in its nurse's arms, he fell into his long rest, 
with a smile upon his face. 

The friends who came and knelt at that bedside, and 
kissed the hand as it hung still warm over it, and said a 
" Good-by, dear Douglas ! " shall never be forgotten by 



366 LIFE OF DOUGLAS JERROLD. 

me or mine. The stout men who fairly wept when the 
sad news reached them shall hold a green place in my 
memory always. The kind friends who gathered about 
us, and bore the pall, have, through good and evil report, 
my honest, hearty thanks to the end. Even his faithful 
little serving-boy, who wept and begged for a " last look 
at master," is not forgotten. 

I will not close this record of a life but as its subject 
laid down that life — in perfect good-will. I accept the 
" Remembrance " efforts of Mr. Dickens and others — all 
angry words forgotten — on behalf of my father's family, 
without a touch of rancour or a qualifying word. Hands 
have long since been heartily shaken all round ; and I 
put my labour forth, sensible of its many shortcomings, 
but assured that not a few friendly eyes will wander over 
it, and give me credit, at least, for the filial love which 
moved me to undertake it. 

We determined to lay the remains of Douglas Jerrold 
near those of his dear friend, Laman Blanchard. It was 
a wet morning when, accompanied, by my brother-in-law, 
I wandered over the turf of Norwood. There was 
Blanchard's tomb, but tenants had come all about it. 
Only on the opposite side of the path could space be 
found; and here, on Monday, the 15th of June, 1857, we 
laid the mortal part of a most tender husband and father 
—of a most generous and enthusiastic friend. 

IMr. Charles Dickens, Mr. Thackeray, Mr. Monckton 
Milnes, Mr. John Forster, Sir Joseph Paxton, Mr. 
Charles Knight, Mr. Horace Mayhew, Mr. Hep worth 
Dixon, and Mr. Shirley Brooks, bore the pall ; and hun- 
dreds of sympathizing friends stood about the open grave, 
on that fine June afternoon, when that noble head was 



THE 8TH OF JUNE, 1857. 367 

given back in sorrow to mother earth. No marble, nor 
photograph, nor oil painting, has given the fire that was 
in that face ; but the nearest approach to the truth has 
been made by the graceful chisel of Mr. Baily, the en- 
graving of which accompanies this volume. 



368 LIFE OF DOUGLAS JERROLD. 



EEMAIN6, 



[The following chapters are fragments of a story of 
village scandal — the sufferers being the maidens Maybee, 
who incautiously hung a man's hat in their hall, that thieves 
and vagrants might be frightened from their doors.] 

THE MAIDENS MAYBEE. 

CHAPTER I. 

The hurricane ravages Crumpet House. The Maidens 
Maybee deliberate and decide. 

The night of the — of July, in the year 18 — , is an 
historical night — a night of tempest that lives in the 
memory of the generation it roared over, and is pre- 
served in the reading of the decently born and decently 
taught since that blusterous event ; namely, the tempest 
that had alike levelled several oaks that had dropped 
acorns before the swine that came in before the Con- 
queror, and had stricken, shivered to the earth, the three 
chimney-pots of Crumpet House. The oaks received 
the funeral honours of type in at least one journal ; the 
decease of the Saxon Hamadryads was decently chroni- 



THE MAIDENS MAYBEE. 369 

cled ; but, although the Misses Maybee. palpitatingly pe- 
rused every attainable account of the awful effects of the 
hurricane, as laboriously collected and minutely delivered, 
not a paragraph — not a line, spoke of the ruin that sat 
upon the door-step of Crumpet House. 

" But it's like the world," said Miss Bertha Maybee, a 
little curdled. " WhOever thinks of three lone women ? " 

" Nobody," replied the younger Dorcas, with emphatic 
derision. 

" And the wind a roaring — and the thunder a rolling — 
and not a man in the house — and the very bed under one 
a rocking like a cradle," said Mary Peggs, administratrix 
of all work, and third lone woman. 

This dialogue took place at least a week after the tem- 
pest. The household gods had become somewhat com- 
posed — had begun to teach themselves a fireside forti- 
tude ; the better that the smoke that had refused to go 
up the chimney unless it could make its exit through the 
crowning pantile, had returned to a sense of its duty 
with the returning cylinder. If, however, the terrors of 
the tempest were subsiding like the waters, other and 
greater fears knocked at the door of Crumpet House, 
and clamoured at its casements. It was the dread of 
thieves — a dread multiphed by three lone women. So 
considered, what was a hurricane to a burglar — what a 
thunderbolt to a crowbar? And what — what if they 
should come together? 

Of late, calamity had fallen upon Crumpet House. 
Assassination had done its work — had cleared the way 
for the purposes of the despoiler. Whistle had been 
murdered. Whistle, a small terrier of invincible fidelity 
and unbounded appetite, had been poisoned. With that 
dear creature in the house at night, not so much as a flea 
16* 



370 LIFE OF DOUGLAS JEREOLD. 

could stir but the dog — it was so averred of him — would 
know it. But Whistle died just one week before the 
tempest. Science, speaking through the person of 
Mumps, equine and canine doctor, declared the death 
of Whistle to be the result of natural decay, somewhat 
hastened by unlimited diet and confinement to the hearth- 
rug. Its mistresses knew better ; the dog was a pattern 
of frugality, and took just as much exercise as was good 
for it. They did not care ; the dog might be opened 
twenty times, and twenty to that — the dear creature had 
been poisoned. And why ? Merely that Crumpet House 
might be placed at the mercy of the invader. Thieves 
would have had to walk over the dead body of that dog, 
and now what was there to defend them ? They were 
three lone women ! 

Mr. Mumps benevolently suggested the immediate ac- 
cession of another dog. Whistle est mort — vive Whistle I 
The ladies shuddered at the thought. There never could 
be such another dog — never; at least, not at present. 
The female heart is prodigal of good gifts ; hence was 
Whistle endowed with virtues very foreign to its nature. 
Whistle, however, had two qualities in perfection. It 
loudly barked and boldly begged. Assuredly no Chan- 
cellor of the Exchequer could get upon his legs and ask 
more confidently than that terrier. 

Well, Whistle, the guardian of Crumpet House, had 
been dead a fortnight, and there had been a devastating 
tempest, destructive of chimney-pots, succeeded by mani- 
fold thefts and latch-liftings in the neighbourhood. Fel- 
ony, perhaps murder, would, in a night or two, draw its 
crimson circle around the fatal Crumpet House. 

" More thieves, mum," said Mary Peggs, returning 
from the gate, and balancing a loaf on her hand, the loaf 



THE MAIDENS MAYBEE. 371 

just left, with the newest news, by the baker; "more 
thieves, mum. Mrs. Brettle's garden has been climbed 
over, and a white counterpin that was a bleaching, gone 
off with." 

" Mercy upon us ! " said Miss Bertha. " Why, they're 
coming closer and closer." 

" More than that mum. Yesterday, in broad, staring 
light, they took away Miss Mango's parrot, which was 
brought up with her in the Ingies, and hung out 
at her window, from under her very eyes. Nobody's 
safe." 

" And there is not a man in the house ! " said Miss 
Bertha. 

" Not in the least," said Peggs. 

" Of course not," cried Dorcas, a little rebukingly. 
" What do we want with a man in the house ? " 

" Nothing, mum, of course," answered Peggs. " Only, 
when all is said and done, it must be owned it's a confi- 
dence like." 

"I tell you what, henceforth, must be our line of 
operation," observed Miss Dorcas ; and her superior 
strength of mind was at once allowed in the attentive air 
of her sister- — in the deferential, hopeful looks of Mary 
Peggs ; for Miss Dorcas Maybee, albeit the younger 
sister, had a vigour of understanding — as she often de- 
clared — and a promptitude of resource, that she was too 
ingenuous to deny, that made her the oracle and the 
authority of Crumpet House. In fact. Miss Dorcas May- 
bee had been known, more than once in her life, to ex- 
press her wonder that she had not been born a man ! 
Possibly, could we go down the backstairs of centuries 
for the fact, the same wonder may have stirred the 
breastplate bosom of Queen Bess. 



372 LIFE OF DOUGLAS JEREOLD. 

"I tell you what we must do," said Miss Dorcas, 
elevating her voice as the wisdom of the thought still 
broke upon her, " as the thieves are becoming so auda- 
cious; I tell you what wc must do — we must burn a 
candle." 

Small and uncertain are the rewards of the giver of 
good counsel. The elder Miss Maybee merely tossed 
her head. Mary Peggs, with her apron before her 
mouth, contemptuously curled her lip. 

" Besides this," said Dorcas, who felt the indifference 
of her audience, " besides this, I will this very morning 
go out and buy a rattle. They now make rattles, I am 
told, of two-mile power." 

" Of course, mum, you know best," said Peggs ; " but 
when the house is forced, and you're woke up in your 
papers, and see two or three monsters of thieves standing 
by your bedside with pistols, asking for your spoons, and 
your money, and nobody knows what besides — I should 
like to know then, mum, what's the use of a rattle ? " 

" Very true, Peggs," observed Bertha. " None that I 
see — positively none." 

" Guilt," remarked Miss Dorcas, with her own calm 
wisdom, "guilt is ever cowardly." 

" You know best, mum," said Peggs, deferentially ; 
" but, for my part, I've always found the wickedest folks 
the scarciest." 

" No, Dorcas," mused Bertha, " the candle may be 
something, and there may be something in the rattle ; 
but, after all, they leave us just as we are — three lone 
women." 

" With never a man in the house," said Peggs. " Not 
so much as a boy." 

Dorcas was beginning a very severe frown, when her 



THE MAIDENS MAYBEE. 373 

eyebrows were lifted by a sharp, short pull at the gate- 
bell. " Who's that ? " cried the two sisters. 

Peggs took her way to the gate, and, with old precau- 
tion, opened the wicket. ISTo sooner was it opened than 
it went back with a snap as though it would have bitten 
the long, thin, Hebraic nose visible through the bars. 
" It's nobody," said Peggs, returning ; " nobody but a 
old clothes man." And again the bell was rung with an 
energy quite commercial. Peggs, flushed and frowning, 
trotted back to the gate, and again opened the wicket ; 
again beheld the patriarchal nose, — the nose descended 
from the noses that, in the glorified past, sniffed the flesh- 
pots of Egypt. " I tell yer we've got nothin, and there's 
an end." Again snap went the wicket ; and hardly had 
Peggs returned to the house, when again the bell was 
pulled by the resolute merchant without. Peggs at once 
put a case to her mistresses. " Did you ever know any 
thing like his impidence ? " Again Peggs swung her- 
self round, and was sweeping from the step to make 
another and a crushing descent upon the Jew, when she 
was stayed by the cold, calm, decided manner of Dorcas. 

" ril dispose of the creature," said the firm spinster, 
and she slowly swept towards the gate. She did not 
condescend to open the wicket. No ; she would confront 
and tower above the revealed full length of the audacious 
Hebrew. Hence she threw wide the gate, and stood 
face to face with the Jew, who was in no way humbled 
or abashed by the lofty demeanour of Miss Dorcas May- 
bee. And yet no heroine ever parleyed from battlement, 
or issued forth from castle-gate, with greater, higher pres- 
ence than was displayed in the figure of Dorcas ; in the 
small, but very fiery eye ; in the sharp nostril, curved, 
and endeavouring contemptuously to work. And yet, 



374 LIFE OF DOUGLAS JERROLD. 

we say it, the nature of that invincible Jew was proof 
against all such influence. As Achilles in Styx, so had 
the Jew been clipped in legendary Houndsditch, with the 
further advantage — he had gone souse over, heels and all. 

" Any old clo' ? " asked the Jew ; and with the ques- 
tion the Jew strode into the garden, and dropped his bag 
upon the path, letting it fall with ah emphasis that, if 
Dorcas could have understood the Hebraic mind, would 
have greatly impressed her with the determination of 
that determined Jew. He had taken possession of the 
place ; he had shut the garden gate between the outside 
watch and Crumpet House, and was there and then pre- 
pared to give the gentlewomen the very highest price — 
for he knew their husbands were out, at their counting- 
houses in the City — the highest price for the cast-off 
garments of each fallen Adam. 

" I tell you we have nothing of the kind," said Miss 
Bertha. 

" Not a thread," said Peggs. 

The accommodating Jew, willing and hopeful, would 
buy any thing. "Any old shirts ? " 

" Go along, my good man, we have nothing of the sort. 
We are three lone " 

But here the monitory thumb and finger of Dorcas, 
pressed on the thick of the arm of Bertha, nipped the 
sentence in the bud. 

" Hadn't got a hold 'at ? " asked the Jew. 

" Well, I should think you'd 'ats enough," said Peggs, 
"that is, supposin you haven't another head to put 'em 
on." For, be it known, the Jew carried a triple crown 
of felt, and that with a humility that ought not to have 
been lost upon any pope alive, could he have looked 
upon the meekness. 



THE MAIDENS MAYBEE. 375 

" Three bats ! " said Dorcas, raising her contemplative 
eyes to the three-piled crown, musingly, as though she 
looked upwards at the cupola of St. Peter's. 

" Buy a 'at ? " asked the Jew ; and with the words he 
bared his head, and took hat out of hat ; and now, coax- 
ingly passing his right arm around hat after hat, he 
now held one and now another before the women tempt- 
ingly, as though hats were apples. 

" Go away, my good man ; I tell you we want nothing 
of the sort. What should we want with hats," asked 
Miss Bertha, with increasing energy, " when " 

Miss Dorcas Maybee slowly stretched forth her hand 
and took a hat. She threw an eagle glance into it, laid 
it aside, and took the second hat ; this, too, she surveyed 
with a flash of light and thought, and put apart, taking 
the third hat. The third hat she held gently, even ten- 
derly, by the brim, and, looking down into it, she slightly 
smiled. 

" She'll sartinly buy that 'at," thought the Jew. 

" My good man," said Dorcas mildly, " we can't make 
up our mind in a minute. You may be going about the 
neighbourhood. Would you object to leave these hats 
with us a little while ? " 

" Dorcas ! " cried Bertha. 

" If they was untould goold I wouldn't mind it," said 
the Jew ; and with a lively commercial air he swung his 
bag round upon his shoulder, and made his way to the 
garden gate. " I'll be back in a hour," added that courte- 
ous Hebrew, suddenly determining to bring with him a 
full suit of masculine attire, to match and complete the 
beaver hat, in all the firmness of his soul, he had de- 
termined to sell to Miss Dorcas Maybee. " In a hour," 
said the Jew ; and the garden gate closed behind him, 



376 LIFE OF DOUGLAS JEEEOLD. 

and soon the sound of " Old clo' ! " was heard, diminu- 
endo, in the distance. 

" Marj Peggs, bring in the other hats," said Dorcas, 
she herself leading the way, and carrying what already 
seemed the chosen beaver, into the cottage. 

" Why, Dorcas, dear," said Bertha, " what has come to 
you ? " 

" Place them here," said Dorcas, and the hats were 
placed upon the sofa. "And now. Bertha, sit down, and 
let us choose." 

" Choose a hat ! " cried Bertha. " Why, what can we 
do with a hat ? " 

" With not a man in the house ? " cried Mary, with a 
sigh. 

" That's it ; and that's why I'm determined — it's better 
than nothing — to have a hat ! " 

" La, bless us ! " said Mary, hopelessly. 

" What do you mean, Dorcas ? " asked the earnest 
Bertha, looking over into the face of her faysterious 
sister. 

" Why, isn't it plain, plain as a man himself? We 
have nothing to fear from the people who know us ; 
it's the marauders, the strangers — the idle creatures who 
come with excuses to the gate. Now, if they see a hat 
upon a prominent peg in the passage " 

" To be sure," said Mary, " they'll think it the master 
of the house ! " 

" Exactly so," said Dorcas pleasantly. 

" Whereas," rejoined Bertha, " we are only three lone 
women." 

" Well," said Mary, " after all, a 'at's a something to 
begin with." 



THE MAIDENS MAYBEE. 377 



CHAPTER 11. 



Hymen, looking in at the parlour window of Crumpet 
House, would certainly have believed that he beheld two 
spinsters agitated by the thoughts of wedlock. Truly, 
Dorcas and Bertha Maybee had, in their eyes, a puzzled 
future, for their sowls peeped forth, looking anxiously 
into the three beavers. Hymen, we say, must have 
thought the maidens in search of flesh to become of their 
flesh, and bones to ossify with their bones. Now, they 
entertained no such embodying idea. They did not, pai^- 
pitatingly, mediate the selection of a husband ; certainly 
not. They had hitherto lived in independence of the aid 
of man, and, wishing to be proud of their singleness, they 
would die and be buried without him. They shuddered 
at the bare idea of a husband ; but they were made, by 
the whirlwind force of destiny, to entertain the fiction of 
a spouse. Thus, whilst they shivered at a man, they 
dilated towards a man's hat. 

The three hats were placed, each hat on its crown, 
upon the carpet. Dorcas and Bertha sat themselves in 
opposite chairs, and, with a slight compression of lips, 
folded their arms across their virgin bosoms. Mary 
Peggs, by virtue of her office, was permitted to be pres- 
ent at the counsel, upon the accepted terms that she 
was to keep her opinions to herself She might think as 
she pleased — a privilege that, vouchsafed to a menial, 
touchingly proved the liberality of the spinsters Maybee. 
Mary Peggs, then, a little retired behind Miss Dorcas, 
stood upon her full centre of gravity, with a corner of 
her apron raised to her lips. Never, perhaps, was there 
so conscious a statue of silence at six pounds a year ! 



378 LIFE OF DOUGLAS JERKOLD. 

For a time— at least two minutes — Dorcas and Bertha 
sat back in their chairs, with cast-down eyelids, their eyes 
passing from hat to hat. We confess that such scrutiny 
may seem, to the volatile crowd that elbow at church 
doors, a most ridiculous, if not a most wicked waste of 
time. For how many a maiden of average decision, to 
say nothing of widows, with three living, shaving men 
kneeling upon the carpet — kneeling as men were wont to 
kneel — for we much fear that the olden genuflections of 
courtship, when men bent their knees respectfully, as 
Cupid bends his bow, to shoot the better, are now seldom 
if ever performed on carpet, lawn, or daisied mead — we 
ask, how many a virgin from among three men would at 
once, though tremblingly, have laid her elective hand 
upon one man to be promoted, for ever and for ever, to 
be a part of herself^ — how many a maiden would have 
thus I'^solved — ere either of the Misses Maybee could, of 
three mere hats, make election of one hat ? 

Nevertheless, let justice be done to the maidens of 
Crumpet House. The hats, in very truth, were to them 
very much more than hats ; not three hollow things — 
things of pasteboard skeletons and castor outside — but to 
them prostrate candidates for female favour. Thus both 
Dorcas and Bertha, especially Dorcas, surveyed the three 
linings of the three hats as they would have striven to 
inspect the three hnings of three wooers' breasts, could 
they — proud spinsters as they were — ever have been 
brought to think of any man deeper than his waistcoat. 

Having to choose a hat that, to the ignorant, outdoor 
eye, should have the shape and mark of authority ; that, 
in all truth, or semblance of truth, should have a certain 
air of dominion, appearing upon the peg in the passage 
no other than the hat, beaver, castor, top-covering, arti- 



THE MAIDENS MAYBEE. 379 

ficial apex of the master of the house, it was very nat- 
ural that the gentlewomen should take time and employ 
earnest thought, in order that such a hat might be chosen 
that, once hung upon the peg, should seem, to all domes- 
tic intents and purposes, a ^at wholly and entirely at 
home there. Hence there was much discretion needed ; 
the ladies had not — perhaps they thanked their stars for 
it — to choose a husband, but to select the real hat of a 
spouse of shadows. Again, the hat is a palpable thing, a 
shape of reality, looking very well, and more than well, 
upon the house-peg, whilst the husband himself may be 
only a mate of moonshine. For thus it was determined 
by the Misses Maybee. 

There was silence in Crumpet House for at least three 
minutes. At length Dorcas, giving herself and her chair 
a resolute jerk, approached nearer the hats. Linking her 
ten fingers in her lap, and bending her head, she looked 
deeper and still deeper into the hats, and Bertha did the 
like. Mary Peggs imitated her two ladies, as she would 
call them, though with less grace ; for, stooping, she 
rolled her arms up tightly in her apron, as though bring- 
ing the subject closer to her feelings, and looked from hat 
to hat. 

Now the hats were as different in shape as, maybe, 
heads. Moreover, the three linings of the hats were as 
distinct in colour and texture as are the moral linings of 
men — as different as their brains. We will serve the 
hats as the Czar of all the Russias serves his naughty 
children whom, with a twinge of the paternal heart, he is 
compelled to send into a cold corner in Siberia, or else- 
where. We will christen the hats numerically. Algebra 
shall be their sponsor. The hats shall be 1, 2, 3. 

Hat 1 is a hat that has seen better days, and not a few 



380 LIFE OF DOUGLAS JERROLD. 

worse nights. Unquestionably it is a hat descended from 
a real beaver. That hat was, no doubt, once waterproof 
in the Mississippi or Susquehanna, Colombian streams ! 
That hat has been present when birch trees fell — when 
the landlord made his own*house ; and, even as the beav- 
ers that swim the river of four heads, carried his own 
clay-mortar on his own trowel-tail. Nevertheless, quite 
a gentleman. Hat 1, we say, is a hat that has a little 
rubbed it through life, and yet a hat that has still an air 
about it. Plainly, hat 1 was making its way into the 
bosoms of Dorcas and Bertha. Both of them, leaning 
jf their heads a little aside, looked at hat 1 as at a pretty 
fellow — a little dimmed, but still dangerous. 

" Dorcas," said Bertha, twitching forth her finger, then 
snatching it in again, " what do you think of that hat ? " 
She spoke of hat 1. 

" Bertha," said Dorcas, " I'm not decided. Peggs, 
what do you think of the hat ? " 

" Well, mum," said Mary, " I'm no judge, mum, and 
don't wish to be, of anything as belongs to the other sex, 
mum. Still, mum, I should say it's a very sarcy-looking 
hat." 

" It has a libertine air," said Dorcas, sighing, haply at 
the depravity of the male animal. 

" I once lived with a family, mum, and the master had 
just such a hat as that. Always at nine-pins, mum, and 
never home till the cocks crowed. What his wife suf- 
fered she never told half. Many a time has these hands 
took off his boots on the door-mat." 

Dorcas, hugging a shiver to herself, said, " Peggs, that 
will do." 

Hat 2 now fixes maiden meditation. It is a plain, 
quiet-looking hat — a hat brimming with all the decencies. 



THE MAIDENS MAYBEE. 381 

It is not, and never was, a hat of superfine fabric ; it 
owes the beaver nothing; all its debts are to the silkworm; 
the edges are a little sharp and bare ; nevertheless, many 
a Avorthy head has carried between itself and the angels, 
a much meaner hat. 

" Bertha " — Dorcas nodded down upon hat 2 — " that 
looks a good, honest hat." 

" I don't know," said Bertha. " It may be honest, but 
a little common. What do you say, Peggs ? " 

" Honest, mum ! There was another family. I could 
almost vow I see the master .in that hat. The meanest 
of men, mum. And then such a nypocrite ! Even his 
own wife didn't know all his wickedness, which is hardly 
using a woman as is right. She died of a broken heart, 
and I shall never forget when I last see her. She had 
on a new purple gown with a blue visite, and I never 
thought she'd live long ; and a bonnet with moss roses ; 
but nothing saved her. And if I was on my deathbed I 
should say her husband did it." 

Hat 3, and the last hat, now mutely prefers its claims. 
The hat is the oldest of the three — a hat, moreover, with 
the brim somewhat tipped up at the back, as though ac- 
customed to take its ease on coat collar, unknowing or 
careless what the world thought of it. Hat 3 is neither 
of beaver nor silk, but of hare or rabbit — a strong, coarse 
frame of a hat, with a rough and somewhat fuzzy outside. 

" This is the third and the last," said Dorcas, eyeing 
the solitary hat ; for, as each of the other hats was 
judged, it was removed apart. " The very last," said 
Dorcas. 

" And I do think," said Bertha, " the very worst." 

" La ! bless you, mum ! " broke in Mary Peggs ; " the 
very last place but one afore I came here there was just 



882 LIFE OF DOUGLAS JERROLD. 

such a hat, if it isn't the very hat itself. If ever there 
was a viper of a man " 

" Peggs ! " cried Dorcas rebukingly. 

" I mean, mum, a snake — a snake in blankets — it was 
my master. He'd had three wives, and I know wouldn't 
stop at that. My poor missus ! I did pity her. She 
used to wear the prettiest open-worked petticoats and 
primrose cap-strings — always primrose. Well, when I 
look at that hat, if it isn't the very spit of, him — he was 
what they called an elder, and once took the plate in his 
hand after chapel, and there was a noise about bad 
money ; and the last I heard on him was, he was in the 
streets of Californy selling dog-collars." 

" Nevertheless," said Dorcas with all her constitutional 
energy, " nevertheless, unless we determine to buy an 
entirely new hat " 

" You know best ; but I should say, Dorcas," replied 
Bertha, " a new hat, to say nothing of the expense, would 
have an artificial appearance. If I may use the express- 
ion, it would not look domestic." 

" Sartinly not, mum. If it isn't a hat with a look of 
wear and tear about it, depend on't 'twill go for nothing : 
it must be a hat as has seen life, or you might as well 
hang up a pumpkin." It was thus that Mary, mutely en- 
couraged by her mistresses, spoke of the needful attributes 
and qualities of the master hat — the dominant beaver. 

" Put the hats once again together," said Dorcas, 

Mary took up each hat, shook it, turned it upside 
down ; gave it a tap on the crown ; again looked into the 
lining ; again gave the hat a shake ; and, winding her 
bare arm — mottled flesh-brush ! — around the hat, placed 
the three hats this time triangularly on the carpet. 

O maidens ! and oh ! — yes, O widows ! would ye, call- 



THE MAIDENS MAYBEE. . 383 

iiig up your energies for the scrutiny — would ye only 
question, consider, and decide upon the claims of a candi- 
date for bridegroom honours with something less than 
half the earnestness, with little less than a moiety of the 
vigilance with which the interior and exterior of a mere 
hat were, at this juncture of our story, judged by spinsters 
— a mere hat, we say — a hat to be selected to do nothing, 
to serve no other purpose than to hang at its ease upon a 
peg of dead wood, an idle symbol of marital protection, 
of spousal strength — would ye, women ! so look down 
upon, so ponder the pretensions, not of a mere hat, but 
of a head that carries a hat ; of shoulders that carry the 
head ; and of legs that support the shoulders, vertebral 
column, and, indeed, the whole superincumbent estate of 
man — would ye so consider him, ye would not be — wo- 
men. No ; nothing like love at first sight ; and how often 
such love happens in the matter of a husband, and how 
very seldom in the matter of a bonnet ! To proceed to 
serious business. 

The hats 1, 2, 3, are placed, as we have said, triangle- 
wise. Unconsciously did Mary Peggs place them tripod- 
fashion — a truth that, albeit all too deep in the well for 
the spinsters to recognize, may, nevertheless, have im- 
parted to the hats a subtlety of inspiration, passing from 
the hollowness of hats to the fulness of hearts. 

No longer time than we have taken to set down the 
last paragraph has a spider employed to let itself down, 
all self-dependent (fitting crest for the brave, bold man 
of his own hands), down from the low ceiling ; and there 
it hung over hat No. 2 — hung swayingly to and fro. 

" Why, Mary, there's a spider," said the elder Miss 
Maybee, reproachfully of Mary's housewifery. 

" No, mum, not a spider," answered Mary confidently ; 



384 LIFE OF DOUGLAS JERROLD. 

" not a spider, mum, but a money-spinner, and that's luck. 
Depend upon it, mum, that's the hat for our peg." 

"Why, Mary," replied Dorcas — and she still doubt- 
ingly eyed the spider swaying to and fro, secure in the 
line that held him, for he had spun it himself — " why, 
Mary, that is the very hat, if I mistake not, of which you 
spoke so badly." 

" Very true, mum," answered Mary, " to be sure ; but 
then the hat hadn't a money-spinner in it. And, as I'm 
a Christian, now the sun's come out, that hat looks the 
very best of all the three." 

The sun, it was true, shone downward a beam of gold 
into the hat ; and the spider glistened like a jewel in the 
ray of noon. 

" I must confess it," said Bertha, " now the sun is out, 
the hat is quite another sort of hat. As for the money- 
spinner, I'm not superstitious. Still a money-spinner can 
do no harm " 

As Bertha spoke a black-beetle crawled up the inside 
of the hat No. 3 — crawled up and paused squat upon the 
rim. 

" A beetle, a black-beetle ! " cried Dorcas. 

" A beetle ! " screamed Bertha. 

" And if it isn't a beetle ! " said Mary ; and very hand- 
some, in his episcopalian black, looked the beetle, his 
shards soaked with sunlight. " Where could it have 
come from ? For didn't I knock the hat again and again ? 
But it's just like my old master that wore such a hat." 

" There may be something," said Dorcas, " in the 
other hat. Give it me." 

Dorcas took the hat No. 1 : she shook it downwards 
again and again ; struck it gently against her knee ; again 
shook it ; again, and was then convinced. During this 



THE MAIDENS MAYBEE. 385 

operation the ninible hands of the spider had overhauled 
his own rope — the squat black-beetle had tumbled softly 
on the carpet. 

" This is the hat," exclaimed Miss Dorcas Maybee, as 
with determined fingers, she held tightly to No. 1. 

" Why, Dorcas, that hat," cried Bertha, with a sly 
look, " that hat hasn't a money-spinner — not even a 
black-beetle. That hat has notliing in it." 

" I like it all the better," said Dorcas ; and the resolute 
woman repeated to herself, " All the better." 

And as the choice was made, even as the hat was 
elected for its utter emptiness, the Jew rang afe the bell, 
and " Old clo' ! old clo' ! " was croaked at the gate. 



CHAPTER III. 

On the motion of Miss Dorcas, Mary Peggs instantly 
suffered the old-clothes man to pass the portal. With the 
air of a man prepared to do business, he dropped his 
clothes-bag on the gravel path ; then leisurely wiped his 
forehead, for he had been driving a hard bargain in the 
sweat of his brow. He had purchased of the lady of a 
solicitor an entire masculine suit of black, which, to the 
confiding, an oath or so would make quite as good as new. 
That Hebrew purchaser of the old, and vendor of the 
new, had a magic touch of renovation. With the mere 
moultings of a raven he would replume and turn out, as 
a bird of glossiest featlier, the worst-plucked crow. 

" My good man," said Dorcas, " we have selected this 
hat ; " and the spinster pointed to the hat held on one 
hand by Mary, and caressingly smoothed around with 
her warm arm. 

17 



'386 LIFE OF DOUGLAS JEKROLD. 

" Veil, you have a eye for a' at ! And I daresay you 
had as good a eye for the husband as is to wear it. You 
don't want any children's things ? " And the Hebrew put 
the question as a footpad would present a pistol. At 
least, Miss Dorcas thought so, for she started from the 
inquirer, and with only the firmest of hands subdued a 
spasm. 

" There, now, my good man, we only want the hat," 
said Bertha. " How much ? " 

" There, now," said the Jew, and, article by article, he 
drew forth his last purchase — the woollen outside of the 
solicitor aforesaid. "There, now," and he held up the 
coat jauntily, bared the double-breasted legal waistcoat 
conscientiously, and shook the trousers vigorously ; '* there 
— you shall have the lot a bargin ; and I know, by the 
werry looks of you " — and the Jew laughed at the out- 
raged Dorcas — " they'd fit your good man like his skin." 

" Like your imperence," exclaimed Mary Peggs, com- 
ing resolutely to the rescue. " Do you tliink we buy 
second-hand clothes ? " 

" Veil, there's no 'arm done," said the gentle Jew. 
" But you buys a 'at, and " 

" And if we do," answered Mary, " I suppose 'ats isn't 
trousers ? " 

" I tell ye vot it is," said the Jew. " I don't vant to 
take money on you — altogether otherways. And so 
haven't you nothin o' your husband's you could sell ? 
Bless you ! they never misses it. Any thing you're a 
tired of seein 'en in ? I'll buy any thing on you — any 
thing from a satin gownd to a cat-skin." 

" Now, we've neither one nor the t'other ; and so, 
what's the lowest price o' this 'at ? " loudly demanded 
Mary. 



' THE MAIDENS MAYBEE. 387 

" It isn't worth talkin on. If you've got even an old 
chaney punch-bowl, vy, I'll take that, and you shall have 
the 'at for nothin." 

It was in vain that the Hebrew essayed further trad- 
ing. The commercial operation was confined to the 
transfer of the hat No. 1. The clothes-man would have 
bought, without reservation, every stich of the home 
clothing of the husbands of the spinsters, who were a 
little ruffled by the volubility with which the Jew of 
second-hand ran over the different articles of dress that 
woman, from her first peccadillo, had made necessary to 
man. They had nothing to sell, and finally they quitted 
the garden, and left Mary Peggs alone on the gravel walk 
to conclude the dealing with the Jew. Armed with the 
fullest powers to treat, she proceeded directly to her 
purpose. A little worm on the garden-bed, a span or 
two from where she stood, might have taught her better 
diplomacy. 

" I've got my work to do," said Mary, " and that's 
enough. A*nd so, at a word, how much for the 'at ? " 

"Ha!" said the Jew, with a piercing under look, "you 
don't know who owned that 'at. That 'at — if it had only 
been a dress 'at — that 'at might have gone to court." 

" Well, but it didn't," answered the commercial Mary ; 
" and when people buy things they don't pay for what the 
things might have been. Sucking-pigs might have been 
elephants." And she returned the look of the Jew. 

" I tell you vot it is, you women is so hard," said the 
Hebrew. 

"And if we are, it's you men as makes us so," said th.e 
maid of all work. 

" You haven't got nothin you could change for the 
'at?" 



388 LIFE OF DOUGLAS JEREOLD. 

" Nothin, no more than new-born babies." 

" The 'at's a superfine beaver. And beavers is goia 
out. The 'at's waterproof: in course, beavers is water- 
proof; but you won't catch any more beavers makin 
'ats." 

" That's their business, and none of mine." Here 
Mary, turning round, caught the hurrying looks of her 
mistresses at the window. Whereupon Mary, with new 
resoluteness, addressed the Jew. " If you don't tell me 
how much — for I've got my dinner to cook, and can't 
waste no more time with you — I'll pitch the 'at over the 
gate into the road." 

" Veil, it's givin the 'at away at five shillins." 

" But, as we don't want you to give it away, we are 
not a goin to give you five shillins." 

" Veil, then, if you've any physic bottles, I'll take em, 
and " 

" We never have any physic in this house, and if we 
had, it wouldn't be in bottles. I'll tell you now at a 
w^ord, and I never budges from it — never. Move the 
Moniment, and then I'll say, per'aps, you may move 
Mary Peggs. At a word, here 's two shillins for the 
hat ; " and, resolutely as Queen Eleanor proferred bowl 
or dagger, as determinedly did Mary offer the two shil- 
lings or the refused beaver. The Jew fairly blenched at 
the strong will of ihat pucelle of all work. 

" I tell ye vot," said the Jew ; " I'd rayther deal with 
ten men than one voman." 

"Well, now, that's just like me. So would I," said 
the maid. 

With this she- laid the two shillings in the monetary 
hand of the Jew (dust to dust), and, opening the garden 
gate, firmly pointed the Hebrew's w^ay into the road. 



THE MAIDENS MAYBEE. 389 

The Jew swung his bag round upon his shoulder — no 
camel could carry its hump more as a parcel of itself — 
and took with him the two hats rejected. The Jew 
paused at the step, turned round, and, with the least ma- 
lice in his eye, and with uplifted, unwashed, prophetic 
forefinger, and showing his wisdom-teeth — the teeth with 
which he was wont to test good money — the Jew said, " I 
tell ye vot; ye'll never know vot you've bought with 
that hat." 

Unconsciously, but vigorously, Mary struck the hat 
once and twice against the gate-post, then flung-to the 
gate, then paused, and looked searchingly into the hat. 
Then her face broke into a smile, and she said, "All the 
old Jew's stuff and malice ; the 'at 's a perfect gentle- 
man." And again, in testimony of this belief, again and 
again, as she walked towards the house, did she pass her 
arm around the hat. Again and again. 

Mary entered the parlour and laid the hat upon the 
table. " Two shillings," said Mary, with the pleased look 
of a bargain-monger. 

" It isn't dear," said Bertha. 

" Dear ! " said Dorcas, " it's absurdly cheap. I only 
hope the Jew came honestly by it." 

" Never thought to ask him, mum," said Mary, " as I 
never interferes with nobody's own business. Still it 
is cheap, for it looks so like a gentleman's 'at. 'Would 
do credit to any house. Shall I hang it on the peg, 
mum ? " 

" Stop," said Dorcas, and she gently interposed be- 
tween the hat and Mary, took up the hat, and smoothed it 
round and round with her small hand. 

"Wonder what sort of a gentleman first owned the 
'at," said Mary. " Handsome, or otherways ? " 



390 LIFE OF DOUGLAS JERROLD. 

" What does it signify to us ? " asked Miss Bertha. 

" What, indeed ? " said Dorcas ; and still she smoothed 
and smoothed the beaver. 

" Still we may as well see how it will look in its place," 
observed Bertha, and she moved towards the passage. 

" To be sure," rephed Dorcas, not stirring a step. 

" Wonder if the hat's a married hat, mum ? " said 
Mary. 

Dorcas placed the hat upon the table. 

" Married or single," cried Bertha, " what can it signify 
to us ? " And she took up the hat and stepped into the 
passage, and ere you could wink the hat was upon a peg. 

" Looks quite at home, don't it ? " said Mary, with a 
laugh. 

" It's very strange, very ridiculous," observed Miss 
Dorcas, " but really, and upon my word, the hat does 
seem to give one a sort of confidence." 

" Quite as good as having a husband in earnest, and 
with nothing of the trouble," observed the maid of all 
work. 

There was no reply vouchsafed to this truly superficial 
remark, and Mary departed upon household business. 
The two sisters addressed themselves to the inevitable 
needlework — which a philosopher of our time has elo- 
quently praised for its tranquillizing influence on the female 
mind — and after awhile the calm, quiet spirit of Crumpet 
House, somewhat startled and fretted by the commercial 
visit of the Hebrew, resumed its sway ; the clock ticked- 
ticked as heretofore ; the same bluebottle fly bounced and 
bumbled at the window-pane ; the cat rounded herself 
upon the hearthrug ; and the twitclied thread of the sewers 
pleased the brooding ear of housewifery. Meanwhile the 
hat hung upon the peg. It might, perchance, have smit- 



THE MAIDENS MAYBEE. 391 

ten the owner of that hat with some remorse, could he 
have known the innocence, the purity, the maiden guile- 
lessness, that reigned in the homestead whereto his all 
unworthy beaver had been gathered. It might, too, have 
suddenly urged one or both those maidens to have leaped 
to their feet, to advance towards the passage — to pause, 
and then to take the fire-tongs from the hearth, and with 
the implement — as Dunstan seized the Evil One — to lay 
hold of the hat, and with a vigorous muscular effort to 
fling it across the garden wall into the common road — w^e 
say such virtuous, energetic impulse might have moved 
the maiden breast, could the spinster bosom have divined 
the character, designs, and habits of the late owner of that 
hat. The hat hung upon the peg a symbol of manly 
protection, of domestic duty, and household strength. 
And the owner of that hat 

But let the benevolent reader think the worst. 

It seemed plain to the convictions of the dwellers of 
Crumpet House that the summer of 18 — was about to 
chronicle itself as very famous for thunder and tempest. 
It was early in the afternoon, and yet the sky was sud- 
denly midnight dark. The wind began to howl; large 
rain-drops to fall ; and then the full concert of a hissing 
tempest and a pattering flood. And then the lion of the 
storm gave utterance in fitful growlings. Now, it was 
constitutional of the two spinsters to be preternaturally 
alarmed at thunder. So acutely sensible were they of 
its influence that, like some ill-boding folks with ill-luck, 
they could smell it in the air a long way off. 

Rumble — rumble — crash — crash ! 

You would have thought that the thunder-maker bad 
let fall at least half a dozen bolts on the roof-top of Crum- 
pet House. The modest tenement trembled in every 



392 LIFE OF DOUGLAS JERROLD. 

joint ; Semele herself did not wince so much at the ap- 
proach of the thunder-bearer. The spinsters screamed ; 
and suddenly, in' the deepest cellar, a kilderkin of the 
mildest ale was smitten to the heart and soured by the 
blow. Another clap, and with it the parlour door was 
thrown open, and, as it opened, the hat shook for a mo- 
ment on the peg, then fell with a dull dump to the ground. 
As though the hat had been a tender thing of flesh 
and blood. Miss Bertha ran to it, picked it up, smoothed 
it round, and hung it on the peg again. With a moment- 
ary pang she felt the littleness of the deceit — the hollow- 
ness of the comfort. The storm was dreadful. The 
wind roared — the thunder rumbled and crashed — the 
lightning blazed. There were three lone women in the 
house, and, after all, the hat was not a man. Very great 
and very deep was the perturbation of those spinsters. 

There was a moment's lull of the storm ; and in the 
lull might be heard in the road, tingle, tingle, tingle — the 
notes of the muffin-bell. Then followed a thin, high, 
ancient voice, the attenuated property of an old man cry- 
ing "Muffins ! " 

The wind, taking breath, howled with redoubled force, 
then sank with a sob. 

" Tingle — tingle — tingle." 

The lightning flashed — the thunder roared. 

" Muffins ! " cried the voice. 

But it was not given to the sisters of that thunder- 
shaken tenement to emulate the calmness of the dealer 
without. With a scream they ran into their chamber, 
and, jumping into bed, covered their heads with the bed- 
clothes. They had not that high, that comforting phi- 
losophy that, with the world crashing around, enables the 
sage meekly yet perseveringly to cry, " Muffins ! " 



ADAM'S APPLES. 393 

ADAM'S APPLES. 

Adam had within himself the knowledge of all human 
things, present and to follow. His fatherly breast was 
but as a looking-glass — a bright, unwi'inkled speculum, in 
which were shown the shadows of the misty future. 
This is a solemn, weighty truth, attested by Hebrew 
rabbis, old and bearded as Methusaleh's he-goats. All 
that is — was, to Adam. To his eye the lumpish clay 
became shaped to brick for the dwelling-places of shop- 
keepers. To his eye the gold that leered at him — 
prophetically mischievous ! — from the quartz — that glis- 
tened upwards through the running waters — took the form 
of stamped shekels and guineas; and Adam saw the 
almond-sod with pot of manna ; and the anointed head 
of the Defender of the unborn Faith, Carolus Secundus, 
with lions and tigers heraldically caged within the metal. 

Adam looked upon the silkworm, and, through it, at 
the works of its posterity ; following it down, down, a long 
way down, tracking it through banquets and birthday 
drawing-rooms, until he beheld the faded fragment flutter- 
ing in Kaof Fair. 

Adam heard the bleating of the sheep ; the patriarchal 
ram, the father of flocks, innumerable as flakes of snow 
in Russian winter ; and Adam saw in the fleece the coat, 
severely cut, of William Penn ; haply, too, the mu'acu- 
lous pair of breeches ever conveyed at his need, by 
cherubim, to William Whitfield. 

Adam lay beneath the oak. An acorn dropped into 
his hand. His world-reading eye dwelt upon the seed. 
He saw forests. Then he heard the hammers of ship- 
wrights ; and he saw the oaks, bowed into ships, take 
water, breasting it like swans, from the dock. And then 
17* 



394 LIFE OF DOUGLAS JERROLD. 

with somewhat of the saddest look, he saw Horatio Nel- 
son smitten on the deck. 

Adam at the brook scoops the water with his gourd. 
And now a lion stalks to the stream, roaring his thirst. 
The brute drinks; then turns away, as yet without a 
threatening look, an angry growl, at his godfather. 
And Adam, with a meek smile, watches his tawny 
majesty; follows him as he goes and disappears in the 
deep wood; but still follows him adown his long, long, 
long descent ; and, smiling, sees the rebuked, the chicken- 
hearted lion, at Bartlemy Fair — the lion that takes with- 
in his coward jaws, and all unscratched renders it back 
again, the showman's head — price twopence. 

Adam sees an ostrich — foolishness in fine feathers. 
Half afraid, espying Adam, the gaunt creature bursts its 
head into a bush ; the while the winds toss, and play with 
its tail-feathers. And again Adam smiles ; for he sees 
the feathers of the ostrich in the half-crowns of German 
princes ; and in the plumes he sees the deep, sagacious, 
ostrich policy of regal state-craft, that, ever with its 
head in a bush, believes its tail is unrevealed. 

[It will be seen by the reader that here was a theme 
peculiarly the author's own. Some rare fruit would 
have been here had it been vouchsafed to the author 
to fill his contemplated basketful of Adam's Apples. 
Through the rolling centuries would quaint and curious 
bits of picturesque and illustrative knowledge have been 
caught, to be weaved into the author's page. Odd fan- 
cies, poetic and philosophic touches, drawn from rare 
books, and treated with a power all his own, would have 
made these apples worth the gathering — had the author, 
I repeat, been spared time to garner the fruit that hung 
in rich clusters upon his tree.] 



A WIFE WHO HAD "MADE" HEE HUSBAND. 395 



A WIFE WHO HAD " MADE " HER HUSBAND. 

CHAPTER I. 

Long and long had Mr. Abraham Storks resisted the 
earnest and affecting prayers of Mrs. Storks, the wife of his 
soul and bosom, to sit for his portrait ; that he might leave 
himself vital in oils, ere, at the latest season, he passed into 
dust. And Mr. Storks, with ever a dulcet severity — for 
Storks had a touching way of mingling sweetness with 
reproof, and, had he been a schoolmaster, would, we think, 
have chastised with a heavy rod of lavender — Mr. Storks 
ever rebuked his wife when she touched upon his prob- 
able picture, then lying in the chaos of unground pig- 
ments — the painted Adam, yet Adam in colourman's 
earth. 

" Vanity, darling — conceit, sweetest — presumption, love 
— extreme folly, foolish woman ! What's a picture ? The 
painted show of two or three hundred years ! The rain- 
bow — yes, so to speak, the rainbow of a few centuries ! 
And what are centuries, Mrs. Storks, when we think of 
time ? I have always thought of a portrait as the ghost 
of the living ; or, if it isn't the ghost at once, why, 'tis 
sure to be. The fireside spectre of one's departed prime, 
Mrs. Storks. How can any reasoning creature — not to 
be too hard upon you, Mrs. Storks — any reasoning crea- 
ture who has seen the sun set behind Mont Blanc, as you 
did last autumn, when you can't forget, Joanna, my 
moral reflections upon that circumstance — how can you 



396 LIFE OF DOUGLAS JERKOLD. 

think of the vanity of a painted portrait ? — but as I said, 
you foolish dove, I won't be hard upon .you." 

" Well, then, Abraham," said the undaunted wife, 
" why not have a marble bust ? " 

" Now, my own giddy Joanna, only think of the ex- 
pense ! To be sure, a bust is something strong and real. 
But a portrait ! The third generation banishes it to a 
garret, and a rat makes his meal off nose, and mouth, and 
double chin ! Now a bust ! That's something to fling in 
the teeth of time, telHng time, with fair play, to do his 
worst." 

" Precisely. And so, Abram, you'll let me have this 
little bit of marble ? " 

"My foolish Joanna, my silly pet — a marble bust! 
You aggravating lamb, only think of the expense ! " 

" But then, Abram," and Mrs. Storks glided her hand 
beneath her husband's chin, " but then, love, it's only the 
first expense." 

Well, the enlightened reader, single or married, knows 
how all this ended. — Mrs. Storks had her own way, hav- 
ing the bust. And Mrs. Storks had the best right to so 
precious a piece of marble. " I should think so, indeed, 
if so inclined," says a lady. " Was she not the man's 
own wife." 

Madam, she was more than his wife. 

" More than his wife ! " 

More than his wife ; and begging you, madam, for one 
moment to look from your wedding-finger, that, for the 
past minute, you have, with quivering eyelids, addressed 
and contemplated, we will tell you a secret — a secret 
holding, as a jewel-case holds a precious jewel, the pecu- 
liar claim of Mrs. Storks to the marble likeness of one 
who was more than her husband. 



A WIFE WHO HAD "MADE" HER HUSBAND. 397 

Mrs. Storks had made Mr. Storks. 

We have the worthy woman's word for it, repeated — 
but only to her bosom female friends — a thousand times. 
" My dear, I made Storks ! " And ever, when the dear 
soul spoke thus of her handiwork, she would merely 
draw herself up a little, arch her neck like a swan nib- 
bling daintily at the smallest of water-lilies, and then 
subside into her usual repose, as though having " made 
Storks," she thought no more of the deed than if Storks 
had been a mud pie. 

" When I married Storks he was nothing, and now— 
but what he is, I made him." 

" When Storks first knew me he hadn't so much as— 
and now — but he owes it all to me ; I made him." 

" Bless you, my dear, you wouldn't have known him 
then ! And now look at him ! But then — haven't I made 
him ? " 

A wife has, by virtue of her proper moiety — and her 
better moiety too — the dearest claim to the man she has 
wedded; but when, without being sought, or wooed, or 
won by an independent member of the human family, 
she absolutely makes the man she marries — finds herself, 
so to speak, in her own husband — when a woman does 
this, repaying, on the part of her sex, any previous obli- 
gation woman may have had to the sleeping Adam — she 
certainly, beyond all other wives, asserts a deep, mysteri- 
ous kind of proprietorship in the thing she has created ; 
that is, as Mrs. Storks would say, " made." So fre- 
quently would Mrs. Stork speak of Storks as of her own 
manufacture, that no china mug on the man's shelves 
could have been more the original handiwork of a potter, 
than was Storks himself the work of his wife. 

Let us, however, be just to Mrs. Storks. However 



398 LIFE OF DOUGLAS JEEEOLD. 

she might vaunt her creative powers to her female friends, 
she never twitted her husband with a vain-glorious syl- 
lable. No ; Storks was kindly permitted to enjoy the 
delusion that he had come into the world, and grown in 
it, even as other men. Until his dying day he never 
knew what he really owed to Mrs. Storks ; never for an 
instant dreamt that, even as with one blow, he had been 
made by her. Self-denying Mrs. Storks ! 

[The intended story is a curious one. Grumpier is 
the villain of the scene. His ward marries the sculptor 
of Storks's bust ; and Grumpier, taking advantage of the 
couple's simplicity, cheats, robs, the artist's wife. Grum- 
pier is in the house of Mrs. Storks. One night is left 
alone with the bust. Throws a handkerchief over the 
marble : the bust sneezes. Grumpier is terribly startled. 
The bust speaks. The presence of the cheated artist's 
wonderful handiwork chills Grumpier. Then the bust 
tells him that he shall see nobody in the house — no com- 
pany save in his (the bust's) presence. " Thwart this 
command," says the bust, " and the house shall instantly 
be filled with croaking frogs." The author has let'l no 
notes that would indicate the manner in which this story 
was to have been worked out. But I find this note under 
those from which I have gleaned the above pale outhne : 
" Grumpier soothed and reformed by bust."] 



DAY-DREAM ISLAND. 399 

DAY-DREAM ISLAND. 

A FRAGMENT. 

A thousand, yea, a thousand isles 

Bedeck the sparkling seas, 
Endear'd by heaven's sweetest smiles, 

And heaven's balmiest breeze. 

Fair places, fresh as with the bloom 

Of Eden's fragrant bow'rs, 
Ere sorrow's tears or passion's gloom 

Defiled the laughing hours. 

Ah, yes ! not yet hath vanished hence 

That grace of blessed price, 
That gives to human innocence 

A human paradise. 

And not amidst these lovely fanes — 

Still sanctified below 
From sordid hopes and selfish pains, 

Man's vanity and woe — 

Can aught more beautiful be known 

Than that delicious spot 
Where dwelt — a king on Nature's throne — 

A fay of happy lot. 

A very king that fairy wight. 

Amidst a courtly throng 
Of creatures lovely to the sight, 

And singing Truth's own song. 



400 LIFE OF DOUGLAS JERKOLD. 

Ten thousand trees his courtiers were, 
"With fruits aye lowly bent, 

And birds that through the spicy air 
Their unbought music sent. 

And myriad flow'rs of brightest dyes, 
Endow'd with every sweet, 

Did turn on him their laughing eyes, 
And kiss his straying feet. 

The kid, the squirrel, and the roe, 
The parrot, jay, and dove, 

Did leap, and scream, and murmur low 
Their unaffected love. 

'Twas thus that pigmy elf was king, 
And thus, by noblest right, 

He fealty had of every thing 
By Love's supremest might. 

It was, in sooth, a radiant home 
Where dwelt that pigmy free ; 

All land of fairy you might roam. 
Yet no such region see. 

The ocean, clad in glassy sheen, 

Upon its breast did hold 
An island of eternal green, 

Beneath a sky of gold. 

The cocoa and the foodful palm, 
The plane of giant span. 

The herb of medicinal balm. 
And bountiful banyan ; 



DAY-DREAM ISLAND. 401 

The fig, the tamarind, the vine, 

The sago, and the cane, 
Pomegranates, and the luscious pine, 

And fields of yellow grain ; 

The myrtle, deck'd in bloom of snow, 
Where humming wild-bee feeds ; 

The tulip tree's resplendent show. 
And hyacinthine meads ; 

Each lovely and each gracious thing 

Rewarding human toil 
Spontaneous in that isle did spring, 

As erst in Eden's soil. 

The very sand upon the shore 

Was delicate and bright, 
As that which tells the minutes o'er 

To wisdom's watchful sight. 

And there in constant murmurs fell 

The placid, shining main — 
A haunting sound, a mighty spell, 

To lull the aching brain ; 

To lay the fev'rish thought to rest, 

To hush the rising groan, 
And harmonize man's jarring breast 

With Nature's solemn tone. 

And still the bounteous ocean threw 

Its treasures to the day ; 
A thousand shells of burnish'd hue 

Made glorious the way. 



402 LIFE OF DOUGLAS JERROLD. 

And when the hght of starry skies 

Was trembling on the sea, 
The mermaid from her cave would rise, 

And warble melody. 

And oft across the main would float 
A strange and solemn swell — 

The wild, fantastic, fitful note 
Of Triton's breathing shell. 

And sounding still that music sweet. 

The sea in silver spray 
Would break beneath the sea-nymph's feet, 

And glitter in the ray. 

In ev'ry star, in ev'ry air, 

In ev'ry sound and' sight, 
A look and voice of love was there, 

And peacefulest delight. 

And pond'ring on that lovely scene 

Of land, and sea, and sky. 
The dearest, fondest thought had been 

To ebb away and die : 

That, dying, we might seek the spring 
Whence flow'd the tide of good. 

And bathe the spirit's earth-clogg'd wing 
In that immortal flood. 

O Nature, beautiful and wise ! 

Thus be it ever given — 
That we may read within thine eyes 

The promises of heaven : 



DAY-DREAM ISLAND. 403 

That with a love as deep, as true, 

As sinless and intense. 
As ever youthful bridegroom knew 

For plighted innocence — ■ 

We still may woo thy truthful gaze, 

May listen to thy voice ! 
Assured the bliss of after-days 

In thee, our early choice. 

So, loving thee, this life's a feast 

By Peace and Plenty spread, 
And Death himself a holy priest — 

The grave, a bridal bed. 



404 LIFE OF DOUGLAS JERROLD. 

CHRISTMAS EVE. 

A FRAGMENT. 

Dec. 26, 1850. 

It is Christmas eve. Already the ringers have passed 
into St. Michael's church — already the clock throbs to- 
wards twelve. And now the ringers hang at the ropes, 
intent to pull down a shower of music upon the city. 
The clock strikes ; and the bells pour forth. 

And as the clock strikes, each solemn note says, Rest — 
rest ! The first peals Rest ; and still, with clearing utter- 
ance, every sound, from the first to the twelfth, cries, 
Rest I 

And Rest — rest ! is the blessed burden of the rejoicing 
bells. 

Deep in the shadow of the church porch, prostrate on 
the stones, is a hunian form. A cloud swims from the 
moon, that rains down silver light upon the face of the 
sleeper. How many, many years lie dead in his white 
hair! How many, many generations are buried in the 
wrinkles of his cheek ! 

And now his lips curve into smiles ; for the music of 
the chimes enters his forlorn heart, comforting it ! 

His face grows smoother, fuller ; and now a bright hue 
dawns in his blasted hair like colour in the hyacinth. 

Still the music of the chimes falls upon the sleeper hke 
miraculous dews ; and still every touch and stain of grim 
old age is cleansed with their hoHness. 

The sound Rest — the sound, in thrilling silver sweet- 
ness, as though it fell from mercy's lips — the Mercy 
throned in heaven — enters the heart and brain of the 
sleeper, and, sleeping, he is newly made in the freshness 
of a second life. 



APPENDICES. 405 



APPENDICES. 
I. 

(Page 12.) 

THE EARL OF DUNDONALD— SCOTCH PEERS— 
THE ENGLISH NAVY. 

BY DOUGLAS JERROLD. 

The Earl of Dundonald paid the electoral peers of Scotland a 
handsome compliment. His address implied a belief that knowl- 
edge — professional knowledge on his part — might probably win 
tlieir votes, and return him to the House of Lords as one of the 
representatives of the Scotch peerage. For the sake of the noble 
electors themselves, we wish they had been found more worthy 
of the good opinion of his lordship. 

Were ducal dignity represented in the peers by elected cor- 
onets only, we can easily imagine candidates for tlie honour, 
whose claims would not be voiced with the like unworldly sim- 
plicity animating the address of the nautical earl. He, however, 
tells his story with the ingenuous confidence of a sailor. He 
knows that, the time of need arriving, he can be of vital service 
to his country ; and he believes that merit, experience, and pa- 
triotic enthusiasm may find favour with the constituency nobles ! 
With a simple faith in human goodness — a faith surviving the 
persecutions of a slanderous, felonious Toryism — for Lord Coch- 
rane Avas alike blackened and robbed by the Tory Admiralty of 
the good old times — his lordship believed that to simply show a 
worthy title to the honour of representation was to stand fairly 
for oljlaining it. 

Now, as we have premised, were certain dukes elective only to 



406 APPENDICES. 

the House, they must surely trust for their seats to other sympa- 
thies. Did Blenheim return a duke, even Marlborough would 
not attempt an election, standing only upon his knowledge. His 
Grace of Newcastle — shamefully neglected, by the way, by his 
valet, who ought to hide pen, ink, and paper whenever he sees 
his master inflamed with " A Letter to the Times " — would not 
plead his election for Clumber, or his means of preserving even the 
Thames from conflagration, but would base his claim upon his 
inextinguishable sorrow — sorrow burning still in, tears, like the 
Greek fire in a puddle — for the murdered Sarura, the martyred 
Gatton. And, moreover, there are dukes — Scotch dukes, in 
every way worthy of their own thistles — whose best appeal to 
their noble compatriots would be this : " They made wilder- 
nesses of God's pleasant places ; they sacrificed men to deer ; they 
tabooed whole glens from the desecrating footsteps of their fellow- 
creatures ; and whilst lamenting that the coronet did not award 
them the power to bar men from heaven under certain regu- 
lations, could 3^et assure their constituents that they should only 
be too happy, did they possess the fortunate privilege, to levy a 
toll on all vulgar comers even at the gates of paradise." Now 
we cannot think this forced. When we see a duke — poor, 
ill-starred man ! — glowering and swelling at a Scotch professor 
caught in a glen of some thirty miles' extent, where we behold 
the noble proprietor eyeing the vermin biped as though he were 
a two-legged rat, trapped, and therefore to be worried — Ave can 
but imperfectly imagine the tremendous tricks that the said duke 
would commit with sun, moon, and stars, could his towering 
nobility only make property of their influences. How he would 
turn on the light, and tm-n it off— a most tyrannous director of 
the Sun OtBce ! How, if the moon were really the green cheese 
oft times fabled, his Grace, who shuts up his glen, would shut up 
the luminary in a cupboard of dark clouds from the eyes of mere 
men, benignly permitting it to gild his own trout streams, and 
shimmer on the heads of antlered deer ! However, to get away 
from such uncomfortable, contemptible company, and to return 
to the Earl of Dundoxald. 

His lordship at once lays himself alongside " fixed property." 
" Twenty years of ill-conducted, wasteful war originated liabiK 
ities, which thirty years of peace have failed materially to dimin- 
ish. Such a contest, even of one fourth the dm-ation, would 



APPENDICES. 407 

add some hundreds of millions to the encumbrances on fixed prop- 
erty, the consequences of which, I apprehend, your lordships 
cannot contemplate without painful anticipation." 

The voice that makes the guineas in a man's pocket tremble is 
a voice to be seriously listened to ; and we had great faith that 
the Scotch constituency — especially glen-closing dukes — would 
on this occasion have lent the noble earl even all their ears. His 
lordship continues : — 

" Wars in which this country has been engaged have been 
pr(3tracted to an injurious length. From a recurrence of this evil 
I am now as desirous to preserve my country as when, with that 
view, I brought forward proofs of the most injurious abuses, 
which party spirit at that period unfortunately defended." 

And party spirit, moreover, had its sweet revenge. Lord 
Cochrane cried, " Stop thief! " but the rogues were too strong 
for him. The naval history of England proves that the inherent 
force of the country has been shown, not in its conquests of the 
enemy's fleet, but in its survival after the iniquities of maritime 
legislation. The British Lion has had no such enemy as the 
British Admiralty. The noble earl could in little time, we are 
certain, work out the following sum : — 

" Given, ten French three-deckers and two Admiralty lay -lords 
of the good old time-estate their relative mischief in the last war 
to the British navy." We have a reasonable hope that much of 
this evil is abated ; but the Admiralty was a time-honoured sink 
of tyranny and corruption. We have a lively belief that Satan, 
in his former London walks, never failed to stop before the doors 
of the Admiralty, to make thereto one of his profoundest and 
most thanksgiving bows. 

The rapacity of Admiralty law bears the same proportion to 
the stomach of common law as that of a shark to a pike. It is 
quite wonderful to perceive the appetite of lawyers when fairly 
stimulated by sea breezes and salt water, with no chance, as in 
common cases, of disgorging. They pick a prize to the very 
bones, and again and again bring in a bill for labour of mastica- 
tion. In truth, the appetite of a lawyer afloat is enough to make 
a cormorant blush through his black. But hear his lordship : — 
■ " Assuredly, my lords, had members of your right honourable 
House, or honourable members of the other House of Parliament, 
then or since reflected on the consequences of permitting the 



408 APPENDICES. 

proceeds of captures (so wisely decreed by their predecessors as 
a provision to stimulate and reward the energy of the navy) to 
be wholly absorbed, during the last three fourths of the late war, 
by the rapacity of the Courts of Admiralty, they would have 
perceived, not only the directly injurious effect, but the sup- 
pressed discontent and disgust manifested by those who feared to 
complain of being duped and plundered. The consequence of 
this was, my lords, that, when the sea had been swept of large 
vessels, whose proceeds paid amply for their condemnation, the 
commerce of tlie coast, carried on in numerous small vessels, 
each comparatively of little value — was left unmolested, being 
far better protected by the exorbitant and all-absorbing charges of the 
Courts of Admiralty than by the forts, batteries, and ports on the shore 
of the enemy." 

Here is a thrilling shot at the land-owners: — 

" My lords, I trace the expenditure of more thaii the portion 
of the pubhc debt which renders it* important to land-owners to 
desire a tax on corn, to the then asserted and blindly supported 
' vested rights ' of the Court of Admiralty. If such rights re- 
main, my lords, the captors of vessels carrying continental coal 
must be indemnified somewhat after the manner that captors of 
slave ships are rewarded. Any of your lordships may investigate 
these facts, and take up the subject with great advantage to the 
pubUc and yourselves." 

His lordship is, above most men, entitled to respectful atten- 
tion when speaking of his scientific labours. He has proved 
himself no dreamer. It was no visionary that fired the French 
fleet. His plans — anew reported in January last — 'can set at 
nought not only ordinary modes of defence, but the novel means 
of destruction, preparing in foreign countries for use, both on 
shore and afloat, namely, the projecting horizontally shells, car- 
casses, and incendiary missiles to blow up or burn our ships of 
war — to which means a recent device has been added, as yet es- 
sayed only on the brute creation placed in vessels, flred at experi- 
mentally, to prove its destructive power. 

"As an officer, I gratuitously gave my secret war plans to my 
sovereign and country. My plans of defence, as a substitute for 
forts and ports of refuge in war, I am desirous, in my character 
as an amateur engineer, to render useful if I can obtain attention 
and dispassionate consideration." 



APPENDICES. 409 

And it behooved the body addressed by the uoble earl to assure 
to him sucli small grace — and to the country such great advan- 
tage — as that of his lordship's return to parliament. 

His lordship has the greatest claim upon the respect of all men. 
He is ennobled by his genius ; and more, he is ennobled by the 
heroic endurance of thirty years of wrong. 



II. 

(Page 152.) 
SOME ACCOUNT OF THE LAST PARACHUTE. 

October, 1837. 

Considerable excitement vi^as on the — th ult. manifested 
throughout the populous district of Walworth. It had been 
industriously, though confi(ientially, whispered that Mr. Minnow, 
a fishmonger and vestryman, distinguished no less for his public 
spirit than his private virtues, was about to share in the perilous 
ascent of Mrs. Graham. A new parachute, invented by Mr- 
Minnow, whose scientific attainments had long been the theme 
of admiration among a select circle of friends, was to be tried on 
the occasion. And, with that liberality which had ever charac- 
terized the conduct of the above-named gentleman, a bushel of 
live oystei's, supplied from his own warehouse, was to accompany 
the aerial voyagers at least five miles above the earth, and then 
to descend in a parachute, in order that the timid and skeptical 
might be assured and convinced of the perfect safety of the con- 
veyance. In his zeal for science Mr. Minnow now resolved that 
his own infant — the youngest of an interesting family of ten — 
should be the favoured tenant of the parachute ; but, as it had 
been only three days short-coated, Mrs. Minnow, in her natural 
anxiety for the health of her oflfepring, suggested that the dear 
baby might possibly take cold ; and when it was considered that 
oysters would do quite as well, the maternal hesitation on the 
part of Mrs. Minnow must find some allowance in the bosoms of 
the most curious and the most scientific. 

We should waste time, ink, and paper were we to attempt to 
demonstrate the vast utility of the parachute. Its extraordinary 
influence on the comforts of society is, happily, not now to be 
18 



410 APPENDICES. 

disputed. To be able to shoot from a balloon to the earth, when 
the balloon itself would afford that transit, is to enjoy the most 
gratifying sense of indeijendence. Who would descend the stairs 
of a house when a safe and rapid flight into the street might be 
taken from the garret window 1 However, to the eventful pro- 
ceedings of the day. 

At an early hour the ground was thronged. The balloon was 
inflated, and, by its tugging motion, seemed, like a young eagle, 
to desire to wing its proud and lofty way into that bright and 
circumambient air wherein it was soon to soar in gentle grace 
and glittering beauty. At three o'clock Mrs. Graham appeared 
upon the ground, and was received with marked enthusiasm. 
She looked at the balloon, bowed, and smiled confidently. She 
was dressed in a brown gown, white straw bonnet, and blue rib- 
bons. We had almost forgotten to state that she also wore a 
chinchilla tippet. By those who stood near her she was under- 
stood to inquire for her fellow-passenger, Mr. Minnow. 

At this moment, as we are credibly informed by an ear-witness 
of unimpeachable character, Mr. Minnow came upon the ground. 
He was at first received with silence ; but, on several persons 
exclaiming, " That's -he — that's Minnow ! " an indescribable 
shout seemed to rend apart the very heavens. Mr. Minnow put 
his hand upon his heart, and bowed. He was a remarkably 
respectable-looking man, having on a handsome blue coat with 
bright buttons, drab breeches and gaiters, a white hat turned up 
with green, a gold watch (he took it out to inquii-e the hour), and 
large appendages. He carried in his hand what — and we think, 
too, we state the general impression — we took to be a gig um- 
brella. Reader, it was the new parachute ! Who that looked 
upon the machine could have suspected it? Who, when the 
mystery was unfolded, can describe the delight of the intoxicated 

multitude 1 At length all was prepared, and 

And here, readers and fellow-countrymen, we are compelled to 
pause to call upon you to applaud the vigilant benevolence of 
the district magistracy, who had caused Inspector Lynx, of the 
" I" division, to prohibit the ascent of the oysters — we are bound 
to say there was a full bushel — unless it could be satisfactorily 
puoved to him, upon scientific principles, that no accident could 
accrue to them from the experiment. 

We were delighted at this interference for two reasons. 



APPENDICES. 411 

The first is, it proved the humanity and activity of the magis- 
trates ; and the second afforded us the pleasure of liearing Mr. 
Minnow shortly, but lucidly, lecture on the principles of his new 
parachute, and convince Inspector Lynx that it was impossible 
the descent from any height could be so violent as to break in 
pieces both shells of the oyster ; that, if the bottom shell were 
broken, the top would be uninjured, and vice versa. On this, in 
the most handsome manner — on this Inspector Ljmx suffered the 
bushel of adventurous aeronauts to be placed in the parachute, 
and we deal in no hyperbolical figure when we state that expec- 
tation was upon tiptoe. 

Mr. Minnow handed Mrs. Graham into the basket-car, and, 
with no visible emotion, followed. A third passenger, a studious- 
looking man — as it was whispered, the editor of a journal of con- 
siderable weight— took his seat upon the "cross-bench." The 
word was given — the ropes were cut — the balloon rose very, very 
slowly. Mrs. Graliam flung out several bags of sand, and Mr. 
Minnow lightened his pockets of several packs of cards, eagerly 
sought for by the crowd as mementos of the soul-stirring occur- 
rence. We were happy in securing one of these precious tokens, 
the subjoinedyac-smiYe of which we are proud to lay before our 
readers : — 



PETER MINNOW, 

NEW CUT, LAMBETH, 

The only Warehouse for the real Parachute Oysters. 
Sent in Barrels to all parts of the United Kingdom. 

N.B.— PERIWINKLES IN EVERY VARIETY. 



Although many bags of sand and several packs of the above 
cards were flung from the car, the balloon rose lazily, and some 
of the lower order of spectators had their mouths ready formed 
to hiss, when Mrs. Graham darted a glance of suspicion at the 
editor. With some confusion in his manner he put his hand to 
his coat pocket, and hm-riedly flung an unsuspected copy of his 



412 APPENDICES. 

own journal from him ; and, extraordinary as it may appear, the 
balloon, with the parachute attached to it, shot like a rocket into 
the air. Minnow just before exclaiming to his wife, " Mmd, Betsy, 
the left box ! " 

The crowd huzzaed, Mrs. Graham, Minnow, and the second 
gentleman each waving a flag of a diflerent hue. 

We are happy to say that here our task concludes, for we hare 
now to report the words of that daring aeronaut, Peter Minnow, 
himself: — 

" We rose with a gentle and steady breeze. For at least five 
minutes — so clearly could Ave discern objects — I could distinguish 
the moustache of Potlid, the master tinman of Lambeth Marsh ; 
nor was it until two minutes more had elapsed that we had 
wholly lost sight of his tip. 

" We crossed the Thames between Waterloo and Blackfriars. 
By the reflection of the sun upon a black cloud, and by the aid 
of an excellent glass, we plainly discerned the copper edge of a 
bad sixpence presented to, and taken by, the unsuspecting toll- 
man. 

" The coal barges looked no larger than old shoes, and the fan- 
tail hats of the coal-heavers like patches on tlie cheeks of a lady. 
The pearl buttons on the velveteen jacket of a ticket-porter, as 
Mrs. Graham assured me, presented quite an era in the history 
of aerostation. 

" We looked from time to time with intense interest on the 
passengers in the parachute, all of whom appeared perfectly 
tranquil. We felt assured, from their unaltered demeanour, that 
no timidity on their part would prevent a fair trial of the powers 
of the new machine. 

" The weather was beautiful. As we steered eastward St. 
Paul's became a conspicuous and animating object. We hovered 
above it Mke an eagle flapping his fan-like Avings. in the molten 
sun.* Here Ave descended so low, and there was about us such 
a deathhke calm, that Ave heard, or thought Ave heard, the half- 
pence chink at the door of the cathedral. Mrs. Graham playfully 
remarked to me that the statue of Queen Anne, observed from 
our point of vieAv, looked very Uke a Bavarian broom-girl. 

* We trust we do no wrong to Mr. Minnow, but we shrewdly suspect 
that his companion, the editor, has helped him to a figure or two. 



APPENDICES. 413 

" As we were wafted gently onwards Bow church arose in all 
its simple dignity. By a strange coincidence Bow bells were 
ringing. We were borne tranquilly onwards until we found our- 
selves above the Stock Exchange. Here many persons looked 
very small indeed, and here we experienced a dead calm. In 
order that we might rise into another current we cast more sand 
out, and feared, from the confusion we saw below, that we had 
unconsciously flung a great deal of dust into the eyes of several 
contractors. 

" We rose and found another current, and, to our inexpressi- 
ble satisfaction, were carried due west. Even at such an altitude 
we were able to make out objects. I saw what I am sure was 
the line of stakes belonging to the Golden Cross, but Mrs. Gra- 
ham insisted that it was the National Gallery. 

" I observed to the gentleman that accompanied us that the 
rarefied air produced in me symptoms of sudden hunger. At 
this he significantly asked if it were necessary that the whole 
bushel of oysters should descend unopened. To this I replied, 
with firmness, that I could not break faith with the public — the 
parachute must go the whole bushel. 

" We were now driven on with great speed, and were about 
the desired five miles above the surface of the globe, when Mrs. 
Graham remarked that we had sailed a great distance, and that 
consequently we should have an equal distance to return. 

" I had promised the spirited proprietor of the Victoria Thea- 
tre to present myself upon his stage at half-past eleven at night. 
(I may be here permitted to express my regret that, as an old 
neighbour of that gentleman, I was compelled to refuse the terms 
of the proprietor of the Surrey Theatre. I could not. with jus- 
tice to my family, take two pounds, and include the bushel of oys- 
ters. My tub is still at his service for the dress-boxes.) Half- 
past eleven at the latest ; the hour was stated in the bills, and I 
expected a great crowd in my rooms when the play was over. 
On this I preferred to let the parachute descend. 

" It was an anxious moment. I cut the cord, the aeronauts — 
the whole bushel — shot quicker than lightning down the blue 
abyss. We rose, but, owing to the skilful direction of Mrs. Gra- 
ham, sufiered no inconvenience. The balloon was almost imme- 
diately at our command, and we prepared to descend, that we 
might join as soon as possible our brother aeronauts. 



414 APPENDICES. 

" We alighted in a paddock, the property of Mr. Fuss, late of 
Houndsditch, at the picturesque village of Pinner. To himself, 
his amiable lady, their lovely family, and various domestics, we 
owe the greatest thanks for assistance in our descent. 

" Mr. Cuts, schoolmaster of Pinner, in the most handsome way 
dispatched his fifty boys in various directions in search of the 
parachute, liberally ofiering sixpence from his own pocket to the 
fortunate finder. 

"We were then ushered by Mr. and Mrs. Fuss into their front 
parlour, where we partook of a cold collation — shoulder of mut- 
ton, pickled walnuts, ale, &c. 

" We made a hearty meal, but were naturally anxious for the 
fate of the parachute. At length our fears were dissipated by 
the appearance of a male and female gypsy, followed by some of 
the boys of Mr. Cuts, who brought to us the uninjured parachute 
and all the — shells ! 

" The gypsies were rigidly cross-examined, but were firm in 
their statement that the oysters came to the earth ready opened. 
When the peculiar lawlessness of this class of people is taken 
into consideration, their statement will weigh nothing with the 
scientific ; for it is plain that the same force that opened an oys- 
ter must have had some effect upon the frail fabric of the para- 
chute, which will, for the next six weeks, be exhibited in my 
rooms for the satisfaction of the curious, whether they take their 
oysters raw or scalloped. 

" He indeed must be the most skeptical or the most envious of 
men, or both, who can ever venture to question the safety and 
utility of my parachute. 

" After enjoying the hospitality of Mr. and Mrs. Fuss, the bal- 
loon and parachute were packed up, and we arrived at the stage 
door of the Victoria Theatre at five-and-twenty minutes past 
eleven, where we were cordially welcomed by the lessee ! " 

Thus far goes the simple statement of Mr. Minnow. It is now 
our duty to declare that, no sooner was his arrival made known, 
than a loud shout was set up for him, when he instantly ap- 
peared upon the stage, led on by the manager. A supernu- 
merary in the background carried the parachute. 

Mrs. Graham was next called for, when that lady appeared, 
and courtesied an acknowledgment of the honour. 

A vehement cry was next raised for the proprietor. He came 



APPENDICES. 415 

on after some hesitation, and was welcomed with a loud burst of 
applause. He was so affected by the novelty of his situation 
that he was led off, leaning on the arms of his friend, the stage- 
manager. 

Mrs. Minnow and numerous family were next recognized in 
the left-hand stage-box. They were loudly applauded, and sev- 
erally returned their mute yet eloquent thanks. 

The friends of science will, we feel assured, be delighted to 
learn that it is next season the intention of Mr. Minnow to ascend 
every evening with his parachute, beginning on Easter Monday, 
until further notice. 



Ill 

(Page lir.) 

THE ENGLISH STAGE— 1832. 

Were we asked what profession promised, with the greatest 
show of success, to form a practical philosopher, we should, on 
the instant, make reply, " The calling of an English dramatist." 
There is, in his case, such a fine adaptation of the means to the 
end that we cannot conceive how, especially if he be very suc- 
cessful, the dramatist can avoid becoming a first-form scholar in 
the academy of the stoics. The daily lessons set for him to con 
are decked with that "consummate flower" of wisdom, patience; 
they preach to him meekness under indigence ; continual labour 
with scanty and uncertain reward ; quiescence under open spoli- 
ation ; satisfaction to see others garner the harvest he has sown ; 
with at least the glorious certainty of that noble indigence lauded 
by philosophers and practised by the saints — poverty, stark-naked 
poverty, with gray hairs ; an old age exulting in its forlornness ! 
If, after these goodly lessons, whipped into him with daily birch, 
he become no philosopher, then is all stoicism the fraud of 
knaves, and even patience but a word of two syllables. But we 
are convinced of the efficacy of the system. English dramatists 
are stoics, and not in a speculative sense, but in the hard, practi- 
cal meaning of the term. Time has hallowed tlieir claim to the 
proud distinction ; it is consecrated to them by the base coats of 



416 APPENDICES. 

their prime, and the tatters of their old age ; not only endured 
without complaint, but enjoyed as "their charter." 

English dramatists are philosophers. They have been sub- 
jected to the wliims and caprice of those whose professional 
lives depended on the men they have slighted — and have they 
complained "? No ! They have had their dearest property 
plucked from them — they have had their golden thoughts 
minted, only to be dropped into the purses of other people. Have 
they murmured at the violence 1 No ! They have died " hke 
rats, in holes and corners." They have left their children to the 
tender guardianship of overseers and churchwardens — and has 
indignation stirred the thin blood of the fraternity ? No ! Ergo, 
EngUsh dramatists are philosophers. 

Our attention has been newly turned to this pacific sect by a 
pamphlet * recently published. We have sufficiently descanted 
on the monopoly of the drama. As public journalists, with a 
true love for the letters of our country ; as politicians, calUng for 
the equal security of property to all men ; it behooves us, espe- 
cially at the present juncture, to speak of the rights — we should 
say the wrongs — of dramatic literature. 

The pamphlet before us (from which we borrow several facts) 
is valuable, as presenting a careful digest of the French laws ap- 
plicable to dramatic literary property. On the 13th of January, 
1791, a law was passed in France, which enacted that the works 
of living authors could not be represented on any stage in the 
kingdom without the written consent of the author. A trans- 
gression of this law to be punished by confiscation of the entire 
receipts of the house for the benefit of the writer. In the same 
year it was also decreed that the dramatist's share of the profits 
should not be liable to seizure for the debts contracted by mana- 
gers.! The author's right and property continues in his works 

* " On Theatrical Emancipation and the Eights of Dramatic Au- 
thors. By Thomas James Thackeray, Esq. C. Chappie." 

t " Who would believe," says a French writer, " that in matters of 
literary property, England, whose laws are daily offered to us as mod- 
els, is at this day as barbarous as we were in France sixty years ago? 
It is there held as a matter of course that the piece of an author, when 
printed, can be played by all the managers of theatres in the three 
kingdoms without any remuneration ; and, in one of the niimbers of 
the London Magazine, the author of several dramatic works laments 



APPENDICES. 417 

during his life, and in posthumous works during the lives of those 
who have become donors of them : after them it reverts to the 
heirs. The children of autliors have an exclusive right of print- 
ing the works of their deceased parents for twenty years ; but the 
other heirs for only ten years. These rights belong to the sur- 
viving husband or wife during life, provided the marriage settle- 
ment permits it. The unpubhshed works of authors and com- 
posers are not Uable to be seized by creditors ; this law has been 
illustrated by several verdicts. So anxious has the French legis- 
lature shown itself for the prosperity of the drama, that any 
manager accepting a piece, and failing to produce it within a 
given time, is liable, as has been proved by several suits insti- 
tuted by authors, to pay the writer the sum previously agreed 
upon. Dramas are represented in their turn of acceptation. If, 
however, a piece possess local interest, or there be any other in- 
ducement to anticipate the legitimate period of its production by a 
tour- defaveur ; as, however, the number of these tours is limited, 
an author has his remedy i ' his piece be postponed, after the 
usual tours have made way fc r its representation. These points 
sufficiently prove the solicituJe of the French government for 
the prosperity of a species of writing which combines in itself 
the highest attributes of literature. In England, on the contrary, 
the drama is a neglected weed — a thing of the highways, to be 
trodden under foot, or plucked up by the roots. 

The French law carefully provides against the chicanery of 
managers, who would defraud the dramatist by changing the 
name of his work, or altering the dramatis personce. Certain 
agencies are established (by the authors themselves) in the de- 
partments, who represent the dramatists, and who, under the 
appellation of dramatic correspondents, exercise all the rights 
the authors themselves possess, recovering all claims that may 
be due. The scale of remuneration (which depends on the 
number of acts) varies at different theatres.^*' 

his unfortunate position, not wishing to have his last piece performed 
by the theatrfe which had shown itself unjust to him in a former in- 
stance, and not daring to print it, because it would be another means 
of placing it at the disposal of the theatre." 

* The following is the scale of remuneration at the Theatre Royal 
de V Opera Comique : — 

For a work in five, four, or three acts, 82 per cent, on the gross 
18* 



418 APPENDICES. 

In addition, however, to payment for the drama, there is the 
privilege of tickets and personal free admission — the admission 
to remain for life on the production of two pieces in five, four, or 
three acts ; three of two acts, and so on. If an author or com- 
poser be entitled to a second free admission, he may be allowed 
to dispose of it annually ; after his death his widow, or next heir, 
enjoys the second free admission, but has no power to dispose of 
it. It is under such just and enlightened legislation that the 
drama of France continues to flourish; and, whilst it amply 
rewards its professors, supplies nearly every other country with 
materials for the stage. It is under such government that M. 
Scribe is enabled, by the exercise of his surprising genius — sur- 
prising in its vivacity and its fecundity — to realize from three to 
four thousand pounds yearly. What, on the contrary, would 
have been his fate had he written for the English stage 1 Why, 
he would have made the fortunes of three or four " starry " 
actors, and have lived in poverty. Mr. Thackeray (of whom we 
now take our leave, thanking him for a pamphlet that must have 
cost him some pains, and may be made most available by Eng- 
lish writers in the coming discussion) subjoins the basis of a 
petition,* on the adoption of the principles of which depend, in 
our opinion, the future destinies of the English stage. 

receipts each night of performance. {Note. — At the Theatre du Vau- 
deville, Theatre des Nouveautes, and the TJieatre du Palais Royal, the 
scale is twelve per cent, on the gross receipts.) 

For a work in two acts, 6i per cent, on gross receipts. 

For a work in one act, 6 per cent, on gross receipts. 

The author of such works as will form the entire representation of 
the evening shall be entitled to a further remuneration, fixed at 6 per 
cent, on the gross receipts. 

The gross receipts are understood to be formed of the following : — 

1. Of the receipts at the doors. 

2. For boxes taken by the month or year, or those taken per night. 

3. For subscriptions of every denomination. 

The profits allotted to authors in the pi'oportions above will belong 
equally to the author and the composer, that is to say, one half to 
each. 

* 1st. That no dramatic composition of an author represented on 
any theatre in England shall be represented on any other theatre in 
the United Kingdom without the formal consent of the author, under 



APPENDICES. 419 

We now ask, What has been the result of the unprotected 
condition of the drama 1 Why, the present degradation of our 
theatres. It has before been put — but the question should be 
insisted upon again and again — who will write for the stage 
when to labour is to be despoiled ? who will select the walk of 
literature, fenced with thorns and infested with creeping things, 
when there are open " primrose paths " to fortune and advance- 
ment 1 If literary men may be likened (and we trust they may, 
even in these days of orthodox meekness and self-denial), with- 
out profanation, to the various labourers in the church, we 
should liken the dramatist to the poor drudge of a curate in the 
establishment of letters. The poet, the novelist, the historian, 
nay, the writer of a confectioner's oracle, is secure in the fruits of 
his see, his deanery, his rectorship, his fat living ; but the dram- 
atist, dependent on caprice, is not insured even his " forty 
pounds a year ; " he is every now and then stopped on the high- 
ways, and the little he may have in his purse rilled by thieves, 
who, "rob on the safe side of an act of parliament." For it 
would not be more monstrous were a bill to be passed exempting 
robbers from punishment who should attack curates, and hanging 
the knaves who should rob the higher dignitaries of the church, 
than in the present state of the law, which guards poems, novels, 
histories, cookery books, and only leaves unregarded, plays. 

The want of protection for dramatic literature, Avhilst it has 
almost banished original writers from the stage, has introduced 
a swarm of translators and adapters, who, so viciously has 
worked the system, have gorged the actor to the starvation of 
the writer. The question is not, Can a man write a play 7 but, 

penalty of confiscation to his benefit of the entire produce of the 
representation. 

2d- That an obligation be imposed on m^iagers, after having 
approved and accepted a piece, to bring it forward in its turn, or 
within a hmited period, or to pay the author the sum agreed upon as 
the price of his labours, &c. 

3d. That the direct heirs of the author shall succeed to the pi'op- 
erty of his dramatic works, and enjoy the rights and advantages 
derived therefi'om. 

4th. That the share of the profits of the author shall in no case 
be liable to seizure for the debts contracted by the proprietors and 
managers of the theatre. 



420 APPENDICES. 

Does he know French ? Then, does he know some leviathan 
actor who will introduce the translation to the theatre, the whole 
weight and gist of the drama depending upon and dignifying the 
gentleman who so introduces it, and who, from being constantly- 
made the solitary feature of a piece, is blown up, at the expense 
of his brother actors, into false importance, and straightway 
demands the most extravagant terms 1 It is from such causes 
that we have imported melodramas played by actors of thirty, 
forty, fifty pounds per week salaries. Translation has produced 
this evil ; and a want of protection of dramatic copyright has 
produced translation, by keeping from the stage writers of 
original thought. 

This system has actually degraded the calling of a dramatist ; 
he is looked upon as a mere literary tailor, who, with patterns 
in hand {i. e. last imported French pieces from Soho Square), 
takes the measure of his man, and, if he fit him, receives his 
miserable pay. At one time English dramatists looked abroad 
into the world for their materials ; they took a comprehensive 
view of human nature for their immortal works, and trusted to 
the. actor, who is only an actor in proportion as he is worthy of 
that trust, to mould himself to the embodiment of the poet. 
Then a drama was a high creation, for it was the result of the 
study of human nature in its various and complex workings; 
then a drama was a picture of the human heart — a mirror of 
man. What is a modern drama in its general acceptation ? 
What are the motives that induce its composition — what the 
materials that form its worth ? Why, the adapter sees no other 
human nature save that within the circuit of a green-room ; he 
fits his work to an actor's peculiarity; he adapts and pares 
down the world to an actor, instead of making the actor dilate 
himself to the world. If such were not the case should we con- 
stantly read in the paper such notices as the following ? " We 

understand that Mr. has a forthcoming drama, in which, we 

hear, he has taken the exact measure of ! " Taken meas- 
ure ! Only think of Macbeth, ov Falstaff, or Sir Giles Overreach, 
or Bohadil, being written " to measure ! " Yet it is to this grovel- 
ling custom that we owe the degradation of the present stage. 
It is this system that has sacrificed the dramatic genius of the 
country to the interested vanity of a few mannerists, in them- 
selves no more comparable to the genuine actors who have pre- 



APPENDICES. 421 

ceded them than are the ephemera by which tliey hve compara- 
ble to the highest triumphs of the olden days, when to write a 
drama was to know the soul of man. 

We repeat it, according to the present system the author is 
made the drudge, the poor dependent of the actor. We may 
well illustrate the relative situations of actor and -writer by a 
scene from Sheridan's Duenna. There are the red-faced minions 
of the cloister, the knaves with " three inches on their ribs," 
dividing wealth amongst one another, pouring libations down 
their throats, and roaring, " The bottle's the sun of our table ; " 
there they are in their pampered, unnatural greatness, each "a 
star," at forty or fifty pounds per week, accounts at then- bank- 
ers and carriages at their door ; there they are, filled " even to 
bursting ; " and there is the lay brother, the poor dramatist, in 
shrunk starvation, hardly daring to call his soul his own, whis- 
pering his words, and, lowly bending, scratching up, almost by 
stealth, the crumbs that fall from the feeder's table. Can this be 
called a forced description of actors engaged at from thirty to 
forty pounds per week; and the author, who for perhaps six 
months' labour, after much pain and trouble, attendance and 
solicitation, and with great good luck to boot, gains, it may be, 
one hundred pounds ; or, what has proved more likely, holds the 
manager his hopeless debtor to that amount ? * 

The -present unjust state of the law annihilates the civil rights 
of the author to his own ; he is forgotten by the legislature, and 
can hardly expect to be remembered by those to whose imme- 
diate interest he devotes his labour. One instance, from fifty, of 
his forgetfulness — this utter unconcern of those claims which, if 
the stage be any thing, should be preeminent — we will briefly 
relate. A dramatist presented a piece to an establishment ; the 
production was read, approved, and nothing remained but to 
settle terms and the time of representation. The manager 
began to enumerate the various expenses. " There must be 
two or three new scenes, three or four new dresses, the expense 
of licensing." It appeared that nothing else was to be provided 
for, when, by some extraordinary providence, the claims of the 

* Mr. Wood, who played Masaniello, received thirty pounds per 
week. What has Mr. Kenney, who produced the drama, pocketed ? 
Nil. 



422 APPENDICES. 

originator of the drama flashed on the mind of the manager, who 
added " Yes, and then there's the author'syee/ " The author's 
fee ! Now, we hold this httle anecdote is illustrative of the 
whole system of present management. The scenery is, of 
course, the grand consideration; then come, cequis passibus, the 
claims of the tailor and decorator, the salaries for stars, the 
expense of copying parts, licensing, &c. &c. ; and lastly, if 
thought of at all, the "fee" (delicate word!) for the author — 
for the man who puts all the other parts in motion. A "fee," 
i. e. something for paper, pens, and ink.* 

Our hopes of an "equitable adjustment" of the rights of 
dramatists are excited by a consideration of the spirit of the 
times, now happily awakened to the remedying abuses, not only 
political but personal. To obtain relief, however, it is necessary 
to display the extent and bearing of an evil, to force its con- 
sideration on the public mind, and, if other higher incentives 
were wanting, to shame the legislature into tardy j ustice. "VYe 
gather new hope from the following announcement in our excel- 
lent contemporary, the AthencEum, of the 7th ultimo (i. e. April 
7, 1832) :— 

" It is, we hear, the intention of several literary men of emi- 
nence to bring forward a measure to secure genius the fruits 
which it produces, and make the region of the mind as much the 
property of the holder as land is the property of the person who 
purchases it. As the law now stands an author has a right in 
his works for tiventij-eight years : if he dies within that period the 
right cannot be revived or renewed for his descendants or his 
heirs, and all the fruits of his talents and industry go to the 
enrichment of the world at large. It is not so with the proceeds 

* It would seem that managei's, tutored by the system, estimated 
the value of a drama according to the scale of the old lady of whom 
we have heard the following anecdote. Her son had produced a 
drama, and, having received for his labour the sum of five pounds, 
was loud in his contempt of the amount. At this the dame, in ti-ue 
Israelitish spirit, inquired, " Why, how much did the paper cost? " 
" Paper — why, perhaps a shilling." " Well, and how much the pens 
and ink?" "Oh! pens and ink — why, perhaps sixpence." "Well 
I declare!" replied the matron, with managerial calculation; "here's 
a young man makes _/bzir pounds eighteen sfdUings and sixpence clear 
PEOFiT, and yet it isn't enough! " 



APPENDICES. 423 

of any other kind of labour. The man of busniess secures his 
gains in gold or in land, and bequeathes his all to whom he 
pleases ; while the man of genius, who embarks the capital of 
his intellect in either verse or prose, has only a short-lived 
lease of what is as much his own as land or houses can be. Had 
the widow and children of Burns, for instance, inherited the 
property of his undying poems, they would have been rich to- 
day, and been preserved from the misery to which some of them 
have been subjected." 

A man who writes a poem, a history, a novel — in fact, any 
thing but a play — enjoys his right to the proceeds of his labour 
for twenty-eight years. On the contrary, the dramatist enjoys 
no such right for twenty-eight hours. The work of his brain 
is instantly torn from his possession ; he produces, and he is 
pillaged. The Hunchback, a play made up of the rarest qualities 
of literary genius ; a production which has shed a golden light 
on the cold and comfortless gloom of the modei-n theatre ; a 
mental achievement that places its author in " the forehead of 
the times," that will embalm his memory with the highest dra- 
matic genius of England, mighty and glorious as she is in that 
genius — The Hunchback, which has acted as a dream, a talisman, 
on the intellect of this vast metropolis — The Hunchback is no 
more protected by the British legislature than is the meanest 
fern on the most public common. At the time we write The 
Hunchback is unpublished. No matter ; it may be come at (a little 
garbled, perhaps) by provincial managers, who may wish to ob- 
tain the property of ]\Ir. Knowles without his sanction, by due 
application to the Agency Office at the corner of Bow Street. 
There the manuscripts, even by this time (we write four days 
after the production of the play), are doubtless ready for sale; 
or, it may be, already on their way by the mail to their various 
points of destination. =^ 

The Hunchback, whilst yet unpublished, is represented at 
country establishments ; at Bath, for instance. On this Mr. 
Knowles may remonstrate, when he shall receive an impertinent 

*, On one occasion the " agent " applied to the dramatist himself, 
offering him a guinea for a copy of his piece. This liberal overture 
being refused, the reply was, "Oh ! no matter, I can get it; but I 
thought I'd give you iliQ chance.'''' 



424- APPENDICES. 

answer from the manager of the above theatre (for we have 
seen such documents), stating that the present law, or rather 
no law, of dramatic copyright was a very proper one : — 

" Only complained of by pettifoggers and adapters, who 
wished to be secured in their stolen goods." 

At the heels of this may tread an empty compliment on the 
production of 

"An original play ; originality being, to a lover of his art, 
like manna dropped in the wilderness ! " 

— the writer, however, showing his desire to feed on " origi- 
nality " as he would on " manna," that is, without paying a doit 
for his ordinary : he would receive both as the gifts of Provi- 
dence. Another letter from Dublin may run as follows : — 

" Sir, — Before I received your letter a copy of your drama 
was forwarded to me from London, for which I have paid two 
pounds ! " * 

Thus has the author of The Hunchback no remedy. If Mr. 
Knowles would be assured the profits of his genius he should 
invent a new corkscrew, not write an exquisite play. We may 
see the protecting " patent " on a tooth-brush ; but where shall 
we look for it in a drama ? Tragedies, like rabbits, may be 
bagged without a license. 

The present legal condition of the drama is a more fruitful 
cause of injustice on the one hand, and risk and chicanery on 
the other, than in any other branch of commerce. Subterfuge 
and falsehood are resorted to where open wrong may fail. If a 
new drama be produced and remain unpublished, and then man- 
agers of the metropolitan theatres fail in their attempt to obtain 
the property of their rival, they immediately produce a counter- 
feit, a paltry forgery. The Evil Eye (an original drama) was last 
season played by the English Opera company. The author, Mr. 
Peake, was apphed to by the proprietors of the Surrey for per- 
mission to represent his drama, it being unpublished. The ap- 
plication was refused, when the Surrey proprietor caused some- 

* We must, however, in justice, state that the Dublin letter may 
contain (for we ground our supposition on the tenor of an original 
communication) a wish " that literary property shoiild be respected," 
with a hope " that a law might be passed to that effect." Dublin has 
consideration for the despoiled : Bath has no bowels. 



APPENDICES. 425 

thing to be vamped up, and called it The Evil Eye, having taken 
the principal points from the original piece, and amalgamated 
them with jargon foreign to the subject-matter. A like con- 
tempt of right has recently been displayed by the people of 
Sadler's Wells, and followed by those of the Surrey. Before 
the publication of The Rent Day one of the Wells actors visited 
Drury Lane Theatre, and, having taken notes of the characters 
and chief situations of the piece, produced his counterfeit at the 
minor theatres, and subsequently had the audacity to print ^ it. 
It is high time that such private wrong and public fraud were 
put an end to. 

In the session of 1831 a bill was introduced into the Commons 
by the Honourable George Lamb to protect the rights of drama- 
tists. The measure was not prosecuted to a successful issue in 
consequence of the sudden dissolution of parliament. However, 
the question, we understand, is again to be agitated ; and we 
call not only on the literary members of the House to give their 
earnest support to the bill, but we demand the interference of 
the legislature to protect property — to place the barrier of the 
law between piracy and private right. We demand this in tlie 
name of justice, and for the cause of the highest and the bright- 
est portion of English literature — the English drama. 

Let such a measure be formed, and the theatre will again be 
the chosen arena for the exercise of the intellect of the country. 
As the law now stands the profession of a dramatist is, of all 
literary pursuits, the most thorny and unprofitable. He may 
work a miracle of wit to delight present and future generations, 
and be himself the prey of that profession which his labours 
tend to exalt. He may, by some fortunate stroke, build a house 
of gold for the actor, and be himself the Lazarus at its gates. 



IV. 

(Page 202.) 
PUNCH AND PEEL, 

DOUGLAS JERROLD's FIRST CONTRIBUTION TO PUNCH. 

Arcades ambo. 
Reader. God bless us, Mr. Punch! who is that tall, fair- 
haired, somewhat parrot-faced gentleman, smiling like a school- 



426 APPENDICES. 

bov over a mess of treacle, and now kissing the tips of bis fire 
fingers as gingerly as if be were doomed to kiss a nettle 1 

Punch. That, Mr. Reader, is the great cotton-plant, Sir Robert 
Peel ; and at this moment be bas, in bis own conceit, seized 
upon " the white wonder " of Victoria's band, and is kissing it 
with St. James's devotion. 

Reader. What for, Mr. Punch 1 

Punch. What for ! At court, Mr. Reader, you always kiss 
when you obtain an honour. 'Tis a very old fashion, sir — 
old as the court of King David. Well do I remember what a 
smack Uriah gave to bis INIajesty when he was appointed to the 
post that made Bathsheba a widow. Poor Uriah ! as we say of 
the stag, that was when bis horns were in the velvet. 

Header. You recollect it, Mr. Punch ! You at the court of 
King David ! 

Punch. I, Mr. Reader, I ; and at every court from the court 
of Cain, in jNIesopotamia, to the court of Victoria, in this present 
flinty-hearted London ; only the trutb is, as I have travelled, I 
have changed my name. Bless you, half the Proverbs given to 
Solomon are mine. What I have lost by keeping company with 
kings not even Joseph Hume can calculate. 

Reader. And are you really in court confidence at this mo- 
ment ? 

Punch. Am I ? What ! haven't you beard of the elections ? 
Have you not beard the shouts of lo Punch ? Doesn't my nose 
glow like coral — ar'n't my chops radiant as a rainbow — hath not 
my bunch gone up at least two inches — am I not, from crown to 
toe-nails, brightened, sublimated ? Like Alexander — be was a par- 
ticular friend of mine, that same Alexander, and therefore stole 
many of my best sayings— I only know that I am mortal by two 
sensations — a yearning for loaves and fishes, and a love for 
Judy. 

Reader. And you reaUy take office under Peel ? 

Punch. Ha! ha! ha! A good joke! Peel takes office under 
me. Ha ! ha ! I'm only thinking what sport I shall have with 
the bed-chamber women. But out they must go : the Constitu- 
tion gives a minister the selection of bis own petticoats, and 
therefore tliere sha'n't be a yard of Welsh flannel about her 
Majesty that isn't of my choice. 

Reader. Do you really think that the Royal bedchamber is, in 



APPENDICES. 427 

fact, a third house of parHament — that the affairs of the state are 
always to be put in the feminine gender ? 

Punch. Most certainly. The ropes of the state rudder are 
nothing more than cap ribbons : if the minister haven't hold of 
them, what can he do with the ship ? As for the debates in par- 
liament, they have no more to do with the real affairs of the 
country than the gossip of the apple-women in Palace Yard. 
They're made, like the macaroni in Naples, for the poor to 
swallow ; and so that they gulp down length, they think, poor 
fellows, they get strength. But for the real affairs of the country. 
Who can tell what correspondence can be conveyed in a warm- 
ing-pan ? what intelHgence — for 

" There may be wisdom in a papillote " — , 

may be wrapped up in the curl-papers of the Crown'? what 
subtle, sinister advice may, by a crafty disposition of Royal pins, 
be given on the Eoyal pincushion ? What minister shall answer 
for the sound repose of Royalty if he be not permitted to make 
Royalty's bed ? How shall he answer for the comely appear- 
ance of Royalty if he do not, by his own delegated hands, lace 
Royalty's stays 1 I shudder to think of it ; but, without the key 
of the bedchamber, could my friend Peel be made responsible for 
the health of the princess ? Instead of the very best and scru- 
pulously aired diaper, might not — by negligence or design, it 
matters not which — the Princess Royal be rolled in an Act of 
Parliament wet from Hansard's press ? 

Reader. Dreadful, soul-perturbing suggestion ! Go on, Mr. 
Punch. 

Punch. Not but what I think it — if their constitution will stand 
damp paper — an admirable way of rearing young princesses. 
Queen Elizabeth — my wife Judy was her wet-nurse — was reared 
after that fashion. 

Reader. David Hume says nothing of it. 

Punch. David Hume was one of the wonders of the earth ; he 
was a lazy Scotchman ; but, had he searched the State Paper 
Office, he would have found the document there ; yes, the very 
Acts of Parliament — the very printed rollers. To these rollers 
Queen EUzabeth owed her knowledge of the English Constitu- 
tion. 

Reader. Explain ; I can't see how. 



428 APPENDICES. 

d 

o 

Punch. Then you are very dull. If not parliament, the as- 
sembled wisdom of the country. 

Reader. By a fiction, Mr. Punch. 

Punch. Very well, Mr. Reader ; what's all the world but a 
fiction 1 I say, the assembled wisdom : an Act of Parliament is 
the sifted wisdom of the wise, the essence of an essence. Very 
well ; know you not the mystic, the medicinal effects of printers' 
ink 1 The devil himself isn't proof to a blister of printers' ink. 
Well, you take an Act of Parliament — and what is it but the first 
plaster of the finest brains 1 — wet, reeking wet, from the press. 
Eschewing diaper, you roll the act round the Royal infant ; you 
roll it up and pin it in the conglomerated wisdom of the nation. 
Now, consider the tenderness of a baby's cuticle ; the pores are 
open, and a rapid and continual absorption takes place, so that, 
long before the Royal infant cuts its first tooth, it has taken up 
into its own system the whole body of the statutes. 

Reader. Miglit not some patriots object to the application of the 
wisdom of tlie country to so domestic a purpose 1 

Punch. Such patriots are more squeamish than wise. Sir, how 
many grown-up kings have we had, who have shown no more 
respect for the laws of the country than if they had been swad- 
dled in 'em ! 

Reader. Do you think your friend Sir Robert is for statute 
rollers ? 

Punch. I can answer for Sir Robert on every point. His first 
attack, before he kisses hands — and he has, as you perceive, 
been practising this half hour — will be upon the women of the 
bedchamber. The war with China, the price of sugar, the corn 
laws, the fourteen new bishops about to be hatched, timber, cot- 
ton, a property tax, and the penny post — all these matters and 
persons are of secondary importance to this greater question, 
.whether the female who hands the queen her gown shall think 
Lord Melbourne a " very pretty fellow in his day," or whether 
she shall believe my friend Sir Robert to be as great a conjuror 
as Roger Bacon or the Wizard of the North — if the lady can look 
upon O'Connell, and not call for burnt feathers, or scream for 
sal volatile, or if she really thinks the pope to be a woman with a 
naughty name, clothed in most exceptionable scarlet. It is 
whether Lady Mary thinks black, or Lady Clementina thinks 
white; whether her father who begot her voted with the Marquis 



APPENDICES. 429 

of Londonderry or Earl Grey — that is the grand question to be 
solved before my friend Sir Robert can condescend to be the 
saviour of his country. To have the privilege of making a 
batch of peers or a handful of bishops is nothing, positively 
nothing. No, the crowning work is to manufacture a lady's 
maid. What's a mitre to a mobcap ? what the garter of a peer 
to the garters of Lady Adeliza ? 

Reader. You are getting warm, Mr. Punch — very warm. 

Punch. I always do get warm when I talk of the delicious sex ; 
for though, now and then, I thrash my wife before company, who 
shall imagine how cosy we are when we're alone 1 Do you not 
remember that great axiom of Sir Robert's — an axiom that 
should make Machiavelli howl with envy — that " the battle of the 
Constitution is to he fought in the bedchamber ? " 

Reader. I remember it. 
• Punch. That was a great sentence. Had Sir Robert known 
his true fame, he would never after have opened his mouth. 

Reader. Has the queen sent for Sir Robert yet ? 

Punch. No ; though I know he has stayed at home these ten 
days, and answers every knock at the door himself, in expecta- 
tion of a message. 

Reader. They say the queen doesn't like Sir Robert. 

Punch. I'm also told that her Majesty has a great antipathy to 
physic ; yet, when the constitution requires medicine, why 

Reader. Sir Robert must be swallowed. 

Punch. Exactly so. We shall have warm work of it, no doubt ; 
but I fear nothing when we have once got rid of the women. 
And then we have a few such nice wenches of our own to place 
about her Majesty ; the queen shall take Conservatism as she 
might take measles — without knowing it. 

Reader. And when, Mr. Punch — when you have got rid of the 
women, what do you and Sir Robert purpose then ? 

Punch. I beg your pardon : we shall meet again next week. 
It's now two o'clock. I have an appointment with half a dozen 
of my godsons ; I have promised them all places in the new 
government, and they're come to take their choice. 

Reader. Do tell me this : who has Peel selected for Commander 
of the Forces ? 

Punc/i. Who? Colonel Sib thorpe. 

Reader. And who for Chancellor of the Exchequer? 

Punch. Mr. Henry Moreton Dyer ! 



430 APPENDICES. 

PUNCH AND PEEL. THE NEW CABINET. 

Punch. Well, Sir Robert, have you yet picked your men? 
Come, no mystery between friends. Besides, consider your 
obligations to your old crony, Punch. Do you forget how I 
stood by you on tlie Catholic question ? Come, name, name. 
Who are to pluck the golden pippins — who are to smack lips at 
the golden fish — who are to chew the fine manchet loaves of 
Downing Street? 

Peel. The truth is, my dear Punch 

Punch. Stop. You may put on that demure look, expand your 
right-hand fingers across the region where the courtesy of anat- 
omy awards to politicians a heart, and talk about truth as a cer- 
tain old lady with a paper lantern before her doors may talk of 
chastity — you may do all this on the hustings, but this is not 
Tamworth. Besides, you are now elected; so take one of these 
cigars (they were smuggled for me by my revered friend Colonel 
Sibthorpe), fill your glass, and out with the list. 

Peel. (Rises and goes to the door, which he double locks ; returns to 
his seat, and takes from his pocket a small piece of ass's skin.) I have 
jotted down a few names. 

Punch. And, I see, on very proper material. Read, Robert, read. 

Peel. (In a mild voice, and with a slight blush.) First Lord of the 
Treasury and Chancellor of the Exchequer — Sir Robert Peel ! 

Punch. Of course. Well? 

Peel. Eirst Lord of the Admiralty — Duke of Buckingham. 

Punch. An excellent man for the Admiralty. He has been at 
sea in politics all his life. 

Peel. Secretary for Foreign Afiairs — Earl of Aberdeen. 

Punch. An admirable person for Foreign Afiairs, especially if 
he transacted 'em in Sierra Leone. Proceed. 

Peel. Lord Lieutenant of Ireland — Lord Wharncliffe. 

Punch. Nothing could be better. Wharncliffe in Ireland ! 
You might as well appoint a red-hot poker to guard a powder 
magazine. Go on. 

Peel. Secretary for Home Department — Goulburn. 

Punch. A most domestic gentleman ; will take cafe of home, I 
am sure. Go on. 

Peel. Lord Chancellor— Sir William FoUett. 

Punch. A capital appointment. Sir William loves the law as 



APPENDICES. 431 

a spicier loves his spinning ; and, for the same reason, Chancery 
cobwebs will be at a premium. 

Ped. Secretary for the Colonies — Lord Stanley. 

Punch. Would make a better Governor of Macquarie Harbour ; 
but go on. 

Peel. President of the Council — Duke of Wellington. 

Punch. Think twice there. The Duke will be a great check 
upon you. The Duke is now a little too old a mouser to enjoy 
Tory tricks. He has unfortunately a large amount of common 
sense ; and how fatal must that quality be to the genius of the 
WharnclifFes, the Goulburns, and the Stanleys ! Besides, the 
Duke has another grievous weakness — he won't lie. 

Peel. Secretary for Ireland — Sir H. Hardinge. 

Punch. Come, that will do. Wharncliffe, the flaming torch of 
Toryism, and Hardinge the small lucifer. How Ireland will be 
enhghtened, and how oranges will go up ! 

Peel. Lord Chamberlain — Duke of Beaufort. 

Punch. Capital ! The very politician for a court carpet. Be- 
sides, he knows the etiquette of every green-room, from the 
Pavilion to the Haymarket. He is, moreover, a member of the 
Garrick Club ; and what, if possible, speaks more for his state 
abilities — he used to drive the Brighton coach ! 

Peel. Ambassador at Paris — Lord Lyndhurst. 

Punch. That 's something like. How the graces of the Palais 
Royal will rejoice ! There is a peculiar fitness in this appoint- 
ment ; for is not his lordship son-in-law to old Goldsmid, whilom 
editor of the Anti-Gallican, and for many years an honoured, 
and, withal, notorious resident of Paris ? Of course Ben Dis- 
raeli, his lordship's friend, will get a slice of secretaryship — 
may be allowed to nib a state quill if he must not use one. Well, 
go on. 

Peel. That's all at present. How d'ye think they read 1 

Punch. Very glibly — like the summary of a Newgate calendar. 
But the truth is, I think we want a little new blood in the next 
Cabinet. 

Peel. New blood 1 Explain, dear Punch. 

Punch. Why, most of your men are, unfortunately, tried men. 
Hence the people, knowing them as well as they know the contents 
of their own breeches pockets, may not be gulled so long as if 
governed by those whose tricks — I mean whose capabilities — 



432 APPENDICES. 

have not been so strongly marked. With new men we have 
always the benefit of hoiDe ; and with hope much swindlmg may 
be perpetrated. 

Peel. But my Cabinet contains known men. 

Punch. That's it ; knowing them, hope is out of the question. 
Now, with ministers less notorious, the Cabinet farce might last 
a httle longer. I have put down a few names ; here they are, on 
a blank sheet of " Jack Sheppard." 

Peel. A presentation copy, I perceive. 

Punch. Why, it isn't generally known; but all the morality, 
thfe wit, and the pathos of that work I wrote myself. 

Peel. And I must say they're quite worthy of you. 

Punch. I know it; but read — read Punch's Cabinet. 

Peel, {reads) First Lord of the Treasury and Chancellor of the 
Exchequer — the Wizard of the North. 

Punch. And wizard as he is, he'll have his work to do. He, 
however, promises that every four-pound loaf shall henceforth go 
as far as eight, so that no alteration of the corn laws shall be 
necessary. He furthermore promises to plant Blackheath and 
government waste ground with sugar-cane, and to raise the pen- 
ny-post stamp to fourpence in so deUcate a manner that nobody 
shall feel the extra expense. As for the opposition, what will a 
man care for even the speeches of a Sibthorpe, who can catch 
any number of bullets, any weight of lead, in his teeth 1 Go on. 

Peel. First Lord of the Admiralty— T. P. Cooke. 

Punch. Is he not the very man ? Who knows more about the 
true interests of the navy ? Who has beaten so many French- 
men "? Then think of his hornpipe — the very shufBling for a 
minister. 

Peel. Secretary for Foreign AiFairs — Gold-dust Solomons. 

Punch. Show me a better man. Consider the many dear rela- 
tions he has abroad ; and then his admirable knowledge of the 
rates of exchange. Think of his crucible. Why, he'd melt 
down all the crowns of Europe into a coffee-service for our gra- 
cious queen, and turn the pope's tiara into coral bells for the little 
princess ! And I ask you if such feats ain't the practical philos- 
ophy of all foreign policies "? Go on. 

Peel. Lord Lieutenant of Ireland — Henry Moreton Di/er. 

Punch. An admirable person. As Ireland is the hotbed of all 
crimes, do we not want a lord-lieutenant who shall be able to 



APPENDICES. . 433 

assess the true value of every indiscretion, from simple murder 
to compound larceny 1 As every Irishman may in a few months 
be in prison, I want a lord-lieutenant who shall be emphatically 
the prisoner's friend. Go on. 

Peel. Secretary for Home Department — George Robins. 

Punch. A man so intimately connected with the domestic affairs 
of the influential classes of the country. Go on. 

Peel. Lord Chancellor — 3fr. Z)unn, barrister. 

Punch. As it appears to me, the best protector of rich heiresses 
and orphans. Go on. 

Peel. Secretary for the Colonies — Monneij Moses. 

Punch. A man, you will allow, with a great stake — in fact, all 
he has — in one of our colonial possessions. Go on. 

Peel. President of the Council — Mrs. Fry. 

Punch. A lady whose individual respectability may give a con- 
venient cloak to any policy. Go on. 

Peel. Secretary for Ireland — Henry Moreton Dyer's footman. 

Punch. On the venerable adage of " like master hke man." 
Go on. 

Peel. Lord Chamberlain — the Boy Jones. 

Punch. As one best knowing all the intricacies, from the Royal 
bedchamber to the scullery, of Buckingham Palace. Besides, 
he will drive a donkey-cart. Go on. 

Peel. Ambassador at Paris — Alfred Bunn, or any other translator 
of French operas. 

Punch. A person who will have a continual sense of the neces- 
sities of his country at home, and therefore, by his position, be 
enabled to send us the earliest copies of M. Scribe's printed dra- 
mas ; or, in cases of exigency, the manuscripts themselves. And 
now, Bobby, what think you of Punch's Cabinet *? 

Peel. Why, really, I did not think the country contained so 
much state talent. 

Punch. That's the narrowness of your philosophy. If you 
were to look with an enlarged, a tliinking mind, you'd soon per- 
ceive that the distance was not so great from St. James's to St. 
Giles's — from the House of Commons to the House of Correc- 
tion. Well, do you accept my list ? 

Peel. Excuse me, my dear Punch, I must first try ray own, 
when, if that fails 

Punch. You'll try mine ? That's a bargain. 
19 



434 APPENDICES. 



V. 



SYDNEY SMITH, DOUGLAS JERROLD, AND ALBANY 
EONBLANQUE CONTRASTED. 

BY R, H. HORNE. 

The three writers who form the subject of the present paper 
are so full of points and glances, so saturated with characteristics, 
that you may dip into any of their volumes, where the book 
fully opens of itself, and you shall find something "just like the 
author," The Rev. Sydney Smith is always pleased to be so 
" pleasant,^' that it is extremely difficult to stop; and it is remark- 
able that he clears off his jokes so completely as he goes, either 
by a sweeping hand, or by carrying on such fragments as he 
wants to form a bridge to the next one, that you never pause in 
reading him till fairly obliged to lay down the book. Albany 
Eonblanque very often gives you a pause amid his pleasantries, 
many of which, nay most of which, are upon subjects of politics, 
or jurisprudence, or the rights and wrongs of our social doings, so 
that the laugh often stoops in mid-volley, and changes into 
weighty speculation or inward applause. In his combined powers 
of the brilliant and argumentative, the narrative and epigram- 
matic, and his matchless adroitness in illustrative quotation and 
reference, Eonblanque stands alone. Douglas Jerrold is seldom 
disposed to be " pleasant " — his merriment is grim — he does not 
shake your sides so often as shake you by the shoulders, as he 
would say, " See here, now ! — look there, now ! — do you know 
what you are doing ? — is this what you think of your fellow-crea- 
tures ? " A little of his writing goes a great way. You stop very 
often, and do not return to the book for another dose till next 
week or so. The exceptions to this are chiefly in his acted come- 
dies, where there is a plentiful admixture of brilliant levity and 
stinging fun ; but in all else he usually reads you a lesson of a 
very trying kind. Even his writings in Punch give you more of the 
bc^iton than the beverage " in the eye." Sydney Smith has con- 
tinually written articles for the pure enjoyment and communica- 
tion of fun ; Eonblanque never ; Jerrold never, except on the 
Btage, and that was probablj^ only as " matter of income " rather 



APPENDICES. 435 

than choice. Sydney Smith, in hostility, is an overwhelming 
antagonist ; his arguments are glittering with laughter, and well 
balanced with good sense ; they flow onwards with the ease and 
certainty of a current above a bright cascade ; he piles up. his 
merriment like a grotesque mausoleum over his enemy, and so 
compactly and regularly that you feel no fear of its topphng over 
by any retort. Fonblanque seems not so much to fight " on edi- 
torial perch," as to stand with an open code of social laws in one 
hand, and a two-edged sword in the other, waving the latter 
slowly to and fro with a grave face while dictating his periods to 
the laughing amanuensis. As Jerrold's pleasantest works are 
generally covert satires, so his open satires are galling darts, or 
long billhook spears that go right through the mark, and divide 
it — pull it nearer for a " final eye," or thrust it over the pit's 
edge. All these writers have* used their wit in the cause of 
humanity, and honestly, according to their several views of what 
■was best and most needful to be done, or done away with. They 
have nobly used, and scarcely ever abused, the dangerous, power- 
ful, and tempting weapon of the faculty of wit. Some exceptions 
must be recorded. Sydney Smith has several times suffered his 
sense of the ridiculous to " run away " with his better feehngs ; 
and in subjects which were in themselves of a painful, serious, or 
shocking nature, he has allowed an absurd contingent circum- 
stance to get the upper hand, to the injury, or discomfiture, or 
offence, of nature and society. Such was the fun he made of 
the locking^ people in railway carriages upon the occasion of the 
frightful catastrophe at Versailles. Fonblanque has continually 
boiled and sparkled round the extreme edge of the same offence, 
but we think he has never actually gushed over. The same may 
be nearly said of Jerrold, though we think he has been betrayed 
by that scarcely resistible good or evil genius, " a new subject," 
into several papers which he had much better never have written. 
One, the worst, should be mentioned ; it is the " Metaphysician 
and tlie Maid." No doubt can exist as to who the bad satire was 
meant for. This was of itself sufficiently bad in the et tu, brute, 
sense ; but, besides the personal hit, it has grave errors. K the 
paper had been meant to ridicule pretended thinkers and besot- 
ted dreamers, those who prattle about motives, and springs, and 
"intimate knowledge," charlatan philosophers, or even well- 
meaning transcendentalists " who darken knowledge ; " and if it 



436 APPENDICES. 

had also been intended to laugh at a man for a vulgar amour, the 
mistaking a mere sensuality for a sentiment, or a doll .for a di- 
vinity — all were so far very well and good. 

The " hit " at a man desperately in love, who was in the 
middle of an essay on " Free Will," is all fair, and fine wit. But 
here the sincere and earnest thinker is ridiculed — a well-known, 
sincere, and profound thinker having been selected to stand for 
the class — his private feelings are ridiculed (his being in a state 
of illusion as to the object is too common to serve as excuse for 
the attack) — his passion for abstract truth is jested upon, and, 
finally, his generosity and unworldly disinterestedness. But 
the " true man's hand " misgave him in doing this deed. The 
irresistible " new subject " was not so strong as his own heart, 
and the influence of the very author he was, in this brief in- 
stance, turning into ridicule, was so full upon him that, while 
intending to write a burlesque upon " deep thinking," he actually 
wrote as follows : — 

" He alone who has for months — ^nay, years — ^laid upon great 
imaginings — whose subject hath been a part of his blood — a throb 
of his pulse — hath scarcely faded from his brain as he hath fallen 
to sleep — hath waked with him — hath, in his squalid study, glo- 
rified even poverty — hath walked wifti him abroad, and by its 
ennobling presence raised him above the prejudice, the little 
spite, the studied negligence, the sturdy wrong, that in his out- 
door life sneer upon and elbow him — he alone can understand the 
calm, deep, yet serene joy felt by . . . ." 

The foregoing noble and affecting passage — the climax of 
which is forced into a dull and. laboured absurdity — is more than 
a parody ; it is an unintentional imitation derived from some dim 
association with the well-known passage of Hazlitt's commenc- 
ing with, " There are moments in the life of a solitary thinker, 
which are to him what the evening of some great victory is to 
the conqueror — milder triumphs, long remembered with truer 
and deeper delight," &c. {Hazlitt's Principles of Human Action.) 
"We leave these two passages with Mr. Jerrold for his own 
most serious consideration ; the original terminating with a nat- 
ural climax — his own so abominably. It is probable that we 
could say nothing more strongly in reprehension than Mr. Jer- 
rold could say to himself. As for the satire on the weaknesses 
or follies of the strongest-minded men when in love, the Liber 



APPENDICES. 437 

Amoris left nothing to be added to its running commentary of 
melancholy irony upon itself and its author. 

It is customary, in speaking of great wits, to record and enjoy 
" their last ; " but there are, at this time, so many of Sydney 
Smith's "last," in the shape of remarks on the insolvent state of 
America, that it is difficult to choose. If, however, we were 
obliged to make selection for " our own private eating," we 
should point to the bankrupt army marching to defend their 
plunder, with cere alieno engraved upon the trumpets. For the 
voice of a trumpet can be made the most defying and insulting 
of all possible sounds, and in this instance even the very inso- 
lence of the " special pleader " is stolen — cere alieno, another man's 
sarce ! * 

Mr. Fonblanque's " last " are so regularly seen in the Exam- 
iner, and there will, in all probability, have been so many of 
them before these pages are published, that we must leave the 
reader to cater for himself, and more particularly as it would be 
impossible to please " all parties " with transient political jokes 
upon matters of immediate interest and contest. But nothing 
can more forcibly prove the true value of Mr. Fonblanque's wit 
than the fact, that all the papers collected in " England under 
seven administrations " were written upon passing events ; that 
most of the events are passed, and the wit remains. A greater 
disadvantage no writings ever had to encounter ; yet they are 
read with pleasure and admiration ; and in many instances, yet 
but too fresh and vigorous, with improvement, and renewed won- 
der that certain abuses should be of so long life. 

Mr. Jerrold's " two last " we may select from the " History of 
a Feather" and the "Folly of the Sword." In the first we shall 
allude to the biting satire of the Countess of Blushrose, who, 
being extremely beautiful, was very proud and unfeeling towards 
the poor ; but, after over-dancing herself one night at a ball, she 
got the erysipelas, which spoiled her face, and she then became 
an angel of benevolence, who could never stir abroad without 
" walking in a shower of blessings." In the second we find the 
following remarks on war and glory : — 

" Now look aside, and contemplate God's image with a musket. 

* It also suggests the Latin idiom of cere alieno exire — a new way 
to pay old debts. 19 * 



438 APPENDICES. 

AVhat a fine-looking thing is war ! Yet, dress it as we may, 
dress and feather it, daub it with gold, huzza it, and sing swag- 
gering songs about it, what is it, nine times out of ten, but mur- 
der in uniform ? — Cain taking the sergeant's shilling 1 . . . Yet, 
O man of war ! at this very moment are you shrieking, wither- 
ing, like an aged giant. The fingers of opinion have been busy 
at your plumes — you are not the feathered thing you were ; 
and then this little tube, the goose-quill, has sent its silent shots 
into your huge anatomy; and the corroding ink, even whilst 
you look at it, and think it shines so brightly, is eating with a 
tooth of iron into your sword." 

Our last extract shall be from Sidney Smith's celebrated 
" Letters of Lord Plymley," and' on a subject now likely to 
occupy the public mind still more than at the time when it was 
penned : — 

'* Our conduct to Ireland during the whole of this war has 
been that of a man who subscribes to hospitals, weeps at charity 
sermons, carries out broth and blankets to beggars, and then 
comes home and beats his wife and children. We had compas- 
sion for the victims of all other oppression and injustice except 
our own. If Switzerland was threatened, away went a Treas- 
ury clerk with a hundred thousand pounds for Switzerland ; 
large bags of money were kept constantly under sailing orders ; 
upon the slightest demonstration towards Naples, down went Sir 
AVilliam Hamilton upon his knees, and begged, for the love of 
St. Janarius, they would help us off with a little money ; all the 
arts of Machiavel were resorted to to persuade Europe to bor- 
row ; troops were sent off in all directions to save the Cathohc 
and Protestant world ; the pope himself was guarded by a regi- 
ment of English dragoons ; if the grand lama had been at hand 
he would have had another ; every Catholic clergyman, who had 
the good fortune to be neither English nor Irish, was immedi- 
ately provided with lodging, soup, crucifix, missal, chapel-beads, 
relics, and holy water ; if Turks had landed, Turks would have 
received an order from the Treasury for cofiee, opium, korans, 
and seraglios. In the midst of all this fury of saving and de- 
fending, this crusade for conscience and Christianity, there was 
a universal agreement among all descriptions of people to con- 
tinue every species of internal persecution ; to deny at home 
every just right that had been denied before; to pummel poor 



APPENDICES. 439 

Dr. Abraham Rees and his Dissenters ; and to treat the unhappy- 
Catholics of Ireland as if their tongues were mute, their heels 
cloven, their nature brutal, and designedly subjected by Provi- 
dence to their Orange masters. How would my admirable 
brother, the Rev. Abraham Plymley, like to be marched to a 
Catholic chapel, to be sprinkled with the sanctified contents of a 
pump, to hear a number of false quantities in the Latin tongue, 
and to see a number of persons occupied in making right angles 
upon the breast and forehead 1 And if all this would give you 
so much pain, what right have you to march Catholic soldiers to 
a place of worship, where there is no aspersion, no rectangular 
gestures, and where they understand every word they hear, hav- 
ing first, in order to get him to enlist, made a solemn promise to 
the contrary 1 Can you wonder, after this, that the Catholic 
priest stops the recruiting in Ireland, as he is now doing to a most 
alarming degree 1 " 

The infiuence of these three writers has been extensive and 
vigorously beneficial — ^placing their politics out of the question. 
Their aquafortis and "laughing gas" have exercised alike a 
purificatory office. Their championship has been strong on the 
Bide of social ameliorations and happy progress. The deep im- 
portance of national education on a proper system has been 
finely advocated by each in his peculiar way — Sydney Smith by 
excessive ridicule of the old and present system ; Fonblanque by 
administering a moral cane and caustic to certain pastors and 
masters, and ignorant pedagogues of all kinds ; and Jerrold by 
such tales as the " Lives of Brown, Jones, and Robinson," in vol. 
ii. of " Cakes and Ale," and by various essays. If, in the con- 
flict of parties, the Rev. Sydney Smith and Mr. Fonblanque 
have once or twice been sharply handled, they might reason- 
ably have expected much worse. As for vague accusations of 
levity and burlesque, and want of "a well-regulated mind," and 
trifling and folly, those things are always said of all such men. 
It is observable that very dull men, and men incapable of wit 
either in themselves or of the comprehension of it in others, 
invariably call every witty man and every witty saying which is 
not quite agreeable to themselves by the term flippant. Let the 
wits and humorists be consoled ; they have the best of it, and 
the dull ones know it. 



440 APPENDICES. 

VI. 

(Page 327.) 

LETTERS TO DOUGLAS JERROLD'S GODCHILD. 

I am indebted for these extracts to Mr. Hepwortli Dixon, by 
whom they were addressed, while journeying with my father, 
to his httle boy. They are full of characteristic touches. 

Dieppe, August 18, 1854. 
Dear "Willie, 

A kiss — good-by— grind — whiz — phiz, and we land in Dieppe 
safe and well ! We met Godpapa, Godmamma, Miss Polly, and 
Tom at the station, all in good time. I got every thing ship- 
shape, and took charge of the common purse (for you must know 
that Godpapa, when on his travels, spends his money hke his 
wits, as if he had more gold and precious gems than ever glis- 
tened in Aladdin's cave), and away we sped through the bright 
sunshine, merry and laughing, till we came to the sea, when 
Master Tom put on a grave face, for his stomach doesn't like 
salt water, and, hiding himself behind a horse-box, was seen of 
us no more for five long hours. Godpapa is a capital sailor, as 
you know, from the old boating days at Rocklands ; and we 
joked, and smoked, and kept the ladies brisk, in spite of 
Mamma's white cheeks and Miss Polly's imploring eyes. So 
we get to Dieppe just at sundown, to find the hotels crowded for 
the races — always a droll sort of thing in Prance, like a review 
in Hyde Park, or a regatta at Venice, or a jubilee at Munich, or 
any thing else that has no meaning and much absurdity ; so, 
instead of going to a nice hotel fronting the sea, as we ought to 
have done, we go to M 's, a house on the port, with a com- 
manding stench in front and rear, because Godpapa had been 
there once before, and had been excessively uncomfortable ! After 
a bad supper (which, as the meats and wines were Prench, we 
enjoyed, smacking our lips over the thin Macon as though it had 
been Moet's), we are carried over the open sewers a street or 
two, and up dark passages, and along creaking wooden galleries, 
built in the day of Henri Quatre and Madame Longueville, to 



APPENDICES. 441 

bed, in such a tiny bed, not too big for Queen Mab to sleep in ! — 
in rooms without carpets, candlesticks, or water-basins, but with 
windows looking into our neighbours' rooms, and kindly allow- 
ing them a peep into ours. As the street noises die away, we 
hear the roll of shingle on the seashore, and we know that the 
grim castle is glooming over it in the close, starless night. God 
bless you ! 

FONTAINEBLEAU, AugUSt 22. 

My dear Willie, 

After four hot days in Paris we are cooling in the prettiest 
sort of country house on the edge of the great forest of Fon- 
tainebleau, into which we drive and ramble, losing ourselves in 
its magnificent avenues of chestnuts and poplars. . . . Godpapa 
has a great love for trees, and woods, and gardens; indeed, we 
can't tell if he loves even books better than flowers, of which he 
knows all the names, English and Latin, and all the verses that 
have ever been written about them ; so we pass under the lacing 
branches, and chat, and smoke, and laugh. . . . We did not have 

very much laughing in Paris, except over a dinner that M 

undertook to ride down and order for us in the Bois de Bou- 
logne, all in the true Prench style, and in which there was not 
one dish that any body could eat ! We had great fun with him, 
plaguing him about his taste in the fine arts, and all that. Paris 
we left rather hastily ; for the cholera is terrible, and we are told 
that thirty thousand people have already died there, and it is 
now raging more than ever. Godpapa and I, coming liome from 
the bath yesterday morning, saw men carrying a dead body out, 
and when we got to our own hotel found a coffin in the doorway, 
which made him very sick ; so we ate little breakfast, but ran 
out, bought some linen trousers, straw hats (mine is a duck of a 
hat, and makes Godpapa jealous !), and away by the noon train 
to Pontainebleau, where we have seen the forest — a real old for- 
est like Epping, which you have seen — only, of course, it is a 
French Epping, and therefore straight and stiff, and the roads 
through it very windy — and the court where Napoleon bade adieu 
to his old guard. We have thrown cake to the carp, those blind 
old Belisarius fish in harlequin coats, said to have rings in their 
noses, put through them in the days of Francis L, and, therefore, 
the only living remnants of the old times of France. . . . 



442 APPENDICES. 

Aix IN Savoy, August 25. 
Darling Willie, 

What a ride and a sail, and how tired we are ! Godpapa 
done up and gone to bed, although we have tumblers with a band 
under the window ! Mamma laid down quite shaken. When 
we left Fontainebleau the heat was like furnace heat, and the 
train was stifling, the wasps irritating, and the people dismal 
about cholera ; but what glorious sweeps of vineyards, and what 
gorgeous oleanders, pomegranates, and dahlias ! Godpapa had 
never seen a vineyard before, nor a pomegranate blossoming in 
the open air ; and he raved all day over this new beauty, and 
wanted to stop at all the pretty places — such as Tonnerre, Nuits, 
St. Julien, " There," he cried, " is Tonnerre ! My God, what 
a landscape ! Let us stay here for a day or two. Give me the 
* Murray ' — let me see, Tonnerre — ha ! — dull town — steep slope — 
Marguerite of Burgundy — desolated by cholera in '32 — that will 
do." And on we slid, past Dijon, Chalons, Macon, tasting the 
wines, and munching grapes, and sometimes tarts with live wasps 
in them ; and so in the late hours to Lyon, tired to death, to face 
the long delay at the station, the hauling over of luggage, and 
the impatience of the ladies, who don't like their gear to be 
thumbed, and poked, and administered. "Any thing to declare? " 
a«ks a pompous gentleman, all button and tobacco. " Yes/' 
says Godpapa, who will have his bit of fun ; " a live elephant — 
take care ! " Riding into Lyon on a sultry night is like wrig- 
gling into a mouldy melon, stuffed with strong onions and cheese ; 
and we looked at each other's turned-up noses, and thought of the 
fresh lakes and breezy Alps. " Could you send and take places 
for us in to-morrow's diligence for Geneva 1 " says Godpapa to 
Mr. Glover, landlord of the Hotel de I'Univers, where we tum- 
bled in at midnight. " All the places taken for three days,'* 
tartly answered Glover. " Any other conveyance 1 " " Only 
the river." ''Only! What river?" "Rhone to Aix in Savoy 
— there catch Chambery diligence to Geneva." So we dropped 
into bed half dressed — dosed an hour — and off again (after pay- 
ing such a bill !) — mamma very tired and chill in the dull morn- 
ing air — and at four o'clock flung off the Rhone bank, and, with 
our faces to the Alps and the rising sun, dodged, swung, and 
leaped against the rapid current, between heights crowned, like 
the Rhine, with ruined convents and castles, and through broad 



APPENDICES. 443 

reaches, and past picturesque old towns — a long, sweet, and 
merry day. (P.S. — Mr. Punch will certainly hear of Mr, Glover's 
merits.) At sundown we entered Lago Borghetto, and aiTived 
at Aix by dusk, to find the little town crammed, the best hotel 
full, the street hot with suljihur, and noisy with soldiers, boat- 
men, ostlers, guides, and visitors — most of these last Italians fly- 
ing from their own places in fear. At last we got into an hotel 
— very bad and dirty — both the ladies knocked up. . . . 

Annecy, August 28. 
. . . Sick with sulphur, lungs full of steam, and poi- 
soned with sour food, we escaped from Aix this morning by a 
nice httle trick. Our landlord, unable to catch four live English 
every day, and finding our society pleasant and profitable, as he 
could charge us for dinners we never touched, told us overnight 
there were no places to be got for a week in the Chambery dili- 
gence, nor a single horse to be hired for posting. So Godpapjt 
goes down before breakfast, makes a long face, and whispers to 
him that he fears one of the ladies is seized with cholera ! The 
honest landlord suddenly recollects that horses and a very nice 
carriage may be got, and cheap too ! Done, done ! As w5 step 
in, a funeral procession, with priests, and singing boys, and can- 
dles, drones past the door, and we drive away in a Ught shower, 
out of the deep sulphurous valley, now to emerge into winding 
roads, with Itahan cottages and real Italian vines, trained up the 
sides of houses, and up branches of apple-trees. Very merrily 
we ride, Godpapa crowing and singing, and marking down,,every 
pretty spot to come to again, and spend a summer in it. He has 
laid out thirty or forty summers already, so you see he means to 
live for ever, as we all hope he may. And here we are in a darl- 
ing old town, with such a lovely lake under our window, and 
such a wall of mountain above it, and such queer old houses 
close by — houses Hke those in Chester, with shady arches, and 
shops under them, a^ in old Italian cities, where people strive 
with all their arts to keep sunshine out ! Here we eat lotte, and 
drink to Rousseau and Madame de Warren, and order our car- 
riage, and start for Geneva, . . . 

Geneva^ August 29, 1854. — What a lovely drive over the 
mountains ! what a road full of pictures ! You should have seen 
us gay young fellows trudging on before the carriage, dropping 



444 APPENDICES. 

stones over the great bridge at La Caille, jabbering with the 
peasants on the road, clambering over rocks to catch glimpses of 
famous cascades, or listening to the sweet pine music in the 
lonely evening places. In one village we left the ladies, resting 
the tired horses, and pushed a mile or two ahead, and had stopped 
to see the sun set over a high hill, wlien a troop of girls came up, 
crowing and shouting, with pumpkins on their heads, large 
enough for Cinderella's coach-and-six to crack out of — lithe, grace- 
ful girls ; but we could not tell a word they said, though they 
looked as if they thought we had sprung out of the ground ; and 
they passed on laughing until they met the ladies, when we could 
hear them set up a great shout. About twelve at night we rat- 
tled into Geneva, to find every house chock full. " If Monsieur 
will sleep in his fiacre, perhaps we can find a bed for him to-mor- 
roAV or next day," says the landlord of Des Bergues to Godpa. 
"We drive to the Ecu, Couronne, Angleterre, Balance. All oozing 
with life. Not a coal cellar for coin or love. Naples, Geneva, 
Home, Turin — all seem now at Geneva — princes, dancers, pain- 
ters, conspirators, all flying from cholera. At last we hear of 
rooms ; we drive to them, and find under the town gate an an- 
cient,*dirty, and dismal Swiss inn, the landlady of which is rush- 
ing about, puUing people out of bed to make way for us — for the 
English lords and ladies ! Two rooms cleared, and clean linen 
brought, together with brandy and water. As we drink and 
laugh, Godpa spies a door in the room not before noticed, and, 
trying it, opens on a monk in bed ! " Ho ! ho ! Cannot this 
door be locked 1 " " No," says the landlady, " else how will the 
poor padre come out 1 " He had actually no way in or out ex- 
cept through our bedroom. A row, an expostulation, a threat of 
leaving, and the wretch was dug out of his sleep, bundled off, 
his room hired for peace' sake, and we fell to rest. In Switzer- 
land the innkeepers are mostly magistrates, and the church has 
no chance with Boniface when milord objects to the nuisance. 

Geneva, Sept. 4. — Godpa and I have been up and down and 
over the lake everywhere ; to Eerney, where Voltaire lived, and 
Mamma has gathered you splendid fir bobs ; to Coppet, where 
Bayle lived ; to Lausanne, where Gibbon lived ; to Clarence, 
where Rousseau fixed the story of Julie and St. Preux ; and to 
Coligny, where Milton lived, and where Byron had a house, in 
which he wrote poems, and from which he saw the live thunder 



APPENDICES. 445 

leap among the peaks of the Jura. The ladies walked with us to 
Coligny, where we did not feel sentimental or see any Uve thun- 
der, but were very thirsty, and played skittles, and drank some 
bad claret. We have been to Chillon too (ask Miss Williams to 
read you the "Prisoner of Chillon"), and walked in the worn 
steps of Bonnevard, and watched the glittering green light on the 
roof, and heard the deep drone of the water outside the wall, and 
refused to scratch our names on the pillars. . . . Take care 
to address your letters in a very plain hand. There is a paper 
published in Geneva giving lists of all strangers, and this is the 
way in which the world is informed of the arrival of two gentle- 
men you know : — 

"M. Stissworth. 
M. Douglar." 
So no wonder if the post-office cannot always find our letters ! 
Of course this is too good a jest to spoil ; so we leave the rectifi- 
cation to history. Mamma is not very well, though full of spirits ; 
and Godpa begins to fidget about a box of cholera pills, given 
him before we started by your good friend, Erasmus Wilson, and 
which Godpapa told him we should never take unless ^ve are 
bound. This morning he ran out before breakfast (for we are now 
in a very pleasant hotel, the Angle terre, and really can breakfast), 
and came back in a new straw hat — best Leghorn. The ladies 
twigged him, and nudged me not to see it. So he began to talk 
about hats — but mum ! At last he got angry at our blindness, 
and put his new straw on the table, when we all laughed outright, 
and he most of any. . , . Good by. Here's the William 
Tell snorting under our window : off to Lausanne ! 

Lausanne, Sept. 5. — Fresh air and thin brandy and water keep 
us pretty well in the midst of a good deal of sickness, and still 
more alarm. We have the first all day, and a little of the other 
at night, so that Godpapa calls this trip our brandy and Waterloo ! 
What a dehghtful sail on the lake, and what a red nose Godpa 
has got ! . . . We are kept here (in Freiburg, and thank 
heaven for it) by a blunder of the diligence man, who has carried 
off our luggage to Berne, and left us behind. And we have en- 
joyed such a treat in the church, where the organ has played us 
a dream, a storm, an earthquake, and all kinds of wonderful and 
difficult things in music, at which poor Godpa cried very much, 
for you must know he is very sensitive to sweet sounds. But I 

20 



446 APPENDICES. 

must tell you a bit of fun, at which the ladies hare not yet done 
laughing. Godpa says to me in German, which they don't un- 
derstand, "Let's have a choice bottle of hermitage for dinner; " 
and, pretending it is only the common country wine, we all drink 
and are merry. But hermitage is in smaller bottles than table 
wine, so Godpa says to the landlord, •' These are very small." 
" Ha ! " cries Boniface, " I perceive — it is all a mistake. This is 
a wrong flask ; you must have another." So the ladies look and 
wonder, and Godpa persuades them that the landlord is going to 
give them a second bottle. So don't they drink and enjoy it ! And 
we sit laughing on the terrace over the Saarine till the golden 
light fades on the Alp-heads, and the stars twinkle out, and silence 
sweeps up the great valley, hushing, as it were, the coursing river 
down below. Good night, and angels guard you ! 

Berne, September 7. — Ten miles through the forest Godpa and 
I walked this morning — he, strong and lithe as a chamois, sing- 
ing and whistling as we stepped along over the green turf, now 
catching the cry of milkmaid, now the caw-caw of a rook, and 
now the crash of a tree. A breezy and enchanting mountain 
road, on which we saw the sun rise, purple, and pink, and gold. 
An Irish lady, long Frenchified, occupied a fifth seat in the 
rotonde — ^a Miss O'Dogherty, thin, rouged, and fifty — who amused 
us by her strange knowledge and still stranger ignorance. " Oh, 
madam! and you live in London? And you see the queen 
sometimes 1 And how does she dress ? And has not she blue 
eyes 1 " As we rode through a pass that made Godpa jump with 
joy, she simpers, " Ha, yes ! it is very pretty — sweetly pretty ; 
it is quoite rural." . . . Godpapa has bought you a stone bear. 
Berne, you remember, is the paradise of bears. Bears in wood 
and bears in wax — bears in marble and bears in bronze — bears 
on the coins and bears on the church-towers — live bears in the 
Ditch and dead bears in the museum — bears on the cathedral 
walls, bears on the public fountains, bears in the shop- windows, 
bears on the town gates — bears everywhere, even in our port- 
manteaus. In the great thoroughfare is a bear in armour, cham- 
pion of the city. . . . We go to Lucerne, the Rhigi, Zug, and 
Zurich, on our way to Germany. 

Zurich, September 9. . . . The heat is certainly great, and 
we feel loth to leave our haven on the lake, the gardens that we 
have leanied to love so much, and the evening boat and song 



APPENDICES. 447 

that are sweeter still. The old library here makes a charming 
noonday lounge, where we have read over lots of valuable letters 
— the nicest reading-room in the world, always excepting the 
ducal library in Venice, which, like Venice itself, is beyond 
comparison. (P.S. — By this time Godpa has a list of a hundred 
places to spend his future summers in ! Hurrah !) To-morrow 
we leave for Bale and Heidelberg, and shall drop slowly down 
the Rhine, sleeping at Bingen, Bonn, Cologne, and so to Aix, 
Brussels, Ghent, Bruges, and Ostend. Ten days more will see 
us home. I got your letters at Lucerne, where Godpa also found 
his letters from Mr. Knight. We find the telegraphic words 
were delivered in Fleet Street nine minutes after they were given 
in at Geneva. Godpa seemed awe-struck. Of course he knew, 
as everybody knows, that tlie lightning carries fact ; but he had 
never sent a telegraph before in his life ; and this whispering 
over Alps, lakes, and seas, suddenly brought home to him, 
struck him like a blow. Write to Brussels. Love to Edic and 
Harold. Heaven keep you, darling ! . . . 

Bale, September 10. — What a bill to pay in Zurich ! Godpa 
says they charged ten francs a day for listening to my German. 
He won't speak one word ; not that he can't, for he knows the 
language well enough ; but he is lazy, and likes to have no 
trouble ; and because I rattle away and get things done, without 
much respect for genders and accusatives, he sits and criticizes 
Naughty old boy ! You must scold him for me. . . . 

Cologne, September 14. — . . , Faugh ! The dust of eleven 
thousand virgins is in one's mouth — the clack-clack of fifty tin 
begging-cans in one's ear — the steam of a myriad sewers in one's 
nostril — and the. glare of a hundred acres of white stone in one's 
eyes — good-by to Cologne ! 

Brussels, September 16. — More dust, stench, and stone at Aix, 
and then the sweet ride through the valley of Liege, and then 
my own charming old Brussels — city of picture and contrast, 
with something in it of every place on earth — of Rome and of 
London, of Granada and of Cologne, of Rotterdam and of Paris. 
And where else in Europe have you priests and progress, manu- 
factures and monks ? Here we are at home again — good wine, 
nice theatre, even a park under our window. . . . Three days 
more and we shall meet in St. John's Wood, and all dine with 
Godpa, who has been raving ever since we left Cologne about 
fat goose and old port ! 



448 APPENDICES. 

TO THE MEMORY OF DOUGLAS JERROLD. 

I. 

" Even in youth did he not e'er abuse 
The strength of wit or tliought, to consecrate 
Those false opinions which the harsh rich use 
To blind the world they famish for their pi'ide ; 
Nor did he hold from any man his dues." — Shelley. 

" An honest man's the noblest work of God." — Pope. 

A man of genius, honest worth, and trutli hath pass'd away ; 

A man who fought the people's fight until his locks grew gray ; 

A man who never bent his soul a hireling's place to seek ; 

A man who never fear'd the strong, but aye upheld the weak ; 

The genial wit, the journalist, who would not wield his pen 

To countenance the little lies and cant of little men ; 

Let darker minds and lower souls a dead man's praise condemn — 

To point out spots upon the sun is only fit for them. 

And now he's gone ! — our loss we feel — we'll daily feel it more, 

For Freedom's cause hath lost the pen that graced her ranks 

before ; 
The bigot's heart is hot with joy, dull jMammon's heart may 

leap — 
Life's warfare o'er, their noblest foe at peace doth sweetly sleep ! 
Yet mourn not idly o'er his grave — the words he left behind 
"Were something more than empty sounds that die upon the 

wind ; 
Their echoes through men's hearts shall ring, as onward years 

shall roll. 
And men will own the master-hand, and say, " God rest his 

soul ! " 
Turn to thy rest, true heart and brave ! Let Slander's venom 'd 

tongue 
Seek bitterly to mar thy fame, and reason right to wrong ; 
But o'er thy grave some hearts will own — as all true natures 

can — 
Here, weary from life's dusty road, doth rest an honest man ! 

W. B. B. S. 
[One of Bon Gaultier's grandsons.] 



APPENDICES. 449 



Ere kugliters, wit-waked, in silence die— 
Ere tears, by tenderness unseal'd, are dry- 
While, with imagined joy and mimic woe. 
Your nerves still tingle, and your feelings glow. 
Pardon, if on your mirth and lustihead, 
I force the solemn presence of the dead. 

As in mysterious Egypt's fatal hours 

The skull still grinn'd its moral through the flowers, 

The service of your reverend hands I crave 

To place a wreath upon a fresh-turf 'd grave — 

His grave, whose pulses never more shall stir 

To plaudits of the crowded theatre : 

Who sleeps the sleep of death, not recking fame 

Nor friendship, nor what honours crown his name. 

Yet, if aught touch the disembodied mind. 

It should be thought of dear ones left behind 

To bide the world's harsh buffet. If one joy 

From earth can reach souls freed from earth's alloy, 

'Tis sure the joy to know kind hands are here 

Drying the widow's and the orphan's tear ; 

Helping them gently o'er lone life's rough ways, 

Sending what hght may be to darkling days— 

A better service than to hang with verse, 

As our forefathers did, the poet's hearse. 

Two things our Jerrokl left, by death removed— 

The works he wrought, the family he loved. 

The first to-night you honour ; honouring these. 

You lend your aid to give the others ease. 

Like service in like loss none more than he 

Was prompt to render— generous, facile, free. 

He had a sailor's heart ; 'twas thus he drew 

The sailor's character with touch so true : 

The first that gave our stage its British tar, 

Impulsive, strenuous, both in love and war ; 

With English instinct, using still his blade 

Against the strong, the weaker cause to aid. 



450 APPENDICES. 

While Dibdin's song on English decks is sung, 
While Nelson's name lives on the sailor's tongue, 
Still Susan's tenderness and ^Y iWisim's faith 
Shall weave for Jerrold's tomb a lasting wreath." 

[Written by Mr. Tom Taylor ; spoken by Mr. Albert Smith, 
at the Adelphi Theatre, July 29, 1857.] 

III. 

Too soon ! too soon for us, if not for thee — 

Thou wert a child in merry spirit still 

When thy dumb body laid it down and slept 
Beneath the shadow of the cypress tree ; 

While we, unknowing, at thy Uving will 

Still wonder'd, and still laugh'd, until we wept ! 
Too soon ! — Thou, Tyranny, with iron hand ; 

Thou truculent oppressor of the poor ; 
Thou feign'd interpreter of God's command. 

Exult not in his death — his thoughts endure ! 
And thousand hearts are Hghted with the flame, 

And thousand hands are ready for the blow 
His word invoked — to hurl on Vice its shame. 

Give Crime its judge, and Bigotry its foe ! 

William Duthie. 



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