Presented to the
LIBRARY of the
UNIVERSITY OF TORONTO
William L. Shelden
AUGUSTINE BIRRELL, M.P.
MANNERS AND CUSTOMS,
TP MAY 1 $90
FIFTEEN, VICTORIA STREET,
Other Works by the same Author :
The Book of Wit.
The History of Pickwick.
Recreations of a Literary Man.
Memoirs of an Author.
Pickwickian Manners and Customs 7
" Monumental Pickwick "- - 36
"Boz" and "Bozzy" - 52
Pickwickian Originals 70
Concerning the Plates and Extra Plates
and "States" of Pickwick - - 91
PICKWICKIAN MANNERS AND
No English book has so materially in-
creased the general gaiety of the country,
or inspired the feeling of comedy to such a
degree as, " The Pickwick Club." It is now
some " sixty years since" this book was
published, and it is still heartily appreciated.
What English novel or story is there which
is made the subject of notes and com-
mentaries on the most elaborate scale;
whose very misprints and inconsistencies
are counted up ; whose earliest " states of
the plates " are sought out and esteemed
precious ? " Pickwick," wonderful to say,
is the only story that has produced a literature
of its own quite a little library and has
kept artists, topographers, antiquaries, and
collectors all busily at work.
There seems to be some mystery, almost
8 PICKWICKIAN MANNERS AND CUSTOMS.
miracle, here. A young fellow of four-and-
twenty throws off, or rather " rattles off," in
the exuberance of his spirits, a never-flagging
series of incidents and characters. The
story is read, devoured, absorbed, all over the
world, and now, sixty years after its appear-
ance, new and yet newer editions are being
issued. All the places alluded to and described
in the book have in their turn been lifted
into fame, and there are constantly appear-
ing in magazines illustrated articles on
"Rochester and Dickens," " Dickens Land,"
" Dickens' London," and the rest. Wonder-
ful ! People, indeed, seem never to tire of
the subject the same topics are taken up
over and over again. The secret seems to be
that the book was a living thing, and still
lives. It is, moreover, perhaps the best,
most accurate picture of character and
manners that are quite gone by : in it the
meaning and significance of old buildings,
old inns, old churches, and old towns are
reached, and interpreted in most interesting
PICKWICKIAN MANNERS AND CUSTOMS. 9
fashion; the humour, bubbling over, and
never forced, and always fresh, is sustained
through some six hundred closely-printed
pages ; all which, in itself, is a marvel and
unapproached. It is easy, however, to talk
of the boisterousness, the "caricature," the
unlicensed recklessness of the book, the lack
of restraint, the defiance of the probabilities.
It is popular and acceptable all the same.
But there is one test which incontestably
proves its merit, and supplies its title, to be
considered all but " monumental." This is
its prodigious fertility and suggestiveness.
At this moment a review is being made of
the long Victorian Age, and people are
reckoning up the wonderful changes in life
and manners that have taken place within
the past sixty years. These have been so
imperceptibly made that they are likely to
escape our ken, and the eye chiefly settles on
some few of the more striking and monu-
mental kind, such as the introduction of
railways, of ocean steamships, electricity,
IO PICKWICKIAN MANNERS AND CUSTOMS.
and the like. But no standard of
comparison could be more useful or more
compendious than the immortal chronicle of
PICKWICK, in which the old life, not forgotten
by some of us, is summarised with the com-
pleteness of a history. The reign of
Pickwick, like that of the sovereign, began
some sixty years ago. Let us recall some of
To begin : We have now no arrest for
debt, with the attendant sponging-houses,
Cursitor Street, sheriffs' officers, and
bailiffs; and no great Fleet Prison, Marshal-
sea, or King's Bench for imprisoning debtors.
There are no polling days and hustings, with
riotous proceedings, or " hocussing " of
voters ; and no bribery on a splendid scale.
Drinking and drunkenness in society have
quite gone out of fashion. Gentlemen at a
country house rarely or never come up from
dinner, or return from a cricket match, in an
almost "beastly " state of intoxication; and
"cold punch" is not very constantly drunk
PICKWICKIAN MANNERS AND CUSTOMS. II
through the day. There are no elopements
now in chaises and four, like Miss Wardle's,
with headlong pursuit in other chaises and
four; nor are special licenses issued at a
moment's notice to help clandestine
marriages. There is now no frequenting of
taverns and " free and easies " by gentlemen,
at the "Magpie and Stump" and such
places, nor do persons of means take up their
residence at houses like the " George and
Vulture" in the City. No galleried inns
(though one still lingers on in Holborn), are
there, at which travellers put up : there were
then nearly a dozen, in the Borough and else-
where. There are no coaches on the great
roads, no guards and bulky drivers ; no gigs
with hoods, called "cabs," with the driver's
seat next his fare; no "hackney coaches,"
no " Hampstead stages," no "Stanhopes"
or "guillotined cabriolets" whatever they
were or "mail-carts," the "pwettiest thing"
driven by gentlemen. And there are no
" sedan chairs " to take Mrs. Dowler home.
12 PICKWICKIAN MANNERS AND CUSTOMS.
There are no "poke" or "coal-scuttle"
bonnets, such as the Miss Wardles wore;
no knee-breeches and gaiters ; no " tights,"
with silk stockings and pumps for evening
wear ; no big low-crowned hats, no striped
vests for valets, and, above all, no gorgeous
"uniforms," light blue, crimson, and gold,
or "orange plush," such as were worn by the
Bath gentlemen's gentlemen. "Thunder
and lightning" shirt buttons, "mosaic
studs " whatever they were are things of
the past. They are all gone. Gone too is
" half-price " at the theatres. At Bath, the
" White Hart " has disappeared with its
waiters dressed so peculiarly "like West-
minster boys." We have no Serjeants now
like Buzfuz or Snubbin : their Inn is
abolished, and so are all the smaller Inns
Clement's or Clifford's where the queer
client lived. Neither are valentines in high
fashion. Chatham Dockyard, with its
hierarchy, " the Clubbers," and the rest, has
been closed. No one now gives dfy'efads, not
PICKWICKIAN MANNERS AND CUSTOMS. 13
dejeuners; or " public breakfasts," such as the
authoress of the " Expiring Frog " gave.
The " delegates " have been suppressed, and
Doctors' Commons itself is levelled to the
ground. The " Fox under the Hill" has
given place to a great hotel. The old
familiar "White Horse Cellars" has been
rebuilt, made into shops and a restaurant.
There are no " street keepers " now, but the
London Police. The Eatanswill Gazette and
its scurrilities are not tolerated. Special
constables are rarely heard of, and appear
only to be laughed at : their staves, tipped
with a brass crown, are sold as curios.
Turnpikes, which are found largely in
" Pickwick," have been suppressed. The
abuses of protracted litigation in Chancery
and other Courts have been reformed. No
papers are " filed at the Temple " whatever
that meant. The Pound, as an incident of
village correction has, all but a few,
Then for the professional classes, which
14 PICKWICKIAN MANNERS AND CUSTOMS.
are described in the chronicle with such
graphic power and vivacity. As at this
time "Boz" drew the essential elements of
character instead of the more superficial
ones his later practice there is not much
change to be noted. We have the medical
life exhibited by Bob Sawyer and his friends;
the legal world in Court and chambers
judges, counsel, and solicitors are all much
as they are now. Sir Frank Lockwood has
found this subject large enough for treatment
in his little volume, "The Law and Lawyers
of Pickwick." It may be thought that no
judge of the pattern of Stareleigh could be
found now, but we could name recent per-
formances in which incidents such as, " Is
your name Nathaniel Daniel or Daniel
Nathaniel ? " have been repeated. Neither
has the blustering of Buzfuz or his sophistical
plaintiveness wholly gone by. The " cloth "
was represented by the powerful but revolt-
ing sketch of Stiggins, which, it is .strange,
was not resented by the Dissenters of the
PICKWICKIAN MANNERS AND CUSTOMS. 1 5
day, and also by a more worthy specimen in
the person of the clergyman at Dingley Dell.
There are the mail-coach drivers, with the
" ostlers, boots, countrymen, gamekeepers,
peasants, and others," as they have it in the
play-bills. Truly admirable, and excelling
the rest, are " Boz's " sketches actually
"living pictures" of the fashionable foot-
men at Bath, beside which the strokes in
that diverting piece " High Life below
Stairs" seem almost flat. The simperings of
these gentry, their airs and conceit, we may
be sure, obtain now. Once coming out of a
Theatre, at some fashionable performance,
through a long lane of tall menials, one
fussy aristocrat pushed one of them out of
his way. The menial contemptuously
pushed him back. The other in a rage said,
" How dare you? Don't you know, I'm the
Earl of " "Well," said the other
coldly, " If you be a Hearl, can't you be'ave
After the wedding at Manor Farm we find
l6 PICKWICKIAN MANNERS AND CUSTOMS.
that bride and bridegroom did not set off from
the house on a wedding tour, but remained
for the night. This seemed to be the
custom. Kissing, too, on the Pickwickian
principles, would not now, to such an extent,
be tolerated. There is an enormous amount
in the story. The amorous Tupman had
scarcely entered the hall of a strange house
when he began osculatory attempts on the
lips of one of the maids; and when Mr.
Pickwick and his friends called on Mr.
Winkle, sen., at Birmingham, Bob Sawyer
made similar playful efforts being called an
" odous creetur " by the lady. In fact, the
custom seemed to be to kiss when and
wherever you could conveniently. Getting
drunk after any drinking, and at any time of
the day, seemed to be common enough.
There was a vast amount of open fields,
&c., about London which engendered the
" Cockney sportsman." He disappeared as
the fields were built over. We have no
PICKWICKIAN MANNERS AND CUSTOMS. 17
longer the peculiar "stand-up" collars, or
" gills," and check neck-cloths.
But Mr. Bantam's costume at the Bath
Assembly, shows the most startling change.
Where is now the "gold eye glass?" we
know that eye glass, which was of a solid
sort, not fixed on the nose, but held to the
eye a " quizzing glass," and folding up on a
hinge "a broad black ribbon" too; the
"gold snuffbox;" gold rings "innumerable"
on the fingers, and "a diamond pin " on his
" shirt frill," a " curb chain " with large gold
seals hanging from his waistcoat (a "curb
chain" proper was then a little thin chain
finely wrought, of very close links.) Then
there was the " pliant ebony cane, with a
heavy gold top." Ebony, however, is not
pliant, but the reverse black was the word
intended. Then those "smalls" and stock-
ings to match. Mr. Pickwick, a privileged
man, appeared on this occasion, indeed
always, in his favourite white breeches and
gaiters, In fact, on no occasion save one,
l8 PICKWICKIAN MANNERS AND CUSTOMS.
when he wore a great-coat, does he appear
without them. Bantam's snuff was " Prince's
mixture," so named after the Regent, and his
scent "\Bouquet du Roi" "Prince's mixture"
is still made, but "Bouquet du Roi" is
Perker's dress is also that of the stage
attorney, as we have him now, and recognize
him. He would not be the attorney without
that dress. He was "all in black, with
boots as shiny as his eyes, a low white neck-
cloth, and a clean shirt with a frill to it."
This, of course, meant that he put on one
every day, and is yet a slight point of
contact with Johnson, who described some-
one as being only able to go out "on clean
shirt days ;" a gold watch and seals depended
from his Fob. " Depended" is a curious use
of the word, and quite gone out.
Another startling change is in the matter
of duels. The duels in Pickwick come about
quite as a matter of course, and as a common
social incident. In the "forties"! recall a
PICKWICKIAN MANNERS AND CUSTOMS. IQ
military uncle of my own a gentleman, like
uncle Toby handing his card to some one
in a billiard room, with a view to "a
meeting." Dickens' friend Forster was at one
time "going out" with another gentleman.
Mr. Lang thinks that duelling was prohibited
about 1844, and "Courts of Honour"
substituted. But the real cause was the
duel between Colonel Fawcett and Lieut.
Munro, brothers-in-law, when the former
was killed. This, and some other tragedies
of the kind, shocked the public. The
"Courts of Honour," of course, only affected
Mr. Pickwick, himself, had nearly " gone
out" on two or three occasions, once with Mr.
Slammer, once with Mr. Magnus ; while his
scuffle with Tupman would surely have led
to one. Winkle, presumed to be a coward,
had no less than three "affairs" on
his hands : one with Slammer, one with
Dowler, and one with Bob Sawyer. At Bob
Sawyer's Party, the two medical students,
20 PICKWICKIAN MANNERS AND CUSTOMS.
tendered their cards. For so amiable a man,
Mr. Pickwick had some extraordinary fail-
ings. He seems to have had no restraint
where drink was in the case, and was
hopelessly drunk about six times on three
occasions, at least, he was preparing to
assault violently. He once hurled an ink-
stand '; he once struck a person ; once
challenged his friend to "come on." Yet
the capital comedy spirit of the author
carries us over these blemishes.
When Sam was relating to his master the
story of the sausage maker's disappearance,
Mr. Pickwick, horrified, asked had he been
"Burked ? " There Boz might have repeated
his apologetic footnote, on Jingle's share in
the Revolution of 1830. " A remarkable
instance of his force of prophetic imagination,
etc." For the sausage story was related in
the year of grace 1827, and Burke was
executed in 1829, some two years later.
Mr. Lang has suggested that the bodies
Mr. Sawyer and his friend subscribed for,
PICKWICKIAN MANNERS AND CUSTOMS. 21
were " snatched," but he forgets that this
traffic was a secret one, and the bodies were
brought to the private residence of the physi-
cians, the only safe way ( Vide the memoirs of
Sir A. Cooper). At a great public Hospital
the practice would be impossible.
" Hot elder wine, well qualified with brandy
and spice," is a drink that would not now be
accepted with enthusiasm at the humblest
wedding, even in the rural districts : we are
assured that sound " was the sleep and
pleasant were the dreams that followed."
Which is not so certain. The cake was cut
and "passed through the ring," also an
exploded custom, whatever its meaning was.
In what novel nowadays would there be an
allusion to "Warren's blacking," or to
" Rowland's oil," which was, of course,
their famous " Macassar." These articles, how-
ever, may still be procured, and to that oil we
owe the familiar interposing towel or piec&of
embroidery the " antimacassar," devised to
protect the sofa or easy chair from the
22 PICKWICKIAN MANNERS AND CUSTOMS.
unguent of the hair. " Moral pocket handker-
chiefs," for teaching religion to natives of the
West Indies, combining amusement with
instruction, "blending select tales with wood-
cuts," are no longer used.
Old Temple Bar has long since dis-
appeared, so has the Holborn Valley. The
Fleet was pulled down about ten years after
Pickwick, but imprisonment for debt con-
tinued until 1860 or so. Indeed Mr. Lang
seems to think it still goes on, for he says it
is now " disguised as imprisonment for
contempt of Court." This is a mistake.
In the County Courts when small debts
under 3 los. are sued for, the judge will
order a small weekly sum to be paid in
discharge ; in case of failure to pay, he will
punish the disobedience by duress not
exceeding fifteen days a wholly different
thing from imprisonment for debt.
vWhere now are the Pewter Pots, and the
pot boy with his strap of " pewters?" we
would have to search for them now. Long
PICKWICKIAN MANNERS AND CUSTOMS. 23
cut glasses have taken their place. Where,
too, is the invariable Porter, drunk almost
exclusively in Pickwick ? Bass had not
then made its great name. There is no
mention of Billiard tables, but much about
Skittles and Bagatelle, which were the
pastimes at Taverns.
Then the Warming Pan ! Who now " does
trouble himself about the Warming Pan ? "
which is yet "a harmless necessary and I
will add a comforting article of domestic
furniture." Observe necessary, as though
every family had it as an article of their
"domestic furniture." It is odd to think of
Mary going round all the beds in the
house, and deftly introducing this " article "
between the sheets. Or was it only for the old
people : or in chilly weather merely ? On
these points we must be unsatisfied. The
practice, however, points to a certain
effeminacy the average person of our day
would not care to have his bed so treated
with invalids the " Hot Water Bottle" has
24 PICKWICKIAN MANNERS AND CUSTOMS.
" usurped its place." We find this super-
annuated instrument in the "antique"
dealers' shops, at a good figure a quaint
old world thing, of a sort of old-fashioned cut
and pattern. There only do people appear
to trouble themselves about it.
" Chops and tomato sauce." This too is
superannuated also. A more correct taste
is now chops au naturel, and relying on their
own natural juices ; but we have cutlets,
Again, are little boys no longer clad in " a
tight suit of corduroy, spangled with brass
buttons of very considerable size : " indeed
corduroy is seldom seen save on the figures
of some chic ladies. And how fortunate to
live in days when a smart valet could be
secured for twelve pounds a year, and
two suits ;* and not less.
Surprising too was the valet's accustomed
dress. "A grey coat, a black hat, with a
* As I write it is mentioned in some "society case" that
the valet received 63 a year, and 305. a month "beer
PICKWICKIAN MANNERS AND CUSTOMS. 25
cockade on it, a pink striped waistcoat,
light breeches and gaiters." What too were
"bright basket buttons" on a brown coat?
Fancy Balls too, like Mrs. Leo Hunter's,
were given in the daytime, and caused no
astonishment. Nor have we lodging-houses
with beds on the " twopenny rope " principle.
There are no "dry arches " of Waterloo
Bridge : though here I suspect Boz was
confounding them with those of the Adelphi.
Gone too are the simple games of child-
hood. Marbles for instance. We recall
Serjeant Buzfuz's pathetic allusion to little
Bardell's "Alley Tors and Commoneys;
the long familiar cry of ' knuckle down ' is
neglected." Who sees a boy playing marbles
now in the street or elsewhere ? Mr. Lang
in his edition gives us no lore about this
point. "Alley Tors" was short for
" Alabaster," the material of which the best
marbles were made.
" Tor " however, is usually spelt "Taw."
"Commoneys" were the inferior or
26 PICKWICKIAN MANNERS AND CUSTOMS.
commoner kind. " Knuckle down," accord-
ing to our recollections, was the laying the
knuckle on the ground for a shot. " Odd
and even" was also spoken of by the Serjeant.
Another game alluded to, is mysteriously
called " Tip-cheese "of which the latest
editor speculates "probably Tip-cat was
meant : the game at which Bunyan was
distinguishing himself when he had a call."
The "cat" was a plain piece of wood,
sharpened at both ends. I suppose made
to jump, like a cat. But unde "cheese,"
unless it was a piece of rind that was
"Flying the garter" is another of the
Pickwickian boy games. Talking with a
very old gentleman, lately, I thought of
asking him concerning " Flying the garter : "
he at once enlightened me. It was a familiar
thing he remembered well " when a boy."
It was a sort of " Leap Frog," exercise
only with a greater and longer spring : he
PICKWICKIAN MANNERS AND CUSTOMS. 2/
spoke also of a shuffle of the feet during the
And again. There is a piquant quaint-
ness in the upside-down turning of every
thing in this wonderful Book. Such as
Perker's eyes, which are described as playing
with his " inquisitive nose " a " perpetual
game of" what, think you? Bo-Peep ?
not at all : but " peep-bo." How odd and
unaccountable ! We all knew the little
"Bo-peep," and her sheep but "peep-bo"
is quite a reversal.
Gas was introduced into London about the
year 1812 and was thought a prodigiously
"brilliant illuminant." But in the Pick-
wickian days it was still in a crude state
and we can see in the first print that of the
club room only two attenuated jets over the
table. In many of the prints we find the dip
or mould candle, which was used to light
Sam as he sat in the coffee room of the Blue
Boar. Mr. Nupkins' kitchen was not lit by
28 PICKWICKIAN MANNERS AND CUSTOMS.
As to this matter of light it all depends
on habit and accommodating. When a boy
I have listened to " Ivanhoe " read out
O enchantment ! by the light of two "mould"
candles the regular thing which required
" snuffing " about every ten minutes, and
snuffing required dexterity. The snuffers
laid on a long tray were of ponderous
construction ; it was generally some one's
regular duty to snuff how odd seems this
now ! The " plaited wicks " which came
later were thought a triumph, and the
snuifers disappeared. They also are to be
seen in the Curio Shops.
How curious, too, the encroachment of a
too practical age on the old romance. " Faint-
ing " was the regular thing in the Pick-
wickian days, in any agitation ; " burnt
feathers " and the " sal volatile " being the
remedy. The beautiful, tender and engaging
creatures we see in the annuals, all fainted
regularly and knew how to faint were
perhaps taught it. Thus when Mr. Pickwick
PICKWICKIAN MANNERS AND CUSTOMS. 2Q
was assumed to have " proposed " to his
landlady, she in business-like fashion
actually " fainted ; " now-a-days " fainting "
has gone out as much as duelling.
In the travellers' rooms at Hotels in the
" commercial " room we do not see people
smoking " large Dutch pipes " nor is
" brandy and water " the only drink of the
smoking room. Mr. Pickwick and his
friends were always " breaking the waxen
seals" of their letters while Sam, and
people of his degree, used the wafer. (What
by the way was the " fat little boy " in the
seal of Mr. Winkle's penitential letter to
his sire ? Possibly a cupid.) Snuff taking
was then common enough in the case of
professional people like Perker.
At this moment there is to be seen in the
corner of many an antique Hall Sedan chair
laid up in ordinary of black leather,
bound with brass-nails. We can well recall
in our boyish days, mamma in full dress and
her hair in " bands," going out to dine in her
30 PICKWICKIAN MANNERS AND CUSTOMS.
chair. On arriving at the house the chair was
taken up the steps and carried bodily into
the Hall the chair men drew out their poles,
lifted the head, opened the door and the
dame stepped out. The operation was not
without its state.
Gone too are the " carpet bags " which
Mr. Pickwick carried and also Mr. Slurk
(why he brought it with him into the kitchen
is not very clear).*
Skates were then spelt " Skaits." The
" Heavy smack," transported luggage
to the Provinces by river or canal. The
" Twopenny Postman " is often alluded to.
" Campstools," carried about for use, excited
no astonishment. Gentlemen don't go to
Reviews now, as Mr. Wardle did, arrayed
in " a blue coat and bright buttons, corduroy
(Boz also spells it corderoy] breeches and top
boots," nor ladies " in scarfs and feathers."
It is curious, by the way, that Wardle talks
* Not long since, we noticed the general merriment at the
Victoria Station on the apparition of one of these curios
carried by a rural looking man.
PICKWICKIAN MANNERS AND CUSTOMS. 3!
something after the fashionable manner of
our day, dropping his g's as who should
say " huntin'," or " rippin' " " I spent some
evnins" he says "at your club." "My gals,"
he says also. "Capons" are not much eaten
now. "Drinking wine" or " having a glass
of wine" has gone out, and with it Mr.
Tupman's gallant manner of challenge to a
fair one, i.e. " touching the enchanting
Rachel's wrist with one hand and gently
elevating his bottle with the other." " Pope
Joan" is little played now, if at all; "Fish"
too ; how rarely one sees those mother-of-
pearl fish ! The " Cloth is not drawn;' and
the table exposed to view, to be covered with
dessert, bottles, glasses, etc. The shining
mahogany was always a brave show, and
we fear this comes of using cheap made up
tables of common wood. Still we wot of
some homes, old houses in the country, where
the practice is kept up. It is evident that
Mr. Wardle's dinner was at about 3 or 4
o'clock, for none was offered to the party
32 PICKWICKIAN MANNERS AND CUSTOMS.
that arrived about 6. This we may presume
was the mode in old fashioned country
houses. Supper came at eleven.
A chaise and four could go at the pace
of fifteen miles an hour.
A " 1000 horse-power " was Jingle's idea
of extravagant speed by steam agency. Now
we have got to 4, 5, and 10 thousand horse-
power. Gentlemen's " frills " in the daytime
are never seen now. Foot gear took the
shape of "Hessians'" "halves," "painted
tops," " Wellington's" or "Bluchers." There
are many other trifles which will evi-
dence these changes. We are told of
the " common eighteen-penny French skull
cap." Note common it is exhibited on Mr.
Smangle's head a rather smartish thing
with a tassel. Night caps, too, they are surely
gone by now : though a few old people may
wear them, but then boys and young men all
did. It also had a tassel. There is the " Frog
Hornpipe," whatever dance that was : the
"pousette;" while "cold srub," which
PICKWICKIAN MANNERS AND CUSTOMS. 33
is riot in much vogue now, was the drink of
the Bath Footmen. " Botany Bay ease, and
New South Wales gentility," refer to the old
convict days. This indeed is the most
startling transformation of all. For instead
of Botany Bay, and its miserable associa-
tions, we have the grand flourishing
Australia, with its noble cities, Parliaments
and the rest. Gone out too, we suppose,
the "Oxford -mixture trousers;" "Oxford
grey" it was then called.
Then for Sam's " Profeel machine." Mr.
Andrew Lang in his notes wonders what
this "Profeel machine" was, and fancies
it was the silhouette process. This
had nothing to do with the " Profeel
machine " which is described in " Little
Pedlington," a delightful specimen of
Pickwickian humour, and which ought to be
better known than it is. "There now,"
said Daubson, the painter of " the all but
breathing Grenadier," (alas ! rejected by the
Academy). "Then get up and sit down, if
34 PICKWICKIAN MANNERS AND CUSTOMS.
you please, mister." " He pointed to a narrow
high-backed chair, placed on a platform ;
by the side of the chair was a machine of
curious construction, from which protruded
a long wire. * Heady stiddy, mister.' He
then slowly drew the wire over my head and
down my nose and chin." Such was the
" Profeel machine."
There are many antiquated allusions in
Pickwick which have often exercised the
ingenuity of the curious. Sam's " Fanteegs,"
has been given up in despair as though
there were no solution yet, Professor Skeat,
an eminent authority, has long since
"Through the button hole " a slang term
for the mouth, has been well " threshed out "
as it is called. Of "My Prooshian Blue," as
his son affectedly styled his parent, Mr.
Lang correctly suggests the solution, that the
term came of George IV's intention of chang-
* Vide " History of Piokwick,"
PICKWICKIAN MANNERS AND CUSTOMS. 35
ing the uniform of the Army to Blue. But
this has been said before.
Boz in his Pickwickian names was fond
of disguising their sense to the eye, though
not to the ear. Thus Lady Snuphanuph,
looks a grotesque, but somewhat plausible
name snuff-enough a further indication
of the manners and customs. So with
Lord Mutanhed, i.e " Muttonhead." Mallard,
Serjeant Snubbin's Clerk, I have suspected,
may have been some Mr. Duck whom
" Boz" had known in that line.
"A MONUMENTAL PICKWICK."
The fruitfulness of Pickwick, and amazing
prolificness, that is one of its marvels. It is
regularly "worked on," like Dante or
Shakespeare. The Pickwickian Library is
really a wonder. It is intelligible how a
work like Boswell's "Johnson," full of
allusions and names of persons who have
lived, spoken, and written, should give rise
to explanation and commentaries ; but a work
of mere imagination, it would be thought,
could not furnish such openings. As we
have just seen, Pickwick and the other
characters are so real, so artfully blended
with existing usages, manners, and localities,
as to become actual living things.
Mere panegyric of one's favourite is idle. So
I lately took a really effective way of proving
the surprising fertility of the work and of its
power of engendering speculation and illustra-
A MONUMENTAL PICKWICK. 3?
tion. I set about collecting all that has been
done, written, and drawn on the subject dur-
ing these sixty years past, together with all
those lighter manifestations of popularity
which surely indicate "the form and
pressure " of its influence. The result is now
before me, and all but fills a small room.
When set in proper order and bound, it will
fill over thirty great quartos " huge armfuls "
as Elia has it. In short, it is a "Monumental
The basis of The Text is of course, the
original edition of 1836. There are specimens
of the titles and a few pages of every known
edition ; the first cheap or popular one ; the
"Library" edition; the " Charles Dickens "
ditto ; the Edition de Luxe ; the " Victoria" :
"Jubilee," edited by C. Dickens the younger;
editions at a shilling and at sixpence ; the
edition sold for one penny ; the new " Gads-
hill," edited by Andrew Lang ; with the
" Roxburghe," edited by F. Kitton, presently
to be published. The Foreign Editions in
38 A MONUMENTAL PICKWICK.
English-, four American editions, two of
Philadelphia, and two of New York; the
Tauchnitz (German) and Baudry (French) ;
the curious Calcutta edition ; with one of the
most interesting editions, viz., the one pub-
lished at Launceston in Van Diemen's Land
in the year 1839, that is before the name of the
Colony was changed. The publisher speaks
feelingly of the enormous difficulties he had to
encounter, and he boasts, with a certain pride,
that it is " the largest publication that has
issued from either the New South Wales or
the Tasmanian Press." Not only this, but the
whole of the work, printing, engraving, and
binding, was executed in the Colony. He
had to be content with lithography for the
plates, and indeed, could only manage a
selection of twenty of the best. He says,
too, that even in England, lithography is
found a process of considerable difficulty.
They are executed in a very rough and
imperfect way, and not very faithfully by an
artist who signs himself "Tiz." The poor,
A MONUMENTAL PICKWICK. 39
but spirited publisher adds that the expense
has been enormous " greater than was
originally contemplated," but he comforts
himself with the compliment that " if any
publication would repay the cost of its
production, it would be the far-famed
Pickwick Papers." On the whole, it is a
very interesting edition to have, and I have
never seen a copy save the one I possess.
I have also an American edition, printed in
Philadelphia, which has a great interest. It
was bought there by Mrs. Charles Dickens,
and presented by her to her faithful maid,
Anne. I possess also a copy of the Christ-
mas Carol given by his son, the author, to
his father John. Few recall that " Boz "
wrote a sequel to his Pickwick a rather
dismal failure quite devoid of humour. He
revived Sam and old Weller, and Mr. Pick-
wick, but they are unrecognizable figures.
He judiciously suppressed this attempt, after
making it a sort of introduction to Hum-
phrey's Clock. Of course, we have it here.
4O A MONUMENTAL PICKWICK.
Translations-. Of these there are some
twenty in all, but I have only the French,
German, Russian, Dutch, Norwegian,
Then come Selections : " Readings " from
" Pickwick " ; " Dialogues " from ditto ;
" Weilerisms," by Charles Kent and Mr.
Dramatic Versions: "The Pickwickians,"
11 Perambulations," " Sam Weller," etc. The
" Pickwick " opera, by Burnand ; " The
Trial in 'Pickwick'"; "Bardellz>. Pick-
wick." There are " Play Bills "various.
Connected with this department is the
literature of the " Readings" " Charles
Dickens as a Reader," by Kent, and " Pen
Photographs," by Kate Field. Also Dolby's
account of the Reading Tours, and the little
prepared versions for sale in the rooms in
green covers; also bills, tickets, and pro-
In Music we have "The Ivy Green" and
" A Christmas Carol."
A MONUMENTAL PICKWICK. 41
Imitations : " Pickwick Abroad," by G.
W. Reynolds; "Pickwick in America,'
the "Penny Pickwick," the " Queerfish
Chronicles," the " Cadger Club," and many
In the way of Commentaries : The " History
of Pickwick," " Origin of Sam Weller" : Sir
F. Lockwood's "The Law and Lawyers of
Pickwick"; Kent's " Humour and Pathos of
Charles Dickens"; accounts from Forster's
"Life" and from the "Letters," " Con-
troversy with Seymour" (Mrs. Seymour's rare
pamphlet is not procurable), " Dickensiana,"
by F. Kitton ;" Bibliographies " by Herne
Shepherd, Cook and also by Kitton.
Criticisms : The Quarterly Review, the
Westminster Review, Fraser^s Magazine,
Taine's estimate, " L'inimitable Boz " by
Comte de Heussey, with many more.
Topographical-. Hughes' "Tramp in
Dickens-Land," " In Kent with Charles
Dickens," by Frost; " Bozland," by Percy
Fitzgerald ; " The Childhood and Youth of
42 A MONUMENTAL PICKWICK.
C. Dickens," by Langton ; " Dickens's
London," by Allbutt ; " About England with
Dickens," by Rimmer; Papers in American
and English Magazines ; " A Pickwickian
Pilgrimage," by Hassard ; " Old Rochester,"
Commentaries on the Illustrations-. Here
is a regular department Account of " Phiz,"
by Kitton ; " Life of Hablot K. Browne,"
by Croal Thomson; "Life of G. Cruik-
shank," Mr. Dexter's book, and another by
Charles P. Johnson.
Next we refer to the Illustrations them-
selves : The plates to the original edition are
by Seymour (7), Buss (2), Phiz-Seymour
(7), and by "Phiz" (35). Variations,
by " Phiz " ; variations, coloured by Pail-
thorpe ; facsimiles of original drawings
altogether about 200. There are Extra Plates
by Heath, Sir John Gilbert, Onwhyn (" Sam
Weller"), Sibson, Alfred Crowquill, Antony
(American), Onwhyn (Posthumous) and
Frost, Frederick Barnard (to popular
A MONUMENTAL PICKWICK. 43
edition) ; also some folio plates; C. J. Leslie
(a frontispiece). "Phiz" published later a
series of six, and also a large number of
coarse wood-cuts to illustrate a cheap edition.
There are also a series of clever extra
illustrations by Pailthorpe and others,
coloured by the same. We have seen F.
Barnard's illustrations coloured by Pail-
thorpe. There are here also the original
plates re-drawn in Calcutta. They were
also reproduced in Philadelphia, with
additional ones by Nast. Others were issued
in Sydney. There are a number of German
woodcut illustrations to illustrate the
German translations; some rude woodcuts
to illustrate Dicks' edition : ditto to Penny
edition. There is also a set of portraits from
" Pickwick " in Bell's Life, probably by
Kenny Meadows; and coloured figures by
There are many pictures in colours
Pickwick, Weller, &c. to illustrate Christ-
mas calendars, chiefly " made in Germany."
44 A MONUMENTAL PICKWICK.
The most curious tribute is the issue by the
Phonographic Society of " Pickwick " in
shorthand; and, finally, "Pickwick" in raised
characters on the Braille system for the
This odd publication of " Pickwick " for the
Blind came about in a quaint way enough.
As we know, the author issued at his own
expense one of his works in raised characters,
as a present to these afflicted persons. A rich
old gentleman had noticed a blind beggar
seated with the Bible open on his knees,
droning out the passages in the usual fashion.
Some of the impostor sort learn the lines by
heart and "make believe" to read, as they
pass their fingers over the characters. The
rich old gentleman's blind reader read in the
genuine way, and got through about fifty
chapters a day. No one, however, is much
improved by the lecture. They merely wonder
at the phenomenon and go their way. The
rich old gentleman presently spoke to the
blind reader : " Why don't you read * Pick-
A MONUMENTAL PICKWICK. 45
wick ' or some other book that the public will
listen to ? " " Sir," he replied he must have
been of the stock of Silas Wegg "give me
* Pickwick ' in raised characters and I will
The rich old gentleman went his way and
inquired at the proper places, but the work
was not known. He gave an order for a
hundred copies of "Pickwick" in "Wait's
Improved Braille Type," and in about six
months it was delivered to him not the whole
work, but a selection of the more effective
episodes. The blind reader was pleased ;
the old gentleman insisted on a private
rehearsal ; select passages were chosen which
were calculated to take about twenty minutes
each. When he arrived on the morning fixed
for the first attempt, he found his friend at
his post with quite a crowd gathered round
him, in convulsions of laughter. The " poor
blind " was reading, or feeling out, old Mr.
Weller's ejectment of the red-nosed man.
The hat was overflowing with coppers and
46 A MONUMENTAL PICKWICK.
even silver. So things went on prospering
for a while. " Pickwick" was a magnificent
success, and the blind man was never with-
out a crowd round him of some fifteen to
fifty persons. But the other blind readers
found the demand for the sacred text vanish-
ing ; and people would unfeelingly interrupt
them to inquire the way to the " Pickwick
man." Eventually the police began to
interfere, and required him to "move on;"
"he was obstructing the pavement" not,
perhaps, he, but " Pickwick." He did move
on to Hyde Park, but there were others there,
performers young and up-to-date, and with
full use of their eyes, who did the same thing
with action and elocution. So he fairly gave
the thing up, and returned to his Scriptures.
This tale would have amused " Boz " himself.
Of a more miscellaneous kind are
"The Pickwick Songster," "Sam Weller's
Almanac," "Sam Weller's Song Book,"
" The Pickwick Pen," " Oh, what a boon and
a blessing to men," etc., to say nothing of
A MONUMENTAL PICKWICK. 4?
innumerable careless sheets, and trifles of all
kinds and of every degree. Then we have
adapted advertisements. The Proprietors
of Beecham's Pills use the scene of Mr.
Pickwick's discovery of the Bill Stumps in-
scription. Some carpet cleaners have Sam
and the pretty housemaid folding the carpet.
Lastly comes the author, " Boz " himself, with
letters, portraits, pictures of his homes, etc.,
all more or less connected with the period
when he was writing this book, a facsimile of
his receipt for copy money, a copy of his
agreement with Chapman and Hall, and
many more items.
I have often wondered how it was that
" the inimitable Boz," took so little interest
in his great Book. It always seemed to me
NOTE. We have even in London the regular Pickwickian
publisher, whose work is stimulated by a generous ardour and
prepared knowledge of "States," Curios of all kinds
associated with Boz in general, and Pickwick in particular.
Among these is Mr. Spencer, of High Holborn "who will
get you up a Pickwick" with all the advertisements, wrappers,
etc., within a reasonable period and who will point out to you
some mysterious error in the paging, which has escaped
previous commentators. There is also Mr. Robson, of
Coventr Street, and Mr. Harvey, of St. James' Street
48 A MONUMENTAL PICKWICK.
that he did not care for praise of it, or wish
much that it should be alluded to. But he at
once became interested, when you spoke
of some of his artful plots, in Bleak
House, or Little Dorrit then his eye kindled.
He may have fancied, as his friend Forster
also did, that Pickwick was a rather jejune
juvenile thing, inartistically planned, and
thrown off, or rather rattled off. His
penchant, as was the case with Liston and
some of the low comedians, was for harrow-
ing tragedy and pathos.
Once when driving with him on a jaunting
car in Dublin, he asked me, did I know so-
and-so, and I answered promptly in Mr.
Winkle's words, " I don't know him, but
I have seen him." This apropos made him
laugh heartily. I am now inclined to think
that the real explanation of his distaste was,
that the Book was associated with one of the
most painful and distracting episodes of his
life, which affected him so acutely, that he
actually flung aside his work in the full
A MONUMENTAL PICKWICK. 49
tumult of success, and left the eager
public without its regular monthly number.
" I have been so unnerved " he writes, in an
unpublished letter to Harrison Ainsworth,
"and hurt by the loss of the dear girl whom I
loved, after my wife, more dearly and fervently
than anyone on earth, that I have been com-
pelled for once to give up all idea of my
monthly work, and to try a fortnight's rest
In this long book, there are found allusions
to only two or three other works. What
these are might form one of the questions
"set" at the next Pickwick examination.
Fielding is quoted once. In the dedica-
tion allusion is made to Talfourd's three
speeches in Parliament, on the copyright
question ; these were published in a little
volume, and make, fairly enough, one
of the illustrative documents of " Pickwick."
In the first number of the first edition there
is an odd note, rather out of place, but it was
withdrawn later meant to ridicule Mr.
50 A MONUMENTAL PICKWICK.
Jingle's story of " Ponto's " sagacity ; it
states that in Mr. Jesse's gleanings, there are
more amazing stories than this.
Mr. Jesse was a sort of personage living at
Richmond where I well remember him,
when I was there as a boy. " Jesse's glean-
ings" was then a well-known and popular
book ; and his stones of dogs are certainly
extraordinary enough to have invoked Boz's
ridicule. We are told of the French poodle,
who after rolling himself in the mud of the
Seine, would rub himself against any well-
polished boots that he noticed, and would
thus bring custom to his master, who
was a shoe black on the Pont Neuf.
He was taken to London by an English
purchaser, but in a few days disappeared, and
was discovered pursuing his old trade on the
Bridge. Other dogs, we were told, after being
transported long distances, would invariably
find their way back. These prodigies, how-
ever, do not appear so wonderful now, after
the strange things about dogs and cats that
A MONUMENTAL PICKWICK. 51
have been retailed in a well-known " weekly."
A third allusion is to Sterne's Maria of
Moulines, made, of all people in the world, by
"BOZ' AND "BOZZY."
It may seem somewhat far-fetched to put
" Pickwick " beside Boswell's also immortal
work, but I think really the comparison is
not a fanciful one. No one enjoyed the book
so much as "Boz." He knew it thoroughly.
Indeed, it is fitting that "Boz" should relish
" Bozzy;" for " Bozzy " would certainly have
relished "Boz" and have "attended him
with respectful attention." It has not been
yet shown how much there is in common
between the two great books, and, indeed,
between them and a third, greater than
either, the immortal " Don Quixote." All
three are " travelling stories." Sterne also
was partial to a travelling story. Lately,
when a guest at the "Johnson Club," I
ventured to expound minutely, and at length,
this curious similarity between Boswell and
Dickens. Dickens' appreciation of "Bozzy"
BOZ AND BOZZY. 53
is proved by his admirable parody which is
found in one of his letters to Wilkie Collins,
and which is superior to anything of the
sort to Chalmers', Waloot's, or any that
have been attempted :
" Sir," as Dr. Johnson would have said, " if
it be not irrational in a man to count his
feathered bipeds before they are hatched, we
will conjointly astonish them next year." BoswelL
"Sir, I hardly understand you." Johnson. "You
never understood anything." Boswell (in a
sprightly manner). " Perhaps, sir, I am all the
better for it." Johnson. " I do not know but
that you are. There is Lord Carlisle (smiling)
he never understands anything, and yet the dog
is well enough. Then, sir, there is Forster
he understands many things, and yet the fellow
is fretful. Again, sir, there is Dickens, with a
facile way with him like Davy, sir, like Davy-
yet I am told that the man is lying at a hedge
alehouse by the seashore in Kent as long as they
will trust him." Boswell. " But there are no
hedges by the sea in Kent, sir." Johnson. "And
why not, sir? " Boswell (at a loss). "I don't
54 BOZ AND BOZZY.
know, sir, unless " Johnson (thundering).
" Let us have no unlesses, sir. If your father
had never said unless he would never have
begotten you, sir." Boswell (yielding). " Sir,
that is very true."
To begin, the Christian names of the two
great men were the same. Sam Johnson
and Samuel Pickwick. Johnson had a
relation called Nathaniel, and Pickwick had
a "follower" also Nathaniel. Both the
great men founded Clubs : Johnson's was in
Essex Street, Strand, to say nothing of the
Literary or Johnson Club ; the other in
Huggin Lane. Johnson had his Goldsmith,
Reynolds, Boswell, Burke, and the rest, as his
members and " followers :" Mr. Pickwick had
his Tupman, Snodgrass, Winkle, and others.
These were the "travelling members," just as
Dr. Johnson and Boswell were the travel-
ling members of their Club. Boswell was
the notetaker, so was Snodgrass. When we
see the pair staying at the Three Crowns at
Lichfield calling on friends waited on by
BOZ AND BOZZY. 55
the manager of the local Theatre, etc., we are
forcibly reminded of the visits to Rochester
Boswell one night dropped into a tavern
in Butcher Row, and saw his great friend in
a warm discussion with a strange Irishman,
who was very short with him, and the sketch
recalls very forcibly Mr. Pickwick at the
Magpie and Stump, where old Jack Bamber
told him that he knew nothing about the
mysteries of the old haunted chambers in
Clifford's Inn and such places. The Turk's
Head, the Crown and Anchor, the Cheshire
Cheese, The Mitre, may be set beside the
Magpie and Stump, the George and Vulture,
and White Horse Cellars.
More curious still in Boswell's life, there is
mentioned a friend of Johnson's who is
actually named Weller ! I leave it as a
pleasant crux for the ingenious Pickwickian
to find out where.
Johnson had his faithful servant, Frank :
Mr. Pickwick his Sam. The two sages
56 BOZ AND BOZZY.
equally revelled in travelling in post-chaises
and staying at inns ; both made friends with
people in the coaches and commercial rooms.
There are also some odd accidental coinci-
dences which help in the likeness. Johnson
was constantly in the Borough, and we have
a good scene with Mr. Pickwick at the White
Hart in the same place. Mr. Pickwick had
his widow, Mrs. Bardell; and Johnson his in
the person of the fair Thrale. Johnson had his
friend Taylor at Ashbourne, to whom he
often went on visits, always going down by
coach ; while Mr. Pickwick had his friend
Wardle, with whom he stayed at Manor
Farm, in Kent. We know of the review at
Rochester which Mr. Pickwick and friends
attended, and how they were charged by
the soldiery. Oddly enough Dr. Johnson
attended a review also at Rochester, when
he was on a visit to his friend Captain
Langton. Johnson, again, found his way to
Bath, went to the Assembly Rooms, etc. ;
and our friend Mr. Pickwick, we need not say,
BOZ AND BOZZY. 57
also enjoyed himself there. In Boswell's
record we have a character called Mudge, an
" out of the way " name ; and in Pickwick
we find a Mudge. George Steevens, who
figures so much in Boswell's work, was the
author of an antiquarian hoax played off on
a learned brother, of the same class as " Bill
Stumps, his mark." He had an old inscription
engraved on an unused bit of pewter it was
well begrimed and well battered, then
exposed for sale in a broker's shop, where it
was greedily purchased by the credulous
virtuoso. The notion, by the way, of the
Club button was taken from the Prince
Regent, who had his Club and uniform,
which he allowed favourites to wear.
There is a story in Boswell's Biography
which is transferred to " Pickwick," that
of the unlucky gentleman who died from a
surfeit of crumpets ; Sam, it will be re-
collected, describes it as a case of the man
" as killed hisself on principle."
" He used to go away to a coffee-house after
58 BOZ AND BOZZY.
his dinner and have a small pot o' coffee and four
crumpets. He fell ill and sent for the doctor.
Doctor comes in a green fly vith a kind o'
Robinson Crusoe set o' steps as he could let
down ven he got out, and pull up arter him ven
he got in, to perwent the necessity o' the coach-
man's gettin' down, and thereby undeceivin' the
public by lettin' 'em see that it wos only a livery
coat he'd got on, and not the trousers to match.
c How many crumpets at a sittin* do you think
'ud kill me off at once ? ' said the patient. * I
don't know,' says the doctor. * Do you think
half a crown's vurth 'ud do it ? ' says the patient.
' I think it might,' says the doctor. * Three
shillin' 's vurth 'ud be sure to do it, I s'pose ? '
says the patient. * Certainly,' says the doctor.
'Wery good,' says the patient; 'good-night.'
Next mornin' he gets up, has a fire lit, orders in
three shillin's' vurth o' crumpets, toasts 'em all,
eat 'em all, and blows his brains out."
" What did he do that for ? " inquired Mr.
Pickwick abruptly ; for he was considerably
startled by this tragical termination of the
BOZ AND BOZZY. 59
" Wot did he do it for, sir ? " reiterated Sam.
" Wy, in support of his great principle that
crumpets was wholesome, and to show that he
vouldn't be put out of his vay for nobody ! "
Thus Dickens marvellously enriched this
quaint story. It may be found amusing to
trace the genesis of the tale. In Boswell it
runs : " Mr. Fitzherbert, who loved buttered
muffins, but durst not eat them because they
disagreed with his stomach, resolved to
shoot himself, and then eat three buttered
muffins for breakfast, knowing that he should
not be troubled with indigestion." We find
that De Quincey, in one of his essays, reports
the case of an officer holding the rank of
lieutenant-colonel who could not tolerate a
breakfast without muffins. But he suffered
agonies of indigestion. " He would stand
the nuisance no longer, but yet, being a just
man, he would give Nature one final chance
of reforming her dyspeptic atrocities. Muffins
therefore being laid at one angle of the table
and pistols at the other, with rigid equity the
60 BOZ AND BOZZY.
Colonel awaited the result. This was
naturally pretty much as usual ; and then
the poor man, incapable of retreating from
his word of honour, committed suicide,
having left a line for posterity to the effect,
" that a muffinless world was no world for
It will be recollected that, during the
Christmas festivities at Manor Farm, after a
certain amount of kissing had taken place
under the mistletoe, Mr. Pickwick was
" standing under the mistletoe, looking with
a very pleased countenance on all that was
passing round him, when the young lady
with the black eyes, after a little whispering
with the other young ladies, made a
sudden dart forward, and putting her arm
round Mr. Pickwick's neck, saluted him
affectionately on the left cheek, and before he
distinctly knew what was the matter he was
surrounded by the whole bevy, and kissed by
every one of them." Compare with this
EOZ AND BOZZY. 6l
what happened to Dr. Johnson in the
"This evening one of our married ladies, a
lively, pretty little woman, good-humouredly sat
down upon Dr. Johnson's knee, and being en-
couraged by some of the company, put her
hands round his neck and kissed him. " Do it
again," said he, "and let us see who will tire
first." He kept her on his knee some time while
he and she drank tea. He was now like a buck
indeed. All the company were much entertained
to find him so easy and pleasant. To me it was
highly comic to see the grave philosopher the
Rambler toying with a Highland beauty !
But what could he do? He must have been
surly, and weak too, had he not behaved as he
did. He would have been laughed at, and not
more respected, though less loved."
Was not this Mr. Pickwick exactly ?
Or, we might fancy this little scene taking
place at Dunvegan Castle, on the night of
the dance, when Johnson was in such high
good-humour. His faithful henchman might
62 BOZ AND BOZZY.
have come up to him and have said jocosely,
" You, sir, in silk stockings ? "
" And why not, sir_why not ? " said the
Doctor warmly. " Oh, of course," I answered,
"there is no reason why you should not wear
them." " I imagine not, sir I imagine not,"
said the Doctor in a very peremptory tone. I
had contemplated a laugh, but found it was a
serious matter. I looked grave, and said they
were a pretty pattern. " I hope they are," said
Dr. Johnson, fixing his eyes upon me. " You
see nothing extraordinary in these stockings as
stockings, I trust, sir ? " " Certainly not ; oh,
certainly not," I replied, and my revered friend's
countenance assumed its customary benign
Now, is not this Pickwickian all over?
Yet it is the exact record of what occurred at
Manor Farm, in " Pickwick," with a change
only in the names, and would pass very
fairly as an amiable outburst of the redoubt-
Or, again, let us put a bit of " Boz " into
BOZ AND BOZZY. 63
"Bozzy's" work. The amiable "Goldy" was
partial to extravagant dress, and to showing
When a masquerade at Ranelagh was talked
of, he said to Doctor Johnson, " I shall go as a
Corsican." " What ! " said the Doctor, with a
sudden start. "As a Corsican," Dr. Goldsmith
repeated mildly. "You don't mean to say," said
the Doctor to him, gazing at him with solemn
sternness, "that it is your intention to put your-
self into a green velvet jacket with a two-inch
tail ? " " Such is my intention, sir," replied
Goldsmith warmly; "and why not, sir?"
" Because, sir," said the Doctor, considerably
excited, "you are too old." "Too old!"
exclaimed Goldsmith. "And if any further
ground of objection be wanting," said Dr.
Johnson, "You are too fat, sir." "Sir," said
Dr. Goldsmith, his face suffused with a crimson
glow, " this is an insult." "Sir," said the sage
in the same tone, "it is not half the insult to
you, that your appearance in my presence in a
green velvet jacket with two-inch tail would be
to me." "Sir," said Dr. Goldsmith, "you're
64 BOZ AND BOZZY.
a fellow." Sir," said Dr. Johnson, "you're
Winkle in a very amusing way often
suggests Boswell; and Mr. Pickwick treats
him with as great rudeness as did Johnson his
Winkle. When that unhappy gentleman, or
follower exhibited himself on the ice, Mr. Pick-
wick, we are told, was excited and indignant.
"He beckoned to Mr. Weller and said in a
stern voice: Take the skates off." "No, but!
had scarcely began," remonstrated Mr.
Winkle. "Take his skates off," repeated Mr.
Pickwick, firmly. The command was not to
be resisted. " Lift him up," said Mr.
Pickwick Sam assisted him to rise. Mr,
Pickwick retired a few paces apart from the
by-standers and beckoning his friend to
approach, fixed a searching look on him and
uttered in a low, but distinct and emphatic
tone, these remarkable words : "You're a
humbug, sir." "A what?" said Mr. Winkle,
starting. " A humbug, sir, I will speak
plainer if you wish it an impostor, sir."
BOZ AND BOZZY. 65
With these words Mr. Pickwick turned
slowly on his heel and rejoined his friends.
Was not! this exactly the Sage's treatment of
his " Bozzy " on many occasions ?
There is yet another odd coincidence.
Everyone knows how Bob Sawyer's party was
disturbed by Mrs. Raddle's angry expostu-
lations, and the guests had to disperse. Well,
Mr. Boswell, who had much of the Sawyer
tone gave a party at his rooms in
Downing Street, and his landlord behaved
so outrageously, that he gave him notice,
and the next day quitted his rooms. " I
feel I shall have to give my landlady notice,"
said Mr. Sawyer with a ghastly smile. Mr.
Boswell had actually to take some of the
invited guests to the Mitre and entertain
There is a pleasant passage connected with
Dr. Johnson's visit to Plymouth, with his old
friend Sir Joshua. He was much pleased
with this jaunt and declared he had derived
from it a great accession of new ideas, ,
66 BOZ AND BOZZY.
" The magnificence of the Navy the ship
building and all its circumstances afforded
him a grand subject of contemplation." He
contemplated it in fact, as Mr. Pickwick
contemplated Chatham and the Medway.
The commissioner of the dockyard paid him
the compliment, etc. The characteristic
part, however, was that the Doctor entered
enthusiastically into the local politics. "There
was a new town rising up round the dockyard,
as a rival to the old one, and knowing from
the sagacity and just observation of human
nature, that it is certain if a man hates at all,
he will hate his next neighbour, he concluded
that this new and rising town could but excite
the envy and jealousy of the old. He there-
fore set himself resolutely on the side of the
old town, the established town in which he
was. Considering it a kind of duty to stand by
it. He accordingly entered warmly into its
interests, and upon every occasion talked of
the Dockers as "upstarts and aliens." As
they wanted to be supplied with water from
BOZ AND BOZZY. 67
the old town, not having a drop themselves,
Johnson affecting to entertain the passions
of the place, was violent in opposition ; and
half laughing at himself for his pretended
zeal, and where he had no concern, ex-
claimed : " No ! I am against the Dockers ; I
am a Plymouth man. Rogues ! let them die
of thirst; they shall not have a drop. I
hate a Docker ! "
Now all this is very like what the amiable
Pickwick would have done; in fact like
something he did do and felt, when he
repaired to Eatanswill for the election. On
entering the town he at once chose his
party, and took it up enthusiastically.
" With his usual foresight and sagacity,"
like Dr. Johnson, he had chosen a fortu-
nately desirable moment for his visit.
" Slumkey for ever," roared the honest and
independent. " Slumkey for ever ! " echoed
Mr. Pickwick, taking off his hat. " No
Fizkin," roared the crowd. " Certainly
not," shouted Mr. Pickwick. "Who is
68 BOZ AND BOZZY.
Slumkey ? " whispered Mr. Tupman. " I
don't know," said Mr. Pickwick, in the same
tone. " Hush ! don't ask any questions.
It's always best on these occasions to do
what the mob do." " But suppose there are
two mobs," suggested Mr. Snodgrass.
" Shout with the largest," replied Mr. Pick-
wick. Volumes could not have said more.
On asking for rooms at the Town Arms,
which was the Great White Horse, Mr.
Pickwick was asked "was he Blue." Mr.
Pickwick in reply, asked for Perker. "He is
blue I think." " O yes, sir." " Then we are
blue," said Mr. Pickwick, but observing the
man looked rather doubtful at this accommo-
dating account he gave him his card. Perker
arranged everything. " Spirited contest,
my dear sir," he said, " I am delighted to
hear it," said Mr. Pickwick. " I like to see
sturdy patriotism, on whatever side it is
called forth." Later, we are told, Mr.
Pickwick entered heart and soul into the
business, and, like the sage, caught the
BOZ AND BOZZY. 69
prevailing excitement. " Although no great
partisan of either side, Mr. Pickwick was
sufficiently fired by Mr. Pott's enthusiasm to
apply his whole time and attention to the
proceedings, etc." All this, of course, does
not correspond exactly, but the spirit of the
selections are the same.
The Doctor it is known, would go out at
midnight with his friends Beauclerk and
Layton to have what he called "a rouze,"
and Garrick was humorously apprehensive
that he would have to bail out his old friend
from the watchhouse. Mr. Pickwick had
many a " rouze " with his followers. And
Johnson himself, in the matter of drink, was
at one time as bad as Mr. Pickwick, only he
had a better head, and could "carry his liquor
discreetly," like the Baron of Bradwardine.
He had actually to give up drink on account
of this tendency to excess.
There is a shrewd remark of the late Bishop
Norwich, Dean Stanley's father, that to catch
and describe the tone and feeling of a place
gives a better idea of it than any minute or
accurate description. " Some books," he says,
"give one ideas of places without descriptions ;
there is something which suggests more vivid
and agreeable images than distinct words.
Would Gil Bias for instance ? It opens with a
scene of history, chivalry, Spain, orange trees,
fountains, guitars, muleteers ; there is the
picturesque and the sense of the picturesque, as
distinct as the actual object." Now this exactly
applies to " Pickwick," which brings up before
us Rochester, Ipswich, Muggleton, Birmingham,
and a dozen other places to the tourist. The
night of the arrival at Birmingham for
instance, and the going out after dinner to
call on Mr. Winkle, sen,, is strangely vivid.
Face p. 71
PICKWICKIAN ORIGINALS. 71
So real is our Pickwickian Odyssey that it
can be followed in all its stages as in a diary.
To put it all in " ship shape " as it were and
enhance this practical feeling I have drawn
out the route in a little map. It is wonderful
how much the party saw and how much
ground they covered, and it is not a far-
fetched idea that were a similar party in our
day, good humoured, venturesome and ac-
cessible, to visit old-fashioned, out of the way
towns, and look out for fun, acquaintances and
characters, they might have a good deal of
the amusement and adventure that the Pick-
The Pickwickians first went to Rochester,
Chatham, Dingley Dell, and perhaps to
Gravesend. Mr. Pickwick with Wardle then
pursued Jingle to town, returning thence to
the Dell, which he at once left for Cobham,
where he found his friend Tupman. The
party then returned to town. Next we have
the first visit to Ipswich called Eatanswill
from which town Mr. Pickwick and Sam
72 PICKWICKIAN ORIGINALS.
posted to Bury St. Edmunds ; thence to
London. Next came their third expedition
to Dingley Dell for the Christmas festivities.
Then the second visit to Ipswich. Then
the journey to Bath, and that from Bath
to Bristol. Later a second journey to Bristol
another from Bristol to Birmingham, and
from Birmingham to London, Mr. Pickwick's
final junketing before retiring to Dulwich.
Yet another interesting side of the Pickwick
story is its almost biographical character. Boz
seems to take us with him from his very boy-
hood. During the old days when his father was
at Chatham he had seen all the Rochester inci-
dents, sat by the old Castle and Bridge, noted
with admiring awe the dockyard people,
the Balls at "The Bull," the Reviews on the
Lines. The officers like Dr. Slammer, all the
figures fat boy included were drawn from
this stage of his life. The Golden Cross,
which figures also in Copperfield, he had
constantly stopped at. He knew, too, the
inns in the Boro'. The large legal element
PICKWICKIAN ORIGINALS. 73
and its odd incidents and characters he had
learned and studied during his brief appren-
ticeship to the Law. The interior economy
of the Fleet Prison he had learned from his
family's disastrous experiences ; the turnkeys,
and blighted inhabitants he had certainly
taken from life. But he shifted the scene from
the Marshalsea to the King's Bench Prison
the former place would have been too painful
a reminiscence for his father. To his reporting
expeditions we owe the Election scenes at
Ipswich, and to another visit for the same
object, his Bath experiences. Much of the
vividness and reality of his touchings, particu-
larly in the case of Rochester and its doings,
is the magnifying, searching power resulting
from a life of sorrow in childhood, family
troubles working on a keen, sensitive nature ;
these made him appreciate and meditate on
all that was going on about him, as a sort of
relief and relaxation. All the London scenes
the meetings at taverns were personal
experiences. Among his friends were medical
74 PICKWICKIAN ORIGINALS.
students and many odd beings. We can trace
his extraordinary appreciation of Christmas
and its genial, softening festivities which
clung to him till it altogether faded out, to
the same sense of relief; it furnished an
opportunity of forgetting for a time (at least),
the dismal, gloomy home.
Boz, if he drew his characters from
life, did not draw wholesale; he would take
only a portion of a character that pleased him
and work it up in combination with another
distinct character. It was thus he dealt with
Leigh Hunt, borrowing his amusing, airy
frivolity, and combining it with the meanness
and heartlessness of Skimpole. I have always
fancied that Dowler in " Pickwick " was
founded after this composite principle on
his true-hearted but imperious friend,
Forster. Forster was indeed also a perfect
reproduction of Dr. Johnson and had the
despotic intolerance in conversation certainly
of that great man. Like him " if his pistol
missed fire, he knocked you down with the
PICKWICKIAN ORIGINALS. 75
butt end of it" He could be as amiable and
tender-hearted as "old Sam" himself. Listen-
ing to Dowler at the coach office in Piccadilly
we who knew Forster well seemed to hear
his very voice. "It was a stern -eyed man of
about five-and-forty, who had large black
whiskers. He was buttoned up to the chin
in a brown coat and had a large seal-skin cap
and a cloak beside him. He looked up
from his breakfast as Mr. Pickwick entered
with a fierce and peremptory air, which was
very dignified, and which seemed to say that
he rather expected somebody wanted to take
advantage of him, but it wouldn't do" . .
" Are you going to Bath ? " said the strange
man. " I am, sir," replied Mr. Pickwick.
" And these other gentleman ? " " They are
going also," said Mr. Pickwick. " Not inside
I'll be damned if you're going inside," said
the strange man. " Not all of us," said Mr.
Pickwick. " No not all of you," said the
strange man, emphatically. "We take two
places. If they try and squeeze six people
76 PICKWICKIAN ORIGINALS.
into an infernal box that only holds four, I'll
take a post-chaise and bring an action. It
won't do," etc. This recalls the pleasant
story about Forster and the cabman who
summoned him. The latter was adjudged to be
in the wrong and said he knew it, but " that
he was determined to show him up, he were
such a harbitrary cove." None enjoyed this
story more than Forster himself, and I have
heard him say to a lady humorously, " Now
you must. You know I am ' such a harbitrary
cove.' " Dear good old Forster !
I must confess all Pickwickians would like to
know biographical details, as one might call
them, about the personages engaged in the
trial. I need not repeat that Judge Stareleigh
was drawn from Mr. Justice Gazalee, or that
Buzfuz was founded on Mr. Serjeant Bompas,
or Bumpus. Charles Carpenter Bompas was
his full designation. He was made a
Serjeant in 1827, the very year of the
memorable trial. He obtained a Patent of
Precedence in 1834. " Buzfuz's son " Mr.
PICKWICKIAN ORIGINALS. 77
W. Bompas, Q.C., who will pardon the
freedom of the designation was born in the
year of the celebrated trial. He was the
youngest son and had a very distinguished
career both at College and at the Bar, being
a " leader " on his circuit, revising barrister,
bencher, recorder, and was last year appointed
a County Court judge.
Who were Serjeant Snubbin, Skimpin, and
Phunkey ? No traditions have come to us
as to these gentlemen. Skimpin may have
been Wilkins, and Snubbin a Serjeant
Arabin, a contemporary of Buzfuz. But we
are altogether in the dark.
We should have liked also to have some
" prehistoric peeps " at the previous biography
of Mr. Pickwick before the story began. We
have but a couple of indications of his calling:
the allusion by Perker at the close of the
story " The agent at Liverpool said he had
been obliged to you many times when you
were in business." He was therefore a
merchant or in trade. Snubbin at the trial
78 PICKWICKIAN ORIGINALS.
stated that " Mr. Pickwick had retired from
business and was a gentleman of considerable
In the original announcement of the
" Pickwick Papers " there are some scraps of
information about Mr. Pickwick and the Club
itself. This curious little screed shows that
the programme was much larger than the one
carried out :
"On the 3 1st of March, 1836, will be published,
to be continued Monthly, price One
Shilling, the First Number of
THE POSTHUMOUS PAPERS
THE PICKWICK CLUB ;
containing a faithful record of the
PERAMBULATIONS, PERILS, TRAVELS, AD-
VENTURE'S, AND SPORTING TRANSACTIONS
OF THE COBRESPONDING MEMBERS.
EDITED BY "BOZ."
And each Monthly Part embellished with
four illustrations by Seymour.
PICKWICKIAN ORIGINALS. 7Q
" The Pickwick Club, so renowned in the annals
of Huggin Lane, and so closely entwined with
the thousand interesting associations connected
with Lothbury and Cateaton Street^ was founded
in the year one thousand eight hundred and
twenty-two, by Samuel Pickwick the great
traveller whose fondness for the useful arts
prompted his celebrated journey to Birmingham
in the depth of winter ; and whose taste for the
beauties of nature even led him to penetrate to
the very borders of Wales in the height of
" This remarkable man would appear to have
infused a considerable portion of his restless and
inquiring spirit into the breasts of other members
of the Club, and to have awakened in their minds
the same insatiable thirst for travel which so
eminently characterized his own. The whole
surface of Middlesex, a part of Surrey, a portion
of Essex, and several square miles of Kent were
in their turns examined and reported on. In a
rapid steamer they smoothly navigated the
placid Thames ; and in an open boat they fear-
lessly crossed the turbid Medway. High-roads
80 PICKWICKIAN ORIGINALS.
and by-roads, towns and villages, public con-
veyances and their passengers, first-rate inns
and road-side public houses, races, fairs, regattas,
elections, meetings, market days all the scenes
that can possibly occur to enliven a country
place, and at which different traits of character
may be observed and recognized, were alike
visited and beheld by the ardent Pickwick and
his enthusiastic followers.
"The Pickwick Travels, the Pickwick Diary,
the Pickwick Correspondencein short, the
whole of the Pickwick Papers were carefully
preserved, and duly registered by the secretary,
from time to time, in the voluminous Transac-
tions of the Pickwick Club. These Transactions
have been purchased from the patriotic secretary,
at an immense expense, and placed in the hands
of * Boz,' the author of " Sketches Illustrative
of Every Day Life and Every Day People " a
gentleman whom the publishers consider highly
qualified for the task of arranging these important
documents, and placing them before the public
in an attractive form. He is at present deeply
PICKWICKIAN ORIGINALS 8l
immersed in his arduous labours, the first fruits
of which will appear on the 3ist March.
" Seymour has devoted himself, heart and
graver, to the task of illustrating the beauties of
Pickwick. It was reserved to Gibbon to paint,
in colours that will never fade, the Decline and
Fall of the Roman Empire to Hume to chronicle
the strife and turmoil of the two proud houses
that divided England against herself to Napier
to pen, in burning words, the History of the
War in the Peninsula the deeds and actions of
the gifted Pickwick yet remain for * Boz ' and
Seymour to hand down to posterity.
" From the present appearance of these
important documents and the probable extent of
the selections from them, it is presumed that the
series will be completed in about twenty numbers."
From this it will be seen that it was
intended to exhibit all the humours of the
social amusements with which the public re-
galed itself. Mr. Pickwick and friends were
to be shown on board a steamer ; at races,
fairs, regattas, market days, meetings " at all
the scenes that can possibly occur to enliven a
82 PICKWICKIAN ORIGINALS.
country place, and at which different traits of
character may be observed and recognized."
This was a very scientific and well drawn
scheme ; and it was, on the whole, most faith-
fully and even brilliantly carried out. But
with infinite art Boz emancipated himself from
the formal hide-bound trammels of Syntax
tours and the like, when it was reckoned that
the hero and his friends would be exhibited
like " Bob Logic " and " Tom and Jerry " in a
regular series of public places. " Mr. Pick-
wick has an Adventure at Vauxhall," "Mr.
Pickwick Goes to Margate," etc. : we had a
narrow escape, it would seem, of this con-
ventional sort of thing, and no doubt it was
this the publishers looked for. But "Boz"
asserted his supremacy, and made the
narrative the chief element.
It was interesting thus to know that Mr.
Pickwick had visited the borders of Wales
I suppose, Chester but what was his
celebrated journey to Birmingham, prompted
by his " fondness for the useful arts " ? This
PICKWICKIAN ORIGINALS. 83
could hardly refer to his visit to Mr. Winkle,
sen. The Club, it will be seen, was founded
in 1822, and its place of meeting would appear
to have been this Huggin Lane, City, " so
intimately associated with Lothbury and
Cateaton Street." The picture of the meeting
of the Club shows us that it consisted of the
ominous number of thirteen. There is not
room for more. They seem like a set of well-
to-do retired tradesmen ; the faces are such
as we should see on the stage in a piece of
low comedy : for the one on the left Mr. Edward
Terry might have sat. The secretary sits at
the bottom of the table, with his back to us,
and the chairman, with capacious stomach, at
the top. Blotton, whom Mr. Pickwick rather
unhandsomely described as a " vain and dis-
appointed haberdasher," may have followed
this business. He is an ill- looking fellow
enough, with black, bushy whiskers. The
Pickwickians are decidedly the most gentle-
manly of the party. But why was it necessary
for Mr. Pickwick to stand upon a chair ?
84 PICKWICKIAN ORIGINALS.
This, however, may have been a custom of the
day at free and easy meetings.
" Posthumous papers" moreover, did not
correctly describe the character of the
Book, for the narrative did not profess to
be founded on documents at all. He was,
however, committed to this title by his
early announcement, and indeed intended
to carry out a device of using Snod-
grass's " Note Books," whose duty it was
during the course of the adventures to take
down diligently all that he observed. But
this cumbrous fiction was discarded after a
couple of numbers. " Posthumous papers "
had been used some ten years before, in
Almost every page save perhaps a dismal
story or two in the 609 pages of Pickwick is
good ; but there are two or three passages
which are obscure, if not forced in humour.
Witness Mr Bantam's recognition of Mr.
Pickwick, as the gentleman residing on
Clapham Green not yet Common "who
PICKWICKIAN ORIGINALS. 85
lost the use of his limbs from imprudently
taking cold after port wine, who could not be
moved in consequence of acute suffering, and
who had the water from the King's Bath
bottled at 103 degrees, and sent by waggon
to his bedroom in Town ; when he bathed,
sneezed, and same day recovered." This is
grotesque enough and farcical, but without
much meaning. On another occasion we are
told that Tupman was casting certain " Anti-
Pickwickian glances" at the servant maids,
which is unmeaning. No doubt, /#-Pick-
wickian was intended.
Why is there no " Pickwick Club " in
London ? It might be worth trying, and
would be more successful than even the
Johnson Club. There is surely genuine
" stuff" to work on. Our friends in America,
who are Pickwickian quand meme> have
established the "Ail-Around Dickens Club."
The members seem to be ladies, though
there are a number of honorary members
of the other sex, which include members
86 PICKWICKIAN ORIGINALS.
of " Boz's " own family, with Mr. Kitton, Mr.
W. Hughes, Mr. Charles Kent, myself, and
some more. The device of the club is " Boz's "
own book-plate, and the " flower " of the ' club
is his favourite geranium. The President is
Mrs: Adelaide Garland ; and some very
interesting papers, to judge from their titles,
have been read, such as " Bath and its Associa-
tions with Landor," " The City of Bristol with
its Literary Associations," " The Excursion to
the Tea Gardens of Hampstead," prefaced by
a description of the historic old inn, " Poem
by Charles Kent," " Dickens at Gad's Hill,"
"A Description of Birmingham, its Institu-
tions, and Dickens' Interest therein " ; with a
"Reading of Mr. Pickwick's Mission to
Birmingham, Coventry and the adjacent
Warwickshire Country," etc. There is also a
very clever series of examination questions by
the President in imitation of Calverley's.
"Had Mr. Pickwick loved?" Mr. Lang
asks ; " it is natural to believe that he had
never proposed, never. His heart, however
PICKWICKIAN ORIGINALS. 8?
bruised, was neither broken nor embittered."
His temperament was certainly affectionate
if not absolutely amatory : he certainly never
missed an opportunity where a kiss was
But stay ! has anyone noted that on the
wall of his room at Dulwich, there hangs the
portrait of a lady just over this might seem
to mean something. But on looking close,
we see it is the dear filial old fellow's mother.
A striking likeness, and she has spectacles
like her celebrated son.
As all papers connected with the Pickwick
era are scarce and meagre for the reason
that no one was then thinking of " Boz " ; any
that have come down to us are specially
interesting. Here are a few " pieces," which
will be welcomed by all Pickwickians. The
first is a letter of our author to his publishers.
" Furnival's Inn,
" Friday Morning.
" DEAR SIR, I am very glad to find I shall
have the pleasure of celebrating Mr. Pickwick's
88 PICKWICKIAN ORIGINALS.
success with you on Sunday. When you have
sufficiently recovered from the fatigues of
publication, will you just let me know from your
books how we stand. Drawing 10 one day,
and 20 another, and so forth, I have become
rather mystified, and jumbled up our accounts
in my brain, in a very incomprehensible state.
" Faithfully yours,
This must have been written at the con-
clusion of the story in 1837, and is in a very
modest tone considering how triumphant had
been the success. Connected with this is a
paper of yet more interest, a receipt for
payment for one of the early numbers.
For this Pickwickian Banquet, he had
reluctantly to give up one at the home of his
new friend Forster. In an unpublished
letter, he writes to him as " Dear Sir " the
beginning of a four-and-thirty years' friend-
ship " I have been so much engaged in the
pleasing occupation of moving." He was
unable to go to his new friend to dinner
Face p. 83.
PICKWICKIAN ORIGINALS. 89
because he had been " long engaged to the
Pickwick publishers to a dinner in honour of
that hero, which comes off to-morrow."
In an interesting letter of Dickens'
Pickwickian ones are rare sold at
Hodgson's rooms, July, 1895, he writes :
" Mr. Seymour shot himself before the
second number of the Pickwick papers, not
the third as you would have it, was published.
While he lay dead, it was necessary the
search should be made in his working room
for the plates to the second number, the day
for publication of which was drawing near.
The plates were found unfinished, with their
faces turned to the wall." This ' scrap
brought 12 los. Apropos of prices, who
that was present will forget the scene at
Christie's when the six " Pickwick Ladles "
were sold ? These were quaint things, like
enlarged Apostle Spoons, and the figures well
modelled. They had been made specially,
and presented to " Boz " on the conclusion
of his story, by his publishers. The Pickwick
90 PICKWICKIAN ORIGINALS.
Ladle brought 69. Jingle, 30. Winkle,
23. Sam, 64. Old Weller, 51 ; and the
Fat Boy, 35 145., or over 280 in all. Nay,
the leather case was put up, and brought
three guineas. We recall Andrew Halliday
displaying one to us, with a sort of triumph.
Charles Dickens, the younger, got two, I
think ; Messrs. Agnew the others.
CONCERNING THE PLATES AND
SCTRA PLATES AND "STATES," OF
It is\ an interesting question what should
be the relation of illustration to the story, and
of the artist to the story-teller ; and what are
the limitations of their respective provinces.
Both should work independently of each
other ; that is, the artist should tell the story
from his own point of view he is not
merely to servilely translate the situations
into "black and white." He should be, in
fact, what the actor is to a drama. When
Eugene Delacroix's illustrations to Goethe's
" Faust " were shown to the great author,
he expressed admiration of their truth and
spirit ; and on his secretary saying that they
would lead to a better understanding of his
poem, said : " With that we have naught to
do ; on the contrary, the more complete
imagination of such an artist compels us to
92 PLATES OF PICKWICK.
believe that the situations as he represents
them are preferable to them as described. It
is therefore likely that the readers will find
that he exerts a strong force upon their
imagination." This shows, allowing some-
thing for the compliment, what a distinct
force the great writer attributed to the artist,
that he did not consider him an assistant or
merely subsidiary. The actor becomes, after
his fashion, a distinct creator and originator,
supplying details, etc., of his own, but taking
care that these are consistent with the text
and do not contradict it in any way.
This large treatment was exactly " Phiz's."
He seems to " act " " Boz's " drama, yet he
did not introduce anything that was not
warranted by the spirit of the text. He found
himself present at the scene, and felt how it
must have occurred. He had a wonderful
power of selecting what was essential and
what should be essential. Nor did he make
a minute inventory of such details as were
mentioned in the text. Hence the extra-
PLATES OF PICKWICK. 93
ordinary vitality and spirit of his work.
There is action in all, and each picture tells
its own story. To see the merit of this
system, we have only to contrast with it such
attempts as we find in modern productions,
where the artist's method is to present to us
figures grouped together, apparently talking
but not acting such things as we have week
by week in Punch. The late Sir John Millais
and other artists of almost equal rank used to
furnish illustrations to serial stories, and all
their pictures were of this kind two or
three figures well drawn, certainly one
standing, the others sitting down, it may be,
engaged in conversation. This brought
us " no forrarder " and supplied no dramatic
It should be said, however, that it is only
to " Pickwick " that this high praise can be
extended. With every succeeding story the
character of the work seemed to fall off, or
rather the methods of the artist to change.
It may have been, too, the inspiration from a
94 PLATES OF PICKWICK.
dramatic spirited story also failed, for " Boz "
had abandoned the free, almost reckless style
of his first tale. There was a living distinct-
ness, too, in the Pickwickian coterie^ and every
figure, familiar and recognizable, seemed to
have infinite possibilities. The very look of
them would inspire.
In this spirit of vitality and reality also,
" Phiz " rather suggests a famous foreign illus-
trator, Chodowiecki, who a century ago was
in enormous request for the illustration of
books of all kinds, and whose groups and
figures, drawn with much spirit and round-
ness, arrested the eye at once and told the
situation. Later " Phiz " fell off in his work
and indeed adopted quite new and more
commercial methods, such as would enable
him to get through the vast amount of work
that came to him. There were no longer
these telling situations to limn which spoke
for themselves, and without straw, bricks are
not to be made. In this later manner we
seem to have bid adieu to the inspiration to
PLATES OF PICKWICK. 95
the fine old round style of drawing where
the figures " stand out " completely. He
adopted a sort of sketchy fashion ; his figures
became silhouettes and quite flat. There was
also a singular carelessness in finish a mere
outline served for a face. The result was a
monotony and similarity of treatment, with a
certain unreality and grotesqueness which are
like nothing in life. In this, however, he may
have been inspired by the grotesque person-
ages he was put to illustrate the Smallweeds
and the like.
It would be an interesting speculation to
consider what would have become of " Pick-
wick" had this artist not been forthcoming.
Would we have really known our Mr.
Pickwick and his " followers " as we do now,
or, indeed, would we have so keenly appre-
ciated the humorous situations ? I believe
not. It was the graven figures of these
personages, and the brilliant way in which
the situations were concentrated, as it were,
into a point, that produced such striking
96 PLATES OF PICKWICK.
effect: without these adjuncts the Head of
the Club and his friends would have been
more or less abstractions, very much what
the characters in Theodore Hook's "Gilbert
Gurney" are. Take Mr. Pickwick. The
author supplied only a few hints as to his
personal appearance he was bald, mild, pale,
wore spectacles and gaiters ; but who would
have imagined him as we have him now, with
his high forehead, bland air, protuberant
front. The same with the others. Mr.
Thackeray tried in many ways to give some
corporeal existence to his own characters to
"Becky," Pendennis, and others; but who sees
them as we do Mr. Pickwick? So with his
various "situations" many most dramatic
and effective, but no one would guess it from
the etchings. The Pickwick scenes all tell
a story of their own ; and a person say a
foreigner who had never even heard of the
story would certainly smile over the situa-
tions, and be piqued into speculating what
could be the ultimate meaning.
PLATES OF PICKWICK. Q7
At the exhibition "illustrating a century
and a half of English humorists," given by
the Fine Art Society under the direction of
Mr. Joseph Grego in October, 1896, there
was a collection of original Pickwick draw-
ings no less than fifty-six in number. There
were three by Seymour, two by Bass and
thirty-four by Phiz, all used in the book ;
while of those unused probably found un-
suitable, there were five by Buss, including a
proposed title-page, and two of the Fat Boy
" awake on this occasion only." There were
also five by Phiz, which were not engraved,
and one by Leech. The drawing of the
dying clown, Seymour was engaged upon when
he committed suicide. Of Buss' there were
two of Mr. Pickwick at the Review, two of
the cricket match, two of the Fat Boy
" awake," " the influence of the salmon "
unused, " Mr. Winkle's first shot " unused,
studies of character in Pickwick, and a study
for the title-page. The poor, discarded Buss
took a vast deal of pains therefore to accom-
98 PLATES OF PICKWICK.
plish his task. Of Phiz's unused designs there
was " Mr. Winkle's first shot " and tv/o for
the Gabriel Grub story, also one for "the
Warden's room." Most interesting of all was
his " original study " for the figure of Mr.
Mr. Grego, himself an excellent artist,
placed at the door of the society a very telling
figure of Mr. Pickwick displayed on a poster
and effectively coloured. It was new to find
our genial old friend smiling an invitation to
us in Bond Street. This which I took for a
lithographed " poster " was Mr. Grego's own
work, portrayed in water colours.
There have been many would-be illustrators
of the chronicle, some on original lines of
their own ; but these must be on the whole
pronounced to be failures. On looking at
them we somehow feel that the figures and
situations are wholly strange to us ; that we
don't know them or recognize them. The
reason is possibly that the artists are not in
perfect sympathy or intelligence with the
PLATES OF PICKWICK. QQ
story ; they do not know every turning,
corner and cranny of it, as did " Phiz " and
indeed as did everyone else living at that
time; they were not inspired, above all, by its
author. But there was a more serious reason
still for the failure. It will be seen that in
Phiz's wonderful plates the faces and figures
are more or less generalized. We cannot tell
exactly, for instance, what were Mr. Winkle's
or even Sam Weller's features. Neither their
mouths, eyes ,or noses, could be put in distinct
shape. We have only the general air and
tone and suggestion as of persons seen afar
off in a crowd. Yet they are always recog-
nizable. This is art, and it gave the artist
a greater freedom in his treatment. Now
when an illustrator like the late Frederick
Barnard came, he drew his Jingle, his
Pickwick, Weller, and Winkle, with all their
features, in quite a literal and particular
fashion the features were minutely and care-
fully brought out, with the result that they
seem almost strange to us. Nor do they express
100 PLATES OF PICKWICK.
the characters. There is an expression, but it
seems not the one to which we are accus-
tomed. Mr. Pickwick is generally shown as
a rather "cranky" and testy old gentleman
in his expressions, whereas the note of all
Phiz's" faces is a good softness and unctuous-
ness even. Now this somewhat philosophical
analysis points to a principle in art illustration
which accounts in a great measure for the
unsatisfactory results where it is attempted to
illustrate familiar works such as those of
Tennyson, Shakespeare, etc. The reader has
a fixed idea before him, which he has formed
for himself an indistinct, shapeless one it
might be, but still of sufficient outline to be
disturbed. Among the innumerable present-
ments of Shakespeare's heroines no one has
ever seen any that satisfied or that even cor-
responded. They are usually not generalized
enough. Again, the readers of "Pickwick"
grew month by month, or number by number,
more and more acquainted with the characters :
PLATES OF PICKWICK. 101
for the figures and faces appeared over and
over and yet over again.
The most diverting, however, of all these
imitators and extra-illustrators is assuredly
the artist of the German edition. The series
is admirably drawn, every figure well finished,
but figures, faces, and scenes are unrecog-
nizable. It is the Frenchman's idea of
Hamlet. Mr. Pickwick and his friends are
stout Germans, dressed in German garments,
sitting in German restaurants with long
tankards with lids before them. The inci-
dents are made as literal and historical as
possible. The difficulty, of course, was that
none of their adventures could have occurred
in a country like Germany, or if they did,
would have become an affair of police. No
German could see humour in that. Notwith-
standing all this, the true Pickwickian will
welcome them as a pleasant contribution to
the Pickwickian humour, and no one would
have laughed so loudly at them as Boz
102 PLATES OF PICKWICK.
The original illustrations form a serious and
important department of Pickwickian lore,
and entail an almost scientific knowledge.
Little, indeed, did the young " Boz " dream,
when he was settling with his publishers that
the work was to contain forty- two plates an
immense number it might seem that these
were to fructify into such an enormous
progeny. We, begin, of course, with the
regular official plates that belong strictly to
the work. Here we find three artists
at work each succeeding the other
the unfortunate Robert Seymour coming first
with his seven spirited pictures ; next the
unlucky Buss, with his two condemned pro-
ductions, later to be dismissed from the book
altogether ; and finally, " Phiz," or Hablot K.
Browne, who furnished the remaining plates
to the end. As is well known, so great was
the run upon the book that the plates were
unequal to the duty, and " Phiz " had to re-
engrave them several times often duplicates
on the one plate naturally not copying them
PLATES OF PICKWICK. 103
very closely. Hence we have the rather
interesting "variations." He by-and-bye
re-engraved Seymour's seven, copying them
with wonderful exactness, and finally substi-
tuted two of his own for those of the
condemned Buss. The volume, therefore, was
furnished with seven Seymours, and their seven
replicas, the two Buss's, their two replicas, and
the thirty-three " Phiz " pictures, each with its
These variations are very interesting, and
even amusing. On an ordinary careless glance
one would hardly detect much difference
the artist, who seemed to wish to have a
certain freedom, made these changes either to
amuse himself or as if resenting the monotony
of copying. In any case they represent an
amount of patient labour that is quite unique
in such things.
The Pickwickian " student" may be glad to
go with us through some of the plates and
have an account of these differences. We
must premise that the first state of the plates
IO4 PLATES OF PICKWICK.
may be considered " proofs before letters "
the descriptive titles being only found in the
1. " The Frontispiece." (We shall call the
second state #, the first a.) In a the signature
" Phiz," " fct." or " fecit " is on the left, in b it
is divided half on each side. The harlequin
painting has a full face in a y a side face in b.
The face at the apex of the picture has a
mouth closed in , and open in a. There are
variations in nearly all the grotesque faces ;
and in b the faces of Mr. Pickwick and Sam
are fuller and more animated. In b the
general treatment of the whole is richer.
2. "The Title-page." In a the sign has
Veller, in b Weller. Old Weller's face in b is
more resolved and animated ; in a water is
flowing from the pail.
3. "Mr. Pickwick Addressing the Club."
Mr. Pickwick in b is more cantankerous than
in a all the faces scarcely correspond in
expression, though the outlines are the same.
The work, shading, etc., is much bolder in b.
PLATES OF PICKWICK. 105
4. " Scene with the Cabman." Very little
difference between the plates, save in the
spectacles lying on the ground. These are
5. " The Sagacious Dog." b is more
heavily shaded, but a is much superior in the
dog and face of the sportsman. Trees in b
6. " Dr. Slammer's Defiance." The figures
on the top of the stairs are much darker and
bolder in b. Jingle's and Tupman's faces are
better in b than in a, and Jingle's legs are
better drawn in b.
7. " The Dying Clown." A most dramatic
and tragic conception, which shows that
Seymour would have been invaluable later on
for Dickens' more serious work. The chief
differences are in the face of the man at his
bedside and the candle.
8. " Mr. Pickwick in Search of his Hat."
The drawing of Mr. Pickwick's legs is rather
strange. The right leg could hardly be so
much twisted back while Mr. Pickwick runs
106 PLATES OF PICKWICK.
straight forward ; his left hand or arm is
obscure in both. Air the faces differ the hat
in b has much more the look of being blown
along than that in a.
9. " Mr. Winkle Soothes a Refractory
Steed." Seymour's horse is infinitely more
spirited and better drawn than Phiz's. Its
struggling attitude is admirable. Seymour's
landscape is touched more delicately; the
faces differ in both.
10. "The Cricket Match." First Buss
plate. He introduced a farcical incident not
in the text the ball knocking off the fielder's
hat, who is quite close to the batsman. A
very poor production. Observe the "ante-
diluvian" shape of the bat no paddings
on the legs. The sketch is valuable as show-
ing how not to interpret Dickens' humour, or
rather how to interpret it in a strictly literal
way that is, without humour.
11. "Tupman in the Arbour." Second
Buss plate rather ostentatiously signed
"Drawn and etched by R. W. Buss."
PLATES OF PICKWICK. 107
Tupman appears to be tumbling over Miss
12. The same subject by "Phiz." A
remarkable contrast in treatment ; there is
the suggestion of the pair being surprised.
We see how the fat boy came on them. The
old Manor Farm in the background, with its
gables, etc., is a pleasing addition, and like all
" Phiz's " landscapes, delicately touched in.
The scared alarm on the two faces is first-rate
even Miss Wardle's foot as well as Tup-
man's is expressive. There appears to be no
" variation " of this plate.
13. " The Influence of the Salmon." A
truly dramatic group overflowing with humour.
Note no fewer than ten faces in the back-
ground, servants, etc., all expressing interest
according to their class and degree. The five
chief characters express drunkenness in five
different fashions : the hopeless, combative,
despairing, affectionate, etc. Wardle's stolid
calm is good.
14. " The Breakdown." This was "Phiz's"
108 PLATES OF PICKWICK.
coup d'essai after he was called in, and is a
most spirited piece. But the variations make
the second plate almost a new one. The
drawing, grouping, etc., in b are an enormous
improvement, and supply life and animation.
The three figures, Pickwick, Wardle, and the
postillion, are all altered for the better. In b
Mr. Pickwick's nervousness, as he is extricated
from the chaise, is well shown. The postillion
becomes a round spirited figure, instead of a
mere sketch ; Wardle, as in the text, instead
of stooping down and merely showing his
back, is tramping about gesticulating. A
very spirited white horse is introduced with a
postillion as spirited ; the single chaise in the
distance, the horses drawn back, and Jingle
stretching out, is admirable. It is somehow
conveyed in a clever way in b that Miss
Wardle is peeping through the hind window
at the scene. There is a wheel on the ground
in b, and one hat ; in a there are two hats
Mr. Pickwick's, which is recognizable, and
PLATES OF PICKWICK. IOQ
15. " First Appearance of Mr. S. Weller."
In the first issue a faint " Nemo " can be
made out in the corner, and it is said the same
signature is on the preceding plate, though I
have never been able to trace it clearly. This
plate, as is well known, represents the court of
the Old White Hart Inn in the Borough,
which was pulled down some years ago. On
this background the galleries, etc., being
picturesquely indicated stand out brilliantly
the four figures. The plate was varied in
important ways. In the b version some fine
effects of light and shade are brought out by
the aid of the loaded cart and Wardle's figure.
Wardle's hat is changed from a common
round one to a low broad-leafed one, his figure
made stouter, and he is clothed with dark
instead of white breeches, his face broadened
and made more good-humoured. Sam's face
in b is made much more like the ideal Sam ;
that in a is grotesque. Perker's face and
attitude are altered in b, where he is made
more interrogative. Mr. Pickwick in b is
110 PLATES OF PICKWICK.
much more placid and bland than in #, and he
carries his hat more jauntily. Top-boots in b
are introduced among those which Sam is
cleaning. He, oddly, seems to be cleaning a
white boot. A capital dog in b is sniffing at
Mr. Pickwick's leg; in a there is a rather
unmeaning skulking animal. All the smaller
figures are altered.
16. "Mrs. Bardell Faints." The first
plate is feeble and ill-drawn, though Mrs.
Bardell's and Tupman's faces are good, the
latter somewhat farcical ; the boy " Tommy "
is decidedly bad and too small. Mr. Pick-
wick's face in a is better than in b. In the
second attempt all is bolder and more spirited.
The three Pickwickians are made to express
astonishment, even in their legs. There is a
table-desk in a, not in b. A clock and two
vases are introduced, and a picture over the
mirror representing a sleeping beauty with a
17. " The Election at Eatanswill." The
first plate represents an election riot in front
PLATES OF PICKWICK. Ill
of the hustings, which is wild and fairly
spirited. But no doubt it appeared somewhat
confused to the artist. In his second he made
it quite another matter. Over the hustings he
introduced a glimpse of the old Ipswich gables.
He changed the figure and dress of Fizkin, the
rival candidate. He had Perker sitting on the
rail, but substituted a standing-up figure,
talking presumably Perker, but taller than
that gentleman. In b, Mr. Pickwick's face
expresses astonishment at the disorder ; in a
he is mildly placid. In b the figure behind
Mr. Pickwick is turned into Sam by placing a
cockade on his hat. Next to Fizkin is a new
portly figure introduced. The figures in the
crowd are changed in wholesale fashion, and
yet the " root idea " in both is the same. An
artist, we fancy, would learn much from these
contrasts, seeing how strikingly " Phiz " could
shift his characters. In the first draft there
was not sufficient movement. To the left
there was a stout sailor in a striped jacket who
was thrusting a pole into the chest of a thin
112 PLATES OF PICKWICK.
man in check trousers. This, as drawn,
seemed too tranquil, and he substituted a
stouter, more jovial figure with gymnastic
action the second was made more contrasted.
Next him was a confused group a man with
a paper cap, in place of which he supplied a
stout man on whom the other was driven
back, and who was being pushed from behind.
The animation of the background is immensely
increased by hats, and arms, and sticks being
waved. Everything is bolder and clearer.
The second trombone player, however, is not
so spirited as the first, and the drum-beater
becomes rather a " Punch and Judy " show-
man. An artistic effect of light is produced
by this drum. There are a great many more
boards, too, introduced in b.
" Mrs. Leo Hunter's Fancy dress Dejeune."
In b the finish and treatment are infinitely
improved. Mr. Pickwick's face and figure is
more refined and artistic. The way he holds
his hat in his right hand and his left also are
improved; both are more extended. Mr.
PLATES OF PICKWICK. 113
Snodgrass's left leg is brought behind Mr.
Pickwick's in b. Water a pond perhaps is
in front. Tupman's hat is altered in b y and
feathers added ; his face is more serious and
less grotesque. Mrs. Pott is more piquant, as
the author suggested to the artist. The bird-
cage, instead of being high in the tree, is
lowered and hangs from it. The most curious
change is that of Pott, who in a is out of all
scale, seeming to be about seven feet
high. He was lowered in b, and given a
beard and a more hairy cap. It was said,
indeed, that the original face was too like
Lord Brougham's, but the reason for the
change was probably what I have given.
"The Young Ladies' Seminary." All
details are changed. The rather "cranky"
face of Mr. Pickwick, utterly unlike him, was
improved and restored to its natural benevo-
lence ; more detail put into the faces, notably
the cook's. The girls are made more distinct
and attractive the lady principal at the back
made effective ; all the foliage treated
114 PLATES OF PICKWICK.
differently, a tree on the left removed. In a
there is a sort of hook on the inside of the
door to hold a bell, which is absent ; in b it is
added. The bolts, etc., are different.
"Mr. Pickwick in the Pound." b is more
brilliant and vastly improved ; the smaller
donkey is removed, the three reduced to two ;
the sweep's cap is made white ; the faces are
altered, and made more animated. Mr.
Pickwick's figure in the barrow is perhaps not
improved, but his face is.
"Mr. Pickwick in the Attorney's Office."
Sam's face in a was quite unlike, and was
improved ; the position of his legs altered.
The other points are much the same.
" Last Visit of Heyland to the Old Man."
This is a sort of anticipation of " Phiz's " later
treatment of tragic subjects, as supplied for
" Bleak House " and such stories. Heyling's
cloak in b is draped over his left arm, the
boards of the door are outlined differently.
In a the face of the old man a side one, with
little expression; in b it was made three-
PLATES OF PICKWICK. 115
quarters, and contorted with horror the
attitude powerfully expressive, indeed. The
figures of both are worth comparing.
"The Double-bedded Room." In b the
lady's face is refined, and made less of the
" nut-cracker " type. The comb is removed,
her feet are separated, and the figure becomes
not ungraceful. A white night-gown in b is
introduced ; in a it is her day-gown, and
dark ; the back of the chair in b is treated
more ornamentally ; in a a plain frilled night-
cap is hung on the chair, changed in b to a
more grotesque and "Gamp-like" headgear.
Nothing can be better in a than the effect of
light from the rushlight on the floor. This is
helped by the lady's figure, which is darkened
in a, and thrown out by the white curtains
behind. Mr. Pickwick's face in a is not good,
and much improved in b. It will be noted
that the artist often thus failed in his hero's
face "missing his tip," as it were. This
picture admirably illustrates the artist's power
of legitimately emphasizing details such as
Il6 PLATES OF PICKWICK.
the night-cap to add to the comic situation.
" Mr. Weller Attacks the Executive of
Ipswich." There is scarcely any alteration
" Job Trotter Encounters Sam." The two
plates are nearly the same, except that Mary's
face is made prettier. Sam's is improved, and
Job Trotter's figure and face more marked
"Christmas Eve at Mr. Wardle's." The
changes here are a cat and dog introduced in
the foreground in , instead of the dog which
in a is between Mr. Pickwick and the old
" Gabriel Grubb." A face is introduced
into a branch or knot of the tree an odd,
rather far-fetched effect. The effectively out-
lined church in the background is St. Albans
" Mr. Pickwick Slides." In b Mr. Winkle's
skates are introduced. In one version there
are five stakes instead of four, and Miss
PLATES OF PICKWICK. 117
Allen's fur boots and feet are depicted
differently in each.
" Conviviality at Bob Sawyer's." The two
plates correspond almost exactly save for a
slight alteration in the arrangement of the
books in the case.
"Mr. Pickwick Sits for his Portrait." Slight
alterations in the faces and in the bird-cage.
The arrangement of the panes in the window
is also different. Mr. Pickwick's face is made
more intelligent. A handle is supplied to a
pewter pot on the floor.
"The Warden's Room." Almost exactly
the same in both. But why has Mr. Pickwick
his spectacles on when just roused from sleep?
There is a collar to the shirt hanging from
"The Meeting with Jingle." Very slight
changes in the faces. The child's face in b
is admirable, and, like one of Cruikshank's
miniatures, it conveys alarm and grief. The
face of the woman watering her plant is
improved. Note the Hogarthian touch of the
Il8 PLATES OF PICKWICK.
initials carved on the window, sufficiently
distinct and yet not intrusively so. This is a
most skilfully grouped and dramatic picture,
and properly conveys the author's idea.
" The Ghostly Passenger." This illustration
of what is one of the best tales of mystery is
equally picturesque and original. The five
figures in front are truly remarkable. The
elegant interesting figure of the woman, the
fop with his hat in the air, the bully with the
big sword, the man with the blunderbuss, and
the bewildered rustic, to say nothing of the
muffled figures on the coach, make up a
perfect play. There seems a flutter over all ;
it is like, as it was intended to be, a scene in
" Mr. Winkle Returns under Extraordinary
Circumstances." There is little difference
between the plates, save as to the details of
the objects in the cupboard. In b some
bottles have been introduced on the top shelf.
Mrs. Winkle's is a pleasing, graceful figure in
both, and improved and refined in b. More
PLATES OF PICKWICK. 119
spirit, too, is put into Mr. Pickwick's figure as
he rises in astonishment. It may be noted
what a graceful type of womanhood then
prevailed, the face being thrown out by
"bands" of hair and ringlets, the large
spreading bonnets and white veils. Mary
wears an enormous bonnet or hat like her
" Mr. Sawyer's Mode of Travelling." The
amazing spirit and movement of this picture
cannot be too much praised. The chaise
seems whirling along, so that the coach,
meeting it, seems embarrassed and striving to
get out of the way. The Irish family,
struggling to keep up with the chaise, is
inimitable. There are some changes in b.
The man with the stick behind has a bundle
or bag attached. The mother with her
three children is a delightful group, and much
improved in the second plate. The child
holding up flowers is admirably drawn. The
child who has fallen is given a different
I2O PLATES OF PICKWICK.
attitude in b. The dog, too, is slightly
"The Rival Editors." There is little change
made, save that more plates, jugs, etc., are
introduced. The "row" is shown with
extraordinary spirit. Note the grotesque
effect of Pott's face, shown through the cloth
that Sam has put over his head. The onions
have got detached from the hank hung to the
ceiling, and are tumbling on the combatants,
and a capital touch this the blackbird,
whose cage has been covered over to secure
its repose, is shown in b dashing against the
bars. We might ask, however, what does the
cook there, and why does she " trouble herself
about the warming-pan " ?
"Mary and the Fat Boy." Both plates
nearly the same, the languishing face of the
Fat Boy admirable. Mary's figure, as she
draws the chair, charming, though somewhat
stout at the back. The cook is present, and
a plate laid for her, which is contrary to the
PLATES OF PICKWICK. 121
" Mr. Weller and his Friends Drinking to
Mr. Pell." Plates almost the same, save for a
slight alteration in the faces, and a vinegar
cruet introduced next to Mr. Pell's oysters.
Admirable and most original and distinct are
the figures of the four coachmen, even the one
of whom we have only a back view.
Perhaps no one of the plates displays
Phiz's vivid power so forcibly as the one of
the trial " Bardell v. Pickwick." Observe the
dramatic animation, with the difficulty of
treating a number of figures seated in regular
rows. The types of the lawyers are truly
admirable. In this latter piece there are no
less than thirty-five faces, all characteristic,
showing the peculiar smug and pedantic cast
of the barristerial lineaments. Note specially
the one at the end of the third bench who is
engrossed in his brief, the pair in the centre
who are discussing something, the two stand-
ing up. But what is specially excellent is the
selection effaces for the four counsel concerned
in the case. Nothing could be more appro-
122 PLATES OF PICKWICK.
priate or better suit the author's description.
What could excel, or " beat " Buzfuz with his
puffed, coarse face and hulking form? His
brother Serjeant has the dried, "peaked"
look of the overworked barrister, and though
he is in his wig we recognize him at once,
having seen him before at his chambers. Mr.
Phunkey, behind, is the well-meaning but
incapable performer to be exhibited in his
examination of Winkle ; and Mr. Skimpin is
the alert, unscrupulous, wide-awake prac-
titioner who " made such a hare " of Mr.
Winkle. The composition of this picture is
indeed a work of high art.
In " Mr. Pickwick sliding," how admirably
caught is the tone of a genial, frosty day at a
country-house, with the animation of the
spectators the charming landscape. In the
scene of " Under the Mistletoe " at Manor
Farm, the Fat Boy, by some mistake of
size, cannot be more than five or six years
old, and Tupman is shown on one knee
" making up " to one of the young ladies.
PLATES OF PICKWICK. 123
Beaux seemed to have been very scarce in
the district where stout, elderly gentlemen
were thus privileged.
The curious thing is that hardly a single
face of Mr. Pickwick's corresponds with its
fellows, yet all are sufficiently like and recog-
nizable. In the first picture of the club he is
a cantankerous, sour, old fellow, but the artist
presently mellowed him. The bald, benevo-
lent forehead, the portly little figure, the
gaiters, eye-glass and ribbon always put on
expressively, seem his likeness. The " Mr.
Pickwick sliding" and the "Mr. Pickwick
sitting for his portrait in the Fleet " have
There has always been a sort of fascination
in tracing out and identifying the Pickwickian
localities. It is astonishing the number of
persons that have been engrossed with this
pursuit. Take Muggleton for instance, which
seems to have hitherto defied all attempts at
discovery. The younger Charles Dickens
fancied that town, Mailing, which lies to the
124 PLATES OF PICKWICK.
south of Rochester. Mr. Frost, Mr. Hughes,
and other " explorers " all have their favourite
town. I, myself, had fixed on Maidstone as
fulfilling the necessary conditions of having a
Mayor and Corporation ; as against this choice
and that of all the towns that were south of
Rochester there was always this fact, that Boz
describes the party going up the street as
they left Rochester, a route that led them
north-east. But the late Miss Dickens
" Mamie " as she was affectionately called in
her pleasing and very natural little book,
" My Father as I Recall Him," has casually
dropped a hint which puts us on the right
track. When driving with her on the " beau-
tiful back road to Cobham once, he pointed out
a spot. There it was, he said, where Mr.
Pickwick dropped his whip." The distressed
travellers had to walk some twelve or fourteen
miles about the distance of Muggleton
which was important enough to have a Mayor
and Corporation, etc. We ourselves have
walked this road, and it led us to Gravesend.
PLATES OF PICKWICK. 125
Gravesend we believe to be Muggleton
against all competitors. Further, when chas-
ing Jingle, Wardle went straight from
Muggleton to town, as you can do from
Gravesend ; from which place there is a long
walk to Cobham.
For abundance of editions the immortal
Pickwick can hold its own with any modern
of its "weight, age, and size." From the
splendid yet unwieldy edition de luxe^ all but
Bible-like in its proportions, to the one penny
edition sold on barrows in Cheapside, every
form and pattern has been supplied.
The Gadshill Edition, with Introduction by
Andrew Lang, has recently been issued by
Messrs. Chapman and Hall, and is all that can
be desired. Print, paper, and size are excellent,
perfect, even captivating. The old illustrations,
from the original plates, are bright and clear,
unworn and unclogged with ink. The editor
has been judiciously reserved in his intro-
duction and annotations. While Mr. Lang's
lack of sympathy with Dickens is well-known,
126 PLATES OF PICKWICK.
and, like Sam Weller after leaving the witness-
box, he has said just as little respecting Mr.
Pickwick as might be, " which was precisely
the object he had in view all along." But it
almost seems as though one required to be
" brought up " in Pickwick, so to speak,
thoroughly to understand him. No true
Pickwickian would ever have called Tuckle
the Bath Footman, " Blazer," or Jingle,
"Jungle." It were better, too, not to adopt a
carping tone in dealing with so joyous and
irresponsible a work. " Dickens," we are told,
" knew nothing of cricket." Yet in his prime
the present writer has seen him "marking"
all day long, or acting as umpire, with extra-
ordinary knowledge and enthusiasm. In
Pickwickian days the game was not what it is
now ; it was always more or less irregular and
disorderly. As proof of " Boz's " ignorance,
Mr. Lang says it is a mystery why Podder
" missed the bad balls, blocked the doubtful
ones, took the good ones, and sent them
flying, etc." Surely nothing could be plainer
PLATES OF PICKWICK. 127
He "missed" that is, did not strike the
balls of which nothing could be made, blocked
the dangerous ones, and hit the good ones all
over the field. What more or what better
could Dr. Grace do ?
The original agreement for " Pickwick " I
have not seen, though it is probably in
existence, but there is now being shown at
the Earl's Court Victorian Era Exhibition a
very interesting Pickwickian curio. When
the last number had appeared, a deed was
created between the two publishers, Edward
Chapman and William Hall, giving them
increased control over the book. It is dated
November iSth, 1837, and sets out that the
property consisted of three shares held by the
two publishers and author. It was contracted
that the former should purchase for a period
of five years the author's third share. And it
was further stipulated that at the end of that
term, they, and no one else, should have the
benefit of any new arrangement. There was
128 PLATES OF PICKWICK.
also an arrangement about purchasing the
"stock," etc., at the end of the term. No
mention, however, is made of the terms or
" consideration," for which reference is made
to another deed. The whole is commendably
short and intelligible.
A New Edition
Charles Dickens's Works
It maybe asserted, without fear of contradiction, that the writings
of the Author of " Pickwick " have gone through a larger number of
editions than those of any other nineteenth-century novelist. Notwith-
standing this remarkable fact, the demand for Charles Dickens's
fascinating stories is still increasing, so it is not surprising that many
well-known publishing firms have been induced, from time to time,
to issue editions of the works of England's favourite author. The
Roxburghe Press, Limited, noted for the dainty character of its
publications, desires to announce the immediate preparation of a
"Roxburghe" Edition of
Charles Dickens's Works,
which will be offered at the average price of 3/6 per volume. It
is etermined to produce this edition in the most tasteful manner as
regards newly cast type, specially-made paper, appropriate and
attractive binding, etc., altogether in a style never before attempted.
The " ROXBURGHE " EDITION will be rendered particularly noteworthy
by means of carefully executed facsimiles of all the original
This will be the daintiest Edition ever issued
from any Press,
The Original Illustrations
By Cruikshank, Seymour, Buss, " Phiz," Cattermole, and
others, these being specially engraved, printed separately
on Plate paper and bound in with the Works.
The interest of each volume will be considerably enhanced by a
chatty INTRODUCTION from the pen of Mr. F. G. KITTON
(Author of " Dickensiana," "Charles Dickens by Pen and Pencil,"
etc.)) who will contribute to these prefatory chapters much that is
interesting concerning the history and bibliography of each novel,
while Dickensian localities and the prototypes of prominent characters
in the stories will be considered and discussed. The "ROXBURGHB"
EDITION will also include
Portraits of Charles Dickens,
representing him at various periods of his career. In the preparation
of the volumes Mr. CHARLES F. RIDEAL (Author of " Wellerisms"
and " Charles Dickens's Heroines and Women Folk," etc.) is
privileged in securing the invaluable assistance and advice of Mrs.
Perugini (Kate Dickens), Mr. George Cruikshank, Junr., nephew of
the original illustrator, and Mr. Gordon Browne (son of "Phiz").
Mr. Rideal will personally supervise the production of the entire
edition, which is sufficient guarantee that full justice will be done to
the volumes, and that their rechercM character will be maintained.
The "ROXBURGHE" EDITION will be issued at monthly intervals
continuing in the original order of publication^ as follows :
1 SKETCHES BY "BOZ"
2 THE PICKWICK PAPERS
3 OLIVER TWIST
4 NICHOLAS NICKLEBY
5 MASTER HUMPHREY'S CLOCK. (2 Volumes)
Containing Old Curiosity Shop and Barnaby Rudge
6 AMERICAN NOTES
7 MARTIN CHUZZLEWIT
8 A CHRISTMAS CAROL. THE CHIMES. THE
CRICKET ON THE HEARTH, (i Volume)
9 PICTURES FROM ITALY
10 THE BATTLE OF LIFE
11 DOMBEY AND SON
12 THE HAUNTED MAN
13 DAVID COPPERFIELD
14 A CHILD'S HISTORY OF ENGLAND
15 BLEAK HOUSE
16 HARD TIMES
It is probable that the series will include one or more other volumes,
comprising the Minor Writings of Charles Dickens, such as :
" Sunday under Three Heads," " The Mudfog Papers," " Sketches
of Young Gentlemen," " Sketches of Young Couples," Literary
Articles and Reviews, etc. These however, will be described in a
From ^8,000 to ,10,000, it is anticipated, will be expended in the
production of this Series.
An Edition de Lu.ve, on Demy 8vo paper, exquisitely
bound, strictly limited to 500 copies of each work,
signed and numbered, will be issued at half-a-guinea
per volume nett. Applications for this Edition should
be made at once in order to prevent disappointment.
THE LAW AND LAWYERS OP PICKWICK (With an Original
Sketch of "Mr. Serjeant Buzfuz"). By SIR FRANK LOCKWOOD,
Q.C., M.P. Second Edition, slightly revised. Manilla, One Shilling ;
Cloth, a veritable Edition de Luxe, Eighteenpence.
" The lecture itself is full of that genial humour characteristic ot Mr. Lockwood,
who is acknowledged to be the most jocular of Queen's Counsellors, and the cleverest
caricaturist at the Bar. He has been a devoted student of the works of Charles
Dickens, and has selected with much discrimination those passages that most
strikingly exhibit the novelist's acquaintance with legal men and affairs fifty years
ago." DUNDEE ADVKBTISKB.
" The effort was well worthy of permanent inclusion in Dickensi.in lore, and, as it
is published at the price of one shilling, the little brochure is likely to find an ex-
tended field of readers. It is prefaced by an original pen-and-ink sketch of Serjeant
Buzfuz by Mr. Lockwood, who is, as is generally known, an adept at characteristic
portraiture of this kind." UMPIRE.
MY FATHER, AS I RECALL HIM. By MAMIE DICKENS. One of
the most interesting books issued. Containing Photographs and
Information never before published. Crown 8vo, Art Canvas, Three
Shillings and Sixpence.
RAMBLES WITH DICKENS AND THE SERIAL GREEN LEAVES
of Charles Dickens (With Copies of the Original Monthly Wrappers).
By ROBERT ALLBUT. Cloth, Half a Crown.
CHARLES DICKENS' HEROINES AND WOMEN FOLK: Some
Thoughts concerning them. A Revised Lecture. By CHARLES F.
RIDEAL, with drawings of "Dot" and "Edith Dombey" by
FLORENCE PASH. Second Edition. Cloth, Eighteenpence.
" A delightful little book." INSTITUTE.
PICKWICKIAN MANNERS AND CUSTOMS. By PERCY FITZGERALD.
Crown 8vo, Art Canvas, Two Shillings and Sixpence.
THE DICKENS ENCYCLOPAEDIA. A Dictionary of all the characters
to be found in the works of Charles Dickens. By M. WOOD. Crown
8vo, Art Canvas, Three Shillings and Sixpence.
"WELLERISMS" from "Pickwick" and "Master Humphrey's
Clock." Selected by CHARLES F. RIDEAL, and Edited with an In-
troduction by CHARLES KENT, Author of " The Humour and Pathos
of Charles Dickens." Third Edition. With a new and original
drawing by GEORGE CRUIICSHANK, Junr., of Mr. Samuel Weller.
Cloth, Half a Crown; Manilla, Eighteenpence.
POEMS, SONGS AND OTHER RHYMES OF CHARLES DICKENS.
Collated by F. G. KITTON, Author of " Dickensiana," "Charles
Dickens by Pen and Pencil," etc. Cloth, Two Shillings and Sixpence.
a? n us
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